Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Add this to the wishlist

Forgive me for drooling, but I am absolutely in LOVE with these rings.

I'm all about the photos of the kids. I'm also all about jewlery. Combine the two and I may very well squeal with delight. Oh, and she'll engrave names/sentiments on the ring as well. If I start levitating from the ecstatic joy, please grab me by the ankle and pull me back down.

I'm afraid to ask about pricing, though.

Late breaking news

This just in to your local news: An area woman has been arrested on counts of attempting to sell her children on Ebay and when that auction was pulled, she then acted in a manner which has now lead to new charges of attempted murder.

Said the frazzled mother, "I'm pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. They won't let me sleep DAMN IT. If you had to get by caring for three heathens, with no spouse to help for this long on this little sleep, you'd be freaking nuts too!"

She was then lead away in handcuffs while singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" repeatedly...and in Hebrew.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Chickens and muppets

You guys, I'm seriously addicted to these chickens.

Here's another cartoon in honor of my recent muppet obsession:

These chickens are living my life.

I'm not making a statement.

I'm just sharing this because it made me giggle.

Trying to work the kinks out with the new blog (I made the mistake of switching this to Beta a few days ago and that's making it damn near impossible to import my posts from here to another service). It should be finished in the not too distant future.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Movin' right along. Foot-loose and fancy free.
Gettin' there is half the fun; come share it with me.

I'm tired of the problems with Blogger. I'm taking my toys and going home.

As we speak, I'm working on a new blog elsewhere. There's apparently a glitch because it's giving me a hard time importing this blog there. When I get that fixed, I'll share the link to my new home.

In the meantime, can anyone tell me where the song I used in my title is from? No cheating!

Mild panic sets in

I'm beginning to panic.

I don't know how much of it is stress, how much of it is not getting enough sleep, or how much of it is just the fact that I'm pretty sure I'm certifiably insane.

Dh is due home very soon, but there's too much to do.

The house is a pit. I need to dye my hair again and then get it cut before dh comes home. I promised the girls a manicure before daddy gets home if they'd stop biting their nails already. Not that they have stopped biting their nails, mind you, but I figure they can get manicures while I'm getting my hair cut. Although, that still leaves the boy and if I'm in the high up chair with a drape on getting my hair chopped, I won't be able to wrangle him.

This week is busy as hell. I usually turn to my sister for help, but she's back in school and ballancing all sorts of stuff. So she's not terribly available.

How the hell am I gonna get everything done? I don't think my expectations are unrealistic. I'm not planning on completely repainting every exposed surface in the house before dh's impending arrival. I just want to clean. There's a thick layer of dust on everything of which I'm not a fan. The kids' too small clothes are all over the place that need to be packed away. While I'm doing that, I have to talk myself out of a dive into DepressionVille while I ask myself, "Why am I packing these away? Why not just sell them? We're done anyway." I have clothes scattered everywhere. About 2 weeks' worth of mail is scattered randomly throughout the house. The carpets need to be shampooed because the damn cat threw up in not one, but TWO rooms. The rocking chair has been completely useless for a month now because when I repainted that room last month, I piled a bunch of stuff on there and have yet to take it off.

I don't have any huge projects to accomplish, but there are lots and lots of little things.

I'm just feeling like I'm never gonna get this done. And so, the panic has set in.

A deep-seeded hatred

My children hate me.

Yesterday, The Boy woke up at promptly 5 am. He usually sleeps straight through the night, so when I stayed up until 1, I didn't think much of it. Well, even after nursing, he refused to go to sleep. Then he woke his sisters up. While he fell back to sleep before 6 am, his sisters woke up shortly after 5 and were up for good.

I am NOT a morning person. I usually try to stay in bed until at least 8 am. Since I went to bed at 1 and the kids were up for good at 5, I got 4 hours of sleep.

But hey, the clocks go back. I get an extra hour. I could deal. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

I was going to nap when The Boy did, but of course I wasn't tired then. When I finally started to feel tired, he woke up.

I had to stay up last night doing laundry (it was Shabbat, so I couldn't do the cleaning during the day), so I didn't get to bed until after 11 (I planned on going to bed around 8 or 9 to catch up on lost sleep). Still, the thought of that extra hour comforted me.

My children, however, had other ideas. The Boy was up before 5. He took a while to go back to sleep and woke the sisters up. They not only refused to go back to sleep, but started opening and closing their door repeatedly (their room is right next to mine and I'm sensitized to the sound of that door. My mommy sensor goes off every time it opens or closes and that completely rouses me from sleep).

I tried laying down with the girls in hopes that my presence would force them to SHUT THE HELL UP AND STAY STILL. It actually did accomplish that, but Girl2 is stuffy. She couldn't fall back to sleep and her sniffling kept me up. So I went back to my room assuming the girls were calm enough and close enough to sleep. WRONG. They were instantly up and bouncing. Then they woke The Boy up.

I turned up the heat and started a hot bath in the hopes that by the time I was done with a bath, everyone would be asleep and I could do the same. No such luck.

I'm ready to throttle them all.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

My father, the Hero

I got the kids Batman jammies. Here's a discussion the pajamas inspired:

Me: That's Batman. Batman is Daddy's favorite superhero.
Girl1: Daddy is my favorite superhero.

To that, I must say, "ITA."

What's in a name?

This link is fun to play around with. How many people are there in the U.S. with your name? You can search for first and last name or one of each.

How Many Of Me

If you come from a large family (or a small one that likes to marry and divorce then marry again in one insanely long unending cycle), this could keep you busy for a while.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Military Commercial

My take on that commercial

Initially, when I saw the video above, I was really moved. As a military wife, though, I find myself getting more cynical. I'm glad to find everyone is embracing the troops rather than villifying them as was done 30 years ago. Still, I have to wonder what else these people are doing to support our troops.

Slapping a sticker on your car or applauding is appreciated, but there is SO much more you can do to support our troops and their families. If you need ideas, head over here. You can also visit Sgt Mom which features links for those wanting to help. While there, I found Socks for Soldiers. Kamrin, that one's for you.

Please keep applauding, but if you really respect our troops, show them that in a more concrete way.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Worried. Ecstatic. Depressed. Guilty.

So go my moods.

I got some fabulous news. It's great news, much better than I had hoped. It's wonderful dance on the rooftops news.

Although, now I'm feeling guilty and depressed because my reaction is all about me. I should be celebrating for someone else, but instead I'm horribly upset. Then I feel awful because I really do want to celebrate. I didn't think I'd react this way. I thought I could just be happy like everyone else. I don't want to make this about me.

But that's where my mind went and I can't get it out of that hole. I want to talk to dh about it, but I really would rather not dump emotional baggage on him now plus he's working, so it's not like he could call. Even if he could, he'd sit there silently. I know he doesn't want me to hurt, but I don't think he really understands how deep this pain goes. I'm not sure he wants to understand.

No one else gets it. So there's nowhere for me to turn. One friend has a better idea than the others, but she's not around. No one else gets it. Some sympathize and I'm so glad for that, but they just can't really understand. Although, I'm not sure I'd want to turn to anyone else because I know I must seem horribly ungrateful. I shouldn't be wallowing in my own misery. I should be celebrating for someone else.

I swear I didn't know I would go to this place. I had no idea. Now that I'm here, the one thing I want most is to be in dh's arms and that's just not possible. I want to get out of this house. I want someone else to come over. I don't want to be left here alone to mourn. But it looks like that's exactly what's going to happen.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Harry Potter and the Simulated Sex Act

So Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) is going to appear live on stage in the nude. Woah!

From what I've heard, he wants to show that he can do something different. Well, simulating a sex-act while astride a horse will certainly do that for ya.

FTR, Daniel Radcliffe never did really look the part as I imagined it. Then again, the German version of HP outright terrifies me. At least that's not the French version which makes the kids look like they'd be right at home with Miss Clavel.

And hey, did you know you can get Harry Potter on a kippah? Harry Potter and the Jewish Headcovering. I'm telling ya, it's in the works. Just give J.K. Rowling some time.

Dude, you should all convert. We have the best hats. Check this out:
You can also get a Rolling Stones one, a Super Man one, a pie, Gay/Jewish/American pride all in one, one for the kids, one for my sister, one for my sister's boyfriend to step on, one for a friend's son who isn't even Jewish, one for the girly girls, one for those who love binary code just a little too much (it's the Sh'ma in binary code), and let's not forget one for my husband.

Completely random, but here's the Peep version of Harry Potter. Apparently this site is old, but it's the first I've seen of it: Peeps in all sorts of interesting predicaments.

Wherein I take a stab at dream analysis

Irim took a stab at analyzing my dream. Thanks for that, but I'm not sure how true it rings.

First off, I'm a Pisces. I LOVE the ocean. It's not something frightening to me. In the dream, I wasn't afraid of the water. It was always calm and not very deep. I was afraid of the distance. I was afraid of being isolated from land. When the scary guy came, there was no way for me to get away.

My fear of the guy was because he was large and frightening. He had a creepy look on his face that only got worse when he smiled. Think of the Green Mile. The book description of the guy is actually better than the movie version. In the dream, the man coming at me was just like the physical appearance of that character, but without the gentleness. The man in the dream never spoke, but he always seemed really sinister.

Okay, here's what I think the dream is about: I think it's about my vulnerability in dh's absence.

One thing people don't realize is just how vulnerable military wives are when husbands are away. I'm not one who freaks out about everything that could go wrong, but I admit that I worry more in dh's absence.

It doesn't matter if he really could knock out an intruder. What matters is that as long as there's a male in the house, you're less likely to be a victim. People see him coming and going (particularly if he's coming and going in a military uniform) and there's the perception that there's someone there to protect you. I'm a Feminist and I don't like the idea of needing someone to protect me. I don't know that I really do, but the perception is there. If people know a man is in the house, I think people are less likely to mess with you.

Just a few nights ago, I came home from a friend's house and had to carry all the sleeping children inside one-by-one. I feel SO very vulnerable when I have to do that. I have to leave 2 children in the car while I carry in the first. Then leave another in the car while I carry in the next. Anyone who knows me at all knows that at any point in time, there is a child in that car alone while I'm doing this dance.

I can't tell many people that my husband is deployed. Then people know I'm alone and it makes me a big target for potential problems. We have lots of military pictures and memorabilia in the house, so plumbers/electricians/etc. know that my husband is military. When I have anyone in the house to do work, I have to make a point of saying my husband is "at work." We have new neighbors that I don't know. They constantly have new people over. If they have paid any attention at all to us, they know I'm alone with these kids.

So I think the dream had more to do with me feeling vulnerable both for myself and for my children.

I think the part where I easily go down the stairs, but then can't get back up may be about me feeling like I can't protect them in dh's absence. I wasn't able to get back to them. Now that I think about it, even the way I rushed down the steps and then turned around and quickly came back is similar to "Get the sleeping kids in the house" dance.

Okay, this may be REALLY random, but now that I think of it, the big man walking through the water towards me is kind of reminiscent of the images from Hurricane Katrina. I reacted horribly to Katrina. There were weeks when we didn't know if family members (who live in New Orleans) were alive. My family is from that area.

So what does that mean exactly?

As for the log he was carrying, I wasn't supposed to make it into a boat. I was supposed to ride it across as-is. In the dream, I knew I had walked through the water before, but my problem was that I couldn't get the kids across. When I saw the log, I tried to figure how I could get all 3 kids to sit on it to get across the water and I came to the conclusion that I couldn't.

As for the part where I wanted to call a friend and opted against it, I'm not quite sure what that means. Yeah, I do tend to not want to bother people, but I think that's warranted. This particular friend is one of my best friends, but she has TONS going on in her life right now. She's also pregnant, so I wonder if that doesn't someone tie into my issues surrounding pregnancy.

I'm going out on a limb here, but let's say she represents pregnancy. Maybe my brain is saying that I shouldn't even consider another pregnancy if I'm feeling unable to protect the 3 children I already have.

That's all I've got for ya for now.

Oh, as for the dh part, In the dream, part of me felt like I was saying, "Go away," just to make the person react. It was only when I said that that dh looked up. When he did come in, I was absolutely elated. I was actually really bothered when I woke up and realized he wasn't there.

Ooooohhhh, after writing that, I just realized something interesting. My mother's first husband was in the military. He was away when my brother was born. He didn't come home until my brother was 2. When he did, my brother wanted nothing to do with him. He actually told his father to, "Go away." It's interesting that I used the exact same phrase.

Hmmm...since that was immediately followed by dh's interaction with the baby, I wonder if it has to do with some unrealized concerns about how the baby will accept dh. In all honesty, I don't think I have any fears. I don't know that the baby will specifically remember dh, but I think The Boy will take to him right away. He's absolutely fascinated by men and he remembers something about dh since The Boy stares at anyone in camouflage. I think the reunion will be an easy one. But maybe there's a part of my subconscious that's worried.

Hmmm...certainly gives me something to think about.

Big thanks for the comment. It really made me take a look at the dream.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Note to self

If you're going to go through the effort of altering the sound system in the car so that the kids in the back can't hear it when you play Liz Phair, it's probably not a good idea to find yourself singing along...loudly.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Baby love, my baby love, I need you. Oh how I need you.

Sept. 3rd edit: Lots of people are finding their way to this post while searching for the lyrics I used in my title. So, to make this easier on you, here's a link to the lyrics to Baby Love by the Supremes.

I want another baby. I am not, however, having another baby.

After my son was born, we were smacked in the face with the reality that he would most-likely be our last (well, I was smacked in the face. Dh just had more fodder for his fire. I don't mean that to sound as bitter as it comes across).

Everyone around me is pregnant and honestly, it's killing me. I don't want to turn their happy news around into a story about me. I don't want to jump in every time they tell me something new about their pregnancy. I don't want them to stop sharing the joys of pregnancy with me. Honestly, I'm absolutely thrilled for them--all of them (and yes, it's quite a few folks. If you don't want a baby, please don't drink the water. Trust me, just don't do it. Use several forms of birth control if you're even going to LOOK at the water). For the most part, I stay focused on them, but then someone will say, "Next time you have a baby, you can do XYZ," and I have to remind them, there won't be a next time. Or someone will tell me how their baby is kicking and I think longingly back to my pregnancies. I hate to admit that I won't ever know that again.

There are days I think, "Just snip and let's be done," but honestly, I want to have another baby. I occasionally try to say/do/think things to force myself to not want another one, but I do.

At the end of my last pregnancy, dh said, "Maybe this will be the last one." I believe my exact response was, "Um...NO." I resisted the urge to smack him. Oh my word did I want to hit him. You just don't do that. You don't throw that on someone without warning. You don't ask them to change their vision of their life, of their family without time to process it. If we had discussed that prior to that pregnancy or even in the early stages of that pregnancy, it would have been a different story. I still wouldn't have been happy, but I would have been more open to the discussion. I need to know if this is going to be my last pregnancy. I needed time to consider what that means for all of us.

I LOVE being pregnant. I once told dh that I wanted to have 12 kids so I could be pregnant forever. I already had one potential pregnancy cancelled when our first two kids came as a matched set. So I already crossed off one of my 4 planned pregnancies. If you even want to discuss crossing not only another pregnancy off the list, but a WHOLE OTHER PERSON out of the picture I've always had for our family, then I REALLY need time to process that.

Well, that point is probably mute. I still need to go over my records with my fabulous, wonderful, awe-inspiring midwife (no, I'm not being sarcastic. SHE FREAKING ROCKS!), but it looks like the "care" I got when I had to transfer to the hospital probably left me unable to have more children. The trauma of it all left me unwilling to put myself in a hospital setting again. So even if I can get pregnant, I'm really terrified of what would happen should I need another hospital transfer.

And I have to qualify this because some people just don't get it: I adore my children. I realize how lucky I am to have them in our lives. I realize there are women who go through far more than we have to have children. I realize there are women who go through heart-wrenching loss and never have a full-term child much less three of them. I am not saying my pain is worse than anyone else's. I am not trying to deny anyone that pain. But at the same time, don't deny me my right to mourn.

I want another baby.

With dh gone, it hasn't been so bad. He's not around to discuss the topic. Since he hasn't been here, I haven't bothered to try to schedule an appointment to review my records. I want him there when we do that both as support (it's difficult for me to revisit what was done to me in the hospital) and also so we can make a decision together. I'm fairly certain that our decision will be that we're done, but there's a part of me that can't stop hoping. I don't want to be done.

I have no plans of having the baby discussion with him when he comes home. In fact, I'm planning on biting my tongue when the thought is bouncing around in my throat just trying to get out. I don't want to put that on him when he comes home. He needs to adjust without me dumping issues on him. And I just need to accept this issue is pretty much dead so I stop harassing him about it.

After The Boy was born, I often asked Dh if he thought he wanted another. His response has always been pretty much, "No, but let's not make anything permanent just yet." I didn't want to keep asking him, but I did. I guess part of me hoped one of those days he'd have something more to say. Honestly, my son's birth was one of the biggest events of my life. Afterwards, I wanted to talk about it ad-nauseum. Dh never did. When I tried to, he didn't have anything to add to the discussion. I got lucky and found a midwifery student friend of mine (who has a Psychology degree. How lucky is that?) who was willing to let me ramble and talk it over with me. She was a HUGE help, but I really wanted more of that help and validation from dh. Maybe that's part of the reason I kept asking.

What all this comes down to is that I'm not ready to give up on the wonder of another pregnancy. I'm not ready to give up on the hope to finally give birth. I'm not ready to adjust my image of family to include only three smiling faces (albeit 3 ADORABLE smiling faces), but I think I have to. I think this hope would be more accurately filed under "torture" rather than "reality."

What dreams may come

I had a dream last night, well, actually this morning. See, I haven't been sleeping well at all. I don't go to bed until late and then I wake up during the night and can't fall back to sleep.

This morning, I woke up at 6 am (in addition to waking several times during the night) and just couldn't fall back asleep. I finally did around 7:45 or so and that's when I had this dream. Please feel free to play armchair shrink. What do you think this dream means? I checked out the dream dictionary (see my link section), but their suggestions for stairs, window, and island don't really seem like they explain it all.

I'm living on a house on a tiny island. The island is just big enough for my house which is on stilts.

At one point, I realize I don't have a boat. I think, "I should call T. (a friend) and ask her to bring me a boat," but then I think, "She has enough to do." So I don't call her. Although, apparently I had crossed the water before without a boat, but in the dream, I can't figure out how I did it.

Then I see a rather large man (large as in muscular, not fat) walking through the water towards me. He's carrying a log which I somehow know I'm supposed to use as a boat. I feel threatened, but I don't know what to do. I have the thought, "I need to save the kids," but there's nowhere for the kids to go. I decide to try to stay out on the step and play the sly, I-don't-really-see-you card. You know what I mean. Like when you're out in public and don't want to acknowledge someone, so suddenly your child/your purse/that dead bug on the sidewalk is the most interesting thing in the world from which you cannot pull your attention. Then I realize that's stupid because he's obviously coming for me. I smile at him. He smiles back, but it creeps me out.

In another part, I run down the front steps. I don't know why, but I do quickly and with ease. Then I turned to walk back up the old rickety wooden steps and I realize there's a step missing. I know I just ran down without a problem, but now I can't get back up. The distance between the step I'm on and the next one seems to grow. I'm really uneasy and scared about it. I don't remember getting up the stairs. I just remember standing there feeling trapped.

Okay, here's the worst part of the dream; It's late and night and I'm awake in the house. I hear someone at the door. There's a high window on the door that's frosted in the center with a clear rim around the edge. I can see there's a man outside, but he's hunched over the door knob. I realize I'm alone with the kids. Do I grab a weapon? Nope. I stand there at the door and yell, "Go away." Then the man looks up and his eyes are level with the clear border of the window. It's dh. He somehow got home early and surprised me (although, in the dream, there was a part of me that knew it was him the whole time). I'm speechless for a while and then I ask, "Is this a dream?" He assures me it's not and I believe him (there have been occasions where I dreamed about being with him, but I knew it was a dream the whole time).

Moments later, The Boy starts fussing. Dh asks if he can go get him. I say, "Sure," but then I have a mild inner conflict with myself. I think, "I could just nurse the baby back to sleep. If dh picks him up, it'll be difficult to get the kid back to sleep." Although, then I remind myself he hasn't seen the baby in months and I can just deal. At this point, I seriously have the thought, "Well, if I'm having this kind of conversation with myself, it must be real."

I woke up shortly after that. It took me a while to realize it was a dream and dh wasn't home.

I. Hate. That.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you'll be quite a lot."

I'm lonely.

I know that doesn't make much sense given that I have twin tornados right next to me. I'm not alone. I'm never alone.

I know it doesn't make sense since my husband will be home in the not-too-distant future, but I am nonetheless.

Dh isn't here. So I'm alone inside my own head. At night, when I can't fall asleep, I'm alone there in the dark. When the kids are asleep and I use any excuse to avoid going to bed because I don't want to lay there in the empty silence, I'm alone.

I'm just lonely.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Let's rock the vote double X style.

I'm so glad I came across this blog entry: Lorelai Gilmore and Lynette Scavo Want You to Vote.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE those PSAs. I'm trying to add one to my blog, but it's being a pest. So if it randomly shows up, you'll know why it's here. If it doesn't show up, make absolutely certain you follow the links at Parenting Pop Culture.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Crying, laughing, and more than a wee bit baffled.

What on earth is up with me lately? I randomly find myself either absolutely giddy over dh's impending return or devastated that he's not here.

Stomp through the wildnerness that is my mind with me while I analyze myself.

I think I must have shut down emotionally, just a wee bit, though. It wasn't intentional and it wasn't something I even noticed. This doesn't seem to have been a total shut down or anything like that. I think I just distanced myself a bit.

With dh's homecoming imminent, my subconscious seems to have torn down that wall. I didn't even notice there was a wall until I found myself staring at dh's picture a few nights ago in tears for the second time that week. Then I had to think to myself, "Wait. What on earth is going on?"

I think I was just spent emotionally after the hell that was August. Seems to me like I just needed a break from the constant flow of emotions. Kinda cliché metaphor, but from here, it seems like there was a river of fear that was just washing me away, so my subconscious put up a dam.

I didn't shut down completely. I just got a bit of a break.

Now the emotions are coming back. The slightest thing can make me cry. Memories of dh that were really just sort of blasé put a huge grin on my face. I feel like gathering all the people who have helped in any way shape or form and just hugging the stuffing out of them all.

I'm usually a very emotional person, but even I find myself thinking, "Woah, Dude, put the breaks on that already."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

If you hang around here long enough, I swear I'm going to have this whole book typed out.

I'm very close to the end of Kristin Henderson's While They Are At War.

Yet again, today, while at the gym, I had to memorize page numbers so that I could share quotations with you.

"So a satellite television truck joined us in the hot, sunny parking lot where we families waited, beaming out to the rest of America close-ups of Marines hugging their girlfriends and wives and hoisting their toddlers. This is what people outside the military community see when the troops come home. Then the cameras switch off and to the outside world the homecoming appears to be over. In reality, the homecomings go on for months. In some ways, they go on for the rest of our lives." pg 225

That's something that always bothered me. There's so much focus on the going to and coming from "war," but there's rarely any coverage of the inbetween and after. I often hear, "I don't know how you do it." You know what? You really don't. If you're a civilian, you have no idea.

This isn't a game of one-up. I'm not saying military wives have it worse than anyone else. We do, however, have a very different experience than the vast majority of those around us.

One friend actually said to me, "My husband's a trucker. He's only home on the weekends. So I know exactly what you're going through. It's just like he's in the military--just like it. The only difference is he's not fighting."


Please please please PLEASE know that I am NOT trying to take part in a pissing contest. It must be very difficult to live your life with a weekend husband. I am not trying to deny you the hardship with which you're dealing. Still, your life is not very similar to that of a military wife. Those weekends are a big difference. The fact that he's not now nor has he ever been in a combat zone is a HUGE, screaming, jumping, blinking difference.

If you think to yourself, "What is the likelihood my husband will be hit by an RPG while he's at work? While he's in bed? While he's trying to talk to me on the phone?" If the answer is, "Not gonna happen," or "What's an RPG," then, please never ever EVER tell a military wife you understand her plight. You can sympathize with it. You can feel for her. But you will never understand her ordeal and you most certainly do NOT know "exactly" what she's going through.

A large portion of the book deals with wives who have lost their husbands to various conflicts. One section even deals with anticipatory grief; the fear of losing one's spouse that leaves many spouses grieving as though they have already lost their partner even though he/she is still alive and fighting. I never realized it had a name. I never even realized other wives had those thoughts/fears.

Henderson writes,
"(Chaplain Watter) started calling around to other chaplains, who agreed they'd been seeing it, too, spouses exhibiting all the same symptoms, even the same physical symptoms, as those who were grieving an actual death...." p 82

Unless you have specifically looked out your front door in fear of men in dress uniforms bearing awful news, you do NOT know exactly what a military wife is going through. If your mind doesn't start racing to awful places when an unfamiliar car pulls in front of your house, you have no idea. If your husband doesn't call for a few days and you don't have to fight off the panic, then your life is nothing like mine.

I desperately want to get the point across that I'm not trying to compete. It's just been very obvious to me that civilians don't understand what wartime deployments are really like. Which is another major reason I want people to read this book. I'm not saying that civilians don't try. I have been blessed with so many wonderful people in my life who are not military members or military wives, but they have been very caring and understanding. It's just that no matter how sympathetic, civilians just can't grasp the full picture. Although, I will put in yet another plug for the book and say that I think reading Kristin Henderson's book is the best way for civilians to get a glimpse at that full picture.

I suppose now would be as good a time as ever to share what you should/shouldn't say to a military wife:

Never say:
  • I'd kill to get rid of my husband for a few months.
  • Will the military send my husband too?
  • Oh, the time will be over before you know it.
  • He'll be gone 4/6/8/12 months? That's not that bad at all.
  • It must be nice to have all that time to yourself.
  • He's not going to like that you've done that when he comes home.
  • If my husband was gone that long, I would have lost all the baby weight/cleaned the house/painted the dining room/been shot out of a canon/saved the baby seals.
  • Any sort of joking about him not coming home.
and of course
  • My husband travels for business, so I know exactly how you feel.

Better suggestions:
  • Oh, I'm so sorry.
  • Let me bring you a meal on Monday if that's okay (Don't say, "Let me know what you need." Most military spouses will be too busy and/or feel too guilty to actually ask for help when they need it).
  • So how often do you want me to mow your lawn while he's gone?
  • What do you want me to grab for you at the store while I'm there.
  • Let me come over and watch the kids for you so you can get a nap.
  • Why don't we plan to meet for lunch?
  • Come on over.
  • Let me give you a hug.
  • Here's a gift card to (favorite store/restaurant).
  • Here's a drink.
or even better
  • Here's a bottle of wine
better still
  • Come share this box of wine with me. :-)

You'll be her best friend if you add
  • and I'll make steak/your favorite vegetarian stirfry/your kids leave you the hell alone/cookies

Friday, October 13, 2006

My reality

I make no attempt to hide the fact that I'm a leftward-leaning Liberal. My military husband is actually more liberal than I am. That's a direct result of his time in the military.

We're both very politically minded. Previously, I have pointed out that for us, politics is not a series of ideals to debate. For us, this is our everyday lives. For us, politics and politicians are directly responsible for whether my children will be scooped up in their daddy's arms again or stand crying at his gravesite.

Here's a quotation on the topic from While They Are At War:

Kristin Henderson mentions an electrician who thought it was "Cool," that her husband was in Iraq.

"I think I was smiling. Behind my smile, I just wanted this nice man out of my house. To me, it was a matter of life and death. To him, it was a video game. We were living on different planets." pg 122

Reiza-Mara, this is your life.

Buy this book. Go right now and either buy it at your corner book store or order it from Amazon. If funds are tight, get it from the library (although, I'd really prefer you bought it so the author can make the money she deserves). Just make sure you read this book.

Kristin Henderson's While They Are At War is fabulous. She captured my life. I'm a little more than halfway through it and I'm in absolute awe. Someone I've never met managed to capture my life.

I actually wrote to her a bit before the book came out. She asked around for various military wives to interview. I answered some questions, but she wound up not going with my story. Fine with me, though, because I'm just about in love with the women she did choose to feature. Many of them are so very different from me, but I can see my story in theirs.

Whether you support this conflict or not, you need to read this book. Kristin Henderson features wives of all ages, races, and sides of the political debate.

Everything about this book if fantastic. Please please please get a copy and read it. I'm buying a copy for each of our mothers and my husband.

While I read through it, there were so many moments where I thought to myself, "YES. That's it exactly." She put into words so many things I haven't been able to explain. She put into words things I didn't know needed to be expressed until I read her book.

You will be hit over the head with lots of quotations from the book over the next few days. Let's start with this one:

A civilian reporter once asked me, "Does it ever bother your husband that you‘re..." He fumbled for the right words. "That you're writing about the wives instead of the real story?" The question itself speaks volumes.
pg 4

And I ADORE this quotation. I sent it to dh today:

…I asked myself more honestly than I ever had before, the same question many soldiers are asked when they apply for conscientious objector status: What would I do if someone broke into my house and threatened my nieces and nephews, the children I love? Could I kill that person? Others have told me they’re not sure they could, even if their children were in danger.

I knew, without a doubt, that I could and would.

Then I asked myself: even if my leaders have made mistakes that led others to attack us, am I willing to stand by and watch my little nieces and nephews die for those mistakes? In all honesty, no. War is always a calamity, yet sometimes when all you have are bad options, war may be the best one of the bunch. I’m glad there are Marines, and soldiers, and sailors and airmen who are willing to save us. But at the same time, I’m also glad there are people like the Quakers, who are willing to save us from our own worst selves.

pg 134

Now go forth and BUY THAT BOOK!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sometimes they surprise you.

A friend invited us to homeschool show and tell last week. It's pretty much your standard show and tell. It's designed to help teach the kids public speaking as well as give them a chance to (oh no, I'm gonna use that awful word) socialize. Plus the parents get to chat.

As a Jewish-evolution-believing military wife, I was the odd mom out (although, the friend who invited me does believe in Evolution, but we may have been the only two). Some of the things that were said made me gasp quietly to myself, but everyone was very nice and the kids had fun.

When I agreed to do this, I figured my kids wouldn't really do anything. If Girl1 was having a good day, she might be willing to get up and talk, but definitely not Girl2. Mind you, both of my girls are extremely talkative and outgoing--until they find themselves in the presence of new folks. Then they clam up. After frequenting story time at the library for a few months, I had one librarian ask me, "Are they always this quiet?" I laughed loudly. A few weeks later, they started chatting with the librarians and and the girls haven't stopped since.

Girl1 decided to bring her costume from her first dance recital. Girl2 went with the first thing she saw. I have a dress hanging on their closet doorknob. She wanted that dress. It was mine when I was smaller and my girls wore it when they were babies.

We got there and my kids went last. Girl1 volunteered to go, but Girl2 wanted to go up too. So we all went up (they wanted me up there too). Girl1 then fell on the floor and absolutely refused to speak. So I gave Girl2 a chance. She needed some coaxing, but SHE DID IT and she handled herself quite well. When Girl1 still refused to go even after her sister, Girl2 then displayed the dance costume as well. She discussed it and answered questions.

I was so impressed. I LOVE when my kids surprise me (well, the good kind of surprise, not the "I can fit every single piece of Polly Pocket's clothing in my mouth at once," kind of surprise).

The Jewish dictionary

Jewfro: Jewish man's afro

See a sample here: The Rabbi Report: If I had a jewfro

Break my heart, why don't ya?

First and foremost, Tiffany didn't win. Boo. Hiss. Yeah yeah, it's PC to say everyone was talented (in all honesty, I don't think they were. Some of the work I saw from the top 10 was pretty plain. I've seen much better than those layouts in the galleries. I just wasn't impressed with some folks who were up for SOY) and that I'm glad CK honored Tiffany by nominating her (which is true). In all honesty, though, I think Tiffany was far and away the best in the running. I think she should have won hands down and I'm disappointed that she didn't.

In other disappointing news, no more ellptical for me. I do an hour on the elliptical every day at the gym and then do my weights and resistance for another hour. I was weighed and measured today. I mostly got great news. My weight is down lower than I expected. The woman at the desk who measured me said she'd kill to have my measurements. I'm back down to a 27 inch waist. The bad news, though, is that I GAINED 3 inches in my legs. I'm putting on too much muscle in my thighs as a result of my dearly beloved machine.

Here's my issue: I love that machine. It burns more calories than anything else in that gym. I can burn 700 calories in an hour. THAT ROCKS! The same time on the bike only burns about 250 calories. My friends use the same machine, so we can chat while we work out. It helps the time go by much faster. Plus on the elliptical, I can read magazines. The rule on the treadmill is no cell phones, no water bottles, no magazines (risk of injury if you're not paying attention).

Now I'm gonna have to either do the treadmill or the bike and I'm so not happy about that. I think I'll do the elliptical twice a week and split up the treadmill and bike for 1/2 an hour each for the other 4 days.

In other news, we're headed to the sukkah at shul tonight. This is the first time I'm going without dh. We go every year. Last year, I was hugely pregnant and it was very cold. This year, I'm skinnier and it's still pretty warm. Last year, it was a huge event whereas in years past, it was a pretty small gathering. I'm not sure what to expect this year, but I'm sure we'll have fun either way. The Boy will be sporting his brand new, "Rocking the Jew-fro" t-shirt. I suspect it will be a big hit.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Go, Tiffany!

No, not THAT Tiffany; Tiffany Tillman (check my links. The Sharper Edge blog is hers).

She and I once worked together on a creative team and she’s up for Scrapbooker of the Year over at Creating Keepsakes.

The winner was announced in Vegas over half an hour ago, but I can't find any reports either through CK directly or through any of the message boards.

Tiffany's work is absolutely fantastic. She very much deserves to win this and I'm biting my nails here in hopes that she does.

Sexually deprived for your freedom
and vulgar for your entertainment

When dh is away, I tend to get very raunchy. I guess it’s my way of dealing with having to go without.

We have further proof that I've been deprived for way too long.

When a friend wrote and mentioned an acquaintance who couldn't swallow pills, I had this to say:

“If she can’t even get pills down her throat, how’d she ever get a guy to marry her?”

I'm glad my religion doesn't believe in a Hell because if it did, I would SO be going there.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Radio, radio romance

Title is from a Tiffany song. Yeah, I'm a dork. Please forgive me.

Back to the purpose of this post:

I was on the radio. My favorite local drive-time show was discussing vow renewals. One of the DJ's is having one, but he didn't understand the purpose of it. They asked for calls from people who have done it. I called explaining that dh and I are planning on having one when he comes home.

They put me on the air and were super sweet.

I shouldn't be star-struck. I'm used to the media. It's the field I worked in before I decided to stay home. I've been on t.v. I've been in the paper. I've been in magazines (and I don't mean that to sound as stuck up as I'm afraid it does). Still, I'm jazzed about the whole thing.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This guy's cool as hell.

Please pardon the bad pun in the title. It's not intentional.

And that concludes the high holidays' tour 5767.

Yom Kippur is over. It's the holiest of Jewish holidays and it marks the end of the high holidays. Sukkot is coming, but that's nothing. We eat in a box, basically, LOL. Well, we don't because I've never been able to build a freaking sukkah (not for lack of trying. About 6 years ago, I was in tears in the aisles of Lowe's because we couldn't figure what we'd need to build one or how we would manage to get the materials home in the little sports car). We will, however, eat at the one at shul on one evening.

Today was a fast day. I didn't make it. I ate two slices of bread and had some water. As a nursing mom, I get a "Get out of jail free" card when it comes to these things, though. Shove a boob in the baby's mouth and you get to shove some food in yours when everyone around you is salivating at the thought of food. Gotta love it.

Left the kids with my sister (long story there that I can't share right now, but I swear I will soon) and went to services last night (and again today, but they came with me today). What I want to discuss, though, isn't that I spent all day in the sanctuary or even that I came home yesterday to find my sister topless (that relates to the long story I'm not at liberty to fully discuss just yet).

What I want to discuss is the dress I wore last night. I bought it for dh's promotion ceremony 2 years ago--before my last pregnancy. I never wore it, though. It was a $60 dress (still had the tags on last night when I put it on), but I got it for $5 on clearance. Most importantly, though, it's a size 3/4. And it fit! Shock of all shock, I even had a pair of shoes that matched and aren't leather (I don't wear leather on Yom Kippur or jewlery for that matter).

Oh, oh, oh, and since I brought up jewlery, I wear two rings regularly--a wedding band and a 3-stone ring (which I got from dh for Chanukah 2 years ago. One of my top 3 favorite gifts EVER). I had them both sized when I was at my thinnest. They are both a size 4. Yes, you can get a ring sized that small. Well, get this, they're too big. WTF? I'm still about 15 lbs heavier than I was at my lowest. So how on earth are they big? Do they size rings any smaller than 4? Am I gonna have to start buying kids' jewlery to go with my kids' shoes?

Not that I'm complaining. I super cute pair of sneakers the other day for 13 bucks 'cause they were on sale and they're kids'.