30 March 2011

No Sick Leave for Mom

Typical sick-mom situation- no rest for the weary.  Had a religion class this morning that I love going to, a visit to make to see another mom from church, and my youngest has a Pirate play this afternoon.  Definitely not making the religion class, and had to cancel the visit, and really don't want to miss the play since we can't make the evening performance because he also has a little league game. And my eldest has a lacrosse game.  That one's taken care of but no missing the little league.
Hopefully the echinacea tea, the zicam, the claritin, and the tons of water I'm consuming will put a dent in the congestion and sneezing.

27 March 2011

90Percent Attitude

DH and I went this weekend to visit a family who just recently moved into the area.  He is a new agent and this is their first assignment.  Great family.  They will do well here because the wife has a great attitude.  This is a new place for them far different from where they've come from.  She is getting out and exploring new shopping centers, finding all the parks and trails for her kids, and trying hard to get to know her neighbors. 

PCSing and finding happiness and fun in the new place is 90% about your attitude.  If you don't have that then your miserable.  I noticed at our last spouses night that a lot of the wives had been told by their agent husbands not to go here or to stay away from there and to definitely not forget to set the alarm.  They've scared them into not liking where they are.   Don't get me wrong, I'm all about OpSec- knowing your surroundings, being aware and vigilent, but too much can also be detrimental to having an enjoyable assignment. 

Finding that balance and having a positive attitude makes all the difference.

25 March 2011

Independent Wives

We had a fairly successful Spouses Night last month- not as many as I hoped but fun. This month is proving to be a little harder. We decided to try a card making night. I'm not that in to card making, but it will be fun to get together with the other spouses and see how they're doing and to get to know them better. Unfortunately no one's RSVP'd and the activity is next week. We'll see...

These wives are very independent. They do things on their own because it's habit. When an emergency comes up I want them to feel like they can call us whenever. This week a spouse had a personal emergency and needed someone to watch her kids. She didn't call anyone at the detachment or one of the other spouses and I am sad by that. She was forced to put off a medical procedure because she had no one to watch her kids. She made a few calls on her own and got her husband called home a couple days early from deployment training and I wish she would have thought that to call me or that she felt more comfortable enough to call and ask for some help.

That's why we're trying to get these spouses night up and going. Some wives are too independent. I remembered reading a blog about this from another military spouse:

Asking for help - my biggest challenge
When my husband is deployed, my biggest personal challenge is asking for help.  Especially as a stay at home Mom.

Not because of pride - I realize that I cannot possibly do it all - but out of survival.

You see, while Seth is away, I usually find myself in a perpetual state of semi-denial.

Everything is fine.
Just keep swimming.
Everything is just fine.
Stay positive.
I can do this.
MOM! Stop asking - yes I'm doing just fine.

It's all a coping mechanism - a sort of survival mode for handling stress.

The problem is, I don't ask for help until I really need it.
Like something is on fire.
Or someone needs to go to the emergency room.
Or I have a flat tire with three small children and I can't get the stupid jack out from under the seat.

I realize I'm not super woman.
But if I open up and admit to myself that I need help...
Will I be able to keep saying that everything is just fine?

Because the moment I start admitting to myself I can't do something - I have to face all the realities.

I'm actually really tired.  and yeah maybe a little stressed.  ok maybe a lot stressed.  and well... I might just have to admit... that deep down...  I too am scared of the consequences of war.

How will these deployments change my husband?
How will these deployments change my children?
How will these deployments change me?

If you know someone who has a spouse deployed and you would like to lend a hand - Try offering them something specific like inviting them to your home for dinner.  Watch the kids. Mow the lawn. Offer to take out the trash or bring in the groceries.  Or send them a gift card for dinner so they don't have to cook, clean up, or wash dishes.

Because up until now?  If you've offered your number for me to call if I need anything?  I haven't called - unless I absolutely had to.

This is something I need to work on during this deployment and generally improve on in my life.

Because by asking someone for help - it gives someone a chance to be a blessing to others!

19 March 2011

Game Day

Our youngest son had his first baseball game this afternoon. It was a blustery day, yet that didn't deter his enthusiasm. He was the head cheer-leader in the duggout- cheering each players turn at the bat. It was nice to hear them yell for each of their teammates. He was able to hit the ball each time at bat and in the last inning he caught a fly after the first bounce and threw it to 1st to make the last out of the game. They don't keep score in the Rookie Division, but our team won by two. :)

Our eldest son had a great lacrosse game, too. He scored one of 7 goals, and nearly got ejected from the game for an out of control swing of his stick- he has a bit of a temper and he was tripped and stepped on and as he came out of the roll he swung his stick with one hand- a very poor sportsman like move, not to mention a one handed swing is illegal in boys lacrosse. But he got himself under control and was able to finish a good game.

Whew! A bit of a crazy afternoon, very windy and colder than expected, but we made it to both games while DH had a nice daddy-daughter date.

17 March 2011

Spring Sports

It's that time of year when sports start to become your sole reason for breathing. We have lacrosse and little league this year. Thank goodness my husband is home to help out. I can't imagine trying to work all the games a practices in if it were only me. I know other families make it work, but I'm thankful he's home now.
Lacrosse and Baseball games on Wed nights and both again on Saturdays. Thank goodness the weather is warming up and we aren't out in the cold for games.

Women in Combat?

I'm not sure where I stand on this issue, but it is an issue whether some want to ignore it and others want to propel it into the mass media arena.

WASHINGTON — Women should finally be allowed to serve fully in combat, a military advisory panel said Friday in a report seeking to dismantle the last major area of discrimination in the armed forces.

Read more http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/01/ap-women-in-combat-011411/

As a woman I agree that things should be equal, but as a spouse do I want my husband put in a situation where a unit is huddled down under fire and he inadvertently rolls over, crawls over, or brushes by another woman and then be accused of sexual harassment or even assault, or do I want to see a woman taken hostage by the enemy and paraded and even tortured as I'm sure will happen? No. I'm at a loss on what side to choose. I agree with points on both sides of the issue. I agree that it is harder to make higher rank advancement if you don't get combat experience, but perhaps that can be resolved with different standards for women. I know several women who do quite well in their military careers and didn't have to see combat. It's a tough issue all around.

04 March 2011

Found a dentist- finally!

It's taken me a while, but I've finally found dentists for me and the kids. We were too lucky in our last place (where we lived for 6 years). My Mom manages a dental office for 2 dentists who were absolutely wonderful with the kids! We'd been seeing Dr. Sal for nearly 12 years. Every time we're visiting Mom we get a cleaning and because of her family discount we didn't have to pay anything. Not anymore.. we're out in the real world now. :)

03 March 2011

Touches of Upscale at the Commissary

I think this will be my next Amazon purchase. I love reading stories of other military spouses and their adventures.  I get a sense of belonging that takes time and is often hard to achieve after a new PSC. 

Here's an excerpt from Marna Krajeski’s book Household Baggage Handlers.

From HouseHoldBaggage.com
In my 1996 book Household Baggage: The Moving Life of a Military Wife, I conceded that while the commissary was convenient, utilitarian, and low cost, it lacked the amenities of those upscale markets I loved to visit (not for shopping but just to walk the aisles). Nice touches like vats of bubbling soup, cappuccino bars, and white-aproned help offering free samples of chocolate mousse.
At commissary prices, I’ll probably never see such perks, but lately I’ve noticed encouraging trends in the commissary. Buried amid the Pop-tarts and iceberg lettuce, I’ve discovered stuffed grape leaves, gnocci, Swiss cheese fondue, sun dried tomato pesto, and rotisserie chicken. You just have to pay attention. Even my favorite English breakfast tea, Ty-phoo, previously only available from my flight attendant friend after a London run, now graces the shelf in the imported food section.
At the nearby Navy commissary, we now have a fresh sushi bar and a selection of live lobsters in the seafood department. I’ve seen duck and bison meat in frozen foods. Even the organically grown produce offerings are expanding.
What’s more, the Exchange carries personal care products I’ve only seen in health food stores–brands like Burt’s Bees, Kiss My Face, and Avalon Organics.
This means that customers have been asking for these goods, and commissary and exchange management have responded. Keep it up everyone!