Friday, December 14, 2012

Passing Time During Deployment

Being apart sucks, that's for sure. However, it goes a little faster when you keep busy. Now that this semester is over, part of me is extremely happy, but part of me is dreading the next month. Adalin's surgery is 34 days away (but who is counting..), and school starts up in a month exactly. Oh, how this sucks.

I'm really hoping that the next month will fly by. So, to pass the time I've got a few craft projects planned. I used the money I got back from by books to stock up on crafting supplies. I bought some canvases and a few picture frames. I really need to get some prints before I leave to go home for Christmas. I have six to add to one collage, three to another, and two to start a new one.

Throughout this deployment, I've been trying to pick one section of our house to re-vamp each month. The first few weeks, I created a whole new collage on a formerly blank wall. I used our pre-deployment pictures/one month pictures for this one. Right now, there are only four pictures and a saying, "All Because Two People Fell In Love." I'm adding six smaller frames to that one. 

I also added this decal to another blank wall:
I was kind of unsure of it at first, but I'm liking it more and more every day. It definitely adds some character to the wall.

There are a lot of other pictures that need to be hung. I am doing a beach themed collage with different beach trip pictures, and random milestones (6 month anniversary, first time in to the ocean, one year anniversary, etc). I'm really excited to see how that turns out.

I'm hoping to have this house really looking like a home by the time that my husband gets home from deployment (even though we might be PCSing). I'm hoping that we'll be here for six months or so, just so my  hard work isn't all for nothing. I've also been making random wreaths and other decor as well. I'm feeling rather crafty lately.

Depending on how ambitious I get, I might post some DIY tutorials on here. We'll see! Have a great weekend!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, December 10, 2012

Random Update

Since I feel like I'm going to get lots of traffic tonight, I thought I would update a bit. I'm doing well with this deployment still. We're officially 25% done! Woo hoo! I've been staying really fast, and my growing baby has helped pass the time a ton. I have been busy busy busy with her!

Another thing that has helped is my counter: 
Before Deployment

25% Done!

This counter is helping me so much! Every day, I get a little burst of happiness when I move a pebble. Although each day is only a fraction of a percent, it's one pebble closer. Also, when I go home to visit family, I get to move tons of pebbles at the same time and that is an amazing family. It's wonderful!! 

Well, that's all I've got time for tonight. My Sugar Butt is wanting her dinner and bath. So, I'll update again soon! 

God Bless ♥ Vi 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Confessions #2

Haven't done this in a while so... Here goes!

1. I have a major addiction to popsicles. I probably eat at least 4 every day. The Sour Patch Kids ones are my favorite.

2. I have a crazy fear of birds. All birds freak me out. Parrots, pidgeons, seagulls (ahhhhh!), all of them... Except humming birds, they're okay.

3. Since my hisbad deployed, I think I've only shaved my legs 4 times, maybe 5. Oops.

4. I can't go to sleep with my house quiet so I just run Netflix all night long. In fact, I run it all day too. I've watched so many full series: Army Wives, Desperate Housewives, 90210: Gray's Anatomy, Private Practice, Gossip Girl, Melissa and Joey, Drop Dead Diva, How I Met Your Mother, and a few more I'm sure. I'm currently in the middle of One Tree Hill.

5. I miss working out. I am determined to hit the gym regularly after Adalin's surgery when I feel more comfortable putting her in daycare for a few hours.

That's all for tonight!

God Bless <3 Vi

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Never Fails!

I always say that I'm going to get back on to blogging regularly, but something always comes up when I go to post. So, almost a month later, I'm back! So, here's a general update:

I've been handling this deployment pretty well for the past month. I had a bit of a rough time adjusting to life in Georgia again after visiting Michigan for three weeks. It was actually much harder than I expected, but I'm doing fine now. I think there was a small part of me that was almost expecting my husband to be at our house when I got back. I know that sounds completely stupid, but I think I sort of forgot that I was alone. I forgot how quiet our house is all the time. Solution? Netflix, all day long. Even if I'm not watching it, I have something on the TV. I hate the silence.

Adalin is doing well. We scheduled her surgery for January. I'm glad that we finally have a date, but now I am counting down the days until we go in. I'm terrified to let the doctors cut into my precious little baby. I can't believe she's already almost four months old! That's absolutely insane to me. She's over 16 pounds now and in 9 month clothing.

School is... oh goodness. It has been harder than I expected to keep up with classes while raising a child. I'm currently only taking 13 credits, but I'm falling behind. We only have a few weeks left in the semester (thank God!) so I'm trying to get everything in and done. Next semester I'm tackling one extra class so I'll be taking 16 credits. Pray for me!

Other than that, nothing is really going on. I'm doing well! I'm going back to Michigan for Christmas. Hopefully I'll stay on top of this blog again!

God Bless, ♥ Vi

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Facebook and Relationships

Can I just say that I hate what Facebook has done to the sanctity of relationships? Seriously, I get so heated when I think about it. I don't even know where to begin with this issue.

I'm very passionate when it comes to the definition of a marriage, or even a relationship for that matter. When my husband and I first started dating, we were public about. We were "Facebook official" and everything! No big deal, right? That's what I thought too, but apparently it is. It absolutely amazes me how many people refuse to put their relationship on their profile. I simply do not understand this. If you aren't proud enough to say that you're in a relationship/married on your Facebook, why are you in the relationship!?!?!?

It is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves when people say that they're "in a relationship" with one of their friends, especially when they're actually in a relationship with someone else. I know that it's not my life, and not my relationship, so it really shouldn't bother me... It does though. I have actually deleted people because of this. It all comes back to this: If you're not proud enough of your relationship with your significant other, you shouldn't be in it.

I have friends who refer to their husband as their "baby daddy" or their "boo friend." No. He's your husband, your hubby, your "lover man" (I let that one go because I think it's a cute nick name lol). It just frustrates me to pieces when women degrade their husbands to something far less. If he's your husband, OWN IT! Yes, he is your best friend (I hope), he's your favorite person, he's your love. Those are all wonderful. If you've got a cute little nick name for him, go for it. Just don't call him your baby daddy or your man friend. He's more than that, and he deserves better.

Also, if you decide to change your Facebook status to "single" or "it's complicated" to punish your man, seriously... I feel like this doesn't need to be said. You should not be in a relationship. Holy crap. If you're that immature, you need to do some major self-improvement before you can try to be in a relationship with someone else.

All of this being said, I just ask that you appreciate the sanctity of your relationship. We need to get back to what relationships used to mean.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

True Dedication

I'm sure many of you have seen this picture cycling around the internet during the storm for the past few days... Although people claim it is actually from September, rather than during Hurricane Sandy, there is still a very important lesson to be learned from it. These soldiers are truly dedicated to something; their passion is on fire. 

This made me think, what am I that passionate about? Honestly, there isn't a whole lot in this world that I would be willing to stand out in a hurricane, or even just a bad rain storm, for. Obviously I would do absolutely anything for my daughter and husband. I might be willing to brave the storm for a little bit to get a good picture or two, but I definitely don't have the kind of dedication for my job that these soldiers have. I admire that more than you could probably imagine. I really feel that it is important to have something in life that you're this passionate about. When you find it, don't give it up.

Another thing that we can learn from this is that we are blessed. Our lives are not that bad. Yeah, we have bad days. We lose stuff. We complain. It's because of men and women like these that we have the right to complain. Their dedication to their country is incredible and so admirable. I need to remind myself of this from time to time... The next time you have to go out in the cold to get the mail, think about what our soldiers are doing. The next time you have to go to work on less than 5 hours of sleep, think about them. Remember what they go through, just so you don't have to. Be thankful.

On that note, I will complain because I went out in the cold this morning. Just kidding, but really... As much as I hate the cold (those of you who know me know how much that is...), I braved the outskirts of Sandy to take some pictures of snow for my husband. That's right, it's snowing... Technically, the weather man says it's a "wintery mix," but I say it's freaking snowing. Thank God it isn't sticking other than around trees on on tables.

Well, I will end on that for today. I hope all of my followers are staying safe out there in this bizarre weather. Also, remember to be thankful for what you have because of those who serve. 
God Bless ♥ Vi

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What Do You Think?

I'm looking for reviews about the new layout. I've been messing with some different ideas, but I think I like this one the best. Yay or nay?

I'm also looking for questions to answer about deployment, motherhood, traveling, family life, etc. My life is an open book, so feel free to ask!

If you have any suggestions to help me improve my blog, please let me know. What would you like to see more/less of? I'm finally starting to post a little more frequently, and am hoping to continue doing so from now on. I know I've said that before, but I am determined this time!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Being Happy During Deployment

One of the most important things I've found to be essential so far in this deployment is a positive outlook on life. You can't just sit there with a "woe is me" attitude. Yes, deployment sucks. Yes, you miss your husband. Yes, life is harder when he's not around! But, you are woman! You are strong! You are capable!

Let's look at the good things that come from deployment:

  • More Bed Space
  • Less Laundry
  • Less Dishes
  • Less Housework
  • Lower Grocery Bills
  • No More Gory Movies
  • No More Fighting Over the Radio
  • More Time to Better Yourself
Now, don't get all "Wow, why are you even married if you hate all these things when he's around?!" with me... I love my husband and the life that we have together. In fact, I miss picking up the tons of dishes that he leaves laying throughout the house, the laundry all over our bedroom, and even the stinky PT socks. I miss it all, but these parts of life are actually easier when he's not home. I would definitely rather have him around than deployed, but I'll take advantage of the break in laundry and dishes while I can. Why not make the best of a bad situation? 

The other thing that drives me insane is women constantly complain about not hearing from their husbands. Again, let me say... Yes, it sucks. Yes, I'm sure you want to tell him about your day. Yes, you really want to talk to him about who knows what. But, you are woman. You are strong. You can go a few days without telling your husband that you peed. Goodness gracious, this is deployment. As I said in my last post, I have been extremely blessed to have good contact so far, but you can't go into a deployment expecting to talk every day. 

When bad things happen, instead of posting all over your Facebook about how things couldn't get worse, or about how you've had the worst week of your life, or whatever else it may be... Post about how you rocked the shit out of that bad week. Post about how, despite the bad event that happened, you came out on top and conquered. Make your husband proud of you. The absolute last thing that he should be worrying about while he is deployed is whether or not you're handling everything okay. Do you really want your husband sitting there thinking about whether or not you're sobbing in a corner? No! You want him to be watching his back and keeping his head down. Do not stress your husband out by posting every little bad thing that happens all over your profile. The less you think about it, the better you will be. Just fix it and get on with it. 

Don't get all depressed about your soldier being deployed. Yes, it sucks (that's going to be my motto throughout this deployment). But, you can make deployment suck it. Show it who is boss. Remember, you are woman. You are strong! 

God Bless ♥ Vi. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dealing with Deployment

It's been a few weeks since my husband left. Honestly, I'm doing far better than I expected. Life goes on, even without constant communication with my hubby. The picture to the left was our last family picture for a while. It was such a bitter sweet day.

I know that my husband enlisted to deploy. He hates sitting in garrison doing nothing. He compares it to being on the football team, but sitting the bench for every game. It just sucks (for him). I don't mind the view from the bench. Granted, I would hate to be the one sitting there, but I don't mind when he is. Of course, I'd rather have him be here with Adalin and me, but this is all part of the Army life. I had quite a bit of notice for this deployment, so I was much more mentally prepared than I expected. I definitely cried like a baby for a few days before he left, and for the first few days that he was gone. That was to be expected. The worst part was watching Jimmy say goodbye to Adalin. Knowing that he's missing so much doesn't make this any easier. Thankfully, she was sleeping when we said our last goodbyes so he just kissed her on the forehead, said his "I love you, Pumpkin," and walked away. Gosh, thinking about that moment is going to make me tear up. Moving on!

Much progress has been made already. I haven't cried in a few weeks. I am now visiting home, because I haven't been back here since last Christmas. I'm leaving to go back to Georgia next weekend, but I'll be back up here in Michigan again in December as long as Adalin doesn't have to have surgery then. I've been using my deployment countdown (I'll post a tutorial and pictures when I get back to GA) religiously. It has helped a ton. I'm such a visual person. I have about a million countdowns on my phone. I am doing a bunch for different holidays, the 25% mark, the half way mark, and days since he left/til he comes home. They are nice for me. I also use the "Donut of Misery" app on my phone (Android) that shows what percent you have completed, as well as a bunch of other statistics. I love numbers so it's great for me. I know that a lot of people struggle with that because they don't like seeing the "97% to go" (that's not how much I have left, following OPSEC), or the "286 days left." Even seeing "13 days done" (again not what we have done, OPSEC), can be overwhelming because we have a tendency to think, "That's it?! That's all we've got?! Ugh." I understand both side, but I choose to think, "We've already got 13 days down! Woo hoo!"

We get to talk almost every day. We Skype a few times every week, and alternate between phone calls and just chatting on Facebook. We are so blessed with how amazing communication has been so far. I'm praying that it will continue to be this great throughout the whole deployment. I can't believe how fast the past few weeks have flown by. It just amazes me.

Overall, I try to keep positive as often as possible. I figure, there's no sense being upset over something you can't change. I'm hoping to keep this positive attitude going as long as possible. I've been doing great so far, it's definitely helping time fly by.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, October 22, 2012

Surviving the First Two Months

Here is my essential list of what I needed to survive the first two months:

  1. Fisher Price Cradle n' Swing: This is amazing! There were (and still are) several times that Adalin will only sleep in here. She has recently discovered her reflection in the mirror and absolutely loves it. I like this swing because it swings both front to back, and side to side. At the beginning, she only liked side to side, but now we have to alternate every once and a while. Definitely worth the investment!
  2. Gas Drops: These were a life saver from about two weeks on. She has learned what they are and gets excited when she sees the bottle. They even help her sleep if she's fussing.
  3. Cloud B Gentle Giraffe: Oh my goodness. This giraffe is a life saver. It plays four different sounds, including water noises and heart beat sounds. At first, Adalin really liked the heart beat sounds, but after she was about a week old, she hated it. Since then, water sounds are just about the only thing that she will sleep to. I absolutely love this giraffe. It's very soft and has a strap that you can attach to the crib/stroller/etc. It's just wonderful!
  4. Playtex Ventaire Bottles: Bottles are completely a personal choice. I liked these because Adalin spits up the least with them. The air comes through the bottom, rather than through the nipple so there is less air in the milk/formula. They aren't all that expensive either.
  5. Mitten Cuff Sleepers: These are great because it's easy to change diapers in the middle of the night with them, and they keep baby's hands warmer. Adalin now kicks her legs enough that she ends up wearing them like a tee shirt, but they're wonderful for newborns.
  6. Bath Seat: I love the soft seat like this. My mom just bought me a hard baby tub to use while I'm visiting, but it's a little harder to use than the bath seat in my opinion. I think that if I would have started out with the baby tub, I would like it better. I like using the seat in the tub though because you can move them around a little easier.
  7. Bottle Drying Rack: At first, I thought this was a waste of money, but now I'm so glad I got it. I'm shocked that bottles won't just dry sitting out. I have one very similar to the one in the picture, but I'm not sure if it's exactly the same. Also, a bottle brush is essentail to get those suckers clean.
  8. Bouncer: Adalin loves sitting in her bouncer. I feel more comfortable leaving her in this than on the floor when I'm wandering the house since my dog still hasn't quite realized how big her paws are. Adalin hasn't been stepped on yet, but I'd like to keep it that way. I really like the Boppy brand ones because they adjust to different angles, and are very cushy. It's another great investment!
If you have anything to add, post it in the comments! 

I should also mention, my husband is deployed now. I'm doing far better than I expected for this early on in the game. I had a few rough days after he left, but now I'm in a great routine and killing this deployment. Hubby is doing very well over there. Communication has been great so far and we're hoping it will continue for the upcoming months. That's all I've got for now! I'm really going to try to update more often. Life as a mom is much busier than I expected! 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Confessions #1

I'm going to start doing random confessions once a week. Things that I'd like to say on Facebook, but don't feel like getting all the crap for it. Yes, I'll be posting this link on my profile, but only people who care will click it. So, here it goes.

-Every day, I look at whose birthday it is on my Facebook. If I don't know who the person is, I delete them instead of wishing them a happy birthday. Oops. 

-I buy the long sticks of cookie dough and eat them slowly throughout the week. I can't control myself. 

-I eat frosting out of the jar. 

-I am actually not that scared of deployment. I'm tired of people telling me that I'll be fine. I know, it's not going to kill me so stop acting like I'm going to die. 

That's all for this week.
God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Talking About Deployment

With this deployment coming closer and closer, I'm being forced to think and talk about it more every day. Some days are easier than others, but the milestone days (6 months, 3/2/1 months, 3/2/1 weeks, and then of course the daily countdown) are pretty rough. Not having an exact date makes it rough because I like to count, even though it makes me anxious. I like knowing exactly how much time I have left. I will do the same for homecoming as well though. I've actually got a few countdown ideas that I'll be posting as the time goes by (the numbers I post will not be current, I have to protect my husband and his unit).
I find that the hardest part about an upcoming deployment isn't thinking/talking about when my husband is gone. It's thinking/talking about when he leaves. I'm horrible with goodbyes, worse than most people. I definitely cry like a little baby. I think that this time will be worse than the others I've been through for a few reasons: 1) It will be for longer than any of the others I've been through 2) My husband will be saying goodbye to our baby girl and me 3) My helper will leaving (I love you baby) 4) It's my first deployment and I'm nervous. I do surprisingly well talking about while he's gone. I've got a lot to look forward to between trips home and all of Adalin's first holidays. I really think that this deployment will go fast. I know that the first 8 weeks of Adalin's life have flown by faster than I ever imagined they would. I think that if I count weeks instead of days or months, I'll be amazed how fast it goes.
Honestly, I think the hardest part is going to be experiencing all of Adalin's milestones without my husband. When she first starts to crawl, walk, or talk, all I'm going to want to do is call Jimmy into the living room so he can watch. I'm praying daily that we will have at least somewhat decent communication while he's away. Even if it's only a phone call every other week, or emails, I just am hoping to keep him informed and involved.
Throughout the next few weeks I'll be posting things that we're doing to prepare for deployment and what I think is helping and making things earlier. For the next year or so, this blog will definitely reflect my life as an Army wife.
God Bless ♥ Vi

Friday, September 21, 2012

Things You Don't Need During Pregnancy

What did I find completely unnecessary during pregnancy? A lot of things. Here are a few I thought are the most common purchases that don't need to happen.

  1. Belly Band: Though I did wear one for support for a little while, the belly bands for fashion (covering your unzipped zipper) are not necessary.  I just wore long tank tops and that worked fine. If you really feel compelled to buy some, don't spend a ton because you'll only be wearing them for a few months. 
  2. Maternity Underwear: Really? No. My underwear did get a little bit tight towards the end of pregnancy, but just buying a bigger size was fine. They don't tell you that your butt gets bigger too during pregnancy; it's not just your belly. Retailers will try to convince you that these are the only way to go, but they really aren't. Hanes cotton bikinis did just fine for me. 
  3. Belly Buds: Three words: use normal headphones. Shoot, don't use headphones at all. I just played music on my computer or through the tv loud enough for Adalin to hear through my belly. She still jumped around and kicked like crazy. If you don't want to listen to music along with your baby, hook some normal headphones up and stick a little masking tape over them if you don't want to hold them. 
  4. Maternity Swimwear: Be bold, and wear a bikini! If you're not comfortable with it, then just buy a normal tankini in a bigger size (trust me, your boobs will thank you). It's really just another scam to get pregnant hormonal women to spend extra money. 
  5. Home Ultrasound Machine: I feel like I shouldn't even have to explain this. I did invest in a cheap doppler so I could hear Adalin's heartbeat whenever I wanted though. I got mine for around $30. If you are going to buy a doppler, don't get a "heart listener" because all those are is a microphone you put on your belly. You want to get an actual fetal doppler. The ultrasound machines, though nice, are extremely expensive and just not worth it. 
  6. Grocery Delivering Service: To be honest, I'd never even heard of this during pregnancy until today when I was looking to see what other sites were saying about pregnancy must-haves. All I have to say about this is that you need to get off your fat behind and go buy some food. Unless you're on bed rest, there is no reason you can't walk around the grocery store and shop. Obviously don't go around picking up 40lbs bags of dog food, ask for help. You can definitely pick up pretty much everything else you'll need though. Don't waste your money on this. 
That tops off my list. If you have any other additions, please feel free to comment! I'd love to hear your experiences as well. 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Pregnancy Must-Haves

What were the most important things I needed during pregnancy? Here's my top 10 (no particular order)! 
  1. Boppy Body PillowThis thing is amazing. I thought a normal body pillow would do it, but I love this thing. It seriously made sleeping a million times easier. I had a pinched nerve in my back so laying on my side hurt like crazy. I would lay with the thick side under my head, and wrap the thinner, longer side around in between my legs. It helped more than you could imagine. Even though it's around $40, it's worth it. 
  2. Netflix: For the days I couldn't sleep, or didn't feel like going out, Netflix was wonderful. I loved watching all sorts of TV series... Brothers & Sisters, Army Wives, Secret Life of the American Teenager, and Make It or Break It was my favorite. The best part? You can pause for pee-breaks. 
  3. Zantac 150: Heartburn was my worst enemy, and I wasn't one of the lucky ones whose heartburn went away after the first trimester. The whole 39 weeks, I couldn't eat tomatoes or chocolate without taking Zantac 150 twice a day. 
  4. Lemon Pudding Cups: This was my worst craving. I didn't go more than three or four days without eating it. It was nice and convenient in the cups. I never actually made a package of lemon pudding though. 
  5. Benadryl: This is safe to take if you need a little help sleeping. I didn't take it all the time, but I did sometimes. There were a few times that I had a cold and couldn't take NyQuil because of the alcohol in it, but Benadryl and Claritin worked just as well. 
  6. Soffe Shorts: Towards the end, these were pretty much all I wore. I was 9 months pregnant in the awful Georgia 100+ heat, so pants were not an option. Maternity shorts, while they are comfortable, are not cheap, and not always cute. I rocked Soffe shorts and tank tops until I popped. 
  7. Herbal Essences Drama Clean Shampoo and Conditioner: This stuff is pretty much the only thing that 1.) got the grease out of my hair and 2.) didn't make my hair greasy an hour after the shower. I had horribly greasy hair all through pregnancy. It was awful, until I started using this stuff. It really does wash out clean. 
  8. Carnation Instant Breakfast: I hate milk. This stuff was the only way that I could get the milk I need to grow a strong and healthy baby. I would drink one almost every morning. I don't like chocolate milk either, but the vanilla ones are definitely good. I always wanted to try the strawberry ones, but nowhere around here sold them. 
  9. Foot Spa: I couldn't find a picture of the exact one that I have, but this is similar. My feet started hurting at about 4 months, but this helped. They never swelled either, and I think it's because I did foot soaks every few days. I would make my hubby give me foot massages and pedicures too. 
  10. Palmer's Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks: This helped me make it to 36 weeks without stretch marks. I started applying it at least once a day, but usually two or three times a day, at around 4 weeks. It helped with the itching too. I've heard that vitamin E oil works as well, but I never tried it. 
Coming Soon: Things Not to Waste Your Money on During Pregnancy. 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm Slackin'!

Hey everyone. Wow, I've been seriously slacking on this blog lately. So, here's an update for the past month:
End of August: We met with the surgeon about Adalin's lung surgery. They aren't scheduling it until she gets bigger, but are still thinking around November-December time frame. I'm still hoping that we'll be able to push it until January, but we're not sure if they'll be able to. We had lots of family visit us as well. It was great to see everyone again.
 Early September: I survived the first six weeks! Adalin is now seven weeks old and growing so fast. She's pushing 12 pounds now. Her hair is quite a bit lighter than it was right after birth. It's growing fast too. She's got the chunkiest cheeks ever, perfect for pinching (I swore I wasn't going to be one of "those" people, but I just can't help myself). I feel bad because I am having to supplement with formula because I can't produce quite enough breast milk. We've been having to give her Pedialyte regularly in order to keep her pooping.  She will go almost a week without going, but the doctors say that's normal. We got some pre-deployment pictures done too.
I'm doing surprisingly well with all of this deployment stuff. Considering everything that has been going on hormone wise, I am doing great. I've had a few breakdowns here and there, but that's to be expected. I feel pretty calm about my husband leaving. We've had so much time to prepare for this. It's come to the point that I have just accepted it and am ready to conquer it. I want to get it over with. I'm excited to move on in life after deployment. I'm planning to make quite a few trips home through it as well. I think that being around family will help me tremendously. Here are a bunch of our pre-deployment pictures:
Adalin's face just makes me giggle in this picture. She is one of the happiest babies I've ever seen. Unless she's poopy, wet, or hungry, she doesn't cry enough to say so. She's been a little more fussy lately because she's got a very sensitive stomach. We're learning how to deal with that as we go though.

This is my favorite picture of my husband and Adalin. She is the cutest little baby I've ever seen, but of course I'm biased. Jimmy just looks so happy to be holding her. I love my happy little family.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Welcome Adalin Grace!

Adalin Grace Simmons
8 lbs 3 oz, 21 inches long
July 31, 2012 at 4:24pm

Hey everyone! Sorry this has taken so long for me to post. It's been a pretty crazy couple of weeks. Adalin is doing wonderfully and so am I. Finally, I have a few extra minutes to get on here and post the birth story. Where should I begin? 

I was admitted to be induced on the evening of the 30th. They were originally planning to use one drug to soften my cervix, then start pitocin about twelve hours later, but I ended up being induced via foley bulb. I managed not to pass out when they gave me the IV, and was even able to stop freaking out about it after 12 hours or so. I dilated to two pretty quickly, but it took a while to get to four. By the 31st around 10am I finally hit 4cm and was ready to start pitocin. Luckily I was able to take a shower and freshen up before they started it, so I was feeling good and ready to go. At 1pm I finally got the nerve to ask for the epidural because my back labor was so bad. It felt like my left hip was being run over by a truck. Within an hour I was already dilated to six cm. 
After that, it was smooth sailing. I took a nap for a few hours and woke up to all kinds of pelvic pressure. I called the doctors in and found out that I was already to 9.5 cm. They put a call in for the delivery staff to come, but 15 minutes later I had to call again because it was time to start pushing. They stopped the epidural so I could feel the contractions a little more and know when to push. I still didn't feel a whole lot though, the epidural worked far better than I imagined it would. I definitely don't regret getting it at all.
After pushing through six or seven contractions, our beautiful little girl arrived. The doctors took her right away to make sure she was able to breath on her own and that her heart was functioning properly. About 5 minutes after she was born I got to hold her. She is my whole world already.
The hospital she was delivered at doesn't take the babies to the nursery overnight, or really at all except to do check-ups and tests. I didn't think I would like having full responsibility right off the bat, but it definitely felt really strange when she wasn't in our room. I was surprised how quickly we became attached to her.
The next day they did an ultrasound on her heart, which came back completely normal! They also did an x-ray on her chest to look for the CCAM, and it didn't show up there. However, it did end up being visible on a CT scan so we're expecting her to have surgery at around 3-4 months. We meet with the surgeon next week for a follow up.
We left the hospital about 48 hours after she was born. The car ride home (over an hour) was really interesting. All she did was sleep, but I was so paranoid about every little bump and turn. I'm finally able to just let her be, sort of.
She's already a great sleeper. The past three nights she's only woken up once for feeding. She's been sleeping in a bassinet in our room, but she's quickly outgrowing it. She's now up to 8 pounds and 10 ounces, but still 21 inches long. She's already trying to hold herself up with her arms when she's placed on her stomach. The doctors said that she's advanced for being two weeks old. She's a smart little cookie, if I do say so myself.
My husband has become the best father I could imagine. He is so amazing with her, it's incredible. Especially the first week, I couldn't get her to burp to save my life. As soon as I hand her to him, she's burping up a storm. I swear he has magical powers. He really is amazing, even though I'm biased. I couldn't be happier with out little family. Oh, I can't forget about Mia. She's adjusting very well. She's extremely curious about her sister, that's for sure. She's super protective of her already. I was a little bit worried that we would have some jealousy issues, but so far she's doing amazing.
I'm going to try to post on here more often again. As I said before, the past few weeks have been incredibly crazy. Things are starting to slow down now, even though I start classes again on Monday! Wish me luck!
God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, July 30, 2012

Let's Get This Started!

Today is the day! At 5:00 tonight I'll be getting induced. I'm extremely anxious. I was unsure of whether or not I was going to bother posting this morning but I feel that it's important to document my feelings so I don't forget them and so other first-time moms can see what I was feeling during this time. So, let's see...

What am I excited for? I get to meet my little girl so soon! I get to hold the child I've been growing inside me for the past nine months. I get to touch my toes again! I'll be able to shave my legs without getting winded. We'll be able to learn more about her heart condition and CCAM. I'll be able to eat pizza without getting heartburn that could burn a house down. I get to watch the Olympics while I'm in the hospital (don't laugh, we don't have any TV stations at our house and we're too cheap for cable)! 
What am I scared for? The IV, the epidural (still undecided about getting it at this point...), the possibility of a c-section, and the induction not working. I'm afraid of not being able to handle the stress of labor and that I'll have some sort of embarrassing panic attack. I'm afraid that a doctor I've never met will have to deliver her, even though one I've met is on call. I'm afraid that I'm going to make a complete fool of myself screaming like a maniac (Please don't sit here and tell me it's okay to be as obnoxious as I want. Yes, I understand that I'll be in labor and a little hysteria is to be expected, but I'd like to maintain a bit of composure. Call me crazy, call me stupid. I don't care. Just know that if you are going to start lecturing me about how it's completely acceptable to make myself look like an idiot, I will freak out on you. This is a goal I have for myself, don't tell me to give up on it.) 
What stresses me out the most? Not knowing if I've got everything I need packed and ready to go, and not knowing if we have everything we'll need for her. Not knowing what her health needs are going to be. 
What am I expecting? At our last measurement, one week ago, she was weighing in at 7lbs 10oz. I'm expecting her to weigh around 8lbs even at birth. I was dilated to 1cm last Monday so hopefully I'll have progressed some by now. I'm hoping to be at 2-3cm when they start induction. If I am at 3cm, I'm expecting labor to be between 15-18 hours. If I'm not at 3cm yet, I'm expecting closer to 25-30 hours. I'm wishing for closer to 12-15, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm expecting contractions to be awful, but I am hoping that my pain tolerance will surprise me (and everyone else) so I will be able to opt out of an epidural. I'm expecting that I'll probably end up caving in and getting it though, and then regretting it later(because I would love to do it without, not because I want the pain). I'm expecting to almost break my husband's fingers from squeezing them so tight. I'm expecting my phone to be ringing off the hook, but please know that I won't be answering it! If and when I want to talk to you, I'll call you. Please do not harass me while I'm in labor.
What am I not expecting? I'm not expecting it to be easy, but I'm not expecting a horror story either. Some people have told me awful stories about tearing so bad they need like 40 stitches, or bleeding so bad that they soak two pads an hour for weeks. I don't think it's going to be that bad. I've done a really good job about keeping myself in decent physical condition. I didn't let my body go too bad. I'm not expecting people to understand why I didn't have my family come down for today. It would be different if they could come for a few hours, then go home for the night and come back the next day. With military life, we don't really have that luxury. When family comes to visit, they're here. They're in our house, adding extra work whether they mean to or not. Usually that's fine, in fact, it's awesome! If it were a normal day, I would absolutely LOVE for my family to be here, but I'm not going to be up to taking care of an extra group of people, along with a newborn, right after delivery. Again, please don't lecture me and say that they'll be able to take care of themselves and they won't expect me to be up and social... My husband and I have made our decision. It would be a better investment for us and our families to have them wait until we're both adjusted to the life of parenthood. That way we'll actually be able to spend quality time with them. If you don't understand, that's fine, but please don't judge us for our decision. 
What else am I feeling? I'm somewhat irritated. I feel like I'm going to be judged for not having family here. I feel that I'm going to be judged for being young. I'm extremely appreciative of those who have been understanding through all of this and have let my husband and I make our own decisions. I'm thankful for those who haven't asked for a million explanations and haven't tried to force other decisions upon us. I'm thankful for those who have answered my questions about motherhood, labor and delivery,. I'm thankful for the support of some of the best friends I could ask for. I'm nervous that I won't be able to do enough for Adalin once she's here. I'm afraid that I won't be able to hold her right away because of her potential health problems. I'm hopeful that everything will go smoothly, but there's always the possibility of complications. I'm super excited and anxious and giddy!

I'm going to ask one last time that nobody lectures me about anything I've said in this blog. I have goal for myself. I have fears. I have expectations. I have feelings that nobody will be able to change. I ask that you all be supportive of this. If you've got something to say that you have the slightest feeling might tick me off, please don't say it. Please don't ruin this experience for my husband and I. I really don't want to look back on this event and think, "Wow! Do you remember how obnoxious so-and-so was when we were in the hospital?" or "Remember how I cussed out this person because they kept doing... while I was in labor?" Let my husband and I have this experience and make the most of it, please. We will be posting pictures on our Facebook pages, and on here as soon as I'm able. As long as baby and I are both doing well, I'll try to post a short entry the day after she's born. No promises though!

Wish me luck! Seven hours to go!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This is It!

As long as all goes well, this will be my last weekend as a non-parent. I'm scheduled to be induced Monday night at 5pm, so we're expecting Adalin to arrive sometime on Tuesday if she doesn't decided to come this weekend.
I've been contracting all week long, but not enough to go to labor and delivery. On Monday I was dilated to 1 cm, but I'm hoping that I'll have progressed to at least two or three naturally before induction. My doctor said that the further I can get on my own, the faster the induction will go. I've heard horror stories about women who were induced and spent three or four days contracting like crazy, but not progressing and getting sent home to wait it out. I'm praying that won't happen to me.
My anxiety is at an all time high for the time span of this pregnancy. Although all of you may laugh at me, I'm absolutely horrified about getting an IV. The biggest medical procedure I've ever had done was getting my wisdom teeth (there's the link to that blog) pulled. That was horrible enough to last me a lifetime. I had some other medical procedures done as an infant, but obviously don't remember them so I'm not traumatized by them. I'm so terrified about having an IV, you wouldn't believe the knots in my stomach from just thinking about it.
I'm still undecided about an epidural as well. One thing that is a major contributor to my anxiety is the lack of control. I wish I were able to just say, "Okay, Adalin. It's time to come out now," and then bam! she'd come. We all know it doesn't work that way though. The idea of not being able to control my legs after getting an epidural is almost as scary as the idea of the epidural itself. So the choice I have is to either a) get the epidural and lose control of my legs, but feel much much better through the delivery process or b) don't get the epidural and be in oodles and oodles of pain, but still get to feel and control my legs.  To me, it seems like most people would say screw controlling my legs, get rid of the pain. It's just not that easy for me though.
I fully admit that I'm a control freak. I like things to go as planned (not necessarily "my way," but just as scheduled). I don't think that I'm mean or obnoxious about it, but I just like things to flow like they should. I have this ever-burning need to know when things are going to happen, where they're going to happen, and how it's all going to go down. If any part of that puzzle is missing, you might as well hit me with a bus. I don't know exactly when this baby is going to decide to come. Thankfully, I know where she'll be delivered. Unfortunately, I don't know how. Doctors don't seem worried about me having to have a c-section,  but I am at risk for one. Even though Adalin has been head down since I was 25 weeks along, all pregnancies are said to have at least a 30% chance of needing a c-section. Being induced adds another 10% to that. I'm trying to ignore that, but I know that I need to be somewhat mentally prepared for that possibility because it is just that, a possibility.
Any way, I'm going to try my hardest to enjoy these last two days with my husband in a quite, child-free house. The next month or so should be pretty hectic. Our tentative schedule is delivery next week, then (mom and baby's health permitting) a two trip to Florida to see my husband's grandparents. I've never met them so I'm really excited! After that weekend, my parents and brother are coming down for a few days. The following week, my husband's mom and siblings are coming to visit too. After that, it's all up in the air. All I can say is that I'm going to be one tired woman by the end of August.
I'm off to go clean the rest of the house, I'm still in nesting mode. I will do my best to post an update from the hospital after Adalin is born, but I can't make any promises. If I'm doing well and all of Adalin's potential health problems are cleared, I'll post lots of pictures by the end of next week!
Please keep Hubby and I in your prayers. In three days our lives will change forever.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Today, I've felt really strange. I'm itchy all over; my feet, hands, arms, legs, stomach (that's the worst), back, and everything in between feel like there are bugs crawling all over them. All I want to do is scratch but I don't want to itch myself raw. I feel helpless really.
I've been super anxious about everything today. As many of you know, we've been dealing with some housing issues since the middle of May. A random wind storm blew off a large portion of the shingles on one side of our house, causing some (what I considered major, but apparently it wasn't) water damage in our garage. When the inspector came to check it out, he found that the previous tenants had drilled holes the size of quarters into the roof (on the other side of the house) to put in Dish which voids the contract. When they moved, and took their dish with them, they neglected to fill these holes. So... When a tropical storm came through the area, lots of water came in and saturated one wall of our living room. The contractor said that the chimney actually needs to be rebuilt because it's so rotted, but he doubted that the owners would go for that, so he put caulking over the holes and sealed it as best as he could. This was finally dealt with in mid-June, a month after we first reported it. I was told that he would be returning on June 15-18 to fix the drywall that was wrecked and to repaint half of our living room... When I didn't hear anything for two weeks, I decided to go back into the rental company to find out what happened. Apparently, "He was pulled to an 'emergency job' somewhere" but would be back to our house within the week. Three weeks later... I've still heard nothing. I called them today and was told that they'll "deal with us when they can." In other words, they aren't concerned at all. I chewed the woman out because there's now way in hell I'm letting them come into our house to tear down walls and repaint right after I bring home a newborn with a lung problem. It's been over two months; this is not okay.
Moral of the story: Never rent through Holtzman Real Estate if you're at/around Fort Stewart. They're crap. 
 I'm really stressing out about it because I highly doubt that they're going to have this fixed in the next nine days. That's another thing. Only nine more days until I get induced! I've been walking like a mad woman trying to get the process rolling, but nothing is working. I guess my gut instinct about her coming early was wrong. I'm trying so hard to have everything ready, but there's still a few things we need like a baby monitor, bottle brushes, blinds for her room, and a few other things. 

So now, I'm off to walk again. Here's to hoping this will speed up the process! 

God Bless ♥ Vi 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Let's Be Idiots and Speak Whale

One of the things that I love most about my husband is how he gets after he's sleep deprived. Since I'm at the end of my pregnancy, I don't sleep a whole lot just because it's nearly impossible for me to get comfortable. You know how they say, "When mamma ain't happy, nobody happy..." Well, in our house it's "When mamma don't sleep, nobody sleeps." So after not sleeping two nights ago, Hubby and I were both sort of giggly last night. He yelled at me for sleeping on top of the covers "like a beached whale" and it all went downhill from there. He proceeded to say things like "dead but not lifeless" trying to dig himself out of that hole. When I finally got settled I decided to (attempt to) be like Dory from Finding Nemo and call out to my other "beached whale" friends. Let's observe:
That didn't go quite as planned, as I sounded more like I was birthing a cow than talking with whales... I was speaking upset-stomach or humpback. We then sat there and laughed hysterically trying to figure out exactly how Dory does this. We failed. My husband then began singing some awful songs from Family Guy which caused me to start bawling because I was laughing so hard. 
It took us a while before we could calm down and actually fall asleep. I love being stupid like that with my husband though. There aren't a lot of people in this world that I'm comfortable enough to make whale noises around. I am so lucky to have found someone who makes me this happy. My life is so much better than I ever imagined. I hope that all of you have someone in your life to speak whale with. 
I'm off for the day to hang out with Hubby. We've got some cleaning to do before the baby arrives (11 more days!). I'm still not dilated yet, but I've continued to thin. We're getting close! My last appointment is next Tuesday. Hello home stretch!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Comparing Lives

The other day, my husband and I were looking through our high school yearbooks seeing where everyone we graduated with has ended up. I can't believe how much different our two classes are. It's amazing how much just one year changes things. For those of you who don't know me personally, my husband graduated a year before I did. The people in his class (as a majority) are working or going to school and working. My guess is that it's safe to say that well over half of his graduating class has jobs and is moved out of their parents house. They've been on their own for two years now, most of them have it together decently well. Only a few of them are married, but I don't think that's strange since most of them are under 21 still. More of them have babies, but still not a ton.
My class on the other hand is a completely different story... A lot of them are doing absolutely nothing with their lives. No school. No job. No "life experience." Nothing. I'm not saying that you need to have everything figured out by the time you're a year out of high school, but you should be doing something. I would honestly be going crazy if I didn't go to school. Even with getting married and moving to Georgia, I absolutely need something to do every day or I go insane. I don't know how people do it. I need to be involved in something at all times. It doesn't matter what it is, photography, school, babies, work, cleaning... I will take what I can get. I just need something to do.

I'm really proud of the life that Hubby and I have made for ourselves. We're financially independent, have our own cars, rent our own house, have a dog, have a baby on the way, and have plans for the future. We've turned our house into a home. I'm pursuing an education even while becoming a new mom. Hubby is starting school online after he completes a deployment. We're doing well for ourselves and I'm not afraid to say how proud I am of us. We have goals, we have dreams, we have plans. 

To me, a person without goals, dreams, and plans is worthless. If you don't have something you're aiming for, what good are you doing? You don't have to have it all figured out. After all, who really does? However, having somewhere to start is important. You don't need to know that you want to go to medical school to become a brain surgeon, but you should know that you want to go to college (and then you should actually go to college!). You don't need to know that you want to start a business in.... dog toys...? but you should at least know that you like dogs and you want to do something for their benefit.

I challenge my followers, figure something out.  It doesn't have to be your life plan for the next fifty years, but maybe try to figure out the next few months, or even the next few weeks. Set a goal, and achieve it. Be like Nike, just do it. Stop making excuses for yourself, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and do something.

Baby Update: If Adalin doesn't make her grand appearance in the next 13 days, I will be induced on July 30th. I have an appointment tomorrow to see if I'm progressing at all. At my appointment last week, I wasn't dilating at all yet, but I was thinning. As of last Tuesday, I've gained 26 pounds which is okay with me. I'd like to stay under 30 pounds gained, but I won't be upset if I gain up to 35. Since I've only got 13 days to go, I'm really hoping that I won't gain another ten pounds, but I suppose it's possible. She's kicking like crazy still and getting cramped in there. I finally took out my belly ring for good until she arrives. I have a few more stretch marks now, including where my belly ring was. The majority of my stomach is stretch mark-free, but the underside has a few. I was hopeful to make it through the whole pregnancy without them, but I didn't quite make it. Oh well, I'm a tiger who earned her stripes!

God Bless ♥ Vi.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

What They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy

Through the last 36 weeks, I've come across a lot of things that people don't really talk about when discussing pregnancy. There are always the typical discussions about weight gain, stretch marks, and labor... but what about everything else? Pregnancy is so much more than that!

(Men, if you continue to read this you will probably learn more about your woman (and me) than you'll ever want to know. It may be in your best interest to stop reading now.)

  1. Pregnancy nose- This is more discussed than many of the points that I'll make, but you can smell so much more while you're pregnant. There have been many times that I've asked my husband "Do you smell that? It's disgusting!" and he just laughs and says no. I swear, if there is a barbecue within half a mile, I will be able to tell you (mostly because the smell of meat makes me sick). 
  2. You're not really eating for two-You do need extra calories every day, but not an extra 2,000. As one of my nurses said, "put down the second burger." There's really no need to eat double portions unless you're trying to double in size in a matter of 9 months. On that note...
  3. It is possible to not gain a million pounds- At 35 weeks and 5 days, I've gained a grand total of 28 pounds. Adalin weighs right close to 6 pounds now. Between the baby and all the fluid and whatnot that comes out at delivery, I'm hoping to only have between 15 and 20 pounds to lose after delivery. What has been my secret? Well, a few things... First, Carnation Instant Breakfast for breakfast or lunch every day. I hate milk so it has really helped me get the calcium I need. Second, walking, walking, walking! Although I haven't been walking as much the past few weeks because it gives me contractions, I was really active through well over half of the pregnancy. If you can manage to walk a mile or two every day, you'll feel a lot better. Third, heartburn. Sometimes it got to the point where I actually couldn't  eat without wanting to throw up so I just limited myself to smaller, more frequent, meals that were extremely plain. It's worked for me so far. 
  4. Heartburn and nausea don't always stop after the first trimester- In all honesty, my heartburn has been far worse during the third trimester than it was during the first. I have to take Zantac 150 twice every day, along with Tums after every meal, in order to keep it under control. From what little reading I've done, my situation isn't entirely uncommon because all your organs get squished up closer to your throat during the end of pregnancy. There's less room for food and everything else inside of you so you're more likely to have issues with that. 
  5. Constipation and hemroids are the norm in pregnancy- I have been super lucky to have not had issues with either. I never heard anything about this in my random girl talks about pregnancy and babies until after I was pregnant. I think it's one of those well kept secrets that people like to spring on the newly-pregnant lady. As you can imagine, I freaked out when I heard this. As long as you keep your fiber intake up and don't eat things you know don't agree with you, you might be okay. Some prenatal vitamins are known to make constipation worse, but doctors can give you stuff for that. Like I said, I've been super super lucky. Most of the women I talk to who are pregnant or have kids rant about how much the last trimester sucked because they couldn't poop. I feel blessed! 
  6. Doctors will hound you about taking prenatal vitamins- They are important, yes. But if you're unlucky like me, they will make you sick as a dog. As I already said, my heartburn has been so intense through the whole pregnancy, I have to do everything I can to keep it under control. This includes not taking my prenatals every day. I try my hardest to take them at least 3 or 4 times each week, but it doesn't always happen. I don't feel quite as bad because the Carnation Instant Breakfasts have a lot of vitamins in them, and I drink V8 Splash like it's going out of style, so I am getting a decent amount of vitamins in my normal diet. 
  7. Your due date is an estimate- Just because you're due on a certain day doesn't mean that you'll actually give birth that day. My "estimated" due date has changed at every measurement ultrasound because the baby is measuring larger than what a baby due on August 6th "usually" would measure. The earliest that they've actually changed it to is July 29th, even though she was measuring at the 24th. She's never measured small though. They keep my original due date on file because that is the statistically most accurate measurement (based on my last period). 
  8. You probably won't get tons of ultrasounds- I've been fortunate to have ultrasounds about every other week, but the reason is far less fortunate. Since Adalin has some health concerns, they have to monitor her more closely. Most of the time, in a non-high-risk pregnancy, insurance companies cover between 2-4 ultrasounds (from my understanding). You'll usually get one within the first trimester to make sure everything looks okay from the beginning, but mine wasn't that great detail-wise. The next one comes around 20 week. That's when you find out the sex (if baby cooperates and you want to know) and they check for any abnormalities. The last one (or next one, if you go longer) comes towards the end. I'm not exactly sure when because my ultrasound schedule changed at 20 weeks. 
  9. You're not supposed to go in hot tubs while pregnant- The hot water can basically cook the baby (from my understanding). So, it's a big no-no during pregnancy. You actually have to be careful that your bath water isn't too hot too. You can still take warm baths, but not super hot ones. 
  10. You can't change cat litter- Darn! Really though, there's a bacteria in it that is not good for you to be around. If you don't have someone who can change the cat litter for you, you might have to re-home kitty for the extent of the pregnancy. One article I read actually recommended to eliminate all contact with cats through pregnancy because they do walk in the litter, therefore, carry the bacteria everywhere they go... I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to tell you to get rid of Fluffy, but definitely do your reading. 
  11. Itchy belly syndrome- Because your skin stretches so much during pregnancy, you might feel very itchy. Since I've been religiously lotioning my stomach and hips twice every day since I was about 6 weeks along, I haven't been too itchy. I have noticed that since I started laying out on our patio to work up a tan, I am slightly more itchy. I know it's because tanning dries your skin out. The solution is just to lotion as much as possible. Try not to scratch too hard. 
  12. Everything heals slower- I have an ant bite on my leg from the beginning of May. It's still not entirely healed yet (It's JULY now!). Any random scrapes and bruises take longer to heal too. 
  13. You can't take a lot of medicines while pregnant- This seems like common sense to me now, but I was shocked at some of the things that you aren't supposed to take while pregnant. Ibuprofen and asprin are not looked highly upon. Any muscle relaxers, anti-depressants,  or other psychological drugs aren't really accepted either. Your doctor will fill you in on all that. 
  14. Caffeine intake is supposed to be limited- my doctor says it's okay to drink up to one cup/can of caffeine each day. Caffeine restricts blood flow to the baby, which can be problematic during pregnancy (especially the first trimester). 
I'm wanting to add more to this list, so please comment with things that surprised you during pregnancy. My experience is limited to my pregnancy (and the stories friends have told me). I'm not a doctor so none of this is official. This is simply based on what has (or hasn't) happened to me. 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Hot! Hot! Hot!

From what I've gathered, it's been extremely hot pretty much everywhere around the country right now. Saturday, my husband's phone said that it was 119 degrees (it's not entirely accurate, but it's close). Sunday was around 100 again, and yesterday was 96. What does this mean? I'm hot and swollen.
A lot of our area lost power on Sunday night due to a completely random storm. There wasn't even a chance of rain until they issued a severe thunderstorm warning. After Hubby and I left the beach, it started pouring with a beautiful lightening show and extremely strong winds. I felt like we were in the middle of a hurricane. We (luckily) didn't have any damage done though. Our roof is finally fixed, but the inside water damage is still on our land lord's waiting list (at this point, we've been waiting almost two months).
Because of this crazy heat wave, I've been swelling and aching horribly. I'm cranky and all I want to do is sleep. My math class is killing me too. I did pretty well with the first half of the class, but now we're getting into more complicated statistics and I don't understand all of the procedures. I have to take my second midterm on Thursday and I don't have the best feeling about it. As long as I can pass (I have an 80% average right now, so that shouldn't be a problem), I'll be happy. I was really hoping to 4.0 both of my classes this semester, but I'm not sure that it's going to happen now.
There are lots of festivities planned for the Fourth of July tomorrow on post. I'm not sure exactly what we'll be doing, but I do know that it's going to be hot and this mamma isn't going to feel like walking. I'm sure that we'll still have fun though. I've really enjoyed our 3 day anniversary celebration. We had a cookout, went to the beach, and went mini-golfing. With how well Hubby did, I really don't believe that it was his first time playing put-put. I'm not a sore loser though, he won fair and square.
I'm off to try to comprehend this math class now and try to stay cool. I see some much needed pool time in my future this afternoon!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Year Ago...

All I can say is wow. I cannot believe how much has changed in a year. One year ago today, Hubby and I were finalizing everything for our wedding. He flew into Michigan a year ago yesterday for the big day. I just can't believe how much time has flown by already. Even though we're young and have only been together for 2 1/2 years, we've been through more than a lot of couples have been through in ten. I know that we still have many battles left to fight, but that's part of life.
Honestly, I completely believe that a healthy relationship includes fighting. You can't let your spouse walk all over you, make all the decisions, and control every aspect of life. I know that someone is going to make the argument, "You can work everything out without anger! Hostility has no place in a good relationship. Civility is key to success..." Yadda yadda yadda... Sure, you probably shouldn't be throwing heavy objects at your spouse; you shouldn't be beating your spouse; you shouldn't be screaming so loud that the neighbors call the police... BUT it is completely okay to get a little mad sometimes! I think that (occasional) anger and fighting actually makes the relationship stronger. If you know how to work out a fight about something stupid like not washing the car properly (I love you babe), you'll be able to work out the bigger stuff much easier. You can't run a marathon without running a few miles first.
A lot of couples haven't spend weeks apart with no contact. Even fewer have gone a whole year living 1,000 miles apart. When they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, they are right. There is absolutely no greater feeling that being hugged tightly and kissed by your husband for the first time in a month (or year). People ask me what the best part of being an Army wife is. That, my friends, is it. I really can't even explain the feeling, it's just incredible.
I'm off for the day now. Even though it's supposed to be 106 degrees, we have yard work to do! Oh, before I forget:

Baby Update: 
Adalin is doing well! It's still looking like she may have to have surgery, but we should be able to wait a year as long as the CCAM doesn't affect her breathing. I'm to that constantly uncomfortable stage in the pregnancy now. I've been having contractions but they aren't very regular or consistent. I considered going to the doctor yesterday because something just felt strange, but after talking with a nurse I decided not to go. I'm feeling a little bit better today. I just have to bear the heat now. I'm starting to swell now. I knew it was coming though. Between the heat and humidity down here, it was impossible to avoid. I think I have a few small stretch marks on my stomach now, but I'm not really sure. I can't see them unless if I bend backwards and sideways in the mirror. So maybe it's just a funny reflection. Either way, I figured those would come too. Only 5 more weeks (at most) but I'm really thinking she'll be here sooner than that. I'll keep everyone updated as I progress!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Problem with Materialization

If you've had a pair of jeans for years and they get a hole in them, what do you do? Throw them out? Patch them? What lengths will you go to in order to keep these perfectly worn-in jeans wearable? What if you've had a car for twenty years and it breaks down? What if it's going to cost more to fix it than it's worth? Do you sell it to the junk yard and take what you can get for it? Or do you repair it at all costs, preserving the memories it holds? Where is the line? At what point is something no longer worth fixing?
I saw something on Facebook a while back about how people should treat relationships like something worth fixing, not something worth replacing. I don't remember exactly what the quote was, but it has got me thinking.
America as a whole has become far too materialized. It's way too easy to just replace things that break, rather than fix them. Older generations are the butt of jokes because they're willing to spend more to fix a broken item instead of just buying a new (sometimes better) one. I think they've caught on to something though. Relationships aren't something we can just throw away and find a replacement. A lot of people seem to think that's how life works now. I guess, in a way, life does work that way now. This really saddens me. 
My husband has a tenancy of holding on to jeans for much longer than he should. I don't know how many patches he has on all these jeans, but he won't get rid of them. It used to bother me (Don't get me wrong, there's something sexy about ripped jeans... There is a limit though), but lately I've seen them in a different light. These jeans that are full of patches and holes are also full of memories. He might not be able to tell you where every single rip and tear came from, but he can certainly tell you where a lot of them did. This tells me something about how he thinks. He lives that "older" generation's way of life. He's willing to fix just about anything as long as it is physically possible. 
I want to treat our relationship the same way. I've seen too many couples just end their relationship because it takes too much work to fix. There are just too many rips and holes. As I said before, there is a point of no return, when there are more patches than original jean, it might be time to buy a new pair. Is just one or two holes enough for you to get rid of your loved one though? No! If you stub your toe, are you going to amputate your whole leg? No! So why do anything different with your relationship? 

Remember, relationships are precious. Marriage is sacred. Treat it that way. 

God Bless ♥ Vi. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Put Down the Cookie, Preggo

When my husband is gone for training, I don't eat that much. I don't really have a reason to cook and for some reason I don't feel the need to munch a whole lot. Since he's been home, I can't stop eating. Honestly, it makes me kind of sick to think about how much I've eaten just in the past 24 hours. We had a busy day yesterday so I didn't eat lunch, but I definitely made up for it.
I know most people probably think, it's just because you're pregnant. I don't know if that's actually the case. I know I'm more anxious while Hubby is away, and when I'm anxious I don't snack. Lately, I've been in that awful stage where I'm starving, but nothing sounds good. All I want to do is eat and drink, but I can't find anything appetizing. It really is a horrible feeling.
I've been doing really well about not over-eating or using this pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I want. I'm right on track when it comes to my weight gain. I'm not afraid to post it, I'm 33 weeks today and have gained 23-24 pounds (recommended is 19-27). My goal was to gain less than 35 pounds total, which is completely feasible as long as I don't keep eating at the rate I have been the past few days. Doctors recommend that you gain about a pound per week for the last 10 weeks or so of pregnancy. That puts me right around 30 pounds gained. I've got a bit of a cushion, but I would rather not push it too much. Either way, I'm proud of how well I've done so far.
I don't have any stretch marks on my stomach yet, but I still have 6 weeks to go before they'll induce me. I have an ultrasound tomorrow to see how much Adalin has grown. I'm definitely expecting her to be five pounds now. I'm excited to see how much she's grown, especially since this will be the first ultrasound my husband has seen since I was 21 weeks. Adalin has changed so much since then, I can't wait to see Hubby's face when he sees her. I'm getting anxious about delivery.
Right now, my plan is to try not to have the epidural. I'm hoping to do natural pain management (breathing techniques, music, etc), and probably some IV pain medications. I'm still open to an epidural, but I'd really like to have at least one baby without it. If the doctors are expecting her to be more than nine pounds, I may change my mind before delivery though. I'm hoping she'll be around eight or so.

That's all I've got for today, but I'll update within the next few days with an official baby update.
God Bless ♥ Vi

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For My Daddy

Happy Father's Day! I'm so thankful for the wonderful dad that I have. Even though we butt heads every once and a while, I'll always be a daddy's girl. Without my dad, I have no idea where I'd be. My daddy pushed me to succeed in everything I've done; sports, school, just life in general, he's always been behind me pushing me to strive for more.
My daddy gave me to the other most important man in my life, my husband. Without daddy's approval, I wouldn't have gotten married, moved 1,000 miles from home, and started a new life for myself. Hubby and I wouldn't have adopted our Mia Monster, rented a house, tried for a baby, bought a car... nothing. Life as I know it is all based upon my daddy's approval. I'm so thankful that I've been fortunate enough to have my dad be such a huge part of my life.
Daddy has taught me many lessons. He taught me how a man should treat a woman. Both my parents have showed me what a marriage should look like. He's taught me more about dirt, grass, and rocks than any girl should ever know. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. I know more about tools and cars than most of my friends, and I'm a lot more self sufficient than a lot of the wives I've met around post. This is extremely important to me as an Army wife because I have to do a lot on my own. My daddy has taught me that I shouldn't settle for anything less than the best.
I love my daddy more than anything. He is pretty much awesome in every way. So, here's to you, dad. Happy Father's Day!

I'd also like to wish my wonderful husband a happy Farther-to-Be's Day! I love you babe!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, June 11, 2012

What I Write to Him

A lot of people have asked me how I cope with my husband being away. My solution: I write him letters every day. When I tell people this, they ask me what I write about, how much I write, and what I include or don't include. I thought it would be easier to just post a letter I've written to him. So, here goes nothing!

Dear Hubby, 
       Only (xx) more days until I get to see you! Today was pretty good. The weather wasn't too bad and I got a lot accomplished. I mowed the lawn this morning and washed the car. It definitely needed it, both inside and out. I'm working ahead in my schoolwork so I won't have to do any when you get home. I deep cleaned the carpets and gave Mia a bath this afternoon. She was really stinky and dirty after digging a huge hole with one of her playdate friends. She's been pretty good since you've been gone other than the digging though. I was a little worried the first few days because she'd sit at the door for hours crying because she missed you. It is awful every time a loud truck like yours drives by. She's finally doing better now though. She's been sleeping on your pillow. It's supposed to be stormy the next few days so I won't be doing a whole lot. I've got a doctor's appointment tomorrow but other than that my week is free. I'm staying as busy as I can though. I miss you like crazy. It's amazing to me how much I miss sleeping in the same bed as you, and cooking for you. I've probably only cooked a total of 3 meals since you've been gone. Adalin is doing well. She's still trying to stretch my hips apart, that hurts pretty good. She's very active too. I think she misses your voice, I know I do. I'm really doing well with this though. I know that deployment will be different than this, but I'm managing pretty well I think. Honestly, I don't think our house has ever been this clean. I never realized how messy you are ;) Just kidding, you know I love you and your stinky socks. Really though, I've deep cleaned so much in the past few days it's not even funny. I don't think the house was this clean when we moved in. I'm still trying to make everything absolutely perfect for you before you get home. I'm going to stock up the pantry with all your favorite foods and stuff and have a few bottles of cold Gatorade in the fridge waiting for you when you walk in the door. Well, that's all for today. I'll write tomorrow and let you know how the doctor's appointment went. I love you and I miss you like crazy. I'm keeping it together though, I have to stay strong to make you proud! 100% faithful babe, always and forever. I love you. 
P.S. I'll be sure to change your pillowcase before you get home so you won't have to sleep on Mia's drool! :) I love you baby. 

And that's it! A few pointers that I've found helpful:

  1. Always include the date. That way if the mail is slow (or you can't mail the letters to him because he's just in the field or in training somewhere), he'll know when what you're talking about was happening. 
  2. Don't leave out the little stupid stuff. If you'd tell him about it while he's home, tell him about it in the letter. 
  3. If you'd put it on Facebook, put it in the letter. You don't want him finding out about something important (or minor that could be taken the wrong way) through Facebook or Twitter instead of hearing the story from you. If you're going to lunch with a guy friend, or are at a party with guys, tell him. You don't want him seeing pictures of you with other guys and wondering if you're hiding something! 
  4. Make sure he knows he's missed. Even if everything is going completely fine, let him know that they would be even better if he was home. Believe it or not, guys want to be missed just as much as the wives do. 
  5. Do something consistently. Through all of basic training, I ended my letters with "100% faithful babe, always and forever." It was a way for him to know that my heart was still completely his, as well as everything else. Even though I know he doesn't "worry" about me cheating on him, I'm sure it is reassuring for him to see that at the end of every letter. 
  6. Always tell him you love him. God forbid something happen to him (or you), but if it does, your letter may be the last thing he gets from you. Don't try to pick fights through mail, or say things sarcastically (unless you put a ;) face or tell him you're kidding) because it's too hard to tell whether or not you're joking without a tone of voice to base off of. 
  7. Don't be afraid to ask him questions, even if you're not mailing him the letters. Sometimes just getting them out of your mind and onto paper will help you relax. 
Do any of my followers have tips for writing to your SO while they're away? What do you include/leave out? Anything fun you'd suggest? 
God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Watch Your Mouth

I posted a similar blog a while ago (Should Wives Bite Their Tongues?), but I feel the need to touch on it again. What military wives do does indeed affect their husbands. This has been more real to me than ever recently.
I run a page for the wives in my husband's battalion. There's been a lot of talk about OPSEC violations and just reporting stupid things to the wrong people. I try really hard to make sure that everything posted is okay, but there's only so much I can do. It's one of my biggest fears that I'll post/say something that will get my husband in trouble.
Talking about dates, locations, training, and everything else "sensitive" can look badly on him. The safest way to avoid this is just to not talk about him/his job on Facebook or on here, but sometimes I can't help myself! I just love him too much to keep quiet. I am too proud to not brag every once and a while.
It's one thing to say, "My husband is still at work today, this sucks." It's completely another to say, "He's still in xx country with xx unit until xx date." It amazes me what some wives are willing to put out there. I try my best to make it not entirely obvious when my husband is home/away. I know, I post things on here about how much I get done while he's gone or how I miss certain things, but I try extremely hard not to post dates, numbers, or locations.
I saw a thing on one of the OPSEC presentations that made complete sense to me: If you wouldn't put it on a yard sign, don't put it online. Granted, I'd never pay money for a sign that says, "My house is cleaner now!" but you get my point. If you wouldn't put "My husband is deployed and I'm in Europe for two months" on a sign in your front yard, don't put it on your Facebook (just so we're clear, my husband isn't deployed and I'm not going to Europe).
Another thing that has been brought to my attention is the threat of homeland terrorism. Terrorists aren't just overseas, they're here too. Adding people you don't know on Facebook can be dangerous. Just because they've got multiple pictures of the same person up on their page does not mean that is who they actually are. It's so easy to find a random public profile and pull pictures from it. I feel like such a nag for saying all this, but it really is important for our husbands' safety. I'm going to be more and more conscious of this now.

I'm doing pretty decent with school lately. My Death and Dying class is giving me a little trouble on tests, but everything else has been high grades so I'm still hopeful for a 4.0 in there. Statistics has been pretty good too. I've had a lot to do this week, but I'm on top of it. I'm trying to start working ahead so I can finish it early. We'll see though.

Well, I'm off to start my day now. Happy Thursday!
God Bless ♥ Vi