Adventures in NOLA

When we first received our orders for Ft. Rucker and Ryan was picked up for flight school we added New Orleans to our “Duty Station Bucket List”. Our time here is running out quicker than we expected and time has definitely gotten away from us, so we had to fit in a quick weekend trip over Columbus Day weekend.

Our latest camping adventure in “Roo” we checked off Mississippi and Louisiana. We stopped in MS to check out a giant oak tree across from the beach that has survived many hurricanes (including Cat 5s!) and has been there for 500 years! Friendship Oak was pretty and the kids appreciated the break up from the drive and the ability to get some of those never-ending toddler wiggles out.

I was thrilled to finally stay right on the water (which I’ve been determined to do since we bought our camper back in March) and we were very impressed with the campground. Convenience store on-site, house boats and its own restaurant (they served delicious smoked meat and jambalaya. (Pontchartrain Landing)

Downtown NOLA was a city in its very own league with so much character. Dogs are everywhere and even welcomed in the restaurants and bars, and the people were eclectic but fun. It’s a tough and resilient crowd and a blend of so many cultures. We took the kids on a carriage ride with a mule and toured the oldest above ground graveyard in America.

Finally, we were able to spend a few hours at the National WW2 Museum, which did not even do it justice. I highly recommend allowing yourself a few days to spend there if you’re a history nerd like Ryan and I are.

We’d definitely love to go back someday and possibly see Ryan’s mama’s Saints play in the Super Dome!

Check out some of our pics below:

Grim Twins ~ Weeks 25-26

How far along? 25-26 Weeks Pregnant
Total weight gain: 24ish pounds…gaining nice and steady and doc says i’m right on track:)
Maternity clothes? Exclusively (other than Daddy’s shirts to sleep in that I can still fit into ;0)
Stretch marks? A few small ones…we’ll see if I can keep it that way 😉
Sleep: I wake up/roll around a LOT, so I end up napping almost every day now. The usual: About 6-7 hours a night then 1-2 naps a week.
Best moment this week: Both of our amazing baby showers!!!  1) Ryan’s stepmom (along with my mom and Noel) threw us a “Thing 1, Thing 2” shower at her house with some of Ryan’s side of the family, my work friends and a special teacher of mine from High School.  We had so much fun and felt so loved and spoiled!  The baby gifts took up my whole trunk/back seat as well as Mom’s car so we were definitely spoiled!  2) Mom threw us a “Noah’s Ark” shower back home in Maine.  This was so special and important to me since my Maine family never gets to be a part of anything in my life.  My Grammy Smith was even there so I got a picture of 4 generations!!!  It meant the world to me!  I can’t ever thank Mom enough (and Dad for his help) for going home and throwing the shower for us!  We had a blast and Logan & Emma were spoiled once more and we got some Maine/Boston team specific gifts and books that were awesome!
Speaking of Maine, it was sooooo great to be able to go home for a week.  It’s getting harder and harder to live away from home in the military life and it was so great and relaxing to unwind and visit some of our favorite spots.  We also got to take Emma & Logan to their first Red Sox game at Fenway (in the pouring rain) and to get pictures in front of Gillette Stadium.  It was a wonderful, perfect week and we’re even more excited about going home at Christmas/New Year’s for their baby dedication and introduce them to the best place on Earth!
Miss Anything?  Not really.  I LOVE being pregnant and am so thankful that I get this amazing opportunity.
Movement:  LOTS!!!  They are getting more and more powerful and Daddy has felt some pretty strong kicks!  Logan & Emma have even started making my belly move which is so cool to see.   Daddy and I get a kick out of watching them play and move.  It’s sooo amazing to feel.
Food cravings/aversions:  GETTING HUNGRY A LOT!!!!  Craving sammiches, french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  LoL  Oh, and horchata.:)  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.  I did well on the drives too and from Maine until the last few hours when i’d start to get really sore and uncomfortmable.  Daddy drove the whole way which made it a lot easier for Mommy.  We are excited that the next big road trip will have 2 babies with us (outside of Mommy)!
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.
Labor Signs:  NO!  My body is still doing what it needs to and everything has looked great.  Praying we make it to at least 37 weeks with these two :)  I started to have braxton hicks contractions a few weeks ago, but they’re pretty sporadic.
Wedding rings on or off? On, except for at night because my hands swell more then.  A few times during the day i’ve had to take my rings off for a little while.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy still:)  I do get emotional, but i’ve been mostly happy
Looking forward to:  Maternity pictures!! 🙂  I haven’t set them up but i’m so excited to document this journey 🙂  Also, our final, 3rd Trimester 3D ultrasound is coming up!  Then we get to finish off the registries and get the nursery set up for real!  After that: it’s the countdown to the birth!

Grim Twins – Weeks 15 & 16

How far along? 15-16 Weeks Pregnant
Gender Predictions:  Mommy: Boy/Girl; Daddy: Boy/Girl
Total weight gain: 1.7 lbs…still the same.  Doc said he’s more concerned about the babies growing properly than my weight gain, so I guess I can stress a little less about it.
Maternity clothes? Yep!! 🙂  And loving them
Stretch marks? A few small ones
Sleep: Feeling MUCH better with WAAY more energy. Even had a few late nights this past week down in Florida for our anniversary and I didn’t die. 🙂  The usual: Just got my new pregnancy pillow this week (the end of week 16) and it’s already making a HUGE difference!
Best moment this week: Week 15: Daddy had a big week at work getting ready to do some things to further his career and provide an even better future for our family.  We’re so proud of him!  Week 16: We celebrated our 3 Year Anniversary!!! (#3Up3Down) and traveled down to Florida to celebrate New England style down here.  We got to see the Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in OT!!!  Then we spent the day on the beach and exploring Fort Myers with dinner at PF Changs.  Finally, we got to go ON FIELD during batting practice in a VIP tour of Fenway!  It was amazing!!!  Then we watched 9 innings of Red Sox baseball right behind home plate!  Best of all, Mommy felt the babies move during Big Papi/David Ortiz’s first at bat and felt them kick for the first time at dinner that night at Cheesecake Factory!  It was such a wonderful week!
Miss Anything?  SANDWICHES still.  
Movement:  Felt the babies move for the very first time when Big Papi/David Ortiz was up at bat during Spring Training!  May 10th (the day after our 3 year anniversary)!! Red Sox babies already 🙂  Love our little New Englandahs 🙂  Later that night at dinner I felt my first kick!  It was amazing and I started crying right in the middle of Cheesecake Factory and scared Daddy!  I love it and can’t wait until Daddy can share in the experience 🙂
Food cravings/aversions:  Craving french fries (potato anything) and fried pickles still.  And still craving those sammiches that I can’t have. LoL  NO real aversions.
Symptoms:  Feeling great but getting really sore off and on.  The babies are growing for sure~
Anything making you queasy or sick:  The usual: Cigarette smoke and strong cologne/perfumes.  Luckily down in FLorida we were around a LOT of New Englandahs and Northerners so we didn’t have to deal with it too much.
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…except for traffic in Savannah lol After so many months on and off the fertility drugs, my body is like “What?  Pregnancy?  Piece of cake these hormones!”
Looking forward to:  FINDING OUT THE GENDERS!!!  We find out between weeks 17-18 (February 23) and we can’t wait!!!!  Ready to get some shopping done.

4th of July/Post-deployment Vacation

My amazing husband knows how much the 4th of July means to me (and to him) so he tried very hard to get me home to celebrate with my side of my family. Being from Maine, 4th of July is big in my family and we always have a huge cookout at my parents’ camp complete with lobstah, brisket and sometimes clams. When we were engaged he was deployed and last year we were PCS-ing to GA and never got the opportunity. It was very hard for us to not be home with everyone and he definitely made up for it this year! With his current unit they deploy pretty frequently so he volunteered for an early deployment in order to get home in time for celebrating America’s birthday with me. How special it was for us this year to celebrate America’s independence with him freshly home safe from war!

Within 24 hours of Ryan coming home from deployment, we were packing up the car and driving straight to Maine (22-24 hour drive). (Did I mention how much he loves me?) We couldn’t fly because it is the Army and the second you try to book something, plans will change. However, he was blessed with good leadership that allowed him to leave so quick after a deployment. As always, even a long and traffic filled road trip is a blast and filled with so many memories!

We got to see most of our family members while we were in Maine and definitely hit up some sightseeing. My parents have a camp on Loon Pond in Maine and I always wanted to move back home after my Dad retired from the Army. Sadly I never got the chance, but Ryan has fallen in love with New England as well and even claims it as his home (who wouldn’t??) Since his Dad’s side of the family is from Conn, it counts, right?

Couples at the 4th of July BBQ at my parents' camp.
Couples at the 4th of July BBQ at my parents’ camp.

4th of July fireworks with my love and my parents.  Ogunquit, ME
4th of July fireworks with my love and my parents. Ogunquit, ME

Wells Beach, ME with my beautiful momma
Wells Beach, ME with my beautiful momma

Now THIS is a barbeque...New England style! <3
Now THIS is a barbeque…New England style! ❤

While at home we also got to tour Fenway Park and catch a Red Sox game…and a little bit of a thunderstorm/tornado watch. Hey, we always keep it interesting! Touring Fenway has always been a dream of mine and it was so cool seeing the stadium from every view possible and from behind the scenes. 🙂 Also, Cask 'n Flagon has the BEST Fish 'n Chips this side of Ireland! 😉

RED SOX!!!!

Bunker Hill...but first, a selfie
Bunker Hill…but first, a selfie

Best of all we got a lot of history lessons/sightseeing in as well. We visited Concord, MA and the Minute Man monument and even caught sight of the actual lantern used in the Old North Church during Paul Revere’s ride. We climbed Bunker Hill in Boston since he’s never gotten to do that part of the Freedom Trail. Unfortunately the USS Constitution was closed (yet, again!) so we still haven’t been able to see that! Lastly we visited a few of my favorite lighthouses in Maine! I may be biased, but I have lived and visited many places in the US and the world…Maine is the most beautiful: hands down! I will say from the pictures, Michigan may run a close second 😉

Pemaquid Lighthouse, Brisol, ME
Pemaquid Lighthouse, Brisol, ME

Sleep Hollow Cemetery...so many brilliant minds are buried there
Sleep Hollow Cemetery…so many brilliant minds are buried there

Old North Bridge in Concord, MA
Old North Bridge in Concord, MA

With everything that Ryan ends up missing out on with his job, I am so thankful that we got this much needed time with family. It was so great having my hero home to celebrate Independence Day and New England is most beautiful in the Summer. 🙂

~A very happy, Melissa Grim