Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year End, Take Two

I started to do a year end post, but stopped.  It was just too depressing.  Far too depressing, and I don't need any extra pushes that way about now.
So, instead of re capping all of the year, I decided to try again, and only re cap the good part of the year and the big stuff.  Were just going to pretend all the bad stuff didn't happen. K?
This year has been crazy for us.  The biggest thing of all, is that I had The Littlest One!  Yeah for new babies!  She is totally fantastic, and make me laugh every single day.  I am so thankful that we were able to have her!
The next big thing was that we found out that my husband will be retiring next year.  That may not be a positive in every sense, as he would have like a little more time in, but I'm thankful for the fact that our family will be whole again, all the time, very soon.  I look forward to all the changes it will bring and am really excited about our future.

I also thought it might be fun to repost a few of my favorite blogs from this year in case you missed them:
We Let It All Fly
The Dr Said To Stay Pregnant
Our Big Littlest News
Eight Years and Torture
End Of The World

Yes, this year has been hard, but I'm going to try not to remember it that way.  I'm going to try to remember the good.  The great birthday parties we threw.  All the fun times we have had with friends.  The fantastic new little person who came into our lives.  That is how I plan on remember 2011, and not the crappy rest of it.
So, good bye to this year.
Hello to the next.
I'm hoping 2012 brings us a year full of things I don't have to pretend didn't happen.
Happy New Year, and I wish a year full of memories you want to all of you as well.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Tree Debate

While I love to put our Christmas tree up every year, I have to admit that I think I love taking it down more. There is something about cleaning up your house from all the Christmas clutter that makes me feel happy.  Don't get me wrong, I love having it up, too, but cleaning up post Christmas is a great ritual.  There is just something about starting the new year with a totally clean house that feels very appropriate.  in fact, I even plan on cleaning the carpets once it goes down.

This year, though, along with everything else, having my husband deployed has changed that ritual for us.  This year, The Girls want to leave the tree up until he comes back, which will still be a few months.
I don't know if I can handle it for that long.
Christmas trees are beautiful, with all the twinkling lights, shiny ornaments, and other things we lavish them with.  That all makes them one giant magnet for little people, too.  The Littlest One loves the tree.  She LOVES the tree.  She wants to touch it every moment of every day.  She wants to grab a branch and pull it down on herself.  Well, perhaps she doesn't want to pull it down on herself, but she certainly seem to be trying to do just that.
I can't handle it for months more.  Sometimes, it feels like I can't handle it for a moment more.  It is a constant "don't touch that" game that I think she is wining.  I don't like playing this game, at all.
So, we have to find a compromise.   We have to find a way to keep him in mind, and them happy with out putting their baby sister in jeopardy.
Right now, I am leaning toward changing out the tree.  I have a small, 3 or 4 foot, tree that My Husband and I used our very first Christmas together.  I think I can handle leaving that one out.  It won't be our big tree, but hopefully it will be just enough to make them happy, and not enough to hurt the baby if she does finally pull the tree over.  Now, I just have to convince the bigger two that it is the way to go.  These are touchy times, and this is definitely a touchy subject.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Much Love To The Elves of The World

This is the second Christmas that we have ever spent with my husband deployed.  I suppose in 12 years, I should actually consider myself lucky this is only the second.
It is also fitting, I suppose.  He missed The Big One's first Christmas, and now he is missing The Littlest One's first Christmas.  He missed our first Christmas as a family, and now our last Christmas as a military family.
While that may in some morose way be poetic, it is absolutely in no way comforting, and doesn't assist me in making this a magical holiday.  Quite the opposite.
I am very grateful for my Mom, who came home with me for a week after Thanksgiving to help me get started.  With her, I managed to get the tree up, stocking hung, house partially decorated, and start some of my shopping.
Other than that, I have had to get this all together myself.  This is a lot of work.  It takes a ton of planning.  I have done a ton of shopping online.  Thank you, Amazon for giving Amazon Mom members free prime accounts for up to the first year.  It has been a life and wallet saver.  I am pretty sure I should bake something for all the delivery people who have come to my door over and over and over again this year.  If they weren't so busy, we should all be on a first name basis.  Actually, I'm quite sure they all know my name by heart, after seeing it on so many packages.
I have done a ton of shopping on the dl.  I managed to sneak stocking stuffers in under bags of plastic straws and boxes of baby wipes.  I have even whispered to people at registers, asking them to keep certain purchases on the dl as well, and having them quickly double wrap things with a serious poker face on.  To those people, I am thankful.

I have managed to get us to exactly where we normally are the day before Christmas, maybe even a little further ahead since i have been wrapping at night.  We are as ready for Christmas as we can be.  There are two gifts for both sets of parents, things I am making, that will go out a little late, but parents are usually pretty understanding people, and hopefully they will know we love them, and won't be too upset about the late arrival.  In the grand scheme of things, if those are our only casualties, I will be ecstatic.
Of course, there will be tears on Christmas day.  Lots of them.  Missing your spouse on Christmas is hard.  Missing your dad has got to be worse.  The Girls are generally pretty good about it, but we have had some hard moments.  The Big Little One cried at the dinner table the other night.   She was telling me all about what was going to happen on Christmas.  There was a huge lead up of activity, with a culmination of "And then Daddy will come home" after which I had to break her heart by telling her again that it won't happen.  We got through it, though.
So, I'm working on making this the best Christmas it can be.  No Dad.  No other family.  Just us.  I promise to make it the best it can be, no matter how much I have to wrap, how many cookies I have to bake, or how much sleep I lose to see that every single thing is as perfect as it can be.  They will love it, even if a part of their heart is sad.  We all will.  And next year, when we are all together again, we will be even more thankful for the fantastic holiday, and the times we get to spend together, because we will truly understand how special they are, and appreciate them more than many people ever could.
Merry Christmas to All, and may your holiday be as fantastic as possible for you and yours.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Life Is....

...Not a box of chocolates, before anyone thinks I would ever be so cliche.

You might have noticed a little, or really large, lapse in blogging.  Life has been busy, crazy, hard, and so much more lately.
I do have a few blog posts that I just haven't finished yet, but I thought I would give a brief synopsis just to catch everyone up, and a promise that I will do better.  I need to, for me.

So far, we are nearly five months into what will be My Husband's last deployment.  If you missed it, or I didn't publish it, he is retiring next year.  To say that life here is stressful now, is a total understatement.  When I think of all the things we are thinking about, planning for, and dealing with, I picture Atlas.  I know it may be very narcissist of me to compare myself to a mythological god, but when you are dealing with not just your own life, but the lives of three little people who depend of you for everything, it is a little like that.
Not only do we have the normal, suddenly single parent stuff to deal with this deployment, which let me assure you sucks beyond belief, but I am also doing it over Christmas, which adds a whole new level of suck in there, with a child who isn't coping well this time around, at all, again, adding to the suck fest.
On top of doing all this, don't forget that I have an infant this time around, too.
Anyway, much to do, places to pick to live, and so on.
As normal, we went home for Thanksgiving to help my mom with The Country Christmas Show, (google it if you want).  That meant that I took about 5 to 6 hours worth of plane rides with 3 children.  Just me, and The Girls.  That was fun.  Not.
That meant I was totally out of touch for the two weeks we were home, or almost totally.  That show takes up so much attention in a very short time, it feels like I do nothing else when we are there.
Thankfully, and really one of the only 2 reasons I braved it, My Mom came home with me for a week to help me get Christmas started.  I can never thank her, or love her, enough.  Additionally, she drove my car, that I really did love but couldn't fit three car seats in, back home to my brother who bought it from me.  I hate to admit it, but I have to get a bigger car.  No point in doing it now, since no one else drives around here at the moment, and I can drive the truck.  So, we will be a one car family until I pick out what I want, and actually buy it.  If you know how indecisive I am, this may be a while.
Anyway, Christmas is nearly here.  I am almost ready.  The Girls are super excited.  The Big Ones are, anyway.  The Littlest One just like to watch them get all excited about things.  She is getting bigger all the time.  Kind of scary.  Already standing at 7 months, and has 6 teeth.
We still have a few more months to go in this deployment, but we will survive, just like w do everything.
I'll go into more later on, but if I don't blog for a bit, 1)please understand its because I just can't get to it, and 2)you might want to send help.  I may be in a corner rocking myself and humming/mumbling a little tune by Gloria Gaynor.