Week 2 I Think: I Can’t Count

Mental Breakdown or Beautiful Masterpiece?

Maybe, just maybe I have finally lost it. What’s that picture you see? Oh, that’s my bedroom wall that has sat, white for far too long. As I spent today with the girls I started to rearrange and clean out old clothes from my room. The girls continued to play upstairs with me, bouncing from room to room, destroying everything in their tiny little tornado path. I don’t understand how someone so cute and tiny can cause mass destruction in a small amount of time but let me assure you, these littles can do it. I wondered how much velcro walls were so I googled, just out of curiosity for you know, research purposes. Unfortunately Amazon does not have my back on the idea, it’d help keep them still for long enough to clean up the mess they left behind. I sat on my bed, staring at the wall for what seemed like forever. Suddenly an idea popped into my head, a flash back from when I was a kid. My parents had this ugly wallpaper in their bedroom and one time my dad told us we could use marker to fill in the design. It was the only walls we could color on and it kept us occupied for what felt like years. I told the girls to come into my room and sit. Maisyn laughed in my face because she thinks everything is funny, Paityn refused because she had to pee(potty training with that child has been so very successful, mostly because the child refuses to leave the potty seat) and Gracelyn actually listened(I’m blogging this to document it). As soon as I said the word “paint” my children were full attention absorbing every word I said. They sat still and focused on me. I asked them if they’d like to paint my wall behind them. Imagine children running free, through the Wonka Candy stores with unlimited access to anything their hearts desired. That my friends, is the reaction my children gave me. I’m not sure they’ve been that excited before and to quote the oldest “Mom I’m freaking out”, in fact she was freaking out. I laughed and showed them the paints. I let them each pick out their colors before they each started on the wall. I told each girl to stick to their areas to avoid the ultimately bound to happen fight club fight, with paint this time. I sat on my bed and watched in amazement as my girls created a masterpiece of their own imagination. The painted flowers, random lines, hearts, anything their little minds thought of. In that moment I had the perfect opportunity to clean and organize what they had destroyed but I couldn’t move. I was in love with watching my daughters cover my wall with paint. Something so simple that now means the world to me. It’s perfect, every little hand print and color smear. They laughed and shared, they listened and there was only a little bit of a mess to clean up. I don’t want to say it was magical but it made my days off great. It made my Mothers Day weekend off just what I needed.

Deployment Week ?!

It’s been a few weeks of us adjusting to us four, I’d like to tell you it’s going good but that’d be a big Texas sized lie. It’s been rough, mostly because the pint sized people aren’t sleeping well. Gracelyn has co-slept since she was born, it’s a decision proving to be kicking myself in the backside. She refuses and I mean capital letter, exclamation point REFUSES to sleep in her room no matter what I try. She’s slept in between us her whole life and now the right side of her is empty. She woke up crying the other night because “the monsters on that side are going to get me cuz daddys not here to stop them from coming over the side of the bed”, so to get that child to sleep I had to lay on her. She’s not understanding why he’s not home and we have a long way to go before he comes home. I know give it time and adjustments will be made but this is rough. Day by day we are getting there. She now goes to her room for a bit but still ends up back in my bed. Keeping them occupied has helped the best but it hasn’t for my bank account, I want to spoil them and keep them as happy as possible. We live in the country so they have a few acres to run on and play on their toys. They have a dune buggy, four wheeler and soon to be another toy(it’s a surprise though) that they ride all over. The freedom of being outside and this cabin fever is hitting us all. Covid locking us down has also effected the children, they love shopping and going places and now they can’t. Guess who also doesn’t understand why they can’t? You guessed it, the same children who’s routine and lives have already been changed recently. They have no normal currently. Baby steps we are getting there, right?

Wild Child, My Heart

Let kids be kids, let them run free and wild. I’ve documented everything we do with the girls to save for them and Nick to see. The photos I’m sharing are just another typical day we went outside but as you can see my yard needed mowed and it was overran with dandelion flowers. It amazed me to see how many there were and to see the girls blowing on them announcing their wishes out loud. I’m going to take a good guess you expect me to say they wished for their daddy, right? Big negative, they wished for a mermaid, kitties, skittles, popsicles, a truck to drive(that might be the surprise coming), a rainbow party, Papa to come over and drive the tractor and last but not least Gracelyn wished for a vacation to see dolphins like mommy did. Girl I’m right there with ya wishing for that! I photographed them throughout us being outside and I was in awe of how grown up they are. They are a year and a half apart, the twins will be 3 next month and G will be 5 this year. I blinked and now my daughters are almost completely out of diapers, they hold conversations with you and have the funniest personalities. Parenthood is a time machine, in fast speed and there’s no button to slow time down. For 1,055 days I’ve been a mom to twins and for 1,637 days I’ve been a mom in general, to a mini version of myself. Today I said multiple times how it was like I’m her big sister when I argue with her but the twins I’m mom mode. She knows how I am but she fails to realize I have experience on her.

COVID- You bastard.

We will get better slowly but surely. Life has been chaos for everyone lately, especially with most businesses still shut down. I keep talking to the big man upstairs about my anxiety and how everything will be okay. I have faith that someday soon things will get smooth but for now buckle up buttercup because a certain fat man in charge is taking us for a ride on a bumpy road. I know how bad my mental health has been since COVID started, I can only imagine how bad it is for small business owners that are deemed “non essential”. Like my hair stylist for example, she has a small business that is used to keep her family afloat and provide for her child. That’s essential to me and my mental health along with essential to provide for her family. I need my therapy session in that chair while she listens to my life problems and takes care of these roots. Who is deciding who is considered essential or not? I could also say my tattoo artist is essential at this point because I’m a weird person who relaxes while getting a tattoo(I’ve had to reschedule my appointment twice now due to COVID) and that is his source of income. He’s a business owner meaning he has employees that are suffering too because they aren’t considered “essential”. I get the reasoning but I disagree at this point. I’m being selfish and thinking about my mental health and what would help it along with helping those small businesses, that have helped me time and time again.

I’ve rambled on for tonight, I have Paityn asleep in my bed next to me and for now the G-Baby is asleep in her own room. Maisyn is a champ snoring away in her crib. I enjoyed my few days off but they are never long enough, makes me second guess and wonder if I’m making the right decision. I know I am but it’s just tough. They need me but so does my career choice and I love my job, I just miss my girls a lot. Sigh, another day closer to a few days off.

Love,

Candyce

p.s- Here’s a picture of my lugghead boy, Sarge.

Deployment Eve/Day 1.

They say a pictures worth a thousand words, right? What about emotions? Seeing this picture, knowing what happened just prior, is something that breaks my heart. The last night Nick was home I decided to capture those memories for our girls, for when they get older. I followed them around with my camera as they did the routine of things. This picture was taken a minute after we put the girls to bed. It was the last time he would see his daughters this year. It was the last time he’d hear “I love you Daddy” followed by the sweetest kisses from three little blonde girls. It was the last time he’d squeeze them in a big bear hug and it was the last time he would get to see his daughters as is, before they grow and change while he’s gone. Immediately after putting the twins to bed, he went into our bathroom and partially shut the door. As I followed him I knew the familiar sound coming from the bathroom. It was the sound of a father crumbling with emotions, the sniffles and blotted eyes. It was the moment reality had set in for him, he realized the sacrifices he made at 18 when he enlisted. He sat in there for a few minutes before he walked out and took a shower. I decided to upload the photos I had taken of the night, proceeded to cry again(let’s face it, I’ve been an emotional roller coaster lately) because these photos captured so much to me. The photos show the happiness on our daughters faces, the chaos of trying to contain each strong willed child, and it shows how much each child loves their daddy.

The night went as normal, bath, book then bed. Paityn wasn’t ready to say bye to her daddy, she woke up and decided to sleep in our bed most of the night. I think that extra little bit of time was needed. She snuggled into him, grabbed his face to give him a kiss and reminded him repeatedly “I love you daddy”. We were able to get an hour or two of sleep before we had to be up to head to the airport. My mom came over to watch the girls so we didn’t have to drag them out so early. As we were getting ready, our oldest woke up and came downstairs. She hugged her daddy and told him to be safe from the bad guys. She told him she would be good for mommy and that she wanted him to not forget her. I was three foot from them in a different room, hearing my four year old explain that to her dad was like a kick to the throat. She clearly understood what we said when we told her he was leaving. She remembered what country he was going to and that he would be gone for long time. She started to tear up and whine a little, as she sat on her dads lap while he tied his boots. I can’t help but think, will she remember that moment? Will she remember what’s happening when she’s older? What if that is one of the first memories she has? I pulled myself together because it was time to drive a long drive to drop him off.

He hugged my mom, if you think I’m emotional you need to meet my mother. Apple didn’t fall far from the tree but she takes the cake. Seeing how emotional my mom was, hit Nick again and the sniffles started as we left. The drive to the airport was filled with my indecisive music selection, the sniffles, small talk over bills and things to keep track of and what to expect the next few weeks. This is Nicks second tour, he knows what to expect but this is his first with a family. As we pulled into the parking lot I could immediately see a truck with two American Flags flying in the bed, I could see families surrounding their loved one dressed in the camo. I had a vision in my head what it’d be like and let me tell you it’s nothing like the movies. I saw a dad chase his child, who might have been 1 while his older child was running next to him. I saw a husband hug his wife as she broke down fearful of the unknown. I saw a large family come together to see two of their own leave. There is another local family to us that are also on this deployment with us, the Adams family. I cried knowing Tim was going to miss his daughters first birthday. He’s going to miss a lot of her milestones. Why? Because he wants to defend others freedom, he’s a soldier. He and his wife, Maddy, have two children that now are going through what we are going through. It’s going to be nice to have someone close that knows exactly what I’m going through and to lean on each other. It’s also reassuring knowing who will be over there with Nick. At the military Christmas party I met a few of them and one that stuck out was Luke aka Boom(no surprisingly enough I didn’t give him that nickname). He’s one of those funny, good guys that will keep Nick from being a grump butt the whole time. He’s a positive enforcement especially at a time like this. He gave me a big hug today and reassured me everything will be alright, he’d make sure of it. Yes, you guessed it, I cried again. Pretty sure he told me to get it together(he’s not wrong though). I didn’t cry so much for my own family today but for the other families I saw today standing there going through the same emotions we were. I didn’t know who they were, their names, I knew nothing about them but what I did know is we can relate more than anyone and we are a big family overall. Due to COVID(once again I have a few bad words to say about that crock of crap that needs to go away), we weren’t able to walk in with the soldiers or watch them leave. I watched Nick and Boom walk inside, I watched the other families get into their vehicles. The woman in the car next to me put her head down on her steering wheel while playing “Come Home Soon” by SheDaisy(yeah girl I was singing with you on that one). I wanted to hug her or tell her it’s going to be okay but couldn’t. After leaving the airport I needed to stop at Walmart. I kind of just wandered around before remembering why I was there. Nick had text me to tell me they were flying out to *insert location here* where they will be headed before going to the other country. I bought the final stuff for our “Deployment Wall”.

I ended my shopping trip and ventured home. When I say I ventured I really mean I ended up lost to the point GPS was telling me they couldn’t help me. Whoopsie… I was able to drive and listen to music, enjoy the moments to myself I had left. I came across a town I knew and was able to find my way home. I will tell you now that having an amazing support system has made this completely better. My cousin Chelsea, came down to be with me so I wouldn’t be alone. She knew I needed someone without having to ask. She and my amazing coworker Megan were planning on surprising me but Megan ended up working for me allowing me to have today off instead. I don’t know what I did to deserve such amazing people in my life like them, but I thank God everyday for them. Chelsea stayed for hours to hangout with my children, allowing me to take a relaxing bath and take a nap(between lack of sleep and crying I have had a migraine all day), she didn’t second guess letting me get some “me” time or sleep. She’s always had my back and I will forever be glad to have her as my best friend. Once she finally thought it was okay for her to leave, I cleared out the girls old toys(I’m getting rid of 10 bags of toys in the last two day, I promise they still have toys, they’re overly spoiled). I deep cleaned. I went through my clothes, we made bracelets, we started the deployment wall. We did it, we survived day 1. It doesn’t seem like it’s that tough to make it through the first day but I promise, Nick having to walk away from his way home but instead into an airport with none of his girls was tough. Leaving him there and having to answer “where’s my daddy? when’s my daddy coming home? I want my daddy” over and over is tough. I put the twins to bed tonight and they refused to sleep, they quietly singing their ABCs. Gracelyn is asleep in her bed and I’m sitting by the top of the stairs listening to the twins sing. I took a bath, ate a pizza to myself(that’s right, ya girl can put some food away) and the silence quickly took over so I decided to sit here and blog as I listen to them sing. I hate quiet, that leads to overthinking and anxiety and both I need no assistance in. Sarge is snoring at the bottom of the stairs, the cats are laying on the stairs just below me and Zeus is asleep in my bed. I’m not sure what day 2 will consist of but I do know that I’m so thankful for the support we’ve received and the love that’s been sent. It’s motivation to keep going. I will be adding all of the photos from Deployment Eve below.

Love,

Candyce

Deployment, Day One?

For the last year and a half, we have prepared for this day. The day Nick left for his next tour of the middle east. It’s been a mentally exhausting challenge to prepare for but we’ve somehow did it. Hooray? No, not quite. The last few weeks leading up to this I’ve became a basket case, overly emotional and quite frankly I’ve became even more annoying than normal(shocker). How do I face my children who cry for their father, when I want to cry with them? How can I be strong about something that makes me so weak? You can’t. I found that answer really quick when my youngest, Paityn, came crying for her father who had left to go to the grocery store. You learn to put on a stone face, snuggle them and cuddle them as much as possible. You learn new breathing techniques so you can avoid making that ugly sobbing noise that’ll clearly give away you’re upset while you hold your child tight. We’ve been through Nick being gone many times, but nothing compares to the length of this deployment and the fact our daughters are older now. He signed up for this, I know it’s a territory that comes with being married to a soldier, but he chose this career long before I came around. I wouldn’t change it though, if you know Nick he’s military to the core. It’s something he’s so passionate about, the four things that are his life, Military, Sports, Clash of Clans(eye roll) and his family. He also likes to get into politics but I refuse to go there with him. The struggle of him being gone is worth it and seeing our daughters faces when he returns will be amazing to capture. Positive thinking right?

But wait….there’s more!

It’s Sunday night, I’m laying in my bed trying to get Twin A, Maisyn to go back to sleep. She’s snuggled up to me snoring as I type away. This was to be our final night together as a family. It’s funny, actually quite terrifying and not at all funny so I don’t understand that expression, but anyway, how things can change in an instant. Nick received word that they will not be leaving for their next phase of deployment tomorrow morning. It’s currently a giant question mark of what the time frame will be. Thanks Coronavirus. Although you might be thinking “that’s good news, more time together right?”, yes and no. I’m a planner when it comes to things like this, I NEED to have things in order and KNOW when things are happening. I HATE surprises, to the point it gives me anxiety(woohoo). Does him being home longer mean he will be gone longer next year? Who knows. Will we have a warning or a few days heads up before he gets notice to leave? No idea. What a giant mystery for us to play out day by day. I’ll be keeping updates in my future blog posts, because Lord knows I’ll have a lot to say. Like I said, it’s always a mess. So for now we continue to play it out day by day. I pretend I’m okay but to be honest I have that kind of anxiety I get when I know there’s only seconds left on the tanning bed and it’ll shut off, or when I’m opening a can of biscuits and I’m not sure when it’s going to pop open, you know THAT kind of anxiety. It’s been great though, to take time off of work and spend it with my extended family. Coronavirus has put a stop to many things, in fact it’s put a stop to everything, but with the lovely technology we have now a days, it’s been great to be connected without risking health. 2020, you have became an unpredictable hot mess, let’s hope your PMS is over for soon enough. I know this is my first blog, but it’s one I figured would help get the word out when I know a thousand questions are coming about Nicks deployment. I appreciate you listening to my rambles and frustrations. Military life isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s not just the uniform and the dog tags. It’s the unknown, it’s the uncertain, it’s the last minute change and you have to make it work. It’s the facetime at 3am because your soldiers in another time zone. It’s the lonely nights over and over, the keeping it together while not letting your soldier know you’re struggling because they need to focus on their mission. But he chose it, he chose this life for us before there was an “us”, and I chose him, so this is our life. It’s only the beginning of this next chapter, but I’m sure it’ll be eventful. Day 1 is almost over and I’d be lying if I said I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Love,

Candyce