Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tweets About Wesley

I tweet. I'm a twitter-er. Whatever you call it - I like to talk about my like is 140 characters or less. It's quick, it's to the point.

Here are some brilliant tweets about Wesley. (From Feb 23 - Today. I've posted over 6,000 tweets, so it would take me weeks to go through them all!)

  • 2yo just brought up #FruitNinja on the iPad. Declared "I'ma cut some fruits" then played. When the game was over, he applauded & said "Yay!"

  • Just informed my 2yo that I don't negotiate with terrorists

  • My 2yo just took one of our boomerangs off the wall and announced "Look! A brown RAINBOW!" Um... ok?

  • Um... My 2yo just asked for broccoli for breakfast. No, really.

  • I just asked him if he wanted anything with his broccoli and he said chicken. What meal does he think this is?

  • Just watched my 2yo DRINK jelly beans from a measuring cup. Did nothing to stop him. Laughed hysterically.

  • My 2yo son got pink flip flops today. He tried on the blue ones and declared them "Bad" - then told me the pink ones made his feet happy!

  • Dear 2yo, if you don't stop the tantrum and go to sleep, I'll... do nothing, probably. But threatening you on twitter makes me feel better.

  • My 2yo just made himself a walking stick out of duplos.

  • There appears as if there is a traffic jam in my 2yo's bed. Over the monitor, all I can hear is: "Toot toot! Honk honk! Beep beep!"

  • My 2yo gets me to peel his banana's 1/2 down... Then he folds the peel back up and pretends to peel it himself. I love that kid.

  • My 2yo just randomly wandered over to his building table & started singing the clean up song & putting away all his duplo. WHO IS THIS KID?!

  • 2yo current tantrum? His duplo tower fell apart. Oh the woe.

  • Ahhh! Happy Mummy Moment: Went in to 2yo bedroom after work to give him a kiss. Opened eyes and said "Hi Mummy" and fell back asleep ♥

  • My 2yo is poking @DocTurtle with a long row of duplos. I won't deny that I'm rolling about on the floor with laughter.

  • 2yo is quite upset I won't let him put his beanbag in his crib with him. He doesn't care that I am concerned about suffocation & his death.

  • My son just demanded a kiss for his hurt "Ping-guh!"

  • My 2yo newest obsession? Opposites. On and Off. Big and Little. etc.

  • Dear Wailing 2yo, You're so upset about naptime because you're overtired from no nap yesterday. Give in, you'll feel a lot better. Promise.

  • My 2yo son likes to do the hula.

  • My 2yo just dumped a HUGE bucket of cars on the cat. How do I even punish that? In his defense, he WAS trying to share?

  • My 2yo must be laying right on top of his glow seahorse. He's been asleep for 2hrs, but this is the 4th time I've heard it go off.

  • Gold. @DocTurtle taught our 2yo to flex his muscles while screaming "BEEFCAKE!"

  • I love that my 2yo son knows Australian animals. He knows the koala, kangaroo, kookaburra, emu and wombat, so far! #Aussie

  • I just informed my 2yo that this house is a "Mumocracy" He wasn't impressed.

  • Great. My 2yo just stuffed a honey smack up his nose.

  • My 2yo made a hammer out of duplo bricks and is hammering together a building out of wooden blocks. Imagination play FTW!!

  • Told Wesley today he has exactly 6m to potty train&sleep in a bed, cause don't want to take him to Aus in diaper & crib. He said "No."

  • My 2yo is jumping up and down yelling "BOING! BOING! BOING!"

  • Friday, January 28, 2011

    Deployment Can Be Tough.

    My husband and I have always had a strong, loving marriage.
    We've always communicated better than most couples we know, we had to, to maintain our relationship when we so often SO far apart - and we've always treated each other with love, affection and respect.

    But this deployment, despite not being our first rodeo, threw a spanner into the works.

    This is our first deployment and separation since having Wesley. While he works 48 hours straight once every 2 weeks because of duty, one night alone is not the same as 9 months. And thats 9 months without being able to call when I needed to talk. 9 months without contact on my own terms. It was all on someone else's terms.

    Having Wesley changed my coping mechanisms and reactions to things. It changed ME. Obviously.

    I'm not the same person I was 5 years ago or even 3 years ago. Heck, I'm not the same person I was 1 year ago, now.

    When Tommy and I were in the depths of our long-distance relationship, I'm not proud to admit, I was a needy person. Well, to honest, I think I've always been a needy person.
    I was never comfortable in my own company, I always wanted people around me. I was highly social. Rarely alone. And if I was physically alone, I was on the phone talking to someone.

    My husband was always understanding of this side of my personality - he indulged it, really - always was there whenever I asked. He gave up a lot to keep me feeling secure and happy. And for that, I'm incredibly grateful.

    Anyway, moving along. Back in the day, I spent a lot of a time working myself around his schedule. Waiting for his phone calls, waiting for his emails. Showering him with all the love I had for him. Sending emails, letters and card telling him just how much I loved and missed him and how much I couldn't wait to see him again.

    This time? This time I was busy. This time? I was exhausted. This time? It was a steep learning curve.

    My mother came over to the States to be with me when Tommy left. She came with me to keep me company, sane and to stop me laying in bed for days on end, just waiting for the phone to ring. She'll never really know how much I appreciate that.

    (This is incredibly hard to write. I'm trying so hard to be honest - but there are facets of my personality that I'm not so proud of - but to understand why deployment rips marriages and families apart, I need to be upfront about these not so stellar traits of mine.)

    So. I think I got off track there for a second. And now I have to find my way back to my original point.

    So, my Mum was there, to help me wade through the cloud of sadness that descends when you wave good bye to your spouse, not knowing what the future really holds. (Because thats a whole other focus point, the doubt, worry and fear that something may happen. I can't even go in to that, because there aren't even words for it.)
    She was there to keep me focused on what was important - getting up and putting on a brave face for my son. Making sure he was taken care of, protected and happy.

    And she did such a great job of keeping me busy, that she set the tone for the next 8 months.

    My sister came to visit for 10 days after Mum left, and then I went home to Australia for 6 weeks.

    I was busy, busy, busy. I was seeing people, doing activities and sight seeing with Wesley. Taking care of him, playing with him, preparing his meals, washing his clothes and nappies/diapers. Falling in to bed at the end of the day, exhausted.

    And because I kept myself busy and, really, distanced from the emotions that come along with the situation, it set the tone for the rest of the deployment. I didn't allow myself to FEEL what I needed to feel. Which was sadness, loneliness and missing of my husband.

    Avoidance. Oh dear. Another one of my not-so-stellar traits.

    I started out avoiding the crappy feelings, and really, if I'm honest, avoiding my husband, because it made it easier to avoid the feelings associated with what was happening in my life. I avoided sending him emails, because while I was in Australia, he didn't call, because (I assume) he didn't know where I would be, if I would be home, and I think he had difficulties with keeping track of the time zone differences.

    And when I got back to the US, he still didn't call. At least, not enough for me! (I went 11 weeks without a phone call once during this deployment. At the end of the 11 weeks, I was... well, barely sane!)

    He was stationed on a small base in Afghanistan that was run by the Romanians. There weren't great resources for the US troops, compared to the bigger bases that the US run.
    There were less phones. Much more unreliable internet with a MUCH slower bandwidth.
    (Though, I acknowledge I had it a thousand times better than spouses did just 20 years ago, even!)

    And, the longer he didn't call, the less I emailed. It turned into a vicious cycle.

    I was angry with him for not making more of an effort to call. I was angry with him because I felt like he didn't realise what this was doing to me, and what it was doing to our son.
    Our son can't read emails. Our son needed to hear his voice, or see his face on Skype. Neither of which is was doing. (Skype wasn't his fault, if I'm fair. (Though, at the time, I wasn't fair. I blamed him.)
    He did try - but the bandwidth issue left us with grainy, frozen images, no sound and then would eventually disconnect us. It never worked out, not one time!)

    And, here I go on to another side track - I had to deal with my son's emotions and behavioural problems that came with Tommy's deployment. His sadness and longing for his Daddy. His grief at not understanding. His ANGER. (He would beat his "Daddy Doll on things. He would bite it. He would throw it.)
    His night terrors, because really, what 15-24 month old (The age he was while Tommy was gone) can really sort through these kind of emotions.

    That morphed into guilt, for me. I felt guilty that I had married Tommy, had a child with him, knowing it was inevitable that he would go away, as long as he was in the Navy. I felt serious guilt, like I had done this to our son. Sure, irrational - but it was there.
    I felt guilty I wasn't able to be Mummy AND Daddy as well as I needed to.
    I felt guilty that there were times I was short tempered with him, because I was exhausted from doing it all alone for so long.
    And then that guilt turned into anger. This isn't how it's supposed to be. I wasn't supposed to be doing it alone. I was suppose to be a part of team. But my other half wasn't there. He wasn't a phone call away. He was an email, when he got the chance to check it, away.

    You can see the complexity of it all. And I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface.

    There was a period, just over 1/2 way through the deployment, Tommy and I talked and hashed it out. He agreed to try harder, seeing (but not really understanding) that it was something I needed. He felt my disconnect, he felt my anger, but he didn't understand it. But he agreed to try, showing his wonderful, amazing personality again.

    Somehow, though, as happens in deployments, and life really, things happen. The phone lines fell, he had to work through the agreed time, he let one of his junior sailors use the phone ahead of him, whatever - the result was, he couldn't call the agreed amount (which was once ever 10 days, for those who are interested.) And the cycle started again.

    In my defense, sitting down and writing an email is not easy when you're trying to keep yourself and your toddler sane. (While you're trying to teach your curious toddler not to TOUCH the laptop.)
    I was dealing with every single responsibility in life, the money, the bills, the housework, raising a child who is deep in the middle of the terrible twos.
    (I'm not going to lie - I called my mother multiple times a week sobbing saying "I can't do it. He's just TOO naughty. He's thrown himself on the floor in a tantrum 15 times today. I can't do it!")

    I suppose I could've made more of an effort when Wesley was napping (which was rare, because he went on sleep strikes regularly while Tommy was away) or when he went to bed at night - but I was tired. Emotionally and physically exhausted and I just wanted brain-numbing tv to check out of reality.

    I should point out one other thing. I was ALONE. Like, REALLY ALONE.

    I live in a country where my family isn't. Where I have a few (really, not many) excellent, high quality, top-notch friends. But, really, they're all military spouses themselves, deep in the depths of this crap themselves. And some of them don't even live in the same state as me. Another one of the challenges, we face, as military families.

    You make friends, friends you can lean on in hard times, friends you trust enough to leave your kids with... then the military sends you away, to a new duty station and you have to start over. It's FUCKING hard. Like, you can't even really understand unless you've done it.

    My in-laws were... I don't know where. I didn't hear from them at all while my husband was gone. (And, cue anger again. Serious anger and resentment. Family are suppose to be the people you can lean on, and where was my husbands family?? The grandparents of my child?? Where were they?? To this day, I don't have the answer. I'm much too chicken to ask or tell them of my anger over the situation.)

    Basically, I had two lovely friends in the area who hung out with me and Wes, and a handful of friends outside Virginia Beach, who I talked to regularly - well, VENTED to, regularly.
    But, I was doing this all alone. No baby sitting breaks. Heck, I didn't even get TOILET or SHOWER breaks, unless my kid was sleeping. No one to share the load with. I cooked every meal, I did every bath, I changed every diaper/nappy. I went to every Dr. appointment. I dealt with diarrhea, vomit, night terrors, tantrums, time-zone changes, airplanes, you name it, I did all of it. Alone.

    It's fucking hard. SO FUCKING HARD.

    I won't deny there were moments where I asked the question "Is love enough? Is it enough to keep me here, where I'm all alone, with no family, no support?" Yeah, not so pleasant. I'm not so proud of some of the less-charming thoughts I had during this time.

    Okay. Back to the point.

    Tommy came home. Thank GOD. He was unharmed, physically. He came home, on time (rare in the military - people get extended for seemingly no reason at all!) so I counted my blessings, and was thrilled. After all, my love for him never changed. And I had missed him so much.


    I was different. He was different.

    Nine months is a long time. As people, we are growing and changing all the time. Most married couples grow and change together - in the same direction. They make compromises as they go, they talk to each other, they remain connected.

    We'd lost that.

    So we grew, we had experiences, we lived life - and we did it apart.
    And in turn, grew apart.

    You have no idea how hard this is to write down. Well, perhaps it's not the writing down part that's hard, it's the being honest about it all that is hard.

    I never, once, even for a second stopped loving my husband. Adoring my husband. Respecting or admiring him.
    I need this to be clear.

    But when he came home, I was not the same person he left.
    Nor was he.
    Nor was our son.
    All three of us had changed.

    For the first time in my life I was TRULY independent.
    And, he told me - later on - that I made it very clear I didn't need him.

    This war is ugly. Whether or not you agree with it, it's happening, and it's ugly.
    My husband is a corpsman, basically meaning he's a medic.
    He worked in a hospital in Afghanistan, doing emergency surgery on civilian victims, and coalition forces - stablising them enough to transfer them to bigger facilities either in country - or out of country, depending on their needs.
    The next part, is my opinion of how he feels - what I see and what I've understood from the little he's told me. This may not be exactly how he feels, but seeing as he's not writing it, bare with me.

    He got angry. He saw children and innocent people blown apart. People just trying to live life, walking down the street, blown apart. Shot. And if they didn't die, they were maimed. Never going to live life "normally" again.
    He struggled, he still struggles, to talk to me about this.

    He's still angry.

    When he came back, he had a temper.
    Something I'd never known or seen on my husband.
    Tommy is one of the mellowest, patient, calmest people I've EVER met. Nothing ruffles his feathers. He brushes stuff off, and gets on with life like no one I've ever met. Heck, he puts up, and even LOVES me. That's saying something!
    He doesn't make snide comments, he doesn't snap at people.
    He's... well, pretty impressive, really.
    (I have an unfortunate temper that goes well with my red hair, so his lack of one is why we work so well as a couple!)

    He also rarely drank. Just a beer or two, now and then.
    He began drinking more than what I thought was his normal.
    He wasn't sleeping well. He would stay awake late at night, playing xbox, rather than coming to bed with me. He was - and still is - averaging 4-6 hours a night, rather than the 7-8 I enjoy.

    He was different and struggling.

    And I was emasculating him by shoving it in his face how much I DIDN'T need him.
    And his son was frightened of him.
    His son was happy to play with him, but when it came down to the real stuff, he wanted NOTHING to do with Tommy.
    He wouldn't let Tommy change him, bathe him, put him to bed, soothe him if he was hurt, scared or frustrated.
    Because Daddy was a bit of a stranger, and Daddy left him. And Mummy was his security blanket. His constant.

    So, his wife didn't need him and his son didn't want him.
    Pretty fucking awful welcome home, huh?

    I can see that now, but at the time I was... confused? Frustrated. Angry. Tired. Really, really tired.

    It's been four months that Tommy has been home.
    I finally feel like we're back to "normal" - well, not normal, but our new normal. We're not squabbling, everything feels comfortable, again. Just...Happy. And less stressed. Less trying to figure out and piece together the puzzle that was our family.
    We've talked a lot. We've listened a lot. We've spent massive amounts of time together, just the three of us. Getting back in touch with each other. Getting to know each other again.

    I understand why some couples just throw in the towel. It's really hard work. It's emotionally draining.

    It's been a hard year. Probably the hardest of my life. Probably the most exhausting of my life. The most enlightening. The longest AND shortest.

    You get told that coming home is a huge adjustment period. That its not easy. You get told that deployment is hard. You get told so much stuff - but every deployment is different. Every person is different.
    And you never really know what is going to be the end result.

    *There will be another entry - a side note - to this. Deployment has its upsides, too. And I want to touch on them, too.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    PreSchool Craft Ideas!

    There are SO many great and simple crafts you can do with your child at home. It doesn't have to be complicated or messy (though messy tends to be fun!!)

    Invest in a those plastic party tablecloths - from the $1 store. Also, get paper plates, bowls and cups.
    Other great craft items to invest in are: tissue paper, tin foil, pipe cleaners, straws (cutting them up makes great "beads" for yarn as well as for collages) sequins, pompoms, pony beads, yarn, popsicle sticks, paint droppers (cheap from orientaltrading.com!) and glitter (if you can stomach it)
    And don't forget paint, paint brushes and crayons!

    Paste all over a piece of paper and using whatever supplies you like, let your child create collages.

    Marble Painting. Cut paper the size that will fit inside a shoe box. Squirt 3 dollops--about a teaspoon to tablespoon--of paint onto the paper already laid in the shoe box. oss 5 to 6 marbles into the shoe box and let the kids roll them around by tilting the shoe box in many directions. Lay flat to dry.

    Bubble Painting. Mix equal parts water and paint, with some dish soap. Use the straw to blow a big pile of bubbles. Lay your paper flat on top of the pile of bubbles, then peel it off. Lay flat to dry.

    Use fabric paints & hands to make handprints and different designs on a T-shirt or table cloth.

    Egg carton animals. You only need egg cartons, pipe cleaners and paint.

    Sock puppets. Decorating with felt, yarn and googly eyes. No sewing, all done with glue, so a very easy project for kids.

    Binoculars. Take two toilet paper empty rolls and staple inside each end stapling them together to look like binoculars. The child can decorate them with crayons or paints or stickers and you add a string/yarn around them to make a neck strap. You can make version of this using different coloured cellophane over the ends.

    Silhouettes. Have the children lay down on a long piece of construction paper and you trace their bodies. After this is finished let the kids colour and draw on the paper what they think they look like.

    Using tissue boxes, toilet rolls, bottle caps, yarn, paint, etc to let them create whatever they want!

    Same applies for pipe cleaners. There is so much you can do with pipe cleaners. One idea is: Thread pony beads on them and then twist them in to shapes, and turn them in to mobiles. You can also stretch cellophane over the shapes, so they catch the sunlight.

    Paper plate crafts - spiral snake, mask, handprint paper plate flower, etc. So many things you can do with paper plates.

    Hand Print Crafts - again, so many things you can do with your child,s handprint, by cutting them out and gluing them.

    Pine Cone Bird Feeder. Coat pine cone in peanut butter and then roll in birdseed. SUPER easy.

    Wax paper and crayon "stained glass." Using a pencil sharpener, create crayon "shavings" and then scatter the shavings on the wax paper. Then the adult folds in half, covers with a paper towel and irons on a low setting. Punch a hole near the top. Put a string in the hole for hanging it.

    As I come up with, or discover more ideas, I'll post them in this entry.
    Just remember - your imagination is the limit. And lastly - as long as you buy washable, everything is cleanable. So don't fret. If you enjoy it, they'll enjoy it even more. It's about sensory development, too, as much as it is about fun!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Dr No-Help

    Today I went to the doctor.

    I made a specific appointment, telling the tricare appointment line that I wanted a general appointment, where I could ask the Dr a bunch of questions I had, but that there was nothing *specifically* wrong.

    I get there to a *excuse my language* clusterfuck of confusion. I get presented with paperwork for a yearly physical, and paperwork for a pap smear. What? No.

    Anyway, I get to the see the Dr after straightening everything out and she could NOT be any less helpful.

    One particular question her answer was "Anything could cause that." What? No. Stop.

    Another was "I'll write you a referral" What? Still not answering my questions.

    And lastly, I spoke to her about a VERY sensitive subject, I'm crying, and she makes an incredibly insensitive joke and the obnoxiously laughs, loudly, in my face for a good 20-30 seconds.

    I got not one single answer, I got [what I feel like] teased. I am so unimpressed that I called tricare and complained about her.

    I am a fan of medicine, and Drs. I understand that Drs are people and they are not perfect, make mistakes and have off-days, like everyone else. But this was... unacceptable, even understanding these things.

    I guess I just needed to vent.

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Resolution Broke?

    Of course, I make a resolution to write in here once a week, and then my computer dies.

    I'm determined to keep this resolution - I think I need somewhere to record... my life. My stuff. My son.

    It's not going to be easy, with my laptop giving up the ghost, but I'll make it work!!

    Hang around - I've got some great pictures and things to post soon!

    Monday, January 3, 2011


    My laptop died last night.

    99.9% sure it was the logic board.

    Of course that is THE most expensive part of a Mac to replace.


    We were hoping to replace my laptop (which has been merely limping along, anyway) this year.

    ...But not for a few months.

    Oh well. We'll see what happens.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Christmas Tragedy.

    I sent my mother the yearly gigantic box with my entire family's Christmas presents in it.

    I send the box to her, and she distributes for me because it saves me money, over sending 10 separate boxes.

    I sent it International Guaranteed Express, and it got lost on the flight from New York to Australia. How, I have now idea.

    But they didn't even realise it was lost until I went to the Post Office to get a refund for it not arriving on time.

    They didn't refund my shipping, they gave me the run about (of course) - looked up the tracking and said "Well, it left our hands, it's out of the US, blah blah blah."

    However, they can't see if/when/etc it arrived in Australia.

    They've placed it "Under Investigation" - but that could take UP TO THIRTY days. That means, 30 days to refund my SHIPPING. Who knows how long it will take to get in the insurance money back...

    And even though I insured it, and will get the shipping cost AND the cost of the gifts back, it doesn't make the fact that my entire family is now not going to have anything from us to open on Christmas Day.

    I'm devastated.

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    The Santa Situation

    I wanted to share everything Santa is bringing for Wesley this year. I'm REALLY excited, as I kept pretty much ON my $200 budget by shopping year 'round and only when things were on clearance/mega sale.

    So these are his gifts:

    I got this on www.kids.woot.com - a daily deal site. It was $30!

    I got the above two during the Target 75% off toys markdown. The Lincoln Logs I got for $8 down from $40 and the Rocky I got for $4.80 down from $20.

    I got the Hot Wheels when they were on sale at Target as well, $7 down from $10, and same with Chicken Run - I got it for $3 at Target one day.

    These I all got during at 75% off clearance at Toys R Us sometime during the year. The Bamboo Racer I got for $6 down from $25, the 3 pack Emergency Vehicles were $5 down from $17 and the FAO Schwartz Dump Truck was $5 down from $15.
    Also from Toys R Us, I got him a tub of Imaginarium Train Track expansion pieces for 75% off - they were only $12. But I guess they don't sell them anymore, because I can't find a picture online anywhere!

    I got these at Marshall's. The Coloring Book was only $2, and the Sprig toys were $4 each. They are usually $15 each. (The little purple guy is a guide and plugs in to his Adventure Rig and tells stories and sings songs as he pushes his Rig along)

    And then lastly - I prowl Amazon like a crazy woman and get SERIOUS deals on there. (I did 90% of my Christmas shopping for everyone else including Tommy on there!)
    The Melissa and Doug Cutting Food was $10 down from $20, the Pirate Ship was $10 down from $30 and the Chef Set was $6 down from $15.

    The then I got him a Gymbo Clown from Gymboree which WAS full price at $20.
    (He looks like this, but obviously he's a 12" plush)

    But if you add all that up... it's not even $150. It's only about $135.

    His stocking has Crayola Jumbo Crayons, a Thomas the Tank Engine Pez, with Pez refills, chocolate coins, a slinky, some play doh, two little books, some individual hot wheels... and I THINK that's it.

    It's been very hard to stop, especially when I know I didn't use all the money I set aside for him. But anyway, that really is MORE than enough presents for one little two year old. It'll take him all day to open them, not to mention all the presents under the tree from family and friends.

    Anyway, I'm proud of myself and I'm excited for my spoiled little boy.

    Monday, December 13, 2010

    Duty Days - Surprise - Snow!

    Tommy had overnight duty yesterday - on a Sunday.

    In a normal course of events, he wouldn't be able to come home until this afternoon (Monday) because he would have to go about his regular work day. But for some sneaky and fabulous reason, he'll be home in about an hour.

    I am loving this.

    I know he was gone for nine months and I should be used to it, but I do miss him when he's not around.

    The transition from deployment to "normal" (whatever that is?) has been a struggle. This particular deployment didn't do wonderful things for our marriage, I think I can safely say that.
    (Stop worrying, our marriage isn't in trouble. We're still happy and in love, we're just learning to live together again and communicate effectively - instead of snapping over whose turn it is to load the dishwasher.)

    ...Though, I do love having the bed to myself. I don't like coming to bed and turning all the lights out in an empty house at night, but not having to share the bed is nice :-) I'm sure he'd be very, very offended if he heard me say that, LOL!

    It's supposed to snow today. I really like the snow - and seeing as the temperatures have been SO cold, I feel like it's unfair we haven't had more snow. At least give me something to show for the cold weather.

    If it DOES snow, hopefully Tommy will be home for a few extra days. They tend to close the bases around here when it snows.
    If we get enough, and it sticks (and is not a mere dusting!) we'll take Wes out to play it in. I'm excited! (And hopeful!)

    I'm making Roast Beef for dinner tonight. I haven't decided if I'll do it in the oven or crock pot yet.

    And lastly - if you're wondering why I'm up so early, it's because of two reasons.
    1) I went to bed early with a headache and 2) at 6:04am, Wes has a small bout of sleep talking. And I heard it over the monitor and woke up. However, because I went to sleep so early, I was wide awake.

    Thought it was the perfect time to get a warm up in for my new years blog resolution!

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    How Great is Christmas?

    How awesome is Christmas?

    How much MORE awesome is Christmas when you have kids?

    The answer it AT LEAST ten fold. AT LEAST.

    Christmas really rocks when you have kids.

    We've decorated the outside of the house with a lot of lights, we've put the tree up, we've done Christmas crafts, and this afternoon when Wesley wakes up from his nap, we're decorating the Gingerbread Train I've put together :-)

    I also love giving gifts. I love taking the time to pick a really, really cool gift for someone - something they WANT, not NEED. Something they didn't even realise they wanted, but as soon as they open it, they LOVE it.

    (This is easier for my family then Tommy's. He struggles, so he passes the task over to me, but I feel like I don't know them well enough to achieve the above mentioned feat!)

    Finally - sorry I'm terrible about updating in here. My new year's resolutions are two things.
    1) Buy Wesley 52 new books next year - not including Birthday/Christmas gifts. (Yes, meaning 1 per week!)
    2) Write in my blog at least once a week.

    Lets hope I can keep it up!

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Christmas Ideas!

    I've had a lot of people ask me for ideas for Wesley and Tommy with Christmas

    Firstly I'd like to say: Wesley is a very spoilt boy. He has everything he could ever need, and want, courtesy of his parents! LOL!

    And the above goes for Tommy, too, really. LOL!

    But secondly, we understand that people do like to send and give gifts at Christmas, and we certainly don't want to appear to be ungrateful or ungracious. We appreciate that you love us so much <3

    So, if you're looking for ideas of things they would like, but don't already have (nothing worse than a double up!) here is a link to their amazon.com wishlists

    Wesley: http://amzn.com/w/2YNALYJF8ZT66
    Tommy: http://amzn.c...om/w/7NA9MRQJNY90

    Love you all.

    PS: I might make it my new years resolution to write in here a lot more.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    What is Happiness?

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Mum, Girls and My Boy.

    I need to learn to come here when I'm feeling joyful. Not jsut when I'm feeling nostalgic or sad.

    I'm sad tonight. My heart is sad.

    I really miss so many people. I miss my Mum probably most of all. I know how terrible that sounds with Tommy being deployed - believe me, he's a very close second.

    ...But I still miss my Mum. She's just a cool cat. She listens when I call her in the middle of the night, and she's never (visibly) frustrated at how often that happens. She listens to ALL my little stories and vents. She's just... my Mum. And I love her.

    You know whats pretty rad? I now know how much my Mum loves me, because I know how much I love my son. It's true, that saying. The one that says "You never know how much your mother loves you until you become a mother..." It's true. You don't even realise that any single person can contain that kind of love inside their hearts, until you have that love inside you unleashed.

    I think it makes me love her more, too. It also helps me understand her.

    She's a great Mum. And I love her.

    I miss my best friends. My best three girlfriends. What wouldn't I do for a night with the three of them? Or any single one of them? That list is probably pretty short. It's funny - all three of those amazing women are from different circles, different parts of my life. They're all so different as well. But they all are so similar to me. As I sit here and really think about it, I guess they perfectly fit the different sides of me... Woah, deep Erin. I'm lucky, though. I'm lucky that I can sit here and know I have three BEST friends. Best usually means number one. There usually can only be one "best" - but I couldn't divide these women as to who is a better friend to me. They're all the best. They're all so accepting of me. Of my flaws. They're all there for me whenever I ask. They're all the best.

    ...And I miss my husband. He's my best, too. He's another side of me, too. He's a good guy, my husband. A great guy. He's funny, smart, silly, kind, brave. He's accepting and gentle. He's firm and considerate, with seemingly endless patience. He's just a really good guy.
    Tommy is the perfect partner for me. We have enough in common that we don't argue (except for the subject of housework - of course) but enough different that we have lots of talk about.
    I miss talking to him. I'd probably ramble on about all of this to him if he was available.
    Damn this deployment for making my husband so inaccessible. It is breaking my heart.

    /end rambles

    Friday, July 30, 2010

    Wesley's Birthday!!

    I've had a lot of people ask me for ideas for Wesley's rapidly approaching second birthday.

    Firstly I'd like to say: Wesley is a very spoilt boy. He has everything he could ever need, and want, courtesy of his parents! LOL!

    But secondly, we understand that people do like to send and give gifts on his birthday and Christmas, and we certainly don't want to appear to be ungrateful or ungracious. We appreciate that you love our son so much <3

    So, if you're looking for ideas of things he would like, but doesn't already have (nothing worse than a double up!) here is a link to his amazon.com wishlist


    Love <3

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    Pros and Cons

    Tommy is [most likely] going to be sent to IDC [Independent Duty Corpsan] school in the San Diego, California, next year.

    He's excited about the prospect of going. He's excited for the challenge. He's excited for what it will mean for his career. It's all wins for him.

    I'm not excited about moving only 2 1/2 years after we moved to Virginia Beach, and only 18 months after we finally moved into this house. Where we finally feel settled, and our house feels like a home.

    I'm not excited about leaving my friends here in VA Beach, and my friends from Okinawa, who finally moved close by. (Ok, not CLOSE-close - but 200 miles is not THAT far away!)

    I AM excited for living close to LAX. I AM excited for airfares home to Australia that are literally HALF the price they are from the East Coast of the US. I AM excited for all the layovers being gone from trip. One 14 hour flight from LAX to BNE. I AM excited for the things we could do and see if we lived in San Diego... DisneyLand, San Diego Zoo, etc...


    This is the Military Life.

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Hard Times

    When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard...

    ...to listen to his son whine about being bored.

    ...to keep a straight face when people complain about potholes.

    ...to be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night's sleep.

    ...to be silent when people pray to God for a new car.

    ...to control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower.

    ...to be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying.

    ...to keep from laughing when anxious parents say they're afraid to send their kids off to summer camp.

    ...to keep from ridiculing someone who complains about hot weather.

    ...to control his frustration when a colleague gripes about his coffee being cold.

    ...to remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog.

    ...to be civil to people who complain about their jobs.

    ...to just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year.

    ...to be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house.

    The only thing harder than being a Soldier...

    ...is loving one.

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    Blog Fail.

    So clearly I failed when it came to posting pictures of my weekend down in North Carolina. Forgive me?

    It took exactly four hours to get down there - it was a nice, easy drive. No traffic, and lots to look at.

    Wesley didn't sleep exactly as planned - but it ended up being quite okay :-)

    I do have lots of photos - but most of my family and friends will have seen them on facebook. No need for doubling-up!

    In fact, we're headed back down to visit Sara and Sophia on Thursday again!!

    Wesley and I have been keeping very busy since we've been back from Australia. Trying to pass the time as quickly as we can while Tommy is gone.

    ...We're about 23 weeks down now... if only the Navy would tell us how many we have left!!

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Look out!

    Tomorrow I am driving down to Jacksonville, North Carolina. It's about a 4 hour drive, which isn't too bad at all! The plan is to leave at Wesley's naptime, so he can at least sleep some of the way. *fingers crossed*

    I'm really excited - my two best friends from Okinawa are now stationed at Camp Lejeune - the Marine Corps base in J'Ville, NC. I haven't seen Sophia since we left Okinawa in December 2008, and I've not seen Sara in 12 months.

    I will, hopefully, take lots of photos and will post them when I get back.

    I'm driving back Monday, as Wesley has "kindy" on Tuesday. But that's a whole other blog. I'll get to that when I get back, too!

    Sunday, May 9, 2010


    I'm so blessed. More blessed then I deserve, and certainly more than I have any right to ever expect.

    I have the greatest, most supportive, funny friends on this planet - and my family, well, they're out of this world. I have the greatest man I've ever known as my husband, and we produced this amazing, amazing little person who I get to raise and love and there aren't words to express that joy, either.

    Let me start with that. Because otherwise this may seem quite self-pitying. It's not. I know how blessed I am, and I'm grateful. Beyond grateful, really.

    However there are some days where I just feel so torn.

    My husband is American. He serves in the United States Navy. He loves his job. He is fiercely proud of his country, and what he does. That passion and fire is part of what I love about him. I would never ask him to deny that part of himself, and stop what he does. I love and respect him too much to do so. Also, that would essentially end a part of who he is. I couldn't do it even if I wanted to.

    Though, with the American husband, comes a life away from Australia. MY home. A place that I am fiercely proud of. A place that is a part of me, as much as America is a part of my husband.

    I know I've said it before - I love this place. To the bone.

    I love my friends here. Friends who I share a lifetime of memories with. Friends who are unconditionally supportive of my choices. Friends who never waiver. Gosh, I am so lucky.

    ...And then, here is my family. I'm a family orientated person. Family is my number one priority in life. They're as much a part of my heart and make up as Australia is. More so, actually. Much, much more so.

    So, why do I leave? How do I leave, if there is so much anchoring me here, in Australia? (My awesome husband aside.)

    I have friends in the US, too.

    Friends who mean as much to me as my life-long Australian friends. Friends who have a special place in my heart, too. They are irreplaceable and are just as incredible. They are just as supportive, just as funny, and get me just as well.

    My heart lives in two places. In the US with my phenomenal friends there. (Though, there is no emotional draw to the place for me, other than my friends) (And the shopping. But that's a whole other blog entry right there...)

    And then I'm pulled towards Australia, my family and my friends here. And honestly, that pull is a LOT stronger, for obvious reasons.

    How can I be content in either place, when there is a part of my heart somewhere else?

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Four Years Ago, Today.

    My husband and I became husband and wife on this day, four year ago.

    I remember the excitement and the anxiety that everything wouldn't go exactly according to plan (I'm a planner!)

    I remember it all fading away when I walked down the aisle and saw him standing there smiling at me.

    I remember forgetting everything except the thought "He had his hair cut!" (Odd thought for a wedding day, I'm sure! But a lot of things about me are odd!)

    I remember thinking "I won't cry." And, then crying as I said my vows. Crying because the feeling in the pit of my stomach as I made promises to him was so overwhelming.
    (There are no words to exaplain that feeling.)

    He's still, even more so actually, my very best friend. He's my favourite person to spend time with. He's the best person for me. He makes me feel like the best version of myself. He brings out all my good qualities, and loves me despite my less-than-stellar traits. He's awesome. AWE.some.

    So, here are a few happy snaps from the day, to help celebrate a very important day in our life!

    Here's to a bazillion more!

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    On Family, Friends, AUSTRALIA.

    I'm home in Australia while Tommy is off playing Navy in Afghanistan. I miss him. Every minute of every day. Being home is a welcome distraction from that.


    Being home is both incredibly wonderful and incredibly difficult all at the same time.
    I'm blessed with wonderful people in my life - family, and friends who are so loved and cherished, they ARE family in my heart.

    Moving away from Australia when I married Tommy opened my eyes to who my true, life long friends were - and those who were merely friends of convenience fell away.

    At first this hurt me - very deeply - until I realised how blessed I was by the number of people still standing my life, supporting me, making me laugh and listening to my endless rants. (Yes, I'm a ranter... I'm also bad at interrupting people when they talk. I'm working on this, people! I promise! Along with my other faults. I'm a work in progress!)

    So coming home to Australia is bitter-sweet in that my deep, almost limitless love for these friends (and family - but that should go without saying!!!!) is... almost renewed - but more than that, it's reinforced. And it's hard to have love in your heart for people - and then leave. And even harder to miss them.

    I'm a strongly emotional person - for better, for worse. I feel everything intensely. Love, anger, sympathy, anxiety, everything. So when my heart misses someone, it often feels completely over whelming. Desperate and... depressing. Like a big, dark cloud on my heart.

    Another bitter-sweet side of coming home to Australia is the emotional attachment I have to this place. Where I grew up, all the memories I have here, the comfort smells, sounds...

    For example - it's not joke or exaggeration that the sky is brighter and bluer in Australia. In the US, and even in Japan, the sky seems whiter. Paler. And the sunlight definitely isn't as bright. I know after experiencing different places in the world that sunglasses are a necessity when I come home.

    No where else in the world can I wake up to the sounds of magpies and cockatoos in the morning.

    No one where else in the world has that crisp, clean, cutting smell when it starts to rain.

    Also, almost everywhere I go in this city, I can look at and remember "Something happened in that place with someone I care about." It really is such an emotional attachment for me.

    It wasn't ever easy leaving Australia, not knowing when I would move back and make roots again, but the struggle was lesser when I was living in Japan.
    Japan was an adventure. It was exciting. Beautiful. There was so much culture. Some much to explore. So much to learn. Wonderful people and wonderful food. It wasn't HOME - but it was a close second. And not only that, there was an emotional attachment there, too. It was the first place my husband and I lived, together. OUR first home. And our son was born there. How could I not be emotionally attached there?

    I'm finding it very hard to face going back to the United States. I find it a nation fairly... well, to me at least, its no comparison to the country where I was LUCKY enough to be born and raised. And the country I so fervently defend, and am proud of and love with a bigger part of my being then I could ever express. (And thankfully, my husband loves, too!)

    To my friends and family here, the ones who tolerate me at my worst and love me at my best, the ones who go out of their way for me, the ones who stay close by, even when we're far apart, the ones who make me laugh so hard my belly hurts, the ones who know me as well as I know myself, the ones who have more memories of a life growing up together, then not, the ones who I would do just about anything for - I am thankful for you every day and I LOVE you. I really, really LOVE you.

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Photos on Picasa

    Hi everyone!

    I realised today that I have been BEYOND terrible with uploading photos to our family's Picasa album. So, today - I spent the day updating it. Over an entire year's worth of photos for your viewing pleasure!


    Love, Erin

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Flood Waters Rising. Taken a 8pm 12 November 2009

    Flooding in Virginia Beach:

    (My street. Please note: road, gone. Side walk, gone. Grass.... disappearing.)

    Creek that has broken its bank at the end of my building.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Christmas is Coming!

    I know that our wonderful friends and family want to buy Wesley Christmas presents - and obviously, whilst we don't expect this in any way (he gets plenty spoilt by his parents, everyone!) - we also don't want people who go out of their way to get something for Wesley to buy something he already has (or won't be interested in)

    So, after lots of thought, trips to the toy store, etc - here is a "wishlist" for Wesley for Christmas: Toys"R"Us Wish List

    If you so desire, you can order something for him directly from there and it will ship directly to us - even if you live in Australia.

    I just want to reiterate, that it isn't necessary or expected! Wesley will be getting plenty of toys from Tommy and I for Christmas, as is :-P

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    End of Month Summary

    Just a few photos, to tie up the end of October.

    A few from Halloween, a few from our "Learning to Use a Spoon" adventures and a few from this week, when Wesley has been feeling really sick :-(

    We're not sure what is making Wesley so sick - we've got another appointment tomorrow - but ibuprofen, along with a general antibiotic seem to be helping him feel a little better.

    And last... A Bonus shot of a boy and his Daddy!