Saturday, April 26, 2008

The flight from Hell, Walmart, and Sonic milkshakes

Well, Brandon and I have successfully made it to Texas. The trip was quite a disaster. Let me elaborate......

Wednesday night, or more like Thursday morning, I went to bed at 2am and set my alarm for 3:30am because we had to leave for the airport at 4:30am. I intentionally set my alarm across the room so I would have to physically walk over and turn it off. Which is exactly what I did.....and then went back to bed. Ginny comes in and wakes me up at 5:30!!! So, needless to say, Brent and I were running late. We made it to the airport around 8:15 and found a parking spot relatively quickly. The problem was that we had 2 luggage carts and Brandon's stroller, but there was only two of us. It was VERY complicated pushing everything into the airport and to the check in counter. Luckily, a very nice man helped get us to the check in counter. After getting checked in I was told that we would have to take the pets around the corner and that they would have to be taken out of their cages. I asked Brent to go with the pets so I could pay for their plane tickets and finish getting checked in. My mind was running on little sleep and I didn't realize that Brent would be the one taking the pets out of their kennels. Poor Brent. First of all, he is allergic to cats and dogs. Second, Emily and Kitters are not the most comfortable with him. Emily refused to go back in the crate. He had to force her in the kennel and then felt bad afterwards. Kitters....oh, Kitters. She scratched the hell out of him and got loose. She ran into the scanner machine and wouldn't come out. The airport employees were not able to help him, so he had to climb into the scanner to get her out and then shove her back into her kennel. I didn't find this out until later because I had to leave and go pay for animals on one side of the terminal and then haul ass to the other side of the terminal to get to my gate. I ended up running to my gate. I had to go upstairs and went into the elevator, but it just so happened that the elevator didn't work. I found an escalator, but I really didn't have time to waste trying to figure out the elevator situation. I made it to the customs line and was let through thank goodness because the line was SO long. Then, I made it to the metal detector and didn't realize that I had to take Brandon out of his carseat because the carseat had to go through the scanner. As I take him out of the carseat, I realize that he has a poopy diaper. GREAT!!! Perfect timing!!! lol So, we make it through the metal detector and have to go through another check point. They asked for my boarding passes and I handed him everything they had given me and I was missing a boarding pass. I started flipping out and told the guy that I didn't have time for this and I needed to go, but he couldn't let me through. I finally found it, and was let through. I went to the gate (which was down a hallway that NEVER ended!!!!) and checked in. I had to change Brandon before we got on the plane, so I went to the bathrooms. Well, lucky me, they didn't have a changing room, and the women's bathroom was packed. So, I just went into the handicap bathroom and changed him. When I get done, I go inquire about pre-boarding and bulkhead seating. I was told that I would get to board early. Boarding early is a joke. They gave me all of a 30 second head start, which is nothing because when I got to the breezeway, I asked about bulkhead and they told me to check with the gate. So, I had to go back to the gate and ask. That is where I found out that they had Brandon and I sitting two rows away from each other. Such brilliant people that work at the airlines. Anyway, tehat problem was fixed, but there "was no room" for me in bulkhead seating. When I booked the plane tickets, I was told that bulkhead seating is reserved for pregnant women, and women with children that do not have a seperate seat for their child, but if there was room, that I would be next in the priority list. So, I expected there to be alot of pregnant women and children in bulkhead. Nope. There was a married couple on their way to a cruise, some 20 something men, and some women that did not have any handicaps at all. I know this because I sat in the row directly behind bulkhead seating so I could be teased with it. It was so ridiculous. Then, the brilliant flight attendants were asked to heat up Brandon's bottle so I could feed him during take off to help with the popping of his ears. The dumb ass brought me boiling water!!! Then, when I told her that it was too hot, she dumped it out and brought me an empty bottle. Finally she was able to get it right after I explained that I needed warm water. I understand that they do nit have the ability to microwave bottles, which is fine, but common sense will tell you that boiling water is not an option. Brandon did great on the take off. He ate his bottle, and I rocked him to sleep. About 30 minutes into the flight I was settling in and bracing myself for a decent flight. I could not have been more WRONG! First, Brandon had another 2 poopy diapers in the matter of an hour!! He typically only poops once of twice a day!! On the flight, he had 5 poopy diapers!! That is just my luck! About 45 minutes into the flight, the pilot informs us that the oil pressure gauge on engine 2 isn't working and that we had to turn around and go back to Frankfurt to have it fixed. Granted, I would much rather them find this out and fix it before we are over the Atlantic, but I was still upset. We get to Frankfurt and have to wait for the mechanics to fix it, then for them to test it, and then for the plane to be refueled. Finally, around 2 or 2:30 we take off again. Everything was fine for awhile and I was able to get a little bit of sleep. Brandon woke up and needed to be changed (the 4th poopy diaper) and fed. I got him changed and got his bottle heated up and started to feed him just as they started bringing out lunch. So, I had to put him in his carseat and finish feeding him that way because I was afraid that they wouldn't give me my meal if I asked them to bring it back after I fed him and considering my breakfast was a beverage, I was starving! The problem with feeding him in his carseat is that burping him was difficult because of the tray. He seemed to do ok. He fell back off to sleep about an hour after he ate. He woke up fussy and was up for awhile. He finally started to get really fussy and I thought that he might have been hungry again even though it was only 3 hours after his last bottle. I fed him, and sure enough, it was too early. About 30 minutes after he ate, he threw up ALL over me. I was COVERED in vomit. Covered. It was so gross. That was about 5 hours into the flight. So, for the rest of the 5 and a half hour flight, I was covered in vomit. I had brought changes of clothes for Brandon, but not for myself. I have learned my lesson! The rest of the flight was a blur. I had a headeache and was feeling disgusting, so I think I have blocked it out. When we landed, I was expecting my stroller to be waiting for me after I got off the plane, but it wasn't. I had to carry him in his carseat and carry my travel on, purse, and diaper bag all the way to customs which was about a 10 minute walk! I finally made it through customs and found baggage claim where I was expecting my family to be. Negative. Luckily, there was a nice employee that helped me carry everything out to my family. I was SO relieved to see them and for the flight to be over!!!! It was miserable!!!!

On a brighter note- I went to Walmart yesturday!!!! I was only there for a little while because I didn't want to spend every last dime that I had. I bought Brandon a couple things and some toiletries, but I didn't go crazy. I am SO glad to be back in the states!!!! I also had a strawberry shake from Sonic yesturday!! Mmmmmm. It was yummy. It was in honor of Brian as they are his favorite. I miss him SOOOOOOOO much and being back in Houston without is such a strange feeling. I am so glad to be here, but I feel so guilty that I am here and he is not. I can't wait until he comes back!!!!

I haven't gotten my nails done yet.....shocker I know. my mom had mentioned taking me, so I am waiting to see if that is going to happen today. If not, then I am taking myself because I need to get them done and a pedicure like whoa.

That's about it for now. I am exhausted just writing this blog and recounting all of the crap that happneded on the flight. Thank god it is over!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's 2:15am

and I am STILL awake. I swear, I am so tired, but I CANNOT sleep. Everytime I try to go to sleep, I lay there awake thinking about everything that I have to do in the next few days. Plus, my whole body hurts from lifting stuff. See, this is why my husband needs to be home. He usually does all of the lifting. Speaking of my dear husband, I got to talk to him today!! It was only a brief conversation, but it made my day. He is doing well, and just waiting to leave Kuwait (or Q8 as Ginny calls it...heh) and head to Iraq. I miss him SO much, and I feel REALLY guilty going back to the states while he is stuck in the sandbox. I know that I am going to have a great time there, all the while he is miserable in Iraq. That makes me sad. Blah. Tomorrow the movers come, so I've been spending this weekend organizing things and making sure that I seperate out all of the stuff that is going on the plane with me. That is HARD WORK!!! It is hard to think of everything that you need and what you may need for the baby, and what the pets need. I will be SO glad when this move is over. Although, it means that I have to leave some of my dearest friends here in Baumholder. Today, I went to lunch with my boo Ginny and my little man Dono and Missy. It was a great time and it made me sad thinking about leaving them. They are great people and I will miss them dearly. Thank goodness for the neighbor boy who carried all of my stuff that I needed taken downstairs for me. Plus, he carried everything from my car upstairs for me, took my trash out, cleaned Brian's bike and the cooler that I needed cleaned, and brought Emily's crate upstairs. He was a LIFESAVER!!! Two hours and twenty dollars later, I had about 4 hours worth of work done had I done it myself because of carrying Brandon up and down with me. So, yay for that. Oh, and if you are wondering why this blog is all over the place, it is because I took a percocet about a half hour ago and it has taken over my brain. I feel really drunk, but my body doesn't hurt. So, that is a good thing. I could totally crash right now, and I will momentarily, but I am waiting on the dryer to finish so I can transfer the final load of laundry. So much to do. Plus, I have to wake up at 7am or so to do my makeup before the movers get here. Yes, I wear makeup no matter what when company is around. So, I will wake up, do my make up, give Brandon a bottle, and fall asleep on the couch until the movers get here. I am hoping that they get here early so they can get done early and leave me a little time to run a few errands that I need to run. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Thank goodness for the Roberts family! They are being so kind as to let me stay with them starting tomorrow night, plus Ginny is keeping Brandon for me this week while I run a bunch of errands, and they are driving me to the airport. I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends! They rule. head is all I should probably go. Yay for percocet-driven blogs. Heh. Good night everyone.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday + Good news = Happy Becky!

So, THANKFULLY, I got some good news today!!! Actually, today was a day FULL of good news!!!

It started with Ginny's WONDERFUL news that Nugget is HEALTHY and is a GIRL!!! I am SOOO happy to hear that her little Nugget is healthy!!! Especially considering that the odds were really against her. I am also THRILLED to hear that she is having a baby girl! It's so little boy, one little girl. It actually gives me hope that it CAN be done. lol So, YAY for the Roberts family!!!

Then, Brandon's passport came in today!!! FINALLY!!! After 9 weeks of waiting! So, we were able to book our plane tickets today!!! It is OFFICIAL!!! I am flying out of Germany Thursday April 24 at 10:05am!!! I will arrive in Houston Thursday April 24 at 1:35pm!!! I am SOOOO excited!!!! I cannot wait to get home and see my wonderful family!!! I am little nervous about such a long flight with Brandon, but he is an excellent baby, so I'm sure it will all be fine.

I have SO much to do to get ready for the move! The movers come on Monday to pick up my stuff. This weekend will be spent organizing the apartment and seperating the stuff that is going on the plane with me. Then, on Tuesday, I have to go to Finance, Tricare, SATO Travel, Sixt Rental Car, and get the car cleaned. Wednesday I have to sign out of my apartment, ship the car, take Emily and Kitters to the vet, and make sure that everything is in order for Thursday. Then, Thursday we head out! I am SO excited!!!

To all of my friends here in Germany, I love you all and will miss you all terribly!!! Ginny- I don't even know how to say goodbye. So, instead, it is a see you later!!! I will be back for the welcome home ceremony and I WILL see that beautiful baby girl of yours and my little Dono-man!! And Dita of course....oh, and I suppose Brenton too. Heh.

To all of my friends and family in Texas- I'm COMING HOME!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The latest.

So, this blog is not so much of an update as it is a place to relieve some boredom.

Let's see.....

Still waiting on Brandon's passport. Scheduled household goods shipment for the 18th and 21st, so after Monday I will have a government bed, dresser, 2 lamps, a chair, Brandon's bassinett, our luggage, a broken laptop, the pet carriers, and a little tv that I am giving to the Roberts' after I leave. So, hopefully Brandon's passport will come in on Friday so I can schedule our plane tickets to get the heck out of here!! I scheduled the detailing of the car....and it's gonna SUCK!!! It is 120 EURO!!!! That is outrageously expensive considering the exhange rate, but it's my only option. There is NO WAY that I could detail the car myself, and the car care place on post doesn't have an opening until the 28th. So, the economy it is. I lucked out and don't have to hire someone to clean the apartment before I leave because at my pre-inspection today I was told that because we accepted the apartment as is we only have to sweep, clean the fridge, and the oven. That is easy enough, so I'm doing it myself. Actually, I already cleaned the fridge and I cleaned behind the oven today. So, I will only have to clean the oven, behind the fridge, and sweep. Easy enough. Kitters has a vet appointment tomorrow to get her rabies shot. Next week Emily and Kitters have appointments to get their health certificates as it cannot be issued more than 10 days from the date you fly out. That's about it on the move front. Just waiting, waiting, waiting.

Brandon will be 11 weeks old tomorrow!!! OMG....time has flown by!!! He is getting so big and is just beautiful. He smiles ALL the time. It's great. He even laughs in his sleep which is adorable. He is still sleeping great at night. He falls asleep in the living room around 8-9 and sleeps until bathtime which is around 10-10:30, then gets a bottle and goes to sleep until about 6-7am. Then, gets another bottle and a diaper change and is sleeping until 9-11. So, Mommy is LOVING that. His favorite things during the day are story time, snuggle time, playing in his swing, and playing with his little stuffed froggie. He has tummy time twice a day now, and is getting really good at holding his head up despite the fact that he HATES tummy time. He is eating like a little piggie. He recently went up to eating 8 ounces every 4 hours because he was eating 6 ounces every 3 hours and barely making it the 3 hours before he was starting to get really fussy. He is wearing his 3 month clothes and has been for about a month now. He's growing so fast. He is such a good baby. Brian and I really lucked out.

Brian is doing ok. He is still in Kuwait, and gets to call/get online every once in awhile. It isn't everyday, but we're making due. He's counting down the days until he gets to come home. We miss him like crazy and can't wait until he gets home.

That's about it in the Hays family life. Brian is hanging out in Kuwait and Brandon, the furbabies and I are just waiting to get back to Texas. I will update as soon as anything changes.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The good....and the bad.

So, I'm a bad first kind of gal, so I'll get that over with first.....

I was REALLY REALLY hoping to get Brandon's passport in today so I could schedule our plane tickets, but it didn't come in. That SUCKS. Until I get his passport I can't do anything else to get moved. It has been 8 weeks today and I am getting REALLY frusterated!!!! All I can do is wait at this point, but as you all know, I am NOT a patient person!!!

So, now the good......

Brian made it safely to Kuwait and is doing ok. He is able to get on the internet and use the phones, but he has to have a buddy with him at all times. Since the majority of his friends are broke and the phone and internet cost money, nobody wants to go with him. So, he is getting online when he can, which isn't very often.

Also with the good, Brandon LOVES watching his goodnight video that Daddy made him!!! He will stop everything that he is doing (which isn't much since he is only 10 weeks old) and listen to Daddy talking to him and just smile. It's the cutest thing!! I can't wait for Brian to send more videos so Brandon can watch them too.

Also, he did tummy time yesturday and held his head up almost the entire time!!! He still hates it, but yesturday he didn't hate it as much as he normally does. He held his head up and was looking at me and talking and then looking at his rattle and smiling. So, we are making progress there!!! Hopefully soon he will be able to lift himself up and roll over!! He's getting SO big!!! I promise to post some more pics on his page soon.

That's about all that is going on here. I will post again when something exciting happens!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

First Mom Crisis

I had my first official mom-crisis moment today. Here’s the story:

As many of you know that I am moving back to Texas since Brian is deployed. The moving process is a difficult one in general, moving with the military is even more complicated, and moving with the military AND a baby is pretty close to impossible!!! lol

It all started when I set myself up for failure by expecting myself to be up by 8am. Yeah, that did NOT happen. My alarm went off, and realized that my son was still asleep, so I decided to seize the moment and sleep while I could. So, 10am I am awoken by my son’s babbling and fussing. Since I had to be home between 12-5 for the maintenance guy to come fix the dryer, I decided that it would be best for me to just stay home and if the maintenance guy left at a decent time to then try to get some things accomplished. Lucky for me, the maintenance guy came at 12 and was done by 1. (My dryer had two broken wheels, no wonder it was making horrible squeaky noises) Anyway, after he left, I got Brandon ready and fed him a bottle before we left. I knew that it wasn’t really time for him to eat, but figured that I’d "top him off" and feed him whatever he wanted. BAD IDEA!!! No more than a half hour after we left the house we were in the office inquiring about getting his name added to my orders, Brandon decided that he was going to throw up that entire bottle. He was chilling in his carseat asleep, and he woke up and was acting a little fussy, so I offered him his binkie but he didn’t want it. He was a little squirmy, so I figured that it was probably gas and since he wasn’t really fussing a lot I left him alone and continued discussing the orders situation. The next thing I know he had vomitted and covered himself and his carseat. Yay. I then entered panic mode! lol I took his jacket off and got a burp cloth and started wiping him down. I checked the diaper bag for a change of clothes, and like a dumb ass I hadn’t replaced them from when we were in the hospital unexpectedly a few weeks ago. Yikes. Panic had really set in at that point. I wiped down the carseat with the burp cloth and put him back in it. That was all I could do at that point. During this entire ordeal, I was being given directions as to how to get my son added to my orders. My brain was NOT in the right frame of mind to remember ANYTHING they were saying to me. Luckily, the guy was new and wanted to learn the process himself so he escorted me to the building I needed to go to and spoke to the people for me. Brandon cannot be added to my orders until his passport is in. So, basically, my move is stalled until his passport comes in. That bitch better come in tomorrow!!! Ugh, but that is a whole other story in itself. Anyway, I had another couple of places to go, but decided that I’d just go to one because I needed to get Brandon home and changed before he started stinking up my car with his milkiness. Once I went to the outprocessing building they sent me BACK to the last building I was at for the checklist I was inquiring about. Once at that original building they gave me a checklist for getting an ERD approved. I ALREADY HAVE my ERD approved. I wanted a checklist of things that I needed to do in order to MOVE. A list of things that I needed to do to CLEAR this post. Apparently, there is no such checklist. So, ALL of that in and out of buildings (6 buildings, so 12 times in and out of the car) for nothing. And, can I just say that carrying a baby in a carseat is HARD WORK!!! lol He is a heavy little guy and the carseat is bulky and hard to carry. So, I had an official mom-crisis moment with the vomiting and an official mom day by carrying him around all day. It just sucks that all of that work was for NOTHING. Ugh.

I wouldn’t trade if for anything in the world though. Especially when he smiles at me. Which he is doing right this second....only because he is making a dirty diaper for me to change. Hahahaha....well, I’m off to take care of diaper duty. I hope you had a good laugh at my expense.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

And so it begins.....

the most painful seperation imaginable. Please be forewarned that this blog will probably be all over the place as my feelings are overwhelmingly complicated right now.

Brian has officially left for Iraq. 16 months. Damn, that is a LONG time. I missed him before he left, but I miss him immensely more now that he is officially gone. I honestly do not know how to describe what it feels like to have to say goodbye to your husband, your child’s father, and your best friend. Incomplete. That is really the only word that comes close. It is almost surreal at this point. I almost don’t believe that he isn’t going to walk in the door in a little while and asks, "What’s for dinner?" Saying goodbye was hard. Not nearly as hard as watching him say goodbye to our son. My heart breaks a little more each time I think about it. I cannot possibly imagine what it must feel like to look at your baby and know that you will not be seeing them again for at least 16 months. It’s unreal. He is such a brave man, and is stronger than he is given credit for. I know that I am one of many wives/husbands that have had to spend an ungodly amount of time away from their solider, and I have dealt with deployment before. I know that I can handle the seperation. I know that I will eventually not cry everytime I see little things that remind me of him. But, for now, every little thing reminds me of him. Everything. Walking into our house and seeing his side of the bed, his "spot" on the couch, his toothbrush in the holder....everything. I’m doing surprisingly well. I’m actually quite proud of myself. For now.

It’s just not fair. It’s not fair that children must be seperated from their parents, spouses seperated, families seperated for this bullshit war. It’s just not fair. Not. At. All. All I can say is to PLEASE vote. Please educate yourself and vote. Just don’t sit idly by and expect things to change. Things will only change if people stand up and make them change.

In the meantime, I will vow to stay occupied to help the time pass by. From past experience, I know that keeping busy is really the only way to keep some sanity. It may seem trivial, but I am trying to find one thing everyday to look forward to. Even the small things keep me going. Tonight, American Idol is on. Tomorrow, more American Idol. Friday, Grey’s Anatomy. That, plus all the things that I have to do to get my move organized will help the time pass by quicker. Once I get to Texas, it is really all down hill from there. Between being a mommy, going to school, and spending time with family I’m sure that the time will fly by.

I just wish that we didn’t have to be apart. I just wish that I didn’t have to go to bed alone every night and wake up alone every morning. I wish that Brian didn’t have to watch Brandon grow up through videos and pictures. I just wish things didn’t have to be this way.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What a relief!

It is official!! We found out today that my ERD was approved!!! It is SUCH a relief!! Especially because Brian is leaving for Iraq VERY soon!! It makes me feel so much better knowing that shortly after he leaves, I will be able to leave too. Now that it has been approved, we have to begin the moving process. Anyone that has moved with the military knows that it is a very lengthy process involving many briefings and appointments. First and foremost, we have an appointment with Transportation on Tuesday to schedule my household goods shipment. When Brian spoke to the transportation office today, they told him that the earliest they can ship our household goods is around April 16-17, and that isn’t guaranteed. Once our transportation appointment is scheduled, we can call housing and schedule a final inspection to sign out of housing. We can also schedule our flights out of here. Also, somewhere in there, we have to ship our car back to the states. We can’t leave until we get Brandon’s passport, which hopefully will come in on Friday. We applied for his passport mid-February, and we are still waiting on it. I called the passport office today and was told that the next pickup of passports is on Friday, so if Brandon’s comes in, we will be notified immediately. So, we are hoping that his comes in on Friday. Along with shipping our household goods, clearing housing (which involves ALOT of major cleaning because the Army is anal), shipping the car, and scheduling our flights, the Army requires us to clear a number of other offices. For example, you have to have the library sign off saying that you do not have any overdue library books. So, it is going to be interesting. I am actually grateful for the work because with moving and Brandon, I won’t have time to really think about Brian being in Iraq. I am just ready to be back in Texas with my family. As excited as I am, it is bittersweet because I am going to have to say goodbye to the Roberts family. They have been amazing friends to us, and it is going to be so hard to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes.