All is well (except me...)

We just got back from Princess Trouble's consult with the Pediatric Cardiologist. Her EKG and her chest x-ray are normal and while he could hear the murmur, he said that it was benign and nothing really to worry about. It's not even bad enough to warrant antibiotics during dental surgeries. *whew*

They'll check up on her periodically but he didn't see any problems down the road and said she would most likely grow out of it.

So all is well (except me - I have a nasty cold and I feel like roadkill).

The sweetest sound

We're off to see the Pediatric Cardiologist tomorrow morning for Princess Trouble's supposed heart murmur. I've been tellling myself that I'm not worried, that it's most likely nothing serious and that it will be a short visit and all will be well.

So why am I still up at almost midnight, trying like crazy NOT to glance at the clock and mentally assess how many more hours until the appointment? Guess I'm a little more stressed than I care to admit.

Mentally I know she's fine (aside from being 3...but that's nothing the docs can help me with). Emotionally, it's another story. I watch these shows on TLC and Discovery Channel - the trauma ones and the other medical shows - and I wonder how I would react if I were in their shoes. I don't want to know. Ever.

I tucked her into bed tonight and explained what the doctors will do tomorrow (or what I think they will do) and as I put my ear to her chest, I thought that they cannot be any sweeter sound than the sound of your baby's heart beating.

I remember how thrilling it was to hear it on the Doppler while I was pregnant with her. I remember holding my breath the first time the OB took the wand and ran it over my belly, trying to find her heartbeat. I remember that wonderful feeling when I heard it. And that feeling was repeated each and every time I went for a visit. And I remember how thrilling it was to see her heart beating on the ultrasound screen - so perfect and rhythmic. There is nothing sweeter. Nothing.


Post #51!!!

I didn't think there was that much to write about in my life but this will be post #51. Wow.

First, I want to say Happy Birthday to Dolores. Monday is her birthday and I didn't get a chance to talk to her Sunday night as is our SOP so I'll wish her happy birthday here instead :)

I want to know where the heck October got to!!! Halloween is NEXT FLIPPING WEEKEND! How the heck did THAT happen? It was JUST October 1. Sheesh. I suppose time flies when you're having fun...at least we're closer to the elections and hopefully an end to all of the political crap all over the media. Whoever wins, I pray it's by a parge margin. Anything tight and we're going to be dealing with lawsuits and arguments over hanging and pregnant Chads for weeks. God help us.

Tuesday, Princess Trouble has a consult with the pediatric cardiologist. She had her EKG last week and to my untrained eye, it looks normal. Hopefully the MD will agree with me. I know it's most likely a benign murmur and really nothing to worry about but that Mama Bear instinct is strong and sometimes all I want to do is wrap her up in the fleece blanket that is on the couch and hold her and never let her go.

Nothing too exciting (other than the above-mentioned dr. appointment) this week. Just our usual stuff - school, library, dressing up in the Cinderella dress (Princess Trouble, not me!), drooling all over the place (Little Man, not me). It can get boring at times but I really do love our routine existence. I crave it. The idea of it being disrupted again when we move is already giving me stomach cramps.

Don't get me wrong - I am thrilled at the prospect of moving to Hawaii. I"m just not thrilled at the prospect of moving. WE JUST GOT HERE. One of the senior Warrant Officers in The Husband's unit was giving him grief about us heading to Hawaii ("I want to go to Hawaii! How come YOU as a WO1 get to go to Hawaii???"). A few days later I ran into the spouse of another pilot in The Husband's unit and when she heard we were moving to Hawaii, she asks "Who did you PAY to get that assignment?" Ok - look...anyone wants to VOLUNTEER to swap us so we can stay put just COME ON DOWN. I didn't ask for this move. Yes, we asked for Hawaii...and about 11 other options. BUT I DON"T WANT TO MOVE. I would gladly give someone our Hawaii slot if it meant we could stay put. But it's not an option right now so leave me alone! I tried to be nice to the woman who asked who we paid...really, I did. I won't post what I was thinking - wouldn't want to offend one of my 3 readers. I simply smiled and told her that we have some wonderful connections...we don't really. But SHE doesn't know that.

On that note, I am off to bed. Little Man slept through the night last night! Well, he woke up twice but all he needed was the plugger (aka pacifier) replaced and he was back to sleep. Woke up about 8:30am after having gone down last night around 9. WORKS FOR ME. Of course, now that it is my turn again to get up, he'll be up for hours tonight. It's a good thing he's cute :)



They found him

Shannon posted today. They found him. Thanks for all of your help. The family could definitely use some prayers. Thanks.

I wanted to thank you all for the prayers for our friend Keith. Mother just called. His son and son-in-law found him this morning in Commerce, GA. From what they can gather, he'd stopped to rest and passed away in his sleep. His truck was locked, so after breaking in, they found him in the back area where they can lie down I guess.

If you could keep his son and daughter in your prayers I'd really appreciate it. They've suffered such loss through the years and this is just another blow to them. Their older brother died in the late 80s in a vehicle accident. Their Mother (Keith's wife) could never come to terms with the loss of her grown son and committed suicide in the early 90s. And now they've lost their father unexpectedly.

We're all so heartbroken by the loss of this great man, but his children...we're just so worried about them. Please keep them in your prayers if you can - that they can find peace and that all of us who love them can adequately support them during their time of grief.

Thank you all again for the prayers and for the help so many of you offered through email and PMs. I cannot tell you how much we all appreciated the effort of so many to get the word out to people in the area. Truly, thank you for caring and for helping us.


I need your help

Some of you may have already heard about this. A friend of mine who runs a military spouse support website has a family friend who is a trucker and he has not been heard from since Wednesday. Here is the info she sent me :

His name is Keith Gruber. He drives for Arnold Trucking. I think that's out of GA since he stopped doing long trips several years ago and only does short trips - like up to SC and back down to GA. He last called from Carnsville, GA on I-85 and was heading towards Ellenwood, GA. He's in a pewter colored freight liner according to Mother and has not been heard from since Wednesday from my understanding.

If you all could pass this on to anyone and everyone who might be in the vicinity of where he was last seen on I-85, I would really appreciate it. Hopefully prayers will be answered and he will be found safe and sound. I'll keep you posted.


Joh Kerry should be in jail

For lying to Congress or for being a war criminal, not to mention for treason (giving aid and comfort to the enemy). But hey, what do *I* know?

Got an e-mail from my friend Jay whose father is one of the SwiftVets. Worth a read...

This is a copy of the letter I sent to all the television stations that agreed
to air the documentary on Kerry's anti-war activities during Vietnam. The
stations are being flooded with letters from angry Kerry supporters trying to
suppress this footage from getting out to the electorate.

"The documentary vividly portrays the impact of John Kerry's false testimony and
statements about the Vietnam War. As brave soldiers endured torture, starvation
and death behind enemy lines, Kerry accused them of war crimes and actively
sought to discredit everything they fought for."

Pass the message on...the following e-mail is from the Swift Boat Veterans and
POWs for Truth, the eyewitnesses to Kerry's malfeasances. Thanks.


Dear sir or madam:

I am an Army intelligence officer just returned from assignment in Iraq with 4th
Infantry Division. I am the son of a swift boat skipper who served alongside
John Kerry in Vietnam. When my father's boat hit a mine, John Kerry fled and
left my father to die. When John Kerry petitioned and fled Vietnam by way of
the 3-Heart Loophole, he left the Swiftees behind again. When he stood before
Congress and accused his "band of brothers" of unspeakable war crimes, he spat
on them. Worse, when confronted by John O'Neill on the Dick Cavett show, he
couldn't name one person or one incident in which he had witnessed a war
crime...he had just made them up to make his anti-war point. John Kerry further
repudiated his country by meeting with communist officials in Paris to advocate
their position to the US government, an wholly forbidden for it constitutes
treason; exacerbated by the fact he was still a commissioned officer in the
United States Navy and was held to a higher ethical and moral standard to support and defend the Constitution. An action tantamount to meeting with Al-Qa'ida lieutenants to speak on their behalf against the American People while the World Trade Center burns.

I am proud that the story is being heard. The documentary, which features my
father among other Vietnam veterans of the US Navy, uses John Kerry's own
testimony as the basis of the film and speaks only the truth as it has been
recorded. It is this testimony which, when shown to American POWs by their
North Vietnamese captors, brought lurid torture and horrific suffering upon the
very men who fought for Kerry's right to free speech.

Thank you for your decision to air the documentary. You are not only honoring
the fallen patriots who have fought for America, but also the countless others
who fall today. Americans have a right to know who they're voting for and what
the candidates have done for--and against--their country. Please do not back
down or cower in the face of adversity. The mainstream media rejects the sworn
testimony of 265 officers and sailors who served around Kerry in all levels of
the chain of command, but avers the statements of a scant few--most of whom are
already on the Kerry/Edwards payroll--are the ones that count. Thank you for
letting the rest be heard.

J.C. Hildreth


So, JoJo, what did you learn today?

I'm on the phone with my friend last night and we're discussing Princess Trouble's potty training. It had been stalled for a bit but we seemed to have jump-started it again with a sticker chart - once she gets 7 stickers (a sticker is given at the end of the day if she uses the potty and not her PullUp), she gets to go to Chuck E. Cheese's. I'm telling my friend how, when she is sans PullUp/underwear/training pants, she has never, EVER had an accident.

JUST as I finished getting the statement out of my mouth, Princess Trouble PEES in the dead center of my rug.

THAT will teach me to keep my big mouth SHUT.

From the bathroom, where The Husband was bathing Little Man I hear, "So, JoJo, what have you learned today?".

For those of you who do not know who JoJo is...she's the lead character from the kids' show "JoJo's Circus" on Disney Channel. At the end of each episode, JoJo is asked what she learned today - kind of a moral gut-check if you will.

So, what did I learn? To keep my BIG MOUTH SHUT. And to harrass my daughter more about using the potty.


Where is my "PCS folder"?

Just to illustrate the true depth of my obsessive-compulsive personality when it comes to things that can be planned, I have a "PCS folder". For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym "PCS" it means "permanent change of station" aka MOVING.

My brother and sister-in-law are moving from the West Coast to the East Coast this month. They have a (soon-to-be) 7 year old and a 2 year old. They have lived in their house on the West coast for almost 7 years. They have never moved cross country...with kids...ever. They are FREAKING OUT. Understandably so. But I have to remind myself not to downplay their anxiety over this move. It is HUGE to them.

Yet here we are, facing our 4th move in 3 years and our second move of over 1,000 miles in 2 years and the only thing that is stressing me out right now is the fact that I cannot find my damn folder. There's nothing IN the folder that I need. I haven't printed out the blank calendar sheets from Outlook yet. We have orders and we have a NLT date ("no later than" - the last day The Husband can sign in and not be late). We have a ballpark idea of when to ship the car, when to have the movers come and pack our stuff, when to head to California for some real Mexican food and In-N-Out burgers. But the fact that all of this will be happening in less than 4 months either hasn't set in yet or I'm becomming immune to it.

Holy schniekies, batman...less than 4 months. Crap. I need to go find that damn folder.



I think I'm going to change her name...

...from Princess Trouble to Princess Iwant. As in "I want juice!" or "I want a snack!" or "I want to go to the zoo!" Between the demands and the 264 (yes, I counted) questions that she asked me in an HOUR, I was about bald from pulling my hair out. Is it Friday yet??? I realize she's 3 and that asking so many questions is a sign of intelligence but man, she's killing me. I don't think I had a thought of my own today. We'll see how tomorrow goes (there was no school Monday but there is tomorrow...thank GOODNESS!) but if she has a repeat of today, she may get a new moniker.

I do have a funny story though. After the train ride last weekend, we stopped for dinner at one of the MANY Cracker Barrels along I-75. Princess Trouble orders the grilled cheese (girl after my own heart). As we're waiting for our food, my friend leans over and asks her if she's getting freckles like her mommy. Princess Trouble frowns and with this look on her face as if to say, "well, DUH" answers, "NO...I'm getting the GRILLED CHEESE!". They are SO literal at this age.

Ok - time to hit the sack. I'd do homework but my brain fell out after question 231 this afternoon and I haven't put it back in yet.



The Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Princess Trouble and I drove down to Atlanta this weekend. Left Little Man with The Husband. Friends of ours had 2 extra tickets on the Autumn Leaf Special that weren't being used (more about that in a moment) so they invited us. It was a nice ride but we were about 2 weeks early to really catch the change of color in the trees properly. And the town that we stopped in, Summerville, wasn't anything exciting or even really interesting. But we rode in an old Pullman car (Marilyn Monroe rode in it once) and had lunch in the dining car and Princess Trouble made all SORTS of new friends! It was a nice trip.

I've found that the trip between our house and Atlanta goes a lot faster at 90 miles per hour. And for those of you gasping in horror at that speed, I was merely keeping up with the flow of traffic! Even the cop in front of me was cruising at about 80 mph. My wonderful Nissan Pathfinder (gosh, I love that car!) topped 150,000 miles on this trip and is still averaging between 15 and 20 miles per gallon on the highway. Not bad for an 11 year old car. It needs work but it's a good one! Of course, now that I've said that, the transmission will go out on me...

Some more prayers are needed. The extra tickets for the train ride were available to us because my friend's husband's mother is dying of breast cancer. The tickets were bought a few months ago before her disease set back in. It has been a fast decline and she most likely will not live to see next weekend. She is young - in her 50's - and has been fighting this illness for 3 years. My friend and her husband are grief-stricken. They could use your prayers.

I have to give it to Princess Trouble - she did WONDERFULLY on this trip. It was a pleasure to travel with her. She was well-behaved, didn't get sick (a first!), remembered her manners, slept in the car and on the train (Wen - thanks for the trick!), played well with others, and didn't do much to drive me crazy (most of you know this is a short trip for me!).

We're heading to the Pumpkin Patch tomorrow and then dance class. I'm on a mission to start weeding out our stuff (again - didn't I *just* do this???) in preparation for our move. I know it's a ways off but with the holidays coming and family/friends coming to visit, I'm feeling the urge to purge. I have eBay acutions to prep and papers to write. I got A's on my first 3 papers!!! Woohoo!

I'm off to eat homemade vegetable beef soup and bathe my kiddos!

' night!


They did it again!

The boys at JibJab have done it again. Funniest damn thing I've seen all week! Go check it out!


I miss my friends...

When we lived in Alaska, we were blessed with some very good friends. After Princess Trouble was born, they became a very large part of our lives and loved her like she was one of their own. Then we moved.

When we got to Rucker, we were again blessed with some very good friends who - like our friends in Alaska - became a very large part of our lives and loved Princess Trouble and, later, Little Man like they were their own. Then we moved again.

We've been here for 4 months and we'll be moving again in another 4. We have not found a church and I honestly wonder if it is worth it to try to do so now that we will be moving. I hate to put Princess Trouble through that again. Moving from Rucker was tough on her and it took some time for her to adjust (and it took some time for me to adjust). I hate the thought of having to uproot her again. It's easier if we haven't made any strong ties to anyone here. Don't get me wrong - we have friends. Good friends. But not quite like our friends in Alaska and Alabama. Leaving our friends here will be tough but not horrible. Leaving our friends in Alaska and Alabama was like saying goodbye to family.

I miss that. I miss them. It's a pity party Wednesday night here I suppose. I'll get over it, I know. I am usually one to look on the bright side of military life. Very few things about this life get me down for long. This is one of those nagging things, you know? Of all of the "stuff" that comes with the military life, this is the one thing that I have a truly hard time with - being apart from family (and my good friends qualify as family).

Thank God I have The Husband, Princess Trouble, and Little Man - they are my life. And for that I am truly thankful.

He's safe...and an update from us

My friend's husband made it back to his camp earlier this week and was able to not only IM his wife but call her - live and in person - later that evening. He is ok. I am truly thankful. Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts.

A little update on us...

Princess Trouble picked up Little Man's cold and she has a tendency for her colds to go directly to her chest. So when she developed a nasty cough and a low grade temp, off to the doc we went. In listening to her chest to see if she had bronchitis, they discovered a heart murmur. Actually "discovered" isn't the right word - "verified" would be. It had been mentioned before, during check ups, that they thought they heard one but could never hear it twice. Because fevers tend to make murmurs more pronounced, her fever made it possible for the docs to hear it repeatedly this time around. We're pretty sure it's a benign murmur - otherwise it would have presented a while ago and we would have seen evidence of it - blue around her lips, failure to thrive, etc. As we have not seen any of that, we're assuming it's an innocent murmur. However, just to cover bases and have it in her medical records, we will be meting with a pediatric cardiologist in the next month or so for an evaluation and an EKG (they've already done a chest x-ray). I'm really not worried - ok, a little - but we could always use a few extra prayers.

Little Man is *this* close to walking - GOD HELP US. He's been able to let go of whatever he was holding on to and stand momentarily so I believe it's only a matter of weeks before he's toddling after his sister. The cries of "He's TOUCHING me!" have already begun...

No orders to Hawaii yet but another guy in The Husband's unit who is also headed there got his orders yesterday. He has a report date of 01Mar so I am assuming that will hold true for us as well. Time to start planning - we have to ship the car, sell The Husband's car, plan our visit to SoCal, find a home for the kitties, have another yard sale, and start stocking up on shorts and sunscreen. I am STILL trying to wrap my brain around the concept of moving again so soon.

School is going. I'm 2/3 of the way through the 1-page position papers I have to write. I have 3 left. I still need to finish up my "Personal Wellness Plan" and my take home final as well as do the work for the other class - a workbook and designing a substance abuse prevention program to address 1 or 2 risk factors in the high school community. My hope is to have all of this done before my family gets here for Thanksgiving.

With regard to politics, The Husband and I have been watching the debates. My decision is already made in terms of who I plan to vote for and most of you know me well enough to know who I will vote for. Watching the debates has been an exercise in self-control and a TOUGH one at that. It drives me CRAZY to listen to the Kerry/Edwards ticket take 2/3 of their time answering a question to criticize the Bush administration policies. Here's a pointer...we already know that you disagree with the Bush administration and their policies. Why else would you be running AGAINST them? ANSWER THE FLIPPING QUESTION! Don't just tell us that you would do it better...tell us HOW. Details! Kerry/Edwards say they can "do it better" in Iraq. HOW? Kerry/Edwards say they can improve health care and the cost of it. HOW??? I have yet to hear 1 detail!

Those of you who plan to vote for Senator Kerry because you want to vote AGAINST Bush, do me a favor and THINK before you do that. I have no problem with someone voting for someone other than President Bush. But to waste your vote on a man like John Kerry is pointless. WRITE SOMEONE ELSE IN. Don't just vote for that which is not Bush - make your vote count and write in someone whom YOU believe would do a good job running this country. To waste your vote on someone who would have this country on its knees in front of the UN begging permission to defend itself and its interests not only boggles my mind but makes me sick as well.

I've said my piece and I'll step down off my soapbox for the time being. I apologize for the delay in posting - I'm finding it hard to eek out a moment to sit down to write papers, let alone blog. I'll try to do better. I promise...


Please Pray

My friend - the one whose baby boy, Cameron, had the hernia issues a while back, just received some disturbing news out of Iraq where her husband is deployed. Seems there was an ambush of his unit and there are "injuries". No other word. This information was leaked by someone in the unit to a spouse back home (that isn't supposed to happen but sometimes it does) and that is all my friend knows at the moment. She's a mess as I would be.

If you could find it in yourself to do so, regardless of your stance on whether this war was the "right war at the right time", PLEASE, say a prayer that he is ok and that the rest of his unit is too.

I'll keep you posted.


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...