Catching Up

The munch-ki-butt is down for a nap. Blissful silence for half an hour now, except for the noise of the sailor’s uniforms in the dryer. And the cat purring in my lap.

Meet Basil.

Basil

We’ve had this rescue kitty two weeks tomorrow and he fits our family perfectly. He is about two years old. Smart enough to run away when the baby tries pulling his tail and has the sweetest temperament. He pretty much lives in our windows and demands some attention once or twice a day. I was hesitant to post about him before now, because it is in my nature to care a little too much about what others think of me.. but in the whole scheme of things, it really isn’t a big deal.

Huge tangent >> [That’s the thing about judging others… It is my opinion that judging others is only good for deciding if you would care to be around them, or keep their company. Otherwise, it’s not my place to condemn others for their choices. Example. Had dinner at a new-ish couple friends house. The wife/mom mentioned being excited about being able to forward-face her son’s car seat soon because he makes such a fuss in the car. Their son is a few months older than our little. The bumble butt sometimes throws the worst fits in the car as well, but I will keep him rear facing as long as the limits on his car seat allow, hopefully upwards of three years old. I mentioned to my husband that I thought it was a foolish choice, to forward face as soon as the law allows, which is usually one year and twenty pounds. I didn’t say anything to the mom, thankfully, because later that night I realized there are tons of things others could use to judge me, especially my choices as a mom.

It’s not my place to judge her. I may drop hints that rear facing is way safer, but nothing more than that.

Judge me if you will for getting another cat, heaven knows I can’t stop you. Anyway…]

I’ve been meaning to write for a while now. I feel as if I’m playing catch up on the last month or so. Before the sailor got home, it was all talk and worry about the sailor getting home. And then he got home, and it was like our little snowglobe of a life was shaken up so violently, I’m still waiting for all the fake snowflakes to settle. I completely spaced writing a letter to little E for his five month birthday. It didn’t cross my mind once, not even after his monthly mini photo shoot.

fivemonthsold

He yawned. He gave his daddy a small smile. But mostly he fussed and frowned. It’s been a hard month here. The excitement of the sailor’s return quickly wreaked havoc on any semblance of a schedule the little and I had before his return. That mixed in with the lovely (insert sarcasm here) beginning of a very long wonder “week” (side: why do they call it a week when it’s actually sometimes a month?) and it’s been little more than poorly controlled chaos.

Then the four month sleep regression turned into “I’m never sleeping more than two or three hours at a time, ever again…and since we’re up, let’s party at 2am!” And the fussiness. Oh, the fussiness. There seems to be no end in sight. Maybe when he actually decides sitting is worthwhile. Or when a tooth finally pops through. Or when he can crawl or walk or talk…

le sigh.

So I didn’t just just disappear for no reason. I keep trying to post more regularly and something keeps popping up. But I’m still trying, folks!

Next up, a long overdue progress report on my five or so new years resolutions. Lack of proofreading sponsored by a very angry, post-nap baby.

newsignature

Consider Us Lucky

The Stennis finally pulled into its (her?) home port yesterday afternooon. And while my sailor has been home a little over a week, there was a sense of finality knowing his ship is home too. I grew up the daughter of a top-sider, and life married to a man considered ship’s company is much different. Wherever the ship goes, he goes, and it has spent a lot of time away lately.

It is easy to get sucked into a negative frame of mind. The game of if/then is effortless, but rarely offers much comfort. Even now that he is home, I have caught myself thinking if he had never left……blah. It doesn’t do any good.

I consider us lucky because of our timing arriving here, he wasn’t on the whole 2011-2012 deployment as well. He joined the ship when they were six weeks out; when others aboard had been gone for six months at that point.

I consider us lucky that the sailor is “stuck” on the Stennis a few more years.. That we aren’t like several people he has mentioned, just getting back from an eight month deployment and transferring to a ship just getting underway for their deployment. I don’t want to imagine how hard three back to back deployments would be.

I consider us lucky that our son was immediately comfortable in my husband’s arms, and that they have carried on as if they were never separated. That all cries except the “I am certain I am starving” cry are (fairly) quickly and easily solved by someone other than me. He may have been gone fifteen of the last twenty months. He may only have just met our son. And he may have gotten pooped on today, but he his home.

It is nice. The sun is shining and life is good.

newsignature

 

Calling Dibs

My husband left 239 days, and a little over two hours ago.. Two-thirds of an entire year, gone. I wish I could say that time passed in the blink of an eye, but it didn’t. They all said time would crawl by until I had the baby, and then it would go lighting fast, but that wasn’t the case either. I felt every moment of the missing.

It is difficult for most non-military families to truly understand how being separated that long feels.. I’m not saying that working opposite shifts isn’t hard, or that a week away for training should be easy. But it isn’t the same. At first, you count the days that pass. Missing hugs and goodnight kisses. Then weeks begin to slip away, and daily events are glazed over in the short emails you exchange. It’s long enough for new routines to be established. Seasons come and go. I bought a house last year. Traded in our car and had a baby… all without him. I’m not saying I’m the only one who has had to do those things alone, but I am saying that it isn’t ideal. When your partner in crime suddenly isn’t anymore, and you’re left to keep up the household, keep everything together.

It’s almost over. The countdown to our airport homecoming is almost up. Time is running out to pick out homecoming outfits, to get the house clean and organized, and things put back to how they were when he left so that it feels like home again.

I can’t wait for a new routine to slowly emerge. For a single night away during one his duty days to feel like forever again. For our son to have not only me, but his daddy to play with, to smile and talk to. I can’t wait to sneak a million pictures of the two of them together, of us all together, finally a whole family.

Since it will no longer be “ship’s movement,” I wish I could post the exact countdown, but this is linked to my Facebook and there are a couple people who don’t need to know right now. We are being selfish, and we called dibs on those first few moments home the day he left. Just know that it is very, very soon. Only a few more wake-ups without him.

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 2.09.01 AM

A Hard Year

It’s been a hard year.

Searched out my old blog hosted by blogger to find the name of a song I knew would be on the music player there. Found it. Paused for a few minutes to read the first few posts, or the last few before I moved to this blog, my “real” blog.

One of those last posts was written 364 days ago, detailing a mini-vacation the sailor and I had taken. I can remember getting into a fight, but I can’t remember about what and I don’t remember how we made it better, or if we did at all.

It’s been a hard year.

I often say, if you told me x-amount of time ago I would be here, now, I wouldn’t believe you. And that is true for a year ago, today. If you told me I would be in Washington, sitting in the living room of a home my husband and I own, nine months pregnant, waiting for the days to pass until they all blend together… well, I don’t think I would believe you.

This isn’t how I expected things to be, back when I was excited to be stationed in Washington, excited to return to the West Coast. I am doing the best I can, but I sometimes wonder why I ever wanted to come here. I wonder why I ever veered off the path laid out for me. Followed my heart instead of my head, chose a family over a career (even though they say you don’t have to choose).

All that nonsense.

The Missing

It’s almost three months into this deployment and another huge wave of missing hit tonight.

Probably my fault for reading a book (The Art of Racing in the Rain) that is stirring up my already over-active emotions. Just started reading tonight and am already half-way through.. I just can’t seem to put it down.

But our house feels empty, and not even the kicks and butt-bumps of our baby boy pushing into my ribcage are helping me feel less alone tonight. I need a hug, and I need it to be from my hubby. I’m tired of being sick and the missing is sinking in fast.

 

But I’m doing the best I can.

It Comes with a Price

Nothing seems to be coming easy to me lately, and it’s all a frustrating and pointless struggle to stay emotionally afloat during this deployment. There’s this song that goes, “am I supposed to be happy, when all I ever wanted, it comes with a price?” May be a bit of an immature point to conclude, but it fits. I feel like every good thing in my life is shrouded under some little black cloud of darkness. It leads me to feeling blessed but very, very unlucky.

It’s been two months to the day that they left, almost nine calendar weeks. It feels like months longer than that. And it will be months longer until they get to come home again. I don’t know why this deployment feels so different than previous underways or separations that we’ve had, and we’ve had more than our fair share. Before we got engaged we spent eight months apart. After we got engaged, we spent the six months before our wedding apart. After we were married, we spent six weeks apart while I finished up my college degree. We were together roughly three months this year, of which only two were mostly consecutive in terms of weeks spent at home. And we fought all the time.

This year has been rough on our marriage, but it’s been worse on our friendship. And now that he’s gone and getting into the “swing” of life away, I just feel like *our life* has been put on pause from his end… but I’m still here living it alone. I’m still having our baby in a few weeks. I’m still keeping up with our house and our bills and pretending that the bed doesn’t feel so empty when I go to sleep at night.

It’s so hard having to remind myself that this isn’t a permanent situation, that I’m doing this alone but I am not exactly a single mother, that I do still have a husband, somewhere, on the other side of the world. When emails are few and far in between and even those that get through don’t say what I need to hear.. When my midwife rambles on about how new dads get involved at the hospital and I have to stop her because he won’t be there. When I have to wonder how old our son will be when he meets his daddy for the first time. When I let myself think how epically unfair this whole situation is, and how no one who hasn’t been exactly where I am right now could possibly know.

I don’t know how to find resolution. I’ve tried prayer. I’ve tried distracting myself with crafts, friends, plain ignorance but none of those things last very long.

Holding On

I don’t care what they say.

I don’t care that I “signed up for this.”

I don’t care that I sound like a three year old.

I don’t care that you’re just going to say that life isn’t fair.

 

I miss my husband. I hate that I have to go through half of this pregnancy, delivery, and the first five months of our son’s life alone. It isn’t fair, no matter what you say, and if you think different then you’ve obviously never gone through it. It isn’t fair for me, for my son or for my husband.

I don’t want to hold it all together tonight. Sometimes the more you hold on, the more weight you have on your chest. Tomorrow will be a new day. And I pray it’s a better one, at that.

 

Memories of Bootcamp

While busy with other things, my phone received two calls from “unknown” just now. My heart just sinks a little – and by “a little,” meaning that it’s fallen out my chest and onto the floor, thinking that it was probably my husband calling from the ship.

There is nothing quite like missing a call.. Deployments suck. Long distance sucks. Having a marriage relegated to email and the occasional, once a month if you’re lucky, phone call sucks. Not being able to call back, sucks.

Forgive me for my lack of eloquence but we’re close to hitting the one month away point and it’s really sinking in that there’s at least seven more to go.

 

 

But the good news is, he called back. So for at least today, he doesn’t feel like he’s on the opposite side of the world.

 

Fool Me Once

I hate rumors.

This August through April deployment started out as a rumor. Then we were all lied to, and told that the ship wouldn’t leave until December of this year. They finally decided to tell the truth, in the middle of the ocean off the Coast of San Diego, while the men and women were away from their families. It was six weeks from when they would deploy and they would be away another two weeks at that point. I decided to never again trust a single thing they said.

My grandmother always told me, as many wise people do :: Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me.

They lie more often than we know, keeping up with rules of OPSEC (operational security for non-military readers out there)  that say we can’t announce when our husbands leave, and we can’t post when they are coming home until it’s made “official” (read: released by the media).

It made me angry today to see another rumor pop up on the wives page. “June?…” Because Heaven knows we haven’t been through enough the past year, because it makes perfect sense to extend an already eight month long deployment……… So I called my mom, a thirty year navy wife veteran, and asked her what she thought – knowing very well that my fathers retirement had severed many of the “ties” he had with people who knew more than a group of anxious wives.

She told me to prepare for the worst. To prepare for a year away, because that’s the worst they could do to us, because she had heard a rumor of a year long deployment. And because if I was ready for that, I could face any length of time away. I pray to God that doesn’t happen. I will pray every day for the safe and timely return of the men and women on that ship, whose lives are controlled by someone 99% of them have never spoken with. I will pray, because that’s all I can do.

I hate rumors. They stir up drama. They cause fear, anxiety, panic. And half of the time, when they regard the ship’s schedule, the rumors are nothing but the truth released before an official announcement is made.

And when they make the official announcement of their return, either in April, June or August of next year, I will be ready.

One Chance

After a long discussion with my hubby last night, we decided that we are going to continue trying for a baby…but more importantly, this month only has once chance of working out. Some background for those not familiar with trying to conceive…

Women aren’t fertile all month. Fertility Friend (.com) is a great resource for those interested in charting their cycles and becoming more aware of what their bodies are doing all month long.. It describes the time a woman is able to get pregnant as the “fertile window” and goes on to say,

“Your fertile window is made up of the days in your menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible. The length of this fertile phase is determined by the maximum life span of your partner’s sperm and your egg. Sperm can survive a maximum of five days in fertile cervical fluid and your ovum can survive for up to one day. Your theoretical fertile window is thus six days long, comprised of the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. You only have a chance to conceive when you have intercourse on these days. This means that pregnancy is technically possible from intercourse on any of these six days. The likelihood of actually becoming pregnant, however, is dramatically increased when you have intercourse in the three days immediately leading up to and including ovulation. This makes a practical fertile window of just three days.”

Today is cycle day twelve and the last few cycles I have ovulated on or around day eighteen. Given my doctor’s advice, we should only be baby dancing, “BDing”, (having sex) every two days, which seems crazy, but it’s what she said given that we have had trouble conceiving with a more traditional every day or every other day schedule. I’m not one who usually likes timing BD opportunities but given my hubby’s work schedule, my doctor’s advice and  his 24 hour duty days at work, we realistically have one chance to make it happen this month.

One chance for the little spermies to knock me up. Hahah.. That’s probably way too much to share on the internet, but that is my life, so there you go. :)

I’m not too confident this month will be our month but I am 100% OKAY not having a December baby given that I am a December baby and that month is crowded as it is!! Five more months of trying before Logan leaves for a six or seven month deployment. And please don’t paint me in your mind as some pathetically desperate woman; I am not, because this is all in God’s hands.