It's nap time at the Kitsteiner house. And that means only one thing:
Okay, so nap time is about more than enjoying the Lindor Truffles my sister-in-law Elizabeth gave me for Christmas. (She also sent me knee-high socks. Never thought of these before. Knee-high for normal people means tall-enough for me! Love them!)
Everyday I shoot to have all kids down for naps at the same time -- at least for a little while. Today, I got the older three down at the exact moment that Hannah woke up. But 75% is good. I'll take it. She's cooing in the living room while I am doing a little blogging. (Okay, so right when I typed that she started crying. Now she is on my lap while I type this -- way slower.)
Yesterday, amazingly, all four children were actually sleeping at the same time. This has not happened at a nap time in, well, ever, I think. Well-before Hannah was born, the boys stopped napping. They still do "quiet rest time" each day. They can read books on their bed. (Actually, Sidge sleeps in another bed on the third floor since they'd just play if they were in a room together.) But still, everyone rests from about 1:30-3:30pm. But to have everyone asleep at the same time?
Quite an occurrence.
And speaking of occurrences ...
There has been no shortage of them in our house recently.
Some minor occurrences from this past week include:
- Burrito making! Yes, our little Abigail has perfected the art of rolling up her little baby sister in her blanket like a burrito. I walked in just as Hannah had finished her third roll into her blanket. I burst out crying. It's funny now. It wasn't then.
- The high jump! Same little girl has perfected jumping over her sister while she is in on the floor. This lead to our decision to make sure Hannah and Abigail are never left in the room together unsupervised. No small feat with four kids and a two-story house.
- Stair tumbling! We aren't sure how many marble stairs Abigail fell down last night, but it was enough for JB to hear the thumping and come running. No bleeding but lots of bad bruises, including one on and behind her ear. Man is it important to pray for our children!
- Sentence talking! Abigail has started using three word sentences like "Bubby eat that" (Scrubs ate the puzzle piece.) All of a sudden her language is taking off. She still signs some, but generally, she can use words now instead of signing.
- Reading! The boys have started reading 2 and 3 letter words. It is so fun to watch their learning taking off.
But the biggest occurrence is one that we thought might be but never was ...
The biggest news is that JB will not be deploying.
I didn't write about this on my blog for obvious reasons, but the day before Christmas (Great timing, huh?), we got word that there was a tasking for Japan. This means that the military had asked Lajes to provide a doctor to go to Japan for a minimum of two months. The Base in Japan was short-manned.
To say this knocked the wind out of us would be an understatement to say the least.
I won't get into all the details here, but I will say that ultimately, it was decided that JB could not go on this deployment due to the fact that (1) he is running the Clinic by himself right now (the other family medicine doctor, our good friend Josh, is out of the country with his wife preparing for the birth of their fourth little boy) and (2) he is beginning the process of separating from the military which is lengthy and time-consuming and requires him to do a lot of out-processing that he could not do out-of-the-country.
The military is a funny thing. Experiences like this remind me why military members and their family members deserve all the love and encouragement you can give them. While our family was incredibly relieved that he would not be deploying, another family is getting ready to say good bye to someone they love. They are a family we know well, and they also have four children. It's incredibly difficult -- emotionally and physically.
In our case, the timing could not have been worse. For one thing, we'd have less than a week to prepare for his departure. JB's parents are getting ready to head back to the States in mid-January for six weeks. They will be tying up a lot of loose ends with their house and his father's job. This would have therefore left me on this little island in the middle of the Atlantic by myself in the winter with four kids five and under for two months or more while trying to handle all the details for a move back to the USA without my husband here.
We are relieved we will not have to do this. And sad that someone else will. I don't understand the military. I don't get the system. This is supposed to be a place where doctors are not deployed. They are considered "deployed in place" since they are already in a very remote location. It's one of our reasons for choosing to come here. It is so hard when the system is confusing and you don't understand it.
I know this is a job we chose as a couple. JB has chosen to wear the uniform. This means that he has agreed to give his life for his country -- and to go anywhere his country asks of him. I know that, but I don't like that. I feel like other military spouses handle all this so much better than me. But maybe it is just a front that we all put on -- a tough face to make sure that we can handle whatever cards we are dealt.
At some point, probably after we separate from the military, I'd like to explore my feelings about the military further. It has been a great experience for us, and I would encourage anyone considering going into the military, to jump at the chance. It's a great life full of adventures and experiences. But the threat of deployments and moves so frequently is so incredibly difficult on a family. Just having it looming over us for three days was enough to drive us all batty.
... glad that one didn't happen.