¡Hola Muchachos y Muñecas!
I’ve been squatting on this domain for a while, waiting for the perfect moment to start our family blog. My son’s birth was probably that moment, but I was a bit busy on that day and the few weeks that followed, so alas, the window passed. I’m quite sure no moment could top that, so I might as well get started. Our adventure is just beginning, and I want to share it with everyone I love.
#TeamGregoire has spent the last year in a strange state of limbo as Shawn was on an unaccompanied assignment in Central America. For those not familiar with military terminology, that means he was stationed somewhere that is not a war zone, but that is considered dangerous enough that his dependents, A.K.A. me, are not allowed to join him at his duty station. When it’s over, we’re rewarded for our separation with being relocated to a highly desirable duty station, which in our case, will be Ramstein Air Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
We’ve been together only about 4 weeks all year, but it only took one visit for me to come back pregnant. Apparently the medication that prevents contraction of malaria also increases the probability of conception. Good, little known fact to keep in mind if you’re traveling. Or maybe not-so-little known, since tons of people told me about it AFTER i came home pregnant – thanks for nothing, friends.
So Shawn’s been in Honduras, and I’ve been waiting behind in California – expanding, aching, and whining persistently about how much I dislike being pregnant. Many women told me that it was a magical experience and that I would miss it when it was over. They were either lying, or crazy. I’m incredibly happy to have made it to the other side, and have our sweet baby, Diego, wiggling in my lap and randomly squealing “Goo!” Shawn was allowed to take leave for the birth, a story I will document in a later post for anyone who is interested in the gory details.
Somehow, while pregnant, I continued working full-time and attending grad school at night to obtain my Masters degree in Education. 5 weeks after Diego was born I completed the final course for my Single-Subject Teaching Credential for High School Math… nerdy, I know, but anyone who knows me should expect the utmost nerdity (not a word, but go with it). I’m now registered as a substitute teacher in the Department of Defense school system, serving the Kaiserslautern Military Community. I hope to get a full-time position for the next school year. Meanwhile, I’m renewing my certifications in Personal Training and Fitness Nutrition so I can maintain a “side hustle” and help support our little family (I minored in Exercise Science at UCSB, back in the day).
Shawn returns to California THIS WEEK and I’m so excited that some times I do a little joyful shimmy just thinking about it *flamenco-dancing-emoji*. Diego is 7-weeks old today, and starting to smile and babble. I can’t wait to turn into a puddle of happy tears (I’m a cryer) as I watch him do both of those things for his dad. Shawn only got to be with us for 10 days postpartum, but he’s already proven to be an incredible father. He would hold Diego while I caught up on sleep, and I could overhear him having these very serious one-sided conversations about life, and of course, sports. Diego came out at 9 lbs 1 oz and 21.5 inches long, and he’s growing at an “off-the-charts” pace, according to his pediatrician, so he’s sure to become a big, strong, athletic man just like his dad. I pray that he also inherits Shawn’s big, strong mind… and his kind, generous heart, and his clever wit… and all his other attributes. I like my husband a lot.
Spencer Paws also LOVES “his” baby. He’s constantly trying to lick Diego, and positioning himself protectively between the baby and any visitors, ready to growl if necessary. Spencer is the one I worry most about as we prepare to move to Europe – he’s never been on a plane, never had to go for a walk in the snow. We’re all in for a deluge of first-time experiences this year. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!
Besos, Abrazos, and California Love
Rachel “Reji” Gregoire