Bullocks with Butterflie Wings

Here’s Your Sign

Posted in blogging, homeschooling, Korea, military, parenting by MommyTaco on 20 July 2013

I realize that I have not posted much (any) in relation to our new homeschooling venture. We decided, based on a plethora of reasons, for me to homeschool our son while we are stationed overseas. Whether this will continue when we go back to the States is still completely up in the air, just so you all know.

Our son is extremely bright, and he learns new things quite rapidly. I know that if his mind is not being challenged, then he is almost lost to me, from a concentration standpoint. I was thinking over the weekend what I could do to help expand his horizons -and talents- even further, and incorporate this into our homeschooling plans.

When he was a baby, we did the baby sign language “thing.” I can actually give my Mom full credit to this, as she is the one who started it. During my husband’s deployment to Iraq, I had the blessing of still living in my hometown. This meant I could keep working, and between an alternative work schedule and my awesome family, I did not have to use daycare for our then nine-month-old. My Mom is a PBS nut, and in turn, raised my sister and I into the same, so since she had the “morning shift,” she would watch Sesame Street and whatnot with The Boy. At the time, the local station was also airing a fantastic show called “Signing Time with Alex and Leela (sp?)” by Rachel Coleman. The show features two deaf children, and Rachel teaches themed words put to songs.

Now we’ve always been interested in signing, but never really studied it. I began to see the cool factor in being able to actually communicate with your child before they can speak with their mouths. I am now a firm believer in that it made an impact on our son’s early vocabulary growth, and even on into his ability to read at three-years-old.

I really don’t remember what brought it up, but he was asking me how to sign a specific letter over the weekend, so I showed him the ASL alphabet a few times. I decided that this is something to explore more and see how far we can go with it, so I printed out an ASL ABC’s and number chart to hang on the refrigerator. This was yesterday…and then to my delight, I walked into the kitchen and saw this…

image
(practicing the letter P)

He was challenging himself to see which letters and numbers he had remembered! It was really cool to stumble upon, after only one day, and I definitely felt like a proud Mama!

I have decided that we are going to start using sign language with our spelling assignments. We’ll spell verbally and use signing during the week, then have our tests in written form like usual on Fridays. Once he has mastered the alphabet, we’ll start learning some other signs that corelate to either his weekly memory verse or poems. I am pretty excited to see how far we can go with this!

Mail Call – *MY* Side of the Story

Posted in blogging, Korea, marriage, military, parenting by MommyTaco on 29 March 2013

I started to post this on Facebook, sharing a photo my husband uploaded today, but it got to be so long of a post that I decided I should just turn it into a blog. I haven’t blogged in a few days either….two birds, one stone. Also, this is one of those moments we will both look back upon and laugh with each other. Guaranteed….

There is never a dull moment for our family. This morning, we walked to post to catch the Saturday mail room hours, PX and Commissary. Taco hit the mailroom while Sid and I did the shopping. We found him at the bus stop next to Gate 4 pissed off at me with two giant boxes (The Boy’s homeschool materials already arrived!) and a Priority mail box (thanks, Mom!) and showed me where, for carrying sake, he had already opened my box of Scentsy Scent Paks and had shoved them in his pants, along with a DVD from his parents. Judging by the look on his face, he was pretty pissed at me, but all he said was to order in moderation from now on, and he’s never picking up mail for me again. When asked why he didn’t call a taxi, he said “it’s just down the street” to our house. So I struggled with a power transformer and two full hands of grocery sacks down the street with The Boy complaining that his bag from the PX containing his newly purchased DS game (bought with his own money that he has been saving from his allowance) and a bottle of water was getting too heavy. Apparently we are going to have to start some type of muscle building routine into his Homeschool/PE time.

Taco was offered a ride from one of his fellow Soldiers who saw us coming out of the gate, but declined as, “it’s just down the street.” We each stopped a few times, to readjust the weight around and give our arms a break, and I got far enough ahead of Taco that I couldn’t really see him anymore. Just as we reached the street corner of by our house, I met up with a new acquaintance – the pastor’s wife for a church that we have been invited to attend for Easter Service and potluck lunch. So I chatted with her for a while about the predicament and assured we’d see each other tomorrow morning. As I climbed the stairs to our house, I decided that it would be very kind of me to drop the groceries off inside the kitchen and return to help my struggling husband. One of these boxes weighed nearly 50lbs, and they were really big and awkward. I really did feel bad.

As I reached to put the key in the door, I saw a car drive up, it’s driver a Korean man smirking in what I assumed to be contained laughter. Then out climbs my husband from the passenger seat. He apparently was offered another ride home, and by then, he decided it was not worth declining a second time. As he unloaded the stash from his pants, I asked again, “why didn’t you get a taxi??” His reply, “because I only had two dollars in my wallet!!”

I had money on me, we could have called a cab at the bus stop, if only he’d said so before. But maybe he has learned now to always keep at least 4 Korean Won in his wallet at all times – it’s just enough to get you from post to our house.

I would also like to add that my husband knows how very much I love him and how very much I love to pick on him. Like my Granddad always told me, he most of all liked to pick on the ones that he loves most of all. 🙂

best of 2010

Posted in blogging, concerts, deployment, military, parenting by MommyTaco on 30 December 2010

My BFF MeganDubYuh is starting up a nifty little End of Year meme that I wanted to be sure to participate in. Here’s the deets for you to follow along:

“It is so easy to focus on the negative things in our life. Let’s all take a minute to talk about the best moments of 2010. In the five categories below list out your #1 from 2010. Post it on your blog and link back to this post (and post to Mr. Linky at the end of the post). We can use this as a blog hop and to review the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century.

The categories:

Best song to sing along to in the car.
Best movie.
Best TV show.
Best website to waste time on.
Best memory you made.

My Answers:
Best song to sing along to in the car
hard to pick a Best song, but the most frequently listened to was “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas – Sidney absolutely LOVES that song and would request it for each of our MANY road trips

Best movie.
Toy Story 3

Best TV show
What Would Brian Boitano Cook? (thanks @ajuribe for the super laugh-fest recommendation!)

Best website to waste time on
Facebook. Seriously, I couldn’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve wasted on there.

Best memory you made
There’s no #1 best but here’s a few amazing memories that were made: first official deployment ceremony, sending off my man;
becoming a Scentsy Independent Consultant;
road tripping from NM to WA w/ my BF MeganDubYuh;
the ups and downs of R&R;
visiting my high school BFF for the first time in 9 years;
seeing The Black Crowes for a second time – woo!;
meeting some of my Tweeps, @sara0120, @ajuribe, @tammymunson and @armywifebethany;
making friends with some of the lovely other spouses of Taco’s unit, and the Twitter MilSpouse community…and finding that we really can make it through one of the most difficult events of our lives

I must say, this year has not been a boring one!

“happy” anniversary to me

Posted in cooking, deployment, food, military, parenting by MommyTaco on 30 July 2010

“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”

Five years ago today, I married the love of my life and my very very best friend. I walked down a home-made aisle in my grandparents’ backyard to one of the most beautiful songs of all time – “Grow Old With Me” (originally by John Lennon, but we used the Peter Breinholt cover, which is BEAUTIFUL). My grandfather gave me away on behalf of my family. It was dusk and we had twinkling white lights surrounding the alter and yard (see pic, taken after the ceremony). We were in the presence of family and very close friends, but most importantly, God. I know He has a crazy way of dealing some of the cards in life but it keeps us on the edge of our seats, wondering what is coming up next.

I think that days like this are harder to face alone than the usual birthdays or holidays missed…everyone gets a chance at celebrating their birthday every year. Not everyone is blessed to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and I mean REALLY celebrate it. Also it’s one of those days that not everyone knows so they don’t call or text all day long to wish the day be happy. It really can give the feeling of being forgotten. So…I don’t really know what to say about today, since there’s a lot of obvious mixed feelings involved.

I’m sad because this is the second year (in a row) that we haven’t been together for our anniversary.
I’m sad because this is one of those milestone anniversaries that it would have been freaking awesome to be together for.
I’m sad because I have not been able to talk to him on our anniversary, my time – we chatted last night when it was our anniversary in his current time zone.
I’m sad because I don’t REALLY have anyone to make a half-assed attempt at celebrating it with while he is gone. There is only so much that a 4 year old can understand when you try to explain this kind of day to them.

I’m happy because wow, 5 years have already gone by! It partly seems like it zipped by fast, but then at the same time it feels like we have been together for forever.
I’m happy because even though we have had our share of roller coaster ups and downs, I know that we are in it for real and will do whatever it takes to come together and make it work.
I’m happy that I know he is missing me just as bad as I am missing him.
I’m happy that even though we don’t get to talk every day or even every other day, no matter how long our communication is gapped, we are okay with it and are strong enough to not need to talk every day.
I’m happy that we can live our lives together but still retain our individuality and not be 100% dependent on each other.
I’m happy that the card he mailed me arrived yesterday, so I got to open it first thing this morning (my card to him still hasn’t arrived yet).
I’m happy that he is MY husband!

If it hadn’t been for a prior agreement to help a friend out with childcare at her church during VBS, I probably would have spent the day on my couch crying and feeling completely sorry for myself (that’s still coming, don’t worry). I would not have answered my door or telephone, had anyone actually called. I also originally was to have company for the night with friends traveling through, but they are postponed for the time being, and a raincheck was needed for the dinner entertainment at Peter Piper Pizza with some other friends.

This evening on our way home, The Boy and I went to Albertsons and bought a small carrot cake (for supper, yes…I didn’t feel like cooking), the same kind we had for our reception. I also bought a pack of 7-UP and a tub of pineapple sorbet to make punch, also served at the reception. I think it’s a cute little tradition that we may be able to start every year, whether we are together or not. And hey for nights like this where my better half is on the other side of the globe, what better way to drown my sorrows than with cake and punch? Maybe I’ll even add a little rum to make me feel better.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 5 & 6

Posted in blogging, food, military, parenting, Scentsy, travel by MommyTaco on 30 July 2010

Yes, I was a slacker last week and didn’t get around to posting for Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! Go on over to her page to catch up on her posts as well as check out the other lovely ladies who are participating in this fun weekly meme. If you participate, don’t forget to add yourself to Mr Linky so others can find you!

(last week’s questions) vol. 5:
1. Besides the horizontal mambo, what do you miss most when your spouse is deployed?
Entertainment co-op. He does a REALLY good job as a father, playing with The Boy. Especially video games, which are a big hobby around our house. Mind you, I love to game too, but there’s a big difference between gaming with other adults and gaming with a 4 year old. They see no sense of purpose in completing the missions on Lego Star Wars and don’t seem to see a need in collecting all the treasures.

2. What do you miss least?
Sharing a bed. We have a California King sized bed, but it doesn’t matter that much because he will always roll over onto MY side and take up MY pillow, and I find myself hugging the edge of the bed. He’s not only hott in the looks department, but he’s hott in the body temperature and I can’t stand to be sweating with him on top of me when I’m sleeping!

3. You only get three crayons to finish your picture… which three do you choose and why?
Depends on the picture, but if it’s anything I want I would choose green, purple and brown…because they are my three fave colors and I think they go pretty together 🙂

4. If you could have your own fragrance, what would it be called?
Victoria’s Secret’s Amber Romance should just be named after me, because it is my signature smell. I have used it for years and when I used to waitress, I would walk up to one of the computers to put an order in and another waitress would only have to sniff the air to recognize it was me standing next to her. She would just say “Hi Patty!” and not even have to look up.

5. If the shoes make the man (or woman), what do your shoes say about you right now?
Well…right now I’m barefoot, and that’s the shoe of preference. However when I am out in public, it has GOT to be the Rainbow sandals!! I got my first pair when I was in South Carolina visiting my BFF this summer and they are the ONLY shoes that I have worn since! I’m a flip flop fanatic, so bad that I have the $5 Old Navy sandals in practically every color, so that I always have something that match. But let me tell you, the pain my feet get in from over use of flip flops with no supports! Plantar fasciitis in both of my feet and I refuse to wear proper supportive shoes to correct it. But since the Rainbows came into my heart, I have had NO foot pain! Ok, I totally strayed from the question….I guess what they say about me is that I like no complications…it’s so easy to just slip on a pair of flip flops and get the job at hand done.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

(this week’s questions) vol. 6:
1. What is your spouse’s best feature?
Oh gosh, that is hard…I will have to keep it PG also….I almost say his eyes, because they are gorgeous but I think I’m going to have to go for the torso. He’s not a hairy man (that’s the Puerto Rican blood in him, praise God!) so it is soooooooo soft and smoothe! I just don’t dig hairy dudes, and thanks to the Army requiring PT of him every day, he is getting chiseled and so so so so so delectable!

2. Mild, Medium or Hot sauce?
Depends on the sauce – if it is red sauce, like salsa, then mild (they tend to put jalapenos in salsa, and I don’t get along with jalapenos). But I REALLY prefer a salsa verdé (green sauce) made with the most wonderful chile on the planet – hatch green chiles!

3. What is the worst uniform you had to wear for a job?
The uniforms at my old job, when they eventually made uniforms mandatory. There was nothing at all about womens’ shaping in those uniforms and making me wear uniform black slacks and a button up shirt is just absolutely humiliating. I really can’t describe it, sorry. Just think “meant for men” on shapely women.

4. You have invisible powers… where is the first place you would go?
To sleep….nobody would be able to find me to wake me up!!

5. What’s left on your “to do” list for this summer?
One more summer road trip, to Colorado Springs where I will be doing a Scentsy party for my gal pals, Ashley and Sara!! Then summer break is OFFICIALLY over. Well technically, it is over this weekend since I’m switching schools for The Boy and the new one starts next week – two weeks ahead of all the other places!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 4

Posted in blogging, military, parenting, travel by MommyTaco on 16 July 2010

It’s time once again for Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! Don’t forget to check her own post for this week, as well as clicking Mr Linky at the bottom of her post to add your own post and visit other MilSpouse Friday Fill-Ins!

1. What food reminds you of your spouse?
Tacos, obviously. And sushi, as it is our favorite date nite food.

2. Who would you rather sit next to in a cross-country plane ride: an irritating non-stop talker, or a quiet stare-er?
Well I recently experienced the cross-country irritating non-stop talker (my son) when we made a trip to visit my BFF in South Carolina. The quiet stare-ers are odd indeed, but I can always close my eyes and fall asleep when there is quiet, so I think I would rather have them be my traveling buddies.

3. What are your best tips on how to save money?
Cut back on your “extras.” We went without cable tv for about two years, using just rabbit ears for over-the-air television. Now that we have satellite again, I still don’t find myself watching it as much and wonder why I even got it. Other extras to consider cutting back on are: getting your nails done (saved me $75/mo which went towards diapers when Sid was born), color your own hair ($10/mo verses $60+), remove data plans on cellphone plans (do you HAVE to be able to check your email/facebook everywhere you go?).

4. What is your favorite summer memory?
Marrying the most wonderful man in my life, 5 years ago this month.

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
Not sure about ghosts per sé, but I definitely believe in lingering spirits.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol 2 & 3

Posted in blogging, military, moving, parenting, technology, travel by MommyTaco on 9 July 2010

I was on another one of my fabulous vacations last week and didn’t get time to pre-type the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In for last week, so this week’s post is going to be doing in two birds with one stone. Thanks again to the creator of this weekly meme, my awesome gal-pal, Wifey of a Sailor!

Week 2’s Questions:
1. Tell us about your dream job… one that you could do regardless of pay.
Serving in the military – and we all know how it isn’t the money that keeps most people in that kind of a job. I always wanted to enlist into the Air Force, but growing up with a heart condition (bicuspid aortic valve & distended aortic valve), I knew that was something that would probably never be able to happen. By the time we found out that I no longer have the distended aortic valve as a concern, we had created our little family. After Taco’s Air Force career was unexpectedly halted, I put a lot of serious thought into getting in shape to enlist myself. However, when he felt God’s calling and was brought back into the service, I knew that my place was still at home with our son. Yes, I know there are plenty of dual-service families out there, but I just don’t feel like that is what is intended for our family. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Taco to answer the calling of returning to service, but I can tell you how hard it is to sacrifice that dream of my own for the sake of our family.

2. What is your most prized material possession (kids and pets don’t count!)?
My engagement/wedding rings & what they represent

3. What has been your favorite duty station and why?
I never in my life thought I’d say this, but Cannon AFB – my home base – where I was born, most-of-my-life raised, where Taco was stationed when we met, and where my family was/is while we were stationed there. Real life family aside, I actually miss the small-town of Clovis, where CAFB is at. As a teenager I was bored into trouble by it, but it truly is a great place for families. There is also a wonderful sense of community there, something that larger towns/cities lack. Ft Bliss was our first PCS away from there and has not yet become a favorite of any kind. 😉

4. What is your least favorite household chore?
I really don’t mind cleaning but the putting away of things, I hate. Like putting away cleaned laundry, or putting away of washed dishes.

5. If you could give one piece of advice to a teenager today (not specifically a MilTeen), what would it be?
Don’t be afraid of the “what ifs.” Those are the learning opportunities – NOT mistakes – you make in life. Not everything is going to turn out exactly as you envision, but don’t be afraid to chase your visions and watch them mold into new and better ones!

Week 3’s Questions:
1. What is your favorite household chore?
Call me crazy, but I love to clean & scrub the shit out of stuff. Nothing better than a sparkling shitter!

2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Summers spent at my grandparents’ cabin in the mountains of Mora, New Mexico

3. What is your most embarrassing moment?
Not sure that it was embarrassing, definitely humiliating in a humbling kind of way…but when I went through the whole disaster that was breaking up with my boyfriend of almost 3 years, leaving myself without a place to stay and about 1200 miles from “home.” I wound up temporarily homeless, moneyless, clothesless, and quite unsure of myself. Thank God for good friends and family that I got what I needed to come out on top!

4. What uniform of your spouse’s is your favorite?
His birthday suit! Oh wait, you mean military uniform? Well, I suppose his ACUs…The dress uniform isn’t that flattering and it’s hard to get excited about running shorts and a tshirt.

5. What canceled TV show do you miss the most?
MadTV…when Taco and I started dating, we would hang out every day after I got off work and watch MadTV together before he had to go to work that night

there and back again

Posted in blogging, deployment, military, parenting, travel by MommyTaco on 14 June 2010

It’s been less than a month since The Boy started his summer break from school and we have already done a TON of traveling! I will get around to posting more about those trips, especially my most recent expedition to the GORGEOUS state of Washington with my bestie, MeganDubYuh. Add all the miles up that I have put in during these last few weeks and it totals approximately 4500 miles! WOW! And yes, that is all driving miles…doesn’t count the flight back from Seattle to Albuquerque.

I am very excited for our next adventure, to South Carolina, where I will get to visit my BFF from high school that I haven’t seen in the last 9 years. That is a LONG time! But before that, I am so happy to announce that the next two weeks will be spent at home with Taco! He arrived today for his 2 weeks of R&R. We were going to reschedule the SC trip to where he could go with us, but thanks to the ever unpredictable timing of the military, I didn’t want to book anything until he was actually here. Having to schedule that close to traveling time makes for VERY expensive airfare and rather than spend an additional two THOUSAND dollars (on top of the fares I have already paid), we decided to stay here in El Paso and explore the area and enjoy the time together here.

So yes, I am sitting on my laptop while my delicious hubby is sitting right in front of me. I’m on Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and am blogging. Don’t chastise me, since he’s having some much needed Playstation play time with The Boy. I’ll get my “time” with him later. 😉

born to move

Posted in military, moving, parenting by MommyTaco on 31 March 2010

moving boxes currently listening to: “Born to Move” by Creedence Clearwater Revival; img courtesy a Google image search

One of the few guarantees in the military life is that you will have to move at some point in your career. Ironic that something involving change is one of those few constants in the unpredictable life of a military family.

My husband spent his entire Air Force enlistment assigned to one duty station. Training, TDY’s and deployments aside, he spent about 6 years at one base. That is not normal. I don’t think he complained much because he will be the first to tell you that he HATES moving. However, over the course of our time together (including dating time) we have moved every. single. year. In our nearly 6 years together, be it apartment or house, we are now living in location/home number 6. Only one of these moves was actually relevant to a PCS, but WOW! Our 4 year old son has lived in 5 different dwelling spots. That’s more locations than the number of years he is old!

One of the reasons that I decided to stay in El Paso while Taco is deployed was that we just moved here not even 6 months before he left. Certainly, the desire just wasn’t there to have to pack up all of our stuff into storage so that we could go stay with my family for the next year. But also because I didn’t want to uproot The Boy again by moving. Unfortunately, deployments are another one of those inevitable things in the military life and something that we’ve just got to put on our big girl panties and deal with…whether I’m 5 hours’ drive from family or an ocean away.

To finally get to the point of this post: for a few days now, The Boy has taken to telling me that “this house is old” and “we have lived here too long.” And I have to wonder – was this child born to move? Will he go stir crazy here before we hit our first ever full year in one house? What about actually spending Christmas in the same house as the last year’s? That will feel weird, even to me.

[insert generic title here]

Posted in food, military, moving, parenting, travel by MommyTaco on 27 June 2009

so i realize that i created this thing exactly two weeks ago and this is now the first posting since said creation. i guess it’s going to take a little more effort than the last time i found myself dipping my toes into the blogging world.

not a whole lot going on around the Casa del Tacos, besides trying to keep my head in working order. my memory seems to be slipping these days and i’m relying all too heavily on other people to remind me i’m supposed to be doing something. if i’m lucky, i’ll remember to water the garden. one of these days there are going to be some squash, zuchinni, tomatoes, bell peppers and egg plants growing. i think the strawberries have decided to take a dump on me, there are absolutely no blooms on them anymore.

the Boy is being a true three-year-old, thinking the world revolves around him. he does whatever he pleases, whether it pleases me or not. reprimanding him doesn’t do a darned bit of good. i know a lot of it’s got to do with Daddy not being around to lay down the law and the Boy is taking advantage of Mommy. the first week or so after visiting Daddy in oklahoma was great, because he still had a bit of the fear left in him but it wasn’t long before he was back to making excuses and thinking he ruled the world.

we’ve potentially got about 4 months left until time for us to start packing up and move. no clue yet where we’ll have orders to, and i still have fingers crossed for one particular location. in the mean time i’ve got an appointment to meet with the realtor we’ll list the house with to try and get an idea of what needs done before listing and talk numbers. i know there’s not a lot of hope we can have for making much profit on the place considering we only bought it a year and a half ago but it’d be nice to still come up with a little bit of extra.

we’ll be visiting Daddy late next week for the holiday. it’ll be great to spend time with him but i was really hoping that he’d get to come home for the weekend rather than us doing the traveling again. whatev…i get to see my man and that is good enough for me. 🙂