Friday, December 26, 2008

And to All a Goodnight!

This was the first year Turner really "got" the whole gift thing. I was so excited I practically threw him down the stairs. He was a little confused but the realized there were some new toys out. He first recognized that the tree had gifts under it. Then, he saw the Thomas stuff in his stocking and went for that. After a little coaxing, he started investigating his trampoline and that was really fun! My little Nern is such a cautious kid, he always asks first. We'll see how long that lasts...

We had a great time opening gifts, sifting through tiny bits of paper and trying not to get stabbed by the tree. Ollie was in to EVERYTHING. We realized he's a wire chewer and that's no fun...

In all, Turner got waaaaaay too much. Trains, track, cars, trucks, a Sprig Rig, clothes, trampoline, musical instruments, doctor kits and the list goes on and on. Ollie got the usual 6 month old toys. It was just fun to get up early and enjoy John's gingerbread pancakes and turkey and apple sausage!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Military and Civilian Wives

I was setting up the move to Jacksonville and just starting to feeling like our shore tour is really coming to an end. All of the top-siders in John's class are home, relaxing. It's 3:40. I know this will never happen for us, again. Shore duty is really ending. Not that we won't go back on a shore tour, but this one has been so long and quiet (except having kids!). Our next shore tour will be busier and feel like sea duty. We really got to live like our "civilian" friends. John came home from work every night, we got cozy in our little neighborhood in Monterey and just lived happy! I came across this on a webiste that I check...

The Difference Between Military and Civilian Wives:

Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a home and putting down family roots. Military spouses get married and know they'll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they can be transplanted frequently.

Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will last a lifetime. Military spouses decorate a home with flare tempered with the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same size rooms. Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus. Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces.

Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used. Military spouses have immaculate living room/dining room combos. The coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany, but it still looks pretty good.

Other spouses say good-bye to their spouse for a business trip and know they won't see them for a week. They are lonely, but can survive. Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they won't see them for months, or for a remote, a year. They are lonely, but will survive.

Other spouses, when a washer hose blows off, call Maytag and then write a check out for getting the hose reconnected. Military spouses will cut the water off and fix it themselves.

Other spouses get used to saying "hello" to friends they see all the time. Military spouses get used to saying "good-bye" to friends made the last two years. -This is probably the hardest!

Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president next year. Military spouses worry about whether their child will be accepted in yet another new school next year and whether that school will be the worst in the city ... again.

Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special events ... birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation, and even the birth of a child. Military spouses only count on each other; because they realize that the Flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. It has to be that way.

Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled across the globe and take them down when the troops come home. Military spouses wear yellow ribbons around their hearts and they never go away.

Other spouses worry about being late for mom's Thanksgiving dinner. Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for dad's funeral.

And other spouses are touched by the television program showing an elderly lady putting a card down in front of a long, black wall that has names on it. The card simply says "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You would have been sixty today." A military spouse is the lady with the card. And the wall is the Vietnam Memorial.

I would never say military spouses are better or worse than other spouses are. But I will say there is a difference. And I will say that our country asks more of military spouses than is asked of other spouses. And I will say without hesitation, that military spouses pay just as high a price for freedom as do their active duty husbands or wives. Perhaps the price they pay is even higher. Dying in service to our country isn't nearly as hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country and having to live without them.

God bless our military spouses for All they freely give!

Author Unknown

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Offical!

We've got orders! I mean, we already knew we were headed to Mayport Naval Station but now we've got the papers to prove it. Or, at least I know they're online and "offical." It's funny, because Jacksonville was our 8th choice (out of 10) but I cannot imagine going to our top three choices right now (Japan, Hawaii, San Diego). With John deploying twice, and all the other underway times I need to be able to lean on my family.

Jacksonville was our 8th choice just because we thought we weren't ready for the east coast yet. Our goal was to not get back to the same duty station twice, until we were forced to. As it turns out, we were forced to. I guess all the front-runners for John's peer group were sent to be CHENGS -Chief Engineers, the people that make the ships run. John was #1 (excuse my horn-tooting) in his class and, so to a broke-ass friggate we go...

I'm afraide we're going to enjoy Jacksonville and not want to leave. I really want to make the most of the nomadic life-style we signed up for and then be able to settle a little when the kids are in high school. We'll see how that works out...

Time to do the SmartWeb Move stuff!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Must Be Nice

John will often come home and tell me about his day (mostly after I've told him about mine), which usually includes going to the gym and getting some sort of break for lunch. To which I sometimes reply "Must be nice..." It comes out especially easy after a long day with the kiddos. I don't mean to do it, but I think it's a defense mechanisim of sorts. I sometimes get frustrated and it just falls out.

It doesn't sound like a big deal...but it is when you consider the fact that he'll be deploying soon. He will be away from his boys, the loves of his life, for 6 months (at least...not counting work-ups and subsequent deployments within our 18 month tour). I am starting to cringe at the thought. I cried last night thinking about how it will affect Turner. When John comes home from work now, Turner rips off John's cover and throws it. Any time John is in uniform, Turner has a hard time making sense of the situation -especially if John is just home for lunch. What makes it hard is that Turner's at the age where Daddy = Buddy. It just gets confusing for him since he doesn't understand time. "Yes, Turner, Daddy is coming home but not for 21 more weeks." All he hears is "yes" but daddy doesn't walk in the door that night, again.

Will Ollie even understand? He'll know Daddy's gone but will have no way to express his feelings. It's killing me. BUT, I have to get in to a better frame of mind. I know any stress will be projected on the kids. There will be no crying at the fence (well, I only cried at night), no whining. Just a lot of hugs and kiss for my boys and empathy for my husband. He is a better person that I will ever be. I could never leave my kids, even if it was a direct order. There aren't many people, aside from the brave people that serve our country, that can leave their babies and not complain.

I promise to never, again, said "Must be nice..." He might get a break during lunch, or get to go to the gym more than I do...but he's got the harder job. By far.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Fun!

I am SO excited for Christmas this year. Turner knows how to tear open gifts and it just makes everything fun when you see the look on his face! Eli is a grabby little monster, so I'm sure he'll have fun too.

Gifts for Turner
trampoline (I'm anticipating lots of indoor time this winter)
rocker for his reading corner in his room
tons of Thomas stuff from our Day Out with Thomas
an Elmo doctor kit
new trucks
play food for his shopping cart
a velcro mit and ball
stocking stuffers (dinosaurs, random plastic animals, an Army helment, small toys)

Gifts for Eli
Laugh and Learn Kitchen (which also doubles for an additional toy for Turner!)
a cool rattle ball that he can push around since he's crawling!
lots of other random toys I found
more spoons! E loves some Sassy brand flexible spoons!

We've put up the few decos we owned and I just raided Marshalls and TJMaxx with the dream of finding Potterybarn-esque things. I'm making my PB-ish wreath. It's $100 bucks right now so I paid $19.99 for a real (huge) plain wreath from the NEX. I bought small and large red and silver glass ornaments ($8 for all) that I'm going to stick on with floral wiring. Cute for now...until I can pretend PB is going to have a blow-out sale and I'll get the really pretty wreath I want!

Now, it's on to creative, inexpensive, decorations for the rest of the house...until I get to go after-Christmas shopping!