Wordy Wednesday…Perspective

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day hubbub. What’s for dinner, who broke that lamp, you have to work howlate, etc… But then I’ll come across stuff like this that catches my breath.

When you’ve said goodbye to your loved one for a deployment you get a heaping spoonful of perspective. But, it can be easy to forget once they’re home again, safe and sound. The next time I’m irritated with traffic, annoyed with a long line or frustrated with my family, I’ll try to think of those whose loved ones are deployed. Those who would give anything to have their better half there to be annoyed with. Hope all is well out there and wishing everyone a good day!



Wordy Wednesday…USO!

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We have been living this military life for almost ten years now, and I can think of so many times that the USO has done awesome things for us.  From Daddy dolls during deployment, free concerts like the Lt. Dan Band, free Sesame Street shows, and DVDs of my husband reading books to the kids that they can watch when he is gone, the USO always does a great job of taking care of military families.  I mean, if you’ve ever traveled with kids and been lucky enough to have a layover at an airport with a USO you know what I mean.  These lounges have a place to put your feet up, watch TV, check email, lots of toys for the kids to play with, even free food sometimes.

Our family has been blessed with the USO so many times, and I know that much of what they do is because of their donors and volunteers.  I was on their webpage today, and there is a way to give back, to help other families receive these same blessings.  There are gift options for all different budgets and interests, so check it out if you are looking for a way for your family to give back during this season of giving.

Go to www.uso.org

Shop the USO Wishbook

Look at ways to give according to interest, recipient, or price.  Click here for more information on how to buy a gift.

Another cool part of giving a gift is that not only is it tax-deductable, you can choose to include an ecard with your gift so that you can include a personal message for recipients.

Even if you don’t give a gift this holiday season, check out http://www.uso.org, there are so many great resources for military families.  Happy middle-of-the-week!

Blank _______

I had goals in my life. I’m sure we all make them at some point. All goals we think normal people want to achieve. Graduating college, getting a job in your field, marriage, family, traveling, maybe even writing a book. I had several.

Age 22 – graduate college
Age 24 – get married
Age 26 – have first child
Age 30 – Cut off for kids

In between all those goals were more: getting my dream job, traveling and writing a book.

I pat myself on the back. I accomplished every goal I had set; and then some. I get a gold star my on chart.

On my 30th birthday, I sat alone on a beach in the rain and cried on the phone to my mom. I had no more goals. I had put a check mark by every one. I had nothing in my life to work for. I felt worthless and blank. Not blank as in _______; I felt blank, empty and emotionless.  I was numb.

I am sure we all have that day. A day of realization that can change the path you are on, or the route you had planned to take. I started writing some things down and realized I needed to create a new set of goals.

I never do well with “grey”. I like my black and white life and knowing (most of the time) what to expect so I can be prepared to handle it. Being caught off guard and having plans changed rattles and makes me feel anxious and afraid. Which is often the daily happenings with two special needs kids and military lifestyle. Just last week, Hubs was suppose to be home from a week long training and at the last moment his homecoming was pushed back a day. I cried. But after the year long hell of a deployment; one week should not have been that earth shattering.

Which leads me back to my opening thought- I have no goals. But maybe the goals I should be setting now are the ones for my family. My life has changed drastically since I first made the goals of graduating college, getting married and so forth. The center of my universe has shifted and in its orbit are three little stars gaining momentum and growing brighter each day.


Therapy Thursday

IMG_1-1What I’ve Learned from Having In-Home Therapy…

We are blessed with having in-home therapy for our two boys that are on the autism spectrum.  This was a new concept for me, having someone in my home on an almost daily basis.  After two years, here are some things I have learned:

1.  Therapists say they don’t care if your house is a mess.

They really don’t.  The first couple of times my son’s therapist came to our home, I made sure everything was in tip-top shape.  You know the drill.  The beds were made, no dirty dishes in the sink, not a crumb to be found on the floor.  I could only keep that up for so long.  They are coming to my house, not a museum, and they don’t expect it to be perfect.  Their attentions are focused on helping my kiddo, not on the clutter on my counter.

2.  Kids will use the fact that they are in their own home to “escape.”

My kids’ favorite “escape” is to run into my room to “see mommy.”  Sometimes that is their true motive, but sometimes they just want to jump on my bed and avoid their work.  This is a situation that wouldn’t come up in a more clinical setting, but it does give them a chance to “work for a break to see mommy.”  I have to tell you, there is nothing sweeter than overhearing your kid work hard so that on his “break” he can run into your room and give you a hug.  Think this reward system will still work when they are teenagers?  🙂

3.  If you have a deployed spouse and are on your own with two special needs kiddos, there can be few sounds as sweet as your doorbell.

During my hubby’s most recent deployment I was definitely overwhelmed.  Sometimes the only break or time to myself that I got was during their therapy appointments.  At first I felt so guilty sitting in my house while someone was working with my kid.  I would frantically try to finish all the laundry, vacuum all the rugs, just because I felt like I should be doing something.  Over two years later, I have learned that sometimes the most important and valuable thing that I can do is to take a break.  Seriously.  Not only take a break, but to enjoy it and not feel guilty.  Then I feel refreshed and when the kids’ are done with their therapy we can all relax and have some fun together.  This week during my kids’ appointments so far I have to admit I did my downstairs tile floors and some laundry.  But you know what else I did?  Watched some HGTV and drank a cup of coffee while it was still hot.  How sweet it is.  Happy, Relaxed Mommy= Happy, Relaxed Family.

4.  My kids while have lots of different therapists, but I am their only mother.

This kind of goes with number three.  As a teacher, I was feeling so guilty that my kids were spending so much time with other people who were teaching them things that I could be teaching them.  This was a real struggle for me, with a lot of guilt.  I finally had to let it go and realize that I can’t be everything that my kids need.  All you mothers out there, repeat after me.  I can’t be everything that my kids need.  It is not possible for me to do what a therapist can do and still be there for them as a mother.  My most important job is to be their support, create a loving, nurturing home where they can thrive, and to be their cheerleader.  In doing so, as their mom, I am the most important teacher they will ever have.

5.  You are surrounded by experts.  Ask for help.

This was a hard one for me.  (See, just like it says in the “About Us” page, I do have control issues!)  I would struggle with different issues about my kids and feel like I couldn’t take up the therapist’s time with questions.  Finally, I have realized that not only do they welcome questions, it also provides them valuable insight as to what is going on with a kiddo and where they may need additional support.

Dirty Water Part II: Here We Go!

paper towel

Okay, so as we posted a few weeks ago, my blog co-author and I treated ourselves to a day of leisure, lunch, manis/ pedis, and shopping a few weeks ago.  It was a reward for a year of caring for our kids solo during our husband’s deployment.  Our awesome husbands were super supportive of the idea right from the beginning (how blessed are we!?!?!?).  It was while we were at lunch that I got the following email from my husband, entitled, “Here We Go!”  Upon reading it, well, actually, upon snorting out my drink while reading it, it become clear that this story needed to come out as Dirty Water Part II.

If you haven’t read Dirty Water (the original post), I highly encourage you to do so.  You can find it here.  It provides background that makes the following story even funnier.  So, what else can I say?  Enjoy 🙂

Here is the email I got from my husband:

Subject:  Here We Go

“So, I am sure one of the reasons you two wanted us to stay home alone with the kids was so we could get a taste of what life was like for you during the deployment with no help! Well on cue B decided not to disappoint!! I see B running, hunched over back and forth to the bathroom, and it was obvious that he had to go potty but in true B fashion he wasn’t sure if he really needed to go so there was a delay getting to the toilet!! Being the only adult in the house I decided to take a look in the bathroom to see if everything was okay, and when I arrived I hear B throwing a fit about cleaning his foot!! Yes there was poop all over his foot, which was now all over the wall and there was a little chunk in the floor!! I checked his underwear and there was no poop or pee in this underwear so we are going be able to use those again today!! I proceeded to clean him up the best that I could however it was apparent that I was not going to get the job done by myself so I cleaned his feet and hands as best that I could and had him walk upstairs into the bathroom where he is now, taking a bath!! I have not checked the path he took yet to see if there are any tracks of poop yet, because I wanted to write you this e-mail first so you could enjoy. I have not cleaned up the walls yet either so I need to get going, I may decide to torch the whole place because this wasn’t cute, this was a mess that will never be fully cleaned, and B will be in the tub the rest of the afternoon!! I love you and hope you have a great day!!”

Aren’t daddies great?  🙂