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.