Saturday, June 27, 2009

One night last week, I was returning from feeding my neighbor's dog. She had to leave unexpectedly when her mother passed away without warning. She said one minute she was on the phone with her brother who said he was at their mother's home with the paramedics and the next her sister was calling to say she had been taken to the hospital but had passed away. My neighbor - my friend - was taken aback. Her mother had been to the hospital on several other occasions for different things but was always alright afterward.

Since we are military, there is a lot of red tape before we can get moving to be with our families in times like these. Especially for her, since her husband is currently in Afghanistan. The Red Cross has to be involved, calls to verify that the loved one did, indeed, pass away, then contacting the military member and maybe, if you're all lucky, getting the military member back for the funeral. They weren't so lucky. Her husband was granted the leave (They didn't have to give it to him. Mothers-in-law don't count as immediate family.) but the family would have had to pay for his entire flight on their own, over $6,000.

This started me thinking about our military way of life and led to thinking about the mortality of my own parents - again. Every since Brad's father passed away earlier this year, I've come back to this thought.

My parents have always been my rock. I always knew that, no matter what, they loved me and were there for me. And even now, as I live 2000 plus miles from them, I know that they'd be there if I truly needed them. The thought of being without them immediately brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. Things have turned out so much differently than I had expected. I guess all I can do is tell them I love them every chance I get, thank them for helping me become who I am, and spend time with them when I can.

Oddly, this post did not begin as a sad one. I had originally started to talk about something that made me smile on the walk home - the fireflies, which reminded me of my youth in Texas. My cousins and I used to chase them and catch them in mason jars. But, after our move to Utah, the fireflies became just a memory. I was so excited to come home and tell Brad about them.... then I dragged him into the backyard to show him, too, all the while bouncing up and down and clapping. I felt like a kid again. No, I didn't chase any but just seeing those flashes of light here, then there....STILL makes me feel good. But, emotions have been from one end of the spectrum to the other lately so I guess it makes sense.

Everyone... take time to see the pretty things.. even while thinking about the... well, not-so-pretty....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CORRECTION on Brad's "incident"

So it appears I misunderstood what, exactly, caused Brad's wounds during his incident.

He has a cut, about once inch long, on the underside of his chin which was caused by his bayonet. It didn't go in any further than that. Brad says it's because it's purposely dull.

He has a cut inside his lower lip and one on the outside. That's where I misunderstood. Anyone who knows how Brad sometimes "communicates" can understand it.. :) Turns out what actually happened is that he BIT THROUGH his lip. His top two teeth went through the inside of his lip and came out the outside. They stitched up inside with the dissolving stitches and the outside with regular.

I asked him if he runs the risk of having it get infected, since the human bite is supposedly the worst to get .. hahaha.

Anyway, he gets his stitches out today. They weren't supposed to be in longer than 5 days, per the hospital's discharge orders, but that would have been Saturday and here it is, Wednesday, 4 days after the day they were supposed to come out. So they might hurt a little bit to get out but probably nothing compared to what caused them....

So, there's the correction/ clarification. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Catching up...

Alright... so on Sunday, May 24th, we drove almost 60 miles out to Patuxent River Naval Air Base to enjoy the Air Show. The Golden Knights US Army Parachute Team and the Blue Angels were performing. It was a long drive but the kids were great. Kaylin slept but Zach just enjoyed the scenery.

A whole lotta people had the same idea we did though... boy was there a crowd! They had a lot of cool stuff. It was like a carnival (Zach's words, actually).

It was pretty windy so the Golden Knights couldn't do any really good tricks but it was fun to watch anyway.

They had food booths, vendor booths, and inflatable bounce houses and slides. Since the bounce houses and slides costed, at the very least, $2 for one ride, Zach only got 3 rides and then we just hung out and waited for the Blue Angels.

The Blue Angels did not disappoint!
And then came getting out of the parking lot - in a little drizzle of rain .... and 45 minutes later, we were on the road! Somewhere in the walk to the car, Brad started to feel sick, freezing and achy. Not good....

Since we had been pretty frugal about eating at the Air Show ($7.00 mini pizza, $4 ice cream and all) we were hungry. We made a detour and stopped at a Mexican restaurant along the way since I can usually get Zach and Kaylin both to eat beans and rice but that was a no-go. Zach's throat hurt and Kaylin was just whiny. And Brad was definitely sick. He ate maybe two bites and couldn't eat anymore. But hey... my carnitas were gooood!

The next day.....
Brad had to fall out for the Memorial Day Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at 5:00 am but he hadn't had a very good sleep since he was sick. He got up at 4:00 am, ate some cereal and left.

The kids and I watched the Wreath Laying on MSNBC to see if we could see Brad but we didn't. Then I laid down to nap with the kids since I didn't know when Brad would be home. At about 3 pm, I heard my phone vibrate. I didn't get to the call before it was gone but I listened to the message - and panicked. It was Brad's Commander. He said Brad had had a "little accident" at the ceremony and they were taking him to the hospital. He said not to panick, Brad was coherant and wanted to talk to me. I called right back but got a voice mail. There must have been a delay between the time that the call was made and the time I got it.

The Commander called me back just after 3 pm and told me that Brad had passed out at the ceremony and fell on his rifle. He told me he cut his chin and they had taken him to the hospital to get it looked at and asked me not to let Brad come to work if he felt sick again.

Brad finally got home from the hospital around 6 pm, swollen lip and stitches. He showed me what happened but didn't really remember it all. All he knew was that when he woke up, he heard the President's voice say "Is he alright?" Way to get noticed.....

Once we pieced things together, through his injuries and his fellow Guard's accounts, what we determined happened is this: Brad knew he might pass out and had taken a step forward but put himself right back in check and stood at attention again. When he did pass out, he fell straight forward. The bayonet went thru the bottom of his chin and came out the lip line on his lower lip. His two top teeth have a visual crack line but they aren't broken off and the hospital was unsure whether his nose was fractured or not but Brad doesn't think so.

The thing that annoys me is that Brad has a high metabolism and needs to eat. He had eaten before he left the house - so about 4 am - but then they hadn't been offered the opportunity to eat breakfast, or lunch for that matter, prior to the event. The ceremony finally ended about noon. Eight hours without food isn't healthy for anyone but really bad for Brad - obviously. Scares me to think how much worse it could have been....

This top picture shows the cut on his chin where the bayonet went in and the one on his lower lip where it came out.

This one shows the swelling on his lip and the stitches on his lower lip.

He won't be participating in any ceremonies for a couple of weeks because he can't shave. He is due to have his sutures taken out next Wednesday.

And that, I think, gets us pretty much up to date...

OH!!! Except that I appealed the unemployment insurance denial and the appeals judge decided in my favor - with back pay! I got all of it in my account yesterday. What a load off our minds!!

Write more soon!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kaylin's day care photos

Thought I'd share Kaylin's day care photos and her "class" photo. My girl is getting so big but she still doesn't have many words and only 5 teeth. (I can see one more trying to cut but it's been that way for a couple weeks.. Ü )

Breaksfast with family

When we were in Utah for my father in law's funeral in March, one of Brad's dad's cousins mentioned that she would be in DC in May and wanted to get together when she and her family came. Well, I didn't think anything would come of it because, let's face it.. how often do we say that when we know we'll be near a friend or family's home?

But yesterday we got a call from her. She was her with her husband, two of her sons and their significant others (to be honest, I don't know whether they're married or not) and two grandkids. Sunday was to be their last day in DC and they wanted to meet for breakfast in the morning.

As luck would have it, they were staying at hotels on the National Harbor - some place we've seen from a distance since we've been here - it's on our way home from Alexandria, VA - and have been saying we wanted to visit and see what's there. The area is pretty new - so much so that the GPS didn't even have an entry for it.

We found it - would have been quicker if I'd listened to Brad when he told me which way to turn but I thought I knew where I was going.. :) and had a wonderful breakfast buffet with lovely company. We ate and chatted with Takemi and her husband and Derek, Audrey, and his sons joined us later; and then Kirk and his lady came by afterward. We all chatted for a while, then the Zach and Derek's boys wanted to hit the arcade so the adults tagged along and visited some more while the kids played.

It was a very pleasant morning and I was really glad to talk with family that we don't normally see except at family reunions and since we're not sure whether we'll make that this year, I appreciate all the family time we get.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kaylin's day at the doc

What an afternoon we've had - me and the girl...

Kay-Kay needed her 18 month old shots so she could continue at the day care so, after many calls and finally walking in to the children's clinic, I made her an appointment last week. I was a little unnerved at the clinic's location but it was the closest one and the one that TriCare covered so that was our choice.

Her appointment was at 1:30 but they asked me to be there at 1:00 since she's a new patient and had more paperwork to fill out. I had her there at 12:50. Remember, I am, by NO means, racist in any form but it was hard not to notice that we were the ONLY non-black people in that office from the time we arrived to the time we left at 3 pm. (The one exception was the doctor.)

Anyway, there's a one-way street next to the clinic so I drove down that thinking I'd go around the block and come up the street the clinic was on. I drove down the street and as I rounded the corner to the street that the clinic was on, there stood a man with overalls down around his knees. He had jeans under them but his hands were down the front of his jeans and I got the distinct impression I was interrupting something but I can honestly say I DON'T want to know what!

So.. there were no parking spaces within a couple blocks of the clinic so I drove back to the one-way street and parked there - then walked through an alley way, decorated with graffiti, to the clinic. While we were walking through the alley (I was carrying Kaylin) a car came through so I moved over to the side, paying close attention to what was stepping on and around since there were assorted items littering the side of the street. A smell assaulted my senses and I noticed a pile of feces which I could tell was NOT animal....

We were at the clinic from 12:50 to 3:00 pm, most of it uneventful. Kaylin even fell asleep in the waiting room after the doctor examined her. She's doing well - 25th percentile in everything which is something I have to get used to since all of you know that Zach was always in the 80th to 90th percentile and had a full vocubulary by now where I'm lucky if Kaylin has 10 words but she's developing just as she should so no need to worry. She had to have 2 shots, have blood drawn to test for lead and anemia and she also had to have a TB test so the nurse poked her with a needle in her arm, and inserted fluid just below the surface of her skin to form a raised bump. I have to take her back on Monday between 8:30 and 11 to have it "read".

It's nearly 5:30 and she's running around the house, tossing stuff down the stairs, as if nothing ever happened so I guess she's fine. Aw, the resilience of youth!

Off for now!