Barely treading water

I really have to hand it to working mothers.  I honestly don’t know how you do it and I give you all mad props.

I am going to school full time this semester, and three of my classes are on campus while two are online.  Prior to attending a university, I graduated from a community college with two associates degrees (I double majored and got an AAS and an AA) but it was entirely online.  I hadn’t been able to find an online college that wasn’t insanely expensive, because I’m sorry, $500 a credit hour is INSANITY.  I decided to attend the local state university here because NC tuition is cheap and the kids were all old enough to be in school or daycare.

Even though I am only in class 11 actual hours a week, I am barely keeping my head above water.  Ellie has been sick more in the past month of daycare than she has ever been in her 20 months of life.  I have had to miss several classes already and I know I am going to be toeing the line when it comes to my attendance.  My house is an absolute mess and I forget half of my appointments that I need to attend because I am so worried about what assignments are due and when.

I feel a little selfish, though.  I absolutely love school.  I love to learn.  I am the total nerd that sits in class and stares in awe at the slides in Renaissance to Modern Art, and I actually like going to my math lab and getting ahead on my homework.  That is just the type of person that I am.  But honestly, how can I let my family suffer?  I know that I am setting a good example for them by going to school and graduating with a bachelor’s degree, but if it means that I am not being a good mom, then is it worth it?

I am not saying that if you work then you are a terrible parent.  On the contrary, I think it sets an awesome example for your children and shows how strong and dedicated you are.  I think my problem is that I don’t know how to find the balance   I am not saying that my husband doesn’t support me, because he definitely does, but let’s face it, when someone has to miss due to a sick kid, it definitely isn’t the parent who is making the money.

I am going to try my darndest to finish this semester with a good GPA, but I am not sure if I will be able to do it all again in the fall.  Maybe I need to wait until the kids are a little older.  Or maybe my destiny is to be a stay at home mom forever.  I think now I just need to learn to keep my head above water and swim a little stronger.

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Love who you love

Since I don’t really have much personal stuff going on, I am actually going to blog about a real issue for once.  Family is fine, school is fine, and everything is else is pretty much the same.  So here it goes…

I am sure, especially if you are in the military community, that you have heard about the lesbian spouse who was refused membership to the Fort Bragg Officer’s Wives club?  It has been all over the news and Ashley Broadway, the spouse, was even nominated for the Fort Bragg Military Spouse of the Year (and won!).  If you have not heard about this, you can read the most recent article here: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2013/01/ap-army-lesbian-invited-bragg-spouses-club-012613/

The Fort Bragg OW Club finally extended an invitation to her, which she accepted.  I personally would not have accepted if I were her, but I think it is great that she can become a member and find the support she is seeking.  However, I think the only reason that they invited her to join was to save face.  Let’s face it, the OW Club looked like assholes over this.  But fortunately, there has been an outpouring of support for her and I think that it should be recognized that she has supported her wife for 15 years, even when it was not acceptable to do so.

This is not the point of my blog, however.  I am glad to see that she is getting what is fair to her.  What bothers me is the negative backlash and the comments people are writing.  Oh, the COMMENTS, always my favorite part of any article.  Have you read some of the hate that people are spewing out over this subject?  Many are commenting on how she really isn’t a spouse and how her wife should be court marshaled for violating DADT for the past several years.  Another is saying that she isn’t a real Christian because she is a homosexual.

It really bothers me that so many people are so negative over something that doesn’t even really affect them in the long run.  How does an officer and her wife affect a guy in Podunk, USA?  Is it really hurting anyone that someone may have a relationship with someone of the same gender?  This comes up in my mind all of the time when we address the subject of gay marriage.  How does it hurt you if their love isn’t what YOU have in mind?

I have a lot of respect for her.  She has stood by her soldier for 15 years, nearly all of those years without the same support that a regular spouse gets.  I have survived two deployments with the support of the military community and I know how tough it is even when people have my back.  To do it without all of the regular benefits that the military provides would be more difficult than I can imagine.

I do understand that everyone has rules to follow, but when those rules turn into discrimination  then I think we have a problem on our hands.  Now that more states are allowing same-sex marriage, how much longer is the military going to discriminate against their right to be declared a dependent of the service member?

I see big changes coming but I don’t think they are going to happen fast enough.

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Conspiracy Theories

The last time I blogged was the day before the Sandy Hook shooting.  I had actually sat down at the computer to start posting about my newest hobby, embroidery, when the coverage came on the TV.  At first I couldn’t believe what was going on.  And then I saw that there were 26 dead in the school.  And I cried so much that day.  My son is 6 years old.  This tragedy touched me in a way that I never thought it would.

And now there is stuff going around the internet saying that it is all lies or that it was all set up by the government.  It is disgusting to me that people would take away from the families grief to tell such lies.  There is no doubt in my mind that there were 20 funerals for children this past December and anyone who says otherwise needs a reality check.

The world is in a sad state lately and it breaks my heart.

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Deployment number 2 is over!

My husband actually got back from his second deployment on September 1st.  We were fortunate and he came home a few weeks early, which was a nice change from the first deployment.  Between riots and volcanos, I thought it was never coming to an end that time.

The homecoming wasn’t as awesome as everyone makes it out to be.  Yeah, it was completely awesome that he was home, but his ETA was right before midnight so a late night with three kids, one of which is still pretty much a baby doesn’t make for a great event.

The homecoming went as homecomings do.  We sat around, the kids played, Ellie screamed, and we got to see the plane land.  As is our custom, we stay put and when they are released he comes and finds us.  Charlie and Abby were so happy!  And I think Ellie would have been too if she wasn’t so tired, lol.

So the year that felt like it would never end did.  So for all of you out there that are going through it, know that it does end!

And now, I will leave you with the most hilarious picture of my children that I have ever taken.  Look at it and let it sink in.  Because I still crack up every time I look at it.

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Forgotten…

Honestly, I had forgotten about my blog.  I got a comment from a reader today and was like, “oh, yeah… the blog…”

My grandmother died in April just before my husband came home on R&R.  I took quite a hit from that as we were extremely close.  After he went back to Afghanistan, I just felt so sad all the time.  I truly had a broken heart.  Between feeling sad and trying to get 100% on Lego Harry Potter, I didn’t spend too much time on the computer.

So then we found out about Hawaii.  That was very exciting for us and I ran around like a crazy person to start getting things in order with that.  Then, surprise surprise, the Army unexpectedly deleted his orders.  Did they bother to tell us the orders were deleted?  No, of course not.  My husband actually found out when he tried checking to see if EFMP was updated in ASK (which it wasn’t because they lost our paperwork- again).

So I had started making preparations and actually backed out of starting classes at Fayetteville State this fall because I thought we were moving to Hawaii in February.  I was so UPSET when I found out we weren’t moving away from this hell hole.  I am STILL upset every day when I think about it.

Really, this is probably for the best.  With Stuart getting out of the Army, ETSing from Bragg will be a heck of a lot easier than ETSing from HI.  So it is what it is.

On the very bright side, Deployment number 2 is OVER!  He actually got home a few weeks early and we are all so happy. :)  I will post some pictures of that soon because I have some hilarious ones, lol.

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EFMP

EFMP, otherwise known as Exceptional Family Member Program.  This is what is going to make or break our PCS to Hawaii.

I am enrolled in in EFMP for my hearing issues.  No biggie as there isn’t much that can be done for my hearing and I don’t really see anyone concerning anything.  Charlie on the other hand is in EFMP for his speech delay.  We are also in the process of having his IEP written and he will have to be updated for his ADHD as well.

The thing with Charlie is that he is in therapy twice a week for speech and OT and for awhile it was believed that he may be on the Autism spectrum.  It was recently discovered that the boy is super smart.  Like just barely below genius level smart.  However, he does still have developmental delays and his maturity isn’t on par with his intelligence.  This causes a lot of issues and things have to be done just right with him so he doesn’t get overwhelmed.

So while Charlie was enrolled in EFMP before we got orders, it hasn’t been updated yet.  Stuart wouldn’t have gotten orders unless we could go to Hawaii in the first place, but I am afraid that the changes will get the orders canceled.  This is disappointing, but at the same time I really do want what is best for Charlie because we are just now getting things in a good place for him.

So I will be running around for the next two weeks trying to get things in order for the EFMP update.  And then from there we will have to wait for the OCONUS EFMP screening to see if everything gets approved.  So we still have awhile before we know for certain because the husband is still in the sandbox.

I am trying to find as much information as I can, but honestly there isn’t much information out there on PCSing to Hawaii, especially with family members in EFMP.  I guess this will be a live and learn situation.

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Orders

Of course, because this is how life works, one year after buying a house here at Fort Bragg my husband managed to come down on orders.  We were not expecting orders.  We have been here at Bragg for quite awhile and when we had previously tried to leave the Army basically said, “No way!” so we took that as a sign that we stuck here until his contract was up.

Apparently, the Army has different plans for us.  Because they just love screwing with my head.  LOL  Okay, so it isn’t like they did this to personally screw with me, but it really does feel that way sometimes.

Anyway, back to the orders.  Want to know where we are going?

*drum roll please*

Schofield Barracks, Hawaii


Yes, you read that right.  We are moving to Hawaii.

While most people think this is a dream assignment, it is sort of like my own little nightmare.  Because I have three major fears in my life.  Worms, water, and airplanes.  So while I am not worrying about the worms at this point, I do hear that the creepy crawlies get pretty big on the Island.  But the water and planes are already starting to get to my head just a little bit.

We also have the house that we just bought.  We plan on renting it because we will just take too much of a loss if we sell it now.  Not to mention that the market is crap and houses are taking a little while to sell.  So not only are we moving to an OCONUS base, we also have to worry about renting before we leave.  Plus, while we have PCS’d before, we have always moved ourselves.  So this time, the Army sends people in to touch all of my stuff.  I am getting sick just thinking about it.

I haven’t written too much lately.  So why am I writing now?  Well, I am having a heck of a time finding any good information on PCSing to Hawaii.  So I am going to try to catalog this journey as best as I can because if I can help anyone even just a tiny bit, it will make me feel better.  I am feeling overwhelmed right now, and while we still have 8 months until we move, we won’t have that much time once my husband gets back from deployment.  This means that we will have to hit the ground running to get everything done in such a short period of time.  Combine that with the fact that he will be gone for 3 weeks for WLC and it really cuts our time down.

So if any of you out there are reading this, do you have any advice for me?  Because I surely would appreciate it!

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