Thursday, September 23, 2010

Getting a Grip

The boys are in bed and I'm getting ready to turn in myself. I had grand plans of staying up late tonight and getting some things accomplished, but I am plain tired and think I will try to read for a bit instead. I've spent the past couple of days feeling really down in the dumps - - just feeling so blah. I decided to just give myself a couple of days, but then I need to make that concerted effort to get on with all of this because a long year will be even longer if I choose to wallow. It is not a wallowing about, "I can't do this", but just that I seriously cannot believe that we are not going to see Steve for such a long time. It just stinks, plain and simple.

I'm also seeing pretty clearly that for the foreseeable future, this will be something that we deal with on a day-to-day basis, as far as how everyone is doing emotionally. Camden has broken down a couple of times this week, completely out of the blue. Griffin is still pretty reserved, but very clingy to me and wanting to make sure I am not going anywhere. I'm so proud of how well they are doing, but oh my goodness do they miss their Daddy.

My laptop has been out of commission since this past June (when my battery bit the dust) but I finally ordered a new battery yesterday, along with a high-def web cam. Cannot wait to start using Skype with Steve. It doesn't sound as though he will have great Internet access while in Mississippi, but ironically, once he gets to Iraq, it will be much better.

I am so thankful for modern technology - - it has been really great to be able to exchange text messages with Steve, and even talk with him a couple of times each day. Tonight, while at Camden's soccer game, I was able to give Steve the play-by-play throughout the game, and send him a picture of Cam via text message. I will miss this aspect so much when he leaves the United States, but will make the most of it for now, while we have that luxury.

I am immediately seeing how different this deployment is going to be from the previous one. So very different with two little boys, than with one baby. Before, I was working full-time outside the home, now I am a full-time homemaker. My relationship with Steve is so much different now than it was five years ago. I know that I depend on his companionship so much more than I ever did back then. I think this will be my most challenging adjustment. I know that I just need to give myself some time to get use to all of this.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And So It Begins...

We are now officially out of the "pre-deployment" stage, and in the "deployment" stage. I have to admit, there is a sense of relief that comes with that - - just getting past all of the fear and anticipation, wondering how the children will fare, all of our different stresses and how they manifest. I am glad to now focus my energy on counting down the days until Steve comes home, rather than counting the days with dread until he has to leave.

As for the boys, I'm not sure that Griffin still really understands the fact that Steve will be gone for such a long period of time. He hasn't said much outside of, "I miss my Dad!" about a dozen times per day. Right before Steve boarded his plane, the four of us were having a bit of an emotional moment, when Griffin said, "SNAP OUT OF IT!" to the rest of us ~ he's not big on getting all touchy-feely, apparently. Camden has had a rough few days, and I will admit that seeing him hurt like that was more difficult than I was prepared for. I'm sure we will have more bumps along the way, but I know we will be fine.

I keep thinking about how lucky I am, that I get to be here, in our home, with our children. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is for Steve, having to go without seeing his boys for such a long time. I am so proud of him.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Operation Appreciation

A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending "Operation Appreciation", an event held to honor all of our Idaho Army National Guard soldiers and their families. The weather was great, and we all had a really good time. We were happy that my parents were able to attend, too. The main attraction by far was the multitude of "jump houses" that they had set up - - I think the boys did enough jumping for all of us, and had so much fun. There were also games, food, face painting, and as always, lots of great things for military families.

This event was the brain child of Lori Otter, the lovely wife of our governor, Butch Otter. That is Governor Otter above, in the blue shirt - - I was actually trying to get a picture of First Lady Otter (she's in the hot pink behind him) but couldn't quite catch her. I'll also add that I was dying to have my picture taken with Governor and Mrs. Otter, but couldn't get my date to go with me. I'm still kicking myself for not just doing it anyway.

After the family fun wound down, the boys headed for home with my parents, and Steve and I stayed to see Darryl Worley in concert. He had driven all night from Montana where he was on tour, to take part in the event.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Family Time

The boys and I were able to meet Steve on base a couple of days ago for a picnic lunch, and a couple of hours of playing on the playground and climbing on tanks and trucks. As of today, Steve is done with AT, but has a handful of commitments to attend to before the week is out. After that, we get him all to ourselves for a few days. We plan to keep Camden out of school for a couple of days next week so that he can have some extra time with Steve before heads to Camp Shelby.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Amping Up

We are still in "amp -up" mode around these parts...have only seen Steve for a period of about 30 minutes in the past 2.5 weeks, but we are about to get to spend a few days with him, which will be great. I know that he is really looking forward to some rest and relaxation before the big craziness begins.

I have been really pleased with how well both boys have adjusted to Steve's absence while he's been at training. We've had some tears here and there, and a couple of pretty decent meltdowns, but all-in-all, they've done great. Steve was able to stop by the house a few days ago (to drop off some gear), and could only stay for a few minutes. The look on Camden's face when he saw Steve was so heartbreaking...haven't been able to get it out of my mind since. I do think Camden internalized a lot of what he is feeling, but that's kind of how he operates anyway. They have both been asking a lot of questions, on a pretty regular basis, so this is good. I'm prepared for the coming weeks to be difficult, but hopefully with all the things we have going on right now, there will be enough distraction to help the boys along.

As for myself, I feel like I have finally turned a corner (thank goodness). We had an extremely stressful summer, which just did not help matters in the least. So many little things going on that didn't need to be going on, which only contributed to the stress already at hand. Pile all of that together and it is just a big ol' recipe for disaster. We made it through, though, and I think the routine of school, fall sports, etc., is helping me get my head back in the game. My parents have also arrived from Maine, which gives Steve a huge sense of relief, which gives me a huge sense of relief. So, many good things are happening. I guess I would say that, come August, I was feeling almost "wimpy" about the impending deployment...getting weepy whenever I'd think about it too much, wondering how I would ever survive (when I know full-well that I'll be just fine). I don't like feeling like that, so I'm really happy to be feeling like myself again. I guess you could say I am in "protective" mode right now...very protective of my children - - making sure the influences around them are positive. Protective of Steve - - keeping things low-stress, and keeping the focus on our family of four. And, protective of myself...not letting others get to me, and not allowing myself to take on other's stress.