Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hey, It's Okay Thursday

I got this idea from a fellow blogger who in turn got it from Glamour magazine.  Basically, any Thursday that I'm able, I'm going to write a list of things to be okay about.  Feel free to do the same on your blog--any day of the week!

Hey, It's Okay...

To be depressed that I cannot drink coffee anymore because of my heart condition.  I've been looking forward to Pumpkin Spice lattes from Starbucks for months, and now I can't even drink them.  It's enough to make a person curse the Fates. 

To be very excited for Halloween.  Evie is starting to understand what holidays are, and is very into Halloween right now.  We're going to decorate the house and go to the Pumpkin Patch.  And I'm making Evie's costume.  It's going to be a blast! 

To have already started Christmas shopping.  I know that it's three months away, but if I find good deals, why pass them up?  Besides, Evie's birthday is only three weeks after Christmas, so I might as well buy her birthday presents during all the Christmas sales too. 

To really hate potty training.  Evie is 32 months now so we should really be working on it, but she has no interest whatsoever.  How do you potty train someone who can look you in the eye as she pees on the floor in front of you?  I'm clueless.

To be so excited that it is starting to finally feel like Fall.  Evie even wore a sweater the other day!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Changed Perspective

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my increasing heart palpitations, chest pains and shortness of breath. I've gotten a few emails asking me how everything is going so I thought I'd share what I've learned thus far.  After that initial doctor's appointment and a visit to the Emergency Room a week later for increased symptoms, I finally had my appointment with a cardiologist.

I am not one of those cool people who get heart palpitations for absolutely no reason at all.

They ran a couple different tests--echocardiograph and an isotope stress test.  Both were interesting to say the least.  And when I left the appointment, I wore a Holter monitor which is basically a portable EKG machine that would record the electrical firings of my heart over a twenty-four hour period.

The initial results from the Echo and stress test came back immediately.  I have an arrhythmia which is just a fancy way of saying my heartbeat is irregular.  And I also have heart valve disease, more specifically Valvular insufficiency.  Which again, is just a fancy way of saying I have a leaky heart valve.

The doctor was very brief in explaining all this to me and although he allowed for questions, I had no idea what to even ask at that point.  So right now, I have no idea what kind of arrhythmia I have or what heart valve is leaky.  Those are pretty important things to know.  I do know that I have a strong heart and the problems seem to be mild right now.

When the results of the Holter monitor come back, I will have another appointment with the Cardiologist.  I already have a long list of questions and will most assuredly have a pen and paper handy to write everything down.  The researcher in me hates not knowing what's going on, especially when it involves my health.

Before I found out the results, I thought that if I learned something was indeed wrong with my heart, it would change everything.  I would feel depressed, angry, hopeless.  Maybe it would even be the push I need to finish my book and check some things off my Bucket List because now I would know that I'm not invincible.  I figured at the very least it would be life changing.  

That's not really the case.  I don't feel any different.  Except for the symptoms that pop up a lot more frequently, I keep forgetting that there is anything wrong.  Life isn't any different.  My house and child and husband all still need my attention just as much as before.  I don't have time to feel sorry for myself.  I don't even know if I have the right to.

Sure, the heart is a pretty important organ and heart problems--no matter how small--can be really scary.  But it could be a hell of a lot worse. 

I wanted to write about this not because I'm asking for sympathy, but because I'm amazed at how normal I feel.  I always thought if something bad happened to me, it would rule my life.  I wouldn't be able to look past it.  Maybe those philosophical moments I've been having have done me more good than I thought. 

Because all I really want to do is keep on living my life to the fullest.

Monday, September 27, 2010

McConnell AFB Air Show 2010

This past weekend McConnell AFB hosted an Open House and an Air Show.  They had many different airplanes on display, booths from all the different branches, and had lots and lots of food. The main event?  The Air Force's very own Thunderbirds!

I've never been to an Air Show before even though the Blue Angels come to my hometown every year.  I've been looking forward to it for weeks.

It was a lot of fun.  Michael was "volunteered" to work a few hours both days in the food tents so we didn't get to go to the event for long as a family.  No big surprise there.  But Evie is a huge fan of airplanes so she and I spent a few hours walking amongst the planes and watching them fly by on our own.

We got to see the KC-135 Stratotanker that Michael works on up close and even got to go inside.

We saw parachutists from the Air Force Academy. 

Evie was great at pointing out when the airplanes were flying by.

Some of the airplanes were pretty loud so Evie wore Michael's ear protective gear from work.  She wasn't a huge fan at first, but after realizing how much it muffled the sound, she was game.

The Thunderbirds got rained out Saturday but they were able to fly on Sunday.  We were so excited to see them.  They were awesome.  I wish I had a better lens for my camera so I could have captured more of their show.  I was able to get one shot of a few of them in formation though.

All in all, it was a great weekend.  Evie had so much fun that it was worth walking around for hours and sitting on the cold cement.  And it helped distract me from some bad news I received recently.  But more on that later. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in....on Saturday

It's been a few weeks since I've participated in the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In, but the questions were so great this week that I had to jump back in.  Even though (gasp) it's Saturday.  So sue me.

1. What characteristic about yourself has either been strengthened or weakened due to your experience as a Military Spouse? (from The Albrecht Squad) 
Since I'm a glass half full kinda gal, I'll focus on what has strengthened.  I think as a military wife, I'm learning to think outside the box even more than I used to.  You have to be creative as a military spouse because you don't really have a lot of control in some major parts in your life.  I'm thinking outside the box more when it comes to career choices, family size, even holidays.  What used to work in my life before may not be possible now, and I'm learning to adjust to it all.

2. What is your favorite vacation spot and why? (from ‘Tis the Life of the Army Wife) 
This one is hard because I haven't really been a lot of places.  It's for that reason that I want to travel, travel, travel! If I had to choose somewhere to visit that I've been before and would like to go back, without a doubt I would choose Chicago.  Michael and I lived there for such a short period of time--and both being college students, a very broke period of time--that we didn't really get to experience the highlights of the city.  I really want to go back and experience everything!

3. If you could have any fast-food restaurant in the food court on base/post what would you pick? (from The Only Pink in a House of Blue) 
The base I live at doesn't really have a food court.  The BX is so small it makes me wonder why they bothered with one at all.  The only choice we have is pizza.  So that's what I'm going with.  :)

4. Where did you go on your honeymoon?  (from Pennies from Heaven) 
Sadly, we didn't go on a honeymoon.  I know, right!?!? Evie was five months old when we got married so it wasn't really in the cards.  But we do hope to have a honeymoon someday--definitely sans children!

5. If you could have any job in the world regardless of money, degree or experience, which job would you have and why? (from Proud to Be a Navy Family and The Calm Before The Storm)
Hands down, I would be a published writer.  It is what I want more than just about anything else in this world.  I love my blog and wouldn't mind publishing in a magazine or two, but what I want the most is to write novels.  Most novelists don't make a ton of money--unless you're Stephenie Meyer or J.K Rowling--but that doesn't matter to me.  I just want to write!  Hopefully I finish writing my first novel this year and someone comes along that makes my dreams come true.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cookie Time

I'm ready for fall to be here.  I want to wear jeans and long sleeve shirts and eat chili and drink hot chocolate.  And I am thoroughly sick of waiting.  Even though it's still hot outside, I decided I am tired of not using my oven.  So yesterday, Evie and I made cookies.

Just call me Martha.

Michael worked a weird shift so I needed to fill the afternoon when he's usually home with something fun.  Last week I bought an awesome KitchenAid Stand Mixer at the Thrift Shop on base for a crazy deal of $50.  It was the perfect time to try it out.

I have this great chocolate chip recipe that I absolutely love.  It makes crunchy, crumbly cookies rather than soft and gooey cookies.  It's pure heaven. 

So Evie and I geared up for the task ahead.  She loves to help in the kitchen even though it's not always very helpful.  She even has her own apron!

Evie gets really involved in the whole process.  She doesn't just sit around looking cute.  She puts all the ingredients together, and stirs them. I'm surprised she lets me do the measuring.

The end product is usually a little messy though.

Evie didn't help form the cookies because I wasn't sure how sanitary she'd be.  And with good reason.  She kept stealing the chocolate chips out of the cookies! 

This recipe makes a lot of cookies.  These aren't even all of them.  But they sure look great, don't they?

Evie was of course the official cookie taste tester.  Her expression may not show it, but she approved.

Every day I'm reminded why I am so very blessed.  Not only do I have an amazing daughter who is so much like me it's kinda scary (no, really.  I remember what I was like as a child.  Uh-oh!), but I get to spend every day with her doing all the fun things that kids enjoy.  Baking cookies is so much more rewarding when you're looking through the eyes of a two year old.

And I just have to end by showing my awesomely cool apron I just bought from Lakeside Collections.  If you've never heard of them, check the website out.  I love their stuff!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Inner Martha Stewart

I'm a rock star.

What a way to begin a post, right?  But I have to say it.  It's the truth.  Because last night, my inner Martha Stewart made an appearance.

When it comes to all things crafty, you can usually count me out.  I may be able to imagine up something unique and pretty in my head, but it never turns out how I pictured it.  My creative juices flow in words, not with a sewing machine.

But I'm trying to change all that.  At least a little bit.  Because I want my house to look like a home without spending a million bucks.  Plus, I'm living vicariously through Evie, and want her to be surrounded by all things pretty and sparkly so I can bask in them too.  Again, without spending a million bucks.

Last night I jumped on the bandwagon that seems to be making the rounds. I made Evie a tutu. She's going to be an Autumn fairy for Halloween, and I haven't been able to find a tutu that I liked.  So I decided I would take a shot at making one.

It seems like everyone is making tutus right now.  Everyone.  And now I know why.  Because they are so easy to make!

From start to finish, it took me just over an hour.  That's with cutting all the tulle and everything, which is one of the most time-consuming parts of the project.  And the best part? It only cost me $7!

This tutu was a practice run.  I couldn't find any orange tulle at the fabric stores in town for her costume, so I picked up some pink and black instead.  I'll have to order orange tulle online somewhere and I'd rather mess up with colors that I don't have to custom order.

I got four yards of tulle, two yards in black and two in pink.  The best way to cut the tulle is to roll the tulle up like a tube and cut it in three inch sections.

For a small child, the lengths of tulle will be too long so you will need to cut each piece in half.  See what I mean about cutting the tulle being the most time consuming part?  I had big messy piles by the time I finished cutting everything up.

For the body of the tutu, I used an adult stretch headband.  You know, those really cheap ones you can buy in a pack to use for when you're exercising?

The next step is easy.  Just tie the piece of tulle onto the headband in a knot.  That sounds confusing when I write it like that, but that's all there is to it.  Just slip the piece of tulle through the loop of the headband and tie a knot (like when you're tying a shoe, before you do the loops) in the middle, so that the tails of the tulle are even.

Just keep it up until you fill the headband.  I alternated the two colors every other knot (pink, black, pink, black, etc).  One word of advice I would give is to not put the tulle too close together.  I ran out of tulle when I was about 3/4 of the way around the headband.  I had to go around and spread out the knots at the end which was annoying. I could have bought more tulle to complete it, but the skirt was full enough as it was.

I added some thin ribbon randomly in the skirt as well at the end to give the tutu a little something extra.  I tied the ribbon the same way as the tulle.  

And here's the finished product.  I think it looks pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself.

I have a feeling Evie is going to flip over it.  And if I can't find orange tulle for a reasonable price, she can always go as a punk rock fairy for Halloween!

And since I know my directions were probably a little confusing, for better step-by-step instructions, watch this video.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Tinkerbell

Yesterday the newest Tinkerbell movie, The Great Fairy Rescue, was released.  Evie wore her Tinkerbell costume most of the day, and we had to rush out to buy the movie as soon as Michael got home from work.  Evie is a huge Tinkerbell fan as this week's Wordless Wednesday clearly illustrates.

(PS:  I don't usually let her jump on the bed, but I caught her at it and figured I'd take what I could get.  She so rarely poses for the camera anymore!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some Changes

Whoa! What happened?

If that's how you felt when heading on over here today, sorry! I made a lot of changes, but I think they were all for the best.  

When I started up this blog back in January, Michael had just left for BMT.  I wanted a medium that I could write down my thoughts when it came to the whole military experience, and something that could be used to keep family and friends informed of our lives once we moved.

Back then, I really didn't know what I was doing.  Or what I wanted to write about exactly.  Or if I would even keep up with it.  So I just picked a name on a whim, slapped a layout together and took off with it.

Eight months later, and the blog has evolved far more than I had ever imagined. I now have a clear idea of what I want this blog to be. 

And it's for that reason that I changed the name.  Our Military Adventure was too narrow a scope for what this blog is about.  I write about parenting, social issues, my dreams and my frustrations as well as the military.  It's not just about our lives in the military, but about our lives in general. 

A lot of what I write on here is random so I think the new title fits.  I find something to write about that I find interesting, and I just go with it.  With the new title, I'll feel even more free to do so.

I changed the look of the blog along with the name so I'd feel completely free to go with my vision.  I hope you like it, and stick around!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Easy A: A review


Can I just say, awesome?  Truly, awesome.  Laugh-out-loud hilarious.

That would be "Easy A" (staring Emma Stone) in a nutshell.  I think I'm starting to get a little too old to enjoy most movies that revolve around high-schoolers and their melodrama, but Easy A did not disappoint.

With one little overheard lie to her best friend, Emma Stone's character Olive becomes the topic of discussion around school.  Soon the nobody became somebody, if only because she was known as the class slut.  Too bad she was still a virgin.

I love how the classic novel The Scarlet Letter was incorporated in the movie.  Seeing as how I'm a book addict, that only makes sense I suppose.  I read the book when I was in high school too so I understood all the subtle connections between book and movie.  Glad to know school was good for something.  Ha.

Pretty much all coming-of-age movies have some moral they are trying to convey, and Easy A was no different.  But it was done with so minimal amount of cheesiness that I don't think I rolled my eyes once.  And throughout the movie, as Olive narrated the story, she made fun of any cheesiness that was present. 

You'd think by the storyline of the movie that not being promiscuous is the moral that's being conveyed.  But I think it's more that honesty is the best policy and that it's okay to make fun of yourself.  The rumor mill can kill your reputation, but that's if you help fuel it or never do anything to stop it.  Olive did both which made for an interesting plot line.

Can I just finish by saying how fantastic Emma Stone is?  She's a fresh face in movies right now, and I'm loving it.  She's about the only reason I can stand the movie Super Bad.  Emma's got a vibrancy and corkiness that sets her apart from her peers.  It's refreshing.

So I'll end my review by saying that "Easy A" got an easy A from me (bahaha).  Run out and see it!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Four Reasons Why: My Husband is Spoiled

My husband is spoiled.  Spoiled.  Spoiled.  Spoiled.  Since we moved to Kansas two months ago, my husband has been spoiled completely rotten. And if you don't believe me--or would just like some proof--I'm here to give it to you.

Here are the Top 4 Reasons Why My Husband is Spoiled  
(because, um...I couldn't think of a 5th)

4. Expensive tattoo of our daughter's name

3.  Siberian Husky that he has wanted forever

2. Big flat screen television (Guess what movie I'm watching?)

1. New car--Ford Mustang GT

Yep, spoiled.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hey, It's Okay Thursday

So I got this idea from a fellow blogger who in turn got it from Glamour magazine.  Basically, any Thursday that I'm able, I'm going to write a list of things to be okay about.  Feel free to do the same on your blog--any day of the week!

Hey, It's Okay...

To expect never to own a Kindle or any of it's ilk.  Part of the ambiance of reading a good story is cuddling up with an actual book.  I don't even like hardcover books that much because it doesn't feel the same as a well-worn paperback.

To wonder what it is about Target that makes my debit card so slutty.  No matter what I do, it just keeps putting out.

To realize I need to keep a pen and paper on the nightstand next to my bed so all those great blog ideas I have while trying to fall asleep don't disappear by morning.

To seriously consider making a comfortable corner in my basement for all the tornado warnings I'm expecting out of Kansas.  We had our first one yesterday, and that was a pretty boring, uncomfortable hour.   Safe but boring.

To feel the need to possibly restrict myself access to the library.  Or use it as a reward.  Because last week I wrote two whole pages in my novel.  That's it.  Reading is getting in the way of writing.  Oh, irony how I hate you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Evie dressing herself

Evie's 1st fishing trip with Papa and his friend Kyle

And another of Evie, just because she's too darn cute--messy face and all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fighting like Cats & Dogs

Or two year old and dog to be more exact.

I thought being the parent of only one child meant I wouldn't have to deal with sibling rivalry.  And I didn't.  Until we got Roxy.  Now I think I understand why I hear parents yelling at their kids all the time.

My patience is running thin.

They antagonize each other just like siblings.  Evie waves a blanket in Roxy's face so she'll grab it and start playing tug-of-war.  Then Evie yells at her to let go.  If she doesn't, she starts crying.  Her fake cry of course.  Which gets Michael every time.  By now, I'm immune.

Roxy's not innocent either.  If Evie runs by her, she's almost always going to follow, getting under her feet and probably stealing whatever toy she's playing with. 

I've given more timeouts in the past few days than I ever have.  To  both of them.  I think they may be slowly driving me insane.  Like, really insane. 

What am I going to do when Roxy weighs fifty pounds and continues this behavior?  She'll drag Evie clear across the room if they tug-of-war with a blanket, and I have a feeling the blanket would be the one to suffer. She'd eat whatever toy she stole in one gulp.  

How in the world do parents deal with this everyday?  Or is that why they invented wine?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Tough Weekend

I feel like weekends are out to get me.  Or to be more exact, Thursday through Sunday.  Half the week is out to make me suffer.

First it was that yucky cold I had a couple weekends back.  You remember, when Michael had his wisdom teeth pulled and Evie was sick too?  I thought that weekend was bad.

My body and half the week are teaming up to make my life suck.

I started getting heart palpitations in high school.   I didn't say anything right away because they were always fleeting--lasting only a few seconds--and I didn't want to seem like a crazy person.  Plus they were easy to dismiss because they lasted for barely a blink of an eye and didn't happen again for awhile.  It was almost as if I had conjured them up.

A couple years ago, my mom was diagnosed with some heart problems, and I finally told someone what had been happening.  It still wasn't a big deal, and no doctor I mentioned it to seemed to worry about it.  They are common enough and often mean nothing.

During my pregnancy they got worse--occurring much more frequently--and finally this year, after realizing just how many people in my family have heart conditions, my doctor advised that I be seen by a cardiologist before I try to get pregnant again.  Just to make sure my heart could take another pregnancy.

Seven months later, and I still haven't seen a cardiologist.  Partly because of moving and dealing with Tricare.  Mostly because I'm just chicken.

After this weekend though, I have an appointment.

Since Wednesday night, I've been getting heart palpitations much more often.  More than a couple an hour, often.  Every few minutes, often.  They happen more at night when I'm trying to sleep.  And in the morning, I wake up feeling like I've run a marathon.

Absolutely not cool.

I had an EKG on Friday morning but nothing showed up.  No surprise since I didn't have a palpitation during the test.  And I didn't have any chest congestion so it's not just a cold that makes my chest ache all day long.

So next Friday I see a cardiologist.  They'll give me a machine to wear for a day to two to try and catch the palpitations.  But I won't be satisfied until I have an Echo.  After all this time, I need proof of what is going on.  Or what isn't.

Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease nothing be wrong.  I want to just be one of those cool people that get heart palpitations for absolutely no reason at all. 

So if I don't post often in the next couple of weeks, you know the reason.  I'm not feeling very enthusiastic right now.  Trying to keep myself busy so I don't worry.  Which means I may be posting every day to eat up time or I may be too busy to come on at all.  You've been warned.  :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Eighty-six thousand four hundred seconds

I can't even begin to count the amount of times I have wished there was more time.  Twenty four hours.  One thousand four hundred forty-four minutes.  Eighty-six thousand four hundred seconds.  All of them measuring up to that measure of time that is just not long enough.  One day.

Try as I might, I cannot fit everything I want to into one solitary day.  If I had known growing up would cause me to want to split into a thousand different personalities just to accomplish everything, I would have sought after Peter Pan and requested asylum in Neverland. 

I want to be a devoted and faithful wife, the rock my husband needs me to be.  I want to nurture my daughter into the best person possible by playing with her, teaching her, loving her. I want to read every single book I can get my hands on because I live to lose myself in alternate realities.

I want to go back to school and get my Master's degree in something because I am starved for knowledge.  I want to use my degree to change the world.  I want to write and write and write and never stop because it is what keeps my heart beating and my brain reeling and my soul singing.

But how can I possibly fit all of that into a day?  Into a week?  A month?  A year?  How can I keep my marriage strong, be a good mother, further my education, read until not one page has been left unturned, create change, and write until there's nothing left to write...all at the same time? 

I know all about multitasking.  But how in the world do you multitask life?  How do you do everything your heart demands you do without going insane?  Does something always have to give?  I don't know what I could live without. 

If only life had an easy button.  Or if I had a crystal ball that could tell me what lies ahead.  If I knew which path my life was meant to take, it would make the choices so much easier.  But that's what life is all about, isn't it? 

Choosing the right path.

I just hope the answer comes to me soon.  Not what to do with my life.  But how to do it all.  Because I don't think I'll ever be satisfied if I don't accomplish everything.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Labor Day Edition

It's another not-so-wordless-Wednesday. 

My parents came to visit over the long Labor Day weekend.  It was great to show them the base, our new city, and our new home.  Pictures will do it far more justice than mere words.