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Thursday, June 25, 2009

My roller coaster ride has begun

As of June 22nd, 2009 my hubby was selected to become an officer. As an enlisted soldier, this is a big deal. As an Army wife who is expecting a second child, I would consider this an even bigger deal. Especially since our moving date will probably be around when the "new kid" will be arriving.

And so my roller coaster ride has begun.

This is my life as a military wife. Things you know and expect, and sometimes even look forward to for the sake of your husband's career. But sometimes, there are little bumps in the road, like any road in life, that seem like mountains at the time.

The big thing now for hubby is being able to find a unit who will accept him for what's called a "long tour". This way, he'll remain active duty, however, be working for a reserve unit. By accomplishing this task, he rids the risk of being a "one weekender a month" officer therefore requiring him to find a civilian job which will probably pay half of what he is making now. Oh and did I mention lack of health insurance? Once he gets to the new unit, where ever that might be, he'll be required to go to school to officially become a Second Lieutenant. That school will probably last anywhere from 10 weeks to 14 weeks total (I think). During such time, I'll be abandoned alone with two children. Once he finishes school, he'll be re-applying for the active duty side of the military as an officer. Which I'm sure will mean, once again, that we get to pack our bags.

It's a good thing I don't need to do the packing. We just need to make sure we don't have too much crap stuff to be moved and go over our weight limit. And with two kids and all their stuff in tow, I'm sure it will be close.

We still don't know exactly when (we're hoping for just after the "new kid" is born so I can deliver here with a nurse practitioner and doctor I already know... and don't forget our dearest friends) and hubby is still working on the where. Hopefully, by the time his official papers come in two weeks saying he has been selected, we'll know more.

Until then, I think I'll start taking two tablets of Zoloft daily.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stepping up in the world

Yesterday, we made our first big purchase as soon-to-be parents of two children. A double stroller. We really weren't planning on purchasing it this early since we still have three months left to go, but we couldn't pass up the deal.

We ventured to Target to browse and to make one purchase. As I was walking by the infant department I started telling hubby how I had decided to go with the brown double stroller from Target rather than the black from Babys R Us (both are the same price). When I glanced back at the strollers, I noticed a sale sign near the double stroller I was referring to. You couldn't miss this sign. Because the color was being clearanced and it was only sold at Target, the bright red numbers that read "$119.99" yelled out to us. Okay, to me. For a double stroller originally priced at $169.99, we couldn't pass this up.

I send hubby up to customer service to inquire about more in the back while I ventured with Little Man to the toy section. Hubby comes back with bad news and good news. Bad news: Turns out the sign was actually intended for the single stroller system. According to the associate, she didn't think there were anymore doubles left in the store anyways. As hubby was double checking the boxes, he reached for one and noticed it was the brown we were looking for! They were both surprised. Good news: Even though the sign was misplaced, she was willing to honor the price!

Little Man was so excited, for whatever reason, to be taking home a "double stroller". As soon as we got home, he wanted to help Daddy put it together and ride in it.

The best part about this stroller system is that Little Man could technically ride in either the front or the back if he wanted to sit in the normal seat. When he gets a little bigger and can't fit in the seat, we can remove the rear seat and he can sit backwards facing me.

We're really hoping that this his is way of being excited about his new baby brother, but I have a feeling it's just because it's a new "toy". For the rest of the day, he proceeded to tell us, "I really like the double stroller". He even had this to say about his stroller...

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's a ....

So did you take the time to vote as to what I'm carrying?? Did you guess that Little Man was going to have a baby sister or brother?

Well, if you voted that I was having a BOY, you would be correct!

This is somewhat of a relief considering we already have all boy items. Buying new girl things I'm sure would not have been a problem with anyone in my family, especially Gramma. However, now hubby is toying with the idea of trying for a girl. Whatever! After this one, the fact that we will have no more children (at least that come out of my body) will be made permanent. Somebody's getting snipped.

Now that the gender of the baby is out of the way, we need to figure out a name. And not just any name. It has to be unique like LMA's and preferably not start with the letter A. We have a few ideas, but the end decision will remain a secret until the "new kid" welcomes us with his presence.

Oh, and to top things off, he's already a week and a half bigger than he should be. At least I know this time we won't go past my due date, but unfortunately that won't change unless he's measured three full weeks ahead of schedule. So I guess I'm having another large baby, like it or not. Apparently, there's also a soccer match going on inside me because he's done nothing by kick and punch like crazy lately.

Anyway, hope everyone has a wonderful AND dry weekend. (We're so sick of the rain.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Depressed/Stressed pregnancy

I read this in my pregnancy e-newsletter from our local Army Hospital. Depression is one concern that I have already stressed (no pun intended) to my nurse practitioner. Both hubby and I know that I was depressed during and after my pregnancy with LMA, but I never spoke up to anyone about it. Or if I did mention it to my midwife, she dismissed it. Thankfully this time around, I have someone who is more appreciative of my concerns and with a background in psychology. Fortunately and unfortunately, this article did not apply to me. Because if it had, LMA would not have been forced out a week late.

"Depression in pregnancy increases risk of premature delivery

To learn more about how depression might affect a pregnancy, researchers surveyed almost 800 women in the San Francisco Bay area about their emotional state early in their pregnancies. Of these women, 42% reported significant symptoms of depression, and 22% reported having severe symptoms. Researchers found that the women who reported severe depression were twice as likely to deliver prematurely as women who didn't have any symptoms of depression. Premature delivery associated with depression appeared to increase with low educational level, a history of fertility problems, obesity, and stressful events. This research suggests that doctors should screen women for depression early in their pregnancy to help prevent premature delivery.

Source: Human Reproduction 24 (2009): 146-53.

As a side note, I can't believe that I am already halfway through this pregnancy. Compared to last time, the time has flown by. I'm sure it also helps to have a terrible two toddler to take care of to pass the time. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

We miss you, Florida

I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from our trip to Florida last month. Even though I didn't have the SLR digital camera of my dreams (hint, hint hubby), our point and shoot Olympus camera took some really great shots.  I especially loved playing with the sun early in the morning to make my subject "blackened" and the rest of the background just shine.  We even made sure to take our handy-dandy little tripod (Gorilla pod which can be wrapped around anything) to catch a family shot on the beach.

We all had a great time, especially Little Man going back and forth to the beach and the pool. I think we counted five times to the pool on Mother's Day alone! Because of this experience, he's so excited about visiting the pool and the water park here everyday.

The other event he really enjoyed was a few trips to the local fire stations.  We counted three within a 10 mile radius and made sure to visit every one.  He was treated like a star, getting fire hats, pencils, coloring books, and we even made sure to buy him a genuine "Junior Fireman" shirt!

Little Man is already asking to go back.  Sticks both thumbs up in the air and says, "Florida beach!"  I have a feeling we'll be going back to this location again in the future, especially when we really need a little R&R.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Take a guess

I thought it would neat to see what everyone (okay, all of four people who read my blog) would guess what I'm having. We find out on Tuesday. I'll let the suspense hold until the end of next week to see how the ruling goes, then I'll tell you.

Just to give you some comparison, with LMA I had sensitivity to smells (nothing in particular) which would make me nauseous from weeks 9 to 12. With this one, it was more nausea all the time (not just from smells) and wicked heartburn from weeks 6 to 9. With LMA I would have different cravings for certain foods/candy every 2 weeks or so. This time, I was hungry non-stop during the first trimester for anything and everything, but no cravings per se since then. With LMA, I could feel the little kicks and rolling at 15 weeks and same with this one. With LMA I gained a total of 25 pounds (maybe 30 because the starting weight was at my 9 week appointment). I've already gained 20 pounds since I found out I was pregnant (at 5 weeks) and I'm only halfway through.

So click on the link to the right and let me know what you think I'm having.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Coupons 101

Last month I posted about my new found aspiring career to save money by using coupons. I'm not talking one or two coupons with your grocery order. I'm talking $27 worth of coupons! Which is exactly how much I saved yesterday when I went grocery shopping at our Army commissary (I saved $21 two weeks ago).

So I thought I would spread the love and give you a few links to some of my favorite coupon websites. Make sure to bookmark these, you may want to check them on a daily basis (if you have time of course).

Moms By Heart is a mother of five who, feeling the tough times in the economy, decided to spread the "love" by sharing her found deals. From codes for a free Redbox movie to links for Target coupons (which take both manufacturer and Target coupons for the same item making these FREE or close to it) to coupon codes for online catalogs. This site is a must to visit!

Hot Coupon World is great for printing more Target, CVS, and Walgreens coupons. There's also a database available for coupons, but I haven't used that much yet.

Coupons.com is a great place to check out grocery coupons, coupons for local restaurants, and entertainment.

Coupon Clipper you can purchase coupons... if they are still available. For cents on the dollar you can pick up and have shipped to your house a handful of coupons.

A few others to check out include:
Surviving the Stores
Red Plum
The Freebie Blogger

And just in case you would like more proof of the savings you can get from coupons, take a look:

All of the above (from a combination of Target and our Army commissary/grocery store) for $3.39 including tax. Just by using manufacturer coupons from either the newspaper or online. So get out there and save some money! And let me know if you have any other sites that are worth checking out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Missing Out

Since Little Man has been born, I've been keeping a monthly diary per se of little things he does on a daily basis. Little Moments, not necessarily all milestones, like the day he first said "Mama" and "Dada" to the day that he stood up in his crib by himself to the day he started saying "No" religiously. I thought I would stop after his first year, but two and a half years later I'm still keeping track.

Recently, LMA's vocabulary has been exploding. I blame it on the number of books we read to him. He loves going to the library and finding new books as well as picking up some of his favorites. He's pointed to a large American flag off of the highway before and stated that it was "a huge flag, Momma." He has recited "Green Eggs and Ham" while eating lunch, asking "Would you, could you on a train?" And when he's playing with his trucks in the dirt, he states that it's "stuck in the hole" (recited from "My Truck is Stuck" by Kevin Lewis).

But what he said today totally tops it all.

As we were sitting around playing with his Legos, out of the blue he stated, "Cheer up, Momma." I took a double look at my child. Then he said it again, "Cheer up, Momma. Here comes another train. A blue train."

I could do nothing but laugh when I realized he was reciting, "The Little Blue Engine that Could".

And to think I would be missing these little moments if I wasn't home with him.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Free Chocolate

Need I say more??

Being a huge fan of chocolate, I mean what female isn't, I thought I would pass along this link to get a FREE coupon from Mars chocolate every friday until September. It's part of their summer promo, Mars Chocolate Relief Act. Technically, it doesn't start until June 5th, but you can sign up to be reminded this friday. How's that for a deal??

Check it out HERE

If you have problems, let me know and I'll email the link to you personally.

Happy Monday!