Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm So Excited...and I just can't hide it :o)

I have to admit that even I can get caught up in the latest trends, but when I find something I like I try to find a way to make it unique. For a few years I have been admiring BDU (the Army's old uniform) purses I have seen online. I like the idea of using Eric's old uniform for something other than yard work & the Annual Ranger Wife Swamp Walk.

But, I had a few reoccurring issues, I didn't love any of the designs out there and they were a little too frilly for me. Most of you know how I love to embrace my inner tomboy, and most of the BDU purses had accent ribbons & things that just weren't for me.

So, when the infamous Kristina was having one of her fabulous give-aways I saw a purse that I really liked. I went to the website and was very impressed with the quality of sewing & use of fabrics. The light bulb finally clicked and I sent out a feeler email to this amazing chick & she jumped at the opportunity to make me a custom purse using Eric's old BDU uniform & patches.

I've always been reluctant with ordering custom things, then waiting for the product. The other issue was that I wasn't quite sure what I wanted. I'm not a creative genius, so I sent her some websites that had the BDU purses, and told her a little about what I like. After much communication and a few sketches I was blown away with her final details.

I just received the purse yesterday, and once I opened it I was literally jumping up and down squealing "I love it, I love it, I love it!"

Lynsie was a PLEASURE to work with, and so creative. She said I pushed her to try new things & she had fun doing this project. And here are some pics.

Front, the four patches on the sides are the units Eric has been in, and his airborne wings & CIB (combat infantryman's badge) above the name tape:
Back, with room for more unit patches as we continue in the Army life:
Neat Stitching across the top of the bag:
Top closure, which is from the button closure in the front of the uniform:
Pockets on the inside:
Strap, which reads "Rangers Lead The Way" on the outside, and the inside says "All The Way," it's what is said every time you salute someone else in Ranger Battalion:

She made me a cute little bag that fits inside:
If you haven't checked out Lynsie's bags, you are seriously missing out. She is located in the Utah area, but was more than willing to deal with me all the way in Florida.

Thanks Lynsie, it was truly a pleasure!! And now I have a bag that is great with a black or brown outfit! (I know I'm not the only one that has to coordinate that!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rude or Just Plain Stupid?

I thought it was common knowledge that there are two things that one never asks a woman about: age or weight. These unwritten rules, as I have always understood them, also include making comments about either that could be construed as hurtful in any way.

That being said, you can understand my frustration earlier this week I was told by three people at work, "don't you think it's time for maternity scrubs?" First, I'm not clueless! I knew that when I put my top on that it was a little tight around my belly, but it completely covered my stomach and there was still plenty of room to fit everything thing in my pockets. And second, do you honestly think I haven't noticed my ever-growing baby bump? Did everyone forget I just came back from spending almost two weeks in Seattle for a funeral? Shopping for maternity scrubs was the last thing on my mind! Also, I knew the minute I put the top on I needed some new ones, but I had to go to work that night.

If that wasn't bad enough, Friday night a fellow nurse made an even better comment, "wow, the doc is going to have to put you on a diet soon, your getting huge!" To which I replied, "well, considering I've only gained 8 lbs, am still able to fit into the same scrub bottoms from before I was pregnant, and I'm 18 weeks along with twins...I think I'm doing ok!"

Both of these comments within a matter of a week has really gotten me down. But, I went to a wedding last night and most people couldn't tell I was pregnant until I turned sideways. And the bride, who I hadn't seen since before I was pregnant (and isn't one to hold back the truth) said I looked great, and the only thing she saw getting bigger was my belly...which I know I'm only a nurse, but isn't that what's supposed to happen when you have a growing baby!

Am I just being overly sensitive??


On a more positive note, I felt one of the babies kick Friday morning. I was laying in bed and wasn't sure if I was going crazy or not so I put my hand on my belly and felt 3 little taps. So I woke up Eric and made him verify...and he felt it too!! This was VERY exciting for me because I haven't really been able to feel any movement yet, but that's probably because I've had a lot of pain throughout and haven't been paying attention.

And for those that have asked, I have my "20 week" ultrasound on November 16th, which is when I hope to find out the genders. I'll be close to 22 weeks by that point, so the likelihood is good that we'll finally know!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scared But Excited

I have gone through many, many emotions throughout this pregnancy. I was excited when I had a positive home pregnancy test, but terrified at the same time because of what had just happened in March. So, we didn't tell anyone until we heard the heart beats, and that's when I really started to feel pregnant. I was sick as a dog, but didn't want to get excited again to only be heart broken.

I've still held onto the feeling of scared & excited, and refused to buy anything for the babies. Part of the problem is not knowing the genders, and the other issue is that I don't want to jinx it.

But, right before we left for Seattle Eric and I were making one of our 1am visits to Wal-Mart and we found something we couldn't pass up. If you know me at all, you know I'm a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh, and Eeyore more precisely. This outfit was too cute so we bought two, the whole time planning on how to make changes if it's boys, girls, or one of each.

Also, when we were at Pike's Place Market in Seattle, we visited a great T-shirt shop and Eric found these: We plan to get a Ranger Tab embroidered on the chest with "baby" underneath it in a corresponding color to whatever gender the babies are.

We still look at every baby section of each store we go to, and put money in savings every month, but I don't see us making any big purchases until around week 24.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Life is what happens while you're busy making plans

While we were in Washington we discussed having Eric's youngest sister come live with us. She just turned 18, and graduated from High School in May. Since Eric and I both have become very familiar with college over the past few years we felt we would be able to help her by giving her a place to live while she attends school. Plus, she could give me a hand every once in a while when the babies come.

Once we got home we talked even more about Eric's original plan to try to cross commission into the Air Force. The more we talked about it, the more the answer was clear. For stability, and peace of mind, it would be best for him to stay Army, and put in a packet for Officer Candidate School (OCS) for the spring. We are going to wait until the beginning of the year because we didn't want to run the risk of him being in school, in another state, when the babies come! So, after talking with the re-enlistment guy at work we discovered that if Eric changed his MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) from 11C (Mortar) to 11B (Infantry), that the difference in the bonus is almost $10,000!

So, after scrambling to get paperwork done Friday, and this morning, Eric calls me and says, "I re-enlisted! Do you want to come for the ceremony?" Now, I had only fallen asleep 2 hrs prior & was half awake so I said, "I'm off Wednesday, does that work?" He said, "I guess," and I hung up the phone. After about 30 seconds it hit me that they would probably do it in the morning, and Wednesday morning I could be coming off a 12hr shift. So, I called him right back and said, "ok, I'm awake & computing...what are the options?" He laughed and said that they had planned to do it at 1000, which was in 1 hr! So, I brushed out my bed head & headed out to the Ranger Camp.

These are always really short & sweet, but I was glad I was able to be there for his very last re-enlistment. The Army does things a little differently, and if you re-enlist after you've served 10 yrs, it is a commitment to retire. So, go big or go home, right!?!

Here are some pics :o)

Eric & Maj. Lowell:

Me receiving a certificate of appreciation for being a kick-a Army Wife:

If you can't read the small print, I'll summarize. "Way to go Chica!! Your husband is awesome, but the Army needs amazing women like you to truly make it Army Strong. We are excited to have complete and utter control over your husband's life until he retires, but being able to retain you as an Army Wife is what really matters. Ranger Chicks Rock!!"

Me & my Sexy Army Ranger!

Catching up

When Eric and I left Florida at the beginning of the month, we left behind sunny skies & warm weather. I packed the few sweaters I could still fit around my belly and headed for the land of rain & cold. I was able to survive after a trip to Motherhood Maternity where I got some long sleeved shirts, and a sweater. Then I was teased when I arrived home with 2 days of warm weather, but right now it is 36 degrees outside!!! But, I need to look at the bright side...at least it isn't raining :o)

While in Washington we went to Seattle to visit Pike's Place Market, which was interesting. First, if you've ever been pregnant I know you understand that I have to pee every 20 minutes. So, when Eric's uncle said, "hey, there's a restroom" I automatically said, "I could pee." But these are 'special' because I assume they couldn't afford to pay for an entire door...so this is the compromise (FYI, that is my SIL, I wasn't randomly photographing strangers on the toilet, even though it could have been really easy):

And here is a mung fish. While I was trying to take a picture my SIL went up to the guy & asked him to make it move to freak me out...but he took too long, and freaked out some other female tourist :o)
This is a pretty fountain that by the water:
And here is my Sexy Beast looking 'thoughtful':
Last, but not least, here is my 17 week pregnant belly. I'm not posting this to show off my rocking preggo body (even though I know EVERYONE is jealous), but some people have actually asked me to post a picture. So, look away if you must...but I honestly never thought the time would come when something other than my chest blocked the site of my feet! (DISCLAIMER: Eric took the picture but wouldn't tell me when he was taking it, so many were taken with my mouth open, and I never knew when to smile...then he was done being the camera man. This was honestly the best one!)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bidding Farewell

Oct 1st, as Eric and I pulled up to Pensacola Airport, we got the phone call that his father had just passed away. He had never regained consciousness since his stroke in May and continued to slowly decline over the last few months. Eric felt the need to be in WA before his father passed, but was grateful to already be headed home. The family had made peace with his condition, and just as they were making the decision to stop all interventions, he left on his own, saving Eric's mom from making that final decision.

The first thing Eric said was, "you know what, everyone had made their peace and was ready." But this still didn't make saying the final goodbyes any easier. As Eric grabbed his bag and headed inside the airport, I headed back home and booked a flight for the next morning.

We were able to spend almost 2 weeks helping his family make arrangements and just being there for one another. Eric's sister was kind enough to let us stay with her, and put up with us that long :o)

The funeral was simple, yet extremely powerful. Eric's uncle gave a very moving talk and recalled some of his favorite memories with his older brother. Eric was also asked to give a talk, and include a eulogy. As we began talking about what he wanted to say I realized that I had something that might help. Over 3 years ago I had an assignment to do a "cultural profile" on family members and one of those people was Eric's dad. Even though I offered a questionnaire and promised to put it in first person later, Richard went ahead and took the information I wanted and explained his life in his own words...and that is what Eric read. There were many smiles and laughs as the people that loved him recognized his humor and intellect in his own writing.

Richard also served in the US Army, and was laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery with full military honors, in which Eric participated, and was able to hand his mother the flag.

Personally, I'm going to miss how Richard understood people and had compassion for them. When I lost my dog last year, it was his idea to send me flowers...just as it was when I had a miscarriage earlier this year. He also respected mine & Eric's love for one another and was always supportive of our decisions, even though it meant living thousands of miles away.

Richard, you will be missed.