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.



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!



I’ve been to two ICAN meetings. This is about the first meeting.

The first time I thought maybe I would throw up. Not because I was nervous meeting people, but rather acknowledging Peter’s birth in public with people I didn’t know.

I remember sitting down and having people go around the table. All you have to say is your name, your kids’ name/age and if you want if your child was a section or vaginal birth. I was in the middle of room, so it didn’t matter I wouldn’t be first or last. I didn’t take in any of the introductions. I was trying hard not to hyperventilate or start crying.

How hard it was just to say: I’m Tiffany, I have one son -Peter. He’s two and he was born via emergency c-section.

After I said my statement I breathed a sigh of relief and was exhausted, both mentally and physically. I had every muscle in my body tensed, as ready for a fight. That night there were a lot of  birth stories and support for pregnant woman. They got to the newbies at the very end. I was asked if I wanted to share anything about Peter’s birth.

Looking around the room and seeing woman who have all had c-sections, and I don’t want to do it. I’d rather look like a fool and run screaming from the room. But I take a breath and start.

I only have enough in me to give some of the ‘highlights.’ I cry and cry. I apologize and was accepted. I was told that tears are often shed there and that it was a safe spot.

I asked what to do to help in the healing process: Telling Peter’s birth story who will accept the pain and not gloss over it would help, Posting my birth story on the forums, Reading information about c-sections and seeking out information about peaceful c-sections and VBAC, and Coming to meetings. Another things that is hard to do, but will help in the healing process is access my hospital records and find out more information about Peter’s delivery.

I also remember one woman telling me that even though Peter’s delivery was traumatic that I also needed to look at the positives of his birth, because there were some positives. I wasn’t under general anesthesia, so I was able to hear Peter’s first cries. I was able to have a labor with Peter and be active (to a point) in his delivery.

And some of the best points: I was a good candidate for a VBAC! I was reassured that even though I have a vertical scar on the outside, because I have a transverse scar on the inside, that’s all that matters. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to try again because of my scar. Because I progressed to a 10 and pushed, that was a big plus! It shows that my cervix can dilate!

What a difference between entering and exiting the meeting. I came so overwhelmed that I thought I would pass out, and I left in almost a high! I talked Jacob’s ear off on the way home and we excitedly talked about the birth of our next child.

It’s the first time that I talked joyfully about the BIRTH of our next child. I long to hold another one of our children in my arms, but terrified about prospects of another horrible c-section.

If you had a traumatic birth or a c-section, I implore you to find help and an ICAN meeting. The peace you find crazy awesome. 🙂

Quick shout out

My stomach has been fine… but I also haven’t been eating much. If fact, I’m well on my way of losing that baby toddler weight. I’ve lost 12 pounds in 10 days. Not healthy, not my way of doing it, but it’s keeping the attacks at bay. I can’t have another one before we move TOMORROW!!

As I type this Jacob is getting a head start on loading the U-Haul. He’s out there now loading up totes. What a man. It’s still hot, Hot, HOT! Hopefully the rain will cool us off a little.

I look around at the apartment. I remember the day we moved in and how Peter toddled and fell with tiny steps. Now he’s jumping and running and growing up so quick.


Bittersweet, moving on.


Things not planned. ::sigh::

Jacob and I went to bed at midnight. I woke up at 1:30 with gallbladder pain. I instantly started to cry. I didn’t want to go through this again. I got up and tried the apple cider vinegar with apple juice and lemon juice. It didn’t taste as bad as I thought! I then threw up. Not much. I got on the internet again just to double check. Nothing different. I was just going to have to go through it again.

I was able to go until 3 without waking up Jacob. I wanted him to rub my back again, but I couldn’t stay in one place. The pain was different then the other times. I had a stabbing pain every.time.I took a breath. Even if I was breathing as shallow as I could.

At 4, I cried and asked Jacob to take me to the ER. I couldn’t stand it any more. He got Peter’s stuff ready and took the dog out. I walked sllllowly down the two flights of stairs and to the car. Jacob brought up the tail with Peter, who was still sleeping soundly. Jacob dropped me off at the door and I signed in. I thought it went really slow, but it probably didn’t. The longest wait for me was for the doctor to check me. I was given an IV. They tried in my arm, dug around, and apparently my veins flip or move. I have never given blood before or had an IV in my arm, so I didn’t know. The nurse then moved to my hand and got the IV in. She came told me that there were about 4 people in front of me and she was going to ask the doctor to gave me something to ‘take the edge off’. It took a little bit but she came back.

Drugs. Relief.

She said it would take the edge off, and it did. It backed the pain away from the crying sobbing 10, to a 6. It mostly hurt under my right rib. That quick shot lasted 20 minutes. I rang for the nurse, I wasn’t willing to be in pain anymore, I’m not going to lie. She said the doctor couldn’t give me anything without seeing me. I understood. The doctor came in 10 minutes later. He pushed around my stomach (NOT FUN) and agreed that it was gallbladder attack. I was given some pain meds again. Then he said that he was going to wait until 7 to order my ultrasound, because it would cost me less, and it would take them a half an hour to get in and it was worth the wait by that time.

Peter was a trooper the whole time. Jacob was a rock! I was able to close my eyes and rest. I may have slept, but not long or hard. Peter and Jacob went into the Family room that was right next to my room and watch cartoons. Jacob would come in with Peter every time someone would come in the room.

Jacob was mentally preparing himself for me having emergency surgery. I didn’t remotely care if I was going to have surgery or not. I felt done. If it had to happen, it had to happen.

The pain started to get more intense before I was to go to the ultrasound (it was around 8 am and the pain was about at an 8 too). I was given a different pain relief. And this almost took the pain away completely. I was worried about going to the ultrasound with the pain because I knew they would have to dig around to get pictures. So I was happy the pain was taken down to a 3. It also made me really hot! I asked for a fan and they gave me one, and a blanket.

I had Jacob and Peter stay and watch TV while I went down the the ultrasound. I was given a blood pressure cuff and an pulse ox. I was already in the hospital, no back gown and I think it was too much of a flashback to going into surgery with Peter for Jacob. He cried and said it a lot like the c-section. I told him to call his brother to come and get Peter. They got there right after I got back from the ultrasound, and Peter was sleeping.

Jacob told Peter outside and talked to his brother and sister in law. They were going to take Peter to breakfast and back to their house, and then just bring him back to our place at noon, if we were home.

We waited for the ultrasound results and I slept. A new doctor came in and told us that it was gall stones and that I needed to change my diet to low-fat food and nothing greasy or fried. I remember that I kept being asked what I had for supper and it was homemade chicken pot pie. I tried to think what else could have started the attack and the only thing I can think of was having three cookies that day. Darn those Keebler Elves!

I was really shaky and dizzy and sitting in the car and having the pain meds wearing off, I was starting to be in pain again. The longest attack to date! OUCH! Jacob helped me get up the stairs (all 26 of them) and I laid down, in my frog position, in front of the fan. He was going to run to the store and get my prescription of pain pills. I fell asleep hard in front of the fan with a blanket. I woke up to Jacob coming in the door. Poor guy. He forgot the prescription. I told him that the pain was mostly gone and we could get it later. I moved to the couch and went back to sleep.

Peter came back at Noon. Happy as a clam, but a little discombobulated. I told Stella (my SIL) that I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to the BIG IMPORTANT event that was happening. I would call her by 2 to let her know.

I went back to sleep. I woke up and checked the time. Almost 2. I wanted to try to take a shower. I got up and instantly I had a bad headache, shaky, and thought I was going to throw up. I laid back down. Sorrowful, I texted Stella and told her I couldn’t make it. I was bummed out, but was still out enough that I couldn’t do anything.

I went back down to sleep in bed. Woke up around 3. Then at 4:40 we all laid down to watch “Flushed Away”. Jacob (who was up since three) was the first one to fall asleep. Peter was the next to go a couple minutes later. I followed as soon as I felt Peter fall asleep on me. We slept the whole movie!

Jacob and I talked about it and decided that I should fast and not eat anything to let me stomach have a break. Thankfully, I wasn’t hungry! And my stomach was so sore, I couldn’t eat anyway.

After Jacob and Peter ate, I went back to bed!! I was so tired! I was woken up a couple times to give kisses and to hold Peter’s hand while Jacob changed his diaper, but otherwise slept.

I woke up at 5:30 feeling refreshed and a little sore, but ready to take on the day. Peter was up and wanted to go eat. So I got breakfast around, ate some cereal, make food for the crock-pot, took a shower, and prepped lunch. Jacob woke up around 7:30. Peter had a poopy diaper and wanted Jacob to change him, not me. (I’m fine with that!) I ran some errands, came back, put things away.

THEN WENT BACK TO BED. I was so tired again. I was shaky again and hot. I woke up a little over an hour later. Jacob had to get ready for work. I get tired easily today, and will just try to pack one box. I am also waiting on Peter to take nap, so I can sleep too. 🙂


Jacob’s Enlisted!!!

I woke up the morning of enlistment with fear in my throat and scared thoughts in my mind. We were waiting for our escort through base when Jacob remembered that he forgot his paperwork at home. At that moment his sister, Rachel, and mom, Kris, drove through. I jumped out, had his mom get in the car with Jacob and told Rachel what happened and we were on our way back to the apartment. As we were leaving I saw my other sister in law, Stella, drive up and look at us. I laughed. She was so confused. Rachel quickly drove us back home, I got the paperwork, raced back to the car, drove back, threw up in my mouth a little, went through the guards, ran inside. I called Jacob several times to make sure he wouldn’t enlist without me.

And was on time. I sat down next to Jacob, holding Peter and fell at peace. The stress and worry lifted and peace flowed through my body. I went back outside to the main waiting area and Jacob’s mom, Rachel (who left for basic today!!), Ben (who was the first to join the Air National Guard, and now works for the Army), his son Levi (who’s 2 too!), and Stella (also in ANG!). I left Peter out there with them so I could concentrate more and Peter could move around.

We went through all the paperwork and I felt fine. Jacob was sworn in (pictures to come, SILs-Stella and Rachel has them). Congratulated. And we took pictures.

The siblings: Rachel, Jacob, (Peter wanted Daddy), and Ben

Our family: Me, Jacob, and Peter (never looking at the camera for a family photo)


The whole family (minus Jacob’s dad, couldn’t make it): Rachel, Jacob’s Mom~Kris, Me, Jacob, Peter, Ben, Stella, and Levi


Peter and the American Flag

I pray the peace that filled me on the day of enlistment, stays with me as we continue this journey. We may get a leave date during Jacob’s first drill (first weekend in August, 6 days after move). Less than a month from now.