Supportive Spouse Syndrome

Yes, I said Supportive Spouse Syndrome. It seems to be that way in today’s society. So many people my age seem to be in it for themselves only. Marriage is not “all about me” but, at least in my opinion, it is “all about us.” 

We have all heard the old adage that marriage is 50/50. But a very wise NCO once told me while I was enlisted that if each partner only gives 50%, then the marriage is doomed to fail. That makes sense. If I only had half of Cowboy, we would fail. If he only had half of me, we would fail. I couldn’t imagine holding half of myself back. 

This brings me back to my statement about SSS. I proudly have SSS. Unlike most people our age, Cowboy and I used traditional themes in our wedding vows. I vowed to love, honor, obey, support, and cherish. He vowed to love, honor, respect, support and cherish. I also vowed to follow his lead, trusting him to have the final say in domestic matters. He also vowed to listen to my views and make informed decisions that will not betray my trust in him. 

We both know the gravity of those vows, and how uncommon it is within our social circle to speak and, more importantly, live those words. While we may not be “religious” in the traditional sense, and we don’t hold to the Catholic faith I was raised in, we do have a very Biblical marriage. 

We recently had some tough times, and I was actually called stupid for not walking out on Cowboy and walking away from my marriage. How is that being supportive of my husband? I didn’t make my vows for only the good times, but also for the bad. Support and love don’t go away when times are tough. 

I take my vow to stand beside my husband at all times very seriously. For my part, I bolster his ego, not emasculate him or “kick him when he’s down,” my job, no my privilege, is to be there for him, his shoulder to cry on, the one person he can rely on when the world is beating him down. 

I’m proud to say my support of him has never wavered. I’m more in love with this man today than I was when we exchanged those vows almost 15 years ago. Following his lead has never led our relationship in the wrong direction and our marriage is happier than those of our friends, many of whom are on their second or third marriage. Holding the sanctity of our vows and the words said so near and dear has deepened our bond with each other and, in many ways, has strengthened our faith as well. 

Catching Up a Bit

Well, it is the end of the school year and time to catch up on all the happenings and summer plans. 

Mini had his 5th grade graduation this week where he got his promotion certificate and his ALPHA paperwork. We also have his ALPHA portfolio with everything he has done the entire time he was in the ALPHA program. Just looking through that, it is amazing to see how much he has grown over the last few years, academically. 

About 2 months ago, Mini and a friend found an abandoned box turtle outside in the street. So, we now have a box turtle. Mini has researched all he could about the turtle and has taken care of him, misting his habitat every morning, fluffing the stuff at the bottom of the bin he is in, helping to change the water, and keeping track of what he likes to eat and what he does not eat. We named him Tank after the turtle on MLP. 

Our summer plans are still being worked out. It is shaping up to be an exciting and fun summer! But, for now, Mini and I are working on some late spring cleaning and decluttering. I also have a few projects I’m working on, 3 different afghans and 2 quilts plus some small items. 

What does everyone have planned for summer? 

Some Answers

Well, earlier this week I had the follow-up test with the cardiologist. This was the trans esophageal echocardiogram. Basically, I was sedated and they put an echo wand down my throat to see my heart clearer, since the aorta rests on the esophagos. 

So, they do the test, looking at my heart. The next half hour will determine my medical future, if I need surgery or not. At this point, as they sedate me, I’m wondering why my blood pressure is not elevated because I’m worried. But those thoughts fly away as I start to see three of my cardiologist. 

The test goes well and the doctor gives me the results, but I have no idea what he is saying. Thankfully, Cowboy is in the other room and the doctor speaks to him. 

Later, Cowboy explains it to me. It turns out that the regergatation I thought I had was not the problem at all. It turns out I have a congential heart defect, meaning a defect present since birth. The defect is a Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV). This also causes Aortic Valve Stenosis. The stenosis means not enough blood cal flow through my aortic valve. This is, in my case, because it is a bicuspid valve. 



The normal valve is three leaflets. Mine is two. 



Because of the leaflet difference, my valve does not open all the way, so blood flow is compromised. In some patients the stenosis can be life threatening and require surgery. 



This is another graphic showing a bicuspid aortic valve. 

So much relief that I won’t need surgery for now, that I just have to watch symptoms and have an EKG and echo every year or two to keep an eye on the condition. 

When it is not severe, most people can go undiagnosed until they are in their 30’s. 

Chores

People comment about how responsible Mini is. How did that happen? Well, we treat him like a human being. We don’t patronize him the way parents our age do. We let him know he will be held responsible for his actions or inactions.
We allow him to choose his chores. He has a list of chores and how much they are worth. When he completes the chore, either Cowboy or I will sign off on it and the value of the chore will be deposited into his allowance envelop. On Saturday, the signed list from the week is added up and he gets a list of what he did that week, almost like his father’s pay stub. Half of what he earned goes into the bank, the other half his wallet. We have no say in how he spends his wallet money, within reason of course. He has, in the past, saved enough wallet money to buy video games and name brand sneakers.
It works for us, and teaches Mini he needs to earn his spare money for things he wants, that things will not just be handed to him. He loves to see his bank account balance going up.
Some don’t agree with us, and some don’t think he needs to learn the value of saving or earning, we should just give him everything he wants!
What have you found works for you when it comes to your kids and chores?

Been a week

It has been almost a week since I have been home from the hospital. The health scare has prompted some changes here, and so far so good.
I was already planning to eat healthier, so I just started that now. I have replaced occasional breakfasts with a bowl of cereal or oatmeal a day, along with milk and fruit. Mid morning snack is fruit or granola bars. Lunch is usually a single serving salad or soup (single serving not the whole can lol). Mid afternoon snack is some kind of veggie or snack pack.
The most difficult thing has been dinner. Trying to find something balanced but with flavor that is filling. But I have been able to so far.
I’m going to start working in a light walk 3 days a week and maybe some light weight training 3 days a week with one day off.
Well, guess it’s time to get going.

First Big Project of 2015

Well, I have realized it is impossible to find a straight out 6 pointed star crochet pattern. I found a 6 into 24 point pattern and just removed the addition of the other points, since my BFF wants just the 6 pointed Star of David in the colors of the Israeli flag.
I initially wanted to work a Jacob’s Ladder into the points, just to add that little extra religious symbolism, but couldn’t find one that looked good.
I don’t usually make afghans “to order” like this, I will usually choose someone who I think would appreciate a hand made afghan and spend a year creating it, but J is a very special kid.
This is going to be a present for his bar mitzvah. I could not be more proud of this young man and the way he has developed into a sensitive, caring individual.

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So, here it is so far. Every so often I will add an update on the progress as it gets bigger. Almost time to add a little blue!

2015 Crafting Projects

A new year is drawing closer and I have started figuring out what my goals will be craft-wise.
First will be a crochet afghan for my dear friend A’s son for his Bar Mitzvah. I am searching for the perfect pattern and yarn for it.
I also would like to begin one for Mini for his birthday in October. Those are my two big crochet projects for this year.
Small projects include building up a stash of scarves, hot pads, coasters, and other small items to give as gifts as needed during the year.
Other projects I have planned include a queen size quilt. I found a quilt-as-you-go double wedding ring tutorial that I am going to use, I just need to find the right curve template online and the fabric I want to use. That’s my big personal project.
Of course, I will be making different jelly roll tops to build up a stash of those as well for gifts during the year.
As far as small quilting projects go I want to build up a stash of hot pads, pot holders, coasters, throw pillow tops, and holiday decoration tops.
It’s going to be a busy year craft wise. But a fun year none the less!

Year in Review…. Looking Ahead.

Wow! 2014 has been a year of ups and downs for us. It started out great! Mini was doing well in school and Cowboy was finally past the retaliation for making a safety report.
Over the summer, Mini spent a few months with my side of the family. I hit the road with Cowboy. It was a blast!
When Cowboy and I got home, Mini soon followed. We began some minor advanced training of the family dog. She already knew sit, stay, and lay down. So, a few packs of hot dogs later, she now knows “sit and shake hand” “hide” “Abbie home” and “wake up Mini.”
Then, in September, the year went to hell. The community in the game we play fell apart. It has not been the same since.
Then, Cowboy got hurt. His truck tried to run him over and he broke his leg. He was out on worker’s comp for a few months, working 8 hours a day in the office. It was nice to have him home every day.
When Cowboy went back on the road, his fellow drivers started treating him like a rookie, disrespecting him and his experience. Stuff has happened he is not comfortable with, much of it just on the line of illegal. He was outright told to fudge something. (And people wonder why Tracy Morgan’s accident happened, it’s industry wide). I will cover the industry stuff at another time.
His reputation was threatened by a coworker who told Cowboy to drop an issue before something happens. We lived through the starvation miles and retaliation for 12 weeks last year, we can do it again. He will not risk his life, health, or CDL for you.
Then today the gaming group began to fall apart again.
I just hope 2015 is better.

A Smoker No Longer!

With little breaks for Basic Training and pregnancy, I have been a smoker since the day after I turned 16. After doing a bit of research, I decided it was time to quit, but I knew I would fail if I quit cold turkey and if I just cut down, I knew I would fail also. I decided the best way for me to quit would be to vape instead.
I decided to get myself the vape set up instead of cigarettes when I ran out one day and have not looked back since!
Right away I noticed a difference in my health and well being! Right away, my clothes and hair stopped smelling like smoke. My cough went away and my blood pressure is no longer in severe stroke range (it’s still high but not as severely high). After two days, I had that throat scabby feeling and taste as my throat healed from the years of abuse from smoking.
After a week, I could breathe better and had more energy. I can walk with my son without getting winded. I was able to take full, deeper breaths.
Three weeks after switching I began tasting things again. My skin looks better, too.
All in all, I am glad I made the decision to quit.

More Christmas Crafts!!

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This is the scarf I made for Mini’s home room teacher. It’s a 1 skein, 90 minute scarf using an 8mm (L11) hook and loose tension so the scarf feels very comfy just folding it.

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This is the afghan I am making for Cowboy’s parents. I am not sure how big it will end up being but it is getting there. I’m going to cut down the pattern, so 2 maroon 1 white for a few rounds, then maybe do 2 rounds of 1 round of each color to end it. All I know is I want to end it with white.

Well, back to crafting and wrapping!