My Family's Navy Adventure

Welcome to All Hands on Deck: Sailor, Wife and Life.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Leaving it all on the field

I had a very frustrating doctor visit this week.  New navy doc- well, new to me.  I went in for a check up and to have a mole looked at.  I had to bring the kids with me, so we were well stocked with snacks, toys and iPad. They were doing great- one was sleeping, one was eating and one was mesmerized with the iPad. The doctor even commented they were good.  Then she asked how old they were.  You would have thought I had birthed aliens.  She asked why we had our kids "so close together" and "you are done, right?"  She then asked me why I was making it so hard on myself.

I can think of 20 different things I should have said now.  But at the time I just smiled and said we were a busy, but happy family. I will not be visiting her again.  It really bugs me, but not why I thought it would.  I thought that I would be upset because she was questioning our family planning decisions. But that is not that big of a deal, I am coming to her to look at a mole. I don't need her as a life coach.

I strongly believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. I am insanely in love with my babies. And somedays they drive me insane.  No, like really, insane.  Eyes closed, rocking back and forth, insane.  We have good days and not so great days.  And I put them to bed every night at 8:00 and I feel like I have been run over by an 18 wheeler. But this is what I want. I want to work really hard everyday and do the absolute best I can.  And she was completely overlooking all the good parts to having your children close.  I love watching Tiny and Little One grow into best friends. I don't regret it, even though it is physically harder.  Sometimes I literally don't have enough hands.  Did I tell you all three still wear diapers?  Yeah, potty training is not our family's area of expertise. But they also share clothes and do school together.  And share friends.  Lots of hugs and kisses.

So everyday, I leave it all out on the field. And they give back so.  much.  more.  And on days when they are really.....hmmmm, we will say, "challenging", they teach me.  Tiny has taught me to have a gentle voice when my head is screaming.  She only has one volume and it shakes the house. She is a squealer. They teach me to find a way to enjoy a moment (even when that moment is not in my plan of the day).  And they are constantly helping me to be more patient.  I should be really patient by the time they are raised. ;)

So if you see a mom with kids close in age, the only comment that needs to be made is how spectacular she looks wearing that stylish nursing cover as she is nursing while grocery shopping. Please do not explain birth control options, or ask if all children have the same father. (Yes, both those actually have happened). Because my babies are well loved and we are crazy happy.  Crazy.  And happy.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Big boy navy, kind of

Adam graduated from his navy school last week. It had been a full 2 years. Sometimes he would leave the house at 4:30 am and not get home until after the babies were in bed. He works hard. And did really well. He is officially in the big boy navy. I liked being a student; no deployments. I may only see him for a few minutes somedays, but I knew he was safe. It was not all long days. It seems like the navy works you like crazy and then you have a brief period of short days. It makes the time he is home so sweet. 
This has been a journey with lots of unknowns.  The school Adam went through has a high fail/dropout rate. So when we joined, we knew that we were taking the chance on not making it through the training. Not making it means being discharged (leaving us without a job) or he could be assigned a random ship job while we finish out our contract. And, trust me, we did not want that.  I think before every new school, Adam would look at me and say, "I think this will be rough."  And then he does it and does awesome.   Towards the end of the training, I started ignoring his worries about not doing well, because he always did well. He has been asked to stay at this command as an instructor. I am so proud of him.  So as our friends are leaving for Hawaii and other cool places to join the crew of a boat, we are staying here. Bittersweet. It is hard to see all of your friends move away. 
But my best friend and husband is home.  And deployment is still just a word.  For now, I don't have to lay down at night wondering when the day will come when he is not here. Thankful. This women is thankful. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Free burgers, get your burgers!

So I missed it. Wait, let me start over since you are only just now joining my head conversation. So we are on a slight road trip to visit family. We pull into a Mickey D's and I see a women pull in beside us.  She pulls something out of her trunk. Something stirs within me. I think she is living out of her car. There were trash bags of something in the back seat and clearly stuff in the trunk. So I have a thought. (Or for the super spiritual folks out there- Holy Spirit promoting)  We should buy her food. By this time, Adam was inside with the women and I was changing diapers in the front seat. All you mamas know how awkward and downright dangerous that is. Poop smears in the car are the worst. Anyway, I digress- again. So I was trying to decide  of I should bring the little ones inside to go tell Adam to buy a meal for a lady who may or may not be homeless. And by the way, she had an unfriendly face, so I don't know how she would have taken me walking up to her and asking to buy her meal. I am super non-confrontational and really don't want to offend this lady. She can take me. Hands down. She was tough looking and I am extremely wimpy. I can't even do a push-up. No joke. I digress. Again. So I did nothing. Because it was unconvenient and possibly awkward. And I am such a dope.
I am always asking to be used by God, but when the prompting comes I freeze. It is like the player who says "put me in coach" and then picks dandelions in right field. I miss out because of fear of a slightly awkward situation. God is going to reach that women, but I missed the chance to be apart of it. And I missed the chance to show my girls how we love people. 
This situation has happened lots. I resolve that next time, it will not. I maybe talking under bathroom stalls, pulling u-turns and chasing people down in Wal-Mart, but I will have first time obedience next time. And then, I will talk to my kids about it.  I will tell them that Mama struggles with obeying God the first time, and we will have a special prize because mama obeyed. Even my Little One knows where the "special treats" are kept in the kitchen. This will happen. I will be the hands of Jesus. Just be on the look out, I am a little over zealous right now.  So find me if you want a free burger. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Trial and Error, Error, and Error

There is a new set of rules in the Taylor house.  Well, not really new, more like revised.  Our sweet little Tiny has a sweet little temper.  She is just like her mama, although it has been years since my temper has shown it's colors.  Don't get me wrong, I get frustrated, mad, and definately have my not-so-great moments.  But we are talking complete lose of control.  Tiny doesn't have inconsolable fits often, but when she does, I don't know what to do.  Do I discipline?  comfort?  ignore?  If this is her temper at 3, I am scared what it will look like in 10 years.  These are the only bars I want my babies behind.
She is cute, huh?  Little One.  Anyway, so I want to help Tiny learn to control her anger.  The Bible talks about not provoking your children; are we doing that?  Am I modeling anger?  Seriously, I am willing to take blame and change, I just dont know what I need to do.  So a friend reccommended a book.  
It is super good.  Very practical and scripture based.  It reaffirmed a lot of what we were doing, like having a Christ-centered home, not a child-centered home.  Expecting first-time obedience is a big thing in our house already.  But it did bring to light a big weakness.  Although we do fairly well with keeping consistent rules, we do not have consistent consequences.  Example:  Tiny hits Little One with the teapot.  Sometimes this is punished by a timeout, and sometimes this is punished by taking away the teapot.  Not all punishments are equal and sometimes hitting gets a big punishment and othertimes it gets a little punishment.  Inconsistent.  And there are big inconsistencies depending on who is disciplining.  Adam is wrapped around thier little fingers and they know it.  He loves those girls something fierce and becomes a big softy. 
I also noticed that sometimes I can't decide or think of an appropriate punishment when it needs to be delivered, so that usually results in a spanking.  (I know, BAD mama moment-just being honest) Which is not always appropriate for the crime, or effective.  Don't get me wrong, I believe spanking is an effective when used appropriately.  But for my Tiny, there are much worse things than spanking: missing out on a special treat at snack time.  She is begging for a spanking!  So all this being said, I made a list of rules and the conscequence for the rule.  There are only 5 rules and all of them are God's rules for living, not mine.  So if they don't like the rule, take it up with Jesus.  Ha!  See how far your complaints get with the Big Man.  I am still a little fuzzy on all of the consequences.  I may change some if they don't work.  Trial and error, error, error- that is our parenting style.
The Scripture "a gentle word turns away wrath" has been my anthem.  Tiny responds so sweetly to gentle words.  Proactive gentleness is something I started meditating on a few months ago and I saw a big differance in my heart and hers.  God's word has all the answers.  I have been blessed with these precious babies and I trust that He will give me wisdom to raise them.  I may post our house rules.  If nothing else, so that you can have a good laugh when none of my creative consequences work.  My favorite is "This is a peaceful home and throwing fits is not allowed, so you can go to the garage until you are done."  We used that one twice already today.  Adam wishes he could be sent to the too.  :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

I'm back....

Thinking of blogging again.  Talking myself into it.  It may happen. It will happen. Forget the other page- here's a quick update:  we now have 2 girls and a baby boy. Tiny, Little One and Minion are amazing. 3 years, 20 months, and 8 weeks, so we are crazy blessed and just plain crazy. But so happy. Still in the navy,baby!  Adam has just finished his training and did extra awesome. Of course. We are staying put for the next few years, which is great because I love it here. AND we have started homeschooling Tiny and LO. I can't wait to tell you all about it.  It is really fun. These kids are my world and they are the main tool Jesus uses to challenge and refine Adam and I. Lots of refining and challenging lately. And since it is almost 11 pm, I need to go to sleep. Because "challenges" stink when you have no sleep. Here's hoping that 3 babies are not joining us in bed tonight.  God bless your rest tonight.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New blog!

Our new blog is finally ready!  Go to to catch up.

Currently missing one of the authors, but he will be back soon.  Thank you Paul for all of your help.  You are a great brother-in-law, but you may have bitten off more you can chew offering to help me.  Let me know if something is not working on this site......I don't know how to fix it, but I bet Paul does!

On another note, no letter today.  I did get his "remains"; a sad little box with all of his clothes, shoes and 16 cents.  Maybe tomorrow.  I have called our post office twice this week.  I wonder if they have caller id.  :)
Tonight, just a teething toddler, a kicking belly and some hot tea.  Not a glass of wine.....which is what I really want.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Left for Great Lakes

He is gone.....for real now.  I am just now able to gather my thoughts to post.  He left Friday.  The hardest thing is that he is going through H-E-double hockey sticks and I can't be there for him.  I knew all of this would happen, it is just different when it is your sailor.  I have been sulking.....and lots of praying.  Today I went to church and it reminded me that God brought him to this, so he will bring him through it.  The sermon was about the boy whom gave his 2 fish and 5 barley loaves.  It was awesome and one section really hit me.  He spoke about the proverb that a 3 strand cord is not easily broken.  You know the one, "Woe to the man whom falls and has no one to pick him up."  This weekend was a great reminder to me that I need people- especially now that Adam is gone.

We were getting ready to say good bye to Adam, again, and we had a lot to do.  We went to a ceremony, parade, and a baseball game.  And I was attempting to coordinate our family with the very little information that the Navy gave me.  Thank God for friends and family.  I needed help.  I broke down at the office (in front of my boss; she is very nice, but I did not want to cry) because I forgot to go to the ATM to get cash- and now I was going to be late.  My office partner and friend gave me 15$.  Thank you Nancy!  I have never been more grateful for 15 bucks.  I did not want to be late when I only had a few hours to see Adam. I had already gotten him in trouble with the drill instructor.  (that is another story)

Our parents, many of the siblings and a few friends were there for Adam's swearing in ceremony.  I was so thankful; they carried bags, babies and took pictures.  My sister dressed Tinyand brought her to meet me.  She looked so sweet.  Kristin, you were my hero this weekend.  Every time I needed something, you were there.  Thanks Sis.  Everyone gave Adam and I space to say goodbye.  Sniff, sniff.  That physically hurt.  I was sure that one of us would pass out.

I don't like asking for help and I don't like relying on others.  When I was a little girl, I used to tell mama, "I don't need you!". But today I had a vision of me laying on the floor, yelling, "I have fallen and I can't get up!"  And I am alone.  In Charleston.  Looking like a pregnant turtle who is flipped over on her shell.  Rocking back and forth.......

So I am making an effort to build strands of support.  Family, friends, church- we are so blessed.  SO many have told me to call when I need them.  The thing about doing everything alone is that you also can't be that cord for others.  I need a team.  I need to put more into those important relationships.  Thank you to everyone's support this week.  The phone calls, facebook messages, hugs meant so much.  We love you.

Please continue to pray for my sailor.  He had blisters on his feet from marching before he even got to Great Lakes.  The mind games have already begin.....I will let you know when we can send letters or when I hear from him.  Prayers for peace please.  These first few weeks are supposed to be the hardest.

See you soon and good night.