March 29, 2010

Joy & Sorrow

Last weekend I went out for my birthday to a fantastic little restaurant with a handful of my favorite ladies but as excited as I was to go, as I was driving to dinner, I got a little teary-eyed. It seems like the happier I am and the more fun I'm having, I more that little part of my heart that's missing aches. There's something just unbearable about going out and having a great time but not being able to come home and tell Joshua about it. Don't get me wrong, it was EXACTLY what I needed-a night with yummy food and a hotel with no baby monitor. I'm blessed to have amazing friends and family who have supported me throughout this little adventure.

Today, we had a playdate at the zoo. Sadly, one of the moms who was planning on joining us wasn't able to make it because she is most likely having a miscarriage. She's scheduled to see her doctor tomorrow to know for sure but hearing her pain puts so many things into perspective. Running errands after the zoo with a fussy kid who wouldn't listen didn't have the same frustration it might have otherwise. If you can, please say a prayer for my friend (I'm not posting her name as many people didn't know she was pregnant).

When we got home, waiting in the mailbox was the much anticipated 1st letter from Joshua. He's never been much of a writer and the lack of sleep is pretty obvious from his letter but he sounds happy to be there, a bit lonely and definitely looking forward to doing more "fun" stuff but overall well. He says he only gets about 45 minutes a night of down time and it's not really down time because there are alot of things he has to get ready for the next day. In fact, the last third of the letter was written after he said they had turned out the lights.

I miss my husband and I mourn for my friend but I know he will be home soon and she will have peace and joy again.

March 26, 2010

TGI...F? Really? It's Friday, When Did That Happen?

My days seem to mush together now that the weekend really doesn't matter. The only thing that set today apart from yesterday or tomorrow was that I expected/hoped to get a letter from Joshua by now...I didn't so Benjamin and I ran to the bank, the library and then to Walmart to pick up some crackers...sadly, I left Walmart with $200 less than when I went in. I want to say "wow, I can't believe that happened" but the fact is, I medicate with shopping. I'm super thrifty normally, some (read: most people) may even say I'm cheap but when I'm upset I tend to let loose a bit and so I did today. I miss him and I've written a letter every day since I dropped him just sort of happened and now as my pile of letters for which I have no address gets higher and higher, I can't help but wonder if when I finally can send them, I should. I don't want him to be mocked for having the "stalker wife."

I'm sure his letter(s) will arrive and I will send all of mine, I just wish it would be sooner rather than later.

On a much happier note, I'm going out tomorrow night for my birthday with several of my favorite ladies at a fabulous restaurant downtown and then onto a hotel with a hot tub! My mom's coming down to spend the night with the boy and I plan to ditch the kid and enjoy every moment of it...I mean, once I can rip myself away from my precious child I will go to my bittersweet dinner without him (riiight). Considering that I'm a stay at home mom, we've used a babysitter less than a dozen times and the kid's almost two years old, I don't feel a single twinge of guilt.

March 24, 2010

Bubba & Murray

(sorry about the pic's from a phone camera)

Even with Joshua away, I'm still outnumber by boys three to one.

Our two 90 lb dogs, Balak, which roughly means destroyer in Hebrew and Murray, mostly named after the dog from Mad About You and because he just looked like a Murray are a handful without Joshua but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Despite his name, Balak is most often referred to as Bubba because "destroyer" really, really doesn't fit him. Although Bubba's a pure bred 90 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback, a breed also called "Lion Killers," a breed which was originally bred in Africa to protect farms and families from lions, a breed which only requires 3-4 dogs to keep a lion at bay and a breed which boasts that a single dog can take down an one told Bubba any of this. Don't get me wrong, he's really strong and even sometimes quite protective-especially when I was pregnant. However, the vast majority of the time, he prefers to sleep (completely under a blanket). It's my opinion that he's simply unaware that he is a dog. He won't chase a ball or a stick to save his life...he might chase another dog who's chasing a ball but only if he feels like it. He's also the same dog who in the summertime will absolutely refuse to get into the car if the A/C isn't on and the car cooled (let me tell you, getting a 90 lb dog into a car when he has all four limbs spread eagle is not easy). All that being said, when I was pregnant, I took the dogs to the local dog park to play when a German Shepard who was merely trying to be playful jumped up on me. No harm done but out of the corner of my eye I saw a brown blur running full speed from the other end of the park. Bubba jumped and grabbed the German Shepard by the neck mid air and had him pinned to the ground before most of the people or other dogs knew what was going on. He didn't hurt the other dog. Bubba just held him down but nonetheless, the other owner wasn't too pleased and we promptly left the park. 90% of the time Bubba is the most boring dog you could ever meet...he should be the "alpha" of our two dogs-he's older, bigger, stronger and we've had him longer but unless it has to do with his blanket or sleep in general, he's good with letting Murray be top dog. That said, don't mess with his blanket...the biggest scuffle I saw them get into wasn't over food or anything you might expect, Murray stood on Bubba's blanket which caused it to fall off his face and expose (gasp!) the sunlight to his face. He's a great dog, he just doesn't know it.

Then, there's Murray...he's special in a whole other way. Murray is a rescue dog. Not to go too far into it, Murray was severely beaten, starved and finally abandoned. Joshua, my loving, kind, very animal-friendly husband couldn't pick up a ball cap or clothes hanger for months after we adopted Murray. For the first 3 weeks, Joshua could barely walk into a room without Murray getting so scared he peed (that was unpleasant). When we picked him up, he weighed 21 lbs and he wouldn't leave my side. We were told he was some sort of "small" yellow lab mix and he wouldn't be more than 35 lbs unless we overfed him. Yeah...they were wrong. Within a very short amount of time, Murray surpassed the 35 lb mark, his tail started to curl and his fur got fluffy...we now assume our 85 lb Murray is an Alaskan Husky/Yellow Lab mix (I guess they got the yellow lab part right). Murray still has some issues from his past...we can't raise our voices too much or rush him and he is NOT stranger friendly so we had concerns that when our son was born, Murray would have to find another family. Wow, were we wrong. From the moment our son came home, he had a best friend. The first time I realized how much Murray loved Benjamin, he was 3 weeks old and taking a nap in his crib. We co-slept at night so most of the time his crib was used for holding clean laundry when I didn't have the chance to put it away. This particular day, there was a small pile of clothes on one side and Benjamin slept on the other (the crib seemed so big then). I went to fix myself a snack and left Benjamin's door open as the monitor wasn't yet set up in his room. I heard a noise that was too soft to be a cry but not something I had ever heard before so I went to investigate and when I got to Benjamin's room, I found Murray laying on the pile of clothes next to my precious boy still fast asleep. The sound I had heard was Murray jumping into the crib. Not wanting to wake the baby but furious, terrified of what could have happened and totally surprised that Murray would even do it, I yelled (as much as one can yell while whispering) at Murray to get out. It was the first but certainly not the last time I would find Murray in the crib. For the next several months, if Benjamin was in his crib, his door was shut, whenever I would go in to get him, Murray was right there with me, often jumping into the crib. To this day, every morning Murray greets Benjamin and Benjamin loves it. Not only does Murray let Benjamin yell, pinch, poke, and rush at him, he really seems to enjoy it. The dog that was mine, who "put up" with my husband because he loved me has a new love and I don't blame him one bit.

March 23, 2010

An Almost Perfect Day

It's my birthday, yay. My son not only didn't have any nightmares last night (something he's been struggling with since Joshua went left for BCT) but he also slept in a bit.

The weather was perfect-mid 70's and not too windy so we bagged our lunches and walked to the park. When we got home, we both took a nap and woke up with enough daylight left to play with the dogs in the was adorable...he just had shorts on and just ran around chasing the dogs with a sippy cup of milk in one hand and a stick in the other.

Thanks to everyone for all the kind birthday was a great day (just shy of perfect with Joshua gone).

March 22, 2010

Yay for 10 second phone calls!

Yup, got another 10 second phone call today...just long enough for him to call me sweetheart, wish me a happy birthday (tomorrow) and let me know that he's good and should be able to call again in 2-3 weeks. The best part was his tone...the last call I had he didn't sounds like himself but this one was much better.

Ok, now the tears are coming...seems joy comes first and then tears...some happy to have had those 10 seconds, some sad because it was just 10 seconds.

March 21, 2010


Well, it's Sunday and despite my best efforts, I'm desperately hoping my husband will be able to call. It's only day 7 of BCT so it's fairly unlikely that his unit will have earned phone privileges yet but from everything I've heard, Sunday would be the day...I'm pathetic really-I have my phone essentially glued to my hand and both extra batteries are fully charged. On our last 2 minute call, Joshua told me that he should have the mailing address Monday (tomorrow) but without a phone call, I won't know what the address is until he sends me something.

There's so many logistical things I'm curious about...our new health coverage...DEERS I need to get my ID card and then there's the home front logistics like what I need to tell the mechanic (aka his buddy) about the Suburban's hatch window but mostly I just want to know how he's he adapting the food any good and let him know how we are. And the fun stuff, how the boy has started climbing in and out of his own highchair even at it's highest point and gets annoyed if I try to help (not my child, not at all, lol) and how he's finally loving the snow, although he doesn't pronounce the "s" so there have been a couple misunderstandings.

So this is me hoping he can call, when I probably shouldn't.

March 20, 2010

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Snow For The Weekend!

Well, it's nearly 9am and my beautiful baby boy is still sleeping (I LOVE that child!). God knew what He was doing when He gave me a kid who also isn't much of a morning person. The hour I get in the morning to read, watch something I DVR'd a week ago or hop online and see what my friends are up to is often my favorite part of the day. Today, it's even more appreciated than most days...yesterday which I previously, erroneously, prematurely labeled as OK didn't end so well but I'll get back to that later.

Just for those who don't live in Oklahoma, we don't get snow (real snow) very often...we do get slush that falls every year and those of us who are not natural-born Okies laugh at some of the locals as they FREAK out. Well, this year's been a bit different. We've had real snow and actually quite a bit of it. The last week has been beautiful...the kind of weather you go outside in jeans and a t-shirt and play "catch me if you can" until the toddler collapses of exhaustion but alas our meteorologists who have all been predicting a blizzard this weekend (in Oklahoma we don't have weathermen, we have meteorologists who all went to the the best meteorology school in the world, the University of Oklahoma-BOOMER SOONER, ok I'm biased, I went there but it really is the best...we have pretty much every weather situation known to land-locked mankind). Of course, alot of people will dismiss our meteorologists predictions but that's most likely because they've never lived somewhere with "weathermen." We have. It was unpleasant. In Oklahoma, when we get a tornado, we're warned mile by mile what's safe and often they break it down to the street level. When my husband was in college and we had to move 750 miles away, the "weathermen" weren't quite so accurate despite the fact that the city we lived in could trump every city in Oklahoma by two fold easily. There was a tornado warning, there was a tornado...unfortunately, the warning and the tornado were about 40 miles apart.

Tangents aside, we knew a blizzard was coming so I loaded the boy up and we headed to Walmart for milk and bread (I normally like to bake my own but sadly, this week hasn't allowed that to happen). There was the typical mayhem before a storm but additionally there were unruly teenagers everywhere waiting for midnight so they could purchase New Moon. I'm a fan of the movie and I admit I went to the midnight showing but I just have to say, if my child EVER behaves like some of those children behaved, his world will end. I'm talking he'll have 3 meals a day, a mattress and maybe a sheet on his bed but not much beyond that. After fighting the crowds and saving my son from being trampled by teenage hooligans who I'm certain were doing some sort of primitive mating ritual, we loaded up the Suburban (yes, I have one child and a suburban...the 90 lb dogs have a little to do with it but mostly I like them). When we got home, I got the boy inside and went back to open the back window...not sure why I didn't just open the hatch but I didn't and when I opened the broke. Not the glass, just the hydraulic arm things that hold it open (btw, "hydraulic arm things" is the most scientifically accurate term). I should mention this has happened once before and my loving husband fixed it in less than 5 minutes...sadly, I'm not so skilled. One side was off and the other side's hydraulic arm thingy wouldn't close so as much as I really just wanted to lay it on the open whole, forget it and go inside, I couldn't. After about 20 minutes of crying and pulling and really not doing much of anything, I think I broke the other side. I'm not really sure but I was able to lay it in the hole and it seems pretty secure...the thing is, in Oklahoma we have really strong winds and as my home and garage were built in 1948, my lovely Suburban must live under our carport. Every couple of hours I would go out and check to make sure the wind hadn't pulled it off and shattered it. I was able to eventually get ahold of two of my husbands friends and it looks like I am going to take it into the shop on Monday which just means that I'm stuck at home for the weekend (probably would have been anyway with the snow...predictions of 6-12 inches is pretty severe for our neck of the woods).

On a positive note, last night was the first night since Joshua left for BCT that our son didn't have a nightmare...I think we may be finally adjusting to our new (temporary) life without him. It's still so strange to have your heart living somewhere else and having NO contact. I'm hopeful he'll get a mailing address soon and maybe even earn some phone privileges. Meanwhile, we have snow to play in!

March 19, 2010

My (New) Life

I never pictured myself married to the military in any way shape or form but here we are...Day 5 of my husband's BCT...I'm starting to get some of the lingo down but I still have to ask now and then.

My husband started telling me he wanted to join the military a little over a year ago...we had a 6 month old son and were looking to buy our first home at the time. I was less than pleased at the idea but with time and prayer, I came to the conclussion that it would be hypocritical of me to follow whatever dreams I had and not "allow" my husband to to the same. He did compromise and joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard so that we wouldn't have to constantly be moving.

I don't think it even dawned on me that I would be a military wife until about a week after he swore in...I guess because it's the Guard and on the outside looks like very little has changed, I had the same attitude but that all changed the night when a friend asked me if my husband was going to join "the real military." My husband's MOS is 21B...a combat engineer and it looks at least for now, that he "may" deploy very soon. In the meantime, he'll be at BCT and AIT for the next 14-21 weeks (still not clear on that one); I don't know how much more real it gets.

A friend recommended starting a blog...I was uncertain (not such a fabulous writer...sorry, I'm sure there's tons of spelling and grammatical errors) but I live in a town of 3,000...a town where I don't even know more than a handful of those 3,000. Real civilization (along with most of my friends) is about an hour away and I'm going to go crazy without some form of adult communication.

So I guess here's my reader's digest update: today was ok; yesterday sucked; tomorrow it's supposed to snow.