Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guest post: Hapa Girl!

Hi Everyone! I'm Sonia aka Hapa Girl! I'm very grateful to be given the chance to guest blog for Kim today! I'm not even sure when and how I started following her, but I know why. Because we're both wives of Submariners and that was good enough for me!

A little background about myself! I am actually an Air Force Brat. I grew up overseas and came back to the great ol' US of A during the summer of my Senior in H.S. (yes, I still have issues...Mr. Clinton)

I met my sailor in October of 1998 and we got married in September of 2000. Soon, after our marriage we had our first child. Moved to Hawaii and had our second child. When we moved to Washington,we had our third! We've weathered through deployments onboard a Boomer/Trident Submarine, Fast Attack Submarine and an unaccompanied tour when he was sent surface side. Currently, we are back on a Submarine.

I actually started blogging after the birth of my third child. She was born with Down syndrome and it was a great outreach for me! Now,as our life is not being guided by everything Down syndrome, I'm blogging more about "stuff" regarding our lives and being a Navy Family.

I hope you enjoy what I have to write about and would love love love to answer any questions or your thoughts! This guest post is really my take on the topic on hand, so please add any advice that you may have as well!

So, today's topic of choice is:

How do you deal with deployment?

What keeps you going?

My answers are specifically geared towards me...since we all have to deal with deployment in our own ways. But, I hope I can help a few ladies (guys) out on the ways you can deal with deployment.

For me, my number one piece of advice would be to make sure you have some sort of network of reliable people surrounding you. This has to be very important! Especially, if you are far away from family and very close friends. During our first deployment (Yes, I say ours because we both are going through this together) I was close to home. I had my friends and family on call, so our seperation wasn't very stressful. Also, I only had one child to nurture and keep me busy.

Our second deployment, we were stationed in Hawaii. Need I say more??? Seriously, though, I was so far away from everyone I knew that I had to make friends fast. I say fast, because he was gone within weeks of our arrival to the island. My network, the people who helped me get through the deployment, were families in my neighborhood and some really awesome wives who's sailors were serving on the same boat as mine. Even, if you dread going to the family support meetings, just go and do it. You never know who you will meet and make a quick connection with. For me, I made some life long friends during this deployment and I was so grateful that I went ahead on got off my butt to go to my first spouses support group! Everyone one in my network helped me through the rough and sad times...especially since, my sailor left me pregnant with baby #2! My network of friends were very important to me when I needed someone whom I was able to trust and watch child #1 when I had to spend a couple of night in the hospital. I also find, that being part of the Submarine family, I know that somehow or another, I will probably see a familiar face at our next duty station. There are only a handful of places we can go! And for me, it has been true. During subsequent deployments and an unaccompanied pcs move, those fabulous wives from Hawaii have been there for me....from Washington State all the way back to Florida!

Another way to get through the deployment is by starting a new/old hobby and to start working out. Every single time we are seperated I took time and worked out. I was motivated to want to look like a hottie every time my sailor came back home to me...pregnant or not! And working out is also a great stress you can look hot and blow off some much pent up steam! I also started crocheting and scrapbooking. It's amazing how much you can get done (even with children around) when your sailor is not there to occupy all your extra time!

So, what is it that keeps me going? That's a toughie. For each and every person, what drives them is very personal. For me, my children are the ones that truly keep me going. The thought of being with my man like it was the first time again really keeps me going! Knowing that I'm gonna be damn hot ( maybe just hot) from all the working out really keeps me going!

I can't imagine falling apart and not being able to keep myself together when our family is seperated during a deployment. I firmly understand that my role as mother and spouse is a core ingredient that keeps this military family together. My children need me to be strong and to be their comforter, as my sailor needs to know that he can come back to a happy family and home that did miss him and is very excited and happy to have him home. BUT, this can only happen if you take care of yourself first. After, playing this role for so many years, I know when I need to keep myself in check. And by check, I mean, talking with a friend, seeking help without feeling ashame, fine tuning your coping mechanism. Because I know, if I crack and crumble, then so will my family. It's not always going to be easy, but I promise you that if you find the one thing that keeps you going, you will get through it.

I know that deployments are different for every branch of the service. There are differences even within the Navy...Surface vs. Sub. On the Sub side, I think our hardest challenge is the lack of communication. We don't get phone calls and emails are scarce. Which, is why I am a firm believer in having a "network" of friends. What are some of the challenges that families may have in other branches of the Military...including Surface ship families in the Navy. I'm just curious.

Thanks for your time! The Hapa Girl!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hello there!

I'm right in the middle of my move! Things are going good, but super stressful! We got the inside all painted, beds moved and the whole kitchen moved! Now we are packing the rest of the stuff for our furniture to be moved tomorrow! Eeekk!

After today I won't have Internet access except on my phone(which is a pain to work!). So, I'm leaving you with a few amazing guest posts! I hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A week of "NO"

Next week Little has spring break. We have a few fun things planned, but I need to get the house done since we move the following week.  I've decided that while spring break is in full swing, I'm going to do a week of "NO".  Each day I will have something I've cut out of my everyday life. I want to take this time to focus on my home and Little.

Here is what I've come up with for my 7 days of "NO"

No talking!(Mostly because my throat hurts and I need to give it a break)
No phone
No computer
No driving
No spending
No cooking(meaning, all things fresh not cooked. No cooking appliances!)

I hope I can do it! No talking is going to be the hard one, but I know my throat needs a rest after all this coughing!

Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

(wo)man in the mirror.

Have you ever stopped at took a good, hard look around? Not only at your surroundings and the people around you, but at yourself?

I like who I am, but I feel like I'm lacking. I need to change things up and be a better/happier me. I've been so consumed with moving and packing(not to mention the flu that had me bed-ridden for a whole week!) that everything for me has been halted. I hate that. Tomorrow marks a change!

*Gossip. I do it too much. I'm done. No need for it.
*Gossip and venting are two completely different things. Make sure I know the difference.
*Telling it TOO truthfully. Saying the truth and hurting someones feelings can be just as bad as lying.
*I need to have me time. I haven't even been reading!
*I need to pick better things to watch and read. I need to fill my head with uplifting things.
*I need to focus on being friends with people who lift me up as a person.

I have some really great people in my life and I feel that I need to focus on my relationships with them.  I used to think that the more friends I had the better, but I found out that most of them weren't worth my time. My biggest one right now is a friend who constantly "takes". Our whole friendship is her asking things of me, but when I ask for a favor in return, she finds a way out of it. I've finally got to the point of saying no and it feels great. Shes one that I won't be friends with any longer once we move into the new house. A good friend is one who will pack up and come over just because you are stressed and could use a little help not one who bails when they know you need them.

I just feel like I'm in a rut. Thank goodness everything with J and Little are as perfect as ever! I'm using this time before we move and when we get into the new house to start fresh.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not so hot.

I have the flu. Not just "hey I don't feel so good" but the full blown flu. The type people get vaccinated for. J has banished me to our room for the past few days and right now if the first time I've sat down at the computer in days! I spent yesterday in the bathroom throwing up with a 102 sucked. Of course I get the flu when I should be packing! I forced myself to go to the store to get medicine today after talking to the NACC nurse. I'm feeling a little better than I did yesterday but my throat and ears are on fire. Now I'm going to be rushed packing when I was doing so good on pacing myself!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Aquarium Sleepover!

I love living here. We have so many amazing things to do and I want to do them all! One that we've been really excited about for a few months was the sleepover at the aquarium!

Landon had no idea where we were going since it broke his heart last time when they had to cancel because of the snow. This time, I thought it would be smart to not tell him since they were expecting snow AGAIN! If it happened to get cancelled we would be able to change plans and do something else. I had been giving him hints all day, like "Casey has to keep Hundley so he won't be locked inside all night" and "We have to bring our own pillows!".

After J got home we got ready and headed to dinner! Landon was guessing the whole time! But he didn't get it right until we pulled into the Aquarium parking lot! He was sooo excited! We grabbed all of our stuff and headed in!

After we found our spot(right under the shark tank!) and set our stuff down we went on a tour of the Aquarium! It was so nice not having a ton of people there so we could see everything inside without having to fight for a spot to see.

After we walked around we did a few great things. We got to go on an outdoor tour and see the Beluga Whales up close! It was so fun getting to walk around the aquarium in the dark! It's so different that late at night. After the tour we had a turtle class where Landon got to hold a turtle for the first time, Landon carved a soap craft, we had snacks, played a few games, watched a movie then got ready for bed.

I'm the crazy one who matched our pillows! I didn't do it on purpose at first then I just went with it. We brought a book with us and J read it just before lights out(at 11). After the lights went out Lan and I laid there and watched the sharks swim around their tank. It was so amazing. Lan told me that he had no idea the sleepover was going to be that much fun.

The lights turned on at 6 am! Eekkk!

After getting up and getting dressed we went on another tour of the place then came back and they gave us breakfast! It was super good and so fun to sit under the fish tanks and eat. We left there at about 9am. They stamped our hands so we could have come back to spend the day if we wanted, but we had other plans.

If you are ever in the area you need to sign up for this! Kids have to be at least 5 years old to go though. But it was so much fun and I'm so glad we got to do it!