Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home Wars

J and I knew when we bought our current house (our first) that there would be repairs and upgrades that we wanted to take on. Now, with neither of us being handy, this would mean that we would have to hire someone to provide these services. Well, we have already had to replace the A/C (as previously blogged about), but last night our back door started leaking pretty significantly.

The back door was a known issue. The previous owner felt that he was handy (the final verdict is still out and it's not looking good) and replaced this. Poorly. So, we need someone to come in and do a total replacement of the door and surrounding wall (there is some significant damage to the dry wall from the construction and resulting water damage). There are also some areas on other walls that need some dry wall work. We know that we would like to do some changes in the kitchen (where this door is located) as well.

So, here is my predicament, do I take out a good sized loan and get a chunk of this work done or do I just fix the back door out of savings? J being the penny pincher that he is, wants to just do the door. I, however, would like to get some work done in the kitchen so we can actually enjoy the house that we live in before we move again (always hanging over our heads, we are hoping for 5 years). Now, J leaves for 8 months in September. I could just wait until he leaves and handle all this myself (which is what I will likely do), but I like to have his input on large purchases like this. No matter what, the back door has to be fixed. Home ownership stinks.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Small Treasures

We haven't seen much of J lately. Between underway time and an aggressive maintenance schedule, we have been lucky to get him home before B goes to bed at 7.

So, when he arrived home at 5 yesterday afternoon, both B and I were really excited. We all grabbed our swimsuits and headed to the pool (the 105 degree temperature outside made this an easy decision). B loves, loves, loves swimming. Loves it. We have a little inflatible turtle that he can sit and splash around, but he also loves to be held by mommy or daddy and "swim." There's a lot of kicking and splashing, but he doesn't really get anywhere. We even dunking a couple of times and he didn't seem too upset. I always worry with all the splashing he is going to get an ear infection, but so far so good (famous last words!).

After 30 minutes of pool fun, we headed out to a quick dinner at Moe's (our favorite!) and then home for a little snuggle and play time. It's funny how things have changed in just the past couple of months. Before J reported to the ship and started being gone so often, we never would have treasured these extra hours as much as we did. It was like a small treasure that we had to cherish. We didn't do anything special or extraordinary, but it just seemed so wonderful.

Here's hoping that J will make it home early again today so we can do something else!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Some days in the Navy are all about churn. Working really, really hard at something, but not getting anyway. Running in place. Today was one of those days.

I worked on binders all day. I made 7 binders for 7 different people. It started at 3 and then grew. I printed page after page. Ran down tabs/dividers. Little known Navy fact: dividers are hard to come by and therefore hoarded. I had to make deals and trades to get a hold of the elusive A-D tabs (there were tons of T-Z). People would just look at my desk and laugh. I was literally buried in paper.

Being at an LT at a 4 star staff is a lot like being an intern. Most of the time you don't know enough to be a valuable member of the team so you get the scut work, like binders. I have also had to make coffee, buy donuts, and various other menial tasks.

Anyway, back to the binders. I spent hours working on these darn things. I endured the multiple changes and printed new pages. I tracked down new toner cartridges (yes, I printed that much). I realized today that binders are the backbone of the Navy. An Admiral won't look at things not in a binder. If you want information to be promulgated, put it in a binder.

In light of the recent issues with military leadership, it's funny to sit inside a large staff and observe how much the leader affects the day to day of those that work for him. Some leaders like binders, others like powerpoints, others info papers. Their particular style gets reflected in many different ways other than their leadership persona. While there are days that I hate working on a large staff (mostly days where I make binders), I think it was an important learning opportunity for me. I have a much different view than I had before on how the Navy operates.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


While visiting my granparents this past week, my son received a new nickname....the Destroyer. At their house, my son pulled down, climbed on, drooled over every single thing he could get his grubby little mitts on. My grandparents are something of pack rats, so there was a lot of things that he could get into. There is a pile of magazines that sits next to my grandfather's chair (been there as long as I have been alive, I believe, with some of the same magazines) that B pulled over, every single day without fail. Multiple times a day.

At first, I was a little put off by this name. I thought, he's a baby, all babies do this. I thought, he's a boy, destruction is what boys do. I didn't want my son branded so soon as something less than perfect.

Then I played blocks with my son last night. At the age that stacking blocks and thoughtful play should begin (according to all those wonderful parenting books, of course), B was intent on destruction. I would stack the blocks, with glee and a growl, he would knock them down. I would put shaped blocks through the slots in the bucket, he would rip the lid off and dump them out. I don't know if other children do this, but B roars when he is happily playing. It's a dead throated AAAAAAHHHHHH.

I was ready to admit it, he's a destroyer. 100 percent. There's no denying it, in his mind, there is nothing more fun that junking things up, dumping things out, and knocking things over. But, he's happy. He quite happily goes through destroying everything in his path. He always has a smile on his face. I shouldn't complain, my child can keep him self entertained for a significant amount of time throwing things around. At least I know he has a promising future as a member of a demolition crew.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Great Weight Debate

So, in the Navy, you have to complete a physical fitness test every 6 months. It's not too hard, run 1.5 miles, sit ups, and push ups. I have never had issues with any of these elements in the past. However, there is another requirement that has been dreaded ever since I had B, the weigh in. You have a certain weight requirement that you must be under and, if not, you are required to me a certain body fat percentage. Which, I have to say, is measured in the least glamorous way possible for females. You measure your waist, your hips, and your neck and do a complicated math formula to find the result (it's not really that complicated, but it's still math).

Needless to say, the weight that I gained have a baby has been looming over me (really behind me) for a while. You have 6 months to lose the weight, but I have to admit that I have really, really struggled getting everything off. I have always had a challenging time losing weight. Huge amounts of exercise are needed, I can't just watch what I eat and hope the weight will go away. But, I have another problem as well. I like to eat. It's a wonderful feeling to eat tasty things. I don't mind vegetables and salads and such, but there isn't anything better than a hamburger. However, these types of items are not helpful when trying to shed that last 10 pounds.

So for the past three months, I have really, really focused on exercising and dieting. I ran 25 + miles a week and really watched what I ate and drank. And, lo and behold, when I got on the scale this morning, I had done it. Not only had I lost all the baby weight, but also some extra (which I needed to lose anyway). One less thing to worry about.

Now the real challenge will be keeping it all off. I have found that I really, really enjoy running, so hopefully by keeping that up and moderating what I eat (I can promise you there will be some celebratory hamburgers), that maybe I can lose a little bit more before #2 decides to come along.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Meal time is getting interesting. B eats people food all the time now. No baby food, no formula, all grown up, all the time. This has presented me with a new problem.

Since J rarely makes it home in time for dinner these days, I tend to just make something frozen for myself. Lean Cuisine is my savior. But, no more. I have to come up with something for him to eat that is healthy, well balanced and fresh. Thankfully, we have been cooking a lot on the weekends, so I have used these leftovers to feed B. It's nice to just have to heat some meat up, cook some frozen veggies, and cut up some fruit for him.

I have to say that I am lucky that B is such a good eater. There are very few things that he just won't eat. He loves fruits and vegetables. He eats pork and chicken very easily. Beef and spinach are the only things that he really hasn't taken to. Some of the things that he likes best are strange. He loves baked beans. He literally eats them like they are candy. It's hilarious. Another favorite is cucumbers. He especially likes cucumbers that have been soaked in vinegar and sugar with dill and onions.

I was immensely proud of him last night. He turned his nose up at macaroni and cheese and ate lima beans instead. Can't complain about that.

My other challenge is that I don't care for a lot of vegetables. I like the traditional ones, broccoli, corn, peas, but anything too outside of the box, spinach, eggplant, brussel sprouts, I won't eat. I don't want B to be limited because I don't like stuff, so I know at some point, I am going to have to suck it up and make that stuff. Ugh.