Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Sibling Code

So, I'm watching one of our favorite shows, Friday Night Lights, & you hear the obligatory sentences between a brother & a sister, '...don't tell mom'

Between the 4 of us kids, we muttered those words countless times. You always had that worry in your head, what if they're that mad and they do tell? It's like they hold your life in their hands! Good thing, at such a young age, you don't realize what kind of power you have!

But, you all get a little older & realize that not "telling mom" isn't so much an act of leniency, or a bargaining chip by a sibling, but a code. One that is not to be broken.

Whether the "secret" is between 2 siblings, or kept among all siblings, that's where the vital info is kept...only between them. Sometimes, it's big news, sometimes it's just little stuff you don't want your parents to know. Either way, it's not something you blab.

I love that my brothers & I did this. I love that even now, we'll talk about stuff with the mentality that it's safe. I can't wait for mine & Gary's kids to have that, to lean on each other that way. That's how it should be.

Then, it gets better! Because, as you add to the family (siblings start to marry), those people get added to your little club <3 I think, all the time, how my parents must be pretty proud of the fact that all FIVE of us are so tight :)

One of the big parenting issues, if you will, for us is to always have that open relationship. Not to say "You can always come to us", but to actually live it. Sometimes, you'll encounter that a parent says that phrase & then flips out over...spilled milk :)There are few things we want more than for our kids to know that we are actually aware that we were once kids, too. That we faced similar obstacles, went through changes, & wondered about the same things. They won't be perfect (which will be sad since us, as parents? We're totally perfect :D), and there's no way we can expect them to be.

However...


As open a relationship as we anticipate, and will convey to them, our kids will never tell us everything, but it is our hope that they turn to each other with the things they're not telling us. There's definitely a pride to be found within something like that! You protect your own; it's just what you do.

Plus, they won't know 'til they have kids, but parents will totally focus more on the fact that their kids stuck together through something, bit the dust together, than what the actual "crime" was.

Ahh, the things you wish you knew....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An anatomical love letter

Dearest Tatas,

If you don't mind, I'd be forever indebted should your new and improved selves stick around after I'm done breastfeeding. Your expansion is something I've, definitely, come to enjoy. Haven't we grown accustomed to one another? I've come to grips with the fact that I have layer just about every top, and some dresses, that I need to be much more guarded on how I handle myself in public; you've realized I'll take good care of you, and buy you pretty things.

We've been working hard together on this breastfeeding thing for 10 months. TEN WHOLE MONTHS. Don't give up on me now! We have 2 months of breastfeeding left. C'mon, we can do this. Just "pretend" I'm still doing it after the 2 months. I mean, who likes change anyway? I contend things stay the same in this region. Hey, it'll just be preparation for baby, & breastfeeding of, #2!! Win win!

I'm going to throw it out there and say, should you stick around, we should call ourselves The Dynamic Duo. 'Tis a good nickname, yes? I know, right after Jake was born, it took some time to get used to one another, but I think we've mastered our relationship. I have nothing but good things to say about you. You're reputation will be solidified in my eyes if you, simply, don't back out on me now.

We totally got this. We were meant for one another.

xxoo,
Samantha

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Growing pains

Today, Jake & I headed to the mall. I definitely needed to get out of the house, since I haven't been able to hear from Gary since the shot heard 'round the world and I needed to stop fixating on that.

What would make any girl feel better? Old Navy, naturally.

So, I pick up a few cute things, grab Jake a new onesie, but am just kind of perusing; we're in no hurry. I have him strapped to my chest in the mei-tai, and I'm carrying my purse & reusable shopping bag (I'm so good to the Earth). We meander in and out of a few more stores, but just window shop.

However...

It is July. There is no school. And, because of this fact, I am nearly swallowed whole by many a cackling herd of young, teenage girls. Where are they all going so quickly? I know Jake & I had all the time in the world today, but these girls all walk as if there is some shepherd boy guiding them to the watering hole, where all teens in the mall are to congregate (I totally just flashed on Mean Girls).

I remember this. I remember those feelings that 15 year old girls have and I don't envy them one bit. I don't envy the need to speed walk lest you seem unsure of yourself, ultimately leading to some sort of embarrassment (like, duh). I don't envy being unsure of what looks good on me, what styles *I* like. I don't envy the utter confusion you feel at that age as to what's going to happen to you in your life, where you're going to go, who you're going to become.

I remember, when I starting being aware of the things my mom did as an adult, I dreaded did not look forward to leaving adolescence. Every now and again, I'd see my mom sit down at her desk, her fingers gliding over the calculator, like it was an extension of her own hand, as she balanced the checkbook. I'd see her cut coupons. I'd hear her talk about sales. Her & my dad would discuss getting the oil changed, who takes who to what practice, and when the dogs would be taken to the vet. Every now and again, I remember thinking "Eff my future life....there's so much to do!".

Now that I'm here, it's not so bad. You have things you have to do, and you just do them. Do we love the car payment and student loan payment every month? Not so much, but it's all just part of it. Instead of looking at the student loan payment as nails on a chalkboard, I think how grateful I am that no one can take that degree from me. And, the car payment? It's not a leech to our bank account, it's safer transportation for me and baby boy, & Gary, when the Army says we can have him (& yes, I totally have my days where I'm definitely not "together"!!)! But, and sometimes it's still true today, looking at the big picture, all at once, can seem super daunting.

Nope, I don't envy those kids wondering how things will pan out. Even though Gary, Jake, & I may end up, just about, anywhere at least, now, I know whatever comes our way isn't going to be the scary crapstorm adolescence can suggest it to be!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nudity

Got your attention?

As fun as it was to visit Crazytown (ie, those lovelies that earned their spots in the 2 posts below this one), I'd like to move on to much more crucial matters.

I'm elbow-deep in party planning for our little guy's birthday party next month, which, for the record, feels like it's about 3 days away with all the stuff I have to make sure to get!, which makes me think about what he's going to wear...which leads me to the phrase 'birthday suit'.

No, not because Jake will be streaking at his own party. Because, I'd love the opportunity to don my birthday suit. Ya know what I'd love more? The opportunity for a pregnancy "scare". We can't even have a hypothetical pregnancy "scare" via Skype, or the telephone (Lady Gaga in your head now, too??).

:::Before I continue, want some gossip? I'm on a couple different military wife groups on FB. Well, I hardly ever engage in their convos, but a few words of one reply caught my eye. A lady was saying how her husband was leaving for the sandbox, and how they both promised to stay faithful (Umm, hai..is that part not in the vows?), but he didn't, then she didn't. It completely caught me off guard that people are like this. Really? Doesn't marriage, or having any type of moral barometer, keep you from being a cheating turd? Do people really think like this? Really. I'm asking. Because, it beats the h-e double hockey sticks out of us that people think of faithfulness as a suggestion:::

Anyway, what really perpetuates the cycle of nudity-loving? A lot of my friends, and almost everyone I pass in KY/TN (it IS a military town, after all) is pregnant. I find this to be unfair. They're hitting me from both sides; side 1 being the fact that a birthday suit was, probably, involved to get the bun in the oven and side 2 being that I am definitely missing being pregnant.

I miss feeling all the kicks and squirms. I miss seeing the complete awe in Gary's eyes the first time he felt our little baby moving around. I miss how cute the baby bump is (until the end, when you're carrying 22in's of baby in there! Why, by the way, do people think the stomach is abnormally big?? Jake was 22in and 7.5 lbs...he needed room!). I miss ultrasounds. I miss the weekly conjecture as to what sex our tater tot is. I miss that feeling when you first find out you're pregnant. Something so tiny is in there, working so hard. I miss it, but, to make sure I don't start missing it too much I'll throw in this phrase:

I miss the nudity, too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Buckle your seat belts

Well, party people, it's that time.

What time, you ask? Time to go into the negative.

I don't like to do this. EVERY TIME I want to scream obscenities at the delightfully victimized people I get to refer to as my in-laws, I don't. We don't. We don't believe in smear campaigns.

Yes, we have people we talk to, to relieve the insane amount of bullshit we put up with from these people. But, we DO NOT, say, I don't know, print out personal emails (which, I'd write 1,000 times over should I have the chance. Gasp! What? My husband is involved, & in agreement with, everything said? Shocker) and send them to members of the family who aren't even involved.

Are some of you confused? Well, that's honestly surprising. I guess my father-in-law didn't have your address. That's why douche-of-the-century didn't send you a printed out email from me, where I list the ways in which we will not have any contact with them.

Oh yes, it was glorious.

When I was pregnant, we wrote a few emails to *them* because I, desperately, wanted everything to be ok. I didn't want any sort of tension, negativity, or ugliness surrounding a time we loved. I loved being pregnant. Gary loved me being pregnant. We were on our way to having our first child & I wanted nothing more than to have him/her enter a content world. Plus, pregnancy was super exciting & I could talk anyone's ear off about it!

So, we set off writing an email that, basically, said 'there's a lot of exciting stuff going on with the pregnancy, we want to include you. But, please, just treat us like adults. That's all we're after. We want everything to be ok'

The first sentence in the reply to that email? [from the mother] 'did I write you? Well, why are you writing me?' and, one of the sentences in the last paragraph: 'Gary [my husband is named after the father] & I look at you guys like a death'

Does that not make you get all tingly from your head right down to your toes?? What warmth. What compassion. What a bleeding heart that mother must have for not talking to her son for such a long time. She seems in a ton of pain, right?

She's a stellar human being.

So, we thought, 'Great. Glad things went so well...' Then, I received an email from the oldest sister asking about the pregnancy, talking about her pregnancy...that kind of stuff. I responded, honestly, as if we were best friends. I wasn't standoffish in my response. I used all kinds of smiley's and exclamation points (that means e-nice, right?!). I remember talking to Gary about how, maybe this was the start of something good (I choose to refer to this as the time of 'hope', rather than 'naivete'...)! She never responded.

Then, out of the clear blue, & after she, and the other sister ignore Mother's Day for me (a mother to be), but send all kinds of Happy Father's Day wishes to Gary, she sends us some cross-stitch that had our names in it that was supposed to be a wedding present. Our wedding was a few years earlier. What a miraculous coincidence that she found it the same time as she was getting ready to move. The sentiment was almost too much for us to handle.

I remember asking Gary 'What are we supposed to think about this?' Mother-of-the-Year looks at us like a death, and wants us to only speak when spoken to (for reference: 'did I write you? So, why are you writing me?'); the oldest sister ignores friendly emails (and that is NOT how they do things. They do E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G so that other people will seem them as good. Nothing is super genuine toward us), so, now we're supposed to accept this years-old wedding gift like we're all a bunch of besties?

So, because we can't be on the phone with these people since they LOVE the sounds of their own voices, Gary writes an email saying that we didn't really know how we were supposed to feel about it, probably drops and f-bomb, or two, about the 'death' comment. Seriously, people? PICK A TEAM. Be nice, and send us super-late gifts, or continue to send us shitty emails. PICK ONE.

The mother responds with 'You two must love drama [this word needs to be taken out of EVERYONE'S vocabulary] for you seek it out in the smallest of reasons' So, basically, we're supposed to be yo-yo's; we're supposed to feel whatever they want us to feel at any given time. If they decide to be nice one week, we're supposed to roll with it and accept all things with open arms. If they decide to hate us another week, we're supposed to act according to that, too. We're never "allowed" to feel whatever we want to feel. We never, ever hear them say 'Oh, shit...didn't mean to make you feel that way' It is, literally, all our fault. ALL.THE.TIME.

This is where my glorious email comes into play. I've seen my husband just exasperated by the amount of energy it takes to engage in a verbal tango with these people. He's so over it. He's beaten down. He's lost as to how we'll ever go about retaining any amount of self-respect, while having any sort of a relationship with these people. And? I had had it.

After my millionth pee of the day, I was about 7 months along, I sat down with more articulation and clear thoughts than I knew what to do with. I wrote the most epic email ever.

I wrote how our child would never meet them. Would never meet people who constantly belittle us (I left so much out; I just don't have the energy to go through everything. Those are emotions I don't feel like handling right now, especially with what I just posted on here.), who yank us around. I would protect my family. I would protect my blood pressure by not talking to them (I told them I had preeclampsia...no clue how I got it....but that was ok apparently). I would protect our happiness.

My brothers were livid. Our friends? disgusted. They always asked why we kept giving them second chances, but we didn't want to believe all was lost, ya know? We had some semblance of hope.

This is why we don't invite them to parties (which, by the way, invites haven't even gone out for, so how would they know they weren't invited?). This is why we don't engage in badmouthing. This is why they continually talk, and we just leave it. How much can one handle?

After the FB status, I dropped about 2348970 f-bombs. I was so sick of it. I spent time talking to my mom, and other friends about it. I even got a little headache about it. Since I had hit wit's end, I started blogging about it. Then? My son, who was sitting next to me, looked up at me, with those baby blues and gave me the biggest smile possible. It made me feel WONDERFUL, and awful all in the same instant. I saw that those people aren't worth it, but also saw his beautiful innocence. I saw his undying love for me. I saw what truly matters, and I was ashamed that I spent any time on people who don't love us with their whole hearts, who don't love us at all.

Jake doesn't deserve any of that. Jake doesn't deserve to have time taken out for the ugly. Jake deserves the moon. I'd do anything for that little boy. Gary would do anything for that little boy. I'd do anything for Gary. Gary, anything for me....it's a vicious cycle :) They are what's important. & they are what softens the blow of dealing with anything not worth our time.

I hope you're able to tell through my writing that the happiness we feel in this home is staggering. We have so much love in here, we don't know where to put it. Our friends and family mean so much to us. We've been together 8 years, and I can't believe how much I am in love this man. I, on the daily, feel an overabundance of gratitude for my husband, my son, the fact that I am a stay at home mama, the love that I wouldn't trade anything for....I feel it so much my heart feels as if it will explode.

I can't sacrifice that. I won't sacrifice that. I won't let people with, clearly, no vocabulary take what we have. Actually, they couldn't if they tried.

We don't play games, we don't spend time making ill-wishes upon people. We're honestly happy <3

Guess the old saying is true, happiness truly is the best revenge. But, I wish that saying told you how to deal with people who treat you like this.

Thought you'd like to see this

I was in the middle of blogging about the great story that are my in-laws, when I received these messages.

I wrote a message to one of Gary's cousins, who I am NOT friends with on FB, to clear the air. I am so sick of them dragging our name through the mud for SO LONG. We've turned the other cheek, we've ignored instigation, we've done everything we can. For 8 years. Now, I felt it was time to speak up. You can only take so many beatings before it's time to step up. After all, that's what I'd like to teach Jake. I don't want anyone to ever treat him the way we get treated.

A tiny bit more backstory....
The fb message from the mother in law, that started all this, was replied to by one of Gary's cousins. So, I write her to just say 'hey, there are 2 "sides" to everything'. You have no clue how badly I want them to leave us alone, how badly I want us to never come in contact with them again. It takes SO MUCH for me to retort in situations like these. I don't feel it necessary to engage people with nothing else better to do. WE don't feel it necessary. But, I've come to a head today. It needs to stop.

What's worse is that so many of you tell me, repeatedly, what a happy, uplifting blog we have. That you've cried reading it. That's what I like. I like talking about real stuff, but we try to keep our chins up, to see the good. I hope you can take these couple ugly posts and realize that I just needed to get this off my chest. It won't change who we are, but it needs to be shown what we deal with.

Without further ado, here's what we deal with in private, while publicly they use their words:

(I've taken letters out of certain words, so as to soften the blow)

What I wrote to one of Gary's cousins, Caitlen:

Just like I messaged your sister, unfortunately I was alerted to "her" FB status.

You have no clue the amazing, and quite sizable, loads of BS we've been dealt from *them*. You have no clue the things they've said to us. You, probably, do have a clue that they manipulate personal emails to send to members of the family that are not involved. What K-L-A-S-S.

Do you know we're dead to them? Nearly VERBATIM what she said to us in an email. Nope, you wouldn't know. We don't air our issues with others publicly. We retain more self-respect than that. But, the sun has set on the high-road-taking. Time for us to start *defending* (Seriously, the need to use that word just made me vomit. Oh, hai, I'm 25, and out of high school...) our names.

I'm so sick of them just spreading inappropriate things about us; all the while, twisting said things to fit their "victim" persona. We've kept quiet in the hopes of turning the other cheek, that it'll just blow over. Apparently, they don't have enough respect for my husband (respect for me? You've got to be kidding. I've only been a sole caregiver to our son since super deployment #3 started. No big deal) to end it. To end the games and the name-dropping. My mom said she'd be banging down our door if she were the one in that woman's place. But, my mom cares about the relationship, not the "winner". And, it should probably be noted, Gary refers to my mom as his "mom", and the same for my dad. They both refer to him as their "son".

We're not hostile, angry, or grudge-holders. We just want to be happy. Do you know how many people have joked that our family is "weird", because we're actually happy?

We have a son to model ourselves for. We want to be nothing but perfect for him. We're not out to keep drama (gag...HATE THAT WORD) going. As you can tell, since you never hear our side of things.

We've always tried to stay positive in that they'd just give it a rest, but they don't. And, it's not even like their tireless efforts for the rebuilding of a relationship are being shot down; what's being responded to are their continuing efforts to seem like nothing but victims.


I didn't write it all smiles and sunshine, but I did hope that it would spark conversation, that might lead to the positive. I thought it would help sort out this crap to show that Gary & I are not the bad people they continually refer to us as.

However, this is the response I received

Caitlin Hansen July 20 at 9:26pm Report

Samantha, don't ever message me again. You're a disgusting waste of space who's tainted the mind of a good cousin.

I hope you rot in hell, you vicious little c**t.


Samantha Chilton LaMay July 20 at 9:33pm

Wow, way to prove my point.

Guess it's impossible to have a battle of the wits with an unarmed person

Caitlin Hansen July 20 at 9:40pm Report

Listen you dripping c**t drop, the good part of that family I have contact with. If Gary wants to be a little bitch and act like this to his good family, that's one less asshole I will have in my life.

Go fuck yourself and don't ever fucking message me again. You're not dead to me, Samantha, but that's only because something as inhuman as you probably wont die.

GO FUCK YOUR C**T.

Samantha Chilton LaMay July 20 at 9:43pm

Good one?


Caitlin Hansen
July 20 at 9:43pm Report
You just don't know how to shut the fuck up, do you? You don't want drama? Keep messaging me. You have no fucking idea how much fucking drama I can bring to your fucking life.

PLEASE GIVE ME A FUCKING REASON, SAMANTHA.


I hope this more than shows what we get in private. All I wanted was to speak up for us; for us to stop, continually, being walked all over. Hindsight, I should have realized that these people don't matter in the grand scheme of things, but, in my true fashion, I want everyone to get along; I thought I could get that intelligent conversation about this whole thing going, so that Gary & I can stop being bothered by these people. Guess I've learned that lesson for sure this time.

I want people to see us for the good, happy people we are, but I guess people will see what they want. Especially, the super articulate ones.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Help a mama out!

Next month I will be flying with our little guy out to California. Did you just nearly need a change of undies, too?! I'm nervous.

Here's my plan. I'm Charlie, you're the Angels...you will help me beat the airport....

I made sure that on the way out there, as well as the way back, that we have connecting flights. There was no way I was going to try and have Jake cooped up on an airplane for 4-5 straight hours. So, I figured I did good on that, right? ;)

Next, my travel arrangements. I toyed with the idea of using a shuttle to get us to and from the airport, but I'd have to worry about a carseat on there, right? If so, that definitely puts it off my list. I thought it might help with being tired, not having to worry about parking, that kind of stuff. As far as in-airport traveling...I decided I'd use my mei-tai wrap, rather than the stroller. I decided this because I don't want to have to worry about pushing a stroller, while pulling my carryon. So, I'll have Jake strapped to my chest, pulling the carryon (which will, hopefully, be able to contain our clothes AND the diaper bag. But, I mean, summer clothes have, like, no material, so less space), and holding my purse. I see that as completely doable. Yep, holding him a while will get hard, but I think it's the easier choice.

My big, fat make-things-a-KISS (keep it simple, stupid!)-operation element to this plan is going back to disposables for the length of this trip. I mean, really, taking them means carrying them, keeping track of them in a "new" house, washing with certain detergent AND, having to wash again when we get home. No thanks. No, it's not terrible, but this is my first time traveling with a wee babe, and? I'M BY MYSELF, PEOPLE. So, that's the one thing I'm not really budging on. They'll be clean, and nicely folded in his drawer when we get back!

As far as TSA guidelines, I can bring breastmilk, if I choose to pump, but things like my prenatals, his iron supplement, etc., will be in clear bags, so that I can plop them onto the security belt. I'm not going to check any bags, but I don't plan on bringing anything through security that I can't have.

I've been told to help baby's ears pop, during take-off and landing, to give him juice, or just breastfeed him. I've had friends that didn't have any issues with that, but is there something I should do just in case?

We're flying Southwest. I have every intention of being one of the first ones on the plane, so I can have my pick of seats. I was thinking the very back. That way, if he gets fussy, I'm not in everyone's way, plus, people are so concerned with getting off the plane at lightning speeds, that I may get a row all to myself. Let's hope!

I'm not really one to make a big deal of things, just trying to make sure I'm not missing some crucial element I should be thinking about! Could y'all be a bunch of dears and take a second to leave me a tip? I'd be uber-grateful!

Ode to a J-Bone

Jake has been growing like a weed. I can't stop him. Seriously, I've tried.

I'm so so proud of him! He's such a sweet little boy. On those days where the crying (mine) cannot be stopped, he'll stop whatever he's doing, look at me, and rest his hand on my cheek. This makes me cry more!

He stands ALL.THE.TIME. This is why I think he may skip crawling (I did; I was such a child prodigy). He's definitely like a fish out of water on the ground, but he plays games with himself while he's standing, which is almost always with the help of the coffee table:

*Game 1- How long can I chew on the coffee table before mama sees?
*Game 2- Can I pull myself back up every time I bend at the waist?
*Game 3- How long can I stand by myself when I let go of the table?
*Game 4- So, if I lean back, I can see the TV (upside down!) AND still hold my favorite table?
*Game 5- How many keys can I hit on the keyboard before mama stops me?

But, my favorite are the looks on his face while he's doing these different things. It's all new and soo exciting! His face lights up, which makes me melt into a puddle! Then, he looks at me, laughs, and throws himself onto me for cuddle time. Ok, I'm teary up right now even picturing it! Life could, certainly, be a lot worse.

I feel like I should just bullet the things he's been up to, but that seems so detached! So, here we go, in my sentences-means-love form... When we read books, he turns the pages for me! When I ask where one of the dogs is, he looks at the right one, which always blows me away! But, Hershey is his favorite. When he chews, he chews the the very front of his gums because that's where his 2 teeth are, and it's EFFING ADORABLE. He's quite skilled at holding, and drinking from his sippy cups. He listens to the phone when he hears daddy's voice, otherwise he tries to chew on it! He takes a nap in the middle of the day for an average of 2 hours!! He has specific parts of cartoons, on our Looney Tunes dvd, that he laughs at, and knows when they're coming! When I sing to him, he sings back <3, but only after I'm done. Really! He doesn't interrupt!

He does about 13 million more cute things, but I want to get to my favorite! If he's doing something silly, and we laugh, every time we look at each other after that we'll, simultaneously, laugh! It makes me feel all slushy inside!! His little sense of humor comes out more and more every day <3 I feel grateful, all the way into the pit of my belly, that I'm able to stay home with him.

To add to all the love spilling out of our house, I'M PLANNING HIS FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!! Can you believe this?! Please tell me you remember that we're having an early 1st birthday party for him, in California, so that at his actual birthday we can celebrate it as just our family since Gary will be home on R&R!!

I just can't believe how quickly this year has gone by! And, I can't believe that I mutter super-cool things like "Where has time gone?!", but... I really want to know!

It's such an amazing and beautiful thing to see this great little boy grow up, to interact with him more, to learn more about who he is, but, at the same time, I miss his baby-ness. He used to be such an itty, bitty guy! &, I just can't wait 'til he becomes a big brother. That'll be such an incredible thing to see! Completely mind-bottling :)

Sometimes, I feel like the love I feel for this little boy is going to burst out of my chest! Especially when we're at the commissary, or somewhere were there's a lot of guys in uniform, he says hi to allll of them. This includes the guys that think they got their swagger goin' on. He smiles and waves and kicks his feet! It's so funny to see how they react. Their swagger gets turned off real quick!

He's total awesomesauce, and you west coasters get to meet him next month!!!!

You're so lucky.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Remember the Homecomings: part deux

Welcome to another round of remembering there is a pot of gold at the end of deployment!

Homecoming #2 is one I'll never forget, I mean other than for the obvious reasons!, there was some collateral damage that just couldn't be avoided.

Starting at the beginning...
As most of you know, when you're in that perfect moment where you get a phone call from overseas, you NEVER EVER divulge pertinent information. The lines could be tapped. As far as we go, we have code words/phrases where he can alert me to certain things going on without any evildoers becoming the wiser. (insert diabolical laughter) Seriously, we're good at it. We could totally be on Archer.

So, Gary calls and gives his code for we should be leaving to go to Kuwait soon, which is where all flights go out of to get back to the States. I am PUMPED. But, it's also kind of hard because every time the phone rings, you spring into action like a jungle cat, only to realize it's something lame like...anything that is not your husband.

But, I had to go get something fabulous to wear. And, this time? It HAD to be weather-appropriate. I would lose no appendages to weather-related illnesses.

So, I head over to Opry Mills. Unfortunately, it was going to be cold. Like, cold. We're talking November ('08) IN THE SOUTH. To put it in perspective, when you come inside, it would not be lamey to count your toes. Anywho, I get this very pretty purple top from SAKS; I already have my cute jeans, peacoat, and imitation Uggs (this was before I got real Uggs...thankfully, I had no idea what I was missing. I <3 my real Uggs). I wanted, soo badly, to wear some cute shoes, but 1) Cute shoes, generally, do not offer the warmth one needs (you'll understand why later) 2) There had been so much ice, I didn't want to wear some cute boots with heels and be the girl that slips in front of 200 people. &, once I see that beautiful, giant husband o'mine, you know I'm runnin'!

It's a few days later, pushing a week actually, and still no call saying they're actually in Kuwait. So, I call my mom & say how I just entered Suckville, probably something along the lines of woe is me. But, in my defense, not only were your hopes sky-high that it'd be sooner than later, you also start to worry a teeny bit when you know they're traveling, but you haven't heard anything. That can be a big crap salad.

Not FIVE MINUTES after her & I get off the phone, Gary calls & says they're in Kuwait. Oh, Lord, you should have heard me! As a matter of fact, the neighbors probably heard me (if you haven't gathered, from reading this blog, I am very excitable & do not like to stifle said excitement). Gary was already effing ecstatic, but was laughing his hiney off hearing my reaction. I remember, I was standing in the bathroom, upstairs, when he called . I danced a jig. Then? Called my mom and screamed into her ear that "HE'S IN KUWAIT HE'S IN KUWAIT HE'S IN KUWAIT...!!!!!!!!!!!!" Then? Called Gabby and screamed into her "HE'S COMING HOME HE'S COMING HOME HE'S COMING HOME....!!!!!!!!!!!" Can you guess what happened at school the next day??

Now? Yet another phone call to wait on! INJUSTICE! This phone call was to be from the FRG leader, telling us the exact dates and times of their arrival, when to show up at the buses (that would take us to the airfield), and general info I probably stopped listening to after I got dates/times).

It's the following morning & no call from the FRG. I'm sure the first thing on their agenda was make-Samantha-LaMay's-head-pop-off, than start making calls to family members. I'm pretty sure that's how it went.

Everyone at school kept asking "You know yet?" "No :(" Every time I passed someone in the hall (it was a collective excitement for me!) they'd ask. I thought "Shouldn't I know by now? Are they not telling people?!" OH.MY.GAH. I'm going crazy!!

I called my friend, the FRG leader at the time, that night & told her my quandry. I said "So, listen. I know when they were in Kuwait, but haven't gotten a phone call yet. Give me some info. I better not have just wasted a bikini wax". She laughs, & taunts me gross things about bikini waxes, but gives me no info. I real-life defriended her. That was just evil.

The next morning, I had a final for Abnormal Psychology. I walked into class, as people were slowly filing in & announce "Nope. He's NEVER coming home. Just thought you'd all like to know" People laugh because they've all been there they're mean.

As the scantrons are being passed out & Dr. Bonnington starts telling us how to take the final, my phone rings. I totally answer, in class, & miss the entire instructions on how to take the final! Eh, I'd figure it out.

It was the Rear-D commander telling me the specifics of their return!!!!!!!!! I was sooo excited. Then, my phone rang again in class, & it was my friend (evil bikini wax friend) making sure I got the call. She went to voicemail. She's evil, remember??

I call her when I got out of the final & re-taunt (totally a word) her that my bikini wax remained intact, so she can suck it. I'm the winner!

Word spread soo fast among that psychology building's walls! People were congratulating me, giving me inappropro looks (because they're all perverts) because my husband & I will be under the same roof, & and offering well-wishes. It was way too sweet :)

Call time for the next morning? 4 am. FOUR AM. F-O-U-R A-M. So this was my plan, which I, surprisingly, stuck to:
*8:30pm BED
*1:15 am Shower & get ready (minor straightening around the house)
*3:15 am Leave for busesBefore 8:30, I had to make my rounds of calls & text to friends. They HAD to share in our excitement! My mom, Gabby, & Alora even wanted texts when I got to the hangar :) Gotta love that!! What still surprises me is that when I went to bed at 8:30, I actually slept until the alarm went off at 1:15. My body must have known: it was go-time.

At 3:30am I was on a nice, heated bus, with my pretty purple top, with just enough cleavage, cute jeans, curled hair, warm tootsies, & peacoat cinched at the waist. I couldn't help but to tap my feet, hoping they wouldn't wait for the bus to fill up before taking us to the hangar. I'd rather wait in the bleachers than the parking lot!

We get to the hangar, after hours of waiting on the bus (ok, maybe 10 minutes. Whatev), & I claim my seat on the bleachers, the exact same as last time! I start chatting with the lady next to me, & her kid. We *noted* the women with blue legs. They just had to wear that on-the-short-side jean skirt, with giant, furry boots. This was even colder than last time. I was a few degrees from blue, in my green dress of the first time. It was a little warmer the first time, AND it was a later call time, so the sun was out. I narrowly escaped Smurfdom.

So, again we were getting announcements as to when the plane would land. Again, they went from 45 minutes away, to 15 in an instant. So, me and bikini-wax-evil friend and my other friend, the captain's wife head out there. We're all corralled into that tiny part of the fence, hoping we can get that centimeter closer to our soldiers, but, we're also, secretly, using this to keep warm. Seriously, an aerial view of us would probably reveal some major spooning.

Lynn, the captain's wife, who's done this about 117,000 times, spots the plan a lightyear away. I kept calling her bluff, but she saw it!!!if you enlarge this pic, you can see the stairs that are brought up to the plane for the soldiers to de-board

The rest is history :) Them walking through the hangar doors, in formation, me defying gravity to get to him....
It all resulted in this
Can't wait to do this again :)
Love you, babe. It'll be here before we know it!

Also? This post: dedicated to Kristen ;)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thank you :)

I just wanted to take a second and thank you guys for the emails, comments, and messages with such sweet messages! They make my day :)

I joke sometimes, in the context of "I'm soo fabulous because..." or "I was badass when...", & I'm always completely, 110% joking. But, you guys get that, and send me messages saying "You're so strong", "You're doing a great job" etc., and it gives me the warm-fuzzies!

Thank you for taking your small part in what Gary, Jake, & I are going through. It means more than you know! I rarely feel all I am woman, hear me roar but you guys reassure me that I must be doing something right (don't you love that Billy Currington song??), and it usually comes at a time I need it the most :)

You're support is huge!

Remember the Homecomings

I've been thinking about the first 2 times Gary came home from Iraq. I've been thinking about these because they give me hope! They remind that as hellish as this situation is, the coming-home ceremony...it gives me goosebumps!!

The first time Gary came home, I was told what week they'd be getting in, no hard date, so I flew out to TN to set up our apartment. He called one day to say he'd be in the next day! I was soo excited, but I should have known that from the FRG (Family Readiness Group). They call to give you all the info.

I was friends with Gary's captain's wife at the time, so I called her to get the details. It was an EARLY in the morning call. We had to be at the buses that would take us to the airfield, to see our soldiers, around 5am! So, since I found out in the late afternoon of the night before, while trying to set up our new apartment, I didn't have a chance to go get a fabulous new outfit. I wore a very cute green dress, with a jean jacket. And, I spoke to my friend, Gabby, for an HOUR about said outfit. FOR ONE HOUR, WE DISCUSSED THE PROS AND CONS OF CUFFING THE SLEEVES OF MY JACKET VERSUS NOT. That slays me!! But, hey, I hadn't seen my love for some time, every aspect of me had to be perfect!!

So, early in the morning, I'm heading to post, in our rental, the HHR (I didn't have a choice in what car I rented, vut it actually was really nice!). It was my first time ever driving on post solo. When I pull up to the gate, I'm all pumped to show my ID and head on through, with my cuffed sleeves.

All I have is my ID. The guard asks "Do you have a pass for the rental car?" My heart sank to my tippiest toe. "No" I whisper. I went from having the hugest smile, probably bordering on creepy, to those doe-eyes begging for mercy. He just smiled and let me on through. Luckily, he wasn't a turd burglar. He knew I was there for the hubs return!

So, do you remember what I was wearing? The green dress & jean jacket, right? Well, on this particular day, in late September, in the SOUTH, it's about 40* out, and that may be generous. I was FREEZING.

I filed onto the bus that would take us to the airfield. HEAT. A HEATED bus!! I was grateful, to say the least. I kept seeing all these women walk by in sweats and big ol' jackets. I'm sorry, but we could be in the middle of the North Pole, -25* and a windchill of about 117, and I'd still wear something cute to greet my husband off that plane. Probably not smart at all, but I can't help it! I mean, it's not like we won't be makin' some heat later!

So, we're bussed over the hangar, where we're all cattle-like guided to where we need to be. I sat on the very bottom bleacher, on the very end. There was NO WAY I was going to get swept up in the masses, my hubby was gonna see me jumpin' for joy!!

One of the Rear D commanders comes up to the podium and says "They're about 45 minutes away" We all cheer! I swear, 5 minutes later he comes back up and says "If you'd like to head outside, they're about 15 minutes away"

At this point, my heart is LEAPING OUT OF MY CHEST. LEAPING.OUT.OF.MY.CHEST. It was soo intense!! So, we go out to the flightline. There's about 200 of us, holed up into this tiny corner of the fence, but not one of us cared :)

We see the big plane land, and those tall stairs get pushed up next to it. They stand up there at the door of the plane & talk for what seems like ETERNITY. Then?

They start filing out.

The crowd ROARS.

My heart stops.

My husband is the 3rd soldier to walk off the plane.

We look right at each other, but neither of us could do anything but have big, stupid-happy grins on our faces. Since, I saw him walk by, and they have to line up for formation to go into the hangar, I ran back to claim my post (ie, special bleacher seat). And wait. Gary was the off the plane so fast because he was one of the "lucky" ones selected to help with baggage when they were leaving Kuwait. He was not happy 'til he realized where that meant he'd be sitting!

Everyone comes back in, all high on seeing their soldiers!!, & get situated. Next thing we know, the band starts playing, and the hangar doors slide open. Our soldiers march into that hangar. The crowd has ERUPTED!!!! Gary & I spot each other again & just stare. We just stare at each other with looks of contentment I've never before seen.

After what feels like an hour of speeches etc. (in reality, about 15 minutes...aka, eternity), they're dismissed!!!!

It was all in slow motion. I saw everyone around me all blurry, getting/giving x's and o's.

Then, seriously, the crowd parts and my husband is standing in front of me, with the biggest smile on his face, arms wide open, in the midst of getting ready to wrap me in the biggest bear hug imaginable.

I run up into his arms like I've never ran before.

We just stand there hugging. In the middle of dozens of families. Hugging.

I remember patting all over his back, as we hugged, sort of, making sure it was real. That my hubby was in my arms again!

Don't worry...he was :)

This is where I stop, friends..... ;)

There is a part 2 to this post! Reunion #2 is equally as memorable....

Friday, July 9, 2010

I don't mean to seem rude, but what the eff?

I really don't like to seem rude. I'm totally not a rude person, hence the previous statement. But, there's one thing that's hard for me to wrap my head around....

I've heard, on more than one occasion, a military wife say something to the effect of "Guess I'm not important enough to call. Ho hum" regarding their deployed husband. I know that no one ever truly knows what anyone else is going through, so I'm very careful to not come off as Judgy McJudgerson, but I must say, how anyone can mutter a statement like that is beyond me.

At any given time, there's about 10 bajillion reasons they couldn't call, so, making that "poor me" comment (& I *am* referring to the "poor me's", not ones with actual issues) is, in my humble opinion, a bit much.

Maybe he had to go out on mission. Maybe he was on blackout. Maybe he had a terrible day & hearing your voice & the kids in the background would be too hard at that moment. Maybe he was still at work. Maybe he was selected for extra duty. Maybe his tired ass fell asleep because he worked an 18 hour day (which we all know is supremely possible in the land of the military). Maybe he was supposed to have a 'battle buddy" go with him to use the phones & no one was available....

the list goes on and on and on...

I just think they deserve to be given a break. I know EXACTLY how hard it can be to go a while without a phone call, or an email, or a FB message, or any other social networking system WE'RE lucky enough that they're able to access at all. I know, I've been there. I'm living it this instant. And, yes, I've had some major tears lately because it's starting to add up on me. But, I know he's not over there, sitting next to phone saying "Muahahaha....this is me not calling her!!!" LOL...did you guys get a visual of an evil guy playing with this handlebar mustache, too??

Anyway...

I just know that if, after a day where Jake wanted nothing but to play CONSTANTLY & I am beat, & Gary said "Why didn't you mail___?" or "Why'd you fall asleep and miss my phone call?" (yet to happen...PHEW!), I'd feel a little stabby.

Let's just give our guys the benefit of the doubt. Most military wives I know have never been deployed, so we really can't know exactly what it feels like to be over there.

Yes, I want a phone call THIS INSTANT. But, is it going to happen? Probably not. We just remember to stay respectful of one another. He's never been the, temporary, sole caregiver to our child, & I've never had to leave the my spouse and child behind to go to war

I'm just tryin' to start a movement. It's called "The NON-ball busters of America"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How are we supposed to do this??

That movie, Changeling, has ruined me.

Seriously, it makes me want to NEVER let our kids out of our sight. NEVER. & this has never been me. I mean, I knew it'll be awkward when our kids first start going out by themselves, whether it be walking down the street to a friend's house, or taking the car for a gas fill-up, I can see how it would be weird at first. That little child, that needed you around at all times, is now of age, is now able to handle themselves without constant adult supervision. That's just a weird day.

But, Gary & I, in our many talks on various hypothetical parenting scenarios (hey, we were excited kids, with a kid on the way! We couldn't help ourselves!), covered autonomy (which, after that movie, I am now FIRMLY against). We came to the conclusion, which we knew wouldn't be exact until we actually lived that instance, that we'd trust the job we did raising our tots and let them do their thing, within reason-as always. We don't want them A) growing up wondering where the key to their shackles is hidden or B) want to just go completely crazy just to prove something to us.

Gary & I had fun in high school, we don't want to strip our kids of that. My parents were fairly good about that stuff, too. I remember, one time I came home after a football game, when I was a senior (I think), and my dad asked what I was doing. It was about 10pm, but there weren't any good parties going on, so I just headed home. He told me to go back out. I remember standing in the kitchen, staring at him. Is this a test? He really upped his numbers on my friends' scorecards that night!

Ok, back to the serious issue that is any of mine & Gary's offspring going out sans parents. No. That's all, just "No". Who doesn't love a rousing game of Taboo with the 'rents on a Saturday night? Good clean fun. (I'm a little nauseated, feeling for the kids that have to go through this).

I really don't wannnnaaa. This movie has effed with my awesome parenting mentality, and theories. When our kids come to me, saying their leaving for whoever's house, I will have to close my eyes and turn the other way. Maybe even put a finger in each ear and chant "la la la's" until I'm sure they're gone?? Give them a laundry list of chores to finish first, so that I can mentally prep?? Make them wash the car??

Oh, man, if any of these were true, my uterus should just close up shop, saving future children from borderline child suffocation.

I know it's going to be weird at first, and take a bit to get used to, but Gary & I will be fine. In about 11-12 years, when this really starts becoming an issue.

Until then? Autonomy can go suck an egg

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dearest, Telemarketer

Well, aren't you just my cherry on top? I spend my days playing with the cutest 9 month old baby evah, I find the positives of shotty situations, I keep my head up when all I want to do is head over to pitypartyville. I get to play all day, laugh my hiney off when my child WILL NOT stop talking in Target, and feel my heart bursting with gratitude for my husband, my boy, my life.

Then, you call.

And, act like a hardcore asswipe.

Necessary? I say "Nay".

This conversation, should have gone much differently. And, had I been within arm's reach, you'd be missing some of your favorite appendages

:::phone rings:::
~I spring into action, thinking it could be my hubby~
Me: Hello?
(all hopeful-like)
~I hear a recording, telling me to stay on the line. Now? I'm just staying to see who had a death wish this particular day~
Asswipe: Yes, is Mike there?
Me: (In my I-don't-hate-you-but-I'm-not-thrilled-voice. I really wasn't rude) Wrong number. But, it's ridiculous you're calling after 8 o'clock

Asswipe: Umm, ma'am, is that supposed to hurt my feelings? Really. It's just a wrong number, not that big a deal

Are you looking for my shit, too? Cuz I lost it.

Me: Actually, it is that big a deal when you have a sleeping baby, DOUCHEBAG.



end scene

((I have never so clearly enunciated a word as I did when I delivered "douchebag" to that douchebag.

Also, he didn't know that Jake can sleep through a hurricane. But, it was his lack of giving a shit that realllly got to me. I try to be polite, and nice all the time. I don't like being all I'll kill you if I have to. But, if there had been some sort of empathy in his voice, he would not have received such an insult. AHH, KEVIN....the PERFECT SONG for this!!!!

Seriously, telemarketer, why did you have to be that way? When I make the best out of far worse situations than YOU. You have to come along & be that final straw across the camel's back. Now, it's unfortunate, but I wish a plague upon your house. But, you brought this upon yourself.

Now, what did you learnnn???