Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 5K

This morning I got up super early, and dragged my ten-year-old out of bed, to participate in a 5K race. 

It was my son's first time racing at this distance, and he finished in 31 minutes - I am SO proud of him! He ran almost the whole way.

I, on the other hand, combined walking with waddling, so it took me an hour to finish (as I expected it to)

But I DID finish, at least!  And I was ahead of a few hundred other people, so that felt good.

All in all, it was absolutely worth sacrificing a little sleep for.......especially considering the contrasting sacrifice made by those we remember today.

May we all still remember them TOMORROW, and next week, next month, next year....may our children and our children's children ALWAYS REMEMBER.

Friday, May 28, 2010

all by myself

I finally got sick and tired of my front lawn looking like this:

So I figured out the complicated lawn mower all on my own, and now it looks something like this:

I even did the edger, and sprayed roundup on the weeds fighting their way through the sidewalk cracks, etc.

It was Bonehead's job to take care of the yardwork for the past year or so (for those new to my blog, "Bonehead" is the bloggy name I use for my 15 year old son, who recently went to stay with my parents for the duration of this deployment....for more on that drama, you can click this link, or go back another week for the initial implosion.) 

Now with hubby on the other side of the world, and Bonehead sort of 'banished' until hubby returns, that leaves....ME to do the yardwork.  Or my ten year old, "Knucklehead".  Since we alternate front yard and back yard every other week, next weekend it will be time to do the back lawn...which is about 3 or 4 times the size of the front lawn, so I am thinking Knucklehead will have to at least HELP me.  Depending on how that goes,  have to decide whether or not Knucklehead can handle this duty on his own when my big ole baby belly gets too big to do this chore any more.  And if he can't handle it, I have to budget for lawn services.....not really a huge expense, in the long run, but considering how hard it was for me to even find a job after a year of unemployment, and considering how tiny my paychecks are for my very-part-time job, the expense is not exactly justifiable these days.

But for now, I can be happy to know that I DID THIS, and can do it again.  And it looks pretty darned good, if I do say so myself!  Not as good as it would look if hubby did it, but it looks better than Bonehead's last two half-assed attempts did.

**BTW did anyone notice the new song I added to my playlist on here today?  Do you listen to my music as you read the blog, or do you turn the volume down?  Just curious.**

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My own worst enemy (and my own best friend)

Today I beat my high score on Solitaire on my iPad.  Again.

I'm getting used to keeping myself company, and have been thinking a lot lately about WHY I choose solitude so much during deployment.

And of course I have had lengthy chats with myself about this.

(Have I mentioned before that I am CRAZY during deployment?  Not that I am all that sane when he is home, but you know...)

It's not that I don't have friends, in fact I make it a point to at least talk to a friend once a day, if for nothing else than to guage the level of my crazy for the day.  I still have my monthly  Bunco group, and I chat with the other moms at the school, or at my son's basketball games.  I went window shopping with a friend the other day, and I think we both enjoyed ourselves.  But for the most part, my friends have no clue what deployment is like, and I find it just takes too damn much energy to hang out with them to pretend that everything is OK.

I realized this yesterday after having lunch with a fellow milspouse.  Her husband is in the same place as mine, though maybe for a little bit longer.  I can't remember for sure if we even talked about deployment over lunch, but if we did it, I know that it was done with no explanations of acronyms, etc.  I do remember laughing, and best of all relaxing over lunch.  This friend and I don't really have a lot in common - just the deployment, really - but it makes things so simple, just to have the elephant in the room be something totally normal.  And to know that, if I start randomly crying - or laughing - for no apparent reason, she will understand.  And if I completely lose my train of thought, that's okay too.

This milspouse barely knows me, but she gets it.  And I really need that, you know?

Does this even make sense?

I think this is why I feel such a strong connection to all the other milspouse bloggers here, and I take so much comfort in the comments from all of you, and I so enjoy reading your blogs.

So, I thank you ALL for your awesomeness - we all do (me, myself, and I)

Monday, May 24, 2010

he made it

Finally got the phone call that I have been waiting for, and it honestly kinda sucked.

Hubby finally made it to his new 'home away from home' so I at least feel relieved that the travel nightmare is over (and this trip was worse than any that I know of).  He is SAFE. For now, at least.

But he sounded really depressed, and then we had the usual conversation, consisting primarily of me saying "I'm sorry babe, I can't hear you, can you please repeat that", or even just asking "huh?" or "what?" and I could tell he was getting really frustrated with that - I worry that he will get mad at me, say I am just not listening, etc.

I strain SO HARD to hear him over the static, the echo that distorts everything, and his MUMBLING.  Yes, he does mumble.

When he is not deployed, we have problematic phone conversations, because he doesn't seem to understand basic phone etiquitte, and he gets mad at ME for this.   I remember one time when he actually hung up on me because I asked him to repeat himself so many times, and later we argued about this - he asked me why I wouldn't just LISTEN to him more carefully......and I was forced to point out that I am not the only one who has to ask him to repeat things over the phone (and I don't generally have to ask other people to do this).

I finally figured out during a training exercise last year that he has a reason for thinking I am not actively listening to him on the is because when HE asks ME to repeat something over the phone, he is doing so because he was distracted, for instance by the TV.  So he assumes that I am not giving him my full attention if I didn't hear something.

ANYWAY, this post was not supposed to be such a rant, but I am feeling cranky after waiting and waiting to hear from him, and then having the conversation be so.....well, watered down by all the technical issues. 

I need to stop worrying that he will be MAD at me over this. 

His first care package could be delivered to him as early as TODAY, so maybe that will cheer him up :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lead, Follow, or get out of the way

OK so today I had to do something I have been putting off....I had to 'un-follow' several blogs, because I simply can't keep up any more!

I am now strictly following mil-spouse blogs (and a couple of my family members).

No more following mommy blogs, unless they happen to also be milspouses.

No more recipe blogs, giveaway blogs, review blogs, etc.

I have found that my 'favorite' bloggers to follow (like Amber at Goodnight Moon, Nicole at Mrs. Muffins, Laura at Diamonds and Dog Tags, and Nicole at Flip Flops and Combat Boots) are all milspouses, at various stages of marriage and military life, and they always 'say' things that I enjoy reading.  I feel like the rest of the blogs (non milspouse) kind of get in my way when I am going through my reading list (which I usually do at least once every day, but lately it's been too time-consuming because I was following too many blogs).

So, has anyone else had to remove blogs from their list like this?  If so, I am curious to know what criteria you use to decide which blogs to keep and which to 'un-follow'?  I mean, I don't really want to LOSE any followers, but I'm not going to change who I am or how I blog just to keep a follower...I wonder if all 51 of my current followers will even READ this post? 

Even if you don't have an answer about what makes you un-follow a blog, please post a little something in the comments here so I at least know someone is READING my crazy ramblings.

And if you are still following me later this week, I think I am finally ready to write about some of those rants I have been promising to post for a few weeks now.

For the record, I prefer to LEAD, but am willing to follow....and if you ask nicely, sometimes I will even get out of the way.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Welcome to CrazyTown

I have completely lost my freaking MIND!

Expect a full denial later on, but for now there is simply no hiding the fact that I have gone stark raving mad.

It started with Little things, like insomnia and short term memory morning I spent fifteen minutes looking for my car keys. I finally decided to check inside my car, but found it I pressed the 'unlock' button on my car key, WHICH I HAD BEEN HOLDING IN MY HAND FOR THE ENTIRE SEARCH.

Then I started talking to myself....again, small at first, and escalating to telling myself jokes - complete with laughing at the punchline! They say that timing is everything.....turns out it doesn't matter when you are your own audience.

And finally, today I found myself laughing hysterically - WHILE CRYING. And the laughter was the scary crazy kind....the kind you hear from the serial killer in those movies I won't watch (I'm a fraidy-cat)

I can't say for sure that deployment specifically caused this descent into madness, but I also can't deny the 'coincidental' timing here.

Oh, and I still haven't heard from hubby, it's been nearly 72 idea if he is still traveling, or even if he is ALIVE.

Well of course I know he has to be alive, I mean no one has come to my door yet. But he has not been able to even CHECK his email in more than three days. No phone call, no nothing.

I'm sure it has to be driving him nuts, even more than me, because he is so worried about things here at home. As he should be, when he left his CRAZY wife in charge, right?

This completes today's tour of CrazyTown, we hope you enjoyed your stay - and please, come back again soon!

Friday, May 21, 2010


"Worry is interest paid on trouble before its due"

I know that worrying doesn't help anything (especially in my pregnant state...) but I can't seem to STOP stressing about my hubby, about the lack of contact...

He has tried to call me twice this week...the last time he tried was a little over 48 hours ago, and this is also the last time he checked email.  This would not normally be a huge deal, except that he is traveling right now - a time when he should be able to contact me daily, in some form.  Unfortunately, his most recent 'stop' was in a place that is currently, well unstable.  And last I knew, he was STUCK there, unsure of how long that would last. am I supposed to go to sleep tonight, not knowing what is going on with him?  There are so many 'time sensitive' issues that hubby was going to help me with this week, over the phone or online.....I've already sought other help or decided to just wing it with as many things as I can, but those little deadlines, coupled with missing him and worrying about him, are creating major anxiety here.

I'm sure I will go back and read this in a day or two (or whenever I finally hear from him) and I will feel like an idiot for being so worried - and even knowing this, I am choosing to be stupid and worried.

REALLY worried.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kleenex alert....

OK before you click this link, make sure you have some kleenex handy! 

Super sweet, and even though I expected to feel lousy watching it (making me miss hubby more) I actually felt much BETTER at the end....soooooo looking forward to homecoming early next year.

What is your favorite part?

reach out and touch someone

Normally, when my cell phone rings, I cross my fingers that it will be my husband on the other end of the line.  Lately he seems to only be able to call me late at night or early in the morning (in other words, when I am sleeping) so I already KNOW it is him as soon as my groggy mind registers the fact that my phone is ringing.

After the past few phone calls from hubby, I now find myself crossing my fingers, hoping I will be able to HEAR at least part of what he is calling to tell me.  He is traveling right now, and has very limited access to any kind of phones....and when he can get to a phone, more often than not his voice is either distorted like something from a sci-fi movie, or broken up into meaningless unrelated syllables, or just completely drowned out by static.  Or all three.

Here's a sample of a very frustrating conversation from late last night:

Me: Hello?


Me:  Babe, is that you?

Hubs: Ca - ------- e?

Me: I can barely hear you, hang on.  (turning off the white noise machine by my bed - the only thing that can help me sleep these days)

Hubs: I'm still in ---- wi ------ ok? (more static)

Me: Honey, I'm sorry but you're breaking up pretty bad, I can't make out anything, can you please repeat that?

Hubs: I said I am stuck at the airport, not sure how lo------- bu---------a --------- and I ------- ba ------ch -----.

Me: (sigh) Babe, I'm really sorry, all I heard was that you're at the airport....

Hubs: Neverm -(static)----d --- oo --- mail that package yet?

Me: Yes, I sent it out yesterday, priority mail

Hubs: OK hopefully  - - - -  e there in time to get it.  How  - - - oo--  ----ing?

Me: (guessing at the missing content) I'm doing OK, just really miss you.  I have that checkup with the OB in the morning, I will email you to let you know how that goes.

Hubs: Do yo --------- a -------------nd  ------------ar?

*@!!#*^#@&^! (that part was just in my head, not out loud)

This went on for a couple more minutes before we finally gave up.  4 minutes, 38 seconds. 


I don't care how much it costs, but if he ever deploys again, we are BUYING OUR OWN SATELLITE PHONE for him to take with him.

It has only been a few days since our last 'real' phone conversation, but it feels like forever.  Especially because I am just now beginning to let it sink in that he is really gone.  For a loooooong time. 


I have some pretty good info that the base he is headed to has decent connectivity, so I am hoping to at least get a 'real' phone call from him soon.  But judging by his last couple of phone calls (or what I could make out, anyway) the travel portion of this is not going well, taking way longer than expected, etc.

So now, even more than wishing/hoping/praying that he will call me, I am concentrating more on wishing/hoping/praying that he arrives safely at his destination.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Falling behind

I can't believe how quickly I can fall behind on my blogging (especially reading the blogs I follow)!

I will catch up tomorrow night, FOR SURE.  Even if it takes me several hours.  Which it might.

I love all the comments on my previous post with care package ideas - some of those things I would NEVER have thought of!

Thanks for following me, and if you are a new follower, please leave your blog url in my comments here (or you can email me directly with your info) if you want me to follow you back.

Monday, May 17, 2010

milestone and question

Sometime in the past day or two, my blog reached 50 followers!  :)

WELCOME everyone, and please feel free to leave your blog url in the comments below so I can follow you back!

So, I have a quick question for milspouses - what is your hubby's favorite thing to receive in a care package?  I finally have an address to ship wonderful things to my hubby, and have no clue what to send.  I know he usually asks me for the medicated Gold Bond lotion, so I already got him some of that.  And baby wipes are pretty standard, right?  I just don't even know, since he has never been to this location before......

I'm hoping I can send him some baked goodies this time - first two deployments, every package took 3-4 weeks to get to him, so cookies, brownies, even cake-in-a-jar was really out of the question.  This time, I am hearing some packages are taking only a week.  That will be SO AWESOME if its true!

Anyway, please post here with your best care package ideas.  THANKS!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wait, that cost HOW MUCH? (!)

After yesterday's blowup with my 15 year old "Bonehead" I emailed my hubby to let him know what had happened.  I didn't give him the whole play-by-play, considering there is really nothing he can do from there (and knowing that the last thing he really needs right now is more STRESS!).  But I had to at least keep him informed.

Anyway, I had not heard from him in a couple of days, so I was relieved to get a 4 AM phone call from him.  He called me from his cell phone, instead of using a pre-paid card at the phone bank on the base, so he started the conversation with, "I have to keep this short, because the cell minutes are really expensive".  An hour later, he apparently realized the time, spit out an expletive, and said a quick goodbye.  By now I was wide awake, and clicked the calculator app on my iPad (which was in bed with me so I could check email before I drifted off to sleep around 1 AM, in case hubby had a chance to respond to the message I had sent him).

I knew the cell minutes were $2.29 each, and our conversation showed on my cell phone as being almost exactly 60 minutes....

grand total for one phone call: $137.40


As I was adding that up, my phone rang again, and this time the caller ID had a weird combination of numbers - not quite a whole phone number - so I knew it was hubby calling back, and this time not from the expensive cell phone.  I debated telling him what I had just calculated, and then had to chuckle when he told ME.  Too funny that we basically both hung up the phone and did the exact same thing! (except he probably did the math in his head)

We ended up talking for 2 more hours, which is even crazier than the price tag for that first hour.  We have not spent 3 hours on the phone in at least ten years!  Early on in our relationship, he had a job that was incredibly boring for him, and we would spend hours on the phone together.  We lived about 85 miles apart and would talk on the phone to compensate for time we could not actually spend together - we used to do the crossword together from the newspaper, or tell jokes, or just talk about nothing.   Of course, this morning's phone marathon was nothing like that - we were both so upset about the situation with Bonehead, and trying to come up with some option other than my parents spoiling him rotten (rewarding his ridiculous behavior).  We found none, unfortunately, but it felt so good to hang up the phone feeling less alone.

I think my biggest frustration last night was that alone feeling.  I know that no one besides my husband really understands what we have gone through for Bonehead over the years - from the psychiatric hospitalizations, to the endless IEP meetings, to fighting with County Mental Health over the bill for his 5150 assessment when he was throwing desks at school a couple years ago (Assistant Principal called the police and had him taken away in a patrol car to a psych. hospital....the deputies who transported him told me clearly that he was not a danger to himself or to others by the time they showed up at the school, but they still had to follow the procedure and get a 'professional' to assess that risk).

I honestly appreciate all the advice from everyone - friends, family, the deputies who responded to my 911 call yesterday.  But none of them really know Bonehead, and none of them really know ME.  My little sister even called me from New York last night, trying to help - trying to make me feel better - but all that accomplished at the time was to highlight how very alone I felt.

So it was an incredible comfort to me this morning to hear from the one person who really DOES know both Bonehead and me, well enough to actually provide some very real perspective.  Like hot-cocoa on a rainy day comfort.  Like hubby comfort.  A-MA-ZING.

Even though I lost 3 hours of sleep.

And even though it cost three times as much as the new maternity bathing suit that I have been trying to work into my budget.

At least I know that I am not really ALONE.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

So lost without him!

I always feel so strong when my hubby gets back from a deployment, you know - "Wow, I can't believe I was STRONG enough to make it through THAT!"

But during deployment, I feel so incredibly WEAK.

So completely lost without my husband.

My teenager, AKA "Bonehead" came home today after spending a week being SPOILED ROTTEN at my parents' house.  He was still very upset about being grounded, so we sat down to talk about how he could 'earn' his privileges back - one at a time, or all at once, depending on how hard he wanted to work at it.  I tried to be calm and rational with him, and he got more and more worked up over how I don't listen to him, and how I just don't understand how hard it is for him to do his household the end, he decided the only way to get his point across to me was with a baseball bat.


Police were called, no one was seriously hurt, and Bonehead is now back with my parents....undoubtedly being spoiled rotten again.

And I have lost YET ANOTHER child to deployment.  Even if he wanted to come back here to stay, there is no way I can risk my own safety, or the safety of my unborn child and my 10 year old, just to have this volatile teenager in my home.  No matter how much I love Bonehead, I literally can't let him back in my house.

How is it that I can hold everything together (and make it look EASY!) when hubby is around, but the minute he is gone, everything falls apart?

I really am just SO LOST without my husband.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Only a couple hours left to VOTE for me!

Hey everyone, if you enjoyed my entry in Christina's contest please take a second to vote for me!  Poll closes tonight (May 14) at 11:59 PM EST.

In the right hand sidebar on Christina's blog, click my title "Deployment (again)" and then click VOTE!

Thanks so much, and I will be back with a new post tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vote for me!

OK I don't usually enter contests on here, but this one turned out to be very theraputic - made me really think.  So now I want to WIN! :)

Head over to Married to a Sailor to see the other contest entries, and then VOTE for mine! :)

By the way, I am in a GREAT mood today, because I have officially survived a whole week of deployment.  I have many many many more weeks to go, and hope that at least some of them are easier than this past week was - but today I feel like I can totally DO this.

OK so go vote now!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Hubby and Me, and the military makes three.....

Christina over at Married To A Sailor is holding a contest this week, challenging us to write about what it is like to be a military spouse.  I could not have written this post yesterday, because it would have been full of expletives - but today I think I can handle it.  Here's my best shot:

I have become accustomed to my identity being tied to the the Marine Corps, but I usually don't refer to myself as a Marine Wife if I am introducing myself to a person or a group; it makes me feel like those name-droppers who try to get attention by being associated with someone famous.  Not that I would ever do that, but I often feel like the title of 'Marine Wife' was kind of thrust upon me - I didn't exactly choose it, nor do I feel I have done much to 'earn' it.  I never enlisted, and as bad as this sounds, I don't 'love' the Corps, and did not marry it!  I married an amazing, intelligent, strong, and super-sexy man - who happens to also be a United States Marine, one weekend a month, a couple weeks every summer, and sometimes for longer periods of training or deployment (like right now).

When we married after five years together, (two years dating, three years engaged) my husband was supposed to be getting out of the reserves.  Instead, he decided to take his last chance to apply to Officer Candidate's School.  He turned 29 that year, and they don't let you even apply over the age of 30.  At this point in his life, hubby already had a GREAT full time job in law enforcement, so I was baffled by his choice to also become a 'career' Marine. **edit....I think I get it now!**

I already had two children of my own before I even met him (age 7 and 2 when we first started dating) and by the time we finally tied the knot, we had another one together, already 2 1/2 years old at our wedding.  That's a story for another blog!  But my identity was, and still is, as a MOMMY and I already knew that single-parenting really sucked.  So the OCS thing really upset me just in the short term, knowing it meant he would be gone for several months.  I couldn't even begin to think of the bigger picture, knowing this meant a lifelong military commitment (or at least another decade or so).

Now, nearly eight years later, and a few days into our third deployment, I am still struggling to grasp the even bigger picture of what it means to be a Marine Wife.  My kids are now 19, 15, and 10, and we have another on the way in September - so going back to my primary identity of Mommy, right now being a Marine Wife means Single Parenting...again. 

And worse, this time it means giving birth alone.

It means sleeping with my phone, and practically showering with my phone, in case hubby calls.

It means I have a solid appreciation for that kleenex with the lotion in it.

It means taking over everything my husband would normally do, physically and emotionally.

It means I have learned to wrestle and rough-house with my sons (they NEED that!) and to laugh at fart jokes.

It means I have to face fears that I didn't even know I had.

But more than all of these, being a military spouse means I actually know how strong I am - I don't have to guess or wonder.  I get to enjoy a feeling of victory on a daily basis when I conquer those fears I didn't know I had.  I have good days and bad days, just like any other mom, but on most of those, I can actually feel my super-mom cape (sometimes I feel it flapping in the wind, and other times I feel it strangling me....)

I am finding, more every day, that being a military wife also means I belong to an amazing sisterhood of mil-spouses, with more love and support to share than I ever imagined.  There are a lot of great quotes from Ronald Reagan, but one that I think applies to most military spouses is this:

"Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They're just braver five minutes longer." -Ronald Reagan

Planned or not, willing or not, I am proud to be among the heroes at home, these amazing wives who stand up and support their heroes who fight for peace, and support each other here at home.  I know that we all will be brave for five minutes longer, or five days, weeks, months, or years, so that our husbands have something to look forward to when they come home, and a little something more to fight for. 

I recently read Johnny Tremain with my ten year old (helping him with a book report) and wish I had written down word-for-word a conversation toward the end of the book, where one of the founding fathers was asked WHY they were willing to fight.  Basically the gist of it was that the revolutionary war was not about any one man, or any one city or town, or even one country - it was about FREEDOM for all of mankind.  I know that my husband feels the same now, and even on those awful days when I resent the Marine Corps for making me feel like the rejected mistress - with my love gone back to the arms of his 'wife', his first love, the Corps - even then, I am so proud of him for sticking to his principles.

And being a Marine Wife, most of all, means that every day is different from the last.  No two alike, just like snowflakes.  We can take the pile of snow and shovel it 'out of the way', or we can play in it - make some snowmen or snow angels.  We can complain about the cold, or enjoy the beauty of the light reflecting off of the snow - either way, those snowflake days will continue to fall, and eventually enough of them will pile up to make one interesting military life.

*My hubby, my son, and my father-in-law aboard MCB Quantico for OCS graduation ceremony, 2004

Sunday, May 9, 2010

epic mommy FAIL

I am feeling pretty lost right now.  I didn't think I was ready to blog about this yet, but I have been crying about it all freaking DAY today, so I'm going to at least TRY to get this off my chest.

First, a little background info.  When I was 16 years old, I became a Mommy.  I would not recommend that to any other 16 year old girl, but I will say that I have always been a very devoted mother.  I didn't push my beautiful daughter off on her grandparents so I could go party, or anything like that.  I tested out of high school rather than dropping out.  I went to college at night so I could spend my days with my daughter.  I made countless sacrifices to give my little girl the best life possible.  She will be 20 years old in 3 weeks, and has not spoken to me in over two years

She was always a fantastic kid, well rounded.  Beautiful, talented, friendly, and intelligent.  Her parent-teacher conferences were always an absolute joy for me, as her teachers were always singing her praises. 

This all changed the day she turned 13, and by the time her Senior year of high school rolled around, she was a 'typical' teenager - surly, selfish, and, well, bitchy.  She hated me, hated authority, etc etc etc.  My husband deployed in September of that year.  A few days before he left, we learned that my daughter had been ditching school or showing up late, even though she left here on time every morning.  In the 5 weeks since school had started, she was truant or tardy on 21 different days.  Yes, that's 21 out of 25 days. 

We sat down with her over dinner the night before hubby's departure, and clearly spelled out to her that if she ditched school again (AT ALL, even one period) I would take away her car.  PERMANENTLY.  Well, wouldn't you know it, the very next morning, as I was driving crying my way home from the airport, I found out that my 'sweet' little girl was not in school. 

It took a lot of planning to be able to actually follow through with the consequence of taking away the car, because we live far from the school and the bus pass is expensive. I also knew she would freak out and cause a huge scene, and probably try to run away, so I arranged for my parents to take her in for a couple of weeks if needed.  Once I had all the ducks in a row, I took her car away.  It was not as simple as that, but that was the end result.  She made a huge ugly scene, threw out some truly horrible accusations that got CPS involved, and then went to go live with her dad an hour or so away.  She threw away her ENTIRE senior year, over the 'right' to ditch school, and has refused to even speak to me since then. 

OK so now that you know that part, I have a deep dark confession: I have blamed my husband, at least in part, for the loss of my daughter.  I figured that if he had not deployed (which he kind of volunteered for at that point) then she would never have gone so far off the deep end.  Now, I honestly know that this is NOT really his 'fault' but I still really equate the two.  Deployment = I will never see my beautiful daughter again.

But that's not even what has me in tears today.  My angst now is due to the very real chance that this is ALL about to happen AGAIN.

My husband left last Wednesday, and by Friday night, my 15 year old (aka 'Bonehead') was acting up WAY more than normal.  I cut him a lot of slack, as I know he is struggling with the stress of dad being gone every bit as much as I am, if not more.  And he really can't express his feelings about this. 

But I draw the line at HURTING people.  I was unable to just 'ignore' or otherwise accept him beating up on his little brother!  Keep in mind, this boy is already 5'9" and approximately 160 lbs, all muscle.  Size 13 shoe, so he is still growing.  And my younger son (aka 'Knucklehead') is ten years old, barely 4' 9" and maybe 65 pounds soaking wet.  So Bonehead is a full foot taller than Knucklehead, and outweighs him by nearly 100 lbs. 

When Bonehead was picking on his brother Friday night, it started as teasing and turned into outright BEATING on him before I could intervene.  And, just like his big sister, as soon as I stepped in, he started the whole one-upsmanship contest.  I went from "get ready for bed" to "pack your crap for Grammy and Grampa's house" in less than 5 minutes.  He even managed to trump THAT one, by running away.  In the middle of the night.

My dad found him an hour and a half later, near the elementary school right by our house.  He finally went willingly with my parents, but didn't pack his things, etc etc etc.  DRAMA.  So now I am trying NOT to blame hubby for the loss of yet another child.  I don't think Bonehead is completely lost to me anyway, but then I initially thought that my daughter would cool down.  She still hasn't.  And I am beating myself up, feeling like a complete FAILURE as a mother - I can't even get through a WEEK of deployment without letting all hell break loose at home.

And now I fear potential future deployments all the more, since deployment = loss of a child. 

Please don't judge me here, I realize this next statement is tantamount to sacrilege or blasphemy, but at times like this, I freaking HATE the Marine Corps.

OK maybe not quite.  But I hate my life right now, and it seems like all the crappy parts of my life are crappy BECAUSE of the corps.

To make matters worse, I realized today that I don't even know how to work our new lawn mower.  It's a high-tech thing, and has been Bonehead's responsibility for almost a year.  Hubby called me this afternoon and I broke down crying, and when I told him I didn't think I could even figure out how to run the mower, he said "I think I can walk you through that over the phone, if that's what you need".  In my head I was screaming, 'NO THAT IS NOT WHAT I NEED!  I need my husband home and I need my kids back!'  But instead all I said was 'okay' *sniffle*

And I really REALLY hate myself for crying on the damned phone - it stresses him out, makes me feel bad for being so 'weak' when he really needs me to be strong, and worst of all wastes precious time we could have spent TALKING.

Happy freaking mother's day....I hereby withdraw my nomination for that 'mother of the year' award.

My family 5 years ago

My family 5 weeks ago

My family 5 days ago

My family today.



Happy belated birthday to me!  Last night I finally got to 'celebrate' my birthday......rounded up a few of my favorite girls and we went to a DRAG SHOW at a cool restaurant in San Diego called Lips.

Some of these guys were pretty, and others were pretty ugly, but all were fantastic performers, and we all had a BLAST.

I so totally wanna go back there someday when I can drink, because the 'signature' mixed drinks at this place all looked amazing. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

feeling refreshed

Yesterday was a pretty good day, got to see my bloggy friend Laura again and got to finally watch The Blind Side.  (I LOVE REDBOX DVD RENTAL, by the way!)

But by bedtime last night, I sat posting on my blogs and felt, well, weary.  Tired, but not in a sleep-deprived sort of way.  I felt a little bit like this plant:

I went to bed with my iPad so I could catch up reading some of the blogs I follow, since I have only had time for selective reading in the past week or so.  Fell asleep with the iPad in my hands, and woke up about half an hour later to the sound of my cell phone ringing.  I grabbed it, and for a second felt disappointed not to see hubby's name and picture come up on the caller I.D. - it said "withheld".  It took at least half a second for me to jerk awake, realizing that this HAD to be my honey calling me!  I picked up, heard his voice, and with that alone, I felt a little bit more like this:

(same plant, after I finally watered it!  poor plant. I can't believe I have kept this one alive for more than two years)

Even though the phone call included some upsetting news, I slept so great last night after talking to my husband!  I seriously only remember even waking up to pee once all night, and I had some awesome dreams.  Thanks babe, I love you!

So, the bad news.......I have to be kind of vague, for OPSEC, but basically hubby has made it to a stopping point on his way to his actual destination.  When he left, we both knew that he could be at this stop for anywhere from a couple days, to a couple weeks.  Last night he told me it will be 'a matter of WEEKS' before he leaves where he is now.  The only reason that this is BAD news, is that his deployment clock won't really start ticking until he gets to the actual destination. 

So the delay in initial arrival means it will be that much longer before he can come home.  :(

I was telling myself before he left that he would be home "somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve" but now its more like "somewhere between New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day".  Oh well.  As long as he comes home to me, I will wait as long as I have to, because I freaking LOVE this man!

Anyway, this was the first good sleep I have had in a couple of MONTHS, so I am truly grateful for every minute of it.  Even the crazy dreams (they can't all be good ones, right?)

AND tomorrow night I get to enjoy a girls night out to celebrate my birthday! YAY! 

Then I will feel refreshed AND a lot less lonely.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

half n half

I like irony, and I love coincidence, serendipity, etc etc etc.

So it was funny to me that on the morning that half of my heart left for deployment, there was a perfect HALF MOON in the sky.  I tried to take a picture of it in the dark, and my camera wouldn't focus on it - so this is what I got:

Later in the morning, I noticed it was still clearly visible, but again my camera really couldn't focus on it:

I am probably asking WAY too much of my little sony point-and-shoot, right?


Anyway, since yesterday morning, I am noticing that I am kind of HALFway living.  Half-assing stuff that I normally pay attention to for hubby's sake; half-awake at my new part-time job; half laughing at jokes, because I am really not in a laughing mood; and half excited to find out WHO I will be during this deployment!

That last one surprises me, but it shouldn't.  I know from experience that I use these times of separation to 'get to know myself' again....and usually I have gone through a great deal of change in between times, so its like meeting someone completely new.

It's like schizophrenia, only in a GOOD way.


So now I am half-smiling at the possibilities I see in my half-full glass.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And I didn't even cry.....

It was one of our better goodbyes.

My father in law came over late last night and crashed on our couch, so he could wake up at 3 AM here and take hubby to the reserve unit to meet up with the other Marines.  I would have preferred to take hubby in myself, but with traffic I would have had to get a sub for my new job - not cool, right?

Hubby actually prefers to say goodbye to me here at home anyway, in case I get all emotional and make a scene.

BUT FOR ONCE, I DIDN'T!  I can't believe I made it through our entire last night together with NO TEARS, made him a final breakfast with no tears, and even said goodbye with no tears.  Of course I am crying now, as I write this, but hubby does not have to see that, and remember my misery as he goes off to war.

I didn't get a picture of him saying goodbye to Bonehead, but snapped a quick shot of the sleepy goodbye with younger brother 'Knucklehead'.  :)

And I look like sh*t in this picture, but it was 3 am, and I had been holding back tears for HOURS.....gimme a break, ok?

Overall, I still feel empty, as I always do when he leaves.  But today I also feel victorious - pregnant hormonal emotional lady CAN hold back the tears! (with some considerable effort) 

Monday, May 3, 2010


OK so 'Bonehead' is what I am calling my 15 year old son.....if you missed my previous posts about him, you can click here and then here

So, first of all, Bonehead is NOT expelled from school. *PHEW*

The assistant principal was so impressed with Bonehead's behavior once the knife was discovered, he decided to give him a second chance.  And of course, the knife only came out of the pocket so dear sweet Bonehead could use the attached SCREWDRIVER to repair the bracket on the classroom flag, which another student had broken.....

Which leads me to TODAY's chuckle (not really laughing at my son, just laughing at how his mind works)

We just installed a flag by our front door.  Bonehead was thrilled to help with the installation, and even more thrilled when I told him it is his responsibility to 'post the colors' every morning.  See, this kid is OBSESSED with all things military right now.  He is very invloved with the high school JROTC program.  As in, he is getting an "A" in that class, while failing almost everything else.

So, this morning, instead of the usual routine of dragging Bonehead out of his bed, yelling at him a few times, reminding him to feed the dog, etc, I awoke t discover that the kid was already in the shower!  I had barely slept, so I took a gamble and went back to bed.  When I got up an hour later, I confirmed that he had indeed gotten out the door in time - on his own! - and fed the dog, and made his bed, and yes, even placed the new flag in its holder.

This was such a shocker to me, I had to ask him about it when he got home (after heaping TONS of praise on him, of course...gotta get that positive reinforcement in!).  He said the reason it was so 'easy' for him to get up and get moving this morning, was because he was EXCITED to post the flag!


I have to find a way to exploit reinforce this.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

'happy' birthday (those are sarcastic quotes)

Today was my birthday.  I spent it trying not to fight with my manic hubby as he packed his things for deployment, and trying even harder not to CRY.  Lost that battle a few times......

My little silver lining for this CRAPPY birthday though:

Hubby bought me my FIRST CHOICE for a birthday gift.

YUP,  I got an iPad.  And yes, I totally love it!  I can even BLOG on it!  But not tonight...I only have 5 minutes to post something here, and it will take me longer than that to figure out how to attach pictures using my super cool new toy.

For most people, I would advise springing for the 3G model, since the data plan on it will only cost $15 to $30 per month (depending on how UNLIMITED you want your internet access to be) but for me, the wi-fi model is PERFECT because I will basically just be using it at home.  In every single room of the house.  Yes, even the bathroom! LOL

Now I have to go get ready for bed, and try to find a way to 'enjoy' one of my last nights with my honey before he actually leaves.

(just a heads up, my next couple of blog posts will be pure VENTING......lots to get off my chest!)

Saturday, May 1, 2010


OK I don't have time to REALLY blog until hubby is wheels-up, so for now here are some photos from our Disneyland trip this week:

Some ride photos....

Splash Mountain

Space Mountain

Hollywood Hotel Tower of Terror (love how THRILLED my youngest looks here! LOL)

My baby bump (sort of)

All of us EXHAUSTED after 13 hours of disney.....I don't sleep well in hotels, but I SLEPT that night

We take this picture every time we go to California Adventure:

Here's one from 2004 (same spot, look how much they've grown!)

And this year we got someone else to take one with ME in it, too! 
Template c/o Designs Etc.