Friday, March 11, 2011

Painfully the Same, Yet Vastly Different

Each deployment brings with it unique challenges here on the home front. All of us left behind are going through different experiences yet somehow we are united with a common goal: making it through with at least a shred of our sanity preserved. This is not my first rodeo with Jacob being gone but my circumstances sure are a whole lot different! But let me backtrack and talk about the days leading up to Jacob's departure.

Jacob often tells me early on when there is talk circulating about possibly deploying. Usually he informs me months ahead of time. I've gotten pretty good about putting it out of my mind. Somehow you make yourself numb to the idea and somehow I really am able to put it in the deepest, darkest, most cobwebbed filled corner of my brain. Of course to keep it filed back there I have to avoid sad songs and any type of military movies, shows (Army Wives), etc.

The reality of the situation starts to sink in a little over a month before he leaves. In my mind I start thinking about the important dates we'll miss together as a family. Our anniversary, birthdays and don't even get me started on the firsts. By that I mean our kids first crawl, first words, first steps, first time in time-out (that would be with our drama king, Matthew), first birthday and any other first that is important to parents. We are so blessed that Jacob hasn't missed the big holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. For me, Christmas is the big one that would be hard to get through...........

Of course with these thoughts comes the sadness and even a little anger. Why is it that my husband has to go again when there are so many that haven't even been once?! I know it's not right to think this way but it's the truth.

And as I watch Matthew running after his dad, all but trying to climb into that sea bag, I can't help but think, "It's just not fair".

However, once Jacob leaves a little excitement starts to build. No, not about him leaving but about the upcoming challenges. Can I do this? Can I handle everything on my own? Can I handle Matthew and Nicholas, their playdates, my own social life, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, doctor appointments, paying bills, saving money, making (and keeping) the budget, upkeep on the house, yard, vehicles, cooking, pet care, soccer games and practices, gymnastics.... Oh and I almost forgot to throw in working in another county, over an hour away, 5 days a week. Look, I just proofread this paragraph and I feel like I need a nap:)

But seriously, there is something exciting about proving to myself and to others that I can do it! And there is nothing more exciting than when you find your routine. That one routine that somehow allows you to accomplish everything on that list written above.

Here it goes, Monday-Friday:

5am: wake up and get ready for work

6:15am: Out the door and on my way to work over an hour away

7:23am: pull into Union High School

7:23-8:00am: prep for school

8am-3pm: teach Physical Science

3-4:15pm: tutor for Physical Science, grade papers, set up and break down labs, and come up with whatever else that might help my students learn

4:15-5:45pm: drive home and stop by the grocery store for small things

6pm-6:30pm: feed everyone dinner

6:30-7pm: clean up dinner, wipe down counters and other surfaces, vacuum

7-7:30pm: Matthew plays in the bathtub, Nicholas gets a bath in the kitchen sink. I also feed him a bottle, put him to bed and switch out laundry

7:30-8pm: brush teeth, clean ears, play with Matthew

8-10pm: eat my own dinner, get myself ready for bed and finish up whatever chores.

5am: it starts all over again

Now on Monday and Tuesday we have to adjust this schedule for gymnastics and soccer practice. I wish I could say that I spend all weekend playing with my kids but there is cleaning, grocery shopping, more laundry and everything else that needs to be done. Everyday is so painfully the same but to deviate from this routine would mean total and utter chaos.

Thankfully my days are filled with those little, unexpected, yet much needed surprises. Like Matthew FINALLY playing nicely with his brother. Usually I have to keep a close eye on him while I'm cleaning. He likes to scream at Nicholas for some reason:/ But one evening I kept hearing Matthew saying, "Arrrrggghhhh, Matey. Take 'er away!" I'm thinking what in the world is he doing? And this is what I found

"Look mom! He's my first mate!" Apparently Nicholas became co-captain of the Cavanaugh ship. AAAAARRRGGHHHH (ECU?)

Or what about the afternoon I lost Nicholas? Him and Matthew were playing in the living room while I was cooking dinner. I heard a whine and went to go get Nicholas to bring him in the kitchen. I get in the living room and he isn't there. I'm thinking, "I know I'm not that much of a blond! Nicholas was in here playing a second ago, he can't crawl, where is he?" Immediately I start to panic and then I hear his voice again. I get on my stomach and lift up the flap under the couch and sure enough


Oh this is a good one. So I'm doing my laundry as usual and look out the window to find this

My kid has NO shame.......

This week I had quite a few good moments. First of all my wine finally arrived. I attended an at home wine tasting hosted by Wine Shop. I finally found one red wine I like! It has a yummy buttery undertone and lets face it. Who doesn't like butter? Sorry honey, I really did try and save it for when you got home.

I also had a wonderful surprise from my husband. During 4th period a student came to my room and delivered a beautiful bouquet of flowers and huge box of chocolates.

Not only are they positively beautiful but their smell brings you to a time of sunshine, warm spring nights, fireflies, open windows with cool breezes and the noise of crickets in the early evening.

♥Thank you so much baby! If you haven't already figured it out, you made my day ♥XOXO

The next two things that happened this week were A.W.E.S.O.M.E

Nicholas has been getting up on all fours but falls anytime he tries to go somewhere. Today he finally crawled. I was so lucky to catch it on video for Jacob. Enjoy the video baby!! Our little man is getting big so fast.

And finally, I got an email. I'll let you read it for yourself.

Even though the weeks are long and exhausting, there is never a dull moment in the Cavanaugh house. When it comes to each deployment and each day during a deployment, I think Kate from John and Kate Plus 8 sums it up pretty well. "Each day is painfully the same yet vastly different."

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