The Great Twilight Debate: Me and My Soldierman

While I'm in the hospital and home recovering/taking care of Miss Charlotte, I have a few people scheduled to blog for me. I hope you enjoy them while I'm away! Don't worry, I'll be back soon with stories and tons of photos of our little one! =)

Today's guest post is by one of my favorite people - and bloggers - JG from Me and My Soldierman. And I think you're going to love what she's written for you/me today. Enjoy!

With the Hunger Games movie coming out, and the new Twilight trailer being released, all the old discussions have cropped up comparing the latest YA novel to Twilight, and people talking about how lame Twilight is. Now, if we were just talking about the movies, I’d totally agree. They suck.

But it seems to me a lot of the criticism people cast at Twilight is, well, unfair. So, here I am writing a post I never thought I’d write.

I’m defending Twilight.

Let me start by saying Twilight is not great literature. I’m not trying to say that at all. And that’s part of the problem. People like to compare Twilight to Harry Potter because they’re both written by break-out female authors, and compare Twilight to Hunger Games because, again, both female authors and similar writing techniques – first-person limited omniscience, in case you were wondering – and all of them are fantasy/sci-fi/not regular old Nicolas Sparks fiction.

Actually, Nicolas Sparks may be a better comparison. Because where Harry Potter had larger moral themes and Hunger Games has over-arching political messages, Twilight is just a romance. And for a romance, it’s pretty good.

It’s like trying to compare chicken broth with Thanksgiving dinner. You just can’t. But for chicken broth, it’s good.

I hate when people compare Twilight with Harry Potter. Sorry, Stephen King, you should know better than to try and contrast two completely dissimilar pieces of fiction just because they both target the same audience. It’s not an even scale. So I’m not even really going to address that one.

Twilight and Hunger Games is closer, even though I still don’t think it’s a true like-to-like comparison. But we’ll go with it. Katniss is a very strong female character. She’s obsessively devoted to and protective of her family and friends. She’s got a survivor instinct but is also incredibly self-sacrificial – i.e. volunteering for certain death in place of her sister. But she’s still a teenager with complicated emotions and a worldview that fits the world in which she inhabits.

All these same things could be said about Bella. It’s less obvious because she doesn’t live in the middle of a civil war and an oppressed village. But she is also fiercely devoted to family, willing to jump between those she loves and harm even though it always appears to mean a certain – painful, bloody – death. Yes, it’s on a lesser scale than Katniss, because her world is smaller than Katniss’s. That doesn’t make her virtues any smaller. I think I can say with certainty that if Katniss didn’t have a major civil war to distract her when she got back from the Games, we would have had an “Eclipse”-style sequel rather than the “Catching Fire” we have.

The endings to the stories are where things get tricky. And if you haven’t read the endings to either series, I’ll do my best not to spoil anything, but you might just want to skip this paragraph to be safe. I have huge, HUGE problems with the way Twilight ended. Sorry to play this card, but one thing we learned in my writing courses was that sometimes, you have to kill your darlings. If it serves the story, if it’s what’s needed for the story to be realistic, believable, organic, then it must be done. Stephenie Meyer is afraid to do this. Or, at least she was with Twilight. She can’t stand to see the characters she loves in pain. Oh, sure, Bella gets torn up and chewed up here and there. But none of it is permanent. However, when it comes to real lasting loss, Meyer won’t pull the trigger. Exhibit A: Renesmee. A completely ridiculous and unnecessary plot device because Meyer loves Jacob too much to see him endure (and subsequently grow from) real loss. Or, the final-battle-that-never-was. We get to the final vampire confrontation and – largely thanks to Bella’s natural means of protecting her friends and family – we have a giant talk-it-out session and everyone goes home unscathed, with the exception of the traitor we have no emotional connection to. In Hunger Games, there is loss. A lot of loss of characters we care about. Care deeply about, like Prim. And Katniss has to deal with the effects of that loss, like losing her relationship with Gale. In this way, I think Collins is a braver writer than Meyer. But again, Collins was writing about an actual, all-out war. Meyer was not. Meyer was writing a romance. And in a romance, it’s perfectly acceptable (in theory) to end on a high note, give everyone a happy ending. I still hate Renesmee as a character and as a plot device. But it fits the story that Meyer was telling.

My point is, Hunger Games is a political story. Twilight is a romance. Yes, Twilight is a thinner story, but it’s sufficient to the task – telling a love story.


Baby vs. Furbaby: Somewhere Over the Camo

While I'm in the hospital and home recovering/taking care of Miss Charlotte, I have a few people scheduled to blog for me. I hope you enjoy them while I'm away! Don't worry, I'll be back soon with stories and tons of photos of our little one! =)

Hello all you FINE readers of this here FINE blog. :)  I'm Amanda and I blog over at Somewhere Over the Camo.  I'm so excited to blog with y'all today while Sarah is off enjoying sweet baby Charlotte.  Welcome to the world little one, it's a grand and beautiful place!

I have a baby of my own you know... he is fabulous, hilarious, cute and the best company I could ever ask for...

He also has four legs, fur and drools a lot-- meet Piston.

As I sit here and ponder all the changes Sarah will go through when it comes to Charlotte versus her fur-baby, Jasper, I know that there are a few minor major differences between babies like Piston and Jasper and the real-deal-babies like Charlotte.

For example... 
  • Charlotte will have to go EVERYWHERE that Sarah goes.  Piston and Jasper, they get to stay home without adults before becoming teenagers.  
  • Charlotte will cry when she needs something.  Which is mildly similar to Piston at least.. except he barks too.  I'd expect to hear a bit more crying from Charlotte though.  
  • Charlotte will one day smile up at her Momma.  With Piston and Jasper, they always look like they could possibly maybe just a tad bit be smiling at you, but you never really know.  
  • Just like with smiling, one day Charlotte will start talking.  Unfortunately I don't think that will ever happen with Piston and Jasper.  
  • Charlotte gets to wear clothes everyday.  Cute ones too!  Piston and Jasper, not so much.  I don't know who would be more upset with me if I dressed Piston... Piston or my husband.  
  • Charlotte will have to have her diaper changed and her tummy full.  Which is exactly like dogs, except I have to hike down 3 flights of stairs to "change" Piston's "diaper" and I can just set a bowl of food and a bowl of water out and not have to prepare anything.
  • Charlotte may sometimes sleep in the same bed as Sarah.  But unlike Piston, she will not take up the whole bed.
Through everything though, Charlotte will make Sarah feel loved each and everyday, just like Piston does for me and countless other "kids" (real or furry) do for countless other Moms.  I can't wait to see and hear the amazing stories of Charlotte growing up... and once again, welcome to the world sweet one!


Change of Plans: B + C & Baby

While I'm in the hospital and home recovering/taking care of Miss Charlotte, I have a few people scheduled to blog for me. I hope you enjoy them while I'm away! Don't worry, I'll be back soon with stories and tons of photos of our little one! =)

Hi everyone! It’s Chantal from B + C & Baby  here guest blogging while Sarah is off with her new little baby!

I’ve been in the exact same spot as her and not too long ago. My baby, Penny, was born on December 16, 2011. She came on a Friday at 1:05am. 6 pounds, 12 oz and 18 inches long, a perfect little baby with a head full of hair.

My birth went completely different than what I expected. My husband and I planned for a natural birth. We did the Bradley classes, researched researched researched, and decided that we wanted as little intervention as possible. We wanted to labor at home, go to the hospital at the latest point possible, no epidural, sit in the tub, have a baby, skin to skin contact, delayed cord clamping… you know, the whole natural deal.

People warned me that things could change. I brushed them off and was stunned when plans began shifting suddenly.

At my 39-week appointment I had the midwife check me. I wanted to see if I was dilating, since I had another week. Well, we found out instead that our little baby had turned around – she was breech! It was what we had been dreading. Babies in my family like to be breech and up to 38 weeks, we thought we had avoided it. Then sometime between 38 and 39 weeks, she switched around!

For the next week we did everything possible to try to spin her around. I did handstands in the pool, I hung upside, I played music on the bottom with a cold pack on top. We hoped, we prayed, and we decided that we weren’t going to schedule a c-section so we could give her up to the last possible moment to turn around.

I went into labor on December 15, a day after my due date, and went into the hospital around dinnertime. She was still breech, they confirmed it several times, and my natural childbirth turned into a semi-scheduled c-section early that morning.

But hey, while I was disappointed going up to the birth, once our baby was in our arms, it all just melted away. She is here and she is ours.

I know Sarah is being treated well – she’s giving birth in the same hospital I did just three months ago! I hope everything went just how they envisioned it, and I’m sure you all are thinking the same as me: you can’t wait to see this little baby of hers!


Maternity Photos!

Today is the day, folks!! At some point today, I'll be going to the hospital to be induced and meet my little girl! So I figured it'd be appropriate to share some of the maternity photos we did a few weeks ago. Now, I haven't been keeping them from you... I actually just got them on Sunday. Just in time!

I am completely in love with the photos she took... She did such a great job! And you'd never know that the weather was less than perfect here that day. Amazing! All the photos were taken by a girl we go to church with here. If you're interested {and in Hawaii}, you can check her out at Koti's Photography.

This is Joe's favorite. =)

Hand hearts on the baby belly!

This is one of my favorites...but I can't say exactly why.

Sweet baby shoes.

Kisses for baby!

Walking along the beach. =)

This shot was Joe's idea. The onesie he's holding says "Daddy makes me smile." The one I'm holding says "Mommy loves me." =)

I think this is one of the best shots of us.

I really love this one.

Window into the belly. =)

This is definitely a favorite. We have one sort of like it from our engagement photos too.

Had to have a smoochy picture. Hehe.

This one might be the best one of us. =)

Don't ask me where my belly went... 
No idea! I guess it was the way I was standing, maybe?

So what do you think? They're great, right?! =) I love them. Now to choose which ones to print! And because I'm off to the hospital today I'm thinking it might be a while before I actually get to that... Oh well!!

Speaking of going to the hospital, I have a few guest bloggers lined up for the next few days. I'm sure you'll enjoy them while I'm gone. And don't worry, I'll be back soon with tons of baby photos and stories! =)


A Pre-Baby Weekend

It's so crazy to me that this is our last weekend as just Joe and Sarah: The Married Couple. This time next week, we'll be Joe and Sarah: The Married Couple with Baby. =P Thankfully, it's been a beautiful weekend here in the Land of Aloha. They were calling for rain all weekend, but somehow it's missed us! It did sprinkle for a little bit yesterday, but that's pretty common here anyway.

We kicked off our weekend with Joe graduating from WLC on Friday! Woo!

I was totally prepared for this graduation to be similar to his AIT graduation {read: boring and a complete waste of time}, but it was actually pretty cool! They had a local SMG as a guest speaker, handed out some nifty looking {Hawaiian style} awards to the people who made commandant's list {kinda like making the dean's list in college} and of course they gave everyone their little "diplomas." Then at the end, all of the people who took the course marched in from the back and said the NCO creed and sang the Army song. While I'm not particularly a fan of hearing either of those things, the way they did it was pretty awesome. And I was lucky enough to be sitting right next to where Joe marched in. =) Afterward, we grabbed his gear and headed out for a quick lunch and some relaxing at home.

Saturday was our "date day." =) I am a huge fan of date days. They're way more fun than plain 'ole date nights! Haha! We actually started the day by doing a couple things around the house, but nothing to strenuous. After lunch we went to get pedicures. Yes. I said we. This is actually the second time Joe has gotten a pedicure with me!! And now he says it's an absolute must for him after field training. ;-) Score!

I rarely get my toes painted a color different than pink or red, so I decided to live "on the edge" this time and got blue!! I gotta say...I kinda like it! I'm pretty sure my toes haven't been painted blue since I was in middle school. =P What can I say? I'm a creature of habit.

After the pedicures, we walked across the little shopping mall to get some snacks and go see a movie!

Yes, our last pre-baby movie choice was Hunger Games! Neither one of us read the book(s) before seeing the movie {not sure how that happened}, but Joe had heard lots of great things about the Japanese version of the books and was really interested in seeing it. I had obviously heard tons about it in the blogosphere from people who'd read the books and the closer it got to premiere, the more interested I got. So we went to see it! And I'm really glad I did. It was really good!! I was a little concerned about the usage of shakycam, which always makes me nauseous, but it didn't bother me so much after the first 20ish minutes. Woo! Joe and I both really enjoyed the movie, though we were extremely irritated that people brought small children to the movie. I get that it was a matinee on a Saturday, but that's no good reason to bring children under the age of 5 to a PG-13 movie. Children who will be kicking seats, going to the bathroom every 15 minutes and crying. Gah. Anyway.

After the movie, we made a quick stop by WalMart. I'm not sure how it happens, but we always seem to end up at WalMart on our date days. Whether it's for snacks or a movie or whatever, we end up there a lot. =P And what did we see when we walked in the door?

The Hunger Games book! So of course we had to get it. =) I'd been trying to see if I could get it online for super cheap, but couldn't find it for a good price and get it ASAP. So thanks to WalMart for selling it super cheap on opening weekend! I know I may not have just a whole lot of time to read in the very near future, but I'm sure I'll be wanting to read something

After our Wally World trip, we headed to North Shore to eat at one of our favorite restaurants here.

Cholo's!! It's not just a margarita bar either. That's just one of the signs they have hanging up. =P It's actually a Mexican restaurant. A very reasonably priced Mexican restaurant. ;-) Anyway. We ended up waiting for quite a while because it was Saturday night, so while we were waiting I figured I'd take a picture or two of us. And then my silly husband decided to mess with my little photo shoot...

He kept making silly faces!!! He must have really been in a good mood, because usually he's very cooperative and understanding of my blogging/photography needs. Le sigh. But at least we got a couple good shots out of it! 

Once we finally sat down at our table {long after sunset}, we had plenty of time to relax and just talk. =) It was very enjoyable despite the drunkies across the aisle from us. I guess that's just what happens when you go to a restaurant that has great food and drinks. 

All in all, it was a really, really good last pre-baby weekend. While I'm obviously very excited about Charlotte's arrival, I'm also feeling the intense reality of what's about to happen - how our lives are about to change. And I'm glad we had the chance to have a nice "just us" weekend before she arrives. 

Just one more day! 


Strong Enough

I haven't done one of these in a while, but today I'm linking up with Goodnight Moon for What's Your Song? 

I heard this song - Strong Enough by Matthew West - on the radio on my way back from my entirely-too-long doctor's appointments today and it just seemed fitting. The lyrics start out with:

"You must
You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through." 

Um, hi. ::waves:: I'm about to go through something probably more difficult than I ever imagined. And while it will be totally worth it, it is definitely going to be hard. I'm pretty nervous about being induced, being in labor, delivering and, well, becoming a mommy in general.  This song pretty much screams the attitude I have/need to have. And I may or may not be requesting my hubby download it to play in the delivery room. ;-) What really speaks to me is the chorus:

"I know I'm not strong enough 
to be everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of Mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For both of us"

Great, right? Well, listen to the song and be prepared to be even more moved. =)

Love! Even if you're not going through something difficult (or about to), this song is awesome. I mean, you really just can't go wrong with Matthew West.

P.S. If you're interested in guest blogging for me next week, let me know! I'm gonna have my hands full!


Thirty Seven - The Last Week

How far along: 37 weeks!! And only one week until she's here!

Weight gain/loss: Um... 30ish? My OB appointment got cancelled last week and I haven't weighed myself in a while.

Body changes: Nothing out of the ordinary so far. Growing, growing, growing belly! 

Gender: It's a GIRL!

Movement: Lots of moving going on in this belly! In fact, I finally told a nurse this week that I don't do kick counts because I feel her all the time. Even better, I keep reading on my pregnancy app that I won't be feeling the baby as often because she's getting bigger... And all I can think is "LIES!!" Haha. =) I'm totally ok with feeling her move so much. I only wish she wouldn't shove her tiny little feet into my ribs! {Which, coincidentally, don't feel so tiny when they're in my ribs.}

Sleep: Depends on the night, really. I have a hard time staying comfortable and I still get up a few times a night. But I'm sleeping really well for the most part.

What I'm looking forward to: Um, meeting our baby girl in a week!

What I miss: Not waddling, not grunting when I get up from the couch, being able to sleep on my stomach and eat whatever I want.

Cravings: Nothing specific... Just everything I can't have. Soon, though!

Symptoms: Lots and lots of pressure "down there," heartburn even with the Zantac, and some back and hip pain.

Best moment this week: Talking with Joe about how things will be once Charlotte is here... Having him help me get things ready... I don't know, there were a lot of good moments this week. Well, this weekend, really. We also found out at dinner Saturday night that some good friends of ours are expecting!! =D We are super excited for them, of course, and can't wait to give them some good practice with Charlotte! ;-) Haha!

Taken before dinner on Saturday... In Charlotte's room. =P

I just can't believe she'll be here in one week. This pregnancy has gone by much faster than I thought it would! Though I'm definitely ready to meet her, I kind of wish it hadn't gone by so fast... Despite the GD, hypertension and now GBS {group B strep}, I've really enjoyed being pregnant. Yeah, there were some really sucky times {I'm lookin' at you, morning sickness} but it's really been...amazing. Growing this little girl in my belly has been one of the greatest - and strangest - experiences and I'm still in awe of how it all happens. And super thankful that God chose to bless us with this little girl. I know the road ahead is going to be tough, but I'm going to have some great help along the way. I couldn't think of a better person to do this with than Joe. =) He's not so sure, but I know he's going to be a great daddy. I can't wait to see him with her!


Ready or Not...

Here she comes!

That's right. Miss Charlotte will be here in one. week! Which is why I've been spending most of my time nesting cleaning like a crazy person. My main goal for last week was "de-cluttering" the house. I'm kind of a clutter person... It really just happens and I don't know how to make it stop! Piles of paper/mail here and there; piles of clean clothes in the laundry room and our bedroom; baskets of dirty laundry... You name it, it has happened in my house. Not usually all at the same time, but it does happen. And for a few weeks, if you'd walked into my kitchen you would have seen a big box of "stuff to get rid of" in the middle of the floor. Not pretty. Then there are the dreaded storage closets... 

So I tackled almost all of that last week. By Friday, most of the house had been de-cluttered and all I had left was the storage closet. And I totally overdid it on the storage closet. =P I took out a whole bunch of stuff from the outside one {which was originally supposed to be for a garage sale} and piled it in the car to take to Goodwill. It took me a good 2 hours to get everything out, organized and put in the car, but I did it! And then I paid the price in the form of a few contractions. Smart, right!? 

But it didn't stop there... I had a whole list of things for Joe to do this weekend. I really felt bad for asking him to do so much, but I can't do all that I want to do by myself. And, hey, if he's not going to be here during the week to help, that's what he gets! ;-) Just kidding. I know he'd much rather be here tackling my "honey-do" list than "playing Army" and staying in the barracks all week. 

Thankfully, by the end of Saturday afternoon he completed my list. =) Well, mostly. There's still one big box that needs to find its way to Goodwill {I can't lift it} and the grass very seriously needs to be cut. But those can be done later. 

This week, my goal is to do as little as possible, pack our bags and just keep the house picked up. This is always easier with only one person in the house. {Am I right?!} So all I really have to worry about is getting through the weekend...with a clean house. ;-)

And just as proof that she's really coming soon, I got to spend my afternoon here:

No worries, though! The people in the NST office freaked out a little because her heart rate dropped. In all actuality, though, her heart rate was just going back down to normal after having been high for a while. And it took a 30 min NST and 1.5 hours in L&D to determine this. Sigh. Better safe than sorry, I know, but 2 hours of monitoring is a lot...and uncomfortable.

Question for you mommies out there: What do I really need to pack in my hospital bag? {For me and for baby.} 

And holy cow... One. Week.


Socks. Rocked.

I haven't really talked about it that much on here, but before a few weeks ago I was very seriously freaking out about the lack of things we had for Charlotte. I made a mental decision not to purchase anything for her (other than a few clothes I couldn't resist) before my baby shower. After the shower, I pretty much went into full panic/nesting mode. If you couldn't tell. ;-) We still didn't have everything we needed for her - from clothes to high chair and a few things in between. Quite honestly, I was worried about where all the money was going to come from. In case you don't know, baby things are expensive! Not only are they expensive, but they are more expensive in Hawaii...just like everything else.

After my initial freak out and shopping spree (in which I was able to get all of the absolute necessities), my "real dad"/bio father/whatever you wanna call him sent me a message asking if we had everything we needed for Charlotte. I was honest and told him that while we had all the basics, there were still a couple things we'd like to have (a high chair and Ergo carrier) that we couldn't afford to get. I also told him that we didn't need them right away, so it wasn't the end of the world. Guys, he ordered them off my registry the same day. This is just amazing to me because not only did he spend like $200 on those things, he also bought us a Pac N Play and Exersaucer. And he gave us a decent amount of money for Christmas which I used to pay for fabric for her bedding. So basically, he's given us a lot. And I...am completely overwhelmed by this generosity.

Then, my bestie did a little shopping for me. First she went and got me some reasonably priced bibs, burp cloths, etc. She also went "shopping" in her own little girl's closet. All this stuff is coming to Hawaii with my MIL. I am beyond excited to get all the cute stuff from her! And I'm relieved that Charlotte will have more outfits. ;-)

A while back one of my bloggy/Twitter friends sent me a box of clothes, bottles and burp cloths for Charlotte. This was before my panic/nesting began, but I was still very thankful to get them!

Yesterday, another Twitter friend said she was going to go through her kids' baby clothes and send some to me. Then, my neighbor texted me telling me she found 2 seemingly new baby swings on someone's curb for trash day and picked them up. Only one of them ended up working, but I now have a baby swing. It doesn't have a power cord, but it does take batteries and I can order a cord from Amazon if I need to. So...this FREE baby swing is sitting in my house ready for my baby girl. (And, yes, I washed and cleaned the whole thing immediately. ;-)) Also, do you know how much these things cost?! This one is over $100 brand new! I paid $4 for batteries today. Four. Dollars.

This morning, my sweet friend Miranda (who also threw my baby shower) texted me to ask if I wanted some of her daughter's recently-outgrown clothes.

Seriously, y'all, I'm surprised I haven't broken down into tears by now. I can't believe how much God is blessing us through these amazing friends and family... And even through friends I've never even met!

I'm just gonna be honest with you - I'm convinced that all of this is because we recently started tithing again. We'd been in between churches for a while and had "gotten out of the habit" of tithing, for lack of a better excuse, I guess. Even after we joined the church we're at now, we didn't tithe for a while. And our finances took a hit because of it. Trust me, they did. But for the last few paychecks we've been faithful and obedient and God is blessing us because of it. Not only are we being blessed by amazing people, but for the first time in I-can't-tell-you-how-long we have extra money this month. Not a lot, but it's still extra. If that's not God's doing, I don't know what is because we haven't done anything different other than tithing.

And in just under two weeks, we'll receive the biggest blessing He's ever given us - our baby girl. I'm excited; I'm ready; and I'm very...humbled.

So, yeah. This is one of those {many} times in my life where God is very seriously rocking my socks off


Snail Mail

I'm not gonna lie, I pretty much love getting snail mail. Well, the fun kind of snail mail. I don't like getting bills or nine thousand credit card offers. =P Anyways. I love going to the mailbox and finding something fun. Like a postcard!

A while ago, one of my fun bloggy friends, Jessica, decided to host a postcard swap. So of course I signed up! I got paired up with the lovely Elizabeth who lives in Pennsylvania and a couple days ago I got her postcard!

Ah, look at all the history on that postcard!! As if I didn't want to visit there badly enough already... ;-) Now those little pictures of history are hanging out on my fridge - reminding me of places I want to visit and history I've read about and loved for forever. I know, I know... I'm a nerd. I'm okay with that.

She also left me the sweetest little note about our baby girl and the nursery! It may seem silly, but I really enjoyed getting a fun little something in the mail. Thanks for sending me a little happy mail, Elizabeth!

Now who else wants to send me a little happy mail? ;-)


Thirty Six

How far along: 36 weeks!! Which means it's crunch time!!! 2 weeks until she's here...crazy, crazy, crazy!

Weight gain/loss: Ummm...around 30, I think. Last week I was up like 3 pounds which was really weird. I want to see what it is this week because I don't understand what happened. Lol!

Body changes: Meh. Not much, really. I think I might have a few more stretch marks, but it's hard to tell at this point. Definitely a bigger belly though!

Gender: It's a GIRL!! Trust me, it's a girl. ;-) They double checked at my ultrasound last week and there's really no doubt she's a girl!

Movement: All the time. I'm starting to think for sure she has red hair {just because I have it doesn't mean she will!} because she's so feisty! Unless it's a hard kick in the ribs or belly button {which really feels weird} I don't mind. I'm just glad she's healthy and moving around in there.

Sleep: Not so bad lately. I think I'm so tired by the time I get to bed that it's not really a problem. I still get up a couple times a night, but it doesn't bother me anymore.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting our baby girl! It's crazy that there's only 2 weeks left... It's gone by so fast!

What I miss: Just the usual: sleeping on my stomach, not having heartburn or back/hip pain, not waddling when I walk, and eating what I want to eat. =P

Cravings: Nothing specific... Just all the sweet stuff I can't have!

Symptoms: "Breakthrough" heartburn, back/hip pain at night and in the morning... Yeah, I guess that's it.

Best moment this week: A couple best moments, actually...

  • Getting to see her via ultrasound!!! It's really amazing to me how much you can see on those things.

Such a sweet little face. =)

  • Joe and I had a little date night Saturday and had a really good chat about us and Charlotte and...lots of things. We hadn't done that in a while and it was definitely needed. It does make me a little sad, though, that we have so little time together in the next 2 weeks. We'll make the best of what time we do have but it'd always be nice to have more, you know? Stupid Army and WLC. =P


Good 'Ole Randomness

I can't seem to decide what to blog about first/next, so I've decided to go with a little bit of everything tonight. You're welcome. ;-)


Holy wow, Batman. I'm gonna be having a baby in 2 weeks. Two. Weeks. Sometimes I just can't wait and other times I'm freaking out about it. I find myself getting nervous about...well, everything, from big to small. What should I pack in my hospital bag? How long will it take? Will I really be able to do this? You know, those sorts of things. I know in the end all the little stuff won't matter. Once she's here I probably won't think of any of it again. But for now, these are the thoughts that occupy my mind.


Speaking of the little girl, she's still looking perfect. =) I had another NST today {2 a week now} and the overseeing nurse kept joking about how excited/active she was. I guess people really don't believe me when I tell them how active she is?! I'm not kidding, folks! Her heart rate stayed pretty high - 160s and 170s - the whole time I was there...and then she got the hiccups. This really intrigued the nurse. Why, I'm not sure. Babies get hiccups! Oh and something else lovely about the NST... My BP was/is totally normal. I'm almost convinced that my BP issue has something to do with how much I hate the OB clinic at Tripler. Because, seriously, when I'm doing the NSTs or the time I went to L&D my BP is completely normal. It's only when I'm thrown into a super busy atmosphere that my BP is high. I'm very seriously considering putting in an ICE comment about all I've been through/dealt with since being put in the COB {complicated OB} clinic.


I've found that I have a weakness for all things girlie. Ok, ok... Maybe that wasn't exactly a secret before. ;-) I bought some headbands for Charlotte last week and this week I bought some hair bows. But can you really blame me?!


You may  - or may not - have heard about all the rain and crazy weather Hawaii has gotten lately. Well, let me tell you... It's definitely been interesting. What happens in Hawaii when it rains all the time and actually storms is kind of like what happens when the South gets more than like 2 inches of snow. Complete freak out. The "severe weather team" {term used very loosely} interrupted TV shows every half hour and the NSW interrupted probably just as frequently. It was a little ridiculous. Then Friday on my way home from the commissary, I saw that HPD had put up this handy dandy little sign near the entrance to our housing area.

No, let's not fix the pot holes. Let's warn people about the GIANT holes in the road!!! That sounds like a great idea! Sigh. When I saw that, all I could do was laugh. Because really? It's just bizarre. And yeah, this is what living in Hawaii is really like. Glamorous, no? ;-)


I don't know if I've talked about them here before, but right after Christmas we got new neighbors. Nothing really new around here... This is the 3rd set of neighbors we've had {in that house} in the nearly 2 years we've lived here. How's that for turn-around time?! Anyways. We happened to "bump" into them in the garage one day not too long after they moved in and we introduced ourselves. Nothing really happened for a while, other than the occasional friendly "hello" in the garage or driveway.

Then, around Valentine's Day, we started getting a bit friendlier. B knocked on the door one night to let me know I'd gotten flowers earlier in the day while we were out. She didn't want them to be left out all night. I was very appreciative even though I had answered the door in PJs. A few days later, she knocked on the door again to ask if I had an ingredient for a recipe. It turned out that I didn't, but later she brought over some of what she made! Pumpkin. Cheesecake. OMG, it was delicious. And yes, I had some. ;-) Not a lot, but you really just can't turn down cheesecake. Am I right?!

To return the yummy favor - and her "tupperware" - I baked some cookies and had Joe take them over. I think that pretty much solidified our friendship. ;-) 2 weeks ago, we had lunch over at their house. We text back and forth every other day or so... And I even watched their 2 year old girl Friday night for about an hour when they had to take back their huge TV to Costco. They've also agreed to watch Jasper while I'm in the hospital. =) Then, tonight, B texts me and asks if I want some of the beef stew she made for dinner. I was exhausted from my trip to Tripler and Wally World {see hair bow photo ;-)} so I happily accepted. The result was delish!

Today's #marchphotoaday. =)

Lucky for me she sent enough for lunch or dinner tomorrow! =D Even better, it did next to nothing to my blood sugar. I thought with the noodles and potatoes that surely it would spike, but nope! It's interesting to see how my body reacts to different foods. I have a bigger problem with pure carbs {like bread/pancakes} and sugar than starches {potatoes, rice, beans, etc.}. But in 2 weeks... I will be GD free and free to eat the things I miss so much! Yeah, I'm pretty excited about that. 


This WLC thing hasn't been as bad {for me} as I thought it would be. I'm thinking the preggo hormones amplified everything. I really do miss having Joe here with me all the time... Especially since we'll be spending 95% of our last 2 weeks as "just us" apart, but it's really not so bad. It's kind of like AIT all over again. I know it's rough on him, though. They have a really tough schedule {going to bed super late and getting up super early} and get bombarded with power point and tests all day. And Joe is extra hard on himself when it comes to classes and testing. I understand why {to a degree}, but I do wish he'd be easier on himself. I think that if he can just make it through these tests and the next 2 weeks without another trip to the ER, he'll be just fine. And I'm hoping to make it through the next 2 weeks with no contractions!


This past weekend we did a maternity photo shoot!! =D I'm really hoping she'll post some sneak peeks on FB soon so I can show all of you! She showed me a few shots on her camera and those looked great, so I can only imagine how good they'll look after they've been edited. Can't. Wait!


Hope you've enjoyed the return of randomness. ;-) I think it needed a good comeback, don't you?! Hope your week is off to a great start!


Baby Love: The Nursery

After returning from the doctor's office this afternoon, I was finally able to finish the little missy's nursery! I was really hoping the last little piece of "artwork" I ordered would be in the mailbox and it was! I've really been working on the nursery all week and I'm glad to have it finished. Especially with the news I got at the doctor's today. More on that later.

As you're all probably aware by now, the "theme" for her room is elephants. I fell in love with some elephant print fabric right before we found out she's a girl and there has been no turning back! I never really even liked elephants that much before...now I can't get enough of them. Without further ado, here is Charlotte's nursery!

The photo on the top left is the view when you're standing at the door to her room. Walking in, the wardrobe is on the left. The print sitting on the wardrobe is the one I got in the mail today. It says, "First we had each other. Then we had you. Now we have everything." LOVE. =)

Then we have the changing table/dresser, which is now completely ready for baby! Diapers, wipes, lotion, butt paste, cotton swabs, etc. The photo on the bottom right is what I have deemed the "nursing corner," complete with the chair, Boppy pillow, burp cloths, blankets, etc.

The crib and vinyl I made with my Silhouette. =) It took me all day to make that!! You can click on it to see what it says, but in case you don't want to it says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above." Her name still isn't as big as I'd like it to be, but I ran out of vinyl. If I ever order more hot pink, I'll probably make her name bigger. Until then, this will just have to do! Thoughts?

More shots of the crib area.

And now we're back to the doorway. Shelf with knickknacks and photos... Table with monitor, lamp and little bear. I have no idea where else to put that little guy. =P Diaper bag by the door, ready to go!

I'm so relieved to have her nursery done! It's been bugging me for the last few weeks. I feel like I can relax a little bit now that it's done. 


I may have mentioned that I had an ultrasound scheduled for today, which means  I got to see our little girl!! I was very excited to see her little face {and the rest of her, of course} but I was a little sad not to have Joe there with me. The ultrasound took around 30 minutes because our sweet little girl was being feisty. =P I'm fairly certain she didn't want to have her pictures taken today! Thankfully, though, the tech was able to see what she needed to and we got a few photos of her too. =)

Isn't that the cutest, smooshiest little face you've ever seen?! =D {I know, I know... It's started already, LOL!} We got a few more photos of her face, but they all pretty much looked like this one. The tech tried really hard to get a profile shot, but her little head is smooshed down in my pelvis. {TMI?} Good for delivery, bad for ultrasound photos!

I loved every minute of seeing her move around. It was so neat because I could feel and see when she was moving! I got to see quite a bit of those feet she keeps putting in my ribs, and guess what?! They look exactly like mine. Poor baby girl. I'm sorry!!! One of the coolest things I got to see was her "practice breathing." Her little chest was moving up and down so fast! I'm assuming this is what causes her frequent hiccups... The tech said that was a very good thing. Anyway. She's pretty much perfect. Weighing in at about 5 pounds...a little petite for how far along I am, but small babies are common in our families. 

After the ultrasound, I met with a couple of the maternal-fetal medicine doctors. There, they informed me that I will be induced (because of the hypertension tendency and the GD). This sent me pretty much into panic-attack mode. They wanted to induce me at 37 weeks, but since Joe will still be in WLC then they postponed it until 38 weeks. In case you need a reminder, I'm 35 weeks. Translation?

Charlotte will be here in 2.5 weeks. 2.5 weeks. Holy. Moly!

Now you see why I'm glad to have her nursery ready! All I need to do now is pack our hospital bags and put the carseat in the car! Eeeeek! 

I'm still a little nervous/terrified, but the more I talk about it the better I feel. I'm not thrilled about being induced, but it is what it is. I want her to be healthy and if this is the way it has to happen, I'll deal with it. Plus, Joe will be there with me. =) I can get through this. 

So. Any tips for packing the hospital bag and advice/tips/info for being induced?!