Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Enter the Sandman

Music is rather a mainstay in our household.

Hubs and I were the typical music crazy American teens. Our tastes were a little on the rough side of things...but so were many other kids. I was they lucky one with a dad that made sure I had a real stereo when I turned 10. He would even help me buy those crazy Kiss records or whatever in the beginning. And as my music tastes evolved to even crazier stuff, my parents would just roll their eyes and tell me to shut my door.

The hubs? Even crazier stuff. But his musical journey included stories of crazy church ladies and smashed records. Nuff said.

Our kids also have always enjoyed music. Bones was born singing Guns and Roses and could sing most of Queensryche's Mindcrime stuff at a very young age. That's what I used to put on when he got fussy. He loved it. He had many interesting song titles he sang as a little squirt. Some of my favorites were Juicebox Hero (Jukebox Hero), Cookies (Cocaine) and Go Go Jason Waterfalls (Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls). That kid could change a song like nobody else. And YES, he did have all the Weird Al CD's.

And he grew up to be the same music loving teen. Some changes were made in our life so we did encourage Christian music over secular as the actual lyrics were getting rather bad with the times. But we never forbade secular music. He just couldn't listen to it in the house where the siblings could hear except in earphones. (Same with age appropriate movies and tv...after the littles were in bed or out of the house.)

Then came Songbird. I don't remember her ever NOT singing. And it continues to this day. And yes, she had some original songs herself...but mostly she just did the girl thing of listening to the same thing OVER and OVER again.

Then, along came Mighty Mouse.

MM has never really shown an interest in music. And until very recently was not a singer. She didn't respond to music like other kids at all.

Maybe it was sensory overload for her. I really don't know.

The bad thing is, since she paid no attention, I let my own rules slide. If it was just her and me in the car, I listened to what I wanted instead of what I thought was appropriate for her. After all, she doesn't even listen. And soon hubs was falling into the same habit.

I had a clue that things were changing after she started Kindergarten. Now she would sing after school. Mostly it was the song that helps you learn your letter sounds...so I still wasn't catching on.

Then came the radio tuning day. I have an under the counter radio/CD player in the kitchen. Well somebody kept unplugging it so I kept having to reset the stations. This is a pain since I havent figured out what stations there are here yet. So I was going thru the motions and you have to go one punch at a time...no search button. Tedious. So on a country station I stopped. Now, I don't really like country but there are a few fun songs I will listen to. I happened to run across Friends in Low Places. I hadn't heard that in forever so I left it and was doing something else.

A LOUD voice from the living room informed me that I DON'T LIKE THAT ONE.

Wow! Really?


And that should have been the tipper.

But no.

It wasn't until a couple of days later when hubs and I were going grocery shopping with her. Hubs had control of the radio.

And MM? Well, she was in the backseat SINGING Metallica.

Enter the Sandman.

Not kidding.

We are sooo in trouble.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Seriously Red in the Face

This post will only be funny and understood by those that know me rather well. For those that don't, I'll try to clue you in a little but I'm not sure how well it will go.

First, you must understand wine drinking in my family. As in my mother, and my uncles wife, etc. My mom likes wine. Alot. And in my uncles wife, she has a really good partner in crime. The other thing about my uncle and his wife is that they collect these wooden signs. Most of them say X amount of miles to some city (that they have been to or lived in, etc.) .

Back to the wine. My mom drinks wine like I would drink a coke. She also drinks beer...Texas Tea. That's what she drank when I was growing up, but later in life it switched to more wine than beer. Now, most of the time we aren't talking about over indulging....but sometimes the ladies do like their Vino. And this is why wine drinking is sort of a family joke.

Last year when those wine chillers were real popular at Christmas, I asked my husband if he thought that would be a good gift for mom. We have a hard time figuring out what to get each year. Anyways, his response was, "Do they make one for the box?" Okay. That was hysterical to us. After all, a fine box of wine always appears when grandma comes to visit. It was funny. And my sister did call me and inform me the day she ran across one for the box just recently. Toooooo funny.

Moving on.

Today I decided to shop. Both kids were in school and I wanted to explore the area a little. So I picked up the cash envelopes in case I ran across some Christmas gifts or something. Off I went on a little adventure all by myself. In the quiet car with no kids. Heaven.

At one point I ran across a Marshall's. They are usually good for gifts so I decided to browse. And I found a few packs of notecards for .70. Cool. I'm low. I found a little thing for Bones for Christmas. And then I found a funny. I ran across a wooden sign/arrow with the words "Wine Trail" on it. Hah! A funny gift. It was perfect for my uncles wife. And it would be a nice addition to their collection....along with being rather true.

Still with me?

So, I go and get into the cashiers line. Right behind the sweetest Amish looking girl. I have no idea if she was really Amish, but that gives you a picture. Hair in a bun and covered with a little bonnet thing. Handmade floor length skirt and matching short shoulder cape. Sensible shoes.

No way.

Now, some of you know my past religious history and the crazy, painful journey it has been. Those of you will get my extreme discomfort of standing behind this young lady with a wine sign in my hand. I was a squirming. So I used my other purchases to sit on top of word "wine" and tried to be invisible. All the fundimental years were screaming at me loud.

But the line was very long. And then they were out of change at one register so we were down to just the one checker while they scrambled for change. And it was like a Christmas line. So, she'd say something to me. And we'd shuffle forward, and I'd make a comment. And we were almost to the end of the line.

And then she asked...."So what kind of sign did you find?"


My face went up in flames. No! No! No!!!!! I'd almost made it!!!!!

"Er...ummm....well, its a bad sign." (My face is massively on fire! I don't think I've been this red in years.)

"OH!!!!" (Hah. Now who's embarassed????)

So I showed her my sign. And pointed out that it said Wine Trail.

"Did you say WINE?"


"Oh. " So totally not embarrassed or impressed anymore. So I guess wine is okay.

But I wonder what she thought it was going to say?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Little Songbird

I have a daughter who loves to sing.

She has a good voice too. I'm not sure where this voice came from ... definitely not from me!! I'm the family joke. But I don't mind.

So far in life Songbird has been very blessed.

In Nebraska she was a member of the state Childrens Choir. Her director was amazing. She was also very tough...which was good because it toughened Songbird up a bit. At first she was destroyed with any criticism - but she was also a 4th grader. Just a baby.

In the Childrens Choir they also got to work with famous directors from New York and they sang with the Nebraska Symphony. Both were amazing opportunities and amazing to learning experiences.

Our move to Texas brought us to a town with no Childrens Choir. But luck was with us. First, her choir teacher at school is amazing. She has published music even. The choirs were good enough to compete on many levels. Her last state competition, Songbird got to sing a solo, new composition written by her choir teacher and they got a 5. That is the highest score. Along with the other pieces they took yet another trophy for our schools.

On top of that we ended up in a church with a special teen singing ministry. Songbird tried out for a singing spot and made it. She was beside herself. I was happy as she would be under Gary Rhoades, our music director, who is also a name in the business.

With the exception of the week trip to Chicago with the Childrens Choir and a trip to Boston with Motion, all this was very little cost. She has received the bulk of her learning for free. That is incredible.

She has also decided she wants to go to college and earn a music degree. Being the practical parents that we are, we are encouraging a major/minor degree plan as we aren't sure where she is going with this....but we are encouraging her all the same.

So now, we end up in Ohio. Although God has been all over this move, it has also cost us greatly in a few areas.

1. An unsold house threatens our financial security.
2. The school system is just not as good -- and MM had been excepted into a school I wanted
her in back in Texas.
3. We left behind a church and church family that all of us loved very much. I don't believe the
experience can be duplicated.
4. The school choir is lame.

Songbird was in major shock after starting school. Freshmen were not even sight reading music yet!!!!! She felt the choir sounded like a bunch of 2nd graders. Plus, because they are so bad, they don't compete in any fashion.


We are talking her college choice and career here.

So we start searching for alternatives.

First, we have been unable to find another Motion group in the area (church). This would have been a good thing to keep up. Plus, none of the churches we have inquired about so far have any type of teen choir (although some will let the teens sing with the adults...but many do not).

I had Songbird ask the choir teacher if there were any Children's Choirs in the area. One of the neighboring towns does have one so at least we did get that info.

There is also an advanced choir at school. Songbird began asking questions and trying to find out about it from day one. She was discouraged at every turn.

First, she was told that unless she was taking the private voice lessons at school ($60 a month!!), she really didn't have a chance.

WHAT???? Does that not sound like extortion to anyone else??? Buy my private lessons or your wont pass the audition???? Excuse me?

Then, when she said she wanted to audition anyways, she was told that Freshman's rarely make it. It's mostly Seniors, and they have preference since they will be off to college next year.

She still insisted that she wanted to try out.

Then she comes home and tells me she is upset. Each person has to sing a piece, and then will be tested on sight reading. She then tells me the sight reading is done by grade. By what they are expected to know in said grade. And she is more advanced than the freshmen. So she asks me, "Mom, how is she supposed to know what I can do if she is giving me the freshmen tests???" How can she grade me that way? " So I tell her to go respectfully ask if she can have a more difficult sight reading piece. And she was told yes. So, she's feeling better. And she decides to do the piece she sang at state last year that her last choir teacher composed. Good choice.

So the day arrived for auditions. I was sick so didn't get to take her....daddy did. And less than an hour later she comes busting in the house with an ear-to-ear grin.

You know she made it.

I never doubted it.

Now if we can just get the house sold so I can finally get the kid in piano lessons, she will be well on her way to her college dreams.

Surely that is in God's plan. After all, he's the one that gave her the voice.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What No One Told Me About Adoption:

Over at Grown In My Heart they are having a blog carnival. The subject is What No One Told Me About Adoption. At first I really didn't think I had much to contribute. After all, we had a fantastic agency and social worker that made sure we were educated....before all the Hague changes. I give them a 10 star on education.

We did exercises like putting colored marbles in a cup to represent our lives....such as work, doctors, dentists, most used grocery store, hair stylist, friends and family. My husband's cup was a rainbow of colors. Mine? Way too vanilla. So I went to work on my white washed world and work on it daily still.

We learned that we would attract alot of attention as a multi-racial family. We learned that we really needed to pay attention and take a stand against any and all racism. To open our eyes and see racism in all things...not just the big events. To support our children when they are the victims of racism and to teach them about racism BEFORE it blindsided them.

We learned that people would ask us lots of personal questions they do not have the right to ask. All because we look different than they think a family should. We learned we do not have to answer these people. We learned ways to divert the questions and protect our kids.

We learned about the loss our children will feel. We learned how this can manifest itself since many of the losses are pre-verbal. We learned about the primal wound.

We learned about keeping our home low key and low stimulus at first. We learned about orphanages and what to expect. We learned about RAD and other attachment disorders and orphanage behaviors.

We learned that we need to support our child's nationality/race and instill pride. Foster mentors and make sure our child was just as comfortable with others of the same race as she is with us.

We learned to make sure not to demonize our child's birth mother. Her first mother. To let her feel the grief and pain and ask the hard questions even if we are uncomfortable. It is part of who she is. Support the child.

We learned many other things also. We used a workbook called "With Eyes Wide Open" that was very informative. We had 2 large 3 ring notebooks full of articles that we had to read.

But there was one area we didn't learn about.

We were not told about the adopted people that are totally against internal adoptions.

There are MANY, MANY of these voices.

At first I was very into reading these sites. I wanted to learn as much as I could so that I could learn from mistakes others have made. I wanted to understand what things were harmful and what things were positive. And I have learned from these sites.

I have also been called a racist for adopting a child of another race.

I've been called a baby stealer for having the money to adopt a child and remove them from their birth country.

I've been told I cannot support my child and her battles against racism....because I'm white and therefore unable to feel.

I've been told I am responsible for other people stealing babies all because I would pay for one.

I've been told I don't care about poor people or women.

I've been told I should be supporting my child in her home with her birth family, not stealing her away.

And I've been told other things I won't even put down here.

And I've quit reading those sites.

I had room in my home and heart for another child. I wanted to give that place to a child with no home and no family. An orphan. I wasn't looking for a specific nationality or color...just a child to love. A child with no family.

I traveled a lot growing up and saw orphan children in other countries. This left an impression on me. I always thought that if we all opened our families to one person with no family it would be a better world. Life without family is not much of a life at all.

Well, now I know.

I'm just a baby-stealing racist with a savior mentality.

Who knew?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bus Stop Wars...or My Life in the Twilight Zone

I can't believe I'm blogging about the bus stop.

The bus stop.

But you know, its a place I have to go two times a day, five days a week.

And its like a Junior High Hate Fest.

Not kidding.

We started the year out putting our little treasures on the bus and nervously walking away. We didn't make it a week before the driver was throwing it in park and calling all us parents together for a "talk".

"You three base stops......"

She did not just say that! She could not have been uglier if she'd used a racial slur. Okay, well, yes a racial slur would have been MUCH worse but since we are too diverse in that category she pointed out our military affiliation instead.

Seems there are too many kids at our stop and they are giving her a nervous breakdown.

Please don't say that when you are driving my child.

Yada, yada......ok, yes mamam, etc.

About two days later here we go again. Put the bus in park and gather the parents. Except this time she's wearing a whistle. And part way through this "talk" she blows it at us.

The parents.

This time we hear about all the heart attacks our kids are giving her with their noise and falling out of seats. (I will refrain from going off on the overcrowded condition of this bus.) Please don't say that when you are driving my child.

Then they lose my child.

Then the supervisor gets off the bus one day. We get schooled that we need to stay 10 feet back from the bus stop and cannot leave said bus stop until the bus has left. We must stand there and wait. And she trains those that live on the other side of the street the hand signals that will be given to them to cross. And they brought base safety with them to do it. Not sure what his purpose was.

During this "talk" parents ask questions. The supervisor starts getting UGLY about how if we won't comply we will be "turned over".

Who said anything about not complying???

We aren't five -- we don't sit down and shut up just because somebody says. We ask questions and want to know WHY. This does not constitute a threat. Repeat: THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A THREAT.

Now, its decided to bring base safety back out to pass out fliers on bus safety. Hope he gets paid for this kind of crap. Not that hard to hand a kid a flier. He probably went home to his wife that night with "You won't believe what I had to do today!"

So then we get a new, second bus stop for the kids that live on the other side of the street.

DIRECTLY across from the original bus stop (we have a little shelter and seats, etc.).

On the side with no sidewalk.

So, now you have all these little friends running in and out of the road because they are directly across the road from each other....and you are making kids walk all the way down the street in the road because you make them get off on that side of the street.

So which is safer? Walking the length of the street down the road or crossing the street one time to get to the sidewalk?


And so some said no. We will be at the correct bus stop on the side with the sidewalk with all the other kids and parents. So now they are going to call the cops. Base Security. The Commander of the base.

Please, oh please do call the Commander.

Enough is enough.

And stop changing my child's assigned seat. She's getting really confused. Three times in as many weeks is a little much for my five year old. You are setting her up to get it wrong and cause another nervous breakdown or heart attack or shingles or something.

And stop hanging on to my child and searching frantically for her mother while I jump up and down and say "HERE!!!!" over and over...from 10 feet away of course. Asian child, red headed mother...surely you can remember that??? Its kind of different enough to catch your attention. Especially with our up close and personal time when you lost said child. I'm starting to think you are doing it on purpose.

This really is a twilight zone episode isn't it? Because its just too creepy to be real life. Seriously. I'm in my 40's and having school bus stop issues???

Except really I'm not....I'm just stuck in the middle of that train wreck five days a week.

I'd like to tell all the ladies to give up and stop complaining to the powers that be. They aren't going to get any satisfaction. The supervisor is brand new to this depot and she is hanging on to her job just as hard as the driver. Ever heard of CYA??? They've circled the wagons and are trying their best to make the parents into demon's.

But they drew first blood in a Rambo kind of crowd.

What were they thinking?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Snapshot Saturday

Joining my friend Tricia in Snapshot Saturday... She posted an old photo of mine today that I just love. Her daughter took it on my camera. Songbird was mad because I wouldn't let her touch that camera yet handed it over to Butterfly. Hah. Good times.

I missed last weekend as things were so crazy. No worries...the festival marathon continues.

Being that it was Labor Day weekend we had so many things to choose from. And, being that it was Labor Day weekend they all cost money.

So, Saturday we went downtown to check out the local farmers market. Love me some local farm fresh veggies. Love. Love. We found the 2nd Street Marketplace which is really nice. And they have eggs, meats, cheeses....everything. But I thought it was pricey and am wondering if I can't find a simple simon one close to home with better prices. If not, so be it...I know where to go for what I want.

Sunday the girls and I struck out on our own. The Hubs was studying for his test in two days. He tested for Chief on Tuesday. For those that don't know and have any interest, that's as high as you can go as enlisted. He doesn't expect to make it on this round as his board scores probably won't be high enough yet. We have high hopes for next round.

So, back to Sunday. Songbird and I decided we wanted to check out Heritage Days in Paque OH. Great choice. It was about 40 minutes north but was a pretty drive. The town is so cute!! I want to live there.
So, Heritage Days. It's kinda like a reenactment kind of thing. Mostly its vendors and some demonstrations. There is also a rodeo. The cool thing was all the people in period dress (1800's). See this shot? There were literally hundreds of people camped and dressed this way. some of them were vendors or demonstrators, but a large majority were just there to camp and walk around this way all weekend.

Can you imagine? Lots of the kids didn't even wear shoes! (If you are familiar with Texas Fire Ants you get my amazement.)

It really sounds like fun....but when I tried to imagine my family doing this it just wouldn't gel. Mighty Mouse would be laying all over me complaining that its hot as she sweats like a fountain. Songbird would probably like it...she wants to make herself some of these dresses and thinks it was cool.
But we'd have to have something to sell or something as I can't see myself doing nothing but walking around some tents all weekend. No dead animal skins though. That was just gross.
This was the star attraction for my kids. Poor, poor city kids. It's pigs girls. Not real exciting. Well, the way they wagged their tails the whole time was charming...but still.
Songbird scored a cool metal heart necklace. Mighty Mouse? Well, she found not only a pumpkin princess headband...but a ladybug mask also. Yes. Her two favorite things. Pumpkins and ladybugs. What style! As you can see she is also dragging pumpkin ticka (blanket) around with her also. This is normally not allowed but she was a little out of sorts since we left daddy at home and went to a festival without him. That is apparently not allowed.

Now on to this week.

Can you say Greek Festival? (And can you smell the garlic???)

At the bus stop all the buzz was about the Greek Fest this weekend. I made a mental note. At Hubs work the bean counters were all talking about Greek Fest. He made a mental note. We were really looking forward to it after hearing so much.
Mighty Mouse ate her some yummy Greek Fries. And she did choke down a few bites of Greek salad as I let her have one drink of my soda for each bite of salad. Smart thinking!!! Will remember this trick! And she did eat some of the chicken out of my gyro - even with the tatziki sauce on it!
The teen animal had Greek Vegetarian Pizza (shock) and fries. She washed it down with an ice cold Greek beer. Ummm... wait. That's not her beer. Dad!!!

No. Daddy got the Greek beer and reminisced about his time in Crete and how we need to take a vacation there.

That's what I'm talkin' about!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tears and Heartache, Broken Contracts and the Swine Flu Too!

Not the best couple of weeks.

The school bus issue led to tears and nightmares and drama from that day until the end of the week. We were all ready to pull our hair out on how to deal with Mighty Mouse and her decision that she didn't like school and had decided not to go anymore.

Not that easy kid. And no matter what I told her, she didn't believe that I couldn't just say she was done with school and not send her anymore. Her daddy was ready to throttle her over the boo-hooing and not wanting to go. Big sister couldn't talk her out of it. But I got the best of the worst. I guess she learned a lesson. Mommy can't stop the world so she can get off. Nope. Not possible.

In this same time period we had a offer on the house. Ya'll, it was so bad it would have had us coming to the table with $18k+.

Not just no.....

And I explained to our Realtor that when we dropped the price like they wanted us to we were done. As it is we have to cash out Songbirds college account to come to the table at list price.


Not maybe. For real.

Second offer was made.

Did they not hear me?

Third offer we accepted at $500 off list price. Dont ask where I'm going to come up with the $500...especially when we don't know what the penalty will be for cashing in the fund and how much we will lose of it.

Last minutes of that 10th day (which is actually the 11th and I would win in court thank you very much) they decide they want $1k for repairs.

The important repairs are bogus. REALLY, REALLY bogus. Make up a lie kind of bogus.

So. NO.

Our realtor decides she will offer them $500 of her commission money but that's it.

They say no and start paperwork to terminate.


Their realtor comes back with she will chip in the other $500.

Contract still on.

If I return the updated signature.

Now, I am desperate to sell my house. But I don't want to sign. I actually like my neighbors.

Honest: I think this contract is just a waste of our time. They aren't going to buy. I fully expect they will walk out at the last minute and we will have had our home tied up for over a month with buyers who weren't really buyers. That is the character they have shown us for the last 12 days.

The good news is that I had this gut feeling from day one. So. When it falls through it won't be devastating. It was predictable. And I can come up with the $1k mortgage one month at a time much easier than the $8k+ at one time.

Back to MM: Good news is that MM has returned to school without the tears. The 3 day weekend helped her get rested and she is doing much better. She is even sick with a cold and still not complaining about going to school.


But of course yesterday we had the first confirmed case of Swine flu. And she has all the symptoms except fever, vomiting and diarrhea. So yes, I am waiting for that phone call to come get her.

Because that's how our life rolls.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Truely Thankful Thursday....No Joke

Joining my friend Tricia in a Thankful Thursday post....in a little different format than usual.

You see, yesterday morning I was reading one of my favorite blogs Our Little Tongginator and enjoying myself oh so much. Tonggu Momma wrote a great post on 10 Things I've Learned about putting her child in Kindergarten. Funny! And it was such a great post I was thinking about expanding on her post with one of my own and encouraging others to do so also. You know, give the ones that haven't sent a kid off a taste of the craziness...

Anyway, so I had that pea sized thought rolling around in the empty cavern that I call a brain cavity.

At the appointed time, Songbird, the rat and I headed off to the bus stop to pick up Mighty Mouse. We stood around waiting with all the other moms or dads and masses of kids. The bus pulls up and the kids start pouring out like a truckload of sand.

But wait. Mighty Mouse is usually one of the first three off.

Where is she?

So Songbird is walking back alongside the bus looking in while I'm asking the driver where my daughter is. About that time the radio goes off and there is a missing boy. The driver finds the child on her bus and radios back. So they have the missing child. Except everyone is now off the bus for our stop and I'm still standing there.

With no MM.

I'm quite sure the look I was giving the driver was a cross between those photos you see of Charles Manson and Jack Nicholson in The Shining. So the lady gets her name and checks the whole bus, one seat at a time. (I swear I can hear the clock ticking during all of this.)

No kid. So she calls dispatch and they alert all the buses.

We wait.

So I inform the driver that if MM is scared or intimidated, she is not going to answer.Info passed on. Still. We wait.

After about 5 minutes the driver says she is sorry but she has to get this other lost kid that is on her bus to his mother. She must leave.

Ok. So I get that. But. Letting that bus drive away is the last thing on earth I want to do. That is where she is SUPPOSED to be. That is the last place I saw her. That is the place with the radio I can hear them looking for her with.

The driver tells me to go home by the phone.

What phone lady??? We didn't sell the %$%*%*$$#@@!!! house in Texas! I can't afford a phone!

I do have my cell but it is going bad. It either cuts off incoming calls or locks up. And yes, I had just ordered a new one the night before....but that don't help me now.

So I have the depots number, go home and try to call them. Of course the number is busy. It took me two days to get through to them when I was trying to get them assigned a bus when we got here. Why would today be any different???? Multiple failed attempts. Ready to scream.

So I try to call my husband. Of course he is not answering either phone.

So I call the school. "My child did not get off the bus!!!!" So the lady takes my info and tells me she has been listening and they are looking for her. My response? It's been over 7 minutes since that call went out....how big are the buses that we don't have an answer? And my daughter is Chinese and will probably not respond if they are just calling her name. Oh, she remembers my child - she will get right on this and pass info along. (Just so you know the Chinese comment is to give them another clue what child they are looking for - not that she doesn't talk because she's Chinese.)

So I'm told she will get with dispatch and to wait for their call.

You have got to be kidding me.

And now my phone locks up and no one can call in and I can't call out.

So I re-seat the battery while saying unkind things about Motorola.

Phone works.

Phone rings.

Dispatch has located my child. They will deliver her home in about 20 more minutes. And I need to tell my child not to talk to her friends and get in the wrong line or whatever. Whoa. Now she gets an earful about adoption issues and what THEY need to do to ensure my child is on the right bus. Hate, hate, hated to do it but had to throw out the adoption issue card. Not something I really wanted to share with the bus depot.

So the school is trying to get through and I answer that and we are all good. Same conversation about someone needing to ensure my kid is on the right bus - because she is not going to speak up if she's not.


So MM is delivered to my house...where I have been standing outside for 45 minutes waiting.

She comes down one step and falls onto me and wraps herself around me like a crazy monkey.

She has reverted to Velcro child.

Needless to say it was a rough night. She told me she wasn't scared or anything but she had to be touching me for HOURS afterwards. Actions do speak louder than words.

And at this point I am emotionally drained. My hubs took us out to dinner since I couldn't unstick Velcro baby and was not feeling like a domestic goddess at that moment...more like a domestic basket case.

And it was a night full of nightmares for MM...but not night terrors so it was better than it could have been.

And this Thursday, I am just very THANKFUL have my daughter back.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Joys and Trials Of Military Housing

Okay. So, the truth. I would have rather pulled teeth than return to military housing.

I obviously have pride issues that God wanted to work on.

So, our house didn't sell and we were forced back into military housing for the utilities break we get. Oh, you didn't think the rent was actually better than civilian did you? No no. It's uglier than ugly...but it pretty much costs the same. The biggest saving are in the government rate on electricity and gas and the free water and trash. Only a few hundred dollars, but when you are paying mortgage plus rent plus 2 electric plus an extra water bill. Well. We couldn't do better in a comparable neighborhood.

Shall we?

Joy #1
You have built in playmates. As you must qualify for the size house you are in, you are pretty much guarnteed a whole neighborhood of playmates. Right now we are in a 4 bedroom home. This is what our block is made up of. This means everyone has AT LEAST three kids. Younger and same sex kids can be made to share a room so there could be more.

Now. This does not mean the kids make friends quickly. Our last house we had someone knocking on the door to meet Songbird within hours. But then she was the only other teen in the neighborhood. The native was EXCITED to see another teen. Not so much here. The kids see them come and go so much that there is not a big rush to meet the new kid. Makes me sad for Songbird.

Horror #1
Due to the extreme amount of kids, our nieghborhood is a scary place to be. Kids play in the street all the time. There is always kid noise. ALWAYS. There are kid tricks....like flipping all of our gas caps open each night/morning. (The mister is foaming at the mouth to get his hands on that kid.) Then, there is the bus stop in the mornings. And I'm just talking lower elementary. There are 5 buses that go through here and I'm just talking about one. OVERFLOWING with children. The 3 base stops literally overfill the bus. I'm not happy about how they cram 3 kids in each seat...and its not even the buses that have the little bit larger seats. They are the small seats. Mighty Mouse has ended up in the floor in the isle more than once over this overcrowding and being bounced out of the seat. Not happy. I don't believe for a second they are within the legal limit of capacity. This just might become an issue soon.

So we have been lectured twice by said bus driver. First time it was to tell us "You base stops" (uh oh....that brought the hair up on my neck) have too many kids at the bus stop and nearly give me a nervous breakdown. Keep the non-bus riders all the way back in the grass.... Ok, see above about how you qualify to be in this neighborhood. Should the babies be left alone in the houses as the mommies are required to be at the bus stops?? Hmmm?? And should a bus driver utter the words "nervous breakdown" while driving my precious cargo??

Second lecture is about our kids behavior. You know them base stops. Seems they have problems staying in their seats. Yes? See above. Of course this time they aren't giving her a nervous breakdown. This time it is heart attacks. And should a bus driver utter the words "give me 3 heart attacks this week" while driving my precious cargo?? (I must add here that when we got the noise complaint a parent turned to me and said "Well we know it wasn't your daughter! She don't say nothing!" Yes, one full week at the bus stop and they've noticed.)

Joy #2
Military men LOVE their dogs. We don't have to worry about our dog annoying anyone because almost EVERY SINGLE HOUSE has a dog.

Horror #2
Military men have big ego's......and BIG dogs. This means there are always huge dogs running around in their yards barking their very loud and BIG barks ALL DAY LONG...and into the night. Our next door neighbor has a Newfoundland (who is NOT one of the annoying dogs). It's so very huge.

Joy #3
If you have a problem with a nieghbor or their kid, you can do something about it. No really. You call the SP's and they get in trouble. Not like calling the cops and that's it. You can literally cost someone their career or have their kid removed. Seriously. This means you don't have many nieghbor problems....cause you can get them stopped.

Horror #3
Due to the nature of mom or dad being away so much, you will have angry teens that do bad things just to hurt their parents. The easiest way to mess with a parent is to get them in trouble with their commander. All it takes is doing something bad in the neighborhood. So, unfortunatley there are times in life where you have to be the one that brings that to a head. This is sad on all levels. I watched my cousin do this also when we were teens.

Joy #4
Nobody, but nobody, understands what it is like to be in your shoes like other military spouses. There is so much you can leave unsaid and they still GET IT. This can make for some of the strongest, most supportive friendships you have ever seen.

Horror #4
Due to the close nature of the community everybody knows everybody's business. This can cause serious issues. If you are the type of person that never spanks a child and you live next door to someone that does....well, lets just say you could make a phone call and ruin a life pretty quick. And I'm not talking abuse. I've seen military wives do this kind of thing to each other out of spite and it is UGLY. Plus, I don't necessarily WANT to be surrounded by other people that have been left behind while spouse is sent off yet again. Its friggin' depressing!

Joy #5
We are patrolled by SP's several times a day. Doesn't keep the neighborhood kids from causing problems, but does keep strangers out of our neighborhoods. This makes our neighborhood fairly safe for our kids. It's a little extra security. Our neighborhood in Texas didn't have enough cops in the area and it was starting to be a problem.

Horror #5
Due to the security and maintenance, we are micromanaged on lawn care and height, extra vehicles/trailers/boats/campers and just about anything else you can imagine. This does keep the neighborhood nice looking....but when you go on vacation or have a deployed husband it can complicate things.

Joy #6
Talk about a community of stay-at-home moms. No need to explain yourself in a base neighborhood. The numbers are usually pretty even on the working moms are outnumbered. What do you do is not the first question you are asked in a new situation.

Horror #6
Being a stay-at-home mom does not make you a good parent. You see way too many moms that don't keep themselves busy at something so they become busy bodies and hurtful to others in order to entertain themselves. The concentration is larger than you see in a normal neighborhood. You see way too many kids that aren't parented even though mom is home.

Oh, I could go on, but I won't do that to ya'll. This is long enough as it is. I just needed the opportunity to put down in writing what is GOOD about living in this house. I've got two years on this lease so I need to get happy about it! LOL!

Hoping all my friends live in diverse neighborhoods with all ages of adults and children. I do miss having the grandparent aged families around!