Tag Archives: army

Welcome to the Army (and Motherhood)

18 Nov

Every time I sit down to write, Baby K starts his wailin’. I think he hates my blog. Or productivity, as my school work has come to a complete hault.

It’s okay, though because now I know I’m not a completely terrible parent. Doc says he’s got a touch of colic. Without going into too much detail about K’s eating habits (you’re welcome, Dave), I will say that he is eating way too fast and it’s causing the spit up, gas pains, and the like. I’m going to start working on different techniques, but honestly…

I didn’t come here to talk about my son today. I’m exhausted. Drained. Emotional. Drained. Drained. Drained.

Hubby is back from a stint in the field (finally) but it matters very little because he is working on his Master’s, too so when he comes home he has to do that. My relief comes when I get Baby K to sleep at night. I love my little man so much but he is quite needy (my sweet little id) and after doing this by myself a lot lately, I need a break. I need to go some place I won’t be summoned by screaming cries. I need to put on makeup and feel pretty again. I need to enjoy a meal instead of just scarfing something down while bouncing the baby on my hip. Mama needs, too.

I knew this was going to be hard- raising a child. But never in my wildest dreams did I picture myself being a parent in a military family, away from family who could provide a break if need be. Today was just another day that I thought to myself again, “Welcome to the Army”. Everything seems to be harder here.

Home Sick Part 5,348

5 Nov

Thanks for all the encouragement on my last post. It means a lot 😉

Today was a fairly good day until the bottom dropped out a couple of hours ago. I don’t really want to talk about it. My head hurts, I’m frustrated, and exhausted so I’ll probably just go to bed or lay on the couch and half-heartedly cheer on Bama. Perhaps the source of my annoyance is J’s job. He’s in the field. I never enjoy when he leaves, but now I really don’t like it because I have no break from little man. Seriously, props to the single moms…I have no idea how you do this full time. I think the difference is that if you’re raising a child alone, you hopefully have a support system around you. I suppose I have that, too- with all of my TWO friends in the area. I’m so thankful for Jen and Melissa…seriously. I’d go nuts without someone to talk to.

I just really miss home when J leaves. I know he’s my home now, but when he is gone, no matter how short of a time, I long for Tennessee. My family is one of those Leave It To Beaver families. There’s no drama, everyone likes one another, and everyone lives within short driving distance to one another. Everyone except me. And tonight- that really sucks. Most days that really sucks. I miss them all so much.

I’ll quit complaining now. I AM thankful for Captain J’s job because it allows me to stay home with my sweet young un, but tonight I dream of the day he’s a civilian again because I can hear Rocky Top calling my name…

No Place Like Home

9 Oct

Hello, blog. It’s me again.

It’s late and I can’t sleep. My brain won’t stop. There’s too much on my mind. Too much to do. But all I want is to have my mom, or sister, or step-mom beside me to cry on talk to. They are all about 13 hours away so you will have to do. Don’t worry…you’ll get a shorter, edited version.

This Army life is hard, ya know? I am just not cut out for it. I was a mess during deployment- a shell of myself half the time, wondering around Walmart with my bestie with my computer and skype attached to my hip just in case. Who does that? I complained in Alaska because I was so far away from my family. It took money to get back in their neck of the woods, something we don’t really have that much of. Now, here we are…in Louisiana. Still, we’re a plane ticket away from family and I’m complaining yet again. Maybe I just thought I wanted adventure. Maybe my adventure was in raising this child, not moving from place to place. In the past year, we’ve lived in Alaska, Georgia, and Louisiana. One year. Three homes. I’m tired.

If only I had a pair of these to click together:

In the Army Now

24 Aug

I guess it’s a high time I talked about this. Time to bring it all out into the open. Time to let you know what has been on my mind besides babies and books.

I should preface this by saying that my husband’s job with the Army was never a long-term, definite thing. I entered in to my relationship with him under the assumption that he would not be staying in any armed forces until retirement. We weren’t “lifers”, as the military community often refers to it.

Captain J did his duty, deployed to Iraq once back in 2008-2009 and made the decision that once was enough for him. Together, we decided that when the rest of his commitment was up (about 15 months from now), we would happily make our way back to Tennessee or some neighboring Southern state and start new jobs and add to our family.

To be fair, J has always had big dreams that change pretty frequently. I knew this about him. During deployment, we read this blog and fantasized about buying a sailboat and cruising around the Caribbean for a year or two before finally growing up, getting jobs, and starting a family. After he got back from Iraq, our desires seemed to shift. We knew we wanted a child so we started thinking that our boating/vagabond plans could wait until we retired. We then started imagining ourselves somewhere in a small town with lots of land, a small hobby farm, and a couple of kids running around. It has only been until very recently that these daydreams have started changing yet again.

Captain J came home from work one day and caught me completely by surprise saying, “How would you feel if I didn’t get out of the Army?”

Umm, excuse me? Had I just heard him correctly? ALL of our plans, varied as they may be, had one thing in common and that was freedom. No more looming deployments or time out in the field. No more being owned by the U.S. Army. I thought he was more than ready to be a civilian again. Heck, talk to him long enough about growing a beard and you could probably convince him to get out in a heartbeat!

I answered his question truthfully: ” I don’t know.”

I really don’t know. Here’s what I do know-

I know I want J to be happy. I don’t think he will be happy in a job around our home town. He feels led to do something different, but he isn’t sure the transition from Infantry Officer to civilian desk job would fulfill him at all. The pay cut we would experience would definitely be a bummer, too. I would likely have to go back to work immediately as opposed to enjoying my time with Baby K before he enters kindergarten (Yuck! He can’t grow up!). And we come to my only reservation about staying in…

Baby K.

I want him to know his family. Both of our parents live in the same area, the area that is nowhere near any Army post. I think the closest we got to them was during our brief stay at Ft. Benning. I’m afraid of not having their influence in his life. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family and I want him to feel that, too as he grows older (Again, can I make that NOT happen?).

Anyway, the decision is still up in the air, but J is leaning towards staying in the Army, at least for a bit longer. We have already discussed and submitted our wishes for our next duty station. There are some exciting options in the works, but who knows what will happen. He still has plenty of time to decide.

And I still have plenty of time to fret over this. I think I’ve been doing that since I met him. If you’re thinking of getting hitched to the military, you should probably go ahead and disregard all plans you may have made in your pretty little head. They’ll definitely change. But you know what? I’m happier than I’ve ever been. So, my Master’s degree was put on hold for a few years…so what? I’m working on it now. In the mean time, I’ve made some great friends along the way, been fortunate enough to see much of this great country of ours, and have become a stronger person directly due to some of the things I’ve faced because of my husband’s job in the Army. It won’t be so bad if he decides to stay in. It might just be another adventure.

I’m still at the beginning of the last adventure he asked of me, though! 😉 It looks a lot like this:

Here’s to adventure! May God’s plans for us be our plans, too.

little things

4 Aug

Little things make me smile. They have to.

It’s 105 degrees in these parts for most of the day (and my doctor is telling me to walk to induce! ha Easy for her to say.) and I rarely venture outside. I play with our k9 friends for a bit. I check the mail. If I’m feeling really frisky, I’ll walk down the short driveway and retrieve the trash cans. This is the extent of my leaving our nicely air conditioned casa.

This means I have to find happiness in the little things…

Like lime flavored popsicles:

And when my husband is preparing his helmet thing-a-majig for jumping out of airplanes while simultaneously eating said popsicle and being totally engrossed in one of the Harry Potter movies:

And random, odd text messages from my brother:

Yes, it’s the small stuff that gets me through my day.

Otherwise, I’d be going absolutely insane with contractions one hour-

and absolutely nothing the next.

Such a tease.

I hope this baby turns around soon. Back pain is for the birds.

What little things made you smile today?

(P.S. Captain J jumped out of an airplane today and lived. That made me smile, too. Don’t they know they shouldn’t let soon-to-be dads in warzones or throwing themselves out of airplanes? It’s just not kosher with Mama!)

hi, ho, hi, ho

23 Jun

Whew! The last few days have been interesting. The rest of our drive to Ft. Polk was terrifying. I know storms plagued most of us in the central and eastern states. It was no different for us. There were a couple of times I thought I was a goner. The storms came like curtains of rain. I would look out in front of me and see it waving around like the stage was being set and the curtains were about to close. I was sure it was the end of me.

But, then the skies parted and I realized I had at least a few more minutes left.

It continued to rain as we drove into LA. We hoped it wasn’t symbolic or anything.

As we began our search for housing, thus began the worry. The money that the Army allocates for housing off post here is inadequate, to say the least. The properties in our price range were pitiful. A ridiculous amount of money for rent was required for very dirty, very broken down houses in bad neighborhoods. It wasn’t looking good.

But I kept my happy face on (can’t say the same for my husband) and knew it would all work out. I’m sure J was wondering, “Who is this woman and what has she done with my wife?”

What can I say? I’m trying out this new glass half full thing and it looks good on me.

Anyway, I was almost prepared to get my cleaning boots on and deal with those icky houses that seemed like the norm around here. But J wasn’t having it. We decided we would spend a little more money so that we could be more comfortable and have a clean, safe place for Baby K to come home to.

We found a lovely home- 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a gigantic backyard for Drifter and Holly. It’s pretty awesome. The yard is about as big as the dog park back in Fairbanks that they loved so much. They’ll be happy there!

And I think we will be, too.

The downside?

Our furniture won’t be delivered until July 12th. Thanks, U.S. Army. Baby K and I really appreciate that. It’s back to the air mattress we go. Hi, ho, hi, ho.

(If you don’t hear from me, fear not. I might be without internet access for a few days.)

MCCC Graduation

17 Jun

Yesterday, was J’s big graduation day. He wasn’t so thrilled about having to break out his dress blues again (or having to graduate again), but I always enjoy seeing him in them! I didn’t get any good photos because I couldn’t figure out the correct setting for the little camera. Oh, well. Congrats to Captain J for making it through yet another Army school.

(He’s walking off the stage on the left at this point, but this was my best attempt at using a flash to my advantage.)

There you have it. TONS of excitement going on around here.

I’ll leave you with my favorite part of these ceremonies- The Army Song!

Note: I didn’t record them singing b/c I didn’t think of it fast enough, but here’s an equally exceptional group of guys singing it for ya! I love it. Ha!