Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When is it enough?

Well, I have been trucking along through my pregnancy and trying to enjoy the last few weeks with my husband before he deploys for the 4th time.

We had been pretty happy with our unit here--they honestly seem to care about Soldiers and their families. This pre-deployment train-up has been insane, thanks to actions of a previous brigade commander that was relieved for a "lack of confidence in his abilities". Since returning home last August, hubby has been in the field for over 1/3 of that time. But, I dealt...because you have to.

Recent news has pushed me to my breaking point. I don't know if I can hang anymore. And if anyone wants to know why company grade officers leave the Army, the answer is coming. (But let us also not fail to mention the extreme experience gap between company grades and field grades/general officers. CGs have been deployed multiple times in their short careers, often more than an FG or GO---how can the 2 groups possibly relate on matters of family time and multiple deployment stress?)

After the requisite recon visit to downrange, it was determined that hubby's company take on a different mission set. Suffice it to say, it's not what they spent the better part of 2011 training for. So now, there has to be more overnight training on the eve of deployment. Fail #1.

Hubby is being moved under a different battalion commander. One that isn't so sympathetic to our family's needs. After months of being promised that my husband would be here for the birth of our daughter, we are now being told to "suck it up". I even learned that my husband had to sign a dwell time waiver, so that he could deploy without completing 12 months "at home".

So, I want to know, when does my family sacrifice enough? Or all of these promises about family time only for junior soldiers? I am not foolish enough to believe that my husband would ever get the 10-day paternity leave, but I was foolish enough to believe that someone might have a heart and let him stay back for just 2-3 days to be here. I would even be happy if he could be there for delivery, but had to leave later that day. I don't want much. I was foolish enough to believe that the 4-star responsible for signing the dwell time waivers, would stick to his promise and not sign any. But, 11 months is almost 12 and he is a leader, so....I should just expect to be drop kicked and suffer.

Why does my family not have an advocate? Do senior captains really not matter that much?

There are a lot of factors going in to this, but there is a good chance that my husband wouldn't get R&R, either. So, I am left looking at a future where my husband leaves, my child is born a few days later, and he then returns to a 12-month old.

I. am. pissed. Since I learned this, not a day has gone by that it doesn't make me nearly ill or have me crying at some point. When do I get something?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting used to it...

Well, we only have a little over a week left in the final pre-deployment train up. They have definitely held true to their word that it's training for the families, too!

We have been prepped that Afghanistan is not Iraq. With Iraq this last time (OIF 09-10), he had wireless internet in his room and we Skyped every day. Afghanistan will allot us a few 5 minute phone calls a month and a few emails. I hear from him every few days to check on our FRG (I'm the leader) and that's about all we have time to talk about.

On one hand, I'm glad he's going to get this opportunity to be in command the whole deployment. At the same time, I can't believe we are that "old" and grown up, either. On the other hand, I still fret about how I will keep him involved in our daughter's life during her first year. Do we just scrap it? And still on the other hand (I have 3 hands in this model), I can't believe this is his 4th deployment and he will have spent part of every year deployed 2004-2012. I worry about him and our Army family. We have had one really rough deployment before and I don't know if I have the emotional stamina to endure any more funerals of people taken too soon.

My mom flew in on the 24th to hang out for a week and a half. We've done so much! We've gone shopping in Schweinfurt, done day trips to Wuerzburg, Bamberg (yay for the big H&M there) and Nuremberg. Plus, we went down to IKEA one day to see if we could find a chair for baby's room. Didn't find a chair, but I did get a cute print to hang over the crib (still waiting for AAFES to deliver it to our PX) and curtains for her room. Hubby gets to hang them when he gets back.

Speaking of getting back, once hubby is home from the field, we're going on our last hurrah before the deployment/baby comes. We're doing 3 days in Dublin and 2 in Brussels.

In baby news, I have my glucose test this week and then have to get my Rhogam shot to protect against making blood antibodies that aren't good for the baby. I took my mom up to the hospital where I'll deliver yesterday and she got to meet one of the midwives and look around the birthing rooms. She's more than a little nervous about me having a baby over here since she's a labor and delivery nurse back in Texas. But, I'm pretty sure lots of babies are born here all the time and they turn out just fine. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Picky, picky

I have the unfortunate habit of creating "visions"--usually for rooms and outfits. I'll look at a dress and think "that would go great with a 1940s-ish platform heel with a wide-ish heel, but not chunky heel in black suede". (Calvin Klein made such a shoe in Fall 2009, by the way)

So, with baby's room I've been pretty specific. I am not super girly, so I knew I didn't want to do pink/purple, but I didn't want it to look like a "boy" room, either. So, I knew I wanted a white crib with a solid back. I'm not worried about it converting to a full-sized bed since we currently own 3 queen sized beds. (UGH) Well, European baby cribs are huge prison-esque monstrosities and usually come in a wood veneer (and aren't white). So those were out. Amazon has a ton! But since we can only receive mail via the USPS and it has a 77lb shipping limit, no one will ship it. Boo. So finally I relented and went to the PX. The PX utilizes a "consumer popularity" stocking system. Right now, apparently consumers are into dark cherry and espresso cribs. And if they want a white one, it's apparently a Jenny Lind style (I do not like Jenny Lind cribs). So, I had to break down and order one...it should be here in 3-6 months! Hopefully closer to 3. Baby comes in less than 5!

The bedding we picked is an alphabet theme! I love it so much--it just came in the mail today!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And out again

Hubby came home from a month in the field for a 4 day. He went back today with his company for some training that couldn't be fit in during the month. He left in the cover of night, as per the usual.

We decided on a name...I'm hesitant to announce it. People can be so freaky about names. I told my mom and honestly, I was terrified she would hate it! Luckily she did not :)

The doc hasn't called, so I'm guessing I didn't come in contact with rubella! It still blows my mind that I had 2 doses of the MWR vaccine and I had zero immunity to rubella.

I ate carpaccio at a restaurant afew days ago. A friend asked if I should really be eating raw meat when pregnant. What astounds me is most people don't realize that the risk of eating raw foods (eggs, meat, etc) is the same for pregnant and non-pregnant. It is the illness that poses a greater risk. If I was in the states, I wouldn't be eating raw foods because of the atrocious farming practices. But I am confident in the way Europeans treat farm animals. There is a much smaller risk of getting salmonella or e. coli from a German cow than from a bag of American spinach. And that fact is exceedingly sad.

We went to Wuerzburg the other day to get some stuff for the baby's room. She now has an armoire and a dresser/changer (well, really it's just a dresser upon which a changing pad will be placed). The only thing we have to really buy now is a crib and the mattress. I'm waiting for the big PX in Europe to get some white cribs in stock...

My classes are going well. My morning clients are awesome! They are really committed to form and they are a consistent group. My evening classes have a bit of a vagabond feel and I struggle with getting one-timers to squat correctly and not injure themselves...it frustrates me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Names

As soon as people find out you're pregnant, they want to know what you're naming your little bean.

We have been thinking about names for years, but now it's go time! When we found out we were having a beanette, we had to start from square one. The boy bean would have had a name, but girl names are so difficult. Especially with our bear of a surname.

So, every time I divulge it's a girl, people immediately pounce about names. And then seem utterly disappointed when I don't have one that I like. Let's also consider the fact that I haven't seen my husband since we found out and our phone conversations are limited to 5-8 minute spurts regarding soldiers and families.

Plus, I'm terrified of people telling me they hate this and that, because the only person they ever knew that had that name was an obese lesbian. (Thanks, Mom)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cut the BS

I've been blogging for awhile. I've seen a lot of stuff come and go in that time. Most noticeably, I noticed a style arise when everyone's favorite "poor old ranch wife" Pioneer Woman really took off. The "self-deprecating, but my life is just what I always wanted" schtick is getting OLD people. I mean, if I have to read about another remarkably thin person making some jokey remark about their thunder thighs, I swear.

So, this blog is going to be about how sometimes, I can barely keep it together. As of right now, I am sitting in a 58 degree house next to a space heater, thousands of miles from my mom and a few hours away from my husband. You see, I live in Germany and in our rented house, I'm responsible for buying heating oil. We plunked down $1000 for some in November and were told it would last us 6 months. Well, apparently not. Now we're out unexpectedly and at the end of a month. So I have to wait to be able to buy it.

When did the heat go out? Less than 24 hours after my husband left for the field for a month (he's in the Army). On top of all this, I have some raging pregnancy hormones. So, after realizing that I would be freezing my ass off for a week or more, I sat down in the floor of the shower and cried (but not too long, because our water heater is tiny). Then I started crying because I'm due right around the time my husband leaves for his 4th deployment. It all just started piling up. And it sucked.

Of course on the outside, I act like everything is fine and I do my duties as FRG leader with love for all the families in our unit. But sometimes I just have to acknowledge that life aint pretty.

So there you have it.