First Hair Cut--Before
My boy got his first haircut. And I cried. I didn’t understand crying over a haircut. Its just hair. And then I got HIS hair cut. In a matter of minutes, he went from my baby to a BOY. I had her leave most of his hair on top–I have spent too many hours pushing that back as he nurses; I’m not ready for it to be cut. I got it cut at the barber shop on base. She wanted him to set by himself in the chair! HAHA. He did really well. I had to hold his head still a couple times. They gave him his first sucker–orange–and he LOVED that.
First Hair Cut--After
Jim’s parents were visiting earlier in the month. We spent one week here and then went over to the Big Island for a week. We had such a wonderful time both weeks. I did a trip report, posted photos and the link to the rest of the photos on our family blog, if you want to check it out.
If you’re the praying type, I’d appreciate your prayers. This deployment is doing a number on me. Mostly I’m doing okay with it mentally but I’m WAY tired and quickly approaching burn out. And, mentally, I have my moments. Jim’s leave getting pushed back six weeks was really my tipping point. On the plus side, we’re half-way done!!!
I’m not sure I’ve talked about it here but we’ve had “issues” with Ben and eating. He has been taking solids for months now but wouldn’t swallow anything. I met with the hospital’s feeding team about a month ago. They strongly suspect, based esp. on the history of all the horrible troubles we had with latching, that its simply a matter of training the mouth and tongue muscles on how to swallow. With latching, I’d finally get him on well and then, the next nursing session, it would be like he’d completely forgotten how to do it. So they instructed me to do a positive reinforcement food (they got him to swallow chocolate pudding, so chocolate pudding it is!) every day to help with the training, in addition to continue offering a variety of other food. Its working!! He will generally swallow most any foods, asssuming he’s hungry and the food is in really small pieces. He loves foods with strong flavors–lime yogurt, pepperoni, taco meat, chili, etc. He doesn’t do well with drinking yet. He is better with an open-faced cup than a sippy or straw cup. But, like nursing, its like he forgets how to do it. After several attempts, he’ll swallow but then has to start again the next time. But we’re working on it. I don’t mind if he skips a traditional sippy but it’d be awafully handy if I could get him to take a straw cup at least, especially considering his delight in dumping cups!!
We all know about the combat-related deaths related to the war. But combat isn’t the only killer. Suicide rates are the highest since 1980 (when rates began to be tracked). Of the 143 deaths in 2008, two-thirds were either deployed at the time of death or had been deployed previously. The rate within the military, specifically army & marines, is *TWICE* that of the civilian world.
Tomorrow, April 8, the Army Chief of Chaplains has declared a day of prayer and fasting for our soldiers. Please keep our soldiers in your prayers tomorrow. And please pass this information (or send them the link here) on to others who may be interested in participating.
An article about it:
Some articles about the suicide rates:
Elizabeth calls Iraq HeRaq when she’s talking about Jim being over there.
Notice Jim’s long curly hair flowing down. Repunzel, Repunzel let down your long hair!
Yikes, another long-time-no-write here. There hasn’t been much going on yet I feel pretty busy, too.
Mr. Benjamin has started walking!! Its still those early steps where they don’t realize what they are doing. And each time it has been to *ME*! Just a few here and there, just like E did. I’m hoping he doesn’t take off until we’re in Indiana. One less airplane ride w/o a new walker wanting to get down and go.
We leave for Indiana this weekend. I’m really excited to see my family and get away from here. I can’t wait to get some cold weather!!
We’ve had crazy amounts of rain here lately. It has rained a LOT in the past month and then, last week, we got around 20 inches in just a few days! Lots of buildings have been flooded, roads closed, etc. The past couple days have been pretty dry. Hopefully the land can dry out a bit now.
As for me…I’m in a bit of a funk. We’re two months into the deployment and I’m feeling pretty good about that. But that means I still have ten more to go. And probably six until I see Jim again. We just passed the one year mark of being here. I’m not where I want to be as far as being involved in the community. I can’t do some of the things I want to do, though, because I can’t be away from Ben too long. He’s yet to actually swallow any food (he loves to chew it though!). Plus he’s just really a mama’s boy. I love that yet I’m itching to do a few things by myself. Hopefully that can happen in the new year. I’m also on the lookout for a good babysitter. I get 20 hours of free care at the center each month but I really think Ben would do better for longer periods of time if he was at home. Jim finally got internet in his trailer, so we’re able to talk more often. That has gone a LONG way in how well I deal with the deployment. Most days we get to IM at least once. Much better than once a week phone calls!
We decorated and stuffed bags for the soldiers.