Mal Smiles

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Boy's Navy & Gray Doggy Baby Room Inspiration

With less than six weeks to go, I am finally getting around to thinking about The Boy's baby room. I feel bad because Collins' room was fully decorated and ready for her long before her arrival. Since our housing situation is not ideal, I'm not sure how much I will actually put together. We are actively looking to move off post so he may never actually sleep in his room in this house. Why put a crib together just to take it apart in a couple months? It will at least be in a box and ready when we get settled somewhere.

I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted to decorate The Boy's room because boy colors and themes are hard. I dislike the colors red and orange and green seemed too bright. DLW wears blue and gray exclusively so it is the winning combination. Boy themes are hard too; DLW hates baseball and nautical but we love doggies. Once I started looking, it all came together to create a navy & gray doggy themed baby room.
Valspar Gravity- I hope to someday paint his room a nice light gray if we move off post. I'm a big fan of Valspar paint and love that 10% military discount at Lowe's.

Pillowfort Light Blocking Stripe Curtains from Target- I ordered two panels of these striped curtains to block the light. A dark room is the secret to good baby sleep.

Curious Canines Sheet Set- I struggled to choose sheets after finding the perfect set from Pottery Barn that they no longer make (isn't that how it always goes?). These are actually a toddler sheet set from Target that will fit the crib mattress. I can then use the extra pillowcase and flat sheet for other decorations or save them for when he is older. The red accents are just enough while the doggies are navy and gray.

Circo Wipeable Changing Pad Cover- I was amazed by how often we have had to change Collins' changing pad cover when she was tiny. I love that this cover matches his room and is wipeable.

Baby Mod Modena 3-in-1 Crib- I had my eye on this crib when we thought Collie was a boy. This crib converts to a toddler bed and you can't beat Walmart's price.

Pottery Barn My First Anywhere Chair- I have loved this chair with Collins and plan to take his monthly pictures in his monogrammed chair, too.

Gray Stripe Hamper- Baby's have a lot of laundry. I added this hamper to our Amazon registry after I ordered a matching storage bin on Amazon Prime Day.

I hope to find some dog themed art for the walls and maybe a few doggy accents, too.

I can't wait to someday put this all together for The Boy and give him a room of his own. Until then, it will all stay in boxes and packages. He'll spend the first few months in our room so he'll never know, right?

Check out Collins' baby room inspiration and her baby room tour.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 33 Weeks

This is quite the jump from my last bumpdate at 24 weeks, huh? Excuse my wet bun, no mascara, and green shorts with a green tank top. This post was delayed a couple days because I kept telling myself I would "get ready" then take the picture. Obviously that didn't happen...
I promised you an update on The Boy and there is quite a bit to share. He has been consistently measuring small (about two weeks behind) since the first ultrasound. I was offered the option to see a specialist in Colorado but decided to just run some blood tests and continue checking on him with ultrasounds rather than get in with another doctor right before we moved.

I had a growth check ultrasound the day before we left Colorado and assumed everything was fine because I never heard from my doctor. THREE weeks after that appointment she called me from a blocked number and left a voicemail saying he was still measuring small with an even smaller head. At this point I was in Florida and having trouble getting scheduled with a new doctor in Virginia. I was frustrated with how difficult the transfer process was but also knew there was nothing I could do right that second to help the baby grow.

I was finally able to get scheduled with an OB when I got back to Virginia at 33 weeks. I recieved a growth scan ultrasound and met with my new doctor. She said the baby was still measuring about two weeks behind in growth but that his head measured the biggest. He had also turned from breech to head down which was a huge relief for me. The doctor said everything she saw told her he was just a small baby but suggested I visit the high risk doctors for a more in depth ultrasound.
Two weeks after that I went back to my OB for a biophysical profile ultrasound that checks on the baby's overall physical health. He scored a perfect 8/8 and looked great.

Monday I was finally able to see the high risk perinatal specialist at a hospital up in Richmond. The ultrasound was thorough and examined every little part of The Boy's body including his brain, kidneys, spine, and measured his limbs. It was like a guided tour of my uterus which was interesting to learn where he was positioned compared to the movements I had been feeling. They also checked my placenta to make sure it was providing enough nutrients to help the baby grow.

After the ultrasound I talked to the specialist who walked in and said, "Your baby looks great. I can assure you everything is fine. There is nothing to worry about." He did another quick ultrasound and believes he is just a small baby. I will go back to the perinatal center in 3-4 weeks for another thorough ultrasound to make sure he's staying on track. I meet with my OB again tomorrow to go over everything, too.
Whew. What a relief!

Gender: Very much a boy

Weight gain: 22.5 lbs. I gained just about the same at this point with Collie and only 25 total so I am hoping to keep it around the same amount.
Stretch marks: None on my belly but when I got tan in Florida you could see my leftover stretch marks on my hips from college. I really liked beer and tater tots.

Movement: This kid likes to wiggle the most at night. I am starting to feel his feet in my ribs- a feeling a forgot that I felt with Collins, too.

How I’m feeling: I feel great! Normal, really. I was much more uncomfortable at this point with Collins. Maybe it's because The Boy is smaller and taking care of Collins all day doesn't give me time to be tired but I feel fine. DLW has commented that I don't do anything quickly but that is to be expected.

Miss anything? DLW has been laughing at me when I window shop for alcohol. Colorado doesn't sell alcohol in grocery stores or at Target so now it feels like there are so many tasty options in my face when we go shopping. I have plans for some tasty adult beverages Labor Day weekend.

Sleep: I flip from side to side throughout the night and occasionally wake up for an hour or so but I'm sleeping well overall. Collins is sleeping great too which helps.

Food: I have definitely reached that point where I can't eat as much. For example, I ate a big (and super unhealthy) lunch at 10:40 am yesterday and didn't eat again until DLW forced me to eat avocado toast at 7pm. I usually have a small breakfast followed by a late lunch and a snack after Collins is in bed. I am trying to cook real meals this week for DLW in hopes I will eat a little more.

As far as cravings go, I had an uncontrollable hankering for Doritos while in Florida. I bought myself a bag and they were everything I wanted them to be but now there's half an uneaten stale bag in the pantry. Also, Cook Out. Burgers in the morning are the best.
Workouts: I am officially teaching BODYPUMP again! I took six weeks off from exercise during the move and it was tough coming back. I feel so much more myself when I get to workout and try to go twice a week. I am definitely missing OrangeTheory and need to make myself go to the gym for some cardio. Collins doesn't love the Kid's Club so I am reluctant to put her in there unless I'm teaching. I teach BODYPUMP and a 30 minute core class on Wednesday mornings. Teaching core at 33 weeks pregnant is humorous. 
Clothes: I had to buy new shorts while our things were in storage because I outgrew everything I had with me. I love Old Navy's running shorts and bought a size larger to accommodate my growing hips. I have also been loving my over the belly jean shorts- that's pretty much all I wear if I leave the house.

Baby items: This poor kid. I finally ordered his crib last night and his IKEA dresser is in the box in his room. Collins helped pick out a few more pajamas for him and we chose a coming home outfit, too. Other than that he has nothing. I guess he doesn't need much but I feel bad that he has significantly less than Collie had when she came home. It has just been hard with the move and bringing him home to a house we don't love and will move out of as soon as we can. He is a victim of Little Brother Syndrome and just use Collie's pink Pack 'n Play sheets, swaddles, and flowery burp cloths- I'm not spending money on that again. 
Best moment this week: Hearing that everything is fine with the little guy and that he's just small. I will take a small baby over a giant baby any day! It's always nice to see his little face and try to imagine what he will look like. I'm hoping for a boy version of Collie.


Looking forward to: Feeling settled and getting his room together. We still have random boxes stacked in his bedroom that I need to open and clear our. Even if we move soon, he still needs a room.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The PCS That Wouldn't End

Moving is hard. Let's just start with that.

I haven't blogged throughout this move because it has been the PCS (permanent change of station) that just wouldn't end. It's been one thing after the other since the packers arrived May 23rd and I haven't had it in me to sit down and blog about it. I think if I had it would have come across whiney and it still might but here's the CliffsNotes version of the last few weeks.

May 23: The packers arrived Monday morning while I was at an ultrasound appointment. The team was lead by a 16 year old girl (why wasn't she in school?) and two other ladies. They were making great progress and we got them Chipotle lunch around noon. Tip: let your movers pick what they want for lunch- they don't want pizza for the 5th time that week. They continued to pack throughout the afternoon and as it got closer to 5pm there was still a lot to do. The moving company had slotted them two days to pack our house but they were determined to finish it in one. By 7pm there were still random items not in boxes and everyone was getting a little moody with each other. We asked them to either leave and come back tomorrow or inventory Collins' room first because she needed to go to bed. The poor dogs had been in the garage or the yard all day and we were ready for the day to be over. They eventually finished up around 9:15pm.
May 24: Our last day in Colorado as a family. We took Collie to The Little Gym before heading to my last OB appointment. We waited an hour in the waiting room (not even the exam room) before deciding to just leave. I gave blood for my glucose test and told them to call me if anything was wrong on the previous day's ultrasound. I wasn't going to waste any more of my time waiting in that office to see my doctor for 5 minutes. We packed up a few more things before having dinner with Xochitl and Scotty one last time. Saying goodbye to friends is the hardest part of moving.

May 25th: Early Wednesday morning Collins and I caught a flight to Florida. DLW met the loaders at the house and helped them load the moving truck while cleaning each room behind them. By 2pm that afternoon he was on the road with the dogs heading to Florida. We weren't sure if he was going to be able to come to FL at all because the moving company moved up our delivery date in Virginia. He drove straight through only napping at rest areas until he got to Florida that Friday.
May 30: We were able to spend just two days in Florida as a family before DLW drove up to Virginia to meet the moving truck. It wasn't exactly the relaxing family vacation we hope for but we made the most of those two days. Collins and I had planned to caravan up with him (we bought my mom's car in FL) but a tropical storm hit the East coast that weekend and we didn't want to drive in the rain if we didn't have to.
DLW arrived at our rental house the evening of Memorial Day and it was trashed. The previous tenants intentionally damaged the house when they moved out. I only saw a few rooms over FaceTime but it was not in the condition we expected. After talking to the landlord, we all agreed to cancel our lease. DLW then drove another 3.5 hours to his parents' house in North Carolina that night.

So then we were essentially homeless with all of our belongings on a moving truck to a house we weren't going to live in. Because we didn't have an address, we had to send our household goods to a storage facility. Collins and I were supposed to drive up with my Dad the next day but decided to wait a few more days to try a figure things out.

With me in Florida, DLW with the dogs in North Carolina and DLW starting school the next week, we panicked. Any rentals I found online weren't immediately available and he needed somewhere to stay with the dogs ASAP.

Our first call the next morning was to the Fort Lee on-post housing office. There was no officer housing or even E7 (DLW's previous rank) housing available but we could get into an E1-E6 unit immediately. We decided to just take what was available and live on-post because we felt like we had no other choice.

June 2: My dad drove Collins and I up to Virginia from Florida. Collins isn't a huge fan of the car and my dad couldn't imagine me trying to drive 12+ hours with her screaming in the backseat. We are incredibly grateful because Collins got car sick and threw up for the first time in her life just 30 minutes into the drive. She then did a considerable amount of screaming for the next 14 hours up I-95 North.
We arrived at Fort Lee around 8pm that night and met DLW at our new house. I had remained optimistic about living on-post but cried when I walked through the door. The house was not at all what I imagined and not quite what I look for when looking for houses. It is a duplex in one of the older neighborhoods and considerably smaller than where we have lived in the past. I just kept reminding myself that it's a roof over our heads and only for a year (you sign a lease just like you would with any other rental property). My dad flew back to Florida the next morning and we were officially back in Virginia.
June 3: Trying to make the best of the situation, we went up to Richmond for the day to grab a few things for the house. Since we hadn't planned on any of our things going to storage, we had nothing but clothes and a few dog blankets. DLW was able to borrow an air mattress, a crock pot (for Sadie's dog food), and a crib from friends in Richmond to get us through. We figured we would get our household goods soon enough and we could use paper plates and plastic forks until then.
Later that day we finally got a response from the moving company and our household goods could not be delivered until June 20th. Then I cried some more.

The next day we found fleas on the dogs- I cried again. Fleas are not a problem in Colorado but I treated both dogs with Frontline before we left just to be safe. However, Virginia fleas must be strong because we found a live flea on Layla, caught more in the house, and poor Sadie was covered in bites.

Together we decided that Collins and I would stay the coming week to take the dog's to the vet, meet the cable and fence companies at the house, and a few other housekeeping items. We accomplished what we could that week and flew back to Florida on June 9th. 
June 9-19: Collins and I were back in Florida staying with my parents while DLW started BOLC. Ten more pools days, sleeping in a real bed, and spending more time with family helped me stay sane. I needed time to process living on-post and actually took time to rest. We had been going 100 mph since the beginning of May and it was catching up to me.
While in Florida, I recieved a voicemail from my Colorado OB three weeks after my ultrasound saying the baby was measuring extremely small, especially in his head, and that I should get another ultrasound and see a specialist in Virginia. Oh, and that she'll be out of the office for the next week. You can imagine that I freaked out a little and started Googling everything I shouldn't have. I had been working to get my medical records sent to a new OB in Virginia. Sending medical records is more difficult than it should be (who still uses fax machines?) and it took nearly two weeks to even be able to schedule an appointment when I got back to VA. I promise you a full baby update SOON- he's fine but there is definitely more to share on that topic.

June 19: Collins and I flew back to Virginia on Father's Day. This was the first Father's Day we have actually been able to celebrate with DLW. He missed his little chick like crazy and she asked for him every day we were apart.
June 20: The movers arrived just after 10am Monday morning and I had a good feeling about them from the start. They were all 23 years old and definitely "bros." Their jokes were just the right level of inappropriate and they didn't mind my sarcasm. They were thrilled when we offered Chick-fil-A for lunch and were all around really great. They were respectful of Collie's nap time and finished unloading around 6pm.
From what we can tell, all of our boxes made it here safely. We do have some superficial damage to furniture but nothing was totally destroyed. Collie's crib took the worst of it and is dented and scratched all over. Our ottoman looks like it was chewed by an animal and we are missing a few pieces to our baby gates. Fortunately we were able to file a claim and get reimbursed for the damages and lost items. It is never fun to see your things damaged but at least it all got here safely.
Things have gotten better since our household goods arrived but we are STILL living among boxes. Unpacking with a toddler isn't easy and I have been slowly making progress.
I'm sure there are pieces of the last few weeks that I'm forgetting but maybe that's for the best. We are finding our feet here on Fort Lee and starting to settle in. While the housing isn't exactly what we wanted, it is nice to have DLW so close. He is able to come home after PT and for lunch which is great to see him throughout the day. He will also be just 5 minutes away when I go into labor and will be able to spend more time with Collins now that he's not commuting 40 minutes each way.

This move has tested us in ways we have never experienced. Through it all we leaned on each other rather than pushing away. DLW and I can handle pretty much anything as long as we are together. We owe an enormous thank you to my parents for all they have done for us the last two months; you are never too old to need your mom & dad. We have also had so many Richmond friends offer to help us and we are grateful to be back here.

In the end, we are healthy and together and that's all that matters.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Congratulations, Second Lieutenant Whitt

He did it! DLW is officially a second lieutenant in the United States Army.
We had been counting down to the day for over a year and it was hard to believe it was finally here. DLW completed the Army's Green to Gold program at the University of Colorado- Colorado Springs ROTC program. He is a distinguished military graduate and now a Quartermaster (logistics) officer.
A friend of ours, Captain Curnow, administered his oath. It was extra meaningful to have a friend give his oath and sign his certificate. We owe a big thanks to Joe and Stephanie for coming to the ceremony and for taking so many pictures. They have been great friends to us in Colorado and will be moving this summer, too. That's military life- no one stays anywhere too long.
My dad, Collins, and I pinned on DLW's Quartermaster shoulder boards. The look on DLW's face is priceless.
DLW's close friend, Derek (who lived with us for 6 weeks a couple years ago), was his first salute. These two met when they arrived at Fort Carson almost three years ago and have been besties ever since.
My parents, brother, and grandpa came to town for the ceremony and to celebrate DLW.
We had a lunch party back at the house with close friends, Chick-fil-A, and lots of cake.
Congratulations, Second Lieutenant Whitt. Collins and I could not be more proud of you and all you have accomplished. You have conquered every goal you set for yourself and I can't wait to see what you do next. I am so proud to be your wife.
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