Army Wife Network: Beginning from the Middle

Guise, I’m like totally famous. On Saturday an article of mine went LIVE on an awesome site called Army Wife Network. If you haven’t heard of them you should totally go visit, and like them on Facebook of course.

Army Wife Network - Bartonville, Texas

Click the image above to check them out on Facebook. 

And go take a look at my article- it’s about my journey and my decision to go back to school for nursing. Let me know what you think either here or on the article!

Click here to take a look at my article. 

Remember to check me out on Facebook, too. Each Monday and Friday I will be posting a Milblogger Spotlight so you can read more fantastically awesome stuff from other milbloggers like myself!

Peace out, homies.

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I need to file a missing person’s report.

If you read my post a couple days ago, you’d know that E and I have been traveling. It was a short flight so that was nice, but traveling just takes alot out of a person. Especially a small person who doesn’t have her own seat on the airplane.

E has been a cranky tired mess since we got home. She has pretty much cried non-stop. I’m guessing this is because she doesn’t have a constant playmate anymore like she did when we were visiting her cousins. Another reason why she really needs a sibling.

But now we are back to “real life.” Life after the chaos of experiencing multiple children in a household. I am back to the normal every day stresses of our home stuff, like WHERE THE F IS MY PERIOD?!

Yes, that is my main concern right now. Not my new day school in which I will have several little munchkins nipping at my heels three days a week. And not going back to school. And not this race I have in a month. Nope. Its totally and completely my damn Aunt Flo.

Aunt Flo

Except she’s missing. Stupid. 

Seriously, this chick is a skank. She never tells me when she’s coming, she’s ALWAYS late, and she hurts me like Chris Brown would if Rhianna was a uterus (too soon? Whoops). Its been 6 week post-D&C and I’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting for this chick to show. The stupid thing is I’ve been waking up almost every day saying, “Today’s the day!” like its my freaking wedding day (uterus style), but alas, she is still missing.

And the cops just laugh at me when I ask to file a missing person’s report on my period. Jerks.

Cops Laughing

Its not that I miss the cramps, bloating, and feeling like someone is stabbing me in my stomach. And I know J doesn’t miss the awesome moods she puts me in. But its that I have to sit here and wait for longer and longer to do any testing or to even *think* about TTC again until she rears her ugly little head.

Like I said- skank.

But, as one mom put it, all my issues with infertility have done *some* good. For one, I’m sharing my story with others. Also, I have been able to throw myself into things I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have put off because of baby making/not really baby making like fitness, starting my own business, and going back to school. So even though Aunt Flo is awful at RSVPing, at least she’s giving me a chance to cool my jets and focus on some good things for our family.

Oh, and uh, we’re planting trees today. Not like, “Oh let’s save the Earth and plant some trees,” type trees. We’re planting trees so we don’t have to look at people in our neighborhood. More like, “Get out of my face trees.” But they are apple, pear, and cherry trees so at least they will be bearing some fruit. Unlike someone else in this household (achem, myself…)

So I guess we’ve got alot going on. But its fun right now. And after a week of seeing life with 3 kids (really 4), I think I need to take a break from the idea of having more than one child. That was traumatizing.

Enjoy your weekend, ya’ll.

 

Dependasaurus

So the other day I was perusing through Facebook and I came across this article on Military Spouse Magazine. At first I was like, “Heck yea! Way to stomp on those milspouse stereotypes!” But as she continued though the article, a few things struck me: 1. That the author, Erin Whitehead, didn’t think those stereotypes should exist at all; 2. That a spouse’s general character and appearance doesn’t affect the service member; and 3. The term “dependasaurus.”

Now, I may be the minority here but I think stereotypes exist for a reason: enough people in a given population exhibit particular characteristics that allow others to generalize certain things about that group. In fact, Military Spouse Magazine posted this article today in response to the original article saying that “rip the Band-Aid of [those] stereotypes the hell off.” I don’t actually agree with this. There are certain milspouses, both men and women, who do exhibit these stereotypes. THAT’S WHY THEY EXIST. So I don’t think the problem is the stereotype itself. Obviously enough people have exhibited these traits that those outside (and inside) the milspouse community are able to say, “ALL military spouses are: fat, lazy, unmotivated, marry for the money, pop out a million kids….you fill in the blank. I think the problem is that we, as a milspouse community, are giving people reason to stereotype us in the first place.

Now, I’m not saying that we need to wake up with our hair done, makeup perfect, and in a dress and heels. I’m not saying we should have 2.5 kids each, work outside the home, workout every day, and handle everything perfectly when our husband steps on that plane or ship to leave us for months at a time. I’m not saying that every milspouse everywhere has to change her life to be the perfect image of a “wife,” whatever that may be, to battle those outsiders (or insiders) who think we are a bunch of freeloaders throwing Thirty-One parties and drinking wine on our husband’s dime while our kids are at the base CDC. No, no, and no.

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Image courtesy of sodahead.com

I do, however, believe that as a milspouse, you do incur certain responsibilities that spouses of accountants or marketing project managers or whatever don’t have to deal with. Yes, you are a representation of your service member spouse. Maybe it’s because we do so many “regular” things on base, like grocery shopping and LIVING that our spouses are always “at work.” And/or maybe it’s because so much of the military career is focused on the family in that each command is asked to take a personal interest in their service member’s family issues. I mean, seriously, what other job out there does the boss “counsel” you if you are having issues in your home? In what other career does your spouse’s boss get a report on his desk if the police are called to your home? So no, I don’t agree with Ms. Whitehead that our appearance doesn’t reflect on our husbands.

But before you go all Nancy Kerrigan on me, understand this- I’m not talking about physical appearance like weight as in the article. I’m talking about showing up to a unit function in sweatpants looking like you just rolled out of bed. Hey, we all have bad days, I get it. Ive gone to the commissary looking like sh*t because my daughter didn’t sleep and my husband is deployed. Or just because I didn’t feel like getting myself together. But when you show up to something like a family day or pre-deployment brief looking like you don’t care and cussing a storm at your kids, the command is going to look at that as a reflection of your husband. Again, I’m not saying you need to dress to the damn nines, but put on some jeans for goodness sake.

Now, I’ve been a milspouse for about 5 years. My SIL has been a milspouse for ten years. I have met countless other milspouses over this time. Some have kids, some don’t. Some work outside the home, some work from home (I count stay-at-home parents in this category!), some don’t work. Some are officer spouses, some are enlisted. Some workout every day, some don’t work out ever. Some eat all organic, some eat out all the time. Some become extra motivated when their husbands are deployed, some just want to sit and do nothing until he comes home. Every.single.spouse I have met is different than the next one. Her life (I’ve never met a male milspouse) is complicated, fun, scary, and amazing. But I know every single one of them like they are my sisters because I am one of them.

But this…this boiled my nerves.

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Image courtesy (I don’t think that’s quite the right word) of Marine Wife Burn Book Guide: How Not to Be a Dependasaurus. There is seriously a Facebook page for this crap?

I heard the term “Dependasaurus” for the first time in Ms. Whitehead’s article. According to urbandictionary.com, a dependasaurus is defined as:

A gossipy, loud mouthed, jobless woman who is a dependent of her unhappily married husband. They often target unsuspecting military members to be their paycheck, I mean husband. Once they have married them, they immediatly take credit for all things that their spouse has accomplished. “We’ve been in the military for blank years..”, “We’ll be promoted next month”, “We’ve been to Iraq twice.” They enjoy driving their minivans or company car around with their husband’s position title on the windshield because they command the same respect that their husbands get. You can find them congregrated at Pampered Chef parties, where they feed off the hostess, I mean food that the hostess prepares.. The Dependasaurus is much like a cackling hen, always sitting on their ever growing ass, talking about anyone and everyones business, while their husband stays late at work so he doesn’t have to come home to another McDinner nite, cuz the wife he bought 5 years earlier has morphed into a waste of carbon who’s let herself go, doesn’t do anything but spend his money, neglect his kids, sit on her ass all day and uses the common excuse of not knowing how to cook to avoid making some kind of nutritious meal for the family. Dependasauruses come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, the majority of them are large beasts, however a growing number of them are starting out smaller. No matter how small they are before they get married, this is just a clever ploy to attract dumb shallow men, and Dependasauruses always quickly return to their natural form of unattractiveness and selfishness. Key identification features of the Dependasaurus include: gold necklace with their name in Arabic with a cotton t-shirts paired with jean shorts a Coach purse and a blue tooth or cell phone attached to their ear, 5 starving children clothed in rags from Ross or any other thrift store trailing behind her, they have an inability of controlling the volume of their voice when talking about money or medical issues so that Us little people can hear them. Dependasauruses usually travel in large packs, I mean clicks of other Dependasauruses.

Seriously? We, military spouses, came up with a term like this FOR EACH OTHER? Excuse my language (or don’t) but what the hell is that bullshit? Dudes, I get it- there are women out there that marry for the benefits, that go all limp when their husbands leave, that wear their husband’s rank, or that commit adultery. But I wouldn’t call that person a “dependasaurus” or as one of my readers recently heard it “a dependaho.” No, I’d just call that A SHITTY PERSON.

I know that these types spouses exist, because they exist everywhere and not just in the military. But contrary to (apparently) popular belief, most milspouses are highly motivated and driven women who not only love their husbands and children (all 5 of them hanging off the cart, obvi) but they also love their country enough to have a polygamist marriage with *enter branch here.*

But like I said, I know stereotypes exist for a reason. But as a community, why are we pointing fingers at those few, and yes I mean few, spouses that make us all look bad? Why are we giving a name to that group? All it does is bring attention to those bad apples in our classic American apple pie and promotes the stereotypes that we all loathe. Seriously, cover that crap up with whipped cream and get over it. Those dependasauruses aren’t worth the name you give to them.

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Image courtesy of Google Images

And let’s try to remember that maybe, justttt maybe, that chick you see walking though the PX in her husband’s pt gear with her screaming toddler in the cart and crying baby on her hip isn’t a dependasuarus. Maybe her kids are crying because she won’t give them that toy and she’s actually sticking to her guns instead if giving in. Maybe she was on the phone all night with her husband’s command because he is being transported to Germany, then Walter Reed “if all goes ok.” Maybe she’s just had a flipping bad day. So instead of judging her, be a REAL milspouse and buy her a damn coffee. Or tell her you’ve been there. Or just give her a smile of encouragement. Because every person has a life you know nothing about, but as a fellow milspouse, you’ve probably been in her shoes a time or two. So be kind, and knock it off with this dependasuarus crap.

Things I learned from my siblings in the past week

Anyone who knows me in “real life” knows that I have two older siblings. But they are *much* older. Like 6 and 8 years older. So pretty much I’m still young and they are just old. I kid, I kid.

As a kid it was more obvious that my siblings were older. By the time I was in middle school, both were in college. I didn’t really have to share my things or a room, so sibling rivalry wasn’t an issue. And now, as adults and all of us being married with children (ha! I used to love that show!), we don’t even notice our age difference. At least I don’t- but maybe they actually look at me and think, “She”ll learn one day…”

However, after this past week I can say that my eyes were opened to a whole new world of organized chaos. I recently spent a week with my brother and his family, and I was paying very close attention as to what its like to have more than one person crying and hanging on your arm at all times. I guess it’s because J and I have had so many issues with fertility lately that I was looking at their little family and thinking, “Could I really handle this all? E and another baby, plus J, the house, and everything that goes with those responsibilities?” It was like God was giving me a peek into what life might be like one day…He’s all, “I tried to warn you and you aren’t listening, so here’s how sh*ts going to go down.”

After a week, I still can’t answer that question for sure. I’ve taken care of several kids on my own on a regular basis, but I could always give them back at the end of the day. I’ve had a newborn, but not with another kid around. I don’t know if one is ever ready for adding another person to your count but in watching my SIL, who is also a milspouse, I found that we are the toughest breed and a few (or lots) of tears, fighting, and everyone needing to eat RIGHT NOW won’t phase us.

Despite my own insecurities about being able to “handle it all” if we are ever blessed with a sibling for E, I did learn a few very interesting things in my visit with them though. Some kid related, some not…:

1. More kids CAN actually be easier- In total there were four kids in the house. And even though it was crazy, I found that the short times I had all 4 it really wasn’t that bad. The older ones played together, the oldest could help me with the baby, and babies actually sleep alot. Bt, I am realistic in that I was only with them for a few hours by myself, they were good to play together because they don’t see each other that often, and I didn’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning. Hence my insecurities.

2. I learned how to use a Diva Cup- I had heard of this…interesting…device and mentioned it to my SIL. We didn’t know how one might use this thing, so she YouTubed it. Go ahead, take a look if you dare.

3. Circumcision is an art- Apparently some people like to tell their doctors how much to “trim” when their little boys are born. Like its a freaking haircut. “Oh doctor, I’d like it shorter on the sides but leave a little extra on the top.” WTH. (For the record, this is just something my SIL mentioned to me, not that they did this!)

4. Always have food- Snacks cure all. For everyone- adults and kids alike.

5. Put your kids to work- Make sure they keep up with their responsibilities, and that they pitch in with chores. Around toddler age, they can throw away diapers, get their own things, put away their toys…it’s just one less thing for you to do. Even if you just have one kid right now, teach them these things early so they are already used to it when another one comes along! That’s why you had kids right? Free labor.

6. E is going to be a great big sister- She wanted to help with the baby in everything we did with him (sometimes a little forcefully, but she had good intentions). She loved on him, snuggles him, and her internal maternal instincts were apparent. She’s going to be an awesome big sister. I hope we can give that to her.

I really enjoyed my time with my brother and his family, and I know E did too. She learned so much from her cousins, she loved snuggling with the baby, and we had a great time. Family is so important to us and I’m grateful to my family and to God for giving me a sneak peek into what life *might* be like one day.

Homefront United: Atheism in the Military

Heyyyyy ya’ll.

My latest article with Homefront United is up. It is about atheism in the military, and whether non-God fearing chaplains should be allowed to serve our troops. Damn heathens (I kid, I kid).

Check it out, yo and let me know what you think either here or there. Thanks!

Atheism in the Military

Hanes, stop showing me vaginas. Also, a revamp.

I don’t know if the commercial is THAT popular because the only commercials I ever see are for cleaning products and ABCmouse.com in between Dora episodes, but during J and mine’s “date weekend” I saw it like 15 times.

Take a looksie:

Seriously, all I could think about is, “Wow, they are getting really close to those girl’s vaginas.” And also, “How do they keep their bikini lines so smooth?” I really didn’t need to see all that in between Varsity Blues and Real Housewives of Orange County.

On another entirely different note, I’m revamping this bloggity-blog. Since I have started my home-based business, which is a homeschool preschool, I will be focusing on some of the activities we are doing here at “school.” I will be posting my ideas, lesson plans, and the healthy snack I will be making here for the kids.

I will still be talking about all things military related though. And fertility stuff. Or lack of fertility. And I’ll still be funny. Hopefully.

Here are some of the other things we will be talking about in the near future:

  • Every Friday and Monday I will be sharing the fan pages of some of my other favorite military bloggers. Check them out and “like” them on Facebook. If I like them, that means they are pretty cool. Obvi.
  • I have some feature articles coming up from other sites on current military issues. So stay tuned for those.
  • I will be adding some space for advertising as well as redoing the look of my blog. So if you’re interested in advertising (I’m cheap like Lindsey Lohan), contact me!

Sorry this is so short and jumbled but we’ve got alot going on lately and I feel like I barely have 10 minutes to sit down and write a comprehensive thought.

Anyways, stick around and tell your friends to come check me out. We have fun here.

Remembering the Day

Please take a few minutes today to remember all of those who lost their lives today, and our first responders. Today is a day no American will ever forget and that our children will learn about in history class. Honor those who fell, but also remember how it brought our country back together.

Miley Cyrus reminded me what I need to make a baby

A foam finger. DUH.

Ugh. No, Miley…just. No.

And that was one of the tamer photos. Because this is a family-friendly blog ya’ll. Ain’t nobody got time for that sh*t.

Now that Hannah Montana has successfully ruined all the dreams of those parents that thought, “What a good role model for our child!” we are going to move on to more important things- me and baby making. Sans the foam finger. Sorry J.

Today I had my first visit with a reproductive endocronologist (RE). An RE is a big, fancy term for someone who knows all about reproductivity (but not like those cheesy 80s movies you watched in middle school…more legit expert) so you can baby make like the best of them.

Mrs. Duggar must have known about the foam finger.

Let’s first explain my ordeal to simply get to this appointment. I want to have it on record so any future children can feel guilty straight out of the womb.

First I had to drive the hour north to my parents house the night before because this “special” appointment is over 2 hours away from  where I live. And that’s without traffic. My appointment right smack dab in the middle of rush hour, so it would take me FOR.EV.ER to get there. A toddler in the car who *just* gave up her pacis while in the carseat and got woken up 2 hours early AND traffic of any kind is not good. So off to Nana’s house we went so she could watch E while I ventured on out to this appointment.

I decided to take the train to the hospital instead of drive because, again, traffic. So I got up at 545am to shower and get to the train station. With Starbucks in hand (of course), I took the hour and a half hour commute to the hospital. The train ride was ok except that I got motion sickness. But it was a hell of alot better sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.

FINALLY I was at the hospital, checked-in, and sitting down with my new doctor, Dr. C. She was pretty awesome. She listened to me while I vented about my frustration with my other doctors, the losses, and how I just wanted to do whatever I could to help me have a successful next pregnancy. She gave me a plan, and anyone who knows me knows I like to have a plan. So here it is:

  1. Immediatley- Today we checked my betas to make sure they were going down appropriately. Hopefully they are, so we will see in a few days.
  2. September- Once my cycle returns, I will go in for hormonal testing for PCOS, lipid panel, and FSH/LH/Estradiol/Prolactin/TSH on cycle day 3. I will also go in on cycle day 21-23 for progesterone testing.
  3. October- Once my second cycle comes I will make an appointment to do a saline sonogram to check and see if I have any septum in my uterus that is blocking a baby from getting the proper amount of blood flow. I will also do a repeat of the RPL testing, because apparently I wasn’t supposed to do that with HCG in my system even though my prior doctor told me I could. UGH.

Before I had my D&C I heard back from my original doctor about all the RPL testing that I got done that I shouldn’t have, and she told me everything came back normal except that I had a gene defect- MTHFR C6227. Or the motherf***er gene as I like to call it. I am on the “good” side of this gene defect in that mine is heterozygous. It basically means that I don’t metabolize folate well and I need an extra boost of that stuff. Right now I’m taking my regular prenatals, as well as vitamin B6 and eating a natural derivative of folic acid each day like spinach or quinoa.

Right now we are on hold to try and conceive  until about November. Dr. C wants me to go through 2 regular cycles so we can check on everything that needs checking, and make sure we are doing everything we can. Things that I may need to take in the future if they can’t find anything wrong (which happens about 70% of the time) are:

  • Baby aspirin- this helps with clotting disorders, if I have any. The tests in September will help to determine if I do, but she said that some people still take it “just in case” even if they don’t have any known disorders.
  • Extra folate- to make sure that the baby is getting what he/she needs through development.
  • Progesterone- if my levels come back low, she will put me on progesterone suppositories until about 8 weeks when/if I get pregnant. I already have a prescription from my original doc but Dr. C *kind of* alluded to the fact that she shouldn’t have prescribed that willy-nilly.

Its a lot of info, I know. But if you are going through something similar, maybe this will help give you an idea of what you should be listening to your RE or OB mention when you’re discussing the next steps.

I’m just glad that I now have a plan of attack. A plan of attack on my uterus.

 

Meal Plan: September, Week 1

This week’s meal plan is up, complete with a easy crockpot whole chicken recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. And my crazy toddler who loves raw onions…

Onion Eating Baby

Check it out and don’t forget to leave a comment with your own meal plans for this week!