30 November 2011

wordless wednesday: maternity pics

While we were visiting my mom's hometown last week, I somehow convinced a cousin to take maternity pictures for us by the lake! Here are some faves.  I was 31 weeks along--the pictures were taken on Thanksgiving morning.

The due date in Rummikub tiles!

That last one needs some explanation, I know.  No, we're not naming our baby girl George, but my Aunt Georganne would love us to!  Since we're keeping the names* a secret, we took a few with the actual names, and then took this one to pacify everyone and so I could show you the cool picture now!  My aunt referred to her as "Baby George" the entire week, so it made sense.

*We actually have 2 different names picked out and are letter her "tell" us her name at birth! (And my cousin/photographer is sworn to secrecy.)

I would like to thank Pinterest for helping me get all of these pose ideas easily accessible in one place!

29 November 2011

waving the green and gold

I love my little 101 list, and a lot of the things on there I really have to work for (a post about my adventures in learning to crochet coming soon). But sometimes one of them just falls into my lap. Last week while B and I visited family in central Florida for the holiday, we were invited to go to the University of South Florida football game, thus fulfilling:

✔ 83. Attend a college football game again

B likes to make fun of me for having stuff on my list that I've already done before, but I put them on there for a reason!  I haven't been to a college football game since I was in college myself, so it's been 6 years.  I've been to a few NFL games since then and was not impressed.  Luckily for me, college football games are just as awesome as I remember, even though I wasn't watching my beloved Dawgs play between the hedges.

I have a lot of USF alumni on my mom's side of the family (including my mother); however, the school didn't have a football team until most of them were well past graduated. My cousin is a more recent grad, and they live about 45 minutes away so they go to a lot of the games.  B and I went with my aunt and my cousin, who have gone to most of the games this season and have their own little game-day rituals.

The game against Louisville was on Friday at 11am, which was . . . odd.  But they got it televised on ESPN2, so that's something.  USF doesn't actually have their own stadium, so they just use the one where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play.  Parking was super-close to the stadium, but we still got to walk by some fun tailgates.  My aunt and I even got free gigantic t-shirts.  (I normally wouldn't care for an XL, but I had recently seen this tutorial for yoga pants made from a big t-shirt, so I went for it.  Can't wait to make my pants!)

It was a nice stadium, but definitely too big for a team like USF.  I know it was a holiday and all, but there was no one there!  They weren't even selling the upper decks.  B and my cousin bought the tickets at the window and said they were only selling three sections.  The student section was really really empty.  We sorta ended up sitting in the visitors' section, but there weren't that many of them, so it was fine.  And we were in the shade the whole time and the seats were actually cushy!  (I'd never actually sat down during a college game before--at the GA games, we would stand on top of the bleachers--so that was also new, but my swollen pregnant feet were very happy.)  I actually got a bit cold in the shade and ended up wearing my free XL t-shirt, so that was a good call on my part!

The game itself was actually pretty good.  It was back and forth on the score with some fun touchdowns and frustrating fumbles.  In the end, our USF Bulls lost 34-24, pretty much because of their fumbles.  Hey, at least it wasn't a blowout.

My camera battery died before we ever made it in the stadium, so here are some pics from watching the marching band play before we went in.

Yeah, I didn't need the sun hat in the shade, but it's better to be prepared!


14 November 2011

pregnancy vs. the little things

Woohoo, I'm 30 weeks today! (And yes, I had to look at the ticker in my sidebar to figure that out.)  75% done, right?  Well, unless baby comes late, which is quite possible.  This pregnancy has been going rather well, with only one minor hiccup (I came this close to having gestational diabetes and now have to limit my sugar intake).  The rest of the issues are just standard pregnancy fare, but I thought I might let you know some of the fun problems I've had to solve.
  • Shoes.  I was wearing flip flops and sandals, which were easy, but the weather is turning colder.  I don't like my feet being cold and needed something to wear with socks.  I was just using my regular sneakers, but it is so hard to tie my shoes!  I actually had to call my sister and ask her how to do it.  So, here is my $10 well-spent at Payless in the past month:
Yep, lace-less sneakers are my new best friend!
  • Pants.  I've had a ton of people tell me that maternity pants are the "most comfortable thing in the world."  Yeah, not really.  I got two pairs from thrift stores, one from Target.  The problem is that I started wearing maternity jeans in September, and here in FL, it is still darn hot then.  The very last thing I wanted was something on my belly, so I just fold the full panel down.  Whenever I bend over or squat to pick something up (this is quite often, as I'm a total klutz!), the pants start falling down and then fall down every time I sit down or stand up.  So basically, every time I wear jeans, I am constantly readjusting all day long.  I will say that the gray slacks I "splurged" on from Motherhood stay up quite nicely, but it might be because I wear them infrequently and haven't stretched the panel out to high heaven yet.  One of the thrift store jeans doesn't have a full panel, but the elastic is really thick and too tight (oh well, they were $1).  I just got some black maternity slacks from a consignment sale ($2!) that just have an adjustable waist and no panel, so we'll see how those do.
  • The weather.  I hate being cold; I hate having to change my clothes when it's cold (we keep our heat setting pretty low to keep the bills down, so it's only kicked on like twice lately).  I just want to cuddle up in my UGA Snuggie and not do anything or go anywhere when I'm cold.  On colder days, I have to do some crafty planning and layering since my coat won't button (and it's not worth it to buy a maternity coat when the cold weather season lasts 3 months at most).  But the good thing is that this is Florida, and some days, like yesterday, are just nice and in the 70's.  I own some cute elastic-waist skirts that have worked great for pregnancy!  I was able to wear one of those with some sandals to church yesterday, and it felt awesome.  
  • I will say that I've had a lot of comments about how I was "smart" not to be super-preggers in the heat of summer.  I honestly don't think it would've mattered.  I was actually miserable in the heat of summer this year even though I wasn't huge yet.  The first trimester is mean to everyone.  And the place I volunteer is on the second floor of an old building with no elevator.  I'm winded every time I show up!
    Yeah, you're jealous now, but I could hardly breathe on those humid August days.

  • My abs and sleep.  I feel like I have no core muscles any more, even though I can still hold a plank for 30 seconds.  At night, when I need to roll over to the other side, it takes a big orchestrated effort.  I currently sleep with four pillows--one for my head, one that kinda wedges under my chest (I had been waking up with a burning sensation there and this definitely helps), one between my legs, and a big body pillow that I really only use to push against when on my left side.  It's my little fortress, but it seems to be working.  The good news here is that I have rarely had to get up in the middle of the night for the bathroom since the first trimester.  I doubt this will last much longer, but I'm enjoying it while I can!
    Also, in regards to sleep, I have occasionally woken up with a "charlie horse" in my calf, and yowch! those things hurt.  I pretty much go from completely asleep to sitting up in 2 seconds flat with those (I guess my abs do still work).  I read the best tip about these recently, and it said if this happens, just to get out of bed and stand up.  Well, I can vouch for this now!  It totally worked and I wasn't sore the rest of the day like I had been the other times.
So, really, this pregnancy has been good to me!  I'm still working out on the elliptical a few times a week and walking a lot as well.  I'm super-duper excited about our Thanksgiving trip to my aunt's place in Lakeland, FL (a 9-hour drive to be in the same state but a different time zone).  My immediate family is coming down from GA to join in the fun as well--they're taking my nephew to the newly-opened LegoLand there.  

We'll be some taking maternity pictures with my camera while we're there--gotta put something on the Christmas card!--so I've been gathering up pose ideas for the shoot (I hate exposed bellies, and I have a pretty gnarly linea nigra so no thanks).  We're not telling anyone the name, but I'm totally doing some takes with Scrabble tiles to spell it out that will remain in top-secret custody until she is born!

And here's a photo I took on Saturday.  What I see when I look down:
Where did my feet go??

10 November 2011

well, that's one way to announce a Christmas list

I'm linking up with Goodnight Moon's What's Your Song? today!

 I got an Etta James album at the library and listened to it on my trip the other week. Of course we've all heard her signature "At Last," but I've been enjoying her more sassy side.  This song just makes me laugh:

I just love her voice.  Are you an Etta fan as well?

09 November 2011

the start of our military farewell

Last week I got what will hopefully be the last "military surprise" dumped on me.  In the grand scheme of things, it's really not a big deal at all, but it has changed some plans around.

B put in his official resignation letter with the Navy last week.  We knew this was coming; we planned on this.  However, when he submitted it, he was told that he has to get out in August.  We have been telling everyone November 2012 for the past year or so.  I know it's only a matter of months, but it was still a bit of a surprise.  He even asked to be extended a few more months, and the powers that be weren't having it.

Discharging from the military is simultaneously frightening, liberating, the most natural thing in the world, and apparently the most unnatural thing around this base.  The base we are currently at seems to have two types of people: those who just joined the military (currently in A-school or flight school), and those who are only a few years from retirement (currently teaching/commanding A-school and flight school).  For the record, B works at a command with a ton of civilians, and it's not A-school or flight school.  I've met very few people in that mid-range level, but I love it when I find them.  It usually happens around here that when I tell people, "He's getting out," they respond, "He's retiring?"  At our last base, I watched oodles of men and women separate from the service, and no one batted an eye because they knew how much it sucks to be on a ship.  I guess here they're still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed?

B and I have gone back and forth about him joining the Reserves, and after a talk with an O-6 from the aviation world who discouraged it for submarine officers, I think we both agreed that we will be fine without those headaches.  (In case you're wondering, B has a degree in electrical engineering and can also do nuclear engineering thanks to the Navy.)  When I first brought up the Reserves, B told me I should join it.  I'll keep that in my back pocket if times get rough--I think I'd make a good Reservist!

We purposely planned to have our first child while on this shore tour.  The timing worked out right, he's home all but 3 predictable days a month, the pre-natal visits and birth are free, and we were ready.  I'm glad that our plan is panning out, but the fact that we will have a child adds a bit of worry to the date bump-up.  B doesn't want to start a new job until October, so I'm trying to factor in the cost of insurance to our 2012 budget.  If it was just the two of us, we'd probably just go without.  It's not looking very cheap right now, but hopefully we'll get some answers when he goes to his Transition Assistance class on base.

You may have noticed that I rarely post about the military on my blog.  I started this whole thing to pass some time while he was deployed last year, but everything went rather swimmingly so there wasn't too much to vent about.  Plus, we'd already been through it before (with me as a girlfriend), and it was ten times worse.  I purposely never branded this thing as a "milspouse" blog, since I've known that B wouldn't be career military since the moment I met him.  I also realize that I will have spent just as much time out on my own in civilian land (post-college) as I have under the protective cocoon of the Navy.  That's about three years with each.  That fact won't stop me from missing the amazing perks we get around these parts, namely the commissary, free healthcare, and a free gym.

One thing I realized I really won't miss are the military traditions.  I didn't grow up in a military town, I don't have any close family who made a career of it (except my grandfather, but he died before I was born), I didn't know the difference between officer and enlisted until meeting B, and frankly, B just isn't into the traditions, so I guess I'm not either.  He wouldn't even take me to the military ball once we got married (we went to one in Virginia when we were dating, and it was pretty lame so I don't blame him).  I've only seen B dolled up in his dress whites once in our entire 5-year relationship.  I'll still have a soft spot for submarines, especially women on subs, but that will probably be all I take with me.

Oh, and this great picture of him with the Blue Angels from yesterday morning:
B is in khakis and black jacket on the right.
Since this post is semi-appropriate for the upcoming Veterans Day, feel free to see some thoughts and research on the semantics of that word (and whether it applies to B and other active-duty submariners) from a post I did last year.

While I'm ready to tackle the civilian world, I'm still wary about the next place we live possibly being our "forever" home.  But more on that later!


07 November 2011

the re-introduction of Victorian calling cards

Last week, I needed to get someone's address. I see this woman on a regular basis (we volunteer together). I was about to write it down on a scrap of paper, but before I could she just whipped out a "business" card and handed it to me.  She's retired and doesn't have a side business or whatever, so it was totally unexpected.

The card simply had her name, email, phone, and address.  She had printed it herself on her own computer.  I threw it in my wallet and went on my merry way, thinking it was the coolest thing ever!  It actually reminded me of the calling cards you hear about them using in the Victorian days (except now with a lot more information).
Old style: just a name
I knew that you can get a free sample pack (with free shipping) of 10 business cards from moo.com, so I decided to make my own!  We have less than a year left at this address, so I think 10 will be plenty.  I'm excited to get my cards in upcoming week!
What I ordered: I put my phone number in black instead of a title or industry
By the way, this may be only news to me, but apparently Shutterfly has a decent selection of calling cards (a lot geared toward moms) if you want to get fancy.  I found a few other sites have them referred to as "mommy cards," which I can definitely see being useful when you meet other moms and want to set up play dates and such.

*Neither moo.com nor Shutterfly gave me jack squat to write this post.  But if you're out there lurking, feel free to get in touch.

05 November 2011

Georgia shower recap

Well, I've officially been back from Georgia since Tuesday night, but I have been soooo exhausted all week!

I'm glad I went for as long as I did, but it seems the recovery is taking as long as the trip itself.  Driving the 6 hours by myself while 7 months pregnant really wasn't too difficult.  I had to force myself to walk around more at the stops, but that was about it.

Saturday was the shower.  My MIL and her sister (B's aunt) actually drove down from Indiana to attend!  That was so cool of them.  You can totally tell it's the first grandbaby for my MIL.

My sister totally listened to my wishes ("demands" as she probably would say), and this was the cake she got Publix to make:
Woohoo, not a cake wreck!  Check it against my previous post to see how they did!
Speaking of my sister, she called my new shape "disgusting" because I haven't blown up and it just looks like I have a basketball stuffed under my shirt.  I've been thin my whole life, so she took full advantage of this rare opportunity to refer to me as "Fatso."  Gotta love sisters!

This was me modeling and twirling for everyone to cut the ribbon to estimate the size of my belly.

Most people's guesses were WAYYYY too big, but one person did actually under-estimate!  That was pretty nice.

And here's a decent belly shot of me turned sideways with my mom and sis:

I got, um, A LOT of gifts.  See the massive pile on the right there.
It was actually a bit overwhelming, but Baby W and I are very thankful!
 And I guess people figured out the giraffe and jungle theme pretty easily!  We got some adorable stuff:

I actually got 2 of those stuffed giraffes I'm holding.  I think I might just keep both :)

It was great being able to see everyone at the shower.  I won't be back in Georgia until after this little one is born (which is weird to think about), so it was nice to be able to catch up with everyone sans nursing/burping/diapering/etc.

After the shower ended, I ran downstairs to watch my Georgia Bulldogs beat their
big rival!  Yes, we are Gator Haters in our family!  UGA doesn't win the game against Florida often, so it was beautiful.

I actually was able to stay in Georgia through Halloween and go trick-or-treating with my niece and nephew.  I decided to sport a costume using mostly borrowed items:

I guess I'm Super-Mommy (Under Construction).  The tool belt and nail apron (the green thing) are my own.  Oh, and that ridiculous shirt that B gave me.  That's my mom's flannel shirt and my nephew's construction helmet from his dress-up stuff.  He also brought me some of his Handy Manny tools (they all talk), so I threw them in there.  Then we just grabbed a bunch of stuff that was sitting in my niece's pack-n-play at my parents' house (the links, the turtle, random bottles from my sister, etc.).  The Huggies were a free sample I got in the mail--too small for my niece now, so I guess I'll hang onto them!  Yep, that was my $0-budget Halloween costume!
After trick-or-treating, my mom loaded everything into my tiny car, including some rather large hand-me-downs from my sister.  That was insane!  Mom likes a good challenge.  Everything fit though, and I only had a bit of trouble seeing out my rear window.  B helped me unload and we just spent Friday night tidying up our office/baby's room, moving things from one closet to another, and figuring out how to put together the hand-me-down swing.  When we were having trouble figuring out the swing, I said to B, "You do realize that trying to figure out these kids' toys will be a constant for the next 10 years or so, right?"  I think we have officially opened this new chapter of married life.