An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Now that a couple of days have passed, I feel like I can blog about my stress without it bothering DH.

I feeling FINE now, Love...really...I PROMISE!

So, the first thing I notice when I get out of the cab from hell is that my lawn looks like a jungle. I knew that was likely...it was still not growing when I left, but I had seen the weather report.

Then I saw the boxes on the porch behind my garbage can. HEAVY packages.

I grabbed a notice--the pest service had sprayed but could not access my locked backyard. Another thing to schedule.

Temporarily ignoring the boxes, I opened the door, greeted the cats, and dropped off my heavy bags.

Calypso acted like she did not know me (this only lasted five minutes, but it still hurt).

I went back out for the packages and dragged them inside as slowly as possible, to add to the pile of boxes my house-sitting friend had brought in.

On the way out, I noticed something the pest people missed...a HUGE wasp nest (complete with huge wasp) right outside my door. Fun.

On the way back in, Loki ran out. I waded through my jungle lawn to catch him and bring him back inside.

Then I began sorting through PILES AND PILES of mail, most of which was bills. Every quarterly and bi-annual and annual and semi-annual bill that DH and I was apparently due this month.

Of course, I had just taken a vacation and spent tons of money. I did not work during my vacation, so I did not have much coming in. There were some checks in the mail, but I would have to play the, "This will probably clear before the bill is due."

I want to add right now that it was not a DIRE situation. We had money in another account, but DH was planning to invest that soon...and I am proud that with one exception I have een able to cover the bills with what I make writing and DH's salary has mainly gone towards savings.

So, not an emergency, but a pain.

Also, just seeing all those bills was a bit overwhelming.

There were also all sorts of random issues--like DH's home town still thinks he lives there and wants him for jury duty.

Well, I was on a deadline, so I had better try to get to work.

Nope, internet not working.

Then, while I was on the phone with tech support for the second of what would be four times, *BOOM!*

What the heck was that? Sounded like a bomb. Actually, it was just the LOUDEST thunder I have heard in my entire life. Seconds later, horizontal sheets of rain are whipping across the road outside. I thought, well at least I got back in time.

Freaked Loki out so badly he left a huge scratch in my wood chair--fortunately it is just a cheap Target chair.

Two hours later, the internet is working, but I am just wiped out and cannot deal with anything.

I would say I crashed, but that would imply a decent night's sleep. Baby is finally big enough to wake me up with bladder issues and a sore back. I wake up about 5 or 6 times a night.

Rested, but not refreshed, I awoke the next day to tackle various problems and annoyances.

First, I went to my midwife appointment. On the way there, I noticed none of my gauges were working. I rapped on the plastic and, thankfully, they snapped to attention.

Once home, I tracked down an insurance answer about a volunteer event I somehow ended up organizing for the next week. Without the proper insurance, the entire event would be off! I followed up on corporate sponsors and took care of some publicity issues.

I called the county office about the jury duty.

I scheduled the pest service.

I balanced the check book, made deposits, and paid bills.

I answered e-mail.

I updated the FRG website.

I checked my various meetings and appointments (dental, midwife, FRG social) for the next week.

I wrote thank you notes.

I started in on my work.

I'm sure there was more, but I've blocked it out.

Meanwhile, heavy boxes kept arriving, a la the Sorcerer's Apprentice. I appreciate everyone's generosity but how am I going to move and assemble all of this stuff???

All this amidst the paradoxical relief and let down of no longer being the center of attention. While in New York, I had to be "on" all the time. Everyone constantly looking for signs that I need help, that I am unhappy, that I am not handling the deployment and pregnancy as well as I seemed to be...so that they could be supportive. At the same time, it was nice to not have to cook and clean and deal with all the usual everyday nonsense.

At some point, DH asked me to start looking for some records. Without going into detail, there is a possibility that DH could be charged a good deal of money for items that were technically, and literally, no longer in his control. Everyone who has been involved with the military for any length of time has seen this happen or almost happen many times.

I was not too stressed about the possibility of the cost, although losing money through no real fault of our own would stink--money is, after all, just money. However, it really bothered my that DH's little downtime was being wasted searching for these items. I want him to be rested and focused--not distracted and stressed for this nonsense. The injustice of the system also just grates on me, no matter how much I try to ignore it.

Hours of searching through closets, file cabinets, and the garage (did I mention the spiders? I hate spiders), and I came up with nothing.

DH followed that news with the information that he heard there had been a rash of break-ins in our neighborhood. He told me to spend whatever I need to feel safe. Heh. I am paranoid. I only feel safe with protection that money can't buy--DH is the only one who ever makes me feel safe.

Then DH told me approximate leave dates, and I started to obsess about his leave being too early. My fear is that he will miss seeing baby girl entirely while on leave...or that I will still be in the hospital when he has to leave.

DH reassured me that this was the best option--that there would be the possibility of seeing the birth if she was not very early, and the likelihood that he would have at least a few days with us, unless she is very late.

It all just felt so overwhelming and out of my control...and I just felt so lonely and helpless.

Fortunately I was not on the phone with DH (we were IMing), because I just lost it for a few minutes.

I cleaned myself up and forced myself to go out to the FRG social. I'm glad I did because I really like the commander's wife. Also, hearing how her daughter had taken special care to coax my little prima donna Russian Blue kitty out from under the bed and make friends made me smile. I brought presents for the kids and their mom from Italy and I included an extra tip in their payment. After hearing that story, I am glad I did.

I felt a little draggy the next few days, mostly due to lack of sleep, but eventually I got back on track.

How can I be sad with such a great hubby? And a baby girl growing inside me, too!

Tomorrow: more about my renewed good mood.

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