Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Are you sure it's not Monday again?

Today has been great.  Really.  The kids & I got to go with a friend out to the landing zone to watch our husbands (mine & hers, not mine & the kids :P) do their last jumps of Airborne school.  It was a lot of fun, watching the planes fly over and the guys pop out, looking like 30 jellyfish strung out, floating around in the sky. 

Stupid me, I forgot my camera. 

Stupider me, I forgot to put sunblock on the kids before we left, or even take it, for that matter.  I brought sweatshirts, sure.  Hats, too.  Didn't really think about the fact that we'd be out on an open field with no shade for a few hours. 
Double Fail.

The kids had tons of fun, though.  Big Brother found a friend around his age to play with, and they chased each other around the entire time we were there.  Little Sister tried her hardest to keep up, and did a pretty good job, but is still a little unsteady on her feet, so she kept falling over.  Surprisingly, or not, it was Big Brother who ended up with a goosegg on his head from running into the corner of the bleachers.

This jump was a combat jump, meaning they had their rucks & rifles with them, and dropped them onto cords when they were about halfway to the ground.  It was a really cool thing to watch. 

Not cool were the two guys who's chutes got entangled and they fell together.  It was pretty scary, but at least they were ok.  Not nearly as scary, I guess, as the guy who's wind got 'stolen' from the guy who floated right underneath him yesterday and fell to the ground.  Glad I wasn't there. 

So the first half of my day was pretty good.  Both kids fell asleep in the car on the way home, completely filthy & covered head to toe in dirt (Little Sister even had it in her mouth!).  I tried my hardest to keep them awake, but just got dirty looks from Little Sister before she fell asleep.  Once we got home, she went right back to sleep after being disrobed, having her diaper changed, and getting a quick wipedown.  Big Brother, on the other hand, just sat in his room and played quietly for a while, but then started demanding to be let out.  I wasn't ready to deal with the chaos again just yet, so I let him yell. (judge me if you must, but if you do, you're probably not a mom) 

As soon as they woke up, they both went right into the bathtub.  I quickly washed them both and was going to let them play for a while, but Little Sister pooped.  Ugh.  I hate bathtub poop.  Got them both out, lotioned & diapered, and as I was cleaning the tub (ugh) I heard Little Sister scream.  Like she was hurt.  Naturally, I asked Big Brother what happened, and he ran out yelling "I wrestle Sister".  At least there was no lasting damage. 

So I'm pretty sure The Hubs got the shoot shake out detail today, because he would have been home over an hour ago if he didn't.  And since he doesn't have his phone on him until he gets to the car on his way home, I never know how long it's going to be before he gets off.  So I never know whether to start dinner or not. So now I'm just waiting. 

Oh yeah. And I left my keys at WalMart last week.  lovely, eh?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

The weekend was lots of fun.  The Hubs's parents came to visit and were able to go watch his company's first jump at Airborne School with Big Brother (Little Sister & I had to stay home - we only had one carseat).  It was really nice having them here to visit, but the weekend was packed full, and in the middle of packing, my house was (and still is) a wreck, and being in and out all weekend didn't help much. 

So here we are, noonish on Monday, and I'm wishing for Wednesday afternoon (The Hubs has Thursday & Friday off for Veterans day!)...  I've gotten a lot of packing done today - most of the kitchen, in fact - but by the looks of it, you can't tell. At all.  It looks like, I don't know what.  A tornado blew through?  Cliche', but pretty accurate.  Most of the cabinets are empty though, so everything is out on the countertops. 

Oh, and did I mention that empty bottom cabinets are the best place for 1 and 2 year olds to play?  Especially when Mom is trying to pack stuff on the counter right above them.  Divine. 

Little Sister took a decent nap this morning though, and I put Toy Story 3 on for Big Brother to watch, so I was able to get lots done.  And a good friend brought over some more tape, luckily, right as I ran out of the roll The Hubs bought me last night.  Lifesaver. 

Thankfully, the kids just ate lunch, so it will be time for naps (or a rest, in Big Brother's case) very very soon. 

We got the list on Friday of the things they're looking for when we move out, and the amount that we will be charged.  I know, right now, that we're going to have to replace the blinds and one outlet cover in Big Brother's room, replace the screen on the back door, and paint the wall I painted blue in the living room, along with part of the wall in the kitchen and in the playroom.  Anything else, I guess we'll find when we're cleaning.  Or maybe we'll just pay them to do and forget about it. Might be easier than worrying about it ourselves. 

Did I mention, this seems like it was a bad idea?  No?  Well, let's just hope we have lots more weight than I estimated, so we'll end up getting more money than they estimated.  That will make it worth it.  Getting my new camera will make it worth it all.

So today, I'm packing, hopefully getting all the laundry & dishes done, and I have to somehow get to the office to get The Hubs's orders amended with the actual date we'll be moving.  The office is about 2 miles away, and he has our only car at work with him.  Besides, I lost my keys.  In WalMart.  Last week.  I haven't been driving, so I haven't needed them.  Thankfully I called and they have them, but I have no way of getting there to get them until The Hubs gets off work. 

So sometime today I'll be off on a 3-4 mile trek to & from the office.  With two kids and a stroller.  Let's see how that works out for me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

PCS time

So we're moving.

Or, in Army speak, we're PCSing.

Better than PMSing, I guess... but not by much.

We opted this time to do a DITY move.  For those of you not familiar with the military lingo, DITY means Do IT Yourself.

We're hoping to make some money off this move.

I'm rather excited.  We're PCSing to Fort Carson

Not so excited for the snowy, cold winters.  We lived in that for 4 years while The Hubs was in school.  I can do without snow.  I actually prefer the hot, humid summer of Georgia, or the hotter, dry heat of Vegas, to the snow of the Rocky Mountains.

But there are positives.  My parents are 5 hours away.  Meaning, when The Hubs deploys this coming summer, the kids & I will be able to spend as much or as little time there, just paying for gas, not having to fly.

Needless to say, since the Army isn't moving us this time, and The Hubs has been in Airborne school, all of the packing responsibility falls on me.  I've already got the kids' rooms pretty much packed, as well as everything off the walls & most of the breakables.  So my house looks like a sad, lonely prison cell.

I started working on the kitchen today, finally, after putting it off for almost a week, and after box #3 (and right in the middle of packing up my china) I ran out of packing tape, and The Hubs is off at a jump with our one and only vehicle.  And the PX is miles away.  Go figure.  So instead of being proactive and bugging the neighbors & friends, I'm blogging.  :)

Meanwhile, Big Brother is watching the credits to Toy Story 3, and Little Sister is in the kitchen whining for more milk.  And I'm being the lazy, neglectful mother.

We found out that we're not going to be able to move into a house on post until December 18th.  The kids & I fly out to my parents house on November 18th, and The Hubs & his dad are driving the moving truck, and should get to Ft Carson on or about November 22.  So we'll have to live in on post temporary housing or in an extended-stay hotel.  Neither of which sounds fun, coupled with 2 very lively, demanding and active toddlers who love to go outside, and the fact that we have one vehicle.

I'm pretty sure I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but we both felt strongly about living on post, so that's what we're going for.  Unless we can find a cheap, nice, big home to rent close to post, in a decent neighborhood.  Asking too much? Probably.

So now I'm stuck with the task of not only packing, but also trying to pack boxes to go into storage until we get our home, and also boxes of stuff to take with us if we need it - things like plates, cups, sippies & snack cups for the kids, and toys, of course.  I have no idea what to put in those boxes, other than the things I already mentioned.

I'm starting to feel overwhelmed.

Oh. And Big Brother just let himself & Little Sister outside.  At least our back yard is fenced in so they can't go far.

Anyway, my house is a mess, my inlaws just left, I have laundry to wash, toys everywhere, and just other random chaos filling every corner.  Not really the ideal scenario for packing, but then again, with no tape, I'm not going to be packing much, so I might as well get off my butt and clean.

Anyone want to come help?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

i'm back... a little crazy, but better.

I know it's been forever since I've posted anything. 

A few weeks ago, I had a pretty dramatic few days, followed by a few more and less dramatic weeks.

One night, I decided that I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up, so I took an exorbitant amount of prescription pills and took a bath.  

Luckily, I woke up in the morning, and surprisingly, felt fine.  I bathed myself and my kids, got ready, and got in the car to head to a friend's house for the day.  About 4 houses up, I leaned over to get Little Sister's binkie off the floor, and hit a parked car.  (our streets are super narrow, and people park on both sides, leaving literally enough room for one car to drive at a time.)  Unluckily for me, the car belonged to the visiting parents of an MP.  Of course, he was first on the scene, and NOT friendly.  I can think of plenty of words to describe his attitude towards me, none nice, but I'll spare you my real thoughts. 

 Basically, when I get into car accidents, I go into shock.  I'm pretty much non responsive, and lose all sense of what's going on.  They took this as me being under the influence, and I (stupidly, might i add) told them what had happened the day before.  I ended up getting wreckless driving and dui tickets. 

They took me to the hospital where I was admitted overnight.  They pumped me full of fluids (I gained 16lbs, and it was gone 5 days later), drew tons of blood, and the next morning I was released to go to an outpatient psych program.

When I got to the Psych hospital, they decided to keep me in the inpatient program, which was hell.  5 days of it.  5 days of group therapy, personal therapy with a psychologist AND a psychiatrist. I met some really sweet people there - people who were going through the same things as me, people who understood how I felt and why I didn't 'just call someone'.  

When I was released, I had to go to a 'day program', which was the same stuff - group therapy - from 8-4, Monday-Friday.  I was there for a week and a few days, and hated every minute of it.  

Since I've been home, things are looking better.  I'm on a few new meds, and I've figured out new ways to deal with my stress and anxiety.  I made some great friends, which makes it seem better, but I will never go back... it was hell!  I felt like I was stuck in a bad version of 'Girl, Interrupted', only without Angelina & Winona.  

So that's where I've been.  

I have been spending lots more time with my kids, ignoring the housework that should be done, but isn't nearly as important as my babies.  They need me more than the house needs to be perfect.  The Hubs & I have been having a rocky bit, just because of stress, but things are still good there, and will keep getting better. 

The psychiatrist  I was seeing, in the beginning diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, but at my discharge, changed it to Mood Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, because she said she hadn't spent enough time with me...  She said the one I'll see in Colorado (after we PCS... another EXCITING post!) will be able to nail down a diagnosis since I'll have more time with him/her.  I think she was pretty right on with the original diagnosis.  The descriptions of those disorders fit me perfectly... anyway... That's my life!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Same Game... Different Day

1. What is your earliest childhood memory?
**I remember living in North Carolina when  my dad was stationed at Camp Lejune.  I remember a few different things - being at the beach and having the tide come up and the waves getting our blanket wet... being on my aunt Rhonda's shoulders and a wave knocking us over...  Sitting at the railroad crossing and watching the train go by...  yelling 'taxi!' and having a cab follow us around a neighborhood...  'running off' with Tawnya (a friend) and watching the girls dancing at the dance studio on base... playing with my friends in the backyard... playing on the slip & slide with my parents & Rhonda...  I was 4 when we moved back to Nevada, so those were all pretty early memories.

2. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
**It would depend on how much the winnings were... but I'd for sure pay off all of our debt and put a large amount into savings accounts for my kids' futures - college, missions, weddings, etc... - money that both we and they would have to sign for to get out of the account.  I'd buy a very lightly used Armada and buy Gary a truck.  I'd help family out where we could.  I'd buy all the pretties I wanted for my house - new bookshelves, kitchenware, etc...  oh. and a california-king sized bed!!!

3. You are stuck on a stranded island indefinitely... what book do you have?
**Um... have they published a 4-in-1 of the Twilight series yet? LoL

4. Describe your perfect date night.
**The Hubs arranges for a babysitter and plans everything, just tells me what to wear and what time to be ready.  We go to dinner first - somewhere nice, where everyone dresses up, where you have to have a reservation, there's candle-light, etc...  Then we go for a walk somewhere pretty, just talk, then go somewhere for dessert, come home, watch a movie, just hang out... conversation is about us, our future, etc...

5. What talent do you secretly wish you had?
** I wish I could read minds!  It would be amazing to know exactly what Gary, my kids, my parents, my friends, everyone around me, was thinking at any given moment.

6. If you could only eat one meal everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
**Probably some sort of a Japanese meal... edamame, soup, sushi, etc...

7. If you could write a letter to your high school self, what would you say?
**'I know you're not going to believe me or listen to anything I have to say, but please just try.  Don't go to college right away.  Listen to your gut (not mom) and go to cosmetology school right away instead.  College will wait.  You will LOVE doing nails, and will regret not going soon enough to stay for hair also.  Don't date a ton of guys and try to get married.  The person you will marry will be worth the wait, and will show up unexpectedly and when you're NOT looking.  Listen to your parents though, when they warn you about some of the guys you date or friends you make.  They are not good for you, and will not help you get to where you want to be.  Just to forewarn you, the depression won't go away, so try to deal with it sooner, and stop trying to run  away from it and ignore it.  That doesn't help.  Get used to exercising now, because if you don't, you'll hate it even more, especially when you need it the most.  Take care of yourself, and try to be happy!!!'

8. There are 2 types of people in the world, those who say, "People change" and those who say, "People don't change."  Which are you? 
**I believe that as we grow older and go through more experiences, our outlook and point of view on life changes...  making us see things, react to things, and act differently.  I think that we can willingly change habits, attitudes, etc... but it will take work and dedication, and a daily focus on these changes.

Like I said when I was tagged before, I really don't think I have 8 readers, so I'll tag the few people who have left comments and I know read, and also the few others who are 'followers', but I'd like anyone who reads and hasn't commented to answer.  Leave a message here if you DO read and decide to answer.

HMB @ Pennies From Heaven
Mrs G.I. Joe @  ACU's, Stiletto Shoes, and Pretty Pink Tutus
Danielle @ The Crazy World of Mommyhood
Amber Barfield

EVERY reader I have should answer... or at least comment!  I'd love to see who actually cares about what I'm writing!

My Questions:
1. If someone had asked you 5 years ago where you saw yourself in 5 years, is this is?  Was your vision of now better or worse?  Different, obviously... but how?
2. What is the one body part/feature of the opposite sex that 'turns you on' the most?
3. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Why?
4. If money and weren't an option, in which city/area of the US would you live?
5. Everyone always talks about their least favorite thing(s) about their body.  What is your favorite?
6. What is your favorite Disney movie?
7. What is your favorite candle or air freshener scent?
8. Of all of your hobbies, if you had unlimited time and resources, which would you pursue to become better at and turn into a career?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just Call Me Fatty McMenopause

Weight Gain.  One of the side-effects of the Lupron injections I'm receiving. 

I went in yesterday for my second injection.  As usual when you go to a doctor appointment, they checked my blood pressure, temperature, pulse (all normal), and then it was time to step on the scale.  I wear light clothes to the dr on purpose, just for this reason.  Even so, I was up 6 pounds since my last visit.

*I gained 6 pounds in 4 weeks*

Pretty sure I'm not ok with that. 

Other things I'm not ok with, concerning this treatment, would be my mood swings.  I feel like a bipolar crazy lady.  If you ask Big Brother where Mommy lives, he grins and says "Mommy lives in the Cuckoo House".  Pretty accurate.  I'm taking Klonopin for my crazy episodes (which happen more often than I'd like...), and it works, but it relaxes me so much that I get sooo tired... 

I'm not ok with the pain.  Like I said in a previous post, it's constant.  And when I run out of (or get low on) my pain medication, I freak out.  Last week I needed more.  Thursday night I realized I had 4 left.  I had my appointment scheduled for Tuesday, but there was no way I'd be able to make it 4 days with 4 pills.  So I called and had Dr Stitt write me a prescription.  I had The Hubs pick it up since he was in town, and had asked him to fill it.  He didn't.  Said it would have taken too much time.  Luckily, a friend had some (same drug, same dose) that she didn't need, so she gave them to me until I could get the rx filled.  Good thing.  Apparently pharmacies won't fill a prescription with an electronic signature.  I went to three (3) different pharmacies trying to get it filled, and nobody would do it.  The pharmacy here at Martin Army would do it, but that 'would have taken forever to wait for', according to The Hubs.  I'm sick of the pain.

Oh yeah.  And my boobs are all shrunken.  (breast changes was on the list of side effects)... Not sure if that is solely related (or even related at all) to the Lupron, or if it's simply because this is the first time since summer of 2007 I haven't' been pregnant or nursing, but this is the smallest my boobs have been since my sophomore year of high school.  It's depressing.  Seriously.

Other than that, these injections haven't been so bad.  The constant pain sucks.  The frequent mood swings, anxiety and freak-outs suck.  The small boobs suck.  The weight gain REALLY FREAKING SUCKS!  But I haven't noticed any hot/cold flashes, and I was told that the first month would be the worst, hands-down.  So here's to a better month.

Dr Stitt did say that since I'm moving, probably soon, but not sure how soon, if this injection doesn't cause a significant drop in pain within the next four weeks, she's going to refer me to a pain specialist to try to get something done...  But if I do see some improvement, she's going to give me the 3-month injection and find a doctor in Colorado that she can get me transferred to, so I don't have to start all over... 

I'm just ready for this to be done!

Tag... I'm It

 My sweet, awesome, amazing friend Jaci (of Me And My Soldier Man) tagged me!

1. When someone tells you to "go to your happy place," where do you go?
I don't really have a 'happy place', I guess...  I think of the beach, or of Disneyland, or of a big, fat, awesomely yummy ice cream sundae.

2. You're in a room with a stranger - who will certainly die tomorrow. What do you say to them?
 Forgive me for answering a question with a question... but how do I know they will die tomorrow?  And do they know?  If they told me, that would mean that they are comfortable talking about it.  In that case, I would ask them if they felt they had lived their life to the fullest, what they would change about how they lived, what things, now, at the end of their lives, seem like they were actually important, and what they wish they would have just let go of and gotten over...
3. What one TV show would you like to be on (reality or fiction)?
 I wish I could be on one of the crime-solving shows... CSI (Vegas, NY, Miami), Criminal Minds, etc... I think I would do a dang good job at figuring out who done it.  It would also be lots of fun to be on Scrubs though.  Gotta love Sacred Heart Hospital.

 4. How many facebook friends do you have?
  I have 439.

 5. What did you have for dinner last night?
 I had yummy homemade meatballs, pasta, and Texas Toast.  Good food, and good company :)

 6. Describe yourself in 200 words or less.
I am an army wife, a stay at home mom to two amazing toddlers and a little furbaby, a daughter of awesome parents, a sister to a great man, an in-law to a bunch of crazies (but I love them despite it), a cousin, niece and granddaughter to an insane zoo of people.  I love my family and friends more than anything else, especially The Hubs & the kiddos... I'm a Mormon, and love the idea that, as long as I do my part, I will be able to be with my family forever.  I am a neurotic insomniac with some control issues and a little bit of ocd.  I try to make myself seem like a hardass, but I'm really a bleeding heart.  I love to decorate, to make things look 'pretty' and am obsessed with Damask.  I used to write, and wish I still had the 'touch' but lately I can't get into it as easily as I used to be able to.  I love love love taking pictures of anything and everything, love being able to document life, especially the special moments, so they're not forgotten.

7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  People not being polite; not returning smiles, being rude when you accidentally bump into them and then apologize, cutting you off, or just not acknowledging your presence at all.  Rudeness really bothers me. 

8. What is the thing that, when it happens, you think, "Today is going to be a good day"?
 Waking up to a clean house, and the kids waking up happy, not crying.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A pain in the gut is worth a pill (or two) in the hand...

Tomorrow (technically today, since it's after midnight, but feels like tomorrow since I haven't gone to sleep yet) marks the 3rd week of being on Lupron to try to help with my PCS.  I haven't posted about this since I went in for my shot, so I figured that now (while I'm not sleeping) would be a good time to kind of document the past 3 weeks, pain-wise.

Dr Stitt is an amazing woman.  I am so happy to have found her and have her treat me while I'm here.  She listens, she advises, and she takes time to spend with each patient.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this in my other posts on the subject, so I'll get right to the nitty gritty.

As scared as I was to start the injections (hello - if something happens, it takes at least a month for the drug to wear off!... not even mentioning 'normal' side effects and stuff like that...), when I got to the office and spoke with Dr Stitt, I felt better about the decision.  Gary and I had decided it wasn't the right time to have kids right now, especially if it was just to put off this treatment and hurry and get one in so our 'child timeline' would work out right...  This was the thing to do.  And I was going to do it.

I picked up my injection from the pharmacy on my way to my appointment, but they were out of the hormone replacement drug, so I'd have to go back the next day to get that.

The shot & I made it safely to the dr office, where we waited, for not very long, if I remember right, in the waiting room and even in the actual exam room.  I was pretty upset about what the scale said (but that's a vent for another post. promise.), but kinda blew it off.  whatever. It's just a number, Right?

Once I was in the exam room, Dr Stitt came in,  talked to me about what was going to happen, just to go over the details again and answer any new questions I may have come up with since I'd seen her last.  We talked, then she removed my Mirena IUD, the nurse gave me the lupron shot in my butt, and that was that.

I left with a prescription for percocet for the pain, which she assured would get MUCH worse, a prescription for Neurontin- a new drug that's being tested - it's actually a seizure medication, but has shown signs of being good at treating chronic pain, so she's trying me on that as well.  I also got a prescription for an anxiety medication, just in case I can't handle something (mood swings & all... and I need it anyway), a HUGE hug from Dr Stitt, and the thought that I could do this.

I've been very good at taking my drugs that are supposed to suppress the pain - the Neurontin (supposed to take it 3x/day) and Celebrex (2x/day), and also the hormone replacement (1/day), in addition to my sleep aids and my depression meds... I feel like I could open a full pharmacy for crazy ladies in pain over here!

Ok. So on to the real stuff. The side effects...  if you remember, there was a looong list of potential side effects from taking this drug:

burning/pain/bruising at the injection site, hot flashes increased sweating, night sweats, tiredness, headache, upset stomach, breast changes, acne, joint/muscle aches, insomnia, reduced sexual interest, vaginal dryness, vaginal bleeding, swelling of the ankles/feet, increased urination, dizziness, bone thinning, depression, weight gain, anxiety 

Of these, so far, I've experienced the increased pain. lots and lots of it.  My feet have been swelling more, my boobs have shrunk and are now smaller than they've been since my sophomore year in high school (which might also have something to do with the fact that I just stopped nursing).  I'm not much more tired than usual, headaches aren't any worse, no acne... depression and anxiety are normal anyway... So really, the only thing that's bothered me enough to somewhat change anything I do, is the extra pain I'm feeling.  Because, seriously, with a list like the one above, I'm sure at least half of women who read that would come up with multiple symptoms they could claim, and blame it on the drug, rather than just deal with the fact that that's the way it is? make sense? (i know my caps & punctuation suck tonight. it's 3am. bite me.)  

But the pain. omg. I have literally been taking percocet around the clock.  I was given 40 pills that were supposed to last me 4 weeks... but the dosage instructions (and dr stitt) said to take one every 6 hours for pain. that would equal out to 4 per day, if it were a bad day.  those pills would last me 10 days.  So they were surprised when i called after over 2 weeks and said i needed more.  I had to go to an after hours clinic because they were closed and on call dr couldn't call anything in for me... so i got 15 more from the clinic, and then an rx for 15 more from the dr... should last me. 

But here i am, 6 days out (if you count today (thursday) and tuesday (my appt is in the pm), which i do), and have 5 total pills left.  I have been subbing in 800mg of ibuprofen when I can, but it doesn't do anything... This is so frustrating.  I don't even know what to do.  I'm going to call the office first thing in the morning and see if she can see me tomorrow or friday and go in then, and if not, just write me an rx to get me through the weekend... because i'm seriously dying here.  

I've been able to deal with my daily pain.  It hurts, but if I have meds, i can take them and deal.  Right now, I can't.  I HAVE to take the percocet, and even that barely takes the edge off.  I am so sick of my body not working right and being in constant pain...  physically, and don't even get me started on the emotional crap. 

Anyway, it's 3:16am. I think I'm gonna go forage for a snack and then try to read myself to sleep.  

loves... xoxo

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ranger School Rollercoaster

" ...When you are compelled to give up something, or when something dear is withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now.  But know also that as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better..."

After the mental, emotional, physical, and financial preparation of both The Hubs and myself, the day was finally here.  He shook me awake yesterday morning around 8am, and as soon as I realized what day it was, what waking up would mean, I started crying.  And we laid in bed while I cried for over an hour.  Like, gut-wrenching sobs, alternating with quiet little sniffles, and everything in between. We even ignored the cries and demands of the kids (for a bit - not too long) while I got a lot of my emotion out.

The Hubs & I got up, got the kids fed and dressed, he ate, we both got dressed, loaded up his gear into the car, and left.  We drove through post, out to the Ranger training area.  I dropped him off.  It was rather unceremonious.  Since there was a pretty big (4 hour?) window of time to be dropped off, there was no gathering of weeping wives, kids running around, or even soldiers getting ready for the next two months.  There was just a parking lot with a few cars in it, next to a building and a bus stop, across the street from the barracks & part of the training area, where most of the guys who were already there had gathered under a pavilion.  We got out of the car (just me & The Hubs, no kiddos), unloaded his gear, I snapped a quick picture of him completely loaded down, and he left.  Walked across the street, in through the gate, and away from me. 

Yup. I was distraught.  From there, since we would drive right by it anyway, the kids & I made a pit stop at the commissary for all the necessities - BBQ Lays, Tostitos tortilla strips (by far the best for dipping, imo), popcorn (movie theater butter, of course), LoftHouse cookies, Little Debbie's Fudge Rounds (the BIG box), fruit snacks, the little breadstick/cheese snacks for the kids, and some freshly made sushi for my dinner.  Yes.  That was ALL necessary.

We came home, did the nap thing, had dinner, kids had baths, and I stayed up until 2am revamping the blog, watching dvr'd reruns of HOUSE (LOVE that show!), and eating junk food. 

This morning was a little different, but not much.  Since The Hubs had been in the field so much, I had gotten somewhat used to sleeping and waking up alone.  Last night, I left Big Brother's bedroom door ajar when I went to bed, so instead of banging on the door and making a mess when he woke up, he gathered up his cars (his most prized possessions) and crawled into bed with me until Little Sis woke up.  We had brekkie, and I was picking up a bit, when my phone rang.  Not just any ring.  The Hubs's ringtone.  I missed the call (apparently I'd put my phone into the cup cupboard & shut the door?), and called him back, only to hear the words 'I need you to come get me.'

I was devastated. He had been looking forward to (and dreading) Ranger school for months upon months... and now, because of ONE pushup, it was over.  They had counted 48 of his pushups in the qualifying PT test this morning, when he needed 49 to pass.  BOGUS!

So, tearfully, I loaded the kids into the car and drove out to get him.  It was a sad morning.  Disappointing.  Absolutely NO disappointment in him... but TONS of disappointment FOR him. 

So now he's home.  I want to be happy, really, I do.  But I'm not.  The kids are ecstatic.  But I want him to be out there, starving, fighting and rucking and marching and not sleeping, and doing it all over again, because that's where HE wants to be.  We don't know what's happening now.  2 more schools (Airborne & Mec Leader) and a PCS to Fort Carson are in our future... but exact dates, times, and details are still in the air.

Life changes, so quickly, and we don't always know why, but we've got to roll with it and hope there's a damn good reason.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do You Remember?

Do you remember where you were on this day, 9 years ago?
I do.

It was about 6am.  I was getting ready to go to early morning seminary, blow-drying my hair, listening to the radio, as usual.  I turned the blow dryer off for just a minute, and heard the dj say 'another plane has crashed. two planes have crashed in New York, it's on every chanel' and of course, being the impulsive 16-almost-17 year old that I was, didn't wait to hear the rest, just ran into the living room where my mom was getting ready for work, where my grandma was waiting to ride with her, where my brother was studying his spelling words, turned on the tv, and we all watched in awe as they played, over and over, the clip of the second plane hitting the tower.  It was the scariest day of my life.  My stomach was in knots. I had no idea what this meant... were we at war. I thought so, but had no real clue what would happen, what chain reaction this one event (which I would later learn was just one in a series of many) would bring to pass.

I remember that the rest of the day , even the rest of the week, at school, there was little real instruction.  Instead, we all took turns piling into the classrooms and offices with tv's to watch the latest news - how many people they had found alive how many bodies they had pulled from the rubble, how many people were frantically searching for loved ones.  We saw the white, ash-covered people walking, dazed,  not sure where to go or what to do.  It was terrifiying.

I was a Junior in high school at the time.  I do remember how so many of my classmates had already, in those few days following the attacks on our homes, made the decision to join the Armed Forces, to defend our country, to try to ensure that this would never happen again.

I remember how this event, meant to scatter and terrify our country, caused us all to pull together, to trust and help and love one another, even if it didn't last.  I remember knowing that this day in history would forever change all of our lives.

Today, I have encountered so many consequences of this event.  I have seen the casket of a soldier, an amazing friend I had known almost all our lives, be laid to rest.  I have seen photos of a boy, the age of my baby brother, an athlete and great person, who lost his legs in the service of his country.  I have met men and women who have been in battle, who have seen and heard things that they will not talk about, and who have come home changed.  I have seen first hand the support people give the service members, thanking them for all they have done, and also thanking their families for being such a support to them as they fight for freedom.  I have also seen the ugly side of that - I have seen people protesting funerals of men killed in duty, people saying that these heroes deserved to die, that they were fighting a war that was wrong.  I have seen people try to pick fights, try to demoralize these amazing men and women who fight for the right for anyone to say what they want to say, these service members who give up many of their rights to ensure that those rights are kept safe and sacred for the civilian public.

I am so proud to say that my husband is one of those amazing men who has volunteered to stand for freedom, to stand for what is right, and to try to make a difference in the state of the world today.  He feels that if he can help one person gain the right to express himself, give one person the knowledge and training he will need to keep his family, neighborhood and country safe, give one person the means to support himself, he will feel as though he has accomplished something great.

I want to close this by honoring all of those who were lost in the horrible attacks on this day, September 11, nine years ago.  I want to honor the soldiers, the police officers, firemen, healthcare providers, and everyone else who lost their lives, or helped those in harm's way.  There truly are people out there who care for others.  We all need to be like them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blue Cords, Graduations, and Separation Anxiety...

This has been a long, crazy week.  The Hubs had his Blue Cord Ceremony on Tuesday night.  This was supposed to be a pretty special ceremony, as they were all considered 'special' enough to now wear the blue infantry cord with their dress uniforms.  I brought my camera, hoping to get some good pictures of him getting his cord, along with some of him & his buddies.  Only problem was, his platoon was in the least photographable spot (right next to where the families were standing, instead of across from) so the one picture I got of him getting his cord was the back/side of his head, along with a bunch of other heads...  Not so exciting.  The ceremony was followed by a dinner...  Pretty lame dinner, since the cost was $25 per person, there was no dessert, no music, and no entertainment.  We did have a decent time with the people at our table.  Besides, it was somewhat fun to get extra dressed up, even though we didn't get any pictures with our camera, a few people at our table were kind enough to offer to take some and email them to us.

Yesterday afternoon was the actual IBOLC (Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course) graduation.  It was very similar to a high school or college graduation... meaning a speaker or two, then about 150 guys had their names called one-by-one, the audience was told where their next duty station was, they walked across the stage, shook a few hands, walked back to their seats, waited until everyone was done, and it was over.  I actually brought my camera, again, but due to a sick, sleeping Little Sister in my arms, wasn't able to take any photos during the ceremony.  Once again, thank goodness for good friends who took some for us!  There was a reception after the ceremony that we went to, and once again, I was hopeful to get at least a few pictures of The Hubs with the guys he'd spent almost every waking (and most sleeping too) moment with for the past 16 weeks, but alas, nothing.  Serious bummer.  At least they've gotten some good shots out in the field. 

Today, The Hubs worked a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon, trying to get everything ready for his next training - Ranger School.  We've already spent hundreds (I mean, in the region of 7+) of dollars on everything that he needs, and there is still more that he didn't get, but couldn't find anywhere.  Ranger school is a pretty hardcore training, with three phases of about three weeks each.  Between each phase the guys get a break of 8 hours, and since the first phase (Darby) is here on Fort Benning, they'll be able to come home...  But between Mountain and Florida phases, the most they'll get is a phone call home.  If they get a no go (i.e. fail) for a phase, they have to repeat it until they either get dropped from the course, or they pass it. 

I've got very mixed emotions about this training.  On the one hand, I guess it will give me a glimpse into what a deployment will be like, and will hopefully make us both appreciate each other more when we're together.  Right at this moment, I'm pretty irritated with him, so I say I don't care that he's leaving, but I'm sure that tomorrow, our last day together, will make me feel differently.  Or not.  I'm really bad about picking fights just before separations, mostly because I feel that if I'm angry at him, it will make me hurt less and make me miss him less.  So not the case, and I know it, but when have I ever claimed to think logically?

I'm most worried about how the kids will handle the separation - especially Big Brother.  While The Hubs was in IBOLC, he was home almost every weekend, and Big Brother would act out the day he left...  Then when he'd get home, both kids would follow Daddy around like dogs, crying when he'd go to the bathroom or leave the room, and especially when he'd go to work.  We'd have to explain to Big Brother that Daddy would be home that day, for lunch, for dinner, whatever would help him calm down.  But this isn't going to be for just 3 or 4 nights... It's going to be for 62 (as long as he doesn't have to recycle!), and that's going to be a lot harder to handle.  At least the kids and I will be going back to Vegas, Utah & Colorado to visit family & friends... mostly to break up the alone-time and hopefully help them cope a bit. 

I'm not worried about being home alone.  We live on post, which gives me some sense of security.  My biggest worry is that I won't sleep enough.  When The Hubs is gone, I tend to stay awake way later than I should, and I have to get up when the kids do, usually giving me about 2-5 hours of sleep a night.  Sometimes I feel like I function better with less sleep, but only for a while until it really catches up with me and I turn into a raving lunatic.  At least I haven't really experienced noticable side effects from the Lupron yet, other than increased pain, but that was expected... but that's another post.

I just needed to vent my worries, frustrations, and feelings about this upcoming separation.  I'm sure my tune will be changing VERY soon, and you'll hear all about that.  But for now, I'm ok with it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Love and Frustration...

I am just so frustrated with The Hubs. I've tried to talk to him about how I'm feeling about the Lupron.  I've tried to get his input, tried to get him to help me figure out other options and what would be best for our family, and he just seems completely indifferent. I do understand that he's got a LOT on his mind. His training has been way intense since we've been here, and in less than 2 weeks, it will be even worse. I just really need him right now, and I'm not getting the support I want.

I had brought up a few months ago that I'd like to try to have another baby before he deployed. Zadie would be 2, and Ryker would be 3 1/2, and in preschool. He said no. Even after the gyn said she wanted to try this treatment, I suggested to him that I get my iud removed, and we try to get pregnant in the 3 weeks we had before he left for Ranger School, and if it didn't happen (which, hello, what are the chances?), then I'd start the Lupron, but I'd rather try to get pregnant first, because: 
1. pregnancy makes my pain go away, and 
2. I don't want a 4 year gap between Zadie and our next baby. 
He said no, said that he didn't think I'd be able to handle three kids on my own while he was deployed. While I understand that, in his mind, he's doing what he thinks is best for me, I really wish we could have an in-depth conversation about it, instead of just going with his assumptions.

Don't judge our current relationship from this argument though.  We have been getting along SO well since we moved here. Something, I think, about being so far from everyone we know, and not seeing each other much, so we kind-of stick together more. But this is a huge stress for me right now - I'm terrified of what this treatment will do to me, so scared of the side effects and how I'm going to react to them, and I just need him to be willing to talk to me, support me, and listen to me. And I want him to talk to me about what's bothering him, what he's dealing with, and how he feels about his job, his training, and about starting Ranger School so soon.

Being here has changed him. His training has been really hard, but not only that, the leadership has left a lot to be desired. Typical of the Army, it has been unorganized, lacking of time management, and lots of 'hurry up and wait'. This isn't basic training/boot camp. This is school for officers, to learn how to lead, and their leadership sucks. Instead of learning to do the things that they will be doing once they get to their units (things that only higher ranked officers can really teach them, and they won't have time to sit down and explain much), they are out in the field learning and doing a lot of stuff that, yes, is good to know, and necessary, but also things that their enlisted subordinates could show or teach them how to do.  All of the guys in this course are frustrated.  It was supposed to be a 'gentleman's course', meaning mostly 8-5 hours with a few weeks in the field.  Instead they've been in the field more often than not, and when they're in garrison (in the classroom), who knows what time they'll actually make it home.  

The Hubs has become so cynical. Where he used to joke and laugh and smile, now he thinks the worst of everything... He doesn't talk anymore, he just turns inward, and I hate it.  I love him so much, and I want to be able to communicate with him, but I don't know what to do. This is so frustrating!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Battle With Pain: Part 2

I am so beyond frustrated today. I had my appointment scheduled with my gyn to get the first Lupron injection at 3:30. The Hubs was going to get off work early so he could go with me, and a friend was going to come watch the kids. I still had to go to the pharmacy to pick up the actual  shot (for some reason I had to get it as a prescription and bring it in to the office).  When The Hubs came home from lunch he said he should be getting off between 1 & 2, so I figured I'd have enough time to go to the pharmacy after he got home, and get back before we had to leave for the appointment.  Our friend couldn't be here until 3 anyway, which is when we needed to leave to make it on time. Well, The Hubs didn't get home until sometime around 2:30, which didn't leave enough time to get to the pharmacy (on the way off post), come back, pick him up, and make it to my appointment on time... and our friend was in a class, so she couldn't come early. I had to go alone. I may sound like a huge wuss, but I've been really apprehensive about the whole situation, and I really needed The Hubs to be there with me. Whatever.

So I get to the pharmacy around 2:45... figuring that 45min would be long enough to get the prescription and leave for my appointment. In the hospital here on post, when you check in at the pharmacy with an external prescription, they enter into the computer the medication, then give you a number. I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, at 3:25 my number was called. I got to the window and was told that they didn't carry the hormone replacement medication she had prescribed me, (there are certain 'tiers' of meds that the military insurance won't pay in full, so you have to get them at a civilian pharmacy), and they were all out of the Lupron. Seriously. I waited for an hour & a half to be told that they didn't have what I've been waiting for. That the girl who entered it into the computer should have told me it was out of stock. I was livid.

I called the doctor's office (10 min after my appt was supposed to start) and told them what had happened, and the nurse was so sweet, and rescheduled me for this Thursday.   I'm really nervous to start the treatment, but it seems to be the best thing to do, so I'm diving in head first.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Battle With Pain: Part I

My whole life, I've had pretty rough periods, and the older I've gotten, the worse they've gotten - heavy flow, bad cramps, mood swings, etc...  Since about 2004 I've been blessed (hah) with intense pelvic pain. Think menstrual cramps constantly, and during/after sex, and during periods, to the point of being curled up in a ball, unable to move. The only time it's gotten better is during pregnancy. Sounds strangely like endometriosis. Enough like endo that multiple doctors have suggested that's what it was, but couldn't make the solid diagnosis because a laparoscopy has to be done to diagnose.  Since I've mostly had crappy or no insurance since then, I'd never been officially diagnosed.

Jump to this past February.  Zadie was 7 months old, and the pain had returned almost full-force.  I was still nursing exclusively and had the Mirena iud, both of which should keep periods away, but my periods had started around 3 months after she was born.  I went in to see the midwives who discussed my options with me, and then sent me to see the OBGYN to discuss the surgery.  I finally had good insurance that paid 100% of the procedure, and was just excited to have the pain gone for a while. Imagine my surprise when I woke up from surgery and the doctor told me that not only did I NOT have endo, but everything looked perfect, and he had no idea what was wrong with me. He suggested just dealing with the pain, having whatever kids I wanted sooner than later, and having a full hysterectomy, and hoping that would solve my problems.

I was angry. I was depressed. I felt almost every emotion you could think of. When I followed up with my pcm, he said that he'd just had another patient who was dealing with the same symptoms, and he had an idea. He sent me to a vein specialist, who diagnosed my pain as a result of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS). Basically, he explained that the main vein connected to the left ovary (and they're not sure why it's usually the left) can somehow get damaged and the valves don't work right, causing backflow of blood into the pelvic area, and that causes pain. It has almost all of the symptoms of endo, but the only known ways to 'fix' it permanently all have high risk of causing infertility.

So I finally had a diagnosis. Sweet. You have no idea what relief that brought me.  Instead of just having the pain and not knowing why, I finally knew what was causing it, and I knew that there were specialists that dealt with this condition.  Not so sweet was the fact that I still didn't have the power to do anything about it, while still retaining my ability to have the rest of the children we want, when we want them. The outcome was still the same - have your kids quickly and we can fix the problem. 

When we moved here to Georgia, I was really frustrated with my medical experiences. The doctor we'd been assigned to here at the hospital on post (thank you, socialized medicine) sucked, and I had to jump through hoops to get assigned to another one. I finally got someone to refer me to an obgyn, off-post, so she was in a civilian practice, and she is AMAZING!!!!!!! The first time I met her, she gave me a huge hug, and talked to me like we'd known each other for years. She seemed to genuinely care about me, and was almost excited to have a reason to research PCS (she'd never had a patient with it, since it's a newer diagnosis). She told me to come back in 4 weeks, and in that time, she would be getting in touch with some other doctors she knew in Atlanta and DC, and would hopefully have some answers for me when I came back.

My return appt was last Tuesday. She said that of everyone she'd talked to, so far there are really only three options - either manage the pain with meds (usually narcotic i.e. Vicodin, Percocet, Lortab, etc...), the closing of the veins (different ways to do it - coil, cauterize, etc...), or put me on a drug called Lupron, which would basically put me into menopause for 3-6 months. It works by making your body overproduce estrogen, and when it realizes what's happening, it stops the production of estrogen, essentially allowing the reproductive system time to repair itself.

We talked and decided that Lupron would be the best choice for right now. I will be able to retain my fertility after treatment, and in patients that she's treated with it, for reasons ranging from endo, fibroids, cysts, or undiagnosed chronic pelvic pain, it's worked on every one to reduce or rid them of pain for at least a year after treatment.

I go in for my first injection tomorrow. I will receive one every 4 weeks, for 6 months, as long as I don't have any severe side effects after the first injection.

I am terrified. She gave me a few different packets of information to read, and I've been reading up on it online (sites like www.webmd.com, www.lupron.com, www.womenshealth.com), and also on forums where people have posted their personal stories. The possible side effects are staggering:
burning/pain/bruising at the injection site, hot flashes increased sweating, night sweats, tiredness, headache, upset stomach, breast changes, acne, joint/muscle aches, insomnia, reduced sexual interest, vaginal dryness, vaginal bleeding, swelling of the ankles/feet, increased urination, dizziness, bone thinning, depression, weight gain, anxiety

Since I already have depression, anxiety, insomnia (explains why I'm writing this at 1am), I'm worried about how I'm going to feel on this drug. She said that my current symptoms (pain) will be worse for the first 3-4 weeks, but after that it should subside, but it will be bad enough that my current pain medication will not be enough, so she'll give me a stronger pain treatment to help me cope.

I really hope this works. I hope i don't go crazy. I hope it is the best thing for not only me, but for my family. I don't see any other option than to do the treatment. I'm just scared...

Also, The Hubs leaves in less than 2 weeks (Sept 12) for at least 2 months. He's going to training called Ranger School, which is 3 phases of about 20 days each. If he completes each phase, he will get an 8 hour break before the next phase starts. The first phase is done here on Fort Benning, so he'll be able to come home after that one, but after the second, he'll be either in north Georgia, or in Florida, so we'll just get to talk on the phone. Those 2 days will be the only times we'll get to talk the whole time he's gone. Also, if he doesn't pass one of the phases, he has to recycle, or repeat the phase, causing him to be gone 3 weeks longer. He'll miss my birthday, and if he recycles, Thanksgiving as well. So I'll really be a single mom for 2-3 months. The kids & I are planning a trip out west to visit family in Colorado, Utah & Vegas while he's gone, but I'm SO dreading this time apart with no contact. And I'm wondering what that, in addition to the menopausal side effects of the drug, are going to do to my mental state... Oh, this crazy life.

Monday, May 31, 2010

why is it that as women, we can so easily offer to help someone out, and it's no big deal. 'bring your kids over', 'just borrow _______', 'let me make you dinner', 'let me help!'

we offer our services because we genuinely don't mind and really do want to help... and usually it's really no big deal.

but when someone offers the exact same things to us, we refuse, or, if we do accept, we feel guilty, like we're 'putting them out' or causing them undue stress.  most women (and people in general) i know, wouldn't offer to help unless they were able and willing.

i think we should all step back, get over our pride and our fears, and allow these women to help us, even, and especially, if it's just a small thing...  i feel so much better, so needed, when i can help someone out (even if it's just letting a friend borrow a burp rag or diaper when she's at my house and forgot to bring one!), and i just wish people would be ok with it more often.

i've heard someone say  that serving others, even in tiny ways, gives us eternal blessings, and by refusing their offers of help, we are not allowing them to gain those blessings.  it's such a hard thing to accept help, but i think that if we all offered and accepted more, we would become better at loving each other.

just a thought.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the great transition

is throwing a cup of water on your almost 2 year old acceptable?
under some circumstances, i'd say yes.
especially when those circumstances involve him whining for 20 minutes because he wants a drink of water, but he wants it from a sippy, NOT a real cup,
and all said sippies in the house are dirty,
and you're trying to teach him how to use a real cup so he can be a functioning member of society (and nursery class at church),
AND he's been whining all day,
AND the baby is in the living room screaming her poor little head off.
Oh yeah...
and also when throwing said cup of water onto screaming toddler is the very very least violent and mean option going through your head at that moment.

did it make him scream even louder? you know it. 
did i feel bad afterwords? absolutely.
did i do the mommy thing and tell him that i was sorry, but what he was doing wasn't very nice, then take his wet jammies off, wrap him in a towel, and put his favorite show on for him to watch (after helping him get a drink)? how could i not?

lesson learned:  teach kids to use a 'real' cup sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


how do you get over the monotony of living every day almost exactly the same? i just can't do this. it seems like nothing ever changes, no matter how much i do. the house is still a mess. the kids are still cranky. dh is still unhappy and undersexed. i'm still depressed. what's the point?