Do you like pregnancy or just tolerate it? (Mrs G.I. Joe)
It definitely wasn't my fave period ever, to be honest. I know I should say things like it was magical and all... and don't get me wrong, I know I am blessed to have been pregnant and to have my daughter, but it just wasn't my favorite. The first trimester I was in and out of the hospital because of how sick I was, and while the second and third weren't that bad, I was fat, I couldn't indulge in any grownup indulgences (I miss having a couple drinks, ok?!) I was moody and crampy and... yeah I'm glad she's out now.
What was your favorite junk food while pregnant? Do you still like it? (Chelle)
Chocolate chip cookies and OJ! And I am having an extremely hard time giving them up. I mean, OJ's good for you, but the rate at which I eat Choc Chip cookies is not. I think it has to do with the fact that I was limited to my choc chip cookie intake due to her PAC thing, but I'm certainly making up for it now. I'm giving myself 4 weeks before I get into serious healthy-eating, working-out, get skinny mode ;-)
How did you pick your daughters name? Is there a story behind the name? (M in the Midwest) Did you both agree with the baby's name right away? OR did one of you have to convince the other? (Kiwis and Cocktails)
Ok so, originally, daddy picked this name. Some others we were looking at included Charlotte (a family name from his side, but I hate the nickname Char - sorry if that's any of your nicknames, I'm just not a fan, I love Charlotte and Charlie... but no Char), Jaclyn, and some other ones that randomly popped into my head. Daddy (Mr. P) found Ariana on a baby name website, and it's an Italian name (like daddy is a partially Italian man) and it means "Holy One." I loved the name, but at first I thought it may be a little too... "ethnic" for me. It sounds horrible, but I'm waaaay on the light (White girl) spectrum and I was afraid that her name sounded almost Spanish and I would look too white to be her mom. Yeah, dumb I know but... Anyway, so that was like the forerunner and I still liked it but was iffy and then when hubby was getting ready to deploy I was like OK Ariana is the name we've been using ANYWAY and the name daddy, who won't get to do much, picked, so we'll let him pick her name and we'll go with it. Ralyn is a combination of mine and his mom's name (Rachel - yeah, we have the same name) and my mom's name (Evelyn), hence why it is spelled with only one "N." (Ariana is spelled with one N because I believe Anna and Ana are pronounced differently and her name is Ar-Ee-Ah-Na). Ralyn also means "Little Lamb" and Rachel means "Lamb" so it's almost like... Me Junior. And I'm awesome, so of course two of me is like, double awesome ;-) Yea, that was a long story for an easy question, but I'm a wordy person (as you know if you've been reading this haha).
Did you have a boy's name picked? (Kiwis and Cocktails)
We really hadn't found one that we were set on. We had discussed Jackson and/or Jack at length, and I really wanted his initials to be JDP, like daddy, but besides that we hadn't gotten far (we'd even discussed Jackson Danger, because when I met daddy he told me his name was Jonny Dangerously hahaha). Long story short, I knew she was a girl from the beginning.
How is your sleeping schedule RIGHT now? Seriously. I need to know this. :) (Kiwis and Cocktails)
Haha, well... with the help of my mom it's not too, too bad. She eats about every 3 hours (when she's sleeping, more often when she's awake) so at night it goes something like this (this is only an example, the times when this occurs vary each night) 7pm-9pm we try to keep her awake, then sleep from 9-midnight. Midnight, she yells so I take her out to change her which takes oh, we'll say about 10 min, to keep even numbers... then I feed her for about 10-15min. Then I put her down and pee, the clean my nipple shield off to be ready for the next feeding so... 5 min. Then she is usually yelling so I pick her back up and lay down and we drift off so add another 5 or so min. So, we woke up at 12... and ended up steeled about 35 min later. So 1235, back to sleep, then she's usually ready to eat again around 3 (or basically, 3 hours from when we started last time). Some nights, she chooses a time where she judt wants to be awake (one night it was 3-5, another it was 5-7). When gramma and grampa were visiting, they spoiled me and she slept with them so all I had to do was feed her, then they took her back and my mom changed her (so spoiled, I am!). So while I may lay down at 10 or 11pm and get up around 9am, it is very patchy sleep. Luckily, she sleeps a lot during the day too, so I can get some good naps in. And like I said, my mom makes it much easier, so she'll take Ari and let me get a good nap in for a few hours when I need it bad. And now that she's started sleeping in her crib, it's getting easier. And I am definitely adjusting to this odd sleeping schedule... lol
What's the deal with alcohol and breastfeeding? (IRL)
I'm still trying to figure this one out. I know it's the same as alcohol and your blood, you just gotta wait it out til it's out of your blood stream before you feed again. And they say that 1-2 drinks is ok when your baby is this young, as often as they are eating. But I'm not sure the exact formula for later in life, like so many drinks = so many hours to wait. Hence why I'm stocking up on expressed milk for St. Patty's Day. It may be a month and a half away, but I'm going to be prepared.
Where do you and Mr. P want to be in 10 years? (Mrs. G.I. Joe)
Wherever the Corps wants us to be I suppose. Mr. P told me from the very beginning he plans to do this a long time, so I'll be right there next to him! I think I'd like to have another child (or maybe 2 more... who knows) but it's hard for me to think in such large increments of time when things change from day to day sooo much (as I'm sure you can relate). I guess we just want to be together and happy and we're good to go! (Was that a cheap answer??)
Is your Hubby staying in the Marine Corps until he retires? (Mrs. Muffins)
He is indeed a "lifer." Like I said, he told me from the very beginning that his plan is to do this a long time, so I needed to make sure I was in for the long haul. He has all these plans though... different tracks he wants to take within the Corps, he's got a different plan every week. "We could do this..." kinda things. Which I think is really cool and may be one of the reasons he plans to stay in so long - there are so many opportunities and different routes you can go. And the security and benefits are nice, too.
How do you think marriage has been different than dating? (Kate)
I get benefits and am recognized more by the Marine Corps. :-P Ok, I know, I know; that's not what you were really asking, was it. Well, I've got a ton more responsibility since we've been married (and I'm not just talking about preggo/having a baby). I took it upon myself (because Mr. P is horrible with all things finance) to take charge of all our finances. Bills, balancing the check book, savings, etc. It was a big load to take on, especially since I was just learning to do it for myself, but I think I've pretty much mastered it. Pretty much. I also have the responsibility to make sure Mr. P does his best always (not that he doesn't) but I guess that's where "Nagging wife" stereotypes come from... now that we're married and I depend on him, and Ari depends on him, I am always making sure he is on top of his game (and when he slips and is not on top of it, I am on him like white on rice. And not in a happy way). He probably doesn't like this difference, but it just happened, because like I said, we depend on him. Also, living together in general was a big change. He swore up and down when we met how neat he was and how clean our house would be (he'd yell at me about my messy room and swear that our house would never be like that) and well... it wasn't true. We had to adjust to each other's lifestye quirks (like he doesn't fold his towel the way I WANT it folded, and I leave my clothes every where). And I guess we're just generally much more dedicated to each other. There's a committment to not only love and be faithful to one another, but to make sure the other is always doing their best, feeling good, getting all things taken care of, supporting one another... I don't mean it in a negative way but it's more work. Not work like we have to work to be happy but work in a sense that there are just added responsibilities in a marriage than when you're "just" dating. But in any case, I do love marriage, much more than dating, and I am so happy that I married the man I did :) (yeah, cheesie, I know. You're totally allowed to vom now).
When does Mr. P come home? (IRL)
I include this question, as I'm asked it on the reg. The truth of the matter is, even if I knew, I couldn't really tell you. So, the vague answer I stick to is "Late Summer... so they say." Because of OPSEC, even when he does tell me a date, I can't tell you. I can't do a ticker or anything fun like that. Boo. I have a date that I picked in my head, which is sometime in August, but it's a totally made up date that I just count down too because I know it will be generally "close" to when he's coming home. If it's sooner or later than the date I chose, I have no idea. I pray that it's sooner, that way when I find out he's coming home but I still have days left I can be all Oh HAPPY SURPISE instead of it going past the date I chose and then being like... Oh... sad... Regardless, when he's home, you will know it. I'm pretty sure my entire world will be aware ;-)
How does Mr. P feel about missing the birth (IRL)?
Yes, people have asked me this. I just have to say... How would you feel? He's dealing, and it's something we were prepared for. And although he was SUPER excited the day of her birth, he's been pretty bummed out about how much he's missing. I mean, obviously. But like I said, he's dealing. It's his job and we were prepared for it so we just kinda gotta... suck it up. Tough as nails, right?!
What do you find to be the positives and negatives of living in J-Ville? (Chelle)
Well, we don't live actually in J-Ville. I personally haaaate J-Ville haha. We live riiight outside of JVille in a town called Richlands. It's nice being outside of all the Marine Corps hub-bub. However, positives of living in JVille would be proximity to base (it takes the Mr quite a while to get on base and the traffic is horrendous), close to all things "in town" (the mall, the restaurants, the stores, etc.), and mmm... that's really all I got. Negatives I'd say would be TRAFFIC, I HATE driving in JVille, hubs calls it a sess-pool of bad driving, (all the bad driving habits from different areas of the US combined in one area), so much USMC in one place (I like having the support on base and what-not but sometimes being around it 24/7 you just want to breathe, where we live there are other Marines close by but we're not constantly surrounded). I guess those are my only major points. It's much quieter out where we live too (we're kind of in the middle of nowhere) but we spend a lot in gas because everything we basically need is either in JVille or on base, which is about 20 min from us.
Are you active in the KV (Chelle)?
For those non-Marine wives, KV is the Key Volunteer Network, where Marine Corps spouses get together and try to keep other spouses in the loop (generally speaking), basically the FRG for you Army ladies (at least that's what it used to be called, not sure if that's what they still call it...) Anyway, we don't actually have a KV anymore. Apparently, before I became a Marine wife, when the KV was still alive and kickin', they had a lot of issues with it. Women were gossiping, pulling rank, and there was no structure (this is all I hear about it, mind you I wasn't a part of it so I can't personally attest so therefore these are not my opinions on it). Anyway, so it was shut down and thus came the Family Readiness Network, which yes, I am proud to be a part of! The Family Readiness Network is a bit different from KV in that it is more structured and command-run. We are "governed" by the FRO (Family Readiness Officer) who is a trained and paid individual who "rules" over everything Family Readiness. Then each FRO Assistant has to attend a training. Training covers things including general topics like deployments, communication, USMC structure etc. as well as confidentiality, which was, apparently, a big issue with the KVN. I am indeed a Family Readiness Assistant, and was very active in it before hubby left (I like it because I've made my best friends down here through it and it helps me get some insider info, maybe not much and maybe not top secret, but enough that I came home and told hubby when the ball was when he didn't know ;-D) I only became less active because of my increasing pregnancy and then having a newborn. I honestly do think it is a great system and encourage all our wives to get involved, or at least know who our FRO is and how to reach her.
What's the best piece of advice you received as a military spouse? (Or if you didn't get any, what advice do you WISH you'd received?) (Lisa)
Oh, good question! Well, I've grown up military (kind of) my dad is now retired Army, so I had a bit of an idea of what I was getting into. But, my matron of honor in our wedding was my great friend from high school who also happens to be a Marine wife and she had this amazing speech she gave to us at the wedding that was full of lots of advice. I wish I could remember the whole thing (I have it on video but I'm way too lazy to go find it right now) but I think after she summed it all up the best advice I got was - No one said it'd be easy, but they did say it'd be worth it. And that's really the way you gotta think of it. It's not going to be easy. It's going to be the hardest damn thing you've ever done in your life. And people are going to ask you how you do it and why you do it and tell you they couldn't do it. But you do. Because it's worth it. And there really is nothing better. Oorah! ;-)
Clueless. I used to watch it all the time in high school... college... ok just in general. I still watch it when I need a lil cheering up, or if there's nothing on tv, or if the cable goes out...
Do you have any tattoos? Would you get any (more)? (Lisa)
I currently have two. The first one I ever got is three stars on the inside of my left wrist. I got this right after becoming an alum of my sorority, Phi Mu. It stands for "Love, Honor, Truth" which is the open motto of our sorority. It is also shaped like the 3 stars on our badge. The second I got when Mr. P went to get his tattoo. He had this big huge plan for a tattoo and I had only briefly thought of getting one. Upon mentioning this at the tattoo parlor, the receptionist said, Oh we've got an open artist for walk-ins if you want, so I was like yeah sure! Anyway, the tattoo is "Ceci Passera Aussi" on my left rib cage. This is French for "This too shall pass" (and if you're fluent in French and that's not what it is, I don't wanna know... I can keep on believing that the translator and the people I asked were correct, mmk?) Anyway, This Too Shall Pass has been a mantra in our household since I was little - whenever we hit a bad spot my mom would always say this. If I was sick, feeling down, whatever - This Too, Shall Pass! And hubby and I are both French so that's why I picked French. And I want MOOORE haha. I want some kind of moto tat (Marine Corps related) but I haven't decided what and whether it's the very best idea yet... I'm thinking maybe just a yellow ribbon?? And maybe something for Ariana. And I've always wanted a phoenix on my ribs (probably under the Ceci Passera Aussi) but I'm a chicken. And it'll be expensive.
What's the best book you've ever read? (Lisa)
Ok so when I was in like elementary school I read this book called "The Doll in the Garden" and I read it over and over and over and it's stuck with me ever since. I haven't read it in ages, but I still think about how awesome I thought it was. I guess I'd say that's the best book I've ever read since it has stuck with me all these years. Also, the Harry Potter books, hands down, are amazing.