Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sorting Through Memories

I went sorting through memories,
stacked in a box.
They weren't my memories,
but they meant so much.

People I didn't know,
some that I did.
All important in that moment,
but forgotten for a bit.

The memories were a bit dusty,
and a few stuck together.
I did try to sort them,
if they made sense to me or not.

They aren't my memories after all,
but they do mean a lot.
Even if they have been stuck in that box.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An Apology to my Mother

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to my mom for all the awful music that I made her listen to when I was a kid. I am sorry for the car rides where I made you blast New Kids on the Block and Debbie Gibson. I am sorry about blaring my Tiffany tape in my room. I am sorry that I listened to the Dirty Dancing tape until I knew the words to every single song. Actually, I am not really sorry about that. It was a really good soundtrack.

I am apologizing for all of this because LaLa has in the last year discovered her own teenie bopper idols that she is now worshiping. Justin Beiber, JLS and Taylor Swift are the artists that make up this fresh hell that I am drowning in. Their crooning about teen aged love and catchy songs about getting on the dance floor make me want to hurl LaLa's CD player across the room.

Of course I won't. I will just grin and bear it. I will tell her to turn it down or go play it in her own room with the door shut. I will pretend that I am enjoying it in the car. I will take it all with good humor. I will also apologize to my mom for being a pain in my mom's rear end.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little Help Here

As most of you know, I pretty much "wing it" when it comes to parenting. Yes, I seek the advise of my mother and grandmother. I bounce ideas off my friends. For the most part it has worked out pretty well for me. I have two fairly well behaved kids. Generally. Most of the time. At least out in public.

My biggest parenting "issue" right now is at bedtime with KiKi. She has always been a mama's girl. She wants me to be by her side all the damn time a good bit of the time. When she is upset she will just say "I want you" which doesn't exactly mean she wants me to pick her up or cuddle her, she just wants me to physically touch her. I could be just holding hands with her or putting my hand on her knee while she sits next to her, but she craves *my* physical touch. Now, onto my problem, I would really like to not be in the room with KiKi when she goes to bed. I know, I know, I know, I should have broken this habit already, but we have already established the fact that I am winging it at this whole parenting thing. Right now, I usually lay in bed with her until she goes to sleep. She has a double bed so it isn't exactly uncomfortable, but there are things that I would rather be doing like watching primetime TV getting a start on the next days housework.

So, Internet people, how do you suggest I get myself out of my 5 year olds room at night. When I leave she usually follows me. When I tell her that she needs to stay in bed, she doesn't. I also have to contend with the whimpering and the "I want you," which melts me every single time. Help!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just My House?

Trying to make a decision on what to have for dinner at my house stinks.

Me- "The kids say they don't know what they want for dinner. In fact KiKi said "Just bring me anything" and La said "I dunno". So I am going to the commissary, what do YOU want for dinner?"

The Man- "I dunno. I don't like to make decisions like that."

Me- "So basically, you just want food to magically appear in front of you?"

The Man- "Pretty much."

Does this only happen at my house?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dear So and So...Is It The End of Summer Holidays Yet?

Dear LaLa,

I hope you learned your lesson. I mean really, it was a rookie mistake. You should have gone and destroyed the things you were going to tear apart before you said "If you make me angry you know I am going to destroy things, right?". Threats don't work in this house missy. Threats work even less when your dad is sitting right next to me. I hope you enjoyed your afternoon sat in your bedroom contemplating the wrongness of your actions.

That'll Learn Ya, Mom
----------------------

Dear KiKi,

I love you, you know that right? Don't think I haven't noticed that you might be the laziest child in the world though. Clean your room isn't code for "pretend you are really tired, start sucking your fingers and laying about", It means clean your room. I will even give you step by step instructions, but I will not clean it for you. I am saying this for your own good. If you comply it will make your life easier, promise.

Love, Mom
-----------------------

Dear Summer Holidays,

You have been a mixed bag so far. Sun was delivered in spades. Unexpected events, done. Illness/injury, covered. Good times, had by all. Rain in the UK, as expected. Can we just get the kids back in school without anything REALLY bad happening please?

With a Cherry on Top, Kat
-------------------------

Dear Hurricane Irene,

Thanks for sparing Charleston. Please don't take it out on Cape Hateras too badly. Actually, I feel really odd that I said that it would hit North Carolina in general so if you could turn out to sea that would cleanse my guilt.

KThxBai, Kat
---------------------------

Dear Hubby,

I know you want to blog and if you start blogging I will promote it. I promise.

Love, Kat
-----------------------------

Dear Spiders That Live At The Back Door of My House,

Not cool. Not cool at all. You know my feelings on spiders. Could you please quit hanging out outside my door and be gone? Take pity on me, please!!!

Yeah Thank, Kat
----------------------------

Dear Readers,

If you are sick of the summer holidays give me a whoop whoop! *cough* Now, that I got that out, if you have letters, don't forget to link up. Have a safe bank holiday weekend.

Love, Kat
--------------------------


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When I Went To Savannah I Didn't Get a T-shirt, but I Did Wind Up Getting a Tetanus Shot

So about once a year I take a pilgrimage down to Savannah or my buddy Jess shleps her rear end up to Charleston for our one night of awesomeness. This night usually involves multiple bars, friends, beer, more friends, more beer, and usually ends up with someone singing karaoke. There was no karaoke this year, but we did have a blast.

This year I went down to Savannah. Jess and KK (and their cats) were my most amazing hosts (though of course I missed having Bobby* in the house too) and provided me with the "magic couch" to rest my weary head on after our night out.

We started the night by heading to the local mexican restaurant and munching down on some fantastico food. All the while being entertained by a drunk flamboyantly gay man** and his girlfriend? Friend? Partner in crime? Who proceeded to dirty dance and grind upon each other like it was nobody's business in a CROWDED restaurant. They ended up getting kicked out and our waiter came over obviously slightly embarrassed and explained "Too much tequila". We of course were just embarrassed for them because good LORD, who does that?

After that we headed to the local sports bar where we called the troops (all the friends that I mentioned earlier) and decided what the game plan was for Jess's friend Ben's birthday. We had a beer and then went back to Jess and KK's place to get ready for the real night to begin.

(At this point I am going to take a bit of a sidebar from the story... Jess and KK have their own taxi driver. They don't call the company and wait for a driver to show up; they call one of the owners of the company and he comes to drive them downtown. Now, this seems like the most awesome set up ever right? Well it is, other than the fact that the cab driver is dumber than dirt and talks ALL. THE. TIME. I mean talks more than I talk and that is a lot. He means well and you can tell he is a nice guy, but....)(and now you will all look down on me for speaking the truth, but it's ok.)

We ended up going to Wild Wings (a chicken wings place/great bar) for a while, then heading across the street to Pour Larry's. I liked Pour Larry's, but the lines were horrible to get a drink. I ended up making friends with a guy at the bar and then switching seats with him in order to get served. Then his friend asked me to show him my boobs, which pretty much ended up with me shutting him down by saying I was married. (Man, that shuts them up every time***.) It didn't really matter much, because we were soon off to Bar/Bar where these pictures were taken.

Jess

Matt Damon**** (I can't remember his real name), Jess and Whitney

Matt Damon (I mean I really can't remember his name), Jess, Larkin and Me

Jess and Mandy

KK (I remember her name) and Me

Everything was going right as planned until I went to the loo. I got stuck in the cubicle. I mean I really really got stuck. I pushed and pushed and pushed on the lock until it finally gave. When it did finally give it gave me a cut on my finger that was pretty nasty. Of course I didn't want to make a big deal of it, but it really hurt. I went to the bartender (Christine, another friend of Jess') and asked for a bandage, but they didn't have any, so I sucked it up. One can't ruin the party because of a little cut.

We ended up getting home (thanks to our on call talkative cab driver) about 1am and we crashed out around 2am.

The next morning I drove back to Charleston and showed my mom my battle wound. We went back and forth and then I decided to be safe I should probably go get a tetanus shot. I don't care who you are but getting your finger cut by metal in a bar is never a good thing. Of course it was totally worth it though.

*I don't know how I didn't end up with a single picture of Bobby in my camera.
** Who Jess and KK recognized as being a guy who was once in every single one of their pictures on a night out...
*** Actually, I think that was the first time I have been obviously hit on in a bar since I got married.
**** I feel really bad that I can't remember Matt Damon's real name.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Let's Get This Straight

My mom relayed this little gem of a conversation that she heard between LaLa and KiKi to me.

Apparently, KiKi, wasn't listening to what her sister was saying and this was obviously making LaLa really upset. This is fairly typical around here. Of course, then LaLa went to set KiKi straight about how to world works.

"KiKi, I am the boss of you since I am older, Mom is the boss of me, and Dad is the boss of Mom...sometimes....when he is home."

Let's get this straight, kid. Nobody is the boss of me. Usually.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Dear So and So....Back In England

Dear Body Clock,

I feel like we have already had this conversation a few weeks ago, but here goes again. I am in England not the USA. It would be really nice if you would let me go to bed before 3am so that I didn't sleep til 11am. Today I had to force myself out of bed at 9am, thankfully the sun is shining so it made it a bit easier to be awake. So, please, please, please get with the program. Otherwise, in a few weeks when school starts and I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn I will not be a happy bunny.

Can We Work Something Out?, Kat
----------------------

Dear Children of Mine,

I know it is the summer holidays but bedtime is still 8pm. I know I am mean and horrible, but do you remember how hard it was the first day of school last year? I do. Momma isn't playing that little game again this year. Live and learn.

Love, Mom
----------------------

Dear Weight Watchers,

I was NOT good on holiday. I'm just sayin and all. Don't get all "holy moly, you gained how much?" on me. It was tasty and I do not regret a single bite. Ok, maybe I regret a few of them.

Love The Slightly Pudgier, Kat
----------------------

Dear Subway,

How can you be out of meatballs? Isn't that like one of you main sandwiches? Do you know my husband ended up eating ham and cheese sandwiches for both lunch and dinner because of this little oversight? He was not impressed. Neither was I.

Regretting My Love of Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, Kat
--------------------

Dear Readers,

I hope you didn't miss Dear So and So too much. It has been a crazy few weeks and it slipped my brain a few times. I hope you have some lovely letters for me to read. Don't forget to link up if you have letters.

Love, Kat
-------------------


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Transitioning

When a military spouse comes back from a deployment or TDY (temporary duty) there is always a bit of time that it takes for the family to transition back to normal. Mind you "normal" could not be the "normal" that you had before the absence at all. You have to find a new normal each and every time the spouse comes home. It can almost be like the end of the "honeymoon" period of a marriage. There will be irritations, little fights about small things, bickering, and sometimes hurt feelings, but there is always the under current of love and adoration because you have missed your partner for so long.

For me this is always a bit of a rough period because I am used to calling the shots when The Man is away. I like the independence I have when he is away. I like having the remote control at all times. I like being able to go here and there with no regard to his opinion. Not that he cares where I go, I just like to be able to go without informing him where I am going. I like not having to leave a note so he doesn't worry. I like to take my own sweet time when it comes to cleaning the house. I don't let it get to absolutely disgusting levels of uncleanliness, but it definitely gets to the level of "lived in" before I feel the urge to clean. The hubby likes to come home to a tidy house, so there is that when he is home. I am used to doing all the disciplining, comforting, and parenting when he is not around and sometimes I feel like my toes are being stepped on when he steps in. It doesn't matter how much I moan about how I feel like I am a single parent and I just want a bit of help when he is gone; this always happens. We have vastly different parenting styles.

This transition has been especially odd though, I haven't felt like my toes are being stepped on at all. We seem to be doing a lot of giving and taking when it comes to this whole parenting thing. We only have one car right now, so he's gonna know where I am going anyway. OK, well the cleaning thing is still a bit of a sticking point, but I just get on with it and he helps out as much as he can (He washed the walls yesterday, for real). I just can't help but sit here and wonder what is so different about this transition in comparison to the others. Is it because the children are older? It is because we are older? Is it because we have done this so many times now? Is it because of the hurried nature of our reunion? Is it because of the impending surgery? Is is because we were ONLY separated for two months? I can't put my finger on it. I just know that I am glad he is home.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going...And Take An Impromptu Trip Through Europe Pt 2

What is a girls supposed to do when marooned in Germany? Get on Facebook of course. Judge me for my social media addiction later. Facebook just may have saved my tail this time. When I finally got to my hotel room, the first thing I did was unpack my laptop and hook up to the internet. First, I wanted to let everyone know where I was. The Man was in transit from Korea to the UK, so I figured the first place he would look would be Facebook when he got home. He knows my habits entirely too well.

My status update said "I'm in Germany" Which gotalotof comments and I explained that I only had the room for the night. I immediately had an outpouring of help. People started researching commercial flights for me and sending memessages.

I then tongue firmly in cheek updated my status to "Anyone want to pick me up at Ramstein and drive me home?" I didn't think that actually had a snowballs chance in hell of working. I then got an instant message from my best friend here saying "You remember my friend, R, I bet he would do it" Jaw hit the floor. Not because I didn't think he wouldn't really do it, but because he might actually. I then reached out to R andhe to my disbelief got himself organized, bought a chunnel ticket and headed to Germany from the UK. The whole process of talking to him and him leaving took about two hours. In my hasty negotiations I may have told him I would drive some...completely forgetting that his van is a manual and I only drive manual poorly at best.

I went to sleep after talking to The Man who had arrived home and gave him a brief rundown of the situation. I barely slept a wink all night, mostly due to nerves (because I was sure that I was being punked and that R wouldn't really show up the next morning) and also because KiKi decided that 2 am was the perfect time to be completely awake and having a conversation with me.
At 8am my alarm went off and I got thekids out of bed and started getting them dressed for the day. I was still freaking out because I was sure that R was going to not show up. At 8:20 I got a text message from R saying that he would be to the base inan hour and I started breathing again. I didn't need to hold my breath anymore. The other shoe didn't drop.

R showed up at the main hotel just as I checked out; I loaded my things and children into his van and we hit the road. About an hour into the drive R asked me to take over driving. I brought up my driving issue but seeing as how R had driven all night to pick me up, frankly me only barely being able to drive a manual transmission actually seemed like the safer of the two options. He shifted as I did the clutch and gas and then I cruised along the autobahn at a respectable 85 mph (NO SPEED LIMITS BABY!!) (getting passed by Audi's and BMWs like I was standing still) for the next two hours until we reached Belgium. R was snoring away as I with glee announced "We're in BELGIUM!!" Which was of course met by KiKi with "I've got to pee!"

I coasted and then stalled the van out at the first rest stop I could find.

Belgian Rest Stop Cows

R, resumed driving when we left the rest stop and we continued through Belgium and ended up taking a detour though the center of Brussels.

Brussels, Belgium

Then we headed into France to Calais to take The Chunnel back to the UK.

Heading Down to The Chunnel Trains

Overall it took me 9 hours to make it back home. I had the help of some wonderful friends. I found an angel disguised as a tough New York Italian in R. I saw a "DiaperNinja"...


I also got to cross a few things off my bucket list.
1. Drive on the Autobahn
2. Go to Brussels
3. Go through The Chunnel

I really would like to thank all of those who helped me get back home to my husband before his surgery. I could have never done it alone and I will never EVER under estimate the power of prayer and social networking again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

When The Going Get's Tough, The Tough Get Going...And Take An Impromptu Trip Through Europe Pt.1

The kids and I landed in Germany at 3pm local time on Friday. I had maybe two hours of sleep on the plane and we had been traveling since roughly 4:30pm east coast time on Thursday. I was tired. My body clock was completely confused and I just wanted a bed. After we made our way though customs and German immigration, I gathered the girls and we headed to the base hotel across the street from the passenger terminal.

As the girls stood next to me I asked the man at reception, Otto, for a room.

"We have no rooms, we are completely booked. You can maybe check in the reservations room to see if they can find you something on one of the other bases close by," he explained to me in a thick German accent.

I felt tears threatening to well up in my eyes, blinked them back, and said "You have got to be kidding me..."

"No, ma'am, I am not kidding"

Those Germans and their sense of humor...

I wandered to the reservations room, dragging my gigantic suitcase behind me and asked the pretty blond girl sitting at the first desk about any room availability elsewhere. They had nothing as well. She suggested that I check back in an hour.

I went back into the lobby, sat with the children and tried my best not to cry. Here I was in Germany, with two children, a suitcase that probably weighed 70 lbs and no plan. The next plane to the UK was not going to be leaving until Monday and I couldn't even find a hotel room for one night. I sat with the children and tried to keep my spirits up. Surely, things would work out. Surely, I wouldn't have to sleep on the lobby or passenger terminal floor. I kept compulsively checking my watch and enviously looking at the people who had obviously had the luxury of planning receive their keys and head to their rooms.

An hour passed and I checked the reception desk. Still no rooms. I headed to the reservation room. At the point I must have looked pitiful. I bypassed the pretty blond girl and headed over to the middle aged woman sitting on the opposite side of the room.

"I need a room for the night for me and my two children and frankly I don't care if it is a broom closet; I just need to sleep." I don't know if it was because I looked the a haggled mess or if it was because something magically "freed up" or what, but we ended up in a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom suite with a kitchenette, dining room, and living room for the night. Only for that night though. We would be put out on our ear the next morning.

After a short ride across base with our German taxi cab driver, we arrived at our building. I lugged my 70lb suitcase up 6 sets of stairs to the 3rd floor. There of course was no lift. Oh well, just another bump in the road. Par for the course, really. I was just happy to have a room. Now, I just needed a plan....

SIlent Sunday



Silent Sunday

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Travel Update- We Have a Flight....Maybe

I am trying for a flight tomorrow. Hopefully, I will get on it. Ya never know with Space A travel. I could show up there and be told that the flight is full or canceled or I could get right on it. If I do get on it I will be heading to Germany and then figuring out my next move from there. It could be a RyanAir flight or another Space A military flight. It's all really up in the air.

I spoke to my husband this morning and he still doesn't know when he is leaving Korea for the UK. He says that he is feeling alright unless he is on his feet too long; then the hernia starts to burn. He should be having his surgery about a week after he gets to the UK. His doctors in Korea have already been in touch with the doctors in the UK. I am just hoping all the information is relayed efficiently.

I am off to bed now, with a queasy feeling in my stomach. I really hope I get this flight tomorrow. I would hate to have done all that packing for no reason.

Update- I got an email from my husband. He is leaving Korea and will probably be home before me. I have all my friends in the UK on alert and ready to help him out. My flight has been pushed back by an hour. This could change. Again. I just have to keep calling and checking flight times today and crossing my fingers that if they plane does leave today that I will be on it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Houston, We Have A Ginormous Problem

You guys do realize that I can't do anything the easy way and something always goes wrong, right? There is never any sort of smooth and easy sailing in the world of Kat. We always have to do something the hard way, and since it was so easy for me to catch the Space A flight to the USA, Murphy's Law decided to kick me in the butt HARD at the end of my holiday.

I got an email from my husband this morning that he was returning to the UK early because he has a hernia and needs surgery. Yay he's coming home! Wait, I am in the USA!!! CRAP. So, I called him and found out the details, which are there are no details yet. He doesn't even know when he is flying home yet, but he knows it will be really soon. So basically I need to get home as soon as possible.

I am working on getting a flight out of Charleston to Germany, because they don't fly into the UK very often from here. I am just afraid that I am going to get stuck in Germany. I have started looking into Ryanair flights and Easy Jet flights just in case the Space A flights from Germany don't pan out. I have a really good support system in the UK just in case he beats me home. I am just trying to trouble shoot and put out the fires as they spring up. I am also trying to get all the laundry done, souvenirs packed and children entertained; whilst simultaneously repeatedly checking the Air Force Base flight schedule and trying not to freak the freak out. Right now though, I really just want to run screaming down the street pulling my hair out.

I knew this holiday was going entirely too smoothly, well other than that pesky tetanus shot...

That was totally worth it though.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Little More Than Halfway Through...

I have been on holiday here in the states for exactly two weeks now. I have run from here to there seeing my friends and family. I have gone to the beach twice and the pool a few times and since it is a 100 degrees in the shade here in Charleston, I have decided that that is just not acceptable. I am on vacation dangit!

So here is my vow. I vow to spend as much time as humanly possible at the beach or in a pool. It is the only way to go when the air outside is so thick that it is like breathing concrete. I will wear as much sunscreen as humanly possible and rock my shades.



Oh, yes, we're gonna do this vacation right. If you need to find me, I will be somewhere in my bathing suit.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Things to Do While On Your Summer Holiday

Visit Family.


Play with bubble gun.


Meet your new cousin.


Visit a tourist attraction.



Walk across a gap in the mountain on a rope bridge and in the process give your mother a heart attack.


Enjoy the view.


See a waterfall.


Learn to swim!!