Friday, June 25, 2010

Travel log day two. . .the un-travel log.

This is the blog I wrote last night. I tried to post it then but couldn't maintain a good internet signal so here I am, sitting at McDonald's this morning so I can post. I'll blog more at the end of the day when we know something more. . .

We're still stuck in Katy, TX. This morning we were up early trying to figure out the problem with the big rig. Matt went to the local parts supply house and bought some stuff that was suggested by a friend of ours over the phone to help transmissions that are slipping get a little more life. It said right on the bottle that it would not fix major problems. It didn't work. I assumed it was because there was a major problem. We decided to take it to a local Ford dealership for repair. We've had unidentified problems off and on with the transmission slipping and the overdrive light blinking along with the check engine light that comes on for a while, then shuts off. We've had it in to be looked at by 2 different mechanics and neither one fixed the problem but I think that it might be solved now. The dealership said that deep under the hood, they found a set of wires that had fallen onto the exhaust manifold and melted. This could be the reason why the car finally decided to go at the same time the air conditioner died. It could be that there's not a problem with either of those systems, only an electrical short. Even though we're already neck deep in labor charges, I have hope that it will still be less to fix the wires than to replace the transmission. Let's hope that fixing the electrical problem solves the other issues. (it's always good to have hope, right?)

While we've been hanging around waiting for the car to be fixed, we moved to a first floor room at the Motel 6. The stairs that we had been climbing to the third floor for our first day were too much for Willow to manage without getting really tired so we were blessed with two lovely side by side rooms not too far from the pool. We just hung out here most of the day, watching movies and back to back episodes of Are you smarter Than a 5th Grader? We also swam in the pool here at the hotel. We did get out for a little while though to take the dogs to be groomed. I didn't get a chance to give them baths before they left so I took them up the street to Petsmart for an anti-shed shampoo and brushing. They look absolutely lovely now and Daniel is sneezing a lot less now too. Poor kid. It stinks to be allergic to your pets. Other than that, we just ran a few other errands. . . Walgreens, Best Buy and lunch at Applebees. We're trying to limit ourselves to one meal "out" a day. Today it was a late lunch. Tomorrow we'll eat sandwiches for breakfast and free coffee from the lobby. When you have to stay at "pet friendly" Motel 6, there's no such thing as continental breakfast. I hope they have good coffee.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Travelling in Smith style!

Today has been an interesting day to say the least. We started the day already sleep deprived from trying to prepare our old house to clear so we could leave early. We managed to finish with only minutes to spare before they came to inspect. Only two minor things wrong with the house. We're waiting to hear whether or not we'll be charged for them. I then took Willow over to MK prosthetics and orthotics where we picked up her 3rd pair of AFO's for her legs. We didn't get a chance to buy her the new shoes I wanted to pick out after her appointment because I needed to get Daniel from school. When I picked him up, he was in a funk about not getting to swim in the pool at school. His funk turned into a raging fit that could only be remedied by a nap. I let him sleep at Amy's house while Matt went to clear post and I had some last minute snuggle time with Amy's baby Josh.

Because nothing goes exactly according to plan when you are a part of this family, we didn't end up leaving until nearly 4:00. Before we'd even gotten out of San Antonio, I heard Daniel gagging in the back seat. I looked back to see his watery eyes and nauseated expression. "Don't throw up!" I said. To which he replied: "The cat pooped in her kennel!"

45 minutes into our trip, we had to stop at some gas station who's billboards have a giant beaver on them. Lilli had been talking about wanting to stop at this particular place and was so excited to see the bathrooms because the billboards claimed that they had the best bathrooms around. Weird. Sour gummy worms and double shot mochas to keep me awake and we hit the road again.

Shortly after that, Matt began to slow down in front of me. I called to see what was wrong and he told me that the car wouldn't maintain speed. Obviously something was wrong. Also: the air conditioner wasn't cold, Seriously? All that to say that we're in Houston. Motel 6. We'll try to fix the car tomorrow and get going again. In the meantime, we're all healthy and happy and counting our blessings. I'm not going to let today set the stage for the rest of our trip. Tomorrow is a new day and it WILL be better!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Moving day, right around the corner!

Today was the walk through by the moving company. I guess they needed to see how much stuff we have so they can plan accordingly. We have a lot of stuff. The packers will be here on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Our pre inspection by housing is Friday and then we clear housing for good a week later. After that we are Georgia bound! I have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do before next week but for now I'm pre occupied with house shopping. Matt is in Georgia right now. He looked at 7 or 8 houses today but our favorite has been this one from the beginning. It has a very large yard that is already set up for the dogs, a big magnolia tree so I don't have to plant one, lots of room for the kids to play, a big kitchen painted like strawberries with red walls and green counter tops. (might sound like Christmas but it's quite cute) Buying a house however is a scary thing. There's the fact that this house has been unoccupied for almost a year and is starting to look a little over grown, not to mention the fact that the inside is looking a little dusty and has a few bug corpses lying around just from being vacant in Georgia. Also there's some repair work that needs to be done on the siding but we don't know how far the rotten wood goes. If it's deeper than just siding then we may be in over our heads and we certainly don't want that! This house is in a great neighborhood with low crime rates and good schools. It's near enough to post but also nearer to Savannah where I'll be taking the kids for appointments often. Most importantly, I can actually see my kids living there. It's not so classy that they can't be the creative, sometimes messy creatures they are. I feel like they can be themselves there: free to imagine, create, dream, believe and grow! In spite of the fact that this house seems to be a perfect fit for us, we don't want to jump into anything with out prayer and careful consideration. That's where we are now. Praying and carefully considering but we really just keep coming back to this place. It feels like home.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Another day, another clinic

Today we spent another day over at BAMC. I was able to finally get those labs ordered for Daniel. When I left the hospital all had come back normal but the Tegretol levels are still pending. Daniel's eyes have been determined to be fine although his blinking is still the same and he's been asking to wear his glasses a lot more. He says he can't see. Maybe he's just finally realized that they help his vision. He is 7 now, after all. Depending on how the Tegretol levels come back, our next avenue of investigation will be a referral back to neurology and an EEG to see if maybe his blinking is due to seizure activity. I'm hoping to be able to put that off until after our move though.

Aside from those things, Noah went to the psychiatrist today. We're still tweaking meds. His anxiety has been better and his OCD behaviors better also but he still paces, forgets things, wanders aimlessly around and fidgets uncontrollably so the doc tweaked some more and we go back for our (last) appointment with Dr. Cepeda on June 1. He's been a good doctor. We've been with him for 3 1/2 years. I hope we find someone equally competent when we arrive in Georgia.

My BFF is hugely pregnant. She's due in a couple weeks and unfortunately has come down with a sinus infection so I'll be heading over shortly with some home made soup for her. I even strained all the chunks out. She likes onion flavor but not onions. ;) I love my Amy. I'm going to miss her when we go our separate ways. She's moving to Ft. Lewis, where I'd love to be and I'm moving to the next best thing to "home" for her. She was praying to be able to go to GA since she's from Florida. She's trying not to be jealous and I'm doing the same. I'm off to deliver the soup and visit for a few minutes. Our time together is so limited now.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A very happy "boot-day"

Yesterday was my nuttiest peanut's birthday. It was quite a day. He woke up early and announced to everyone that it was his "bootday." He was convinced that he was going to get to stay home from school, open his presents before getting dressed, and eat cake for breakfast. He is 7 now after all. This is what 7 year old boys do in his world. When I was forced to burst his rose colored bubble, he had his first meltdown of the day. He began screaming at me and making half incoherent demands. Apparently I am the meanest mom ever. Obviously I care. NOT! Once he finally calmed himself down, he came to tell me "OK I can have cupcakes in my class. I won't worry about my presents." and that was that. He had a pretty good day at school. He took 2 naps.

Today has been an interesting day. I spent the day at the great and wonderful Brooke Army Medical Center (Can I hear a HOOAH?!) Where the boys and I sat waiting for 5 hours in the ophthalmology clinic. We know nothing except we will be back in the ophthalmology clinic again tomorrow. This time, after putting drops in Daniel's eyes tonight because they don't dilate in the clinic. I'm praying that I don't have to spend all day sitting there again. My butt is flat enough already thankyouverymuch.

On tonight's agenda? A trip back to BAMC to get Daniel's blood drawn for Tegretol levels. I'm sitting here researching what tests to ask for and praying that I get a doctor who will just listen to me. It's not like I don't know what I'm doing. It's hit or miss with these people. I mean really. . . what will it hurt to do blood tests? And since we're doing blood tests. . . what's a couple extra just to make sure we're not killing him with psychotropic medication?

On a side note: we're moving to Georgia soon. Hence the urgency to get all my medical ducks in a row. Willow's getting new braces for her legs. She just got a new hearing aid and FM system. We've got to make sure the boys meds are right. I'm hoping for a smooth transition into our next duty station from a medical standpoint but I can't count on it so it's important to have everything in order before we go if possible. Oh and the cat needs to go to the vet and get shots just in case we have to put her in a kennel for a short period of time while we're waiting for housing. Just one more thing! ;)