Monday, April 23, 2012

Deployments Suck

The first time it happened we weren't exactly on the best of terms. I almost didn't move to Georgia with him just months before deployment and if I hadn't I am pretty sure our marriage would not have made it these last 7yrs. But, I decided to save my marriage and be the dutiful wife. Our 3 kids and I sent him off and I survived. I even managed to find a close friend to keep me company during the deployment. When he came home on leave we had a great time in Florida where he knocked me up with our 4th kid. Things seemed to be smooth sailing from that point on. He was deployed for 12 months that time.

The second time was a longer deployment. 15 months. We now had 5 kids. No, I did not have twins when he knocked me up in Florida but we did have a post deployment baby too (making number 4 and 5 Irish twins). We got everyone all decked out in their red, white and blue and we sent daddy off again. We were on much better terms this go around and yet I still did not cry. I knew the life we were living. I handled it just fine the first time, and I would handle it just fine once again. I made it easier on the babies (who were barely 4 months and just over a year old) by ordering a Flat Daddy. If you have no idea what that is, you are definitely missing out. Basically it was a life sized cutout of our hero. We took it every where with us and the kids never failed to kiss Flat Daddy goodnight.

This is now our third deployment and my, my, my has it been hard. I am a hot mess. I think part of the problem is we came from a post where daddy was home whenever we needed him. For two years he was home for dinner, home when the kids stepped on the school bus, home in time to coach his daughter's soccer team and take his son to Scouts. Another part, I think, is that it had been 5 years since we sent him off. Our youngest is now 5 and she is a total Daddy's girl. It may be hard on me to have an empty bed and be the sole care taker of 5 kids but what was it gonna do to my kids who were getting older and wiser? I will be honest, I have cried several times... before he deployed and after he deployed, never in front of the kids and NEVER in front of my husband.

This is hard enough on him as it is without worrying about me surviving another deployment. Don't get me wrong, I WILL survive but dammit, deployments don't ever get easier. In my case they just get worse. In case you were wondering... deployments suck!

And while I appreciate the love, the support and the hugs... here are a few reminders on things to never say to the wife of a deployed Soldier:

1. Oh, I completely understand. My husband works long hours. {FYI: you DO NOT understand unless your husband is IN the military}

2. Wow, that must be hard for you to go so long without sex. {yes, because THAT was what I was concerned about}

3. Is the baby his? {nope, the first thing I did when he left was find the closest dick to get me through the long time without sex... guess I should have been more careful}

4. I don't know how you do it! {Guess what? Neither do we!}

5. You can't be too upset about it, you knew he could get deployed. {Yes I did but that doesn't mean I have to like it... and we are all entitled to a little bitching every now and again... weren't you just bitching about daddy missing little Suzie's play due to a meeting? Thought so.}

6. Suck it up {only other military wives are allowed to say this, everyone else will be bitch slapped}

7. I would be so scared my husband would be killed... aren't you scared? {of course I am! But I choose to not live in fear of the "what ifs" and the "could be's" This is his job, just like a police officer or firefighter does his job. Hell, the pizza delivery guy could get shot or in a head on collision but you don't hear anyone fearing for their lives.}

8. Don't you miss him? {I don't know, do you miss your husband when he works late?! Yes I miss him. Do I let it consume me? No! I have to get on with the every day and do it all on my own. I have kids, pets and bill collectors that rely on me to be the woman I need to be. I can miss him without being consumed by it.. even though lately I am a hot mess but let's forget I told you that}

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dream, Dream, Dream

I have been known to have some crazy dreams. Most of the time I remember them in vivid detail but lately I have been forgetting them as soon as I wake up. I have read that if you keep a dream journal next to your bed and write in it as soon as you wake up that you will remember your dreams better. I have done this several times. In fact, I love going back and looking at some of those crazy dreams and looking up the meanings of the things I encountered in my subconscious.

A while ago I had a dream that I was sitting on an indoor beach watching Robert Pattinson film a movie. While I do like Twilight, I am not particularly a Robert Pattinson fan so sitting around watching him is not really my idea of fun. Anyway, as I am leaving the movie set I run into Chucky. You know, the demonic, walking, talking, I will gut you like a fish for fun, psycho doll from Child's Play. I actually used to love those movies when I was younger. I remember seeing one of them in theaters but as I got older and they came out with My Buddy (which was eerily similar to Chucky), I started to develop a fear of him. I couldn't look at My Buddy without freaking out and my siblings and cousins took full advantage of that. They tortured me with that stupid doll and thus setting the fear in me for years to come. If I ever saw the movie box at the store, I would jump or scream or cover my eyes in a panic. And no doubt, that night, I would have a dream about him trying to kill me. I would wake in a panic and not be able to get back to sleep. That all changed with this dream with Robert Pattinson and Chucky. I am not quite sure what was going on in the dream but I remember I was running through a city trying to save my kids. I did not want Chucky to find them. As I was rounding a corner I came face to face with the demon doll. He attacked me but this time I did not wake up in a panic... this time I grabbed that little doll and I kicked the shit out of him. I beat him until there was nothing left to beat. I tackled my fear, literally. Ever since then I have not been nearly as terrified of that face. If I see the movie box in the store, I look away. I mean, let's face it, the doll is ugly. But it does not prompt nightmares and I am so glad for that cause nightmares suck... especially when the Army makes you sleep alone so often.

So yeah, I have some crazy dreams. And two nights ago was no different. What I remember only comes in spurts but if I start telling you about it I will probably start remembering more. Usually as I am telling John about the crazy things my mind comes up with while I am sleeping I start saying things like, "Oh, and before that." and "I almost forgot, but..." So what do you think it means when you are standing on the stairs and a 600lb bull comes running down the stairs and squishes you against the railing? This is how my dream started out. Then as I am there with my personal space over run by a big black bull, my step dad comes up and says that if this bull wins the competition that he will give me $1 for every pound it weighs. Okay! The next thing I know I am in my van on a dirt road when a train comes along. The engineer yells that she has already cleaned that side of the road so to watch out for oncoming cars. Apparently I was in a town where they turn it into an old western town, which is why the roads were covered in dirt but the train comes through the clean it all up. Suddenly I am surrounded by vehicles with John's grandparents following closely behind me with his granddad on the phone the whole time and two of my mom's aunts close in front of me, only they are driving backwards and yelling at me that I have the wrong kind of tires on my car. They are also asking about my jewelry that I explain was my grandma's. I some how lose the old people but now I am in a trailer with my kids, and my friends' kids and I am scared for my life. People were coming to kill me. People I knew... family... friends... they were coming to kill me. So I grabbed a shoe, some other stuff and lastly some knitting needles. Those would end up being my weapon of choice. I held them in my hand and waited for my assailants to come in. I stayed close to the wall watching out the window and listening at the door. Then the door opened and I cowered in the corner with my knitting needles in hand. A man with something underneath a blanket came close to me and I feared for my life. Another guy that came in with him told me to relax and that I would like what was underneath the blanket. And I did... it was a baby. A cute, little, black, baby boy. I don't know where it came from but I don't care. Then I remember the events from earlier in the day. I was sitting with a friend that just found out she was pregnant. In just four hours she went from 4 weeks to 38 weeks and she was ready to have the baby at any moment. She wanted to be left alone so I got her some warm, wet blankets and I left her in the bathtub to have her baby. This cute little baby must be hers. Then I find out that my bull did not win his competition. He spazzed out and didn't even compete. That is when I wake up. And I am left with the feeling that I slept like crap and that a bull was sitting on my lower back. Stupid bull.

Anyway, that leads me to a dream dictionary site that I often to use to look up what these things mean. It is interesting to put your subconscious thoughts into your real life and see that it actually makes some crazy kind of sense. So if you want to look up what it means to dream about a bull or a doll or a baby then head over to they have all kinds of insight into our subconscious images. Oh, and don't be surprised to hear about more of my crazy dreams.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3 Leap Years

In January of 2000 I started talking to this really great guy. I knew him from high school but we didn't really hang out much then. Actually, our Freshman year of high school we were both in JROTC and he asked me to the military ball that year. I remember my grandma taking me to buy a dress and to get my hair done. I looked amazing for a dorky 15yr old with Koolaid streaks in her hair. My date was pretty dorky too... and I have the picture to prove it! However, he ended up getting a girlfriend just two weeks prior to the ball and while he still took me, I didn't see him all night.

Anyway, we started hanging out a lot right around my 19th birthday. And while we were just friends, we flirted a lot. We teased each other (I joked that he should be my boyfriend), we looked out for each other (I asked him to tag along on my blind date, just in case LoL) and we even held hands during a scary movie (Scream 3, yes I am a chicken!). Even with all that, I still was not really interested in him as a boyfriend. He was a great friend and a great guy but my heart belonged to someone else.

A month or so later my heart was broken. The guy I liked, that I thought liked me, just wasn't interested. I was reading all the signs wrong and I was the only one that didn't see he was not the one for me. I was the only one that couldn't see what was right there in front of me. That guy that chaperoned my crazy date... that guy that held my hand when I was scared... that guy that I joked with on a daily basis.

So on the night of February 28th, as we all sat around the apartment having a great time, I finally admitted to a friend that I might like him more than just a friend. She then took it upon herself to push us together... literally. She pushed me into his lap as I got close to him. I still wasn't sure if this was right. Yes, he was amazing. Yes, he was a great friend. I just didn't know where I wanted it to go. He made that easy though.

Sometime after midnight he asked me if I would go on a date with him. He wanted me to be his date to the military ball! 5 years after the last ball he ditched me at and now he wanted to take me to another. I laughed. Was he serious? I didn't want to be made a fool of again, so I said, "I don't know. Depends if you are going to get another girlfriend before the ball." And being quick witted and oh so smooth, he responded with, "Well what if my girlfriend is you?" How do you say no to that?! YOU CAN'T! And I didn't.

On that leap year in 2000 I became his date to another military ball... and I also became his girlfriend. Who would have known that 12 years later we would still be telling this story? Still debating over who ditched who at that first military ball. Still laughing about me joking about being his girlfriend. If you asked me 12 years ago where I would be today I don't think I would have said married to the boy who ditched me at a high school dance. Yet here we are. Happily married for almost 10 years, together for 12 and 5 kids, 2 dogs and 3 states later.

Through the good, the bad, the funny and the sad, I love you more than words can say. I cannot imagine what my life would be without you in it. Happy 3rd Leap-iversary, John C. Whitehead!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why, Hello There!

It has been almost 5 months since I last posted. So much has happened that the outside world just does not know about...

For instance, did you know that my husband did NOT deploy in December like I previously reported?! Nope! He is still here with us. Prior to moving here to Washington we were under the impression he would be deploying this spring. Then we got here and they changed it to December. We were bummed that he would be gone before our Christmas vacation plans but then that changed too. The rest of his unit was deploying but he was staying back with a handful or so of others. Then they announced the remainder of the unit would be following this spring (yup, back to the spring again)... most likely the end of April. So yeah, he will be deploying soon. When? Well, I can't say exactly... and not because of operational security reasons but because WE STILL DON'T KNOW! Frustrating is an understatement. Yesterday I thought I knew when he was leaving and now today that changed. I know, I know, take everything the Army says with a grain of salt and don't believe it until it's actually happening. Trust me, I know all this. We still have not had this short of notice, or this many changes happen within a single unit in the entire 8yrs we have been an Army family. I imagine I will survive though. It would just be nice to know how much longer my husband will be home with us :)

On another note, that Christmas vacation I mentioned earlier... I posted about that previously as well. I mentioned that we wouldn't get to go because of the Army wanting us to pay back $6100 that they advanced us that we had no way of proving that we were entitled to because of the moving company's mistake. Well, we went on our Christmas vacation! My sister surprised the kids in California, we stayed at an amazing resort and had a great time at Disney and Universal. I got to meet a wonderful photographer (and great internet friend) and we had our family pictures done in Downtown Disney. They turned out GREAT! I was so excited to see them and I knew she would not disappoint. Our trip was expensive but well worth it. The kids really enjoyed it but man did I miss the traditional Christmas stuff with our family back in Ohio.

As for the issue with needing to pay back the Army for our DITY move, that is coming to an end this next month. We finally got a "bill" from the Army asking (HA!) for their money back. Thankfully we had it put into savings just for this reason. ABF paid us back in full for our entire move and even went above and beyond (after much deliberation) and sent us a check for an extra $2000. Of course that was not a negotiable amount... it was either take it, or leave it. We took it just so we could end the back and forth and get on with life. I am highly disappointed that all that money will have to go right back to the Army and that we got NOTHING out of moving ourselves (the only reason we even did a DITY move was for that extra money) but at least we got the moving company to cover our butts so that we can pay the Army back and not meet any financial burden. That is a big weight off our shoulders.

That is about all that has happened in regards to things I had previously posted about. Life around here is hectic as usual and with hubby deploying soon I imagine I will get back to a regular blogging routine. I am even thinking about starting up a new blog. So, I hope there are still some of you out there that like reading this drivel that I post.