Tuesday, June 26, 2012

hot hot hot

So we're sitting here watching continuous coverage of the Waldo Canyon Fire which is now in Colorado Springs. It started on Saturday when Jason and I were in Old Colorado City at a farmers market. While we were walking around the town trying to find a bike pump to put air in the BOB tire, we noticed a big plume of smoke coming from the mountains directly north of us. We took pictures and thought "I hope they get that under control soon, that's pretty close." No one could've imagined how far it would come. Three days later, homes are burning and it's creeping its way in to the city we've grown to love and call home.

I'm scanning the room trying to decide what will go and what will stay if we have to leave. I'm contemplating packing a bag or six, and trying to go through in my head what is the most important stuff to have. I just cannot imagine losing everything. Everything.

We should know by now how to live on little. We did it for eight months. We accumulated everything we needed, and we had family support. And well, we did have a place to live even though it wasn't home. And yes, everything in this house is just a thing. We have our family, and we're (mostly) healthy.

I always tell Jason about the time growing up I watched an episode of Rescue 911 and two girls were trapped inside their burning home. One made it out, and realized her sister was still inside so she went back in and got her. Ever since then, I slept with my bedroom door open so I'd be able to get out faster. I now realize that was the dumbest thing I could've done. And since I've become a mother, I'm even more paranoid. I've debated getting one of those rope fire ladders for upstairs.

Now I'm so glad I made that important documents binder I found on Pinterest. At least I don't have to worry about sorting through all those files for everything in case we are evacuated. The dog crate will surely take up a lot of space, but we will be filling two cars with stuff. At least nowadays, photos are mostly digital, and we'll just have to be sure to grab the 8 computers we've accumulated. Jason has informed me that the golf clubs will surely be going. Clothes of course. We just stocked up on water, and I did buy jarred baby food just in case of an emergency, so I suppose that will have to go. Not that we're going anywhere just yet. But, I'm planning. And my mental notebook is filling up quickly.

But, I just can't imagine starting over, with everything. We have renters insurance, but when we got the policy, we had way less than we do now. Maybe we should update that.

The rebuilding of this community will certainly take a long time. The prediction for the containment of the fire was for July 16, now it will be much later I fear. One of the fun outdoor entertainment venues has burnt down. I took my mom there two summers ago. We were going to go again this summer.

It doesn't help that it's been over 100 degrees here every day for the past week or so. No rain in the forecast. I'm just terrified that at any moment another fire will spark somewhere else. So far, 32,000 people have been evacuated and 5,100 acres have burned. Just never thought I'd witness something like this much less be less than 15 miles from it. I'm terrified to go to work tomorrow. I do not want to leave Cooper at all. I may just not go.

Jason said he's tired of living through things that will go down in history. I am too.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Things We've Learned So Far...

I said to Jason the other day, "There have been so many things lately that I've done, that I'm so pissed at myself for. I should know better by now."

Some of these things include, but are not limited to:

- When your husband puts his iPhone in his swimsuit pocket. Just don't let him. Be a nag, and tell him to put it in the pool bag right that second instead. Because you will forget to remind him to take it out of his pocket, and he will swim laps with it in there.

- Back up said iPhone so all your important information is not lost forever after it's submerged.

- Get insurance on your next iPhone. And if it happens again, don't tell them you went swimming with it. Tell them it fell in a big deep puddle, and it took a while to fish it out.

- When your mattress pad has plastic in it because it's the waterproof one...don't put it in the dryer. It will melt. Duh.

- When your husband finishes the Tough Mudder race, don't wash his muddy clothes with all your normal clothes. You will ruin most of the once normal clothes.

- When you have a handicapped placard and you park in a handicapped spot; be sure to make the placard visible. Otherwise, you will get a $350 ticket.

- When you have 20% off coupons to use at Bed Bath & Beyond be sure to get there before 6pm on a Sunday. Otherwise you will end up at Target, and spend $100 more than you intended to.

- Don't wash and dry the dog blanket with your normal clothes, either. Especially when your dog is black and your shorts are white.


It's been ten months since Jason's injury. I can't believe it! I was at work today, my first 12 hour shift since leaving, almost exactly to the day, 10 months ago. A couple of times I caught myself thinking "I can't believe I'm back at work. Things are semi-normal. I'm working again, like I was before he was injured, and we really were still normal. Except for this time we're still not really normal, but I'm back at work like everything is normal."

Could I put 'normal' in there one more time?! I wonder if that even makes sense. It just feels so weird. We went through so much. And yet, here I am, back at work, doing normal things, when just 10 months ago, Jason was flying in a helicopter across Afghanistan butt ass naked (a detail I recently learned) and clinging to life.

That just doesn't even sound right. But such is life. It goes on. I must learn to accept this, I cannot focus on August 13, 2011 forever. Sometimes I feel like I'm back where I started. I want to scream, "But my husband only has one leg!" And then I have to remind myself that I'm a big girl, and he's a big boy, and we have a sweet baby boy who needs us to be normal for him. People will no longer cater to us or for us. We are grown ups, and we must start sucking it up like all other grown ups do!

Since everyone has come home, we have been super busy. Birthday parties, BBQs, Jason's picking back up on his golf and video games, Cooper, Tough Mudder, etc. It's nice to do things with our own friends again, and we're really bummed that a lot of them are leaving this fall. I've heard everyones side of the story, from the day Jason was injured. It's so wonderful to get their perspectives. I want to know every minute detail, of course. I just wish I could've been there with him.

Getting back in to the swing of things at work has been a painstakingly slow process. I have to pump every 3-4 hours, and finding time to do that while caring for patients is proving to be extremely difficult. We've almost made it to the 6 month mark of exclusive breastfeeding, and if we can get there I will be so happy. Luckily I am not working full time, so that is extremely helpful.

The weather here has been nuts, as usual for Colorado, but now that I've become a Mommy, I might have also become a little crazy. I worry about all kinds of weather coming our way, and what we should do in the worst case scenario. Some may call it doomsday prepping. Ha, ok I'm not that serious about it, but I have been trying to stock one cabinet with food, water, and supplies if something did happen to where we were out of power for a while for some reason. Call me crazy, but now, all I think about is Cooper and what we'd do if the worst happened so that everyone in my family could stay safe.

Ok, I just re read that last statement. I probably need drugs instead of a cabinet full of canned goods.

And no, the Nano hasn't exploed yet. But we haven't plugged it in yet either.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cooper - Month 5

Dear sweet Cooper boy,

You have grown so much this month! You are rolling over like a champ now, back to tummy and tummy to back. You mostly sleep on your tummy now, too. If you're really tired, you'll still fall asleep on your back or side, but you do prefer your belly. You also inch worm your way to the corner of the crib every night, so your head is right in the bumper just like it's not supposed to be. Thank God for video monitoring, otherwise I'd be in your room all night making sure you weren't wedged somewhere you aren't supposed to be! You have been sleeping through the night since you were about 3 months old. Mommy counts her blessings every day for having such a perfect child. You even let me sleep in! I usually have to go in and wake you around 9am unless it's a work day, then it's much earlier. Either way, you always have a beautiful smile on your face!

You're a very serious thumb sucker now, and you don't care which thumb it is. You used to only suck your thumb when you were laying down, but now you've found it when you're sitting up too. We got you an exersaucer, and you love that. You also love sitting up in your high chair with us at the dinner table. You play with all your toys like such a big boy while you sit there with us.

You've become an expert at Skype since all your grandparents are far away and love to see you. You've probably skyped more than they have already!

You are the happiest baby I know! You smile and laugh at everyone who smiles at you. Your giggles are contagious, and you make your mommy and daddy laugh at least once a day.

A big milestone for this month was you starting daycare. Mommy started back to work, and she was not thrilled about leaving you at all. I knew you'd be in great hands, and I also knew you would do great because you're so happy and so laid back. Really, I just didn't want you to come home with green snot dripping out of your nose like the other kids, or turn in to a whiney baby like a lot of the babies there. Hopefully you won't go often enough to pick up on those habits. You don't like napping there yet, so you come home very very tired. After your first day, you slept for 14 hours!

You make funny faces, and always make all the ladies swoon. Pretty much everyone we see, stranger or not, tells us that you look just like your daddy. I have to remind them that I carried you for 9 months, so you are half mine!

You are very good at picking things up and putting them in your mouth. No signs of teeth yet, but I think they might be pretty close. You love studying faces, especially mine and your daddies. I can see you taking in all of the details, and you definitely know we are your parents now.

When you eat, you love to take breaks and look around. You stare at me, and give me a big smile, and then continue eating. Those are the best parts of mommies day.

You are growing up to be such a happy and laid back baby, and we are so proud of you! Mommy and Daddy love you so much!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


So, we don't check our mail every day like normal people. I think I let it go almost a week this past time. When I checked it, it was jam packed. We got lots of fun things like Cooper's passport, the title to my jeep, Jason's car payment book, etc.

Then there was a package with an iPod Nano in it. I was thinking "why the hell would he order a nano? I have one that I don't even use and he could've used that one!" So I look at the invoice, its addressed to SGT [my husband]. Weird. Then I look at the 'bill to' address. Arabic name, and an address from New York. Even more weird. I text Jason and ask if he knows anyone by that name. He says he thinks it could've been one of the interpreters they worked with while in Afghanistan, but he wasn't sure. So I'm driving along, and I start thinking. "Oh crap, what if this is a bomb of some sort?!" Unlikely, but not out of the question. I talk myself down, scold myself for being a typical, ignorant, stereotypical American, and call Jason and ask what he thinks I should do. I'm just a little freaked out that some stranger has our address, but I guess it's considered public knowledge.

We decide I should take it to the police station. It looks legit, there's an invoice, and a company name, etc. But people are smart these days, and anyone can make anything with photoshop. So I decide to take it to the police station on post, because I figured they'd have more experience with this weird sort of thing since it had to do with a deployment and such.

Boy, was I wrong. The lady at the front was a you know what, and practically laughed at me. I just said "I have a piece of mail that is suspicious, and I want some one to look at it for me." She gave me the "um, I'm not sure what the hell you think I'm going to be able to do for you" look, and came back and said "We can't open your mail. You have to take it to the post office." I said (in my head) "Look bitch..." (out loud) "It's already open." So a uniformed police officer came out in to the lobby and just read over all the papers that were inside with it, and said "Oh, this is in Fountain. That's not in our jurisdiction." By this point I'm tearing up because I have skin thick as tissue paper, and can't handle anything apparently. I said "Fine." And was going to take it back, but he read over it some more. I said "Look, my husband was recently injured in Afghanistan, and I am apparently very paranoid. I don't know how this person got our address, and I'm just worried." He said, "Well, I'd take it back to the post office in Fountain and tell them you didn't order it. There's not much I can do."

So I run outside and just start crying - which is probably a good thing because I haven't cried in a while, but it was kind of in an inopportune place, right outside the MP station on post. It did feel good though. I called Jason after we got back in the car, in tears, and he promised he'd go talk to them. I had also already called his Rear D CO to ask if they had a list of the interpreters that they were working with while deployed. He said no one had heard of that person, but that he had gotten gifts from interpreters before. He also informed me that sometimes, deals are worked with the interpreters to get them to America if they work for the Army for a certain amount of time, and also that some of them are contractors. This doesn't really make me feel much better.

Jason did go and "rip them a new one" as he put it. But that made me feel good that he stood up for me. In the end, the iPod is still sitting on the counter, and we're not really sure what to do with it. I didn't know I was paranoid, but apparently I am. I can't say I enjoy it much, either. I'd much rather just go about living life believing unicorns are real, there really is a pot of gold at the end of rainbows, and quarter pounders are diet.