Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday

Happy Thursday!  The day is almost over for me, and just starting for those of you who are stateside.  I never thought I would use the term "stateside" or refer to things as "back home" or "back in the states".  The kids use the last one often...
"Back in the states I had a friend named..."
"Back in the states we used to eat at Red Robins..."
You get the idea.  When we get "back to the states", what will we say about our time in Japan?
"Back in the far east we ..."
"Back in Japan we ate a lot of sushi..."
"When we were overseas we..."
I am going to MISS Japan VERY MUCH.  We still have about 2 years, but it makes me sad to think we will leave.  It's not that I miss being "back in the states".  I really miss our friends more than anything.  I miss my old co-workers, they really were the best.  I have never enjoyed working anywhere like I enjoyed working there.  (I worked at a bank in the mortgage department.)

As for Japan- I won't miss the fact that I can't use the free digital download of the second season on True Blood (Amazon gave it to me for ordering the DVDs.)  It is because our ISP says we are on the "horn tip of Africa" or something like that.  My friend's hubby tried to explain it to me- I probably said it wrong.  But basically it says "I ain't in the US"- an of course the offer is only good to residents of the US.  I should get some special kind of exception- I am an American dammit!  Of course the DVDs are out in the exchange- but my copy is in the mail.  So I must wait....

On another note- I am really mad because the Belkin laptop coolling pad has totally crapped out on me after maybe 2 weeks.  Of course I do not have a receipt or packing or warranty ANYWHERE.  I plan on writing to Belkin though and telling them what a piece of junk that thing was.  So tomorrow I must go buy a new cooling pad, until then I am relying on my Pampered Chef cooling rack.

Lastly- I have to share this little video.  It is too friggin' cute.  If it does not make you smile then I am very sad for you my friend, very sad indeed...
You will want to watch this more than once, trust me.

Meet the sloths from Amphibian Avenger on Vimeo.

So did you smile, giggle, laugh, or what??  I can't wait to show this to Sissy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Help me, I am over reacting to something I should be above over reacting to.  It has to do with an 11 year old kid and his co-horts.  Lately it seems these kids have just become meaner than normal.  I give them slack because they are Navy kids, and I understand the stress of being a military child and dealing with deployments and such.

Realizing I am over reacting, I wonder what kind of reaction I SHOULD have?  A few pre-teen neighborhood kids (and therefore schoomates of my children) have caught my attention with their bullying, foul language, disrespect and littering around the area.  I am at the point where I want to start visiting some parents.  One of the bully's, whom I suspect has been picking on Sissy and her BFF, has started picking on Brother again.  This was an issue we had at the start of school- a problem I thought had resolved itself.  I think the truth is that Brother has learned to ignore him for the most part.  Recently Brother has started to complain about being bullied again.  Sissy came and got me one day to tell me that said Bully was picking on her and her BFF.  As it turns out, it looked like Sissy was stirring up trouble that day.  I still had a talk with the boy- in a friendly yet authoritive manner.  I suspected he had picked on the girls in the past- the fact that he and his co-horts wouldn't make eye contact made that evident.

This week the bully has been picking on Brother because of the rash that Brother has on his face (doc thinks he had some kind of allergic reaction to something.)  Then today Brother tells me that this kid told him that I am "ugly" and a "bitch".  I told Brother that I don't care, which I don't.  But in a way- I do.  What is wrong with me- why does this kid chap my hide.  Why does the other neighborhood kid who is always cussing make my hand itch and want to track down his mama?  Why do I wish that it be ok for Brother to knock the kid who is bullying him, on his @ss?

Brother needs to learn how to deal with this- and I definitely will not help by fighting his fights for him.  It just brings out the protective mama bear in me.  The fact is I need to stay out of the kids' affairs and not get caught up in the drama.  I don't get caught up in "adult" drama, why get into the kids'?


I WILL say something to any older kid that picks on Sissy or her BFF.  I WILL seek out their mother if need be.  I WILL say something to the child who swears in my presense.

I WILL calm down


Have you ever dealt with bullies?  What did you do?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea

It's time to break from the serious stuff and join in on a little fun...
This has been going around, here's my version:

1. Favorite Hobby

If you have peeked at my other blog (that is very slow to get off the ground *sigh*)-   sewing is my heart's desire.  I love taking a piece of fabric and transforming it into something wearable, usable, etc.  I also am learning to knit.  In the past I used to crochet and do cross stitch- but it's been a while.  I love scrapbooking and have oodles of supplies, but like sewing- it is messy and time consuming- so I usually haul out the sewing stuff when I have to choose.  I love to read and do it whenever I can (it is my escape- especially during deployments.)  My latest hobby/ past time is doing crossword puzzles- so fun!

2. Favorite TV show

Here all I get is AFN.  That means we don't get the new shows until 6 months to a year later, and I don't have DVR anymore!  So what I do is buy the series when they come out on DVD.  My current favorite is Glee.  What is not to love about that show!!  I even got Hubby into it.  The other shows I like are Heroes and True Blood (I have it pre-ordered with Amazon, can't wait!!!) 

3. Favorite Resturant

I miss Red Robins!!  In WA I think we ate there at least once a week.  Here in Japan my faves are a sushi -go-round restaurant called Kamisushi and an Indian restaurant called Mahatma's.  On base I prefer to eat at the Golf Course restaurant.  It is the newest and the nicest, but it's no Red Robins!

4. Favorite thing to shop for

Fabric, sewing patterns and shoes- please don't make me choose just one.

5. Favorite Animal

I can't choose really.  But as far as pets go- I say my dog is the best dog ever.  She is a chocolate lab and is the sweetest girl ever.  I love her to pieces.

6. Favorite Song

Come On Get Higher- Sugarland's Version.  I like Matt Nathanson's original too, but Sugarland really rocks it in my opinion.  Unfortunately, there is no actual video, but here is a video someone shot at a concert in Del Mar, CA.  I hope to see them in concert someday.  Someone needs to convince them to come to Japan yo!

7. Favorite Word

I don't know- but I keep saying "right right" whenever someone is telling me something.  Where the H did that come from?  It is driving me nuts.

8. Favorite recent YT video

I posted my favorite a while back- so I won't repeat it- but here's another good one:

9. Favorite Movie

 Steel Magnolias- I can quote that movie line for line.  Some recent favorites are The Secret Life of Bees (almost as good as the book) and Julie and Julia (I have Mastering the Art of French Cooking on order from Amazon as we speak.)

10. Favorite childhood memory

Going to the Bud Kearns Memorial Swimming Pool in Morley Field in San Diego, and also going to the beach (usually Mission or Pacific Beach).  Unfortunately I was always getting bad sunburns, I am sure I will pay for it sooner or later...

I am so glad this pool is still around.  It has been around forever- it was opened in 1933 originally.  The park setting is just gorgeous.  I hope to take my kids there someday...

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Tonight I attended a presentation about grief recovery.  It got me thinking.  First of all- when one thinks of grief- one thinks of the loss or death of a loved one.  I immediately thought of Mrs. P at A Little Pink in a World of Camo.  Her loss is uncomprehensable to me, I can't begin to know what she is going through.  My heart aches for her and her little girl.  In no way do I claim her grief as my own- she doesn't know who I am but she is in my thoughts and prayers.

To me- death is the ultimate cause of grief.  But tonight I learned that loss and death are not the only causes of grief.  Grief can be caused by divorce/break-up, loss of a pet, moving (PSCing), health problems, miscarriage, financial problems, and so on.  There is no official "list" because we are all unique- a source of grief for one person may not affect another.  Too often do we dismiss our own grief because we think it is not as important or as paramont as another's grief.  The presenter referred to the saying (which I had not heard until tonight):
"I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet."

I wish I could claim that saying as my own.  Boy did that smack me right in the forehead (you know- "I coulda had a V-8" kind of moment.)  Not only do I dismiss my own pain and grief- but I expect my children to do the same.  When they are upset about something- I tell them it could be worse and maybe give an example of someone who DOES have it worse.  My intention was to make them feel better.  Actually what I was doing was dismissing their feelings and not allowing them to deal with the issue at hand.

There is an institute that deals with grief called The Grief Recovery Institute ( or  Here the Fleet and Family Support Center have trained counselors that offer a grief recovery program- who have been trained at the aforementioned institute.  What a great resource!  I have not heard of this until tonight.  Maybe it is new?  We (the other women who attended the presentation) decided that deployment should be included on the "general" list of sources of grief. 

I also learned that we as a society, do not know how to approach other's grief.  Well-intentioned people will say things meaning to help- but instead cause more pain and/or anger.  Some of the things that people say or imply to a grieving person can include:

"I know how you feel"
"Give it time (or time heals all wounds)"
"Just keep yourself busy"
"replace your loss"
"You can always [replace said loss]"
"Don't feel bad"
"You need to be strong for your family"
"You should grieve alone"

I have to say the line about being strong for your family really hit home.  Hubby told me that on the phone when he found out my father had died.  I knew then that was the wrong thing to say.  But this is a prime example of how we do not know how to deal with grief, our own or others'.  I really want to take this class.  It is not so much that I am in deep pain from my own personal losses, and am falling apart.  But I think that learning how to cope is a wonderful life skill to have.  It would benefit me personally, and it will come in hand to help those I care about, especially my children.  It is a scary prospect of course.  I am aware that I have stuffed a lot of feelings of grief deep down and they are sure to come up to the surface- which will be painful, I am sure. 
I plan to spread the word.  Being stationed overseas magnifies any problem one may have here.  I know there are many spouses here that would benefit from this program.  Really- regardless of how little grief we may "feel", I think everyone should learn these crucial life skills, as they are bound to need it for themself or those they love.

So I will jump on in.  I let you know how it goes...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Last fall I was writing about my troubles with Brother and his problems at school.  It was especially hard that Hubby was gone- mainly because said husband would look up the grades online and then proceed to email me commands on what I needed to do.  He was very frustrated and thus I was frustrated, and at times- insulted.  Since then Brother was able to improve his grades.

Fast forward to today.  Hubby just left and hello!- he gets a nice little email from the grades website that Brothers grade in Math was dropped to 56%.  So then he forwards it to me with the note "I need to stop getting these. Hopefully he gets his grades up before the end of the year." 

It's deja vu and not the good kind.  So now I have that awful feeling of stress in my gut and I can't shake it.  To make it worse- I got an email from his teacher letting me know that Brother " has not been coming to class prepared for weeks. He never seems to have a pencil and is not focused on completing his work."  It goes on from there.  I just want to cry now.  I need a plan of action and fast.  School will be out for the day here in a little bit and I need to have my speech ready (ie- "you're grounded.")  The second thing I am going to do is delete Hubby's email so he doesn't get the grade reminders.  Then I will tell him he is not allowed to look at the grades since he can't do anything from where he is it. 

Did I mention that I feel the need to cry?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sleep is the answer

Sissy once had an accident at our local Home Depot.  She was running towards her Dad, who was pushing the shopping cart.  We all thought she knew it was directly in front of her and expected her to stop.  But I think something caught her eye and the next thing we knew- whack!  She smacked right into the cart.  At first our impulse was to laugh, because this was a "typical" accident of her- at least it appeared like it.  But when she was completely silent we knew she was sucking in all the air she could for the screaming that was to come from her poor mouth.  Hubby grabbed her and went straight for the bathroom.  I knew she hit her mouth, I knew there was blood.  When Brother and I caught up to him, his shirt was covered in blood and so was her face.  I looked in her mouth- her front teeth had been pushed back.  I tried to pull one back, and Sissy gave such a painful shudder that I immediately let go.   We cleaned her up- declined the offer to submit an accident report to Home Depot- mainly because it wasn't their fault.

We took her to the ER and waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  By the time we got her in to see a doc, she had fallen asleep.  So in his very bad bedside manner way- the doc says we need to get her to a dentist.  And he tells us it "must not be that painful since she fell asleep." 

I should have cussed him for being an a-hole told him that I was worried that she may have had other injuries to her face or jaw.  I should have told him he is an idiot.  Sleep is a natural defense when we are in pain (at least for some people).  Not to mention we had waited a good long while AND it was her bedtime.

That was almost 5 years ago.  I thought of that story because right now all I want to do is sleep.  I realized a couple of years ago that sleep is a coping mechanism of mine.  The first time Hubby deployed, we had only been married for 6 months.  We had just moved to NAS Whidbey Island earlier that summer (where I knew no one).  AND my best friend had been killed in a car accident the month prior.  I dropped him off at the terminal early in the morning.  After that I drove home and slept.  I was supposed to go to work that morning, but I slept in and went in late.  I have felt the urge to sleep whenevr Hubby deploys, or when something sad has happened- such as when my father passed away- I took the kids to my neighbor so I could handle some details.  I made flight arrangements, and then took a long nap.

Today all I wanted to do is sleep.  I had to fight the urge and make myself get up and get things done.  Realizing the urge to sleep- it became clear to me that Hubby's deployment is affecting me more than I realized.  This is deployment #5 for us.  That does not include all of the detachments, training, what have you. 

It is a natural reaction to want to just hole myself up- not see the world for a while.  But I did that when we got here after a stressful move, I don't want to do that again.  I am going to fight the urge for now.  I am looking on the bright side- we have already been together longer this year than we were all of last year (we were together 3 out of 12 months.) 

Last year was bad.  When we dropped him at the airport for his flight to Japan, the kids cried like I have never heard them cry before.  It was the most heartbreaking sound I have ever heard.  I did not let myself cry then.  But that night, I woke up around midnight and started to sob. 

Yesterday was the longest day ever.  Someone described it as a band aid that just needed to be pulled off- I agreed.  We tried to drag out the last moments together- but those moments were stressfull and too rigid- trying to anticipate the loss.  Finally last night we dropped off Hubby and said goodbye (see you later).  He was crying, he didn't want to leave us.  Brother and I didn't cry.  But when we drove away, Sissy started to bawl.  I hated to hear it.  My stomach was just a big ball of hurt.  I was worried, and I think holding in the tears wasn't helping.  Luckily, both of the kids fell asleep easily last night- I was afraid they would be up all night with bad dreams or just worrying about Daddy being gone.  But they slept soundly, thank goodness.

I think sleep is a comfort to them as well.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Emotional Rollercoaster

Our household is in total upheaval.  We are getting ready for Hubby to leave us again for who knows how long.  The kids are not happy about it, I am not even sure HOW I feel right now, and Hubby- well, he is extremely stressed out and worn down.

Okay here is the truth.  Last month I was angry with Him- as in my husband.  It is a classic tale of a wife feeling like she does everything and feels resentful- while the husband doesn't understand what the fuss is all about.  He just knows she is storming around the house and not talking to him.  That is- when he is aware of her presense whilst playing World of Warcrap.  (I hate that and every other MMG out there.)
Knowing that in the future he would be leaving again- I wanted to have some help with household chores since once he leaves- it's all on me. 

I am NO angel by any means.  But I was upfront about it- clearly indicating what needed to be done and asking nicely.  What I got back was hostility or a promise to do it later.  And we all know how that ends.  Eventually I became tired of waiting and asking and just got angry.  That's my side of the story. 

Let me tell you I am the type of person that tries to look at situations from both sides.  The checker who was rude to me maybe was having a bad day or not feeling well.  The school secretary who never smiles (true story) maybe is physically unable to move her mouth into said facial expression (but I think I saw her smile once- so there goes that theory.) 

So I tried to be patient- knowing that he had a lot on his plate at work.  But even then- I was still mad.  If I am having a hard time at work- working overtime or what have you- I STILL take care of all the household matters.  So while I was not talking and being angry in my passive-aggressive manner- I did not nag once!  So there!  To top it all off- I felt like if Hubby were to leave right there and then- life would be easier for me. 

Truly- I am not writing this to bitch about my husband- only to explain my "emotional rollercoaster."

Moving ahead- I regained my patience once I realized being mad wasn't helping and plus I have a hard time holding a grudge (yes I tried to- shame on me.)  Add a pending seperation and my anger completely disolved.  Now I am running errands- taking care of things he needs as he is working 12+ hour days.

Enter the children.  Sissy is crying over everything.  I think some of it is her age- but I know a big part of it is the fact her Daddy is leaving.  Brother has his ups and downs as well.  We all are strung tight, being snappy and dealing with aching stomachs. 

I have been a Navy wife well over 14 years- a little separation is no big deal I was thinking.  In fact- I had been worrying about what we will do when the day comes that Hubby is no longer in the service.  He would be HOME ALL THE TIME!  Damn- I sound like a cold hearted bitch.  Imagine my shock when I started crying when it hit me that he is really leaving.

Thus my emotional rollercoaster.  Sometimes I am sad and weepy, other times I am optimistic- making plans and thinking of things to keep us busy.  And I have been a complete air head!  I tried putting the car in gear without stepping on the break and thought my car was broken.  I almost ran a red light right in front a Japanese squad car (my passengers stopped me luckily.)  I have stubbed my toes on every possible corner in the house and even tripped on the stairs, breaking my big toe nail all the way down one one side.  Ouch!  I am forgetting words and sometimes I forget what I am doing and walk around the house aimlessly.  It is so frustrating!  So now I am making a special effort to be wary of my actions- for example basic walking.  I am also trying to be extra patient with my children and not let them see my frustration and stress.  After all- if they see Mom is not dealing- then it must be bad, right?

I am dreading "D" Day.  For now I will keep busy.  Needing something to do- I have been cleaning and cleaning some more (which is normally not my fave activity.)  When the day comes, I must be strong and not break down when the children cry when we say our goodbyes.  It's choking me up just thinking about it... 

Hubby's boss told me yesterday that in his family- they never say goodbye.  They always say- "I will see you later."  I didn't really get it until just now.  I think that is a practice we will put to good use.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I need to jump back on my soapbox...

And write an editorial to the Stars and Stripes (military newspaper we get here in Japan)- but I am too busy!  I hardly have a moment to write this post.
 I'll get back to why at the end of my post.  First- a little update...

This week is Sissy's birthday.  She will be 8!!  Where does the time go I ask you?  So I am running around trying to find presents and party favors.  I miss Party City right now.  At least I got her off the track of having a Pokemon party.  I am SO TIRED of Pokemon!!  Instead of that- now we are having a slumber party.  Aaack!!  I'll let you know how it went- if. I. survive.

Last week we held another Compass session.  Did I mention that already?  Sorry- I tend to repeat myself often from time to time.  This time I presented the financial section.  I thought it went well for the most part.  I am really glad to have become a mentor.  I love meeting new wives (and hopefully a few husbands if we ever rope one or two to come)- and I really feel like we are making a difference.  Now our leader- the one who started it all for us at our base- is leaving us.  I love that woman and I am sad to see her go.  She has been a Navy wife for more than 26 years and is just a wealth of knowledge.  She knows more about the Navy than most sailors I think.  And she is not afraid to tell a sailor when they are doing wrong- "you are out of uniform" or "you need to pull up your pants."  She cracks me up.  She tries to convince us that we too have to responisibility to tell people when they are wrong.  I don't have the b..., well you know what I mean. ;)

So back to my post title.  Why do I need to write an editorial?  Well- there is this article on the front page of Tuesday's paper about the effects of deployments on military children.  While I DO agree that military children have so many hurdles to go through in life- I just don't understand why they are JUST NOW talking about this??  Before the war- Navy children have been enduring deployments for.. always??  The typical deployment is 6 months with many weeks of detachments (short deployments here and there) before the actual long deployment.  Before- deployments were 9 and 12 months (luckily before my honey's time.)  Where was the national concern for these children?  The family portrayed in the article made a lot of bad decisions, in my opinion.  (I am getting more opinionated in my old age.)
I am not upset with the other services- I equally respect all US military.  It doesn't matter where they go or why- gone is gone.  Children don't understand why mommy or daddy has to leave.  My own children are dreading their daddy leaving right now.  Brother woke up this morning scared from a bad dream about his dad leaving.  It breaks my heart.  Of course- anytime military parents have to go into a dangerous situation- that makes it even harder to bear.  My prayers go out to them all.

It is the media I have a problem with.  They only focus on what attracts the most attention.  Take for example- Tiger Woods.  Really??  Is that really so important that all other news goes by the wayside?