Friday, December 24, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 25 *12-24-10*

First of all, Merry Christmas Eve to everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with laughter, family, and friends.

Day 25: Your day, in great detail
Well, I had been putting off this post because I wanted to actually write about the day on the day, but I've come to terms with the fact that by the end of the day I'm just too tired to and too absent-minded to get on here and do it. lol. So, I'm going to write about a day in great detail, yesterday, to be exact.

I was awoke at 7 am to the phone ringing. It was someone from Robert's ship calling to check in. Yesterday was supposed to be a work day for him, but because he had duty today and would be there all day, they told him that he could take the day off. They call to basically make sure you're still alive and that they still have a small amount of control over your day.
He got up, but I stayed in bed until the baby woke up around 8. Actually, Robert came in and gave me some options: I could sleep in and then I'd have to take the baby to lunch with me while he moved boxes into storage, or I could get up while he moved stuff right then, and he'd be free to watch the baby while I went to lunch with a friend. I decided to get up then, because Xander's nap time would fall right around my lunch time and I'd rather him be at home so he could sleep.

Well, all that changed by 8:30 when someone from his ship called to tell him he had to come in. At 7, he was off for the day but by 8:30, they needed him. Of course we both accepted this graciously, with a few choice words and some eyerolls. He took a load over to the storage unit and headed in. (We're moving by the way..I probably should have said that earlier. I think I might have mentioned it before. He's deploying and I'm moving home to Ohio.)

At that point I decided to head to the mall to get a couple last minute gifts for Robert. I was going to wait and see if my friend wanted to go with me, but since I was now going to have the baby, I wanted to do it before lunch so we could come home for a nap right after. We went to the mall that we don't normally go to because it has a Fossil store and I wanted to get Robert's watch fixed for him. I also stopped by Barnes & Noble and got him one last book. **No worries, I am 100% certain he won't read this before tomorrow, if ever.** I got hit on at Barnes and Noble which was a story in itself.
      I'm walking up and down the aisles searching for this book. I look up and see this guy staring at me. He says "Sup?" and I laugh inside. I didn't know people still said "sup" in face-to-face conversation. Well, let me rephrase that. I didn't know people still said it as a pick-up line. I thought to myself "he's probably just being nice and he hasn't got the 'sup' memo yet.." and I walked on. Well, I was right the first time to assume he was trying to be suave, because the second time I passed him he said "You're sexy as hell, you know that?" Okay..panic mode. I don't know what to do when someone hits on me. It doesn't happen often. And the use of the word "sexy" always throws me off. I haven't been sexy a day in my life. Cute, sometimes..pretty at best. Sexy, no. I don't even know how to be. lol. Secondly, I'm always blown away by how up-front people are. Even in my young and single days, which were very few, I would have never had the confidence to just approach a stranger and say something like that. And last but not least, I was pushing a toddler in a stroller..I thought that always threw guys off (I would hope the wedding band would too, but there's no guaranteeing he saw that). So, I just walked away as fast as possible. I probably should have at least said "thank you". lol. I mean, he seemed like a nice guy..cute, well-groomed, not creepy. I guess he just thought his lines were better than they were and probably wasn't expecting a married woman that doesn't know how to respond to come-ons aside from running in the other direction. lol.

So anyway, I got what I needed at the mall and headed to meet my friend for lunch. We had a nice lunch and I conned Xander into eating some vegetables by dipping them in ketchup. lol.
I laid Xander down for a nap around 3 and Robert got home around 3:30. We just hung out, watched TV, browsed the interwebs. lol. He decided he wanted to go out that night, so I texted my brother and invited him and his girlfriend. They had plans so we got a hold of one of Robert's friends from the ship and we met him and his girlfriend at Buffalo Wild Wings. We waited a little bit to be seated and a good while to actually get our food, but we had a great time. They loved how silly Xander is. Robert's friend kept saying "Is he always like so cool like this?" He did do great. No real fussy spells and he actually ate. We also kept giving him lemons, which he loves, but we were all almost in tears laughing at all his sour faces.

I drove home because Robert had a couple drinks. (Before we went in he said "Do you want me to drink so you can drive?" lol! He's too much sometimes.) We were all exhausted when we got home. We put Xander to bed and then spent some QT together--snuggled up in the bed watching The Office, per usual--before falling asleep.

So there you have it, my day in great detail. It was a pretty good day. =)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm just waiting.

I know it has taken me forever to do this 30 Day Challenge. It's been a few months since I started, which is really depressing that I can't even keep up with something for a month straight. I've noticed as an adult that I feel dumber than I used to as a teen. lol. It might sound funny, but I'm serious. I know I'm intelligent, but I'm oh so scatter-brained and forgetful. I've always been a procrastinator but I've realized that I have no amount of self-starter in myself and it makes me a little mad. I used to feel like I could do anything I put my mind to and that my mind was a wonderful thing. Now I just feel like it's just kind of there..getting me through each day. I'm in school, but I need to figure out something else to do to apply myself. It's extremely sad when I can't even complete a task that is supposed to be fun. I feel like I'm just going through the motions. Don't get me wrong, I love my life..I just wish I valued my personality and my talents as much as I used to. I feel like..jello. Just jello. J-e-l-l-o. It's alive.
Anyway, I need to do something in order to light a fire under my own tail and finish the things I've started. This blog holds little importance in my life but writing is something I love to do. I should put more time into it.

I know the next daily challenge is for me to write about my day in detail. Now I'm just waiting for a day that's worth writing about. Oh, I've had them, for sure. But, it seems like the only time I remember this is on days that I've just been sitting here at the apartment, cleaning, doing homework, changing diapers and filling up sippy cups. I don't want to write about a different day, because, well..that would be lying. lol. So, hopefully I can catch myself on an exciting day and get through the next part of this challenge so I can complete it..and then possibly start another one with a bit more gusto.

Monday, December 6, 2010

That was short-lived. =(

Well, I have to say this post isn't going to be nearly as happy and exciting as the last. I found out on Thursday that we lost the baby. =( I'm completely heartbroken and just confused. But, at the same time I am not discouraged. I am trying to let go and let God. I know there is some kind of plan, some kind of reason that I am here where I am now. And, although I may not ever truly know what that reason is, I will put my faith in the reason itself and move forward.

On Tuesday I began having some brown discharge. I didn't think too much of it..brown means old and no worries, right? Well that night I noticed a little red blood on the toilet paper. I went straight in to the ER. Knowing I may have low progesterone (because I did with Xander) and I hadn't been able to see the doctor yet (boo on military docs) so I wasn't on a supplement, I was immediately fearful that something was wrong. The pelvic exam showed nothing out of the ordinary and neither did the ultra sound although it didn't show any sign of baby. The docs said that was normal for where I was at in the pregnancy. My hcg levels were at a 54.

On Wednesday, the bleeding and cramping got worse and it was as if I started a normal period. I ended up back in the ER that night, we repeated the process minus the blood tests and the doc said he just couldn't tell me at that point. My cervix was closed but that didn't mean I hadn't already lost the baby or that I wouldn't. I had an appointment scheduled for Friday to check the hcg again but they didn't want me to wait until then, so I was told to come back in Thursday to the ER and get it redone. I did, and that's when I found out my levels were down to a 24. =(

I kept my appointment Friday. Another pelvic exam, another ultrasound. Everything looked "okay" although it wasn't okay in my eyes. My uterus and everything looks healthy, so on the brightside it seems as though I will be able to get through it naturally and not require a DNC. I have to go back in on this coming Friday for one more blood test to make sure my levels are at a 0.

I've had a few days of extreme pain and a lot of bleeding but I think it's finally coming to an end. I can't say the emotional effects will be so quick to disappear. But, I am remaining strong and positive. This is extremely hard, considering my husband left the morning of the day we found out and won't be back for another week. But, we'll make it through. And, we're planning to begin trying again as soon as we can. We believe we'll be blessed with another child in the future, but a piece of our hearts will always remain with this one.

We have been so blessed with the son that we do have and he's truly brightened each day since this has happened. I don't know what I'd do without that sweet face. So many friends and family members have reached out to us and it's been heart-warming. Although the pain cannot be taken away and the reality cannot be changed, it is nice to know people are thinking of us and praying for us and it truly helps get through times like these.

I'm sorry to anyone who has ever experienced a loss like this. No one should have to give up hopes and dreams of a future with the perfect little expression of their love. My heart is with anyone who has felt this or a loss later in pregnancy or, Heaven forbid, the loss of a child. I hope you will join me in knowing that there is a reason to go on and something wonderful for us up ahead. <3

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dear hormones, I forgive you.

Yep, that's right. I'm no longer mad at my body. I see now that it wasn't playing tricks on me and that it had good reason to be doing the things it was doing.

You guessed it, I'm pregnant! Of course I thought there was a good possibility: the fact that we were actively trying and did the deed during my ovulation, the fact that my boobies were leaking, more frequent bathroom breaks, and a few sprinklings of nausea here and there. I didn't want to read too much into it, especially after taking one test that was negative. So, I waited until I was for sure late and tested the next day. I woke at 5am to pee as I had every day for almost a week and I couldn't wait until I was officially "up" for the day so I tested then. I loved seeing that word on the test: Pregnant.

After a couple of hours of excitement I fell back to sleep and thankfully Xander slept in a little bit that morning. Once we got up I got him all ready for his doctor's appointment and because if that appointment, Robert got off work early. Thankfully I didn't have to wait 12 hours to tell him like I did with Xander. He got home around noon and I let him know the great news. He was very excited but it didn't take long for the worry to set in. I'm due only a couple of weeks after he's set to return home from deployment. If history repeats itself, we won't have to worry about me going early (Xander hung in there until 40 weeks 6 days), but there's always the questions of what we're going to do leading up to the birth.
Xander and I are moving home to Ohio while Robert is deployed and it's certainly not the best idea to move 9 hours and try to set up an apartment when I'm 36-38 weeks along. So, the question is, would it be better for me to move here a month or two before he gets home and take the chance of me being alone when I got into labor (if I were to go early), or would it be better for me to remain in Ohio with plenty of people to help and Robert hope he gets the correct leave to come there for the birth and then us make the trip with a newborn back to Virginia?

He was stressed right away and I have to admit, it kind of upset me because I just wanted to revel in the happiness of it all. But, he's right. We have a lot to figure out before then. I know he's also probably just a little overwhelmed that now this dream of a baby is real and that means it's real that he's going to miss my growing belly, the first kicks, finding out the sex, baby showers and the lot of it. Not to mention the rumors that his deployment may be extended and that he may not be home to welcome our new addition into the world.

Although all of that is extremely stressful, overwhelming, and a bit sad, we're definitely excited to have another little one on the way! We couldn't be happier. We know another little baby will be a lot of work with our little ball of energy we've already got. But, we'll work it out. We've always wanted another little one and Xander will make an awesome big brother. I couldn't be more pleased or more blessed with my little family.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dear hormones, what the F?

As some may know, Robert and I have been trying to get pregnant with baby #2 for about 3 months now. Well, this is my fourth cycle since we stopped using protection. Obviously, we haven't gotten lucky yet, which is fine. Although, because of my PCOS, I teeter on the edge of panic each time my period comes or I get a negative on a test, but I know that in the grand scheme of things we shouldn't be worrying yet.

Toward the end of last month I decided to buy one of those nifty ovulation predictor kits. I wanted to ease my fears that I wasn't ovulating at all and assure myself that there's no looming problem, just not our time yet. Well, I got my smiley face on November 5th and I did a little happy dance. Of course I was ready to get right down to business but that's easier said than done with a toddler running around so we planned to wait until he was fast asleep. No such luck there because a friend who had borrowed hubby's car called with some bad news: the car had broken down a whopping four hours from here and the hubs had to leave immediately and go pick him up. They drove to a hotel (he broke down in the middle of no where) and fixed the car in the morning. My mom got into town that day and Robert and I spent some much needed alone time that night..dinner, movie, hotel room..the works. So, although the deed could not be done the day of that beautiful smiley, it was done the day after, which according to the package is still in the fertile time period.
That was 10 days ago. I've had a few "symptoms" but I always have symptoms when I think I might be pregnant. I notice the littlest things and more often than not, they mean nothing.

Fast forward to last night. I'm getting in the shower and I notice a few bumps on my nipples. I experienced the same change when I was pregnant with Xander and I just thought "huh..". Out of instinct, I squeezed. And sure enough..a couple drops of fluid appeared. I tried again, and again, and yet again..a minuscule drop each time. Very odd, I must say. I yelled for the hubs and showed him. "It's probably just a zit." Umm, I'm pretty positive that people don't get zits there. But just in case, I tried the other side. A small drop. So here I am, dumbfounded.

Of course we jumped right on the computer. "Call Dr. Internet", the hubs says. And of course, still as lost as before. We found out that most people don't lactate without being pregnant but it is possible due to hormone changes. We also found out that it's not common that early in a pregnancy but that it sometimes happens because of a reserve from a previous pregnancy. So, that left us just as confused as when we began.

Of course I woke up and immediately peed on a stick this morning. Negative. Even more dumbfounded. Is it too early to test? Quite possibly. I only ovulated 10 days ago. Implantation occurs 6-12 days after ovulation, meaning that may not have even happened yet. But, it is 5 days before my expected period and the test says it produces a 6 day early result. Maybe I'm not pregnant. But why would my breasts just up and decide to release a few drops of fluid after I've been dry in that area for over a year? And of all of the times to do so..when we're trying to conceive and know for sure we had sex on a fertile day? If this is a trick..it's a really mean one. lol.

So, here I am. Waiting. Wondering. Asking every question possible because I just don't get it. Hubby doesn't want to even talk about it for fear that his hopes will go up. When I told him about the negative he said "I knew it. Just hormones. It's not feasible to lactate 10 days into a pregnancy." He's right about that. But is it more feasible to lactate when you're not pregnant at all? Ugh..who knows?

I'm not sure why I felt so compelled to throw this out into the blog world. I don't have an announcement and I'm sure that anyone reading is just as confused as I am, wondering well now what? I guess we'll know in about a week. At least I feel a little better getting it all out here. Looks like we'll take it day by day and I'm sure I'll be shouting it from the roof tops if we find out any good news.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Days of Me -Day 24 *11-10-10*

Day 24: Whatever tickles your fancy

Lately, I've been realizing that some people take the commitment of marriage way to lightly. Of course I've always known that some people don't understand what they're getting into when they decide to get married, but I never realized how common that was until now.
I'm not sure if it's because most of my friends are still young (mid 20s or younger) or that a lot of the couples I know have the stress of the military lifestyle to overcome, but it seems as if so many relationships around me are ending in divorce or on a collision course for disaster.

When Robert and I began dating we were still kids. We were both 17--hadn't even began our senior year in high school yet. We moved in together at 18, the week before graduation. We bought a house together at 19. Got engaged and married at 19 & 20. Moved to Chicago at 20 and began this Navy life. Had a child at 21. We definitely understand being young and in love. We know what it's like to grow up together, literally.
We've gone through bootcamp and A-school together, one deployment, several underways, and we're already preparing for deployment #2. So, we get the military stress as well.

The day I said "I do" I understood that meant forever, no matter what, under all circumstances. It didn't mean "I do..unless you're gone for a few weeks and I get lonely." It didn't mean "I do..unless you make me mad." It didn't mean "I do..unless life becomes stressful." It didn't mean "I do..as long as you change." It didn't mean "I do..unless I change." Stress is inevitable. Sadness, loneliness, fights..all inevitable. Change is inevitable. When you get married, you're not saying that you're always going to be exactly the way you were on that day..you're saying that although you know you're going to change and grow, you're choosing to grow together rather than to grow apart.
I'm not saying that there won't ever be doubt..arguments..hurt feelings. We all have that. And, I also understand that some people just truly aren't meant to work out. When you thought you felt one way and you realize you don't..when you've exhausted all your options and tried as hard as you can..I know sometimes it still doesn't work.

It's just the people that don't even feel like they have to try that get to me. In just the last week or so, I've come in contact with a girl who is married, yet texting dirty photos of herself and planning rendezvous with an ex..a girl who removes her wedding band when she goes out dancing just because it's "just for fun", one who exchanges numbers with guys she meets while her husband is deployed because she's "not really going to call."
They could all be the same girl, honestly. None of them understand what marriage is. None of them get that you're married 100% of the time, whether it's more convenient not to be or not. When temptation sneaks in, you refuse it..you don't go searching for it. It's not "just nothing" when another man is kissing on your neck while your husband is overseas wishing he could be home with you.
It truly infuriates me to see this. Of course it's not just women..the men do it too. And it's not just young relationships or military relationships. It's every relationship. Of course everyone makes mistakes, but before you allow yourself to be in that position, why not think about *why* you're even drawn to that. Why do you think it's okay to behave that way? What do you expect out of your partner and are you giving him or her the same thing?

Life is hard. Building a life with one person is difficult as well. There are going to be trials, arguments, distance at times. There are going to be people who realize they aren't supposed to be together. But, please, if you want to live the single life, stay single. And if you choose to make the commitment to be with one person and one person only, honor that commitment and show others that are true to their marriages a little respect.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

30 Days of Me -Day 22 *10-12-10*

Day 22: A website

Honestly, there aren't that many websites I check regularly. Aside from social networking sites like Facebook, Plurk, and the military spouses forum I'm on, there aren't really any. I'm going to share one that my husband checks frequently: Reddit
It's pretty much just a news site, but it's news that individuals post. There are several different categories. You might see someone posting about their new car, someone posting about a world event, and someone posting a funny picture of their cat. It's pretty interesting and easy to weed through only the things that interest you.

I'm 23!

My birthday was the 2nd. Yep, I made it. lol. I don't feel any different, other than just feeling like time is just slipping away. I can't believe that two years ago on my birthday I found out we were having a baby. Now that little tiny bean in my belly is walking, wait running, and talking. It seems like just a few months ago that we were moving here to VA and preparing to become a family of three. It's hard to believe this coming April will mark three years in the Navy, 2 years in Virginia, and be nearing Xander's 2nd birthday. I mean, one part of me feels like Robert and I have only been together a couple years. Another part of me feels like it was an entire lifetime ago when we got together. In reality, we've been together for 5.5 years and married for 2.5. It's hard realizing that life is just flying by, but I'm trying to enjoy every part of it.

So for my birthday, I had a Slumber Party with the girls. It's kind of like a Passion Party--lingerie and bedroom accessories. It was a lot of fun. Then the guys joined us for a costume party. Robert got me an Alton Brown cook book, a reed diffuser, and season 6 of The Office on DVD. Then the next day (my actual birthday) he took me to get a massage and out to lunch just the two of us. Then we came back to the house and got the little man and headed to the botanical gardens. We spent some time there and it was really nice because it actually felt like fall. Then we came back home, made cookies, and watched The Phantom of The Opera. =)
It was a fantastic weekend. Here are a few pictures from the party:



Monday, October 11, 2010

30 Days of Me -Day 21 *10-11-10*

I'm just going to quit commenting on the fact that I'm horribly slacking at this challenge, because it's not news at this point. lol.

Day 21: A recipe
One of my friends posted this recipe on Plurk today and I thought these looked super yummy. I might be making them for Thanksgiving.

Monday, September 27, 2010

30 Days of Me -Day 20 *9-27-10*

Day 20: A hobby of yours

Scrapbooking!! I love it. I've been doing it for 4 or 5 years now, but I still feel like a beginner. I feel like I have a lot of methods to learn, but I can see my books improving as I go. I started out by making one for Robert for our first anniversary. It's extremely plain and actually not even finished to this day, because I left the last page blank to document what we actually did on our anniversary and then the pictures from that day got deleted. lol. Since then I've made one for our wedding, one for my pregnancy, and I'm working on one for Xander's first year. Yes, his first year..and he is now almost 16 months. lol. It's hard to keep up with it with a little one running around but I'm committed to getting it done. As busy as I may be, I plan to make one for my next pregnancy and baby's first year, but my immediate next project will be a Navy scrapbook--documenting boot camp, schools, graduations, and deployments thus far.
I will share a couple of my favorite pages here:

 From our wedding book:
 From my pregnancy book:

 From Xander's First Year book:

Friday, September 24, 2010

30 Days of Me -Day 19 *9-24-10*

Day 19: A talent of yours
Well, I can sing. It's hard to hear yourself as others hear you, but I think I'm pretty good. I'm very shy, however, so most people haven't heard me *really* sing. It takes a lot for me to just belt it out. I guess I'm so self-conscious about it because it means so much to me. I love to sing..always have..always will. It just makes me happy. I feel like I'm truly myself when I'm singing. When I was younger, I wanted to be "a singer", whatever that means. I've realized as an adult that I can be just that..and still be everything else as well. I don't think I'll ever make money from it--it will never be my career--but, I'm happy just singing at my friends' weddings and such. My best friend and I have always talked about doing some stuff with our music, and when I'm home next time we're going to work on it and try to get out there. Of course, it might just be doing a few open-mic nights at local bars or coffee shops, but as long as we're being heard, I think we'll be happy.
I also write--mostly poetry and songs. I guess I feel like these two things are the best way to express myself. I always feel like I'm letting something out when I'm singing or writing. I feel like I can really feel things this way..not just going through the motions but experiencing things. You're inside my head and my heart when you read my stuff or when you hear me sing something with the passion that only comes from living the lyrics.  I'm always really leery of posting my stuff publicly because I'm afraid of not getting credit for it. But, I'll post a little something here..I guess even if someone does hijack it, I'll always know it's mine. lol.   ; )

I never named this, but I wrote it a while ago right before Robert left for boot camp:

With every breath
every tick-tock of the clock
it grows nearer
and my heart grows weaker and it can't stand
    the way my brain keeps fighting
    for control.
It's overwhelming
the feelings colliding, ever going
from one end of the spectrum to the other
    in seconds
    and back again.
I need to see you, feel you
at all times.
Watch your every move
to ensure you don't go sooner.
To capture every moment
    after moment together.
With your sleep comes my panic,
    a lonely panic
    grabbing at me from inside out
    screaming that you've gone.
So I wait and I listen
for the steadiness of your breath
and the movement of the sheets
that say "I'm here for a little longer."
    And I crawl
    up beside you
    wondering if I could make it last forever,
    Knowing I cannot.
Yet, the feeling will remain.
    Strong, enduring,
    making me happy, making me ache
until you're there again.
    And again comes the relief,
    the passion, endearment,
    the wonder, the footsteps
    the silence,
    the tears.
So I'll be waiting to feel you once again.
Can one tell the worthiness in a brave step before the journey is over?
Does one fathom the strength that grows under the soil of necessity?
All that I know,
    all that is true
    is love will prevail.
Our love will prevail.
Forever we've despised our life of normalcy,
But what comfort and warmth normalcy holds.
We will trade our normalcy for the best of the best,
the worst of the worst.
And how will we know
it was a wise step?
   
    When we survive.
It's that "when" that I'm longing for.
"When" holds my hand
    and my heart
    and whispers in my ear
that as your departure grows nearer
    with every breath
    every tick-tock
So do the days that hold kisses,
    the days that hold joy,
    the days that prove we're in this for life,
    and the days when we have finally accomplished what we've set out to do.
When the time in the past was short
and the time in the future is everlasting.
   
"When?" is my prayer
    and
"When." is my answer.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

30 Days of Me -Day 18 *9-23-10*

Day 18: Whatever tickles your fancy

So, another one of these. I honestly can't believe how horrible I've been at keeping up with this 30 Day Challenge. I'm ashamed of my blogging self. lol.

Well, let's see. I get to tickle my fancy today..so, I shall write about what is on my mind at the moment. Right now, that is another baby. Robert and I have talked a lot about when would be the best time to try for baby #2. We started "negotiations" as I like to call it around the beginning of this year. Not that either of us was ready then, but I like to have a plan for these kind of things. We were back and forth many times. Just when I'd think we had decided on something, one of us (usually him) would switch it up. At times it was him wanting to wait longer and other times it was him saying he didn't want anymore kids, period. That's a hard pill to swallow for me, considering I ideally want three but at least two and hoping for my little girl at some point. Robert didn't want kids at all when we first met, but I guess after settling down with the right girl--me ; )--he changed his mind. First he wanted two, then just the one, then two, then one, then two, and just recently he said "maybe one more soon and then another when I'm on shore duty". Lol. If you pick up anything about my husband from this post, it will be that he's just as indecisive about long-term decisions as I am about short-term ones.
We discussed another child back in February, then again a time or two during his deployment. And during that last discussion, we settled (or so I thought) on beginning to TTC around the holidays of this year. We want our kids to be 2-3 years apart, and of course, we've got a deployment schedule to *try* to work around. Well, a little over a month ago we were talking about moving into a new place and what we are looking for. "3 bedrooms, of course", I said. And then came the look on his face. The look of indecision. The look that makes me panic..or quite frankly just ticks me off. lol. So, the words that always follow this look came shortly after "I'm not sure I want another kid." Ugghhh.
So, of course we discussed it a little bit and we got to the bottom of the issues--
He's worried about finances &
He's worried about me juggling two young kids when he has to be gone..but,
He definitely wants another baby.

Of course he's worried about those things. That's completely natural..and logical..and legitimate. As far as finances are concerned, between income taxes, a raise or two, and a re-enlistment bonus right around or shortly after a new baby would arrive, I think we can handle it. Things may be a bit tighter, but we can do it. As far as me being a geographically-single mom of 2 instead of 1 at times--of course it's going to be harder. But I've got a wonderful support system. There are a few great people around here and even more wonderful people that support me from afar. I know I've always got the option to move home. Even if there isn't room for us at my mom's, we could get our own little place for a third of what we pay here and have grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends within an arm's reach at all times. Plus, let me just toot my own horn a little bit here--I'm a strong person. I know that having two kids is going to be a lot different than having one, but I can manage it. I feel like my whole life revolves around strength that I never knew I had. Strength to be away from family and friends, strength to support my husband when he's gone, strength to juggle things on my own, strength to stay positive although I know it's a difficult and dangerous life, strength to get through month 7 of my pregnancy with a cast and crutches (lol), strength to go through 15 hours of labor and 2 hours of pushing with an epidural that didn't work and not shed a tear until it was a tear of joy  that my baby boy was here. I may seem weak to some, and at times even to myself. But, I'm a strong person. I know I am. And I know I will continue to prove that I am to myself and to others.

So, that being said..(sorry, I'm extremely long-winded..but it's my blog, so..get used to it. =P) Robert got excited about another baby really quick. And me being me, I was already excited. I figured our plan would still be on--TTC around the holidays. But he took me by surprise when he asked "Why not now?" I told him I wanted him to be there for the birth, and he assured me that he'd be back before the birth even if I got pregnant now (that is now up for debate, but what isn't with the military?). So, we started right away. We've had one cycle so far, and although I am 2 days late, I got a negative on a home test. So, I'm probably just off this month. But we'll be trying next month, and the next, and the next until he leaves. And, if I'm not pregnant when he leaves, we'll try when he gets back. We're not going to be disappointed if it doesn't work right away, but it will be hard for me not to jump right to the conclusion that something's wrong--the whole PCOS thing really sucks, and although it happened fairly easily with Xander, I worry that it was just a fluke. No matter what, our little ones will always be miracles to me..so wish us luck that our next little miracle comes along sooner rather than later. =)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 17 *9-21-10*

Day 17: An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)

 I chose this because it is a pretty painting, but mainly because it's by Bob Ross. And..I love me some Bob Ross. I used to watched The Joy of Painting when I was a kid and I would always pretend I was painting stuff while I watched it. lol.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 16 *9-18-10*

Day 16: A song that makes you cry (or nearly)



This song always brings a tear to my eye because I think of all those sleepless nights when we first brought Xander home..and how it seemed like it would be forever before I had time to take a shower or eat a meal. And now, he's 15 months and it all happened in a blink of an eye. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to take anything for granted--the dirty diapers, the screaming fits, the games of "throw and have Mommy pick up" because..it won't be this way for long. I already miss the days of rocking him to sleep and hearing his little coos, etc. I know before I know it I'll be missing these days too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 15 *9-17-10*

Day 15: A fanfic

Well, maybe I live under a rock but I'm going to be honest here: I have no clue what "fanfic" means. So, I looked it up. And, I'm still lost. lol. I even went to fanfiction.com and browsed through a few things there..and yes, still no clue what I'm looking for. lol. As far as I can tell by wiki's description, a fanfic is an original work redone by a fan? Gosh, I have no clue. So, since I'm completely lost and backward when it comes to this, rather than posting one I'm going to ask for others to post them in the comments section (assuming that anyone reads this..which I'm beginning to think they don't. lol) in order to school me on the matter. Thanks!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 14 *9-16-10*

Wow, I've been a bad blogger lately. Shame on me. I don't know how, but one day I just completely forgot about this challenge. I'm just a little over a week shy of a month and I'm only on day 14 of the challenge. I need to really get back into it. So, here goes:

Day 14: A non-fictional book
I'm not sure if this can be considered non-fiction, but it's semi-non-fiction, as it's based on real events.
The Devil in the White City by Eric Lawson is a book based on the events of serial murders that took place during and around the time of the World Fair in Chicago in 1893. It starts off a bit slow, but it becomes a fast-paced page turner. It details the life of the serial killer and his killings, while also peering into the man who was the brains behind the World Fair and the goings on therein. Of course, certain parts of it are fabricated but the events, people, killings, etc. are all real.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 13 *9-9-10*

Day 13: A Fictional Book

This book is awesome. It's set in the 40s I believe, and details the life of a young boy with big dreams as he talks back and forth with a famous baseball player at the time. The book is so interesting and it's an extremely quick read. It's set up as letters and post cards between the two main characters as well as newspaper clip-its, report cards, etc. The book is really funny but it's also very sweet and had me (and my husband) shedding a tear at the conclusion. If you've got a day or two with some free time, head over to your library and check it out (or just borrow it from me if  you're close by). For more info on it, click here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 12 *9-8-10*

Day 12: Whatever tickles your fancy

What shall I discuss today? Well, the main thing on my mind right now is the pain I'm feeling in my ear. I got my left cartilage pierced about 3 days ago and it's still hurting pretty badly. Right now it's throbbing but I just cleaned it, so I figure I irritated it. I had this same piercing when I was younger--about 12. I don't recall it being so painful but, hey, that was 10 years ago. At the same time, I got it pierced with a gun at Claire's or something of  the sort..this time it was with a real piercing needle at a tattoo shop and I'm pretty sure it's a lot bigger gauge. Let's hope it's feeling better by the time I'm one week out.
This makes the 3rd thing I have pierced  (if you count each regular ear hole as one piercing). I didn't really think I would ever get this again, but the place was having a $10 piercing sale and I was going with a friend to get her nose done--I guess I just couldn't resist. I thought about getting an industrial but quickly changed my mind when I envisioned Xander grabbing a hold of the bar and yanking like it's his job. Maybe I'll get the second hole and make it an industrial later on. Robert went on and on about how much he loves it, so, that's cute. lol. I'm pretty sure it will be my last piercing but I can't make any guarantees. That's the same thing I said about my first tattoo as well...
Which leads me to an entirely different subject. I've got two tattoos. One I love..the other, not so much. I love what my second one is (a yellow ribbon and the scripture Hebrews 11:1) but I'm not happy with the work. It's not exactly what I had in mind--it's much bigger and set up differently--and the art work is just poor. The words are already starting to run together and I've only had it for a few months, the ribbon is lighter in some spots than others and has a black mark on the bottom where (I guess) the black ink wasn't completely washed off the needle. On top of that, it has a lot to do with my husband (hence the yellow ribbon) and the feelings/commitment I have toward him and the faith I have in God, our relationship, and the promise that he'll always come home safe to me...BUT, my husband hates it. For the same reasons that I do. And, that just breaks my heart. So, what to do? It's permanent..there's no turning back now. It bothers me because some days I love it. I love it for what it stands for and I like the idea of it..I just don't like it.
I wish I could just go back in time and say "No, I think I'll just wait to get it." when the artist told me he'd have to make some changes on my original idea. But, I can't. So, now what? I've thought about removal..but the creams don't work--no way, no how. And the laser removal is very  costly, sometimes dangerous, and never guaranteed. So, I'm thinking my real options are: live with it or cover it up. There is one more tattoo I want for sure and that is the birth flowers of my kids. I thought I'd get it on my right foot, but maybe I will just get it to cover this one. I  don't even know if that will work..but I could always ask. My only problems there are: I have to wait until I have at least one more kid for the tattoo to be big enough to cover this one AND what if I have more than one more kid..I don't want a whole arm piece or anything.
Ugh! It's so stressful..Idk what to do so I've been thinking on it and it seems like every other night I'm lying in bed going over my options. It's honestly not that bad of a tattoo--it's just not what I wanted and I'm disappointed with the way it turned out. So, now I just have to decide what I want to do about that, if anything.
This turned out a lot longer than I planned on it being..it happens, I suppose.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 11 *9-7-10*

Day 11: A photo of you taken recently
Well, this shouldn't be too hard. I guess it's a good thing too, since I forgot to do this all day and am just hopping on before bed.

This one was taken a little over a week ago when hubby and I were heading to a Josh Turner concert..which was pretty awesome, I might add. ; )

Monday, September 6, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 10 *9-6-10*

So, I'm behind again. This weekend has been really busy for us and I totally just forgot about this.

Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago

I think I was about 2 in this. Check out that old-school car seat. I posted this picture because I think I look a lot like Xander in this..or, he looks a lot like me. lol.

Friday, September 3, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 9 *9-3-10*

Day 9: A photo you took

I take a ton of pictures..mostly of my adorable son, of course! lol. But, I have a feeling I'll be posting a lot more of him so let me see if I can find something in another category..

I took this pic with my friend's fancy camera..I was trying to be goofy and act artsy by taking really up close shots of myself and my friends, and turns out I actually really liked this one.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 8 *9-2-10*

Day 8: A photo that makes you angry/sad

Well, this won't be a photo from my own personal collection.

This photo not only makes me sad but it infuriates me. These are protesters/members of the Westboro Baptist Church. My first issue with  this photo is  that it gives Christianity a bad name. Christianity is about living as Jesus lived--it's about loving and not hating. God doesn't hate anyone. Secondly, it makes me sad and angry that these are children holding these signs. Children are supposed to be innocent. These kids shouldn't even have to address  these issues, much less be spokespeople for them. Why would you teach your children to hate a group of people just because they're different? Ignorance breeds ignorance, I suppose. The message this picture sends is NOT okay.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 7 *9-1-10*

So, technically it's the 2nd, but I haven't gone to bed yet and therefore, it's the 1st to me.

Day 7: A photo that makes you happy
This one should be easy. I guess  the only hard part would be choosing one out of the many photos that make me happy, because there are literally thousands.
I've settled on this one:
Our beautiful baby boy--our world--the day our lives truly began. I see this picture and it all comes rushing back to me. There is no feeling like it and seeing his face is still the simplest, most powerful way to spread a smile across my face and make me feel like all is right in the world.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 6 *8-31-10*

Day 6: Whatever tickles your fancy

So, I get to write about whatever I want today! Lol. I guess I could do that any day in addition to this. Well, let's see..I'm not sure what to say.
Hmm..there's one thing for sure that's been "tickling my fancy" lately: the idea of going on a cruise! A couple of our good friends went on one last year and they really loved it. I have to admit, I was super jealous when they went. The other morning we went to breakfast with them and the topic of going on another cruise came up. They said they were planning on taking another one next year and they wanted us to come with.
Well, of course it's a little harder for us to plan a trip like that because we've got a little one. But, both of our mom's really enjoy spending time with Xander (of course) and I think they'd love to have joint-custody of him for a week or so next summer/fall. I mean, what grandma doesn't dream of the long-awaited "trip to Grandma's house"? They'll have full reign over bedtimes and what's for dinner..it'll be a blast. Plus, with the money we save from this upcoming deployment and our income tax, we should have enough money to not only pay for our tickets but have a little bit of spending cash as well.
We haven't been on a trip together since our honeymoon in 08. We haven't had more than 1 night alone together since Xander was born. I think it would be wonderful for us. Not to mention, I've ALWAYS wanted to go on a cruise. Robert makes jokes about how, with his profession, the last thing he wants to do is spend a week out on a ship, but I know he's really excited about it as well. Our friends cruised to the Bahamas and that's where they're thinking of going again.
The only "problem" is the fact that we're actively trying for baby #2 (that's a whole other blog, right?) and therefore, we may have some scheduling conflicts. If I get pregnant any time before he leaves for his next deployment, the baby will be here by the time we'd be cruising anyway. But, then the question arises of whether or not our moms are going to be up for taking care of a toddler and a baby that's a few months old at the most. That might change things. If I don't get pregnant until he gets back, we *should* be under the 20 week mark at the time we'd be cruising, and therefore, I'd have the go-ahead from the doctor.
So, I guess it's all going to depend on when/if my eggo gets preggo and how much our moms are willing to juggle. Hopefully it'll all pan out..because we could definitely use this vacation!

Doesn't it just look amazing?!

Monday, August 30, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 5 *8-30-10*

Day 5: Your favorite quote
"If every day was a good day, there would be no good days." That is my favorite quote. I saw it on the cap of a  drink (anyone remember these ?) when I was probably 11 or 12 years old. At first glance, this quote makes no sense but when you really think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. We have to experience the bad to appreciate the good. If everything went our way every day, we'd take that for granted. Because we experience the lowest of lows, we can realize the highest of highs. Life is not monotone, and that's a wonderful thing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 4 *8-29-10*

Day 4: Your favorite book

Again, one I can answer straight on. Well, sort of. I don't have one favorite book but I do have 2 favorites that are in one series.

The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End by Ken Follett. These books are amazing.

The Pillars of The Earth is about the building of a cathedral in 12th century England. It showcases the builder's family and all of their struggles, while showing the difference of life between a family like them and those they are employed by. The story has great twists and turns as well as an awesome look into life at that time.
World Without End is a glimpse into the same town some two hundred years later. It details the lives of the original characters' descendants while weaving a similar story of life in that time and the rise to the top, per say.

These books are very well written and extremely interesting and entertaining. You get a small history lesson while reading them, but you also get your fair share of murder, sex, drama..the works. They are long books but once you start them, you won't want to put them down. I definitely recommend checking them out.

30 Days of Me-Day 3 *8-29-10*

Well, I'd only been doing this for 2 days and missed a day. Go figure. lol. So, I guess I'll be doing Day 3 and Day 4 today.

Day 3: Your favorite television program
Well, what do you know?! I can actually answer this one straight on. The Office is most definitely my favorite TV show. I remember watching it during its first season and just falling in love. I consider myself a pretty funny person. lol. And, like most people, I love to laugh. This show is hysterical to me. It's so much like real life that it's hilarious. I love that I know someone like each of  the characters and that although every episode is a riot, it's totally believable. It's going to sound really cheesy, but there are a couple of shows that just take my worries away and this is one of them. (The other would have to be Golden Girls, btw..amazing show.) When we first moved to Great Lakes and we had no cable, I watched The Office all day long. Thankfully, shortly after we moved there and we got the cable turned on, the new season started up and I could look forward to watching a new episode every week. Even though I was 500 miles away from everything I new for the first time in my life, I was pregnant and sick, and my husband was gone 80% of the time, my loneliness was gone for 30 minutes when I'd watch that show. I do realize it's just a TV show, but it holds a special place for me. Robert and I watch it every single night before bed..and, aside from the Golden Girls again, I think it's the only show  that I could see every day and not get tired of. I loooove it. Check it out at NBC.com.

Friday, August 27, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 2 *8-27-10*

Day 2: Your favorite movie

Again, such a tough question to ask. I guess I'm just not the type of person to have one specific favorite of many things, if anything at all. Are there people like that? It seems like every time you get the infamous "What's your favorite ___" questions, most people can't pick one favorite. Even when I'm asked my favorite color I have to list 3 or 4. I'm not a very decisive person and my indecisiveness spreads to many areas of my life, which can become annoying to those around me and even myself at times, but I suppose it's a quirk of mine that I have to love. At least I don't get tied down to the idea of one thing.
My husband, my brother, and I actually tried formulating lists of our 10 favorite movies just a few months ago. I had trouble even narrowing it down to 10, and quite honestly, I don't think I ever finished the list. I'm wishing now that I did because I could reference that for this post. lol.
I think for the sake of this post I'm going to pick a few categories and then list two of my favorite movies from each.

Comedy: The HangoverWedding Crashers
Romance: Sleepless in Seattle & Fools Rush In
Family: Elf & Home Alone (1 & 2 )
Horror: The Shining & Rob Zombie's Halloween
Misc. (Some of my random faves): Pulp Fiction , American History X , The Phantom of The Opera , & Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2
And one of my most recent loves: The Other Guys

So there you have it. I was asked to list one favorite movie, and I listed 15. But, you know, the point of this challenge is to give others the opportunity to find out more about me. And, as I'm sure you're starting to see, the real me is very indecisive and extremely long winded. ; )

Thursday, August 26, 2010

30 Days of Me-Day 1

Day 1: Your favorite song

I don't think there is any way..ever..under any circumstance that I could pick one favorite song. Honestly, I probably couldn't pick 20 favorites. Or 50. Okay..maybe 50. But, I'm not going to try. lol. My favorite song changes from day to day. And, just about every time I turn on the radio and hear something new. Of course there are those classics that will never steer me wrong. What truly matters to me is the way a song touches me. It might make me want to cry, or make me laugh, or make me want to dance, or make me want to punch someone, or make me want to reevaluate myself--as long as it makes me feel something, then there's a place for it in my heart. I'd have to say that older songs are more near and dear to me because I feel like they've grown with me. A certain song would have meant one thing to me when I was 12, another thing when I was 17, and yet another thing now. A good song is like an old friend--you change together but you always get each other. So, can I pick one favorite song? No. If I did, I'd be tempted to edit this post and put something else tomorrow or even 10 minutes from now. I just love music and I love the way it makes me feel. Right now my favorite song is one I wrote a few days ago. lol. But really, in a way, thousands of them are my favorites. Now, for the sake of this prompt I won't skirt the issue completely. Although I can't pick the favorite song of mine, I can pick one of my favorites. And one of my favorite songs would be Release by Pearl Jam. Enjoy.

30 Days of Me

So, in addition to my Sunday Scribblings, I found another little project I'd like to do. It's called 30 Days of Me, and yes, I have to commit to doing it every day but it's nothing big. It's just a little something about me each day so my fellow bloggers can get to know me better, and hopefully some people will steal it (as I did lol) and I'll get to know more about each of you as well. So, here is the list:

30 Days of ME
Day 1: Your favorite song
Day 2: Your favorite movie
Day 3: Your favorite television program
Day 4: Your favorite book
Day 5: Your favorite quote
Day 6: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 7: A photo that makes you happy
Day 8: A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 9: A photo you took
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently
Day 12: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13: A fictional book
Day 14: A non-fictional book
Day 15: A fanfic
Day 16: A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17: An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19: A talent of yours
Day 20: A hobby of yours
Day 21: A recipe
Day 22: A website
Day 23: A YouTube video
Day 24: Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25: Your day, in great detail
Day 26: Your week, in great detail
Day 27: This month, in great detail
Day 28: This year, in great detail
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30: Whatever tickles your fancy

Sunday Scribblings

I've been looking around for something to add a little more umpf to my blog..something to keep me going when I don't really have much to talk about. Well, I think I've found it. After searching through several different Journal Prompt Challenges, I stumbled on this blog: http://sundayscribblings.blogspot.com
The idea is that a prompt is posted each Saturday so you, me, or your mom can get our brain juices flowing and post what we came up with on Sunday. Hence, Sunday Scribblings. Once you've posted your magnificence, they ask that you post a comment on the prompt and leave the link so they can spread your words 'round. It's a pretty nifty idea and it's not something that I have to commit to doing daily, which I like. It's just a weekly thing and I think even with my very-forgetful, easily-distracted mind, I can keep up with that.

So, stay tuned for my first Sunday Scribbling..which you should see..well, Sunday. ; )

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

101 in 1001

I've seen a couple of my blogger friends doing this so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. If you'd like to do one yourself, just come up with 101 tasks that you'd like to complete in the next 1001 days (roughly 2 years and 9.5 months).

Bold tasks are in progress
Crossed out tasks are completed

Start Date: 9-1-2010
End Date: 5-29-2013

Let the tasks begin!

1. Have another baby

2. Complete my AA

3. Complete my BA

4. Get some of my writing published

5. Go on 3 weekend trips with Robert

6. Lose 50lbs

7. Do a 40s Pin-Up photoshoot (after the 50lbs of course!) lol

8. Paint my nails lime green

9. Go a whole month without fast food.

10. See 5 people/bands in concert

11. Have a complete spa day

12. Start a college fund for Xander

13. Take Xander to the aquarium

14. Teach Xander how to swim

15. Complete The Love Dare with Robert

16. Find a good/regular church

17. Go sledding as a family

18. Go to a water park

19. Leave a loving note for Robert every day for a month

20. Get a pet

21. Buy a new living room set

22. Buy a memory foam mattress

23. Eat dinner as a family at the table for a month

24. Learn to cook 10 new things

25. Throw a Halloween/Dress-Up party

26. Go back to Cedar Point and ride every coaster

27. Go on a dolphin watch boat tour

28. Have a picnic on the beach with Robert

29. Dress up for dinner out with Robert--dress & high heels

30. Get at least one more tattoo

31. Pay off our last credit card

32. Buy a new or almost new SUV

33. Make a change to "go green"

34. Read 5 new books

35. Finish the scrapbook I'm on and complete at least 2 more

36. Write at least 10 more poems

37. Keep a dream journal

38. Sing in public 5 times

39. Teach Xander to write his name

40. Learn to say "Hello" in 10 languages

41. Go for a night swim with my besties

42. Have a squirt gun fight

43. Write a letter to each of the people who mean the most to me

44. Be a kid again for a day--play at the park, ride go karts, and eat ice cream

45. Try my hand at painting

46. Get a couple's massage with Robert

47. Fly..on an airplane (lol)

48. Ride on a motorcycle

49. Write 5 more children's stories

50. Attend another NHL game

51. Spend an evening with each of my best friends..doing nothing but hanging out like old times.

52. Take flowers to the grave of my Nanny and Papaw Bob

53. Buy myself something special

54. Put money from each paycheck into a savings account for 6 months straight

55. Make a pina colada cake

56. Win a poker game

57. Watch 5 movies that I've always wanted to see

58. Go on a family vacation

59. Visit 2 places I've never been

60. Look in the mirror and like what I see

61. Produce an income

62. Break Xander of the pacifier (LOL..this better happen in the next 90 days.)

63. Teach Xander his colors

64. Dye my hair red

65. Get another retainer or braces again and fix my tooth

66. Go 2 weeks without any sweets other than fruit

67. Keep a food journal for a month

68. Go skydiving

69. Watch the sun come up with Robert one day

70. Take a dance class

71. Limit myself to 3 hours of technology (computer, tv, cell) time a night for a week


72. Make something from scratch

73. Go dancing at a club

74. Ride a mechanical bull

75. Participate in a NeedItKeepIt day (needitkeepit.org)

76. Play in the rain

77. Own a gun

78. Choose to walk somewhere that I would normally drive

79. Donate blood

80. Do something--anything--I thought I'd never do

81. Make a donation to our local food bank

82. Buy a file cabinet and get organized

83. Start each day by reading my Bible for a whole month (or more!)

84. Grow my own herbs/veggies

85. Rent/buy bikes and ride as a family

86. Color with Xander

87. Participate in a walk for breast cancer

88. Quit cussing

89. Have a vanilla cream and a cafe mocha with a couple of my bests

90. Improve my driving-a-stick skills

91. Have 3 family photo shoots

92. Eat at a new restaurant

93. Meet at least one of my DT&D girlies I've never met

94. Explore a haunted/abandoned house with my bestest


95. Sleep in until noon one day

96. Make a new friend

97. Breast feed our next baby for 6 months

98. Go on a hike and enjoy nature

99. Pay off all debt but student loans and a vehicle

100. Go horseback riding

101. Send a few uplifting/encouraging cards or notes to a few friends/family members that need them

Thursday, August 19, 2010

That Girl

I've been struggling lately with what I truly want to "be". Is a mother and a wife enough? It's definitely the most important thing to me. It's all I ever wanted, and I'm blessed to have those things in my life at such a young age. But is this all I'm going to be for the rest of my life? And, is that what I want? Honestly, I have no clue. I remember having the discussion with Robert once, a few years ago, about what we both wanted out of life. I told him "The only thing that really matters to me is someday being married to you and having a family." And I meant every word. I would be happy if that is all I do for the rest of my life, but isn't it okay to want more if it's not going to interfere with my main priorities?

When I was in high school, I saw myself having it all. I would go to college, probably Ohio State, graduate with honors, of course, get my Master's and my PhD, open my own successful practice as a Psychiatrist or maybe take another route and become State Representative, and in the meantime I'd marry my true love and have a handful of kids. Well, that didn't happen. And now I'm not sure I even want it to. I've realized that I don't want to put a lot of time and money into school..I've realized psychology is an interest of mine but maybe not the field I want to work in for the rest of my life.

I want to be successful some way..and I want to contribute. True, my family will always come first but what happens when my kids are grown and in school and Robert's off to work every day? Am I going to be okay with being home all day or am I going to want to be out doing something more? Are we going to need an income on my part in order to provide the things we want for our children and ourselves? I'm currently in school and although I've had some set backs, I'll have my AA next year. Then what? Right now I feel like I'm just getting a degree so I don't feel like I've given up or failed. I'd rather be doing something else..something more creative..something that I'm more passionate about. But, I'm going to make sure I get at least one degree to prove to myself and others that the girl who used to have all these big plans for school and a career didn't give up completely.
And, honestly, I hate to even word it like that. Even if I did choose to be a SAHM forever, that wouldn't be giving up. It's the most demanding job there is..and there's no training before hand. You just jump into the most important job you could work and you learn by trial and error. So, would that make me a bad person if I just chose to do that and nothing else? I have no clue. Some days I think that really is what I want. And others, I feel like I should be out in the world doing something more and bringing in some extra money. Either way, I wind up feeling guilty. If I decide that being a SAHM really is all I want to do, I feel guilty that I'm not pursuing all these things I once said I would. I feel guilty that I'm not being more proactive and productive when it comes to my education or a career for myself. But, when I  think about getting started in a career or furthering my education, it's something that doesn't sound as appealing as being with my family all the time..and I feel guilty for taking time away from the things that mean the most to me. I want to be doing something I love..not just something that brings in cash. And, that leaves me with still being lost. Other than being a wife and a mom, what do I truly love? I love to sing and I love to write. Singing for a living is illogical..and how does one start a career in writing?

I wish I could just be decisive. I wish I had more of a plan for the future than just getting my almost useless degree and going from there. I just want to be "that girl". The one with everything. The one who wakes up every morning and runs 5 miles, jogging stroller for 2 or 3 in tow. The one with the 1 year old that can count, the 3 year old that can read chapter books, and the 2nd grader that can play Mozart's Piano Concerto 21 with one hand tied behind his back..all due to her magnificent parenting skills. The one who runs her own successful business and makes 6 figures a year, but works from home so she has ample time to get all the laundry done and hung in color coordinated closets, a roast in for dinner, help the kids with homework, finish a few pages in her latest scrapbook, and make the hubby's favorite dessert. The one that juggles all of this flawlessly during the day, yet still has time for bath time and story time with the kids each night, and time to relax in a bath herself, read a couple chapters of Oprah's latest recommendation, and spend some QT with the hubs. Of course, there would be nights of soccer, football, and piano lessons..sleepovers and bday parties..and date nights with the hubby.
It sounds like it's impossible..but we all know a Bree Van de Kamp. So, why is it that I can't be..I'll never be that person? And what's at stake if I was..I want to be able to juggle everything, have something of my own, please all my loved ones, and yet still have time to enjoy life as I live it. Is this fathomable? There's no doubt that I would rather just stay home with my kids and be there for my husband if it meant that I would have time to support them, to enjoy them, and love them. But, could I do all that and still be someone to look up to? Still a financial contributor, with a degree, and some kind of career? Is there a happy medium..or do you have to sacrifice one for the other? Because if so, there's no question I would sacrifice anything for my family..and I hope that doesn't mean I am looked at like a failure, by others..or myself.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So soon??

Well, we got some pretty disappointing news yesterday. Seems like if it's news from the ship, it's always disappointing.
We knew he'd be leaving again in just a few months. He was set to go out for 4 months at the beginning of next year. They were going with a fleet so they were following the Enterprise's schedule. Well, we found out yesterday that they traded schedules with another ship, and in turn got pulled off the Enterprise deployment. At first, that sounds like it could be good news, but, turns out it's not.
The ship they traded schedules with is going out in a month. They'll be gone for 2.5 months, going to do the same thing that Robert's ship just got back from doing. So, essentially, Robert's ship is doing the same deployment twice in a row..and leaving just over a month after they got home. All this would even be acceptable, except for the fact that the ship they traded schedules with is set  to go out at the beginning of next year for 4 months. Sound familiar? Well that's because that's exactly what Robert's ship was set to do in the  first place. It's a different deployment, just on the same schedule. Yet again, this sucks. The original deployment had him going to the gulf, meaning we'd get the benefits that go along with deploying to a war zone, like hazardous duty pay and what not. The new deployment is to a much safer place, which is good, but at the same time puts us in the same ship (no pun intended) that we were with this last deployment--all the work and time gone with nothing to show for it.
It's not all about the money..no. I'd much rather him be safe. But I never felt like him being in the gulf was putting him in danger, really. That's why it's upsetting to know that like last time, he's going to be gone for several months and we won't be getting any of those deployment benefits that we had planned on getting.
In addition to that, I just feel like if he's going to the gulf, it's more justified. To me, him being gone for months at a time when he's "called to duty" per say is more reasonable than him going to play war games with our allies or sit in the Mediterranean for a few months.
So why the trade? Who in this world knows? Let's lay it out here: More time at sea, leaving a month after being home, and less pay. Oh yeah, I can see now why they'd want to do that.

Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about it but suck it up and roll with the punches. We will. Doesn't mean we're happy about it. Over a 13 month span from when he left the first time, he's going to be gone 11 of those 13 months. It's hard on us, but I think the hardest part is watching how it affects Xander. I thank my lucky stars that Robert was here until Xander turned 9 months. I know some people miss out on the birth of their child or those first few months and that's got to be nothing short of heartbreaking. So, I know we are blessed but that doesn't keep me from wanting to complain a little bit about the fact that Robert's missing out on so much. He sees it, I see it, and even Xander sees it. Xander is having a hard time adjusting to Robert being back. It's hard for him to understand. He's not completely comfortable with Daddy like he was before. I know it kills Robert when I walk out of the room and Xander starts crying even though Robert's sitting right there. But, it's just going to take time for Xander to realize Robert is a permanent staple again. And, just when he does that, Robert will be leaving again. A month is just enough time to get back in the swing of things before uprooting everything once more. And when he comes back after this next underway, a month is all we'll have until he leaves yet again.
Fortunately, as of right now, they're still going to be home for the holidays. And I guess I can be thankful that their deployment at the beginning of next year hasn't been lengthened due to this schedule change.

Right now, Robert's cranking on the ship which is both a blessing and curse. It means he's going to have all of 6 days total off before he leaves again, but it also means that every other day he's home before 3pm which is nice to have some time together before he has to be back at work at 5 the next morning.
To say these next few months are going to be trying is an understatement. With plans to look for a new place, pack our things and put them in storage, and move me home to Ohio for the 2011 deployment, we're going to have a lot on our hands with his time at home being cut in less than half. But, we can manage. We always do.
I know we'll get through it. I've proven to myself I can handle it and he's always been a strong person. In the end, we'll be stronger for getting through this year of craziness and loneliness, but I can't help but wish we could just fore go this lesson in strength and perseverance and have the time together that we so desperately need.
I guess I'll be heaving the sigh of relief heard 'round the word come next spring...hopefully.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We did it!

We officially survived our first deployment. I knew we would..survive that is. I never thought a deployment would tear us apart, but I envisioned it tearing us down a bit. I'm surprised that we came out of it without a scratch on our relationship. Actually, in many ways, our relationship has improved.
Distance is guaranteed to change a relationship. It's one of those relationship amplifiers, like having a child. If one's relationship is already strong and headed in the right direction, it will only make it stronger. If one's relationship is dangling by a thread, it will just cause that thread to break. We've been together for quite some time and we've literally grown together. We've changed from teenagers into adults, from young single people into a married couple, from just us into a family. Amidst all these changes, we've remained strong. So, the fact that a deployment didn't break us is not surprising. The fact that we're coming out of it even better than before is, however, somewhat surprising. It's a good surprise, though.
I'm so happy to have our family back together. It's the little things that you take for granted. Like rushing through the house to pick up the toys right before he comes home and choosing dinner based on what he might want. This morning we had the opportunity to wake up as a family. The little guy got up and I brought him into the bedroom with us. It warmed my heart to hear him yell out "DAAA" when he saw my husband laying in bed. I can see the joy in his eyes every time Robert walks in the door from work, or even comes back in from the other room. He's just so excited to know that Daddy's still here and that brings us all so much happiness.

I have to admit that I feel rather accomplished. I made it through this deployment without any breakdowns and very few tears. I gained an independence that I had been missing for a long time. Knowing that everything in your own little world depends solely on you is rather stressful at times, but it's empowering all the same. I feel like I've proven myself to everyone, most importantly my husband and I. He knows he doesn't have to worry when he's gone. The bills will be paid, the car will still be running, and his son and I will be healthy and happy when he returns home. I know that I don't have to rely on someone else to make things happen for me, which, I think as a military wife, that's sometimes the feeling we get. Our lives are always in someone else's hands. A lot of times it feels like it's not our life at all--it's his life, and we're just along for the ride. But, it's the trying times that prove that notion wrong. Without us, there would be nothing to fight for..without us, the world at home would fall apart.

I hate that we've only got a few months until we're back on the deployment grind. But after adding this notch to our belt, I can rest assured that we'll all be fine after the next one, and the next one, and the next one.
What matters is that each person look at the positive. Take the opportunity to really miss each other and open your eyes to the things you take for granted when you're with each other every day. Realize that the best combination is two people who can do things for themselves, and therefore have more to offer to each other. And, last but certainly not least, remember  that distance never lasts forever. In the grand scheme of things, 6 months or a year is nothing when you compare it to a lifetime together.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hello Blog World!

I've toyed with the idea of starting my own blog for quite some time now. I'm a writer--that is, I love to write. I'm not lucky enough to have it as a profession or anything. I always day dreamed about being able to get paid just for writing about my life, but, I know those cases are rare. Regardless, I often thought it would be nice to just have a place to get my thoughts out--a journal of sorts.

I put the idea on the back burner many times because I wasn't sure how to set up a blog (it turned out to be much easier than expected) and I didn't really think that many people would be interested in reading about my daily life anyway. Well, not too long ago I received a facebook message from a friend, telling me she thought I should start a blog because she loves hearing about what we're going through and she thinks I've got a way with words. It really meant a lot to me because I knew then that if I did start a blog, I'd have at least one person other than myself who'd be interested in reading it.

So, here I am. I'm taking the first step on my blogging journey. My life isn't unique, but it's extraordinary to me. I'm just a young mother, who is married to a sailor and doing my best to juggle school, a toddler, and the military lifestyle. My life is a mix of dirty diapers, happy milestones, duty days & deployments, leaning on the shoulders of military gals while missing my old friends from home, 9 hour trips a few times a year to see family, papers & presentations, delving into a money-making project here and there, and the never-ending search for my purpose. If you're interested in any of that, read on. If not, read on anyway..I just might surprise you.