Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Photo Challenge!

Yes, another challenge!  It sounds like fun! Since the June blog challenge is coming to an end and I really enjoyed it, I'm going to try this one!  As the title suggest, it's a photo challenge, where you take one photo a day.  You can post them on Twitter or Facebook, but I'm going to post them here!  You should try it too!  Details on how to play (there really are no rules) can be found here.  Let's see some photos!  Here's July's prompt list:

This list was put together by Fat Mum Slim.  I hope some of you will join because I'd love to see your photos! Let's get creative!

Blog Challenge Day 30: What to wear

What's one thing in your closet you wear when you have a nice occasion? Interpret that as a date night or important job event.

One of my favorite outfits right now is a pink short sleeved knit top (kinda sweater-y with an open weave) with a matching pink tank underneath and boot cut dark wash jeans for a date night or my favorite black flare dress pants for work.  When it's warm, I pair the outfit with either my brown or black comfy sandals.  In the winter, I pair it with black boots or brown or black work shoes.  I usually wear it with a long necklace and earring set made of silver links and clear beads.  The shirt is cut in a flattering was the shows my curves but doesn't cling, which I LOVE and it's comfy too!

I also bought a dress recently that I am loving.  I got it to wear to my cousin's wedding (which was yesterday).  It's black and white in a floral print and it's a faux wrap with a ruffle trim and a black ribbon around the waist.  Turns out it's also super comfy!  I accessorized it yesterday with cut little blue slingback flats, a blue crystal necklace and crystal silver hoops.  I have a feeling I'll be looking for opportunities to wear it!

WOW! I did it!  I completed the challenge!  Posting from my phone messed with the posts a few times, but I really did post the blogs each day, even if I did write them early sometimes.  I feel pretty accomplished and I got to write about some things I never had before ! I hope you learned something about me!  I loved reading everyone else's post too!  Big thanks to Mommy Someday!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blog Challenge, Day 29: The College Years

Tell me the highlights of your college years.

I really enjoyed college!  I went to a university located right in the heart of Indianapolis. It was close enough that I could live at home the first few years (Adam and I moved in together my senior year) but I still felt very independent.  I got a car my sophomore year so I could come and go as I pleased.  I also started working on campus that year, eventually working two jobs for a total of 25-30 hours a week or so.  I was involved in a drama club, putting on two plays with them, "The Crucible" which I had a tiny part in (Sarah Goode) and "Much Ado About Nothing" in which I played Ursula.  I did costumes for both plays, sewing for the first (yikes) and planning and assembling from bought items for the second. Another highlight was a Thursday night get together with a group of my friends.  We would go down town to Buffalo Wild Wings (We called it BW3s or B-Dubs) for dinner and karaoke. Several of us, included myself, weren't 21, so we always had to sit on the opposite side of the restaurant than the stage (in the bar).  We took turns singing, played pool and hung out almost every Thursday for quite awhile.  It was really fun!  I still think of it any time I go to a B-Dubs.  Probably the biggest highlight though came in the summer after my sophomore year, when I met my husband!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 28: Parlez vous Francais?

Do you speak any other languages? When do you think a child should learn a new language?

 As the title I chose indicates, I speak some French.  I took 2 years in high school and 3 more years in college, earning a minor in the language.  I don't consider myself fluent, but I did enjoy it.  I did alright until I basically ended up in literature and writing classes IN FRENCH.  Nope, over my head. I muddled through, but I think they may be right about saying there is a point where you can't learn anymore unless you immerse yourself in it.  I would love to travel to France or Quebec someday to try out my rusty skills!

I have also always been fascinated by ASL (American Sign Language) and it's on my bucket list to learn to speak it.  I know a few words and the alphabet.

I think it can be beneficial for a child to learn a new language and starting early is probably a good thing.  I don't have much interest in Spanish though, for a variety of reasons, and most other languages aren't really that useful!  Anyway, it's a great skill and if a child has the opportunity to learn a language.  Younger is probably better, but I think it's a good thing in high school as well.

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 27: When I grow up

When you were younger, what job(s) did you want to have?

Well there is a question without an interesting answer!  Honestly, I never had a good idea what I wanted to be when I grew up!   The first thing I said was probably ballerina.  My mom told my sister and I that probably wasn't going to be happening since the women in our family are fairly "well endowed".  Twin responded that she wasn't getting "those".  HA was she ever wrong!  Anyway, I have gotten off topic.  So I always came up with an answer when asked, but it changed daily.  Mostly, I wanted to sing or act or write or be an artist, but I'm not great at any of that, so I knew that wasn't happening!  I ended up settling on teacher and that's what I said when I graduated from high school and that's what I studied in college.  However, once I started field experience, I realized it really wasn't for me. It's a long story, but eventually it ended with me getting a degree in education, but not doing the student teaching portion, so I'm not actually certified to teach.  I took a few more courses (in Interior Design) before I finally decided to find a full time job and see how far I could get just by the mere fact that I have a bachelor's degree, regardless of the field.  A short time later, I started working at my current company, though in a different role.  I still don't know what my future holds in terms of my career.  I guess we'll see! 

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 26: IF Advice

If you could give advice to a newbie infertile, what would it be?

 I guess the advice I tried to hang on to most came from my RE.  At my initial consultation, he told me that I was going to have times where I would be disappointed, but to try not to be discouraged.  That's harder than it sounds!  Each month feels like such a failure and the endless cycle of starting all over is really hard.  What helped me follow this advice was really reaching out about my journey and my frustrations--here, on my IF Blog (see My Story tab for a link), on the forums, and to friends and family in real life.  That helped me, at least a little!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 25: What's in your purse?

Describe the contents of your purse. What kind of purse do you have?

Okay, here goes:
  • Phone
  • Chapstick
  • Wallet (with ID and various cards, mostly of the discount variety and usually way more receipts than cash.  Also change and a St. Gerard medal Twin gave me while I was pregnant with Tyler that I still carry around.
  • An ID case with more discount cards etc.
  • A notebook and pen
  • My prescription Vogue sunglasses
  • A super cute manicure set my mom got me for Christmas
  • Hairbrush
  • Spare keys (most of which I can't identify)
  • Various lip glosses
  • Flash Drive
  • Photos
The purse and wallet were my birthday/mother's day gift from Adam.  They are from the Coach outlet.  The purse is beige with the coach pattern and bright pink trim and strap.  The purse matches, beige and pink with a medallion clasp. It looks like this, only pink and beige:
The purse looks a kind of like this one, only without the short straps and the purse itself is smaller. This is the right color pink too.
It was REALLY hard for me to spend the money on these.  It was by far the most I've spent on a purse. I have a few Vera Bradley's but I'd been coveting a Coach for awhile. I got the purse for 50% off though!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 24: Mommy Fearest

What's your biggest fear about becoming a mom?

My biggest fear by far about becoming a mom was and still is something happening to one of my kids.  My mom and I have talked about it, since she LIVED losing a child, and I just can't imagine it.  Just the thought of something happening to Tyler or AJ makes me feel physically sick.  After I had Tyler, I would tear up and get anxious just hearing a news story about a child getting hurt or killed.  As much as it's always been a fear, since my kids were actually born it's multiplied somehow by about a thousand.

So far, we've managed fairly unscathed.  Tyler's endoscopy was one of the hardest days of my life, watching him be led away for the procedure, hearing him crying when he woke up and then even once I could go to him, being unable to calm him down, because he just wanted to GO!  Once when he was less than a year old, I tripped in the driveway while carrying him and we fell into the garage door.  I was so afraid he was hurt, really hurt and worse it was my fault.  Luckily, he was just banged up and scared, but a very tense and tearful drive to the ER and a fussy, guilt-filled rest of the day.

With AJ, that fear started earlier.  I always worried in the back of my head that something might go wrong with my pregnancy with Tyler, but it wasn't something I really thought would happen to me.  But after we tried for so long and I had my miscarriage, it was much more of a constant worry with AJ's pregnancy.  I started to calm down about it after the first trimester, and then I had some spotting at around 14 weeks and the worries resurfaced.  Luckily it all turned out okay.

The thought of losing our children never goes away for parents, I don't think.  It's not a constant thought in the forefront, but there is sort of an unwritten rule that children should outlive their parents. I certainly hope that is the case for my kids.

'Kay, sorry about that, kind of a downer, I know!  Hopefully something lighter tomorrow!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 23: Charity

If you had 100,000 that had to be donated to charity what would you do with it?

I have a real soft spot for charities that help children.  My sister died of cancer as a baby, so I'm very drawn to children's cancer treatment and research charities like St. Jude.  I've also had some personal connections with the Make A Wish Foundation.  I would probably give the money to one or both of those charities.  Incidently, if I didn't have to work (was independently wealthy) I would probably try to work for Make A Wish or some non-profit like it.

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 22: Favorite Children's Book

What's your favorite children's book?

This is a tough one!  In fact, I think I'm going to have to pick two! 

The first is "The Monster at the End of this Book" by Jon Stone.

If you haven't read this, you really should, children or no children!  It's super cute!  Basically Grover (from Sesame Street) reads the title of this book and gets scared!  He doesn't want to see a monster.  So he spends the whole book trying to prevent the reader from turning pages and getting closer to the end of the book, and therefore closer to the mystery monster.  He comes up with things like a brick wall, tape, and paperclips, but of course the reader manages to keep turning pages.  Finally, you reach the end and Grover realizes that HE is the monster at the end of this book!

More recently, they published another version of this story "Another Monster at the End of this Book", which includes Grover AND Elmo, who I adore!

The second of my two childhood favs is called "Sam and the Firefly" by P.D. Eastman.

This one tops my list for sentimental reasons--my dear Great Aunt Ruth read it to me often growing up, followed closely by "The Fly Went By" by Mike McClintock.  This one is about an owl named Sam and a firefly named Gus.  Sam is wandering around at night, looking for someone to play with, when he comes across Gus. Gus wants to show Sam his special trick: He can write things in the sky with his light!  Gus is mischievous and soon causes all kinds of trouble like traffic jams and trouble with local businesses.  A hot dog vendor finally catches Gus in a jar and puts him in his truck and drives away.  Sam follows.  Gus regrets not listening to Sam.  Then the truck stalls on a railroad track.  Sam arrives and breaks the jar, freeing Gus, who writes STOP! in the sky.  The train stops short of the truck and Gus is called a hero and his naughty deeds are forgiven. Gus and Sam fly off home to sleep the day away, but they visit each other each night to play.

I have to throw in one other one.  It was Adam's favorite as a kid and Tyler loves it too. It's called
"Cars and Trucks and Things That Go" by Richard Scarry.

This one has a story to it, the cat family goes driving around and sees all these vehicles and things.  But Adam and Tyler's favorite part is a little "Where's Waldo" feature, where there is a little character called "GoldBug" hidden on each page.  Tyler loves finding GoldBug!

Any great kids books to share? Leave them in the comments!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Infertile enough

This post has been ruminating for awhile.  It's one I toyed with writing back in January, when I was approaching the one year mark of finding out I was pregnant with AJ.  That one was going to be called "Survivor's Guilt".  Again in April, I wanted to sit down and write about how, although my own IF journey is resolved now, I still very much identify and want to remain a member of this community.  Then I read a post by one of my bloggy friends Jennifer at It's Jennifer Juniper wrote a post about how she didn't feel like she fit in as a member of the IF community and I came back to wanting to write this.  So I took some time between June Challenge posts to write this up.

So here it is...I'll start by saying that when I first ventured into this world, this community of sisters all across the world who struggle with infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant loss, I felt like I too, didn't belong.  After all, I already had a child, conceived naturally in an "average" amount of time.  I'd been trying to get pregnant for about 9 months when I joined my first TTC/Mommy website, Baby Gaga .  I crept in at first, posting a question here or there, joining in a few popular threads.  Over time, I made friends.  I joined more intimate threads, even ended up leading one of my very own after awhile.  After a little bit of time, it was clear that I was "infertile enough" to fit in, despite my initial worries.

Sometime later, around month 15 of TTC, I stumbled on a blog section on another website I liked to frequent.  I saw a link that said to contact the site creator if you were interested in contributing.  Oh a whim, I contacted her, and my blog there was born,   

I wrote on this blog about TTC a little bit.  Due to the rules of the CDTP blog, I couldn't post things in both places, so my posts here were more abbreviated during that time. One day I started searching for blogs about women who were TTC and I've built a blogroll full of them over time.  When I'm bored, I got to my favorite blogs and peruse THEIR blogrolls!  Whether or not most of those women know my name or read my blog in return, I feel so connected to them and somehow invested in their personal stories. I've spent hours in front of the screen, reading, crying, praying...their stories touched me deeply.

So that brings me to the message I felt moved to put out there.

  • Infertility is not how long you've been trying. 
  • Infertility doesn't care how many children you already have
  • Infertility sometimes means you can GET pregnant, but not STAY pregnant
  • Sometimes they can't find a clinical reason for infertility--That doesn't mean there isn't one, they just haven't found it yet!
  • MEMBER FOR LIFE--scars of infertility run deep and we have a special understand for others on the journey.  A resolved IFer like myself still identifies strongly with the community and still can have a place in it.
So there we go.  I don't have a larger reader-ship, but I wanted write this anyway.  Sometimes it's hard to find where we belong and if I've wondered about it in regards to the IF community, others probably have too. Maybe one or two of them will read this. I hope so.

Blog Challenge Day 21: TTC Blogger

Tell me about a TTC blog I don't have on my blog roll - why should I go visit?

I would like to recommend Jennifer at It's Jennifer Juniper.

 I've only started reading her blog recently, but I am struck most by her honesty.  She is new to blogging and new to TTC, but already she's facing the challenges we know so well.  She has a twin sister (like me!  But they are identical) who suffers from PCOS, so when she started to experience the symptoms after getting of BC, she knew she needed to seek treatment.  She's recently started on metformin and clomid.  She's married to Mr. Roo, who sounds amazing and she loves doting on her nephew, who is ADORABLE!  She writes with such honesty, it's impossible not to want to follow along and see what happens!  So go on over there and show her some blog love!

This question originally said no preggies please, but since Mommy Someday is preggo herself now, she asked for reccomendations of other newly preggos, so here's a bonus!

I recommend Amanda at Beloved Burnt Toast .  Amanda write a blog I started following a few months ago.  She is a pretty amazing lady and you just kind of want to hang out with her! She suffered the devastating loss of her twin girls in April at 8 weeks after conceiving them through FET (frozen embryo transfer).  She just found out that she's pregnant again so stop by and send her lots of sticky vibes!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 20: Open Adoptions

What sounds reasonable in an open adoption - I.e. how much contact is do-able?

Again, this isn't a subject I feel very qualified to speak on, nor do I think every situation  fits any one piece of advice.  Some families can allow a lot of involvement easily.  Others end up very limited or feel the need to stop almost completely.  I think it's a wide range, and that's okay.  From pictures and short updates once or twice a year, all the way to periodic visits and invitations to important events, I think they can all work.  It depends on the adoptive parents, the birth parent(s), and the child.

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 19: Adoption

What is your advice for parenting an adopted child?

Wow...Well, I don't really feel qualified to give advice on this subject, since I'm neither adopted nor have I adopted a child.   I guess I'd give much the same advice as I would to any parent, although I'd add advice to be as open and honest with the child about where he or she comes from as possible.  Try to gain some insight on their birth family or (in cases of international adoption) where they were born.  Presenting it as a situation where "you were chosen" and "your birth family gave us such a gift and allowed you to have a better life" is how I would try to do it in that situation.  I would support and encourage them if their child ever decided to reach out to their birth families.  I was friends with a coworker that was adopting an infant a few years ago and we threw her a baby shower as if she was pregnant and helped out after the birth, just like we would have if she hadn't adopted her child.  My dear friend was adopted by her biological aunt and uncle and met her birth mother in high school.  Both situations produced amazing, well adjusted people.

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 18: IF treatments

If your insurance covered infertility treatments at 100%, unlimited attempts - what would you try and for how long?

This is an interesting question.  Honestly, I would probably try it all, if I had to.  I would take it a step at a time and progress to the next thing if the last didn't work.  To get pregnant with AJ we tried Clomid and then moved on to Femara.  The second round we also used an HCG trigger shot.  Luckily that was all it took for us to succeed.  We were preparing to move up to injectable hormones, saving up money.  If that hadn't worked, I imagine we would have turned to IUI or IVF if we had to and if we could afford it.  In my opinion, these techniques are very valuable and have changed the lives of a lot of people.  Many children would not have been born had it not been for these things. While I respect the views of others when it comes to "playing God", I don't agree.  To me, God gifted the scientists and doctors that developed and use these techniques.  While I'm thankful I haven't had to resort to those methods, I would if I wasn't able to get pregnant.  I would also consider adoption as an alternative to fertility treatments.

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 17: Coffee

How do you take your coffee?

I love coffee!  It's a habit I picked up in college.  I always said that to fit it at school, you had to have one of three things in your hand--Coffee, a cell phone, or a cigarette.  I don't smoke, and although I obtained a phone somewhere around my sophomore year, I picked up coffee pretty much from the start!  There were a few coffee shops around the campus at first and I LOOOOOOVED their rocky road coffee.  Usually with a chocolate croissant.  Yummy.  Later on, when the food venders were pushed out, I settled on a mocha from the vending machine.  Passable!  I eventually graduated to regular coffee and at first I required a TON of cream and sugar.  I also developed a love for frapacchinos and iced coffees. 

Nowadays, I drink coffee mostly at work.  I have a large-ish mug I keep and my coworker brew half-caff in her office.  Now I just add a little bit of creamer and a bunch of sugar.  I can always judge how my morning is going by my coffee cup.  Horribly crazy bad is no coffee at all, Crazy crazy is cold coffee, and a freshly empty cup is a good day!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 16: The most important meal of the day

What did you have for breakfast today?  What do you normally have?

Today I had a couple of miniature doughnuts, the powdered sugar kind.  Weekends breakfast is different from weekday breakfast.  Sometimes I skip breakfast altogether on the weekends. If not, it's something small or some of whatever Tyler's having.  Normally, I have a bowl of cereal, a few pieces of toast, or a couple of toaster waffles.   We're usually pretty pressed for time during the week, so it has to be pretty easy and quick to fix and eat. 

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Blog Challenge Day 15: First Love

Who was your first love?
Wow, yikes!  Well, I didn't have a lot of boyfriends growing up.  5 total, including my husband that I would really call BOYFRIENDS.  I'll admit, I said "I love you" to three total (again, including Adam) but I wouldn't call the first one my first love.  The first guy I really loved was someone who today remains a dear friend.  We met in college, my first semester.  He was my age, actually about 8 months younger, but he'd been in college for years.  He was part of a program where high school aged student took college courses (he was home schooled for high school while taking college classes).  Since I haven't asked him if I can name him here, I'll call him P.  I met him through my friend Gabby and we hung out a few times. He was into music and he seemed to know everyone on campus.
At that time, I was actually dating a guy from my high school.  That guy was younger, just 16 (Gasp!  Robbing the cradle, wasn't I?) and we were just casually dating. I went to football games and a dance at the school with him, sort of enjoying the older girlfriend thing, feeling just a tiny bit cool.  I started hanging out with P a little between classes.  I was taking a math course (my nemesis) and he offered to help me study.  We had so much to talk about, I never got a lot of studying in!  After awhile, I started feeling some definite chemistry toward him.  But I was still officially dating my boyfriend and P had a girlfriend as well.
One day we were talking on the phone and he said, "If I broke up with my girlfriend, and you broke up with your boyfriend..." he wouldn't finish the sentence.  I was super surprised.  I was never one to think a guy would be interested in me, must less a guy with a girlfriend!  Must less this guy, who to me was cool and funny and interesting and super cute!  So I kind of stammered that I knew what he was trying to say so then he wanted me to say it!  I couldn't, but we finally decided neither of us had to, we got the point across.  We decided to keep hanging out, but keep it as friends until we figured out where our relationships were going.
Soon after, my boyfriend and I ended our relationship mutally.  We didn't have chemistry together, although he was a really sweet guy and we both found we didn't have too much in common.  We were in very different places and did get to see much of each other.  P was single shortly thereafter as well and before I knew it, we sort of fell into our relationship.   It was around Christmas time when we started dating.  We went downtown and saw the city circle (at a distance, I was running late to get home by curfew) in the snow. We parked on top of a parking garage at school and talked for hours and yes, did a fair amount of kissing!  We saw movies and plays and hung out with his friends, who became my friends too.  We hung out between classes and I went to his house to watch movies or listen to his music.  We spent New Years at his house with his sister and parents, who were awesome to me.  We had a snowball fight and he laughed at me when I called the night "rememberable".  When we kissed that night there were fireworks, quite literally!
One night, in his car on top of the parking garage overlooking the city, he murmured that he loved me.  I was quick to reply the words but he asked me if I was just reciprocating it--he'd told me that he had done that in past relationships.  I told him no, that I'd wanted to say it for awhile, but I knew that he had always said it back when his girlfriends said it first, and I wanted it to be his moment.  He replied, "That's why I love you."
We were together just three months.  The end was strange for me, him citing that our relationship was too easy, that I didn't "challenge" him.  It started with "cooling off", but he soon slipped right back into things, and finally he officially ended it.  I was devastated.   I couldn't understand, this was something I couldn't fix, I could do nothing to change his mind.  P wasn't known for long relationships, in fact he'd never dated anyone longer than we had dated.  I suppose I should have known he wasn't ready for more, but I was young and naive and in love.  I thought that was all I needed, but it's not always enough. I learned that then.
I begged him not to disappear, to try to remain my friend.  He agreed to try, although I think we both knew it would have been easier to have a clean break.  I spent a long time hung up on him.  We would hang out as friends, almost always with other friends.  Occasionally we'd slip up and he would hold me close again, confusing me all the more.  I never initiated this contact, but I yearned for it.  After months of this, one day he sat me down and said we need to spend some time apart.  It broke my heart all over again.  As horrible as it was, and as dark as those days were for me, they served a purpose.  I found some shred of me again, the me without him.  After a few months, I attended a work function at the pizza place where he was working.  He was friendly, open, he knew about several things that were happening in my life, which told me that while he kept his distance, he still still cared.  We chatted a bit and a few days later he called me and invited me to his birthday party.  I attended and we had a good time, catching up with the buffer of other friends around us.  I could tell he was encouraged by the steps I had taken to show my independence, to show him I didn't depend on him anymore.  I can't honestly say I was completely over him then, but I'd accepted that we weren't going to be together.
The next summer, I met my husband.  He showed me what love really can be, completely uncomplicated and unconditional.  Not that our lives are uncomplicated, but our love truly is.  I trust him with everything with my whole heart and I know he loves me, simply and totally.  P and I remained friends, and I knew he was truly happy that I'd finally truly moved on. Looking back, I see now why we would never have worked, not in the long term.  He was so different from me, which was good, he brought me out of my shell, showed me that I was worth caring about, and that I could be someone different.  I did things I wouldn't have done had it not been for him. I went out dancing, listened to weird music, and opened myself up to a lot of new experiences.  And, because he broke my heart, I grew up a little.  I was stronger, a little wiser, and more sure of myself.  I always let P get away with anything, as long as he'd keep me around.  Hours late for a date with me?  No problem, as long as he showed up.  Cancels at the last minute? Ok, as long as he still wants to see me tomorrow.  I realized that it was okay for that NOT to be okay with me.  That's not to say that P would have dumped me if I'd called him on any of that, I'm sure he wouldn't have.  He was a college guy, caught up in the moment and pulled in a hundred different directions, and I was a mousy girl that didn't know how I'd caught his eye and was desperate to keep his gaze and then to somehow get it back.  With Adam, all that was gone, it was effortless, natural.  I grew up and in that way I was ready when Adam came along.  I'm very lucky for that.
P and I are still friends.  He was a last minute groomsman in my wedding.  He's moved out of state now, so we only see each other once or twice a year.  He's a great friend and very fun to hang out with, he transports me to another time, something I don't get to relive too often.  Sometimes I catch myself when we're talking and I realize I'm checking to make sure he hasn't forgotten, that I did matter that way to him.  Time has past and I have no regrets, I know I'm where I am supposed to be.  I know now that it was a different kind of live back then. It doesn't compare to what Adam and I share, not even close. My life is amazing, I have the most incredible family now.  And in a tiny way, I am who I am because of my first love.  Not my greatest love, that will always be Adam.  But it's our experiences that make us who we are and that was one of them.
This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 14: First Job

What was your first job?

My first job was working as a babysitting attendant at a bowling alley. I think I was just 14.  They had a room where all the league players could bring their kids to play and being contained.  I watched them, played with them, gave them snacks, etc.  One day a week, or if I had no kids, I'd help out in the snack bar.  I actually liked that a lot.  It wasn't too hard, although there were a few times I had WAY too many kids and it was totally overwhelming!  And I remember one time, I had just one child, a baby less than a year old probably named Frannie Jo.  She was adorable, dark haired and sweet faced, but she cried the whole time!  I stuck it out, but eventually her family checked in and decided it was a lost cause.  I worked at the bowling alley just for a little more than the summer.  I felt very cool at first, having a real job. That feeling didn't last too long. LOL

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 13: Vacation

A note before I start: I have no clue why my posts keep getting out of order!  I post them in order!  Anyone know?  It annoys me!!

Now, back to the regularly scheduled blogging.

What is the most interesting vacation you have ever been on?

Well that one shouldn't be that hard, since I have never traveled much!  I guess it would be between my trip to NYC and our honeymoon in the Bahamas, but I'm going to go with the latter.

My friend Gabby invited me and some of our friends to a Mary Kay make over thing.  The sale lady presented us with a deal that if you bought this ENORMOUS bag of makeup in a pretty awesome case (for like $250) you got a FREE* cruise to the Bahamas.  Well, I was newly engaged and we'd planned to get married in two years.  But this sounded like a honeymoon to me!  I called Adam up and we decided we would go for it!  You notice I *'ed the FREE thing....well, it was a pretty amazing deal, covering the cruise TO the island and BACK, plus three nights in a hotel on the island and two in Fort Lauderdale, and food while you're on the boat (2 meals).  The catch of course being that you have to provide your own transportation to Florida, as well as the rest of your meals and entertainment while on the island.  We didn't have a lot of money of course, but we decided if we drove to Florida, we could probably afford it and it would be a nice trip than any alternative we could afford.

SO!  The day after our wedding (Sunday), we headed for Florida in my father-in-laws car.  At the time, we both owned older cars, not very reliable, so they let us borrow theirs.  We drove, stopping outside of Atlanta (where we saw the water tower painted like a Georgia Peach and actually resembling a butt) to sleep for a few hours.  Florida was rough on us.  Outside of West Palm Beach, it started pouring and then the interstate came to a complete stop.  Apparently, there was an accident up ahead. We got off the interstate, but since this was before GPS (2004--if they existed, we certainly didn't have one, nor a smartphone), we didn't really know where we were going!  It was a pretty residential area, with brightly colored houses dotting the area.  We drove around for over an hour, trying to get to a new on ramp, one that was past the accident.  We ended up getting right back on where we'd gotten off.  Fun times.

We finally made it to Fort Lauderdale and spent the night at the hotel where we would catch a bus to the dock.  The next morning, we boarded the boat and sail to Freeport, Grand Bahamas.  It was my first official view of the Ocean!  SO PRETTY!  The boat was nice, with shows in the ballroom, lunch, and a casino to pass the time when we weren't enjoying the views on the deck.  We watched them play the newlywed game (Adam refused to volunteer) and I participated in an "Ugly Knees" contest.  By afternoon, we were on the island!  We checked into our hotel and wandered around the area.  Across the street was an International Bazaar--shops, a casino, restaurants, etc, so we spent a lot of time over there.  I got one little braid in my hair--they love to braid down there! The entire time I was there I was asked, even when my hair was in a bun covered in a hat!  We also enjoyed the pool and hot tub in the courtyard.

Day two, we were headed to the beach!  We got up early and had breakfast, then headed to the lobby to catch a shuttle to the beach.  While we were waiting, it started to rain.  The locals assured us rain doesn't last long, so we went back to our room, deciding to wait for the next shuttle.  We took a nap!  A little while later, we finally made it to the beach. It was GORGEOUS of course!  There were little shops and a restaurant.  The sand in the water hurt my feet and I really wished I had brought water shoes.  Apparently this area of beach was just inside a reef, so lots of little shells and stuff were in the sand.  We rented a jet ski for a little while, which was really fun!  We were so far out, surrounded by just water!  We at lunch on the beach and conversed with a mutt we dubbed "Beach Dog" who snacked on our leftovers and then ralphed on the dock. LOL

We headed back to our hotel for the evening and it wasn't long before we realized that we had either waited to long to slather on the sunscreen or it didn't work well.  By morning, we were both LOBSTERS!  I had never had a sunburn that bad!  Our shoulders, backs, necks, and the tops of our legs had gotten the worst of it.  We stayed close to the hotel that day!  We found a drug store and bought some aloe lotion and went we actually went to the movie theater next door and saw a movie!  Air conditioning was our friend!  Our room was kept at like 60 degrees while we were there!  LOL

The last day, still smarting, we went back to the Bazaar.  I bought some souvenirs and we lost some money at the casino.  Late in the day, we boarded our ship again an sailed (is it called sailing if there is no sail?) back to Florida.  We watched the sun set over the ocean and it was so amazingly breathtaking.

We were staying the night in Fort Lauderdale, but we knew we had to switch hotels, because we hadn't been able to get a reservation at the same one as before.  We had paid to leave my FILs car parked there in a designated spot.  When we got there, we found a nice dent and a deep scratch in the back corner panel!  We went inside, but of course it hadn't been reported!  We decided it was best to file a police report, in case we needed to get it repaired. We made small talk with the police officer taking the report and she asked where we were staying that night. When we told her the name of the hotel we were headed to, she was quick to warn us, it was known for being a spot for prostitutes and johns!

At that point, I was sick of our trip!  I was tired, sunburned, and hungry and I really just wanted to be home!  I knew Adam needed some sleep so we bravely drove to our hotel, where he ran outside to the little window to check in.  We literally ran to our room and locked the door like a couple of little kids home alone!  He ventured out once for ice and then we got a few hours sleep.  We got up early and drove straight through, not wanting to stop anywhere!  Adam woke me up outside of Louisville to help him stay awake and we got home around 2:00 am on Sunday.  WHEW!

All in all, it was an imperfect trip, but one I adored every bit of!  It was so amazing to spend time with my new husband in such a beautiful place. I would never have imagined being able to go there and I hope we can go again someday, maybe with our kids!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 11: Our Wedding

Describe your wedding:

Aw I like this one!  I apologize in advance for the pictures. I realized I only have one picture digitally!  Crazy!  I guess I need to get around to scanning the copies from my photographer! Note to self...Anyway, so instead I took pictures OF the pictures.  Good stuff.

Adam and I got married on July 17th, 2004, almost NINE YEARS ago!  We'd been together since July 2002, so two years before we married, and we had been engaged for a year.  Our wedding day was warm and sunny and our wedding was outdoors, in a park in Greenwood.  When we were looking for venues, we decided we wanted an outdoor ceremony and I wanted to try to find a gazebo. We checked some pricing options (our budget was VERY Limited) and then went down to this park. we walked around and found a small wooden gazebo.  We spent a few minutes examining it and while I was murmuring my appraisals, Adam was very quiet.  Finally, he blurted out, "I can't get married here!".  I was startled and asked why and he admitted that seeing it reminded him that he'd been here before.  With his old girlfriend.  And they used to make out here.


So we walked some more and went to the community center, where they told us where to find a second gazebo.  This one was located at the very edge of the park, in what they called the Children's Garden.  It's a small area, with a white wrought iron gazebo, a short stone path, lined by homemade tiles painted by children, with a small fountain and various flowers and plants.  It was perfect--even though it was also nestled between a set of train tracks and a fire station!

The Gazebo

I bought a beautiful gown from a local bridal store.  A-line, with a halter neck and a beaded/embroidered floral ribbon detail trim.  The back had more of the trim, splitting at the waistline and falling to the short train in a pretty detail.  I'm bad at describing it, but it was perfect for me!  My aunt made the bouquets of lavender artificial flower, my bridesmaids wore lavender dresses (one of the few choices I regret. The ones we chose really didn't suit anyone, although the color was pretty), and Adam and his groomsmen sported lavender vests.  My mom made centerpieces for the reception (held indoors at the community center) made of small glass candle holders with purple, white and clear stones, candles, ribbons and other accessories set on doilies of tulle or small round mirrors.  She also made all of the food for the reception and made a white runner for the aisle.  Too bad the boys got distracted and forgot to roll it out!  We splurged on the wedding cake and renting chairs for the service.

The night before the wedding Adam stayed at his dad's and my sister's spent the night with me.  I woke super early, so excited! The morning was spent getting my hair done with my friend Kelly and then going to the mall to a makeup counter to get my make up done.  My hair was curled and pinned up, with a small jeweled piece and a veil.  My sister's and I then went to my grandma's house in Greenwood to get dressed.  Then my great aunt, my grandma, and I got in her van and drove to the community center, where we would finish getting ready and wait for time to start.  My bridesmaids and my mom were there.  I had a minor freak out because my wedding cake was MIA, but eventually it arrived safely.  It's all a blur from then on!  Adam's nephew served as ring bearer in his adorable little tux, my cousin was the flower girl, and my sisters and friends served as bridesmaids.  My husbands friends, BIL and believe it or not, my ex boyfriend, turned good friend was also a groomsman (weird I know). Just before we were going to start I realized I was still wearing my engagement ring. I'd refused to go without it for long and had forgotten Adam would need to pair it with my wedding band (the pieces fit around each other).  Luckily Adam's sister was nearby with the guestbook and she ran it around the gazebo and passed it to the best man!

 My dad walked me down the aisle to "Pachabel's Canon" which was unfortunatly being blasted from my DJ's truck.  Yeah so ghetto, I was shocked that this was their plan, but really had no choice but to go with it. That wasn't discussed before that day.

I remember walking down the aisle, feeling embarrassed!  Everyone was looking at me and I'm not used to it!  But I saw Adam and he was teary and I forgot everything else.  The ceremony was a blur. I had trouble with the darn lighters when we went to light the unity candle (made by my grandmother using our invitation!), but it was sort of cute I guess lol.

Unity Candle made by my Grandma

When the ceremony was over, we took pictures outside for what seemed like forever!  I had to beg someone to go inside for my blinged out tennis shoes, since my heels were KILLING ME.  After pictures, we went in for the reception. Food, dancing, speeches, and gifts.  It was really fun, although I wish we had more time, it felt a little rushed to fit everything in!  And I feel back because my mom ran around the whole time, tending to everything and probably never got to enjoy herself.  We shared our cake (no smashing!) and our first dance and all the traditional things, stopping only briefly during things to eat a little bit!

The only piece of cake I ate at the wedding

First Dance to Bryan Adams "Everything I Do, I Do it for You"

Before I knew it we were done and being PELTED (I'm not kidding, it hurt!) with bird seed.  I pulled that stuff out of EVERYTHING that night.  We got in the car and drove home!  On the way it started raining a little and I was so thankful it hadn't rained sooner!

First Kiss and the cover of our wedding album
That's really a pretty terrible description!  The day was amazing, but a total blur! 

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Blog Challenge Day 12: Perfect Anniversary

A perfect anniversary....well, we usually are thrilled with dinner at Texas Roadhouse and a movie!  I guess I'd have to say I'd love to celebrate our anniversary with a trip to Hawaii.  We've always wanted to go, and we planned to try to save up to go on our 10th anniversary, but that is next year and most likely NOT going to happen.  Someday we'll manage it.  Adam wants to scuba dive (I'd be happy to stick to snorkeling, I'm a terrible swimmer) and I've dreamed of riding a horse on the beach for some reason.  So that would be pretty amazing!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 10: Doing the Deed

LOL I didn't notice this one when I started the challenge...caught me off guard!  Anywhere, here goes! WARNING, this one is going to be a little TMI, but I want to be brutally honest!

How do you help get yourself (and or SO) get in the mood to DTD during the fertile period?

Well, for me, it was always that drive of wanting another child so much.   And we really struggled for awhile, it became very much like a responsibility, a chore.  Many months we were just doing it like robots, quite honestly.  We would try from time to time to spice it up a little bit, but with a young child across the hall and my mom living downstairs, afternoon delights and spontaneous forays are pretty much non-existent and when it's 10 or 11 pm and you're getting up at 6, we usually didn't want to spend to much time dallying around! 

Quite honestly, my hubby and I aren't super active in the bedroom.  We have a great, healthy relationship and our normal schedule works well for us.  But it's not exactly conducive for baby-making, especially with the unpredictability of my cycles and our issues.  Basically serious TTCing usually involves DTD every other day up until ovulation is expected or detected, and then every day for a few days--or that's the method we most often tried anyway.  For awhile, that meant starting around CD10.  My ovulation was sometimes as late as CD 21!  Do the math, it's quite a lot of relations, at least for me!

Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and tell the story that I mentioned in the last post, regarding the pep rally.  Hubby may kill me, but really how many people will read this?  LOL

December 2011 was another disappointment, but for some reason I was left more numb than upset when repeated BFNs told me to stop taking my progesterone and let dear AF arrive. New Years Eve was spent sort of detached from it all, sipping cocktails I would have preferred to have to abstain from.  I went to my RE for my obligatory beginning of the cycle ultrasound and my emotions chose then to rise to the surface.  The very sweet nurse sat me down and suggested that we try a more monitored cycle, try to gather some more information about what was going on with my body, what my follicles were doing and such.  I would take my femara and come back for a follicle ultrasound and once they deemed me ready, I would self-administer a shot of concentrated HCG (the pregnancy hormone, which simulates the body's natural surge of ovulation hormone LH and induces a strong, better timed ovulation).  This made me feel a little better, as I always did when we were trying something "different".  I also took the advice of some of my online friends and finally bought preseed, a fertility friendly lubricant (do you know most lubricants can actually kill sperm!?).

My fertile time approached, my follicles were ready and I successfully poked myself in the stomach with a needle without passing out.  So it was on to the all important part: timed intercourse.  We had talked about the need to try to actually ENJOY the baby making efforts for a change, but it had been a really stressful day.  Tyler had been very fussy, work had been rough, I was tired and frazzled.  Adam and I lay in bed, cuddling a little and chatting before we got down to business.  I teased him, asking if he'd had a talk with his "swimmers" and he assured me he had, in fact that they had held a pep rally to get ready for the occasion! All I could picture were little sperms in cheerleading uniforms, sperm waving banners and shouting into tiny megaphones!  I burst out laughing!  Somehow I just know AJ was conceived that night!

So there you have it!  Perseverance and HUMOR is what worked for me!  What about you?

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 9: Support

How supportive is your SO in your TTC journey?

Again, I'm adjusting these since my TTC journey is over for the moment.  My husband was very supportive of my TTC journey (TTC=Trying to Conceive).  My hubby is the super laid back type, so he pretty much goes with the flow.  We had discussed when we would start trying for another baby, but he leaves the particulars up to me.  He always did whatever I asked him to, from submitting to a sperm analysis and timing intercourse to picking up medications and ABSTAINING from intercourse.  He never complained, not even in the midst of clomid-induced mood swings or those dark BFN/here comes AF days.  I was the planning master, the researcher, but he was game for whatever I wanted to try. He never complained about the RE and ultrasound copays, not the $85 trigger shot, not the afternoon off to take me for my HSG and he was ready to save up money and use tax returns for the expensive injectables, if it had gotten to that point.  I couldn't have done it without him and I really credit his positive attitude and making me laugh, especially the night I believe we conceived AJ (two words: pep rally.  Read about it in tomorrows post).  He's the best husband in the universe and the best Daddy I could ask for!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 8: SAHM?

Would I be a stay at home mom, if I had the choice?  Yes, I absolutely would!  As hard as being home full time is--and I know it's really hard--there is no place I'd rather be.  I like working, I really do, it's important for me and it's flat out essential for our family, but if money were no object, I would be a SAHM.  I admire SAHMs a lot and I do envy them.  My kids are everything to me and if staying home with them were possible, I'd do it in a heartbeat.  I feel a lot of guilt sometimes, having to be away from my kids so much.  It helps that they are with my mom during the day, but of course I'd like it to be me there with them.  Sadly that is not possible for us.  But if I hit the lottery tomorrow, you bet that's what I'd be doing!  Working is good for me, and I would probably find some way to still work, but in a different way, from home or something like that.

What about you?  Would you be a SAHM if you could?

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 7: Epiwhat?

You're in labor, drugs or no drugs?  Why?

Well, again, since I have kids already, it's documented here that I chose to have an epidural both times.  And, unfortunately, both times it hasn't really worked out so well for me.  I seem to have a high tolerance for pain medication, as in a normal dose doesn't seem to work correctly or well for me.  With Tyler's labor, I eventually just made do without an effective epidural.  My mom helped me focus and breathe and I found that very helpful.  With AJ, the pain was different and much more intense.  Pushing didn't help the pain and neither did breathing.  I found out later that was probably because he was face up and wouldn't drop down and engage correctly.  So I chose drugs, but didn't get the benefit of them.  If I have more children, I will be having a scheduled C-Section, since I don't like the risks involved with a Vbac.  So yes, I would still have drugs, although a different kind!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 6: Baby Names

 As you know, if you've ever read my blog before, I had two kids, 4 year old Tyler, and 7 1/2 month old Alexander, whom we call AJ.  So I have made a few decisions on baby names, but let me tell you, they didn't come easily!

I put a lot of thought into naming things, especially my offspring!  I've thought about names for future children since I was little, but for the most part I was never set on anything!  When I got pregnant with Tyler, we found out we REALLY had trouble with names!  Our last name is short, one syllable, and begins with an "L".  To me, this is a huge stumbling block, because a lot more names have the "L" sound than you think!  To me, if that sound is too dominant in the first name, it doesn't sound good with our last name.  Add that to the normal preferences and personal vetos (because you knew someone with that name or someone else has already used it, yada yada) we really struggled.  Before my big ultrasound during my first pregnancy, we had settled on Tyler Nicholas for a boy and Abigail Nicole for a girl.  Nicole was my older sister's middle name, and I had always wanted to use it for my first child.  As we know, Tyler is a BOY, so there you go!  Tyler was actually a name we simply stumbled onto in a baby name book and liked!

Along comes baby number 2!  On ultrasound day, we had a girls name picked out, but no boys name!  Obviously, come day's end, we didn't need our chosen Annabelle Rose (Rose after my great grandmother), so we spent the next 10 weeks or so still trying to decided!  Eventually Alexander Jacob, aka AJ was chosen.  Alexander as a little bit of significance, as my mom was told she was having boy/girl twins when she was pregnant with Angie and me and she'd planned to name the boy "Alex".

So there you go!  Although there have been many names I've liked over the years (Caitlin, Ryan, Benjamin, Breanne, Sabrina, etc). I've never been stuck on any.  If we have more children in the future, it'll be back to the drawing board for their names!

What about you?  Any baby names stick out for you?

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 5: Pets

Do I have any pets?

Sigh.  Yes, yes I do.

I'll start at the beginning.  In the summer of 2000, right after I graduated from high school, a stray cat wandered into the yard of my parent's house.  I was a huge softie when it came to cats, so I befriended the little female kitty with the pretty tortoise shell coat.  Before long, it was clear she planned to hang around for a bit.  I called her Autumn, since her fur reminded me of the season.  She was extremely friendly.  After a few days, we started to suspect she might be pregnant.  We were right and she ended up having four kittens on our front porch!  Two white ones (one with a black spot on her head, the other the tiny runt of the litter), a black one, and an orange striped one.  No one could resist them and eventually they had names and a permanent residence with us. The larger white cat was dubbed "Dot" because of her little black dot, which eventually disappeared, but was later replaced by a black freckle on her nose.  The tiny white cat, we named "Little Bit".  She is still a little bit, incidentally.  The black cat we called Salem and the orange one, the largest was Tigger.  All of them stayed at my parents house until Adam and I bought our condo, at which point Dot, who had established herself as mine, came to live with us.

Pet #1:  Dot, feline (note the question mark tail)

After a while, we decided Dot needed a friend.  My husband's sister's cat just happened to be pregnant.  Her litter only produced one kitten, a white and gray kitten we adopted and named Tippy.

Pet #2: Tippy, feline (picture doesn't do justice to her chub)

Side note:  Dot and Tippy did NOT become friends

 Some time later, my parents and older sister ended up living with us for awhile, along with my mom's three cats (The mother cat, Autumn had been adopted by one of Twin's friends, where she happily remained for the rest of her kitty life) and my sister's dog Misty.  We lived in an apartment style condo at the time and we would walk down to the "Dog Run" around the corner so Misty could be loose and run.  Our neighbor had a small poodle named Boo and we would all chat while the dogs played.  Adam and I liked it so much that when Michelle moved out, taking Misty with her, we found ourselves missing the experience.  The fall, I was in a funk.  I'd graduated college with a degree I didn't want (long story).  I'd gone back to school only to find I couldn't afford it, so that was a bust.  I'd been considering asking if my job could become a full time position when they decided just that.  However, instead of offering me the full time spot, the hired someone else and let me go.  I was bummed out and one night somehow Adam and I decided that a way to cheer ourselves up was to get a puppy!  We browsed the newpaper to see what was available.  I pointed out an ad for beagle puppies.  Adam couldn't think what a beagle looked like, so I googled it and showed him a picture of a beagle puppy and he fell in love.  Thus, Gracie came into the family.

Pet #3: Gracie, canine (beagle)

Bonus photo: Gracie with tongue action

Even later, my sister was literally followed to school one day (where she was working as a teacher) by a small black cat.  He hung around awhile so eventually she took him home.  However, she'd been looking into getting a second dog and when the opportunity arose, since she could only have two pets and I was smitten with the cat, we brought him home and named him Dobby, the housecat.

Pet #4: Dobby, feline (aka Doobie, because he acts like he is on something)

In the summer of 2007, Adam and I bought our first house.  My parents had just recently divorced and we had invited my mom to come and live with us.

My mom and her three cats, the kittens from Dot's litter.  Over the last few years, we have sadly seen the loss of Tigger and Salem, which leaves us with Little Bit.

Pet #5: Little Bit, feline (yes, I woke her up to take this picture)

That's it though!  Aside from our friendly rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and birds that remain OUTSIDE, those are the pets I plan to have for awhile!

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Blog Challenge Day 4, Favorite Snack

Wow this is a hard one! I'm a bad snacker!  I could list a lot, and it ranges from good fruits and veggies to ice cream and chocolate, not to mention day 3's topic of frozen cokes and slushies!  Can anyone really just pick one thing?  I can't!

Cherry Sourballs!  From the days of real candy shops!  Cheap imitations need not apply!

Potato Chips

I'm going to admit something to go along with the potato chips.  I make a really weird dip.  I call it "hot dog dip"--No, it doesn't have hot dogs in it, but rather my favorite hot dog fixings.  I'm so embarrassed to admit this!  Ketchup, mustard, and pickle relished mixed together and I dip the chips in it!  Yes I know it sounds gross but it's GOOD!

OK so I don't end with the weird one, because someone else mentioned it in a post and now I'm CRAVING one!
What's your snack of choice?  Make me CRAVE it! :)

This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you! 

Super Sweet Blogging Award

AW you guys!!! I've been nominated for a Super Sweet Blogging Award by the lovely Jennifer at It's Jennifer Juniper!

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. Jennifer, thank you so much!  You totally made my day!  I've been writing here for many years, but I've never established a very large reader-ship, so I'm always tickled to get a comment, much less be nominated for an award like this!  You're a total sweetheart! You and Mr. Ru are so adorable and you're going to make amazing parents when your day arrives--I hope it's soon!
  • Answer 5 super sweet questions
  • Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in the blog post
  • Nominate 12 other bloggers

  • Super Sweet Questions: 
    1. Cookies or cake? I have to say cake!  It feels so much more SPECIAL to me than a cookie! :)
    2. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate, no contest!
    3. Favorite sweet treat? Mint chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone! YUM!
    4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Evenings after dinner--soooo hard to resist! But I am doing better at that!  Back on the get-fit track!
    5. Sweet nickname?  My hubby calls me "Sweet-Thing
    " sometimes. *blush* In his phone, my contact name is "Zsweet thing" so that I'm last in his contacts and easy to find (since the top is always voicemail, balance, etc)

    And now, the 12 Super Sweet Blogs (in no particular order)!

    1. Mrs. E at Ttcbabye3. This mama of twins (and one more on the way!) is a sweet commenter of mine!
    2.  Leah at Single Infertile Female.  This amazing woman battled the most severe case of endo I have ever heard of and kept her head up through it all.  She is strong, independent, brave, and an AMAZING mom to a miracle baby from a truly touching and amazing story of pure chance and destiny!  She's also a phenomenal writer.  She wrote a book, you guys!  GO BUY IT HERE!  I've read it, it's amazing!!
    3. Elizabeth at Bebe Suisse.  Another awesome writer and a super sweet mama currently days away from meeting her latest little one!  Such a sweet commenter and such a fun blog to read!
    4.  KelBel at Tales from Our Yellow Brick Road.  Another follower, gotta love them! I always love her Wordless Wednesday posts, the pictures really give an awesome insight on her life!  She's an inspiring infertility survivor expecting sweet baby boy "Cinco"!
    5. Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby.  She is currently pregnant (YAY!) and is responsible for my June Blog challenge!  I'm a brand new follower but I'm loving it so far!
    6.  Ready For My Turn at her blog of the same name! Such an inspiring blog, she's been through so much and she has never given up!  She is currently expecting TWINS!
    7.  Cristy at Searching for our silver lining. Another amazing example of resilience and never giving up.  And she is another incredible success story I have had the joy to follow, pregnant with twins!
    8.  Tasha at Frozen OJ first of all, her pun-day posts are HILARIOUS!  Second of all, she's everything a blogger should be, witty, honest, inspiring and a great writer!
    9. SM at Unexplained Rantings.  Amazing changes coming for this amazing woman!  A baby boy on the way and they are opening their home and hearts to a pair of sisters beginning next week!  What a blessing!
    10.  Liz at Wishing on a Snowflake.   Another path to motherhood, this one involving embryo adoption.  I love reading all different kinds of stories and this one was one that made me want to write my book.  She's a strong lady, much stronger than she knows!
    11. Alissa at MissConception.  This is a blog I've followed for awhile.  She's very busy these days with her adorable son Cooper, but she writes and amazing blog and her story has brought me to tears.  She is so deserving of her little rainbow baby and this humble nominiation.
    12.  Missohkay at the misadventures of missohkay.  This is another blog I have been following for a loooooong time.  She an adoption mommy of one of the most adorable little ladies ever!  She writes an awesome blog about her journey, her life, her daughter, etc etc etc!  Her story was one of the first I'd read about a journey to motherhood and a struggle with infertility and loss and it's extremely moving.

    I know I haven't done justice to these little tidbits on the blogs of these amazing ladies, but they deserve much more than I can give with this little gesture.  They are awesome women!!!

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Blog Challenge Day 1: A Family Story

    How many siblings do I have?  I have three sisters, Twin, aka Angie; older sister Michelle, and my oldest sister, Nicky, who died as a baby.  My sisters and I are very close!  They visit my house at least once a week and dote on my children.  They both live within a mile of my house, which is awesome!
    My hubby has one sister, Heather, who is a year and a half older than he is.  She is married to Chris and they have four kids, my nephews: Orion, Dagyn, and Toby and my niece: Lizzie
    I can't imagine life of an only child!  And I'm glad Tyler and AJ have each other!  What about you?  If you have siblings, do you want more than one child?  If you are an only child, do you plan to stick to one?

    This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you! 

    Blog Challenge Day 3: Biggest Indulgence

    What is my biggest indulgence?  I'd probably have to say frozen cokes/slushies!  I've mentioned it before here, they are a pretty significant vice of mine!  I've always enjoyed frozen cokes and slushies and snow cones (usually cherry), but my true trigger for it becoming an indulgence was when I was pregnant with Tyler.  For some reason, I CRAVED frozen cokes!  That was the only thing I consistently wanted.  If I even thought about it or someone mentioned one, I HAD to have one!  I couldn't stop thinking about it until I had one!  It was pretty much the only caffeine I drank while pregnant, I couldn't help myself!  Snow cones were harder to come by, mostly just at the State Fair or the Zoo.  However, this last birthday I was gifted with my own snow cone maker!  It makes darn good little slushies and it's awesome for quelling my craving but keeping it small!  Next up is to try their recommendation of freezing other liquids (like pepsi!) and then slushing them up!

    Photo evidence of this indulgence:  

    Cherry Slushie!  Even better when paired with chocolate birthday cake!

    They don't stay this full for long

    Lounging on the patio while pregnant with AJ
    This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!

    Blog Challenge Day 2: About a Car

    I don't know what's going on here, I have two comments on this post, but yet it's not showing up for me???   Ah well, we'll try again, with updates!

    So I'm not really into cars so much, but it's on the challenge, so here goes!
    What do you drive?  What is your dream car?

    My first car was a silver 1992 Cutless Calais.  I was 19 when I bought it.  Yes, I didn't get a car, didn't learn to drive until I was 19. I bought the car from my dad's nephew for $800.  I had it an entire two months before the engine blew.

    My second car was purchased a few months later. It was a white 1989 Ford LTD.  A steel BOAT basically.  It was a sturdy old thing, and that was good.  I roughed it up a bit, rear ending someone just days after I bought it (for $900) and later, hitting the barrier on the interstate because of the cars habit of fishtailing if I hit the brakes too hard.  I drove it for a few years before I sold it to my sister.  She drove it for a few years before the transmission crapped out.

    I then bought my first car with a payment, a silver 2004 Chevy Malibu.  I got it in 2005, so to me it was NEW.  My dad was very briefly working at a car dealership (literally he worked there about 3 weeks) so he got me a decent deal.

    While I was pregnant with Tyler, Adam got word that he had to start working out of his employers other location and that his hours were going to be 9-6.  That was an issue because we were carpooling the 20ish miles to the northside.  Since my hours were 8-5, this wasn't going to work.  At the time, we just had the one car.  So we bought our 2001 Ford Explorer out of necessity. 

    A few more years later, Adam and I decided to get a family car, hoping to have a family soon.  We bought a black Pontiac Vibe (it's a crossover).  I can't remember what year it was. I really liked that car and it did okay for us after we had Tyler, for awhile.

    When we were ready transition Tyler from his baby car set (the kind you carry around), we found out his new carseat (which I nicknamed carseatasaurus because it was so big) wouldn't fit rear facing in our Vibe.  So it was traded in for a Pontiac Montana van.

    Last spring, while I was pregnant with AJ that van decided to blow it's engine :-P.  Apparently pregnancy equals car issues for me.  So we replaced it with our current van, a Honda Odyssey.  This is our family/weekend car and during the week my mom uses it to transport the kids.

    During the week, I currently drive a blue 2008 Ford Focus.  It's a fairly new acquisition, and I really like it!  It's got several bells and whistles I haven't mastered yet, but it also gets much better gas mileage than my old Explorer and it's comfy and drives great so far!

    What is my dream car...I don't really have one!  My knowledge of cars is pretty darn limited.  One time when I was younger I saw a red convertible--I have no clue what make it was--the paint was red, but sparkly!  I was a little smitten with that.  I'd want something with the fancy screen with back up camera (not my strong suit, would be helpful!), cell phone enabled, on board Pandora, fancy type stuff.  That's about as specific as I can get!
    What's your dream car?  Leave it in the comments!

    This is part of a June blog challenge started by Mommy Someday at Waiting for Baby. Pop over there and join in so I can learn these things about you!