Sunday, January 29, 2012

It seemed like such a good idea....at the time.

   Self-soothing and infants. It was something I had no clue about before Nixon came along and I was in no way prepared for it. Turned out, though, my little bundle of love came with his very own self-soothing tools, no assembly required! I know all you soon-to-be moms are sitting on the edge of your seats right now DYING to know what the bloody hell I'm talking about so you can rush right out and stock up before your little bundles arrive, am I right?!?! I beg of you.....DO NOT, I can't emphasis this enough, DO NOT make my mistake!! It was not a toy that Nixon learned to self-sooth with. Oh no, those I can easily hide and avoid these days. No, his self-soothing tool of choice?? His first 2 fingers on his right hand!!! That's right...HIS damned FINGERS!!! They are attached to him and he is WAY attached to them!


Nixon's 12 week ultrasound...notice the hand by the mouth?






   When Nixon was in the womb, we saw on ultrasounds, he had his fingers in his mouth. This was a sign!!!! But to Mac and I, in our totally ignorant and blissed out, parents-to-be bliss, we found it A-dor-ABLE! "Awww, look he's sucking his fingers. He is so cute!!" NOOOOOOOOOO, I should have been thinking, get those fucking fingers out of your mouth!! How the hell am I going to break of of a habit that revolves around your own body parts?!?!? I mean seriously?!?! The only thing worst than a finger-sucker, in my biased opinion, is a compulsive masturbating child! And I'm not even completely sold on that comparison, because by the time a child figures out masturbation you should be able to at least convey the idea of privacy and what belongs behind closed doors. So what if you never see Jimmy or Sally for a couple years, at least you know they're not hurting themselves beyond a wicked case of carpal tunnel syndrome....hmmm, maybe that's how mine got started???? WOW....way off topic!
Nixon's 20 week ultrasound, fingers in mouth....again or still.  

    Nixon was just a few weeks old when he started using his fingers to soothe himself all the time. I of course thought "awesome! no pacifiers in my house!" How dumb was I?? 
Nixon's birth announcement photo...where are his fingers?? He was only 2 days old!!! I never had a fighting chance against this habit. But it's not too late for you moms! 



    My point...I know I had a point. Oh yeah! Here I am, with a 3-year old, who still is sucking his fingers! In the car? Sucking his fingers. In the middle of the night? You bet your ass, he'll be sucking his fingers. Just walking around outside? I promise you, those fingers will find a way into his mouth! So what seemed like a wonderful and amazing gift from the gods as an infant, is now quickly becoming the bane of my mommy-existence. 
    Our car rides sound like this:
(from the back seat): suck, sucks, suck
me: *without even looking behind at Nixon* Nixon please take your fingers out of your mouth.
Nixon: okay, mommy
repeat 3 minutes later
repeat 5 minutes later
I swear half the time he doesn't even realize he's doing it!

   I tried putting sports tape on his fingers. He pulled it off in less than 10 minutes. I've put band aids on his fingers, turns out he kind of enjoys the taste (GROSS, right?!?!). I lightly coated his two fingers with Tabasco, which he started wiping off before putting the fingers in his mouth. At one point I saw him wipe it off on the cat! He's determined to put those fingers in his mouth! 

    Please, try at all costs, to keep your child from becoming a finger or thumb sucker!
**This has been my public service announcement for the month of January. Expect more to come, perhaps once a month, perhaps not.** 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Oh no.....He's looking at your baby!!! Quick be an Asshole!

    Nixon is 3 and has recently started noticing EVERY baby we see. While at the Post Office today, a woman came in with a baby in a car seat carrier and Nixon rushed over to see the baby, exclaiming to me "Mommy look it's a baby!" The mother sat the carrier on the floor and Nixon looked at the baby, from a safe distance, tucked behind my legs. Very cute scene, I assure you. 


    (Now before I have to start smacking the hell out of people, let me say: simply because Nixon is noticing babies and is curious about them, it does not mean he "needs or wants a sibling". It simply means he is noticing that there are mini-people, known as babies, around him and they're kind of cute. Much in the way I was noticing the oh-so-yummy-piece-of-man-candy today: gorgeous, heavily tattooed, muscular arms, nice flat stomach, long lean legs, tall....very yummy looking, indeed. Doesn't mean I want another man in my life, simply means I noticed something that was intriguing to me.  So please, spare me the Nixon needs a sibling shit....that ship has sailed, by way of Mac's successful vasectomy last year.)


   While running errands today, I took Nixon to Starbucks for a little "coffee milk" (in his case just a regular chocolate milk, but in a Starbucks cup, so he feels all grown up), which serves as a good distraction when I go grocery shopping our next stop. There were a couple of ladies at a table right next to the register, one lady with a very teeny tiny baby, again Nixon noticed and went over to look at the baby. I was watching him, he never touched the baby or the mom or even the table. He kept a fair distance from them, in fact, just looking at the baby....who happened to be getting fed. Breastfed. By mom, obviously. Who was not covering herself. To be fair to her, nothing was showing, but it was obvious what she was doing. 
    I prefer not to draw attention to situations like this, because I never know how women will react. I simply called Nixon over to me and told him I got him a "coffee milk". I did look at the woman from the corner of my eye and noticed she was staring at my son and it wasn't an "aww how cute was he?!?" kind of look. It was more an annoyed "can you believe him?" look.  
    I don't give two-flying-shits if you bottle-feed, breast-feed or tree-feed your kid. Honestly, so long as your feeding your kid then that's good enough for me. I do get annoyed when YOU, a grown ass woman, choose to breastfeed and NOT cover yourself, give a child who is just curious about what your doing and who is not even looking at your mommy juice bags, a dirty look for daring to gaze at you in public while you're feeding your infant! He was looking at the baby, who happened to be attached to your mommy juice bag at the time, only because you were feeding him/her, not because my 3-year old is a perv and likes looking at breasts! No, he likes looking at mini-people. So please, get over yourself, get off your high-hormone-induced horse and put yourself back in place. He meant no harm.


    By the way, when did we get so fucking touching about being looked at?? Like really, is my 3-year old going to kidnap a baby drinking from the boob somehow without the mom or myself knowing? Is my 3-year old such a threat to you and your child that him looking at you is somehow so offensive it grants dirty look status and reaction?? 
    You know who is a threat to you and your baby? Your ignorant attitude. That's going to haunt you both all your lives!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

walls closing in on me and boob grabbing good times

Here it is, the last full week of January already.
Wait! What?!?!? No, that can't be right! I mean, it was just New Year's Eve, like.....a week ago or something, wasn't it??
Didn't we JUST get the official orders to Annapolis?
Didn't Nixon just start wearing undies to bed at night??

No? Really? It's been almost a month for all of that? Well, shit! Guess I've got some work to do huh?

Well, this is what I've done so far:
* bagged up Nixon's outgrown clothes and shoes (separated by sizes and tops/bottoms), posted for sale.
* posted for sale 3 complete book series by 3 authors I adore (in an effort to keep up my end of the deal that got me my Kobo and lighten our weight going home)
* cleaned 2 strollers and a car seat....FYI: convertible car seat with 5 point harness HUGE fucking pain in the ass to take the cover off to clean. If you aren't cussing at it and threatening the manufacturers of the seat, you aren't cleaning it!  
* Sold a stroller (yay!!)
* waited 2.5 hours today, with Mac (goddess bless my geeky husband and his magical pocket of gadgets...we watched Big Bang Theory while waiting for our turn at the vet!) took both cats and they are now up-to-date on shots!! I am very disappointed that I did not get to see someone get their face ripped off by the dogs that were stressed out from waiting at the vet walk-in clinic hours and were not listening to the "shhhhh, it's okay, I'm right here". Here's a tip, when the dog is a 100+lb rott and he's skittish with a HUGE alpha dog complex (disliked and launched at any other big dog that came into the clinic) probably not a good idea to just walk-in, better off making an appointment for the big boy, cause he was scaring a couple of the vet techs there which is NEVER a good thing!
* cleaned out closets and have a large box of old toys to donate as well as 3-4 bags of my clothes to donate. (Anyone else have toys that mate in closets?? No, just me? I swear the last time I checked this one closet there were 3 bags of toys. I opened it last night....5 bags of toys!! And why did Nixon beeline to the loudest, most obnoxious toys in the closet?!?!? It was as if they were a lighthouse and Nixon was a boat lost out at sea! "Mommy, I needs the truck!")
* bought 2 tickets for Nixon and I to go on a short kiddie group tour on Monday to a zoo I've been wanting to go to with him.

So why do I feel like I haven't gotten anything done?? Because this is where my anxiety hides. Deep in the corner of my mind where I can't see it, but I can feel the pressure of it pushing me down, hitting me from behind, whispering in me ear in the dark when I fall asleep "it's not enough, you'll never get everything done, there's so much to do, you haven't even started.....xxxxx". Then my heart starts racing, I hear my pulse in my ears, I get hot and flushed, I toss and turn, I kick the covers off my legs and then pull them up over my ears. I close my eyes again and slowly fall into the tunnel of sleep....stressful, panicky, not really restful sleep.



Did I mention Nixon is now in a stage of total mindlessly grabbing my breasts? He does the double handful (well at this age, for him they are a handful!) shuffle with them, while asking me to pick him up! Except, he seems to like rubbing his face on them during hugs too, like mini-motorboating! I think it's harmless, Mac think it needs to be discouraged....whatever. It's a phase right??? I mean he did get nursed from them, so it's not so bad. He's not grabbing random woman's boobs, he's grabbing mine...his mom's. One day, he'll really hate stories like this!

Finally, a conversation with Nixon:
(on the way to K's house today before going to the vet)
Nixon: Mommy, are we going to Miss Macy's?
me: yes we are. I'm going to leave you there because the cats are going to the doctors. Is that okay?
Nixon: Okay. I like Miss Macy. She's my friend.
me: Is she your best friend?
Nixon: Yeah!
me: Is she your favorite person?
Nixon: Um, no.
me: No?
Nixon: No, Mommy, she's my friend not a person!

how do you argue with the logic of a 3 year old?? I didn't, I was laughing too hard!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

pssst.....it's another Santa update

You may or may not recall my line in the sand, my numerous complaints about Nixon's missing Santa pictures and the lack of action I was getting from all parties involved. Well, last weekend while Mac was working I got bored and decided since it was becoming very obvious that a certain MSgt was NOT going to put me in touch with the president of the booster club, I would put myself in touch with the school instead. I did some searching, found the email addresses for the principal and 2 vice principals and sent them all this email: 


Dear Sir (and Ma'am), 
    My name is Rebecca and I'm writing this email in an effort to find my own resolution to the issues resulting from the photos with Santa at the Kadena Base Exchange during the month of December. I found your emails on the Kadena High School webpage, I hope this is the correct school that was fundraising at this event. 

   My husband and I took our 3 year old son to the BX just before 6pm on December 11th, to get his photo taken with Santa. We were the last ones for the night, our son was coaxed into sitting with Santa by Santa playfully having my son's teddy bear sit with him first (which was very much appreciated by myself, I assure you!). My husband made the donation while I was handed a small sheet of paper with information for a photobucket album and password, and was told the photos would be available for viewing and downloading in 2-3 days. My son got a candy cane and we left happy to have gotten this done with time to spare before Christmas, for the family back home to see. 

   Except the photos of my son never showed up. I posted on the AFN facebook page, inquiring about the status of the photos as did multiple other parents, with no response. I sent an ICE to the BX for hosing the event but not having any contact info for the club raising the money or the people actually posting the photos. I got a response that said they'd look into it and get back to me, I never had any further emails from them. After a post I'd written was deleted from the AFN wall but not responded to, I sent an ICE form about AFN and their handling of the situation. I was contacted the next day by a MSgt Prince, informing me that it was a booster club function and he would forward my complaint to booster club president. That was January 4th and I (again) have received no further contact from anyone. 

   This is a poor reflection on all parties involved. It reflects badly on the school for using such an iconic figure as Santa to raise money, but have no responsibility in the distribution of the photos they were taking while raising their money. It reflects poorly on the BX because they'll allow 2 groups (AFN and booster club) to collaborate for an event like this but not have any contact info to give in the event of a dispute or other issue that has nothing to do with the BX in any manner at all, since the simply offered a place for the photos to be taken, which would be convenient to all. And finally, it's a poor reflection on AFN and how they handle the numerous complaints and inquiries about the photos by parents. Photos with Santa are a once-a-year event, and being on Okinawa options are limited. I still do not have these photos and it was the first year my son was excited to see Santa! I can't get that moment back and it doesn't seem I can get anyone who understands and/or is willing offer an explanation for why the photos aren't to be found (to-date there are 1929 photos in the online album, I've looked at every photo numerous times), if there were any unusable and who exactly is responsible for uploading these photos/when they will be uploaded. (The most recent group was uploaded after the January 1st) 

   At this point, it's not just about the photos. It's about the principle that the photos have come to stand for. I took my son and made a donation to a local booster club, in exchange for his photo with Santa. Unfortunately, no one can tell me what happened to his photos or even who exactly is responsible for them.

Thank you for your time. 

I took into account that I sent these emails over a holiday weekend (MLK Jr Day), but imagine my utter and total amazement when I got had this email waiting for me Tuesday morning:

Good Morning,
  I have been out of the building this week and will see what I can find out.  I am sorry for this but will see if I can find out who was in charge of this and where those photos are.  Thank you for letting me know. 

T G
Principal

HOLY SHIT ON A STICK.....SOMEONE APOLOGIZED!!! I could almost careless about any further follow-up, I was given what appears to be a real genuine apology!! But wait....it gets better!! I got ANOTHER email from someone else, and hold on to your seats, this one is a real fucking doozy and it really makes me question the Public Affairs Dept of AFN here on Okinawa and the way they do shit. (I'm not kidding, if anyone has done PA work before, prepared to be disgusted!)

The final and by far most disturbing email about this whole Santa at the BX saga:

Good morning Mrs. Wilcox,

Let me start out by introducing myself and apologising for the situation you have been place in. My name is S R and I am the President of Kadena High School's Project Graduation Class of 2012. I received your e-mail yesterday from Dr. Paul in reference to the Santa Pictures.

This event was sponsored by the Kadena BX (they provided the Santa Suit, place, time, advertisement and chair with back drop). AFN was the organization that was slotted to do this event and did so Saturday only of Thanksgiving weekend. Due to unforeseen circumstances, AFN backed out and we were asked to fill in. We, the Project Graduation Board, Seniors and Parents quickly gathered a list of volunteers to help the BX out in a tough spot and it was helping us raise financial aid extremely needed to provide a safe, drug and alcohol free event for the graduating Class of 2012. A few days before we started our part in this event, I received an e-mail that AFN did not want to step down and that there was a miss-communication and was asked if we could some how work together. After already having our seniors and parents in place we agreed to go a head and team up with AFN and split the funds. Project Graduation provided the body in the Santa Suit and the Elves. AFN took the photo's and were responsible for down loading all to their website. I myself took a few photos for our year book with my own personal camera and had to take a few of customers due to AFN's card filling up. Out of the photo's I have, there are no single children, they all have siblings. If your photo was that of him by himself and then one with his sister (if you have a daughter) it might be one that I still have copies off. I am not sure about the others and have no access to them other than what was provided to you as well. The website that was handed out was that of AFN's and was provided by them. Project Graduation nor the BX are administrators of their website.

I promise you I will do what I can to look into this. I, nor our school or any of it's organization do business this way. We take great pride in all we do and for us,"children come first!" This was the first contact of any sort that I have received about this situation and had I known before now, would have been working on it. I myself have 5 children and know how important those firsts are! I truly understand the frustration on your part and hope I am able to do something to help. I am going to CC the BX Manager that was in charge of this event. I don't know what help she will be able to provide. Trust me when I say, "this will never happen again where we are concerned!"

Again, I am truly sorry for the frustration. If you ever need anything from us you can reach me at xxx xx xxxxx . As I said before, I will look into this and get back to you by the end of next week with my findings.

Take care and have a blessed week!

V/r,
S L R
President, KDHS Project Graduation 2012





So I feel like someone finally cares about getting to the bottom of this, but how many families might never see those pictures because the memory card was full?? Why wouldn't someone just say something, instead of "taking" photos that weren't being saved? I'll never get those photos back if that's really what happened, and given that we took Nixon at the end of the day I have a BAD feeling that is exactly what happened and why NO one is willing to tell me where his pictures are....because there are NO pictures of him! 


Look forward to another Santa update when I learn the final outcome! And pray to Goddess I see my son's pictures with Santa. Otherwise....I will leave my mark on Okinawa! You do not fuck with a family's Santa pictures! You just don't! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Parenting and preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse

   Mac and I have spent the last few nights he's had off curled up watching the Resident Evil movies. Now, he swears these movies are not about zombies, but I say "who cares" they're important learning tools on How-To prepare for an outbreak. Even more importantly, I'm taking it to the next level and using it to be a better mother! 


Rea's How-To prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse and be a Good Mom Guide
(because most people think you trip the kids or use them as zombie bait....)

First, the survival pack. You want it light enough to travel easily but have enough food and supplies to last. Think energy bars and protein shakes. If you think far enough ahead, keep a "quick grab bag" in the house and one in the car. Always keep a case of bottled water in the car, this is just common sense.

Next, escape plan. My plan is to always live near the water. My entire survival plan revolves around grabbing Nixon, heading to the harbor and stealing a boat. Yes, I will be STEALING a boat. I figure at least 5 of the owners will be in denial about the outbreak and won't think of getting to the harbor, so I'll "take" one of those boats. (Now, I do realize the last time I in a boat it did end up sinking but it wasn't all my fault.....and I swear, I'll take boating lessons first!) Nixon and I will be out on the water for 3-4 weeks while the outbreak is going on. Maybe we'll help stranded survivors, maybe we won't. I'm going to say no, because I still won't trust just anyone around Nixon. The end of the world isn't going to change that! Let's be real, I'm still going to be super paranoid and overprotective. I'm momma bear on a normal day, add zombies and people possibly trying to kill us for whatever we have and I'll be UBER-Momma Bear, all killing without those pesky laws holding me back!

Protection, protection, protection....My survival pack includes some weapons and ammo. (and thanks to Resident Evil 4 my ammo will also include lots of loose change! Seriously, it's a great option and, in the movie at least, did a LOT of damage!) I have to find something for Nixon to do too. Probably a big metal baseball bat for him to swing, and not accidentally kill me with in the process. I'd say a taser but not sure that would work on zombies, an ax is a bad idea because of the sharp edge but a bat seems a safe but zombie-deadly weapon!

Finally, mothering during the apocalypse. It's a fine line. Obviously, you can't punish him for killing a zombie because, that's kind of the point of the whole "game".  But bedtime will still be the same time, he will still have to listen to me  ("I said duck!!") and if Mac happens to make it with us (oh yeah, did I mention we've got individual survival plans mostly because he'll probably be at work) then Nixon needs to listen to us both. 
And NO peeing on dead zombies! That's just rude!! 
Make time to ask how Nixon is feeling. The zombie apocalypse will be a scary time for anyone but kids might be especially weirded out. Asking him how he feels and talking about what's going on will keep the lines of communication open and help build a stronger team, which in the long run will be the best for our overall survival odds.    

My entire goal is to get as far from the outbreak as possible, avoid the government "safety" zones, protect Nixon and keep it fun! 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Attention to detail

Mac has a silly little song he's sang for as long as I've known him. It's really dumb, totally inappropriate for youngsters and completely "Mac". And unfortunately, neither of us has ever really paid attention to him singing it while Nixon is around.


Until this morning.


The silly song goes:
Balls in your mouth
I'm in your mouth


Well this morning, Mac sings that (like he's done a billion times before) and Nixon sings it rights after him! So here's my sweet, precocious 3-year old singing "Balls in your mouth" because daddy just said it. DOH!

I stood there dumbfounded, because I couldn't believe of all the damned things for Nixon to repeat crystal fucking clear, he chooses this! Mac tries to tell Nixon "only grown up can sing that song", which as we all know is not going to work. 

Then, Mac and I both have a brainstorm at the same time! Nixon will be allowed to sing that song! In front of his GiGi!! (Marsha, my ultra-Christian grandmother for those of you not familiar with the name) As you may or may not know, I go out of my way to liven things up when I'm around my grandmother. What better way than have my son sing a completely HILARIOUS song about part of his last name (no, seriously, BALL is his dad's last name which is part of our family last name! Awesome, right?!?!?) albeit mostly crude and totally inappropriate little ditty for a child, when he sees her for the first time?? I can't think of one! 

Besides, she's already convinced I'm ruining him by not taking him to church. I'm just "reassuring" her that he is in fact "ruined" by my parenting or lack there of!

  

The clock is ticking......

The official orders came in last week. Mac's next (and final) duty station is Annapolis, Maryland!! We've known for a while, but without the official orders anything can happen. Now it's almost a done deal.

By almost, I of course mean, not anywhere near done deal. Before we leave Okinawa behind and return to the states we have a lot to do. There's shit to get rid of (clothes, baby items, toys, books and other general items of nonsense that we have but will not be taking with us), there's the cats shots to get updated, items to document before packing (expensive things that we'll need to itemize on our pack out sheet) and because I'm incredibly anal about certain things, a lot of photos and personal items to pack MY way!

That doesn't even look like fun, does it? It's not. Let's face it: moving anywhere sucks ass! Moving across the world sucks sweaty bamboo ass!

I refuse to let my final few months here in Okinawa be totally consumed by leaving this island. There's so much to still be done. There's the cherry blossoms coming into bloom, which I fully intend to take advantage of and get some amazing photos in the process! Next month? Sunflower fields! There's a Dam nearby I haven't visited but it's on my list, along with seaglass hunting, visiting a couple more castle ruins, a bird sanctuary I've driven past and said "I'm going to go there some day" because I'm running out of some days and I'm going to ride the Ferris Wheel in American Village before I leave Okinawa, just once!

Before moving here.....

I'm going to say good-bye to Okinawa from Here (the ferris wheel)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Please sir, can I just get my Karma back?

**alternative title: Can't anyone just tell me.....WHERE ARE MY FUCKING SANTA PICTURES?!?!?!**


I couldn't decide which title I liked better, so I'm giving you both. And yes, this post is coming in the first week of January and it is really about Santa pictures. Not just any Santa pictures, these are becoming the Holy fucking Grail of Santa pictures, sought after by many Okinawa military parents and very hard to find! I, myself, am currently elbows deep in complaints on facebook pages, filing actual complaints with multiple sources "responsible" for these photos, getting shitty "not my department" responses, and inches from finding the jolly ole fake fat ass and demanding an immediate re-staging of the Santa photo and a line up of the assholes who can't or rather won't answer a simple well asked (re: I did not curse at ALL, when I posted on the facebook page inquiring where or when I might see Nixon's photos with Santa) inquiry BUT who do take the time to delete it off the wall, so that I might shove a boot up all their asses and then assist them with the GIANT lump of coal they've all earned!


Now, I know this seems a small and petty thing to get bent out of shape about, but I'll explain why I'm so livid, beyond the obvious reason of not having a photo of Nixon with Santa to show for my/Mac's donation to an on-base high school booster club and the total pass-the-blame game the parties involved are playing with me. Seriously?? I never liked being the "pickle" of pickle-in-the-middle. It annoyed me and really gave rise to my Napoleon Complex.


Here's the story (sorry 'bout your luck if you've heard this all before):
   Dec. 11th Mac and I took Nixon to the Base Mall to get his picture with Santa. Yes, we did get there with about 5 minutes to spare before Santa left for the day. Nixon sat on Santa's lap with some coaxing from Santa and BeBe, about 3-5 photos where taken at the time (trust me I counted the clicks and flashes from the camera). Mac made a donation in the donation box, Nixon got his candy cane, and I got a slip of paper that had the photobucket site info and password needed to view the photos and was told they'd be uploaded for viewing in 2-3 days. 


   Dec 13th- 16th no new photos are uploaded.
   Dec 17th there's about 300 new pics uploaded, total pictures around 950'ish. (No Nixon)
   Dec 19th I post on the facebook page inquiring about new photos to be posted, looking for photos from the weekend prior. No response from the admin of the page, but a few other parents comment they also are looking for the same weekend. 
   Dec 25th I look, there's now over 1200 pictures, still no Nixon. 
    Dec 29th, I file a complaint with the store which hosted Santa & the high school booster club, explaining I felt it was bad customer service to host an event like that and not have any point of contact for which to help guests resolve issues with, since the group responsible for posting the photos is ignoring several attempts to find out when the photos would be posted for viewing. It was irresponsible to have so many groups involved but no chain of contact in the event there's an issue like this. The response? 
"Dear Patron,
 We  understand your frustration and apologize.  The Exchange hosted Santa Claus for the community, with only good gestures in mind.  We have contacted AFN regarding the photos for Santa and we are trying to have the issue resolved quickly and efficiently.  The Exchange does not have access to the AFN Facebook page, as far as answering comments being posted.  That page belongs to AFN exclusively.  We are working this problem in hopes of a quick resolution."
   Dec 31 now 1715 pictures, still no Nixon. I spend 3 hours looking at every single photo multiple times for Nixon, no Nixon. I comment on another mother's post on the facebook page, also asking where the photos are and why there are no new ones....the post and all comments are deleted. No response ever given.
   Two days ago I write a long (no cussing) post on the facebook page again, expressing my deep disappointment with the whole Santa at the BX (base mall) photo situation and the lack of response to the parents STILL looking for their children's photos, including myself. It was removed from the page, no response, by the next morning. But the photobucket album has a total of now 1929 photos in it now. Still no Nixon. 
   Yesterday, I file another complaint with AFN regarding the facebook page and the actual photobucket album photos. I copy and pasted the exact message I had put on the facebook wall. (Now I will put it here: I'm seriously disappointed with the Santa at the BX photos and all the hassle that has come along with trying to see the photos. 
I took my son on Sunday Dec 11th, just a couple minutes before 6pm. I've posted here more than once inquiring about those photos, I've looked at all 1715 photos (to date) and have not seen my son's photos with Santa, nor have I gotten a response about when I might expect to see those photos posted. 


There are very few moments where I can say I truly regret making a donation to any cause, but this is one of those times. Kadena BX hosted the event but they aren't responsible for how the photos are distributed/published. The donations were collected for the kadena high school (if I'm not mistaken) but they're not responsible for hosting the event or publishing the photos in a timely manner. WAVE89/AFN Okinawa is in charge of publishing or releasing the photos, but its been far from a timely manner and unless there's an issue with accessing the photobucket album, there's been no real response to any of the numerous parental complaints/inquires/concerns about these photos. 


Being on Okinawa limits many families choices as to where and when they could get the photo with Santa taken. Many chose to make a donation and do it at the BX we all shop at throughout the year, and now many of us are left without that photo and we're getting no answers as to when or if we'll ever see those photos. 


This was the first year my son was excited to see Santa and if it weren't for a member of the community having Santa at her house one night, I'd have no photos of my son with him at all, despite my taking him 2 weeks before Christmas to the BX and visiting Santa. 


This is a very poor reflection of AFN and how they handle public relations with the community, especially such a once-a-year event as photos with Santa.)
   Today, I received an email  about my complaint from yesterday. Good quick response, really shitty resolution: "Ma’am,
This was a booster club function.  I’ll let the booster club president engage."


So, basically.....???? Yeah, I got nothing too. 


It's not the photos at this point. It's not the fact that Nixon sat with Santa in a store. It's the fact that a donation was made for a service and the service has yet to be provided. It'd be like going to a car wash, making the donation for the car wash and then having the people running the car wash tell you that some other group is responsible for the water and buckets and soap, except you don't find this out until you've been sitting there for a few hours AFTER the carwash has closed shop and left. Well, its not exactly like that, but it's the best I've got right now. You get the picture. (they can't all be x-mas tree blog analogy's of gold)
I normally don't bitch about making a donation, but fuck me over sideways if this doesn't rub me the wrong way! The high school used a well known and iconic holiday figure to draw a crowd and raise money for their club, which is fine. BUT, if they're not accountable for the distribution of the photos they basically got money for free, right? I mean, the parents are getting told AFN (the local radio/tv station/public relations here) was putting the photos online in the photobucket album, which means the booster club has no physical contact or control of the photos, correct? So what would the Booster Club President be able to tell me? That he/she will get in touch with his/her contact at AFN and see what this issue is?  


Am I getting extra Karma points for this? Because it feels like a lot of hassle and runaround for zero results. And really, removing a post without responding to the complaint? Why even have a board the public can contact you on in the first place??


Okinawa.....you're really pushing my buttons. Seriously?!?!? Fucking Santa pictures!! THIS is my line in the sand?!?!? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

first post of 2012...they grow up so fast!

For Nixon's birthday we bought him a fisher price kids tuff camera. It's an awesome camera for him and he's really enjoying taking pictures (or "smile" as he calls them) of everything from myself and Mac to the cats, his BeBe and his massive matchbox fleet!


Just before the New Year, Nixon made the successful move to full-time life in undies. No more pull-ups for naps or bedtime, he's a big boy now and it was all on his own doing! He has accidents from time to time, but not once has he peed in bed so I'll take an accident during the day anytime, plus he's awesome about staying dry while we're out and about too! Ahh....he's really growing up so fast. 


So, the point of this blog combines the first paragraph with the 2nd one to get THIS conversation:


Nixon (with his camera, pointed at his groin): "Smile undies!"
me: "What?!? NO, Nixon! You don't take pictures of your undies or penie."
Nixon: "No smile?"
me: (looking over at Mac) "Really, I have to have this conversation with him already? He's 3!!"
Nixon: (camera pointed at his shirt this time): "Smile shirt"
Mac: "Well, he was gonna figure it out some time, right?"


Seriously, NOT a conversation I'd expected to have with him until he was at least 11 or 12, damn him for always being ahead of the curve!