Thursday, July 29, 2010

haircut before & after

Today was haircut day for the whole family.....missed the dog, I guess, but she's low maintenance like that.  Now that I think about it though, if I decide to splurge on another pedicure next week, I will definitely treat my little puggle to a pedicure too!

Bonehead got his usual cut at the barbershop on base:

Knucklehead has been growing his hair out since his last high and tight back in APRIL.  Yeah, I let him go almost four months without a haircut.  Mom of the year strikes again, right?  This is what it looked like this morning:

And knucklehead now:

Finally, I got mine cut short about 6 weeks ago, in a cute A-line cut....which was NOT so cute once I started sweating! 


Since I know I am going to sweat A LOT more in the final 8 weeks of this pregnancy, I decided to go EVEN SHORTER....


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seeking Solitude as a Survival Skill (the four S's)

**This was scheduled to be a Friday Feature post on the now-defunct Semper Spouse blog.  I decided to post it here after I learned that Semper Spouse was closed down by its founders.**

I am normally NOT a fact, quite the opposite! I love to socialize, talk, hang out with friends, and even more, I love to have people over. Hosting a get-together at my house is one of my favorite things to do.

But when my husband is deployed, I become such an introvert. I still want and need that connection with others, but it seems it just takes TOO MUCH ENERGY to socialize with my civilian friends, and until recently, I really didn't have many milspouse friends.

I thought about this on a recent Saturday night, as I sat on my couch in the same pajamas I'd been wearing for almost 24 hours, watching my soap opera on my DVR, while playing "Words With Friends" on my iPad. Can anyone say LOSER??? OK, don't all race to the comment box and tell me not to be so hard on myself, I am not actually CALLING myself a loser. But, I definitely would have looked the part in the eyes of any of my civilian friends at that moment! All I needed to complete the look would be a half-eaten bag of chips next to me on the couch, with crumbs on my chin and shirt. Right?

But what those civilian friends would never be able to see in this scene is that this is actually a carefully crafted strategy for coping with deployments.

You see, I have been to this circus before. I know what comes after the dancing elephants, and I don't need some well-meaning friend to point out the shows that I am missing in the adjoining tents! This is our third deployment, after all.

During our first deployment I made the mistake of stepping up my social life, branching out to try to cover the loneliness. I went out to clubs almost every weekend, sometimes on both Friday nights AND Saturday nights. With my *SINGLE* girlfriends, because I couldn't bear to be around happy married couples, when my other half was on the other side of the world. While I never actually DID anything that could have destroyed my marriage, I stupidly followed temptation around everywhere. And drank too much. I acted stupid and immature, and it set me back several years, emotionally speaking. So I was in no shape to deal with the tornado that was re-integration, and I still shake my head in wonder at the series of miracles that had to fall into place SIMULTANEOUSLY to result in an intact marriage after that.

Our second deployment was even harder on me, and I threw myself into work as a distraction. I worked my ASS off, averaging 12 hours a day away from home (I had about a 30 minute commute to work at the time). I even worked on the weekends sometimes, and when I didn't actually GO to work on a Saturday or a Sunday, I usually brought some work home with me. Do you think my boss noticed or cared? NOPE. I never got one extra brownie point for any of it. My staff knew I was half-crazy with the deployment, and they were incredibly supportive and wonderful...but at night I would go home and the reality of deployment was too much to I would have a glass of wine to help me relax, dull the pain a little. Yes, there were a lot of nights that 'a glass' of wine became 'a bottle' of wine.... but it's not like I was driving anywhere or anything, right? Of course, hubby's return meant that I HAD to cut down on the alcohol, because I wanted to actually enjoy his homecoming, and more than that, wanted him to be proud of me - not disgusted with the LUSH I was becoming. So once again, I complicated our re-integration process by depending way too heavily on a crutch that I had to suddenly discard on his return...and it was HARD. I did manage to go back to my 'normal' social-drinking status...a glass (or two) of wine once or twice a month at social functions, and that's it. But doing that WHILE trying to fit my family back into our pre-deployment roles, and WHILE trying to keep a job that suddenly expected me to work 12 hour days, since I had done it for 7 months, well it just sucked.

Now, the wine itself is not a bad coping tool, if used properly. However, this third deployment is a whole different animal, since I am pregnant. When hubby left, I was 19 weeks pregnant, and when he returns, I should have a (roughly) 12 week old infant to introduce to him. So, no wine for me this time! I will confess, I do eat A LOT of grapes these days though. Not the same thing, but somehow they do satisfy my craving for wine.

In addition to being pregnant this time around, I am also unemployed. This means I have *WAY TOO MUCH* time to think about - and miss - my hubby. I have some social life, but I have to really try hard to actually paste on a smile and act like everything is OK. Something as simple as having lunch with a girlfriend means I have to ignore the cute couple smooching in the next booth (and the pang of loneliness that comes with that sight). It means I have to struggle to figure out when to laugh at a joke that I only half-heard, since I was spacing out again, daydreaming about my hubby. It means I have to come up with a stupid story about having something in my eye when I see a proud daddy patiently spooning baby food into his little one's eager mouth. It means I have to really THINK of something to say that won't sound lame.

And it all sounds lame.

I've found that it is not nearly as stressful to socialize with military wives, because they 'get it'. Especially if they are also dealing with deployment. I do make it a point to go SOMEWHERE once a week at a minimum, preferably with a milspouse. I have reached out to complete strangers to build a small social group of milspouses - through my blog, and through meetup and facebook, as well as word of mouth (stealing my friends' friends! ha ha ha)

But in the meantime, I choose to stay home, and be bored/lazy/loser-ish. It is safe. I can cry or laugh as much as I need to, with no one to wonder if they should call the men in white coats to come and take me away. At home, I can be whichever version of "ME" I need to be at any given moment, and make no apologies. I know for certain that I have good cell signal in my own living room, so I don't have to worry about missing a call from my love. I can blog for hours at home - or just read the blogs of fellow milspouses, if I have writer's block. Best of all, when I am home, on my couch, I can obsessively check email every 30 seconds to see if my hubby has sent me anything - and when he does, I can talk to myself about it. I even have a good built-in critic right here to proofread my emails to Hubby, and tell me how wonderful and supportive I am of my husband when I write *JUST* what he needs to hear. I am, after all, a pretty good listener, and I might be the best friend I've ever had. I mean, who else has been with me through EVERYTHING? ME!

And if the crutch I use to cope with deployment this time is MYSELF - at least I know that I can hang onto that crutch to also get through the difficult re-integration process.

I think I am finally getting good at this Marine Wife thing...learning to rely on MYSELF.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

OPSEC at its finest

I stole this from a post on the Blue Star Families facebook page....


Girls, girls, girls!

I love being a mom of boys - girls are so damned catty!
I've dealt with so much DRAMA in the past week, it was like every woman I knew (and many that I don't know, and don't CARE to know!) were all PMS-ing at the same time.

FRG stuff, friend stuff, Facebook stuff, and even Blog stuff.

I blogged just a couple days ago about "Semper Spouse", a blog just for Marine Wives.  It was started by a few (four, I think?) Marine Wife Bloggers to inspire, support, and bring together the blog community of Marine Wives.  Those same organizers shut it down overnight, because of an irresponsible (poorly worded?) post written by one of the group's founders yesterday.  Or rather, because of the outrage that said post inspired in the blogging community.

Her post was about OPSEC, and if you actually did read the whole thing, YES her point of view was wrong/short-sighted/narrow-minded/selfish, but I was struck more by the 100+ mean and nasty comments that she got.  My own comment to her told her what I was pretty sure she needed to hear (and this was later confirmed)....that I understand her frustration with OPSEC, and I hate it too - but I do follow it anyway.  It goes against everything in me to keep my mouth shut about ANYTHING, so following OPSEC is that much harder for me.  I get it.  I think it would have been easier for other readers of the blog to 'get it' if she hadn't included the inflammatory stuff at the end, about the big "middle finger to OPSEC" etc.  but still...I did read the ENTIRE post, and I got what she was trying to say.  She was FRUSTRATED, and was reaching out for support in the only way she knew how.

And before you all freak out on me like you did on Semper Spouse yesterday, I DO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF OPSEC!!!!!  I RESPECT IT FOR WHAT IT IS, and if anyone else's lack of respect for OPSEC ever hurt - or even inconvenienced my husband and his unit, I would hunt that girl down.....

Also, my dear husband absoultely understands what a blabbermouth he married, so he is very careful about what details he even shares with me, not wanting to put me in a position of responsibility if he isn't sure I can handle it.

I will say that I have gotten better at this over the years, but still - it is just not in my nature to keep quiet. Hence the blog.  Not just one, but TWO for right now!  This one, for all things deployment-related, and my pregnancy blog, chronicling my current pregnancy.

But, seriously girls, if you all wanted to get your own point across to "Alpha Wife" from Semper Spouse, did you really have to get so mean and nasty about it?  I get that you were all mad - and rightfully so - at her careless attitude about this.  I just was more-than-a-little embarrassed to think that for a moment I would ever be lumped in with the catty, no, downright BITCHY group of women I witnessed in yesterday's attack via the comments on Semper Spouse.

Some of those throwing names and foul language at her (in excess) were my own blog followers.

I did note 2 or 3 'tactful' responses from some of the bloggers I happen to follow and love, and they were able to express their disapproval of the POINT OF VIEW without actually calling this girl names or insulting her, her husband, or his command.  To those few, THANK YOU for being tactful.  I am pretty sure she got your point, as indicated in the dozens of apologies that she posted on that same comments page before it was permanently shut down.

To the rest, YOU OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!  Your bitchy behavior, in the name of 'being supportive' did not reflect well on any of your husbands, and I pray that none of my sweet boys grows up to marry catty and mean girls like you!

Now, let the comment flurry begin. (but can we please keep this round TACTFUL and respectful?)

its here! yay!

Do you remember that blog playlist contest I entered awhile back?  You know, the one I hounded you to VOTE for me in?  Well I won third place, and my prize included a snazzy new BLOG BUTTON!  Since I had just gotten this blog redesigned with a cute button and everything, I asked Christina if she wouldn't mind doing my new button for my pregnancy blog, "Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat?"....and she made the cutest little blog button I have ever seen!

This is just the image, the actual button,
with code, is over on the right ---->
(scroll down, its below the archives)

Fee free to grab it if you want, and post it with the other buttons on your own blog. 


Monday, July 26, 2010

What's your alias?

I get kind of confused at times when trying to use an alias for each of my family members here in blogland, and I thought it might be helpful to set up a little diagram of sorts here.  Maybe I will even get this added to my lovely blog layout, but for now, here is the breakdown:

"Jarhead" aka Hubby (with me, about 5 years ago)

"Airhead" my 20 year old daughter

"Bonehead", my 15 year old son

"Knucklehead" my 10 year old son

and finally,

"Bobblehead" my third son, making his debut sometime in the next 9 weeks.


I shared this picture on Facebook already, but just HAD to post it here, as well.

This is a portion of my ACTUAL electric bill, reflecting our electric usage over the past year.  There is even one bar on the graph showing our usage for the same month two years ago, which was right before we got our solar panels installed.

Notice the difference?  In addition to putting in solar panels, we have adjusted our habits to be more frugal - turning off lights, etc.  Now, hubby complains if I take more than 5 minutes to blow-dry my hair, and I have long contended that his TV habit is costing us FAR MORE in electricity than my efforts to have an occaional good hair day.  This bill may very well prove me right! 

See the columns that go below the zero line?  That means that in those months, we generated more electricity than we used!  We only had two such months in 2009, and they were BARELY on the side of the line we like......but this year, every month except for January has yielded this very desirable surplus...even though we had a cloudier than normal winter and spring (and early summer). 

Even with LESS sun, we are banking MORE unused electricity.

So how is this possible? 

Well, Hubby will call it a coincidence at first, but will eventually have to recognize that he started workups in January.....and was barely home in the months of February, March, and April.  Then he deployed May 5.  I still blow-dry my hair, and the kids and I do still watch TV, but we no longer have 2 or 3 televisions on at the same time. 

Just one more silver lining in the cloud of deployment - we get to save money on our electric bill, AND *gasp* I get to be RIGHT about something!  That almost never happens.

Oh, and if you own your home and are considering going solar, please email me so I can refer you to the awesome company that did our panels 2 years ago.  A friend of mine is having her panels installed next week, and I get a cash bonus for referring her!  YAY!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Semper Spouse

*****7/27/10 update....Semper Spouse is no more.  The site was shut down by its founders overnight.*****

Are you a Semper Spouse?  Check out the cute button on the top left of my blog - this is an awesome new community for Marine Wives (and Marine Girlfriends and Fiancees).  If this is you, CLICK the button and join us!

In addition to helping us find one another through the cool Members Page (list your blog there!) they have great discussions and posts that are relevant to all USMC wives, and even great giveaways!

The current giveaway is for those currently going through deployment (as of July 31, 2010) and the prize is a $40 CSN Stores gift card!  WOO HOO!

If you love a Marine and are NOT already on the Semper Spouse blog, go check it out, and if you love it, join.  Then participate in the discussions, make some new friends, learn something new, teach us all something.  It's a community, come on in girls!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Prince Charming

I met the most "CHARMING" man the other day at the recycling center.  Somehow I don't think quotes really denote enough sarcasm for this, but if you read on, you'll catch the actual meaning.

First, let me explain a couple of things.  I live in California, and in this lovely (swiftly swirling down the toilet bowl) state, we are literally FORCED to recycle our beverage containers.  Bottles, cans, etc. are all sold with an extra TAX, known as "CRV" ...California Redemption Value.  This tax is then refunded to the consumer at the recycle center.  SOOOO, cheapskate that I am, I religiously save and recylce our soda cans, water bottles, etc.

The process of recycling is a huge pain in the ass here.  There are recycling centers at about 1/10 of our local grocery stores, and most have very limited operating hours.  Add to this the fact that the people staffing the recycling centers are complete IDIOTS, and we basically just plan on using the automated machines every time we go.  And half the time, the automated machines are broken.

OK so now for Prince Charming.....
I arrived at the recycle center in the hottest part of the day - and it was abnormally hot.  Record-breaking.  106 degrees - not counting the extra heat radiating off the parking lot.

Mr. Prince Charming drove in right after I did, and he rushed to try to get in the recycle line before I could - but my tub of empty bottles and cans was already there, saving my spot while I retrieved the second tub from the trunk of my car.  I walked over and set that tub on top of the first one, and ignored the dirty look I got from the guy who was standing right behind my stuff.  The couple in front of me finished feeding their cans through the machine and left, and I stepped up and started putting my containers in.

This is when Prince Charming hollered, "Hey, you know I'm next, right?"  huh?  I ignored him at first, so he got louder, clearly agitated.  I turned so he could see my pregnant belly, hoping this would get him to back the F--- off, but it didn't work.  He was convinced that I had cut in front of him in line, and he wasn't backing down.

I said something vague about how I would be sure to hurry and get him his turn ASAP (trying to stay calm, but remember it was freaking HOT out there).  This is when he started with a STRING of profanities, everything from calling me a 'fatass bitch' to dropping the F-bomb.  A lot.  Instead of defending me, the loser employee at the recycle center made things worse.

At the end of the five minute tirade (which I mostly ignored, but I did respond a few times while I kept putting my cans and bottles into the machine) Prince Charming had the gall to inform me that *I* needed to get some manners.  Really?  You don't say?  I'm obviously not going wherever you went for YOUR manners, sir, because they clearly ran out before you got to the front of the line.  Unless, maybe, you were also too impatient to wait in that line?

I grabbed my cell phone and took a picture of the jerk's license plate, and tried to take a picture of him - but this is what I got:


I tried again but he covered his face.  What, you're not proud of your behavior here this afternoon?

Picking on a pregnant woman in that heat - you ought to be ASHAMED of yourself!

Funny thing about this, I have a tendency to let people go in front of me in line all the time - like if I have a cart full of groceries and the person behind me only has one item, or maybe if I am shopping alone and there's a harried mom behind me with screaming kids who really NEED to get out of the store before the poor mom's head I thought I should have had pretty good "line Karma".   One of the things the jerk at the recycle center was ranting about was that 'what goes around comes around' which I gave him the sweetest smile I could muster and said, "I agree, and your kindness today will NOT be forgotten."


**Karma - or whatever you want to call it - did tip the scales back in my favor a couple days later, you can read about my positive 'line' experience HERE**

Monday, July 19, 2010

Knott's Berry Farm

Last week was a pretty busy one, so I am going to try to play 'catch-up' with a series of posts....easier said than done, since THIS WEEK is also a busy one.  :)

I finally honored my husband's request to take Knucklehead to an amusement park.  Bonehead was invited, in hopes he would spend some quality time with his brother, but he declined because I wouldn't let him bring a friend....I kinda felt it would have defeated the purpose if he brought a friend, because then the teenagers would be ignoring Knucklehead anyway.

Since I am now 7 months pregnant, I couldn't go on any of the rides.  My mother-in-law came with us, but she's in poor health and also can't/won't go on the rides.  I'm still not even sure why she wanted to go, but this trip was essentially HER idea...and she bought us lunch, so I guess it doesn't really matter. 

Anyway, I didn't want my sweet son to have to go on all the rides by himself, so we invited his best friend to come with us.  Best friend's birthday was a few days away anyway, so it was a cool way to celebrate.

Southern California was just starting a NASTY heat wave the day we went - so we sweated through most of the day.  M.I.L. normally walks with a cane, so we rented her a wheelchair.  I was worried we would be stuck with the manual style, and I would have to push her all around the park.....but we got lucky and they still had some of the motorized ones left. *whew*!  The Snoopy on ice show was a fantastic way to cool off - and very enjoyable even without that perk.  I highly recommend it.

The boys went on most of the big rides, and their favorites were worth doing multiple times - especially considering how short the lines were.  We purposely went on a Tuesday, hoping to avoid crowds; we did WAY better than I could have hoped for!  The longest line all day was only 30 minutes, and that was for one of the big roller coasters.  I can only assume that the heat kept a lot of people away(?)

The tickets for this place are half off if you buy them on base through ITT...well worth it!  Especially compared to what we normally spend to do Disneyland.  Not that I'm knocking Disney or anything, just can't believe we could still have so much fun, for about 1/4 the price.

Oh, and the best part of the day was actually DINNER, on the way home....we stopped to eat at Denny's, since kids eat free on Tuesday nights (yes, I really am THAT cheap...we have a running list of which restaurants have 'kids eat free' on which nights).  I discreetly told the waiter that we had a BIRTHDAY BOY at our table and they brought out a sundae and sang happy birthday to Knucklehead's buddy....embarrassed the crap of the poor kid!  It was AWESOME.  If his mom wasn't my best friend, I wouldn't have done this to him.  But he knows I love him, so it's OK.  And the ice cream was enough to make him forgive and forget, anyway.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lazy blogger

I can't believe I've let almost a whole week slip by without blogging!  In my defense, I have been away from the internet more than usual this week, but still - SORRY for neglecting you, blog!

According to my feedjit, my faithful followers are still visitng here regularly - and I do have some very INTERESTING material to add soon, since this week was even crazier than usual around here. I even have some cool pictures to share, if I ever take time to load them from the camera.

For now, though, I just wanted to share something sweet that happened today.  I recently bought my hubby more dried fruit to send in his next care package, and last night I got an email from him requesting that I not send the 'mixed' fruit any more, he just wants the plain dried mangoes.   So, I went to Costco this morning to return the mixed fruit.

The return line was particularly LONG today, but I stood there patiently, and got to know my temporary 'line-neighbors' a little.  Someone noticed my t-shirt and commented on it (it says "Does this baby make me look fat?").  We exchanged small-talk, and then we chit-chatted about what we were all returning, and why.  I do this often, actually, as it is better than reading a Consumer Reports magazine, in terms of knowing the real VALUE of a product.  Anyway, the lady in line in front of me was VERY nice, she insisted that I go in front of her in line, and even handed me $10 cash to buy the replacement mangoes for my hubby.  She said she just wanted to 'give something back'.  How nice is that?  And how did she know the Mangoes were going to cost $10? Maybe she buys them a lot?  Ha ha ha!

Anyway, Rebecca from Murrieta, THANK YOU for being so kind, and for buying my husband some mangoes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


OK this is it, last 24 hours!

Did you read my post about my deployment playlist? 
If you didn't read it yet, CLICK HERE and check it out. 
After you read it, click the link inside that post to go to
Christina's page, "Married to a Sailor". 

There you can VOTE for me in her contest...
 but only until 11:59 PM July 12 - so HURRY, do it now! 


You know your husband is deployed when...

Laura over at Diamonds and Dog Tags posted this LIST today, and I thought I would continue the theme.

Before I add to her list, I just want to say that I LOVE #20 - I would never have even met Laura if we weren't both going through deployment right now, and yet here we are - we even get to hang out in real life sometimes, and meet each other's cool friends, and make even MORE new friends.....

So, here's my contribution to the list:

You know your husband is deployed when.....

1. You want to smash your car radio if one-more-lovesong comes on (and you completely skip the pre-set for that station that plays nothing but lovesongs)

2.  Your husband's side of the bed is still made in the morning, but is also covered with the necessities like your cellphone, charger, laptop, and whatever you're currently reading.

3. Your daily wardrobe selection depends heavily on whether or not the outfit has a pocket for your cellphone

4. You find yourself buying batteries in bulk. (AHEM!)

5. Your grocery bill is cut in half, but your take-out budget has doubled.

6. You can go two full weeks without doing any laundry.

7. You can go two full weeks without doing any DISHES.

8. You can have girls night out every night - but find its missing something without hubby there to feel neglected in your absence.

9. You've spent more time at the RedBox kiosk than at the gym.

10. Your daily routine includes 1,298 logins to check email JUST IN CASE hubby sent you something.

Now go add your own to this list.....pass it on!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Marine wife....and Marine MOM?

SO, yesterday I posted about feeling kinda crazy.....this post may just demonstrate HOW crazy I am.

Bonehead is about to enter his Junior year of high school, and is hoping to enlist in the Marine Corps after high school.  Do I think he can make a great Marine?  absolutely.  Do I want him to become a Marine?  HELL-TO-THE-NO!  But I can't hold him back, especially knowing that may be his best (if not only) path to a successful grown-up life.

So yesterday we talked to a USMC recruiter, just to get some facts straight about what will be required of Bonehead in his final two years of high school if he really and truly wants to become one of the few, the proud....

I guess my main reason for going along with this, when my heart breaks at the thought of sending my SON off to war, is that I am hoping that Bonehead will buckle down and get serious in school, and quit goofing off.  I also think that, by showing my son that I take his dreams seriously, I am helping him to take HIMSELF seriously.  Honestly, this boy jokes around about everything, and it's really just not funny any more.

I actually really liked the recruiter we spoke with, and loved everything he said to my son - I think it may have been just the pep talk he needed!  We'll see if it had any effect in the long run, who knows?  Hubby has had that same talk with Bonehead, oh, like 389,692 times, and it never quite sinks in.  God knows I have tried to get through to him, too - with no luck.  I have tried speaking his language (jokes, etc) and got nothing.  I have tried motivating him with rewards, even motivating him with fear, but still, NOTHING. 

I am now hoping that this recruiter somehow broke through some of the lazy immaturity in Bonehead's brain, to tap into the genius we all know is there.  Remember, this kid can speed-solve a Rubik's Cube in 22 seconds!  He can figure out some of the most complex things, just by watching a youTube video....and yet can't figure out how to DO his stinking homework....

I'm secretly hoping that Bonehead will figure out that he LIKES school when he is actually passing his classes, and will change his mind about the Corps in favor of going to college.  Long shot, I know, but a momma can HOPE, right?

Not that I wouldn't be incredibly proud to see any of my boys follow in Dad's footsteps, but I just don't know if I am THAT strong.  I don't even want to be as strong as I have to be now, to say goodbye to my husband for 7 or 8 months at a time!  And at least my husband is one of those guys who I KNOW is coming back - barring some major freak accident.  He is prepared for every possibility, and has a contigency plan for his contingency plans.  Annoying, actually, but during deployment also comforting, because I can trust him when he says, "I'll be home soon.".  I know he will.  But my boys? I am not so sure they can even handle Marine Corps life here in the states, let alone deployment - and COMBAT.  Yikes.

What did I just do???

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I've got a case of the crazies

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am kind of an authority on insanity - have to be, between the family I grew up in, and the family I married into!  So I think I know what I am talking about when I say I am OUT OF MY FREAKING MIND.

I swear, the past 48 hours I have been so miserable with these moodswings - and yes, I did take it out on hubby when I finally got to talk to him last night (so sad - I hope he can forgive me!)

If I can't stabilize myself on my own by next week, I think I am going to have to go back on meds.  It has been a little over a year since I last went off my psych meds (for depression and anxiety) and I do have a medication that is 'safe' during pregnancy.  I just don't want to take it unless I really NEED it, you know?

My own personal battle for my sanity has been going on for over a decade.  Well, really, for my whole life - but I've only had the labels and treatment options for about ten years.  Over that time, I have gone for as long as a year at a time ON meds, and as long as 2 years at a time OFF meds.  I'm getting better overall at identifying the 'crazies' when they hit, knowing when to get help, etc. but this time I am a little confused as to how much of this is my chemical imbalance, and how much is pregnancy/hormone related.  *sigh* It's confusing, frustrating, and kind of isolating.

I'm working on it.

I will keep you all posted with my progress (or lack of progress). 

While I am talking about this, I'm gonna step up onto my soap box for a second - OK now everybody LISTEN UP!  Mental illness comes in many forms, and is more common than you might think.  It is also (in most cases) very TREATABLE!  So if you think you might be a little 'crazy' or are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, etc. PLEASE please please please go get help.  You do NOT have to feel miserable all the time.  Don't suffer in silence!  It is OK to ask for help.  If you are against psych meds, there are other treatment options (everything from talking to a counselor, to accupuncture, to hypnotherapy, etc).  Find what works for you, and make the choices necessary to be as healthy as you can be.  Just know that the stigma attached to mental health issues is DUMB, and you deserve to FUNCTION and yes, even to be HAPPY/CONTENT from time to time. 

OK, now that I am done preaching about that, please take a minute to read my post from last week, My Deployment Playlist. And when you're done reading (and listening to) my top 5 songs, click the link at the bottom of my post so you can VOTE for me in Christina's contest.  I'm in 3rd place right now, falling help me out, will ya?

in-laws and insecurities

DISCLAIMER - this post may suddenly disappear if any of hubby's family finds my blog (I'm trying to VENT, not start more ugly drama)

I get along with my husband's parents.  Kinda.  Sorta.

We had a little emergency come up here at home that hubby just can't deal with from deployment-land, so he called BOTH of his parents for help.  His parents have been divorced for 25 years - they each live a little over an hour from me, and about an hour apart from each other.  (triangle-ish) Both have basically botched important things he's asked them to take care of in the past, so I am still not sure why hubby would turn to EITHER of them, let alone BOTH of them for help this time....but that is beside the point.

The problem I have with their involvement in this particular emergency is that I feel so JUDGED by them both - and I know I shouldn't care what they think of me, but I still do.  It might not be so bad if hubby had not bad-mouthed me TO his parents for the first ten years we were together.  I know what he has told them (some of it true, some of it fabricated, but all of it spoken only to garner sympathy for himself) and I know what they both think of me, as a result of it.  Of course he complains about his parents to ME all the time, too, and though I try to be 'fair' with people, I honestly have let his rants color my opnion of his parents, too.

The thing is, I feel so wronged by my hubby here - I have certainly never told MY family (or his, for that matter) about some of the stupid and hurtful things he has done over the years - in fact, I kept that information from my parents specifically BECAUSE I didn't want them to hate him (even when I did hate him for whatever offense I had just found out about).  Hubby, on the other hand, didn't seem to care if his parents and his sisters hated me, and yet now is totally fine with the fact that HE is half a world away, and when I am in a pickle here, the only people he can/will call to help me in his stead already think I am lower than dirt.

Am I wrong to be pissed off at hubby for putting me in this situation?

Am I wrong for letting it get to me, like this?  I feel so...humiliated.  Like me needing their help right now somehow proves that everything he ever said about me being selfish, incompetent, stupid, whatever, must all be true. In their eyes, anyway.

I don't want to fight with hubby (especially not via a static-filled phone line, or worse, over email). We get so little time to talk as it is.  I just feel like crap right now, about everything.  I hate needing anyone's help, so there is THAT on top of my other insecurities.

Being all pregnant/hormonal/crazy sure as hell is not helping matters here right now.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Did you catch my 'Deployment Playlist' post last week?  If you missed it, go back and read it - and then follow the link in that post to Christina's blog and VOTE FOR ME in her contest!  I am slipping fast, currently in third place....come on followers, show a little love.  :)

And if you already read it, I just fixed a broken link in there, to my OpLove slideshow that goes with the first song on the list - so go back and check it out (or click the link in this post, if you really don't want to go vote for me)

You know I love you all BACK, right?


another Mommy 'fail' (and nice save)

Yesterday when I picked Knucklehead up from a sleepover at a friend's house, he proudly held up a plastic baggie with TWO of his teeth in it.  I knew he had a loose tooth, but TWO?  Anyway, I told him to put the teeth under his pillow for the tooth fairy.....and then I forgot ALL about it.

This morning as we were eating breakfast, my son mentioned that he had forgotten to look under his pillow to see what the tooth fairy left him, and I froze, mid-bite.  *OOPS!*  Then he calmly said, "I'll go look when I'm done eating"  I tried not to look panicked as I hurried through my breakfast, dug through my purse, and snuck upstairs to play tooth fairy.  I was all but whistling, trying to look innocent.

Thankfully dear little Knucklehead was really into his cheerios at this point, so he never even noticed my brief absence. Whew.

**PS Go vote for me in Christina's contest if you haven't already!  It's a cool giveaway and all I had to do to enter was blog about my top 5 songs to listen to when hubby is deployed.  Read my playlist, and if you love it, VOTE for me!**

until the end of time

When hubby and I got married 8 years ago, he wanted a titanium wedding band.  At the time, titanium was not very popular for jewelry, because it is a very hard metal - and therefore difficult to work with.  I asked my love if he wouldn't prefer maybe a white gold or even platinum ring, as those were available on virtually every corner, and he said the sweetest thing to me!  He said, "I want titanium because it is strong like us"


So, needless to say, I found a company that sold titanium rings online, found the perfect band for him, and then had it engraved (and engraving on something as hard as titanium is NO easy task).  The inside of his wedding band says.. "07/06/02....until the end of time"

Of course now he has NO excuse for ever forgetting our anniversary, since our wedding date is permanently etched onto the shiny little piece of titanium that he wears on his left hand!  Ha ha ha! 

When we've had our problems, as every couple does, it also helps us both to take a deep breath when we feel like giving up, and remember that we are committed to one another, and to this marriage, UNTIL THE END OF TIME.  Not even just 'til death do us part' or 'as long as we both shall live'....but until time actually ends.  Forever

The funny thing is, now there seems to be a titanium fad or trend - if you do an internet search for titanium wedding bands, you will get countless results - though many of the rings are actually titanium coated rather than being 100% titanium.

I wish I could share here some of the things hubby said to me in our brief anniversary phone call last night- but it was personal enough that I think I'd better just tell you that he is incredibly sweet and romantic, and can make my knees weak from halfway around the world.


**Are you getting sick of me reminding you to vote for me  in Christina's contest?  THEN DO IT ALREADY!  :)  Follow the link, read my list of deployment songs, and then VOTE for me so I can win this one, OK?  Voting closes July 12**

I heart facebook

I've asked hubby a couple of times to send me pictures from deployment-land, but his internet is so spotty he hasn't been able to send much.

I think I've mentioned before that he is over there with another unit (not his own unit), which is based out of Okinawa - and that unit has a FB page! :)  The CO posts updates and photos on there occasionally, and today I found THIS PICTURE of my amazing husband posted on the unit page on FB:

It's incredible how seeing a picture of him just completely MADE MY DAY.  I have a dentist apppointment in an hour, and I am SMILING right now instead of shaking in fear (I've been a fearful patient for about ten years, and usually need anxiety medication just to get IN that stupid chair....and of course can't take those meds while preggo).

So, to my husband's CO, THANK YOU for making my day by posting this picture!  And to Facebook, THANK YOU for making all these connections possible!  Most of all, to the love of my life, THANK YOU for everything.  I love you, babe!

**P.S. Have you voted for me yet?  Head over to Christina's blog, Married To A Sailor and check out all the entries, and if you love my deployment playlist, VOTE for me!  I'm in second place right now, and I really want to win this one. THANKS!!!**


Awhile back I became a 'fan' of Blue Star Families on Facebook, and have been incredibly impressed with everything I have seen from this wonderful organization.  I was already a 'member' of BSF and would read the email newsletters they sent me - but the regular facebook posts are so much more helpful!  Always something that makes me say, "wow".

The latest 'wow' for me from BSF was a link they posted to another organization called "Operation We Are Here".  The website has an amazing list of resources for service members and their families, with a comprehensive index to sort through it all.

I can't even choose a favorite link, there are so many GREAT resources on this site!

If you are not religious, about half of the links will probably be of little use to you - especially under the "Marriage" list for deployment resources.  However, if you are LOOKING for faith-based advice, this may be the most comprehensive resource list I have ever seen.

After you check out Operation We Are Here, besure to head over to Christina's blog and vote for me in her playlist contest - check out my post with my top five songs to listen to while my hubby is away and make sure you VOTE for me - help me win a cool custom t-shirt!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Eight years ago today, my life changed forever.  That is the day I joined this amazing sisterhood of milspouses by becoming a Marine Wife.

So, for the sake of nostalgia, I thought I would share with you all this bizarre love story.....

It starts with my friend, whom I will call Sally here in blogland.  We're not actually friends any more, but that's another post altogether.  So, Sally and I were best friends from about 2nd grade into adulthood. 

I would make the 2 hour drive to visit her once or twice a month, especially when our kids were little, and we would just 'hang out' for a couple days at a time.  Her husband, whom I will call Tom, is exactly a year older than me - we actually share the same birthday, so sometimes we celebrated our birthdays together. (He's not even her husband any more, but THAT'S definitely for another blog post!) Anyway, I think it was the summer I turned 20 that I finally met Tom's best friend from high school - he lived a couple hours away as well, and would spend a weekend once a month or so at Sally and Tom's house, and finally one of his visits overlapped with one of mine. 

There were no fireworks or anything between us the first time we met, probably mostly because each of us was in other honestly never occurred to me at the time to think of him 'that way'.  I do remember my first impression of him being a good one, I noticed how considerate he was (opening doors for me and for Sally, etc) and that he seemed intelligent.

Fast forward about a year, I'm no longer dating anyone, and neither is he - Sally starts this hilarious "I Love Lucy" style campaign to fix the two of us up.  This literally went on for a couple of years, including at least one great drunk-dialing incident that I barely remember now...I've blocked it out because it was so embarassing.  It seemed, over those couple of years, that it just wasn't meant to be - his visits to Tom and Sally never overlapped mine.  I helped drive Sally and her kids to northern CA when they moved, since Tom was already up there working - and then Tom's friends drove up with the moving truck the day I flew back home (they literally arrived while Sally was driving me to the airport!). 

Sally persisted in her belief that I should date this guy.  I remember asking her why she thought we were so perfect for each other, and the best answer she could give me was that we were the two "nicest" people she knew.  Hmmmm, really?  OK.  I would have been more aggressive if I had known what I know now, but to be honest, I could not actually PICTURE kissing him.  I knew he was a nice guy, smart, hardworking.  I knew he was a reservist, and worked full time while going to college part time.  I also knew he was an avid gun collector, which was kind of a negative to me - by this time I was a single mommy to 2 young children, and didn't want guns in my house.

Sally and Tom moved again, this time to another state.  Their boys had birthdays coming up, and I knew Tom's friend was flying up there to visit for a week, so I used that as an excuse to call him and 'trick' him into a date with me...if nothing else, to show Sally that I at least tried.  I asked him to come over and pick up the birthday presents I had for Sally and Tom's kids so he could take them up there in person, and I wouldn't have to deal with the hassle of UPS (I forgot at the time that he WORKED for UPS! ha ha ha) and I offered to fix him dinner to repay him.

I couldn't believe he agreed!  I'm guessing that after all these years, either Sally or Tom had to have put a bug in his ear to try to get him interested in me, but I also knew that he knew about my 'past' and my two kids......and the one-night-stand I had had years before with another one of his and Tom's friends, which apparently made me a LEGEND among these guys. (embarassing!!!) 

Anyway, that first 'date' was literally the night that I knew I would marry him someday.  Remember how I said I couldn't picture kissing him?  Well I initiated our first kiss, just to find out what it would be like, and WOW.


I'm a little ashamed to admit I had been around the block more than a few times before I met him, and I had NEVER felt a kiss like that in my life.  Fireworks is not even an adequate description.  I felt this kiss all the way to my toes. A-MAZ-ING.

So, soap opera fans, this story is not even close to being over yet..... he flew up to visit Sally and Tom, and when he came back we were an item.  He lived 85 miles away from me, worked full time and went to school part time, and still managed to see me at least once a week.  It wasn't long before he was spending every weekend at my place.  My kids were 7 and 2, and I worried about them getting too attached to him, but there was no way I could have fought the forces that were pulling us together.

Two months after our first date, Sally and Tom split up.  We joke around now that the whole reason they ever got married at all was just to get me and my hubby together.  We had our ups and downs.  I was already a Honda girl after some bad experiences with other cars, and converted him pretty easily.  He taught me how to shoot, and I now can't imagine NOT owning a gun.  Ha ha ha!

Two years after our first date, I finally proposed to him - if I had waited for HIM to ask ME, I would still be waiting now, so I am glad I asked him!  We conceived little 'knucklehead' somewhere in the month after getting engaged, and decided not to rush into a shotgun wedding, but to plan something for after the baby was born. 

We ended up postponing the wedding several times, at least once due to his cold feet, and more than once for financial reasons.  Knucklehead was 2 1/2 when we finally tied the knot on July 6, 2002.  We had a very intimate ceremony (the chapel only seats 30, and we both have big families, so it was kinda cramped) and then had a lunch reception with about 100 guests.  I can't even list the number of things that went wrong - including the fact that the wedding coordinator that worked for the hotel failed to mention that SHE would be on vacation the weekend of our wedding, and her inept staff apparently trained at the Three Stooges Academy - but the most important thing went right: I married my soul mate.

I hate spending this anniversary half a world away from him, but he is SO WORTH all of this.  If you've read my blog, you know that I don't do this out of some patriotic drive, or some loyalty to the Corps, or anything else....I struggle through deployments because I LOVE THIS MAN with all my heart!

Sorry this was so long-winded, but thanks for hanging in there and reading the whole thing!  Oh, and please take a minute to VOTE for me in Christina's contest!  If I win, I want a custom t-shirt. Voting closes July 12, 2010, and there are 7 entries.  Check them all out, then VOTE!  (Mine is the first one)

Template c/o Designs Etc.