Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Doctor Appt

Just got back from the doctor, everything is great!! Weight gain normal - a little high, but nothing to be concerned about - I just need to keep drinking lots of water and walking. And slow down on the sweets (my weakness). The heartbeat was good and my belly size was normal also. I did have a horrible cramp in my side a few days ago that I asked the doctor about and she said it was just the stretching of my ligaments as my belly grows.

Then the doctor felt around to get her position and said her head is facing down where it should be. They could feel her back too, which was on the right side of my belly. That is probably why I am more comfortable sleeping on my right side as she is more comfortable too!

Right before I left the office, they gave me my pre-admission paperwork to take by the hospital. That way, it will be there and ready when it is time for me to be admitted. I also have to fill out paperwork concerning my birth plan. That paperwork goes in my hospital bag to take with me, so I still have time to think about those questions. The countdown has definitely started!!!

My next doctor appointment is November 26th.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Party

The Key Volunteer Network that I am a part of hosted a Halloween party for all the wives of the battalion. We had a great turn out (lots and lots of kids). I believe over a hundred people came and we had tons of sweets (that Abby quite enjoyed). The wife of the LtCol also had a small speech for us. She mainly talked about the rumors floating around that the guys would be home before Christmas or in January. None of them are true :( and they are still slated to come home in February. But it could always be worse, could be longer.

Below is a picture of me, Ashley Hittenger (who is 5 months pregnant with a little boy), and her friend Carolyn. As you can tell my face is starting to round out! My next doctor appointment is Tuesday, so I can get the "official" weight gain then. Still walking every day though!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Ali and I went to Petsmart's Howl-O-Ween event and got our picture taken. This is seriously one dog that does not like to dress up. I only do it for special occasions and because it makes me laugh extremely hard .

She is supposed to be a bat, but it ended up looking more like a court jester!

I had to hold her down for this one!

This was the dance to try and get it off her head (but you can see the bat wings)!

And this is her friend Cash the Pimp Juice Dog!

Friday, October 17, 2008


The crib is ready!! The painter's came and painted the nursery a creamy-light yellow. It is hard to see in the picture, but it is very pretty!!

Mike putting the crib together - good thing he did it, I dont have the patience!

With the princess bedding...still waiting on the mattress, but at least I am getting started!

Another shot of the bedding!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October Message

Greetings, again, from the Al Anbar province, Iraq! I am hopeful that by now everyone has settled into a comfortable routine – we certainly have out here in all locations where 1/2 Marines and sailors live and work. With the mission in full swing now across our area of operations, we are doing significant and active work across a wide array of focus areas – rule of law, essential services, governance, and economic development, all the while trying our level best to transition as much of the overall effort to the Iraqi people as we possibly can. For several reasons, many of which you can imagine, this is tough and trying work that requires much patience – but it is indeed very satisfying. You should see the things that are happening in our area of operations right now – the work our Marines and sailors are doing would bring a tear to your eye! As I asked everyone in the battalion to do before we even left the United States, our Marines and sailors are “working for the Iraqis” each and every day – their efforts are genuine and from the heart and their conviction is clearly evident. Over time, these efforts will forge noticeable success in the areas that I mentioned above – and Iraqis across our area will benefit immensely. I know it – we all know it – and we are dedicated to seeing it happen.

By the time you all read this message, October will be upon us. As temperatures in North Carolina cool off and fall is ushered in, know that similar changes are happening here as well. Temperatures here in Iraq have already started to cool a bit, with the exceptionally hot days I talked about in my September message appearing less and less. Cool mornings and pleasant evenings are now the norm. This is welcomed with open arms out here, as you can imagine, just as I know it is where you are. With the uncomfortable summer weather behind us, the flurry of successive holidays that leads to the New Year – and 2009 – is fast approaching. While none of us look forward to being separated during this time, we can only hope that the pace of the season makes the remainder of the deployment pass quickly for all. I can’t guarantee that your favorite Timberwolf will dress up for Halloween as anything other than a Marine or sailor, but please know that we will do everything we can out here to make all of the upcoming holidays pleasant and memorable for our Marines and sailors.

I have been very pleased to hear of the great attendance at the family functions that have taken place since we have been gone. Between the August pool party and the September movie in the park, it certainly appears that the “team” has jelled at home exactly as it has done out here. I hope that continues. It is indeed a great thing and something that should bring all of us immense pride and satisfaction. It shows that, within 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, Marines’ wives and families take care of their own, just as your Marines and sailors are doing every day out here. On either end, we would not want it any other way.

And finally, Lisa and I want to send our personal congratulations and best wishes to all of the 1/2 gals, and their husbands, who have welcomed new babies into the world since our departure – and there are several. As the proud father of a newborn son while deployed, I know that it is especially difficult for the Marine or sailor and his spouse to be separated during such a joyous occasion. I wish you all the best, especially our ladies, and I take pleasure in knowing that the homecoming in early 2009 will be extra special for so many, including myself.

Thank you all for your continued support of our Marines and sailors. Keep the packages and the mail coming!

Long live 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, and success to our Corps!

God Bless and Semper Fidelis,
LtCol Winand
Commanding Officer,
1st Battalion, 2d Marines

Sunday, October 12, 2008

6 months and updates

Today marks the official beginning of the third trimester! Although I feel like I have been pregnant forever, it is only three short months until Abby arrives!

I am still waiting to hear back from the painter on when they can come - but I have at least picked out the paint color. It is a cream color with yellow undertones. Very neutral, but I think it will look great once everything is put together. Once I can get the room painted, I am ordering the crib and dresser.

I also signed up for a "Mom's Basic Training" class next week. It is a two day class and will (hopefully) teach me all of the basics of having a newborn. There is also a class for Daddy's called "Daddy's Boot Camp", Stuart is signed up to take this class in March.

I am still walking about a mile a day and I think this has curbed some of the weight gain since I know my calorie intake has not slowed down!! Ali and I are headed to the beach this afternoon since it has been raining all weekend and she needs to get out and burn some of her energy!

Abby still kicks pretty frequently, but it is reassuring to feel her moving and growing inside my belly. According to my baby book, she is about 2 1/2 pounds and about 16 inches long. Crazy to imagine something that big and she is not even halfway there!

Stuart is doing great, he is back at Camp with all of his buddies. He now has access to email, so I have been able to talk to him more. Only about 4 1/2 months until he gets back!

Here are some pictures I just took, not that great since I had to set the timer! Next month, I will be meeting with a photographer to get some "official" pictures done.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Flowers and Flowers

Stuart sent me two bouquets of flowers for my birthday! Technically, one was for Abby, but I am enjoying them both the same! I def. think there is a pink theme starting....

Best Friends!

While we were home, Ali made two best friends. One was my dad who just wanted to rub her belly. Ali is a bit of a wiggle worm, so getting her to stay still long enough to get her belly rubbed is quite amazing. The other was Dixie, my parents dog. They constantly wrestled and wrecked havoc in the house, but loved every minute of it.