Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adalin's Future

Tonight, Adalin threw up all over me (which is a very rare occurrence since she was about 3 months old). For some reason, it just made my heart ache.

When I think about how much she's already been through in her seven months of life, I feel so helpless. The most extensive "surgery" I've ever had is getting my wisdom teeth pulled. I sit here pondering what Adalin's life is going to be like after having 1/3 of her lung removed.

Every time she goes to a new doctor, she will have to explain what a CCAM is. She will have to tell them how she got that big ole scar on her back. For every physical, she will have to explain that she had major surgery at five months old. It's something that will never go away.

I know that I'm not to blame for her CCAM. There is no known cause. I can't try to change what she's been through, and I have to be grateful that I now have a 100% healthy, happy baby. I just wish she wouldn't have had to go through everything that she has.

It kills me to think about everything that she will have to go through later in life. It kills me to know that one day a boy is going to break my daughter's heart. It kills me to realize that one day, someone is going to make her think she isn't perfect the way she is, that she's too skinny, too tall, too loud, too confident... I absolutely hate that some day, Adalin is going to change something about herself, simply because society thinks she should.

I feel so guilty for bringing her into this cruel world. I can only hope that I can raise her to love every element of her being, and to not listen to all of the harsh expectations of our generation. I want my daughter (along with future children) to be whoever she wants to be, and to be happy that she is exactly that: herself.

God bless ♥ Vi

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Worst Parts of Deployment

Being over half way through this deployment, I'm pretty well into the swing of things now. It still sucks, but I have become pretty used to waking up to an empty bed and cooking for one. There are still parts of deployment that get to me though. Surprisingly, it's not the obvious things, like going to bed alone, or handling Adalin by myself so much. It's the little things. Here's my list of the worst parts of deployment:

  1. OPSEC: There is so much that my husband can't tell me. For safety, and for my own peace of mind, he is very vague in most of our conversation... "What did you do today babe?" His reply is "Stuff..." about 90% of the time. Every once in a while I'll get a "Gassed up the vehicles..." or "played football." Those things are always nice to hear. I never get "details" though, which I'm usually thankful for (as frustrating as it may be).
  2.  No Call-Backs: There have been so many times that I've missed my husband's messages on Facebook by five minutes or less. We still talk almost every day, but there are times that we'll go a few days without. Communication overall has been great. The worst part about communication is not being able to call him back. There have been times (when Adalin's surgery got moved, doctor's appointments, and just bad days) that I would give my left leg to have a direct line so I could call him and just talk. Nine out of ten times, I talk to him within 24 hours so it really isn't awful. When the calls drop or internet cuts out, he always does his best to make sure I know that he's okay, it was just a technology error.
  3. No Privacy: Where my husband is, he can't have his own internet. There's community computers that he can use, but there are almost always people around. It makes it harder to have heart-to-heart conversations that I miss so dearly.
  4. Small Milestones: Adalin is under a year old, so all of her milestones are happening while my husband is away. Since he left, she has started rolling over, sitting by herself, eating baby food, and crawling. All of these things are things that I would love to have shared with my husband. I did record her first roll, first baby food, and posted pictures and videos of her sitting and crawling. It's just not the same though. I want my husband to experience Adalin crawling to him. We did plan to have her before he left, but sometimes I wish we would have timed it better so he could see all of this. I'm so happy that I have her here though, otherwise I would go crazy.
  5. The Big Stuff: Making major life decisions, like whether to buy a house, or continue renting; to take a trip to Michigan (not so major, but still expensive), or not; and to pay off cars, or put into savings... Any life decision is a decision that should be made together. He always gives input, but it's not the same as having him actually here
I'm so happy to see that February is almost over. We've got another month down, and are another month closer to having our family reunited again. Part of me is surprised by how fast the first half has gone. Yet when I look at how much has happened, it makes me realize how long he really has been gone.

Sometime in the next week I will be posting my results of Fab Ab February, a fitness challenge I took this month. I'm excited about my progress.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Salute to Single Moms

Man oh man. All I can say after the past few weeks is that God made it so it takes two people to make a baby for a reason. Miss Adalin has been quite the hand full lately. Thank goodness I've baby-proofed (some of the house at least). Earlier this week, I assumed that baby proofing the living room would be enough for a while. My opinion was changed today. I sat Adalin down in the living room, left to go to the bathroom (I was only gone about two minutes), and came back to an empty room. I found her in the pantry, which is quite a distance from where I put her. Later on, I went into my room to fold some laundry because she seemed content with her teething cookies. Wrong! A few moments later, I had a visitor at my doorway. I can't get this little girl to sit still anymore! She just wants to go, go, and go.

This being said, single moms: I don't know how you do it. Aside from not being able to pee in peace, or shower without worrying about not hearing your baby's cry, the support of is what I miss most. Since Jimmy went back, there have been too many times that I've "asked him" to do something baby related. Whether it was feeding her, or changing her, or whatever else you can think of. I've called out for him, and realized that he's not here. These nine months of  "single" parenthood suck. I'm not saying that I'm a single mom, by any means. My husband does as much as he can from 7,000+ miles away. He supports us financially, and puts up with my emotional phone calls (which may be more often than he'd like). However, not having another parent physically present really takes a tole sometimes. Aside from my trips to Michigan and doctors appointments, I am very rarely away from Adalin. Every once in a while, I'll leave her with a friend so I can go to the grocery store or run a quick errand. Other than that, it's baby-mamma time. I love my child more than anything in this world, but sometimes I just need a break. I'm overly thrilled to be signing up for day care in the coming weeks. I won't be using it often, but a few hours a week will be nice. This way, I'll be able to go to the gym or get my toes/hair done without taking her with me. I am so excited for that. I'm overly nervous about leaving her with people I don't know, so I'll be sticking to the in-gym care for the first few weeks.

Well, I'm off for the evening. So, thanks to all the single moms out there who are raising wonderful little children.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Friday, February 22, 2013

For a Good Laugh

Say hello to Crazy Hair Adalin Grace!

I hope Miss Grumpy Face made you smile, bed head and all. I ended up taking Adalin in to the doctor today because she's been sleeping excessively, around 14-15 hours at night, and then napping for 4 hours during the day. She's been crazy cranky lately and I was starting to wonder if her lung was bothering her.

Good news is, she checked out with a perfectly clean bill of health. Ears look great, lungs are expanding properly, throat is clear, and eyes are beautiful. The doctor says she's ahead on her development so they aren't worried.

Bad news, I have a very cranky baby with no notable cause. The doctor basically said to wait it out and if she's still cranky in a week to go in again. We'll see!

I hope you all have a great weekend. God Bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nesting 2.0

Most people think that "nesting" is only during the last few months of pregnancy. That's definitely not the truth. I did go through a major nesting phase starting around 30 weeks, but it eased up for quite a while. Well, until recently...

For the last few days, I've been on a crazy nesting spree. Since Adalin started crawling, I've felt the need to scrub all the walls and furniture with Lysol wipes. I've went through almost a whole (large) tub of wipes this week. I have started using Method cleaning products.
I love them!! Not only do they smell great, but they also are baby safe. Adalin could drink a whole bottle and be fine (in theory, I'm not going to hand it to her and say "Chug, baby! Chug!"). I currently have the purple all purpose cleaner, but I used the bathroom cleaner at a friend's house and liked it. I've also used the glass cleaner and it smells nice too. HERE is their link. I tell you, this stuff is awesome. The best part? It's really inexpensive. It really doesn't run any more expensive than normal cleaning products. It's safer, and it works great!

I've also been vacuuming like a fiend lately too. I have the Shark Navigator Lift-Away and adore it. It is without a doubt the best vacuum I've ever owned. The first time I used it, I had vacuumed with my old vacuum first, then with this one. It filled the canister twice with dog hair and dirt. Talk about disgusting!
Confession: The first vacuum I had when we got married came from next to the dumpster at our apartment complex. There was nothing "wrong" with it, but it definitely was not top-of-the-line. I suppose it was by the dumpster for a reason. Anyway, I love this vacuum. Here's the link for that too.

Now that I'm done advertising for the night, I'm off to go clean some more. Happy nesting!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Southern (un)Professionalism

I have been in Georgia for over a year and a half now. Yet, there are so many things surprise me about southern culture.

The unprofessional demeanor of many business around here is horrifying. Last night, I came across a prime example. I'm not sure how national the reporting has been on this story though. A Delta plane went off the runway at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport last night. It doesn't appear to be a huge issue, as the statement from Delta simply says that "the nose wheel of the aircraft made contact with the grass as the aircraft turned onto the taxiway." This wasn't some crazy plane crash or anything by any means. To my knowledge, all the passengers are physically fine, though mentally shaken. Now for the lack of professionalism in this story. On one of our local news broadcasts' Facebook page, one of the posts was:

Something just really rubs me wrong with the whole "No need to panic..." All of the "...'s" seem very unprofessional to me. Here was a post a few minutes later:
Maybe I'm just irritable, but I see this all the time. Especially on WTOC-TV's Facebook. There's a fine line between being friendly and being unprofessional. I definitely think that it says something about the news station. There was another incident a few months back with snotty remarks being made by some of the anchors. Although it's a good broadcast, I'm not a fan of their Facebook.

Am I the only one who sees this?

Happy Wednesday!

God Bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Deployment Development

Before I start today's post, I must say that I'm thrilled with this month's blog happenings. I've actually managed to post more this month than I have in the last three or so combined. "Yay!" for consistency!

We are officially half way done with this deployment. I am loving having to reach further and further into my "Days to go" jar every day.
Now, deployment can do many things to a person, as well as to a relationship. I think that it really brings out the true colors of a person. It makes them realize what is really important to them in life. 

Some realize that family is the most important aspect in life. These people are the ones whose relationships grow stronger, whose families get closer, and whose life seems fuller every day. These are the people who get a much greater appreciation for life. 

Others realize that life and longevity are most important to them. I heard a fun fact today, apparently the first person who is expected to live to be 150 was born this year. These people are the ones who work out constantly, make it a goal to get fit, and strive to come out of deployment healthier than they came in. 

Others still focus more on themselves. Sometimes (unfortunately), this turns the person sour. They may even abandon their family and friends. I don't know why this happens. In an attempt to justify, maybe it's because they are put in such desperate conditions that they go into a mental panic mode. They will do anything to keep themselves sane and alive. I really don't know, that's just one possible theory I have. It makes me sad to see these relationships fall apart. Not only spouses, but children, parents, siblings, and friends are all affected. It's just depressing. 

In my husband's case (we haven't really talked about this, I'm just going off of what I've seen in him), he's a combination of the first two. After coming home for emergency leave, I think how much he is missing with Adalin hit him hard. He made a point to spend as much time with her as possible. It was absolutely adorable to say the least. 

Since he's been back, he calls more and absolutely loves seeing pictures of Adalin (I know he did before too, but it seems like he likes them even more now). He also has been working on his personal fitness. Since he's been back after leave, he's been hitting the gym pretty much every day. He had already bulked up quite a bit during the first half of the deployment, but I'm excited to see how much more he does by the end. I love that he's taking care of himself over there. I want him around for at least sixty-something more years, assuming I live that long... 

At the end of the day, deployment can be a making point or breaking point. I've found that distance really does make the heart grow fonder. I'm falling more in love with my husband every single day. I can't wait to have our little family reunited. 

God Bless ♥ Vi

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Unfair to Compare

Time to rant. I can not stand it when people are competitive with their children. What difference does it matter if your child crawled 2 weeks before mine? What difference does it matter if my child eats peas before your child? Sure, it's exciting! Well, peas might not be... but things like crawling, standing, walking, and talking, etc. are! However, in the larger scheme of things... really?

I posted this picture of Adalin (6 months, 10 days) on my personal Facebook and received all sorts of competitive messages saying their child did this xx days sooner, or how they're mad because their child isn't doing this yet.

It's one thing to ask when someone else's child did something. Shoot, I do that all the time. As a first time parent, I have no idea when certain things are supposed to happen. I am frequently asking my mom-friends about when their child ate certain things, when they crawled/stood/walked... Like I said, I don't have a clue what is average... 

The next time someone sends me a message about their child being "better" than mine, I might scream. Babies do what they want to do when they want to. There are babies the same age as Adalin who are walking, and there are others who aren't sitting. You can definitely encourage them to progress, but you can't force them to. Let your baby be your baby.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Friday, February 15, 2013

Deployment Drama

Let's face it: when you remove all men from the picture for nine months, there is bound to be drama. I swear, women are just not supposed to get along all the time. It's something I don't understand. Why can't we be like men, cursing each other and fighting one minute, then best friends shaking hands the next? Well, I suppose that would be a bit extreme, but still... Why do women have to be so dramatic?

To avoid as much drama as possible during this deployment, I've stuck to my close group of friends. As much as I would like to branch out and get to know more of the wives from the company, I only see that causing trouble.

I have heard about all kinds of crazy women throughout the last few months. When I say crazy, I literally mean on the border of mentally ill.Women making up stories of others cheating, talking crap for no reason, and some other things I care not to post... My jaw has been on the floor far too many times.

My best advice for avoiding this is to simply watch who your friends are. If you tell your husband, "I'm hanging out with PFC Pokey Joe's wife tomorrow," and he doesn't seem overly thrilled, chances are that he knows something you don't. If the soldier is "off," the wife will be "off." Rarely does someone sane marry someone not so sane. I haven't found a case that isn't true so far.

The group of girls that I'm closest with are absolutely wonderful. We've had a lot of great adventures so far and I'm sure that the second half of deployment will bring even more. I have about two weeks before what I'm declaring "Beach Week." A few friends of mine are coming down for a week and I'm hoping to spend at least three days at the beach. Another friend of mine (from here) and I are on a work out craze right now too. She got a Jillian Michaels workout program and I will say it's pretty intense. I've been doing "Fab Ab February" since the first and am absolutely floored by my progress in push-ups already. I've gone from doing 1-2 girl push-ups to doing 20 easily.

I have to wrap this up for now. Miss Adalin is crawling around our living room getting into anything and everything she can. It is definitely time to finish up baby-proofing.

Happy Friday!

God bless ♥ Vi

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Worst Valentine's Day Date Ever

I'll start by saying that the only good things that came from this evening were free fruit punch and mozzarella sticks, a strawberry sundae and a Big Mac.

To start, Adalin was miss crank today. Teething is not a fun game for baby or mom. She's been super grouchy all day, and has been sleeping like a bear in hibernation. When she's up, she's screaming... So it's just been wonderful.

The repair man finally came to look at some electrical repairs that have been needed to be done for over a week now, so I suppose that was a plus as well. I also scheduled a dentist appointment to get some cavities filled at the end of the month. To say that I'm dreading that would be the understatement of the year.

To try to end the day on a good note, a great friend and I went out for dinner, intending to go to Applebee's.  Well, Applebee's had a 40-45 minute wait, so we decided to go elsewhere (considering it was already after 5:00 and Adalin usually goes to bed around 8:00). We ended up at Pizza Hut in Hinesville. After waiting about 20-30 minutes for our mozzarella sticks, they finally came but the rest of our food was not anywhere near being done. We ended up waiting for over an hour and walked out. This is the second time we've had crappy service from that Pizza Hut and I have zero intentions of going back there any time soon.

We ended up going to McDonald's with a screaming baby in the back seat. Our Valentine's dinner ended up costing $3.40 total, so I guess that's the last positive thing to come of the day.

This is, without a doubt, my least favorite holiday. Too many high expectations make sadness practically destined. I'll say this now, but ask me a year from today... I'm never looking forward to this holiday again.

I hope you all had a better day than we did. I suppose we can only go up from here.

God Bless ♥ Vi.

Time to Get Organized

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Today, Adalin and I are not really celebrating. She's been little miss cranky this morning, so I am letting her nap while I try to get something productive accomplished. 

I have been tackling some minor organization problems in my house the past few days. I decided that it's somewhat important to separate Adalin's movies from ours. I bought a new movie case (with doors!) to keep our more adult movies in. We don't have any "inappropriate" movies, but things like American Pie, Magic Mike, Fast and Furious, and all of my husband's war movies are put away and out of sight now. I realize that this is about a year premature. However, the way I see it is why not organize while I have the time? I actually think that I may invest in a few more of these shelves in the next few months to potentially replace our other movie stand without doors. This is my attempt to baby-proof. The new shelf has no handles, but has the magnetic-locking doors... That made a lot more sense in my head, but hopefully you know what I mean. I'm now in the hunt for a new end table, and possibly TV stand. Miss Adalin absolutely loves to explore now and is getting into everything. 

I also found something on Pinterest I had to try:
Downy Unstoppables in a wax warmer. I was somewhat skeptical because I'd never used a wax warmer before, and sometimes these Unstoppables make a mess in my washer. I decided to try it anyway though, worst case scenario, my house smells like burnt laundry. That was not the case though! It's fantastic. My favorite right now is the purple kind, "Lush" I believe. It's way cheaper than the wax blocks, and still smells good. I am definitely a fan.

Well, that's all I've got for today. Happy Valentine's day to everyone. Be thankful if you get to spend to day with your sweetheart, as many of us aren't so fortunate.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Friday, February 08, 2013

Surgery and Emergency Leave

Wow, I'm awful about updating this lately. Adalin had her surgery and my husband was indeed able to come home for it! We are so blessed. I'll start from some changes a few weeks back.

Adalin's surgery was spontaneously changed a week later than expected, on very short notice. This caused all sorts of chaos here. I was worried about my husband not being able to come home, or coming too early. However by the grace of God, he arrived 2 days before surgery, exactly as we had hoped. 

Surgery went smoothly. She was in there a little longer than we expected, but she didn't even have to go into recovery. She went straight to the PICU and we were able to go see her shortly after. She stayed in PICU for a little over 24 hours. When we first saw her, I felt so much pain in my heart. Honestly, aside from watching her go back for surgery, this was the worst part for me. Seeing her in pain and suffering was absolutely horrible. Here's some of what we first saw in PICU. I chose not to post pictures of her chest tube or incision area on here since it is pretty sad.
My sweet angel sleeping in PICU after surgery.
After we left PICU we went to the normal Pediatrics unit for two days. After her chest tube was removed, Adalin was like a completely different baby. She was sitting up on her own again, wanting to play, and started eating slowly but surely. It was great to have my baby somewhat back to normal. 

Since we've been home, she's completely normal again except her scar.  She's actually made loads of progress developmentally since surgery. She's sitting up on her own even better, going from laying to sitting on her own (that just happened today!), and is scooting everywhere, sometimes "crawling" but mostly scoot. She's such a little trooper. At her two week check-up, the doctor decided that we no longer need to have check-ups. If we think that she's having any problems, we can take her in. Otherwise, the surgeon never has to see her again. We are so blessed. ♥ 
I will post a (not so high quality) picture of what her incision looks like, but I'll warn you that it's kind of sad. 

I know you can't see it great, but it's about 4-5 inches long and goes from under her armpit to on her back. I'm hoping that it will fade with time, but if not it will be her battle scar! She's gonna be a sassy little diva. We can tell already.

Well, that's all I have for you tonight.
God Bless ♥ Vi