Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic Sports

Who is NOT watching the Olympics? I totally am and loving it, though I'm a bit disappointed in the coverage by NBC. I don't need tons of interviews... I want to see the competitions! And keeping me up past midnight is so not cool.

I'm an absolute fan of the swimming. I enjoy the men's and women's gymnastics as well as beach volleyball, but swimming is my favorite. I'm looking forward to watching some track and field events soon as well!

The women's swim team is doing great in my opinion! But what gets me is that when the medal ceremonies happen these girls have their hair still all wet. I totally get it, they've been in the water and things move quickly during the games. I have to say that they do look waaaaay better than me when I get out of a pool. Sheesh, it's just one floppy mop for me! But these medal ceremony photos are for FOREVER! They will be broadcast all over the world, pictures hanging on their walls. It's freakin' history!

They still look good but can you imagine if YOU had to take photos like that after working your tail off in the water?! That's just intimidating!

Oh, and I just have to say... what happened with Jordan Wieber for the best all around gymnast? I wanted to cry right with her. Ugh. The Olympics are just so emotionally charged and it just doesn't always seem fair. And then there is the ADORABLE Gabby Douglas who is so fantastic and I just want to put in my pocket 'cause she makes me smile. Congrats to the Women's Gymnastic Team! Whoot! Proud of you ladies! Way to bring home the gold!

Sometimes I feel so inadequate watching these games. I was never really into sports. I mean, I played soccer and softball, but that's not where I was passionate. I was a decent player, but never outrageously amazing. These people are now younger than me and just put me in awe! But I think they are doing well at making our country proud. I wish I could go to the Olympics someday...

Then I saw this on Pinterest:

And even if it isn't for me, perhaps for the next generation. Case in point:
That's my girl!


Monday, July 30, 2012

touching moment

There was something I wanted to share that I COMPLETELY forgot about!

About a month ago I took the kids to the Sesame Street USO Show. Blog post HERE.

Unbeknownst to us there were reporters at the show we attended... and they were recording.

The reason I know this is because my little brother is in Afghanistan right now. A couple days after the show this was left on my Facebook wall:

So there I was eating lunch in the chow hall, mindlessly staring blankly at the TV which is always tuned to AFN news. When what do I swear I see...the faces of my niece and nephew briefly flashing across the screen. Apparently, AFN did a report on the Sesame Street performance at Wright-Patterson AFB. It was quite a pleasant surprise to see what I saw. Just letting you know.

What a wonderful present! My brother, far away on the other side of the world, got a glimpse at his family back home. It made me tear up a bit and my heart swelled. Wish I could have seen the look on his face when it happened!

Mike and I home for Christmas 2011
Mike with the kids before deploying
If you want to see another little news blurb about the Sesame Street USO show I found another one HERE. I can't find the special one my brother saw.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Birthday, Cicinnati, & the Olympics

I had a birthday this week. I am officially considered "late-twenties" and I'm okay with it now.

To be honest, I've been in a rut lately. Kinda down, bummed, depressed -- whatever. When my birthday actually came around I was just feeling really blah and wanted to cry most of the day.

Overall my day was okay though. The kids and I had things to do so I was out most of the time: gym, therapy, and then shopping. When Ryan got home he had a cute little cake and some gifts/cards from him and the kids. My big gift? A complete relaxation package to a local spa. I guess it's several hours of pampering: mani, pedi, massage, facial... it is a welcome gift!
And Facebook was a nice present. Because I'd been feeling so blue those little Facebook *dings* I heard on my phone oddly improved my mood. I'd see who the message was from and then I'd remember good times or happy memories with that person. That was a great gift!

Also this week Ryan's aunt and cousin were visiting some friends in Louisville (a couple hours away) so we agreed to meet them in Cincinnati for dinner. After driving around the block continuously in Downtown we finally found them. Dinner plans had to be altered but it worked out. Overall we had a nice time chatting and visiting.
After dinner we headed out to the Fountain Square to get ice cream and hang out. Well, there are a bunch of painted pigs so we stopped to take pictures. At the last pig, Lana went to jump off the pedestal as she saw Will do, but she wasn't paying attention and slammed her head on the wheel the pig was holding then she fell forward and face planted on the concrete (though I think she braced herself with her hands so it wasn't AS bad). She is sporting a bit of a busted lip now.
Cousin Anna with Lana and Will
Tyler Davidson Fountain
Speaking of Alanna, potty training is going well. For the most part she is potty trained. Thing is, if she's busy playing or doing something she doesn't realize she has to go. As long as I remind her she does great. We even do our outings in "big girl panties" with success! This includes the gym and church. The only time she's in pull-ups is for bedtime and nap time (or long car rides since she often falls asleep anyway).

The Olympics have begun! I'm actually excited. I love watching the competitions and cheering for Team USA! I made sure to tune in for the opening ceremony and I was wishing - not so secretly - that David Tennant would light the cauldron, a la Dr. Who. It did not happen. I thought the intro with Daniel Craig and The Queen was awesome... I had a big smile like a goofball while sitting on my couch. And I may get hate messages for this, but I'm kinda hoping Ryan Lochte knocks Michael Phelps down a couple notches. I have my reasons.

Are you looking forward to the Olympics? What are you favorite competitions? Which athletes are you rooting for?


Thursday, July 19, 2012

between doctors and therapists

I realize my last post was a bit of a pity party. Sorry about that, but I was being honest.

I'm doing better now. The next day I attended a play group. I also reached out to an acquaintance to invite her over and we had a lovely time sitting around and chatting. She's a nice woman and I hope I have the opportunity to get to know her better. I've also gone to the gym. Hubby took some time to talk with me about how I was feeling and encouraged me. Then today he offered me Friday night away to hang with some other ladies I've been getting to know -- I'm totally taking it!

The humid, drizzly weather and my hormones probably did not helped my emotions.

Anyway, things are moving along.

Lana had her surgery and thankfully everything went great!
waiting before surgery

In fact, when she woke up from the anesthesia the nurses all commented that kids her age NEVER act like that. She was disoriented and confused, but calm. She just looked around, answered questions and drank her juice. Only after we left the hospital and she had to get out of the wagon did Miss Cranky-Pants make an appearance. Once we settled in the car and after some additional fussing she went to sleep. A couple hours later when she woke up she was back to her usual self.
just woken up from anesthesia
Some other things have happened in the past few days as well.

Will has been going to speech therapy and should be starting occupational therapy soon. Well, the therapists (there are sometimes 2 who work with him) have had some good sessions and on my acknowledgement noted that he was performing in his usual manner. I asked about some of his behavior/emotional responses and actions based on what we've seen and they have observed.
They agree he is not on the autism spectrum -- he is far too social and communicative. He also is not ADHD because he can focus and concentrate on things... he works hard.

But there IS something going on.

Essentially they THINK he may have an auditory processing disorder, but that can't be diagnosed for several more years (I've been told). Basically he may not have as good of receptive language as we previously thought. If you're talking with him and use too many words he gets lost. He has a hard time taking on more than 1 or 2 directions at a time. He continually has to be re-directed in activities. He often doesn't understand what people are asking of him or really has to concentrate to understand.

This has been kind of hard to take in, though I was somewhat expecting it.

In the next week they are going to begin some testing so we'll see how that goes.

Also next week I begin contacting the school AGAIN about enrolling Will and setting up a meeting to discuss his IEP and what they are going to do to meet his requirements. Let's hope we make more progress now that summer break is beginning to wind down.


I won't mind for this heat to wind down!


Monday, July 16, 2012


There is a lot I want to say right now, but I'm not sure how to say it. And self-censoring makes it more difficult.

PCSing is actually a fun and exciting time. There is the new adventure of a different place and interesting sights to see, setting up your house, finding your way around a strange city. All of it can be invigorating.

Then real life begins and you start to get into your day to day routine and discover something.

You're lonely.

image source
It hit me REALLY hard today. With Ryan busy with school, and studying, and working out (all things that need to be done to support us as a family) I am left by myself with the kids... all. the. time.

The AFIT Spouses have a lot of different activities to participate in but they mostly occur in the evening and do not include children. The dates and times were chosen so that husbands could be home from school. Well, that doesn't account for study time.

I have talked with several women at the play group I attend about finding sitters. The consensus is that nobody has any good ones. If the women have a function to go to they have their husbands watch the kids or they don't go. Some have other friends who can help out. Others use FCC providers.

Well, I'm in a pickle, because I don't have any friends who can watch my kids like that. There are 2, maybe 3 women I know who would be willing to help me out, but they go to the same things I go to!

And the only way to make new friends is to be present at activities and meet ladies! Which I haven't really been able to go to!

The local PWOC is gone for the summer so I'm not meeting ladies there. And turns out they may not have child care when the meetings start up again so there's a chance I can't attend.

And church? Ha. The place is so big that we have nobody to look forward to seeing every week. I want to start going to Sunday School and finding social things to do to meet other women in the church but I'm not doing too well at that.

Today, in the midst of nearly a dozen piles of laundry and mis-matched socks I laid my head down and cried. I miss Tegan. I miss my sister. I miss Albuquerque and the amazing women I knew there. I miss my old church. I hate the humidity here. I hate the flies that bite me. My daughter has minor surgery in the morning that requires general anesthesia and nobody is here to give me a hug and sympathize with my outrageous worries.

I'm a very social person and I feel like I'm in a prison. Cut off from people. I have no real relationships out here besides Ryan and my kids. There are plenty of places to explore...

But I feel so lonely.


Friday, July 13, 2012

and "surgery"

I realized some of you might have been thrown off by my post mentioning Lana's "surgery" coming up.

So a couple weeks ago, my little girl's eye looked like this:
A trip to the doctor confirmed a sort of eye infection from her tear duct becoming clogged. When her eyes were watering she likely rubbed them and got bacteria from her hand into her eye which she couldn't naturally get rid of. A week of antibiotics (and missing swim lessons) gave us relief.

Since birth Lana has had issues with her tear duct. This is common, 20% of babies have blocked tear ducts. Issues with such usually clear up before a year old.

During her infant check ups I would mention it and the docs would look but other than getting gunky once in awhile and a bit more 'teary' than the other eye we never had a problem. I would keep her eye clean and sometime massage near the duct.

Well, after this infection the doc wanted to get her sent to a specialist to see if anything should be done or if she's fine the way she is.

Eye dilation and check up and the eye doctor has decided she needs the probe.

Since she is no longer an infant, the age doctors prefer to do this procedure, she has to receive general anesthesia. Then, essentially, the doctors will take a thin wire and poke it through her tear duct to open it up. After it has been opened, saline will be used to clear it all out and be sure it works properly.

It's very quick with a 90% success rate! Afterwards there should be little to no discomfort and full recovery in days.

Not a big deal, but I'm glad to get it taken care of so she won't have to deal with possible infections later on.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Independence Day Celebrations 2012

Before I allow more time to slip by me I will tell you about our Fourth of July.

It wasn't anything spectacular. Originally we were going to start celebrating with the Tattoo the Saturday before, a big party for the public on WPAFB. Thing is, it was HOT and after a crazy day of gym, swimming, and a doctor appointment I decided to nix participating. That was a good thing because about 30 minutes after we would have left a big storm blew through.

I've been through many storms and will have more to come --- but that crazy wind storm followed by rain truly freaked me out. It was eerie.

The Tattoo suffered damage and somebody was injured. Many people lost power all over the area. Like I said, it was a good thing we didn't go.

Later that "night" about 8:00 they started fireworks... in BROAD DAYLIGHT. Lana was already asleep but Will and I headed to the backyard and saw a few of the bursts. Fireworks during the day just are not spectacular.

When the 4th of July actually rolled around we were invited to go to Young's Dairy and enjoy our time with 2 other families we've recently met. Young's Dairy is about 30-45 minutes away and is Free! It is a farm with goats and cows and some chickens. There is a kids area with a bouncy house and other such things but it costs money. There's also a little golf cart barrel train, tractors, and a store with ice cream, cheese, and other food for purchase.

Again, it was HOT. The humidity is just killer. We spend time in the barn to keep out of the sun. The cows were even hiding in the shade outside!

After the kids played on the tractors we all had them ride on the golf cart barrel train. Will and Lana really enjoyed it.

Because of the heat we all decided to enjoy yummy ice cream. Afterwards the kids played a bit more on the tractors and fed the goats and we all headed home for the day... around 1 pm.

sitting on a cow, waiting for ice cream

Then later in the day the kids went and played in the sprinkler.

I know. Very exciting. No fireworks, no parade, no picnic -- it was miserably hot.

On the 5th we were invited to the Columbus Zoo. It was Military Appreciation Day so we were able to get in for free.

We got there quite late (10:30) so we decided not to meet up with our friends and just enjoy this awesome zoo as a family. And it is a wonderful zoo. It seems quite large and everything appears to be at a level for children to see things. There are numerous play areas geared for kids that we took full advantage of. I can understand why this is rated the #1 zoo in America. Besides the zoo there is an aquarium and a water park!

hello from the Habitat House
checking out the fish in the bear habitat
our attempt at a family picture on the train
checking out a bear trap

peek-a-boo from the bear trap!
the Arctic play area
Polar Bear

With the heat and the kids tired out from walking and playing we left shortly after 1 pm and only saw most of one area of the zoo.

It was a short visit, but I've definitely got a great taste! I can't wait to go back (once it cools off)!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wine and Grading

Recently I was doing some reminiscing on my college days. There are some women I've met recently who are in the midst of their education and I remember well those stressful times. But there are also memories that make me laugh.

When I was at college in Washington I took a class called The Meaning of Life.

I know. I know!

Don't look at me like that, it was for a credit I needed.

And now that I think about it, I was probably the only Christian in the class and the only one NOT confused on where my beliefs stand. Oh, and I'm a chatty person so I had no problem contributing thoroughly to class discussions.

Anyway, we had papers to write. Lots of papers. Does the name Dostoyevsky mean anything??

My professor, who I actually liked despite the topics we addressed in class, took an interesting take on grading -- He claimed he opened a bottle of wine at the beginning of the paper grading, continuing to drink throughout the process... and you wanted to be the first to turn in your paper so it would be on the bottom of the pile.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I deserved that A.