Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Brief Study on Military Wives' Personal Vices!

After the month I have had I have discovered a few important things:

1. Never blog when you are emotional. Last night I chose to not be an emotional blogger and instead relaxed and ended my day with the joys of the past weekend! So, that is my goal- to never be the emotional blogger because when I get emotional, it gets messy!!


2. I have finally figured out why military wives are stereotyped as fat and ugly with too many kids! No really, I have just completed a personal study on the subject!! lol So here it is in the easy to follow, scientific format!

Hypothesis Statement:
Military spouses have various unhealthy coping methods for getting through the stresses of being married to the military (read deployments here)!

1. A box of cookies usually lasts a good length of time in my house. I eat 5 cookies in a day or two with a glass of milk.
2. Raising kids is stressful, raising kids alone while continually worrying over the welfare of your husband is really stressful.
3. Getting to the gym with kids who are too young to be in school regularly is impossible!
4. Drinking alcohol regularly does count as being a drunk!
5. Soldiers tend to deploy for a year, every other year. Due to this, you can easily tell the deployment rotation of any post by how busy it is in the L&D ward!

1. 5 boxes of cookies have gone through this house in the past month. They usually go in 2 day each! (Half a box per day!)
2. More than half the days in the past month I have desperately thanked God I am nursing, so I did not grab the Jack.
3. I tried going to the gym on the days Keirnan is in hourly daycare and just taking James with me to the base's parent workout room. So not worth it since its the smallest room in the gym and only has cardio machines and no room to even stretch! I have an elliptical at home and room to stretch! It was more hassle than it was worth!
4. The terrible twos don't start when a magical switch is flipped on a child's second birthday! They actually tend to start a bit earlier!

I have never been an emotionally eater. I have also always had a high metabolism. Though, it did slow down a bit in adulthood! While not being an emotional eater, I have been a bit of an emotional drinker- really! Ask any of my college friends! I had a tendency to drink myself into oblivion and cry into random toilets! Yeah, not my best moments, but some do make for amusing stories!
I have had some pretty nasty days in the past few weeks. At one point I actually curled up on the kitchen floor and just cried. (Keirnan saved the day by coming to give me a hug and kiss and just sitting on my lap! Have I mentioned how great my kid is!?) I know I have been blessed with 2 amazing little boys, and I thank God every day for blessing me with them. But it doesn't make days where they are both teething and/or sick any easier! And at 22 months and 4 months, neither really approves, or understands, when I can't make everything all better with a wave of my hand, or why I have to give the other attention also! This of course, means I have to admit I am not a super mom and that just rips me up! So, when the boys are finally in bed and I have a moment to myself, I turn to my good friend chocolate, since Jack is off the table due to nursing James!

As to that, drinking has been off the table for me since I got pregnant with Keirnan in August 2008. I literally had just stopped nursing him when I got pregnant with James! So, I have had exactly 1 glass of wine in 2.5 years! Surprise, surprise, I made a comment as I was drinking it about being pregnant, and a couple days later tested positive! Oops! But, in keeping pregnant or nursing I am not becoming a complete drunk like I think I would otherwise! Really, its a good coping mechanism for me since I don't get hangovers!

So, all this comes together to, in my mind, prove that military wives choose to be fat, but good, moms over being skinny drunks, and most likely not so good moms! Its a trade off I'll take any day! In the meantime, I am going to try to keep the chocolate out of the house most the time and just take it a day at a time!

*Disclaimers: (Isn't sad I am doing this?!)
-Yes, I know I am not fat, but I do have more fat on me than I would like.  As in, I am out of shape!
- No, not every military wife is fat, and yes, some do have the ability to get to the gym. I am not a very motivated person since the gym is not just down the street. (I was doing well in Germany when we lived on post and it was right there!) It takes longer to get everyone packed up and get there than I spend time there!
- No, having kids is not just a coping mechanism for military families! Most of us do actually love our kids and have them on purpose!
-And here it is, the big one: I am SARCASTIC!! This is my highly sarcastic way of making light of my personal situation!! If you read this and feel I am talking about you, guess what- I'm not! Sorry, you're just not that special to me! If I'm talking about you, you'll know it!! (Don't worry, I am sure to eventually touch on the subject of pettiness in the military! lol)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Giraffes and elephants and monkeys, oh my!

Last weekend we went to Colorado Springs to visit a friend. It was a great time. The boys and I drove out Friday and both boys were AWESOME! We made it in 8 hours with a stop for lunch, and another for afternoon snack/ gas! We got there just in time for a wonderful dinner of chicken and dumplings! Bekah is such an amazing cook! She is also such an amazing worry wort! lol The entire dinner she worried over how it tasted. I had seconds, and I never have seconds! (That is a theme that continued throughout the weekend- she made an amazing meal, I ate too much, and still had to convince her it was delish! Silly girl!) 

Saturday we went to the outlet mall. It was an interesting day. We went in search of outfits to wear for our boys when they get home on their R&Rs. We never even got to try anything on! Its become a common problem in my life. I blame it on the boys! They were very well behaved, but with them, I always feel rushed at stores and thus, rarely try anything on! (This is mostly due to Keirnan- he doesn't get why he can't keep moving!) Anyway, we had lunch before hitting the stores. But, when it was time to feed James Keirnan decided he was hungry again. He was running around a bit and the planets aligned just right to allow a few girls to make the mistake of putting their pizza down and opening it just as he ran past. He swerved, snatched a piece, and kept right on going! No kidding! And guess who was completely mortified?! Of course, good ol' Mom! Thankfully, the girls thought it was the cutest things and allowed him to hangout with them while he ate their pizza! lol The day ended with a couple new outfits for the boys, and a new train for Keirnan!

Sunday was beautiful! We went to the park with Stephanie and got to meet her baby girl! So cute! I do wish I could have gotten to spend more time with her, but Hurricane Keirnan took off and just kept going! He loved it! A little girl even let him try out her bike! We now know what he'll be getting for his birthday- his first trike!

Monday was our trip to the zoo! We got to feed the giraffes!! How cool is that?! The zoo there is halfway up the mountain. Since Colorado Springs is already much higher than Kansas, I was at a disadvantage! Add in pushing a double stroller up the mountain through the exhibits and you know I was huffing and puffing! lol But the boys loved the animals! Keirnan's first trip to a zoo was the National Zoo in DC when he was just a little older than James is now. It was fun seeing James enjoy the animals also! This zoo had a carousel also. Keirnan was super excited at first, but then it started and I swear its the fastest I've ever seen. It took off and scared the crap out of him! Bekah had the guy stop it to get him off because it was even going to fast for her to get Keirnan off the horse! After the zoo, we went to Red Lobster and Coldstone with Jess!

Those were the big highlights of the trip. What really made it nice was the down time in the mornings and evenings. Bekah is like a sister to me. More than just in the Army wife way, or in the IORG way, (Though we are both!) but in what I would think a real sisterly relationship would be like. We were able to just hang out and chat, or have 'alone time' while still being in the same room! Case in point, one night she played on the computer while I read a book! Neither of us felt the need to keep the other busy! Another night, she had to go out for a bit for a unit issue. I had no issue with having some down time while she was gone. Her pups curled up and kept me company, and kept me entertained! lol We were even able to have a spat, yes I said spat- it wasn't a fight- it was a shut up and let me finish my sentence type of conversation! lol

Anyway, it was overall a great weekend! And it helped get us through another week before our husbands come home! Did I mention that my husband is coming home on R&R soon?! lol I am just a bit excited! I am sure the next month will be interesting to say the least! Maybe I'll share the reason military spouses have kids just before a deployment. (Hint: it involves a lot of chocolate and not becoming a drunk! haha) So just a few more days in March, then April, with all its glory can begin! Gary Sinise and the Lt Dan Band, the Shrine Circus, unit Easter party, R&R, and Keirnan's birthday party! Busy, busy, so off to feed a kiddo and then to bed I go!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My little boy isn't so little!

Today was one of those days where it was made painfully obvious that my baby is growing up! Keirnan has been using a fork for awhile now, but he normally has difficulties and gives up no more than half way through his meal. Today, he used his fork for his entire meal! And he did so well with it! It was like it finally clicked for him!

On top of that, he said please for his fork, and after I gave it to him, he said thank you! He has been saying please for some time now, but usually needs prompting for it. We have only been working on thank you for a couple days- a week max! So, to get both in one sitting was such a great moment for me!

I have been starting to plan his birthday party. We will be having it a few weeks early so it coincides with Will's R&R! He absolutely loves Disney Channel's show Chuggington, so that is our theme! I ordered the invitations from Etsy.com and they are so cute! They are personalized boarding passes! They don't make Chuggington themed party supplies yet, so I am having to get crafty! ha ha that is funny! Will is the artsy member of the family, not me! So, this will be interesting to say the least! I have found the blog of someone who did a Chuggington themed party a year or so ago and am using some of her ideas. I will of course update as I start to pull things together!

This is me!

I guess an introduction and some background is in order!

I grew up as an only child in the Tampa Bay area. I had 2 loving parents who always pushed me to achieve my dreams. To that end, I went to Space Camp/ Academy every summer for 7 years. I was a typical teenage female is that by my senior year of high school I was a beast to say the least. I won't say high school was all bad, but I remember the bad much more than the good 10 years later. Needless to say, I won't be going to my reunion this summer! I still have a few friends I keep in contact with, but being from a small town, they are the friends I grew up with!

I went to college on an Army ROTC scholarship at Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University. I always wanted to be an officer and a pilot. I was at ERAU on Sept. 11, 2001. The following days I slept in various friends' rooms or they in mine as we had bomb threat after bomb threat. Of course, what do you expect when the news reports that one of the hijackers went to our school, and we had a decent sized international student body! But, we stuck together as a school in a pretty amazing way and the news finally got it right- one of the killed pilots was from Riddle, not a terrorist! College was amazing from me. There was plenty of bad, but mainly good.

I got married at the end of my sophomore year. This made me, not unique, but different than most of my friends, especially since my new husband deployed days after our wedding. Not uncommon for a military family! Will and I met while I was in my senior year of high school. The summer after my graduation we became very good friends very quickly. Neither of us saw it becoming anything because 1. he was a recruiter, and 2. he is 12 years older than I am! But, it happened, and quickly!

The first 3 years we were married, Will and I lived apart. The total time together was just over 5 months, spread throughout that time. Even for a military family, that is relatively unique. Its the sort of marriage a duel military family leads. The Army said he had to be in one place, while they said I had to be in another. Usually, they try to put soldiers together or as close as possible, but its not always possible. In our case, I was a contracted cadet, and we had no other option.

My graduation from college was very bittersweet because I wasn't getting my commission also. But, I thought it was just a year off. After my knee scope and 'fixing' there wasn't enough change for the Army to keep me. So, I was medically discharged. This put me in a unique position as an Army wife. I have the training of a soldier, but not the experience. Not unlike my actual schooling. Due to ROTC training, I never did an internship, so getting a job in my degree field went right out the window.

After I was discharged, I moved to Germany to live with my husband finally! It was an amazing experience. I decided to start on my Master's degree since I would need the extra schooling to offset the lack of experience! I also started working at the base education center as the test examiner. It was a great job for me. And one that I would really like to do again. We did so much travelling while there also! It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience! While there, we picked up our first dependant- a chocolate lab we named Cocco!

A year and a half after getting there, we left Germany for Ft. Lewis, WA. We had started trying to get pregnant while in Germany with no success. That continued in Washington, to the point where the Dr. said I would need a procedure to get pregnant. Low and behold, a few months later I got pregnant with no help! Keirnan was born on May 10, 2009, our 6th wedding anniversary! I got pregnant again when Keirnan was 9 months old! While in Washington, we picked up another chocolate lab. This pup we named Ditto!

This past summer we moved again, here to Ft. Riley, KS. And James was born on post on November 13, 2010. Will deployed 3 weeks later.

That brings us to now. Keirnan is 22 months old, James is 4 months old, and we are 4 months into our deployment.

To blog, or not to blog...

Well, I have tried countless times throughout my life to keep a journal or blog. So far, it hasn't stuck! I am hoping this time will be different. The reasons are more important to me now. Before it was always so I had a place to vent, but now I have come to realize pregnancy brain sticks even after you have your kids. There are so many daily occurrences I want to remember, but won't! Case in point- today Keirnan not only said please, but also thank you, without being prompted! He is 22 months old and to me that is a major accomplishment! So, we will try this again, and hope it will stick!