Thursday, May 13, 2010

Deployment Question #21--What phone service does he use?

As we get things ready, I have some questions.

Do you use Skype?  Pros?  Cons?

Magic Jack?  Pros?  Cons?

Calling cards?

Cell phone?

What's the best route?  What are the costs associated with it?


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You know a deployment is looming when....

You know a deployment is looming when...

--He returns home with two bags of gear that the Army decides he NEEDS.  Never mind that he has another 20,000 pounds of TA50 downstairs, and many of these items are duplicates.

--He has a date for the CONEX to be packed and it is too soon.

--They repaint the bottom of their bags.

--They get issued the new FRACU.

--Mountain boots have joined the pile of required gear and are being worn around the company in order to break them in.

--Block leave plans have been made, cemented, and are set in stone until the Army changes their mind.

--He drags out his hair clippers to pack so that he can keep his head shaved.  (His first deployment to Bosnia, half the guys got mange, so he goes bald every deployment)

--He makes an appointment to get new POA's.

--I refuse to let him feed mac and cheese to the kids, so I know they will eat it while he is gone.

--He refuses to buy new clothes.

What else would you add to the list?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Taking a break from biking through Red Rock Canyon. It's hard riding in the trailer behind Daddy.
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I'm ready for a vacation

without the children.

I remember my mom telling me that a kid will learn to not poop in their pants if they have to clean it up themselves, and sit in it till they are ready to clean themselves.  Whoever came up with that idea has not met Junior.

I took the girls for haircuts Saturday.  Abs cut her own hair again tonight with a razor, taking a chunk of skin out of her finger.  Her reasoning?  Who the heck knows anymore.

I was getting my workout in this morning and heard my name over the loudspeaker.  Junior apparently was stomping on other children's feet, so he was sent home.

My dog still has a pink head.

I have a half marathon on Sunday, and I am not prepared.  To be honest, that's how I roll.  I'd rather get out there and give it my best shot, then not participate because life got in the way and I didn't have time to train.  Maybe I am more like Gunner than I thought.

I had to bug The Mrs. today to find her recipe for feta spinach mushroom turkey burgers.  Ummmm.....they are excellent!  You have to try them.  Gunner is in love with them.  I am in love with them.  We made extras for tomorrow.

It was in the 70's yesterday, and is freezing today.  Snow is in the forecast.

I am drinking a glass of wine and I now know why I stay up till almost midnight every night.  I need the downtime without having to keep track of anyone!

Deployment Question #20--How has deployment changed you as a parent?

The last questions dealt with how deployment changed you as a person.  Now, how did it change you as a parent?  Let me explain...

Gunner and I had almost 6 years as parents before the deployments started.

During that time, he was almost always home, and we were busy raising the girls, taking them to activities, lots of family time.

I felt like I had it under control.  I felt like I was a good mom.

Since Gunner started deploying though, I feel like it has affected me as a mom.  I have less patience.  I am more overwhelmed.  I never have enough time in each day.

I do know that is is quality, not quantity.  I do know that I do everything in my power to make sure my kids will be okay.  I do know that I do more than the average person, and include my children in almost everything that we do.

I also know that it's not easy to do alone, especially when their dad is halfway around the world and you have a lot more questions to answer and a lot more worries.

I think that if all these repeated year long deployments had not occurred, that maybe I would be a better mom?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a bad mom, but maybe I could have been better.  Or maybe everyone else is a perfect mom and deployments didn't make a lick of a difference?  Hopefully there is someone else out there...please?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Deployment Question #19--How has deployment changed you?

When Gunner left the first time for Iraq, I was 30, with two kids ages 5 & 2.

He had deployed for a year before, but we were in Germany and since we had no kids, I threw myself into work, graduate school, and learning German.  

We got married when I was 22 and he was 24.  We were young, but I had finished college and was pretty independent anyway.  

As we are about to embark on our 5th year long deployment, I have changed.  So has he.

I know when he leaves, I know that I can handle anything that comes my way.  I could the first time, but I still liked to talk it over with him.

I do a lot more things on my own.  I don't wait for him to travel or see new things.  

I plan trips adventures for when he gets home using some of the extra deployment money.

I make more lists.

I value our time together as a family more.

I don't take certain things for granted.

I maintain traditions for the kids, so they remember the holidays and don't just look at them as "that awful Christmas that daddy was gone".

How have you changed since he deployed?  Or if it has been multiple deployments, how have you changed each time?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Blast from the Past

Did you ever have the old Fisher Price little people?

We used to play with them all the time. Even with the new ones, my kids still prefer the old ones.

Meet our family, little people style.
(Left to Right: Em, Abs, Daddy, Jr, ABW)
No idea why I am a Grandma and Em is a horse. I loved how he put the 4th ID magnet in there though.

They were having a family meeting.
There always has to be mail. Jr. said she was delivering packages from Iraq.
Can you name the girl in the middle? And if the boy on either side of her had an orange body, what would their names be? I used to think that we came up with the names until a friend saw them and said the same names. Guess we got them from somewhere!
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Happy Mother's Day!

I did not get chocolates.

I did not get flowers.

I did not get breakfast in bed.

Instead, I got an all day mountain bike trip down Pikes Peak!  We'll pass through 5 different life zones.  There's lunch with wine at the end.

I can't wait!  We just have to arrange it around Gunner's schedule once the trails are opened up.

I'm thinking if I bike down it, I might need to run up it.