Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sleepless Nights

Sleepless nights. That's what happens when your soldier is deployed downrange.
Mostly, you can't sleep because that familiar comfortable shape that is usually next to you is not there anymore.
It's also the comfort of knowing you have back-up during the night. Because he's a man. And a soldier. And he's paid to know how to fight. He protects.

On the one month anniversary of his departure, the phone rang at 12:40am. Not my phone. Not MK's phone. Not the landline. Not the skypes on mine or MK's computers. But somebody else's phone rang right outside my bathroom window.

I heard it because all night long my 100 pound dog wouldn't stop going off on barking frenzies. He was keyed up. Kept wanting to go outside. Kept wanting to out back. Basically, just driving me crazy with the barking.

Right before I headed to bed, he went on a barking frenzy and ran at the kitchen door. I shushed him. He'd been doing this off and on for several hours. Kind of like the boy who cried "wolf". I stopped believing him. I did a visual inspection through the windows. All of my exterior lights were on, as usual.

That's when I heard it. I had headed down the hallway to turn on the light in MK's bathroom for a night light. I turned on the light, checked in on my sleeping MK, walked back down the hallway and that's when I heard it. It only rang once and was shut off pretty quickly.

It didn't sound like my ring tone. Plus, I was holding my cell phone in my hand. I went back to MK's room to see if her skype was ringing and to find her phone. Her phone was laying next to her in the bed. The ringing had come from one of the bathrooms.

I was frozen. It took me about five minutes to look up the SB MP phone number and dial them. My phone wouldn't cooperate. My fingers wouldn't cooperate. But, I finally dialed and spoke to desk seargeant and the MP's came very quickly.

The MP's came and walked around my house for almost an hour. The dog continued to bark randomly for several more hours. Mostly because I think he was spooked. MK slept through it all.

Eleven more months until my protector comes home. But, for now, I'll keep this 100 pound deep-throat barking protective dog.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our happy little family is separated by 15,000 miles.
Matt is on his second deployment since we moved to Hawaii in 2009. One year down in Iraq, a little over a year at home with us and now another year in Afghanistan.
He left last month, January.
And despite all of the grand-standing and promises of politicians, He's still going to be gone for a year. I wonder who exactly IS getting those promised 9 month deployments?

MK and I are trying to make the best of it. The last time he deployed, we had just moved to Hawaii, moved into our housing and he left. We didn't have to time to build a support network. We moved into a unit that had already bonded through a previous deployment together. We were outsiders. That was the hardest year of our married life.

This time, we've been here longer and have managed to make friends. But, I still seem to be the outsider.

MK is doing to so much better this time around. She loves her school. She has a happy attitude. She's adjusting.

This time, I am working on self. Boot camp work outs, healthier lifestyle. Trying to stay positive. Get more involved in my community.

I don't feel like I am succeeding, though.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hanging Out

I have forgotten how to hang out.

How do you hang out when all of the people in your immediate circle have small children and your one and only child is a teenager?

How do you hang out with people who are all more than a decade younger than you?

My house is not child-proofed. My 100 pound dog is not child-proofed for that matter. I don't have a play room to send all of the little kids to go play. I can't put the kids outside because that's where the dog needs to be so he doesn't knock them all over in his joyful exuberance to have children around.

When I do have a get together at my house, the small kids end up taking over the living room with our leftover playmobil toys from Germany and a TV turned onto the kiddie shows. That means, no grown-up music to listen to and stepping over small toy parts and small kid parts.

Not to mention mommy conversations tend to revolve around your children. And I'm no longer in the diapering, nursing, terrible two's, potty training, preschool topics.

I want to hang out. I want to dust off my Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker and try out some new frozen concoctions. I want to invite friends over. I want to go over to friend's houses, too.

When you are a 43 year old Army wife with a deployed spouse, how do you make friends to hang out?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Dog Part

This is Mousse. He is 100 pounds of chocolate Mousse.

He doesn't know that he is 100 lbs.

He forgets his doggy manners. A lot.

He knows when I have been to Petco and or Ross.

He loves squeaky toys, fetching things over and over again, and pooping in the neighbor's yard. New toys last just a couple of hours before the stuffing is spread out all over my house.

It is his number one mission to remove every single squeaker from his squeaky toys.

He likes to go for walks.

He knows how to spell W.A.L.K. So we tried to say "taking you know who for a you know what".

He knows what that means, too.

I don't walk him anymore. He drags me for a mile and a half.

This is "the Mousse".