Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Doctor Appointment

I had yet another doctor appointment yesterday. The good news is that Abby has remained head down in the correct position. The bad news is that I am still NOT dilated. I am still 50% effaced, which means I am getting there, slowly! And I know I still have a few days until my actual due date, but trust me, I am ready! Especially now that Mom is here. She has been helping me out so much, cooking and cleaning. It is nice to be able to relax as I get larger and larger. I have also been having some lower back pain (I hope this means labor is coming), so her doing everything allows me to rest.

Other updates
The car seat has been installed in the Xterra. After us spending about 45 minutes trying to figure it out, I called the fire department and they told me to come by. So we went by and the nicest fireman installed it for us, along with giving us other tips on the safest way to have the baby in the car. For example, not putting a coat on her so the straps are tight to her body and using a blanket if it is cold.

Stuart will be moving again in the next few weeks. He will be returning to his original place before returning home, but he advised me not to send him any more mail as he might not get it. Hopefully (cross your fingers), he will be home in about 6 weeks.

My next doctor appointment is Monday January 5th, but Im hoping Abby makes her debut before then. We will just have to see!

I hope everyone has a Happy (and safe) New Years Eve!! My plans are homemade soup, hot chocolate, and movies!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ali (Santa's Little Helper)

My sweet little Ali absolutely hates putting on any type of clothing. So, of course I buy her something for every holiday and make her wear it. This is her Santa's Little Helper outfit. Last year she had a dress with a fur collar, but it was really too cruel, so I only got her a t-shirt this year.

This is her sitting on my feet (or trying to get away from the camera).
I finally got her to "pose" for a picture. She looks so thrilled, I know. She actually sat in this position for a solid hour (unheard of normally) until I took the shirt off.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Maternity Photos and Doc Appt

Here is the link to the rest of the maternity photos. Some of them are "bare belly" so be prepared! I am trying to decide a few to print out and frame, so any suggestions, let me know...

I also went to the doctor this afternoon. I have not dilated yet, but am starting to thin out. So it should be soon. My last test came back negative, so everything is all set, just waiting for Abby to get here. Mom arrives Friday night and is super excited! My next appointment is December 30th.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Maternity Photo Shoot

I had a blast yesterday at the beach shooting some maternity shots. The girl that did it was incredibly nice and easy to work with. It was also great that the weather was so nice (about 68 degrees). She is working on editing the pictures and I should have them in the next few days. But she posted a few on her myspace page, here are my favorites. Once I get the CD, Ill post a link to all of them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

I received a package today from a group called "Full Circle Home...12 Days of Christmas, Love from Iraq". A marine mom created the program and it sends 12 Christmas presents to families of deployed marines.
The enclosed card said, "Thank you for supporting our servicemen, who are currently serving our country overseas. We know that you are the rock upon which he relies. Thank you. You deserve so much for your bravery in meeting the daily challenges alone, for showing strength for your serviceman even when you might feel weak inside, and for serving right alongside him. Your serviceman requested that you receive this series of gifts. He cares so much about you and so dearly wanted you to have a Special Christmas, even if he can't be home with you. This program is a thank you. Your gift was sponsored by the person on the reverse side. Merry Christmas and Best Wishes" And on the other side of the card, it was signed by Renee in Rochester, NY.
There was also a card from Stuart in the package wishing a Merry Christmas and a "See you soon"!

Not sure if it is the pregnancy or not, but I literally sat at my kitchen table and cried for about 15 minutes when I got this. I hear about all of these programs that do things for military families, but this is the first time I have ever received anything like this. It means so much to me, and puts a little excitement in my Christmas! I opened the first present and it was a set of lotions from Mary Kay. It is about 8 days until Christmas, so I can open one a day until next Thursday and then the remaining on Christmas.

Here are the pictures of the box (along with my mini-Christmas tree).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

JD's graduation

My baby brother (well, he is 23) graduated from Tennessee Tech this past weekend.

JD and his girlfriend, Jessica

Dinner at Puelo's Grille
My uncle, aunt, mom, dad, Jessica, and JD

Monday, December 15, 2008

USMC Birthday Party in Iraq

Below is a link to some pictures from the 2008 USMC Birthday Party that was in November. As hard as I tried, I could not find a picture of Stuart, although I did see a few of his friends.

But it is still neat to see that no matter where the boys are...they were able to celebrate the Birthday of the Marine Corps.

Picture #8 does look like Stuart, but I assure you that is not him! That is the LtCol of his battalion.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

37 Weeks (Full Term)

I am 37 weeks along today, which is technically considered full term. This means at this point, Abby's lungs are completely developed. Generally, at this stage the baby weighs about 6 pounds and is 19 inches long. And her hair looks like what it will when she is born. In my mind, I picture her having a full head of hair if that is truly an indication of the amount of heart burn pregnant women have. I am exhausted and ready to stop working, but am going to try and at least make it until Mom gets here (next Friday).
I put the glider and mobile together today (again, I am putting off the hospital bag). Pictures are below.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank You!!

I got an email from Stuart today and below is what he said.

"how is everyone doing. i have been getting a lot of cards lately, its really nice. makes me feel good that my family and yours really cares enough to send the cards. they all put very nice messages in there too."

This year's holidays are especially hard for us, obviously being apart. If you sent him a card, I really appreciate it, as it helps lift his spirits! Feel free to send another or pass on his address. A card means alot to him when he can't be around his family.

Here is his address again if anyone needs it:

Cpl Staples, SG (C Co, 1st Plt)
1st Bn, 2d Marines
Unit 73055
FPO AE 09509-3055

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Doctor Appointment

I went to the doctor for another check-up today. I usually go to an off-base clinic and not the base hospital for my regular appointments. Well the clinic was full, so the appointment was made for the hospital today.

Apparently the hospital was full also, so whoever booked my appointment put me in a "complicated pregnancy" slot. When I went in, I got to see the "top-dog" doctor there who asked me a million questions about my complications. Finally we figured out what happened and I got through my normal appointment. But it was pretty amusing, I was his easiest case in a long time!

Abby's heartbeat was good, she is definitely facing head down, ready to go. I had my last test done to make sure I wont have any issues during labor. I have not started dilating yet, which is awesome, since Mom has to get here first!

This was also the first appointment where I hadnt gained a ton of weight! It has only been about 10 days since my last appointment, but I was still pretty happy. My next appointment is Dec 23rd.

Friday, December 5, 2008

8 months strong!

Wow, only one month to go! I never thought I would see this day. My mom will arrive here in Jacksonville in three weeks, so every day I tell Abby that she has to stay in there until then...

I am really starting to wind down. I lost feeling in my hands about 2 weeks ago and every day it just seems to get worse. It is basically just the swelling that I have in my arms that is cutting off the nerves (it is the same symptons as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). I am very uncomfortable being this heavy too! But overall, health wise, I am in good shape. Nothing out of the ordinary and I have my last test (I think) on Monday.

As fas as everything being ready, I got the glider, mobile, and travel system this week. This weekend I am going to put my hospital bag together. Of course, I say this every weekend, and I just keep putting it off. But I think I pretty much have everything that I need. I havent hung her name yet, but I can't get behind the crib to do it, so that will just have to wait until Mom gets here.

I was supposed to do my maternity shoot this past weekend, but due to rain, it was postponed until the 20th. Lamaze class is going great, learning many techniques to remain calm and hopefully get through the pain with as little drugs as possible. I toured the hospital yesterday, where they showed us the birthing room and recovery room. The birthing room is actually a HUGE room that is super nice with a tv and dvd player to keep me entertained! I was disappointed that they dont have internet access though. They acted like I was crazy for asking, but I wanted to be able to email Stuart as soon as possible with tons of pics. I can at least send him one from my phone though.
Speaking of Stuart, he is doing great, he is "out" doing some work for the next few weeks so we dont get to talk much, but he should be back in time for the birth and at least be able to call and have consistent internet access. I have also heard this hospital has a "webcam room" where I can take Abby and we can see Stuart and he can see us. We just have to be able to coordinate it.

Here are the pictures that I took tonight. I really am this big! Abby is completely cramped in there and likes to remind me with especially sharp kicks! Ill post again after my doctor appointment on Monday.....