Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Month Down

It's been a month since these pictures were taken.

Far from picture-perfect, but I'm ok with that!
Last kisses...looks as if Aiden is saying, "I don't like this good-bye stuff one bit!"
Reminds me of our last deployment when Austin was just a year old...he had Daddy's hat on while getting his picture taken as well. He's grown up so much! We are so lucky that it's been so long since we've had to do this again.
Naptime in Daddy's arms.
Checking out Daddy's weapon.
Saying goodbye during naptime is hard, but Colten did really well. He just looks exhausted at this point though!
Saying goodbye in public is hard. We've done it both ways...the first time was just a drop-off and the second time was a full out ceremony with the Soldiers in formation and everything. This was a little in between. It's not fun, but I feel that going to them gives us a little more understanding. My kids SEE Daddy leave from a place they don't normally see him leave from. It's not like he's going to work and will be back home that night. I feel that if it is at all possible to go to something like this, it's easier for them to see a difference between just going to work and actually being deployed. It's harder though...and a LOT more public. That's the trade-off. Some people have a different opinion, but this is what works for us.
It's been a month since we've said goodbye. It's a little easier to look at the pictures, but not much. Our kids are resilient, though. We've had rough days here and there. Austin wants to talk about him whenever he goes to bed, which is hard because he REALLY needs to go to bed, but I don't want to just dismiss his need to talk about it either. It's a balancing act. That is for sure!
This time around, for me, has been way more emotional than the other times. All I have to do is think of all that they are missing with their Daddy and all that he is missing with them and it gets me teary eyed. Of course I miss him, but I'm a big girl; it's the boys that get me everytime! Sure, I get stressed and when things would be a LOT easier with two people, the absence hits me hard. Nights and weekends are also hard since he's supposed to be home at those times.
Tonight, a friend was over and she said something about the boys' Daddy. Colten pointed to the door. We weren't entirely sure why, so I said, "bye, bye?" He shook his head yes, then I realized he meant Daddy went bye bye. I said, do you mean Daddy went bye bye? He shook his head yes again. He completely understands. Time isn't the same for him, but he knows his Daddy is gone. He loves talking to him on Skype and sleeps with his Daddy Doll every night. About 2/3 of the time, when I go in to check on him before I go to bed, that Daddy Doll is in his arms as he sleeps.
Overall, we are thriving. The boys are doing well and growing. Life keeps moving forward here in North Carolina as well as Iraq. Brian says the days are going by quickly for him (although they are pretty long days because of the hours they are working). We are counting down the days we get to have fun during R & R. Camping, baseball games, and all sorts of various activities are already being talked about. If I think of it as blocks of time, it doesn't seem so bad. March brings gymnastics, baseball signups and the first month of Speech Therapy. April brings Easter and baseball practices and games, May is the last full month of school and then June has us visiting family for a few weeks. Then, July brings Daddy home.
So, one month down...11 to go. We can do this...we ARE doing this.

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