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Saturday, April 26, 2008

'Radarizing' Children's Clothing and Equipment

I have come to the conclusion that either I need to purchase a short-range radar or have microchips embedded in the children's toys, clothing and other gear. This morning, shortly before a child was to be on the soccer field, her full sock shin guards went missing. She claims to not have seen them. Mysteriously, they've disappeared from the house. They weren't under the bed, in the clean or dirty laundry, and they certainly weren't put away where they belonged. Time to invest in a radar. We really need one. After all, dad and I have a knack for losing keys and wallets, so we could benefit from such an investment as well.

And, isn't it always the case that it's my fault? Mommy, I don't know. What did you do with them? Seriously, I have enough trouble keeping track of my own stuff know I have to remember where the socks you took off of your feet went--the ones your father swore he packed in the bag so they were ready to go? Seriously?

I'm going to have to take some serious steps here. I can never get out the door on time when I have to go on a hunt through the house for missing items. You know, it's always at THE last minute too--that eleventh hour.

I just had a thought, maybe the shin guards have donned camouflage. Yep, that must be it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tropical ports

As you know, I am just a girl in a port. Today, I am wishing I was in a tropical port. Don’t get me wrong, the weather is phenomenal here today. It is nothing short of beautiful. Still, I long for a coconut scent on the breeze and glistening sand specks between manicured toes. Who doesn’t?

If I could be anywhere in the world today, I think I’d have to choose:

Perchance this too shall come to fruition.

Russian Ducks

Children will ask the most obscure questions. Oftentimes, there are questions I just cannot answer. Shocking, I know!

Earlier this week, in a casual conversation with one of my inquisitive children, she poses the following:

Are there ducks in Russia?

My gut reaction was to say Of course, honey. Then, for a brief second I thought, What if there aren't? How the heck do I know? I've never been there. I've never studied the geographic locations of ducks and honestly I didn't give a hoot. Geesh, why couldn't she ask me why the sky was blue. Then, at that point, I could have gone into some long diatribe about the sun's rays and how light is transmitted through the atmosphere. That's for another day though. Probably for the day when we revisit the nautical saying:

Red sky at night, sailor's delight.
Red sky in morning, sailor's take warning.

On this day though, she MUST know about ducks. Well, I finally got around to perusing the internet for this question. I will say that I found a translation for "quack quack" (krya-krya) in Russian/Ukrainian, and I also found a recipe. That's right folks, a Russian recipe for roast duck. I've decided not to share this with my child. She is not a meat eater and cannot fathom eating anything that would come from an animal--save Chicken McNuggets of course. Those don't come from chickens, they come from McDonalds.

Now, if she had asked my husband if there were Russian ducks, he might have answered yes, but they don't fly, they skate on ice--Anaheim Ducks. He's a wise guy like that.

Back to the issue at hand, what proof can I give her short of hopping a MAC flight to the Ukraine or Moscow. Come to think of it, I don't even know if that's possible. At any rate, if I were to make a hop, it'd probably be to Alabama to see a dear friend right now, but I already know they have ducks there. Still, I might just win my daughter over with a sweet tale about ducklings. Yes, yes, there are replica statues in Moscow from Make Way for Ducklings. They resemble those that reside in the Boston Public Garden. It might interest some of you to know that former First Lady Barbara Bush actually donated these statues to the former Russian First Lady Raisa Gorbachev.

After a great deal of searching, I finally found a place that gave the names of different duck families and where they might be found throughout the world:

Here are some that can be found in and around Russia:

and, quite possibly the MALLARD

I am certainly no expert on ducks, so if I'm wrong or have left something out, spare the hate mail. I'm just a mom trying to answer a question. ;)

In conclusion, I think I will share this story with her: The White Duck

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Scholarships, Trust Funds, College Savings

Ah, where to begin. I've got years before my children even enter college. Well, I take that back, one is as smart as a whip and we joke that she'll be graduating high school at 15 or 16. Hey, you never know!

At any rate, the looming costs of college are frightening at best. I'm still paying my own and can barely even think about what financial atrocities college will bring when it's my own children. I've mentioned the military academies to my husband. His response was a resounding "NO"! I had to laugh because despite his stubborn stance that our children will not join the military, he truly can't make that decision for him. Silly man.

Trust me, I've been there with my own parents. My mom said no and I did it anyway.

I will say, that if given the chance to go back in time, I'd likely have pursued the collegiate root with a little more energy. I had wanted to attend Annapolis, but somewhere along the way I lost sight of that and was hell bent on enlisting. I am torn personally because I have a strong belief in the backbone of the Armed Forces being the enlisted ranks. That's where my allegiance truly lies. Still, I'd be delighted to see my children enter a service school. What a honor. What a privilege.

Perhaps your children are of age to start looking at their future and academics. Why not consider application to a service school? There are some great ones to choose from, but it's not going to happen overnight. There is a lot of work that goes into applying and you must be vigilant in making sure you have all your ducks in a row.

Service Adademies

U.S. Military Academy - West Point
The Coast Guard Academy
The Naval Academy - Anapolis
Air Force Academy
Merchant Marine Academy

For some of my international readers over in the UK:
Royal Military Academy - Sandhurst

I'm sure there are dozens I'm leaving out. Please excuse this very short list.

Back here in the states:

If you are in Michigan, you surely heard about the new tuition plan to help military families. If not, read more: HERE

Finally, learn more about military student aid : FINAID

Friday, April 18, 2008

(Military) Career Fair - Coming Soon Near You!

Being a military spouse certainly has it's challenges when it comes to the workforce. Oftentimes, spouses struggle with uncertainties of the job market, loss of tenure, turnover, constant relocation, unemployment and more.

Recruit Military is a company that was established in 1998 by a former Marine Corps Captain. This company doesn't just assist veterans, it also does it's best to assist with military spouses.

Be sure to check them out on the web: Recruit Military: Spouses and to also see when they are coming to your area for a Career Fair.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Craving Confections

I put up a good fight. I tried, I seriously gave it my best shot, but I couldn’t overcome the powerful scent that emerged from the kitchen. In hindsight, I should have probably not baked the cookies in the first place, but the children wanted a snack. How could I ever deprive them of such a primitive need? It was my duty to prepare them the most scrumptious, sugar-loaded confection possible. Despite the fact that I’m eating healthier, I partook in the snacking. After all, am I not supposed to lead by example? Oh, wait, then perhaps I should have given them carrot sticks. Ah, hell, the cookies were far more delicious.

I will say this, there is nothing like a good chocolate chip cookie to ground a person. It reminds me of childhood and to this day is one treat I don’t think I will ever pass up.
So, what’s your vice? What will make you cave and even when you are entirely (or mostly) devoted to a diet or new healthy lifestyle. What is your kryptonite?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reader Beware--Icky Blog Post ahead.

For what are jungle boots ideal? Well, for cleaning the yard, of course. That being said, I don’t reside in a hot, humid climate and the terrain I must clean is hardly dusty. Still, it has leavings of a sweet pup who should really learn to clean up after herself.

I don’t currently own a pair of jungle boots. However, I will don my darling husband’s construction boots to clean up what I like to call the wasteland. Alright, I don’t actually call it that. It’s not a horrid chore to clean up after our beloved pet. What is annoying is the stuff left behind by other dogs. You know the ones whose owners walk right by our property and refuse to clean up. I did manage to catch on in the act once, but my heart wouldn’t allow me to come screaming out the front door mandating that the clean up the waste. Why not? Well, the individual with their pet is an elderly person from a few houses down who quite obviously has some sort of disability. I know, I know, they still should know how important it is to and at least respect their neighbors. Had it been anyone else, I would have been a screaming banshee for sure. I let this one slide though and cleaned it up myself. Argh. Why do I have a nice bone in my body?

At any rate, it’s imperative that people clean up animal waste. Sure, it’s not a fun job, and it’s time consuming, but there are health risks involved if the waste is left. I’m sorry if you’ve happened upon this blog and didn’t know you were going to read about dog poop today. I do apologize, but this is for the large percentage of our population who doesn’t understand the impact animal feces has on our environment.

Coliform bacteria is bad. Plain and simple. This type of bacteria can be found in dog feces, as well as other types of mammal waste. If left long enough, it can seep into the ground and even be pushed down into storm drains. Not only can ground and surface water be affected, but so can lakes and creeks. There is no treatment done to prevent pollution if pet feces is just left out in the open. No poop fairy walks by to clean it up and the elements won’t make it vanish.

Next time you seen someone not cleaning up after their pet while walking it in your neighborhood, be vigilant. Just think of how it could affect your water supply.

Thanks for tuning in for this disgusting but extremely important PSA.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A day in the trenches warrants research for provisions.

Sometimes the little ones give me monster size headaches. They pull hair, attack each other, bite me, seriously, it’s like a war zone here. Alright, not every day, but even five minutes of that insane behavior can make one feel like the most inept mother who is ready for the loony bin.

To contain them, and for my own protection, I’ve decided to research some options. I may have to resort digging a foxhole in my backyard just to hide from them. Of course I could also put up constantina wire right outside their bedroom door so they can’t escape into the general area of the house where I frequently roam without a care in the world. No, that won’t do, they might just kill each other if cooped up for too long.

For the baby, I did find this. Barbed Wire Crib Fashionable, eh? Um, no, I didn’t think so either. I think I’ll have to pass. Now, if it had real barbed wire, it might be more appealing. At least it would keep the big kids from climbing into the crib to launch an attack on the infant.

I’ve also contemplated camouflage body painting so as to blend in with the walls of my house. If they can’t see me, they can’t ask me questions or beg for things. Though, I’ve yet to see a chameleon camo design that will morph as I change rooms. I will be on the lookout for it though.

One of my next investments though will likely be trip wire. Those little boogers stealthily creep into my bed in the middle of the night just as I’ve hit a deep sleep. The problem is I don’t hear them. I awake later on to have a near heart attack as I’m being pushed out of my bed.

Can you tell, it’s been quite a day already?


If you are on the brink of tears thinking "This woman has lost her mind", fear not. I remind you to read a brief mention about my sarcasm: Posting in Jest

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April - Month of the Military Child

Connect and Join

2008 Fact Sheet


An important expansion: this year AC Moore Stores is joining in as a national chain sponsor, opening up their stores to special Saturday events just for children, and with a focus on the military child during the month of April! Plus, the publication of The Arts $ Crafts Program Guide will be available April, 2008 that addresses an Arts & Crafts Curriculum for after school, summer camps and vacation bible school.


United Concordia is proud to once again recognize and support April's “Month of the Military Child” by sponsoring a Web-based, random drawing. Children of active duty and National Guard and Reserve sponsors enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) are eligible for this drawing.

To enter, simply click here and complete the contest entry form between 8 a.m. March 27, 2008, and midnight April 23, 2008. Entries will be accepted via online submission only. Winners will be selected at random.

Prizes will be awarded to military children of varying ages. Within each age category, first, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each of the six TRICARE regions: North, South,
West, Europe, Latin America and Canada, and Pacific

For more information, please check out the TDP site (there are some great prizes). TDP: "Month of the Military Child Contest"

Quilts for Warriors

Quilts For Warriors is a nationwide initiative to create and distribute quilts to soldiers in the US Army Warriors in Transition Units (WTU) at 33 installations worldwide.
These soldiers have been injured while serving our country and are recovering.
Our message to them: “Thank you for your service to our country and get well soon!”
Our mission is to mobilize quilt shops/retailers to invite children and youth into their classrooms to help make these quilts. With April of each year designated the Month of the Military Child, Quilts for Warriors has projects planned for the entire month of April focused on children and building quilts. Check back often for event ideas and free patterns and downloads

Air time and page time.

Talking with the Navy Wives

Last night I had the honor of joining the Wendy, Marie and Jessica on Navy Wife Radio during call-in time. It was great to finally talk with these ladies. Be sure to check out the show on Blog Talk Radio. It airs on Tuesday nights at 9pm ET.

Thanks for having me ladies!

My current military reads

Earlier in the afternoon, I finally was able to enjoy some of the book that I've been longing to read. Elizabeth Berg's Dream When You're Feeling Blue speaks to me about my passions (military life, a bygone era and romance). While I'm only a few pages into it thus far, I expect it to be a great read the whole way through. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Another book that I picked up the other day is by author Donna Moreau, title Waiting Wives. It may be awhile before I delve into this one, but it promises to be an interest look back at the lives of women left behind during Vietnam. I picked this one up solely because I felt it was relatable in our own time of war.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Battle for "Me" Time

I am super excited today because I am going to the dentist. Yippee!

What? Me? Love the dentist?

Not hardly. Rather, I can't wait to have time to kill in the waiting room and read a good book.

Secretly, I've been anxiously awaiting my next appointment because I know there won't be any children climbing on me. I know that the dentist will run late (don't they always?). I know that I have a book I've been dying to read. I know that the waiting room will be relatively quiet. I know there will be no dirty dishes or piles of laundry in sight guilting me into cleaning. I know that I will have some "me" time.

Seriously, it's become a battle for me to find any quiet time lately. With the holidays, birthdays and homecoming these past few weeks, we've been out straight. I've attempted to dodge the draft of preparing anything for anyone, but, alas, a woman's work is never done. Or is that a mother's work? I suppose they can be interchangeable. I will say that impose a great number of these burdens on myself.

About 7 or 8 months ago, I started feeling that I needed to be a Suzy Homemaker of sorts. After the Christmas season though, I lost all the zeal I had for that venture. I'll admit, right now (at this very moment) I'm in a motherhood slump. I've slacked on crafts. I've been remiss in my duties to teach my children about the inner workings of the solar system. I've been screening my calls so as to avoid chatter with some folks who just call to say hi. I've become a party-pooping recluse.

Fear note, spring is here. With any luck, the weather will actually warm up, and I'll get the much needed kick in the arse to find the motivation to be Supermom again. Today though, I'll settle for a good book in the dentist's office. I'll settle for just being me for a few minutes, without a care in the world. Then, I'll trudge on back home and make dinner, do the laundry, pay some bills and go to bed just to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.