Sandie Simply Says

March 6, 2009

My crazy up-and-down week

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 9:23 pm
Tags: , ,

Well, more downs that up really. 😦

Monday: I find out about my assignment to Italy late Monday afternoon.

Tuesday: I call the Air Force Personnel Center (hereafter known as AFPC) to find out why Tony didn’t get an assignment and am told to wait a week or two and we should see an assignment for him.

Wednesday: The answer from Tuesday isn’t sitting right with me. I start doing some research and find out Tony should have gotten his assignment the same time as me, if they were going to give him one. Call/e-mail a few friends and one of them calls AFPC. Find out late Wednesday afternoon that Tony was not given an assignment because “manning didn’t support” one for him. The girl who called for me asked, “What are her options?” And is told, “She can go unacompanied.” In other words…without my family for two years (or I could take the girls with me and be single mom for 3 years). My other option: separate just 3 short years away from retirement. Since the hold up is on Tony’s side, I call his supervisor and ask him to check into it for us.

Thursday: Spend most of the day trying to get somebody from AFPC to answer a damn phone call or e-mail. After not hearing anything from anyone all day, I send my boss an e-mail detailing everything that had happened up to that point. He forwards it to my Career Field Manager (this is the guy who is basically over my entire career field…he does not make assignments, but might be able to have some influence over everything.

Thursday night: Somebody from AFPC FINALLY calls my husband’s supervisors and tell him they are 150% manned in his career field at Aviano. They can’t possibly send 1 more person over there, but will look again to see what they can do. Later night my Career Field Manager calls…I tell him the whole story. He promises to try to find out something today and call me back (we actually had a fairly long chat).

Today: I’ve heard nothing. It’s 9:22 pm and I’m sure I won’t hear anything tonight. I may try to call my Career Field Manager in the morning just to get some sort of a status update.

This whole thing sucks. Just sucks. 😦


March 2, 2009

So many emotions, so little time

Filed under: General,Spin — by Sandie @ 9:24 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I got a phone call from the personnel office today. It went something like this:

Her: Hi, Sgt Rios! I’ve got your assignment RIP right here!
Me: My what????
Her: Your assignment RIP.
Me: Excuse me???
Her: You didn’t know?
Me: No! Where to?
Her: I’m sorry! I thought you knew! You’re going to Aviano! (For those that don’t know, Aviano is in Italy.)

And that’s how I found out the next 2-3 years of my life will be drastically different than what I originally thought! One issue we still need to get straight: they didn’t give Tony an assignment (normally the Air Force tries to keep military couples together. Generally, when one gets an assignment, the other will get one at the same time. Not sure what happened here!). I need to make some phone calls tomorrow to find out what we need to do.

Meanwhile, I have so many emotions I’m feeling. For one: I HAVE TO SELL MY HOUSE!!!! YIKES!! Luckily, the housing market here isn’t as bad as in some areas, so we shouldn’t have our asses handed to us while trying to sell it. However, this house is nowhere near “For Sale” condition and we don’t have long to get it there!

Also, this really couldn’t come at a worse time for us. Ashley and Amanda will both graduate while we’re over there. Air fare is expensive. Air far for 5 people is something I don’t even want to think about. Missing either of their graduations isn’t particularly appealing either. 😦

It’ll be my first “real” job in my current career field. And I’ll be in charge (well, there’s a Captain that’ll be “in charge”). I’ll be way out of my comfort zone. And chances are highly likely that I’ll “get” to deploy while I’m there.

And then there’s the one emotion I wasn’t really expecting: I don’t want to leave here. Never in a million years did I think I’d say that, but this place has grown on me. We’ve built a good life for ourselves here. We’ve got good friends, a great church family, love the schools/daycare. I’m not ready to leave.

We haven’t broken the news to the kids yet. I don’t know what we’re going to tell them. Angelina and Amber won’t care. Alyssa is going to have issues…especially since it means moving further away from her best friend who moved to San Antonio two years ago.


I was just over at and noticed that this week’s Spin Cycle is about adventures. And if moving half way across the world to a country I’ve never been and who’s language I don’t speak with 3 kids, a dog, and a husband doesn’t qualify as an adventure, I don’t know what does! So, I’m making this my Spin Cycle post too…which will hopefully get me back on the Spin Cylce wagon!).

February 10, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts by Sandie

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 5:42 am
Tags: , , ,


Does anyone remember Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey? I don’t know why, but I thought of that old SNL skit today. For no reason whatsoever. I didn’t even remember a Deep Thought to go with it.

Tony and I have decided to renew our vows this summer. We’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary. I didn’t get a “real” wedding when we got married, so I’m really starting to look forward to this! We’re keeping it very low key to save money, but the best part is my parents will get to be there (my mom is still a little miffed that we eloped).

As of Sunday, Ashley had decided not to come visit us this summer. She wants to go to summer school this summer to get some extra credits. I’m hoping she’ll change her mind before the summer, but it’s probably a long shot.

Angelina has started using the phrase, “What the…?!?!” I have no idea where she learned it, but it’s hilarious when she decides to use it. The other day, Tony and I were in the bathroom. I’d just gotten out of the shower and he was getting ready to go in, so we were both in our birthday suits. He grabbed me to give me a hug right as Angelina walked in. She took one look at us and said, “What the?!?! You’re naked!” It was much funnier when you were there.

Girl Scout cookies are the devil. I told Tony to rip them out of my hands if he sees me eating any more. I think he’s relishing this task a little too much.

I love most of CBS’s Monday night sitcom lineup. I’m ticked that How I Met Your Mother wasn’t on tonight. Why does the president have to speak in primetime and interrupt my TV watching? At least they put Big Bang Theory on at 9:30 (and I’m so glad Worst Week wasn’t on…I can’t stand that show!).

These random thoughts were brought to you by Keely of The Un Mom. Want more? Go here.

January 28, 2009

“I started today.”

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 10:03 pm
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I remember a time when those words brought nothing but sorrow and pain for me. It was when we were trying to get pregnant the second time. It took us almost 2 years. According to the doctor, we had “unexplained secondary infertility.” In other words, they had no freaking idea why it took us so long. In Nov 2003 had a laparoscopy where they killed some endometriosis and confirmed that my tubes were open. Apparently, that did the trick because less than 2 weeks later, I was pregnant with Angelina.

Over the last couple years, those words have brought a feeling of relief. We’d decided after Angelina that we were done with babies. Imagine our surprise a couple years later when I found out I was pregnant with Amber! After Amber, we again said we were done with babies. This time, Tony made the appointment for a vasectomy. We went for the initial consultation and even scheduled the appointment for the big day. As the day got closer, I started feeling more and more uneasy about it. Two days before his scheduled procedure I asked him to cancel it. And this is how I know he truly loves me: he did. Didn’t even argue with me about it, just did it. I knew then that I didn’t want more babies, but wasn’t sure I wouldn’t want another one in the future.

And now, here we are two years later. My monthly “friend” came today (4 days late, I might add) and I’m feeling a weird sense of relief and sadness all rolled into one. At the same time, Tony has started throwing out comments about another baby…maybe try one more time for a boy.

And I’m starting to think about it. Unbelievably, I’m starting to think about it.

I don’t think we’re ready yet. Not in light of the events of last week. But maybe in a few months.

That may give me time to come to my senses.

January 25, 2009

Spin Cycle: The Soundtrack of My Life

Filed under: Spin — by Sandie @ 9:50 pm
Tags: , , ,

Trisha Yearwood sings a song called The Song Remembers When and I’ve always thought how true the song is. I’m sure I’ve heard a million songs in my lifetime, but there are a few that always take me back to another time, no matter where I am when I hear them. The following are a few of my favorites.

My high school years will forever be defined by this song:

Every time I hear that song, it reminds me of my best friend from high school, Ken. Ken did not have the best home life, so we spent many a Friday and Saturday night driving around town simply avoiding his house. We’d drive and drive just waiting for Biz Markie to come on the radio. And when he did, we’d blast the radio, roll down the windows (even in the dead of winter), and scream the words for all the world to hear. In that moment, we’d both forget all our problems and revel in the simple joy of belting out a good song (OK, so maybe it’s not a “good” song, but we loved it!). Sadly, Ken and I lost touch a few years after high school. I still think of him whenever I happen to hear Biz Markie on the radio (or whenever I watch The Little Mermaid, but this post is about songs, not movies…I’ll have to explain that one later).

This song takes me back to weekends at the club at Shemya:

This song was played every Friday and Saturday night I can remember during my time at Shemya. And every time the song played, I danced to it. My dance partner was always the same: Brian. We were nothing more than friends. I was dating someone who refused to dance with me (I should have dumped the loser then!) and Brian was married, but on the brink of divorce. So, we danced (and I always sang along). The song spoke to both of us, though I think it said different things. Brian and I have both moved on to bigger, better, and happier times, but once I hear the opening bars to this song I’m instantly back on the dance floor, swaying slowly, singing along.

Last, but definitely not least is this song:

Armegeddon came out shortly after I returned from Korea. Tony was still in Korea and we weren’t sure just where our relationship was going (if someone had told me back then that I’d be married to him less than a year later, I probably would have laughed in their face!). Whenever this song played on the radio, it made me think of him. To me, this song is “our song” and a little over 10 years later, I still don’t wanna miss a thing.

This Spin Cycle has been brought to you by Jen at Wanna join in the fun? Click on over!

January 15, 2009

Spin Cycle: What if?

Filed under: Spin — by Sandie @ 10:37 pm
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This week’s Spin Cycle is simply “What if?” We’ve been given no other direction, just “What if?” I’ve struggled with how to approach this topic. Do I keep it light-hearted and answer a question like “What if I won the lottery?” Or do I take a more serious tone with it. The truth is, I’ve been thinking about the “What ifs” quite a bit lately and I’m not sure why. So, I decided to go the serious route and maybe, just maybe I’ll get some relief from just typing it all out.

I met R almost 15 years ago. We were both stationed at Shemya, AK. There were only about 500 people on the island at the time. And only about 30 of us were women. As you can imagine, everyone knew who ALL the women were! I mainly hung out with the firefighters, R being one of them. They took good care of me, making sure I was not the focus of any unwanted attention. At that time R and I were merely friends.

I don’t remember when he left Shemya, I just know it was before me and he went to Luke AFB, Arizona. We kept in touch and planned to see each other when I drove through Phoenix on my way to Beale AFB, California. That didn’t happen, but we kept our friendship up. At some point, our friendship turned into much more. I talked with him nearly every night. Shared nearly everything with him. He came to see me and we spent a wonderful weekend together. At some point, I fell in love. Hopelessly, head-over-heels in love. When he finally fessed up to me that his “roommate” was actually his live-in girlfriend, I didn’t care. He was convinced that an “open” relationship was the way to go and I was so in love I agreed. We saw each other whenever we were going to be in close proximity with each other.

Then came the day he broke my heart. It was the day after Christmas. I was visiting a friend in Vegas and R and I had made plans to meet mid-way in Kingston. I’d called to hammer out the details and he dropped the bomb: he and M were getting married. In 5 days. I have no idea what was said the rest of our conversation. I just remember hanging up the phone and bursting into tears. The next day, I went back to California. The normal 10-hour drive took me 9 as I raced down the highway. My emotions vacillated between anger and sadness. It didn’t take long before R and I were talking again. I had an addiction and he was my drug. He was my one bright spot in an otherwise hellish two years (Beale was an awful assignment for me), so it wasn’t hard for me to convince myself I wasn’t really the “other woman.” R and M had an “open” relationship still, so really, it was OK.

But I knew it wasn’t. I received orders to Korea and decided my year spent there would be my year of healing. And boy was it ever! I was able to find a place where I was at peace and met Tony. Eventually, we married, have five beautiful children and have made a good life with each other. I will give R credit though: I was stationed at Luke after I left Korea. R and I went out to dinner once when I first got to town. We talked a few times after that. When I finally told him about Tony, he stepped back and gave me my space.

There are days I still think about the “what ifs” though. What if he hadn’t married M? What if he’d chosen me instead of her? What would my life be like now? Realistically, I know if R and I had gotten married our relationship would have been doomed (as was his relationship with M…I gave them 5 years, they made it 7). I defintely wouldn’t have my girls or my husband and I just can’t imagine my life without them.

In the end, this is one “what if” I can live without.

January 2, 2009

Jail House Rock

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 8:00 am
Tags: , ,

On our way out to Laredo this Christmas, we stopped in Beaumont.  We stopped so we could see my FIL who is currently a resident of Beaumont Federal Correctional Institute.  I’m not sure exactly what crime he committed (all information was relayed through The Tías who “softened” the blow for Tony).  My understanding is it had something to do with smuggling illegal aliens across the border.  The end result is my FIL is serving an 80 month sentence at BFCI.  He’s already served about 24 months and with time off for good behavior he should be out in another 24 months (at least according to him…don’t know if that’s when it’ll actually happen).  BFCI is actually a large compound with 4 prison facilities: high security, medium security, low security, and a camp (or ultra-low security).  My FIL’s current home is the camp where they have a surprising amount of freedom.  The obviously can’t leave the compound unless under lock and key, but they have pretty free reign around the facility they’re in and there are no fences (well, except for the one that surrounds the compound).  They also do work around the compound (landscaping, food service, laundry, and even some admin-type work).  Anyway, my point is none of the people are “hardened criminals” or violent offenders.  You have to earn your right to reside at the camp (FIL was at the low security facility until a month or so ago) by proving you are a model prisoner.

I’m sure many of you have never visited an inmate at a federal prison, so I’ll describe the process.  First, you have to be on “the list.”  If you’re not on “the list,” you’re not getting in.  We filled out THAT paperwork a year ago, so we were good to go there.  Visiting hours start at 8am.  The flood gates doors are opened at precisely 8am, not a minute sooner.  The doors open and the mad rush begins to grab a “Visitor Request” form.  The lobby at the camp was excruciatingly small.  There were probably 30-40 people crammed into this small area grappling to get a form.  Once you complete the form and clip your picture ID to it, you have to wait for the guard to open The Door.  Sometime around 8:10, The Door opens and the guard grabs the first round of forms.  This was much like a lottery as everyone just shoved the forms into his face and he grabbed a few at random (after that, a very nice woman near the front gathered everyone’s forms into a pile and handed them to the guard at once).  Once you are cleared for the visit, the guard open The Door again, calls your name and in you go.

I don’t know my FIL well.  I’ve met him only a handful of times and two of those times he’s been in prison (this last visit and the one before that).  Being so close to the holidays, the room was packed with visitors and the noise level was much like you’d expect in a school lunch room…almost unbearable.  After the initial pleasantries, FIL and I didn’t speak much.  Instead, he caught up on his son’s life.  I couldn’t really hear what was being said and quickly became bored to tears, so I took up one of my favorite pastimes: people watching.

The visiting room is very non-descript.  Just a bunch of plastic tables and chairs scattered about the room.  Off to one side is the Vending Area (here, you can get candy, sodas, water, sandwiches, salads, etc).  You can tell the Veteran Visitors because they have already been to the Vending Area and bought the food they’ll need for the duration of your visit.  The Novice Visitors (like us) don’t know this trick, so we end up sipping and/or eating whatever happens to be left in the machine (they run out quickly!).  The couple next to us have piled their table high with salads, drinks, sandwiches, AND dessert.  Obviously, this has not been their first visit to the prison.  I’m assuming they were visiting their son.  Being the nosey curious person I am, I tried leaning in to hear some of their conversation, but couldn’t hear a thing and otherwise they were pretty boring.

So, I turn my attention to the nicely dressed family off to the side.  I’d seen them in the lobby and wondered why they were so dressed up.  I felt like I had underdressed for our visit (can you really underdress when visiting an inmate?).  The woman obviously loved the man she was there to visit and I’m assuming the children were his.  So, I start to wonder the obvious: what did HE do?  What crime landed him in “the slammer.”  And I wonder about the woman standing by her man.  How long will she wait for him?  How can she wait for him?  I have trouble wrapping my brain around visiting/supporting/standing by a man in prison.  I suppose it would depend on the crime committed, but it’s difficult for me to picture my husband doing something that would land him in prison in the first place.

Soon, I see why they are so dressed up.  Another inmate enters the room with a camera.  In the corner of the room is a Christmas tree, nicely decorated (with nothing sharp or glass, of course!).  The family gathers in the corner for to have their picture taken.  They all appear happy and have smiling faces and I think how sad it must be to have your only family Christmas portrait taken in a prison.  Do you send this out with your Christmas cards?

Soon after that, our visit ended (thank goodness, I’d had about all I could take!).  I’m sure we’ll be back in April.  Oh joy.  I may make my husband go by himself next time!

December 8, 2008

You know you’re a mom when…

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 9:31 pm
Tags: ,

I frequently read the “New Moms” message board at  The “New Moms” is a bit of a misnomer though.  The board was originally called “Calling All Moms” but WW changed the name a few years ago.  Many of the “oldbies” stuck around despite the new name, so there are moms of all sorts on the board.  Every couple of months, somebody will start a thread titled “You know  you’re a mom when…” and then expect the thread to be filled with things that moms endure (attending a business meeting with spit-up on your suit, cleaning up puke at 2 am, etc).  We had one of those threads just a couple of days ago actually.  By the way, these posts are almost always started by a relatively “young” mom.  And by “young,” I mean they still have fairly young children not that the mom herself is young and many of the people who post to it also still have fairly young children.  Nothing wrong with that, except the threads often end up turning into who has endured the worst event to earn their “Mom” badge.  One mom posted the best ever response on the thread the other day though: “I knew a was a mom when the baby came flying out of my who-haa.”

So what brings this to mind?  I had one of those moments today.

Amber turned 2 last week.  Today was her 2-year well baby check up.  I picked her up from daycare right as they were getting up from their nap.  She was rather quiet on the ride over, but I figured it was because she’d just woken up from her nap.  We get signed in at the doctor’s office and sit in the waiting area.  I’m texting my husband because I want to know why he’s not there yet.  I thought she had to get shots today and I’ve had to hold her down for shots EVERY time she’s gotten them in her young life and I think it’s only fair that HE gets to hold her down at least once!  Well, that’s when it happened.  Out of nowhere, she spews peaches all over the waiting room floor and couch.  Luckily, I have those quick mom relfexes and was able to direct most of it away from me.  I was pretty proud of the fact that none had gotten on me (I was in my blue uniform today, not BDUs, so this was important).  Of course, I had nothing to clean it up, so the angels behind the desk came out and cleaned it all up.

We get back to the exam room and the nurse informs me Amber needs to have blood drawn today (just a finger prick).  Of course, my husband isn’t there yet.  So, I get to hold my poor, sick baby while the nurse pricks her finger and then squeezes it until she gets enough blood to do whatever test they need to do.  This whole time, I’m praying that she doesn’t throw up again while simultaneously holding her in such a position that if she DOES it won’t be on me and cursing my husband for not being there (funny story: he went to the wrong clinic.  Didn’t even realize it until he went inside and they told him Amber wasn’t a patient there (Alyssa and Angelina are patients there though.).  FINALLY, my husband shows up and I pass her off to him (he didn’t wear blues today).  I turned around to grab something and he says, “What’s that on your skirt?”  Yep, that’s right, spewed peaches.  All over the back of my skirt.  Lovely.

And the best part?  Turns out she didn’t need shots today.

November 15, 2008

Calgon take me away!

Filed under: General — by Sandie @ 8:10 pm
Tags: , , ,


Ugh. I woke up with a stuffy head this morning. Great. A cold. And of course it happens today. I mean, my husband is out of town and I had a TON of stuff I needed to get done around the house today.

And did I mention that I’m the world’s biggest baby when I get sick? Yeah, I think I can rival any man in that respect. All I want to do is lay in bed, drink tea, and eat chicken noodle soup. Asking me to function is basically useless.

So, I’ve spent most of today either laying in bed or curled up on the couch feeling sorry for myself and cursing my husband (why? Because obviously it’s his fault that I’m sick. I mean if he hadn’t deployed to Africa, I wouldn’t be sick, now would I? Yes, I realize this is ridiculous, but I’m sick and being a big baby). I did manage to get the girls to clean their rooms. Only because we were trying to find the cat’s collar. Oh and I did manage to actually feed them today (so what if it was Lunchable for lunch and pizza for dinner…I had to make the effort to get off the couch to get them).

And the cat’s collar? We never did find it. If anyone has any ideas where my four year old could manage to hide it, please let me know. I’m fresh out of ideas and she denies any knowledge of the existence of a collar.

Great. Now she tells me Amber threw it in the trash. It’s probably not true, but I’ll still be wading through the garbage later…just to make sure.

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