Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pink or Blue!

I get a lot of questions about being pregnant. I'll answer the top 5. The most popular question is of course, "Well, when do you find out whether it's a boy or girl?" This is closely followed by "Are you going to find out the sex of the baby? Because some people don't you know."  YES, I know some people choose to wait, and that's perfectly fantastic. But for ME, it's like getting two Christmases. So, to answer that question quickly: "HECK YES WE'LL BE FINDING OUT!"

And we did! 

Tuesday we (Steven was actually able to come so it was extra special!) went to the doctor and she informed us it's going to be a girl! Yay! Unfortunately this news comes with a caveat: She was 85% sure it was a girl. Apparently the baby was never in the "perfect position" for her to be able to conclusively say boy or girl, but since she didn't see any "boy parts" and she was looking around for like an hour, chances are: GIRL. But, of course, next month she'll look again. But in the mean time, we are taking our 85% chance. :)

"Well what are you thinking of naming her?" You know, I was SO sure it was going to be a boy. I just KNEW IT. from the beginning. After being only an hour "late," (I've never been late...not by a second) I found out I was pregnant, and thought: It's a BOY. So Steven and I decided on the name Jackson. We called the baby Jackson, I thought about him as a Jackson, you may have even caught a few Facebook posts between me and Jena Carper discussing "baby Jack." So I was completely surprised when the doctor said the baby was a girl. So since we MUST give her a name, we are going with Ava. And we're not sure on middle names yet. I suppose there is still a 15% chance we could indeed be going with Jackson though ;).

"So, how does Steven feel about having a girl?" Well you know, he was really hoping for a T-Rex, or maybe a velociraptor...so he was a little disappointed, but overall I think he is pleased. :)

"So are you still sick?" Yes and no. The doctor put me on Zofran, (which I fondly refer to as "Zofriend") which I take twice a day. As long as I'm able to take the medicine I feel amazing! But without it I'm super sick. So I don't take the chance :). With the medicine I can now celebrate food again! and Drink liquids! And essentially: feed the baby!

"Are you nervous to have the baby in another country, without all your friends and family!?" First of all, thanks for putting it that way. I'm not too nervous. Honestly I choose to simply not think about it. I mean, the baby HAS to come out. She can't just STAY in there. So, as long as they can get her out safely, then I don't really care where it happens. My mom is planning on coming up to Germany right before the baby is born, and staying for a few weeks--so that makes me feel better. Plus Steven will get to be there! We were really worried that he would be deployed during the birth of the baby, but now it looks like he will be there. I suppose that could change, but I'm just going to think positive, (I mean I'm sure there are plenty of "those people" out there to think negatively for us! So that's covered). 


Now I know, If you're one of "those people," you're probably brooding over something that I forgot to worry about, or wanting desperately to warn me about some horrible story that happened to your friend's uncle's cousin's niece. You probably already know you're my hero. What would I do without you, dear reader? I just want to thank you for your concern; if you weren't there to worry for me--cause I know ya do!---who would do all the worrying? You have indeed lifted a burden for me. :) 

Friday, September 17, 2010

"So What Do You Do All Day?"

"So, what do you like DO all day? Like....do you do....anything?"

I get asked this a lot. A LOT A LOT. It's a good question. The answer is.....pretty much whatever I want. So, I've got that goin' for me. Basically, I have two options on the table every morning:

"choose wisely!"

1. Take Steven to work, so that I can have the car all day long--and go where the wind takes me. Your probably wondering why I even need a second option, (what could it be?). This seems like an obvious choice. However, Steven leaves for work EARLY. Sometimes he leaves close to 4:30 A.M. (I know, it is indeed obnoxious). In order to choose this option, I too would have to get up this early. I feel like you probably understand the issue here and need no further explanation, so let's move on.

2. Hang out at the lovely Candlewood Suites.
If this is my choice, my day looks like this (don't judge): I wake up-I make breakfast-I watch the Today show-I go down to the little fitness center-I shower-I make lunch-I clean up the room/do laundry-Facebook/call my mom/read/watch Man vs. Food, that show is always on. By the time this is done, Steven is home. It's sounds ridiculously boring, but it's honestly not that bad. The days have gone by very quickly.

You're probably wondering, "Where are all the Army Wives? Isn't your life like the television show?" I know it's shocking--but big surprise--it's nothing like TV. There are no wives. Lieutenants are not generally married. They are all college bachelors. And let's just say, it doesn't look like the enlisted men(who often DO have wives) and the officers do any "mingling." Fortunately I have made one friend, her name is Laura (hey Laura here's a shout out!). She drove up to Virgina from Louisiana on her own, to join her husband, (who is in Steven's class) so she always has a car. We usually go exploring once or twice a week; it's very nice to have a friend.

When I do decide to venture out alone, It's usually to go to doctor's appointments, run errands, "explore the space," and shop. And then Steven doesn't work on weekends, so of course we take that time to go on adventures, (which I'll post about later). Some people often ask me if I ever considered getting a job, (that seems like a waste of time since were only here for a couple months) or finding a class to take, or something. I thought about some options too, but unfortunately there just isn't really anything available in the area, (I told you about the "sketchy-ness" of the area right?). I'm honestly not that bored though. I will say, that even though this process has been frustrating at times, it's been a positive experience overall. I like it. It's fun. And it's also been a true lesson is letting go of the need to control every detail, and to plan every moment. Let's just say, my stress has gone from 80% to 5%. I get less headaches, I drive slower and have less road rage, my skin looks better, (that's probably not related), and generally just feel....happier. :)

Now, if you are one of "those people" who love to warn others about the terrors of  "Life" (you are a JOY by the way!) you are probably thinking in your head right this second, "Oh wow is SHE in for a whirl wind when that baby is born!" Let me take this time to inform you, dear reader, that there is no need to rain on the Royse family parade just yet. I'm under no illusion that this constant state of rest will last any longer than it has to.The baby will be here sooner than soon! Don't you worry-cause I know ya do--it'll be just fine ;).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hotels, Hotels, Hotels.


(I forgot to mention, that I will also be using my blog to communicate some of this "Army" lifestyle, in words you can understand. You see, I don't like all this acronym business: BOLC, TTYL[that's probably not even the right acronym] BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. Usually I just have Steven explain these to me in lamens terms, and then I turn around and communicate that to other "civilians.")
    
     People have been asking me what hotel living is like. It's not too bad. Living in hotels definitely has pros and cons. It is very strange though, this "nomadic" life we are living. Technically we are "homeless," and not in the liberating way, like in the film Into The Wild.  You're probably wondering, "why are you living in a hotel? That seems silly." It is silly. Allow me to explain:

I'm not "supposed" to be here in Virginia with Steven. "They," (all those people who make the arrangements for Steven, and his fellow officers at BOLC) don't really care that I'm here, but essentially they aren't going to pay Steven extra money, or put him in base housing, or any of that--because this is only temporary. Steven is not stationed at Fort Lee, he is stationed in Germany. This Virginia adventure is just a "pit stop" if you will.

So during our pit stop we have stayed in three hotels. This isn't counting the hotels we stayed in on the way up here, of course. We have stayed in:

The Holiday Inn Express, in Petersburg (Yikes)
The Comfort Suites, in Colonial Heights (VERY NICE)
The Candlewood Suites, in Hopewell, (..Eh..)

Fort Lee is not a city, (this is a misconception I have found when talking to people). Think of it like an exceptionally large gated community. This gated community is surrounded by three cities: Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell. These cities bleed together and are often referred to as the "Tri-Cities." But make no mistake, they are very different in many places. The Army "assigned" us to a hotel when we arrived at Fort Lee, (The Holiday Inn, in Petersburg). They don't care if you actually stay there, but you will have to be responsible to make your own new accommodations if you leave. By the way, the Army pays for the daily hotel rate, (I know, what a waste of money, right?)

Petersburg is terrifying. Don't go there. If you find yourself traveling through central Virginia one day, and need to stop to use the bathroom in Petersburg---hold it. The hotel we stayed in there was decent but you would never want to step outside of the hotel. Let's just say, because of the high crime and poverty rates that Petersburg makes South Oklahoma City look middle class.We left as soon as we could.

Colonial Heights is nice. When I say "nice", I mean there is a Wal-Mart, a Target, a ton of chain restaurants, (I am SO tired of Red Lobster) and a small mall. It feels very safe. The Comfort Suites was a great hotel. Our room was huge, and pretty, and the bathroom had a giant Jacuzzi in it! YES! However, this place did not have a kitchen, and Steven was really hoping for one those. At this point in time, I was not actually eating/drinking anything with any success, so I could have cared less about the kitchen.

But this kitchen was necessary. You see, the Army also gives us $50.00 a day for food. I realize that doesn't sound like a lot at first, but at the end of the month that means we have $1,400.00....just for food. Which we definitely used at least a hefty portion of, (because of the lack of kitchen to cook our own food of course). Before this trip, going out to eat was VERY exciting for me. I'm the girl that does a little dance, or exclaims "YES!" when the little plastic buzzer coaster lights up while waiting for table at a restaurant. Not anymore. I am very tired of dining out.

So Steven called around to hopefully find a place with a kitchen. These are popular--and not easy to swing. There are TONS of military guys, (enlisted men and officers alike) who are in the Tri-Cities area temporarily at Fort Lee. And I believe they are all interested in rooms with kitchens.

Now we live at the Candlewood Suites, in Hopewell. Hopewell is not as scary as Petersburg, but there is less to do than in Colonial Heights. So, it's a pretty happy medium. And---we have a kitchen!

For Labor Day weekend we headed to Charleston South Carolina and stayed in a super beautiful Bed and Breakfast. I know some people don't really like the idea of a B&B. I too was once very creeped out, but now I love them, and I look forward to any destination that might offer a quaint, or luxurious Bed and Breakfast.


I would like to post some of my videos, but Candlewood's internet doesn't really allow for anything besides basic internet surfing. So--we'll see.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oh no! A BLOG!

    I hate the idea of blogging, (no offense to those out there who really enjoy it--your blog is fantastic!). I'm not going to pretend like I have tons of pearls of wisdom to share, or stories that are all that interesting. However, at the request of a many, (alright maybe more like...three people) I will use this as a medium for updating our life. I'll use this first post to sum up what's going.

Currently Steven and I are in Hopewell, Virginia. Steven is temporarily stationed at Fort Lee.

Steven is currently a second lieutenant, and he is finishing up his "Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC)" at Fort Lee. Steven's branch is Quartermaster, (supplies and logistics).

We will be here in Virginia until November 1st, when Steven graduates BOLC. Then we are headed to our  new home in Germany, (Vilseck, Germany---which is in Bavaria). We will be there for two to three years.

I am about 4 1/2 months pregnant. The baby is due is in February, and we will find out whether the baby is a boy or girl in a few weeks.

So far we are enjoying our time here in Virginia. We spend our free time exploring, and going to different restaurants and such. We've been to many museums, battlefields, plantation homes, the beach, etc. We just back from Charleston, South Carolina for Labor Day weekend.

I'll try to post to some video and pictures soon! Until then.

Blayne