Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I have so many things to be happy about right now, but the biggest is BIG BIG BIG news....the deployment is OFF!  Hubby is NOT preparing to leave for nearly a year!  He'll still return to his regular work schedule in a week or so, which often takes him away from us for 3 or 4 days at a time, but he gets to come HOME a lot, too. I'm still so nervous about my own return to work as I adjust to the new baby, give Bobblehead enough attention,  etc. but now I am more excited than nervous.

I get to CELEBRATE having this beautiful baby (who still needs a blog name - any suggestions?)

I get to CELEBRATE Bonehead leaving for Navy boot camp in 3 weeks

I get to CELEBRATE my Doula business, which is still growing despite my current hiatus from attending births (more demand for Birth Photography and Placenta Encapsulation, both of which I CAN do without having to be away from baby for so long)

I get to CELEBRATE my birthday AND Mother's Day with my hubby by my side! Not on the other side of the world! YAY!

I get to CELEBRATE the baby's upcoming baptism, and enjoy time with family & friends

I get to CELEBRATE my blogiversary, which I think passed a few weeks ago.....I've been blogging here for three years already! Maybe this should be celebrated with a giveaway?

But mostly, just ready to celebrate the deployment being cancelled. SO freaking exciting for this tired, overwhelmed mommy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Here we go AGAIN.....

Last week was a very eventful one! After weeks of bedrest to stop pre-term labor, I finally reached FULL TERM and was doing anything I could to start labor.  I ate two whole fresh pineapples over the course of three days, walked about 20 miles in those same three days, had as much sex as my poor exhausted hubby could handle, and even used accupressure & aromatherapy to get things moving.  I had lots of great contractions, but any time they started to get into a good 'productive' feeling pattern, they would stop.

Tuesday morning I had my 40 week checkup at the OB, and she checked my cervix for progress; I was dialted to 'almost 5 cm' .....a loose 4, at least, and was about 70% effaced.  Five days prior, I had been a 'tight 4 cm', or 3 to 4 cm and 70% so this was at least SOME progress.  I felt my body was finally getting ready enough for me to get more aggressive, so I made plans to take castor oil late that night (as planned ahead with my doula, who also gave me the protocol for Evening Primrose Oil to further ripen my cervix).....but as it turned out, I didn't have the chance to get more aggressive with it.  I went home from the checkup and started fixing lunch for my hubby, who was in a strange mood. I finally asked him outright what I had done to upset him, and he told me he wasn't mad at me.....

This is where he let me in on a BIG SECRET he had been keeping from me for weeks:


We don't have the exact time frame yet, but we know roughly where he's going and for how long. And we know it will be 'SOON'.  Too damned soon.  He wasn't trying to be deceptive, but he didn't want to upset me when I was supposed to be on bedrest.....finally he HAD to say something because his command was bugging him to confirm that I was 'on board' (what, like I have any fucking SAY in the matter?!?! HAH.)

I didn't cry (very much) and didn't throw a fit, just discussed it with him for a few minutes - what this means for our family, how it changes plans we had for the next year, etc. - and I went back to fixing his lunch.  I sent my best friend/battle buddy a panicked text and she calmed me down while I worked on the food.  I took Jarhead's food to him in his office/mancave, and brought mine in to join him.

Not two bites into my own lunch, I had a STRONG contraction - like a serious HOLY SHIT THAT FUCKING HURTS contraction.  I actually halfway laughed once it had passed, because my text to my friend 15 minutes prior  had included the phrase "I feel like I was just punched in the gut".  I was speaking figuratively, of course, and yet here I was LITERALLY breathless and in pain.

So all that work to get labor going, and it turns out all we had to do was give me the craziest bad news I could have imagined.  Baby #5 was born about 12 painful (all-natural) hours later, and is healthy and PERFECT.

I don't know how on earth I will survive this coming deployment, especially with a newborn AND a toddler to care for....but suffice it to say I will be blogging here more frequently.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

long overdue UPDATE

I might just be the world's most pathetic blogger these days.....I can NOT believe I haven't posted a single update since announcing this pregnancy!  Well, that's all about to change, because at 33 weeks pregnant, I have been placed on BEDREST. Three days into this nonsense, I have a whole new respect for mommies everywhere who have endured this particular torture.

Anyway, to make this a proper update, I'll obviously have to include some pictures. First, the Senior Pictures of Bonehead (as promised like 8 months ago...SORRY!)

He's so handsome when he dresses up!  He turned 18 two months ago and moved out, but is currently crashing with my parents because he hasn't been able to find a JOB....well, aside from the one he's set to start in April: he enlisted in the NAVY, so now I am a NAVY MOM, in addition to being a MARINE WIFE. I do dread his impending departure to boot camp, but am holding my tears for his first deployment. Or trying to anyway. *sob*

As for Knucklehead, he is turning 13 tomorrow, and aside from a little bit of teenage attitude, he is still an absolutely AMAZING kid. Still pulling straight A's in school, including in band where he plays the coronet; still awesome in sports - especially basketball; and recently promoted in his Young Marines unit. (terrible picture of me, but at least you get a peek at my baby bump!)

Bobblehead still makes me smile constantly - he's 2 1/2 now and he can't wait to be a big brother! He moved into his new 'big boy room' a couple weeks ago, and of course LOVES it. I was hoping to have the nursery all re-done in time for this baby, but bedrest may make this impossible. Whenever I get it done, I'll definitely have to post some before & after pictures. But Bobblehead doesn't even seem to mind being displaced from his cherished 'monkey room' - hope the whole jealousy thing doesn't become a huge issue. I've never had kids so close together before, so I'm not sure how any of us will handle it!

As for baby # 5.....first of all, we had to find out the gender as soon as possible (I was so very impatient to know!)

Now that this has been established, we need to come up with a 'blog' name for the baby.....any ideas out there? Trying to stick with the 'head' theme (Since big sister is 'Airhead' here, and brothers are 'Bonehead', 'Knucklehead', & 'Bobblehead')

Coming up with an actual real-life name for him was tough, but we finally settled on a combination that will honor two fallen Marines who my husband went to IOC with - 2nd Lt. James Cathey, and 1st Lt. Sean Blue.  I'm super excited to meet this little one in a few weeks, especially since his 4D ultrasound shows he'll be another 'mini-me' for my hubs....he looks JUST like Knucklehead and Bobblehead!

We're still worried there may be health issues for this baby, even if he manages to stay inside for a few more weeks. We had a 'positive' AFP test early on that pointed to a 1 in 79 chance that he has Down Syndrome.  We didn't do amnio to confirm or deny this, so we're doing LOTS of extra monitoring while waiting for his arrival (and the doula in me is pretty darn sure that the stress of this extra monitoring is what led to the preterm labor scare that now has me on BEDREST. sadface.) As far as the risk of DS goes, this is more due to my 'advanced maternal age' than anything else, and of course there is still a 78 in 79 chance that he does NOT have DS...so we're hoping/praying for a healthy baby. If he has DS, his most likely complication at birth will be heart issues, which would require him to be life-flighted to a hospital about an hour away (by car). If any of the ultrasounds between now and birth show ANY hint of a heart problem, we'll probably just plan to deliver at that hospital, just to be safe. We have two local hospitals, one of which has a new NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) but even that won't be enough if he needs cardiac care right away.  Either way, I am still SO THANKFUL for my husband's civilian job, with GREAT health insurance that allows us the flexibility to give birth pretty much anywhere we choose.

I'll try to do a better job of keeping this blog updated in the meantime, since I am BORED TO TEARS with bedrest already. Looking forward to your suggestions for a blog name for the new baby!

Monday, August 20, 2012

the BIG announcement I've been promising.....

I am so thrilled to (FINALLY) be able to announce that we are PREGNANT!

My fifth baby is due in March, and I could not be more thrilled.  Jarhead is not as excited as I am, but he's happy too.  We weren't even trying to conceive, although I was trying to convince him that we should start trying when Bobblehead turns two next month. I guess we're a couple months ahead of that schedule, huh?

I am sad that I can't take on any new Doula clients for awhile, but this is SO MUCH BETTER than helping other women bring their babies into the world.  I've hired the same doula who helped me deliver Bobblehead, and now kinda can't wait for March to be here already. I do have a few mommies already lined up as doula clients, so I will still be attending their births - but then can't take any more clients because I'll be too pregnant to fully support other mommies.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

BOSTON (picture post)

OK, as promised, here are some pictures from our trip to Boston last weekend:

Bobblehead's first flight on an 'ehhpaaaane'

My handsome men (minus Bonehead since we left him in California with his big sister)

I actually missed the ceremony after being sick as a dog ALL DAY, 
but managed to pull myself together and hold down some ginger ale 
just in time to go to the reception. I think I still looked peaked here,
bu nobody seemed to notice. I'm so happy I at least got to GO!

Sweetest couple - so in love!

I love catching him SMILING on camera! 
Yes, the alcohol probably had something to do with this, but I'm so glad he had a good time.

He's smiling again! HA HA HA note the glass in his hand (again)
The groom's lovely sister had LOTS of great stories to tell about her big brother.

Hey Babe, there's a monkey on your back.....

Sitting in the middle of Boston Common

Granary Burial Ground (final resting place of Samuel Adams & Paul Revere, among others)

The first time the Declaration of Independence was ever read 
to the public, it was done from this balcony. 
They read it again every 4th of July here.

Playing with daddy. This playground sits on the spot that used to be THE GALLOWS.
Charming, huh? ha ha ha

Bobblehead LOVES pizza, and he loved this cool 
chair in our hotel room, which doubled as a high-chair while we were there.

Paul Revere House

Copp's Hill Burying Ground

You can see the steeple of the Old North Church in the background 
(where the signal lanterns were hung the night of Paul Revere's famous ride)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bloggy friends

I've had the honor & privelege of meeting several other milbloggers in the past few years, and have made some lasting friendships..... but nothing excites me more than meeting a 'fan' of my blog in unexpected places!
Yesterday I was at the wedding of a beautiful couple in Boston - a little far from my so-cali stomping grounds. The groom served with my husband in Afg 2 years ago, and is little Bobblehead's Godfather. The bride was my online 'battle buddy' during that deployment, and neither of us knew at the time that our men were bonding with one another half a world away.  
The cool moment last night was when the groom's younger sister came over to introduce herself & told me she's a follower here! So cool :)
So, this is just a quick shoutout to Laura, who now has inside info on the 'top secret project' I'm working on.....can't wait to tell you all about that one!

Pics from our Boston trip coming SOON,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

reunited and it feels so good.....

I can't possibly express my gratitude to my many blog friends who have been so patient (& forgiving!) with my recent absence.  To those who took time to contact me and check to make sure all is well, I owe an even bigger THANK YOU!

My last post promised a look at our new family portraits, so here you go:

So, the biggest new development in my life is one that I don't technically have hubby's permission to blog about yet, but I will definitely be letting that cat out of the bag SOON.  The second biggest new development is that my daughter is BACK!

Many of you already know the story of my daughter, AKA 'Airhead', leaving 4 1/2 years ago, and you also know some of the hurt this caused me.  I've missed her SO SO SO much, and can't tell you all how fantastic it feels now to have her back in our lives!  Seeing her, speaking with her, HUGGING her.....best feeling EVER.  We had dinner as a family in early June and it was so incredible to see her playing with little Bobblehead as if she's known him his whole life.  Since then I've gone wine tasting with her a couple times (yes, I love having an adult daughter!!!) and we're going to get pedicures together later this week. LOVE!

I was overjoyed to be reunited with my long-lost daughter, but just imagine my sheer happiness to learn that she works at one of our local wineries, and can get me in FREE for tasting at almost any winery in town!  Does it get better than this???? Yes, actually it does, but like I said I can't talk about that yet....still a SECRET for a little while yet.

My boys are all ecstatic to have Airhead back, too.  Bonehead passed his proficiency test to finish high school, so I finally paid off his senior pictures (will post those soon!) He's hoping to enlist in the Navy, but we won't know for a couple more weeks if that's even possible.  Knucklehead is enjoying his summer, getting ready for school to start in a few weeks. This is his second year in Middle School, and he is now my ONLY child in school.  Well, not counting Bobblehead, of course.....but he's in preschool. PRE-preschool, in fact, in the toddler program.  But in a few short weeks he'll be two years old and will move into the class I've been teaching since March, which means I have to move OUT of that class.  Not sure yet if I will be in the Infant program or the Pre-K, but either way it will be a huge adjustment for me.

My doula business is going very well, though that new secret project I'm not allowed to talk about yet is going to put the doula thing on hold for awhile.  I have three more births already scheduled, and am not taking on any more clients for the time being.  I'm also getting better with photography, which brings me to my next point - have you entered the Shutterfly Facebook Photo Contest yet?  Check it out:

Long Live Summer – Facebook Photo Contest details (US residents only) 7/9 – 8/12 Multi-week summer themed photo sweepstakes with instant win prizes. http://bit.ly/sweepS
Win a trip for four to The Bahamas and a professional photo shoot so you’ll remember your vacation forever.  All you need to do is upload your favorite photo and caption based on the theme of the week.  Get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering! You can enter at any point during the 5-week sweepstakes period.
•       Week 1(7/9): Americana - ended
•       Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors - ended
•       Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun – current week
•       Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
•       Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations
       Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
       Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
       Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page.
       Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

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