Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Distance Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder

I think I forgot how much I love my husband. Since we got married, the longest he's been away is about three or four days, so I've been with him almost all the time. This week that he's been in training has really helped me realize how much I take advantage of having him here. I forgot how much I love the little things, like cooking him dinner, doing his laundry, being forced to watch Family Guy every night, and even just being able to go to bed with him every night. I always complained when he went out for a night or two, but I never realized how much I actually missed sleeping in the same bed with him.
Usually, while he's gone, I think, "I wish he was here... I'm lonely!" But after a few days, I'm realizing that it's more than that. Now it's actually, "I really really wish he was here. I didn't realize how much I would miss him." I'm definitely going to start utilizing the time I have with him. As more comes up on the training schedule, he's going to be gone quite a bit in the coming months. Instead of scheduling photo shoots and other things while he's home, I'm going to do my best to do that while he's at work. Especially since the semester is almost over, my weekdays are about to be empty. I'll have the occasional doctor's appointment (okay, more than occasional... but still) and random outing that I need to do. Other than that, I'm free during the week. A lot of my client base is military though, so they work just like my husband does. That's the rough part of living in a military town and trying to make a living. Everyone works when I want to shoot sessions! Either way, I'm going to make much more of an effort to spend extra time with my husband before he leaves. Just doing the little things with him makes me happier than he knows (even watching Family Guy).
I remember how excited I was to see him for the first time after Basic and AIT. I don't think I slept for days before. It's incredible what love can do to your brain. I've been so motivated to make everything perfect for when he comes home from the field this week. I don't think our house was this clean when we moved in! I'm so excited to be able to cook a nice dinner for him and see his face when he walks into our nice clean home. I just can't wait.
Post is going to be crazy on Friday because President Obama is coming to visit. I was a genius and scheduled a shoot on the opposite side of post at the same time as he's supposed to be speaking. Instead of leaving about 1/2 an hour before the shoot starts, I'm planning on leaving about 2 hours before (just to get through traffic).
I have to add my business proposition in to this, if anyone wants to book a session Sunday evening, I'm free!
I really want to start doing more with my photography business. For a few months, I was doing a lot and it helped us out more than I expected. This month I've been pretty dormant though.

Baby Update: Adalin is doing well! Her CCAM hasn't grown enough to say so. One measurement showed growth of around .1cm each direction, but the other showed it the same as before, if not smaller. The doctor explained that it's hard to get exact measurements when she's moving and with her being inside of me and it being inside of her, but it's looking good. She is already head-down and measuring a week ahead in everything except her legs. For nearly her whole body, she's in the 60(ish) percentile, but her legs are in the 35th. The doctor said she'll be short like me. The best news is that this doctor couldn't find the hole in her heart. He said that he can't technically say that it's not there (he's not a heart specialist), but he couldn't find it. So at least we know that it's not a huge gaping hole that will cause major problems. It's still looking like she'll need surgery a few months after birth, but it won't be an immediate thing at this time. I'm so relieved to know that her condition hasn't gotten worse and that it actually may be improving. I want to thank all of you for your prayers. They mean so much to my husband and I. We truly do have an awesome God!

That's all for today, I'm off to class.
God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, April 23, 2012

Choices and Sacrifices

While my husband is away, I have much more time to think and do a little bit of personal growing. I've come to the sad conclusion that I lost a lot of important people when I chose to get married and move. Nothing will ever compare to some of the friendships that I had through high school. Everyone tells me that true friendships will stand the test of time, which I believe is true, but it still stinks loosing someone you though was a true friend.
A lot of the people that I couldn't imagine my life without are barely part of my life anymore. Some of these people have gradually drifted away from me, but others have left fairly quickly. I've only been in Georgia since July (about 10 months now). All things considered, that's really not a long time. I was home in December for two weeks, so it isn't like I completely disappeared. I'm still on Facebook and I still have this blog. I thought that this would help keep the people I care so much about in my life connected to me. I'm starting to think I was wrong.
I understand that it's hard to keep a friendship strong when there's a lot of distance present, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Some of my Army wife friends still have fantastic relationships with people from their home towns. I would almost be willing to say that their relationships are stronger now than they were before they left. I feel like I'm actually closer with my parents now than I was before (partly due to age and the fact that we have more in common now, but partly due to distance). Isn't it said that distance makes the heart grow fonder?
I hope that some of my friends will read this and try to get in touch with me. Some of the people I didn't really talk to before I left have made such great effort to keep in contact with me, it surprises me. I appreciate those who have continued to talk to me through everything.
I wouldn't change my decision to get married right after high school for anything. I love my life more than you could ever imagine. I never expected things to turn out as great as they have. I'm so happy with the life that my husband and I have made for ourselves. Our puppy is a God-sent when my husband is gone, and our daughter will be an even bigger blessing.  Sure, sometimes it's stressful being away from our families and friends, but it's worth it. The Army life is something that I've learned to love, even if it does mean losing some of the best friends I could have ever asked for.

God Bless ♥ Vi.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reality Setting In

I'm starting to come to more and more of a realization that baby Adalin is going to be here before we know it. If my gut feeling is right, she'll be here in just less than three months. Otherwise, she'll be here in just over which isn't a whole lot of time still.
Her nursery furniture is coming next week. The crib parts should be here Monday or Tuesday and the changing table and hutch will be here between Wednesday and the first week of April. Once I've got her furniture set up, I can start getting everything cleaned and organized how I want it before she gets here. Right now, her nursery is my office... It's got a huge desk (that I'm trying to sell if anyone is interested), and a filing cabinet in it. There isn't any room for anything else really. I managed to get her playpen through the door, but that's about as far as it's going until the desk is out of the way.
It's also starting to hit me that I don't have hardly anything for her yet. I still need a stroller, car seat, high chair, and crib mattress. That's only the big things. We've got a few outfits for her, some nursery decorations, a bouncer, and one package of diapers (that will last a whole day or two!), but beyond that... not a whole lot. I know that three months is a long time, but it's really not. I really need to start stocking up and getting ready.
School will be out in two weeks so that should help me get things together more. I've been strongly debating whether or not to take this summer off from school. If I do, it will push back my graduation date to the Spring instead of Fall. I was looking forward to graduating then because it was the same time that my husband's contract was up (hopefully we will be PCSing to a new base then). I'll still be going online so it won't really matter where I am, I'm just not entirely sure if I want to deal with school while we try to move. There's a chance that we won't even be moving, but we'd like to. I would like to get a job shortly after graduation too, after Adalin is over a year old. I just don't know whether taking the summer off is going to be better for me or not. I have a few weeks to decide, but not any more than that. Georgia Southern breaks the summer semester up into two parts (A Term and B Term). I'm thinking of taking A Term classes but taking B Term off. That would mean classes from May 22 until the middle of June. If I do decide to do B Term as well, I'll be done at the end of July, but that's cutting it really close to her due date. It's definitely a lot to take in. Taking just one class off my plate pushes graduation back to May 2014 instead of December 2013, so it's sort of an all or nothing situation.
I'll keep you all posted with what I end up deciding to do. As soon as I can, I'm going to talk everything over with my husband and figure something out. That's all for now, folks! Have a great rest of the week!
God Bless ♥ Vi

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Things that Make Pregnant Army Wives Cry

My hormones have been a roller coaster lately. Some days, I almost feel like a zombie because nothing really phases me. Other days, it takes every ounce of strength for me to pick myself up off the ground and put pants on. Today is an in-between day. I'm not bawling right now, but I already have today and it's only 10:30. So, what are some things that have gotten to me lately?

  • Army Wives- It' doesn't matter how many times I remind myself that it's only a TV show and that it's not always realistic, I still bawl every time I watch it. It doesn't matter if people are deploying, coming home, dying, being born, coming, going, anything... If there is anything happening at all, I'm crying. 
  • Dirty Dishes and Laundry- This week, my husband has been getting held late at work and having to go straight to class instead of coming home for dinner. By the time he gets home, neither of us feel like doing anything but sleeping. The piles of laundry that I needed to do were starting to get overwhelming to the point where I sat on the bedroom floor and cried and yelled at them. The same thing happened in the kitchen. It's hard not having help around the house, especially when you're not feeling the greatest. I know it's completely irrational to cry over dishes, but it happens. 
  • Lack of Sleep- My biological clock has decided that 5:00am is its favorite time of day. When my husband gets up, I'm up. That's not so bad, except that I don't really sleep through the night either. I've always been a stomach sleeper and I can't exactly do that now with the whole pregnant belly... When I don't sleep, I get cranky. When I get cranky, I get frustrated really easy... It all leads to crying. 
  • Seeing Him in Uniform- I need to ask myself a few questions... How long has he been in the Army? How long have you been living with him? How many times have you seen him in uniform? No lie, the first few times I ever saw him in uniform I cried. That (to me) is understandable though, it's a realization that he's a soldier now. It's okay in the beginning. However, when he's been in for almost two years now, and I still cry when he walk in the house.... Come on, self! Pull it together! Honestly, I don't even know why I cry when I see him in uniform. Sometimes it's because I forget how much of a sacrifice he's made, others it because he looks so dang sexy, and others still just because I'm hormonal. I think it's starting to drive him nuts though. 
  • Watching Him Leave- It doesn't matter if it's for the day, a week, a month, or a year... I cry when he leaves. When he left for the field this time, I bawled like a baby. He's missing another doctor's appointment for Adalin while he's out and I'm terrified that something is going to wrong and I won't be able to tell him until he comes back. He actually said something about how it makes it harder for him when he leaves because he knows that he's the reason I'm crying. I tried to explain that I cry because I love him and I hate being without him. I hate cooking for one, and sleeping in an empty bed. The other day, I cried when he left for PT (he was going to be gone a whole three hours...). 
  • Disorganization- When things don't go as planned, you can expect us pregnant wives to cry. If our husbands are supposed to be gone for 3 days and are gone for 4 instead, we will cry. If they're supposed to leave Friday and leave on Thursday instead, we will cry. If anything takes time away from us, we will cry. It stinks. 
  • Love Songs and Sad Songs- I can't listen to more than (maybe) 5 seconds of Just a Dream by Carrie Underwood without sobbing to the point that I have to stop the car if I'm driving. There are a lot of songs that make me cry, but that one is just plain awful for me. 
  • Everything?- Let's face it. I cry about nearly everything lately. I stub my toe, I cry. I strip a screw putting together baby stuff, I cry. The dog farts and it stinks, I cry. It doesn't matter what happens, I'm probably going to cry about it. Sometimes it's happy tears though! It's not all bad. 
All this being said, I made it through this post without crying! Go me! I've found that keeping myself really busy helps. I've cleaned the living room, dining room, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room this morning. I registered for a bunch of giveaways for baby stuff, and I finished up editing some photography sessions. I feel pretty productive already today. I joked with my Hubby that the house is going to look completely different by the time he gets home. In reality, that might actually be true!
I hope you're all having a good week! God Bless ♥ Vi

Monday, April 16, 2012

To Talk or Not to Talk?

Different people deal with problems in different ways. Some people need to talk about it, other people need to dwell on it, and others still need to blog about it! Depending on the problem, I deal with it in different ways.
Lately, my stress level has been pretty up and down. Some days I feel completely relaxed, while other days I feel like I'm about to explode. Overall, I feel like I'm dealing with all the complications with Adalin pretty well. It's really rough feeling so helpless, but I know that stressing about it can only make the problems worse. I've accepted them and have decided to let them take their course. I know that my doctors are skilled and that they know what they are doing. I was sent to them for a reason. There's nothing left to do except pray and wait. Right after we found out about all of her stuff, I didn't want to talk to anyone. People were pretty understanding about me not wanting to explain again and again (I still appreciate that very much!). After a few days, I was  much more able to talk about everything without crying. I'm out of my basket-case mode and feeling much much better now.
I was extremely stressed about not being able to go home, but I'm starting to deal with that as well. I have been pretty homesick lately (it's the hormones, I know) so a trip home was sounding amazing. Now that that's not happening, I'm dreading my husband leaving for training. I'm going to be so bored for a whole month! I know that I'll have stuff to do with the nursery and everything, but I was still really looking forward to seeing our families again. Now it will probably be November or December before I can go home. My husband is hoping to make a trip back before the baby comes so he can see everyone one more time. I'm kind of jealous but I know that he really should be able to see everyone even if I can't.
The last thing that I've had trouble talking about is the possibility of an upcoming deployment. We don't have an official date or paper orders. It's all just a possibility. I don't really want to think about it until I know it's for sure going to happen. It stresses me out more than needed. So for now, there's no talk of this "business trip" that he'll be taking someday. Every deployment is different, so it doesn't really help hearing that certain people are not doing any serious fighting, or that others are. No one's experience will be the same as my husband's and his fellow soldiers. Each and every soldier (even within his unit) will have a different outlook on what is to come. It's all up in the air.
Instead of trying to explain everything and get stressed out, sometimes it is better to put things out of mind until they are ready to be dealt with.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Update, Along with Other News

Okay, so to start out... Adalin and I are going to be alright. I have no new news about Adalin's CCAM. They're only measuring that every four weeks unless if the ultrasounds in between look too abnormal. We'll know more about that on the 24th. Now for the latest update: along with her CCAM, she also has a small hole between two ventricles in her heart. Currently, it is in the realm of needing surgery 3-6 months after birth but doctors are monitoring it every four weeks, hoping it will close on its own or with aid of medication after birth. Her heart is still functioning properly and the CCAM has not caused any malformations in the heart, just displacement. With proper medical care and monitoring, she should be completely fine. Also, I'm at high risk for early delivery so I won't be making the trip home next month. The doctors would like me to stay fairly close to the hospital in the case of any complications and are also worried that traveling so far may send me into labor. It wouldn't be as much of an issue for me to go into labor out-of-state, but we need to be at a hospital with NICU and a pediatric surgeon on duty at all times.  
My family and I are working out the details of possibly having some sort of "skype baby shower" before she comes, or just waiting to do something something after she's born. We will know more as time goes on, but right now there's nothing we can do except pray and hope that everything will work itself out. We love our little girl so much already. Please continue to keep us in your prayers and I will keep you all updated as we learn more. Thank you again. 
The past few days have been pretty rough dealing with all of this, especially since Hubby was in the field during my appointment. I'd like to give a shout out to my friend Ann for going to the doctors with me and helping me through it all. Hubby is probably going to miss the next few appointments as well because of field training. It's really tough but it's all part of the Army life. 
Today, I'm back on my feet. I knocked out some homework this morning before clipping some major coupons.  Even though it's payday, I forced myself to go to the commissary because we had almost no food in our house. Surprisingly, it wasn't as much of a madhouse as I was expecting! I saved $29 with coupons and that's not including the awesome sale prices I got. They had Propel on sale for $.40 per bottle (steal!) and Banquet chicken for $2.39 per bag (and I had a $1.50 off coupon too). I saved something like 19%, so it's not the best I've ever done, but it's definitely nothing to complain about. I walked out with two free shampoos, two free cans of oranges, a free bottle of dish soap, and a few other things for more than 75% off. It was an extremely successful shopping trip. Then, to top my day off... I came home to my second free item from Nuby this week. Wednesday, I got a free sippy cup in the mail. Today a free full sized bottle of diaper rash cream. As far as I remember, I haven't done anything to register for these except "like" their Facebook and sign up for their newsletter. I was so happy. I've also officially started stocking up on diapers and wipes. I found a few good coupons for them while I was clipping this morning. Because they were on sale, I couldn't resist picking up a few things. It's getting harder and harder to not spend all kinds of money on our little girl! 
Tonight is date night for Hubby and I. It should be a pretty great evening. Have a wonderful weekend everyone. God bless ♥ Vi

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Army Environment

Even though there are a lot of things that my husband (and I) complain about with the Army, there's one thing that I couldn't be more thankful for: his work friends. There isn't a day that he doesn't come home with a story to tell. I can only hope that someday I'll be lucky enough to find a job where I am as close to my coworkers as my husband is to his.
Being in the Army, there's a special bond that soldiers share. They know that there's a chance that some of them will get hurt, or even die, and others will save them. This bond creates trust and friendship like no other. Don't get me wrong, I know that some of my friends would take a bullet for me, but the likelihood of that ever happening is slim. In the military, it's not so slim.
During my Tanker Project last semester, I had the honor of observing the soldiers my husband works with in their natural environment: work. Usually, they get along so well it's almost crazy. Granted, there are always going to be times when people are cranky or on edge for random reasons. That's simply part of life though. No matter where you're at, hostility is bound to happen now and then. I think that the soldiers get along so well because of their connection in war; that, along with the fact they're together so much. Deployments seem like a huge bonding party. My husband would probably kill me if he heard me talking about his "bond" with his coworkers, so let me say that this is something completely out of my mind. To the guys from the company who read this, he doesn't come home saying how wonderful you all are and how much he loves spending time with you. I just notice the funny stories he brings home and assume that he actually enjoys his day at work most of the time. On that note...
My husband's coworkers are pretty awesome. It's almost like a big family. I love going to platoon/company functions with him because everyone there is very welcoming. I won't say most of the time, but quite a bit of the time, when my hubby brings home stories I actually know who he's talking about. It's about time that I learn all the names though. I'm starting to know more about the military life (I can't believe he's been in for almost two years now!) so I'm getting the hang of things... It's not quite as hard being alone, saying goodbye for a week or two, or figuring out how to get awful stains out of ACUs. It's a never-ending learning process though. I will never be able to handle a send-off like the girls on Army Wives do, but I can try. Those women actually crack me up. There's no way I won't be bawling my eyes out when my husband leaves. Of course, I'll try to hold back the tears but even the thought of going more than a few weeks without him gets the waterworks flowing. The men in the company are really understanding of that. They know I'm young, as are many of the other wives. We have really become quite a family.
The wives are close, but not nearly as close as the soldiers. We wives don't see each other every day like our husbands do, but we talk. When our husbands are in the field or out late at work, we mooch off of each other to try to gather information about when we should expect our men to come home. It helps knowing you're not the only one watching the door.

Lesson of the day: the military is like a big family for those involved directly and indirectly.

God Bless ♥ Vi

Oh! Baby doctor tomorrow morning. We're getting an echo-cardiogram done on her heart, along with another ultrasound to monitor the growth of her CCAM. I'll update again soon! 

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sorry for the Absence

I have been so MIA for the past few weeks. The week before last, I don't really have an excuse for. Last week, our families were here for spring break so we wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. So, here's yet another recap of what has been going on lately.
My husband's mom and my friend came in on Sunday last week. We didn't do a whole lot on Sunday since he had a PT test on Monday.
Monday, they came up to school with me and toured campus. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Tuesday, I had a short day at school. One of my classes isn't meeting right now because we're conferencing on our term papers. Instead of being on campus from 11-3, I'm only there from 11-12:15. It's really nice being able to come home early, but that ends next week. Wednesday, I was bad and skipped class. My husband got stuck doing a range (the same day as the battalion picnic so we didn't go to that) and was gone all night. We had a wonderful girls' day out though. I got my nails done for the first time since August. We went baby shopping too. I've learned that outlet stores are AMAZING. We found some amazing deals on Carter's stuff and much more but we didn't buy too much. My friend Hannah also did some maternity pictures for me. I've posted a few here.
They turned out wonderfully. I'm still feeling pretty small for as far along as I am (in the pictures, 22 weeks, now I'm 23). Thursday, my family got here! We went to Savannah and went shopping. My husband had to work even though he was out until midnight at the range. Oh, how I love that. We found a Carter's Outlet too! It isn't quite as cheap as Beals, Burlington, or Ross, but it's definitely better than paying retail price. The best part is that they usually have all the sizes of stuff you want. Friday, my husband finally had the day off for the Easter four-day weekend. We didn't do too much. My husband and brother went on a pretty long run in the morning. We spent the rest of the day around town shopping for random stuff. We had a little cook out that night. Since I don't eat beef or any other red meat, my husband was absolutely thrilled when my mom brought venison down with her. he finally got to eat some real-man food! Yesterday was sad. We went to Tybee for a little while, but I'm pretty sure that we spent more time trying to park than we did on the beach. It was still nice though. My brother hadn't been to the ocean before so it was a nice experience for him. We also took them down to River Street for one last bit of site-seeing before they had to leave.
Saying goodbye is always hard. My husband will be the first to tell you that it's days like yesterday that make military life hard. Just when you adjust to having family around again, they have to leave. It's all part of this life though. What's hardest for him is that he doesn't know when the next time he is coming home is. I'm going home in a little over a month for a few weeks while he's at training, but he won't be coming with me. When he does have the opportunity to come home, I'll be 8+ months pregnant and definitely won't be making a 16 or more hour car ride home (and away from our hospital). I'm sure that it will all work out in time. It always does.
Well, that's all I have for today. Adalin is doing well, kicking away. I go to see the cardiologist on Wednesday along with the normal doctors for ultrasounds. I'll definitely keep everyone posted with that. Prayers are appreciated!

Happy Easter!
God Bless ♥ Vi