Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's started....

Em is 10. Since she is growing like a weed and needed new clothes I thought we would run by Ross and see if we could find anything that we agreed upon that was on clearance. I HATE paying full price for anything.

We searched through the racks and as I would pull out something that was cute, tasteful and within our price range, Em would turn her nose up at it. Em on the other hand would pull out something that was not. My daughter is not going to wear a shirt that says "baby girl". She is not going to wear something that shows her tummy. And the nerve of me, she is not going to wear anything that says anything about how looks are more important than smarts, about how you must be dumb, I am better looking than you, I am cool, the list goes on and on and on. We never even found anything for her to take to the dressing room.

Gone are the days where I can choose her clothing and she will be happy. I am apparently not cool and do not have a good sense of fashion according to my pre-teen daughter. Thankfully she knows better than to pull out anything that does not cover her body parts! We call it the arm test--they have to raise their hands above their head and I don't want to see any belly buttons. Is that too much to ask?

I used to love Gymboree because we could always find something tasteful there. She's too big now. We looked online last night and agreed on absolutely nothing at almost every store. Surely there is a store out there that sells clothing for girls that is made for girls and not sex symbols?

On a side note, I checked Em's tennis shoes last night and the 7.5 women's size is not going to fit by summer. I think I was in high school or college before my feet were that big!

Friday, March 7, 2008


Look what we woke up to this morning.

It hasn't snowed since last April.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Just because...

To go with yesterday's wordless wednesday pics. I wish I could see a little more of his baby blues, but I still love this shot.

Someone asked me if I wanted my son to be a Soldier too. I gave my usual response--he can do anything he wants AFTER college. Em wants to be a pop star but knows she has to go to college first and she wants to major in business so no one will try to take all of her money. Abs wants to be an inventer.

Speaking of Abs and inventing....I cleaned her room the other day. It's always an adventure to do that and this time was no different. Underneath her desk I found a pile of unwrapped pads stuck together in some kind of pattern. I shook my head and picked them up to throw them away. She screeched. I was throwing away something she invented. I was scared to ask what it was, but I did convince her that we could come up with a better medium for her to use on her creations.

We have school conferences today. I think Em is doing well, I don't hear anything too negative. She seems to be over her phase of doing nothing but reading during class time. She is in the middle of The Hobbit and is really enjoying that. Abs does well in school, but because her gross motor skills are delayed a bit her fine motor skills are not up to where they should be. That causes some hardship with handwriting, etc. Maybe they could let her spell out words using tampons?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

Head Sensors

I got this article from Babcock's update. Gunner got this installed in his kevlar a few weeks ago. He came home and showed me and told me to "blog this". Abbie told me the other day that I needed to "blog about the pillows that made her sick"--no idea why she thinks it was her pillow.

Raider Brigade Soldiers first to field new HEADS Sensors
New technology to make future helmets safer

Spc. David Hodge
1st BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div.
February 29, 2008

FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team will be among the first units of the 4th Infantry Division to receive the Head-born Energy Analysis and Diagnostic System Sensor and begin fielding the new technology while deployed to Baghdad. The sensor mounted inside the Army’s Advanced Combat Helmet will be worn by Raider Brigade Soldiers throughout their 15-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The technology surrounding the ballistic helmet is continually improved to lessen the trauma caused by cranial impacts that Soldiers face while operating on today’s battlefield, said Lt. Col. Rick Caya, executive officer, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “The sensors help improve treatment of head injuries and development of next-generation combat helmets,” Caya said. The latest addition to the ACH will contribute to lessening the impact on Soldiers in the future, he added.

“The sensors provide the ability to help the U.S. Army improve a Soldier’s individual equipment system,” stated Caya, who hails from Waterloo, Iowa. “It’s a great opportunity to provide downrange feedback for the U.S. Army,” he said.

Although the sensors are not going to directly affect 1st BCT Soldiers during the deployment, the sensors will benefit future units by aiding researchers in developing better equipment and technology to assist Soldiers in combat, explained Caya. “If the Raider Brigade can help in that advancement process in any way, that would be great for Soldiers,” he added.

The six-ounce HEADS sensor is a small, undetectable piece of microchip technology surrounded by thin plastic composite that records traumatic disturbances to the helmet, said Caya. The HEADS sensor fits neatly under the crown pad of the ACH and contains a three-axis accelerometer and pressure sensor that detects sudden movements and percussion, explained Caya.

“We asked ourselves: ‘How can we make a better helmet to save the Soldier?” stated Steve Motoyama, the program manager for the company that designed the sensors. “The HEADS sensors will provide a good opportunity to make future helmets safer,” he added.

The 1st BCT is one of the first units in the U.S. Army to field the electronic technology in Iraq. These efforts ensure that future Soldiers remain the best equipped and best trained Soldiers in the world.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Traumatic Events

I hope that one day my children don't look back on the times that I tried to get a good family shot as a traumatic event. Yesterday Gunner got in uniform, dressed the kids and we headed to my mom's house. We then loaded up my mom and went towards the front of her retirement community, Sun City. We found a beautiful spot with water, rocks and trees. Enter from stage right three screeching children. They wanted to play in the water. They wanted to throw rocks in the water. There were rocks to hop on, hop across the water on. The sun was in their eyes. The rock was wet. They wanted to be in the shade. Eyes were squinted and threats were made. We gave up and left.
(Yes, everyone's eyes were closed in this shot)

We then headed to a park in the neighborhood thinking that it might easier (and with more shade) so we could get the perfect picture there. Junior didn't want his picture taken so Gunner held goldfish and would give him one to eat while I snapped away. I think in every picture there is a half eaten godfish making an appearance.

We decided to walk around the pond and down a trail a bit, which went through the golf course of senior citizens enjoying an afternoon round. That is until we found a tree to put the kids in. Gunner hoisted Em up and she got stuck and started screaming. We gave up that plan and kept walking.

A fallen log! We put the kids on the log and I started to snap away again. Junior didn't want to be on the log, he wanted goldfish. Em didn't wants Abs near her. I have pictures of them fighting on the log. What great memories!

(Em shoved Abs off the log at this point because they were touching)

We kept walking and found a log bench. Em wouldn't sit with Abs at all. Abs wanted to look for "fairy hats" and Junior was busy following Abs. I didn't want to be in the pictures, but it ended with my mom taking pictures of Gunner and I together.....and in almost every picture you can tell I am telling one of the kids to "Stop that!", "Quit Fighting", "Don't touch your sister!".

After that fiasco we headed over to the community center which has a pond with giant Koi. A couple had their granddaughter there feeding the fish and they had a dog. I wonder if they will remember in 30 years that the fish and the dog were more interesting than preserving memories!

Abs always squints and never wants to look at the camera. Junior likes to have his mouth open in every shot (probably waiting for food). Em just doesn't want to be near her sister.
Interesting family pictures are better memories anyway, right?