Lets LINK and show what we are thankful for!

Saturday, April 30

A different approach... are you JOKING!

Yesterday I called in sick to work... yes I was off for 2 weeks for R&R and just got back to work the 19th but I was sick!  I usually don't call in and go even when I am sick but you know what?  A day at home ALONE, sick or not, is often needed.  My heart hurts, my head hurt and yesterday my stomach hurt.
I still don't know what to do with Miss Smarty pants but she is learning about consequences.  She still has NO TV, Wii or DSi.  Her only allowed enjoyment is reading, no playing with her toys (not that she EVER does that anyhow, but thats for another post!), no friends, no NOTHING for a week with days added on for attitude.  At this point my sanity is going up but my electrcity bill is going down.  Yesterday hubby told to take a different approach and I almost flipped my lid. 
After the whole lunch money incident and charging school lunches because she didn't like what SHE packed he said that I should CALMLY take her to the store and ask her to pick out her new lunch choices.  I explained that she has been doing that... to which he replied that maybe I could remind her of all of these things.  That the way I was describing how she had been acting didn't SOUND like his little girl.  Well... genius maybe thats because you have spent a grand total of 28 days around her in the past 375 days!  Of course thats not what you think because she was total honeymoon while you were home getting as much attention as her little heart desired... she was allowed to interupt conversation rudely because it was "sweet" she wanted to talk, you didn't say a word when she was rude, full of attitude, or talked back because "you don't need to react to everything (anything in my opinion)... yes I am a frustrated wife.   All of the normal rules went right out the window while he was here.  No bedtime, no responsibilities... TOO MUCH!
All things above is WHY I needed a sick day yesterday.  I laid in my jammies on the couch watching the Royal Wedding, got a quick Skype date around lunch and then laid around the rest of the day.  I picked Diva up from after school care at 5 and ended the night. 

Today I am equally as frustrated just a little more alert to be so.  Well... off to finish laundry!


Thursday, April 28

Balancing like an Elephant

Have you ever balanced on a ball?  I feel like a 1000lb elephant trying to balance on a tennis ball on some days but on others I feel like the clown with TOO MANY balls in the air.  I know it’s the Army Wife way but that doesn’t mean that I feel good about it all the time. 

Its funny some days I don’t want to blog about happy stuff because I feel like I am always too cheerful… then others I don’t want to whine cause I feel like I am whining all the time.  BALANCE.
Balance is a word that eludes me… well a concept really.  I have never been balanced but Lord knows I have never been this UN-balanced.  I have too many balls in the air and I know that eventually one is going to fall… so far so good but I can’t keep this up forever.  I wish I could but that’s just not a realistic concept.  My friends joke that I think I am Superwoman between the deployment, my job, Diva, gymnastics, kickboxing, volunteer work, 2 dogs… the house, buying a house…. And sleep.  The sad thing is that even if Hubby were home I would be doing the same things with about the same amount of help.  The difference is that I would have my best friend here to whine to and cry to. 

I am frustrated with work… with Diva… with the Army… with my family and with people who, I swear, speak just to hear themselves but have nothing worth while to say.  Don’t tell me how to handle my child if you have no children, or a deployed husband when you have either NEVER been married/in a serious relationship or NEVER been alone… certainly don’t tell me how to live my life.

My job is becoming increasingly frustrating.  Right now, while he is deployed, I do not HAVE to work.  Now that everything is paid off we make sufficient income so my salary is basically our house savings.  This being said, it’s becoming MORE and MORE hard not to throw up 1 or 2 fingers and quit.  I hate being taken advantage of and working with people that have ZERO motivation to learn their job and have some mental retention in order to allow me to have my promotion.  Yep, PROMOTION… it’s being held up due to stupidity.  CRAP!

Diva is doing things or has done things at school that I am JUST finding out about.  Charging school lunch when she takes her lunch daily… one that SHE packs to ensure she likes what’s in there.  She fessed up to stealing food from lunches (I knew about this as it happened during the summer program last year) and lunch money from a student (not sure when this happened).  The punishments seem so much less severe than if it had been me and my mom punishing me.  I put up a list of daily chores that must be done to earn back the money that I paid out in unneeded lunches in addition to losing all electronics (TV, Wii and DSi).  She told me this teaches her nothing… so she will be pulling weeds at Grammie’s this weekend as a manual labor punishment.  I just don’t know what to do with this child… I am at a total loss some days.  My parents would have spanked us, grounded us and then… who knows what else!

I need a nap, a drink and a massage… in any order!

Wednesday, April 27

Back and forth

A friend of mine had her R&R 6 months ago… our husbands are deployed together and she got first leave time and I got the last.  We compared notes before and after on kids, feelings and our husbands.  She said the same; it’s harder when R&R is over than when the deployment all starts.  We started discussing the ‘honeymoon’ period… maybe that’s why the end is harder.  Before the deployment there is so much stress about packing, spending time with everyone under the sun, getting all your affairs in order… just a lot.  R&R is vacation; there is fun and a lack of stress.  Hubby was doing the dishes, making dinner… being overly sweet and romantic and very involved (complained CONSTANTLY about my Blackberry going off… then he admitted it’s just because he doesn’t have a phone there and it’s probably the same as when he is home) R&R is like a fairytale that you never want to end… then it does and you find yourself back at the American Airlines terminal hugging and kissing while people stare. 
Even hubby noted in conversation that it seemed that the 2 weeks went by slow it was WAY harder to say “Mahalo” this time even though we have less than 100 days till this is ALL over.  It’s CRAZY but true.  Who knows?  I do know that little Miss is my priority right now and it’s heartbreaking to see her hurt like this.
We have had a very open dialog about all of it.  I feel that she understands more now and can articulate her feelings a little better.  She just says that she really misses her daddy and hopes this is all “DONE” soon.  She asked me why he signed up for the Army because it takes daddy’s away from their daughters.  She also talked about whether or not he was coming home or if the Army and his current country were going to keep him forever.  We snuggled and giggle as best we could and I put her to bed.  I wanted to just cry for her but I was too angry to.  I was angry that I couldn’t take it away and make it better.  I have never been angry at him for following his dream; he is a Soldier and has been for much longer than he has been a husband or father.  I have never said a cross word about service or our country…   I am proud of his service I just wish that it didn’t take such a toll on Diva. 

How do you help your kids deal with the deployment and the back and forth?

Tuesday, April 26

Get it all done with and fun

I work full time… that’s 7:30-4 EVERY WEEKDAY.  I am beat tired by the end of the day and weekends are spent cleaning up from the week.  Now that R&R is over I do not want to get into the rut I was in before where I let the house go to pot and had 7 inches on the bed to sleep in but I also don’t want to neglect my dear Diva.  She is taking daddy leaving even harder this time than she did before.  The last time was all theatrics and little substance… because she didn’t understand truly how long he would be gone.  This time she is comparing the last 9 months to the next 3.  She just sits and sulks… she is sullen and sad and just misses her daddy. 
The last week especially I have learned how to be creative in fun Diva stuff because, lets face it the kid hates to clean.  Saturday mornig I started with her cleaning her room listening to her NEW iPod loaded with Glee and Camp Rock 2 music… then this weekend was a Wii marathon with Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson Experience.  I have learned how and where to hide the controller to lose games and which ones she does a little bit better. 
We also worked on her balance and listening skills.  Did you know that kids used parked cars to stop their bike as its WAY more effective than the brakes built into the bike.  Last night I was informed by my darling Diva that she should be able to hit my car with her bike as it’s mine so no one else can get mad.  While this is true I don’t want to pay for the increased damage my dear child.   I tried to explain money to her… so I explain that it will cost about $1000 in paint and dents to which she replies, “that’s not that much” so I said it would be like 100,000 pennies.  Her jaw dropped wide open… haha.  So now I know that pennies are the way to go.  She wants to prove herself to daddy when she gets home by being able to fully ride her bike without falling and/or crashing.  Thank goodness USAA is so amazing for insurance… I may need it!

My house ... well the front of it.... is basically clean!  Now to put my own clothes away.

Saturday, April 23

Love and Poop

"We were given: Two hands to hold. Two legs to walk. Two eyes to see. Two ears to listen. But why only one heart? Because the other was given to someone else. For us to find." Unknown
I was looking up motivational quotes last night ... then just started looking up quotes and came across this one.   I am not usually a super mushy girl.  I swear I didn't cry for YEARS... I was just totally unemotional.  WHen hubby and I met and Diva came along my emotions started as well.  I joke with him that I must have gotten his genes (His family cries... ) when we married.  I don't mind it so much any more.... I still contend that crying just makes me look like crap and gives me a headache but MAN this deployment and Army Wives have brought it out of me. 
This quote made me think of Hubby.  We have both been through so much in our lives before we found eachother and we just seem perfect together.  We met, became parents and got married in 9  months.... and Diva is adopted so there was no hanky panky on that one.  Hubby walked into the life of a 26 year old single girl that was in the middle of adopting Diva.  I lived on my own, didn't want a husband just someone to hang out with until Diva came.  He moved in and fell in love with US... not just me.  He became her daddy and my best friend... he became OURS.  
I hope that Hubby always knows how loved and important he is to me and to Diva.  He is my husband, my love, my soul mate... and on top of that, even half a world away he  is my best friend!
The stupid puppy decided that his kennel is now his bathroom... I am SO tired of cleaning up dog poop!  SO irritating!  No matter if he is in there for 15 minutes after a 4 mile walk and pooping his weight in the grass he finds a way to poop in the kennel.  So he is getting bathed several times a day and so is the kennel.  NASTY.

Friday, April 22

MilSpouse Friday Fill In

YAY!  My first one post R&R! 

Head over to Wife of A Sailor and link up...

Each week she posts a list of questions on Thursday (so you can have your blog ready on Friday). Then you just head back on Friday and enter your blog post into Mr. Linky so others know who else participated and we can all visit other blogs.  And please feel free to use the button above!
  1. How many pets do you have? And what type? submitted by Life and Times of a Displaced Jersey Girl
We have 2 dogs (1 very well behaved and the other, well lets just say he ate my rug last night), we have a Liger cat (HUGE Orange kitty) and a fish. 
I caught him chewing his leash and bed at the same time
Roger - my very unruly puppy is a Welsh Corgi Jack Russel mix and good grief he is nothing but problems right now.  He refuses to potty train!

Tweedle dumb and dumber!

Cuddled up on my couch.... sweet baby
 Bentleigh is my baby - she is a 6 1/2 year old Shih Tzu and rules the roost.  While hubby is gone she sleeps with me and I LOVE that.  She taunts the poor puppy all the time. 

Hitch is the Liger... I swear the cat is HUGE!  Don't let his cuteness fool you, he is distructive!  Sadly every time I have contemplated getting rid of him for breaking the mini blinds, knocking bowls off the counter at night or sharpening his CLAWS on my couch he lays on me and looks like this... so I am stuck.

Purple Ethan is Diva's fish.  Daddy told her if she can keep him alive through the entire deployment then she can upgrade.  I thought he would die after a month but NOPE stupid fish is still alive.  I have convinced her that a hampster is a bad choice... we are currently looking at a Gecko!  Downfall is that they eat crickets and I have a distinct FEAR of those little jumping things.
  1. What are your favorite projects to do while hubby is away? submitted by my-inspired-nest
I already finished fully decorating our current apartment (he loved it when he came home and saw it)  Our new one is house purchasing!  Since hubby left we have had our eyes wide open for our first home… so far not so good but its fun!
  1. What are the must-haves in your deployment care packages?  submitted by Christine’s Little Blog

GUM… he is ADDICTED to chewing gum.  He even packed HIMSELF a box and shipped it back on R&R with GUM.
  1. If you could star in any TV show, which would it be? submitted by Just a Girl

Law & Order SVU… I would love to figure out Whodunit with Mariska and Chris
  1. What was the biggest hurdle that you faced during your/your significant other’s first deployment? submitted by The Pavlik Perspective
This is our first deployment so the biggest one we have faced is all the individual changes we are making.  The growing separately and making sure that we still grow together.

Thursday, April 21

Knocked up on R&R

I am a happily married adult so yes, I can say Knocked Up... besides it was a movie, albeit not an Oscar winner but a movie nonetheless.

On the way into the airport yesterday (walking in, full uniform with me barely hanging on choking back tears) Hubby commented “Wouldn’t it be nice if our house offer was accepted and you were pregnant all on R&R?!”  ARE YOU NUTS!  Of course he would say that… he is a man and has had ZERO child responsibility in the past year!  Let’s see just THINKING about it - between my time off for maternity and daycare cost alone I get an ulcer!  Yes, I want another child… no question about that but it’s all about timing.  He has been gone 2 days and people are already asking if I am pregnant…. REALLY PEOPLE! 
We tried for several years before he left… I have a 5% chance of conception so adoption is our plan.  Diva has already informed us that we will be adopting a boy!  Ok, little miss thing I got it.  I am happy in that plan as adoption takes years and I like those odds.  Diva being 8-ish and hubby and I married 5 years…. Yep that’s a great plan!
I know a lot of women get pregnant on R&R, I mean they have cute shirts on CaféPress, but it’s doubtful I will be that woman… mainly based on the fact that I started THE DAY he got home (moments after we got home…oh yes, 10 days late!).  Poor guy has been waiting 9 months to see me naked and he gets a wife with a ripcord!…   I am anxious to see all the pregnant bellies at Homecoming, hopefully they belong to the same women that were there when they deployed… lets be real the Chilean Miner had NOTHING on certain members of our military.  Hubby just laughs at me when I give him The Rock eyebrow over pregnancy comments but after 4 ½ years together I think he expects it!

How many of you tried to get PG on R&R?  Did it work?

Wednesday, April 20

Guest Post - So Blessed and Thankful for My Husband to Be Deployed

I have 2 more guest posts by awesome women!  I will post one today and the last on Monday... still trying to get my bearings back and my house cleaned... I guess thats normal since he just left yesterday!  haha

Today is by Wife of a Sailor - our fearless leader of MilSpouse Friday Fill-ins which I LOVE!

So Blessed and Thankful for My Husband to Be Deployed - Wifey
I see a lot of my non-military friends posting on Facebook and hear them talking to me over the phone.  And I realize I am so lucky. And blessed.
I’m lucky that I have the privilege of sending my husband off to sea to protect our country and I feel sorry my civilian friends aren’t that lucky.
Wait, what? Yeah, I know many of you must be thinking this. But hear me out.
While we go through the pain of saying goodbye to our spouses (and if you are married to a submariner, you get this privilege every three or four months), we also get the privilege of being apart from them for several months with no contact.
What? You say that doesn’t make sense? I’m crazy?
Well… while my husband is gone, I’m lucky enough to be forced to stand on my own. I can’t talk things over with him because we have virtually no communication. I have to do stuff for myself. From fixing faucets to dealing with dogs that are on the verge of dying to dealing with everyday problems… I do it on my own. And learn to be even more self-sufficient.
Being alone sucks, don’t get me wrong. And right now, approaching our second set of holidays in a row apart and knowing that when he comes back, we’ll have spent only 6 weeks of the last 20 months together… and not all at once… really, wholly sucks. And I sometimes envy my civilian friends who get to have their loved ones close every day. Knowing they get to be there for the holidays. Not having to schedule time together and vacations and holidays around deployment and work-up schedules.
But we, as military spouses, are able to have something so much more than civilians. While we know the pain of being apart, we know the sweet joy of being together. We know, through the devastation experienced by our fellow military spouses, the complete sorrow of losing a spouse too soon. And we don’t take being together for granted.
But because of that and our frequent separations, we know how to savor each and every day we have with our loved ones.
We know how to enjoy every sweet minute.
We know the absolute joy of homecomings.
We have constant “honeymoons.”
We are forever falling deeper in love with our spouses… thanks to the separations we must endure.
I am so blessed and thankful for my husband to be deployed.

Tuesday, April 19

Where's your Entourage?

What an amazing 2 weeks!

After picking him up at the airport and heading home life began.  It didn’t take long for Diva to get boogery and act out in true Diva fashion… hands on hips and A TON of attitude.  Daddy got to see what I deal with daily; I found the comedy in just walking away and letting him do it!  I did that several times over the course of 17 days… let him have a SMALL taste of my life as the MilSpouse.

As most of you know going into R&R I was anxious and sick to my stomach!  So many questions and concerns…

Waiting at the airport for him I was sweating like a pig… it was NASTY!  Wait I should start from the beginning:

Hubby told me that there was a chance that he would head home early by a DAY, ONE day… no more.  His original date home was the 5th ISH of April ( I coordinated time with his mom, my work and Diva’s school based on that timeline… should have known better!).  At 6:15AM on April 3 I got a call from hubby that he just landed in DALLAS… 2 days ahead of schedule.  Luckily I know my husband and knew this was a distinct possibility so the house was cleaned and ready just in case.  We had gone to Central California to visit another family in the unit for the weekend so I hauled butt home… showered, hit the gym, walked the dogs… showered again and headed to the airport alone.  Diva stayed at home with Grammie having NO CLUE that daddy was going to be home soon.  I got to the airport anticipating a reasonable wait for security, based on a Sunday afternoon out of Orange County Airport... WRONG!  I got there about an hour before the flight was supposed to land, found parking, got my ticket to wait at the gate and through security in about 10 minutes!  Now I had FIFTY minutes to wait… and sweat, and want to throw up and sweat some more!  *I had this super cute shirt on and I was TERRIFIED that I was going to get pit rings on it before he came home!*  I started texting with friends, surfing Facebook… more texting and finally broke down and called my Grandmother… I felt like I had been there forever already but this was all in about 15 minutes…  I STILL had almost 30 to wait but FINALLY as the minutes squeaked by it was time.  I went to ask the WONDERFUL gate ladies at the American gate if his flight was on time and they informed me that it had JUST landed.  I ALMOST threw up right there.  The moment I waited 9 months for was almost here… our AIRPORT moment was almost here.  She asked if the Soldier on the flight was my husband and where my Entourage was.  NO entourage… just me.  We wanted our private moment that was just us… just kissing and hugging.  Neither of us wanted to make that moment a public and noteworthy thing for anyone but us.  We are both pretty private when it comes to eachother.  That just wouldn’t do for this nice lady… she confirmed my husband’s name and ranked and next thing I hear is:
“ATTENTION in the Terminal, ATTENTION in the Terminal”  You must be kidding… OH CRAP!  I don’t like to be stared at. Then I hear the following -
“We have a wonderful soldier, SSG HUBBY, headed home from Iraq to surprise his daughter for her 7th birthday (Yes, a HUGE reason we waited 9 LONG months for R&R was Diva’s birthday…hey 7 is a HUGE deal!)and his wife is ALONE~  This just won’t do for us here at AA.  Can you ALL please gather around Gate 9 to give this hero his proper welcome home!”

As appreciative as I was I was thinking… YOU HAVE GOT to be joking!  Everyone is staring and I am already thinking about finding the nearest trash can.  WONDERFUL.  I hear these little girls to my left SHREIK.  “OOOH I SEE HIM… IS HE IN UNIFORM?! “All I could think was, “Yes, sweet teenie boppers… he is in uniform.  OF COURSE, he is in uniform.  Why are you seeing my husband before me… stop squeaking!”   I just waited and waited (SWEATING and did the secret arm pit smell!) and FINALLY I saw ACU’s and I was in his arms with people cheering and clapping, the American Airlines lady took pictures of the whole thing for us.  THANK GOODNESS he was the only soldier on that flight or I may have worried about loving on the wrong man.  He looks TOTALLY different than when he left… crazy different. 
After a quick stop at baggage claim we headed home – making a stop for flowers for Diva.  *Funniest part was that since we were at the grocery store I wanted to pick up lunches for the week… each direction I stepped so did he.  I started using my expert bladed hand gestures to let him know where I was going as to further avoid RUNNING into each other.  I am used to shopping with Diva, my biggest problem is keeping her away from the FREE cookie jar* 
Once we got home I walked in first to get a good camera angle.  She was busy playing with lip-gloss with Grammie when he came strolling in.  Her eyes fell to me first like “who else could come in the door”… the she simply yelled “YOU’RE MY DADDY!”  It seemed as though she was actually asking him the question… it was sweet. I took pictures as they were wrapped in eachothers arms.  Then he and his mom hugged… it was a perfect moment for each of us.  He changed into his new clothes and off to the park we went.   He spent the next hour running around with Diva… in the cold while she is SICK.  Yep, he didn’t know she had a ranging cold and cough.   She just ran and ran – gasping for air and coughing the whole time.  She didn’t want to slow down… like if she did he would disappear.

I will catch you up on the rest of our R&R over the next week.  SO much crammed into such a short period of time.  Thank you to my wonderful Guest Bloggers… I actually have 2 more this week so I can catch up on my job after being out for 2 weeks.

Now off to stalk my favorite bloggers and see how they have been for 2 weeks.

Sunday, April 17

Biking a million miles!

Now that hubby is all fit and in AMAZING SHAPE (yes, 6-pack abs and those sexy hip lines) he is SUPER into working out... and maybe a little looking in the mirror.  haha.  So this morning at 5:30, WAY before  he normally rolls out of bed, he was headed to a spin class 15 miles away.  SPIN class... who wants to ride a bike for over an hour to go NO WHERE!  He quietly snuck out, without waking up Diva or I, and headed out to class.  I think it's funny and inspiring... not inspiring enough to put down my malted milk balls and work out.
He has been working out daily since he got home - running, biking the trails and hitting the gym.  I worked out the first week he was home... then after the pageant I took a week off!  I am enjoying my chips ahoy!

Do you work out?  What do you like to do?

Wednesday, April 13

Guest blogger - Slurping Cake Batter

Goodnight Moon was the very first blog I started reading and have majorly branched out thanks to her blog suggestions. 
Please enjoy Amber and visit her funny blog at Goodnight Moon

When I was a kid, all I could think about was growing up and being an adult. I thought that adults had it so easy. They could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted and they didn’t have anyone to answer to.
When I was a kid, I remember thinking that when I grew up, I would make cake batter and drink it up raw, like a milkshake. I remember thinking that I would make chocolate chip cookie dough and eat it raw all day, every day.
Now that I’m an adult, life isn’t just slurping up raw beaten eggs in the form of cake batter. It’s not just making cookie dough and eating it raw from a big bowl and a wooden spoon while watching a girlie chick flick.
Being an adult is hard work. Why did I think as a child that adults don’t have to answer to anyone? I’ve got so many people I have to answer to, before I can even make time for myself during the day, and that’s if I’m lucky! My days are never carefree or glamorous. Half the time my “alone time” is sitting in my “office” {a.k.a the toilet} trying to conduct my “business”. But who am I kidding? When I’m in my “office”, doing my “business”, having my “alone time”, I always have a kid either on my lap crying or on the floor watching me conduct my “business” with a bowl full of cheerio’s as I’ve somehow become their entertainment for the moment.
Being an adult isn’t at all what I thought it would be like when I was a kid. But it is really interesting how full circle childhood, rounds into adulthood.
What were your childhood thoughts of becoming an adult? Did you want to make cake batter and slurp it like a milkshake too?

Tuesday, April 12

My quick update... hee hee

While GORGEOUS hubby is at the gym and I am packing for our night away I wanted to say HELLO!  This past week has been amazing.... from the airport pickup to surprising our Diva then the pageant.  AMAZING is the word that makes it all up for me.  I never realized how much we have grown in the past year.  I love him more today than ever but yet I know its not as much as I will tomorrow.  I hope my blog families are doing great.... I will leave you with these three pictures and another guest blogger on Wednesday!

The BEST hug ever

The airport was watching!

Monday, April 11

Guest Blogger - Vann Clan

I have known Lori for years and LOVE reading her blog Vann Clan 5.... I remember the baby shower for her little one that is almost 10!  I asked her to guest blog because she is a former Marine Wife that I just admire for her transition into civilian life!

Ha ha, that’s probably what my husband was thinking “OMG, my wife actually cooked something NOT from a box, that didn’t burn!”. I got a new Redbook magazine in the mail about 2 weeks ago, and have been drooling over the stuffed peppers recipe from Trisha Yearwood’s new cookbook that was the cover feature. I just kept reading it and finally decided to just do it.
The recipe is simple enough, doesn’t require you to pre boil the peppers to wilt the skins. The last time I made this – that is where things went horribly wrong. The recipe does say you can prewilt the peppers to reduce cooking time, but I wasn’t taking any chances!
The ingredients are super simple – peppers, ground beef, rice, diced tomatoes (canned with their juices), a can of rotel & salt/pepper to taste. I also added garlic & some cilantro/jalapeno seasoning that Matt and I love.
Here are some photos!

Here is the mixture after I filled all the peppers.  I had a little over 2lbs of ground beef, and my peppers were on the puny side.  I actually ate some of this without the peppers = yummy!  The rest I put in a Tupperware container and froze.   I bet it would be good in any type of peppers, or even a tomato.  Oh the possibilities!

Small sampling of them before cooking, the pan I had was not big enough for the peppers I had.  8 of them fit in the other pan, 3 here and well – one half was cut up and eaten as a snack! 

After cooking for 40 minutes, the timer went off and I took them out and added cheese.  YUM!  I guess for a healthier version, you could leave the cheese off, but why would you want to?  Cheese makes everything better!  The recipe called for sharp cheddar, a whole pound of it actually.  I didn’t use a whole pound, I found that possibility a bit overwhelming!  So, I just put a little on each one! 
The end result was positively yummy!  Matt actually liked them.  Although he still ticked me off by saying “you took a chance making these because my grandma makes really, really, really good ones”.  I wanted to say I didn’t care if his grandma made them good, I wanted to know what he thought of the ones I made!  I love her cooking, but she isn’t down here and this is ME actually making an attempt to cook something from scratch dammit!    The only thing these did not have was a bit of a sauce (think Stouffers in a box kind).  They tasted wonderful without one, but I think a light tomato sauce would enhance them a bit.  Perhaps get a 2nd can of rotel, and a 2nd can of the diced tomatoes – puree them and then add the sauce when you add the cheese – or serve it on the side.
So from my Georgia kitchen to yours – happy cooking! 

Friday, April 8

Annoyed Army Wife

I LOVE reading her blogs... she is REAL and I LOVE that!  Please make sure to visit her blog Annoyed Army Wife, you will love it!


I’m glad to be stepping in with a guest post while the Princess and Little Miss Diva are enjoying Big Daddy’s company during R & R.  She asked me to write about the biggest change with my husband being home.  OccDoc, my husband, just returned home from a seven month deployment to Afghanistan where he served as a battalion surgeon.  It was his first deployment, but definitely not the first time we’ve been separated for many weeks/months.  He got home at the end of February, took leave until April, and just started back at work at his normal duty station.  I also took leave for the month of March and went back to work, but I work as a massage therapist, so it really doesn’t count as actual ‘work’. 
Anyway, biggest change?  As weird as it sounds there wasn’t really a big change, just lots of little ones.  Of course, if you ask OccDoc the same question he’ll rattle off a list so fast your head would spin, but, uh, he just spent seven months sleeping in a desert with camel spiders as pets (just kidding they weren’t pets) while I spent seven months sleeping in our bed with Chihuahuas and house rabbits as pets.  The biggest change for me is instead of just putting on my shoes, grabbing my house key, popping on my iPod, and heading to the park for a run and/or walk I have to ask OccDoc if he wants to go with me THEN put on my shoes THEN get the house key THEN pop on my iPod.  See?  Small change. 
I’m beginning to wonder when this reintegration thing gets challenging.  I had no problem handing over the reins and letting OccDoc pick up his household chores again when he was ready.  The Chihuahuas still don’t listen to either one of us, so no change there.  I’ve given OccDoc space and time to tell his story; I haven’t sat him down and grilled him about deployment.  Okay, maybe I grilled him about how some of my care packages went over, but that’s it.  Has he gotten on my nerves?  Uh, duh, of course he has!  But, seriously, he got on my nerves before he deployed and WHILE he was deployed, so no real change there. 
We are really fortunate that OccDoc has handled being back so well.  I know he saw some pretty gruesome stuff and some of the missions he went on got hairy and scary.  I’m not sure if being a doctor helped him with this.  As a medical student and resident he also saw some pretty gruesome stuff roll into the ER and trauma wards he worked in.  Maybe he was just desensitized to it.  I’m not sure.  Though warts and poison ivy still gross him out and can turn his stomach.
For me, well, I lived alone for years before I even met OccDoc, so I think we got over all of our ‘reintegration’ issues when we first moved in together over 5 years ago.  We learned (the hard way) back then that we needed to communicate, because neither of us could read minds…yet.  Imagine that.  We had to share what we were feeling (i.e. what was pissing us off) with each other so the other one could modify their behavior to better suit their partner.  When OccDoc got back from deployment it felt like we were picking up right where we left off. 
I guess there have been some negative changes like the mountain of dishes in the sink every stinking day.  And I have to fold man underwear.  And there are twice as many shoes to trip over when I’m carrying the groceries in.  And sometimes I have to wait to get into the good bathroom (we have two bathrooms in our house, but I only like the one upstairs).  And occasionally when I go to get water out of the fridge the water pitcher is empty.  And my car is often returned to me with my low fuel light glaring at me.    
But do the negative changes outweigh the positive?  Like sometimes the laundry basket of clean clothes gets magically folded and put away before I get to it.  Or my coffee is poured and prepared for me while I’m straightening my hair.  Or on a few occasions the kitchen countertops have been wiped down and the mountain of dishes moved to the dishwasher without me lifting so much as a finger.  Or someone is around to turn off the basement light and I don’t have to get out of bed.  Or there is actually a warm body next to me in said bed.  Yeah, having a warm body next to you, I think that takes the cake and outweighs all the negative. 

Thursday, April 7

Stubborn as ... ARGH 6!

As ANY milspouse with a deployed hubby and kids knows EVERY day is different.  Some days the kids don’t seem to mind daddy being gone and then out of the blue it seems like the end of your child’s world.  This weekend was the former… She acted like she had no idea daddy had been gone for more than 8 months nor ANY idea he would be home in a month.  I loved seeing this carefree 6 year old… she played with her new friends, asked about a million questions about life and was just GOOD.  I LOVE having this little girl… she is my world, my whole wide world.  This weekend was wonderment, was cuddly, was listening and obedience… basically perfect!
Over the past 8 months I will admit there have been times I have threatened ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to get her to straighten up… spankings, timeout, losing privileges and boarding school.  The funniest part of all of these things is this:  I don’t believe in spanking (nope, not against it AT ALL but you know your kids and you know what works and that just doesn’t for her), time out (YEP, total waste of time!  Good for you if this works for your kid, I WISH!), she has lost just about any and all privileges outside of eating, breathing and going to the bathroom, boarding school… well lets just say that’s still in the top 5! 
I have yet to figure out the ‘right’ choice for discipline… I do know that she is as stubborn as her father a mule and that hasn’t changed!

How do you discipline?  What has worked better or worse for you?

Tuesday, April 5

It's Superbowl weekend

The next few weeks are going to be extremely busy in our little world.  This weekend is like my Superbowl so preparations are totally underway.  I am competing in a pageant... yep, you read correctly.  I am in a pageant... see TIARA isn't part of the title for nothing.  I am competing with my platform of honoring the families of our fallen service members.  I love the idea of bringing light and respect to those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.  The children that have lost a parent and being able to give back to them in any way.
Then we also have R&R SOON… so much anticipation for everything.  Its hard not to have a ton of expectations surrounding R&R though… I want to spend hours talking and cuddling, watching Army Wives… playing with Diva.  Just family time and alone hubby time.  I need to know that we still connect in person just as much as we do in Skype and Email. 

So for the next few weeks I will blog randomly but have set up some pretty impressive Guest Bloggers to fill my absence.


Monday, April 4

Camp for Military Special Needs Children

I got an email this morning from the Youth & School Services Community Outreach Specialist for our command - while it doesn't pertain to us I thought it may help someone else.
Operation Military Kids and Ronald McDonald have developed a camp just for special needs Military children. I hear the camp and the counselors are wonderful and that the camp is a great experience for the youth. I have also attached camp information for Operation Purple camp and other OMK camps. The AREC Camps will begin registration in the next week or two. You can find information for those camps at

I love programs like this that aim at helping our kids reach their full potential and enjoy life! 

Now I know my ABC's...

I saw this ABCs posting on a blog and LOVED the idea so... Here are the ABC's of ME

A. Age: 30 + 1  -  31 is IN my 30’s and I dont feel like I am in my 30's so I will go with the 30 + 1 idea

B. Bed size: Cal King … I love to stretch out on this big boy.  On the weekend's it feels, not so big with Diva, Bean Town and the Tiger Cat

C. Chore you dislike: DISHES.  I hate doing dishes… oh and hanging up laundry.

D. Dogs: 2 smaller dogs… poor hubby.

E. Essential start to your day: alarm clock?  No, good morning smiles from Miss Diva

F. Favorite color: Red, Green and Purple… tied

G. Gold or silver: SILVER

H. Height: 5’10

I. Instruments you play(ed): I play a MEAN triangle

J. Job title: Mom, wife, taxi cab driver… oh and Purchasing Clerk as a monetarily paid position

K. Kids: 1 but planning the second


M. Mom’s name: Mom

N. Nicknames: none

O. Overnight hospital stays: 2 or 3 maybe

P. Pet peeves: liars, cheaters… and the co worker that clips his nails into his DRAWER!

Q. Quote from a movie: “Exercise gives your endorphins, endorphins make you happy… happy people just don’t kill their husbands”

S. Siblings:  younger sister and a younger brother

T. Time you wake up: TOO EARLY

U. Underwear: yes?

V. Vegetables you don’t like: PEAS, Brussel Sprouts and Okra (boiled looks like boogers and snot!)

W. What makes you run late: the animals and the Diva

X. X-rays you’ve had: back, teeth, hand, feet

Y. Yummy food you make: An amazing Egg Salad Sandwich

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Monkey’s

Sunday, April 3

If's and Ish's

WOW... our lives as MilSpouses are full of IF and ISH.  To some ISH is sh*t but to me it's so much more....

My husband will be home this day -ISH and that is only IF there are no sandstorms, casualties, personal issues.... etc.  Homecoming is this day ISH or maybe this month ISH.  AHHH

I wish that I could answer and schedule anything in my life that way.  Like a doctor.  You make a 12:00 appointment but that means NOTHING because he is on his time.  I want to make appointments on Friday-ISH and show up whenever I want IF nothing better comes along. 

Whats your most frustrating IF or ISH???

We went to visit another MilFamily this weekend... I love them!  Diva has established that she is marrying their son so we will be inlaws someday.  HA.  Last night Batman and Wolverine Girl went on a date while Batmans mom and I were having a nice ladies only dinner.  Sadly, we were both drained by 9:30 after a date at Applebees.  Oh well.  So goes life. 
Today we are back in our house with a sick puppy, apparently a bad and very upset tummy poopy puppy.  AHH fun.  At least I get to clean out my car in anticipation of R&R... IF he got out of country and on his way in the last 72 hours.... then I may see him this week ISH

Friday, April 1

Words to make a Sailor blush... go She-Rah!


So... I did it!  I went to the waxing fairy and I must say I am SURE there are words SCREAMED spoken in that room that could make a Sailor blush!  I have never been in so much pain in my life... she swears next time will be better.  NEXT TIME... are you SERIOUS!
First of all... HUBBY emailed me and said he no longer had a set date he was returning and could be BEFORE or after original thought date.  BEFORE, CRAP~  Waxing appointment was set for Monday so before could be today or Wednesday.... WONDERFUL.  So I called my lady, ha ha.  MY lady.  I called the sadistic err wonderfully sweet waxing lady to see if she had an availability today and AMAZING some poor sap backed out and low and behold she did.
Since I hadn't prepared for this I swung by CVS for Aleve (NO Aspirin allowed) and baby wipes... I would have totally showered but there just wasn't time...

So heres the deal... I walked in and she seems so sweet, almost no makeup and is BEAUTIFUL.  Her boyfriend is a Marine coming home this week, we had a few moments to commiserate.  We walked into the room of DEATH total relaxtion, she said to remove everything waist down and put on the panties (small pieces of paper with a rubberband attached) and to lie on the table.  She stepped out and I quickly did as asked and laid down... *sidenote Diva was at daycare so I had a timeline*
She came in and her beautiful face was suddenly shrouded in red and she had fangs and horns!
She put gloves on and began to torture me... Just before every rip she said, this won't hurt too bad but DON'T move or you'll bruise!  RRRRIIIIPPP.... the room began to spin and I felt nauseous! WAIT! Did she say BRUISE~ how the hell do you bruise with wax.  Oh Lord what did I do!
 There were 3 or 4 good pulls ... I thought she was done NOPE, there is another side.  CRAP!  I wanted to stop and finish the other side at home with my Venus but that wouldn't have been such a great plan either.  CRAP!  I will admit side 2 was not QUITE as bad as side one but WTF!
HE BETTER appreciate this pain!  The things we put ourselves through for the wonderment of  R&R and homecoming. 
Once we were all done and I had places waxed that have NEVER seen the light of day she said, "So I will see you in about 5 weeks, it won't hurt as bad then"... then she rationalized that statement.  If it hurt that bad every time NO ONE would do it.
I handed her my ATM card and realized that I just paid for that torture!

Not sure how I feel about my Brazilian experience... truth be told I thought the only Brazilian I would experience would be my sexy bikini's (which oddly enough are small in the back not the front so the waxing name makes less sense now!)

There you have it....

Its Party Time!

Every year, Susan and Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom, host a fantabulouso PART-AY for folks to meet and greet virtually!  So if this is the first you've heard, go write an intro post, sign the linky, and get ready to have some fun!  (Last year, there were over 2,000 blogs linked up!)

Hello all and welcome to my home... away from work!

Tiaras & ACU's basically sums up our life... Hubby deployed with the good ole Army while his little Diva and I hang out in Cali.  This blog is the starting of my book and my way to vent to others who 'get it'!  My civilian friends don't ... my family doesn't ... but my fellow MilSpouse's GET IT!

We live in Southern California, hubby is a reservist so we don't live near an Army Post nor have Army friends.  I am a full time worker bee, a pageant woman, a mommy, a philanthopist... Taxi Cab driver, Doctor and Chef... and a currently Geographically Single Mom.   I love sarcasm and wit... Hubby has a VERY dry sense of humor so I am used to not getting jokes.

Thank you for stopping by my little area... Please leave me a comment so that I can visit your blog. 

Sooooooooo - Welcome to the PARTY!   
I'm so glad you decided to stop by

MilSpouse Friday Fill in

Maybe one more.... OH MY GOSH, R&R is almost upon us!

Join in the Fill-In fun with

This week’s questions are:
1. What romance movie scene reminds you of your s/o or spouse and the LOVE you share? submitted by Simply Sunshine and Daisy’s
The scene that reminds me most of us is in the Notebook when Noah and Allie dance in the street – that unapologetic way to love is totally us.

2. If you were allowed to deploy with your husband to a war zone would you and why? submitted by I & J
Nope- Hubby is the Soldier and a damn good one… I am the wife and a good one at that.  I will happily stay home and raise Diva and the animals.  I would like to visit though.
3. Have you ever done anything (intentionally, or unintentionally) to embarrass your spouse/significant other in front of his military cohorts?  submitted by Marrying the Navy
Nope… but some of them have gone out of their way to make me uncomfortable – One guy spent a few awkward minutes talking about an ex of hubby’s in front of me and the drama surrounding her on our first family day about 2 months after our wedding. 
4. What is your most irrational fear? submitted by Eights on the Move
CRICKETS~  I am paralyzed by crickets.  Diva wants a gecko… they eat crickets so no gecko unless we can change the diet.
5. If you could only live in one kind of climate for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?  submitted by Many Waters
I LOVE Southern California – warm weather for most of the year.  I would rather live in a place with 4 seasons but one climate would have to be here.
Wife of a Sailor