Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sometimes all you need is a good snuggle

   With all the ups and downs related to our impending PCS back to the states, I've forgotten one of the best stories about Nixon! I'm not sure how it happened, as it was a rare occasion for a number of reasons but it popped back in my head just now and I'm happy to share it with everyone I love.


    Thursday night was a rough one. Mac and I stayed up later than usual watching a movie in bed. When we finally did fall asleep it started storming outside. It got real bad (high winds, heavy rains and even some thunder) in a matter of minutes. I was listening to everything happening outside and never heard Nixon in his room start to freak out! Mac went into Nixon's room and brought him into our room. Nixon said he was scared and wanted to snuggle with us. Nixon crawled into bed with us, snuggled up on my chest and laid there while listening to the storm and Mac snoring! haha
   Nixon told me he was scared of the wind but I made him feel better. I thought he was going to spend the rest of the night in bed with us, something that doesn't happen...ever! He likes his bed and we like our bed, but I was willing to make an exception for this one night if Nixon was really scared and needed me. He didn't. After about 30 minutes, Nixon said to me, tapping my nose, "mommy, I ready to go back to my bed now please."  We unraveled ourselves from the blankets on the bed, went back into his bedroom, tucked him in and said good nights again.


   And at one point during the night, all 5 of us (Mac, myself, Nixon and the 2 cats) were all in our bed together. When Nixon went back to his room, Amber went with him. Arwen, of course, stayed in bed with me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

This rollercoaster ride sucks, it's a lot more downs than ups and how come it's so straight???

   Ugg....this week wiped me out. Even the one giant piece of good news I got was peppered with bad news for someone I love dearly. It seemed United broke down and relented from the massive public outcry after their announcement of fee increases associated with a new policy that would prevent them from shipping pets as excess baggage, and now use a 3rd party cargo carrier. But just as many were getting ready to breath a sigh of relief, I was still holding my ever doubtful breath. I was still formulating plans.
   In other words, I was still being me.

   First the United thing, because so many of my friends and family have been genuinely concerned, supportive and helpful with this matter. A Houston newspaper ran an article, on Wednesday, that started the "rumor" that fees would be waived if the pets were being flown due to military PCS move and the family were "on orders". The article went on to say the discount would apply only to military service members and the change in policy came largely due to the online petition they'd seen, which had over 2,400 signatures.
   2,400 signatures!! You guys helped make that happen. My itty, bitty blog had a small part in spreading the word about THAT petition!!  Thank you, everyone who took the time to sign that petition. Social media made that happen! Awesome job! Definitely a high point of the week. 
   
     My small ray of hope came in the fine print on the left side of the article I linked above.
More Information
Flying Fido
Military families seeking exemptions from a new, higher price for transporting pets as cargo on United Airlines should call 800-575-3335 or 832-235-1541.All passengers still will be allowed to bring pets under a certain size aboard in carriers for a fee of $125. They will count as a carry-on item.
   
   IF, and at this point, its a big IF, we can make this happen our financial worries are over! As soon as we get our travel date (oh yeah, the other good news/up side: Mac finally submitted his travel packet! So now we're waiting to hear when we leave! FINALLY, I can't begin...well I could but that's another rant for a different blog, to tell you how hard it was to get this damned paperwork submitted. One person, in one office, 5 days a week but he's got other places to be. Meanwhile Mac's on midnights going in on days off or after working all night waiting....it was the world's loneliest game of tag for almost 2 weeks. Seriously, you'd have thought Mac gave this guy the clap after a one night stand the way he was dodging Mac's calls...unintentionally dodging his calls, sometimes it just couldn't be helped. Allegedly.) I can call United (or whatever airline we're ticketed on) and verify that we can carry on the cats. If we can, well then step 2 is to get a vet to look Arwen over and *hopefully* prescribe a mild sedative for her, so she'll be quiet in the cabin. Cause let's face it $250 is shit tons better than $3k, no matter how you look at it, even if you add a little for the cost to buy (cute) carriers. Plus they'd be with us! All we'd have to do is rearrange our carry-ons, so we can make sure we have Nixon's stuff to keep him occupied, our MUST have's at all times shit, and the cats.   

   Now the final up and down. One of my BFF's is also a military wife/former military herself. Her family is moving the same time mine is. It's so odd but awesome that we'll be close to each other again! Well, turns out, we might be a whole lot closer then we thought. Looks like her husband will be getting deployed weeks/months after arriving at the new base. She's going to look for a place between my family and our other mutual best friend, providing herself and 2 young kids a built in and understanding, supportive family structure while her husband is gone. So, sucks he's leaving again but (selfish) SCORE for us on major time together after so many years apart! 

   So mostly straight line this week, no real solid news but lots of speculations with possible relief. A couple of my bigger stress topics have addressed, but others remain. 

   Nixon and I went to the dentist on Wednesday. He got a good check up! He's got great spacing, lots of room and no build up issues. I just needed a cleaning, which I got done yesterday. So we're both set to go. Also, because I wasn't odd enough: I had 3 wisdom teeth pulled in 2010. Only 3 because, that's all that had grown in or even showed on xray. In other words, I only had 3 wisdom teeth...ever! Well, fast forward to about a month and a half after those were pulled and it felt like I had a new tooth growing in! But it was coming in where I'd just been told there was NO tooth to be seen. Mentioned it to the dentist, he says he doesn't see anything. So Wednesday, xrays check-up ask about the tooth/pain from after the wisdom teeth were pulled. Yep, you betcha...that tooth that was never seen before is now suddenly there!! From what the dentist I saw said, it's possible that after the 3 teeth were pulled it released room for the tooth to finally develop and erupt from the jawbone and come through the gums. Redonk, right?!?!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finally a little break from the stress!

   Today was a day that reaffirmed my belief in Karma. After all the shit that has been thrown my way this week, I stood tall and never sunk to a level beneath myself or did something I'd regret later. As tempting as doing something like that was in the heat of the moments..I even returned IDL's money for the carseat yesterday and washed my hands of the whole mess. Because it just wasn't worth it all at the end of the day. 

    That felt good.

    Chilling last night, watching Nixon dancing around to Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" video before bed was very good. (see video below, because my kid's got some natural moves, yo!)

    Sleeping in, as a family, until a few minutes before noon this morning, felt AMAZING!! Nixon came into the bedroom around 730am, Mac sent him back to his bedroom telling him it was too early to wake up. Some days that works, some days it doesn't. Today it worked. It worked really well. When Mac and I finally got up just before noon, we had to wake Nixon up! Poor kid, he's not quite used to the whole (literal) sleeping the day away thing and it took him almost 2 hours to shake the sleep off. He just laid around, very quietly, on the sofa. I thought he was sick, and there was a vomiting incident, but he didn't have a fever. He even took a nap for a couple hours!! AND behaved when we ran errands, no throwing a fit and only one mild screaming fit! It was almost perfect!



   After his nap he was almost normal. By bedtime he was screeching and working on his way to Time Out. 

   The moral is: I put good out, I got good back! And it was lovely. A nice morning snuggled in bed with Mac, while we slept it away. With no Nixon jumping on the bed or making a mess in the bathroom. We haven't slept the morning away, together, since before Nixon was born. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Are you ready for a new DRAMA LLAMA story?!?!?!?!

thank you to the Bloggess for providing me a blank template to make this awesomeness with!!

People, it's been pretty clear in the past 2 days, I've got some shit going on in my life, right? I mean I'm not dancing through the lily patch doing cartwheels singing "coom-bah-yah" and doing happy little back springs while sniffing the roses. Life's dealt me a pretty shitty hand so pardon me if I'm on edge and shut down for a few hours!


Oh, a little background might help right?? 
I mentioned selling things. Well, today I met a woman and sold Nixon's old convertible carseat. I washed had removed the fabric covers and washed them, hung them to dry and put it in the closet away from the cats until today when it was taken out to the car. We met, I showed her how to raise the headrest and recline the seat. I got the money, she put the carseat in her car. I drove away, she (presumably) went to lunch at the dining facility we met at with her child. 
I picked up Mac and Nixon. We went to get my ID/name situation straightened out. (Some moron changed my name from what it is to: Ball R Wilcox, no where NEAR what it is and we wanted to start getting everything in order so there are no more possible complications or curve balls as we get closer to leaving). That took maybe a half hour total. 
We got home and Nixon went down for a nap. Big surprise that I'm not sleeping well lately. If I sleep a solid 4 hours without waking up in the middle of it, it was a good night's sleep. Last night was not good, and Nixon got up at 7am! I followed his lead and took a nap. My cellphone is NEVER near me (it pisses mac off to no end!) Nixon napped for over 4 hours, which meant I napped for the same amount of time. I didn't wake up when Mac left for work. I didn't hear my phone beep to let me know the battery was dying. I only woke up when Nixon crawled up into bed with me, opened one of my eye lids and said "Mommy, may I have watch Phineas and Ferb please, now?" and yes, he really does lift our eyelids to wake us up. It was cute...the first couple times. Now its just rude!


Apparently, I missed a lot of shit while I was sleeping. I got Nixon situated and signed on to removed the carseat photos from the site I had them posted on, since it was sold, only to see K messaged me that I needed to contact the admin of the site. Confused I looked on the site and grabbed my phone. I'd missed 2 texts from the broad who bought the carseat, she assumed I was ignoring her and created a post on the site which got the admin's attention and the request for me to contact the administrator myself. Only problem was: the post had been up for over 3 hours by this point, seen and commented by over 20 people and the admin had posted on the photo of the carseat therefore my whole namelessness went down the drain. 
Obviously, you're still confused as hell! The issue with the carseat is, according to the broad who bought it, it reeks of cat pee. I don't see how as I washed everything fabric and it was stored in a closet away from my cats. She sent me a text at a little after 2pm (I was already asleep), she hadn't gotten a response within an hour and started a post (not naming me) but blasting the person who sold a pee soaked carseat and then ignoring her efforts to contact them (ie me). An hour people!! In an hour, she hadn't heard from me so she felt justified in creating a post to blast me and assume I did this intentionally and she was just shit-out-of-luck on getting her money back! A fucking HOUR!! However, SHE never mentions she only gave me an hour to reply, she never mentioned that to the admin that contacted her either! Convenient!
I'm looking at possibly getting banned from this FREE selling site because of this drama llama! Nixon calls Mac from my phone while I'm messaging people to get things straightened out. Mac calls and asks if everything's okay (not because he knows about the drama llama but because Nixon called him and was babbling for a few minutes) but I filled him in and he said "Fuck it, just tell her I'll meet her and give her the money back for the seat." 


I'll just copy and paste the rest, because it pretty much wrote itself in the end.....if I come off wrong here in any way please feel free to say so. Enjoy the Llama!!


IDL= Impatient Drama Llama

me: 
(my exact message to IDL* regarding the car seat):
IDL, 


First, let me say I apologize that you feel I'm blowing you off. My phone was turned off. I've been fighting insomnia lately and my son blessed me by taking a 4 hour nap. I took advantage of it and napped as well, which apparently gave you the impression I was blowing you off and gave you free reign to go to not only the sites admin but also the site in general and make veiled assumptions about me, based on things you have no information about. So thanks for that. You started that thread within an hour of texting me. That's hardly enough time to assume I'm blowing you off.
Second, sending me a text that says " will washing it again to the trick" is not asking for tips. 


Finally as for the seat itself: I apologize for the smell, but I honestly have no idea where it came from. I have all the items I'm selling in a closet which the cats (obviously) can't get into. They can't open doors. As I said, the seat was washed, put in the closet and posted for sale. It's been in that closet the whole time. 
I don't know if washing it will fix the problem because I wasn't aware there was a problem. Since you've already assumed I'm going to screw you out of your money, imagine how likely I am to want to work with you now.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


ADMIN, 
I don't appreciate having less than an hour to reply via text before a thread is started about this. As I've explained above I was sleeping because due to stress lately I'm not sleeping more than 3-4 hours a night. I was not intentionally ignoring anyone. 
But now it seems I have a choice: take the seat back and return the money (and not sell it since you so kindly called me out on the photo of the seat) or not take the seat back and not sell anything else because everyone will assume the worse about anything I sell in the future. 


All my items that are for sale are kept in a closet away from my cats and my son. I pre-wash everything and put them away. I can't explain the pee smell because I wasn't aware of it. (That's not to say everything in my home smells like pee and I'm desensitized to the smell, I find the smell horribly offensive even as a pet owner).


I am a little upset and on the offensive because I wasn't even given a decent amount of time to respond before put on blast, weather my name was mentioned or not. Not everyone spends hours at the computer, and phones die or get turned off, so an hour seems a really unreasonable amount of time to presume someone is blowing a person off and make such claims. 


I'm not a person to blow someone off.




My husband has said he will meet IDL and return the money for the seat, but due to his schedule he won't be able to do so sooner than Saturday. I'll be honest, I have no intentions of meeting her after how she handled this. I'd send her the same message but she's saying she's not received any messages from me.


We're due to PCS a few month. So we're facing these new pet cargo fees, hence my heightened stress level. The last thing I need to get involved in is being put on blast on a board over something like this because someone can't wait even a few hours for a response! Again, please relay to IDL if she wants the money back she'll have to wait until Saturday when my husband will meet her to exchange the carseat. I'd also appreciate an apology of some sort for the assumption that I was blowing her off after only an hour.

ADMIN:
Rea - i apologize for not gettin back to you sooner - like i said this went to my others folder and i haven't been on my computer for a while. Anyway i understand the frustration on both sides - i was merely trying to help as a go between since she said she hadn't heard form you. I did NOT take sides in this issues, when i emailed her i told her that we always ask people to contact one of the admins when they have an issue. And the only reason that i called you out on the picture is because you are not messageable. In any case i will relay the message to her about meeting on Saturday. Sorry to hear about your stress, i have seen all those posts about the pet issue, we are also leaving in a few months but we dont have any pets. Hope you get some more sleep soon!

me:
Thank you, she did messaged me back a few minutes ago with this, which makes me less than willing to work things out with her, since she's basically still assuming the very worst:
IDL:
I didn't realize the comment would get so much attention honestly. I just wanted to get your attention. I do feel bad about that. However, the seat truly smells like urine and I can't put my baby in THAT. "Will washing it again do the trick" was my polite way of saying "Clearly you washing it didn't work, so what is??". Maybe if you post something again, you can clearly state that you have cats and they may or may not have peed on them or in a room near the object for sell. I'm guessing this is a lost cause...

I understand her frustration, but I'm not even getting a fair chance with her.


ADMIN
oh man this is really turned into a mess!! i want to do what i can to help both of you resolve this. is the offer for your husband to meet on saturday still on the table? where would that be and what time? i live on lester and if i can help in some way i am willing to do that.


me
The offer stands, she's already done enough damage on the board and having you call me out (not you're fault I understand) on the photo. I don't know the time, late morning since Saturday is our family day together...1130'ish on Kadena? 
I'm going to take the photos off tonight, the seat's going to be thrown out. 


Again, I understand you were just doing what you could do given the one-sidedness of the story and the situation. Thank you for hearing my side. I'm still very angry over how the other person handled it, because again we're all busy and an hour is far from a blow off. If it'd been a day or more I'd understand her frustration and blast. As it is, she seems justified in her actions. 


It is what it is. Thank you for your help


ADMIN
i really am sorry about this honestly, it is hard when a buyer feels wronged and then the seller feels wronged too. i am not telling you to do this but i wouldnt stop you if you felt the need to defend yourself on the page i wont remove it, LOL! seriously i will let her know about saturday and hopefullythis can be resolved.




Rea - would the visitor center at gate 1 be ok at 11:30?

me
Thank you. I'm trying to rise above it and not bring more drama to the page than has already been created from this. 
That's fine, I'll let my husband know. 


Thank you for your help

ADMIN
you are welcome! let me know if any other problems arise please!

me
I will, Hoping Saturday goes smoothly and there's no further issues.


me (again)
Well, there seems to be another issue: 


Sorry to bring this back to you but here are our final exchanges:

IDL
Rea, when I told you I didn't think the post would get that much attention I was being honest. I had no intention on blasting it or whatever that means. On my end, I just wasted the little money we have on a car seat that smelled up the car. Who wouldn't want a response from that? I apologize I didn't wait longer and that everybody and their brother responded on it. However, I was upset and wasn't going to bottle it in. I figured you were ignoring me. ADMIN said your husband would meet me at Kadena. Thank you and hope you get more sleep.

me
It took you and ADMIN both over 2 hours to respond to my messages. In your reasoning I should have started a post about your lack of response, because you both were ignoring me! 
I can't resell this carseat because of your actions, regardless. You may not have money to waste but I'm facing a PCS home to the states in less than 3 months with 2 cats! Read the news lately? I need at least $3k extra to bring them home. So why would I intentional ignore or mislead anyone?!? 
I'm not going to respond on the board, though I feel I should in somehow try to salvage my name after today and what's happened. But instead, I'm going to rise above the drama you started and walk away from it.  (okay I lied...I have a blog to vent on)


I DO expect that seat to be in the same condition it was given to you in. If my husband notices signs that it's been left outside or otherwise damaged he will not return the money.

IDL
You really expect me to keep that thing in my house with the way it smells? You know what, keep the money. You clearly need it more than I do. You sold an item that has cat pee on it and you think I ruined your chances of selling stuff??? No maam, you have nobody but yourself to blame for that one. I said I was sorry the post got attention, but I do think people should be aware of what they are purchasing. Good luck to you.


(Now I did not tell her where to store it, only that I expected it not to be outside (a cover on it outside would be common sense, if left outside) But to just leave outside in the elements would ruin any chance I might have to salvage it at all. I think it was a reasonable request. She has since blocked me)


Again I apologize for all the drama I'm just trying to be fair here it's not like I was planning on returning her dollar bills all ripped up or shredded.




Okay, obviously, I'm not entirely blameless here, I did reply with snark and venom. But c'mon anyone blame me?!?! 
So moral of the story?? Drama Llamas follow me, stalk me and find me but they can't keep me down!!!! 



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Still down but fighting back and formulating a plan

   Hello my friends, family and dedicated readers. Wow! Yesterday's blog was kind of intense wasn't it?? Anyone else worried about my mental state? *raises hand and looks around sheepishly* Oh good, it wasn't just me. 


   Well, I'm not one for flight, in that whole fight-or-flight movement. Never really been my forte. I'm more a back me into a wall and watch me explode kind of gal. But man, I kind of felt like falling apart last night. I never thought I'd EVER admit my darkest thought about Arwen like I did. I just kind of wanted everyone to realize, she's coming home with me one way or another. Leaving her here is not an option!


    On with my fight plan!


    As you may have noticed, there is now a handy dandy little "donate" button on my blog now. I'm not asking for donations to further my caffeine addiction, or a horrible crack habit I'm hiding from the world, I'm not even asking for donations so I can support my incredible love for cute/sexy high heels! A treasured friend/family member read my blog (its an understatement to call her an animal lover....she has sacrificed her own body parts functionality for her puppy! She is a saint!) and made the rational suggestion to start accepting donations to a fund to get the cats home. I mean, it was such an easy and straightforward answer, I'd have never gotten there for WEEKS! Don't feel at all pressured to donate. It's there for those who want to donate only! I will not be begging for donations because I know money is tight for everyone, not everyone is an animal lover and not everyone has the means to spare a few bucks. If you can, great! We greatly appreciate it! If you can't, just send a few good thoughts our way and it'll be just as good, to me! 


      Now, we're not just going to sit back and wait for the money to come "pouring" in from everyone else. I fell asleep last night, with plans a rolling over in my head. 


#1- Mac and I's 4th wedding anniversary is next month. We had planned on getting a couples massage, going out to a nice dinner and (I'm going to ruin the surprise now) I was going to spring a glammed up photo session for us on him, because we don't have enough photos of us looking dapper together! With clothes and all it was going to be around a couple to three hundred bucks. Not anymore. I told him this morning, all of that money can go into our savings account. We can celebrate our anniversary in July (our first date anniversary), when our family, our WHOLE family, is home together in the states. No gifts. No celebrations. Because I'm not spending any extravagant amount of money on us when our cats still need funds to come home with us! We're still married even if we don't go on a date, but our cats need us to make some sacrifices!
#2- K has some baby supplies she's been meaning to sell. She's generously insisting I take them, sell them and put the money towards the cats travel fund. This bitch almost had me in tears last night!!! But I love her for it!
#3- I discussed with Mac options with our car payments and bills to help skim some extra cash. As I said we're all making sacrifices, even if it means deferring car payments and extending the loan period by a month, they'll still both be paid off before the end of the year.
#4- I'm going to have to get serious about selling a lot of shit! Books/baby clothes/Nixon's outgrown toys/other stuff...I need to be posting and checking daily to get this shit moved and sold! 
#5- Rolling all our loose change and depositing it into savings. We have, no shit!, 3 containers with loose change in them. All accumulated over the past 2.5+ years. It might only be a hundred bucks or so, but that's a hundred bucks towards getting our babies home!


Finally, please take a minute and sign this petition. It was started by some pet owners here on Okinawa, as a way to let United/Continental hear and see just how we (military families/friends/the public at large) really feel about their new policy change. When I signed last night, I was signature 233 (I think). Currently there are 766 signatures!! Lets here it for social media!! 

~~~~Arwen~~~~
~~~~Amber~~~~










































Ladies and gents: I'm down, I'm sad but I am far from beaten!!!  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fuck you, United!! I'll see you in hell, with my cats by my side!! Pets are family too! Not money making tools....

Not many people know this, but United Airlines seems to HATE military family members. Now, hear me out, before lighting the torches and burning my house down, okay? I'm not saying United is hating on kids or mothers or anything like that. No, this is far worse potentially leading to the abandonment, death and/or abuse of hundreds if not thousands of helpless military family members all because of United's newest money making plot! 


Who are these helpless family members and how can YOU help them? Sadly, you may not be able to, not in time. They are the beloved family pets of military family members stationed overseas. And United has just decided to announce that they will universally, across the board, transport all animals as cargo effective March 3, 2012. That means, any pet traveling with a military family ON orders, will be charged as cargo, ride a separate flight, and there will be no option to keep your animals in the cabin with you any more. It also means, what once would have cost around $275 to fly a small dog will now roughly be $1450 for the same small dog. Or in my family's case, domestic cat....times 2! 


It'd be simple to say "Well just fly another airline". Simple a solution that sounds, it's not one for a military family. See, we don't CHOOSE our flights. We don't CHOOSE our airlines. We don't even CHOOSE our travel dates/times/locations in most cases, those are all decided by unit travel  department personnel. United and Continental have the government contract with the military, meaning we have to fly them no matter what kind of bullshit, money raping, ass-backwards scheming plots and fees they suddenly introduce. Because we have no choice. 


Now, if you feel like wasting a couple hours of your life, that you can't get back, feel free to meander around the United facebok page. You'll see recent posts of outrage about this after the military paper ran an article about it. Keep going deeper though and you'll see older posts accusing military families of "expecting a free ride". I, myself, after reading at least 5 such posts and responses finally responded (and much to my amazement did not drop one F-bomb!) I'd like to share my response to those people with my readers, because I think it really was my best words to explain why this is such a big deal to ANY military family:

The part that's really pissing off military families is this: not only is United jacking the price up, switching pets to cargo on this PetSafe program, but they're doing with relatively NO notice. What people seem to not realize (or not care) is when a military family leaves one station and moves to another, they have to re-establish themselves all over again: new cell phone service/apartment and deposit, rental car more than likely, possible hotel stay...all of this comes out of pocket in most cases. So to be told less than a month before leaving Okinawa that your family pet will now HAVE to fly cargo and be a new expense, ANY expense, is not something most families budget for! 
So no, it's not the military families expecting a handout. But some damned compassion and forewarning would be nice! My husband and I leave Okinawa in May, with our son and 2 cats. To be honest, this new United procedure with pets gives me anxiety attacks because it's not like we can make money appear out of nowhere!


So before accusing the military of wanting a free ride, try to think of the expenses that ANY person incurs when moving to a new city/location and then try thinking about doing that every 3-6 years because you signed a contract to do so! Yes, a contract was signed, but that doesn't mean companies like United should be allowed to exploit the fact that service members have no option but to use them (we don't book our flights, they're booked for us) and they can make these decisions because, well hell, what can we do, right?!?!? After all, the service members are the ones who signed the contract and the spouses?? Well, they married the service member for those great benefits!



   So now, a personal note. Mac and I are about to be faced with somehow coming up with over $3000 to bring home our cats. Try to get a loan, sure. And if that fails? Leaving them is not an option. Somewhere, deep in the darkest part of my mind, I see myself taking my baby girl to the vet and asking to have Arwen put to sleep, not because she's old but because the devil you know is better than the one you don't. I'd much prefer to bring my baby girl's ashes home with me than leave her here and hope someone takes good care of her. Because in my 3 years here, I've seen too many animals left behind by owners to let that happen to Arwen. It's heartbreaking to think of ending her life because we couldn't afford to put her on a flight home with us, but I'll be damned if I ever have to worry about the "what happened". So say all you want, about how cruel and evil I am to even be pondering this, but I promise you....I will let every United Airline employee I see (if in fact it does come to this drastic measure) know that my baby girl's death is on their hands, as I carry her ashes with me on our flight home! You find me a CEO of United, I blow some of her ashes in his or her fucking face! NO family should have to take loans out to get their pets home! I shouldn't have to even be thinking about KILLING, yes there I said it MURDERING my baby girl, because of some corporate fucking policy that said "Hey I know, let's really fuck over the military! Because you know Congress hasn't done a good enough job already!" 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

A weekend conversation with Nixon (and a shameless plea)


Oh my Love!! Nixon and I have had some interesting conversations together, but I do believe this one tops the list! It took place this morning, before my cup of coffee, after a horrible night's sleep (thank you to that asshole known as Insomnia for paying extra special attention to me and a random hot flash that came in the middle of the night).


Nixon is sitting next to me, pulling at his butt really hard, still in his pj's.
me: Nixon, what's wrong?
Nixon: mommy, I thinking my undies are eating my poo!
me: Nixon?!?! Did you poo???!!! *I pull him over to check and see no poo, but he has a severe wedgie*
me: Nixon, you didn't poo but you had a wedgie, you're undies were crawling up into your buttcrack.
Nixon: To eat my poo, Mommy?? Is poo yummy??
me: NO! Poo is not yummy! Unless you're a monkey.
Nixon: hmmm.....poo is gross, mommy. My butt feels better!


and now my shameless plea:
If any of my readers are on facebook please take a minute and like  this photo. It's Nixon and his BFF Miss Macy, in a cutest couple contest for a free photo session. Since not only are we moving back to the states in May but Miss Macy's family is too, their time together is running out, K and I thought a photo shoot together would be an awesome way to make the move easier for them. (I'm hoping to make a photobook for both kids to keep with them...if we win)
Thanks for helping :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Insane, coping or just cracking up??

  This past Saturday, Mac gave me the day to myself. We did our usual breakfast together, as a family, and then we came home and I was "free"!!! I gathered my camera, cellphone (this is not always with me. Unlike back in the states where my cell was glues to my hand, here it's frequently left in my purse or on a shelf forgotten and unused for days), iPod, tablet, wallet, hoodie and car keys. Tossed the essentials in my purse, kissed the boys goodbye, grabbed directions to my first and only planned location for the day, and headed out.  I spent a little over 5 1/2 hours just driving around the island, stopping randomly to take photos and following my gut on where I wanted to go. I went to a sunflower festival, one castle ruin site, I drove to an island off Okinawa stopping at a rest stop on the bridge halfway there and watched the locals fish, I went to a tomb on the island and got the weirdest vibe that I was most unwelcome there and promptly left, continued driving on the island until I reached a small beach where I was befriended by a most curious little calico kitten. The whole time, I don't remember one thing I thought about. I let myself be free and not dwell on much of anything. I thought of my sister while walking through the sunflower maze because she loves sunflowers! I thought how odd it was that an obviously stray kitten, would just wander up to me and lie down beside me like she's known me all her life or as if she had been expecting me, when I'd witness her shy away from the few other occupants of the same beach. I considered myself lucky that she granted me the pleasure of her presence and I thanked her for her company when I left to head home. 
    For those few hours, I remembered how it felt to be alone in my head.


    Until I got home and started to reflect on my day. Then my anxiety seemed to get the best of me and it was in a most ridiculous manner. I drove over 2 large bridges to get to the small island I spent apart of my day exploring. After I was safely home and had tucked Nixon into bed, I started thinking of things that could have gone wrong. What if there had been an earthquake and one of the bridges was destroyed?? How would I have gotten back to Mac and Nixon? I didn't even know the island I was on and I didn't speak enough Japanese to get by! How would I have asked for help or a place to stay in that kind of situation?? I was really freaking out, even though I was home and none of that happened! I was just walking around, assuming I'd be safe alone, with only my camera/car keys and cellphone in a foreign country being very obviously not from there! I'd felt perfectly at peace while doing it, but for some reason when I came home and saw my husband and son, I felt like I had taken HUGE risks doing it and still don't get it. Shouldn't those feelings have been coming up WHILE I was out there doing it?? 
    Wow, I might be a little more fucked up that I gave myself credit for!! (Yes, I do realize I NEED to make another appointment with my mental health doctor. It just amazes me how these things seem to creep up on me despite my best efforts to just be normal and relax.)


    Lately, with the move and Nixon's tantrums and defiant attitude, I feel I'm never alone in my head. I'm constantly making lists and trying to check things off one by one. Or I'm going over a situation for 2-5 different possible angles and I'm questioning and doubting myself and the way I handled it. I read too much into everything these days because I'm spending so much time alone with Nixon, since Mac is on midnight's and having to go in on days off (today and  yesterday) to get our travel packet done and handed in. It's shit like that, that's out of my control that really push my into overdrive! If it were up to me, that fucking packet would've been done and in by Feb 1st. But now we're almost to the middle of the goddamned month and it's still not fucking done! The longer it takes, the longer we wait to get travel dates and I need a fucking travel date because I NEED to know my cats are coming home with us!! But it seems that no matter how many times I explain this to him, Mac does what Mac does and just tells me to relax!


   Relax....as if it's magically going to get better because he said a word and told me to do it! Well, It doesn't get better. In fact, I can "relax" during the day, but you know what ends up happening? I end up with panicky dreams and tossing and turning nights because MY MIND WON'T FUCKING RELAX UNTIL SOMETHING FUCKING HAPPENS!!  


So insane or just cracking up?? I haven't decided yet. I know what the issues are. I can control them while I'm awake, it's just while I'm sleeping that they get the better of me....


And now, some photos from my Saturday Alone :)


inside the sunflower maze


the castle ruin site

view from the top of the many stairs I climbed
marker at castle ruins
sunflower with a bee


sunflower field!


my little calico friend
the tomb with the wonky vibe

men fishing off the pier of the rest stop
    
also on the same small alcove with the wonky tomb
I found it simplistically beautiful


Lunch or friend??? I never got the answer to that question.
                                                                                         





Monday, February 6, 2012

Damn it!! I know when these frakking pictures were taken! I swear to Ole FatAss Himself, I do!! (aka Santa update numero 3)

That's right boys and girls, the Santa picture fiasco saga continues! We have the same cast of bumbling characters, but with a new level of "constant" communication between myself and one person in particular, with the same familiar head scratching, "what-the-fuck!!" outcries I've come to know and "love" during this whole debacle. 
You may recall, from the last Santa update blog, that there was finally an interested party who had informed me that photos were taken on a "full memory card" and that this person was going to do everything in her power to get some answers. Well, the emails from her today are anything less than hopeful. I'm  going to share them in their entirety, because something need to be read as a whole.....I'll also post my reply, because it's very rare that I remember entire details like I have memorized from this day. (I'll be totally honest here, I barely remember my wedding day or what I did last Monday. But the events from December 11th around 5:45pm, I've got a pretty airtight memory...this will prove to be QUITE important.)


**I should also mention I emailed this person on Feb 1st because I had not heard from her by her own personally set deadline. She emailed me back, apologizing that her entire household had been ill and she had not had time to further look into the matter but had not forgotten. Just in case someone was wondering, this is not the first time I'd heard from her since January.**


I give you, the emails:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Good morning Mrs. Wilcox-Ball,


I am e-mailing you to ask a few questions to help me in my search. You stated that you had your pictures done on  December 11th, right? You also stated that you received a candy cane, right? I am just trying to narrow down the time frame and picture search. But am a little confused because we didn't give out anything with pictures. I looked at the calendar and that was actually the first weekend we were involved in the pictures. That is also the same night that AFN's camera cards filled up and we spent an hours trying to figure out what we were going to do. The BX tried to help by transferring photos to something else to free up some space so we could continue taking pictures. I am not sure what happen and I know that Coz told them not to delete any photos but, I wasn't back there with them (Coz and the BX associates) so I have no idea what happen. While we were waiting I bought batteries and took a few with my camera and we let parents take their own using their camera's and phones. By any chance, are you one of those parents that took the photos using your own camera or your cell phone? I know we had a lot of people taking their own and we actually closed early that night due to not being able to take anymore pictures using AFN's camera.
 Any info you can give me about that evening will help me in my search.
Thank you and have a blessed day.


Enter my reply (remember those details I mentioned???):
Hello Ms R, 



Yes, we had my son's photos taken Sunday December 11th at the BX. We arrived just a few moments before 6pm, probably between 545pm and 6pm (which I remember because we had to rush leaving the house as my son had taken a later than usual nap and I didn't want to miss getting his picture taken that weekend, since my husband works every other weekend so the next weekend we'd have a chance to do it as a family would be Christmas Eve). There was one other family in front of us when we got there.
No one had suggested we use our own camera, I'd have happily done so if someone had suggested so. 
My son got a small candy cane, before leaving, I'm not sure if it was from Santa or someone else my husband took it since we had not had dinner yet. 
My son was wearing a black short-sleeved shirt, with white long-sleeves underneath. He had on dark green pants and black sneakers. His teddy bear, which was in the photos with him, is also white and about 11 inches tall. 
**There was someone named Tyler there, who was sitting on Santa's lap just before my son. He was one of the high school students and it seemed they were just goofing around at the end of the day. 
I hope this help, this is pretty much everything I remember from that day. I do know for sure it was Sunday the 11th and it was around 545pm that we were there. 
With regards, 


Finally her reply back to my email:

Good day Mrs Wilcox-Ball,



Thank you so much!
I will keep you posted. I have AFN looking into it and their higher ups are following up. It was their understanding that all photos were uploaded so MSgt Prince has CC'd Cpl Helen to chime in. I was told that they are going to have to review all the info.
I promise to stay on top of this.

Thank you again!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   Now, according to her first email, we were never there. We never had our photos with Santa and this is all a mistake, right?? Because according to her, the whole thing closed early on the 11th. So if that's the case, how come I just handed her an entire plate of details for the night of the 11th on a silver platter?? 
  And by the way, MSgt Prince was the one who was supposed to contact her about my complaint in the first place! Funny how SHE contacted HIM and now HE's got someone else looking into it. Because from what he told me in the email, he had nothing to do with this event.....
   I'm sadly very convinced I'll never see those photos of Nixon and I'll, at the most, get a very "sincere apology" and be assured "it will never happen again". 


  But that won't get MY pictures back!! 


Santa....I know you're not a figment of my imagination, I know my family saw you on December 11th and Nixon had his pictures taken with you. I only wish other people would stop trying to convince me I'm the crazy one and fighting a non-existent battle!  


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My heart's breaking and I'm the reason why.....this parenting gig kind of sucks ass, yo!

   As I write this, Nixon is sequestered in his room screaming and crying for me and I'm ignoring his pleas and demands. I'm not heartless, though I certainly feel as though I am right now. I'm not doing the "cry it out" method to get him to take a nap, we're way past that and thankfully he likes his sleep almost as much as we do. 


   No, I'm punishing him (and myself it seems) for his continuous screeching outbursts in public. They've been getting progressively worse and louder recently, and with a plane trip which will last HOURS in our not-so distant future, I'm nipping this shit right and tight now. Even if it means I'm breaking my own heart listening to his cries in the meantime. Because, afterall, most of this is a result of my own doing. 


   "How so?" you ask. You ask a wise and loaded question. See, I started rewarded Nixon for good behavior in public, which became almost second nature. However, when the tantrums started the rewards stopped and the screeching started! He even got smart enough to behave long enough to get the reward, only to act out as soon as we left because I wouldn't let him get more things he "need"ed. Then he learned to say "May I have...?" and thought that by asking correctly he'd get it automatically, sometimes I'd give in other times not (depending on his prior behavior and what he was asking for), when I said "no" the screeching began. It really became the go-to in his arsenal against us for anything he didn't like. Didn't like dinner? SCREECH!! Didn't want plain white milk? SCREECH!! Didn't want to wear underwear in the house? SCREECH!! Clearly, you can see how it'd wear a person down.


   So today, I drew a line in the sand. We went out to run errands while Mac slept (poor guy is on midnights and I decide I'm going to go balls-to-the-wall hardcore parenting....I love you, honey!), I told Nixon "no car" before we left, I told him again when we got to the store, I had snacks in hand for him and we just meandered for almost an hour. Mindless, pointless walking around quietly together after I grabbed what I was there for in the first place. It was nice. It was calm. It was.....short lived. As soon as we left and he realized I really meant no cars, he demanded (re: SCREECHED) to go into another store. I whispered directly into his ear "No, Nixon, I'm sorry but we're leaving" and headed for the door. I got out the door and he asked for a snack (our new distraction when we're going to be a while) out of the vending machine. When he got told no for that as well, he screeched again! 
*Enter dirty glares from perfect strangers here*
I gave him a warning, if he screeched or yelled one more time, we'd go straight home and he'd go in his bedroom for 30 minutes with no toys and no books. (I will leave him BeBe though). He was quiet all the way to the car. As soon as it was time to get into the car....a screech that almost popped my eardrums as I was buckling him in!
*Enter more dirty looks from strangers, 3 parking row (not spaces ROWS) way*
I got into the car, buckled my seatbelt and told Nixon we were going home because he had earned his trip to his bedroom. 


He screeched, yelled, cried, screamed and slammed his door for 27 of 30 minutes. I spent a couple minutes curled up on Mac's chest on the verge of tears listening my my son RAGE at me and for me. He stopped yelling less than 2 minutes before the timer went off. I went into his room. He was lying on his bed, fingers in mouth clutching BeBe, his sweet little tear-stained face lying away from the door and his eyes were closed. 


I woke him, hugged him, kissed him, told him why I did what I did and now he's curled up next to me waiting for me to finish up this blog so he can play one of the games he loves on kneebouncers.com. 


My heart still hurts from all his anger, but I know we're going to recover....just in time to do this a few more times over before he gets the lesson I'm trying to teach him.