An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gimme Your Money

For a Junior League fundraiser for the Children's Advocacy Center (works with abused children) I have visited over 24 local stores, begging for money and auction items. I've also helped mail invites and get decorations ready.

I am so tired! We got a lot of gift certificates from the restaurants, two ceiling fans from Lowes (odd, but generous), and possibly a really nice quilt. I also got a winery to donate and a few other businesses. Hopefully this will bring in lots of money for the kids.

A lot of larger businesses have cut down on their giving after the Hurricane--they are either going entirely through the national office or they have chosen just one charity to support.

Still, I think we will do pretty well....the event is also almost sold out and we just started selling tickets.

One of my stops was Petsmart...and I made the mistake of looking at their adoption center. Two little kitties called out to me when they saw me look. One started purring as soon as I ame near the cage--I did not even have to touch him. I already have two adorable kitties and the baby on the way...please give me strength. I'd adopt them all if I could.

While a friend and I were soliciting for prizes, we went out for Sushi. There we chatted with a member of DH's fan club, the Sushi chef. He went on and on about how smart, how handsome, how successful and how brave my husband is.

Of course he is; I married him.

Still, it never fails to amaze me how DH just draws everyone in and wins them over.

More blogging when things settle down a little.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Which Celebrity Do You Look Like: Face Recognition

I spotted this on Dlisted. Try out this new face recognition software and find out who you look like....let me know in the comments section.

On my first photo, I looked like a lot of Asian actresses...a lot of people have always thought I looked part Asian.

Yoon-jin Kim tops my first list. I can kinda see it. Also on this list were Lucy Liu and Michelle Yeoh.

Not being Asian, though, I decided to try another photo. This time Avril Lavigne (above) and Amrita Rao (below) were at the top. Okay, so now I'm South Asian, I suppose--that explains why all the Indian guys in college hit on me, I guess.

I actually think Avril Lavigne is a pretty close match of all of them (but my eyes are more almond shaped and my nose is rounder at the end). So, if you want to know what I look like, apparently it is a cross between Avril Lavigne, Alyssa Milano, and Yoon-jin Kim.

Other big matches:
Alyssa Milano 70%
Norah Jones 68%
Kristin Kreuk 68%
Mai Kuraki 66%
Holy Marie Combs 66%
Natalie Imbruglia 66%
Kate Winslet 64%
Namie Amuro 64%
Cate Blanchett 63%

Friday, February 24, 2006

FRG-filled Week

We've had the first marriage meltdown of the deployment.

A soldier came home on midtour leave to discover that his wife had spent all of their money on her live-in lover and was neglecting their child.

She quickly agreed to a divorce and to give him custody. He made arrangements for his mother to take the toddler, but at the last minute, mom's boyfriend nixed the idea. The father-in-law is a registered sex offender, so that eliminated the in-laws.

The Platoon Sergeant, who is a top-notch soldier, asked him mother if she could take the child for the rest of the deployment; the amazingly kind and generous lady agreed.

I had once helped this wife get groceries when we were anticipating a storm. We knew that she was a little on the irresponsible side, but had no warning that the situation had gotten this bad. She had moved out of state during the deployment, though, so she was somewhat off of our radar.

The soldier spent his leave getting divorce and custody paperwork done and transporting his child back to our area.

Last night we had our Officers' Wives Coffee--normally this is a social gathering for all of the Officers' and First Sergeants' wives...but very few officers in our Battalion are married and of those who are, their spouses just don't seem interested. So, we usually have about four to sixe people show up. Still, it is nice to get together.

Then, this morning was the Battalion steering committee meeting, or as our new fearless leader likes to call it, the Battalion "Huddle." These are always fun...two of the FRG leaders are not married to the commanders and do not get much support from the commanders. Also, we discovered that at least one soldier is not on the Rear D commander's list. I do not understand how the military can have such a poor record keeping system.

Then we discussed the Video Teleconference Call that FRG and Battalion leadership was supposed to have. We are hoping to turn this into a call for families...we'll see how that goes.

Well, that was my FRG-filled week.

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I spoke too soon.

Immediately after I blogged about the cats leaving the roses alone, Loki (who lives up to his name) knocked over the entire vase.

I had to mop it up PDQ because it had that flower food in the water. Luckily the vase did not break.

While I'm on the topic of cats, poor Loki had a hairball this morning. I bought some hairball remedy treats and I'm open to suggestions.

In exchange, here's a product rave--a couple of days ago I picked up the Litter Locker and I do not know how I did without it!

When I found out I was pregnant, I looked at automatic litter box. A friend recommended the Litter Robot, but I didn't want to pay that much. So, I purchased a Litter Maid automatic litter box. This did not help at all. In fact, I think I came into more contact with the litter than with a simple scoop litter. "Stuff" stuck to the comb and the comb broke up things in the box. The disposable containers were expensive and "stuff" would leak out when I tried to remove them.

The Litter Locker, on the other hand, actually minimizes my contact with the litter. No bags to tie up and take out to the garbage every night. Definitely worth it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Roses from Iraq

When DH found out that his attempt to send me a Valentine's bouquet did not work, I guess he ordered a new bouquet.

This morning the doorbell rang (which all of the people who have had a deployed spouse know is pretty low on our list of favorite things) and there was a box of a dozen roses.

The note from DH read:

The computer may have eaten my Valentine's Day order, but that doesn't mean you don't deserve roses on a random day of the week.

How sweet is my guy?

...and so far the cats have been leaving the flowers alone. Wonder how long that will last?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Secret Ultrasound

A friend, who is a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital I will not name, snuck me in for an ultrasound.

TRICARE is so stingy with ultrasounds that I do not get my first one until 19 weeks. My friend has had about five and she is only at week 17, two weeks ahead of me.

I was sitting at home, catching up on e-mail and deciding whether I should clean or work. I was thinking about baby (of course) and about how, other than hearing the heartbeat almost a month ago, I really do not even feel like this pregnancy is real.

Through some strange psychic connection, my friend calls--would you like to come get an ultrasound? Would I?

I checked with her about a zillion times to be sure she wanted to do this--I did not want to do anything unethical or get her fired! She insisted that she checked with her immediate superviser and everyone was fine with it. Apparently on slow nights they get a little bored there.

So, I drove over about an hour or so ago and they did the ultrasound on me.

Baby is definitely there and definitely alive. On the screen I could seen baby sucking a thumb, waving, kicking, stretching, and generally wiggling around. Truly amazing. She couldn't work the knobs to zoom and focus so we still do not know gender, but I am so happy!

Just like with the heartbeat, it feels so much more real...even more amazing, though, because I saw it with my own two eyes.

I e-mailed DH a scan of the only image that looked like anything printed out--a shot of the profile. I'll post it once DH has had a chance to look at it.

DH just logged on right after I published the post so here is a first look at baby, though the printouts don't do justice to what I saw on the screen!

De-Ice Killeen

We had an ice "storm" on Saturday. I say "storm" because it would have been a non-event in New York but around here it was treated as a sign of the Apocalypse.

Of course, this is the night my friend and I pick for a girls night out in Austin. What do two pregnant ladies do on a cold icky night out? Eat mostly. One guy tried to hit on us, in a row as we walked past him. We considered going dancing or to a jazz club, but we were tired and a little concerned about the smokiness of clubs in Texas.

On the way home, we saw no fewer than ten major accidents along I-35 and I saw another one on my way home from her place. Fortunately, my friend is from Nebraska and was driving an SUV, so I felt pretty safe.

The next morning, I went to go check out the baby sale at Toys R Us and a bridge on a major road was shut down, so I had to drive around a bit. Since I was down by the highway, I ran errands...I really miss running errands with DH! He makes it so much more fun.

With the icky weather, it has been kind of blah here. I hate driving around Killeen in this weather since DH and I have both been hit here--one time a cop almost hit me! My theory is that it is all these 18 year olds driving way too much car, without the parental threat of grounding should they get into accidents. I am really nervous about getting hit while I'm pregnant.

On a positive note, you may remember that I was a Brigade Volunteer of the Month. I am the volunteer of the year from my Battalion, so I have to submit all sorts of info about all the different volunteering I do on and off post. I don't think it will go any farther than that because I haven't really made any unique contribution to the division or to post; most of my work has been for the Battalion and for the Junior League, but it is nice to know the ladies in the Battalion FRG appreciate my efforts!

Also, the guys got the last banner we signed for them at the FRG meeting and DH says he was impressed with my paint job--the FRG leader drew the design and I painted it.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Not One of My Best Days

Today was blah--although my mood is good.

I woke up to go to volunteer tutoring and had a TERRIBLE headache.

It has been really hot in the house so I think I got dehydrated. I've got the ceiling fans on now but I refuse to turn on air conditioning in February.

So, I slept for another hour, had a cup of tea and several cups of water, and started to get myself together.

Then the toilet clogged. So, I had to go next door to borrow a plunger.

Then I spent the rest of the day wrestling with some really buggy proprietary software have to use for one of my consulting projects.

Then I agreed to write an article that does not really interest me for a magazine just so they keep coming to me with more articles.

Finally, I received an e-mail from our FRG leader. Rear Detachment is going to call all of us to verify our numbers and check on us. Some of the ladies don't have e-mails (and many who do not have e-mails are not 100% comfortable with the English language), so as a key caller I have to now find time to call all of the ones on my list ASAP so they aren't freaked out by a call from the military while their husbands are deployed.

One of the ladies on my list seems to be having some difficulties, so I have to try to draw that out of her as subtly as possible.

On a brighter note, I've received some nice Valentine's cards from friends and family and I have plans to get out of town for a little this weekend.

Also, at least having to ask for the plunger meant that I finally got around to asking my neighbor over.

Things are looking up!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Locks of Love Donation

Today I donated my hair to Locks of Love. It was fun!

DH said I looked like Charisma Carpenter (what a sweetie my DH is!)...must be when she was pregnant because you can already see my baby bump in one of the pics.

Not the best photos of me, but I figured I would share to give you an idea of the dramatic difference:

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My Valentine's Day Presents from DH!

Dh decided to experiment with Yahoo! voice today. There was a lot of static, so we could not really carry on a conversation, but I did get the treat of hearing his voice.

During our IM session that followed, DH told me that he attempted to send flowers back when they still were using the computer banks. The order apparently did not go through but it really is the thought that counts!

Besides, some of my old sorority sisters had sent me flowers this week anyway--although that is not as special as flowers from Hubby, I still have flowers brightening the house.

Maybe the mysterious flowers will appear at some later, unexpected point.

What did arrive in the mail today:

* A special baby book from one of DH's friends who recently moved to Australia and had a baby with his wife there.

* A gift package of chocolates, a candle, and soap from my "Secret Pal" in the Junior League

* Best of all, a present from DH:

A couple of weeks ago DH also said that he had sent me something silly but useful from the P/X...I said, "That sounds like me: silly and useful."

Perfect timing--the envelope arrived today. He bought me a little glasses kit. Before he left, mine had fallen apart. DH remembered and knows me well enough to know that I haven't bothered to fix them since then (I tend to let these little "just for me" things drop).

What a sweet gesture! DH takes care of me, whether he is near or far...and the handle of the mini-screw driver is red, so it is perfect for Valentine's Day.

Now that is real romance!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I volunteered tutored today and the kids were all hyped up on a sugar high. This holiday is worse than trying to teach during Halloween.

Since DH has received his Valentine's Day package, I can now tell you what I sent to him.

I took one of the priority boxes and dressed up the inside with Valentine's wrapping paper and lots of hearts. I also threw in some random Walmart Valentine's stuff, like a red "I Love You" pillow--the kind of stuff I would never buy if he were home, but thought might be cute to send him. If I wore a signature fragrance, I would have sprayed that on, but DH has never been big on perfume.

Then I made a little "picnic" for him: hot chocolate mix, cheese and sausage, nutella, crackers, and snack mixes. I could not find a red checked table cloth so I included two red checked napkins. I tried to find one of those travel candles but I could not locate one at Walmart and I do not know if those are practical in Iraq anyway.

I also set up my tripod and took some pictures--nothing really shocking, but a little sexier than your everyday pictures. PG-13, maybe. I know some women are more courageous than me in this department but I am paranoid about these things (what if the Post Office HAD lost the package?) and besides, I was almost three months pregnant at that point!

I tried to play with the images a little on my computer to make them look like 1940s pin-ups, but instead they looked like 1980s album covers, so I used a cropped one for CD mix of romantic music.

I also printed out some more pictures from our trips for a album (decorated with all sorts of stickers) and put one in a little frame for him.

Finally, I included a regular letter and a love letter.

DH said that the only better present would be if I had jumped out of the box. What a sweet guy!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Making "Friends"

Strange for a blogger, but I am actually a pretty private person.

I make acquaintances easily, but not "friends." It takes a lot for me to feel close to a person and feel comfortable confiding in them. Even then, there are certain thoughts and feelings I would only share with DH--no one else.

Without DH around, I find myself in positions where my boundaries are challenged. For example, I was online at the commissary and this woman pointed to my bag that has a cat on it and asked, "Do you have a cat at home?" I just responded, "Yes." However, she clearly wanted to talk...she talked as we were waiting, as I was loading my groceries onto the belt, as I was paying, as I was leaving.

Normally I would have just avoided the conversation, but I strongly suspect she was very lonely. Maybe she is always like this, but she mentioned her husband is deployed and I got the feeling she does not have a lot of human contact. So, we chatted. I almost felt like giving her pamphlets for the installation volunteer program or something. She seemed like she needed to get out more.

Another time, however, I left my walls up.

There is an officer who is on Rear D because she is pregnant who always tries to make friends with me about our pregnancies. Keep in mind she is in a different battery than my husband and never said word two to me before she found out that she was pregnant. Now she wants to be best friends. She even tried to get the names and numbers of all of the pregnant wives in the FRG so she could chat with us about our pregnancies.

Maybe I should feel some sort of sisterly bond, but I just don't. This is no doubt in part because she just happened to get pregnant (with her second child) right before deploying--even though she is not in a longterm committed relationship. Perhaps it was just an accident, but here she is at home instead of in Iraq.

The other day at the FRG meeting she approached me as usual. I just answer her questions politely and walk away.

Then, while I was thinking about what to write to my husband on our Battery FRG Banner, she calls out my name. When I turn around, she says, "Smile! You look so serious." Well, duh. I was thinking. I was actually sitting on the banner with pen in hand--obviously about to write until she broke my chain of thought.

It is not like I walk around looking sad. In fact, a number of people have commented on what a happy pregnant lady I am. I am sure that I was probably smiling a second before.

That bothered me that she presumes to know me, interrupt my thoughts, and attempt to "cheer me up."

Maybe I am just a prickly person...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A PSA for Men: Why Women Say, "Don't Get Me Anything."

I've been catching up on work after my huge cold, so expect more posting next week.

In the meantime, I thought I would make a little Valentine's Public Service Announcement.

No doubt some men have heard their wife or girlfriend tell them, "Don't get me anything." They probably thought they were off the hook and, thankful for clear directions for once, did not get anything. If they conducted this little experiment in the past, they probably realized how mistaken they were.

So, why do women say, "Don't get me anything," when they really want something?

Let me explain.

She may have actually meant it when she said it. She thought about the consumerism of the holiday and the dwindling bank account or the kids' college funds and thought, "Our money can be better used."

Possibly she really wanted something, but was afraid of appearing greedy.

Another possibility is she wants something, but something heartfelt, rather than just purchased.

Finally, even if she really wants something, she does not want to have to ask--she wants to be surprised.

So, what is a confused male to do?

I suggest skipping the mall and the ATM machine and hedging your bets. Get her SOMETHING, but do not break the bank.

Write a poem and age the paper (before you write down the poem) with tea. It doesn't matter if it is the worse poem ever. This time it really is the thought that counts.

Make her dinner. My husband cannot cook, but one day he bought fresh pumpkin ravioli and pecan pesto and made me dinner. That was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me.

Frame a favorite photo.

Not your style? Well, then go for something that will remind her of all of the fun things you do together as a couple--whether it is hiking, tailgating, playing darts, or whatever.

The point is that it has to be unique and special... and if you think expressing your emotions is too girly, even if it is in the form of a "romantic game" on a dart board (whatever you hit, the other person does for you), suck it up. This is only one day in the year.

Your regular blogging should return tomorrow.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Ft. Hood Women's Clinic Actually Answered!

I am in shock. So far the Women's Clinic has been the bane of my pregnancy. I was not expecting this experience to be any different.

When I went to my last appointment, my midwife told me to call in two to three weeks to make my 18 week appointment, since the clinic only schedules appointments a month out.

My friend, having been told the same thing, dutifully called in to make her next appointment and after finally getting through was told, "We are booked through this month and we do not open next months booking for a couple of weeks. Call back then."

So, I was ready for the whole gauntlet.

Well, I called and they picked up on the first ring! They made an appointment at around the right time and they even made my sonogram appointment at the right time!

I am so excited to see my baby. Even though I am growing a small bump, I don't really look or feel pregnant yet. Only when I was hearing the heartbeat did this all feel real.

I can only imagine how surreal it is for DH to be so far away and trying to imagine that his first child is growing inside of his wife, who he has only seen on a grainy, slow webcam since he found out about the pregnancy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoon Controversy - Stephen Colbert (Kidding)

If you've been following the whole controversy and rioting over the Danish cartoons, I urge you to visit Comedy Central Motherload's collection of Colbert's most recent bits and view "Kidding."

If you do, let me know what you think.

The Vicissitudes of the Postal Service

Does anyone want to explain why two packages, sent from the same location at the same exact time via the same mail class to the same address would arrive at much different times?

DH received my package of plastic organizers (Field Artillery Red, Hooah!) for his room yesterday, but not his Valentine's Gift Package it is at least two days behind the other one at this point. If this is the only package to get "lost" I will be miffed. Hopefully it will arrive tomorrow.

In better news, I got a rare phone call today. DH has a second bout of illness, revenge of the Kuwaiti Krud. I don't know how we managed to share germs thousands of miles apart, but we were both sniffling through the conversation.

Still, the conversation was incredibly enjoyable. DH's voice is so rich and deep, it really has a calming effect on me.

I hope I did not overwhelm DH with my incessant talk about the pregnancy, the birth, and the baby registry. I try to hold back a bit with everyone else--even with one of my other pregnant friends, I want her to be able to enjoy the baby stuff with her husband who is home.

Since my mom lives in NY and DH is deployed, I mostly keep my obsessing to myself. When DH called, the dam broke and out poured the babymania.

Fortunately, DH's illness arrived at a relatively decent time. His platoon is on leave so he has been running around the FOB taking care of maintenance and other necessary and boring, but less intense, tasks. However, I know DH is itching to get back to the usual missions.

Hopefully he'll be in tip top shape by the time his men get back.

DH said my voice was healing for him--and I am more than happy to perform that wifely and patriotic duty.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

America's Future: Learning to Learn

At AVID tutoring today (I am a volunteer at the local high school), I finally convinced a group of young ladies that we should actually learn.

As part of the tutorial, the students are supposed to complete a worksheet with notes. They fear that if they discuss questions with me and each other (which is the real goal of the tutorials), they will not finish the worksheet and will therefore lose points in their AVID class.

Also, they only want to learn "what they are supposed to know" to do well on tests. They are afraid I might actually get them interested and they might waste brain cells on something that will not score them grade points in the near future.

Fairly typical stuff for teenagers, unfortunately.

Today I think I finally proved that we can discuss questions, complete the sheets, and cover the material they need to know for tests, but not before they put up quite a fight.

I actually had to take their textbooks away from them so they would not just copy information from the books.

The funny thing is, in New York, I was paid (two years ago) $90 per hour for private tutoring and $150 for AP tutoring. Here I am offering something for nothing and I have to fight them to give them this.

At the end, however, they admitted that we accomplished all of their goals AND they learned more than they would have just copying out of the textbooks.

A breakthrough!

Teenage girls can be stubborn, but no more so than me--especially with my extra decade-plus of stubborness experience.

Ten Things I Love and Miss About DH

It is time for a little whine, unfortunately not wine.

I caught some sort of cold (probably from all the little babies people keep shoving at me when they find out I am pregnant) that knocked me out most of the weekend.

My throat hurt so badly it woke me up several times. I wasn't running a fever, so I did not go to the doctor, but it was not a fun 36 hours.

DH is also sick and I cannot do anything to make him feel better (besides e-mails...hopefully he'll be better by the time my next letter or package arrives).

Also, I think it is finally sinking in that this is no field exercise; DH is going to be gone for a while.

So, to cheer myself up, I thought I would make a list of ten things I love and miss about DH (while he is deployed). This is by no means a complete list...just a snapshot. Maybe I will add another ten next month!

Now, in no particular order...

Ten Things I Love and Miss About DH

He does the dirty, annoying work--tossing the trash and paying the bills every week.

Even though he is really tough and strong, he is so gentle and loving with me (and the kittens)!

Just sitting in the same room and reading or working quietly.

He turns off the television and plays good (most of the time) music.

He takes me out to Thai and Indian food even though he would always prefer a nice steak (he even claims that these foods are "growing on him").

He buys me sunflowers (not roses, because the cats attack and kill them).

When I'm sick or feeling down, he makes me tea in a little dragonfly tea pot he bought me.

He listens to all of my problems and gives me excellent advice.

He loves adventure, and always wants to explore new places.

He sings to and with me--real songs or little songs we make up.

Physical closeness...I am using a euphemism not just because I am shy (which I am a little), but also because I do not want to attract more strange 'net searches than I already do. Besides this encompasses more than just one includes all the hugging and cuddling and backrubs, too!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My first tagging!

Dyzgoneby tagged me (although the link goes somewhere else right now ;-) ) ...a first for me!

4 Jobs You Have Had In Your Life

Soon I'll be Momma...but in the meantime:

1. Freelance Writer: That's what I am doing right now. I suppose I could list all my jobs as separate but where's the fun in that. I mostly write educational curricula and articles.

2. Teacher: That's what I was before DH decided to play GI Joe. I really enjoyed working with teenagers and teaching them writing, history, and art history, but this is a welcome break from administrators and insane parents. They cared more about high grades and paperwork than about teaching and learning.

3. Camp Counselor: One of the most fun jobs I have had. I could help kids to learn and have fun without all of the craziness of the school year.

4. Children's Party Entertainer: Definitely my strangest job. The agency would dress me up as Jasmine or Snow White or whatever and I would do face painting and balloon animals and story time. A lot of fun...except when the dads tried to hit on me.

I've also been a PR assistant for a not-for-profit, sold puzzle rings, temped for a summer, and probably a few other things I've blocked out.

4 Movies You Would Watch Over and Over

Tough one...I love SOOO many movies.

1. Dark Crystal: So magical! You can't beat the oldies. I just got it on DVD (a double with Labyrinth). I've heard they are coming out with a sequel; I'm a little worried.

2. Breakfast at Tiffany's: I shared this movie with DH when we started dating...and shhh...don't tell anyone...but he liked it, too!

3. Princess Bride: A chick flick that guys also love. DH and I play the rhyming game sometimes.

4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Funnier each and every time.

Runners up: Everything else by Monty Python, Elizabeth, Gone with the Wind, Tombstone, Red...the list goes on and on. I also love a good classic horror flick.

4 TV Shows You Love to Watch

When DH is not around, I keep the TV on for background noise, but I am usually writing or cleaning or something else, rather than actually watching the television.

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Not on anymore but I was shocked to discover how much I love this show. This has gotten me hooked on Angel and later Charmed, but Buffy is my fave.

2. Project Runway: They just crack me up and their designs are so fun. I've never made fashion a budget priority, but I like to look at it.

3. The Simpsons: Although I prefer the recent Family Guy over recent Simpsons, no animated show beats classic Simpsons.

4. The Daily Show: Even if Stewart is a liberal, he's still funny.

4 Places You Have Lived

1. NYC: The best city on earth.

2. The People's Republic of Cambridge: Not bad. Closes down too early.

3. New Haven: Will always hold a special place in my heart.

4. Killeen, TX: Where I am right now. I'm trying to be positive today so I will leave it at that.

4 Places You Have Been On Vacation

This one is tough, because DH and I LOVE traveling. I couldn't even rank my four favorites because they have all been so amazing.

1. Southeast Asia - Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok: Just so different from anywhere I've been before. The religious culture and architecture was just so fascinating to me and the people were so friendly.

2. Eastern Europe - Prague, Budapest, and Transylvania: Other than beer, beer, and more beer...well, there is the fun cities, the awesome cathedrals, and the charming countryside

3. Inca Trail: The most challenging vacation I ever took...and I loved camping out with my husband in ancient ruins.

4. Andalusia in Spain: Beautiful blend of cultures, gorgeous architecture, and yummy tapas.

4 GREAT Places Where You Just Said, "Eh .."

1. Cancun: Just not my scene.

Other than that, I really just approach the world with a sense of wonder. I still occasionally pull over to watch the turkey vultures and hawks after a year and a half in Texas.

Nature, Art, Culture, all just continues to amaze me.

4 Websites You Visit Daily

Embarrassing... but I actually spend too much wasted time on the 'net.

1. Various Comics and Political Cartoon Websites, see my sidebar for some.

2. Rantings of a Sandmonkey: One of the first blogs I ever started reading--still one of the best.

3. Various Celeb Gossip Blogs: Just to keep up with my friends' pop culture knowledge.

4. Household Six: The majority of my non-work related internet time.

4 Milblogs You Visit Daily

I don't know if I visit daily, since most of them don't update daily.

1. The Patriette: I love her perspective and am constantly amazed at how our lives sometimes seem to parallel.

2. Days Gone By: I guess I have to mention you...hahaha, just kidding.

3. Patiently Waiting...: Always leaves me comments, which I LOVE...

4. Blue Star Chronicles: An excellent summary of what is going on in our virtual milworld.

There are more...see my tags and my sidebar...

4 People to Tag

1. The Patriette

2. Karen at Life As I Know It: Just such a sweet, admirable person.

3. Katy at Poop, Paxil, and Pageantry: Just gotta see her answers

4. Val at Ruminations of the Ordinary: She's interesting and she says she has just rediscovered my blog...let's see if she lost it again or not.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Don't Marry a Jerk!

This new program has some good advice. I saw the article posted on a MilSpouse board and thought I'd share it with you.

Unfortunately, I think it will be about as successful as any other program aimed at 18 year olds.

"Being in the military certainly raises the stakes when you choose a mate," said Lt. Col. Peter Frederich, head of family issues in the Pentagon's chaplain office

.The "no jerks" program is also called "P.I.C.K. a Partner," for Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge.

It advises the marriage-bound to study a partner's F.A.C.E.S. — family background, attitudes, compatibility, experiences in previous relationships and skills they'd bring to the union.

It teaches the lovestruck to pace themselves with a R.A.M. chart — the Relationship Attachment Model — which basically says don't let your sexual involvement exceed your level of commitment or level of knowledge about the other person.

This is What it Takes to Get Some Positive Press

In order to get positive press, all you have to do is save their lives...

Person of the Week: 4th Infantry Division Soldiers

Feb. 3, 2006 — Maj. Michael Jason and his team from the 4th Infantry Division evacuated ABC News' Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt from the danger zone just minutes after the roadside bombing in Iraq.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Oh Romeo, oh romeo...

This evening the Vive Les Arts Theatre in Killeen had a preview performance of Romeo and Juliet and a reception for the spouses of deployed soldiers.

So, I asked some of my friends to go and we had a great time.

There was some confusion about the starting time and the even was not well-promoted. So, I spoke with the director and offered to help get the word out next time. Apparently the last unit that was deployed had several spouses on the board and there was a better turn out. It is so nice that the theater does this for us--I would love it if more spouses attended next time.

They have a mix of kids and adults in the cast and the performance was very enjoyable. They structured the play as part of a classroom lesson, with faculty "guests" playing the older roles. I would have personally gone even further with this...creating more of an interplay between the classroom and the kids lives...but it still was an interesting conceit.

Even in Killeen with no husband around and a pregnancy preventing any alcohol-related buzz, there is still fun to be had!

Still, I miss MY Romeo...

Nice Day, Awful Night

Well...I had a lovely day. I dropped off DH's Valentine's Package and some plastic organizers for him at the post office and then drove all the way down to San Antonio to see a friend from D.C. who was visiting in-laws.

She's young than me, but she just had her second child. Absolutely beautiful kids. I really enjoyed the day.

Then, on the drive back, I decided to go off the main highway and take a smaller, darker main road (195 for you Texans) back home. Bad idea.

I was stuck in a monsoon. I was so tense, when I woke up this morning, I just needed to go back to sleep. I decided since I was pregnant, I better listen to my body. So, I missed my volunteer tutoring today.

Well, on the bright side, I think the drought has been broken.