July 27, 2011

Promotion, appearance, vegan, registry.

It's Wednesday morning. Scott is at work and Bruce is asleep. I'm curled up in a blanket on our couch in a living room filled with boxes and disorganization. We've had an eventful past few days. I think I'm ready to share my feelings again.

For those who haven't heard, Scott got another promotion! It was so unexpected. Just last week we were laughing at the idea of him picking up Sergeant anytime soon and then Friday I got a frantic phone call asking me to bring his inspection cammies, razor, and an iron to him at work ASAP. They informed him that he was going on a meritorious promotion board that day. He was overwhelmed and little bit frustrated but he pulled through and won his company board. He then advanced to the battalion board. On Monday, I was woken up to another frantic call requesting the same things, immediately. I rushed up to his work and was able to give him the goods and a good luck kiss. He was once again a little thrown off because he had no warning or time to prepare. From my knowledge and experience, when a Marine goes on to a meritorious board he is judged on his appearance (build, uniform perfection, attractiveness), his knowledge of the Corps and current events, and his prior stats (PFT, CFT, Pros and Cons, rifle score...). The Marine walks into a room filled with higher ranking Marines and is interviewed and judged in the previously mentioned areas. So, on Monday he sat around in his inspection cammies, studying his knowledge all day waiting for the board. At the end of the day he was informed that the board would be held the next day (yesterday) at 0900. He spent Monday night readying his uniform and going over his knowledge. His hard work paid off and he won the board the next day! He is in shock and I am blown away. Not because I didn't think he could do it (I fully believe that he is going to do big things in the Marine Corps/life) but by God's grace and timing. It has been only 4 months since Scott was meritoriously promoted to Corporal and now this! I sent out an email to our families last night sharing the good news and I received one back that hit me hard. Aunt Doe responded and said that she loves to get our updates because we are always filled with such good news. I don't know why I did not realize this until then, but we truly are. God blesses us and blesses us. Sometimes I feel like life is moving so quickly that I cannot keep up. That email made me feel completely selfish. Why would I ever want this to stop? We are being moved in the direction that God wants us. He is molding us and placing us just where He wants us for the glorification and advancement of His kingdom. I may feel out of control and overwhelmed a majority of the time, but that's great. The less control I have the more control the Lord has. He doesn't mess things up like I do. This promotion will help us to better provide for our new baby and put us just where we need to be. This will open up doors for Scott's career and for future opportunities. I didn't mean for this to be a long thing, I just wanted to share with you how proud of I am of my husband and how blessed we're feeling during this time.

Now, on to the baby stuff:
I have gotten a lot of questions about my appearance. According to the scale I have only gained a few pounds. Maybe four, but it depends on what time of the day I weigh myself. I do have a couple belly pictures but I am not ready to post them online. I might someday but it's still strange to be changing. I think that it is so engrained into the minds of girls to be skinny, that it's weird when you feel out of control of your body. When I see my protruding lower abdomen I automatically associate it with being unattractive. I feel like I need to suck in or tighten my abs. Consciously, I know this is not the case and I have a beautiful little baby growing inside of me. But, my subconscious just cannot grasp that yet. I am sure once I am showing a little more and I look more pregnant (and not just like I ate too much) I will be more willing to post stomach pics but right now, I'm just not there yet. Also, it's weird to post pictures online exposing that much of your body. Is this weird or uncomfortable to anyone else? 

As for my diet, I'm semi-vegan. I want to be vegan but it's hard right now. I ate 4 Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches in one week. I wanted them so badly! I ordered chicken fried steak at a restaurant and I ate almost all of it. And I have been eating lots of cheese pizza. It's so good. Now, my meat cravings have subsided but I am not over cheese just yet. This is another weird part about being pregnant. I have to accept that my body is going to want certain things and I have to be willing to feed it. If I am craving meat that badly I am probably lacking protein. If I could kill for a cheese cube, I might need calcium. I do know that I am not eating a very balanced diet. I am starting to head that way again but the first trimester made it quite difficult. I wanted lots of things that I normally would never eat. Now, I feel a little more in control. I have began drinking green juice again. As well as, cutting out meat and most fast food. Which, makes me feel better in my body. I feel better when I eat better, makes sense. I have decided that I will not pass up Meema's spaghetti, even though it has meat in it. One of the many books I have ordered is called Feeding Baby Green. It is all about nutrition and diet for babies and pregnancy. It talks about the different studies done that show that babies are more likely to eat what they were fed while they were in the womb. We want the baby to love Meema's spaghetti and her delicious meat sauce because it's a family thing. Scott and his family grew up on it and they all love it! And what can I say, it's delicious! We want to have traditions and this is definitely going to be one of them. We want that baby to want Meema's spaghetti! As of now, that's the only meat I'm consuming. I am also eating lots of different fruits and veggies thanks to our weekly vegetable crate. It keeps a variety of organic produce in the house which is ideal for me to snack on! 
First time eating meat in over a year! 

Registering was hard. But fun! We registered at three different places. First, it was a struggle to decide where we wanted to register. There are so many cute baby places! We needed places that would be accessible in California, Oklahoma, and Texas. After asking around we decided to register at Babies "R" Us and giggle.com. Babies "R" Us is a staple baby store that everyone has heard of. Giggle is a store here in CA but they also have a great online store. We are hoping that the shower guests will have most of the gifts shipped here and just wrap up the print out for me to open at the shower, so we figured an online registry should not be a problem. It would be difficult to travel with big boxes back to Cali. Especially since I will be flying. After we made up our minds on where to register we had to decide what to register for. And man, was this taxing. We did so much research to find the best baby brands and products. Luckily, moms are pretty great at posting reviews online about products so it was easy to see what people liked and what they didn't like. We still do not know what sort of thermometer to get- any suggestions? But I feel like we have decided on most of the other big things. I am hoping to do a post of baby gear soon. I want to show you all what we decided to go with and get your opinions on it. Especially any new moms out there. Most of our stuff is organic but that is what we decided was best for our baby and our family. I'll go more into detail about that later.

And finally, we moved this weekend! Yes, again. I'll post more pictures of the new house later.
Front. It's a duplex, our neighbors are to the right. 

Our backyard. Scott's going to make it pretty and put up our hammock!

Half of our kitchen. The stove and fridge are to the right. 
Love you all. I'm going to go eat. 

PS- My belly button is getting huge. It's like a crater in there. Is this normal? Is it going to shrink back down?

July 7, 2011

The Next G

I have been waiting 13 weeks to make this post. I am sure you have all heard by now but in case you have not, WE'RE HAVING A BABY! Crazy, right? I don't feel old enough. Or like this something we are allowed to do. But, it's happening. I am hoping to use our blog as a place to post all of our baby updates, to ask questions to those of you who know how to do this stuff, to post pictures of the sonograms and possibly my belly, to vent and cry, and to express our level of excitement! I'm sure so many more things will be said here but those are the primary things that are on my heart tonight, as I lay on our couch and write this.

Here is the link to the video that Scott's talented cousin, Connor, made for us:
We are so thankful for Connor doing this! He missed a day of school and stayed up super late editing it for us and we are so happy he did! We were able to show our families the next day. It was a big hit!

Where to start? Our first appointment. We went to our first appointment having never met the doctor or been to his office. We decided to go off base to have the baby because 1) we live about 40 minutes from the on-base Naval Hospital and 2) several of our friends advised us to go elsewhere. The impression I got was that the Naval Hospital was very business oriented. Which, completely makes sense because it's run by Navy Corpsmen. We wanted a more natural/easy going birth and decided the Naval Hospital was not a good fit for us. After doing our research, talking to our insurance, and getting advice from other moms in the area we decided to go with a doctor in Laguna Beach. You see, I watched this documentary called The Business of Being Born, it is all about natural home births, and I became very interested. We are still contemplating doing a water birth with a midwife in a midwifery but it gets complicated with insurance and stuff. There is a scholarship available, that would cover all of the costs, that we're considering applying for but we are kind of in love with the doctor we found. I might still apply for the scholarship (I had to be 13 weeks before applying) but we feel like God is telling us to stick with the doctor we have. He is a "midwife friendly" doctor. I think that just means that he supports our decision to go to a midwife if we choose to. He is sarcastic, straight forward, and smart. We clicked with him so well! He made us laugh and we felt very comfortable in his office. At both appointments I have bombarded him questions, things I read online, and things I heard from the lady at the grocery store and he has listened to everything I said and clarified it all for me. He's great. At our first appointment we went in and sat down and talked to him for a while. Like I said, he made us feel comfortable and he took the time to really find out who we were and what kind of birth we were looking for. And then, to our surprise, he took us back into an exam room and did an ultrasound right there! It was the first time we were able to see our baby. It was beyond words. Looking at the tiny life inside of me was almost too much to handle. It all became real at that instant. We are really having a baby. There is really a baby inside of me. After he let us relish in our moment of seeing the little life we created he turned on some machine and we could hear the baby's heartbeat! Oh man. As if seeing the little dude wasn't enough, we were able to hear that beautiful, constant, fast beating, swishing motion. Our baby has a heart. And a heart beat! After leaving that afternoon we were kicking ourselves for not recording the heart beat. We just couldn't get enough. Knowing that our baby had a beating heart and a head and a foot (you can see it in the picture, I'll explain in minute) and a little bitty body was unreal. We both left in a daze, a good daze. A smiling, hugging, God-thanking, daze. We spent the next couple of hours staring at the print out that the doctor gave us and sending out mass texts sharing the incredible experience we just had. It was one of the best days of our lives. Just knowing that there is a baby inside my belly is such a different feeling than I have ever had before. I cannot even begin to comprehend what the day we get to hold the little one in our arms will feel like. I think my heart might explode.

Ok, so here's the sonogram picture. (I learned that an ultrasound is the process of rubbing the thing on my belly and seeing the baby on the screen and a sonogram is the little print out we get, just FYI). The big black circle in the middle is what holds the baby, his or her little temporary home. And the two connected little circles on the inside are the baby's head and body. The one on the right is his or her head and the one diagonally down on the left is the body. That little white half circle diagnolly to the left above the body is his or her foot! Essentially, the baby is reclining with his or her feet up. Our baby is so funny!

Week 9 sonogram. 
The next appointment was this past Tuesday. This appointment was different than the last one. This time we did not go into the doctors office and sit and chat, we went straight into the exam room. I also found out that each time I come in I have to do a urine sample. I forgot to ask why. Anyone know? In the exam room the nurse came in and weighed me and took my blood pressure. Our doctor's office is pretty little. It is run by the doctor and his wife. There are 2, maybe 3, women who work at the front desk. And he has his nurse. I have only seen one nurse so I'm not sure if there are more or not. I cannot remember the name of the nurse we have had both times. It's one of those two-name names, Mary Anne? Ann Marie? I don't remember. I'll catch it next time. When the nurse came in I noticed her nails. They were beautiful and long and painted a metallic gun metal color. I really loved them so I commented on them to her. She smiled the sweetest smile and began talking about how Jesus gave her nails. She told us how she had some sort of deficiency (I wish I could remember her whole story) and how she never had nice hair, skin, or nails. She talked about how she asked God for nails one time and then He just gave them to her! She had me touch them to feel how hard they were. They really looked like acrylics but they weren't, they were 100% real. Her story was beautiful and her love for the Lord was so inspiring. She went on for a good 5 minutes telling us how good God was and how much she has been blessed by Him through the years. While she was telling us all of this Scott and I were both sitting and staring at her in amazement. We have been praying about staying with our doctor or checking out a midwifery. We both could not believe the overwhelming presence of the Lord in that room. We were blown away! It was so courageous of her to share her faith with us. She most certainly planted a seed of boldness in me to want to share my faith in a loving way as she did with us. I think I forget to be proactive in that. Sometimes, when I surround myself with Christians I forget that I need to be sharing the greatness of God with non-believers, too. She sparked something in me that I hope will grow into something big. I admire her faith and courage and I am very excited to get to go back and talk to her again! After all that goodness happened, the doctor came in and asked how I was doing and if I had any weird stuff going on. I told him that my lower back hurts and that I have been getting headaches. He and Scott told me to suck it up and get over it and that I'd be fine. So, that's what I'm gonna do. With the occasional massage request and whiney moment I think I'll live. After the talking was over he did another ultrasound! He said we would get to do one at every appointment, "just for fun"! How cool is that? Is that normal? Do you normally do one every time you go in? This ultrasound was completely different from the first one. THE BABY WAS DOING FLIPS! It was so strange to see the baby 1) look like a real baby and 2) move around so  much! The doctor had a rough time getting a good picture for the sonogram because the little guy or girl would not stop moving around. He or she was doing flips and barrel rolls and curling up in a ball, it was incredible! We have a little bundle of energy in there. We thought maybe the baby was moving so much because he was pressing the wand on my belly for the ultrasound? We read that the baby can now respond to poking on my stomach so maybe the baby was freaking out because he was running that thing all over my stomach. Are ultrasounds bad for babies? Can the baby hear the sound waves? Can the baby feel it? Does it hurt the baby or make him or her uncomfortable? Anyone an ultrasound tech out there? If so, please let me know all of these things. Regardless, it was so neat to see the baby moving. We were both mesmerized. This time we left wishing we would have taken a video the ultrasound. Hopefully next time! We once again were able to hear the heart beat and we took a sound clip of it. It's wonderful to be able to play it back whenever we want to. It's comforting to know the baby is ok. The baby seemed even more real this time. Watching him or her move around and swim and play was unexpected. We weren't even sure we would get to do another ultrasound, much less see the baby run around like that! God surprised us, once again.

Here he or she is at 13 weeks. Now we have an alien child. I think you can probably figure this one out. The big alien head is the baby's head and if you go down from there you will find his or her body, hands, and feet. Isn't the growth crazy! The baby more than doubled in size in 4 weeks! So weird. And awesome!

Week 13 sonogram.
And how's Scott? Great! I have been saying "we" this entire post and that's not just for looks. He has been completely interested and involved in this entire process. He has been the greatest husband anyone could ask for throughout the past 3 months. He has taken care of me when I've been sick and let me be lazy when I've felt tired (which is most of the time). He has given me input when I can't decide between colors for baby stuff and been the final decision when I can't decide what stroller/car seat/sling would be more practical and safe. We have been doing a good job of communicating our emotions to each other about this new life inside of me. Honestly, I'd say he's more confident than I am. He's excited and ready and doesn't have many doubts about any of this! I, on the other hand, get worried and nervous but he is always there to talk me through it and calm me down. He's perfect, the greatest husband I could ask for. I am so certain that he is going to be the greatest father this world has ever seen. I am sure he would appreciate encouragement and congratulations, too. Stop by his Facebook or shoot him a text. I'm sure he'd be just giddy. He loves telling people about this baby.

Proud daddy-to-be, after church at a little diner in town. 
I want to post more about what books I've been reading. What things I am hoping to try with our baby in future. Our baby gear. And what baby blogs I've been stalking. If anyone has good baby advice please send it our way! We feel a little overwhelmed with all of the decisions to make and stuff to buy. But, we are developing a little circle of people whose opinions we trust and who we feel like can help us through this whole process. So, thank you for you questions/comments/advice/concerns in advance. As we develop a state of mind about this whole process I'm sure we'll need less guidance but we are kinda doing this whole thing blindly at the moment. I've have had so many people tell me that this is our baby and that the decisions are ultimately ours. Which, I completely understand. We know our values and what we believe and we're starting to develop blueprints of how we want to raise our child. But, I would still love to hear what you all have to say!

We love you, thanks for reading this super wordy post!