Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Angry (Momma) Bird

My iPhone is passcode protected.  To gain access, you have to know my (supposed) difficult 4-digit code in order to progress to the apps and phone feature.  No, I have no deep, dark secrets lying in wait on my iPhone.  No safeguarded info on espionage in the U.S. and abroad.  I have it passcoded to protect it from my children.  To keep them from gaining access to my beloved Angry Birds game and ruining my high scores.  Ever see the Angry Birds game?  You slingshot birds at pigs.  Seriously.  And I don't want the kids ruining my scores.  Childish, I know.

The photo that started it all...
Last night, Owen (my 7-year old) nearly destroyed my iPhone.  It started out innocently enough.  He wanted to see the picture of Daddy with Kellen that appears when you try to access the iPhone.  Cute, right?  So I left it where it was, with him staring at it, and continued to the mountain of laundry I'd been trying to get to for the past two days.  Then, I helped Abby get a bath and moved on to changing Kellen into his jammies.  When I went back downstairs to tell Owen to get ready for bed, he had *THAT* look on his face.  Before I could say anything, he panically confessed:  "Mom, I wanted to call Daddy and I couldn't figure out your phone!" I looked at the screen.  It angrily flashed at me:  iPhone DISABLED for 60 minutes.

(ME) "What did you do?"(OWEN) "I was trying to call and I couldn't figure out your code!  Are you mad?!?" (ME) "No, but you know you're not allowed to touch my phone!"

NOTE:  I am VERY protective of my iPhone.  I had waited 2 long years to get one, and I love it.  It's my connection to the world.  It keeps me sane on those days I don't see or talk to any adults!  Yeah, I told him I wasn't mad.  But I was lying.  And he knew it.  I had *THAT* look.  The one where the horns grow out of my head, the lasers shoot out of my eyeballs, the flames pour out of my mouth, and the smoke flows freely from my ears.  *THAT* look.  True Mom confession here, but it happens.

Then I made THE fatal mistake.  "Owen, we can't call Daddy now because you broke the phone."  Damn.  I suck at being a parent sometimes.  I knew when I said it that it was wrong; I was angry and didn't think before I spoke.  Big tears welled up in Owen's eyes.  I still can't believe I said it.  "I'm sorry, Mom.  I didn't mean to."

I have to admit, I was not, at that moment emotionally ready to make it better for him.  It wasn't just the disabled phone issue, it was the hour.  8PM is the witching hour at this home - kids are getting ready for bed, Kellen is usually fussing terribly, I have been up for way too long, and I am frazzled beyond all comprehension.  I NEED to get the kids to bed so I can unwind and breath and most likely grab a bite to eat.  The dog needs to go out, the living room needs to be picked up (forget cleaning - if I can just get the toys, clothes, book bags, shoes, you get the picture...), lunches need to be packed, the cat needs fed...I could just keep going and going and going.  And I need sleep, which isn't going to happen.

Amazingly, Jason called right at that moment.  And even disabled, the iPhone works with an INCOMING call.  Daddy can make it all better, and he did.  He spoke with Owen and Abby, tucked them in to bed for me, and the night went on as it should.  I tried my hardest not to say too much to Jason about it.  All I can think when I am complaining to him about stuff here in Ohio is WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??  Ohio is about a billion times better than Iraq and I don't want to weigh him down with my silly worries.  And I was seriously unwilling at that moment to admit my Bad Mommy Moment.

If only it had happened at 2PM and not 8PM!  At 2PM, I am an awesome mom.  The day is still fresh; I'm only partially frazzled; Kellen is likely napping.  I am thinking clearly.  I can stop myself from speaking before thinking.  The kids are doing art projects, planting seeds in the garden, and singing joyful songs at 2PM. Ok, I exaggerate.  But really, I am seriously good at 2PM.

On the flip side, thank goodness it didn't happen at 2AM.  I am the WORST mom at 2AM.  The only one I can (barely) manage to take care at such an ungodly hour is the baby.  And even then, I often fall asleep while feeding him.  (One trick I do at 2AM to stay awake while feeding Kellen:  check facebook and read blogs of my friends - but what if my iPhone is disabled!?!?)  I am a total trainwreck at 2AM.  My mind races.  I think and panic about all the things I can't fix at 2AM....what is the HHE we're entitled to ship to Cairo, again? What if the kids hate their new school?  How are we going to get through a 12-hour flight with the baby?  Will I lose those last 10 lbs?  Can I run in tights in Cairo?  Seriously???  What can I fix at 2AM??!!  Not a damn thing.  Thankfully, the big kids are very rarely up during this time, so they don't have to see me at my very worst of worst moments.

And so, there we were at 8PM.  A bad night, a Bad Mommy Moment.  The Angry Birds game app on my phone was inaccessible, but this Angry (Momma) Bird was feeling discouraged.  The iPhone eventually re-abled (what the opposite of disabled?), and I had access to my adult world again.  And thankfully, 2PM will come around again each day, and I will get the chance to make up for my 8PM Bad Mommy Moment.  I just hope I won't make such a bad one again.


  1. If it's any consolation, this isn't the kind of moment he's going to remember when he's in therapy later in life. Don't be so hard on yourself. (Well, I suppose he will remember it if he reads your blog.)

  2. *HUGS!* Of course, now I am wondering what will send him to therapy!?!?