Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baby Crist's Gender Ultrasound....boy or girl?

Tonight we had our ultrasound, and even though I'm just 16 weeks, 1 day the results were pretty conclusive! Baby Crist was jumping around back and forth, kicking, standing on h___ little head, sucking h___ thumb and in general keeping it lively in the ultrasound room! Lou was able to hear the heartbeat for the first time and of course we recorded it for future enjoyment.  Here is Baby Crist's photo op!
 So, ____ started out by lying down in a semi-normal pose.....then reverted to....
 standing on h____ head and wiggling feet and arms back and forth!
 That got old after a few seconds so back to head down with hand in and around mouth.....followed by.....
 The disappearing act! Just a sweet little foot with toes is visible!
 And in preparation for October 31st, the eery "skeleton leg with foot attached" floating in the uterus.... (but not scary at all, just darling!)
 And then a hand with a tiny white thumb that poked into h___ mouth for several seconds.
Finally, there was just no posing for the camera-only a little bottom with the evidence plainly captured that we're having a little......

 I can't wait to meet our little baby girl, she may be tiny but she's full of life and such a gift from the Lord!

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."  Psalm 139:13-16 

We're Moving On

This week has been so busy its hard to keep everything straight! We were assigned a house at Fort Huachuca, Arizona last week after making our application, its a 3 bedroom, 2 bath concrete block affair with a definite desert bunker look to it....
...but its large for us and its location is within easy walking distance of many post amenities, including the post exchange (think department store) and commissary (non-fancy name for grocery store. :)) I've already "met" the girl who lives across the street from us via Facebook's army wives page and she was sweet enough to send me pictures of her home's interior to give me some ideas about furniture layout, etc. I'm sure it will be completely different from KY but its only for 7-8 months and anything can be made "homey" in that amount of time with enough pictures and curtains hung. :) Because the home is 50+ years old they are giving us a reduced rate on our basic housing allowance deducted each month so we will have a little leeway when it comes to renting our little home here in Kentucky! We did decide to rent it since the economy is still so bad here, homes are for sale and not moving in our area. The rental agent came on Thursday to inspect it and give us pointers in renting quickly. We purchased a "new" preowned fridge to match the kitchen and Lou also installed shelving in our bathroom closet, which for us had been the "weigh station" for the past two years-just a scale in the cubby. It looks great, and so did the fridge after we washed and cleaned it inside and out! The rent they suggested will be a little less than our current mortgage payment so we'll be supplementing it with our income for the time being, hopefully we will see an improved economy in the US over the next few years. :) We have been paying the mortgage down steadily since Lou deployed and now owe about $50,000 so that's encouraging if we needed to sell quickly.
This past weekend was also one of being able to catch up with dear friends, my friend Rachel drove 10 hours from PA to see the "Georgia girls" and spend several days with us! Rachel, my friends Cheryl and Carrie and I all met as newbie wives when our husbands were in the infantry officer basic course together. We have, along with our other Georgia army friends, kept in contact since then but we've only managed to see Rachel once or twice since her husband was assigned to Fort Drum, NY while ours ended up here at Knox together.
 We had such a good time reminiscing about the "old days" that were all of 2.5 years ago (ha!) and then about all the new developments in our lives. I think we girls share a strong bond not just because of our new "nervously wanting to get the army ways right" status when we arrived to Fort Benning, but also our sistership in Christ. Its amazing to have friends who pray for and with you, who will drop anything to help you in a crisis moment-and these girls have always been there during training and deployment, losses and joys!
How exciting to be able to share the news of our baby on the way with them-my friend Cheryl is several weeks ahead of me in her first pregnancy and I'm sad that we won't be in the same place when the little ones arrive. But, this is a normal change in Army life (moving) and it will also bring many adventures and new friends, of that I'm sure. :)
Promotion time! I promised you that story and some photos back 2 posts ago....and I will not disappoint! After having the ceremony postponed 4 times due to minor emergencies on the company's part and meeting conflicts, on October 9th we drove to the motor pool on Fort Knox at 9am. It was a chilly Tuesday, temperature around 38 degrees so all that worry about "what to wear" was immediately discarded in favor of  "what's warm in my closet?" :) My friend Cheryl offered to come and take photos-and at 0930 that morning I pinned my husband as a Captain with Delta Company present.
 So proud of him!
 The promotion ceremony is literally a 5 minute ritual, culminating in the pinning of the new rank to the soldier's hat and exchanging the velcro patch on his jacket.
 It felt like forever as my hands were cold and I couldn't get the pin on the hat straight without a struggle!
Lou's post speech was short and sweet-completely typical of him! "Well, I figured I'd milked the lieutenant spot for 8 that was long enough." It does feel like its been forever, what with this being 18 months late! :)
This is he and his platoon sergeant, SGT Hawkins. They were together through the entire deployment and are still very close, there's a bond between the men who have deployed together that rarely is broken. I'm so grateful that he had a good sergeant with multiple combat deployments during his time as platoon leader, I know that Hawkins looked out for him and his men as though they were his brothers. That means so much to me!
Baby time! Baby Crist is growing, I'm sure of that as I continue to remain sore and achy but I think I'm feeling more baby movement fluttering in there as well! My appetite has gotten better, I struggle with eating after cooking the food, but I crave food when I'm out running errands or appointments. I'm 4 lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight and that also seems to be in keeping with guidelines, as I was 16 weeks yesterday! Wow, hard to believe we're already this far along. :) Baby Crist is now 5" long and weighs about 5 oz. He will begin to hear sounds in the next several weeks so I've decided to start teaching Lou all the lullabies (hehe) and read aloud a little just for the fun of it. I've taught a class on fetal development at Clarity Solutions for Women for the past several months and one of the supplemental dvds in particular is fascinating! It chronicles studies performed in the 80s about fetal development week to week and they recommend that you begin singing to your baby as soon as he can hear, as then he will recognize the songs when born and they will be more soothing. I'm curious to see how (and if) it works! :) They also talk about father involvement during pregnancy and how babies whose fathers talked to them inside the the womb recognize their daddy's voice and turn towards it in the delivery room. So, I'm enjoying experimenting at the moment with all this! Tonight is my ultrasound with Lynn at Clarity (did I mention its 4am and I can't sleep, hence the update! :)) and we're hoping to get a possible gender peek! In some babies its apparent as early as 13 weeks, but the doctor's practice is not to do this ultrasound until week 18-20 so this is a "just for fun before you leave and go thousands of miles away forever" one. :) I'll keep you posted on how it turns out!
Lou finished the baby dresser yesterday and I love love love how it turned out! :)

 First coated with Benjamin Moore's "paperwhite" in oil base. Super soft gray white in color.
I saw these brushed nickel handles on another dresser and loved their simplicity and versatility, plus this makes the pieces empty canvases that I can dress up with colorful accents! The rest of the furniture building will be postponed until we're unpacked and settled in AZ.
Moving Date: Next Thursday, October 25th!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We Interrupt This Cold.....

(Disclaimer-I wrote this two weeks ago on Columbus Day weekend and forgot to publish it until tonight, haha! So, just imagine yourself at the start of October. Not much has changed, I still am fighting the cold mentioned, but on the mend. :) And packing, yes packing is the main focus of our lives this week!)
Hi again friends! Can you believe it, this must be a record....2 posts in less than 2 weeks. Well, I blame it on the above. There isn't much you can accomplish when you're sick, but it takes little effort to sit at the computer and type. I caught the same dreadful cold/flu Lou struggled with last week and its been a roller coaster of symptoms: sore throat, severe headache, sinus drainage, congestion, fever and chills. But, the good news is that I've locked myself into my little house and spent the time trying to prepare for organizing and labeling shelves while drinking hot tea...and trying not to complain aloud, at least for the most part. Today I worked on the fridge/freezer, trying to determine meals for the next 2 weeks until moving time. I think we may only need to go shopping for milk, eggs and butter, at this point.
Still not sure if I'm taking my love of organization to an unhealthy level, but its enjoyable nonetheless!
While I worked on the kitchen and pantry this morning and afternoon, Lou was busy with his own woodworking project in the garage. (One of the blessings of Army life in garrison- 3 day weekends become 4 day weekends! Drawback? No holidays recognized during deployment.) He has started making the baby's furniture, beginning with this chest of drawers that I envisioned and described to him in minute detail, lol. Its going to be simple but beautiful, and he is a careful craftsman so all the drawers will work correctly and the construction will be solid. Lowes, once again is the place where we spend most of our extra money. :) Wood, drawer slides, extra router all comes together.

I'm planning on (Lou) painting it a soft gray, at this point. I like the neutrality of gray in a baby's room, but there's always time for me to fall in love with a different color and change my mind! Thinking knobs from Hobby Lobby are a must, maybe something along these lines? Or how about this? Noticing a trend? Definitely not these! Wow, there are some dreadful choices out there. :)
What else...well, I mentioned the jackhammer activity last post. Now we have a new walkway with stepping stones where the crooked chipped concrete used to reside! Its simple but effective. The gravel matches the gravel in the driveway-all 17 tons of it!
I pruned my rose bushes willy nilly several weeks ago, then had remorse as I thought I should have researched a little before doing it. But, as it turns out they took to it very well and bloomed like crazy! In fact, all the flowers are doing well EXCEPT the plant I place strategically in front of that dreadful "green pipe with a white top" on the right side of the flower beds, in an attempt to hide it. It funny is that? :) I like to think that green pipe was placed there to keep me humble!
Speaking of lawns, we had new neighbors move in several months ago. The first several weeks they kept us guessing by keeping MOST of their belongings on the front driveway and back yard, spread out like a professional yardsale. Yardwork and mowing appear to be at the bottom of the priority list, so I was thrilled last week to see them out cutting the grass, pruning the trees in the front yard and tidying up! The next morning I awoke to this:
Even the prunings were used in the "yard art"! Ha! The witches and ghosts hanging from the porch I did not manage to capture in this photo have their own constant sound effects, but nothing equals the man in the top hat at the organ. This organ PLAYS! Yep, no matter what time you open the front door...the sounds of haunted organ music pipe across the lawn....repeating every 20-30 seconds. Now I'm a little disappointed we're going to miss seeing Thanksgiving and Christmas decor this year!
Speaking of which, we're moving! Officially! On Tuesday I was driving to Clarity and got a call from Lou. He had just gotten word that they re-instated him in the Nov 15th course and we were to report to Arizona by the 5th of November! Can you believe how quickly things change around here? Its normal, too, that's what makes it even stranger. Lou's (pomp and ceremony) promotion ceremony has been rescheduled twice due to Army personnel conflicts but we still received orders for AZ yesterday and I immediately relayed all the necessary paperwork via email to the housing office at Fort Huachuca. Now to wait and hurry! We have to coordinate housing, moving of our goods, and travel from here to there- all to occur around October 25th, give or take a few days. I'm really excited to begin this phase of our journey! Although, it does mean a lot of goodbyes to people I love here in Kentucky and we will be 38 hours from Mom and Dad Crist in New Jersey, and a "mere" 31 hours from friends and family in Virginia! I'm sure we will be doing more flying! :)
I was 14 weeks pregnant on Wednesday! I finally managed to get a "pregnancy" photo taken for the memento book, but I have not been taking "weekly" belly photos. It just doesn't happen! :)

(And now my friends, soon to follow is the post with all the details about promotion ceremony, moving, and wrapping up our time in Kentucky!)