Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Life as a single mom, Army style, Day 10

We got back last night from visiting my sister, Jessica, in VA for her graduation. After much deliberation, we ended up carpooling with my parents, which ended up being a blessing because I had to nap my way there so I wouldn't barf and still ended up barfing for a few minutes of the ride. It was rough. I'm not sure if I would have barfed regardless of whether I was driving or not, so I'm just thankful that I didn't try driving on my own. I might never have made it there if I had to keep pulling over to barf.

It was a hard decision to make, though. I was really worried about taking the car seats out of the back of my car and not being able to get them back in. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to reinstall them and neither would anyone else. The only person who had been able to install them was Joey and I wasn't sure how I would react to no one else being able to do what he did while he's gone. I guess that's probably a worry that all Army stay at home moms have -- not being able to do everything that daddy can do the way he can do it while he's gone. I guess that's probably a lesson that all Army stay at home moms have to learn, that they don't have to do everything daddy's way while he's gone. That we only have to take care of our children the best way we can, as opposed to the best way that we can when daddy's here. An extra pair of hands makes a big difference and its probably normal to expect to be able to do everything with one pair of hands that gets done with two, but its not always going to be possible. And coming to terms with this is difficult, but important. I would drive myself crazy if I tried to do everything that gets done when Joey's here without him here.

Right now, we are still trying to develop a system, figure out a schedule. So far, the constants seem to be laundry, dishes, cooking and taking care of the kids.

I have yet to catch up on the laundry. I've been doing laundry since Joey left, separating clothes into stuff we wear now, which goes into drawers, and stuff that won't be used until fall or later, which is all in a pile in the girls' closet in their room. When I catch up on the laundry, I'm going to go through the clothes in their closet and box them up by size and season to make things easy once we move. Since Joey won't be wearing any of his clothes while he's in basic, all his clothes are in the closet now, too.

I start and end the day with dishes. So that's basically a maintenance thing as far as dishes go. Its a PITA, but a manageable one and it keeps me occupied for about 10 minutes a day.

Cooking is a constant issue for me. I guess I didn't realise how much Joey was cooking while he was here. I guess I got spoiled in the 3 months he was home with us before he left. I'm doing the best I can to cook nutritious meals that the girls will actually eat and I mostly succeed, but I'm constantly trying to do more, which gives me something to think about and focus on, which is probably a good thing. I'm always looking for different ways to eliminate HFCS, corn syrup, artificial colors, artificial preservatives and artificial sweeteners from our diets. We usually drink green smoothies at least once a day. Breakfast is usually simple with eggs and pancakes, cereal and milk, yogurt, fruit, etc. Lunch is usually simple as well. Sandwiches, leftovers from the night before, etc. Dinner is usually more complicated -- So far, it has consisted of tortellini (which is made by Barilla btw, not Bertolli as I previously posted) with Ragu chunky garden vegetable sauce, sometimes with salad, cheeseburgers, pizza sandwiches (flat breads with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings on it, baked), hot dogs (I have found Hebrew National beef hot dogs to be the most healthy hot dogs, healthier even than the chicken hot dogs I used to buy, so I started buying those), stuff like that. I haven't made any casseroles yet, which is surprising to me. I'll probably find time to start making casseroles around next week or so, once I have caught up on everything and found my own rhythm. I'm really jonesing for some chicken ziti right now, so I might even try to make some tonight.

Taking care of the kids is the hardest constant.

Right now, they are still missing Joey a lot, whereas I'm pretty angry with him. It may be petty, but I just can't get over his arrival call. It started off with him telling me he had less than a minute to talk, so "shut up and listen to what I have to say" and continued to tell me not to send him any packages or letters unless he writes me and asks me to write him. Apparently, he will have to do 1 pushup for every cent the postage costs on a package and 25 pushups for every letter. Somewhere in there, he also said he was at basic and was fine (*insert his scoff here, which seemed to indicate he wasn't all that fine*) and had his M16 in his hand and was doing fine. Then he had to go. He said he'd call me back in 2 weeks, although I know and he *should* know that he doesn't know he will be able to call me back in 2 weeks because he doesn't know if he'll earn the phone priveliges or not. He didn't ask about the kids or say he loved them (although he did say he loved me), but I really just can't get over the "shut up". I understand that he barely had time to say what he was trying to say, but he didn't have to say it like that. He could have said be quiet. So what? I get to cling to "shut up" for the next 2 weeks until he calls me again, at which time I might or might not answer the phone. I definately don't want to hear "shut up" again. I'd rather just not talk to him at all.

I'm getting more patient with them, which is good because I need all the patience I can get. They are constantly testing me, constantly pushing their limits. I love them, but its frustrating when they get in their disobedient moods. I don't even want to be near them when they get in those moods. And I feel bad about that. I don't know how to fix it though, short of teaching them to mind better, which I am doing and have been having some success with. We're making improvements, but it takes time and patience and self control. Time I have a limited amount of, but patience and self-control I'm getting more of. Other than brief spurts of disobedience, everything is going fairly well in my opinion. Its hard to discipline the kids sometimes. I find myself making excuses for them -- they miss daddy, they are tired, they are not feeling well -- which doesn't help them in the long run. I'm trying to keep all their needs satisfied so that they are not acting out due to hunger, tiredness, etc. And when they miss daddy, I try to direct them to their "daddy stuffed animals" (build a bears they picked out that have recordings of daddy's voice in them) or their "daddy books" (hallmark books that he recorded himself reading for them) or pictures of daddy. Its hard, but I really think we're doing great so far.

I have a dr's appointment on Friday to check me and the baby. My mom's going to come watch the kids so I don't have to take them with me and I'm going to go grocery shopping on the way back so that I don't have to take them with me for that either. I love my kiddos, but grocery shopping with 3 little girls isn't the funnest experience ever.

I'm hoping to be able to post more frequently now that I'm finally getting into a routine and catching up on all the housework. Today, I managed to clean the kitchen and the living room complete with vaccuming. If only I could get all the laundry caught up, I might finally be able to extend my clean territory to the upstairs region. I'm going to try to post once a day. I may not be able to, but that's the goal I'll be aiming for.

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