the108

Inside the mind of America’s (raunchy, foul mouthed, overly opinionated, sexually aggressive, incredibly offensive, fly by the minute, ridiculously absurd, often times erratic, psychologically questionable) Sweetheart.

Seabiscuit May 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 5:01 pm

Oh, yeah…. You might have noticed that I have a new banner on my blog, now. I’m not sure I like it as much as I like the retarded polar bear that I have on my Save The Bipolar Bears blog nor do I think I like it as much as my banner on my Dear Little’s blog…. the latter actually being made from cartoon drawings I did of my kids by hand that I scanned into my computer.

This one, here, didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped but since I’m back on my meds…. I don’t care.

Besides… it has sentimental value as I try to make all of my headers mean something very specific to me, it’s just fine and dandy.

The last one I had on here was a distorted, fucked up road in the middle of nowhere that urged people to STOP. It had a highway sign on it that said “the108” and it was basically my way of asking people to take a journey with me through my fucked up mind and to not run away from my insanity.

This one is for Dean (who, by the way, needs a new header because I don’t think he much likes the one I made for him).

For the month of June and in celebration of Father’s Day, I decided to honor my love, the father of my children, my baby daddy, by depicting one of the few species of animals on the planet where the male becomes pregnant and carries the babies safely to term.

(Just to whine and get my digs in, the seahorse is only pregnant for two to three weeks so, really, they have nothing to bitch about…lol.)

But, whatever.

(Male penguins also care for their young, sitting on the eggs and keeping them safe until they are born. Penguins are my favorite animal… see a theme here? I just love a good daddy like my Dean-o)

Back to the topic at hand.

The seahorse’s way of life also very much mimics my own relationship to Dean…. maybe you will be able to figure out why if I list a few fun facts about seahorses:

-Seahorses are monogamous. They mate with one other seahorse and stay with them for life.

-Seahorses in love will wrap their tails together and go on long walks together, as is shown in my banner.

– The male seahorse woos the woman he loves by “singing” to her. She, upon hearing his song, falls for him and they “marry”.

So, the seahorse has become a symbol of my marriage to Dean and thus, the Father’s Day banner was born.

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White Trash-erella

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 2:18 pm

Do you see this picture of me here from back when I was all kinds of fat and ugly? The picture where I am wielding a large knife? Do you see the fancy gown that I am wearing in this picture??

It seems that I will be wearing it again. Next week.

Oh, yes, people. I have to attend a military ball on June 7th. Normally, these formal functions are not mandatory, but Dean has been asked to perform during the thing and so he must go and it has been encouraged for politickin’ that I be there as well.

When Dean told me (last night) that this is happening next week, I freaked.

Sometime between now and July 1st, I’m having a baby. I’m HUMONGOUS. I’m not prepared to go to a ball that will cost me a shitload of cash and I’m certainly not going to spend the hundreds of dollars on a dress that it will cost knowing that I could go into labor before or during this thing.

“What the fuck am I going to wear?” I asked Dean.

“Wear that black gown”,” he replies.

I scoff at this and tell him that there is no way in hell that thing is going to fit me with me being this huge and pregnant. He gets out the dress and I get naked and step into it’s millions of layers and as he is behind me clasping and zipping me into it, I am giggling at him and mumbling that he will never get that damn zipper up. Not a chance in hell.

With ease, he gets the dress zipped. Then, he takes a step back and looks at me and says, “Man, you look PREGNANT.”

Really, Dean? Pregnant, you say? How UNEXPECTED.

I am marveling at the fact that the dress is not only on my body, but I can sit down it it and also, it’s still too big in the boob area. From the front, I look okay, I suppose… better than I did when I was just fat all over and wearing it. When I turn to the side… holy cow.

I have agreed to go to the ball under three conditions:

1. I get to wear bunny slippers underneath the gown.

2. I don’t have to have my hair done up all fancy.

3. I don’t have to move an inch while we’re there.

Dean is all about the bunny slippers. He thinks it will be adorable to see a huge, pregnant woman all dressed up in formal wear with bunny ears peeking out from under her gown. I don’t give a god damn how adorable it is. I just don’t want to wear the shoes that I bought to wear with the dress. They are called “Cinderella” slippers and are backless, black and sparkly and they are very high heels.

I’m not wearing them.

Actually, I didn’t really wear them much at the last ball, either. I kicked them off under the table during the formal dinner and went barefoot for the rest of the night. But whatever.

I have this horrible image of my water breaking at the ball, of me doubled over from contractions and trying to crawl out of there only to arrive at the hospital in a huge, fancy gown. To add a dramatic effect, it will be raining outside. I imagine giving birth underneath ten pounds of organza, the same organza that was once thrown over my head so that Dean could ravage me on the couch after the last ball, pieces of his uniform strewn across the living room floor and me with about six thousand bobby pins holding my hair in place, a white lily pinned within.

It is that kind of behavior that got me into this mess to begin with.

Thursday. I have to attend a ball on Thursday. Nine months pregnant.

I worry that black is an inappropriate color to be wearing to this thing, but there is no other option. I know that by one o’clock in the morning I will be back home where I will plop into my bed, dress and all, and eat mozzarella cheese sticks as I watch cartoons. I know that Dean will get all turned on seeing me in that dress and want to ravage me and I know that I may have already ravaged him in the car during some boring speech given by the Command as he will be a little too sexy all dressed up for me to wait.

And we will reenter as though nothing had happened, a soldier covered in ribbons and medals and a huge, knocked up chick in a black gown and bunny slippers.

Gawd.

I’ll have to take lots of pictures.

 

What the Fuck? May 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 10:45 pm

Question for ya:

Are these words that an 8 year old should be able to spell and define?

brigands
reproved
emphatically
devoured
complications
gravely
shrugged
anxious
persisted

These are Matthew’s spelling words for this week. He has to be able to spell them and give their meanings.

Um.

My I.Q. is 138 and I don’t know what the fuck a “brigand” is.

I was compelled to look it up:

Main Entry: brig·and
Pronunciation: ‘bri-g&nd
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English brigaunt, from Middle French brigand, from Old Italian brigante, from brigare to fight, from briga strife, of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish bríg strength
Date: 14th century: one who lives by plunder usually as a member of a band : BANDIT – brig·and·age /-g&n-dij/ noun

What?

So, the definition of this word is….. what? A bandit? Like, a burglar or something? Like a pirate? A gypsy? Does it then make it appropriate for me to use terms like, “turd brigands” or “butt brigands”? “Brigands of the Caribbean”?

To further confuse the shit out of me, the theme of this weeks spelling words is “Chocolate Touch”.

Other than “devoured” which of these fucking words has a goddamned thing to do with chocolate?

Although, if I were to be creative and take a “6 degrees” sort of approach to things I suppose I could connect “brigands” to “chocolate” by this method:

-“Chocolate starfish” is a term commonly used to describe a butthole.
-People who like to do it in the butt are called “butt pirates”
-Turds that are “turd burgled” come from buttholes AKA chocolate starfish.
-“Turd burglars” also like to do it in the butt.
-which would make any “turd burglar” a “butt-pirate”
-which could make them a “turd brigand” or a “butt brigand”
-who likes the chocolate starfish.

Is that a stretch or does it work?

Anywho.

This is not the 14th century. It’s goddamn 2007 and if I want some fucking chocolate, I’m not gonna “brigands” the shit. I’m gonna hand over a dollar at the gas station on the corner and be all like, “Gimme a muthafuckin’ Hershey Bar”.

Brigands THIS bitches.

 

Acupressure

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 8:23 pm

Yes. This is a picture abstractly depicting a vagina. I like it.

But anyways. A few words on Maternity Acupressure, something that I stumbled upon while googling things like, “get this fucking baby out of me right now.” and “how to put an end to this horror called pregnancy”.

The latter will direct you to a lot of abortion sites. Not what I meant, but, oh well.

So, I consider myself a professional at labor induction because I successfully lit the match that smoked Olivia out. If only it had been that easy. In reality, it took a couple of weeks and by the very end of it, I was sitting up at 11 o’clock at night with a trash can between my legs as I gagged down a bottle of Castor oil.

The recommendation on how to drink the Castor oil was to mix it with either root beer or orange juice and I chose the orange juice because the thought of carbonated oil was too much for me. I had Dean-o pour me up a glass of o.j. and dump the entire bottle of Castor oil in there and hand it to me. I took a couple of big gulps and gagged a bit. He quickly brings the garbage can and then sits down to observe this procedure I was inflicting upon myself.

We have heard that Castor oil doesn’t work to induce labor and I think the idea of me gagging this shit down for no real reason amused him.

So, I now have the garbage can and am continuing to shut my eyes and take huge gulps of this nasty shit and I remember thinking, “Okay…. if I don’t look at it, it’s not so bad.”

And then, I discovered that oil is much heavier than Orange juice (duh) and sinks to the bottom of the glass pretty quickly. I discovered this as I took the last giant mouthful of the stuff and realized that it was all oil and no o.j.

It was like swallowing a huge, nasty loogy.

I immediately swallowed and heaved, clamped my hand down over my mouth to hold it in as Dean’s eyes got wide and he sat up straighter.

“You gonna puke??” he asked eagerly, much like a teenage boy would.

I couldn’t speak yet as my mouth was now full of oily, acidic vomit and my eyes began watering and there was simply nothing left to do but try to swallow. Which I did. I sat there in silence for a few minutes with my hand over my mouth making that face you make when you take a shot of some nasty ass, cheap, disgusting tequila and you’re head involuntarily starts to shake back and forth and you have a hand waving in your face without you doing it.

Once I could finally speak, Dean looked disappointed that I hadn’t puked, but also very impressed and very curious. I’m pretty sure he was watching my crotch fully expecting to see the baby come shooting out of it or something.

But my research told me that it could take a few hours and so off to bed I went to await what I knew was coming. I was expecting to be shitting my bed that night, expecting to wake up in a pool of oily poop and expecting that I would shit my brains out all night long.

In reality, I went to sleep and woke up around two on the morning feeling like I had to shit. Nothing melodramatic, just sort of like an “I ate something I shouldn’t have” type of shit, which was understandable as I had eaten, or rather… drank, something I probably shouldn’t have. So, I trot off to the bathroom fully expecting to have my stomach explode and to experience the worst case of ass burn I’d ever have, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t anything to write home about.

Yet, I’m blogging about it, but whatever.

Anyhow… I took my shit and it was neither explosive nor painful and I thought, “well, that can’t be it” and went back to bed to await the monster I was sure would arrive.

Dean, against my urgings that he might want to sleep on the couch, has come to bed and is sleeping soundly. I lie down. Within a half hour, I am awoken by a contraction. I lay there in the dark wondering if there would be another. Four minutes later…. there it was again. I sit up in bed and begin to pay closer attention. Where is all the shitting??…. I am thinking.

After about ten contractions, I wake Dean up. He groggily sits up in the bed and together, we do the only thing we can do… we sit there. I decide to take a bath and go and do so and then return to bed. I have Dean check my cervix and he finds me to be a bit more dilated. By four in the morning, I was in labor and contracting steadily and we both decide to try to get some sleep until it is time to go to the hospital.

Next morning we wake up and I send him to work and call a friend to come over and go walking with me. I take a couple of walks with her and then call Dean-o home so that we can drop the kids off at the sitter. Then, Dean-o and I go for a walk and then head to the hospital.

Olivia was born a smidgen before ten that night.

Well.

I will be drinking that nasty shit again this time, I tell ya.

Last time, in edition to the Castor oil, I had also had tons of sex and completely used Dean for his wonderful prostoglandins to ripen my cervix. I had my membranes stripped a few times and I even had Dean sharpen a fingernail and try to break my water.

This time, I have googled all kinds of varying techniques and there is a lot of talk of different herbs that can cause contractions, but I’m not much into herbs. There is nipple stimulation which is great as it releases oxytocin into your body and triggers labor being the natural form of the synthetic pitocin used to medically induce labor.

I have masturbated myself silly since those blessed orgasms cause some great contractions.

But then… I stumbled upon maternity acupressure… something that sounded like a load of crap to me. I printed off an eBook about it and read the whole thing and then I located a spot on my leg that is supposed to stimulate contractions and I pushed on it. I held it down with my thumb.

Within a minute, I was contracting.

“Holy shit.” I said.

“What mom?” Owen asked.

“I just found a button on my leg that causes me to have contractions,” I told him.

“Where?” he asks.

I show him about five different points on the body and the diagrams and maps as to where each is located and he sits here and pushes on parts of my shoulder and hand for a while.

I have been contracting ever since.

I put a stop to the acupressure quite a while ago as I decided I really need to work out a sitter before I give birth, but I could not believe that shit works.

I would be such a good midwife.

 

Babbling

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 2:58 pm

This will be some very random thoughts.

-Last night, I DREAMED that I went from house to house rearranging everyone’s dresser drawers and organizing their closets. That is just scary. Dean needs to stop by the pharmacy today.

-Yesterday saw the arrival of another “dumb ass doctor question” with this beauty:

Doctor: “Kyra, is your baby breech?”

Um.

Well, my spidey sense is telling me no…. but how ’bout I turn on my x-ray vision and find out?

What the hell kind of a question is that?? Isn’t SHE supposed to be telling me that sort of thing? Is that not what the wonder of the ultrasound machine is for? Jeesh, lady.

-Yesterday also marked a monumental event in our lives…. the long awaited opening of the pool.

I tried to use the pool as a way to get my children to behave by threatening every thirty seconds to take it away from them.

“If you do not behave, you will NOT be going to that pool, mister!”

It sort of wasn’t working and I began to fret that I might actually have to take this privilege away from them, thus screwing myself in the process. I’m pregnant and sweating my ass off. The idea of floating around submerged in water and taking some of this pressure off of…. every part of my body… was something I was looking forward to a great deal.

In the end, Matthew kept Owen in check and we got to go swimming. We had a lot of fun, however, the water was fucking freezing. I was expecting this and so as I my toe touched the surface of the pool and I felt my penis jump up into my abdomen, I was not surprised. Scared… yes. Surprised… no.

But a good mother gets her fat ass in that freezing cold water regardless and once my nipples could sufficiently cut through glass, I began to warm up a bit.

I knew what was going to happen, though. I knew that at some point, my kids were going to hop out of that pool and climb into the jacuzzi and once I, myself, climbed into that jacuzzi there would be no way in hell that I was gonna get back in the freezing ass pool.

And, of course… they got in the fucking jacuzzi.

And of course, they wanted back in the pool and I had to go through the horrors of being in warm water one minute and icy water the next. Fuck, it was cold.

I like to screw with my kids in the pool to make them laugh. I will swim underwater and creep up on them and pinch them on the ass when they’re not expecting it. They scream and I laugh and then they laugh, too.

The pool wore us all out something crazy. I didn’t even make it through my cartoons last night before I passed the fuck out.

-I don’t have one single person here who can watch my kids when I go into labor. This complicates things. As Matthew is my birth coach, I don’t give a hoot about him being there, but the Little’s… hell no. I will end up doing two things:

1. Murdering them
2. Getting so stoned out of my mind on pain meds that I gush and woo over them.

Then, a contraction will hit and I’ll be lobbing things at them. It will be a terrible mind fucking and I wish to avoid it.

But how??

I literally do not know anyone here other than Matthew’s friend Scott’s irresponsible mother and there is no way in hell she will be taking my kids. Especially now that Scott has taught Matthew that homosexuals are evil and deserve to burn in hell.

They are no longer allowed to hang out and I am in the process of doing damage control in the hopes of reversing the influence that that bigoted little shit has bestowed upon my child.

So… what do I do, exactly??

Do I go into labor and delivery and inform them, “Listen up, people! My kids are here so get the epidural in place and pump me full of the legal limit of pitocin and let’s get this baby out, stat!”

Matthew’s labor- Seven hours on the dot. Born at 2:14 pm.
Owen’s labor- Seven hours on the dot. Born at 2:08 pm.
Olivia’s labor- 17 hours. Born at 9:58 pm.

This could go short… or this could go long.

“Go long, go long! Blue 42! Blue 42! Hike!”

Sigh. Where do I stick my kids as I go through the ridiculous endeavor of childbirth??? Somebody tell me!!!

– There is a giant mosquito on my ceiling. It is so big that I wonder if it’s not actually a butt ugly dragonfly. I’ll know when it bites me, I suppose.

_I’m very tired right now.

 

Hey you! Yeah… the Fat ass! May 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 11:39 pm

Due to imminent labor, I now have to see my doctor once a week to make sure everything is okay and going as it should. Today, was one of those days. Only, it was both frustrating and amusing at the same time. I will now try to reenact it for you so that you might get a mental image of this ludicrous outing.

We get to the hospital and Dean drops me off so that I can go sign in. I waddle through the entrance and to the escalators and I’m suddenly sort of afraid because I cannot see the ground in front of me. I fear falling on my ass. I make it safely downstairs and waddle to the ob/gyn clinic and make my way to the line to sign in. For ten minutes I stand in line waiting to hand over my military I.D. and it was no easy task. I’m totally pathetic and it went something like this:

Shuffle shuffle stop…. wait a minute… shuffle shuffle stop…. wait a minute…. shuffle shuffle…..

Every few feet I would curse myself in my head, statements like this one:

“Motherfucker. My crotch hurts. My ass hurts. My water is going to break. This sucks. Get the hell out of me you fucker.”

shuffle shuffle shuffle….

By the time I get into the exam room, I’m sweating and exhausted. Doc comes in to measure me and I’m measuring huge again. However, I have lost five pounds. Last week, I was measuring three weeks ahead of schedule. This week, I’m ahead by four making it a big enough concern that they sent me to ultrasound to get a weight on the baby. They are thinking the same thing I am thinking:

This baby is going to rip my crotch to shreds if I give birth to it at 40 weeks.

I feel terror setting in. The doctor decides to not even check my cervix because she says there is no way in hell they will try to stop labor from happening if it happens now. This is all well and good because I am 34 weeks and measuring 38 weeks and at 38 weeks pregnant with Olivia, I gave birth to her and she was 8 pounds.

She sends me directly to ultrasound on the other side of the fucking hospital.

Waddle waddle “ow”, waddle waddle “ow”, waddle waddle….. allllll the way to ultrasound where they ask me for my military I.D.

Fuck. It’s in my car.

waddle waddle waddle waddle waddle alllll the way back downstairs and out the door shuffling and groaning and hurting like a son of a bitch to the car to retrieve my card. Then…. waddle waddle waddle waddle….. after a few hours, I make it back up to ultrasound where I hand over my card and am immediately informed that they have no one to see me.

Whatever. Just let me sit down.

This journey was unproductive, but it was also very interesting. While shuffling and waddling all over the fucking place, I was stopped by three different men who enquired as to whether or not I needed help to labor and delivery. I was stopped by no less than SEVEN women who had these things to say to me:

Lady #1:

She- Holy cow, you must be overdue. That baby is soooo low. When was your due date?
Me: I’m due July 8th.
She: No way. How far along?
Me: 34 weeks.
She-Are you kidding??

Lady #2:

She: Honey, are you okay? You look like you’re about to pop.
Me: I’m okay.
She: You don’t look okay.

Lady #3:

She: If you don’t go sit down your water is going to break all over the clean floor.
Me: Good. I hope it does.
Me in my head: And I hope you slip in it you old bitch.

Lady #4:

She: Is this your first?
Me: No, it’s my fourth.
She: Oh my god… you poor thing. How far along?
Me: 34 weeks.
She: Are you sure???
Me: Last time I checked.
She: How big were your others?
Me: 7-7, 9-5 and 8 even.
She: Did you carry to term?
Me: The eight pounder was two weeks early.
She: Well, you’d best pray that this one comes about five weeks early.
Me: Yeah, really.

Lady #5:

She: Are you in labor?
Me: Yeah… for the last two weeks.
She: Ahhh…. overdue?
Me: Yes….. long overdue.
She: What was your due date?
Me: July 8th.
She: laughs.

Lady #6:

She: Oh, you just look miserable…. when are you due?
Me: What? Oh…. I’m not pregnant.

(sometimes I do that to embarrass people)

Lady #7:

She: Let me get that for you (she is holding a door open for me)
Me: Well, I can’t take her off and hand her to you, but I sure wish I could.
She: laughs.

Guess what? Operation Evict the Baby is underway. One solid week of nipple stimulation and then we shall proceed to phase two…. stripping the membranes. One week of stripping the membranes and we shall drink the castor oil.

And if that doesn’t work…. a quick nab with the amniohook will certainly do the job.

The mission is to hit five centimeters which will force them to admit me. This is happening because hospital policy will not allow them to induce labor prior to 39 weeks and so they are wanting to give me a c-section.

I do not want a c-section.

So, we shall do this my way and manipulate the system.

And as with all good sporting events, there must be a little wagering. Place your bets today by guessing the date at which Emi will arrive. Whoever hits the nail on the head gets a little somethin’ special 🙂

Here are the stats to help you make your estimates:

Right now I am:

34 weeks out of 40 (measuring 38 weeks out of 40).
3 centimeters dilated (need to get to five to be admitted, ten to deliver)
50-70 % effaced (must get to 100 % to deliver)
+3 station (must get to +4 to deliver)

Any guesses?

 

Thoughts On A Man

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 8:17 pm

I have my husband on the brain a lot, lately, especially after having him home for the last four days and getting to observe him all over again. I have given it a lot of thought and I have deduced that:

Sometimes, Dean sucks. Sometimes, Dean is awesome. And, sometimes Dean sucks and is awesome at the same time.

I’m pretty impressed by his ability to suck and be awesome simultaneously. I just can’t do it, myself. I either suck really badly or I’m ridiculously awesome but never both at the same time. It’s an art form one has to perfect and Dean does it with ease.

An example of this sort of thing is, say, one of these episodes:

A child will come and ask me if I will buy them a present, a toy perhaps, something they simply do not need. Since I am a total ogre, I usually respond with something along these lines:

“Hell, no. It ain’t Christmas and it ain’t your birthday and, frankly, you suck and don’t deserve a spontaneous present. Your grades are crap and you’re acting like a pig around the house, farting at the dinner table, and making huge messes and you think you need a new toy? I don’t think so. Buh-Bye.”

Dean will then receive the sad eyes and will attempt to counter them by saying, “I support your mother on this 100%!”

Then, the next time he is at the store, he will buy the little fucker the toy.

This sucks for obvious reasons. I end up the horrid shrew and Daddy ends up the merciful king and the children hate me and adore the very ground he walks on and I want to kick his ass for this shit, but I don’t. However, Dean’s constant desire to make one of the kids smile is pretty endearing even if it does complicate my relationships to them. It’s not always toys, either, but there are times when there is just a ton of stuff to do around the house and Daddy will drop everything because a small child wants to go to the park. Right now. It all drives me crazy, but I secretly think it’s adorable. However, once the kids are away, I give him the business for it:

“What the fuck, Dean? How ya gonna let me sit there and be the bad guy all the time? They don’t need this garbage and you know it’s just going to end up broken on the floor somewhere adding to the messes they make.”

“I know, babe. But I promised him months ago and he just keeps asking and looks so sad.”

“Well, Fuck him looking sad! That is some bullshit! Tell him to go to hell!”

So, it pisses me off a great deal, but it also warms my heart because I do so enjoy seeing a man who loves children.

I feel bad for Dean. He BENDS OVER BACKWARDS for me and sometimes, screws it all up, but that’s okay because it is hard to do things perfectly when you’re bent over backwards.

One example of this is cooking. Dean will always cook dinner if he knows that I’m tired or if he wants to give me a special treat. In fact, he has been cooking dinner for the last two months and it has been a valuable exercise as he’s gotten incredibly good at it. But in the past, he was only good at one thing: scrambled eggs. His scrambled eggs are the shit. Everything else…. eh. He gets easily frustrated in the kitchen and burns himself constantly. He drops hot pots of boiling water on himself all the time and you hear him in there doing that thing where he strings a bunch of insane curse words together.

“Motherfuckingmonkeycockbastardshitholebitches!”

He also whacks his head on the cabinets a lot.

But in the end, he will sadly and apologetically serve me a plate of something almost identifiable and it could be a steaming plate of shit for all I care because the man has just cooked me dinner. And I just love him for it. I know how hard he worked and I know that he had envisioned bringing me some gourmet looking food and I know he is disappointed that it looks like poo, but to me, it’s the most beautiful meal I’ve ever seen.

He is the man who keeps pounds of ground beef in the freezer because he knows I will be demanding a burger in my sleep tonight. He is the man who will watch from afar as I sit and cuddle a boxer puppy, see how much I love the thing, and then make arrangements with whoever he has to to make sure he surprises me on my birthday with the $800 puppy. He is the man who woke up five times a night to bottle feed a ton of baby squirrels because he knew I’d be devastated if they died.

This is Dean… the man who tucks me into bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT that he is home. He changes my sheets each night because he knows I can’t stand anything else, and he lines up my blankets and pillows in exactly the way I like them to be. He brings me my medicine and a glass of milk and puts them on the nightstand before going to the kitchen to set the coffee maker up to brew me the perfect pot by morning. Then, he returns to the bedroom and talks to me, snuggles me, gives me love and attention before rubbing my back until I fall asleep.

He is the man who, when I declare that I want outrageous things like a pet hawk or a penguin, will study and research the laws on this, the regulations for owning such animals and then if found that we simply cannot, he will adopt one in my name to make me smile.

This man tolerates me. He accepts the baggage from my painful past, holds me when I cry for reasons he admits he doesn’t understand. He sits patiently when I lash out or get frustrated and he accepts the difficult task of being married to me when even my own father could not handle having me around.

He is the man who gave up the solidarity rallies and hemp necklaces, the moonlight operas on the beach at midnight… all to join the military to give a better life for his wife and children. He is the man who has packed his bags more times than I can count to surrender his warm bed and hot food in exchange for a foxhole and an MRE.

I’ve seen him come home skinny as a rail from not eating, eyes red from not sleeping, dirty and exhausted and hungry after months of bodily neglect… home where he drops the rucksack and kevlar and swings a little girl in the air and doles out treasures from his adventures to two small boys. I hear stories of his actions while away from other soldiers, stories of how he would sit with a guitar and sing songs and make them all happy, stories of how he worked harder than anyone else out there to make sure everyone was safe.

So what if he never answers his cell phone when I try to call him? So what if he takes three hours to complete a task that should take ten minutes? Who cares if he goes to the grocery for five items and comes back with two? What does it matter that he gave the kids a bubble bath in Dawn dish detergent or washed Olivia’s hair without removing her pigtails?

People always ask me how I can stay after all the tough times, his addiction to methamphetamines, his spontaneous dabbles with shoplifting when my children’s Christmas depended on it, his attempted suicide when he felt he had failed us all… and this is why. It’s not to me the stupid mistakes, the spontaneous panicked actions… it’s the man inside who loves deeply and no matter how mad or frustrated I may ever get, there is far more to love and cherish.

I fell in love with a man who sat in the corner singing his heart out and the song is far from over.