Friday, September 11, 2009


I was 15 years old 8 years ago today. Sitting in ISTEP, and then glued to the television for the rest of the day. I'vehad conversations on this day every year since then about where I was , what happened, what we all felt. I had an uncle in one of the towers, but he made it out. I have noticed that we all feel a need to connect to that tragedy, and while I have had friends who do not approve of the need to make that connection, I believe that it is neccesary to reaffirm why our country is continuing to fight the war against terrorism. And I for one do not care what the President says, we are still fighitng that war and we will be for many years to come. I am still struggling to udnerstand his stance on the War on Terror, maybe it is because I am much closer to the people that are fighting that war than President Obama has ever been, and possibly will ever be.

I did not have any clue that eight years later I would be watching the footage again on tv, not in my second eyar Spanish class, but in my living room. The major difference in my life is that now I am a military wife, and sitting under my tv is my daughter. She is my world and she is the next generation, reason that her daddy will leave soon to fight the war that was, for the most part, begun on that day. She has no idea why I look so sad as I watch the tv, and she goes on tossing blocks around the room.
She is the reason that I am so passionate about protecting our country. She is the reason I get so angry when The President and our government belittle this war, the men and women that fight it, and underestimate the danger to this country. Just in case any of them ever see this, please read on. President Obama, put politics aside, stop thinking about your next election or whether you will be in that office next term. Think about your children, my daughter, and this country's future. I hear you talking about freedom and change for all Americans, but none of this will be possible without first protecting this country and our freedoms. Please remember those who died on this day and who have died since. Please do not make it so they have died in vain.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Apparently the dirty diaper mountain was deeper than expected!

So today, Baby Cheapskate made me smile! Baby Cheapskate ( is one of the best parenting related blogspots I've come across, giving parents a forum to discuss their kids kids’ development and also giving great tips on baby product deals and sales!

So today, one post explained how Baby Einstein and other "developmental" videos do nothing to help kids brain development. I am so happy that such a popular forum is starting to put this research out there! Nothing can substitute for playing with your child. Even if your child is interacting with you while watching the video, your baby is still watching TV! Turn it off, turn on some music and build a block tower. There is no need for blinking lights and moving parts or dvds when a child is just as entertained by a box and a set of wooden blocks.

I, for one, do not feel the need to constantly be competeing with other parents in the "My 6 month old is going to go to Harvard" war . I have been in my share of those debates, and usually a smart ass comment causes people to disregard me as a "contender" and exclude me from the conversation compeltely. Huzzah! That kind of competition only helps parents feel superior to other adults; it does nothing for the children save thrust them into the dog-eat-dog competition that they will ineveitably be exposed to later in life. Constantly pushing children to be better than everyone else at such a young age leads to children who cannot truly enjoy life if anyone has something better than they have. Childhood should be a time of imagination and play, not a time for the social pressure and competition that belongs in the adult world.

What do you think? Do you let your child watch tv or educational videos?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Solids and Swimming and Super Moms, OH MY!

I am horrible at this blog! I really want it to be a glimpse into Emma's first year, but then actual life gets in the way and I go AWOL for a while.
She's is growing up so fast, I can't believe that she's already 6 months old. She has started to push up on her hands and knees, and is getting super close to crawling!!!!! I had David baby proof when I was visiting Indiana, so we're all ready for that day when she becomes mobile! Well, our cabinets are ready. I am not sure if my emotions are! Emma is also well into eating solid food, and even said Mama yesterday! I wasn't here for the first time, but I still got Mama!!!!!!!!!! Woohoo!
Emma has become a real water bug lately. She loves the pool and putting her toes in the ocean! The near perfect weather here makes it easy to take her outside to play, introduce her to trees and flowers and the wildfire constantly burning behind our house. Plus, there are so mnay bunnies running around, it's pratcically Teletubby land out here. I love that ther is so much for me to take her to see around here- Sea World, Disneyland, down to the marina to watch the sailboats.
Over the past couple months, I have been adjusting to life here on base, which is part of the reason that I have been ignoring the blog. There are some days when I just get so angry that I cannot bring myself to put it down in writing. The lower enlisted housing is actually very nice, however the people leave much to be desired. There's Mr. and Mrs. We Need to Fight in the Parking Lot, The Tin Foil, Allergic to the Sun people, and Mr. I Must Rev My Motorcycle Every Day, not to mention the fact that NO ONE talks to anyone else around here. I have tried numerous times to talk to my neighbors and they look at me like I just sprouted an antennae and am about to take off in a charcoal grill. It is hard being so much older than everyone too. I really miss my family and friends back in Indiana, and am beginning to doubt whether I'll actually find anyone to make a real connection with. I love our neighbors to the right, but he's deploying in a few months and she's going home, so I need to find more people to talk to!
The other issue I ahve with making friends is that I have always marched to the ebat of my own drum. I get "there is the crazy woman" looks when I'm outside with 3D glasses on making chalk drawings with Emma, or blowing bubbles for her, or taking her on walks and tlakign to her. People act like it's a crime to let your child experience life instead of plopping them down in front of the TV. I'm not going to apologize for turning off the TV and letting Emma make chalk drawings, catch bubbles, and have unlimited amounts of naked time every day! I may have a different parenting style than these people, but Emma will not be afraid to be herself, spinning in circles until she falls over in the front yard! It is time to take life a little less seriously! Do a cannonball into the pool! Make a chalk drawing, go down a curly slide, or dive into a ball pit. Being an adult and taking care of my family does not mean becoming old before my time (or ever!). OSmeitmes being a good parent means getting down and dirty with the kids. To quote my favourite web comic "We are the grown ups now and we get to decide what that means!"

Monday, April 20, 2009

I have seen my fair share of parents who think that their child is the most amazing, wonderful child in the world. Their parents praise them for turning oxygen into carbon dioxide and then wonder why they are called into their childrens' school to talk about inappropriate behavior. I have gone without bread during a shopping trip just to avoid said children and parents in the grocery store. I missed my PBJ that week, but sometimes sanity is more important. All of this, along with my knowledge of development, has made me very careful about distinguishing truly amazing development from really cool accidents.
Recently, Emma has hit some huge developmental milestones recently. She has begun visually directed reaching as well as mimicking crawling motions while on her stomach. She has actually started playing with her toys, attempting to pull apart links and batting at her toys attatched to her jumperoo. Just a few minutes ago she started laughing out of the blue at her spoon, which shows great strides in her social development. Her pediatrician in Muncie always said she was very advanced socially, as she has had good eye contact and focus almost from the get go.
As huge as all these things are, the biggest milestone she has reached is her 4 month birthday. Her new pediatrician was impressed with her development and she is right on track for most things, and advanced on a lot of her social development. She is in the 85th percentile for hieght and the 25th percentile for weight- she's going to be an amazon! Since she's been extremely hungry lately, she got to start solid foods! Her first food was Earths Best Rice Cereal, and then some cereal mixed in with pears. She is getting used to it, but still can't stand the texture. Interestingly enough, she eats the food better off of my finger than off of the spoon. This weekend we're going to try peaches and cereal! I just can't believe that she's already starting solids, and I'm definitely not ready for the diapers that go with it! I might have to start triple layering the diapers, Full House style.
Speaking of diapers, we've crossed the border into using cloth at night. In an effort to save money, I'm perfecting our cloth at night routine and seem to have come upon a system that seems to work. One Gerber prefold on top with a flat fold on the bottom all in a gDiaper. It holds all night and we save 3 disposable diapers per night. That is 21 diapers per week, 84 per month, and 1008 per year! The environmental impact of those diapers not going into a landfill is huge, but I am much more impressed with the financial benefits. Mommy needs a new pair of Blahniks!
That's it for tonight folks, but let not your heart be troubled, I'll be back as soon as I dig myself out from all these dirty diapers!

Observations on the Development of Visually Directed Reaching
Earths Best
4 month developmental milestones
Manolo Blahnik

Monday, April 13, 2009

There's no place like home.....

I've been having an internal struggle lately. While I am happy with my life, my family, and myself, I'm less than happy with where we live. The interior of our house is actually very nice. it's similar to our university apartment, but mush bigger and better quality. However, our neighbors are crazy and I don't feel safe here. The girl i hang out with is always complaining about the housing, which is grating on my nerves, especially since she is 19 and was living in much nicer housing before they moved here. I feel like they deserve to pay their dues, while David and I have already been there. I know this is stupid and immature, but I feel like David and I deserve to move into better housing before they do because of that. I know that's stupid and immature and I keep trying not to feel that way, but I do. I just have this feeling that our bad luck is going to continue and never get any better. It never does. I'm trying really hard to be happy with my situation and appreciate everything good in my life, but I just keep getting upset over this housing situation. I wish our luck would change just ponce. I wish something Marines related would go our way.

Monday, March 30, 2009

On my own.....

I have gotten my first taste of taking care of Emma completely alone the past week. David has been in the field, so I've been on my own since last Monday. This is the first time I have been on my own with her for more than a few hours and I have to say that I am doing pretty well! I will definitely need a baby break when he gets back but I will definitely survive. Emma has been sleeping pretty well, and he eating schedule has changed a little. Instead of every 3-4 hours, she is eating every 2. I think she's going to be having a growth spurt! I already had to buy her a new pair of pink chucks. Emma is rolling over now, though she prefers to pivot at her butt, spinning circles around herself. She is wearing a bald line into the back of her head! She rolled off of the couch last week, giving me a heart attack. I felt horrible all night and stayed up to make sure she didn't have a concussion. She is resilient though and bounced back right away. Emma is also babbling and cooing a lot more, with more inflection. I just wish I knew what she was saying! She has also taken to sucking her thumb. I keep trying to substitute a pacifier, but she's not too keen on it. I am not making a big deal about it though. Being relaxed and laid backs works pretty well for us here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

For some reason Blogger has not been letting me log in, but I'm back full force now that it's decided to work!
My parents just left for Indiana. I did not want them to leave, it was nice to have people around when I woke up every morning! My mom got my house organized in less than 24 hours. She is a human cleaning machine! It definitely made the moving in process a lot easier. Being close to my parents has made moving both hard and easy. living this far away is hard, but I know that they will come visit often and I'll do my best to go there. I don't miss anything about Muncie the town, but I miss the people. I wish I could have packed them all up and taken them with me!
Moving with Emma was an adventure that I'm glad we had, but not one I'd repeat soon. And next time, we're making sure that everything gets on the truck! In that lights, I would like to present the following:

Claire's 10 Tips for Military Moving
1. Make sure everything gets on the truck or your car will look like it belongs in a National Lampoon movie.
2. Stay at the same hotel chain every night- it's a great way to earn free hotels stays for vacation!
3. Become a AAA member. Their free TripTiks and guidebooks for memebers are indispensible on long trips and AAA discounts can save a lot of money.
4. Check for military discounts everywhere. You never know until you ask.
5. If time allows, stop at national landmarks and cheesy tourist traps. They can be fun and cheap ways to make family memories.
6. If you're out west, travel Route 66.
7. Find out about base hotels before you arrive. They're cheap, clean, and usually nicer than a civillian extended stay.
8. Come prepared with a roadtrip bag- games, music, puzzles, books, etc. Once boredom sets in, there's no turning back, especially with kids.
9. Always have a road emergency kit- you buy a basic one at the store, then add oil, coolant, a serpentine belt, water, energy bars, blankets. The contents depend on the length of the trip and where you're going.
10. Have fun. You'll experience things a lot of people only dream of.