Mommy Moment Mondays: A Summer Abroad


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Is it over yet? Is it time to pawn my children off at school and take more than a 3 minute power nap? If I fall asleep on the toilet one more time I might commit myself. Our summer break has been anything but; however, it is for all the best reasons- our family.

The most popular question we get asked is “do we miss Hawaii?” Our answer; no. Our course even that answer comes with some caveats. Who wouldn’t miss day after day of perfect 82 humidity free sunny weather? However, as I have said before- even paradise has it’s draw backs. The only and biggest drawback was of course not being close by family. Missing family is more than just missed birthdays, births, life and even death.

We made the point of this summer catching up with everyone we could. We didn’t even have time to visit with half our family and friends we haven’t see in the past FOUR YEARS, however, we did what we could.

Not only did we visit family and friends, we showed our children our old stomping grounds. They are too young to understand the significance of a location to us, but it made Hubs and I proud to be able to finally let them play in the parks we did, see our elementary school, and hometown highlights. Even if your children can’t talk, see, hear or understand an importance of a memory tied to a location; show them. They might surprise you and nevertheless, don’t deny yourself of those feelings and emotions.

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Tip{py} Tuesday: Road Trip Tips


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Just recently the kids and I completed 5 stages of a road trip for our PCS from Hawaii to North Carolina. The last leg of our trip was over 800 miles, two days and 15 hours of driving. I am flying solo and needed all the help I could get dealing with three children under the age of 6 with ASD. And guess what? We all survived. Which means there was a small glimmer of doubt in my mind we wouldn’t. I did picture a few times strapping my children to the top of my car like a hood ornament. But saner minds prevailed and all my children carried out the road trip in style in the back of the car. However, it was not without it’s moments of “are we there yet”. So how did I not throw myself out of the moving vehicle due to incessant complaining and fighting?

First, I prepared them. I got on my iPhone and plugged our route into an driving app- Waze. It told us how long it was going to take, all road hazards and police on our route and the route. The kids were able to scroll around the map and see the towns and other things we would pass. It gave them a plan; they knew what to expect.

Next, I made a roadtrip basket. We have some new to me stores on the mainland called Five Below (where everything is under $5.) they had some foldable, collapsable and flimsy baskets. The metal got crushed and dented; but the basket still works and it was only $5.

I filled the basket with age and skill level appropriate travel games like Candyland, Old Maid, Go Fish and a normal deck of cards. I added in coloring books, Crayola mess free markers, picture books and mess free snacks (think squeezable applesauce, snack traps with goldsfish and cheese and cracker packs). I stuck the basket within reach of my oldest and with the instructions they must ask before getting a snack and he must help his sister get what she needs. Bug being the hard core rule follower was great at his job. I played into his skill and told him it was an important job. He loved being responsible and it calmed him down knowing he was in charge of that situation.

The last thing I did was almost the greatest and cheapest. I found two suction cupped baskets at Walmart. They are used for sticking bars of soap or toothbrushs in while hanging in the shower. Inside them I places the kids mess free markers and headphones. This way the smaller items must likely to get lost where contained. They also used it as their trash can and to hold other items. I have seen them in much larger sizes. I stuck them to their windows and bam! They had everything they needed at the fingertips.

Of course there was fighting, but at least for the most part there was silence.

Mommy Moment Monday: Nothing Completes a PCS like a Trip to the ER


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I think I have read that title phrase a million times and sadly it is still true. So here to entertain you on your Monday is the first story from PCS hell.

Our first PCS was a overseas tour four years and one kid ago. Of course there was a lot of stress in anxiety trying to move our entire lives and two kids (one with a life threatening medical condition) two under two years of age across an oceans and away from family. Joy oh glorious joy how I was so thrilled to be taking that trip that involved three layovers and over 24 hours of travel. Needless to say by the time the movers showed up at 10, I already needed a drink. However, that had to wait since Diva woke up THAT morning with a 105 fever. She was not herself and we decided that we didn’t want to chance her getting worse and with a fever for the first time that high and not knowing at the time if she shared Bugs medical condition, a trip to the ER was needed.

However, before I could load her up in the car, we needed to pack it.

Here is a little PCS pointer: anything you DO NOT want the movers to pack you need to isolate. I have heard of people designating certain rooms with “do not pack” signs on the doors, people standing 24 guard over the items to make sure they are not packed by mistake and more. We chose to pack everything not going crated into our car. After our belongings were loaded and driven off, we were driving 15 hours to our families house. So it was easier and made since to pack the car before the movers got there. What ever method you choose; choose one!

So the epic day arrived, pack out day. Diva woke up with a 105 fever and the movers were due at any moment. Hubs and I threw all our luggage into the luggage topper we bought and used on top of out vehicle. The movers arrived and I left with Diva barely lucent in the back seat.

Strike one: Hail. Yes, hail. I drove over to the nearest emergency room in the neighboring town through a hail storm. I was scared out of my mind, but Diva needed medical attention. I arrived and tornado sirens where screaming at us. Not only giving us a warning of the storm but also more to come for our family.

Strike two: We spent 6 hours in the ER with no cell phone service. I have a slight problem with needing to be in control. Not knowing how the move was progressing was sending me into a panic attack. Being locked in a mouse hole sized white sterile room was taking its toll. I held it together for Diva. Finally, she was discharged after her fever was under control and tests showed nothing serious. So I ran her out to the car in the storm. Luckily the hail and sirens stopped. But not the sheets of rain.

Strike 3: We arrived home just as the rain stopped. I walked in the house and instantly realized one flaw with our plan of loading up the car pre trip- standing there with only a PINK pull-up on was Bug. Diapers. I forgot to leave diapers. Hubs was smart enough to call one of my friends with a small child and asked to borrow any diapers she had. Sadly for us, her daughter was potty training. I just kept reassuring Hubs that all real men wear pink. He then informed me of how it all happened and strangely kept reassuring me that Bug was ok. . Never start off a story by reassuring me the kid is ok.

Apparently Hubs was busy helping the movers. He knew Bug would be content watching tv. Bug was content. He was also content drinking the 6 cups of juice Hubs kept feeding him. Needless to say, the one and only diaper in the house filled up fast. Leaking through his clothes and my favorite embroidered silk thread pillow (which promptly went into the trash). He tells me how he called my friend to get diapers and how she showed up quickly only to discover that Bug must have still been thirsty because they found him and the floor covered in weed killer! Bug must have been searching for a drink and thought the weed killer was a tasty choice. However, poison control didn’t feel that was a humorous conclusion. We had no way of knowing if he actually ingested any and how much. Try advised us to watch him, which we did much more carefully. Lucky enough, he never reacted.

And the home run: After the lecture and lesson from poison control I felt we needed to get the some clothes on the kid. Hubs scaled the car to get into the car topper and our suitcase. After he opened it up he discovered our “waterproof” car topper wasn’t. He further found out that everything in it was drenched. He opened up the black suit case and here it is folks… The grand slam… All our clothes in the suitcase were dyed black; an entire and only suitcase full our our clothes ruined… All our clothes we had with us for the next two months.

Yup. It was a glorious experience. Obviously we all survived and we got a new wardrobe to boot.

** keep us in mind the next two days as we travel across the United States on the longest and almost last leg of our PCS. From St. Louis to Richmond, VA. What I love best as I drive is knowing I am every kids road trip bingo dream ~ Hawaii plates!

Tip{py} Tuesday: With A Smile on my Face and a Song in my Heart- Trying to Remain Pleasant While Visiting Family


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We have all been there before; thrusted into a situation with a family member who makes some comments about your children or family. Most common “well your cousins son does that and he’s fine”, “it’s just a phase”, and “they will out grow it”. I feel like I need to carry around my children’s medical diagnosis to shut some people up. When visiting family I constantly feel defensive about my kids diagnosises. I get tired, hurt and annoyed with the constant snide comments and family playing doctor with their own diagnosis.

So what do you do? You can argue and pull out the paperwork and explain in great detail how their constant farting nosies they make is “not a boy thing” it’s called a stem. You can educate people until you are blue in the face, but after six years I have learned to save face and my breath.

It’s hard. It’s more than hard; it is almost damn near impossible for me to keep my mouth shut. Not to mention you can read me like a book. I was very good in theater. I have a tendency to get very defensive about topics I know a lot about. So I have to press my lips together and bite the inside of my mouth to keep from being the next breaking news story.

My momma taught me that if I have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. At my age I still heed that warning. Sometimes it’s better to just say nothing to the people you love. Take what they say with a grain of salt and all those other euphuism we have all acquired over time.

So next time your faced with a family member who just keeps digging at you, slap a smile on your face and put a song in your heart and remember that they are just family.

Wordy Wednesday: Transferring Your Prescription During a PCS


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Yea, you caught me… “Transferring your prescription during a PCS” is not a word. However, it is a aggregating phrase to hear during an already aggregating time of a PCS.

Here’s my story- two months ago I called Tricare and then Express Scripts regarding our families growing list of prescriptions. I was informed “it’s a piece of cake!” And to not worry about it until we have moved and settled down. Ok, so I tried to let go and live with God (a phrase my mom used to say). Flash forward to this past Friday when I ran out of two medications. I quickly called our local pharmacy in town. They informed me I needed to do a transfer of all my prescriptions. Huh? The issue I ran into is I ran out of my prescription while visiting family and before we reach our new duty station. I need to transfer my prescriptions from a military pharmacy to a civilian one.

However, to further the issue, the pharmacy doesn’t take Tricare. Apparently two years ago Walgreens lost the Army contract to take Tricare and has been fighting ever since to gain it back. So I had to call the next pharmacy in line; CVS. CVS takes Tricare for your information.

I dialed up CVS and explained my situation. They were happy to have my business. Then I realized the next hurdle. I needed my medication before I went out of town for two days. I thought if I’d transfer my prescriptions to one CVS, I could pick them up at any location. Guess again. Maybe I am naive. Nevertheless, I had to wait until we returned to town TODAY to pick up my medication. For two reasons 1) you can’t pick up your refill at just any location and 2) most military pharmacies aren’t open on the weekends. So when you call on a Friday trying to get a prescriptions transferred, you need to allow for 24 hours before pick up.

So learn this lesson from me- once you arrive at your new destination; call and have your prescription transferred before you run out of medication.