Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Don't call us; we'll call you! hee hee
In all seriousness, I ask that you give us at least until Sunday before you start calling; so we can connect again as a family. Of course, I'm sure he will be calling people as soon as he gets settled, but leave it up to him to decide when that will be before that time.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The problem is in how the campaign is attempting to bring military spouses
to the discussions with Michelle. They are asking members of Blue Stars for
Obama to go out and seek other military spouses, who are not signed on to Blue
Stars for Obama, in order to drum up large crowds for the events.
are known to be contacting other military wives, urging them to take part in a
political event; the rough equivalent of “undue command pressure” — unacceptable
behavior considering that spouses of junior officers or enlisted personnel can
sometimes be intimidated by a request or admonition from the wife of a senior
officer or enlisted military member. After all, the senior officers and enlisted
write or have input on the fitness reports for those under their purview (”I
can’t cross the chief officer’s or master sergeant’s wife; her husband holds my
husband’s career in his hands”).
Since the military member cannot take part
in publicly supporting a particular candidate, it has always been understood
among military wives that it is also inappropriate for a military member’s
spouse to use her position in the military community to solicit others toward
her personal political views via access she has gained to e-mail addresses,
phone numbers and other networking avenues available to her within the military
On Tuesday, as people from all walks of life come together in common purpose to begin the work of renewing America's promise, my daughters and I will stand beside my husband as he takes the oath of office as the 44th president of the United States.
People have asked me how I'll feel at that moment. As a wife, I'll be thinking about how proud I am of my husband and how I believe so deeply that he will be an extraordinary president. As a mother, I'll be bursting with pride at the thought of my girls now being able to envision endless choices for themselves and the joy it will be to watch them grow up in the White House. And as a daughter, I'll be profoundly grateful to my parents, knowing that I am here only because of their lifetime of faith and hard work.
They're my proof that the American promise endures. It's that promise we all share — that our children might grow up with unlimited possibility, that our families might know the dreams of opportunity and prosperity, that people in every nation might look at the proud banner of this country and know the boundless meaning of hope.
As I take on my newest role — First Lady — I'll be thinking about what that promise means to all those whom I've had the humbling privilege to meet these past two years on the campaign trail: Americans across the country who opened their doors and hearts to share their stories with me — stories I carry to this day.
I particularly cherished my visits with military families all across the country. I met so many strong and inspiring military spouses eager to share their stories, their dreams for the future and the unique challenges they face because of their families' selfless service to our country.
And if there's one thing I learned, it's that when our servicemen and women go to war, their families go with them. I saw how they take care of each other, heard how they fill in whenever the system fails and discovered that the trials they faced always were matched by the hope they shared that better days are still ahead.
The simple 35-word oath my husband will take and the peaceful transfer of power it completes makes it easy to forget that the great fortune of our citizenship isn't free at all. It's a responsibility inherited only because generations of Americans have fought and bled and died for it.
So as I watch Barack take that oath, I'll be thinking especially about those members of our American family who stand guard across the world and the loved ones who await their safe return. Because even as we mark this moment in American history, there still will be empty seats at the dinner table; there still will be spouses struggling to juggle roles and responsibilities; there still will be children who mark the passing of a birthday without Mommy and toddlers who know their father only by a grainy video stream from a far-flung corner of the globe.
My husband and I are deeply grateful for the sacrifices that these families make to protect all American families. And we join them — today and every day — in praying for their loved ones and their safety. They don't ask a lot in return, just a Washington that understands the challenges they face as part of their extraordinary commitment to our country.
My husband understands that commitment, and he will ensure America lives up to its end. As military families join us on Tuesday, in person and in spirit, I want each and every one of them to know that for as long as I have the tremendous honor of being your First Lady, your voices will be heard, you will have an advocate in the White House, and the American promise you preserve always will extend to you, too.
All of us can learn a fundamental lesson from our military families: You don't need to wear a uniform to serve your country. We all have something to contribute to the life of this nation.
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And to honor the legacy of a man who believed that everybody could be great because anybody can serve, my family and I will spend the day performing activities in service to others. And we'll ask all Americans to join us in making an ongoing commitment to serve their community and their country, because in this new season of hope, that's the only way we'll begin renewing America's promise for all who reach for it and all who defend it — as one nation and one people.
On Tuesday night, my husband and I will tuck in our daughters like we always do. Their bedrooms will be different, their home unfamiliar. But they will drift off to sleep protected by that same sacrifice that has kept all of our families safe and safeguarded our freedom for generations — the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and their families.
For that, we could not be more grateful — or more proud.
Because when you turn around, you'll have to decide whether to laugh or cry at the mess; and whether to be impressed or stupified at how cleverly she discovered how to undo all that you just did the past week.
Ok, new prep list for Rafe coming home:
Kid is alive - check
Spouse is alive - check
Car can get to the airport and back - check
Everything else is gonna have to be put on hold for a while.
All I can say is that he better not surprize me with a phone call telling me he is AT the airport in Savannah and could I please come pick him up? It's been so long since I had mascara on I need at least half an hour to get it right!
Anyway, my best guess is that he is still overseas, but getting ready for his flight to the US from a safer country in the Middle East. My friends and I figure he will show up early Thursday morning, so hopefully I'll get a call tomorrow confirming that. Since I have two doctor appointments tomorrow in cities hours apart and some last minute details to wrap up that would work out well.
Monday, January 26, 2009
So now she walks around talking about her daddy from Iraq coming to visit, and then going back to Iraq. She is processing things this week by playing with her dolls. She points to herself and says "baby" and wants to be rocked like a baby. Then she'll jump out of my arms, run off and change her doll's diaper, all the while telling them about daddy and his things around the house - she went to the quilt hanging on the wall and said "Daddy No Touch" (daddy's quilt, don't touch).
Oddly enough, the one day she didn't do that too much was when we went to the doctor's office. She woke up that morning a bundle of energy and told me all day long she wanted a baby brother. I tried not to read too much into that, but it was hard not to. I have not ever told her why I am going to the doctor or even that we are trying to have another child. The only time we talked about it was when I showed her pictures of Elliot and told her Noah has a baby brother now, and those two incident were days apart.
The most heartbreaking of all is when she says, slowly, "Daddy... home.... soon?", like every moment after that depends on my affirmative answer.
She is getting really excited. She is going around the house, pointing out his stuff and saying, "Daddy's??". I assure her it's Daddy's; and she talks about all the stuff they will do together when he gets home. Apparently killing a bug is one of them. A girl after mom's own heart!
If you are dependents of the military member, you can meet them at the gate with a pass from the airlines when they are coming home. So as soon as we know what US airlines he gets on, we will be getting our pass to meet him at the gate. I don't even want to wait to see him at the Baggage claim!! I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about seeing him again. I hope I hold it together while we are waiting there for him to show up.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I depart here really late tomorrow evening. It is all just as well since the late departure will help me readjust my body clock to my true home(you).
I love my husband! I would tell you the 4 cities he has to fly to in order to get home, but I'd have to kill you after I told you. He will be home sometime in the next 3-5 days. YIPPEEEEE!!
Yesterday he was able to sit down and look at the blog again for the first time in a while. He told me it was one of the best things I could have done for his deployment. Rafe said that as he sat reading, he was no longer in Iraq, but at home with us, with his extended family, and the desert just disappeared. He couldn't stop smiling as he read through all of our holiday adventures. So I know I posted a LOT for January, but those hours and hours of work were worth it.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I saw a fertility specialist on Wednesday who told me that I needed "luck" to get pregnant. I have between a .5% and a 1% chance of getting pregnant again. Not good odds. He is treating me as a medical oddity and to be honest, tells me the only reason I am still his patient is that my body reacts to fertility meds like a much younger woman and he's curious what will happen. He is definitely not a "false hope" kind of guy.
We would love to have the noise and laughter of more children in this house, and I ask for your prayers that we are able to conceive a healthy child.
At least one congressperson so far has stepped up and nobly offered his district as a place to house the
"Sure, I'd take 'em," said [Pennsylvania's Rep. Jack]
Murtha, an outspoken critic of the Iraq war. "They're no more dangerous in my
district than in Guantanamo."
What an idiot. I'm thinking I should start a seperate blog for my rants on the new political climate. I don't feel any safer with Obama as president. I mentioned to someone today about what a careless decision it was to close it in a year. This individual replied, "Is it? Obama knows exactly what he's doing".... and as I thought about it, it became chilling.
No birth certificate. No security clearance. Close Gitmo. Seriously restrict gun rights. Pull troops out of Iraq way too early to finish stabilization (how long did it take for the US to finally get civilized? Wild West anyone?). Create a paramilitary to "take the pressure off our armed forces" answerable to him. Run for a third term.
Do you think I'm making this stuff up? I wish I was. Do the research. There's more, but I'll stop for now.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Short Daddy and Tall Daddy
Rafe, click on this one so you can see it better. It's a little dark.
This normally only looks like this during the day when Amelia is playing. We clean it up each night. It's not as much as it looks like; it's just all contained in one spot. The rest of the house is pretty much toy free. Plus lots of those toys are baby toys still; I need to weed them out.
I had just written a huge post about why the first six months of this deployment and all of last year was basically a wash, then I accidentally deleted it. So instead, I am going to give Rafe a sneak preview of what he will see in some (not all) of the rooms... and this is my year of transformation! I am going to finish it!
I just received an email with one word in it... surpriSe!!! It made me laugh out loud.
(I make one of my best friendz crasy becauze I alwayz spell that word wrong. Consistently. No matter how many times she has told me how to spell it. And I have no idea why I can't remember it, and I never use spell check for anything, so she shudders every time she sees me write it. hee hee hee )
Read the post about Marley
People ask me all the time how my sister gets things done with 9 kids. If you want to know about a typical morning in their household, you will have to read this. The funny thing is that I actually called her during this whole thing and she was quite calm on the phone and never mentioned a word to me about it. That shows me how much she must love me, as I was calling to "cry on her shoulder" about my doctor visit this morning and I never knew the whirlwind she was in.
I've been there. Trust me when I say, that's not unusual to have that kind of excitement before 9 in the morning.
I started a blog for my sister and her family right after we came back from Missouri. It's sweet, hysterically funny and so them all at the same time. They can't quite get the hang of posting under their own names as some of them aren't computer savvy (not naming any names, Lisa), so it might be confusing for a bit. But they can all either write on there or tell their stories to someone who can type it.
I was going to get some construction paper and make a chain out of it with her - each link to signify the days we have left until Daddy comes home. But now that we have all those pages painted, I am going to cut them in strips with her tomorrow and we're going to make them into the chain instead.
Each day we will tear one strip off the chain so she can get a physical sense of when he is coming home and how close it is. I am adding a few extra chains for the days that he might spend in travel. We actually won't know when he gets here until about 12 hours before he is supposed to show up. I just have a three day window of time that I am supposed to be ready to go pick him up at the airport.
I am not too excited or nervous yet. I think I'll feel it more once I see the chain made myself.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
But every. single. time. I get a newsletter, I wade through tons of promos and sales and opportunities to waste money...oops I mean buy the most expensive alternative out there to help my baby. I find myself getting more and more irritated every time I skim through the newsletter at the heavy marketing and what seems to me someone taking huge advantage of mothers fears and concerns in order to make money. And moms buy it, hook, line and sinker without doing more research.
Today I had to laugh and finally decide to cancel the subscription when I read "tell your child we don't take out our nummies in public" as advice FROM A DOCTOR to a woman who wanted to breastfeed after one year.
She had been told by her own doctor that breastmilk wasn't nutritionally sound after one year and wanted the scientific evidence for that. Instead of giving her a clear cut answer, Dr. Jim advised her to nurse at home to avoid the public opinion poll, called breasts "nummies" ::::shudder::::, and told her the APA recommends breastfeeding for one year and as long as possible after that. Totally leaving out the clarification she asked for. He should have told her that it is still nutritionally as sound as it ever was, but that after the first year it doesn't really have the distinct nutritional advantages over food that it does during roughly the first year; and that the real advantage from breastfeeding longer is the nurturing aspect of it with the nutrition running second.
It really gives me the heebie jeebies to think of kids running around calling their mom's breasts "nummies".
Let's hope President Obama chooses well.
It's bittersweet to watch Marine One fly away, for more than one reason.
Farewell, President Bush. I admire your strength of conviction and courage.
The last poem - started off great, went to funny and cute, and ended in insulting. "let the white man do right"... as if no white man ever did anything that was "right" with integrity, among other things. Let's sub black for white and see how long it would take for Rev. J. Jackson to get his panties tied in an knot.
I think reverse racism is just as bad as racism.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I often wonder what it will be like when we live together full time again. We didn't have any children the last time we spent any time in one spot together for any length of time. Now we have Amelia, who will be 3 by the time he comes home. I imagine what our routines will be like and how we'll fit as a family.
This homecoming is like a bit of a trial - a miniscule glimpse of what our lives might be like. On the other hand, if we get pregnant again, as we plan on trying to do one more time, then it will be a moment in time lost forever.
I often wonder if people who don't know anyone in the military REALLY get the sacrifice that the military makes for them. Those guys over there, and over here, spend an enormous amount of time away from their families and there is no way around that. But getting rid of the military is an asinine solution that some extreme liberals are enamoured of; somewhat akin to doing away with the local police in your home town because you think people are inherently good and will do the right thing, regardless of who is watching.
I was throwing up for 4 hours straight and then Amelia started today. From 930am until she stopped at around 430. I'm getting the carpets cleaned tomorrow, because she missed the bucket a few times. Poor thing. I desperately wanted to send Rafe to the store for some 7up or Sprite. A lovely neighbor stopped by with a bag of apples, bananas, and pedialyte for us; rang the doorbell and left it on the front porch. We're lucky to live here.
These clothes are soft, colorful, stretchy cotton and I love them on Amelia! My sister picked up two outfits for me when she was in San Diego. I wanted to buy something colorful for her to have pictures taken in. It killed me to pay full price but I didn't have a choice at the time, I needed some "dressy fun" clothes for the pictures.
But now they are on sale!! 40% OFF!
I'm telling everyone this so you will rush right over and buy so they will run out and I won't be tempted.
I will say, buy large. I think they run about a half size small, and it's stretchy cotton so they will fit snugly a size larger, and still have room to grow into them.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I can only imagine how it will feel for Rafe to come home to the United States after seeing desert for so long.
The first time I went to Texas to visit my sister, I was shocked at how unrelentingly brown Texas seemed to be. Perhaps it was just the season, but while I was there I became used to the odd beauty of Texas, plain and raw boned. When I went back to Iowa, my eyes were amazed by the contrasting lush landscape. I could not get over how green everything was.
Both of us can only allow ourselves to get just a little used to each other again. He needs to stay in Marine mode, because he's going right back into the fray and those two weeks will pass so quickly. To this end, he sent me a leave plan so we can make the most efficient use of our time possible. :) hee hee... Three pages long!
Believe it or not, I love it. It's a timeline that combined our schedule with his, along with a list of things we can do while he is home. It's actually a pretty amazing document. There are two things I particularly love about this plan. In his outline of how the day that begins in Kuwait will go (he flies there from Iraq first, and then to the US), there is an entry that says, "Go home where I belong". What wife wouldn't melt at reading that?
The second best part - he's doing the cooking!!! I'm so excited. He wants to give me a break from all my hard work. Can you imagine that? HE's the one fighting and living in the tent, and he wants to give ME a break. I'm so impressed. I'm a lucky woman!
"To know after absence the familiar street and road and village and house is to know again the satisfaction of home."
Friday, January 16, 2009
Then I put the frozen stock on top of the onions and let it melt and then simmer.
I dumped in a can of beef consomme (bought from the dented section, 30 cents), seasoned with freshly cracked pepper and let it simmer for a few minutes.
A few days earlier, I toasted some rye bread ends that I had gotten for free at a local natural foods store. They make sandwiches from the bread and never use the ends, so they put them in a big basket free for the taking. They use all kinds of organic breads, so I usually take a bag or two and use them for croutons, bread crumbs, toast, etc.
When the soup was done, I put it in a small soup crock, topped it with toasted rye bread and some swiss cheese - perfect for the cold nights we've been having recently. I am going to freeze the rest of it I think. I pureed some for Amelia to eat. She doesn't seem to like chunky soups so I just give her stuff a whirl in the blender. She loved it - that's a success for me considering it was the first time she had it. I'm hoping I can get her to eat a wider variety of foods if I puree them in soups.
Every once in a while I go in there with Amelia to window shop when she gets a little stir crazy and it's rainy or cold outside. I went in there this week and found a two drawer nightstand, very nice...original price 129$ on sale for 29$. I noticed it had a bit of paint chipped off and I asked if that was why the price was so low. It turned out to be a closeout piece and they took even more money off! It's white and girly and perfect for Amelia. I needed something but I hate paying full price for anything, or even half price for that matter.
As I was walking out, I saw a bunch of purses on sale, half off. All name brands, but the only one I really recognized was Coach. I took a peek and about fell over. These purses were normally in the 200-300 dollar range and up! Who buys those things? I asked the lady at the counter and she said they were just selling last years styles, that people buy them there all the time. Holy Moly. Even at half off they were way too expensive. Then she told me that sometimes they mark them off 75%. Amazing.
Just kidding. I made it for lunch. It's a whole wheat tortilla; ground beef cooked with carrots, onions, green peppers and enchilada sauce; spinach, wheat germ and sharp cheddar cheese. It was amazingly delicious. Believe it or not, the spinach was great in it.
This is what Amelia made for lunch.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Mia: YES! I BITE MORE! (and the little turkey is grinning at me)
I couldn't stop laughing at the two of them. Every time Amelia would take her hands off her duck head, it would fall down in her face. After a while, she just walked around like that. It was so funny that I pretended not to hear her when she asked me to fix it. hee hee Bad Mommy
It's bittersweet. Even as I am getting her used to the idea that Daddy is coming for a visit, I am already preparing her for him to leave again. I have to remind her that Daddy is only coming to see us for a short while (2 weeks), and then he will be gone again for a very, very, very long time (6 months). This will be the hardest leave-taking for us that we've experienced so far. At 2 1/2, she really is aware of the people in her life and their relationship to her. It has to be handled delicately so that she accepts it as a normal part of life and not something to be deeply sad about.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Note how HARD Todd is working in this picture!!