Light Bulbs

I went to a 4th of July performance in the park Sunday morning. It was nice. As soon as we got out of the car people were there to greet us and asked if we had family serving overseas. We got ribbons to wear to indicate that we did. Fuzz and I wore ours proudly.

A church choir sang songs. They invited all those who served past and present to come up and stand alongside their flag. A man who was in Iraq as a doctor in 2004-2005 spoke about his experiences, and then his wife got up to speak about hers while he was away. I loved that they included her sentiments. I think light bulbs went off in many people's heads that day as to what a spouse who's left behind goes through. I know that our spouses are the ones actually doing the work over there, but that doesn't mean it's easy being the one who waits.
One of the things that the wife spoke about was her feeling of relief after he left for the deployment. I thought I was crazy to feel that, and I thought many people would think I was crazy when I wrote about it. But I'm clearly not the only one.

It was an emotional day, but I'm so happy I went. Finally in my life, the patriotic holidays actually mean something to me other than just a day to have fun. I get it.


Sorry I judged

In the past I have read different military wives blog about the getaways they take once their spouse comes home from a deployment. The ones that I read of either went alone or with some girlfriends. Maybe just a weekend away at a spa or something like that.

Anywho, I never could understand that. Why would they want to leave their spouse after he just got home from a looooong deployment? They finally have their whole family together and they are leaving?

Well, let's just say after about 7 months of taking care of Fuzz and the home all by myself, I get it. I.So.Get.It. It's not that I don't want to spend every living, breathing moment with Stryker once he's home. It's just that I am in major need of a break from the everyday monotony and responsibilities of taking care of...everything.

I love Fuzz to death, and I am so very happy that I can have this time with her. It is amazing to watch her every developmental milestone unfold. It's just hard to do it alone, day in, day out, for months on end. Once again, I feel for single mothers. It's tough.



Well, I had my first day of a beginning Pi-Yo class today. It is supposed to be a mix of pilates and yoga. I've never tried pilates before, but I've done some yoga classes in the past and I love how I feel afterward. Calm, strong.

This class was a lot of Pi and not a whole lotta Yo. And beginner? Who are they trying to kid? Let me tell you, pilates is a whole nother monster. Ouch. My muscles are already talking to me and class just finished 3 hours ago.

I know I've only done one class but I'm already not a big fan. I will however keep going, because the class pushes me further than I would push myself, which is a good thing.


Wordless Wednesday

Happy 10 Months Fuzz!


Deployment Leave Dilemmas

I discovered Sara's blog the other day and was reading this, and it struck a chord. I love Stryker's family, but if you've been reading for awhile, you know that they sometimes do things that bother me. Really though, even my own family does things that bother me...who's doesn't?

As we all know from my frequent donut updates that Stryker's R&R is coming up. Thankfully, Stryker is not shy when it comes to telling his family what he wants. He has already told them that it would only be Fuzz and I at the airport picking him up, and because the airport is only a few miles from their home, we would stop over before we headed for home.

The thing is, if he wouldn't have told them that, I can almost guarantee that they would have just assumed they would be at the airport. I don't think they would have asked if they could come, they would have asked what time they should be there.

After reading about Sara's plan, I realized that we hadn't even taken into account what will happen if Stryker doesn't come home during the day. *Must talk to Stryker about that* Thank you Sara for making me think about that.

Another thing that is common is them making plans for him without asking first. I know they love him, but I don't think they understand that Fuzz and I are his priority now. Not only that, but R&R is for Rest and Relaxation, not cramming every day full of activities that he didn't necessarily want to do in the first place.


You're Uninvited

When I was driving home yesterday Stryker's mom called me to see how the weekend went. We were visiting and I asked what they did for the weekend and she told me that they had gone to my brother-in-law's girlfriend's graduation party. They have been dating for about 2 years, so I know her quite well, and I was not invited.

Me: I wasn't even invited to her party.
MIL: That's a good thing. You didn't have to spend any money, and you weren't here anyway.
Me: That's rude that I wasn't invited.
MIL: *laughter* I think that everyone forgets about Stryker's wife and child when he's gone. *laughter* Except for us. *laughter* Except for us.

I got off the phone thinking...did she really say that?? I have thought for awhile know that I seem to be out of the loop while he is gone, and it makes me feel bad. We have been married for 3 years, do you really just forget someone like that? Am I nothing to them when Stryker isn't around?

Either way, I already know people leave me out when Stryker isn't here. I don't need a confirmation from her that I am indeed forgotten.

Does anyone else have this same experience during deployment? How did you deal with it?


Chicago was great! Our trip went amazingly well. Fuzz was a wonderful traveler. My feelings switch between being proud of myself for actually taking the plunge and doing a road trip with her by myself, and feeling foolish for being so worried about it in the first place.

I didn't go for the shopping or the sightseeing. My main objective was to reconnect with a fellow army wife, and that is what I did. It was great. We did make it to the Navy Pier, which was beautiful.

Thanks for the well wishes and traveling tips!


Road Trippin'

Well folks, I'm taking my first big road trip with the babe. It should be interesting. I'm prepared for the worst, so hopefully it will turn out better than that! Traveling 4-5 hours with a 9 and a half month old could get pretty hairy, but I'm excited and up for the challenge. I can't just sit home all the time because I have a baby.

I'm meeting an Army wife friend in Chicago. It's about halfway for both of us. We both decided to move back to our hometowns during the deployment. I do miss many of the comforts of living so close to a military community, but it was far FAR away from my hometown, and I think I enjoy the comforts of being close to both mine and Stryker's families more.

Still have lots to do! I'll be back Sunday or Monday, probably with pictures!


Because I'm sure you're dying to know....


Master Procrastinator

When it comes to housework, I am a procrastinator. Thanks mom...

Every time I finally tackle whatever it is I have been procrastinating though, it seems to take only minutes. And every time I actually do it, I roll my eyes at myself and think, remember this next time, it only takes a few minutes. And admittedly, the next time, I procrastinate all over again.


Recognizing Daddy

Stryker, like most military dads I would imagine, is so afraid of Fuzz not recognizing him when he comes home. It seems to me that he even goes so far to almost detach himself. Even on Father's Day he was acting like "yeah it's Father's day..I'm not a dad" kind of thing. I'm sure it's a defense mechanism to try and prevent hurt feelings if she doesn't in fact warm up to him immediately. Nonetheless, it makes me sad.

He had a little over 3 months with her before he deployed, and he took to fatherhood so naturally. He loves her to pieces and is so good with her it made me wonder why he got the "paternal instinct" more that I got the "maternal" one.

The first few weeks with Fuzz were tough for me. I think with all the hormonal stuff going on, along with the healing, and learning to nurse, I just didn't feel that connected. I never thought I would be one of those women that I read about. The women who take a while to feel connected and bonded with their babies. I thought she would come out, I'd take one look at her and fell like my insides were just overflowing. That didn't happen for me. I loved her, yes, but I didn't feel like I was in love with her until she was almost 2 months old. I know this doesn't make me a bad mother, but it was a hard situation for me.

Anyway, back to the point... Before Stryker left, I was trying to think of all kinds of things I could do for Fuzz so that she would be familiar with her daddy. I decided I'd make her a doll (which I later found out people sell...I could have been a millionaire!), she has a baby photo album with pictures of her and daddy in it, and we took video of him reading her books.

Now that she's getting a little older, she is starting to remember things for a longer period of time, and it is so cute. Every night as part of her bedtime routine, she watches Stryker read her a book or two, and she gets so excited when she sees me go to turn it on. She gives her daddy doll kisses. And most recently, when she saw Stryker on webcam, the biggest smile came over her face, even before he started making goofy faces at her. This is big, because he doesn't get a chance to come on webcam very often. I think she is recognizing him, and it melts my heart to see how happy it makes him.


The Real Deal

Today I was thinking about the day Stryker left. He was getting dressed in his ACU's and there was an eerie quiet in the house. A moment was coming that we were both dreading, and there really wasn't much to say. This was it.

I asked him how he was feeling and he said something to the effect that he was kind of excited. Excited???

Then it hit me, finally after all of their training, he was going to actually put it to use. This was his real job, the rest was just practice.

Although it was a sad day for both of us, it sure made it easier for me knowing that he was going into it excited and ready. To see him feel like he was actually going to make a difference and feel like he was actually doing his job was all the comfort I needed.



Thanks to everyone for the anniversary wishes and supportive comments lately. I was a blog lurker for a long time before I worked up the courage to start commenting. Now that I have a blog of my own, I know how much the comments mean and I wonder why I was ever shy in the first place!


Happy Anniversary My Love

Has it really been three years already?


Good intentions

My dad asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner tomorrow night for mine and Stryker's anniversary. Sweet, although a little strange.


Relativity of Time

Reading other military spouses' blogs puts a lot of things into perspective for me. The latest revelation I have had is about time. I read about women cherishing their last few months together, and I read about those who are waiting for their loved ones to come home.

A month is a month, yet those last six before Stryker left sure seemed to go a lot quicker than the last six since he left. Overall, I can't really complain. Our time apart has moved along nicely so far. We have been through an OIF deployment once already, and a shorter stint in the Philippines. However, before he left when I thought about the deployment, it felt as though we'd never make it to six months in. Not because I thought we wouldn't make it as a couple, oh no, we are stronger than any stinkin' deployment. Six months just seemed unfathomable, even though I knew from previous experience it is quite do-able.

I find that, like most things, I get myself worked up ahead of time and then once I'm actually in the situation, it isn't as bad as I anticipated. Which I guess is good. Who doesn't love it when things aren't as bad as you think they are going to be?

So here's to those ladies breathing in their hubbies until they have to leave. Stay strong...the goodbye is usually the hardest part. And here's to those of us who are awaiting the return of our loves...we will make it.


Teething + Overtired = Nightmare

That's all.

What I learned today...

When you let Fuzz feed herself, give her twice as much as you think she will actually eat, as half of it will end up on the floor.


Snail Mail

I know that we're all partial to our own, but I have to say..sorry ladies but I got the best of the bunch.

I got a snail mail letter from Stryker today, and he wrote some things in it that were just beautiful. They melted my heart, and made me cry a little.

He's amazing, I love him.

Does anyone else have the experience that words handwritten in a letter sound so eloquent? I think maybe that they just mean more because I know he actually thought through what he was writing before putting it to paper. I also have noticed that although I get the letter usually weeks after he actually wrote it, the words he wrote always seem to come to me at the perfect time.

I love snail mail.


What I learned today...

Before you have a child, buy stock in your favorite battery company.

I knew raising a child was expensive. I did not take into account the cost of batteries, and the fact that most toys use the big honkers.