Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adapt and Overcome. Right?


I'm thinking its time for me to re-evaluate my expectations of myself. 

Something tells me that I'm not the only one who has had such a revalation, be it during a deployment or not.

I don't think I can sustain my existence if I do.  At least not a sane existence.  I mean if its cool to become some pj wearing nutjob with a wicked case of bedhead standing on the side of the road I'm half way there! 

I have a bit of a habit to take on projects, a little one here, another small one there.  This one for this kids class, oh wait! have to do the same thing for the other kids class, then we can't forget kid three!

This is going to kill me, if I don't knock it the f off.

Deployments are a tricky, wicked beast.  There is the obvious, most noticeable part of trying to do everything for everyone by yourself.  No spouse is coming home to help out with bedtime or clean up the kitchen while you bathe the kids.

{insert side note here.... I have boys, if I don't keep half an eye on them during shower/bathe time, nothing gets clean.  In fact the other day the six year old took a shower and came out totally dry, turns out he hid behind the shower liner the whole time.}

If it is going to get done, I'm the one doing it.  Or at least helping out the kids while they "help" out.

But there is also the emotional stress of helping your kids cope, being the one to absorb the anger, and folks, there is anger.  Raw, emotional, nasty, downright ugly anger.  Your trying to help them while trying to stay afloat yourself. Beacause lets not forget the worry.  The constant worry of the unknown.

And shoot, the known isn't always so comforting either.

It takes a toll on you.  I'm only a mere 17 days into this deployment {not that I'm counting cause I'm totally not}and I'm exhausted.  Emotional and physically.

And I have a head cold.

Pity me dammit.

But seriously, I am realizing that I'm going to have to scale back or else big mama is gonna snap and its not going to be pretty.

Normally by this time I would have probably baked 20 dozen cookies, they'd be on pretty trays ready to go around.  Yeah not so much.  I took cookies into hubs work when I took some boxes that were going out on a plane.  I took em in plastic bags and not even festive ones.

My ornament swap stuff?  Went out yesterday.  And poor wifeyofasailor sent me a wonderful box and her box hasn't even gone out yet.

Crappers.

We've missed wrestling the past two times and I'm debating about blowing it off tonight because while I thought everyone would do better if I kept them BUSY BUSY BUSY I'm finding its the opposite.  They just want to come home from school and chill.

This makes me a crappy sports mom.  {Though to my defense this is just a wrestling clinic, he's not competing and frankly, its not really run very well. }

But you know what, I'm also starting to think that I need to do what I need to do.  I'm doing this crap all on my own, I don't have family sitting around the corner or a husband coming home tonight... or even in a week or two.

This isn't a sprint its a marathon

{thank God its not a year long marathon, I do so love the Marine Corps for their deployments}

As the Marines say, adapt and overcome.  We are getting thru this, frankly, we are doing well, but we are going to have to make some adjustments.

What kind of adjustments do you make during deployments?  Tell me I'm not the only one blowing off sports practice?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More on my obsession with photo cards



My christmas cards went out. And in my head I'm moving on to the next holiday. That's what happens sometimes in military households, you look past where you are to a date a couple months down the line because its either when he's going to be home or closer to when he's going to be home. 

I'm looking forward less for those reason and more because I want to send out more photo cards.

I love them. THAT MUCH.

THAT MUCH

And not to mention, photo cards are great during a deployment because its a card AND a photo to send to dad. 

So I'm thinking that New Year's is too close to Christmas to send a photo card and January's holiday of Martin Luther King Day is probably not quite the best candidate but Valentines? I'm all over that like a dog with a bone.

And St. Patrick's Day?

Don't mind if I do dress my kids up in green and snap a pic. 

Now to make me sound less nutty, I don't send these cards to everyone that I sent Christmas cards too, just grandma and folks like that.  Don't fear getting a card in your mailbox 5 times a year.

Unless you want one.  Then I'd be more then happy to oblige!

I was mindlessly surfing around last night for holiday cards and I looked at cards on Minted {which by the way, I could have been lost on their site for years, its that good. They have every card you could ever want and every card has options for colors, layout, shapes, paper thickness.  I don't do well with options}

of forgot where I was going... but do you know what I thought was really amazing....they have... SHAPES!

 SHAPES!
Shut up! 

Their cards have shapes! Pretty scalloped edges, funky curves, and gloriously thick paper...oh my dears... this could be love.

How unique are these cards?!  Because I've already lamented how I hate it when someone else sends out the same card as mine. 

Look out peeps, my valentine cards are going to rock your world. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This deployment versus those deployments


So far we are 10 days into this deployment.  I have to tell you, doing this shit with kids sucks.  Now lets just get this out of the way now, I do a lot of single parenting and my kids are really used to not having dad around.  The thing is is that we are used to him coming and going, not just going. 

He's still gone a good 6 mths out of the year but he's back and forth, in and out of the house.  Saying goodbye for 7 mths hit them hard.

The oldest is pissed off and angry.  He thinks dad left because he wanted to leave, I mean who wouldn't want to go spend Arab Spring Part 2 in a third world craphole? He thinks he left because he would rather be there then here.  He's angry and he's taking it out on who ever is around at the moment.  Good times.

The middle just misses dad.  Especially at bedtime.  And dinner.  And sports practice.  And in the morning.  And during recess. And at snack.  And when he gets a haircut. 

You get the picture.

The third is by far the easiest.  At three he says he misses dad and then he noticed a blue bird fly by and he's good to go. 

If only they could all be like that.

Now that's not to say that its total misery around here, its not.  Just like for us adults, it comes in waves.  Life is going along and your having a great day and boom.  You miss em.  Just like that.  Only we are a little more prepared emotionally to deal with it. 

We've been very lucky, granted we deal with nonstop coming and going year after year, but we haven't done many "typical" deployments as a family.  This doing it with kids is a new thing to me. 

And its kicking my ass. 

However, I've been thinking.  I remember deployments in my life before kids {apparently I did indeed have a life before children!} and I remember laying on the couch and wallowing in my own self pity for days in the beginning.  {ahem weeks. Beginning weeks.}

This time, there is none of that.  And really... there is no time to feel sad for not getting emails or phone calls.  Someone has homework they need help with, there is a fight to breakup, someone got there hand stuck in a toilet. 

By the way... that can happen.

In some ways, I like this busy busy busy much better.  If it weren't for seeing my kids cry for daddy and knowing that feeling of separation, this deployment would be a cake walk.

So I'm torn... which way do you think is easier?

This is not to get into a "oh those people with kids have it so much harder" or "those without kids just can't understand".  I'm just curious what your opinion is on deployments.  Which have you experienced and what is your take on them.  Its important to remember that all deployments are not created equal.  Sometime are longer then other, some have great communications, some are to crap holes, some are to pretty nice places.

But please... weigh in!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This and that



A seabag is packed, body armor is waiting by the door, the footlocker is to the gills stuffed.  The Christmas tree is up and we are squeezing in a couple of our die hard Christmas family traditions today. 

That by the way does in fact include blogging.  It's a christmas miracle!

My goal is to get the Ornament Swap emails sent out tonight or tomorrow.  If you want to sign up still you can take advantage of my lateness and get your email in there!  This is always {I hope} a good time for all.

I'm also curious, what are some of your holiday traditions?  Both when your family is together and when your apart {because in the military, your always apart some of the time}.  Leave me some good ideas and next week, when I've come up for air, I'll be posting some of our new holiday traditions we are building on or starting all new this year.

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving and hug everyone your thankful for as tight as they can stand it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Free card!

The fun part of deployments, if there are any, are making care packages and coming up with fun things to send to my dear unsuspecting husband.

Fyboy hates nick nack crap, therefore I fill boxes of crap and send it to him, just so he can still get driven crazy by me, no matter how many thousands of miles apart we are.  But I do also send him really sweet stuff.  Cookies, things to make his life a little easier and a little more comfortable.

And cards. I love cards. 

Enter treat. 

Treat cards are fabulous! 

Hello treat, you and I are going to be very close this deployment. 

They are personalized greeting cards that you create to reflect your personality and charm. And mamas, lots of cards for us to plaster our kids pictures on. Fab-u-lous. Perfect for birthdays, holidays (grandmas would eat these up!), or sending to your deployed loved one.  

And treat is giving you a free card, it's your for the making on 11/19 & 11/20 with the promo code TREATBLOGR

Here's what I'm asking, this is the season to be thankful for those around us, take the time to make your free card and send it to someone special to make sure they realize how much you care. I know who I'm sending my card too, I just wish he wasnt going to be so far away. 

And treat, I'm serious. You and me. We are going to be fast buddies by the time this deployment is over. 



All opinions in this post are mine and mine alone, I was compensated for my time with an offer code from treat.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's coming...


It's that time.  The sea bag and foot locker is packed.  The wills are done. A power of attorney is sitting on the desk down stairs.

There is no denying that this deployment is coming. Like it or not.

And in case your wondering I don't like it.

I don't like the worry and the stress. I don't like the constant ache in my heart.  I don't like seeing my kids struggle with saying goodbye. I don't like hearing well meaning things from well meaning people that really doesn't seem so well meaning to me.

Nope. I don't like it at all.

I'm already tired of so much of this. To outsiders it hasn't even started but to you fellow military folks, you know that, pardon my language, we are already standing knee deep in shit.

The anticipation is so overwhelming.  So much to prepare and think about. And it never seems like there is enough time to get it all done.... And all the other daily things, because life doesn't stop just because your gearing up.

We'll make it, that's what we do.  They serve and we serve.  One day at a time we just go about out lives and just like the deployment comes the deployment will go. Things are different but there see still kids to get to school, practices and meets to go to, hugs and kisses to give out before bed.

We'll make it.

But I still hate the build up.



Monday, November 12, 2012

2012 Ornament Swap

It's time for the Trying Our Best Blog Ornament {and hopefully cookies} Swap!  


I love the holidays don't you?  I love to decorate, make insane amounts of cookies, light up my Christmas tree candles and just enjoy the season.  

And yes, I light evergreen scented candles because this year we are cheating and putting up a fake tree.  In light of our deployment I do not feel the need to drag a ginourmous dead tree out of my house with my adorable, yet slightly useless boys just watching.  Don't judge, the candle smells plenty nice.  

So if you too love you some Christmas why not take part!  It's really pretty easy and low key and I'd like to think that you are guaranteed to have some fun! 

Here are the main points:


*you can either MAKE or BUY an ornament, however there will be a $10 dollar limit. And if you find a cute one for less go for it. {embrace bargain hunting folks.} It can be something to from where you are stationed or live, it can be something that you think will reflect the person you are swapping with taste, it could just be something adorable that you see or make.

 Let me repeat. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE AN ORNAMENT. I get asked this question a ton of times. BUYING IS OK!

If you want to include some cookies or candies in your package go ahead! Its not required but I'm a stress eater and cookies or candy would be greatly appreciated.

*Ornaments should be mailed so that they are received round about mid December.     If you and your partner work something else out, good to go, but the whole point is to have this ornament BEFORE the holidays.  If something comes up, let me know, everyone has lives and things happen, but if you give me a heads up I can cover for you so no one is left waiting for the mailman disappointed. 

To sign up email tryingourbest at yahoo by Nov. 21

Answer the following questions in your email:
Name

Best email to reach you at
Mailing address

Blog address or twitter name {if you have one}

****ANY FOOD ALLERGIES***

Do you have a certain Christmas decorating theme or are you a mish mash, compilation of ornaments kinda gal? 

Are you willing to mail to an APO?FPO address? {This does not cost you any additional postage, the only difference is that you will need to fill out a simple customs form}

Anything you want to add?

And please leave a comment on this post here. You don't have to to participate but it helps to keep track of who's signed up and what not.


Let's keep the tradition alive people!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What's your take on this?


I have a conundrum.  It's a bit after the fact, but its one of those things that I'm puzzled over and so rather than asking random strangers at target {apparently not socially acceptable} or trying to do it on twitter in 140 characters {I'm too wordy} I'm asking you all.

Here goes... What are the tipping rules for getting your hair done?

Let me elaborate.

My normal hairstylist is getting ready to have a baby. Fantastic for her! So happy! But I'd be lying if I said that when she first told me I panicked over my hair. For a split second. Very split.

So she's cute her hours to about 20min a week so it's damn near impossible to get an appointment that works with all my getting kids from here and there schedule.  The Marine Corps Ball was this weekend and, of course, I had put off getting my highlights re-done.  A friend gave me the number of  a friend of hers who does hair out of her house.

Perfect!

I was able to just bring dash3 with me and my hair turned out great.

My conundrum?

As I was paying {more than I paid at the salon....$30 more, but the hair was lovely}I realized I didn't know if I was supposed to tip or not.  I figured err on the side of not being a cheapskate d-bag and so I tipped. Very nicely I'd like to add. But then I left there wondering if I had committed some faux paus and looked like an idiot.

I immediately called my friend who confessed that she found herself wondering the same thing earlier that week and was kicking hereself for not knowing what to do. {she tipped by the way}

I'm relieved I'm not the only clueless one.

Here's some of my thinking on this....
A. You tip because you just tip.
B.  You don't have to tip in that instance because it's similar to not typing the owner of the salon. {I don't have much expertise with this argument but my friend sees the owner of the salon we both go to and she told her as the owner she doesn't take tips}

I don't mind tipping her.  The cut was good and the color was great. Se was great to talk too and she didn't kick my son out.  With all that I'm willing to pay her price, shoot I'd pay more for the convince of not having to find a sitter for dash3!  Especially as I embark on months of single parenting.

And just so it's out there I could have just asked but I'm a whimp. There I said it. .
I was just wondering if others out there can tell me what the etiquette is on this.

So what's your take?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ornament Swap anyone? Anyone at all?

So its fast approaching that time of year.  The time of year for the great Trying Our Best Blog Ornament {and hopefully cookies} Swap!  I've done this for 3 or 4 years and even though I wasn't blogging me it was bumming me out thinking about not doing it this year.

Actually its one reason I came back.  Not that I'm delusional enough to think that people out there were opining missing out on it. But it is a fun little tradition!

In case you dont remember here's the gist...


*you can either MAKE or BUY an ornament, however there will be a $10 dollar limit. And if you find a cute one for less go for it. {embrace bargain hunting folks.} It can be something to from where you are stationed or live, it can be something that you think will reflect the person you are swapping with taste, it could just be something adorable that you see or make.

 Let me repeat. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE AN ORNAMENT. I get asked this question a ton of times. BUYING IS OK!


If you want to include some cookies or candies in your package go ahead! Its not required but I'm a stress eater and cookies or candy would be greatly appreciated.


*Ornaments should be mailed so that they are received round about mid December.  If you and your partner work something else out, good to go, but the whole point is to have this ornament BEFORE the holidays. 
 If you think you want to take part leave a comment and let me know.  If a couple folks say they are in then I'll do a post about signups in the next week or so! 
Let's keep the tradition alive people!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tiny Prints Giveaway


I heart Christmas cards.

I mean I really really really love them. Like I start looking at them in May.

Come November I'm in a full on panic about getting them just right.  And I should note, I do not try for perfection.  In fact one year I sent out a picture of dash1 trying to pop off dash2's head under the christmas tree.

I'm pretty sure flyboy was hoping to deploy a few months earlier so he could have missed out on the whole christmas card picture event.  I took the picture this week so I could include him, there are just some family traditions one shouldn't miss and seeing which kid is going to try strangling his brothers on film is one of them.

But back to the cards, I love them.  I really do. There is something so cheery and lovely about this time of year and seeing how our friends and family members are growing. That sounds so wholesome for snarky ol me.

And please trust me folks when I say there is only one place to go for Christmas cards.  Well, there might be more places but I only search one place because I know I'll find it there, Tiny Prints.

I've ordered our Christmas cards thru them for years now and the selection is great, the quality is great, the shipping is speedy. Oh and I'm a total coupon slave and they always have amazing deals on their special offer page.  Last year I got a coupon code for free rush service!

The only issue I have with tiny Prints is finding the right one, not the right ten.

But then again I never know what to wear in the morning either. 

These are a few that I love... but I'm the one I {think} I've chosen is not here... can't give it away yet!
 Actually this one is in my top 5.  Hmmmmm.
 Shoot, so is this one.  Clearly I suck at playing coy.


I love this one, I really do, but it also makes me a little sad because in our military house, we won't all be together at home for Christmas, but its a great sentiment. And next year, I'm all over this one.
Here's the thing with this card, I'm not a dog person.  In fact we have a lizard in our house and I think sending dog cards is a little weird.  Or at least I did till I saw these and they are adorable! Tiny Prints should do a lizard line....


Now for the best part...a giveaway!!  Tiny Prints is generously giving one of you $50 towards your Tiny Prints order {this does not include shipping}!

Just follow the rafflecopter and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Tiny Prints provided a gift code in exchange for this post. All opinions and ramblings are my own.

Monday, November 5, 2012

To Facebook or not to Facebook?



I'm faced with a conundrum.  To Facebook or not.  I've managed to avoid it this long. 

Until we started football.

Adorable little dash2 just finished up his flag football season. {thank goodness, the temps are down in the 40s now!} The organization had someone come to the games to take sports shots of all the teams playing and posted them on their facebook page.  The shots were amazing. 

Even more amazing because I spent the games making sure dash3 didn't run onto the field or down in a massive mud puddle so my photographer skills were seriously lacking.

But no problemo, the facebook page was open for all so I'd hop on and download the pics of my cutie.  Of course at some point the worry did cross my mind that if I could do this so could any pedophile out there.

Well, the team caught on. 

Now you have to have a facebook account and be verified by the team.  All things I agree with.  But I don't have a facebook account and I'm not sure I want one.  Even for pics of my 5 yr old. 

So I'm posing this question to all of you because I love to hear your answers, Do you facebook?  Do you prefer twitter or facebook? {because let me tell you I'm a twitter whore! Love me some tweeting} Or vice versa?  What are the best points of facebook and in your opinion what are the drawbacks?

I'm back. I think

So as we gear up for a deployment I'm thinking about trying my best {get it, get it?} to get back on here and sort out my thoughts and what not.

After all the dash brothers have been up to a lot of funny crap lately, I can't let all that go to waste just because hubs isn't here can I?

Hope you'll stop by and say hi!

Oh and prepare yourself, there is a Tiny Print giveaway coming up in the very near future.