Saturday, February 22, 2014

Center of a Tornado

And I again return to the blog.

I really don't know what my problem is. I enjoy writing, I really do! There are many things I still want to blog about too (ummm... hello, Christmas! Snow! Ryan's Birthday! Valentine's Day!).

But every time I open up this little window I feel like such a heavy weight comes over my mind and it is exhausting to think of how to explain what's happening... or even what has already happened.

Life is moving fast.

Like, crazy, busy fast.

But at the same time I feel like I'm at a standstill.

I wonder if this is what it feels like to be in the center of a tornado.

Let's take a step back.

I posted before about Lana's doctor appointment. After the blood test we were called with the results: they found she is not absorbing carbohydrates properly. There might have been more information but Ryan took the call so I'm not certain what else was said. We have a referral to Dayton Children's to see gastroenterology in a week or two. I'm looking forward to figuring out what's going on with her little body and hoping it is a minor food allergy or some virus thing that can be cleared up quickly and easily.

A few weeks ago I took the kids to the dentist. It was required for EFMP paperwork (which I'll get into momentarily). Lana looked good. Doc said she has a small mouth and already has crowding issues so it is very likely she will require braces and possibly more extensive dental care as a young teen. Will also looked good, but they found a cavity and we scheduled an appointment to take care of it.

The cavity appointment did not go well at all. They gave Will nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help him relax so he would be more compliant during the procedure. Well, it relaxed him but he was still stubborn and unhappy and the dentist was unable to safely put on the crown and had to pull the plug. He told me that people on nitrous oxide kind of respond like a drunk person. Some people become very easy going and you tell them to do something and they happily do it... then you have others that become ornery and aggravated and you tell them to do something and they balk or fight back. It happens.

So in order to take care of Will's cavity they want to put him under sedation. Now we had to work quickly because our dental insurance only covers sedation until age 6. Will turns 6 in about 2 weeks. Thankfully there were availabilities in the schedule to accommodate him and since we had to see Will's doc in the upcoming week we could get the health paperwork filled out easily. Whew. In a couple days Will is scheduled for the procedure and while they have him knocked out they will take full x-rays and address any additional cavities they may find

Okay, that's part of what's going on. Bear with me now while I go into wild, inner-connecting pieces of our life.

Ryan has 'finished' his thesis and is preparing to defend this week. That's really great in the fact that he is "done". But he isn't really done. My poor guy has been putting in long hours, weekends, given up all outside life to focus on what he has to do. After his defense he has to go back over all his material and add in or correct whatever his panel wanted addressed. Besides his thesis, he's still taking 2 classes and all the homework and tests involved there.

The way things work for AFIT people is that they graduate and within a week have their homes packed up and they and their families sent to the next station. There is no rest. No recuperation. No integration. It's a wham-bam-thank you ma'am mentality. Spouses in our year group are already stressing... and I don't blame them. 'Cause to be honest, so am I.

After our change a couple weeks ago, we're headed to Texas. I had a mourning period for losing New Mexico but now I'm getting excited about our new home. Thing is, we still aren't ready. And I don't want to go until after the end of the kids' school year (I'll get to that in a minute).

Since William is enrolled in the EFMP we have a special meeting we needed to go to for clearance before Ryan is given official orders. There's a bunch of paperwork that has to be done and submitted. We did our part. Something was lost on their part and we re-submitted it. Then something we turned into the hospital was neglected and EFMP didn't have it. After Ryan called them they got right on it and FINALLY everything was submitted.

Then we waited. And waited. And waited to be informed when our meeting was.

We met last week. I'm happy to say things went well. Moving to Lackland makes for a much smoother transition logistically for them and instead of having to wait possibly 3 weeks to receive our orders we should hopefully have them in about a week. Then again, that could just be my wishful thinking.

While at our EFMP meeting I asked about having us stay in Ohio until June. They told us our options and Ryan could put in for an EFMP deferment, but from what they said, mission comes first and if Lackland wants Ryan in April, he goes in April.

That's not so great for us because Will has a pretty extensive IEP and several services through the school. Coming to a new school at the end of the school year could mean Will is pushed aside, therapists are over their allotted amount and can't properly work with him, cut it too close to the 30-day limit for an IEP and do not get something to adequately address Will's needs. I could go on... but I'm sure you get the idea. It's better to move in the summer and start fresh at a new school in the fall where we can all start on the same page and they will be prepared for him.

So we are still staring down the barrel of me staying in Ohio for a few months while Ryan heads to our next station. There are still a few things that could happen that will keep him here with us, but at this point I can't hold my breath.

This past week we also had a meeting with Will's developmental pediatrician. He was very happy with the change to our orders and said he knows the 2 developmental pediatricians at our incoming base fairly well and spoke highly of them. Our doctor is VERY pleased with Will's progress. He also was glad that Will has an activity he seems to excel in (swimming). When we spoke to him of our concerns about having to move before the end of the school year he sympathized. He said he would write a letter for us explaining why it is better for William to finish the school year before PCSing, but he reiterated what we heard at the EFMP meeting. Mission comes first, and if Ryan's incoming base wants him in April he has to leave us then.

Shall I add in another thing? Maybe I will.

Ryan, like many, many other military members, is now facing the reduction in force our politicians and president are bringing to us. There are a lot of disgruntled families I have come across. There is no such thing as job security in the military anymore. Our members sacrifice so much all to be just tossed aside and treated as expendable. I can get on my soap box and keep going, but it's not worth it. I know I'm married to a hard working, dedicated, ambitious, and intelligent man and if the Air Force can't see that when the time comes... it is their loss.

To follow along with all the other delays our government does, they pushed back the dates for the RIF boards. Instead of finding out in July... we will find out sometime in the fall if my husband will have a job after the beginning of next year.

............... I guess that pretty much covers it. There's a lot of stuff going on but at the same time I'm just having to do all my normal day-to-day things. I can't really do anything more than I'm doing. In about a week I will be finished with my position on the AFIT Spouses board. Things that I am involved in are finishing up. Friends are preparing to PCS. Appointments of various kinds are in place. Will and Lana's birthdays and me and Ryan's anniversary are fast approaching. It has been way too freezing lately to go on any adventures around here. And I escape to Netflix or books or planning dream vacations I may never take just to give me some sort of feeling of control. Don't worry, we're all good over here. I just look forward to the summer and our new beginnings in San Antonio.

Acronym List (for those not accustomed to the lingo)

AFIT - Air Force Institute of Technology
EFMP - Exceptional Family Member Program
IEP - Individualized Education Plan
PCS - Permanent Change of Station
RIF - Reduction in Force


  1. I completely understand about not blogging too much (seen my blog lately, lol). I feel the same way, I get a few minutes on the laptop and I can't think of anything to write. All my blog posts come to me as I'm laying in bed, just about to fall asleep, and I am not getting up to go downstairs, turn on a bright little square, type away and then go upstairs to lie awake for a while because the LCD lights on the screen tricked my brain into thinking it's mid day and I need to be awake. :)

    I'll be praying that Ryan gets to stay with you until school gets out. If he does have to go, will you get to stay in your base house or will you get packed up and have to stay off base or in TLF? I'll be praying about that too.

    I'm really looking forward to coming out and seeing you this summer! Mike is actually at Lackland now for training . . .

    I hope that things go well at Lana's doc appointment too and that you get things all figured out for her.

    I can't image that the AF would force Ryan out, especially since he just graduated from AFIT. And like you say, he is dedicated, works hard and is intelligent - an asset to the AF. I can't wait until the RIF board has met and we can get that over with.

    Miss you so much! Looking forward to our 2015 trip! :D

  2. WOW. Being an AF family as well, I totally get where you are. I hope everything works out with the EFMP and your PCS. I haven't dealt with that but it sounds frustrating. Hopefully it will all fall into place. Whatever happens, good luck and sanity to you!

    My Wholesome Home