Sunday, June 24, 2012

Taking Out the Trash

Dannika and I have an awesome Sunday routine when Nick is not around. 
* Wake up bright and early
* Go to breakfast (Dannika gets to have pancakes and chocolate milk)
* Make it to the early service at church
* Go straight to the grocery store to do our shopping for the week
* I work out while Dannika watches cartoons.
* Go outside and bathe the dog
* Take dog walk
* Laundry
* Cook the week's meals (this is pretty much an all day affair, and I am a slave to the kitchen for the majority of the day.)
* Relax..
By the time we get to's bedtime

It's funny because when Nick is home, Sundays never seem to be so busy.
I realized though, my Sundays have turned into a chaotic mess because during the week, when there are two people living here, things get done. 
We split chores.

No one likes having their spouse gone for extended periods of time (that is, if you are in a happy and fulfilling marriage!)
Any milspouse will agree that taking on the duties of mommy AND daddy can sometimes be a bit daunting.

Here are my Top 10 Things I hate doing when Nick is away.

10. Cleaning dog poop
Before we got Dozer, this was never an issue. Now it is. Have you seen how much a 100lbs dog can poop?!?! It's seriously like 2 or 3 pounds in ONE poop. I can't even use the normal doggie bags. I have to use grocery bags to throw away his poop. So sweet of Nick to get me a pooper scooper...(being TOTALLY sarcastic if you can't tell)

 9.  Dealing with grown up stuff like mortgage refinancing
Numbers, percentages, money (especially when it's dealing with refinancing hundreds of thousands of dollars), and dealing with banks are things that stress me out. 

8. Dropping off AND Picking up Dannika at daycare
I'm always a fashionably 30 minutes late to work because of Dannika's daycare. At least when Nick is here, we can switch off weeks on being fashionably late to work.

7. Getting my car washed
This was something Nick used to get done for me on Sundays as a surprise. He'd get it washed, and fill up my tank. Now my car just stays dirty till I can't stand it anymore. I also HATE when I start the car up on Monday morning to go to work and realize I have no gas. That sucks.

6. Going to church alone
I hate sitting alone, and it's always super awkward when it's time to greet people around you. It was just easier when Nick was with me. Then there's always that thought that people are thinking, "Poor girl. Her husband must not be a Christian, so she comes to church alone."

5. Cooking Dinner
I don't have as much motivation to cook fabulous meals when I'm cooking for just a 2 year old and me. 

4. Folding Laundry
I am so fortunate to be married to a man who willingly pitches in around the house. Folding laundry is my least favorite chore, and with that knowledge, Nick would always fold the laundry. I didn't mind folding laundry so much when we were doing it together, talking, and watching tv together.

3. Not sleeping in...ever
Anyone with a toddler knows that they never sleep in. During the weekday, I am up at 430am for work, and Dannika is woken up at 530. On a weekend, no matter how late I make her stay up, she is up at 630 (AT THE LATEST!).

2. Taking Dannika EVERYWHERE with me
There are days that I just wish, I could leave her at home with Nick so that I could just run to the store in peace and run a few quick errands. Dannika is extremely well-behaved, but getting her in and out of the car, clipped into her car seat, etc. is annoying when you have a ton of things to accomplish!         

1. Taking out the trash, and taking the trashcan out to the street on trash day. 
Look, I get that this may seem so menial, but I really hate it! In my world, it's a man's job...ahem...NICK's job. I hate opening the lid to the giant garbage can. I hate the smell. I hate carrying out giant bags of trash. I hate when my little trashcan in my kitchen gets so full that it takes an act of God to get pull the bag out without ripping it. I just hate it.

Hope everyone had a fabulous Sunday!
I had a great weekend, and a great sermon in church!
I am looking forward to the week and doing my daily devotionals!~

Enjoy some pics from my weekend!

I took Dannika with me to the hair salon. She was SO good for the ENTIRE 2 1/2 hours we were there. I really am a lucky mother of such a mellow and well behaved toddler!

The "do". I didn't do anything new to it....just got my roots redone, and a trim.

Before church

 Church parking lot. She was being such a ham.

There he handsome man....even with no hair :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Getting Older

It has been slowly dawning on me that I am fast approaching the big 3-0.
It hit me even harder when I realized my 10 year high school reunion happened just a few weekends ago.
10 years.
It doesn't seem like that long ago...
Well, until I started to really think about what has happened in my life in the last 10 years.
It's scary to think that since the age of 18, the only life I have known is this crazy life as a Marine.
I've never been in a Marine Corps during peacetime, and I will be a civilian before I ever get to experience it.
Now that is crazy!
I feel fortunate and sad all at the same time that while I got to serve in Iraq, I won't get my shot at Afghanistan.
I am thankful that I won't have to leave my baby girl, and I give such MAD PROPS to military moms who have the strength to leave their little ones when they deploy.
However, I can't help but get out wishing that I could have experienced Afghanistan too.

Since getting promoted to SSgt in January, I've felt older than I ever have.
I think some of it is the fact that the rank of SSgt holds some sort of mysterious power to it.
I feel WAY out of touch with my Marines most of the time.
In my current work center, my assistant supervisor is 22 years old...a Corporal.
I remember me at 22, and that was not a good
I was immature, selfish, and a partying alcoholic.
I was young, single, and worked in an organization where I felt the need to be able to "hang" with the guys every time we went out...that meant, if the guys were doing shots, I was doing shots. If the guys were doing beer bongs, I was doing beer bongs.
Me being the 120lbs girl that I was back can imagine, I had some nights I totally regret.

Now, at 28 years old young, I feel like the old lady in my shop.
I yell at my Marines almost daily about the loudness of their music.
I yell at them about the type of music they're listening to (I'm sorry, but the overly synthesized voice of Lil Wayne is not my idea of good music).
I had no idea what "dub step" was until one of my Marines played it for me, and I mistakenly called it "techno".
(I got an earful about the difference between dub step and techno)
I give them long winded talks on Fridays about the dangers of drinking and driving and having unprotected sex....or premarital sex at that....(I know, right?!?!).
I give them financial advice about saving and investing that I know is going in one ear and out the other. 
I know that after payday, all they're thinking about is how they're going to ration out their meager pay for 2 weekends of barhopping and partying...oh yeah...and pay bills....and sometimes, those bills get put on the back burner because partying comes first.
On Monday mornings, I usually ask all of them what they did, and their replies are almost always about the bar they went to, the girl they hooked up with, and the crazy hangover they had on Sunday.
I tell them about taking my kid to the science center and going to church on Sunday.
In my head, my weekend sounded AWESOME....that is...until I say it out loud.
Then I realize how lame I sound.
The icing on the cake was when I was driving my Marine somewhere one day, he gave me a strange look and asked, "SSgt.........(*LOONNNNGG PAUSE*)........are you listening to talk radio?!"
My reply was, "What's wrong with talk radio? That's how I keep up with my current events."
That's when it hit me....I sound so OLD!!!!! OMGosh!!!

But you know...
With all that said, I can't help but think of my days as a young LCpl, Cpl, and a brand new Sgt.
Those are the days where all my hilarious stories come from.
Those are the days where I learned some of the most important life's lessons.

I'm totally happy where I'm at in life, and I wouldn't trade my weekend at the science center and church for anything my young "devilpups" are doing on their weekends.

So all I have to say to them is...
"One day, you'll be the one in my shoes. You can't avoid getting older and gaining more wisdom..."

Quick Post

I woke up this morning with a little bit of anxiety.
I have no idea why or where it came from. 
I have been doing a lot of thinking about my uncertain future...
The possibility of having to rent our house out...
The possibility of moving to Boston...
The possibility of Nick getting selected for WO, and having NO idea where we'll be until NEXT April....
Or maybe....
Maybe it's just the Monday blues. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nick and Fatherhood

I was doing my usual blog stalking today, and was reading all the really sweet and mushy things people were writing about their daddies, their baby daddies, and whoever else in their life they consider a father figure in their life.

In the past, I've always done the same, and last year's blog post was no different.

I could go on and on about how much I love Nick, and how I think he's a wonderful father (he really is!).
I could go on and on about how I think he's the ultimate "Super Dad", and I very well could go into the "my baby daddy can beat up your baby daddy" spiel....but I won't :-)

Most fathers know that being a first time dad is one nerve wracking task and an experience of a lifetime.
Let me just recap 3 short stories that come to mind when it comes to fatherhood and Nick.
(Don't worry babe....I won't be too brutal)

1. My labor and delivery was HORRIFIC. I am pretty sure Nick is traumatized for life from what he experienced and saw when I gave birth to my 8lbs devil angel. While I won't go into gory or graphic details, I'm pretty sure Nick (and the L&D staff) heard every bad word that could come out of my mouth, and he had the scratches and bruises on his arm from me to prove it.

2. His first time to ever really deal with a complete diaper blow out happened after he came home from Afghanistan the first time when Dannika was just over 1. Dannika had an explosion, and Nick had a bright idea that he would take her in the shower, undress her in there, lay her down on the cold tile (on top of her own poop)....ehh...just watch it here. Needless to say, it was painful and disgusting to watch.

3. Nick and I used to take turns taking Dannika to daycare in the morning so that one of us would be a few minutes late to work every other week. I went to go pick her up one afternoon on a day that Nick took her in. She was dressed in a hot pink dress with white polka dots and an orange collar with black leggings with silver horizontal stripes on them....all topped with her baby pink Mary Janes. I apologized profusely to Ms. Kathi about her lack of taste in wardrobe and made it a point to tell her that it was Nick that dressed her....not me. 

And to Nick...
No, you can not take Dannika to her homecoming dance and prom.
No, you can not chaperone on every date she ever goes on.
No, she will not go to school dressed in a zipped up parka and ski boots every single day.
No, you will not always be the only man in her life.

Yes, one day she will start wearing make up.
Yes, one day, she'll probably wear something that you disapprove of.
Yes, one day she'll probably tell you that you are ruining her life
Yes, you will have to walk her down the aisle one day and give her away to hopefully a man that is at least half the man you are.

With all that said, I know with your guidance and love, she will grow up to be a smart, charming, beautiful woman inside and out.

Happy Father's Day to my baby daddy.
Thank you for being the father that Dannika deserves.
Thank you for working so hard to give her the life that you want her to have.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Update on LIFE

I know I've been majorly slacking on blogging.
Work has just kept me really busy on top of my busy body two year old.

Quick update on Nick...
He's doing great!
He's loving the fact that he gets to yell and scream at candidates all day.
His voice sounds froggy and hoarse, and he sounds tired all the time.

Since Nick left again for Quantico after Memorial Day weekend, I've been consumed with work and doctor's appointments.
The ball is FINALLY rolling on my medical board.
The process takes an extremely long time, and it's partly cause the VA is so slow.
I am hoping that with all the drawbacks that the military is doing will speed up the process a little.
Why keep someone in that wants to get out when you're already kicking people out?
My EAS is not until next April, but I'm hoping that this board gets me out of the Marine Corps by the end of the year so that I can have my family together again.
I'll keep everyone posted!

Other than that, Dannika and I have been doing lots of fun things every weekend.

As much as I complain about California, I do appreciate the things that I have.
Being 5 minutes away from the beach affords Dannika and me lots of opportunities that people in other parts of the country don't.
Last weekend, we hit up the Dana Point Ocean Research Center.
It's not your typical "Seaworld" fish aquarium.
It's a place where scientists and Marine biologists study the marine life right off our coast.
They only open it to the public on the weekends, and it's quite a learning experience.
*Excuse the poor quality of my cell phone pics. I am the only person in the world that still owns an old school Blackberry, and I get made fun of about it almost everyday since I am known as the "Apple/Mac Queen". I am patiently waiting on the iPhone 5*

This is an aquarium where scientists study the habits of fish when travelling in schools. It's crazy how they just swim in circles, but all in the same direction!
This is the entrance to the Ocean Institute. It's the Dana Point Harbor...beautiful.
A pirate ship that they are restoring in the harbor.

 Dannika got to dissect a she was really freaked out and grossed out by it. Thankfully, there were some tough little boys who happily dissected it for her.

This is the back patio of the research institute. Isn't it GORGEOUS?!

my little surfer girl.

Jellyfish tank.

Today, I decided to take Dannika to the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana.
Nick and I have driven by it several times and have always talked about taking Dannika but of course, that never happened.
I am so glad that I took her!
It was so educational, and Dannika had a blast!
When we first walked in, she was a little freaked out by all the people and the loud noises, but once she got accustomed to the environment, she was all over that place!

Giant pin wall. Not gonna lie, I had the urge to put my entire body against it, but I didn't want to scare little children.

Dinosaur exhibit

Learning about sounds, pitches, and radio frequencies

Learning about elephants

This was my favorite part. They had a pretend grocery store set up, you played little games and quizzes on your shopping cart as you checked off items off of your grocery list.

The day was a success!

I found my old KIA bracelet for my friend Andy that I got back in 2004 when he was killed in Iraq.
I wore it every single day until the day that I married Nick.
I took it off,  because I told myself that Nick was a new chapter in my life, and I was moving forward.
I never looked back.
Today, I put it back on.
I feel like I'm on good terms with his death now, and I can wear it just as a daily reminder of why people like him exist.
Whenever I am mad at the Marine Corps for separating Nick and I, or for whatever reason I come up with, I can look down at my bracelet and remember that God has a plan for everything.

Remember tomorrow is Father's Day!
Don't forget to call the person you consider "dad" and tell him thank you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Life with a 100lbs Dog

If you keep up with my blog, you probably remember this post.
Dozer became part of our family, and let me just say that it has been truly a rollercoaster!
Dozer and Nick have a typical "Man's Best Friend" type relationship.
Dozer LOVES it when Nick is home, and Nick treats Dozer like the son he never had.

Look at's almost a bromance...
Dozer and Dannika have a typical "brother and sister" relationship.
She LOVES to play with him, but she just annoys the crap out of him.
He looks so annoyed at her because she's so bossy, and even though he probably weights 4x more than her and could eat her......
He always does what she says.
She's a "tattle-tell"....(ie. Dannika: "Mommmyyyyy!" Me: "What's wrong baby?" Dannika: "Dozer hit me!!!!!!" Me: "Then hit him back!")

This is their relationship. Dannika has TONS of fun torturing her "little brother", and he just kinda "takes it"...hoping that it ends soon....

Dozer and I...
We have quite a dynamic, love/hate relationship.
I love him to death.
He is the perfect fit to our family, and he brings me lots of joy...............
and lots of

So far....
He has eaten or destroyed...
EVERYTHING in my flowerbed (twice)
Nick's boots 
Peed in Dannika's bedroom (he he pees a gallon)
Chewed up my cables that give me internet and satellite TV
Dannika's favorite Hello Kitty hat
THREE of Dannika's kiddy pools 
ALL of my potted cactus plants and aloe vera (yes...cactus)
Ran away from me from excitement of seeing other people and scared half my cul de sac.

And with ALL that...
I am the one that feeds him, bathes him, and spends money on pointless toys that he will demolish within minutes of me giving it to him, organic dog treats, and the BEST dog food.

Can I just add...
After I spent 20 minutes bathing him today....
He decided to go roll around in dirt....while his fur was still wet?

Oh Dozer...
What will we do with you....