Sunday, August 27, 2006

Meg and John

My good friend, Meg, called last week and said she and her fiance, John, would be in Destin to visit John's parents for a couple days, so Mike and I took the opportunity to meet up with them while they were in town. We drove over to Destin to John's parents' BEAUTIFUL home on the bay. We happily agreed to stay for a delicious seafood dinner and carrot cake for Meg's birthday. It was great to see them and catch up.

Meg and I have been friends since we were 12 years old. We went to middle school and high school together before sharing our first college dorm room at Eastern Kentucky University. I laugh every time I think back on that first semester living at Case Hall. We had so much fun. We learned a lot that first year about being college students. Mostly the social aspects, of course!

Meg is a dear friend and I'm so disappointed that I won't be able to be in, or even at, her wedding in late September due to the fact that I'll be nine months pregnant. I can't believe I won't be there! I'm so sorry Meg! My timing is bad. But we wish you lots of joy and happiness on your wedding day. And we can't wait to see the pictures!!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

New Fall Fashion for My Blog

I was growing tired of my blog's look, so I thought I'd change it up a bit. I browsed the options Blogger offers, but couldn't find one I loved, so I decided to design a new one on my own. I'm not sure I'm totally satisfied with this one either, but we'll try it out for awhile. For some reason, I can design something for a client or friend and I'm pleased with the outcome. However, I can't seem to create a design I'm happy with when it's for me.

Maybe that's why I have completely procrastinated painting anything for Abby Kate. I've painted countless pieces of furniture and canvases for friends, family and e-bay sales, but I'm saddened that I can't get motivated to paint something for my own daughter! I literally have a large blank canvas that I stare at everyday, hoping to get some inspiration to paint something for the nursery. Any ideas? Comment away!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My First Bestseller

Today I am feeling pretty good for being in month No. 8. I got some prescription meds last week that completely took away my heartburn and I am elated! But feeling good today has somehow turned my mind back to all the months gone past that were not so great. Very, very, baaaaaaaad, in fact. How did I manage to make it through all those weeks?! I guess it's because I know that at the end of these grueling ten months, we'll get to hold a [hopefully] healthy, beautiful baby in our arms.

So there's a book called "What to Expect When You're Expecting" that I have read each month of my pregnancy as its chapters are organized. It is very informative and seems to cover every aspect and situation for the mom-to-be. But I thought I might give you my own, condensed, less structured and less scholarly version... I'll call it, "Pregnancy: It's Good, It's Bad... But Let's Not Kid Ourselves - It's Mostly Bad."

Chapter 1 - The First Month
Congrats, you're pregnant. Stop eating what you like because you actually don't like it anymore. Go ahead and get out the oversized warm-up pants and big t-shirts. Let's face it, you may not be "showing" because your baby is only the size of a pencil tip, but you are bloated and you do look like crap. Again, congratulations.

Chapter 2 - Months Two and Three (and probably Four thru Six)
Good morning. Wait! Don't get up, silly girl. Eat some crackers first or you're going to hurl. Didn't help? Yeah, it doesn't. Nothing does really. You're going to feel queasy all day long and you're probably gonna get sick every three hours, too. How long does it go on? An eternity. Stay out of the car. Not fun. Best just to stay close to the bathroom. You're going to be either going No. 1 or getting sick like it's your job.

Chapter 3 - Months Four, Five and Six
Still nauseous? Thought so. Good luck with that. Don't you miss sleeping on your stomach?! Try not to drop anything because it's going to hurt to bend over. Feel like you're losing your mind? You are. Oh, and those stabbing pains? Those are your insides stretching apart. Fun times.

Chapter 4 - Months Seven and Eight
Nausea finally subsided? Shoo! Thank goodness. Oh wait, here comes the fire in your esophagus. Hey, don't lay down whatever you do. Might as well fall asleep in a chair. I know you're sweating buckets, you can't breathe and the baby is stomping on your bladder. Everyone else [including your darling husband who got you into this in the first place] is feeling fine and having a grand ol' time, so suck it up! Careful sneezing or laughing now, that bladder of yours is pretty compressed! We don't want any embarrassing accidents! But hey, woohoo! You're in your third trimester, right? Don't get too excited, three more months is a loooooong time. Will this EVER end?

Chapter 5 - Months Nine and Beyond
Can you still see your feet? Can you roll out of bed without wincing in pain? Can you walk up a flight of stairs or stand in the heat without passing out? If so, good for you. If not, hang in there. Just a few more weeks of torture!


Now, isn't that motivating? And I didn't even mention stretch marks, constipation, back pain, dizziness, emotional breakdowns, fatigue and oh my goodness, labor itself! OK, I must apologize that it's all negative. I know my title had something about "The Good" in there somewhere. Here's The Good:

1. You are creating a life. I know, it's a long, hard process, but how amazing!
2. An excuse to be fat.
3. People always seem to be a bit nicer to you.
4. The baby can't possible stay in there forever.

OK, now THE END.

(NOTE: This was only meant for comic relief for those who can sympathize, or those who will want to keep the birth control handy, ha, ha. I know that lots of people who can't have any children would long to have all these symptoms and pains. And I really feel very, very blessed to be expecting our little Abby Kate. I know it will all be worth it. Right????)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too... But Don't Look At It!

One nice thing about being part of the military world is that new people are so easy to meet. Everywhere we move, there are thousands of other families just like ours. Over the past months, we have met a few other friendly couples. In honor of Sommer's birthday, we invited everyone over for a cookout.

We spent most of the day cleaning the house and shopping for a new grill and groceries. (Mike had been using our Weber grill since we bought it in TX, but finally decided that even though the taste is better, waiting around for the charcoals to warm up is not. So we purchased a propane one. I'm sure we'll get a lot more use out of it solely based on convenience.) On a whim, I decided to bake Sommer a birthday cake. The girl LOVES her some cake, so I felt I should throw caution to the wind and get out my blender... err, mixer, I mean. [Let it be known that I'm not savvy in the kitchen or around its appliances.] I had originally planned to do the whole two-tier chocolate cake thing with lots of creamy icing and large pink polka-dots. In my head it was so cute. In reality, it was a mess. So here's what the birthday girl got... a plain old rectangular cake with messy, crumb-filled icing and a poor job on the writing and "polka-dots." Everyone gave me points for taste, however, which I whole-heartedly agreed while stuffing my mouth with cake. Duncan Hines knows their stuff. I must say I have a new appreciation for people who make those amazing birthday and wedding cakes.

And some pictures of our new friends...

Pictured from left: Jay & Anna; Kyle & Brandy; Colin, Sarah & daughter Eden; Dwayne & Liz; and you already know Chad, Sommer, new baby Griffin & Maggie Moo. Little Griffin slept straight through the evening. He's such a quiet baby. I don't think he liked the flash of my camera though. Pictured below, you'll see his annoyance. Two-year-old Eden enjoyed the birthday cake and sweetly sang a Happy Birthday solo to Sommer. Sommer forbade the rest of us to sing, but she couldn't resist a precious little girl.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Test Scores Flying High

After his fourth week of API (the first part of flight school), Mike has maintained an excellent average. He took his last test today! He has been attending class from 6 a.m. to around 3 p.m. each day and then coming home to study for the remainder of the days and nights. While at API, Mike was issued his flight suit, helmet, leather flight jacket, aviator lenses (ha! they're so Tom Cruise in Top Gun), and boots. I tried to get him to put the full get-up on so you could see, but he didn't want to pose, so this is all you get. :)

Mike, I'm so proud of all your hard work and your excellent test scores! I knew you'd do well! I think you look very handsome in your flight suit (even though I kid you that you wear a onesie to work... heh, heh).

Mike has two more weeks of API, but no more tests. He'll be doing some hands on training. One aspect is "redneck parasailing." I think this is where your chute is tied to a truck or something. Yes, this is Flora-bama. The rednecks abound.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Entering Our 31st Week

Only a couple months left until she arrives! Mike and I went to our OB appointment yesterday. Here are the stats:

- Blood Pressure: 103/65

- Temperature: 97.2 degrees

- Weight gain: 22 lbs so far

- Fundal Measurement: 29.5 cm

- Baby's Hearbeat: 150 bpm

- Gestational Diabetes Test Results: Excellent (blood sugar was 95)

- Last Month's Ultrasound Results: I still have a low-lying placenta (it's only moved two tenths away in four weeks), but our doc says it's nothing to worry about. She said even if I delivered today, I would still have a natural birth. However, we are scheduled for a FIFTH ultrasound just to be sure. I'm not complaining, we get to see Abby Kate yet again before she's born!

Oh, and I got a prescription for my chronic heartburn. I hope it helps. Otherwise I feel great!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Welcome to the World...


Born early morning on July 31 at Pensacola Naval Hospital,
weighing 6 lbs and 8 oz. Proud parents are Chad and Sommer Tucker.
Mom and baby are doing great.

It seems like I've known her forever, but I met Sommer for the first time not even a year ago. Within the first month that we lived in Virginia, I arranged a birthday dinner for Mike. I called up one of his fellow Marine Officer Candidates and asked him to invite a few people for a surprise dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Little did I know that one of those guests would be Chad Tucker who would bring his wife, Sommer. To that point, I had not met anyone. We happened to sit beside one another and conversed easily throughout the meal. From that day on, we've been great friends. We have so much in common, yet our differences compliment each other.

The day we first met.

With our transition into military life, I can't tell you what a blessing having a friend like Sommer has been. We've shared many feelings about the challenges of being career-minded ourselves before leaving it to follow our husbands' dreams. We struggled through Mike and Chad's training in VA, not sure if we'd made the right choice. Having each other to lean on was so important to me.

We spent almost every day together, exercising, talking, shopping, eating. Then one day we talked about when we were going to have children. I told her that we were planning to have them very soon as we'd been married almost five years and the fact that during flight school would be the best time. Sommer and Chad originally didn't want to have children until they were 30, but after Chad joined that Marine Corps, they agreed with the logic of the timing as Chad was also a flight contract. They announced they were expecting last December.

Sommer and I, along with Mike and Chad, have endured all the symptoms and discomforts of pregnancy over the past months together. We have laughed at ourselves and enjoyed each other's company all the while. We talked about being scared of labor and parenthood. (I was so relieved that Sommer had a relatively short and smooth labor.) Now we'll look forward to going through all the newborn stages together!

Chad and Sommer - Congratulations on the birth of your son! We are thrilled for you both and look forward to watching little Griffin grow up. Thank you both for being such a great source of friendship and support since we've known you. We know you'll be great parents! God bless you.