Sunday, October 31, 2010

And We're Back!

After spending nearly the entire month of October in Ohio, we finally made it back to Fort Bragg last night.  It was a nice long trip and being back here just feels strange.  Even with Gunnar and the kids here I am acutely aware every moment of the day that this is not where I want to be.  My family is far away and it makes me sad and grumpy.  I usually cry from Columbus to at least the West Virginia border, but I tried my best to keep it together since Gunnar was with us. 

We had about three and a half weeks in Ohio this time, spending most of it at my parents house and some at Gunnar's parents in Mingo Junction, Ohio.  We did a ton of fun things!  We saw my favorite bar band, took the kids Trick-or-Treating, ate the worlds greatest cheeseburgers, and spent lots of time with family.  Of course there are a dozen things I can think of off the top of my head that we didn't get to do.  People we didn't get to see, ice cream I never got around to eating.  Oh yeah, I turned 31 (gasp!) somewhere in there too and got to celebrate with everyone I love.

All in all it was a really great trip.  And although we left freezing cold Ohio weather to come to a beautiful mild North Carolina, I'm still more than a little sad to be here.  I'm already trying to think up how we're going to arrange our Thanksgiving traveling.  Most likely, Gunnar will only have a 4 day weekend, which complicates things tremendously.  I am still trying to get used to traveling on someone else's schedule, instead of just my own.  It's possible that we won't make it up north at all and man, that makes me grumpy just thinking about it. 

Gunnar goes back to work tomorrow.  I'm interested to see if they come up with anything for him to do besides stand/sit around all day till it's time to go home.  He still has a few weeks to wait for his CAT scan and x-rays for the possible stress fracture in his foot.  Only in the Army do they wait 2 months to find out the severity of your brain injury and broken bones.  Grrrr!

I guess the only thing I'm really looking forward to right now is the military ball that's coming up in a few weeks.  I've got a dress, and can't wait to wear it!  Gunnar will be all fancy in his Class A's and it sounds like it might actually be a lot of fun!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reunited and it Feels so Good

Back to real life eh?  There's a lot of compromise in married life that I seemed to have forgotten about.  Like how I keep the A/C at 80 (I'm all eco-friendly like that!) and he likes it at 72 or something crazy like that.  There's extra laundry and the idea of actually making a dinner (other than popcorn) on a daily basis.

The amazing part though is that my kids have their Daddy back.  And I took a trip to the commissary on my own!  Gunnar made it home just in time for our son's 4th birthday so we spent the day in Raleigh and had a great time.  His work schedule has been amazingly light since he came back.  He is usually home for the day before noon and will have the entire month of October off.

The transiting for the kids having their dad back has gone amazingly smoothly.  I know that aside from everything else in life, I am their constant.  Everything else has come and gone and come back again but me?  I'm 100% always here with them.  So adding Gunnar back into the mix at home really went great for them.  It has taken Gus a bit of time to get used to being yelled at disciplined by anyone besides me.  And the kids generally prefer me to put them in bed at night, but other than those minor details, things are going really well.

Now for some Army nonsense (I know you all knew this was coming).  So, I mentioned Gunnar is "working" half days since he's returned from Afghanistan.  Well, what I really mean by that is he goes and stands around and waits for most of every morning and then they send him home.  It's complete and total ridiculousness.  I've never seen any business or company more disorganized than the Army, or the 82nd Airborne Div, specifically.  Heck maybe the 82nd is awesome and it's just the 4th Brigade Combat team that's nuts.  I don't know where the breakdown between the smart guys and the dumb guys is exactly, but it's somewhere close to Gunnar's chain of command. 

For example:  They report to duty in the morning at say, 6:15am (a time in the morning I have not seen in many, many moons!) and go stand around in a parking lot and wait till 8:30am when the place is actually open for business.  No, really.  That's the crap they do.  They have had a lot of re-integration type things to do, they all had to go to the dentist, and health screenings, and probably fill out millions of pieces of paperwork.  The Army is generally anti-computer.  They like to have them fill out form after form after form.  I've never seen anything like it!!

Gunnar has some additional workups to have completed when he gets back to work in November.  He has the entire month of October off for his post deployment block leave.  He has a lot of the symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury (or TBI for short) due to some injuries he had in Afghanistan.  I've heard a lot about these when soldiers return to the states, and I'm interested to see what sort of care he receives.  I don't think it's reasonable to wait 2 months after redeploying to get medical attention, but we're working on the Army's timeline here.  Likely, he also has a stress fracture in his foot.  But again, no x-rays till November.

We're (of course) going to be spending a few weeks up in Ohio to see everyone.  I can't wait!  Autumn in Ohio is spectacular, and any reason to get the hell out of Fort Bragg, is a good one for me!