Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Excuse Me!?!?!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over your head, and ignore reality until it rights itself again? OR scratch your head and wonder, what the heck did I do? I am sure you have. . I do too.

Yesterday was one such day, a by-product of the night before. After a midnight meltdown Monday night brought on by changed orders, I received a 2am martial arts lesson. That really should have been my first clue. Being victim to a sneak attack in the dead of night has a way of getting a person on the move.

Tuesday started in a mess of night terrors, complete exhaustion, and a relentless migraine. Jon went ahead and took the car to work in effort to give the boys and I a couple more hours of sleep, hoping it would improve our dispositions all around. HA!

The boys had been out of bed all of 10 minutes before they openly declared war on mommy. Caleb decided it would be fun to use Andrew as a trampoline, to which Andrew just shrieked shrilly and tried his level best to fight back. The end result was complete destruction of all cleaning and order I managed to give to the house.. . .A day in the life right?

Fast forward to breakfast. Most of it ended on the floor. Ehh whatever, they are little boys, messes pretty much come with the territory. The fun part of the day began shortly after I got them cleaned up from breakfast. After getting Caleb dressed and turning him loose and starting on Andrew, Caleb decided to hide all of mommy's clothes. You wouldn't think a three year old would hide stuff that well. You are so wrong. Not only did he hide the first set of clothes that I set out for myself to wear, but the second and third as well. Yep. By the time I got all of us ready to go and Jon got home, we were running behind.

We get Jon to the doctor where he has to sit for over an hour past his appointment time before they see him. Call me crazy but give someone an appointment if you aren't going to see them until an hour later? It wasn't in lieu of being packed or busy, there were one or two people there at most. His appointment was at 1330 but he wasn't seen until 1445.

Nothing was being accomplished by the boys and I just sitting there twiddling our thumbs while we waited so, we went to cross some errands off of the list. The post office was first. Upon the guy arguing with me for a good 10 minutes about spending 50 dollars to insure a box, I got it done and went back out to the car. The car was parked right outside of the door in clear view of the window I was at getting my package and cards in the mail.

In the time it took me to pay for my things, Caleb had unbuckled himself, thrown Andrew's shoes out of the window, his shoes out the window, tossed all of my CDs around the car, and was hanging out of the window shouting at the top of his lungs "MOMMY I DO IT MOMMY I DO IT!". .skill I tell you, this kid amazes me.

After this we head to the commissary where the icing on the cake of my day is made. I get both boys out of the car, Andrew is on my hip and Caleb is holding onto my hand as we walk. I drop his hand and let him walk on his own, he never goes far and stays within reaching distance of me at all times.

Scant seconds later this man comes barreling down the "isle" in the parking lot and plows into my three year old child and knocks him flat on his rear. I look at this man who is looking at me and my children with this look of utter horror and disgust on his face.

He dusts off his cammie blouse, straightens his chevrons (he was a warrant officer) and looks at me. For as long as I live I will never forget what happened next.

This man looks at my child who is trying to put his shoes back on, and then turns to me and says "Aren't you going to make him apologize to me?"

Now I know most of you reading this are reacting in a similar manner as I did. I looked at this man who is easily three or four times my size, and has a good 15 or 20 years on me, raise my eyebrows, and reply "Excuse me?"

He again repeats "Aren't you going to make him apologize?" I have come across my fair share of jerks at this base but none as pretentious and obnoxious as this man, who was standing in front of me demanding that I make my three year old child apologize to this man for being the one knocked over onto the wet ground.

My verbal filter is pretty much non-existent when I am tired, and my temper was already flared at the happenings of the day already. There is nothing that sets fire to my temper than pretentious jerks that think they are God's gift to the world because they happen to be officers. I have met some great men here, ones who insisted on helping a frazzled mother of two, on the flip side I have also come across those people you just want to reach out and smack.

For those of you who know me, and those of you who don't, I am sure you can only imagine what happened next. I helped Caleb to his feet and he hid behind my leg. I looked at this man who was demanding retribution for HIM tripping MY child and let go of the hold I had on my tongue. The conversation progressed as follows.

"Well sir, no I am not going to make him apologize."


"I said I am not going to make him apologize. Maybe next time you should take your head our of your rear and your nose out of your phone and pay attention to where you are going, maybe then YOU wouldn't be plowing over children not even a quarter of your size. If I make my child to anything it will be to kick you in the shin as we walk past."

This man then proceeds to roll his eyes like a teenage girl, mutters ugh, and then some vulgar comment about women and children in general and stomps off with the poor bag boy trailing after him.

The day just got better huh. We come home, Jon goes to work, and the boys and I settle in for the night. Jon and I finally get wound down to sleep around 4 in the morning after he gets home.

This morning we all hit the ground running. We went to Woodbridge to get copies of their last check up, then back to base to the CDC to enroll them at the center.

Part of the new family "game plan" with all of this PTSD and TBI business is that I need help too. Not because I am sick or anything but the case manager says that I have to accept I can only do so much at once. In addition to taking care of and raising two children a great deal on my own, I also run a household, comply with the demands his job makes on us, go to school, and take care of everything else, I also have to take care of and keep track of doctors appointments not only for myself and the boys but Jon as well.

So, in addition to taking care of Jon and making sure he has all he needs to get better, they have also given the boys and I tools to help us cope and learn how to help Jon as well. Happy dancing for us!

As a part of this, they have set the boys and I up for classes and groups and day care three times a week for a few hours as well as child care for doctors appointments and all groups as well. EEEEeeeeePPPPPsss!

We got them all signed up for daycare at the CDC today. All taken care of courtesy of the WWP and EEC which caters to and helps families of military personnel with PTSD and TBI's.

It is a huge relief to know this. Not only do I get a few hours a week to myself now, but I also get time to finish my schoolwork, concentrate on each child at their specific appointments, but I also get time to focus on one thing at a time! Happy Dancing over here!

Just goes to show that there is always an upside to every down and an answer to every prayer made even if it isn't the one you wanted.

In closing I leave you with my thought for the day.

Things happen for a reason and there is a reason and answer to everything even though we may not see it or notice at the time. Nothing is ever in vain. There is always a lesson to learn, something you may not have seen or accepted before. The trick to understanding and embracing it is to fully open your heart and mind to it. After all, some of Gods' greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

Until next time!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Just Another Day In Paradise. . Toddler/Baby UFC Match

Today started out as any other day in the house of P. .well almost. I was woken up around 10 this morning by a shrill shriek followed by a loud "MA MA MA MA MA MA MA".

At this I dart out of bed and make my way into into Andrew's room to find him sitting there in his crib grinning at me. Nice way to start the morning. I walk the 10 feet in between their rooms to get Caleb as he is now fully awake.

I bend over to pick him up and as he wraps his chubby little arms around my neck and says "Morning my mommy Beav. I lub you so much. Chew?". . .This sets the tune for most of our day. I take him into the bathroom to get his chew, which is his allergy medication, and he proceeds to pop it in his mouth and look at me with that full out grin that screams Jon and says "Mmmm Mommy that's good stuff!"

We go get Andrew and settle in for breakfast. They finish and get down to play and the fun really begins. After dumping both toy boxes, they play. About 15 minutes later while I am cleaning up the kitchen and switching some laundry I hear Caleb yelling.

I go into the livingroom /play room and can finally hear what he is saying. "LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT BRUDDER! LET ME OUT!"

For those of you who know my children, you know that when this occurs some one is usually trapped. I look around to the back door and here is what I see. .

Andrew has overturned the larger of the two toy boxes over on top of his brother and is banging on it cackling madly. Caleb, is underneath screaming for all he is worth. I went and got Andrew and freed Caleb who in turn gets Andrew back not even a full 10 minutes later. I hear a grand crashing from the area of the dining room and I turn to see this. . .

Caleb has overturned the kitchen table chairs on top of his brother who is yelling at the top of his lungs "BUH BUH BUH BUH" which is what he calls Caleb. NO crying or screaming instead my one year old child is shouting at his brother in what I like to think of as his "when I get out of here you are so gonna regret it" shout.

He finally frees himself and upon seeing this Caleb darts into the kitchen trying not so stealthily to hide behind the garbage can. I hear another crash while I an en route and walk straight into the war zone.

Andrew has since become enamored with yanking the mini blinds off of the wall. Caleb sneaks up on him and starts hip butting him with no success.

I finally take my little UFC fighters into the livingroom to finish up Shrek and have their lunches. Nap time was only minutes away. My phone rings and I answer it to talk to the lady who is helping me arrange child care for the boys. . .FOR FREE!. . .all the while they are eating and tossing fruit loops at each other. .their lunches forgotten. I had one boy on the couch while I changed and cleaned up the other and vice versa. I find my angelic little children grinning like monkeys at me.

From Andrew I get this face

From Caleb I get this one

Now please tell me who can get mad at those little faces?!

Finally I get to take them upstairs to nap! WOO HOO! My favorite time of day. I get to clean up the chaos that is the first 8 hours and get ready to do it all over. My life is imperfectly perfect.

Tomorrow is full of appointments, grocery shopping, paying bills, and running around like a chicken with my head cut off. .I would change it for all of the money in the world.

In parting, I ask that you all pray for a very special little girl who is just 9 days old and already facing a harsh illness. She is fighting every step of the way, and how could she not?! She is the product of one of this countries finest warriors and a very strong and awesome mommy. Keep Baby K and the rest of Team A in your prayers. Send all positive energy their way.

As a final thought, I leave you with the words to one of my favorite songs. As imperfect, and crazy as my days usually are, it is just another day in paradise. . my paradise.

he kids screaming, phone ringing
Dog barking at the mailman bringing
That stack of bills - overdue
Good morning baby, how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk but the milk's gone sour
My funny face makes you laugh
Twist the top on and I put it back
There goes the washing machine
Baby, don't kick it.
I promise I'll fix it
Long about a million other things

Well, it's ok. It's so nice
It's just another day in paradise
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise

Friday, you're late
Guess we'll never make our dinner date
At the restaurant you start to cry
Baby, we'll just improvise
Well, plan B looks like
Dominoes' pizza in the candle light
Then we'll tippy toe to our room
Make a little love that's overdue
But somebody had a bad dream
Mama and daddy
Can me and my teddy
Come in to sleep in between?

Until next time my loves,


Sunday, June 13, 2010

And So it Begins. .

Hello all and welcome to this crazy ride that I call my life!

I finally gave in and started a blog so my friends, family, extended relatives can check in on us any time you get the hankering to find out what is going on with Team P. Here you will find our life uncensored as told by me.

I have many names and answer to all. I am a Marine Corps wife of four years, a sister to two strong and willful people whom have guided and listened to a flustered girl for over two decades, a daughter to two parents who struggled day in and day out to find their way for us and for themselves, but most of all I am called mommy. Nothing compares to the beautiful eyes of my sons who gaze up at me each and every day and say I love you mommy.

More than my sisters, parents, husband, and extended family, there is our Marine Corps family. A constant stronghold of love and support and understanding. These amazing people have been there for me and all of us when I have needed to cry and scream and rant with a helping hand, an open ear, and a brand new box of Kleenex. They are my best friends, they are my sisters. These past four years I have never had to face anything this crazy journey has thrown at me alone.

Here you will see and hear what crazy shenanigans my boys are up to, along with updates and how we are coping with PTSD and a possible TBI. We will never be more than a click away and all you will have to do is type in our blog address and check it out.

Our lives as of late have only been a stones throw away from complete and total chaos. Between doctors appointments, birthdays, and a whole slew of other crazy things in our lives, we have been on the go from sun up to sun down.

So, let us start at the top of Team P and work our way down to the smallest P and catch up!

Jon. Where do we start? I have rarely ever been as proud of another person than I am of my husband. The past few weeks for him have been hard work compounded by even harder work and all for his family and his country. Watching him struggle the last few years has been heart breaking and humbling. He feels things so deeply and differently than most people I have come across. In the past three or four months we have begun the slow process of diagnosis and treatment for PTSD.

For those of you reading who don't understand what exactly PTSD is, I will try my best to explain it to you. PTSD is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder which by definition is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one's own or someone else's physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual's ability to cope. As an effect of psychological trauma, PTSD is less frequent and more enduring than the more commonly seen acute stress response.

Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal - such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hyper vigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Our journey with PTSD began shortly after his return home. It started out simply as odd occurrences of him sitting up in the bed in the middle of the night stating that there was someone coming down the street. Then as the days passed we started noticing more and more manifestations that we didn't understand. He started having issues with things startling him into relapses of times when he was overseas.

Things came to a culmination a couple of months ago and after some arguments and tears he agreed to see someone and get some answers. Here we are a few months down the road and things are getting better slowly but surely. The medications the doctors have given him are working absolute wonders. We have been almost two months without a nightmare or a wandering dream where he talks and paces the house at all hours of the night.

Along with the medicine, he also sees a therapist ("the wizard" as Jon calls him) once, and even twice a week sometimes. They have been incredibly helpful and at times brutally honest with him. He smiles a lot more these days and is continuing to grow as himself and as a daddy and husband. God has been smiling down on our little family.

As of now, his team of doctors, are having us explore the possibility of a TBI as well. A TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury,is by definition happens when an external force traumatically injures the brain. TBI can be classified based on severity, mechanism (closed or penetrating head injury), or other features (e.g. occurring in a specific location or over a widespread area). Head injury usually refers to TBI, but is a broader category because it can involve damage to structures other than the brain, such as the scalp and skull.

Through liaisons with both the Wounded Warrior Regiment and the Navy Marine Corps Relief, we are slowly piecing the diagnoses and treatment plans together one by one. We say one day at a time, one step at a time, and take it as it comes.

We are still exploring outlets and possibilities for our whole family when it comes to coping and helping him cope with what he has been through. We can unsee or undo anything he has been through, but we can try our best to help him cope.


ME! I know I know. .awful picture. . What can I say about myself? I hit the floor running each morning and I fall into bed at a sprint at night. Between doctors appointments, trying to get through a certification, chasing two small kids, trying to keep up with the demands and needs of my family, and keeping up with this crazy life we have chosen, I rarely have two seconds to rub together.

My new mantra these past few months has been this:

I am only one person. I can only do so much. I don't understand everything and there are days when it takes all I can manage to get us through the day. I am tired and I am angry and I only have two arms. I am tired of over extending myself to help people when no effort is put into it in... return. I don't have any time to spare at present so don't waste mine.

As my sister likes to tell all the time.. ."Sister you have to let go and let God.". . Truer words have never been spoken. You have to turn it over to God and pray to understand his plan for your lives.

Watching Jon suffer alone all these years has ripped out my heart. As a wife, or a sister, or a parent, or a friend you just want to take away the hurt and make it better. The kids and I are lucky to have an amazing group of friends and medical staff to help us through this crazy ride.

Last week, after our useless trip to the VA Center in Richmond, we met with a Navy and Marine Corps Relief nurse to plot our path and gather our resources. The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one. We have done that, or I should say Jon has done that.

Through this amazing nurse that they sent to us, the kids and I have found multiple resources to teach us to help each other and Jon. With these resources and the help of our amazing friends, we are dealing and we ARE thriving.


Caleb. My little Bubba! It seems like just yesterday when I was fighting to bring him into this world. Little did I know that three years later he would be teaching me things about the world and myself that I never knew existed. He is bright and funny, caring, and has one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen.

He came into the world on the first day of June three years ago. He was 8lbs 5ozs and 21 inches long. He was small and beautiful and one of the biggest miracles to ever grace my life.

12 days ago my little man turned three. I cannot believe how much he has grown. At his 3 year wellness check, he weighed 40 pounds and was 3 foot 2 inches tall. We are finally getting down to the root of his problems with his allergies. All in all, most of his allergies are outdoors so taking him outside a lot of times is nearly impossible because of the ridiculously high pollen counts.

In a few days we are making the trek to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD to see a pediatric cardiology specialist and have his heart murmur re-evaluated. It is still so easily detected that they want to rule out anything threatening. It is still so hard to believe that he is 3!


Andrew. It hardly seems like a whole year has gone by already! It is almost like I blinked and he was walking and talking and having impromptu UFC matches with his brother. Every single day with both of these amazing little people in my life has been a complete and total blessing.

Four days ago I took Andrew to his 1 year well baby check up. My little monkey weighs 27 pounds and is 32 inches long. He learns and grows more and more every single day. He can identify each person in our little family as well as hi and bye.

He walks and toddles and opens and closes any and all drawers in our kitchen and pulls everything out. He is bright and fun and oh so happy all of the time.


In parting I leave you with this thought. . .

They say that blood is thicker than water and that is a very true statement. But just because blood is thicker, doesn't mean that it alone is all it takes to make a family.

Families come in all shapes and sizes and from one side of the world or country to another. What truly makes you a family is the willingness of each member to go far and wide to help and support each other.

With the simplest of phone calls or quiet words, they come immediately with no questions asked every time a tear falls and hold you up when you want to fall. They aren't perfect or the same, but they are my family and we are so very lucky to have them.

As they say, until next time my loves