Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day of School 2011

I need to get dinner started and fill out a million 1st day papers, but I wanted to make sure that I got this post done before time gets away from me.

Today Maya started 4th grade and Luke started 1st grade. I have no idea where this extremely short summer went. Maya was very excited and up at 3 am telling me she couldn't fall back to sleep. I wonder if she'll ever not be excited for the first day of school. I'm not complaining - I'm glad my kids like school. Luke started 1st grade today. This year I do not have to drop off and pick up kids at school 3 times a day, which I'm very excited about. Seth and I have the whole school day together all to ourselves. Handling 1 kid all day seems so easy!

Matt called this afternoon and got to hear from the kids about their first day. Wish you were here, honey. Miss you tons!

Here's some pictures of my kids, who seem to be growing up way too fast.



(Luke's classroom)

(Maya's classroom)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rock Star for a Week

It's not often during military training that I'm the leader of the pack. There is a reason my sister Becky has always smiled to herself when she thinks of me in the military. Add to that the fact even though I am Air Force, I am deploying with the Army and having to get used to that. In Army lingo, I am more often "ate up" than I am "squared away" when it comes combat, weapons, naming assault vehicles, etc.

For example, during my recent weapons testing with the M9 (pistol), the cops and marksmen in the class rolled their eyes when the instructor pointed out which end is the muzzle, how to insert the magazine, and how to clear a round out of the firing chamber. I was busy making mental notes as this was the second time in my life handling a pistol. The instructor tried to appease the audience tactfully with "I have to teach to the lowest level." Was I upset that she was looking my direction? Nope, just raised my hand high and said, "sorry guys...I'm from med group"

After I shot, another instructor went over my target with me, got a look on his face like he bit into a lemon unexpectedly, and clicking his tongue said,
"tck...tck...tck- uh, what do you do again, sir?"
"I'm a doctor."
"oh, thank G**."

No offense taken, my good man.

Well this week it turned around. We had 40 hours of classroom instruction on how to apply First Aid bandages and perform basic airway maneuvers (this is the Army version of the 3-hour course I had to complete with the Air Force). Sitting next to me was a cop who appeared to be in mental anguish trying to wrap his mind around "pneumothorax," a kind of chest injury. I explained it to him, and we soon agreed that when 'the pigspore hits the windspinner' he shoots the bad guys and I'll treat the wounded.

And you'll happy to know that after four years in a military medical school and another four years in trauma hospitals, I passed my First Aid class on the first try.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Military Appreciation

You have to be in a civilian setting to get the benefits of being in the military. Take getting airplane tickets for example. I get notified that I have to attend some training. To make this happen, there are about 12 people's desks I have to go to for signatures, then I have to fill out a form and cost analyses and justify the expense (umm...because the Air Force says I have to- what other justification do you want!?). I had carry these signatures to the travel agent, who then tells me, "everything looks fine. Now take it over to the travel director, have him sign it, and bring it back." After suppressing the urge to inquire 'why don't you take it?', I ask for directions. Turns out it is ten feet away. By a stroke of fortune, the appropiate person is there and signs my form, which I then hand carry back to the travel agent, who tells me I need three copies. I've been in the military long enough top know this means I get to make them and distribute them myself.

Contrast this with my experience at the airport. Since I am wearing a uniform, I am escorted to the front of the security gate and thanked for my service to the country for the first of no kidding twelve times that day. I walk past my departure gate to check my flight is on time, and without me even initiating an eye gaze towards the flight steward, he asks me to please come forward and give him my boarding pass. Knowing that this means the military has messed up my ticket, I comply "here you go, is there a problem?" Apparently the problem was that they wanted me to be in first class for free.

So next time you see someone in uniform flying first class, recognize that your tax dollars didn't put him there, some agent with a desire to show appreciation did.

The Kids