Saturday, March 24, 2012

Groovin' on...

Now that we have finally made some progress on our Deployment Countdown and the homecoming date "seems" to be as certain as Navy-certain gets, I think the kids and I have finally gotten into the deployment groove.  We all still miss Paul every day, but maybe the missing him is starting to be the norm.  We know that each night we go to bed is one less night of blowing kisses to him in the air, and every morning we wake up is one morning closer to the morning we get to put on our homecoming outfits and go pick him up at the squadron.  So we are groovin'; I feel like I am growing through this experience.  Groovin' and growing is good for this Momma's soul.

Perhaps the groove is feeling pretty good since we just had two very special visitors in the last month.  Paul's mom was out here for a week and when I say "Paul's mom" I mean "The Laundry Queen."  No kidding.  First time since Paul left in December that ALL of our clothes were clean.  Dishes were cleaned and unloaded from the dishwasher BEFORE a whole other load of dirty dishes piled up on the counter.  I kind of forgot those things were possible.  In fact, Paul's mom did something even more impossible... or even more important... she gave me room to breathe, to play with the kids, and brought my enthusiasm for motherhood way way WAY up.  Enthusiasm is good for this Momma's soul.

Our other special visitor was my childhood neighbor.  We've known eachother since I was 6 1/2.  We played Barbies, kick-the-can, and volleyball together.  We lived nextdoor to each other and, for one summer, in the same apartment together.  Her visit was a bunch of fun and totally, completely comfortable.  Stacy helped the kids and I plant one of our neighborhood's garden boxes.  We planted a bunch of herbs, strawberries (per Matthew's request), and wild flowers.  We also planted a few flower boxes for our backyard - "red flowers" (per Grace's request).  We watched a terrible movie and laughed all the way through it.  We went to the gym two mornings in a row and laughed all the way through both of those mornings.  Laughter is definitely good for this Momma's soul.

To top off all my soul nourishment, I got to spend this afternoon with a dear friend, her husband, and their tiny, perfect, completely adorable 2-day-old baby boy.  Oh sweet Heaven, is he cute!  Sweet baby smell, tiny little teeney diaper butt, cute little baby yawns, and those wonderous eyes peaking out and blinking and blinking are good for this Momma(who will not be having another tiny miracle of her own)'s soul.

So here we are on a Saturday night, watching a movie, and having a "camp out" in the family room.  The kids and I are groovin' and I am feeling like my soul is ready for the next 4 months... or at least 4 weeks, when my mom visits!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It Is What It Is... and It Won't Be What It Was Supposed To Be

I really really don't like the saying "It is what it is." My dad says it a lot.  My husband says it a lot.  It seems to be the man's verbal version of a shoulder shrug.  I would prefer if we could discuss "it." What is "it"? How does "it" make you feel? Why is "it" happening? What can we do to change "it"? If "it" isn't going to go away, how can we best deal with "it?"  See..... there's soooooo much to talk about!  It is what it is.... and then some, thank you very much.

BUT.... alas, it is what it is.  Paul's 4 1/2 month deployment has been extended (again) to 8 months. WHAT?! Remember, how I wrote before he left that this deployment was a "short" one?  Yeah, not really anymore.  "It" is shorter than some... but now kind of longer than most. Lame.

So here I am, 9 days after finding out that we have not 2 months left, but 6 months.  (It's weird to be 2 1/2 months into a 4 month deployment and know that you have 6 months left... "it" is odd math.)  Nevertheless, I'm sitting here telling myself it is what it is.  I've been sad, very very sad; I've been mad; I've been lonely and frustrated and defeated.  Now it is time to accept it, embrace it, and move on.

In order to accept "it" I've had very little work to do. When the Navy has your husband out in the middle of an ocean on a great big gray boat and then tells you they aren't letting him come home until they are good and ready, there's not much for a girl to do.  You can't really say "No!  I do not accept this information." So, I accepted it. Begrudgingly. It is what it is and it won't be what it was supposed to be.

Next came the task of embracing "it."  This one has taken about a week or so.  I'm not sure I've exactly embraced it fully, but I'm getting there.  I have a pretty solid faith in God and His plan for me and my family.  I know that God knows what is going on and I know He knows how I feel about it.  I know that there are many people at our church praying for our family during this deployment and I know those prayers are making a difference.  I can feel them making a difference!  A lot of people say that everything happens for a reason, but I'm not sure how I feel about that in this situation.  I can see this situation for what "it" is... other aircraft carriers are needing maintenance, other countries are acting goofy, my husband is in the military.  So I'm not sure if God has a bigger, deeper reason for this, but I do know that "it" will strengthen my relationship with Him because I absolutely cannot get through the tough days and nights without a good amount of prayers.  This one is so much bigger than me.  It is what it is and it won't be what it was supposed to be.

Lastly, the time has come to move on.  I have taken down our countdown calendar.  I have (sort of) stopped looking for my homecoming outfit.  Sitting around and thinking about what the countdown should be is not helpful and won't make my real countdown go any faster, so I had to stop doing that.  I'm moving on.  I bought myself tickets to see Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw (WOOOOHOOOO)... which I thought would be a fun concert to see with Paul, but now know it will be a fun concert to see with friends.  I am planning a weekend escape to Vegas with some of my Navy friends... we will be coming from California, Washington, Maryland, and Virginia.  You know you're a Navy wife when.  I broke the news to the kids that Daddy won't be home until after the summer is over.   It is what it is and it won't be what it was supposed to be.

Accepting "it" required me to mentally be okay with the information; embracing "it" required me to find some emotional and spiritual peace with the information; and moving on is still requiring me to be active and physically make the choice to not sit around and mope or worry or feel defeated.

I'm pretty sure my husband and my dad can just say "it is what it is," and they don't need to blog about all of it, but what can I say..... it is what it is.
Our previous countdown calendar... after the news of the first extention.  It's now in the trash (except for the pictures).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

An Hour to Spare?!

Somehow.  I don't know how. I probably couldn't do it again if I tried.  I have an HOUR to spare before heading to church this morning!!!   Perhaps pigs are flying outside, I don't know.

So I wanted to take a few minutes and catch up on the blog a bit.  "Blog a bit."  I like that for some reason.

The last two weeks have not been the best.  The kids and I were visited by the stomach bug over a six day period.  There's nothing like being woken in the night to crying and walking into the kid's room to be hit with "that smell."  The smell of throw-ups.  Y.U.C.K.  And then comes the joyful task of cleaning up the child, cleaning up the sheets... what do you do with those dirty dirty sheets?  we don't have a utility sink that is handy for rinsing such business in this house.  Yuck.... then re-making the beds, getting a bucket for the next throw-ups, getting the child tucked back into bed, and finally getting yourself tucked back into bed.  Perhaps the best part of the whole night is getting back into bed (alone... since the hubby is somewhere on the other side of the world) and trying to get that smell out of your nose and THEN wondering if your stomach is swirling because you just cleaned up someone else's throw-ups or because you, yourself, are going to be having throw-ups.  Joy.   Luckily my mom was also visiting, luckili-er (I'm sure that's a word) she managed to leave WITHOUT suffering from the bug.  So the day that I was suffering, she had the kids downstairs or out of the house and I was able to rest.

Then last week, just after we were fully recovered and my mom was safely back in the Midwest, we all got a stuffy-nosed, sore-throated cold.  The kids are fully recovered after missing a few days of school... and a friend's birthday party (boo.).. and I am finally on the mend.  I have a red nose that would make Rudolph envious from all of my nose-blowing.  Speaking of nose-blowing... has anyone used the Kleenex Cool Touch tissues??  I picked them up by accident at the store and am totally amazed by these things.  When you pull them out of the box, they are COOL... to the touch.  I don't know how they make them cold, but they are!  So strange.  I do wish they had a little more soothiness when you use them, but the coolness is pretty nice.

So here we are... finally turning the corner towards health, I hope.  And we are also facing... drum roll please.... a TWO MONTH EXTENSION to the deployment.  Boo. With a capital "B."  Absolutely Boo.  The ironic part was that we found out about our 8-ish week extension when we had just completed 7 weeks.  So... the past 7 weeks have gotten us absolutely NO closer to our homecoming date.  I spent one day being mad and one day being very sad.  But now it has sunk in, my expectations for the next few months have adjusted... remember my Timeless Wonder post... this is the epitome of a Timeless Wonder.  I will blog more about my feelings of the extension another day. Stay tuned, I'm sure you're on the edge of your seats!

Despite the sicks, colds, and extension, things are still going pretty well.  I give a huge amount of credit to my church and the small group that I am part of.  We go to an awesome non-denominational Christian Church called Catalyst in Ventura.  They are the most down-to-earth group of people I have ever attended church with.  They are kind, welcoming, and caring... without being cheesy.  My small group is bringing me dinner once a week, they pray for me and the kids, they pray for Paul without me having to ask for it. Say what you want... those prayers really really work.  Every week when I go to church people ask how Paul is doing, other moms offer to help with the kids if I need it, I'm invited to play dates.   The church is sending Paul some thank-you notes, two or three months of weekly messages on a flash drive, the info for a financial study we are doing with our small group, and a phone card so he can call home. How cool is that?!  It's so nice to have other people acknowledge that Paul is away... and it's not just me thinking of him every day, others are too.  Today... in thirty minutes now... I get to say "Thank you" to our church by sharing a little bit of our deployment story and I'm grateful to have the chance to let them know I appreciate all they do!

Well, it's been thirty minutes with a few interruptions from the kiddos, so it's time to finish getting ready and pack up a diaper bag... and try to add a photo to this post.  It's been nice chatting with you and catching you up on the latest.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Here's a photographic representation of life today:

Kleenex Cool Touch, Clorox Wipes, Hand Sanitizer,
Theraflu (I swear by their nighttime one in particular),
Keurig Folgers French Vanilla coffee, and my Bible

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Timeless Wonder: Deployment

So it's been a month since the last time I found time to write.  A month? A month!  How is that even possible?!  Oh, wait, I know.... I'm living with the Timeless Wonder.  Essentially, during deployment,  "time" means NOTHING.

On one hand, it seems like time is going so s.l.o.w.l.y.  It hasn't even been 7 weeks since we started this big, bad adventure of deployment.  I feel like I haven't seen my husband in-person for AGES.  I haven't had a dinner with him in EONS. I haven't snuggled up and watched a movie with him in SUCH A LONG TIME.

How is it possible we've only been doing this for 7 weeks and we have sooooooo many more weeks left?!

Time must be slowing down. I mean, really, it must be. Like, the Earth is rotating at a slower pace making every day stretch on forever.  Is this possible?  I've checked the news blogs and all, but no one else is commenting on longer days, weeks, or months... so I guess it must be the Timeless Wonder.

Then on the other hand, there NEVER seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.

Let's do a little daily run-through, shall we:
A Day in the Life of Momma B with the Three
wake up
give "get dressed" instructions to the bigger kids
get self dressed/brush teeth/brush hair
get littlest up/diapered/dressed
make coffee (am considering moving the Keurig into my that weird?)
sip coffee
make kid breakfast x 3
give "set table" instructions
repeat "set table" instructions
sip coffee
check FB and email hoping for message from the hubby
make self breakfast
nibble breakfast while refilling kid breakfast/juice x 3
give "find shoes and socks" instructions
get littlest shoes and socks on
dump breakfast plates into sink if dishwasher is clean (probably is, see end of day cleaning)
grab items needed for school/gym towel/water bottle
grab diaper bag
help find random missing shoe
grab cell phone 
check email one more time to see if husband happened to send an email since last time it was checked
herd three to the van
buckle up
go to school/drop off at school
go to gym/drop off at child care/work out
pick up kid(s) from child care/back to van
one quick errand
pick up kid(s) from school
head back home
give "put coats and shoes away" instructions
repeat instructions
make lunch
help find missing toy of some sort
littlest up for nap
insist on quiet time for two biggers
try to clean up kitchen
sweep mound of crumbs from littlest's breakfast which is now fairly cemented to the floor
assess toy mess situation/consider picking up or holding biggers accountable
check email again (just in case)
think about blogging
decide to take care of household business (making dr. appts./paying bills/etc.)
check email again (might as well since I'm on the computer)
biggers are done with quiet time... no blogging today
throw laundry in wash
oops, realized washer still had clothes in it... re-wash those to get musty smell out
spend some time with two biggers playing/reading
get littlest up
snack time
head to afternoon activity or playground
two hours (approx.) of playtime at activity or playground
check snail mail
home for dinner
make dinner
give "set table" instructions
try to pry littlest off my leg while finishing dinner... seems to be his favorite perch at 6pm
sit down to dinner
get up for re-fills several times
clean up kitchen while supervising toy clean up
upstairs for bath
1-2-3 into the tub
1-2-3 shampooed
1-2-3 rinsed
1-2-3 dried off
clothes in the hamper/dirty diaper in the trash
supervise "tidying up time" in biggers' bedrooms
stories and song for littlest - good night
stories and song for middlest - good night
stories and song for eldest - good night
downstairs to finish cleaning up from dinner
run dishwasher... wish that it would magically empty itself before the morning
check email
email back husband
sit down
take a breath and watch a show or read a book
oh crap. there are wet clothes in the washing machine!

And THAT, my friends, is how time goes by faster than I realize and all of a sudden I find myself saying: "It's been a MONTH since I blogged last?!"  "It's been a MONTH since cleaned my bathrooms?" (Seriously, when am I supposed to do that?!) "It's been a MONTH since I cleaned out my fridge?!" (At least we're eating the food in there, so it's sort of getting cleaned out every day... right? Right?!)

Time goes too slowly while it's racing past me.  The stupid Timeless Wonder.  Makes a girl go crazy.

But no matter how the days go.... slow or fast... whether laundry gets done or not... we're always thinking of Paul and...