I think my living room shrunk. Actually, oddly enough, it looks bigger with all the furniture. We went from having two armchairs to an explosion of furniture filling up our house. It’s probably a good thing they didn’t bring the dining room table, because at this point, I don’t think we have room for it. And I’m loving it! Once we have a garage sale and get rid of the two ancient armchairs, our living room setup will be perfect. And, once we get the dogs’ loveseat (yes, they have their own sofa; keeps them off mine) moved back into the office, we’ll have room for the table. I’m so excited to eat at a real table I can hardly stand it! It certainly would have been nice for last night’s dinner. Dinner that I fixed for Ryan!

Yes, Ryan is finally home. And, even if I hadn’t figured that out last night, I’d know it this morning. I woke up to find massive piles of digital camouflage covered stuff everywhere. I had to wade through a sea of tactical gear this morning to get to a crying Carson. It was like a scene from American Gladiators. I needed protective gear just to cross the living room. But I don’t care. I’m just glad to have him home. I didn’t even mind when he snored right in my ear last night. Or when he turned on the bright overhead light at four-thirty this morning. He did almost get his legs broken, though, when he yelled out loud for Dexter after I had already put Carson down for the night. I forgave him when Carson didn’t wake up.

Speaking of Carson, he slept through the night for a total of four nights in a row. I try to nurse him as close to bedtime as possible, but usually it’s just a top-off and a fresh diaper before he goes to bed. This morning instead of fully waking him when he started crying at five-thirty, I went in like it was the middle of the night: hugged him close to stop the crying, a quick diaper change, a good feeding, and a quiet burp before I put him back down to sleep. That worked like a charm. He never fully woke up, and he’s been back in bed for over an hour now. Since Ryan got stuck with staff duty this weekend (it stinks, but someone has to do it–just wish it wasn’t Ryan), we won’t be heading home until Sunday morning. That means we’ll have a full seven nights exactly to establish the sleeping habit before we ruin it by traveling all day. My plan is to ride in the backseat and attempt to keep Carson awake and entertained for most of the trip. Haha, good luck, right? Keep your fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I just got a text message from Ryan saying they got zonked this morning, and he’s off for the rest of the day. Holy cow, could the day get any better? For those of you unfamiliar with the Army term ‘zonk,’ it means, “you have thirty seconds to get the heck out of here, and I’d better not see you again, or you’ll work your butt off,” in a good way. It’s usually done as a reward for hard work, or when a commander wants to boost morale. For example, you’ve busted your butt down in Fort Polk for a month without seeing your family, and there’s a deployment looming in the near future. You arrive at PT, expecting to have to work all day, and so you’re all standing there in formation, waiting to begin, when suddenly, whoever is in charge of the formation yells, “ZONK!” A split second later, there is a mad scramble of soldiers like you’ve never seen before. Soldiers who’ve been trained all their careers to be orderly and move in perfect formation are suddenly making mad dashes to their vehicles, and for about thirty seconds, it is pure chaos. And it is awesome. During my chemical officer school, we were sitting in a classroom for the umpteenth day in a row, waiting for what we thought was the beginning of class, when our NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge) decided to pass the time by playing hangman. It took us awhile to get the first couple of letters (zonk is not an easy word to guess), and people were making stupid guesses at the word, when suddenly I figured it out. I threw my hand in the air, and when he called on me, I said, “can I say it?” He smiled then, because he knew I had gotten it. “Yeah, go ahead.” I yelled, “ZONK!” and the tiny classroom full of forty-one lieutenants exploded into insanity. People started shoving books, laptops, papers, and water bottles into backpacks and leaping over desks to get to the door.  Yeah, zonk is undoubtedly the Army’s greatest literary invention.


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