Sometime in the next couple weeks, Scattered Seashells will be moving to WordPress.

What does this mean to you?

The link will remain the same, but if you're following via GFC, you'll need to find a new way to follow - Facebook, Twitter, Email, BlogLovin', or any other way.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Announcements!

I have a lot to tell you, so I'm going to try to keep it short!

First, you'll notice my blog title has changed!! And in the next couple of days, I'm changing the URL. Keep that in mind if it changes how you read this blog!


A year ago today I said goodbye to Brandon for his deployment to Iraq. Can you believe it? A year. A year! You can check out my Day One posts here and here. It's so nice to have him home, for almost two weeks now, but it's always cool to look back on what we've been able to do. A year!

June has proven to be a pretty good month. I left my job, I announced my pregnancy to the world, and we welcomed Brandon home. On top of that, Brandon got promoted yesterday! Yep, my little first lieutenant is now a big bad Captain in the US Army. Wow to that! Three years ago he was commissioned into the Army, and now he's a Captain! It's a big step!
The ceremony was interesting. There were eleven guys getting promoted and only four wives there (I guess the rest aren't married!). There were some boring speeches, but then we could slap on their rank. That was fun! I've been at every promotion ceremony so far and hope to be at the next ones.

Last night we had dinner at Michelle and Will's house. You'll remember Michelle from previous blog posts, and Will is Brandon's roommate from Iraq. Wow! It was an awesome meeting! I was the sober one thanks to Baby S in my belly, but it made it kind of funny. We ate a great meal, chatted a bunch, and then played my trivia game Bezzerwizzer. Brandon and I got home super late (ok, like 11, but that's late for us!) and then passed out.

Today I think the plan is to go to our favorite beach on the other side of the island and then dinner at a favorite restaurant. Should be a good day!

Paper Coterie Winner!

First, I wanted to show you the journal I got from Paper Coterie!

I personalized it for Brandon. The blurred out part is our last name. It's pretty nice!

Now, without further ado, the winner of this giveaway!

I used Random.org to come up with the number.
(and I still haven't figured out how to do a screen shot...)

And the winner is...

Brittany!!

Please comment with your email address so I can forward the information to the people and get your code for your prize.

Thanks so much everyone!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

16 Weeks

I had my 16 week appointment today! It was an easy appointment so far as they go. Brandon was able to come with me and even though he was pretty chill about the whole thing, I think he was excited. It wasn't a fancy appointment and it only lasted 15 minutes, but we got to hear the heartbeat again! Baby S is sounding nice and healthy. My vitals are stellar too. The biggest thing we had to talk about was my weight gain, or lack of. She didn't seem too concerned at this point, though. We were out of there pretty quick after that and on our way to McDonald's because someone needed to be fed ;).

How Far Along: 16 weeks, 24 weeks to go!
Size of baby: It's about 4.5 inches, the size of an avocado, approx. 3.5 oz.
Weight Gain/Loss: The last week I've been clocking in at 140.8 lbs. So... no change! It kinda bothers me.
Body Changes: I have a belly! I use a hair tie to keep my pants up and had to use my belly band once this week to keep one pair of tight pants up.
Gender: It's a baby! We'll find out at the end of July!
Movement: I haven't felt anything yet, though I keep thinking maybe I am and don't know it. I'll keep you updated. ;)
Sleep: I miss sleeping on my back. It's not as comfortable anymore. At least I can sleep!
What I miss: Fish. I'm more limited on what I can eat!
Cravings: I had a mad craving for chocolate the last few days. Brandon and I solved that by buying a carton of chocolate macadamia nut ice cream. Yummy.
Symptoms: Horrible acne, some mild cramping from things expanding, tired, always hungry, mood swings...
Best Moment this week: Another appointment! I love going to the doctor's.

In other news, check out my latest Homefront United Network article Pregnancy in the Military - Part Two: First Appointments. I'm writing a whole series!

This morning, Dexter was kinda cute. He's such a wimp. Since Brandon's been home, his sleep schedule has been messed up, so he's been waking up between 3 and 5 in the morning. Dexter will go downstairs with him to be let out and then he'll come back up to sleep beside me. What can I say? He's a momma's boy.

Anyway, this morning I hear Brandon shuffling around downstairs, and so did Dexter. He jumped right on the bed and on top of me and proceeded to freak out a bit. He was crawling towards me, hitting me with his paws, and ultimately cuddling up beside me. He was scared! I'm pretty sure he forgot that it was Brandon downstairs and not some bad guy. Some guard dog, huh?

Don't forget to enter my Paper Coterie Giveaway! Tomorrow is the drawing!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What We've Been Up To

It's been a fun time since Brandon's been home! It's been nice to have my bestest friend back to spend time with. He's made me laugh so hard nearly every day (let's face it, he's funny) and now my poor belly muscles hurt. We've been up to a lot of things!

We've made some awesome homemade dinners! Like pizza...

We've gone to the beach with Dexter, where he exploded with salt water. It was kinda gross but kinda funny. Poor doggy. He had a great time.


And today, we went to the beach again! It was hot, it was sunny, it was beautiful. We snorkeled, we sunbathed, we splashed each other... we had a wonderful time.



Oh, and today we went to the Thrift Shop and bought 8 books that we don't totally need. Considering I'm trying to get rid of some books, it wasn't necessary... but I got 5 parenting/baby books! Woo!

We've shopped, we've ate, and we've watched a lot of TV. I won't lie, I like having him home! Even if I do laundry and dishes three times more ;)

Don't forget to enter my Paper Coterie Giveaway!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Paper Coterie Giveaway!

I was approached recently by Paper Coterie to review their products and do a giveaway!

This website is really cool! You can order some pretty calendars, personalized journals, decor, photo books... so much! Browse through their site and see what they have to offer. :)

They offered me a free code, but unfortunately I haven't gotten my personalized journal yet. I might've not ordered it until a couple days ago... whoops! But as soon as I get it, you'll get some photos!

This is what I want to give to you! Enter to win a code to get a FREE item from their heroes collection! Shipping included!!

From Paper Coterie:
During the month of June, we’re saying ‘thank you’ to those families by releasing our new Heroes collection. We’d like to offer any one product from the collection free to give back to those military and first responder Heroes who make such great sacrifices on our behalf.


Here's what you need to do:

1. Comment on this post with which product you'd like to get. (1 entry) - Mandatory!
2. Blog about this giveaway (1 entry)
3. Facebook or Tweet about this giveaway! (1 entry)

That's all! Remember, separate comments for each entry. This will close on Thursday, June 30, 2011! And you'll have to use the code pretty soon after that :). Good luck!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baby Research

The decision to have a baby was the easy part! Once you get pregnant, you're bombarded with all these other choices that you have to make. There's the consumer side: Stroller, car seat, diapers, crib, high chair, changing table, and on. There's the personal side: Breastfeeding, food choices, discipline, education, so forth. There's the biggest decision of all: The name.

Brandon and I are pretty solid on the personal side of things, since we pretty much agree on that part. We're still arguing over a girl name, but we have a boy name set (ah, you won't know until we know what we're having!). It's the consumer side that's getting me...

Take strollers for instance. I'm looking at either getting a travel system (stroller, car seat, base) or half a travel system (car seat, base, Snap-n-Go frame). So, do I bother with a bulky stroller that we'll use longer? Do I do the frame and then when the baby outgrows the car seat (whenever that happens) buy a fancy umbrella stroller? Decisions.

Yesterday, I spent a good part of my day researching diapers. Cloth diapers, to be exact. Even before the idea of having a baby crossed our minds, we both came to the conclusion that we wanted to use cloth diapers. It's not only for the environmental side, it's because of the money it will save and the fact that we like more organic stuff. Disposable diapers have a lot of crude in them. Anyway, cloth diapers came as an easy decision.

The hard decision? What brand/style to use. Oh my goodness, there are a bazillion different options out there. Pre-folds, all-in-ones, the kind with the inserts... not to mention snaps, buttons, velcro... and all the different brands to choose from that all have different reviews. Changing the diaper is the easy part!

So... if you have any pointers, hand them to me. I'll take what I can get! Baby research is exhausting.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Adjustments

Suddenly last Saturday I had another person in my home. Another mouth to feed, another mess to clean up, and another body to keep entertained. Brandon fell into the house rather seamlessly - it was almost like the past year hadn't even happened. I'm feeling the pain of adjustment more than he is though.

I'm a creature of habit. I had a daily routine that was set in stone. Now, I wake up earlier, I take a shower at a different time, I don't watch the same shows, I don't make the same food. On one day it went from "I" to "We" and my entire routine has been shaken up. Brandon isn't having any issues with this, he rolls with the punches better than I do, so he's had a fine time since he's been home.

This homecoming has been different from R&R. During that little two-week vacation, we treated it like tourists and had a good old time traveling around the island. Now, it's back to errands and chores and work.

Speaking of work... Brandon's work schedule is wacky nowadays. He goes for PT in the morning and then he could be home anytime between 9 and 12. How do I get into the groove of something, like writing, when he could come stomping in at any time?

Ah well, just as I adjusted after he left for deployment, I will adjust again into a new routine. It hasn't even been a week and I'm in panic mode. My husband understands (or does he?) and has been very good about it. I'm sure he just attributes it to pregnancy hormones. ;)

Brandon is enjoying being home. Don't worry, Winston is fine!


I need to figure out what to do today! I'm getting stir crazy sitting around this house and want to get outside. I think the weather might cooperate on the North Shore, so we might bring Dexter to the beach. That could be fun! Of course, I have such a hard time coming up with stuff to do, just like it was before he came home.

Ah, it's nice to be back to blogging land! Hm, except when Blogger deletes half my post and I have to rewrite. My first post was better!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

15 Weeks

If you'll notice above, I added a "Baby S" page! There you'll find all the Wednesday updates and even articles I'm writing for the Homefront United Network.

How Far Along: 15 weeks, 25 weeks to go!
Size of baby: It's about 4 inches, the size of a naval orange, approx. 2.5 oz.
Weight Gain/Loss: My weight is fluctuating between 140 and 142, so really, I've gained/lost nothing, still.
Body Changes: I have a belly! Very small, but I have to use a hairtie to keep my pants tight. Nothing else is really different.
Gender: It's a baby! Next month we'll find out!
Movement: The baby is swimming around but I won't feel it for a few more weeks, at least. I'm not exactly sure what I'm expecting to feel, either.
Sleep: It's been great! I hate having to sleep on my side, and sleeping on my stomach isn't as comfy anymore. Ah well.
What I miss: Rough play. We can't wrestle as much because I get all worried. ;)
Cravings: Fruit, french fries, ice cream.
Symptoms: Horrible acne, some mild cramping from things expanding, so tired, always hungry...
Best Moment this week: Brandon coming home!!

This is a photo from homecoming, after I showed Bonnie-Jean the belly you could see under my skirt. Yep, there's something beginning to show. Just a little one!

Homecoming

I'm back!

After a 72-hour pass, Brandon is back to work and I'm back to work! He should still have some easy days until block leave next month, but he won't be around 24/7. It's messing with my mind!

My blog will be going through some changes. The two biggest ones being...

1. The titles of my blog posts will actually be unique. Yikes, I have to start coming up with them!
2. A new blog name!! So watch for a new header with a new name, and a new url. Don't worry, if you're subscribed, it shouldn't mess with your updates.


I wanted to tell you all about homecoming! It was an exciting day and I've been itching to come update you. Then later today, I'm going to post a pregnancy update. It's Wednesday, after all!

Saturday started pretty normal. I had some last minute stuff to do around the house, so before dog training I cleaned up the backyard (so Joe could mow one last time) and started some laundry. Then it was off to dog training!

After training I had to drive down to the NEX to pick up my ring. Oh, it's so shiny and new now, I love it. Then it was a race back home because I had to shower, finish cleaning, bathe the dog, make lemon bars, finish laundry, make the bed... ah! I was running around trying to get ready but managed to do it just fine. I left the house just after 2pm to go over to Christina's one last time, since she lives right near the pick-up zone.

I got down to the ceremony area at about 4pm, because the ceremony was scheduled for 5:20pm. I found someone I knew and chatted with her a bit before staking my claim on a couple chairs. I oddly didn't feel that nervous, though later when my photographer friend Bonnie-Jean arrived, I just couldn't stop talking. I guess I was excited!

Finally, the ceremony began! I couldn't see him walk in or in formation, but I knew he was in there, of course. They did the national anthem and a couple other songs, then dismissed everyone! There was a mad rush for the soldiers, but I had told Brandon to come to the left of the area, where I would be sitting.

This is me wondering where he was. I guess we had a miscommunication and he went to the right. Whoops! So Bonnie-Jean and I kept an eye out for Brandon. Finally we spotted him standing on a chair (haha) looking for me! His face broke out in a grin when he spotted me and he hurried over. Then we hugged and kissed!

We headed home soon after that. The poor guy was super tired from the time change and then loooonngg travel time, but he's so happy to be home. Of course, I'm happy to have him home too! Now we have to discover how to live with each other again. ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I'm taking a break while Brandon unpacks his stuff to say...

Happy Father's Day to all the dads in my life! My grandpa, my daddy, and my daddy-to-be, Brandon!


Yep, it's a homecoming photo! I'll show more later in the week!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty-Three

Please excuse my lack of a blog tonight.

After 353 days apart
(ok, except for a little bit of R&R)
Brandon and I are back together!
(aww R&R photo)

He's safe and sound and back at home!
And yeah, he came in a few days earlier than planned.
That's ok with me!

Thanks for sticking around for this whole journey!

Don't worry, this isn't the end of my blog.
I will be MIA for a few days, though!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty-Two

Hello new followers! I've noticed a bunch of you lately and wanted to say hey. Oh, and remind everyone to set your reply-to email. Just go to Edit Profile, Identity, then add your email in the box. This way, when you comment, I can reply straight from my email when I receive them. Cool!

I had a good day today! I got a lot of homecoming stuff done, like wash the car and clean the house. It feels good to get everything ready, even though I know he doesn't care. He even told me he doesn't care if the lawn is mowed or the house is cleaned. Well, it makes me happy, and it's nice to have an excuse to deep clean!

This afternoon I spent some time with Christina and the boys at the splash park near my house. It was fun! Marcus had a blast once I showed him how to run through the sprayers. No, I didn't go because I was wearing normal clothes, but I coaxed him through. He loved it.

We had Popeye's for dinner, nom nom. I love it! Haven't had it in awhile. Now I'm at home with another Netflix that's guaranteed to make me cry. It has dogs and people they love dying, enough said.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty-One

Look what I did today!

Don't worry, I don't think Brandon will see it until he gets home!


I had always planned to put it up yesterday, but since that didn't pan out, I did it today. It took some maneuvering - opening/closing the garage door, running around to get in the garage and back out again, trying to make it semi-level - but I think it turned out good. My neighbors insisted the other day on helping and while I usually take their offers, this time I didn't. It was pretty easy, though I think the real reason was that I wanted to do it myself. It's one of those coming home preparations that you have to do by yourself, ya know?

Today I finished The Hunger Games, which I had just started on Sunday. It was really good! I recommend it!

This morning, I walked around the commissary while Christina bought stuff, just so I could get out of the house. The waiting is getting to me! Then this afternoon I went over and we played a Wii Donkey Kong game together, and yelled at each other a lot hehe, and then made a yummy chicken dinner. Home made food! We have to get back into that, huh.

Well, Thursday is almost done. Tomorrow is another day to get through!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day Three Hundred Fifty

It's Wednesday!! Today I'm going to start with my pregnancy update, then give you a brief rundown of the day. I'm finally in the second trimester!!

How Far Along: 14 weeks, 26 weeks to go!
Size of baby: It's 3.5 inches, the size of a lemon, approx. 1.5 oz.
Weight Gain/Loss: A few days I was at 0 lost/gained, but now I'm back at -1 lb. Oh well.
Body Changes: No stretch marks, hopefully won't get any. I sort of look like I have a belly!
Gender: It's a baby! I'll take guesses for boy/girl. Most are saying boy right now.
Movement: The baby is swimming around but I won't feel it for a few more weeks, at least. I'm not exactly sure what I'm expecting to feel, either.
Sleep: I've been sleeping great, though it's been hard to sleep on my side so much. It's only going to get worse.
What I miss: Exercise. I know, I can exercise, but I've been super lazy about it.
Cravings: Pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, corn dogs... junk food. Yum.
Symptoms: Horrible acne, some mild cramping from things expanding, so tired, always hungry. I'm a whiner. ;)
Best Moment this week: My excitement over my pants fitting tighter!! My regular clothes fit if I suck in, but it's much more comfortable to use a hairtie.

The last time I spoke to Brandon, which was last night shortly after posting my blog, I told him the good news: no more berets! He disappeared to spread the news to all the guys. Everyone is so excited! We all hated those berets. Good riddance.

You know what, time has kind of stalled. Each day we're trying to find stuff to do as we wait our turn for the guys to come home. Today I went to story time at the library and a bubble show with Christina. Surrounded by kids, none of them my own... it was fun though! I really enjoyed the bubbles and it got me out of the house.

Tomorrow I'm finally going to put up Brandon's welcome home sign. Ugh, I'm so ready for him to be home! It's horrible watching all my friends get their guys back before mine ;). But like I said today to Christina, someone has to be last. Don't worry, he won't be LAST! Come home, Brandon!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty-Nine

It's no surprise I love history; I graduated college with a BA in the subject. While I enjoy all history, I have a very special spot in my heart for American history. Specifically, 19th century American history.

I stumbled upon it by accident, really. I went into the subject of history thinking I was all into European history. I still love reading and learning about Europe, don't get me wrong. Sophomore year I took an introductory course into pre-Civil War America and was fascinated. I loved learning about the building and expansion of the country, of Manifest Destiny, of the market revolution, and why the Civil War happened. I took several courses on American history throughout my four years there and just loved it. Yep, American history is my thing.

I've been watching the John Adams mini-series the last couple of days and I've been really enjoying it! I always liked John Adams, especially after I read a novel set around him back when I was a young teenager. Anyway, my favorite quote popped up this episode and thought I'd tell you about it.

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.


Nice, huh? I love a good quote!

Happy Army Birthday and Flag Day! My day was fairly uneventful, but aren't they all these days? It was a beautiful day outside and if Brandon were here, we would totally be going to the beach. Soon though!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty-Eight

I am currently ringless! Gotta have some fun before Brandon gets home ;) Seriously, though, I have no wedding rings and I keep trying to feel for them, but they aren't there. Then I go for awhile forgetting about it until I touch my bare finger again and yikes, I notice!

I was looking at my diamond last night when I realized that one of the prongs had moved. Uh oh! So I checked them out - two of the prongs are dented, and the one prong is bent. The diamond is luckily still tight in there, but I figured it was better to get it fixed now than forget about it and lose the best part of the ring. And since my wedding and engagement rings are soldered together, I have a bare hand! I have to go dig up a spare ring to fill the void.

Aww our rings on our wedding day! Funny, Brandon has a different one now.


Today was good. Brandon never came online (boo), so I went to Christina's early. I watched the boys while she got her haircut down at the NEX and then we got some lunch, wandered around and hung out a bit. We made a few stops on our way home but geez, was I exhausted! This whole baby-tiredness is killing me. I feel great all morning but then the afternoon hits and I'm down for the count for a few hours.

At home I recharged with some reading and then chatted with my neighbors some. Now I'm curling up on the couch for some Netflix (of course), watching the John Adams mini-series. I have so little time to watch all these last movies before Brandon gets home!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty-Seven

Let's talk about deployment for a second.

Three hundred and forty-seven days ago, Brandon left for his deployment to Iraq. It feels like a whole other lifetime. It's just so odd how I'm so far in and now I'm comfortable, now I have a routine, and this has become my new normal. Having an internet relationship with my husband is normal. Going to bed alone is normal. Seeing the photos of the two of us on the wall but only one of us here is normal.

Don't worry, I'm still excited for him to come back. Beyond excited. Anxious. Impatient. Ready. So so ready. I'm ready to get back into a different normal, the normal normal. This whole military life gets you used to changes and saying goodbye and saying hello over and over again.

We've been lucky during this deployment. I've been able to talk to Brandon almost every single day, most of the time twice a day. He's had a fairly safe job (for what it's worth) and I haven't had to worry as much. We've barely fought, always a plus. Oh, and R&R was a breeze! It was like he hadn't even left! I just can't wait until he comes home.

But hey, we don't have much longer now, do we?

I don't like deployment. I'd prefer my husband to be home. Ok, sometimes it's nice to get a little breather break. Always refreshes your relationship! I like hugs, kisses, big muscles, someone to mow the lawn and fix the car, someone to watch funny shows with and to tickle me. Someone to laugh with all the time. I like having my best friend around!

This won't be our last deployment, though hopefully we have a good many years until the next one. I'm just so surprised that it's nearly done. Where did the last 347 days go? What did I do? I need to re-read my blog! At the end of it, a year can go by so quickly. Let's hope time slows down a bit when he gets home, huh?

Day Three Hundred Forty-Six

Remember this balloon?


Somehow when Winston was messing with it this morning it got caught on him. All I could see was him barreling down the hallway towards the kitchen to the back door. He slammed into the wall, ran under the table, the balloon detached, and he sprinted upstairs. It happened so quick but I couldn't help but laugh the entire time!

Of course, then he hid under the bed for over two hours, and Dexter was terrified so he hid upstairs too until I coaxed him down with treats. Crazy kids. I love having them though! I can't wait until Brandon is home to laugh with me!

I slept for over 9 hours and woke up feeling great this morning! Still have a stuffed nose, but I'll survive. We had dog training in the rain today. Dexter did real well! He's so smart. After that I relaxed and tried to fight my daily mid-day exhaustion...

Mid-afternoon I headed over to Christina's to relax and get ready for our final Saturday Dinner. Yep, the last big one before half the husbands come home! Our theme tonight was Breakfast for Dinner. Oh goodness, it rocked. Pancakes, waffles, strawberries, whipped cream, eggs, sausage - yummy!! After dinner we played Bezzerwizzer, which I surprisingly lost. ;)

It was a great day!! I'm exhausted, but most of that is thanks to this pregnancy thing. I got to see some close friends before our husbands come back and life goes back to a different kind of normal. Oh my goodness! Is he home yet?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty-Five

Wow! What a great Milspouse Weekly Roundup! I was so happy to be asked to host and delighted to see that 36 people (as of me writing this) have linked up. Wonderful!

I was worried for a bit that the linky wouldn't work, especially because I had it scheduled to post nice and early this morning. Luckily I woke to a perfectly find blog. Yay.

I also woke up to a head cold. Oh goodness, I was hoping it was just allergies. Now I'm just hoping that it'll go away quick. It's just a stuffed nose (the sniffles!), a sore throat, and sinus pressure, plus a bit of a headache. I feel like my head is floating!

While my cold prevented me from doing much writing, it didn't stop me from going shopping with Christina. Getting up and moving always helps. We made our way down to Whole Foods, something we haven't done in ages. Seriously, I tried finding the last time we went in my blog because I know I wrote about it, and I couldn't. Whole Foods is such a trek we only get there on special occasions.

First, we had hamburgers at The Counter! I'm angry that this baby and this cold made it so I could only eat half of my delicious turkey burger, so I enjoyed it while I could. We also got some parmesan and sweet potato fries. Nom nom nom. After that we headed next door to Whole Foods, where I was looking for a good, natural cocoa butter thing to use for stretch marks. My family doesn't have a history of them, but better safe than sorry! The lady led us to the mother's section where Christina and I both found some goodies! I got this oil called Mother's Special Blend. I'm excited to start using it! Oh, and I bought a stevia-sweetened soda... I always get one when I go!

On our way home we ended up at the NEX and Target, and sometimes in between we shot Marcus with his water gun a few times. ;) I was exhausted from the day and my cold, so I bowed out once we got to post, and I've been sitting on the couch in my jammies ever since!

I think I'm gonna go get my soda and pop in my latest Netflix.

PS: It's day 345, which means one year is exactly 20 days away. But remember, he's coming home sooner than that. OMG!

Milspouse Weekly Roundup!

Yep! It's my time! I'm hosting the Milspouse Weekly Roundup!


Welcome to my blog, if you haven't been here before! And hi to all my followers who have!

In case you don't know me, I'm Chantal! I'm 24 years old, a writer, married to Brandon, an Army officer, and we're expecting our first little baby in mid-December. We have a crazy border collie named Dexter and an annoying kitty named Winston. We're stationed in Hawaii, though Brandon is currently finishing up a year-long deployment to Iraq (hence the title of the blog).

Please hang out a bit! And definitely check out everyone who links up below!!

PS: Next week the annoyed army wife will be hosting!



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty-Four

First: My second Homefront United article posted today, called Embrace the New Culture. Check it out!

Second: Want some BOGO Fandango tickets? Head to LivingSocial for todays deal! I get something special if a few people buy it. Seriously, it's worth it.

Third: My day.

Woke up. Chatted with Brandon. Showered. Sat down and wrote for 30 minutes. I'm really getting into this new little novel of mine! I'm taking the stance of just writing for fun, and it's actually kind of fun. Anyway, Christina texted me asking if I want to go to Costco. Sure, why not. I like Costco!

We went to Costco, shopped around, ate some samples, then headed home. Marcus took a nap while we watched TV then played a game of Clue. I won, by the way. It's a super easy game to win when there's only two of you. We eventually played some Wii, lamenting the bad weather that prevented us from enjoying the botanical gardens. Ah well!

I left there to come home and clean my house. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, something I've been needing to do for awhile. It looks nice now!! All dusted and vacuumed and shower de-molded. Then I sat down to finally read through emails and relax with a blog post and a movie.

Come back early tomorrow for a surprise blog post: I'm hosting the Milspouse Round-Up!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty-Three

Shortly after I woke up this morning, I got to chat with Brandon! We even webcammed for a bit! It was nice to finally see him and spill out all the news! The first thing he said to me was "Show me your belly!" I don't have much of a belly, I still fit in my pants, but I've noticed a bit of a bulge popping out. Yay! It was nice to talk to him and see his face. So clooooseeee!

In other news... my couch smells like cat pee. I can't figure out if it's just because I'm suddenly smelling the old pee from when Winston was a baby (he had this wonderful habit of peeing on the couch a lot) or if he actually peed on it again. I dunno, I have a sensitive nose! I didn't feel any wet spots or anything... ugh, I would really just like new, grown up couches. No more black couches that are over 10 years old. Please?

Oh, and it's Wednesday!! Every Wednesday I'm gonna keep you updated on the baby progress. So without further ado...

How Far Along: 13 weeks
Size of baby: It's 3 inches, the size of a peach, approx. .81 oz.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: -2.4 lbs.
Maternity Clothes: None yet! Not even a belly band or elastic.
Gender: Don't know. I'm leaning towards boy again after a few weeks of being convinced it's a girl.
Movement: It's moving but I won't be able to feel it for a few more weeks at least.
Sleep: Sleeping great! I could sleep for a long time and could take naps too.
What I miss: Lunchmeat. OMG, what I wouldn't do for a turkey sandwich or a spicy Italian from Subway... it's killing me.
Cravings: Lunchmeat? Fruit, lots of fruit, which is what I've been eating.
Symptoms: Tired all the time, some very mild nausea, bad acne.
Best Moment this week: Noticing a belly bump!! When I suck in my tummy, only the top part really goes back, and the bottom stays popped out a bit. I still fit in my clothes, though I've noticed my jeans and capris getting a bit tighter to do up. A couple more weeks and I don't know if I'll be able to button them anymore. I'm anxious to start showing!

Day Three Hundred Forty-Two

There's a ghost in my house. There has to be, because why else would Dexter bark madly at 3:30am? I woke up to him growling and then this loud, massive howl bark, which terrifies me when it's nighttime. It sounds a lot like his "someone's at the door" barks. I told him to shut up but after he stood at my door very intently, I had to go investigate. Great. I figured it was the cat trying to eat his food (he does that a lot) but when I stepped off the bed, I nearly stepped on the kitty. Yikes. My alarms went up.

I grabbed my phone, ready to call the MPs if I needed to, and angry that I didn't have a good weapon! The guns are locked up and the samurai sword is hidden. Hey, I'll use a sword if I need to! Dexter is my back up, but he stayed behind me as we walked down the stairs, and wouldn't go past the landing until I went into the kitchen. Thanks, dog.

Thankfully, it was nothing, except a ghost or whatever. Dexter was all wary which made me all wary and between 3:30am and 5am, I barely slept. Every house noise made me open my eyes and for awhile, I thought of throwing in the towel. Eventually I slept fitfully until after 7am.

So yeah, my day started out a bit grumpy. It hasn't helped that in the last 3 days I've talked to Brandon for a total of 30 minutes. I know he's super busy and will be for a couple days more, but it doesn't mean I like it!

And what else is better for a grumpy morning? A trip to the DMV! Surprisingly, it calmed me down. With my safety inspection and waiting in line, it took a total of an hour and a half. But I was able to relax, play games on my phone, eavesdrop and be quiet for a bit. Now I'm driving a legal car! Brandon will be so proud when he hears.

After a fairly typical day of being tempted at Old Navy, I came home to relax some more. Before dinner I got this urge to make muffins, so... I made some!

They aren't that pretty, but they're tasty. It's just a regular muffin with jelly on top - a jelly muffin! A simple recipe with stuff you most likely have in your house. I don't do these for looks, by the way, just for taste. ;)

Whoa, long post! Guess I'm talkative today without Brandon! :D

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty-One

I was very productive this morning! I did some thinking over the weekend on how I will tackle this writing job and what I needed to accomplish, and slowly I'm working on it. Here's what I came up with, because I have a few different writing-related tasks I need to do:

- Edit and finish my novel, Calista.
- Research 19th century everything (i.e.: Read the books I bought!)
- Research freelance writing (i.e.: Read more books I bought)
- Write another novel.
- Keep writing articles for the Homefront United Network.

Easy, right? Haha. I read recently an author's approach to everything he did: Do it in 30 minuted increments. Set a timer and do nothing but your task for those 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, get up, even if in the middle of a sentence, and do something else for 10-15 minutes. Lather, rinse, repeat. This guy would do it for 3 hours, I did it for an hour and a half today.

First half hour: Working on the new novel to exercise my brain. Second half hour: Work on my old novel. Third half hour: Walk dog (ok, not actually writing). Fourth half hour: Historical research. And you know what? I feel much better about myself! I think I'm gonna keep this up but keep adding time.

Of course, tomorrow might not work out so well. I have plans to tackle the DMV to finally register my car. Brandon is mad because it expired in April...my bad. They never mailed me a new registration thing, so I've been putting it off! I guess I'll just go in and see what happens. And I've been putting off the stupid safety inspection, which expired way too long ago. I just hate that thing. Plus, I need new tires.

Can't I just wait until he gets home? It's so close!

In other news... I had delicious Costco greek salad tonight for dinner. I've been biting my nails more lately, I don't know why. I need to brush Dexter's teeth, but he hates the toothbrush! Loves the toothpaste though... Ok, I'm gonna watch my movie now, the previews finished. ;)

PS: I bought Dexter a new bed in preparation of Brandon coming home. He was scared of it. That's him at the end of the hall with his bone in his mouth. Whatever. :P

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day Three Hundred Forty

Another ten days down!! I'll be honest, I'm starting to get jealous of the others who get their husbands home sooner. I mean, it's really not that much sooner, but it is, you know? In the next few weeks I get to see FB status updates galore about how happy everyone is that their guys are back while I wait, and wait, and wait. Brandon is going to be on some of the last flights out. I guess the good thing about this is Christina is in the same boat as me! We can be grumpy together. ;)

Speaking of grumpiness... did I have a morning! Winston was meowing at me non-stop, Dexter was needy, the stupid self-checkout was being dumb at the commissary, I barely got to speak to Brandon, plus all kinds of stuff (including hormones) just threw me over the edge for a bit. I had to calm down with some deep breaths and some Sims to get out of my grumpiness.

I went to the farmer's market with Christina. We both got crepes and wandered around, then decided to head to the other side of the island and go to the NEX. I needed some makeup and a dog bed (I didn't get this because it was so expensive!), she needed a bunch of other stuff! It was a good trip. :)

Oh, and tonight we made a real dinner together. We both need to get back into the habit of cooking by the time our guys get back! We made chicken burgers, corn on the cob and baked beans. Nom nom nom.

Ok, back to the MTV Movie Awards!

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Nine

A storm is coming! I can see it out my window. I was woken up last night by drenching rain, though this time I didn't check my clock to see what time. And surprisingly, I slept until 7:30am this morning. That was nine and a half hours! I think because Dexter was scared, he decided not to wake me up. Yay.

We had dog training today! Dexter did super well, though he got a little nervous around the other big dogs, and that distracted him. But he's learning to heel, stand and stay, sit and stay, among other things. He's such a smart puppy! I just need to keep him focused.

In the afternoon I went on a search for a certain type of tea that Christina needed with her. We searched around a Longs Drugs before heading south to the mall. We found it in abundance there at Down To Earth, a vegan/organic store, and I got a yummy ginger ale drink! We wandered around Bed, Bath and Beyond, then decided to have dinner at Farrell's. It was alright except they wouldn't give us a high chair (dumb) and they forgot my pickle spear!

I hope the power doesn't go out! It gets creepy in here with no light ;). I better go find a flashlight just in case.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day Three Hundred Thirty-Eight

I wanted to start with a big Thank You! to everyone who commented on my blog last night, as well as all the friends who commented on my announcement on Facebook. It surprised a lot of people, but that made me smile :). Brandon and I are super excited for this new part of our lives. It's coming at the perfect time!

This morning at 6am I was woken up by a blast of thunder and lightning. Poor Dexter, my wimpy dog, started barking and I told him to jump up on the bed. He promptly snuggled right beside me. I pet him for a bit until he calmed down and then I managed to doze for almost an hour longer.

When I was officially awake, he was glued to my side. In the bathroom, there he was. In the kitchen, there he was. Blowdrying my hair? Between me and the vanity. In the shower? On the mat. Sitting at my desk? At my feet.

Poor guy. We really got the wimpiest dog ever. I had another movie date with Brandon today! Christina and I were going to make a day trip to Whole Foods (it really has to be a day trip), but the rain smashed those plans. Brandon and I watched Juno together. After our lovely movie, I headed over to Christina's to play a bunch of board games. I think I lost all of them. Whatever :P

We ended the night with a Journey tribute band called Separate Ways. I was surprised to find out that I knew a lot of the songs! They were good, I had fun. It was a great day! (Can you tell I'm loving not having to work?)