Monday, May 31, 2010

What are you doing?

Today is Memorial Day. What are you doing to remember those that have gone?

Go to and search "honoring the fallen" and watch soldiers place flags at every headstone in Arlington Cemetery. Watch the National Memorial Day Concert on your local PBS station. Go buy flags or flowers and go to your local cemetery and find those headstones that look a little lonely, that haven't had any love, and leave something there. Or go here and see the faces of those that have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. I found one there, that I kind of knew. His name was Duncan. His mom called me when I was the Relief Society president in San Antonio. His wounds were terrible. His very young wife was also there.

Two years ago, when we were at Fort Bragg, we spent the day with some friends. We went and got some flowers and went to the Fayetteville cemetery and laid flowers. There were many confederate flags, there were even some grave stones from the 1700's. It was a great experience. All my family would do on Memorial Day weekend was go camping. I would like to teach my children the real reason they get a few days off of school, and that dads and moms get days off.

Enjoy your day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost done

Lots of times on facebook, I read about wives who are expressing sadness and a little desperation when they talk about how their husband is leaving for a few days. Or maybe a week or two. Or that the wives are leaving, and how much they will miss their husband.

On good days, I can just scroll right past it and not let it bother me. On OK days, it bothers me, but I can still scroll past it, and I can let it go. On bad days, it is all I can do to not leave a comment that says something like "cry me a river" or "suck it up". Or something even more unkind like "well, if he's not in a war zone, I'm sure it will all be fine".

I try so hard to realize that these people have never experienced anything like what I am going through. I also try to remember that we are all so different, with our own different challenges and personal struggles. Not to mention that facebook is such a teeny tiny part of that persons life or day.

Right now, I can see the light at the end of this year long tunnel. Every day it gets brighter. My worry is no longer "if I can make it through the year" but "I hope I don't kill him during the transition". In talking to the woman in charge of our Battalions FRG leaders (which from now on I am just going to call our FRSA) she says that there are studies that have been done that say that the transition after deployment is actually more difficult than deployment. It was hard last year after he had only been away from us for four months. I can only imagine how fun it is going to be this time around......

But regardless, it will be so great to have him home. My kids need their dad. And, I'm going to be honest here, I need my husband. It is hard work being the only person to get things done. I could probably handle just the household stuff, but I have to take care of the vehicles, the yard, the house, the bills......anyway, just everything. And because I'm not superwoman, things fall through the cracks. I'm looking forward to going out with him on dates. To having someone to talk to in the evenings. To simpler things like getting to hold his hand, to reach over and touch him! Even the things that irritate me, like the noises he makes in the morning, or him leaving his bike stuff all over the place.

About a month before he left, I had somewhat of a melt down. I just laid on our bed and cried and cried. Just the thought of being alone for a year was so overwhelming to me, especially after we had only been together for a few months after he had been gone for four months. He came in and just held me and let me cry. And now, here we are...almost to the end.......thank goodness.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sentimental over stilly stuff

When my kids were little and they grew out of their clothes, I dutifully saved all those not stained beyond recognition. I had been given hand me downs from many friends, along with generous gifts, and I knew that if I didn't use them, I could pass them along. (although I fully expected to use them again.)

Now, several years later, and several large bins full of clothes later (not to mention at least four moves) I am still holding on to some of those bins. And right now, we are still a two child family. And I am feeling very silly holding onto bins full of baby clothes, when we haven't had a baby in our house for four years. (and no sign of one)

But even thinking about actually giving them all away makes me sad. It's like I'm giving up on having any more. Or even the possibility of having more. We aren't closing the door to that part of our lives, but it seems like that door is getting close to being closed.

There is a lady at church who is expecting a baby, and I told her I would go through all my baby boy clothes and give them to her. I will keep some of the clothes, because I just couldn't get rid of all of them. But what use are they sitting in bins? Zero. If I give them to her, I will free up at least one bin, if not two, and give me a little extra space for other things. It's practical, and it needs to be done. But I am such a sentimental dork.......I just don't want to. I have to do it soon, they will be leaving.......maybe I'll do it fast, so it won't hurt as much. You know, like taking off a band aid........

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Progress is progress.......I guess

For the last 19 months, I have avoided babies. I don't hold them. I don't talk about them. I was even offered point blank if I wanted to hold my cousins' baby. I was caught a little off guard, but I said no.

It has also felt as if everyone around me is pregnant, or having a baby. And it isn't just people I see at the store. These are friends, really good friends. And I get it. At my age, many of my friends are still adding to their families. And most of them are very aware of my situation. Two of them even told me before they even told their families.

After my husband left to go back to Afghanistan, and it became very obvious that I was not pregnant, it was very painful. That particular time was a very dark week.

A few weeks ago, I was at a very casual wedding reception. A woman I know from church was there, and she had recently had a baby. She was hungry, but had her arms full with her baby. And without even thinking about what I was doing, told her that I would hold him, so that she could go and get herself something to eat. Nursing mama's need to eat.:) And then I held him. It was an odd feeling. I held him until she had finished.

Today at church, a tiny baby was right in front of us. My daughter keeps telling me she wants a sister (heaven help me if we did have another girl) and I remind her that it would be a baby, not a little girl ready to play.

What does all this mean? I don't know. Maybe I am finally healing. Maybe I am..........progressing in a positive direction. I still don't want to hold babies. Or, quite honestly, have anything to do with them right now. But progress is progress.

It's Sunday Morning

And I'm waiting for my husband's connection to get back up so he can call me. While I wait, here is what I wanted to post last night, but I ended up watching La Vie en Rose.

La Vie en Rose was so so sad. Her whole life, beginning to end, was like a nightmare that sometimes you thought was going to end, but then it didn't. It makes my heart hurt for all those whose stories are similar (or worse) and never make it to a movie.

I have forgotten what it was like to have warm weather. We've had temps in the 70's these last few days, and it is amazing what that has done for me! It just proves to me that I am right to insist to my husband that where ever we end up living for the rest of our lives (hopefully, anyway) has lots of sun, warm temperatures, and not too much rain.

The eggshell situation is taken care of. It ended up being that this person knew that it was all on their end, and I didn't have to do a thing. I was prepared to do it. I even rehearsed what I was going to say. And now, all is well.

I have decided to switch all my pans to cast iron. I have used a flat round griddle and a medium sized skillet so far, and I LOVE them. They are awesome. I know I can get them from Walmart, but I know Marshalls and Ross get them in for much less. So, now I'm on the lookout for a small and large skillet and a square griddle. I might even get a dutch oven. I know, me the woman who hates camping. But you can put that baby in your oven instead of having to use coals. Extra iron in your diet sure doesn't hurt either.

Man, my husbands connection still isn't up. While I know we could have it much much worse (I'm thinking of my grandma at home while my grandpa was on the front lines in Korea and how all they could do was write letters, and got an occasional, and very rare and a very bad connection phone call) it still gets irritating. We spend a nice chunk of money to even have this connection (which many soldiers can't always afford, nor are all of them able to even have an internet connection) and it is so bad sometimes. Ok, he is back on!! Hooray! Now, this commercial break is brought to you by Skype. Greatest thing ever. Go buy webcams and download this. My kids love talking to their grandparents and aunts and uncles on it. Not to mention our good friends. Free is worth it!

I actually made dinner last night. Since he has been deployed, it has become more difficult to make real meals. When it's just you and two little kids, grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese (organic of course), quesadillas, and other simple dinners have become the norm here. (even pancakes for dinner, which is their favorite!) I had mashed potatoes that I needed to use, so I looked up a few recipes for shepherds pie and did my own with the ingredients that I had. It came out pretty good, I think. My husband has changed his diet pretty drastically, so some things that I used to make he won't eat anymore, but a lot of them he still will. I have also decided to use quinoa instead of rice from now on. Tastes good, and far outweighs rice in the nutrient area. (iron, protein and omega-3's to name a few) I will have to try and get back into making real meals before he gets home. Maybe even getting him a barbecue so that he can make his favorite: salmon on the grill.

We are coming to the end of this deployment. Been looking at my calendar, and what we have going on for the next few months, and he will be home before we know it. It has not been an easy year. People outside of the military, to whom deployment is a very foreign thing, ask how we survive, how we do it. Same as everyone else, day by day. I probably should have asked for more help than I have. I think that I have to be able to do things on my own, or try to prove to people that YES I can do it without you thank you very much. Yeah, little bit of a pride issue there. I have gotten a sitter more often lately, and my neighbor (I teach her daughters piano lessons and she makes me dinner and watches my kids in exchange) is complaining that she isn't doing enough for me, and that it is becoming one-sided. Now that the sun is coming out more often, and I feel better (seriously, the sun is like my heal all. well, that and the beach.) I think I will be doing more.

I have really been trying hard to drink more water. I have a hard time drinking enough water when it is cold. Warm weather, no problem. I have managed to drink quite a bit lately, and I can feel my body feeling better. My ankle is also healed, and I am hoping to start running again. Having to take a break affected my stamina, but I managed a little more than 3 miles the other day on the elliptical, and kept my rpm's between 60 and 64 for the entire time. And I am trying to eat more protein and less sugar. If my husband, who used to eat a half gallon of ice cream in less than 24 hours and compulsively would eat candy (he really would), can stop eating all sugar and eat nothing but vegetables and protein, I should be able to do better at what I eat. I am not looking to lose weight or drastically change my body. I AM looking to feel better and be more healthy. I want to be one of those old ladies that at 78 is still active, able to take care of herself, and goes down kicking.

And lastly, I want to share this. A man after my own heart. Spelling is so important. And even WITH spell check, you need to proofread. You can be sure that I use spell check and proofread. I want people to read what I write, and not focus on incorrect spelling or poor grammar. And now I'm off to proofread this.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My mouth is too big to walk on eggshells....

So, I seem to have this gift. I say what I think. I have worked for years to install a filter between my brain and my mouth, so that those things that really shouldn't be shared stop before they come out of my mouth. Some days it is hard to keep it shut. But as I have gotten older, I have gotten much better. Only when I feel really safe (like when I'm talking to my best friend, or some other old friends that know me well) do I say what I really want to say. Or, I write it in my journal, and sometimes in the past, I have written it here.

But tonight, a sentence as innocent as a marshmallow caused someone to leave our church meeting. And looking back, I could have kept my mouth shut, and it wouldn't have been a big deal.

This could be a few things. One, maybe this person had a bad day, and that was the last straw. Two, this person could have something against me (there is a small history) and had had it with me. Three, this person is just easily offended, and anyone else could have said the same thing with the same reaction. But right now, at 11:15 as I type this, I have no idea.

I can't change anything at the moment. There have been efforts made to rectify the situation. But who knows.

I guess I have just never been taught to walk on eggshells without breaking the crap out of them. Maybe by the time I'm 80?????

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Just wanted to say thanks to the woman who FOLLOWED me to my destination (my friends house), WAITED for me to get out of my car, and then proceeded to YELL at me from her car telling me that I needed to slow down, that children live around there.

What did I do? Well, I got my daughter and I quickly into my friends house, because if someone is going to take the time and follow you just to yell at you who the hell knows what else they are going to do. Did I say anything? Um, no. Do I wish I had? Yes. Perhaps have given her the phone number to our local police station. Much easier to just take down my license plate number and give them a call. Or, maybe told her I would call the police myself if she was going to be crazy and follow me. Maybe I could have pointed out that I was going maybe 5-7 miles over the speed limit, that my car is a Prius and they don't exactly have much get up and go. Not to mention the fact that at 10am on a Friday, there aren't any kids out, because they are all at school.

What I should have done was take down her plate numbers and called the police telling them a strange lady followed me and yelled at me, and tried to take the law into her own hands. That would have been fun.

Seriously, who hasn't gone over the speed limit, especially when they are in a hurry???? Don't know if I chalk this up to living in a small town (which I keep getting told is SO MUCH BIGGER than it used to be. I am just a city girl at heart. I mean, when there isn't one street that has two lanes going one direction......can we say small......) or just that I happened to be in front of a crazy person.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It ends.....

Before school started, a lady at church asked if I would be interested in doing a co-op preschool for my daughter. I wasn't sure if I wanted to or not. But there was a lot of structure, and I figured that once every five weeks isn't that bad.

This is my last week. At the beginning of this, whenever it was my turn, I was so worried about it. Having six four year olds in the house, hoping to actually TEACH them something, and having everyone be happy at the end seemed overwhelming. Today, we made something for Mother's Day (which is just the worst holiday of the year, seriously.), practiced writing their whole names for Kindergarten for next year, add to that snack time, play time, story time and some running outside when the rain stopped, it went pretty well.

I have decided something though: if we have any more children, I don't think I would do this again. Have I learned from this? Yes. Have I grown? Yes. Did it save me some money from having to find a preschool for my daughter? Yes. I also got to make some good friends with the other moms, that I might not have, had we not done this. And while I do think she has benefited from doing this preschool (and I think she wishes it were every day) she probably could have learned more from teachers who actually KNOW how to teach this age group.

I will miss my break from my daughter twice a week, and boy will she miss going to preschool every week. But we're moving on to bigger and better things!!! Bring on Kindergarten!!!