Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Entering Our 7th Week

Right now I'm pretty tired. I stay fairly tired actually. But I can live with that. What I'm having trouble with is feeling nauseous. It's Day 3 of morning sickness and already it's taking its toll. I have saltine crackers on my nightstand, and I eat one or two before getting out of bed, but the nausea still strikes. Once I get going and have breakfast I feel better for an hour or so, but then it returns. This cycle lasts all day until I fall asleep. I'm trying to eat as well as I can and still exercise, but it's been difficult since Saturday. I'm staying positive though. Maybe this will only last another week or so. Quit laughing, Carrie!!! :)

One week from today, Mike and I will hopefully be able to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Frozen Warrior

I never imagined myself dressed in camoflauge, shooting a grenade launcher or riding through disgusting mud swamps in a tank-like contraption, but the proof is in the pictures. Yesterday, the families of the Marines at TBS were invited to attend 'Warrior Day.' We started the day early, waking up at 5:45, arriving on base at 6:45. There was a brief introduction for all of us before the platoons split up to different areas where we would learn to fire weapons, watch helicopters land, see martial arts demos, etc., etc.

It was freezing outside early on, and the cold winds didn't help my situation. I thought I had dressed warm enough, but I was mistaken. I was shivering so bad that Mike finally walked me back to his room and dressed me up in all his cold weather gear. When we headed back out, I had on his USMC sweatpants (that I could've pulled up over my head, they were so big), my cargo pants, two pairs of thick socks, three long-sleeve t-shirts, a fleece pullover, another thick Marine vest over that and then a huge camoflauge coat that Mike wears in the field. Plus gloves and a scarf over my head. I was toasty! And feeling much better.

Here are some pictures from my day as a 'warrior' (ha, ha, that's laughable)...

Mike and I at the start of the day.

Me preparing to shoot a M203 Grenade Launcher. Don't I looked excited?! Or maybe just cold. Yep, just cold.

Me shooting the M203 Grenade Launcher. It had a little kick-back that I wasn't prepared for.

Amphibious Assault Vehicles, or AAVs. But I call all of them tanks, because that's what they look like. We were given rides on these as long as we wore the helmets and vests for safety. Mud was flying around everywhere! We went into a mud puddle so deep that we started floating. Blech! The scariest part was when we went up on the side of a hill and I thought we'd flip over!

Sommer, Me and Margaret in a 'fighting hole.'

Martial Arts demonstration.

Helicopter demonstration.

Chad and Mike in front of a helicopter so big it can carry Humvees inside.

From left, Margaret, Carolyn, Me and Sommer.

The whole gang.

A fun time was had by all of us. (But secretly, I'm glad it's over!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My Lovely Guests

Last week I was happy to have Mom and my sister-in-law, Carrie, to visit for a few days.

Shopping was in order first thing as I was excited to show them this cool outlet mall (I'm such a bargain shopper) near our home. We hit all the maternity and baby stores. Carrie is 6 months along now, so she got a couple new things to wear. I can't believe how much more she's showing since the last time I saw her! Mom wanted to buy me some maternity clothes while we were there, so I tried on a couple of things even though I'm not showing yet. They had this velcro, strap-on pillow to use in the dressing room. So of course I put it on. It was hilarious and did not resemble a baby bump what-so-ever. Anyway, Mom bought me two beautiful blouses and a pair of jean capri pants for the Florida weather. Thanks, Mom! They're stored for the day my belly will fill them out.

We bought some baby clothes and bibs for William (Brian and Carrie's baby). Of course I bought him one that reads: I love my aunt. He's expected to arrive June 7.

We also spent a lot of time working out. Here are some shots of us feeling the burn on Application Trail on the Marine Base. It was a comfortable 60-some degrees outside, but Mom still wore a headband to fight the cool wind and the inevitable migraine she'd have gotten. We were all exhausted after the 5-mile hike.

On the last night they were here, we went up to DC to check out the National Museum of Art. We got there a bit late, not knowing it closed at 5:30, so we quickly looked around and then headed to the new El Gran Charro restaurant near our apartment for a Mexican feast. Mike dubbed it "El Greaso" afterward. We all agreed. None of us were too impressed.

Thanks to Mom and Carrie for the visit. I'm so glad you were able to come. Next time we'll spend it on the beach!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Entering Our 6th Week

Feeling fabulous, albeit a few cramps at night. I've read they're normal, so no worries yet. Fifteen more days until we hear the heartbeat for the first time!

Home Sweet Home, Here We Come!

Mike and I regretted leaving our beautiful home in Texas to go back to apartment living while in Virginia. We've missed our big yard (and even the yard work that came with it!), our garage, our nice neighbors, our spacious living areas, our big bathroom and closets.

Finally, we will say goodbye to Virginia after six months of living on the second floor (ugh, groceries) of a big apartment complex where our neighbors above us walk like they weigh 400 lbs and the dogs pee on the sidewalks. Oh, to have grass again will be heaven and the Florida sunshine will make it that much better!

We've worked with our realtor since I got back from house hunting, and I'm so happy to tell you we made an offer on a beautiful home and they've accepted it!!!! We are home owners again!!! Well, OK so now I guess we'll own two homes - we still have the one in TX - but we are hoping to have it sold in the next month. Anyway, we are thrilled and can't wait to move.

Here are some pictures of the new house. It has a beautiful kitchen with lots of cabinet space - something I've missed terribly. And it looks like it has the exact tile we have in our other house. We're excited about the screened porch, too. I'm not sure if they have lots of mosquitos there, but if so, that porch will be a Godsend. It's in a great neighborhood and it's got a nice fenced-in yard for Junah, too. PERFECT!

Of course, I'm excited to start painting and decorating. Oooooh, nursery first?! It'll feel great to make it our own. We couldn't do much to the apartment because of the lease terms.

This move will be interesting for me because I now have limitations. My doctor told me I shouldn't lift more than 20 pounds and that I need to stay away from paint fumes. What will I do?! Thankfully, the military will pack and move everything for us, but it's going to be tough not being able to move furniture around and do all the painting. Maybe if we open all the windows and I wear one of those masks it'll be alright. Can't wait to call this HOME! We'll be moving in March 24.

House Hunting

The second week of February, Sommer and I drove down to Florida to find homes near Pensacola. We had a great time with our pups and with each other. We became familiar with the area (OK, the beach) quickly and looked at a few homes in our spare time (ha, ha. just kidding.) We didn't have much luck finding houses while down there, but we got a good idea of the area in which we wanted to buy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Some Exciting News...

Friday morning I sat there waiting for the results of my home pregnancy test. I was home alone and didn't expect Mike to come home until very late that night. I also didn't expect to see two blue lines appear so fast! I sat there in shock for a few minutes before dancing around like an idiot. Junah thought I was nuts. I thought I might be nuts, too, so I took two more tests just to be sure. And sure enough, we are pregnant!!!!

I hadn't seen or spoken to Mike all week because he was in the field. I was dying to tell him and was prepared to surprise him as soon as he walked through the door with an early Valentine's Day gift. I found the little bib and pacifiers at Target and wrapped them up in a box along with one of my tests (yes, I cleaned it off!) and a little card that read "We're Pregnant!" FINALLY I heard his key in the door at 10:15 p.m. Upon opening the gift, he was very happy and all smiles and hugs. We called our families and woke them up to share the news. They are all just as excited as we are.

We went to our first appointment today and were told my due date is Oct. 20. There are a lot of things I have to remember to do and not do, to eat and not eat, and such. My next appointment is March 7 where we'll have our first ultrasound/sonogram to hear the heartbeat and get a measurement. I can hardly wait!

I'm sorry to say this announcement comes in the wave of some heartbreaking news. In a previous post, I had congratulated my cousin Jonathan and his wife Lori on the news of their second pregnancy. Shortly after, Lori had a miscarriage. Please pray for her and Jonathan as they deal with the physical and emotional pain that comes with this. Lori is an inspiring, courageous and strong Christian. Take some time to read her blog.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Is That OUR Dog?

As most of you know, our Maltese, Junah, is extremely lathargic and lackadaisical. He wears a sleepy expression day and night and will sleep anywhere, anytime. So we were shocked the other day when he got a sudden burst of energy out of nowhere. He decided he didn't want Mike to leave, so he bit down on his sock and WOULD NOT let go. For close to 20 minutes, he held on as Mike tried to walk from room to room in preparation to leave. He would growl and pull with all his might. I finally had to lure him away with bunny. It was so funny!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Our American Hero

Nope, that's not Mike. Looks a lot like him, but that's Bill, one of Mike's younger brothers. Monday, Feb. 6, Bill set off to Iraq for the second time. He is a 1st Lt. in the Marine Corps and is a Huey (helicopter) pilot. After returning from his first trip to Iraq just this past August, he has left for yet another 7-month deployment. He'll be stationed at Al-Assad Airforce Base.

Bill's bravery and service to our country is appreciated by so many, especially by his family and friends. We wish him well and await his safe return in August of 2006. I'll be sure to post updates as we get them.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Congrats and Prayers

First, I like to say congratulations to several of my cousins (you guessed it, more baby news!) - Lindsay and her husband Matt, Cheryl and her husband Gary, and Jonathan and his wife Lori (visit Lori's blog). They are all expecting their second child! My love and prayers go out to each of you. CONGRATULATIONS!

I'd also like to ask for your prayers for my dad and for my grandmother.

Dad has recently been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Right now, he does not require insulin shots. Thank goodness! The doctor wants him to try to control it with diet first. He has another checkup in March. At that point, if his levels are still high, he will have to begin with daily insulin shots. Please keep him in your prayers.

Unfortunately, he also found out last night that he has Sleep Apnea [definition: the cessation of breathing during sleep]. He spent last night undergoing sleep tests at the hospital with all kinds of monitors hooked up to him. His doctors confirmed this morning that he has a moderate to severe case. He goes back in a few days to learn what his options are. It may require wearing a breathing mask at night or possibly surgery to correct it. Again, please pray for him. I love you, Dad!

My maternal grandmother ('Mawmaw' to me) suffered a stroke a couple of weeks ago. She is 83. It was her second stroke in the last six years. She's OK, but sadly she has now moved to Friendship Manor nursing home in LaGrange. This was very tough on my mom and her sisters. Mawmaw also has Dymentia thanks to the strokes, so I'm not sure she really knows she's in a nursing home. Maybe that's a good thing. Often, in her mind, she reverts back to her earlier years, thinking she has school work to do and asks when the school bus is coming. It's so hard to watch the people you love slowly forget things and not understand the here and now. Please pray for her.