You know, the rock I’ve been seemingly living under for the last three months? Yeah. Well I forget that twitter is not my blog and I have readers who regularly check my blog for new posts, not knowing (because they’re not twitterers) that I blab so much via twitter or Facebook.
A bit of an update is required, right?
Stephen came home nearly four weeks ago and spent exactly two weeks at home,
driving me insane, before starting his new job, a job he loves very much. He gets to weld and build things like ramps and repair industrial vacuums and other things that boys tinker with. It’s great for him, because I think the kids started driving him a bit crazy after a few days of being home with them 24/7.
Really, it’s been an adjustment period for us ALL. Just the other day, I set the alarm on my iPod Touch to wake us up to the “Alarm” sound. Those of you who have iPod Touches or iPhones probably know what sound I’m talking about, right? Well, imagine my shock when, at 5:45, that particular alarm sounds and launches my husband off the bed. In Iraq, that sound is what they play to warn of incoming mortars. YEAH. Wife of the Year!
In some ways I’m surprised how well we’re doing now that Stephen is working again. It’s weird for him, after spending a year sharing a room with another dude and being responsible for himself, his soldiers and his HEMTT wrecker. No kids to play with, diaper, feed, bathe. No wife to tend to, no womanly feet to massage…you get what I’m saying, right? Stephen was, every day, in a situation where he needed to constantly be on alert, looking at the sides of the road for danger, aiming a M240 at suspicious vehicles as a way to intimidate them to back off. And the next week, he’s in charge of wiping thick white Desitin on a baby’s bottom? Basically a whole different world. But he’s doing really, really great. Fingers crossed!
The boys are loving having daddy home. Looooooving. Roman said his first word tonight (he’s a late talker, obviously) and it was…(dun dun dunnn)…DADA. Thanks, kid.
Let’s be honest. We are ALL loving having him home with us again.
If you want to skip to where Stephen actually starts walking to us, it’s about 2:30 in. The video is lengthy and the last minute or so is kind of awkward; we’re all just…standing around. We had a pretty large group who were taking photos, so we had to sort of stand there.
My brother-in-law is the one holding the camera (and giving a little attitude to everyone else, ha!). You can hear Dublin saying “da-da-da” when Stephen is walking to the building. And, I hate the way my voice sounds on video! AH!
I’m pretty lame, y’all. I mean, I ask for your advice. You all deliver amazing recommendations. And then? I fall off the earth for nearly FOUR MONTHS. I think that’s when most people commit blog suicide. But I’m back! Or, rather, my blog is.
I forget that the world doesn’t revolve around me sometimes and that a lot of my loyal readers don’t follow me on twitter (do NOT blame you there, friends!), so I’m going to do a quick recap here, before I throw up a ton of “My husband came home from Iraq for two weeks and it was UH-MAZING!!!!!!!!!” posts, packed with photos and video.
So, to catch you up to speed:
- My husband came home, as just mentioned! For two weeks! It was pretty spectacular. Dublin couldn’t let Daddy out of his sight for the entire two weeks, even going so far as to sob (violently) whenever Stephen walked out the door, even for a moment. Post about those two weeks coming soon. I pinky swear.
- Backing up a LOT, I went to Virginia for two weeks to visit my best friend, Sona. We had an awesome, awesome time, right up until Roman had a horrifying apnea episode, landing us in the ER for eight hours. He’s okay, now, thankfully, but let me just say, seeing your child’s lips turn blue is the scariest thing EVER.
- I started school. I’m getting my certificate as a pharmacy technician and wow, you guys? Medicine is kind of intense. I’m sitting here with my Mosby’s Dictionary and Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians workbook and it’s hitting me that I kind of need to do actual math. Which I haven’t done in…seven years. Setting myself up for success, AM I RIGHT?
- Dublin, at 25 months, weighs 35lbs and is 37 inches long. That’s a big baby, you guys. And his pediatrician measured his head three times, finally admitting that his head circumference is 100th percentile. She doesn’t know any other child in her practice with that large of a head, for his age. WHAT?
- Roman was 4th percentile when he was born (six weeks early), but now? He’s nearly 80th for weight, 90th for height. That’s nuts! His head, like his brother’s, is also ridiculously large (99th percentile).
- What does this all mean? It means I am definitely done birthing children, because I did it twice, with no pain meds (on accident! I wanted them!), and large heads are not something I look forward to pushing out again.
- I recently sold a few photos to the National Geographic! A company that produces documentaries for the NG found some photos in my flickr stream they wanted, so they contacted me for use of the photos in print and in their video. I’m excited!
- This deployment is nearing its end. We have less than three months left in this, and I know we can do it, but damn, it is HARD. Saying goodbye to my husband again on Wednesday was difficult, and I’m still struggling. This isn’t my husband’s first deployment, but compared to his last one, this is definitely much more difficult on him. His last deployment (18 months in Iraq, 2005-2006), he was essentially single. Iraq was a scarier place then, and that deployment really affected him, changed him. But going back, as a husband and father, has definitely taken its toll on him. My husband is far from an emotional man, but I could see the feeling in his eyes, sense his agitation at having to return to Iraq. It made it harder, at the airport, knowing I was sending him to a place he hates.
- I don’t drink coffee, never have. But every morning lately has me craving for something delicious and caffeinated. I’m too impatient to wait for tea to steep and hot cocoa costs me too many WW points. What to do?!
Anyway, that’s what’s up with me, in a nutshell. I’m hoping to upload our homecoming video to youtube to post here shortly, and to blog all about those two glorious weeks. For now, I have four weeks of school to catch up on. See what I mean about my success with school?!
I know I’ve been absent since my pregnancy announcement and Q&A posts. Truth? While I’ve been busy, I’ve also been preoccupied.
Steve is gone for his AT (Annual Training). You know those National Guard commercials you hear: “one weekend a month, two weeks a year.” This is his “two weeks” that somehow transformed into three weeks as soon as he arrived to his training locale. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’re up to speed on the fact that he has NO cell signal, so I’ve had a cumulative 3 minutes on the phone with him in the last week (from borrowing friends’ phones). It’s been difficult for me, as my tweets show, because we had plans for that third week. Plans HERE, not 7 hours away. And I’ve had to scrap them. I thought we had two weeks together left, but now it’s down to one week (including his training days in town).
During the day, I’m fine. I play with Dublin on the floor or lay in bed (bed rest! woooo!) and feel fine about not hearing from Steve. But then every night, as Dublin prepares for bed and I’m faced with the loneliness that is night and my bed without my husband, I lose it. It’s hitting me that we have a week left together until October/November 2011 and I don’t know how I’m going to handle it.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all the texts, phone calls, emails, twitter mentions, comments on this here blog. It’s meant so much that you all believe in me.
I know the worst is still to come, when I give my husband his last hug and kiss until next fall. But it’s reassuring that I have this space to vent and have people that actually come here, listen and care about my family. Thank you all for bearing with me.
Yes, that’s right. I’m still lacking in content, but I wanted to throw SOMETHING up here already. Besides, it’s a snow day (no work, YES!) and I need to at least attempt productivity.
1. So, snow. We have had snow EVERY SINGLE DAY of April. Yes, you heard me. We decided to look on the bright side and bring Dublin out, for his first experience in the snow:
3. We went out to a few bars with some of Steve’s Army buddies and their wives. Steve, when drunk, is like a dance machine, pulling everyone out onto the floor. If you’re lucky, he’ll even give you a lap dance (this is one of his MALE Army buddies) (also: when I’m drunk, I lose all coordination, as you can see in the way this photo was cropped):
4. A couple weeks ago, I took Dublin’s Easter photos. It was his first experience on grass (that should explain how long this winter has been) and he basically was the easiest baby EVER to photograph:
7. Steve is leaving again, which is fine, for a few more weeks, and then he’s gone most of May (missing Dublin’s first birthday – WAHHHHHH). It looks like we’ll be seeing less and less of him for the next four months before deployment. I’m strangely getting used to it. But I can’t pretend it doesn’t get lonely.
8. We finished LOST, Dexter, True Blood and The Office and are in desperate need of a new series to watch. Any recommendations?
1. I was blown away by the support I received on last week’s post. Thank you all, for your support, through the emails or comments you left me. It’s embarrassing to admit it got so bad, that I actually have reached 200 pounds, even. But it feels so wonderful to have such supportive readers. I’m feeling the urge to put a smiley face at the end of that last sentence, but I will RESIST. MUST RESIST!
2. Steve had Fri-Tuesday off from work as he transitions to the 12-hour shifts at work. This means he works four days from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. this month with four days off, then four days of the same, four days off, etc. His work, however, is a two hour bus drive away, so he will be leaving at 5 a.m. and not returning home until 9 p.m. Next month, the same thing except he’s doing the night 12-hour shift (7 p.m. – 7 a.m.). Basically, he’ll be a ghost. He works Halloween day, Thanksgiving night and Christmas day. Ick.
3. He still has not been assigned a unit for National Guard, so we’re going on 3 months of make-ups he’ll have to do. Plus the two-week jaunt he missed when we moved. To add to this, he’s applying for a Special Forces unit, another state away. I really won’t see him once he starts up Guards again, which kind of sucks because I’m pretty isolated at home during the day. That’s what the Internet is for, though, right?
4. Weight Watchers is going well. The thing about dieting for me is that I didn’t want to diet for the sake of losing weight over a stated period of time. I wanted to diet in a way that I could continue these habits for life, so I don’t end up back where I started. I don’t want to deprive myself of the things I like to eat. For example, I’m still having steak, pasta, etc, but I’m doing it in much smaller portions. I think this makes it easier for me, because then I don’t beat myself up over enjoying a cookie, as long as I stop at one.
5. Steve and I are SLOWLY turning our new place into a home. When we moved from Vermont, we decided to start fresh, whereby we got rid of everything we owned, except clothing, my computer, a tv and Dublin’s pack-n-play. It’s amazing, when you start over, all the little things you find you need. For example, spices. Spices are expensive when you have to rebuild your spice cabinet! And little utensils, like whisks. Or a can opener. Tubberware, ice cube trays, muffin pans, pillows, chairs, tables, lamps, towels…it adds up so quickly. We made a trip to Target to pick up a few things with a gift card and came across this rug. The 5′x8′ size had a tag of $24.99, even though all the other rugs in the same size were $99.99. I knew that it was too good to pass up, and it was exactly what I wanted (squares, with a lot of coordinating colors). When the cashier scanned it, however, it came up as $99.99, OF COURSE. I wasn’t up for spending that much money, so I almost passed on it, before the cashier sent someone for a price check. A few minutes later, someone garbled over the radio “the customers are correct, we marked it wrong, give it to them for the $24.99. We’re fixing the price tag now.” DUDES. You should have seen my face. What a steal!
6. Dublin FINALLY rolled over last week, which was a big deal in our house. The kid is in the 95th percentile for weight for his age, and he had a lot of trouble doing the mini-pushup (that’s a lot of weight to support for a little guy) so when he finally succeeded, a month late, it was a joyous occasion. And now, rolling over! I can hardly contain myself.
7. After a year of not reading due to time constraints, I now am reading a TON. I finished the four Twilight books in four days and have devoured another 5 novels by various authors since. I could use some suggestions. I’m open to pretty much anything. My favorite book (or books, I should say) is actually The Once and Future King. I finished The Time Traveler’s Wife a few months ago, and I like books of that genre too. So tell me, what should I be reading? It doesn’t need to be a recent release, as long as I can find it on Amazon or eBay! Thanks in advance, peeps!
I was going through some of the media equipment we brought with us from Vermont and I found a lost little memory card. I put the card into my computer and saw TONS of photos from Stephen’s 2006-2007 deployment to Iraq. And, for the sake of not having anything creative to say, I’m posting them here, with small captions. Click through to see them all.
If you want to see the rest of the set, go here.