Saturday, April 17, 2010

Deployment Question #7--Do you stay or do you go?

A friend of mine from high school is married to a guy in the Air Force and he is about to leave for two months of training and then deploy to Iraq for a total of 12 months.  She has three kids, 3, 5, and 7.  Today on facebook she wrote this:

MILITARY friends who have been thru this - lots of questions now as to whether or not we stay where we are or move closer to family - IF you've been thru a lengthy deployment like this, please tell me what did you do? stay or move? and what were the deciding factors for you? SOOO much info to try and process quickly - all in hopes i make the right decision for my kids!

What do you do?  If you went home, was it worth it?  Did you wish you had stayed?  How did your families help you?  Did they ever become overbearing?  

If your spouse deployed for a shorter period of time, did that influence your decision?  

Would you move home again?

I didn't move home from Germany, but at the time we had no kiddos.  (Don't worry, that changed 9 months after he returned, lol)

At Hood, we were close to family, we were established, and I'd have nowhere to go.  

I have thought about it since we got to Colorado since I know absolutely no one!  I could get a teaching job in Texas, rent a house for a year, and be near family.

I quickly let that idea go to the wayside because my family and Gunner's family will visit.  We will have tons of things to explore in this area since we just moved here, and the thought of moving/storing etc., was overwhelming.  Not to mention by the time he leaves we will have been here a year and we've established doctors, schools, and all that good stuff.

Please share what did or didn't work for you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I apologize in advance

I am going to have to start sleeping with all phones at night.

I store all my important numbers in there.  Gunner, my mom, my friend Dave, Em has some numbers saved, and a few other random people.

Be thankful now that your number is not in there.


Abs apparently has started calling people at 6 am.  Yesterday it was just Grandma.  Today it was Grandma, Daddy, two of Em's friends, and who knows who else.  Those are just the ones that reported in.

Em said at the rate she comes up with new ways to amuse herself, we will have to lock everything in the basement and live like we are in prison.

.....I slept with 4 phones on my pillow last night and spared everyone their morning phone call.

Now if I can remember to do that every day.

I went to ride my bike this morning, and I pulled it off the trainer.  I tried to pump up the tires, and for some reason couldn't get the pump to work and I was left with two flat tires.  I finally got it straightened out and got the tires pumped up.  I took my bike outside and went to ride it, and it wouldn't change gears.

Ugh.  I flipped it over, made my attempt to work on it and look like I know what I was doing.  I ended up dragging it to the bike store where I found out I had a broken derailleur.  It doesn't cost much to fix--$30--but they have to order the part, which could take weeks.

Did I mention I have a triathlon in less than two weeks?  They are going to do their best, otherwise I will be traveling up the HUGE hill on my heavy mountain bike.  It can be done, but it will be harder, plus there's the whole training issue.....I'm hitting spin tomorrow at 7.

Gunner called (at a convenient time) and said that there was a virus running around the camp.  Everyone is throwing up and getting the runs.  He is running around with a bottle of sanitizer trying to stay healthy.  I hope he can do it, because nothing has to be worse than being out in the field and being sick.  Of course everyone has to still work, regardless.  I told him he better start the sick diet.

Busy weekend planned.....let's hope Abs doesn't wake you up early...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Deployment Question #6--Is there a wrong time to call?

Gunner is still at JRTC for the month, and he is working the night shift.  He calls every night before he goes to work.

Doesn't that sound great?

Well, it doesn't work.  Before I sound selfish, and all that crap, I have three kids that need to be fed and watered, bathed, read stories to, and cuddled before bed.  He's gone for a month.  A month!  I know, I know, I read some blogs where they whine about one night apart being too many, but seriously, it's a month!  We've survived 4 years apart, so one month, while not ideal, is not the end of the world after being married over 15 1/2 years.

I tried to talk to him when he called, let him talk to the kids, and then he could listen to me make sure Abs wasn't flooding the bathroom, Junior wasn't off in the dog cage pooping, that dinner isn't burning, that Em isn't using all the hot water, no one is locking themselves in the bathroom, or cramming things down the heater....the list goes on....

If it was once in a while, I could handle it, but every night at the same time.....I had to say something.

Gunner laughed.  He understood.  He said he'll call me tomorrow morning after everyone is fed, dressed, and I am on the way to the gym.   He'll call a couple times a week to talk to the kids, at night.

This works for us.

One of my favorite readers sent me a message and asked me this:

Is it better to talk everyday and have nothing to say or talk every couple of days/to a week and then have a little bit more to talk about? I *like* in theory that he can call each day, but sometimes i just really need to get things done so I take the convo for granted. He uses his magicjack on his computer so it is always there for him to use. I don't want to sound ungrateful but....

I understand that.  We've never been in a position where he could call every day though while he is deployed and with Abs around, I always have something to tell him like this, this, this, and this.

When Gunner went to Bosnia, he called all the time, in the middle of the night, and we chit chatted for hours.  We had no children though.  (I guess he could call in the middle of the night and talk to Abs since she is up anyway.)

So my question is, is there a wrong time to call?  If he calls at an inconvenient time, do you say something or drop everything and talk?  I'm always excited to hear from Gunner, no matter when he calls, and we will chit chat for a bit and then I will tell him a good time to call back.  He can tell when I am stressed and the kids are our first priority across the board.  He also knows that chatting via yahoo isn't happening during dinner time and the witching hour while I try to get everyone in bed.

Let me know how you handle calls while your Soldier is TDY or deployed.  How often do they call?  How do you handle when others get more phone calls than you?  Do you keep a running list of things to talk about?      Give me your best!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Deployment Question #5--Staying In?

Gunner loves the Army.  He hates the stupidity of some upper level leaders, but he likes his job.  

When Gunner deployed to Bosnia, he left 2 days before our first anniversary.  After that, besides field time and an occasional TDY, he was home until 2003.  

Obviously at this point, he has been in long enough that he is entertaining the idea of retiring in the next 5 years or so.  

I would have to say that one of the duty stations that offered us the most time together, was Fort Lewis.  When he reenlisted, they even gave him 6 months of PT only, so that he could go to school fulltime.  That would never happen today!  Germany--he was gone ALL THE TIME.  Of course Hood started us on deployments, enough said.

Sometimes I wonder what we would have done if he had joined in 2003 or shortly before and we had 20 years left of this deployment schedule--one year home, one year gone.  Would I have encouraged him to stay?  Would he have wanted to stay?

For those of you entering the military life, do you want your Soldier to stay in or are you ready for him to finish his enlistment?  For those that are on the tail end of a military career, how would the deployment schedule of today affected your outlook as a new military wife?

On a side note, what's your best reenlistment story?  Gunner has reenlisted in the middle of a creek, on a wire cable over a rushing river, by the Tigres river, in Iraqi in one of those old structures whose name I can't recall, in front of his company and a news crew in Germany, and a few other places. I love hearing the unusual places that people reenlist!

Another Exciting Day?

I got all three kiddos off to school this morning and managed to spend my morning on the bike.

I watched a movie, did dishes, was domestic for a short bit.

Junior's school called and Junior pooped in his pants, complicated by the fact that they went to clean him off with a bottle of water that was actually bleach water labeled as water.  No harm done.  They were all over it like white on rice.

Abs got written up for telling the people at her table to "Shut the h*$# up".

Em was good, very good.  I originally wanted to stop at 1.  Everyone assured me that two would be fun.  Loads of fun.  I can say that it has been an adventure, but I'm not so sure about fun!

Abs dropped a penny down her heating vent.  I went to help rescue it.  In return I found out that she believes the heating vent was her personal trash can.  Seriously?  Yes, seriously.  I made her clean it out and got a Walmart bag full of trash.  I don't even want to think of what could have happened.

Please tell me how someone so smart can have no common sense.

LENS finishes up this week except for two kiddos.  Can you guess who is one of them?  They will be moving it to the morning at least, so maybe our evenings will be free again.  That would be a welcome relief.

I was reading online today about a lady who was self-employed and had a $2500 mortgage payment.  She was furious that Obama and the bank weren't bailing her out.  Who would get a house with a mortgage that large if you are self-employed and not sure what will happen?

I love animals and agree that you should be punished for crimes against them.  Can someone explain to me why people get longer prison sentences for hurting an animal than they do for hurting a child?

I changed morning shows this morning, just to check out a new one for our local news and Sammy has spent the morning growling at the tv.  I guess he's just voicing his opinion?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Deployment Question #4--Saying Goodbye

This might be a touchy, sad, subject, but I want to know what y'all do when you say goodbye.

Do you take your kids?  Stick around the entire time?  Drop him off?

The second time Gunner deployed to Iraq, was probably the easiest send-off.  I was 12 weeks pregnant, and we took the kids to school after he said goodbye to them, and I sat there and waited with him.  When it came time for the guys to march off, there were wives wailing, throwing themselves on the ground, screaming, chasing after them in formation, and sobbing.  This of course made all the kids even more upset, and I was relieved that I was there alone and didn't have to put my kids through it.

When the buses pulled off, I waved to him, he smiled, waved, and I turned and left.  I was not one of the many families that was chasing after the bus and wailing.  I was so embarrassed for them and their Soldier (I am easily embarrassed for people, probably way too much!).  I remember one wife who wanted to take one more picture of her daughter with her husband and she told her daughter to jump into formation, and she was furious when he wouldn't stop and he barked at her.  Not a very happy send-off for them.  

The last time Gunner deployed, we took the kids with us, his parents and my mom.  Of course that lead to a few more tries before they actually left, and the last time it was just Gunner, me, and my mom.  We took a few pictures, and we left before they chased families away.  Gunner said it wasn't pretty by the end.

Maybe I just can't take the drama of it all.  Sure I miss him, but it doesn't any of us a bit of good to act like a fool. Maybe acting like that works for you and your family, heck, tell me I'm wrong, but I still won't be joining in with the hoopla. 

This time, without family close by, we will have to take all the kiddos.  Abs will not handle it well, and Junior feeds off of Ab's moods.  (Let me tell you, that is LOADS of fun.)  

I'm thinking we might go do something special after we drop him off.  Maybe the Airplane Restaurant and we can hope for better results?  Any suggestions?  

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I was hoping to make it to the pool today with the kiddos, but it looks like that will happen tomorrow.  Trying to fit in my run/bike/swim on the weekends is proving to be difficult with Gunner gone.  I did it while I was teaching, but who the heck knows how!

I'm on day 4 of p90x today, so I think it's yoga tonight and then I hope it's not too late and I can get on the trainer.  I currently have the kids eating english muffin pizza for dinners.  It has to be healthier than regular pizza, which we had last night!

Abs had two gift cards from visual therapy (one for Target and one for Walmart) so we ventured out today to look around.  She had those things spent in no time.  I did find a few things on clearance at Target, and at Walmart.  They had Danskin warm system technology long sleeve shirts for $1.  I'm thinking skiing next year or running or biking....I picked up a few, but would have bought more if they were in my size.  I scored shorts for Abs that were $3, and very bright and colorful to match her personality.  Em found a few tshirts for $1.

Abs painted her nails tonight.

All on her own.

It all washed off in the tub.

So she redid it.

She's happy with it, so that makes me happy with it.

....Guess I forgot that I was trying to blog.  Abs was up half the night, so today is going to be a long and tiring day.