The end is near! I made a 90 on my fourth test and I have one more test to go before I am completely finished with this!
Cedrik and Noah are flying in next week! The anticipation is unreal… Every single day I wake up more excited than the last. It’s finally here. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I can finally go home soon.
This past week, I got to see Katherine again. We went tubing down the San Marcos River and it was UH-MAY-ZING! We know each other from growing up in Mississippi, so getting to float down the river was very Mississippi of us. I also invited a classmate and his fiancee to join us, and Kat invited one of her friends too. It was an awesome relaxing day. It would have been even better if I made it all the way through without losing my Maui Jim’s. I broke the first rule of river tubing: DON’T TAKE EXPENSIVE SHADES TO THE DAMN RIVER. *a moment of silence for the $200 sunglasses please* At one point I was thrown out of my tube because no one told me my butt was about to play the role of an anchor on an upcoming rock. That’s when I lost the shades. I also got stuck on a rock (sans float) while the river kept rushing against me. Needless to say, I look like I got into a prison fight and the other person had a baseball bat. Still, it was a very fun day.
Notice how I made sure I was tied to the beer tube LOL
These past 5 weeks, I have been amazed at how baby Noah is growing. He started to crawl the day I left home. He is now pulling himself up on everything and standing. All of those things I saw on FaceTime. Today, it happened. Cedrik took him to a baseball game and they FaceTime’d me afterwards. When Noah saw me on the phone he said, “MAMA! MAMA!”
I’ll just wait while you soak that in for a second
MY BABY SAID MAMA! I had to point the phone upwards at the ceiling while I burst into tears. Tears of joy because I finally heard my baby call me mama. Tears of sadness because I haven’t been able to hold my lil peanut in over a month and now he’s calling me mama. Four months of hearing him say da-da and I finally hear clear as day “MAMA” and its through a phone. It was truly a bittersweet moment.
This week has been unusually hard for some reason. Even though I have about 5 days until I see my family, I’ve been extra sad lately. I guess my positivity well is running a little dry and being away is slowly taking it’s toll on me. I just have to keep fighting and keep studying and stay focused for the home stretch. One more test and I am out of here!
I made a 100 on my second and third tests and nothing or no one is keeping me from graduating! I got my eyes set on the end and nothing can bring me down.
Before I came to Texas, I was told by practically everyone, even doctors, that I would not be able to resume breastfeeding after these 6 weeks. Well guess what? With a little determination, a LOT of pumping, a hope and a prayer, I have been able to keep a steady supply all on my own. TAKE THAT SCIENCE! (or is it biology?) All that work, an entire foam cooler of breast milk that never made it home, people telling me to just let it go… I overcame! In two weeks, I will see my lil peanut again and we can go back to breastfeeding until his first birthday like I originally planned. BOOM. *drops mic*
Baby Noah is a crawling machine and he just recently started pulling himself up on things to stand! *faints* I feel like I am missing everything 😦 I missed his whole crawling phase and now this… I cannot wait to squeeze that little guy.
Cedrik is still doing ok but I think his energy is slowly but surely starting to wear down. I feel bad for the hubs but I’m sort of glad he’s going through it. For the first 6 months of Noah’s life, he was working on testing for Master Sergeant. That means he would work 10 hours a day, and then come home to study. Or he would stay at work longer to study. So what did that mean for me? 24/7 baby duty. He changed the occasional baby diaper, but occasional diaper changes don’t even tap into your energy stash. Now that he’s doing everything, he’s had a front row seat to being a full-time parent, and full-time military. It’s tough work but we can tackle it together when I get back.
I went bowling with some classmates last weekend. It was actually pretty fun! There were TV’s at the end of each lane where you could choose what you wanted to watch in your lane. The place was packed and we had to wait an hour and a half for a lane, but luckily there was a margarita place called Chuy’s right across the street where we passed the time.
One of the nicest bowling alleys I’ve ever been to.
These were so comfy!
Last weekend I also got to see a very good friend from high school! Katherine and I are more like sisters, so it was so amazing to get to spend a day with her. This weekend we’re going on a super fun outdoor adventure, so I’m pretty excited we get to see each other again. She lives in Austin now, and I haven’t seen her in about 5 or 6 years! So much fun!
After this coming weekend, I will just have one more weekend to spend here before I start packing my bags for the trip back! Cedrik and Noah are coming for my graduation and to accompany me on the drive back. Knowing they are coming has given me more motivation than ever. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Being away from your family really makes you appreciate every single minute you have with them. This has been tough, but I am on the home stretch now.
Just as quickly as this training began, that’s how quickly it is getting nearer to graduation day. Week 3 flew by in a flash and now I’m pretty much halfway finished with this course!
We have been jumping from instructor to instructor because our original one was on medical leave until Wednesday of this past week! He informed us that we were about 3 days behind on material, but that if we worked hard, we would still graduate on time. As if we weren’t stressed enough about passing tests… Overall, he seems like a great instructor and he prepped us well for test 2. I made a 100!! Woop Woop! 2 down, 3 more to go!
You remember that freezer full of breastmilk I shared a picture of in week 1? I shipped it home!
Countless hours I researched “How to ship breastmilk” when I was pregnant finally paid off. Thanks to YouTube and Google, I learned how to do this safely with a styrofoam cooler, dry ice, packing paper, packing tape, a box, and LOT’S of patience. Not to mention I had to stand in the post office with a giant box that had “PERISHABLE BREASTMILK” labels all over it. People were staring at me as if the box had said “BEWARE, EBOLA VIRUS INSIDE”. I held that box proudly and looked every one of those judgy bastards in the eye with a “And what?” smile.
And now for the bad news…
The cooler never got to Cedrik. It was supposed to arrive on Friday… Well, here we are on Thursday the following week and my shipment full of 3 week’s worth of breastmilk is turning into cottage cheese somewhere. I will be paying a little visit to the post office and expressing the importance of the liquid gold that is breast milk. And I learned my lesson. Next time, use UPS or FedEx…. Ugh…
On a brighter note, Lil’ Peanut is just getting cuter and cuter by the day! He’s crawling, holding his own bottle, and swears he’s carrying on a conversation with people. The other night I was Facetiming them and all of a sudden he just pushed himself up on Cedrik and stood up for a minute. So many milestones in the past month! At least I got to see it though. He and Cedrik seem to be having some amazing baby/Daddy bonding time which makes me really happy too.
I can’t express enough how FaceTime and the baby monitor have helped me get through this time away. Even though he gets to see me through the phone every day, I’m worried he’ll cry or not want me to hold him when he sees me in person. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
This weekend I mostly studied, but I did get to see an old friend from Savannah who is stationed here now! We went to an adorable cuban place off the Riverwalk for dinner and spent the rest of the night at an Irish pub drinking whiskey and Irish ale like a couple of grizzly men. It was amazing!
Week 2 has been better than week 1. Training has me so busy with studying and notecards and homework, I don’t have time to mope and think about how much I miss my family. I’ve developed a nice routine.
0545 – Wake up
0600 – Brush teeth, do hair, get dressed, pump.
0645 – Go downstairs and eat breakfast
0700 – Head out for training
1100 – 1300 is lunch. Thank goodness for those 2 hours! I have time to eat, pump and take a little nap before I have to go back!
1300 – 1530 Finish up training day
1630 – Pump, Workout
1730 – Shower, dinner and study for the rest of the night
In between all those after-training activities, I try to FaceTime with the baby and husband as much as possible! Every time that little face smiles at me and flashes me those dimples, I tear up.
Sleep is hard to come by in a hotel with thin walls. I can hear little kids excited to go to Sea World in the morning stomping around all night. I can hear other people’s TVs. One night I heard rhythmic, Arabic/Muslim chanting from about 9pm-midnight. I had to call security that night. Not to mention, I’ve always loved sleep and yet I can never get any at night. And of course I just stare at Noah through the baby monitor until I fall asleep.
On a brighter note, I passed my first exam with a 94! Woo!!! One test down, 4 more to go! The sooner I can get through all this, the sooner I get to squeeze my loves!
The hotel I’m staying at has a stove, full fridge/freezer, and it includes pots and pans, plates, glasses, etc. So at least I don’t have to eat out every single night! I’ve been alternating between burger patties and chicken breasts this week. Lunch is usually a healthy choice steamer or a lean cuisine. I’ll have to alternate two other meats next week to switch it up. This hotel also has a “Social Hour” on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. They cook or grill food and have free adult beverages for the long term residents! The best part, IT’S FREE!! I went last Wednesday night and enjoyed a baked potato bar and salad. It was actually delicious!
Training wise, everything is going steadily. Being on Lackland again for the first time since basic training has given me some flashbacks of getting yelled at in the 100 degree heat in the middle of the street. Ahhh, the Air Force. The good thing is, now that I’m a Staff Sergeant, most of the brand new airmen are terrified when they see me walk by and either pop to attention or get really nervous. You should see their faces when I’m like, “HELLO THERE!” and smile. It’s like they just saw a unicorn or something. I never yell at them. They’ve had it hard enough.
There are 17 students in the class and 5 of us are prior service. That means that we have all been in different career fields and are now cross-training into a new career field. The rest are NPS (Non-prior Students). Those are airmen are straight out of basic training. Being prior service has it’s perks in tech school. 2 hour lunches, we get to show up 30 minutes later than the NPS, and we get to leave 30 minutes earlier than them in the afternoons. Not too shabby.
As far as Texas goes….
On a scale of “Damn, it’s hot!” to “I’m melting”, I would say it’s about “Satan’s asshole” degrees outside. Like literally in the 100s almost every day. I don’t know how the NPS are making it marching everywhere. Let’s just say our classroom always has a certain “new airman musk”. I’ve learned to keep Febreeze in my backpack.
I decided to go be a tourist this July 4th weekend!
I mentioned last week that I would probably go to the Alamo and I actually got off my butt and did it! It’s pretty cool to see, but a little disappointing as well. Much respect to the Alamo and it’s history, it’s just a bit of a tourist trap. I didn’t go in because there was a huge line and the Texas sun was already melting my face off. But I did take some cool photos while there and bought a few souvenirs. In my mind, I pictured the Alamo being like out in the middle of the desert somewhere with tumbleweeds blowing around it – like the church in Kill Bill or something. Nope! It’s right in the middle of downtown San Antonio! Across the street there was the Guinness World Record museum and other novelty stores. I also went in the Guinness museum. Worst $20 I ever spent. It was like $10 more expensive than a Ripley’s, and 10 times smaller with more lame stuff. I definitely do not recommend that one. (Suddenly I’m a Trip Advisor review writer).
Saturday was definitely a day of firsts. I went to the Alamo, I had my very first Boba tea (bubble tea), and I went to ‘In n Out Burger’ for the first time ever. All three were pretty amazing. You already read my Yelp review above on the Alamo, that boba tea though…
It was definitely something to write home about. If there was a place to buy boba tea in Savannah, I would probably keep it in business all on my own. In n Out Burger was good but nothing too special. I gave it like a 7 all around.
I finished up the holiday weekend grilling out with some classmates at the hotel pool and waiting for the fireworks from SeaWorld. My hotel is literally 5 minutes away from that kill shelter…. I mean park.
It turns out, the fireworks were blocked off by the hotel itself and we could only see like the very end result of the fireworks…. I wound up going back to my room, putting on my July 4th “Merica” socks and FaceTime’d Cedrik and Noah for the rest of the night. Week 2 was good to me.