Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day १७: Yo Gabba Gabba!

I can't decide if Yo Gabba Gabba! is great child programming or an acid trip. Hunter and I are currently watching the program and it seems to really hold his attention. I think he's interested and disturbed by what he sees. My previous exposure to Yo Gabba Gabba! was through clips that The Soup featured making fun of the show... yeah, it's strange.

I know, you have to watch those clips several times. Strange and funny stuff.
Anyhow, we are on day 17 of life without daddy. Hunter started in with his daycare this week. Monday was his first full day and he did great. He is over his cold for the most part. His daycare is with three other girls all around his age. He's a lucky boy. While he was in daycare yesterday I got a lot done around the house. Today is sort of a wash for the most part.
I'm trying to figure out our base FRG and participation problem. It seems we are a people of indifference. We hate the system and love to complain but action is not something anyone is willing to take. How does a group of people come so jaded?
* Lack of Information: What you don't know will drive you crazy. Because of our size and isolation we are far from the usual avenues for advice, tools and general information. Sure the internet is helpful but it has taken me a month to research several topics pertaining to our branch of service and our base. I have but one child at home... most ladies here have several ankle biters. Information needs to be better available for us here.
* Exhaustion: As you can see self help is a full time job out here. As I've learned with my diabetes and insurance nothing comes for free and you must fight for everything. The same is very true when it comes to 'benefits' and 'services' that could be available to people here. If just one person goes about the task of finding this information without support it gets rough. Last week that was my issue. Not only was I doing my research alone but when I went to get base support I was at first dismissed. That has to change. There needs to be more encouragement from all base personnel when it comes to those who seek out self help or help in general.
* Isolation: Again, this one comes up a lot. If we were living say in the San Diego or Norfork area there are plenty of other services and military people around that information and help are available almost everywhere. Here we are alone and hours from the next military installation. If we get a person on this base unwilling to help us do or find this or that then we are stuck we have no other options. Again, the internet is helpful but blunt information is hard to come by.
Mix any of these things together and you get a group of people who just give up and count the days to PSCing. People here are checked out emotionally. I don't blame them, I have to check out on occasion myself.
Through my research I've found that although the isolation is rare that the exhaustion and lack of information is also found in varying degrees at all bases. It all stems from a breakdown in volunteers and participants. Although meetings and socials were the thing to do in the 1990s the new military families like to stay home and focus inward. They want it spoon fed to them on their timetable. I can't blame them either. When you have to find childcare for 4 kids for a meeting where NOTHING really gets accomplished... I'd avoid any FRG function! So the new emphasis on FRGs, Ombudsmen and so forth is the use of the internet. I've long thought that this was an important and under used tool in our group. Now I know it is vital that we pour more time and resources into it. I've already seen a jump in activity and communication on our website since I started revamping it last week.
There's more to be said on this topic. I could write a 50 page document on all my findings and possible solutions to our issues here. It's all floating in my head and marinating. I'll be journaling more about this process... for now I am out of battery power.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day १३: Honeymoon Phase is Over

The summer head cold trauma of 2009 is slowly coming to a close. I now have guck draining in the back of my throat which leads to the most ever so sexy sounds of deep nasal/throat sniffling and coughing. Thank God The Husband is away... this amount of sexiness might kill him. Hunter is also getting better. He's still grumpy today and clingy. He's working on a repeat of yesterday's 7 hour nap... just 10 more minutes and he might exceed that.
My energy is back to normal levels today and this afternoon I finally got out of bed and started working on my daily chores which have been neglected. I think I'll get it all back together this weekend. I also got confirmation today that my sitter is still going to take my son three full days a week starting Monday. I need to bake her a cake or something! Thank God.
I am thinking I'm going to sign up for one of those prepackaged meal weight loss plans. I've often thought that they were stupid because once you lose the weight then you start making your own food and just get fat again. That's probably the case for many people. Right now though, I really only have to cook for myself. Hunter eats what I eat or I totally fix him up something else. I am finding that I don't want to cook jack. Really, even Mac n' Cheese looks like too much work. I don't see this changing much in the future so why not have prepackaged meals that take 10 minutes to reheat?! At least they will be better balanced nutritionally than anything I am currently eating and I don't have to put too much guess work into it. I'm going to research the programs out there this weekend and hopefully get it going by mid-week. I've noticed my skin getting really pale and other signs of malnutrion.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day १२: Leave it to Family

So... yeah... I'm not leaving... at least not now. This isn't fully my choice. See the title for further clues as to why I'm still here. Yeah. Ugh.
As for the little man and I we are sick. So sick. There's a heck of a head cold going around and we both have been suffering with it all week long. Hunter had a bad runny nose all week and today the soar throat has hit him hard. I've had to medicate him and due to that he's slept most of the day. Poor man. Right now he's eating well and seems to have his energy back. Still, it will likely be an early night for him.
My head cold has been consistant crappy all week. I ran out of meds yesterday but I think I'm on the downside of this virus. I've taken the opportunity to sleep today as well and it's really helping. I'm hoping tomorrow we can both be on the mend.
Someone on my current base stopped by today and gave me a little pep talk and emotional support. It was needed and his timing couldn't be more perfect. I know I complain a lot about this place. There is A LOT wrong with how things are run and how people interact here but it's not necessarily the people. I think we are all wrung out and exhausted with the system. Many have given up. I don't blame them. Since my blow out a few days ago and new philosophy of 'screw them' I've felt better than I have in a LONG time. Although it was helpful in the short run I can't keep that attitude. I'm stuck, I have to make lemonade here. So, within the next week I will re-enter base life and put my gloves back on.
Twelve days... who knew it would be so hard? My sadness over the absence of my husband is less now. I still miss someone to talk to and bug in the middle of the night. I also miss torturing him over not allowing the dog into bed at night... she gets in all the time now but even she finds this new freedom disturbing. The cat has suffered the most with his absence. Her most favorite bitch is gone and she has taken to shadowing me most evening and hitting me at random out of frustration. I can take beatings... poor evil cat.
So I guess it's status quo here. Crazy as hell. Pray for us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day १०: That's It!

Man, you can't say I didn't really try here! The past 48 hours have not played out well for me. I got some dreaded summer head cold and then my push for a government subsidy to help pay for childcare while my husband was away was stonewalled. A girl can only take so much drama and rejection before she cracks. I have cracked, big time. After a long talk to a new friend to be further known as SeaQueen and a counselor on base I know that going back west is my best option for survival. I think my situtation is best described in part of an email I just sent to family and friends... and yes it is edited to omit the names of the guilty....

As many of you know my time here at XXXXXXXXXX is similar to time spent in a federal supermax correctional facility. I have finally gotten over my bout of stockholm syndrome and now realize that my captors are bad naughty people. Much like battered wives about leave I feel as though I must make a fast, clean and efficient getaway... preferably under the dark of night. I have started the ball rolling and I plan to be back in Idaho for much of the next year starting in a few weeks. I have not shared this information with anyone on this base. I just need to leave. Things do not change here and I am not getting any support. I have met some nice people here but it's time to feed myself and my soul. I am looking forward to being with friends and family, to live near shopping and daycare and I embrace all that is dry heat.

So that's that. It was a tough decision because I didn't want to look weak and I didn't was to seem like I was 'running home' to my parents. In reality I used all the tools given to me to try to make this work. I attended all functions, I researched and tried to apply to programs that are meant to help people like me, I attempted to help others through on base groups. All these efforts were in vain. I went in with a positive attitude but really, people don't change. In the future with dealing with the military on any level I now have my eyes WIDE OPEN. As a type I diabetic I've learned that insurance will never tell or give you what you are truely entitled to... you have to fight... same goes for the military and government in general. I don't think either entity wants to be cruel but that's just the nature of the beast.
I will continue my quest in Idaho for better information and care while my husband is away. I expect and hope that the base back home will be more forthcoming and helpful. Maybe this whole thing too is a new inspiration... becoming an advocate for military families and spouses.
I'm feeling better with my decision with every minute that passes. It's a relief to see light and think about seeing family and friends and knowing that there's help around every corner.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sumptin' Special

Ok, I've updated my playlist on the side... the first few songs are favorites right now... the rest are from Flight of the Conchords. I love those guys.
Track #4 - Dedicated to the military... nuff said.
Track #5 - To my bitches.
Track #6 - To my husband because you can't rap either.

Day ८: Cat Love is in the Air

Today is Olivia's day to express her sadness over the absence of her daddy. She's been crazy and lovey all day. It's getting a little creepy.
Anyhow, today went well. The little man and I went into H'burg to do some shopping at the Wal-Mart and Target. Once home we both napped for a couple hours then played until dinner and played some more until bath and bed time. I think the key for us to have a good day is to follow some strict rules in the morning. We must get up at the same time, both eat breakfast and then I have to be ruthless about getting my blood sugar accounted for and my medications on board for the day. Without these steps being accomplished by 9am things tend to go downhill fast for me.
Lucky for me my neighbor has volunteered to watch Hunter for three hours on Monday and Friday this week... ahhhhhh... one less thing to worry about. After this week my daycare should be back on board and coping should get a little easier.
I've been alone for a week now and although I've gone longer with the baby while The Husband was away this is different. The light at the end of the tunnel is VERY far away. One week, one month... those are one thing... more than that gets daunting. It's insane to think about it in one whole chunk. Maybe weekly bites are easier. A neighbor and I were talking the other day and she reported that the last couple to live in my home also endured a long separation. She said that the wife immediately redid the bedroom and put away most of her husband's stuff. Strange but I can understand it. Out of sight, out of mind. I have been tempted to do the same but I think it only makes the homecoming harder. I have changed a few things that know The Husband was not keen on but it was for my own comfort and sanity. I still keep his clothes in the same spot and his pile o' junk on his side of the office. I removed his electric razor off the bathroom sink (our bathroom there is limited counter space and that clunker takes up 1/3) and I've put alway all his coats into the closet. That's about all of my husband that I've 'erased' from the house. I think that is all I need... and it's not because I don't want reminders but that I'm just too anal and efficient. I imagine I'll also get around to cleaning his side of the office. It's tradition now. Whenever he leaves me for more than a month... his office gets a makeover. I know it drives him nuts but I really do try my damnedest to stay away.
So tomorrow... well I have several things that are on my list but I feel the need to spoil myself a bit. I think yoga and then working on cleaning up the office are my two projects while Hunter is at the neighbors. I also have to take a package to the post office to mail to The Husband. Ugh... my work is never done.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day ७: Week One Down

My cat is busy right now sitting on my lap as I type and biting me whenever she deems necessary. The dog is sleeping on my bed and Hunter is away and playing in his crib. I still haven't showered and it's almost 3pm on a Saturday.
My problem is how to proceed with my day. I could get the little man up and go outside and mow the lawn while he plays on the porch... or I could shower and take him to the park. I'm thinking lawn, then shower and then park. This should take most of the night up to his bedtime at 8pm. Yeah, I like that plan.
I am doing ok today. Not motivated to do much but if I took my pills like a good girl I bet I'd perk up. So let's see, the plan is as follows: Pills, lawn, shower then park. I really do suck at getting anything done this past week. I decided early on that I was just going to 'get through' my first week and not try to do anything too ambitious. This coming week will be a different story.
Week Two Goals
* Start food journal, along with BS level journal
* Develop a weekly cleaning schedule
* One full base walk a day
* Finish two important knitting projects
That's a decent start. Now i have to go rescue the baby from crib boredom. The lawn has been in a start of free growth for three weeks now. The neighbors are talking.

Friday, July 17, 2009


This is a cut and paste from a military spouse forum I am a member of... I left this post there a few hours ago...

Dear Bethesda Navel Hospital Pharmacy,
I put in my order for my Ritalin three weeks ago. I did this because typically you always miss/forget/have a senior moment when it comes to putting it on the van down to my base each week. I put the order in early this time to allow for such mistakes. Now I have three pills left… and you still missed my Ritalin on Thursday. In short - you suck. This isn’t the first time this has happened. I have used all the tools I have to help myself in this situation. I have called the base clinic, I have called the Bethesda Pharmacy manager, I have told the base CO of my troubles and then of course, after weeks of no Ritalin I went off my rocker and found myself suicidal and led to security and whole base discovering my issue with you. Still, you forget. I’d love to get my Ritalin at an off-base pharmacy but they (medical clinic on base) tell me that isn’t possible unless I see a certified psychologist (closest one is Bethesda, go figure) and they write me a prescription. Since that requires me to travel north 4 hours and then spend the night I must ask who will pay for all this? Oh right… that would be ME.


Day 6

It's all about vocabulary. Last night while in the bath, Hunter and I worked on vocab together. After pointing to my nose and his nose and saying 'nose' a few times he finally pointed, then stuck his finger as deep in his nose as it would go and said, "ose". Then he kept playing with his... penis. He's such a boy. Anyhow I kept telling him that it was his 'pe-pe'. Finally he point at it said "p-a p-a'. I said, "good boy!" and Hunter raised his hand for a high five. Now he says p-a p-a constantly. I've created a monster.
Today is refreshing. We have just started in on a big thunder and rain storm here. It was needed. The grass was starting to turn yellow. Olivia is taken to hiding under the futon in Hunter's room. She is NOT a big fan of rain or storms. Hunter and The Cheat are downstairs playing and watching the Disney channel. I just got out of the shower and am trying to come up with my plan for the day. I must work on getting a package ready to send The Husband. I was going to do that last night but couldn't summon the strength after Hunter went to bed. We also have a carnival on base today... although in this weather who knows where or if it will be up and running.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 5.5

So it was another emotional day for me. It started out ok then went south fast and now is recovering. I have to say thanks to family and friends who call me up for a few minutes here and there. Those calls have gotten me out of my funk today. Even when you didn't think I was in a funk... I was and just listening to you or answering your questions really helped.

Let there be light. I got my fancy bulbs today for my IKEA lamp. I had to buy them in a box of 10... since the last one lasted a year I should be good to go until Hunter enters middle school. Olivia seems unimpressed with my purchase.
Tonight's agenda... not sure. I am cooking dinner... yes you heard me... cooking. No this is not a box dinner tonight, I am making my Indian Food dinner. Hunter is downstairs playing. He was a cranky little guy when he got home from the sitter's today. I think he was hungry because he ate all his dinner in under 15 minutes. Now he's just as happy as a clam playing with his cars. Ok, I must go check on dinner.

Day 5

Baby boy is off to the sitter today until 4pm. It's relief and sad not to have him around. I celebrated by going back to bed for two hours this morning. Wooo hooo! Now I am up and messing around in the office. The office is a slippery slope of procrastination and time suckage. I must be cautious in this place. My cat, Olivia stands watch next too me... she knows about the office curse and wants me to stay on task... otherwise I will sit here and do nothing in HER room.
I have to go down to the base clinic today. All my perscriptions were outdated and I need to see the doctor for more refills. Blah. I hate this crap. I also have to get him to write up a slew of referrals so I can take my son to the pediatrician and get a phsycial. It's ridiculous that I need these referrals to go do simple things like this... oh and a teeth cleaning... gotta get one for that too! Without one of these referrals I'd have to pay full price up front. With the referral it's 100% free.
Crap, Olivia has deemed office time over. It's now LOVE TIME. Gotta Go.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 4

Each day on my own gets a little better and exposes new cracks in my routine. Blah. Yesterday ran rather well. The baby and I took a walk with neighbors in the late afternoon... bad idea... forgot to wear sunscreen. Then Hunter had a big dinner of dinosaur pasta and meat balls. He really liked it. Once in bed I went about cleaning out the pit which is my bedroom. Ugh, it got really cluttered with all the packing and unpacking of the last month. It took a good 3 hours to get it back together again. I was too pooped to noticed that I never had dinner last night, nor lunch today. That's the crazy thing about having a husband 'away for work'. I have totally lost my appetite. I know this isn't all good but it isn't all bad either... I'm a binge eater so this lack of hunger is impressive for me. I wonder how long it will stay with me. In any case I'm re-stocking the house with more healthy foods for when I do remember to eat.
Today was the big FRG meeting. We had it at the park on base. Not a great idea but there was little to talk about and cover so it went quickly. My involvement is much less than last year. This partly due to choice and partly due to some strange phenomenon that I can't put my finger on. Everytime they ask for volunteers for something I raise my hand... but they never call and invite me to meetings... It's like they don't want me to get my hands too far into the group. Strange. I want to say something but after my experience last fall I've learned that officer wives just need to stay on the sidelines and try not to rock the boat. So I'm standing on the side, very still.
My social life is a work in progress. Many nights I prowl the streets of the base and corner people out for walks or on their porches and talk to them. I don't care if I know them or not. I just talk to them. I take my son and dog as social lubricants. They can always help move a conversation and keep things interesting. Some people are catching onto my game and I can see them rolling my eyes when I come towards them with my stroller and dog attached to my hip. I don't care. I need to talk.
I am lining up some more babysitting days for Hunter. Today I got the morning off and tomorrow I get a whole day! This is long over due but worth the wait. I still have lots to do around the house and when I clean bathrooms and use chemicals it's best not to have him around at all.
Speaking of cleaning. I've gone broke with a new cleaning purchase... the Haan steam cleaner. It's for hard floor surfaces and more. I've been using a Swiffer for sometime and the residue from the pads is gross and never quite goes away and the money put into buying new pads sucks. With our entire first floor made of a pergo like material I figured a steam cleaner that uses only water might be the best. I went midrange with this Haan package. Hopefully I will be impressed. I'll keep you all updated.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day Three

Yesterday was a wash. The babysitter never showed nor called. My depression was at a high. I must say thank you to all my friends and family who talked to me on the phone, skype and on facebook. That all really helped. Today I awoke in a much better mood. Hunter and I drove into town and went shopping at Wal-Mart. We got a great deal of stuff and treated ourselves to McD's on our way home. Hunter fell asleep with a McNugget in his mouth. It felt out at one point and then just minutes from home he awoke and looked down and grabbed it and continued to eat like nothing happened. Boys.
LoveI just read that a distant relative of mine has passed on. He was older and suffering from cancer. My family is very sad to hear of his passing even though we had only met him once. He made quite an impression. Helge was by all accounts a great husband and father and grandfather. Him and his family made our trip to Norway and to the family's farm a joy and pleasure. His legacy is beautiful - a wonderful brood of kids and grandkids and a close relationship with extended family around the world. When my son is older and asks what makes and man a man I will point to men like Helge and his family. They are devoted to family and friends and always leave the world a little better. Thanks for the wonderful time in Norway Helge... God bless you and your family. You will be missed more than you know!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 2

We're off to a craptastic start today. Found out my babysitting for the week is no longer. I have found some replacement sitters but already one is proving to be less than reliable. It's 8:30am... she was supposed to report to duty at 8:00am. She's 13 so I'm really not surprised by this, just disappointed and annoyed.
I stayed up late last night and worked on paperwork. Crap like that never is totally done. Right when I think I've cleared my desk I come back the next day to find even more work to do.
I'm still working slowly on all my big projects. I was going to go to the gym today but I think that might have to wait another two weeks until I have reliable child care. For now I am starting to eat a healthy breakfast each morning and will take the kid out for a long walk in an hour.
I'd honestly love to go back to bed and just lounge this morning... that was the plan but I don't think I'll hound the babysitter to get up. I will just buck up and try to get on with the day.
Oh, and another disappointing deal... last night I went to the base chapel to enjoy Ladies Game Night only to find that NO ONE was there... this is the second time this has happened in as many weeks. Why post events on base when there will be no one there? It's very deflating to gear up to go do something only to find that it's no longer happening and no one decided to share that information with you. Typical.
I really am trying to stay focused and get involved but the system on this base is really trying to bring me down. Damn the system! Anarchy! I hope security isn't reading this.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 1

This is the first day of my single mom life. The Husband has departed for parts we speak not of for a time we do not tell. That's all I have to say about that so don't ask any more questions.
I am exhausted from the build up of the last month and really just in need of a few lazy days. So far today I've done well... at not doing much. I did finally break down and clean the 1st floor. It was icky and I'm OCD. I also finally took a shower at 2pm. The little man is asleep right now and I'm just burning up time until he wakes.
I know I have been neglectful of my blogging for a couple months. That will change drastically now. This blog, my Flickr account and my YouTube account will all be very busy for much of the foreseeable future. We are using all internet tools to communicate and keep The Husband updated on the family.
So, you might wonder if I have any plans. Not really. Just trying to maintain and knit more. Hunter will start again with daycare in a couple weeks. We are using temp sitters until then. I have toyed with the idea of totally redoing the interior of the house... just to mess with The Husband's mind but that might be too cruel.
Here's your first glimpse into my new temporary world... enjoy my more frequent updates and random rants....


* Woke up to find a single cat poop in the entryway by the utility room. This is a common sign that Olivia, the cat, is unhappy about something. She likes to put the poop in a very public and annoying place. Score one for Olivia today.
* Was in IKEA in Maryland over the weekend and got what I thought were the right replacement bulbs for my office lamp. WRONG. I need something like a G9 120V, 40W halopin bulb. So I looked it up online. Of course IKEA doesn't sell those over the internet and other places do but at $6 a bulb. Ugh. I'll break down and order some tonight or tomorrow. For now I plan to piss and moan a little more.
* Got home yesterday from DC and was loading everything back into the house when I found that Hunter somehow got the documents (see below) I'd been working on off the kitchen counter and into the dog water. Thanks Hunter.
* The Military... Grrrrr. So I've been told from various sources not on my current base that I am entitled to 16 free hours of child care per month while The Husband is away. Great deal! Only no one here has heard of this. It's taken me one month to track it down HERE. So I've printed out all the information and am getting all the right documents in order to get these hours. It's all about the language with these things. This program called Operation: Military Child Care is not a benefit nor is it an entitlement. It's a subsidy that you must apply for. Also the details of the program are vague on the actual program website but the Army likes to give you all kinds of information about it. Thanks Army! The program is for all military with deployed spouses. It kills me that spouses on this base who have had deployed partners didn't know about this program and did without it. It's my new mission to become military educated to help others... it's crazy that we don't get told about these things. Grrrrr.