Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Death Talk

Recently, we have had to have "The Death Talk" with The Big Girls twice.
The first time, it was in regards to a person, my aunt.  She didn't actually die, but she will, and probably soon.  I don't say that flippantly.  I love her, dearly.  She is a little kooky and crazy, but its all good, and she is probably the person in my extended family that I have spent the most time without, except for possibly one cousin to whom I am pretty close.  I've grown up around her, since she and my mom have worked together for my mom's business since I was very little.  I have traveled with her.  When I think of the beach, I instantly think of her.  I really do love her, and she is dying.  Slowly.  She has two artificial valves in her heart, and has since she was 17.  Her heart is totally failing now.  There isn't much anyone can do.  I knew she was getting worse, then, a couple of weeks ago, my Mom called to tell me that she may not make it through the next day.  They were at a very serious point where a procedure could be done to give her time, but it may also cost her life.  My Sister and I decided to go up immediately, but before I could leave, I had to tell The Girls why I was going. The Big One also loves this aunt.  She really does.  She looks forward to seeing her every time we go home.  The craziest thing of all is that this aunt taught The Big One how to whistle, and they are the only two people I have ever met that sound exactly like a bird when they whistle, and can only whistle like that.  Its makes for painful car trips, at times, but it is one of those endearing things in life that you both love and hate.  So, I had to sit her down and tell her that it was very likely this wonderful woman may not be with us any more, and prepare them for what seemed like the inevitable.  We were very lucky, though.  The Drs told us she would never go home, but they were wrong.  We got a little more time with her.  It won't be forever, but we will be thankful for what we get.
Talking to the girls was a difficult moment.
It was preparation, for what may be, and what will be.  It was preparation for today.
On the way back from a long work filled week with my family, My Husband called with bad news.  One of our guinea pigs, Pinky, died suddenly.  We have no idea why.  She seemed fine when he checked on them last night before he left for work  When he went in to check on them this after noon, she was dead.  The other one was trying to nudge her with her nose.  He didn't know what to do.  We talked as discreetly as we could with me in the car.  He took her out of the cage, and placed her in a shoe box until we could talk to The Girls and go from there.
For some reason, from the moment we got home, all The Big One wanted to do was play with Pinky.  Perhaps it was because The Girls were able to play with sugar gliders during the show, and it made them miss their pets, but rarely is she so intent on playing with them the moment she walks in the door.  We put her off.  A lot.  We had things to do.  We had a truck to unload.  At one point, she looked at My Husband and ask why he twitched every time she said Pinky.  Finally, we couldn't put off the inevitable.  We had to tell them.  IT was terrible.  The Big One broke down instantly, the moment she realized what we were trying to tell them.  We couldn't even finish before she was a bawling heap on My Husband's lap.  The Middle One was sad, but slower to process.  It will take her a while.  She will pop up and say something profoundly sad, then go back to being quiet.  It is her process.
We ask The Girls if they wanted us to take care of Pinky.  The Big One wanted to be a part of the burial.  The Middle One did not, which is totally fine. The Big One ask for flowers to put on her grave, and tomorrow, I will get all the things we need, and we will bury our little pet, their first pet.
This is a hard lesson.  We talked at length about pets and death at dinner.  Pinky was young and died suddenly.  We just don't know why.  That can happen again if we get another pet, and they need to know that.  They need to understand that no life is permanent.  We will always remember and love Pinky, though. They know that.  They will be sad for a while, and that is ok. They will cry more.  We all will some.  That's ok, too.
Some lessons are hard and I hate to see my children learn them.  I wish I could protect them from this, but that just isn't reality.  Death is just a part of life, no matter how much we wish it wasn't.  Though I sincerely hope that we can put off learning more from this lesson for as long as possible.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Better Lunch

When you space your children 4 years apart each, you tend to forget things in between.  I usually can't remember what I did yesterday.  So, the fact that i have to re learn some of the best little parenting lessons each time they pop up shouldn't be a surprise to me, or anyone that knows me.
Today's little parenting lesson relearned, if you want to actually each your own lunch, you must make two.  You see, we have entered the phase with The Littlest One where whatever we have on our plates looks infinitely better than what ever is on her plate or high chair tray, even if it is the same exact food.  It must be the presentation, and the big silver fork.  She does like the shiny things.  Regardless, she likes our food far more than her own.  As any good parent would, I tend to give up a good portion of my lunch to her.  The thing is, I usually don't want to trade back for what she has, again, even if it is the same food.  Once she has it, she tends to destroy it, or in foodie terms, she likes her meals deconstructed   I'm more into a polished, total meal, than a deconstructed one that might have a little snot, or who knows what else, mixed in.  Therefore, I need to remember to make two plates for myself from now on.  The first plate will be my decoy plate.  I will star off by pretending to eat from it.  Then, once she makes her move, I can start surreptitiously eating from the second plate, while feeding her everything from the first.  I know it sounds difficult, but I am hungry and desperate to eat an actual meal.  I am glad she likes real food, and good food, too, but I wish she would like it a little more on her own plate, and not so much just from mine.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

And That's Why We Moved Here

Moving from California was hard for us.  Or course it was physically difficult.  I doubt that anyone would think packing up everything you own and moving it yourself across country with three children would be easy.  Far from easy.  I would tell you that it is far less than pleasant, in fact.  Mentally, it was challenging, deciding what would go, what would be given away, how to pack what and where, and making sure we were well within our time line.  On top of all that, though, was the emotional factor.  California was really home to us, at least The Girls and I.  I don't think My Husband ever loved it like we did, and let me assure you we did, but he had lived there, at least when we wasn't deployed, for the last eight years as well.
The thing is, sometimes life gives you choices.  In our case, it was a choice that had to be made quickly.  When the opportunity rose, My Husband and I chose to move our family thousands of miles away, to an area that neither of us had ever lived in before, to try to make a better life for our family.
We chose to move here for a couple of reasons.
First, there was a job.  That happens to be a big deal right now.  He was retiring from the military, and while there were other jobs that looked like they would work in California, they weren't in San Diego, where we were.  They were pretty close.  None of them seemed perfect, though.  Then, this location popped up, gave him a call, and said they wanted him immediately.  Seriously, they said he needed to there in about a week and a half.  That was impressive.  Furthermore, they were totally impressed with him.
The location seemed ok.  The area looked decent.  Not a small town, but not huge, either.
The kicker, though, and what really clenched it for us, was that all of our families would be close.  His family was about two and a half hours away.  My sister was two hours in another direction.  My mother, brother, and the few other family members I actually want to speak to are about three hours in yet another direction.  That put us just about smack dab in the middle of everyone.  With three children to travel with, being in the middle of everyone seemed like the easiest place to be.
So far, I would say that is correct.  In the very few months that we have been in this house, my sister has come in twice, my mother twice, and we have gone to see all of them once each.  That means we have already seen more family than we have in the past few years.  This past week was Fall Break for The Girls at school.  We had a full week, and I would say that we used it to it's fullest.  We took the first weekend, and drove up to see My Husband's family.  We went to a unbelievable pumpkin patch.  The kids got to spend a ton of time with their cousin.  We got to hang out with my Sister-In-Law, which was nice.  Then, they got to spend some great time with their grandparents.  We had a fun few days.  After that, we came home to work on a few very important things here.  First, there was a science project to complete.  The Big One needed to make a model of a plant cell.  She and I spent a few days working on that, with me mostly guiding, but helping out as needed.  Second, there were Halloween decorations to start.  We love Halloween.  Decorating is a big deal for us, now that we have an actual yard to decorate.  We only got a small start, putting up the first part of our cemetery in the yard, and two of our inflatables, but at least we got started.  There was also a leaf or two, or two thousand, that needed to be taken care of.  We five bags of leaves just from the driveway, and one side of our curb (we have a corner lot with two curbs to take care of).
Once we were done here, we drove three hours in the opposite direction as our first trip, and we to go see my family.  It was also awesome.  We didn't do a lot, but we got to hang out, and that was fantastic.  The Girls got to see their other cousin, The Dangerous One, and play.  We went to my brother's house for dinner one night.  They had a Nerf war with them.  The Big One spent all night loving on, aka torturing, one of their cats.  It was seriously great.  My Sister came in, and almost every one was there.  That usually only happens once a year on Thanksgiving.  So, getting to do it on just a random weekend, was so incredibly special to me, it was just awesome.
Being able to just see our loved one, and finally getting to let the girls really be with their families, makes all the hurt of missing the ones I love, my chosen family back in San Diego, and  my home in general, dealing with all the things that are so much harder for me when living in the south, and really the Bible Belt, so much better.  This is why we moved here.  For the love, for the family.  I'm glad we did.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Please Don't Wreck Because Of Me

**This post is a cross post from my other blog.  I have a weight loss blog with a really cheesy name that I have just started writing in again. If you want to read about my goal to not be fat, please start reading the other blog as well.  **

I may have said this before, but as a general rule, until I got very serious about losing weight, I never ran. Running was reserved for things like hurt children that I had to get to, zombies or other predators following me, or bees.
Quite frankly, the thought of running didn't even appeal to me, in the least.  I thought people who ran were a little nutty in the head.  I mean, there are a thousand ways to exercise besides running down a a sidewalk in skin tight clothes for every one on the face of this earth to stare at.  I like those other ways.
However, no matter how much I like them, I haven't been doing them enough, because I am still fat.
Before getting pregnant with The Littlest One, I was actually trying to run at least once a week at an actual track.  I used a couch to 5k app that I put on my phone.  It was kicking my butt.  I was losing a ton of weight with everything that I was doing, though.  Then, I did get pregnant and I gained 45 lbs or so.  Yes.  It sucks.  I am now re losing everything that I had lost before.  Totally sucks.  Every drop of sweat shed, just to have to do it all again.  So, here we are.  I don't have that track to run on anymore, though, and i need to do this a little more faithfully.  Most of the time I used to exercise, it was using DVDs inside.  Now, though, The Littlest One doesn't appreciate being put in baby jail, aka the play pen, for 30 minutes or so to watch me sweat, followed by another 20 minutes in the pen so that I can shower.  In fact, it kind of pisses her off.  So, I bought a really good jogging stroller, and I decided to use it.  I had to.  My husband said with as much money as we spent on it, it better have some "damn dirt on those damn wheels".  I agree.
Now, I go out three times a week, and use the couch to 5k app.  For the first week, that means a warm up walk, followed by intervals of walking and jogging.  Its great and all, except I don't exactly have a place to run, so I run around my neighborhood, down the side of the street, for everyone to watch.  Not in skin tight clothes, though, I promise.  I wouldn't do that to my self or anyone else.  No matter what I wear, though, I'm still out there bouncing around for all to see.  Between my gigantic boobs, and the spare tire midsection, there is a whole lotta bounce going on, too.  I have had some serious stares.  I thought I was going to cause a wreck the other day.  I try to purposefully time my list jogging interval to be a down hill run, because i need the assistance to finish it by that point.  So, I run, down hill, as hard as I can.  It stop at a 4 way intersection.  The thing is, the cars coming to that intersection can see me coming.  One particular car not only noticed me, but I think they were concerned.  They were staring hard.  I'm not sure if they thought the fat girl was being chased,and were looking for the zombies or bees,  thought I lost control and were waiting to see be go head over heals down the side walk, or simply couldn't take their eyes off my bouncing melons, but they just kept sitting there.  Other cars were coming.  Other cars were waiting at the stop signs.  Still, they sat.  It wasn't until I actually came to a stop they they were able to move on.  Perhaps they had assured themselves that there were no zombies chasing me, and all was safe in the world.
No matter, though, I will keep running.  I have to.  I have set my own goals, and I really want to run a 5k. Moreover, though, I really want to be healthy.  I am going to do this.  I am going to keep working hard, and I will get back down to where I was, and beyond.  In the mean time, when you see me running by, please don't stop and stare, and really please dont' wreck.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Its All Bitter Sweet

Today is The Fourth of July.  Today we celebrate our nation's birthday.  This is the day we all wear red, white, and blue, and come together to show our pride as a country.  It is also one of those days when we are especially thankful for those who have served in uniform.  The members of our military, who have kept our nation safe, and have ensured we are able to enjoy all of our freedoms, today and everyday, are in the for front of many of our thoughts.  I know they are in mine.  I have spent Independence days with out my husband.  We have been separated, instead of celebrating, while he was out keeping us safe, patrolling our water ways, transporting enemy combatants, airlifting the injured to medical help, and what ever else our nation ask of him.
So, today, I think of all those families around me right now, and how their lives are impacted this July Fourth, by the vital jobs someone in their families do.
Then, I think about next year, when we won't be a military family anymore.  This is very likely the last year we will get to see "The Big Bay Boom" with all the fireworks displays over San Diego Bay, an incredible sight to see.  We won't be driving on base next year, since even if we stay in Southern California, we will be too far away, to enjoy the show, and pal around with the people he works with on the roof top of his building.  We won't be dong any of that.  He won't even work with those people any more.
I find myself trying to enjoy things a little more, maybe looking at the little things a bit differently, because I realize how final it all could be.
The military, and the lifestyle that accompanies it, has been a part of everything we do, for the entirety of the time that I have known my husband.  I see that ending, and honestly, its a little like seeing a death coming from far out.  I try not to be morose about it all, but when you are staring down the barrel of a very uncertain future, its hard not to be.
I need to take the time to enjoy what we have, and not miss it now, but again, that's hard to do.
I will try, though.  For the next 3 and a half weeks, because that is all we have left, I will try my best to celebrate the life we have had, and not mourn it.  I will try to enjoy the time, places, and people that we know, and not miss them before I am gone.  I will.  More importantly, I will try my best to look forward to our future, instead of constantly looking back.  Its hard, but I will try.
no one ever told me, though, that one of the hardest parts of being a military family is the leaving, and I wish they would have.  Perhaps then I would have been more prepared for this.  Perhaps.
So, Please enjoy your day.  Celebrate.  Take pride in everything that makes our nation great.  Remember those who have fought, or are fighting, to keep us free.  Thank you, and happy Fourth!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You Is Not Enough

Today is Memorial Day.
I guess the impending retirement for my husband is making me sentimental of all things military, or maybe I get this way every Memorial Day and don't realize it, but I am very grateful today.  I spent the day, just the girls and I as My Husband is currently out of town trying to find a new job, thinking over and over about all the people I know who have served.

I thought about my grandfather who served in World War II.  He fought under General Patton, and when his unit was over run by German forces, he was forced to play dead.  As if that wasn't enough, he had to be totally still and silent as someone ran a bayonet through him to be sure he was really gone.  He survived, though and came home with a Purple Heart for his trouble.

I thought about my own father, who served in Vietnam.  I called to ask him again what medals he received for his service, so that I could tell our girls about him.  I ask him to tell the the story one more time of how he received is own Purple Heart, the one he won't wear, though I know it well.  He was out on patrol, and a motor came in screaming in.  He started running for camp as fast as he possibly could.  It wasn't fast enough.  The munition exploded behind him and sent him flying.  He wound up with shrapnel in his legs and was awarded a Purple Heart.  He believes, though, that he isn't deserving.  It isn't that he wasn't injured, but he did nothing heroic, and he doesn't feel this his injury deserves the same award as the men and women who have lost arms, and legs.  He feels what he went through is nothing in comparison, and shouldn't be treated the same.  I respect that, though I respect the Purple Heart he was awarded as well.  He still has some of that shrapnel in his legs, and from time to time some works it way out.

I thought about my husband, who is trying his best to find a new position in this world.  I thought about how thankful I am he didn't take after my family, and end up with a Purple Heart of his own.  He has served so faithfully for the last 20 years, and I am so proud of all he has given in support of this nation.

I thought about a friend who lost her husband a few years ago, and how her life has changed.  I remembered him.  I remembered the phone call telling me that the crash we were all waiting to hear about was him.  His flight.  His helicopter.  Spending part of that night at her house, just standing there, all of us that could get there.  Not knowing what to do.  I remember mobilizing our moms group, and taking so much food every day she had to tell me to stop.  When I think of it all, my heart still breaks for her, and their children.

Other faces flash before my eyes.  People I knew of.  People My Husband knew.  People that left so much pain behind.

They gave all.

Great-full is not even enough of a word.  I doubt very seriously that there truly are words that would ever show the depth of my appreciation.  I try my best to use all the words I can to explain to my own children what today is about, not food, or beach trips.  Not grilling, or anything like that.  Today is about memories.  Today is about gratitude.  Today, is about thanks.  For without those brave men and women, we would not be the nation we are, imperfect though we may be, we are still great.  Without them, we wouldn't be at all.
So, thank you, to everyone who has ever donned the uniform and to those who were left behind when the ultimate price was paid for that freedom.  Thank you.  For all that we are, thank you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Don't Want Him to Go Quietly

My Husband's retirement is coming up very, very quickly.
We have been a little worried, and stressed, about getting our lives rolling, and generally looking toward building our future for a while.
There is one thing, though, from our present, soon to be our past, that really hurt me this week.
When he first found out that he hadn't made the last rank he needed, and was being forced to retire, My Husband was hurt.  He was angry.  I understand that.  This is actually a job he loves, and he is good at, and he is being forced to leave it.  While I am thrilled about no more deployments, or moves after we make our next one, leaving this life is hard.  This is all we have known together.  For the last 12 years, I have been a military fiance or wife.  My children have never known anything else.  They don't understand a civilian life, where Dad comes home every night for dinner.  They don't know a world where Mom and Dad are there for every birthday, holiday, or any special event they have.  This isn't their world.  At least, not so far.
Now, that this is all winding down, though, and we are transferring to a new life, I think we need to mark this very momentous occasion.  Normally, there would be a retirement ceremony where we could do just that.  However, going back to the point that My Husband was upset about his retirement, he refused one.
He simply said no.  Over and over again.  I ask.  Gently.  He refused.
He was ask at work, repeatedly.  He still refused.
He felt like he didn't accomplish everything that he wanted to in the time he was given.  He feels he had more to do, and more to give, and is hurt that he can't.  So, no ceremony.
Instead, there was supposed to be this beach barbecue, where he and someone else he worked with who is also retiring, were to have a simple going away party.  We could have seen him get the shadow box they are making for him.  It wouldn't have been a ceremony in uniform, but it would have been something.
Then, this week, he gets a text message, telling him that they are holding a going away party for not just the two retiring, but everyone leaving his department at work, even those just transferring out to new commands, at a local bar.  They are all lumped in together, and this is what they normally do for anyone transferring out.  No more.  No less.
I am hurt.  Truly hurt.  We get nothing.  It isn't even that I want acknowledgement of all we have gone through for us, but I want closure.  I want to see him retire.  I want to see him wear his uniform, all buttoned up and polished one more time, and I want our children to see that.  I want memories and pictures.
Instead, he will simply quietly go from being active duty, to retired.  All on paper.
No more.  No less.
I feel completely robbed.  I feel like my children have been robbed of something special, too.  I've demanded that he don the uniform for formal pictures with the family then, but that won't be the same.  Nothing will. I'll never get the chance to smile, with every once of pride I have, at him, with tears in my eyes, as they say all the traditional things they say at a retirement.  I'll never get to see my children get excited to really know that our time is over, in a very formal manor.
Its all gone, and there is nothing I can do about it.  I am a little bit heart broken.  Its a very sticky situation, too.  The last thing I want to do is make him feel worse.
For me, I guess it is just another of the many heartbreaks we have had to endure in this phase of our lives.  There are a lot of beautiful memories also, though.  As he moves without notice in to the next part, I suppose I'll just have to focus on those, scrap book all the home comings, and let that be that.  I'll move on from being a military wife, to hopefully a police wife, but you can believe that it won't be quiet.  I'm throwing my self a party, and I expect an award for survival from my friends.  Seriously.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Twenty Years On A Piece Of Paper

We are really winding down in the military phase of our transition to civilian life.  My Husband goes on terminal leave in four days.  That signifies the end of his time at work.  From that point until he is actually out of the military this summer, he has time to try to find a job, and get us moved, so that we can begin our lives all over again.
Today, though, he was able to complete one very monumental piece of the entire retirement process.  He picked up his DD214. This is the form that he will use for the rest of his life to identify his military service for anything and everything.  He as been working on it for a bit, ensuring that everything is correct from his records, etc.  He went in to pick it up, found a couple of small errors, like my name as usual, and had them corrected.  As soon as they were done, he was handed a piece of paper that means everything at the moment.  It may not seem big, but believe me, it is.  He called to tell me he had it.  It was kind of a sad moment.  "The last twenty years of my life, on one piece of paper" he said.
I know this has been hard on him.  Even though he has a very hard job, something that is full of the kind of stress you can not imagine unless you are there, and this is a hard life for us as a family, he loves what he does.  He is the kind of guy you want going into the military.  He is dedicated to his job.  He is a bit of a perfectionist when it matters.  He loves to fly.  He is fantastic at what he does, but, he has been in for 20 years, and even though his command wanted him to stay, even though they requested a waiver for him, because of all the military budget cuts, etc, he was forced to retire.
I was hurtful.  Even more so when you see some of the morons who are left in, who are allowed to move up because they kiss the right rear end, even though they don't know their own from a hole in the ground.
He moved on, though.  I think he made peace with the idea of retirement, as much as he can, once he saw how much we missed him, and began to focus on a life with his family.  Even being a police officer, which is what he wants to do, and being gone as much as they are, he will still get more time with us, than if he were to deploy for 8 months at a time again.  That really helps.
No matter what, though, this is a major move, and a major transition in his life.  He went into the military when he was 18, before he had even graduated from high school, under a delayed entry program.  This life is all he has know.  Now, at the age of 38, they reduced everything he has worked for, everything he has accomplished down to one piece of paper and handed it to him on his way out the door.
Its hard to live this life, but in many ways, it is harder to leave it.  I'm really not sure what all life will hold for our future.  I'm not even sure what state we are going to live in by this fall right now, but I do know that i have I hopes.  I hope he find a career that he loves as much as this one.  I hope he has another twenty years or more doing something else the he is so wonderful at, dedicated to, and that allows him to fulfill his potential like this one did.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Its Official. She's Broken.

Today pretty much sucked.
When you are a parent, the last thing you want is to see your child hurt or hurting, and know there is nothing you can do to change it.
When your child breaks a limb, there really isn't anything you can do to fix it.  You can hold them.  You can snuggle them.  You can whisper in their ear and tell them it will all be ok, but none of that really makes it better, or takes the break away.
Today, we found out The Biggest One really did break her ankle.  It sucked.
First, I had to deal with Balboa.  Not a happy camper.  An appointment that we were told would take about 30 minutes lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes.  I was overwhelmed by their inefficiency once again.  I got argumentative with the Physician's Assistant who ended up taking me into a room and going over the x-ray with me very slowly to make her case.  If she had only led with the statement that the ankle was broken, versus "we treat it like a break no matter what" I might have been more receptive.  She didn't though.  We were shuffled around for what seemed like forever, between exam rooms, x-ray, back to the lobby, again to exam rooms, back to x-ray again, etc.  When it was all said and done, though, what mattered is that she broke her ankle.
     She was a trooper at first.  She was ok until they sent us for a second set of x-rays, to be sure she hadn't broken her foot, too.  As we sat down, she lost her composure completely.  I got her up, sat down, and pulled her on my lap.  "I'm too big to sit on you, Mom."  She didn't want to hurt me.  "Never", I told her. I pulled her to me, and just hugged her.  I told her that I knew it sucked.  It was terrible, but it was simply part of life.  Things happen.  Balloons pop.  We would just have to get through the sucky part, to get back to the good part.  She was so unhappy.
We got a cast put on, and thankfully, they decided she could have a walking cast.  That was a serious blessing, because not being physically gifted to begin with, the crutches were just another accident waiting to happen.  Seriously.
Walking out made her happy.  She walked funny, but she could walk.
Then, we got home, and she started to worry.  She worried about what people would say to her.  She was honestly worried about people picking on her for having broken her leg.  We talked.  We snuggled some more.
Sometimes, being a parent is just heartbreaking.
I wish I could take it away.  I wish I could make it better. I know that I can't, though.
She will be fine in a few weeks.  It is going to suck.  It is going to be a crappy thing to get through, but she will get through it.  When she comes out, she will be a stronger person for having dealt with it all, too. At least, that is my hope.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hip Hip Hurrah!

Today is a fantastic day.
Forget the fact that I didn't go to bed until about1:30am, got back up at 2:30am to see my husband off to drive hours away to take yet another application exam for a police officer, and didn't get back to bed until 3:30.  Then, I was woken up at 4:30 for milk.  None of that matters.
All that matters today, is that it is The Littlest One's birthday!!  She is one today.  I really can't believe how fast this year has gone by.  With the deployments, and trying to transition our lives, it seems like everything is moving so fast, especially her.  I want her to slow down.  She is my last baby, but she won't be a baby much longer.  She has been walking for months.  She is super strong willed, very curious, and full of so much personality that she amazes me all the time.  She loves to play games with us already.  We don't just play peek a boo, she plays hide and seek.  She chases use around the house in an actual game of chase, and she loves it.
As if today wasn't special enough just being about her, she decided to show us how big she is by saying The Medium One's name.  She says it just beautifully, too.  She has been trying for a while, but she got it today. She loves to stand at the bottom of the stairs and call for her.  It's incredibly cute.  I'm pretty sure it won't be any time before The Medium One is tired of hearing it, but for now, we all love to hear The Littlest One say it over and over again.
She is definitely growing up.  I love her deeply, and can't wait to see what the future holds!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Crutch Files

Today we had a follow up appointment with The Biggest One for her ankle injury.  I had sincerely hoped that  it would be over and done with today, and that she would walk out on two feet.  No such luck.
Instead, the Dr looked at her still swollen, ugly, painful ankle, and decided that she needed to see an orthopaedic specialist.  She has to continue to wear the air cast, and stay off her foot until she gets in.  The Dr advised me to call back to the children's hospital, and try to get her an appointment.  Hopefully we can get her there within another week.
I really hope this is just a "better safe than sorry" kind of appointment.  The Dr just couldn't tell what was going on, and I hope she just wants to be sure.  I don't want anything else to be wrong.  This isn't easy for anyone, but its really hard for a child, especially one that can't use crutches well, at all.  She is terrible at them.  I think they are almost more of a hazard to her than a help.  As a result, she has used them very, very little this far and we haven't gone anywhere for a week.
So, keep your fingers crossed for us.  We want this to be an easy turn over, and be all done in a week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

And This Is Why

I have said it many times before, and I will say it many more times, I love all of my children.  They are all special in their own ways.  As such, we treat each of our children differently, according to their own needs, abilities, and demeanours.  The Big One is very intelligent, but not so gifted in the common sense and physical prowess areas.  As such we tend to put things of a physical or sporty nature on the back burner for her.  In fact, we often forget about them all together.  Hence the reason she didn't learn to ride a bike without training wheels until just about a week or so ago.  My Husband had tried.  Honestly he had.  I had tried.  We worked at it.  The Big One was terrified, though, and it just wasn't happening.  So, we never pushed it.  We would try for a while, see how banged up she got, realize that she wasn't ready, and wait a while.
     A few weeks ago, not long after he came home this time, My Husband decided it was finally time for sure.  He was ready for her to be ready.  She is, after all, nearing nine years old.  So, he started working with her again.  She did better.  She did much better.  They would work at it for a few hours at a time.  I would help out when he couldn't take it anymore.  It became a family thing.  The Medium One (I think I like that better than The Big Little One for a name) hadn't ever ridden on a two wheel bike before.  We just pulled out The Biggest One's old bike, and put her on it.  Off she rode.  That one does have training wheels, but I would venture they aren't long for the bike.  So, she would ride while The Biggest One would ride.  The Littlest one would sit in a wagon, a stroller, or even on a little tricycle and get a ride, too.

     It took a few weeks, or weekends at least, but finally, this past Saturday, it all clicked.  She could not only ride, but she could turn, and she was doing it all pretty well.  We were all out there watching the kids ride, until it was time for The Littlest One to get some milk and nap.  The two of us came in, and were inside for about 30 minutes, when the back door came open, and I instantly heard crying.  My husband walked in, carrying something over his shoulder.  It was The Biggest One.  Not a good sign.  He sat her down, and as she is trying to describe her wreck to me, though tear filled sobs, he is standing over her, making gestures and facial expressions  to indicate that it was a nasty spill.  She finished her story, and basically said that she had hurt her ankle, and couldn't walk on it.  I am particularly sensitive to injuries like this, having a lost a year to of my life to an ankle injury with 5 surgeries when I was younger.  So, I checked her carefully.  She really couldn't move it.  It hadn't started to swell, yet, but I feared it would soon.  I decided we would give her 30 minutes, and then recheck.  My husband ran out to get gas, just in case, and came back just in time.  The recheck was worse.  It was still extremely painful, but had started to swell, even with ice on it.  I called our insurance to let them know we were headed to the ER, and we all got ready.  The Biggest One was so upset, she couldn't even think about hopping.  So, her father fireman carried her over his shoulder again all the way out to the truck.  We all loaded up, and off we went the Rady Children's Hospital, which is thankfully only a mile from our house.
     When we got there, My Husband dropped the two of us off at the ER.  I helped her hobble inside, and sat her just in the door while I went to check in.  After waiting in line a bit behind people who think the ER is where you go when your kids have a cold, we got called up.  I told the Triage Nurse what had happened, and pointed out The biggest One, still sitting near the door.  Thanks to the head injury that resulted in an ambulance ride there, she was already in the system, and it only took a minute to get her all registered.
     Actually, I have to say that this was one of the fastest visits to an ER ever.  We only sat in the lobby for about 10 minutes at most before we were called back.  I put her in a wheel chair, and took her back.  They did a quick exam, and sent us straight to x-ray, then back out to the lobby.  After about another 10 minutes, they came to take us to a room.  The nurse put us in the room, closed the door, and it opened right back up by the Dr.  So fast that I said comment about it out load.  The Dr did another exam, and by this point her ankle was nearly the size of a grape fruit and was extremely painful.  The news wasn't great.  Not terrible either, though.  There was no break on the x-ray, but at this age, their growth plates are still open, and there could be one in there.  Those breaks don't show up on x-rays.  So, we have to go back in a week and take a second x-ray.  If there is a break, it will form a calcification as it heals, and that will show up.  That is the only way to tell if she has a break or not right now.  She also has a really bad sprain for sure.  She has to use crutches and wear an air cast.  Not fun stuff.
     All of that is a total bummer.  She was upset.  I'm worried.  A lot.  Like I said, I'm very sensitive to this king of thing since my was changed forever by having an ankle injury.
    The only upside is that for now she is still out of school, since she is on a year round track.  We have a week to get better before we have to worry about going back and dealing with crutches and school, which I think do not mix.
     I'm hoping for the best.  It could be just a sprain and were done. Fingers and toes crossed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Promised No Pictures

This morning is a big morning around our house.  It is actually the first of two big mornings in a row.  Right now, as I type, My Husband is off taking the written test to apply for the San Diego Sheriff's Department.  Yikes!  It is a little scary and very nerve wracking.  We have been leading up to this for a while.  He has applied to seven different agencies in three different states, all in the hopes of landing a law enforcement job somewhere.  This is the first test he will take out of all of them.
Even though yesterday was tax day, and I spent a great deal of time working on three sets of taxes for other family members, we also spent a good portion of the day getting him ready for today, mostly by buying him clothes.  He had none.  The proper dress for this test is business casual.  When you have been in the military for 20 years, you don't necessarily have business casual clothes. The clothes he did have, he likes to wear baggy, and they wouldn't be appropriate for this.  When we started thinking about it, we probably haven't bought him any nice clothes since his sister got married years ago.  In fact, he may have even had the clothes before that.  I think it has been 10 years since we last bought him nice dress shoes, slacks, or anything like that.  I know that sounds crazy, but when you wear a uniform of some sort every single day, you just don't have to deal with other business attire, and you only want super casual clothes for your days off.
So, last night, we went out in search of the right look.  As I don't buy men's clothes on a regular basis, either, I wasn't totally on the ball with everything either.  Thankfully, I had a life line.  I have a fabulous friend that I simply texted "Fashion help!" to, and she came to the rescue with clothing advice and business casual rules.  I love her.   I should have just taken her shopping with us.  My Husband would have come out looking hella fabulous.  As it is, I think we did pretty good.  I tired to take a picture to post of him, but he "politely" request that I nowt.  I think he looked great when he walked out the door this morning.   Good enough that I was trying to get some extra kisses in.  He wasn't having it, though.  His nerves were getting the better of him.  The test was at 8:00am.  The place is 3 miles from our house.  He was told to be there thirty minutes before the start.  He left at 6:50am.  Can you feel the nervous energy?
This test may determine the rest of our lives.   We will seriously take the first place that accepts him, and offers him a job.  So, where we live, or don't live, may in part be determined this morning.  I
am hoping for the best.  I have faith in him.  I know he can do well on this test, and every other step of the process.  Now, I'm going to go get dressed for the day, and find something to do to calm my nerves while we wait a little more.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Best Day

Today was a good day.  I would even dare say today was a great day.
It was, of course, Easter Sunday, but that is only part of what made it a great day.
Last Easter, I was very pregnant, and The Littlest One was born 4 days later.  My husband was just barely in from yet another deployment.  There was just too much going on.
This year, we were able to plan better.  I had help getting everything together and done.
We did all of the standard Easter stuff.  There were baskets filled with goodies by the back door.  Eggs had mysteriously appeared outside to hunt.  There were some pretty fantastic things found in them, including a little money.  We had a gloriously huge breakfast, something we love to do on Easter and Christmas.  All of the things you need for a good Easter were there.

What I think made it the best day of all those of late, though, is that we quite worrying, and just enjoyed being together today.  Things have gotten so stressful, with My Husband's impending transition to civilian life and trying to get a job, that we spend most of our time worrying, and planning, and planning to worry.  Not today.
Today, we played.  We spent hours outside trying to teach The Big One to ride her bike with no training wheels.   I know she is behind on that, but we are working on it.  She did pretty well.  We put The Little Big One on The Big One's old bike, and she took off like a champ.  My Husband, always the more adventurous one, put The Littlest One  on the push along tricycle, an even in the power wheels Barbie Jeep.  She loved them both, and decided she was just as cool as the big kids.
WE must have spent hours in the back alley way, just hanging out.  It was seriously great.
We need more days like this in our lives, where we don't have to worry about everything going on.  I think everyone needs more days like this.  They are far and few between.  So we should enjoy them, and truly relish in them when you can.  Today, we did.
I hope all of you find some fantastic days like that with your family soon, too.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait

Being a military spouse, I would say that I have spent a great deal of time playing the waiting game.  In between trying to get orders, deployments, moving, and everything else we do, it seems like waiting is what we do most.  I really thought that when we started to transition over to civilian life, that would change, but in fact, it seems to be at its worst.
My husband has decided to go into law enforcement.  He wants to be a police officer.  I totally support him in this.  I think this is a great career move for him.  He is totally dedicated to the idea, and having spent the last decade as a military family, I think the lifestyle will be more like what we already know.
Since he was deployed until close to the end of February, we have been working on getting him a job since he came home.  The problem is, everything from here on out is a waiting game.  There are a lot of steps that you much go through to get a law enforcement job, much more than a normal job.  We do one little piece, then wait.  Something else, then wait.  You get it. First, we built his resume.  Then we needed references.  Pretty much all the people he works with were on leave.  So, we waited until everyone came back to work to ask to use them as references, or at least until we could actually get in touch with them since so many were traveling.  We submitted his application, and then found out we needed his diploma and things like that.  We waited for it to come in the mail.  We sent that off, and waited for an email confirmation from each city.  After that, we did some secondary tests.  Some cities we are still waiting for that step on, more than a month later.  We are finally onto the written in house tests for a few places that he must go to each location for, and in one city past that, but the wait after those is excruciating.  It takes weeks to get your test results back, and find out if you passed with a high enough score to move on.  Each an every step has a wait in between and the waits can be a week, a month, or more.

We have very little time left.  He has just under one month before we go on what is called terminal leave.  That basically means he saved up a lot of vacation days and gets to use them all at the end of his final enlistment to give us time to move and get settled in.  Of course, when you don't know where you are going, that time doesn't do you much good.  We have only three and a half months total before he is totally out of the military.  That's it.   All done.  Three and a half months is nothing when it takes up to a year to get a law enforcement job.  WE would have started earlier, but its nearly impossible when deployed.
Then, on top of all that, we have one of the largest bureaucratic oversights ever made to deal with.  When you want to apply for any job, and that job gives veterans preference, the job requires a copy of your DD214, the form military members are given when they get out.  Problem is, you don't get it until you get out.  That actually changed recently, and you can get the form, for the purposes of getting  job, a little bit before you get out.  My Husband will get his in May.  Again, we need it before May.  Each time he applies somewhere, we have to explain he is military, but active duty.  So, he doesn't have the form.  Then, he may or may not be eligible to claim veterans preference, based on the sole discretion and understanding of whomever answers that phone.  Some places have accepted a letter from the command stating that he will retire with an honorable discharge.  Some have not.  So, we wait.  Longer and longer, making it harder an harder to find a job, let alone the right job.
This all blows my mind.  You would think that being in the military, already having his government clearance, and being exactly the kind of person that any law enforcement agency would want with all the training he already has, that this would go fast, but that simply isn't true.  So, I sit here this morning, waiting, to see what we can do next.  I'm tired of waiting.  I'm over it.   I want to be able to tell my children where we are going to live in a couple of month.  I want to start looking for a house, and not just dreaming about a house.  I want to move on with my life.  Hopefully soon, because seriously, I can't wait.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How did we get here?

This morning, when I woke up, something was wrong.  There was a disturbance in the force, of sorts.  I got ready, came down stairs, and there was The Big Little One, eating her weird concoction of 5 different kinds of cereal, and I realized what it was.  I now have two school age children and only one baby.

Today is The Big Little One's birthday.

While I knew it was her birthday, I am the one who gave birth after all, it really hit me that in a few months, I will be sending two girls to school, and not one.  I'll suddenly be back to just one child with me all day.  I'll be able to do things you do when you have only one child, and that child is younger.  We can go back to the toddler story time.  I can go hang out at a park, and not have to worry constantly about trying to keep my eyes on all my children at once.  Things will be different.  This time around, on her first day of school, I won't have nearly the anxiety about her that I did with her big sister.  I've done this once before and that helps.  More importantly, I know she is ready.  She is so independent.  She wants to go.  She talks about going to school almost every time we walk by the kindergarten classes as we drop The Big One off at school.  Probably most importantly of all, I know she will not only thrive, but she will flourish.  She is a smart kid.  She loves to learn.  She will love school in general.  I'm sure there will be challenges along the way for her, there are for everyone, but I expect her to do very well, and tackle them head on, just like she does everything else.  I can picture her being my athlete, and competing in every sport each of her schools have to offer as she grows.  I can see her being the one with the soccer, softball, and maybe even basket ball games year round, while perhaps her older sister is a cheer leader.  They are just so different, it amazes me.

Today we will have birthday cake and ice cream.  There will be presents.  We will celebrate how wonderful and amazing she is.  Today, it will be about her as much as it possibly can be.  Next year, there will be new friends, and a party with kids from class for the first time.  She is growing up so quickly, I can't believe it.  I swear just yesterday she was taking her first steps, and learning to use the potty.  Now, she is about to enter the world of the big kids, and really start a major new phase in her life.

I love you, my sweetheart.  You are amazing and fantastic.  You are funny and ferocious.  I am thankful every day that you chose me to be your mom.  I love you forever.  Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Quick Share

I'm actually working on catching up on some of my blogging (I swear), but in the mean time, I thought I would share a quick moment from my day yesterday.

We are currently down to one car.  Until we make the decision about where to move, we have no immediate plans to buy another one, either.  So, we spend a lot of time in the truck right now, shuffling it back and forth for everything we all need.
On the way to pick My Husband up from work, The Big Little One and I are discussing something, no idea what, and I told her I agreed with her about what ever it was.  She got quiet for a moment.  Then, in a very thoughtful voice, she said "Mom, sometimes, you are on my side, and sometimes you are not".  That is a very powerful statement from a 4 year old.  I looked over my shoulder to where she was sitting, behind the passenger's seat, at her beautiful face.  I wasn't sure exactly where to go with it.  I started with telling her that mom may or may not always agree with everything she does or says, but I will always support her and be in her corner.  I went on and on.  I wanted to make sure to address any concerns she might have, and make she knows that I always support her, even if I don't agree with her, no matter what.  I finished it all up, with a simple "Ok?" to make sure she understood.
She immediately replied in a strained tone that showed she was at the end of her patience, "No, Mom, I mean sometimes you are on my side of the car, and sometimes you aren't."  Oh.  Yes.  Well, then.  Ok.  I told her she was absolutely correct.  Sometimes I drive, and sometimes I ride.  At least, now she knows where I stand on many things, as well as where I sit.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Things I Wish I Could Say

I'm trying very hard right now to do what I'm sure my mother would tell me is the right thing.  Problem is, the right thing is nothing.  I must do, and more difficultly, say nothing.  Let me assure you, sometimes, it is very hard for me to do nothing, and nearly impossible for me to say nothing.

I know someone who is going through a situation very, very similar to something i have gone though.  It was a terrible situation.  Heart wrenching.  I would only wish it on my worst enemy, and even then, maybe not.
Now, someone I know is dealing with the same thing, and I can't say a single word.
I'm dying to reach out, but right now, I don't think it would be received well.  I'm dying to offer a hug, but I think it would cause more pain for me to acknowledge everything going on, then just to sit here, and hope for the best.
No.  It just isn't my place to involve myself at this point.  Should I ever get an open invitation of any kind, I will gladly jump in.  I would love to be able to be there, and be the support of someone who has been there.  I want to do that.  I wish I could, but I just can't right now.  The right thing to do is really nothing, and it is the hardest thing ever.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Know I Have Gone Insane

I'm updating my blog, not really because I want to at the moment.  In fact, I would much, much rather be sleeping, like the rest of the people in my house.  However, in 18 minutes, I can grab more booth slots for my Girl Scouts.  So, even though every little person in currently snoozing away, I'm up.  Here.  For you.  No.  For me.  Whining.
Its moments like these that I realize just how insane I am.  Even though I am currently in this alone, since my co leader had to move quickly thanks to military life, and my husband is still yet deployed, I am going, full throttle, into a cookie season where I am leader, cookie parent, and more.  All of that, along with running my moms group, volunteering at my daughter's school, and simply trying to survive with three kids all by myself isn't easy, in fact, sometimes it feels like I suffocating. I know I'm not though.  I'm going to muddle through each and every bit of this, and ride the tide of crazy that comes along with doing too much sometimes.  I know I can handle this.  I may not do the best job that any one has ever done on all of it, but it will all get done, and that is just going to have to be good enough.  I may not have the time to take long showers and get my hair done, or keep myself looking like I want to, but those things aren't really important in the grand scheme of life.  I can be a little unkempt.  I can wear nothing but jeans and t-shirts, if that is where life takes me.  If I brush my hair as I am walking out the door, and the first mirror I look in is the rear view when I take off each day, so be it.  For the moment, that may be the best I can do.
So, you will have to excuse me as I keep this post short.  I'm about to go pick times to take my kids and stand in front of a whole bunch of stores, trying to sell cookies.  I may go looking like I've been raised by wolves, but I will be there.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things I Can't Wait for

We are seriously counting down the days until my husband comes back.  I don't know his return time yet, or believe me, I would be counting down the hours, too.  We are that close.  I suppose close is relative, of course.  We do, after all, still have a tiny bit to go.  I'm willing to bet that this last bit is going to fly by.  We have a lot to do.  We have to make a new banner to put in front of the house.  I think we might wrap the door, too.  I need to get the house clean. Yikes!  That's a big one.
In the mean time, I thought I would share all the great things that come with his return, or at least some of them.

Things I am looking forward to when my husband comes home: (In no particular order)
  • Sex (let's just be honest)
  • Taking a shower with the bathroom door closed, and no one opening it
  • Going to the bathroom to potty with the door closed.
  • Sex (Come on, its been 7 months.  That deserves two mentions.)
  • Having adult conversation without going out of the house to find it.
  • Not being the one to do the dishes.
  • Being able to go get coffee with my friends.
  • Yelling "Not It!" when we both discover The Littlest One has a dirty diaper and actually having someone else do it.
  • Sleeping and snuggling with someone taller than me.
  • Being able to lay on his chest at night. (Man do I miss this.)
  • Sex - What? I mention that already...twice...oh...well...
  • Sitting on the couch, drinking a Mike's, and watching The Big Bang Theory together (one of our favorite past times).
  • Pizza Sundays, when we all make pizza together. 
  • Family time.  Any family time.  
  • Co-parenting.  God I miss that.  
  • His laugh.
  • How much he makes me laugh.
  • Seeing him with The Girls, and watching him be the incredible dad he is.
  • Hugs
Honestly, I could go on forever.  I would start crying though, if I went on much more.  I miss him.  We all miss him.  It won't be long, though.  Really.  I can almost feel his arms around me now.  I can't wait.

Monday, January 23, 2012

And Now They are All Crying

Mondays are Girl Scout days around here.  We spend most of the day prepping for Scouts, and then we have meetings at 4pm.  Even dinner revolves on Scouts on Monday, because I generally go for the crock pot so that we are ready to go as soon as the last girl leaves.
Today, was supposed to be just another meeting.  We were to focus on our cookie goals.  The whole cookie process, much as I loathe it, is designed to be a teaching tool for the girls.  The money they earn is to be ear marked for both community service and fun stuff.  So, before the season starts, we pick a community service project that we will be spending our proceeds on.  I take suggestions from the girls, and then see which ones are actually feasible (we physically build houses for people that don't have any, not right now anyway) and then they get to vote on them and decide for themselves what to do.  I love that part of everything, and it is probably one of the only reasons I actually go through with all this.
To get to all those great ideas, though, requires a lot of thought and work from the girls.  They have to identify who they want to help, and how.  Can we do it?  We will we have the money?
The fist thing we do is have a brainstorming session.  I go round and round, asking each girl for a new idea until they just run out.  Then ,we go through the list.  Tonight's idea's were interesting.  We had a huge discussion about buying goats for families in Africa.  The next idea was much more tame.  Someone wanted to do something to help the deployed troops.  Very nice.  One little girl, the only one in my entire troop not from a military family, raised her hand and ask what that meant.  I ask the girls who could explain it to her.  Every other hand shot up.  Since her father is actually deployed at this moment, I let The Big One explain.  She got about one sentence out before she broke down.  I believe all she said was "Sometimes, Dads have to leave to...." That was it.  That was all she could say.  She was sobbing nearly instantly.
The girl who ask looked shocked.  She didn't understand.
Since we were all sitting together on the floor, I schooched over to The Big One, put my arms around her, petting her head, and told the other little girl that sometimes, moms and dads have to leave.  They have to travel around the world to fight for our nation, to keep us safe, and do lots of important jobs.  Its hard when they do, because we miss them so much, but they have to go to keep us all safe.  They will come back as soon as they can, though.  Then, I leaned in and whispered to The Big One that we are almost done.  He will be home soon.  I just repeated that and petted her.
I looked up, and everyone else was in tears.  Her best friend, who's father just came home a few weeks ago, was sitting in her own mother's lap, crying.  Her mom just happened to be the parent there tonight to stay as the second adult.  The mom had tears in her eyes.  I look beside me, and the other two military girls are also about to cry.  The Big One couldn't calm down.
So, I just stopped the meeting.  We were going to try the new flavor of cookie, and a few others just for a refresher, anyway, and that was that. I made them wash hands, line up, and move rooms.
Change the scene and the focus immediately.
Having a troop of little girls who's fathers may leave at any time isn't easy.  They all share the pain.  Being a military child in general is such a hard life.  They didn't choose this life.  We, as parents, chose it for them.  So, we have to be there, and try our best, to comfort them, and help them through the path we chose for them.  I will always do my best to comfort my own, and any of them who are heart broken, with cookies, or hugs, or what ever it takes.
We will hope for a better meeting next week. Hopefully, we can focus on our goals, or start working on our badge, but if we are in need, I know where I can get some more cookies.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Know You Don't Care, But...

I know weight loss blogs are generally about as interesting as watching wall paper peal.  So, sometime ago when I wanted to blog about my weight loss journey, I created a separate blog all about it.  That, though, fell by the wayside.  I have a hard enough time blogging on this one, let alone one that was really just for me.
So, if you will, please, humor me for a moment while go off about my weight loss struggle.  it won't all be a food journal, I swear.
For those who don't know me personally, let me tell you that am obese.  In fact, I was morbidly obese.  I'm talking the biggest person on the Biggest Loser ranch big.  I started working on it, slowly, though.  Over the course of quite a while, I lost about 130 lbs.  Yes.  I'm serious.  I suppose I'm really putting myself out here now, but oh well.  I worked very hard to lose that weight.  I did it all with diet and exercise.  I even gave up coffee because I can only drink coffee by adding calories into it.  I exercised at least 6 times a week.  Started a couch to 5k program and was trying to learn to run.  On the days I didn't go try to run, I worked out at home with DVDs.  Anything I could do to add extra movement in, I did.  I even mowed yards voluntarily, just to exercise more.
Then, I got pregnant.  It was really not expected.  I was losing weight.  Getting my body to finally start to look like a normal person should.  We never got pregnant easily, either.  It took forever to conceive both of the other two.  So, when, after my husband come home off a boat, I suddenly found my self pregnant, I was shocked.  I was also scared because of all my body had been though.  while I survived the pregnancy, I also gained weight.  I gained 40 pounds back.  It really hurt to see that coming back on.  A lot.  I worked so hard to lose it all.
Anyway, now, I'm trying to lose it back again.  I want to start moving back down the scale to not only get back to where i was, but to continue on that journey and do even better.
The problem is I'm stuck.  I can't.  It took all the motivation I had last time to really get rolling an d serious, something I'm not sure I can duplicate.  I got about 10 pounds in, and pretty much quit on myself.  Again.  I will tell you, though, I know what the problem is.  Depression.  I'm eating my feelings away.  Life is so freaking emotionally difficult right now, nearing the end of a long deployment after him being in and out for the last year, dealing with being a physically single mother of three with no help, trying to plan our life after he retires very soon, all that is just too much.  I can't help it.  I don't have the will power to not eat Oreos.  Heck, I'm pretty lucky I haven't gained even more while he was gone.  It is also a million times harder to exercise right now.  Having an infant who isn't on a set schedule, and is super clingy, makes it really hard.  If I could get The Big Little One to agree to be in a double stroller, I could at least walk, but that isn't going to happen.  She refuses.  In all honestly, she is nearly five, and hasn't been in one since she was about three.  So, I can't blame her.  All that together means that there is practically no way to get in a good workout.  Not working out, and not eating right don't make for good weight loss.
I've got to turn this around.  I have got to get over myself, an everything going on, and focus on what I can control.  It's hard, though.  I suppose if it were easy I would have been thin years ago, and there would be be no weight loss industry.  Maybe I should stop feeling so bad that its hard, since the hard way means thousands of jobs.  I'm totally trying to find a bright side, here.
The reality of this all is I know what to do.  I've done it before.
I need to get off my butt, literally, and start moving.
I need to stop stress eating, and start finding a way to channel that into working out.
I can do this again.
I will do this again.
I will rebuild my self...better than before.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Have a Beef With Cookies

If you read my last post, then you know where this is headed.  Cookie season in Girl Scouts has got to be one of the most stressful things ever.
Cookies haven't even started yet, and already this has been a bumpy roller coaster ride.  From one low, into a loop de loop, straight to a huge, stomach tossing dip.   I found a parent to go.  I am so incredibly thankful for her.  After all the scrambelling and worrying I did over the last 24 hours, trying desperately to find someone to go in my place to the Cookie Lottery, I moved from stressed out to pissed off. I offered childcare to everyone in the troop, but she managed to get it worked out on her own at the last second.  She was going a little late, but she would go.  She is also the newest parent to all of this that I have.  She doesn't have any training in cookies, and has never been part of the process before, but she was able to go.  She did the best she could, and that is all I could ask of her.  What raises my ire is that when she got there, there were children at the event.  I was told specifically that there were to be no children, and we struggled with it, yet people were allowed to come in.  I had to send the only person i could, and our girls were seriously disadvantage by having someone with no experience go, in order to follow the rule.

The women there weren't even all that nice to the parent i sent.  In a fantastic display 0of immaturity, other women were taking up seats with their purses, just so no one could sit beside them and leaving no open seats in the hall for my parent.  The process has become so competitive that people forget we are all supposed to be "a sister to every Girl Scout".  That is something we have our girls say at every meeting. I know that in our troop in particular, we are very focused on that.  I want the girls to learn to be good sports, and compete to the best of their ability, but without a malicious undertone.  It can be done.  We try to focus on how cookies help every girl, and not just our troop.  We want them to see the greater good of the whole process.
The whole process, all of cookies sales, is what I dislike most about Girl Scouts.  So many times, I wish we could skip it, but there are valuable lessons to be learned if we choose to focus on them.  I am going to do my best to do just that.  In fact, I suppose I should make this a learning opportunity for myself.  I really need to learn to ignore all the bad behaviour that I see from other adults, not let it get to me so much, and focus on making this great for my girls.  For those who have lost sight of what cookies should be, well, Bless their Hearts, I hope they do great and get out of it whatever they want, too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

One Of THOSE Nights

Tonight sucks.  Totally sucks.  It really sucks to have my husband gone right now.  This time, it isn't because my children were off the wall today.  Actually, considering everything we had to do they were pretty good.  It isn't because, yet again, he missed a really special moment.
This time, its because sometimes day to day life is hard, and you need a partner to be there for you.  When you are married or in a committed relationship, you expect to have that, and when you don't it hurts sometimes.

I know that being a military spouse, we usually don't say a lot.  We just suffer in silence, or relate our sadness to those who are in the same situation.  We don't complain  about how absolutely horrible it can be at times, and it is.  At least, I can tell you that I usually don't say much.  I tell people "Its fine", "We will make it", or some other very white washed expression of how I feel.  I know that I will make it.  I don't have a choice.  I have to continue on, but sometimes, like tonight, I just want to cry myself to sleep.  Unfortunately, I can't because I have too much to do to even sleep.

Girl Scout Cookie sales start at the end of this month.  Thanks to military downsizing, I lost our troop leader very suddenly over the Christmas break.  My world was instantly screwed.  Her world much more so, I'm sure, but still.  She and I worked together on everything last year.  We make a great team.  Our husbands are fantastic Girl Scout dads, and they pitch in every where they can.  So, I went from a team of four to get cookies done, to me.  Just me.  Saying that I feel overwhelmed doesn't even begin to cover it.
I have had to beg and plead to get my training.  Though I managed cookies last year, I was still required to go though the multiple hour cookie training again this year.  Problem is, this year, I have an infant.  Cookies are in general a no children allowed process.  No children at training.  No children at the Booth Sale Lottery.  No children at cookie pickup.  You get the idea.  The only times we can have any children with us are when we are selling the cookies, and it is supposed to be just the Girl Scout selling, no siblings, or tag-a-longs as they call them, at all.  This includes infants strapped to your chest in carriers.
I managed to beg a parent into going to the training for us, just so that we could sell.  Now, I have to get the rest done.
My husband is gone.  My co leader is gone.  I have no family here.  I can't leave my breast fed, straight up clingy 8 month old with a sitter.  I'm screwed.
No one gets that, either.

You would think that most people in charge who work with the scouts have children themselves, and would be more understanding.  Not so.
Tomorrow morning is the big Booth Sale Lottery.  This is a huge deal in the cookie world.  This is when we get to select our locations for selling cookies.  If you don't go, you don't get booths.  If you do, you get the crap left over at the places that don't sell that no one wants.  Some of them even come with notes about which way to face to avoid the loads of indigent people that will be around.  Really, I don't want girls there.  So, going to this lottery is vital to each troop.
However, again, I can't take the baby.  I can't leave her with any one.  So, I can't go.The parent that helped me before has no child care for tomorrow.  He can't go.  I have a small troop.  Most of my parents are in the same situation I am, mostly military families with no one here to help out.
So, were all screwed.
What really upsets me is that this year, my parents are willing to put in the work because they all want their children to earn camp, but we are all hurt by a system that isn't understanding of our situations.  If we don't get these booths tomorrow, no one will earn camp.  We won't be able to sell enough cookies to do it.  There is no way.  None of us have childcare.  None of us can go.
I need my husband.  Not just tomorrow, but for this whole process.   I need someone here tonight to tell me just to breath, and that we will figure it out.  I need someone to have my back.
I don't though. Not right now. Not for a little while longer.
This is a hard life.  Nights like tonight, when you just need a hug, are the hardest.

So, its back to stressing out about what to do, and trying to find someone, anyone, to help out.

Yes, I look forward to his retirement.  I look forward to having him home, and being able to get that hug anytime I need it.  No matter what, though, for the rest of my life, I will always be understanding of those who are in the same situation I am in right now.  I will always extend my hand, or do anything I can, to help those who don't have the support they want and need because they are military families.
Tonight, I'm sending out lots of love and virtual hugs to all the military spouses sitting a home while their spouses are gone.  Much love to you all, and speedy return so that you too can get a hug, and maybe even a kiss.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Have I Told You I HATE Cancer?

In case I haven't mentioned it lately, I hate cancer.  Actually, I f***ing hate cancer.  Really.  I do.
My family has a terrible history of cancer.  On my mom's side, I think that is pretty much all we die from.  Old age must be pissed, because it never gets a chance to be the one to claim us.  Nope. Cancer always manages to get there first.
Both of my parents are cancer surviors.  My dad just finished his rounds of medication to kill all the cancer that they found on his head and in his neck.  My mom is a breast cancer survivor.
Now, we just found out that one of my aunts, on my mom's side, has breast cancer.  I love this aunt.  I even happen to like her, which with that family isn't actually all that common even though I have about 20 aunts and uncles on that side.  This particular aunt already deals with enough.  She has two artifical valves in her heart.  She has a pace maker.  She has it rough.  So, cancer really is an ugly thing to throw in that mix.  I know that chemotherapy can damage your heart, and hers couldn't take that.  Instead of all that, the Dr has advised her to have a mastectomy.  Possibly a double one.
All I can say is that I hate cancer.  I hate it.  I hate what it does to the people I love.  I hate what it does to anyone.
One of my goals in life is to participate in the Breast Cancer Three Day. I will.  I want to do it next year, with My Sister who wants to as well.  It will take time for me to be ready for that, and lots of time to raise the money, but so worth it.  I want to do anything I can to kick cancer's ass long before it even thinks it can get to my girls and I.  No.  I want old age to finally win out, and claim us, and nothing else.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

OOD 1/11/12

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Only Dental Appointment I'll Ever Love

Before I start this post, let me assure you, I don't hate dentists.  I'm sure they are all fantastic people who provide a very necessary service to all of us, make the world a better place, and all that.
I just hate going to them.
Even if I'm not the one in the chair.
Taking my kids to the dentist is torture for me.  I know how much i hate sitting there, and I hate doing that to my children, even though I know it is better for them on so many levels to go rather than not.  Dental health is important.  Yes.  I know.  Doesn't make the action of going and having people in your mouth suck less for anyone, though.
And it does suck.  Just the thought of having all those tools scrape around your teeth is enough to make me git the shivers.  The thought of those gloved hands in my mouth make me want to gag.  I will stop there.  You get it.  I hate going.
I still do it, though.  I go, get cleanings, and pray, hard, that nothing else is wrong with me so that I don't have to go back until my next cleaning.  I take my children, maybe a little later than some people would, but we go.  The Big One just had her cleaning and exam.  She also had a loose tooth.  The tooth needed to be looked at.  It was attached to a space maintainer that she has had for a while.  So, if the tooth came out, she would have a wire sticking out.  When I talked to her Dentist's office on the phone, they told me that if the tooth was loose, they would probably go ahead an pull it so that they can fix the spacer again.  Great.  If I haven't mentioned it before, The Big One is worse than me when it comes to medical stuff.  She freaks out about everything.  I mean that.  So, the notion that they may be pulling a tooth, didn't sit well.  Not only was it going to be difficult because of her general disposition, but I had to take the other Girls with me to the appointment.  So, she would need to go back by herself.  All around, I was terrified of how it was going to go.
Pleasantly, I was surprised.
We discussed everything ahead of time.  I wanted her to be prepared for what they might do.  I told her they would come get me if they needed me.
When we got to the office, both the The Big Girls were stoked about the game room.  The office is setup to be kid heaven with video games.  Wen it was her turn, she went back, excited about the x-rays they were going to do, as she actually likes that part for some odd reason, and only a little nervous.  About 20 minutes later, they came out and ask me to come back.  Great.  I was ready for the discussion that would go something like "Your daughter has x amount of cavities, we have to pull the tooth, put on a new spacer, give her braces, and all today.  After your insurance kicks in, that will cost you $1,478,534."  Of course, that was all an approximate guess of how I thought it would go.
Instead, she had no cavities.  The tooth that the spacer had been working to protect was coming in.  That was what was making the other tooth loose.  So, they didn't need to pull anything.  Everything was working just like it should.  The only thing they needed to do was seal three teeth that had somehow been missed.  That's it.  Good job, Big One.  Keep on brushing well.  Nothing else.  Awesome.
The sealants can be pricey, though.  Even though I had to tell them four times that we do have insurance, once they got it all straightened out, it was going to cost me $28 for this appointment.  I was giddy.  I am happy to pay $28 for a dental visit.
With all the running back and forth to get our insurance straightened out, I would say that it was still more difficult to seal the teeth, than to figure out how much it was going to cost to do it.  While she may have been mostly fine for the rest of the visit, the teeth sealing was a little tricky.  They had to use something to hold open her mouth, and she didn't like the citric acid flavor of the sealant.  She kept moving, and trying to get away, or just stopped breathing.  It was difficult.  I would guess my child is the reason that pediatric dentists really push sedatives sometimes.  Eventually, the teeth got done, both girls got stickers since even the Little Big One waited patiently, and we were on our way to the check out desk.
The lady holding our chart called me over, and looked at it.  Looked again.  Told me she needed to ask someone a question.  They talked, and then she ask if I had other appointments going on.  Yes.  The Little One is going next week.  No.  That isn't it.  There was more discussion while looking at my file online.
Then she told me I had a credit balance.  At first the other woman she was discussing with said she saw a dollar.  That was cool.  I'll take a dollar when I can get it.  Then, the first lady told me that I had a few credits.  All together, after they took out what I owed for that appointment, I still had $201 left.
I was shocked.  I was in disbelief.  How often do you just find $200??  Better yet, how often do you find it at the dentist?? The lady told me they would cut me a check right away.  Instead, I told her to leave it.  We will be using it very soon.

Really, in hind sight, I should have been pissed that they had held this money for so long.  However, it happens to come at the right time.  I know The Little One is going to need some work, and now I have a fall back to help with that.
While I don't expect to ever get another visit quite like that one, I am super excited to be able to say just once that I actually loved going to the dentist.