Not Your Traditional Christmas

So I had planned to not write during the Christmas time to spend time with my family and just celebrate every moment possible. I should have known better than to plan.

I knew Hubby was gone so I would need to make a conscious effort to be cheerful and positive about it all. I knew this year would be different than any other Christmas we had celebrated. I knew it wouldn't be right since our family wasn't together. I knew The Bear was really too little to get it and it really would be more bows and ribbons for me than him. I knew our budget allowed a celebration, but nothing too extravagant.

I did not know my Christmas meals would all be eaten in the PICU. I did not know just how different this year would be.

The hardest part of the last 48 hours has been the awkward emails to Hubby. I had promised him an email Christmas Eve night to tell him about our day. We had gone into the ER at 9 pm and haven't made it home yet. I had my mom email him for me, but it bothered me I wasn't able to. A promise is a promise. I knew it would get flagged if certain words were said. It's been hard to write about my day without mentioning hospital, pneumonia and oxygen. It's been a rough few days.

There have been some bright spots.
*They know what's wrong.
*They know how to fix it.
*We are at an excellent hospital with wonderful care.
*We were visiting my parents so the puppy is one less thing to worry about.
*4 different doctors have told me in the last 48 hours how The Bear is a fighter and how tough he is. I will always remember the doctor right after he was born telling me my baby was feisty. He sure is. He is not one to give up.
*The hospital has wifi which is making this all possible to write.
*The American Red Cross was wonderful and able to deliver a message to Hubby to inform him of the hospitalization.

The Bear is making a slow but steady recovery. That is all I wanted for Christmas this year. Well . . . and Hubby home. I guess one is better than none though.



Makes the heart grow fonder?

Well, sometimes it does. The past week I have been traveling to IL to hang out with my parents over the holidays. Due to the crazy business that ensues at their house, I never have 2 seconds.

Once we get back home and on a schedule, I can start writing again. Until then, I'll be hanging out with my family and missing hubby extra much.


Feeling awkward

The holidays are quickly approaching. Because I am the only one aware of that.

Anyways, we have successfully gotten through my birthday, Hubby's birthday, our anniversary, Thanksgiving and The Bear's birthday during this deployment. The days have had their somber moments, but I think I've gotten through them fairly well.

I'm a little hesitant about Christmas though. It's so big and has so many traditions and memories attached. The Bear and I are trekking back to Illinois to celebrate with my parents.

While I am glad to have them to be with, it feels weird. That's not my home. A part of me wants to stay here. This is our home. I should be hanging out here in my jammies surrounded my wrapping paper.

It just seems like a no win situation. I know if I was here, I would be lonely. I know if I go back, I will be lonely.

It's just not the same without Hubby. My heart aches already.

I guess all I can do is home next year, he'll be here celebrating with us at home. Just how it ought to be.



Today was supposed to be the list of why deployments suck.

I'm in too good of a mood right now though, and I don't want to depress myself. That post will be postponed until tomorrow. We all know Saturday nights stink and that can help pass the time.

Today, I have a confession.
I have a shopping addiction. I don't go blow hundreds on dollars on fancy things, but put me in Target or the Old Navy clearance ranks and I'm gone. The Bear needs nothing. He just had his birthday less than a week ago, and Christmas is 13 days away. None the less, I bought him 9 shirts and jammers (all too big for when he FINALLY grows) for $21. I'm not sure if it's being in the crowds, feeling like I accomplish something, or having coming home not be so depressing that draws me to the stores more often while he's gone.

I don't know. In all fairness to myself, I feel like this vice is the best to have.


I miss hubby dearly. When I get super crabby, it helps to think of the good things about the situation. After all there are always pros & cons in every situation.

Here are some of the pros.
-WAY less laundry
-Our relationship is stronger (I guess that should be more important than the less laundry part, but you can see what gets me excited)
-I can go to bed whenever I want and not freakishly early. Hubby has to wake up at an inhumane hour so he's normally asleep by 9:30 pm. I much prefer the midnight time frame.
-I can sleep at a diagonal
-No dirty dishes in the sink when I wake up. He has this thing about leaving his cereal bowl in the sink every morning instead of putting it in the dish washer.
-I eat less
-I get to eat junk for meals and no one knows
-Jammies become perfectly acceptable attire for me and The Bear on those yucky weather days when we aren't going anywhere
-No one to justify that Target mini shopping spree to
-If I don't feel like cleaning up one day, there are no witnesses
-I can watch what I want on TV when I want to. No need to DVR Bravo and TLC anymore
-We can eat when we're hungry and not have to wait until hubby gets off of work
-I get to go get the mail every day
-4 pillows all for me
-The Puppy gets to sleep in bed with me
-Getting email becomes amazing
-No one to share my dessert with (although it has to be after 8 pm or The Bear feels he's entitled to some)
-I get to have girl talk with the other wives at night at not worry about interrupting family time
-LONG baths at night without guilt for not spending our few hours a day awake together
-No mean comments on my pink fuzzy slippers
-The ability to be flexible in my scheduling . . . well as flexible as you can be with a 12 month old

The cons list will come tomorrow.



Back in October, we went to Kings Bay for an unexpected port call. The plus of having your hubby on a boat that is constantly breaking is that sometimes you get to visit them. And, sometimes you get phone calls when the pull into far away lands - such as Scotland on Thanksgiving.

I digress.

Hubby found my blog. It wasn't hidden from him. It just wasn't being written with the intent of anyone reading it. My life isn't that interesting or funny to warrant an audience.

Although if anyone would think so, I would guess it's him.



Having Hubby deployed brings forth all sorts of emotions. I'm not the type to break down and cry in public. I like to be weak by myself. Some people like comfort; I prefer solitude for times like that.

I found a blog (thanks, Google Reader) that has captivated me for the last 3 hours. It was so sad and so very joyous at the same time.


It chronicles a mom as she learns the baby she is carrying will not survive. The painful choices made during the pregnancy, the precious hours spent with her newest daughter, the emotional funeral and her journey of healing her heart. It made me cry many times. Some might be because I have a baby myself. Some might be because we were so very close to losing him. Some might be because Hubby is gone and I'm feeling lonely.

Google Reader (and Gd) gave me this blog to read tonight. It was a sad journey - for her family and me today. I feel better though. It allowed me to release some of those emotions I tend to bottle up. I have mourned. And, now I am ready to start tomorrow with a lighter spirit.


Moving in the Right Direction

This might not seem like a big deal to someone who doesn't have kids.

BUT, I am utterly thrilled to announce

The Bear just ate his entire dinner off of a plate. And, once he was done he did not throw it.

The little things bring me such joy :-)

Holiday Traditions

It seems that at every meeting or get together I'm attending the last few weeks the ice breaker has to do with holiday traditions.

Since our family is relatively new, it's hard to come up with a tradition we have. How many years do you have to do something before it's a tradition? This will be our 3rd Christmas since we've been married. Random fact: each one has been in a different state. Our first one was a frenzy of trying to please both families as newlyweds and we ended up in the car most of Christmas. The second one we had an 18 day old baby which consumed us. This year Hubby will be gone.

When I was growing up, we didn't have traditions. We had the whole day planned. The presents would change, but everything else was predictable. I loved it. It was comforting to know exactly what would happen when. Perhaps my controlling tendencies emerged earlier than I thought . . .

Our schedule:
Christmas Eve 5 pm: Family church service
Post church: Put on jammies, watch Miracle on 34th Street - the old version from the 30s - and eat snacks for dinner
Post movie: Get all dressed up in the nice clothes again, take family pictures and I would open one gift
11 pm: Candlelit church service
Christmas morning: Open gifts, read Luke and have crepes for breakfast (which my dad made while we were cleaning up the wrapping paper). I would then get myself all packed up and either be driven (or drive myself once I was 16) to my biological father's family for Christmas with them.

I would love to keep a lot of it the same for The Bear . . . except the driving for 3-4 hours every Christmas day. I love the idea of staying in jammies and hanging out as a family. My aunt's family all has to stay in pjs all day and no one can leave. Others (boyfriends/friends/family) can come over, but not until after noon and they must be in jammies too. I would love to have that family feeling.

How practical is all of this with Hubby in the Navy? Who knows. He's missing at least this year's festivities. I feel that with so much change in The Bear's (and our) lives having little things like this that are predictable is that much more important. It's nice to be reassured that no matter what Susan will believe just in time for Santa.



One of my best friends (hubby is the other one) was able to come up for the bear's birthday party. It was amazingly nice and it made it not so lonely for his birthday weekend.

At the party, someone asked when she was going home. She said "I'm going back to Maryland tonight. I'm not going home until the week before Christmas."

She's going to grad school there and has been since 2006. She will be there until 2011. She calls Chicago home - where she grew up and her parents live.

To a Navy family, Maryland would be a home and a half. We will never live somewhere that long. But, that doesn't mean you can't make it home.

Chicago isn't my home anymore. It's my parents' home. My home is in Connecticut. My home will be where ever the Navy sends hubby, me and the bear.


525,600 Minutes

Today the bear turned one. We brought in his second year of life with a festive little party. We were lucky enough to have my best friend fly in for the shindig and quite a few of our new friends were in attendance. Even with Hubby gone, I think he had a pretty good day. He was surrounded by people that love him, was spoiled with presents, went to bed with a tummy full of cake in a warm house. I think we covered all the bases.

The last 525,600 minutes have been a learning adventure for both of us. He was born at 2:49 PM and was brought back to us almost exactly a year ago. It was a rough trip to venture out to the world for the bear, and I am so glad he's gotten so strong. He is one healthy, happy boy. For that I will always be thankful.

I have many big dreams for the little boy. None of them involve tangibles. None of them are easy to verbalize. I hope over the next 17 years I am able to teach them some and let him learn others by himself.

May you always be able to make a mess and have fun with life.

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!


Supermodels abound

Every mom thinks their child is adorable/cute/beautiful/handsome/insert whatever attractive based word you want here. Hence the millions of baby clothes that say "Cutie" and "Handsome" that exist.

Every person is not cute. The logical next step is that every child is not cute.

I am part of that every that thinks my baby is pretty adorable. I am terrified of sending pictures of to people who don't want them or make comments about it. I will admit it; I judge your child when you send me their picture. I don't care if you think the bear is cute. I do. But, I'm not going to pawn photos off on anyone.

This may sound super rude. It's not meant to be. Not everyone is pretty. Not everyone is smart. Not everyone has amazing artistic ability. Not everyone can pitch at 90 mph. We all have something though. I will always encourage the bear to try things and to do what he loves. I am always on a hunt to find those shirts that say "Genius" and "Plays well with others". While I tell him he's cute, I also make sure to stress the smart and nice parts, too. It's a tough lesson to learn though that we can't all be astronauts and ballerinas when we grow up though.

Are all the other moms convinced their children are part of that cute percentage? Do they not see it or not want to admit it? Why can't we be proud of what our children can do in addition to how they look?


Lesson Learned

When something says
"Some Assembly Required"

it really should say
"All Assembly Required"

Perhaps followed up by a "Plan to devote your entire evening to putting this together. Despite the fact that it is a child's chair, it will perplex you for hours."


Miss Masters - You were right

Miss Masters was my second grade teacher. She was amazing. Granted, I cried when I found out I was in her classroom. The evils of gossip had gotten to be before I was 7. She was the strictest teacher you could imagine, but I came out with excellent penmanship, my perfectionism and some important life lessons.

One was about attitude. Yes, I learned some of this from my parents, my friends and through some trial and error on my part. She had a poster in our classroom that said "Change your thoughts and you change your world."

How very true this is. Especially in the military world. Double especially when your hubby is deployed.

There are some wives who sit at home and complain. Or they go places and complain about it. There are some wives who scamper home at every opportunity.

That doesn't work for me. I will admit it. Some days just suck. I miss hubby. I would be quite happy to throw a pity party for myself. There is no point. The Navy doesn't care if I'm upset. I might as well make the best of the situation. Even in the best of circumstances, things will be stinky sometimes. That's how life is. I'm going to take as much as I can from every opportunity I'm given.

I'm a lucky girl. I wish other people would realize they're pretty lucky, too.