From I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up...
10 years ago today was arguably the hardest day in my life. Right about now, I was busy calling people and letting them know that my father had passed away. I had gotten a call around 3 am from my uncle saying that my dad was in the hospital and that we should go over right away. Now, I have always been upfront about my dad, his battle with alcoholism, and his eventual the time, hospital visits were almost like common place for me...the intensive & critical care units being not as "big of a deal" since he was always in and out of them. I'm sure a big part of my nonchalance was the frustration and anger of having to "deal" with this alcoholism and how it made me grow up way too early. (NOTE: Dad's alcoholism made him more of a depressed personality and never, EVER violent in any way)

I remember hanging up the phone (my sister and my mom had both answered as parents were divorced by then) and thinking that something was a bit weird that we'd be called to go to the hospital immediately. My sister was really worried and I was trying to take it in stride. As soon as we arrived in the hospital where we were both born, my grandfathered died, and where my first child would eventually be born, my uncles pulled us into a room to explain what had happened and what was going on.

My father was living with my grandmother. He had an awful cough...smoking probably didn't help things at all. During the night, my grandmother hadn't heard him coughing at all and decided to check on him. After all, my dad was her baby AND her watching him tumble through this downward spiral was heartwrenching for her. She found him unresponsive and called my uncle and then 911 was called. After resuscitating his heart with a dose of epinephrine, they got his heart pumping again. By this point in the story, I knew what I knew. My father was dead and his heart was pumping because a hormone was injected into it to jump start it.

We were able to say goodbye and then I eventually chose to stay in the room with him as they removed all the machines and personal items from him. There was so much regret filled in the 4 hours at that hospital. So much I didn't say, so much I wanted to, and so much that I wanted to take back. Our last conversation was me yelling at him for not being able to stop drinking but with it ending with me saying "I love you"...something that was hard for me to say since I had so many hard feelings against him. Outside the room, my uncles embraced each other...something HIGHLY uncharacteristic of my dad's family as he was the only one who was affectionate.

My dad, the black sheep of the family. The alcoholic, Ivy Leaguer, funny, silly, generous, raunchy, Southern, outspoken, defender of rights, loving, caring, and unforgettable personality. My kids and husband have missed out on such an amazing person who, despite not being able to fight such a horrible disease, still influences my life in so many positive ways.

I know my dad is watching over me and my sister and our families. I know he's proud of the men we married and the kids we have (or are about to have). I know he knows that I love him and miss him dearly.

From I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up...



I've eaten 3 doughnuts in the past 6 hours and am trying to refrain from eating my kids' doughnuts. What a great mom I am. ;o) It just doesn't help living back in an area where there's so much accessibility to places (ie. I don't have to drive over 45 minutes to get to decent places). While we were gone from VA Beach, a snazzy little bakery named Bliss Bakery only 15 minutes away from our home and 3 minutes away from the mall (yes, we don't have to drive an hour to get to a mall anymore!!). We'll still hit up our other bakery (Sugar Plum Bakery) since it's a non-profit bakery and the $$ goes to a good cause. That's the bakery where my hubby got my belated birthday cake...a chocolate PB cake...mmmmm. Thank you, Beb!

Hey look! A photo with me in it! That's a rarity...;o) Don't mind the mess...we're still moving in...and yes, I will continue to use that excuse for the next year. Tee hee hee.


Waaaaaaaay Back

I was reading a sub blog from Boise, ID...which happens to be the namesake of the boat the hubs was stationed on for his JO tour...his very LOOOOOOOOOOOONG JO tour. We seem to like having extra long tours. His JO tour was longer than most and his DH tour is turning out to be longer than most as well. Ahhhhhhhh...oh well. This past summer, the Hubs did hit his 11th year, but 15 years in since the USNA doesn't count for years served...booooooooooo. Hahahaha.

Anyhoo...someone had posted a video from their deployment which occurred a week and a half after we got married. Notice, I say deployment meaning 6+ months out. It was funny being in Kings Bay, where SSBN wives refer to the underways as deployments when, as a former SSN wife, they were mini-trips out to sea. That's an exaggeration, of course...but still, the length of SSBN patrols during a year compared to SSN underways/deployments is NOTHING. Then factor in off-crew...NICE.

A recent irk I've been having reading other sub wives' blogs/facebook-stuff are POSTINGS OF SCHEDULES!! STOP DOING THAT. Gee about lack of security for our guys. We're not talking about the generic "he's going on deployment soon"...we're talking specific timeframes of schedules and homecomings and such. Subby wives are usually pretty well-versed that our spouses' schedules are so classified that often our own families don't know any specifics and are usually surprised when they get the "Ok, I love you & bye 'cause I'm going out to sea". There is no discussion of schedules on the phone, over email, in public, etc. My poor friends and family ask when Sean's leaving or coming home and it's usually (well, before we came up here to VA for dry dock) "Oh, soon-ish..." Yeah...anyway, NCIS is supposed to all over that, but I've been seeing it more and more. *tsk, tsk, tsk*

Anyway...the video shows my hubby before the Navy paid for his PRK surgery. Hooray for Geekers (well, the shot with him ducking out of the way is him w/o geekers)! You'll be able to notice him...he's one of the handful of people of color and one of two officers of color (which is RARE to have more than one person of color in a sub wardroom)!! This was back when he was a he's an LCDR select! Yay, Hubs...we're so proud of you!


So, I found out that Kaia's school wouldn't be watching the inauguration during class...there's a "no t.v." policy that they abide by. I know that's a good thing, but watching history unfold warranted keeping my baby home. Kaia's already becoming social-justice minded...and there was so much to explain. Even though we've talked about lots of stuff in the past about discrimination, equality, and other social justice was awesome to share such an amazing moment in history. Yeah, I cried...couldn't help it. But yeah, it gets a bit tough to explain social justice stuff to preschoolers (and now a KINDERGARTENER) and you don't want to paint the world as some awful place, but you also want to explain the importance of treating everyone fairly and that includes learning lessons from past mistakes.
To explain to her the symbolism of Obama's inauguration, the history of the fight to bring the US to this point (and the struggle is still ongoing...just like Obama said, hopefully one day old hatreds will die), and tying in the significance of MLK Jr. with yesterday's historical moment. I am so optimistic about our future right now. From his election to the inaugural address to the inauguration celebrations...this has been awesome.
We watched Disney's Kids' Inaugural the night prior where the audience was comprised of military personnel and their families. Everyone was quick to say that the military personnel AND their fams were the real American heroes. I agree with that and that there are so many other American heroes that don't even put on uniforms but still fight to make life better for the people of the United States. But yeah, it was nice to tell our kids that they are appreciated for their sacrifice too...that they have to sacrifice not having their dad home...esp. the for all the winter holidays of 2006 AND 2007. My kids are so strong and still don't know it. Also, we watched the Neighborhood Ball too...can you name the last president that had the diversity of performers that the Neighborhood Ball had last night.
Anyway...kudos to the forefathers/mothers in the civil rights movements and to my friends who continue to fight in the struggle for equality for everyone.



I really should update about how life in VA is, how our new former current residence is doing, about anything else except this: Remi has bad gas.

From I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up...

Now Remi is my first dog, my first baby, my kids' first dog, and an olllllllllllllld girl. She turned 8 this past summer. We got Remi just before her 2nd birthday in 2002. Sean and I had just gotten married at the beginning of the year, Sean went on a 6-month deployment right after our honeymoon, I quit my job at the end of deployment and moved down to Norfolk, VA. I hated being away from my fam & friendmilies. Sean was always on the sub pulling long arse hours and I HATE being by myself. Not, that I get lonely...but SCARED of people breaking in, stranger danger, rape, etc. Yup...I'm one of those people who would've been a good FBI/law enforcement person since I can always think of good scenarios. ;o), Sean suggested we get a dog! YAY! I had always wanted one and the closest I got to one was a hamster. So, we adopted the gentlest, quietest, SCAREDEST dog at the MoCo. shelter...having our qualifications: Sean wanted a pit bull (I was DEAD SET AGAINST THEM) and I wanted a nice dog. Lo & behold...Remi enters our lives. She has definitely changed my perception of pits and many others. She is definitely one of the sweetest dogs ever. But, it's only her scary looks that'll scare people away...she's too sweet to be mean...EVER. That is why we have Jax who is protection-trained. =)

Thanks to Michael Vick, pits are getting a second look & chance...

Back to her problemo...which is currently MY PROBLEMO. Her gas. It's off-the-charts ridiculous and it is NOT the type of flatulence that naturally disappears after a while. No, it is this awful, rotten, sulphuric smelling stuff that leaves a noxious cloud in the area she was so kind to leave it in. Case in point...girl walked up the stairs and broke wind all the way up. She was coming up to be near me...because I am the Dog Whisperer of the dogs follow me...CONSTANTLY...we're talking I can have both kids & dogs in the bathroom with me...I am never ALONE! Anyhoo...Jaron wants me to help him with a tangram and I meet him halfway on the stairs. As I descend the first two stairs, I notice a curious odor. As I continue down a few more stairs, the odor gets stronger. Jaron doesn't seem to notice the foul stench that is permeating the atmosphere around the stairs. After a minute on the stairs, I move my son out of harm's way since the gas is going NOWHERE. Back upstairs where I was working on the computer, Remi is basking in the sun...letting stuff sneak through her smelly doors. Some are silent...and definitely deadly. Some are loud and scare if it were an out-of-body experience and her lower half of her body was not connected to her at all. The old lady literally will let one loose and jump up, smell her own rear, and wonder what the heck just happened. Anyhoo..because Remi is my shadow, her gas has constantly stalked me today. Farts are usually funny in this household...but today, it's a bit nauseating.