Week 17, Oh so sexy…NOT

So Nate is on his travels, and I am holding down the fort at home.  You’d think I’d be used to this by now.  Nate and I have been together for seven years, (married for five), and we have been on sea duty in the Navy for the entire time.  In layman’s terms, he has been gone about 50%-80% of each year.  In the beginning, it was obviously just us.  Whenever he left town, I could do whatever I wanted.  Hit the town with my girlfriends, or go shopping, or go get a mani-pedi.  Then we got little Yoshi.  Then Sasebo.  Then we got married and had Maverick.  Then we bought the house.  Next we had Summerly.  And soon we will have our newest little baby bundle.  So although he has continued to leave town, my lifestyle has changed drastically throughout the years.  Each time he leaves, my responsibilities are evolving and ever-changing.  So I am not used to it at all.  Also, I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the heartache that I feel when he leaves. I always miss him so damn much.  As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

So it’s been a few days now, and the sadness is waning, and I am back into my single mommy groove.  I’m on top of the chores, the house is immaculate, the kids are eating regularly, brushing their teeth twice a day, and going to bed on a schedule.  A while back in a post about military life, I mentioned that four things happen every time Nate leaves; something floods, something breaks, something moves in, and everyone’s emotional stability goes downhill.  So far the only flooding is the rain outside, and I can handle outside.  Everything broke last month, including the refrigerator ice maker/water dispenser, ($400), the thunderbolt iMac screen, ($175), and a tire on Nate’s truck went flat, ($250.)  Thank God he was home for all of that:)  The critter that moved in was the spider living on the ceiling that I asked Nate to kill, but he failed twice exclaiming, “Damn, that fu*ker’s fast!”  Well, I’m terrified of spiders, but I managed to get him on my first try.  Go me!  And so far, everyone’s emotional stability is level.  I would say me and Bobos are really the only ones crying.  All in all, it’s going really well compared to other times Nate has left.

It is going well, but that doesn’t mean that my version of well is all peaceful and relaxing.  The kids and I had just gotten home from running some errands, and now I have to take Yoshi outside in the pouring rain to hose off her butt because she pooped in her doggy diaper.  I also had to hose off the diaper and throw it in the washing machine.  I then had to perform a more thorough wash in the sink with her shampoo, because yuck.  While I’m finishing up with that, my kids are screaming and hungry.  I start prepping food for them, and throw a Cup-O-Noodles under the Keurig to brew.  I settle the kids down with their lunch, and take my noodles to the couch to enjoy, which was also my first meal of the day.  Nate is on a different time zone, so his daily morning wake up call is early afternoon for me.  He texts me that he had a sexy dream about us, and I am so flattered and happy that his sexy dream fantasy is of my ever-growing pregnant body.  Meanwhile, my fantasy is being able to eat my Cup-O-Noodles while it’s still warm.  He starts sexting me, and I am loving the flirting attention, but I am more than a little distracted.  I am trying to be a supportive wife, although it’s really hard to get in the mood after Yoshi’s poop diaper.

So while I’m trying to think of what to say, Maverick tells me he needs to go potty.  I get up and take him potty.  I sit back down, and Mav and Summerly start fighting.  I ignore them. Then Mav throws a Hot Wheel at Sum’s face and breaks skin.  God, help me.  I comfort her, and drag him kicking and screaming to time-out.  I get back to my lukewarm noodles, and text my hubby back, “I love you baby, but I just can’t right now.”  He then asks for pictures when I get around to it.  And I’m like, “Okay.  I’ll start mentally preparing for that.”  I am flustered and hungry and giggling uncontrollably at the thought of how nice and peaceful his room must be right now.  Back when it was just the two of us, I was all game for some sexting and pictures.  But now it’s just ridiculous.  I try to explain to him that that is the last thing on my mind when he is gone.  And logistically, trying to take sexy pictures while the kids are screaming and pounding outside the bedroom door is just stressful and humiliating.

The next day I wake up at 5a.m. to Sasebo dry heaving and about to throw up.  I fly out of bed and try to run him outside, but we don’t make it in time and he throws up on the living room rug.  It’s just a normal day for me.  Later that day I have to clean up all the dog poop on the side yard because it’s been three days.  It’s pouring rain so it’s all mushy wet poop. Ugh.  Later that evening after I put Summerly to bed, Maverick tells me that he needs to go poo poo on the potty.  Finally someone who goes in the damn potty.  Yay!  Except when I flush the toilet, it starts to clog.  I’m literally praying to God to please flush down.  Nope.  Well, we keep our plunger outside by the shed so that the kids never get ahold of it.  Plus the only people who clog toilets are men, and I’d rather them do the walk of shame, than keep that nasty thing in my house.  Well, this is one of those times I regret that.  It’s late, it’s storming outside, and I’m not even entirely sure where exactly Nate keeps the plunger.  So do I get on my rain gear and grab a flashlight and try to find the plunger, or do I just try to shove a handful of toilet paper down into the toilet to get things moving.  These are the choices I am faced with these days.

I continue to pray while debating which choice to make.  I decide to sacrifice my hand, because after all, I’ve been cleaning up poop all day.  With a quick little shove, and a little cooperation from the toilet, it all goes down.  After I thoroughly sanitize everything, I walk back to the couch and glance at my phone.  There’s a text from Nate asking if I’m still mentally preparing.  I am hysterically laughing because my husband always has less than impeccable timing.  I text him back that, “I am literally in a world of sh*t over here, and for God’s sake, just look up some old pix because I’m getting fat right now anyways.”  He laughs and tells me that I’m an amazing mother and wife.  He’s the sweetest.  And that’s what I need to hear.  Because as long as we are encouraging each other during the not so pleasant times, we can laugh about it and enjoy the good times even more.

Here’s some pix of Yoshi and Bobos when we first got them.

And our first picture of Maverick

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Mav playing in the newly renovated front yard after we bought the house

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Pictures of Nate and I remodelling our first kitchen

And our first pictures of Summerly

Week 15 & 16

For the past two weeks, we have all been taking turns being sick.  Nate and Mav were first, and lasted for about three days.  Summerly was last, and got sick after we were all pretty much better, and she only lasted for about three days as well.  As for me, I got sick right after the boys on day two, and I was sick for pretty much the entire two weeks.  So nobody told me that when you are pregnant, your immune system takes a vacation.  Yup, you catch anything and everything that goes around because your immune system is somewhere on a beach in the Caribbean sipping mai tais, while you are a leaky, sniffly mess.  Apparently the baby is taking so much of your energy and stamina to grow, that your body can’t really handle anything extra.  So when you get sick, you are on your own.

To make matters worse, and another thing nobody told me, is that you can’t take much in the form of meds.  Now, I believe they have lightened up since I had Mav, but when I got sick while pregnant with him, my doctors told me to drink lots of orange juice.  I’m like, “Gee, thanks.”  Meanwhile, Nate was pounding Emergen-C, Mucinex, NyQuil, and anything else he could get his hands on, while I enviously suffered on the couch with my OJ.  I finally drew the line when Nate was withholding cough drops from me saying that they were a Category C drug, meaning that they haven’t done enough studies to know if they are harmful to the fetus.  And I was like, “You give me those damn cough drops or you can sleep outside.”  I am happy to say though that this time since I am past 12 weeks, I could have Robitussin.  So that helped a little, but I was still by far the sickest of us all, and for the longest duration.

Meanwhile, we are preparing for Nate to take a work trip.  So we are running a lot of errands to prepare him for travel, and to prepare me to be alone with the kids and dogs and house.  I always prepare a “Before Nate leaves, Honey-do” list.  Things like, replace the fridge water filter.  Kill the spider living on the ceiling.  Wash our 85-pound Labrador, Bobos.  Fix the closet door because it won’t open.  Pick up the dogs’ flea medicine at Petco.  Pretty easy things for my hubby to do, but a little trickier for me dragging two toddlers behind me.

So while he is washing Bobos, I decide to wash our little 8-pound Pomeranian Yoshi.  Then I decide to give her a haircut like they do at the groomers.  How hard could it be?  So I use Nate’s hair shaver tool and get to work.  Nate walks in from washing Bobos, and says, “You’re crazy.”  I’m like, “Oh good, you’re done.  Get down here and hold her for me.”  An hour later, we are still attempting to give her that adorable lion cut hair style that they give her, although we are not really achieving it.  We are taking turns laughing hysterically, and trying to fix the unevenness of her shave.  Ultimately Yoshi ended up looking a little rumpled with some bald spots here and there, and we both have a newfound appreciation for the groomer.  Here’s some pix of the massive amount of hair we shaved off, and her not quite up to par haircut.

Once the bald spots grow back, I’ll take her to the groomer to fix it, lol.  But until then, she’s just gonna have to live with the embarrassment.

Here’s what it looks like when the groomer does it…

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The next day, we ended up going to Petco as a family to get the prescription flea medicine.  This means we also have to take the dogs because the vet needs to see them to renew the prescription.  Even with the capable hands of Mommy and Daddy, it’s still a cluster with two kids and two dogs.  When we get there, I decide to walk the kids around to keep them entertained while Nate deals with the dogs and the vet.  While browsing, I stumble across doggy diapers, and a lightbulb immediately flares up in my head.  You see, my little Yoshi likes to poop in the house any time Nate goes away.  Like spite poop because apparently I don’t love her as much as he does, or maybe she thinks I sent him away and she’s pissed.  Even when I take her out nine times a day, she will go pee pee every time, but hold her poop until we are back in the house, and then she will go when I’m not looking.  What a joy to add to my plate while he’s gone.

So I wander back to Nate with the doggy diapers, and he’s like, “You’re kidding, right?”  And with a huge victory smile, I’m like, “Not even a bit.”  The idea is that I’m almost positive she won’t go in the diapers.  She IS potty trained, although she likes to pretend she’s not when he’s gone.  The diaper will just force her to hold it until I take her out again.  That’s what I’m hoping anyway.  I guess we will find out soon enough, so wish me luck.

Some more potty news in our house is that we pretty much have Mav potty trained.  Finally!!!  He’s three and a half, so I’m not too far behind for a boy, but man I’ve just been trying for so long.  Right after New Years I told Nate that I was no longer going to potty train Maverick, and that I was just going to skip him and move on to Summerly.  Because that way I can feel validated in that it’s not my parenting, and yay for me that I potty trained one kid, so I’m not a failure.  Well, Nate grew concerned because he knew I was serious.  He started to take a very active role in getting Mav to be excited about being a,”Big boy,” who gets to wear big boy underpants.  And lo and behold, (and as I always suspected,) once Nate got really involved, Mav responded with flying colors.  This is the most amazing and wonderful news in our house.  Especially because we still have Sum in diapers, are about to have a new baby in diapers, and now Yoshi will be in diapers.  I really needed a win, and I got it.  I am just ecstatic.  The things that make moms giddy. LMAO.

Week 14, The Holidays

How many adjectives can I use to describe the holidays?…Amazing.  Stressful.  Loving.  Overwhelming.  Exciting.  Busy.  Full of fun.  Full of drama.  The best time of year.

Last year Nate was deployed September through February, so it was just me and Mav and Summerly making plans to hang with friends and family for the holidays.  What used to be simple and enjoyable activities like taking the kids to the pumpkin patch, was now a totally overwhelming and exhausting adventure.  Summerly was only three months old, (enough said,) and Maverick had completely lost his mind in his attempts to understand why his Daddy left forever.  You see, kids that young don’t have a sense of time or object permanence.  So trying to explain when daddy will be home is not really something they can comprehend.  All he knows is daddy is not here right now, and that was breaking his little heart all the time.  So it was understandable that he was acting out and taking “Terrible twos,” to a whole new level.

By Christmas Summerly was six months old, and Mav was two and a half.  I had turned into the Grinch trying not to be too sad missing Nate, but refusing to put myself through what seemed to be the insurmountable task of unpacking and putting up the Christmas decorations.  Forget about trying to get a tree into the house.  My super awesome neighbors offered to put up some lights on the house, but I politely declined admitting that it was easier for me physically and emotionally to just embrace my Grinchiness and my husband’s absence.

Having explained that, it’s understandable that I went all out this year.  We put up every decoration that I could find.  I learned about Elf on the Shelf for the first time and embraced that with way more enthusiasm than any adult should.  And I proceeded to buy more decorations until Nate finally drew the line when I attempted to purchase a $200 advent calendar from Pottery Barn.  Of course it was overpriced, but I had to have it!  So when he refused to let me buy it, I coerced him into making it for me.  That’ll teach him to say, “No.”  Hah!  Here’s a pic of the Pottery Barn advent calendar.

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We bought the wood and hooks at Home Depot.  I measured, he cut, I stained, he screwed it all together, and then screwed in the 25 hooks with my direction.  I sewed the 25 stockings with red fabric that I already had, and then embellished with the twine loops and white trim and burlap numbers, which I am still in the process of glueing on.  I then topped it off with a copper star and some lights from Target, and whala!  For just $40!

Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have which really doesn’t do it justice, but I’m still super proud of it.

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The trip to the Christmas tree lot had me giddy.  The joy of watching Nate unwrap countless trees until we find the perfect one is exhilarating.  Another couple walks up to look at some trees near us while Nate is bitching and refusing to untie yet another tree that I had just pointed to.  The wife leans closer to me and sarcastically exclaims, “They’re all the same, aren’t they?!”  Nate overhears and frustratingly responds, “Exactly!”  And she and I just start cracking up because we both know that the comment was describing our resistant and complaining husbands, not the trees.  Nate and I finally agreed on a tree that was a little smaller than some others I had my eye on, but I conceded to his pleads for a tree that was under six feet tall.  He also had to convince me that we didn’t need 45 feet of live garland, which took some finesse on his part because I was pretty adamant.  In retrospect, yeah, I was definitely going overboard.

The next day we headed to Target for some more lights and extra ornament hooks for the tree.  On our way there we were forced to take a detour because there was a police motorcade coming through.  It was the longest motorcade I had ever seen in my life, and I was convinced that it was for sure the President…or maybe Oprah! Lmao.  There were about five Sheriff’s busses leading the charge, and an endless stream of Explorer SUVs blaring their lights and sirens, literally as far as my eyes could see.  I was like a puppy sticking my head out the window trying to count the cars as we were directed in the opposite direction to take the back way to Target.  As we approached the light to pull into the parking lot, the sirens started sounding louder and seemed to be getting closer, although we had just driven away from them.  All of a sudden there were those Sheriff’s busses right in front of us!  They had driven around the block, and were now pulling into the Target parking lot from the other side of the intersection.  Nate grumbled under his breath, “What the hell is going on??”

Right then I am reminded of a conversation I had had with my neighbors last year after I had unknowingly gone to Target at the tail end of this event, and wondered why there were so many cop cars around.  They explained to me that every year at Christmas, San Diego Sheriff’s Department hosts an event called Shop with a Cop.  The event starts with numerous volunteer uniformed officers from a variety of agencies who show up at SeaWorld to have breakfast with 300+ underprivileged kids in San Diego, and then escort them in their various police vehicles to Target where they each get to spend a $100 gift card for Christmas.  This all comes from grants and donations.

I start explaining this to Nate as we are ushered to park in front of the Ralph’s parking lot, since the Target lot is cordoned off for the officers.  There are hundreds of varying police vehicles including the Sheriff’s busses, swat vans, motorcycles, cops on horses, and don’t forget the helicopter circling above us.  There are kids on the vehicle intercoms of the police cars singing Jingle Bells, and shouting Merry Christmas!  As if it couldn’t get any more festive, then comes Santa and Mrs. Claus in an old fashioned, antique looking police car.  As I am taking this all in with wide-eyed wonder, Nate has been huffing and puffing and says, “You’ve gotta be sh*tting me.”  He tells me we are going home, and I nearly rip his head off vehemently arguing that we are absolutely not missing this.  So he begrudgingly loads the kids into a cart, and we make our way into the store.  Nate is still bitching and grumbling about the crowd and how we’re, “Never gonna get out of here,” when he stops cold because he notices that I’m crying.  He asks me what’s wrong, and I respond, “It’s just so magical.”

It really was a beautiful event to witness, full of Christmas cheer and the spirit of giving.  But also I was clearly a hormonal mess, so happy that my hubby is home this year, and fully enjoying everything Christmas has to offer.  So all in all, I had an amazing holiday season, all the crowds and stress and family drama included.  Also I am thrilled that my hormones have been driving me around happy land, rather than bitchy, angry town.  And I’m just gonna enjoy it while it lasts, lol.

Here are some pix of our holiday festivities.  I was too busy crying to take pix of the Shop with a Cop event, and too distracted haggling with Nate to take pix at the Christmas tree lot.  But there are some other pictures of things we did.  Like wandering around the Irvine Spectrum and riding the carousel.

Visiting the always hilarious Ocean Beach Christmas tree.

Dressing up for Nate’s command Christmas party which was a Great Gatsby theme.

Visiting Santa, of course.

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Decorating the Christmas tree.

And finally, opening presents Christmas morning with family.

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