Father’s Day

Being in the military is definitely a dedication. My husband was in the field my last week of pregnancy. He got to come home “early” when I went into labor and he got 10 days of paternity leave — although there’s some up-in-the-air possible 21 days of paternity leave in the military that no one seems to be aware of or implemented yet.

He was home for about a week before he had to leave for another 2.5 weeks out in the field again. So he’s hardly gotten to spend any time with our new baby at all.

It’s especially hard, and sad, that he won’t get to spend our son’s first Father’s Day with him — thus is the life of an infantry officer, they’re basically guaranteed to deploy, so they are constantly training for deployment; which means they are never around. It definitely takes its toll on the family dynamic.

Happy Father’s Day to my hubby. He is the best provider for our family. I know that everything he does is for us. ♡


Spring Fever

I’m dying!!! — no, but seriously, I have an awful cold that I got from my daughter, and it’s the worse, especially since my baby will be here in a little over a week.

My hubby will be gone this week to go to the field, and hopefully will be back the night before my scheduled c-section (unless I go into labor before then); the Dr. and Mrs. are coming down to stay with us at the end of next week in-case the baby decides to arrive while daddy is in the field… the life of an infantry officer — woe is me.

Since he won’t be here to celebrate Mother’s Day with me, he indulged my plant-craze… it was the only thing I liked about Iowa was having a garden; and after living in an apartment in Georgia for almost a year, I’m glad to have our beautiful house here.

My mini succulent plants in the front living room (I crochet that sunflower table runner for my coffee table… makes a beautiful gift, I LOVE personal DIY gifts!), and my majestic palm in the corner.

My new bonsai tree; it was originally outside on our patio, but I moved it inside.

My hubby bought this one, it’s some sort of ivy… (and one of my hubby’s paintings that he painted in college in the background wall).

My mass cane, with my bonsai tree, and my lucky bamboo that I’ve had for about 5 years now.

My mass cane in front of the window… I crochet those sunflower curtain ties (the design on the curtains are sunflowers), so it matches! (I ended up moving this plant up against the wall between my curio and bookcase.)

My humongous peace lily. It’s very pretty… this ended up being moved to our bedroom because I was sick of looking at my hubby’s ugly snake plant!

In our front living room; a new lucky bamboo and an African violet… and my hubby’s mint plant.

A close-up of my hubby’s painting in the front living room; he painted this in college during a family vacation in Michigan (it’s my favorite).

My ZZ plant that I’ve had for about 3 years now. It’s in the baby’s room.

In my hubby’s office… some type of ivy and an orchid.

Sun coming up… in our bedroom, another painting my hubby painted in college, and my peace lily (and his ugly snake plant).

CPT. America ♡

*(Update: I found out it was 10-miles, not 10K… so even better because 10-miles is definitely a longer distance than 10-kilometers, ha!)

So incredibly proud of my husband — he ran the Army 10-Miler Qualifier in an hour this morning (and in the rain too!). #ScreamingEagles

I knew he’d do really good though, since he always excels in these types of events, like being recognized by the commanding general for coming in first for the 12-mile ruck march when he earned his EIB two years ago.

We are all so incredibly proud of him. Another feather in his cap, almost as exciting as his Bronze Star Medal for Afghanistan. ♡

I wish I wasn’t so sick and miserable so I could have cheered him on (I actually think I caught a cold from my little snot-nose daughter!).

USO Baby Shower

Today I attended a baby shower hosted by the USO and Target (one of my favorite retail stores); I made two new friends that I’m really excited about — as well as having a delicious catered luncheon, played icebreaker games, met a parenting author (and got a signed copy of her book); and got an awesome goodie bag from Target that included a baby bath gift set, a Peter Rabbit baby’s first year keepsake book, a compact traveling diaper/changing bag, a Target $25 gift card, and an event tote bag.

Please donate to your local USO organization, which unlike other “charities”, actually do a lot for service members and their families (my other favorite organization is the Salvation Army… stay away from Goodwill though!).

Also, be sure to check out author, Heidi Murkoff, she’s on Facebook and Instagram, and has written several books on parenting that are very informative (especially for the newbie moms out there). ♡

Breast Pump Through Tricare

If you’re a spouse of an active-duty service member (or you’re in the military yourself), Tricare will pay 100% of the cost for a breast pump for expecting or new mothers. (Thank you Obama — this has been the law since 2013.)

I have Tricare Prime. Their policy on breast pumps are:

You need a prescription for it, and you’re only allow one pump per pregnancy (but you get up to 3 years of supplies for your pump, like storage bags for breast milk, etc.). The prescription also must state what kind of breast pump you’re eligible to get; whether it’s manual, electric, or hospital rental.

The best thing about Tricare’s breast pump coverage is that you can choose any brand you want, and from any retailer or supplier that accepts Tricare. It doesn’t matter if it cost $50 or $500, or if it’s a store-brand pump or a Medela, Tricare will pay for the whole thing.

I Google and went with a company in Ohio called 1NaturalWay; I read a Military.com article, and they had a sponsorship blurb in the article. I then read the reviews on their FB page.

It was easy enough to use, and fast service too… I already had my prescription on hand, so everything was done all in one morning. Shipping is free through regular USPS with tracking, arrives within a few days to a week (depending on where you’re shipping); definitely faster if you’re shipping in and around OH area — I did it Friday early morning, everything was approved and ready to ship by the afternoon, and delivered on Monday.

My only complaint is that I had four different people emailing me to send my prescription through various methods, and each time I submitted it, I got an email congratulating me and telling me my order has been approved by my insurance.

If you have your benefit number, you do not need to put your sponsor’s SS# (which, if you’re in DEERS, you should definitely not ever have a need to put it, since the beneficiary number is on the back of your military ID card) — just in case you’re worried or wondering about what personal info you need to fill out.

A bit of caution though, be sure of the brand you want, because you’re only allowed ONE pump per pregnancy; so if you ordered a Medela but decided the SpeCtra is better, you’re out of luck (and money) because Tricare won’t pay for another one — not even if it broke on its own, that’s something you’ll have to go through the manufacturer, and hopefully they have at least some sort of typical one year manufacturer’s warranty that will cover it. (In case you’re curious, I got the SpeCtra S2.)

CPT. America

Congratulations to my hubby — he has earned his German proficiency badge, gold level.

To add on to his stellar Army career: the Army called while we were on our honeymoon last year to give him the Bronze Star Medal for his deployment in Afghanistan; he has completed Air Assault and Airborne, Ranger, and served with a LRS company; and he was recognized by the commanding general when he was at Fort Hood for earning his EIB (because he came in first for the 12-mile ruck march and Objective Bull)… oh, and earning his MBA.

Two more jumps and he’ll qualify for Jumpmaster (I am hoping he’ll be able to get his jumps in while we are at Campbell); I know he was disappointed that he wasn’t able to get two more jumps in before heading to Afghanistan — he would have gone to Pathfinder School if he hadn’t spent a month doing the selection process for SFAB at Bragg; but thank God because the branch manager called to tell us he has a choice of his top picks (Campbell or Hawaii).

We are all so proud of him. ♡

Ode to my hubby ♡

In a previous post, I wrote about overcoming disappointment — I’ve always said that God loves me the most…

My hubby was given his top two choices from his branch manager, Hawai’i or Kentucky. Now, I know you’re probably thinking that’s a no-brainer, but the thing is… Fort Campbell is only four hours from Cincinnati, where my hubby’s from… and it’s where I wanted to go.

I know he’s extremely disappointed, and he felt very much forced to give up Hawai’i — which I know is everyone’s top choice and an amazing opportunity; but I rather be closer to family with a new baby on the way. Also, it would have been very expensive for me to travel back to NYC like I do now, and the flight would have been like 17 hours long or more from HI.

Besides, Campbell is better for his career. He will most likely deploy to Iraq or Africa, and as an infantry officer he needs to be deployable to various locations… yet, I can’t help but have remorse, regret, and feel very guilty for making him give up Hawai’i.

I appreciate him so much for doing everything he can to make me happy, and I wish this didn’t make him so miserable. I know he feels like he’ll never get another chance at HI, but what are the odds that luck would have given him his top two choices anyway? It’s not as if we were choosing HI vs. any other location other than Campbell; I mean, of course then I would have said we’re definitely going to HI… but what happened was we didn’t even choose Hawai’i as an option originally.

See, I told him to not even list it as a choice for the branch manager because no one ever gets HI, so he put Campbell down as his first choice… but a few days later the branch manager called to tell him that there’s two available openings for him, Campbell and HI, and that he needed an answer ASAP (by the next morning).

He was already excited and intent on going to Hawai’i, and he told me on the phone that we had two choices to pick from, but he wouldn’t tell me what they were. When I came home, he gave me a list of pros/cons because it was unbelievable that we got our first choice and a top location choice to pick from.

We discussed it for over two hours, and eventually he gave in and I got what I wanted… but I know he feels a bit of regret and resentment for giving up Hawai’i to go somewhere like Ft. Campbell, KY. I love him so much for it though.

I told him that he can always hold it over me — if we get into a fight, he can always say: What about the time I gave up Hawai’i because you wanted to live in Kentucky!?

Family Guy

I love this photo of us.

Every woman wants a man to feel safe with; my guy is the best protector and provider for our little family, and we love him so much for it.

We are so proud of him for so many reasons: Bronze Star Medal for Afghanistan, LRS, Ranger School, Air Assault School, Airborne School (2 jumps away from qualifying for Jump Master…); getting his MBA, his EIB on the first try… the list is endless. He does so much for his country, the Army, his career — but especially for me. ♡

I never felt I needed a man to support me, as I’ve always pride myself on my independence; but do feel sometimes I need a protector, and I love having a man that I feel so safe and protected with. I seriously get so anxious when he’s away from home because I need a man in the house! (And because he fixes everything, gets all the stuff on the top shelves… and those annoying jars that just won’t open.)

I am so thankful to God for such a great man for a husband and father. ♡ — and because I know any children we have won’t end up being short, ha!


Identity Theft from Afghanistan to NY

The mister called. I’m not sure if it was because he missed me or if he thought he might get injured or killed today… they took IDF hits today. About 3 rockets coming from somewhere in the mountains, landing about a couple of hundred meters from their building. I won’t hear from him for 10-20 days while they’re doing whatever it is they’re doing over there — advising the Afghan army??? I mean, the coalition forces are gone, and anyone over there now is only on as “advisors”, right?

I couldn’t log on to Hulu. The subscription was put on hold… apparently someone stole his credit card information and bought over $500 worth of stuff at a Home Depot in NY. He got an alert from his credit card company about the charges, and called his credit card company on his phone to find out what was going on — I hate to think what that call cost! I’m thinking that this probably happened when he was buying his Afghan rug for a few hundred bucks! Don’t be fooled… just because they walk around with goats and live in tents doesn’t mean they’re not digitally savvy — how else do you explain all them IEDs that they rig up by pressing a button on their cell phone!?

He said that the thief tried out the card at a vending machine for $1 to see if it worked before going crazy at Home Depot… definitely a man, I mean, what woman would spend that kind of money at a store like that??? Besides, Home Depot is probably the place to shop if you’re wanting to build a home-made bomb with money that you stole out of a deployed officer’s credit card — without ever even having to go through their wallet!

It’s crazy. Before you used to have to worry about walking down a dark alley with your wallet… now people can rob you without even getting out of bed and in their underwear!