August 30, 2008

Weekends and Watermelon

It's strange how the weekends drag on during deployments but fly by when we are together.  During each deployment I've noticed the weekends seem even more boring and lonely than the weekdays.  This is odd because my routine is pretty much the same no matter which day of the week it is.  My Monday is relatively the same as my Saturday.  I've contemplated this phenomenon many times and really don't know what the difference is.  It could be that everything seems more quiet without everyone bustling about or when you do see people you always see couples and families enjoying time together.  I look forward to weekends when Pat comes home, but until then I'll get through these long ones one at a time.  

Today Ryan tried watermelon for the first time.  That alone isn't anything special, but the fact that he picked it up and ate it himself is (at least to me).  I've realized that as we try to transition to more finger foods, Ryan really doesn't like picking up wet food.  He usually gets mad when I put something "strange" on his tray.  He likes cereal like foods, and he does like fruits in his mesh feeder.  I've tried many different finger foods, but he has had no interest until today.  I was very surprised that he decided to try the watermelon considering he didn't want to feed himself cantaloupe as a finger food the days before.  He liked the watermelon and kept grabbing more.  So I decided to see if he'd still feed himself if I put some cantaloupe down, and he did.  Maybe he'll start trying more things now.  I'm so excited, and he really enjoyed it.         

August 29, 2008

Savings--Good and Bad

I am a saver.  I love saving money.  I look forward to clipping the coupons in the Sunday newspaper.  I like finding good deals on the products I buy.  

During deployments I go into super-saver mode.  I barely spend any money except on necessary groceries.  I make sure all debts are paid off and our savings accounts grow.  

Those are all the good aspects of my saving.

However, my desire to save goes a little overboard.  After I enter the deployment super-saver mode, it is hard for me to break out of it and spend money.  I become what some may call cheap.   It takes Pat a lot of effort to ease my extreme savings habit.  

Today I decided to go shopping.  I didn't end up buying anything.  I just cannot justify buying any clothes or such when I never really see anyone.  Why do I need to look good if I'm just playing here with Ryan?  Yes, I will probably splurge and buy some things before Pat comes back, but until then what is the point?  

I know I must sound crazy.  

The other thing about my saver mentality that annoys me is that I save my material possessions for special occasions.  My nice clothes, jewelry, fine china all sit tucked away waiting for special occasions.  I think I'm afraid of wearing things out, so I save them.  I never really find special occasions to use any of them either.  I wish I would just enjoy my things because after all they are only material possessions that can be replaced, but I just cannot break my habit of saving.    

August 28, 2008

9 Months!

I cannot believe my little guy is 9 months old today, can you?  It really seems like just yesterday he was a tiny baby that just slept and ate.  He has changed so much, grown and developed.  I am so happy being his Mom.  His adorable laugh is contagious.  I can't believe how fast he's growing, but I really am loving every minute we spend together.  

His stats:  
19lbs 4 oz. 
28" long 

On a little side note, this kid LOVES cantaloupe.  I've been putting some in his mesh feeder, and he just cannot get enough of it.  He laughs when I call him a melon-head; he's too cute!      

August 26, 2008

Overcoming Obstacles

Yesterday I accomplished quite a bit and overcame a couple obstacles.  Despite hitting some bumps in the road :), I installed Ryan's big boy car seat.  I had been putting it off for as long as I could, but it's finally done.  Then disaster hit my house in the form of dog vomit all over the light colored carpet.  It was so bad that I didn't even know where or how to start cleaning.  I got out the spot cleaner, and that worked pretty well on the first spot.  However, the second spot was too much and too deep.  It was just pushing the stain around making it a bigger mess.  Before Pat left for deployment we bought a steam cleaner but never got around to using it.  I got it out of the garage and assembled it the best I could.  It worked so well, and I don't know what I would have done without it.  Right after I got that cleaned up, the Vet called to check on how Abbey was doing.  I told her I hadn't seen any change, and she said she suspected that would be the case.  She said we'd need to move on to the expensive medicine.  However, the price she can get is way higher than what I've researched.  She told me to get price quotes from all the places I can find it, and we'll try to do it like that.  It looks like it will be about $160 every 24 days like I wrote a few posts back.  Now that certainly calls for me to revise our budget.  Dang, she's an expensive dog.  I'll be calling around today to see what I can find for prices.

Ryan woke up on the dot at 5:01 a.m.  I even put him to bed a little later last night.  He didn't wake up at 10:00 p.m. like the past few nights so at least that is better.  I'm hoping to get him sleeping later pretty soon.  Mommy is getting quite tired.  

Today marks 4 months of this deployment done.  I can't believe it's been 4 months.  Only around 4.5 left to go, hopefully.  I am definitely looking forward to having a little help around here when Pat returns, but most of all just having my best friend back is enough to make me happy.  


August 25, 2008


Ryan has been following a new sleep schedule for a little while now, and I do not like it.  Lately he's been going to sleep easily by 7:30 p.m.  Then like clockwork around 10:00 p.m. he is standing in the crib crying.  He nurses and goes back to sleep pretty well.  Then at 5:00 a.m. he's ready to start the day.  Every night as I go to bed alone, I look forward to getting up and playing with him. However, I just wish we started our day maybe an hour later.  I do know his fourth tooth will be cutting through pretty soon, and I'm sure that will shake up our sleep schedule again. 

August 24, 2008

The Great Debate

Since there are only a few faithful readers of this blog, I figure I'll let you in on a secret.  For a while I've been in a mental debate going back and forth about whether we should stay in the military after Pat's time is done.  If this were a year ago, I probably would have said we're definitely staying in.  Surprisingly, Pat is having this same internal conflict, which is something I never expected.  Being an Army Officer was Pat's dream, but I think the reality of it is just hitting both of us now.
There are some great things about this lifestyle:  the benefits and job security just to name a couple.  However, the real downside is me raising our family alone.  Knowing how much he's missing out on is really taking it's toll on Pat's happiness.  Being so isolated and lonely is wearing me down too.  There are also a lot of other issues leading to a bit of unhappiness with Pat's career right now for both of us, but I won't go into them here.  
There is definitely a part of me that wants the normal life where Pat comes home from work and we eat dinner together, or spend weekends as a family.  Pat and I both would like me to be at home with the children until they enter school.  A major question is what would Pat do if he did get out?  That question brings the scary thought of starting all over again in the civilian world.    
I really don't know what I want in this situation.  We have quite a bit of time to think, so we don't have to make our minds up anytime soon.  All I do know is that I want to be a family again.  

August 23, 2008

Facing Down A Major Challenge As A Couple

An article that I was interested in reading in the latest Redbook was The 7 Steps to Happily Ever After.  From what the cover says it is supposed to be secrets to lasting love.  Number 7 on the list is what really caught my attention and started me thinking.  Step 7:  Face Down a Major Challenge Together.  The article goes on about how you don't realize how strong your relationship really is until it's tested and when you make it through a challenge together you find yourselves closer than ever.  
Well then, I would think military couples should be very close.  I consider dealing with deployment a challenge on a multitude of levels.  While I do think that it has strengthened the bond between me and Pat, I'm not so sure that doing it over and over again is going to be a good step for marriage.  A friend of mine had said during her second deployment (Pat's first) that she  thought the effects of deployments are cumulative.  Now going through deployment number two, I completely agree.  I find deployment number two feels much different than the first.  Even my attitude toward it is different.  I realize that cumulatively I'm only dealing with a total of 16 months right now, and a bit over 20 at the end of this deployment.  It could definitely be worse.  Although I am certain deployment number 3 is waiting considering the unit we are in. 
The last line of the article says, "The small, friendly cottage you build--decorated with your shared history and stories, filled with color and laughter--will be the warmest and safest retreat you can imagine."  I wonder if we'll have this "cottage" filled with memories and laughter or if it will be memories of phone calls, care packages, goodbyes and homecomings. I'm not sure, but if many challenges makes a couple stronger than those that face less, I have to believe the military families will be some of the strongest.  

August 22, 2008


We finally have a diagnosis for Abbey.  Woo Hoo!  She definitely has EPI (see link in semi-productive post below).  Basically it means that her pancreas doesn't work, and she therefore lacks the enzyme she needs to digest food.  The vet says the normal range for the blood work is 5-35.  Abbey was 0.4 which makes it quite clear.  So Abbey will have to be on medicine for the rest of her life, but that should control all her symptoms and things should go back to "normal".  Right now we're starting her on one med (a cheap one by the way :)  while the vet shops around for the better med since they don't carry it.  It might sound funny, but I'm so happy that the test came back positive.  This was probably one of the best things that could have been wrong.  We go back in two weeks to see how she's doing and adjust her meds accordingly.  I'm so relieved that we're on track to make her better.    

August 20, 2008

Special Delivery

It's been a very good mail week here at my house.  It started off with my new subscription to Redbook arriving.  (maybe I'm a dork, but I don't care)  Then Grammy and Grumps (my parents) sent Ryan a water table to play with.  That has been very fun.  Hopefully soon I'll put a video of that on youtube.  Today the buildasign came, and it is absolutely gorgeous.  I can't wait till I can hang it up.  Best of all my house is filled with the fragrance of lilies from the flowers Pat sent me just because.   I am very happy today.   

Quick Abbey Update

I brought Abbey to the vet first thing this morning.  They had her get on the scale.  She hadn't had breakfast yet, but she was only 36 lbs.  That means she's down two more from last time and a total loss of 17 lbs.  Something is definitely wrong with my poor girl.  It took 3 people to hold Abbey down, muzzle her, and take her blood.  She pooped on the floor out of fear when they muzzled her.  They had to take blood from two legs.  Then finally she was done.  It was a lot better than the last time she had to get a shot, but still it is very hard to bring her in.  I should get the results in 2-4 days.  

More to come later. 

August 19, 2008

What Did I Get Myself Into?

Today I had the steering meeting for the FRG.  Let me just say it was MUCH more formal than our last unit.  They all seem nice, and Ryan did okay at the meeting.  I just hope that I can get him into daycare for the next one.  I am definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering what I've gotten myself into with this whole FRG leader role.  However, that is my typical personality.  When I was in school, every year after the first day of classes I would call my sister crying saying how hard it was and how I didn't think I could do it.  A couple days later I would be in the grove and doing fine.  I hope that is how this will turn out.  In some ways I'll have a bit less work than I had at Ft. Sill, but there are other things that leave me with WAY more responsibility/work.  I'm nervous and scared, but I do think this will be good for me.  

Tomorrow I'm bringing Abbey to the vet for her blood test (I think).  I'm really scared about how she's going to do with them taking her blood, and I'll have Ryan there too.  But as I said before I'll probably just push him into the hall for a minute.  Cross your fingers for me that it is quick and we all get home with our sanity.  I also looked up a little about the enzyme that I'll have to give Abbey.  From the medical papers they gave me and a bit of my own research it seems that a bottle of the medicine will last about 24 days.  It only costs between $129-186 a bottle.  And she's on it for life.  There is always a chance that it will turn out cheaper or that she'll need less of it, so we'll see.  I'm not going to worry about it now, and it really doesn't matter because we'll do what needs to be done.   

After the past few days, I'm just mentally and physically exhausted.  I look forward to tomorrow afternoon when I know all the hard things are done for the week, and I can just relax for a while.   

August 18, 2008

Semi-Productive Vet Trip

Taking Abbey to the vet was only a 3.5 hour production.  Here's how it went:
I nursed Ryan at 9:30 and then we left.  I realized post is pretty far away.  Finally I made it over to the CDC around 9:55.  It was very crowded and busy.  So they check Ryan's name off the list and tell me I can bring him to room 101.  Since I toured the facility a couple months ago, I knew where I was going.  I get there and start signing him in.  The daycare provider (or teacher as some like to call them) said she'd take Ryan and I could sign him in.  That was it, and it was time for me to go.  My only glance back at Ryan was to see him crawling with a toy.  He seemed happy so I felt okay.  They said to call in about an hour and a half to see how he is doing if I want.  
I went home, got Abbey, and drove straight to the vet even though I was early.  I got there and waited.  Finally Abbey's turn came.  She weighed 38lbs (one less than last month and down 15 total since this began).  Eventually a vet comes in and I tell her what is going on.  She tells me a list of things it could be, including cancer, and says she wants to go look some stuff up and will be back.  She comes back and shows me the veterinary text book of diseases, etc.  Right now the best choice for what is wrong with her is Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.  The symptoms match perfectly, and Abbey is part German Shepherd so that makes it even more likely.  Well, the blood test they need to do to diagnose this has to be done after a 12 hour fast period.  So it looks like Abbey will have to go back another day for that.  Abbey thought she had been so clever to hide behind the table because the vet never so much as looked at her.  Abbey didn't mind this visit so much.  While waiting to pay the bill, I called to check on Ryan.  I was put on hold for 5 minutes, and then finally they said they were busy down in the room and could I call back later.  So I went and dropped Abbey off at home and drove back to post to get my boy.  I expected to find Ryan playing, but was shocked to see him slumped down, sleeping in a bouncy seat.  They told me he had cried off and on and finally cried himself to sleep in the seat.  It takes a lot for him to cry to sleep, so I know it must have been a rough time for him.  He would NOT take a bottle, and really seemed to want to nurse they said.  The poor boy was so hungry and unhappy.  So I got him up and we headed home.  He was very happy to be back in the car and he seems exhausted.  I think we all are.  
So now I have this little problem of getting Abbey's blood test done.  I can't put Ryan in daycare first thing in the morning since he won't take a bottle.  And I really do not want a 2.5 hour expedition just for a 15 minute vet appointment.  I think my best idea right now is that one morning Abbey, Ryan and I will go to the vet together.  When it comes to the blood work time, I'll just have to put Ryan in the stroller in the hall for a  minute, hold Abbey down, and get it done.  Everything is much more complicated being a single parent.  I just wish I had a friend who could help me out once in a while during these pinches, but I guess I am proving I can do it all by myself.  While today wasn't the most productive at the vet, I'm at least confident that we are getting closer to fixing my baby girl.  

August 16, 2008

The Mother I Want to Be

I think it is a good thing to reflect about the type of parent you strive to be. I think about this often. It's hard to put into words, but I know in my head and heart exactly the type of mother I want to be. I want to give my all to my children (well, right now it's just Ryan, but also any future children). I do not want to start slacking off as Ryan gets older or when I have more children. I hope to take the extra time and effort rather than cutting corners. I know that when you have more than one child you have a lot more to juggle, but it is so important to me to be able to raise them the way I think I should. I know I look crazy talking, singing, and dancing down the grocery store aisles to make Ryan smile, and that is alright with me. I love making homemade baby food whenever I can. I am cautious letting him do many things because I'm overprotective. I want to spend all day playing with him and teaching him new things. Some people probably think I spoil him or baby him, but I think I'm just trying to put in 100% effort. I do know that I've learned many lessons in parenting already from the 8.5 months I've had Ryan. I also know that there are times when I get very frustrated and struggle. I need to focus on being more patient. At least I can say that with each struggle I go through I come out with more knowledge and an understanding of what I can do better. I do not want to be the parent that has the child always play by themselves, or the parent that is easily frazzled by the everyday minutia. It takes work to be a good parent; I know I will always have something to improve on, but I look forward to the challenge.

August 15, 2008

I Set It Up...

I finally set up my first hourly daycare appointment for Ryan. Aside from the minor panic attack this causes me, it is a good thing. I had to reserve 3 hours for Monday so that I can get Abbey to the vet. I'm hoping I'll be done at the vet quickly so I can pick Ryan up early. I still have to bring him to the meeting on Tuesday morning though since I can't get care in the a.m. So next week looks like it might start with a couple adventures between daycare, the vet, and the meeting.
I'll keep you updated on what happens with all this.

August 13, 2008

He Makes It All Better

Today I was having a very rough day emotionally.  To be honest I was just feeling miserable about a lot of stuff.  Thankfully I was able to have a quick computer chat with my husband.  He has a way of making it all better, and he knows all the right things to say.  I'm so lucky to have such a supportive, caring husband.  I hope that I am able to be as good to him as he is to me.  He is my rock, and this is just one of the million reasons why I love him.  

On another note, poor Ryan was having such a rough day.  Tonight he fell asleep in his highchair before dinner.  I'm sure that this nap will mess with bedtime, but the little guy needed some rest.

All These New Things

To go along with his new skill of standing, Ryan has begun standing up in his crib.  Sometimes he does this when he wakes up, but other times he does this when he doesn't want to go to bed.  He'll just stand and cry and cry.  This poses a little bit of a problem because he doesn't know how to sit back down, and I'm afraid he'll bang his head on the crib.  

Ryan is also getting one of his top teeth in.  However, it's coming so slowly and bothering both of us.  The past two nights Ryan has not slept well, which means I have not slept well either.  For his sake I wish this tooth would cut all the way through already.

Somehow I've become the HHT FRG Leader.  I'm not really sure how I ended up here, but I am.  It's a little funny because I don't know anyone in this FRG, I barely know post, and I'm definitely not familiar with this unit.  I guess this will be an adventure.  

Along with this new FRG leader position there was a meeting scheduled for Thursday.  I called for daycare on Monday morning and they were booked.  Then the meeting got moved to the following Tuesday.  I called this Tuesday and they don't have the hours I need for daycare.  Ryan has never gone to daycare so the first time I leave him will be so scary, but it doesn't look like I'll be leaving him too soon since I can't get care.  So how am I going to go to the meeting?  The LTC's wife says to bring Ryan.  She obviously doesn't know that he is very active and probably won't behave.  Unfortunately I don't see any other way this time though, but I bet I'll spend half the meeting in the hallway with Ryan.  

August 10, 2008

Average Day

Today was just an average day here, but sometimes that is exactly what I need.  Ryan slept late, well late for him equals anything after 7 a.m., but unfortunately I was up at 5:50 a.m. for some reason.  He's been so good about sleeping lately.  I think all the standing and crawling is wearing him out.  Today we got to sit in the back yard again under the tree closest to our deck.  I'm so thankful that the previous owner planted the trees, even if they aren't quite what I would have chosen.  Ryan sits so well when we are outside because he doesn't like the grass yet, so he just sits and takes it all in.  I absolutely love that because it gives me a break from chasing him all around the living room.  We both seem to like the fresh air, change of scenery, and the quiet quality time we get out there.  However, every day there is at least one moment when I look at our beautiful child and really wish Pat could be here to see him.  During that moment, my pride for Ryan is combined with sadness for all that Pat is missing out on.  I cannot do anything to change it, and Pat is living his dream, so I move on with my day and enjoy the peaceful moments that Ryan and I share.      

August 8, 2008


In honor of today's date I wanted to do something with 8.  Since I've been complaining on my blog a lot, I wanted to do something different.  I decided to list 8 things I am grateful for today so here it goes... 

1.  Every laugh and smile I get from Ryan.  They make my day so much better.  
2.  Having the luxury to stay home and care for Ryan.  I am very lucky to be able to watch him grow and learn each day.  
3.  A wonderful webcam date with my husband.  I've only seen him online twice since he left.  The first time was great, but the camera was just looking at the side of his head when he typed.  Today I got to actually look right at him and see each of his facial expressions.  It was like being with him again, and I loved it.  
4.  Today was a glorious day about 85 degrees, sunny, and not too hot.  Ryan and I sat in the grass under a shady tree and watched the dogs play.  It was a very fun afternoon.  
5.  My family and friends who provide me such wonderful support.  I look forward to each phone call with them, and they help me get through this deployment.  
6.  I've made it another day closer to seeing Pat and that summer is almost over.  I absolutely love fall; it is my favorite season although winter is a close second.  Hopefully time will continue to fly by so that our family can be reunited soon.  
7.  Pat has a pretty safe job this deployment.  I only have to worry about the occasional flights to different FOBs, instead of him constantly driving convoys like last time.  
8.  I'm thankful I found one last cup of rice pudding in the fridge.  I wanted something for dessert, but of course my fridge and cabinets are almost bare.  I don't know why there is rice in pudding, but it hits the spot.  

August 7, 2008


I thought writing about some things that have been bothering me might help.  This will be long, so here it goes.   

When the husband is away one always hopes things go smoothly.  Somehow there always seems to be a bump in the road though.  Here are just 3 issues that are not helping to boost my like of Tennessee.  

1.)  Poor Abbey is still sick.  It all started back in February, in fact it was Valentine's Day to be exact.  She started having a dramatic change in her bowel habits.  Pat and I knew something was wrong.  Every time we brought Abbey in to the vet (the one that is highly recommended by everyone here), they could never give an answer as to what was wrong.  Most of the time I think they thought Pat and I were imagining it.  Once they did suggest doggy anti-depressants, but I do not believe that is her problem.  I think that they just really like giving medications at this vet.  Eventually Abbey's bowel habits returned to being somewhat normal, but Pat and I still felt like something was wrong.  However, we'd already easily spent $1000 to have no answers and all normal tests, so we knew that we'd just have to wait until some other symptom was visible.  Fast forward--before my trip home I had to bring the dogs to the vet on post for a vaccine before boarding them.  Abbey went in first.  I knew Abbey had lost weight, but I was shocked when I saw the scale.  When we moved here Abbey weighed 52 lbs, and now she is 39.  She is literally a sack of bones, even the vet tech commented on it and was worried. But again, no one knows why.  I've now found a great little pet food store in town (it is the only highlight of living here so far in my book), and bought an all natural food supposed to help her bulk up.  I'm very worried about her though and I foresee another vet visit in my near future.  I'm apprehensive about this though because the vet has been less than nice, and obviously doesn't seem to have a clue as far as medical knowledge.  One of the last times I was there by myself and the vet kept commenting saying stuff like, "how are you going to protect your son from her (Abbey)?"  I was too polite to say "I'll worry about raising my son, you worry about fixing my dog."  Another challenge I'll face taking her to the vet is that she is petrified of people "doing things" to her and tries to bite when there.  She has had a tough life filled with vet visits, and she isn't even 2 years old yet.  The last time I went to the vet was such an awful experience (hence previous blog post "crappy day"), and I'm really afraid to take her by myself.  Oh yeah, and then I have Ryan that I haven't fully registered hourly daycare because I don't have a 3rd local contact to list for emergencies, and I can't take both of them together to the vet.   I wish I had a neighbor or friend that could watch Ryan for an hour so I could get this all settled.  

2.)  Speaking of neighbors, one of mine is just fantastic (sarcasm).  It was the same day that I had taken the dogs to the post vet for vaccines, which I'll repeat was absolutely awful, I had a run in with my neighbor.  It was 8:10 pm and the door bell rings.  Ryan is already in bed and the dogs are now going nuts.  I see it is the my neighbor and am thinking, "gee that's nice, she's probably coming over to introduce herself", since I had never met her before.  Yeah, that wasn't it.  So I step outside in my pajama pants and socks.  She says she has a concern and wants to talk to me about it and to follow her.  I oblige.  She then starts complaining that the people I hire to mow my yard are leaving her grass uneven, (yes a 2" strip right along the fence line is uneven with their yard made of dirt with a few patches of grass), when they weed-eat the outside of the fence and she wants them to stop doing it.  I tell her I'm sorry and that I'll make sure to tell them when they come next.  She however cannot just leave it at that.  Then she starts talking about how long the grass is in the empty field behind our houses.  I agree that it is getting long.  She then tells me that I should mow it even though it isn't my property.  I finally said, "listen, my husband is deployed and I have a baby in the house, I'm not mowing the field."  She then goes on telling me that I don't have to...but when she moved in they told her she had to mow the field and that the people who used to live in my house had their mower do it for them. (I however know this is a lie because when we moved in we introduced ourselves to her husband who told us he mowed it behind the previous owners home because he did not want snakes to bother their baby.--see my previous snakes blog to see why)  These neighbors don't have a fence so essentially they are just extending what is their usable yard by mowing, but I have a fence and do not care about property I do not own.  I really do not understand why the 3 feet behind my fence is bothering them but okay.  So then I just nod and say I'll tell my mowers not to weed whack over there again.  As I head in, she stops me to say, "I'm just letting you know that the about the field, you don't have to do it, but....oh and what's your name?"  I answer Michelle, and she says, "Sorry I have to yell at you, I'm Carol by the way."  I wanted to say f-off Carol, but instead headed inside.  I'm a little irritated by this neighbor now, so I'm sure I'm being picky, but it also bothers me that they start to mow their lawn at 10 minutes until 8 at night until 8:30, but I know I'm just being a mom not wanting to have her baby woken up.  However, the straw that broke the camels back was when on Saturday morning he starts weed whacking at 7:55 am.  I was of course already up with Ryan, but if Pat were home and sleeping I'd have been super mad.  GRRR...I just don't like them.  
I can also recall that when we were moving in this same neighbor started screaming at the moving truck because it had blocked them in.  Now the moving truck is huge and doesn't have many places it can go, but I did feel bad for inconveniencing them.  So the guy gets in the truck and moves it down the street.  She goes out to her car starts it up and then goes into the house for a half hour before ever leaving.  As the moving guy told me, "she's a b!tch", and I should have believed him.  

3.)  This one is just kind of an odd story.  Earlier this week I was driving to the grocery store.  I had just passed the high school and was going up a hill.  I thought I noticed a car flash me, but I wasn't sure.  I decided to proceed cautiously.  I didn't see anything.  Then I finally see two police cars with their lights on pulled over in the opposing lane.  Two officers are out of the cars, one on my side of the road and one on the other.  The one on my side holds up his hand to stop me from continuing and I do so.  I then notice that the officer on the other side of the road is holding a rifle.  Then as if everything were in slow motion, I watch him point the gun at the side of the road and all of a sudden 2 shots one right after the other.  I think I was screaming in the car at this point.  Then they let me drive on.  I was shaking and couldn't believe what I just witnessed.  All I can think about is that they probably just shot an animal in front of me.  Thank goodness I didn't see it, and I know it was probably an injured deer or something, but please don't do it in front of me.  I am so glad that Ryan is young and facing backwards in the car because I would hate to have to explain that one to him.  

I swear something must be wrong with Tennessee.  

August 6, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Sometimes it feels like whenever things are going our way, something gets in the way.  Pat and I joke about how we can never work the system and get away with anything while we watch all the other people get handed great things without trying for them.  Slowly but surely we are making progress.  Pat and I had a few important things planned during R & R that obviously won't be happening now, but we are figuring things out and setting up alternative plans. I don't want to jinx it, but so far things have been going well today.  I guess I'm just a little leery of what might be waiting to sneak up and ruin it.   

Speaking of steps, I usually love all of Ryan's milestones, but I have to say this whole standing up thing is my least favorite.  He is standing up everywhere.  Unfortunately he's wobbly, and I'm so afraid of him falling and bumping his head.  Sometimes he just pushes himself backwards not realizing he'll fall, but thankfully I'm there to catch him.  Even though it can be scary sometimes, it is truly amazing to see him learning new things each day.    

August 5, 2008

That Is A Blow

Today we had a blow to our morale.  Pat called to tell me his R & R was canceled.  I am not all that surprised, and I do understand.  However, my big problem is that they really killed my husband's morale.  Pat has been told for over 3 months that he was still getting R & R even with their plans to come home early.  He was really looking forward to seeing his son and needed a break from the job that he is doing over there.  Pat is definitely over worked and under-appreciated.  Pat feels bad for me that he isn't coming home, but as I told him, "I am strong, I can make it."  I feel awful that he is upset and I cannot make it better.  I know we are lucky that he'll only be gone a bit over 8 months, so it isn't really the fact of how long he'll be gone as much as it is the fact that he is disappointed and upset.  I'm just so sad for him right now.         

August 3, 2008

I Can Only Imagine

I can only imagine how hard it is to be in Pat's boots right now.  Ryan is growing up and changing so fast that sometimes I have a hard time believing this is our little baby.  How is Pat going to adjust to being a Daddy again after missing out on so much?  Pat was lucky compared to many that he got to be here for Ryan's first 5 months.  Honestly though, the first 5 months were primarily sleeping, breast feeding, and rolling on his play mat.  It sure is going to be a whole different world when he returns.  Pat is an amazing dad though so I know he'll fall right into step with us.  I've tried to keep him involved as much as possible with pictures, e-mails, and videos.  I really look forward to having Pat back and watching him with Ryan.  I know that sometimes Pat gets sad about all the firsts that he's missing out on.  We know that Pat is making a lot of sacrifices and are so proud of him as a man, a husband, and a father.             

August 1, 2008

In My Dreams...

When I was younger, I never imagined that this would be my life.  In many ways my life is exactly what I swore I didn't want.  Over time as I grew up and changed so did my goals and desires for what I wanted to accomplish in my life.  I know that I am truly blessed in many ways.  However, sometimes I still have dreams of a different life.  Sometimes I think these dreams come from my notion that "the grass is always greener...", but there are some things that one day I hope we get to experience.  My current desire is that I want to live closer to family.  I don't need to be wicked close, but maybe within 500 miles or so.  That would be a vast improvement from where I am and have been.  I wish I could raise Ryan in a small town like the one I grew up in.  During my visit home I saw what a great area I was raised in.  The military towns are just not the same and don't have the same feel.  I would love to have an older house with a large yard.  These newer houses where everything is cookie cutter lack the character that older houses have.  (My mother would laugh at me and tell me I'm crazy for wanting an older house.)  Most of all in my dreams Pat and I could watch Ryan grow up without always worrying and preparing for the next deployment.  I know all these things are pretty much impossible considering the Army guides our lives, but I can still dream.  
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