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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Turn at the Rotary"

I was blog stalking Domesticated Combat Boots, and she is currently in Boston. It made me reminisce of when we lived in Western Massachusetts, in fact we lived there when I started this little blog. Paul was stationed at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, working with a reserve unit, as basically a guy who trains the Reserve Marines. We had lots of wild and crazy stories there, and lots of really good friends were made. But one funny memory that sticks out, was when we very first entered New England. 

sunset at cape cod 
It was beautiful a sunny day, and we were totally lost. This was before smart phones, and google maps. I had a list of directions printed out, and my trusty Rand McNally map in my lap as Paul drove. It was me and him, the Jeep and the U-Haul. Trucking along interstate 95. We were in New York City, and desperate to get to Massachusetts. Traffic was probably horrible and we were desperate for a short cut. The "Merritt Parkway" would get us off Interstate 95 and maybe even be a little faster! So we took our exit and ventured off our "Mapquested" path.
Somewhere around Greenwich, Ct we saw a sign on our little, beautiful, scenic highway that said something along the lines of no towing, or no trailers. This would explain people waving at us and giving us the finger, yelling from their cars, they were not welcoming us, We were not supposed to be there with our little U-haul. So we got off, unsure of where we were, and hoped for the best. We could not find our way back to the Interstate, and after, who knows how long (seriously, that was 10 years ago, I am surprised I remember this much) we stopped and asked for directions. 

somewhere in our neighborhood in Chicopee
I remember it was a mechanic, some older guy, gave us directions. "Go blah blah blah, to the rotary, and blah blah blah" 

So we drove off, and starting going over his directions, and looked at each other and said "So, What's a Rotary?" We pulled over again, and started making phone calls, I think we called everyone we could think of and no one knew. Again this was before smart phones, so we didn't have google at our fingertips. Finally I called my grandmother, thinking she has to know. Her best guess was an old pay phone, like a rotary phone. So we drove on, looking for an old pay phone. We never found one, but we did eventually find the Interstate. We arrived in Chicopee late that night and I think it was several days later when we saw a sign that said Rotary with a big arrow, this is how we learned that a rotary is a traffic circle, and not an ancient pay phone. 

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Friday, July 25, 2014


I have been working on a post about Okinawa, kind of a response, or a "here's my list" to Ramblings of a Marine Wife's post:  Top Things I Miss from Okinawa and I must say, I've been having a hard time with it. I love looking at all my pictures, and re-living all my experiences, but It makes me very sad too, very homesick. 
It doesn't help that I have so many friends that have recently arrived or still live on the island. So I see their pictures and updates frequently. I hope every day that Paul comes home from work and says "guess what? We are going back!" I know it's not going to happen, any time soon at least, but my heart says stranger things have happened. Someday we will go back. Someday. 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Toddler Tantrum

Things have been rough around here the last weeks or so. Can terrible twos start before two? That's the only explanation I've got.
We have had some pretty terrible tantrums here. It breaks my heart to watch my little girl get so upset because her cartoon is over, or the carrots got yogurt on them, or the dog (who is 12 pounds) stepped on her foot. We are also trying to work on enforcing rules, like you can't just dump out the cheerios if you don't want to eat them. Trying to enforce rules, also normally results in a tantrum. I don't want to raise a spoiled brat, but sometimes it's just easier to give in to her, because she doesn't understand. Yesterday I cried with her, as she cried, I don't even remember why, she cried a lot yesterday. 
The hardest thing about her tantrums is how she acts, She often starts thrashing about, and will intentionally hit her head on the floor,or on you if you are holding her. According to Dr. Google, this is normal because she is experiencing all these new emotions and becoming aware of them, but doesn't have the verbal skills to express herself, so she throws herself around or smacks her head into things. These are really the worst, I try to hold her so she doesn't hurt herself, but usually the tantrum then gets worse for a few seconds (minutes? feels like an eternity) before she starts to calm down. 
Parenting seemed relatively easy until now, the baby cries? Hold her, feed her, change her, one of the above was the answer, now there is no answer. I don't even think she understands why she is so upset, which makes it so much more frustrating for her, and in turn, me. I am doing the best I can, and I am doing what feels right to me, but sometimes it feels like I am not doing anything right. Like yesterday, I think my neighbors (who were outside) we're probably about to come check on us, because Evey SCREAMED for about half an hour as I tried to get her to pick up the cheerios she dumped on the kitchen floor, (or at least sit with me while I pick them up) and then we sat in Time-Out, while I counted to 10, the first time and 30 the second time, her screaming and thrashing around the entire time. But I didn't back down, and in the end we got the cheerios picked up and we made it through 30 seconds of time out. and she quieted down and we played with blocks. 
How do you handle tantrums and terrible twos? How do you help your toddler find their way back to that happy place? 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Daiso Japan!

The day we went to CoCo Ichiban (well, both times, we've been twice now) we also made a trip to Daiso Japan, also known as "The 100 Yen store". In Japan Daiso is a chain of 100 Yen stores that is similar to dollar stores, but better quality, at least in my opinion. And lots of functional things, cleaning, makeup, storage, foodware, decor, notepads and stationary. Some of my best memories from Japan are going out with one of my best friends in Japan to get pedicures, have Sunabe Gyro, and then going to the 100 yen store. 
So of course I was thrilled to find out there was some located in California, and they were promptly added to my "to-do" list. The nearest one is a bit of a drive, it's about an hour north of here, but so worth it.  We make a day of it and also go to Coco Ichiban, and there is also a Japanese grocery almost right next door to this Daiso, so it all works out nicely. It's almost like being back in Okinawa for a couple of hours. 

Walking inside it's like being transported back to Japan, the store looks just like the ones in Japan, they carry all the fun things that I miss being able to get everyday. And just about everything is only $1.50! Some of the larger items are $3 to $5 but I don't think anything is more than $5. 

We had so much fun, and I am already planning my next trip! 

I wish I had taken  more pictures, but the store was very crowded both times (on the weekend) and I think it's a little weird for me to be walking around with my DSLR taking pictures inside a store. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CoCo Ichibanya!

Before we even arrived in California, I had plans to head to Irvine, CA to go to two awesome places. The first I'll tell you about is CoCo Ichibanya. 

This is a curry joint that we frequented while in Okinawa. I am not sure what the draw of CoCo's is, we used to joke that they put addictive drugs in the curry. A lot of people don't really like it, or at least don't love it the first time, but you find yourself craving it later, and like that you are hooked. While we lived on Okinawa it was usually hangover food, or "i really don't feel like cooking and I want something spicy we can pickup and bring home" 

I think I am the only person who doesn't like these things, pickled radish or something

Cuttlefish Curry
(It's actually squid in the states, but we called it cuttlefish in Japan)

she loved it so much I couldn't get her to hold still

If you are in the area of Irvine, California, or around the LA area, you should step in for a bite! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Quitting Facebook?

As much as I don't care to admit it, I am addicted to facebook. I love reading about what everyone is doing, seeing their pictures, watching their kids grow. Part of what I love about Facebook is watching people air their dirty laundry. Watching someone share pieces of their life that should (in my eyes) kept private. Even though I think these things should be kept private, I still read about it. 
Another thing, Facebook can both make you feel better and worse about your situation that the same time. These people airing their dirty laundry? They are way worse off than I, because I don't really have that dirty laundry to air. But then their are the people who are in a great place, maybe a place you want to be, physically or emotionally. Maybe they are super fit, or they are living in some wonderful place, or maybe they are just really happy with themselves. 

Then there is all the random shit on facebook. I am so sick of seeing "give this kid with cancer 1 billion likes" or "like if you love jesus, ignore if you don't". Seriously? neither cancer nor jesus care about facebook likes. Then all the "woe is me" stories that turn out to be pathological liars? Where someone was discriminated against and thousands of people donated money or gifts, and the person turned out to be a liar? Those make me me a little jaded about all the "oh no, poor me" stories on facebook. Who can you really trust when we are all behind computer screens?

Recently, two private groups I am a part of had serious drama. Drama that has caused people to leave/be removed from both groups. Although I wasn't directly involved with either dramatic instance, I found myself lurking and reading all the posts, almost feeding off the drama. I found my heart racing to see what would be said next. Looking back at these I think I need to stop caring too much about other peoples lives, and focus on my own. 

I'm not leaving forever, hell I will likely be back on tonight. But I need to scale back the presence of facebook in my day. I need to refocus and not have facebook be the first thing I look at on my phone each morning. I need to not take a bunch of pictures and have my first thought be "that'll be a great profile picture!" And mostly I need to stop caring what drama is going on in other peoples lives. I am half tempted to leave all the groups I am a part of on facebook, but some of them have real good friends, and it's nice to have a private place you can go to a group of like minded (or at least similar minded) people to weigh in on something, like parenting or christmas gift ideas for your husband. 

I will not deactivate my account, I am not going to lurk and just not post, but I am going to step back and refocus on what's important on the internet. 


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Evelyn is 18 months!

banana face

Evey is a whole year and a half old. She is such an amazing little person. She is running, climbing, trying to jump. She is even talking, but just a little. She can say "mama" "dada" "cat" and "woof". Woof is the cutest thing ever, it sounds more like woo-woo, it's adorable.

bubble fun!

She is eating just about everything us big people eat, the only thing I don't give her is spicy stuff, some things she can handle, but I'm very careful. Evey's favorite new food is Japanese curry, we just tried it a few weeks ago and she loved it, even ate leftovers! She loves to play outside in her backyard with bubbles or on her slide. She is becoming quite an agile little monkey, climbing up things and impressing us with her smarts every day

Evey naps about once a day for an hour or two so mommy can get some diapers washed. We haven't started potty training yet, but we are letting her explore what the potty is. Evey is still breastfeeding and Co-sleeping part time. She has her own bed, set up in our room and she can climb into bed with us if she wants. She will normally spend most of the night in her bed and move when daddy gets up for work. She breastfeeds a couple times a day, mostly just for nap and bed time, but we get one or two extra in there depending on her. 

are you watching me?

She has all her teeth except 2 year molars and canines. but one top canine is cutting right now. We try to not watch too much TV, but she really loves Yo-Gabba-Gabba, and Turbo. Really anything with upbeat fun music, she loves. At her 18 month check-up she was 33 inches long and 24 3/4 pounds. She is growing like crazy, especially the last couple months, she has grown two whole shoe sizes and at least an inch or two since we left Montana. 

chubby little tamale 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A day at the beach

I've lived here a month now and only been to the beach twice, and once I only got out of the car to take a picture. I think I need to remedy that, and go to the beach again. 
Evey loved it, she loved the sand, the cool water, the sunshine. 

We went over memorial day weekend, while my parents were here. We didn't bring swim suits, we only went so we could say we had gone, and to let Evey have a little beachy experience. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Thanks for the warm welcome California!

A couple of weeks ago San Diego county was all ablaze, like I think at one time there was 10 or 11 fires going at once. It was crazy. It was also all started the day we had our stuff moved into base housing. It was a bit scary, I won't lie, I was a tiny tad worried for a day or two. Fire scares the shit out of me. But the wonderful firefighters on Camp Pendleton and San Diego County did a wonderful job of keeping us, and thousands of others, safe.

From Evey's bedroom window

Out our bedroom window

Fire scares the shit out of me. But the wonderful firefighters on Camp Pendleton and San Diego County did a wonderful job of keeping us, and thousands of others, safe.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

PCS Adventure Log Part 2

When we last posted, we had just left Virginia and we were on our way back West, working our way towards our new home in Sunny California! 
Our first stop was back in Albuquerque to rescue Aunt Andrea from all the animals! Because 3 dogs and 3 cats, makes her an animal hoarder. 

We then adventured back to Tucson, to spend a couple days with my family before we checked into California! 

Sadly here my camera stopped working correctly and don't really have any pictures until after we got to California. 


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