The Baby Shower

I am feeling pretty darn good right now.

I have been stressed to the max about today and now it’s finally over and I can say that I honestly feel like I pulled it off well.

I successfully threw a Baby Shower.

My sister-in-law is pregnant. She had a baby shower out-of-state with her family a couple months ago, but apparently it didn’t go well. Her mother invited all of her own friends and only a couple of my SIL’s so it wound up being a flop from what I hear.

I felt bad and decided that I would throw a shower here for two reasons.

  • One: it would make her happy, and
  • two: our family (my brother’s family) could be a part of it.

I never had a baby shower, nor have I ever attended one so I had NO idea how to go about this. My knowledge of showers consists only of what I have seen in movies. Of course, I had my moments of “it’s not fair that I should do all this when nobody did this for me” but I tried to avoid the Pity Party thoughts and focused on what I WOULD have wanted had I been given one. I was young when I had my first so obviously my brothers (being younger than me) couldn’t do anything, my mother was dealing with her own issues at the time and I didn’t have many (any) friends so… Anyway, we are all older and in a better place right now and if I were pregnant I’m sure they WOULD do something for me. So, that is how I came to be ¬†throwing a Baby Shower in the middle of my second to last semester of Nursing School while my husband is deployed.

My brother was beyond excited that I wanted ¬†to do this which made me very happy since we haven’t always had the best relationship. Fortunately, he has a lot of friends because I don’t, and the party would have been a real flop if invitations had been left up to me. He invited a whole bunch of people who I didn’t know, but I trust his judgement so I wasn’t worried about any weirdos coming to my house.

In theory it was a great idea, but when it came down to it I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Well, I was starting to think that. As I said, I pulled it off so apparently I can chew a lot.

Here’s how it went down, of course, in true Me fashion, I waited until the last minute to do everything so I basically started yesterday afternoon.

First thing I did was the Diaper Cake, now, I had never even HEARD of a Diaper Cake until I googled “Baby Showers” to get ideas for decorations. It’s a neat idea, and everything but the ribbons can be used later. This is the final product.

diapers are rolled around bottles for strength and held together with ribbons and rubber bands.

Her color scheme for the baby’s room is pink, green and black so that is what I tried to go with for the party.

I was lucky because Valentine’s Day is over and now all the stores have the stuff discounted. I found milk chocolate roses 75% off! I bought a dozen! I also picked up a 2 liter bottle of every type of soda I could find because I didn’t know what everyone liked.

After I finished with the diaper cake the kids and I worked on cleaning the house while I started baking the cakes for the 3 tier that I had decided to attempt (for the first time EVER).

First problem of the night: I thought I had 2 dozen eggs in the fridge. WRONG! I had 6… eggs, not dozens. It was already getting late and I didn’t want to run to the store so I decided to work on decorations for the rest of the night and just head to Sam’s Club early in the morning.

My boys were totally grossed out by all the pink decorations; they said I should have just used the black tablecloths, lol.

of course, every single bottle was opened yet less than half of each was consumed. Can we say "flat soda"?

 

This is what I had accomplished as of about 8pm. Not bad, but not nearly done. I was already getting tired because I had been up all night the night before (that’s another story, geesh). The boys were arguing at this point and I was starting to lose my patience with them so I began working on the first tier of the cake since that was all I could make due to the egg situation.

That’s when C told me that the toilet was “still clogged”. Yeah, that’s right, I had forgotten that he had told me it was clogged hours ago.

Problem #2: I have no plunger. After the last incident with a clogged toilet I put the plunger outside; we then had a snow storm that dropped 3 feet of snow and I haven’t seen the plunger since.

I wound up having to go to the hardware store to buy a plunger. I walked in, found the nearest associate and (with what I can only imagine was a crazed/stressed out look on my face) asked him to point me toward the “biggest, baddest plungers” he had. He laughed and walked me down to them. I asked him if there was something I could pour down the drain just in case the plunger didn’t work (past experience told me that I can’t always rely on a plunger with three boys in the house. We’ve had to have the septic company out here more than once). He said the next best thing would be a snake.

Now, for all of you girly girls out there (such as myself) a “snake” is a long piece of metal that you shove down the toilet to free up a clog. It is the most disgusting thing EVER!

I bought it, all the while crossing every finger I have that I wouldn’t have to use it.

Well, you guessed it, the plunger didn’t do a damned thing. I wound up snaking my toilet and I am not ashamed to admit that I was practically crying, screaming and dry heaving all at the same time, but it worked. When that toilet flushed I wanted to shout it from my rooftop!

After scrubbing my hands until they were almost raw from the hot water, I allowed myself to take a short break from cleaning and baking. I jumped on the computer with my feet up and began typing up a shopping list for the morning. I decided to buy premade appetizers rather than making everything from scratch. That would save a lot of time and stress. That’s when I realized problem #3 of the night. It was Saturday, which meant that I was planning to go to the store on Sunday morning. Woops! Nothing opens early on Sunday! It was now too late to go to Sam’s Club and they weren’t opening until 10am (3 hours before the festivities were scheduled to begin).

I spent the rest of the night cleaning and preparing everything I possibly could because I knew I would be rushing today to get everything done since I couldn’t even BUY the ingredients until 10am.

I wound up crawling into bed around 3am. I set the alarm for 6:30, but hit the snooze until 7:45am.

Problem #4: SNOW!!! Will somebody please tell Mother nature that I’ve had enough of winter this year? I woke up to 5 inches of snow on my very steep driveway. Great! That’s just one MORE thing I have to do before 1pm. Nobody is going to get up my driveway unless I clear it and salt it. I decided to wait until it had finished snowing before even attempting to snowblow. I cleared off my truck, jammed that sucker in 4 wheel drive and backed down the driveway; packing that snow down as I went.

I headed to WalMart and picked up some last minute decorations, then decided to go to the grocery store for the appetizers rather than waiting for Sam’s even though I knew I would spend more.

Luckily, the temps rose quickly and the snow was easy to shovel. I salted, and by the time everyone arrived the driveway was almost clear.

I baked all the cakes and managed to put together my very first double layered, three-tiered cake.

I tried to put a "G" on the cake for the baby's name, but it didn't come out well.

the cake, before I put it on the pedestal

Leaning Tower of Cake

Yes, the cake is leaning. There are wooden pegs supporting it, so it is sturdy but lopsided.

frozen appetizers and turkey sandwiches

I think I did pretty well, considering I pulled it all together in such a short amount of time. I was running like a crazed woman right up until the last minute, in fact, I was still running crazy even after the guests arrived but luckily everyone was very understanding. Not everyone showed, and that was fine by me because fewer people meant less food. Enough people showed that the party was successful though, so all is well.

When my Sister in Law showed up, she was so surprised. She started crying and hugged me. Totally worth all the stress, well, almost, haha.

chocolate fountain with fruit and Bar-B-Q meatballs

I’ll leave you with a few pics from the party!

There were also cars on the street up the road because I live on a curve so it wasn't safe to park in front of the house.

The saying on the mirror is something my Dad used to say.

Z got a little out of hand so my Bro had to put him in his place.

 

>Being Proud of their Dad

>

I don’t have long because I have to go to class in a few minutes but I wanted to get this down now because I may not have time later.  As I said in yesterday’s blog, I got all my kids cell phones, including the youngest. Now, he has no need for a cell phone, in fact I am the only contact number in the phone. He mainly wants to use it as a camera and an ipod which is fine (keeps my minutes low). I got my husband and two of the boys all matching cell phones (because they were free) all the same color. I told them to put a wallpaper picture on their phones to distinguish them from the others.
 
Later that night I found a cell phone sitting on the counter with a picture of my husband in his uniform. I figured one of the kids had set my husband’s phone wallpaper for him. When I asked, I found out that it was my youngest son’s phone. He wanted to have a picture of his Dad on the front screen. I thought that was very sweet and told him so.
So, yesterday he came home from school and told me that some kids at school had told him that it was stupid to have a picture of his dad on his phone. (Non-military area as I’ve said before). I told him it was not stupid at all and that their dads were probably home almost every night so they didn’t need to keep pictures. I went through the whole discussion about “you’re Dad is a hero, just like some kids have pictures of Superman or Transformers; you’re Dad is a real life hero protecting the country”. He said he knew that but that he wished I could tell his friends because he gets shy. So I told him that he should tell his teacher. I offered to do it for him, but he said he could do it.
I drove him to school today so that we could avoid the bus ride where most of the comments are made. Hopefully he tells his teacher, and I’m hoping she takes this seriously. I don’t want my son to be ashamed to be proud of his father. It’s frustrating to live in a town where the military plays such a small role in the community that the kids know virtually nothing about it. It’s not the kid’s faults, it’s just how it is. I’m not angry, I’m just frustrated and I hope the teacher takes care of this in an appropriate manner.
I’ll let ya know.

>A Year in Review

>

 I managed to get a good portion of my care plan finished and decided to take a break and read some of my blogs. I found a couple blogs that got me thinking; Sarah and Julie both did “Year in Review” type blogs. It made me think about about how much has happened in my life. This past year is no exception. So, here is my year in review.
June 2009: My youngest son is sick, I don’t know exactly what is wrong, but he seems off. I brought him to the doctor because I suspected Lyme. They said he did not have classic symptoms and refused to give us antibiotics. It’s funny, with everything that happened this month with my son, I forgot to mention that I had surgery this month too. I remembered it as I was sitting in class and I figured I would update this post to include my venous ligation. I had a DVT (blood clot) that damaged the vein in my right leg.
July 2009: I sat with my baby (8 y/o) and watched him get sicker. He had no energy or appetite. Doctors continued to tell me nothing was wrong. When he developed SEVERE headaches, we were told it was migraines, when he developed double vision we were told it was fatigue. 4 ER visits later he was diagnosed with Lyme Meningitis. He DID have Lyme Disease, but because it wasn’t treated it had gone into his spinal fluid. Watching my baby get a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) was so hard. I cried harder than he did.
August 2009: Spent the first week in the hospital with B. Sent home with a PICC line and 30 days worth of IV antibiotics.
September 2009: School begins for the boys and I struggle to get the school nurse to understand the magnitude of his illness. He still had residual symptoms such as double vision and headaches. She thought he was trying to get out of school. I applied to Nursing School.
October 2009: Husband and I decide that it would be best for him to change jobs. We wanted him home more. His civilian job had him out on a ship 80% of the time. He only came home for a weekend once a month. He was going to apply for a job closer to home with no sea time.
November 2009: Thanksgiving with the family was as dramatic as it was when I was a kid. But I survived it and began planning for Christmas. I was accepted into nursing School.
December 2009: Uneventful month. Christmas was wonderful.
January 2009: 4 days before I am to start my first semester of nursing school we find out that DH is being reactivated from Reserve status and being sent “over there”. I feel as though my world is falling apart.
February 2009: I have had some time to get used to the idea of another deployment but I’m still scared. Oldest son, C, is admitted to the hospital for asthma. One week later we are home on nebulizer treatments every 4 hours through the night.
March 2009: DH leaves for training. I’m a mess, I wish he would just tell them that he can’t go.
April 2009: I’m not doing so well in school. I barely pull a 78 average out of the first semester. I begin to wonder if Nursing school during deployment is a good idea.
May 2009: DH comes home for leave before shipping off. I struggle. I have not had to do a deployment in so long, and the boys are older now. I begin second semester of nursing school. I have so much on my plate, I feel like I’m drowning.
June 2009: We are 10% of the way into the deployment. I am still struggling with Nursing School, but I am starting to get into a groove. I have plenty of off days, but not as many as before. I have days that I know I can do it, and then there are days I consider checking myself into the Looney Bin.
So, that is my year. I know I will look back at this time and think “it wasn’t so bad”. But right now, sitting here, going through it…. not so easy. This time last year my family was around. My brothers would stop by my house to hang out. Some nights we’d grill, some nights we’d play Wii with the kids. We were close. Once news of the deployment arrived all of a sudden everyone left. Nobody calls anymore, well, one of my brothers calls once a week or so. I don’t know if they are scared that I might cry or something, but it’s different. I sure could use that family support now.
But ya know, I have found a whole new support system here. I mean, my last blog about nursing school has some really great comments. For that I am grateful. You guys know what I’m going through and can understand. AND, you guys hang around even when life gets messy. You are True Bloggy Friends. So, thanks.

>Feeling better at my kid’s expense

> So, here’s what happened.

My boys need haircuts, bad. Another week or two and they’d start stealing my scrunchies. So, I decided that after school I would shave them all, after all it is tick season, and last summer I spent a week in the hospital with my youngest when he developed Lyme Meningitis. OK, so I searched my house today for the hair clippers, to no avail. So, rather than stress about it, I decided to make it easy on myself, I was going to take them to the mall and have it done. Now, I am not used to the prices out here in the civilian world, I mean, the base does it so cheap I wonder how they pay their electric bill. So when I walked in and saw a sign “$14.95 – kids” I was floored. So, I asked about military discounts. The girl behind the counter said they did. I was very happy, because this is not a military town, and very few places offer discounts. So, I asked, how much would the cuts be, because I didn’t want to get caught off gaurd at the end if they only took off a dollar, or something. So, she goes, oh, well, you can’t use it. Ummm, excuse me???? I asked why. And she informed me that it was only for the soldier. I wondered to myself if that meant that marines and sailors were not given the same discount but I kept my mouth shut on that one. She then told me that they would have to come in with their ID. So, I said “oh, no problem, I have ID”. That’s when she went from being an innocent cashier to being a total BITCH in my mind. She looked me up and down and said “you? You mean, you are in the military”? OK, look little Miss I-Fell-In-The-Tackle-Box-And-Can’t-Seem-To-Get-The-Fish-Hooks-Out-Of-My-Face, I may not be in the best of shape, but don’t judge me! So I said “no, I am not active duty military, I am a dependent with an ID card”. To which she replied “yes, as I said, we only give military discounts to military personnel. Sorry”. I thanked her for her time (all the while muttering under my breath) and left the store. Now, normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, so what? I couldn’t get a military discount, I fully expected her to tell me they didn’t offer them anyway, but for some reason, the fact that they offered them but not to me, really upset me. As I walked through the mall with my three kids I started to feel that thing, where, you know you are going to cry and you have about a minute and a half to find shelter. So, I literally did a ’bout face and left the mall. As we left the parking lot I started to feel better, crisis averted. I still wasn’t great, but I had avoided the tears, for now. So I decided to stop at Target on the way home, to see if they had Zumba Videos (which they do not, if any of you are wondering) and bought this awesome thing called a Shake Weight, it looks like a dumb bell but it has shocks on either end. As you shake it the weight is transferred, it is a real bicep workout.

So, we are driving home, and I’m still feeling crappy, it’s amazing how one person saying something stupid, or not even all that stupid, just telling me company policy can totally ruin my day. I mean, it wasn’t even that big of a deal, but now I’m thinking about how much I miss DH and all the things I have to do and don’t have time for, etc. Anyway, the kids started asking me why I bought a dumb bell, I explained that I didn’t want to be flabby, they asked why it had shocks on it, I tried to explain it and decided to just let them try it. So, they are passing it back and forth when I come up with this great plan to get me out of my funk. I asked them “who is the strongest person in the truck”. They all said “me” but Z said it first, so I told him that he had to prove it by shaking the weight with his left arm all the way home (about 15 minutes). If he made it I would let him stay up until 10pm AND he didn’t have to bring up the garbage cans. If he lost the bet, he’d have to go to bed at 8pm and would have to bring up all 3 garbage cans by himself one at a time. But he had to shake right up until the second I shut the truck off in the driveway. Ha! So, he starts shaking and within 3 minutes he is sweating. 5 minutes later his neck muscles are straining. We are all yelling and cheering him on. By this time I am back to normal, having a great time with my long haired, shaggy kids and not even thinking about the I-Have-More-Piercings-Than-A-Voodoo-Doll Bitch from the mall. We get a couple blocks from the house and I stop at a Stop Sign, turn around and start cheering with his bros. It took him about 2 full minutes to realize that I wasn’t driving. I wish I had a camera, cuz the look on his face was priceless. So, I started driving, and when we get to our street I decide I’m going to do the speed limit which is 25. Now, this was extremely frustrating for him because nobody does the speed limit on my street. Literally nobody. Even the Resident State Trooper does about 40-50 mph. So, I told him that I had decided that day to be a role model for everyone in town. His bros cracked up but Z almost cried. We pull into the driveway and turn off the truck. The dumb bell falls out of his hand and the poor kid can’t even lift his arm. Too friggin’ funny. Good thing I made him use his left arm or else he’d be telling me he couldn’t go to school cuz he can’t write, lol.

So, anyway, I’m feeling normal again. I hadn’t been having a bad day up to that point which makes it that much weirder that I would react like that. But I guess emotions are never steady during deployments. I should know that by now.

All right, I’ll talk with you all later.

>Whoa!!!! Me? Motivated????

>

 Not exactly sure what is going on with me but I am feeling super motivated and actually in a good mood. This morning I woke up with a little cloud hanging over me and I schlepped my way through morning rituals, but then I turned on the Wii and started exercising. It is amazing, even though I had to force myself to do it, exercise really does make me feel better. I have heard it said before but never truly believed it. So, anyway, I worked out, recorded my measurements at Spark (great weight loss website, seriously, you guys should check it out if you are trying to lose weight), then I met my Mother In Law to drop off her dog. We’ve been dog-sitting for almost 2 weeks and it was terrible. Every morning I woke up to a mess; digging through garbage, peeing on the floor, etc. So after I yelled at the kids for doing that…. JUST KIDDING! Anyway, I’m thrilled to be rid of the mutt.
Just got back from B’s viola lesson where he played really well. Now I’m home and think I will clean a bit. Maybe it was the coffee that I just drank (ya ya, I know, a little late in the day for coffee, but it suppresses my appetite so all is good).
Speaking of appetite… I am doing so well, I’m so proud of myself. I have not slipped up ONCE since Monday. I have worked out at least 50 minutes every day and now I am up to 60 crunches per night. I am feeling so motivated to lose weight for Homecoming! Let’s hope I keep it up.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Talk with ya’ll soon.

>Deployment is so much different when the kids are older…

>OK, now, because we used to be a typical Navy family, I am not used to the rules of OPSEC that everyone talks about. DH was always on a ship and all the wives I knew had the same knowledge I did, so talking about dates didn’t matter too much. Now everything is different. So I figured, better to err on the side of caution and not talk about anything until afterwards. So, Predeployment training is over and we were lucky enough to see DH for a bit before he headed overseas. I didn’t mention this last week because I don’t know all the rules. So I have been very low profile during that time.  Anyway, I’m back and looking at a very longggggg span of time without DH. Last week and this weekend were very hard. The kids have their ups and downs and thankfully they seem to have quite a few ups. But this morning one of my boys left for school crying. He is always quiet first thing in the morning so I didn’t think anything of it when he didn’t say more than a few words to me while he was getting ready. Then when he gets up to go out the door, I said my standard “Bye C, I love you, have a good day” he replied with a teary “I love you too, Mom”. I asked what was wrong and he looked at me kinda weird and said “ummm, I miss Dad”. All I could say was “I do too” then I reminded him that I loved him and off he went. I think the kid’s pain is so much harder to deal with then my own. I can deal with the tearfilled nights, the frustrations, the loneliness of deployments, I just need to keep busy. But when it’s one of the kids having those days…. well, there is nothing I can do about it. And I HATE it. So, after he left I still had two other kids to get off to school so I put on my SUPER cheery face and attempted to make sure they didn’t leave for school in the same mood as their older brother. It worked with the middle son, but when it came time for the youngest to get on the bus, he got clingy. Wanted to be driven to school so he could “spend more time with me”. I was already dressed and ready to go, so I could have driven him, but I don’t want to start a habit. So, I juggled the idea for a couple minutes and decided that he should ride the bus. If I drive him today, it will only make it that much harder to ride the bus tomorrow.

So, after the boys went to school I started to get sad, almsot cried, then slapped myself back to reality (figuratively) and told myself that crying accomplishes nothing. I have given myself a few days worth of tears, now I need to get on track and what better day to start than a Monday. The beginning of the week. The boys need me to be strong right now. They can’t see me slacking on housework or staring off into space. I need to be a strong mom so they can be strong kids.

So, I started mentally noting things I want to do during this deployment, many of which I have already stated in previous blogs; lose weight, quit smoking, etc. But what I realized was that all my plans are for ME! Nothing to help the kids deal. All our previous deployments were years ago when the kids were young. They didn’t realize what was going on, they were too young to understand so all I needed to do was keep myself going. Now, it’s different, I have to keep all three of them going PLUS me. That’s a lot of work!

My problem is that aside from keeping a cheery face on I am not sure how to help them. I could use some advice from other moms of older children. How do you keep the kids from missing Dad too much?

>I have a day???? COOL!

>So, who would have thought there would be a day, nationally recognized, celebrating me???? LOL. Being a military spouse comes with so many challenges that it feels good to be recognized. I love all the attention my husband gets for serving his country. I love watching people “thank” him with a pat on the shoulder or a handshake. I feel so proud when I see that, but sometimes, every once in a while it also feels good to hear that someone recognizes all the challenges that the family has as well.

I was “thanked” by a cashier at Sam’s Club once, and it felt really good. She started off telling my husband thank you and we are so proud of you, etc. We had told her about his upcoming deployment because we were trying to get something ordered on time. Originally they had said it would be 2-4 weeks, but they got it to us in 10 days. Anyway, when we went to pick it up she shook DH’s hand and thanked him. Then as we were walking away she said “and thank YOU for allowing him to go”. I smiled and walked away and thought to myself  “well, it doesn’t matter if I give him permission or not, it’s not my decision” but later on I realized that she wasn’t talking about permission, she was talking about taking care of everything on the homefront while he is gone “allowing” him to deploy and focus on the job.

I suppose that is what we are doing…. allowing our husbands to serve our country. Not that we wear the pants or that they won’t do anything without our permission, but, if we weren’t willing/able to take care of the kids and support him throughout his career… well, maybe my ego is getting out of hand here. He is the true hero, but it is nice to here a thank you for what we (as wives) go through.

So, Happy MilSpouse Appreciation Day! Put the kids to bed early, take a bubble bath, have a glass of wine, whatever you do to relax, do it. This is our day, ladies. And thank you to all the military wives out there, I know how difficult it is, and I truly appreciate all of you.

>Holding it together…. barely

>OK, sometimes you just need a good cry. This one has been brewing at the surface for a few days but I did my best to fight it. My youngest son has been sleeping in my bed at night because he’s been having bad dreams so I don’t even have that time to cry. Anyway, the boys are outside playing and I sat in my room for about 15 minutes crying about how unfair life is. When the pity party ended I washed my face and have decided to dedicate the rest of the day to cleaning the house. Anything and everything that needs cleaning will be done, or at least looked at and put off until a later date.

It really does help, crying that is. It’s such an immature, weak thing to do, but it helps. I feel better. And nobody (except you all) know that I did it. Nobody knows that I am scared as hell about this deployment. Nobody knows how inadequate I feel, how defeated and beat up I feel…. except all of you. Funny, how I am broadcasting these feelings to a public blog where anyone can read it but because I maintain some ounce of anonymity I can “save face” and feel like the strong military wife I aspire to be.

I may be falling apart on the inside but I can’t let the kids know, or anyone else in the family for that matter. I want the boys to look back at this deployment and be able to say that “Mom held it together for us”. Countless wives have done this before me and many more will do it after me. So, outward appearances are what matters right now. Keeping a clean house, a smile on my face. Making jokes, and dinner every day. That’s what’s important right now even if those are the last things I feel like doing.

I’m off to begin my cleaning crusade. This will hopefully take my mind off things and maybe by the end of the day I will be over this hump.

>Kids and deplooyments

>I was just reading some of today’s blogs and one of them caught my eye and got me thinking. I was reading the blog of Army Blogger Wife and she was asking about reenlistments. It got me thinking, after I posted a comment regarding our involuntary reactivation, about the reasons we chose to get out.

DH joined just before our second son was born. During his 8 years we had a third son and we survived two deployments. The problem was that he would leave and come back to kids that had changed SOOOOO much! Infants and toddlers change and grow up so quickly, even a couple of months can make a huge difference. So, during his last deployment he left kids who were 4, 3 and 3 months. He came back to three toddlers! All looking completely different then when he had left!

Now, here’s the biggest tear jerker story I have in my arsenel of stories. We had an 8×10 picture from boot camp of DH hanging on the wall in our living room. Every night we would say “good night to Dad” by looking at the picture and blowing him kisses. So, the first night of DH’s homecoming I told the boys to say goodnight to Daddy. The two older boys ran over and gave him a hug and said goodnight. The baby, who was just a year old at the time. Crawled over to the picture and said “night night, Daddy”. I started crying! My poor baby thought his Daddy was a picture. How sad is that? So, about a year later we decided to end his time in the military.  As a reservist we assumed he would have more time spent at home, boy was I wrong. During his last year as a reservist they mobilized him, and he’s now going to be gone for over a year. Now that the boys are entering the teen years, I feel like I need him more than before. How the hell am I going to raise 3 teeange boys! I don’t know a damn thing about it.

Anyway, I was wondering if any of you had similar stories or fears or comments about the toll it takes on the kids. We don’t live in a military area so for my boys the only reason that their friends don’t have a Dad around is due to divorce. We are the ONLY military family in our town. It’s difficult for them to understand. For instance, one of my boys asked a friend “is your dad in Iraq or Afghanistan”, the friend said “my dad is in Pennsylvania”. So my son came home and asked me “are we at war with Pennsylvania”?

>To Do List

>So, yesterday was my busy day. Clinicals start at 0645 then straight to lecture and home by 2100. It’s a long day, and the boys are so good about it. I won’t say they are perfect, cuz my house is always trashed by the time I get home, but they are at least trying to get along. So, that’s my excuse for not blogging yesterday.

Today I have so much to do I don’t even know where to start. I figure I’ll start typing a list and see what jumps out at me. So here’s what I need to do, in no particular order:

– clean the living room
– clean the kitchen
– laundry
– clean the bathroom
– go to grocery store
– clip coupons for aforementioned grocery store
– get “Easter Bunny” gifts
– start typing up my Care Plan for school
– pick son up from school at 3pm
– read through insurance info and decide on dental plan
– fax insurance claims
– drink lots of coffee (this will be #1, I’m halfway there)
– file tax extension
– bring lunch money to forgetful son

OK, I guess that’s enough for today. I’m not even going to put Wii Fit on the list cuz I think I will probably get enough exercise completing my chores. And if not, oh well, there just isn’t enough time to sit in front of the TV for an hour. Wish me luck!