Brent is off on another trip to an "FOB" (forward operating base) to do more exams. So far he's completed around 1000 out of 3800 total. His goal is to examine each member of his brigade before they begin to return home in May, so that when they all get home, each can have their dental work done quickly and efficiently.
Of course he's just as frustrated as ever. He and his friend Brad (a physical therapist) wrote up a whole "redeployment" plan - a proposal of how to get everyone medically ready to return home. The leadership there seem to work well with Brent's ideas - IF he presents those ideas in a way that makes the leadership think that they came up with the plans all on their own. His take is that even after doing this for nine years, his brigade tries to "re-invent the wheel" each time they re-deploy (return home).
On the homefront, we're trying to decide if we should BUY or RENT. We'll be at Fort Lewis for five years, providing Brent doesn't get called up to a residency program early (meaning someone scheduled to start July of 2010 drops out). At this point in time, I just don't know if it's wise to buy. My big fear is not being able to sell when we are transferred in five years. I've heard financial planners and "real-estate gurus" advise that it's fine to buy if you'll be staying in the house for at least 3 years. But seriously - this economy is NOT going to be recovering any time soon. Then again, the city that we're looking in is probably the best in the area for re-sale. There aren't many homes on the market, or for rent. It's the closest city to the hospital on base. Our mortgage payment would be less than we'd pay to rent... blah blah blah. I keep running the same things through my head.
Here are a few houses that I'm dying to go and check out:
In other news, Dolly Babe and Stinky were the only ones to escape the nasty bacterial infection we had ravaging our home earlier this month. But don't worry - they're getting caught up now, each with a nasty cough to enjoy. We sure are ready for summer!!!
Stinky is almost 14 months, and happy to be crawling. Every now and then he'll take a few steps, but crawling is so much easier and faster! I'm not in a hurry for him to grow up. I like my baby, and know that it won't last much longer. I am, however, looking forward to this July when he will go to the nursery at church!!! I will shout for joy when I no longer have to wrestle him for 3 hours every Sunday. Mostly, we just hang out in the hallways. He's not one of those kids who will play quietly on the floor. Last Sunday I put him down for a minute in Sunday School and 30 seconds later he was trying to untie the teacher's shoes. Nice.
Mini is finally adjusted to primary (at our church, it's the meeting for kids 3-12). For the first few months he didn't want to go and had to sit on his older sister's lap. Now I'm hearing from all of the teachers how well he's doing: sitting quietly, singing the songs, paying attention. It just takes boys a little longer, right? He still refuses to have anything to do with the toilet and LOVES his diapers. I think that we may have to eventually just lay down the law and refuse to buy diapers for him. He's the stubbornest kid there ever was, and I'm just not ready for the fight. He's letting go of nap-time, which is nice, and still loves his brother and sister to pieces.
Dolly Babe is just a joy. She tries to do what is right. She is loving and kind and thoughtful. She loves her friends fiercely, but is learning that sometimes other kids can be mean. She seems to be handling the situations very well. A few of the girls on our street get snotty and catty and she's started finding other friends to play with. I'm grateful that she's not an "exclusive" type of girl. She really loves to play with anyone - young or old, tall or short, light or dark, fat or thin, boy or girl.
I'm grateful to be surrounded by loving and gracious people. I've been given so much help this past year, and it's been wonderful to be near family again. I'm grateful that when we do move, we'll still be within driving distance!