When I first decided to do the Super (Silly) Mom interview series I never intended to focus on “celebrities” or business women. I wanted to share with all of you the people who inspire me and make me laugh. I am so excited about this interview because Jennifer is one of my favorite bloggers. Seriously. She’s in my top 5 and I will stop whatever I’m doing to read her posts because they are hysterically sarcastic while still being brutally honest.
I met Jennifer when we were both childless. We were in nursing school together at Auburn University and were really just acquaintances until we reconnected on Facebook. (Ha! You thought I was going to say Twitter!) I read one blog post and we began corresponding via blogs and the interwebs about our crazy lives with three children born very close together. Another reason I love Jennifer is because not only is she a military wife but she served in the Navy as well. The woman is hard core.
We can commiserate over moving with kids and never living close to family, and although I win the number of zip codes award, the award for the longest distance move goes to Jennifer. She lives in Guam, with her submariner husband and three kids. Did I mention she’s pregnant?
(I told you she was hard core.)
How many moves?
Really only three. We got married in college, and Nick graduated first, so he moved to Charleston for Navy school while I stayed in Auburn to graduate my own self, a year later. Then I got stationed in Norfolk, VA, while he had to head to New York for a little more school before he joined me in VA about another year after that. We stayed in VA for another four years (gross, I know, but we were trapped! My rotation date came up, but he had a year left on his VA boat, so I extended for that year. Then his rotation came around, but I had to finish out my time there, so we had to stay. I lived there for FIVE LONG YEARS!!!) So we finally did our second move together, to Groton CT. First time I’ve ever seen snow, and let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy transition. We were there for the six months of winter! Double gross. And then we moved to Guam in March of this year. Quite a change.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a “military wife”?
You caught me on a bad day, so I have a lot of complaints right now. I’ll have to go with the traditional it’s-hard-because-I’m-married-to-the-Navy-as-well-as-to-my-husband. Unlike my husband, the Navy does not care if I want to sleep in, or if I want Nick around for my birthday this year, or if I want him to be in port for my next delivery. Another obvious hard part is being so far away from my natural support group. Even in VA, I couldn’t just call my mama and say “I’m going bonkers, can I drop your horrible grandkids off for the afternoon?” It’s hard on the grandparents too, especially Nick’s family. I grew up in the military, so at least my parents were prepared for this. Nick’s parents looked like we slapped them in the face every time we moved their grandkids further away.
But I get a different support group in the other boat wives. Especially out here. We all are in the same boat. (Get it? Hehe.) Nowhere else in the world would another woman understand what I mean when I say “Oh crap, I haven’t emailed Nick in two days, he’s gonna think I left him.” These women know what it’s like to be alone, tired and trying to explain to a three year old that even though his daddy loves him, he can’t come home to plunge his stuffed Nemo out of the toilet. We’re all willing to help out, no matter what, because, as selfish as it sounds, we know that when the time comes, we want to be able to say “You gotta do this for me, because I did that for you.”
What’s your favorite thing about Guam?
Er, I’m still watiting for Guam to “grow” on me. Everyone swears it will, but I’m still waiting. It’s beautiful, and the weather is nice…but I could look at pictures. The weather is nice in southern California too. This was a total shock to me, because I wanted to come here. We’re the only people I’ve met who actually put it as number one on their dream sheet. So, it sort of broke my heart to get here and discover that I hate it. Does that make sense? If I had been dragged here kicking and screaming like everyone else, I would expect to hate it. But this is what I wanted, and I didn’t want to hate it. And I guess I don’t hate it. The things I hate (being away from my mama, having too many kids, not having a job, not having a lot of friends)-those things would be the same no matter where we got stationed, you know? So, it’s not Guam, it’s just this period in my life, I guess. Triple gross.
What’s your least favorite thing about Guam?
They don’t have a Chik-Fil-A and the Diet Coke tastes funny…and someone stole my iPod right out of my van. So see? If those are the worst things about Guam, it can’t be THAT bad, right?
Describe your ideal Momma friend.
My ideal mama friend is my high school best friend Angela. (FAIL! She was supposed to say me.) I still don’t understand why she won’t move out here with me! Gets my sarcasm, check. Is also sarcastic, check. Understands the difference between being ‘pessimistic’ and ‘realistic’, check. Doesn’t mind when I call her for no reason other than to hear the sound of another adult voice, check. Can identify all my favorite movie/Friends quotes, check. (That one is a biggie for me!)
I need a friend who doesn’t care that my three year old uses a pacifier- who doesn’t feel like she’s better BECAUSE my three year old uses a pacifier. My ideal friend can’t have an immaculate house, or else I’ll never want to come over and hang out. That would be too depressing. She can’t be too skinny either, or if she is, she can’t ever say, “Oh man, I look so fat today!” She doesn’t need to be “entertained.” A date for the two of us can be going through the McDonald’s drive through for an apple pie and a funny tasting Diet Coke, then heading back to her messy house to watch Snapped on Oh! If I call her, my ideal friend would know what I meant when I blurted “He just did it AGAIN!!!” She’d tell me to stop whining when I complained about Nick having duty on Friday, so I have to give the kids a bath even though I need to watch SCI (we get TV a day later, isn’t that weird?) She’d also listen to me whine, if she knew that’s what I really needed. And she would know, that’s the best part.
So, think my standards are too high? Probably. But I’m honored to say that I’ve met a handful of women out here who mostly fit the bill, and I still have my online friends and my high school bestie. What’s a fourteen hour time difference when you have BlackBerry messenger anyway?(PING!)
Tell me about baby number four!
Ahh, number four. I am due the end of January, begining of Feb. Haven’t had my twelve week ultraousound, so as a former L&D nurse, I don’t have an official due date yet. This will be the LAST addition to Team Engelbrecht. It was always my plan to have four, but after Warren came along, we switched to three. He was such a horrifying baby that the idea of having another one, even HALF as bad, made my skin crawl. But he stopped crying for a few weeks and that’s all it took for me to say “AWWW, I need another baby!” I got knocked up, and he was back to his old self before I even finished peeing on the stick.
But seriously, good baby or bad, this is the end. And have I mentioned that this kid BETTER BE A GIRL? Because I wanted four little blonde girls. So far, I’ve got one brunette girl, and two blonde boys. So this is it, she better do this right.
Read Jennifer’s blog, you will want to move to Guam to go through the MickeyD’s drive through and be her bestie.