Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today Just sucks....

Today my Grandaddy died. And I am stuck 400 miles away from my family and my Hubby is deployed. Such is the luck of an Army wife.

So tomorrow I will have to load up 2 pain in the butt kids and head back alone to AL. I dread it in the worst way you can imagine. I do not deal well with death or road trips.

I am so sad for my Daddy and my MawMaw the most. I am also sad for the rest of us....I mean I know he is better off. But it hurts.

I find myself wishing that I had gotten to know him better or spent more time with them. And most of all I regret not coming home more these last 9 years we have been in the army.

I feel very helpless and useless right now as there is nothing I can do for anybody else. And I feel that praying just isn't enough.

My grandparents had been married for 45 years and as far as I know other than a few guard drills over the years have never been apart. I can not imagine her pain right now. He will be so sorely missed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Helpful Hints to stay close through deployment....

Ok so these are just some of the things we have done while he is gone....feel free to add anything you have done that I did not think of....

But one of the first things we had done, was we had pillowcases made that had the other's picture on it (and we posed like we were lying down in bed) so that we could still sleep together every night, lol. I also had a blanket made with our photos on it. So I could still snuggle with him.

We also (I say we, but I actually have no idea if he is doing it or not) keep daily journals where we write just a little something about what happened that day or just a simple "I Love You", and we plan to exchange them when he gets home.

I also try to send him thoughtful care packages pretty regularly and have included such things as his favorite snacks, magazines, a video game, t shirts and even a Tybee Island Magnet. I try to include little silly things that remind him of home and of me, and I also try to send him some of the creature comforts he can not purchase there at the PX.

But Skype is the greatest thing ever. The last time my hubby deployed we did not have this option. But with Skype I can at least IM with the hubby for a few minutes everyday and some times we get to video chat, which is fabulous for the kids.

And this may be a little TMI, but we also try to keep the sex life spicy by sending racy photos to each other. I have become a wiz with the self timer feature on my camera, LOL.

I also still try to write old fashioned letters when I can , as I love to receive mail from him when he is gone. I can be just a like a WWII bride waiting by the mail box sometimes.

But those are just a few of the things we have done so far....and I will add pics of the blankets and pillows if I ever figure out how.....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The last 4 months...

Ok , So I guess I need to tell you about the last 4 months since my Hubby deployed. Because any military wife can tell you that once your husband is gone everything that can, will go wrong or break. That Murphy guy can be such an asshole sometimes. No joke.

Here is a list of the calamities that have befallen me during this deployment so far:

Right before he left (6 weeks in fact) I had to have an emergency hysterectomy and bladder surgery. So the weeks leading up to deployment were filled with dr's appointments, no sex and a lot of we did not even get off on the right foot this year. LOL.

The day I took my Hubby and his friend to deploy I received a hefty speeding ticket on my way home and while I do not usually believe in trying to get out of tickets, I did try that day. To no avail. He was not the least bit sympathetic to the crying woman with 2 kids and a long way to go to get home (I had , had to take him 4 hours across the state to Ft. Benning). He instead hit me with a reckless driving charge and a $250.00 ticket. I later got another notice that GA was charging me an additional $200.00 just to keep my driving privileges. Ugh.

Then my poor house has systematically been falling apart on light fixtures have blown up or just fell completely from the ceiling. My stove handle flew off one night (on a rare occasion that I actually tried to cook a real meal) while I was attempting to get dinner out of the oven. My ceiling sprang a leak, luckily right above my toilet. And my computer hard drive decided to commit hari kari  thus taking away my only real link to the universe and my hubby, and facilitating my crash course in computer repair. Which I successfully managed to do. Oh and just today I awoke to find my air conditioner had blown up. Good times I'm telling you, good times.

And then there are the car issues. Tags that needed to be transferred from VA to GA. Tires that needed to be replaced (and of course the lug key was awol) . I even had to drive for a few weeks with no registration.

Then there are the personal tragedies that always come along when your alone and don't have the luxury of breaking down to deal with them. My Lil' Sister lost a baby and my other Sister nearly lost a husband (who it turns out is really a pretty cool guy) all while I was here in GA 400 miles away. I felt so incredibly hopeless and useless. I was no help to anyone from here. And to top all of this off my Grandaddy is dying of melanoma. I was able to go home after the school year ended and spend a few precious weeks  with my family and I will treasure what time I had with him .

But all in all, this deployment has not destroyed me and I have already learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. I mean sure there have been panic attacks along the way, but already I feel like a better stronger person than I was before. I have learned that I can put my Big Girl Panties on and take care of it. In fact CID's motto of "Do what needs to be done" has definitely pertained to me these last few months. Because in the end it has to be done and I am  the only one here to do it. I have cried while doing it, but it got done with no collateral damage. Plus I discovered that my Sister and I could have a semi normal relationship and that I even like her. And the apocalypse did not occur, like we always assumed it would if this were to happen. I also learned that you can go home....because in the end, family is all you have. Friends come and go but family is there.....and it helps if you can be friends with your family.

Here is a list of things I have learned since he has been gone:
  1. I can replace  a hard drive and rebuild a computer all by myself
  2. You can make one box of hamburger helper and freeze half and get 2 meals out of it
  3. I can survive and still smile on 2 hours of sleep for 3 days
  4. I can be independent
  5. I am Super Woman (just kidding, but I tell myself this all the time when things get crappy)
  6. A glass of wine , will instantly calm you and make everything your kids do bad just a little more entertaining
  7. I can drive 400 miles alone with kids and a cat and not have the urge to go on a homicidal rampage
  8. I can cook dinner, help with homework and chat on skype with the hubby all at once
  9. Yoga can save lives
  10. It's ok to ask for help
  11. And it's ok to put the kids to bed and just go nuts. Wether it be that you sit and cry or dance naked in the hall on the way to the shower.
But most of all I have realised this deployment will not kill me....I will Survive (feel free to sing along at the top of your lungs...)

this is me....

Ok I am going to start over and try this again....

My name is Mandie and I am an army wife, its kind of like AA in a way , in that you really do need a support group or maybe a sponsor to get through it. I should be good at this by now as I have been doing it for over 9 years .....but if anything,  things only  seem to get harder as we go on. Well except for I have become a pro at packing and moving and finding a house in just 2 days . However the important stuff, like making friends to hang out with or where to go to church elude me. And I am not really very good at putting myself out there to meet people. My fear of rejection can be overwhelming at times.

But life is usually either full on nuts or incredibly boring and you know what they say about idle hands and all. So while my hubby is deployed I think I need to find a way to occupy myself and hush the voices in my head , that does not involve drinking all the time. So this might work....

So here is a little about me. I am a stay at home Mommy by day , which is to say I am your average Domestic Goddess. You name it and I can do it pretty much, at least when it comes to running a household. I have learned minor home repair, culinary arts (I can name and cook at least 30 different soup and sandwich combos, lol), home decorating, tutoring, stain removal, hazardous waste removal. You know just the basics. I like random and weird things and collect tacky souvenirs, the cheesier the better. I like loud colors and pictures of my family (that is until I have to dust them all). I mean ,do not get me wrong I actually love to clean but hate dusting. I like comedies above all other movie genres . And sadly find the Disney channel freakishly entertaining. I do not keep clocks in my house as I do not like the idea of time chasing me around. And I watch way too much tv...

I have been trying to figure out how to deal with this deployment sooooo.....

The first thing I did was make a list of goals....although please take my own personal list for what it is and not overly seriously (I am sarcastic and dark by nature and most of these were meant in jest, I swear. )

So here was my list
  1. First and foremost Do not kill kids.
  2. Work on becoming an alcoholic so as to achieve the first and most important goal
  3. Remember to Eat
  4. Figure out what God would have me to learn from this sucky experience
  5. remember to smile at least once a day
  6. remember to ask for help
  7. try and make some friends no matter how much it may hurt
  8. have another drink
  9. and last of all and remember this is very important, DO NOT KILL Kids or anyone else if possible
Ok seriously that was the list I made, but I have tried to come up with some actual goals like watch every movie my hubby did not want to see with me or won an Oscar. And I try to watch at least 1 thing per week that I would not normally be inclined to watch. Another is to make myself get out of the house more and to try and think of adventurous things to do with my kids. As my natural inclination is to never leave my house which is not very fair to my kids and I fully want to take advantage of living on this beautiful beach.
And I think every wife's goals should actually be attainable and meaningful to them, rather than the usual "I will lose 30lbs" that I usually hear of people putting on their list. Or I will save 10, 000 dollars , not that saving money or losing weight are not good to do, but I think your goals should also be fun and in the end you can't take the money with you and I doubt anyone ever got to heaven and said "Well now I am glad I did not eat that last piece of cake ". 

I won't sugar coat deployment  or the army way of life for you though and I intend to tell it exactly like it is from my perspective. And for the record I am not your typical army wife or even typical wife material.  But maybe something I have to say will resonate somewhere with someone else who is tired of all the happy wife advice that gets put out there. Like my all time favorite thing....."Never let your Hubby see you struggle, always put on that happy face on the webcam and try to always be positive and upbeat, bad news will only make it worse for him". NOT. If I suddenly became like that my Hubby would think I had developed a drug habit, LOL.  Being in a war zone is hard (I assume, having never been there and only basing my opinion off what I see on CNN) but so is being the one left behind to be Mommy and Daddy, I mean at least my hubby gets to pee in peace without a 2 yr old staring at you with a puzzled expression and he does get the occasional day off. And I will not lie but some days around here make me wish that it was I who were in Iraq instead as the peace and quiet of war (said with sarcasm) would be so preferable to dealing with my kids.

I hope my blog will demystify how Army Wive's are portrayed or at the very least make you laugh.....or even help another army wife feel less alone.