Monday, January 28, 2019

Microblog Monday: Vacation Made Us Sick

We got to spend 8 days in Cabo San Lucas! Unfortunately, Ayden spent half the trip sick, and the rest of us got sick either the last few days while still there or once we got home. I fall into the once we got home category. We got home late Wednesday night last week. I spent all day Thursday unpacking and doing laundry, and by the end of the day started feeling poorly. However, I had a national softball coaching clinic to attend all day Friday and Saturday, so I didn't have time to be sick! It was an overnight hotel stay by myself, with nobody else to be responsible for, and I spent it with a sore throat and trying not to cough up a lung on the people around me at the clinic.

By the time I made it home Saturday night, I was exhausted and ready to crawl into bed, and that is what I did! I spent all day yesterday in bed watching a few movies on Netflix, and Tony took care of the kids.

Despite everyone getting sick while in Mexico and/or once we got home, we still had a wonderful vacation, which I plan to write a blog post about soon. So many blog posts I need to write. Why is it that I can never catch up??? Ahhh, well, it is what it is.

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, please click here.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Microblog Monday: Adventures in Drug Screening

I've been working on getting everything in order for the upcoming softball season, now that I am coaching again. There's a few certifications that I need to update, get all my paperwork and official contract signed to officially accept the job, and today I went in for my drug screening. That turned out to be a bit more of an adventure than it should have!

Right after I dropped the kids off at school, I planned on going in for the drug screening. I decided to go to the district office first instead, to show them the necessary proof of identification. After that I'd go to the drug screening place.  That way I'd have more time for my bladder to fill.

That plan didn't work. Apparently, I'm getting a pretty shy bladder in my old middle age. I struggled to squeeze out any pee. What I did manage to squeeze out, I struggled to catch in the stupid little cup. And then I dropped the damn cup in the toilet!! It's okay if you laugh. Ugh. I grabbed some paper towels and fished it out. Then I embarrassingly had to tell the gal I dropped the cup in the toilet.

I made plans to return a few hours later, just before I had to pick the kids up from school. I went home and drank lots of water, hoping things would go better the second time around. I didn't go to the bathroom again until I returned to give my urine sample. But I still struggled! For some ridiculous reason, I had a hard time making myself pee into that little cup! I succeeded in giving about half the amount they asked for. The gal still took my sample and said it might be enough. They will let me know if I need to try again.

All of this made me think about the time I embarrassed myself right after an embryo transfer, when I ended up having such a FULL bladder that I peed on the table. Now THAT was an adventure!

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, please click here.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

We Have 5 Year Olds!

It still boggles my mind that we have kids. I mean, if you had asked us 10 years ago what we thought our life would look like today, the answer sure as heck wouldn't have included children. Not because we didn't want them, but because we didn't think it would ever be possible. 10 years ago, we'd been married for 11 years already. 10 years ago, 9 years had already passed with us trying to start our family. We had several years of timed intercourse under our belts, taken supplements in an attempt to improve our fertility, and had numerous doctor's appointments. We'd been told that while it "wasn't impossible, it was very unlikely" that we'd ever get pregnant on our own.

And we didn't. We didn't even get/stay pregnant with the help of IVF on our own. It took more than just science and the help of doctors. It took the help of donor eggs to finally have our babies, and even then we still had to go through the heartache of having a miscarriage at 9w5d. It took an army of prayer warriors, the generosity of my sister, science, and the team of doctor's at our fertility clinic.

But we DID finally have babies. It took us 14+ years of trying and put us in a ridiculous amount of debt, but our dream of having children finally came true.

And on December 23rd our babies turned 5 years old. Amazing! Last year I felt pretty emotional around their birthday because 5 was looming so close around the corner and it sounded so old! 5 is kindergarten age. How could they be approaching that so quickly! For some reason, it didn't hit me quite so hard this year on their birthday when they actually did turn 5. I'm sure I'm saving it up for the first day of kindergarten. Eeek!

A few days old

1st birthday

Almost 2 years old

3rd birthday party

4th birthday party

5th birthday!

I wanted to do a fire station birthday party last year, but that wasn't something they did in Veneta so we did something else. Then Tony's uncle attended the high school auction here in town, and ended up buying us a birthday party event at the fire station! I kept it very simple with no games and serving just cake. We had a few of their Veneta friends make the drive here for the party, they had a few friends from preschool come, and lots of family. 15 kids total and lots of aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents of friends.

If I'm honest, I was a little disappointed in the organization of the party from the fire station. The guy who is usually the one that runs the party wasn't there, and none of the stuff we had talked about on the phone was prepared. When I showed up, the chief in charge that day basically asked me what I wanted to do. Ummmm, well, I want to do all the things I had been told about over the phone: tour the fire station, have Fire Pup make an appearance, fire hats and badges for the kids, and if possible, rides around the parking lot for all the kids. I 100% realize that putting on a birthday party is the very least important job that they have, and I appreciate their "real" job. It just would have been nice to have some communication about the whole thing.

Despite the lack of preparation, the fire crew there that day did a fantastic job pulling it all together to make it fun for the kids. We got a tour of the fire station and a lesson on all the different trucks and the fire equipment. They found the Fire Pup costume and they managed to put little gift bags together, which Fire Pup then passed out to all the kids when he made an appearance at the party. They didn't end up giving all the kids a ride in a fire truck, but Ayden and Rylee (and me!) got a short ride around town! Another little girl who came to the party also got to go for a ride because her birthday is the same day as Ayden and Rylee's. The chief said, "alright, anyone who has a birthday tomorrow gets to go on a ride," not knowing that there was another kid at the party with the same birthday! So she got a special surprise, too! I thought it was going to just be a ride around the building, but we ended up going several blocks around town!

Overall, it was a great 5th birthday party. The kids had lots of fun and got lots of presents, but the true gift was the friends and family that came to help us celebrate. That's not quite something that Ayden and Rylee understand yet, but someday they will.

Checking out all the gear that a fireman wears.

Getting a ride in a fire truck!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

2018 Goals: How'd I Do?

After reading several of my blogger friend's posts last year about the goals they had set for the year, I decided to sit down and write some goals for 2018 as well. Here's how I did:

  1. Run in three races (not counting the Hood to Coast Relay). I only managed to get one race in. I talked Sis and my oldest niece into doing the 4th of July race with me, which kicks off the Independence Day parade every year. The race was 2.6 miles, and then we walked another 2 miles back to meet up with our family. The parade was just ending by the time we made it back to them! 

  2. Complete the Hood to Coast Relay.  I did it! Goal completed. I may not have done the three smaller races I had wanted to do, but I did do a pretty good job of training and getting myself prepared for Hood to Coast. I ran three legs of the race, for a total of 15.1 miles, at a 13:44 average pace. I didn't break records by any means, but I am so proud of myself for this accomplishment! This was my 10th Hood to Coast relay over the years, but it had been four years since I'd last done it.
    My Hood to Coast team

  3. Lose 25 lbs. I honestly have no idea how much I weigh right now, but I can for sure say that I most definitely did not reach this goal. Our scale needs a new battery, and I haven't taken the time replace it. We've been without a functioning scale since we moved in June. I was doing pretty good when I was running consistently, but once daylight savings hit and I couldn't go running at night after putting the kids to bed... Based on how my clothes fit, I have not lost any of those 25 lbs.
  4. Read three books. Goal accomplished! I read Two by Two, written by Nicholas Sparks and I read a few books I had borrowed from the library. I can't remember what they were though. Eye roll. I did not manage to finish the Unbroken book I had tried to read over the past three months, before I had to take it back to the library. Insert another eye roll. I made note of what page I left off at though, so I can check it out again and hopefully finish it.
  5. Finish painting the inside of our house. Oh man. I did so much painting in 2018! Before we moved, I finished painting the living room, and did touch up painting in the kitchen. I also painted the trim in the hallway in preparation of selling our house. My mother-in-law helped by painting our downstairs bathroom. Then we bought a new house and the entire house needed new paint. All three bedrooms have been painted, the living room, the kids' bathroom, the dining room (except for one wall that still needs done), and half the kitchen have been painted.
  6. Finish organizing the garage, hopefully with Aunt D's help. I wouldn't say we finished organizing the garage, but we almost did! And then we moved. And now our garage is once again a disorganized mess of boxes that still need to be unpacked, and stuff that just needs to find a home.
  7. Get a resume put together. I did this! I had to submit a resume when I applied for the softball coaching job. It's not quite what I had in mind when I set this goal though. Updating my softball resume wasn't hard. It's putting together a more professional resume that is the challenge for me, and it still needs to be done.
  8. Mail birthday cards to all my nieces and nephews. This was a big fat fail. I did not get one single card sent in the mail. I thought about it several times, but then their birthdays would fly right on by and it never got done.
  9. Celebrate our anniversary with another overnight weekend away sans kids. This didn't happen either. We had so much going on with our new house that drained both our time and our money, it just wasn't in the cards for us.
  10. Go hiking as a family once/month May-September. We went hiking at the coast on Mother's Day in May and that was it. Tony was afflicted allllllll summer with a gout flare up in his foot that never went away. It got so bad that we had to dig out the crutches because he could barely walk, let alone go for a hike! The kids and I did get one more major hike (7 miles) in at Glacier National Park with my sisters and their families on our trip to Montana, but the intention behind this goal had been to hike more as a family with Tony.
    Mother's Day hike
Hiking at Glacier National Park

So I accomplished some of my goals and failed at others. Overall, I think I did pretty good. The only one I'm disappointed in is not sending out the birthday cards. Of course I would have liked to lose the weight too, but the fact that I spent my summer running and able to participate in the Hood to Coast makes me pretty proud of myself. Now it's time to set some new goals for 2019!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Surprise Sister Visit

Okay, I'm attempting to write this post for the second time now. I first wrote it a couple days ago, but when I finished it and hit the publish button, it somehow managed to get lost into cyberspace! SO FRUSTRATING! Especially frustrating because I know I won't be able to recreate this post as well as I wrote it the first time around.

My sister (Sis) celebrated her 39th birthday last week, and had a surprise visitor! If you've been following my blog for a few years, you know that we reconnected with our other sister (Baby Sis) 3.5 years ago (you can read about that here). Since then, we've made it a point to visit once a year, every summer, alternating between Montana and Oregon.

On December 26th, Sis's father-in-law (Old Pop) contacted me and said he wanted to surprise Sis by flying Baby Sis here from Montana. He told me to make all the arrangements and he would give me his credit card to make it happen! Holy Smokes! Not only was that a gift to Sis, but to all three of us! I immediately contacted Baby Sis, and with Tony's help, we were able to get her and my niece (5 years old) on a flight here. Exactly a week later, the kids and I picked up Baby Sis and L from the airport the morning of Sis's birthday. We came back to our house to hang out until Sis's birthday dinner that evening. Sis knew about the birthday dinner, but what she didn't know was that there would be two extra surprise guests! Lots of happy tears were shed.

This was the very first time in our entire lives that all three of us sisters had been together to celebrate one of our birthdays.

Baby Sis and L stayed with Sis for the next few days, and the kids and I joined them on Friday. Because this was a short notice surprise visit and not a planned one, everyone still had to deal with every day life and work. Fortunately, Sis runs a daycare out of her home, so visiting was still possible throughout the day, just with a few extra kids throughout the day!

The kids had fun coloring and drawing lots of pictures.

On Saturday, everyone had the day off and we were all able to hang out. We took the kids to a bounce house that afternoon to let them burn off energy and have fun together outside of the house. After dinner that night, Sis, Baby Sis, and L came back to my house to spend the night so that Sis and I could take them back to the airport together the next morning. Rylee was super excited to have a slumber party with L in her room.

Rylee and A with their Auntie N at the bounce house


Ayden hitched a ride from his oldest cousin

The kids weren't thrilled that we wanted a picture with all of them. haha!
Ayden (5), Rylee (5), N (7), E (13), A (5), S (8), L (5)

Group selfie!

Rylee and L having a quick snuggle before Rylee crawled into her own bed for the night.

Sis, Baby Sis, and I had a slumber party in the living room that night. The three of us all snuggled on a queen size air mattress, and we talked and giggled until 1:30 in the morning, when we finally went to sleep. I think that night might be my favorite memory to date with my sisters.

The next morning, we made the 1.5 hour trek to the airport. We made good time and arrived early, so Sis and I were able to visit a bit longer with Baby Sis and L before they had to go through security and board their plane back home to Montana. Saying goodbye is never easy.

Saying goodbye, until next time!

When we stopped for gas on the way home, Sis and I took a silly photo to send to Baby Sis to hopefully make her smile.

This sister visit was a sweet surprise that was too short and full of big emotions, but amazing memories were definitely made! Baby Sis and her family will be back again in August for our now annual summer visit. Them moving to Oregon is something being discussed, so there is a good chance that we will someday be able to have more than just these short visits. We have a lot of years to make up for!

Something else to note... I think it's pretty incredible that the three of us all had babies within a few months of each other. It was such a special thing for Sis and I to have a bump photo together. It's crazy to think that we actually could have gotten a bump photo with all three of us, had we "known" or "met" each other sooner. I find it so ironic that we had babies so close together!