Thursday, March 31, 2011

The unseen casualties

Thinking about the newest Gold Star families, it made me think about the families that did have their Hero come home only to find that they too, are a casualty of war. PTSD has ruined lives, marriages, and families. I have so much to be thankful for, even with everything that happened in Afghanistan, my Hero came home. Not all wounds are visible, and I've seen a friend's marriage fall apart from PTSD. We need to release the stigma on these Heroes. I've also seen how people can attack a Hero with PTSD, saying it's all an act so that they could come home early. Wives who have their so-called friends turn on them because their husband came home early because of these types of problems. It's easy to think "Well, you have him home, so my situation is worse than yours." but really, is the person who left the one who came back? Soldiers don't get sent home from a deployment for just any ol' reason, it has to be serious. If it's serious enough to get sent home, it's serious enough to cause a major life change in that family! Don't try to compare situations...don't try to "one-up" someone on how bad your situation is. It's also easy to be jealous--and that makes us defensive. We need to remember that we're all in this together, we all need support--whether our Hero is home, in training, at school, or deployed. We're part of a worldwide sisterhood, stand next to your sisters, you never know when you're going to need them to stand next to you.

A different kind of homecoming

Yesterday my facebook newsfeed was flooded with statues to the effect of "Praying for an Army family who lost their Hero." Turns out I "knew" this family. No, I've never met them, never even spoken to them, but through the internet, I knew this wife. AMKOL has introduced me to many military women, and this is where I "met" this wife. Six soldiers died on Monday, they were getting ready to come home in the next month or so....but now these families are having to get ready for a whole different kind of homecoming. It's not one filled with posters of "I love you Daddy! Welcome Home!" or "Come kiss your wife", it's not balloons and's a flag draped casket, it's planning a funeral service, it's worrying whether or not you're going to be harassed at your Hero's service by people picketing and screaming obscenities at you. Instead of a fun homecoming dress shopping trip, it's picking out your mourning clothes. The homecoming kiss that has been so long awaited will never come. Their two year old son will never get to play with his Daddy again. His daughter will never get to have her Daddy give her away at her wedding. Whether you support this war or not, whether you agree with the politics--SUPPORT THE TROOPS. They're doing their job--whether they agree with the politics or not. They're on the front lines for YOU. Making sure that you are safe here at home. They don't know you, but they fight for you and your family. Thank these brave men and women for their service, keep the fallen Heroes and their families in your prayers. There are 6 more Gold Star families...we salute you and your fallen Heroes. Thank you for everything you've given for our country.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

What is your must have gadget? submitted by Flying High With My Flyboy
My iPhone. It used to just be my phone, but once I got an iPhone, I can't go back!
How does your adulthood compare to what you imagined it would be like when you were a little kid? submitted by L to the Third
I don't really recall spending too much time thinking about what life would be like when I was a kid, but as I got older, it's not too much different!
What is your favorite chocolate recipe? submitted by Our First Deployment
Yes! I love chocolate, and I'm going to repeat myself from a couple weeks ago and say Cacharel's chocolate souffle.
How do you deal with military life when it gets to be to much or to hard? submitted by Combat Boots And Pointe Shoes
I've been a part of AMKOL for a couple years now and the ladies there have been invaluable to providing support that only military girls can! No matter the problem, how trivial or life-changing it may be, the girls are there!!
What piece of advice would you give a new Military spouse facing their first deployment? submitted by The Albrecht Squad
Be flexible, open-minded, and above all, hopeful. Focus on the positives and remember, no news is good news! You WILL find out if something bad happens, I promise. So if you just haven't heard anything in awhile, remember that they want to talk to you just as much as you want to talk to them--or even more! Also, it DOES end!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Munchkin's 18 month check-up

Yesterday we had Munchkin's 18 month checkup. Where has the time gone?!?! She got ooh'ed and ahh'ed over by all the nurses and staff that saw her and we got our paperwork to fill out. We got her weighed and measured. She's doing better on her stats now! She's 22lb 10 1/2oz now, which is about 25% (she had been between 5% and 10%, so this is fabulous!), she's 31" tall, which is 27% (she's always hovered around the 25%, so we're up a little here too!), and her head circumference is 49.5cm--which is 99%! Her head has always been in the high 90s--she has to have a big brain to be so smart!
In our paperwork was a questionnaire to gauge her development. She's ahead of the game in gross motor skills, a little ahead in fine motor skills, great at personal/social skills, great in receptive language, and delayed in expressive language. What this means is that she doesn't speak enough. She has about 5 words and a bit of a signing vocabulary. 18 month olds typically have about 20 words. It could be as simple as she's waiting until she can do it all perfectly before she does anything (similar to what she did with walking), or there could be something else. We don't think it's a major issue, but here is a prime case of better safe than sorry--and early interventions are much more effective than waiting til she's older!
We should have our TRICARE referral paperwork by the beginning of next week and be able to contact the speech therapist to get her started in about a month. Hopefully they can get her in quickly! One more thing this means is that she now has to be enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) to make sure that as long as she needs speech therapy, she'll be able to get it wherever we move. We're hoping it's something that she'll only need for a short time, but whatever she needs, we'll do!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #34

What are some of your ideas for staying connected with family…you know, those people we moved thousands of miles away from? submitted by Live it. Love it (or not). Write About It.
Since we currently live about 6 hours away from most of our family, we visit when we get the chance, which is a lot more than in the past. Phone calls are good too! When we're farther away, like Alaska, Skype becomes one of our best friends!!

What’s the most romantic gift you have GIVEN? submitted by Painting My Canvas
Oh goodness, I have no idea!

Would you encourage your child, if they came to you and wanted to join the military? submitted by Perfectly Imperfect
First, I would be prouder than proud that I raised a child that had the drive to do something like that--especially after knowing the ups and downs of military life. Second, I would make sure that it was first and foremost their desire pushing the decision--not money, school, peer pressure, etc. If after a lot of research about different MOS's and what everything would be like, it was still their desire, you can bet I'd take the first chance I had to put a "Proud Army Mom" sticker on my car!

What is your least favorite bill to pay and why? submitted by A Little of This, A Little of That
We don't have a lot of bills since we live on post, but right now I guess I would say our internet since we've been having problems with it lately!

What is the proudest moment you’ve had as a military spouse? submitted by Our Okinawa Life
One for him and one for me: For him, it was when he got promoted this last time--even though I didn't get to go to the ceremony and have yet to pin him (next time...hopefully!), I was SO proud of him for working so hard and getting that promotion! For me, it was at his troop Halloween party. They had a costume contest, with first prize being a 4-day weekend pass. I made our costumes, without any patterns, and we took first place without any competition! We made a pretty great Flintstone family! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #33

1. During military separations (whether short or long) how do you keep yourself positive and motivated? submitted by Married/Single Parent
I try to have some sort of a goal--when we were dealing with deployment, it was Munchkin. First the pregnancy and then of course taking care of her.

2. What is your favorite concert you have ever been to? submitted by Young but Not (Completely) Dumb
The biggest concert I've been to was EdgeFest the summer between my sophomore and junior year. My mom got tickets for my birthday and it was an interesting experience! I'm not really much of a concert person.

3. What do you miss most about your “hometown”? submitted by A Florida Girl and Her Soldier
The little things. A lot of them are places that haven't been everywhere else I've lived--especially here!!

4. If you could run in any race, which charity would you choose to support? submitted by Wookie & Co.
Me. Run. HA! I've tried. The charity I would want to support would be...either March for Babies or something related to the SPCA.

5. You find out Willy Wonka is your father, what 3 course meal do you INSIST he create in that stick of gum? submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
Soup--a pumpkin coconut soup I had at Cacharel Restaurant the last time we went. It was AMAZING. Completely pumpkin-y, not coconut-y. Main course--Another Cacharel dish, Pecan Crusted Chicken. Again, amazing! Thankfully this one is a relative regular here at home! Dessert--why not make it a complete Cacharel meal and go with their Chocolate Souffle. I want to try some of their other desserts, but turning down that perfect souffle is really difficult!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Such a big girl!

Today Munchkin walked down the second half of our stairs on her own!! She held onto the wall and took each step like a big girl!! She's been walking down the stairs with help for awhile, but was too scared to do it on her own (Mommy was scared too!!!). I still prefer her to scoot backwards down the stairs, she's so much more stable that way, but she wants to be like Mommy and Daddy. She is definitely getting into the helping and independent stages. It's a little bittersweet. She's becoming SUCH an amazing little girl with a fabulous personality that is really starting to shine, but she's leaving behind some of the babyish things that were so cute and endearing. On another related "growing up" note--we're going to start potty training soon. I got a great deal on panties for her and she's starting to show signs of being ready!! It will definitely be an interesting adventure!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

MilSpouse Blogging Community

If you look over on my sidebar, you may notice a new button: Military Spouse Blogger. Over at, she came up with the idea for this community. I'm excited to link in with them and get this blog updated more often! Every Friday, posts "MilSpouse Friday Fill-In", so I'll be joining in that on Friday!