In the life of the Whirly Wife

This section is about all the little and big things that make up my life, they maybe about my husband or son or just about my stuff and do not fit under the Relationship or Hanger Rats sections.

Why I have not had much to say


It has been very difficult to write when my days and nights have been preoccupied with caring a baby.  It has been a rough 22 weeks during which I struggled with a lot. I am very excited to be pregnant, I am even more excited to have made it the 22 weeks. The 1st trimester has been very rough, plagued with fears of miscarriage that drove me to insomnia which was compounded by a nonstop morning sickness. I counted minutes, hours and days to the moment that we were out of the woods which came about 6 weeks ago. I struggled very much and still do with enjoying this pregnancy, experiencing a miscarriage once let alone twice definitely takes a toll on the innocence of never having that experience. When I was pregnant with my son I feared a little and I worried but not to this extent, I didn’t truly comprehend the hell that going through a miscarriage is. 

Now that I am 22 weeks pregers, and we know it’s a little girl.   I can breathe easier even though there still is fear, probably not very rational now, but it’s still there. Mostly though, I am super super excited. I have a laundry list of things to do. I can’t wait to pick out the room color although I have an idea of what I am after. I am excited to try my hand in quilting and make her a crib quilt. I am excited to put into action the valances for her windows. In addition to these very fun things I am trying to figure out what to do with the tons of boy cloths I have and some of Sam’s baby things that are just not gilry.

I am trying to hold off for a little bit longer with all the projects and I am thinking that the true nesting will set in around week 30. So in the meantime I think I am going to concentrate on finishing some projects that I have started, one of them being a scrapbook of our Poland trip. Fighting the crazy nesting that has set is yesterday is difficult, since I want to fix up the yard and clean all the closets and have a yard sale to get rid of some of the baby boy cloths and baby boy bedding and getting baby girl stuff in. Feeling very happy and excited is a scary change from the stress that I have been under the last four and a half months.

When life hands you lemons get a puppy.

2012 has been crappy to say the least. We have lost three grandparents and an aunt in a span of 6 months and Mr. Right has been sick and out of commission for a while now. Staying positive has been a challenge to say the least. Yet it is in human nature to look for the good not just at the bad.

I try to focus on the good things that are coming, when they will get here I don’t know but I know that there are things in the works for us and we just need to be patient. While we wait it is very hard to stay focused on the good.  I keep listing in my mind all the wonderful things in our lives like the fact that we have a beautiful healthy son who is just the best, we have a gorgeous house, we have genuine, caring friends and a loving supportive family. Sometimes those pep talks are just not enough, and the bad overshadows the good. The mood is sour and it is hard to place a smile on even though I know that that is exactly what my family needs from me.
This year has been very trying for us as a married couple, full of stress, frustration and fear (that's and ugly word but honest). The fact that we are still very loving towards each other and our son and try to support each other the best we know how, shows how the strength of out 14 year marriage and 16 year relationship is seeing us through. It would be so much more devastating if that area of our lives struggled too. Luckily we have the wisdom to know that we love each other and that if one of us in a moment of weakness fails the other it is nothing other than being human. We regroup and forge forward together.
In that togetherness and a moment of complete insanity (it’s the best word I could come up with) we decided that what our family needed was a distraction, a ray of sunshine in the form of a little black puppy. We got her from people handing out lab/ fence jumper mixes on the side of the road and here she is. She sure keeps us busy with her fun personality and silly puppy games. Our son named her Stella and he loves her. He has not taken out a single toy in days he is outside with Stella. The laughter that comes out of that boy when they cause trouble together is priceless and, oh such a wonderful food for our sad little harts.

Sometimes the crazy and irresponsible (safe though) makes a difference and allows you a way to refocus and hopefully things will start looking up.

Spring has Sprung

I have been MIA for a while now and it is not for lack of desire to write but for lack of time. I had a pretty bad infection at the beginning of February and that knocked me out for almost two weeks. Just as I recovered we had a death in our family and thus I took an impromptu trip to PA. Now after being away for almost two weeks I have been home trying to get my bearings and re-enter the routine. Get my bearings ya know.
In an effort to celebrate spring and lift our spirits son and I have been doing a lot of spring like things. We planted few veggies in pots. I did it in post because this is my 1st year experimenting with a possible vegetable garden and I just don't know where in the yard the plants will get the best sun, also we will be re-doing our yard so this is a great way to find out if things will even grow back there. We have a lot of trees and not mush sun.

Another springy thing we did is we visited the Mercer Arboretum. It is a very cool place with trails and fun little swamps. We only go to see a portion of it and I didn't really see much in the way for spring flowers, but we will definitely have to go explore some more.

It seems that spring is in full swing and we are looking forward to our annual Bluebonnet trip and some other fun things to do. It is comforting to be at home and as much as I miss my family back in PA I love Texas and am enjoying out 80 degree weather.

Parenting roles

Since I have been on my own for couple of days I have had a lot of time to think. I always try to reflect on my life and my roles to asses if I am where I want to be and if I need to change direction of where my life is going as a mom, wife and professionally. I am not a person who sits down and allows life to float her however it chooses. I make very conscious choices with Mr. Right about where we are headed next as individuals and as a family. Of course sometimes our plans get spoiled and then we reassess the situation, make a new plan. Maybe I am a  control freak, maybe I just want to look back when I am old and know that I have lived my life without regrets – neither is a guarantee and I know that things change thus I reflect upon life often. It may seem like I go back and forth about things at times and I am undecided but I think that is natural.

So here I was sitting all alone looking at my life and my role as a mother and a wife and I came to few conclusions on where I want to improve. 

I really struggled with my role as a mother. Let me explain. When son was born I was very scared at first that something would happen and I would not know hot how help him. As the days (and I mean days) went on I gained confidence, he nursed well and I knew I could keep him safe and happy by showering him with love and affection (Thank you to my friend Jessi for continuing to tell me that mommy knows best and to listen to my heart). And so we grew together and I cherished the ability to stay at home with my husband’s full support to watch our little 8 pounder turn into a toddler who walked and talked. And now into a little boy. I always looked at my role as a care taker and a person who was there to hug, and support, I taught colors and we read books, I fed him, bathed him and watched him slowly gain more and more independence.

My son is now a boy, who is capable of bathing himself (with minor help), dressing himself, getting his own snacks. He now relies on me for different support and attention. For a while I struggled with the fact that I don’t play. This is not the first time that I have addressed it in this blog. I am just not good at being a playmate. Daddy can lie on the floor for hours and play and entertain, I on the other hand struggle. I would rather take him to the park, on a bike ride, to the zoo, bake with him, or do chores together, but playing is something that I do not know how to do. In the midst of my reflections over the past couple days I thought about how crucial is the fact that I don’t play? I actually addressed it with my husband as a concern, and he shed some light on the subject.

Mr. Right stated that we each have a different role, he plays his and I play mine, and where both are equally important we complement each other very well. After our conversation I looked back at my parents and how they interacted with me, and you know what my parents were not my friends, they we my parents. They were there for me, I always knew that they loved me and that I could go to them for anything, they were safe and they were always available. My dad being the father was fiercely protective even though as a child I didn’t see it, as an adult I look back at his parenting and I see a man that stood by me and always always looked out for my best interest. So the lesson learned from my thoughts and my brooding if you will is that my role as a mother is not to play and be my son’s best friend, it is to be a mother and to support him in his endeavors and in his gaining independence. My job is to care for him and love him, to listen and continue to teach, my husband does it through play I do it through affection and activities that we take part in, over all I am very pleased with the kind of mother I am.

Pappy and Grandma to the rescue …

 So as my previous post suggests I have not been a star mother for the last few days. With Mr. Right gone and me fighting this crap my little man was left to do much of his own entertaining which in turn entertained mommy. By day 3 he was feeling cabin fever and had just about enough of putting on shows for mommy. We managed ok with meals and a bath and all that but it was not fun for the little man.

This morning to Little dude’s absolute delight Pappy came and took him for the weekend. After they left I talked to my grandmother and then very promptly went to sleep. I have done absolutely nothing but dose on and off all day resting and just hanging out in this big old house of ours.

I received a call about 4ish from my very excited son who without taking a breath recited the events of the day which included most importantly lunch at McDonalds (his very favorite yet rare treat), shopping, building puzzles with grandma, doing maze books with grandma and walking Sally, watching Shrek and after detailed description booming with pure joy my child said “Love you bye” and handed the phone off to Pappy and ran off with joyful laughter.

This is so new to me to have help when Mr. Right is at work, usually in the last 4.7 years son and I just muddled through whatever the case may have been, since daddy had to be at work. Now we have this great support system from Granma and Pappy. It truly makes a huge difference having family nearby just in my ability to have this time for the 1st time ever since I became a mother. On the other hand it is so weird to me to be alone – like all alone; that I am not quite sure what to do with myself. I know for sure that as strange as this is to me I appreciate mom and dad helping because I need it and if you know me then you know that this is a huge admission for this “Oh I can do it “ girl.

It’s not that bad … except for at night

I have been very sick and I will get better but it is hard, pilot is gone for a week and I am on my own. I draw tremendous strength from how sweet he has been even from afar. He texts whenever he is in between flights just to check in on us and calls every night. He talks to me about his day since mine is limited to the couch and our bed as my strength is just not there yet to go prancing around.

I am bored out of my wits and the only person keeping me from sleeping all day out of boredom is my son who has taken on the role of mommy’s entertainer. I have seen more hot wheels races, grand prix and monster truck jams in my living room than I could count. All accompanied by the funny announcer that is my son. He cracks me up. So while my days are not so bad because I have the little man to make me laugh and keep me occupied,  and I also have the call from folks checking in on me the nights suck .

At night it is tough it seems that the antibiotic I am taking is killing my stomach and laying down hurts. It’s not just the nausea but the pain of being ripped up from inside that I hate. (If you know me you know how well I deal with nausea – not at all) I wish that Mr. Right was here if nothing else to have someone to bitch to. I know his presence would not make the pain less but at least I could have him to hold my hand through it.  I really really miss him. Times like this make me realize how strong we pilot wives have to be because it’s easy to feel lonely and sad and we have to draw from the phone calls and texts and stay on top of the game. Those little texts mean the world to me and I hold them so dear - keep them coming Mr. Right.

The Scarlett O’Hara approach

Being a mom is the most rewarding, challenging and heart touching job I have ever had, but even from the most amazing job you need a day off now and again.
As a stay at home mom I am the go to person for son and Mr. Right for a lot of things and let’s be honest here I love it. I love the fact that I cook meals and they just can’t get enough of my food. I love cleaning the house and doing laundry (especially now in my fancy shmancy new washer). I love giving hugs and reading stories, kissing booboos and my favorite pass time is cuddles. Those are just few of the things that moms are all about we are nurturers and developers, teachers and moral supporters we are cheerleaders and disciplinarians and sometimes we are just plain human and need a break.
There are days that I will curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good book and I depart the world where I am a mom and a wife the art teacher, the cook, the preschool teacher, the gym teacher the shopper, the accountant, the supporter, the playmate and I am just me, my quiet little self with a book in my hand and a day of doing nothing. Those days are takeout days, where the dishes pile up and the toys go uncontrolled and spread throughout the entire house and I take the Scarlett O’Hara approach to things and say: “I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.” This is how the mental health day was born.
I still feel guilt once in a while saying: “I am off today and I will not, play, cook, clean”,( I will still hug and cuddle because let’s face it if you have a really awesome job there are some parts of it you will do even on your day off because you love them) and I will just read the book and you guys are on your own. I am working on those stupid guilt feelings and I realize that after a day of “laziness” I am a better mom and that is what it all really is about, about becoming better and better.

Like off of the set of Twister and a new washer.

So you all probably heard in one way or another that last week Texas had a big bad storm come through. My husband once again has gotten stuck on the oil platform where he works – I wrote about getting stuck in It’s easier when it’s by choice. It was crazy foggy where he was so our high hopes for him coming home were fogged up (he he).

So Tuesday was not such a great day since I was told no go on the coming home, also while doing laundry my washer of 11 years, that has served me very well took a crap when the belt burned out (it never fails things break when they are gone- always). It was kind of a blessing because I am one of those people that will wear a t-shirt until it has holes in it, drive my car until it leaves me stranded on the side of the road multiple times and finally refuses to run all together (the washer actually outlived my Ford Escape truck – sad) anyway so this poor washer was loud and at the end I could only do medium size loads because if I filled it all the way it leaked a lot a little.

On Wednesday I had a washer plan, after I did comparison shopping and research on line and I was thinking about running up to my in-law’s house to have dinner with them, when I got a text that I needed to start driving to Louisiana to get Mr. Right. He was carless since we all went up to Louisiana together and I came back after few days and he went off shore.  In the mean time I am watching the weather channel and tracking this storm that is coming towards Texas, there are tornado watches everywhere - Fun.

I hoped in Max and started heading to LA. It was overcast ad drizzling and in my rear view the storm clouds black and ominous were chasing after me. I drove cautiously and slowly through few of the cells that produced what I thought at the time was hard rain, white knuckled but safely I finally arrived at my husband’s base. I told him that we are in for some serious fun on the way home since I was running from the storm to come get him and on the way home we would be headed right into the storm. He was fully aware of course being a pilot he hangs out watching the radar so he had an idea of what was out there.

On the way back we were watching as the front line was moving towards us and we towards it and on the I10 we collided. Traffic slowed to 45 minutes to an hour miles an hour with visibility … oh… none. We had our fourways on and we crawled with the traffic towards Texas. The car was silent except for the music on the radio and the rain pounding on the car. After what seemed like hours but truly was maybe 30 minutes the rain let up a little and we were able to see. We finally got home exhausted but safe.  The whole thing was crazy and we were glad that we finally made it.

This past week was spend on some family things and getting my laundry room ready and a new washer bought. I ended upgrading to a beautiful Maytag 4.6 cubic feet washer, it is a mini computer that does my wash and I love love love it.

Building confidence through outastanding practices

Photo taken by Sam D. "Cloudy"

Mr. Right has been with his current company for four and a half years.  I have visited the corporate site multiple times in the past, yet I have never gone inside prior to yesterday. My verdict is impressed beyond words.

We knew that they were a leader in safety, that is why we chose this particular Gulf company as our number one pick for Mr. Right to fly for and were very excited to receive an offer over four years ago. Another draw was that this company operates in the Gulf of Mexico in oil and gas as well as in EMS and has bases all over the world so growth opportunities are countless. My husband flies one of their small ships and as you have probably gathered from previous posts stays offshore on an oil rig during his hitch. It was time for his recurrence training and since I have a dear friend who lives in Louisiana I decided to tag along to get more time with husband and to sneak in few hours of girl time with my friend.

Mr. Right kicked butt though training and finished half a day early so he called one of the HR Reps in his company and asked for a tour of the facilities for us. These are the incredible things I saw.

When you enter the building the 1st impression is one of clean elegance and superior professionalism, the lobby is open and minimally furnished with clean lines and very sweet, welcoming receptionists. The receptionists and the HR Rep who welcomed us, spoke to our son about daddy being a pilot and were engaging him in conversations; I was impressed they took the time to speak with a four year old.

 Once through the glass security door there are mazes of hallways lined with offices where everyone who looked up from their work or passed us in the hall waived and said hello (mind you we do not know these people). As we continued through the halls I could not get over how clean and organized everything was, there was not a speck of dust or clutter to be found anywhere, I am 100% convinced that if I wore a white glove and ran my finger on the floor or in any nook or cranny I would have a pristine white glove when I was done. 

Once we weaved through a ton of halls we ended up in the communications center, where there were at least 9 dispatchers tracking all of the pilots in the air, it was like looking at a space center control room with huge screens with maps and little blinking lights here and there, weather radars on big flat screen TVs, so impressive son stood there for a good bit in awe before the questions came about. We explained that those are the people who keep daddy safe while he is flying they are always listening and helping him if he needs it.

Moving right along on our tour we looked in onto the machine shop which was like out of the set of         ”How it’s made”.  The machine shop was spotless where folks were machining helicopter parts, from there we checked out the metal bending shop, where son got to see a gentleman bend metal for what we do not know, I would not dare to interrupt to ask - whatever part they are making  will end up on a helicopter so it must be perfect.

We went into the mechanic stations and I was expecting some grease and dirt … oh no I saw men working on helicopter parts at stainless steel benches surrounded with high tech computers and microscopes in surgical gloves and not a drop or speck  of dirt dust or grease anywhere. AMAZING. I wrote about how much trust we place in the maintenance department of my husband’s company in a post titled Maintenance Flight (scroll down this page). In that post I have compared their facilities to those of a World class hospital and that was based on my visit to one of the smaller basis, the corporate main hub is beyond anything one can imagine in a mechanics’ shop. From the smaller room where the engines and parts are worked on we moved into the huge hanger where the actual helicopters are stored while they are repaired, overhauled, repainted etc. I wish I could post pictures because this was like stepping into an operating room for helicopters. There were wing slingers in different stages of repair and disassembly, with men working on them on scuffles, the helicopters were covered in sheets in sections or not depending on what was being worked on. Each work station was spotless and perfect, each area clean, each mechanic with a smile on their face. We were able to look inside some of the bigger helicopters and they are amazing glass cockpit and pure sophistication.

Few other areas we saw were the upholstery shop where seats are recovered when a smallest tear appears, the helideli – (cute right) where lunch is served for the thousand or so employees working on that particular site or training or visiting, we also stopped by the employee store where you can buy shirts, sweat shirts, hats, etc.

After seeing how organized and pristine, sophisticated the facilities are I am confident that Mr. Right is working for the leader in the industry. It gives me great sense of confidence in the stability of the company and to their commitment to safety. Awe inspiring in how their commitment to perfection, safety and development in not just talk or an idea it is everyday life.

Halloween, move, project
Our pumpkins to be carved
We have been on the move move , move. Let me share some fun pictures from Halloween and our pumpkin carving, then I will fill you in a bit on my parents-in-law move to Texas and my project.

We had a pumpkin carving event at our house. It was great we had wonderful snacks such as ghosts and witch hats and witch fingers, we made them the day before see Halloween preparations.
See our yum yum yummy snacks

 This guy was after our apple pie.

 I think that after hours of pumpkin carving the we were so high on creativity that we were dressing the grae yard ghosts

 #1 best pumpkin carving.

 This one is mine but the reason why I put it in is beacause the secondary carving on the back came out very nicelly in this picture.
All the pumpkins lined up in the night.

The  pumpkin carving was great fun, especially for the older kids. We had 12 people (children included) and 9 pumpkins. The pumpkins turned out wonderfully - we have ourselves a new tradition.
On Halloween again our group went trick or treating and the kids brought home tons of candy. Son and I were race car driver and pilot respectively (I know the pilot costume is his real flight suite from a previous job – I didn’t really have much time to be creative).

On the 1st daddy came back from hitch and grama and pappi drove in from Arizona. We were anxiously waiting for them to arrive and then we began preparations in their new house such as cleaning and buying all those little things you need when you are moving. Waiting for the moving truck to arrive, ya know all the exciting moving stuff.

It is absolutely wonderful having them here and being able to drive over and visit anytime we want to. Our son loves the fact that we can just drive over. Now that mom and dad are settled in (well their furniture is here and they are somewhat unpacked) it seems more real and we are slowly returning to our routine. Mr. Right is back at work, son and I are taking it easy today and getting caught up on e-mails, blogging and working on my scrapbook.

On to the last part of the post and that is my project. As I stated before I took on this huge project and was working like crazy to complete it. It was a translation. I free-lance translate for an online company once in a while, the project is done 4 days ahead of deadline it took lots of serious time on the computer, few late nights and early mornings but it is done (sigh of relief) and it feels great to have had something professional to do and too look at the 30,000 translated words and feel huge sense of accomplishment.

So that is what we have been up to in our little corner of Texas. Now I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Looking for balance ...

I will be the first to admit I am spoiled by Mr. Right. I rarely work, and I do it mostly to get out of the house – when he is home. I work so rarely that when I told one of my friends that I should go in to substitute teach he looked at me puzzled and said “You have a job? Really?” I know – and this is a very close family friend. Anyway so this huge project I took on requires very intensive work, for long hours so that I can make the deadline. I have been working from home for 12 plus hours a day and I still am trying to find a balance for son who has been amazing,( just hanging on his own while mommy works) by taking him to the zoo, and planning fun Halloween stuff since he loves Halloween I feel it is grossly unfair for me to not make it the best because I am over ambitious (sometimes).

It is fun and exhilarating to be using a totally different part of my brain, but the guilt would be tremendous if this was my normal instead of just few weeks.  I fail in so many areas … like healthy food choices, quality play time, sleep for me not tom mention teaching him, reading and so on.  Maybe I would have a better grasp if I did it all the time I am glad that I don’t have to.

So close

Alrighty then, we are in the last stretch before departing for Europe and I feel like I have a pretty solid handle on everything. My weekend went great with my friend visiting with her family. We had a little celebration for the boys’ birthdays they are 2 months apart and celebrated their 4th birthday, we had a party which was wonderful and the whole weekend flew by much too quickly.

Now I am doing those last minute cleaning things, remembering this and that that I need to add to the take with pile and picking up Euros from the bank – did you know that you can order any currency your heart might desire from your bank and they will order it for you. I did not know that until my friend’s husband mentioned it the other day at diner. So I ordered some Euros so that I don’t have to worry about exchanging money in London if we want to grab a bite to eat and I can also use them in Poland so I feel much better about the money situation.

Bags are packed and I just have few little items to add. It is amazing how busy it has been trying to get ready we are almost there. I will breathe a sigh of relief once through customs and security and I am on the plane. Stay tuned.

Almost Ready

Ok so a quick recap of preparations for our trip:


Airline tickets bought

Passports in order

Clothing washed and folded – most of it (you know I still have those few things that we just can’t do without)

Gifts bought –  (even picked up the oh so so cute mugs they have hand prints on the back and Sam signed his name)

Mr. Right’s D-Day trip booked scheduled and paid for

Cell phone plan changed to global

Hair cuts

Obtained letters from Blue Cross Blue Shield outlining how much we are covered for ect just in case

Dog food for the duration of our trip bought

New suitcase for son bought – we had one but it was on its last leg and I really don’t want to be picking loose items off the conveyor belt in Warsaw


Dog bath and flea treat

Cat food to be bought

Fish tanks to be cleaned

Suite cases to be packed

Some little laundry

General house clean up

Lists for friends who are kind enough to take care of our animals and home

Prescription to be picked up ( we don’t want any “oh well dear daddy and I were in Europe and you know…”)

 I am so excited about having my friend visit this weekend before I head out and for the party tomorrow night. I feel like I have been living and breathing getting ready for this trip and as fun as it has been I need a distraction. I ran 8.22 miles this morning and it gave me a nice mental break but then we had some last minute shopping to do Mr. Right needed hikers and I had few more little things to pick up and I am back on the “oh my God I so hope I am not forgetting something” train. So I think that I will put most everything in the suite cases so that it is all away, out of sight out of mind and I am going to enjoy my house guests, with some turtle trips and just hanging out at the house and maybe even the pool. Ahhh yes that sounds like a great plan. I can get back to this madness the day before I depart.  
Getting ready for a big adventure

So another reason for my low blog participation, (even though I have not written much I still have been reading) is our upcoming adventure. Son and I are taking a trip to Europe for several weeks and thus there has been quite a bit of shopping and running around to prepare.

I am super excited to go visit my family and to travel Europe this fall, so it has been great fun getting everything in order from passports which came in surprisingly fast, next came buying the tickets and working out what dates worked best, once the tickets were bought it has been a waiting game filled with anxious planning on what to do once there. Now we are getting to the final stretch and I am accumulating all of the things that I might need or want while traveling.

I bought a new computer so that it had a long battery life so that little dude could watch movies on our long long flight to London. I love my new HP it is fast and fun to play with. I have gone through close to 22,000 pictures from the last 5 years so that I could chose a nice library to share with my family. I also revamped my wardrobe.  I bought new tops that I could mix and match and that they could work in cold and hot weather. I might do a little preview time allowing.

I still need to pick up few little items and a pair of shoes that can be dressy and casual, closed toe and heal, so that comes tomorrow. I am getting a very cute haircut and we will be that much closer to being ready to go.

While traveling in Europe I will spend few weeks just hanging out with family, then we will do some sightseeing in Warsaw, Krakow and the polish mountains and other stops and atractions – so stay tuned. I am so excited to be able to take my son to my country of birth and have him meet my side of the family. I will try my hardest to post some fun pictures as we are traveling.

If you have any suggestions on traveling with little ones please share, I feel pretty ready but any wisdom is appreciated.  

Hurricane Season
 (My yard after Ike )

When we relocated to Texas, I knew that there were chances a hurricane could make landfall and thus we could have damage to our home or property. Our 1st hurricane season, son and I endured Ike all by ourselves, while daddy was evacuating the Gulf. I survived 9 days without power (with a 1 year old), made friendships that will last a life time with my neighbors and cleared a pickup truck full of fallen tree limbs from our backyard. 
 (Son and I stayed in the bathroom under the stairs when the tornadoes were on our street)
Ever since, I track the hurricanes in the Gulf periodically on, since the news spreads panic and I swear they pick the worst place to stand where it looks like the end of the world is coming to make their chilling report. I have an idea of what may be coming, I have greater respect for Mother Nature and since I am not a hurricane virgin, I am not as terrified of the next one. I have healthy respect for what may be coming.
This year’s forecast from the weather service is that we will have “2011 forecast numbers are above the long-term (1950-2010) averages of 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes and match the averages from the more active recent period (1995-2010) of 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.” ( . 

I am not overly panicked and I do hope that we will not experience a landfall here in Texas. There are a few precautions that I do take, I make sure that my flashlights have new batteries, that my grill has a tank of gas that is relatively full, that I have some canned soups in the cabinets and that my freezer is not overly stocked with food so that if we do loose power I don’t have too cook a ton of meat. Chances are that husband will be working if a hurricane strikes so I have plans with friends to check in and such. Other than that, life is progressing as normal and we are enjoying our summer while keeping an eye out just in case.

This was just comical

I normally don’t write about my runs - today is different though, this was a very comical run. I got up at 6:50 am with my son asking “Are you going to get up and run today”? I know cute right he loves coming along in his Shwin he chills with a granola bar, his apple juice and iPhone while mommy runs up and down the trails. Anyway on to today’s run.
We head out after I fill up my camelback  with water (I found that I get bad bad headaches if I don’t drink while running in this heat and humid weather so yes I am the dork with a camelback backpack on my back) scarf down a granola bar and set my RunKeeper and music.
I am kicking butt my 1st mile is a 10 minute  mile so I am feeling good since this is the fastest I have ran thus far. About 1.5 miles in I notice son is mad and because his Cars2 game on his iPhone (Mr Right passed his on to son after removing the sim card) so I ask him what’s up while trying to keep pace and he sais the game makes him mad and he wants my phone. Since he is being super good, just frowning, I decide to do the phone switch. So here I am running, trying to get my phone out of the backpack, take his iPhone and get it to play the music I want, all the while I am struggling with wires ect., I am also trying to cross a street and yeah keep pace.
A little flustered but back on track I am moving forward, son keeps telling me that someone is calling and I say ignore it but then he tells me twice more and shows me that it is my dad, so I yank my headphones and answer because “what if something happened” . So I am obscenely breathing on the phone getting out a “Hi what’s wrong” and he sais “what are you doing?” me: “running dad is everything okay” we establish that he will call back this weekend and I hang up. I am still at a good clip but my breathing is all off.
But all is looking up the Flogging Molly comes on and there is nothing like little Irish music to put the bounce back in your step as I am jamming out I am so into my run that I totally miss my turn and get temporarily disoriented and lost. I make few wrong turns and have to back track. At this point I am laughing in my head because I am getting tired.
So mile 3 I am back on track and where I need to be when I come across the penises. Yes I did say penises drawn on the trail with blue chalk all various sizes and levels of arousal for lack of a better word. I almost stopped to laugh because really come on.
Just after I am done chuckling from the penises a bunch of high school boys run by me in the opposite direction and one of them sais “Good morning ma’m” Really “MA’M” how old does he think I am. What the… I am so mad that it takes me a bit to realize that I live in the great state of Texas and he was just being polite and respectful and that I should not feel like my grandmother because a teenager called me mom. That emotional crisis handled.
Now I am struggling a bit I am in my 5th mile and I have no RunKeeper coach telling me in my ear how I am doing and the music sucks since it is some slow love song … really I need to feel energy not this lovey dovey crap who cares I am dying here. So I come to my trouble spot I always struggle there and I “materialize” my brother there with his hand flat on my back no pressure just pulsing energy into me. Since he lives on the opposite coast it is a total mental trick I play when I needed it because he did it when we ran together and it gave me the extra push I needed. So I get this super awesome energy boost from my brother all the way from the East coast and we are back on track.
So I finish when my RunKeeper reads 5 miles and I walk the rest of the way home. It was one of the more eventful runs, I pushed a stroller with a 36 pound kid in it the whole time and I ran the 5 averaging a 12 minute mile. I am very pleased and I have to look back and laugh what was up with today.

 Our 1st since 2007

 Two days ago Mr. Right and I celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary. We had a very lovely day spent together reminiscing about our wedding. It was fun to have him home since the last three anniversaries I spent alone and he was somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.
We were so young when we married I had to put this picture up for you to see. We were but children not shaped by life yet and wet behind the ears. Today we are not children anymore, life has taught us some harsh lessons and blessed us with riches that go beyond our wildest dreams. Looking back I would have not traded a single moment or dealt with a single heartbreak or joy without him by my side. 
 Since this was our 1st anniversary where we were actually together on the day we decided to have a mellow diner at home including our son. We chose filet minions and shrimp cocktail with a baked potato and a salad followed by a chocolate cream pie ( it was yummy even though it was from the box – I am sure some of my friends are in shock that I chose from the box versus homemade but it was about convenience). I loved having my husband home on this very special day reminiscing about all the fun times we have shared in the last 13 years. We are so good together and I am one lucky girl to have him by my side, I think that his being gone so much makes me appreciate us more. 

Choose Your Flavor
Image is courtesy of Chocolates blog

I have been thinking lately about time with and without our pilot husbands. I came to few conclusions that I wanted to share and see if you all agree or disagree and see things differently.
I find it that I am usually busier when Mr. Right is gone then when he is here. There are several reasons for this one being when he is here he helps me with some of the chores and we tend to do more relaxing as a family opposed to my running around taking care of the tedious normal errands such as grocery shopping and library runs etc. I also have play dates during the time he is away with my girlfriends and their kids.
I find that those who get close to me part take in my lifestyle with understanding. The thing is that I talk to my friends and those who are close see that I have more time to socialize (girl time) when husband is away. While when Mr. Right is home often I fall of the planet and I part take in fewer social activities and we spend more time doing just family things. I am more likely to answer a short text than spend time on the phone while when he is away I am glad to chit chat. One of my friends didn’t meet my husband for months it became a running joke to both her and Mr. Right that the other was a real person and not imaginary. It sounds like I am selfish or a user but that is not it at all. I respect their family time and the respect mine I try not to call in the evenings or on weekends. I also don’t take it personally when my friends do things with their families because they don’t take it personally when I am MIA when Mr. Right is home.
I lean on my friends because the feelings that we all experience are very real regardless of what drives them. For example when I feel frustrated because my husband is on hitch and I am alone with a sick child, I am running on empty and on a verge of tears (or in between tears) and I am not feeling great and all seems gloomy - I call my girlfriends who are not married to pilots. They get it because they too have rough days, experience disappointment and stress and worry those are all human emotions.
I find it that I am the one who decides how I spend my time when husband is at work and at home - weather I feel sad or happy. If I choose to have a pity party of one because he is away and I need a hug then I will have a pity party of one. If I choose to have a great time with my son and relax, or run errands and be in a happy positive mood then I will be happy and positive. So I think that Forest Gump had it perfect “Life is a box of chocolates you never know what you will get” but hey you can always enjoy each and every bite and if you don spit the darn thing out and move to the next chocolate.

Yard Sale

I have been missing in action for few days because it has been busy around here. I decided to embark on a yard sale adventure. I did a yard sale about 5 years ago when we were selling our 2nd house and relocating to our current home. This weekend was a different experience all together because most of my items were baby items and maternity things.
I worked all week on going through the little outfits and picking out what I wanted to keep and what I was ready to let go off. I cleaned up all the toys, strollers and mountains of things that  you really don’t realize you had until they are spread all over your house and then clutter your driveway as you sell them at quarter the price that you paid, or less.
The yard sale was successful I sold most of the bulky things and made quite a bit of money. Lessons learned were:  
that having prices on everything may turn people away
 visitors to your yard sale will discuss you at other yard sales as I heard about the mean lady on “Birch” ST who sold $60.00 worth of stuff to one of the gals perusing through the mountains of my son’s 2T shorts yet “Birch” lady would not make a deal on the t-shirts she was selling. I don’t go to yard sales so I didn’t know (I hate shopping)
 it is way more fun when your friends bring their stuff over and it is more of a hangout then actual work
Lemonade stands are very popular and my friends daughter had earned a small college fund not only from the people coming to the yard sale but also from almost all of my neighbors who just could not resist her cuteness.
pool relaxation is a definite must after a full 6 hrs in the sun trying desperately to rid yourself of all the stuff you thought you would die without when you were expecting the baby, than never used once the baby was born because you were too busy feeding, changing dippers and stealing minutes of sleep whenever possible
Over all it was great fun due to the fantastic company I had and the money I made was nice. After I was done I packed a bin of things for a possible future yard sale, boxes of stuff for Good Will and some things I photographed to place on some internet sites to sell. If they sell great if not oh well.
So as you see I have been busy reorganizing and finding home for the tons of baby items I do not need. In addition I am planning a birthday party, and visit from my in-laws, whilst Mr. Right is in the Gulf on some remote oil rig. And people say that stay at home moms have all this time on their hands – what?


Our Memorial Day weekend
 We had Mr. Right home for the long weekend so it was amazing as was. We took the weekend to have family time.
We did a little bit of hanging out at the pool yesterday. I am super excited that daddy was there for son’s 1st time at the pool this season.  It was not very surprising to me that Little Dude who was going off the diving board last summer at the age of barely three was a little nervous this year and needs to brush up his skill. The frustration for him was that we would not allow him to go off the diving board without passing the swim test again this year since he clearly was rusty. The day was fun anyway and we enjoyed the pool like we always do. We met up with our friends and splashed around , Little Dude was jumping of the side he said: “I can’t believe that I finally get to go to the pool”
Today started out on a disappointing note. I attempted a 3 mile run. I have been comfortably running 3 miles nonstop at a decent speed. Then I came down with strep twice in three weeks and had taken massive amounts of antibiotics. I have been off the medication for about a week, but clearly it took its toll. My 1st 1.5 miles went smoothly and I kept a good pace. I was pretty winded at the end of the mile and a half so I rested thinking that I wanted to check my new tracking program on my phone and get some water. I got all that situated within a minute and then took off at a comfortable clip, only to get a cramp in my ribcage about .5 miles in. I tried to walk it off and when it relaxed I picked up running again only to feel absolute devastating exhaustion come over me. It was about 9:30 am and in the low 80s but I should have been able to get through that run no problem. I really wanted a success, instead I dragged myself home, in a crappy mood with bad attitude. Mr. Right picked up on the ugly that walked through the door when I kicked my sneakers off my feet and collapsed in the chair.  He talked to me about the failed run and managed to put it into perspective building me up and telling me that the setback is temporary and that I will get better as I get into running again.
We had a very pleasant rest of the day after I showered we hung out and watched TV, I did some laundry and went food shopping with the little guy giving daddy some alone time. He rarely gets to be home alone. He is alone a lot at work, but while at home more often than not he is always with us out and about or he is with Little Dude. So it was a treat for him to just hang out for about an hour while son and I bought groceries.
Since we didn’t really plan much in the way of a BBQ or outing today I bought some ground beef and we had our own little BBQ diner. Hamburgers seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder salt and pepper to taste were absolutely amazing, served on hamburger buns with corn on the cob and  French fries. We talked through diner about everything and anything and then closed the day off with Blue Bell ice cream and a game of Words with Friends.
All in all we had a wonderful day, just the three of us enjoying some much needed down time. Hope you had a great holiday weekend as well.

Chocolate Logic

Once a month I crave it more than my next breath.  Once a month I seem unable to say “one or two pieces are enough you really don’t need to stuff your face with it until you feel sick”. Once a month I feel like if I don’t get it I may tear someone apart. Chocolate -  yup that simple chocolate.
I have been on a diet and trying to be good but I really don’t deny myself the occasional treat of chocolate in the form of a dove bar. So I can’t say that I am deprived and thus once the time of the moth strikes I use it as an excuse to stuff my face with chocolate guilt free - as suggested by Fit Day. I did a little research on chocolate and why we want it.
Did you know that chocolate is rich in magnesium a mineral that is lowered prior to a woman having her menstrual cycle? Chocolate is also a great source of sugar and caffeine so it gives you a boost if your blood sugars go down and you feel tired - that is often a reason for craving chocolate (WebMd). According to up to 97% of women and up to 68% of men crave chocolate. Chocolate makes you feel good because it increases levels of serotonin in one’s brain and thus elevates a person’s spirits.
So if I need chocolate there is a definite scientific reason for it. This is not to encourage uncontrolled consumption of chocolate but I for one will enjoy a sample now and then guilt free. In my quest to satisfy this intense craving which now I know is psychological and physiological I made a very wonderful fudge recipe can be found in Meals for Two – very rich so a little will go a long way. See you can always find logic even for the most illogical of behavior such as whipping up fudge from scratch because you need chocolate. If the reasonable amount will not do then I will take WebMd on their suggestion and take a walk but I sure as heck will not deny myself this simple pleasure.


My brother’s visit
 One of the reasons why I have been missing in action the last three weeks has been a visit from my brother and his wife. Since I only see them once in a great while (every six months or so) I spent every moment with them, catching up cooking and showing them around Texas.
I will post some of the awesome meals that we prepared over the week in Meals for Two, in the next few days. However I will not hold out on you on the fun we had as far as our touristing (I know that is not a word but I like it) is concerned.
We enjoyed the beautiful greenbelts in my area, we ran and walked on them, took a little hike over to the turtle feeding bridge. I spent my very 1st mother’s day with family it has always been just son and I until this year. I was served fabulous waffles with strawberries with whip cream made from scratch by my husband and son. Yumm! Husband also bought me a caramel macchiato and took me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant Italianos - all 1st for me on mother’s day.

We also visited Galveston Island. Frankly that was a failed trip since we were greeted by mountains of seaweed on the beaches. The beaches are not that great to begin with, it isn’t the Caribbean and all, but to someone who has lived away from the ocean and really any impressive water for 10 years, a puddle is exciting (that someone would be me). So we went and walked the Strand which was beautiful as always, had amazing ice cream and took the ferry to the other side of the island. The ferry ride was fun for all involved, my sister-in-law and I squeezed ourselves into a postage stamp of a bathroom and put our bathing suits on and then we all ate lunch in the car while we were being ferried to the other side of the island. We then hung out on the beach for an hour. I think all of us felt obligated to spend some time on the beach even though we all wanted to get away from the seaweed.

Another day was spent at the zoo and the museum of Natural Science. Our Little Dude loves the zoo thus we have a membership and since Aunty Emi is just as into animals as our son they had a very nice bonding experience and he was thrilled to show them around. After all day at the zoo then some hour in the museum we headed over to the Spaghetti Warehouse.  The food was delish and very affordable. The wait staff amazing. We had a Bellini spillage and it was replaced at no cost to us and the waiter added an ice cube to my son’s soup which earned him a large tip from this grateful mom.

After the Galveston and Zoo trips we took an R and R day and relaxed at home for a day, just enjoying the low. Aunty Emi made a delicious chicken ring (recipe will follow on Meals for Two).  We also paid a visit to Saint Arnold brewery the guys truly enjoyed themselves as always the beer was delicious and the tour did not disappoint. I highly recommend taking the tour if you are ever in Houston area and enjoy beer.
 Picture courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewery website

We finished off the week with a party with our friends where more delicious food was served, my favorites such as hot wings, potato skins, sushi and homemade cannoli. My sister-in-law made delicious buffalo chicken dip (I don’t have a picture but may post the recipe anyway because it was do die for and I really enjoyed it the next day on a roll – DELISH). There were also amazing foods brought by our friends, the one that stands out the most are chocolate cake bombs I think I gained a pound just from eating them because they were truly heavenly. And of course we had my friend’s deviled eggs, I always try to convince everyone that they are disgusting so I can eat them all the truth is they are the best devilled eggs in the world, she promised to tech me how to make them one day and I hope she does, mine are embarrassing next to hers.

When we dropped off my brother and his wife at the airport my heart squeezed because I missed them before they even left the car. They are wonderful house guests and having him for a week in my everyday life was a tease, even though I miss him more than ever now I would not trade the time we had and we are planning another visit. Stay tuned for the amazing recipes and more from my corner.

Our Easter

I know that almost a week has passed and I am just now getting to writing about our 1st Easter without daddy, it has been a little busy with me trying to keep up running 3 miles every other day and getting some stuff done before my brother and his wife come to visit next week. So here is, my little recap of how the holiday went.
Let me start by saying that I am not that big into Easter as is. Christmas and Thanksgiving yes, Halloween ok – but I don’t really decorate except my house looks like fall because it is my favorite season and we don’t get the New England leaves here in Texas so I make my house look like we do, anyway Easter is a holiday where I really don’t go all out. I have the decorations but didn’t get them out this year, we did plan some egg hunts and hung out with friends, we did not color eggs or have the big annual Easter diner like we do when Mr. Right is home.
Little dude had a hard time during the annual egg hunt and was missing daddy a lot. We talked about it and there was a definite improvement in his mood when he got to Skype with daddy later that evening. I think that the fact that it is an activity that we always did as a family added to the nostalgia. We got through it though and I was bracing myself for the actual Easter Sunday, but it turned out better than I could have hoped for.
Easter Sunday turned out to be a wonderful day spent with friends. Little dude had a blast in the pool and riding his bike with his friends. We were surrounded by wonderful people, great time, amazing food and a lot of love.
This experience of our 1st holiday alone was sobering in many ways. Those being that it is my responsibility to continue with celebrations, plan things for us to do, stay strong for my son and make the holiday just as special as it would be if daddy was home. I need to think about future holidays ahead of time and have a plan like I did with some for some activities with Easter. I also need to make time for Skyping time with daddy so that he is included and so that Little Dude gets daddy time. I think that part of the problem was that I booked us so solid for the Easter weekend starting on Wednesday until Sunday that son didn’t really have time to talk to daddy and that made the missing worst. I think that I missed him most on actual Easter Sunday but hid it as best as I knew how to not damper son’s and everyone else’s mood, it was hard to have a good time wishing that he could share in it with me. After all it was a good day I would not change a thing.

Another inch bites the dust.

I have done few posts on weight loss, measuring your waist and health benefits of waist to hip ratio, weight loos program and running. I thought that since I weighed in this morning and measured in I would share my little success.
I have lost another inch in my waist in the last 3 weeks and an inch in my thighs ,0.5 in my arms and  0.5 in my hips. I started the Spark program again in January and I have stayed on it ever since. There is a day here and there where I give myself a break and not log my calories and eat whatever – my birthday was one of those days. Usually I consume between 1200 and 1600 calories daily usually around 1450. I am 1.5 inches away from my waits goal of 30 inches and my I am still off on my ratio and a ways away from the weight I want to reach but I am more than half way there.
The great thing about spark as I said in my previous post is that you learn portion control. So I get to eat what I want which is important for a person like myself who loves to cook, I just watch how much I eat. I also loose slower which can be frustrating but is much healthier for me. I will keep you all posted on my getting healthy progress.

My 1st 5.8 miles
I wrote a bit about walking and getting into running in a previous post – Weight obsessed … not really. Today I took on the 1st run that would push me beyond where I thought I would ever be and that was 5.8 miles nonstop.
The 1st two and a half felt great I paced myself well and concentrated on the music. I can’t sing along but I can sing in my head so I paid attention to the words and just enjoyed the greenbelts. After the 2.5 mark I still felt pretty good so instead of turning to cut the run short I pressed my luck and continued on the loop that I selected.
The things I had going for me : I went pretty early in the day, I took a camel back with so I could drink as I ran, I had a good breakfast and great song selection, most importantly I was psyched to do it. Things going against me were the fact that I never ran that far and didn’t know what to expect and also the fact that I am not good at pacing myself yet so at times I speed up and the slowdown which is not great.
As I was running I felt the pain and the cramp but I was way too excited to say that I ran the almost six miles to stop so I pep talked myself every once in a while and other times I just enjoyed the smell of the green belt and the nature all around. I was so empowering to make the run. My time was sucky but I am still proud of the 5.8miles in 67 minutes. I am looking forward to getting faster and better running is definitely addictive.

“Always inspect the hole before you put a stick in it”.

So these things usually happen to me when my pilot is away but today he happened to be at home.  I have been doing a lot of carpet cleaning lately and thus the steam cleaner was kind of gross. I decided naturally to clean it. Since I could not get all the hair out from the little slit I decided to use a knitting needle and a paper towel to wipe the hair out. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Well the paper got stuck followed by the knitting needle. What to do now?
Ask for help … not. So there is a screw which I was hoping gave me an access to the now stuck stick so I took the screw out. Low and behold the stick is still stuck and now I dropped the stinking screw down the sink drain. It is just my luck. Ugh…
Very sheepishly I walk in to the living room and say: “Hon can you help me”. He comes in to the bathroom where I present him with my wreck of a steam cleaner – stick paper towel and lost screw. After a bout of hysterical laughter because crap like this only happens to me I calm down and watch him. He just shakes his head and says: “Babe nobody can help you”. Then he removes the stick and the paper towel finds a replacement screw and hands me my fixed steam cleaner with some advice – “Always inspect the hole before you put a stick in it”. It is a lucky thing that he was home and not out flying because Lord only knows what I would do next.

“It won’t run on mud babe”

Last week while hubby was away my car went on the fritz. I was so annoyed because really we just put almost a thousand dollars into a new clutch and the mechanic looked it over and said that it looked good. So when it would not start without the gas pedal being pushed in I was pretty disappointed. I drove it home with my foot on the gas (it’s a stick so I could get away with using my left foot for clutch and break).
Hubby came home looked the car over and said that I had a loose plug that told the car it needed to draw gas while the gas pedal was not engaged and the only way to override it was to push the gas in. So that was a free fix. While he was at it Mr. Right decided to change the fuel filter. I guess according to the Chilton’s it should be done every 30,000 miles … mine has never been done.
When hubby took the fuel filter off I heard from under the car: “Jesus … this thing is full of mud. Babe can you give me a hand here.” I stuck my head in there and looked, handed him some bolts and what not and when he climbed out he showed me the little bit of fuel that came out. Yes people the black stuff in the coffee can is fuel, very different from the beautiful clear yellowish liquid they sell at the pumps. That maybe why my car has been having some performance jitters.

On a whim
I have been feeling a little blah for a while. There is not a particular reason, I was not depressed but I was not in a super duper energetic mood either. Then I had an unexpected treat that just gave me an amazing boost and a high that has been lasting for days.
It all started with a guitar that my husband bought and another one that he sold. Because he sold his guitar to a friend at work I offered to drive it out to him. Hey why not, husband was on a long hitch anyway and we were super excited to take the road trip to see him, great excuse is all I needed (not like seeing him while he had a weather day was not enough). While driving from Texas to Louisiana I had a brilliant thought. One of my dear friends lives just one and half hours from my husband’s base so why not pop in and see her. I have not been this impulsive in years.

I made a quick call to my saint of a friend and asked if we could drop in on her that evening for a visit and an overnight stay, we would leave the next day. She was excited about the prospect of seeing son and I, her husband was leaving for work the next morning (another pilot) so she suggested we stay a couple of days. So with a bag with a spare outfit for son, a bag of pretzels, a bag of gold fish and the clothes on my back I decided that it would be a great idea to take a few days off and hang out with my friend in Lafayette Louisiana. I made a phone call to my friend in Texas who has keys to the house and asked her to care for Jitters, she said yes sealing my little unplanned vacation in the go mode making it possible to be worry free.
Son and I visited with daddy for the day, dropped of the guitar, played and went out to dinner. We ate at Dairy Barn where for whopping $19 and change we enjoyed chicken fingers with fires and a drink, chili fires for hubby, two bacon cheese burgers and deep fired pickles. I absolutely LOVE deep fried pickles whoever thought to batter pickles and deep fry them was an absolute genius. The ambiance at that particular Dairy Barn (this is the only one I have been to) was an all American theme of Disney characters and musicians from the Beatles to Bobby King and in between. It was very cozy and I absolutely loved our little diner outing. A perfect wrap to a great day.

It was so great to see daddy and just spend time as a family. We laughed and joked and just enjoyed each other’s company I swiped a t-shirt and a pair of his boxers to sleep in at my friend’s house. After diner with daddy son and I hit the road for the last hour and a half leg of the trip to my friend’s house. Jamming out while in the car is our thing so we listened to my iPod and enjoyed the open road.  I have never been to Lafayette Louisiana so I was very excited to see more of Louisiana and the town where my friend lives.
This little trip gave me an amazing boost, we had the most wonderful time. That first evening was mellow with son and I rolling in at 9pm, we visited for an hour, watched The Bachelor and turned in. It was a long day of driving for me so I was ready to zonk out.
My 1st day in Lafayette we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and caught up over coffee. Then we decided that we were super moms and after our almost four year old boys ran out some of their energy at the playground we packed the two boys and my friends four month old infant son into her Pilot and we hit the town. Thank God for the third row of seats in her SUV because we were all able to go together and I got a great lay of the land.

 I was amazed at how picturesque the town was. Where it certainly has poor sections there are many cute areas with shops and restaurants that give Lafayette a specific ambiance. Since it was just after Mardi Gras there were beads in the trees and there was still left over celebratory feel in the air.  

Our 1st stop was a local Great Harvest Bread Co. where we sampled some wonderful breads, we bought a cinnamon twist bread for breakfast for the next day and some Jewish egg rolls for lunch. I don’t even want to know how many calories in bread I ate that day but it was delicious.  If you are ever in Lafayette check them out because the bread is to die for. I had a sample of their wheat bread with butter and honey - scrumptious.

After the bakery we drove around town some more I got to see the University and more areas of the city. My girlfriend treated me to a Cajun Sno (and no I did not forget the “w”) We were in line trying to decide on flavors with little ones so excited about the ice cream only to find out that they only take cash. We scraped up 95 cents between all of us so we had to hit the bank. Two little boys were very disappointed and crying while we are trying to negotiate traffic, they finally calmed down after much explaining. Just as they relaxed the littlest of the group stated to fuss because we have upset his routing. My girlfriend tried singing:
I love you, a bushel and a peck!
A bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck!
A hug around the neck, and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap, and I'm talkin' in my sleep.
About you.
About you!
About  Me?

That worked for few minutes but then the little guy just had enough. We were unwilling to disappoint the bigger boys so while in line of Cajun Sno she climbed in the back and I climbed over the council to the driver seat so that we could get our cotton candy sno with blue bell ice cream in the center and a margarita (virgin) Cajun Sno. The lady taking our order must have thought we were crazy but hey a mom’s got to do what a mom’s go to do.

We enjoyed a wonderful evening and a yummy diner and after the boys went to sleep we decided to cut my hair. I have been wanting to donate it to Locks of Love for a very long time so with the excitement of little girls we took my hair put it in a ponytail and hacked it all off.  It was her 1st time cutting hair so I guided her a bit, not that I know exactly what I am doing but it worked out beautifully and I love my haircut. We figured that if we jacked it up I would take a trip to a beauty shop and have it fixed. It was close to midnight by the time our adventuring was over for the day, and we headed off to bed.
 Didn't she do a beautiful job she is a natural.
The next morning we enjoyed our wonderful bread and headed over to Marshalls to get me a shirt. Three days in one change of clothes is really pushing it (I washed my undies nightly and dried them but the rest was just a pain to wash so I bought a new shirt). We let the boys play and then in the afternoon headed to Community Coffee for a coffee and cookies for the big boys. We talked about everything and I realized how much I missed her.  It is amazing how used to I am doing without, husband, family and friends. I easily slip in and out of lifestyles with a flexibility and seamlessness that is second nature. I think this is a trait I have learned being a transplant from another country reinforced by being a pilot’s wife.
 Now I am back to my life in Texas and she is back to hers in Louisiana. We agreed that we had to get together more often because even though it is few hours away it is doable and we have amazing time together, get into a bit of trouble here and there but absolutely have wonderful time.  Thank you my dear friend for letting us crash into your life and disrupt it for couple days allowing me to get a breath of fresh air and enjoy your company what a wonderful treat on a whim.

Locks of Love
 It has been on my heart for quite a while now to donate my hair to Locks of Love.  Locks of Love is a great organization helping children who suffer from loss of hair primarily from alopecia or cancer.  I always wanted to donate hair but never had quite enough or it was highlighted throughout and I could not donate. 
 I have been measuring and waiting for it to get just long enough to donate. There are some guidelines that you have to follow to donate – the length has to be at least 10” and the hair can’t be bleached. It takes six pony tails to make one wig for a child in need. It takes me about a year and a half to two years to grow 12” of hair.
Since I had been coloring my hair and had three highlights put in I wanted to make sure I was at a good place to donate. I died it all a beautiful auburn color and before my friend chopped it off,  we also pulled out the three highlighted sections. Then we stuck in in a ponytail and started to cut.  I was so excited that I felt no regrets the cause is so good that if it grew faster I would donate more often.
After we chopped of the ponytail which proved to be more difficult than we anticipated my friend started to style a cute bob for me. It was her first time cutting hair so she was nervous but we had fun knowing that if it didn’t turn out we would stick a hat on me and go to get it fixed in the morning at a salon. It turned out amazing and I didn’t have it touched up or anything. I almost feel guilty about how excited I am about my new hair cut when the whole reason behind the cut was to donate hair to a great cause. Locks of Love also accepts financial donations. 


(This post was not encouraged or solicited by Locks of Love)

I know it’s been quiet

I know it’s been quiet on the Whirly Wife blog. It is not for lack of desire to write or lack of topic but husband has had a full break at home and I just enjoyed him to the fullest.  We did so much but in a way we just were mellow. He took son to the zoo so mama had a day off (It’s all about mama), I finally got over my cold, we celebrated his birthday (a cake recipe will follow), we had friends over and shopped for books. We got the little man a sand box and did a ton of yard work on his last day home.
It seems there is a pattern that I follow, when I am on my own I am busy with functions and things that are planned for son and I. When husband comes home we entertain and are very sociable but I am less available for phone calls and computer stuff. We spend time with people face to face and enjoy our family time. I often wonder if most pilot wives experience similar switches in their routine.
On a grander scale there is also a pattern of me running around like crazy and then hitting a spot were energy is low and I don’t feel like doing much of anything. Since I just had that nasty cold that lasted forever we really didn’t do anything large scale this break we laid low so that I could recoup and rest. Now that he is back on hitch and I am on my own I still feel like I could rest some more. Like I said before,  I go through stages where I am booked solid every day of the week and I thrive then I hit a low and I really am not up to doing much of anything and the slightest project seems like a huge effort. That was last week. This week I am on a slow upswing where I am starting to plan cautiously not quite sure if I am ready to run run run like and energizer bunny or if I just want to hang for a bit longer.
Today was my first day to exercise and I feel really good about how I did I walked a mile and a half and ran the last mile and a half of the three mile hike. I am planning some girl stuff for the weekend and then spring cleaning.  Somehow today I am not extremely motivated but I hope the desire to clean out the house will come. Hope you all had a fabulous week.

It’s all about mama

After a long stretch of being on my own with a sick boy and sporting a cold of my own, my wonderful husband treated me to a “Mama day”.  A day just for me all alone at the house with nothing to do.
 I am sure that I could have found 500 things to do but I didn’t even look, the whole point was to take care of me and do what I wanted. Taking time for just me is not something that I am very good at. I usually end up thinking about all of the things that need to be done and I take care of everything and everyone before taking care of me. Today I was determined to take care of me and me only. So when husband took our son to the zoo for the entire day I did things that were strictly about me.
I died my hair, did my nails and a pedi, I took a long shower, blow dried my hair. I know it does not sound like spoiling yourself but I never blow dry and style my hair anymore. It is long and kind of wavy with a lot of body so I really don’t have to do anything to it, it looks fine air dried especially if I stick it in a braid or a pony tail so taking the time to blow dry and style my hair was fun for me. Then I read a book in my recliner for a bit, while I munched on a corn dog (kind of boring but it only took 48 seconds in the microwave and I did not feel like cooking). I moved to the hammock in the back yard to read some more. It was a chili day but I wrapped myself in a very warm blanket and hung out in the hammock reading. Then I fell asleep … I know my husband made fun of me for that bit. When he came home he found a red head asleep in a hammock in his back yard. He said: “Honey I leave you all by yourself in this huge house and you sleep outside as if you were homeless.” I know but it felt so nice and he actually thought it was cute.
At any rate after an entire day all to myself I was very excited to see my boys return home from the zoo, I feel refreshed and relaxed. I am finally starting to appreciate how very important it is to take time for just me, it makes me a better wife and a better mama. What do you do for yourself, and how often? I think that a “Mama Day” will become a more frequent occurrence. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed it – Thank you Love.

Burnt grilled cheese

Ah the lifestyle of a pilot’s wife. Both son and I are battling a cold and I think that the time when we are sick I find the lifestyle most difficult and most appealing.
Why - well the hard part as you all can imagine is being sick with a small child while they are cranky and you are sick and at your worst. It is tough getting up all the time to wipe a runny nose and give a snack and a juice. To make matters tougher kids want to play and continue with their lives even with a fever a runny nose and cough, while us older folk like to sit in the recliner read a book and try very hard to forget that we feel like death. It is tough when your husband is away and you live far from family because you really don’t want to get your friends sick by asking for help or be seen in your husband’s ginormous Blues Brothers t-shirt and boxers. Yet he is not here and there is not a soul to give you a break.
On the other had I am grateful that we are on our own. I hate wasting the precious time we have with daddy on being sick. I don’t want to get him sick and I sure as heck don’t want to spend the time we get in bed (sick). I would much rather take trips and have fun and enjoy. So as weird as it may seem even though I feel  like my head is going to explode, the burnt grilled cheese tasted just fine even if it didn’t look it, and son is on TV diet I am glad my husband is not here for few more days. When he returns I hope to be back to 100% and ready to enjoy our days with him. It still tickles me to death that he asks everyday if I want him to come home and I say I don’t because I don’t.  Do you ladies feel the same way about your pilots being gone when you have the crud?

Friendships near and afar

Since we have entered the world of aviation we have met many amazing people and formed wonderful friendships along the way. We have also lost many wonderful friends and were not necessarily completely we did lose them in the physical sense either by us moving or them moving. I have formed some incredible friendships with the most amazing women and we keep in touch via e-mail, phone, and Skype and we try to stay in each other’s lives but we all agree the we miss the physical proximity of being able to pop in for a cup of joe or a glass of wine.
Just last night I said good bye to a friend who has helped me when we relocated to our current residence, we stayed with them while house shopping, she saved me when my car died and left me stranded, she brought food when I had miscarried and was a quiet support through my emotional turmoil. We shared love for cooking and our kids were the same age and got along great. Now I have a hole in my life and it seems surreal not to have her just down the street from me. Her husband still flies for the same company as mine so we hope to see him now and again but seeing her will be more difficult.
 That pang of loss is much too familiar. I know that it will pass and however the friendship will continue via Facebook, blogs and phone we will find equilibrium and get used to not popping in or having diners while our husbands are away. I wondered if this lifestyle has not jaded me a little and I decided that I still make friends rather easily and am rich with wonderful friends whom I love and trust, they just are not always right here. I have several friends who are a country away and we talk regularly and we are there for each other, the quality of friendship has not changed just the contact went from being in the same town to being on the phone.
I look at my family who has remained put on the East coast and they enjoy more stability in their family support and their friendships than I do, so why is the appeal to move back and have my husband commute not there?
When at work Mr. Right is two hours away by car if I need him he will be here within hours and I don’t have to try to figure out logistical nightmares of tickets and flight to get him home. There was once an incident when our son was two months old and ended up in the ER. Daddy was here in the Gulf of Mexico we were in Arizona and even though I had my father-in-law with me the entire time and his strong shoulder to lean on while in the ER holding my son all I wanted was my husband. That incident cured me of being further than a car drive from him. Our family unit of three belongs together and that comfort is worth the heartache of missing our family and friends.
I think I have resigned myself to making friends that last a lifetime who not necessarily will be local. I have friends spread throughout the country and into Europe and even though I wish I could see them more often I am richer for having them be in my life and I would never change it. I still will feel the pang of loss when they move away, when we visit each other and the time to part comes but I will remain grateful for their presence in my life and the influence they have.

Weight obsessed … not really
I recently did a post on and my desire to unload some of the unwanted weight. I have been staying relatively on task with my getting healthy plan. I try not to get overly obsessive and still enjoy life  (like not count every calorie when at a party) but I really really want to get back to my pre pregnancy weight. I gave myself until this summer. Reasons are just plain desire to be healthier. I don’t have a whole bunch to go but sometimes regardless of the great progress I feel like it is an uphill battle.
 Since I hit puberty I paid somewhat of an attention to my waist and weight, I really started to weigh myself at the age of 25 when the pounds seemed to accumulate a little more due to a less active job and poor eating habits. At 27 I joined a gym and got healthy, felt great and was almost back to my high school weight which was thin. Then I had our son and all of my hard work went to hell in a hand basket. I honestly can say that I did not over eat and worked out three times a week until the 7th month. I still gained a lot of weight and have been struggling ever since to get back to the ideal weight.
I am not considered obese but I am a little over weight. I did a bunch of research on the ideal waist size and came across some very interesting information about waist to hip ratio. Waist size is important and for a healthy woman it should be 30 inches or less but because we all come in different shapes and sizes the ratio is a better indicator of health. I am not far from the ideal and that feels good. The waist to hip ratio for an adult woman should be 0.8 or less. I am just slightly above that so I have a new goal in addition to waist size and weight, now I will track my hip to waist ratio. I am super excited to continue on this path to healthy living.
I know that many of us are conscious of where we stand health wise for personal reasons be it desire to fit better into our jeans or perform better while running or just feel better about ourselves, my hat comes off to all of you out there and if you have fun  facts to share or add please do so. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination and I am just sharing with you what I learn as I go along in this health journey.

 He is coming home !!!!
I really did not think that he was going to make it home before the 17th of February, he left on the 27th of January. I was wrong and I am so very excited to admit that I was wrong because in about 8 hours he is going to walk through that door. I know I am sappy because I am still silly maddly in love with this man 15 years after he met me in a coffee shop (very long story for another day) actually a hell of a lot more in love today than 15 years ago – funny how that works. Anyway I was thinking about how excited I am and I know that many wives experience the same type of rush and excitement when their pilot comes home after a trip. I figured I would document today and all of the things I do to get ready.
Woke up at 7:30am lounged in bed reading while Little Dude watched his cartoons. Did a little of not so innocent texting with the pilot in question. Then he hit me with the big one that he is for sure coming home today!
Breakfast at 10:00am after getting dressed. Little Dude announced that he is staying in PJs one would think he was the one who did 6 miles yesterday.
11:00am laundry, you know bedding and all that, while bouncing with excitement because he is coming home. 

Sit in on a piano concert put on by Little Dude.

Feed the dog otherwise he will eat me.

Bathrooms are next you all know what a toilet looks like so no pictures there. Interrupt bathroom cleaning to check out amazing train track design and Thomas the Tank Engine do a dive off the diving board. Keep cleaning bathrooms with son’s help he did a fabulous job on the floors. It got a little hectic here because I revived few calls.
12:30pm Dust upstairs while chatting with father-in-law - just catching up on day to day stuff.
12:40pm Do the cat litter – note to self don’t feed cat chicken breast no matter how much she begs because the chicken breast poo is lethal.
12:50pm Unload the dishwasher while trying to decide what to make for diner. I am shooting for a late lunch because we will try to have late diner so we can eat with daddy. I really need to hit the grocery store. 

1:03pm – Crap he will be home in 6 hours and I still need to do personal maintenance and a pedi. I hate when people touch my feet so I do my own, I also think that red nail polish is sexy and I need it - ya know what I mean. Oh well, let’s get a shopping list done so that I can get out to the store.
1:39pm I have a grocery store list done. Backyard detail – dog owners you know what I mean I will spare the rest of you. He usually does this but I am not going to waste a minute of the three days he is home on you know what.
1:53pm – Shopping.
3:30pm – Shopping done and unloaded. Warming up soup for Little Dude and I for late lunch. Tell you what grocery stores on Super Bowl Sunday are a joke. This one guy behind me was having a fit, granted the express line was slow but he was at least in his early to mid-forties you would figure that the temper tantrums were somewhat in the past, the line was slow because there was a senior citizen confused about her coupons. Let’s give the lady a break big guy she is on a budget most likely, the game does not start for another three hours, you will make it. I actually pointed it out at one point because he was just embarrassing himself. 

3:52pm Marinate the London Broil – Mr. Right’s favorite. It is a very yummy recipe that I make all the time. I actually make it so much that I contributed pictures to the website where I got the recipe.
4:00pm Dishes from lunch in the dishwasher. I am so excited about him coming home in a few hours I can’t stop smiling. While doing dishes few texts back and forth I love it when he keeps in touch right before he starts heading home.
4:23pm Dishes done kitchen looks ok, help Little Dude pick up toys and run vacuum

4:30pm Switch laundry - I know it took me long enough to get back to laundry after I started it at 11am.You just don't realize how many times throughout the day I get interrupted and have to play or help with this or that (well if you have little ones you get it), that is just part of the privilege of being a mom and I love it.
4:48pm Downstairs is ready, now off to vacuum upstairs, make the bed and shower oh and do the pedi. 3 more hours to go The countdown continues and as the time gets near we are getting more excited. Especially the little guy he can hardly wait, so I am coming up with shows to watch ad things to do so the time goes faster.
5:30 pm – Mr. Right called with an ETA of 8 pm and switched stuff up because he said that he ate diner at work. Oh well being flexible is just how you have to be when married to a pilot or else you will have a nervous breakdown and ulcers. So London Broil will be getting happy in the fridge until tomorrow night.
6:32pm After a lovely shower I am all relaxed and pink. My pedi turned out great too. 

Now feed Little Dude, myself, the dog and cat.
6:54pm Since we are not having diner I am going to surprise him with brownies. Not only does he love them but the last hour is so tough on the Little Dude every five minutes “Mommy daddy is here” and then I have to explain that he is not. So this will keep us both busy.  

7:26pm 13 minutes on the brownies. Well I am off to slip something cute on. This is my crazy routing when he comes home. Does he ask for any of this stuff to be done. Absolutely not. Does he thank me for keeping the house stocked and comfortable when he is here. Absolutely YES! 
7:33pm He just pulled up oh my day is complete (and 23 minutes early)

Maintenance flights
 Helicopter Engine
I am not sure how it works in the airplane world but the helicopter world flying consist of transportation, cargo, patrol, observation, shuttling aircraft or pilots and maintenance flights. I think that many people forget about how important maintenance is not only to the company but to the pilot and to the pilot’s family. The company my husband works for is very safety oriented, much more so than others in the industry. I am grateful for their commitment and attitude of no expense spared when it comes to maintenance and pilot safety.
The truth is that helicopters break. That is just a way of life. These machines are exposed to harsh elements and fly a lot with many moving parts. Normal maintenance checks are done all the time, the maintenance checks are thorough and stricter than the FAA and manufacturer requirements and recommendations. After any repair that is done on the helicopter, be it to correct a break down or just routine maintenance there is a test flight required.
Once in a while my love has to do a maintenance flight where they do a track and balance (making sure that the rotor system is balanced properly), ops checks, or a broken aircraft has to be ferried from where it broke (helicopters are usually in remote areas, hence the need for the helicopter), to a place where maintenance can be done. After routine maintenance the test flights are pretty straight forward. Many companies just put the wing slingers back out on the line after a quick fix as soon as the minimum requirements are met. Get the most out of the machine and put as little as possible in. Not my husband’s company, their maintenance follows through with additional checks to find out why something broke.
Not only is the work that is completed on the aircraft very thorough but the maintenance facilities look like the operating rooms in the best hospitals in the World. Everything is white and so organized that it is beyond impressive every tool is documented and accounted for. Pilots have to sign off that all tools were counted prior to having the aircraft returned on the line. The company takes no chances and if there is the slightest problem the helicopter is immediately grounded – some may say that it is wasteful - I am grateful.
Even though the helicopters, when flown on these maintenance flights, are always airworthy and meet the FAA requirements, I get nervous. I feel like the risk is higher which really is totally irrational. The helicopter was just fixed by mechanics and looked over by the pilot (my pilot), he would not put himself at risk. So why the stupid fear – I really don’t know.
That fear prompted many conversations between my husband and I where he explained what the flights are about and how their maintenance operates.  The conversations lead to an understanding and appreciation for his company’s commitment to safety and a semi peace of mind. Even though I still worry, I am grateful for the organization’s commitment to making sure that when the pilots fly the machines are in pristine shape. My husband, the father of my child, flies these helicopters. I like knowing that he is flying for a company that does not take shortcuts of any kind and takes maintenance and repairs very seriously. So thank you, from the Whirly Wife.

It is sooo very cold outside!

It is soo very cold outside. The wind is howling and it is 38 degrees and I know that for you folks up North 38 degrees is warm and you all are probably reading this shaking your heads but to us Southern birds it is freaking cold and miserable. I can deal with 102 degree heat but I feel like I can’t function in weather this cold. I actually commandeered hubby's hunting socks because the tile floor is like ice even with the heater at 70.
I stocked up on my groceries and son and I are planning on hanging out at home with the heater turned up high and warm clothes on. It is not fun going outside when the wind is howling so loud that it sounds like someone is rolling empty trash cans on your roof.
Since I is super cold and will be for the next few days I am very excited that little dude has a buddy to play with today. They are hanging out eating junk food, playing trains and watching TV - being total boys. This is about all the entertainment he will have for few days. With the car in the shop, daddy flying we are going to be home buddies for a while. I am kind of looking forward to being in and relaxing. Cooking up some yummy foods and hanging out.
If there was one thing (actually a person) to make this cold home buddy situation better it would be to have my hubby warm and cuddly near me not off in some hotel somewhere. I guess we just can’t have it all all the time.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, my DH has to do ferry flights at his company. There's something wrong with the plane and not legal to fly passengers, but it's "safe enough" for pilots to fly it empty back to base. Just great. Fortunately they are good at maintenance overall, so those are few and far between, but I always hate to hear about it. Very comforting to know your hubby's company is thorough with maintenance too.

    Enjoy cozying up inside. Way to make the best of it!