Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve

Jason left for his Uncle Roger’s before I got home on Thursday.  This means a Samantha weekend.  We went to Connor’s for dinner.  She acts so grown up.  My almost 8 year old, who thinks she’s a teenager, (Some days the attitude follows it) orders on her own and even left a tip.  She wants to stay up and watch the ball drop.  We will see if she makes it this year.  Last year Jason and Sam fell asleep on the couch.

I ran errands with Sam trying to return some pants and a sweater.  I had to go to Home Depot to get wall repair stuff after Jason slid into the kitchen wall and popped a hole in the drywall.  By the second store I got a “I’m thirsty.” By the third store I was deep into “Can we go home now?”  We tried to return some jeans at Kohl’s but the line was 50 or 60 people deep and I was not going to stand in that line for any reason.  I will return them later – maybe.

Well I must be going, laundry beckons. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spoiled Puppy

She came home from her weekly run at the Doggy Day Care and flopped down to rest.  She pulled the pillow off the couch and got her new toy and fell asleep.  I woke her up trying to get a picture.  (Not to worry, her eyes closed again and she was out for awhile.)


Well, Christmas has come and gone and we all survived.  The kids had a great time having Christmas Eve dinner with Uncle Roger, Mom & Dad Weisenberger and Chris’ Mom & Dad.  Christine’s Mom & Dad came up for the weekend and the kids had a fun time visiting with them.  They were excited and sometimes seem to steamroll the grandparents.  Jason helped Grandpa chip ice off of the driveway.  Sam and Grandma sewed a blanket and some curtains.  Sam told me over and over how cool it was going to be to have Grandma teach her to sew.

One of our gifts was the X-box kinect.  I wish I had pictures of Chris’s parents jumping up and down in front of the TV trying to guide a virtual raft down a river.  On Sunday after her folks left the kids were begging to have the tree taken down so the area to play kinect was larger.  So the inside of our house was de-Christmased.  I was able to let my inner scrooge come out and play as we put all of the inside stuff away.

Abby took to my in-laws faster than I thought.  She played with them and followed my mother-in-law around wherever she went.  I think bribing her with T-bone bones worked. 

The kids were able to video chat on Christmas Eve and talk on the phone to Chris on Christmas day.  That did wonders for the kids.  They even walked away from the video chat as we chatted with Chris about her new surroundings.  I think the holiday went well overall.

Now for the laundry….

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's only day 5!

So far so good.  The morning baby sitter is doing great and this is working out well.  I ran into a bit of an after work glitch when I needed to stay at work later than normal.  I would have stayed longer but I know the kids "go pumpkin" if I leave them alone too long.  Being independent kids they won’t panic or be scared home alone but they will kill each other.

So we tried using Skype to video chat a couple of times this week.  Very neat, but the hotel internet just wasn’t up to the task and the video was glitchy.  It will be interesting to see how well it works from halfway around the planet.  She told me about her training and it sounds like very cool training.  Military training was dull and uninspired when I was going through it.  It sounds like the Army figured out how to keep your attention and teach you at the same time. 

Bills and paydays still leave me in a bit of a panic.  It has been a long time since I paid bills.  I am sure it will be fine and it will all work out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 1

Ok, so it isn't officially Day 1 as she is in DC for training this week.

On the way to drop her at the airport I started hearing a thumping noise from the front corner of the van.  When we pulled up at the curb i looked at the wheel only to discover I was missing a lug nut and stud.  I figured I could fix it when I got back home.  The snow pants shopping trip we planned for the afternoon was on hold. 

I figured as long as I had the Van wheel apart I might as well replace all 5 of them.  I called AutoZone and O’Rileys auto parts.  The only store with 5 lugs was 15 miles away and the snow was still coming down pretty hard.  So I got in the car and headed out.  Got there ok and picked up my parts.

On the way home I spun out (going 25 I might add) and smacked a guard rail butt first.  I am ok, but I am now backwards.  A nice person slowed down so I could turn and pull out.  That is when I figured out I had a flat.  I pulled over in a park driveway.  I got out to assess damage and check out the tire.  I had some scrapes on the bumper and a quarter size hole in the sidewall of the tire.  Surprisingly, and happily, little damage, but bad timing.  I put the spare on but it was soft, so I crept come for the last 7 miles or so.  When I pulled in the garage the rear tire was flat and it would not hold air. 

So I got to work on the Van.  The brakes on the van are more complex than the last van and took a bit of time to take apart.  It was a learning curve the whole way.  As I started to disassemble them the kids were yelling at me that the basement toilet wouldn’t stop running. So greasy hands and all I went and fixed that.  As I took more of the wheel assembly apart it became apparent that getting the stud seated was going to be a trick.  I am comfortable with repairs but I have never done this before so I did not have the tools necessary.  In the end I was able to MacGyver together the tools to get the job done.  It took two hours and a lot of grunting and swearing just to replace one stud.  I opted to just swap out the broken one as 5 would have killed me.

Tomorrow should prove interesting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prep work

It has been amusing watching Christine prepare for her upcoming “trip”.  Government regulations that are meant to protect everyone involved seem to get on the silly side.  She has gone to the Doctor 4 or 5 times just to have yet another form signed.  The paperwork involved in the passport process was eye-opening.  Some of her online training was interesting and it reminded me of being in the military.  The nice thing about being active duty was the fact that you were always deployment ready.  She has had to cram it all in these past few weeks.

It is still funny watching the reactions of people when they react to Chris deploying.  “Don’t you know there is a war over there?” is something I have heard a time or two.  I believe there is risk in all that we do.  We both work in downtown Detroit.  Statistically more dangerous than where she is headed to.  The folks she will be deploying with are professionals and the danger has been mitigated.  There are armed escorts, firearms training and off limit areas.  She will be fine.

We have been looking at places to meet at here halfway point when she is able to take a break.  The South pacific is looking like a mighty nice place to R&R at.  Sandy beaches and no agenda sound good no matter where we go.  Back to planning…

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Experiment Begins...

My wife Christine is being deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months. 

She volunteered to go.  (

This is my story.

This comes as no surprise since we both love to travel and the experience is one that does not come around to often.  When she mentioned that the Army Corps was looking for assistance in Afghanistan I just asked her when she was leaving.  There was no real discussion as I would have done the same thing and I couldn’t stop her from experiencing this first hand.

When Christine told me about her idea to blog about the experience I thought that would be a neat idea.  I decided to counter her blog.  I am a pretty involved Dad (at least I think so) so I am not worried about being alone with the kids.  I never thought of taking care of my kids as “babysitting” so this is not an issue for me.  I knew there would be logistical challenges, i.e. who cares for them while I am at work?  What if I get called into work?  We have a couple of these worked out and the rest will follow.  I am too laid back to stress out about it now.  (I will freak later.)

I had to learn our household bill arrangement.  Christine is the money person.  Now I am.  Scary, very scary.  As I learn it becomes less scary but I will never be totally comfortable with the financial side of things.

I know she will miss the kids but we will keep in touch.  Skype video chat is available as well as being able to call.  This blog thing might help with the distance as well.  If the kids don’t feel left out the will be better adjusted.  We have worked hard to raise independent, self confident and well adjusted kids.  I say two out of three ain’t bad!   They are good kids and are able to understand that Mom is only gone for a bit and that she will be back.

Christine will be surrounded by 30,000 people, many of them armed.  Danger is not my main concern.  Her feeling lonely or missing the kids ranks higher. 

I am jealous and wish I could go too!