Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is Anyone Out There Unaware We Have a Military?

Ha, look at that, two posts in one day. In one hour no less. After I wrote my last post, though, I went over to Navy Times to look at the latest newsfeeds. This article caught my attention. Apparently, the Air Force, Army, and National Guard are all quite invested (as in, millions of dollars) in sponsoring NASCAR race teams. Recently, attention has been drawn to this due to the crazy deficits, and all the cutting going on in such things as veterans services and Medicaid. Spending so much on race cars seems a little silly and an easy target.

Except, apparently a majority of congressmen and women in the House didn't agree, and shot down a vote to ban this kind of thing. I guess they agree with Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, who said in defense of these programs, "I have to make some form of investment to make the American people aware of their Army..."

Oh, really. I didn't realize there were actually people out there who didn't know we had an army. This has got to be one of the most pithy excuses for money wasted I've read yet.

Random Stuff, Cuz I'm All Out of Well Written Stuff

Yeah, mental diarrhea, this post is it. Because if I don't resort to this, I will never post again. Really. I think one of the major problems I have with blogging is that I keep approaching it like an essay. It's got to be put together, polished, have a point. And pictures, well, of course you should somehow manage a picture. So when I sit down to write, it suddenly seems like a chore, something best put off until I can't avoid it. Which is why I never post since this is clearly not an essential part of my life, like making sure my child is wearing pants (ah, the kid just ran past without them again! This is what I get for cloth diapering - they were just so darn cute I never wanted to cover them up, and now he thinks life is much better that way; problem is, three is not a good age to be doing this anymore).


I don't think my three year old is ever going to potty train. Seriously. Somehow he went from being absurdly precocious on the potty on his second birthday to going through four pairs of undies a day. All while never missing a single poop, and never doing much more than making them too wet to wear. Oh, and did I mention that he almost never has an accident when we travel or are at someone else's house? Even long flights where they tell us no, it's too turbulent to take your kid to the bathroom. What the heck?

We no longer blame it on a bladder problem and instead think it's a laziness/don't want to leave what I'm doing issue. Or maybe a "drive my parents crazy" issue. How to solve it though? Apparently, nothing works. And we've tried them all, trust me. We're currently taking away a Thomas train every time he has an accident, then giving one back when he keeps them dry. Like everything else, this worked for awhile. This afternoon, after his second incident, I told him I was taking three trains because I was so annoyed. He helped me put them in time out, actually getting angry at me not because I took them, but because he couldn't choose them and out them in time out himself...

Clearly, he's winning this war.

When we moved here, the bugs were horrendous. We'd go to the beach and be attacked by these huge, biting flies. You'd slap them, but it was really only enough to stun them, so you had to be quick and bury them in the sand if you didn't want them flying off and to attack someone else.

Then there were the mosquitoes. And the tiny flies called noseeums because, really, you never saw them, just felt the little bloodsuckers eating you. I actually thought when we first got off the plane that the air felt different, more tingly. Um, nope. Just tiny flies whose bites sort of felt like getting hit with blowing sand or something.

After a year here, this seems to be a non-issue. Weirdly, we are no longer bothered by most of these bugs. I still hear visitors and some residents complain, though, so I'm not sure if it means our bodies are adapting and somehow repelling them. Or, we just got lucky and they all fly the other direction. Maybe a Doctor fly survived being buried in sand and warned them. Honestly, I don't care what worked as long as it keeps working. I was getting a little tired of having to talk our kids into going outside because they spent the first six months here afraid of the bugs. (Aren't I raising boys here??!!)

Unfortunately for Wyatt, however, we did discover a new bug issue recently. During a rousing game of hide and seek outside, he decided to hide under our back steps. A few seconds later, he came flying around the corner screaming his head off about how much it hurt. Turns out, there was a five inch long hornets nest under there. Thankfully, it was on the side he didn't enter from so he never touched it, but he still ended up with four stings from the episode. Two on the butt. I'll spare you the photos because I didn't take any (hey, I'm not that bad at this mothering thing), but suffice it to say it was a very long evening. At least I now know that my mother's remedy of a baking soda paste works pretty well on bee stings.

I did get a picture of the hive, but it's still on my camera. If anyone has an actual interest in seeing it, I'll force myself to get it on here. Otherwise, I'll just leave it there to whip out when we retell Wyatt's friends the dramatic story of his bee stings. Because they've all heard it. Actually, we can just take them outside and point it out because pest control's idea of getting rid of a hive is to just spray it down. They don't actually remove it. Or at least, they didn't get rid of ours. Now I am just going to have to keep checking it to make sure a nice family of yellow jackets doesn't move into the nicely built, yet abandoned by death, home. Wait, do they even have yellow jackets here?

Finally, to show you I do still believe in pictures, if not the kind I have to take and upload and edit first, here's a pic of what we plan to order for Wyatt to keep him somewhat occupied this summer:

Except I made the mistake of looking it up while he was home after he'd been told he couldn't do the Lego Mindstorms (a set where you build robots and program them) after-school class starting up this week. They set the age at 8 and up, but forgot to tell anyone until we'd all signed up our too-young kids for it and got them all excited.

So, clearly, he was upset about it, and I was trying to mollify him. At first I thought I'd just see if they would give us one of the Mindstorms kits to do at home, but after looking it up online, I discovered they have a more entry level robotics set aimed right at Wyatt's age. It's also cheaper than the Mindstorms, thank heavens. It's still going to set us back a couple hundred with shipping, but considering the lack of anything for him to do here this summer, it's totally worth it. Not to mention that teaching your six year old the basics of programming is pretty awesome. After I figure out how to do it myself, that is.

Unfortunately, he is so incredibly excited about doing it he asks me four times a day if I've ordered it yet. He has no real concept of how far it is till summer vacation, so it's been tough to explain the time frame. I finally told him that we'd order it about the time he took his big class trip to Nassau in April (yeah, I'm so going on that one - how cool that my kindergartner is going to take a plane for a class day-trip). That is a little bit more concrete to him because he has to wait for that to happen. Hopefully, that stops all the begging.

Oh, did I mention my kids have grown a ridiculous amount since moving here? In the last year, Wyatt has put on 3 inches, and Oscar has shot up 3 1/2. Eesh. No wonder I've had to spend so much time rotating clothes. Most of Oscar's outgrown stuff is getting dumped in the charity bin on base to be used for needy families here on the island. Kids' stuff is really hard to come by here, so I'm happy it can go to a good home. I really don't need to lug around outgrown clothes on the faint thought that we might, someday, have another kid.

With all this growing, Wyatt is only about an inch away from being able to ride all the rides at amusement parks. Maybe now his dad will stop asking me to go on roller coasters with him. That would be awesome.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Surprise

This afternoon when school let out, I took the boys to a Valentine's Day party for the youngest kids on base. It was fun, and there was a kid-size bouncy house for them to play with. I ended up staying later than I'd planned so they could run around the playground with their friends. By the time we got home, it was pushing 1730.

I'd mixed up some pizza dough before leaving, and knew it was sitting in the fridge waiting for me. I was dreading facing it when I walked to see Oliver setting the table. Turns out, he'd gone to the store, picked up stuff for a stir fry, and it was ready and waiting for us to eat when we got there.

Totally the best Valentine's Day present ever! I can't remember the last time I came home from something to dinner on the table. That is typically my job, and Oliver is not at all comfortable in the kitchen. The total unexpectedness of it was the cherry on the top. I think I made out in the husband department.

Friday, February 11, 2011

MMB Post

I may be lousy at blogging here lately, but I am keeping up with my once a month posts at MMB. Here's my latest!


They started a Zumba class here last week. I happened to see the paper advertising an introductory class on the day it was being held. I'd already gone running that day, so I wasn't too excited about getting all sweaty and tired again. I skipped it, but hoped they would do it again. I found out on Tuesday while working a food stand at a football game (raising money for the school) that it is going to be a twice a week class now. Mondays and Thursdays in the evening.

So, I went tonight. It's pretty much a woman who has the DVDs and knows the steps guilding us through it while we watch the video. I found it a lot harder to follow than the class I went to this summer with a live instructor, but it was okay. Still fun to do. I'm going to try to get to it at least once a week to break up the running. Especially since I came home with my stomach aching. I don't get much core work done running, and that's where the baby  making wreaked serious havoc, so this is very good.

I have to admit, I thought it was kind of funny at the end of it that everyone was going on about tired they were, and how they were going to go home and take a nice long bath. Me? I went to the gym and ran a mile at a fast pace (for me) because I was feeling that good. Exercise is awesome.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Check Those Expiration Dates

I'm not entirely sure why, but apparently the store here can sell anything past its expiration date if it wants. Typically, I know I am buying something like that when it goes on sale. This is the only thing that ever goes on sale, so I'm completely out of the habit of waiting for things to go on sale. Mostly, if it's cheap and I'm not planning on using it right away, I steer clear.

This afternoon, Oscar and I went to the store on a mission to pick up some new batteries for a toy walkie talkie that was dying. I was also after milk and a couple other things. When we made it to the check out counter, he asked me for an ice cream out of the cold case next to the counter. It's rare I buy any of the individual ice creams, but since it was warm out, and Oliver was home giving Wyatt his first lesson on how to ride a bike without the training wheels (eesh, that is going to take awhile...), I decided why not and picked up enough for everyone.

Seven bucks later, we returned home with them and our other purchases. When I started opening them for the kids, though, I realized the brownie chunks on top (it was an upside-down sundae) looked a tad old. Flipping over the carton, I read the date: September 2010.

Evidently, not everything old goes on sale. Sometimes, it just sits around until some careless unsuspecting soul walks by and picks it up. I really need to get better about checking dates on everything, not just dairy.