(700) Never forget

I realize how "cliche" it is to do a post on 911. For some reason, this is the first year, not including the year it happened, that it actually has hit me. This is the first time I've cried about it. I don't know anyone who died and I don't know anyone who knows anyone who died. I remember at the time still being depressed about my mother who had passed away 2 years prior. I'm sad for the state our country is in as a result. Since then, I have graduated from high school and college. I can't believe it has been that long. My heart is full of sadness and my own fear. Everything about that day and the result has been tragic.


(697) (in)fertility

I have all these ideas on how I want to raise my child, how I want the birthing process to go, etc. I'm becoming very frustrated that it is not happening for us. Part of me has a feeling that we're supposed to wait until we are done with Italy (2.5 more years). But another part of me is worried that I'll be too old. I'll be 28.5 years old when we leave Italy and to me that's pushing it a little.

I hate the term infertility. It sounds so final. I'll never say I'm infertile, at least not until I'm in my 40s... I just say I have fertility issues. Well, we do... the problem seems to be on both sides.

They still haven't found any specific issue with me, although I do have inconsistent periods. They have been happening pretty regularly lately though. I also took an ovulation test today and it was positive. They are going to do an HSG test whenever they fix their machine. The doctor also wants me to do clomid, but I am unsure if I want to do that yet. Plus, my next cycle will probably be when Mike is at a school 2 hrs away (6 weeks long), so I have a little time to think about that. I'm going to also wait until the HSG test is done first. I also found out that Mike's morphology is 90% abnormal, which is up 20% from his last test. I asked the doctor if there was anything he could do to fix that, but she didn't really tell me there were any options.

I've also been reading a book about the connection between body fat and fertility. I'm trying to up my calories and be at a normal weight, but so far I've just been losing more. It's hard to balance ed-nos with wanting a baby. I know I need to have a good amount of body fat, but at the same time that scares me.

I guess when we started getting checked out, we would get a definite answer as to the causes of this... that's another thing that's frustrating.


(696) Getting my kitty

On July 4, I traveled back to the US to get my other cat Toad. Apparently, it's a little weird that I'm stationed overseas, don't bring checked bags on my flight overseas, and travel with an empty carrier. I had to go through security 3 different times and I never left the secure area! Once in Naples, once in Frankfurt, and the other in Newark. I HATE Frankfurt. It's so large and a little confusing and I hate that I have to go through security again. It's so annoying. Oh and when I got to Frankfurt, the gate wasn't printed on my boarding pass, so I asked the travel agent at the first desk I saw. I thought she said C-something but turns out she said Z-something. Luckily I had plenty of time, but it was still a little stressful. Another crappy part was my ~4 hour layover in Newark. I had just a 1.5 hour flight from there until I was done traveling, so it kinda sucked having to wait that long. I hate long journeys... but I made it okay, just exhausted.

Toad is anxious to leave ;)

While here I got to see my brother. He was released from jail into a in-between facility (where they send people while waiting for them to get into a rehab facility). It was so good to see him and glad to see his mind is clear.

I also got to see my sister Stephanie, my niece, and my nephew. It was her birthday so we went to Olive Garden after visiting my brother. Let me say, "Italian" food in the US is very disappointing after living in Italy. I don't even think it should even classify as Italian. It was just soooo different. Olive Garden was my favorite restaurant before moving :(

I got to see my friend Heather and her son Ben. Such a cute little boy :) I also saw my other friends, Heather and Sarah, and saw them again today. We went for icecream yay.

I got my hair cut. The first one is before and the second one is after. The hairdresser cut it a little shorter than I wanted :( Good for running though.

Tomorrow is my flight back. I leave tomorrow and arrive on thursday. It'll be a 17 ish hour journey back... FUN NOT. Kinda not wanting to go back to Italy... but my husband is there and I miss him.


(692) Tomorrow is the doctor appointment...

and I'm terrified... last night I cried my eyes out. I'm so scared that something is wrong and I'll never have children. It's just so unfair that so many people who don't even want kids can have them so easily and yet we are struggling.


(690) Hubby is home YAY

He's back from a 6 week TDY in Germany... so happy to have him home

Me right after he came home
Aww, look at exhausted he looks...
hours of driving will do that do ya


(688) Happy Father's Day

My husband, me, and my father on our wedding day

My father is a wonderful man. He became my only living parent when my mom passed away. He has always been there for all of us, including his step-children. When I was going through a rough patch, he would visit me every day, making an 1.5 hour drive each way to see me. When I needed someone to look after my cats while we PSC'ed, he did. I know I can always count on him. I LOVE YOU Dad!!


(687) Scared to make the call

Part 1: http://armyso.blogspot.it/2012/04/drs-appointment.html

I had the pelvic ultrasound done and got my medical records requested from my last doctors. My husband deposited his "sample". Now I have to make an appointment to get the results... and I've been delaying this for a couple weeks now. I think I am scared to find out that there's something wrong, that I'll never have a child of my own... I need to just call and make the appointment. I just hope that there's nothing wrong and that the dr just says we need to do it more...


Edit (6/18/2012): I went and scheduled the appointment today. I did it in person because of the whole phone anxiety thing. I was able to get an appointment for next week when my husband will be home and before I go back to the US, so that's good. *fingers crossed*


(686) When it rains, it pours...

Seriously why does major shit have to happen when the husband is deployed/tdy? WHYYYYYY!!!!!!

our water heater decides to screw up and it had a really strong horrible smell coming from it (burning smell), maintenance came and turned off the gas and power to it and is coming back tomorrow to actually fix it. Just kinda freaking out... and shaky and think I breathed in some of the smoke... why does shit have to happen when Mike's away...

I don't know where I would go if I had to leave. I have my cat here. Where the hell would we go? I don't know anyone here. Fucking anxiety...

It's hard when the maintenance guys barely speak English and I don't know much Italian other than greetings... I'm slowly learning, but the stuff I know how to say is "The girl eats", "The big car", etc... not very useful for things like this... I don't expect Italians to know English... it's just frustrating...

I'm still shaking... this was like 1-2 hours ago.

Oh and my phone ran out of minutes today.... lesson learned... recharge immediately... I wasn't in a huge hurry because I wasn't planning on going anywhere today or tomorrow, so I was just gunna do it tomorrow. I figured as long as I did it before the weekend, I'd be fine (going on a couple day trips). As soon as maintenance comes tomorrow, I am getting that done, even though I don't know why my balance is so low... gunna ask about that... haven't gone over my data, haven't called or texted anyone... so it really shouldn't be low... and the text messages vodafone sends are in Italian and even when I translate them in google, it still makes hardly any sense to me.

Also, water stopped working... dunno if that was as a result of the maintenance guy shutting off stuff or what... I have bottled water to drink, but I can't wash my hands.... YUCK!

And, we have a fruit fly problem... I've cleaned everything... took out all the trash... been really clean about dishes (rinsing them right away), still I'm killing like 5 a day by hand. I have a homemade trap that hasn't caught anything yet. It's so disgusting... and it sucks because I can't eat bananas anymore because they attract them too much.

I can't get the smoke smell out of my nose. I doubt I'll sleep tonight... I'm sooo paranoid.

(685) Phone Phobia

Image from an unrelated article


I've been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder in the past... not sure if I still have it, but I think part of it lingers.

  • I delay making phone calls because it causes me a lot of anxiety.
  • I would rather go somewhere to talk to someone in person, than speak to them on the phone.
  • If I can, I have other people make the phone call.
  • If it's an unknown number calling me, I wont answer it
  • If it's someone I know calling me, it's 50/50 on what I'll do
  • When it's a call using gmail or skype with only voice (like what I had to do today), for calling the US, it makes me even more nervous because I'm afraid the phone quality will make it difficult for me to communicate. Sometimes this holds true... 
I had to call the airlines to add my cat to my return reservation. I've done it before for Leo, now I have to do it for Toad (those are my cats). Doesn't sound like a big deal, does it? Especially considering that I've done it before and it's a simple process. 
1. Call the airline 
2. Tell them this 
3. Wait for them to book it 
4. Hang up

This process requires me to call 2 separate airlines because the flight is overseas and it's handled by two companies. I just did this and by the end of it, my heart was racing and my hands were all shaky. Why? NO IDEA. Everything went smoothly and the cat was booked for the return flight. It took me 26 days to make this call... 

Something that helps a tiny bit is preparing all the information I need ahead of time. For this call, I needed the names and phone numbers of the airlines I needed to call and the confirmation numbers for each airline. I also needed the weight of my cat, but I just estimated that. They only ask because there's a weight limit of like 15lbs or something (don't quote me on that number) and I know she's well below that. 

I usually have no problem calling/talking to close family (dad, sisters) and definitely not my husband, but anyone else...

A picture of Toad (the cat I'm going to get) and my husband to help calm me down...


(684) Missing him

I miss my husband and even though he's not deployed I am sad that he's not here. This feels like torture... I don't want to do another deployment.. should be next summer? Who knows... it keeps getting changed. I don't want to worry that he's ok anymore. I want a normal life where I don't have to worry about him leaving every couple months. Reenlistment was good for our finances... not so good for anything else.

I think one of the worst parts is that he's missing my birthday and im alone here... I don't have any friends...

Im too scared, too depressed to do anything other than workout. Im scared to leave base on my own. Im just not happy. Sometimes it feels like an endless cycle. It has gotten so bad I think about cutting again. I think about taking a bunch of sleeping pills and just sleeping away, but it doesn't really work like that... and no one would be here to take care of Leo.

I feel like crap... the sad thing is if I did anything no one would even know for weeks straight...

4 more weeks to go...



(683) Picture Frame Project

When I decided to hang up my pictures, I did a little more planning than I usually do because I saw the idea on another blog... I started this project in April and just now finished it (because I didn't feel like working on it haha)

The first step was to measure the wall. Once I did that, I sketched the area on a grid (below) and mapped out a border area where no pictures would be hung.
Here is the sketch I did before I did anything with the wall

Then I measured on the wall what space I would actually use and marked it off with masking tape. Which did not go well when taking it off... it peeled off the paint. I'm assuming it's really cheap paint here.

Putting the masking tape on the wall to mark off the area
The next thing I did was take my grid on paper and transferred it to the floor using the tiles as a guide. I wanted to arrange my pictures on the floor before I attempted to hang them.

Laying out the pictures on the floor

Then I started hanging the pictures... I used command strips because I didn't want to try to put holes in the walls because I guess they are concrete or something.
Started to hang the pictures

And about a month later, I finished the project...

Finish product

And now to hang the enormous cat picture... not sure if I'm going to attempt this without my husband.


(682) Baby steps

Going off on my own

Today I got dressed, put on some makeup, drove to the ATM to get some euros and drove outside of the base by myself to the pizza place. It wasn't open, but at least I drove by myself there!

Lately I've felt nervous about going off base by myself, but with Mike being TDY I have to force myself or else I'll be stuck here.


There was a post on MFP about the other spouse not initiating... I basically copied part of my post from my blog.

I feel so lonely and depressed with my marriage. We pretty much have no sex life, never had much of one unless I was the one who initiated it. The only time he ever initiated was right after we had a talk about it. I kind of feel like I am wasting my time with him. I want someone who will be attracted to me sexually and show interest in me. If he's not going to give me that, what's the point in being there with him, especially when I could be working on my career and finding someone who can give me what I want and need. 

It makes me feel like crap about myself. I feel like he isn't attracted to me and that's probably why I wanted to lose weight to begin with (I was of normal weight before I lost more). I don't really know how to fix this or if it can be fixed. We talk about it all the time and nothing really changes. 

I love him, don't get me wrong, but this has taken such a toll on my self-esteem :( 

We talked about it over gtalk last night... he apologized and said he'll work on it, but I don't know. We talk about it all the time and nothing changes. I've told him all of this... nothing...


(679) Dr's appointment

I met a doctor today at my appointment. The guy that is supposed to be my PCM had to cancel and they couldn't get a hold of me. I really liked him. He was very attentive and we talked about infertility. I feel very optimistic after seeing him. We've been trying for over a year now and nothing... We talked for a while about the different causes (male and female) and he wrote down a list of things for me to do.

I have to get my previous medical records. I got blood work done (thyroid, CBC, prolactin, FSH, LH, vitamin D, and cholesterol), more on that later. I had to schedule an appointment with radiology for an ultrasound, which does not sound fun at all (it's some type of ultrasound that goes in your vagina - NOT FUN sounding at all). I also have to tell my husband to get a sperm analysis. He's not going to like that one I know for sure. He'll probably procrastinate making the appointment.

Even though this doesn't sound like any fun, I am glad that a doctor finally listened to me and took some action. Hopefully we can figure out what's going on and hopefully we can fix it if there's something wrong. He actually wanted details on my cycles and asked a ton of questions. I wish I had brought a print out of my cycles. I have been keeping track since last May.

When I was getting my blood drawn I had a bit of an incident where my blood pressure dropped really low. I felt like I was going to pass out and I got really sweaty. I laid down in a reclining chair they had. They called in a bunch of people as a result (some protocol they have) and brought me some juice. When they re-checked my  blood pressure it was normal. Then they had to finish drawing the blood (he only got one tube done before I had the incident). I'm okay now, but still a little shaky and generally not feeling well (I also have a cold).


(676) Traveling back to the US to get my kitty

From Buffalo...

On Saturday at around 1:30PM, I loaded my kitty, Leo into his carrier. He protested, but I did what I had to do. We drove to the airport and got there a little after 2.

I checked in to my first flight (separate airlines so they could only issue the first part of my ticket) and said goodbye to my dad. I asked him to wait for me to call to make sure I got through security okay with my kitty. I went through security and when I reached the first agent, I explained that I had my cat with me and if it were possible to go to a private room to get screened. They allowed it and asked if I would like to be screened that way or normal. I said it didn't matter to me, so a female agent took my kitty and I went through security like normal. I got my stuff and went with the officer to the room. I took Leo out of the carrier (although he was very hesitant to come out) and another agent took the carrier and put it through the x-ray. They were so nice about the whole thing. When we were done, we went to find our gate. It was about an hour before the plane started boarding. I was able to get on wifi and talk to my husband a little.

To Philadelphia...

We got to Philadelphia and I had to get to the terminal on the opposite side. We landed in Terminal F and I had to get to Terminal A. Terminal F is disconnected from the rest of the airport and the only way to get there is a shuttle. Luckily, I was able to get to the shuttle just as the attendant said "last call". I got to the gate as they started to board. Luckily, this was the international flight, so the line was really long to board. I still had to get my boarding pass and pay for the kitty. It took a while for the attendant to get my receipt (he had to call it in to a colleague), but I got it in time and waited in line to board.

Leo was very well behaved during the flight. I didn't hear him at all. Every so often he would move in his carrier so I knew he was doing okay. The carrier didn't fit under the seat in front of me, so it took my leg space. I wasn't really able to get up the entire flight because I was in the middle seat and I didn't want to disturb the person next to me. Next time, I think I will look into flying first class. That's a long flight not to be able to move.

To Germany...

We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany after about 8 hours. We had to take a shuttle to the arriving area for international flights. The shuttle probably took about 15 minutes. We then had to go through passport control which took about 15-20 minutes. Then we had to go through security AGAIN. The line was so long, that probably took 30 minutes. By the time I saw a clock it was about 10:15 and the boarding started for my next flight at 10. I ran/walked to my gate, which was hard to do since I had a 12lb cat. When I got to the gate that was on my ticket, it wasn't showing my flight, so I checked the board again and it was 2 gates over. I ran to that gate and the agent kinda gave me a hard time asking me why I was late. I'm like WTF! I didn't even have time to pee. It wasn't my fault that it takes so damn long to go through security. By the time I sat down on the plane I was so sweaty and shaky because I hadn't really eaten in a while.

I did have a good conversation with the person next to me. The ice was broken when I asked if he had any cat allergies. We talked for about an hour. I don't even know his name. I wish I had exchanged contact information.

To Italy

It was so great to see my husband again and to have someone else carry Leo!

A couple of things I have learned:

  • If possible, try not to fly Economy on the long flights. It's so uncomfortable. If you do, get an aisle seat so you can get up whenever without feeling like you are disturbing another person. 
  • Give yourself at least 2 hours between layovers
  • It cost me approximately $300 for the cat
  • Have the health certificate and vet records, even though I was never asked for them
And now to repeat the process for Toad


(674) So unhappy

This is extremely personal, but I need to get this out.

I wish my husband would take the initiative and talk to me... On March 3, I left Italy to go back to the US to get one of my cats. The next day, Mike left to go to training (2 hours away from where we live). He go back from training this past Friday and I'll be in the US until next Saturday. Anyway, while he was in training, he would get home pretty early and now he's just at home. He doesn't IM me even though we are both signed in to google chat and both shown as available. Most days, I IM him. Yesterday, he IM'd me pretty late and just said "I have a headache". It's making me upset. I talked to him yesterday and asked him why he wasn't really talking to me and he said that he didn't really have anything to say. I try to engage him in conversation but it feels like pulling teeth. The day before I left, he was pretty much ignoring me all day. I got pissed off because it didn't even feel like he cared that we would be apart. Only then did he make any effort to spend time with me.

I feel so lonely and depressed with my marriage. We pretty much have no sex life, never had much of one unless I was the one who initiated it. The only time he ever initiated was right after we had a talk about it. It's hard to have children when your husband doesn't ever show interest in you sexually. What do you even say to people who ask when you are having children? I feel like saying "well, in order to do that, my husband would actually have to want to have sex with me". I don't say that, I just say, "we're not not trying".

Part of me just wants to leave and stay in the US. I kind of feel like I am wasting my time with him. I want someone who will be attracted to me sexually and show interest in me. If he's not going to give me that, what's the point in being there with him, especially when I could be working on my career and finding someone who can give me what I want and need.

I honestly don't know how to fix this. We have talked about this so many times I can't even count. He "fixes" things that day or the day after, but then it just goes back to the same thing. We tried to get counseling through military one source, but the therapist who was supposed to call us never did and my husband never followed up. I have no idea if we'll be able to get counseling in Italy. We need something or else I don't see this lasting. I'm trying to hold on, but I am so unhappy.

I love my husband and I want this to work out, but I'm just so sick of nothing changing with him.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this, please let me know.


(673) Dinner with new Italian friends

Last Saturday we were invited to dinner by an Italian that was in one of Mike's classes at work (I'll call him Max because I have no idea how to spell his name). I was pretty nervous because I don't know much Italian, but the evening went well.

We headed out about an hour before we had to be there and good thing we did! It took about 30-40 minutes to get to his street, but we had a hard time finding somewhere to park. We ended up parking in a parking garage. We weren't sure how to go about paying until I saw the booth inside. We talked to the guy who didn't speak English (and neither one of us speak much Italian), but he gave us a slip of paper that had our car. We had to give him our keys so he could move cars around. I was a little weary of that because we had kept euros right in the car, but everything turned out okay. We paid about 8 euros for about 3 hours. We got our car back okay and the money was still there.

After we parked, we tried to find his house, but we couldn't. Mike called him, but it was a difficult conversation because of the limited English that Max knows. After a while, Mike figured out what he was saying and we met Max across the street near a gas station (which is not like the US, the gas stations here are basically a couple of pumps on the side/middle of the road). Turns out we could have parked at his apartment. From what I've seen apartments in Naples have a gated parking lot for the residents).

When we got to his house, they gave us a tour. There house was very tidy and small! It was very nice though. We talked with Max and his wife. She doesn't know much English and I don't know much Italian and we laughed together at the awkwardness of it. Max showed us his state quarters map.

When the pizza arrived we sat at the table and ate. Everyone got their own pizza. The personal pizzas here are HUGE! I can barely eat half of it. It is very delicious though. They brought out desert, which was a cake called baba. I tried a bite and it was VERY sweet, too sweet for me. We brought some chocolate chip cookies for them to try as well. I wish I could have made them from scratch, but we still don't have our household goods which contain the baking materials and I didn't want to buy all that stuff again just for one night.

After dinner, we taught each other English/Italian. We left around 10:45PM because we were getting a little tired.

It was a great experience and I am glad we went. I had a lot of fun and it made it all laugh trying to learn each other's language.

(672) Postcard Swap!!

I participated in the Postcard Swap hosted by jessicalynnwrites. I swapped postcards with Ashley who lives in Texas.

Here's the postcard I sent from Italy:

Here's the postcard I received from Texas:

I love getting mail!


(670) Update from Italia

After about 2 weeks tracking my food intake and exercise, I've lost 2.6lbs. I'm so happy because I've put a lot of hard work into it. Weight is the only thing I can track right now because we don't have our HHGs yet and in them contains a tape measure and scale (with bodyfat %), so the only time I weight myself is at the gym. I'm a little disappointed in what I ran yesterday, only 2 miles. My goal is 3.1 (~5k), but yesterday my leg was killing me. It's been in a lot of pain since then and I didn't sleep well because of it. I want to be able to run 10k by the end of the year, but it's still hard for me to get to 5k. I'm using a site called myfitnesspal to keep track of everything. I still have 11.8lbs to go to reach my goal weight.

Things in Italy are going...okay I guess. It's not really what I had in mind when I envisioned being in Italy. We are in Naples and so far the only think I like about it is the pizza. It's awesome!

I'm looking forward to eating authentic pasta and drinking wine. I want to sit on our balcony and drink some wine haha. I don't know what wines to try, any recommendations (I prefer red)?

I really want to visit the more northern cities in Italy. 

I am going back to the US in a little over a week to get one of my cats. I'm going to have to go back a second time because the one airline from Buffalo to Philadelphia wouldnt let me have the cats in cargo. I feel better about doing it one at a time anyway because they have to get out of the carrier to go through security and I feel safer with them in the cabin with me anyway.

I really need to come up with a blog design and a new website design. I'm not that great with designing things.... any ideas??


(669) Can't sleep

My sleep schedule is still screwed up. It's past midnight here and I can't fall asleep. I only got three hours of sleep last night because I had to be out the door by 7 to go on the ICR (Inter-cultural relations) field trip. I did a lot of walking around and the only thing that kept me awake was a 5hr energy drink. I didn't nap or anything, forced myself to stay up til 9. Been trying to sleep since then. I took melatonin... didn't help... I'm up to taking 3 pills of it and it's not doing anything. Thinking about going to see a doctor so I get some form of sleep.

Things I'm worried about:

  • Unemployment, got a call today asking me to call them back on Wednesday during business hours about my ability to work in Naples. Um... can't really get a job here. Well, that's what I've been told. There's an employment thingy here so I will talk to them either tomorrow or Wednesday to see if I have any options.
  • Not sleeping...endless cycle there
  • The logistics of bring my cats here
  • Getting my sojourner's permit - extends my visa. Was supposed to be done by 8 days since I got here, but it's not... not really up to me, it's up to my husband and his unit. Also doesn't help that his work is 40 mins away... we have no car yet and the bus only runs 1x a day and we've been doing the orientation/ICR stuff
  • Household goods/car getting here safely and soon, living in a hotel this long without a lot of space is starting to get to me
Don't mistake this as me complaining about being here. I was just google tips on falling asleep and it said to write what your worries are. Not sure if this will help. 


(668) We are in Italy!

We arrived yesterday. I have been on base in the hotel since then recovering from the long plane trip. I hadn't slept in over 24 hours and I was exhausted. My sleep schedule is still off and I haven't adjusted to the current time.

It's so strange being in another country. Even on base, most of the workers are Italian and speak to each other in Italian when they're not talking to you. We have AFN at the hotel and all the commercials are in Italian.

I do feel a little homesick. I am missing my old life back at Ft Drum. I had a lot going on, working, volunteering, etc. I had a home with stuff in it. Now, we've been living in hotels for a while and it's getting to me. We should get housing soon because the sponsor said there was no waiting list for the type of housing we need. So any day now... We'll have to buy an air mattress or something because we wont be getting our household goods for 1-2 months or so. I just want to get settled in our new home and start a life here somehow. I am completely out of my element.

The worse thing so far is not having a data plan on my phone. I just got the new Droid 3 in December because I was due for an upgrade. Well, the phone place here couldn't take our USAA credit card for a contract, so we both have prepay phones. Not much you can do without a data plan. Especially google maps, which would've been useful for navigating here, but it looks like I'll have to buy a GPS.

I feel so out of place here. I want to feel comfortable. I want to meet people.

I hope I start enjoying this place soon!