Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The good stuff

Okay, okay. The details!

I am currently about 15.5 weeks pregnant, and am due on April 17. We don't know if we are having a boy or a girl, and since we don't plan to have any more children, we are not going to find out until the baby is born. I sort of feel compelled to do all those things during pregnancy that you can only do when pregnant, like not finding out the gender, and eating pretty much whatever I want. I'm not sure that this last strategy is smart, but it sure sounds fun, doesn't it? <=D

Things are going fairly well right now. The first trimester was pretty rocky, and there were several times when I just wanted to be put out of my misery. That whole thing about eating whatever I want began at about week 6 when I could only stomach eggs, fruit, and bread products. The sight of vegetables made me nauseous, and the smell of garlic almost made me have to leave the house. I felt somewhat ill when I was pregnant with Kate, but never got sick, and I was totally fine with Claire, although tired. With this one, I felt HORRIBLE. Miserable, gross, barfy, and lethargic. I'm sure trying to chase after two small children and act like somewhat of a good parent to them had something to do with it, but man. I am glad that is over. I do not know how other women do it, when they are actually sick throughout weeks of their pregnancy. Because when you're there, you feel like you will never get beyond how you are feeling, and it is sort of depressing. Lucky for me, my ickyness only lasted from about week 6 until about week 12. And I never really had to be anywhere, like work, or upright.

I was super stressed out about the health insurance thing, as you might have read about. In Tucson, I was spoiled: there was no hospital on base, so all pregnant women went off base for OB care. I had the best doctor ever. I delivered in a great hospital. My husband was home and not in danger of being deployed or TDY near or on either birth date. Here, things are different. There is a hospital on base and all prime insureds go there for OB care and delivery, and Tim has a deployment in March (he should be back by the end of the month, but eek! That is cutting it close, in my opinion). I have known too many women who have had not-so-fab experiences delivering their baby at a military hospital (Katie, I am most of all mortified by your experience), and I did not want to go through this.

Then, to top it off, I had a battle of wills with the admin staff on base. I tried to set up my first appointment, and they asked me if I wanted a morning or afternoon class. Class? Um. I tried to calmly and politely explain that I didn't need to attend the class about childbirth, and that I had in fact attended the same class in Korea (I saw a girl here at the hospital with the same book they gave me back then), and I was good, thank you very much. She told me that I had to go to the class before I could schedule my first OB appointment. I explained that I already have 2 children and that I was really okay with not taking the class. I mean, if you have to find childcare to attend the childbirth class, shouldn't that exempt you from the class requirement? They weren't going for it. I scheduled the p.m. class and began frantically calling everyone I knew (who does not live here and therefore wouldn't give my secret away) to ask about everything from TriCare Standard to actually giving birth here at the military hospital. I called the OB clinic back and asked if I could go off base for care. They said I could do so only if I was high risk. I muttered something about hoping I was. Then I changed my time to the a.m. class "because the children would be happier at that time and probably behave better". She told me I couldn't bring children to the class. I told her I was new here and what did she suggest? We went back and forth and I may have hung up on her.

I finally had a flash of genius: I remembered a friend who had just PCS'd from here, who had also had a baby before they moved. I called her and asked her the important question: if you could do it all over again, would you deliver on base here? She said probably not. Problem solved. She put me in touch with a friend of hers here who recommended an OB to me, and when I called to see if he accepted TriCare, they said he did.

I am not sure if I am breaking rules or getting through on some sort of loophole, or if it's just that I am actually considered high risk (I will be of advanced maternal age when I deliver, wouldn't you know), but TriCare hasn't given me any trouble about going off base. Let's all just breathe a collective sigh of relief, shall we? The icing is that this OB is great. I don't know yet if he is as great as my OB in Tucson, but I love him so far.

Kate understands that she is going to be a big sister again, and perhaps more importantly, that there is not a baby in her tummy as well. Claire looks at us like we are kooky when we start talking about the baby in my belly, and looks questioningly at her own tum. She loves babies, though, so I'm sure she will be a great big sister.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Overwhelmed, and suffering from writer's block

I don't know what has happened. Weeks ago, when I was secretly pregnant, I couldn't wait to share the news! It seemed like everything I wrote about was slightly lame, like I needed to just be able to talk about being pregnant and then everything would be back to normal. But it's not! At midnight, I think of great blog titles, fabulous and funny stories to write about. At 3pm, I have nothing. I might as well be napping! So here's a big shout out (Tim's favorite expression) to my 3 faithful, if bored, readers.

Tucson was great, as I might have mentioned. It was like going home, somehow. Probably because I know more people there than I know here, I was able to suggest places to go for lunch, and I even offered up a new and fun suggestion to my sister of a place to take her in-laws, although she has lived in Tucson for more than a decade.

I might or might not have gained about five pounds last week, from all the yummy places I went to lunch, and from Shayne's amazing dessert selection at last week's coffee. My sister and I took the three girls to get Halloween pictures taken at Sears (why oh why do I torture myself that way? They are horrible! And expensive!). It didn't go well. I spent gobs of money anyway. Shayne and Andrea and I took the kids to the zoo. Kate and Claire fed the giraffes (Claire for the first time; it was hysterical. She was SO excited to feed them [because Kate was excited], and then she saw the long purple tongue on the giraffe and freaked out and dropped the giraffe snack behind the little fence. Me, having just paid a whole dollar for that snack, raced the giraffe to it and won, so Claire and I could feed him together. I think she has recovered by now. I guess I should have started a whole new paragraph [or post] for this topic.). Kate played with her best friend Reagan for hours. Tempie followed Claire around faithfully whenever they were together. I read an entire book. It was such a great week.

I don't know if I will do the trip again next week or not. It is one thing to drive nearly 8 hours (not including multiple and unbelievably long stops) with two adults to corral the children, and to do it alone might be suicidal. But three weeks is a long time for us to be here alone, and I think we might get slightly bored. I think the secret is to get up and drive as early has humanly possible. If I can only drag my butt out of bed at 4am...

Kate is incredibly excited about Halloween. We took the girls to the Reid Park Zoo to go trick-or-treating, and now she can't wait until it's dark every night so it will be Halloween.

I have not figured out how to explain places to Kate. She is having trouble wrapping her head around the notion that even though we drive several miles in one city, that we are still, quite likely, in the same city. Every time I drove them from place to place in Tucson, Kate wanted to know when we would go back to Tucson. I'm pretty sure she thinks of Tucson as Reagan's house and Tempie's house. And perhaps after our trip, our hotel with the fountain.

And now, because of lack of direction and focus, I will leave you with some photos of our recent trip.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


What a great idea this would have been for the big day, huh?

Living it up in Tucson

Tim has a conference this week in Tucson, so we all drove down together to see family and friends. So far the days have been packed. The drive here was slightly miserable, and is giving me second thoughts on doing it again next month without Tim, but we are having a great time here, so it was worth it.

I forgot my camera cable, so unless I Tim can find some way for me to download pictures off the camera, I'll have to save the photos until next week.

We went to Apple Annie's to get pumpkins on Sunday. Our car looks like CSI: had it in their shop for a week: the layer of dust coating the paint has brought out the tiny fingerprints that are covering all low-lying surfaces. But I digress. The pumpkin picking was fun. It was hot, so we kept it short, but the girls LOVED riding on the tractor-pulled hay wagon and playing in the corn-filled tub.

We've also spent time with my sister and her family, and the girls got to go back to their old school today. I was in heaven. I ran all sorts of quick errands that truly were quick! No buckling of small seatbelts! No whining! No back-and-forth about who got to play with the magnet doodle pad! I even had a peaceful, quiet lunch with a friend. And the girls and I were so happy to see each other when I picked them up.

Tonight I get to go to my old squadron's coffee and see many more friends. God I love vacation.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Camping...in our living room

We were supposed to be roasting marshmallows and sipping hot cocoa right now up at Mt Charleston on our very first family camping trip, but the girls are sick so we are going to camp inside instead.

We started out the day with a tantrum thrown by Claire. Tim was watching football and Claire saw a commercial for Nascar. After it was over, she threw herself down on the ground and started kicking and crying, whimpering something about "race cars" in between wails. Just now there was another commercial about her new favorite sport, and she watched with an open-mouthed smile as the cars whizzed around the track.

Instead of roasting hot dogs over a campfire for dinner, we will be eating one of my new favorite dishes and burning marshmallows over the gas cook top. We will also be sleeping in relative warmth and comfort, considering the actual carpet under the tent as opposed to a carpet of pine needles. I will be glad for the protection of our walls, since last night's winds brought a cold front through that has kept the temperature to about 60* today. It's bound to be near freezing tonight up in the mountains.

Kate is running around inside the tent yelling, "It's really fun! It's really cool!" over and over again. Camping is going to be a hit.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

When the house is too quiet

If you find that you've had far too much time to, say, get some cleaning done, check all bathrooms for this:

Not pictured: Claire's jammies, wet to the knees from playing in the sink, and Kate's ill-fated attempt to make papier mache out of wads of Kleenex soaked in a basin full of water.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The next Food Network star

Sampling before I could add anything but water to the mix. Note the large glob of brownie mix on the counter.

This is good stuff, Mom! I'm going to have a bowl of this for dinner.

I decided, in a momentary lapse of self-control, that we had to have these brownies for dessert. Kate wanted to watch Diego instead of baking, but Claire was eager to begin her cooking career. Before I could get out the brownie mix, she had pushed a chair over to the island and was ready to get started. Although the kitchen was a minor disaster afterwards, the brownies turned out just fine.