November 30, 2008

The Value of a Good Friend

Most of the readers of this blog know how hard a deployment is.  In fact a lot of them are also on their second deployment.  Some people probably think I have a negative view lately, and I'll admit that is probably true.  Being a single parent for 7 months has been challenging, but even harder than that is not having a single local friend or neighbor that I can talk to or just count on when I am in desperate need of help.  Most people haven't experienced true loneliness like I am doing right now.  My family is absolutely wonderful and have been such a great support network for me.  Another great source of strength for me is my good friend Robyn, and this post is devoted to her.  

Robyn's husband was in the same OBC as Pat, and that is when we met way back at the beginning of their Army careers.  Although we lost touch for a while after they moved away, we found our friendship again, and I am very thankful for that.  Robyn is one of the only friends I have that can really relate to me and this Army life.  I hope that one day the Army brings us back together so I can have that local friend and Ryan would love playing with her son, Porter.  Well, now to make everyone jealous, Robyn sent such a sweet birthday package for me and Ryan.  I finally have one of the highly coveted aprons that Robyn makes.  They are absolutely beautiful, and I simply adore the one she made me.  She also made Ryan a taggie blanket.  He really likes to rub tags together so I'm sure that will be a big hit.  Also included in the package were some cds she made for me, a book, and some pants she had that would fit Ryan.  She is such a wonderful, thoughtful friend.   So Robyn, if you are reading this, thank you not only for the gifts but also for being such a great friend.  

(The picture quality isn't the best.  My battery was about to die, and I wanted to get this up before it did.)

My Accomplishment (TMI for some!)

Yesterday on the phone, Pat told me I should be proud because I accomplished a big goal I had.  Some people may find this to be normal and not anything special, but I feel like I did accomplish a hard task that I had set my mind to.  I breast fed my baby a whole year without EVER using any formula.  For those of you who have done the same, I applaud you because I know how difficult it can be.  For those currently breast feeding, I encourage you to stick with it if it is what you want.  It can be difficult at certain times, but persistence pays off.  I know that there were many times that I was worried I wouldn't be able to make it to a year.  I tend to stress myself out over certain things and need Pat to talk me back down.  Throughout this year he was very supportive of the whole process too, and for that I thank him.    
I'm a little torn about weaning.  I think my body is ready to be done, but emotionally I'm not sure I'm ready.  I'd like to try to wait until Pat is home to completely wean, but I don't know that we'll make it.  Either way, I guess I'm proud that I did a year and any extra time is just a bonus accomplishment.  

November 28, 2008


I simply cannot believe it, but my little baby is one year old today. It was at 10:20 a.m. a year ago that my life changed to become a dream come true. There were times during this year that felt like a journey, but it really just flew by too fast. I enjoyed every moment I shared with Ryan. Today is not only a special day for Ryan, but also for me and Pat. The memories of this miraculous day will never fade. We cannot wait to watch all the developments Ryan has to make in the future as a whole family. November 28, 2007 really was the best day ever, and I know I'm lucky for each day I get with Ryan.

Happy Birthday to my sweet boy. I love you so much.

November 26, 2008

7th Month Stretch

Just like with the first deployment, I find that Pat and I both hit a wall around the 7th month.  Last deployment Pat didn't take R & R until after the 7th month point.  While I loved having only a few more months left after R & R, by the time I got to R & R it felt like an eternity since I had seen my husband.  I get tired around 7 months.  Thankfully this time it's only about a month and a half left till I see Pat for a good long while.  7 months without seeing his face or getting a hug from him always seems like too long.  Here's hoping the next few weeks go by FAST!      

November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday...

To me!  Yup, that's right, I'm another year older.  It certainly flew by.  Thanks to everyone that called and wrote to wish me a Happy Birthday.  I think doing the dishes and paying bills will be quite the celebration tonight...LOL...

November 23, 2008

Weekend Update

As you could probably tell from my last post, my parents were visiting for a long weekend.  I stopped at the mall before picking them up at the airport.  I had plans to go shopping and buy myself some cute clothes.  Unfortunately I couldn't find a single thing I wanted.  However, I did buy Ryan lots of cute clothes.  (I'm crossing my fingers that he still fits in them when Pat returns.)  Later in the weekend though, my mother and I went shopping, and I got a cute coat from Old Navy that I will wear for Pat's homecoming.  (Homecoming will be in a cold hangar and then in a large tent, so instead of a cute outfit, a cute coat is better.)  My mom bought Ryan a coat and wicked cute hat for winter too.  I was even able to leave Ryan with my parents so that I could get a hair cut, and I'm pretty happy with the cut.  So overall I got a lot done.    
I had so much fun with my parents out here.  It was great to see them, and I wish I could see them more often.  Ryan loved having more people to play with and of course enjoyed all the toys they gave him.  My dad kept busy doing lots of projects around the house.  I don't know what I would have done without this visit.  I was very sad to have to say goodbye.  Now Ryan and I are back to being just the two of us.   I miss my family, but Ryan is good company and keeps me smiling.  

November 20, 2008

I am married to the most amazing man.

I happen to be a very lucky woman.  I think I  have the best husband ever.  My birthday is coming up, and Pat really went all out even though he's in Afghanistan.  I knew he was keeping something from me but I didn't know what it was.  Pat had my mother help him carry out his gift plan and bring the gifts with her for this visit.  He wanted my mother to give me the gifts as soon as she got here so that he could call after and get my reaction.  To say the least, I'm absolutely awestruck by how great he is.  So I bet you're wondering what he sent right?  Well, during his travels, Pat acquired some gem stones.  He sent them to my mother to take to our jeweler to be set in particular pieces of jewelry.  As if this wasn't sweet enough, Pat even drew sketches of what he wanted the pieces to look like.  He got me a beautiful topaz pendant necklace (it is my birthstone and Ryan's too), two sets of stud earrings, and also sent an amethyst stone that he wants us to set in a ring when he returns from this deployment.  I really don't deserve such a great husband but am thankful for him everyday.  I am so happy and just completely blown away by all the thought Pat put into these gifts.  He has truly outdone himself.  Here are some of the pictures of the gifts. 
  The topaz necklace and my new hair cut.   One set of stud earrings (don't mind my silly face)

 Second set of studs.   The amethyst stone that we'll set when he gets back.  

November 18, 2008

I Suck

Tonight was the FRG meeting.  I am awful at public speaking because I get so nervous.  I'm not like those bubbly, happy people that feel right at home talking to strangers.  I'm more of the awkward, sweating type that says, "umm" a lot.  (I know, that is a bad habit that I sometimes forget to watch for.)  I just feel like the spouses that were at the meeting tonight must think I'm a moron.  I didn't have all that much info to pass out, and I just feel like I didn't do so well.  At least I brought cookies though.  And the cookies actually turned out pretty well, so it wasn't all a failure.  

November 17, 2008

Is It Wednesday Yet?

Recently I've been talking to Pat about how it's funny that most days I have nothing going on and don't see anyone, but when I do have something planned, all the things I have to do seem to fall on the same days.  Considering how open my calendar usually is, it is becoming comical how everything happens at once.  After making so many phone calls this weekend (and let me just say it was so not fun), I'm feeling sort of worn out.  I have a bunch of errands to get done today and need to prepare for my FRG meeting tomorrow night.  My parents are coming to visit Wednesday, and I am so excited.  I feel like I need a break.  When I go to pick them up from the airport, I'm stopping at the awesome mall and shopping for me and Ryan.  I'm looking for some clothes for Pat's homecoming.  I hope I find some nice stuff because I'm ready to spend some money (and that doesn't happen often.)  Also when my parents are here, I have an appointment to get my hair cut and my eyebrows done.  I still have something like 50 days till Pat returns, but I guess I'm just getting prepared early.  

Ryan has been such a wonderfully happy boy lately.  Sometimes when he isn't feeling 100%, I forget how happy he normally is.  Whenever I'm feeling down, I just have to look at him and all the unhappiness washes away, and I'm immediately smiling.  He's getting so big and grown up, and it seems to be happening too fast.  I am rather excited to see what it is like when Pat gets home being a two parent family.  I don't know what to expect, but I think we'll have a great dynamic.    

November 14, 2008

On The Phone

It looks like I'll be on the phone all weekend.  I have 80+ phone calls to make for the FRG by Monday.  I wish I could write more, but my brain is giving out after talking to all these people.  I'm not even half way through either.  (Sigh...) 

And I wanted to add a note to say "Thank You" to the family members that call my house at 230 a.m., and say "Who is this; I had a missed call from you."  Yes, you did, but did you really need to call me back at this hour and wake my house up?

November 13, 2008

Busy Day and Annoyed by Tricare

Today was pretty busy.  I had the 3 hour reintegration briefing this morning.  Ryan was in on site daycare while I watched 3 hours of PowerPoint.  It wasn't quite the best 3 hours for either of us.  I would be excited about this briefing if it didn't still feel like a long time till Pat comes home.  
When I got home, I decided to call the Ft. Campbell BACH appointment line.  I find it a little annoying that they are so rude, especially when all I'm looking for is a timely appointment. Again, they only had Christmas Eve or Dec 30.  It's crazy.  I called Tricare to check on my options.  I won't go into the long story there, but I highly recommend going to the Tricare office on post rather than calling the 1-877-TRICARE number.  The phone people not only gave me completely different info the two times I called (and wrong info), but they were rude too.  I have to highly praise the Tricare offices on the posts.  I've gone to the offices on both Ft. Sill and Ft. Campbell and not only do they get the job done fast, but they are really nice to deal with.  
Tomorrow I'm looking forward to a cuddly day with my little boy.  I think we both need a quiet day at home.  

November 12, 2008

Newest Reasons Why I Dislike Ft. Campbell

Here are my newest reasons why I'm not so happy with Ft. Campbell:

Childcare:  Most of my friends at different Army posts keep mentioning their free daycare while their spouse is deployed.  It seems that most people get 16 free hours of care to use each month while their spouse is gone.  They had this at Ft. Sill.  You could use the free hours as you pleased during the month.  Here they do give free childcare, but only on two scheduled days a month:  Friday Night Out and Super Saturday.  So it isn't like I can use it any day I choose, and to be honest Friday and Saturday aren't the days I usually need/want care.   Also, we've all heard how even when I call two weeks ahead of my meetings, hourly care is usually booked for when I need, so I'd bet that the Friday/Saturday during the month books up fast.  

Homecoming:  Not so happy that I have to take a bus to get to the hangar for homecoming but I'll deal.  They say to get to the hangar 2 hours early.  I think it's a little silly that we get reunited with our spouses for 20 minutes and then separated again for them to turn in weapons and do the personnel stuff.  So they say after I ride the bus back to my car alone and drive to the tents at the next location, I could possibly wait two more hours for him to come back again.  I think Ft. Sill had the homecoming ceremonies and business associated with them down really well.  

Holiday Gift Wrapping:  I signed our FRG up for the Holiday Gift Wrapping Fundraiser at the PX.  I did it a few times back in Ft. Sill, so I figured it wouldn't be that different.  Thankfully this year at Ft. Campbell they are NOT requiring us to take a class before the wrapping (yes, seriously last year they did a class), but since they aren't doing a class they will not be providing scissors, tape, bows, etc.  That is a little weird.  And the money is not divided as fairly as it is at Ft. Sill, but whatever.  

Medical Care:  Now normally I'm not one to complain about the medical care because so far I have nothing really bad to say about the health care provided at the posts I've been to.  However, today I was a bit annoyed with BACH.  It ends up that the Holiday Gift Wrapping mentioned above is set for the day of Ryan's well-baby visit.  Since I'm the FRG leader I can't very well tell the group we are fundraising and then not show up.  So I had to cancel Ryan's appointment that was scheduled for Dec 10.  The next appointment they have for him is Christmas Eve.  Yes I'm calling Nov. 12, and the best they can give me is Christmas Eve.  Ryan would be about 13 months then.  I'm obviously not bringing him in for shots on Christmas Eve, so now I'm stuck waiting.  I'm going to call tomorrow and try to speak to a supervisor.  It is a bit ridiculous though.  

November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to all those wonderful people who have served our country in the past and those who are presently serving.  While my loved one is over on his second combat tour, I am very happy that there is a special day set aside for the country to remember the job he is doing and the sacrifices he is making.  Thank you to all the Veterans out there.  

I haven't updated in a few days.  Ryan has come down with a slight cold (and may be teething too, who knows).  He's been a little needy and upset, so I'm doing my best to keep him comfortable.  Hopefully the worst is over.  Last week I went shopping for winter clothes for Ryan.  I got such cute outfits for him.  I even got a onesie that would be perfect for Pat's homecoming; I just hope it still fits him then (eight more weekends).  I bought him his first real pair of shoes too.  They'll take some getting used to I think because he seems to walk a bit funny when he wears them.  This week I have two different FRG meetings to go to.  One of them Ryan will have to come to since I couldn't get care, and the other one he'll go to on site care.  Hopefully he'll be over his cold by then and will do well there like last time.  So that along with cleaning the house should keep me pretty busy.      

November 8, 2008

The Sound of Silence

The sound of silence is all that remains now that I've dropped our guests back off at the airport.  My sister, Marie, and her husband, Justin, came out to visit me and Ryan Thursday until Saturday.  It was so great to see them, and we had so much fun.  It was great for Ryan to have new people to play with him, and they provided me some free time.  I forgot what it was like to have a conversation with my dinner.  It was such a help having extra hands to watch Ryan when I did the regular everyday things like feeding the dogs or washing the dishes.  We were sad to seem them go today and miss them already.  The quiet in the house seemed overwhelming when we got back from the airport.  I know it will only take a day or two to get back into our routine, and I'll get used to the silence again.       

November 2, 2008

Missing Him...

I'm missing my hubby so much right now.  I've been very fortunate to talk to him a lot this past week.  Part of the reason I've been so lucky is that he's working such long hours by the time he finishes he's too tired to write an e-mail so instead I get to hear his very tired voice.  It may be a weary voice, but I love hearing it.  Hopefully, if all goes as planned, I should only have to get through about 9 more weekends without him.  We are both so excited to be a family again.  
Today seemed to drag on because of setting the clocks back.  Our schedule here just seemed a little off because of the change.  I'm sure tomorrow we'll be back to normal.  I thought I wouldn't like it being dark so much earlier, but I realized that I actually like it this way.  I'm always partial to the fall/winter time and it being dark as we finished our dinner tonight just felt right.  It may also be because I know this darkness and cold weather signals Pat's impending return.
We don't have any big plans for the next few days.  I need to clean the house for Auntie Rie and Uncle Justin's visit.  Ryan and I are so excited to see them.  I also need to do a recon of the school I'm supposed to vote at on Tuesday.  However, tonight I'm just going to sit down and browse my Sephora catalog and then watch Army wives.  I may not deserve this break, but I'm taking it anyway.     
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