Published September 26, 2007
Tags: geocaching, vacation
I have never been a “hiker”, as much as my dh would like me to be. He’s tried to entice me with a new fancy backpack, talking about trips we could take, all in vain. I just don’t see the fun in lugging around a heavy backpack down a trail, when the only reward at the end is blisters, having to pitch a tent, sleep on the ground and eat dehydrated food. Ok, ok, so you do get to see some pretty scenery. I would much rather drive to the vicinity of the view and then walk to it.
So I was pretty skeptical when my dh started talking about geocaching. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, geocaching is where you use a GPS device to find where someone has hidden a small container of some kind. Inside are various trinkets, and a log book where people who have managed to find it sign in. You can read more about it on www.geocaching.com.
We have done several while we’ve been here in New England, and I have been converted! Not only did we get to see some gorgeous scenery in Maine, but it’s also about the thrill of the hunt! Your GPS only gets you so far (within about 30 feet or so) so it’s definitely like a treasure hunt for big people. I love solving puzzles and that aspect is involved too, depending on how complicated the cache is.
We found the first part of a multicache today. The first part is here in Massachusetts (we left our cottage in Maine this morning) and the second part of it will be in a town of the same name, in Michigan. It’s amazing that people have hidden caches everywhere all over the world. If we move to Korea, I am definitely hiding one there.
It was hard to leave the solitude and peacefulness of the cottage this morning. It is so dang hot here by Boston, ugh. Michigan will be hectic as it always is, but good to see our families again. Our internet access will be spotty since my mom lives in the sticks, but hopefully I’ll be able to get some pictures up (finally).
Published September 21, 2007
Tags: Maine, vacation
We’ve been enjoying our stay here so much. We have a sweet little cottage right on the shore, it’s a bit cold at night, but otherwise wonderful. We’ve been enjoying the fireplace and can hear the ocean at night. It’s so very quiet! We’ve been eating lobster just about every day (well, my dh has, I can’t bring myself to eat one that still looks like a lobster, but lobster rolls and lobster stew are fabulous!). It’s been such a joy to watch the dutchkid explore and she has learned a ton of new words while we’ve been here: boat, bug, bird, peach.
We explored around in the town of Brunswick yesterday, such a cute town! Bowdoin college is there and it has that feel of a college town in the fall. It was one of those moments that I wanted to freeze in my memory forever, we played in a little park downtown, got some ice cream, went to a fun toy store… It was nothing really out of the ordinary, I guess, but a vacation memory all the same.
We stopped at Naval Air Station Brunswick while we were there, just for the heck of it (I know, we are dorky military type tourists). I have a thing for historic military family quarters, and was hoping to see some. The gate guard told us it has been torn down, but the good news is there are a few army people there! Hurrah! So we entertained that notion for a good 15 minutes, trying to think of how we could possibly get ourselves stationed up here. One can dream, right?
Published September 17, 2007
We made it! We managed to fit all of our stuff for our trip into the amount of baggage allowed by the airline, got to the airport and survived a plane ride. We are several days into the New England leg of our post-deployment-welcome-home trip, and I am loving this cool weather. No colors where we are yet, but hopefully in Maine the change will have started.
I had hoped to put up some pictures, but forgot the cord to connect the camera directly to the laptop (normally we use the picture card). I always forget at least one thing when I travel, so of all the things it could have been I guess it’s a tolerable one. So sorry, mom, you’ll have to wait for pictures until we get home again!
Published September 14, 2007
This week has been stressful in lots of ways, not the smallest of which was trying to figure out the paperwork for the dutchkid and I to have our health screenings done. It’s part of our application for command sponsorship. We are on a crunched timeline because my dh’s report date is early next year and you have to have your paperwork in on a certain timeframe. It’s no secret that the military healthcare system can be difficult to deal with, but the majority of experiences I have had have been positive. Until now.
My dh is Army, but are currently stationed at an Air Force base. With base realignment and closure, this will be happening more and more. If my experience is any indicator it is going to be rough going as they try to integrate the services.
The dutchkid has been sent to a civilian pediatrician as her “primary care manager”, I am assigned to an Air Force clinic. The paperwork had to be filled out by the PCM. The civilian doctor’s office was great. I called, explained the situation, they said “No problem, bring us the paperwork and we’ll figure it out”. You would think that since I was seeing an Air Force doctor that it would have been easier for me. Ha.
An appointment was nearly impossible to get, whether I tried online or with a real live human. In frustration, my dh finally went to the clinic in person and after some serious arm twisting got me an appointment with my PCM. When I went to see the doctor, she refused to sign the forms. They were not Air Force forms (of course) and she had never seen them before. Of course, that’s because we’re ARMY. I am healthy, I have no issues. It was not a form promising her firstborn, it simply said that the Exceptional Family Member Program was not warranted for me. (EFMP is for special medical needs). The Air Force has this too, so it was not unfamiliar. Her attitude, both towards me and my dh did not help matters any. “Someone at the army post should take care of this for you.” Translation: this is not my job and you are not my problem. The ever familiar curse of the government employee.
I left in tears, seeing not only my unsigned forms but the another year without my dh because a doctor wouldn’t sign a form. Thankfully, my dh is not easily dissuaded. After making some calls, the someone at the nearest army post did indeed get it all straightened out. So now we can leave on our vacation without worrying that he will be sent to Korea without us because we didn’t have our forms on time.
I have never missed Army doctors so much in my life.
Published September 12, 2007
I did not have anything to say yesterday. I thought about trying to put something up, but having a very sick child and frantically trying to pack for our upcoming vacation won out. Many of the bloggers out there I read certainly did have things to say, including how sad it was that it’s just another day for lots of people now. I did mark that it was September 11, thinking about where I was that day, and yes, how it changed everything forever. I did think about the huge loss of life and the loss of that precious feeling of safety.
But honestly, as ArmyWifeToddlerMom wrote so eloquently I often feel like my family is paying for what happened on 9-11 all the time, particularly after this last year of deployment. I know that our time as a family is limited together, at best I can hope for a year before the next deployment. I think about the friends we have lost in the war on terror.
Sometimes I wish that I could forget.
Published September 10, 2007
Tags: deployment, marriage
My dh just came home at the beginning of August. This was not our first experience with deployment, but it was our first with a child. I was so worried that she was going to break her daddy’s heart by taking a long time to warm up to him. She was only 7 months when he left. Ironically, the dutchkid handled the adjustment of having daddy back home very well! It was me that had the trouble.
It has been a lot rougher going than I had anticipated. I think every military spouse has a little bit of a control freak thing going on, I most definitely do. That tendency is what gets you through being alone, what makes you independent enough to survive. It’s just hard to turn it off sometimes. I get ultra sensitive about any comment about the way I run things. You add to that my very opinionated dh, the new dimension of parenting, and you have a recipe for disaster.
We have a running joke between us about “the translator”. Words come out of my unsuspecting dh’s mouth and somehow midair they become the most hurtful barb known to womankind. I speak in some sort of foreign language — it sounds just like English, except for the words have different meanings. My dh has been known to stop, mid-argument to say, “Hold on, let me turn on my translator!”
It turns out translators get a little rusty after a year or so of not being used. I was a little worried mine was broken, but I am happy to report that they are both back online. Now if I could just learn the language…
Published September 7, 2007
Tags: kids, photos
It wasn’t so terribly hot today, so we went to the park this morning. She shrieks with delight when you peek through the portholes in the tunnel.
Published September 6, 2007
Tags: military life, PCS
I have wasted countless hours over the past few weeks researching random things about the different places we might be moving to. It’s the reason that there are so many blogs about Korea on the sidebar over there. Yesterday I was fixated on what furniture (if any) I will take to Korea with me. IF we end up there. And I don’t mean just thinking about it for a few moments, I mean walking through my house looking at my stuff with a notebook and pen. I know what weight allowance we would have. I’ve looked at how big (or should I say, small) the post housing could be. I even got into a disagreement with my dh if bringing one of my favorite chairs to sit in (the one I’m typing in at the moment) is worth dragging across the world to make it feel more like home. For the record, he votes NO!
Today it was about possibly bringing one of our dogs with us. I looked up pet transport companies, searched the net…I even went to the military vet to see what they had about entry into the Republic of Korea. Just in case you think I have too much time on my hands, I will let you know that today I also:
- went to the commissary and PX
- enrolled my toddler at Parent’s Morning Out
- stopped at the music store at the other end of town
- taught 4 piano students
It was a very productive day, particularly considering that the dutchkid is a year and a half, cutting her 2 year molars and generally acting like a terrible 2 year old.
His RFO came today, so it feels really official now. I’m wondering what I’ll be obsessing about tomorrow.
Published September 5, 2007
Korea , moving
Tags: Korea, PCS
After the holiday weekend my dh found out that the job he had his eye on in Korea is gone. When he called branch to find out what was going on they told him now they are putting him in a different, unaccompanied Korea slot. We can apply for command sponsorship, and have been assured that it’s not a big deal to have your family sponsored, but it still makes me worried. (Command sponsorship means me and the dutchkid can go with him). I have learned over the past few years that sometimes the branch manager just makes stuff up. Just like the current job my dh has was supposed to be actually on a plane. Right. We can hear the planes, does that count?
It’s all sort of sticky because he is waiting to hear whether or not he got into a school he applied for. The school would take precedence over any other orders he has. It would be great, it’s at a post that we enjoyed being at previously, a great opportunity, etc. etc. But we must wait several more months to see if he made it… I am worried that if he doesn’t get in we will be forced to choose from the (crap) assignments that are left. He just came home from a year deployment, we should be “safe” from him deploying immediately again, theoretically speaking. He is to receive his official request for orders for the new unaccompanied Korea job in the next few days, and then we can start working the CS angle. Maybe that will make me feel better.
One day at a time, as they say. As long as I don’t lose my mind in the meantime.
Published September 2, 2007
At long last I have decided to join the 21st century and begin blogging. As a military wife, the complaint I most often hear from friends and family is that they have a hard time keeping track of us. Maybe this will help, as well as give me an creative outlet for the thoughts running around in my head.
We are in a time of transition, awaiting word on where the army will send us next. I was going to wait and start my blog from somewhere exciting, since Korea is not out of the running as far as assignments go. However, now there’s a distinct possibility that we may be stateside and my wonderful husband just got me a new laptop with a wireless connection, so I thought now was as good a time as any.