Monday, January 28, 2013

My Next 30 Years

Today I am 30 years old! I can't believe it most days. It feels like I just got out of college a year or two ago, not almost 8 years ago! While I enjoyed my 20s, part of me couldn't wait until my 30th birthday when I could play this song.

Tim McGraw definitely hit it on the nail with this one! So, while I look forward to "My Next Thirty Years" as I raise my family, I have to be thankful for the last thirty years and all I have experienced, witnessed, and achieved.

"I think I'll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it's time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years."

So, here is a wrap up of the highlights my last thirty years:

- I turned 3 the day the Challenger exploded, it sparked an interest in aviation and space safety in me that never died.
- My only sister was born and died when I was getting ready to start Kindergarten. My grandfather died about a year later.
- I was privileged enough to go to Space Camp/ Academy for seven years. (My team received the highest award 3 times!)
- I graduated high School with a 3 1/2 year Army ROTC scholarship to the school I grew up wanting to attend- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, as well as the offer of another one to Auburn.
- I know where I was when "The World Stopped Turning."
- I got married to my best friend (Another great Tim McGraw song in that one!)
- I graduated college and unfortunately, got a medical discharge from the Army instead of my commission.
- I lived and worked in Germany for a year and a half.
- Will and I struggled with infertility for over three years, and were told we could not have children without medical intervention.
- Our "Rainbow baby" Keirnan Andrew was born May 10, 2009.
- Our second son, James Donald, was born November 13, 2010.
- We survived two deployments to Iraq. (Will to Iraq, and me at home during my MS3 year of school, and again with a toddler and a newborn!)
- I lost a dear friend in Iraq June 2006. (You are loved and missed John!)
- Our third son, Owen Mason, was born December 3, 2012.
- We've moved across the world and/ or the country 3 times.
- We've bought and sold a home.
- I completed most of my Master of Aeronautical Science degree. (By most I mean all but my thesis, which has been half done since Keirnan was born!)
- I have been a stay at home mother for almost 4 years, something I never thought I would be, but something I have enjoyed and found I am blessed to be able to do.
- I found a church home, accepted God, and was Baptized a year ago tomorrow.
- I have made more friends in my life than I can count, some I have lost over the years, many will always be a part of my life.

This list shows just how blessed I have been in life. It hasn't always been easy. There have been difficult times, but I have such an amazing family; through blood, through marriage, and through the Army. I can't thank God enough for all my blessings these last thirty years.

I look forward to my next thirty years and all the ups and downs they will hold.

"Hey my next thirty years I'm gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I've done
Maybe now I've conquered all my adolescent fears
And I'll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I'm gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I'm doing here
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I'm gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I'll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here, in my next thirty years
In my next thirty years."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crazy Christmas

To say Christmas was crazy is putting it mildly. We went home for the holiday, driving from KS to VA.  It was 2 long days in a minivan with 2 adults, 2 toddlers, 1 newborn, 2 chocolate labs, and all our stuff- it was cramped! We had planned on using the car topper, but couldn't find the keys so ended up stuffing everything inside the van. My husband now understands why I say my next vehicle will have stow and go seats!
At the post Christkindle Market. 
The first few days in VA were spent doing the 'touristy' things with the boys that I insist on doing every time we're home. One day was spent at Arlington national Cemetery and at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. The boys were very well behaved at the cemetery while we 'visited' my old college friend John. Keirnan had some amazing 3 year old wisdom for me that really put a smile on my face. In his very basic way reminded me that all things die in time, and I know John died doing something he believed in.Their favorite part was the dinosaurs at the museum though. almost a month later, both boys still talk about the dinosaur museum!
 The boys got to help decorate my parents' tree and help Grandpa set up the train. They loved watching that train and still talk about that too.  
Trains and Cookies
We spent an entire day at the National Air & Space Museum downtown that got some good results from the boys also. Since we did the Udvar-Hazy Center last winter, we choose to go downtown. I haven't been to that museum in years and while we had a great time, I much prefer the newer Udvar-Hazy Center.
The Wright Brothers
And Mom was so excited to do Christmas cookies with the boys. Its a tradition we did every year when I was a child, and I remember her doing them with my younger cousins also. So, this year being able to watch my own children decorate cookies with Grandma was very special!
Making Christmas cookies
My boys after church with Nanny & Pop-Pop, and some of my cousins and aunts on Christmas Eve.

Keirnan (3.5years), Owen (2weeks), James (2years)
The trip home from VA was a 3 day adventure as we decided not to push the boys, but the extra night in the hotel definitely pushed us! We were driving against a snow storm through WV, but missed the worst of it, and got home literally as another storm hit our area! We were more than happy to be home and start getting back into our own routines again. It was a wonderful trip and end to a pretty great year! (We got home New Years Eve)

Owen Mason

Due to the unrelenting craziness that has ensued, I am just now getting around to this post. (As well as many others in a futile attempt to catch up my blog!)

Owen Mason was due December 1, 2012. After having Keirnan at 37+6 weeks and James at 39+6 weeks, I fully expected Owen to be another November birthday. I was wrong, he was born in a bigger rush than James on December 3, 2012!! So, here is the story of Owen's birth:

I had a 40 week appt on the morning of December 3, 2012. I was 40 weeks 2 days pregnant. I was told I was dilated about 3cm and maybe 50% effaced. Needless to say, I had about given up and the induction was scheduled for the following Monday. That afternoon I started having contractions at 5 minutes apart and picking up in intensity. Will called to check on me, as he was in the field, around 3pm. I told him I was having some regular contractions but they weren't anything major and I'd call when I needed him to head home. About 20 minutes later I called him home. While waiting for him to get home from the ranges on the back side of the post, I called Ashley and let her know as the boys were going to be staying with he Goldman/ Salkowski family. She said her boys were sick and send Justin over to watch the boys at our house until she got off work.
We got to Labor & Delivery around 4pm and after waiting 45 minutes for someone to see me I was told I was still 50% effaced and 3, maybe 4, cm dilated. They sent me home to come back when my contractions were 3 minutes apart. We were not impressed and figured it would be James all over again and we'd be back in the morning. So off to Taco Bell for dinner before going home. While eating I started talking to a very nice woman who noticed my contractions picking up and started timing them. By the time we finished eating I was at a steady 3 minutes. I called L&D and they said to come back.
A half hour later I went back in, as my contractions were now 3 minutes apart and had increased in intensity greatly. Again, I was told that while my contractions had progressed as they should for delivery, I was still at only 3-4cm dilated and they could not admit me to the ward. I warned them that my previous children had both come very fast, with the last showing less than an hour after reaching the hospital. (I had him at IACH also, November 2010.) They said it was hospital policy that they could not admit me if I was not showing “progress.” The Nurse Midwife on duty and Dr. Long, the OB coming on duty, both told me to stay near the hospital and kept an eye on me while my contractions continued to intensify in the waiting room. The midwife was amazing as she massaged my back a bit for me to show Will how to help me. I spent a lot of time leaning on the front desk, thinking it was a good thing it was past office hours!
After 20 minutes they told me they would check me again. They had to wheel me back onto the ward as I could no longer walk between contractions. The got me back into the triage room and checked me. I don't know what I was at, but the nurse was suddenly in a hurry and they got me into a real room. Funny bit is, its the same room I had James in!! Not many military kids can say they were born at the same hospital as a sibling, even fewer can say they were born in the same room!
The nurse  got my IV in but hadn't hooked it up yet as she was still finding my pre-admission paperwork in the computer when my water broke and my son immediately followed. They clocked my labor in the hospital at a half hour. When my water broke, I told the nurse and she turned around saying let me check. She barely caught Owen as he came out. The bed was not broken down, the Dr was not in the room, and Owen hit his face on the bed! (He had some bruising from it for a couple days!) As she was catching, I found I still had a bit of humor laughing as she leaned up over me repeatedly pushing the call button and getting exasperated at the answering nurse! hehe She yelled over the mic that the baby was coming now and get the Dr in the room. He walked in literally as Owen came out. His face made me laugh again. (Well, it might have been knowing I was never going to have to push something that big out again!)
My son was born at 8:35pm, no more than 4 hours after I had originally gone in and been told to go home. If I had gone home as the nurse suggested after my second time coming in, I would have not made it to my car, none the less, back up to the ward. Needless to say, I wasn't happy that the nurse had actually tried to send me home! (Thank God I listened to the midwife who said stay nearby!)
So, there it is. The fast story of Owen's entry into the world! He was 21 inches long, and 7lbs 8.5oz. I'd post more pictures but when your labor goes that fast, there just aren't any of those wonderful picture moments! (And I realized last week that first 'family photo' is non existent for each of the boys! Oops!)