Monday, August 20, 2012

the BIG announcement I've been promising.....

I am so thrilled to (FINALLY) be able to announce that we are PREGNANT!

My fifth baby is due in March, and I could not be more thrilled.  Jarhead is not as excited as I am, but he's happy too.  We weren't even trying to conceive, although I was trying to convince him that we should start trying when Bobblehead turns two next month. I guess we're a couple months ahead of that schedule, huh?

I am sad that I can't take on any new Doula clients for awhile, but this is SO MUCH BETTER than helping other women bring their babies into the world.  I've hired the same doula who helped me deliver Bobblehead, and now kinda can't wait for March to be here already. I do have a few mommies already lined up as doula clients, so I will still be attending their births - but then can't take any more clients because I'll be too pregnant to fully support other mommies.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

BOSTON (picture post)

OK, as promised, here are some pictures from our trip to Boston last weekend:

Bobblehead's first flight on an 'ehhpaaaane'

My handsome men (minus Bonehead since we left him in California with his big sister)

I actually missed the ceremony after being sick as a dog ALL DAY, 
but managed to pull myself together and hold down some ginger ale 
just in time to go to the reception. I think I still looked peaked here,
bu nobody seemed to notice. I'm so happy I at least got to GO!

Sweetest couple - so in love!

I love catching him SMILING on camera! 
Yes, the alcohol probably had something to do with this, but I'm so glad he had a good time.

He's smiling again! HA HA HA note the glass in his hand (again)
The groom's lovely sister had LOTS of great stories to tell about her big brother.

Hey Babe, there's a monkey on your back.....

Sitting in the middle of Boston Common

Granary Burial Ground (final resting place of Samuel Adams & Paul Revere, among others)

The first time the Declaration of Independence was ever read 
to the public, it was done from this balcony. 
They read it again every 4th of July here.

Playing with daddy. This playground sits on the spot that used to be THE GALLOWS.
Charming, huh? ha ha ha

Bobblehead LOVES pizza, and he loved this cool 
chair in our hotel room, which doubled as a high-chair while we were there.

Paul Revere House

Copp's Hill Burying Ground

You can see the steeple of the Old North Church in the background 
(where the signal lanterns were hung the night of Paul Revere's famous ride)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bloggy friends

I've had the honor & privelege of meeting several other milbloggers in the past few years, and have made some lasting friendships..... but nothing excites me more than meeting a 'fan' of my blog in unexpected places!
Yesterday I was at the wedding of a beautiful couple in Boston - a little far from my so-cali stomping grounds. The groom served with my husband in Afg 2 years ago, and is little Bobblehead's Godfather. The bride was my online 'battle buddy' during that deployment, and neither of us knew at the time that our men were bonding with one another half a world away.  
The cool moment last night was when the groom's younger sister came over to introduce herself & told me she's a follower here! So cool :)
So, this is just a quick shoutout to Laura, who now has inside info on the 'top secret project' I'm working on.....can't wait to tell you all about that one!

Pics from our Boston trip coming SOON,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

reunited and it feels so good.....

I can't possibly express my gratitude to my many blog friends who have been so patient (& forgiving!) with my recent absence.  To those who took time to contact me and check to make sure all is well, I owe an even bigger THANK YOU!

My last post promised a look at our new family portraits, so here you go:

So, the biggest new development in my life is one that I don't technically have hubby's permission to blog about yet, but I will definitely be letting that cat out of the bag SOON.  The second biggest new development is that my daughter is BACK!

Many of you already know the story of my daughter, AKA 'Airhead', leaving 4 1/2 years ago, and you also know some of the hurt this caused me.  I've missed her SO SO SO much, and can't tell you all how fantastic it feels now to have her back in our lives!  Seeing her, speaking with her, HUGGING feeling EVER.  We had dinner as a family in early June and it was so incredible to see her playing with little Bobblehead as if she's known him his whole life.  Since then I've gone wine tasting with her a couple times (yes, I love having an adult daughter!!!) and we're going to get pedicures together later this week. LOVE!

I was overjoyed to be reunited with my long-lost daughter, but just imagine my sheer happiness to learn that she works at one of our local wineries, and can get me in FREE for tasting at almost any winery in town!  Does it get better than this???? Yes, actually it does, but like I said I can't talk about that yet....still a SECRET for a little while yet.

My boys are all ecstatic to have Airhead back, too.  Bonehead passed his proficiency test to finish high school, so I finally paid off his senior pictures (will post those soon!) He's hoping to enlist in the Navy, but we won't know for a couple more weeks if that's even possible.  Knucklehead is enjoying his summer, getting ready for school to start in a few weeks. This is his second year in Middle School, and he is now my ONLY child in school.  Well, not counting Bobblehead, of course.....but he's in preschool. PRE-preschool, in fact, in the toddler program.  But in a few short weeks he'll be two years old and will move into the class I've been teaching since March, which means I have to move OUT of that class.  Not sure yet if I will be in the Infant program or the Pre-K, but either way it will be a huge adjustment for me.

My doula business is going very well, though that new secret project I'm not allowed to talk about yet is going to put the doula thing on hold for awhile.  I have three more births already scheduled, and am not taking on any more clients for the time being.  I'm also getting better with photography, which brings me to my next point - have you entered the Shutterfly Facebook Photo Contest yet?  Check it out:

Long Live Summer – Facebook Photo Contest details (US residents only) 7/9 – 8/12 Multi-week summer themed photo sweepstakes with instant win prizes.
Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever.  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week.  Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.
•       Week 1(7/9): Americana - ended
•       Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors - ended
•       Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun – current week
•       Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
•       Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations
       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
       Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page.
       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wife Swap (?)

I realize that I owe you all an update (yes, I actually AM aware of the passing of time in this crazy life of mine) but instead I am writing this in response to Kristle's recent SpouseBuzz article about Wife Swap (read her post HERE).

Having never actually watched an entire episode of Wife Swap, it is tough for me to say whether or not I would be willing to do this show (I am guessing NOT....and it is a moot point because Jarhead would NEVER agree to this!!!) however, even if I was willing to swap, and even if hubby agreed to it, I know for a fact that the show's producers could NEVER find anyone willing to take on my insane life for any period of time.

The manual I would have to leave for anyone so crazy would probably go something like this:

"Welcome to our insane asylum. If you did not bring your own meds, well sorry - you'll wish you had. If you feel the need to 'borrow' some, borrow mine, they're the BEST.  But they always run out, so good luck with that.  In an emergency, you can borrow my 'backup meds':

As you will notice when you enter our home, dust is a NOUN here, not a verb.  (it is something that is HERE, not something I DO)  If this bothers you, feel free to waste your time constantly shifting the never-ending supply of dust from one surface to another.  I prefer to spend my time tending to the needs of all the men in my life:

This is Jarhead.
He is always right. Don't question it, just know that he IS always right. He has a charming mix of Bi-polar symptoms and O.C.D., with A.D.D. tendencies and some violent anger outbursts thrown in for fun. I am pretty sure this is actually undiagnosed PTSD, unless maybe he is taking asshole pills behind my back.  DON'T POKE THIS BEAR.  He doesn't regularly take any meds, much to my dismay.  Your best bet is to provide timely meals that are at least a little appealing, with plenty of salt and cold Coke Zero.  Desserts help, too.  Serve with a remote control on the side, and stay out of his line of sight.  Do NOT, under any circumstances, make fun of his incessant channel surfing.  He is only home 3 out of every seven days, so just keep the peace while he's home, and you can breathe easier and stop walking on eggshells for four straight days.

This is Bonehead. 
He will be 18 in 149 days, but who's counting? He is ridiculously funny, but even more ridiculously inappropriate.  If you are easily offended, bring ear plugs or an iPod so you can ignore him.  99.9% of everything that comes out of his mouth is a meaningless joke, anyway.  He can be trusted to babysit the toddler for a few hours at a time, but be prepared to come home to this scene if you take advantage of this:
(yes, that is a baby asleep in a laundry hamper)
Bonehead can also be very violent if provoked, and stands a full 6' 4" so don't poke THIS bear, either.  His primary trigger is anyone mentioning his Asperger's Syndrome, or anything that he perceives to be a reference to this.  One recent meltdown started with me saying, "you would be good at X" because he assumed that my reason for thinking he would be good at it was because of his Asperger's.  Just give him something constructive to do each day, and give very clear & concise instructions. If you leave room for interpretation, YOU WILL GET his interpretation (and it won't match anything you could ever come up with on your own).  Ask him to show you his speed-solving skills with his Rubik's Cube - this is phenomenal to see, and he is always happy to show off.

This is Knucklehead.

He is our 'perfect child'.  Or was, until he hit middle school. Now he occasionally brings out a teenage attitude, but generally uses this to go pout in solitude.  He can be trusted to watch the toddler, but is not great about changing diapers - so limit your errands to 2 hours or less, if you leave Knucklehead in charge.  He will spend his free time playing videogames, shooting hoops at the park down the street, or playing with his little brother.  He is low-maintenance, but don't forget to give him some attention or you'll see that attitude I mentioned above.

This is Bobblehead.
He loves eggs and hates being told what to do.  He knows he is cute, so beware! He will use those dimples against you if he can.  He naps pretty well (finally!) and sleeps through the night, but is very dependent on certain routines and comfort items to make this happen.  See the 'sleep manual' provided in a separate volume. He wiggles during diaper changes, as he seems to think his purpose in life is to streak around the house naked.  He throws a mean tantrum, but can usually be distracted from a fit with a ball; any ball will work, but basketballs are his favorite. He also loves splashing in water... ANY kind of water (keep bathrooms off limits or he will play in the toilet)
His language has been a little slow to develop, but is now picking up, so you can expect him to learn hundreds of new words during your stay here.  Please don't teach him any four-letter-words, as I have worked very hard to curb my own swearing to keep him from repeating anything that might embarrass me, say, at church.  Or at the Christian Preschool where I teach (that's another whole manual there).  Bobblehead gives the BEST cuddles, so if there are no 'meds' or 'backup meds' in the house, his snuggly hugs and kisses should get you through the rough days.  They certainly do for me."

What would you put in your manual, if you went on Wife Swap? Post in the comments below, or better yet make a blog post about this and put the link in a comment below :)

As always, THANKS SO MUCH for reading!


Monday, May 28, 2012

checking in

I know I have not been on here in AWHILE (sorry again!) even though I said I would be back more regularly. Life has other plans for me than blogging, apparently.


My preschool job is going well, but it's been a long and difficult adjustment.  The hardest adjustment has been learning how to juggle all of my responsibilities in addition to working full time, but I also struggled with missing Bobblehead (whose class is right down the hall from mine, so at least I get to see him some throughout the day). Hubby started stepping in and helping with household stuff a few weeks ago, which has helped IMMENSELY. Well, except for the fact that I'm a bitchy control-freak and have a tendency to go behind him and re-do stuff that I determine he has done 'wrong'.  I'm getting better about letting go of this, but it is so hard!

I can't remember whether or not I announced on here my 'new career'.....I am now a trained Birth Doula!  I'm going through the process of certification through DONA International, and I expect to be certified by the end of this year. I don't know if I will ever make a LIVING doing this, but for now I want to offer my services for free to military mommies who are giving birth while hubby/boyfriend is deployed.  Bobblehead's birth during deployment effected me so profoundly, and I could NOT have done it without my amazing Doula.  Had she not been there, I am certain I would have had a cesarean!  The most I can reasonably commit to, time-wise, is one birth a month.  If I ever decide to quit my preschool job though, I can schedule as many as three births a month (hard to do, since we all know due-dates are ESTIMATED & babies rarely come ON their due date!) and if I do civilian births, doulas in my area are charging $750 to $1000 per birth.  Hourly, this breaks down to anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour depending on the length of that mommy's labor, but it is still a PART TIME job, so I think I would have to start teaching childbirth classes or breastfeeding classes or something to fill in the financial gap. ANYWAY, that's really jumping the gun!  For now I am just really enjoying helping mommies welcome their little ones into the world.  I don't have any clients scheduled to deliver in June, but I have a July birth lined up already, as well as August & October.  I might have a September birth scheduled, but that mommy has not gotten back to me yet.  (if you know a military mommy on or near Pendleton who is due in September & can't afford a doula, have her contact me in case I can help her for free!  Priority will be given to a mommy whose hubby will be deployed or far away for training at the time of the birth, but that's not a requirement at this point)

My home life & marriage is still a full time job in itself, but it is still going.  At least I haven't been 'fired' and I'm sure as hell not about to QUIT!  Hubby and I are working through some of our issues, and trying to take time to enjoy the kids.  Bonehead will be moving out sometime in the next couple of months, but his actual plans keep changing.  Part of me hopes he follows through with his plans to enlist, but part of me prays he finds a civilian job instead. Knucklehead continues to impress everyone with his stellar academics (straight A's again!) and his extracurricular activities (basketball, band, and Young Marines) and Bobblehead is growing like a weed - still not talking much at 20 months, but learning new 'tricks' every day.

I'd love to commit to updating this blog at least weekly, but all the things I want to write about are the things that KEEP me from having time for blogging!  Our ongoing struggle with undiagnosed PTSD, the longest reintegration in history, my weight battles, my depression/anxiety issues, and the everyday adventure of raising all these boys are all EXTREMELY time consuming.  So forgive me if it is a long time before you hear from me, but thanks for coming back every time I do - it means more than you know.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

why I love blogging (a.k.a. UPDATE)

WOW, has it really been a whole month since my last post??? Makes sense, I guess, since it has also been a whole month since I started working full-time again.  I'm finally adjusting (SORTA) to my new schedule, but working full time is a lot harder than I remember it being!  True, the last time I worked full-time I was 3 years younger......and didn't have a toddler to care for.  But seriously, some nights I can't even summon the energy to pour a much-needed glass of wine!  Oh, who the hell am I kidding, there is ALWAYS enough energy for the wine!  My nightly wine habit is back, and it is SERIOUSLY effecting my bottom line, both literally and figuratively.

I am still supposed to be training to run my first ever half-marathon, but have not made time to run DAILY like I need to - especially since the race I originally planned to run (Disney Half Marathon in September) already sold out, and the only other viable option for me to meet my goal of completing a half THIS YEAR is to do the Fontana Days Half Marathon in early June.  This one costs a lot less, and is an all-flat course, but how in the HELL am I supposed to be ready in just 8 freaking weeks?!?! GAH!  I did another 5K race in early March, shaving 4 full minutes off my October race time.

Three weeks later I did this one in Palm Springs, with a goal of finishing four minutes FASTER than my new personal best time, but instead I added 15 seconds.  I could blame the gnarly cold we've all been passing around for about 5 weeks now, but in reality, this was strictly due to lack of training.  I only ran ONCE in the week before that last race, and didn't run well at all.

I've actually started gaining weight, probably due IN PART to the wine I drink every night to cope with this job (I might love it some day, but for now.....NOT SO MUCH) but in reality it is more likely due to the 2 or 3 times a week FAST FOOD habit that also returned when I started working again, and the fact that my workouts are inconsistent at best.  I weighed 272 lbs when I signed up for Valley's Biggest Loser last summer, and finished the 3 month contest in December weighing 218.  I got down below 215 once or twice, but have mostly bounced between 216 and 220 since December.  Today, I weigh 225 stark naked. :(  I am SOOOOO not willing to ever go back to being that WHALE that I was for more than ten freaking years! I'm doing an informal weight loss competition with a couple of girls from work - we each put in $20 and weighed in this week, and we'll weigh in again May 1 - the person who loses the highest PERCENTAGE of their weight will keep all the cash.  I'm hoping my competitive self will now come out and kick the crap out my stressed-out-emotional-eating self.  That fat bitch has NO PLACE in my new life!

Speaking of my new life.......

My hubs has been home for a few weeks, and is making some progress.  I wish I could say everything is GREAT now that he's in counseling, but that would be a blatant lie.  In truth, some days feel WORSE than before, but mostly we are at least moving forward.  Sometimes we are INCHING forward, but still moving forward.

Remember that "Ugliest Backyard" contest I asked you all to help me with back in January?  Well I WON, with 40% more votes than the next nearest contender!!!!!  The prize was $5000 in goods & services from System Pavers, which was exactly how much we were 'short' when we had them out for a bid in December.  Thanks to that contest, we were finally able to move forward with our patio project, and my back patio went from this:

to THIS:

AWESOME, right?  The yard is not completely done, but the System Pavers portion only took them 2 1/2 days!!!  The air conditioner unit has been moved back to its spot since this picture was taken, and we've built planters all around the fence, and put in a lemon tree and an orange tree.  Now I need to finish building Bobblehead's custom sandbox, and put up a fence in the dirt side-yard for my doggy, and then of course add some actual patio furniture.  My new neighbors might also sell me their granite-topped BBQ island that they had from their old house, since it is too big for their new backyard.  If not, we still at least have a cart-style gas BBQ in good condition, so we can start grilling ALL. THE. TIME.   :)

Bobblehead already LOVES this new living space, and SO DO I!  So, bloggy friends, thank you SO MUCH for voting for my hideous backyard!

So, lets see....New job, new backyard, and new start with hubby.  Now I just need a new dose of MOTIVATION to lose weight, and I'll be all set, right?  Well, my 38th birthday is four weeks away, and that was originally my goal date for reaching my GOAL WEIGHT of 145 lbs.....clearly not gonna make that, but since the date is approaching, maybe I will use THAT for some pressure/motivation.

I'll try to update you all here BEFORE that, but if I don't, well be sure to check back here after I turn 38!

Friday, March 2, 2012

did i say that out loud???

Just a warning right from the start - this post might piss a lot of people off.  That is NOT my intention, however, human nature being what it is, I know that it is a likely result.

My intention in sharing this is actually twofold - I need to get some negative crap off my chest, and I want to bring awareness to the struggle that so many other spouses like me are going through RIGHT NOW.  Maybe you know one, and maybe you'll approach her differently after you read this (?)  Or maybe you'll just sit down and write me a nasty email for being honest.

So, you know that scene in Jerry Maguire, where he basically has a nervous breakdown & then a manic episode, during which he writes his mission statement (the title is something like, 'the things we think but do not say') and he makes sure that EVERYONE in his company gets a copy........then he wakes up, realizes that he wants to take back EVERY WORD, and then realizes it is too late?  Yeah, THAT moment.  Have you ever felt like that?  I have a feeling I will feel that way within about 15 seconds after I click "PUBLISH POST" but I am posting this anyway, knowing that it actually NEEDS to be said.  My integrity won't let me delete this post for the sake of being politically correct, or for the sake of looking like the dutiful, obedient mil-spouse I am supposed to be.

FUCK THAT.  Oh yeah, sorry, language advisory. *AHEM*

Anyway, the thought that has sprung into my head at least a couple of times in the past 14 months, the one that will probably make you want to slap me, is one that I really can't SPEAK OUT LOUD.  I'm actually shaking as I type this, because even putting it out in the blogosphere is so very taboo.  The horrible thought is this little tiny voice in the back of my head, that I can barely hear over the wails of despair over a particularly rough day/night/week dealing with my (invisibly)wounded hubby.....the voice is mine, and whispers, "why couldn't he have just DIED over there?"

Before you rush off to write me hate mail for saying this, please read the rest of this post!

I absolutely do NOT wish that my hubby was dead!  Nor do the other thousands of women who are the primary caregiver/support to a wounded warrior - whether his wounds are visible or not, treatable or not. These men return home but are no longer themselves, and we, their wives, girlfriends, or mothers, take on the daunting task of helping them figure out WHO they are now, and how that new man fits into society, into our families, into our LIVES.

In my case, my hubby has refused to get help for what I am now certain is PTSD.  Some days I would swear he is bi-polar, other days schizophrenic, other days BOTH.....and some days, very very rarely, I would say he is HIMSELF, the same man who left here in May 2010, kissing my pregnant belly goodbye.  Those rare 'good days' are such a gift, but at the same time they leave me hurting SO MUCH MORE.  Those days are part of what makes me subconsciously 'jealous' of the brave war widows I know.  Not really jealous, but I can't come up with a better word.  You see, a widow has to endure an entire life without ever seeing her love again.  She KNOWS he is gone, and is never coming back.  She can grieve publicly and privately, and move forward with whatever new life she's able to make for herself.  She gets to cherish the memories of her hero as she last saw him.....maybe he even kissed HER pregnant belly goodbye.

For me, the random glimpses of my husband's old self - his REAL self, are just such a merciless tease.  Those moments make me think that maybe he really IS coming back to me, completely whole.  And when he slips farther away from me, having a terrifying blowup, or meltdown, or just plain shutting down altogether, I GRIEVE all over again.  Hate me for saying this if you must, but emotionally, it is as though he has DIED several times just in the past six months.  Every time, I go through the cycles of grief all alone, in private, and if I get to that lowest of low points and hear that little voice whispering 'why didn't he just DIE over there'....then I go through days, weeks, or even months of GUILT just for having that thought.

Again, it's not that I WANT him dead, but when this burden becomes so heavy, I secretly steal a glance at one of my amazing widow friends (you know who you are!) and wish I could trade my load for hers.

Any wife of a Wounded Warrior will admit to having this very thought at least ONCE.  If she denies it, she is either lying, or hasn't walked this road far enough yet.....she'll get there, I promise.

The important thing, of course, is when we DO get there, when we hit our emotional rock bottom, we have to learn to BOUNCE.  And I think the first step is to talk about what 'rock bottom' actually looks like, feels like, and sounds like.  Even if it is just a little whisper that we don't want to acknowledge, much less say OUT LOUD.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

more running to stand still

I've been trying to sit down and blog for the past few days, but just don't know what to say.  I even missed Amber's music linkup for the first time EVER. This week has just sucked SO BAD.  I posted earlier in the week about some of the struggles we're dealing with as a family, but can't even really put into words what I'm actually going through right now.

Bonehead came home yesterday, but has been a complete jerk since he got here.  I feel like I'm bending over backward to please everyone and all it gets me is kicked in the teeth.  I seriously think that I will soon be the mother of a HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT.  Sad thing is, this kid is such a genius! He's throwing so much away right now.  I did make it clear to him that I am on his side, and that is exactly WHY his last day to live here will be Nov 24 (his 18th birthday).  Seems I'm good at kicking people out, huh? :(

Speaking of which, I finally talked to my hubby for a few minutes on the phone yesterday - first contact we've had since I asked him to leave last Monday following his meltdown.  He is still very angry about pretty much everything, mostly just mad at ME at the moment for making him go.  It's not like he left me any choice, the way he blew up here!  I'm a little bit scared that he'll blow up like that at work, where he carries a gun.....the consequences could be SO MUCH WORSE than just having to go stay with his grandmother for awhile.  Not scared enough to actually call his supervisors to warn them or anything, but still it's a little nagging worry in the back of my mind.  I'm also a little scared that he will retaliate financially against me & the kids - you know, stop paying the mortgage, etc. I have a new job starting this week, but it will basically only be enough to feed us & that's it - I can't pay any of the other household expenses with the little bit of money I'll be making.  And, when I look at this honestly, I am still scared that he could come back here to confront me, try to force his way into the house, etc, and this time really hurt someone.  If I was not physically afraid of him, I would not have asked him to leave to begin with.

I keep waiting for him to call and actually APOLOGIZE to me.  Not a weak, "I'm sorry your feelings were hurt" kind of thing, but a true, "I'm sorry, can you forgive me?" kind of thing.  Maybe with flowers, I guess, I don't know.  But he's not anywhere near even recognizing how far he went this time, and even if he does recognize that he crossed a line, he won't admit that to anyone else.

I reach for my phone several times a day to call or text him, but I always manage to talk myself out of it, knowing he really needs some time and some space to figure things out right now.  It is SO HARD for me to just leave it be....but I know in my heart that I HAVE TO leave it, for now at least.  So I keep busy instead, and by the time I even have TIME to call or text him, it's well past bedtime.  He turns his phone off when he goes to bed, so at least that normally keeps me from acting on the urge to at least CHECK on him.  Last night after a glass (or 3) of wine, I finally did send him a sappy text about how I will always love him, even if it has to be from a distance.  He didn't even get the text until late this morning, and of course now that I am sober I'm kicking myself for sending it.



This is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but now I have to look at this as though I am the parent and Hubby is the child here (because psychologically, he kind of IS....or at least is acting like a child!)  If I give in and let him come home WITHOUT getting help, he'll never get help.  On top of that, he'll never take me seriously again, which would then be setting me up for a lifetime of abuse.  I CAN'T live that way, and I sure as hell don't want my boys to grow up seeing that example of how to treat a woman!  I put my foot down, and now I have to stand by my word.....he can NOT come home until he has gotten some help - at least counseling, preferably coupled with some pysch meds.  The meds part is not a deal breaker for me, but I know he could be so much more functional/content/HAPPY with a llittle chemical help right now.

*sigh* Well, off to do a little more running nowhere - literally this time, on a treadmill.  Then I'll run around and stay busy the rest of the day so I won't follow up that text with a 'please come home' text.  I really do miss him, but even when he is HERE, he's not really himself anyway - not since Afghanistan.  I want my REAL hubby back!  The one I would never have needed to be AFRAID of.  The one who used to laugh and play and LIVE his life.  OUR life, together.   I'm pretty sure THAT man is never coming back, and the grief over that is overwhelming.

Monday, February 20, 2012

prayer request

I don't usually do this, but am asking you all to please say a prayer for my family tonight.  Last week my teenager, AKA "Bonehead" ran away - he is safe at a friend's house for now, but needs to come home and handle things here......he's risking throwing away his last opportunity to graduate this year, and therefore losing his best opportunity to get into the military.

On top of the teenager issues, my marriage is in trouble, AND my hubby is struggling with more mental health issues (which he STILL has not gotten help for).... this morning he lost his temper to the point that he got physical.  No one was hurt, but he scared the crap out of all of us.  I had to ask him to leave.  It breaks my heart to be the one who is 'kicking him out' when he so clearly needs a LOT of love and patience right now, but I can't risk him hurting me or the kids in a blind rage.  I'm seriously hoping and praying that this will be the final straw for him, the one thing that will MAKE him go and get help.

He has gone to a few counseling sessions in the past year, but I know he is not being honest with the therapist - so how is she supposed to help him?  He's been referred to a psychiatrist, and WOW, if anyone needs psych meds right now, it's my husband - but he "doesn't have time" to go see the psychiatrist. I pray that he will now MAKE time, and will take his mental health as seriously as he's always taken his physical health.

I truly hate to air our dirty laundry here like this, but you already all know how much we've struggled with his mental health issues (and MINE) since he returned from deployment 14 months ago.  The 'reintegration' ugliness is mostly over, but if he doesn't find a way to heal his mind, it won't matter.

Please, just say a prayer for peace and health for my whole family.


Friday, February 17, 2012

be careful what you wish for (and Happy Valentine's Day)

In April 2009, when it seemed my entire life was upside down, I lost my job as a preschool director.  I had been with that agency for over two years, and was miserable for at least the last year of it because of the difference between my personal philosophy and that of my bosses (yes, bossES, as in, plural.  Another headache there).

Anyway, I looked for another preschool job, initially focusing on administrative positions, but broadening my search fairly quickly to include applying for entry-level on up.  I was repeatedly told that I was 'overqualified' for so many jobs, before finally landing my current VERY PART TIME job as a school crossing guard.  Somehow my degree and credential did NOT over-qualify me for holding up a stop sign in a crosswalk for an hour every morning and another hour in the afternoon. (?)

I was 4 months pregnant with Bobblehead when I was hired for this job, so I was happy that it was so part-time.  I've kept my ear to the ground since then for a PRESCHOOL job, but wasn't searching very aggressively because I knew we didn't have many QUALITY infant/toddler child care programs in the area for my little Bobblehead.  Once he is 18 months old, our selection of viable child care choices becomes HUGE, so I started applying like crazy for everything I could a couple weeks ago. (Bobblehead is now 17 months old).

One position that I applied for was a Preschool Director position a couple towns away....about a 30 minute commute if there's no traffic.  The neighborhood is bad, the school is in a very SAD state of disrepair, and the owners don't seem to know what they're doing.  They have 30 children enrolled right now, in a program that is licensed for over 150 children!  Still, I was up for the challenge and they seemed to really WANT me, especially after I talked to them about marketing ideas, curriculum implementation, etc during my second interview with them.  They have an infant/toddler program there, though the quality is, well. QUESTIONABLE.  As the director, I would definitely have the power to turn that around, but still I was not exactly ANXIOUS to bring Bobblehead there.  I told myself I could work around that, maybe have my sister watch him for the first month or so while I worked to get the program into shape.  I just wanted the job so bad!  Unfortunately, they were only willing to offer about HALF of what I expected to earn there, so it was not a winning proposition for me.  I don't know who they finally hired to do that job, but she has an uphill battle ahead of her! (Especially since the owners clearly are not willing to spend any money to make money with this program)

I applied for several other positions, had LOTS of great job interviews, and finally this week hit paydirt....sorta.  Our valley's one-and-only QUALITY program for infants and toddlers opened just a couple months ago, and they are rapidly growing and filling that part of the school as word gets out that they're there.  They advertised looking for a qualified Infant teacher to accommodate that growth, so naturally I was interested!  Not administrative, but a GREAT program for my baby Bobblehead, so definitely something I wanted. Bad.

I wore this to the interview:

(I was going for professional, but approachable, and my hair was totally AWESOME that day, which must have helped...)

I totally NAILED the interview!  So much so, that they actually called me within about two hours after I left, to offer me the job......but NOT the Infant Room job I interviewed for.  I will actually be teaching TWO-YEAR-OLDS (my least favorite age to work with, besides of course TEENAGERS. Teenagers are the worst).  The pay is mere peanuts for someone with my experience and qualifications, but they offered me a whopping 75% discount for Bobblehead's tuition there!  That's what made it a no-brainer to accept the job, since the SAVINGS in child care costs adds up to $9000/year of income-in-kind, TAX FREE.  Also, the two-year-olds class placement for me is TEMPORARY, since they won't let me be Bobblehead's teacher, and he will be moving into the Two's room in September.  They're not sure where they'll move me in the fall, but they're working on that... frankly I don't care, ANY position will be better than teaching two-year-olds!  I don't mind the diapering, and have an infinite amount of patience for little ones......but two year olds are just so.....INTENSE.  I'll be sure to update you all in a few weeks (I start the job March 1).

Oh yeah, did I mention this whole interview/job offer whirlwind happened on Valentine's Day?  I was worried that the stress of that whole thing could ruin our evening, but not to worry - my teenager Bonehead was one step ahead, ruining our entire WEEK.  He took off again that afternoon after a particularly heated exchange with my husband, and has not been home since.  He has called me twice, and I know where he spent the first couple of nights (not sure where he slept last night).  He is *technically* a 'runaway' right now, but I haven't reported him to police or anything.  I know he is safe (for now) but more than that, I am not rushing to get him home because I don't know how to deal with him any more!  I do know that anything I do to try to exert any kind of control over him will just push him further away.  I'm still gun-shy after what happened with my daughter 4 years ago (she is STILL not speaking to me after I took away her car to get her to stop ditching school in the beginning of her Senior year of high school).  I'm hoping Bonehead will calm down and come home on his own, and since we have a four-day weekend right now, he has plenty of time to do that.  He is such a  pain in the butt most of the time, but when he's NOT being a pain, he is so awesome with his baby brother!  Bobblehead really enjoys running around and playing with him, and Bonehead is the ONLY one who can get him to keep his superhero masks on long enough for a picture.

Back to my Valentine's though.....hubby gave me my gift a day early, a new iPad 2!  My old iPad was pretty beat up after two years of being dropped frequently, so I am thrilled with my gift.  I think hubby also REALLY liked his gift....Pinup photos of me!  

I can't post most of them here, even though they're all 'tasteful'.  I had so much fun taking the photos, and I know that hubby likes the more confident and sexy 'me' that came out of that whole process.  Definitely doing another set for him after I get to my goal weight/size! And as for our ruined evening, we decided on a raincheck to go out for a nice romantic dinner WITH NO KIDS.  Update on that later, too.  (or NOT *wink wink*)

Hope you all enjoyed some sweet lovin this week!  for my milspouse followers, I know many of you wish you could just SEE your man for special days......but while he's out there saving the world, you'll have to settle for posting something like this on your FB to make your civilian friends jealous:

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