Guess What?


I've been talking the last few weeks about going for an elective ultrasound to find out the sex of this sweet baby. I really hadn't fully made up my mind as to when I would go, but I knew that all of the places around here allowed you to come as early as 14 weeks. I had thought about going sometime this week but I hadn't called for an appointment.

This morning I decided to go ahead and call and see when they had appointments available. I was shocked when they said they had one just a few hours later. I decided to just go for it!! I was a little nervous about how it would go but they provide a guarantee that if they can't determine the sex with confidence then they will allow you to come back at a later date.

Emerson and I arrived at 12:30 and just as we were checking in, Jesse messaged me that he was on Wifi. I didn't know if the service would be that great inside the ultrasound room, but we decided to go ahead and try to FaceTime once I got in there. Up until then we thought that we would just have the tech put it in an envelope so that we could find out together when he could call.

Right when we got in the room and she got me set up, Jesse called on Facetime. The tech immediately got everything going and asked if we were ready to find out what we were having. We didn't have a great connection and Jesse couldn't see the screen that well, but he could hear as she said, "Congratulations! It's a baby girl!" It was such a blessing that he was able to "be there."

After she showed us that it was indeed a girl, she took tons of 2d and 3d pictures. She said our little girl is weighing in at about 4 ounces. It's crazy that she is that tiny and we could still see everything so clearly!  We saw her waving her arms, kicking her legs, and moving all around. It was awesome and so worth the money!

I've been saying for a while now that I was pretty sure that it was a girl. While we were traveling to Texas last month we were waiting in the airport in Las Vegas. Across from us sat a mother and her two daughters. They were blonde, fair-skinned, and probably around 10 and 13 years old. I watched them for a while and I just had this overwhelming feeling that I was looking at my life in about 10 years. It may sound crazy but I completely pictured myself sitting there with my two daughters. Since then I've been pretty adamant that it was a girl, so I wasn't really surprised when the tech said it's a girl.

We are so, so excited to be welcoming another baby girl into our family. I am just thrilled that Emerson is going to have a little sister to follow in her footsteps.
I pray that they will be the very best of friends!

Two Weeks Down


Today we are officially two weeks into the deployment. In some ways it has gone by pretty quickly and in others I feel like Jesse has been gone for an eternity. Emerson and I have already gotten into a new routine and kind of set our own schedule so that makes it a little bit easier. But the truth is we are really, really missing Jesse.

We look forward to noon every day because that is usually when he calls. Emerson monopolizes the conversations on most days. She just gets so excited when he calls. She usually says "Hi Daddy. What are you doing, Daddy?" and then she shows him her toys and art she's been working on. She loves to take my phone and carry it around talking to Jesse.

I definitely feel like the weekdays are so much easier than the weekends. We have plenty of scheduled activities during the week that keep us in a routine and keep us busy. This past weekend we didn't have any plans and that was really hard. I tried to come up with things to keep us both busy, but you can only do so many art projects. We did run a few errands, went grocery shopping, and we had a fun morning at Chick Fil A, but other than that I really felt like the weekend just dragged on forever. I think we are kind of used to being on our own during the week but the weekend has always been our family time and it's just not the same. I'm sure as time goes on we will find more activities for the weekend to help stay busy and it will get easier.

Overall, I think Emerson has adjusted very well. I know she doesn't really understand why Jesse is gone but if you ask her where he is she will say he is at work. That being said, I know she is missing him. Yesterday I opened my computer and my wallpaper is a picture of the two of them. She saw it and said, "There's Daddy! I miss him." If that's not enough to make you cry, then I really don't know what is.

And then on Saturday, a special delivery came. It's called a Daddy Doll and it's basically a doll with a picture of a child's Dad. I had heard of them before but we never needed one before. I ordered it the day after Jesse left and I was really surprised that it came so soon.
Remember when I said I'm not much of a crier. I take it back!

She hasn't put it down since then. Daddy has had a tea party, gone for a ride on the Sit N' Spin and slept with her every night. I am so, so glad I decided to order it. Now I'm just wondering if it would be weird to order one for myself.... Just kidding. Sort of. ;)

So that's a little deployment update for you. We are doing fine and I know we will make it through but I have to admit it is a little daunting to think about how many more weeks there are to go. At the same time, I have to remind myself just how lucky we are. We are able to talk to Jesse almost daily! That wasn't even possible just a few years ago, so it is definitely a huge blessing. I also try to remind myself how lucky I am to be the one left behind. In reality, I think it's much harder for the guys. Can you imagine leaving your home and your family for 6 or 7 months? Yes, it is his job but that doesn't make it any easier. I know just the thought of being away from Emerson that long is just impossible to entertain. I'm so thankful for everything he does for our family and for our country, even if it means we have to miss him like crazy!

Snapshots From Our Week


Emerson is getting to that point where she just hates sitting in the grocery cart. I used to be able to entertain her with snacks from home and Mickey on my phone, but she's over that now. I've finally resorted to the one thing I said I'd never do: bribery. This week it was a sprinkle donut. 

The Great Gatsby was one of my favorite books in high school. I remember reading it several times and just loving it. I saw the Kindle version on sale so I decided to buy and it and reread it. I have to say it wasn't nearly as good as I remembered it. I did like it but it wasn't amazing or anything.

We've gotten lots of Facetime in with our favorite guy. It's been really nice and E is always so happy to see her Daddy. And I don't know why my head looks so huge in this picture but oh well.

A few nights ago Emerson was playing with her little animals and I heard her singing so I snuck up for a listen. She didn't know I was there so I didn't get very close and the video is kind of quiet, but I thought it was the sweetest thing ever.

I found Dry Erase crayons at Joann's and I knew they'd be perfect in the laundry room (which also serves as our little art room.) Now our washer is our own personal whiteboard. The crayons work really well and Emerson loved it. I'm happy to report that it comes off just fine, too. You do have to put a little elbow grease into it. Either way I wasn't too worried about it. Our washer is old (one of our first purchases) so a few crayon marks won't hurt it anyway. :)

I got a bag of samples from Motherhood Maternity the other day and it included a baby bottle. Emerson was so excited to feed her baby. I think she's going to be such a great big sister.

During Emerson's dance class, they usually do "fairy dancing." When she first started, E would just stand there and watch the other kids. We don't have to worry about that anymore!

And that is our week in Iphone videos and pictures. We have absolutely nothing planned today and I'm pretty excited about it. :)

Throwback Thursday: Where We've Lived


During our 12 years of marriage, Jesse and I have lived on 3 continents, in 2 different states, and 7 houses. That's a lot of moving! For today's throwback, I thought it would be fun to look back at all of the places we've called home. These are mostly exterior pictures with a few interior pictures thrown in. I now realize that I've done a pretty poor job of documenting the interiors of all of our homes! 

Our first 6 months of marriage we lived in a tiny apartment in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It was Jesse's first duty station and he picked the place out before I arrived. I remember being so excited about the walk-in closet and tiny kitchen. 
After we got our dog Oscar, we were desperate for a place with a yard. Obviously we couldn't afford a lot on Lance Corporal's income but we found a little duplex that we loved. It didn't have a fence but we saved up enough money to build our own chain link fence for Oscy. I couldn't find any digital pictures of this house but I know I have them because I bought my first digital camera while we lived here! :) This screenshot from Trulia is the best I could do.

After I graduated college in 2004 and got a teaching job, we started the hunt for our very first house of our own. We looked for a while and never found anything we loved. Then we came across a neighborhood that was under construction. We picked a floor plan and a lot and we waited patiently for our house to be built. It wasn't anything fancy but we had some amazing times there and we sure loved it. I also met some of the best friends I have ever had.
I love looking back at how I decorated over the years. It's so funny just how much my tastes have changed!
In 2006, we both got the itch to move to a bigger house. Even though it wasn't really necessary because we had plenty of room, we started searching again. There was one neighborhood that was just a few miles away from us that we particularly loved. We ended up choosing another home that was under construction. That night we listed our first house and we had a full price offer the very next day. We closed on our new house in January 2007. 

This is the house that we still own and it is currently being leased. I'd be lying if I said I don't dream about that house daily. It has almost twice the space as our current place, along with a nice, big backyard. I think of all the places we've lived, it's the one that I always think of when I think of "home." I hope that we get to go back there someday because I have always pictured our kiddos growing up in that house.

In 2010, Jesse was accepted into the MSG (embassy duty) program and we received orders to Bujumbura, Burundi in east Africa. We said good bye to North Carolina and moved to Africa in April 2010. Our house there was large and super nice, especially for the country we were in. The best part was the yard and landscaping.  It was just beautiful!

This was the great room. As you can see, we had just received our household goods so it was quite a mess!
 The kitchen:

In 2011 we got our second set of orders in the MSG program to Abu Dhabi in the UAE. I'll be the first to admit that Abu Dhabi was not even on our wish list and it really wasn't my favorite place in the world, but it sure was a good learning experience. Plus we made lifelong friends there and I will always be thankful for that! 

I forgot to note that our housing on the MSG program was assigned to us. We did not choose where to live but we really lucked out both times!

Our house in Abu Dhabi was a townhouse in a complex of about 20 others. It was modern, well kept, and fairly large. It also had tons of storage space! The only thing we didn't have was a yard, but that's pretty much par for the course in Abu Dhabi.
I really don't have many pictures of just the interior. You can see a lot of it as the background in pictures of Emerson, though!

Finally, at the beginning of this year we made our most recent move to southern California. We're currently living in a smaller townhouse in a small suburb. I shared all of the pictures here. Since then, I've done quite a few updates and little things to make it more homey, but I haven't taken any pictures. I promise they are coming soon.

We really like the neighborhood and there are lots of pluses to living here. I really don't have any complaints about the place but I do really miss living in a single family home. I miss having a yard, a driveway, and my own space. That being said, we are content here for now and will probably stay for at least another year or until we are completely bursting at the seams (hello, baby #2!)

Jesse and I joke that we have come full circle when it comes to our living situations. We've pretty much done it all! And looking back, we've been pretty happy in every situation. I think we've learned that as long as we are together, everything will be alright!

Baby #2: 14 Weeks


I know it seems like I'm posting bump updates all the time, but it's because I keep getting behind! I am exactly 14 weeks today and I'm hoping to stay on top of these from now on. I know they can get a bit repetitive, but I didn't do them every week with Emerson and I've always wished I would have. So, I'll try to continue doing them weekly this time around. :)
As I mentioned in my post on Monday, I'm having to use my tripod to take my bump pictures now and, as you can tell, it's not really going so well. If they aren't blurry, then I've cut off my head, my feet, or some other important body part. So bear with me and hopefully I'll get better as the weeks progress. For now, this is the best I could get! :)

How Far Along: 14 Weeks

Size of baby: About 3.5 inches

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +4 No change this week but I already feel like I am "filling out." The bump still grows as the day goes on and I feel pretty big by the end of the day!

Maternity Clothes: Not yet but most regular pants and shorts are no longer an option. 

Gender: Still debating an elective scan in the next few weeks... Eeeek!! I'm still leaning strongly towards girl but I was completely wrong with Emerson so I have to take my intuition with a grain of salt. W

Movement: A little bit here and there.

Symptoms: I'm still feeling really good. The bouts of nausea are happening less often and the vomiting is almost completely gone. It's been amazing! I was looking back over my posts with Emerson and around 16 weeks I mentioned a return of morning sickness. I'm  just praying that it's not the case this time around.

Most of the aversions are still there but I can finally tolerate coffee again. For about 6-7 weeks just the smell of it made me so sick. Now I am enjoying my one cup every morning again.

Sleep: Pretty good. I haven't been napping so I'm usually exhausted by 9:00. I'm in bed before 10:00 most nights and I've been sleeping until about 6:30 every morning. I definitely can't complain.

What I miss: my husband

Cravings:  I've been eating these egg white english muffin sandwiches every morning. They are so amazing and I feel off if I don't have one. I've also been drinking chocolate almond milk with ice every night. I know. I know. So weird. But don't knock it until you try it!

Best Moment This Week: Having more energy and being able to accomplish quite a few things. Up until this last week I've barely been keeping up with the housework, much less anything else. Now that I'm feeling so much better, I'm finally tackling my miles long to do list. I feel like I'm also getting back into my groove when it comes to working out. I'm not doing anything too crazy but I'm just trying to stay somewhat active if I can.

Shopping: I did buy a few maternity items today. I got two dresses and a pair of capris. I can wear them now and I think they have plenty of room to accommodate me as I grow.  I haven't done any shopping baby wise but I have been researching strollers. There are just so many options, I can't decide what I like. I've also found a boy nursery "theme" and color scheme that I really like but nothing for a girl that I love. I can't wait to start decorating!

The Things Emerson Says


Emerson is constantly cracking us up with the things she says. She is such a little copycat right now so she repeats a lot of what she hears. She also comes up with some pretty interesting things all on her own and I always wonder where in the world she gets this stuff from. I always say I need to start writing them down but I feel like I forget them so fast. Before I forget these, I wanted to share:

-We're sitting at the dinner table and we're all pretty quiet because we are chowing down and she suddenly looks at me and says,
"Mommy, is there something wrong?"

-While waiting for me to come get her out of her room in the morning.

"There's a monster in here. A scary monster."

-Me: "Emerson, go put this puzzle piece with the car puzzle."

Emerson: "Ok. Where's the car puzzle?"

-Almost every morning when she wakes up she asks me, "Is Daddy home?" (This was pre-deployment and she hasn't asked since he left because we talk every day about him being far away.)

-I noticed a scratch on her face and I asked her what happened.

Emerson: "A kid did it."
Me: "A kid did not do it. You haven't been around any kids."
Emerson: "Daddy did it."
Me: "Daddy did not do that. That's not a nice thing to say."
Emerson: "Mommy did it."

(This is one of her new favorites and she will go through this dialogue anytime she has a boo boo.)

-While driving:

"Be careful momma (or daddy). Slow down."

"Are we going to turn left?"

-First thing in the morning as we are coming downstairs.

"Momma, my diaper is full."

"You feel bad, Momma?"

When she passes gas:
"I have a toot."

"Wow. This is amazing." (This was while eating a donut but she says it about just about everything.)

"This is incredible"

I came out of my room dressed for church.
"Mom, that looks so good on you."

"You look like a model" (She definitely got this from me because I tell her that when she's dressed up and she's posing."

"My tummy hurts. I need a snack." And then after she eats. "My tummy feels better."

When she wakes up in the morning and I go in to get her, "Eme waked up."

She is obsessed with the little stool in the bathroom eventually figured out that she can move it to different places. She uses it to turn on the lights in the living room and reach stuff on the shelves. Yesterday she left the room and I asked where she was going. She didn't answer me but came back with the stool and said "I need the stool so I can reach higher."

I know there are more that I am forgetting, so I have no doubt that I'll be back for round 2. Needless to say, this girl keeps us laughing all day with the silly things she comes up with! I always tease that she is 2 going on 15. :)

This Weekend We:


-Had popsicles on the porch

 -Went to a movie night at the park in our neighborhood

-They had a juggler who taught the kids to juggle, served dinner and popcorn, and started the movie when it got dark

As you can see, someone was super excited about it. I was shocked because she made it through the whole movie even though it was way past her bedtime. We had so much fun!!!

-Went to a birthday pool party

-Tried to figure out the tripod and camera for self bump pictures. As you can tell, it went really well... ;)

-Spent lots of time at the park

-attended an adorable Mickey Mouse birthday party for one of our neighbors

 -Danced in the rain with our other sweet neighbors

 -Face Timed with Jesse a few times. It sure was good to see his face.

-Tried out a new church. I liked it a lot and plan on going back next week. I hate that I'm having to continue our search for a church home without Jesse but I'm praying I'll find something that fits our family!

I'm so thankful for such a busy weekend. I know they won't all be like this, but it was nice to be distracted so I couldn't dwell on the fact that our favorite guy isn't here.

Baby #2: 13 Weeks


How Far Along: 13 Weeks

Size of baby: About the size of a lemon

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +4 I am thankful for no change this week. We hit up all of Jesse's favorite places before he left and I ate way too much!

Maternity Clothes:  Not yet but I'm sure I'll make the switch soon. It's getting harder and harder to find something to wear.

Gender: We scheduled our anatomy scan for the end of August so we will know for sure then. But I'm pretty certain I'll cave and go to an elective place in the next few weeks.

Movement: I've felt a few little taps and thumps.

Symptoms: This is the best week I've had yet. I haven't taken the anti-nausea medication in four days!! I've still had a few spells of nausea and vomiting but overall it is just so much more manageable! I'm hoping that this is not just a phase and that it will last.

Other than that, I still have some pretty strong aversions to certain foods. I usually love mexican food but the thought of it right now just makes me sick! We did have Chipotle this weekend and it was good but I don't see myself eating mexican food again for a long while. I also usually LOVE veggies but I'm having a hard time eating most of them. I've been eating a lot of plain salads and some raw veggies but cooked veggies are a definite NO!

Sleep: My sleep has been off since Jesse left but I don't consider it pregnancy related.

What I miss: We've had some massive tantrums around here the last two nights and I kept thinking how nice it would be to have a glass of wine in celebration of surviving them. ;) However, the thought of wine, beer, or any kind of alcohol makes me want to gag right now, so I guess I wouldn't technically say I miss it.

Cravings:  Ice water. This is so strange because I normally drink my water room temperature. I usually don't like ice at all and now I can barely drink anything without ice. I have also been craving chocolate milk and I have had some several times a week for the last few weeks. It's become my replacement for coffee.

Best Moment This Week: Scheduling the anatomy scan and making it to the second trimester

Shopping: I still haven't done any shopping but I did clean out the room that will be the nursery. Since we moved in it has been serving as Emerson's toy room and it was a complete disaster. I was able to get some shelves for Emerson's closet so that I could move most of the toys and books in there. I know I still have plenty of time to get the nursery done but I will probably go ahead and get started pretty soon after we find out the sex. I cannot wait!!

Just Random Stuff


Yay for Friday! We have almost officially survived 5 days without Jesse. I may have a few more gray hairs but other than that we are no more worse for the wear. I have about 10 real posts in draft, but until then here are a few random things on my mind:

-I think my urge to nest has hit early because I have gotten SO much done this week. I've even busted out the power tools a few times. Ok, it was really just the drill but I'm still pretty impressed with myself. I'll be sharing pictures of a few of my projects next week.

-We have two birthday parties to attend this weekend and I'm so thankful. Our week has gone by pretty quickly because we have a routine but I'm kind of nervous about the weekends. We don't have any scheduled activities so I'm afraid they may be kind of lonely sometimes. Luckily we won't have to worry about that this weekend!

-I keep meaning to post my weekly bump updates on Wednesdays but they are late every week because of the picture. I've mostly been in workout clothes this week, my hair has been a mess, and I haven't worn much makeup. Not exactly conducive to a good picture but probably a more accurate portrayal of our daily life. Hopefully I'll get one done today! (Thanks to my handy dandy tripod!) ;)

-I'm still working on responding to all of the comments from our pregnancy announcement and my post about Jesse's deployment. In case I somehow miss you, I'd like to just take a second to say thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart. Your support and prayers mean the world to me!

-I am SO, SO excited that Suits is back on. I know I have said this before but I am going to say it again: If you are not watching Suits, you must! It's probably one of my favorite shows ever. 

-And while we are on the subject of tv, I've been looking for a new series to start on Netflix. I've been watching Army Wives forever now, but it's kind of boring right now so I just needed a change of pace. I ended up starting Felicity last night. Hello, 1998! I never watched it when it was on but I remember everyone loving it so I thought it would be worth a try. It's really good so far and it's kind of fun to see how different everything is now!

-All of the sudden I really, really want to redo my blog layout. I just want something new but I have no idea what I want it to look like. I don't know when I'll actually do it but don't be surprised if you stop by one day and it looks totally different! 

-I still haven't reopened Sweet T Kids and I'm not sure when I will. I have a few projects I want to get done for Emerson and around the house and then I may reopen and just take a few projects at a time. I'm also thinking once we know the sex and name of the baby I'll want to make lots of cute things for him/her. In the meantime, if you are looking for someone to do a project for you just email me and I will send you to a friend who does awesome work!

Ok, I guess that is enough random information that you probably didn't care to know anyway! I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

The Goodbye is Always the Hardest


When it comes to deployment, I honestly think one of the hardest parts is the anticipation of the departure. I know that may sound strange but once you know it's coming, it kind of just looms over you like a gray cloud.

For the last few weeks I have kind of lived in denial about the whole thing. I didn't really allow myself to process how I was feeling about it or to even think about it for that matter. 

Of course, all of that changed the day Jesse left. I had no choice but to face it all head on. You see, I don't really consider myself a crier. Up until Jesse's departure day, I hadn't even really cried about it. That's a good thing in some ways but I also knew that it meant that the day he left would be full of waterworks.

And I was right. It started first thing in the morning and went that way on and off all day. We did all of the normal things we do each morning- like eat breakfast- and all I could think was that it was the last time we would do it for at least the rest of 2013.  

When it came time for the actual good bye, I was able to hold it together better than I expected but it was still so hard. Knowing that I won't see my best friend for the rest of the year is bad enough, but watching him say goodbye to our baby girl was enough to just break my heart into a million pieces.  She is such a Daddy's girl and I know she is going to miss him like crazy. I do take comfort in the fact that she won't probably won't remember this long term, though.

As weird as it sounds, I actually felt relieved once we got the goodbye over with. Yes, it was hard. Yes, I cried. But once it was done I didn't have the anticipation of it hanging over my head. And now that the deployment has actually started, we can also start the countdown until Jesse comes home!

(I also have to add that I really couldn't feel too sorry for myself once I saw another family dropping off their Marine. They had a brand new baby as well as two toddlers. If that momma can do it, surely I can too!)

It's only been a few days, but Emerson and I are doing okay so far. We are slowly trying to settle into a routine and find a new normal while Daddy is away. Luckily, Facetime seems to work well and we have already heard from Jesse a few times. It is such a blessing and I know that is going to make this deployment so much easier!

If you pray, I would appreciate your prayers for Jesse and all of the Marines that are deployed with him. Please pray for their safety and their well-being, as well as for strength and comfort for all of the families.   

Now, hurry up 2014!!! :)

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