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That’s Toilet Talk!

As a parent, I know that I sometimes get excited over stuff that leaves other people completely and utterly bored. I try not to subject people to too much diaper talk, but here’s my reasoning: If you’re reading this article, then most likely you’re a parent/parental figure and will share my excitement over potty training successes. Therefore, I’m sharing. :)

Smelly turned two in August. I tell you this only for reference. Several months before his 2nd birthday he started asking to use the potty. Surprising, yes, but what parent in their right mind says no?!?! Fuschi was incredibly easy to potty train (PT) simply because he wanted to be just like his older brother. It isn’t so crazy to think Smelly was following the same path. For a couple of weeks it seemed like Smelly was on the PT train and we were on our way to diaperless days. Then, he stops. Cold turkey. Out of the blue. Flat out refuses to use the potty. Puzzling, but as I mentioned he was pretty young to even be thinking about it so we didn’t push it. (Live and learn, my friends- we traumatized Stinky by pushing PTing before he was ready. Never again.)

When the Bottom Drops Out

When living with PTSD and TBI, every day seems like forever. Some days are better than others. Often times, we spend our hours covering up for our veterans, apologizing, lying to ourselves….ignoring our worst fears and only hoping for the best. We clean them up when they are a mess…when they are drunk, we put them to bed and let them sleep it off……when they screw up, we try to correct or make up for their mistakes. We apologize when they are nasty to others or lie to ourselves when they are mean to us. When you think you have almost everything figured out…then the bottom falls out.

I will more than likely get some nasty grams from some readers telling me I shouldn’t be writing this. I will get some slack from those who read my blog and know those who screwed up, will make excuses to me. I will tell my story though because for every person who will shun me for writing my tale, there will be 500 others who will sit there and agree or take caution for themselves. There is so much that has happened, I will be breaking this down into several blogs so I don’t bore you to death. I will pass on my story so it helps others who may end up in my position and the lessons learned.

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the holidays and time for… RUSHING?! MyHero and the boys have two weeks off from school/work. We should be relaxing, right? No, sir. Before the end of the year we will:

Spring clean (winter clean?) the house in preparation for company, finish Christmas shopping, Smelly will have two doctors appointments (God willing, it will stay at only two) and one surgery, I will have one doctors appointment, we will drive 10 hours round trip to our hometown, we will spend three days rushing from one family member’s house to the next, two separate nights out with friends, drive home, host my mom for two weeks- this includes one day of rest and 13 days of running from one fun thing to the next, another family member will come for a few days, and in a separate visit a very good friend will come for a few days. We will bake enough cookies to take plates to three neighbors, two teachers and one school secretary. We will all sign 30 Christmas cards, I will address 30 Christmas cards, and I will make two runs to the post office. I will fit a huge grocery shopping trip in there somewhere. And a partridge in a pear tree.

Preparing to Move Overseas, Continued

I’m going to back up a little bit on our Germany adventure and continue with preparing to move overseas. This was our first PCS, so I am certainly a newbie. However, hopefully you can pick up some good hints if this is your first OCONUS PCS.

Moving Your Household Goods

Once you have your no-fee passport and are on your spouse’s orders, you are officially command sponsored. Make sure to read the orders carefully to see if dependents are granted concurrent or deferred travel. Make an appointment with the transportation office to set up your household goods shipments as soon as you can. Some military installations require the solider to complete this step online.

Also, the orders will say if you are granted shipment or storage of your privately owned vehicle (POV). Information is provided on the , as well as in these online pamphlets for both and of POVs.

He’s Gone and I’m Still Not Pregnant

My husband came home for R&R and we gave TTC naturally one last try. I had all the signs of ovulation-well, other than what shows on OPK and BBT; did not want the stress of doing those-so we were hopeful. Well, AF came today so no miracle R&R baby for us. I was not really expecting a BFP but I was hoping. Needless to say, I am drinking lots of wine tonight :)

So we are 100%, officially on track for IVF 1.0 in January. Am I nervous? Hell yes. I still remember the tummy injections from the IUIs and I am not looking forward to that again. I am also anxious about the stress involved due to my raging hormones and deployment, which is why I will begin regular therapy again in the next couple of weeks. I have a plan, though, so hopefully that will help keep the anxiety in check.

When YOU Become the Punching Bag of PTSD

I think it’s safe to say that when one is involved with someone suffering from PTSD you inevitably become the emotional punching bag.  And let’s be honest – it SUCKS!

I would consider myself a pretty strong woman as I grew up with a father who made it his job to point out all of my (and my family member’s) defects.  For 18 years I had someone tell me why I wasn’t good enough or smart enough or thin enough.  I left home to attend college only months after my husband and I began dating.  So in what seemed to be overnight I went from having a man in my life who constantly brought me down to having a man who thought the world of me.  And for the first time in my life I learned what it was like to have self confidence. And I LOVED IT.

But this all changed when my husband got out of the Army, moved in with me, and began demonstrating signs of PTSD.  I became his emotional punching bag and this new role took a major toll on me. 

Holiday Jumble: Making Christmas Ornaments

I have a confession to make.

I have already decorated for Christmas. I know, I know. I swore I’d hold out until the day after Thanksgiving. Then I was sorting through clothes, moving winter clothes into closets and summer clothes into storage. Well, as long as MyHero and I were shifting things around storage we may as well pull the Christmas decorations out… Right? Then I said “I’m just going to sort through this stuff to remind myself what we have; if I see anything cute on sale I’ll know if I should pick it up”. Hahaha Needless to say, decorations went up that day. That *might* have been two weekends ago. Maybe.

The only thing we haven’t done is decorate our tree. The past few years we’ve used a table top tree because of time and space issues. This year I wanted a full sized one. I picked it up this past payday and we’ll decorate it this weekend. Tonight the boys and I spent some time making our very own ornaments. It was so much fun I thought I’d share. Here’s the recipe:

When PTSD Turns Physical

So I have been putting this topic off for a while now….mostly because I wasn’t sure how to address the questions or the stories shared with me and because I know what you are going through. Inwardly, I think I have been avoiding this topic because it hit so close to home, and I am trying to forget.  I have had approximately 57 emails in regards to physical violence within a PTSD/TBI homes, and it saddens me to see so many of you are crying out for help. Saddening me further, is the knowledge that many of you who visit the site and don’t say anything, probably will never reveal that domestic violence is an issue with your veterans. For those that wrote me, I won’t be sharing your emails as promised, but I want to make sure you understood my appreciation for trusting me with such stories of your lives. I know it was hard to write some of the things you did, perhaps embarrassing to see it on the screen in front of you, and more so admitting that these issues were indeed real.

Nightmares and Depression

In my previous posts, I have gone over different symptoms of PTSD that my husband has suffered from, but that have also gotten better with time.  Nightmares and depression are two symptoms of PTSD that he still battles on a daily basis.

Let’s start with nightmares.  Sometimes he’s lucky and will go weeks without one, but then when he least expects it, they hit full force.  Most of the time they are triggered by something going on in his life.  Stress is a HUGE factor but simple things like watching the military channel will almost always result in a sleepless night.  Lately, learning of the deaths of Rangers he served with has brought on a wave of nightmares.  To his credit – he has done a great job of avoiding the things that he knows will trigger these sleepless nights.  So he avoids the military channel and war movies, and tries to not talk about things he did overseas.  But he can’t control the news and hearing of a comrade’s death really affects him.

Take Care of Yourself First

**I’m writing this post today specifically from a women’s perspective for other women. If you are a man reading this, please don’t be offended or feel left out. I’m sure that much of it applies to you, but this is based on what I hear from other women, especially military wives.

Stress affects people in different ways, but have no doubt, it does affect you. Personally, it affects me physically. I can’t sleep; my stomach rejects food; my head hurts; my back hurts; sometimes I even get a low grade fever; and eventually my body literally gives out and I sleep for hours. I don’t mean that I sleep for eight or nine hours – I mean that I sleep for like 10 hours at night and then nap continuously the next day. Lately I’ve been lucky that those sleeping days have come on the weekends rather than during the week. It’s my own fault, I haven’t been taking care of myself. I can offer excuses as to why I haven’t but, really, that’s not important. What is important is appropriately dealing with the stressors and TAKING CARE OF MYSELF (remember that capitalized phrase, it’s important).

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