Sunday, October 27, 2013

Zombie Zumba

I've gotten into Zumba. 

Ok...I've REALLY gotten into fact one might call me a zumba addict these days.

But its helped me lose 50 pounds so I'm saying thats a really good thing.  Yesterday was Zombie Zumba. 

Oh yeah....

A room full of women dressed up like zombies (and two men)

This is me and my zumba friend and cul-de-saq neighbor...we decorated our shirts and blackened our eyes and frzzed out our hair and then zumba'ed for TWO HOURS.  Burned me 1500 calories!

So listen...if a zombie can zumba...

I highly suggest if you've got a shimmy in your body that you try out zumba. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Don't Feed the Bears!

There I am...Ranger Anna all ready for the HHB Trunk or Treat.  And why go as a park ranger, you ask?

Because I had the cutest little Owl...

Who insisted on calling HOO HOO and flapping her wings everywhere we went...

AND the cutest little grumpy bear...

Who finally popped his grumpy bear hat over his face so the park ranger would leave him alone...

The kids raked in so much candy...I've got to remember not to buy halloween candy until after we attend these events.  It's likely I wouldn't have to buy any...ever...again....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We officially have...

Oh, I'm such a bad blogger these days.  I've been focusing on so much other stuff that I've let Chuckleheads fall by the wayside.

But there are major milestones that just simply have to be recorded!

1.  We have a walker!  Jaxxy boy is not officially walking more than he is crawling.  It happened just the past two days.  He's been occassionally toddling along but preferring the faster crawling method...then yesterday he started walking on his own...catching his balance and getting up when he'd fall to try walking again...

And today I can't stop him.  He's a walker!

2.  We have passed the 6 month mark for deployement!  As of about July 24th we are on our way back DOWN the hill.  Woohoo!  Three more months before leave and then three months before he's home for good.  Hallelujah!

3.I have lost 36 pounds!  Woot!  Pretty proud of myself.  I restarted (again) the C25K and instead of doing the program as is...decided to do each week twice in an attempt to really be able to keep up with it and the run times it eventually gets to.

Well, can I just pat myself on the back and say...Last Saturday I ran TWO miles without stopping.  Thats  I couldn't even run 30 seconds without heaving for breath 8 weeks ago when I started this. 

I also am taking a zumba class 2X a week.  I. Love. It.  And my teacher...holy booty shake queen!  This girl can move like nobody I've ever seen.  Except for maybe my mom on her new jiggle jiggle machine.  ha ha ha.

So thats where we are unless you want to hear more about my house that needs a good clean.  (next on my priority list if you can't tell.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What the Bojiggly jiggly?

My mom called me the other day to tell me about a "NEW WEIGHTLOSS MACHINE THAT IS SIMPLY AMAZING!"

Adore my mom...and yes the all caps is necessary because she is a woman that gets quite excited about very funny things like this amazing weight loss machine. One might call her an "alarmist", but I don't. Nope...not me.

Like Y2K. Remember that? Yes, she was terrified that wild dogs would be running through the streets because of the end of the world. And it took her forever to get a Facebook page because the internet will STEAL YOUR IDENTITY!

So...she tells me about this new machine her chiropractor has in his office...and she called it the jiggle jiggle machine. I promise you this is a G rated post except I may have to move that to PG simply because she called it the jiggle jiggle machine and that just sounds wrong.

So the jiggle jiggle machine is something you stand on and then you just turn up the jiggling vibration to as high as you want it to go...its supposed to tone and firm muscle and help you burn calories. Only 10-15 minutes per day is the claim and unbelievable health benefits...

But anywho...she tells me to find it (she always calls me to search the internet for her because I'm really good at that google thing.) because she wants to know how much it costs...

I found a few way out of any kind of intelligent human price range...and then...SHAZAM. $250 bucks on Crazy Fit Massager Full Body Vibration Machine! And its on sale and you know you want to find out more about the jiggle jiggle machine. Plus its 87% off right now and you save $1,743.51. Seriously.

It makes you want one...doesn't it?

And I couldn't help myself...I sent her the link and let her know now is her CHANCE to own her very own jiggle jiggle machine.

I'm guessing my stepdad won't mind watching her exercise on that thing.


I received an email today...

She.  bought.  it.

ha ha ha ha!  She is now a proud owner of a jiggly jiggly machine.

I cannot stop laughing...

(and I can't wait to try it!)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Running (wo)man

Anybody remember the 90's?  Actually, clarification - early 90's?  Those were the days when I wore Cross Color clothing to look rasta hip hop cool?

C'mon...Cross Colours?

No way you don't remember me running around in those bright red pants...or yellow.  Good lord...I really did dress like that...but even more than the clothes was the DANCE MOVES.

Little known fact:  I was voted "most likely to dance at random times" at our last family reunion and I blame thank my 90's dance crew for making that a reality in my life.

Like the Running Man...

Photo added to remind you exactly how cool one looks when performing the running man correctly.  I used to rock the HOUSE with my dance moves.

And then I lost the fire...the color...the moves...and got really fat.  Ugh.

So...this morning I got up at o'dark hundred and got ready to run on my treadmill as my first official day of my C25K program.  And just as I was heading downstairs both kidlets woke themselves up.  Now I know myself well enough to know that if I don't bust out the exercise in the morning...I can procrastinate and excuse away every other chance to do I got those kids up and cooked them breakfast then stuck baby boy outside in the garage in his highchair and baby girl in a camp chair and they had their breakfast while I did my morning run.

And really this has nothing to do with the running man dance move except that when I am in good enough shape to not slip and fall or jiggle the bod all over the place I will once again be rockin' the house with my own running (wo)man dance moves...

Thursday, June 06, 2013

3 months

We just passed the 3 month mark for deployment.  Only 9 months to go.  If you haven't read my letter to deployment...let me give you the cliff notes version...

Dear deployment:

You suck.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Baby Birdies!

These pretty little baby mourning doves are probably about 3-5 days old here.  Actually, they really aren't all that pretty, but its been fun to watch them!  Mama is very protective right now.  We leave them alone unless she is gone from the nest...then we can't help but take a peak!

....and $1000 later...

I didn't go to the dentist even one time while living in Germany...I am an avid brusher and flosser...i thought to myself that would be enough for the 3.5 years that we were there...right?


A temporary crown, a permanent crown and a root canal done yesterday.  But I am glad to report that there is no more decay in my mouth.

I guess I shouldn't feel too grumpy about it, the dentist said this was not just because I didn't see the dentist for about 4-5  years and a standard cleaning wouldn't have fixed was all decay BENEATH my fillings. 

Here is the good news... (after I get the temporary crown replaced with a porcelain crown...)

No more dentist for a full year!  Wahoo!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lovey Dovey

A couple of weeks ago I bought a hanging plant for my back patio.  A few days later I noticed a lovey dovey sitting in the middle of it.  When I got close she flew away, but check out what she left behind!

Here is the mama bird that sits on the nest...

She used to get very upset and fly away every time we went out on the back porch, but now we are "cohabitating."  She sits quietly even if the kids play right under the flower plant and she even stays in her nest when I water the flowers.  She keeps her eyes on me, but I get as close at 10-12 inches from her and the nest without her flying away now. 

I'm super excited to see baby birdies hatching soon.

A trip to the zoo...

We went to the Nashville Zoo!  Bobbi and Bop came visiting...they drove their motorhome from Oregon all the way to Fort Campbell and stayed for 10 day total.  We had a great time just being around them.  Its been a long time since we've lived near family.  I'm so grateful for inlaws that think its important to visit, know their grandchildren and develop good relationships with them!

The zoo was small, but beautiful.  Very lush and green.  They had these crazy monkeys at the very beginning that were SO loud.  You really felt like you were in the jungle!

Just a few photos from our day at the zoo...

On the carousel.  Bella had to be on the cheetah and so I put Jax on the ixtapa.  he liked it for about one full carousel circle...actually "liked" might be too strong a word.  He tolerated it....then he was ready to be D.O.N.E.

Grassmere Estates...the estate that donated the land to the zoo and so its named after it.  Bop and Bella sitting on the porch rocking...all they need is a little glass of lemonade!

Bobbi holding Jax in the playzone area for kids.  He puts everything in his mouth...and loved her hat strings.  He sucked them to soaked!

I just laugh every time I see this photo of Bop and Bella at the meerkat exhibit.  Their faces are priceless!

And the highlight of Bella's day...the flamingos.  She talked about them all day long and they were one of the last things we saw.  Just beautiful bright colored birds.  I never realized how bright their coloring actually was until this trip...

Pretty Roses...

John sent me roses for Mother's Day.  Between my mothers bracelet and the flowers I'm feeling spoiled.  That's a nice feeling.

The roses were a beautiful peach color.  I looked up the meaning.  (although I have no idea if John meant anything by picking the color he picked...)

Anywho...the peach rose means appreciation, closing the deal, let's get together, sincerity and gratitude.  Those are all very nice sentiments for a mother's day flower arrangement.  I just love them!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Queens wear crowns...

I told Bella that I was getting a crown today. 

She immediately responded that it was because I was the queen (and she was the princess and Jax was the prince, of course).

Love this kid.

But, the crown I meant is strictly limited to my teeth.  As in dental crown.  My first...but not last. 

I just have one thing to say about today's dental visit...

14 shots kept my mouth numb for 9 hours.

Yes, 14 shots.

It wouldn't numb...I had three rounds of anaesthesia shot into my mouth.  The last round worked overtime.  9 hours later I could actually feel my mouth working again.  I am not looking forward to the second one...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What a long two weeks...

If there were two weeks we could just wipe out...I choose the last two.  I have been up to my elbows in snot, vomit and tears for two weeks.  Ugh.  Its kept me from doing almost anything productive and exhausted me in the process so now I'm struggling with a cold of similar proportions.

We can't seem to get rid of the cough...Bella seems to have inherited my chronic cough after a cold.  Poor kid.  I'm actually trying some allergy medicine.  Its only been 2 days, but I do sense a difference in her.  Hmmm...allergies...something you don't think about unless you have them.  (it was a suggestion from my allergy ridden neighbor.)

And so there is the end of the last two weeks...may they never be repeated again.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm a Liebster STAR!

I won an award.


The Liebster Award...

Never heard of it?  Well, despite being awarded this prestigious award by Carrie "CJ' Jean over at Military Wife Life I also had to google it. 

But...this may be my one and only chance to do Academy Award style thank you's so you'll just have to wait on what I found the meantime...

I'd like to thank my elementary school teacher, Mrs. Matthews.  This is what I remember most about her...she collected pigs and she would let me hide up in the reading loft when I was supposed to be doing something else.  Thanks for encouraging me to read and being the best librarian ever and instilling a love of words into a 5th grader.

Thank you to my teenage angst years, my adoration of New Kids on the Block and my complete nerdiness in high school that provided mountains of journal writing experiences of which I still have and cherish and laugh hysterically when reading.

And last, but not least...thank you to my parents who made me write essays as punishment.  It was those hours of writing no less than 500 words on "Why I should not lie" that has made me the blogger that I am today.

If i forgot anyone I'm terribly sorry...receiving the award has just gotten me all flustered!... in my google search...What I discovered is that the Liebster award has its roots way back in 2010 in a German blogger who decided to start an award for bloggers who have less than a certain number of followers.  I've seen numbers from 3000 to doesn't really matter in my case.  I fit both criteria.  Its kind of like a blogging chain letter...only MUCH cooler and you can't get arrested for it if you ask for money.  Which I may add to the Liebster award rules...nominate bloggers and then they have to pay you for accepting.  I may be onto something here.

Soo....I get the award...answer a list of questions asked by the one who nominated me and then pass the award along asking my own list of questions...

On to my award!  I get a badge and everything!

1.  What is your favorite quote?

I adore CS Lewis.  I find him absolutely brilliant.  This favorite of mine brought me much peace in the years I struggled with faith...

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

And then of course there is my second favorite which is much less serious, but still has a religious underton... 

"The 11th commandment:  Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator."

2.  What was the last song you listened to?

Ha!  Katy Perry - Firework.  LOVE her.  LOVE this song.  I just find it inspiring...and I LOVE the music video.  Bella and I danced while Jaxxy jumped in his exersaucer.  It was DANCE PARTY!

3.  What was your first blog post about:

I had to go back and look!  It was about starting a blog and writing like Dave Barry (who I find very humorous).  I'm not sure if my humorousness has reached his level....

4.  What is your favorite blog post on your site?

Oh, unfair!  I have no favorite.  (Booooo! Hisssss! say the crowd)   So if I absolutely HAVE to choose a favorite..I would say the one where I got this awesome award called the Liebster award....

5.  How did you come up with your blog name?

Ever seen Magnificent Seven?  There is a quote in there...

[as they ride to the village, Chico is following them]
Vin: Riding out there in all that dust and heat... what a chucklehead.
Chris: Yep. Not smart like us.
Vin: Yep.

And it was a good line.  And a good movie.  So when we started geocaching we needed a family name and became the chuckleheads. 

Also an interesting note...chuckleheads is synonymous with the word blockhead.  Guess what they call New Kid on the Block fans?  BLOCKHEADS!  I do believe everything in my life eventually ties back to New Kids on the Block.

6.  What inspires you? kids.  They are my love...  They make me want to be happy, healthy, kind, loving, exciting, energetic, active, spiritual, sweet, fun....

7.  Where so you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years....I shall be an old woman and I shall wear purple...

No seriously?  We'll still be in the Army...maybe living in Korea?  I'll have a 9 year old and a 5.5 year old.  I'll be on the PTA and have my own motorcycle to ride around on.  Oh, and I'll have actually crafted everything I have pinned on Pinterest.  Yeah Right.

8.  Describe yourself in 3 words.


Awesome, gracious, loving, sweet,  generous...and of course humble...

9.  What is your hometown and what is it like?

I always choose my birthplace as opposed to my hometown for questions like this.  I think deep down inside I liked being a country girl.  So, Vale, Oregon.  Little town of about 4,000 people.  One flashing stoplight.  It is as country as you can get...dusty, farms, migrant workers, trucks, one schoolbus to take all the kids to elementary, middle and highschool...

I loved living there.  I ran wild in the fields, swam in leech infested ditches, had my first boyfriend (Zach VanMeter - be still my beating 8 year old heart!)   Swam in a pool that had paint chipped in the deep end that I thought was in the shape of a shark....boy did I swim FAST in the deep end...I picked up potatos an beets from the side of the road as they dropped off trucks loaded high with produce.  I picked asparagus in the ditch banks and we drove an old Scout that could take a bump at 60 like no other car.

It was a glorious place to live.

10.  What is your dream job?

Dare I say writer?  My dream is to publish a book someday....

11.  How long have you been blogging?

Since 2004.  Thats 9 years...on this same blog.  And I love it.  Cheers to another 9...

And now for the moment you've all been waiting Liebster nominations...

1.  Southern Stepmom
2.  A Handful of Hannants
3.  A Daily Dose of Del Signore
4.  Mrs. Lawler's Lovelies
5.  My Life in Custody
6.  The Amburgular
7.  Lipstick Uniforms and Bare Feet
8.  The Pert Skirt
9.  These are the Days of Your Lives

(its not a real liebster rule that I HAVE to have 10...I always had a hard time following directions anyway.)

And your 10 questions...

1.  What was your weirdest hairstyle ever?
2.  Do you believe in love at first site?
3.  What is the last thing you put in your mouth?
4.  Why did you start blogging?
5.  If you could be famous for one thing...what would it be?
6.  If your mom was describing you what would she say?
7.  you could go back to highschool what would you change about that experience?
8.  Who do you admire most?
9.  First kiss tell all...what when where who how...
10.  Are you thrilled to receive the liebster award?


Another one bites the dust...

Its just too funny NOT to share...

The cutest little crawler...

Two days ago...March 19, 2013 we hit the crawling milestone!  We never hit it with Bella because she refused to crawl.  She only ever did the dead man's crawl...reaching out and grabbing the carpet and pulling herself forward.  It was like she was dying every time she did it.

But, Jaxxy is now a bonafide crawler!  I walked downstairs during the kids lunch and he was up on all fours rocking back and forth and then just started kicking his legs and moving his arms and tadum!

I was super lucky to see it...I just came down for a water refill...otherwise it would have been his nanny that would have had to glorious milestone first.  I love working from home!

It's only been a month? or It's only been a month!

Well, my intentions of doing a daily deployment photo were good at the very least...perhaps unrealistic for one with my procrastination and not stick to itness tendencies as reflected over the past year in my lack of blogging!

But, I am going to try and keep on it.

Today marks 31 days of Mr. Chucklehead deployed.  A month.  A full long month if you want to term it that way. I say, "It's only been a month!"  with a giant sigh of ugh...only 11 more to go...


Do I say, "It's only been a month?!" as I contemplate how MUCH has happened in just the last 31 days.

I'm not choosing just depends on the day.  Today it ends with an !...Eleven more to go. 

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can... 

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Life in Bagram...

A second installment of bits and pieces of John's life in Afghanistan...

The First Few Days...

So, the part of Afghanistan I am in appears to be quite beautiful (as much as I can see over the 20 foot walls topped with a triple strand of concertina wire). The problem is that I was unable to discern this due to the constant rain for the first three days on the ground. The first day in the transient barracks was ok. The hundred or so of us had this giant two story warehouse style building to ourselves.  But on the second day, we started our training – the day started with a formation and a little march to the training site. The thing is that the guy marching us got lost and we walked for 20 minutes. The training site was literally right across the street from our barracks building...

...Anyways, there was a tiny break in the weather and I was able to see the mountains for the first time. It reminded me of the Blue Mountains in eastern Oregon; less trees of course, but otherwise very homey. The area I am in is ringed by mountains on three sides, so almost everywhere I look there are snow capped mountains. The glimpse didn’t last long though and the rain started falling again.

I , of course immediately looked up photos of Bagram on the internet and found this beauty.  It does look quite majestic. and beautiful.  Its hard to marry the idea that this is a war zone with the beautiful surroundings...

This is the airfield as seen from the air traffic controller catwalk.

On Saluting...(posted on his facebook page too!)

There is a main strip called Disney Drive and it is really the only North/South traverse of the base. The traffic (foot and vehicular) is terrible. What's worse is the lack of any traffic regulation to help pedestrians get across the street or for vehicles to enter the flow of traffic. The worst is the fact that this is a SALUTING post, so matter where I go, I am saluting. I am saluting my subordinates and my superiors. I have been working on some funny salutes in order to break up the monotony. It would be easier to just show photos, but I can try to illustrate the best I can.\
Pirate - where I cover my right eye as if I had an eye patch
Diving Board - my arm swings out and down to my brim and then quivers for a few seconds (helps to say boioiiiing)
Shark - my hand is vertical
Benny Hill - an exagerated British salute (mouth open and tongue out like a simpleton really makes this one work)
Cub Scout - salute with two fingers
Karate Chop - really fast up, really fast down
Arlington - opposite of the karate chop, really slow up, really slow down

Baby, it's cold outside...

We just finished up three days of sleet and dawned bright and beautiful and sunny..Its now two in the afternoon and Bella and I stood at the window looking out.  The playground behind our house was empty.  No children riding bikes on the path.  No footballs being thrown or bubbles being blown.

And I realized the sun was fickle.  Because you KNOW the minute I get the kids dressed and we venture outside we will F.R.E.E.Z.E our tushies off. 

Its kind of like white chocolate.  It looks so tasty on the outside and fancy drizzled over desserts, but its a whole mess of yuck when you bite into it.


And even my 4 year old knows it.  As she gazes out the window she says, "The sun looks cold, Mom." 


Can't fool us.  Thats why we stayed in PJs all day long. 

DD 11 - Jax and food!

March 2, 2013

Jax loves to eat. 

Did I mention that Jax loves to eat.

Oh, and by the way...Jax loves to eat.

I'm continually looking up the "recommended servings" for an 8.5 month old because the kid doubles and sometimes triples it.

But he's not big...or even chunky really.

Take today for example...For breakfast he ate about a cup of rice cereal, a baby food jar of tropical fruit and a handful of banana puffs.

Pre nap he had a 5 oz bottle of formula

Lunch was more cereal and green beans.  1/2 banana cut into chunks.

Pre nap another 5 oz of formula.

For dinner he'll have more cereal, food and formula...

And he can't stop staring at big people food.  He's finally broken a second tooth on the bottom so its almost time to give him more chunky options...

The other day he even tried to inhale it through his nose...

DD 10 - straw glasses

March 1, 2013
I found these on the dollar rack at the PX while shopping last week and just couldn't NOT buy them.  I know as a kid I would have been crazy excited to wear plastic straw glasses.   Who WOULND'T be excited? 
And, I've been having problems getting Bella to drink enough of anything...water, milk, juice....and I thought these might help.
They did.  She drank a whole glass of milk AND wanted water after that just so she could use the glasses 
Plus she looks pretty darn cute doesn't she....?

And of course Jax looking on...

Does that face say what the heck are you doing or what?

Making friends

Isabella just started preschool a few weeks ago...actually on February 5th.  I just realized I didn't put the date on her sign.  whoops!

Anyhow...she started school and within the first week had a best friend.  Brianna.  When I asked her what she likes about her and this is what I got...

"I just love her, mom."

"Why do you love her?"

"Because she wants to be my friend!" 

Is it that simple?  I want to be your friend therefore we are now friends. of those crazy things about moving around as much as we do is that you have to start over with friends everywhere you go.  I had awesome friends in Germany and maybe I'm just a little pouty that I had to leave them.  Of some point most of them will also leave Germany so the pouting is a little ridiculous.

And so this time around I actually got "involved."  I went to a spouse event and met a bunch of ladies (and one man) who are spouses of soldiers. We chatted over a game of bowling.  I discovered many of them worked in the same unit as John.  I was glad I went.  And, I specifically connected with two of them. 

And they couldn't be more opposites! 

One is just down the street from me.  She's funny...a little crazy and loud.  She's got energy and gets a little spazzy about stuff and extra bonus...has kids about the age of Bella. 

The other is quiet and reserved and has an older daughter (as in over the age of 20) who she still drives to school every day. 

But, they are my friends and I love them because they want to be my friend!  I'm lucky to have a couple of those. 

DD 9 - crazy bathtub kicker

February 28, 2013

I've been trying to get vidoe of Jax in the tub.  Why, you ask?  Because the kid is a maniac in the tub.  Like his sister he loves the water, but unlike his sister he could care less if the water threatens to swamp him at any minute.


When we walk in the bathroom he starts grunting because he knows whats coming up.  When I dip his toes in the water his whole body goes stiff and starts shaking in excitement.  And when I lay him down in the water the first thing that happens is he starts kicking like a maniac.  I'm not talking a little baby splashing...I'm talking water that is a mere 2 inches deep flying over the side of the tub...all over me...all over bella...all over the floor. 

It probably doesn't help that he likes to fling his little rag around...which is also the reason I haven't posted a video...he won't leave his little boy parts covered with a I just took a couple of snapshots of the last video I took and hopefully they give you an idea of his enthusiasm in the tub.

Despite cleaning up a mess...its really about the cutest thing I've ever seen. 

Just a little love from Afghanistan...

Its weird when you have a spouse that leaves for as long as John will be gone to Afghanistan.  What I mean is I think you miss them differently than one might if you just knew they were going to be gone for a week or two.  There isn't an acute feeling of angst...its more like a chronic feeling of loneliness that just kind of sits in your gut all the time.

Our family has been through so much separation.

Deployment from 2010 to 2011
Three months of school in 2011
Seven months apart/school in 2012
Deployment 2013 to 2014

So...since 2010 we've had a total of 11.5 months of dad living in our house with us.  Give or take a week here or there...either way...That sucks.   

So...when he is away we crave communication from him.  And he has not disappointed these past couple of weeks.  Its nice to hear about his life away from us....what he observes...what makes him laugh...what he thinks is interesting...even what his room/bathroom look like... 

I've included some tidbits of emails that he's sent describing his time in Afghanistan...

The Night he Left...

At 0130, We boarded a commercial flight with stewardesses and everything. I was very suprised to learn that it was a direct flight to Germany and a follow on to Romania. So by some freak luck of the draw, I ended up in an exit row. On this plane, it meant LEG ROOM - I mean I couldn't even touch the seats in front of me. The side of the plane also fit my head just right so I was really excited to sleep. I put my headphones in and started to doze off when they turned on the lights and started serving breakfast. WTH? So, I ate - again and then was able to doze for a while. I can't remember the movie, but it was one I had already seen, so I stared at it for a while in between cat naps. About two hours out of Franfurt, we ate again - dinner this time. They had a little slice of Tillamook cheese in the meal and I exclaimed to my neighbor how awesome the cheese was. He gave me his and I ate it without protest lol. We landed in Frankfurt at about 1800 local time. We had a 2 hour layover in a small concourse that had a gift shop, two little kiosks and a newspaper stand. I tried to hook up to the WiFi in order to let you know what was going on, but other people ahead of me captured all of the band width. Anyway, we reboarded the plane and flew the 4 hours to Romania.

In Romania...

When I got back to my room - 0230 - I decided to try to shower so that I didn't have to compete with the rest of the dudes. They hadn't turned on the hot water in enough time for night time showers though. Hmmm. I just remembered Wallowa Lake and the polar bear plunge (and swim practices in the Hillsboro pool in January) and toughed it out. It was colder than those other bodies of water. I ended up skipping some areas and shaved in the sink, but a couple people walking by laughed out loud at my plight. 

Arrival in Baghram...

They opened the back hatch of the plane to take out the pallets with the bags and it was raining - argh. None of my clothes were protected from incliment weather (except for my wet weather gear, which was in a water proof bag). The bags went one way and we went another. We turned in our ID cards and went through a couple briefings in the PAX terminal. We were released to get on the bussess, but first we had to load all of the bags onto a little transport truck. WTF? How come a baggage detail didn't have that done already? So - in the rain with our weapons slung on our backs and our carry on luggage at our feet, we created an assembly line chain to carry the bags from the pallets they were staged on into the back of the truck. We got on busses and went to the temporary/transient base. Again I got lucky and had a bottom bunk in a dark area of the building with an outlet right by the bunk. After unloading the bags from the truck - again in the rain - I got my bags settled, took out my tablet (thank you) and my credit card and ordered up internet service...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

DD 8 - Bellaism

February 27 2012

If you know me...imagine my face (after I finished laughing) when I heard this little gem...

"Sorry mom...I can't do what you said because I don't have my listening ears on."

DD 7 - Escape artist

February 26 2012

After Bella's laborious labor last night I had a second good laugh the next morning when I found Jax like this...

How does this even happen without the pajamas unsnapping?   I don't know if the one-shoulder sleeper look will ever come into style, but he gets an A+++ for creativity.  My sweet fashion forward thinking boy...

DD 6 - giving birth to stuffies

February 25, 2012

I nearly fell short of my goal merely a week into it when I completed this day with not a single super exciting thing I felt like I could blog about.  But, of course, as things go in the Chucklehead home, I was not disappointed when I walked into Bella's room to check on her before I signed off to go to sleep.

Laying in her bed was a rotund pink thing.

Yes, thing.

It was dim lighting and I couldn't tell what it was until I got much closer.

And then I burst out laughing.

I've often wondered what she does in bed after the lights go out.  I remember when she was little she told me her stuffies wouldn't stop wasn't HER making was those chatterbox stuffed animals!

Well, apparently one of her favorite games to play now is "giving birth."  And thats what she did that night.  12 stuffed animals in all.

Congratulations on your dozenuplets!

 (As she gets older I will revel in the chance to tease her about her excitement in growing fat, barely being able to walk and the romantacized notion that you can unzip your pjs and birth a baby.) muwahahahaha.

DD 5 - Walmart nuts

February 24 2012

We spent two glorious hours out in the sunshine today...We played frisbee and tossed a ball and I watched her scooter around the neighborhood...and then I got involved in a box in the garage and before you know it I had a 4 year old tugging at me...

"Mama!  I have a surprise for you!"

"What is it?"

"Come see!"

And so I walk over to the lawn and what I see are a bunch of sticks poking up from the ground with little shell hats on the end of them.

"Look mom!  I found walmart nuts and put them on the sticks!  I call them the walmart nut heads!"

When I stopped laughing I asked if she meant WALNUTs...nope...Walmart nuts.  And so a new breed of Walmartians have evolved in our front yard...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

DD 4 - almost crawling!

February 23 2012

Day 4 and I captured a photo of Jax trying to crawl.  He's done this before, but he's getting so good at it I just had to share it.  So far he just gets up on his knees and rocks...or he does a few cool pushups.  Its so cute. 

DD 3 - cute bedrooms!

February 22 2012

Ahhh...Day three was a cleaning day.  Yes, you heard me right.  Cleaning...

Our poor little house still sits much cluttered and unorganized.  What I realized is that I needed to clean so that my life was spent maintaining instead of agonizing over all the STUFF!

So I made great headway in the upstairs which was the bain of my existence.  I cleaned out the medicine closet, the kids bedrooms, the spare bedroom and have made good headway on the master bedroom.

Phew.  I also cleaned out our car.  (it needed it B.A.D.)

The kids rooms are so cute...

Deployment Day (DD) 2 - l'artist

February 21 2012

Deployment Day  has been shortened to DD!  Its just easier to write.  And I'm feeling lazy right now.  Besides...not all my posts will be about deployment, but the ones that are can now be quickly searched for.  Right?  How smart am I.

Day 2 brought us lots of coloring.  Bella was on a roll.  She was determined to draw herself in a variety of costumes. 

First, it was Bella the soldier.  She insisted on a purple uniform and a pink gun.  I'm not sure the Army will agree with that if she ever actually enlists, but she can try.

Next it was Bella as princess.  Not just any princes...the princess of flowers and rainbows.  Awesome.

Finally she made herself the knight to save herself as the princess.  She called herself the knight of saving princesses and flowers.

Love this kid.  And dang if she isn't a good little artist.


Deployment Day 1 - saying goodbye

February 20, 2012

Now that Mr. Chucklehead has been gone for a few days...Something he mentioned when he left was him doing a daily photo/journal entry to mark his time while there.  I thought it might be kind of cool to do a similar set of posts on this blog...a photo a day for the year he's gone. 1...Saying Goodbye.
Dropping off bags at the loading area...

Playing a kissy game.  She insisted on wearing her "cheetah" coat.  She looked so cute.

Daddy and Jaxxy boy loving on each other...

We took one last family photo.  I think it turned out pretty good!

DD - 0 - I married James Bond.

February 19, 2012

My James Bond is currently somewhere in the middle east...either on a plane or on a military base somewhere...we aren't really sure yet because we haven't heard from him.  Its possible he is in Germany awaiting a flight to the Middle East...and wouldn't that suck for him because he left nearly 24 hours ago.

The day he was supposed to leave they delayed the after sitting around with a hundred other soldiers for a couple of hours they sent everyone home and told them to come back that night.  I took him back at around 9pm and cried buckets of tears...


And now back to regular programming since the above is now obsolete.  As I was writing it I got a notice that Mr. Chucklehead was safe and sound in Romania.  He's since made it all the way to Afghanistan and is currently living a barracks room with 150 other soldiers.  I hear that he gets his very own plyboard room in a large tent starting today.  Wahoo for him!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What is it they say about love?

If you google that question then you come up with a list of crazy stuff...the top two being a set of lyrics from that I will spare you the disaster of having to actually read and a yahoo question asking what is the quote about love hurting.


Love hurts. 

Rap that three times fast.

Seriously though...if the last year is any indication about what love is all about I was ready to toss in the towel and walk away...but then there is this crazy something something that kept me around and has magically turned into something that is looking much better, much brighter and much more amazing than I ever imagined.

And so on this glorious day of love a.k.a. Valentine's Day....we went bowling...because nothing says love in our family like a night of bowling.

Yes...she had to wear her super special love dress that day.  As usual...she was a stellar bowler and no joke...fair and square beat the pants off me...  I never did claim to be a great bowler.

While Jax looked on with such intelligence... ha ha ha...  it kind of reminds me of that photo I have of bella putting underwear on her head.

After that we went home and gave each other valentines...

I got a box of chocolates and my very favorite thing of the night was an 101st Airborne "Sweetheart Pin."  It was inside the box of chocolates.  I was very pleasantly surprised and felt much loved.

So...yeah...what is it they say about love?

Kissy Kissy!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Funtucky Family of Four...

September 11, you know what you were doing?  I was flying on a military jet from Ramstein, Germany to Baltimore, MD.  It was the final stage of our move from germany back to the states...a move that was both heartbreakingly difficult and exhausting. 

What did I love about Germany.  Pretty much everything.  I am partial to the European way of life.  I love NOT having walmarts, 7-elevens and Walgreens on every corner.  I love open markets and stores that close on Sundays.  I love the quiet town we lived in and the awesome best friend neighbors that we had...I loved my German friends, we loved the library and librarians.  I miss the cute towns that we'd drive through, red roofs, churches in the town square, crazy statues honoring some random person, fountains, ornate designs on random buildings.  I miss cobblestone, and pedestrian zones, and the "feed the deer" park, the autobahn and driving fast.  I miss spatzle and brats.  I miss my backyard and watching the kids play.  I miss being able to walk wherever I want and having the shopette about 4 blocks away for those last minute treat needs.  I miss random festivals or holidays that seem to happen just about every week.  I miss a weekend trip to Prague or Munich.  I miss stumbling through their language and sorting euros from dollars... I just miss Germany. 

And now we've relocated to K.E.N.T.U.C.K.Y.  0_o  a.k.a...Funtucky!

It was the best choice out of the final four options.  We were offered Fort Drum, NY (and 8 feet of snow 8 months out of the year), Fort Hood, TX (in the middle of nothing and nowhere), Fort Riley, KS (Even more in the middle of nowhere.) and Fort Campbell, KY...and what came out of my mouth is something I never thought I'd say...."I think Kentucky is the best choice."

But, being here now I realize that it actually is a pretty great military base and a town full of cool things to discover.  First of all, its not really Kentucky.  We are smack dab in the middle of the border of Kentucky and Tennessee.  Our house is actually in Tennessee, but we live on base and the post office is in Kentucky so thats what our address is.  There is a road just a few blocks from us called State Line Road.  And that is literally what it is.  The state  line.  I wonder if you are being chased by Kentucky cops and cross that line if they have to stop because they lose jurisdiction....?  Hmmmm....not something I'll run out and try, but its an interesting thought.

Clarksville, TN is the main town attached to the base.  Its essentially a 20-mile long strip mall.  I'm not kidding and there are not 1....2...or 3...but FOUR Walmarts from one end to the other.  The other thing they have a plethora of is Waffle House, which is kind of like a Denny's diner, but think smaller and greasier.  There must be 10 Waffle Houses along the main drag.  I'm not kidding.  We do have Nashville just an hour away, Land Between the Lakes just an hour the other direction and I'm kind of excited to see what the South has to offer.  I've seen the Opryland hotel and driven past Dollywood.  I hear the summers here are fantastic with more than enough to do.

So....I guess we've become a Funtucky family of four at this point and as military families do...we'll make the best and the most out of the opportunity we've been given to see new things, meet new people and have new adventures. 

I do promise that we won't encourage inbreeding or start making moonshine, however I can't promise my kids won't run barefoot all summer long and that some of those redneck jokes won't hit close to home.

You might be a redneck if...

You got stopped by a state trooper.
He asked you if you had an I.D.
And you said, 'Bout What?'

Your state's got a new law that says
when a couple get divorced,
they are still legally brother and sister.

Your sister is the third generation
of women in your family to conceive
a baby as a result of an alien abduction.

The centerpiece on your dining room table
is an original signed work
by a famous taxidermist.
You've got more than
one brother named 'Darryl'.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

I'm Baaaaack!

All work and no blogging makes Mrs. Chucklehead a dull girl.  All work and no blogging makes Mrs. Chucklehead a dull girl.  All work and no blogging makes Mrs. Chucklehead a dull girl. All work and no blogging makes Mrs. Chucklehead a dull girl. All work and no blogging makes Mrs. Chucklehead a dull girl. All work and no blogging makes Mrs. Chucklehead a dull girl.

Was that creepy enough for you? 

Well well well...its now 2013 and I think taking most of 2012 off was enough of a blog sabbatical.

It was kind of a necessary departure...lets just say that 2012 will live in my memory as the hardest of my life thus far...while also being a most glorious year because of the birth of my beautiful little boy. 

Either way.  2013 has only just peeked into February and so I shall be documenting our chucklehead lives...updating this much outdated blog...and perhaps delving into a few "deep" topics of faith, politics, family and all that jazz.

Looking forward to being back in business.