How can you SAY that?

What a day it’s been. First off, I have to tell you all that I failed at my latest attempt to quit smoking. Yeah, yeah, bad me, but that’s not what this post is about. This is about my complete and total frustration with the situation I am in with my mother in law.

She is very demanding, she keeps track of when she sees the kids and will hold it against me during each and every phone call, which is why I sometimes (accidentally) don’t get to the phone in time to answer before voice mail picks up. Ooops!
We are busy, with three boys, sleepovers, school projects, dentists, orthodontists, nursing school, etc. it leaves very little spare time. Yet she doesn’t understand why I can’t spend a day driving the kids out to her house on the weekends! I have offered to have her come over for dinner, explaining that her coming to our house is much easier to arrange then an outing to a museum two hours away. Her reasoning for not wanting to come to our house is because we live on a mountain and the “curves are quite scary” and she’s too nervous to make the drive up here more than once in a while. This is why she makes me meet her in the grocery store parking lot (at the bottom of the hill) anytime she wants to “give” me something such as a newspaper clipping or a box of sugar cookies for the kids.  She complains to my husband every chance she has and tells him that she hopes “he can straighten things out” when he gets home, meaning bring the boys to see her.

The boys don’t want to go to her house any more than I want to drive out there because she has difficulty dealing with all of them at once. She only had one child and has no idea how to handle three brothers who can a bit rowdy sometimes.
OK, so here’s what happened. Last night I had to go to class. C babysits his brothers; he is very good about it and he thinks he is completely in charge. What he doesn’t know is that my brother (who lives 2 minutes down the road) is pretty much “on call” and will do drive by’s or drop in’s periodically just to make sure things are going smoothly.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the mother in law taking advantage of my school schedule to call and harass the kids.

When I got home last night I got an earful from Z and B. They told me how she repeatedly asked them who they liked better her or their other grandmother.

Which of their brothers were their favorites.

Which uncle bought them the most gifts.

And last but not least; who they loved more, me or DH!

Yeah! I couldn’t believe it either. Who DOES that?

The boys refused to answer and apparently my 9 y/o told her that they were “inappropriate questions” and he “doesn’t have a favorite because we are all family”. So mature, I’m so proud of him.

After this conversation I went looking for C and found him asleep in his room. Strange! This kid NEVER goes to bed early. I figured maybe he didn’t feel well and let him sleep.

Today I find out that he was really upset by the conversation that he had with his grandmother and was so worried about the idea that he was disappointing his father and that when he came home he was going to force him to spend weekends with her; that he went to bed early. That’s really saying something.

I talked to my brother about it and he said he wouldn’t be able to keep his mouth shut. He said he’s tempted to call her himself and give her an earful because you can’t do that to kids. You can’t call them after consuming enough alcohol to intoxicate a football team and ask ridiculous questions and threaten them with “you just wait until your father comes home”. Their FATHER would NEVER force them to put up with this and if he had any idea what she did/said to them he’d probably handle it himself.

I’m just so over this situation with her. I have tried to be mature, I’ve tried to compromise with her but she wants it her way or no way. The thing is she probably won’t even remember the conversation with the kids so talking to her about it does no good. The sad part is that the kids WILL remember and she thinks it’s ME brainwashing them. HA! I don’t have to say a word, she does all the damage herself.

I just don’t want her making the kids feel bad about hurting their father or letting him down because that is not even close to being the case. He, of all people, knows how she is and would NEVER put her before his children’s feelings. He’s too good of a father.

OK, enough of my ranting for tonight.

>Answering the Difficult Questions

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I have had so many ideas for posts over the past few days but I haven’t had time to sit down and actually write so of course, as always, the ideas got twisted in my head and disappeared.
I guess the underlying theme with everything that is going on is the fact that we are approximately 3/4 of the way through this deployment. We are on the downhill finally and it feels so good but at the same time we still have about a quarter of the deployment left to get through. Sometimes it feels like Homecoming is so close I can taste it, while other times I sit here saying “we still have X number of months LEFT“??????
We were in the truck today driving home and B asked me how long until Dad comes home. I told him not too much longer but that we don’t know exactly. He asked me to guess, so I responded with the best answer I could come up with that didn’t sound like too long but didn’t get his hopes up only to be let down. His reaction caught me off guard. He said “why does he have to be gone so long, I miss him, I just want him to come home now”.
For the most part our kids are used to him being gone; deployments, training, even his civilian job had him away on travel. The kids don’t know any other life and it probably wouldn’t be such a big deal if they didn’t have to constantly explain it to their friends. The boys don’t normally ask me to give them specific dates, typically they are OK with an answer such as “he will be home before so-and-so’s birthday” or “we are hoping he will be home before this holiday”.
Tonight was different, B needed something more definite. He needed to know exactly how long he had to wait and I couldn’t give that to him. It is so up in the air (as it always is with the military) that I can’t even begin to speculate on a homecoming MONTH!
I decided to tell him how many days it’s been since he left. I thought that hearing that number might make him feel better. I then told him that when I get sad and miss him I try to think of all the things I want to do BEFORE he comes home; that way I can look at it as “I only have X number of days to complete this task”. He asked me to be more specific so I gave him my goals for the remainder of the deployment.
1. Learn how to make a Topsy Turvy Cake with fondant icing.
 – the practice cake will be used at Bro #2’s baby shower and the real one will be for DH’s bday. This is an example I pulled off the Internet. I will be sure to blog about the baking experience as it is sure to be quite a fiasco.
2. Complete/Pass my OB/Peds semester of nursing school.
 – after this semester I only have one left before I graduate with my RN. Then it’s off to the BSN program.
3. Exercise more and lose more weight.
4. Organize all of DH’s clothes and give him back his side of the closet.
 – I have taken over the entire closet and most of his clothes have ended up in boxes and shoved into the back of C’s closet.
I explained to him that I have a lot to do in a short amount of time and if I think of it like that it doesn’t seem so bad. He then asked me what his goals should be. We came up with quite a few ideas but narrowed it down to a more “do-able” size. His list was a little more fun than mine.
1. Learn to count to ten in Spanish.
2. Organize all of his toys in his closet so he has a separate bin for each activity i.e. Lego’s, art supplies, etc.
3. Get to level 30 on Farmville
 – yes, he does have a Facebook account but he only uses it to play Farmville and post pictures for his Dad. 
4. Grow an inch taller.
5. Get 15 A’s on spelling tests, vocab tests or math tests.
After discussing all this he seems to be feeling better. It’s just so hard to see the kids struggle to handle a deployment because I know how hard it is as an adult and time moves even slower for kids.
How do you all handle these questions from your kids?
How honest/vague are you about length of time?
Are there any goals you can think of that would be fun for all of us to try to achieve before homecoming?
I was thinking of making a Family Goal; something we can all work on together but I can’t come up with any ideas that will interest all of them. What the 14 y/o wants may not be what the 9 y/o thinks is fun and the 12 y/o is just plain hard to please.

>Cookie Care Package

>First, I’d like to encourage everyone to head over to the Marine Parent’s page and link up. She’s hosting the Military Monday blog hop. It’s a great way to meet other MilSpouses and loved ones. Hope to see you there!

So, today was nice. The boys and I decided to make cookies to send to DH. Of course, after the first couple minutes I was left alone in the kitchen to finish up, but it’s ok; it’s the thought that counts and they DID want to do it. They are boys, there is only so much baking I can expect them to be excited about. They did decorate the boxes though which is good because I am not a very good artist.
We started out with the Pecan Bars, they came out great. It was my first time making these and I think it was a successful venture.
Then we made the Snickerdoodles. They came out great; as always. I don’t remember where I got the recipe, but it is good.
We then made Oatmeal Raisin Cookies which are DH’s favorite. I don’t like raisins but he says it’s a good recipe so I’ll take his word for it.
He wants photo paper but he said he doesn’t want me making a special trip to the store just for him. I told him I already had some at the house (not true) so I planned on going to the store today to get it. Well, I forgot some stuff at the grocery store so I decided to just get the photo paper tomorrow when I go out. That means I won’t ship this out until Tuesday. It also means I have more time to bake some different recipes.
I have to read a couple chapters for Peds but I think I should work on my care plan tonight rather than reading. It’s due Thursday but I always put it off and then stress out the day before. I want to try to avoid doing that if at all possible.
More snow coming this week. The kids have had more snow day in the past two weeks than we did the past two years combined. In fact, I don’t think we had a single snow day last year. Crazy!
Things are looking better. I have had a rough time since R&R. I have missed him so much that I have been less than functional. Today I feel better. I am not completely out of my funk, but I have made a significant improvement. I haven’t cried today or even felt like I was trying to hold back tears. That’s a good thing. Let’s hope I’m finally adjusting; I can’t keep going through my days like this. I have to get back to normal.

>Missing him

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It’s late and I’m tired and that’s probably why I’m feeling this way; but nevertheless I’m feeling kinda bummed out right now.
No reason for it. Just one of those Deployment Related Irrational Emotional Moments.
I spent the day with my brother who just bought a brand new Silverado. I went with him to the dealer taking videos and still pictures of every step of the way, getting into the old cars, driving to dealership, getting out of old car, talking to salesman, getting into new truck, etc. We had fun. He and his girlfriend then came over to my house for pizza. Oh and this afternoon I went with the girlfriend to put a deposit on her wedding dress which ended up having to go on my credit card because she didn’t bring enough cash. (no biggie, I’ll get the money back).
After they left I began sorting through the mail from this afternoon and realized that I had 15 letters from Tricare; apparently there is an issue with coverage. I got that overwhelming feeling of helplessness looking at these official looking papers with large amounts of money at the bottom of each one.
I immediately scanned everything to my husband who will hopefully take care of it or tell me what to do. I am so bad with bills. I get all weird about it, it’s like my brain doesn’t compute. I can handle a calculus equation or determine IV flow rates in my head, but when it comes to insurance and bills… I become super dumb.
So, now, after sending everything to him I am sitting here missing him a lot. I try not to think about how much I miss him or how much he is missing while he is away but the bottom line is that feeling of loneliness is always there, in the back of my head, just waiting for the most inopportune time to rear it’s ugly head.
I’ve been doing so well these past couple months. I’ve been happy and cheerful and I avoid thinking about him not being here by thinking about ways to include him through videos and pictures.
But tonight, it’s different. I miss him, a lot. I don’t know if it’s because he should have been the one at the dealer with my brother picking out his truck, or if it’s because of the Tricare mess, or maybe it’s because the cell phone situation isn’t figured out yet, or if it’s just that same old jealousy that I have for couples who spend every single friggin night with each other. Whatever it is, I feel like crap, and I’m just glad that the day is over. Because if I had been feeling like this earlier I would have been a total downer for my bro on such a huge exciting day for him. Not to mention that that would be a longer period of time I would have felt this way which would not have been pleasant. At least now as soon as I finish this I can go to bed and fall asleep thinking about decorating the house for homecoming or all the changes I want to make before he gets home. That always helps me fall asleep.
Let’s hope that all I need is a good night’s sleep and I’ll feel better in the morning. I’m sure I will. I just need to clean the house and spend time with the kids. That will fix my funk. I hope.

>He’s a genius, I tell ya!

> I don’t normally brag about how perfect my husband is for me, but if you don’t mind, I want to do that today. See, last night I was having difficulty falling asleep; thank goodness for Netflix instant streaming! I stayed up till 3am watching movies. I finally fell asleep knowing that I could sleep in today because the only appointment I had today wasn’t until 4pm. So, when my phone awakens me at 8am I was not exactly a happy camper… until I saw that it was DH. I attempted to be cheerful, but before my morning coffee I can try all I want, there is no covering up Morning Lindsey.

So, we are talking and the time passes, I begin to wake up a bit more, so we change over to a video chat (because I have lost that puffy look). Now, DH knows that I have been having a rough time with school and the boys being wild and on summer break. I wasn’t complaining about anything today, but he knew it hadn’t changed much. I’m also sure that he knew that I wasn’t keeping up on the housework because of all my homework and errands. He didn’t say anything about it because that would put me on the defensive. Maybe he saw it in the background of the video chat as I walked around with my laptop brushing my teeth and making coffee; or maybe he just assumed. Whatever the case may be, he knew it. I’m sure of it. I didn’t realize at the time, but looking back, he did this on purpose. He said that he missed home and that he wanted me to take the video camera and walk around the house (inside and out) showing him everything. I told him nothing had changed, but he said he wanted a video nonetheless. So, we hang up and I realize the house is trashed. So, I had to clean before taking the video. I gathered the boys and explained what was going on, we turned up the stereo REALLY loud and all got to work. About halfway through, I’m sweating and jamming to the music as I fold laundry and it hits me. He doesn’t really want a video. He wanted me to get out of my non-cleaning funk and clean the house! How genius is this man?!?!?!?!?

So, I finished the cleaning and feel so much better. The house is clean! I love this guy, now if only he could use this psychology when he’s home rather than berating me for not keeping up on the laundry, LOL.

OK, so I was also going to talk about the kid’s karate instructor, but I just realized that while I was grocery shopping I had refilled C’s asthma meds but then left without picking them up. So, I have to run back to Big Y before they close. I’ll fill you in on my displeasure with the old karate instructor and my nervousness of the new creepy one later.

Have a great night, see ya later.