Thursday, December 30, 2010

Moving Sucks

There are no two ways around it, moving sucks. Even though the military kindly pays to pack my crap up (even if they don't always do a good job of it) and unpack it if I so desire, moving sucks. There are unexpected expenses, unpleasant surprises, innumerable stressors...I could go on.

Originally the plan was for one of us to fly out to Texas to find a house before we actually move but since the whole move basically got moved up a month and with the holidays added in, that wasn't going to happen as there simply isn't enough time. So now we're debating the wisdom of renting something sight unseen or just waiting till we get there. Right now I'm leaning towards waiting as there's a lot of inventory so we shouldn't have a problem finding something when we get there. Then I think I find something great and want to jump on it but then I'm back to being indecisive. We'll figure it out...probably about the time that we get there.

The hardest part right now is of course saying good-bye to friends that have become a surrogate family, that have been there during the dark days of deployment when you think you can't make it just one more day. Trying to explain to my 5 year old that while several of his friends are moving around the same time that we are, they're not moving to Texas too, quite frankly sucks. He remembers when we moved here from California but it wasn't the same, he was not-quite three, not really old enough to have best friends and be involved in sports and the like. This time he is and it's a lot harder for him at least, to say good-bye.  He's an adaptable, easy going little dude who makes friends easily so I'm sure he'll be alright but still. Smallish probably won't remember Georgia much, he's 2 1/2 and shy BUT he does NOT do well with change so, yeah, this will be interesting.

Never did I imagine that I'd be a little bit sad to leave Georgia (less the state and more the friends but still). It's happening so quickly it's a bit breathtaking. Our house will be packed up 10 days from now. We'll be in Texas in less than 3 weeks. I feel ready yet desperately not.

One thing that is easier about this move is that I'm not hugely pregnant, on bed-rest with all kinds of fun complications so there is that. It'll be nice to not have to stop like every thirty minutes to pee haha...yes that made the drive from California to Georgia tons of fun.

And now I really should go sort through some more endless stuff....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Countdown to Homelessness

Last Thursday the hubs went to his "get out of hell" briefing where he nearly had a heart attack. He opened his folder to find out that he's scheduled to be totally checked out and gone from Fort Stewart by January SEVENTH. His company has screwed up yet again - they did not give him his orders on time (he in fact still does not have the hard copies in hand...more on this later), did not get him into that briefing earlier as they should've, all kinds of other fun stuff as well. Whatever, we're leaving. He pushed back our leaving by another 10 days because good freaking luck getting *anything* done this week and probably next week. Probably 3/4 of the base is gone on leave and will be through the 1st of the year. Also hampering the ability to get anything done is the fact that he still does not have his hard copy orders. Which means we can't arrange for the movers to come until we have them...and the likely hood of getting them this week or next is slim, which means we're going to have to by some miracle get the orders and get the movers here within the same week.

With all that fun information, we put in our 30 day notice on our house. I am going to be wicked pissed if because of the constant cock-ups lead to us not having movers here by the 13th. We have to be out of our house by the 16th and I need time to clean as well as having the carpets cleaned. Gee this is going to be fun!

Plus there's the little thing called Christmas in between which is kind of a big deal to a certain set of little boys that are near and dear to my heart.

Someday I'll write about something other than moving and the Army. Swear.

I could give you little random factoids about myself like that I have monkey toes...I get far too much pleasure out of being able to pinch the hubs with my toes. Yes I'm evil and probably weird.

Or I could tell stories about my wild(ish) and crazy(ish) youth. Like how I once got my jeep stuck on a ginormous cooler. Or that one of the funniest things I've ever seen involves watching someone run down a beach with a 10 foot Christmas tree...that was on fire.

But for now I've got to bitch somewhere and right now, this is it. Heh.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This is where I will dazzle you with the stupidity of the Army.

Today the hubs called from work...but first you have to understand a little about his work, the unit he's attached to is akin to the asshole of a pig. Except pigs are cute. And smart. Neither are qualities that anyone at his job seems to posses. When he tells people here (or even other Army folk not here) the standard and expected response is  a sympathetic sigh and a "I'm so sorry!" Yes it's *that* fabulous. So anyways, that is the number one reason that we've stopped fighting the orders to Fort's an escape.

So anyways he calls with really awesome news. That is if you define awesome as "someone giving you 10,000 paper cuts all over your body then dunking you in lemon juice." Someone, no one is exactly sure who has decided that the hubs is going TDY (temporary duty somewhere that is not here) on January 12th. Ok, fine I say. Until he says "for three weeks." To which I promptly started yelling and eventually crying. Which makes exactly nothing better but still. Why is this so massively stupid? Oh where do I start?

For one the dates that he was given means that he will have exactly THREE DAYS to completely clear the base here AND get his ass to Texas. To put it mildly, it ain't gonna happen. There is no way in this reality or any other that he can clear the base in less than 3 days let alone drive 1500 miles in those same three days. The Army standard is 10 working days to clear a base!

Ok says the husband, I'll just change my date to check in to Fort Hood.


Not happening. To add to the fun, if he does NOT check in to Fort Hood on time even if he still hasn't checked OUT of Ft. Stewart, he was be regarded as AWOL. Seriously.

I'm not even putting the boys and I into the equation. I've moved alone before, while it's a huge pain in the ass, I can do it. I haven't done it alone with two kids but I have some awesome friends here so I know that I can get some help at least with someone keeping the midgets while I supervise packing etc. The drive doesn't bother me either. The boys and I drove more than 6,000 miles alone this summer so another 1,500 is nothing.

Right now I'm more pissed off than anything else. I mean, seriously? Are they stupid or are they dumb as a damn rock? Who makes decisions like this? Right now I want to walk in there and yell at someone. Which would not help anything but holy crap would it make me feel better.

Friday, December 10, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #24

Trying this out! We'll see if I can figure out the linky thingie. Regardless it's from Wife of a Sailor and I'm giving it a shot.

1. What do you see your life like in 10 years?
Ideally the hubs will be retired (or not, I don't care either way but at that point he'll be over the 20 year mark so being retired is a definite possibility) and I will be working as a psychologist. Hopefully I'll be done with my PhD by then...well hopefully I'll be done a lot sooner than that but hey I do have two small kids. My kids, gulp, will be in middle school and high school so I imagine that they'll keep me busy as well. 

What do you like most about your job?
That I get to spend every day with the two most handsome little men I've ever had the honor of knowing. While I do miss working outside the house sometimes being able to stay home and raise my boys is the biggest gift. They're hilarious and so much fun! 

What are three things you do every day, no matter what day it is?
Well the first things that come to mind all have to do with the kiddos but occasionally one will be with grandparents or the hubs will take over kid-care for a day so that's out. 
1. Brush my teeth
2. Drink water
3. Breathe

What would you do with an extra five hours in your day today?
Maybe it's pathetic but today for sure I'd sleep. Insomnia has been hitting hard lately especially with the news about the move (and I'm already a crap sleeper so yeah). 

What is your favorite Christmas (or whichever holiday  you celebrate) cookie recipe (please share!)?
Tough! There are so many delicious cookies out there :) There are these spoon cookies that I made for a cookie exchange last year and again this year that are just fabulous. My absolute favorite are these refrigerator cookies that my grandma used to make, very simple but so delicious. They're not strictly Christmas cookies but she used to make them especially around the holidays. 

2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter 
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 teaspoons vanilla
3-1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, mix well. Divide it in half and roll into logs. Wrap the logs in wax paper, twist the ends shut, and refrigerate at least overnight. 

Unwrap the dough and slice into roughly 1/4" slices. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Adventures

As seems to be typical of my husband's career, we were just informed that we will be roughly 6 weeks. We're not particularly pleased with where. In fact he turned down orders several times to this base in the last few months but apparently the powers that be have a sick sense of humor so off to Fort Hood we go. The whole situation is so idiotic that it's funny. He first got orders to Fort Hood in May - hubs promptly told the powers that be "Thanks but no thanks" so the rescinded those orders and issued new ones...for a different unit at, you guessed it, Fort Hood. To which we're like "Really?!" So phone calls were made, asses were reamed (in a really nice way of course) and those were rescinded. Cue deja vu orders. Same result, same annoyance by us. I just wanted to call and yell at them "MORONS! The point is we do NOT want to go to Fort Hood! Different units at the same place do not change the result!" But alas they do not fancy speaking to angry spouses. During all that, the hubs was deployed so that was fun to add onto that existing stress. But we dealt and he's home now. Sure was a nice welcome home/Christmas present to be issued orders to freaking Fort Hood yet again.

So we capitulate to the powers that be. You win.

Obviously there is a reason that we're going to Fort Hood. I may be going not exactly willingly but I'm going. I'm wee bit miffed BUT at this point I'm resolved and will make the best of it. It will be nice to be so close to Austin and the frequent (and not too pricey) flights to the California bay area aka home.

I'm also realizing that professionally for both the hubs and myself, Fort Hood won't be that bad. For him he's really just happy to be getting away from his current unit which is known as the scourge of Fort Stewart. For myself, Fort Hood has the largest mental heath treatment unit and considering that I'm going to need to start interning shortly, that will be ideal. Considering that I'm going back to school to be a licensed counselor specializing in PTSD and mental health issues specific as they effect soldiers and their families, being in a place with such a large concentration of people needing help isn't exactly a bad thing for me professionally. Hopefully by the time we leave Texas, I'll be fully licensed and on the short road to getting my PhD.

Two other very large pluses - the hub's gaining unit will be deploying as we arrive and since he just got home, he will not be. He's not really big on being on Rear-D but frankly we both know it's better than deploying. With that deployment and dwell time cycle, it looks like the entire time we're in Texas, he won't deploy which makes me do very enthusiastic happy dances. The other biggie is that we will only be there for two years. Its double edged because I know that by the time we really feel settled, we'll be leaving BUT hopefully then we'll be able to maybe, hopefully get orders somewhere we actually want to go.

And at this point I should stop rambling as typing while being climbed on by a certain smallish who is insisting that he's Buzz Lightyear is becoming challenging to say the least :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nothing says holiday like wanting to maim your nearest and dearest...

I love Thanksgiving. This year in particular I have a lot to be thankful for- my darling husband is home safe  from Iraq, my boys are healthy and happy, amazing family (even those who I briefly wanted to maim), and friends that have literally kept me sane over the last year.

Plus Thanksgiving involves lots of food...and I like food. Really, who doesn't?

So this year a big chunk of family decided to come to our house for Thanksgiving. For some reason they like the hubs. Heh. Oh, did I mention that this was my family that came? Bless their little hearts. My parents flew out from California which was awesome - they love the hubs and have really made him feel so welcome in our family from jump (at this point he's old news haha but they still like him) and my brother and his family came down from DC. In all there were 12 of us and for the most part it was awesome...for the most part. Other than the wanting to gag and tie my mother up in some dark closet somewhere. See it was the first time in 25 or so years that she hasn't hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Getting her to let go just a little was.......not successful.

Not even a little.

But it's over now and overall it was wonderful, the company was fun, the food delicious and lots of wine was drunk. Plus while they were here, the hubs and I actually got to go on a few dates (and saw Harry Potter woot!) sans kids so that's a huge win.

But I have to say the chaos makes me glad that it'll just be us four for Christmas. That's bad isn't it?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Off to the Beach We Go!

Today is the husband's last day of reintegration training which is basically 10 days of decompression. They have a lot of classes saying a lot of "don't drink too much, don't beat your wife, don't beat your kids, don't drive drunk, it's normal to ____, don't be afraid to ask for help, etc." They're done most days within an hour or two of going in. A lot of it is geared towards the younger soldiers who are perhaps less equipped to handle the changes and stress of coming home. Even old farts like my hubs take a few days to stop feeling, to put it as many do "weird." Its a way of giving them time before jumping into leave and 30 days of togetherness and no Army, time to adjust and just get used to you know, not being in a war zone.

In two days we're leaving for a much needed vacation. We're going on a FREE!!! yay!! vacation to Amelia  Island FL. We were going to go home to California but decided since we're going in a few months and my parents are coming out for Thanksgiving that we were going to just stay around here. There are several amazing organizations that provide free vacations (well hotel stays anyways) in our area. We got approved for a week stay at a super swank resort in Florida. I'm so so so excited! We so need this, it'll be so nice to be away from home and just enjoy being together as a family. 

Plus it's a week at the beach! The ocean is my may not be my beloved Pacific but it'll do. And yes it's November and won't be that warm but I guarantee that as cold as it may be, it'll be warmer than the beach at home haha! At least we won't need full body wetsuits here. 

I think I may take advantage of the spa there. After a year of no-me time, I think a little me time is in order. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Go Find Your Soldier"

Those are my favorite four words ever. At least they are right now. That may change but when I heard those words spoken on early Sunday morning, all the stresses, all the fears, everything evaporated because in that moment it was finally over. Not that they went away entirely, not that they ever totally will but in that moment the relief, the awe that we'd made it was there. Less than a minute later we had our soldier in our arms.

For any of you fellow MilSpouses out there, having a pre-arranged meeting spot is the best ever especially when it's dark and there are several hundred other soldiers there.  We'd talked about it weeks in advance and stuck to it - we were reunited less than a minute from when they said "Go find your soldier!"

This year has been long, nothing like stating the obvious right? Overall though, it hasn't been a bad year. Not having the hubs home was definitely hard but I'm an independent soul and we definitely made the best of it. Our boys definitely helped make the time easier...nothing like two little monkeys to make the time go quickly.

Right now we're still adjusting to having him home but overall everything is going amazingly well. Helps that the hubs is an old fart and this was far from his first rodeo but it never gets easier. Right now I just catch myself just gazing at him with a huge smile on my face still in disbelief that he's actually home. I know it'll last a few more weeks and then it'll be back to business as usual. But for now I'm going to enjoy this "honeymoon" period and thank my lucky stars that I was blessed with such an amazing husband and little boys.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hurry Up and WAIT

Last night at the convenient time of 3:30am I got a call from my darling husband telling me that they've just put out that instead of arriving at 11pm which is late but manageable, they'll now be getting in at 3:15am. Which is significantly less so. The welcome home ceremony will also be outside and to add to the fun, it's supposed to be the coldest night we've had since last winter. Not freezing but in the low 40's which is pretty darn cold considering that yesterday it about 85 and will be about that today as well. Then there's the fun of dragging out two small boys in the middle of the night. That will be FUN! YAY! Except you know, not. I'm also sitting on the knowledge that once the Army has changed times they're very likely to change again. Usually the end result is the families sitting out on the field for most of the night. Delightful. 

At the end of the day though, whatever the time, I will just be glad to finally have him home. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The last few days...

It is a well known fact in MilSpouse circles that the last few days of a deployment are not made up of 24 hour days. They are, in fact, approximately 240 hours long...each. Okay, okay, maybe that's an exaggeration but really it's not much of one. As busy as we are with school and sports and the general chaos of two small boys, the days are draaaaaaaggggging. If today were any other, normal day it would be about 8pm with all that I've done already. But noooooo it's instead barely 1:30.

Before the hubs goes anywhere when he'll be gone for more than a few days, I slack off on the house things - I'm not alone. Every spouse I know does too. Not much of a shocker, I mean who really wants to be doing laundry and vacuuming when your loved one is packing to leave for weeks or months at a time. Of course you want to spend every minute just being together. Once he leaves I spend an hour or two or day catatonic on the couch cuddling with my boyos. Then I start cleaning to make up for all that I've ignored and just to be DOING something. Like if I'm busy time will go faster. In the beginning it sort of does.

We're at the very tail end of a year long deployment. Knowing that I'll once again be ignoring all but the basics of housework, I've been cleaning like crazy. Hoping that the time will pass faster. Keeping myself physically occupied. Like its a way to prove "Look I'm ok! Look I didn't sit on my ass for the last 12 months" even though he knows that I didn't. I'm cleaning things that I know for a fact he won't care about or notice, some things that don't necessarily even need to be cleaned but it makes me feel better. It a way of dealing with the homecoming anxiety in a productive way. By this time I should be an expert, I'm one of the older more experienced wives but I don't feel that way. I know what to expect, I know that no matter what there's an adjustment to having him home again, that there are always little conflicts, stresses. Knowing doesn't make any of it easier. If anything its making me clean harder as if to prove just how "ok" I am. Honestly I am ok. It hasn't been an easy year and we've had our share of trauma as well as joy. But it's over...well almost anyways.

Now I think I need to go vacuum my ceiling fans....

Sunday, October 10, 2010


You know the obligatory first post, the who, what, whys.

Who? Well I'm not totally sure...I mean I should be sure as I'm considered by most of society to be a functioning adult. But I have a introspective bent...and I'm blond so yeah there you go. If you want the general, less esoteric answer it's this: 

I'm Kirstin a thirty something mom to two marvelous little boys, wife to an amazing man who happens to be in the Army. Due to said Army we are currently living in southern Georgia. I am NOT a southerner. Not even a little. In fact my maturity shines through as I usually call Georgia "stupidgeorgia" (yes it has to be all one word) and regularly tell people that I'm being held hostage in Georgia by the Army. But I digress...I digress a lot so get used to it. Hey don't say I didn't warn you! The husband is currently deployed to Iraq but he'll be home very very soon and I cannot wait! Its been a very long year. See! Another digression! Right now I'm a stay at home mom prior to spawning I was an artist (even went to school for it...not that I'm great but there you go) and in order to not, you know, starve, I worked in insurance. I always thought I'd go back to insurance but have started the journey of going back to school to be a licensed counselor focusing on military families as well as the service members themselves. Being in the community has made me realize how much help is needed and I know that there will be help needed for a very long time to come. 

What? Well I'm not sure yet. Perhaps some random blabbering, perhaps some deep thoughts. Probably a combination of the two. 

The why is probably the easiest. I like to write. I am an opinionated woman and sometimes those opinions get me into trouble but meh, I have a very hard time keeping the proverbial trap shut.