Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On it today!

Tricare. Yes, even with the headaches it can cause and the crazy rules it has, I am immensely thankful for our healthcare. Because of Tricare, we're not having to pay anything for my prenatal care, for L&D, or for whatever the baby needs when he gets here. I know that a lot of new parents have to figure out how, even with insurance, they're going to pay for the hospital stay. Considering that a normal vaginal delivery costs between $9,000-$17,000 (without insurance--see how much those companies are paying?!?!?), it's crazy! We don't have to worry about it. I've gotten good care at the hospital on Elmendorf, yes, a few things are different than the civilian world (I'm not seen as often is the biggest one, but honestly, that's ok with me since we're both doing ok), but I don't feel like I'm being slighted on care.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I know I'm a slacker!

Phones. More specifically, cell phones. We don't have a landline since the last time we had one (when we lived here before) the only calls we got were either 1) telemarketers 2) places wanting donations 3) bill collectors for the people who had the number prior to us. (What I really hated most was was very difficult to make them believe us that we had NO idea who those people were or where they were!) Being thousands of miles away from family, it's so great to be able to pick up the phone and call. I just have to keep the 3 hour time difference in mind!! S

Ultrasound technology. We (meaning Munchkin and I--Daddy couldn't get out of work) got to go see Brother today. From what I understand (and knowing that the techs aren't allowed to really answer anything), everything is going along fine. He does have a big head, but so did Munchkin! (apparently it runs in the family!) It's so nice to be able to see him and lessen the chances of some major surprises at delivery time! I know it's not perfect, but it's better than nothing! My only complaint? My super uncooperative child refused to let us get a good picture of him!

The Alaska Zoo. We got a membership (Thanks, Mom!) when we moved back here. We haven't been since right before Halloween, and with the crazy cold weather, we may not go TOO much in the near future, but it's still one of our favorite things about Anchorage. It's an amazing zoo. It's pretty small compared to the two zoos I grew up around (Dallas and Fort Worth), but so great. It's small enough that you can spend quite a bit of time at each animal and not be there ALL day. What makes us really love this zoo though, is that most of their animals are rescues. Not all of them are, but most of them are there because they were found orphaned or injured and cannot be safely released back into the wild. They're there for the animals, not the money. I'm thankful that there are people out there that want these animals to live happy, healthy lives and educate people about them and their habitats.

The ability to make a special nursery for our little guy. We started painting (and boy, am I glad it's a small room!!) and I'm so excited to get it all done and ready for his arrival next month! I know that not every family has the room to have a room for each kid and I'm so thankful that we don't have to worry about the kids sharing a room!

Photography. We had our maternity/family pictures done today. Munchkin made a few interesting, but I knew that she wasn't going to be the most super cooperative anyway! Professional portraits or's amazing to be able to capture our lives this way!

The fact that I need to clean, the laundry that needs done, the dinners that need to be made....for this all means that we have a roof over our heads, clothes to wear, and food for our bodies.

Our big bed. Between having an achy belly (my lower abs are NOT my favorite friends right now!) and the type of heartburn I get, getting comfortable enough to sleep is hard. Add in a whole bunch of pillows (including my Boppy Body pillow), and I can generally be ok. If our bed was any smaller, poor M would be out of room!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

So much for keeping up!

Lightning. No, not the electric flashes in the sky, but our super sweet dog. He turned six this year and his age has been starting to show for awhile. Thankfully we've found some remedies that have been helping him physically, since he still thinks he's a little puppy. He's so amazing with Munchkin, he did growl at her last week but she did jump and throw herself on him when he was sleeping, so it wasn't an aggressive growl, but a surprised, "what the heck was that?!" growl.
Even though when Daddy is home, he acts like I don't exist, and when he isn't, he spends most of his time sleeping on the couch to store up his energy for when he IS home, I love him just the same. He's been an amazing member of our family for the past six years (he was 7/8 weeks old when we adopted him) and I'm incredibly thankful to have been blessed with the love of a dog.

Today is my sister and brother-in-law's 10th wedding anniversary. I'm thankful for them for so many reasons. One--without them, there wouldn't be my niece and nephew! That has to be more than enough explanation! I think I could go on and on about it all, but I'm just going to leave it somewhat concise. Here's to many more decades!!

Like most other Americans, today I'm reminded to be especially thankful for the brave men and women who serve in the military. I'm thankful for each and every one of them everyday, of course, and it's closer to the surface for me since I am an Army wife, but today, as a country, we all say "Thank you." To the people who have left their lives and families behind for the rest of us. To the ones who didn't get to come home again. So to all of the people who have written that blank check that includes their life to Uncle Sam, thank you.

Being able to read books. I got a Kindle for my birthday and I've been burning through books left and right. With the free bestseller list, I've read books I never would have even heard of before. Some good, some not so good, some down right bad...but I read them! Then of course there are the classics that I've been able to read. (I just finished "Water for Elephants"....yes, it's worth the hype and I'm hoping that the movie does it justice!)

Long weekends!! Due to Veteran's Day on Friday, Mark got a 4 day weekend. Munchkin was all over him all weekend, she LOVES having so much Daddy time!

A husband that doesn't mind grocery shopping. I don't know why, but I seriously detest grocery shopping. One of the things I dread about deployments is having to make all of the grocery trips! (There are many things that are much higher on the dread scale, but still, this makes the list!) AND he even braved the commissary on a holiday that was also payday for everyone who banks with USAA. Seriously, that's like Black Friday shopping craziness. Yet he came home with a smile on his face! I would've been a stressed-out grump!!! He's my hero for so many reasons, and this is definitely one of them!

Good customer service. I was told by my OB that she wanted me to get an ultrasound to check on Baby. No reason to be worried, she just wants to see how he's doing. I guess that because the hospital is so busy, the radiology clinic doesn't do prenatal ultrasounds other than the 20 week anatomy scan, so I she referred me off post. TriWest actually got the referral done in two days!! Wow. The office I'm going to had an amazing receptionist and we'll get to see our little guy on Thursday!!!! Glad to know that there are places that still realize that customers are people!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Catching up!

Amazingly enough, I'm actually getting this done today!

I'm thankful for being able to go to Curves. I'll hit my 100th workout at Curves next week. There's actually more than that, but this is counting from last Thanksgiving (when I signed up the latest time). There were a couple months this year that I couldn't go due to lack of childcare, so I should have hit this milestone sooner, but better late than never, right? Curves has helped me get on the track to get in shape and I know that it'll help when it comes to labor and delivery! It's easy enough that even on 'bad' days, I know I can do it, but challenging enough, especially with CurvesSmart, that I know I'm getting a good workout in. The ladies there are great, they make a good program a great place.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Triple threat!

I'm really bad about updating daily...oh well, such is life!

I'm thankful for friends. We went to celebrate a friend's daughter's first birthday today. Her actual birthday isn't until early December, but her Daddy is deploying and may or may not be here for it, and her Grandma and Aunt were visiting, so it only made sense for them to celebrate early. Munchkin likes to play with her and even tried to say her name...but of course her favorite part was exclaiming, "CAKE!". It was a great afternoon spent with friends for us and her...and one of the guests was a little 4 month old boy, Munchkin LOVED looking at the baby and did not like when he cried at all! It was great to catch a glimpse of her big sister self!

I'm thankful for the snow. Yes, you read that correctly. This Texas girl is totally ok with multiple feet of snow for multiple months now. I may be slightly less enthusiastic about it come March, heck, even January--mainly because then I'll be wrangling Munchkin AND a newborn through the snow, but there is even too much of a good thing. What's changed my mind, you may ask. Munchkin. This is the first time she's been able to play in the snow. There's not much for a 2-6 month old to do in the snow, so she didn't get to 'enjoy' her first winter in Alaska, then she had a good Southern winter last year. She LOVES the snow so much. She loves getting her snow suit on, which is so nice that she's cooperative in such a long, involved process! Watching her discover the new ways to play outside, explore how snow "works" and how she can manipulate it is so precious. Kiddos definitely change the way you view the world!!

I'm thankful for my awesome husband. He does so much to take care of us. Example: This morning, after it snowing like CRAZY last night--huge flakes, coming down fast...gorgeous to watch, not so gorgeous to clean up in the morning!--he not only cleaned off his car to be able to go to work (the only thing he HAD to do), he also cleaned off my car, AND shoveled the driveway! Granted, it was still snowing pretty hard so it doesn't look like he did much, but there's that much less on my car should I need to clean it off to leave today. He's given me death glares if I so much as think of shoveling any of the snow, as much as I really wouldn't mind helping clear off the driveway and deck, it's off limits. (Again, he's trying to make sure that both me and baby are ok!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another two-fer!

I'm thankful for Munchkin!! She's a handful, but aren't all 2 year olds? She's sweet, funny, smart...all the wonderful things she needs to be!!! She's also stubborn and picky. I love those things about her too! She's just recently learned the concept of "saying sorry" and if you say "Ow", she immediately responds with "Sowwy" as many times as she needs to before you tell her that you're ok. She gives kisses to owies, she gives hugs and kisses to Brother, she's starting to say "Love you" back to us. She's also resisting nap time, being stubbornly and sometimes infuriatingly independent, and occasionally having super duper grumpy moods. Still, an amazing little girl who I'm incredibly thankful to be able to be her Mama.

I'm thankful for Fridays. I know, aren't we all? Some might think "What does Friday matter for a SAHM like you?"...well, it's not that *I* look forward to Fridays so much, it's that M gets off earlier on Fridays, so that means more Daddy/Daughter time, which they both LOVE--so I love it too! Plus Friday starts the weekend and generally, M gets the full weekend so we have lots of family time! So maybe, it's not so much that I'm thankful for Fridays, but I'm thankful for family time. What I really can't wait for is when we're able to spend time as a family of 4!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's that time of year again!!!

I can't believe it's November already! Thanks to some friends on facebook, I remembered the 'thankful' posts from last year. I want to make this a yearly thing, but the fact that it's November was lost on me! So today it'll be a 2-for-1!!

I'm thankful for M's job switch. Everything it changes, everything it means for him, his career, our's just amazing. It means he doesn't have to walk away from Munchkin for a year...she doesn't even like him leaving for work every day! He doesn't have to miss out on our son's first year either, which is amazing! I think that's the biggest thing I'm thankful for this year, simply because it's what impacts our family the most!!

I'm thankful for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Today was another prenatal checkup and with some of my "normal" things, they wanted more monitoring just to be safe--and I heard the best words out of a nurse's mouth: "Your baby is doing absolutely fabulous!" I slipped on the stairs last night after putting Munchkin to bed, I only bounced down one or two steps on my rear, so baby probably thought we were going for a joy ride, but it was still extra reassuring to know that everything's going ok in there!! (And yes, my doctor agreed with me that waiting til my appointment today was the right thing since there was no bleeding or sign of labor and he kept up his usual evening acrobatics.)