Saturday, March 21, 2009

And My Heart Went Pitter Pat

Yesterday I had my first OB appointment at Madigan (the local Army hospital). This is usually just what they call an "intake" where I talk with a nurse, get assessed for any potential problems with my medical history, get some basic information on how to be pregnant, and then make my first appointment to see the a doctor. However, when it was revealed that I will be traveling for over a week before I'm back in range of a military hospital, the referral doctor that was on decided that he wanted to see me and make sure that there weren't any problems. That's how I got a bonus ultrasound (they usually only do one, and that's at 20 weeks or so, which is quite a let-down after Germany where I got to see the baby grow every month), and got to see the baby and it's heart beat. I suddenly feel so excited and happy about this pregnancy, it is funny what a huge difference that little bit of connection made. I wish Jimmy could have seen it too, but I did at least get a picture printed for him. Luckily he's used to looking at ultrasounds because right now of course the baby looks like a jelly bean with little stumps for arms and legs, all of which are hard to make out, but all the same it's his/her first picture. Suddenly my morning/afternoon/evening sickness (which is 5 times worse than it was with M) seems much more bearable. It's going to be a long wait for October to get here!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Easy Button

Sorry, no pictures yet!

As would be expected, I have been contemplating the differences between life in Germany and life in the US a lot since our return. Every time I plug an appliance into the wall without the need for a transformer or adapter, I notice it because it is so easy. So many things that just come naturally here were harder in Germany, such as setting up phone service, paying bills, and registering our car. I feel like I have one of those red Easy Buttons at my disposal every time I have to do something like that. I still flinch whenever someone pulls up to an intersection on my right (if you're on a secondary road these drivers have the right-of-way in Germany even if you're the one on a thru street), and I have to restrain myself from bagging my own groceries at the store. I love being able to read all of my mail and to talk to people without thinking about it, not to mention the wonders of Wal-Mart and Safeway, but ironically (considering I just mentioned the big WM) I do feel nostalgic about the relatively commercialism-free community we lived in (especially as I hung up on the 4th marketing caller in an hour last night).
We are looking forward to exploring our area this summer, especially Rainier NP now that we are so close, but of course we had many uncompleted travel desires in Europe. There is so much to see you could spend your whole life trying to see everything. However, there is also so much of the US that we have not yet visited, I think we have a new appreciation of the wonders right here in our own country.
I have a new understanding of why this is called "the New World", when the oldest "modern" structures can't be older than, say, the 1600's. Everything does feel relatively young and new compared to many of the old towns and structures that we were constantly in contact with in Germany.
Those are just a few of my rambling thoughts. I'm sure that I'm missing numerous observations that have popped into my head, but that's it for now. Time to take Adventuregirl outside for her pre-nap play session.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Alright, the first blog for today was my effort at being brave, but now that AdventureGirl (M) is in bed for her nap, I feel truly alone. I miss my ARG friends so much, which is something that has been hanging in the back of my head since our move, but with all of the craziness I've been able to keep it under wraps. Now, with AdventureDad off on another adventure, I miss my dear friends deeply. Now is when I would be trudging up the street with M in tow for a latte and some good conversation, or heading out on a dog walk with Joss and the boys, or crashing at V's for an impromptu take-out night because I can't bear the thought of cooking for myself. Of course I miss the comforting routines, but even more I miss the simple understanding that comes from those that have been though the same things that I have, that understand how traumatizing it is for my husband to be gone even though I know that it's really only for 3 weeks this time. I know I can pick up the phone and call any of my friends here in the States, or Germany for that matter, but it's not quite the same as knowing that they're literally right next door.
OK, enough of the pity party. This is certainly not the hardest thing I've done in my life, and it will soon be over. Spring will come, AdventureDad, M, and I will have fun in San Antonio, and then we'll come back here and settle down for real, at least for the 2 years we have in this house!

Oh, there was one other thing I meant to mention in my previous blog... we are loving the bird-watching in our new home! It overlooks a pond and marsh, and we have already spotted several species of waterfowl and wading birds that are new to us, not to mention all of the cute little favorites that are coming to our bird feeder. We also found some owl pellets under one of our trees, so we know there's an owl around somewhere. Dorky, but fun!

Another Departure

Well, here I am on a rainy Sunday back in the NW. It is very odd how in some ways it feels like we never left, I think because we returned right back to Fort Lewis. On the other hand, our family is so very different than it was the last time we were here, it is truly a brand-new beginning.

Jimmy just left (as in approximately 10 minutes ago) for his Career Course in San Antonio TX. It is amazing how wimpy I have become about him leaving. I guess when the last couple of times he has left were from the 2 weeks of leave he got in the middle of the deployment, and for the deployment itself, I learned that him leaving was bad and painful. So, although Marion and I are going to join him in less than 3 weeks, right now I feel like I'm sucking it up for another long absence. It will sure be nice when all of this is a distant memory!

In the meantime, our family has been doing some settling in at our new home in McKenna, WA. This is a tiny little community tucked between the East side of Fort Lewis and the West side of Mt. Rainier. It is of course beautiful and green, being WA, but we lucked out and found a great home that has a lot of character and suits our family perfectly. Not only is there room for us (as in twice as much space as we had in Germany), but there is also enough land that we can have the horses right here, which makes a huge difference to the relative complexity of our lives.

I haven't taken any pictures yet, but Marion is in love with our huge yard, which is fairly bomb-proof (all of the gardens are mature enough to take a little beating, and we will of course teach her to stay out of them), and has enough dirt and rocks and mud puddles to keep any 2-year-old happy. She cries when I make her come inside even when it is wet and cold and her fingers are little popsicles.

The final piece of big news in the Duncan family is that we are expecting a baby around October 21st. We are thrilled of course, and now just hoping that everything goes well.

I'll try to collect some photos before my next post!