Bullocks with Butterflie Wings

a vicious cycle

Posted in deployment, military by MommyTaco on 28 December 2010

Ahhh, the deployment cycle. That never ending process that looms in the back of the minds of Military Spouses. For your entertainment value, I made up my own MilSpouse version of the deployment cycle (seen at left).

I started thinking about the cycle tonight, remembering a few of my fellow MilSpouse Tweeps (wow, I really just used that word), who are gearing up to face a deployment of their own. It makes me think back on when I was getting ready for our deployment. Thinking of who was getting into their stages of Excited or Ooo La La. I think how I felt a little pang of jealousy at those who were welcoming their men home just as mine was leaving. I wish I hadn’t felt jealous, because I was so excited for them to be reunited with their men but still, it is only natural. As this deployment cycle clicks to the next stage for all of us, I’m going into Excited now and others are soon to be Emotionally Unstable. I will be doing my best to keep the excitement low-key and remain a support to those facing their hardest moments.

Please remember each and every one of our MilSpouse Family just as we remember their spouses who serve.

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how low can ya go?

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 9 November 2010

This is a new recipe I invented tonight. I call it “Lazy Mom’s Pig-in-a-Poncho.” Amidst attempt to cook dinner tonight, I suddenly saw the utterly obvious lack of ambition there was. I’m not kidding, I’ve done so many dinners this deployment where I am literally struggling for inspiration on something that I could cook for basically one person. I mean, let’s face it – the way The Boy pecks at his food, he can barely count as a second person.

I am used to cooking for several people at once – at a minimum, 3. I cook in bulk and freeze what is left over (we don’t do leftovers very well at our house). These leftovers go toward the nights that I forgot to get something prepped for dinner or just don’t feel like cooking that night. However for the last 9-ish months, I have had no reason to cook a big meal so there are never any go-to leftovers in the freezer to grab. I am slowly getting better at it but tonight was a ground zero night.

So I want to hear it from you girls (and guys, if applicable) – what’s the LAZIEST but CREATIVE “meal” that you have ever cooked for yourself or your family during a deployment? Was it the Lazy Mom’s Pig-in-a-Ponchos with hot dogs and cheese rolled with a tortilla? Was it Enchillada Stacks with stacked tortillas, cheese and katsup? Was it Green Eggs and Hammmmburger with green chilles, cheese and eggs and browned ground beef scrambled together? Spill the beans! If nothing else, it will give everyone some ideas for the next time you’re having a lazy night cooking for one during a deployment.

Frontierville (not)Anonymous

Posted in blogging, deployment, games, military, technology by MommyTaco on 31 October 2010

Pre-ramble: I have an addictive personality, and relish the thought of living in a virtual realm. RPGs are the bane of my existence and I forbid myself to touch The Sims again until The Boy (and future children) are graduated and out of the house.

Sometimes I wake up early (i.e. before The Boy) only so that I have quiet time while I feed my cows and geese on Frontierville. That’s right, I’m a Frontierville junkie and it seems to be the only thing that I look forward to in the day. As John Lennon put it best, “whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright.”

As sad as it seems, this is what gets me through the night. Once this deployment is over, I have full intentions on cutting the habit – cold turkey – and deleting the wretched program. Honestly, what is wrong with me that I would rather feed some virtual chickens and harvest imaginary potatoes than wash the dishes in my REAL sink? It’s such a waste but at least there is something I actually have motivation for.

It started on R&R, when Taco was home. Rather than going out of the house and doing things together, we opted to save money and have a stay-cation. (FYI: I hate that word.) Where did we stay? Our dining room table. It was a pretty sad sort of set up, I had my laptop and Taco had his netbook and we sat there for hours at a time feeding animals and harvesting crops on Farmville. I had tried the game before, but decided it was the biggest waste of time I’d ever made and let my animals starve and my crops whither. Taco, however, has been obsessed with it almost the moment his foot touched the South Asian sand. No, there must not be more gratifying things for him to do over there. But again, whatever gets him through the night.

Naturally, these crops of his could not be laid to waste for two weeks while he was at home, so I decided that if I couldn’t beat the addiction, I’d join it…temporarily…or so I thought. We sat there at the table together where we discovered a new addiction: Frontierville. Oh joy! Now there were TWO virtual wastes of time to harvest! I even became ecstatic when Zanga announced the release of the free Farmville application for the iPhone/iPod. Now I could harvest my strawberries while spending productive time on the shitter!

I have since deleted Farmville because it took up entirely too much time to plant, harvest, plow and plant again. Frontierville? Yeah it’s still there and my frontier is bigger than ever. I’ve strategically planted my crops not only where I know I’ll have enough energy to harvest at once, but also I’m planting for the most pay-out. Same for my animals: I will feed 50 Ox over 50 chickens because the Ox give out more food when you sell them.

Besides the mental distraction for myself, it has continued to be something that Taco and I are able to do together. It’s better than getting back into Word of Warcraft, and we don’t have to depend on his crappy internet connection. On the very rare moments that we are online at the same time, our conversations will always lead to what the other needs help with on their Frontier. What items do we need to complete missions? What crops do we need harvested or the likes? It’s quite ridiculous that this is how we are spending our precious time talking and of the things I look forward to the most, it’s the moment where I delete the application from my Facebook and put my foot down that he does the same thing. It’s bad enough how much time he spends on the Playstation, God help us if the Farmville/Frontierville addiction continues on top of that.

P.S. Anyone want to be my Frontierville neighbor?

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 14

Posted in blogging, deployment, military, technology, travel by MommyTaco on 24 September 2010

Here I am almost a whole month since my last post and even a few weeks behind on Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In. I have been dealing with what I’m going to call the Deployment Blues. Absolutely nothing tickles my fancy, especially sitting in front of the computer. I’ve mostly been reading books or knitting, which suits me just fine. There’s a “real” blog post brewing in my brain, I will probably post that here in the next week or so. But for now, you’ll have to be satisfied with another MilSpouse Friday Fill-In (I’ll do a catch up for the past missed weeks later).

This week’s questions…
1. What characteristic about yourself has either been strengthened or weakened due to your experience as a Military Spouse? (from The Albrecht Squad)
I would have to say that I have more confidence as an individual. I have never been the type to rely on other people or feel the need of being around people all the time. Yes, I miss my husband like you would not believe, but I feel accomplished at not being a sobbing ball of mess 24/7 with him gone. And let’s face it, girls/guys, but we’re pretty much on our own with our men/women gone. I am just super blessed to have an awesome support system that I know I can lean on when I am just having one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

2. What is your favorite vacation spot and why? (from ‘Tis the Life of the Army Wife)
Well that’s a tough one. I am going to throw a generic answer out there and say anywhere with mountains and lots and lots of green trees. I have gone visiting a ton of people over the last year, but I can’t remember the last time that I had an honest to God vacation. i.e. no agenda, no responsibilities other than the daily Triple S (shit, shower & shave).

3. If you could have any fast-food restaurant in the food court on base/post what would you pick? (from The Only Pink in a House of Blue)
Like if I could name what restaurant to be put in place? Hmmm…that is hard because the Ft Bliss PX is going through a major overhaul and will contain a shit-ton of stuff already. I suppose I would pick something that you can only get back home, Taco Box.

4. Where did you go on your honeymoon? (from Pennies from Heaven)
Non-applicable. Still waiting for our honeymoon…maybe this coming summer?

5. If you could have any job in the world regardless of money, degree or experience, which job would you have and why? (from Proud to Be a Navy Family and The Calm Before The Storm)
I’m going to refer back to a previous question/answer from MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 2, question #1

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 10

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 27 August 2010

Wow, I can’t believe it is already the 10th week of Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! I have really been enjoying reading the other spouses who are participating in this weekly meme. Be sure to check out Mr. Linky on Wifey’s blog so that you can also “meet” some of these fantastic fellow spouses!

This week’s questions are:

1. What secret indulgence do you act on while your spouse is away? (from Devil Dog Darling)
Sleeping in the MIDDLE of the bed! We have a california king sized bed, but when he is home, there never seems to be enough room. I can’t stand being hot when I sleep and when he lays right next to me, he feels like a furnace and I find myself hugging the edge of the bed because I’ve moved away so much. Mind you, we still get plenty of cuddle time when he is home, but it’s a rare treat for us to actually fall asleep touching!

2. If you were a spice, what would you be? (from New Girl On Post)
Nutmeg – few people actually like that spice

3. Where do you go for support when your significant other is deployed? (from Texas Meets Washington)
First, I usually reach out to my mom. We’ve definitely gotten closer in the last decade and I also know that she’s one of those who have been in the shoes as a military spouse. Other than that, I know I can always rely on my BFFs like Mindikins and MeganDubyuh. And, of couse, my AMAZING ring of milspouse friends I know through Twitter.

4. What is the oldest thing you own? (from A Troop’s Girl)
Hard to say, with all the moving we have done, I don’t even know what I still own. I am going to say my Nirvana t-shirt that I got back in the 8th grade. That thing shows its wear, but I freaking love that shirt!

5. How did you vision your future pre-military? (from Daddy’s Duty)
The only thing that I have ever really envisioned for my future was to be working in the animation field. As far as the school girl’s dream for her life? It has been way too unpredictable to even attempt to envision anything.

6 months down

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 23 August 2010

Today we check off another big milestone in the deployment – month #6! Theoretically, this means that we are halfway done! WOO HOOOOOOO! (By theoretically, I mean that we’re going off of only a 365 day count-down. I know better than to count on exact numbers with the military. For all I know, Taco could come home a month early but he could also get extended.)

A lot has happened in the past six months, and each little event has helped the time pass by faster than I had anticipated. However I am trying not to dwell too much on all that has happened because it makes me think of the big chunk of time we still have yet to conquer. Now that school is back in session for The Boy, I am hoping that the time will continue to whizz right by and the beginning of the year will be here before we know it.

I think I shall celebrate over a big plate of sushi for lunch!

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 9

Posted in blogging, cooking, food, military, travel by MommyTaco on 20 August 2010

Holy cow, I’m actually posting the Q&A on it’s debut day! My apologies to those who read/follow my blog that I haven’t posted anything other than these fill-ins for the last several weeks. Trust me that there is a lot going on in my head, but unfortunately so much that I can’t seem to sit down and wrap my head around any one thing in order to blog it. So for now, this post is again dedicated to Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In (which I am seriously loving, btw). Don’t forget to check out Mr Linky on her page so that you can meet/read about the other amazing MilSpouses who participate in this weekly meme!

This week’s questions are extra special since they come from fellow participants, whose blog links are included:

1. If you could be a fugitive from the law for whatever reason, what would your crime be? (from It’s a Hooah Life)
I can’t think of any reason that I would WANT to be a fugitive, but one that I probably SHOULD be in trouble for is speeding. I have a serious lead-foot and can easily shave off 30-45 minutes (minimum) from suggested arrival time on any road trip that I take.

2. How long do you think you will be a military family? (from Julie the Army Wife)
Forever and ever, amen. My belief: once a military family, always a military family – even if your family no longer actively serves in it. It is an experience that makes such an impact on your life that there is no way to erase it. Our plan is for Taco to retire from the military, but we will always be a military family and a part of THE military family as well.

3. What’s your favorite recipe? (from Keep Calm and Soldier On)
Good grief, that is a hard one to nail down! I am gonna have to go with good old rolled dumplings for chicken & dumplings. I really don’t need any chicken or veggies, just the broth & dumplings is enough to keep me quite happy!

4. What would you want your last five words to be when you leave this life? (from My Goal is Simple)
“See you on the flip-side!” (from Boondock Saints)

5. Where do you hope to retire? (from Pennies from Heaven)
I always said that I would like to retire in Colorado, even though I had never actually visited there until a couple of weeks ago. It is still very high on my list but now the glorious state of Washington is a prime candidate, after the trip I took there with one of my besties, MeganDubyuh. All I really want is to live in GREEN, pine tree covered mountains on a nice big plot of land in the middle of nowhere, but close enough to a fairly large city/community for good shopping fixes. I have recently been considering the idea of opening a small bed & breakfast somewhere as well.

Mil-Spouse Friday Fill-In vol. 7 & vol. 8

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 13 August 2010

One of these weeks I’ll actually fill out Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In on it’s opening week. Last Friday I spent the day driving to beautiful Colorado Springs to visit some of my gal pals, @sara0120, @ajuribe and @tammymunson and one of my IRL BFFs, Biff! It was a great weekend, and we even did a Scentsy party! I’ll prob post a blog about that awesome trip some other time, but this one is dedicated to something else! Soooo….

Go on over to Wifey’s Blog 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!

Week 7’s Questions:
1. What is something you wished you’d learned to do earlier in life?
Pay attention during Spanish class in college. Trust me, I could be getting a LOT more use out of it now.

2. What is your biggest pet peeve with the military?
Their seemingly indecisiveness. It feels like they can’t make up their mind sometimes when events/dates change around frequently.

3. What tourist attraction near you have you never seen?
Juarez, Mexico….I really don’t think I’ll be seeing it any time soon, either.

4. What are you avoiding doing right now?
The Boy, who thinks he needs video game tutoring right now. 🙂

5. Wine, beer or liquor?
Depends on the event and my mood. Prob liquor because there’s nothing better than a Jack & Coke!

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Week 8’s Questions:
1. What is ONE thing you’d like civilians to understand about being a military family?
When we arrive at a new duty station, don’t get upset that I strive to involve myself in thmilitary community before I step out into the local community. We are all the closest thing to a local family we are going to have and can relate with each other to the struggles of a PCS, deployment, or any other kind of hardship. We NEED to be able to establish on-post relations for when there may be situations that come up. Even something as simple as who am I going to list for my emergency contact when I’m new to a location and my blood family is thousands of miles away…how am I supposed to know who I can depend & trust in that situation? Yeah, a civilian can step in as an emergency point of contact but they won’t have access to post as easily to help handle the situation.

2. What is your favorite mistake?
I would never refer to any event in my life as a mistake – only a learning lesson. But… getting pregnant out of wedlock…I came out of that with an amazing and supportive husband, and one heck of an amusing child!

3. What indulgence could you give up for a year?
When I was pregnant, I pretty much quit caffeine cold turkey for 9 months…so I guess caffeine.

4. If you could be a winged animal, what would you be?
My “real” nickname isn’t Butterflie for nothing

5. What is one question you’d like to see asked in a future MFF?
Name the biggest way that becoming a Military Spouse made an impact on your life.

“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.

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(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!