Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sparkling Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving! Its a beautiful 16 degrees outside, and the snow drifts and sitka spruce trees are sparkling. We are enjoying the smell of turkey in the air, as it cooks in the oven. A delicious loaf of bread is baking in the bread machine. There are pumpkin pies in the refrigerator, and this afternoon, we will enjoy a yummy feast with other Coast Guard families. The baby is sleeping on daddy's chest on the couch. The kids are playing together. I am relaxed and content.

Our little boy is 4 months old now. He is so sweet! He loves being involved in everything. He can now hold things in his hands- ranging from daddy's chest hair, sister's hair, and lots of toys. But, his favorite thing to hold is his other hand. I had forgotten what a big event it was to hold hands with yourself! He is going to be a thumb sucker too, because he has been finding his thumbs and chewing on them. He is so talkative and smiley. He laughs when you tickle his armpits, or if you kiss him on the cheeks.

His big sister loves to greet him each morning. She really can hardly contain herself. And, when he sleeps in, she finds it really really really difficult. His brother is an expert at keeping baby happy, especially in the car. I am so glad that my older kids love their baby brother so much! Of course, there is jealousy. They get jealous of who gets the baby's attention and the baby's smiles.

We have been here for 6 months now. That's a quarter of our tour! I can't believe how fast it is going. I have made some great friends- we have nice neighbors. And, everyone looks out for each other at the air station. This base is really huge. The air station is just a part of it.

I have heard that my husband was on Coast Guard Alaska, a show the Weather Channel airing. We don't have cable, and the Weather Channel doesn't have a link to watch the episodes on their website. Too bad. I would have liked to watch it. My husband does not like to be on TV or the news. He likes to hide away from PR stuff. But, I honestly enjoy seeing him.

My mother is visiting my Uncle today. My brother and his familiy are skiing somewhere in California? And, we will be among friends. God has blessed us in so many ways! There is always something to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Two Months old

My little guy with be 2 months old in a few days. He is doing wonderfully! He is growing very big, and even cuter!


Well, school is in full swing. And, its a new experience to homeschool with a baby. It gets very disorganized here. It has to be disorganized, because the baby is too young to be on a schedule. Thus, my careful planing is fairly useless. But, the kids are learning, and the baby is fed. The house is a bit messy, but it could be much worse!

And, there are some great lessons that we never planned on. Fishing. My six year old boy - caught a silver today!! As in, an Alaskan Silver Salmon. He and my husband are learning to fish. This is my boy's first fish, and it was huge! (We concluded that my daughter does not like to fish. Especially, when you don't catch anything. She is kind of mean about it, and made my DH feel awful the last time they went fishing together). But, the boys went out this morning at 5:30 AM, and now we have salmon fillets in the freezer. My husband caught one too. I grilled one of the fillets tonight. It was big enough to feed all four of us. It was awesome! (I have no idea who these men are, but they also caught silvers)

We also started soccer. Its interesting. I don't know if I like it - but, I will endure the six weeks of games, on wet fields, and usually in the rain. This is Kodiak, after all. Its wet here. My son seems to really be enjoying it. I don't know about my daughter. She spent most of the game in the bathroom with an upset tummy. Then, we left early. After soccer, I am unsure of what they will do. I guess I need to figure that out.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Early Days


My baby boy is nearly one month old now. Technically, he is one month old, in two days. We are still trying to adjust to his newness. I no longer have a schedule. There is more to get done in the house than is humanly possible, for a mother of a newborn, but we are getting through it all. My daughter has lots of tantrums, and my other son is very clingy, especially when I nurse. My husband and I are quite sleep deprived.

My husband had duty last night, and is now sleeping on the couch. He didn't have enough energy to make it upstairs to the bed. I got up to change 3 diapers in the middle of the night, and nursed at least 4 times. I lost count. I want this little one to sleep in the bassinet or crib, but he will have none of it. He wants to be held at all times. So, he is either laying in my arm, nursing in the bed with me, or laying chest to chest with me, as I burp him. As soon as I lay this sleepy baby in the crib, he grunts, snorts and cries himself awake. Heck, in the swing, he is demonstrating that right now!

So, during the day, I am trying to learn to "wear my baby". I am terrible at this. It is so unnatural to wrap yards of cloth around your body, stick the baby in there, and expect him to settle down. No way. He smells my boobs, and he wants to nurse. If we succeed and he settles down, I get all sweaty and eventually need to nurse him- and for the life of me, I cannot nurse in a wrap. I have no nursing tops. Perhaps this would help. I don't know what to do with all the fabric from the woven wrap or the moby (we are borrowing both). And, I end up unwrapping a crying/screaming infant. Guess how easy it is to put the wrap back on when he is done? Its not. Its is cumbersome, and he wakes up in the process and protests with loud screams.

So, I try to wrap my baby. Yes, I have a cool Miracle blanket, that gently keeps his arms at his sides, so he doesn't hit himself in the face. He hates this. Not the blanket, the hitting. I tried other ways to wrap him, and he always gets an arm free. But, once wrapped, he wants movement or to be carried, or to nurse. In the swing or bouncy seat, I can get a brief rest, and maybe jump in the shower or fix a snack for one of my other kids. Then, its over- and he is awake, unhappy, and ready to nurse again.

Nursing. I nurse constantly. I nurse at least every half-hour to two hours during the day time, and every 2 1/2 to 3 hours at night. I have pumped three times, and he does like a bottle (from dad). But, I would have to not be nursing to pump, or be an octopus or something! When? That's the question. I want to nurse. My other son only made it to 4 months. And, I would have never blogged during those months, because he had colic, and I got post partum depression. It was a dark time. The SSRI I took, sort of worked, but the pediatrician did not want me to nurse anymore. So, I stopped.

He is laying, swaddled on his tummy, on my lap. He loves this. Well, thanks to SIDS, he can't sleep that way, if I wanted to lay him in the crib. Darn it- the one way that he would honestly sleep, could kill him, so I can't do that. And, of course, I want a child more than my sleep or sanity. So, out of my view, he can't sleep this way. The little guy even has a little grin on his face. He loves this position. Who wouldn't? All the gas bubbles are working their way out, and with each toot, he looks more relaxed.

Letdown. No, having a baby is not a letdown. Its what my boobs do. It hurts, and they produce too much milk. They attempt several times a day to drown my child. He gags, coughs, spits up, and screams at my breasts - all while desperately trying to nurse. Its a problem that I faced with all of my babies. I am working on the solution, and he will grow to nurse quickly- like finish in 20 minutes, instead of nursing all day long. But, for now, it is uncomfortable for us both. There are lots more details to this, but I won't bore you with them.

Diapers- cloth diapers are very cool. I need to purchase more supplies. He needs a solution for nighttime. But, during the day, we use cloth diapers, and I really really like them. They don't take a tremendous amount of time to wash. And, they are cute. Prefolds are huge on his bum, and I don't like them. But, the flip stay-dry infant inserts are really nice. So far, the Huggies have leaked a few time, but the flips have never leaked. I do remember to change the cloth diapers - every two hours or so.

I love this child. I adore him. He is sweet and a bundle of joy. I will get through this- but, I can't say that I will miss these days. Because, honestly, with all this lack of sleep, this blog may be the only thing that reminds me of what these days were like. I am so tired, that I will likely forget most of it. I think moms have to forget, or there would never be the word "sibling". There would be only child families. But, we get amnesia. We get pregnant again. And, as the newborn -early days arrive, part of my brain shrieks - CRAZY! YOU ARE A CRAZY MAD WOMAN to have forgotten what this is like. Where is the nanny? You are nearly 40 years old! You are CRAZY!

Monday, July 25, 2011

He has arrived!


My baby boy has arrived! He was born on July 14, 2011 at 12:56 PM. He was 6 lbs. and 19 1/4 inches. Today, we see the doctor for his second check-up since we left the hospital.

I actually went into labor. I have three kids, but I've never gone into labor before. On Wednesday night, I was having contractions, but I was trying to sleep. It felt like the baby was pushing on my bladder, and I must have gotten up 12 times to pee. In the morning, there was "bloody show". I have never had that either. So, we drove to the hospital in the morning, and I was having contractions every ten minutes. At first, the nurse suggested that it was a bladder infection. But, no, it was real labor. So, my c-section was scheduled for the afternoon, and soon after, our third child was born.

He is so sweet. We all adore him. My other two kids are very good siblings. They kiss him, hold him, and shower him with love.

I am still in pain. There is a nerve around my incision on the right side that hurts. At times, it burns and feels like a knife is being driven into my pelvis. But, it is getting better. I am still relying on prescription pain medicine, but weaning off it.

My husband went back to work today. He spent 11 days with us, and took care of everything. I took care of nursing the baby, and he eats very often and a lot! He has already gained back his birth weight. I am too tired to type any more. But, we are feeling so in love with this little guy, and so thankful for this blessing from God!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Helpful Hubby and the Final Stretch



I am a week from delivery! Its getting really exciting now. My husband has been wonderful. He is helping me a lot, because everything I do, causes me back spasms. I basically can just sit there. Except I can't just sit there! I do normal stupid things because I want to get things done, and then my back screams in pain.

Yesterday, it was vacuuming. I pushed the vacuum around the living room. And, I unloaded the front loader washer/dryer. That did it! I found relief with a heating pad, but seriously, its so hard to stop cleaning with this nesting instinct. I want to decorate the baby's room, but everything is so expensive here. So, I haven't decorated at all. I don't think the baby will mind. I probably won't really care next week, either.

DH came home last night, and helped me cook dinner. He did all the dishes (I can't even unload the dishwasher). He swept the floor. He made my kitchen look nice again. He offered to take leave (if possible) this Friday and Monday, to help me. I don't know if that will happen, but he is really looking out for me, and I love it.

My kids are helping too. They do all the chores that hurt me. Occasionally, I hear "I'm not your slave!" from my daughter, but I pay them for chores, so this is really really silly. I think they actually like helping me.

Yesterday, the diapers arrived! I have a chore of washing/drying the cloth inserts 5-7 times to prep them for diapering. It is a one time process, that makes the diapers fluffy and absorbent. They are very soft and fluffy. I have three washes left. I am using the kids to help me, or this long claw thing with a handle, so I don't have to bend. The diaper covers are so cute and tiny. I can't believe that he will have such a tiny little bum!

There was an article in the news this week, about a 16 lb. baby! That is simply crazy! At least, I don't have to push this baby out. But, taking home a 16 lb. newborn- Wow.

Oh yeah, and enjoy this picture of my son and "Danger Man"!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Big, Feeling Big

I ate too much, I think. I just am hungry a lot. Some women lose weight during the last few weeks. This is not me. I have gained a couple pounds every week, since week 30 when I got to Kodiak. Now I'm at week 37, so that's like 14 lbs, I think. I am drinking a lot, so as not to get dehydrated. But, over all, I have still gained less than I did with the other two kids. Well, I think so anyways. There is a little bit of time left. I am healthier. I don't eat sweets or junk food anymore. I'm not concerned about the weight gain-its the tightness. My belly is so stretched. And, its all out front. I have never carried my babies this way. Usually, I'm just wide and fat all over.

The Braxton Hicks are getting more frequent and I'm sore. I have a sore belly. I don't believe that its labor yet. But, I don't remember these sensations. There is lots of pressure lately. Maybe its my big fibroids? Gas? Active baby? I have no idea. My baby is still very active. That is good. But, there is not pattern to these contractions, so I'm not concerned. I'm just uncomfortable.

My husband comes home tonight. He was gone for three days. Then, I can go into labor. He doesn't go on anymore trips (I don't think so anyways).

I am tired. Today, we got the food shopping done. I cooked the kids waffles for dinner. The house is mostly clean. I read books with the kids. My daughter studied her spelling words before bed. She is a good girl. I am off to bed. Not much longer till baby, I hope!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The World of Cloth Diapering



















I just ordered $95 worth of cloth diapers and wraps. I am so very excited! The cost of disposable diapers is ridiculous here. So, I took the plunge. Well, I should say, took the plunge again. I tried using prefolds with my daughter 8 years ago. I wasn't very good at this. But, this time, I enlisted the help of a new friend, who is successfully cloth diapering, and we found a great sale!

These things are cute, and got good reviews. I got enough to diaper for 1-2 days, and can order more inserts if I like them. My friend is giving me some prefolds to add to the collection, so I will have a great start. The covers can be used as our baby grows, I will just have to update the inserts with a bigger size, and the newborn size can be used to double the insert, and make it more absorbent.

Diapers here are about $11 a bag- that's between 40 and 60 diapers. That's crazy. With a newborn, I can expect 10-12 changes, so one bag will last me around 4-5 days. That's not even a whole week. Its around 70 dollars a month. So, in less than 1 1/2 months, this purchase will have paid for itself. And, then I just need to launder them. I don't pay for the water, and very little detergent is used. I am excited about this!

I bought fleece liners from Amazon (included in the $95) that should keep my little one's skin dry at night, and will be helpful to keep the diaper liners absorbent if I have to deal with a rash and use diaper cream.

This friend of mine was such a blessing! She hunted online for bargins, and I ended up ordering from a store where she has already made purchases.

After buying the diapers, I finally ordered Redi-shade blackout shades. I just can't handle sleeping when its not dark, and my eye masks are irritating. It is like sleeping in the afternoon, when we have a sunny day. Bright sun at 10 PM is just a big adjustment for me.

I also packed the bag for the hospital, minus some toiletries that I will buy tomorrow. I had another OB check-up today, and go meet my anesthesiologist tomorrow. Then, next week I will have my pre-op appointment, and the 19th, its BABY DAY! I still have to pack a bag for the kids. They will spend the night with a friend, so I don't have to worry about getting everyone ready that morning.

Now, DH is ferrying a helo to Washington, and won't be back until Thursday night, so baby, you must not arrive till after Thursday! I really don't want to have a c-section without my DH there.

Today, my belly was hard a lot. I had lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. The baby is kicking a lot, and I have bad back pain. I am tired out. I am headed to bed next, and its only 9 PM.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Planning, Chores revisited and Dizziness

Ok, so I am having a very nice day. The kids are happy, playing with board games, and these magnetic balls (my son is building robots with them) and I have been using my new plan book, to prepare for the Fall. Fall will begin on August 22nd. That gives me a whole month off with the new baby.

My son and daughter are saving money for a new Playstation 2- well, it won't be new, but new to her. She is ban from using DH's as she and her brother continually drop it on the floor, by pulling too hard on the controllers. So, DH told them they had to buy their own. They are desperate to play Legos Star Wars again. So, the kids are motivated to do TONS of chores, and I love it! I am still devising the system, but here is the basics:

Required chores:

Clear breakfast dishes
Get dressed
Clothes in laundry basket
Brush teeth
Brush hair
Make bed

These are 5 cent chores, equaling 25-30 cents (my son doesn't need to brush his hair)

Then, there are optional 5 cent chores:

Feed dog
Feed the bird
Let dog outside/inside
Empty trash cans

These are optional 10 cent chores:

Help mom cook
Clear family dishes
Carry down laundry
Unload dishwasher
Clean up bedroom
Clean up playroom
Put clothes away
Help mom with laundry
Put varied items away
Set Table
Load groceries into car
Unload groceries into house
Put groceries away

The results, for the last week, I am not bending over and killing my back as much. I am not running up and down the stairs so much. I deduct money if there is any tantrum or violent behavior during the chore (e.g., while unloading the dishwasher, you poke your brother with the butter knives) and of course, I have to suggest various opportunities to do chores when I need something done. But, my work load is much less. The kids are not whining about doing their chores, and on average- they earn $1-2 dollars a day - each.

I don't buy them "stuff" when we are shopping. I remind them that they are earning an allowance, and that they may spend it however they want. I am not going to buy them little toys and junk from coin machines etc.

Ok, dizziness.

I have to eat every couple hours or my sugar level drops and I get dizzy. I forgot today, to eat a snack. It was awful. I got cold sweats, and had to weigh lying down with stuffing my face to relieve the problem. So, after shoveling a bowl of frosted mini-wheats with milk, cheese, bell pepper, a banana, and raisin bread with cream cheese into my mouth, with a splash of crystal lite lemonade and prenatal vitamins, I laid down on the couch for 10 minutes and recovered. Umm, I don't generally eat like this anymore. It was sort of a binge, but not by choice. I felt awful, not from the binge, but from the low blood sugar. I have to pay better attention to the clock, and not wait 4 hours.

In the evenings, I feel like I have bowling balls attached to my calves. My legs are so swollen and heavy. I lay on my left side, my right side, strip off my bra and put on comfy pajama pants, remove my sneakers and socks and put my legs up. I feel awful. Last night, I went to bed at 8:30 PM. Sleeping tends to be the only solution to the swelling in my legs. Of course, I flip over every hour because my hips, pelvis and groin ache. My fibroids hurt. My joints make lots of popping noises, and baby is pushing on my bladder- so every time I go to flip over, I have to get up to pee.

Less than 3 weeks to go!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Painting Shells



Today, we went to the Buskin River Recreation Park, as a family. We walked the beach. It was so beautiful! The river runs into the ocean and although we don't fish (yet) it is a great spot to catch Sockeye. The beach has black sand, and is littered with clam shells and other varieties of sea shells. It is really had for me to walk, but, I enjoyed it - taking it slow. I remember doing this as a child with my family- and now I got to watch my children run around smiling, as I walk with my best friend, my DH.

By the way, my daughter took these two pictures. She is really good.

The kids collected shells, and then went back to the pavillon to paint and decorate some of them. The Visitor's center set up a decoration party. Several families worked on creations, however, we didn't really overlap - so our family had its own painting party. They are now drying on the front porch. Some shells are yet to be washed (my daughter is worried that the Magpies will eat her shells) but, I am sure when we leave this place in a couple years, our house will be full of sea shells.

This is how a Saturday should be. Nice and relaxed, with the ones that you love. Of course, the long walk on the beach wore me out, so I took a long nap when we got home. That was also perfect.

Umm, its 4:30 AM

Its a bit early. I woke at 4 AM, thinking that my bank was open on the East Coast, and needing to clear up some annoying paperwork about insurance. But, they believe that listing MST on there website, adjusted for my personal benefit would be helpful. So, no they aren't open yet. I have all these hormones, and a kicking baby - not to mention the sun is rising, so I am awake. By the way, I'm not on Mountain Standard time.

Here's the update on the "baby head sized fibroids". When Baby Pinkie is born - they will continue to inhabit my uterus. Maybe they will shrink. Maybe, I will look 6 months pregnant after recovering from my c-section. But, for safety reasons, there won't be a hysterectomy after the birth.

So, maybe at a later date, there will be. Or there might be a uterine fibroid embolism. That means going through a vein/artery (don't recall which one) in the groin, to locate these things, and cut off their blood supply. It can be very effective, and also means no surgery. Or, I might have a hysterectomy at some point to remove the growths.

But, on July 19th, Baby Pinkie is scheduled to be born!!! That is less than a month away. How exciting!

So, physically, I hurt all the time. My lower back pops and clicks, as the SI joints slip in and out. The pain radiates down my hips and thighs. This is the main reason that I am awake right now. It really hurts to sleep. But, I have to try, because of all the swelling in my legs. Lots of lovely fluid retention.

My blood-pressure is still in the normal range! This is awesome, as it was high with my last two kiddos. Of course, we are still watching it.

My belly is enormous. I should post a picture. I'll try to get to that. The lower belly is like a foreign entity. Its flabby and weird looking. I will not take a picture of it. The kids like to poke it - which is gross and not funny. They got to feel the baby's head in this area at one of my OB appointments. So, they are obsessed with that part of my baby belly. The top of my belly is hard with all the fibroids and baby bottom stuffed in there. And, lets not talk about stretch marks. And railroad tracks (previous C-section scars). Its a warzone down there.

But, this is pregnancy. You sacrifice your body and imagined youthful looks (yah, imagined, cause I'm going to be 40 this Fall) for a new little angel. I will have three beautiful children in the world - and so, looking like a warzone is ok. Oh yeah, and in the end, with nursing- I get to keep the big boobs for a while. At least, some things are fair.

Ok, its 5 AM now, so back to bed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

They are here!


My family arrived a couple days ago. What a relief! I missed them so very much. We have a house. And, tomorrow, our movers deliver all our stuff. We made out big time. Our house is a four bedroom, with 2 1/2 bathrooms, and a walk-out basement. There is a storage shed attached to the side of the house, and a shed in the fenced in backyard. So, no more walking the dog outside! Lots of bicycle storage, and a room for everyone, even Baby Pinkie!

Seriously, we got one of the nicest houses on base. We only qualified for a 3 bedroom home, so we are very excited about this.

Yesterday, while doing some house stuff, two little girls came by to play with my daughter. They had a great time, and the base is very safe, so they can run around together. (This is a new concept for me). And, the neighbor next door, came out to play with my son, and ride scooters. How awesome is that?!

We had Halibut for dinner, and I have a red salmon in the freezer. My DH is going to learn to fish. Everyone does, and many people have boats. I am learning a lot. Like, you can order a half-cow - and have meat for most of the year (island raised). You can catch up to 20 fish per family member, per day, after you have permanent residency in AK, which takes 1 year. That's a lot of fish! And, there is a co-op thing- to get fresh organic produce each week. We might do some of this stuff. We will need another freezer.

DH has a busy work day today. But, he may be able to "walk" home for lunch most days. He looks so handsome in uniform. Tomorrow, he will have the day off to help with the move. My kids really miss their toys. I miss living in a house. I have been in this hotel for a month now. We are sharing a double bed. With my body pillow, its a bit crowded.

Today, I will take the kids to swim aerobics with me. They can play in the kiddie pool while I do my class. This class makes my body feel heavenly. Its the only time of the day that nothing hurts. This baby is growing, fibroids are growing, and my appetite is certainly growing. I could have eaten an orange grove yesterday. I really really am craving citrus fruit. Tonight, I have another doctor's appointment. My newest aliment is swollen legs and feet. Yucky! And, limited range of motion. I can hardly more my hips some evenings. I waddle and move like an old lady.

Well, that is the lastest update. Lots of fun stuff planned today : )

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dinner (TMI) and Other

Last night, I had a wonderful dinner. I was invited to dinner to meet the pastor of the church we may attend. He flies in from Anchorage monthly, and has church services here. The other weeks, we can watch a webcaste of the service online. It was a nice evening. Except, I was so thirsty. I drank a whole bottle of water, before and during dinner. Dinner was fresh-caught Red Salmon. It was literally caught earlier in the morning by my host. His family fishes for a hobby, but they catch enough fish to sustain them for the year, and more. That is amazing. This type of fish, is about $25 a pound. And, they grilled it to perfection.

Well, the water, the fish and dinner didn't set right. I went home feeling funny. Not sick, just weird. I wasn't in my hotel for more than 2 minutes before I gave up my dinner. Yuck. And, peed myself in the process. It was actually not upsetting, but laughable. Cause, well, I felt so much better! And, this was probably the most expensive meal I've eaten in years. This pregnant belly is taking up a lot of room, I guess.

Yet, I am always starving. I didn't eat for the rest of the night, but I was sure tempted. How warped is that? I am afraid to eat the leftovers that were sent home with me. I am guessing it was just the water. I never drink that much at once anymore. But, yah, I don't think I'll be eating salmon for a while. Maybe, I'll wait till I've given birth, at least.

Ok, are you official grossed out?

Here's the good news! I will still meet with the specialist, but my OB consulted with him- via the phone. He has my records. He doesn't intend to do a hysterectomy after the c-section. He will review my condition at a later date. Too much bleeding is the risk. So, the fibroids will stay in there for the time being. The delivery should be in Kodiak. A general surgeon will hang around incase its hard to do the tubal ligation, and AND, the birth should be July 19th. July 19th happens to be my dad's birthday. My dad died 11 years ago. So, this is very special to me. I requested the date (its about a week early from my due date) and the doctor thought it was a great plan.

So, I am down to around 6 weeks : ) Unless something happens, like I go into early labor etc. I will see my little boy in about 6 weeks. (Somedays it feels like he will simply kick his way out of my abdomen).

So, this craziness has an end in sight! And, 4 more days till my family arrives! Yahoo!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Gigantic Uterine Fibroids?

Wow, how could I have forgotten to blog about this subject? I looked back, and it seems that I indeed had never mentioned this in the blog. Lucky day for you! Because, I have gigantic uterine fibroid tumors in my uterus, and I'm about to tell you all about them.

So, at 20 weeks, the ultrasound tech mentioned that I had fibroids. Big deal, I thought, because I suddenly recalled that this was the case when my son was born 6 years ago. Well, my OB wanted to have another ultrasound done at 28 weeks. So, we did that. These puppies are (were) 10 cm and 7 cm in circumference. Wow! That is sort of significant!

So, at my last appointment, prior to moving to AK, my OB advised me that IF I were staying in Michigan for my delivery, she and her team of doctors would discuss what should be done to treat these big rocks in my belly. Uterine fibroids grow with estrogen, thus, they are growing with my baby in the womb. The good news: Baby Pinky is fine, and he has enough room to move around and grow. But, she mentioned "hysterectomy". A c-section to remove baby (via spinal), followed by full sedation, and the removal of my uterus. Wow.

But, she of course, did not know if my new OB in Alaska would feel the same about treatment options. Huh. Great way to start a 4,000 mile move across country.

So, a couple weeks ago, I met with a family practice doctor at my new doctor's office. I didn't like him. I have been told that he is very smart, like an absent-minded professor, but he didn't strike me as being someone who I'd want to deliver my child. Plus, he cannot, because he isn't a surgeon. So, I see my potential doctor tonight. Only, she might not deliver my baby either. She "could" but, she wouldn't be doing a hysterectomy on the island of Kodiak. I would go to Anchorage for that. Thus, another doctor. This doctor visits the island once a month for two days. He might deliver the baby, if the timing is right. He might do a hysterectomy, but, he can't do a consultation until June 22nd. I will be 35 weeks along. Yikes!

Of course, hypertension is an issue too. My blood pressure was a problem with my other two kiddos. My son was born 1 1/2 weeks early because of this. I was on modified bed-rest with my daughter. The doctor, I saw two weeks ago told me that BP medication would likely be an option - not early delivery. But, last week, my BP was in the normal range, although higher than it has been all along.

So, you know what? I am not calm today, and I am really worked up about all of this. Great for the blood pressure!? I have to wait till 8:30 PM for my appointment. Yes, 8:30 PM - as in the evening. My friend will drive me, because I don't have a car anymore. I am paranoid that she will be late or forget me. I mean, she won't, but I can't stop obsessing about it.

I probably won't know much tonight- since, this isn't the specialist from Anchorage. Darn, that he won't at least do a phone consultation with me!!

I can't imagine having a baby in Anchorage. I am learning my way around here. Next week, we will have a house (although empty) and my family will arrive on June 10th. I miss them so much! If I deliver and am cut up in Anchorage, will my kids get to come too? What happens during the delivery? Will my husband we able to be there? Can the kids see the baby before I get put under? I am freaked out by the unknown. There are people here to help me - in Kodiak. But, nobody in Anchorage. I do know how I'd get there- the Coast Guard has space- available flights for medical issues.

I need to calm down, and relax. The truth is, that I am too bored and alone to get my mind off all of this. I just need it to be this evening and time for my doctor's appointment.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Family that Travels

I thought I'd blog about my family. They are becoming more precious to me every day- as we have been apart for over two weeks now.

My husband is wonderful. He has endured so much during their travels. Right now, they are in Bellingham, Washington, and on Saturday, they leave from Bellingham on the ferry. It will be a 6 day trip (the ferry loads up Saturday evening). Then, on June 10, we will all be reunited.

They began the trip with our travel trailer, a little Scamp, that is small enough to tow behind the mini-van. And, they took a couple days to head to DH's grandparents. They threw my son a birthday party. They gave the kids a "mystery box" for the trip. Everyday, the kids open one present each. They have opened hand sanitizer, bandaids, tissues, a pin that says, "thou shalt not whine", and other little trinkets. They wake my husband at 5 AM each day, begging for their present. Yesterday, he made them open everything- he said the mess in the car and 5 AM pleads were making him crazy. But, they also each have a book of activities. Each day there is a question of some sort- they can answer by drawing a picture or writing something. This is a real hit- evidently everyone (husband included) loves this daily activity.


In Missouri, my daughter found her favorite restaurant "Hardees" She ate there at least three times before leaving the midwest. She cried when I told her there was no Hardees in Kodiak. She just loves this place. I don't know why. DH did not share her joy about this restaurant, but the grandparents in Kansas indulged her.

So, in Kansas, they saw the grandparents (DH's family). There 13 pound dog spent 4 days trying to hump my 60 pound golden retriever. Scotty (golden retriever) took to peeing on the floor whenever someone gave him attention, and chewed through his gentle leader collar and leash. He was very nervous there (my poor dog ) Although, the humping part is kinda amusing, I have to admit. My daughter got very upset leaving her grandparents. She became attached, as if it was her "new" home. But, also cried after church, because she missed her church so much. This might have something to do with the lack of Kool-aid and cake after the service, but she was very homesick. She was a wreck leaving her grandparents too.

In Nebraska, DH visited his brother. I have a picture of my son kissing and hugging a statue of Abraham Lincoln, in Lincoln, NE. He has been doing very well on this trip. Although, my husband caught him lying to him about a couple things. One of them, was about chewing gum. I am not sure why he even lied about that.

Back to Nebraska. BIL has cats, and DH is highly allergic, so the family camped. The travel trailer was left behind in Kansas (for the next 2 years) and they tent camping has begun. The first two nights of camping, involved baseball games at the same park, and kids filling the park/playgrounds to 10 PM each night. Scotty chewed through his tie-up and another leash. The next night, they camped behind BIL's house, and there were thunderstorms. The tent leaked badly, ending with everyone inside the house, and the kids sleeping on a naked mattress- um, naked, cause their pajamas were very wet. This occurred at about 3 AM. Poor DH, could not even put his head down to rest, because of the cat dander.

They went to a hotel, and had a good - last night in Nebraska. They saw baby E, our 7 month old niece there. She is beautiful. My daughter loved her. My son reconfirmed his fear of babies. He is truly afraid of babies. That will become interesting in a couple months when baby Pinky arrives!

They drove like crazy people to Montana, and stayed in a Best Western, due to the rain. Montana has received more rain in May, than they usually get in a whole year.

Then, in Washington State, they had a night at a crowded KOA campgrounds. My daughter's homesickness came back. She cried on the phone about wanting to go back to Michigan. She was consoled later in the day with ice cream.

Now, they are in Bellingham, Washington. The campground sounds nice, quiet and relaxing. There is a pool and a playground. The dog has a new leash. The pet smart asked if he was there to be groomed I can only imagine what he looks like! DH mentioned that the kids clothing isn't fitting right- that they have grown or something. My guess is their clothing has shrunk in the laundry? And, my daughter's feet smelled bad enough to wake the dead.

The ferry arrives in Kodiak twice a month, so they cannot arrive any faster. But, soon they will board and be through with the tent. There is rain in the forecast for the rest of the week. I am hoping that the new tent holds up better.

My mother told me last night to have DH drug the kids - that they will all be puking on the boat for 6 days. I don't think this will be the case. But, evidently, I am a bad mother for not preparing for this. He might buy dramamine, but I don't know what they sell for kids? I also don't know that my kids will get seasick. I get sea sick. DH does not.

DH washed laundry yesterday, and while fishing out quarters from a ziplock bag filled with hundreds of pennies and various coins - managed to dump all of them into the washer with the soap. He fished out all the coins. And, was able to laugh while telling the story to me.

I am so proud of him. He is an awesome dad and amazes me. I miss my family so much. Just 10 more days.

Ok, I'll continue


Thank you : ) I will continue to blog. Thank you for the comments. I truly appreciate them. I feel very honored and blessed that anyone is interested in my thoughts and what I write.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bye-bye



Yah. This may be the end of my blogging. I think I will stick to journaling privately. I've looked at my stats. And, my blog is read so infrequently, that its hardly worth the effort. For awhile, I figured that people just didn't comment. Then, I realized, that I am mostly writing to myself.

You can let me know that you disagree, but I think I will at least take a break for awhile. Call me on the phone or drop me an email if you actually know me. And, no, I don't do facebook, because I don't trust facebook.

Much love to the couple of you that read this : )

Bye-bye!

Puffin

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We lost the buyers


Our short sale began 125 days ago. Today we lost our buyers. Bummer, because all we needed was a closing date, everything was negotiated. The banks took too long. Not only was it a bad deal, it was one that was taking an eternity.

So, now we live 4,000 miles away, with a house still on the market, and a mortgage payment that isn't going away anytime soon.

Its time to put on my big girl panties, and take some action. Cause, all the crying and whining in the world won't fix this problem. Too bad, huh, because I am fairly good at those two thing! LOL! At first, I was hysterical. Then, I was angry. Now, its time to abandon the short sale idea, and try a new tactic.

That will begin with, return the rental car. Yah, I have to take the car back. People are so friendly here- so I think I can make this work. I need a ride back from the car rental place. I need a ride to the OB next week. If I can't get a ride to the OB, I need to spend $66 on cab fare. But, I think someone will help me. I will likely need a ride to the commissary, so I can buy food again at some point. And, I need to take a long slow walk to the housing office a couple times over the next couple weeks, to turn in hotel receipts and get a house. If the house isn't on base, well, then I will need a ride there. But, I have made at least 8 friends. I think someone will rescue me. It will save me over $500 to do this.

Then, we need to turn off the utilities at the house, its not going to freeze, so I think this is do-able.

We need to reset the price of the house, and pay off the home-equity loan. That way, we can sell it for less. This is nearly possible. Not 100% possible at the moment, but I think over a few months, it could happen. Tenants perhaps? I am not sure about that one. But, if we got a year lease signed, we could frantically pay off this place, and drop the price next year.

No dance, no swim lessons, no t-ball or sports. The extra-curricular activities for the kids must me free stuff. This will be a major change for us, but we can do it.

I have all my baby gear, I have all our homeschooling supplies. I have clothes for everyone, and I can cook frugally. I have done that before.

So its make mortgage payments, pay off the home equity loan, consider renters, and re-list this house. We will not do a short sale again. We will not wimper and cry. We will tighten our belts and get the problem solved. We will pray, and seek wisdom from the Lord.

Life will continue, and I can continue to be thankful in all things- God has not abandoned us. He has blessed us in so many ways, and I can trust that he will continue to care for all our needs.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jewel Beach


Today, I went to the beach and enjoyed a nice walk. It was windy. I wore a t-shirt, sweater, sweatshirt, ball cap, and rain coat. I was still a little bit cold. Oh, and my new BOGS. They are really cute rain boots, that definitely keep me dry.

The tide was out. The sand is black, with gray/black rocks and orange seaweed everywhere. I managed to find a few shells for the kids. The beach is on base, and named "Jewel Beach" because there is lots of beach washed glass. Actually, I saw very little glass, but that was ok. It smelled like the sea. I have really missed the ocean.

There were rocks to climb, however, I didn't venture out, because I was afraid of slipping and falling. I am 8 months pregnant, so I need to be careful. I don't want to hurt myself or my little baby boy. But, the kids will enjoy this place. They will have a great time exploring the tide pools and look for sea creatures.

I met a pregnant lady last week at my OB appointment. She left her number for me, and today we talked. She invited me kayaking in the fall, easy kayaking - near the shore, in calm weather- to see puffins and ocean life! She and her husband have two kayaks. I might take her up on this adventure. Wouldn't that be cool? For now, we are both quite pregnant, so we will settle for going to the coffee shop. She told me lots about the island, and things to see.

I did go out for coffee yesterday. A Coast Guard wife invited me out. She is really nice, and has a son, who is my daughter's age. He is a lot of fun, very very talkative, just like my girl.

My husband paid me a very big compliment today. He told me that although I am often somewhat inflexible, that I actually push past it - past my worries, and meet the challenge. He said, I don't just meet the challenge, but I flourish in the new situation. I guess that is true. I have been a bit lonely at times here, but I am having a great time. I like it here. I like to try new things, and I like meeting these new people. I feel blessed, and I'm glad God has given me new opportunities to grow. I think that I actually enjoy moving.

Tomorrow, the crab festival begins. It is a big deal here. I can't wait to go- and I will get some yummy king crab legs. Yummy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What is it like here

I have been here nearly a week. Here are my initial observations.

Kodiak has a lot of rain. I knew that coming here, so I am not surprised. But, honestly, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an adjustment. It has been overcast and raining for 7 days. The sun did peek through during my first full day here, but that was for about 10 minutes. I have been told that nothing stops in the rain. I went for a walk with two nice ladies, in our raincoats, and it wasn't that bad. Except for my pregnant body. It just couldn't keep up. I managed to stay with them for half of the distance. Today, there is a hail/farewell picnic in the soccer field near my hotel (I am on the Coast Guard base), and it will happen rain or shine. I plan to check it out.

The Guest House is nice and clean. The weekend brought lots of guests. There is a kitchen on each floor (two floors) and I can cook my own stuff, label things and keep them in the fridge. I haven't gone out to eat even once! And, there is coffee every day. I still limit my coffee, due to baby pinky, but mmmmmm coffee. I had to sign a thing on the check-in that I wouldn't move the bed. Its a huge wooden bed frame. Its made of logs, and very cute. However, I couldn't move it if I wanted to. And, well, where would I move it to? This has me very curious. It must have been a problem in the past. But, I can't imagine "how" it was a problem. The room isn't really that big. You are fined $75 if you move the bed. I'll be careful about that one. The staff is friendly. The laundry (other than soap) is FREE! I can have my mail forwarded here. My DH is sending boxes - because the car is too stuffed right now.

The base. Well, I won't say too much since this is a public website. But, its nice, its big, there is a Commissary (food store) and a great MWR (recreation stuff) and a theater. I will be able to work out - post baby - and my kids will have an area to play or read etc. while I walk on a treadmill. I am still checking out the housing and things on base. I explored all the housing areas yesterday. I was told, "you will not get a house with a garage", so I'm guessing that all the garages (huge sections of them) are the enlisted housing? They generally have separate areas for officer and enlisted families. I don't care who my neighbor is - but, maybe they do this so you don't end up living next door to your boss? I don't need a garage. I need a fenced in yard for the dog. That is even more important to me than the size of the home. I know where I want to live, but it is doubtful that I will be given a choice. In a couple weeks, I will get a house. And, our stuff should arrive after the family gets here. Cause, you know, I don't want to unpack it all by myself. No way!

The town. It is really cute. It isn't really touristy. But, there isn't a lot of huge commercialism here either. There is a Safeway and a Walmart. That's it folks! Or course, there is a post office, library, hardware store, harbor, theater, ferry dock, Taco Bell (yuck), McD's, KFC (I think I saw a KFC) and various local stores and restaurants. It takes about 15 minutes to drive to the Walmart and other things in town. And, then, you can turn around and go back. Oh yes, and there is my doctor's office, the hospital, and I found a baby-maternity shop. I can consign my used clothes there after baby pinky is born and I fit into my real clothes- eventually.

The view. Its gorgeous here! There are mountains and the sea. There are lakes and some rivers. I really can't imagine the beauty I'll see when the clouds lift, one of these days. The earth is black and gravel mostly. I haven't found a beach yet. There are lots of places to dock your boat. I don't have a boat, of course. I have seen magpies. They are everywhere. I haven't seen any other wildlife yet.

The people. They are friendly. Everyone is either fairly quiet or friendly. Somebody honked their car horn at me the other day, cause I wasn't making my turn fast enough, but they seemed to be the exception. People ask when the baby is due, and they have even offered to carry my groceries.

I am exhausted by little things. And, I don't have very much to do. So, I am watching tv a bit. I haven't really sat around and watched tv in almost 10 years. I don't miss it. TV is dumb. Netflix is much better. I don't think we will get cable - unless we need it to get our internet. I get winded going to the store, driving around, and making my meals. But, that's why I have 20 days left to relax before the family shows up, and life gets busy again.

Books. I have some good books. Well, a good book. I'm reading "The Help". I read "Say Your One of Them" on the trip here, and I didn't like it. It could have been written much much better. It was very difficult to follow the story lines. Although the story was interesting, I almost didn't finish it. With books like these, I have a hard time passing them along to someone else. I don't want them to waste their time. So, do you know what I do with a book I didn't like? Or, definitely a book I hated? I trash it. I know everyone has their own tastes- and they won't necessarily match mine- but, if I spent my own money on it- why should I tempt someone else to suffer through a bad book? I have been doing this for years. Maybe, that's one of my strange quirks : ) I will pass along "The Help" to someone else. It is enjoyable to read.

It will be in another post- But, I miss my family. They are happy and doing very well. I am thankful for this baby kicking me in the belly and bladder. Cause, I don't feel so alone. But, I miss my husband, he is my best friend. And, I miss my son and daughter. My little girl was homesick today in church. She misses her church, even though her Papa was preaching this morning.

That is all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am in Kodiak!

Yes, I am here. I got here on Monday night. It is drizzly and wet, but it is beautiful. It is small (around 14,000 people on the island, I think). A big portion of those people are in the Coast Guard. I like it! An island, that you must take a plane or ferry to leave. Yah, cause its an island.

It was a really long flight from Traverse City, Michigan to Kodiak, AK. I started my day before 7 AM, as we all slept in the camper together. The kids wake with the sun. We packed up the car (we already cleaned the house) with the few things we needed for the morning, left a ziplock bag of labeled house keys, and drove to McD's for breakfast. It was weird leaving our house. It isn't quite sold yet, so it was very strange.

On the highway, about 5 miles from home, a belt slipped off on the van. But, God really took care of everything! A MDOT worker (road worker) pulled over behind us, minutes after we broke down. He called a tow truck and waited with us till it arrived. My neighbor drove out to get John and the dog. The tow truck brought the kids, dog and I to the Midas. And, within an hour, our car was ready. Isn't that a blessing?

So, the family drove me to the airport. I left at 1 PM for Minneapolis. I took a airport taxi (inside terminal) to my gate, and made it with about 5 minutes to spare. From Minneapolis, I had a 4 hour flight to Anchorage. That was really really long. I got up to pee and walk a lot! One of the men sitting next to me, carried one of my bags through the plane for me, to help me. I look very very pregnant at 30 weeks.

In Anchorage, I walked in a daze out of security and met my dear friend Sue. She lives in Anchorage, and was home, although I know her from Mancelona at church. She spends a lot of time there caring for her mother, and husband's mother. Sue walked with me to the ticket desk, and they got me on an earlier flight! So, our visit was short- but, I got to Kodiak by 7 PM. Awesome! Of course, there is a 4 hour time change, so 7 PM felt like 11 PM.

I called a CG friend, and got my rental car. She came out to the airport, so that I could follow her back to base, and to the hotel. After checking in, she invited me over and made me a sandwich. I sat and talked with she and her husband for a couple hours and then headed into town to buy a few things to eat in the AM. At 10:30 PM (felt like 2:30 AM) I got my luggage, which arrived on my original flight. I went back to the hotel, and crashed. Boy, was that a long day!

Since Monday, I have eaten lunch with my new CG friend, and dinner too (she invited a couple other CG friends for me to meet), I have fowarded my mail here, I have visited my new OB doctor, I have bought a raincoat (size 2XX mens, as there are no maternity clothing here), gone food shopping at the Safeway and Commissary, gotten a pass for my car to get on base, gone for a walk with my new girlfriends, talked to the pastor of the church we may attend, talked to the housing office, and put a few events on the calendar- a baby shower for one of my new friends and a spouses association picnic this weekend. I am one busy lady!!

I am relaxing in a nice room, with a nice cozy bed. I am missing my husband and kiddos, but I am happy. This is a very nice place, and I believe that we will love it here!

Yay Kodiak! Yay New Home!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Packing Day!

Yesterday, was very very long. My hubby and I have been getting ready for the move for a long time. He helped me yesterday morning, and then had a night flight. I worked all day long, loading up the car, gathering stuff that we need for our trips. Doing laundry, and keeping the kids happy. We all slept in our beds in sleeping bags. Well, except for hubby, because he slept at work.

Pregnancy and sleeping bags don't really go together. I use a ridiculous amount of pillows. Three under my head (acid reflux), one between my knees (si joints), and one under/around my belly. Then, I flip back and forth every hour. So, one sleeping bad doesn't exactly work. It just cannot fit me and my belly and all my pillows. But, I managed to get there by 10 PM. I think that I slept some.

All our stuff is stuffed into the camper and the car. It is very disorganized. It is a mess, in fact.

But, our home is almost packed. The upstairs is finished. The packers are working on the basement. Then, the garage. And finally, they will go home for the day- to return for tomorrow. Tomorrow is moving day. We will not be moving yet, but all of our stuff will.

There is something strangely soothing about this process. I mean, you get this empty space. You clean it, and it doesn't get too messy, cause you don't have anything. You borrow from friends- things like a card table, cooking ware, and you camp out in the house. We will even continue to do homeschool. And, we are days closer to AK.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Six Years Old


My little boy will be six years old in 8 days. Today, we had his "early birthday" because soon we will have no furniture in the house. His best friend will be visiting Washington, DC, so we planned ahead and did the party today. His party was very cool. It was a Lego Star Wars party. We are big Star Wars fans here.

It was cute. He requested "boys only" party. Of course, his sister was invited, because I won't exclude family. He can have boys only, with his sister. She was a good sport, and only complained a little bit. The boys did not have much interest in picking flowers in the yard.

So, we had seven kids running around. I had the bakery make a chocolate cake, with red frosting and black trim. I bought a Darth Vadar candle. We decorated with black and red streamers, and red balloons. And, I ordered Lego Star Wars plates, napkins and cups. We played Star Wars music too (although, it was hard to hear for some reason).

He was thrilled. He got some very nice gifts, and for favors, I bought bubbles. So, they ran around the yard, and blew bubbles. Plus, all the outside toys, and bikes added in. And, we had a Lego building time, which seemed to be a big hit.

In two hours, it was all done. Now, he is playing with his best friend (maybe for the last time?). I don't think I'm going to tell him. It makes me very sad. But, this is the way it works. We will have friends all around the country. At age 6, its not likely that the friendship will last. But, you never can tell. I still keep in touch with a childhood friend, I played with at age 4.

We are almost done here, Tomorrow will be the day to tighten things up here. The movers arrive on Tuesday to pack us up. They come back on Wednesday and take our house hold goods away. They will be shipped to AK and stored for a bit, until we move into base housing.

The house isn't sold yet. We are so very close to the banks finishing negotiations. We leave in just over two weeks. It is all coming together : )