Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Becos and Baskets

AKA- My 'crunchy' mom side!

In January I decided to invest in a Beco Baby Carrier. Oh what a wonderful thing it is too!! I had been a great fan of the Moby wrap ever since a friend let me borrow hers when Keirnan was a baby, but I had never been fond of it for the boys when they got bigger. So, I finally found a carrier that is easy to use and comfy for both me and baby! Owen loves the Beco as much as I do!

So, after a bit of research and hearing great praises from a couple friends I decided on the Gemini. I even got black so Will would consider wearing Owen also. I still haven't gotten him to yet, though we'll say its do to lack of opportunity! This was the best investment into baby wearing I've ever made, totally worth the money!
I love how easy it is to throw on and adjust. Though I'm a bit small so if I don't have the around the waist part tight enough, that is a bit difficult to pull tighter. I also like that I can cross the straps over my back and its a front and back carrier as well as having the ability to shorten the area between baby's legs/ under his butt for while he is still smaller! So, there is my plug for my Beco.

The other thing I started doing the past month or two is Bountiful Basket. Its a food co-op that is nationwide and a friend in Colorado has been telling me about it for a year now. Well, I finally remembered at the right time of the month and got in on it. $15 gets me a basket of about 50% fruits and 50% veggies. I don't get to pick what comes in my basket, so its like Christmas with food every 2 weeks! Its really opened up my eyes and is forcing me out of my food comfort zone. (Considering I don't really eat veggies, this is major!!)

This last week's basket had a bunch of bananas, apples and clementines, (no problem getting rid of those in this house) as well as a pack of mushrooms, a pineapple, a few avocados and a huge amount of peppers. So, tonight once Will gets home I'll be making some guacamole and some jalapeno hot sauce! Oh, there was a bunch of spinach in there also. I added some into our salads the other night and made my first 'green' smoothie yesterday. All a success, and the boys and I downed that smoothie so fast!

Finally, a friend made her baby homemade baby food and it sounded so easy. I figured I'd try it also. It was very easy, but Owen wasn't impressed. I don't have the right stuff to store it all so, a lot ended up going to waste. Thank goodness it was cheap and I had a coupon! (But then, that was part of why I picked those foods for a first try!) So, before I attempt it again, I need to get some containers to store/freeze it all and wait until Owen is eating more that a tablespoon or two at a time! In the meantime, I had a coupon from Gerber, so that will do for now! Hey, nobody is perfect!!

Friday, April 5, 2013


I haven't posted much the past couple months and what I have has been pretty inconsequential. The reason for this is so much has happened that has really thrown us off. I'll start at the very beginning, after all its a very good place to start. For the privacy of the families, I am not giving full names, if any. This is what this past few months looked like through my eyes, my personal recollections of a difficult time for my family and people I've come to care deeply about. I have left a lot out either because it doesn't factor into my feelings and thoughts, or because I won't 'stir up trouble.'

We came to Ft. Riley in June of 2010. Will's unit deployed that Fall and came home a year later. While deployed, Will took the job of Platoon Sergeant. Since then he has had many guys come and go. There are a handful still here who deployed with him, but even the 'new' guys aren't really very new. These guys are tight, close friends. Will is the platoon 'Dad.'

When it comes to his job, my husband has one fault. (If you'd call it that.) He simply cares too much. He has come to care for his soldiers and their families. Last summer one of his guys got into some trouble and he was so upset (not mad) that the guy didn't feel he could come to Will for help. That's how he is, its how we are. I am not the typical NCO wife either, I care also. I try to stay out of my husband's career- its his, not mine. But this is our life, and I am a part of that. When Will talks about his guys, I listen and through his stories (good and bad) I get to know the guys. I am always telling the guys that I would rather the phone ring at 2am because they need a ride home from the bar than because they didn't think they needed one and got into trouble, or worse. Some of the guys believe me, probably more after it was tested and they found the worst they get from either of us is a good teasing! Some of the guys I know better than others. Some I know their name and some of their antics, but wouldn't know them on sight. Some I know on sight, but for the life of me can never place the name to their face! I have been one of the co-FRG Leaders since last summer, and have met many of the wives. (I can usually place the families to the guys.) We are a family.

The guys went to NTC in February. They were barely halfway through the month when there was an accident. We got an email through the FRG saying a soldier had been injured. After 10 years as an Army wife, I told myself the practical- if it had been my husband, I would know by now. I also talked myself into believing it wasn't anyone we knew, it had to be from a different troop. The next day proved to be very long. I heard from one of the wives saying it was on facebook that it was one of Will's guys and that he had died. I almost immediately heard the same from another wife. I assured both wives that we would have heard if he had died and it had not been put out who the soldier was.

Part of taking the FRG leader position is taking a training class that discusses how to handle these events- the dreaded rumors. I immediately called up the FRG chain and, somewhat shaky, asked what was going on and why was there anything on Facebook. After a lot of run around it was confirmed the next morning, my husband had lost one of his soldiers, one of his boys. I was heartbroken.

Will has served for 22 years, been through multiple deployments and never lost anyone. I guess looking at the odds, it had to happen. It was painful. The guys still had over a week in 'the box' with no phones. How is my husband doing, how are the guys doing? Who is there for them when they don't have their wives to stand behind them? And the obvious, what happened? I spent a lot of time on the phone and on the computer with many of the wives. We pulled together. The ladies were amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better group of ladies. Any rumors picked up were immediately sent to us to handle. They didn't freak out, they accepted that we were telling the truth and didn't know anymore than we were telling them. (From some of the other FRGs I think that wasn't the case with their wives.) It didn't hit close to home, it hit us straight through the heart.

In the middle of dealing with the loss of one of our own, we were hit with a second. Another one of the guys lost his newborn son. The guys couldn't even be there for their 'brother.' They were still out of touch with home. So my co-FRG leader and I went into double time, what can we do to support this family also. (There wasn't much we could do for them as they were out of state.) How do you deal with so much loss in so short of a time? Well, for me- you don't.

I got sick, that nebulous overall, just not feeling right sick. I went to the doctor and while he had me get a blood panel done, he didn't do well hiding that he thought I might be depressed. I'm not suicidal and I don't hate my life, how am I depressed? Maybe I was, one night a few weeks ago I yelled at Will as I have only one other time in our marriage. After we'd calmed down, we talked. And Will asked me a question I hadn't even asked myself. How was I handling it all? I broke down and got it all out. Maybe I was depressed. A day or two later I had a follow up with the Dr and by then I was already starting to feel better again. Nothing else changed, I just uncorked a very shaken bottle.

After the guys got home from NTC, a good portion of the troop flew out to Bobby's funeral. His family paid for them to go out there for a couple days to morn his loss and celebrate his life. Being guys, of course I got nominated to call the family contact and get their flight information. (And how can I not think of these guys as my family!?) I made a new friend that day. I will be forever grateful to his family for doing that, for understanding that the guys needed to say goodbye also.

When they came back the entire troop threw themselves into preparing for his memorial service here, I did too. (How could I not.) When Bobby's family got here, we wanted to make sure they were well taken care of. Sitting with the guys at the memorial was heart wrenching. I just wanted to take their pain away. After the service I got to meet Bobby's family. They were amazing and it was such an honor to meet and get to know each of them those couple days.

So, today as I write this Will is out with the guys. Monday he moves on to a new job. Its the way of the Army. I'd say we're closing this chapter, but as long as we're still in Kansas I don't think this part of our life will truly close. I'll close this out with a song that is hauntingly accurate in how we remember those we've lost. We each have that one special thing that helps us get through the hard times. Lee Brice, I Drive Your Truck.