Friday, April 18, 2014

Bullet-Pointed Baby Thoughts

This is two weeks’ worth of thoughts, so there’s a bit more than usual.

  • Let’s start with some happy news:
    Facebook-20140417-065505
    I had another ultrasound yesterday, this time with the MFM (commonly known as perinatologist, but at my hospital they’re just called “the MFM.” *shrug*). We had a couple of things we needed to check up on. Baby G measured right where they liked, pretty much straight along the 50th percentile in every possible way. Not too big, not too small. Just right. :)
    And, the big one – that ultrasound picture up there is a close-up of her little heart. Because I had congenital heart defects, that’s obviously something they were wanting to be on the lookout for.
    And the very good news – she’s got her Daddy’s heart – perfectly formed and pumping away.
    All this good news definitely made up for the 0400 wakeup I had that morning, and was the perfect way to start this weekend!
  • The other day my mom and I were talking and she said, “I had a dream the other night that the baby was born, she had a head full of black hair!” And I said, “That’s funny, I keep dreaming the baby is born, and she has lots of black hair, too.”
    This is funny, not only because we’re having the same dream elements, but because the babies in my family are not born with hair, and I don’t think any of us have black hair. Maybe my Dad did, but I’m pretty sure it was closer to dark brown. Anyway, funny.
    Then I had a dream Baby G was a toddler and had long medium brown hair (the color I was born with). Also wishful thinking – at that age, I still had wispys everywhere and needed Scotch Tape to hold the bows on. But a girl can dream.
  • Last week was the infamous glucose testing. If you follow me on twitter, you may have picked up on that from all the whining. Believe me, I was holding back.
    My OB told me not to fast before the one-hour because I was pretty terrified of getting my blood drawn on an empty stomach.
    Big mistake. Failed.
    Got incredibly pissed off.
    I knew I didn’t have GD.
    Started doing some research and found out that the medication I’m on will fake out glucose tests. The manufacturers specifically do NOT recommend it for diabetics for that reason.
    Lovely.
    You may ask, what’s the big deal about having GD? It only lasts for a couple of months and the worst part is you eat healthier for your baby, right?
    Well, in the short term, yes. But for those who aren’t aware, a GD diagnosis is linked to increased likelihood in developing Type II Diabetes within the next 10-15 years, especially in women over the age of 25 (I hate being old).
    And all that goes in your medical records.
    Which matters if, as many people do, one were to try to obtain or increase life insurance in their 30s.
    So my biggest concern was that I might wind up with crap in my medical records that didn’t actually belong there, because A) I didn’t fast, on the recommendation of my doctor, and B) medications were interfering with the test. And then wind up paying for it (literally) later.
    So I stayed pretty stressed out for about 48 hours until I made it back to take the three-hour test, and all weekend while I waited for the phone call with the results.
    And, like the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the little orange drink (seriously, it’s basically Hi-C), it was much ado about nothing. Three-hour test came back just fine.
    But dang, that was annoying.
  • Facebook-20140415-014913
    Me last week with fellow OCSArs. Blog post forthcoming. And I am making an effort to get back in the sun now that it’s warming up.
  • It seems we’ve entered the Excessive Snoring phase of pregnancy. Poor SoldierMan. And apparently it’s been going on for a while. To his credit, he didn’t bring it up until I specifically asked about it. And he laughed. But that may have been delirium.
  • I realize I’m hormonal and emotional right now, but I’m a little ashamed at how quickly my feelings towards my OB snapped north to south to north again over those few days stressing about that stupid test. Oh well.
  • Oh! The baby book dilemma. I bit the bullet and won the exact album I wanted on ebay. So I’ve been hammering away pulling together pages and templates and stuff. It’s so much fun. More fun than even working on the nursery. I get so pumped about it I want to take pictures of every page I finish to show you…but I won’t, because that’s just crazy overload. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Once Upon a Time, there was a deployment

So…it’s been a little over six months and I never did an official “end of deployment wrap-up” post. I intended to, but we were busy, then out of town, then having a baby, then Christmas…life.

Probably best to have a bit of distance anyway. But I do want to have a cumulative record of it. So, better late than never.

Last year was our very first deployment. It lasted 9.5 months on the nose. SoldierMan left Dec 1, 2012 and returned Sept 16, 2013. I don’t think past events are OPSEC.

703526_10100323271723111_1831238281_oa

About a week after SoldierMan left, the car died, the toilet broke, and something else had to be fixed/replaced (can’t remember what). And I only had to make one phone call to my Dad to fix it all. So that helped me start the deployment off feeling all empowered and stuff.

I went home for Christmas for a little over a week. I left the boys here at the kennel, which was unavoidable but made it really hard to be away from El Paso. I loved being home with family, of course, but it didn’t feel as much of “home” without either SoldierMan or my two furry SoldierMan compensations.

603171_10151416101428125_1993034818_n

My sister came back to El Paso with me and stayed a couple of weeks over New Year’s, which was great. It was nice to have someone here who I didn’t have to “entertain” but still was able to engage in conversation. :)

Right after she left was the rope incident, where I spent several hours seriously worried I might lose Achilles. I may have infinitesimally overreacted emotionally, but let me just say, I am so thankful A) for twitter telling me just a day or two before that, just because that dog had eaten pretty much everything else under the sun – socks, underwear, power cords – and come out okay, ropes are a whole different ball game and you don’t “wait it out in case he can work through it on his own,” and B) Vets who are open on Sunday nights.

IMAG1408

About that time was when I got plugged into a weekly Bible Study for wives of the deployed soldiers. This group became one of my anchors during deployment. We went through a lot together – babies being born, interpersonal drama, and tragically, one of our members losing her husband in combat.

574664_3850361277518_52470748_n (1)

In March, I (finally) got hired for a job I had applied for the November previous. It was simultaneously one of the coolest jobs I’d ever had, and also the job from Hell. I won’t go into details here, but I only lasted a few months.

After the job ended, I stepped up to an Executive Board position with our post Officer and Civilian Spouse Association. That has pretty much kept me busy ever since, but I’m loving it. Worth its own blog post, which is coming.

Facebook-20140416-110621

In the spring, I went to my first ever ComiCon, in Phoenix, with my sister. It was one of the most fun long-weekend trips ever. If I hadn’t had that stupid job, it would’ve been longer. And more fun. But the stupid job paid for the trip. Oh, adulthood.

DSC_0022

Anyway, it was fabulous and super fun to hang out with my sister just the two of us for a few days and embrace our uniquely-shared quirkyness. And eat lots of room service and sleep in. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Oh, and I made a dress. With pockets.

DSC_0615

In the summer, the brigade began bringing units home, and I got to experience my first homecomings and homecoming photography adventures. (SoldierMan didn’t come back until a few months later) Undoubtedly one of the greatest experiences of my life. No hyperbole.

DSC_0494

During the first half-ish of the deployment, I had a good routine and was active and lost 10+ inches overall and felt awesome. Sometime in the summer, my docs changed up my meds, and within weeks I gained it all back. It was pretty discouraging at the time (who wants to gain weight right before homecoming???) but I know that if I lost it once, in a safe way, I can lose it again.

I made a bunch of new friends and said goodbye to old ones.
I went on my first real solo road trip (as in, longer than 2 hours).
I took a friend to have surgery.
I got to go back to Oklahoma a couple of times.
Achilles and I finally cemented our bonding over SoldierMan’s absence.
Jeb got used to sleeping on SoldierMan’s side of the bed, but the first night SoldierMan was home, gave his spot back willingly.
I learned to appreciate all the relationships I had built up over the last few years with you all, my BBs, whose experiences I recalled to myself multiple times throughout the deployment.
I rearranged the furniture a few times.
I sent a ton of care packages, which may have been more for me than for him. :) Some of them were better than others. Some of them (like birthday cake in a mason jar) were epic fails.
I used a whole tank of propane on our grill over the summer.
I had almost nothing to do with our unit’s FRG but I plugged into Ft. Bliss and our Brigade in other ways, so I never felt like I was missing anything there.

And then, finally, nine and a half months later, SoldierMan came home.

DSC_1049

I don’t mind saying, now that it’s all over, I’m pretty proud of how 2013 went. I had promised myself before the deployment began that I wasn’t going to “waste” the time by wishing the days away until he got back. I wasn’t going to have a thin little scrapbook with blank pages for 9 months. And I feel like I lived up to that promise. Even though I couldn’t spend the majority of that year with him, it’s not a missing year in my life, and that was the goal.

I’m in no hurry to repeat the experience, and thankfully we won’t have to for at least a little while, thanks to SoldierMan’s schedule for the next year or so. I’m glad to be on the other side of it. I’m glad that he comes home from work every day. I’m glad we have a 4-day this weekend that we get to spend together. I’m glad that we are getting to spend 2014 making memories together.

There’s no one else I’d rather do it with.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bullet-Pointed Baby Thoughts

  • According to the pregnancy app on my phone, we officially entered the 3rd trimester this week. Yippee!
  • We also entered a new phase of baby-ness: up till now, Baby G had been a really good sleeper. Or, at least, she was a considerate little person. Now she’s either big enough or restless enough that she’s started waking me up in the night and keeping me up. The other night, I swear she had hiccups for an hour. So, this is going to be fun.
  • I had some victory at the on-post Thrift Shop this week. Found some non-hideous maternity tops and some really cute infant dresses. I’m more excited about the dresses, of course. I really can’t see the point of pants on infants, especially during a summer in the Chihuahua desert. We have a huge Thrift Shop here, and unlike a lot of other posts, all the money spent there goes to scholarships and charitable causes, not the MWR, so I like giving them my money. Doesn’t hurt that I got $8-$10 Carters dresses for $2.
  • Next week is my glucose test. I’m not very worked up about it. Mostly I’ll just be glad to have it over with.
  • Last night Baby G surprised me and kicked so hard my whole belly moved to one side. Still so freaky in a cool way. I think it’s one of those things that, unless you’ve experienced it, you can’t really grasp what it’s like. But it’s cool. At least, I think it’s cool.
  • I had this great vision for one wall in Baby G’s room. I wanted to buy the Thomas Kinkade Disney calendars, cut out the prints of the princesses, frame them, and make a sort of gallery wall out of them. Because you can’t go wrong with Thomas Kinkade. And Disney. Anyway, after much research, I’ve learned that he made 6 Disney Princess works – Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Princess and the Frog. And of all the calendars I can find, the most in any one is 5, and none of them have Princess and the Frog.
    So, do I go ahead and buy the calendar with the first 5, frame them, and wait and hope next year’s has the last one? Do I try to get cheap prints from ebay or someplace and hope I don’t wind up spending an arm and a leg? Because, if I spend $30 on a calendar (I know, I know) that comes out to about $7 a print, which isn’t bad, plus a half-priced frame from Hobby Lobby. For a print, I think that’s pretty economical?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Captain ‘Merica

Yesterday was a big day in the SoldierMan household – the long awaited promotion day finally arrived!

Facebook-20140402-034645

He ordered the cake himself. In case that wasn’t clear. :)

Facebook-20140402-034704-2

Facebook-20140402-034715

They told us we had to cut it wedding-style. With a saber. Because it’s a Cav unit.

I’m so proud of my SoldierMan for all his hard work and his excellent record. Lots of changes are heading our way this year, and this was one of them and a precursor to others. I know he’ll only become a better leader and I’m so thankful to be walking this road with him.

Congrats, Babe, and enjoy it. You deserve it. ‘Merica!