Friday, September 30, 2011

Phonetic Alphabet

Every now and then, I get the feeling like my letters to my husband are just kind of dull and boring.  They usually are just recaps of my day, you know the kinds of things I would tell him every evening at home after work.  He says he enjoys them because it provides him with a sense of normalcy, but every now and then I like to change things up a bit.  One thing that I will do is to use the military phonetic alphabet to write sentences here and there in letters, which gives him a little bit of a puzzle to figure out.  They're always trivial little things like tell him how much I miss him.  One of the last ones I wrote was:

India Charlie Alpha November November Oscar Tango Whiskey Alpha India Tango Tango Oscar Sierra Echo Echo Yankee Oscar Uniform!

Translated: I cannot wait to see you!  I was inspired to do this by posts the U.S. Army Future Soldier Family page on Facebook makes every once in a while.  Doing this has since helped me to check off one of my goals on my 101 in 1001 list, to memorize the phonetic alphabet -- I now no longer have to look at my cheat sheet to write out these sentences!  With this whole journey and entrance into this new way of life, I figure if it's something that he has to know, I want to learn it too if I can in order to make this transition easier (and that way I'm not as confused when he uses some term or phrase that isn't common in civilian life).  I even got my husband on board with this apparently as in one of his letters to me this week, he wrote his name out using the alphabet at the end of the letter.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekly Delivery

Before my husband left for basic, he arranged some surprises for me to receive while he's gone... just some sweet little things to show he loves me in hopes that I won't miss him as much.  But of course they just make me miss him more!  The main thing he has done is have a vase of flowers delivered to me at my office every Monday since he first left.  They've all be beautiful arrangements, but this week's was the first fall-ish looking one and has the cutest little baby pumpkins in the arrangement, so I just had to share!

Of course weekly deliveries while he's in basic means I'll come out of this with 9 or 10 new vases, which is much more than any normal person needs!  But I'm planning on bringing most of them back to the florist when it's over so they can reuse them.  I've been told that my one BIG surprise is coming this Saturday! :) All the hubby told me before he left was it'll take several hours, is in the city where we live, and to just keep the entire day open until I get a call with all of the details this week.  I cannot wait!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

He Passed!

I just received the phone call that every spouse, significant other, and parent looks forward to while their loved one is in basic training... the hubby has passed is final PT test and is officially graduating in just over two weeks!!  He had the test on Friday, and I've been on pins and needles for the past two days anxiously awaiting today's phone call to hear the results.  I normally wouldn't be too worried because he did well on the last PT test they had, exceeding the minimum score necessary to graduate, but last weekend he got kneed pretty hard in the ribs during combatives and was in so much pain that we were both pretty worried about how he'd do -- even if they pass previous PT tests, only the "final" one counts for graduation.  I'm so excited he did it and cannot wait to see him!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Worried Mommy

There's nothing quite as nerve wrecking as having a sick child, especially when you have no way of easily getting in touch with their daddy.  Now, my husband and I do not have any actual children just yet, but our pets are our babies (as I'm sure many others can relate to).  We routinely refer to them as our kids and treat them as such.  Yesterday our oldest "child" Kiba starting showing signs that she wasn't feeling very well.  In the morning she threw up, but it didn't worry me immediately as this sometimes happens if she's got an empty stomach.  However the worrying began when I gave all of the little ones breakfast and she hardly touched her kibble.  I got home from work to find she had gotten sick a couple more times, and still hadn't touched her food.  Then when I took her outside to go to the bathroom, her stools were liquid and kind of pink in color.  She was also rather lethargic.  I kept a close eye on her during the night, and then decided to take her to the vet first thing this morning when she showed no improvement and actually appeared to be getting worse.

My baby and her usual happy self

After giving her an exam as well as running some blood tests, the vet diagnosed her with a mild case of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.  There is no precise known cause of this disease, though they do say a contributing factor that can bring it on is stress.  Our baby already has some anxiety issues as is, which has been made worse by her daddy being gone for BCT.  She's 4-years old and has had plenty of time to develop deep attachments to the two of us.  Thankfully the vomiting had already stopped last night, and the diarrhea should go away on its own, but she had to receive fluids by IV in order to counteract the severe dehydration that occurs (approximately 90% of dogs who are untreated and do not get these fluids, or who do not receive treatment soon enough, do not survive).  The vet also gave her some antibiotics as well as some steroids to help her body fight and get rid of any bacteria that she may have in her system.  Thankfully I was able to bring her home today, and the fluids seem to have helped her a great deal as she has more energy, and she also seems to have her appetite back as she got jealous when Saki got dinner and she didn't (Dr.'s orders!).  I just hope this upward trend continues and she doesn't have a relapse.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Jet Lag

I'm a member of an Army Wife group on Facebook, and someone posted this song by Simple Plan and Natasha Bedingfield a couple weeks ago called "Jet Lag" and I have found I just cannot get enough of listening to this song.  I sent the lyrics to my husband last week and during today's phone call he mentioned that ever since he got them he's been reading them a few times a day every day.  It's just such an easy song to relate to for anyone who has had to endure being away from the one they love.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years

I was a senior in high school, making my way from second period AP Statistics to third period architectural design art class when I learned our great nation was under attack.  The news of an airplane flying into the first World Trade Center tower spread like wildfire throughout the school until soon enough every classroom had their televisions set to the news, where many of them remained for the course of the day.  We turned on the news right after the second tower was struck and continued to watch in a confused state all the way through witnessing the collapse of both towers.  I remember administration at my school trying to get teachers to turn off their televisions so we could get back to our work for the day, but thankfully most teachers turned a deaf ear to the request because, as they told us, we were living history at that very moment and were experiencing something more important at that time then what we might find in a textbook.

Today marks the 10 year anniversary since 9/11 and the tragic events that took the lives of so many.  Where were you when you learned of the news?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

The decision to join the United States Military is not an easy one.  There are many things that need to be thought through before signing that contract and taking that oath, especially when you have a significant other to factor into the equation.  The decision to enter this new nomadic lifestyle has to be one that you both agree upon as it takes a lot of strength and dedication from both people.  It can really test your relationship and you need to be sure you have good communication with each other as that will be the #1 thing to make the whole experience easier.  My husband first brought up the idea to me a couple years ago when he was approaching graduating from college.  My first reaction when I heard “Military” was hell no!  I was convinced that it was not a lifestyle I wanted.  Slowly I managed to come around, but it took about a year’s worth of researching about the different branches and all of the Hubby’s options, in addition to many long discussions and having him telling me that it’s honestly always been an option that he’s entertained the idea of, not just something he decided on a whim because of a lack of other options.  I now think this is the best thing that we could have done for us and our future and I stand behind him 110%.

Every branch of the Military has its positives and its negatives, and different branches work best for different people depending on your preferences.  We first looked at the Air Force, but he decided against pursuing that option given how selective and competitive their Officer program is.  With this being something he wants the ability to make a career out of, he wanted to be sure to have the highest odds of being commissioned as an Officer.  We then looked at the Navy and the Hubby and I both quickly came to the same conclusion that we did not like the idea of him being away for sea duty on a ship or in a sub for extended periods of time.  He’s never really been interested in the Marines, so we ultimately ended up with the Army as being the branch that would work best, both career wise for him, providing him with the most potential options for advancement, as well as for our future family and time together.
The best advice I can give to anyone considering joining the Military is to research, research, research and learn as much information as you possibly can before making the commitment.  And then once he, or she, has signed and made the commitment, continue to research in order to learn ahead of time every possibility that could be headed your way!  In the new age of social media, Facebook and blogs can be really good sources to find out information by connecting with people who have been through what you’re facing and can give you the honest to God truth that you may not get from a recruiter.  It’s always nice to find people to connect with who are going or who have gone through the same thing as you.