Bridal Showers: Brides, Booze, and Gifts OH MY!

Now I’ve been to a few showers in my day- bridal, baby, co-ed. I used to just look at the registry, find the cheapest gift that didn’t look cheap and go with that. But as time went on the showers became to be about people I cared about and loved so I started making gifts that were a little more personalized.

Disclaimer: This is going to sound super snooty.

My bridal shower and baby shower were not big parties. I had maybe 15 people at each of them and for the most part they were my mom’s friends from work (who I had known a long time because I went to elementary school and middle school there). I just don’t have a lot of friends from high school and college anymore, and all my current milspouse friends were on the west coast while my showers were on the east coast. But I didn’t care about that. It was just nice to have some sort of celebration and my mom and sister-in-laws did a great job setting up both showers.

One thing that did annoy me though was when people didn’t buy off my registry. I mean, hours are invested into these things and I was frustrated when I had a bunch of stuff I already had or didn’t need. I understand that people find stuff they think is cute or perfect for the occasion because I buy that stuff too. But dudes, I don’t need 27 aprons and 4 tea kettles.

I told you. Snooty.

So I vowed to always buy at least one thing off the registry, even if the rest of my gift was stuff that *I* thought was awesome. I’ve gone to two bridal showers in the past few months and I had a great time not only shopping for these girls who are family (one like family, the other actually family!), but also putting together a creative gift that I thought they would love and that came from my heart.

The first shower was for a friend of mine from high school. Although we don’t talk all that often anymore, every time we see each other it’s like we picked up from where we left off. We spent virtually every weekend with each other in high school along with cheering together from 5th grade through 12th grade. Like me, she had to travel to her bridal shower so I knew I couldn’t get her something that she would have trouble packing. I bought her a giftcard to a homestore that she suggested on her website, and then I made her this basket:

023

Ok so it doesn’t look like a basket from the photo but she was traveling so I couldn’t do some huge ellaborate thing that she could never pack. But inside the basket was filled with all sorts of candies and different objects related to the home. As she went through the basket she read this poem with each highlighted word corresponding with an object in the basket (I put the objects I put in the basket in parenthesis below):

031

Here are the words to the poem:

Marriage is a Basket Full of Surprises

Sometimes marriage can be difficult…

Some days you might feel like you want to whoop him. (Whoopers candy)

Other days you might feel like you don’t measure up. (tape measure)

There will be days when you feel like you need someone to throw you a lifesaver or two. (Lifesaver candy)

But, when those days happen just dust yourself off. (mini feather duster)

Because there are plenty of good times to be had. (Good and Plenty candy)

And let’s face it- when a couple of nerds get together, there are bound to be a few little runts running around eventually! (Nerds and Runts candy)

—————————-

She loved it! It was so fun to watch her open it and know it was something a little special and a little different than the traditional registry gift.

The second shower was for my cousin. Again, we don’t talk all that often but she has come to every single one of our family’s special events- graduations, weddings, showers, etc. She was also traveling for her shower so again, nothing could be too big to pack. My mom and I went in on this one together, so we got her a few things off her registry and sent them to her house. We also made this basket. The theme was “perfect pairs.”

image

We put things in there like a mini spatula and frying pan, a candle and a flame, paper and pens, and other things that “go together.” My mom also added an apron with an FBI badge and a picture of her,  her brother, and my brother’s playing FBI agents when they were younger. She also added an order pad because since my cousin was the girl so she had to be the FBI waitress…awful, right?! Anyways, I loved that something personal like the picture was added into the basket.  I wasn’t able to watch her open the gift though, and if you follow me on Facebook you know why-  because the shower was FOUR FLUCKING hours long and I had E, so we were sitting in the car with her sleeping since she was a hot mess of exhaustion.

I love going to showers for all the obvious reasons- free food and alcoholic beverages.

I kid.

No, but seriously. Food and drinks. And dessert.

Even without the food, drinks, and dessert I love going to showers and hosting them. Hopefully in the next couple months I will be able to host a fun baby shower. I’m sure I’ll have some pictures and tidbits when that time comes too, but probably on my new site. So stick around and maybe we have some more fun in this place.

I’m moving.

No, Mom, we didn’t get orders. Stop freaking out on me man.

I’m just moving this blog over to a new blog that I’m in the middle of developing. Its going to be like this but with more…stuff. I’m planning on calling it Mommy Needs a Shot. Catchy, right?

This new blog of mine will have all this awesome stuff like home DIY projects, recipes, baby crap, toddler screams, and preschool chaos. All with a little bit of funny and a hint of military life.

So, basically this is my way of saying I may not be around for awhile. But you should follow me on Facebook because I will be continuing to link other milbloggers as well as share some news from some of my favorite sites. Once my new blog/site is up and running I will jump over here, pack you all up in a box, and drop you like its hot on my new page.

I will be adding some ad space on the new site as well. I’m cheap like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman so contact me if you’re interested.

I’ll see you all on the flipside!

 

Army Wife Network: Beginning from the Middle

Guise, I’m like totally famous. On Saturday an article of mine went LIVE on an awesome site called Army Wife Network. If you haven’t heard of them you should totally go visit, and like them on Facebook of course.

Army Wife Network - Bartonville, Texas

Click the image above to check them out on Facebook. 

And go take a look at my article- it’s about my journey and my decision to go back to school for nursing. Let me know what you think either here or on the article!

Click here to take a look at my article. 

Remember to check me out on Facebook, too. Each Monday and Friday I will be posting a Milblogger Spotlight so you can read more fantastically awesome stuff from other milbloggers like myself!

Peace out, homies.

Things I learned from my siblings in the past week

Anyone who knows me in “real life” knows that I have two older siblings. But they are *much* older. Like 6 and 8 years older. So pretty much I’m still young and they are just old. I kid, I kid.

As a kid it was more obvious that my siblings were older. By the time I was in middle school, both were in college. I didn’t really have to share my things or a room, so sibling rivalry wasn’t an issue. And now, as adults and all of us being married with children (ha! I used to love that show!), we don’t even notice our age difference. At least I don’t- but maybe they actually look at me and think, “She”ll learn one day…”

However, after this past week I can say that my eyes were opened to a whole new world of organized chaos. I recently spent a week with my brother and his family, and I was paying very close attention as to what its like to have more than one person crying and hanging on your arm at all times. I guess it’s because J and I have had so many issues with fertility lately that I was looking at their little family and thinking, “Could I really handle this all? E and another baby, plus J, the house, and everything that goes with those responsibilities?” It was like God was giving me a peek into what life might be like one day…He’s all, “I tried to warn you and you aren’t listening, so here’s how sh*ts going to go down.”

After a week, I still can’t answer that question for sure. I’ve taken care of several kids on my own on a regular basis, but I could always give them back at the end of the day. I’ve had a newborn, but not with another kid around. I don’t know if one is ever ready for adding another person to your count but in watching my SIL, who is also a milspouse, I found that we are the toughest breed and a few (or lots) of tears, fighting, and everyone needing to eat RIGHT NOW won’t phase us.

Despite my own insecurities about being able to “handle it all” if we are ever blessed with a sibling for E, I did learn a few very interesting things in my visit with them though. Some kid related, some not…:

1. More kids CAN actually be easier- In total there were four kids in the house. And even though it was crazy, I found that the short times I had all 4 it really wasn’t that bad. The older ones played together, the oldest could help me with the baby, and babies actually sleep alot. Bt, I am realistic in that I was only with them for a few hours by myself, they were good to play together because they don’t see each other that often, and I didn’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning. Hence my insecurities.

2. I learned how to use a Diva Cup- I had heard of this…interesting…device and mentioned it to my SIL. We didn’t know how one might use this thing, so she YouTubed it. Go ahead, take a look if you dare.

3. Circumcision is an art- Apparently some people like to tell their doctors how much to “trim” when their little boys are born. Like its a freaking haircut. “Oh doctor, I’d like it shorter on the sides but leave a little extra on the top.” WTH. (For the record, this is just something my SIL mentioned to me, not that they did this!)

4. Always have food- Snacks cure all. For everyone- adults and kids alike.

5. Put your kids to work- Make sure they keep up with their responsibilities, and that they pitch in with chores. Around toddler age, they can throw away diapers, get their own things, put away their toys…it’s just one less thing for you to do. Even if you just have one kid right now, teach them these things early so they are already used to it when another one comes along! That’s why you had kids right? Free labor.

6. E is going to be a great big sister- She wanted to help with the baby in everything we did with him (sometimes a little forcefully, but she had good intentions). She loved on him, snuggles him, and her internal maternal instincts were apparent. She’s going to be an awesome big sister. I hope we can give that to her.

I really enjoyed my time with my brother and his family, and I know E did too. She learned so much from her cousins, she loved snuggling with the baby, and we had a great time. Family is so important to us and I’m grateful to my family and to God for giving me a sneak peek into what life *might* be like one day.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO!

Ok no, we didn’t buy a zoo. But I think of that movie every time I tell someone we just bought a house. And sometimes it feels like a zoo here. Things are crazy and chaotic, and out of the ONE MONTH we have been here we have spent exactly ONE WHOLE DAY in the house without leaving once to go to some store or run some errand. Oh, and there are animals. Lots of animals. Deer, turtles, beavers, rabbits, snakes, spiders, squirrels, and CICADAS. Those freaking things are so loud that there is a constant humming all day. But you don’t really notice it after awhile so its ok.

IMG_4860 IMG_4861

TURTLE!

In all serious honesty, that’s why I haven’t been here to post at, like, all. I have barely had time to check Facebook. I have missed writing though, so while my husband is busting his tail making a cabinet for me, I am sitting here on my new recliner typing away. Plus, I want to brag about our new house.

IMG_4420

Here’s a little backstory to get you started: We are now living on the East Coast. We live in what some might call “the boonies.” It’s six miles to the closest gas station and/or grocery store, we have a constant buzz of cicadas outside our door, and we have well water, a septic system, and NO INTERNET. That’s right people. Even Verizon was like, “Uh, we can’t get a line out that way so you have to get a mobile hotspot.” Thank God on high for technology because this house may have gone right back up on the market if there was no internet here. Just kidding. No, but seriously.

Anyways, we sit atop 4.4 acres of land, some woods and lots to mow. So we now have a riding lawn mower. And so does everyone else in our neighborhood. In fact, its so country out here that the other day while J and I were refinishing our rocking chairs (kind of country), our neighbor drove by on her John Deere pulling her daughter in a trailer behind it (super country). Yep, boonies. And we love it.

IMG_4756

Of course with a new house comes a learning process for all things inside of it and outside of it. We had to figure out phones and internet because nothing works out here (5+ hours at Verizon and we finally got it worked out). We had to learn how our water system worked and how to get that gross egg smell out of our well-water. We had to learn where the best place to put things was going to be and what our new routine was going to be. But most importantly, we had to decorate.

Ok, so maybe that is what is most important to me. And perhaps you’re sitting there thinking, “Oh wow, decorating a new house must be so much fun! Lucky her!” WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. If you’re a MilSpouse and you’re thinking that then you’ve been at your current duty station way too long, so pull out your moving boxes sister. Heck, on the drive across country I was thinking about how much fun it would be shopping and picking out new stuff. But its not. Its stressful and frustrating and flipping expensive. Those first days after our stuff was all unpacked I was so worked up about where to put what, what colors to use in each room, and how much it would all cost that it was keeping me up at night. Its all I thought about and I wanted to get it done NOW. 

All in all, the first few weeks sucked. More for J than for me because the grass was about waist high and he had to cut it all. It literally took him a week straight just to get the yard somewhat maintained. He got bitten by so many bugs his whole body looked swollen. It was hot, sticky, humid, and gross out. He did this all while having deck builders at our house for two weeks and with us running around from every store in the state trying to find the items we needed whether it be for the yard or for the inside of the house.

We are finally getting to the point in our house-setting-up process where its starting to slow down. We have completed most of our big outdoor projects (see pics below! Yay!) and we have decided on how we are going to decorate the inside of the house. We are just about done with our first major indoor project- the mudroom- and we have started planning out the ones which are the laundry room and the office.

I have put some pictures below of our before and after of the projects we have done so far. I will be posting pictures as the projects come along. For now, here are some pictures from our road-trip as promised.

Road-Trip Across Country. Sans Baby = Awesome

DSCF1981

Moving day. So sad.

DSCF2011 DSCF2016

This is really how E got across country. 

DSCF2050 DSCF2029

First stop- Utah! Maybe. I don’t remember.

IMG_4695 IMG_4691 IMG_4674 IMG_4697

Colorado was flipping cold. Good thing I was prepared with the proper footwear. P looks pretty regal though.

IMG_4725

Visiting family in Oklahoma!

That’s the last of the roadtrip pictures because after Oklahoma we just booked it back to my parents house to get back to E. Not that it mattered to her; she didn’t even know we were gone!

HOUSE PROJECTS

Deck Project

IMG_4772

Before. No deck. Boo.

014 015

New deck! YAY!

Front Yard Maintanence

IMG_4728

Notice the overgrown grass, huge leaning trees, and unkempt bushes. Gross!

IMG_4765

Trees gone, grass cut, hedges trimmed!

Soon to come- our new driveway and indoor projects! That is if my child ever takes a decent nap. I will also be talking about tips for moving out, moving in, and getting DIY projects done with kid(s) in tow.

PS- Be sure to check out my weekly meal plans….they’re back! WITH NOTES. You’re welcome.

I now know why everyone hates PCSing.

Dudes, I’ve been enlightened. I have seen the other side. I have drank the cool kids juice.

We have officially done our first PCS pack-out.

See, even though I am a seasoned milspouse (ha), I have never done a “real” PCS. When I first moved out here, J and I weren’t married (gasp!) so we packed everything ourselves in a U-Haul towing our hand-me-down Ford Explorer behind us. Then he deployed and I went home, so we packed everything ourselves and had a few of his Marine friends come help us put it in storage. And then I hired people to take it out. So needless to say, before this day I thought to myself, “What’s the big deal? People come, they pack you, they move sh!t, end of story.” No, no, no. Not the end of story. Just beginning of story.

First of all, there is the prep. OH MY GOD. I am an organization freak so I like things in certain places in certain boxes in certain piles. And then the moving people come and they basically throw your stuff you worked days and nights to organize into one giant pile. Cool.

Then there is the other kind of prep. Housing prep. We live on base so every wall we painted (read: my mom and I painted) had to be painted back. Ugh. Side note though: I didn’t have to paint this time. My mom and J did it. Which basically means I am the most awesome getter outter of stuff to ever live. Someone had to watch the baby, right?

Of course, once you have it all painted and things perfectly organized so that any sane person walking into your house would understand that that thing goes with these things and they all go in this box, the movers come and basically don’t give a rat’s azz. They will pack it at lightning speed and after the first hour you just don’t care anymore because there is no stopping them.

After the movers leave, you have to clean. You haven’t moved your bed or couches in years so there are dust bunnies the size of actual bunnies, Goldfish crackers, and that long-lost DVD now crushed in a million pieces scattered all over your floor. Gross.

If you have kids, get rid of them. No, I’m just kidding. Just find a special place for them to hang out. THANK GOD ON HIGH my mom was here. She watched E allllll during the prep days, all during the pack/move day, and every other time in between. I seriously don’t know what in God’s name I would have done if I would have had to watch packers and watch her. It would not have been pretty.

I have learned so much stuff while gearing up and going through this first PCS. I will talk about some of that stuff and some helpful hints at some point. Later. In a few weeks, since we are moving and all.

However, the worst part of this particular PCS is leaving my neighbors. My friends. They were my first “military” friends. I have never lived on a military base and they showed me so much love, support, and compassion over the past two years. I am going to miss them more than they will ever know. No neighborhood will EVER compare to these people. Ever.

To my neighbor to my left: You and your family are amazing. There is no other word to describe it. You helped our family in more ways that I would have expected any neighbor to ever do. You are motivating and you always brightened my day in talking with you- from you no bullshit attitude to your unending willingness to watch E, lend me your stuff, or take my dog for extreme extended periods of time. I will never forget you coming over with your entire family and singing me “Happy Birthday” and presenting me with a cupcake and massage gift card while J was deployed. I’m tearing up thinking about all you have done for us. I don’t think I will ever have enough words to describe what you mean to us. Any person will be lucky to live next to you.

To my neighbor to the right: Not only will our family miss you guys and your generosity in letting us use your mower and other various appliances, I know both E and Pendleton will miss your dog. We had amazing neighbors on both sides of us. I wish we had more time to spend together. We hope to see you on our side soon enough.

To my neighbor with the cat and the huge car that she looks funny driving in because she is the smallest person ever: We will miss her little paw prints on our windshield! But seriously, you are THE strongest woman I know. From your multiple deployments, to taking care of G, and dealing with your own personal things, I am inspired by you. I am so happy for you that things are working out and I will continue to pray that things go well. You are so sweet, so kind, and such a great friend. I hope the Corps brings us back together.

To my neighbor with the girls/all the cool toys E wants to steal: What can I say (as I type this from YOUR computer)- you and your family are beyond generous for letting us stay in your home while ours gets packed away. Your beautiful daughters will be missed by E (she keeps asking for them) and I will miss seeing your bright shining face in the col-de-sac. You were there for me when I was worried about E’s health and J was gone. You have been a listening ear. I will miss you terribly but I CANNOT WAIT to come visit you!!!

I have made some of the most amazing friends while I have lived here. I hate that we have to move away, but I am excited for everyone’s new adventures. The Marine Corps is small and I hope it brings us back together at some point. We love you all and we will miss you so dearly.

PS- We left this picture in a frame for all of you to remember us by. We aren’t vain or anything, we just figured you’d miss us.

527

Just kidding (but feel free to print it out and frame it in a, say, 20×24 frame? Cool.)

Clean Eating: Your gut will thank you

I have never been the type of person to try fad diets. I never did the Atkins (yes, I’m old enough to remember that), the South Beach (yep, old enough for that too), the honey/water/pickle juice only diet, or thethe only-eat-2-beets-and-a-piece-of-chicken diet. I currently live in Hippie Town, USA so there are lots of people out here that spew their only-organic/farmer’s market food in your face when they are trying to tell you what you should eat.

Alas, as my loving husband will tell you, these organic hipsters have gotten the best of me. I cloth diaper my child. I shop at Trader Joe’s and/or the farmer’s market when I can. I use a local CSA our neighborhood organized for organic eggs. I only by organic milk. We extended breastfed and we are extended rear facing E’s carseat. For frick’s sake, she wears an amber teething necklace aka the hippiest of all hippie baby stuff.

Hippie Baby 2

One thing my hippie self couldn’t latch onto like extended breastfeeders is the Paleo diet. Never heard of it? You aren’t crunchy enough, then. The Paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet. You basically don’t eat anything that the cavemen didn’t/couldn’t eat. So no processed foods, no dairy, no sugar, no salt. There are lots of things you can eat on the Paleo diet though. You can eat lots of meat. Eggs. Fruits and veggies. Anything that our ancestors could once hunt and gather is a-ok. Just don’t bring a spiked club to your local Safeway.

Another diet that seems to be pretty big ’round these parts is no so much a diet but a way of eating healthy. It’s known as “clean eating.” It is similiar to the Paleo diet in that you cut out processed foods and refined sugar and white flour, but you can eat ceratin breads (whole wheat only) and you can have dairy. If you would like to learn more about what you can and cannot eat in the clean eating method, click here.

I first became aware of the “clean eating” method via Pinterest. People kept pinning these recipes labeled “Clean Chicken Recipes” or whatever and I was intrigued. In doing some digging for my meal planning, I came across this website called 100 Days of Real Food. Lisa, the creator, and her family made a pledge that they would only eat “real food” for 100 days. They have since completed their pledge but they continue to eat as clean as possible, with an occasional treat here and there.

One of the reasons this website and healthy eating method caught my attention was its adaptability to the military lifestyle. As I mentioned before, I live in an area where organic and all-natural foods are pretty easy to find. Local farmer’s markets are year-round and there are several to choose from. But that isn’t the case with every place, especially some of the no-man’s land places Uncle Sam sometimes decides to send us. However, “clean foods” like fruits, veggies, and meats are found in every grocery store so even if you’re in Armpit, USA, you can eat clean. This method also seems to be budget friendly, as Lisa demonstrates by providing meal plans and weekly budgets that are under $125/week for a family of 4. And Lord knows us military folks like saving money. As a plus, there are more things you CAN eat with this “diet” as opposed to most diets where there are more things you CAN’T eat. Therefore, eating clean seems to be something that anyone can do (for the most part) no matter where you live.

I say SEEMS to be something anyone can do because I haven’t done it yet. But I’m planning to once we get all our sh*t moved across the country (I can’t drive some 3,000 miles without getting me some sugared coffee-water and McDonald’s. Unless you want to see a trail of dead bodies behind me Hanzel and Gretel style).

I’ll be honest with you though, people, I don’t know if I can do this. I have a few staples in my diet and I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to give them up. Of course, there is Starbucks and any coffee creamer I use here at home. And soda. Cookies. Crackers. Chips and guac (so guac’s ok, but not the chips). A bar of dark chocolate. HAMBURGERS. I’m getting the shakes just thinking about the withdrawal. The good news with all of this is that we are moving out to the boonies so the Starbucks and junk food will not be accessed as easily. I will also have more time on my hands to make things from scratch since I won’t be going out as much because WE LIVE IN THE BOONDOCKS.

Luckily, Lisa provides several different pledges for starting your clean eating transformation off slowly, so that’s how I plan to start. We will probably start off with the 10 Day Pledge and then go from there. And I will be honest again, because that’s how I roll- I don’t think I will ever become a 100% clean eater. Its just not in me. I will still drink my morning creamer with a splash of coffee. I will continue to buy our meat from the commissary. Not everything will be organic. I just can’t do it. I’m not that crunchy. I’m only like, part crunchy. Like this:

See, part crunchy/part normal. All-natural, not organic. This is me if I was peanut butter.

Either way, I still think trying to cut out as much processed foods as possible is a good idea. And I think as a military family, its one diet that is actually do-able for the most part because “clean” items are everywhere. Obviously, some refinements to the method have to be refined for those of us that travel to the buttends of the world and don’t have all organic stores and the locally raised meat is skinnier than Nicole Richie, but for the most part its possible.

But for now, I’m going to go enjoy my Coke and store-bought cookies while I begin to sort through all the crap the movers are going to have to pack up in about a week.

Empty Arms

Late last week my husband and I were talking about my absolute compulsion to take pregnancy tests. Honestly, I should be on that show, “My Strange Addiction.” I AM ONE OF THEM. Maybe not exactly the crazy chalk eating lady or the guy that is “married” to his life-like doll, but I’m bordering on that level.

People, I could be on TV. Even more famous than I already am. Move over, Kim K.

On a more serious note: Even though we want to give my body a rest from the past two miscarriages, I still have pregnancy on my brain. ALL. THE. TIME. I analyze and over-analyze-and then analyze again the next day- every little thing that is going on with my body. Most daily decisions I make are based on the *possibility* that I could be pregnant- do I have that glass (or 3) of wine, should I push myself for that extra mile run, should I really get an extra shot in my coffee, should I really being doing sit-ups and planks? AHHHHHH.

So J and I discussed it and its no way for me to live. For us to live. Pregnancy tests (even the dollar ones) get expensive when you take 4 in 10 days <—-truth. Its becoming a point of contention in our marriage because all I want to do is just take a quick test whereas he thinks I’m driving myself crazy by doing this. He also pointed out that even if the test is positive, I’m going to go crazy taking test after test after test just to *make sure* everything’s ok, probably until the baby pops out. Damn him and his rightness!

Seriously, though, he’s right. I’m driving myself BONKERS and him, too. Sometimes I forget that he’s just as anxious and worried as I am that maybe another child isn’t in the card for us. Sometimes I forget that there are two of us waiting for those two lines, not just me. Talking about it really helped, but it also brought up alot of emotions I didn’t really expect to feel.

I thought I was doing ok with these 2 miscarriages. I was heartbroken and I cried when they happened, but after a day or so I felt better and I felt as if I was moving on. We had alot going on this past month with house-hunting so even though I thought about the miscarriages it wasn’t to grieve. I would think of them in logical terms like, “Ok, it happened. Twice. That sucks but we’re moving on and you won’t do this, this, or this with the next pregnancy.”

In talking with J though, I started to get upset. I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, and my mind drifted to two little angel babies. They were wrapped in blue with their little angel wings. They were curled up next to each other, spooning, and I was holding both of them as I slept. Oh dear Lordy did I cry. I cried and cried and cried. I’m sure if the lights were on it would have been an ugly cry. I cried hard when I found out I was miscarrying and I cried hard when the miscarriage passed, but this was different. I was picturing these two squishy, innocent babies lying there with me but no one was there. My arms literally felt heavy and empty. I needed something to fill them so I did the absolute no-no in parenting- I woke up my sleeping child.

I just had to hold E. I needed to hold my baby, to see her sleeping peacefully and listen to her breathe. I wanted to feel her little squirms and remember her little baby cries. As I watched her I cried some more because I knew I wouldn’t see the faces of my two angels until I get to Heaven. I will never get to hold them. I will never get to hear their baby cries. For the first time I really felt as if I lost my babies not my pregnancies. My babies.

Days like that are hard, but I guess they’re necessary. Maybe it seems silly to some because both pregnancies were very early when I lost them, but to me they will always be my babies.

BAHH, I’m such a sap sometimes. Off to take another pregnancy test *skips happily away*

JUST KIDDING. But only because Aunt Flo arrived. Stupid dream crusher. Damn you, Aunt Flo, damn you *shakes fist at uterus*

I think my husband found a new calling.

And that would be as a realtor.

We have been house hunting for about a week now and J has been busting his butt trying to find us the perfect home. Checking Redfin and Zillow, looking at mortgage rates and loan companies, and researching areas, drive-times, the closest Starbucks (ok, that was my job), and a ton of other stuff I’m not really sure about because 1. it all sounds like jibberish, and 2. E.

In all seriousness, he has been working super hard for the past week and I’m really proud of him. Astonished might be the better word. Not because I didn’t think he’d do such a great job, but because he’s going above and beyond to make sure our family is covered and protected, and in a house/area that is great for us. He’s an awesome husband.

Even through all the jibberish and E suddenly learning how to make her body go limp when I’m trying to walk her over to change her diaper, I have learned a TON through this whole house-hunting and buying process so far. I went into this venture thinking that it would be fairly easy to find a home we loved. I thought I’d walk into a house and think to myself, “This is it.” I thought my husband and I would agree on everything. NOPE, NOPE, and HA.

But what I have learned is that things are complicated. Not just the terms, not just the math and finances, but emotionally. There are people on both sides of the process, and I think you forget that when you’re in the midst of looking at homes. You see the house but not the people selling it. You don’t know why they are selling the home and what that means to them. You walk through their house and see their pictures, their clothes, their dirty dishes in the sink, etc and you realize that people LIVE here. They have laughed, cried, fought, hugged, and given their little brothers noogies here. It personifies the home and this whole process in a way I didn’t expect. It’s kind of…bittersweet.

But let’s get to the person that really runs this show: E. Anyone who has a baby, toddler, child, teenager, or sometimes (but let’s hope not) grown adult sucking the life out of your wallet knows that traveling away from home can be difficult. Luckily through all of this, E has been pretty good. Sleep hasn’t been fantastic (she’s waking up at night for quite awhile and is crying when we lay her down), but I figure that comes with being a relatively new environment. She is getting along fabulously with my parents who have very graciously watched her while we have spent 6-8 billion hours out looking at houses each day. And we were worried about how E would handle us being away from us and with people she doesn’t see too often (ok, I was worried) but she surprised us all.

When we traveled to my parents house over Christmas E was NOT having it with anyone. She was all

KOBYRA0117 KOBYRA0116

whenever anyone looked at her.

And now she’s all like

20130312_172155 20130316_173310

and saying, “nooooo” when I try to take her from Nana or Gramps. So it is great that her attitude towards family members has done a 180. Looks like we found some babysitters!

The post that you may never see.

Except of you’re reading this you’re obviously seeing it. But as I sit here and type I’m not sure I’ll ever publish it. I know I can’t right now. Its all too fresh.

This is going to be a long post so you better get a comfy seat and some snacks. You know how women get when they’re all sad and stuff- its all cry, cry, cry, and talk, talk, talk. And we might take a breath to eat a spoonful of Ben and Jerry’s.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my and J’s journey up the fallopian tube river of trying to concieve. But God forgot/didn’t want to give us a paddle and now we’re swimming in some sh*tty creek. And now I’m part of some statistic that I never thought I’d be a part of: miscarriage and pregnancy loss.

Three weeks after J had gotten back from deployment he left for a seven week course 3 hours away from home. Needless to say, the baby making time was minimal. When he got home at the end of October, it was on. But nothing happened. On Christmas Eve we flew across the country to spend the holidays with my family, and I kept thinking how cool it would be to tell everyone Christmas Day that we were pregnant. Our flight was at the azz crack of dawn so while J was packing up the car with my 32984934 bags (I’m a light packer) I decided to take a pregnancy test. I went to go put Evelyn in the car and planned to check it before we left. Well, I forgot. And I think God was looking out for me because it ended up being a good thing.

On Christmas Day I got a visitor: Aunt Flo. Again, I had no idea she was coming because she always shows up unexpectantly. Rude. So I chalked it up to not being pregnant and we went about our time with our family as usual. When we got back home from our visit, I felt kind of funny and I had some spotting (my “period” had stopped by then) so I took a test- positive! We were EXSTATIC. I texted my brother and sister-in-law who are expecting and we told my parents via Facetime by having Evelyn wear a big sister shirt. We wanted to keep it mostly to ourselves though until we had it confirmed. It was amazing and we were really happy it was finally happening.

The next day I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy so I could get a referral to OB. I told her about my period on Christmas and she seemed worried. We got my beta levels checked and sure enough, they were declining. That “period” that I thought had happened on Christmas Day was actually me miscarrying and the hormones were just still in my body. We were crushed. I cried alot over it and I couldn’t believe it had happened to me. I was angry and upset and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Oddly enough though, I was actually thankful that I didn’t know it was happening when it was happening. Igorance is bliss.

My nurse told me that since it was such an early miscarriage that we didn’t need to wait to try again. So I got my period about a week later and we were off and running to see what the furture held for us.

I wrote that post about trying to conceive on a Wednesday or Thursday. I hadn’t shared the miscarriage because I wasn’t sure I wanted to, and I felt alot better about it. That following Saturday I got another positive. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe it! I was pregnant again ALREADY. We were so very happy that we were blessed with another chance. We felt confident and excited. We told my parents and a few close friends (because someone, achem, J, can’t keep anything exciting to himself!) but we still wanted to make sure things were going ok before we yelled it out to the world.

I went that Monday to get it confirmed. I had the same nurse as last time and I could tell as soon as she called me back that she thought I was some crazy lady who is making up my pregnancies. She said the urianalysis was negative. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! I had taken 4 tests, all positive. Either she didn’t believe me or she didn’t care. She told me to come back in ten days to test again. I asked her for a blood test, to retest the urine sample, to come back later and she told me no. no. no. Come back in ten days. I walked out heartbroken and PISSED but I was still confident that I would come back in ten days and rub my positive pee stick all up in her face. Not literally. Only in my mind.

Well, about a week later I decided to be that crazy pregnant lady and take another test. It took FOREVER to come up and was super faint. I freaked. After taking 2 more tests that day, I felt a little better because they had gotten darker but I still knew something was up. So I called the next day to leave a message for my doctor. I went on a huge runaround with the nurses and receptionists (which I will explain at a later date if I ever post this), and I finally just went in. They didn’t want to draw my betas but finally I got the nurse to speak with my actual doctor and they ordered the blood test for me.

Anyone who has every had their betas drawn or anything other test done where you have to wait DAYS to get the results knows how much the wait sucks. I was nervous, anxious, I couldn’t sleep. My first beta came back low- 173. I knew this was bad, but I couldn’t help but hold out a tiny bit of hope. My second betas were worse- 149. So it was confirmed. I was miscarrying a second time, in a row, in 2.5 months.

Even though I knew it was happening after my first beta came back, I was crushed. I cried. Alot. For what seemed like an hour. How is this happening to me? FOR A SECOND TIME IN A ROW?! Why is this happening? We want this baby, we would love this baby. We want to give E a sibling, we want to expand our family. What did I do wrong? Is it me? Why is God letting this happen when all I’ve done is pray for this baby?

At this point, I feel like I am failing- my body is failing, I’m failing my husband, I’m failing E, I’m failing myself. I’m afraid it will never happen for us- that I will never be able to keep another pregnancy again. I’m afraid to try again because I’m afraid its going to fail. I don’t want to go through the emotional rollercoaster again.

I know others have it alot worse than us- they’ve had more losses, late losses, or aren’t able to get pregnant at all. And I know that it happens to alot of people, and many of those people go on to have successful pregnancies. One of my closest friends who has her unfair share of loss told me that when she was going through this she felt the same way, and she didn’t understand why it was happening. But now that she has her adorable child, she understands. I know hindsight is 20/20. But right now my vision is blurred by tears and fury.

We will keep trying. I don’t know when, but I know that my desire to have more children is stronger than my fear of miscarrying. I’m scared, I’m worried, and I hate that this is happening to our family. But I am also still confident in God’s plan for us. I don’t know the reason for this, and I may never know. Maybe He is testing me, trying to make me realize that He is in control. Maybe he wants me to have more time with E by herself. Maybe He has big plans for our next child, and it wasn’t their time to come into the world yet. I don’t know. I guess I have to trust Him. But its not easy right now.

A special thanks to everyone who has been there and supported me through this- my friends, my neighbors, my parents, my family. But a huge HUGE thank you to my husband. You have been unbelievably strong, supportive, confident, and loving in this very painful time for us. You have been my rock. You have given me your shoulder to cry on and you have literally held me up when I want to fall down and crumble. You are my everything and I love you with everything in my heart, soul, and being.

Please feel free to share your story below if you’d like. Please don’t feel as if you need to post condolences, that’s not what I wrote this for. Thanks for listening/reading.

Editor’s note (duh, I’m the editor): It has only been days since my second miscarriage happened. Not even a week. But after talking with J and with some friends, I decided I needed some closure. Another one of my friends (who reminded me that this is a perfect time to cherish what I have with E as an only child) reminded me that miscarriage and pregnancy loss is somewhat taboo- people don’t talk about it, and I think it needs to be talked about. The care I recieved from my medical team has been less than stellar and I know I’m not the only one. If anything, I hope that I can get people to realize that they should not be afraid to ask questions and push their care providers for the appropriate care. I think that in the military healthcare system, many women get pushed aside and they feel as if this isn’t a big deal because the doctors make them feel that way. But it is. You have lost a life, a child. Its heartbreaking and difficult. So if you’re reading this and going through something similiar, I hope it inspires you to get the care you deserve if you aren’t already getting it.