Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In the valley

This move has been really tough for me.  Usually I’m excited to move and explore new places and meet new people, and I was this move too.  But this base operates very differently from any other base we’ve been to.  So far I haven’t seen any sort of squadron function except for one afternoon bbq we couldn’t attend.  I haven’t been contacted by any wives and I’m not sure there even is a wives group here, and it wouldn’t really matter anyway since we live 45 mins from base.

I feel really alone here.  Mark is busy with work and is usually gone from 6:45am or before until after 5pm.  Things haven’t changed much for him because he’s just doing a different job but still has adult interaction and the automatic system of friends with the guys he works with and sees every day.  Meanwhile, I’m at home with the kids and dogs in a house that’s an absolute disaster.  This house has pretty much no storage so I don’t know where to put things to get them out of sight.  I just shuffle boxes around and sweep the floor so it’s somewhat presentable.  The kids managed to scratch the new wood floors we put in less than 24 hrs after we took the cardboard off of them.

Mark gets home from work in the middle of the dinner hour chaos and then it’s trying to get the kids fed and bathed and to bed and then Mark wants to just veg for a while, which I don’t blame him since he gets up early and has been working all day.  I just give him his space to do whatever he wants and then we go to bed and start it all over again the next day.  My one job now is to be a mom and I feel like I fail miserably at that most days.  I have no patience with the kids who are constantly making bigger messes than we already have in the house or breaking/ruining things.  I want to be a fun mom who does fun projects with my kids and I find myself just shoeing them away most of the time or telling them to be quiet because the baby is sleeping and there’s no door on his room that’s right in the middle of the house.

I’ve asked my mom to come out and help with the kids and unpacking/organizing, but she said her garden will die if she leaves and doesn’t water it and “It’s not like they sit around doing nothing”.  Mark’s parents were just here because he wouldn’t tell them to wait to come out until after we were moved in like I asked him to do way more than once.  I remember when I was pregnant with Abbie, both my mom and Mark’s mom came out to help us get unpacked and organized.  And now that I have 3 kids and 3 dogs, neither one is available.  I feel like it’s pretty much on me to get the house organized except I don’t really even know how to do that since we’re lacking so much storage.  And the list of things we want to do to the house just keeps getting longer by the day so I see all of our weekends from now until about December being consumed with trying to get this house done.

Hopefully things will be better when Abbie starts school tomorrow.  She is so excited.  I asked Mark last week to get tomorrow morning off so he could be there for her first day, more so to support me than anything else, but they scheduled him to fly and he thinks flying is more important so I’ll fight holding back my tears while dropping her off myself.  I’ve been doing that a lot lately anyway so I guess tomorrow won’t be much different.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Day trip to Lake Isabella


A couple weekends ago, we decided to get out of the TLF and drive to a lake we saw on the map that didn’t seem too far away.  Well we were wrong… It was kind of a ways away, but the drive was pretty and it was nice to get off base for a while.

This part of CA is kind of odd.  Edwards is in the middle of a dry lake bed, but there are a bunch of dry lake beds around, in the middle of all the mountains.  It’s interesting terrain for sure.  I thought these red rocks we passed were really cool.  They showed up out of no where and we drove through them for 5 or so minutes and then they were gone.

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This is what most of our part of CA looks like.  Large flat spaces with mountains in the distance.

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We passed one area with LOTS of joshua trees.  I’ve never seen so many of them!  Usually there are a few of them sporadically around, but these were thick and they were everywhere.  Pretty cool.

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Most of the drive was just winding around through the mountains.  It was really pretty and made us want to get a camper even more.

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Turns out Lake Isabella is mostly dry…  The picture below on the left probably was mostly water at one point, but now there’s just a little bit off in the distance.  When I was using google maps when we were down by the waters edge, it showed us being in the middle of the lake, and we weren’t.  We just got a ton of rain so I wonder if it’s a little higher now.  Either way, it was fun.

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The kids enjoyed playing by the lake though.  Mark took them on a short walk while I nursed J in the car.  He wasn’t a super big fan of all the wind, hence the photo below.  PS:  I love our dumb car!  Big enough for us and all our junk!

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We took some crazy road through the mountains back to Tehachapi and ate dinner there and drove by our house and then back home.  Do you see the goats in the picture below on the bottom right?

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Very close to Tehachapi is a HUGE wind farm.  This isn’t even a fourth of the wind mills that Mark will pass every day on the way to work.  They’re on the back side of this mountain too and when we arrived to Edwards the first time at night, we had no clue why there were hundreds of red blinking lights on the mountain.  Well this is why.


Can’t wait to explore more of this state!

Monday, July 6, 2015



Life has been a bit “blah” these past few weeks in the TLF’s.  The ones at Luke were gross – old and dirty.  We found a few cock roaches and a lizard and the floors are constantly dirty because of the dogs and kids.  It’s stressful.   But at least in Phoenix we had friends and civilization nearby.

0M1A0041This was taken at our house in Phoenix, not here in CA…. 

Since we’ve been in CA, it’s been tough.  Really tough.  Edwards is out in the middle of nowhere.  It’s pretty much a 45 minute drive to any sort of civilization.  We are very close to a grocery store and a bx, but anything else is off base, and this base is so big that it takes 10-15 mins just to get off base in any direction.  We’re still in the middle of a desert – the Mojave desert this time – so it’s usually 100+ outside.  Read that as too hot to be outside much, especially for my 2 month old.  So we basically stay in our little TLF all day long.  I spend pretty much all day telling the big kids to be quiet so Jamison can nap and sweeping up dog hair and dirt.  Literally, that’s what I do all day long.  Our internet here cuts out quite frequently and our phones don’t get reception here so unless we want to pay for a long distance call somewhere, we can’t call out either.  My patience runs thin with the kids because keeping a 3 and 6 year old quiet all day is next to impossible, and the few times I do get the baby to sleep when he’s not on me, they normally wake him up.  If Jamison is on me, he’ll sleep all day, and so will I, in all honesty.  I try to do Abbie’s work books with her in the mornings and let them watch a few shows on PBS, and sometimes they are pretty good about playing together, but usually Ben is screaming about something Abbie is doing.  It’s just been pretty rough and it’s hard to not feel really secluded here.  I’ve thought about driving to town with the kids myself, but last week I ran to the post office by myself with them (3 mins away) and Jamison was crying so hard in his car seat he couldn’t breathe so I got him out right away and tried to calm him down while getting my post office stuff done.  He screamed the whole time we were there and Ben was all over the place and Abbie was annoying Ben so he was screaming at her the majority of the time too.  It was exhausting.  But I actually did manage to take them to the commissary by myself after that and they were good.  I just can’t drive 45 mins by myself with Jamison in the car right now because I can’t reach him when he starts to cry.


Mark’s parents are coming in a few weeks and I’m stressed about that too.  It’s pretty bad timing since we’ll still be in TLF’s and adding 2 more people to this tiny place isn’t ideal.  There isn’t even enough places for everyone to sit in the living room.  They decided to stay up in Tehachapi, which I guess is as good of place as any, but it’s 45 mins from us and we don’t even know if they can get on base without us going to get them at the gate every time they come.  Mark is going to try to take time off, but the day after they leave is when we get into our house and can start doing work on it, so he’s going to need that time off to redo the floors in the house before we get all our junk and then be there to help me when we get our delivery of our stuff too since I can’t handle 3 kids and the movers by myself.  And that’s right about the time he should start flying here as well, so it’s not an ideal time for him to take a lot of time off work, but he’ll make it work.


Mark and I are both anxious to get into our house and get all of our own stuff.  He figured that throughout his Air Force career we’ve been without the majority of our stuff for around 6 months between all of our moves.  It’s just tough living in this stage of “in between”.  You can’t really ever settle and this place will never feel like “home” no matter how hard we try, so it’s just trying to bear it until we can get into our house we bought and start making that a home.  It’s usually 10 degrees cooler up in Tehachapi so that’ll be a welcome change as well.  We are also looking forward to making changes to that house to make it a little more “ours” for however long we might be there.

0M1A0108I just keep trying to remind myself that at least Mark is here with us and not in Korea for a year.  Things could be much worse, and I know that, but this isn’t the easiest situation I’ve ever been in before.  Luckily we’re over halfway through it, I think!

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***All of these pictures were taken with my new camera and aren’t edited at all.  I might give up editing for a while so I can just get photos on the blog in a timely manor.  And they were all taken in Phoenix, not in CA.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jamison at 2 months old

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I don’t think most babies get carted around quite as much as Jamison has in his 2 short months of life, but he has been doing fairly well with it, for the most part.  He’s been back and forth between AZ and CA 3 times now, and he was probably the best traveler of the 3 kids all 3 times.  (Ben is at a really rough age to spend more than 1-2 hours in the car.)  The big kids both love Jamison to death and are always checking on him and asking about him and wanting to hold him.

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We still haven’t had his 2 month appointment – it’s on Friday.  But a few weeks ago, in the middle of the move, Jamison became hoarse all of a sudden, which freaked me out.  So I took him to urgent care, where we found out he had thrush.  Although I’m still not convinced he had thrush… but that’s another story.  Anyway, while we were there, he weighed 10lbs 6oz with his clothes on, so that was encouraging.  I’m guessing he’s closer to 12lbs now though.

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We switched him from newborn to 0-3 month clothes when he was around 5 weeks old, along with switching to size 1 diapers.  Now at 2 months old, his 0-3 onesies and footed PJ’s are already getting to short for him.  He can’t straighten his legs if we put him in footed PJ’s because he’s so long.

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He’s been smiling a lot lately and he’s laughed a few times too.  He’s starting to coo quite a bit more and is making good eye contact with us.  Sometimes it seems like he looks above your head a lot, but he’ll also look at your face.  He was quite cross-eyed for a while, but that seems to have gone away for the most part now.

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I’m mostly nursing him still.  He gets 1-3 bottles a day, depending on our schedule and his fussiness.  Most days Mark just gives him a few ounces after I nurse him at night before we put him to bed, but occasionally we’ll give him one during the day too if he’s extra fussy and not latching on well.  I nurse him 8-10 times a day as well, but my supply seems to fall off in the evenings.  Last night Mark fed him 5 oz of formula before he went to bed, which was a first.  Usually he takes 2-3oz.

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We’ve found that he sleeps best when he’s swaddled and when he has white noise near him, probably because of all the other noise in the house.  Most of his naps are in the swing.  We get up somewhere between 8-10am, depending on the big kids right now, and his most alert, happy time is in the morning.  He usually gives me enough time to get myself dressed and Ben dress and him dressed, and then I let the dogs out and feed them and get the big kids breakfast.  Sometimes I actually get to eat breakfast without him screaming if I’m fast enough at that, but other times I eat while I nurse him, or I just nurse him and eat later.  He seems to take an hour or two nap around 11am and then is up for a few hours and goes back to sleep around 2-3ish for another few hours.  He’s usually up while we’re eating dinner and sometimes we can get him to take a little nap after dinner.  I try to keep him up until at least 9:30pm and if it’s later than that, even better.  He’ll typically sleep until 3am, although I’m not sure he’s waking up because he’s hungry or just out of habit.  Sometimes I have gotten him to stay in his bed until 4:30, but that’s with me getting up a few times to give him his paci.  He’s not a huge fan of the paci, but sometimes it helps him fall back asleep before he spits it out.  Then I bring him to bed with me and nurse him on and off, switching sides a few times until we get up.

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He’s not a big fan of the car seat right now, so car rides are a bit of a challenge right now.  Which is super convenient considering it takes a good 45 mins to get anywhere from where we live right now.  He’s getting to the point where he won’t just fall back asleep in the car, he continues to cry for the entire 45 mins.  It’s a bit stressful.  He does, however, LOVE baths.  LOVES them.

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Jamison is a really easy baby overall.  And I think we’d think he was even easier if we were actually in our own place with all of our own stuff.  It’s just hard having a newborn and 2 other kids in this tiny place without all of our stuff.  I am definitely enjoying the newborn stage much more with him than I did with the others, despite being a bit displaced.  I’d love him to stay little forever!

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