Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Goodnight Moon's MUSIC Linkup: week SIX

Have you linked up to Amber's blog yet?  GO DO IT NOW!  While you're there, check out all the other great songs linked up this week.

I know this song is REALLY showing my age, but yeah, I was an Oingo Boingo fan while there still WAS an OIngo Boingo.  To be fair, I was a little girl when this album came out ("Boi-ngo", my favorite from this band)

Frontman Danny Elfman is an absolute genius.  He still composes, in fact you probably recognize his name from the score of your favorite movie.  Seriously, pick ANY great movie that has come out in the last, oh, decade or so, and Danny Elfman probably wrote the score.  He even wrote the theme song for "The Simpsons" tv show. 

You'll hear a little of the orchestral influence here, which is impressive considering that this was a punk/new wave band in the 80s, when everyone was using synthesizers.  Not these guys - those are all REAL instruments! LIsten to the words - sound anything like my life lately?  Lyrics are below the player:

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We close our eyes

We close our eyes and dream and the world has turned around again

When everybody is running in the big race
And having a good time
Who am I to cast a shadow
Who am I?
I looked Death in the face last night
I saw him in a mirror
And he simply smiled
He told me not to worry
He told me just to take my time


We close our eyes and the world has turned around again
We close our eyes and dream and another year has come and gone
We close our eyes and the world has turned around again
We close our eyes and dream ...

And if you come to me
And if you touch my hand
I might just slip away
I might just disappear
Who am I?
And if you think I'm worth it
And if you think it's not too late
We might start falling
If we don't try to hard
We might start falling in love


We're on the healing path
We're on a roller coaster ride
That could never turn back
And if you love me
And if you really try
To make the seconds count
Then we can close our eyes


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

nucking futs, part two

If you missed THIS POST, it sort of summarized what I have been going through, mentally and emotionally, for several months now.  A couple of friends who read it asked me to go into more detail, so here we go.

(strap in tight, the crazy train is about to take off!)

I did write a little about this, in THIS POST in case you missed it.

I think the biggest thing for me that was NEW this time, which made it harder for me to figure out what was really wrong with me, was the FEAR/ANXIETY.  Mostly irrational fears, but they become overwhelming anyway.  The whole fear of falling down the stairs while holding the baby is something that I still face every day, several times a day - but I am no longer trying to find an excuse or a way to pass baby off to someone else as I head up or down the stairs.  Now I'm forcing myself to take a deep breath, to realize that I have safely traversed these very stairs WITH baby in my arms several hundred (if not several thousand) times.  I have to remind myself every time, 'I CAN DO THIS'. 

The other BIG fear is earthquakes.  We live in Southern CA, along the San Andreas Fault, so earthquakes are a regular occurrence and have never bothered me that much before.  Last Easter we had a decent sized quake in the middle of the day (no damage, thankfully) that no one else felt at first, and I had this awful feeling that if the world was ending, somehow I would be the only one aware of it until it was too late. There were several more small quakes in the months after that, so the entire pregnancy I was a little on-edge about it.  By the time my hubs came home in December, I would feel at least 2 earthquakes every day that NO ONE else felt.  In addition to heightened anxiety, this also served to undermine my self confidence.  I mean, if I was wrong about these earthquakes that I was SURE I was feeling, then what ELSE was I wrong about?

Oh, and the nightmares.  Crazy dreams that made me never want to sleep again.  That symptom seems to have been the first to go away once I started medication.  None of them made any sense, and they were all so terrifying!

And did I mention the memory loss?  My teenager, AKA Bonehead, had a lengthy conversation with me about something he needed to stay after school for, and I have NO MEMORY of the event.  I absolutely believed he was making the whole thing up, or had dreamed the conversation or something, but then Knucklehead corroborated his story - he had heard most of our conversation. Not only did this make me feel stupid, but it made me wonder what else I had completely wiped from my memory?

I just felt CRAZY.  Still do, most days, but at least I am getting better.  And even when I feel crazy, I know I am NOT crazy.

Like I said, the overwhelming feeling of LOSING MY MIND was the main marker for PPD this time.

I'm just so relieved to have gotten some help for this - I at least have hope that someday I will feel 'normal' again. At least my version of normal.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

nucking futs

WARNING: this is a really LONG post.  If you don't want to read the details, the basic story is: I'm CRAZY, but I'm also NOT CRAZY.

I have been trying to get this story written out for, well, WEEKS at least.  Maybe longer?  I know I have alluded to feeling crazy in more than one recent post, but there is so much more to it than that.

I guess to tell this story properly, I have to go back about 11 years.  Knucklehead's birth was fantastic - I mean, for childbirth.  He was my third baby, so I pretty much knew what to expect: weeks of very convincing 'false labor' followed by a fast ACTUAL labor and super-fast delivery.  What I did not expect was the deep feeling of sadness that settled on me by the time the baby was about a month old.

I would cry for no reason, and was so embarrassed about this that I would hide it - I cried in the shower, cried in the car by myself, cried in the laundry room, the closet, etc.  This was when I perfected the 'silent cry' so I could even cry in bed next to Jarhead, without interrupting his sleep.  I figured I had a textbook case of the baby blues, which meant it should resolve itself in a matter of weeks.

It didn't.

By the time I finally sought professional help, I had been living in this inexplicable DESPAIR for nearly three months.  Knucklehead was about four months old, and though I loved him deeply, I found it hard to find ANY reason to 'go on'.  I had begun fantasizing about ways to die - popping pills seemed the easiest, but I didn't want my kids to find my body.  Yes, I thought it through THAT much.  I figured I could drive off a cliff and everyone would think it was an accident, but the thought of leaving my children motherless kept me from going any farther than just IMAGINING being dead.  Airhead was ten, and Bonehead just five years old.

My psychiatrist told me that I was NOT, in fact, crazy, but was suffering from
POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION.  I had kind of suspected this already, but was relieved to be officially diagnosed with something - especially something TREATABLE.  I was still breastfeeding Knucklehead, and since I wanted to continue to nurse him for as long as possible, my medication choices were limited.  Luckily we found one right away that worked well for me, and when combined with weekly therapy sessions it stopped the suicidal ideations.

After about six months of medication and therapy, I felt better, and stopped treatment.  About six months later, I began to feel extremely depressed again.  By this time we had moved to a new city, so I put off getting help for awhile.  I finally made myself find a new doctor and get back on meds when the depression became so severe that it limited my functioning.  There is no 'magic pill' but the drugs I took helped me get a handle on my life again.  Since then, I have gone back on meds three other times, for at least 5 or 6 months each time.  I have officially been diagnosed with CLINICAL DEPRESSION, and threw in some Generalized Anxiety Disorder a few years ago, too. Throughout all of it I had severe insomnia, but only took sleep medication in 2008/2009.  I do love me some Ambien!

So, when Jarhead and I decided to try to get pregnant in late 2009, I had been off of my anti-depressants for almost a year already, and had not suffered a panic attack in almost two years. I only had to stop taking my birth control and my sleeping pills, and was fine.

Beyond fine - our first attempt at getting pregnant was a success.

The same week we got pregnant, we also got orders for deployment.  This meant my hubby had to miss half of the pregnancy, as well as the delivery - which I think would make MOST women at least a little depressed.  This is known as 'situational depression'...and for the most part, I think I handled it well.  If you've followed this blog from the beginning, you probably noticed the bouts of mild depression during and shortly after the pregnancy.

Jarhead came home when Bobblehead was three months old, and I was THRILLED to have him home.  At first.  I noticed right away that something wasn't right, that we just weren't connecting.  I felt isolated, hurt, angry, and really ripped off - after all, I had waited SO LONG for our family to be whole again, and then got this ridiculous sham of a relationship out of it???? WTF???  It's like the kid in the old sitcom/movie/book who saves his money to send away for some awesome 'real' boat/plane/car/whatever, and waits for it, checking the mail every day, until finally it arrives and its made of corrugated cardboard. Disappointment.

With all of that in mind, the minor depression I felt back in December was again 'situational'. Totally rational, normal depression.  No suicidal thoughts, and no endless crying 'for no reason'.  Nothing to make me think PPD, or even to make me think I needed meds again.

By mid-January I felt like I was losing my mind.  Bobblehead turned four months old, we had him baptised as planned, and life seemed to be going on all around me - without me really participating other than to meet everyone's basic needs.  I was Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons.  I was just going through the motions.  Except I really was FEELING things; feeling too much, feeling overwhelmed by everything. 

I went back to work in January too, so I chalked some of the crazy feelings up to the stress from that.  Also around that time, I began to finally admit that there was more wrong with my hubby than just the typical detachment that comes with deployment/redeployment.

I knew there was something wrong with him (probably PTSD) and I knew there was something wrong with me - but it felt nothing like the PPD (Post Partum Depression) that I experienced a decade ago.  I wasn't SAD.  I wasn't suicidal.  I wasn't crying all-the-time.  I was just going freaking OUT OF MY MIND. 

It was only by a series of coincidences that I ended up at a special presentation for Doulas and Midwives about PPD.  Of course I am neither a Doula nor a Midwife, but like I said, a series of coincidences got me there.  I now believe that I was MEANT to be there, because the therapist who presented her personal story gave me so much insight into PPD!  The one thing she told us was that, in her experience, PPD felt like "having a nervous breakdown".  I had actually said those exact words the day before, describing to my sister how completely INSANE I felt. I didn't feel that deep sadness that I had come to associate with PPD, so I didn't think to ask for help with this new brand of crazy - nor did I think that help would be so freaking SIMPLE!

After that presentation, I went back on a low dose of my anti-depressant, which made a huge difference, and I started weekly therapy sessions.  Now, after only three sessions, I already feel SO MUCH like my old self!  I still don't recognize my husband as the man he used to be - and still hope he will get some help and work through whatever issues are keeping him locked away so deep inside of himself.  I still don't see 'US' when I look at us.  I don't feel like we even ARE an 'us'....and honestly have to face the possibility that we might never be US again. 

But I am determined to find a way to be ME again, regardless of what our future as a couple holds.  I owe it to my children, my husband, and most of all to MYSELF to get well.

Healing will not be as easy as I am making this sound, but taking the first difficult steps of admitting there's a problem, and identifying the problem, has given me hope. 

I can do this.  I WILL do this.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Goodnight Moon's MUSIC Linkup week 5

This is the fifth week of Amber's awesome song linkup.  If you're not already participating, go to her blog, Goodnight Moon and join in!  If you don't want to share a song this week, that's cool - but definitely check out the other bloggers who have shared a song, and rock out with us. Oh, and please leave some comment love (especially for ME, I la-la-la-LOVE comments!)

So, this week's song choice makes me grin, and almost brings a tear to my eye, simply for the fond memories.  I had the opportunity to visit with my sister and her SEVEN children over the weekend.  She lives in another state, so we normally only see each other every other year at our family reunion (that reunion is coming up in just four months, so I will get to see them all AGAIN soon).  She's not my only sister, in fact I am the middle child out of EIGHT kids.  Now that we're all grown, with kids of our own, well lets just say that reunions can get a little crazy.  In a fun sort of way.  More on that later (like July-ish).

Anyway, this song, "Oh L'amour" by Erasure is one that my sister and I used to play really LOUD in the car when she got her license and was allowed to drive us around.  I remember one particular night that she let me tag along with her and her 'cool' friends to go to a regional church dance, and she and I each fell for these cute guys who happened to be from the same city - we later found out the two guys we liked so much were BROTHERS!  Ha ha ha. It was rare for us to get along that well as kids, so I cherish memories like this one.

On the way home from this visit with my sister over the weekend, this song came on the radio and TOTALLY took me back, so I had to share it with you all!  ENJOY!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones is a picture taken over the weekend of  "A DOZEN COUSINS"

......three of my kids, three belonging to my younger sister (they live close so we see each other all the time) and six of my other sister's seven kids - her youngest was napping in the other room when we took this.  My parents were there too, so they got to see 13 of their 25 grandchildren all at once.  We're hoping to have at least 21 or 22 of the grandkids attend the reunion this summer, but we'll see.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

happy blogiversary (?)

Today marks one year since I started this blog.  I also started my baby blog 'Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat' a year ago today.

I feel like this is something significant, like I should celebrate it, but HOW?  I asked for comments a couple days ago on this subject and got one comment suggesting a giveaway.  I tend to agree with my lone commenter, that a giveaway would be AWESOME, but I am still kind of reeling from the LACK of response to the cool giveaway I held last week on my baby blog.  I mean, its not like you all had no idea about it, since I posted about it here on this blog, and I tweeted about it ( I am @deploymentagain if you want to follow me on twitter).  Oh, I even Fcebooked it.  Not just in status updates, but in an actual FB message to ALL of my milspouse friends. I expected to get at least a couple entries from each of the five branches, but in the end I got ONE entry from an Army wife, and four entries from THREE Marine wives.

Apparently, no one really wanted the cool bumper magnets I made?  I still have one for Army, one for Coast Guard, and one for Air Force - and will give them away via twitter.

So, if I am not doing another giveaway, what should I do????

I am toying with the idea of doing a blog linkup/bloghop day, but again am not sure how many of you will actually participate (?)


So, once again, I am asking BEGGING you to please write a comment here and let me know how YOU think I should mark this special occasion!  If you are too shy to comment here, please feel free to email me directly.

THANKS to all who made this last year here in BloggyLand so great - those who supported me during the deployment, and who still support me as I struggle to get back on strong footing with my hubby again.

For now, I will spend today celebrating by snuggling with my favorite wanna-be-Marine (or 'SUBMARINE' as we joking call him)

Anxiously awaiting your comments!

(hello?  Uh, hello, is this thing on?  Can anybody hear me?)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Where did the time go???

I just realized that this Sunday is my one year 'blogiversary'.

Is this as cool as it sounds?  I'm excited, anyway.

So, I'm mulling over how to 'celebrate' this milestone.  A giveaway?  A guest-blogger? A linkup?

Since I LOVE comments (actually, I LIVE for comments) I am asking you, my followers and random stalkers, to tell me what YOU'D like to see here to celebrate one whole year of me in blogland.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Listen to this playlist: linkup week 4

Fourth week for this linkup, YAY!  If you have not already linked up, head over to Amber's page and link up, post a song that moves you right now. Be sure to check out the other awesome bloggers and the songs they're feeling right now.

This week's linkup song was a tough choice for me, because I have been SOOOOO moody lately.  I already changed my mind about my song five times just in the last hour, but finally settled on one that has been on 'repeat' in my CD player a lot this week - especially today.

This version of "Ave Maria" makes me feel, well, purposeful in loving my husband. It reminds me that I am MEANT for this life, just as he is meant for me.  We almost called it quits a couple years ago.  I finally turned to prayer, desperate for some answer to the burning question, 'where do I go from here?'.  The resounding answer to that prayer was that I was supposed to take hubby back.  That I belong with him.  I continue to ask God "WHY?" -not just on the bad days- but so far no answer there.  I am thankful that I listened to the answer to that prayer, and am STILL LISTENING in case the man upstairs ever wants to tell me WHY I am supposed to be with this man.

For now, songs like this one just remind me that I am SUPPOSED to be right where I am right now.

Oh, and its fun to sing along to (for me, at least).

I love the part where she says "I've been alone, when surrounded by friends - how could the silence be so loud? But I still go on, knowing that I've got you. There's only us when the lights go down."

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Friday, March 11, 2011

You know you want one!

Have you entered my giveaway for milspouses yet?

The prizes are these AWESOME high-quality bumper magnets (instead of bumper sticker, so you don't ruin your car) that I made at 

I did one for each branch of the military, so whether you are in love with a Sailor, a Marine, a Soldier, an Airman, or a Coastie, come over to my BABY BLOG and enter now!

You can also get extra entries by blogging about the giveaway, and tweeting about it.  Only four days left, so enter now!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's your song? Linkup week 3

Once again I am participating in Amber's weekly song linkup - I LOVE this one!  Go check Amber out HERE, and tell her I said Hi!  While you're there, feel free to join this awesome linkup, and check out everyone else's songs.

My song for this week is another from my FAVORITE band of all time, Depeche Mode.

"Precious" is my second favorite song from the album Playing The Angel - I wanted to share my FIRST favorite, "A Pain That I'm Used To" but the intro to that song is some pretty harsh electronica, which I thought might make a lot of you click away without listening to it.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Next week, if I'm feeling it, I'd love to bring out some OLD SCHOOL Depeche Mode.

Rock on everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


My giveaway for Milspouses has officially started over on my baby blog! Check it out by clicking the button in my right sidebar (the cute preggo belly button that says," Does this baby make me look fat?"

If you love a Marine, Sailor, Airman, Soldier, or Coastie, you need one of these cool bumper magnets!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Keeping it real (?)

The other day I posted over on The Wifey Blogs about my hubby's sudden request demand that I stop blogging about him.

He has never read my blog, which I think magnifies the unfairness of his demand, but whatever.

The problem is, I really want this blog to be HONEST.  Uncensored.  The real me.  And, like it or not, he is a huge part of ME.  I would not be the woman I am if I had never met him. (that's mostly meant to be positive, but I also credit blame him for some of my negative traits)

I feel like, if I blog about my life, but omit this very important part of my life, then my blog will resemble this joke about OPSEC:

Yeah, its kind of funny - except that it's NOT.

I really want to respect his unreasonable request, but I am not sure if I can.  If you notice that the 'hubby-related' comments are a little thin, just know that it is not censorship, it is me trying to make this marriage work.

Friday, March 4, 2011

We heart tacos!

My family's favorite at-home meal is definitely tacos.  Yesterday Knucklehead almost hurt himself jumping up and down when my answer to the age-old-question 'whats for dinner?' was "TACOS".

The secret to making yummy tacos is definitely all in the shells.  We fry them fresh, from corn tortillas.  It helps if you can get FRESH corn tortillas, but even if they are weeks old (which was all I could find when we stayed in Virginia for a summer - whats up with that???) they still come out yummy after you fry them.

Frying corn tortillas can be difficult at first, but once you master it, it is ridiculously easy.  Here are some tips that I have learned along the way:

1. Don't get the oil TOO hot - it should be hot enough that it pops right away when you put the tortilla in, but not so hot that it actually pops/spits AT you.

2. Use room-temp tortillas if you can - cold ones mess with the oil temperature, and you will have to adjust it after cooking the first few.

3. Make sure your oil is deep enough in your pan - I usually fill the pan to at least 1/2 inch deep.  Don't go TOO deep, though - more oil makes it harder to maintain an even temperature, which means you are more likely to burn the shell - or yourself!

4. Don't use your favorite pan!  I have one that is now my OIL PAN, that I only use when I am frying tortillas, or tortilla strips (to garnish tortilla soup)

5. When you put the tortilla into the hot oil, you need to 'fold' it pretty quickly, before it hardens as a flat tostada shell - but you can't fold it ALL THE WAY, or it will stick together.  Long handled tongs help with this part, so you can hold up the top part of the taco shell while the bottom part cooks, then turn it over. If your oil is the right temperature, it should take 15-20 seconds to cook each side.

6. When the shell is done cooking, take a second to hold it up over the pan to let excess grease drip off before you move it to your paper-towels to drain.

Of course you also want your taco meat and fillings to be ready BEFORE you cook the shells, because these shells just aren't yummy when they get cold - fry them immediately before serving.  For fillings, I use taco meat made from fresh ground turkey, with Schilling or Lawry's taco seasoning mix.  The other fillings I like are grated cheese, shredded lettuce, Knudsen fat free sour cream, and Pace Picante Sauce.

Last night hubby had 7 of these babies!  Bonehead and Knucklehead each had four, and I had five.   YUM.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Song linkup week 2 - "STAND"

Amber over at Goodnight Moon is hosting this song linkup EVERY THURSDAY - how awesome is that? I love the fact that last week's linkup had more than 40 participants, with only two songs duplicated!  Go check out Amber's blog and link up with us!

This week's song is by Mike Corrado, who I have blogged about before.  I LOVE this artist, and not just because he is a Marine.  His video for "On My Watch Tonight" includes photos of my hubby (the link to that song and video can be found in this post).  His song "Start Saving Me" resonated so deeply with me during our second deployment that it topped my playlist for months. (link to that song is HERE)

But this song, STAND, is one of Corrado's newest...and it moves me to tears right now.  It reminds me of the pure heart that still beats somewhere within the amazing man that I married - regardless of the emotional/psychological wounds he's suffering from these days. It reminds me of his commitment to the Corps, to the country he loves and would still die for.

I couldn't find the song on, so I am using Youtube this week:

(next week I will be back with more awesome Depeche Mode, because I have really been feeling their album "Sounds of the Universe" for a few weeks now)
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