Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thanksgiving and Christmas




Thanksgiving at Grandview 2009
Kiley meeting her Nana for the first time!
Our beautiful daughter is a little over 4 months old and changing everyday. Since my last post a lot has happened ( or at least its a lot to me). Usually to drive back home it takes us over 12 hours.... but this being our trip with the baby it took a lot longer. We had to spend the night somewhere in Waynesboro but we made it back to Hampton right on time for the Thanksgiving celebration with the family. This was the first time most of Todd's family got to meet Kiley. She was so good and let everybody hold her for a while. We had such a wonderful time relaxing and enjoying the time back home.

4 month Pediatrician visit

Kiley had her 4 month wellness checkup which included another round of vaccines. This time Todd wasn't able to join me so I gathered up my friend Amy and made her go with me for support. Kiley was having fun playing on the doctors table and playing with the roll of paper that pulls over it. She was 23.5 in, 39cm head, 12.2lbs. That puts her somewhere between the 25-50% for growth, although she could have been more specific. I wanted to wait on starting solids seeing as all that a baby needs is breast milk for the first year. But after talking to the pediatrician she explained that the 4-6 month age is the best window to begin because there have been studies linking diabetes to starting too early or too late. So I have begun trying to feed her rice cereal with a spoon. I don't think she's ready because she usually pushes it right back out at me but we will forge ahead. I am looking forward to trying my new baby food maker from my Aunties so we can build her palette to like yummy veggies and fruits :).
Nativity scene at The Opryland

Our first family Christmas!

We decided to stay here in Clarksville and have our first family Christmas this year. It was probably a good choice given that Virginia was hit with that huge winter storm and from what we heard the traffic was really bad. Making that trip would have been so hard with Kiley. So we entertained ourselves around town and made some day trips to Nashville. We went to ICE, an indoor display of huge ice sculptures of figures from Charlie Browns Christmas. It was amazing...and cold....about 6 degrees inside. We toured the Gaylord Opryland Hotel which had amazing Christmas displays and one of the largest nativity scenes in America. We ate at the Aquarium restaurant and Kiley loved watching all the sharks and stingrays swim around. That was a great day. On Christmas Eve Todd read us The Night Before Christmas which I videotaped so I can play it to her next year. Kiley had a great Christmas full of new clothes, books, and toys. It was especially important since next year we won't get to spend the holidays with Todd. He got his orders and is headed to Afghanistan in June. Kiley will be 10 months old when he goes, and 22 months when he returns :(. So we will be savoring every moment from now until its time to go!
On another note, my dear friend Kirby gave birth to her baby girl early this morning. Reagan is a beautiful, healthy, 8lb 8oz baby! I'm so excited for her and her husband and am excited for Kiley and Reagan to spend the next few years together!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Makings of an Angel

Kiley getting ready for bathtime
Kiley and Todd at Jane Wayne Day
Happy Halloween!
Tomorrow Kiley will be 3 months old! Everyone keeps telling me the time flies and to cherish every moment, which is so true. I'm so glad that I'm lucky enough to be able to stay home with her everyday. We spend our days practicing tummy time, reading, laughing, and going on walks. She has so much personality already for her age. Those of you who have met her know what I'm talking about. Her expressions are hilarious. The only time she is ever upset is after shots or if she is hungry or her tummy hurts. And when her tummy hurts all she wants is to be held which is so sweet.
For Halloween Kiley was a ladybug, we found her costume at the PX for $2.47 Halloween morning. She sat outside with us and helped greet the kids and wish them Happy Halloween. There were so many kids I had to make an emergency run for more candy.
She also spent a little time in the YMCA nursery for the first time while Mommy tried out the spin class there. Happy to announce that all the baby weight was gone when Kiley was 10 weeks old (which sadly doesn't mean you go back to looking exactly like you did before...ugh). So the gym membership this Christmas is going to be key. Kiley loves going in the jogging stroller for runs, she falls fast asleep the whole time. I love to work out and get her involved by holding her while doing lunges and squats.
The best part about parenthood is reliving our own childhoods again with her. Storytime is fun for all of us. We're looking forward to family vacations and Disneyworld and maybe the Disney cruise one day! Todd plays rocketship with Kiley by doing a NASA countdown and launching her into orbit around the living room and through the kitchen. Houston we have no problems here :).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Baby Kiley at 2 months




So today Kiley is 9 weeks old. We just got back from her 2 month check-up and she's doing well. The doctor checked her over and did all the usual measurements; Kiley is now 10.8 lbs and 23 in. long. She is in the 50% for weight and 75% for height. My poor baby had to have her first set of vaccines and it has been harder on me than I thought it would be....it was so hard to see her hurting from all those needles. So today is going to be kind of intense for me as I watch her to make sure she's okay.
Kiley has been an angel for us so far and its almost like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, wondering when its going to get harder. Once the doctor told me when she was 2 weeks old that I could stop waking her up every 3 hours at night to nurse...and only to nurse her if she woke up on her own....she's slept through the night every since. I get up usually around 4 am to nurse her in bed. Its nice because I love the quiet time with her and then we usually fall asleep until 9am. I'm proud to say she is exclusively breast feeding and we've made it over the hump. We're still learning about nursing in public but I'm sure the more experience I have the easier it will get. I couldn't imagine having to mix formula and haul bottles everywhere we go.... this is so much easier.
Kiley has been blessed to have so many friends and family in her life. She has gotten so many gifts and special hand-me-downs which has been wonderful because she has grown out of everything so fast. Her first big outing was this past weekend when we went to Ft. Knox for a friends wedding and she was so good. Because Todd and I are the first couple to have a baby out of the group of friends we have she has been getting so much attention. All the wives love to hold her and show their husbands because they want one too :)! We're trend starters.
As if this life change wasn't big enough we have even more news. As many of you know we had two dogs, Gin and Tonic. Well when we came home with Kiley it was clear that Tonic would not be able to interact with the baby since she is a nibbler/jumper/pee-pee-er. So we had to make the hard decision to put her up for adoption and thankfully she was adopted within the week. I was looking forward to just thinking about the baby but Todd was very persistent about getting a puppy....A PUPPY! So because I can't say no we now have a 4 month old copper and white husky named Tundra. So far the puppy damage is what's to be expected but all in all having her here is going well. As far as I'm concerned I can do it all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Life at Home

baby Kiley at 3 weeks
Kiley is 3 weeks old this week and doing well. Adjusting to life at home with her has been fairly easy to which we are thankful. At her 2-week wellness checkup she had gained 12 ounces over her birth weight to total 7 lbs and 2oz and was an inch and a half taller at 20.5 in. The pediatrician also told me I could stop waking her for night time nursing sessions and only feed her if she woke up on her own during those hours. This was great to hear because I'm getting a lot more sleep since Kiley sleeps for about 6 hour stretches at night. She has been such a good baby and we're even starting to get some smiles out of her already. She makes the cutest faces that I could watch all day.
Kiley has had lots of visitors of friends and family. She got to meet her Grandpa Weaver this past weekend and will meet the rest of her family at Thanksgiving. While she is growing I have been recovering and am also doing much better. I have my energy back and have gotten back into working out so I can lose the baby weight. I only have about 8 lbs to lose until I'm back to pre-pregnancy weight...but could stand to lose a little more than that I think :). Thanks to everyone with their well wishes and congratulatory messages!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kiley's Arrival!






      Kiley Honoria Nell Weaver was born August 17th 2009 at 2:33PM, 6lbs and 6oz, and 19.1 inches long!!!  I had been having irregular contractions throughout the day that started to get stronger towards the evening.  I wasn't trying to get my hopes up and thought they would pass.  Todd seemed to think differently than I did as he started to tidy the house.  He was convinced we'd be going to the hospital that night.  I went for a walk and by the time I got back we definitely would be making that trip to the hospital.  It was about 9:30PM once I got to Labor and Delivery and they monitored me for a few hours before admitting me.  My contractions were pretty steady at 4-5 minutes apart.  I was hoping very much to try for natural delivery but the pain was so intense that I first got an IV medication for pain.  I thought that would be enough but by the morning I got the epidural.  The doctor broke my water shortly after that and I was dilated to a 4.  A little over an hour after that I was dilated between 8 and 9cm.  I'm a little fuzzy on the sequence of events after that but I remember a lot of people in the room because Kiley's heart rate was dropping during contractions so there were people from the nursery ready to help.  The doctor had to use the vacuum to get her out quickly but when she arrived she was very healthy.  
         We spent two more nights in the hospital while I recovered and got to know Kiley.  She was very fussy at night but we managed to get a few hours of sleep each night.  My parents got there a few hours after the birth and stayed with us a few days.  It was so nice to have them there and the friends that stopped by.  
       Kiley has brown hair and blue eyes which I hope stay blue.  They are definitely Todd's eyes and she makes alot of facial expressions that he makes too.  Otherwise she looks a lot like me when I was born.  Not to toot our own horns but we made a beautiful baby! Todd has been such an amazing help to me while I recover and learn to nurse.  He's been there to help get her up at night for feedings and then help burp her and change diapers.  I think he's better at putting on the diapers than I am :).  Kiley loves sleeping on our chests and swinging in her cradle swing.  I am so lucky to have this family and I almost can't remember what it was like not to have her here :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Still Pregnant!

I just got back from my OB appointment as I'm 38 weeks today.  I have been 1cm dilated and 80% effaced for the last two weeks with no progress since then.  I was really hoping for more dilation this time since I've had lots of braxton hicks contractions and shooting pains.  The doctor has a "feeling" that I'll be in labor by next week though so I can only hope his hunches are usually right.

I also say my regular MD yesterday to talk about my back pain and it was such a relief to hear him agree with me in that its not your normal pregnancy back pain that most women experience.  If after Kiley is born and I'm not experiencing any relief I'll get an xray and MRI to see if I could have done something during my workout routines to cause damage.  

The weather here in Clarksville in hot and when its not hot its raining.  That means I spend a lot of time indoors except for my evening walks which are becoming more and more exhausting.  Every little thing takes all my effort, its just amazing how much of your energy is used during pregnancy.  My friends Kirby and Amy threw me a small baby shower/lunch with friends at Olive Garden which was a lot of fun.  Our friend Gentry came up from Ft.Benning to help celebrate which was nice.  They are all so excited to meet this baby and I'm so ready to have her :).  I hope that my next post is my birth story and not another pregnancy update...


Thursday, July 16, 2009

35 weeks

                                                   35 weeks
Just a quick update.  Today I am 35 weeks and 2 days.  I had a doctor appointment this afternoon and everything is still moving right along.  It took the doctor a while to find Kiley's heartbeat because she has dropped and her head is really low now.  I'm not dilated yet but am definitely feeling like she is making it known that it won't be too much longer now.  He is guessing that she will be in the 7lb range at birth so I'm at least relieved that I won't be delivering a big big baby.  At least now I'll be going for weekly doctor visits from here on out instead of twice a month.  I've also only gained 1 pound since my last appointment but he said that some women just don't put on much weight, its all baby.  He still couldn't offer me any advice for the back pain so at this point I feel like labor won't even bother me if I can get the back pain to go away!  

Since she has dropped I seem to visit the ladies room every 20 minutes and have to get up at least 5 times a night (which is no easy feat anymore).  I'm having lots of braxton hicks contractions and round ligament pain but thats all normal and my body is just getting ready for the big day.  Being pregnant has become much less easy as all the simplest tasks have become everyday challenges.  My idea of exercise these days is getting in and out of cars...I feel like an old lady.  Do I complain a lot or what?  I just can't wait to hold her in my arms.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

7 Weeks left


                                                                       33 weeks
Wow! Well now that I'm at 33 weeks I think we're just about ready to meet this baby!  After a long 12 hour drive back to Virginia ( which poor Todd had to drive while I lied down in the back seat) we got to celebrate with family and friends for our baby shower on the Chesapeake Bay.  It was so nice to be back by the water and the comforts of home and family.  It was a beautiful shower and while all the ladies did the girly shower stuff the guys and kids went out on the boat and went tubing.  We are so lucky to have such generous friends and family for their gifts and love that we have finished the nursery and are ready to bring Kiley home.  We also brought back with us the crib that my mom made that both my sister and I used as babies which was special.  We've even installed the car seat in my Rav4 already.  Too bad we still have 7 more weeks...although if she decides to come early I won't be upset.


My sister poking at the bump
                                            beach time after the babyshower
                                              Kiley's Garden Oasis Room 
At 33 weeks Kiley is still jabbing at my ribs and making the day to day activities much more difficult.  Bending over is almost an impossibility.  I think maybe because I have a short torso that I may not "drop" and that I'll be feeling her little feet in my ribs until the end.  Oh joy.  I have found some relief of the back pain with a heating pad but of course that only lasts while you're actually using it.  If I could strap it on and hook it up to a portable generator then I'd be in business. 

I just had my 33 week checkup and all the usual measurements are good.  My BP is 100 over 60 ( I don't know much about bp but the nurse said it was excellent) and her heartbeat is 143.  I asked about how big the doctor thought she might be at this time and whether or not I could expect anymore ultrasounds before delivery.  He said they don't normally do anymore scans but because I haven't gained much more weight recently I get to go ahead and have another scan to check her growth although he said the tummy measurements were fine.  I think I'm lucky in that I've gotten to see her at almost every stage of development; 7, 9, 12, 17, 25, and 33 weeks so far.  

So we just got back from that last scan which was great.  Todd got to go and he hasn't seen an ultrasound since 17 weeks so the changes were really big for him.  Kiley is still confirmed to be a girl ( good thing too because her room is done and the receipts are gone).  She's in the head down position and we got to see her trying to grab her feet at one point. She was rubbing her eyes and waving too.  The technician measured her at 5lbs even but it has an 8 oz give either way so she thought Kiley is more likely to be 4lbs 8oz or 5 lbs.  Which would mean she is right on track because the average baby is about 4 lbs 10 oz this week.  So everything is going well!
 

Monday, June 15, 2009

How Much Longer?

                                                       31 weeks
Hey all! I'm a little behind in my updates these days and I don't have much of an excuse for that.  Today I am at 31 weeks and am getting anxious to meet little Kiley.  She is growing on track and so far I've gained about 19.5 pounds.  Hopefully by not gaining more than I'm supposed to it will make getting back into shape easier.  I'm really hoping to not gain any more than 25 but we'll see what happens. The average baby is about 18 inches long and 3.5 pounds at this time.  Baby's lungs are now functional and she is building layers of fat this week.  She is now in the head down position so I feel her little feet under my ribcage a lot. Maybe that means she's be arriving a little early since I've heard that babies move into that position about a month before delivery?    

I've been spending a lot of time lying down because my back pain has been pretty unbearable; unfortunately the doctor says its one of the aspects of pregnancy that can't be changed.  And seeing as I spend most of my time in bed that doesn't leave me with much to do with my days so my post probably isn't that interesting.  I try to get out and walk the dogs around the neighborhood everyday and still manage to get to spin class once a week.  I can't wait to get back into a normal workout routine...or at least as normal as I can make it once Kiley's arrived.  At least I have plenty of time to just watch my belly and see her move around.  Todd and I are really looking forward to going home for the baby shower this coming weekend.  After that the next time most of our friends and family will see us we'll be a family of three. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

7 Months!


                                                    7 months 
So at 28 weeks I'm now in my third trimester!  Kiley is being very active and alert.  She's now doing a lot of stretching where  can feel her feet on one side of my belly and her head on the other.  The gestational diabetes tests came back negative, in fact my blood sugar counts are very good.  My placenta previa has corrected itself which is another big relief.  From now on I'll be seeing the doctor every 2 weeks until 36 weeks and then once a week after that.  Some of the annoying symptoms such as the nosebleeds, heartburn, back pain, and the fact that I can't stand in one place for more than 10 minutes or even sit that long without the horrible back pain can make pregnancy pretty uncomfortable.  But when I'm lying down and she starts to move around and I can see all that movement from the outside its an amazing and peaceful connection that makes all the little annoyances worth it.  



And we're also finally completely settled in the new house.  The new living room furniture came so we don't have to sit on the floor anymore.  The fence is up and the dogs are enjoying exploring the backyard and the sunshine.  Over Memorial Day weekend we got a lot of landscaping done and set up the new patio furniture and grill that made for a great barbeque with friends.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

25 Weeks

25 weeks



So today marks 25 weeks and I'm feeling great. This morning I had an ultrasound at my new doctors office to check on the status of my previous diagnosis of placenta previa. Of course in moving here there were difficulties dealing with my previous doctor and getting records sent here so I have to redo all the same things that they went over in the 17 week ultrasound. The technician seemed to think I was fine but I'll of course wait to hear it from the doctor. I also had the gestational diabetes test which I'll get results from soon. The technician doing the ultrasound was very nice and showed me everything she was measuring. I could feel Kiley kicking and see it at the same time which was neat. I also saw her rubbing her eyes and swallowing. She is measuring right on track at 25 weeks and 2 days at 1.13 pounds.

Todd and I have started to get the nursery ready and we found a really great set of baby furniture that we couldn't walk away from. I found some wall letters that spell Kiley at the Hobby Lobby that I painted light pink and hung up across from her crib. We put up a series of four paintings of tall pink flowers that my grandmother painted. I've been saving them until we knew we were having a girl.

Todd has finished his EIB training and now his hours aren't quite as long as they were. We're almost done settling into the house. Still waiting on the fence, livingroom furniture, and some other accessories but it shouldn't be long now. I feel like we've already lived here for a long time, the community seems familiar and comfortable. The people here are so nice and area is so open and green and lush. Its kind of like living in a suburban countryside. Now all we need is for the constant raining to stop and see some sunshine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Settling In

                                                       23 weeks, my new bedroom
We are now settled into our new house and working on all the little details that come with moving in the Army.  Things that have been slightly problematic would include: our neighborhood is so new that there are no cable hookups yet so I'm using the next ten minutes to write this while stealing someone else's wireless connection.  We're waiting on our living room furniture to arrive so we're spending a lot of time on the floor.  The dog already managed to chew through the sensor wires to the garage door but luckily the repair guy blamed it on field mice.  We don't have a trash service yet so we drive to the construction dumpsters at night.  All in all things are coming along though and all these kinks will work themselves out soon.  The house is beautiful and we are almost done decorating and unpacking.  The grass out back is starting to grow and we should be able to get our fence up sometime in the next 2 weeks.  That will be great for the dogs who are tired of being cooped up inside all day. 

Todd has a great position at Ft. Campbell but will be working some long hours for a while.  He is shadowing a platoon leader for Delta co., a specialty heavy weapons co. getting ready to take over the position in June.  He gets up at 4:30am everyday and then I see him again at 7:30pm for dinner.  

As far as pregnancy updates today I am 23 weeks.  According to the websites little Kiley (who I have already nicknamed kicking Kiki...poor kid isn't even born yet and I've nicknamed her) is a little over a pound this week.  She has been very active and I've started to be able to see her kick from the outside.  I have a doctors appointment lined up soon and I'm really looking forward to civilian care.  I should be getting another ultrasound to better track this condition and whether or not its getting better.  I'm very excited to see how she's developed since 17 weeks.  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Clarksville, We Have Arrived!

                                                     21 weeks, more than half way there!
    
    This morning is Tuesday April 7th and we have now been in Clarksville, TN since Saturday night.  One of Todd's friends has graciously let us crash at his place while we work out the nitty gritty details of getting into the new house.  What a good friend to let Todd, his pregnant wife, and our two unruly mutts invade his house.  So these past couple of days have been spent exploring the area and hunting for the things we'll need once we move in.  I can't wait to get into the house and make it our own for the next three years.  
    This morning marks my 21st week of pregnancy.  I finally found a scale at the gym and I've gained 14 pounds since before I was pregnant.  I should gain a pound a week until the baby is born.  Kiley is about 10.5 inches long this week and weighing three quarters of a pound.  Its amazing how many things change in your body that I would never have thought would be effected.  I've found that I get a small nosebleed almost everyday now and my skin is getting dry and sometimes irritated.  In our search for couches recently I've discovered that I can no longer fit between spaces I could before.  Walking is starting to feel a little like waddling and putting shoes on has become a chore.  The best part is sitting quietly and waiting until she kicks.  So far Kiley is the phantom kicker though because every time Todd tries to feel her kick she won't do it.      In some of my other posts I mentioned my less than enthusiastic reaction to the medical care I've been receiving so I was happy to hear that our hospital is not accepting new patients so I'll get a civilian doctor to work with this time.  I'm looking forward to a better experience.  So far I'm loving Ft. Campbell and Clarksville.  The area is really pretty and our house is 5 minutes from post.  Hope to update you next week maybe and we'll be more settled here.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Goodbye Georgia

                    19 weeks
Well our time at Ft. Benning, Ga has ended as Todd has finished his training.  I'm going to miss the great friends I've made and look forward to seeing some of them soon that are also moving to Ft. Campbell.  I've been very lucky to meet the great ladies that I have and hope all of our paths cross again one day.  In our last few days there we took a trip up to the Ft. Campbell area to go house hunting which was very successful.  We decided it would be better to live off post because what post had available just wasn't going to work for us.  We took the three days to really explore the best neighborhoods and found a great house that's brand new and just perfect for us.  The dogs will have a yard to play in and it will be nice not to have to share walls anymore.  I'm really looking forward to decorating too.  

Today I am 19 weeks pregnant.  I've been hesitant to share the baby name we chose just in case we changed our minds but I think we've found a name that we both love.  Our baby girls name will be Kiley Honoria Nell Weaver.  Kiley comes from the Irish origin meaning "attractive". Honoria comes from the Latin origin that means "honor".  Nell is an English name meaning "light".  The two middle names is a new tradition in my family as my mother gave both my sister and I two middle names.  Kiley will have the name Honoria after my sister Enid and the name Nell is a family name from the women on Todd's side of the family.  

Baby Kiley is right on track as far as growth and development.  She is an active baby as I can feel her kicking everyday now.  My doctor diagnosed me with placenta previa after reviewing my ultrasound reports.  Its a condition where the placenta is situated unusually low in the uterus.  This condition fixes itself in 9 out of 10 cases as the pregnancy progresses so my doctor is pretty confident that my situation will work itself out on its own.  This also probably explains why my back has hurt so much since it has been pretty unusual for the common back pain to begin so early in my pregnancy.  So now the fun...really not so fun...stuff is going to be getting into the new hospitals system at Ft. Campbell and trying to make sure all my records are transferred correctly and getting all the right upcoming appointments that will be due soon.  

 Right now we're back in Virginia while Todd does hometown recruiting which gives us a good opportunity to relax a little and get the house taken care of. Its always so relaxing to visit Todd's parents house as its right on the Chesapeake Bay its like being on vacation.  The sunrises are so beautiful and the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks is a constant lullaby.  The only disappointing thing about going to Tennessee is going to be the fact that we won't be close to the water again for a long time.  It is from what I've seen going to be a beautiful rural area and I'm really excited to start this new chapter.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's a GIRL!!!






Today was very exciting, today we found out we'll be having a baby girl!  I had to drink 40 oz. of water before the ultrasound which made focusing on what I was seeing just a tiny bit harder because I was also mapping out my quickest route to the lady's room as soon as I could get up.  The technician took all kinds of measurements, most of which I don't know yet since the radiologist has to review everything.  Finding out it was a girl was a little difficult since she was sitting with her legs crossed with her body facing my spine.  Watching her move was amazing.  We saw her wave, suck her thumb, yawn, kick me in my already full bladder, and do lots of flips.  She weighs 8 oz. and is measuring at 17 weeks and 3 days which is on track since I'm 17 weeks today.  



This week has been pretty exciting, Friday my parents and Todd's mom came down to see Todd graduate Ranger School which was really fun.  There were some demonstrations on combatives, mountaineering skills, explosives, etc.  Todd worked really hard to get through Ranger School and as soon as he had his Ranger tab pinned on it was all worth it.  In his class about 30% passed without recycling so we're all really proud of him for being part of that small group.

Todd's been clearing Ft. Benning and within the next week or so we should be moved out.  We'll be back in Williamsburg for two weeks and then headed to Ft. campbell to start the next chapter of our lives.  I'm really excited to start picking out pink stuff for the baby girl now! Hope we figure out a name soon.  

Monday, March 2, 2009

Todd Passes Ranger School!!!

I have never been prouder than I am now of my husband for passing Ranger School! Only twenty percent of Ranger students pass without recycling and my husband is in this small group.  I heard from him last night and he sounded so happy to be done.  He said that Florida phase had been so much better than the other phases.  The weather had been much nicer, only raining once for a few minutes.  On the first day of FL phase Todd was platoon leader for one of their night exercises and he did very well.  Being a platoon leader for a night mission is more difficult because you have to keep all the other students awake when an hour or two of sleep a night is all they get.  He described one of the things they did like crossing the swamp and you'd be ankle deep in one step and neck deep the next step.... the ACU's are pretty much unwashable after that so I'm glad he threw that one away :).  He'll be on his way back to Ft. Benning tomorrow and I will probably get to see him Wednesday for a few hours, Thursday for eight hours, and then Friday is Ranger graduation!!!

16 weeks belly shot
Today I am 16 weeks.  This week the baby is 4.5 inches long and weighs 2.8 ounces, about the size of an avocado.    This morning I had my appointment with my doctor and everything seems fine.  I had a screening to test for downs syndrome and we talked about my back pain.  Sadly there isn't much I can do for it.  I got to listen to the baby's heartbeat through the doppler and can't wait to see whether its a girl or a boy this time next week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cocoa Beach Mini-Vacay





                                                                       Cocoa Beach 
Well this last phase of Ranger School is moving quickly, at least for me, I'm sure poor Todd is exhausted and counting the hours at this point.  From his letters it looks like he's having a better time than the other two phases.  He said the cadre are nicer, the weather has been better, and the chow hall is pretty good.   He's been doing some waterborne operations in the swamps such as crossing a river with a rope bridge.  They should be done in the field by the 28th if all goes well so i might get a phone call Saturday or Sunday letting me know if he's passed the phase.  Cross your fingers.

                                                               The Baby goes to the Beach
This past Wednesday the only other Army wife, Amy, whose husband is hanging in there right alongside of Todd, and I decided to get out of columbus for a few days and head down to Cocoa Beach FL where Todd's parents have a condo.  On very short notice we packed our bags, rounded up the dogs, and headed south.  The drive was a little rainy.... and I got a ticket for speeding from a mean little cop ( I swear I thought it was 60mph how would I know I'm not from his podunk town) but we got there later that night.  We had a ton of fun checking out the area, laying out at the beach, doing some beach workouts, and generally laughing our butts off.  On the last whole day there we discovered a great little spa which I thought looked questionable from the outside but Amy was right it was really nice inside.  So that was a good opportunity for me to really try to work out some of the lower back pain that is pretty much inevitable with pregnancy.  While the massage was great... the pain remains.  The drive back was really nice and it made going back to Columbus something I really didn't want to do.  

But having been away for a few days made the week go by faster so at this point I'm really anxious to see Todd.  I sent him a few letters and a care package for the end of the phase where they are allowed to eat whatever they want for their free 8hrs.  I also sent him a picture of what the baby bump looked like at 14 weeks so he wouldn't be shocked when he sees me.  

                                                   15 week belly shot
Today I'm 15 weeks and the belly is getting bigger.  This week the baby is about the size of a softball, 4 inches long and weighing 1.75 ounces. I can feel some stretching and my appetite is still strong.  Most days it feels like I can't ever feel full after eating.  I thought at one point while I was laying on the beach that I might have felt a small kick.  I had to dig a hole in the sand so my belly wouldn't be crushed.  And then yesterday while drying my hair, again while bending over so both times my tummy was facing the ground.  But from what I've read I shouldn't be able to feel kicks until next week or a little later.   Keep you posted :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Florida or Bust

                                                      14 weeks belly shot
       Night before last I got the call I've been waiting for for the past 3 weeks.  Todd has passed Mountains Phase and when I talked to him he was headed to the Atlanta airport so they could jump into Florida.  The weather wasn't ideal for the jump so I'm not sure if they did get to jump.  Either way he filled me in on what the last couple of weeks have been like for them.  I had mentioned before that they got to sleep in barracks but these past 10 days they've been  on patrols sleeping in the woods and the temperature on top of the mountain was in the single digits.  Todd said he's only gotten about 35-45 minutes of sleep for the last couple of nights and he sounded pretty tired on the phone.  He's such a strong person I feel pretty confident he'll get through Florida without any problems.  That would mean he would graduate R.S. March 6th and we would go look for houses in Clarksville TN and move there 10 days after that.  We are so looking forward to getting a house and starting a new chapter of our lives getting ready for baby and making new friends at Ft. Campbell.
       As far as pregnancy updates go I wish I had more to share than I do.  I am 13 weeks and 5 days today and officially in maternity jeans now.  Tuesday I will be in my second trimester although some experts say 13 weeks begins the second trimester.  At 14 weeks the baby is about the size of an average fist and by the end of the week will be 4.5 inches from crown to rump.  I sadly do not get to experience the pregnancy "glow"... it's more like being a teenager all over again.  Another interesting thing I've noticed is how loud my own heartbeat is now.  I can be lying down and all I hear and feel is this loud thumping which makes sense since my heart is pumping more blood for me and baby.  I also have had what feels like a compressed nerve in my lower back which I've been told is normal since the body produces more relaxin to open the hips which can cause that sensation.  
      After some exhausting phone calls between my doctor, radiology department,doctor again, tricare, Columbus Diagnostic Center, and back to the doctor again I finally have an ultrasound scheduled for March 10th.  Todd will hopefully have graduated R.S. and we can find out the baby's gender together just a few days before we move to Ft. Campbell.   These past 6 weeks without him have been tough and I can't wait to see him in another 3 weeks.  

Monday, February 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home

12 weeks belly shot
12 week ultrasound

Most of this past week I've been visiting back home and just returned yesterday afternoon. I rode along with a friend about 10 hours back to Williamsburg, Va to see my family and get away from the emptiness of the apartment. I got to visit with my good friend Alicia from work and my other good friend Nina and her wonderful girls. I can only hope I can have as cute a family as hers. Holding her little baby was good practice for me :). My best friend Katie Lady came down to visit and we went out shopping and had mani-pedis which was great...except that she had all the shopping karma that day :). It was really great seeing both my parents and Todd's parents and being able to update them on his progress.
I've gotten two letters from Todd in the last week which I was really glad to see. He's now in the Mountain phase of Ranger School and he seems to be doing really well so far. They are in Dahlonega, Ga in an area that he describes as something like summer camp with little buildings and a lake and that its self sufficient. Part of their training is being altered due to the fact that a mountain that they call Yona is frozen over. The lucky thing is that he gets to sleep in barracks and gets 3 meals a day. They are being tested on a wide range of mountaineering skills which he is doing well at. Next week they start 10 days of patrols which I don't know much about but it seems to be what is making him the most nervous although I know he will do great.
Today I am 12 weeks pregnant. The baby bump is starting to show a little now. I just went in to see the doctor, who sadly I am not too confident in, but everything seems to be going just fine. I wish Todd could have been with me to see the ultrasound because it was just amazing. I could see the little baby bouncing around in there and its little legs kicking furiously. The baby is about 2.5 inches long this week and its skeleton is developing and its about the size of a plum. I wish I had gotten a better picture because the one he gave me looks very distorted and nothing like what I was seeing because the little one just wouldn't hold still. My next visit will be in a month for more tests and then at 18 weeks I'll get to find out the gender. Hopefully Todd will have graduated Ranger School and we'll find out together :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Here comes Mountain Phase

    Today was a great day.  To everyone else it may seem insignificant but to me I waited 3 weeks just for today.  Today Todd had an 8 hour pass after finishing the Darby phase of Ranger School.  I picked him up at 8am and was so glad to see him.  He was espescially happy that I brought doughnuts. 
     At home we had pizza and he told me some of the stories about how life is going for them at Ranger School.  The guys only get 2 hours of sleep a night and two MRE's, one at 1am and one at 4am.  They go all day without eating and stay outside all day and night.  It gets down into the teens at night and they convulse in their sleeping bags from the cold.  Todd has been standing so close to the fire barrels to stay warm that the hair on his legs has burned off and his long-johns melted in some spots.  He said that one guy was sleeping and started talking about A-1 sauce in his sleep and the next think they know he's reached for a pile of leaves and started eating them.  Its been really tough going through all this and he's done an amazing job so far.  
    We went to TGI Fridays and Todd ordered two desserts, and to those who know Todd, we know this is not normal for him.  It was so nice just to have him back in the apartment even for a little while.  Its going to be hard not seeing him again for another 6 weeks...at the least, lets hope its not more.  
    Today I am 10 weeks and 3 days and feel really good.  Todd didn't think I looked any bigger than when he left, maybe he's just being nice.  By the time I see him again there will be no mistaking the baby bump.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Week 1 Down...




This week marks the start of the second week of Ranger School for my husband, Todd.  He finished RAP week, which 45% of students fail, and from what I've heard he is doing very well.  I can only talk to Todd through letters and will hopefully get to talk to him two times in the next two months.  We are all so proud of how well he is doing and look forward to seeing him at Ranger School Graduation.
On another note I am 8 weeks and 6 days pregnant with out first baby.  My due date is August 18th 2009.  The first few weeks were filled with nausea, food aversions, sensitivity to smell, tiredness, and breast tenderness.  Most of those symptoms have tapered off already, possibly to return a little later.  I wish Todd were here for the next couple of months to share it all with me, by the time he sees me I might actually start to show.  Then we can spend the rest of the pregnancy together and the first three months of the baby's life until Todd deploys again in about a year from now.  
I hope to keep everyone updated on the pregnancy and Todd's progress through Ranger School.