Monday, February 27, 2012

Sick, Sick....SICK!

Well the day started off good getting to Post to get ID cards, car stickers, & a POA with NO LINES!! MIRACLE!! Then we went to see Act Of Valor which was very amazing for a military story & a must see. But half way through I began to feel so nauseous . By the time we left I barely made it home before I tossed my cookies for hours! Not the way you want to spend the last day of R&R with your man  :0(  I laid in bed for 3 hours trying not to move so the little sips of Sprite I drank stayed down. Chills, fever, you name it I got it today. I just hope by the time I wake up it's gone. I have way to much to do this week to be sick especially with Paul leaving. The older boys are a big help but it's not the same.

I couldn't find a picture with a mom barfing over a toliet-lol That is where I stayed almost all day. Pray for me to get better, poor Paul's last day stunk which  makes me sad.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wrapping it up...

Hey folks we have not fallen off the face of the earth we have just been enjoying our much deserved family time while the husband is home. We had so much fun doing everyday activities together. First up was lunch at school with the two younger boys. Paul got home just in time to attend his first family lunch with Jeremy & Jacob. They where so thrilled to see him there they rushed through their lunch . They wanted to show him what they get to do after lunch on the playground for Jacob & cleaning tables as a lunch room helper for Jeremy.

Then Paul and I enjoyed the first Friday he was home with much needed relaxation heated stone massages . We where both so relaxed & a little sore from working all our muscles. We headed off to lunch after that at The Ram to enjoy our time together. It has been a very nice transition with all the kids in school during the day for Paul & I to have alone time. That has never happened before on R&R. I didn't even miss our usual night away by ourselves since we had time during the day for uninterrupted adult conversations, hand holding, stolen snuggles, & kissing eachother anytime we wanted .It was heaven!

Next we headed to The Great Wolf Lodge with the boys in Grand Mounds, WA. It is only a forty-five minute drive from our home so it's the perfect stay-cation for our family. This marked our fourth time to go together & have a lot of fun! We try to go on block leave or R&R during deployment cycles. With teenagers & younger kids it's a place that has activities we all enjoy. We all raced around jumping on waterslides, swimming through the waves in the wave pool, helping Jeremy fight dragons in Magi Quest, & eating delicious food. We had a lot of good quality family time that we all needed.

Paul & I even managed to head out to dinner with our best friends with out children one night at Fujiyama's Japanese Steak House. It was fun to have our delicious meal prepared right in front of us by a wonderful chef. We really enjoyed the time with friends.

Last night we wrapped up our family & friend activites with a great BB-Que at Sam's home.

I meant to get a picture of her cooking the 60 ribs she had marniated for Paul with snow falling down, but I got side tracked inside chatting  :0/ But they where super amazing as always & there where hardly any left at the end of the night! Paul was having a great time with all his friends . I think we had a house of about 20 - 22 people running around. Great food, great conversation, & amazing food made the evening perfect. He said his goodbyes as he won't see a lot of them until he returns home later this summer. That was a bit bitter sweet knowing his time home is almost over. 
How fast the time always seems to go on R&R. You wait what seems like unimaginably slow months for it to arrive to hold your loved one. Then it's gone in a blink of an eye.  We had Sam snap a quick family picture- not the best but Paul was anxious to enjoy the evening - he hates pictures. But I need them while he is gone to help me make it through the deployments. I need to be able to look back & smile at the memories the picture brings to mind. This photo will make me laugh as it will remind me that Paul helped Nathan brew his first ever stout that day. As well as all our friends took time to come all the way out to our neighborhood to spend time with Paul before he leaves again. It will also remind me of the boys acting silly & Paul yelling " Just Smile All Ready!" then smiling himself for the picture with no sign of the craziness surrounding the photo.

Poor Jeremy was not feeling well all night. He laid down on a couch almost all night. I soon figured out that his head cold had moved to his chest. He was up all night with a nasty cough & slight fever.  He hasn't eaten much & is currently still asleep at 8:30AM in the morning, so I know he feels really bad. Hopefully he perks up to enjoy the last couple of days with his dad. 

We don't have much else planned except a couple more meals to make that are favorites. As well as just enjoying our time together. Then we will do the hardest thing ever & say our goodbyes for another four months at least. Happy together in this moment though as we treasure what feels like stolen time. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

PBS Has Hooked Me Again

I've always loved , loved Anne of Green Gables since I was in middle school when I first saw it on PBS. Never since then has PBS hooked me on any of their series until this week. I had seen a few friends post about a new series on PBS called Downton Abbey. I was curious so while my husband watched a Star Wars Marathon with the boys I dove into the new British drama.

I have been hooked so much I just finished the second season & can't believe I now have to wait a year for season three! I adore all the fabulous clothing the ladies get to wear. Especially Lady Mary's character, she always has the prettiest frocks. Her antics keep you on your toes at times feeling a little exasperated with her over her choices. But mostly feeling sorry for her when she realizes her mistakes. Her & Matthew together make me long to watch the old series North & South. I love a good drama filled romance!

It only took me 3 days to watch 14 episodes. I am not ashamed to admit it because it is such a good cast of actors bringing to life finally a good piece of TV that I haven't seen in years. I love all the chatter that happens among the staff who help you really stay logged into the family happenings. It's just all so intriguing but I have always loved time pieces. This following character took me a minute to figure out where I recognized her face from?? But soon I did figure it out! Have you or can you??

My only clue was her hair color & British accent. Then it smacked me in the face after watching her in about 3 episodes. Savecha! My spelling may be off but it means " diced fish"? Ring a bell yet? If your a die hard Grey's fan you should know the answer- she was Lexie Grey's patient for awhile. Her acting is very good in this series & I was actually sad to see her go when they wrote her off. 

Meet the three sisters who have sparks flying  from the opening episode. Eventually it all works out, but it has it crazy twists & turns. Enough to make you keep tuning in over & over. Or in my case watching it non-stop for hours at a time!

If you haven't watched it & wonder how now that it is over. Go to to watch both season's for FREE!! Did you here me it's FREE!! If your looking for something to fill the  nights while the husband is away or just a good new series to sink your teeth into, then here you go folks. Downton Abbey has won me over & now I am anxiously waiting for Season three! Thank you to PBS for once again putting wonderful programming back on TV for me to watch.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Four Years Later

It's funny how in our lives that some years drag by when our soldiers are deployed . But how when one of our Angelverssiary's are upon us it really does feel like it just happened yesterday for me. I can only imagine what it must feel like for my husband and for those family members who are left behind. I know it seems as most have moved on and are trying to live their lives. But I also know how the losses have forever changed my husband & myself.  Four years later we are still remembering those two brave soldiers we lost today in Iraq. Four years later a lot of good men are asking the question still in their heads "what if?" What if I had done this or what if we had done that. The losses felt so keenly four years ago can still be felt just as much today. We never forget the sacrifices that where made by the group of guys who lost so many. They are forever ingrained in my heart. For a moment today I ask you stop and take the time to go remember with the rest of us so that we may never forget that Freedom is never Free.

Page of Remembrance   Go scroll through the faces of those young brave soldiers then pay close attention that today we remember & honor  Cpl Luke Runyan & Cpl Chad Groepper.

2BN/23IN RECON 2007 - 2008

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine Arrived Early

My love, my friend, &  my hero arrived a little earlier then expected yesterday. I was at the gym doing my work out when I got a call on my cell.The caller ID said Texas & I knew exactly who was on the other end! He said he flew all night & caught an earlier flight so he would be in a whole day sooner then expected. I should have anticipated this but after years of the Army never getting me my soldier home on time I was not prepared. I raced out of the gym as fast as I could. Only to discover while driving home I had left my towel & water bottle at the gym by the weights-haha. But I need to shower, shave, & clean the rest of the house so I could be out the door in four hours to head to the airport. Thankfully I had started the cleaning process before I left for the gym that morning. I got myself all ready & laid out on the kitchen table a surprise early Valentines for my boys. The older boys knew their dad was arriving sometime soon, but the little guys had no idea.

I left their goodies out for them with strict instructions for the older two to not touch anything until their brothers arrived home from school. All left in a note they where to dispose of as soon as they read it they learned their dad would be home in a matter of hours not days!

Now that all was ready I could barely stand to wait any longer so decided to leave early for the airport.

I was leaving about thirty minutes early & when I arrived at the airport I was so glad I had gotten there early. His flight made good time & he would be arriving about 20 minutes earlier then we thought. I raced to the gate & waited for about forty minutes. I played angry birds on my phone which I stink at so bad! Then I looked up & it was time!

I was so excited & could barely stand to watch all the other passengers as well as soldiers come off the plane. FINALLY he walked out & I was so surprised at how much weight he had lost. I knew from our conversations he had said he lost 30 pounds but I wasn't able ot picture it in my mind I guess. He looked thin but good, so GOOD!! Of course we kissed  & hugged & I snapped a quick picture to share.

I wish we could take people with us because I would bring a friend to snap better pictures but this will have to do for now. he was tired but so happy to be home. We headed to Baggage claim where he had not checked any luggage so off we went to drive home. We chatted all the way home & stopped to grab pizzas for dinner. I phoned our oldest to let him know we would be home soon. he said the two little guys still had no idea dad was about to walk through the front door any moment!

Short little video of his welcome home. We where all so excited & just plain thrilled to have normal again for the next 16 days. I hope everyone else has just as good of a Valentines Day as our family.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wishing & Praying....

 Yes folks it is getting hard to hide the excitement in our home. Soon & very soon I will be wrapping my arms around my man!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to me!! It's one of the best birthdays ever!! I don't even mind I am one year away from the dreaded 40 !!  I woke up to a special delivery of a super cute new purse made for me by my MIL that my husband helped with. He suggested fabrics all the way from A-Stan.

Two friends thought he had gotten me a Vera Bradley purse. Nope, but looks just like something out of her collection because my MIL is super talented! I love it and immediately switched everything over to my new purse.

Then I went to pick up my best friend Sam so we could go shopping for a R&R outfit. A girl must look her best when picking up her soldier from the airport. Especially after not seeing him for 7 MONTHS!! I am cutting it close but Macy's did the trick! Super cute new top that was the last small on the mannequin. The sales lady was super nice about pulling it down off the wall for me! Then we hit up Charlotte Russ for cute ballerina slippers that match perfectly! I did not want heels because knowing the Army it'll be some crazy time in the early morning or late evening- so comfort but cute was in order. We also hit up Victoria Secrets because let's face it girls under garments are often neglected or forgotten when your man is gone. It was time to update & pick up some cute items. Plus I have managed to loose 12 pounds since I saw him last so I wanted to flaunt it a little  ;0)

Last but not least Sam took me to lunch at Apple bee's where I had a super yummy Strawberry drink our friend Nichole who was working made for me.

It was really good and went well with the great food we enjoyed. We ran home & picked up the children from school. Then I got to chat with my man & I am beyond excited with the time frame for his arrival!! Single digits ladies!! Now to head to puppy class to wrap up my day. But I did already have a huge night out in Seattle last weekend. All my besties surprised me with dinner & a Burlesque show at a place called The Pink Door. It was amazing! I hope to get their pictures soon to share. It is definitely going to be hard to top next year- but we shall see. Here is to hoping that this next year is amazing!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Very Blessed

Yesterday I woke up to another beautiful clear sunshine morning in the Pacific Northwest. The kind of day that tricks you into thinking it is almost Spring time. Of course having lived here in WA eleven years yesterday I know better. But it does not mean we didn't enjoy every minute of the cold but pretty day! 

It started off with me taking Banyan to the gym for only the second time. This time I took him inside during my Cardio work out. He laid down beside the elliptical for a whole 32 minutes before he became a little fidgety. I was really excited with this length of time for him seeing as he is only 8 months & the noises where new to him. We then headed to the local park that has ducks. Being as Banyan is a natural bird dog- ducks or any bird has been his issue lately. It doesn't help that Panzer our male Weimaraner sits by our sliding door to watch the birds all day long. At the duck park I tried no haltie on Banyan to start with as we began our walk. It became very obvious he needed the haltie to help him listen & loose his "puppy brain" . As soon as I placed his haltie on him he settled in to watch the ducks very closely with only an ocssional whimper. He did as good as I could have expected  for a puppy. So now we will go to the park as often as the weather permits to continue his desensitization to the ducks. We need him to be ok wth all birds around him enough that he will never pull Jeremy along on a bird chase once Jeremy becomes his full time handler.

Watching the ducks swimming all around.

Then it was time to head to Safeway where the Boy Scout Troop 603 had set up for the Raffle Ticket sales. What a blessing we had the sunshine. Our table was right at the entrance & in the shade. My feet eventually went numb at one point & Banyan started to shiver. I went & got a blanket out of the van for him to lay on eventually. He did so well hanging out for about four hours. Barney another wonderful dog from All American Dogs 
joined us half-way through the morning. The two of them together impressed the grown-ups and wooed the children. Banyan did perfect by waiting to allow the children to pet him until I asked him "to go say hi". We have been working on it & he is doing quiet well. 

Banyan sitting by the table at the start of the ticket sales.

Barney the 3 year old Golden who joined us during the day.

Banyan started to show me signs he was exhausted around 3PM. Some didn't understand why I felt he needed to leave. But all day he was working. Banyan knows now when his vest is on he is working . He may look like he isn't while children are petting him, but it wears him out emotionally. He is letting the kids soothe because he is allowing them to love on him.  Also anytime I moved away from him he sat alert to watch me or even joined me as he has to have me in his line of sight. When he laid down on the blanket and looked like he was dozing off I knew he was done & it was time to go.

 Banyan showing me he was tired & ready to go home.

We where so blessed with ticket sales yesterday & meeting wonderful people from our Yelm community. We raised a little over $900 in ticket sakes as well as cash donations. The money goes towards the continued training of Banyan over the next 3 years. It was great to talk with people about Service Dogs & the training  that goes into them. I was so glad I was able to be a part of it for as long as we where able to be there.

Ticket sales continue this week on-line so we can only hope to break the $1000 mark by this Friday- How amazing!! I know that all the hard work that Jeremy & I put into Banyan right now will one day lead to a better quality of life for my son. That Jeremy will have the independence that his brothers have to go places with out me or my husband. I know I get exhausted at times & feel over whelmed. But days like yesterday remind why we are in this new journey & how much support we really have all around us everyday. Thank you to Devon one of Jeremy's friends & his parents who brought the idea to the Boy Scout Troop. Thank you to the boys and their parents who whole heartily jumped into the raffle with both feet to help benefit one of their own. After eleven years of living in WA yesterday it truly felt like we where home, this is where we belong. How amazing and wonderful it just happened to fall on the exact day that we arrived to WA eleven years ago when Jeremy was just 4 months old.

 This was sent to me by a friend who came out yesterday to support our family. The meaning is so true. All this work is so Jeremy can have  Good Life.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sunshine in February....

Playing outside by the lake on a rare day in the Pacific Northwest.

Banyan has no idea why Jeremy is pouring sand into a bucket?? 

Why do you need water now Jeremy?

Look there are ducks on the lake....WOW

Hi Mom!

It was so nice to have a relaxing peaceful day. Looking forward to another calm day.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's February....YAY

I got some good news yesterday concerning R&R- he will be home one whole day sooner then he thought!! Yes folks I know it's only 1 day, but when you haven't slept more then four/five hours a night in months or had a hug so tight it feel like they never want to let you go- one day is a HUGE DEAL!! Plus this is the month he is coming home - February!! February means my birthday, R&R, and relaxation- I'm suddenly liking this month a whole lot more this year.

Today's song link up over at Goodnight Moon  was a toss up between a couple songs. One that was a little more slow I miss my man type or the one I actually picked that put's a big smile on my face everytime I hear the song. It has just got a catchy beat & makes me sing along everytime. I even have it as my new ringtone for now. My song pick of the day for Amber's link up is......

Colbie Caillat Brighter Than the Sun. I love almost anything she sings but this is one of my latest favorites. I hope everyone has a great Groundhog day & may Spring be right around the corner!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Good & the Bad

The good thing about going to Madigan since Jeremy was four months old is we know most of the surgical services staff. Therefore when we arrived at 7:15 AM they got Jeremy right back & into a bed. He crashed right away since he woke up when I did around 5:45AM. As we waited I went over all the paperwork one more time. Had them place the RED ALLERGY alert bracelet on Jeremy so they remembered to take off his EKG Leds ASAP when he woke up. Then we waited about an hour before they wheeled him back fo his eye surgery.

They placed the purple X over the right eye so they didn't mess with the wrong eye- good thing they did.

He was all smiles & high fives as they wheeled him away. The other people in the waiting area could hardly believe how at ease he & I where. One mom was in tears while waiting & asked how I could be so calm? I gave a brief little history of all the surgeries Jeremy has had & the fact that if I get upset it does him no good or the doctors. Staying calm is much better for everyone.

Well off he went & I headed to the closest coffee stand for a much needed caramel sauce latte with a bagel- I was starving by then.  Headed to the waiting area in time to catch a lady yelling at a man who was talking on his cell phone. Apparently she didn't want to hear his whole conversation & he told her she could move-WOW! It took around an hour forty-five minutes before the doctor came out to talk with me & take me to recovery. They where able to adjust the tube that Jeremy had placed behind his right eye at four months of age. It helps drain the fluid behind his eye to keep his pressure low. It immediately dropped his eye pressure down to 24/25 which was still a little higher then they had wanted but better then 40 that it was last week. The doctor let me know that for now it's as good as it is going to get ever. That we will continue to use 3 different drops two times a day forever. That his vision is still considered legally blind in that eye- but he can see.That over the years it may get even worse where he has no vision at all but they have no idea when that will happen. That was that & at least for now his pressure is lowered & he can keep a little vision in that eye.

When I got to him I went to rub his back & noticed right away his EKG Leds where still on, GRRRRR!!! I start yanking them off only to have some nurse who doesn't know us flip out. I calmy tell her to call the doctor now! She does then comes back over to see what the fuss was all about as Jeremy lays clawing at his chest & crying very loudly. Let me show you what the problem is -  I say in my nice but stern mommy voice.

My little guy had a severe allergic reaction to the sticky stuff on the back of the EKG Leds just like his chart said he would & the BRIGHT RED bracelet he was wearing warned about. But NOOOO, they still left the dang leds on too long. That led to Jeremy needing a benedryl dose in his IV & a very strong sedative to keep him from scratching at the sites.Poor little guy looks like someone burned him on purpose with some round blunt object. Finally a nurse who knows us comes over & has the other new lady leave- thank goodness. She get's Jeremy's IV out, let's me get him dressed. Then she wakes him up so we can leave.When she got some questions about me carrying Jeremy out instead of a wheel chair- well Jeremy yelled at the other nurse so loud- yep they let us walk right out of recovery!

I am so grateful for Jeremy's medical team, but sometimes I want to scream when they mess up the small things. Especially when I go over it & over it before he leaves my site. Thankfully he was fine & wanting to eat. I went & picked up some Pizza Hut and we headed home.He is laying on the couch watching Batman now with Banyan. He is really groggy from all the extra medication he would not have needed had they simply paid attention. But I am very glad his eye pressure is down for now & we where promised no more surgery for at least 6 months!! That may be a new record for us!  I can't say we will miss the early mornings at the hospital. We plan on enjoying this brief vacation time as much as possible.

So there you have it folks the good, the bad, & the ugly......ugggg