Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pregnancy Update (#2): 18 weeks

Well I meant to get this out at 17 weeks but it just didn't happen since The LT's birthday was June 5th and we had a big party for him. We had a ton of people at the house and had a great party for him but the prep, party, and clean-up (even though it was a casual thing) wiped me out. So, I'm writing this at 17.5ish weeks and by the time I get the photo edited and all it will likely go live when I'm actually 18 weeks.
18 weeks (a few days shy actually)


How far along: 18 weeks
Total weight gain: 7ish pounds I think
Maternity clothes: I'm completely in to my maternity pants. Some of my longer regular tops still fit but fewer and fewer still work. 
Stretch marks: Nope. 
Sleep: As long as my joints aren't killing me when I get in bed I sleep pretty well.
Best moment of the week (or month since it's been that long): hearing baby's heartbeat at my last appointment and seeing it on the ultrasound. OH! And scheduling my big sonogram for later this month when we will find out the gender!  
Miss anything: Not lately.
Movement: Maybe a little but I think I'm not still enough when awake to really notice it yet.
Food cravings: Salad (like a big one with awesome toppings), BBQ chips, bacon, soda (still...grr)
Anything making you queasy or sick: I'm still a little queasy early in the mornings and if my blood sugar gets too low I go down fast.
Have you started to show yet: Yes but most people still don't believe I'm a) pregnant and/or b) as far along as I am. 
Gender: it's definitely a boy OR girl...don't know yet and it's KILLING ME
Labor signs: Nope.
Belly button– in or out: In.
Wedding rings– on or off: On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy most of the time I suppose but still moody.
Looking forward to: finding out boy/girl

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How Can You Measure Sacrifice

Since we left Washington I've been totally out of my groove in regards to blogging. I know I should/want to post about Hawaii, how I prepped for our PCS, how the PCS went with a 2 year old, all the sights and people we saw on the road, the challenges we faced after we got to Oklahoma, pregnancy, etc. but I just can't seem to find the motivation to put those thoughts on proverbial paper. Those things just don't seem important enough to write about when I've got such little energy and motivation to sit down at my computer. 


This year has been a challenging one for myself and many of the people I'm closest to in life. A few friends have made the transition out of military life and are struggling. While they expected the bumps in the road to come I know they didn't necessarily expect them to come the way they did. Some of them are flat out at a loss with what to do with themselves and their lives outside the military. They want to go back, even though they know they can't. They know their civilian family and friends don't understand why they aren't overjoyed to be permanently settled and back "where they are from." What those civilian loved ones can't understand is that they no longer really belong where they once might have. Previously safe and comforting places no longer hold the same level of solace they once did. Safety and comfort in the military is in the people you know you can trust...not in the physical places you reside in. 


Perhaps pregnancy is making me sappier (and definitely crazier) than normal which is why I've been so retrospective lately. Or maybe it's because we still don't know where we are living past September so in my lack of ability to plan the future I have too much time to look at the past. 


I often wonder what the true cost of military service is. Government agencies and humans in general will quantify it with numbers of KIAs, WIAs, and other types of hard data....but is what is the cost for the typical service member? You can't really quantify the time lost with love ones...yes you can count days, weeks, months, and years separated....but you can't tally up moments lost. How do you quantify what is lost when a person has PTSD?  What do loved ones lose when they watch someone they love more than life struggle? What does that do to us as individuals? Society expects service members and their families to be overjoyed when deployments end or military service is complete but in my (limited) experience it's  not until those things happen do the real struggles begin. I often feel like the expectation is to just "soldier on," which is ironic since the "soldiering" is now supposedly finished.

Our first date, Valentine's Day 2007. Post-Iraq deployment. 
So, as I sit at Starbucks in the middle of Lawton writing this it's impossible not to notice all the young soldiers in their dress blues walking in proudly with their loved ones. There is probably a basic training graduation happening in the next day or two and these young soldiers are happy to see their families and proud to wear their uniforms. They should be proud. They have, no doubt, worked hard over many weeks, likely achieving the most significant accomplishment in their lives thus far. But while I grin each time I see one holding their significant other's hand proudly I also feel some sorrow for them. They know not what is ahead. Maybe they will be spared deployments, significant injuries, losing friends, and PTSD....but maybe not. I also wonder, now that The LT is a captain and will be taking command relatively soon, if one of these fresh young faces will be in his battery. Will they have a spouse and children a part of the FRG? What will The LT, as a  commander, and I, as an FRG leader be able to do for them? How can we make their lives better fuller? (Personally, I don't believe it is my responsibility to make someone's life "better" but I can help make their life fuller and richer.) And what will they add to our lives?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pregnancy (#2) Update: 14 weeks

Alright y'all, I know you've been waiting for more pregnancy updates so here you go. I make no guarantees as to how often I'll get this done seeing as I was really bad about it with Belle and I wasn't running after a toddler then. 

I'm copying Caitlin's little survey because well...it's easy. 



How far along: 14 weeks
Total weight gain: I think 2-3 pounds....we don't have a scale at the house. I got SUPER sick with a really bad stomach bug over Easter which required two ER visits for fluids and meds. Pretty sure I lost 5-10 pounds that weekend so while I've gained 2-3 from my pre-pregnancy weight in total I've gained 8ish.
Maternity clothes: I'm kinda inbetween still...some maternity bottoms fit and some don't. Most of my regular pants are super uncomfortable but I have one pair of jeans that does alright for now.
Stretch marks: Nope. 
Sleep: I'm pretty much in a coma from the time my head hits the pillow each night. 
Best moment of the week: Surviving....it's been an exhausting week with some "morning" sickness returning  and The LT working long hours all week.
Miss anything: I REALLY could have used a glass of wine several nights this week.
Movement: Not that I've noticed.
Food cravings: I haven't had any super consistent ones that I want all the time but here are a few: pickles (mostly I think for the salt when I haven't had enough water), Cherry Sprite from sonic with extra whole cherries, chips and salsa, mexican food, shortbread cookies with a cup of tea, candy (so weird), fresh oranges (had this with Belle too), pretzel sticks....that's all I can think of for now. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Occasionally strong smells will but this time around I mostly only get queasy or sick if I don't eat enough or often. I have to eat a granola bar before I get out of bed in the morning just to make it to breakfast and even then if I push that too far I'll get sick. Forcing myself to eat all the time when I'm not hungry is already getting old.
Have you started to show yet: Yes but it mostly just looks like I have a gut and/or just ate too many cookies. People who know me can tell but strangers can't.
Gender: it's definitely a boy OR girl...don't know yet and it's KILLING ME
Labor signs: Nope.
Belly button– in or out: In.
Wedding rings– on or off: On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Moody and just bleh most of the time....and very unmotivated which is unusual for me. With Belle I figured it was just because I was so sick, my husband was deployed, I was in a new place, etc. but now I'm beginning to think that pregnant me is just unmotivated, moody, and somewhat sloth like.  
Looking forward to: People being able to tell I'm pregnant and finding out boy/girl. 
Overall this pregnancy has been much easier (so far) than with Belle but I still don't like being pregnant. I want my normal motivation and me back. Thankfully (I think) the time seems to be going by faster because I just don't have the luxury of laying around now. It is nice to have The LT around this time ....although he may not be so thankful since I haven't been super easy to live with. 


It's really annoying me that I a) don't know if we are having a boy or girl yet and b) don't know where we will be living when this baby is due. Should I even hang pictures in Belle's room if we may have to rearrange everything to put a crib and bed in there? Should I hang another picture in any room as we are half way through May and don't know if we will be in this house in October? Should I try to get things to the organizational level they are usually at? Or just leave it in case we move again? These are some of the things I think about every day as I look around the house. Help meeeeeee ....except you can't, because you don't know either.  

Friday, May 8, 2015

Life Right Now: BIG NEWS

Since I still feel super scatterbrained I'm just going to do a giant update in bullet format in no particular order. I have serious blogging writers block so hopefully this will help clear my head.


  • I'M PREGNANT....k...got that out of the way. I kind of knew I was pregnant about halfway through our road trip but didn't take a test until we got to Lawton. ETA for baby #2 is November 14th. I'm 12 weeks right now and doing fairly well. So far an easier pregnancy than with Belle but I've still had my challenges.
  • The LT is no longer an LT! As of May 1st he is officially Captain LT! (Well not really but I try to keep our last name off here for security reasons). Now this poses a question...does he stay "The LT" here or should he get a name change on this little corner of the inter-webs as well? Comment and let me know what you think! I wrote about this once before but never really decided so I need your help y'all!!!
  • Our PCS went pretty well. We didn't have any broken HHG nor did anything get lost. 
  • The LT is knee deep in CCC studying but isn't working super late hours or in the field so we will take it as a win.
  • Our PCS road trip was both amazing and exhausting. I'm SO glad we decided to make it a bit of a vacation and allow several days off from driving in multiple cities. We had great visits with everyone we saw and the days out of the car made driving 2,500+ miles with a 2 year old pretty manageable. 
  • The house we're renting is a good size for us but hasn't been without it's complications. There were quite a few issues we discovered upon moving in that had to be immediately addressed along with a few others that popped up later. Luckily, our property manager has been great and everything has been fixed in a timely manner.
  • We are settling in to a routine here finally...Belle goes to hourly care a few times a week, I'm trying to make it to yoga when I can, continually trying to come up with activities for Belle, and so on.
  • While I'm glad to be back in the south and closer to family I miss my friends and Belle's little play buddies back in Washington...even though several have already moved or will be soon.  I also REALLY miss living on post. We live on a quiet street here but we can't safely take long walks through the neighborhood because of the way the sidewalks are on our street and major roads. I miss the ease of going to the park and all those fringe benefits that come with living on post. I knew I would miss some of it but didn't realize how much it all changed my day to day life with Belle. 
  • House 6 Creations on Etsy and Facebook is back up and running. Once my current stock of pre-made items is finished I will be moving to a primarily custom order based business. With a move, another possible move in a few months, a toddler, being pregnant and then a new baby, there's just no way I can keep operating the way I was in Washington. So, if there's something you desire just shoot me a message and I'll get it made for you just the way you want it!
  • I am DYING to know if we are having a boy or girl. I'm also dying to know where we will be living after The LT finishes CCC. His course is done in September and I'm due in November so the whole not knowing where we will be when I give birth thing is driving me nuts.
  • Y'all I am TIRED. So far this pregnancy has been easier than with Belle but running after her all day wears me out beyond belief. Doing anything past 8pm means I am a zombie the next day. I usually crash hard around the time Belle wakes up from her nap,...ironically I'm never tired during her nap time...which results in us watching a movie nearly every afternoon. Belle loves it, I get to rest, and every now and then she even cuddles with me!
  • I've hit a major motivation block in terms of setting up our house. We've been totally unpacked and boxes gone for a while now. I managed to get some pictures up in the hallways, kitchen, and a few in the living room. I'm just so tired most days that expending the energy to decorate the house is not appealing if we aren't staying here much longer. Maybe one day soon I'll go on a mad picture hanging bender but maybe not....only time will tell. 
  • While Belle has done really well with all the change I can definitely tell it's taken a toll on her. The stress of everything threw her pretty rapidly into the "terrible twos" once we got into our house. Exponentially more melt downs and deliberate defiance than before. Overall she's really not that bad but she definitely has her days. Her speech has started to explode but not nearly to the level of her comprehension. Many of her meltdowns stem from her not being able to express what she wants ....it breaks my heart but it should get better with time and more words. She's also become a much pickier eater than she used to be. It's frustrating but I just try to take it one meal at a time. 
  • Our summer schedule is filling up much faster than I would have anticipated...we've got a wedding, visits from friends and family, a trip to Louisiana planned, and much more! 
Well I think that's most of it....more to come later which will hopefully include some pictures of some of the aforementioned events. Thanks for sticking with me through all the absentee craziness!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nonsensical Nothingness

Y'all, I don't even know where to begin. It's been over 3 months since I last posted something...THREE months! I have a few half finished drafts that didn't get posted because I got busy preparing for our PCS and photo editing took up time and energy I really didn't have then. Maybe they will get finished ...maybe they won't. To say a lot has happened would be a gross understatement. My head is so full of I don't even know what that it's hard to write a focused post. 


Our PCS was hectic, exhausting, and long...but overall went well. We are finally settling in here in Oklahoma. I've started getting Belle and I on a routine which is really helping my sanity. All the boxes are gone. Pictures are starting to go up and it's feeling like we really live here...not just sleep and eat in a foreign house. 


There's SO MUCH to update here that I'm hoping this post of nonsensical nothingness will get the scatterbrained out so I can write more about what's been happening. Honestly, it's a bit overwhelming but I'm going to try not to think about that now. Just going to focus on the coherent putting words in to sentences thing. So, my bloggy friends, don't give up on me just yet. I promise I'll be back and with much better posts than this one. 


So, for now I'll just leave you with a little gem from our last few weeks in Washington. Yes, that is the face Belle made in almost every picture.
 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mom Confession:Playing with My Kid

Some of you may remember my pregnancy confession that I HATED being pregnant. I did, and even though we want a second child I am absolutely not looking forward to being pregnant again. So, here's my mom confession....I don't enjoy playing with my kid.

I find sitting coloring, playing with legos, sitting at Belle's kitchen, you name it absolutely positively mind numbing. I'm fine doing it for five or ten minutes but much beyond that I get antsy. I feel the need to go and do something...anything. Until recently Belle would play quite independently for some time. Even when she was little and just rolling around on a play mat, as long as I put a variety of things around her she was happy for (the baby equivalent) of a long time playing by herself. Recently, though, if I'm not sitting and playing with her all she wants to do is watch cartoons and then proceeds to throw a fit if I don't put in the DVD she brings to me. 
While I don't believe watching cartoons is a horrible thing for her I don't want her watching them all day, every day. So, I'm trying to find ways to keep her attention during the day without TV and without losing my mind. My goal is to have no TV on in the morning...we have breakfast, clean-up, and then find an activity or two to do. If there are errands we do those in the morning, go to the children's museum, a walk/the park if weather permits, or try out new (inexpensive) toddler activities.
I know some people who love to sit and play with their kids but that's just not me. Don't get me wrong, I love her to pieces and I really enjoy watching her learn and play but sitting with her all day doing things is not my favorite. Recently Belle has enjoyed her bucket of pom poms and putting pipe cleaners into a colander. Soon I'm going to try some new activities I found on pintrest that are inexpensive and easy to manage. I know she needs stimulation and the opportunity to explore so my goal is to be better about supporting those needs. I'm not a perfect mom, nor do I expect myself to be, but I know that I need to challenge myself to do my best and not become complacent. 
So there it is...my mom confession. What's yours? If you're a parent, I know you have one! ;)

Monday, January 12, 2015

WE. DID. IT.

Have you ever looked back on a part of your life and all of a sudden have a realization along the lines of "I did it!"? While driving to dinner the other night with The LT it suddenly hit me that not only are we coming to the end of our journey here at Fort Lewis, but we did it! We survived! For The LT that feeling mostly encompasses his deployment and (almost) making it to Captain. For me the feeling is SO much more than that.


See, a lot of our family and friends thought I was crazy for actually moving up here knowing that The LT would deploy very soon after we arrived. I had no job lined up, while we had a few friends stationed here at the time I had no community I could easily drop in to, and I would be 2,500 miles away from everyone I was close to. But where would I have gone if I hadn't moved here with my husband? Yes, I could have stayed with my sister or MIL but those places weren't ever a "home" to me...they are their homes. Even if my mom had still been alive she would have been living in Houston which wasn't ever home to me...so again, where would I have gone? I suppose some people could have expected me to move back to DFW and rent an apartment or small house. I had plenty of connections to get a job and lots of support there, but that felt like moving backwards. By the end of our time at Fort Sill I had survived a year that included getting married, my mom passing away, joining the active duty Army community, moving to Oklahoma, and more....going backwards just seemed like the ultimate form of defeat. I just couldn't do it. 


So, I convinced myself that Fort Lewis was where I needed to be. My husband would need my support while getting ready for his deployment and I needed to set my roots as an Army Wife. I'm not going to sugar coat it, it was terrifying in the beginning, but I forced myself to go to FRG meetings and events. I introduced myself to people, made connections, volunteered, and slowly but surely built myself a support system. It was hard...really hard. Some days I felt defeated...especially in the few weeks after I miscarried. Then when I found out I was pregnant, after The LT had deployed, I had even more inquiries in to whether I would move back to Texas. I put on a brave face and told everyone this was where I needed to be...and most of the time I believed what I was saying. 


Looking back, I'm so thankful I dug my heels in here and refused to believe this wasn't where I was meant to be. I made incredible friends and friends who might as well be are family....I can't even imagine what life would be like without them though. Despite the fact that many of them have left Washington and the rest I will be leaving behind when we drive south next month, they will ALWAYS be part of my life. 


These three years at Fort Lewis brought us many challenges: miscarriage, deployment, medivac home for The LT, a new baby and all that goes with it, several challenging jobs for The LT, starting House 6 Creations, and so much more...but we did it. WE. DID. IT. 
This life...this military life...is challenging but the rewards we reap from it make it all worth it in the end. So, on to the next chapter for us. No, I don't know where we will be living a year from now but as per usual, I try to take it one set of orders at a time, which in this case means trying not to look past September for now. 
 
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