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An odd memory

I pulled my gun once, when I was in the military…. Not something I thought about at the time, but sometimes I still think about it. It wasn’t a huge life changing event, but it did make me think.

It was the middle of winter, so I was bundled up to where I could barely move. I was half way through my shift and freezing cold. The flight deck is a lonely place when your on watch. Do walk miles and miles around the perimeter of the flight deck and say hi to everyone who passes just for interaction.

Then I spotted it.
A black object floating toward the carrier.

I called down like I was supposed to and followed the object with my gun. The guy on the radio thought I was kidding and told me to open fire. I rarely swore, but I let out a stream that would have made any salty sailor proud. The watch leader took forever to get up to the top.

I sat there waiting. My arm got sore from holding my gun up, but we had been told horror stories of similar innocent blobs blowing holes in the side of carriers. So I kept my arm raised.

I had a lot of time to think while I waited. Could I actually pull the trigger? I’ve always been a good shot. I wouldn’t miss. But could I do it? Could I take one life to protect the countless others down below my feet? That’s why I’d become a sailor, or better yet, why I’d become an air traffic controller, so I wouldn’t have to find out if I could do it.

The watch commander and I stood there waiting. The blob finally turned enough to show it was a bag of garbage that must have fallen over the side. He went back down to figure out who to call to get the bag out of the water and I could finally give my arm a rest.

We later found out that the bags were a training exercise for divers. They had failed to tell us there was training that day. All I could think was that my gun had been pointed at that bag. What would have happened if one of the divers had shown up before we heard about the training? Someone could have been hurt.

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Staining in a uniform…

All military wives know the panic…. the one where their husband finds out that they needed their uniform ready, and some part of their dress uniform is messed up. Hence the reason I am up so late tonight. My husband needs his dress uniform in the morning, and although his uniform has been dry cleaned and his ribbons are new, there is of course a small problem…. His Dixie cup has a yellow mark in the back. Undoubtedly, the handiwork of our wonderful two year old Blue Eyes. So I am up, making sure his cover gets clean.

I managed to locate a second cover, and it’s getting washed at the moment, just in case I can’t get the yellow out. I’ve tried baking soda and vinegar, and I’ve tried the hydrogen peroxide mix…. I’m not sure what else there is.

So in the madness of transferring, and getting our new housing set up. In the madness of boxes everywhere and my kids unpacking as fast as we can re-pack it, I am up super late making sure his uniform is ready.

Isn’t that what us wives do though? We make sure our men are ready to fulfill their duties. We take care of their uniforms, and pack up when we need to. I’ve been in the service. I know how important uniforms and haircuts can be. For all of you military spouses…. What is your go to trick for uniform care?

Death of a Navy Man

My Grandpa, the Navy Man

My Grandpa, the Navy Man


Some people live and breath military. Everything about them screams the fact that they were part of the armed forces and that they love the red, white, and blue. From his hair cut to the faded blue tattoos on his arms, my Grandpa was a Navy man. And oh the stories he could tell. My favorite will always be when they were in port next to a Scottish ship and my Grandpa wanted to see if they wore “panties” under their “skirt”. Yep, my Grandpa was a rough and tumble Navy man. And nothing made him prouder than his children and grand kids that served.

There is something about older military men. They have an undying loyalty that we don’t see in today’s military. My Grandpa is the reason I chose the Navy. The way he talked about being on the Ocean made it seem like one of the greatest feelings in the world. I’m sure in his mind, he glorified the bad, but I can’t say I don’t agree with him. When I was still in the service, I was asked to be part of a burial at sea. It was cold and windy, and nobody wanted to do it, accept me. It seemed like the greatest honor I could give to someone who lived military. It was one of the best experiences in my life. The sound the the 21 gun salute, the rocking up and down of the ship, the spray of the icy sea on my face as I stood at attention. But most of all the family. The family who loved this die Hard Navy man, were standing there so grateful that we were there. I talked to one or two of the members and they did remind me of my own Grandpa. The greatest joy in his life had been the sea.

This memory can flooding back when my Grandpa died. My Grandfather was an old school Navy man. To his dying breath he was loyal to the Navy and everything it stands for. Honestly? There is a lot I don’t know about my Grandfather. Does he have a middle name? How old was he really? How long did he actually serve in the military? But when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter. My Grandfather was an energetic and spunky man. He was loving and full of colorful stories. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, but he’s been ready for heaven for a long time now. He was not a perfect man, but he was perfected in grace. I have never met someone so ready to be with Jesus.

Last sign of honor

Last sign of honor


I wasn’t able to make it to the funeral, it was to far for me to drive in the short time frame I had. I didn’t want to send flowers, because flowers wilt and I’m sure there were plenty there. My Grandpa loved two things beside all of us kids. He loved Jesus, and he loved the military. Thanks to my family, he had a military burial. Memories of the burial at sea made me think I needed to make sure there was something personal to honor my Grandpa’s time in service. My Grandpa would have never worn a baseball cap, so that was out of the question, but he needed something with dignity, that showed his love of the military. So I sent the only thing I could think of to honor his memory. I went to the military store and found a Petty Officer First Class pendant. Hubby and I rushed it to the mail to make sure it would get there in time, and I had my dad call when it arrived.

Although my dad is a veteran as well, he said he didn’t feel right pinning a Navy pin on a man that it meant so much to. Thankfully my cousin who had also been in the Navy, was able to attend. After the opening prayers, my cousin took the pin and placed it on the suit of this great man. My dad said it filled what was missing at the funeral. That final goodbye in the death of a Navy man.

Dear Snow White

My beautiful Snow White

My beautiful Snow White

My dear sweet Snow White,
You have no idea the joy you bring to my life. I love you and your brother so much. Right now you are busy exploring the world. I have to admit, you have already developed mommy’s temper. It’s not a bad thing, you may get angry easily, but you forgive and forget easily too. Learning how to walk has definitely brought your little temper out. Sometimes your daddy and I just have to laugh at how cute you look when you get angry (don’t worry, daddy laughs at mommy’s temper too).

Sweetheart, right now you are fascinated with music. If you hear it you have to crawl over and find out where it’s coming from. Mommy and daddy hope you will always love music, and we will do our best to let you hear all kinds of music. You do love the classical piano music, which makes mommy happy. Some day mommy will introduce you to the wonderful world of musicals and operas. We will put on our fanciest dresses and have a day out. Sometimes mommy will take Blue Eyes as well so that you can both can learn about the beauty of well composed music.

Mommy is so excited that someday we will play dress up and tea party. We’ll twirl around in dresses until you laugh. Baby girl, mommy wants you to know that if you don’t like dresses, that’s okay too. There is a time to dress up and look pretty, and there is a time when you will need to get dirty. Mommy hopes that you will learn how to be a strong woman who isn’t afraid of a little hard work, but that you will also know how to be a lady and treat people with respect. My love, you can keep your hair as long or as short as you want. Daddy and I argue about it now, but mommy will never make you wear your hair how you hate it.

There are so many things mommy hopes you learn. I want you to learn to be kind to all people, even if they are not kind to you. I also hope that you learn how to stand up for yourself and for people who are not able to stick up for themselves. I want you to learn how to appreciate beautiful things, but also how to make beautiful things as well. And most of all, I want you to learn how beautiful and how much value you really have. I want you to learn that you are a person of worth and that nobody can take that from you ever. I hope you teach others how to value themselves and how to love who you are. I also pray that you will pick someone who appreciates and treats you like you are a person of value. I know you will chose who you love and marry, but mommy wants you to learn to pick someone who treats you like you are the most important thing in the world. You deserve the best, my beautiful little girl.

Mommy knows you will have struggles. Mommy knows how hard it is to be a girl in a world that values the superficial. Mommy knows that you will have to learn how to stand up for yourself, and that mommy can only teach you so much. But my beautiful Snow White, I know you will have your daddy and mommy to love and support you. Mommy wants you to know that daddy loves you so very much. Sometimes he gets scared at raising a girl in todays world, but if you could see the way he looks at you, you would know you will always be daddy’s little girl.

I know you will fight with your brother sometimes. But mommy and daddy hope you will realize that you are here for each other. I hope you will stand up for your brother and he will stand up for you. He really loves you even if he pushes you down sometimes. Every night Blue Eyes has to help mommy put you to sleep. He lets you play with his teddy and sometimes he will let you hold on to his blankie when your tired. That’s very special my love. Your brother doesn’t share with most people.

Baby girl, I love you so much.
Mommy

Colors, potty training, walking, and Honest Company…

My kids are so full of energy. Some days it’s all I can do to keep up with them. Blue Eyes is sooooo active, I’m really considering putting him in gymnastics so he can tumble around. We have been working on a couple different things with him. One, he refuses to wear a diaper, so now we are working on potty training. He’s doing pretty well, although he likes to “be like daddy”, so sometimes he ends up peeing on the bathroom floor instead of in the potty. And he’s not so sure about number two on the potty. Two, colors. He loves to color. So now, instead of handing him the colors and letting him go to town on the paper, we actually name each color. Then if mommy has some time, we write the name of the color, or a shape, or sometimes numbers. He’s also learned to imitate singing. I have no clue what his songs mean, but they are so cute, I can’t help but smile when he’s singing.

Useful for counting, colors, and we went potty treats!

Useful for counting, colors, and we went potty treats!

Snow White has figured out how to scoot along the edge of the couch walking. She gets so frustrated when she falls, but she’s doing great. She is so mobile now, I turn my back and she’s attempting to escape out the door, the way Blue Eyes did. She also eats an amazing amount of food for someone soo small. I mean she’s right around eight months and wearing six month clothes. But when it comes to food, she can eat three jars of baby food in one sitting!

Snow White modeling the mermaid tail I made

Snow White modeling the mermaid tail I made

I know I post where I got the pattern from when I can. This tail pattern was not free, I did buy it. But it’s so beautiful, if you like it, you can find it here. The designer is a wonderful lady!

We also switched diapers this month. That may not sound like a huge deal but it is! No more sore bottoms for my poor babies. We found that the Honest Company, is really worth the extra cost. All natural and super hyper-sensitive. It’s amazing! This really is not a plug for the company, we were just desperate for something to work and finally found something. Plus, I love that I get to pick out the designs. Blue and green are Blue Eyes’ favorites of the moment, and some cute little strawberry ones for my little princess. They have been so great that I’m really about to try the laundry soap since I am allergic to almost all detergents. Okay, okay, I’m done talking about it…..

Have a great night!

Reason I’m crying….

Probably a year ago I ran across the most awesome blog every. Reasons My Son is Crying…. If you have kids, you understand. If you don’t have kids, you’ve seen kids like this…. and if you haven’t had either of those, you’ll get a good laugh anyways.

Blue Eyes has had a couple good meltdowns. The first time I tried to wash his blanket….. when I took his crayons away…
Tonight, I thought I’d share one of his current meltdowns.
Reason

Have a good evening!
-MB

Dear Mr. Blue Eyes

Mr. Blue Eyes and his "colors"

Mr. Blue Eyes and his “colors”


My dear baby boy,
You have no idea how relieved I am that you love your little sister so much. Right now, it’s a little frustrating when she gets a bottle in the eye, or when all 24 lbs of you tries to pick up all 10 lbs of her, but I’m so grateful that you have such a loving heart. I love that you want to help mommy take care of her. I hope that you will remember how much you love her when she is big enough to follow you around and get in the way. Right now sis sis is learning to crawl, and I know you don’t like sharing your cars, but I’m so happy you do. Some day she will discover princesses and tutus and then you’ll be left in peace with your cars and planes.
I hope you remember how much you love her when you two are fighting or teasing each other. I hope you will protect her when mommy isn’t around and that you will look out for her when you two are old enough to go to parties. I hope you will protect your sis sis when you both start school. It’s scary for mommy to know you are going to grow up, but you have mommy and daddy to teach you how to be a good boy and man.
Your mommy and your sister are your first examples of how to take care of your future wife. So when mommy is punishing you because you, “don’t hit girls” or making you open the door, it’s not to be mean. It’s because mommy and daddy want you to love and respect your future wife. We want you to grow into a man who deserves the best and knows how to pick someone based on quality not looks. Mommy and daddy want you to have a better life than we could ever hope for you. We want to teach you to be kind and strong. To protect those weaker than you, and care enough to rescue all of your little pup pups. We hope to teach you how to handle money better than we used to, and to value hard work.
Mommy is excited to explore the world with you and your sissy. I can’t wait to take you on adventures, and to dress up to find buried treasure. I can’t wait to take you to see plays and teach you how to have tea parties with your sister. Believe me, even if you don’t like dressing up, mommy will make sure there are plenty of cookies.
Today we color, and play airplanes. Today we pound on the piano, and splash the bathwater all over the floor. We dig in dirt and run around to the “Bananas” song. Today the dirtier the better. We steal sis sis’s hair bows and climb on the counters for cookies….
Someday, you will grow up, but for today, I’m going to enjoy you being my little wild child.
-Mommy

Cancer Strikes Again…

Domino, my furbaby

Domino, my furbaby


My poor furbaby has had a growth on the side of his paw. Between him and the other pups, they wouldn’t stop licking the wound. His poor paw was swollen and it was starting to bother him when he went for walks. We felt horrible and took him in to the vet. They said that it was cancer. There isn’t a whole lot we can do. He either has the kind that will spread, or he doesn’t. We could do a surgery and remove the cancer spot, but it’s horribly expensive and when we get it removed, there is only a 50% chance he will come out okay.

I’m heartbroken. Domino is my first baby. My first pet that is solely mine. Well, I guess he’s hubby’s too, but he has been my baby. He is my protector, and loves my kiddos even if he doesn’t always like them, he protects them. After hearing what the doctors said my hubby and I decided we wouldn’t put my baby through that pain. We would let him be happy until he is in too much pain.

We tried putting a cone on my furbaby, but the other dogs kept licking his paw. We gave up on the idea of using a cone to heal his paw. And then one day we noticed a white spot showing on his paw. It got bigger and bigger until all of a sudden it was gone. Clear liquid and then he started acting like the old Domino. He’s been playful and happy, and even tolerating the kids laying on him. I hope that means he was able to get rid of his own cancer. It may not be the case, but either way, he got rid of what the doctors were looking to get rid of.

Blue Eyes tucking Domino in

Blue Eyes tucking Domino in

Hugs

Hugs

5 Mistakes Military Wives Make

5 mistakes

I’ve been on both sides of the grass. Believe me, it’s not greener on either side. The military is a rough life. It’s rough for the military member, it’s rough for the spouse. There are however, a few mistakes that I see made all of the time. They are basic mistakes, but they can serious effects on your enjoyment of the military.

5. Never leaving base.

Believe it or not, there are women out there, who have never left base. They shop at the px and the commissary. They know exactly one person, and God help them if they ever had to go somewhere without their husband. The first two weeks we get to a new base I drive. I drive everywhere, see what’s there. For all I know, this is the only time I will ever be in that state or area. I want to know what’s out there. The military gives you amazing chances to travel. Take advantage of it! See the sights. Live! We’ve invited newer people over many times, you know the biggest reason they won’t come? We live off base. Why? Because it forces me to get involved. So get out there. Explore. Find the little mom and pop coffee shop that has the best coffee ever. Find the little craft store that has amazing prices, or hand made items. Enjoy it! You may never be in that part of the world again.

4. Expecting to have the same friends.

You had an amazing group of friends when you got to base. Time passed and now you look around, they are all gone. Then the blow comes, your spouse got another set of orders HERE! Make the best of it. Don’t let yourself become a loner. Get back to the basics. To make a friend you have to be friendly. Get out there. You are probably already involved with a group of some sort. From the gym, to walking the dogs, school for your children or a job. Any of the activities you do is the perfect opportunity to make new friends. So the next time you see someone you don’t mind being around, ask what their plans are for the weekend. Grab coffee, get out! You can do it. We got to this base almost six years ago, I have one friend left from my original group. So what am I doing? I found a facebook page for families and kids. Asked if people wanted to do play dates, take my dogs out to the park. At least there, I’ll meet a few animal lovers!

3. Spouse Pages are not bash pages!

What you say can come back and bite your husband in the a$$. Do not forget, your spouse is responsible for your behavior, and your bashing someone on a spouse page does get back to the Commanding Officer. Your CO has every right to kick your butt off of his base. You are not entitled to the benefits of military living. Your husband can end up in some serious trouble, and even be kicked out for your actions. Don’t believe me? There’s been several incidents on our base of that happening. I stood security long enough to “guard” those proceedings. If they will send a girl to military court over some dread locks, you can believe your command will send your spouse to mass for your disrespectful attitude. I’ve seen people loose their base passes over it.
What you say does get around. I know who on base to stay away from. I know whose husbands are on the hot list because their wife is out of control. Spouse pages are created to support each other, to let each other know what areas are good and what restaurants are terrible. They are for the spouses to connect and get information, and to learn what to expect while their spouse is busy. I know some high rank people who are on the spouse pages just to see what happens. They never say anything and you don’t know they are there, until your spouse is standing in front of them because of you.

2. Just because your husband doesn’t contact you, doesn’t mean he’s cheating.

This is one of the biggest insecurities I see in military wives. I know it’s hard. I know it’s lonely. I’ve been the one gone, I’ve been the one at home. I get it. Stop thinking that just because he is gone, he is cheating. Nine times out of ten, I’ve found that it’s the person at home cheating.It drives me nuts as a prior military member. There are times when the military will cut all contact, or times when they are so bone tired that it’s a choice between eating and sleeping. Contacting you? Not even in the picture. If your husband’s command is moving, forget hearing from them, it’s not going to happen. It’s for YOUR husbands safety, so stop bitching. I’ll admit it’s hard to be home, but have you ever been at sea? It’s hell. PERIOD. End of story.

1. You are not your husbands rank.

I can’t get over this one. I was at a restaurant with my family for lunch the other day. A group of military wives sat down at the table behinds us. Not a big deal, it’s great that these women have found friendship in such an unstable career. What I didn’t appreciate was their content. They were talking about some new girl they met and how her husband was a lower ranking sailor. Everyone starts out at a low rank. Don’t forget that! This poor girl would never really fit into their click, just because her husband didn’t wear the right rank. NEWSFLASH: your supporting you husband in his career does not entitle you to treat other people like crap. I’m glad you support his career, but you do not serve in the same way. You are not entitled to treat people badly because their husband is at the beginning of his career. We don’t all carry Coach purses. We don’t all have the perfect dressed kid. We are all military wives. Don’t you remember how hard it was when your military man was gone? Everything was new, everything was scary. Stop being stuck up and help the poor girl out.

There’s no such thing as Terrible Twos.

2013 November 008

Forget the Cake, he found Dusty

Forget the Cake, he found Dusty

My birthday boy enjoying some cake

My birthday boy enjoying some cake

Blue Eyes and Snow White playing with cars

Blue Eyes and Snow White playing with cars

We celebrated Blue Eye’s 2nd Birthday this weekend! I can’t believe my little wild child is two years old. It’s been an interesting couple of years, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. When I say interesting, I was putting my little Snow White to bed, and came out to find Blue Eyes had poured his entire glass of chocolate milk on the couch and was laughing as the puppies tried to lick it up faster than he could pour. Yes, my little man is two. Not to say I mind….

I do not believe in terrible twos. They may do one or two terrible things in their 2’s, but no kid is terrible. Kids are curious, and at two, that means about everything, especially boundaries. If I do this, how will mommy respond? The best thing I can do is keep my temper and correct the behavior. I’m not saying I am perfect. By all means I have had to put him in his room and walk out before I loose my temper, but I don’t want him to learn to loose his temper when he is mad.

I found a lovely little drawing on my living room wall this week. It’s about the size of a piece of paper and pretty well filled in. I didn’t see him do it, so all I can do is show him the drawing and tell him it’s not okay. It’s the same thing my sister had to do with my niece over Christmas, although it was impossible not to laugh when my niece kept pointing and saying, “pretty”. So the next time he had markers I watched him like a hawk. He didn’t like the paper he had so I gave him more, and more. I gave him so much paper he didn’t know what to do with it all and proceeded to draw on every page instead of my wall. I’ve also discovered he prefers markers or the twisty crayolas. So I bought twisties that have erasers on the end. When he tried it again, I told him no and showed him how to erase it. He spent several hours just erasing the wall. I’m okay with that. 🙂

That’s not to say he will be a perfect two year old. Dear lord, the child already knows how to climb on the kitchen counter when he sees a cookie. But, this year my goal is to replace the behavior with acceptable behavior and keep my temper.

-MB

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