Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How We Do Father's Day: Overseas Style

Oh yea I know I'm way late on posting this, but since my daughters refuse to let me take a nap to recoup from my heartburn ridden night, I decided to finally get this done.

So this past Sunday was Father's Day! For us it was bitter sweet though, especially for the DH. He has only been in Japan a few weeks and just received his mailing address, so there was no time to put anything together and send it off to him in time. Usually we get him a care package with fun stuff inside, with lots of pictures and treats. Sadly, we couldn't this year because it just didn't work out. I talked to him the night before (Daddy Day for him there already) and he said he was just trying to treat it as another day. Well that wasn't going to fly for me. Originally we had made him some signs to show him on Skye, which we did, but I wanted to do something even more special. So, that night, the girls and I made a map, signs, then headed out on Father's Day around LA to shoot him a video, with the help of my cousins of course. He got it a day late but he loved our little "cinema" and now I'm here to share our video with you. Here's what we did for our #1 Dad:

Even when the seas separate you, there's no reason that the day can't be made special on the holidays for your loved one(s).

So now I want to know, did you make the big "D" day special for the "Dad" in your life? And yes I'm referring to all those who we call Dad, biological or not, the single Mom's on double duty, and even the Fur Baby Daddies out there.

Until next post,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nowhere Feels Like Home

The first couple weeks after my husband deploys is always the hardest. Nowhere really feels like home when he isn't around. One of the things that I cherish the most about him is the fact that it isn't the place we are, but that fact that we are together that makes our relationship so special. So, needless to say week one is going remarkable normal. I have the ups and downs in my mood. Once in a while a cry session begins and ends just as abruptly as it starts. I try to keep all of what is left of our schedule for the week in order. Make plans with the family to travel up to Los Angeles to try and get a little help with keeping the kids distracted. Then run all the errands and such before we make the road trip up. However, the stress always changes. This is the point where I warn you that this will mostly be a vent session here...

Week one has been a little bit of a challenge with the kids. Our oldest is used to deployments but always has a little separation anxiety, but she's been doing fairly well. Being that she's 4 going on 5 might also be helping that fact. Kindergarten is just around the corner too which has been a great distraction. My youngest however, has been pushing my proverbial buttons. It's your typical 2 going on 3 kind of attitude. Exploring the boundaries of how far she can go. But, when I go to discipline her, he's been completely breaking down. It's hard to watch to come points and I know it's partly because she just doesn't understand everything going on. Throw in Mommy expecting another baby, that I'm sure could be a whole other blog pot worth of explanation.

On top of all the difficulties with the kids, my family is in a state of tension all it's own. We have  full house with my cousin and her two teenage daughters, my eighty three year old grandmother, and my parents all under one roof. When I come to stay for a short period of time, we take up the guest room upstairs. It's a five bedroom home that feels more like a cramped frat house at times when everyone is trying to move around one another.

My cousin is fighting her fourth battle with cancer dealing with a severe brain tumor. Sometimes it alters her perception and balance which frustrates her to no end. Lately she has been lashing out in frustration at her own children, as well as my parents. It also affects her memory a little at times, which is normal due to where the tumor is located.

Then we have my bat shit crazy grandma. Now when I say bat shit crazy, I mean bipolar, dementia is already apparent, and on occasion she just down right mean, grandma. But, she for the most part has always been a spit fire broad all the way. Taking shit from no one is pretty much her personality. However, she recently fell and  broke her hip doing something she wasn't supposed to. Shocker. Now her mobility is very limited. But being an independent elderly woman she now is dependent on my teenage cousins (and myself now that I'm here) when her nurse is unable to come. Oh, and when she gets frustrated, she tends to be a handful. If she's upset, she'll make sure to let you know it with ever mean comment or comeback that you can think of. But, as I said before, that's just kind of her personality. It has never really changed but lifting and trying to care for her and deal with that makes it hard.

When it finally comes to my parents, well that one is hard to deal with too. My Dad is a strict neat freak with little or no time to clean. They both drive up to four hours into work, then four, sometimes more, home EVERY DAY. Now I don't know about most people but after a full day on the job then almost another eight hours on the road, they tend to not be in the best mood. Then have all the issues of the day on top of them come crashing down the minute they hit the door. The are so tired sometimes there is no energy left to fight with everything going on.

So now enter myself being six month pregnant with some complications here and there, the final layer to this stress monster of a situation seems to be at it's head. I am limited right now as to what I can help do around the house and trying to help my eighteen year old cousin take care of my grandmother. In the past few days of being here I actually pushed myself to far and ended up winding in bed yesterday, over-exerted, sick, and almost in the Emergency Room again. But like my grandmother I am stupidly stubborn sometimes and forget that I am not able to do things like I used to.

Luckily my teenage cousins help me just as much as I've come to help them. Especially knowing that their Mom is sick, they've told me they appreciate having me around the house for support. Bring young doesn't always mean they are invincible to stress and chaos. Plus I always find a way to get them away with a treat to get our nails done or just get out of the house. Hopefully Friday, we'll be on our way to the Aquarium of the Pacific for some much needed away from "home" time.

So although life is a little chaotic and no where feels at home, this deployment is still fresh. I will eventually settle into doing things on my own again. My husband has been emailing and video chatting with me, which he didn't ever get to do before, so it helps. Things will hopefully calm down around here. The kids and I will eventually be going home. Just have to stick it out a little longer. I also need to learn to relax with this new baby on the way. I have a feeling this third trimester is going to kick my ass royally.

Thanks for letting me vent, btw.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Departure Time: A Military Wife's Perspective

It's that time again. The early AM wake up. Getting the kids dressed while half asleep. Trying to get yourself dressed while half asleep. Somehow managing to remind him about this and that, or other things for yourself from having to ship more things overseas. Everyone haphazardly loading themselves into the car, then it's off to the airport we go...

Now this is not my first "rodeo". I've taken my husband down many times before for training and other such nonsense that his command has signed him up for, or he did willing fully on his own to better his career. Trips are just part of the protocol.

As usually he had to be the one to drive down because I couldn't sleep the entire night before and/or I was already sobbing uncontrollably in the car before we even got down the street. My husband is a good man when it comes to dealing with my crazy. Being 26 weeks pregnant I'm sure this time was even worse than many of our other trips.

We arrived into the parking lot (the whole $10.00 worth of), pull the kids out, drag out his two heavy bags packed with his entire wardrobe and gear, and head into the one place I've been dreading to see for months. The terminal in all it's depressingly cemented glory sucking my family in, only to spit out me and my daughters once his boarding is announced.

Every time we go, we are allotted security passed to let us into the waiting area outside his flight. This allows us at least a couple hours, if that, to still spend time with Daddy before he actually leaves. As always, the girls whine and fuss that they want something from the terminal "CafĂ©", and when I call it that, I mean the term loosely. We really have no choice but to purchase food because of TSA regulation and the fact that Admin always schedules his flights at the butt crack of dawn. Luckily this also means minimal people and the kids can be distracted by watching all the planes coming in. Our oldest is usually that one kid who starts screaming, "LOOK! LOOK IT! IT'S LANDING!!".

Eventually time runs out, boarding is called and we give our last heartfelt hugs and kisses.

Our little hoard somehow managed to get back though the terminal without losing anyone or Mom's sanity.

I lost the car. Walked around the parking lot for 30 minutes to finally find it again. My children reminding me that I should remember where we parked next time, only out of the goodness of their little hearts.

As we drove home, I on and off again started balling. My oldest pitching in on occasion with her own crying fit and asking when Dad is coming home (this is usually where we cried together in this mess). My youngest daughter passed out with Peter Pan playing on the video screen in her lap.

After a hefty drive back home I am now trying to keep my mind busy as we prepare soon to leave on our own little adventure up to my parents to spend the summer with them and my cousins.

On and off I will try and pack but loose interest. The key was I had packed all our clothes last night next to Daddy as he packed his bag. Now for just the other small things we'll be taking are left scattered in the closet to go in our duffle.

But I do have some words of "wisdom" to those of you ladies(and gents) who are preparing for your loved ones departure time, day one is always the worst. The next week might even suck as well. It eventually does get better, just be patient. No matter what "trip" this is, they will always be a downer and it never "gets easier" as some like to say, but that's ok too. You will find things to do and that's why God made friends, and the Internet....or that was Bill Gates...but you get my point.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go heat up our Stouffer's Lasagna because I refuse to cry and make dinner. While that cooks I'll be internet browsing more shoes....thank you internet.

Until next time...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Welcome to the new Chucks & Charlies!

Attention! Now listen up here my internet lovelies, things around here are gonna change. Nope, check that, they have changed!

A few months back I had an idea about getting this whole blog in order, and with the creative genius of Lauren from The Perfect Pair Designs, that idea became a reality this week.

So you may ask, why would I change the blog?

Well honestly, the old blog wasn't really me. I was testing the waters of this crazy world they call blogging. I had played around with it and am still learning, but, as they say, it's better to keep moving forward. Little steps eventually lead to BIG changes in the long run. And let me tell you I know a thing or two about changes...I'm a military spouse.

That's another reason I changed the blog. I wanted to openly share some aspects of how the military effects our family, especially for some of those out there who are in a position like I was. When first coming into the military life nine years ago, I had no clue about anything. I hadn't known anyone in my peer group who had been a part of any branch except my Dad. However, my Dad was a military brat and my grandfather (former Army) passed when he was 12, so even that source was way out of date to what was going on in today's military forces. It's more than just difficult because of losing the one you love to deployments, training, and other orders that come up. It's also extremely hard to find friends.

Now before I get the have you tried this and tried that speech, trust me, I have. I tried talking to girlfriends of enlisted guys, wives chats, living on base, joining battalion meetings, family events, and etc, etc., but to be honest, it's just simply difficult to find people even in the military network.

People move, change ranks, relationships fall apart, and sometimes there are the few that aren't in this type of lifestyle for the right reasons. So when it comes to making friends, you better be a pretty independent person because it can be tough to keep friends, let alone make them. Luckily with blogging it's been a lot easier meeting and keeping in touch with people. Not to mention the amount of people out there doing it is immense!

Now to be honest, it took some convincing to even start blogging in the beginning. After some pushing from a few friends and some family, I finally gave it a shot. And to be honest, I'm really glad now that I took that leap. Now it's time to make the leap worth the while and start reaching out more.

As my husband is also preparing a trip overseas I will be taking the kids on the road back and forth, from here to there. I will also be vlogging so when I just don't have the excess energy to write, you all can still see what we are up to.

Also, I have a baby on the way, which should make this craziness even more interesting. AND....don't worry, no birthing videos will be posted...I may be a T.M.I. offender but I'm not that bad.

I hope you all enjoy the new improved blog and thank you all who have shown me such great support already. I look forward to meeting many more of you out there!

Until next time...