The Real Lives of Navy Wives: Excessive TV Watching

Posted on Sep 19, 2013 in It's the Navy Life

Okay, maybe this doesn’t apply to all wives of deployed servicemen, but it does to me.

When Damon is gone, I watch a lot of TV.  More than I should admit.  But here’s the thing.  I have a small child who goes to bed at 7:30.  While I’d love to quell my loneliness by jetting over to my friends’ houses for nightly happy hours, I’m pretty sure leaving my toddler alone in the home is frowned upon.  So that leaves the TV to keep me company.

I’d like to say I read and stuff – and I do that, too* – but at the end of a long day of taking care of my kid all by myself, I just want to zone out.  My brain no longer functions on “Reading Literature” levels, but more like “Real Housewives” levels.

Netflix and Hulu have been THE WORST INVENTIONS for military spouses.  Besides the Cricut.  Damon was on detachment in Australia for the majority of March (rough life, I know).  During that month – thanks to Netflix – I watched the entire first season of Scandal.  In about four days.  (To be fair, that first season was only seven episodes.)  And then – thanks to Hulu – I caught up on the current second season.  In about another four days.  I was actually relieved when I caught up and had to wait each week for a new episode with the rest of the population, because as I discovered, watching a high-intensity show like that back-to-back does bad things to your psyche.  We’re talking jitters, anxiety, insomnia.  Damn Olivia Pope for being so addicting!

After Scandal, a friend recommended I start Grey’s Anatomy after learning I had never seen it.  Why not, I thought?  I wasn’t getting anywhere on my Book Club’s selection of Emma (See!  I have good intentions!), so I started the series from the beginning.

What a mistake.  Once Damon left for deployment last June, I got sucked in, and fast.  But my brain couldn’t handle all the drama. Oh my gosh, a show as emotionally fraught as Grey’s is definitely not a show to watch by yourself night-in-night-out.  All the dying – It’s quite distressing.

But because these characters are in my living room every single night, I get attached to them.  I know in my head that they’re fictional, but in my heart, they are so much more.  So when the writers do something stupid like, say, kill off George, I am utterly distraught.  Distraught!  And I have no one to talk to about it because IT HAPPENED FIVE YEARS AGO!  Fast-forward a week (about four seasons in deployment-viewing time) after killing off a lot of other people, the writers cap it off by killing Mark Sloan!  For the love of all that is holy – WHY MUST YOU CRUSH MY SOUL?!

I was devastated, a broken woman.  But loyal to my “friends” (that is, the characters who weren’t the victims of casting disputes and budget cuts), I forged through that 9th season and upon viewing completion, collapsed in a state of emotional wreckage.  Thankfully, I finished all available episodes and managed to pull myself together before Damon returned home a few weeks ago.  With Damon back, I rejoined the world of the living and spent far too much money on babysitters in order to enjoy evenings out of the living room.

But now he’s gone again, back on deployment, and I’m at a loss.  I need a new deployment show.  Preferably one that doesn’t involve draining my tear ducts on a nightly basis, or turns me into a hypochondriac, or induces panic attacks.  Any recommendations?

*I will also take book recommendations.  Because I do actually love to read.  So much so that when I read a really great book, I feel hollow inside, because I will inevitably have to wade through several not-great books before getting to another great one.   I am currently stuck in about three not-great books, which only heightens my television dependency.  Help break the cycle.  Recommend a good book.

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How I Know I’m Old: Hiking Mount Fuji

Posted on Sep 3, 2013 in Adulthood Stole My Cool

How I Know I’m Old: Hiking Mount Fuji 0

Last month while I was in California, my dear friend Molly visited me from New York.  Molly and I have been friends since our freshman year of college, when we were young and could drink pitcher upon pitcher of margaritas with no ill effect. Well, we’re not young anymore.  She’s a grown up lawyer in Manhattan, and I’m a grown up with, like, a husband and kid.  Molly and I still haven’t fully accepted our adulthood status yet, but it’s getting harder and harder to deny.  This last visit, we devised a little game.  “Do you know how I know I’m getting old?  [Insert depressing evidence here]”. I thought I could translate this game into my blog.  So here you go, my first “How I’m Know I’m Old” post:  Mount Fuji. Ever since we learned we would be stationed in Japan, Damon has talked about hiking Mount Fuji.  I said I would hike it with him, not because I’m a hiking enthusiast, but because every few years I have to do things like this to prove to Damon that I still love him. Anyway.  Fuji-San is only open for hiking two months out of the year, and Damon and I had a slim window to take advantage of climbing season.  He returned home the end of August on a Thursday and we left for a vacation trip to Singapore the following Monday.  Once Damon was home and settled, we scrambled to prep for the climb.  (Scrambling includes realizing at 7PM the night before your 4AM wake-up that your hiking boots have gone missing.  Way to be prepared, Diana!) This experience was a lesson in expectation management.  I knew it would be challenging to a degree – I mean, you are climbing up a mountain – but I figured, “I’m fairly athletic, I can handle this.”  (Not to mention all the children and little old ladies that complete this hike.)  In my head, I thought it would be a long but scenic stroll up the mountain.  Gradual inclines that would plateau into picturesque viewing points.  Warm and sunny at the...

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The Real Lives of Navy Wives – Forgotten Anniversaries

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 in It's the Navy Life

The Real Lives of Navy Wives – Forgotten Anniversaries 2

Today is my anniversary.  And I forgot.  Whoops!  Isn’t Damon supposed to be the one to forget these things? I blame the Navy Life.  How am I supposed to remember my anniversary when my husband isn’t even here to celebrate with me? I’m not complaining – I’ll see my husband soon enough.  And certainly, most military spouses have spent far more than one anniversary (or birthday, or holiday…) separated from their husband or wife.  This just happened to be my first (though I’m sure not my last) anniversary by myself.  And I forgot. I’ve found that with a deployed spouse, most days feel about the same.  Especially overseas, and especially as a stay at home mom of a young (read: non-school attending) child.  Without something like school to demarcate the week from weekend, days tend to blend into one another, weekends cease to be unique, and special occasions become just another day on the calendar.  When you never know what day it is anyway, how are you supposed to remember something like an anniversary?  When I woke up this morning, did I think, “Oh, August 21st!  I got married three years ago today!” Heck, no!  I thought, “Why does Elisabeth insist on waking so early?”  Followed by, “Is today Wednesday or Thursday…?”  And then, “It’s still August, right?” It wasn’t till I saw a missed call from my husband that the date registered.  “Crap!  Now I have to go buy a card!”  Sheesh.  I am the worst wife ever. Except I’m not.  Because I can also contribute my forgetfulness to Homecoming.  I’ll write more about Homecomings another time, but I’ll mention briefly that Damon is returning home soon, and thus I am in a frenzy trying to make up for the week of housework I’ve neglected since returning from the states.  I want Damon to return from deployment to at least a halfway clean, only moderately cluttered house.  See, I’m a good wifey!  I forgot my anniversary out of thoughtfulness for my husband!  (Just go with it). On a semi-unrelated note, being apart from your significant other on a...

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The First (and Second) Haircut

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

The First (and Second) Haircut 3

Elisabeth does not like anyone messing with her hair.  Which is why it always looks terrible.  Every time I go near her with a hairbrush or bow, she screams and runs away.  And frankly, I don’t need to deal with that kind of attitude.  I’m sure I’ve got years and years ahead of me during which Elisabeth and I will disagree about her hairstyles, so why start now? That being said, her hair was starting to get straggly.  Like, greasy straggly.  Like I don’t bathe her.  But I DO bathe her!  I swear!  Lest people think I neglect my daughter’s personal hygiene, I decided the time had come to get her hair cut. I dreaded it.  My ears hurt thinking of the shrieks that would surely fill the salon as I forced Elisabeth into a salon chair.  The cries of, “Nonononono!” as the stylist tortured her with hair clippers.  But it was time… This was around six weeks ago, shortly after I arrived to California.  I had thought about taking Elisabeth to the children’s salon where, as a child, I had gotten my hair cut.  But I Yelped that salon and dang were those reviews bad.  I know you’re probably thinking, “She’s a toddler.  How badly can they screw up her hair?” To answer that, I ask that you direct your attention to the picture below: This is me as at toddler.  To be fair, I was older than Elisabeth is now, and had much more hair.  Also, this was before I ever went to the specialty kids’ salon out here in California.  But I show this to you as an example of When Bad Hair Happens to Good Toddlers.  My mother let someone hack my hair into a veritable bowl cut, and I spent the better part of toddlerhood wandering around looking like a boy dressed in his sister’s pink clothes.  (Except in this picture, when I just look like a boy.  What IS this outfit!?) Anyway, there was no way I was going to subject Elisabeth to a similarly embarrassing fate.  I found a salon that had...

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Up! Up! Upchuck.

Posted on Aug 2, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

Up! Up! Upchuck. 0

I think moms should earn badges, like Girl Scouts.  There would be the “Labor and Delivery” badge (kind of a required one), the “Leaving the Child at Daycare Without Crying” badge, for a military spouse, a “Parenting with a Deployed Spouse” badge, and then there’d be the badge I earned last night, the “Surviving Your Child’s Stomach Flu Without Throwing Up Yourself” badge.  That’s a toughie to earn, because dealing with a vomiting child is really, really gross. Without getting too graphic, Elisabeth’s diapers had indicated that her tummy was giving her trouble all day yesterday.  But she was acting like her normal, happy self, so I wasn’t worried.  At around 11:15 PM, I heard her tossing and turning in her crib and went in to check in on her.  Her stomach was making all sorts of unnatural noises.  Oh no, I thought, she’s gonna blow.   She woke up, and I attempted to comfort her.  We moved from the crib to the rocking chair to the changing table and back again for the next 45 minutes.  Seated in the rocker, she pointed to the changing table and said, “Poo-poo!”  She knew what was coming.  She wanted to be prepared.  Admirable of her, really. I took her back to the changing table because she demanded so and she lay down, fighting to stay awake.  I waited, listening to her tummy rumble, knowing an explosive diaper was inevitable.  But when?  As she drifted in and out of sleep I decided to move her back to her crib for comfort’s sake (hers and mine).  As soon as I put her down, she sprung to her feet. “Lay down, Sweetie,” I coaxed.  “I’ll lay down next to you.”  I crouched next to the crib, one hand through the slats trying to cajole Elisabeth to lay down. She leaned over the crib.  “Up! Up!” she exclaimed.  And then… upchuck. I was caught off guard, to say the least.  I certainly had not anticipated or prepared for anything coming out of that end.  And let me tell you, crouching beside  a crib, peering up...

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The Pretty, Pretty Princess

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 in Pregnancy Stole My Cool

The Pretty, Pretty Princess 0

Not gonna lie – I totally got sucked into the Royal Baby Watch.  So when Baby George was born last week, and Kate and William made their first appearance on the hospital steps as a family of three, I got giddy.  How cute did they look?  So cute.  …Maybe too cute? After leaving the hospital, a bunch of idiotic commentators who have apparently never seen a woman after giving birth seemed shocked – just shocked! – at Kate’s belly.  Some even deemed it unsightly.  What the heck, people?  First of all, stop hating on the hormonal new mom.  How rude.  Second of all, were we looking at the same princess? Kate looked freakin’ awesome!  …Maybe too awesome?  Seriously – who looks that fantastic 24 hours after having a baby!? I like Kate Middleton.  Or rather, I like the image of her that is portrayed in the media.  Though I’d probably rather head out for a night on the town with Pippa, Kate seems just lovely.  She has a great fashion sense, and she seems down-to-earth.  (Heck, she wears her gorgeous designer outfits more than once!) So relatable. But then she goes and has a baby, and turns up one day later looking like this: COME ON, Kate!  That’s just not right. I mean, good for her for looking Vogue-cover worthy a day after labor.  I’m just not entirely convinced she actually gave birth; Prince George may be an imposter baby.  I have a hard time believing that anyone – even Kate Middleton – looks that great so soon after delivering a baby.  Sure, I get that she is a princess and probably had a team of stylists that prepped her for her first post-baby public appearance, but still.  Is she a magic princess?  A magic princess who shows no signs of physical exhaustion or pain? When I was discharged from the hospital after having Elisabeth, I was wrecked.  After being awake for some ungodly amount of time (thanks, Elisabeth, for the 21 hours of labor), the next two nights in the hospital were anything but restful.  I remember doctors...

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