Amber and Aaron

Amber and Aaron

The Fun We've Already Had...

  • Graham Tomas born July 31 at 5:04 P.M. weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz.
  • December 2, 2011: PREGNANT!!!
  • Paisley Kate arrived August 21 at 5:38 P.M. weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz
  • DUE DATE: August 25, 2010!!!
  • Dec. 14, 2009- PREGNANT!!!
  • Oct. 07,2009- Had elective D&C.
  • Sept 28, 2009- No embryo on ultrasound. :(
  • Sept 15th, 2009- We found out we're PREGNANT!!!
  • Sept '09- Aaron had varicocele repair.
  • July '09- IUI #1 with HCG shot= No such luck
  • April '09- Ovarian drilling surgery, followed by hospitalization for uterine infection
  • Jan-Mar '09- metformin + 3 rounds of clomid= no ovulation
  • Dec. 11, 2008- Hysterosalpingogram (Fancy word for shooting dye through the ovaries. OUCH)
  • Nov '08- Sent to RE. Tried metformin alone for two months (No ovulation)
  • Oct '08- Diagnosed with PCOS based on amenorrhea and crazy hormone levels.
  • June '08- Aaron convinced me to start trying.
  • June '04- Got Hitched!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Return of the Black Sheep

It just isn't the holidays if my idiotic bio-dad doesn't show up with his trashy wife and wreak havoc at my Grandma's house...

I've described him as the "black sheep" of the family on this blog before and I can't reiterate enough how I think this term was actually invented specifically for him.  He seems to have made it his life's goal to prove that he is the black sheep every chance he gets.

Thanksgiving morning we always go out to my Grandma's house, including my mom even though she and my dad have been divorced 30 years.  She is definitely more welcome than he is.  This was the 1st year without my Grandpa so that was tough, and everyone was on their best behavior.  It's a huge family with tons of cousins and lots of great-grandkids.  It's always been my favorite place to celebrate the holidays.  Of course, we have little family fights.  One year, it was over the gravy.  Another it was about gloves.

But then Black Sheep and Mother Trucker (she's a truck-driver) show up and try to ruin the festivities.  Even though it's only noon, he's already been indulging himself in some substances so he quickly "falls asleep" in a lawn chair in the backyard.  She came sauntering into the house wearing a leather, zip- up, biker type shirt that was not zipped up nearly enough.  And had nothing on underneath it. My eyes are still burning from seeing that.   Pretty sure I'll never be the same again.

Meanwhile, Black Sheep wakes up after being encouraged to move into a lower piece of furniture in case of a fall and starts trouble as usual.  He is told to leave by multiple family members and so Mother Trucker does what any good wife would do and drags him out to their car.  We luckily never saw anything else of him. 

But she comes back in to start drama with her daughter (my half-sister) and ends up leaving too.  But not before loading up a gigantic plate of food to take.  Aaron thinks they treat it like a soup kitchen and just come get their bellies full and then leave to go no telling where.

What would the holidays be without a couple of crazy relatives???

Monday, November 21, 2011

Possessed by the Holiday Spirit

Normally, I'm what people would refer to as a Scrooge.  The holidays have, for the most part, really gotten on my nerves and even caused anxiety attacks.  The biggest culprits being Christmas and Thanksgiving. Because with all that said, I L-O-V-E Halloween.  And I can tell you what the big difference is.  Christmas and Thanksgiving are very traditional, rigid holidays with a lot of strings attached.  Compared to Halloween, which is just fun and easy-going. 

I usually vomit when I hear carols playing in stores starting in September, and cringe when I hear a countdown to Christmas.  Turkey and its fixings are just okay in my book (I'd pick mexican food anyday) since they're kinda bland.  The weather is turning cold and crappy.  And I get a little weird about opening gifts in front of others.  Oh, and I hate shopping for gifts to give unless I know exactly what they want.  The only good thing about this time of year was Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation.

Recently, I started thinking I must have come down with a terrible illness.  Suddenly, I was humming along to Christmas carols and shopping enthusiastically for gifts.  There was this strange little feeling inside of me that felt excited and eager and happier than usual.  And it occurred to me that I was feeling something I hadn't felt since I was 8. 

The Christmas Spirit.

And it felt really good.  My best guess is that Paisley has brought this out in me.  Last year she was only 4 months old at this time and I was too exhausted to acknowledge the holidays.  But this year it has really sunk in.  I have an amazing little girl to share them with.  Soon, she'll love gift-giving, and leave a plate for Santa Claus, and understand the meaning of Christmas.  And it will bring back all of the magic of the season that I so long ago forgot.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You're Too Good To Me...

After numerous facebook messages, texts, and comments left by my very sweet and loyal followers, I've decided that this blog must go on.  You all reminded me that even if people don't comment very often, it doesn't mean that they no longer read my updates.  Apparently some people like to follow my boring, pretty predictable life.  And let's face it, I really do love writing.   Even if no one reads it.

So, it's going to just have to fit in the schedule.  No more half-assing it.  I need to be better about commenting on others' posts and updating more frequently.   Because this blog truly has been my lifeline during the hardest times of my life and you are amazing friends who deserve better.  Who knows what life may hand me next.  I may just need you all again. 

Since I'm back from retirement already (sure was a lovely break), I had a comment about baby #2.  Good question.  How about you all just answer that for me?  It's not nearly as black and white as I'd hoped it would be.  The thought of going back to the RE right now is just not happening.  You know, I'd made an appointment.  And then cancelled it since Aaron was in the hospital trying to die on me.  Not a good time to go see the doctor for family planning.  And then it just happened to never get re-scheduled.

I tracked my BBT charts for a couple of months but then tucked them back away in my nightstand drawer.  The thermometer got shoved in there too, never to return.  I ran out of OPK's a while back and never bothered to buy more.  Don't even talk to me about cervical mucus.  It's like I'm super lazy this time around. 

There are moments that I think there is nothing I'd like more than another baby. Usually when Paisley is being unusually adorable and possibly asleep. And then there are just as many other moments that I'd rather cut out my own uterus with a dull knife.  Typically after she smears poop all over my kitchen floor or has a huge meltdown in public.  I literally change my mind constantly.

So, I've kind of left it up to fate until now.  No birth control for most equals certain pregnancy.  Considering I haven't been on birth control in 3.5 years and I've managed to have one child, chances are a 2nd may not happen anyways.  And definitely not on its own.  I mean, Paisley was born almost 15 months ago and I'm not pregnant again.  But I'm not feeling it for intervention.  The drive to do anything in the world to have a baby is O-V-E-R.  I've got my precious baby.  And she certainly keeps me busy enough.  She almost made me quit this blog, for goodness sake!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Time-Out from Blogging?

This blog has been my source of comfort, friendship and support for almost 3 years now.  I started it during my painful infertility battle just on the verge of undergoing my ovarian drilling which ended up being a success.  I've celebrated with you all, cried with you all, and prayed for my readers who were going through similar heartbreak.   I've even looked forward to returning from vacations so that I could check my blogger again for updates on my friends who were expecting good news soon. 

This blog has been everything to me.  It's amazing how many women I've connected to that I would never have met otherwise.  No one can help you through a tough time like someone who has been there or who is currently there too.  I swear my miscarriage would have killed me if I hadn't had such compassionate readers offering amazing words of strength and hope.  And I'm so grateful that I've had that kind of support.

But most of my long-time blog friends have babies now (thankfully) and have kinda moved on.  And I get that.  Life gets hectic with a child, to say the very least.  I've honestly had days that I never got to brush my teeth or even pee because her needs come very first.  And she seems to have a LOT of needs.  :)

So, I find that less of my friends update their blogs and even fewer comment on mine.  Which leads me to believe that fewer are following at this point.  I may just not update as frequently, but will definitely continue to follow those who are still in the middle of the journey.   I will continue to pray for those waiting, and celebrate with those who have succeeded.  But, maybe my role in the blogging world has been fulfilled.  Considering the extensive list of things I need to accomplish every day, this would be one less thing I'd feel guilty about not getting done.  :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Picture Success!!!

Paisley had lots of pictures taken of her on the cruise and actually enjoyed it!  She didn't burst into tears once, and doesn't appear to be suffering from PTSD now.  :)   Of course, she didn't stay still for any of the pictures, but the photographers did a great job of capturing action shots!

This was a bridge on the main floor of the cruise ship that Paisley loved to run across!

As you can see from her less-than-thrilled expression, she'd rather be running loose than have me hold her.

This was a crowd favorite.  Tons of other passengers stopped to watch this shoot, because she was being adorable!

We didn't pose any of these shots, she just played and they took pictures.  Worked so much better.

Running like crazy across her favorite bridge

She adored the DreamWorks characters.  The other kids were all terrified, so she got to spend a lot of time hugging on them.

They just heaped all the props up together and she loved it!

Sneaky little grin
I'm so guilty of becoming "that" mom.  I cannot believe I posted 8 million pictures and bragged about how cute my kid is.  Next thing you know, I'll be joining PTA and making homemade meals.   Yikes!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Frequent Flyer Baby

Paisley has now been on 10 flights and we have only had one near meltdown which I described several posts ago.  And I was kinda on the verge of having my own at that point, so I understand where she was coming from.  Lots of you have asked me to share how I keep her happy and what I take with us to make flying a pleasant experience.   I'm certainly no expert and mostly I just wing it when it comes to parenting.   But this girl LOVES to travel and I was determined to not let a baby slow us down. 

As far as what I take with us on the plane...  I just carry-on a little rolling suitcase that can slide easily under the seat in front of us.  I don't want to stow it overhead because crap up there is essentially useless during the flight!  We also travel with a very lightweight (8 pound) stroller which we check in at the gate.  In her bag, I keep our travel documents in the front pocket away from everything else and easily accessible.

Milk: Paisley drinks whole milk and I've taken a sippy cup of whole milk through security just fine, but I find that it's a nuisance to pack a cooler with ice to take extra for later.  So, we have been using Enfamil Toddler formula.  It's for kids over 1 and she actually really likes it, which is good for a kid that drank nothing but breastmilk.  So, I pack the formula divider bowl that holds 3 servings and an empty water bottle to fill at a water fountain before we get on the plane.  It's easy to mix it up that way and super simple to go through security.

Food:  Snacks work really well to entertain a lot of kids on a plane, but not so much my little multi-tasker.  She likes to grab a handleful of Goldfish to munch on while reading a book and playing with a doll.  So, I take them out of necessity, not so much to keep her busy.  We packed the 100 calorie bags of Goldfish and also little boxes of cereal.  I also took several bananas. 

Diapers:   I took 5 diapers, a small thing of wipes, and the wonderful little blue diaper sacks just in case she decided to drop a deuce on a plane.  Let's face it- that kid's diapers could smell up an entire shopping mall, so imagine what it could do to a plane.  Luckily, I've never had to change her on a plane and I'm still not positive how I would manage that feat.  :)

Toys:  The part I'm sure everyone really wanted me to talk about...   This time around, I packed three of her favorite books, a brand new doll, sunglasses (she loves to put them on and take them off over and over), a sticker book, a toy truck, a squishy ball, etc.  Mostly we took just tiny little toys because they're lightweight and don't take up much room.  I also had a travel pillow.  Not because I thought I'd get a wink of sleep, but to cushion my arm on the armrest when she'd fall asleep on me.

Ears Popping:  Paisley only gets a binky when she sleeps now, so they make her REALLY happy when she has one.  So, I took several with us so that she could suck on it when we took off and landed.  Her ears never seemed to be a problem, so I guess it worked well!  Giving her the sippy cup might have worked but it would be hard to get her to drink for long enough.

What we did:  We had a 2.5 hour flight and then a 1.5 hour flight both ways this time and she slept during one of the flights each way.  Paisley is great about napping anywhere so it definitely comes in handy during travel.  Otherwise, she was awake the rest of the flight time.  She loves to watch out the window during take-off and landing.  She also likes to play with the overhead light and fan.  We found that her favorite item to play with was an empty cup.  We could put her toys under it so she could lift it to find them.  She liked to talk into the cup like a megaphone.  This kept her busy the longest!  She also enjoyed flipping through the Sky Mall magazine and identifying objects she knows such as "cat", "dog", "fish", etc. 

She also likes talking to people near us.  On one flight, we had a little baby boy behind us so she loved peeking over our seats to see him.  Both babies really enjoyed interacting and stayed perfectly happy.  It really always goes so much better than I anticipate!   I'm always terrified that she's going to freak out and scream for 2 solid hours while I'm trapped on a plane, but it just never happens.  Kids seem to always surprise us!   :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Great Diaper Crisis of 2011

Sure, I could post about more important things.  But it's late.  I'm exhausted from this stupid time change.  So I want to talk about diapers.  Or I should say the lack thereof.

Packing for myself and a one-year-old in a single suitcase is difficult.  Kinda like working a rubik's cube. I have to plan very precisely for exactly what we'll need for an entire week for both of us.  And diapers take up a bunch of room in that tiny space.  So I must have done the math a bit wrong when deciding how many diapers we'd need for 7 nights, because I decided that 34 would be plenty.  In my defense, I also packed about 10 swim diapers since we'd obviously be spending a lot of time in the water. 

What I didn't account for was that due to all the amazing cruise food, including a ton of delicious fruit, my child pooped about 3 times a day.  And peed WAY more than usual, resulting in a diaper change at least every 2-3 hours.   Now, none of this was a concern to me until the 4th day when I realized that our diaper stash was getting L-O-W.  And the cruise ship, amazingly enough, did not sell diapers.  You can surf onboard, climb a rock wall, and ice skate.  But heaven forbid they sell diapers!

So we did what any intelligent parents would do, and we started using swim diapers in place of the regular ones.  What we didn't realize is that they are completely worthless in capturing any bodily fluids at all.  Don't ever swim in a pool with kids wearing swim diapers if you aren't okay with swimming in urine.  Because she peed all over my pretty dinner dress one night while wearing one.  :)

Since "Operation Swim Diaper" failed to help us, we resorted back to the regular diapers which were now like an endangered species.  This began the phase of "Commando Baby" or "Premature Potty Training".  We started letting her swim in the ocean without a diaper at all, in just her suit.  I'm sure she actually really enjoyed this, and it worked well for the most part except when she peed all over my mom while sitting on the beach.  Oops.  Still it bought us some hours that she didn't need a diaper.

And let's all admit that we have some less than stellar moments as parents.  Sadly enough, this is not the first time I had to resort to the following disgusting measure.  One night, I had just changed a really wet diaper and to my horror, she immediately goes into poop mode.  The kid loves pooping in a clean diaper.  Her face turned red, she squatted down, and started doing "shoo-ey" with her hand.  It's cute everytime she does it, but this was not the time!!!  I checked the diaper and found about 4 solid rabbit pellets in there, so I had only one option.  I fished them out with a kleenex and flushed them down the toilet.  Crisis everted.

We ended up making it home with one diaper to spare. (My mom found a package of 3 in Cozumel that we bought or we would have been using towels as cloth diapers.) I was holding on to it in case of absolute emergency.  I will pack more than enough diapers next time we travel.  I may even order a jumbo box of them online to be delivered to where I'm going just to be sure.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Traveling!

We are home from our cruise and we had a wonderful time!  I have SOOO much to catch up on, so I'm planning on posting a blog a day for a while.  We'll see if my motivation can hold up with this stupid daylight- savings-time-nonsense that is making me comatose by 7 pm...

Relaxing on a hammock in Haiti
Paisley was remarkably good.  The flights all went well again with the exception of one "incident".  It was our last flight coming home and we'd been traveling all day.  The plane was hot, Paisley was tired and I had to sit by a stranger in a very tiny seat meant for a dwarf.   The crisis began when we had delays due to the airline "overbooking" the flight.   How this is possible I still don't get.  But they kept asking for volunteers to take a later flight and we kept waiting to leave.  So, Paisley had a meltdown.

My worst nightmare.

Luckily, it only lasted about 2 minutes.   Sadly, it felt like 4 hours.  And I had her to sleep in no time, but let me tell you how many dirty glances I got in that time period.  Like I wanted her to scream.  I was trying to ruin everyone's flight...   But then she slept through the rest of the flight.  I was too afraid to move by this point and risk waking her up, so my legs were completely numb by the time we arrived home.

In her defense, she was an angel the rest of the trip.  She played quietly on the flights, entertained strangers on the cruise ship, napped wherever we were when sleepiness hit, and ate everything we offered.  She loved swimming in the ocean and playing in the sand.  She was perfect when we spent 8 hours wandering around in the hot sun.


Carrying around a rose that one of the workers on the cruise ship gave her.  We got her this dress in Jamaica and I think she's precious in it!

Ignore the fact that her daddy looks like he's passed out in the sand...

I'll post some pictures to recap a bit of our trip.  As a reminder mostly to myself, I'll be posting about "The Great Diaper Shortage of 2011", entertaining a child on a plane (by request), our cruise ports-of-call, and our drunken co-cruisers. 
Happy baby on the cruise!
Snuggling with mama!!!