Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life In the Desert

My poor neglected blog. When I began this blog 5 year ago I was desperate for something to keep me sane during the hubby’s deployment. Now I’m back again desperate for something to keep me sane during our last 6 months in the desert. This has been hard.

Things no one tells you about living in the middle of desert:

1.       Driving 45 minutes to the nearest town doesn’t sound bad until you’ve actually done it. Over and over and over again. Before we moved here I thought, “3 hours from Las Vegas, 2 hours to LA and a little less than an hour to another town? No problem. We’ll be in LA and Vegas all the time!” Ha. There comes a moment when you decide it’s no longer fun to drive for hours to get basic things.

It is a long drive home.

2.       You miss green. Seriously. I miss green trees, green grass, green shrubs….basically any sign of life.

3.       Your tiny oasis can become a tiny hell. When you’re stuck for years in the same very small place what was once I nice getaway from the world becomes a prison. You see the same faces, go to the same handful of places and do the same things daily. People can get catty and rude because they feel as grumpy as you do about being stuck in the middle of the desert. We all seem to take it out on each other and it’s not fun.

4.       The wildlife. There are tortoises. And wild donkeys. And coyotes. And snakes.  The donkeys wander around the neighborhoods, the coyotes look like they’re all on death’s doorstep and I still haven’t seen the tortoises.

5.       You find out quickly who your friends are. The people who will drop anything to help you when there is a problem. I’ve only managed to find a handful of those kinds of people but knowing that I’ve got them makes all the difference.

It’s been a hell of an experience living the middle of the desert and one I’m sure I’ll never forget. It’s been lonely, it’s been depressing but it’s also been eye opening.  I think I’m a better person for it as well. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Keeping Sane and Being Thankful

Round One. It started in the middle of the night with a loud cry coming from the crib and I knew it was going to be a long night. There I find my sweet Big Man looking up at me, half asleep, burning up, coughing and very upset.  Baby Tylenol and rocking to the rescue…..and a few hours later more crying and coughing and more rocking This cycle continued on a for a while.

The morning comes and fever goes up and down……more coughing……then queue the diarrhea.  And of course there is still crying. I run to the grocery store because we’re out of milk and then attempt to disinfect the house. Then it’s time to pick up Snuggle Bug from school and out comes my sweet girl working on what sounds like coughing up a lung. Round two, here we go.

She’s still too young for cough medicine so, “Here’s a spoon full of honey to help with you cough sweetheart.” Then I accidently drop the contaminated spoon back into the honey. Crap.

“Mommy …cough…I have my show tonight the teacher told ….cough….us to remind our mommies and daddies.” Oh no. Daddy is working until 10pm so there’s no back here. That’s his shift for a while and this is nothing new for us. Army. Hooah. Yeah.

Now unless I plan on letting her cough her way through five songs tonight while I attempt to keep the sick Big Man happy there is no way I can let her go tonight.

Round 3. Lots and lots of crying.  He is crying because he doesn’t feel well.  She is crying because she can’t go to her very first Kindergarten performance so she can sing the songs she’s been practicing so diligently for the last month. The dogs are crying because they want someone to let them outside now. The whole house is crying……everyone but me. I suppose I could cry in this moment of parental stress. I’m disappointed that we can’t go to her performance because I was truly looking forward to watching my sweet girl sing her heart out with her friends. I’m upset that my Big Man is sick because no mother wants to watch their toddler in distress. I’m frustrated that I don’t have a family member or close friend in my community to lend me a hand.

But it’s okay. It’s okay because I’m happy to be a mommy. I’m happy to be here to take care of my children through the ups and the downs. I’m happy and proud that my husband is doing a job that he loves. This is just a tiny blip in the sequence of my life and I know one day when I’m old and grey I’ll look back on these times and think about rocking my baby boy while he falls asleep after a long night and smile. I’ll think about cuddling my Snuggle Bug in a quilt on the couch, popping in a movie and she looks up at me with her big blue eyes and says, “thanks mommy.” That will bring me joy.

What a day. What a previous night. Who am I kidding this is going to be one of those weeks where I end everyday saying, “what a day.”  But it’s just another day in the life of being a mommy and I’m okay with that.