Minivan: Update

Posted on Jun 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

My, my.  My minivan post seemed to strike a chord with others who equally abhor their mode of transportation.  While some readers commiserated, others reveled in my new minivan-mom status.  Take this email I received from a friend and former co-worker:

So, I was having a pretty amazing weekend […] It was one of those weekends where you think things can’t get any better…and then I read that you bought a minivan […] High-end, high-fashion, high-heeled Diana – the same lady who once mocked my purchase of a minivan and swore to the sweet heavens above that she would buy her entire wardrobe at Salvation Army before being caught dead behind the wheel of a minivan – was now a card-carrying Minivan Mom. Thank you, Diana. Thank you for that precious gift.

I would like the record to show that I never swore I would buy my entire wardrobe at Salvation Army before driving a minivan.  I don’t think.

But I digress.

Some people (namely my mother) insisted I would grow to love my minivan.  I have my doubts.  Yet others requested photos – I think in order to suspend their disbelief.  I can still hardly believe it myself, but photos don’t lie.  So here you go: my minivan montage.  Just so we’re clear – I have a smile on my face, but that is only because I look truly, truly awful frowning  And for those of you really detail-oriented, I am wearing very tall shoes and painted my nails (er, had my nails painted) mint green, a decidedly un-soccer mom color, in my opinion.  I must rebel against the minivan and all it represents any way I can!

But Oh!  Lest I forget, I must wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!  To the best Dad in the world, I love you but I’m still not going to let Lucy call you “Boss”.  And to Damon, thanks for being a great Dad to little E.  We miss you!

Now, the pictures.  Feel free to mock me.


Faux Enthusiasm for the Van

This is how I roll

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And Then I Bought a Minivan

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

Remember when I swore I would never, NEVER drive a minivan?  I didn’t care if I had 12 kids – you were never going to find me behind the wheel of a minivan.  I repeat: Never. And then I moved to Japan. Where on base, minivans are so prolific, I often can’t distinguish my car from the next.  (Yes, I have tried to get into the wrong car before.)  Where on base, minivans cost about half a month’s rent.  (Yes, you read that correctly.) Before moving here, we sold Damon’s faithful Camry.  We were not allowed to transport a car to Japan, and we could only store one car in the states.  Damon has a pick-up truck that he loves more than me, so that we stored.  In the meantime, we planned on buying a small, cheap beater from someone leaving base around when we arrived.  We’d get our 30 months out of it, and sell it cheap to the next fellow when that time came.  With people constantly moving to and from Atsugi, that’s just how things go. And what do you know, that’s just how things went.  The family leaving Damon’s squadron as we arrived were looking to sell their car, and we were looking to buy.  Their car happened to be a minivan.  Damon jumped on the opportunity.  “It’s perfect timing!  It’s so cheap!  And look how much room there is!  It’ll be great for road trips! And if we have another kid while we’re here, we’ll need the space!” HOLD UP.  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. “But it’s a MINIVAN.  Driving a minivan goes against my religious beliefs.  I can’t do it.” “Diana.  It’s only for a couple of years.” “You’re telling me there are no other non-minivans we can buy right now?” “Yes, that is what I am telling you.” “How am I supposed to be the cool, young mom if I’m driving a minivan? Answer me that!” He couldn’t answer me that, but it didn’t matter.  For once, my powers of persuasion were rendered useless.  Given the timing and the price and...

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Let the Countdown Begin!

Posted on May 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Damon left for deployment yesterday – so yeah, that sucks.  In the pandemonium that has been our lives recently, I didn’t really have much opportunity to dwell on his inevitable departure.  A good thing, I think.  After all, it is what it is.  Damon deploys.  We go visit him at port calls. He comes home.  I totally got this! So how did our first night of deployment go ? A little wired, I stayed up way past my bedtime.  I should know better.  At around 1:30 AM I was jolted awake  by a 5.3 magnitude earthquake.  Are you freaking kidding me?  An earthquake to kick off deployment for me?  I’m from Southern California.  Earthquakes don’t faze me.  At least, they didn’t until I was home alone in the middle of the night with a baby to worry about.  Panicked, I sprinted a whole 10 feet into the nursery to find Elisabeth sleeping, naturally.  It took me about an hour to calm down enough to go back to sleep (What if there are aftershocks!?!?), but just as I was drifting off, an extremely loud, extremely high-pitched beeping shocked me awake, heart a-racing.  The smoke detector. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?The detector’s battery is going to die at me in the middle of the night after an earthquake the first night my husband is gone!?  Of course, I can handle removing a battery from a smoke detector.  Sort of.  At our last house, this happened while Damon was away, and I failed to properly put the detector back together again.  I just left wires hanging from the ceiling, hoping we didn’t have a fire, until Damon came home.  I know, I know, I’m setting feminism back 50 years.  Whatever. So in the spirit of last night, I give you the Top 5 Reasons Deployment Sucks (in no particular order): 1) I’ll miss my husband.  Duh. 2) My husband will miss watching and experiencing little Elisabeth grow over the next several months.  This is also an obvious one.  But now we’re getting a little too sentimental for this blog, so let’s move on....

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Profound Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Posted on May 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

HA!  As if I have any profound thoughts of any kind anymore. Most of my thoughts these days are as follows: 1) I need a nap. 2) I wonder if anyone can smell the spit-up in my hair. 3) I need a nap. 4) Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. Awhile back a group I belonged to posed the question, “What most surprised you about motherhood?”  I joined in with a chorus of other women who all agreed how surprising it is that we can function on so little sleep. I’d like to issue a retraction.  I am most certainly not functioning.  At least not on any level that could be considered normal.  The very fact that I even suggested I was functioning is proof that I am not lucid.  How could I be?  I haven’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep in almost six months.  Scratch that.  I haven’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep since my third trimester!  This baby was keeping me up well before her 3 AM feedings. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  At around three months old Elisabeth gave me a few nights of 6 or 7 hours of consecutive sleep.  It was glorious!  But it was all a tease.  Since spending the last few months traveling all over the states – and the world! – poor Baby has been waking up around 17,000 times a night.  And surprise, surprise – if Baby is up 17,000 times a night, so am I.  Hence the lack of brain function and general zombie-like state. My most oft-used phrases now include “I forgot” and “I’m losing my mind.”  It’s a shame, too.  It once was a pretty decent mind. But Seriously – I say “I’m losing my mind” at least three times a day.  Most of the time to Elisabeth, as she is the person I spend most of my time with.  And who wouldn’t lose their mind when they spend the majority of their hours babbling to a little person who doesn’t understand or respond to them? Not the I’m complaining.  I’m now mildly amused...

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Mama Trauma

Posted on May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

Baby Elisabeth leads a pretty sweet life.  She gets to wear pajamas in public.  She gets toted around all day in a warm, comfy carrier.  It is totally socially acceptable for her to cry when she’s hungry.  I often feel like crying when I get hungry, but I’m pretty sure that would come off as bad behavior. Despite this cushy existence, I can’t forget about or ignore the traumatic moments that Baby suffers.  Mainly because every traumatic moment she suffers is far, far worse for me.  I don’t mean that to sound selfish, and I imagine most moms would agree with me.  Let’s take shots, for example.  Shots must truly be a horrific experience for an infant, but I’d wager watching her child in pain is much worse for the mom.  Babies forget those distressing moments.  Moms remember. Elisabeth’s two-month check up was pretty much the worse day known to man.  Or at least to me.  I dreaded that day.  I agonized over that day.  I lost sleep over that day.  Eventually it came time to face the inevitable, and so I took Elisabeth – my sweet, happy Elisabeth – into the torture chamber.  I stripped her down.  I held her body down while she looked up at me, cooing and smiling, completely unaware of what was to come.  The corpsman administered the first shot.  And then it happened: the shocked expression, the lip quiver, followed at last by the all-out wail.  Then behind the tears, the look of despair, abandonment –Why are you letting this happen to me? I choked back my own tears.  Two more shots to go.  Time seemed to stand still as I watched Elisabeth scream, unable to comfort her.  Why are you taking so long! I wanted to shout to the corpsman, but decided that that would be unproductive.  At last he finished and I hurriedly picked up my baby to comfort her, turning away from the evil, needle-wielding man to hide my own tears. And like that, Elisabeth was fine. I was not.  I cried more than the baby did. And then we got...

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Moving On Out

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Holy Cannoli!  In a week we’ll have moved to Japan.  Well, we’ll have arrived in Japan.  The “move” part won’t quite be completed, given that most of our household goods are maybe/maybe not on a boat in the middle of the ocean with no expected arrival date (that we know of) and we will likely be living in a hotel till mid-May.  This is when it would be really great to be a “go with the flow” kinda gal.  But let’s face it, that’s just not me. I hate moving. Like, really, really hate it.  Like, loathe it with every fiber of my being.  In the past five years – be it across town, across state, across country, and now, across the world – I’ve moved seven-and-a-half times.  Seven.  Make it stop!  (I’ll explain the half another time.)  Let me be clear, I never hate that we are moving or where we are moving to.  In fact, moving so frequently – though tiresome – has offered amazing opportunities to meet new people and experience new things.  I am beyond excited about the adventure that awaits us in Japan.  It’s just the physical act itself that is so profoundly awful. And guess what, moving with a baby sucks even more than normal moving.  And moving internationally with a baby sucks the most.  One of our moves, from California to Washington, D.C., my husband (then-fiance) thought it would be a good idea to move ourselves.  Fun, even.  An adventure!  So we loaded up a U-Haul and spent the longest week of my life driving across country.  Somehow we remained engaged.  Luckily, you can’t drive to Japan, or else Damon would probably have suggested we do so.  In fact, my saving grace during this last month has been that the Navy has done all the heavy lifting, allowing me to avoid a complete nervous breakdown.  (Versus the semi nervous breakdown that I did have.) An international move with the Navy breaks down like this:  You have an express shipment for all the really important stuff you want to get to your destination...

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