2009 Recap and Reflection (It has to be done)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, so cliche I know I know. But I mean come on, you either reflect or you write resolutions. And I'm not one for sticking to promises I make on NYE (typically these promises are made in a semi- to very- drunken stupor and consist of not drinking as much next time, hence no need for them this year!!) so I'm going to go with the former and reflect upon my 2009. An interesting and semi-eventful year in the life of Mrs. P.

Mr. P and I rang in the New Year at my parents house in MD. In December, I trekked down to his new duty station of Camp Lejeune NC to rescue him for Christmas and by the grace of God he actually had a nice chunk of block leave, something we're not all too familiar with as of late. So I got him for like a solid 2 weeks. The typically 7 hour drive took more about 11 and I got a speeding ticket but it was well worth it. If I could go pick him up from Afghanistan right now and bring him home for New Years I so would. Our New Years Eve this January consisted of him being the DD for once, a trip to our (at the time) new friends Jackie and Rob's and then hanging out in the clubhouse boozing. I got a little more than tipsy and acted like a douche and broke a beer bottle - total party foul. But all in all we had a decent night and enjoyed each other's company. It's going to be a very different NYE this year. January also brought a surprise visit to NC in the later part of the month, where I drove down and surprised him with a weekend trip. He's pretty hard to surprise, too. I can't think of anything else monumental in January. He was my fiancee, I was planning our wedding (ok my mom was, I was just saying "yes" or "no" to things) and we were separated. I worked at the Child Development Center on the Army base and from what I recall that's about all I really did. Oh and we also got our engagement photos done, which turned out beautifully.

February brought our first Valentine's Day together and Mr. P. did not dissapoint. I'm really hard to surprise, but he managed it with a trip to one of my favorite places, Ocean City Maryland. We spent a long weekend in a condo and I taught Mr. P how to pick crabs for the first time. He said it was good but not worth the work and I questioned the stability of our relationship (just kidding, he enjoyed the experience enough that it was ok with me that he's too lazy for crabs. bah-ha-ha). We enjoyed OC during off season, got some old timey photos done, went to Assateague Island and saw the ponies, and just had a lovey dovey weekend. He also surprised me with my Tiffany's necklace, the Elsa Perreti open heart. Love it, never take it off. After that weekend, I don't remember seeing much of each other, he headed back to NC. I still lived at home, we were still engaged, I was still planning (helping to plan) the wedding, and working at the CDC.
Wedding planning also brought with it bridal shows, which were a lot of fun.

I don't remember much of March so I'm assuming it wasn't eventful, just a continuation of wedding plans. I don't even have any St. Patty's Day pics, so I can only assume I didn't do anything. Which is weird, I love St. Patty's Day... Oh look, thanks to facebook I have an idea of something I did in March... More going out. The pics from this night are prob from Jan or Feb but were posted in March, so it counts

Oh, oh more March. That's right, I lived at home and went out. A lot.

I think during March/April Mr. P was in Fort AP Hill, VA for training. I know he came home the last weekend of April because we went down to my college and enjoyed some partying and had an incident on the side of I-95 that may or may not have lead to the conception of our daughter (according to the doctor it did not -she wasn't conceived until our honeymoon- but, I mean, it could have). This was also the month of my fantastic bachelorette party, in which we took a limo into Federal Hill (Man I love Fed Hill and wish I could be partying out there tonight) and I got good and slammed and enjoyed time with my best friends. I also enjoyed a magic show and a bar simultaneously (basically the best idea ever)

My bridal shower was also during this month, in which family and friends all got together to celebrate the idea that I was getting married soon. It was also all about me (and kinda about him) which I enjoy.
I also enjoyed frequent going out during this month.
April was basically a month of finalizing wedding plans and enjoying my last few minutes of "singledom" before the big day.

This was the "big month" for me. The month in which my life changed for.ev.er (think 'The Sandlot' when you read that). Definitely good change, but lots and lots of change.
First, I got married to my soul mate. Probably the single best day of my life. My wedding was perfect, I had so much fun, looked like a princess and it was all about me (well us, but I was ok with sharing), what could there be not to love? Of course I have a million and one pictures from that day so I'll just share a couple...

Ok I'm going to stop there with one ceremony, one reception, and one after party pic or else I'll be going through them all day, overloading you with wedding photos (that you can just as easily see if you go through the thousands - I'm not exaggerating - of pics of me on facebook) and will never make it back to December. So, anyway, May. We got married and had a grand ol' time doing it. (And I'm still so freaking in love!!!) and then we honeymooned, at Onslow Beach in Jacksonville, NC. Ok, so it may not have been an ideal honeymoon location, but we thought he'd have to work (by the time they said he could have leave it was too late to plan anything huge) and we wanted to be together. So we rented a cabin on the beach, partied, loved, found out we were pregnant, and found a house to rent. Yes, all in one week!

Then, I quit my job and moved to NC to be with my husband. Word was that he was deploying in August, so we wanted as much time together and for him to see the progression of my pregnancy as much as possible before leaving. And in case you didn't know... moving sucks.
After we got all married, pregnant, moved and settled, June brought a sigh of relief and took off the pressure from the chaos that was May. This didn't last long, though, as my hormones were starting to kick in and I was a total d-bag mess. Mr. P got ready for a training mission to California and I prepared for my first month alone. Little did I know I'd be too sick to stay by myself. I spent the month in and out of the hospital, miserable from pregnancy and ended up in MD with my parents. It wasn't a fun MD trip, I felt like doodoo, wanted my husband, and wanted very badly to not feel poopie anymore. This pattern continued into July, until Mr. P came home.

July brought one of my best friends getting married. On July 25, 2009 my good friend and sorority sister Shannon married her high school sweetheart, so we trekked up to MD to witness this joyous occasion. We had a great time, but unlike the months before I wasn't partying (pregnant) and Mr. P was instead. I still had fun though.

Both July and August brought very hot months to Eastern NC, where the P family and friends enjoyed LOTS of beach time. I had finally started making friends and meeting people in Jacksonville so I was becoming more human again. Mr. P and I are huge beach bums, so we spent all of our spare time at the nearby beaches.
My parents came down for their first NC visit and we had a great time. We also found out in August that our little peanut is a GIRL and with this news began to prepare accordingly.

I don't really know of anything monumental that happened in September. My life began to get a routine as I made more friends and started volunteering in the Battalion Family Readiness Office. Oh, I got my first non-family visitors to our house in NC. My bestest, Justin, came and saw us for a long weekend with his girlfriend at the time and we took our first trip to Myrtle Beach. At the end of the month, two of my sisters Shan and Theresa came and spent a long weekend with us as well. It was nice having little pieces of home in NC.
October brought with it the stresses of pre-deployment. Deployment rumors were running rampant and we never knew where he'd be when. It was rough. I worked in the BN as much as possible to help during this time. I also worked (and quit soon thereafter) in the CDC during October. It definitely wasn't a fun month, just a busy one. I don't remember much of it, as it seemed to fly by. Also, I'm getting lazy with photos as I started blogging before these months and there are photos already on. I'm kind of over this whole post actually, maybe it was a bad idea! I'm sure there was fun stuff in October too, but I just don't have too many fond memories of this month!

November followed October's footsteps as far as the stress of predeployment. Mr. P and I continued to prepare for little baby P's arrival and set up her nursery (somewhat) which I am very glad he was here to partake in. We went to MD for Thanksgiving and my mom threw me a surprise baby shower, which was a HUGE success. I enjoyed time well spent with friends I hadn't seen in months and getting fabulous gifts for my daughter. While this time it wasn't all about me, it was all about her, it was still just as good! The end of November also brought with it the sad news that my husband would indeed be leaving, and leaving very soon...

Clearly, I'm getting lazy here. I even thought of not even posting for December, since anyone who's been reading at all knows what's up in December. Basically, I had to say a sad "See ya later" to my love, as he headed off to war. We began our first deployment. I also turned 23, a non-fun age. In happy news, I got closer than ever to my "NC gals" or "Marine Wife Friends" and am learning the true meaning of friendship, regardless of distance, from both these women and my good friends pre-military. My NC gals threw another shower for me (and my friend Cait) and baby girl got some more fabulous gifts, although Lori has not put up pictures from this yet so I still can't share them - bad Lori! Oh and we bought our house, and (I just found this out from the realtor a couple days ago) the construction company broke ground on our house this week! Christmas came and went and I anxiously awaited January, which will FINALLY be here tomorrow, so I can seriously get ready for Miss Thang to be here. In a few days, I can say I successfully survived a month of deployment, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

If you hung on through all that, well mad props to you, you deserve some homemade cookies! All in all, it was a great and very eventful year, and I have so much to be thankful for.

Here's to a wonderful 2010, a fresh start, and so much to look forward to already. I'm already excited for (and dreading writing) next year's recap!

Hope you all have a faboosh New Years Eve, be safe, and if you're drinking, have one for those of us who can not indulge this year!!

Is it January Yet?

I can't believe it is still December. I have not even made it through one month yet and it feels like it's been years since I've kissed my hubs. Argh, come on January, come on 2010, come on baby, come on summer!!! Sometimes I really do wish there were a fastforward button, at least for the very little remaining part of this year, I'm getting anxious!

I got a phone call this evening. Do you realize just how much someone's voice can change your day? I hadn't been having a bad day, it had just been a couple days since we'd talked so I was really aching just for the voice (never mind the touch) of my hubs. He sounded so very tired (it was about 3am his time so I can only imagine how exhausted he was) but it was wonderful to hear his voice. He even sang to me, that "Kiss Me Through the Phone" song. We used to sing it to each other when he was gone on training exercises. It made me giggle. :) I love when he sings to me. When he first PCSed to NC and I was still in MD, we would call each other late at night and he would sing me to sleep. I thought it was rough being separated then, man I didn't know nothin'!

Also, I have realized I have not even started any of my deployment goals. I'm a total slacker. Learning languages, reading books, learning new skills. I've been napping and running errands, those are my days. Buuut in my defense, it's not like I don't have lots to do to get ready for Miss Thang and I totally have a sufficient reason for napping (unlike when I was in college and napped all the time. At least now I can blame it on something -other than too much drinking- or someone rather).

I've been thinking a lot about career choices again lately. It was brought to my attention by one of my mom's girl scout 'friends' (I use that term lightly) that I have a degree and am using it to make babies and be a wife. I had a friend call me in a slight frenzy one night over nearly the same thing, she feels her career and academic achievements had been put somewhat on the way-side. Here we are, degree holding women doing what? She at least has a job, a very admirable one in my opinion, helping less-than-fortunate families. I worked in a daycare. Not that daycare work isn't fun and rewarding, it just has nothing to do with my degree and just about "anyone" can do it (although I'd like to see some people try, it ain't easy!). I assured her though, as I had to assure myself earlier when I was thinking about it, that not everyone can do what we do. Not everyone can pack their lives up for someone they love, move hours away from what they know and live a totally new lifestyle. Not anyone can give 100% of their full support and loyalty into someone who is gone more often than home. Not everyone can learn the ways of the Marine Corps life and commit to all that is expected of them. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's not like I'm a stay at home wife to some wealthy typhoon, this isn't exactly the easy life. And while it may seem like I do "nothing" to some, I'd like to see them walk a minute in my shoes and not say that what we, as Marine Corps (and other military) wives do is hard work. That being said, I still want to pursue my own career and my own dreams. The hardest part in doing that for me right now is still deciding what I want to do. Why it's such a tough decision, I don't know. I've thought about teaching, about doing therapy work of some sort and just the other day I told my mom I wanted to go to school to be a vet. That's where I have trouble. There are so many things that interest me I can't choose just one. Maybe part of the reason I haven't started any of my deployment goals just yet, I have too much fun dreaming about things I could be doing instead of actually getting them done... Is this lack of motivation? I don't really know for sure. I know I'm going to do something I've just gotta decide what it is. And besides, I'm already doing the best jobs in the world. I'm a wife and I'm damn good at it, and I'm about to be a mom, from what I understand THE single hardest job in the universe. A job that is never done. Ever. So I guess for now I'll just be content with the jobs God has given me and keep dreaming of what I do until I make some sort of decision... And I am gonna get started on those deployment goals... eventually ;-)

Minor Meltdown (Day 18)

I've been doing good. I've been doing much better than I expected. But sometimes, I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep until the summer. Or at least until I go into labor.

I try to play it off on hormones, but sometimes I am just sad. I wish I could always be tough (as nails). My motto has been be strong for my Marine. I don't want to feel sad, I want to feel good and keep on keeping on. I promised him no moping. He made sure I would not mope. I stay upbeat in my letters and on the phone. I find it inexcusable to let him know I am having a hard time ever, he needs to stay focused on his mission and not worry about me here. The more focused he is, the easier it will be for him. My goal is for him to be safe and come home to me 100%.

But sometimes, I am just sad. Hormones, deployment... put it all together and it can be overwhelming at times. And I can cry for no reason. Last night I was a bit upset because I miss my home in NC, but it doesn't really feel like home without him there and I got thinking that when I'm in NC I miss my home in MD which is not so home-y without him either. I deduced that I do not, currently, have a home. As home is where the heart is and my heart is in a war-torn land thousands of miles away from me. Thinking of it that way makes it really rough, and I need to take time to remember that I do have a home, two actually, and there are people here and people in NC who love and support me. Today the crying came really from nowhere, part of the reason I blame it mostly on hormones. I'd had a fine day, running errands and doing some returns and getting a not-so-awesome pedicure with mom. But then when we were back I was sitting there and I just felt... unhappy... weighted. Heavy.

I know that this is perfectly ok. With everything going on in my life, it is perfectly acceptable to have meltdowns, moments, times to be upset. And I know that all in all I am doing a damn good job. I think part of the hardship comes, too, from hearing from him 3 times in 2 days and then nothing today. It's only one day, but when I don't hear from him after hearing from him regularly, 'just one day' can feel like a lifetime.

I also feel slightly useless here. I know I could help around the house, clean, etc. but I don't really want to. I don't know what I want to do. In NC, before the majority of my friends left to go home, I was busy everyday. Going out to lunches, taking random road trips to visit friends who live a little farther from JVille, doc appointments, just keeping busy. I haven't been so great at keeping busy since I've been home. I think I'm ready to be back at my own home, preparing for baby's arrival, getting last minute things together. I also know that the sooner I am back home, the closer to baby's arrival we'll be. I go back home on the 5th of January, so we'll be in full-on countdown mode by then, it just feels right now that the 5th of January is decades away.

Speaking of which, today, 27 Dec, marks one month until I'm due. A whole separate reason for thousands of emotions. I'm so excited and ready for her to finally be here (and frankly, ready to not be preggo anymore!). I'm nervous as all get out to be a mom (hello, I'm responsible for a-whole-nother person!). I'm incredibly sad that Mr. P is not here to witness his daughter's arrival into the world and to meet her. It breaks my heart that she will be 7 or so months old before he can meet her, and thinking of how he must feel about this, cuts a little deeper - if it breaks my heart it must shatter his. A whirlwind of emotions, I can only imagine how it'll be on her actual birth day.

Sorry for such a long and emotional post, I typically try to keep them light and upbeat, but sometimes I just need to pour my heart out. I miss my husband deeply, I'm 9 months pregnant, and I have heartburn, I think I deserve a little bit of an emotional release.

I will continue my whole hearted attempts at staying positive. I hope you all continue to have a faboosh weekend.

Dear Little Baby Jesus (and other Christmas Happenings)

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. Mine was as good as it could be, considering.

Some highlights included

  • Church on Christmas Eve our pastor talked about Taladega Nights and how Ricky Bobby prays to Little Baby Jesus
  • TWO calls from hubs on Christmas Eve AND a wake up call this Christmas morning
  • A wonderful prayer for all those overseas AND their families at home that brought me to tears in church
  • A fabulous Christmas Eve dinner (pretty sure I mentioned this before, but it's basically my favorite part of any holiday)
  • Lots of leftovers and cookies
  • Good gifts for the whole P household, including some of my most-needed baby items that I was startin to stress about getting, and a piece of Americana art my mom got for me. It's a bunch of Americana photographs all put together to make a bigger pic of Elvis. It's greeeat!
  • Good gifts for my family, everyone seemed genuinely happy and greatful
  • Lots of time spent with my mommy today playing games
  • And of course, another day down, another day closer to Baby Girl's arrival and Mr. P's homecoming.

Hope you all had fantastic Christmases and enjoyed any and all time you got with your loved ones!!

Riding the Rails (Clickity Clack to Maryland)

Yesterday, I took my first train ride. I'd have to say overall it was a huge success and I am now pretty much a train fanatic. I could see myself riding trains everywhere!

Reasons why the train is great:

  1. You don't have to drive. Just to and from the train station station, that's it.
  2. You don't have to go through years of security and metal detectors/brain scanners to board.
  3. You can walk whenever you want. No seatbelt sign, no waiting on the captain to say it's ok. In fact, they even start moving before you sit.
  4. You can bring your own foods and drinks, there is a place to buy food if you forgot to bring some (or you're tired of the PB&J you did pack).
  5. You can stand up and streeeeetch
  6. You don't have to put your whole trip on pause to go pee
  7. There are outlets at each seat, Hello movies on the laptop
  8. Way cheaper than plane tickets and the price for just me was also cheaper than gas, etc. to drive
  9. Train stations are really cute!

Reasons why the train is a little sketch:

  1. Bathrooms, while numerous, are pretty freakin' dirty and very smelly

All in all the pros definitely outweighed the cons (even though I do go to the bathroom frequently, I found a way to deal) and I am now a big advocate of train travel. Mom and I are riding business class (woah-hoah) on the way back, so we should have bigger comfier seats with more leg room and better foot rests and free sodas.

Now I am just going to enjoy time at home with the fam. Mom and I are about to bake up some cookies (even though she cheats and buys cookie-dough) and the Christmas Eve brings family church time and a big delicious family dinner. Can't go wrong there. I love the tradition of going to mass on Christmas Eve and I am soooo looking forward to Christmas Eve dinner (as you can tell from my last post, I'm looking forward to any dinner...)

Hope you all have wonderful Christmas Eves and Christmas Days!

I'm Not Sleeping (Doesn't Mean I Don't Wanna Be)

Why can't I sleep?! If you say "because you're blogging" well you are just some-witty, aren't you? But seriously, I've been just laying here for a while now. It's not like I don't want to be sleeping. I've got a day jam-packed with travel tomorrow, and should be well-rested so I can 1. Find the train station and 2. Figure out how exactly to get on my train and all that jazz. But alas, I'm just here, hangin out...

I think part of it is the smell. There's this weird smell that creeps through this area, mostly at night and the wee hours of the morning. I remember in the early, early days of my pregnancy it would send me into hormonal rage. The smell makes me feel sick and head-achey and then I would get angry that there was this smell that was taunting me that I could do nothing about. I'm beginning to feel that way again, especially when I woke up with a pounding head and way strong smell this morning. I asked a neighbor if they had any idea what it was and she seemed clueless, said it might be the water treatment plant nearby... but to me it smells like burny-plasticy-rubbery yuck smell. Not like doo-doo or anything. I don't know.

And of course the other obvious part is that Mr. P isn't here and let's be realistic, how many of you really sleep well when your husbands are gone? It's part of marriage, you don't sleep when your other half is absent. Also, I didn't get a call from him tonight. Not that I have been every night, but he mentioned calling me again today last time we talked so I kind of expected it and it never happened. For the most part, I try to block out exactly where he is and what he's doing, but sometimes it creeps in and it makes me scared/anxious/sad. Trying not to think about it, but clearly it's been on the backburner, simmering in my mind tonight. I miss him oh, so much.

Funny story... Last night I got to talk to him online (I can't believe I didn't tell you this story yet!) we were chatting on facebook and he had to get off (they get 1/2 hour on the computer and 1/2 hour on the phone) and he was waiting for a phone to call me. Knowing that waiting for the phone can take a while, I kept doing what I was doing and just toted the phone with me. Took the trash out, did the dishes... I needed to take a shower. So I decided to go for it. Shampoo? Check. Conditioner applied? Check. Body soaped? Check. RIIIIIIING. Conditioner in hair, soap on body... JUMP out of shower. I tried to put it on speaker phone while I toweled off the soap and just put my conditioner-drenched hair in a towel but it failed, so there I stood, toweling off and robing up while holding the phone talking to hubs. But seriously, when your hubby calls from halfway around the world and you haven't talked to him in any number of time, are you really gonna take the time to rinse? Nope. I enjoyed our 1/2 hour of conversation and then of course jumped back into the shower and rinsed off... I think being able to smoothly and quickly exit a shower while pregnant and covered in soap is one accomplishment that really needs to be acknowledged though. Go Me.
If only I had a shower phone like this guy....

I really wish I heard from him tonight. Bleh. I hate the days/nights that I don't... they make the day seem so much loooonger. Well I suppose I really should try to catch some zzz's...
Night all (or should I say Morning??)

And for anyone who wants to know, Baby Girl currently has the hiccups :)

For the Love of Smooth Skin (Laser Surgery?) Day 14

Ok first and foremost. I have a stretch mark. I've said it, it's true. GAHHH!!! I think I'm going to have a meltdown.
So, I have had a couple on my hip areas for a lil bit, but those were ok, because they were on the side and seemed easy to hide. But then yesterday I discovered it. One lone stretchmark. On. My. Belly. I'm officially so over this pregnancy thing. I would like my daughter to just be here already and discontinue stretching my poor skin.
I have been told there's not even a way to get rid of these ugly battle wounds. How do celebs do it? You can't tell me Nicole Richie went from skeleton to big ol' watermelon in 9 months flat with out a simple line of stretch. There's gotta be some celebrity secret. And I want it. Now.
Explain this to me. Please.

In other news, it's 2 weeks since Mr. P left. These are the meals I have cooked since he has gone:
* Beef stew and noodles
* Beef stew and rice
* Chicken nuggets and left over mashed potatoes
* Chicken nuggets and noodles.

Noticing any patterns? And yes, that's beef stew from a can, plopped in a pot and heated up on the stove.

Who's happy to be going home to Maryland tomorrow and indulging in mommy's cooking?
Yes, that would be me.

Sad how fast domesticity flies out the window when the hubby leaves...

Hope you all are enjoying your week!

Oh, and if you're wondering how fat I am now...
35 weeks
And yes, the lone trouble maker is in this pic. Please don't try to hunt it/point it out/look at it in any way. Belly pics are not cute anymore. :(

Purdy-in' Up

Yay! My blog is getting prettier!! I'm very excited. I would like to thank Ambs for point me in the direction of Shabby Blogs, they've got all kinds of stuff to spice up your blog.

I'm also SUPER proud of my new header, which I made myself using Picnik, a really neat photo editing website that I use when I don't have PSP on my computer! Yay for pretty and pink!

The two end pictures are mine, obviously I didn't take them but they were given to me, so they're mine, and the center photo I found here and did not take or have given to me.

Sleepless Nights (Day 13)

When I haven't heard from him in a while, sleep does not come easily.
I slept maybe a full total of 2 hours this past evening. I went to bed at 3am, it is now 8am, and half the time in between was spent tossing and turning and trying to will myself into dreamland.

However, as I finally fell (back?) asleep sometime after 719am (last time I looked at the clock...) I dozed off just enough to have a dream that I had finally gotten a phone call. And here I am awake because the phone actually did ring about a half an hour or so later! I'm pretty sure, especially now, that I am psychic.

Last night was not fun, I had myself all worked up about not hearing for a while and then this morning right when I needed it most was the voice I needed to hear most in all the world. Amazing how just a few minutes can turn your whole day around. I think now I'm going to try to actually sleep!

Oh, and happy Monday everyone!

Wintry Weather (Not For ME!) Day 12

Well apparently my hometown and several others in the area got slammed to the extreme with some wintry weather this weekend. Maryland was in a state of emergency and had gone under blizzard conditions. Luckily, the good ol' east coast NC where I hang my hat got none of this powdery white stuff.

I did, however, enjoy pretending we did! I woke up Saturday morning and after reading all my home-friends' snow statuses, got to craving hot cocoa. So I made a quick run to the g-store to plan for my snowed in day, without having to deal with actual snow day g-store madness. I got the items on my lovely WIC voucher before the expired in addition to LoftHouse cookies (OMG my faaaave), Orange Juice (we've been over this), hot cocoa, beef stew, and bottled water. Quite an assortment. Then I came home and proceeded to totally veg out for the day. Enjoying far too many LoftHouse cookies... oops.

The joy of the whole thing? I didn't have to go out and shovel a thing! I didn't have to clean my car this morning! I could have gone back to the store a hundred times if I wanted! The malls weren't closed, and while it was a madhouse out there in shopping land it was not a snow day mad house! It was pretty awesome.

Until around 10pm when I realized I was bored. But then it was late enough that I just vegged out some more til bed time. Haha. We all deserve our sit on the couch and watch movies and do nothing days. Especially those of us who will hit the NINE MONTHS pregnant mark on Christmas! Another happy note, is that with two feet a snow, it is likely I will still be able to enjoy the winter weather when I go home on Wednesday... after the roads/driveways/cars have been cleared.

Pretty awesome.
Hope the week continues to be awesome and you all have an awesome one as well!

A Photo (Day 9)

Just a photo to share. This is from the day hubs deployed. I was having contractions basically all day (ick) from stress and what not so he was feeling my hard belly and talking to Ariana before he left. His Ssgt's wife snapped this pic of us and passed it on to me. I absolutely adore it.

A Little Story About Postage (Day 8)

Be ready for some serious bitching. This is one thing that has super fired me up this week.

So Monday I went to the local Walmart to pick up the remainder of my Christmas cards and then I headed over to the Postal Annex which is right next to the Walmart to get stamps and send out Christmas cards and Thank You cards and letters to hubby. I had 73 items to be stamped and sent and I purchased a book of stamps. My total was $46.50. I knew it was going to be a pricey trip to the postal place so I didn't really think about it before handing over my trusty debit card.

When I got back to the truck, I took a gander at the receipt and low and behold I'd been charge 50 cents a piece for stamps. The book of stamps was 10 dollars and upon counting I discovered 20 stamps, aka 50 cents a piece. As I haven't bought stamps in ages, I gave my mom a call and asked how much postage currently costs. She wasn't quite sure and thought it may be 48 cents... did they charge more because they were cards... well they shouldn't have, they didn't weigh anymore, it wasn't making sense. Later in the day I found out postage is actually 44 cents, a whole 6 cents difference.

Today I was talking with a friend about this and she said it really wasn't right so I should give them a call. I called t he Annex and let them know the issue to see if I could get my 6 cents difference per stamp back. Well, the Postal Annex woman informs me they have "a sign that states their stamps are 50 cents a piece or 10 dollars for a book" obviously, I hadn't noticed this sign, nor did I know what the postage price typically was to make any sense of it! I said to her "Are you sure this is legal, postage is federally priced" and she informed me that indeed it was, as they're not the post office they can price stamps at whatever they want. I then proceeded to tell her "Well, that SUCKS and is STUPID." Yes, what an insult.

What really pisses me off is that this is a military community. I'm buying stamps to write letters to my husband who is deployed, as are many wives/people in general in this area and they are RIPPING US OFF. 

So, I did what every good angry citizen would do, I wrote letters. I wrote to our local paper The Globe and to my Family Readiness Officer so she could tell other 1/6 wives before they buy postage there and are ripped off too. And I'm telling you lovely readers about it, so any of you in the CL area - Don't go to the Postal Annex by the Walmart on Yopp Rd!!!

Rant over, go in peace my friends.

I'm Bitter and Upset Today (One Week)

Quite a flip from my last post which was only yesterday, but I had a poop night which is leading into a poop day. I shouldn't let it take over my day, but let's face it, my husband's not here and I'm getting depressed.

Basically, while the Mr. was en route to 'where he's going' I was very spoiled, as I mentioned before. I got to webcam with him and talk to him online... well... everyday. And then all of a sudden it stopped. I knew it was going to happen but there's no preparing for a sudden lack of communication. Especially when you're a control freak who likes to know exactly what's going on.

The last I talked to him was 5am yesterday (I know, a whole day, it's not that big of a deal, but remember this is sudden...) and I didn't talk long because I was tired and assumed I'd be able to talk to him later in the day as I had been everyday. I assumed. And I'm beating the crap out of myself for this.

At 5pm last night, one of the guys in his unit was on but Mr. P wasn't. I bleeped in and talked to the guy for a couple minutes, made a couple jokes, asked him if he'd seen my husband and he hadn't because apparently Mr.P had moved racks a few nights ago. It is still on my mind... why was this guy on but my babe hasn't been on since 5am yesterday? He told me he'd try to let me know if they were leaving so I wouldn't anticipate hearing from him but when I asked him at 5am yesterday if he was leaving soon he said he didn't think so. It was probably something sudden and last minute like, Ok, it's time to go guys (just like the damn deployment in general...) but I just don't know and it makes me so upset. Especially the fact that homeboy was on and didn't mention them leaving either.

So yeah, it was a rough night. Full of wondering and lots of waking up. Then of course my house phone rang this morning (no one really calls my house phone except for telemarketers, who I've mostly all yelled at that they have the wrong number, my name is NOT Everett.) and Mr. P now that he's overseas. It rang one time and then that was it. It is driving me nuts.

I'm trying not to think about it, and continue on with my day, I've got quite a bit to do, but I just feel... empty. I don't like this at all :(

AND I am SO SICK of people complaining about their hubs not around like it's the end of the world. Yes, I know I always complained about Mr. P's hours, but a fellow Marine wife who knows quite a few of her friends hubby's deployed has been CONSTANTLY whining about her husband in the field and after I posted my post about needing help for goals she asks for help "Thinking of things to do to keep her busy while hubby is in the field." Come on now, he'll be there, what, a month tops?? And you get to spend Christmas with him. Have a little courtesy to your fellow wives who are aching because they just sent their husbands off... And civilians, please PLEASE don't compare your husbands/fiance's/boyfriends business trip (no matter if it was one week or three months) to what I'm going through. I know you're only trying to emphasize but if you're hubby wasn't in constant danger, on the other side of the world, with low to no communication, then really, you don't know what I'm going through. I appreciate your thoughts and concerns, but I'd much rather you just pray pray pray for us, tell me you feel bad or whatever then try to think you know what I'm going through.
Sorry for the depressing post, it's just the way I feel today... hopefully later will be better.

Oh, and I did shave my legs. Go me.

Just Keep Truckin' (Day 6)

Almost a whole week down!

One accomplishment of the week? I slept in my bed!! Last night was the first night I slept in our bed since Mr. P headed out and let me tell you, I got some good sleep.

The couch and I had become great friends over the last week, and while we have very comfy couches, I just felt it was time to get over the avoiding-our-bedroom hump and jump into bed, literally. So I headed there last night and slept til almost 11!! I'd been waking up around 8 on the couch, probably because it's bright and I'm anxious all the time haha. While this sounds stupid, it is a huge accomplishment for me and I'm very proud. I may even do it again tonight!

On a totally separate note, I had a dream the other night that I'd like to share with you all. I was shaving. Yes, shaving. My legs. I had a dream about shaving. I think this a sign that I've taken the whole "I'm pregnant and my husband's deployed so I don't have to maintain myself" thing to the next level. I mean, I didn't think I was that hairy, but clearly my subconscious disagrees. So in order to keep dream anxiety low, I guess it's time I bust out the ol' razor again... Ok, so it maaaay have been a couple months since I've shaved my legs (trust, I've shaved the 'area' and the pits more recently... only the legs were neglected) but I'm a natural blonde and you can't tell. Really. You can't. But because of my subconscious. Ok, ok, I'll do it.

And that's really all I've got for this fine Monday afternoon. I think I may go wash our cars. Or maybe I'll just sit on the couch and relax again.

Hope ya'll have a good week and shave your legs!

Goals, Goals, Goals (I Need Your Help on This One Please!)

So, I've decided to help me pass the next 8 months, I'm going to construct and execute a set of Deployment Goals. A list of things to do to keep myself busy and enrich my own life while my husband is away. These goals can be characteristic things (like being more positive and thinking of other's perspectives) or tangible things to do (like learning a new language). We must remember that I am preggers and will have a newborn very, very soon, so unfortunately some of the neat things I want to do will have to wait for a lil (like participating in a triathalon). So, what are some of your ideas of things that you'd do to enrich your life and keep busy while hubby is away. I wanna hear em!

Here are the ones I've come up with thus far:
  1. Remain more positive and remember that other people have bad days too. Think outside my own perspective.
  2. Learn a new language. Hubs suggested Italian so I can teach it to him when he gets home, then we can take our honeymoon to Italy.
  3. Learn to knit and make something cute for Ariana.
  4. Finish our scrapbook
  5. Volunteer somewhere, maybe somewhere with animals
  6. Get my house clean and packed up
  7. Pay off credit/loans and save, save, save!

Thinking Happy Thoughts

Ashley at Kiwis and Cocktails is basically one of my favorite bloggers. Not only are her posts so funny and light, does she enjoy some good drinks and fun nights out, and have beautiful wedding pics in her header, she also nominates me for lots of awards. Go check her out now. I command thee!

Speaking of the award, she has nominated me for this Happy Little Award:

And the rules of this award require me to list 10 things that make me happy and 10 bloggers who make me happy as well.

Thinking about happy things and being positive is part of my First Goal of Deployment, so this is great timing for me to think positively about what makes me happy and not what (or who) I am missing so very, very much at this moment.

So on with the happiness...
  1. My Husband. Total duh, but my hubs is the light of my life. He is the one person who just, as cliche as it sounds, completes me. He makes me smile and laugh and feel loved. He thinks I'm beautiful he does his best to make me happy all the time. I am thankful and sooo happy I met him and have him in my life.Before he left
  2. My family. I am soooo lucky to have the family that I do. Especially a mom who will sit up and webcam with me until I fall asleep and a dad that will buy headphones to make sure HIS granddaughter can listen to music and an auntie that continues to send me love and support and prayers through a tough time... Among many many other things. They are really an amazing group of people. And if ya met them, you'd totally get me - we're quite a silly bunch.
  3. My daughter. Feeling her move is definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. I love my big belly and knowing that my little baby is in there growing away and will be here to meet me in only a couple weeks.33 weeks
  4. My friends. I could seperate friends into a few categories... I've got my home friends, my Phi Mu sisters, and my USMC friends. They are all equally important to me and do so much to enrich my life. They are all helping me out so much through this deployment, from phone calls and messages to hanging out all day and road tripping to another lonely Marine wife's house - we have a blast. Being with my friends makes me happy, makes me laugh, and helps me to keep on truckin'.
  5. Christmas. With everything else that's going on in my life right now, I have not been paying much attention to my favorite time of year! Mr. P and I set up our little 4ft tree and had a mini-Christmas before he left. It was a good time and a nice way to celebrate for a holiday we'll miss together.Blurry pic in front of our little tree
  6. Webcams. I got to see my hubby last night. It was amazing. I'm telling myself not to get used to it, but am secretly wishing he could get on right now. Webcams are pretty awesome. I also webcam with my mom at night so I don't feel so alone in my house.
  7. Pedicures and massages. Man do I LOVE being pampered!!
  8. Dogs. Mr. P and I are very excited to start looking for a puppy when he gets home. We both wanted one so badly but couldn't have one per our lease, so when he comes home and we're in the house we own, we're going to entertain the idea. We might not get one right off (settling in, new baby, money, etc) but I'm very excited to start looking!!
  9. Traveling. I always have so much fun when I am on vacation. I can't wait to go on our next vacation. I think we (Ariana and I) are going to Disney with my family around Easter time. It will be right before we move into our new home and a few months before daddy comes home. I'm very excited!
  10. Food. I love eating. I'm a total fatty at heart, whatever. At least being preggo I have an excuse to eat whatever. Haha too bad I'll be on chicken and lettuce once Miss Thang gets here. I have started to enjoy cooking and baking and I looove making things for my hubs - he always thinks it's delicious, even when I screw up. I have all intentions of sending him food, mom says she knows a good way to keep cookies fresh so you can bet your butt that there will be cookies shipped!!
So there is a limited list of the things that make me happy! I am WAY too lazy to tag 10 people right now, so if you would like to list the things that make you happy, feel free to yoink this! Reading blogs in general makes me happy so anyone is free to have at it :-)

Your Bad Day?! (Watch it Lady) First Deployment Goal

This post is about complaining. Yup, I'm gonna complain about complaining. But it's my blog so I'm entitled to complain about whatever I want.

Yesterday, I got out of the house and did some stuff. They say being busy makes the days go faster (although I can't imagine making the days go faster, I only wish they feel like they didn't drag...) so I try to take their opinion. They, of course, being more experienced mil wives that have done this numbers of times.

So anyway, I get up and get ready (the hardest part of the day actually) and first stop at WIC. Yup, we're poor so we get WIC, when it boils down to it the average married Marine makes approximately 53 cents an hour (they are Marines 24 hours a day, that's how we calculate this, yes, it's an exaggeration but in some cases it's not... my husband will definitely be working 24 hours a day for the next several months...). WIC is usually a total f-hole containing rude government workers who often treat you as if you're standing there for your "hand-out" and screaming kids that are bored to tears after sitting for 97 hours. Luckily, on this day, WIC is relatively quiet. There are only about 5 other women and a couple kids there. Almost peaceful. The wait did not take nearly 97 hours, maybe a solid one. Maybe. And the woman who helped me didn't act like it was the end of her world in doing so. Phew, got that over with relatively quickly and painlessly. No complaints here!

Then I went about my day going to the bookstore and meeting up with my friend Lori for some book browsing. Our intention was ultimately movies, but we had time to kill so we laughed at Post Secrets for about an hour and then cruised the mall where we wound up at Ulta, a huge beauty product store. Love!

I found a neat little set with about 12 Ulta brand eyeshadows and lipglosses which I couldn't resist for the low price of $10 and Lori found a flat iron. We headed to the checkouts and were offered Ulta Beauty memberships (get so many points, get a free gift). Being all about free, I jumped at the opportunity and filled the card out. So did Lori at her register next to mine. I chatted with the salescerk and Lori while filling my card and then paid with my lovely plastic accessory the credit card. As the sale is complete, the cashier realizes that she has run out of receipt tape and thus can not finish the transaction until refilling it. Lori had been called to her register after me so she was still finishing her own transaction. The cashier had a little trouble filling the receipt tape but eventually got it - no worries, and finished. I noticed the woman behind us getting a little huffy but whatever - that happens when you gotta wait in line for frivolous things like receipt tape, it can be annoying and cause you to huff, totally ok.

That's when the cashier was finished with me and I moved over to stand beside Lori and wait for her to be finished. My cashier apologized to huffy woman for the wait when huffy woman proclaimed
"Yeah well I just wish you could put some people to the side and move on to the next. Some of us have been up since 530!"

O. No. She. Didn't.
Was she implying that it took so long because I decided to fill out the club card I was offered? Was she implying that my transaction was not important enough to take a few extra minutes and that I should be shoved to the side? These things I don't know, but I know she was making it sound like being up since 530 was a big deal and because of this, she deserved special treatment.

First off, 530 is a pretty normal time to wake up, especially for those in the average working world, I would imagine (Like I've said, I'm used to a husband who leaves for work by 5, isn't typically home til around 7pm and then still has time to do things with me before heading to bed...). And it was not even 6pm, not like it was midnight. And lastly, really? That's you're complaint? You've been up since 530? I only can wish that were my sole complaint.
Those of you knowing me know this did not settle well with me.
So, as I moved over to Lori I simply stated...
"Yes well some of us sent our husbands to war yesterday" (Lori did too) "And haven't slept since. Really?? 530???"

For some reason that just heated me. You're going to complain to me about getting up at 530?! Have you any idea what my day/week/last 4 months have been like? Let's talk about it lady, and here I am still being decent to the sales clerk as well as to the other patrons in the store. So shut your fat mouth, wait patiently in line like the rest of us, and keep your complaints to yourself.

And no, I'm not saying that my day/week/last 4 months are the worst in the world. (They're certainly no worse than the other wives in our unit.) What I'm saying here is that it's key to remember that there's probably always someone who's having a worse day or time than you and people don't often consider this when they spout off about their own bad days. I know that Tuesday was the worst day of my life, putting my husband on that bus. But while I was having the worse day of my life I'm sure there are people who were having an even wors-er day, at least I have someone I love to miss and I have a warm, although empty, home to return to.

So, goal number one of deployment (and of life, I suppose) is to remain more positive and remember that other people have bad days too. The world does not revolve solely around me (or you, huffy lady).

And thus begins my list of deployment goals. Some tangible, some characteristic, all important and focus-worthy.

Day Zero (Did That Just Happen?)

So I hugged him and kissed him, Told him I love him and that I'd miss him.

And then I sent him off to war.

I'm pretty sure there are parts of me that are missing now. Nothing feels right.
Stay at home by myself? Go to a friends house? Go back to Maryland?
I can't decide because nothing feels right at all.

Attempting to watch 12 Men of Christmas, maybe I'll just pass out from sheer exhaustion.

Prayers/well wishes/good thoughts please.

Vehicular Tramp Stamps (Inking Your Car?!)

Ok so tramp stamps. Lower back tattoos. For those of you that have them, my apologies, this is not to offend you. I'm just gonna say me in particular, I am not a big fan. Well let's specify here. Tattoos on the lower back can be perfectly fine... cliche tattoos on the back... not my thing.


Sun design



Like I said above, no offense. If you have one of these and you love it, we can still be friends, chances are you probably think my tattoos are lame too. I just don't find them attractive nor creative. I think tattoos should have some kind of meaning (yes, I'm one of thoooose people) and not just be some decoration the show off your ass-crack. Actually, I've got a few friends that hate tattoos and think they're all tacky and while I am in love with my tattoos I just disregard those opinions, so if you're a tramp-stamp lover feel free to disregard this post.

Anyway, tramp stamps are not even my point for posting this, I just wanted to make sure we were all in the know of what I define as "tramp stamp" and that I don't like them to begin with. This is my blog so my definitions. Word.

I've noticed with some frightening frequency that tramp stamps have begun popping up in a whole new and utterly trashy way... on vehicles!
(This part of the post is slightly ticking me off because I can not find a photo online to demonstrate)
Basically, there have been quite a few cars I've been behind here in good ol' J-Ville, NC that have a small, generic, tramp-stamp-esque decal on their back window. One was literally a tribal design (my least favorite of the 'stamps) about 4 inches tall and 6 inches wide right over the girl's break light (the center light in the middle of the window that should, by no-means, be covered!) I've also seen NUMBERS of flowered ones... and a couple suns.
This is kind of what I mean, except the ones that annoy me most are smaller and down at the bottom, a la tramp stamp fashion. This one is slightly annoying but not the worst. Still ticked I didn't take a pic of the one on the road that day...

Now, I'm all about car stickers, only ones that don't obstruct your view of course. I've personally got a Phi Mu sticker on the bottom of my back window (NOT covering any lights) and an I HEART MY MARINE (Yeah, those cheesy ones that I know people blog about how much they hate, too) on there as well. But seriously people, stamping your car with a lower back tattoo design?? Really? Not cute, pointless, and two thumbs down.

Hopefully I didn't just offend all of my readers. We can still be friends... I just won't ride in your car, and will probably swear at you when following you anywhere ;-)

What a Hiatus (Oops, Neglect of Blogging)

Yeah, I've been on a slight hiatus. First there was the whole Thanksgiving thing, which was FANTASTIC and I even cooked some this year!! I made sweet potato casserole and cranberry salad a la Mr. P's mom. I wanted to make sure he got some of his home traditions at Thanksgiving in Maryland.

Then there was the whole surprise baby shower thing! My mom planned a killer surprise baby shower and I got to enjoy time with some of my closest friends ALL AT ONCE while celebrating my beautiful daughter and getting lots of awesome gifts!!

Phi Mus at the shower

Then after that we headed back home and Mr. P's mom, step dad, sister, and our brand new nephew came to visit. They just left this morning at around 5am, actually, so we had a nice long week with them. We had a great time, I felt kinda bad because I was doing a lot of running around and getting things done in between visiting, but Mr. P is very happy that he got to see his family before a possible deployment.

Mr. P also got a promotion! We're very very excited about this, we've been anticipating it for a while (ok, since July). He is now Cpl (Corporal) P instead of LCpl (Lance Corporal) P. He is at NCO status, which means he's got more responsibility and a little more respect, which is pretty great. I am soooo proud of him (us, I mean, I did nag the crap out of him to get his stuff done...) and I even got to pin on one of his chevrons at the promotion ceremony.
Pinning on his Cpl chevrons

Now we are just getting ready for our first deployment. It's a very stressful time. We actually have an idea of when this will happen, but of course I can't share it with you. I'm just trying to get all the stuff we need to get done totally done before it is here. Honestly, I have been a bit of a mess but being 8 months preggo and preparing to send the love of my life to war, well I believe it's to be expected and still think I'm doing a hell of a job. I mean, I haven't even thrown up once even though I've thought about it! I guess I just thought it would never come, never be official. We'd heard so many rumors and had so many "We'll be gone by xxx" that by now it had just come to be normal to just disregard it until there was something official... now that we've got official, well, it's still hard to believe and even harder to accept.

So there is a quick recap on why I have been missing lately. Please don't think I don't love you all by not commenting, life is just really chaotic for now, and I will be back to full time blogging world as soon as I can...

Hope you all have a phenomenal weekend.

A Giveaway

As I am very interested in the Your Baby Can Read DVD learning sets, I have entered the giveaway by Jabbering Jessi. Go check it out if you're interested in YBCR or entering the giveaway!!

Also, check Jabbering Jessi out for more Reviews & Giveaways

Jebbering Jessi

Make an Offer (Holy Crap, I'm a Grown Up!)

Sometimes, I look at my life and it hits me - Woah mama, I'm a GROWN UP. I real life adult. Responsibilities, bills, gonna be a momma, the whole nine. Don't get me wrong, you can be a grown up without those things, but without those things I do not think I personally would be. And now... I am.

So this weekend shoved me into grown-up status even more. I guess shoved isn't the correct word... more like I stepped into. And why now, more than a couple days ago, am I feeling more grown up you ask? Well...

We Bought A House!!!

That's right, I'll soon be paying a mortgage (the word still makes me shudder, can I call it something else...?)
Ok so we didn't buy it yet per se, we've made "an offer" but we're buying a house from a builder (it's not even a house yet, right now it's a plot that will be a house) and builders don't typically turn down offers especially since we offered the asking price (unlike buying someone else's house you can offer lower and they choose whether or not they accept it).

As any of you who've been reading may know, we'd been looking for a while. We had pretty much given up our search when we didn't find just the one and the thought of paying a mortgage started to frighten us. We still browsed a bit though and came across a lovely woman named Vikki at a house we definitely didn't want. Vikki mentioned pre-construction and how it was in our price range and we really thought it wouldn't be for us, we decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and have a look see anyway. And low and behold, here we are a couple weeks later (After looking for MONTHS) with our names signed on paperwork!!

Thankfully, we've got time to save, adjust, and realize this is all coming true. We don't close until May. It has really worked out for us - our lease isn't up until May and other things may keep us from wanting a house much before May, but we definitely wanted some place to call home in the May/June time frame. So when they told us our closing date could be pushed back to May it was like a sign. Oh, and the house is called the EVELYN just like my beautiful mommy. TWO signs. woah-hoah.

Here is a picture of a house being built in the same area that has the same design and floorplan as our house

and because we are huge dorks, both my husband and I, here is us in front of our Plot Sign, where our house will stand in just a matter of months (6 or so months... and that'll fly, trust me - I know!)
Funny story about this pic... it was taken with a self-timer, so I sent Mr. P over to the sign and I stood by the truck on the road, getting the camera set up on the bed of the truck and getting him in the viewer. I got him in there then set the time and then ran (waddled) my preggo self over the mud in 10 sec. for the pic. I had just made it and only by jumping over to him.

Anyway, if any of you are really that curious, you can check out our floorplan/neighboring floorplans at Simpsons Crossing (that's our new neighborhood!!) and clicking on the Evelyn - or whichever one you wanted to look at.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

A Trip to the Dairy Farm (Turning Myself into a Food Source)

Otherwise known as breast feeding class!

On Tuesday, I attended my first breast feeding class. Now, if you're anything like me, you're wondering, "How in the great world do you have a class to breastfeed, do you all sit around and pull your boobs out??" If you're not like me you're probably thinking, "Oh a class to breastfeed, how educational, that's not perverted at all." You people have no imagination. :-P

Anyway, to answer that first question, no we did not sit around and pull our boobs out, thank goodness. BUT we did learn a great deal (Ok the non-perverts have it for the win). We had a nice lactation coach who was called Linda A (apparently at the hospital there is also a Linda B, and their big joke is they come in pairs - like breasts! - har har har) and was very excited about all things breast. She shared SO much information with us and I'm actually really glad that I went because I am now not so intimidated to do it, she informed us that it's not actually supposed to hurt, and if it does, you're probably doing it wrong. I feel like I am now all reared and ready to go be super Boobie Feeder Mommy! We'll see...

Some interesting snippets from the class (this way I don't feel like I'm rambling on teaching you the whole class, when half of you, I'm sure, aren't pregnant and don't want to know how to become a food source at this point of time)
  • Linda B's last name had the word 'boob' in it. It was something like Boobchivick or something. Really and truley. It was very difficult for me to suppress my giggles at this.
  • The correct way for the baby to latch on is nose-to-nipple. You line their nose up with your nipple, kinda tickle their lip, bottom lip on then top lip over the nipple. Make sure lips are not sucked in. Sounds easy enough, right? I'll let you know. Anyway, Linda A demonstrated this first with a cow hand puppet (oh, the irony) and then when she wanted to show more detail, her own mouth. Oh, I forgot to mention she was using a stuffed breast (like a plush breast, I guess you could call it a teddy-breast?) to demonstrate. Yes, she sucked the stuffed breast in front of the class. Talk about, once again, trying not to giggle...
  • Breast pumps slightly resemble torture devices. She demonstrated with a balloon. Man I wish I had a video to demo this for you guys, because my description isn't going to do it justice, but she held the balloon (probably the size of maybe a full B cup) against the hand operated breast pump, and pumped. And you could SEE the balloon getting pulled into the pump. The suction was that strong that the whole thing... went like... in the tube. Like I said, so hard to describe.I'd never seen anyone use a pump before, but apparently your whole boob also moves. How I'm not terrified, I don't know... Linda assured us it wouldn't hurt...
  • There are different types of nipples. Out-verted (ok, I forgot the real name, but the stick-outtie kind), flat, and inverted. It's pretty self explanatory what each one means. Linda shared with us that she has one of each, a flat and inverted. I'm sharing with you that I think mine are flat? but I'm not sure. They don't really stick out on the reg, but they sure do stick out when I'm cold... Anyway, for those that have flat or inverted nipples, there are devices that can actually stretch the nipple out. One you wear in your shirt, it's like a little circle thing with breathing holes and while you wear your clothes during the day, it's doing it's job stretching your nipple out. Another method is the breast pumps, clearly their suction helps pull your nipple out of hiding. This part frightens me a little, and if my nipples are not long enough, should I be stretching them now?? Just more to worry about, I guess...
  • Bottle feeding can really screw up breast feeding. This I did not know anything about, and found very interesting. Apparently breast feeding is a learned response (I just assumed it'd be natural... animals do it...) and when you learn something the wrong way, well obviously you're not gonna do it the right way later. So apparently, in a bottle there is one hole - shoots milk out, straight down. In the breast, however, there are FOUR holes and they shoot... well, in 4 directions. Talk about a super soaker! So, when a baby feeds from a bottle, they only feed from the nipple, tending to kind of chomp or make biting motions on it. However, when feeding from the breast, they latch on and kind of roll their tongue/jaw to activate some glands in the breast encouraging the milk to just flow. SO if the baby if taught with the bottle, he/she is going to learn the chomping motion and then begin chomping away at your boob, which in turn does not feel nice in the slightest - that is why it is so important to breast feed right off the bat, if you want to do it at all. We learned that the best time to introduce a bottle is between 3 and 6 weeks, that way they've already learned how to use the breast and they aren't too old to learn something new and be totally confused about what the heck a bottle actually is. There are also "breast bottles" that replicate the shape and way a breast works as far as feeding (see right, and check it out, if you want, here).
  • And last, but certainly not least, breast feeding really is important. It helps grow strong bonds between you and baby, it's the best nourishment they can get, it has antibodies to make them not get sick, supposed to make the smarter, turn them into super man and give them the power to read minds. Ok, maybe not the last two, but it's supposed to be some really good stuff for the baby. All joking aside, I am pretty excited to give my baby the best I can give her and I am already fully equipped to do so! And even though some things sound a little frightening (did you read the part about the pumps and nipple stretching) my fears have somehow been relieved, and I'm ready to give it a whirl. I hope I didn't scare anyone away from it with the scary bits, but if so let me know and I can give you the more serious side of the lesson.

It's the Final Countdown!

Can you believe it? Only 10 More Weeks until Princess P's due date. I'm still on the ever-so-hopeful thoughts that the due date is actually a week late and she'll make an 'early' on-time debut, but who can blame me? That being said, please enjoy this 30 week belly pic along with this little Weekly Check-in Questionnaire Doo-hicky that I yoinked from Katie.

How far along?
30 weeks today, 10 to go, WOO HOO!!!!

Total weight gain: Ugh. Approximately 25 Ell-Bees. So not stoked about the whole "large number popping up on the scale" thing...

Maternity clothes? For the most part. Pants most definitely, but shorts and sweats I still wear "normal people" ones. Shirts are some maternity, some pre-preg, as long as their long. Some dresses are maternity and some are pre-preg, depending, again, on the cut. The most comfy thing is Boyfriend Sweats (Victoria's Secret Pink) and a tee-shirt sans bra or undershirt, but that's clearly not practical for out of the house wearing, so I break down and get dressed... sometimes. Oh, and if you wanna send me a gift, I desperately need new bras. The "larger" one I bought months ago is not comfy so I'm wearing sports bras and one very stretched out BioFit. I need to hit up the maternity boobie section like woah.

Sleep: Yes please! The tireds are back. Boo. I want to sleep all the time. I force myself to try to get up but I usually end up sleeping during the day. Night time is still give and take, sometimes it comes easily sometimes it takes hours.

Best moment this week: The kicks. I just can't get over her moving. And also getting all the furniture put together, everything's getting SO real.

Movement: All the time. They told me from the very beginning we've got a very active baby and now I believe em. I'm pretty sure she's a dancer... or maybe a kickboxer? Her favorite spot, as noted in my last post, is in my ribs. They are sooore. She also likes to hammer away at my left side when I lay down, but no lie - I love that feeling.

Gender: Baby GIRL

Labor Signs: Couple of Braxton Hicks contractions. They're not fun, and they do hurt sometimes. Headed to L&D the other night when they were coming every 15 min for a 2-hour time span, but it was just exhaustion and dehydration the docs said. Cervix is still closed and no word on effacement or any of that gory business.

Belly Button in or out? In still, but weird. It's kinda... I don't know... hard?? It's opened up like a big ol' mouth and the top is hard. I hope that doesn't mean it's getting ready to pop out, I'd be fine keeping my belly button on the inside, thanks. (I had a horrible dream about it popping out and being really gross, so I'd rather just keep it in for now...)

What I miss: My favorite jeans, although maternity jeans and the freedom they bring, have really grown on me. I also miss being able to have a cocktail (what can I say, I enjoy my nights out), exciting sex (I feel like I can only do it in one position and I'm afraid I might bore my husband to death, although he doesn't seem to have a problem, at least I've still got a libido!), my energy, and feeling in control of my emotions (for the most part.)

Weekly Wisdom: Go to the classes! Yesterday was a breastfeeding class, Mondays are childbirth/lamaze, and in December I'll be going to New Parents class... they help you prepare and know what to expect to a tiny extent. They've helped ease my fears, make me more confident, and feel like I know what's going on. I am no longer terrified to attempt drug-free labor or breastfeeding, but we'll see how my tune changes when the time gets here...

Milestones: 10 Week COUNTDOWN. Holy toledo, we're in the single digits starting tomorrow... How INSANE.

Lamaze and a Rib-Ing Pain (How Big ARE You Baby??)

I must admit, I pretty much love being pregnant. Pregnancy makes every day a little adventure, and makes each day, week, month, something to look forward to as each day is one day closer to my little one being here. While there are some pains (literally) and some trials, I really have enjoyed my pregnancy and feel so lucky to have this experience.

That being said, one of my most favorite parts of pregnancy is feeling Baby P move. Each little flutter, every kick, brings a smile - and quite often a giggle - to my face. And each time, it never fails, I realize all over again "There's someone in there!" Some of her kicks now, as she's getting older, I can see my tummy actually moving. It's really like something of a sci-fi movie, and I hope to catch it on video one of these days, but of course she never does it when I'm expecting or waiting for it! The fact that this is something that Mr. P can sit and experience with me is something I really enjoy, too. The other day, he laid his head against my stomach and was talking to our baby. He said to her, "If you love me, punch me in the face" (I thought to myself when he said this, don't let yourself down when she doesn't, she's not particularly active right now and that's kind of a loaded request for someone not even here yet) And what do ya know - she punched (or kicked, elbowed, head-butted...) him right in his cheek as he lay there! We were both very astonished and so excited! Of course daddy then had the biggest grin on his face "SHE LOOOOVES ME" haha they're so cute together already and she's not even here.
Now that being said, I don't mean to complain when I say that I wish this kid would get out of my ribs. Haha. I love the movement, I love feeling her there, I love knowing she's still there. But her new favorite spot to hang out is up in my ribs, particularly on my right side. I don't know if it's a foot, an arm, a butt... but some body part has been there continuously over the last few weeks. And I'm pretty sure there's a bruise on the inside from where Little Miss Thing is constantly rubbing. Of course, nothing I say or do helps to move her from her spot. It's where she likes to be and it's where she'll remain until she's ready to move. So, until that point I will continue to just rub my aching ribs. I know I could have it worse - my friend Cait's baby wakes her up in the night kicking at her ribs - at least we don't have that going on... yet.

Tonight we had Lamaze Class. Mr. P's unit isn't exactly... supportive... of his attending my appointments/classes/anything family related, so he wasn't able to make it. Instead my friend Whitney came with me as birth partner. I've just got to say I am so very lucky and blessed to have the friends that I do. This was the relaxation/labor prep segment of the course which meant the birth partners would be massaging us preggo ladies. Whitney was such a trooper and did all the massages, paying special attention so she can properly teach my husband later. She even did the foot massage and she hates feet, I told her she didn't have to, but like I said she is such a trooper. I'm so thankful!! Mr. P did make an appearance at the end of the class, which was nice for him to be there, and I am lucky to have had anyone there at all, let alone TWO people.
And now, as the Ravens are on Monday Night football, I am going to go enjoy having a teeny piece of Maryland down here in NC. Hope you all have a fantastic week!

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