Tomorrow I'll be 28 weeks pregnant....and there are 81 days till Ben comes home! We've been pining for spring, with a good 6 inches of snow still on the ground in lots of places, and piled over 12" deep in our front yard, too. The dirty, gray, icy, windy days are beginning to get to me in ways that 8 months of Seattle rain never did. We managed to venture southwards last weekend to sunny Greenville, NC (eastern carolina, close to the coast) to visit with my beloved Grandmother for our birthdays. She took a fall the day before I arrived, and refused to be treated for anything but the pain until I left Monday! (tough lady) She didn't want to spoil our birthday visit, she said! To finish things off, I managed to slip and fall myself on Sunday night, before I left, and bruised my bottom pretty badly. That's another story....
But, both of us are another year older in spite of the drama!
Violet and I manage to get out to the pool 2-3 times a week for exercise. She's learning to swim! She is like a mermaid under water, and adores going from me to the steps completely submerged. She's still trying to get the hang of floating, and getting her head above water to breath in between underwater stints. Genetics are not on her side, unfortunately....her dad canNOT float to save his life. He sinks. Always. So, I'm working with her to find buoyancy somewhere in her chest as she holds her breath while lying on her back in the water. It's there sometimes!
In other random news: We've decided to try a home birth. (Big news, I know) Ben will be here for a brief and sweet 15 days, and we want to try to keep things as low-key and home-based as possible. Neither of us were really looking forward to the drama surrounding a hospital birth....rushing in, going through whatever scheduling nightmares and hospital policy phenagling that comes with birthing in a corporately-run operation....not to mention being separated from Violet for a couple of days, losing sleep (Ben, mostly), etc. So, we're going to just wait at home, basking in each other's company, waiting for Grace to appear, and just pop her out in our bedroom! :) I'm really, really set at ease by this plan. I was NOT looking forward to all that I described during the oh-so-short 15 days Ben will be with us. I am very much confident in my body's ability to birth this baby quickly and easily. Violet's labor was short and sweet, but for the interference of a panic-stricken intern who managed to give me a 4 cm tear to remember him by. I will not miss the narrow hospital bed or the stupid CLOCK on the wall directly in front of my face constantly reminding me how long this was taking!!!!! :P
I've begun collecting a few things for the tiny wee girlie.....bit by bit accumulating some clothing for her arrival, in addition to cloth diapers. Oh, Oh...I found a local woman who MAKES them!!! I know, how great is that!! They're on average $1 cheaper a piece than Bum Genius diapers, and identical to them---only one step better in that they are "front-loading" rather than having the insert go in from the back. She's making them in custom colors for me, too, folks! :) Whoopeeee! Let me just insert here, how incredibly awesome cloth diapers are for your budget. When Violet was 18 months old, and not entirely potty-trained (still wearing a diaper at night) I calculated I had already spent $1100 on diapers for her during her lifetime. ELEVEN HUNDRED! I determined then and there to use cloth next time, no matter how much work it was. Turns out, tho, that these modern velcro-shut, pop-in-the-washer, adjustable-size diapers are just as easy to use as paper. You just have to wash them, that's all. :) I'm totally into it.....TOTALLY.
So that pretty much sums it all up! We're looking at a couple more trips coming up this spring...a wedding and Easter. Other than that it's a beautiful routine we've settled into. I'm so thankful for the friends and family that surround us during this deployment. It's made the time pass so much more quickly, with much more joy than sadness. :)