Monday, October 31, 2011

Day Twenty-Two

The date is finally correct. This will be me entirely catching up. My sleep last night was miserable to say the least. My nose is still clogged, so it had me ending up sleeping with my mouth open all night causing dry mouth, and it kept waking me up. I was way too tired to get up and get anything to drink or blow my nose, so I just slept miserably. My body is also apparently still trying to adjust to the daylight saving time, because I really woke up this morning thinking it *had* to be minutes before my alarm was set to go off, and it was 530 instead of 630. Dratz. Not only could I not sleep, but my body was already trying to wake up when it shouldn't have been. I'm not looking forward to adjusting to this. I tried my best to fall back to sleep, but I have such a hard time with that after I've already woken up so much. To top it off, it was really hot in the room adding to the miserable scale. I guess I did get back to sleep a bit sometime because when my alarm finally went off at 640 it woke me up. I snoozed it until 7 as usual =P.

After that, I got up, brushed my teeth and washed my face, got Hayden up, and got him downstairs for breakfast. As he ate, I replaced the patched on his jeans he'd be wearing today. The third set of patches on 1 pair of pants alone. I swear I'd be broke from buying this kid new pants is I hadn't found these patches lol, he's just so rough and clumsy. Anyways, I got him all set p to get dressed and ready after he ate, and about that time Brayden came down. I got him set up and dressed as well. I still had enough time to take a quick shower and get dressed, and I really needed it to wake up. After all that, it was time to head to school. It was cool, but not overly freezing this morning. I took Hayden in to his classroom, and Brayden and I headed home. We ate some breakfast and then I did some laundry. I checked my emails and responded to a few. I looked over to find that Brayden was so tired that he passed out on the floor while playing with his toys. That was a perfect cue for a nice morning nap. We went upstairs, got comfortable, and laid down. I got up about 2 hours later while Brayden continued to sleep and cleaned up downstairs. I did some more laundry, put dishes away, and put more in the dishwasher. I paid our car insurance and Denton's credit card since we got paid today. After all that it was about time to head out to pick up Hayden. I had enough time to make a little lunch for Brayden and I and to sit down and get our phone bills ready to pay after picking up Hayden.

By the time we left, it was really nice out. Warm almost. Brayden decided to stay in his tank top, though, so I did put him in a light jacket, but I was fine in my regular shirt. We headed up and waited for Hayden. As soon as Hayden got out, we went straight to the ATM and then on to the phone company to pay the bills. After that, I had to go on to post to get some gas, and then we headed home to get ready for trick or treating. I had to drag the kids' buckets out, got a stroller ready because I knew Brayden wouldn't have walking all the way, got some glow sticks out to make necklaces with, taped some lights to the kids buckets, got a bookbag to put on the stroller to dump the candy as their buckets filled, put our blow-up Halloween cat out front, taped a poster on our front door that read "NO CANDY" so I didn't have to worry about people coming by the house (no one was going to be home, so there was no point in getting candy this year), got the kids all ready, and took some pictures of them while it was still daylight out. They were ready and rearing to go, but we had to wait until 5 o'clock to start. I locked up my car, locked my backyard gate, and locked our front door. I do not trust these potentially crazy people lol, especially since there are many Germans that come up to our neighborhood just to trick or treat because Germans do not celebrate Halloween. Not to say that Germans are crazy house-robbers, but I just prefer to lock up when I know a bunch of strangers are going to be coming by my house.

5 o'clock rolled around so we decided to head out. Our neighbors put on an awesome, scary walkthrough in their backyard, but we always make it the last stop so we'll go through when it's dark. We ended up going out with a friend on our street whose kid is friends with Hayden and husband is also deployed with Dentonspooktacular* time no matter what. Brayden was lazy as usual and spent his time in the stroller in between houses, but he didn't fall asleep =). About half way or so in, however, I was pretty much numb from the waist down,  not from the cold, from the walking, but I trucked on to get our full 2 hours in for the kids. We went across the neighborhood, but the further we went direction and time-wise, the deader the streets. I guess people underestimated how much candy they really needed to buy for all these kids lol.

We headed home and hit up the neighbors house for our last stop. It proved nice and scary as usual. I had to keep reminding the kids it was just the neighbors and their friends under there and not to be scared. They got through, got their candy, and we headed home. I hadn't planned anything for dinner, so I let the kid dump their candy out, pick one piece each, and we headed for the food court to eat. I was glad I did because they had a table there where they were taking pictures of all the kids individually to enter them into some costume contest, and they gave each child a ticket for a free kids meal anywhere in the food court, and a free movie ticket through the end of November. I got the kids food, sat them down to eat, and went on to get my food. We sat down and ate, and headed home.

I immediately got the kids undressed and got them in a nice epsom salt bath to soothe their tired bodies. After they were done, I got them dressed and ready for bed and then got in my own nice epsom salt bath with the added luxury of a lit pumpkin-scented candle. I really, really needed that. I also got another chapter in on my book How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor. This chapter was a lot about pregnancy, the importance of breastfeeding, and the importance of overall nutrition and how typically doctors know nothing about the importance of good nutrition and the impact it can have on one's health. I really love this book. After I finished a chapter, I put it down, turned over on my sad, and relaxed and felt and watched the baby kick. I guess he/she enjoyed Mama relaxing as well. I finished up and sprayed myself down with cold water, got out, and got dressed. I came down and did a little more laundry and folded up the blankets that I had done today. I also brought in our blow-up cat, and then just sat down to catch up on all these posts I had missed this weekend. I hate getting behind on things, and will try my best to keep up with this daily so I don't have to take the time to do this again. My husband may be home much sooner than later which is bitter sweet because it would be so he can deploy with his company in February, but it is what it is. I want him home ASAP so we can spend as much time with him as we can, and so I can stop paying $1/minute just to talk to him =P. We're inseparable ;). After I close this, I will be blowing my nose, heading to bed, and hoping for a much better night than the last. =/


Day Twenty-One

[Sunday, October 30, 2011]

This day was going to be a dedicated lazy day. We had had such a busy, long, exhausting past 2 days, so we needed to catch up on some rest this day. Thank goodness we fell back in the middle of the night so we ended up with an extra hour of sleep, and still slept in. When we finally got out of bed we came down, had breakfast, and just relaxed. I had nothing planned for the day except for lounging around, maybe some light cleaning, and inputting my volunteer hours that I had written down on scratch paper before I lost it. We watched movies, played games, took a nap, and just relaxed. We talked to Denton a bit here and there to catch up on our wonderful weekends as well. I did end up inputting my volunteer hours, and caught up on some emails as well.

I did some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, and made dinner. We also worked on Hayden's reading for school. After all that, it was time for bed. As I said, it was a relaxing, boring, but very nice day.

Day Twenty

[Saturday, October 29, 2011]

So, I got up at about 8 am- I had planned 7, but 5 hours was not going to cut it for my day ahead. Upon getting up, I took a shower to really wake up and get my day started. I put the kids in the bath after so they could get their day started as well, and came downstairs to finish up my posters. It was nice to already have some done so I could just copy what I'd already done, but it still took a lot of time lining things up and getting it done. They came together quite nicely, though. I had to stop for a bit to get the kids dressed and get them some breakfast. I decided it would probably be good for me to eat something as well so I didn't end up passing out later that day lol.

After the posters were finished, I cleared off the table and got the kids all set up to decorate their cupcakes. Crushed up oreo, pull-and-peel twizzlers, red hots, a piping bag, an example by Mommy, and they were good to go. I got started on mine as well. I decided to go for the easiest Halloween cupcakes ever- mummies. Just a flat tip on the piping bag, plain white frosting, straight lines across the cupcake, and 2 red hots for eyes =P. Simple and fast, exactly what I needed. After we were done, I got the kids into their costumes, and tried to figure out what I was doing for mine. I decided to go for simple and something I had already done this year- eighties. It was also nice and comfortable for being pregnant. We got all ready, and headed out to the company.

I got there and our wonderful volunteers were already there getting stuff put up, out, and stuffed. I jumped right on in and the kids enjoyed themselves playing with the games, toys, candy, and running around all crazy kid-like. After everything was ready, we had a small meeting before everyone dispersed to get ready. I realized at that point that I had only had a very small breakfast and would not be eating for at least another 4 hours, so I decided it was best to go ahead and just grab a large pizza for the kids and I to split throughout the afternoon. I went and grabbed it, came back, and finished up some last minute things in the conference room before people were set to arrive. At just before 2, our first few people arrived and the kids got right into playing the games. People came more and more soon after, and soon we had nearly a full conference room. The kids realllly enjoyed themselves, and the adults seemed to have a pretty good time as well. We had some new faces come out of the woodwork, and that's always good. We had a costume contest, cupcake decorating contest, and pumpkin carving/decorating contest for people of all ages. Hayden and Brayden ended up winning the pumpkin decorating contests for their age groups by default since they were the only ones that entered, but they loved it. My poor mummy cupcakes had NO chance against the creepily lifelike finger cupcakes made out of peanut butter. Poor Brayden was so tired that he ended up falling asleep in a chair about halfway into the party. I'm so glad he's able to sleep through just about anything, though. Once the contests were all done, the party died down and people headed out. We spent a good amount of time cleaning up and packing things away. It was a great turnout and we were so glad about it.

We had quite a few cupcakes and candy left, so we headed over to the barracks to hand them out. We ended up going door-to-door dropping the candy bags on the doorsteps in a sort of backwards trick-or-treating style =P. We took the rest of the cupcakes that we didn't hand out over to the USO since we knew plenty of people would eat them there. After that, the kids and I headed home to crash. I was truly, truly exhausted and knew I would be loving my bed that night. The kids weren't as exhausted and wanted to watch a movie, so I laid down on the couch while they watched a movie, and then after the first one I got up and made dinner. We ate dinner, and I laid my foot down that it was definitely time for bed. We closed up shop, went upstairs and got all cleaned up, and fell out.

Day Nineteen

[Friday October 28, 2011]

I am soooo sorry I have missed a few days. It was a lonnnng busy weekend to say the least, and pregnancy exhaustion took over. I decided my sleep at night was more important than this for a few days, but I'll try my best to rack my pregnancy brain and catch up!

SOoooooo, Friday morning was another regular morning. It was finally the weekend, so that was the best part. Hayden was off to school and Brayden and I came home to eat breakfast and relax. I had emails to do, and posters to make, but I decided to put the posters off until after Hayden got home from school because I know my mornings are not so productive; it takes me a while to really wake up my brain, and by the time I'm almost there, it's nap time lol. So Brayden and I just had a typical morning, playing games, watching a movie, I did some dishes and laundry. After all was said and done, like I said, it was nap time. We got up to go get Hayden from school, and then I had to go straight to the stores to get my supplies and also some things for dinner.

It was 4 o'clock when I heard my infamous calendar reminder go off when I was in the middle of shopping at the commissary. "What in the world do I have planned?" I thought to myself. See, if I don't put these reminders in my phone, I wouldn't make it anywhere, lol. I looked and saw that it was the parent/son pancake dinner to raise awareness for Domestic Violence scheduled 2 hours later at the post about 35 minutes away (plus driving around to find the building time lol). Woops. Been planned for weeks and I completely forget in all the hooplah. I decided to finish up as fast as I could so I could get home. This was a complete wrench in my plans because I still had cupcakes to bake and posters to make. I knew I was in for a long night. We got home and I took a quick shower and got myself and the kids ready, and by that time it was time to go so I could still have time to get lost and make it to the dinner in time =P. Just as I thought, I had no clue where this place was, and apparently no one thought it would be smart to put a building number on any flyer or email. Luckily, though, I am not above asking for directions, and I asked a very nice soldier who happily drove in front of me to lead me to the place. We ended up getting there a good 15 minutes early, but still went ahead in.

We were, not surprisingly, one of the first families there, so we took a seat, relaxed, and waited. I tried my best to explain what we were there for to Hayden, Brayden would have no clue, but they were mostly worried about when they could get up and get their pancakes. The 15 minutes went by pretty quickly, and they opened up the dinner and let us go ahead and grab some grub. The food was great, but as I always say, free food makes everything taste better =P. As we were eating they had a speaker come up to talk about domestic violence especially as it pertains to the Army environment, and told a chilling story of his own. They also passed out safety contracts to go between the parents and the child. I'll wait until Denton gets home to go over it with him. After the whole presentation was done and we were done eating, we left so I could get home and get started on all my work. Denton called on the way home so I turned on speaker phone, propped the phone on my shoulder, and drove on home. I keep forgetting to put headphones in my car for such a time.

After we got home, the kids threw in a movie and laid down on the couch, and I got right into the kitchen to bake the cupcakes. I knew I needed to at least get them baked tonight and I could worry about decorating them in the morning. After I got them in the oven I got started on my posters. I immediately knew what I was going to do, but it involved, printing, lots of cutting and tracing, coloring, and proper spacing. I had to do this times 4. I started all of this at about 11 pm, and had to call it quits by 2 am because I was nearing dementia due to lack of sleep. Definitely not a good idea to be staying up that late knowing I had to get up early in the morning and had a full day ahead. >_< I ended up getting 2 of the posters done I believe. So I went on upstairs, crawled into bed, set my alarm, and fell out.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day Eighteen

Another typical day. Got up, got the kids ready and Hayden fed. Today was crazy sock day at Hayden's school, so I set him up with a pair of Daddy's long green Army socks on the outside of his pants. About as crazy as our socks get in this house lol. We were all ready and we were off. It wasn't too cold out this morning thankfully. I waited with Hayden until it was time for his class to go in, and Brayden and I headed home. We ate some breakfast and then followed up with a little game of kick the beach ball in the living room. It was a lot of fun to do something so simple and see it make Brayden so happy. This went on for quite a while. After that my hips and lower back were really hurting, so I decided to lay down and rest a little. Resting is about the only thing that has helped when I get these pains, but it makes me feel so lazy =( There's a lot of things I'd like to be doing around the house now that Shrek is gone, but my body doesn't want that to happen. I put on some cartoons for Brayden and he played with his drawing toy, and I just relaxed. Our neighbor came by with her daughter who's just 12 days apart from Brayden to give us a thank you card from her birthday party. That really woke me up, so I got up and turned Army of Darkness on and played and colored with Brayden. That movie is such a classic. Great one-liners like "give me some sugar, Baby." lol. It was also mild enough due to the cheesy factor that it wasn't bad for Brayden. Once that was over, though, Brayden was really tired so I figured it was a good time for a nap. I got up a little early to take a shower so I could try out some coconut oil to moisturize. I put it on my face and hair. It softened up my face, and really helped with my dry ends that severely need a cut.

Then, Brayden and I got ready and left a little early today to get Hayden. I wanted to get a good parking spot so I didn't have to cross the street to get Hayden, and arrived just in time. It really ticks me off when people just park not worrying about making space for other people and leave gaps *just* big enough to not fit another car. Anyways, Brayden and I sat in the car for a good 10 minutes snacking and listening to the radio before it was time to head up. I forgot my jacket at home, but luckily it wasn't too cold. Brayden hopped in his stroller, and we head down the path to wait for Hayden. He came out in a great mood, and we went across the street to take a look at the pumpkins the guy brought from his pumpkin patch over 70 kms away. Perhaps he didn't think he would sell so well because he certainly didn't bring enough for us Americans. He only had less than a dozen left when I went, and they weren't anything to ge excited over, so I passed. We already have our pumpkins, so we're good. Halloween isn't celebrated here in Germany, so pumpkin patches are quite rare. You'd think, though, that one of the many farmers around here would smarten up and grow pumpkins so he could make a bunch of money off of us. I just may try my hand at pumpkins next year.

Then, we went on to post so I could take Brayden's sports physical in to put on file so he can play basketball this season. It was annoying because I called ahead to let the girl know I was coming, but it ended up with me standing in the doorway directly in front of her being completely ignored for about 10 minutes before she even came up to me. Got that weight off my back and we headed over to the USO to get some hot chocolate. Their machine puts out some of the best hot chocolate I've ever had. It's so frothy for about 1/4 of the cup down and so yummy. We sat down in their comfy lounge chairs and enjoyed our hot chocolate, and then went on to the commissary to pick up some stuff for dinner. I decided to keep it simple tonight with an easy homemade soup so got some veggies and then some fruits to snack on, and that was it, we were out. We came home, got stuff in order, and then finished all of Hayden's make-up work he had for missing Monday and Tuesday. It was quite a few pages, but he got through them well. Once we were done, I had him start on reading and I got on to dinner. After the prepping was done and we just had to wait for it to cook, I came back and worked on the reading with Hayden. Pretty soon, it was done and we all sat down for dinner. It was quite yummy, and tasted almost just like how my family always makes it. Homestyle stuff is always a good choice. Once dinner was over, though I really helped Hayden finish up his reading, and then sent him off to bed. I put Brayden in the shower and washed him up real quick and dressed and put him to bed as well.

facebook groups to get some advice, and then just decided to browse around for a bikini for labor. I had a dream the other night that I found this really cute bikini in a store, but there's no way that's happening here anywhere. I ended up on my never-failing and found a realllly cute pink Juicy Couture bikini for only $19.90 total, with free shipping as well! I really hope it fits, because if so, it will make me one happy mama. I already posted in another post that I don't want to end up the crazy naked lady in the window, so the bikini will make me feel much better, even if it's in February =P I'm sure my husband would appreciate it as well, here or not. I hope it gets here soon so I can try it on. They do have a 30 day return policy, but hopefully I won't have to worry about using it. Ok, well, I'm super tired and ready for bed. After I wrap this up I'm going to throw some stuff in the dryer, and head to bed.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day Seventeen

A much warmer day today, but still cold for normal Elizabeth standards lol.

Got up this morning, had Hayden take a quick shower, and went to for a normal morning routine. Spiked his hair all up for crazy hair day and took him to school. Brayden and I came home and ate some breakfast and got ready to head to the farm. The drive wasn't too bad, wasn't really foggy so that was good. Definitely got the hang of using the machine now so I'm in an out as soon as my glasses are filled. Brayden always gets excited when I come back to the car with the milk. "You got the milk, Mom?!" he says =) We headed back home, dropped off the milk, and then went to the commissary for a few things. It's so nice to go in the morning when no one is there. We came back home and I checked my emails and talked to Denton for a bit. Yeah, I know, racking up a phone bill, but I just can't stay away from my man lol. I miss him so much.

After that, Brayden and I decided it was time for a nap. Soccer was tonight, so I needed all the rest I could get. We got up to go get Hayden, and Brayden wasn't quite ready to get up, but he did begrudgingly. Went to get Hayden, la-di-dah, and came back home. We worked on his reading and his spelling words a while and then I had him work on more reading while I made some lunch and cleaned up a bit. Soon, it was time to get ready for soccer. I got Hayden all dressed up which takes the longest, then Brayden, and finally myself. I got all our stuff ready, and we were off. It takes a good while to get to the other post where we were playing, so we had to leave early. The drive wasn't bad. I'm so glad to have the new one community road that connects both the posts together so I no longer have to drive on the regular roads. We got there, I took Brayden to the bathroom since we're now working really hard on potty training- no diapers in the last 3 days! I was a little iffy about not putting him in at least a pull-up for the game since I knew I'd be occupied for at least an hour and he may end up having an accident, but I think making him go right before the game helped us out. Our kids played so very well. I was so proud of them. Hayden scored quite a few goals as well, so it was a great ending for him. As always, I worked to instill good teamwork and sportsmanship. It was wonderful seeing them play so well, but I really am relieved that now I can just sit down and watch from now on. It was really taking a toll on my hips anyways. I really need to ask my midwife if she knows a good chiropractor or something similar around here who could help me =/. Anyways, once we were done, I gave the boys their medals, and then a few of us headed over to the BK with the playland so the boys could play one last time and celebrate. One of the moms gave me a nice candle and gift card for the PX to show appreciation. That was so nice and thoughtful. Another mom decided to pay for my and the kids food. I almost cried. I never expect my parents to do anything for me or pay me back in any way because despite all the bickering, I really enjoy working with the kids and seeing their hard work pay off and just seeing them have fun, but it's so nice when someone shows such appreciation. I hope to pay it forward with my kids future coaches as well.

Well, I saw that I had missed a few calls from Denton while at the game, so I decided to call him back, and he ended up giving me some pretty surprising news. I won't reveal anything right now due to OPSEC, and of course in case anything changes, but this changes a whole lot if it remains. The kids ate and had a great time playing, and we stayed for about an hour until it closed. We headed home and it was a bit foggy, but not as bad as it will be. We got in, got Hayden all undressed, and then I sent the kids to the shower. I made shower was all nice and clean because he sure was covered in sweat, ick. Once they were done I called Denton and let Brayden talk to him some more and I talked to him some more before he had to go. I relaxed with the kids and got online for a bit. The baby was kicking up a storm so I let the kids feel and they felt the baby for the first time. They thought it was pretty cool. Brayden also talked to the baby a little bit which was cute. I think he really likes the idea of a baby right now, but not sure if that will stick once the baby finally comes and gets so much attention. If he's anything like Hayden, though, he will be an *awesome* big brother. The baby was also doing a lot more that could be seen on the outside which is pretty new. That's so much fun to see- the baby show sometimes known as the alien in the belly show. lol. The kids soon fell asleep on the couch and I browsed around facebook and our yardsale


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day Sixteen

22 weeks pregnant today =)

Well, this morning I was supposed to run to the farm for more milk, but the girl I was going to take changed her mind so I decided to take that and run with sleeping in = P. The kids were still dead asleep, so I didn't want to wake them up for it either. I can go a day without having it. My prenatal appointment was this morning, though, so I couldn't sleep too long as I still had to make everyone breakfast and then clean up and be ready. We all got up and I made us some eggs and buttered Hawaiian bread. It was quite yummy. Hayden helped me clean up and I vacuumed the floors and cleaned the bathroom. I don't know why, but I always have to make sure I clean my bathroom very well when I know someone is coming over even though more than half the time the person or people don't even end up using it! Better safe than sorry I guess lol. I set the kids up with some drawing stuff they could do to keep quiet if they stayed downstairs, or I let them pick a movie to watch upstairs in the toy room. I was all ready but still had some time, so I decided to go ahead and do some more recordings of the heartbeat and count BPMs. It was faster today than before, but stil beautifully normal. It's getting much louder now as baby is growing. 

Nina, my midwife, arrived and we settled in. I hadn't seen or really talked to her since my last appointment because she's been on holiday. She got to go to the Midwifery Today conference hosted here in Germany. I wanted to go to that sooo very badly since it was so close and had such amazing speakers and topics, but I'm glad I ended up not being able to go because Denton is now gone and I would've had no one at all to watch the kids. It's times like these when I realize things happen for a reason, and we can't get all upset for not getting things we really want because it's most likely for a reason. Being able to accept loss or not getting what you want, will leave you much happier than mourning over what you can't change. We chatted a bit over what she learned, who she met, and just her overall experience. Yes, she met Ina May Gaskin, and I am totally jealous about that lol. She also told me about the Turkish Midwifery conference she went to. Apparently the state of maternity in Turkey is even worse than in the US, and that's pretty hard to do lol. Things like all first time mothers must give birth tied to stirrups, must have an episiotomy, must have pitocin, etc, and the c-section rate is over 50%. That is just alarmingly disgusting. She did tell me that she learned from a speaker that when one receives pitocin, artificial oxytocin, the body shuts down natural oxytocin production, and therefore can lead to greater risk of hemorrhaging after birth because pitocin is typically shut off and the body is still not making oxytocin to help stop bleeding. This lack of natural oxytocin also prevents the "birth high" or surge of endorphins called the "love cocktail" that helps mom fall in love with baby after birth. If we have a nation with such great numbers of women receiving pitocin during labor and unable to receive the natural "love cocktail" after birth, what will that say about our emotional ability as people especially relating to our children compared to what it could be? It is things like this that further reinforce my absolute love of knowledge and being able to make a choice such as homebirth so I can give not only my baby the best start in life, but the both of us the best start as a family.

So, after all that was done I did the little urine test stick to test for proteins and sugars and it came back wonderfully normal as usual. She then took my blood pressure- normal as well. She asked my weight and marked it down. She then measured fundal height and then belly circumference- the latter I have never had done before, and it was quite alarming to hear the number, especially because it was centimeters lol. My fundal height was great, a week below, but that is completely normal. She tried to hear for the heartbeat with her fetoscope to no avail which we both expected, but I let her listen to my recordings of the baby's heartbeat on the phone. She was quite intrigued by this. At the conference, she had learned about a new gadget that's pretty much a mechanical fetoscope with a microphone to amplify the sound but does not use doppler ultrasound, and she is looking into buying one of those, so hopefully in the near future more of her moms will have the ability to listen to their baby's heartbeats sooner than with the fetoscope, and without the risks of using doppler ultrasound. After all that she marked everything down in my Mutterpass, in her notes, and we chatted a bit more before she left. It's so nice that I don't even have to leave my house for my appointments, I don't have to worry about what to do with the kids, I have a care provider that fully supports me and shares my philosophies in pregnancy, labor, and birth, and that we have a personal relationship on top of the professional one- not to mention that it's all fully covered by insurance =) You just don't hear very many women with such a good experience. I know in my past 2 pregnancies it was always going to the clinic, waiting a long time in a place full of germs or sick people, going back to just have someone mark off a checklist in 15 minutes or less, and send you on your way to make room for the next patient. I didn't always get to see the same provider, and wasn't guaranteed who would be there to catch the baby. Luckily, I was smart enough to change that when Brayden came around. His daddy was always guaranteed the blessing of catching his baby. I'm only hoping we'll have the same this time around =/ Praying everyday Daddy will be home when the baby is born, but after more news today I don't have my hopes too high, but this is the Army, what's put out this morning can change by the afternoon =/ 

Well, Nina left and I turned my phone on to see that I had missed a call from Denton. That put another big smile on my face. I called him back right away and let him know how things went and he was happy. We went over some business I needed to take care of and he talked to the kids for a bit. We got off and I ate a little bit because by that time I was pretty hungry. I got myself and the kids ready, and we headed out. First stop was the post office. Got a nice Halloween card from Denton's grandma, along with a stack of bills lol. Thanking the Lord Jesus that they are bills we can pay on time every time, though, and they will be paid OFF come tax time! Next stop was our phone company. There's no use in ever calling because of the long wait time, and then 9 times out of 10 you end up with someone who doesn't speak more than a few words of English but knows how to tell you "no one here speaks English, call later" and then hangs up on you. I take the time to avoid the frustration and just drive down to the office. I needed to ask how much we are spending when Denton uses his phone to call or receive a call. It wasn't as extreme as I thought, but still pretty bad. Pretty much 30 minutes of talking costs 21 euro which is equal to about $30. Ridiculous, and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it except wait for the possible phone lines. Let's just say I don't ever want anything to do with where he is on a personal level, they suck at everything. 

After that I headed to vehicle registration to pick up a form and ask questions so we can further work on getting a car transferred over to us, but it makes it harder when it's non-operational =/. Im really hoping God will work his magic on this one time-wise so we can at least get it in our name soon and exhale. After that, headed over to the library to see if they had the books that Hayden's class is reading this week so he could get caught up on that, but surprisingly they didn't, so we left and headed to the PX. Tomorrow at school is crazy hair day, and I wanted to find some color hair spray for Hayden, but they were all out of the normal stock they carried, which is very very little. One would think the PX would have been smart enough to make a big order of that for Halloween, but then again this is a European based PX we're talking about- they can't always be on the ball with these things. We went over to the commissary to get a few things for dinner and some cupcake stuff to make cupcakes for the Halloween party this Saturday. After all that it was finally time to head home. We got home and I ate a little snack. We'd surprisingly been out for a few hours, so naturally I was hungry again. I did some more laundry and then decided it was time for dinner. We had some lumpia, PF Chang's beef and veggies, and some brown rice. As I was cooking I went over Hayden's words for the week with him a few times and then finally quizzed him. He got 13 out of 15 on his first try- that is such a good job. By the time we were done, dinner was on the table, and Brayden had already started stuffing his face before we could even pray lol. We dug in, enjoyed, and then it was time to get some reading in. We got in a whole hour to cover the 3 nights we've neglected to do. Hayden did such a great job. Really, just a month ago I would have to fight with him to read a few sentences, and now he doesn't want to stop unless he's tired. Such a big turnaround.

So by the time we were finished, Brayden was already passed out on my arm. I got up to put dinner away, tidy up a bit, and then brought up some laundry to fold and put more in the dryer and washer. Hayden helped me every step of the way. Walking up from the basement to the upstairs makes me so so happy that we chose the 3 story instead of the 4-story. I'd be hooking up some kind of makeshift rope and pulley system for the laundry if that were the case, but the stairs would still be a nightmare. As I get further and further in this pregnancy, regular everyday things like climbing stairs gets harder and harder- it stinks, but also helps me realize I need to try my best to keep fit throughout life so that doesn't up being an everyday thing I end up with as I age in bad health like most of my family. After we finished, I got the bed climb-in ready and went downstairs to grab Brayden and bring him up. Hayden and I crawled into bed, I started this, and he passed out soon after. Tomorrow, I'd really like to get out to the farm to replenish my milk supply, but we'll see how I feel about that in the morning lol. I also need to work on more volunteer stuff, get lots of laundry and *put away* and prepare for our final soccer game of the season. I will *have* to fit a nap in there somewhere before Hayden gets home, though, or else it will most certainly be tough.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Day Fifteen

I went to bed last night with a bit of sinus congestion and woke up with it only worse. For some reason my right nostril wants to stay clogged and just leak. It's gross and has caused me to do a bunch of tissue stuffing all day lol. As soon as I got up after breakfast, the water cooker was on so I could drink me some tea. Raspberry Red Leaf with honey, followed by a few cups of hot water with lemon and honey. Breathing it in for a few minutes after pouring the water was so nice and refreshing. I still felt pretty crappy, though, so after that I cleaned up the morning mess and then just laid on the couch while the kids watched movies. Getting that rest in, with a tissue shoved up my nostril lol, was a great idea. The kids went on to color some pictures as well. I finally got up and did some laundry and sat down to check my emails. So much going on on the internets today lol. I had to pull out my handy dandy family binder at one point. I recommend everybody, especially military families have a family binder. Mine is filled with all of our important documents in the plastic page protectors. It has things like our passports, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage certificate, wills, power of attorney, health records/physicals, etc. It is so very nice to have all of that in one place. At a conference I went to this year, one of the speakers talked about keeping all of your important documents together, and that a good place to keep them is in doubled ziploc bags in the freezer. Yes, keep your documents in the freezer. The logic was that even if there was a tornado or fire or something that most of the time the fridge will stay intact or could be found easily, therefore keeping your documents safe. I hope not to jinx myself by saying this, but these houses are pretty awesomely safe, so I'm pretty comfortable with my own convenient spot lol.

After that, the kids were ready for some lunch so I made us all breakfast for lunch per request- dippy eggs with some buttered toast. You'll never understand what a revelation it was to this year read that real butter is in fact good for you and to not be afraid to use it lol. I absolutely love real butter. I grew up on tubs of Country Crock- boy what I was missing! Naturally, I didn't need to cook so much for myself because the kids don't finish theirs' =P After that, I cleaned up and then did some book work with Hayden. He has really grown leaps and bounds with doing those since we first started. He used to whine and moan and drag along, now he's just short of being able to do them completely independent. We went over math, spelling, and reading comprehension, and he also continued to do lots of drawing.

Then, I decided to go ahead and take a quick shower and get everybody ready for soccer. I wasn't really looking forward to going out into the cold from all I'd heard from everyone else today, but it really wasn't that bad. It's definitely going to get worse real soon. I only had a few kids show up in the beginning, so I got out there with them and participated instead of just coaching. That was a mistake that lasted pretty much all practice lol >_<. It's funny how things don't start to hurt until later lol. There's only one more day left of this, and then I can finally breathe knowing my kids will still be able to enjoy youth sports, but with their mom sitting on the sidelines lol. After practice we headed to the food court for dinner. Once again, not having to cook 2 nights a week is so nice. My nose started acting up again so we ate and left as opposed to just taking our time as usual. Upon arriving home I checked my email because I'd seen that we'd gotten one about my husband's deployment that included pictures. It had updates on what their living situations were like and such, and what they were doing. It had a handful of pictures on there, 2 of which my husband was in. It's always nice to see pictures, and I'm excited to see more as time goes on as is promised for now. As I was looking at the pictures my husband decided to call, so that was nice. We caught up on what was going on in our parts of the world. He talked to the kids for a while and really enjoyed it. It really is amazing how happy just a little phone call can make me. Being away from my husband really truly brings me closer to him. We may sometimes fight like cats and dogs when he's home, but when he's gone I want nothing more than for him to be here with us. Separation truly does make the heart grow fonder. I can only imagine at this point how much a deployment next year soon after his return would suck if he does end up going, but it's nice to have so much support, and I have higher hopes about the communication availability if he goes. Much better than this at least. Speaking of which, I may hesitantly take a trip to the phone company tomorrow to see exactly how much we are spending when we talk lol. I'll be holding my breath until then.

After that, I decided to go ahead upstairs and take a nice epsom salt bath because I truly started to feel all the pain in my legs, butt, hips, and back from soccer. The kids came up to the toy room and watched a movie while I relaxed and started reading How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn. It's always been on my recommended reading list, and I just had to get it when I found it so cheap at the PX. About 20 pages in and it seems really good so far. After a while, I put the book down and just turned over and relaxed. Started thinking about how good the tub may be during labor. It is quite long and deep, so it may fair well, but it will definitely do much better than the last tub we had when I was in labor. I think I've pretty much decided against buying a birth tub. If I so feel the need to give birth in water, I think my tub will do just fine, but we'll see what kind of mood I'm in. But, being in there did make me realize I should probably buy a bikini for labor. With Brayden I labored in and out of a pretty sarong-type wrap. I'd get hot and cold throughout labor and had to take it on and off. We had friends over so it was kind of weird being completely naked with them there, but I really didn't care. It might be nice this time to at least have a bikini though, especially with all our ceiling to floor windows throughout the house lol. I don't want to have to hinder my labor because I'm worried a bunch of people will be watching "the crazy naked lady" lol, and I don't want to have to close my shades either. I love looking out my window to see outside, and by that time there will be tons of beautiful snow to look at.

Well, got out, got comfortable, shut everything down downstairs, and climbed into bed with the kids to start on this and let them play on my phone and ipod. They quickly passed out, and I'm so ready to do the same. Another milk run tomorrow morning. I'm really hoping driving is not bad as I heard there was black ice this morning >_< So far what I'm reading calls for lots of fog which I hate but have grown accustomed to here. Will be very careful in the morning.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day Fourteen

2 weeks down.

Well, this morning was busy. I slept in just a little bit, but then got up, made us all breakfast, and got started on operation rehome Shrek day. I got all of his stuff together and then vacuumed the floors and cleaned the tables. The whole time I kept reminding the kids, especially Brayden, that Shrek would be going to a new home today so that they would both be prepared. I let Brayden play with him as much as possible since he's his best friend. They ran around, had slap fights, etc, and it was cute to watch. The guy finally showed up and Shrek took to home better than any other stranger in our entire experience with him. Usually he'll just try to duck and run, but he was jumping up on him and running all around him and letting him pet him. It was so unusual, but it was really nice at the same time to see Shrek so comfortable immediately. I got good vibes from this guy and his family, so I'm really optimistic about it. I let him know if he had any concerns or if it just doesn't work out that I would gladly take him back and try again to find a good home. The boys gave him hugs and said their goodbyes, and they did really well with it. I've been asking them throughout the day how they are and to be open about it so they know I care and I can try my best to get them through it, and they seem to be doing well so far. Soon afterwards, the neighbors let their dogs out and they just stared at our back door waiting for Shrek to come out and play- it was so pitiful.

After Shrek left, the kids and I got ready and went to the library to take stuff back and get more movies and books. Tomorrow and Tuesday is when Hayden's school will be doing that stupid flu drive, so he will be staying home, so we got stuff to get us through. I'll probably pull out all my workbooks to do with them both as well so he's still getting some work done. We got home and got started on movies right away. It was so nice getting to relax with the boys. Brayden and I passed out for a while and I got up when Denton called. We only talked a few minutes and then he had to go, but it's always so nice to get to hear his voice. The rest of the day was pretty much the same, the boys and I relaxing together, watching movies, eating dinner, playing games. It's different adjusting to the house with Shrek gone. I opened up all the bedroom doors, didn't take the food away from the table right away, kept the back door closed most of the day, and much more. But, coming upstairs to my room to retire for the night was a tiny bit sad. Normally Shrek's kennel is right outside our door and he follows me up and heads right in to go to bed, but tonight I didn't have a kennel door to lock or dog to say goodnight to. I know he is in good hands, though, and that's all that matters.

But now I think it's to go ahead and go to bed. Both boys are passed out and I'm just about ready to close my eyes.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day Thirteen

Wasn't so bad this morning. No frost, but then again I didn't take my first step outside until after noon.

Why is it that I can't seem to sleep in on the weekends? My body hates to wake up so early during the week, but then fights to stay asleep on the weekend. If only I weren't pregnant and the kids would sleep a lot longer, I would have about 1 mg of melatonin in my system on Friday and Saturday nights =P. Well, woke up this morning and just sat up in bed for a while trying my hardest to wake up slowly. Fiddled around on the computer while the kids watched a movie downstairs. After a while I decided it was time to get moving so I got up and took a shower. It was a nice relaxing shower- the kind where you turn it hot enough that it's almost too hot but feels so refreshing, and then just sat there for a while lol. It made me think of a hot tub. Hot tubs are my absolute favorite, but I've found Germans don't really understand what a hot tub is. Every hot tub I've been in in Germany, other than the one at the American resort, is more like a warm bath. It's better than the pool of course, but it's just not good enough. I like it to where I have to slowly dip my toes, then feet, then bottom half of legs and so on until my body adjusts and I can finally relax. German hot tubs just leave me wanting =/

Finished my shower, got dressed, and came down and we all had some breakfast. I got a call from the lady whose dog I'm sitting and she said she'd be by soon. Apparently she got in late last night and decided to wait until today to pick her up- I wish just glad nothing happened because where she was it was already snowing. We cleaned up a bit and relaxed a little until Coco got picked up. Hayden was begging all morning to go to the store so he could buy a new toy with his tooth fairy money, so we left soon after Coco left. We browsed around a little and finally made it to the toy section. He actually found a toy that he really loved that cost exactly $5, so it worked out perfectly. Lucky for us, we don't have sales tax on our purchases, so no need to worry about that. I got 2 things for the house, and we were out. My neighbor was running an XBOX Kinect tournament in the PX mall, so we stood out there and watched for a while. I knew there was no way I was going to compete because the game they were doing was too difficult and the high score was way too high. I did, however, stick around for the trivia giveaways she was doing. I ended up guessing right and won a free kinect game that the kids (Hayden at least) will love, and a t-shirt (that I will love to sleep in =D). After that, we headed home, ate some lunch, and just relaxed. Hayden put on the Pirates movie again, and Brayden and I passed out on the couch while watching. We were sooo tired. We ended up being at the PX for quite a while. I woke up to the wonderful sound of my phone ringing and was so happy to hear my husband's voice again. He had some downtime so decided to call. We went over a few baby names and actually decided on a few we both like, but the list is still open, and no boy middle names yet, but progress has been made! I made it clear to him that he needs to be thinking about it as much as he can, because if he leaves before this baby is born, it's all up to me whether he likes it or not. Hayden got to tell him about his proud purchase with his tooth fairy money as well.

Afterwards, I decided to get started on dinner- sliced backed sweet potato rounds with some EVOO, salt, and brown sugar, and some cheese ravioli. I knew it was going to take a while, so I called my day whom I hadn't talked to in a while and caught up. After that, dinner was finally ready, so Hayden and I ate while Brayden still slept. Brayden decided to wake up after we were done and then he ate a little. I called my mom to catch up with her as well and we talked for about an hour. It's really nice to talk to family when you're so far away from them. I'm glad I have a family I actually like talking to at least lol. By the time I was done, Hayden was passed out on the couch. I still had to put Shrek's bedding stuff in wash, so I did that and hung out with Brayden while I waited. Then, for some reason I decided to break out the old COD MW1 for the PS3 and give it a whirl. It was my favorite for the longest time, and then we switched to XBOX. I don't know why, but I play much better on the PS3 than the XBOX. Well, that got boring real fast, so I cleaned up from dinner and threw Shrek's stuff into the dryer. This is his last night here. I did my best to explain to Brayden that he will be leaving for good tomorrow, and he begrudgingly yet sweetly accepted. He is Shrek's

Well, it is way late, I've unfortunately got to get up early in the morning to prepare for Shrek's new family's arrival, so I'm turning over and falling asleep.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Day Twelve

Well, today was by far the coldest. Frost all over the car, ice on the door handle, and that familiar un-sticking sound when opening the door. Definitely had to break the law and warm up my care before leaving. Yes, in Germany it is illegal to warm up your car like normal people do; one cannot leave it idling for more than 3 minutes. *eye roll* The thermometer read -2 degrees celsius. Imagine how reading a negative temperature felt the first time when we got here! lol.

Anyways, it wasn't an unusually late night or early morning, but this morning I could barely open my eyes. It was bad. When first getting up in the morning I tell myself that I will definitely be going back to sleep when I get home, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I always seem to wake up too much to want to go back to sleep afterwards, although it'd probably do some good. Either way, I had to push myself because I had to make another trip to the farm to replenish my milk stores. To preface, last night of course Hayden lost his first baby tooth. Right before I finally went to sleep, I successfully snuck in, took the tooth, and replaced it with $5. I couldn't wait until morning. So, back to this morning, I went in their room, woke them up, didn't say anything, and Hayden sat up and looked under his pillow to find the money. He had a big grin on his face, but I could tell he was too embarrassed to really show his excitement, but I knew he was. He got up, carried his money downstairs, and I went down and made him some eggs and toast. We went through the regular routine, and I quizzed him on his words again since today was the big test. Off to school we went, but I dropped him off at the gate so I wouldn't have to drag Brayden out in the freezing cold.

Brayden and I returned home and I got my bottles together and did a load of dishes real quick, and we headed out to the farm. It was really foggy as it gets here, so it was an uncomfortable drive, but we made it fine. The farmer was not out, nobody was, and I was kind of happy that I wasn't going to get the intimidated feeling of not knowing German and possibly fumbling my way through getting the milk while being watched lol. So, I parked, went in, and luckily remembered where everything was and what to do, so I wasn't a complete mess like the first time I went. Was in and out fast. Brayden gets excited now. "Oh, you got Mommy's milk!" he says happily. =D We really are so blessed to be over here in Germany. WIC here allows us to get organic milk, and raw milk farms are probably pretty scarce in the states, but here I can get raw milk for me for cheap and get the organic for the kids for free. I sure will miss that. That, and the non-GMO foods and non-fluoridated water. =/

Well, we headed back to Graf and I stopped at the commissary to get some WIC stuff, a few things for dinner, and the ingredients to make those yummy oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies I posted on facebook yesterday =D. I also decided to buy some raw organic Agave Nectar to try. I love how many natural food items the commissary carries; it's surprising but definitely refreshing. I also got each of the boys a small pumpkin that they could paint for halloween since they're still too young to even think about carving. Our FRG is having a Halloween party next Saturday with a pumpkin decorating contest with different age divisions, so I thought it would also be nice for them to have something to put in. Of course this also means I will have to let them decorate some cupcakes for the cupcake deco contest =P We then headed over to the PX to grab some paint and smocks so they could get decorating.

We came home and got everything put away and sat down to eat some breakfast. We did sneak a few of the oreos, though =P After that, I read through the Army Times while Brayden played tag with Shrek. We played together after that and then decided it was a good time for a nap. We both went right to sleep and it was great. We got up to go get Hayden, and Brayden was in a great mood. We got Hayden and he excitedly told me how he showed off his missing tooth =) We headed home and I told them about our exciting afternoon/evening ahead, but first we had to run home really quick to pick at the movies that needed to be returned to the library. We went to post and dropped by the library first. Nothing new, just returns. I went the Child and Youth Service office to try to drop off Brayden's sports physical, but they were closed and I'm not sure the office is even there anymore =/ If so, that means I'll have to drive all the way to the sister post just to do any of my business with them. That really stinks. The Army over here really needs to smarten up, get rid of the contracted positions, and get back to putting soldiers in positions, especially the gate guard positions. I'd like to know just how much money we're wasting contracting all of these jobs out? And all this big deal with the budget cuts. Talk to some military folk, we'll tell you what need to be cut.

Denton's ringer. Yay!! We talked for about 20 minutes and just caught up, mostly on stuff from my end. He told me when he's projected to come home and it was great news. But, that still doesn't take away the fact that he could just end up leaving again soon after =/ He talked to both the kids and Hayden excitedly shared the news about his tooth and the tooth fairy, and Brayden was just happy to talk to Daddy, he really misses him. He sounded great and happy and really not all that upset about the thought of deploying again soon, so I'm really glad he's in great spirits. He was really happy to hear all the stuff we've done and especially how much fun the kids had planned for today. After the cleaning, we got ourselves cleaned up and got ready to make the cookies. The kids each took turns in helping make the dough, and then all 3 of us started making the cookies. Flattened a bit of cookie dough, added the oreo, and covered it up with more dough. The kids really enjoyed that. Popped 'em in the oven, and then I got the table ready with their pumpkins and paint on some parchment paper so they could get started on that. They got their smocks on and got to painting. They both really enjoyed it, I got some great pictures, and got started on dinner which I knew wouldn't take long.

They were mostly done by the time dinner was done, so we sat and ate while the cookies cooled on the stove. After dinner, we cleaned up the table and I had them go to the couch to chill out while I got our plate of cookies ready and 3 glasses of milk. I took it to the table, and popped the new Pirates of the Caribbean into the PS3. We hadn't seen it yet, and we love the movies, so we were excited. We all sat together, ate the cookies (which were delicious btw) and enjoyed the movie. After the movie, the kids played while I brought the wooden organizer in to figure out what to do with it. I found a good spot for it and for now just put Brayden's diapers and wipes in it, and sat my bamboo plant on top of it. I also took the time to reorganize my house plants, pull any dead leaves off, water and fertilize them, and get them looking nice. I really love my house plants and would love to get more, especially before the baby comes. My favorite ones are the ones I have hanging from the ceiling in my dining area. They're just so pretty to look at. I try to get the ones that help to purify and humidify the air. I'd like more of them for the kids room and my bedroom. Denton called me one more time during that to find out the scoring rules for Yahtzee. Apparently, they're so bored out there that they decided to carve dice out of wood so they could play lol. I thought that was entirely cute. Lucky me I had our Yahtzee game sitting out on the table when he called. After that, we finished cleaning up a bit downstairs and put the cookies away, and I headed upstairs with the boys where they proceeded to pass out in my bed, so I guess no stretching out and pillow-hogging for me tonight lol.

Well, it's close to midnight now, so I will definitely be signing off and getting to sleep. Hoping for an eventful weekend with the kids. Can't wait for Sunday morning when I will finally be rehoming my dog.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day Eleven

It was freezing cold today. The lowest I saw on my car temp gauge was 3 degrees celsius, but the wind chill had to be much worse =(.

Woke up this morning, had a pretty typical start. Quizzed Hayden on his spelling words and he got every one right. I'm so glad he's doing so well. We headed out and I took him in, then Brayden and I headed back home and ate some breakfast. I checked my emails, did some laundry, cleaned up some, and sat down with Brayden and went over the baby name book again. I've already started revising my list from last night. This is going to be quite interesting, but I'll be glad when we finally decide on something. A few hours passed and Brayden and I went down for a nap. I got up about 45 minutes early thanks to the dog barking at something. I just relaxed a while until it was time to go.

I got Brayden up, got him dressed and we headed out and it felt so much colder already =/ Unfortunately, as soon as I got out of the bed hunger hit me like a ton of bricks. When pregnant, it's good to eat small frequent meals, because when you go without eating for too long you can get really lightheaded and it's a really bad feeling. I had no time to grab anything so I was hoping he'd get out quickly. Luckily I only had to wait a few minutes before he came out after I got there. We came home and I heated up some leftover pizza, drenched it in Cholula, and ate away with the rest of my liter of milk for the day. Today was my last liter of milk, so tomorrow morning I'll have to head back out to the farm. I think I'll get up early so I can empty the juice out of the other bottles and take them as well so I don't have to go so often. I made Hayden some food and then we went over his spelling words some more. As Hayden was eating his pizza, his loose tooth knocked even more loose. It was literally hanging on by just a corner. It was laying flat in his mouth when he first showed me, and I kind of freaked out and didn't know what to do lol. This was his first baby tooth he'd be losing. I tried to turn it and twist it but it was stuck on that corner. I was afraid I was hurting him, but he assured me I wasn't. I decided to let him tug it around for a while so that he could stay within his comfort zone. He really wanted it out, so I took a tooth flosser stick and started pulling on it with that, and it just came right out. He was so happy! I put it in a little snack baggy with some peroxide and hung it up until bedtime. He was so proud to have finally lost his first tooth. I had him gargle with some salt water and brush his teeth. What a milestone =)

After that, I let the kids play while I loaded my VMIS hours. As a volunteer, you sign up in the volunteer management system for the Army and you can log your hours. You get awards for so many hours, and service members can even get promotion points, so it's a good idea to keep track of hours. I am very bad at doing this, however. I had to go through my whole soccer schedule to figure out my hours, and even went back and went through the hours for t-ball from the spring. Needless to say, I had quite a bit of catching up to do. I also had to go back through my notes, emails, and calendars to figure out my hours for my FRG volunteer time. I just hit over the 300 hour mark for the year, so I'm proud of myself and happy I got it in. From now on, I will do my best to write down my times and get them in at least once a week instead of once every few months. That should make things a lot easier and not so stressful.

After that, I did some more laundry and cleaned up more. I fixed our leftovers for dinner, otherwise they would just end up going bad in the fridge. I'm really bad at that when Denton is here because a lot of the time he doesn't want any leftovers so I just end up making something else. Speaking of him, I still haven't heard from him, but I did send him a nice email yesterday to let him know how much we miss him. I don't know when he'll get to even see it, but I know it will make him happy. The kids and I played some and just hung around. Then, Hayden decided to put Harry and the Hendersons on so we sat and watched that. That was one of my favorite movies growing up, so I'm glad the kids enjoy it. After it was over, it was time for bed, so I told them to head on up. They decided on their own that they wanted to sleep in their own bed tonight. At first I was sad because that would end up with me being alone, but I like the opportunity to really stretch out I guess. They head upstairs and I followed behind with Hayden's choice of story book. It was "Questions Kids Ask." I decided to read the part explaining why baby teeth fall out and why it's important to brush your teeth to go along with today's milestone. Then, I read them a Clifford story, had Hayden put his tooth under his pillow, and said prayers before I kissed them goodnight.

facebook upload feature to work, so I was able to share it on there. I got a much longer recording and emailed it to my husband to listen to whenever he gets the chance. This one recorded much louder than my previous ones, so hopefully he'll be able to hear it better this time. I just listened to a doppler heartbeat on youtube and listened to mine and I think it's so much nicer to listen to an actual heartbeat rather than soundwaves bouncing back. I'm so glad I found this app.

Anyways, after that, I went on to this, and now I think I'm going to go play tooth fairy and then be done for the night. I'm tired and my eyes are starting to hurt. Hope I don't wake up Hayden. I will have the story in tomorrow's post.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day Ten

It was another cold, rainy day here in Bavaria. Winter is definitely coming early. Not looking forward to this.

Got up this morning, got Hayden fed and ready for school, and off we went. I dropped him off and sent him in by himself so I didn't have to worry about getting the stroller out or carrying Brayden and dealing with an umbrella at the same time. He's mature enough to go in on his own, and he goes in with other kids, so it was ok. Brayden and I headed home and ate some breakfast. I checked my emails, the baby board, and read a little bit more on baby names. After that, it was time to shower and get ready for the change of command ceremony. Brayden was so tired that he just slept the whole time, so he had a nice little nap while I got ready. We headed out and it was still drizzling and cold. They all of course joked that it was "just another beautiful day in Bavaria =P." It was a sad day to see our batallion commander relinquish his command; he truly is a true example of what a good leader should be. Brayden was pretty good during most of the ceremony until his boots started falling off. He was wearing his rain boots, and they don't really like to stay on. Afterwards, we headed to the reception to meet (again) the new batallion commander and get some yummy food. Ok, it was only subs, veggies, and fruit, but it was free, so it was extra yummy lol. Our brigade signature is the Warhammer. The batallion commander almost always kept it by his side, and it is a gift to those leaving the company. I already got mine, and am so proud of it. I'm not leaving the company, but my fellow FRG co-leader and I decided if we were going to get it from someone, we wanted it from the batallion commander because he truly upheld the warmhammer experience. Anyways, the point of all that was that they ended up cutting the cake with the warhammer, and I thought that was pretty cool.
The above link shows what a warhammer looks like. Someone recently joked that on of the crazy things the Batallion Commander did while in command was to design a deadly weapon and then give it to married couples lol.

After that, the FRG "lead" team and the captain met to go over upcoming events and planning. We've been kind of dormant as we've been getting back in the swing of things after summer break, but we've got a lot going on in the near future, which is always a good thing. It went on longer than I had expected, but it really could've went on for longer except I had to leave to go pick up Hayden from school. I picked him up and had to drop off one of the ladies from the meeting. I called to find out if we would be canceling soccer today due to the weather, but much to my chagrin it was still on =/. We headed home, I cooked Hayden some lunch, and then we did his homework and studying. I went ahead and got him ready since it's a pain in the butt and I didn't want to wait until the last minute, and then went and got myself ready and relaxed for a bit. I really would've loved to have been able to fit in a nap sometime today as I've been able to do recently, but there was no time for that. Brayden took himself another nice little nap though. That boy gets tired out more than I do, so I'm glad he's so good about wanting to take naps.

After that, we headed out to soccer. It was still cold and miserable, but at least it wasn't raining. I only had 5 of my expected 9 kids show up to, but I wasn't surprised. The kids played a really good game despite the fact that there was no room for substitutes, and they got tired quickly even though we shortened the quarters because it was just so cold. It's good next week will be the last week, because it will be snowing in no time and just getting colder and colder.

Afterwards, we headed to the food court and got some pizza for dinner. My favorite part of going to the food court after soccer twice a week is being able to get the Popeye's sweet tea. I cut out caffeine during pregnancy, but the taste of the south runs through my blood and I take those two days to "cheat" a little bit lol. Once we were done, I decided to just go walk around the PX a little bit to pass the time. I went back to the book section and found a baby name book that I realllly love and fits me so much better. I just may find a few names I like. I also found another great book: How to Raise a Healthy Child...In Spite of Your Doctor. I have had that book recommended to me countless times over the years, but just never got around to reading it. It wasn't in my libraries, and I hadn't seen it in stores, and I didn't want to buy it online, so when I found it tonight I grabbed it up especially since it was only $7.99. So I scored with 2 good books, and Brayden

Well, we got home and I let the dogs out and put stuff away. I got the kids in the bath with some epsom salt and sat up there with them while I went over the baby name book. I've come to realize I have absolutely no interest in Irish/Gaelic, and most European names. I also have no interest in celebrity baby names. Lastly, I don't like plain Jane names. I pretty much fit somewhere between the latter two. I like different, just not "what did you do to that poor child?" different lol. However, most people would say Hayden is such a commonly used name today, it isn't different. Well, back when I came up with his name, the *only* other Hayden I knew was Hayden Christensen, and that's who he's named after. It wasn't until I was in the hospital and heard that there was also another Hayden and a Jayden on the same floor, and then everyone's kid was some form of "Aiden" lol. Oh well. It was new for me. Choosing the name Brayden was Denton's fault. I had chosen Hayden, so he got more say on Brayden's name, and though I wanted nothing to do with it, I gave in because it was his turn. It will just be weird now if we have another boy because there's no way I'm continuing the trend, so it'll just be so different =/. Oh well. It's interesting, though, that I'm not at all interested in any of the names I was so interested in for Brayden. Maybe I just somehow feel like those belonged to him so I have to think of something new? I don't know. I'm sure this baby will have a name yet, though. I'd just like to get a good list though so whenever I get to talk to Denton I can go over them with him, and hopefully he'll like something. We both kind of butt heads on the subject, but I'm hopeful.

I haven't talked to him since the last time I posted I did, but I know he'll call eventually when he gets the chance, of course I'd rather it be sooner than later. But, the kids and I pray every morning and then more throughout the day that wherever Daddy is, please keep him safe and let him know that we love him and we're always thinking about him. Hayden surprised me today. He asked if we could call Daddy, and this kid does *not* like to talk on the phone, so I thought that was pretty bitter sweet. I try to stay as frank as I can with the kids about this stuff so they understand to the best of their ability what it is we're going through. I think helping them realize what's going on rather than giving some kind of sugar-coated story is better and will help them grow into understanding, confident Army brats. They do so well with accepting that Daddy's gone, and I'm so proud of them for it, and for Denton and I to have been able to prepare them for it before we even know that he's leaving.

Well, both kids are passed out. Hayden actually made it to the bed first this time, so I've only got one child to move tonight. I'm going to go sit up in bed and get through this baby name book and hopefully get at least a few names down, and if I'm awake enough break out my new headphones and try to listen for the heartbeat. I haven't tried in a few days.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day Nine

21 Weeks pregnant today.

It was a nicer day today, no frost on the windows at least. Another tired morning of course. Before bed I found an app on the app store that's supposed to monitor your sleep cycles at night and wake you up in the morning when you're in a gentler cycle so you'll wake up refreshed, which sounds all nice, but I'm not sure how it would do with kids sleeping next to me and possibly skewing the results. Not sure if it's worth the bother, but just maybe if I keep having to drag myself out of bed in the morning. Anyways, we got up, ate some breakfast, got ready, and headed off to school. I like leaving at the last possible minute now because the kids wait outside in their class lines and all go in together, so when I get there early we have to stand outside in the cold which isn't so fun these days. Now I get there either right before, during, or after going in so no one has to worry too much about the cold other than walking from the car to the school, and then back for me and Brayden. We headed straight for the farm this time so I could get there early enough to get the milk. I was in luck because the farmers were out working and were able to help me do it. I came home with 3 liters, and now I think I will go ahead and fill up all 6 bottles that I have so I don't have to go back so often. It's about an hours drive there and back. It's not so bad, but I don't want to use all that gas and time.

Well, I needed to stop by the store for some toilet paper and stuff, so we went there first. I also got some spaghetti noodles, sauce, and kielbasa to make the recipe that's been going around facebook for the past week. I figured it'd be fun for the kids, and I really love kielbasa in my spaghetti anyways. I had to go over to the px as well for items the commissary didn't have. I decided to check out what movie was on sale since they have a new release sale every Tuesday. They had the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and we hadn't seen it yet but we really love the movies, so I took advantage of the wonderful $19.95 price for Blu-ray. I let Brayden browse around the toys section and play with toys, and then I picked up a few things including a baby name book.

We got back home and I made me and Brayden some eggs because we hadn't eaten yet. I poured myself a glass of milk, and I was really scared to try it. I had had goat's milk before and it tastes really goaty; just like the smell of a petting zoo, and needless to say I'm not a fan of goat's milk despite it's superiority to cow's milk. I was really afraid that the raw milk would have a really funny taste as well, but surprisingly enough, it tasted just like regular store-bought milk. It was really nice because I know that as long as I keep it up I'm going to be drinking a liter of that stuff everyday during the pregnancy. That will equal out to about $130 on milk for just me alone  >_<. Oh well, it's good for me and the baby, so it's worth it I guess. I sat down to look at emails and have been emailing with this guy from my ad to rehome my dog. His family lives in Wiesbaden which is about 3 hours away from here. I've sent them pictures and all the information on him. They're really interested and planning to come get him this Sunday. Lord knows that will be a big monkey off of my back. I love this dog, hes a great dog, but he is seriously stressing me out for a whole list of things I don't feel like going over. After that, Brayden and I watched Beauty and the Beast and then decided to take a nap until it was time to go get Hayden. I had trouble sleeping because we slept downstairs on the couch and I neglected to put the shades down, and I don't sleep well with light, so about an hour in I just picked up the baby name book and started going through it. I am soooo very picky with baby names, and we are just having the hardest time coming up with anything for this baby. We already definitely have the middle name picked out if it's a girl, but nothing else. We haven't agreed on anything at all for a boy. We usually do a family name of some sort for the middle name, but to tell you the truth, I don't really like many of the family names in our family. We're just stuck, and unfortunately the book didn't give much help =/

After an hour of that it was time to head out to pick up Hayden. It wasn't too cold so I actually didn't even worry about a jacket for myself, but gave Brayden his just in case. He his under it in his stroller the whole time anyways so I guess it was good. Hayden came out and we went home and worked on his math work. After that I let the kids play in and out back while I cleaned up the house. I knew I had a meeting tonight, so I had to work quickly, but got done what I wanted done in time to still cook dinner and be able to eat. We all washed up and I had the kids help me put the noodles in the kielbasa. It was kind of tricky, especially for Brayden because it's so easy to break the noodles going in, but he still had a good time. We got it in the water and I washed up the dishes I had dirtied and got the kids dressed so we could just eat and leave since time was pressing. It turned out really good, and it was so much nicer to be able to just have everything in one stick of the fork rather than twirl the noodles and then still pick up the kielbasa. It was easier for the kids to eat as well, especially Brayden. We finished just in time to head out the door.

It was quite the turnout for the meeting, but it was deployment information so of course people are finally going to show up. The commander had a lot of useful information to put out that we're really grateful for, but specifically for me, some things really, really, really sucked. I won't go into detail on that because things are not set yet, but they just suck. I will suck it up and be alright, though whatever may come, but just hoping for the best. Just got home about an hour ago and made Hayden another small plate of food. before the two of them went and took a quick bath. Hayden came back down and went over his spelling words and then passed out on the couch. I cleaned up the kitchen and table and sat down to do this, and Brayden is playing with his toys. I think I will close this up, read up on the baby's development this week, and go ahead upstairs and lay down for the night. I have about 125 days to figure out a name for this poor child, and I'm really hoping I'll just have an "ah hah" moment one day soon. Lord knows I will be stressing if this baby doesn't have a name before February lol.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Day Eight

One week down, who knows how many to go.
Well, this morning was a cold one. I had frost on my windshield that I actually had to scrape off with my wipers and fluid. Car temp gauge read 0 degrees celsius. On a good note, though, the sun was still shining. I only appreciate the clouds here when it's all snowy, and I only realized that one day when it was sunny and there was snow everywhere. It was definitely blinding and not fun to drive in.
Hayden had a GREAT night last night. I gave him some Hyland's and a cough drop right before bed and also lathered some Vicks Vapo Rub all over his chest and feet and covered them with socks. I also added a few drops of tea tree oil to the little humidifier thing that sticks to the radiator. I guess all of that together coupled with the good rest he got during the weekend really helped. When the alarm went off this morning I asked him if he felt better enough to go to school. At first he said no, but I reminded him that if he missed school he would not be able to play soccer tonight, and that seemed to change him mind. I asked him again and again if he was sure as I didn't want him to go to school just so he could play soccer tonight, but I really hadn't heard him cough once last night so thought I'd give it a go. I made him take a shower to wash all the guck off while I got his clothes together and cooked some eggs. He ate and got ready and off we went. I gave him a couple coughdrops to take along in case he needed them, and told him if he felt like he needed to come home to just go to the nurse's office and call me.

Afterwards, Brayden and I went back home and ate some breakfast. Today was going to be the day I made it to the farm to get some milk, so we ate and left. It was a really nice drive out, but unfortunately when I got there I had trouble finding the machine and no one was around to help. I got a hold of someone that had been before who could explain it to me, but much to my chagrin I realized I was too late; the guy had already come by and emptied the machine, so if I'm up to it tomorrow I will be ready to head straight there after dropping Hayden off at school.

Anyways, after we got back home, we ate some lunch and I decided that after all that a good nap was in store. We went to bed until it was time to pick up Hayden from school. We picked up Hayden and came home and got straight on his homework. He had soccer tonight, and if we waited to do it until afterwards he'd be too tired and cranky to do anything. He ended up having a great day at school with no issues with his cough, and hasn't really coughed much at all the rest of the day either. After he was done, I made him something to eat and went and took a shower and got ready. I got the kids ready, and it was time to go. We got there on time, but the other coach hadn't showed up yet so I let the kids do some drills while we waited. The other coach finally came about 30 minutes later; it was a backup for the regular coach, and apparently she hadn't told the team that tonight was that make-up game for last Wednesday's game that was cancelled, so they weren't in uniform or ready to play, but we got it together anyways. Brayden did pretty good tonight sitting out and playing at least half the game while I coached- the other half I ended up holding him and hobbling around the field lol. The kids did really good though, I was really proud of them. They've really learned so much about teamwork and good sportsmanship over the season, and I am proud of them. Some of the kids on the other team could've really used a lesson in sportsmanship, though, and there was a few times I had to lay the smackdown lol (in a professional, coach to 6 year old player way of course lol.) By the 4th quarter I really was just staying in about 1 quarter of the field while coaching; I was tired, starved, and carrying Brayden around so was just ready to go. The game ended and we headed to the food court for dinner. After that I had to run into the PX for some bath soap for the kids and ended up buying some Thomas The Train underwear for Brayden as well. He loves them. He really did deserve them for being so good tonight. Yeah, I had to hold him some, but I'd rather hold him than see him crying on the sidelines for me.

We came home and got the kids in the shower and all washed up. Hayden then did his reading for school and passed out on the couch. I answered a few emails and checked my baby board and facebook a little. I think it's about time for me to go to bed, though. Realllly hoping to make it to the farm on time in the morning >_<


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day Seven

Another sunny day in Bavaria, but no chance to enjoy it. Hayden's cough was worse last night and I had to end up getting up in the middle of the night to help him out. He's sleeping with me, so that didn't help my sleeping at all. Brayden was pretty unphased, however.

When I finally got up in the morning, I made everybody breakfast of some chicken soup with veggies, herbs, and lots of garlic. I made sure the garlic was nice and sliced up in Hayden's soup so it was hidden enough for him to eat it. I don't imagine a child would want anything to do with eating whole cloves, not mine at least. I downed a few whole ones myself though so I can hopefully prevent from catching his nasty cough. 2 tsp fulls of Hyland's Cough and Cold with 4,000 IU of vitamin D, clementine, herbal tea with organic honey, ice water, and some natural cough drops with echinacea got his day started. I spent most of the day doing laundry, dishes, and regular cleaning while I let the kids chill out with whatever made them happy indoors. That pretty much included playing with toys and watching some movies. Hayden usually does best to get over his colds with little physical activity, so it was a good thing this was a weekend so he could get as much rest as possible. I'm not so sure he'll be going to school tomorrow, however, but we'll see in how tonight goes. He's been passed out for about a half an hour now and no coughing yet, so hoping for the best.

I also took the advice of my husband and downloaded IOS 5 onto my iPhone, although I don't really care what 's on my phone. I'm happy the way it was, but he's sooo enthusiastic about it while at the same time bummed because he has no way of upgrading his phone. He said he wants to mail it to me and have me do it for him, but that seems like a total waste of time to me. That's just me, though. I did get kind of stuck at one point today with it and I think it was because Brayden decided to unplug it and I think he did before it was finished because when I plugged it back in all seemed fine until I got to this one page and it just kinda stuck loading there for hours and hours. I even ended up joining a Mac Forum to post on to get help. No one answered so I just unplugged it and plugged it back in and wouldn't you know it worked. It started up the restore again and went right on through. While it's done, and I did read through the new benefits, I still don't know what it does now that it didn't before and like I said don't really care, but I'm sure I'll have some kind of "ah hah" moment soon. It's currently in the process of putting all my apps back on the phone. It was really frustrating because Denton is the one that always does these things for me, so I was literally clueless. It took quite a bit of Googling throughout the process to make sure I was doing it right.

Anyways, I made a quick trip to the commissary for some thing for tonight's dinner and some breakfast and snack items for the week. I also had to run to the PX to get some more Hyland's Cough and Cold and more cough drops. That stuff is good, but it sure doesn't last. I got two bottles just to be safe. We got home, immediately washed all our hands, and I put the groceries away. It wasn't much long after that Coco arrived. I've been dog sitting here for over a year now, and Coco was one of my first little customers. She's a long-haired chihuahua, and the kids really love her. She has a big crush on Denton and usually doesn't leave his lap when he's home. She'll be here with us for a week while her mommy is on vacation at Edelweiss. It doesn't pay much, but it's more of a hobby type thing I started because we didn't have our dog at the time and we really love dogs. We've watched dogs of all sizes, and the kids really enjoy it. I no longer advertise my services because I thought I'd settle down a bit with it, but I still get my repeats that come back now and then and I welcome them happily. It was really hard in the winter because the snow piles up all winter long and our fence is not very high, so I ended up having to dig a perimeter all the way around the yard so the dogs weren't able to just walk on over. It was very very hard work, and I am not doing that again this year, because there's no way I could keep up with all that shoveling.

After we got her settled I went ahead an cooked dinner. I kept it pretty easy since it was already so late: chicken tenderloins in a pan with some EVOO, black beans, and brown rice. My mom called while I was cooking and we caught up an each end. The kids talked a bit, but Hayden really doesn't like to talk on the phone for some reason- he never has. BraydenBrayden stayed up and ate some clementines with me and played with the dogs a bit before passing out on my lap. I guess it's about time for me to go ahead and put the food away and get to bed myself. I didn't hear from Denton today, so once again I'm assuming now's when I don't know when I'll hear from him again because they've moved. I just pray he's safe and in good hands.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day Six

Didn't sleep so well last night. Went to bed early, so it was just my luck. My husband called around midnight and I had to jump out of bed and run downstairs to find both phones I had left down there, so that kind of woke me up lol. We talked for just a few minutes and I got back in bed. It was really cold which wasn't helping, but Hayden gets hot really easily so I stuck it out between the two of my little radiators =P. Brayden, for the first time since he was a baby-baby, decided he would try to lay sideways for most of the night which meant kicking me. He also whimpered a lot in his sleep, and Hayden ended up with a cough. So yeah, the night I go to bed early and don't have to wake up early in the morning for anything, I have trouble sleeping. I vow to get to bed even earlier tonight, wear socks, make it a bit warmer, and sleep better!

Sooo, I got up, got the boys in the bath and I took a shower. Towards the end of my shower it started getting freezing cold and I yelled out to the boys to make sure their water was off. They said it was, but I guess I was too late. I got out of the shower to see their bath nearly full -_-. I was so cold I hopped right in with them to warm up lol. After that, we got out, got dressed, ate some breakfast, and headed off to the PX to get a birthday present for the little girl next door's birthday. She is only 12 days apart from Brayden, so they get along quite well. Thank goodness the Garden Center turned everything over to toys to prepare for Christmas shopping, so it was easy to find something quickly. I went over to see if they'd gotten anymore toddler-sized snow boots in, and they had, so I'm about halfway there to getting the boys ready for the snow which I suspect to come sooner this year. All I need now are snow pants, and maybe a snowsuit for Brayden, and then they're good.

I still had quite some time before the party so we headed to the sister post about 30 minutes away for the bazaar they had going on. They had so many beautiful things, but it was hard looking at things after the boys started getting antsy. Brayden no longer wanted anything to do with his stroller, and the place was packed with already no room anyways, so we decided to go after a really quick run-through of the place. While getting the kids settled into the car Denton called from our Skype number which was really surprising because the last time I talked to him he said he'd be leaving this morning and had no idea when he'd get to call again, but luckily something happened and stalled their plans for a while. It was kind of hard to hear him, so we kept it short but he promised to call back when he could. The kids were hungry, so I decided to go over to the BK. This one has a playland that Hayden always asks to go to and we never do, so I thought I'd give them a little chance to play. I was looking forward to getting a milkshake, but unfortunately their shake machine was broken =/. The kids played for a while, and we decided to head back home. I quickly wrapped the present and thought it would be a great opportunity to get a little 1-hour nap in before it was time to go next door to the party. It was really nice until I kept getting woken up by the darn kids screaming outside, so I had to get up and close the window- Hayden and Brayden apparently hadn't been bothered by the noise. The rest of that time went by way too fast. Brayden definitely wasn't ready to get up. It was a costume party so he was finally going to get to wear his costume out that he loves so much, and he didn't even want to put it on. I felt bad for having to get him up, but at the same time I was in no mood to wait for him to calm down and get it together. I told him to cut it out, got his costume on, and we were off.

It was a good amount of kids present, just a handful, and they played well. It was nice. It was freezing outside, but nice when she put on the fire pit. The kids kept busy inside and out and just had a great time. It's always nice to be around other adults as well =P.  I'm still trying to figure out what I will do for Brayden's birthday. I'm not really interested in having a big party for him, but I'm thinking of maybe taking advantage of the great deal going on at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. We went there when my mom came to visit and the kids really loved it. I talked to my husband before he left about it and he really encouraged it.

Well, the kids are already passed out, so I think it's about time I do the same.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Day Five

Much colder with a tad bit of sun for a short time today. It seems like Bavaria had 4 months of spring, 1.5 months of summer, and then jumped straight to winter. I can only imagine how cold it's going to be when winter officially arrives =(.

Interestingly enough, I got more sleep last night than any night since my husband left, yet this morning was the most tiring for me. I had the thoughts of just staying in bed and letting Hayden miss school, but then I remembered we've been studying all week for his big spelling test, and I just couldn't let him miss it. I dragged myself out of bed and got Hayden up and got on with our routine. It wasn't until I was coming upstairs from the laundry room with clean socks that I heard my phone reminder tone go off. "What in the world do I have planned today?" I thought. I looked at the phone and saw the kids had their doctors appointments today, starting with the first at 820, meaning going right after I dropped Hayden off at school. I had completely forgot. The system thingy called me for my reminder on Monday night, so it'd been a while since I even thought about it. I knew then I had to jump into gear and really make myself presentable lol. Hayden was eating and already had his clothes laid out, so I ran upstairs, got Brayden up, and gave him a quick bath. This also meant that yet again I would have to put off another day of going to the farm to get the milk. Sheesh.

After we all got ready, I had just enough time to drop Hayden at school and get to the clinic about 10 minutes prior like they like. His appointment was supposed to be the first one of the day, so I figured we'd get right in on time. Nope. I was really contemplating wearing one of those mask thingies. The push for the flu shots, especially mist here is disgustingly huge, and they room where they were doing it was right next to the waiting area. I didn't touch anything, and kept Brayden on my lap holding his hands to keep him from touching anything either. I was so ready to get out of that place. Anyways, the nurse who took all the vitals, weight, etc was super duper with Brayden, and he did such a great job. We finally got into the room and sat down and waited for the lovely (sarcasm) Dr. Estroff. For some background, when we first got here last year I knew I had to get the kids a vaccine waiver specific for this duty station. I asked the nice ladies in the immunization clinic and they were clueless, but set me up with an appt to talk to Dr. Estroff about it because he was "old school and probably knew about it." Needless to say, he was old school, but not in the sense that I needed. He questioned me about wanting the waiver and then lectured me about not getting my kids vaccinated. This was my first meeting with this guy. If I'd known he was going to be my kids primary physician, I would've had that switched over right after. He ended up giving me this packet of paper on how to request a waiver, however, it turns out that packet was the procedure soldiers would have to go through, and it was like jumping hoops in a 3-ring circus! Anyways, I'm not sure what I did or who I called to further investigate, but I found who I needed to talk to and she was just a doll and really helped me out and made it easy. I'm also happy to refer people to her as opposed to the debbie downer at Ft. Campbell who just argued with me and said "well I can see this isn't going to go far so I'll just sign the papers so you can go." Whatever. My husband has had appointments with this lady and she always remembers me and they talk about me and he told her once he still doesn't fully agree with not vaccinating and she told him she would slap him if he ever said something like that again LOL. It's nice to have good support in the medical community, because it is quite rare these days. Back to Dr. Estroff, he is known for giving parents terrible advice and criticism, ESPECIALLY breastfeeding moms. He's told them they *have* to supplement, give vitamins, etc. Just a bunch of crap. I honestly can't wait to have this baby and hear what he has to say to me, especially when he finds out it's a homebirth.

Anyways, Brayden was just in for his sports physical that ended up doubling as his 3 year check-up. He is the picture of health. We went over him not being vaccinated again and he didn't really give me a hard time but just told me that he's going to have to tell me I should be making sure he's UTD on shots as a part of his whole safety spiel. He then asked if I was giving him any vitamins or supplements and I told him vitamin D. He asked if it was 400 IU and I said no, 1,000. He told me very seriously, the recommended dosage for *everyone* is 400 IUs, I can get you some 400IU drops if you'd like. I said, no, I like my 1,000. To clarify, vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins you should make sure you are getting, because being deficient (which most people are) is a big factor leading to illness like the flu. The old recommended dose of 400 IU is completely outdated, and probably just enough for a newborn baby. He went on to tell me that giving him that much would give him an increased risk of kidney stones. Now, one would have to take an *ungodly* amount of Vitamin D supplement to even begin to think about acute toxicity, so I am going to keep with what I am doing. My son is the absolute picture of health, so that's enough validation for me. He did all his checks, signed the papers and we were off.

I had about an hour until Hayden's appointment, so I decided it would be best for Brayden and I to run home and grab something to eat real quick. There's nothing worse than being pregnant and starving, and I had no idea how long we'd be waiting for Hayden's appointment since we'd already gone way past the allotted 20 minutes for Brayden's appointment which would leave a ripple effect on the rest of the day. After we finished eating, I got Hayden and headed off. We got there just before 10 and were 7th in line waiting to check in. Once again, I was freaking out about having to be back in that place and made sure the kids didn't touch anything. Luckily, we actually got called back before we could even check in. We didn't get the same great nurse, but this guy was still very nice. He couldn't get the automatic blood pressure cuff to work, so he had to drag out the manual one. I was hesitant if he even know how to work it, lol, but it seems it worked out. We got back to the room and Dr. Estroff was soon to follow. We were there for a follow-up for a wart removal for Hayden. The day after school started, Hayden showed me this huge wart on his finger that he'd never shown me before. I had no clue how long it'd been there, but it definitely had to have been there for a while. He froze it about 6 weeks ago, but it didn't completely work, so we were back. He sprayed it some more, so hopefully it takes this time. He did such an awesome job with it. I know that stuff can sting really bad, but he didn't even flinch. Even Dr. Estroff was impressed. I took him to get something to eat because he would get back just as the other kids got out of lunch. We studied his words some more on the way to school, and I got him back just in time to get him outside for recess.

Brayden and I got home and decided it was a perfect time for a nap =) It was a good maybe 3 hour nap, but I stil could've slept much longer lol. I really need to catch up on all this sleep I've been missing. My alarm went off, and it was time to go get Hayden. We picked him up, came home, and relaxed a little. I made some yummy muenster and roast beef grilled sandwiches for lunch. It was during that time that I did something that I'd read of other people doing, but couldn't imagine possibly doing myself. I looked down at one point to an empty plate and immediately thought to myself "hey! who ate my sandwich?" I retraced my steps really quick (I had been sitting there the whole time) and realized it was indeed me. I was so ashamed. Not a second later I looked up and saw the kids were on the couch watching a movie. "Are you guys gonna finish your sandwiches?" I asked. "No," they said. *big grin* Luckily, my kids "left me" a whole sandwich all-together, so all was not lost ;P

After that, I let the kids ride their bikes outside so I could get our snacks together for the free movie night at the school. Of course my husband decided to call me right then. I was so happy, though. I finally got to ask him if he'd listened to audio attached emails of the baby's heartbeat, and he did. It was great. He told me I can go buy better headphones so I can hear it better because the only ones I have without a microphone are the cheap ones we got on our hop-on-hop-off bus tour in Rome. He said he'd be leaving tomorrow and he doesn't know how communication would be from here on out =( I let the kids talk to him and Brayden especially was happy. Hayden was happy of course, but he absolutely hates talking on the phone for some reason. We got to talk for about half an hour, but unfortunately the call cut out towards the end, and by that time it was time to head out. I tried to call him back because he was calling me from our Skype number, but no answer. I went ahead and packed up the kids and left and got a text from him on our way there saying he had to go and that he loved us. It's so nice to see something like that. We got to the school for movie night, settled in and found out they'd be starting it an hour late. The kids ran around and played with friends and had a great time, and I sat down and relaxed. The movie was Mars Needs Moms. It was pretty good, but not one I feel the need to run out and buy. I'm glad we brought our own drink and popcorn so I didn't have to end up buying anything, though. The movie let out and on the way to the car Hayden says "when we get home it's gonna be bedtime." It was before 8 when he said that, so obviously that made me happy =) He's already asleep on the couch, and Brayden's asleep in my lap. I'd asked Hayden when we got home if he took his spelling test today, and he said it was today but he missed it because he had to go to his reading class. Ugh. I really hope he gets to make it up on Monday, though, because of all the work we've been doing to prepare! Well, it's 2100, and bed sounds like a great idea to me.


(P.S. I'm sorry if there are ever any writing mistakes in these. By the time I'm finished I'm way too tired to read back through it and check for mistakes. Please forgive me.)