Count Down to Colorado

The move is coming up fast. The guy from the moving company came out Friday to count how many mattresses and big pieces of furniture we have. We received  a list of things to do before the packers arrive the day before Valentine’s Day. We need to separate out everything we are bringing ourselves before they get here. Of course, my crystal is coming with us.

I am trying to maximize time with my family before we go, since we are going so far away. Angelica spent Thursday and Friday with my mom and dad, and she spent the weekend in Richmond with her Aunt Bridget. She had a blast. They went to an aquarium at a historical site, got ice cream, made cookies, watched Veggie Tales, and Angelica got to meet one of Bridget’s friends. She was sad to come home! Hopefully she can spend another weekend with Aunt Bridget before we go.

Although Craig has a little more than a month left at his current job, it was already time for the Hail and Farewell for his office, so the command went out to dinner at Vino together and welcomed the new people while saying bye to those who are leaving in the next couple of months last Thursday. Craig’s farewell speech was the funniest by far and he got several people humorous bail gifts. I was pleased because I had no anxiety. In the past I’ve had a hard time with Craig’s command functions. Social situations make my anxiety so much worse. But lately my anxiety has been so low that I spent an entire dinner out with Craig’s coworkers and their wives calm and happy. I didn’t need even one Clonopin. In fact I haven’t taken a Clonopin in about 2 months. I’ve had some low level anxiety in that time, but nothing unmanageable. Always very fleeting. So all in all it was a great evening. We had a good time and I didn’t have to take pills or excuse myself to get through it.

I am trying to find a psychiatrist in Colorado Springs but from what I’ve seen and from what I’ve been told there’s a shortage. One office lady told me the psychiatrist in her office was retiring and referring people  to general practitioners because he didn’t have a psychiatrist who would take them. I guess I just have to keep calling around. I can’t go without one. I have so many different kinds of doctors to find out there.

Then of course I have to find a good housekeeper, one with access to base since we will be living on base. It is hard to find someone for a reasonable price who is  trustworthy and does a thorough job. We will miss Sherry.

Most of all it is going to be hard to find a good babysitter. Our babysitter here, Linda, is beyond perfect. She does so many wonderful activities with Angelica and is just so good to her. She reads to her and does pinterest crafts with her and plays music for her and flies kites with her and does educational activities. Linda even helps with things around the house while she is here, and she is always very flexible with scheduling. Over the past year she has become more than a babysitter. She has become a friend. We hang out when she isn’t babysitting Angelica. Linda is one of the friends I will miss most when I leave. How am I going to find someone else to be so great with Angelica? How am I going to find such a good friend in Colorado?

Colorado is a whole new world. I have to build a new life for myself in a way. I have no family there, and normally I spend a lot of time with my family. I have no friends there. I don’t know where the stores I like are out there, or where the good local places to go are. I’m not connected to any other moms there, and I need to find some so Angelica can make friends. We need play dates. I don’t have any of the doctors we need. I don’t have a babysitter so that I can take time to myself or go to appointments. I don’t have a cleaning lady, and that’s just nice to have! Basically I’m starting from scratch and I have no support system. When Craig starts his new job I’m on my own. No company, no help.

I just have to hope my mood stays stable throughout the moving process. If it does, all this will be fine and I can take my time building a support network of friends and others. The big worry is that the change and the stress will set me off high or low and I will need a friend and a sitter and my family and won’t have any of the above, and Craig will have to start work. But I’ve been stable lately, so hopefully that gives me a firm enough foundation to go forward. With Bipolar you just never know. But the adventure begins February 23rd or 24th.

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Cleaning Up and Clearing Out

I have so many arts and craft supplies that my once homey craft room / office has begun to feel cramped and chaotic. It makes me not want to spend time in there anymore. And the truth is I don’t use most of the art supplies. I have to face the music. I don’t have any talent in art and so I will buy a new material to use and try out, and then I will not use it again. I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of my art supplies in the past. The room also used to be really organized. One of my friends organized it for me one time and made it absolutely beautiful. I still have her sticker filing system in place, among other things. But the fact is I don’t have very good executive functioning and I’m not good at maintaining organization. So many projects require you to pull out so many materials and then I just don’t remember where everything goes back into or I can’t get everything back the way it was and soon the place is a wreck. So I’ve decided to scale down. I am only keeping my stickers, which include the flower embellishments and the letter stickers, my scrapbooking paper, and of course my photos. Everything else must go. I want to be able to display art that I own and collectibles that I own and use the space as an office for writing and other activities. When I scrapbook I want to have a lot of open desk space to use.

Adding fuel to my fire is the fact that we are moving at the end of February. Now the Navy will pay to have the movers pack up your house for you so I don’t actually have to pack the stuff. But if it’s not fairly neat and organized I have heard stories about them refusing to pack for people and coming back later expecting the place to be redone. I don’t want to be in that situation of having 24 hours or so to organize my house I’m having to Rack my brain as to how to do it. Much of the house is going to require Craig help because it is Craig’s stuff and I’m not the type of wife who will throw out her husband stuff without permission. But everything of mine I’m going to start going through and seeing what needs to be thrown out and what’s really important to me and should be kept. Perhaps some things that were really important to me and brought me a lot of joy in the past, like the art supplies, no longer bring me the same Joy. Perhaps certain outfits I used to love no longer fit or certain handbags I used to add or have gotten kind of old and worn out. I need to start clearing stuff out of here. I’ve got 6 bags of Arts supplies to be tossed or sold. Who knows what else I can gather. And I plan to enlist the help of friends and family and maybe also the nice lady who cleans our house to get this place ready for the move. When we get to Colorado and have to unpack I don’t want it to be a nightmare. I want an amount of stuff that will easily fit into a slightly smaller house, which is what we’re going to, and I do not want to have to unpack anything superfluous. There are several spots in my house that tend to be messy and unorganized and I don’t want to haul that messiness with me across the country to a new state.

Craig is Home

Craig got home on Friday and we got to pick him up around noon. It has been so nice having him here. Angelica actually thinks he lives on the ship, and whenever he has to go to the ship she says he’s going home. Today we went to the ship for Craig to offload the rest of his stuff from his stateroom and she asked if daddy was going home. We try to explain to her that Daddy lives with us and just works on the ship, but after the last big deployment that doesn’t really seem to sink in with her and she’s quite sure Craig lives on the Eisenhower! It’s cute and sad at the same time.

We stayed in for most of the weekend, but today we went to Steak N Shake in Virginia Beach. I love that place. Forget my previous post about dieting. You can’t diet when the possibility of Steak N Shake exists. The diet will have to wait for another day. I got the shooter trio with two garlic burgers with cheese, and one cajun burger with cheese. Then I got an orange creamsicle milkshake. Delicious.

Parsnip is settling in to family life quite well. He apparently got out of his enclosure last night and Craig found him waiting patiently outside the enclosure this morning, wanting to get back in to get to his food and water. I don’t know whether he leaped over the side or  if he squeezed out because I didn’t have it secure enough. If he could squeeze out though you’d think he could squeeze back in, which makes me wonder if he jumped out and maybe had a hard time clearing that height. But at any rate he was not destructive even though he was by himself out of his enclosure for who knows how long, and today I even let him in the master bedroom and closet and bathroom, so now he has been everywhere except the FROG and laundry room.

I love it when he jumps up on the sofa to sit with me, and he grooms me and gives me kisses. He would have loved Jack. They are the best two bunnies ever. I’m so glad I found another companionable bunny. He makes the house more lively and cheerful. I always look forward to letting him out of his enclosure when I get home. He runs loose the whole time I’m home. He enjoys relaxing under the window behind the rocking chair in the library.

Angelica loves having him and is always petting him and feeding him. The first thing she does when I wake up in the morning is ask me to take him out. Getting a pet was definitely the right decision from her point of view as well. As I write, she’s playing with him.

Macaroni and Cheese, Moana, Mom and Dad

Yesterday I went over to my parents’ house and I spent ended up spending the night. Angelica slept on the sofa and I slept in the twin bed in the guest room. We had a great time. I went with Dad to Home Depot to get parts for the garbage disposal he was replacing, and then I hung out with Mom.  Mom made her signature gourmet macaroni and cheese bake with bread crumbs. Divine.  It was so good I had more for lunch today.

Last night we rented Moana and watched it together. I’d never let Angelica watch it before because of the demigod in it, but after going over some Christian reviews with my Mom I decided to let her try it. It was a great little movie. Good graphics and good music. Moana was a sweet, strong character.

Craig and I had a good conversation. He called at about 10. It feels so good to hear his voice. It almost makes him feel a little less far away. One week down on this mini deployment.

After the movie we went to bed and I slept like a rock. I didn’t wake up til 11:20! My mom and dad took care of Angelica and let me sleep, even taking her to Target for new clothes. When I woke up, and after they got home, I went back out to Target with my Mom and then I came home and hung out for a little while. I’ve since headed home and here I am taking a break from house cleaning. Angelica is with my parents to spend the night again. She was so happy to be staying with them. Angelica adores spending time with my parents.

My parents are so good to Angelica and love spending time with her. They always do a lot for her and she looks forward to seeing them, begging me to take her over there on the days we are staying home just the two of us. She misses them when we go home.

I love spending time with my parents too. I’m reconnecting with them. I would have stayed another night, but I needed to go home and take my day meds and also I wanted a little time to myself to dream and create and clean.  I’m someone who likes a lot of down time at home, and it is nice that to know Angelica is having a fabulous time with my parents while I’m getting that alone time. My parents and Angelica have become so close. I really love my parents, and so does Angelica, and I regret the time lost with them.

Embracing the Suck

Craig is gone again. We dropped him off at the ship early this morning. He will be gone for a few weeks. I am grateful it is not longer, but a few weeks is still a long time to be without your soulmate. I laid down to take a nap when we got home from dropping him off and the bed already feels so empty.

So I have decided, as Craig puts it, to embrace the suck. How can I try to stay busy and make the most out of this deployment so that I have a full, rich life even while Craig is gone?

For one thing I am going to let the baby sleep in the bed with me and cuddle her at night, something there’s not space to do when Craig is here. I’m also going to let her spend some nights over at her grandparents house to have fun and spend extra time with them. When Craig is home I only let her spend the night there occasionally because I don’t want him to lose time with her when he gets home from work. But she should spend extra time with Grandma and Grandpa over the next few weeks.

While Angelica is with her grandparents I will try to get extra writing done period I will also try to get together with friends in the evenings. That will be nice.

I will go to book stores and restaurants in the evening by myself. I’m actually one of those rare people who likes to go to restaurants and even to movie theaters by myself. Of course I would rather go with my husband but since that isn’t an option I will utilize the time to do things on my own. And normally I don’t even go into town in the evenings because I like to be home when Craig gets home to greet him at the door with a kiss. But since there’s no one to be home for by 5 I may as well stay in town sometimes. Lonely, but I will try and shop and have fun and do things.

How else can I take this sucky time. That I would rather not go through and get something out of it? What can I do to make my marriage even stronger during this deployment? Is there anything romantic I can do? I know Craig will try to keep regular contact with me by calling an email and when he can. I can only hope that he is able to do that. I would like to set goals of being a better wife, a more well-read person, and becoming a better homemaker while he is gone. I would like Craig to have a better wife to come back to than the one he left. So I will be cleaning, reading, minimizing, writing, writing letters to my husband, spending extra time with our daughter, spending extra time with my parents, spending extra time with friends, and taking care of the home front while Craig is gone. I am going to embrace the suck.