Thursday, November 25, 2010

Settling In, Here and There

These past couple of weeks have been difficult. I think all four of us have been having some growing pains...I can't speak for Steve, but I know it has been tough here back home. Both of the boys have been having been struggling, between feeling insecure, having nightmares, and acting naughty (mainly Griffin on that last point, ahem). I've attributed this to the fact that we don't have ready access to Steve anymore, we don't have Skype up and running just hasn't been much fun.
The good news is, with each little bump in the road, I know the boys and I come out of it a little bit stronger. I mostly can't get over what a different experience this all is, in comparison to the last deployment. Sometimes I feel like I've never been through it before! The other good news is that it feels so good that now, we can really look forward to Steve coming home. Baby steps though...right now I am aiming for R & R in approximately four months.

For Thanksgiving Day, the boys and I are really lucky to have my parents here with us. We are having a small dinner at their house next door - - I am afraid I will mostly be sniffing the food and not eating...still recovering from gallbladder surgery a couple of days ago! I'm just happy they are here with us!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Boy Things

At the river, throwing rocks. Please note Griffin's classic "pouty face" - - for some reason or another, he wasn't getting his way at that particular moment in time

Steve is really good at being a dad. When he gets home from work at night, he pretty much is at Camden and Griffin's disposal. He gives them both lots of attention, wrestles with them, reads to them, and listens to them. I often forget about how much they must miss that "boy time" with their dad. While there isn't any way that I can duplicate that for them, I have been trying to make more of a concerted effort to do "boy things" with them. Seriously, they are so simple and so small, but seem to mean so much to them. For example, it was cold and rainy the other day, and I think we all had a bit of cabin fever. I asked the boys if they'd like to go to the river to throw some rocks (a favorite activity with Steve) and they were suddenly bouncing off the walls. Off we went, threw a few dozen rocks, and then headed back home. I can't even remember how many times the boys mentioned how much fun they had. Another big one for Griffin is wrestling...good old getting down on the floor and rolling around. I've been trying to do this with him every day, although I'll be out of commission for a bit (just had gallbladder surgery yesterday). I think sometimes I get so bogged down in my responsibilities and my "mom" duties, that I forget they need boy time, too. Definitely not the same as having Dad around, but hopefully it helps!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Glad That's Over With

This past weekend, that is. It was a doozy. It seems that all the planets aligned to create a perfect storm in my home, and it sure wasn't enjoyable. First of all, I had a very difficult time getting my head back in the game, after my 4-day getaway to New Orleans. Even though it was fabulous and I had the most relaxing time, I didn't come home relaxed. All that kid-free time somehow made me extra-sensitive to the bickering, whining, etc., and I just had NO patience for it at all! Add to that, the fact that Steve is now in the "travelling" phase to reach his deployment destination of Iraq. Please don't call me out on OPSEC because I have always been very vague/quiet regarding troop movement of any kind. However, it has amazed me that our local news affiliates have pretty much been reporting all aspects of the travel details. Really, I don't get it. I will stick by what I've been saying all along - - that he's en route, and he'll reach Iraq eventually. How's that?

I found myself feeling very emotional over the weekend. I guess because having Steve state-side these past couple of months was more comforting than I realized. Just knowing that he is now no longer in this country suddenly felt very depressing. Add to that, the fact that I just spent four days with him, and I'll tell you a lot of tears were shed whenever I could get a moment to myself. I gave myself that time and I woke up today and got on with it - - I don't have to like it, but I do need to keep myself positive and set a good example for these boys. They are doing great, by the way.

The boys received such a nice surprise in the mail today from a friend of mine. I have to say, I am so grateful for the people in my life who have taken the time to think of my little guys and who have gone out of their way to send them some cheer. I just hate having Steve deployed, but all I have to do is think about the boys, and really, how confusing and how difficult all of this is for them. I'm just so proud of them. They are the best boys ever. I'm also continually grateful to my parents. It has been so wonderful having them here these past 2 1/2 months. They are so good to the boys and to me and I am going to miss them so terribly when they have to head back to Maine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Much-Needed Togetherness

After a lovely lunch at Bacco on Chartres Street, New Orleans

Earlier this week, I flew to New Orleans, Louisiana, to spend time with Steve before he left the country to begin his deployment. I'm so happy that I was able to take this trip, and that my parents were here in Idaho so that they could take care of the boys in my absence. It had been a long, long time since Steve and I had spent more than 24 hours, just the two of us (say, seven years or so!), and it was wonderful. Even though I am missing him terribly today, I think that being able to spend the past few days with him gave me the boost I have been needing. Steve and I have never been very good at making time for ourselves as a couple, and this trip certainly showed me how important it is. In every-day life, we don't have the luxury of being able to establish a regular date night, but I know I am going to make sure it happens, one way or the other, when he gets back from deployment. The boys don't know that I was with Steve - - they had really only recently started to adjust to him being gone, and neither of us felt it was a good idea to disrupt the progress they'd made. They were in great hands with my parents, which made my trip that much more enjoyable.

So, now we head into the meat of the deployment. No more cell phones (going to have a hard time adjusting to that), so no texting, and no calling each other multiple times per day. We'll have a bit of time here where we'll be out of contact with him, which is going to stink, but hopefully before long we'll have a new communication system in place. For some reason, there is a sense of relief that comes with this stage of the game. Now, I feel like I can finally start looking forward to him coming home. Probably it would be better to focus on looking forward to R&R. Baby steps!

**If you'd like to read about our time in New Orleans, then head over to my other blog, where I'll be writing about that for the next few days**