Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Update

Just to let you know: I'm not really in the mood to blog right now.

I'm not in a bad mood or anything, I'm just feeling tired and scatter-brained (probably the result of being both INCREDIBLY pregnant and the fact that I've been living out of a suitcase for the past few weeks).

But I feel I should be nice and post an update on how things are going and where they're at and all that good stuff, that way the few people who enjoy stalking my blog (because I totally stalk theirs back, if they have one) can... I dunno. Know things?

First things first, we made it safely to Norfolk (and apparently our stuff is safely packed and on it's way to MN. Though, apparently, we did not get to bring any liquids or foods, despite what the "moving appraiser" told us. Bye bye to half my bathroom items, I guess.) and are now staying in a long-term hotel-type thing called a Value Place. It is the tiniest bit shady, and the hallways reek of cigarette smoke, but it could be a whole lot worse. We have the basic amenities and are surviving just fine. (We have a stove, but no oven, and a George Foreman grill we broke down and bought. So it's been hot dogs and spaghetti and lots of other hobo foods, but we're being creative. :))

Mark is checked into the TPU office on his base (can't remember what exactly that stands for at the moment, but it's basically him being on "hold" and having a temporary working party and whatnot), and his ship has confirmed that he's clear to stick around until after Ben is born (YAY!), so we're just playing the waiting game with that now.

We checked me into the hospital yesterday, and despite some misinformation (which has since been corrected) and some semi-unfriendly admissions desk people, I'm generally okay with the place. They're booked solid at the moment, so - despite the fact that I haven't been able to see a doctor for a month and have no idea if I'm the least bit dilated or effaced or whatever - they weren't able to get me in until next Tuesday. They did, however, have some open Breastfeeding Basics class spots open, so I get to go do that tomorrow, then a Labor & Delivery tour on Thursday. That helps a little bit, since I was so worried about missing out on the classes I was scheduled for in San Diego.

As far as labor itself goes... like I said, I have no idea where I'm at. Sometimes I feel achy abdominal cramps, but I couldn't tell you if it was gas or contractions. I have no idea. Hopefully I'll be able to tell when I'm going into labor and won't just accidentally have Ben in the Value Place bathtub or something. Lol.

Oh, and also: my mom is flying into town on Saturday. I'm pretty excited. :)

Beyond that, there's not a whole lot to report. Or maybe there is, but I'm just too tired to get into the nitty gritty details of it all.

(I would regale you with stories of exploration in Virginia, but there really haven't been any. It's been so hot and muggy, we've spent most of our time cooped up in our little temporary studio, watching Dexter. So...yup. Maybe next time I'll have stories. Not today.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day After Tomorrow

Or, the day that we leave California. Possibly for good. (Well, not so much "possibly" as "probably," but you never know with the Navy. Mark keeps saying in this wishy-washy, oh-so-hopeful voice "Maybe they'll call me when we're in Minnesota and tell me my orders got dropped and to come back to San Diego." Yeah. Probably not.)

Life is in complete disarray at the moment. It's a fairly controlled type of chaos, but chaos it is. In my weird plan to try and get the actual apartment (you know, the place itself, not the things in it) as clean as possible before we have to abandon it to Vanessa and the movers, I decided I needed to take everything out of the kitchen cupboards so I could wipe them out. Because they so desperately needed it. (Not. At least, mostly not.) So our dishes are on our dining room floor, and our foodstuffs are on the counter, sorted out to "allowed to keep" and "have to give away" (according to the movers standards). Also, between having to shampoo various carpets and whatnot, things have been moved all willy-nilly, half-packed and just generally piled up everywhere.

I am so glad it isn't my job to put it in boxes.

But yes, I looked around my apartment today, and decided I should document the chaos. You know, for posterity's sake. (And for your entertainment.)

Yup. Mark packing his Sea Bag and Mango following me around like she's afraid I'm going to abandon her at any second. (I'm positive these dogs know something is up. They looked so worried and they follow us everywhere, constantly checking up on what we're up to. Poor things.)

What else? What else?

Well, our friends the Wakefields (or Chan and Ashley) finally had their baby last night. A little girl: Oaklyn May Wakefield. Ashley was two days past her due date and decided she would try taking some castor oil (not always recommended, but approved by her midwife). About 7 hours later, Oaklyn was born.

She was only in active labor for about 4 hours. Her water broke while she was taking a shower (around 9:30ish pm) and they just barely made it to the hospital in time for her to start pushing. Baby came out at 10:50pm. Craaaaazy! I hope my labor goes that fast.

Well, I suppose I should go do something useful. Although I'm not sure what. Not having to pack leaves me feeling directionless and lost in my own apartment. Oh well. It'll be over soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Things I Need to Get Done

Before Leaving San Diego:

x- Sort out anything that needs to go to Goodwill (take items to Goodwill)
- Clean out cupboards and fridge, get rid of expired/unwanted foods
x- Clean out bathroom cupboards, get rid of old/excess products
- Wash and fold all dirty clothes, sort out what goes into luggage, what gets packed up for moving
x- Cancel internet service
- Cancel utilities
- Clean apartment:
     - Scrub out shower
     - Sweep/mop floors
     - Wipe down cupboards/counters
     - Clean fridge/stove
     - Vacuum/steam clean carpets
     - Wipe down windows
- Set aside items to be packed in car

At Some Point In the Near Future:

- Switch Tricare Regions
- Switch car insurance to MN/register car in MN
- Set up internet service for MN
- Set up bill/allotment autopayments
- Look at getting digital camera
- Get Ben enrolled in DEERS (once he's born, obviously)
- Get in contact with ship's Ombudsman

Aaaaand there's probably more. I can't remember at the moment. Will add things as I think of them.

Monday, June 18, 2012


...oh, probably.

So, as many of you probably already know, Mark just got transfer orders. To Norfolk, Virginia. He's supposed to report on the 13th of July. His ship will be deployed already when he gets there. We haven't found out yet if they're going to let him hang around at base until the baby is born (sometime around the 31st), or if they're going to be like, "Sorry, Shipmate. No can do." and fly him out to his ship immediately. Either way, he's going on deployment for 8 months right away.

I am moving home to Minnesota during that time. We decided it would be the worst bad idea for me to try and take care of a newborn and two big dogs all by myself, with no support network, out in Virginia. Besides, this way I can stay with my parents and save up all the BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) that I won't be spending on rent. (Thanks, Mom and Dad! You guys are awesome!)

I'm actually pretty excited to move back in with the fam for a while. It'll be nice to have such a huge network of helpers and people to hang out with and keep me looking on the bright side of things. It'll also be a nice break from the "military wife lives FAR AWAY" thing - I miss everybody a lot. (Obviously I'm not excited that Mark is going to miss the first 8 months of his son's life, but I've got to stick to what positives I've got, right?) So...yeah. That part is going to be okay.

What sucks right now is that the Navy seems to be trying to throw a wrench into every plan we're making. For instance, we decided that it would be a million times easier for us to do a Navy move (where they come and pack all your stuff and then haul it to wherever you tell them to) than trying to pack and transport everything ourselves. So we set up a date for them to pick up our stuff (June 25th, two days before we plan to leave San Diego - time to clean the apt afterwards) and a date to drop it off at my parents (July 9th, the day before we plan on leaving Minnesota for Norfolk). WELL, the moving office called Mark this morning and told him they wouldn't be able to pick up anything until the 9th. Which would kill our ability to visit MN AT ALL.
Thankfully, they will allow someone other than Mark or I to release the "goods" for pick-up, as long as they have a letter declaring them authorized. So Vanessa (THANK YOU, V!) said she would do that for us. I feel bad, making her hang out and watch all our stuff get packed up, but I'm so grateful that she said she would do it.

OH, and they didn't let us choose our drop-off date either. They just told him it would be dropped off July 23rd-ish. So my Dad might have to take care of that end. (I mean, all he will have to do is tell them where to set stuff, but still. I feel bad for not being there to take care of it myself.) WHY ON EARTH did they pretend like they were going to let us choose dates for pick-up and drop-off if they were just going to shoot those dates down anyway?

Damn Navy, throwing wrenches in plans and whatnot.

Now the other thing is that, if Mark is able to stay for the birth, we are going to have to transport SO MUCH SHIT in the car with us so that I'll have Ben's stuff with me in VA, because it's not going to arrive until after we leave MN.

Because, okay, here is how we have this planned:

I can't fly. Let's just get that out of the way. No airline will accept me, because I will be about 35 weeks along when we actually leave San Diego. I'm not even really supposed to be making road trips, but we have no other option here.

So, PLAN A: If they let Mark stay through the birth, we drive to MN, spend a week there, drop off the dogs at whoever-is-going-to-watch-them's house (nobody has acted excited about volunteering for that one yet), then drive to VA (Mark's parents will follow in their car), rent a furnished extended stay hotel thing (they do exist, I found a few). Mark's parents will stay (because Mark wants to spend time with them) as long as their vacation time will allow, then they will drive home. Mom will fly out (one-way) a few days before Ben's due date and stay with us. Ben will be born, Mark will probably have to leave a day or two after, and Mom and I will stay until Ben is cleared for travel. (I read that this is around the two-week-old appointment.) Then she and I will drive my car home and I will stay in MN until about a month before Mark's deployment is over. At that time, I will move our crap to VA and find us a place to live so that Mark has something to come home to.

PLAN B: His ship says, "Nope. No baby for you." We drive to MN, spend a week there, drop the dogs off at whoever's house (doesn't anybody want to watch our dogs? WHY NOT?), and then Jan, John, Mark and I all ride in the same car to VA. We stay in a hotel a couple days to see Mark off, then Jan and John drive me home and I have Ben at the Mayo Clinic. I stay at my parents until about a month before the deployment is over, and yadda yadda yadda (same as PLAN A).

So...yeah. That's what we've got. It's the smoothest plans we could come up with, but they'll still be pretty complex and annoying. We could have done with a little help on the Navy mover's end, but whatever. It's the Navy/military. They don't like making things easy.

Now we have to attempt to clean our apartment as much as possible while all of our stuff is still in it. And possibly have to stuff waaaay more stuff than we hoped to have to in the car with us on our trip from CA to MN (because if Mark can stay until Ben is born in VA, I'm going to need all of Ben's newborn essentials with me, and they won't arrive until long after we're already in VA. BOO.) (Also because Mark refuses to let the movers move our TV or his computer, so we have to haul that stuff in the car with our luggage, dogs, and possibly horde of baby things.) *sigh*

This is more stress than I hoped to have right around this time in my pregnancy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Next week will be my last week at work (or last day. So far I'm only scheduled for one, and though the other coffee shop lady keeps trying to push me to take another, I don't really want to. We'll see.) and I'm feeling kind of guilty about it. I googled "working in the third trimester" and it sounds like a lot of Moms-to-Be are working right up until the due date. Granted, they all have office jobs - which I don't - but it also sounds like they're working more than two days a week (which I don't.) Some have even gone so far as to "guilt" other commentors who say they're cutting out before then.

Should I really feel guilty for stopping work? It is only two days a week, but I'm on my feet the whole time, the nearest bathroom is about a block and a half away, and I don't get breaks. (Whenever there aren't customers I can take breaks, but I have to get up as soon as one comes. Some days I get half-hour long breaks, some days I'm lucky if I can snag five minutes every now and then.) I get overheated in that stupid little cafe tent, and something about waking up that early does not seem to agree with my system. (I fainted on the way to work yesterday. Don't worry - got it checked out, they said it was probably because my blood sugar dropped, since I don't eat much in the mornings. Why don't I? Because when I'm up at 4:45, the morning sickness kicks back in. Fun.)

I don't want to feel guilty for not feeling like working 16 hours a week, but sometimes I feel like I'm being a wimp about the whole thing. Or I feel like I'm being made to feel like a wimp. (Mark doesn't make me feel this way. I explained to him my reasons for wanting to quit, and he thought they were pretty legit. He was also very worried yesterday, which I think strengthens my case for staying home in his head.)

But yeah... whether I feel guilty or not, I'm still done after next week. And glad to be so.

The other thing that has been stressing me out lately is that everyone in Mark's class - except for Mark, of course - now has orders to their individual ship. Two people have already left (one to Norfolk, one to Mayport) and the rest are in the check-out process or have transferred to the other base in San Diego. All the married people so far have orders to stay in San Diego (the Navy is trying to cut moving costs, as it is wicked expensive to uproot a family, whereas moving the singletons isn't quite so much), but...

The day Mark's good buddy, Chan (who is also married and expecting a new baby any day now), got orders to San Diego, Mark went to the office and asked if there was any news for us. The guy in the office said Mark has "verbal" orders, but he doesn't usually give those out, because they are frequently subject to change before they become "official." Mark asked what they were anyway.

They were to Norfolk.

As in Virginia.

As in all the way across the friggin' country.

It has been almost two weeks since Chan got orders. Still nothing for us. We're hoping the delay is because they're looking for open jobs here in San Diego so they don't have to move us, but it's hard not knowing what's really going on.

What's even harder is the fact that these ships, while most aren't deploying until middle of next year, are going on week-long and two-week-long "underways" every other week or so. Since we have no idea which ship Mark will be on, we have no idea what its schedule is. And that makes it hard to plan for the birth and how Mark should take leave. It also makes it hard to plan when Mark is going to see his family next, or if it's going to be possible for me to make it to MN in September, let alone him.


I mean, I knew the Navy would be like this, to an extent, but I am so frustrated! Why were we the last ones? Why couldn't it have been one of the married couples who wasn't expecting a baby and trying to plan whether or not they have to move across the country and change hospitals and whether the father is going to miss the birth of his first child? Huh? Why not them?

Every day that goes by without knowing, my stress seems to multiply by ten.

And what frustrates me about that is that everyone is all like "it is what it is," and "you can't let yourself get worked up about this," and "things will work out." Easy for you all to say - YOU HAVE ORDERS! YOU CAN PLAN! BAH!

Sorry. Whiny Heather is Whiny. But I had to vent somewhere. Here is as good as anyplace.


How are you all doing?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pregnancy Anger

I'm not quite sure what it is, but lately I've been in the worst mood. The littlest things will set off my temper and keep it high. It almost feels like I wake up angry... Well, not quite. It's the second that I get out of bed that I get angry.

I don't know if it's just hormones, or if the stress is starting to set in that, possibly very soon, I'm going to have a baby and two large dogs to take care of while my husband is overseas. It worries me to know that, while he's gone, I have no safety net. Unless I do decide to temporarily move back home, there will be no one to help me take care of the baby. I won't have a moment to myself. I won't get breaks. I'm not exactly sure how to deal with that at this point.

Add to that the fact that my boss keeps trying to pin me down to a last day - or to make me commit to coming back to work soon after Ben is born - and I just feel cornered.

I mean, come on. I don't know how long I'm going to feel like working. It's not that I work a lot of hours, but when you're on your feet for 8 at a time, outside in the heat (it does get hot in that stand sometimes), bending and lifting and trying to do a million things at once...I'm going to work as long as I can, but I'm not going to promise to be there right up until my due date.

And I highly doubt I'll be going back after the baby is here. I won't have anyone to watch him while I'm gone, and work isn't important enough to me to search for a babysitter/nanny/daycare. If I tell the boss that now, though, I'm sure she'll just pressure me and pressure me and pressure me. Right now, I'm staying as vague as possible.

Add to both of those things is the fact that I feel totally cut out of the "pregnant group" out here. One of the girls has already given birth, and the other is due next month. They hang out with each other all the time, and when all three couples get together, they pretty much talk to just each other and I spend my time chatting with the husbands. Even if we all do end up stationed in the same port (kind of doubtful), I'm not really sure I can rely on them for support.

I try not to be bitter about that. (I may have mentioned all of this before. Now that I'm talking about it, I can't remember if I've already said it.) Some people just click. They did, and I didn't. It's not like they're rude or anything to me... it's just that sort of mopey "they wouldn't care if I wasn't around" feeling.

It's not like I don't have other friends - I obviously do. It's just hard, being out here. I spend about 90% of my free time either alone or hanging out with Mark. And, as I mentioned before, he could be going on deployment soon.

I wish I didn't whine on this blog so much. It feels repetitive, and I feel guilty for making those of you who read this read my mopey nonsense, but... It's just been one of those weeks.

Oh, and Mango's rash is back. With a vengeance.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Well, there goes that...

And so I fail another year of Blogathon. Oh well.

I don't have a good excuse. My lappy got a virus, but I could easily have typed up an entry on Mark's compy (or struggled to peck one out on my phone). I guess it just slipped my mind in the end, and I fell asleep on the couch in a cold medicine-induced stupor.

That doesn't mean I'm not ever going to blog again. I'll continue to try and keep things updated.

Okay, what's the news?

Well, I'm starting to get to the coughing-up-phlegm part of the nasty cold, which usually means I'm close to the end. Hooray! I cannot wait to be healthy-ish again! I think colds are my least favorite. (Not that morning sickness was a picnic.) They're just so debilitating, and no one gives you credit for how awful you feel. "Oh, it's just a cold. Suck it up." NO! I AM MISERABLE AND CANNOT BREATHE! BREATHING IS DAMN IMPORTANT! I AM IMPAIRED! But...yeah. Hopefully that will be over with soon.

Still, I need to stop by the store and replenish my survival supplies.

I think I already mentioned that I passed my glucose test? (WOO! YES!) So, other than the cold, I'm still in the golden stage of pregnancy. My back hurts a little every now and then, but no morning sickness (got rid of that around 16 weeks, then just had to wean off the pills) and nothing else major.

I'm at 29 weeks today. Only 11 left. Crazy. I can hardly wrap my head around what it'll be like to have a baby in the house.

Granted, I can hardly wrap my head around what it'll be like to be able to breathe normally again (once this cold is done) so I'm guessing my powers of visualization are suffering today.

Oh, another thing - I said I'd work an extra half shift at work tomorrow, and I am debating whether or not this was a smart choice, given I'm trying to recuperate. It wouldn't be so bad if an extra four hours didn't mean I have to get up at 4:45am for the next three days.

Immune system, please continue to work! I'll be your best frieeeend!