26 July 2011

Never met a girl could make me feel the way that you do...

That's right I'm taken it back. Rare Earth recorded "Get Ready" in 1970, and it could not be a more appropriate song to help introduce the fact we have a little GIRL in the oven. As soon as this song popped in my head, I pictured a few years down the road in the car, singing this as a duet with my little songbird. (She's surely going to love music as much as her parents do, which is why I'm constantly singing around the house now that she can hear me!) It would go something like this...

Me: "Tweedley dee, tweedley dum..."

Mini Lady Freed: "Look out baby, 'cause here I come!" 

So that's the latest news in the Freed household. A girl. Needless to say, Chris and I were actually shocked that it wasn't a boy. I don't know why we got it in our heads, but we were completely putting all of our eggs in the boy basket. During the ultrasound, I've truly never been more in awe in my life. Seeing all of those tiny individual perfectly proportioned bones was amazing. 

Here's her little spine...see what I mean?

The doc started at her head, slowly showing us all of the body parts. All I wanted him to do was to skim down to the business end of things so I didn't have to wait any longer! Finally he did. He said, "See those two white lines...that means it's a baby girl!" 

Chris and were...stunned... Seriously? A girl? Well there goes our intuition!

Now don't get me wrong, I love a bright shade of pink, but I'm a little worried. I've been telling my mom that I'm trying to register in a multitude of colors so that it doesn't look like Pepto Bismol threw up on our house when she finally arrives home. Do you know that it's nearly impossible NOT to find something that's entirely pink in the baby girls section? It was news to Chris and I this weekend when we ventured out to Babies 'R Us and Target to get our price gunning awwwwn.  We found ourselves asking over and over, does this look too much like a boy? We figured we're going to try and keep pink at bay for all of the non-clothing items. That way it won't be too overwhelming. 

So go ahead, check out what we've got on the registries so far.

Now that I've let the idea of a girl settle for a few days, I think it's growing on me (no pun intended). Let the adorable dresses begin!

Someone says Hi, by the way. Looking right at the camera, she's already a ham like both of her parents were. I'll see if I can scrounge up some old video of Chris and I to prove it.

20 July 2011

1, 2, 3, Kick!

On July 15th, I felt the baby kick for the first time and actually knew what was happening. What a life-changing experience. It makes this whole pregnancy thing finally real! I think maybe that it's been going on for a couple of weeks, but I attributed the "bubbles" to tummy gas. In even better news, Chris was able to feel a very strong kick with his hand on my belly the very next day. Let me tell you, that was one proud daddy! Since then, I've noticed a pattern to the kicking episodes. I usually have a few when I wake up, around 7am. Then a few more around 10/11. Mini will rest for a while through lunch, and then get back at it around 3pm. That's the most active time for the little squirt. Then not too much until 9/10/11pm. Of course there are random one-kicks throughout the day that keep me smiling!

I've been feeling fabulously the past month, and I can't wait for the next appointment to check on how Mini Freed is doing. Speaking of the next appointment, this Friday is D day (provided that Mini Freed cooperates during the ultrasound to show us his/her stuff).


 Send me your predictions!! 

Stay tuned for the big announcement!

In the mean time, here are more belly pics, proving my growing wasteline. 
This is 20 weeks 2 days.

Remmie is still quite interested in my bump.

...or maybe she's just a camera hog.

Happy Wednesday!

19 July 2011

Space A, Schmace A.

It was May 26, and we drove down to Jackson, Mississippi (yes I was singing the song in my head as I typed that) to begin our European Extravaganza. The plan was to fly Space A from the Jackson Air Guard Station  in the morning to McGuire AFB in New Jersey, then continue on to Ramstein AFB in Germany.

For those of you who don't know, Uniformed Services Space-A Travel or Department of Defense Military Space-Available Travel is a means by which uniformed members of United States services, reservists and retirees, United States Department of Defense civilian personnel (under certain circumstances), and each of these groups' dependents are permitted to travel on aircraft under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Defense when excess capability allows. [FOR FREE] 

We got to the hotel late and crashed. The 5 hour drive wasn't terrible, but driving it all at night was tiring. We woke in the morning to grab breakfast and head over to the base to get our names on the manifest list for the flight. We were the first ones signed up and very confident we'd make the flight. We did know at some point during this Space A, free travel, no frills journey that we may be delayed or set off course, seeing as how extra passengers are not the military's priority. Duh. After signing up we set out for Barnes and Noble and Target to waste a few hours before returning to base for the flight's show time. The flight was scheduled to leave at 1330, but changed courses and was now taking off at 1530. Good news for  us, it was a direct flight to McGuire. We checked our luggage, went through "security" and waited to board the plane. We sat in jump seats lining the inside of the cargo area of the plane. Super comfy- NOT. Chris however, got to sit in the extremely quiet C17 cockpit for the entire flight. He does his best to BS with the best of them, and he thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I, on the other hand, was hoping and praying that my pregnancy would not provoke motion sickness. I was lucky, and to be honest, it was better than riding in the back of a car.

Upon arriving at McGuire, I stayed to grab our bags and Chris ran to the counter to check in for the flight to Ramstein. Unfortunately, this is where we learned that a previous C5 flight to Ramstein had been cancelled. This means that anyone ahead of us in priority or check in time for that flight could bump us off. We were so close- just 2 seats away from making that flight. We knew there would be more flights to Ramstein, just not the same day. In the mean time, we met up with a great friend, Angela, whom we knew from pilot training days in Del Rio. She was so kind to welcome us back into her home and lend us her guest bedroom for as long as we needed. I'm pretty sure Koa and Zoe, her Labs, were even more ecstatic to see us unexpectedly.

We tried for a flight that next evening- it was cancelled for passengers, due to a full load of cargo. We discovered that Dover AFB had a flight to Ramstein in a few hours, so we hightailed it down the interstate at 10pm. We got checked in and found out it was a C5 flight. This meant two things: 1. Good news because a C5 will hold up to 70 passengers. 2. Bad news because C5s are notorious for breaking down and not flying when scheduled. Unfortunately after waiting 2 hours, we learned that this flight was also entirely filled with cargo, sparing no room for passengers. Crapola. Now we'd have to sit in the terminal until the morning and find our way back to McGuire for the next flight out to Ramstein. Luckily Chris had a good friend from ROTC stationed at Dover. We called Troy and Natalie and got to crash at their place for a few hours and actually get some sleep. (Trying to sleep sitting up in a military airport terminal is not exactly easy or successful.) We also got to meet his brand new daughter, Avery, just 3 weeks old. Such a sweet pea! Angela -thank goodness for Angela- drove back to Dover to pick us up and take us back home. I'm not sure what we would've down without her chauffeuring abilities. 

We finally made it out of McGuire on a C17 to Ramstein late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning. This flight was great. Being able to stretch out and sleep on the floor is amazing for a 9 hour flight, even if it is freezing cold. Alas, we ultimately arrived at Ramstein around 4 pm. Woo hoo!!! Not exactly how we planned to get from the US to Europe, but it was free. We'll take it, not to mention all of the wonderful people we got to reunite with and meet for the first time during our long layover on the east coast. Thanks everyone! We will definitely try to make another Space A trip again, except this next time will all be stateside. Maybe we'll take the chance to go and visit some of our many friends stationed across the country at various bases!?

Coming up : more on the big vacation overseas...

16 July 2011

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.

We've made a couple of updates this week to the front of the house. Our old garage lights were just not cutting it. When they start blending in with the brick, it's time for a new coat of paint.

Here's a better angle.

Can't hardly see them, right?

Well, here they are, sporting their new shade.

(I apologize for the difference in brick color- the sun makes such a difference on the time of day!)
A bit of sanding and scrubbing brought these babies some new life. A little wash of the panes even revealed seeded glass! Oh happy day to have light shining through these gems at night.

Here's a better look.

And one more for the full effect...

Notice anything different about this last one? Hint: There's a living green thing growing between the windows in the front bed. Weee!

We finally planted the Sunshine Blue bush where it should have been placed when we first brought it home. 

(Ignore the weeds.) 

The next step will be to rip out the existing weed blocker fabric (which is obviously doing wonders), remove the mulch and excess yuckiness, then reshape the bed to make way for new bushes and perennials. I'm sighing right now just thinking of all that work we have ahead of us...in 100 degree heat and humidity. Joy.

While I'm at it, I'll take you on a tour of the rest of the growth activity we have in the yard.

This cute 'lil guy we bought around Christmas from Wal-Mart for $8. It was about half the size then, planted in a 4" tin pot. Since we've transplanted it to a 10" pot and moved it outside, it has just exploded. We're hoping that once the bed is reshaped in the front, he can live on the corner or the house to give some height and dimension to the front.

Here's the veggie garden, starting to look tired and hot from all of this heat. Yellow squash on the left, purple potatoes in the middle, shallots in front, snow peas growing on the chicken wire, tomatoes in the Topsy Turvy, and peppers on the right side all by their lonesome.

On the other side of the backyard, our pepper plants and growing nicely, too.

Serranos in the back, jalapenos in front, habaneros and bell peppers in the pots-soon to be transplanted to next to the other peppers in veggie garden box.

On the back porch, trying to stay out of the scorching sun rays, our herbs are blowing up.

Spearmint on the left (which has already been severely trimmed back twice), Spicy Globe Basil in the middle, and Sweet Basil on the right. The little pots in front are cilantro and salvia, growing ever so slowly. 

So, there you have it. A little tour of what's been popping up around the yard and the summer and the heat drag on. 

I'll leave you with a bit of happy... a view from our driveway a few weeks ago. Breathtaking.

15 July 2011

Hotter than a pepper sprout.

It has been quite toasty here in central Arkansas the past few weeks. Earlier this week we received rain...cue the hallelujah chorus. It was still so hot after the rain, the roads were steaming like a scary movie. We needed it so badly and our veggie/pepper garden was super excited about the result. So much so, that we came out the next morning to this big guy. Our first gorgeous yellow squash.

Remmie was pretty excited when we brought it and its little brother inside, 
as it so closely resembles her favorite toy- Mr. Bowling Pin.


I've just had a pregnant moment and made a weird connection in my head.  Don't judge.

I just realized I've never shared about my job. I've been working as a nanny to a little girl named Averi since February. I've been fortunate enough to work so close to home ( < 1/2 mi) and to have such a flexible boss! Averi is now 20 months old and a spitfire. And apparently she loves enchiladas. 

And this was after I took the empty plate away. We had quite a party at lunch on Tuesday. She loves it so much she wants to be an enchilada...

...self-tanner face and all. Little pepper sprout!
It won't be too long and Averi and her family will be moving back to Texas. Until then, I'm privileged enough to capture moments like this on a day to day basis.