Monday, December 31, 2012


(Preface: I recently figured out how to make it so you can comment on the blog via your Facebook account.  We'd love to hear about your 2012 highlights and what you're looking forward to in 2013! Just click comments/post a comment below if the Facebook widget doesn't automatically show up.)

Oh, how life can change in a year!

Here's how Trevor and I rang in 2012:

And here's how we're going to ring in 2013 this year:

Thinking about the past year, I got a little mushy on the latest pregnancy blog post.  Lately, it seems I am reminded every day how lucky we are to have the friends and family we have.  Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of 2011, so I had high expectations for 2012 and I sure lucked out as it was an awesome year!  Read below for our year in review.  I am definitely pretty pumped for what 2013 has in store.

As you all know, Trevor began his third deployment journey with the MN Army National Guard in May 2011 and was still deployed to Kuwait for New Year’s. Thankfully, the stars aligned and we were able to ring in the New Year together via Skype (video chat) on Ali’s phone from a New Year’s party. In February, Ali went to visit a good friend, Tosha, in Beryl, Utah. Try to find it on a map; it’s literally in the middle of nowhere, about an hour drive to a grocery store or Wal-Mart. Ali shot a gun for the first time and watched Tosha chop wood to heat the house-it was a great getaway! Trevor made his way to the United States (Camp Shelby,Mississippi) in early April. The homecoming events for other friends on this tour began in April as well, but Trevor still had a month in MS until he would actually be home (just being in the same country was a big relief for us both!). May was probably the biggest month of the year for us. Trevor’s big homecoming was early May-what a relief to have that deployment behind us and get back to real life. We had known about it since before Trevor even came home from his previous tour, so there was essentially no break from the deployment mentality. Anyway, get back to real life we did!  Just a couple weeks later we found out we’d be welcoming our first baby in January 2013 (coming quickly!), we had an awesome welcome home party and Trevor went back to school at Minnesota State University-Mankato. Trevor is pursuing a Biology-Biomedical Sciences bachelor’s degree that will also fulfill the Pre-Dentistry requirements-lots of school ahead! Between Trevor’s two summer courses, we went to visit Ali’s aunt/uncle/cousins near Madison, WI. We always have a good time when we visit them so it was nice to be able to fit in a trip this summer. In July, Ali signed up to be a Scentsy consultant (wickless candles warmed by a light bulb rather than a flame with other home/body fragrance products, too). What started as a hobby to support our own Scentsy use has turned into much more since July. In August, we took a homecoming/baby-on-the-way vacation to Hawaii. It was amazing! We spent most of the trip on Maui, but took a day trip to Oahu to see the Pearl Harbor sights. The included photo was taken on a dinner cruise off Maui. There have been a few changes for Trevor’s military career lately. September was Trevor’s last drill with 2-135 Infantry Battalion and October was his first with a new unit, MN Medical Detachment (Med Det), part of the Office of the State Surgeon. Trevor has spent nearly his entire 13-year National Guard career (and two of his three deployments) with 2-135, an infantry unit, so transferring to a medical unit was a big change. Just one month after his first drill with Med Det, Trevor found out he was selected for a promotion to First Sergeant (E-8) into yet another new unit, C Co 134 BSB, a medical unit out of Cottage Grove. November marked the beginning of many fun gatherings, Thanksgiving and two baby showers. This month, Trevor wrapped up his hectic fall semester at MSU (Pre-Calc, Genetics and General Chemistry) now we're just wrapping up finishing the basement (OK, Trevor is) and baby prep!  Bring it on, 2013!

May you all have an amazing 2013-we're so lucky to have you all in our lives!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fun, Fun, Fun.

We had another busy weekend (I could probably say that every weekend, eh?).  JoEl works at my dad's office-her husband, Bill, and son, Drew, brew beer together.  They actually just made the front page of the Owatonna People's Press.  A while back Bill posted a photo to Facebook of brewing Hefeweizen, Trevor's favorite kind of beer, and I commented that we (or just Trevor right now) would surely help taste test if they needed help.  Once it was ready, Bill & JoEl invited us over for a tasting & karaoke night with my dad.  We went through a sampling flight of many of the beers they have made over the years, me just taking tiny little sips of course.  My favorite was their Oatmeal Stout; Trevor had a hard time picking just one.  Then it was karaoke time.  My dad started us off since he had done his homework.  Trevor and I both struggled with what songs to sing.  Here's a photo of my dad and me singing some Beach Boys.

My dad and Trevor each had pretty funny song choices, but you'll have to bug them to find out what they were.  We had a great time and, of course, thought of a few more songs we could have sung the next morning.

Saturday we headed to Le Sueur with my dad to visit some of my extended family.  My uncle was in MN from CA so it was a good excuse to get together with family we don't see much.  We had a delicious meal, looked at Christmas photos and Trevor saw a Blue Jay for the first time (crazy, right?).

Now we're watching episodes of Carrier before making a trip to Lowe's then to my dad's to watch the big Vikings/Packers game.  I've got a couple flashback posts in mind, things I want to document while I still remember it all, so this may be a busy week on the blog.  

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 28, 2012

36 weeks

Only four weeks until our due date!  My whole plan all along was to be vague about the due date because I didn't want people bugging me when the date came around if baby still wasn't here, but our date is about as "late January" as it gets, so I gave up.  I'm hoping she comes right on time or a little early.  And if I could pick, I'd say not while Trevor is in class in Mankato.  Or at drill.  A Friday would be good.  In the evening.  Maybe if I schedule it on my Google calendar she'll understand.  Of course, I realize we don't get to pick.  And truly, I don't think we'll care.  Except for the weather since we have an hour drive to the hospital (thanks, insurance, for making us doctor an hour away), so a non-blizzard would be nice. 

I used our registry completion coupon at Target yesterday.  I got the rest of the things we figure we'll really need (well, we honestly don't need much at all, but we'll call them pretty basic convenience items with a few necessities) so we're all set!  Thankfully, we actually had enough in gift cards to cover it all.  I could say this a hundred times and it wouldn't be enough.  We are SO blessed to have such wonderful friends and family who have offered support, guidance, and many thoughtful gifts and hand-me-downs.  We're so appreciative of all of it!  The best part is, our baby isn't even here yet, so we know she'll be very loved upon arrival.  We'll be installing the car seat base this weekend and I'll probably start packing my hospital bag, too.  Then I think we'll be 100% as ready as future parents can be. Well, I suppose 95% since our hospital tour isn't until Monday.

I'm still feeling really good and sleeping fairly well.  My lips are still unbelievably chapped, but the lanolin (Lansinoh HPA lanolin meant for breastfeeding nipples, to be exact) has been working like a charm as long as I keep using it.  I toss and turn quite a bit and wake up to go to the bathroom once, sometimes twice, but better than I thought I'd be doing at this stage.  Every so often I wake up wide awake in the middle of the night.  Sunday night I was wide awake from 1am-4am, but luckily it didn't ruin my day at all.  I frequently get asked if I'm waking up because I'm worried or anxious about the baby.  Nope.  I literally just wake up wide awake, nothing on my mind, as if it were 9am.

Speaking of things I frequently hear...  Let me answer/respond to some common questions/statements.  I'm partially being funny about it and partially answering these questions because it seems everyone I see asks :)

How are you feeling? Really good! No majorly annoying symptoms, not terribly uncomfortable, starting to get more tired but all things considered, really good.
You're so tiny! If that's meant to be a compliment, I appreciate it, but my weight gain and belly measurements are exactly how they're supposed to be.  My doctor even pointed out if you start out with a small frame, that's not really going to change and you'll look small in comparison.  PS-I've always been a healthy eater and I walk Rowdy regularly, my spot-on weight gain isn't an accident.
Wow! You really look pregnant today/in that shirt. Well, that's because I am.  Still.
Only a few weeks left, huh? That went fast! We've wanted this for almost two years and we're still waiting.  Just like a deployment, it seems to go quickly for those who aren't directly experiencing it.  Baby isn't here yet; once she is I'm sure we'll eventually say it went fast, but not yet.

OK, enough of that fun :)  I know everyone means well and is just excited and I really do appreciate it.  We are very excited, too!  In fact, I got a little mushy thinking about the past year (or two) over Christmas.  On our regular blog, I wrote about how Trevor and I have never exchanged Christmas gifts, we just make sure to enjoy the time together.  That said, he still gave me the best gift of all this year just by being home.  I got to thinking about where we were in life last Christmas: six months post-miscarriage, I had just sent him back to Kuwait after having him home for two weeks, and in those two weeks we had tried with no luck to get pregnant again.  Let me preface what I'm about to say with this: I'm a big believer in everything happening for a reason, but I will never ever say that our, or anyone's, miscarriage happened for a reason (and I would advise against anyone else saying that to someone in that situation-it's not helpful).  Some things in life just don't have explanations and there is no bigger picture.  It just doesn't make sense other than some fluke thing led to something being so seriously wrong with our baby/babies the pregnancy couldn't continue-completely medical and random.  It was terribly sad, always will be, but it does get easier (I've repeated that to myself a  million times and it really has helped-you know who you are who told me that) and I knew our time would come.  That said, the second best gift I got this year was patience.  I am in no way thankful our first pregnancy ended the way it did.  I am, however, very thankful I learned to be patient and appreciate when life happens on its own time sometimes.  I would have loved those babies to pieces, but if that pregnancy had continued we surely wouldn't be having this baby right now and that makes her pretty special, too.  Patience this year was a solid combination of waiting for Trevor to come home and waiting to try for a baby again...and waiting for this baby to arrive!  (Luckily that patience lesson didn't include waiting for a positive pregnancy test since this baby came as soon as humanly possible.)  Trevor has been to every single doctor's appointment and ultrasound with me this time.  He was with me when I felt kicks for the first time and felt them for himself five days later.  It's been amazing having him here to help clean/cook when I was feeling awful, shovel, play with Rowdy, put together the crib/dresser, etc.  And, of course, it's a huge relief knowing he'll for sure be around for labor/delivery/the weeks and months to follow.  Every so often I get pretty worked up about how much our finances have changed/will change (income is obviously a bit different now than it was while he was deployed, we just got his last unemployment check and my paychecks aren't big at all, especially not after daycare costs), but Trevor just says it'll work out, we'll always put our family first and be able to provide for our children, he's not scared, etc.  I know that's all true, I'm just really struggling to fully wrap my head around it all.  What would I do without him?  In addition to all of that, I have always been an organized planner, and still am for the most part, but I have learned to be much more flexible and much less particular.  I may not exactly be thankful for everything that's happened in life, but I'm truly thankful for the way everything has worked out and the lessons I've learned.

I'm going to do my best to hold on to my patience wisdom throughout the next year-I imagine I'll need it :)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Holidays.

Calm down, this post is about Christmas and two birthdays.  But, for the record, I think people should be able to say Merry Christmas without fear of offending someone; however, I think people should be able to say Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, or whatever else they want without that fear, too.  Basically, if you're being nice and wishing me a Happy anything, I appreciate it.  The end.

Our weekend started off with a trip to the Cities.  We met up with my dad to visit my Grandpa, stopped for some food at Big Bowl then headed to Jon & Moe's for Jon's surprise birthday party.  We had fun with good friends, ate good food and, of course, played Rock Band.

Sunday Trevor was hard at work with our friend Nick working on finishing up our basement.  It's been mostly completed for a couple years now, but still needs trim and doors which is more work than one might think.  

On Christmas Eve we went to Trevor's parents' house to celebrate Christmas and his mom's birthday (also December 25).  My dad came, too, which is wonderful for Trevor and me to have everyone in one place.  We had a good time with his family, ate great food and loved the excitement of the kids opening presents.  We all got presents, too, but I think I had the most fun watching the kids!

On Christmas, Trevor and I brought his parents to the airport for their trip to Palm Springs.  Then we headed straight to the St. Paul Grill to meet my dad for lunch.  My great aunt was supposed to join us, too, but she wasn't feeling well.  We had a delicious lunch and were so full we didn't have room for supper.

Presents are great and it's fun to give people things that make them smile.  (Did you think my soap box stopped with holiday greetings?)  Regardless of that fact, Trevor and I have never done Christmas gifts for each other.  And regardless of that fact, he managed to give me the best gift ever this year...he was home.  There's no gift I need from him, nothing I can honestly say I want either, just having him here to do all the running around and birthday/Christmas stuff with me was perfect.  And in between all these parties and get togethers, we spent lots of quality time with Rowdy.

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday or whatever else you may be celebrating this time of year!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Snow Day.

Yesterday we had a blizzard warning, got a decent amount of snow (nothing compared to friends and family in Wisconsin!) and it was pretty windy.  Many schools in the area closed and so did my office.  Trevor is done with school until mid-January, so we enjoyed a snow day at home with Rowdy.  I've missed blogging on some fun stuff we've done lately (Trevor's sister's RN graduation and the Marti Party, for example), but snow days are fun, too.

We started the day with some carmel cinnamon rolls.  I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so these were more for Trevor.  I couldn't even get a photo before he was dishing them out.

Then we headed outside.  Trevor did the driveway and I played with Rowdy; he loves the snow.
Can you tell?
Trevor joined in the game of fetch after he finished the driveway.
After all that fun, we went inside to lay low for a while.  Rowdy was wiped out.
We went to the library to get some movies, then back home for some beer bread and beer cheese soup for lunch.
Then more lazy time.
Our friend Matt had planned to come hang out for the night and we were hoping the weather wouldn't screw up those plans.  Luckily, he still made it.  Not too shabby of a snow day!  Now I'm back to work for the day then off until Wednesday.  Have a very merry Christmas, everyone!


35 weeks

All is still well! We had a doctor's appointment on Monday. My weight is perfect (up about 27 pounds), I'm measuring perfect and baby's heart rate sounds great (145).

I'm still feeling pretty darn good. Lots of mucous in my throat still, hips are starting to hurt at night again so I had to change pillows for my legs, but the lanolin has really helped my awful chapped lips (as long as I use it regularly). I'm still getting tired and love days when I can sneak in a nap-definitely looking forward to the extra days off in the next couple weeks! It probably doesn't help that I still wake up wide awake in the middle of the night sometimes (hormone bursts, I hear).  I've been having some Braxton Hicks contractions every day or two.  Earlier this week I had about 4 in a row, but they weren't regular or too close together, enough to time them just to be sure though!

Our next appointment is Dec 31 then we'll start with weekly visits.

The photos were at bedtime last night - hence the reason I look exhausted.

Friday, December 14, 2012

34 weeks

6 weeks to go! I looked at some of the early posts and "belly" photos and it's crazy how far we've come! Back at 5-8 weeks I felt SO bloated but looking at those photos now just makes me giggle.

I made major progress on baby's room this week. Like I've said, we had the dresser and crib set up a while ago, but we still had a disaster all over the floor and some reorganizing of the closet to do yet. We can finally see the floor completely! I can even vacuum! Haha. We're getting rid of the old, empty dresser this weekend then we should be able to truly finish everything.

Everyone's asking-honestly I'm feeling really good! I've been experimenting and finally found a pillow to put between my knees when I sleep (thanks, Brenna!). I've been getting up in the middle of the night to pee just once each night so no complaints there. I started using lanolin nipple ointment on my insanely chapped lips and after a couple days it's really helping which is awesome!

I've started putting a couple things in a bag that will be our hospital bag-I probably won't actually pack for a few weeks yet, don't really need much I guess.

Not sure what else to say! All is well, watching the weeks go by and I'm sure time will fly! I still get lots of comments about being small for 34 weeks, I'll take it :)

Oh-and everyone who warned us about pregnancy being like having a "give me advice I don't want" sign on my forehead was right. I don't know how many times a day (yes, daily) I/we hear advice we didn't ask for, judgements about decisions (yes, before our baby is even here), or people telling us what we'll want to do in certain situations. It gets interesting! Bottom line: we have very good communication with each other and lots of experience that will help in parenting, along with very open minds that we will do what's best for our family and take everything as it comes. We have ideas about how we'd like to do a lot of things but we're flexible and will adjust fire as needed. There, rant over :)

Doctor's appointment Monday then one more in two weeks til we start going weekly!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And We Danced.

I fell in love with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at this year's Soundset music festivalI think Trevor was off meeting Prof (we love him, too) and didn't fall for them like I first.

I kept listening to them and they kept coming out with more and more awesome music.  It wasn't long before Trevor was hooked, too.  Not only do they make insanely fun music, they write some downright meaningful stuff, too.  I mean it when I say I was hooked from the get go, but when they came out with Same Love there was no turning back.  It was the first song that brought me to tears at face value (not because it reminded me of a funeral or something else tear-worthy).  I love it so much I'm going to plop it right here into the blog:

My stand on marriage equality is no secret and I'm proud to live in a state that voted no on an unnecessary and downright hurtful marriage amendment this year.

Anyway, back to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.  As soon as we found out they would be at First Ave. this fall we got tickets.  We met up with our friends Adam and Kelly when we got there.  Unfortunately, photos can't capture how awesome the show was, but here they are anyway:

My favorite photo of the night.  Good work, hubs.
Macklemore came out wearing a poncho.  Dude is stylin.
One of their totally fun songs is Thrift Shop, so many people came wearing thrift shop attire.  Macklemore spotted a couple stellar fur coats and borrowed them.
Thrift Shop features Wanz.
We got to meet him.
I have no photos of the Same Love performance-I was too busy enjoying it and trying not to cry.  What Macklemore said leading up to the performance and the song itself was probably the most memorable live music moment I've ever witnessed.  He talked about how proud he was of MN for voting no and of WA (his home state) for voting to legalize gay marriage, both very recently in this year's election.  I said multiple times that night I feel like we're part of music history.  I can't wait to look back and tell our children the story of the marriage equality movement.  
 And we'll get to tell our first born she was there, too.
This is Macklemore's And We Danced get up. Just one of their super fun songs!

Aside from the headliners, the rest of the music was pretty darn good, too.  And, again, this is hip hop with a message.  First up was Xperience then Dee-1I especially liked Dee-1 because he took a moment to point out that just two years ago he graduated from college and spent time as a middle school math teacher.  He stressed that he hasn't always been making money off the microphone and there's absolutely nothing wrong with working hard at a "real job."  Better yet, his minor was Sociology.  I did go meet him and tell him I thought it was cool he took time to say all that, and that my major was Sociology, too-very nice dude.


Growing a Gibbs blog.

I'm doing a few minor updates to the blog layout and such and I just realized... I don't think I ever linked this blog to our pregnancy/baby blog.  Shame on me.

Plenty of people love getting the weekly pregnancy updates, the story of how I/we found out we were expecting, all that jazz.  However, plenty of people may not love those updates, so I decided to make a separate blog for all of that.  I'm still debating where to post weekly/monthly updates about all things baby once she arrives.  Again, it's been very fun to keep this blog going so friends, family and strangers alike can follow us, but the biggest reason I started blogging was to have a digital journal with photos for ourselves.  I plan to keep that up once baby comes.  I hear it all goes by so fast and I just know I'll love having all the photos and stories to look back on. 

So, for those of you who haven't seen it, or have forgotten the link, the pregnancy/baby blog can be found here: 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vivid Dreams

A big pregnancy symptom is vivid dreams. I guess I haven't continued to blog about having them, but I definitely still am. Another symptom I've had lately is waking up wide awake in the middle of the night, not necessarily to pee, just because. Since I've been wide awake for an hour now I figured I should just get up (it's now 5:20am).

Tonight's vivid dream was particularly hilarious, so I thought I would share. All kinds of goofy stuff was happening, but getting to the part I remember... A friend of mine was looking for a new apartment and decided to have a party where she was currently living. I went and while I was there I was on the phone with apartment places and friends trying to find her a new place. Everyone at the party was getting obnoxious and my friend was getting tired so she decided to go to bed. Somehow (because it was a dream) I just knew that someone kept dumping blue Gatorade powder on her when she was in bed. I was on the phone with another friend still doing the whole apartment search for her, but crawled into bed anyway thinking that would stop this person. I was still on the phone, the phone was actually between my head and the pillow. Surprise, surprise, the Gatorade powder dumper didn't quit and (this is where it gets good) I was very annoyed. He dumped blue Gatorade powder all over us and it was gross. I think he thought we were both sleeping. So, IN REAL LIFE, I woke up, opened my eyes, saw this guy dumping blue Gatorade powder on my bed and actually yelled (yes, actually yelled) out a very awkward sounding "BLAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" Then quickly realized it was all a dream and I was an idiot. I'm not sure how Trevor slept through that, maybe he didn't, but I spent the next half hour trying not to burst into laughter, probably not helping my falling back asleep problem.

So, here I am, doing laundry, typing this blog and about to get into the shower to start my day extra early. Hope someone else got a good laugh out of that, too!

Friday, December 7, 2012

33 weeks

Another week down!  I imagine every parent-to-be thinks this no matter what, but especially after a miscarriage, I can't help but being thankful for every week that passes and baby still seems healthy and continues to stay put.  Of course, once she's full term I think I'll be ready for her to come meet us any time, but for now I'm glad she's safe, [seemingly] healthy and growing as she should.  Only 4 weeks til full term and 7 until the due date!  We're under 50 days to go now.

We had an appointment on Monday.  Trevor and I got our Tdap (whooping cough/tetanus) shots, ouch.  Baby's heartbeat was 130 and I measured at 31 which is in the normal range.  (fundal height chart here)  We went over my 3-hour glucose screen/gestational diabetes test.  Like I said in my last post, they draw blood at the beginning of the test and every hour for the three hours.  Thankfully, I passed the test with flying colors, passing at each blood draw.  Our doctor said women who fail the 1 hour then pass the 3 hour tend to have bigger babies, but with how I've been growing/measuring she's not very concerned about that.  My mom had me 2 weeks early and I asked the doctor if that was at all hereditary and she said it can be, so let's hope for that; although, I'm certainly not counting on it.

I'm still feeling pretty darn good.  I'm starting to feel like I'm getting bigger, but don't feel huge at all so no complaints.  I think I've just gotten used to my extra mucous/snot.  My lips are so dry-they're bright red, flaky (as in big chunks flaky) and burn.  I've tried Carmex, Vaseline, A&D and regular chap stick.  Someone in a pregnancy forum suggested Aquaphor ointment so I think that's my next purchase.  I'm still getting up 1-2 times per night to go to the bathroom, but I guess some pregnant women have it much worse, so again I can't really complain about that.

Question of the week: hospital bag packing tips? I don't want to go with nothing, especially since I'll be delivering an hour from home, but I don't want a bunch of crap I don't need either.  So, what did you have that you were so glad you had?  What did you really wish you had but didn't bring?  For you? Dad? Baby?  I'm thinking more on the minimalist side.  There are some things the hospital provides (gown) that may be nice to have your own, but let's be realistic, I'm not bringing my own.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

1SG Gibbs.

In case you want to see a chart: Army Ranks & Insignias

Trevor had been a Sergeant First Class (SFC, E-7) since he was in Kosovo (2008).  He was the Medical Platoon Sergeant for 2-135 Infantry Battalion for the Minnesota Army National Guard (out of Mankato, MN).  He was in that position (since 2006) before he ever had the rank to go along with it.  He was in charge of 12-38 medics, with the help of his Platoon Leader (a First Lieutenant, an officer).  That platoon was part of a company (HHC, or Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2-135) that included 4 other non-medical platoons (Scouts, Mortars, Fisters, Intel/Headquarters) as well as some other soldiers (officers) in various staff positions.   

A photo of Trevor and me from the 2-135 formal dinner in August (Trevor as a SFC, E-7). Flickr
Trevor heard about a potential promotion opportunity (for First Sergeant, 1SG, E-8) and decided to go for it.  The packet (application, basically) was due on our anniversary, September 26.  A lot of work goes into these packets.  He had to gather all kinds of paperwork and information about his career thus far, letters of recommendation from multiple people in his Chain of Command, etc.  Once he submitted it, he just had to sit back and wait to hear something.  What a relief!

A week or so later, Trevor got an email that he was to report for a promotion board in a few days.  As if getting the packet ready wasn't enough work, this would be even more difficult.  His uniform had to be perfect.  He had to study everything.  The board is essentially an interview in front of 5 Command Sergeants Major (CSM, E-9).  They can ask him anything and everything from regular interview questions (leadership style, working under pressure, etc.) to Army stuff (his career/experience, Army regulations, Soldier's Creed, NCO Creed, anything really) and more.  He asked for tips and suggestions from fellow soldiers.  I drilled him in a mock interview.  He recited Creeds/Ethos/Values over and over.  He got a haircut and tweaked his uniform all morning.  This was the biggest interview/board he had ever had.  Thankfully, when Trevor called me afterwards, he actually said it went well.  What a relief again!  Except this time he was told he wouldn't hear anything until the end of November.

So, November 12 rolled around and Trevor got the official memo via email.  Subject: Selected.  Attached was a memo:  "On behalf of the Senior Enlisted Management Board I would like to congratulate you on your selection of First Sergeant."  Woah.  The promotion would take effect November 15.

The first drill weekend following the official date of rank (promotion date), Trevor drilled with his old unit, 2-135 in Mankato, so he could be pinned with his new rank by them.  The alternative would have been to be pinned by his new unit and people he didn't know.  That would have been just fine, but promotions are a big deal and it was important to him to be pinned by the unit he has called home for so long.

His new rank comes with a new position.  First Sergeant is both a rank (E-8) and a position within a unit.  As First Sergeant, Trevor is in charge of the enlisted side of the company, working directly with/under the company commander (an officer).  Specifically, he is now in charge of three platoons and has a hand in much of the overall unit operations.  His new unit is a whole medical unit (C Co 134 BSB out of Cottage Grove, MN), so those three platoons have different functions within the unit (medical treatment, ambulance, and company headquarters).   Here's another chart to show the structure of a unit-usually when people say unit, they mean company.  Structure can vary somewhat, but this is generally what it looks like.

 Photo of Trevor and me at the C Co 134 BSB formal dinner (Trevor as a 1SG, E-8) Flickr

What better way to be welcomed into a new unit than to go for their "Dining Out" formal dinner?  We've both been to a couple of these types of dinners, but this one was a little different.  It was a new unit with a new rank and position.  With that, we became part of the "official party" as they call it and were seated at the head table.  The rest of the company had to stand at attention when we came in/went out as a group.  We had a head table at our wedding, but even then we weren't higher up on risers like we were at this dinner.  It was like we were on display, a rather unique and uncomfortable experience.  Trevor introduced the guest speaker, CSM Kallberg, who gave a great speech.  She spoke about the perception of the military and troops, the importance of families who support their service members, working hard and dreaming big, and serving our communities on a smaller scale in addition to serving our country as a whole.  She is also married to a soldier and they have been through 6 deployments between the two of them in 10 years of marriage, sometimes back to back and hardly seeing each other.  She flat out said the harder job is being the spouse back home.  I'm not big on comparing and I think everyone involved in a deployment has a difficult and important job to do, but I greatly appreciated the fact that she even acknowledged the difficulties of being the one "left behind."  The dinner was delicious, we both met a lot of people and even saw a few familiar faces.  

 Trevor and 1LT (O-2) Williams (formerly a SPC, E-4, in Trevor's 2-135 medical platoon) Flickr

It was a great night and a great way for Trevor to start off with a new unit.  He's very excited about this opportunity and is already working on planning for the future with them to make it the best experience possible for everyone.  I can already tell it's time for Trevor to get down to business in the new position-the emails and phone calls have increased.  My favorite are the calls that go right through supper time.  All part of the job, I know, and honestly I'm quite used to it by now!  


Saturday, December 1, 2012

32 weeks

So.. it's been a few weeks since my last post and even longer since my last photo.  I had this all written out yesterday, but when I went to add the photo last night the whole post got deleted.  I'm going to try this again...

I'm not sure if I mentioned in the last post or not, but we finished baby classes (minus the breastfeeding class we'll be attending in a few weeks).  I know no one is ever fully prepared for labor/delivery/parenthood, but I think we're as ready as we can be!

We had a doctor's appointment a couple weeks ago (every 2 weeks now).  My fundal height (belly size, basically) is measuring perfect.  They have my weight gain at 24 pounds although I think it's a tad more than that (I think I gained a few before my first visit)-either way the doctor says that's just right, too.  I really don't feel like I've gained weight anywhere but my belly, maybe a little in the love handles/butt, but no complaints.  Baby's heartbeat was 140 which is exactly what it's been the last few visits.  The bad news was...I actually didn't pass my 1 hour glucose test.  The clinic was supposed to call and tell me, but they didn't even though they did call about my iron.  So, this past Monday I went in to take the 3 hour glucose test.  For the first one (1 hour) I just went to the lab whenever, chugged a very sugary drink (it wasn't nearly as bad as what I had heard-I had orange flavor), waited an hour and got my blood drawn.  They want your level to be 140 or under and mine was 141, so I barely "failed."  For the 3 hour test, it's a bit different.  I had to fast, so I went right away in the morning.  They did a finger prick to check my baseline level (81, I believe), did a blood draw, then I drank a sugary drink again (more sugar, though-1 can of Mt. Dew=47 grams of sugar, 1 hour drink=50 grams of sugar, 3 hour drink=100 grams of sugar).  They drew my blood every hour until for 3 hours and I couldn't eat or drink anything until the whole test was over.  Like I said, the first test wasn't so bad, but I really thought this test was awful.  Double the sugar on an empty stomach this time and waiting to eat or drink anything for three hours instead of one-gross.  The first hour I had a very upset stomach and awful gut rot, the second hour I started to get very tired (lack of food and water+sugar crash?) and the last hour I was just desperately antsy, hungry and thirsty.  Oh, and the icing on the cake? I couldn't leave the clinic and was stuck in the waiting room with a guy puking into a bag (poor fella).  Anyway, I survived and took Trevor out to eat at Pita Pit afterwards.  They haven't called me so I'm hoping I did ok this time and it's not another screw up.  We'll find out on Monday, I guess.  As for symptoms, I still seem to have plenty of mucous and my lips have been horribly chapped to the point they're all kinds of flaky.  I was sick last week (as in actually sick), threw up at work and again at home, which is never fun.  It's even less fun when you have a living being inside your belly who just wants to dance.  I think the lack of food/water after vomiting hit me harder than usual, but I seem to be okay now.

Enough complaining.  Good news is I had my second baby shower last weekend.  It was a great day and Trevor and I definitely feel very loved!  We're so excited to bring a baby into this world knowing how many people already care about her.  We have very few things left to get before she arrives (I mean 2 or 3) which I suppose is good since my due date is only 8 weeks away and I'll be full term (37 weeks) in only 5 weeks!  With Christmas and Trevor's birthday in the mix, I imagine those weeks will go quickly.

I think that was all I had in the other post, but who really knows.  More next week!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Baby Shower #2.

My wonderful mother-in-law, Christy, threw me my second baby shower, this one for family members.  The room was beautifully decorated (in lots of pink!) with lots of great food.  

We had another good turn out for this shower.  Many of Trevor's aunts and a few cousins came as well as one of his grandmas.  My family is much smaller and somewhat spread out, but I still had a good turn out from my side of the family, too.     

Everyone who came was invited to decorate/personalize a onesie for the baby.  They all turned out great and I can't wait to put her in them!  Also, they filled out a Wishes for Baby sheet with things like "I hope you learn..." and "I hope you know..."  These are very special messages from loved ones that I can't wait to display.  I have them from my first shower, too.  We were, once again, very spoiled with very thoughtful gifts from our generous loved ones.

Baby's aunties got her all set up with cute Nike, Puma, Under Armour, Vikings, Twins, etc. gear.

Trevor's aunts on his mom's side all chipped in to get us this Beco Gemini baby carrier that we're both so excited to use!  I did a lot of research into the parents' favorites and came up with this one and the Baby K'Tan that we'll be getting with some gift cards.

 My great aunt Louise put together a very thoughtful gift for us.  She made the card with one of my own baby photos on the front!

This was part of my gift from Louise.  She is my grandma's sister (my grandma passed away when I was almost 7).  My grandma made this quilt for Louise when she started having her own babies.  Louise kept it around for her grandkids and thought my grandma would have loved to know I had it (I was her first grandchild and this would have been her first great-grandchild).  It's still in excellent shape and I'm so excited to have it and tell our daughter how awesome her great-grandma was!

As you can tell, it was another wonderful shower.  I'm still gushing over how loved this little girl is and she's not even here yet.  It just makes me that much more excited to bring her into this world knowing she'll have so many people looking after her.  Thanks again to everyone for being so excited with us!

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