Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Date....

Today I figured out why I was so short tempered with my kids. Sad to say it's happen a few times this week and really need to work on that. After being woken up at 6:30 am (on a Saturday no less), there was a struggle of the raspberry jelly  which ended with it being dropped on the floor. Of course I didn't have a break the rest of the day. I figured out that I needed a date, a little number that would tell me my husband would/could be home on. Of course I don't have one so it makes days like a little hard.

We did make it to the trick-or-treating at the Freedom Crossing, wish we went back for the concert. Patrick ended up falling asleep by the time we got back to the house. So we ended up just chilling the rest of the day.

So I'm hoping that I can get a date soon and end this waiting game I find myself in.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daddy's Girl

Giggles and bird calls
Abbie's been daddy's girl since forever, deployments are probably the hardest on her. She has been dealing with them since she was four. 

Snuggling in Miami
She is really looking forward to the end of December. That is when I told her Daddy is coming home. For the last two days she has said its almost November and then its December.

R&R Feb'07

He may be home before the end of December but I don't want to let the kids know unless its longer. So, now we are in the waiting game; which is always fun. The other day at breakfast, Patrick asked if Daddy was coming home today. Abbie told him no not until December, which I said the end of December because we don't have a date. She just sighed and said I know, wish it was now. 

Welcome Home Sept '07
All I could think was so do I. So, lets just cross our fingers that November and December go quickly as possible.

Friday, October 21, 2011


My daughter got the mail yesterday and was so excited to find a letter in there for her. Turns out that it was from her Daddy. She couldn't wait to tear into it. So I told her she needed to be careful opening the envelope.

Turns out there were a couple of pictures and a letter. She read through the whole letter and when she got to the end, she just sighed and said oh, daddy I miss you.

Once we got home she took her pictures and taped them up on her wall. Along with her letter. I can't wait to be able to tell my husband.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Abbie enjoying the finish product.

It is finished, I have to say that I miss working on it. It probably could have gone on longer. It ended up just perfect for her bed and she has been using it ever since it was completed.

Knuckles wouldn't leave me alone while trying to finish.
Patrick asked me where his blanket was. So I guess I have a future project in the works. I just have to find two complimenting colors. 

Halfway done. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Excited and Not

At our last FRG meeting (family readiness group) we were told that a couple of the units in our BDE (brigade) have orders to come home. One unit was already in Kuwait. Which is exciting and happy for those units and their families. As I have a friend in one of those units, I am happy for them. Just wish it was my husband's unit. 

J.B. called me the other day and asked what would happen if he came home before Thanksgiving. I asked does he have a definite date. He replied back with no. I took a deep breath and said it would be great if you can be home before the 17th. That would be great, as if I can just ask for any date I want. Of course we have plans to go out of town and we are flying so it would be a bummer to lose that money and not go on our trip.  I feel bad for thinking that, my husband is way more important than any trip, but he did tell me that it would be ok. I flat out told him to shut up. We have always been here for good byes and homecomings, we are not about to miss one. It would be like jinxing us. So now we are in a waiting pattern. Now I regret wanting to be out of town for Thanksgiving. 

Upside is that he may not even be home by then or if he comes home while we are gone, then maybe he could surprise us at the airport when we come back. Wouldn't that just floor our children. It doesn't sit easy with us still planning on going on the trip. I miss my husband seriously bad. I know all wives do during a deployment but I don't want to miss our on homecoming. If he truly is home by then it will our shortest deployment yet and let me tell you he deserves a short one. I know I'm probably the only wife that wishes he would be home sometime after Thanksgiving. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ian James

Day 2 or 3 after his surgery at Tacoma General.

My husband and I were 19 when we had our first child. Some will say, 'Your to young'. It was just right for us. He was a gift. Being first time parents that young was scary. We didn't know what to expect and then find out that he had Gastrochisis. It's a condition where their is a whole in the abdomen wall and his intestines were on the outside of his body. It's not genetic, the doctors told us it was a fluke.

He was born at 34 weeks, they worried about him but as a mom, I knew he was fine. He came out screaming. From then on we were in for a wild ride. I will never forget our first meeting with Dr. Noel, he was the pediatric grastroenterologist that would be taking on Ian's care. He came into my recovery room (maybe an hour post delivery) matter-of-fact gave us our options: 1. We could do nothing and let him starve to death, which would be a few days because he was a healthy guy or 2. We could do everything medically possible for him. Of course we didn't really like option 1. Thus, sending us on a journey of hospitals, surgeries, and meeting some really awesome people (mostly hospital staff).
He loved the lime light @ Omaha, NE. 
After his first surgery, we found out the a bowel extension wouldn't be in his future. We had to get on the list for a transplant. It's a very scary thing talking about a transplant. I have heard of hearts and lungs, but never stomach, small bowel, liver, pancreas, and spleen. So being in the west we naturally went to Omaha, Nebraska. Let me just say we will never go back to Omaha again. Told us Ian needed a transplant but they wouldn't do it because of our insurance; Ian would die by his first birthday; and my husband would become an alcoholic. After we got back to Fort Lewis and talked with our doctors (mainly Dr. Noel) we decided we would never go there again. Dr. Noel worked extremely hard to get us a compassionate reassignment back east, so we could be closer to Pittsburgh and Miami. The two other places that does multiviseral transplants.

Goofing around May of 2003
Ian was evaluated at both places. I will never forget Miami's eval, prior to going Ian was in the ICU because there was a rule that he couldn't have an Octreotide drip on the pediatric floor. Octreotide helped with the bleeding but at the same time kills the liver. So when we flew down to Miami we were admitted to the ICU. The doctors come in and say he looks like he is ICU material. We were transferred to a regular room the next day. Out of all the places I liked Miami the best, which is where Ian ended up getting organs from.

He is telling us she doesn't have to stay right?
He met his sister two weeks before his birthday which ended up being a blessing because we got the call that he had a organ match and needed to get down there. That very same day my dad flew into BWI, we ended up going from the airport to the hospital to send off Ian and J.B. and started driving south to Miami. We didn't know at the time that all of us could have flown with him. We knew we had some time because the surgery takes at least 24+ hours. We made it to Miami, just in time to be told everything went well.

With his Daddy post transplant, got such a great birthday gift.

They keep them sedated for at least two weeks to make sure they don't fidget and dislodge tubing, pull stitches, etc. Our biggest surprise was that his 'boys' were the size of grapefruits and they couldn't even have a diaper on him. I think that was the puffiest I've ever seen him. He didn't even have a nose and his eyes were purple from all the fluid. We were so thankful he made it through.
8 months after his first transplant he got another one a kidney.

One transplant wasn't enough, that he had to have a kidney. Which was ok the picture above is post surgery. Up being center of attention hours post op. He did like the attention. His favorite nurse was Raquel and he loved the male nurses too.

His 2nd birthday. We got to smuggle his sister in.
The day after Abbie's birthday we notice Ian was having a hard time breathing. So we took him into the E.R., I will never forget the look on his face when they put the oxygen on him and he just relaxed. (It was a kick in the stomach because we knew we should have gotten him in sooner). He didn't want to go and be admitted, like he knew he wasn't going to be coming home with us. Which he was right, they did cultures of his throat, they came back positive for a cold. The number one thing we never wanted to hear. The doctors were positive at first, 10 days later he was on the JET ventilator. His body couldn't handle anymore and started coding on us a month later. I have to say that one of my favorite doctors of all time is Dr. Salvaggi (yes that's Italian, he is just as good looking, but an extremely passionate doctor). After they got him stabilize after his second code on the 6 of July, we cornered him outside of the ICU, asked him the hard question. If he will be able to come back from this. He stopped and said, "I don't know Momma. His body is shutting down." Right then and there we knew that we couldn't go on like this, Ian couldn't go on like this and made the decision to hold him while they turned down the support. I will always cherish that time, but I have to say that was one of the worse days of my life. Thank God, for the support we had through out the hospital, our friends that took care of Abbie while that was going on so we could be with him. 

I want people to know that life is to short. I know that is a clique but it is so true. Ian was only with us for two years but he was a light and touched so many lives. I miss him everyday and wish he could have met his younger brother. I have a feeling he is looking over him. I see a lot of Ian in him, they would have cause double the trouble. They were/are sneaky.

Miss you Bubba!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I'm sad because my husband told me not to send him anymore mail. I'm not sure if this is because the are moving or actually leaving the country he is in. Or maybe because it's because the mail is getting ridiculously slow.

I hope he gets the box I sent him 2 weeks ago. Or even the postcard I dropped in the mail on Monday.

I wish we knew what was going on or what to expect. I guess with the Army I will always be hoping. I should be used to not knowing what's going on, but it is extremely frustrating. Specially when I have two kids who would like to know when their daddy is coming home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Patrick's silliness

The flash squint.

Post eyes closed. 
Momma take you of my boogers.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

5 days

It was five days since the last time I got to hear my husbands voice. I talked to him tonight and it was a relief. Just to her 'hey how are you doing?'

It was six days since I saw him on Skype, boy do I miss those days where we skyed everyday. I wish I could complain about it. I'm never going to under estimate Skype dates again.

Today was a day that I wish I had my battle buddy. No, I needed my battle buddy. In the a.m we went to Abbie's school to participate in the Wellness Run. They have one once a month. You run laps around the school the class with the highest average gets a trophy. Not sure if they get it for the month or just a day. Family members can come along and run, so Patrick and I went. We each did two laps, so that made her total up to 6 laps. I hope we helped get them at the top.

I also said that I would watch a friend's son. His wife had to work till 9 p.m. and he had a night range. So we took on one more. Well, it was going good until the boys decided they couldn't share. Then pushing and shoving and pulling started. Of course that led to tears and broken body parts (that is Patrick's line ___ is broken).

Around dinner prep time, which is always Patrick's melt down time, he just automatically got up at the table to start coloring. Maybe we will by pass melt down from now on. I decided to cook up the acorn squash I got from the store last weekend. Well it needed more than 45 minutes. Which wasn't good, but it ended up better because the steaks were really thin so they didn't take anytime to cook up.

After dinner I got both boys to sit and watch a movie while I helped Abbie finish her homework. Well, by that time it was spelling which was triangle spelling so I didn't do much. We struggled with math tonight. Multiplication is my down fall and heaven for bid we get to division. I think I will take a vacation when that happens.

Didn't get peace and quiet until about 9'o'clock and remembered trash day is tomorrow. Rounded all that up and took it out. Came back in and saw the kitchen and decided it would be better if I left it for tomorrow morning. My feet hurt from being on them all day and I'm tired. Shocking right.

This lady is signing off and hitting the hay. Night all!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kids say the Darndest Things

As we were leaving to go grocery shopping and grab some lunch Patrick (my youngest) said "I want my Daddy." Abbie (my oldest) said, "Sorry he is in Iraq." Patrick replied with "Why?" Abbie answered with, "To kill the bad guys."

I am not sure if I should be worried with this statement or not. When my husband was deployed the first time, she was three like our son is now. I think back to that time when we discussed him leaving and having to go over seas and how it was to be a long time before she could see him again. We told her it was for his work and that is what his boss said he had to do. We never said anything about bad guys or killing for that matter. What gets me the most is she said it so nonchalantly that it was an everyday thing.

A memorial stand my husband and his Chaplain made before his 2nd deployment.
Her dad is a Chaplain Assistant. In war that pretty much comes down to being the Chaplain's body guard. He also sets up services and arranges one on one time with the Chaplain and a soldier if need be and heaven forbid if they lose a soldier he would put together a memorial service. In peace or non-deployment, he does most of the same things in combat but the body guard. Mainly because there shouldn't be a threat here in the states.

If my husband were killing the bad guys, it means the FOB (forward operating base) is having a bad day and the Chaplain is in danger. I'm not saying he isn't qualified to go out on patrols (because I know he has) and take fire and return it,  its just not suppose to be in his day to day operation.

My question is do I correct her and saying no he isn't actually there to kill bad guys but it could be a by product of a situation? Or just let her go one thinking its that simple. It maybe easier for her to cope with him being gone.

Special Stuff French Toast

One of my favorite recipes. I made this last year for my anniversary. Celebrated 9 years together. This year will be 10 and most likely won't be able to be together. 

Here is the recipe:

1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water
4 cups frozen raspberries thawed (but you can use any frozen fruit)
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
12 slices Texas toast
1 egg 
1 cup milk
12 slices of Texas toast

For the sauce combined the 1 cup of sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in the water until smooth. Add raspberries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until it thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over six slices of bread; top with remaining bread.

In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg, milk and remaining sugar. Dip both sides of bread into egg mixture.

In a large nonstick coated with cooking spray, toast bread on each side until golden brown. Top with sauce.