Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Husband is Amazing

I've written from time to time about our future plans and reasons I don't want to continue living the Army life. Well all of that has been totally confirmed by living in my hometown, again. The plan was for us to just live here for the year while Michael is in Korea. We have decided instead to make this our permanent home.

Unfortunately it isn't feasible financially for Michael to get out of the Army right now, and he already reenlisted through 2016, for Germany. If we moved to Germany with him we'd be there for three years and chances are that one of those years would be spent with him in the field all of the time preparing for a deployment and another of those years would be spent deployed. With that in mind it seems much preferable for him to just go by himself for two years. Plus it will be easier for us to save money with him overseas where they will pay for his living quarters and our BAH, rather than having to pay for two separate households just with BAH like we will when he comes back stateside. So the two years of him in Germany will give us a chance to save up money and get rid of debt, making it easier to sustain two households for the last year and a half of his enlistment in the states.

One reason I want to stay here is that if I don't stay here now I don't think Michael will ever get out of the Army. Not because he wouldn't want to, but because we'd keep putting off getting out of debt and saving up, and then when each ETS date comes up he would have no choice but to re-enlist yet again. And before we know it, 20 years will have passed by! Living here forces us to take things seriously and really will motivate me to get things under control, because I don't want to have to move!

We're already comfortable here with McKaleigh in preschool and dance class. I really like the idea of the girls going to the same schools and having the same friends their whole life. Something about knowing for sure what will generally be happening in the future is really reassuring for me. Obviously there are still a lot of unknowns, but nowhere near the extent of Army life where we have no idea where we will be 3, 6, 10 years from now. One thing that makes this all possible is that I will finish my bachelors in human services before he gets out of the Army and human services is a field that is always growing, so finding a job to support us should not be a problem. The plan is for Michael to use his G.I. Bill once he gets out, which will also give us a housing allowance and make the transition easier.

The reason this is titled "My Husband is Amazing" is because it makes me sad that he is going to miss so much. He is sacrificing a lot to let us stay here and start feeling stable, and I love him for it so much. I couldn't imagine doing what he will be doing, but he is completely in agreement that this is what's best for our family and he's willing to make those sacrifices for us. I'm just really glad that he's totally okay with living in Iowa forever, haha! I think it helps that he hates the heat and loves the fall, which I think makes Iowa perfect for us:). We're just getting into fall now, and it is just beautiful out. I'm excited to have many more autumns here:).

Friday, September 14, 2012

To medicate or not to medicate

l've dealt with depression since high school. After a very traumatic experience caused by my depression and some outside factors, I was prescribed anti-depressants. They helped me tremendously, I felt like I had more energy and and overall was just happier. After about a year I discontinued taking them, because I didn't have the same stresses in my life anymore, also I planned to enlist in the Army Reserves, and I wanted to skip the waiver process.

Ever since I've been up and down. My depression isn't constant, but when I'm in a bout it is pretty bad and it can take me awhile to get out of it. Unless you have depression you might not really get what I mean. It's not just being sad, everyone is sad sometimes, it's the overwhelming hopeless feeling, like things will never get better. Logically I know things can get better, but that's not how it feels. And the worst part about it is that I don't even know why I feel that way most of the time. It's not like there are specific events that make me sad, and I always try to talk myself out of it. Usually I don't snap out of it until I hit a breaking point. It's like things will get so bad that eventually something inside of me says "enough!" and I start to feel better. Even though I try to tell myself to snap out of it right at the outset of a depression bout, it doesn't really work. I think that's one of the worst things about depression, is that you know what it is you need to do to make yourself happy, but you just can't get yourself to do those things.

So that is why I am considering getting back on anti-depressants. I have my 6 week postpartum checkup on Monday, so I may see if he will prescribe me something. I'll let you know how things go.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What do I want to be when I grow up?

I've written in the past about how I am currently in an online program to get my associates degree. (I'm more than halfway through my very last class, by the way, yay!) Either next spring or next fall I plan on starting a program to finish up and get my bachelors degree in either human services or psychology. My intention was to become a licensed therapist eventually, after completing the necessary postgraduate work, or working at some sort of human services agency.

I was recently looking at an article about the best and worst jobs in America. Clinical psychologist was in the top 25 and right next to it was psychiatrist. I'll be honest, the first thing that popped into my head was "wow a psychiatrist makes twice as much as a psychologist." Then I started thinking back to when I was in college in Lincoln and switched my major to psychology. Back then I had originally wanted to be a psychiatrist, then upon realizing I would have to go to medical school, I changed my mind and decided to go the therapist/psychologist route instead. At the time I was pretty convinced that I was not interested in science, I didn't enjoy it and didn't think I could handle taking so many science classes. Now things are a little different. Last year I became an atheist and since then I have had a new found interest in science. I also took a sociology class about minority groups and in the gender section it talked about how girls are often made to feel as though they are not good at science, and eventually lose interest in the subject because of gender biases in our society. This has also made me rethink my feelings toward science.

So now I am seriously contemplating medical school. I still have to finish my bachelors, and still intend to major in psychology. I figure that if I have a change of heart I will be able to go forward with my original plan, but psychology knowledge will definitely benefit me as a psychiatrist as well. I will also likely have to take a year of pre-med classes, but at this point I'm thinking I will take them outside of a degree program. The online program I am planning on doing doesn't offer much in the way of math and science classes, so it has me thinking that maybe I should look into other programs, but I'm nervous that other programs won't accept my associates degree in full. I will need to take my pre-med classes in an actual classroom setting anyways, so it makes sense to me to just go forward with my bachelors online, and then find a nearby school where I can do my pre-reqs when Matilda is slightly older.

I don't want to go to medical school until Matilda begins kindergarten or at least preschool, because I want to be able to be a stay at home mom with all three girls until they are school-aged. In 2016 Adelaide will be starting kindergarten, Matilda will be starting preschool, and Michael will be able to get out of the Army. So it would make sense for me to apply to medical schools and try to start that year. I know it could be a struggle, but I can't imagine getting through medical school without being able to totally count on Michael, and there's just no way that's possible as long as he's in the Army. Also, being a non-traditional student I'm likely going to have to go to whatever school I can get into, which means we'll have to relocate. The Army won't care that I want to go to medical school, so that would mean that Michael and I would have to live separately for possibly eight years and there's no way that's happening.

Oh yeah, did I mention? After medical school is a four year residency, so going this route is a huge commitment. I will be in my mid to late thirties by the time I can begin practicing as a board certified psychiatrist, which will be around the time McKaleigh starts high school. I will essentially be spending a majority of their school aged years in medical school and residency. Part of me feels like I shouldn't do this, just because I want to be there for them more. But at the same time, what kind of example would I be setting for them by not going after my dreams? I know that I can do this and still make time for the girls, it's just a matter of using my time efficiently.

This is getting super long, but it's really just one of those posts where I have to write out everything that's going through my head in regards to this idea. The more I think about it, the more I want to do this and the more confident I become. And to get into medical school you really have to prepare, so it's definitely something I need to be thinking about now. Hopefully this will give me the motivation I need to finish this last class of my associates!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just gotta get it all out

Ugh! So I'm just in one of those "I need to complain and whine about everything" moods! I'm going to try and keep each thing short and to the point so it doesn't just turn into me rambling on and on and on.

For starters, I have an awful cold, I hope it's not the start of the flu, but my head just feels blech and I can't stop sneezing and blowing my nose!

The girls have been overwhelming lately.
  • Matilda has been extra fussy and has been spitting up a lot and is super gassy lately. I obviously don't fault her for the stress she has been causing me, but it's really frustrating when I'm trying to quickly get something done and have to go to her every minute or two to calm her down again. Babywearing has been a great help, but sometimes it's easier to get certain things done without wearing her.
  • Adelaide is being a typical 2 year old and is getting into everything and destroying things. I expect this and know her behavior is normal for her age, but it just feels like it's nonstop right now! I got the BHG Storage magazine today, which I have been looking for for awhile, and she's already ripped a page out of it! That's just one of many, many, many things.
  • McKaleigh has turned into a big bully since starting preschool. She plays much rougher with Adelaide than she ever did before, including pushing and hitting... a lot. And in general she just does really mean things that she never did before. I know it's just a phase but it's really hard to know what exactly to do in this situation. It seems like Adelaide is crying about something every 10 or 15 minutes and it's exhausting playing referee all day long. I find myself actually looking forward to her going to preschool tomorrow just so I can get a break from her picking on Adelaide. They do still play nicely together between all the fighting, so it's not all bad, but very tiresome.

I do not want to move overseas.
  • It's going to be a pain in the butt getting all the things done that we have to do before going, since Michael is in Korea and we are not near an Army post.
  • I really want to focus on paying off our debt but I'm going to feel pressure to spend money on traveling while we're in Europe, which is going to dramatically delay getting out of debt.
  • The girls won't even remember the time we spend in Europe because they're so young, so that makes it feel like a really big waste of money to take any trips.
  • I'm really close to my mom, she lived in Italy for two years and I just hate the thought of spending three more years with hardly ever getting to see each other.

And I'm so tired of school!
  • I just cannot get motivated to do my schoolwork, every week it is a huge struggle to get everything done.
  • I usually end up turning everything in late. My teacher doesn't mark any points off, but it adds stress to me trying to hurry and get it done before I have to start working on the next week's stuff. I have two assignment that I still need to do and at this point I think I'm just going to forget about them. I always say I'll work on them, but I think I'm just going to move forward.
  • It's a one credit hour class with the same amount of work as a three credit hour class. I don't understand how that works!

Those are the biggest things that have been bothering me and getting me down. I have to put the girls to bed soon and then hopefully I can force myself to do some school work. I am so dreading the school work part though:(.

To end this on a positive note, I dyed my hair this weekend and I love how it turned out:). You can check it out in this youtube video. I talk about the hair color at the beginning of the video and then the rest of the video is a baby carrier haul, where I show and talk about all of my wraps and other carriers.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Need to Redirect My Motivation! (New Hair-do)

I am having trouble with being motivated in certain areas. I keep letting the dishes and tidying fall behind before I take care of it. I have an assignment that I still haven't done and I've already come around to the day where I have to start working on this week's assignments, too. The girls' room is a mess. And there are probably some other things that I need to get going on that I just don't want to do for some reason.

Instead what I have been spending all of my extra time on is my hair. I combed out my dreads recently and have a new obsession with learning about haircare and styling. I feel like I've never been happy with my hair, because I've never taken the time to learn how to really do it. I've been watching tons of videos on YouTube, and have seriously learned so much. Already I have done things to my hair that I never really thought I would be able to do successfully. I grossly underestimated my abilities before!

So I am very motivated to learn... just not about anything school related! Eek!

Check out my YouTube channel if you want to see what my hair looks like now:

I'll probably be making some videos in the future about the things I've been learning... but maybe I should get some homework done first:P.

Right after getting it cut.