Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Kid Is Better Than Yours

Congratulations, you've made it to the obligatory brag post. I don't know what it is about us parents, but it seems like the second we spawn a small human being we insist on updating the entire world with every accomplishment. I can only hope to God that when it gets closer to potty training time I am not one of the parents who posts constant updates and photos of it up on Facebook.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

News Flash - Christmas Isn't About YOU

I love the holidays, I really do. I don't understand why some people seem hell bent on making the whole damn thing about themselves though. For us, it has always been (and always will be) about the kids.

Christmas Camera Dump

Warning: Picture Heavy Post!

She'll like Santa next year... Right??

Well, I'm back! What an exhausting vacation! I truly love going home and visiting family and friends, I just wish home wasn't so far away. One day when this whole military thing is over we'll be able to move back, but for now the holidays mean way more time in the truck than I can handle. I've just never been good with long car rides, what can I say?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Finally Home Again

Well we're finally home! So much to do before I can post anything worth reading, but I did want to drop I line saying that a real update will be here shortly. Give me a bit to settle in, unpack and upload some photos. Then we'll be in business. 

How are your holidays going?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these. I'm not creative enough to have written them. I've posted who they were written by to the best of my knowledge. If you catch a mistake or know who should be getting credit, please let me know!

 There are many, many more versions of The Night Before Christmas. These are just some of my favorites. Have a great holiday everyone!!!

Navy Night Before By Major Bruce Lovely
(Printed in the Fort Leavenworth Lamp, 1995)

'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived in a crowd.
In a 40 man berthing, with shipmates so loud.
I had come down the exhaust stack with presents to give,
And to see just who in this rack did live.
I look all about, a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings were hung, just boots close at hand
On the bulkhead hung pictures of far distant lands.
He had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.
For this place was different, it was so dark and dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I could see clearly.
The Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in his rack, dreaming of home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States Sailor.
Was this the hero whom I saw on TV?
Defending his country so we could be free?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors who were willing to fight.
Soon 'round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help but wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve at sea, far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a soft voice,
"Santa don't cry for this life is my choice.
Defend the seas this day, so others may rejoice."
The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours so silent, so still, I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark
night, this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the Sailor rolled over and with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas Day, all is secure."

Marine/Soldier Night Before
By Major Bruce Lovely

''Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
no stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges and awards of all kinds,
And a sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was so dark and dreary,
I had found the home of a Soldier, once I could see clearly.
The Soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor of this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States Soldier.
Was this the hero whom of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these Soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon 'round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the Soldier, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lie alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice.
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more."
My life is my God, my Country, my Corps.
The Soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours so silent, and still,
And we both shivered from the night's cold chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the Soldier rolled over and with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas Day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.

A Star Treking Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ship
Not a circuit was buzzing, not one microchip; 
The phasers were hung in the armoury securely,
In hopes that no aliens would get up that early.
The crewmen were nestled all snug in their bunks 
(Except for the few who were partying drunks); 
And Picard in his nightshirt and Bev in her lace, 
Had just settled down for a neat face-to-face...
When out in the halls there arose such a racket, 
That we leapt from our beds, pulling on pant and jacket.
Away to the lifts we all shot like a gun, 
 Leapt into the cars and yelled loudly, "Deck One!" 
The bridge Red-Alert lights, which flashed through the din, 
Gave a lustre of Hades to objects within.
When, what, on the viewscreen, should our eyes behold, 
But a weird kind  of sleigh, and some guy who looked old.
But the glint in his eyes was so strange and askew 
That we knew in a moment it had to be Q.
 His sleigh grew much larger as closer he came.
 Then he zapped on the bridge and addressed us by name: 
"It's Riker!  It's Data! It's Worf and Jean-Luc!
It's Geordi! And Wesley, the genetic fluke!
To the top of the bridge, to the top of the hall!
Now float away! Float away! Float away all!" 
As leaves in the autumn  are whisked off the street,
So the floor of the bridge came away from  our feet,
And up to the ceiling our bodies they flew,
As the captain called out, "What the hell is this, Q?!"
The prankster  just laughed and expanded his grin, 
And, snapping his fingers, he  vanished again.
As we took in our plight and were looking around, 
The spell was removed, and we crashed to the ground.
Then Q, dressed in fur from his head to his toe, 
Appeared once again, to continue the show.
"That's enough!" cried the captain, "You'll stop this at once!" 
And  Riker said, Worf! Take aim at this dunce!" 
"I'm deeply offended, Jean-Luc," replied Q, 
 "I just want to celebrate Christmas with you."
As we scoffed at his  words, he produced a large sack.
 He dumped out the contents and took a step back.
"I've brought gifts," he said, "just to show I'm sincere.
 There's something delightful for everyone here."
 He sat on the floor  and dug into his pile,
And handed out gifts with his most charming smile: 
"For Counsellor  Troi, there's no need to explain.
 Here's Tylenol-Beta for all of your pain.
 For Worf I've some mints as his breath's not too great, 
And for  Geordi LaForge, an inflatable date.
For Wesley, some hormones, and Clearasil-Plus;
For Data, a joke book;  for Riker, a truss.
For Beverly Crusher, there's sleek lingerie, 
Then he sprang to his  feet with that grin on his face 
And, clapping his hands, disappeared  into space.
But we heard him exclaim as he dwindled from sight,
"Merry Christmas  to all, and to all a good flight!"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Best Christmas Ever

This year, like those before it, we will be leaving out home and traveling to see friends and family. It's nice to see everyone, and really it doesn't happen often enough. A small part of me is sad though. It isn't that I don't want to visit - I do. I also want my daughter to sit under our tree and open her presents on Christmas morning. Being military, that's something that is probably not going to happen until Huzzy retires.

We aren't stationed close enough to just swing by grandpa's house after we open presents, so instead we pack everything up days in advance and stay there for nearly a week. I've been kind of bummed about it though, and Huzzy was nice enough to humor me this year.

Yesterday was our Christmas. Huzzy had duty on Saturday, so the setup was left to me. As soon as Baby Girl was asleep I got to work. Come hell or high water, Santa was coming December 18th.

 Most of the presents were already wrapped and ready to go. I filled up the stockings, the tree and arranged most of the presents. The biggest and best present still had to be put together.

 This is a stock photo.
Trust me, you don't want to see my living room.

 I wasn't particularly worried about putting this toy together. I mean, the box was freaking huge, so most of it should already be put together...right? This stupid thing was the bane of my existence for about 1 1/2 hours. To be fair, I stopped to eat and complain on Facebook/twitter. So it probably didn't have to take so long. Still, it was a beast to put together. I should not have to pull out power tools to put together a child's toy. Just saying.

Sunday morning Baby Girl wasn't allowed in the living room until Huzzy came home from duty. She could see the lights on the tree, the piles of presents, and of course the kitchen set which was (badly) wrapped as well. Once Daddy came home she got even more excited of course, because to her he is the most amazing person in the world.

We recorded almost the whole thing. Baby Girl tearing into some presents, ignoring others. Her love of Elmo, her strange obsession with toy forks and knives. The rest of us opening presents. It was really nice. Afterwards we made a nice, big breakfast and just kind of relaxed. Today, Huzzy is on duty and when he comes home tomorrow morning we are leaving immediately. There are rivers to go over, and woods to go through, but to Grandmother's house we go. It will be stress, but it will be wonderful.

Baby girl is too young to understand what is going on, let alone worry about dates. We may not be able to do this next year, but I will always treasure this memory of our first (private) Christmas.

I probably won't be updating much more until we get back. Updates and reminders for your Disney Movie Rewards will post, but not much more than that. Never fear, I shall return! Until then, have a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Holidays/etc.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cost of Living Goes Up, BAH Goes Down?

Sometimes I really have to wonder what geniuses at the DoD are thinking when they make the yearly changes to BAH. This year, for the second year in a row, the BAH in our area is dropping. A couple days ago the Department of Defense released the new BAH rates for 2012. For those not hip to the military lingo, BAH is our basic allowance for housing. It is supposed to go up or down depending on the cost of living wherever you are stationed.

I'm calling shenanigans on this crap. Don't get me wrong, the drop is not much: a mere $6 a month. You may think that this isn't really a reason to complain, but that's where you'd be wrong. First, I reserve the right to complain about whatever I want. Second, I do actually have real reasons this upsets me.

  1. The cost of living in this area is going up next year. They're passing laws to put tolls on the tunnels and bridges that you have to use in order to get to and from work. It will be close to $2 each way. So almost $4 a day just to get to and from work. Assuming you're lucky enough to have off on weekends and work a normal five day work week, that adds another $80 to budget out somehow. Awesomesauce. BAH isn't really meant to offset this, we should get COLA. I doubt that's ever going to happen though, and so that just makes me more annoyed at the BAH rate drop.
  2.  Saying it's only $6 less a month than this past year doesn't really sound so bad. What does sound bad is that it's $135 less than 2 years ago. When you've already taken $129 off the BAH rates, yeah, I'm going to get snippy about $6.
  3. For some reason, they lowered the BAH for those WITH dependents and actually raised the BAH for those WITHOUT dependents. I'm confused, are we giving them extra booze monies? Trying to help them offset the cost of puppy chow? Why would you take money from those who are supporting families and give it to those who are only supporting themselves? While our BAH is dropping $6 next year, theirs is being raised $45. Seriously, DoD? Explain yourselves please.

Thank God they grandfather you in if you are already stationed here. We won't see the money actually drop from our pay, but the next time we transfer we have to hope that we're going to get enough know...survive. I am starting to feel really bad for people who transfer to this area.

If you want to check on the new rates you can go HERE and calculate what it will be. Also lets you look at previous years. Nifty!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Holiday Funk

I can't believe we have less than 2 weeks until Christmas. With it being so close you would think I was dancing around the house listening to Christmas music. Sadly, that is not so.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sweepers, Sweepers, Man Your Brooms

I've been trying really hard lately to keep busy and out of the house. It makes the time go faster and keeps my mind busy. The only downside to being out of the house so much is that I'm seriously slacking on keeping this place clean. Procrastination at its' finest.

Friday, December 9, 2011

In Which Home Depot Can Rot In Hell

I think the picture above shows pretty accurately how I feel about Home Depot right now. I have always shopped at Home Depot, and as far as getting things at the store I am not complaining. I have never had a problem going in, getting what I need and leaving. They (generally) have what I need in stock, and the prices are not as bad as other stores I have gone to.

That being said,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Keeping Your Sanity As A Stay-At-Home-Mom

I love my child. I really, truly do. I would do anything to make her safe and happy. I feel like this post needed to be prefaced with that, so that when I start losing my mind you will see I only do so out of love.

Oh, the glorious life of a stay at home mom. So wonderful! So exciting! So...boring. So isolating. So monotonous. I hear all the time about how rewarding it is and how lucky I am. Yes, yes it is, and yes I am. I enjoy spending time with my daughter, but sometimes I just want to be alone. It isn't that I don't care about her, it's that sometimes I need to care about myself. And my sanity.

I spend the majority of my day cleaning, playing with Baby Girl or playing online (if she's napping or entertaining herself). It doesn't exactly feel fulfilling. For someone like me who is so used to working outside the home it feels more like house arrest than a vacation. I've always wanted kids and that isn't about to change, but it hasn't been a completely smooth transition either.

The decision to have kids isn't one to be taken lightly. Children are these adorable little tornadoes of destruction. They're messy, loud and expensive. They break your stuff, eat everything and pee everywhere. No one cares as much about your kid as you do, but you think they do. Or at least, they should. You will want to pull your hair out. Daily. You will find them doing something they shouldn't be doing, and instead of yelling at them you will be trying not to laugh. Once you laugh you're totally screwed, because then they will do it over and over and over again. It gets less cute each time I promise.

Still, it's your kid. Nothing you can really do but suck it up on the bad days and keep going. Tell yourself that whatever annoying thing they are doing right now is a stage. Countdown to bedtime and pour yourself a glass wine. Which is pretty much what I'm doing right now. When the kids are really getting you down and you're missing adult conversation, hang in there. It gets better. I think. That's what they keep telling me.

5 Ways to Keep Your Sanity as a Stay-At-Home-Mom

  1. Take pictures of your kid - The more humiliating the better. Your child may have no shame now, but one day she is going to be embarrassed by that picture you have of her running around with a diaper on her head. Remember, revenge is a dish best served cold. Be patient. You can wait.
  2. Invest in a spray bottle - I'm not even kidding. When I'm doing the dishes, Baby Girl likes to sneak in and get into the trash. You know what's funnier than spraying a cat with a spray bottle? Yup. Trust me, it's totally worth the trip to the dollar store.
  3. Clean the hell out of your hardwood floors - Then put the kids in slippery socks. Works especially well if they aren't very good at walking yet. Bonus? The cleaning gets done. Check it off your list!
  4. Ask your husband what he wants for dinner - Then just make whatever you want. Works with kids too, but not until they're a little older.
  5. Get yourself all dolled up for no reason - Then go somewhere really classy, like Walmart. As an added bonus, wander around looking for people who look like they just rolled out of bed. For now, You can feel better about yourself. Tomorrow you'll be the person getting laughed at after your kid wipes snot/food/etc on your shirt.

If all else fails, make sure your man has this handy dandy cheat sheet.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hurray For Snowmen!

As I mentioned earlier, I was lucky enough to participate in a Secret Santa being run by Wife of a Sailor. Kati received my present the other day. Just a little while ago the mailman stopped by with a package for me! I love getting mail, it makes my whole day! At least when it isn't just bills that is.

Anyway, my secret Santa was Suzanne, who runs a fantastic website called All Because Two People Fell In Love. It's an amazing resource for military families, and I've actually been over to her site quite a few times. Show her some love and appreciation. She really did awesome finding something I'd like!

All Because Two People Fell in Love

Huzzy knows about my love of snowmen, and manages to put up with the little guys invading our home every winter. Now I have a beautiful new set to add to the collection! Thanks, Suzanne!!!

Too damn cute! <3

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

Ok, so Huzzy has only been gone a couple days. I won't bore you guys talking about missing him. Seriously, I've had him gone longer than this just because of duty days. I miss him, but I'm not crying myself to sleep, mkay? That said, this whole "underway in December" thing is the pits.

First, it feels like we just  got ourselves into a good routine. He only got back from deployment in July, and wow. They tell you that it isn't all sunshine and daisies when the guys get back, and they weren't kidding. We definitely had our trying moments. It isn't for lack of caring, it's just that it can be difficult and frustrating trying to ease into your new roles. For six months I was the sole caretaker for our child, our home, our bills...everything. Then he comes back and of course, wants in. It's hard to give up control of things some times. It's hard to make way. In the end we managed pretty well, and things have been awesome. Still, we just freaking got it together and they're starting to take him away again. Not cool.

We're going to have to go through this all over again. He's going to have to learn to let go, and I'm going to have to pick up what he can't do from afar. These work ups and upcoming deployment will be worse in some ways than the last. My biggest hurdle to overcome will be our daughter. It breaks my heart when she goes through the house trying to find Daddy. She's old enough to understand she can't find him and she misses him, but too young to understand where he is and why. Rough.

The second reason this underway bites is just the timing. It's December for crying out loud! The holidays are around the corner, and it all falls to me. I'll be running around like crazy trying to get everything ready for the holidays without his help. I know he'd kill to be here, it's not his fault. Still, having him gone right now is especially trying. Yucky.

I'm making a pre-New Year's resolution for myself. I want to be more active than I was last time. I am going to join the YMCA so I can actually have "me" time. I want to go to the FRG (family readiness group) meetings instead of missing half of them. I want to go to their events and meet and greets. I want to get out and connect with other spouses. I left active duty during Huzzy's last deployment, and it was rough trying to meet and get to know some of the spouses. I felt like a total outsider. This time I'm not taking the easy way out. I'm not hiding in my house with my child and pretending the deployment away. It isn't fair to her, and it isn't fair to me, dammit.

I know a lot of people look down at the FRG and the women who go to the events. They laugh at the bake sales, the meet and greets and the monthly meetings. I know, because I was one of those people. But the whole time I was laughing at how silly it all seemed, I was also jealous. Jealous because I felt so left out and so alone. It took me a while to realize the only reason I felt so left out was because I didn't make an effort to join in. Not this time buster. This deployment I'm going to be there so often they'll probably be hoping I miss a few events. HA. Good luck ladies!

I really do urge any military spouses who read this to do the same. Go out. Get involved. Meet the other women and make some new friends. You won't like them all. You probably won't really like half of them. There are so many different kinds of people, that's just the way it goes. But even if you meet one or two people you can really connect with, it's worth it. It's worth it to know that you might find a couple girls that will really have your back when the shit hits the fan.

Enterprise FRG? Brace for shock.


It Was Always Like That... Don't You Pay Attention To Anything?

Ways I'm Mean To Huzzy #57 - 
I like to rearrange all the furniture when he goes out to sea, conveniently forget to tell him before he gets home, and watch him try to find stuff around the house for a couple days.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Suck It Up, Buttercup. Be Grateful You Have Healthcare!

There's nothing quite so wonderful as taking a squirmy toddler to the doctor, is there?

I have to admit I don't understand the need to have her taken in as often as they recommend, but I guess the younger they are, the more kids needs to get looked at. I took Baby Girl in to the doctor's in July for her one year check up, and I wasn't sure when I needed to take her next. I thought we were good until her 18 month check up. Guess not. When I contacted her doctor to make sure they said she should have been brought in for a 15 month check up. Oops! We went today, and I guess it kind of counted for both her 15 month and 18 month. Whatever.

Baby Girl is (as always) at the top of the charts on height and weight. She was a big baby (9lbs 2oz) so this is actually a good thing. She's growing right on her curve. Unfortunately I didn't get her blood drawn at her one year appointment, so we had to do it today. It's always nerve-wracking for me when something has to be done that will cause her pain. No parent wants to hurt their child, but things like immunizations and such make it necessary. She took it like a champ though, and she only cried for a couple minutes.

One of the great things about being military is not having to worry about her healthcare. I know, I know. They are talking about raising fees and changing things. But seriously, this is an amazing thing that military families get that civilians do not and I am very grateful.

I am so very, very tired of hearing military families complain about military doctors, hospitals and Tricare. If you do not like your doctor/hospital/etc...go find another one! Baby Girl is seen at the same military medical facility that I went to while I was active duty. Personally, I prefer it. You do have the option to go "out in town" or to see a civilian doctor, but I never felt this was necessary.

To begin with, if you want to see a civilian doctor you will pay more for your health insurance. I don't believe it is much (I honestly haven't checked) but on top of this you will also pay your doctor co-pays. You have to go through the hassle of driving to the CVS, Walgreens, or whatever pharmacy you like to pick up your prescriptions. These prescriptions are not always free (according to one MilSpouse I know).

After being in the military myself, going to their doctors and hospitals and now taking my daughter there, I have seen no reason to complain about the way they operate or how they have treated us. I gave birth at a Naval Hospital and enjoyed my experience there, but when I tell people I had Baby Girl at a military hospital they start telling me horror stories. I got these before giving birth as well.

I am tired of it. There are going to be problems with every hospital. There are going to be problems with every insurance company (even, *gasp* Tricare!). Everyone has something to complain about. To be honest, some people just like to complain. But we have it very, very good. I don't have to worry about whether or not I can afford some ridiculous co-pay if I need to rush my daughter to the hospital. I don't have to worry about prescriptions. I just pick them up in the same building (I'm way to lazy/cheap to make a second stop at the pharmacy).

There are so many people out there without insurance, or with less than adequate insurance that would LOVE to have the benefits that we do. If you hate the military doctors, go find a civilian doctor. You have that option. But please, please stop putting down our military and our healthcare. I find it rude, disrespectful and ungrateful. If it's so horrible, feel free to see what insurance would cost you out in the civilian sector. I promise it isn't pretty. You won't get anywhere near as much for as little as we pay for ours.


Do you take your family to a civilian doctor or a military doctor? Which do you prefer?


Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's That Time Again

The USS Enterprise (the real life one, not the uber cool Star Trek version) finished up their fast cruise and pushed that big bad D word upon us. We still have a ways to go. There are work ups to be done first, but still. Deployment is inching closer and closer. To be fair though, it could be years off and I would still be dreading it.

I know, I know. We knew this was coming, such is military life. Huzzy keeps telling me it will be ok and we'll manage. I know that. I know we'll be fine. I'm not worried about making it through the deployment, but that doesn't mean I am happy about it!

 I get frustrated when people tell me I shouldn't complain or be upset because this is the life I signed up for. Fine. I'll stop complaining about this if you stop complaining about your job, kids, and everything else that you "signed up for".

 I have stumbled across this list of "What Not to Say to a Military Wife" many times. Some I agree with and some I don't. Let's take a look, shall we?

What Not to Say to a Military Wife:

1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"

I see this question on many lists, but I can honestly say I've never actually been asked this. I have to wonder if anyone is thoughtless enough to really ask this question. Of course, I worry about Huzzy. Every member of our military has someone at home (spouse, child, parents, friends, etc) who worry about their safe return. I call shenanigans on this question though, simply because I doubt anyone is so stupid as to say this. If anyone has actually asked you this, I apologize for their stupidity.

2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."
I have heard this a lot, and I know a lot of women take offense to this. Personally, I'd rather take it the way it was (most likely) meant. Girl, you're strong! Rock on! I don't believe the person that says this is trying to be negative, and even if they are take it as a compliment! That'll mess with their heads. 

3. "At least he's not in Iraq."
I haven't gotten this one either. Maybe because we're Navy? Who knows. I feel sorry for the person that asks this question. They must know very little of the world today and never flip on the news. Bad things happen everywhere. Ship, shore, or around the neighborhood. "At least he's not in Iraq" also translates to "At least he's on the ship instead of driving the highway when that big five car pile up happened". This poor, ignorant person isn't trying to be mean...They are trying to make you feel better. They just don't understand that anywhere our guys go is dangerous. Resist the urge to educate them, it is a long and arduous process.

4. "Do you think he'll get to come home for Christmas / anniversary / birthday / birth of a child / wedding / family reunion, etc.?"
The only people I have had ask me this are family members trying to make plans. It's nice to at least give people a heads up if they might not want to bother paying for an extra person at their wedding who will most certainly not be there. Sometimes this is a frustrating question because it just opens a wound. Huzzy missed Baby Girl's first birthday. He missed crawling and first teeth and just about every first you can imagine. He missed birthdays and holidays and it sucked. Hard. If you ask this because you need to know to plan your own event, fine. But I agree that this question is in poor taste otherwise. Salt in an open wound anyone?

5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"
Yup, I've gotten this plenty of times. I know a lot of people get really annoyed with it (What, do they think I sit around all day and just wait for him?!) but I can understand. I start prepping before he leaves. I try to come up with things to keep myself busy when he isn't here. Frankly, you have to. It isn't that you aren't doing stuff while he's home. It's that when he is gone there is so much more time. For me, daytime isn't the biggie. Night time is. When I go to bed at night and he isn't in bed next to me, it's depressing. Last deployment I caught up on all my reading. My Kindle was my bedfellow, and it worked out swell. 
Instead of getting all defensive if someone asks you this, maybe you should start planning. The one thing that helps me get through deployments is to stay busy. It keeps your mind off the more depressing things, like is he going to make it home in time for...?

6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"
The way this is phrased makes it sound worse than it is. If someone is just asking when your spouse can "get out" that does sound kind of rude. Like he's on a prison sentence or something... I have been asked how long he's been in, or when he retires. It's a pretty common question that doesn't really bother me.

7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."
This one irritates me, because I have been asked this and it is rude as hell. You never get used to it. You adapt, you carry on, but you are never used to it. 
I will never get used to sleeping without him next to me.
I will never get used to my daughter's confused looks as she calls "Daddy?" and wanders the house looking for him.
I will never get used to saying goodbye to him, knowing it will be for a long time and possibly forever.

8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
I know this upsets a lot of MilSpouses. I just don't have it in me. I don't care if someone is only gone for a couple days, who are we to judge how much someone misses them? Huzzy can go on duty (as he is today) and I miss him. I may miss him longer than you miss your husband who's off on a business trip, but I cannot say I miss him more. That would be thoughtless and devalue your feelings towards your man.
Personally, I think that the women who get bent out of shape over this question aren't so much angry as they are jealous. I get it. I'm jealous of every ship that pulls in before Huzzy's does. It's still no reason to be mean.

9. "Wow, you must miss him."
Well, yeah. Kind of going without saying. I've never actually been asked this though.

10. "Where is he exactly? Where is that?"
Ah, I get this all the time. You can come up with some interesting answer, or just say you don't know. Half the time I'm not sure anyway, so it's easy to just say so. When I do know and I have to lie, I almost feel bad. Almost. The people that ask me this aren't connected to the military, and no matter how many times I try to explain OPSEC they don't get it ("It's just me, I'm not telling anyone...") so I just lie. Or say he's in the ocean somewhere. Surrounded by blue. It isn't worth getting my panties in a twist.

11. "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault whatever happens over there."
I've never been told this, and wish to God people didn't feel this way. We all know that some do. And they are assholes. Don't talk to them. 

12. "Don't you miss sex? I couldn't do it!"
Yes, we miss sex. If we didn't there wouldn't be 5 million of these logos everywhere.

13. "Oh, that's horrible ... I'm so sorry!"

Most of the women I have seen reply to this take it so badly. As if the person saying it means that his military service means nothing, or she's to be pitied. That's not the way it was meant and that's not the way I'm going to take it.

 Yes, it is horrible that he has to be away from his family and friends for so long and miss so much. Thank you.

 Disclaimer (for anyone who's read this far) the ship already put out the info on the Fast Cruise. I won't put out info on the work ups or deployment, so don't ask. I won't post anything about that stuff until it is released or the guys are safely back home. I take OPSEC seriously and so should you.

Blogging Stuff

Hey all! Don't be concerned if things look a little different when you pop by! I'm playing around with backgrounds and styles and trying to decide what I like! In the meantime, if you have any suggestions about the style or colors used here leave me a comment. I liked the pink, but it was getting a bit much.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Kid is Trying to Kill Me

Last night was hell. I say that with the absolute certainty of one who has been there and seen it. I'm telling you, my home was transformed into, at the very least, the fifth circle of hell. That's the one with all the fighting, right? Whatever. I was in deep.

I knew Baby Girl was going to have some issues with getting to sleep. She took a late nap and bedtime in general has been a nightmare as of late. Also, Huzzy was on duty which always seems to throw her off. Either that or she just saves up all her wrath for me. Either way, I figured I was in for a special night.

When bedtime rolled around I kept as bed I could to our routine, though the late nap pushed it back an hour. We had dinner and clean up, fresh jammies and a little playtime. I put her in the crib, handed her a sippy cup, sat down on the floor and began to read. I read three of her little books, told her goodnight and left the room. She was having none of it. The screaming began almost before I closed the door, and did not stop. She was getting so hysterical I felt bad and went back in. I didn't want to let her out and get her all riled up again. Instead I decided I would just sit there and read and read and read until she calmed down and started to nod off.

That never happened. Instead Baby Girl decided to show off her mad acrobatic skills and almost fell on top of me. Head first. She isn't able to get a leg up over the crib, but she's tall enough that if she really puts the effort forth she can lean over the rail...and presumably topple out. Head first. Did I mention that if she did this she would fall head first to the ground?! I panicked. There was no way I was going to be able to leave her alone in there (let alone sleep) knowing she might hurt herself in an attempt to escape. I scooped her up and took her out to the living room so she could watch Elmo while I performed surgery on the crib.

We have a fairly simple crib, but the side (not a drop down!) does come off (provided you have the right tools) so that it can be used as a toddler bed. It took about 10 minutes, but I had the side off and the new piece on pretty easily. Most of that time was spent looking for the tool box. I grabbed the baby gate and set it up at her door so she could not wander around the house during the night.

Imagine my surprise when I went back to the living room and found Baby Girl sitting in front of Huzzy's display cabinet, surrounded by autographed baseballs and (apparently) important baseball cards. We had not bothered to put a baby lock on it since the handle was so high we figured she wouldn't be able to open it. Baby Girl is a very willful and determined child. I picked her up, dropped her in her room and cleaned up the mess. I didn't notice teeth marks on anything, so I think we're ok. Huzzy will have to take a look when he gets home. And yes, I put a baby lock on the cabinet right away.

This whole "bed is for sleeping" concept was lost on Baby Girl. After a few hours of begging, pleading, coaxing, crying and frayed nerves, she finally passed out. At 11:30pm. THANK GOD. Her top half was on the bed. Her bottom half was on stuffed animals piled on the floor. Still, she was 100% asleep and that's all I cared about.

Huzzy called around 12:30 and asked how my day was... The version he heard had a lot more expletives in it.

Oh, and in case you're curious... She broke down the baby gate this morning without my hearing it. I have no idea how long she was awake for or what she did. All I know is that she went into the kitchen trash at some point, because I woke up to her shaking an almost empty can of Red Bull in my room. Time to wash the sheets. Again.

How did you get your child to sleep in a toddler bed/regular bed?