Flight School ~ PCS ORDERS ~

The other big, important day while in flight school is the day you receive your orders for your follow-on duty station!  The aviators are allowed to maintain a list of the Top 3 places that they would like to go, and the Army (most of the time) attempts to grant it to you and your family.  As with anything in the Army, nothing is guaranteed, and it’s both exciting and nerve-wracking waiting for these to come through!

“They say” can often get you into trouble and for us it did.  We were told an average of 4-6 weeks from selection he’d receive the draft of his orders telling him where we’d be sent next.  4-6 weeks turned into 7, then 8….then the rest of his class (all but Ryan and 1 other) received their orders.  I’ll admit, I didn’t handle this frustration in the most graceful way!  I’ve moved around my entire life as an Army Brat turned federal contractor, turned Army wife.  Literally my first passport had my hospital birth picture.  However, we’ve been trying to get back up North for 7 years.  Ryan’s first duty station was supposed to be Alaska…then those were pulled for Ft. Bragg.  Ugh!  Our family is in Maine and New England will always be HOME, so we were so anxious to find out if our hopes would come true!

FINALLY, 9 weeks from selection and halfway through his advanced airframe training his orders came through!!

And our next duty station is….

FT DRUM, NEW YORK!!!!!!!!

Ft. Drum was our #1 choice and we were praying so hard that Ryan would get selected to go!!!!!  We are beyond excited for the next chapter of our story and to FINALLY be back closer to home.  It’s about 7 hours back to our home town in Maine which is the closest we can get.  We are so thankful for snow…and 4 seasons!

FLY TO GLORY!!!!!

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Above the Best

In April, I had the privilege of participating in USAACE’s Spouses’ Aviation Day (SAD) here at Fort Rucker!  The day gave some of us wives (spouses) a glimpse into what our husbands endure while here for flight school.

TRAINING SCHEDULE:

LRC (Leadership Reaction Course): We completed 2 “obstacles” or challenges that we had to navigate as a team and get through.

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LRC Completion Pic

EST: Electronic Skills Trainer or weapons simulator.  First we had to “qualify” on the range with our M4s.  Then came the fun part. 🙂  Melissa got to break out the big guns.  I jumped on the MK-19 quick, fast, and in a hurry!  Haha, the second room was definitely the most fun and we were “downrange” shooting up bad guys on a life size video game.  This was a fun portion, but I definitely like shooting outside on a real gun better.

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Shooting Range

Dunker/HOST: Helicopter Overwater Survival Training.  We didn’t get to do the actual dunker…BOO.  (I mean, hey, we all signed the release, big Army!)  We did “suit up” though and had to swim under water through a door and back up.  I have a newfound respect for the pilots/spec ops soldiers that navigate this course every few years for the rest of their careers.

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Green Team: She Hulks!

Helicopter Simulators: We saved the best for last!  Finally I was given the chance to “fly” a helicopter!  We started out with our Pre-Flight Briefing (where I had to educate them that there ARE, in fact, black helicopters in the Army) and proceeded to our simulators.  I chose a Black Hawk (Chinooks weren’t available…lame) in the simulator and even landed on the back of an aircraft carrier down off the coast of Destin!  (We won’t mention the fact that I also “crashed” or red screened it to play around!  We’ll leave the flying to Ryan.

Finally the day concluded with our very own graduation over at the Aviation Museum!  We all walked across the stage to receive our completion certificates and “Flight” Wings!

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Family Graduation Pic

Overall, I had an absolute blast and i’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such a fun event.  I can imagine how much work it was to put an event of this size on for the spouses and i’m so thankful to Fort Rucker and USAACE for giving us a day of fun (I mean, good – hard training!

Go Green Team – SHE HULKS!  “SMASH IT!!!!!”

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Thoughts from a Rookie Twin Mommy

So i’m a little over 10 weeks into this whole Twin Mom life and I have to say it’s definitely the greatest adventure ever!  I feel like so much has changed in my life already and we’ve only just begun.

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One Month Birthday!

It’s scary:

In the interest of honesty, i’ve shed a few tears, been completely overwhelmed when i’m alone, and wondered how on earth i’m ever going to be able to raise these two successfully.  I’ve looked around at other moms who appear to have it all together and wondered why I don’t look like that at all.  After all, i’m only human and it’s taken some personal reflection to admit that i’m not perfect.  Nothing like babies to teach you your weaknesses, am I right?  It’s a little intense to think of the pressure to raise them the way God would have me and to give them everything that I want to give them.  I remind myself daily that God chose to give me this life and He wouldn’t have answered these prayers if He didn’t think I could do it.  Wow!  That thought is even more wonderful…to think, God trusted me with all of this!

It’s beyond exciting:

I just love watching them grow and change.  Seeing them starting to take in the world and interact with me and Daddy more and more is so gratifying.  I’m so excited for all of the things to come: little laughs, crawling, walking and talking but i’m not taking a single moment with the little milestones for granted.  While it’s a little sad to see them getting bigger and changing from newborns to infants and beyond, it’s incredibly satisfying to see that they’re healthy and happy!  It’s even more exciting to watch their interactions with each other while they’re on the changing table, laying on the bed, or eating a meal and reaching for their twin’s hand.  I’m so blessed to have all of these moments and to able to nurse them…together!

I love that they’ll always have a friend in each other…no matter what.  It’s so neat to watch them together and to never be alone.  They have a very special life that the rest of us will never get to experience and I hope that they always love each other and appreciate it.  Family is special and I always wanted a sibling that was that close to me.

It’s bonding.

I feel like i’ve never loved their Daddy more than I do right now.  He works such long hours with his job in the military and I know how much it breaks his heart to be away from us.  It’s not always the big, romantic gestures that are important in a marriage, but the simple things he does.  It’s the way he takes the kids to give me a few minutes to myself or allow me to take a shower when he gets home.  It’s the way he wakes up several times a night to change diapers and get me set up with nursing when he has to get up at O-dark-thirty.  And it’s the way he loves them and plays with them and would give anything to make sure that we’re all happy.  He’s never been a “typical guy” and had to grow up much earlier than most, but we’re the ones who reap the benefits.  I love that we’re finally been able to create life together and we get to be the ones to raise these two perfect little miracles together.

The way that everyone talks about the birth of their babies, I expected my love for them to peak that day.  On the contrary, it’s grown in incredible ways since the day I found out we had embryos growing and getting ready for us.  I feel as if my love keeps growing anymore my heart is simply going to burst!  I’m so excited to be on this journey with these two and to get to be their mommy.  It’s an incredible privilege and I have to pinch myself to remember that it’s real!  I feel like God spoils me way more than I deserve and it’s mind-blowing to sit and think about the miracles in our life!

#TeamGrim #GrimTwins

~Melissa G, Proud Twin MOMMY at last!

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Our first day together with just the 3 of us when Daddy went back to work.

 

 

Grim Twins ~ 36 Weeks

How far along? 36 Weeks Pregnant (WE DID IT!!!!!!  We made it to our “Goal Week”)
Total weight gain: 41.3 lbs.
Stretch marks? They’ve spread a lot since week 30, but I think they’ll heal up pretty well.  Mama stripes!! 🙂 ❤
Symptoms: Contractions still, but none that did anything.  Nausea, seeing spots and dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry. (Mostly from Preeclampsia)
Appointments: Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology twice a week and my OB/GYN twice a week.
Sleep: Pretty much nonexistent at this point.  Thankfully I try to take a nap every day and that helps a little bit.  It’s funny, everyone says “Sleep now while you can…” LoL  That’s a joke! 🙂
Best moment this week: Moving up our scheduled c-section to Monday!!!!!  We are so anxious and excited for them to get here….tomorrow!!!!
Worst moment this week: This week has had a lot of ups and downs and unknowns and scares with the preeclampsia.
Miss Anything?  I still LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.  However, i’m so excited and ready for this next part of the journey!
Movement:  CONSTANT, but they’re definitely running out of room in there…poor babies.  I think they’re as ready as we are 🙂
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Lobster, fried clams like CRAZY, fries, steamers from home in Maine. 😦  And sammiches 🙂
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Mornings as well as Cigarette smoke and cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  Still having contractions off and on but no signs of labor.  😦
Wedding rings on or off? They’ve had to come off for good (during the pregnancy at least).
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  Feeling ALLLL of the emotions right now and probably driving Ryan crazy. LOL
Looking forward to:  We’re so incredibly excited to meeting our babies…TOMORROW!!!!  It’s crazy to believe that it’s finally here and it’s finally our turn.  We can’t wait for ALL of the excitement and experiences to come!  SO anxious to hold them, kiss them, love them, snuggle them and everything else!!

Grim Twins ~ 35 Weeks

How far along? 35 Weeks Pregnant (T-1 week until our minimum “goal week”!!!!)
Total weight gain: 37.3 lbs. (I’ve lost weight since last week so i’m going to have to ask my Doc about it…may be that some of my swelling has gone down from bed rest.)
Stretch marks? They’ve spread a lot since week 30.  Keep growing babies…Mama stripes!! 🙂 ❤
Symptoms: I’m officially on bed rest to try to keep these babies in for a little more time.  Contractions still. Morning nausea and dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry.
Appointments: Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology and my OB/GYN now twice a week.  Emma finally dropped head down!!!!!!  We learned that Logan & Emma are both estimated to be about 4 lbs. 13 oz.  Emma is more balanced in her measurements with a smaller head and Logan has a larger head but very small body according to the measurements.  I’m going to start being monitored even more closely now that the docs are concerned about preeclampsia.  My protein levels were EXTREMELY high for the 24 hour test (936 and shouldn’t be over 300) and my uric acid was high on my latest blood test on Thursday.  We’ll find out on Monday/Tuesday if that changes the game plan for this week but we are still praying to at least make it to next Monday!
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT (at least every hour) and get up to use the bathroom a lot.  The pregnancy pillow helps, but there’s only so much it can do lol.  The babies are just sleep training me ❤️
Best moment this week: 1) We bought Daddy his new truck today!!!  We finally have enough room for all of us (my car is very tight with the car seats).  We’ve been saving for a long time and he’s been needing a new truck so we were so excited that we were finally able to find him the truck of his dreams!!  Now we’re both Ford people! ❤  2) We finally finished the nursery!  We may add a few little touches but it looks so cute and we are so excited to bring our sweet babies home to such a beautiful and relaxing room!
Worst moment this week: The bad preeclampsia news from my OB.  It’s a little scary and overwhelming to make sure that i’m taking it easy on bed rest and making sure I go in if it gets bad.  I’m just praying that they come before it gets too bad or dangerous for any of us, but that they don’t come too soon!  Every day is another blessing and praying we make it to Week 36.
Miss Anything?  I still LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  We’re glad to feel them moving and turning because it definitely keeps me from stressing too much :). It’s all going to be over so soon 😦  I love watching Daddy play with them and them kicking and moving in response to him.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Lobster, fried clams like CRAZY, fries, steamers from home in Maine. 😦  And sammiches again 🙂
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Mornings as well as Cigarette smoke and cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  Still having contractions off and on but no signs of labor.  Now that preeclampsia is going to cause the babies to come early, i’m hoping it starts to kick in soon so that I don’t have to have a c-section.
Wedding rings on or off? They’ve had to come off for good (during the pregnancy at least).
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I am getting more emotional and cry really easily (over sad and happy things).
Looking forward to:  We’re getting so incredibly anxious to meet our perfect babies, and now that we know that they’re going to be coming literally any day now we’re getting more and more excited.  Still praying that they are strong and healthy and that they get to come home with us.

Grim Twins ~ 34 Weeks

How far along? 34 Weeks Pregnant (T-2 weeks until our minimum “goal week”!!!!)
Total weight gain: 40.5 lbs.
Stretch marks? They’ve spread a lot since week 30.  Keep growing babies…Mama stripes!! 🙂 ❤
Symptoms: Contractions still.  I’m trying to put myself on bed rest more and more since I get tired easily and can easily overdo it.  Morning nausea and a little bit of dizziness.  Swelling has been constant now…and no more rings or jewelry.
Appointments: Maternal Fetal Medicine/Perinatology and my OB/GYN.  Emma is back up to my ribs and transverse again.  LOL  Come on, baby girl, flip around so that mommy can deliver you naturally! 😉
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT (at least every 1.5 hours) and get up to use the bathroom a lot.  The pregnancy pillow helps, but there’s only so much it can do lol.  The babies are just sleep training me ❤️
Best moment this week: We finally finished the nursery!  We may add a few little touches but it looks so cute and we are so excited to bring our sweet babies home to such a beautiful and relaxing room!
Worst moment this week: Another trip to L&D.  After my blood pressure shooting up in the office this week, my doctor found that there was protein in my urine (signs of preeclampsia).  We spent another afternoon in Labor & Delivery when Mommy started seeing spots and getting wicked dizzy until they discovered that blood work was normal and the babies were tracing okay.  Still not fun, but we were glad that it wasn’t anything serious.  Also, I have to do the 24 hour urine test so that they can monitor how much protein i’m really losing in my urine to see if my kidneys/liver are doing their jobs or if preeclampsia/toxemia is starting to set in.  Mommy and Daddy also go their whooping cough vaccines and and Mommy got her 2 steroid injections to make sure Logan & Emma’s lungs are fully developed.  The shots made me sick, but only for a little over a day.
Miss Anything?  I still LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  We’re glad to feel them moving and turning because it definitely keeps me from stressing too much :). They love playing together at 1am and mommy thanks God for all of these little moments.  It’s all going to be over so soon 😦
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Lobster, fried clams like CRAZY, fries, steamers from home in Maine. 😦  And sammiches again 🙂
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Mornings as well as Cigarette smoke and cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  Still having contractions off and on but no signs of labor.
Wedding rings on or off? They’ve had to come off for good (during the pregnancy at least).
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I am getting more emotional and cry really easily (over sad and happy things).  Hoping they stay safe and “baking” for at least 2 more weeks, but we’re getting more and more anxious/excited to hold them!
Looking forward to:  We  still need to get Daddy his new truck before the babies get here, but we’re waiting on NC to get off their butts and send us his title.  We’re getting so incredibly anxious to meet our perfect babies, but are still hoping and praying to make it to at least 36/37 weeks and for no NICU/Specialty Care Nursery!

Grim Twins – Weeks 19 & 20

How far along? 19-20 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 11 pounds…holy cow i’m going to be huge!:)
Maternity clothes? Exclusively (other than Daddy’s shirts ;0)
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: Sleep has been difficult with my pulled muscle in my neck. 😦 The usual: About 8 hours a night but VERY interrupted.
Best moment this week: Getting to see them on our Anatomy/Anomaly Scan.  We had a big scare with an enlarged kidney for Logan (could be a sign of Downs, or plumbing problems or be absolutely nothing) and an enlarged Nuchal Fold for Emma (5.29 mm when it should be under 5, also a sign of Downs).  We are praying that God keeps them both healthy though and believing that He still has his hands on them!!  Still, it was amazing to see them and hear their precious heartbeats again…it never gets old!
Miss Anything?  Not really.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  Starting to feel them more and more.  Daddy is feeling a little bit but they like to stop when he puts his hands on my belly. 😦 ALready playing games with Daddy.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Craving french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  LoL  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  A little bit of back pain and quite a bit of stretching sensations and soreness
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two :)
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still 🙂  I do get emotional, but i’ve been mostly happy
Looking forward to:  Baby Showers!!!!  And our Baby-Moon back home in Maine.  I’m so excited that it’s finally our turn 🙂