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Baby #4 {14 weeks pregnant}

Another year, another baby! We are excited to announce I'm 14 weeks pregnant, due July 1st, 2014.


We kept the news under wraps during the first trimester because of my history with miscarriages. This is my 5th pregnancy and my 3rd time making it past 13 weeks. My first pregnancy miscarried shortly after 12 weeks. My fourth pregnancy showed issues on the first ultrasound, at 7 weeks, but wasn't declared a miscarriage until 10 weeks. I had a D&C for both my first and fourth pregnancies during my 12th week.

I've definitely felt nervous throughout the first trimester with this pregnancy. We have wanted another baby so badly and that last miscarriage was very hard for me to handle (read "Holiday worries"). We've also kept this pregnancy secret from our children until this past weekend. With my fourth pregnancy, we told our oldest from the beginning and even brought him with us to our first ultrasound. He was heartbroken when we told him that the baby went to h…

Holiday worries

It's Christmas Eve and I'm loving it. I'm cooking our Christmas Eve feast right now, where we celebrate Jesus' birthday and spend time together as a family, eating cookies, watching holiday movies, eating more sweets, and playing games. I love this time of year and I'm loving it this year, being home for Christmas and embarking on our own family traditions.

With all that said, I'm feeling a little down. I keep getting these emails from baby sites (that I keep unsubscribed from!) about the progress of our 4-month old baby, the baby that was never born. Our baby would be 4 or 5-months now (since I've never made it to full term). We would be getting past the constant feeding newborn stage and into the fun interaction stage. We would (most likely) be done having children. We would have a nursery set up in this house. We would be celebrating Baby's first Christmas. Perhaps I'm just looking on Facebook at my friends' pictures of their babies' firs…

It's just another day

What a day.

What. A. Day.

So this morning the toddlers came in my room yelling, "Hot chocolate! Hot chocolate!" We have been having a cup of hot chocolate every morning since we decorated for Christmas, so that they wanted a hhot chocolate wasn't a problem. The timing of their wish most certainly was.

I had them wait. I got out of bed. I came to the kitchen for them to get into a fight over who gets which spoon. I warmed up breakfast. {Mommy tip: make huge batches of breakfast and heat it up over the next couple days. This week we had pancakes and oatmeal. This has made our mornings much smoother!} One of our toddlers had a stinky diaper that he did not want changed. He made it very clear he wanted to remain in his stinky diaper-- though no one wanted to be near him. In fact, he had to go to his room to calm down before I changed that diaper. When he finally emerged, his brothers were yelling, "HOT CHOCOLATE!" I told them if they keep yelling at me, there woul…

Having friends with a busy family

As luck would have it, the Navy brought an old friend back into our lives! I love that aspect on military life, the possibility of being stationed with friends again! Our neighbor from Hawaii just moved to South Carolina and now lives basically down the road from us. The last time I saw her, my oldest was about the age of her little 1-year old son. Now I have a 5-year old and 2-year old twins. She has a sweet, bubbly 1-year old who was content snacking on Plum Organic Puffs in a high chair while her and I caught up. As you can imagine, my boys were less than agreeable.

2 and a half is just a straight up hard to manage age. It is difficult to deal with when you have one child. It is even more difficult with two 2 and a half year olds. Even more difficult than that? When you also have an older sibling in the mix. The toddlers want everything their older brother touches. They take his toys, they try to climb in the chair he's sitting on. If he's playing on the floor, they want t…

Getting to know TRICare Prime and Prime Remote

I see a lot of questions on Navy wife pages related to TRICare Prime. Sometimes people think that TRICare is bad insurance because it is "free through the military." TRICare Prime is not free for dependents. If you are married to an active duty military member and have TRICare Prime, you pay for that insurance. Check out Tricare's Prime Enrollment fees page on their website.

I don't know about you, but if I am paying for a service, I want to use it. Another thing people are very confused about is what exactly TRICare Prime covers. To view the complete handbook, go to TRICare Prime's website and on the right side of the page under "Related Downloads" select "TRICare Prime and TRICare Prime Remote Handbook."

The second page of this handbook will give you a comprehensive list of any phone number you would need under TRICare Prime. When I have a question regarding whether something will be covered or not or if a referral went through or why I am g…

Dual parenting while on hold

We moved to South Carolina at the end of August for my husband to go through the pipeline (again). The first class up date for power school, October, my hubby did not get picked up. This week they put out the list of who will be classing up this time and my husband's name was on the list.

This morning when he came home and told me he was classing up, I was very surprised by my disappointment. We've never been "on hold" like we have been here. He has had to muster twice a week while on hold, but he was home before 8 am every morning. By the time I got out of bed, he had already fed the boys breakfast and was cleaning up the kitchen, even on muster days. That was a definite bonus. By mid-November, I think we started grating on each other though. I really wanted him to class up soon. I told my mom, "If he doesn't class up this time, we are going to kill each other!" We don't have a busy calendar here and so we were all spending a lot of time at home t…

Potty training 2.5 year old twin boys?

We potty trained our oldest when he was three years old-- he's now five years old-- and I am so ready to have our toddlers potty trained as well. However, my husband and I decided awhile ago that we wouldn't potty train our twin boys until they turned three. What led us to that decision?

When our first was a little guy, I dabbled in potty training. I would put him in underwear at 18-months and let him feel what it was like without a diaper. We brought him to the restroom with us and worked on his "potty vocabulary." We encouraged him to try to use the restroom. We asked him when his diaper was full if he was stinky... on and on. We never really pushed the potty training, but we highly encouraged it.

By the time he turned three, he had decided that potty training was not for him. Diapers were great. I would ask if he wanted to use the potty and he said, "No," every time. In fact, he never used the potty until we actually made him potty train. But, when he wa…

Disappointment

There was awhile there that I felt ahead of the game. I felt connected to my purpose for being a stay-at-home mother: to support my children and raise them to be the people that God wants them to be, to raise them in a manner that my husband and I had discussed was important to us, to be the familiar face they see day in and day out as Daddy goes to work or as we move from state to state and Daddy eventually goes back to sea, to teach them life's little lessons as they naturally pop up during the day, and to enjoy these years that slip by so quickly. I struggled at times, especially when teething babies kept me awake at night for days or weeks or when sickness swept through our house and I felt overwhelmed, overworked, overtired. I struggled when I felt my husband had an easier load than I did (and he felt the same way about me-- the grass is always greener?). One thing that remained consistent then is that I would say, "I'm struggling today, right now. This is a phase.&q…

Not my favorite duty station?

Every time we move, I end up missing our last duty station. I really miss our last duty station right now. I keep thinking, "This is not my favorite place to live." Before we moved, everyone kept telling me how awesome it is in South Carolina and how much I will love it here. Now that we are here, I feel like, "Well, we can't do this or that with two two-year olds..." or "In North Carolina, I took all three boys all over the place..."

I think it is totally natural to feel this way. However, I have to keep it in check!

I hated our first duty station. I moved from California to New Hampshire, right on the Maine border, in January. By myself. My husband's submarine was a month late. And I didn't have his boat email address at the time or any idea what an FRG or ombudsman was. I was alone and it was cold. There was an ice storm and our Jeep was encased in literally an inch of ice. There was so much snow and my winter shoes consisted of Converse a…

Book list link up {link up closed}

I've recently joined a book club. At the end of each monthly meeting, we vote on next month's book. This got me thinking about some of my favorite books and books I would recommend others to read. I absolutely love chatting with my friends about our next must-read book. Also, the stack of books on my nightstand is dwindling and I'm in need of a good book!

I thought this would be a great opportunity to host my first link-up! For those of you who do not know what a link-up is, let me explain. Fellow bloggers who participate in this link-up will write their own must-read book lists and use the widget at the bottom of this post to link their post to mine. So click on the thumbnails below! See what other people are recommending.

The link-up is open from Monday, November 4th, to Friday, November 8th. Bloggers can add their blog posts throughout the work week. Check out what is being added each day or come back next Saturday, November 9th, to see what books you need to put on you…

Organics vs family budget

My husband and I recently adjusted our family budget and we are really sticking to it. I like our open conversations about our finances and how we work together as a team. I just don't like budgets (but who does?). Anyways, we went to Costco today. Our grocery budget is not as flexible as it was with our past family budgets so my husband was tallying our purchases as we added things to our cart.

I've written before about our family diet and how we are trying to eat healthier (read "The first step"). We have kicked out a lot of bad ingredients and brought down the ingredient count on each of the items we purchase. I really try to make as much home made foods as I can and narrow down our processed foods. However, I'm not one to spend all day in the kitchen, so we do have some processed foods in our house. (I'm hoping organic cereal with no artificial ingredients is better than GMO artificial cereal-- lol!)

So here we are at Costco, shopping the aisles. I am al…

Revolution #9

What a week we've had!

My grandmother stayed with us for the past 8 weeks and she went home this past weekend. I'm sure this is contributing to the boys' mood the past couple days. And mine. And our dog's (she brought her small dog with us, our dog's sister, and they love playing with each other). We all miss Granny!

Despite missing Granny, the boys are driving me nuts. We've had so much whining and fighting and arguing. They've started arguing with each other-- all three of them-- like in movies:

"Yes!"
"No!"
"Yes!"
"No!"
"Yes!"
"No!"

Um, imagine listening to that for twenty minutes straight. Every half hour. For three days. I feel like as soon as I split up a fight, another one is starting, or the boy I just sent away wanders over to pick a fight with a different brother.

Today I stood in line for coffee with the two toddlers. By the time I got up to the register, both of the toddlers were hanging …

2013 flu shots

To start this off, I am NOT against military clinics. I know many people immediately start looking for the bad when going to a military clinic or automatically assume the doctors aren't as good or whatever. We have used three military treatment facilities (MTF) so far in my husband's naval career and two civilian providers, this being our third MTF. I knew what to expect heading back to the MTF. Before moving here, I was very nervous about moving our asthmatic toddler from our last pediatrician's office. They were wonderful there and knew his whole history, what his triggers are, what medicines he's been on, etc. They took excellent care of our boys there, especially O, and I was nervous to move right before cold and flu season. (Read "Reactive airways.")

When I walked into the clinic here in South Carolina, I was impressed. It seriously looks like a mini Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. I have been seen quickly both times I went to the clinic, …

Government shutdown

I keep posting a bunch of articles on Facebook so I thought I would compile them in one place. I don't know how long this government shutdown will last and I don't know all the far-reaching consequences of a government shutdown. Some of the statistics that I've been reading on how it will affect the economy are unsettling to read.

Bases are putting out on their Facebook pages and websites the various functions that will be affected by the shutdown, including closures, limited duty, and things that will stay open with little change (NEX and Navy Lodge, for instance-- "NEXs and Navy Lodges to Remain Open in Light of Possible Government Shutdown" by Navytimes.com).

What does the government shutdown mean to military families, now that congress has passed a bill saying military will continued to get paid? ("President signs Pay Our Military Act" by Militarytimes.com)

A military wife at our installation shared this list of closures for our base. This is not a l…

Military Monday: Family Planning {Linked with Eights on the Move}

So I'm trying my first "link up" and I'm not sure if I'm doing this right, so please bear with me. I discovered this blog, "Eights on the Move," and she does a Military Monday topic where people link their blogs up to hers and answer the questions posted on the topic. This week's topic is about Family Planning. Here is the link to her blog to see what other people posted, "Military Monday: Family Planning."
Being a military family influences many aspects of your life. For instance, you never know if your husband will actually be present for your plans. Some plans are fine, like a family movie night that you really wanted to have-- easy enough to cancel or reschedule. Some are frustrating, like family pictures with a professional photographer ("Um, can you Photoshop my husband in...?"). Some are emotional, like your wedding; my husband didn't tell me at the time of our wedding that he did not know until a couple days before ou…