Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Where'd he go?

You guys, where did this little baby go?

I swear, he was just here.  But it seems as though this big guy has taken his place. 

Don't mind the drool
He's ONE, already!  I can't even believe it, it doesn't seem possible.  I still haven't turned my mind completely off from all those months of trying to conceive him, and yet here he is, a babbling, toddling little (big) guy.

I'm a little late on this post, delayed by the remembrance day post and, well LIFE in general being super busy.  AJ turned one on October 12th.  On his birthday, my sisters came over and we did a small dinner with cake and presents.  Little man was having way too much fun and went to bed quite late!  He enjoyed smashing some chocolate cake, and let us give him a few bites as well.

Sunday afternoon, we lucked out with amazing weather.  We invited over our immediate family and had a barbeque with hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, au gratin potatoes, and pasta, plus cupcakes for dessert.  Everyone hung out on our patio and in the yard and we put out our corn hole set (you might have to be from the midwest to know what that is!) and some balls and frisbees.  I think everyone had a good time and AJ seemed to enjoy himself in the playyard and being passed around, despite his cold.

Presents?!  My smiley boy

Going for the covert nose-wipe. He hates it.
It all went off without a hitch. The food was good, everyone made it and we celebrated my little booger turning one, amazing!

He also had his check up last week.  My "little" guy is 23 lbs 13 oz and 32 1/2 inches long! That puts him in the 85% for weight and the 95% for height!  We're having some struggles with solids (non-baby foods) because his gag reflex seems a little strong.  He's doing okay with some new stuff, but so far he absolutely does NOT get the idea that he can pick up food and feed himself.  He won't do it!  I'm hoping he gets the idea soon.  Couple that with no more formula (YAY!  Saves $45 per week!) and starting the transition to a sippy cup, plus working through sleep training issues and there are a lot of changes going on in the life of AJ!  But he's doing great and we love him!

Aside from that, we're dealing with some car drama I'm not really feeling like getting into just now (except to say I do NOT recommend Ray Skillman's auto group anymore).  Tyler is doing pretty well, recovering from his own cold and maybe a tummy bug as well.  I have finally succumbed to the cold myself, after fighting not to come down with it for over a week (everyone else had it).

Still doing pretty well on the fitness front.  Today's weight it officially placed me at 24 lbs lost, which is over 10% of my body weight!  WOOT WOOT!  I realized tonight that I have lost an AJ!!  He weighs right at 24 lbs, the amount I have LOST! For some reason, that really blew my mind!  Pretty soon NONE of my clothes are going to fit!  In a GOOD way! :)  Not sure what I'll do about that though!  I finished the Shred and having been doing my elliptical, but I bought a new DVD, Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 that I will try soon (after this blasted cold buggers off).

That's it!  We'll let AJ wrap things up.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pic of the Week: Remembering Butterfly

I still need to write a post about AJ's first birthday (?!), but first, I'm re-posting something I wrote today on my other blog, Ask An Infertile.

Today is a day put aside in remembrance.  A day to stop everything in our hectic lives and remember the babies we have lost.  It's a day to think of the sweet babies that were taken too soon, the pregnancies that ended before their time, and the angels born asleep.

Like Rachel, my loss took the form of an early miscarriage (I share her hatred for the term "chemical pregnancy").  My husband and I had been trying for over a year to conceive our second child.  My doctor was just getting ready to refer me to a reproductive endocrinologist.  We were trying one last month on our own.

A good friend of mine in the TTC community had just found out she was pregnant with her second child.  We'd "met" on an online forum and discovered that not only did we live in the same town, but that our children were born just two days apart.  Then we found out that they were born in the same hospital AND her mother had been my nurse!  We had talked for months about how great it would be to be pregnant together, to be "due date buddies".  When she got her BFP, I wanted so badly to follow her!  My TWW crept along.  I took a test and didn't see anything.  I posted a picture online (do all TTCers take pictures of their peesticks?  It's not just me, right?) and a few people with much better eyesight than I have been blessed with thought they saw a little something.

The next morning, I tested again.  This time I could see it too!  It was very faint, but it was positive!  My husband and I were over the moon!  It was the day before Father's Day and we were ecstatic to receive such a gift!  My friend and I were going to have both children the same age and we couldn't have been happier!

But that happiness, that heavenly feeling, was short-lived.

The day after my BFP, I took another test and was pleased to see a darker line, but disappointed that my digital test was negative.  I reminded myself that digital tests aren't a sensitive, it was probably just too early.  That afternoon, I noticed a tiny bit of spotting when I used the restroom.  I was nervous immediately, but I kept telling myself that bleeding isn't uncommon in the first trimester.  I reached out to my friend, who said the same thing.  It would be okay. It just had to be okay.

The next morning, I didn't take a test.  Maybe part of me just didn't want to know.  I felt alright, I was even having some symptoms already, and I hadn't had any more spotting overnight.  I went to work and started looking for an OB.  I called and made an appointment, even chatting anxiously with the nurse about how I'd had a little spotting and was just so nervous and excited.  She reassured me that it's normal, it's probably nothing, don't worry unless it's heavy or accompanied by cramping.

Monday afternoon I noticed a little more spotting.  By Tuesday morning I couldn't avoid it any longer, I took another test and my heart sank.  The line was light, extremely light.  I took another test, but got the same result.  In complete denial, I decided maybe they were a bad batch of tests, so I took my last remaining test, a digital.  Negative.  Tears immediately sprang to my eyes, but I pushed them back.  I picked up my phone and called into work, then called the OBs office where I'd scheduled an appointment. They agree to have me come in for a blood test.  The day seemed to go in slow motion.  Drive to the doctor's office.  Don't look at the pregnant bellies.  Don't look at the adorable toddlers and infants in the waiting room.  Go to the lab.  Have blood drawn.  Go home. Put feet up. Drink water.  Ignore the cramping.  Don't think about the bleeding--it's bleeding now, not just spotting.  Go online, read message of support from my friends--Don't give up!  It's not over!  Go to bed to escape.

The next morning, I texted my boss telling him I'd be late.  I waited for a call, but I didn't make it very far before I cracked and called to beg for my results, even though I already knew.

"We got your test results in.  You were never pregnant. Your HCG level was only 3.  If you had been pregnant, it would still be higher."

 I couldn't even think.  I saw those perfect pink lines.  I felt the symptoms, the breast tenderness, the gas, I FELT PREGNANT.  She had to be wrong.

I realized later that she was.  It was a callous thing to say, and obviously not true.  False negative pregnancy tests aren't possible.  She only managed to make me feel worse as I dissolved into tears at a loss she didn't even recognize.

I told my husband and my mother.  I cried.  I told my son, who wasn't quite 2 1/2, but knew mommy had a baby in her belly and knew mommy was sad.  I cried.  I got up, got dressed, drove to work.  I cried.  I told my boss.  I cried.  I worked, desperate to concentrate on anything else.  I cried any time anyone asked how I was.  They didn't know, but I cried, so I had to explain. As the hours and days went on, I found that sharing helped. I ended up sharing my loss with more people than I'd been able to share my joy with.

Many people probably didn't understand my grief. I had only known I was pregnant for four days.  But I wanted a baby so badly, and as soon as I saw those two pink lines I wanted THAT baby.  I was devastated that I would never know my baby, never get to see my baby grow and learn.  My heart broke to think I'd never hold that baby in my arms. 

Since I didn't know if my baby was a boy or a girl, I've always simply thought of him or her as Butterfly.  I've always adored butterflies and they've always held a great deal of significance to me.  I felt like this beautiful little spirit flitted into my life for such a breif time, and since butterflies are thought to only live a short time, it seems fitting.

So tonight at 7:00 pm, I lit a candle for all the sweet babies lost too soon.  And I lit another one for my Butterfly.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Okay, I might be biased

But I seriously have SUPER cute kids.  I'm sorry to brag, but it's true.  We finally went for family photos last week and they turned out really great!  I was worried, because AJ was not really into it. He wasn't fussy, just kind of "what is going on?".  They got enough smiles out of him though!  We hadn't had pictures done in YEARS and no professional ones of AJ (Bad mommy!), so I was really excited about it!  Here are a few of my favorites!

They KILLED me with these hats!


Yeah, AJ was a bit over it by this point.

Also, my baby is turning ONE on Saturday!  I really can't even think about that right now!

In other news, I'm 2 days away from finishing the Shred!  I should be on my last day, but I had a rough week last week and took 2 days off exercise.  I was stressed and (ahem) hormonal and I took a "break".  I still tracked some, but I knowingly went over a couple of days, leading to a small gain this week.  But it's okay.  I will not be defeated by a bump in the road.  I want to be healthy and that takes time.  So I'm set to finish the shred on Thursday.  This may or may not happen, because Thursday is a TV night I cannot miss.  Twin and I will be having a sob-fest over the Cory Monteith tribute episode of Glee.  I'll do my workout before if I have time, but if not, I will finish it up Friday and I'm okay with that.  I'm still considering what I'll do next, probably a mixture of shred days (or another workout DVD) and elliptical training.  I'm really loving the muscles I've developed from the circuit training.  I have BICEPS!  Really!  They are totally solid and everything!  I saw a DVD produced by Dancing with the Stars and it sounded really fun, but it's a longer workout, an hour.  The shred is 25 minutes and fits much more easily into my day.  So we'll see.  I really want to be back down and hopefully to my 20 lbs lost by next Monday, so I have work to do!  I've been good about food so far this week, staying on track, so fingers crossed!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Ray of Sunshine!

Sweet Teresa at Where the *Bleep* is Our Stork nominated me for the Sunshine Award!  The award goes to those writers who's posts brighten the days of fellow bloggers/readersAw, I am truly humbled! Thanks Teresa!!!  You're awesome!

Here are the rules:
1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award
5. Link your nominees and let them know they've been nominated.

Here are Teresa's questions:

1. Shaken or stirred? LOL Well I've never had a martini, but just based on gut reaction, I'll go with stirred.  It sounds more gentle than shaken.

2.  What is the greatest movie from the past year?  Hmm that's hard.  Was the Hunger Games in the past year?  I think so. I'll go with that.  Loved the books.

3.  Would you ever consider writing your own book?  Well, if you've read my blog,  you probably know the answer to that.  I can, I have, I am!  I actually wrote a pretty complete "novel", a fiction piece of questionable quality lol. I tend to be very dramatic in my writing, very life and death, etc.  Anyway it's probably crap and I will probably never do anything with it.  However, it's definitely a goal of mine to write something worth trying to get published and I have started an idea for a book of infertility stories.  I don't have much time to work on it these days, but it's still something I'm planning on getting back to.

4.  Would you rather have a dog's ears or hawks eyes?  Hmm good question!  Noises tend to distract me and my eyesight is terrible, so I'll say a hawks eyes. :)

5.  What is your favorite season and why?  Right now!  The Fall is my favorite.  I love the colors, I love the cool weather, I love how it smells, I just love everything about it!

6.  Have you ever hated loving someone?  You know what, I don't think so.  Even when it hurt, even when I knew I shouldn't, no, I don't think so.   I am a strong believer in being true to yourself and your feelings, that feelings are justified.  There were times that I knew it wasn't healthy, wasn't best for me to love the person I loved, but I either accepted that and dealt with it, or worked toward moving on.

7.  Do you have any strange habits?  Yes, doesn't everyone?  LOL  I'm actually doing mine right now.  When I am writing or typing, I have a habit of holding my mouth funny.  It's hard to describe, sometimes I'm kind of biting my lip, sometime I'm sort of tucking in my lip.  I'm not sure why I do it, but I know I look pretty dopey, so yeah, that's fun.

8.  Why do people say laughter is the best medicine?  Because if you can laugh, nothing is too bad!  Nothing is better than the feeling right after you've laughed so hard your sides ached or your eyes are watering.  Sick or hurt, sad or depressed, laughing will make you feel better, make things not seem so bad, even if just for a moment.

9.  What do you think is the color for happiness? Happiness...to me, happiness is warm, so I'd say something like a warm yellow or orange, like a sunset or like candlelight.

10.  What will you teach your children?  (what values, beliefs, hobbies, skills, etc)  I hope to teach my kids many things.  I want to teach them to be kind and try hard at everything they do.  I want to teach them to be respectful and honest.  I would love to work with them on any number of hobbies and skills.  I'm not very sporty, but I will do my best to teach them the basics and nurture that in them if they choose.  I hope to teach them to like to read and learn about new things, to not be afraid to try things, to enjoy music and being outside and oh so many things!

Great questions Teresa!!

Okay, so here are my nominees!  Some of these ladies are really in the trenches of infertility.  However, they always manage to hold on to hope, or to make me and all of their readers laugh at their ever-present humor, or to find joy in the little things in life.  I love reading their blogs, and so many more than are listed here.

1.  Rach at A Little Bit More
2.  Mrs E. at TTCBabyE3
3.  Stacy at Dancing My Way Through Love, Life and Books
4.  Tasha at Frozen OJ
5.  Hope at A Crack In Everything
6.  KelBel at Tales from Our Yellow Brick Road
7.  May at Nuts In May
8.  Liz at Wishing on a Snowflake
9.  Ready for My Turn
10.  And I'm going to follow Teresa's lead and leave this spot open for ANYONE!  If you read this, consider yourself nominated!  Be sure to leave a comment so I can read your answers!

Here are my questions!
1.  What is a quote that you live by or one the really resonates with you?
2.  What is your favorite word?
3.  What word or phrase do you overuse?
4.  What is one of your guilty pleasures?  It could be a food, a song, a movie, whatever.
5.  If your life was a movie, what would it be called and who would play you?
6.  You have tomorrow off work and you can do anything!  Money is no object!  What are you going to do?
7.  Your going on a 14 hour flight somewhere.  Name three MUST HAVES in your carry-on.
8.  What is the one thing you want people to remember about you?
9.  You can change your name tomorrow, no hassle. Would you and if so, to what?
10.  Fantasy pet (responsibilities, cost, and all realistic things aside)--What would it be and why?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Seeing Results

I went ahead and tried level 3 of the 30 Day Shred on Friday.  WHOO It is pretty brutal!  I could definitely tell I was working muscles I haven't been working too much thus far.  I am still pretty darn sore, especially in the backs of my legs and my gluts.  I kept watching her demonstrate the moves and I would think to myself, "No way can I do that!"  Then I'd try it and I could!  There was only one move I just can't do successfully--RockStar jumps.  Basically, you jump straight up and kick your feet back behind you.  For some reason, that just KILLS my knees.  So I modify it, still doing a jump, but small keeping my feet under me.

Sunday my mom remarked that you could really tell that I'm trimming down, especially in my upper tummy.  It made me so happy to hear that! Then Monday at work, a coworker of mine that doesn't come into the office very often also remarked that I was "looking great" and he could tell I was losing weight!  SQUEE!! LOL  Monday's weight in has me down 19.2 lbs--SOOOO close to 20 now and really close to my next big weight goal!

Weekends can be a real challenge for me food wise, since we tend to eat out a time or two and I sometimes don't get a chance to track my intake until later.  Saturday I did well, get a burger at lunch, but only eating half of it and having a salad on the side.  My sister was with me and we did get some frozen yogurt later, but I kept my portion pretty small and it was easy to track the calories since you pay by weight.  We ran errands and I picked up a few things for AJ's birthday party (my baby will be 1 in less than TWO WEEKS!?).

When we got home, I was getting the kids out of the car when a pretty, reddish golden retriever walked up to us.  Luckily, she was wearing a collar with tags.  I put her in the backyard so she wouldn't wander away and once we got the kids settled, I got the phone number off the tags and called it. The number was for a service that helps reunite pet owners with their pets.  I gave the lady the ID number and name on the tags--Molly.  She tried to call the owners, but got no answer, so she gave me the owner's name, phone number, and address.  I immediately recognized the street name, she hadn't wandered far!  I called and spoke to her owner, an older lady and offered to walk Molly home.  She was grateful--she hadn't realized Molly was gone! Apparently they had some workers at the house, so things were loud and chaotic and she'd thought the dog was downstairs with her son.  Also, apparently this sort of thing was Molly's "one fault"--I guess she's done this before!  Tyler thought the whole thing was a great adventure, although I think he would have liked Molly to have stayed a while longer to play!

Pretty Molly and silly Tyler-Man

Sunday I made a diet boo boo.  We went to a picnic my dad's work was holding and we stopped to get Tyler a Happy Meal on the way, knowing he wouldn't eat there.  Adam got a cheeseburger and asked if I wanted one.  Thinking I might not eat much at the picnic and that a single cheeseburger wasn't too high in calories, I said yes.  I didn't immediately plug it into MFP and later I forgot all about it!  It wasn't until I was adding up my calories before dinner that Adam reminded me.  OOPS!  Well, luckily this was before dinner, so I was able to adjust a little bit, but I still went into my exercise calories more than I would have liked.  Lessons learned:  EVERYTHING at McDonald's is high in calories and track them when you eat them! 

The picnic was at a park, and it was drizzling all day.  We'd thought they would move it to an indoor location, but the joke was on us!  (Another lesson learned--bring extra clothes just in case!  I had to run across the street to Kmart to get the kids sweats so they wouldn't freeze!)  The owner of the string of dealerships my dad works for throws quite an event, giving away gifts to all the employees and all the children who come. Tyler was thrilled to chose a motorized Thomas the Train set and we chose a ball-launching toy that unfortunately seems to scare AJ.  He likes the balls, batting them around on the floor like a cat, but he doesn't care for the noise and the launching.

I did not work out Monday.  I was kind of bummed about it, and it makes me nervous in a weird way, like worried I won't get back into it.  We had to drop the van off at the dealership and by the time we got home it was after nine and I was supremely cranky.  Ah well, no rule says the 30 Day Shred can't be completed in 31 Days!  9 more days and I will have completed it!  I really think I'm going to make it this time!

OH!  One more thing to add!  AJ took his first steps on Monday!  GO AJ!!