Monday, February 23, 2015

The wait.


I’m not the only one that would have a hard time leaving Sammer.

It’s that time of year for us again, or every few years, I guess.  We are due to find out our next assignment any day now.  When we moved here in March of 2013, they told us we’d be here at least 3-3.5 years.  Well, if you’re math is decent, you realize that was 2 years ago and we are already finding out our next assignment.  Liars.  Good thing we bought a house….

So the best possibility would be that Mark gets chosen to transition to the F-35 and we get to stay here for the next few years.  This would be amazing for many reasons – mostly because we’d get to stay and not have to move shortly after having our 3rd baby.  We finally have amazing neighbors right next door and the kiddos love running back and forth between our houses.  I could keep my real estate license active and continue working.  Abbie would be able to stay in a great school and not have to switch schools for the 4th time in 3 years.  Our house could appreciate more and we could do the upgrades to it we’ve been wanting to do.  Mark would pretty much be non-deployable and flying the F-35 would open up more possibilities for jobs after his AF career is over.  We wouldn’t have to try to find a place to rent with 3 dogs and 3 kids.  I could go on and on.  However, this could be a slim chance of him getting this.  I think quite a few people on this VML (Vulnerable to move list) put transitioning to the F-35 as their top choice.

The worst possibility would be that Mark gets assigned to Kunsan, Korea, and go there for 12+ months by himself.  It’s not really feasible to take 3 kids to Kunsan since they don’t have schools over there for Abbie and we wouldn’t be command sponsored.  Mark would be working a lot and he could have to live on base so he might not be able to live with us anyway.  When guys get stationed there and they just have a spouse, it’s a lot easier for the spouse to go as kids complicate everything.  I wouldn’t 100% rule out trying to go with him, but Mark has said if he gets Kunsan, he would prefer us to stay here than go with him.  He didn’t even put this on his ADP (his dream sheet) so he’s a non-volunteer for any Korea assignment but the most openings out of any move we could do would be to Kunsan.  They need pilots there and they said your best chance of staying in the jet is to go to Korea.  Luckily Mark doesn’t necessarily care if he stays in the jet.  He would like to but not if it means being away from his family for a year, including a newborn.  He’d miss pretty much the entire first year of this baby’s life.  And thinking about raising 3 kids, including a newborn that doesn’t sleep, along with 3 dogs for an entire year is enough to give me a panic attack.  I seriously don’t know how I would remain sane doing this for a year by myself.  I don’t have family nearby.  Most of my friends will be moving in the next year or so.  I would pretty much be on my own as a single parent and that scares the absolute shit out of me.  If this wasn’t at all a possibility, I wouldn’t be half as nervous about getting another assignment, but it is.  I am just praying to God he doesn’t get it.

Mark basically put after on his ADP that he is willing to go anywhere, as long as it’s an accompanied assignment.  Even if that means not flying the F-16 anymore, his preference is to be able to have us come with him.  A good possibility would be going to Holloman in Alamogordo, NM, which is in the middle of freakin no where.  The schools are crappy, the area has pretty much nothing except a Wal-Mart, the housing market isn’t that great, but at least we’d be together.  I could handle any place for 3 years as long as I’m with Mark.  I wouldn’t even mind going to Osan, Korea if he could get an accompanied tour there.  I’d just have a hard time leaving Sammer and the other dogs behind.  I’d just have to keep myself busy with crafts or something, but it would be do-able.

There are a bunch of other possibilities, although the chances of getting them are quite a bit less than getting Kunsan or Holloman.  We could go anywhere from Alaska to Nevada to Utah to South Carolina to Mississippi or Texas to Japan to Germany to Italy again plus more that I probably don’t even know about.  I would love to go back overseas but Mark isn’t so sure he wants to go back into the CAF (combat Air Force).

We found out months ago (November??) that we’re going to be on the spring VML and we probably won’t find out until March what our next assignment is.  I wish there wasn’t so much time in between when we found out we could move to where we’re actually moving because I get more and more anxious as time goes on.  Mark is usually the calm one about all of this but I think this time he’s just as anxious as I am.  I do love moving and love meeting new people and seeing new places and we’ve gotten really lucky with our assignments so far.  I just hope our luck hasn’t run out!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day

It was really windy!

This weekend at church the sermon was about marriage and how to make marriages work.  Fitting for Valentine’s Day weekend.  The gist of the sermon was that men need to feel respected and women need to feel loved.  I remember talking to a few different people over the years about how much I respect Mark.  Obviously I love him more than anything, but I have always respected him too.  He’s kind and he’s smart and he’s open minded and even-tempered and he’s driven and I could go on and on.  I remember how I felt about him way back in 2005/2006 when these pictures were taken and I never could have imagined then how I would feel about him now. Markus n me

I’m on a few baby boards right now and I’ve seen a few posts about how girls are afraid their relationships with their boyfriends/fianc├ęs/ husbands will change after they have their baby.  If they only knew the half of it.  I think Mark and my relationship has changed a TON since we had our kids, but it’s 100% for the better.  Seeing Mark in the daddy role is amazing.  I could not ask for a better daddy for my kids, and his love for them is so obvious, and vice versa.  The sun rises and sets on Mark for my kids and they are his biggest fans (besides me) and I love it.  When I was in the hospital last month for the night, I didn’t give Mark one single instruction for the kids.  Not one.  I asked him to get stuff for me to pack in the bag, and I asked if he fed the dogs, but as for the kids, Mark is so involved with them and their daily lives and routines that he already knows everything having to do with them.  The church sermon also talked about typical roles husbands and wives play in the family and they had a few pertaining to kids and who cares for the kids and the pastor said that typically it’s the wife’s job to care for sick kids.  Yes, I do care for the kids when they don’t feel well and I take off work when that happens, but the kids often call out for Mark at night if they wake up needing something.  Sometimes Abbie comes in and says she has a bad dream and she crawls into Mark’s side of the bed and snuggles with him until he puts her back in her bed.  (That might partly be because I sleep like a rock – especially now that I’m pregnant.)  Even tonight, Mark got home after 8pm after working over 10 hrs today and the first thing he does is help get the kiddos to bed.  Ben hasn’t been feeling the best today so he checked on him and asked me what medicine I’ve given him and as soon as he heard Ben make a noise upstairs he went running back up there and took his temp again and gave him some more medicine to help him feel better.  And he also transferred all the pictures I took of the kids today from my phone to his so he can look at them whenever he wants.  This weekend was insanely busy for me and our Valentine’s Day consisted of me showing homes for over 10 hours and him taking care of the kids and cleaning the house.  He never once complains about having to do it all.  us at Caraba's

Sept 2006

I truly don’t think I could have asked or hoped for a better partner in life.  Mark is everything I imagined plus a zillion things I never imagined.  He is one of the most genuine people I know and he’s always quick to give someone the benefit of doubt.  There is this stereotype that fighter pilots have, or I guess many stereotypes, if I’m being honest, and Mark defies all of them, except for the one that most of them are pretty smart.  Being in real estate, I have met lots of different people and have helped many people find houses, including a few guys that work on the flight line as crew chiefs or maintainers and they all have less than ideal thoughts on fighter pilots.  I tell them about Mark and a few of them have met Mark and they ALL say that he is the least “fighter pilot-ish” fighter pilot they’ve ever met and that he doesn’t fit any of the stereotypes.  I absolutely love that he can almost single-handedly break through stereotypes people have built up over YEARS in a matter of meeting them once.  And I also love that he can be an amazing pilot and be voted the best instructor by the last class he taught and not fit the typical fighter pilot mold at all.  There has also been more than once where his students ask him questions or turn to him for advice that they probably wouldn’t ask other instructors for because they know he is so non-judgmental and easy going and he won’t make fun of them for it later on (which happens sometimes in his job).hot MarkApril 2006

Mark, I hope you know how much I love and respect you.  I could write an entire book about all the things I love about you.  For the most part, we’ve had a very easy marriage and I’ve never had to put effort into loving you.  I still get excited when you walk through the door after work or when we get to meet for lunch.  And part of the reason I write this is so someday our kids will be able to read this and know how much I love you too, although hopefully that is apparent to them from seeing us together also.  I’m excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you this weekend when we go see Dirty Dancing!  You make me feel like the luckiest girl alive.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Bumpdate: 28 weeks




How Far Along? 28 weeks

Size of Baby? About the size of an eggplant

Maternity Clothes? Yup, still wearing them..  This question is irrelevant until I’m like 8 weeks post partum now because I can guarantee I’ll be wearing maternity clothes until at least then.

Weight Gain? Around 16lbs.

Stretch Marks/belly button? No change.  I have them.  They’re not going away.  Hopefully I won’t get too many more.

Baby’s Sex? Still a boy.  Still don’t have a name picked out which still annoys me.

Sleep? I tend to sleep pretty well right now – probably because I’ve been so busy that I crash when I go to bed.  Sometimes I get up to pee around 1-2am and sometimes I make it until 6-7am before I wake up.  However, whenever I do wake up, I’m roasting and have to kick off all my covers.  Still have pain, but it’s manageable.

Food Cravings? I still crave fattening food.  I need to start eating more healthy. 

Best Moment This Week? Hearing his heart beat again at my appointment last week, and feeling him move a bunch.

What I am loving? Nothing specific, I just like being pregnant in general.  Sure it has it’s not so fun aspects, but in general, I really like it. 

Movement? I’ve been feeling him more and more on the top of my belly and on the sides.  He moves quite a bit now.  When I get really busy sometimes I don’t notice him move much, but typically as soon as I focus on him, I feel him move quite a bit.  A lot of times I wake up and I’m kind of on my belly/side and he’s kicking away, kind of like he’s telling me to get off of him.  And if I wake up and don’t feel him kick then I worry and don’t fall asleep until I feel him again.

What I’m looking forward to: Having him.  And having the damn 3 hr glucose test behind me so I can quit worrying about it…  And starting to get his room/clothes together. 

Other Updates…I had my 1 hr glucose test this last week.  I was dreading it because I knew I got 139 at my last one around 28 weeks and this office’s cut off was 140.  So I figured it would be close.  I got 141….  Grrrr…  I’m really annoyed and frustrated and now I have to go take the 3 hour one and spend 3.5 hours at the dr’s office and pay for childcare and find the time to do that.  So I can’t even take it again until Friday, which is over 8 days from when I took my 1 hr one.  I’m too busy to deal with this stuff, and if I do end up having GD, that’s REALLY going to put a wrench into things.  I already have to start going to the OB every 2 weeks from now until 36 weeks and then it’s every week.  If I have to start going in for growth scans and fluid checks and NST’s all the time, I just don’t know how I’m going to fit all of that into my busy work schedule right now.  Not to mention taking Ben to all of those sounds like a special version of hell.  It stresses me out but I would put money on me flunking the 3 hr glucose test also.  I know this baby will be worth it but I just don’t have the time, ambition or desire to deal with sticking to a diabetes diet right now.  It was HELL for the 2 weeks I had to deal with it during Ben’s pregnancy, let alone doing it for 3 months.  Ugh.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Coulda, shoulda, woulda, maybe still will.

Mark n meThe picture above was taken 10 years ago – January 2005 – when Mark was finishing up his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and I was starting my second Bachelor’s degree in nursing. When I got my first Bachelor’s in Business Management, I chose business because I didn’t know what else to do and I figured it would go well with whatever else I wanted to do later on in life.  That much is true – it does and it will.  But business isn’t necessarily fulfilling to me.  I have no clue why nursing wasn’t on my radar at all when I went to college after high school.  I don’t think I ever seriously considered getting a BSN.  However, now it’s about all I think about.

marknmeJanuary 2005 

I have one year of a nursing degree done – probably more than one year if you take all my business degree classes into consideration also.  But I only finished one year when I went back to school because I met Mark, and I decided to quit school and move across the country with Mark when he commissioned into the military instead of being separated from him for 3 years while I finished my BSN.  I do not regret that decision one bit and wouldn’t trade my life with Mark for anything in the world.  But I REALLY wish I had my nursing degree.

ahh.. a good smile this time Mark n me3

February 2005

Oddly enough, spending the night in the hospital just fed my desire to finish my BSN even more.  My dream is to someday be an L&D nurse (labor and delivery).  I have a few friends that are nurses – some of them are in L&D – and I’ve heard it’s hard to get into because everyone wants to do L&D and once you’re in L&D you typically don’t leave until you retire.  One of my friends went back and got a BSN.  She has 3 kiddos and went to school full time through an accelerated BSN program and got her degree in a year.  They had to pay a bunch for a nanny for her 3 kids but she loves working now and is glad she did it.

Mark n me Copy of Mark n me1 

February 2005 

My main hang up is my kids.  I don’t want someone else raising my kids when they’re little.  After they’re a year or two old, I’m fine with putting them into daycare, but neither of my kids has ever been in daycare full time.  Abbie went to preschool full time when she was 4, and loved it, and we’ll probably do something similar with Ben when he’s 4.  Right now he goes 0-3 times per week depending on my work schedule for 3-6 hours per day and I’m fine with that.  But I’m not fine with putting my 3 month old into a childcare situation.  So that pretty much limits my ability to go back to school, especially if we want four kids after everything is said and done.  #3 is due in 3.5 months and we’ll probably start trying for #4 when #3 is around a year old.  So the EARLIEST I could technically go back to school to get a BSN with the time restraints I put on myself would be four years from now -  and that’s if we magically get pregnant right away and don’t miscarry and have to start over again.  So I will be at least 38 years old, probably closer to 40, when I could go back to school.  Is it worth it to go back to school that late in life and start a new career?  Would people even want to hire me at that age with no experience?


Brenda and I were roommates for a little bit and met in the nursing program at MSOE

I’ve also considered just getting a lactation consultant certification.  I don’t think that would take more than a year or two and the classes aren’t too expensive and I would still get to help new moms figure things out.  But I think most hospitals hire nurses that are also LC’s, not LC with no nursing experience.  It’s an option, but I’m not sure if it’s a good one.


Spring Break trip to Disney World 2005

This is all just stuff I’ve been thinking about recently.  I really wish I already had my nursing degree.  Not that I’d be using it currently, so maybe it is better if I get it later on and then go right into a nursing career vs getting my degree and then taking 8-10 years off to raise babies and then go back.  I’m not really sure.  Maybe some day I’ll finally figure out what I want to be when I grow up…

Mark n me me n Mark Markus n me

May 2005


On a total side note, I was looking back at all of these pictures when Mark and I were in college together and I found these two.  Little did Mark know that he’d be flying both of the planes that we took pictures next to 10 years ago and now he’s teaching others to fly one of them!  Seems like these times were just yesterday because I still remember the early stages of our relationship very vividly, but in actuality they were almost 10 years, 6 moves, 3 dogs and 2.5 kids ago.  I can’t believe how time flies sometimes..  Below, the one on the left is Mark next to an F-16 and the one on the right is us next to a T-38, which he flew in 2007-2009.

Mark n his f-16 T-38 and us