Wednesday, December 31, 2014

With Tears In My Eyes

I swear that my life will be better next year.

I'm going to get counseling.

I told J just this very thing tonight.

Mom had me in tears a few minutes ago.  She asked me to drop the charges against my brother.  Um, no.  I told her what will I teach my daughter?  I will teach her that it is okay to be hit, punched, strangled, used as a punching bag and bullied if I dropped the charges.  What kind of roll model would that make me?

So no I'm not dropping the charges.

My brother was arrested yesterday.  Court date is causing me issues with all of the appointments I have this month.  I have three with my oncologist, one with the pain management specialist, one with the pulmonary specialist for the sleep study consult and two appointments for my daughter on the calender too.  January is going to be a crazy month.

Fitting in a court date is going to be near impossible.  Will I do it?  I have no choice.  I thought I had a choice when the first phone message was left by the investigator.  She said it would be better if I was there but not necessary.  Second phone message said I had to be there and they would change the court date by asking for a continuance if necessary.

So I'll have to find someone to watch my cat.  J will have to ask for emergency leave.  E will have to be uprooted from her routine yet again.  This is going to suck.

My health is declining right now.  I've been off the potassium long enough that the leg cramps and chest pains have started up again.  The vaginal bleeding has stopped as of yesterday.  I'm not even sure why I was bleeding as I no longer have a uterus.  I guess that is a question I'll have to pose to my oncologist but that means calling him and I just got home yesterday and haven't had a chance to do much but get E some clothes and shop for groceries.

I just want it done with.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Questions on Hysterectomy

Hey All,
Just wanted to know if any of you ladies out there have ever experienced bleeding almost 6 months after your hysterectomy, those that have had one I mean.  I've been in a lot of pain of late.  Surgery is set for next month for the endometriosis.  Last night I started to bleed, just lightly, and well it is really odd because I don't have a uterus.  Yes, the bleeding was way up inside...I checked.  Hell after all those years of checking for my cervix position I do know how to still check for it since it is there.

Just let me know in the comments section if any of you have experienced any of this.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Little E Rolls Over

I'm so excited.  I long feared that my baby girl wouldn't roll over for some odd reason.  But I have nothing to fear now.

Yesterday Little E rolled over both ways.

This morning I put Little E down on her play mat on her back, as per usual, to go make her bottle.  I find it helps to wake her up in a good way in the mornings if she can play for a bit.  I got back into the room, I was only one doorway away, and I found her on her stomach.  Knowing that she'd roll back soon I grabbed my camera to get some footage.

With J away right now I knew he'd want to see her rolling over as soon as he can get an internet connection again.

I only have footage of her rolling from her stomach to her back but hey it is better than what my folks had of me!

video

Friday, December 12, 2014

Not the Toughest Job in the Army

A week ago at a play date at the youth services center on post one of the coordinators said to the military spouses present that we have the hardest job in the Army.  I object to that statement; here is why:


  • I am not putting my life on the line.
  • I am not working long hours every day for people that don't appreciate me.  If only two residents in my domicile appreciate me at the least it would be my daughter and my cat.
  • Being a SAHM is not a job.  It is a life choice.
  • No one is requiring that I do daily exercise in order to keep my job.  Again I don't have a job.
  • I don't have to wear a uniform and make sure it is clean and neat.  If my daughter spits up on me no one will chew me a new one for not changing my clothes.
  • I'm not being volun-told to do anything.  I do what I do out of the kindness of my heart.  If I don't do something I won't be written up.
  • The stress I am under is self-imposed due to the decisions that I freely make.
  • I don't have to carry a loaded pack on my back, a rifle, ammo and wear body armor to do my job.  I don't have a job.  And if I even considered for a moment Motherhood as a job I still wouldn't have to dress like my spouse does and carry roughly 100 pounds around all day in the hot sun.
So folks, Army Wives included too, stop saying that military spouses have the hardest job in whatever branch of service your spouse is serving.  No one forced you into your marriage.

Oh and I wasn't one of those women that married into the service and knew what I was getting into.  That is a bunch of crap in my opinion.  All marriages have their difficult moments.  It is how we choose to cope with the situations when they arise that makes all the difference.  I don't know how many times I've been told in response to my situations:  "I could never do that".  Well good because no one asked you to: 
  1. Live in a hotel for 5 months without your spouse
  2. Live alone at a new duty station for a year while your spouse is deployed
  3. Live with a new born while your spouse is away training and you are far from a loved one.
  4. Cope with the death of a parent while spouse is away training.
  5. Sever all contact with a sibling because you pressed charges against them all while spouse is away for training.
  6. In some cases for a few women; give birth to your first born, second or subsequent child while spouse is away for training.
All of the above are results of life choices folks.  It doesn't make me special or any other military spouse special.  We all make sacrifices in our daily lives whether we are married to a service member or civilian.

Capisce?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Decorating

This year I just don't have the space or time to do the normal decorating for Christmas.  Usually I have plenty of time to make yards of paper chains and and dozens of snowflakes.  But because I had to drive home twice with my Dad being so sick and then dying I didn't have the time I normally would have had.  Oh yes and I have a baby too.

But I did find a place for my four foot tree.  It isn't an ideal place but since half of the large dining room table isn't getting used and is shoved up against the wall I thought what the heck it will suit for a month.

So here is the bit of decorating I did.  No outside decorations.



Because of the tree's location and the fact I have a baby now, there are no breakable ornaments on the tree.  I went to a craft store and purchase fifty unbreakable ornaments.  Oh and another reason why I didn't do the paper chains is that the ceiling is just overloaded with texture.  It is so hard to get a staple through it that I was struggling to hang up what I did in the picture.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Five Months Old

Tomorrow Little E will be five months old.  I've no real time to post unless I do so with her on my lap.  What free time I have is usually spent doing house work.  Why so busy these days?  J is away for training.  Ugh!  Gone one week already and I'm wishing I had a maid so that I could get a meal in my stomach.  It is already past 1500 hrs and I've yet to eat.  Though the bathrooms are cleaned, the litter box is cleaned, E has eaten several times and had numerous diaper changes, I'm dressed and washed and her laundry is now in the dryer.  Food is just not a priority for me right now.

Her is a photo of my cute little one.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Mill River Redemption

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan

I can remember when I divorced back in 2002.  Life wasn't easy and that was putting it lightly.  I had to move home with my two cats and all my possessions to a four bedroom house that belonged to my parents.  Oh and my parents were still living in it too.

After being married for eleven years a sudden change in my status as an adult to that of a child, hey I'm not kidding you because when I moved back home I was treated like a child with a curfew, really hurt.  Not only was I losing a spouse, no big loss there, but to lose the respect of one's parents really sucked.

Once again I had to prove myself to the world.  I had to show my parents and the community that I was an adult and should be treated as one even if my living conditions were a bit more than the temporary that I had hoped for.

First I got a job.  Not a great job but a job that helped to pay the majority of the bills I needed to pay.  There was no way my retail income would cover rent and the food bill together.  I swallowed my pride and asked my parents if it was okay if I couldn't pay them rent.  They were okay with that fact as they knew my divorce was costing me every last dime I could scrape together.  I ended up paying out almost five thousand dollars for my divorce. I chuckle every time I think about what I paid considering that I also paid for the marriage license and the first month's rent on our apartment.  What was I thinking to even marry that dirt bag?

With the move home I found I was able to swallow my pride, lick my wounds and fight back for my survival when necessary.  I learned that I was worth a better life.  I wasn't going to allow another man to hit me without them going down too.  Well at least they would go down when the cops would get involved since I'm handicapped and can only fight just so much.

Looking back to that rough period in my life I will never forget how much my parents took care of me.  Even though they were never the best at parenting they did what they could with their adult child to guide her in the right direction so that she, me that is, would have a decent relationship with another man some day.  I guess that is what my hidden inheritance was when I was finally able to uncover it; the knowledge for a lasting love, the love of a parent for their child.

This post was inspired by the novel The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan, about two estranged sisters who are forced to work together in order to uncover the hidden inheritance by their mother. Join From Left to Write on December 2nd as we discuss The Mill River Redemption and enter to win a copy of the novel. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends from my little family to yours.  Even with the recent loss of my father I'll be cooking for my spouse and I this year.  Nothing big just the normal turkey meatloaf, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, mashed potatoes, rolls, and green bean casserole.  Maybe next year Little E will be able to sample a bite of it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Home Again

...and I don't mean at my Mom's house either.

I have to say that I've never been happier to be back at my apartment.  Mom was getting quite cranky yesterday.  Today when I called her I didn't even get the chance to say I love you before she jumped down my throat with, "what do you want!  I'm busy trying to wrap Christmas gifts and get a copy made of the death certificate for Aunt J!".  I did ask why her sister wanted a copy of the death certificate but never got a straight answer out of her.  So I hung up.  I did say bye.

I just can't figure some people out.  I mean I know that I was never the favorite child and I didn't expect to be but sheesh one would think that after what happened last week Monday I would at least rate a bit higher now.  Not even close.  Mom made her statement to the police and did so with the intention of protecting my brother's butt.  She said to me before I left, "you didn't like what I wrote for my statement did you?".  I told her it isn't for me to like or not.  You wrote what you felt you had to in order to protect your own interests whether it was fair or not.

Problem is that she wasn't being truthful on her statement either.  I won't be talking more about it here for a long while.  Wish I could but knowing my brother he'll find a way to censure me or shut down my blog to protect his butt.

Not that he knows that I have a blog but Mom knows I have a blog and I'm sure she'll mention it to him even if she doesn't know the web address.

In other news, I wrapped the last of the Christmas gifts that have to be sent out.  I still need to wrap the gifts for Little E and J.

I still haven't broken down in tears for my Dad yet.

J is due to leave soon.  Maybe I'll break down then?

J is going to hopefully have some time to help me decorate before he leaves.  Hard to do when you have a baby that refuses to nap when needed.

I'll leave you with a photo of J and Little E.  She is such a daddy's girl.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

J

J Howard Jacobson Book Club Banner FL2W


Once upon a time a long, long, really long time ago there was a family unit that looked to the outside world as if it was the model for all families out there.  No one person was treated better than the other person, or so it seemed.




Upon closer look little cracks in the perfect family were noticed.  If one moved in for an even closer look they would see the painted on smiles and that the clothing was worn in spots.  So much for the ideal family.




Discrimination is alive and well in my family.  It isn't like a holocaust but there are days that it would seem to be just that where the blonde haired blue-eyed oldest sibling was trying to wipe out the younger dark haired dark-eyed youngest sibling.  Genocide?  No but the torture was still there all the same.  This was always covered up and tried to be forgotten by the family unit.  This family unit had major problems and very little tolerance for imperfection.




The youngest child craved the affection and attention that the older one received.  She wanted to be recognized for her achievements.  The oldest child was always causing havoc and blaming the youngest child for anything that went wrong in the family to the point where the youngest child felt like running away for good and not just to a friend's house on the weekends.




Yes, this is my family I am writing about.  I'm sorry to say that the little girl never did escape the madness.  She returned home as an adult when her first marriage collapsed.  She lived in the now smaller family unit that was still full of problems.




When death hit the family she again went home.  Why did she keep going home?  I have to ask myself that question over and over again.  Why?  Was she stupid?  Did she crave the affection that just wasn't there for her?




Well I went home when the death of my father was impending.  What I didn't expect was that there would be more violence laying in wait for me when I got there.  I encountered the wrath of my brother once again.  Once again he tried to kill me off.




Did the littlest sibling ever wake up and smell the coffee?  Oh yes I did.  This time there will be hell to pay.


This post was inspired by the novel J by Howard Jacobson, about a world where collective memory has vanished and the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited. Join From Left to Write on November 20th as we discuss J. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Death

It is never easy for a child when they lose their parent no matter how old the child or the parent.


On Monday morning my dad died.


Monday evening I was assaulted by my brother.  I went to the Emergency Department at a hospital near to my mom's home.  Soft tissue injuries from him choking me.  I had the police brought into my room and I reported the assault.  I'll be pressing charges.


My brother might have been my dad's favorite but Dad isn't here, thankfully, to witness what happened.  Mom pleaded with me for the first few hours to not report it.  I made her realize that if he had hurt anyone outside the family or even my daughter she would have wanted the police to get involved.  I refuse to be guilt tripped into not pressing charges.


The next few days are going to be really rough.  I'm being medicated for the pain.  I'm to be kept separate from my brother during the wake and funeral.  Oh not because I'd go after him but because he might again try to kill me.


I'll go into more details on the whole thing when I'm back home and hopefully safe on the military installation.


Thinking of all of you and hoping your lives are good.



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Going Home

I guess the time has come to say good bye to my father.

His doctor called yesterday.  His kidneys are failing.  They can't do dialysis.

It is now only a matter of time.  His doctor said she thinks this weekend will be his last as he goes into complete organ failure.

This sucks!  I still have a few unresolved issues with my dad too.  I'll just have to let them go.  If he isn't bothered by them I shouldn't be either.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday At Last

I'm going to strive to enjoy today for various reasons of which I cannot tell you as of yet.  Maybe later next week.

My dad isn't doing well.  They'll be starting him on dialysis shortly because his kidney function is down to 30%.

My brother is flying in to "take care of things" over the weekend.  Ugh!  I can only imagine the damage I'll have to try to fix over Thanksgiving.  Well that is if J can get leave for Thanksgiving because his next mission is on the cusp.

I re-connected with an old friend from Fort Hood last night.  As I was making out my Christmas card list last night I found his old address in my book.  I miss this guy.  I remember when he was going through a rough patch in his young life.  Hard to believe that was almost 20 years ago.  Reminiscing makes me feel so old.

Little E is still refusing to roll over.  Today she turned as pink as her onesie while doing tummy time.  Yes her cries were that bad.

J saw me out walking with her and since it was cold out he stopped the car and picked us up and took us back home.  I was only about 1.5 miles from home.  E was bundled up with booties over her socks, a hooded sweater over her outfit and a blanket over that.  Geez I think she had on more layers than I did.  But of course when all you do is sit there you are going to need them.

Yes that pink for her face color.  I'm hesitant to just let her cry like that but she has to learn to roll over.  She has the swimming down pat and can rock but no roll!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Four Months Old

Two days ago Little E turned four months old.

Milestones: She is taking 2-4 ounces of white grape juice and eating some rice cereal from a bowl now.

Length: 24.2 inches

Weight 14 lbs 10 oz

Her length puts her in the 55th percentile and her weight the 75th percentile for her age.

She had all her shots on the 31st for her four month check up.  These didn't go as badly this time around because as soon as I got to a seat with her I gave her the baby tylenol.  I learned my lesson with the first set of shots!

J had his first blood draw by accident with her.  He was cutting her nails today and accidentally nipped a finger of her's.  She didn't cry until he started going crazy about the tiny bit of blood.  Daddy felt really bad.  I made phone call to my mom to ensure him that all parents have done just that.  Mom calmed him down and assured him that I was dropped to the floor and had more than one finger tip cut with the nippers too.  I guess it is a right of passage with the baby with at least one parent inflicting accidental damage to the little one.

No teeth yet but she is drooling a lot.
She isn't rolling over yet.  But she is sitting up unsupported in a chair.  She can also stand if you hold her hands.

I had a nightmare last night she skipped crawling altogether and went right to walking and I didn't have the house baby proofed.

I won't be baby proofing this house if I can help it either.  It looks like I'll be able to finally get ADA housing on post.  It took a phone call from my doctor to the landlord on post to make them realize what I needed and to stop delaying my paperwork.

The "new" place will be about the same size as the place I lived in at the last duty station when it comes to square footage.  Luckily the rooms will be large enough to get the wheel chair or walker around in them if I end up in one after surgeries.  Yes there is that distinct possibility.  Praying it doesn't happen but  it could and as for now I do use a cane.  My cane is easy to attach to the stroller of which I'm glad.  I'm not looking forward to trying to navigate a stroller while using a walker or wheel chair so I really hope it doesn't happen.

Yesterday J and I fed the baby from a bowl and spoon for the first time.   I wanted to post a vid of it but it is too large of a file.

Yes, I'm still fat.  About 8 weeks after the next surgery I should be allowed to exercise again.  Until then it is still pelvic rest.  It sucks.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Letter To My Cat

Bugsy,
You are a wonderful cat. I remember well the night you decided to make a home with us. We were still living at an Army installation in Washington state. Your third owner had abandoned you so we had found out. It took a bit of coaxing with dried salmon treats, wet food and calling out the name your last owner had given you but you made your way into our home and into our hearts too.

Its been a little over a year now that you became part of our family. You've been part of a lot of changes. You now have a little sister, or another human guardian if you please. I know you love her a lot. This very morning you gifted to her one of your favorite toys much like a mouser would leave its kill on the pillow of its owner to show their love.

You have been a real trooper with making the 3000 mile journey with us to the new duty station without leaving a complaint in your cage or the floor of any hotel room. On that long trip your genuine trust of the human race boggled my mind. Many humans I wouldn't trust at all. You taught me that I need to give a second chance to people too.

Bugsy my dear, sweet, fluffy one I love you. I can't imagine my life without you. You weren't the first cat in my life but you have become the most important one. Yes, even more important than my beloved black devil cat that was my fur baby for eleven years. I still miss him but the heartache of his loss has lessened with you coming into my home.

I envy you how you are able to lie in the sun for hours chasing it from window to window to soak up the warmth. Maybe I should get a window hammock that fits humans too? I wish I could curl up on the top of the sofa next to you but I'll settle for just leaning back against the sofa with you near my head.

I love how each morning you crawl up on my belly and nudge my chin. I thought perhaps this habit of yours would cease after I had the baby but it didn't. You will even make room for yourself on my lap when I have your little sister on one of my legs during her feedings.

Remember always that I love you. I don't think you could forget. For wherever we roam you will go too.

Love always,
Mama


This post was inspired by A Letter to My Cat by Lisa Erspamer, a collection of letters penned by celebrities to their furry friend. Join From Left to Write on November 10th as we discuss A Letter to My Cat. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Above: at home celebrating his sister's 4th month birthday.

Side left: at Grandma D's house making himself at home this past week.
Claiming Daddy's military issue as your own to nap on.
You and I this past June.
Caught you. From this moment on I'd leave the sink at a drip just for you.
Daddy was deployed and you missed him.
The night you came inside. You claimed J as your own. Hard to believe you were this skinny. Down to 7 pounds from being abandoned. All skin and bones and not much fat left for being a large breed cat.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Always Something Else

I'm having a real struggle here with my landlord on Ft. Stewart.

I need ADA housing.

I get the paperwork from K.J. at the BB office.

I have my doctor's office fill it out.

Not good enough.  It isn't specific enough and the doctor thought that the ADA was implied.

One more time I bring the doctor the form and have his office fill it out with the letters ADA on it in the correct line space.

K.J. at the BB office calls me while I was gone to my folks up north.  According to her the handwriting doesn't match and thus it is rejected.

I need to pick up yet another form and tell my doctor that he can't have his nurse fill out the form even if he himself did sign and stamp it.  No he needs to put pen to paper and copy all of that which was put on the other form onto the new one and again sign and stamp the new form.

I'm wondering just how many more fucking flaming hoops I'll have to leap through with my cane to get into better housing.

Can you tell I'm pissed off?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Breaking Down

Folks I'll try to not make this post into a rant.

We tried to get leave to see my parents every weekend now for the past month.  Every time it got denied.  Sometimes it was for a good reason.  But we too had our reasons.  J stated this past time that my dad is not in good health.  Again this weekend's mileage pass got shot down.  He wasn't even asking for an additional day; just a mileage pass.

The Army requires all of its personnel to submit mileage passes for any movement over 250 miles from your present duty station.  We had planned on traveling 325 miles.

Last night my dad was rushed to the hospital in via ambulance.  He took a fall with his oxygen tank because he was so weak from pneumonia.  I was wondering why my parents land line went to answering machine after just two rings last night.  Now I know.

Dad is in the ICU.  It doesn't look good.  I'm surprised with how many times he's been hospitalized in the past that he has made it this far.  One heart valve doesn't work, kidneys at 40%, oxygen full time and the other health issues.  How can he hold on?  I want him to see his granddaughter.  He wants to meet her too.

We've been in contact with the hospital.  We are trying to get a Red Cross Message from the hospital to my husband's unit so that we can travel to my parents.  I'm not asking J to take leave for long, just long enough to drop me Little E  and Bugsy off at my parents' house and take a break for sleep.  He can head back the next day so that he can get ready for this next deployment.

One vehicle household so yeah I need him to drop me off at home.  The nearest train station to my parents' home is 150 from them.  That won't work.  Flying with a baby and a cat is out of the question.  We were planning on getting a second vehicle here shortly too.

I'm just so upset right now.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Say It Again

I've talked to my landlord already about the mold issue.  I know I've made mention somewhere on cyber space about how my neighbors let me know that the prior tenants let our apartment flood.  So when we moved in the moldy smell coming from the laundry room that we mentioned to our landlord shouldn't have been brushed off.

Just this week the paint began to peel off the door frame going into our laundry room  What should I find underneath?
Now tell me again I don't have a mold issue in my house?

Yeah right.  Now that I have a free moment I'll be calling the manager and notifying her that I have mold issues and that I have evidence.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Parking Problems

I'm annoyed to say the least.  I'll be polite as I'm practicing to be a better human around my newborn.

I'm entitled to two parking spots as a tenant in the apartment in which I live.  One is designated with my apartment number under the canopy the other is with the three available slots in front of the building.  Since I at present have but one car I don't make too much of a fuss about the second slot disappearing on a regular basis.  But that will soon change when I have a second vehicle in this household and that will be soon; probably before the end of the year.

Today I left for my mid-morning walk with Little E and my spot under the canopy was vacant as my husband had taken the car to work.  I pulled in the trash and recycling bins from the road and went on my merry way.

When I got back I found differently.  In my spot was a jeep with mats under it of which belong to my neighbor that already takes up two additional spots to his one designated spot under the canopy.  He and his spouse have three vehicles.  There is plenty of over flow parking available.

We have asked our neighbors, nicely, several time to allow us a spot in the front and our designated one under the carport.  I know that Randy did not ask my spouse for parking privileges as my spouse cannot be reached by phone right now.  Though I wished he could be reached so I could warn him to hold his temper in check when he gets home for lunch.

In other news, Little E is now 16 weeks old.  Oh my has she grown.  I'll know just how much on the official numbers this Friday.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The 13th Gift


It wasn't that long ago that I would spend Christmas all alone.  It wasn't easy and it sure as heck wasn't fun.  The very first Christmas that I spent alone was the one after my divorce.  I was working 40 hours a week, deep in debt and had two cats for company.  I thought it would be the only Christmas I would ever have to spend alone so I made the best of it.  I put up a tree and decorated my parents' house.  They had fled the cold weather for warmer climates and I was wishing I had gone with them.  But for me the cold was a refresher; a new start.

Not only was I going through a divorce but I had also broken up with the boyfriend that I had just begun a relationship with two month previous.  It would have been nice to not have to spend the holidays alone but it wasn't in the cards.

Things could only get better I thought.  Well I was wrong and they only got worse.  But that part of my life has been discussed to death and most of you know that at the last day of that monumental year of my life I was raped.    I would not be getting much in the way of happy gifts of friends and family in my first year of being single.  No it would be another year before I was enfolded in the happiness of a new family.

The following year I had much to be happy for.  I was in a solid relationship, my divorce was final, and I was part of a new family or would be in the years to follow when I married into the clan.  I wouldn't spend another Christmas alone or at least I had hoped for a long time to come.

Six years passed and I was spending my first Christmas alone in a new state.  I wasn't able to drive the distance to see my husband's family.  I didn't have a cat or dog now.  I was alone.  But I kept with me the spirit of Christmas.

That year I decorated our first house.  Paper chains, snowflakes, ornaments, the tree and stockings.  I made sure the world that looked in my window knew I wasn't going to be depressed.  Christmas Eve, though I had purchased most of my own gifts, I opened the presents that I had wrapped for myself.  I realize this sounds a bit pathetic but it wasn't.  I knew that half way around the world my husband and his battle buddies, fighting for another country's freedom, would be getting into their Christmas stockings.  Hand selected toys and candy were individually wrapped and put into stockings I purchased for them.  If they had to spend Christmas away from their families at least they would know that someone back home was thinking of them too.

The next morning, Christmas morning, I got up bright and early and plugged in the lights for the tree.  Within minutes the calls started to ring my phone that would keep the season merry.  First Mom, then L and finally at last the most important one from J.  His phone call lasted just five minutes but it was the most cherished gift.  More nourishing than any Christmas ham because this five minute call nourished my brain.

This year my husband will spend Christmas with family, his family and mine because they are mine too.  This year we have a baby to bring home with us and our beloved cat Bugsy the stray that is no longer a stray.  My heart over fills with love this year as it does every year whether together or apart for I always try to keep the spirit of the season alive.

This post was inspired by The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith, memoir about how  random acts of kindness transformed her family’s bereavement and grief during the holidays. Join From Left to Write on October 28th as we discuss The 13th Gift. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Dawning of a Better Day

Last night I pulled myself out of my funk.  I knew that it was again up to me to change the outlook on my own life.  It isn't all that bad I said to myself.  So what if my spouse can't handle work stress.  He isn't the only GI out there fighting the same fight and I'm not the only spouse out there with the same issues.

I know how much my husband loves pizza.  Last night when he called to say he wouldn't be home at the usual time I told him it was okay.  He doesn't like how I'm okay with him not being home on time.  He has said to me before that he doesn't understand how I can be so understanding of his work.  I tell him it isn't that I'd not like to rant and rave but that there is absolutely nothing I can do about his work schedule but accept it.  And that is what I do folks; I accept his work schedule since I can't change. So I decided to make him a special meal.

When he got home, near enough to 8 PM for me to call it 2000 hrs here, I asked him if he'd like his very own pizza for dinner.  He was surprised that I was willing to make it for him.  I explained that it won't be my own homemade sauce and dough but that I have a bottle of pizza sauce on hand and some Pillsbury dough.  He was okay with that.  I handed him over our daughter, she had just been fed and burped but didn't want a nap.  I chopped and diced and sliced up his favorite ingredients while the crust with some Italian seasoning was baking in the oven.  When the pre-cooking part was done I topped it and baked it again.  He was very appreciative especially since I got him a tv tray and he was able to watch a program on the television while being waited on.

I know that he hasn't been getting all the attention he would like of late.  I told him as much.  I said that I don't get attention from him either.  We realize that Little E comes first.  It is only for the first year or so that she needs so much attention and over the next few months it will be less so than it was the first month and so on until she is able to feed herself from the foods I give her.  For now she still needs all the attention that is normal for a 3 month old.  I remind him and myself that we made the same demands upon our parents too.

This morning my spouse helped me back to bed once he realized I was sleep walking and sleep talking again.  Ugh, I really detest PTSD.  Once I got back in bed I woke up and he told me what happened again.  I guess this morning I really seemed coherent up to the point where I asked him to take the baby from me and I wasn't holding her as she was in her crib.  He then knew I was sleep walking and talking.  I'm so afraid something is going to happen to my daughter that every night I go looking for her in our bed, frightened when I can't find, then wake up to realize this is the very reason why I refuse to co-sleep.  Imagine if I had one of those nightmares with her in the bed?  I'm afraid I end up flipping her out of the bed by accident.

I got up a bit late this morning and was giving Little E a bottle at 0628 hrs; still half an hour before the Itzbeen timer of 5 hours went off but that is just a reminder alarm for me if she hasn't fussed for a feeding beforehand.  When I got into the kitchen I noticed that J had cleaned up his morning mess, washed out Bugsy's wet food dish, and replaced the dish towels too.  That made my morning happy.  Well that and the fact I was able to sneak in a shower and write up this blog post.

I'll leave all of you with a photo and video.

This is a paw print of Bugsy and a hand print of Little E along with a shell I got on the beach in WA.  My little souvenirs of my time there.

video
Little E is learning to sit up for longer than a few seconds now.  I'm sure she would have stayed up longer if it hadn't of been for the coughing that started.  All that drooling from teething she does and sometimes she sucks it back down the throat.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Overwhelmed

I'm so tired.

I've gained 7.4 lbs in a week.

Thank you statin med for messing me up so bad.  I'm in a lot of pain and I've gained weight which doesn't help.  It can trigger hypothyroidism which in my case would make me taking the synthroid useless.

The PTSD nightmares are in full swing.  I've told my husband to knock it off when it comes to his hovering over me at the foot of the bed.  It is scaring the crap out of me.

Still having marriage issues.  I think that they are possibly worse now that we have a baby.  Any time I ask him to help out I swear it is like an episode of Blackish where Dre is looking for a pat on the back for loading the dishwasher.  I showed my husband that episode and he didn't like how it made men look bad.

I get that my spouse is busy but I'd like some family time where we are actually spending that time together as a family.  J just loves to create an argument.  He said the other day that he has verbal diarrhea and knows it gets him in trouble at times.  Is it too much to ask for that we could actually communicate once in a while?

Hoping we'll actually get the chance to see a marriage counselor soon.  I'm honestly not sure I want to stay in the marriage any longer.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Carving Out Bits of Time

We won't be carving pumpkins this year; no place to display them since we live in an apartment.  Maybe next year we'll have a lawn again on which to put the pumpkins.

Right now I'm just trying to carve out a bit of time to blog, do bills, laundry, find a meal that I don't have to cook for too long because there just isn't time for the cooking.  I scarf down food when I get the chance.  I swear Little E doesn't sleep.

Things could be better between the mister and I but it seems as though I am the only one willing to put any effort into the relationship.  I was warned that the guy feels neglected after a baby is born.  It is so true.  Well I do too but I'm not going to take it out on my marriage.

As for the neurology appointment the other; Candler Hospital forgot to forward the MRI results to my neurology office.  Great!  So I went in to the appointment with no medical records.  Thanks!

After the appointment I stopped by the medical records room at Candler and got the results myself.  I drove them over a few streets to the neurologist where they copied them.  I asked to have the doctor or nurse contact me when they have read the results.  Still waiting.

Later that same afternoon I had an appointment with my PCM.  Again no hands on with this new doctor.  As a matter of fact when I was asked by the nurse if I had any ear pain or sore throat and I declared a Yes response the doctor totally ignored it.  He again stood by the door for the full two minutes he deemed necessary to spend with me.  Jerk!

However my MRI results did confirm what I already knew.  My spine is getting worse.  I now have two bulging discs in my neck of which on is pressing against the spinal cord.  I have two in my back that I knew for years were bulging.  One of those is also now pushing against the spinal cord.  Fun!

I had to drop the atorvastatin I was prescribed as of today.  I called my PCM's office to tell them that I'd had enough of the muscle pain it was causing me.  It is a rare side effect.  I've been on the drug for a month now and it feels like I was hit by a Mac truck.  My arms and legs hurt so much to move it is as though I had run a marathon.  The nurse said they will switch my medications out.

The paperwork is ready for pick up today along with the new medicine.  What sucks is that I am without transportation to go get the paperwork.  There are days, like today, that I hate having just one vehicle.  The paperwork is the modification request for housing so that I am qualified to receive ADA housing.  We drove around a bit this weekend and noted a few ADA places were open.  Hoping we'll receive notice to move soon.  It is going to cost us a bit to move but to get away from the black mold in this hole it is worth it.

Yesterday I did get to drive, first time I have driven in over 6 months.  I drove back from Midway where J and I had a lunch with Little E, to the fort where we live.

Little E wearing her Totoro stuff.  Yes she is one of those babies that hates hats.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

First Word

Little E, with witnesses present, said her first word last night.  J and I were amazed.  Later she repeated herself on the phone with my mom.

Her first is "Hi".

Tuesday night she sat up, unsupported except for the back of the recliner, by herself.  No she didn't pull herself to a seated position but in a few months I'm sure she'll be trying to do just that.  We keep our furniture covered with washable towels for a good reason of late.

Oh and she had another growth spurt.  She weighs 14.6 pounds and is now 24 inches in length.  I'll find out her professionally documented stats the end of month at her 4 month Ped's appointment.

She still isn't rolling over.  I thought for sure with her ability to roll to her side at less than a month she'd be rolling over by now.  Thankfully it isn't something I need to worry much about until she hits 8 months.  If she hasn't done it by then I'll worry.

She stands supported, locks her little legs then decides to stamps her feet as if preparing to walk.  Now that is something to worry about!  I don't have baby gates as of yet and I haven't finished baby  proofing my domicile either.

While seated she loves to kick her heels up and slap her thighs.  From what I read about that it is a sign that she'll be crawling soon.  I'd be happy to just see her roll over.

As for me,  well I'm still alive.  I'll be seeing the neurologist and my PCM tomorrow.  Finally I'll know if my spine is worse.  I'm praying it is better but I know the odds of that aren't good.  Hey I can hope; my thyroid cysts are gone so yes I'll keep some bit of hope.

J is doing well.  He still falls asleep while feeding Little E.  That pisses me off.  What if she falls out of his arms again?  She survived the first fall because there were, thankfully, pillows on the floor.  So yeah I have some trust issues with him holding her.  We aren't talking about late night sleep deprived feedings.  He falls asleep during mid day too.  I've seen him fall asleep while holding her and rocking her while he is standing.  What the heck?  Is my baby a sominex pill for him?

Oh and we might be moving if I can get my PCM to fill out the paperwork to amend my housing request.  Yes, this means I would have to shell out the funds to move our household goods to the next house but if it means a better place then where were are right now and it is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) approved I'll be set.  The apartment I live in right now is deadly.  No Hepa filter, transition strips (I trip easily), and spongy walls (prior flooding in our apt) that probably have black mold in them.  We were told if we qualify that we'll be getting one of the newer places that is either a 3 or 4 bedroom.  I said we don't qualify as we have only one child.  They said that number children doesn't matter in this circumstance.  Well if they hadn't of screwed up before, we had that paperwork all signed and stamped before we left the last duty station, we would have had that housing right off.  Sometimes these civilian contractors really piss me off with how they "misplace" requests.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bits and Pieces

I have a bit of good news to share with all of you.  The ultrasound I had on my thyroid on Monday turned out normal.  The cysts I had on the thyroid are gone!  YAY!!!

The MRI on Monday was a long one.  I was in the machine for 45 minutes so that a complete spinal scan could be done.  Ugh, that made me ache and walk funny afterwards.  Right leg kept trying to go out from under me.  They offered me a ride in a wheel chair back to the waiting room but I said no.  I'm not stubborn but I knew I needed to "walk off" the problem.

Gross thing of note.  I went back to the waiting room in the Candler St. Joseph's hospital and discovered a roach climbing on the walls.  Just yuck.  Sean killed it for me but still just gross.  I realize it is the south but a roach in a hospital does not instill confidence in their cleanliness for me one iota.

I'm scheduled for surgery there in January and well, um, now I'm worried about an infection from the crud that could possibly be in the hospital.

Bit of odd news today; DH has to escort a soldier to finish his final out.  Of course the soldier disappears today getting the whole battalion; especially my husband, in trouble after lunch.  It isn't like the soldier leaving the Army did anything wrong; he was just overweight.  Ugh!  So our plans for the weekend might be a bust unless they can locate the soldier.

Little E turned three months old today. She is babbling every day.  She can now hold her head erect for long periods of time.  She can sit up by herself for a few seconds.  With help she can stand without losing her legs for about thirty seconds.  I'm so proud of her.  She loves to grip onto her toys that hang from the play gym.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

12 Weeks

Time is really flying by and fast.  I can't believe it is already 12 weeks since Little E was born.  Next month on the 8th she'll be three months old.

No the colic still hasn't abated. Yesterday was 6 shirt changes on her and one pair of pants for me.

She is teething at least I think she is.

She grew another inch.  Last night I placed the yard stick in her crib to check her length.  She is now 23 inches and a tiny bit but she kept wiggling so I just went with the full inch.

She is fully into the 3-6 month size clothes.  I started packing up the 3 month size on a few items that were running small.

Her nails are like razor blades.  I can't keep up on the filing of them down.  I've been tempted to take her for a manicure but I doubt it would be worth it.

She can stand assisted.

Her hair is falling out.  I rather knew it would.  Still it is hard to tell what color her hair will be when it comes in as her eye lashes are brown and her eye brows are a dark blonde.

Still not rolling over.  She rolls to her side but that is it.  I thought for sure the way she was going this morning she would roll from back to front but alas it was just to the side.  More often than not the only tummy time she gets is when she sleeps on one of us to take a quick nap.  She hates tummy time on the floor and will manage only a minute before she screams.

Oh God her screams!  She is ear piercing with those wales.

I'm loving every minute of her existence.   I just wish the days wouldn't fly by so quickly.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Finally Found the Dress

Yesterday, after months of searching and I mean months as I started looking for a christening gown before Little E was even born, I found and purchased a one-of-a-kind gown.  Well it might not have been ooak back in its day but it is now.

The gown is Edwardian (1901-1910) making it over 100 years old.  It does need a bit of minor repair to one seam and the addition of buttons to the back but I've been sewing since I was 4 years old.  I can handle this simple repair.

Here are the photos of the dress:




With a 22 inch chest and an overall length of 33 inches it will fit Little E come Christmas easily.  Little E is already boasting a 17.5 inch chest.

Now to find shoes, a slip, and a onesie for the big day.  We already have the bonnet which was a gift from my MIL which she purchased while in Scotland.  The bonnet becomes a hankie she can carry on her wedding day.

Today while Little E was doing her floor time I grabbed my dino camera and took some pictures and video of her.  There is no sound to the video.

video

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Follow Up Gynecology Appointment

Dr. C. was really in a good mood today.  But then again I've yet to see him in a bad mood.  He is one of my all time favorite gynecologists.  Today I even learned something from him.

I learned that having the cervix removed is like getting sexually castrated.  I knew that the uterus was part of the sexual gratification but not the cervix.  How many times has a doctor told me and probably you too dear readers that the cervix has no nerve ending?  Well guess what?  It does so!

This means that I will be re-evaluating the surgery I'll be going through in January.  December is the next check up and since I don't have cervical cancer I'm going to request that the cervix be left in place.

I also found out that the endometriosis can also grow on the brain.  I knew about the lungs but I didn't know about the brain.

Good gravy that crap could be any where in my body!  Will I ever be without endometriosis pain?

As for the urinary incontinence issue; I'm being referred to a urologist.  Dr. C. is putting in the referral today.  He did a test on me today and it was mighty uncomfortable too. It involved a q-tip and my urethra...Dr.C. said I probably wouldn't feel a thing.  I told him yeah right.  Oh and it hurt like heck too.  Still hurts as in burns when I pee now.  But all looked good.  The main issue is that some nerves were probably severed when the uterus was removed causing me to lose urine whenever I squat down.  No amount of Kegel exercises will fix that he said.  I will be having to wear a pad for life.  Fun times.  So I asked if I could get something for my "diaper rash".  He prescribed me nystatin cream.  I asked, being the smart alec that I am, if it would turn my butt purple.  I've made worse comments to doctors before.  One time when being prescribed steroids I asked my doctor if it would give me a little penis.  Yes I'm that bad.  I have to keep good humor when dealing with possibly bad news.

My little chunker

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Packing Up Clothing

Today while Little E was in her Mamaroo I was packing up her 0-3 month size clothing.  I swear the past three months has been a blur.

Little E turned 11 weeks old today.  Next week she'll be 12 weeks or 3 months if you do the calculations.  But I won't be saying to everyone she is three months old until the 8th of October.

It looks like J won't be having to leave after all.  Those budget cuts are on my side this time.  Now if only he could get a huge pay raise so I could afford a maid and a nanny.  I'd like to get a night's sleep.

Little E is now preferring my company to that of her dad's.  I guess that is a good thing but it makes J feel like crap.  He'll just have to do more with her than fall asleep with her in his lap.  I play with her on the floor.  I take her for walks.  I read a loud to her.  Oh and I feed and change her and do her laundry but I doubt she notices the laundry part.

Tonight J was feeding Little E and he kept on feeding her without a burp break.  He is trying to rush through her feedings so that he doesn't fall asleep.  So yeah she paid him back.  She blew dinner all over him and the carpet.  He yelled for help.  Yes he is a bit dramatic.  He acted like her milk spew was toxic waste.  Just two weeks ago she spit up, more like barfed there was so much of it, down my v-neck shirt.  I just tucked a flannel wipe in the boob area and kept taking care of her.  When she was settled down again I took care of me.  I tell Little E that I'm washable so she isn't too feel bad when she can't control her spitting up.

I turned on sesame street today.  What happened to that show?  Scary how some of the characters are now cgi.  Flying trolls!

Well my brain is melting.  I have a GYN appointment tomorrow morning.  Hoping I get some answers as to the bladder issue.

Oh and tomorrow is my 9th wedding anniversary.  Where the heck has time gone?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Visit with the Oncologist

Sorry if this post seems a bit choppy.  I'm so tired right now I could fall asleep on the keyboard.

This morning's first appointment went well. J drove us to the oncologist office in Savannah at Candler Medical.

The two hour appointment was actually less than the allotted time giving me a chance to stop by my old OB office to show them the baby.  They had wanted to see her and requested that I bring her in after she was born to see the "end product" as they only ever get to see the babies on ultrasound.  I found out I was the first patient to actually ever bring in their baby.

At the oncologist office I got to meet my arch nemesis again; Wanda.  The doctor asked me to strip from the waist down so he could do an exam.  I asked if it was transvaginal and he said yes.  I said I thought I'd meet up with Wanda again.  He had actually never heard it called that before and liked the name.

So yeah, I'm abnormal.

How many of you gals out there have been told by your OB that you'll not have endometriosis grow while pregnant?

Yeah I know there are at least a few of you out there.

Mine grew but I knew that.  That lovely 4.5 cm pocket of tissue grew to 9 cm during the pregnancy while I was at JBLM.  It wasn't monitored when I got to Ft. Stewart though it should have been.  No it was brushed under the carpet.

So I now have not one but two, yes 2, endometriomas growing on my left ovary.  Dr. R offered me surgery right off the bat to remove them.  He was astounded to find out that I'm only 10 weeks postpartum and have endometriosis growing rampant.  He found other evidence of endometrial growth in the pelvic cavity too.

I said to him take it all.  He said he was just about to tell me that if doesn't take the ovaries too that it will grow back.  I already knew that.  Thank you bloggers for all that information.

He will also be taking the cervix and all other adhesions and endo he can find.  Since J isn't going to be around for a few months I'll be having the surgery early next year.  It can wait.  I am in pain and there is always a risk of ovarian torsion if one of the cysts should twist.  That went without him telling me as I had already told him I've had large cysts before.

The surgery will hopefully be done with the four small incisions that he thinks might do it.  But since I had the zipper surgery recently there might be too much scar tissue and he'll have to do another zipper surgery again.  I say zipper because it was a vertical incision with 19 staples in it.  Dr. R. said he would have used even more staples.  Great.

But he told J he would write him what ever note he needs to ensure that he gets the time off to be at home with me (lol) because he will have to care for the baby, do the house work (LOL) and prepare me meals (bigger LOL there).  Sorry but J doing any of the above and getting the time off would be nigh impossible without a congress.

Next week I see my gynecologist about the bladder issue.  More on that when I find out why I started leaking after the follow up appt. internal exam.  I didn't leak during pregnancy or after until that day in August.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New PCM

Yesterday was my first visit with my new PCM (primary care manager).  The doctor was rude.

He came into the exam room and told me to give him my life history in two minutes because that was all the time he had for me.  Sheesh.

He asked how old my son is.  Mind you SHE was dressed in a camouflage dress and bib but she also had a pink headband on her head with a pink flower on it.  I corrected him.  He said, "well you never know with today's army".  Really?

He then says I don't have spinal stenosis according to the MRI he looked at.   Well it would be nice if he looked at the newest one taken a few years ago and read the report from the neurologist I went to at JBLM.  He didn't even know that I had been to see a neurologist.

So after explaining to him in the little time I had why I was there and asking for the lab results, of which, he said were normal, he put in the referrals that I requested.

I will be going to see a pulmonary specialist and getting the sleep study done.  He listened to my lungs and asked me how long I've had asthma.  Since 1997 and the hospital there noted that my O2 stats dropped into the 80's when I was sleeping.

I will be going to see the neurologist but will be needing a referral off post to get the MRI and EMG done.  Yes they could in theory do them at Winn but they don't allow the dependents to use the MRI and EMG testing facility now.  Why? I wondered.  It costs the government more to send us off post for testing.

I will be getting an ultrasound done on my thyroid to see if the cysts are shrinking.  It has been a good three years since the last one was done.

None of my questions were answered as to the blood work.  I wanted to know about the Large and Giant Platelets they had found and why it is so rare.  I wanted to know if the iron issue is back to normal. All he said about the iron was that it wasn't tested on the 2nd of September.  Really?  The internal med doctor specifically requested that test.  Oh I've booked an appointment with my internal med doctor for next week as the PCM told me I should follow up with that doctor instead even though my PCM had no idea why I was seeing him to begin with.  UGH!

The PCM did agree to prescribe me the lasix and the statin.  My cholesterol was high he said but he didn't tell me the numbers.  Hopefully I'll remember to ask next week.

As for the GYN visit I was supposed to have on this past Monday; GYN called late Friday last week to cancel it.  My doctor had to go on emergency leave.  He won't be back until early October.  I'm now rescheduled with another GYN, one I've seen before and liked, for next week to address the urinary incontinence issue that suddenly started after the pelvic exam in late August.

Little E is doing well.  My days are running together and I can't remember if I mentioned her weight and height from last visit.  She is 10 weeks old now and weighs 11 lbs 2 oz.  Length is 22.4 inches.

Here is a new photo of her from yesterday
Tomorrow is the oncology appointment in Savannah.  It is a two hour appointment.  Not sure what they are going to do but I can guess it won't be all medical history.  Hopefully this Savannah doctor will be on time because I have a dental appointment in Hinesville in the afternoon to have my new crown put in place.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Medical Report

Tuesday while I was at Winn ACH for Little E's pediatric appointment I stopped by the outpatient medical records room and requested my records for July when I was an inpatient.  It took a while but I now have my copy.  I can only request that period of time once without having to pay for the copies.  The reason why I wanted the copies is because of the oncology appointment next week.  I need to know what exactly they found inside of me.

Looking over all the lab tests and the procedures left me with questions that dr. google helped me figure out.  But now I have a few more questions, hopefully educated ones, to ask my doctor. I also have a gynecology follow up this week too.

1) Is it temporary for Large and Giant platelets to be found in my blood count?  If not does this mean something bad like what I've been reading?  Did I inherit something from my parents?   I know that both of them have clotting issues when they have surgery.

2) 900ml blood loss seems to be a lot to me.  Is there something I can do to prevent a bleed out of this proportion before my next surgery?

3) When comparing my most recent blood draw to that of when I was an inpatient do I fair better being on the iron pills?  With all those H and L's on my lab work from before does it look better now?  If not what can I do to make my blood healthier?  How long before I'm back to normal?

4) On the pathology report of my uterus it was noted that part of the corpus (uterus) wasn't well defined.  Is this the adenomyosis they suspected?

5)  On the night of 6 July I was admitted for induction and a  CBC was drawn.  There were L's and H's in my blood draw then.  Why wasn't I notified of the issues before I delivered baby girl on 8 July?

6) I was told that my endometriosis wouldn't continue to grow during my pregnancy.  I argued that it would several times without being taken seriously.  Now my left side of the pelvis is covered in adhesive film according to the operative report.  "The left ovary and tube were appreciated to be covered with filmy and dense adhesions attached to the left pelvic sidewall and poorly visualized.  The bilateral ureters were not visualized."

7) From the operative report I noticed that several things were clamped and cut and the bladder tucked back into place.  Is this the reason why I'm having more than a drop of urine issue now?  I never had bladder issues before, even when in my last weeks of pregnancy.

Now I only hope that I remember to ask all these questions when at my two doctor appointments next week.

If any has had any experience with Large and Giant platelets let me know what you think.  I'll be sure to ask at the appointments if I remember.