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.)

Almost there …

My third trimester is starting, hooray!

I am not as nauseous and sick as I was before… now I only throw up occasionally.

The other day, I took my glucose screening test. The nurse asked me what I ate. I said I had McDonald’s with a Powerade. She said, Are you sure you want to take the test? Because if it comes back high, you’ll have to fast and take the 4 hour test. I should have listened.

I hate going on post because I always get lost. I figured since I was there, I’d take it anyway, despite the Powerade — I was confident that since I usually eat healthy anyway, the McDonald’s wouldn’t make a difference. I was wrong.

The doctor called to tell me that my glucose screening test was high, and that I had to take the glucose tolerance test instead.

So I got lost driving for like 45 minutes, made it in there after 8:30-ish, and didn’t eat anything since the night before. The nurses said, We told you to take it another day instead! (This is true, I remembered for my son and daughter, I had taken it in the morning and had not had anything to eat or drink before taking it.)

They took my blood, and then I had to wait about an hour before they gave me that super sugary drink that tastes like Kool-Aid. After that, another hour for my first blood draw, and an hour after that, and the last hour after that (1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours intervals). I finally left a few minutes after noon. I hadn’t eaten all day either (and they took so much blood!).

Of course, my results were fine. (I mean really, I’m like almost 7 months pregnant and only weigh 125 lbs.! I knew I didn’t have gestational diabetes!)

I had a non-invasive genetic screening test done in November. Surprisingly, Tricare paid for the whole thing! (A lot of insurance companies won’t.) I had went to a civilian perinatologist for it. They had 3D/4D ultrasound capabilities and a genetic counselor on site. Tricare paid for it because my regular OB/GYN had deemed I was an “at-risk pregnancy”, so I was given a blanket authorization for all services (including testing) from the perinatologist.

I was worried about chromosomal abnormalities, especially since a woman’s chances of a baby with Down syndrome is 1 out of 350 at 35, and the ratio gets even slimmer with maternal age. My screening came back low-risk; but I was informed that a screening test is NOT the same as a diagnostic test. I did not want an amnio or a CVS since there is a risk of miscarriage with both tests.

However, my baby has two soft markers that I am worried about, at my second trimester ultrasound, an EIF and a short femur. I was told that the soft markers shouldn’t be a cause of concern because one, I am short; and two, EIF are somewhat common in babies whose mothers are Asian. I usually follow-up on these conversations with the fact that my father-in-law is a pediatrician. (Seriously though, how wonderful is it to have a father-in-law who is a pediatrician, especially when you’re pregnant!)

How wonderful would it be if Grandpa could be the baby’s pediatrician, am I right? I had actually asked my hubby if his dad was his pediatrician, and surprisingly he said no… I supposed it would be unethical to have your own children as your patients though. (Although my hubby’s pediatrician did come to our wedding; he works at the same clinic as my father-in-law.)

But I had loved my son’s pediatrician and my OB/GYN in NYC. He delivered my baby instead of some random doctor on-call in the labor ward; and my pediatrician came to the hospital to check my baby (again, instead of some random doctor that was on-call duty at the hospital). For my daughter, her pediatrician in NC was actually in the delivery room with me! After my doctor delivered her, her pediatrician whisked her off with her father to check her.

That’s one thing that I worry about… this will be my first time having a delivery at a military hospital. So I know that I will end up with whoever the doctor on-call is, which makes it very impersonal; the same for the pediatrician… and some Army hospitals don’t even have a pediatrician on-site, you just see a primary care “physician” instead (who sometimes isn’t even an actual medical doctor, but an advanced practice registered nurse instead). Like, my PCP is actually a FNP (family nurse practitioner), and not a MD.

Anyway… I guess I’m just praying that whoever delivers my baby isn’t some newbie on the job getting his feet wet for experience.

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!