April 28, 2010

A few random thoughts before my hiatus

My husband finally *is jussst about done* with training!! Yesterday he graduated from his FA BOLC 3 class and I could not be any more proud of him than I am. He has worked harder than I've ever seen him work at anything before. Long long days, starting at 5am and not ending until around 10pm. Constant studying and having very little free time. Test after test after test. Days out in the field. All while also taking great care of an ever growing pregnant wife. He really is my very own hero and I realize that more and more every day.
The ceremony yesterday was perfect. Only lasted an hour and had plenty to keep my self-diagnosed ADD self occupied. The speaker (a COL from Fort Hood, I believe) was entertaining and even got a few laughs out of everyone. All the graduates got up on stage and said their names and where they were headed instead of someone just calling their name and handing them a diploma. And that was pretty much it. They sang the Army song afterwards and it was on to picture time!


Here he is, in all his glory, excepting his diploma.

video





We are here for another 2ish weeks before we move on for his AOT training. Then it's on to the real Army - finally. He's a little nervous just because he has no clue what to expect, but I have so much faith in him. I think he's going to be wonderful at his job - whatever that may be.

Afterwards we went to dinner with 2 other couples that we have gotten to be incredibly close with. One of them left this morning for their new post, so it was a last night out together type of thing. I thought I had my emotions under control, but was quickly proven wrong when Trey and I got ready to leave. The waterworks were in full force. It's funny how quickly us Army families form a bond with one another. I guess we know that our time together is never indefinate so you don't waste any time in getting to know each other. All I know is that this couple filled so much of my heart in just a quick 3 months and they will be friends for life. It truly is more of a family than friendships. I know they will do great at their new post and I can't wait to hear about what the next few years brings their way!
I'm going to be on a blogging hiatus for a little while. The next month of my life is going to be CRAZY! I'm leaving tomorrow for a visit home for a little over a week. I'm so so excited to see everyone - especially my family. I'm going to soak up every moment I can with my parents and even some extended family flying in from Massachusetts. My mum, SIL, and MIL are throwing a shower for me on Sunday. I can't wait for that. It really overwhelms me to think about all the people will be there to celebrate Andrew's life. I highly doubt I'll make it through that afternoon without more tears!
We'll be moving three days after I get back from that trip. It'll be a two day drive. A week later, our household goods will arive to *hopefully* our new home. Less than a week from that day I'll be on another plane headed to Massachusetts for a very good friends wedding. Finally, 4 days later I'll be headed back to my husband to celebrate our three year anniversary!! I think around then I'll be ready for a break and exploring our new life in El Paso!

April 26, 2010

Precious

I've seen this email forwarded around quite a few times now, but it just gets me every time. Epecially now. We have one picture of Andrew where I know he's probably just sucking on that thumb, but I like to think he has his hands up praying. I imagine that to be God's hands holding him up by his behind and keeping him safe. I think it's such a sweet picture.


The email is a newborn's first conversation with God.

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow,

but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have
to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you.
And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand
when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words
you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will
teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach
you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach
you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth
could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave
now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said, You will simply call her, "Mom."

April 23, 2010

Waiting..

I'm patiently waiting for my husband to come home!

He's been in the field all week, but I swear it feels more like a month! They got back on post around noon and have been waiting to be released. Three hours later and I got nothing. Silly Army.

I'm so much looking forward to a quite night home together and a very low key weekend!

He cannot get his stankin behind home fast enough! Literally, he said the stench is pretty awful. I remember attempting to do his laundry after his week in the field during OCS. I just about passed out from that God awful smell. I didn't know such a smell was possible.

Now I can't wait to smell it again :) 

April 20, 2010

I'm bringing sexy back

Welp - I survived day one of hubs in the field. Kidding, I never doubted I could handle a week on my own. I do miss his crazy self, but I also don't mind a few days/nights of alone time. It's good for the soul says I.

Last night, however, was not one of those nights. GIRLS NIGHT. and it was the ultimate girls night let me tell you...  nail polish galore, hand and foot scrubs and creams, face masks and the N'Sync channel on Pandora to top it all off. I had more fun than I've had in a long time. It was great to be able to just let go and be silly girls for a night. No making dinner for the men, no watching them do homework in our peripheral vision. Just the 5 of us blasting the music and being complete girls. Much needed!

Some other things that have went on or will go on that I feel is worthy of your knowledge:

My sweet, amazing brother got a little confused when he was buying Andrew's shower gift and had it sent to our apartment instead of my mum's house. Imagine my thrill yesterday when the UPS man delivered our STROLLER!! (Jeep Liberty Sport jogger stroller) and Andrew's very first dump truck. I can't wait to see my son *that still sounds sweetly strange rolling of the tongue* crawling on the floor, rolling his truck around and making vrrooom vroomm sounds. I'll make sure he knows his Uncle Charlie gave that to him! I really wanted to open the stroller immediately and find something to push around, but I surpressed that urge...

Today I plan to pack away all of my winter clothes for the movers. I bought a plastic tub for them yesterday. That way when we get to El Paso, I can just store them away without even having to look at them.

I'm going to be cutting up my first real, live pineapple today. I've always been too intimidated... I'm going for it today!

It's been really cool... I can feel Drew's body usually after I eat. He was a little further up last night and I could feel little body parts and feel them moving when I'd press on them. I'm assuming feet. I then insisted all the girls feel as well.

The other day, I found out how old my Wii thinks I am. I thought I was kicking ass the whole time. Not so says the Wii. It told me I was 46 years old. Isn't 40's the new 30's??

Also, 9 days before I'm home for a blissful 8 days!

April 18, 2010

21 Weeks

Here you go mum!

How far along? 21 weeks exactly today!
Total weight gain: As of my last doctors appointment (which was the 1st) I've gained a total of 8 lbs. I know it's not much for 21 weeks, but Drew is growing just fine.. even seems to be a little bigger than what he "should" be, so I'm not complaining a bit! I'm pretty sure it'll catch up with me.
Maternity clothes? Looking back at 16 weeks the only thing I was wearing was belly bands over my jeans. Those still do the trick when needed but I'm in maternity pants for the most part now and I LOVE them. I wear some maternity tops, but a lot of my own tops still fit me too.

Stretch marks? Still not yet!
Sleep: Ugghhh.. this has changed a lot since my 16 week questionairre too. It's very hard to stay comfortable now. I naturally sleep on my stomache or back. My tummy is clearly out of the question now and when I lay on my back, it's hard to breath. My back hurts a good bit so I toss and turn a lot. Trey surprised me last week with a body pillow and I'm loving that! Plus the damn birds don't help...
Best moment this week: Last Friday ~ learning that "it's" a he! This week ~ just feeling him move around a lot more has been wonderful! I can't desribe the feeling, but it never fails to put a smile on my face.

Movement? Why yes! I can feel him kicking or punching and flipping around, but nothing felt on the outside yet. I can't wait for that!
Food cravings? Still no real cravings I don't think. I guess by cravings, I'm waiting for this huge, gotta have it now feeling and I never really feel those. Some foods I'm enjoying though? Mashed potatos and grilled chicken. Sonic slushes. Ehh... I'm actually really sick of eating. I'm hungry more and more but nothing really ever sounds good to me. I need some ideas of things to eat.. healthy things.
Showing? Quite a bit. I've had just a few strangers ask me how far along I am, which is pretty cool. Here you go.. I'll let the pic speak for itself.
16 Weeks
                                                                                                          21 weeks

21 Weeks



Gender Prediction: We're having a sweet baby boy!! I'm so meant to be a little boy's mama :) I guess you can't tell much from the heart beat. It's been very high all along...he's just very active! And he's a typical boy.. has stuck his tongue out at me at both ultra sounds ;)

There's that tongue! Sooo cute!
Labor Signs? None of that yet!
Mood Temperament: Ohhh man.. I'm still on that roller coaster, but now it's a little more bumpy. I have very high highs and very low lows. There's not much of an in between.
Milestones: Finding out that we have an Andrew and not an Ava.
Weekly Wisdom:
Dear Self:
Don't be so hard on yourself when you are having your "sad" moments. Stop trying to figure it out...it's hormones. You're most relaxing moments are in the bathtub or sitting out in the sun - both spots with a good book. Do that when you're feeling down and stop worrying about that. Time is going by very fast so enjoy every moment possible.

April 16, 2010

Home

I've heard this song quite a few times now (especially with my husband being a tad bit in love with Miranda Lambert) but today, it really tugged at my heart. I was on the way on post about to go through the gates when the tears started... I just knew the guards were going to make me pull over or something.

I'm sure this song would strike a cord with anyone, but for me it brings back such vivid memories of the two homes I grew up in, but mostly the first one.

We grew up in a little town in Massachusetts. The summer before 3rd grade, my parents and I moved into the house I'd spend the next 5 years of my life. We lived in a duplex - us in one side and my aunt, uncle and cousins lived in the other. I have some of the best memories of my life living in that place.

Being able to just walk next door to see some of my favorite relatives to eat with them, watch tv, or probably just bother them at that age. I can still here my Uncle Ronnie's voice now, yelling at me to put my socks on! Having some of my best friends over to play. Swimming in the pool almost every day during the summer. My brother Charlie being born there. Me moving my room up into the attic because I was SO old enough to have my own space. My cousin Ronnie getting me in trouble for riding my bike around the corner of a busy street (I was supposed to walk it). But him also buying me a hampster when my mom said no and sneaking it in to me in a happy meal box. And then said hampster "disappearing" and no one ever did find it. Sledding down Bolton Street. My dad calling me home by whistling for me when I stayed out past the street lights coming on. My BEST FRIEND living 3 houses away. The HUGE clam bakes we'd have every 4th of July.

The cab pulling up to the front door when it was time to bring us to the airport for the move to SC. I was curled up by the couch on my aunts side of the house and they practically had to carry me out of there.

There are so many more memories I have of that place, but I would be here all day. And you would get bored.

What would I give to be able to walk into that house again and relive every single one of those moments. Unfortunately, I'm miles and miles away and no one in our family lives there anymore. Most of us do move away from our childhood home, I'm just glad to be able to have such vivid memories that I'll be able to carry with me.

You HAVE to listen to this, especially if you haven't heard it before. I promise you'll be able to relate and it will touch your heart!

Honesty

I knew I've been a bad blogger when my mum texts me to say she needs another pregnancy blog. Sorry mum!

Truth is.. I've just had NO motivation. I knew I was in a slump last week, but I thought I'd gotten over that. Turns out it just got worse.

I'm really not quite sure what's been wrong with me to be honest. Probably hormones. I've just been so down in the dumps.. especially the past couple days. I can't express why. I have no reasons. It's not so severe that I'm walking around crying.. I just feel like a major debbie downer. It's just a feeling I have in my chest. Like I have no desire to even smile. It's really not like me at all. Especially now. I have every reason in the world to be floating on cloud 9.
I do have my moments. Like when I look at my belly or feel him moving around. That never fails to make me smile. Or when my husband comes home with a body pillow completely out of the blue because he knows I'm not sleeping very well.. at all. Or when he sends me a text like the one I just got that said he couldn't wait to hang out with me tonight.

Mainly, I think it's a mixure of not sleeping much because I can't get comfortable, HORMONES, and the loud screeching birds I have outside of our window that you can hear squacking obnoxiously in any spot in our apartment. I can't explain how horrible it is. It never stops. It starts at 6:30 in the morning usually (5:00 this morning) and doesn't stop until it's dark. I'm being very literal when I say I'm afraid they are going to drive me insane. The only solice I get is when I get in the shower (can't hear them with the water running) or I have to leave our apartment. It's non stop. I can't wait to move away from this place. Hopefully there won't be any horrible birds nesting on top of our house in El Paso.

Stay tuned for another post today.. all about baby and me with less focus on the negatives. Your welcome mum.

April 11, 2010

Gender Reveal Party

We had our gender reveal party yesterday, and it was so much fun!

Some of our closest friends got together dressed to let us know their guess..

We had lots of delicious food and pretty decorations


We finally cut the cake to surprise *almost* everybody. I kind of stayed true to form and blew it for the first couple. I was showing them the US pics and said, "I'm just not sure what's going on with him in this one. Are those his arms...ohhhhh nooooo". Yeah, throw up of the mouth, as per usual.


We grilled out in the perfect spring weather and ate the best burgers ever!



The boys *and dogs* played some football


It was truly a perfect day.. and a long one. And finally, here was the most exciting moment.. I caught the cake cutting on video.. hopefully blogger will cooperate with me and let me upload it.

Yup.. just what I thought. I'm going back to the original posting page. I'm sick of no spell checker anyways.

Thank you SO SO much for all of your comments yesterday! We are on cloud 9 :)

April 10, 2010

Drumroll Please...

It's a.......













Ready??












Sure you want to know????










We are having a sweet, sweet, boy!!!!
Mmhmmm... most of you were wrong according to the polls. Mostly everyone in my life was telling me I was for sure, no doubt about it, having a girl - so you can imagine my *thrilled* surprise when she told us differently. I may have squealed and I definitely cried a little bit. Trey is beyond ecstatic.

I guess you can't really pay much attention to the high heart beat rule, that little heart was still going away at 152 bpm tonight. I've had two ultrasounds now and both technicians made comments about how active HE is... so HE gets worked up a little too easy just like HIS mama.. that's okay! HE was moving around in there like crazy! I know one thing's for sure... he's the cutest little boy I've ever seen <3

So bring on the dump trucks, legos, Army men and baseball bats and blue clothes... we are ready for it.

Andrew "Drew" Gates Norton, I can't wait to welcome you into this world and wrap my arms around you for the first time! We already love you more than words can express.

April 9, 2010

The Big Day

No, I'm not telling what the sex is in this post! We don't even know yet. I'll have a scheduled post up tomorrow early afternoon to spill the beans :)

I am just overwhelmed with excitement. Trey is home now.. go figure. The original appointment was set up for 4:15, but I pushed it back to make sure Trey could go. He hasn't been able to go to any appointments yet, so I really wanted to make sure he could go to this one. I can't wait to see his facial expression when he finally sees that precious baby moving around and hears the heartbeat. But, of course, he was released super early today (after he passed his last big exam!!) and we now have to sit around and wait for 6:15 to roll around. The suspense is KILLING me.

I've been lucky enough to have a couple girlfriends keeping me occupied through the morning, but now they've all carried on with their own lives and I'm just counting down the minutes.. trying not to watch the clock.. because a watched clock never ticks?

I can't believe in just a few short hours I'm hopefully going to know what we're having *please don't be modest today baby and show us all your goods*. I can finally stop calling it "it". We have names picked out (yes I'll share both names tomorrow) and I can start addressing "it" by an actual name. I can pick out lots of cute baby clothes!

It's going to be great to just know and I'm in disbelief that it's April... I'm just about half way through with this pregnancy. Where has the time gone?

April 8, 2010

Moving Adventures Part II

I can't believe we'll be heading out of here in 33 days!! It feels like just yesterday I started out on this adventure - my first big move away from my family, away from the east coast, away from everything I knew, and on towards my new life with my soldier. And now, here we are, about to take another step forward, finally entering in to the REAL ARMY and finally being done with training.

I tend to make things more difficult then they need to be. It's just the way I am. I blow things out of proportion and put more stress on myself then I need to. I'm determined not to do that to myself this time. After stressing out last weekend with a million thoughts running through my head, I took the time Monday morning to write out feelings, thoughts, concerns, and listed things that need to be done. I feel MUCH MUCH better and have all week. I've been taking care of little things here and there and we are now on the right path.

I got a lot of my housing questions answered on Monday by just making a little phone call. Imagine that. I don't know why I get so worked up from just the thought of picking up the phone. That's what they are there for! And if I don't do it.. it will never get done! So, I called housing and found out that there is a 9 month to 1 year waiting list. (better than the flat 1 year they told me the first time.) I'm still a little confused and not sure about what you are supposed to do while you are waiting for housing. Is there someone that sets you up with temp. housing on post? Are we supposed to find some place to rent in the mean time off post by ourselves? If so, how do you go about finding someone that will be very flexible with leasing options?

I went to the Transportation Dept. on Tuesday and set up our move and got an advance on our partial DITY. They will be here to pack up and move out on the 11th and we'll start our trip on the same day. I found out that the Army WILL move us from temporary housing to on post, which was a big deciding factor for me.

If you can't tell... we are strongly leaning towards (as in just about 100% planning on) living on post. I know there are pros and cons to each option, but for this move, we just feel like it's the best option for us. Really, the BAH for this town isn't very much compared to the cost of the renting I've seen so far. It seems like between rent and utilities it will add up to be more than our BAH. With us being a single income family for now and having a baby on the way... that just isn't an option. Plus, I'm really kind of excited to have that experience. I wanted to try it out at least once to see if I'd like it.

That's about all for now. I'm turning in our vacany form to the apartment office today. I know in turn they will give me a cleaning list and how much it will cost if we don't do each thing... grrrr... not looking forward to that! Then I'm going out to buy decorations for our Gender Reveal Party for Saturday!! I don't remember if I've told y'all about that, but I'll do a full post on it after the weekend :)

Tomorrow's our big day!! One more day to vote. I am so very excited to find out if we are having a boy or girl, I can hardly stand it!

April 6, 2010

A True Fan

I actually had a semi-important post to do today (and I still may) but this deserves a two-day post! When I heard this this morning it immediately trumped my "What in the world to do about housing, please help me before I go insane, post)

If you've stuck around my blog for a longer amount of time, you already know that I'm sports fanatic. You know that I'm a very dedicated Boston everything lover... especially my Patriots and Redsox. So you can assume I was glued to the tube on Sunday night for Opening night against the Skankees Yankees. Great game, btw.

When I did fail to see was this gem. It's definitely worth the next minute and 36 seconds of your life. You won't regret it, especially around the 1:16 minute marker. It doesn't matter who you're a fan of.. you can appreciate this!

April 5, 2010

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend - I know we did. If you were without your loved ones, please know that I was thinking about you! It has to be so very hard to spend holidays especially without your spouse, sibling, or parent... I hope you at least got to chat with them and you found comfort through friends or a great church service.

The weather was beautiful here in Oklahoma! It seriously could not have been any more perfect.

We picked my brother up from Sheppard AFB so he didn't have to spend Easter alone.
Sunday we went to a beautiful Easter morning service at the church we have been attending here. I think Easter service is my favorite one of the year. It's such a nice reminder of what our Lord did for us and what that really means. That we are forgiven and loved PERFECTLY. The God loves us SO incredibly much, that he had his only son crucified just to bring US closer to him. Could you imagine doing the same... it's overwhelming really and makes me want to be such a better Christian.

After church we went to a friends house for a huge potluck Easter lunch/early dinner. It was delicious!! Who knew our little group of friends were so talanted?? We had a cheese ball, ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (courtesy of me), deviled eggs, potato salad, coleslaw, buns, death by chocolate, rice crispy treats, ice cream sandwhich cake, red velvet cake balls... Ohh my gosh!! Everyone left hurting!

I can't even explain how much it means to me to have this group of friends here. It's so important when you are away from your family. In a sense, we've made our own little family away from home. We're all in the same postition and it takes the sting out of missing your loved ones back home, especially on such important days. These people mean the world to me:                     
                                                                                                    
                            


P.S.
My mum's package hasn't arrived yet, but I did want to reassure everyone that she did put a few Easter goodies in there for me :)