Phone Calls and other jazz

Some things I’ve learned about phone calls while Jacob’s at Basic.

Before getting a phone call I would jolt down some things I needed to discuss with him. 15 minutes is a lot to cram a weeks worth of information.  Since you write stuff down you can really prioritize what matters the most.

Usually I talk first and let Jacob compose himself. Just normal things that are happening here and about Peter. After a minute or two he normally gives a rundown on things he wants to talk about. I’m there to listen, give support, laugh, and pray with him. Quick Peter moment (more noted below), and I say anything I need to say (prime example: We didn’t get our first paycheck and I needed go ask some quick down and dirty questions. We played “Which bills will be paid this month” and “Shall there be Christmas?”). We say our goodbyes before it’s time to hand up. In fact, we say our goodbyes a couple minutes before the phone call is supposed to end. It’s sucky harder to end a phone call with a “I gotta go, bye!”

Then the last moments we say one thing that this experience will help us do. We have to look at the fact that Jacob is doing this for a reason. We wouldn’t be able to last financially if he wasn’t doing this. Since we  live modestly (mostly) Jacob’s time away will pay off all the little bills that have been paid on little by little (my medical bills/dentist bills), we will be able to save money while he’s gone, we may be able to buy a ‘new to us’ car when he’s done. That would be great, because our one car will not last forever. There is a sacrifice that’s real and hard. Being able to pinpoint something that we are able to get from this experience good, some weeks are rough.

Remember, the phone call will be over in a blink. This is my time to be strong for Jacob. After the phone call, I usually cry (or feel like crying) for 20 minutes. The amount of time crying after a phone call has decreased each week.

We are halfway done.

 

Phone calls with kids:

Peter’s handling his Dad’s absence in a way I didn’t prepare for… He’s ignoring it. It’s been a blessing but sad. He doesn’t like talking about his Dad being gone, but I’m able to tell when he’s acting out because he’s sad or missing his Dad. When that point comes we talk about it. I still mention Jacob like I normally do, but I need to respect that this is the way that he’s handling it.

Peter has a Build-a-Bear (Tiny Daddy Bear =TDB) that’s great. When he’s missing his Dad he pushing on TDB’s  foot and hears Jacob say, “Daddy loves you Peter.” When he’s squeezing TDB and pushing the button over and over… It’s a rough day. Jacob recorded several video clips for Peter (and one for me!), and that’s when I pull it out. We watch Daddy reading books or singing songs or talking about “We don’t pick our nose.” Usually Peter will be able to tell me when he’s done with the videos and ready to play again. For Peter naps and bedtimes are the worst.
This also puts us in a unique position when it comes to phone calls. Peter didn’t want to do it. At all. The first time he was pooping and said, “I no talk, I ppppppooooping (with a grunt).” The second phone call he was sleeping and the third his cousins were here playing and he just couldn’t leave them to play.

While it makes Jacob sad, he understands. Peter will draw Daddy pictures or pray for him before bed. He just doesn’t want to talk to him on the phone.

On Christmas Peter did a quick “Merry Christmas Daddy,” before running away to play. On New Year’s day (a Sunday) Jacob got a 30 minute phone call and Peter said, “Happy New Year Daddy.” He then blabbed a couple words I didn’t understand and then said bye. It’s a slow process.

I have to prep Peter. Daddy may be calling tomorrow, today, this afternoon…. Is there anything you want to say? Can you say ::insert message:: OR I feel Daddy would be very happy if you were able to say “I love you” today.

It’s a slow process. Jacob takes what he’s given in the loving way it was meant. It’s not a lot for adults to say, but from our two year old it’s a great gift.

Frankly, I would rather go about it this way then to have a screaming crying inconsolable  toddler on a phone call.

Jacob has the opportunities to earn extra phone calls. Jacob’s so awesome that he’s had two extra oh shit where’s my phone phone calls and one extended phone call (besides Christmas).

Four more phone calls before we’re able to see, to hug, to hold, to laugh with him.

I can’t wait.

 

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Phone Calls

Today is the first day that Jacob can call us. It’s 5:30 pm and I’ve checked and rechecked my phone. Is it on? Volume up all the way? It’s nerve-racking.

I guess I expected him to call earlier. Now I’m having thoughts like, what happens if his phone doesn’t work and I didn’t add on minutes like I was supposed to. AGH!

I have a feeling that I will be on pins and needles until he calls. Hopefully today. Or I may cry.

Today was Rough

…For me. Peter was great.

I cried over every little detail. I had to move the carseat from my mom’s car to our car. I realized while putting it in that I ALWAYS have trouble putting it our car and Jacob always finishes it for me. So this morning when the weather is cold, I’m struggling with the carseat while Peter screams in fun terror when the kitties come closer to him. He climbs inside the car (it’s a small two door), and promptly loses his balance and falls out backwards. Thankfully he fell on his bottom and he said it was scared and not hurt.

But I was traumatized. Seriously. So I’m struggling, Peter’s playing when the kittens, and I realize: This is my reality. While I know it’s not forever or even a full year. It’s a long time. I ended up putting the carseat on the side, instead of the middle. The side I can do fine, for some reason it’s the middle that screws me up.

It’s fine, Peter’s fine, and I’m crying.

I decide to go to Subway and treat myself to a healthy lunch. We go in and order without problems, Peter wants to stay and eat but we are going over to a friend’s house. Fine. He rolls with the punches. On the way out I see an old friend (this is my Hometown, after all). She asks how I’m doing and I smile and say, “Fine. Today has been tear free” pointing at Peter. She looks at me weird and I realized that she doesn’t know that Jacob left for Basic. I tell her and then she asks, “Oh. How are things going?” I BURST into tears. I hate crying in public. I stutter out, “I guess I can’t talk about it.” She nods and holding Peter’s hand I walk to the car.

(Also my glasses, which were on the last leg, broke. I’m squinty and have a vague headache from it.)

Earlier today Peter asked, “Where’s Daddy?” I was able to say, “Remember, Daddy got on the airplane and is learning how to fix the airplanes. He’s not going to be home for a long time, but he’s safe.” He nods his head, “Okay.”

And that’s it. It’s that simple for him today.

Sometimes I have to image myself laying in God’s hands (like a bed), I see Jesus as my blanket, the Holy Spirit giving me a breeze (warm or cool). I pretend the Blessed Mother is stroking my hair like my Momma does when I was little and sick. I just have to remember God knows what I’m going to go through. God opened this path for us to Trust in him to follow.

I’m following God today and it was hard. I offer up my suffering in union with the Suffering of Jesus on the Cross.

I have to admit

Blogging is not a priority right now.

Jacob is leaving next month for basic. Time sees so fleeting right now. I’m really trying to focus my time and energy into my family.

 

Some updates for us:

Jacob has Drill this weekend.

We rode on Amtrak this past weekend! Peter loved it!

Peter trick or treated for the first time yesterday and really enjoyed it. He hid his face every time he sees something scary. He would duck his head into Jacob’s neck. How I wish I could just be carried and I could hid away from my fears like a two year old.

I’m going slowly on the weight loss, but I’m STILL losing, and that’s the point. I’m at 209.4 pounds today! That’s a loss of 9 pounds this month! I’ll take it! 207 is my 10% goal! Whoop-whoop! I’m going to make my family clap for me (because I need that feedback).

Peter is growing and pushing boundaries. It’s amazing to see how his brain works, but because of this growth… he’s seen a lot of time-out lately. In fact, he’s seen so much time-out that he put one of his Army Man in Time-out for shooting another Army Man (that was funny).

Peter can hop on one foot, multiple times. He’s two and a half! That’s some mad skills for him.

He’s really into cutting with scissors right now. So much so, we have to hid the scissors.

Today Peter was telling me a story while I was busy fixing lunch. I had to stop and give him my full attention when he told me to, “Look at me (pointed to his face) in the eyes.” Something that we say to him when we have something important to say. So funny, sweet, and serious.

Our dog is staying with a family friend until Jacob comes back. We said goodbye to him this past weekend. If he gets along really well with them, he may stay with them forever. We’re a little sad about it.

I’m going down to Topeka next week to stay with our BIL, SIL, and nephew. SIL is 38 weeks pregnant and I’m going to come down and clean and do whatever she wants for two days. This is also my last big break from Peter before Jacob leaves and is only the three time I’ve left him this long!

Peter is going to test out a back up daycare this week. We are just going to visit the first time, leave for an hour the second time, 4 hours the next time, and then full day after that. I’m hoping for a smooth transition.

Tomorrow is the next ICAN meeting. ::sigh:: I love ICAN, but hate it all at once. I love it’s a safe place to talk about Peter’s birth, I hate that it’s a monthly reminder of the c-section and it’s still really painful to me. Tomorrow is also a little nerve-racking because I’m going to verbally tell Peter’s birth story out loud… hopefully… if I don’t pass out first. ::weak smile::

We are buying our Christmas presents now. We want to have everything done before Jacob leaves December 7th. We will be celebrating St. Nicholas’ feast day this year (December 6th), instead of Santa Claus.

We are talking of holiday plans and letting family members know of our plans, so it’s not surprising when Jacob’s gone.

We are also discussing Jacob’s leave date. Who’s going to the airport, where we are going to say goodbye, how we are going to explain to Peter…

I’ve been crying a lot lately. A lot. I feel overly emotional about everything right now.

We got an iPod and I’m in LOVE. Seriously love this product.

Jacob and I are participating in a Bible Study about the new translations of the Mass. I’m really enjoying it! I’m also glad it’s only 5 weeks so Jacob and I could go together and have it finished before he leaves.

 

 

That’s some highlights about us for now. I’m hoping to have another photo post soon! We’ve been taking a lot of photos lately!

 

Leave Date

Jacob’s leaving for basic December 7th. We tentatively asked  for October (that way basic would be done and we could at least Skype on Christmas) or after the New Year, because Christmas is important.

What do we get, December 7th, with maybe a phone call for Christmas. Jacob will be graduating Basic February 3rd. Done with Tech School mid-August.

Very clearly I understand from Jacob’s family that they will be going to Jacob’s graduation too, and will want to be with him the whole time. AND frankly it bothers me. I don’t want to share my husband after not seeing him for almost 9 weeks. I don’t want Peter to have to share his father after missing and crying for him for almost 9 weeks. I also feel like I it would be different if he was coming home straight away, but he’s not. He has another training that lasts for 21 weeks. I think we need to soak up that time as a family. To let Peter have every opportunity to have Jacob’s EVERY attention. But I feel like I can’t tell them to come. And I won’t, their son/grandson/brother is graduating from basic, it’s a big deal for them too. Feeling like I’m going to have to share what little time we have with Jacob is almost too much to think about right now.

We got his leave date almost two weeks ago. I thought I was going to jump on here and excitedly write down how excited we were, but I’m feeling divided. I’m relieved we now have a leave date for Jacob, but sad that it will be over Christmas. I’m happy to be able to pay off bills, but almost nauseous thinking about parenting Peter alone for 10 months. With every happy/excited reaction I think of something I dread.

I’m trying hard to sort out my feelings. Feelings that I thought I would already know what I was going to feel. But here I am, raw and scared.

Yesterday I posted on facebook: is feeling unsettled today. I hate days where I can’t figure out my own feelings, let alone deal with Peter’s big feelings.

Today I woke up and was still feeling off balance, and I sat down to read a quick page in one of my religious books, “Daily Visitor” from 2002 (different things for different days with a mini-homily that matches up with today’s Mass readings).

The Psalm of the day, “Your right hand has saved me, O Lord.”

Mass readings: Acts 16:22-34/John 16:5-11

The Homily was Titled: Absence Means Growth

What it resonated deeply within me today was when you let someone go there’s a ministry called, ‘ministry of absence.’ In the absence of a beloved, we turn to God for help. We develop bonds with other people. We learn new coping skills, seek new ways of growth, do things we otherwise would not have attempted.

What God is giving me with Jacob leaving is a time to Grow, to Deeply depend on Him, and to be able to humble myself to say, “I need help.” I know I won’t be able to do it alone. I know I will have to ask for help and I know I can’t do with without Praying and believing that nothing comes to me without God’s knowledge, instead of being raw and scared I find myself hopeful of the great things God has planned for me for the next year.

Lord, let my ears be open to hear Your Directions. Let my eyes be open to Your Truth. Let my mouth only speak Your Praises. Let my hand only give loving touches. Amen. Alleluia.

We’re dying here

not really, but Peter is sick. Which means that he wants held all the time, weaning is put on hold, and getting him to sleep in his ‘big boy’ bed sucks because no one is sleeping  is hard on all of us.

Jacob is coming back from his second day of drill. We still don’t have a leave date for basic (is God trying to give me ability to be patient?!), but Jacob was asked when he wanted to go, and he said October. Hopefully it will be October, and I’m putting it in God’s hands, because He knows what’s best for us and I can’t dream of things going better without Him.

Peter has been hanging out with his Godfather, James. He’s my youngest brother, and is starting his 3rd year of Seminary School. We dropped him off at the airport today as he’s leaving for World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain. ::color me jealous:: He also has a great opportunity to have a special Mass with the Pope!! It will be a Mass with just Seminarians! We gave him a Rosary for Peter to be blessed by the Pope! I’m very excited for him, please keep him in your prayers.

We are slowly, slowly, slowly unpacking. Peter’s room is unpacked, but cramped as he’s sharing the space with his cousin and storage. Our room still has totes all over, and I don’t think it’s going to get any better for a while, but at least it’s stacked along the walls!