Friday, May 30, 2008

More proof that I am a dork.

The website Man Babies fascinates me.

It consists of nothing more than photos of dads and kids with their heads swapped.

They're not even always that well done, but damn it, I like 'em. At their worst, they're freakish. At their best, they're hysterical.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Join the Army.
See the world.
Kill yourself.

Army suicides highest in nearly 2 decades, study finds

Is anyone shocked by this? If so, someone is not paying attention.

Shocked? No. Outraged? Hell yeah! Betrayed? YES.

I have not shied away from sharing the hell we endured as a result of dh's PTSD.

It is awful. There is not nearly enough treatment out there. Even when it is available, it's often very difficult to access.

Trying to help someone with the disorder is hell. It is the most difficult thing I ever had to endure. I remind myself often that my perspective was on the outside looking in. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for dh. I suffered trying to help him. How could I ever imagine how he suffered?

Imagine a zombie. I'm not talking about the typical depression where one pulls away. I'm talking about a completely different personality. One way to describe it might be to say they seem to have no soul. The man who used to randomly come up and hug me and who never once raised his voice to me in all the years were were together was replaced by one who screamed at me one moment, but ignored everyone around for the most part. It seemed as though everything gentle and loving about him had died. My husband was a zombie.

I've thought a lot recently about how glad I am that he is in my life. I love him dearly. What's more, I like him. All these years later, I still like him. I enjoy being around him. Whereas my friends are always eager to get their husbands out of the house when they've been home for an extended period of time, nothing would make me happier than to have dh around all the time. I spent a month home with him and loved it.

The only time we ever seriously discussed divorce were the two times he endured PTSD. The last time, I even had a plan. I had a map in the glove compartment with directions to a friend's house out of state. I did not for a minute want to leave the man I loved, but the black hole that he had become was sucking the life out of both of us.

I'm glad I stayed. I'm glad we fought it together.

Although, I won't lie. I've realized lately that I still don't have my husband back completely. I've adjusted to this man. I love this man, but he is not the same man who landed in a combat zone years ago. To be completely honest, I would love to have that man back. There was a time when I got glimpses of who he was, but that wasn't consistent and it hasn't happened in a while. I miss it. I miss him.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but when he came home last time, I told dh (when he refused to acknowledge that he had a reoccurance) that I did not like who he had become. Now, I can say that I like who he is and I love who he is, but I can still see the PTSD in him. I liked the pre-PTSD version of my husband better.

PTSD is not a cold from which you can completely recover when you let your body heal itself. It's not like an illness where you can throw drugs at it and then you're good as new (although, the military does so like to throw copious amounts of inappropriate drugs at it [and I'm not just talking Motrin]). It's not even like a broken bone which is never quite as strong. A weak limb may give you an unusual gait, but you remain you. PTSD lingers and it can reoccur. Sometimes, it doesn't completely go away. It forces you to become someone else.

Dh stopped in at his old (military) office last week. One of his friends there commented on the large number of recent deployments. He said something like, "They all come back, but they come back messed up."

I've been thinking a lot lately about sacrifices made for freedom. On Memorial Day, I heard a comment about how those who died in combat are not the only ones to make sacrifices. It's on a far smaller scale, but my husband did sacrifice. He didn't give his life, but he gave years of his life. He gave memories with his children that he never had a chance to make. He almost gave his marriage. He gave a portion of his sanity. He gave a portion of his soul.

He's not alone. There are so many others sacrificing, some in far more torturous ways than my husband ever had to endure. Combat takes their soul and they take their own lives. We owe them. We owe them so much more.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Discussions that are not appropriate around the dinner table

I realize that I am probably the only person who cares, but I'm going to share yet another announcement from my son.

Our routine is that before I leave him in the nursery at the gym, I take him to the bathroom. Today, while sitting on the toilet, he passed gas. He then laughed and said, "Woah." To which he added quite earnestly, "TheBoy not poop. No poop. Passed gas."

Thanks for the announcement, kid.

I cracked up. I may be alone here, but at least I'm laughing in my solitude.

And besides, I'm not completely alone. I have a gassy child on the toilet next to me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I like part 2 (the cupcake/chocolate/coffee-scented edition)

I've already mentioned that I'm not cool enough to be one of those bloggers who actually gets stuff for free to review or to give away. That, however, doesn't stop me from sharing some favorites with you.

Well, now I have a chance to share favorites AND get free stuff. Rock on!

I first came across Embrace Bath & Body Shop a few months back. They were kind enough to donate to a fund raiser. Because I believe that good deeds should be rewarded (and because their items sounded really interesting and the prices were much lower than I've seen in stores), I decided to order about two weeks ago. Oh my goodness! I LOVE their stuff.

So when I read on their blog that they're inviting people to spread the word, I had to jump on that opportunity. And hey, you can do it too.

See that blog link and contact them, then, put the image up in your side bar and in exchange, you'll get your choice any three Lip Balms and 10% off everything for as long as you keep the ad up.

So, if you feel so compelled join in. If not, have a look around their store anyway. And hey, if you are, by any chance, looking for gift ideas for me, may I point you in the direction of the large cupcake collection and the large chocolate collection as well. :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh look, there's more.

Oh too true!

I could have taken part in this conversation.

More Women With Dirtier Minds Than Men
Girl #1, pointing to bag of peanuts: Are those your nuts?
Girl #2: No, they're Bob's* nuts.
[brief pause, then both girls begin laughing hysterically]
Girl #1, after a few minutes: That was the stupidest thing ever.
Girl #2: You know you liked it.
Overheard by: I laughed because I didn't know what was going on
via Overheard Everywhere, May 23, 2008

Spider owl?

I just love the items in JooSweetie's Etsy shop and now there's more cuteness. I first saw her jewelry a while ago. It's so cute. From there, I found her super cute dolls. I also found her bibs which I adore (including a bunch of military-themed ones).

Although, I must tell you all that I have never bought anything from her store because I find her prices a bit high. Still, I can drool at the cuteness from afar.

Today, I found that she has owls.

a ninja owl
Clark, Super owl
and of course, Wonderowl
Elektra, the assassin owl
a pirate owl
and Spiderowl.

Aren't those the cutest things? I'm so in love.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

I hope everyone's having a great weekend and I hope everyone remembers what Memorial Day is really about.

I've blogged about this before: Memorial Day: pools, barbecues, sales and dead soldiers (2006) and Happy? (2007)

So I'll spare you the usual banter. You should know how I feel about the day by now. Once a military wife, always a military wife.

On a related note, is giving you free access to the Military Collection through May 31st. I searched through there and have now seen my great uncle's name on the death roster as well as discovered that he enlisted on what would later become my birthday. I've seen another great uncle's draft card from the First World War (and discovered he had grey eyes and dark hair which I never knew).

So feel free to go take a look around there this weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I like...

I'm not one of those fancy parenting bloggers who gets free stuff to try and share. So I don't have reviews to offer you, but I do have some things that I like.

I'm on a quest for lunch bags/boxes for the kids for camp.

These snack bags are far too cute.

My favorites are
This one isn't a snack sack, but it's my very favorite lunch box from that site. The price is actually pretty good. Usually, these sites have insanely expensive products that I'll drool over, but never dream of buying (Posh Tots, anyone?). The lunch box the girls really wanted at Target was $15. This one is $13.50. You have to figure in shipping (free shipping over $100, but there's no way I'm spending $100 on my quest for a lunch box), but even when you figure in shipping, the price is pretty close to what you find in stores.

While there, I saw some really cute back packs.

Among my favorites are
In the end, I'll probably wind up buying something cheap and decorating it myself (those snack sacks gave me some great ideas), but hey, I can drool.

Oh my goodness, I can't believe I just found a Last Unicorn lunch box. Forget the kids. I want that. I also want the Muppet Show one.

How evil is it that I want to send my Jewish kids to Jewish camp with this lunch box?

When I told dh that this exists, he said, "THAT'S what we need to get them." Ha ha ha ha...NO.

Oh my goodness, these are so freaking cute. I'm leaning towards those right now.

Although, my girly girls would LOVE this.

Oh boy! This is gonna take a while.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

History teachers and liberals

I found a post over at Out in Left Field to be particularly interesting. She has a great point.

Those Who Don't Remember the Past Are Condemned to Repeat It

Happy happy joy joy

These are the people in your neighborhood.

The whole blogging thing is insane. I often find myself thinking about or praying for people I know only through the world of blogs. I have never met these people. I will probably never meet these people, yet I'm interested in their lives.

I don't have a huge circle of bloggity friends like some other bloggers I know, but there are people out there that have struck a chord with me for one reason or another.

So when I made an attempt to get caught up with the gaggle of blogs contained in my Google Reader and I found this post at the Feminist Breeder, I felt absolutely giddy. I've never met her. I don't even know that much about her. I can't even remember how I came across her blog initially.

Yet, whenever she updated, I checked her pregnancy ticker to get an idea of how much longer she had. When I saw she updated and that she had a successful VBAC, I was absolutely thrilled. When I read she had to go into mama mode to fight the staff to do it, I felt both awful for the treatment and proud that she didn't let herself get taken advantage of.

It's a very odd thing. I don't really know this woman. I've never met her. I don't know that I ever will. Yet I hoped and prayed for a good experience for her and now that I know she had one, I'm absolutely ecstatic for her.

She's not the only one. There are other bloggers out there that I often wonder about. Sometimes, something in my day will remind me of them--remind me of people I've never met. In some cases, these are people who grew up in my old stomping ground. Some actually live near me. I may have passed them on the highway, yet I know them only through the updates they post on their blog. Some live far far away from my little corner of the world, yet I feel connected to them. That connection was initiated by a series of words let loose on the internet.

How odd that something seemingly so simple can have that effect! How wonderful and heartbreaking that we as humans are wired to work in such a fabulous fashion!

During high holidays once, our former rabbi pointed out how technology can isolate people. He used the examples of those who become so tangled in their video games or e-mail that they forget a real world exists. He also pointed out how technology can bring people together. He used a specific example of members of a message board banding together to donate money to help a fellow member whose son became suddenly ill.

I'm often aghast at how vicious people can be online. What in the world makes people think they can say the things they do? Why would people post some of the horrible insults they throw at others online?

How we use technology is up to us. It can help us repair the vessel, or it can be the hammer we use to destroy it.

The tool it becomes is completely up to us.

For me, it's super glue and I find the phenomenon bizarrely amazing.

What I want: Day 1

Irim commented on my last post asking what I want. Good question.

I had a rough weekend and am continuing to have a difficult time as I'm learning more information which really stabs at my soul moreso than anyone realizes.

When I think about what I want, I could probably rant for days. And so, here's day 1.

I want a support system that is there for me when I really need it. I don't want to be left alone in difficult times or joyous ones.

I want people to find useful and appropriate ways to deal with the drama within their lives so that they can function.

I find myself trying so desperately to help others only to find I'm left lonely in the end. Where's my help? Why am I the one to call with problems or questions, but I'm not always extended the same luxury? I want the same respect.

When I decide, "Enough. I need to focus on my family and myself, not someone else's issues, " it's seen as a slight to someone else. I want them to take that as a the announcement that I need a break and then see that as chance to work on themselves, to work on their own issues, not as an insult.

I don't want to make people feel degraded or slighted. I do want the words to explain how I feel and what I think.

I want people to realize that some of the shit they pull is not okay. At that moment when I realize I have been let down AGAIN, I want the people responsible to see my immediate reaction so that maybe they'll finally understand how much I need them, love them and want them there with me. I also want them to fully appreciate how much it hurts when they leave me alone at moments of importance because if they had any clue how badly that abandonment burns, they certainly wouldn't do it over and over again.

I want a magic wand to wave. I want to scream. I want to punch people in the face. I want to extend olive branches. I want to never again know what it's like to be abandoned that way. I want to jump up and down screaming and cursing. I want to stay in bed all day and never have to get up. I want a break.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tell me what cha want, what you really really want?

I'm at a loss lately for writing inspiration.

Lend me a hand. What do you want to know? Is there anything you want to know about my funny little life?


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Kids say...

Happy Mothers' Day to all the moms, mums, mamans, imas, and mommies out there.

I'm so glad I'm a mother. If I wasn't, I would have had no reason to bust out laughing at Target today.

Dh took TheBoy to the bathroom. We noticed his pants were on backwards after his nap, but we didn't think much of it. Well, dh came out of the bathroom and told me that wasn't nearly the worst of it. Apparently, TheBoy must have dressed himself after his nap because in addition to the Kris Kross inspired style, he used his underwear as a torture device. Both legs were shoved in one hole and his penis was stuck up in the band. Ow.

While in the bathroom, someone in the stall next to them was making disgusting noises while using the facilities. Dh reported that after each bout of noises, TheBoy responded with a loud and shocked, "Woah."

Dh reports that the noises warranted it too.

That was one of those moments when I was so very glad I was a mom. Writer strike? What strike? I never really noticed it because my kids are on all the time. :-)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Don't tase me, bro.

Oh my word. The stupidity is hilarious.

In case you needed a reason to avoid tasering yourself, here you go.

Here's an excerpt to peak your interest:

The cat was standing over me making meowing sounds I had never heard before, licking my face, undoubtedly thinking to herself, "Do it again, stupid, do it again!"

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The world has lost another warrior.

Mildred Loving has passed away.

I'm very saddened by this. She was a true warrior. I have delusions of changing the world. She actually helped do that.