Little's Life

Little's Life

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A whole month!

So Tot's been around a full month now. A really long month - lol. One that was full of diapers, visitors, shrinking baby, doctor's visits, a husband pulled away and sent to war, and sleepless nights. Everyone says "Enjoy it! It goes by SO fast!" but I have felt every minute of this first month. It definitely did not fly by. That's not to say that I haven't loved watching Tot learn to focus on my face, cuddling him, and that amazing moment that I realized how safe and loved he feels with me when I looked down at his peaceful little face, fast asleep in my arms. But when you get thrown into single parent mode when your little one is only 25 days old, the hours streeeeeeeeeetch by.

We've had nights where he wanted to eat every 40 minutes followed by days where he snoozed like a champion. We've had nights and days where he refused to sleep unless I was holding him and others that he slept on his own in his bed as if he'd been doing it all along. We've had to figure out some major feeding issues that had us both miserable for a week and I've had to make decisions about what's best for us without Mister.

I've been exhausted and frustrated and ready to cry with him but then I look at that sweet face and it all melts away. I am so blessed to have such a beautiful, healthy little boy - even if he does keep me up all night. ;)

My heart goes out to all of you single parents who do this alone from Day 1. It is HARD to raise an infant without help. All of you who have a significant other to share in the diaper changes and night time feedings - COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!!!! I'm doing it alone while my husband is in a war zone. As terrible as that sounds, though - I know that I am nowhere near the first military wife to be in this situation and I'll get through it just like so many before me. In fact, I know more Army wives who have been in my situation than have not. Sad reality of military life, huh?

It's getting better. Last night he only ate every 3 hours (that means I got 2 to 2.5 hours of sleep at a time!) and went right back down in his PackNPlay between every feeding. What to Expect the First Year (from now on referred to as WTETFY in this blog) says we should be down to 1 feeding per night by the end of month 3 so I'm hopeful that one day I shall sleep again. zzzzzzzZzzzzz

Earlier this week, we got to go back to Daphne's Portrait Design and check out the pictures the 3 of us took the morning Mr left for the desert. They are GREAT! As soon as the lady started the slide show presentation for me, I knew I was in trouble. The first pic that popped up was one of all 3 of us where Mr is staring into in right at me.....I cried. lol The lady said she understood (bless her). Should get the pictures in the next 2 weeks.

Found out some great news about Mr's deployment: he's not going to be gone a full year!!!!!! The Powers That Be decided Mr and the guys that chose to go on the early deployment with him will be joining in with the group that's already there instead of starting a new rotation themselves. That means they come home when Old Group comes home and Old Group is already 3 months into thier deployment. So the Donut leapt forward!

Donut of Misery: 3% done, 97% to go

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Donut of Misery, take 2

As some of you know, Mister has been sent away by the Army once again. He left a few days ago for Fort Benning, GA and will head off to the desert from there. We still don't know exactly where he'll be going, what he'll be doing, or how long he'll be gone, but we do know that it should be a year at the longest. So my donut of misery has begun again. (a Donut of Misery is an excel spreadsheet application that counts down how long he's been gone and how long he's got left and shows it to you in a pie chart of percentages)

Friday afternoon was rough. Really rough. It never gets any easier to say goodbye no matter how many times we've done it before. It broke my heart to know how much he'll miss while he's gone. Tot will be so different when Mister gets back. He was only 25 days old when Sam left. He could be a year and 25 days old when he returns.

It's going to be a looooooooooooong year.

I'll miss his help changing diapers, that's for sure. ;) And we REALLY missed him that first night at 1:30 a.m. when I realized we weren't even halfway done waking up for the night. But those are things I can handle. Those are not the things I am most sad about Mister being gone for. What breaks my heart is that Mr will have to see Andrew's first smile and hear his first coos and eventually words by video and by skype. Chances are he will miss every single "first" of Andrew's first year and have to experience them via thumb drive. I know it was hard for him to tell us goodbye - probably harder than it was for me to say it to him. Because although I miss him with every part of my heart that he owns, I still get to keep Andrew. I get to be here for that first night he sleeps through, the first time he crawls, the first time he laughs. And yes, it will be hard to live this first year as a Mom without Dad, at least I *get* to be here. I'm trying to make this a little easier for Sam by setting up a private webpage for the 3 of us. I started it the night he left. Every single day I will post a new picture of Andrew and any video I took that day. We can write each other on there and this way, Sam can watch Andrew change daily instead of being smacked in the face with how much he's grown when he gets back.
Here's the picture I started off with - it's Sam smooching Andrew goodbye:

And here is one of my Valentines and the flowers my other one sent me:

Aaaaaaand some video for you:

I'm still sad - it's only been a few days - but I'm in a MUCH better place than I was at the beginning of the 2006/2007 deployment. Maybe it's because he isn't in country yet, maybe it's because he's not on a line unit this time, maybe it's because I have a better idea of what to expect, or maybe it's just because I HAVE to be in a better mindset this time for Andrew. Whatever the reason, the absolute fear that gripped me when he left for Iraq is not there this time and I thank God for it. This time I have more of an "Oh my gosh I have to get through ANOTHER year without my husband" ache. The last deployment was SO hard and SO bad. We lost Russell and 51 other members of the group Sam left with and I can't even count how many of them came back wounded. But Sam and I made it through and came out the other end of it stronger and with more faith than before. We can do it again. This one won't be anywhere near as tough to get through as that last one was. I pray that God keeps him safe and that He brings him back home to me and Andrew as soon as possible and as uneventfully as possible.

One of the ways I'd like to pass the time while he's gone is with houseguests. I'm thinking if I have atleast 1 visitor lined up each month, then each month will pass by quicker. My mom will be here Feb 28 and Brooke is coming in March. Any takers for April? I'm serious - anyone who wants to come for a few days or a week and meet Andrew (and give me a break long enough to shower LOL!) is totally welcome!!!!!! Of course I'll still come to Arkansas a ton while Sam is gone but if I can get some visitors up here that'd be stellar. :)

Donut of Misery report for today: .09% down, 99.01% to go

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weeks 2, 3, and what's to come

Yeah.....all I gave him was curly hair and a pointy chin. He's Mini-Mister all the way from his head to his toes (his poor feet.....).

Well after a flood of visitors, the 3 of us are finally having some time alone as a family. Some very very short time alone. See.........Mr's deployment orders have been changed. He was not supposed to leave for OIF until Tot was 2 or 3 months old but now he's leaving for OEF (not a typo - his country changed, too) in a few days. Andrew will be less than a month old when Mr leaves. It's going to be a very long year without him, but Andrew and I can handle it. I've done it before, I can do it again. Except this time, instead of Femhusband Jessica, my distraction will be my newborn son! We don't know exactly where Mr is being sent (and if we did, I couldn't type it into here anyway), what he'll be doing, or when he'll be coming home, but hopefully soon after he sets boots on the ground "over there" we'll get some more information. It looks like he'll be gone a full year but there is a chance he'll come home at 10 months since the unit he is joining there started thier deployment 2 months ago. *fingers crossed for that* Yes, he's leaving sooner than expected - No, we're not ready for him to go - BUT the earlier he leaves, the earlier he'll be back and now we've got a real chance at Mr not missing Tot's first steps, first birthday, and first Christmas. All of these things he was definitely going to miss if his orders had not changed. We'd both rather him miss a few extra months NOW when all Andrew does is poop, eat, sleep, and cry than a few months where he's saying "mama" and "dada" while taking those first little steps. So looks like I"ll be going Andrew's first year alone. This blog should be getting a TON more interesting.

Little man is still little. We have a weight check today to see if he's back to his birth weight yet. A week ago he was at 7lbs, 1oz - 5 oz below his birth weight. He'd grown 1/2 an inch, though.

Here are our pictures for weeks 2 & 3:

Meeting Gran

Dancing the Mexican Hat Dance

With Mama at 2.5 weeks old

Mauling the giraffe Gran gave him

And a video!