• Allie and Ryan

    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

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    Allie & Ryan

Thursday, October 26, 2017

It has been ages...

It has been a long time.

So long in fact that my husband is no longer an active duty Marine. We live in South Carolina now. Will is 15 months old and the best thing I have ever done. I work at the State Library now. Ryan works for the DoT. We are ok. Life moves on after the military even if you miss it. We tragically lost my Poppy on the day Will turned six months old, December 29th. My other Marine in my life passed away after an amazing 94 years and I still miss him oh so much.

Ryan is considering going into the National Guard. If that goes through I may blog regularly again.

Consider this a hiatus.

I don't feel like I can truthfully blog at My Marine and Me when my husband is out... so for now this is a see you later. I don't want to delete my blog as their are things here I know people still use and read (aka my Do's and Don'ts of the Birthday Ball, Marriage Help, and dealing with Loss) and I will still answer comments and emails. My blog Facebook page is quiet but still there.

I am still around. If you need me.

Hopefully this next step works out and I will be blogging again, this time from a different perspective of military life.

Thanks for the journey dear readers. The friends I have made are amazing and I am so thankful to you all.

Until next time....

Love Always,

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Third Trimester... a recap

Obviously I am not pregnant anymore, but I never got to post the rest of my bump pictures! I stopped at my second trimester update at 27 weeks thinking I still had a good 10-12 weeks to publish the next leg of the journey before I went in to labor. Well I went in to labor at 34 weeks (and I didn't even get to take an official bump picture beforehand)! Warning: PHOTO OVERLOAD. So, just to have it here....

Dup loved putting her head right on my bump! It was so cute!

I went in to preterm labor at 31 weeks, but we managed to stop it! This was my contraction screen in triage. I actually went in because I couldn't get my kick counts (or feel him move). They hooked me up to a machine and instantly got the heartbeat but saw I was having contractions. I only felt some cramps on my left side and never would have guessed. They said I wasn't feeling Will because I was contracting. I was told to stop all exercise except walking and to take it easy.

This was the last picture I got pregnant. It was the Sunday before I went in to labor! We went to New Bern with my dad, brother and brother's girlfriend Halie for dinner and got this shot!

We had also done my maternity pictures the Saturday before I went in to labor! Talk about cutting it close!! Four days. My friend Kayla took them for us, as she had done the pictures in my blog header and when my husband returned from Afghanistan I knew she'd do an amazing job, and she did.

Ok, I know doing the survey is silly but just to wrap it up...

What Fruit are you? N/A
Due date: August 5, 2016 
How far along: 11 weeks post partum!
Next appointment:  All done, post partum included
Gender:  It's a boy!
Total weight gain/loss: Ouch. I gained 65lbs this pregnancy! It was insane. I lost 40lbs already but still have 25lbs or so of baby weight hanging around. Sigh.
Exercise: Back to weight lifting, yoga, and walking, but with a newborn it gets spread around. Add moving and everything else and yea... I need to refocus.
Stretch marks: In my last two weeks of pregnancy I got giant purple tiger stripes across my belly and on the tops of my thighs. Sigh.
Swelling: Almost back to normal. I was super swollen after labor and have slowly gotten it down. I can fit in my engagement ring again but the wedding band is still too snug,.
Maternity clothes:  Sadly still wearing maternity jeans and some shirts. I have lost weigh, but not enough to fit in my pre-maternity jeans :(
Belly button: Never popped, back to normal.  
Sleep: I have a newborn :P
Food cravings:  Gone! I still want sugar a lot though.
Symptoms:  Thankfully gone.
Movement:  No more, I do miss it sometimes.
Labor signs: Water broke on June 28th and Will was born the next morning
What I miss:  Sometimes I do miss being pregnant, but I love having our Little Man!
What I'm loving:  Being a mom!
What I'm looking forward to:  Seeing my baby boy learn and grow
Best moment this week:  Will smiled at me, this huge gummy smile, and I just melted!
News:  We are moving in less than two weeks!
Milestones: Almost three months old!
Words of wisdom: It never goes as you plan. Just go with it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Jersey Trip

Once my husband went on terminal leave from the Marine Corps I knew we had to take the chance to go to New Jersey for my Poppy's 94th birthday. My Babci is 91, so I really wanted Will to get to meet his great grandparents. It is a long drive, we broke it up with a few days at my mom's house, but it still took nearly 9 hours to go from their house to New Jersey since we had to stop and feed and change Will. But we made it, and surprised them! They were so so happy. Babci held Will as much as possible, she loves babies, and rarely ever put him down.
I am so grateful we were able to make this trip. Poppy is getting pretty frail and it is hard to see him so  weak, but he smiled big holding Will. Little Man is great grandchild number six and the fifth boy!

While in Jersey we tried to see as many people as possible and it still was not enough. On Saturday night we went to my old church, the one I grew up in and that Ryan and I got married in, so it was very special for us to have Will there.

I don't know if I will ever find another church like SEAS, but I hope we do someday! It still feels like home no matter how long we are gone and all our church friends loved cooing over Will in person instead of online! After mass we went someplace I never expected to bring my newborn and husband... my high school!

Our family friends we wanted to visit were there as their daughter had soccer practice, so we went and met up with them there. If you had told me ten years ago I'd be standing on the side of the football field with my family like that I would have thought you were absolutely insane. I was not popular or happy in my academic high school (my theatre high school was different) and my life only went up from there!

Sunday the 21st of August was Poppy's 94th birthday. Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins descended on the house and we had a giant dinner, lots of cake, and family time. I teared up more than once out of sheer joy. Poppy is playing the harmonica in the above photo to accompany our singing, which Will loved by the way!

All the present cousins (and spouses) with the birthday boy. The air conditioner was making Poppy cold, hence the blanket. The clock behind us a is a cookoo clock I bought back from Switzerland for them!

We also walked around the corner to where my brothers live so Little Man could meet his Uncle Sean and Uncle Shane! We even convinced Shane to hold him, which was impressive since he wouldn't hold our niece until she was nearly five months old!

Little Man also met his cousin Adrianna (and my brother's girlfriend Kelly, Adrianna's mom). They are almost exactly a year apart! Adriana was born on the fourth of July 2015 and Will was born June 29th of the following year, just five days shy! Naturally Will slept through the entire thing, but we took pictures as proof it happened.

On Monday Ryan took me in to New York City as an early birthday celebration. He hunted some Pokémon (and will never admit it) and we walked around a bit before stopping at Cabellas for lunch.

We shared a delicious plate of ravioli, since it is family style dining, delicious bread, and then cannoli. After we digested we walked to a place I always wanted to visit, the Museum of Modern Art.

For some reason in the two decades I lived in NJ I never made it to MoMA! I also really, really wanted to see my all time favorite painting, Starry Night. We may have gone back to that room two or three times before we left so I could glimpse again. Sure, I wish I wasn't holding on to some baby weight in this picture, but I am so glad Ryan forced me into it! There was a large crowd always gathered around it so it was a bit embarrassing to jump in front!

Ryan found Dali, so he was happy too. It was smaller than I expected! And Monet's Water Lilies took up an entire room! As did Jackson Pollock! When you only see it in books it is always surprising to see it in real life.

We also briefly met up with our friend Kim while she was at work. She was one of my bridesmaids when Ryan and I got married and went to my theatre high school with me, we have been friends over a decade now!

Four generations, one picture

It always breaks my heart to leave my grandparents, both my mother and I cried the first bit of the drive back to North Carolina. I am so grateful we were able to go visit and for the millionth time I wish I lived closer to them. It was an amazing trip and I think Will enjoyed his first visit to New Jersey!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Since Last Time

This post will be a hodgepodge of highlights and pictures mostly! This mommy has escaped to Starbucks for a small break and the Little Man is having some Daddy/Son time!

Since being home (for nearly two months now!!) we have enjoyed so much time together as a family as well as other small milestones.

Well, at home. We did do sponge bathing in the NICU, but this was his first bath, in a tub, at home! We definitely have a water baby on our hands, he absolutely loves being in the water.

On July 29 this squish nugget turned one month old! I am taking his monthly pictures on a quilt my friend Kim and her Mom made for Little Man and using his giraffe for size comparison. He was still in a premie sleeper for this picture but it was probably the last time he wore a premie outfit! When we had his weight check he was clocking in at 8lbs and 20 inches long. The blond hair was still there, getting a smidge darker, and his eyes were still a dark blue.

Of course I preordered The Cursed Child months before it came out but Amazon did not deliver until after it was in stores! I was not happy! But once it arrived Little Man and I cuddled on the couch and I read it all in one sitting. There were tears and nostalgia and some really?? moments but overall I enjoyed it. I hope when it comes to the US I can convinced Ryan that we HAVE TO SEE IT. I would love to see how they do the technical elements of this show! My inner theatre nerd was drooling at the ideas.

After he was a little older we took Little Man outside during the day. Just in the back yard for a bit as he needed some sunlight! The wind startled him the first time it hit his face and he jumped! We felt like terrible parents for laughing but he settled pretty quickly and seemed to like it after that. He looks so itty bitty on our big beach towel!

I had to go to the Endocrinologist during my post partum period to work on my thyroid levels post pregnancy, but on our way back we decided to take Will to the beach for the first time. It was dark and much cooler than the 100 something degree day. At first he was not having it because he was hungry, but we gave him a bottle and tried to dip his toes in the ocean...

And he loved it! We did it a few times, it was so warm being it was August in North Carolina, and we loved having that moment with him. We also walked on the beach for awhile and just relaxed. We went back to the beach during the Perseids Meteor Shower too. Will slept on my chest the entire time and we saw at least a dozen meteors streak across the sky as we laid together on a blanket on the sand. I didn't take any pictures since it was a dark night and I just had my phone, but I love that Ryan, Will and I got to experience that.

In late August we drove to my parents' house as a pit stop on our way to New Jersey (which will be a separate post of its own). We stayed a day or two and Little Man got to swim in their pool. My parents' pool is salt water so I felt better about him being in it, plus it was basically 95 degrees in the water as we were in the middle of a streak of days topping 100 degrees! Again, he absolutely loved the water. He kicked his little legs and blissed out in my arms and Ryan's.

Overall I love being Will's mom. He is such a good baby and aside for some formula difficulties we haven't had many issues. I can barely remember my life before him, it seems like he has always been here. We haven't really changed our lives much since he is still so little. We go out to eat, walk in the park, take road trips.... and he mostly sleeps! Now is the time to do it! I know once he is older and moving around those won't all work out, but we even took him to a nice restaurant for my birthday and he slept the entire time without a single peep!
For Labor Day weekend we went to South Carolina to visit Ryan's family... and to house hunt. That also will be another post.
With Ryan's grandmother Skeetsie... she didn't want to put her first great grandson down! I can't blame her. He is the first boy born in Ryan's family since Ryan and is great grandchild number four.
My two favorite guys. Check out that terminal leave beard! It is so weird to see but I am finally getting used to it!
My big, blue eyed, serious man. He just warms my heart! Before I knew it my big boy was two months old! (Ok, that happened August 29th before we went to South Carolina!)

He was 9lbs 8oz at his two month appointment and 22 inches long! My string bean! He did have his first round of shots and I honestly cried more than he did. He did cry at first but then promptly fell asleep for two hours. He then cried a bit after that, as did I, but we fed him an hour or so early and he was ok after that.  
 On September 8th I turned 29 years old. No idea how that happened! We had a low key day as Ryan and I took a trip into New York City when we were up in NJ and had that be my birthday celebration (post coming I promise)! We did go to Duck's for dinner, Little Man slept the entire time and I had one of my first glasses of wine in nearly a year!
Donna and I decided to celebrate my birthday with Moscato and Wine and Design! We had a great time and I got a new painting for my bedroom. One of the best I had done yet there!
A few days later we took Will to Buffalo Wild Wings for the first Giants game of the season... he was not impressed! But we did win so I think he is a good luck charm for sure! (Woohoo 2 and 0!)
 He is almost three months old now and just getting so so big! His little cowboy boots melt my heart! He sleeps mostly through the night, usually only getting up once or twice, but just to eat and then go back to sleep. We are working on it!
His hair is still dark blonde, his eyes are blue, and he is the spitting image of his daddy at times, just with my cheeks and coloring!
Last week my mom came to visit and we drove to South of the Border to meet Ryan and gave Little Man his first visit. I will note, my husband hates this place with a passion but I love how corny it is!! Since my mom was in town she babysat Little Man so we could have a date night. I had been dying to take Ryan to Wine and Design for years and going with Donna a few weeks ago made me really want to go! So we went to an open studio.
 We decided to try Starry Night as it is my favorite painting. They had a double canvas version but we did more along the lines of the actual painting than the example. We got so in to in that we were there for nearly five hours and the last people to leave! Our artist Bryan was awesome! He traced the large tree and houses for us and guided us where needed, but I am super proud of how well Ryan and I did on our own. It was very chaotic getting everyone settled (it is BOGO September so it was packed!) but once we got going we were happy. The painting now hangs over our bed. Awesome!

So, it a nutshell.... I am caught up. I will blog separately about New Jersey and ... well the big change coming down the pipeline. That entry will be husband read and approved before posting. Stay tuned!