Posts Tagged ‘navy life’

Surprise visit from The Cat

May 3, 2010

The Cat was home for six very unexpected days. Unfortunately, it was for tragic reasons. There was a death on the submarine, and they came back for a memorial — and probably a morale boost. It was great to see him, even under such grisly circumstances.

In some ways we’re lucky, the deployments on his current sub are short (generally 8-10 weeks), and there is an off-crew break in between patrols. But that doesn’t make them easy. When he came home last week, I hadn’t received an email from him in 3 weeks due to mission-related communication blackouts. That’s hard. Even a couple of sentences every few days keeps me sane — well, at least a little more sane. I can make it about two weeks before the blackouts start to make me a little buggy. I’m sure people around me notice I’m a little more irritable and a lot more verbal than normal, just trying to reach out to another adult. Yes, navy life effects a lot more than just the service member and their family; all of my co-workers and teammates have to put up with the challenges and mood swings it brings on.

I’m sure this post had a point when I started, but it dissolved into a pity party and Thing 1 is up now talking to me. (Who knew four year old’s had so much to say?!) I had some notes on mortality I was going to share and how I was going to pressure The Cat on finishing our wills and other paperwork; a little on how our house will never be ready for a potential visit from my in-laws this summer; and, I thought I’d share a little love I feel for The Cat. (It really was nice to have him home.) But, any eloquent points are now lost in the mommy-netherworld, or wherever it is that all of our intelligent thoughts are chased off to.

Thing 1 is now taunting me by jumping off the furniture and commanding me to do her bidding. I guess it’s time for me to parent. I do do it occasionally; it just seems as if I put it off as much as possible. If only it could stay on the back burner for a whole day…


It’s been so long…

November 19, 2009

Yes, I’ve been MIA on the blog scene. I have no excuses. You can flog me with a wet noodle if you want. Or, you could just read this extremely brief update of our last 15 months.

We’ve had 7 birthdays in our family since my last post. The Cat has actually been here for 4 of them. So he’s made one birthday for each of the kids in their lifetimes. At least they can’t say the Navy schedule plays favorites. Thing 1 is 4 years old now and Thing 2 is a sassy 2. T1 is in preschool, and, of course, she loves it. T2 begs to go to Gma’s house every day.

It is a big change living near family.We ended up buying a house 1 mile down the road from my parents and 1 mile up the road from my sister. A little closer than we planned, but sometimes that’s how things work out. One of my brothers lives 10-20 miles away. so holiday plans are always a mess. But in a fun way.

Our house is older. I think it was built in 1974. So keep an eye out for remodeling posts in the near future.

I’m working part time. I’m in the office one day a week and have to fit another two days worth of work around the kids schedule. Luckily, they are somewhat self-entertaining and only occasionally scream or pick up the other phone when I’m on a business call.

The Cat is still on sea duty, although he only is deployed for 2-3 months, not 6, now. Plus, another crew takes the sub out, so sometimes it’s like he just has an office job. We like having him around.

The new place is still a mess. Maybe even worse than before, with two kids running around, a part time job, having a babysitter (Gpa) so I can play soccer 1-2 nights a week, and adding a few hundred square feet I need to clean. Yeah, I don’t really see that happening anytime soon. At least here in Washington we don’t really have to worry about cockroaches and stuff so much. Just rain and such. Still, life’s not bad, if a bit messy. But hopefully not so messy I go 15 months between posts again. I guess time (hopefully not as measured by the wall calendar) will tell.

You cleaning, Mom?

July 15, 2008

As I leave Thing 1’s room at bedtime, this is how our exchange goes these days:

T1: “Will you leave my door open a crack, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, dear.”

T1: “Where will you be? Will you be downstairs, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, honey.”

T1: “What will you be doing? You cleaning, Mom?”

Momma: “Yes, sweetie. Good night.”

I really was planning on it. After all, the movers come in 2 weeks, the Cat is out to sea, and naps and bedtime is the only time I get to go through things without little paws pawing at my clean and dirty piles. But yet, somehow, I come across this:

Don’t ask how. Just know that I got on the internet with the best of intentions to look up something move related. The time I spent looking at this blog, however, was not move related. In fact, it made me want to unpack my sewing machines (ha, as if they’re packed yet!) and work from an inspired place. Her stuff (and her daughter) is beautiful and makes me feel…slow. I couldn’t sew one dress in a weekend, much less three. Plus, my attempt at making a dress for Thing 1 without a pattern didn’t turn out as well as I would’ve liked:

blue dress

blue dress

Not bad, but rather boring. Plus, I was aiming for size 2 and it’s about a size 4 with a 18 month neckhole. We’ll see what happens with it. Perhaps if I keep checking back and being inspired by Kathleen’s blog maybe I’ll learn something. After all, my next dress attempt turned out a little better, even though I started with (and then deviated from) a pattern.

Spring dress

  (It looks better in person. Really.)

Of course, with the move it’s going to be awhile before I get time for that. Maybe I’ll just win some of the dresses she gives away on her blog. I think that’s the best solution. Especially since, for now, I’ve got to get back to cleaning. Because tonight Thing 1 asked me what cleaning I was going to do. I think she might be planning on checking up on me.

Aloha, Washington!

July 1, 2008

After weeks (months?) of promises, the Cat finally got his orders. We are going to Washington! I know, who in their right mind would be happy to move from sunny Hawaii to dreary western Washington? A mom with two kids under three who has family there, that’s who. We’ll probably stay with my parents while we look to buy a house. (Did you hear that? Clear out a guest bedroom!)

This next month is going to be difficult, to say the least. The Cat is going to be out to sea for four or five of the next six weeks. The movers will come to pack us up in less than a month. Two weeks later, when we see the Cat again, we’ll move out of our house. Then a few days later we’ll be hauling everything to the airport for the last time, at least for awhile.

I’m really going to miss Hawaii, but I’m really looking forward to having family to help out. And being on a much bigger land mass. With rising airfares I’ve been feeling the island fever lately. But I don’t want to complain too much, because I’m sure I’ll be missing all this sooner than I think. I better carve out some time to sit on our front porch and stare at the ocean.

There’s a reason military families get health care

June 23, 2008

Last week was not good for me. It started going downhill Monday around lunch, with a sore throat. By Wednesday I was in the doctor’s office with a strep throat infection with so much pus on my tonsils everyone wanted to come in and look at them. Then the cough started. And runny nose. By Friday night I had pinkeye in both eyes. And on Saturday, I went to the doctor’s with laryngitis. The laryngitis was probably the most difficult to deal with, since Thing 1 is in her “Why?” phase and Thing 2 is just learning what the word “no” means. At least I’d like to thing he’s learning.

It’s a good thing all of these doctor’s visits are covered by our military health care, because I blame the military for my current condition. Yes, I believe stress and anxiety brought all of this on. After all, I’m not one to get sick too often, but the last few weeks of military life have been more stress-inducing than normal. I’m used to the military treating The Cat however they want, but at the moment they are messing with my family and our future, and the fact that there is nothing I can do about it has me lying awake at night steaming. We’re supposed to leave here in 6-8 weeks, but we can’t get anything in writing so we can make our plans. I have no idea if The Cat will be around to help with the move or have time on the other end to help shop around for a house. (We’re planning on buying our first house, another stress factor.) So here I am, feeling crappy, with a trans-Pacific move upcoming at an undetermined time that I may be doing with just me and the two kids. I’m not ready for this.

The Cat, bless his heart, has been trying to get this taken care of for months, to no avail, because others just aren’t doing their jobs like they should. And now, since there’s no official word on when we’re supposed to go, The Cat’s boat will probably take him out to sea and keep him here longer. Ugh. I really don’t like to complain about the military, after all, it is our bread and butter, plus I’m as patriotic as the next guy, but I also hate it when my life gets screwed up because some paper pusher hasn’t done what they should’ve done months ago. Okay, rant done. I’m going to take all my meds now. At least they didn’t cost me anything.

The idea of living in Hawaii

June 6, 2008

We’ll be leaving Hawaii in a few months. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, with two small children it will be great to be closer to family, especially when The Cat has to go out to sea on the submarine. On the other hand, I’m going to miss living in Hawaii. At least I’ll miss the weather and the IDEA of living in Hawaii, which, unfortunately, my reality hasn’t matched.

The idea of living in Hawaii, at least for me, means doing and seeing every type of touristy thing, from shopping to dining to activities that require sunblock. It also means going beyond the simply touristy and doing the local thing. Those word of mouth things that aren’t listed in Frommer or Lonely Planet guides. Making friends and having experiences that make Hawaii feel like home. That idea would have been ideal. But, instead, we had two kids in the three years that we’ve lived here.

I moved here, far from friends and family, halfway through a pregnancy, making finding a regular job hard. (Thank goodness for Kaplan getting me out of the house occasionally!). Oh, and The Cat has been gone – a  lot – making it difficult to keep even a non-regular job. Sure, I could’ve overcome those things and been more adventurous, but I have more excuses. (Many of them center around traffic and parking. Who knew I was such a car wuss?) The truth is, when I get back to the mainland, people will say, “Oh, Hawaii! Did you do ______?” And most of the time I’ll have to say no. I hate that left out, not-in-the-know, wussy feeling.

Still, we do now have two kids who can (forever and always) say they were born in Hawaii. That, plus the fact that Things 1 and 2 are the most wonderful kids you’ll ever meet, I guess evens things out. Regardless, it’s hard to accept the fact that I didn’t get to do everything I wanted here. But, maybe I shouldn’t give up yet. I have a few months left, and I’m not leaving without a fight.

The Cat came back

May 18, 2008

It has been two months since my last post. If that seems pathetic, it’s only because it is. TCITH was gone for 2-1/2 months and it was a very tough deployment for me. So bad that I tried to get an AMC flight home. You know it’s bad when I’m willing to go to the bother of trying jump through the hoops to get on a military flight with two small children by myself.

TCITH came home at the end of April. For 5 days before he came home, we (Thing 1, Thing 2 and I) were dealing with the flu. Then pink eye, a plugged milk duct that become infected, flu (TCITH this time) and pink eye again. Oh, and a yeast infection from the antibiotics for the milk duct infection. Yeah, it was a fun three weeks. But at least he’s home. I’ve been able to get some work done, to get out without kids for an hour or two, and even consider making social plans. Not feeling quite so pathetic now. It’s good to have the Cat back.

Trading guilts

March 18, 2008

It’s after 10 a.m., and I’m still in my pajamas. Thing 1 is too. Thing 2 isn’t, but that’s because he had a diaper blowout on his pajamas. I need a shower. The dishwasher is waiting to be emptied. And my office/craft room is a disaster area. And all I’d really like to do is go back to bed and get some sleep.

I was up until after 2 a.m. last night. These things happen when The Cat in the Hat isn’t here to drag me to bed. Actually, I usually drag him to bed, because he’s fallen asleep on the couch waiting for me. He looks so uncomfortable sleeping there, I give up on what I’m doing and head to bed with him in tow. But when he’s gone, the need-to-get-things-done guilt calls stronger than the must-rest-to-take-care-of-babies guilt. So, I was up late last night, but I didn’t get much done. Instead, I was researching cloth diapering.

Yes, you heard that right. I’m thinking about incorporating some cloth diapers into our routine. Why? Oh, because the piles of laundry (clean and dirty) distributed throughout my house like large gopher holes simply aren’t enough for me. I’d like to add piles that are wet and poopy.

Actually, that’s not it. It will probably be a consequence, but it’s not the force driving me to try this. Instead, it’s so I can trade big lifetime guilt and worry for small day-to-day guilt and worry.

Last night I was up worrying about landfills, poo in the groundwater, covering my kids’ bodies with chemicals, slight bottom rashes that never fully go away, and the legacy I’m leaving for my kids. Physically and psychologically. When my kids are grown, I never want to hear them say, “My parents were alright, but so backwards. They filled a landfill with my dirty diapers.” Okay, so I’ll never actually hear this, but I don’t even want to worry about hearing this. So, I’m trading in worries. I’m trading in one long lasting parenting guilt that will keep me up many nights over the next few years for a guilt that will keep me up late a few nights here and there to get the laundry done. I don’t care if it gets folded and put away. And, in the event that I take TCITH to bed because he looks uncomfortable, and the laundry doesn’t get done, I won’t sweat it. I’ll slap a disposable diaper on whoever can’t be bothered to go on the potty yet. And I’ll try not to feel too guilty about it. Why? Because I’m a middle of the road mom who doesn’t feel compelled to pick a lane and stick with it forever, consequences and inconveniences be damned. And because I think I’ll be a better mom with some sleep. And clothes. And a shower.

I’m going to go work on those last two now.