Just the two of us

Last month as a gift to each other Mr. Right and I decided to take a cruise to the Western Caribbean. The cruise was our birthday present and it was a four day mini vacation for he and I, son went to stay with Grandma and Pappie. Sometimes when you are married to a pilot it is mighty difficult to carve out time to relax and just be together. When he is flying you clearly are not together and when he comes home daily life takes over and there are things to do activities to attend, and the family as a whole stays busy busy, leaving no time for alone time or romance. so we decided to make time for just us.
We boarded the Triumph in Galveston at around 11am in late April and began our relaxing childless four days. We loved the boat our balcony cabin (in my opinion the only way to cruise and totally worth the extra money) was great and thus we were super excited to just enjoy each other.

We began our stay with a dlish drink and some extracurricular (wink wink) activities and then went exploring. the ship was clean and very well designed with multiple pools hut tubas and of course bars and lounges. The casino was nice but since we do not gamble we just passed through and moved on.

While we sipped our drinks we grabbed some delish lunch from the buffet. The breads were truly fantastic. I enjoyed the fish as well and the veggies were fresh and flavorful.
In the evening we went to a comedy show which was very funny, husband and i found a both all to ourselves and cuddled up in a corner, since the place was packed and our booth was huge we were joined by another couple and few ladies (so much for some making out) but it was still lots of fun and we truly enjoyed ourselves. By 1 am we fell into bed fat, a little tipsy and happy.

Our day at sea was spent exploring, relaxing on our balcony, formal diner and napping in between. The cruise is a bit of a party boat which is really not our speed. We are more of the chill quietly in a corner while chatting about literature types or finding a deserted deck and sitting outside just looking out at the ocean ( kind of boring to some but that’s us). We managed to find quiet lounges to relax and cuddle whilte talking about anything and everything.

We were so totally relaxed by the time we pulled into port in Cozumel that I really would not have minded if we just stayed on the boat and relaxed. Since we already paid for the excursion we felt obligated to go. It was fun but if we go again we will probably just hang out on the boat or do one of those lazy beach deals where you are pampered and not hiking the Mayan ruins.

 It was fun to stroll the streets of Mexico and see the culture.

 There were some photo opportunities with Mayans
 We also visited a traditional Mayan village where some of the locals showed us how agave cactus was processed into threads for rugs and how tortillas were made by hand.

 At the actual ruins which were in a National Park we saw a tomb and couple temples. Some of the uncovered structures are still unidentified and thus the tour guide didn't really go into what the were. It was interesting to see some of the water wells.

 After the ruins we headed over to a quick lunch and an even shorter visit to the beach, yet we enjoyed the beautiful Caribbean water and sand. Wish we had more time to indulge, next time for sure.

 Authentic fish tacos and the best very re fried beans
 The water was incredible.

After the day in Cozumel we looked forward to another day at sea to just relax. being the nutty hockey fans we are we were thrilled to learn that the Philadelphia Flyers were going to be aired in our room followed by the Washington capitals so we watched the game the Flyers won and it was a perfect day of relaxation ad fun. Out last night on board was spent in the jacuzzi on the upper deck with a margarita in hand and stars over head.

When I booked the vacation Mr. Right teased me that I was taking him to relax out in the Gulf where he works, but after just a few hours on board he thanked me and said that we both needed the break from reality and it was lovely to have people care for you and anticipate your every need.
A perfect break

Once in a while you get blessed with a perfect break. The last 7 days were amazing. With this schedule of days or weeks away from home sometimes the home coming is sweet and sometimes it is not as smooth as one would hope. I wrote many times about the preparations that go into Mr. Right coming home in “He is coming home!!!”, I also wrote about the struggle to find a balance in “Folks we are experiencing turbulence due to colliding fronts” and in “Unclear try a different freq.”.  But what does it take to have a perfect break, what is the formula for a perfect week?
I really don’t know what the formula is but I will tell you that it just seemed that everything lined up just beautifully this break. We had a great balance of time with family, alone time and time with friends. We were able to hang out couple of times with dear friends of ours and share a diner with them, we went to a hockey game with a pilot friend of my husbands on Easter and another pilot joined us at the Hitches End for few beers after the game. They discussed everything from aviation to hunting and sports which made it easy for me to stay in the conversation.

 There were two days where we took the bikes out and did a little exercising, enjoyed the trails. There was no difficult times, no miscommunications or frustrations. We had smooth flying the entire week and if there was a little bump along the way Mr. Right grabbed the controls and with my support and his expertise he smoothly navigated through. If I had to give a formula it would be open lines of communication and patience, understanding. Those are things that we all should strive to have in our lives, yet sometimes no matter how hard you try you just can’t get it right. Fortunately we had a great break with so much love and fun that my cup is full and I feel very lucky to have had this awesome week with Mr. Right.

It’s easier when it’s by choice

As a pilot’s wife we are used to being alone a lot. We plan for the times that husband is scheduled to fly and fill that time in with activities, chores and whatever to not feel the gaping hole he leave behind. All the while the pilot is at work busy doing what he needs to do and what he loves to do, but still missing the comforts of home. It is a balance that you reach after years of being married to a man who is on the road and away from home for more than six months a year.
When a call comes in and he has to go there is a quick look from him: “I am getting called in what do you think” followed by a nod or a shake of my head depending on what is on the schedule, most of the time I nod and we adjust. This time we had no look, no call and no head shake, we had a stinking coastal fog bank dictating if he could fly home.
My husband is a very good pilot who under no circumstances will place himself or the people onboard his aircraft in any unnecessary danger. Thus, two extra days on an oil rig with multiple aborted attempts to get in. We texted back and forth so that I should have an idea of what it was looking like, all I really needed to do is look out the window and see the soup outside to know that it was a no go. The uncertainty of when he would finally come home was killing us. I had to stay strong and positive for our son who was missing his dad and getting more and more impatient with the weather by the second day, I had to stay positive for my husband who was definitely feeling the pressure and stress of being stuck.
I survived the two days and just kept telling myself that if he were offered to work over we would take it by choice and he would be gone anyway … toughing it out through bad weather and the uncertainty of not knowing when he was coming home made me feel helpless. I paced the house like a caged animal, I can only imagine how he felt. Staying away from your family by choice sure is easier then when the option of leaving is taken away from you by the freaking fog.

Go, turn and stop

While returning from my in-laws house tonight, Mr. Right and I were discussing the subject of driving. Very recently actually since we sold my Ford Escape and Mr. Right bought me the 2012 Mazda 3 Touring (Max) I have been very on the edge while he is driving. I have only had the car for a month and I absolutely love it, I LOVE it. But … when he drives I am very tense and jumpy, I get freaked out on turns and I do the whole shriek, air suction thing when we are coming up on another vehicle, this is a very new reaction since I used to never get nervous and I trust him completely while he drives his truck, flies an airplane or a helicopter so what gives in Max?
I tried to explain tonight how it is a totally weird reaction and that I think it is a result of my field of vision while in the passenger seat. I am short (5’3”) and it seems very weird to me where the centerline falls on the dash while we are driving (on my side of the car). As we were chatting all about my field of vision and what I see, my husband said that he really doesn’t see what the big deal is, it is a smooth ride, she is glued to the road, it really is quite unexciting, he is used to G’s pulling on him, getting tossed around up there, fighting weather and having to worry about up and down and yawl and so on and so forth. Driving is easy, your options are: go, turn and stop. DING DING DING – BINGO!
Here it lies - his body is so used to weird G forces pulling on him thus taking the turn on a wooded road at the speed of 65mph (which is by the way the legal speed limit) feels like small potato, he barely notices that after he took that turn he had swerved rather aggressively to avoid a huge pile of building materials that was spilled on the road, immediately correcting and not for one split second feeling like he was in danger or out of control, while my heart is pounding, I am about to pee my pants and vomit. Well my body and those of the passengers in the car who are not pilots are not used to being jostled around in a helicopter hitting turbulence and air pockets so our bodies go into panic mode, when the car suddenly jerks, on top of that I went from being up high in the SUV - to being very low in my very fast sporty car. I am not nervous when I drive because I am the one calling the shots thus I am anticipating the turn and whatever comes next, I am the one behind the wheel telling Max what comes next.
After much discussion about how our bodies are conditioned to respond differently to different situations we talked about the sterile cockpit. He said that in aviation there is a term “sterile cockpit” which means when the shit hits the fan everyone shut up and let the pilot fly. I tend to over react and make little noises from time to time which makes him go “what?” and now instead of paying attention to the road he is paying attention to me… not the safest of bets.
So we agreed to meet half way, he will remember that I am not a pilot and thus get nervous when I feel sudden jerks and jostles and I will remember about the sterile cockpit rule and when it gets hairy in traffic or whatever I will let him drive and not advise from the passenger side. I also think that I will mellow once I get more used to how low Max is to the ground and how fast she zoom zooms.

The antici…………………………………………..pation

Yesterday Mr. Right was coming home from an 8 day hitch, we were both very excited to see each other. Usually he flies all day until down time and I don’t hear from him until the call or text that usually reads: “In the truck ETA 9:30 I hope”. Yesterday he flew his butt off early in the day and by 2:30 pm I got a text letting me know he was sitting on the beach and should be released soon. I was at the time at his parents’ house, hanging out with mom.

You know when your pilot is bored waiting for release or a flight when your phone becomes overwhelmed with sill text messages such as these :




There are some other texts that go both ways that are just for us, but these are funny and speak volumes of the boredom that fuels the anticipation of coming home.
We were having way too much fun with texting each other silly little comments while waiting for him to get a flight or the green light to go home. At 4:57 he finally texted “Got gas on my way home, so I wrapped up with mom and dad and since I was only about an hour away and he has a 2.5 hour commute home I started to head out.
Son fell asleep in the car and I had my musing playing in the background while I was thinking about seeing my husband. I really missed him lots this hitch. We were on “Live Profile” a lot sending messages back and forth some of them more naughty than others. My mind was thinking about how much I love this moment, when I know that he is on his way home, that he is in his truck coming home to me just as excited to see me as I am to see him. The anticipation of feeling the 1st kiss in over a week, the 1st touch, the time we spent in the recliner in front of the fire catching up and just being together.
This is one of the great things of being married to a pilot and that is the anticipation of seeing him again, after missing him so much. Judging by the texts I get from Mr. Right he likes it too . I know that this is not a novelty many pilot wives write about the anticipation and the warm fuzzy feeling we get when he finally crosses the threshold.

My life will change drastically
My life will change drastically in just couple of weeks my parents –in-law will be relocated and living 45 minutes away from me. I am so excited about this development, for so many reasons.  For four years now I have lived in the great state of Texas with my Mr. Right and our boy - which really means that 6 to 8 month of the year it was just the son and I. No more. In two weeks we will have Grandma and Pappie just two towns away.
I am so looking forward to them being within driving distance, I can invite them over for weekends and diners.  I have wonderful memories of visiting my grandparents’ homes on both sides of the family when I was a child. The amazing Sunday diners when everyone would gather in one place whether it be at one of my grandparents’ or at our house.  My heart ached that my son will not know that type of family bond. Now due to my in-laws being so kind and moving closer to us he will know what it feels like to see Grandma and Pappie more often than twice a year.
The birthday parties is another huge reason for excitement. When we would all celebrate together and it felt so special because we could be together (and anyone who knows me knows that I suck when it comes to sending out birthday cards, it’s an area where I fail on regular basis). When I was a child I would wait by my window for my grandparents to come for my party. Son has been very lucky in the fact that grandparents would usually fly in for his party but he never had a chance to celebrate their birthdays, so that will change. Baking a cake and making presents is so much fun.
When I got sick it was on me, Mr. Right could not just pop in and help or bring me soup by the time he would have gotten back I would have been better and the whole exercise would be a waste of time. Now that Grandma and Pappi are close it gives me a peace of mind that if I feel really cruddy and struggling to take care of son I can call and there is help. Sure my friends would help and bring food and take our boy for a bit but I always felt very guilty when asking for that kind of help, with family it is easier.
Holidays were another time where I always wished that thy were closer especially now that husband will be working Thanksgiving and Christmas we can have a special celebration with him and on the actual day we can do things here or at Grandma and Pappies’ house. I am grateful for the adopted family that we have created and I am looking forward to having the house that much fuller especially during the holidays.
Now on this one I am sure they will roll their eyes because they are independent and adults but we worry about them especially with Mr. Right’s brother moving away from them to go to college. It will be comforting to be able to help out with home projects and take care of Sally dog when they travel, and just see them often. This next two weeks can’t come fast enough I can’t wait for them to get here. I will go from solo whirly wife to a whirly wife with family.

The pile up

This is a side effect of having a spouse who is working and away from home for extended periods of time, stuff piles up.  It is not only items on the honey do list such as the garage door doesn’t open by code, there is an ant pile in the front yard, there is a leaf pile that needs to be turned over in the back yard, ect. There is also the conversation topics that pile up, especially now with my trip being so very close and last minute things need to be decided, like are we traveling with travelers check or will we use a credit card or cash or a little of all three, finalizing plans of when to drop off the dog and who is driving who to the airport and who is picking who up from  the airport and so many more, and last minute gifts.
So while my pilot is away I can’t really talk to him about the mountain of decisions that have to be made nor is he here to move the leaves, kill the ants and fix the garage door. Our conversations are time limited with poor connections via Skype and we try to keep them light and fun. The result is that when Mr. Right comes home I feel anxious to share my stuff and he is tired from dealing with work stuff so he wants to rest and relax, while that is great and I would like that too I am having a hard time not dumping the pile up as to get it off my plate and onto his. It is not fair and I need to step back and brace myself with patience and hold on to my pile of manure for a day longer so that we can have a good day today and we can make all the decisions and take care of those errands and fix the little issues, in the meantime I seek patience and as he sees the tension piling up in me he tries his darndest to make me laugh and let go and you know what he is so darn charming and handsome that I am wrapping this up with a lighter heart and a smile on my face, what is another day and I love my pilot, so let’s have a good one.

“Folks we are experiencing turbulence due to colliding fronts”
 Mr. Right just came in from 11 day hitch and as excited as we were to have him home the 1st day was a rough one. Son and I were anticipating daddy’s return and were just so very excited to see him. He was thrilled to be coming home, being on land again with us – he could not wait.  Day one of his return home we experienced turbulence which forced some scud hopping and an emergency landing  now and again due to poor visibility and colliding fronts. Why?!
 I have been home on my own for 11 days, no one comes home to relieve me in the evening, my conversations with friends are limited to phone and even though they can be lengthy are often interrupted by the little dude – I am starved for a break and some adult interaction. I am running on emotional empty especially that our conversations are short and choppy over Skype. I am also physically exhausted it takes a lot of energy to keep up with a four year old boy.
Son is so excited to have daddy home he talks nonstop, wants to play nonstop and is very emotional -meaning in his four year old mind we do as he says or tears. So when daddy asks to have few minutes to relax tears, when daddy and mommy are talking and son is told to play on his own because daddy just spend 2 hours on the floor racing hotwheels – tears.
Daddy has been in adult company for 11 days with quite time in the middle of the ocean. He also has just come home from work and even though we don’t see it he does work, flies all day long moving people from one platform to another, figuring out the logistics of each flight, sometimes running into duty time issues, maintenance and to top it all of it is hot up there so it is exhausting with no comfort of home. He loves it but he does need a break when it is over.
 And here he comes home to a tired wife and a demanding child, we all what a piece of him because we love him so much and are starved for his attention he wants to give the attention we need but has nothing to give, so it gets bumpy and at time just rough for everyone.
How to prevent it how to fix it? I really don’t know I think that just like with any turbulence when you get yourself into it you just have to tough it out and muddle through. Being well trained and understanding that it is temporary is very important so that when you finally punch out of the clouds you are not to stressed to enjoy the clear skies ahead.

The human ingenuity

So Mr. Right is off shore working this hitch and he sends in these amazing photos of helicopters coming in for the night or taking off at sunrise. Since our conversation is limited due to his location this week these glimpses into his life while out there are amazing. It is quite beautiful out there in the middle of the Gulf with nothing but water, fish, dolphins and turtles the size of pianos - I am told.
I wish one day I could venture out there with him to experience that side of his world I don’t think that will ever happened for security and safety reasons but it is cool to see even the tiniest bits of what he sees. So the videos and pictures are greatly appreciated, allowing us a peak into his work world and a better understanding of what it is like.
 He compares it to being on a cruise but he has to fly a helicopter. The feeling of isolation and solitude is very similar to being on an ocean liner, there are also many levels and areas to the oil rigs and there is a kitchen with a cook. Totally up his alley since he does not cook.
I am amazed at the ingenuity of human kind. How we are able to float these huge structures so far out to sea, have people flown in and out and have them live out in the middle of nowhere on a platform 200 feet above water while drilling for oil. From huge technology to the small which allows my husband even from such remote location to e-mail pictures and videos to share in his life.  Amazing – all of it.

Words of thanks
While I was getting ready for Mr. Right to come home, as I ran all the errands, balanced our checkbook, paid bills, went food shopping and cleaned the 5 bedroom house -  I thought “he really has no idea how much work goes into running this house”, because he comes home to a very clean and organized house. Yet even though he does not see the work being done he always says “Thank You”.
It is so important for us stay at home moms with little kids and husbands who are away a lot to hear those words of gratitude because that is the only verbal reward we get. If you have a job outside of the home you get financial reward that is tangible (a paycheck), you also get evaluations and promotions and that is a way of gaining satisfaction on good performance. As a house wife you really can’t get promoted or get an evaluation, so those words of appreciation mean so much and are greatly desired.
  My husband  is great at telling me” thank you” for cleaning or taking care of the house our son and paying the bills, he is grateful for all the little things I do and he voices that gratitude. I don’t tell him all the time what I do and how things get done yet somehow he knows and I appreciate it. I think this is a very important part to a successful marriage to a pilot or otherwise, express your thanks for the support and things that each spouse does for the family and marriage, this simple act makes a huge difference.


The great thing about being married to a pilot is the fact that they can navigate anywhere and have a knack at finding fabulous places to visit. So this year once again  we have taken our Texas tradition bluebonnet trip. Every year since our little guy has turned one we have gone to the rolling hills of Texas during spring to take some pictures with the state flower in the background. This year was no different.
Mr. Right checked out the different attractions that we could attend while viewing the spring flowers and we decided on Washington on the Brazos monument. It was so much fun to visit such a historical place. The declaration of independence was signed there in 1836 when Texas became it’s own country.  There is a working farm and beautiful grounds packed with historical artifacts to visit as well as a museum. We had such an amazing trip planed just perfectly, logistically flawless – Thank you Pilot Daddy. If you are ever in TX in the spring end of March beginning of April check out the flowers they are a sight to behold.
Our pilot daddy took some very amazing pictures of the flowers and the area. Enjoy.

To close the trip we stopped in Magnolia TX a very charming little town where we ate a delish diner at the Blue Iguana - Mexican Restaurant excellent service. I had the most wonderful margarita there would highly recommend the establishment.

We love taking road trips and where I as you have read in “On a whim” I take the unplanned by the seat of your pants escapes husband plans and maps everything out which proves to be much more efficient and just as fun. I guess it is in their blood to make sure the car has gas, tires have enough pressure and there is a map in the car, much appreciated. Such a pilot thing to do though.
 I have high hopes for tonight.

Since Mr. Right went to work few days ago I have not been able to sleep. I am tired, very tired but sleep is not there I can’t fall asleep then when I do I wake up three hours later, four at most and then it is toss and turn and toss and turn. When he is home I sure can find a way to occupy some of the time and then lights out but since he is not here it is cold sheets and long long hours of exhausted attempts at falling asleep.
 I don’t go through this often but once in a while I just can’t sleep without him. I piled so many pillows on his side of the bed last night one would think that he was in bed, the trick did not work. So my solution for tonight is keep trying to find sleep. I could have a glass of wine but I refuse to use alcohol for purpose of fixing things such as inability to relax, or fall asleep.  Hopefully I am tired enough to knock out for more than my three hours.  
I love our lifestyle and I will be the 1st to say that absence makes heart grow fonder and that we get a lot of quality time together but this no sleeping thing blows the big Twinkie ya know what I mean. 

 It’s a little windy 

I am sure I am not the only wife who gets the ramp calls. Just landed, about to take off, love you, will be staying off shore today, calls that are made while walking to his aircraft.
I just got the, “Hey just tied down my bird and I am headed to lunch with my buddies” call but all I heard was wind. The noise was so freaking loud it hurt.  While the wind is gusting all I hear is deep growl, mumble that sure as heck sounds like my husband but I have no clue as to what he is saying. I am desperately trying to understand what he is trying to get across. I start yelling from frustration that I can’t hear him and ask him three times to turn his body so that I could hear. Finally it quiets enough for me to catch: “It is 30 mph wind out here”.
I love the last minute or just landed and can’t wait to talk to you calls but it is so frustrating when I just can’t hear a darn thing because his baritone is competing with the wind and as sexy as he sound he is loosing. All of you pilot wives am sure are smirking right now. All I am saying that when the pilot calls his wife, the wind is to quietly stop and accommodate for the conversation, when we hang up it is welcome to howl to its heart’s content.

The little things make a huge difference.

Ahhh the pilot wife reality is that you spend some holidays and some important days all by yourself while your husband is out on a trip.
Yesterday was my birthday and I tried like the dickens to keep busy so that I didn’t miss him and feel lonely. In the spirit of trying to keep myself busy I have moved 7 wheel barrels of leaves and stuff from one spot in the back of the hose to another (it had to be done) I also washed my car and vacuumed it, weeded the back yard and made sushi.
It totally sucks to feel lonely on your birthday. However the little things make a huge difference in making what would be a very sad day one that feels special.  I felt so much love coming from my friends and family via Facebook, e-mail phone calls. One of my friends left a birthday card on my door and it just put a huge smile on my face.  So I muddled through the day feeling a little sad because my other half was missing but I felt all warm and fuzzy and in better spirits with each and every birthday wish that came in. those gestures mean the world to us pilot wives when we are separated from our husbands on meaningful days.
The evening took an amazing turn when I went over for a birthday diner at my friend’s house we had Cesar salad, baked potato and grilled chicken followed by Blue Bell ice cream, brownies topped off with hot fudge. The food was excellent the company was wonderful. I felt light hearted and laughed so much and so hard it was a wonderful end to a day. Thank you for the wonderful evening and amazing food I loved every minute.
So even though I did fight loneliness by staying busy and physically exhausting myself the day is a good memory because of all the warm fuzzies that everyone offered - especially the loving texts and little phone calls from Mr. Right.  As much as I wish he was here in body his taking care to make sure I felt his love from miles away made my day that much more special. Thank you all for being so good to me and sharing in my special day even from afar.
“Unclear try a different freq.”

Were we even speaking the same language? So he has been home for three and a half days and was heading out for two weeks and we just couldn’t get it right. It seems that we were speaking different languages. It is not that we didn’t get along but just didn’t understand each other. The entire day seemed to be a session of send signals that were received incorrectly and vice versa.
For example I offered my friend to watch her kids while she went on a date with her husband in the evening after my husband went to work. I told him about it and he kept asking when the boys were coming I said that if they came it would be after he left, this exchange went around at least five times. Then he wanted help with his map transferring information from the old chart to the new and I just had no clue what he wanted even though I did it few years in a row before. . At one point he was role playing what it is like when you have the wrong frequency and he was dead silent just making puzzled faces then he pretend turned a dial and boom there he was talking again about the stupid chart. Funny but it still was the wrong channel I got nothing.
I just was not on the same wavelength with him. How frustrating for our last day together for sever weeks. This miss communication was so ridicules we laughed about it. The only time the whole day we seemed to be on the same page is when I told him that I was writing a blog about how we can’t seem to understand each other and he said I should name it “Unclear try a different freq.” So here you have it. We did have a good day even though we were not communicating.

 A night of “debauchery” 
  Ahh the life of a pilot, consists of so much. If you really think about it, it must be exhausting to travel all the time and live out of a suitcase more than half of the year. Just thinking about it makes me tired, then you throw on the responsibility of transporting so many people, getting them safely from one place to another while at times battling weather and always on the lookout for an emergency.
It is not only pilots who work hard really all of us do and we all experience stresses. So how do you help him unwind and relax let go of the daily weight of responsibility.   Ladies pamper themselves we all know how wonderfully relaxing a haircut is, a mani or pedi, massage, long bubble bath,  quite time with a romance novel. I know that I feel like a new woman when I take that time out for me. So what can we do to give our man that down time?
I encourage poker night in our pub. Hubby needs to be worry free with his buddies; he really is a better man after he has enjoyed a night of what I call “debauchery”. Debauchery – 1. to lead into a life of depraved self-indulgence, 2. an instance or period of extreme dissipation Source. I think of it more as an evening of letting go of responsibility, hanging out with close guy friends allowing yourself to indulge in beer cigars or other choice of drink while laughing, and just letting loose in a safe environment. This men time is so important in my opinion it builds egos and gives your husband time to just be a guy without censorship.
Last night was poker night at our house. My husband and his buddies commandeer my breakfast table and set up poker game in the pub where they smoke, drink, talk about all of the things that we wives do not want to hear about and get it out of their system. After a jolly good time they start the next day with a renewed enthusiasm and stories to share of the silly things they have said and done even if the stories are just for them.  I strongly believe that encouraging a night of “debauchery” once in a while makes them better husbands, lovers and daddy’s, so I surprise my husband with these man “dates” during which I hang out with the spouses and we get our girl time in. We don’t go in there and they leave us the main floor to discuss our stuff. Very healthy for all involved and I would strongly encourage all wives to support a once in a while night of freedom from responsibility in a safe environment where the men can be men. 

A little red dress as a result of a weather report.

This post is a little outside of what I normally post but it is part of life so read on with caution.  My pilot just came home from hitch and is only here for a few days before heading out for two weeks. As you have probably gathered from my previous posts I have been very deflated and feeling lost. Last night he has placed a permanent smile on my face, I am still glowing. Let’s get to the red dress.

My husband, being the pilot that he is, always checks weather.  He posted on Facebook the following “How I plan my life- Sunday will be cold and rainy = perfect day to nurse a hangover = getting loaded Saturday night = must open the bar for a poker night = going to the liquor store tonight.” So I replied “How I plan my life - Sunday will be cold and rainy = Carey will be nursing a hangover =guys poker night at the pub tomorrow night = I need to be sober because someone has to = tonight is my night to renew my relationship with sea breeze” He strolled his six foot one self to me and said “Wear a skirt and meet me at the pub for a drink”.

So I slipped into my little red dress that is barely there and my 3 inch red strappy heels and headed over to our pub. We have a pub at our house that is ours just for friends and parties where the guys have poker nights, smoke cigars, throw darts and generally get loud.
We sat alone and talked and it was like old times, it was like the heart aches that we have suffered have been put to rest, we laughed and talked about anything and everything, his eyes were relaxed with that lazy glint he gets right before they turn that deep deep blue that I drown in. I felt the tension slip away as I sipped the drink he made for me. We had some quiet music playing and we flirted we laughed we made out like we were kids – after 15 years together I still can’t get enough of him. It was so absolutely wonderful to know that he is still there, the same guy that holds my heart, and that we can survive another miscarriage and still smile. Creating this special evening had healed so much of my heart, I feel like a new woman. I am very lucky to have an amazing husband, lover, best friend.So if you have a little red dress ... and there is a weather report put both to good use.

Doing a mental shift

When I was in my twenties I pictured myself as someday having a child maybe… I was career driven while obtaining multiple college degrees. In my late twenties early thirties I wanted three kids all boys and thus we bought a five bedroom house to accommodate all of the children I wanted (husband wanted two I hoped we could sneak a third one in). After our first born I switched from being a career woman to being a mom. I could not imagine handing my precious bundle to someone else to care for. So I am a stay at home mom and having three boys was my perfect family picture.
We love being parents and where it does not stop us from entertaining and doing our things we have a great lifestyle going. We really enjoy the family stuff like trips to the zoo and fire museum, playdates ect. We wanted more children to love and share out lifestyle with.
In spite of our best efforts we are not able to have more at this time and after some of the heartbreaks that we have suffered both of us are thinking that maybe it is time that we quit trying. We have a son who is amazing and we do love our current situation it is the future picture that needs altering.
I can feel my mental picture of the future shift from a big family to a small family filled with love and laughter, travel and adventures. The only thing that I fear is that I will become overly protective of our son and that we will spoil him. As a result of the mental shift I am also exploring my future when our son starts kindergarten in a year and a half. With no more babies to take care of what am I going to do all day. I have a ton of education and I think that maybe finding a part time job that will allow me flexibility or a volunteer position will fill some of my time and the void.
It is so scary to step away from the picture that we had painted in our minds and to try to compose a new one for the future. We are definitely at a cross roads and I am not sure which road we will take. The fact that I am suspended in this uncertainty is made harder by the fact that my pilot is working and away. I have no one to bounce ideas off of and I know he feels it. Even though he has not been saying much he did write the following on Facebook “The only thing worse then needing and not being given, is to be needed and unable to give.” Does that not just say it all. As much as I am proud of him being a pilot and I really did adjust well to the lifestyle - him being away and hurting because I am sucks. I try to tell myself that there should be no pressure and there is fun in not having a plan or altering what you though you wanted your life to be because life does throw curveballs at you and it is all about being flexible but the emotional part of me sais bologna and wants answers and plans.  So the long and the short of it is that I feel a little off balance and unsure of what the future holds. I am grateful that I have an amazing husband, we will figure this out together.

Public humiliation
 My mother-in-law 12 and a half years ago said to me: “If I can give you one piece of advice for your years of marriage it is to never humiliate or berate your husband in public”. I took this and my father-in-laws advice not to ever go to bed mad to heart and my husband and I live by those wisdoms. Sure there are times I can think of one when I lost my cool with him in public or vice versa.  I regret the incident because I remember it clearly it was in a grocery store 11 years ago and I was just in a bad mood, not excusable.  I think that the no humiliating in public rule should apply to all members of your family not just spouse to spouse.
I have been feeling a bit of a disconnect with my son the last few days. I am not sure if other parents go through this but on occasion I feel like life gets so busy and I don’t hug him enough (he is three and it is hard to get him to cuddle), like we are running and running and I just tell him what to do and I don’t take the time to be with him, to sit and watch him play, to color. There has been a lot of whining and screaming from him and loss of patients that results in screaming from me. I think that in this madness of holiday preparations I have been too busy to just be with him, do things together and boy does it show.
Then yesterday in the store I snapped at him. We were in the meat section and I was looking at pork roasts and he had this little kid cart and he was being wild with it riding across the aisle and bumping the freezer. The store was packed with holiday shoppers and he had already rammed one gentleman to whom I apologized profusely, so I saw disaster looming. Instead of getting down to his level and saying calmly what needed to be said I snapped and yelled “If you don’t stop being wild with this cart I will take it away!” From the handsome three year old face my son’s eyes looked at me with such hurt and humiliation that I wanted to die on the spot. He said not a word but quietly stood at my side and held his cart perfectly still, in the crush of shoppers.
This morning while lying in my bed I thought about my husband and how much I miss him, how wonderful he is and how I hope that our son will take in his footsteps of honesty, honor and devotion to his family someday. Traits which are too often lost in today’s world. Then I thought about the store incident yesterday and my mother-in-law’s voice rang in my head. I realized that I don’t want to ever humiliate my husband or my son in public. I have a pretty good handle on the husband part but I will have to train myself in the son part.
Someone once told me that: “if you would not treat a stranger a certain way you should not treat those you love that way either”. So today I am taking the day to re-connect with my son. We still have a mass of things to get done before the holidays get here but I will take the time to be with him and we will cuddle and talk, we will go to church and sit together like I did with my parents (no daycare), we will bake gingerbread cookies and get our chores done together and if I fall behind then be it because I feel like I have been fighting with him for days and I don’t like it.

Eat Pray Love

Yes the movie “Eat Pray Love”. I watched it yesterday morning while my men were sound asleep upstairs and marveled at the wonderful scenery and architecture shown from Italy, India and Belize. As I was enjoying the rich landscapes and  plot about a woman who is in a miserable marriage and decides to take matters in her own hands, face the scariest option out there – divorce, followed by fulfilling her dreams of traveling the world in search of self, I thought about myself along with the many women that I know.
I thought about the struggles that so many of us face, struggles which have different faces, motherhood, being a wife to a pilot, being a wife, being an employee, being a good cook,  being a woman and many others. I thought about how many of us get lost in the ventures which we take on and how often we loose sight of the big picture and loose ourselves and our inter balance. As I watched Julia Roberts in the role of Liz rediscover the taste of food the serenity of prayer and the surrender to love I thought about how can normal every day women without the means to take a year off accomplish self-discovery.
I think  that the thing that really hit me in the movie was the fact that we all need to slow down and allow ourselves to enjoy the simple things in life, such as food and good times with friends or a simple stolen nap. The other thing that was so profound ( I actually went duh)  and something to live by is at the end of the movie where Liz is told that losing balance because you are in love is a part of life’s balance.  I think that at time I forget that the constant change that is my seemingly unbalanced life, my husband coming and going and being with us 100% and then missing him just as much is the balance in my life.
Understanding that you are who you are because of the choices that you make, taking the time to love yourself and treat yourself with kindness, while taking responsibility for your life, choices and how you treat others can prove to be freeing. We all have different ways to deal with things Liz traveled what is your way to find your balance. I remember a situation where was so thrown off balance I felt detached completely from everyone around me, I lost sight of what was important and what mattered to me. The best way to describe the state of my mind is to say I was bewildered. The way I dealt with the situation was 1st recognize that I am out of balance and lost, then I figured out why, to do that I wrote in my journal in addition I talked to my husband and my friends those whom I knew would listen and not try to guide but just listen. After I identified what threw me off track I seeked literature to help me sort things out and I attacked it with passion. I prayed and processed quietly and I realigned myself on my track, a track that is right for me and shared with those whom I love.
So take a moment to think about your life’s balance how do you accomplish it, how do you maintain it? Because even the best train if not maintained and cared for will break down and derail at some point. If you feel like it share, I would love to hear it.

Feeling a bit better – well a lot

So today in an attempt to not miss my husband so very much, after waking up to the cold side of his bed - I decided to do stuff. So son and I baked cookies then met with a girlfriend and her kids at the library for story time, and from there we headed over to their house for lunch. Oh there is nothing that will cheer one up like a close friend with whom you can be miserable if you want to, who will feed you amazing food and will listen to you complain. After eating scrumptious sandwiches and amazing potato soup I felt a lot better. So one solution to being blue is lean on a friend and bake cookies because you can’t be sad while baking cookies – and share said cookies with the friend who propped you up because that will make everyone happy.

Looking for some cheer …

 I have been reading a lot of posts all over from different pilot partners and it seems that there are a lot of us that are missing our significant others. As I am reading all the posts I am thinking “I can relate to that”. I miss my husband even though he has been gone less than twenty four hours.  So I started to think why such a wave of missing our husbands web wide and I decided that it’s the holidays. 

Yup it is the Christmas trees the music the lights the villages the feeling of joy and family that all of those things bring. While people self-included are running around doing Christmas shopping and thinking of the holidays when you have to do it alone it is a little sad. So I decided that I am not shopping until he is back, and then I will get it all done, until then I will allow myself to wallow in self-pity and miss my husband.  And I promise you that if I find something superbly inspiring that cheers me up I will share it, because after all that is what this is all about.
A nipping confession
Ahhh nine days of bliss… well not all nine days. So my pilot has been gone for 10 days, we missed him lots. This trip was especially hard on me because I was sick while he was at work and on my own with our three year old. Just as hubby came home our son came down with a virus which turned into a bacterial infection and an infection in his eye. As if having a sick kiddo was not stressful enough hubby picked up the junk too… but wait I am getting ahead of myself.
So he gets home and I will own this one hundred and ten percent, I am feeling off and I nitpick the poor guy to death. At the beginning of his days off before he got sick he refinished our back door, converted our gas fire place to wood (my dream - there is just nothing like a real fire place with the smell and crackle of the wood burning), gave the dog a bath, got the Christmas tree and decorated, went shopping and was an amazing daddy to our sick boy. For some reason I had a hard time adjusting to him being home. I am not sure if I was secretly pissed because I was sick and on my on all week, whatever the reason I should not have complained about his shoes not exactly where they belonged and his dirty glass upstairs and his tools in the house etc. So for the first three days I nipped at him until he finally bit back and I came around. (He is a patient man)
The rest of his days at home have been spent in great harmony and I know that when the time for him to go back to work comes I will miss him horribly. I feel a bit spoiled I had company for 10 days now, an adult to talk to and someone to snuggle with.  I wonder if the longer that he is away the longer the adjustment period when he comes home. But we have done 14 and 14 before and we were not having as much of a difficulty when he came home, the time he was gone was nearly unbearable two weeks is too long. This truly was a fluke, and I believe that it was completely my fault because I was off. Well so there you have it, I just had to vent because I truly feel bad about nipping at him.

What are we driven by
I have been playing on pilot wives groups and websites and a question came up from one of the group members about whether the size of the airplane that your pilot flies matters. After much consideration I posted a response that to us it does not matter, because what my husband flies suites our family needs. My response fit in with her post since her husband is driven by the schedule and how that works for him and his family versus what he flies.
After I walked away to do something else I continued to think about the post. I thought about what motivates different people. So I did some research on what motivates people.
“Intrinsic motivation and the 16 basic desires theory  Starting from studies involving more than 6,000 people, Professor Steven Reiss has proposed a theory that find 16 basic desires that guide nearly all human behavior.[11][12][13] The desires are:
  • Acceptance, the need for approval
  • Curiosity, the need to learn
  • Eating, the need for food
  • Family, the need to raise children
  • Honor, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of one's clan/ethnic group
  • Idealism, the need for social justice
  • Independence, the need for individuality
  • Order, the need for organized, stable, predictable environments
  • Physical activity, the need for exercise
  • Power, the need for influence of will
  • Romance, the need for sex
  • Saving, the need to collect
  • Social contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)
  • Status, the need for social standing/importance
  • Tranquility, the need to be safe
  • Vengeance, the need to strike back/to win
In this model, people differ in these basic desires. These basic desires represent intrinsic desires that directly motivate a person's behavior, and not aimed at indirectly satisfying other desires. People may also be motivated by non-basic desires, but in this case this does not relate to deep motivation, or only as a means to achieve other basic desires.” (Wikipedia -
So based on what motivates your pilot the size may or may not matter for him. It might be that his choices in his career are driven by what his views are of the needs of the family be it emotional or financial needs or other as perceived by him. It might be that his career is driven by goals that he has set for himself that will give him satisfaction when reached. The driving factor might be purely financial or one where he will obtain a position of power. Another option might be that he is driven by the need to be recognized, accepted and admired by his peers. It is very interesting question really think about it that goes beyond the size of the aircraft to what is the reason for choosing the size. I would like to thank the wife who brought this up for providing such interesting topic. Exploring what motivates your pilot might shine light on many behaviors and decisions. Hmm, so fun to analyze our partners. 

Oh that last 30 minutes today was brutal.
So today my husband was heading out to work and our son had his soccer practice. This morning we agreed that we would leave the house together around 5:45 so that we could make soccer and daddy could get to his base at a reasonable time. Those 30 minutes before we both departed was brutal.
It started out by me saying: “Ok, let’s get you dressed for soccer son”
Husband: “Oh are we leaving soon”
Me: ” Yes in 30minutes”
Since his bag was already packed I didn’t know what the big deal was.  Well clearly I forgot all about the computer bag, food, uniforms and other crap (you all know what crap I am referring to … safety vest, flight bag, knee board…), so any whose he is frantically running around gathering all his pilot stuff, going down the check list. I am running in circles around him trying to find the soccer shoes, I could swear they were in the laundry room, I think I walked by them ten times before I realized they were just outside the laundry room. Our son is trying to help but all of the sudden decides that naked time is more fun and I have to chase him with his soccer gear.
After the 30 minutes from hell, we were out the door, packed and waving to daddy. Daddy went off to work, and we were only 5 minutes late to soccer. We didn’t forget to pack anything so it was well worth all the frantic running around. Next Thursday I am giving an hour warning … yeah right.

The days we share together
 After husband being away it seems like for the last several months, we enjoyed a vacation together and now are looking forward to sharing several days together at home.
 Today we did some yard work and had a wonderful Halloween yesterday with our son and friends. It is fun having him home and watching from the sidelines as he is teaching out boy to shoot a bow and arrow, play trains and do manly things.
I am very lucky in the fact that my husband is an excellent dad. I think he would be a great dad even if he was an 8 to 5er but the fact that he goes away for weeks at a time makes him an even better daddy because he misses our son and when they get a chance to hang out it is all about quality time doing father son things. I get the much needed break while observing the male bonding over music, fixing things and playing. It is such fun to have him around. I am not really used to it and every break we get is like a special treat.

 Oh the wonderful wonders of Skype
My husband and I just replaced our computers. He got a new Mac I got a PC. Since both are new, both are equipped with built in cameras and speakers and microphones all the bells and whistles. Before the new computers we felt like trying Skype would be a hustle and so neither of us really took the time to look into it.

With the new computers needless to say we explored the wonderful world of Skype. Even though it took a few tries and a bit of research for it to work properly with the Mac – apparently there is a voice that defaults on the Mac and prevents the Skype from working. At any rate tonight was our 1st Skype chat. We did the whole video session and our son was in heaven he was so excited to see his daddy and tell him all about his day. The video option brought him home for about twenty minutes tonight and we were all thrilled. It seemed to have closed the gap a bit.

The odd thing that I was not expecting was to miss him more after we were done talking. I almost feel like the conversation as fulfilling, was a bit of a tease. I am used to not seeing him for weeks at a time so to have him drop in via video for a while is new and something to get used to – I wanted him to stay.
I do strongly recommend Skype as means of communication so here is the link to their official site Skype.

A hug would do me right now
It is amazing how when life gets you down all you can think about is a hug from that one man who holds a very special place in your heart.  His support and love, touch and caring words make the whole ugly fall away. What to do when he is nowhere near to give that hug.
Being married to a pilot who is currently stuck off shore with limited phone privileges puts a damper on the whole rely on you to pick me up when I am down thing. My husband usually is beached in for the night and thus I get unlimited access to him when I want and for how long I want (well not really the man does have to eat and sleep and he is still 2.5 hrs away ) but you know what I mean.  Now he has been essentially out of reach for three days and it is killing me. I can normally deal with the absence and be just fine but not being able to really talk, just getting a text here and there that he is safe is really cramping my style.
In a book that I have been reading “What Happy Women Know” the 1st chapter which is as far as I got addresses the power of positive psychology. Basically if you are having a negative reaction to some thought redirect the unpleasant to pleasant. So here we go. I had an amazing day with my son and my friend. My little boy played soccer and didn’t cry or try to go home. Then we checked out the children’s museum and had a blast and finished off with a fun bath time. I have a good life and even though I could really go for a snuggle right now I feel better. I think that having practice in positive self-pep talks maybe a useful tool to us pilot wives.

 I really thought I had packing down.
We have a trip coming up for my brother’s wedding out of state. Since I pack for my husband every other week for work one would think I was a packing pro. Well - not so much.
I have ten lists going of things to get done, things to pack and gifts to buy, directions to print. I have never realized how nerve wrecking traveling was until we had our son. I am constantly thinking about things to remember for him like the little potty seat, Pooh bear, his airplane blankey, mattress protector in addition to all the clothes and shoes. Without Pooh and airplane blankey there might be sleeping issues.
I have spent hours putting together outfits for him, myself and my husband, he will be home for one day before we take off on our trip and it will be busy enough. We have to do yard work, get haircuts, finish packing, get supplies for the gal that is watching our pets (I try not to lift the giant dog food bags for the giant horse dog we have), bank you get the idea. The day before we leave is going to be a running frenzy of attempting to wrap everything up.
I spend hours which feel like days in stores shopping for gifts and outfits and odds and ends and I hate shopping. I cannot stress to you enough how much I hate shopping. If I didn’t have to shop for another year it would be too soon and Christmas is just around the corner ugh. But this is not all about shopping it’s about packing.
So my guestroom is full of folded cloths, wedding outfits on hangers, rows and rows of shoes and suitcases and piles of other stuff that has to go with us. The list is winding down and I feel like I have not accomplished a thing and the only thing that keeps  me going and sane is the ten thank you text messages I get daily from my husband saying how much he appreciates me dealing with all of the stuff for this trip. So I am looking forward  to actually being on the plane and taking off because if I forgot something it will be too late to worry about it and I will be looking forward to spending time with my husband, son and family and friends. And if I truly thought I had packing down I was delusional at the moment.

Communication is composed of "55% body language, 38% tone of voice, 7% content of words"  This pretty common knowledge that the same sentence when said in different tone with different facial expression can men two different things. It can go from positive to negative from encouraging to aggressive. There are many studies conducted on how different cultures communicate and what is acceptable in one is offensive in another. Majority of this is body language. So what happens when you take body language out of the equation.
My husband and I suffered some ferocious fights in out early years of marriage. They never were physical but none the less  both of us would limp away with significant bruises (emotional). One day the company I worked for sent their employees self-included to a seminar on communication. The subject was how to diffuse a situation with an irate customer. The entire two day seminar was very enlightening on how people communicate what they hear versus what is being said and how to be an active listener so that you allow the other person to feel that you are truly paying attention and are involved not just being dumped on.
We were presented with a communication wheel   which was a great tool and it allowed you to move through a conversation while actively listening and understanding the issue at hand and remaining in control of the situation. My husband and I used it for years to aid us in discussing a problem if it got heated one of us would say :”get the wheel” and then we were able to talk anything out.
Now that he is a pilot much of our communication is written via text or e-mail. We found that in place of the wheel we will argue over text. One is more careful when they write and they tend to think things through. In addition you can’t be interrupted and can formulate an appropriate response.  Not being able to see the other person as the case is in many over the phone conversations we had to learn how to handle each other with care and not to be afraid to ask for clarification.
 Communication is very important but there is more than one way to communicate and depending on the individuals personality and the situation the outcome can be positive. Even small amounts of communication are better than none. So even though our pilots are away and we might be missing 55% of what they say because we can’t see them I will take the other 45% anytime.

Psych Babble
I have looked and looked for studies that show the effects of a pilot lifestyle on the immediate family (wife, children). There are not very many. There is some information out there about the personality that is desired by the employers, but not much on how the family reacts to constant travel and the danger factor.
 In an article in the Business Insider March 11 2010 issue pilots were listed as the 3rd most dangerous job in America. I know that it was up there I did not know it was number three. Being a police officer and a firefighter is safer than being a pilot. Number one most dangerous job is fisherman and number two is logging workers. Interesting. So danger, constant travel while trying to raise a family there has to be an effect.
I tried to find out what the divorce rate was for pilots and even though there are many studies on divorce none name pilot as a high profession. AIDS (Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome) is thrown around without any supporting data. Not surprisingly dancers have the highest divorce rate. One of the articles brought up a good question – is it the profession or the personality that is attracted to the profession that dictates the divorce rate. They don’t know.
What about the kids. Are there self-esteem issues, are there security issues are moms asked to compensate? How do you present a united front when half your front is gone at least half the time? I think there is much to explore in this area too.
I would like to see if there is interest in participating. My goal is to find common trends and coping mechanisms for pilot wives and children of different ages. With all of the networks for pilot wives and the hundreds of women who are in the support groups and forums there is a need. With that need there comes the question of how can we help each other. Can we gather enough wisdom to have great kids and healthy marriages can we find cure for AIDS – by the way I hate that there even is an acronym. So here is my psych babble what do you think?

Sooth your soul

It is day six on my own and one to go until he comes home. I felt so restless and scattered, frustrated, burned out. It seems that the scattered frustration has been lurking all week but today it really reared up. I was so tired and the though of him coming home for a tease of a couple of days just to go out for weeks again was too much. So I got into my sports cloths packed water and snacks and got on my bike with my little man in tow in his Schwin.

We did the “Lake Ride” it is a 15 mile loop that takes me to the lake. The 1st couple miles were easy physically with my brain running in circles over what I wanted to do today, if I wanted to write, where was my husband at the moment, how much I miss him and so on. Three miles in the burn started and the sweat was pouring even though it was barely 70 – I have not done this in over a month. Now I was concentrating on listening to my heart pounding in my chest and ears and every muscle burning and pulling. It felt like hell and I thought “just turn around”. But then I knew that 6 or 7 miles just will not cut it, so I pushed through the pain. The trees gave me shade, the wind dried my skin and the fall air with musty leaves tickled my nose. I was starting to relax even though the physical exertion was becoming more and more painful.
Finally I came to this.

Here I got off my bike unloaded my son and we sat on our bench. The sun licked my skin and I could smell the water, hear the crickets chirp and the birds sing. The sun reflected on the gentle waves and I heard them slap the wood on the edge of the lake. The tension began to flow out of my body. I find peace every time I go. The scenery and the sun unravel my nerves and soothed my soul. And then I biked back with a light heart and knowledge that I can do anything. Looking forward to the rest of today and the few days with my husband, that are just around the corner, cherishing the smell of fall and the woods. This is my way of getting a grip, semi punishment for my body because let me tell you I hurt and a reward for my soul and my heart in gaining peace. If you have a way of soothing your soul please share it with us in the    section we would love to hear how you smooth out your bumps in the road.

No really I am FINE

No really I am FINE and to quote my favorite movie The Italian Job you know what FINE stands for Freaked Out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional – yup that about sums it up. The paralyzing fear for his safety is overwhelming today so I am freaked to put it mildly. I feel like I can’t breath, can’t function. Cause of this madness a bad dream – why does my brain mess with me!  So how do I deal, because there is a little three year old that counts on his mommy to be normal and on top of it.
I plan my day and fill it with activities. First we go to the park with a friend. And that little outing, some fresh air and company helps a lot. It puts me at ease. I have someone to vent to she shares her day and I can think of other things than the doom that is hovering over me.
I text my dear husband to ask that he text me through out the day so that I can have some peace of mind and can relax a bit, knowing that he is safe. This is the I for insecure. I love it when he texts and I am not sure if this freaks him out or not (when I ask) but he is super good about it and he humors me and drops me a lovely note once it a while like: “I am fine. Relax.” And an hour later “Still okay” “Stuck due to weather. Going to lunch”. I think he tries to make fun so that it puts me at ease or else he thinks I am a little out there.
Later I try to find funny pictures for my blog and tackle tirelessly the laundry list of things to be done before he comes home tonight. That is the N as in neurotic. Can I tell you that when I have days like today my house is spotless everything is in order and I clean and I bake and I cook. Well at least I put all that nervous energy to good use. Have to cope somehow. The little guy loves helping so we do chores together and we turn it into such fun.
The E – emotional pretty much hangs around all day and comes and goes as I talk myself into believing that all will be fine for always and then the fear rears its ugly head and I fight back tears because I am so tired and I just want to hold my pilot. And then the strength kicks in and I feel fortified and calm. I am a woman on a mission.
This is the emotional rollercoaster that I ride once in a blue moon as a wife of a pilot. It helps knowing that I am not alone and other wives feel this too. And not just pilot wives but all the wives out there whose husbands are in a line of duty be it military, firefighters, policeman to name a few. We all have our fears and find ways to cope. When you find whatever it is that works for you to keep you happy, and collected run with it. And “I am FINE” in some ways works for me, although I know that I will be GREAT when he crosses the threshold of our home tonight.
(GREAT – Grateful, Relived, Excited, And Tremendously happy)

The double life of the pilot’s wife

The pilot does the coming  and going but …  their going and coming makes the family live a double life too.

When my pilot is here I work part time as a substitute teacher.  We have wonderful days off that seem to fly by like the blink of an eye. I feel very torn between working and not. The extra little bit of my income is rewarding and so is being in a different setting. I feel like I am contributing somewhere else other than at home. The position allows me flexibility and I make my own schedule. On the other hand I do miss my son and I do miss my husband when I do go to work and there is definitely a bit of guilt there. So when he is at home I work a bit and still juggle the home work responsibilities. I make sure that I make time for myself, time for him and time for us as a family. I tend to loose myself in the juggle even though I try really hard to make sure that we have a good balance.

When my husband is away I am a full time single mom who shoulders the entire household. Where the absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder it is also a bit frustrating. Why you ask well – that big bug is yours to kill, your son’s nightmares are yours to chase away, and then there is always the “I want my daddy”.  It is your responsibility to find a balance between doing some things for yourself and making sure that your child is stimulated. It is such a balance to maintain as is of activities, housework, play dates, and find time for you. Some days I feel like I need to write down a schedule:  at this time we will do this activity for this amount of time and then we will move on to this and so on and so forth. During his absence I have total freedom to plan my days how I want and without having to consider what he might be in the mood to do. Our son being only three goes along with the flow so you could say I get a bit spoiled being the planner and setting the pace.

It is fun to have such different opportunities and being able to experience both a life as a stay at home mom and a life where you work and live a semi normal 8 to 5. This also allows daddy to be at home and enjoy  one on one with his son without mommy’s interference. There are some adjustment issues like remembering that you need to include everyone in the decision making process of what we will be doing today and the give in when need be.  It is amazing to me how flexible we can be if we take a positive attitude and fall into routine from one week to another. It sure is a colorful and interesting life.

First day back jitters

You have waited, waited and waited, a week, two weeks or more, and he is finally home. You are so excited to see him, you are all dressed up and the house is clean and you have make up on and you just can barely contain yourself, and everything is falling apart. Nothing is going smoothly you both snip at each other, are annoyed and frustrated. Why?

Well lets examine what is happening here form a non emotional point of view.
You have been alone and lonely. You need to talk to another adult, your best friend, your lover. You are starved for attention.
He is tired, over worked and in some cases jetlagged. He is coming from having no one or very few people to talk to and quiet time to a house full of people and even pets who want him and are talking at him and demand his attention.
So you need company and he wants to ease in, he needs quiet you need to talk and now both of you are annoying the other person. You have a laundry list of things for him to do and he is feeling overwhelmed and either shuts down and does nothing or in the case of my husband does everything and escapes the madness that is our house and now you are mad because he has been gone and now is neglecting you to fix that runny toilet and mow the lawn and you just want to be with him.
So how do you fix it? There is not a way or at least I have not found one that is fool-poof and guaranteed to give you a honeymoon return every time. My only suggestion and trick that I found is to listen to clues when he is on his trip and be understanding when he returns. Since he is only home for few days why wreck a day or two by feeling disappointment. It takes sacrifice and self-control and self coaching but it can be done. But, aha and here is the catch: it takes two to have fight or to make peace so my husband and I talk about how we are feeling and what we are thinking and what we need and we try to meet in the middle. Sometimes we still botch it up but then there is always tomorrow.

Truths I had to learn:

• I am okay alone. There are positive ways to fill your time such as reading, playing with your child, exercise, cooking, baking and house work, hobbies, events for our son.
• Just because I can’t touch him, smell him or see him it does not mean that he is not missing us and thinking about us. And apart of me just as much as when he is here.
• I can handle anything - it just takes preparation, thought, a plan and support of those who love me. He can support from far away just as well.
• He is not a mind reader and when he is away I need to tell him if I feel happy, sad, lonely, frustrated, excited… This is the only way he can be of any help and have involvement. If I don’t share he is out of the loop and I can’t have expectations because that is unfair.
• It is very important to keep in touch via phone, text or e-mail so that he is in the loop on what is happening when he is away – especially about the kids. This makes the transition easier when he returns and he is not coming in to a new set of rules clueless. That can hurt everyone.
• He pays a price that I will never truly understand no matter how hard I try – I forget this one and can be insensitive at times. Still work in progress.
• The first day back and last day home are hard so be kind to him and yourself.
• The benefits are greater than the negatives. People tend to hold on to the bad and forget the good so I mentally list out the good. If it was not for our families benefit we would not be doing this. All lifestyles have significant struggles – mine are just different.

12 bold ideas for a happy marriage

The Intermittent Husband –I. Hubinger, AW Parker and A Clavrino
This is a scientific article describing a study done on wives of pilots, seaman, miners and other occupations where the husband is away for substantial timeframes. This study shows the effects of such lifestyle on marital satisfaction, social support, and psychological well being. The data presented and found is very interesting it suggests that women do suffer from some sleep disturbances, minor depressions and other issues when married to a man who travels and is away for periods of time. It shows that community support, support groups for wives and frequent communication with the absent husband help with some of the feelings that wives experience. It is a very interesting document with a lot of data and supporting evidence.