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Asthma, STA-21, commissioning, and PCSing-- Yikes!

Are you there, blog? It's me, Kimber.

It has been awhile since my last blog post and what a summer it has been!

The boys wearing matching outfits with their cousin
for my husband's commissioning weekend

Our asthmatic toddler had a flair up 3 weeks after we weaned him off Pulmicort under our doctor's guidance. He hadn't had any flair ups and we wanted to see if he still needed daily medication in the summer months, as he is two-years old and is still considered to have "reactive airways." He caught croup which became bronchitis. We landed in the ER, following up with our pediatrician who thankfully followed up with us over the phone as well. Poor little guy was on Orapred in July, back on twice daily Pulmicort doses via nebulizer, and, during the flair up, Albuterol every 3-4 hours. We are keeping him on twice daily doses for 3 weeks before considering to wean him down to once a day, what he was on from May to the beginning of July. We've also considered Singulair. We'll see. I'm going to go in and talk to our pediatrician again before we move from North Carolina to South Carolina (in 8 days). I'm very (very, very, very) anxious about switching pediatricians this close to cold and flu season, especially since he has needed Orapred 3 times in a calendar year and did the Synagis vaccine last year-- also the number of ER visits he has needed. I feel that our current pediatrician is extremely involved in managing his asthma and that we receive excellent care from that office. The nurses know him. The front desk knows him. Our pediatrician is up to date on his treatment whenever we go in to talk to her and she calls us when he's having flair ups. Yeah, not sure we will find someone like her at the clinic on base, but we'll see. The clinic in Hawaii had great doctors, but it was hard to get an appointment and there was a lot of waiting. I also like having the children's ER so close to us now, where we take him now when he needs help. In Hawaii we went to Tripler, which did not have a children's ER and had really long waits. I'm praying the clinic in South Carolina is much more up to date than in Hawaii or we may be switching him to TRICare Standard instead of keeping him on Prime. This is our first move with an asthmatic child.

Ah, yes, can you see there is a lot on my mind?

Our pack out is in 8 days. Our house is NOT ready for the movers to come. My husband graduated and commissioned this past week. Our three-year stay here in North Carolina has come to an end. It feels like we just moved here. In my "About Kimber" during the time he's been going through college with STA-21, it has said:
I started this blog to talk about our life as an active duty military family. With our current assignment, the focus has been much more on the family side of things than the Navy, mostly since the only time I have any Navy interaction is picking my husband up at the ROTC or the Navy/Marine Corps birthday ball.
That is all starting to change. I posted a blog summarizing what the STA-21 program is back in May (read "Seaman to Admiral "Officer's" Program"). As I said, my husband just graduated, getting his degree in mechanical engineering in 3-years with a wife and three kids. I am so impressed with his accomplishment! It was a challenging road and often tested our marriage (read "Marriage"), just due to the stress of the program and the pressures of parenthood. One of my favorite things about this studly man that I married is that we always come out closer and better when we go through these challenges. I truly feel we are more in love now than when we got married over six years ago.

Now that he's graduated it is off to Power School. I know I posted information about this in my blog post "Seaman to Admiral "Officer's" Program," but here is a quick summary again. Before my husband goes back to submarines (and starts going underway), he still needs to complete 3 Navy schools: power school, prototype, and Submarine Officer Basic School. When he enlisted just over 9 years ago he went through power school and prototype. Now that he's commissioned as an officer, he has to go through them again, this time as an officer. We are moving to South Carolina for him to go through power school. It is a 6 month school and we will be with him the whole time, though he will have long hours. Once he finishes power school, he will have to do prototype and Submarine Officer Basic School (SOBC). Prototype is 6 months long and we will also be with him the whole time, again, long hours. He may do prototype in South Carolina, meaning we won't have to move again, or he may do it in upstate New York, meaning we would be moving again. We won't find out where he is doing prototype until around the time he finishes power school, or just after. SOBC is about 2 months long and is unaccompanied. It is in Connecticut. He may go through SOBC after he completes power school or after he completes prototype; again, we won't find that out until later. Our lives for the next 1-2 years will be very "wait and see." We are just kind of taking all of this as it comes and making plans once we know for sure what we are doing (a big reason why we decided to homeschool for the next couple years). I'm sure I've shared this blog with you before, but I have found this blog helpful when learning about these 3 schools (I didn't know my husband when he went through them the first time), "Very) Unofficial Submarine Officer Pipeline Rundown." Here are the 3 posts on each of these schools: "Navy Nuclear Power School Rundown," "Navy Prototype Rundown (Ballston Spa Version)," and "Submarine Officer Basic School (SOBC) Rundown."

I'm a little nervous about making friends again, especially with 3 little boys now. I feel like it will be a lot for my new, unsuspecting friends to take in. :) They aren't as portable now that they are 5-years old and 2-years old; they have little minds of their own. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to join a local twin group there. I have enjoyed the playdates and the twice yearly consignment sale with my local twin group here in North Carolina. We shall see. I may just be busy balancing my husband's schedule and homeschooling our oldest in 5-year old preschool. I feel like my first priority will be finding activities for our boys.

The next couple weeks will be busy for us. I would love to write again soon; it helps me feel more calm and at peace with the world. I've been working on a couple blog posts that I haven't had time to finish or edit and would like to hopefully get them up, you know, when things settle down. Man, I have no idea what it will be like PCSing with 3 kids-- including 2-year old twins and a dog! We are in for an adventure!

I'd love to hear from you!

If you have an opinion on using TRICare Prime or TRICare Standard, please share!

Also, I'd love to hear your tips on PCSing with lots of kids! The last time we PCS'd, we only had one child and he was 2-years old.


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