Saturday, May 19, 2007

Army Offers More Protection

Well, this week has been rather eventful for Mom and Daughter. We attended our very first Mom's group at the Midwifery that I use. It was great to get to socialize (I've spend most of the week hanging out with Soph in bed while recovering). There were lots of other adorable munchkins there to oooh and aaah at.

Thursday was Soph's one week birthday. She has been outstanding in every way. Sleeping and eating well. She's so calm it amazes me. We're practicing the basic tenants of Attachment Parenting (see what happens when you choose a therapist as a mother!). This style of parenting encourages healthy and appropriate attachment through infant bonding, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, responding to cries and babywearing. It was developed by Dr. Jim Sears and is based on Bowlby's attachment theory.

I've already received a few strange looks from people in the grocery store when the see Soph tied to me in a Moby Wrap as opposed to being in a car seat or travel system. Even family members have said things like "Don't you ever put that kid down" or "You'll spoil her if you hold her while she sleeps." Mostly I find this an amusing difference in opinions and chalk it up to being the non-conformist in my family (a nickname my Grandfather, the original non-conformist, has given me).

We're doing great! Here is a pic from her one week birthday.Thanks to everyone who recently sent cards and gifts. We appreciate your generosity and thoughtfulness.

News from the Commander:

Dear Family & Friends,

Our Army email system (AKO) has been very troublesome lately, so I am using my work email here to send out this update through Nikki.

Those of us in Jalalabad are continuing to get established here. The weather has been interesting, hot (more than 100 degrees) and starting to get humid. In the evenings, we sometimes get these gusty winds as if it is about to storm, but there is no rain. Back in Kabul, it would be a dust storm, but this area is rather green, so there is not as much dust in the air. Those on our team who are staying back at Darulaman are experiencing better temperatures, highs in the 80's.

I wanted to let you know about some steps that the Army has been taking to improve our protection here too; all of these are to minimize the dangers presented by IEDs.

1. Modifications for the HMMWVs.
Before mid-summer, all of our HMMWVs will receive a new kit that improves the vehicle's armor protection. The boys are looking forward to it because it has a powered gun turret too. (We have to hand-crank the ones we have now.)

2. New Body Armor.
Again, sometime this summer, we will all receive new body armor that will offer more protection (particularly on the sides), weigh less, and fit better. This armor will ride more on the waist that just on the shoulders as ours do now. We are all looking forward to this better protection, and a new set of armor that won't smell as bad as what we have now!

3. Fireproof Uniforms.
As an additional measure of protection, sometime this year we will be receiving fireproof uniforms to wear during our mounted operations. Our current uniform already provide great protection from flash burns, but these new uniforms will increase our protection.

For those of us here in Jalalabad, tomorrow is the official Transfer of Authority between the two ANA brigades. It is a big deal for them with various speakers and food. The rest of the week is just normal operations.

The newest member of our family support group is doing well. I have been very fortunate to get pictures of Sophia every day. Thank you everyone who has sent a congratulatory note so far, and sorry that I have not been able to respond to everyone.




Commander/Senior Mentor

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