Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pets, Pets and More Pets

On a regular day I ask myself at least once, "Why oh why do we have all these pets?" I have 2 cats and 2 dogs. It started 2 years ago when I told Ryan I wanted a kitten. He was gone a lot and I had just recently moved out of a friends house after a HUGE blow out, I wanted a kitten. So for our 2nd wedding anniversary he surprised me with 2 kittens. 1 year later we got a dog, Thor, he is our problem child. 10 months later we got another dog, Orion, we thought it might help with Thor's bad behavior if he had a playmate, which it did and didn't, but that's another blog post for another day. I don't let the cats sleep with me anymore, because they have a tendency to wrestle on my stomach at 2am and make all kinds of God forsaken noises in the middle of the night, so they got the boot, which really only served to have them cry hysterically at the door which upsets the dogs in the living room and they begin howling, this.....ladies and gentlemen, is my bedtime routine. After 20 minutes they finally hush and I can drift off to sleep. Last night the meowing/howling fest lasted a tad longer than usual, try 45 minutes longer, so now I'm pissed. I don't typically get angry often, but when I do it's not pretty. After throwing shoes at the door hoping to scare the cats away and make them shush and yelling at Thor across the house I finally have silence and a total of 4 hours sleep. So, I'm already cranky when I wake up the next morning. Get up, feed the dogs, give them their vitamins, pat their heads and put them outside. (They stay outside when we're not home otherwise Thor feels the need to.....redecorate.) It rained all last night so it's wet and muddy. Thor also likes to dig holes, so my backyard resembles the trenches from World War II, so lots and lots and lots of mud. I groan as I open the door, and look at the sky, "Seriously God I know that farmers need the rain but you did promise not to drown the earth again and I'm not sure you're holding up your end of the deal looking at my yard." Dogs run outside and proceed to tackle each other. I duck and slam the door to avoid the birds (another blog another time). I get home from work, pull back the curtain and I have 2 very wet dogs, luckily not TOO muddy just very wet. We just recently (and when I say recently I mean like a year ago) had new carpet put in the living room and I would like it to last awhile which is quite the task with the two dogs. Both dogs have been trained that they cannot come into the house until the "release" word is used. WELL, today Thor decides he's had enough and comes barreling into the house, knocking me to my knees, Orion comes chasing after him, I try to grab Orion (he's a golden retriever, long hair, lots of wet) he gets scared and runs, I get up, run after him into the kitchen, slip, fall, curse, spin on my belly trying to catch Orion on his way back to the living room, miss him, "rats". Get up, hurdle over Thor (who by the way comes to the top of my thigh HAHA), smile to myself that I was able to hurdle over a jumping Thor, trip over Thor, curse. I finally get Orion in the corner, clean him off, only to turn around and see that my carpet is COVERED in muddy Orion prints, it looked like something from a cartoon. I hang my head and stomp to the kitchen "Damn mutts, why do we have all these animals, what were we thinking, I might as well add a giraffe and a hippo to the mix, I can sell tickets." I clean the carpet and turn around to see that Thor has decided to go through the daily mail and has shredded flyers covering my living room. I grab pillows, blankets, dog toys whatever my hands can reach, and start hurling them across the living room, shouting profanities, and flinging myself all over the room. (I've been a little stressed lately and Ryan's been gone, give me a break.) I drop to my knees completely out of breath, tears rolling down my face, nose dripping, I look up and see both my dogs looking at me, ears perked up, wide eyed. Thor slowly, cautiously walks over and starts licking my face. I make myself brownies, and everything is right with the world. Oh and I still have shredded flyer all over my living room. The cats seem to like it. :)

SD

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fabulous News

After MANY months of being handed insane amounts of work at my job, dealing with moron sales reps, and pulling 12 hour days I was finally given a raise! 13.5% after being an employee with them for 4 months (mind you I was a temp for 2 months before that), AND I was told that a promotion may also be in the works. So......fabulous news! I'm also all set up to start school again in Sept. I'm finishing my Business Finance degree, and I'm stoked! Of course, I receive all this news yesterday, the day that Ryan leaves to go underway for 3 weeks, and I SOOOOO badly want to talk to him and tell him all this, but....I can't. GGGGGRRRRR. I emailed him yesterday and haven't heard back yet, so in anticipation of reading "Babe that's great, I'm so proud of you!", I find that I'm checking my email about every 1/2 hour. "Maybe he got my email?!" So I bounce to my computer, "crap no email from him yet." 1/2 hour, "Do I have an email now?!" Again, the bouncing to the computer, "crap no email yet." "Maybe NOW?!" Bounce, skip, bounce, "CRAP, what the heck is he doing?! WHY ISN'T HE CHECKING HIS EMAIL???? Doesn't he know I have fabulous news????? GOSH!" So, when Ryan eventually does check his email it will look something like this:

10am-yesterday
"Hey, I FINALLY got the raise, it's X amount of dollars! How great is this???!!!!!"

10am-today
"So, I'm hoping you check your email soon, I'd like to hear back from you! Love you, miss you!"

10:30am-today
"Well gee whiz babe, I have this great news and I can't share it with you, cuz you haven't checked your email yet, sheesh."

11:17am-today
"WHAT THE HECK! Will you just check your email?! For the love of Pete!"

11:45am-today
"*SIGH*"

12pm-today
"You seriously have got to be kidding me, good grief"

All the while knowing that he's probably standing a watch, running drills, sleeping or doing maintenance. But I can't help that all major things good and bad ALWAYS occur when Ryan's out to sea! It's like the Murphy's Law of the military!

SD

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hurry Up To Wait

Ryan gets out of the Navy on higher tenure in Oct., well at least so we thought. A few months back, a career dude on the ship came up to Ryan and explained that a small clause at the bottom of this star re-enlistment contract he signed 4 years ago states that the Navy can hold him against his will up to 6 months if they see fit, and apparently they do. The career guy explained to Ryan that due to all the newer nuclear electricians aboard the ship now without cruise time, and he having two full deployments under his belt is considered more experienced and therefore needed on this upcoming deployment. Ryan went on to argue with him saying no, what can I do, this is ridiculous. Anyway, to make a long story short, for the last 2 months Ryan has been gathering paperwork to turn in to get out on his higher tenure date in Oct., and for 2 months he has been given the runaround. First he was told that he needed certain forms filled out, he found them and had them filled out, he turned those in, then he was told he had to go talk to this random guy, Ryan FINALLY found this random person and talked to him, then he needed a brand spanking new eval, so he gathered that. Now he's being told that he's STILL missing paperwork even though they never told him about this paperwork to begin with, in a nutshell they're stalling. As Sept. approaches, the chances of us doing a 3rd deployment lingers. Deployments aren't too bad, we've done 2 before, so it's not the chance that we may be doing another that angers me, it's the whole waiting till the last minute to do anything, the whole hurry up to wait mentality. It's not their whole future that hangs in the balance of this one decision so why rush?! Well I'll tell you why, because it's driving me crazy, that's why! Seriously, I would like to know if we can go ahead and try to find a house in Nashville, I would like to know if I need to start job hunting, RYAN would like to know if HE needs to start job hunting, we need to find renters for our house here and so on and so forth, and yet we can't because the Navy is the Navy. Don't get me wrong in my 4 years as a Navy wife, I have had my hurry up to wait moments, but this one is just really getting to me, maybe because we're actually closing a chapter in our lives and opening a new one, and it makes me nervous, so I need time to mentally prepare. Perhaps it's because after 4 years, I'm sick of it all and want an answer NOW! Or maybe it's because I don't like not knowing what our next step will be. It's probably a combination of all 3. *Sigh* So here we wait...and wait...and wait, as I'm being...slowly...driven...out of my mind.

SD

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Duty

Ah, the duty day. The day where the sailor goes to the ship or his base and stays for 24 hours to pull his share of the watch bill. Normally, I don't mind these days, depending on the rotation. Ryan's on 5 section duty, so he stands duty every 5 days. I usually take these days as a day to clean, grocery shop and do other errands, and I typically have about 100 projects going because I don't handle boredom well at all. So for me, Ryan's duty day is filled with chores, errands and projects. Except today, I miss him today, I wish he was home this Saturday. We're both very independent people, at home, Ryan does his thing and I do mine, we like it that way, it works for us. But today, the house is so quiet, even with the TV on. I can't hear Ryan in the other room laughing or talking, I can't hear his video games in the background. Thor (our Rhodesian Ridgeback) whines at the baby gate, the only thing separating the dogs and the cats, looking for Ryan. I tell him, "Daddy's on duty", he groans and stretches. "I know bud, I miss him too." I grab our newest Netflicks movie that just came in the mail, and say "Let's watch a movie guys." Like clockwork, both dogs jump on the couch and patiently wait for me to pop the disc in. I walk over to the XBox (which we use as our DVD player) and hit the power button....nothing. "Oh man, I forgot I broke this the other day. I guess no movie tonight guys." Thor lets out a big sigh and looks at me as if to say, "Wait a go mom". I squeeze in between my two pups on the couch and channel surf. Thor jumps to sitting position as I hit the Animal Planet channel. I pass by it and Thor looks at me. "Alright, alright, fine." I go back to Animal Planet and lay my head on Orion (my Golden Retriever). Ah, the duty day.

SD

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's The Deal With Roots?

With our pending terminal leave date being Oct. 1st, Ryan has been at TAPS all week. For my non-military readers, TAPS is a week long class that is geared to help military personnel prepare and adjust to civilian life. At the end of the class the attending party will receive a page 13, this paper signifies the Navy moving the sailor, his family and their belongings back to their home of origin at no cost to the sailor, and let me tell ya with the price of gas what it is, THIS paper is like gold.

For Ryan, his place of "origin" is Nashville, TN. Now, I like Nashville, it's a great city, I'm a city person. I love his family, more so than my own family sometimes (excluding my sisters who I completely adore). Ryan wants to get out of the military, move back to Nashville, and start a family, plant roots he says. This is all fine and dandy, dandy and fine, except for the fact that I'm not really sure I want to plant roots right now. I grew up moving every four years always to a different city where my dad thought "he could do better here", when I was 16 I moved from NY to SC, then when I was 21 I moved from SC to VA. I like moving, it's a change of pace, a new adventure, a new home to explore. If I stay in one place for too long, I get restless, bored, I feel like I'm taped up in a box, claustraphobicated (a new word), if you will. When people talk about establishing roots that means staying....in one place....FOREVER. And usually kids come along not too far from establishing those "roots". What about working as a columnist in NYC, living in Paris, driving out west, and becoming a Vegas showgirl? Ok, so I know that at least one of those dreams is completely unrealistic especially if you have ever seen me dance, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to just say, "Well that's it, I guess no more dreaming big, we have roots now and baby formula is almost as expensive as gas so forget Paris, forget writing in NYC, and forget road trips out west, it's all about diapers, taxes and school districts now." Don't get me wrong being a mommy one day could be cool, but seriously I can't even get my dogs to behave, how in the world am I supposed to raise a person, a person that goes out and affects this world and other people, dogs don't vote and work jobs. For me the military is safe, we'll always move, we'll always have money coming in, it's highly unlikely the military will go through a drastic budget cut and fire 1/2 the Atlantic fleet.

The love of my life wants to move back home, and stay there....forever. He wants to have kids in the near future, and he wants roots. I was kinda hoping that I would just grow out of the whole moving around bit, that I would get tired of it, that I would eventually want to settle down and have kids and "roots". You can't be 19 forever, someday you have to grow up. People change, dreams change, situations change, needs and desires change, I always thought that I felt this way because I was young and as I got older my feelings on "roots" would surely change, well it's been 6 years and they surely haven't. Is it possible to adjust and get used to a lifestyle, to learn to like having "roots"? Maybe once I actually start establishing these "roots" I'll like them? Am I just being selfish holding on to these dreams, that are, in reality, completely unrealistic? Don't get me wrong, if we try the whole "roots" deal and I do start getting restless and claustraphobicated, I'm not the type to do anything drastic, unless of course you call booking 2 flights to Paris for a week drastic. :)

SD

Monday, July 7, 2008

In the beginning....

In the beginning there was a single me, college and work. That single me met a single Ryan on a blind date with one of his friends, we can just say that that blind date didn't work out so well for Ryan's friend. Two years later Ryan and I were married. I was now a Navy wife. Of course marriage isn't something that most people take lightly, especially me, this was a very serious matter that was to be pondered and sweated over, for 2 years. Not only was I getting married, but to a military man, a man that is gone a lot of the time and can't tell me where or why he's leaving but that they're leaving in 2 months. I would need to be able to fend for myself, and this coming from someone who couldn't stand to be alone in the house for 30 minutes! After much contemplation I decided that this is what I wanted. I could do this as long as I was with Ryan, distance makes the heart grow fonder, I'll go wherever you go babe.....unless of course it's out on a ship for 6 months and I'm not allowed to come. I moved to Virginia and found a temporary job at a department store until I could find one that suited my accounting background. Ryan went back to work right away, the ship he is stationed on was in the shipyards at the time. Now in my mind I'm thinking, "Oh good, I don't have to worry about him going out to sea right away", in the shipyards the nuclear division worked 10-12 hour days. You can only clean and scrapbook so much before you begin to lose your mind out of boredum. I met a couple wives/girlfriends of fellow sailors Ryan worked with and we became like family. When the guys had duty we would have dinners at each others houses, when the guys had sea trials we were inseperable. They became my sisters.

I truly believe that being able to live the Navy life says a lot about a person. Not just anyone can live this kind of life, I say this because during the two deployments I have gone through, I have seen more people break-up or divorce than get together or get married. It takes a certain kind of determination to live this life. A life I have lived for 4 years and have loved it. Don't get me wrong about 2 months into each deployment I usually break down into tears because I miss my husband and I want him to come home, and then that same break down typically occurs also around month 5. I have moved myself twice without Ryan that was a pain in the neck, I have been through heartbreak between friends and desperately wanted Ryan to come home to tell me it's going to be ok, I've fixed garbage disposals, water heaters, washers, and random other household appliances with him gone knowing that what took me 4 hours would really only take Ryan like 30 minutes. Holidays are difficult with Ryan gone, you're just sad, you're other half is floating around on the ocean on Valentine's Day. But the pride you have when you say "My husband is a sailor in the US Navy", surpasses all those emotions, at least for me. So many things take on a whole new meaning. Christmas for example, for most people this is a great family holiday, everyone gets together shares a meal and opens gifts. For me and Ryan, we wonder if the ship will be deployed at that time, will we be together, since last Christmas we weren't? Those Christmas' together are cherished so much more. Business trips, for most married couples one may encounter a business trip every now and then, usually this is about a week maybe 2. A Navy spouse hears "business trip" and that means 6-8 months alone dealing with children, pets, bills, home repairs, holidays and whatever other cards we're dealt while our spouses are gone. Ryan and his best friend Josh surprised me with a trip to Washington DC a few years ago, I had never been there, so for me this was a real treat! We went to see all the sights and waited in a huge line to see the Declaration of Independence, when we finally got up to see it, I bawled like a big baby. The words on that worn out piece of parchemnt was what my husband went away for, for so long, it was what my husband and his friend Josh were defending with their lives every day. I get choked up thinking about it now. I have been a Navy spouse for 4 years, my husband is about to get out of the Navy in October of this year. This scares me very much. No more Nex, where you can find designer things for a Walmart price. No more commissary, where you can find meat for a killer price and Chinese Rice Wine. No more FRG, I have made some incredible friends through the Family Readiness Group I'm afraid that now that I'm not a Navy Wife I'll be out of the circle, not becuase they "pushed" me out but because it just won't be the same and I can't attend meetings. No more paid health care, we will need to start paying for that out of our paychecks. No more Ryan walking around in his uniform looking all handsome. No more homecomings, no more Navy balls, no more tax breaks, no more secure job (lets face it with the economy the way it is no one in the civilian working world is really "safe") No more days where it's just me because Ryan has duty, I kind like those days every now and then, where I can just eat mac and cheese and popcorn and watch cheesy romantic movies with my dogs. It's going to be completely different. Ryan will be home everyday around the same time, how strange, GOOD, but strange. I guess we'll just take it one day at a time. Lol, a civilian person is probably reading this and thinking "Good Lord, civilian life is so much easier than all that!" But a Military wife is reading this thinking, "God that's gonna be me in a few years, I know EXACTLY what she means." It's a Military spouse thing, some people just wouldn't understand.

SD