We've been blessed with some baby clothes and things. I still need to pick out a bassinet and figure out diapers (can't make up my mind with cloth because people had to go and make ten million different styles and brands -- why can't things just be simple?). I'll probably have disposables on hand as need be, since we are in the van so often. Oh yeah, we got a new (used) minivan. I actually drive a minivan now. Red. It's already decorated with Marine Corps things and Wounded Warrior Project things. Who's surprised?! Haha.
Next month I'll be going on a four-day caregiver retreat that I was invited on by the Wounded Warrior Project. I have to figure out who can be on stand-by for Nicholas and Azarel while I'm gone. We do have a few friends in this area, so theoretically it shouldn't be that big of an issue. Of course, because I'm a caregiver (and pregnant), I'll be all sorts of worried. The theme of the retreat is relaxation and we are being treated to spa services. I've never had a professional massage before, so that's what I put myself down for! It's all inclusive!
In June, Nicholas and I are going to Texas for a week for the Shepherds for Lost Sheep Inc 2014 retreat. It's being held at the Lone Star Ranch in.... well, I can't remember exactly where now, but we're squared away for that. We'll take the baby with us of course, but Azarel and the pug are going to stay at a friends' house for the week.
Currently we are scoping out education options for the purpose of meeting certain school criteria we've established for our children, and mental and physical needs we each have, in a way that facilitates peace and assurance in everyone here. In layman's terms, this means we are looking into possible private Christian school options, and still keeping homeschool as an option (more than an option -- we will never stop home education to some degree), but we believe, for us, public is out. We toured one public school this morning, and were very unsatisfied with what we saw. This is not to say all schools are the same, but we were not happy with what this one offered or promoted. I won't go into details, as I don't want to put anyone or any facility down.
I'm sticking to the counseling we've been with for over a year now, and it's helping, plus we have marriage counseling and Nicholas has individual counseling, too, and I'm also going strong with the spouse support group offered at the Vet Center out here. It's been consistently rewarding to get to know other spouses who are caregivers in similar situations who really "get" what this life is like, without judgment, with full support, and mostly with a genuine friendship where we can be there for each other no matter how busy life is. We "make" time. :) We as a family have also gotten involved with a garden group to help get all of us involved in the community more. The garden group is specifically for veterans to help other veterans out and facilitate healing on many levels and a broader sense of purpose for those wounded who lack it. Nicholas has been going out of his way to help battle brothers and good friends, and I'd say is continuing to make progress. We are looking into sports options (soccer's been an idea floating around here) for our oldest son and possibly piano lessons this year. He's getting glasses this or next week as well, which will help his reading level, no doubt. He's such a bright kid and he's going to look SO cute with glasses on. I am still involved in my church's choir, Azarel's involved with the pre-K (soon to be K) Sunday school which he LOVES, we are all attending a weekly Bible study, and next month we may become members of our church.
I'd say that's about it for now! More than enough. It's okay, because I'm not really stressed out at all, so I guess I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing: more than I thought I could manage. We're now going through the motions of legally appealing another SSDI denial, so we have a lawyer for that, but it's a process like everything else so it's taking time. There are a few other hiccups, especially with trying to get referrals with the VA, but, that's nothing new, either. God is good and always will be.