Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Right Now: April Edition

Reading: No books. I've just been trying to catch up on my blog reading.

Watching: American Idol and Little Big Shots. I started watching American Idol because I have a high school friend who's daughter tried out for it. She didn't make the cut, but I got sucked in anyway. And have you seen Little Big Shots? The kids on the show are amazing, and I never watch the show without laughing several times throughout.

Listening: Currently listening to the AC and the refrigerator running. Nothing exciting!

Drinking: Cascade Ice Sparkling Water, the lemonade flavor combined with a bit of cranberry pomegranate. I recently tried switching coconut instead of the lemonade flavor and I like it too.

Eating: Too. Much. Ice Cream. I've been stress eating it. The good news is that I've also been doing a fairly good job of eating healthy otherwise. But I do need to cut back on the ice cream. I've also been participating in a workout challenge with some friends, so it's not all bad thankfully!

Wearing: A bright pink t-shirt with black capri workout pants. I pretty much wear a t-shirt every single day.

Loving: Being a part of our local Nature Mamas group! About twice a month, the kids and I get together with a group of other mommy's and their kiddos and go for a little nature hike. It's been great. We actually had one of our hikes this afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny (and hot) day!

Anticipating: Moving back "home." As much as I despise the selling/buying/moving process, I'm looking forward to when we are all settled into what we hope will be our forever home.

Hoping: That the whole process will go smoothly and without hiccups. I hope that our house sells quickly, and that our perfect house to buy with reveal itself in a timely manner, and that we can afford the one we want! I also am hoping that should we end up having to live with my in-laws in the interim between houses, that we will all still like each other when everything is said and done.

Following: The housing market. It's consuming us right now!

Wondering: How this will all play out. How I am ever going to manage getting ready for our community garage sale next weekend, and getting our house show ready to be put on the market.

Trying: To get Ayden to stay in his room in the mornings instead of coming to wake me up. I keep reminding him that it is okay to stay in his room and play or read a book if he wants to, but PLEASE, for the love of God, stop waking me up at the butt crack of dawn! There's been a lot of 5:45-6am wake ups. I'd be happy if he would just wait till 6:30!!! I've been thinking about investing in one of those Okay to Wake clocks...

Worrying: This one is pretty redundant with what I am hoping for, listed above! I'm worrying about how we will survive living with Tony's parents and having our stuff in storage. Worrying about keeping our house show ready once it goes on the market. Worrying about whether someone will want to buy it or not. Worrying about how we will afford the mortgage payment on a nicer house. Worrying about having to find the kids a new preschool.

Planning: On finishing this post and going to bed! I started it this afternoon while the kids were having quiet time, but didn't quite have enough time to finish. So here I am, staying up way too late finishing it!

Contemplating: Here's a big one for ya! I'm thinking about pursuing an assistant softball coaching job at Western Oregon University for next year. I recently learned that it paid a LOT more than I ever thought it would. It would still keep me (kind of) on the same schedule as the kids, with Christmas and summer breaks off. My schedule would be crazy during the season and I would have a lot of weekends traveling and away from home, but only for about a 2 month period. Since we are moving back to the area, this is the perfect timing for me to potentially go after a college coaching job. I plan to call the head coach tomorrow to inquire more.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

National Infertility Awareness Week

In honor of NIAW, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on our journey to being a family of four. I know our story is written in this blog in much more detail than my brief recap will be here, but I don't want it to be forgotten. Just because this space is mostly about our daily life as parents now, doesn't mean it wasn't a struggle to get here. It also doesn't mean that we forget what it was like to go through infertility. It took us over 14 YEARS to become parents! We will hardly forget.

We started out like most couples, simply abandoning birth control when we were ready to try conceiving. We kept it pretty casual at first, but obviously nothing happened. A few years later, I had a laparoscopic surgery to removed a cyst from one of my ovaries. We spent about a year charting temps and doing timed intercourse, to no avail. Tony submitted a sperm sample, and we were told he had very poor sperm quality. His count was low and they had very slow mobility. We were told that it wasn't completely impossible for us to get pregnant, but highly unlikely. We looked into IUI and IVF, but at that point in our marriage, we weren't in a place that we could afford any treatments. We spent a few more years taking supplements and changing a few lifestyle habits, in our attempt to improve our chances.

Nothing worked, so we eventually stopped "trying." We didn't prevent, but we stopped putting so much effort into trying to get pregnant because it was putting a huge strain on our intimacy. If you've ever spent a significant amount of time doing timed intercourse, you know exactly what I mean! After about 10 years, we finally just started to accept that we were never going to be able to have children of our own.

My sister and her husband were amazing and invited me to be a part of the births of their children, knowing that probably was my only opportunity I would ever get to experience childbirth. I missed my oldest niece being born, because she decided to come early and we were out of state coaching our softball team that had made it to the national tournament for the first time ever! I was there for the birth of their last three babies though.

Three days after my 37th birthday, my second nephew (baby #3 for them) was born. Witnessing that miracle for the second time, along with getting so much closer to hitting 40, was a pivotal moment for me. We had pretty much given up on ever having kids, but after seeing my nephew being born, I couldn't stop thinking about how I didn't want to end up in my 40's/50's regretting that we hadn't tried everything we could to conceive. I didn't want to look back, knowing we never even tried infertility treatments. I shared my thoughts with Tony and we agreed to at least scheduling a consultation with an RE. We still weren't in a place that we could afford treatments, but my student loans were at least paid off, so we could afford to make payments on another giant loan to fight our infertility.

We did one IUI, which we all knew would be a big fat failure, and we weren't wrong. Our first IVF resulted in only 5 eggs retrieved, with 3 embryos barely making it to transfer. This resulted in our first pregnancy! However, the good news only lasted 3 days. Chemical pregnancy. Our second IVF failed, because even after all the meds, I only had one follicle. Diminished Ovarian Reserve.

We spent the summer trying to make a decision about what our next step would be. It seemed like a complete waste of money to try doing another IVF, gambling on whether I would produce enough eggs or not. This is about the time I started this blog, so if you are interested in reading our story more in depth, you can scroll back to the beginning. My sister ended up giving us our biggest gift ever, by agreeing to be an egg donor for us.

Our first donor egg transfer resulted in a positive pregnancy! Just as I was about to graduate to my OB, we found out at 9 weeks 5 days that we had a miscarriage, due to Trisomy 18. Ironically, the abnormality came from the donor egg, which had been about a 1% chance of happening, according to the genetic doctor. Yay us for being in the 1%! Insert eye roll.

A few months later, we moved forward with our last chance Hail Mary, doing a frozen embryo transfer of our last two donor egg embryos. Those two embryos became our Ayden and Rylee. It took us a long 14+ years to grow our family, but we were finally blessed with two of the most amazing little humans!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Microblog Monday: Strep

Round and round we go. We have one, mayyyyybe two weeks without any sickness, and then we are dealing with yet another round. It feels never ending.

We spent Friday night at Tony's parents. Ayden slept H.O.R.R.I.B.L.Y. He kept fussing and crying out in his sleep, so finally I decided I'd lay down with him until he settled in. He ended up being restless all night. At 12:30 (midnight!), he asked me if it was awake time yet. Nooooo, far from it, Kid! Another time when he woke up, he really, really, really needed a drink, so I got him some water. Ayden has never really been a great sleeper if we are away from home and he's not sleeping in his own bed. Although, this was an exceptional night of little to no sleep, we chalked it up to just being away from home and maybe some growing pains.

Of course he was grumpy the next day,  but again, we just assumed it was the lack of sleep from the night before. We got home past their bedtime Saturday, and he was exhausted. I gave him some Tylenol and he slept all night without a fuss.

However, he woke up Sunday morning complaining that his throat hurt and he was feeling pretty miserable. When I looked, it was very red. I ended up taking him to the after hours clinic at their pediatric office, and he was diagnosed with strep throat. He started antibiotics last night and is feeling much better today. The doctor said that after 24 hours on the meds, he won't be contagious anymore. The rest of us seem to be just fine, so fingers crossed that nobody else gets it.

So far 2018 has brought us RSV, phenomena, numerous colds, and now strep. I'm over it already. If there's a germ out there to be caught, there is no doubt that Ayden will pick it up. Please make it stoooooop!

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Microblog Monday: Moving Again

We are moving again. Yes, you read that right. We are officially nuts. We only bought our house 9 months ago, and we've already moved four freaking times in the last three years, but we are moving again. Those words almost make me want to vomit. Our poor kids have lived in 5 different houses already and they are only four years old.

As much as neither one of us want to really move right now, we have the opportunity to move back "home." An office has opened up for Tony to take over, which would put us back home. We don't want to go through another move so soon again. We LOVE the kids' preschool, and our twin friends that moved clear across the country last summer are actually moving back! We are doing good here.


We don't have a sense of community here. When we think about our future and where we ultimately want to raise our children, it's back home, where we pretty much know everybody! We have support there, and people we trust to watch our kids. Tony grew up there and I coached softball there for 19 years. We are well known in the community. It will be less lonely. We will be able to go to the local sporting events and support kids we know. We'll have a whole community to help look after our kids. There will be little chance of them running around town causing trouble without us finding out about it. 

As much as we really don't want to move right now, we can't pass up this opportunity. We'd much rather make this move now, before the kids start kindergarten. This is it though. I have made it very clear to Tony that this is it. There will be no more relocating after this if another office opens up somewhere, regardless of the financial benefit. We are both on the same page with this.

Now we need to get this house ready to go back on the market again, and find another house to buy! Our goal is to find a house that will take us into old age, and we won't ever have to move again. Lord help us, I hope this will be a smooth process without too many hiccups along the way. Or I just might lose my mind.

If you'd like to read more #MictroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, click here for the link.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and write a blog post recently, so thought I would catch up with a photo dump. Who doesn't like adorable pictures of cute kiddos??

The kids were on spring break last week. On Tuesday, I took them to a skate park for the very first time with their scooters. They had SO MUCH FUN and have been asking to go again.

Then on Wednesday, the kids went with their grandma to Washington for a long weekend and I had the opportunity to go to dinner and a movie with a friend! I spent all day Thursday and Friday morning FINALLY finishing getting the living room painted. It's only taken 8 months, but I don't get an extended amount of kid free time very often.

This wall was half painted and had spackle polka dots the last 8 months!

Once I got the tape pulled off and this project complete, I hit the road to join the kids and in-laws in Washington on Friday. Tony had an work opportunity that we couldn't turn down financially, so he ended up not going with me. That night was $1 swim night at the YMCA, so we joined Ayden and Rylee's cousins for some fun in the pool. The kids had a blast!

Saturday morning was a small town Easter egg hunt. Then we spent the rest of the day at Tony's brother's house with his family.

Searching for Easter eggs.

Trampoline fun with one of their cousins.

Rylee got a riding lesson from her Aunt J.

We got to meet their new little piglets.

Ayden playing around with his cousins and a giant hole.

On Easter Sunday, we all went to church and then the kids and I made the 3 hour drive back home.

They couldn't wait to get home to see if the Easter bunny stopped by our house! They were not disappointed. 

Today the kids had a belated Easter hunt at their school, organized by Ayden and Rylee's grandma. It's been a tradition in their family that the grandma does an Easter egg hunt with each of the grandkids' school classes. Tony's grandma did it for him and all his cousins, and MIL has continued it with each of her grandkids.