Monday, September 23, 2013

Our New Adventure,

With all the events that have transpired this year, the hardest and easiest decision made was that changes were needed.  We needed to break the cycle of this year.  So with that in mind, the first change we made was for me to become a stay at home mommy with you!  To say that I am nervous and excited is an understatement but what's good is I am more excited than nervous.  (smile)  I have begun to look for different things we can do together while I am home.  Some are fun play activities such as play groups and MOPS, while others are learning tools with lots of of free homeschooling preschool items available online!  I tease Daddy we just need to buy stock in paper and printer ink.  (smile)

I am so excited to watch you grow and learn and hope and pray that our time together will be a time we look back on and appreciate.  I love you so much my baby girl!


(PS...Yes I keep changing how I spell my name and what I use - smile.  For now, you keep calling me Momma and I just like the way this looks!  Stay tuned!)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Struggling with Secondary Infertility

This post is a long time in the making.  Do I make a "blog post" about it?  Do I continue to keep it bottled inside?  Do I share this, our most precious struggle, the struggle that has brought me to and from and to God again?  I have been trying to think about how to write this and have written and rewritten this so many times.  

For those who have not experienced this, it's the most significant part of our life.  And, it has been for 2 years.  Yes, you read that right, we've been struggling with this for 2 years.  It may seem silly to some that this would impact our lives in every aspect, but the fact remains, it does.  When Miss E was born, we were so overwhelmed with the love that we suddenly had for her, we knew that we wanted her to have siblings.  We've had that on our hearts and minds since she was born (okay, maybe not the first six weeks but pretty close).  This is our calling.  We never thought we would be going through this as it only took us 6 months to conceive her and that was with one month being a miscarriage!

Fast forward to now, and we don't have any siblings for her.  Not one.  That is why it's called secondary infertility.  When you already have a child or children but then have a problem or problems that cause infertility, it's called secondary infertility.  But it's not due to a lack of trying though. 

This desire has consumed our lives.  Yes, consumed.  Are we happy for others who are having kids all the while we are struggling for more?  Yes.  However, we still hurt.  We ache.  We want it so much.  Not just for ourselves, but for Miss E.

Fact remains, infertility sucks.  Period.  It's as blunt as that.  It doesn't matter when it happens, whether you're still trying for your first baby or trying to get a second, third, fourth, or sixth baby.  It just plain sucks.

Fertility issues can be from either the mother or the father.  The mother may have endometriosis, a blocked fallopian tube, eggs that have matured beyond her age, not produce the hormones to allow a baby to implant, or she may have an inhospitable uterus.  The list goes on and on.  The father may not have the proper motility for the sperm to go where they need to be, or the sperm may not be shaped properly, or he may not have any sperm at all!  The point is, it doesn't matter which category or multiple categories you fall into, it hurts to know that you're trying everything you can in order to have the most precious of all gifts, a beautiful baby.

This is a huge emotional, painful journey.  I found a website that best described it in my opinion, "The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief."  Here is the website that I have been frequenting that has helped tremendously through this struggle.

I write this post to give an insight to all we have been going through and are currently going through on top of what has already been posted.  Please know I do not mean to hurt anyone in writing this.  I am unsure as to where this journey will end but am asking for your prayers during this time. 

God bless,

PS...Here is a good insight on infertility etiquette.  Please feel free to pass this on to others who may be struggling in a similar way.  Many thanks.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Disney DVD Giveaway!

Oh my goodness!  I saw this and knew I just had to submit my entries for this.  Miss E would love to get a package like this!  It's a Disney DVD Giveaway!  Take a look and enter for your chance to win!


1 winner will receive a Disney Movie Pack Bundle worth over $260! 

Titles included are:
  • Return To Neverland
  • Oliver and Company
  • The Sword in the Stone
  • Robin Hood
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
  • The Muppets Movie
  • Super Buddies
Go here for your chance to enter!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Disney Princess Magazine!

I am so excited!!!  LivingSocial is having a deal today on 5 different magazines for kids!  So I just ordered you the Disney Princess magazine for a year!  I cannot wait to see your expression when you see that you got mail and it's one of your loves, Disney!  

Check it out for your kiddos!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday sillies!

After all the heaviness of this past week's activities, we thought it was time for us all to have some fun this weekend.  And what better way to have fun than to go to Nanny and Pappa's house to celebrate Daddy's birthday!!!  Here is a photo montage of our funfilled weekend:

First off, here is my first attempt at putting your hair in pig tails!  You love it!  You play with them constantly (yes, resulting in me putting them back in over and over again, but hey, it's helping me learn how to do them more quickly! - smile)!  Tell me you don't smile when you see this picture?!  How could you not?!  (smile)

The first part of celebrating a birthday is to make Daddy a cake!  Here you are making the cake and smelling it!  Ha ha!  (smile)  You love to smell all the food we prepare before cooking it!

And here's the final product!  I found a tutorial on Pinterest on how to do this to the batter and it worked (even worked with making some minor changes)!  I will definitely be trying this again!

And who has a birthday celebration without games!  Here you are playing Chutes and Ladders with Daddy for the first time!  Okay, truth is you didn't actually get through the entire game but you ask to play it almost every day!  I think we have a little gamer on our hands.  (smile)

Could not resist this!  You're going in to take your turn!  You're getting so big so fast!

Next stop, Nanny and Pappa's.  And since you are my little tomato, we had to make a stop and pick some of Nanny and Pappa's tomatoes from their garden:

Here is a nice red one Nanny!

 Look, I got it off the branch!

Yum!  Down the hatch!  (smile - plus I cannot help but laugh at the leaf in front of your eye - snicker)

And what's a sunny Summer day without some pool fun!  SPLASH!

 You absolutely LOVE the water!  Look at that smile!

And lastly, time to celebrate Daddy's birthday with a birthday cake decorated by none other than YOU!

Sneaking a lick of frosting:

Decorating like a pro!  Cannot wait to see your Christmas Cookie decorations this year!  My little artist.  (smile)

Who could resist licking the whisk?!  Not this little girl.

Daddy getting in on some of the frosting action.  Love that you both have your tongues sticking out!  (smile)

A fun day had by all!  Love this cheesy grin!!!

Happy birthday Daddy!!!


Monday, August 12, 2013

EEG Appointment

Thursday was one of those days in a mom's life where she won't forget a single detail.  A time when her baby is at the doctor's office and being prepped for some testing (or surgery in other people's cases).  It's hard to decide where to start your story of that day so I've decided to start the night before (and it is long).  Here is the story of your EEG Appointment:

In order to do the testing, we were told you have to have around 4-5 hours of sleep the night before.  That was it.  We were both a little concerned as to how well you would handle that but knowing you, I was pretty sure it wouldn't be too difficult to keep you up.  We got home from School around 5 pm and you immediately wanted to watch "The Birdies," a.k.a. Rio.  I figured, why not?  It would post pone you having dinner until later on in the evening.  So Rio it was.  Dada and I had a pretty good notion as to what movies and in what order you'd want to watch them.  And man, we know you kiddo because we were dead on!  (smile)

We ordered some pizza and played and laughed and gave you a nice long bath.  You LOVE your bath time.  Lately, you've been in your baths an hour and you still don't want to stop to actually go to bed.  (smile)  You were playing in your bath when we got a phone call.  Nanny and Pappa were on their way over to see you, play with you, and help keep you up.  SCORE!  So we quickly washed up and while we were finishing, they showed up!  I got you out of your bath and headed to the landing on the stairway with you bundled up in your elephant towel.  You were so excited to see them!  "It's Nanny!  It's Pappa!"  But then you did something hilariously unexpected.  You tried to "roar" like an elephant!  How I wish I could get that on camera.  You were after all in your elephant towel so you were an elephant!  You shook your head down, raised your nose quickly and made this higher pitched noise through clenched lips.  SO CUTE!!!

We got you all dried off and you went down to play with Nanny and Pappa in your playroom.  You showed them your new book (which I will describe in another post - it's so much fun!), played ball, showed them your color pegs and pages, and then read book upon book upon book.  Once it got to be about 10 pm, Nanny and Pappa decided it was time to head home.  All of us adults were getting tired and yawning but not you!  You were ready to keep playing!  In an attempt to help move you along, I asked you if you wanted to watch another movie.  You yelled "YES!" in such an excited voice as if to say, "Really?!  I get to watch another movie?!"  (smile)  Yes, you get to watch another movie kiddo.  You immediately choose "The Girls" (Despicable Me - smile) and ran to sit down on the couch, almost forgetting to say goodbye to Nanny and Pappa. 

Oh so tired:

Mama rubbing your leg as you hold my hand:

We watched the movie through to the ending credits (you like to dance during credits and I LOVE that) and it was just after 11:30pm.  We needed to keep you up two more hours.  So, another movie it was.  This time, we watched Tangled.  Well, you and Dada watched it.  Mama tried to go to sleep for a few hours.  Someone had to drive all of us to the appointment bright and early the next day.  (I fight myself to think about how much TV watching we let you do that day - Mama guilt can be so strong - but it was a special occasion hopefully not to be repeated.)

Once Tangled was over, it was finally a good time to put you to bed.  Your poor exhausted self did not want to go to bed.  You were spent but you did not want to stop watching movies.  So at 1:30 am, I awoke to you crying.  I gave you a hug and kiss, Dada put you to bed and you were sound asleep almost instantly.

Part of the issue with keeping you up and having you get so overtired is that you do NOT sleep well.  So at 3:30 am you awoke in tears.  We went to your room and helped you get back to sleep.  But then at 5:30 am, the same thing happened and you were up for the day.  You were crying and crying and crying, almost inconsolable. I hated seeing you that way.  So, we finally got you calmed down enough to ask you if you wanted to go downstairs and have breakfast.  Through tears you said, "I want some breakfast."  So we went downstairs.

You ate about half of your breakfast when you just didn't want it anymore.  You asked to go watch another movie.  Knowing we both had to get ready in the next 45 minutes, we put in another movie.  (Please don't judge.)  This time, you wanted to watch Cars.  But you were still so tired you could not concentrate on the movie.  You wanted to be held, you'd cry.  I felt so horrible for you.  When we turned off the movie, you went back to your breakfast and wanted to eat more.  Mistake for leaving it out on my part.  So you cried and cried when we picked you up and put you in the car.  

I drove us out there while Dada sat in the backseat with you.  Within 5 minutes of leaving the house, you wanted to go to sleep. And who could blame you.  It's why we had Dada in the back seat.  You cried out almost every time he did anything to keep you awake.  You gave us yells of NO!, NO THANK YOU!, I DON'T WANT TO!  But we kept persisting, Dada kept singing, and 50 minutes later, we arrived at the clinic.

Once we got outside of the car, you got a second wind.  You were excited to be walking outside.  There was a slight breeze and you giggled and exclaimed, "It's windy Mama!"  (smile)  We went inside the clinic and got all signed in.  In the waiting room, you started playing "ball."  You have a little orange striped beanie baby kitty that we appropriately named Stripey.  You kept throwing him away from us, then going to get him and throwing it back to us.  You were laughing and giving all the people and the receptionists a show.  (smile)

We then got called back and followed the nurse down many hallways to our room.  She kept exclaiming how much you looked like her niece and all the nurses on the way stopped to say hello to you.  My guess is they don't usually see many patients this young.  And I was so proud.  Like a big girl, you kept following the nurse and saying hello to all the other nurses.  My little social butterfly.

We got back into the room where you immediately wanted to play "ball" again.  But (smile) Dada was told it was time to calm her down by the nurse.  All in good fun but we needed you calm for the test.  

There was a nice leather recliner in the room that I sat on and we put you on top of me.  The nurse gave you a basket of stickers to go through while she marked your head with a little red pencil.  She then put all 22 leads on all the marks and wrapped your head in gauze all the way around to hold it all in.  Once that was complete, we "laid" down (as best you can in a recliner), turn down the lights, started some soothing music, and started the test.  (We did not take pictures of this.  We weren't sure of it's appropriateness so we opted to not.)

They had wanted you to fall asleep on me (hence the lack of sleep) but that was not to be in the cards.  You were calm and relaxed but as time went on, you wanted to twirl your hair which was all wrapped up.  You see, when you go to sleep, you tend to have your right thumb in your mouth and your left hand twirling your hair.  So I tried to give you my hair to twirl.  It just wasn't working.  Then Dada said your prayers with you.  Still didn't work.  At that point, we asked if we could put you on your belly.  So we all turned you over carefully so as not to move any of the leads.

You tossed and turned and tried to get relaxed enough to sleep but it just wasn't going to happen.  Then they put the strobe light in front of you.  YOU HATED IT.  And I cannot blame you.  You didn't want to look at that light.  So you turned your head.  They basically made me hold your head completely still for that part.  I felt so bad.  At that point the test was done, and in my opinion, you did great for all 45 minutes!  Who could expect a two year old to understand why she had to stay still and not twirl her hair?!  You did fantastic!

Once the test was over, the nurse cleaned off all the oil in your hair from the leads and your hair went every which way.  You looked like someone had gelled your hair for halloween to be like Beetlejuice.  (smile)  We then were lead down the hallway where another nurse let you have a couple of stickers.  We were told it would take about two weeks to get the results.  So we started on our way home.

This whole experience is so very scary but I take comfort in that you seem to be thriving despite all of it.  I would gladly take your spot so you didn't have to go through this. 

I love you,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Your Big Girl Bedroom....

is coming right along!  We have a little more painting to do but your comforter and pillow came in the mail (been eying a certain set and it finally went on sale!) and now I cannot wait until we have the room completed!  At first I thought we would do a cow themed bedroom for you but have since changed my mind when I found that sale.  We will do a farm theme for the play room with maybe some really cool fatheads.  But your bedroom (pause for effect - wink) will be done in a butterfly motif!  I am so excited!  I had wicker butterflies in my room growing up and then they went into your Aunt V's room.  They have been painted so many colors and I cannot wait to paint them for your room!

Here are a few ideas I found on Pinterest that I am looking into incorporating in your new room:

 I would like to do something like this.  Not sure I'd make this exactly but thinking I could incorporate them on to your curtain rods.  How cool would that be?!

I would love to make something like this for you.  And, since I am the matchy matchy type, I really like that it has butterflies!!!

How neat would it be for you to have a bean bag in your room that I made?!

Then I could do something like this for you!!!  Not sure you'd ever come downstairs!!!  (wink)

I just think this is really neat.  (smile)

I would love to have a personalized blanket for you.  Not sure I could do it on my own.  
But this would be so nice.  (smile)

And last but not least, this hand painted sign:

Maybe I can make all or some of these items.  Maybe some will end up in your room while others will not.  I'm not quite sure how to incorporate it all in the same room.  (smile)  All I do know is that I'm having so much fun looking through things to help decorate your room.  And you keep telling us, "Mama, I want to sleep in the purple bed."  Me too kiddo!  And I cannot wait to see the finished product! (smile)


Monday, August 5, 2013

To having the mind of a child

Wow!  You impress me every day with how much you are learning and understanding.  You're only 2.5 years old!  I am so impressed with the learning processes of a toddler's brain!

You and Dada created a new game this weekend!  Well, two over the last week!  You stand at the frame of the Great Room's door and Dada pretends to look around and whistle near the fireplace, as though no one else is there.  You take off as fast as you can and "shock" Dada with giggles and hugs.  It is adorable.  The other game is in the same place but slightly different.  Dada takes the pillow and slowly circles it around himself and you chase it, giggling all the while until Dada stops it and you flop down on it.  Again, so adorable!

On Saturday I was so excited!  I put your hair in pig tails for the first time!  You are so adorable!  (have I mentioned that yet - wink)  I cannot wait to have your hair like that more often (which it is not ironic that today while you ate breakfast, I put pigtails in your hair again).  We then started cleaning the Dining Room.  You pointed out what a bunch of our items were in our hands.  After a while, you stopped and played in your play room.  You are trying more and more to play the games we make for you and you tried desperately to set up the matching game.  Your frustration got the best of you and you whined and cried out.  So I went over to help you set it up.  I'm learning that the whining is truly you getting frustrated in that you cannot say what you know in your mind but cannot articulate.  So we are working on it, stopping you and trying to calm you, and asking you to please "Use Your Words."  It's slowly working but also like being a 2 year old, sometimes, you just don't want to and subsequently, put yourself on the step. (smile)

Later that day, Mama had to go to church to assist in a wedding ceremony.  You had come with me the night before for the rehearsal since Dada couldn't get home in time.  You played on the seats and read your books, and had so many people comment on what a beautiful little girl you are.  (smile)  So when I had to leave, you looked at me.  You - "Mama, you're going to help people get married today?"  Me - "Yes sweetie."  You - "Ok!  I'm going to get married someday too!"  I loved to hear those words!  (smile)

I then met you at church for service and found out, you did not take a nap for Dada.  Uh oh.  But, you were really good for being as tired as you were.  You're learning so much about faith, love and religion and it makes me smile thinking about it.  I hope this love continues throughout your lifetime.  While at church, we saw JT&H with their son T and we decided to all go out to dinner!  How much fun unplanned ideas can be!  We all went over to Camp Ticonderoga and had such a wonderful dinner!  You and T colored, talked, and more than once, you came close to hurting yourself getting out of your chair.  That's another aspect of toddlers that is so cool.  No fear until you actually get hurt.  There was literally no step to get out of the chair but you were putting one there.  (smile) 

I love you so much sweetie!  More to come tomorrow of what you're learning!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Time for Blueberries!!!

In an effort to give you memories and experiences, this morning I took you blueberry picking at E. B. Blueberries in Imlay City for your very first time!  (And mine too!)  It was such a blast!  Here's a sneak peak:

Look at the size of those bushes! 
At least 7 feet tall and higher!
Don't they look scrumptious!

It was an adventure right from the beginning.  You see, we've been potty training you lately and you've been doing great!  Even telling us when you have to go.  So before we left, I took you to the potty.  Then I asked if you wanted a diaper for the ride.  You said no.  GULP.  So off we went for the 40+ minute ride with no diaper!  And you did great!

On the ride up there, I wasn't quite sure how it would go.  Dark clouds were looming towards the West and we even had a couple of sprinkles on our windshield.  But we kept going.  We weren't going to let that stop us.

We got just north of Armada and we had our first hiccup.  Our only hiccup actually and it didn't turn out too bad!  The freeway/road we were taking North was closed and the detour was VERY easy.  We followed it and got stopped a few times for construction crews, but after that, it was smooth sailing.  Some of the roads were back roads and it was neat to see how high the corn had gotten and you could even start to see some ears of corn on the stalks!  I couldn't help but think how much Michigan really is "country" with all the farms we have.  And at the same time, how neat is that you can go and experience farms but we don't have to take care of one each day.  (smile)

We turned into the little parking lot and believe it or not, the sun was shining!  We were far enough North we didn't have to worry about rain at all!  We got out of the car and saw the storefront.  It was just a little shack of a building.  We headed in, and met a really nice old man who gave us a bucket for the blueberries and told us where the best picking was.  You weren't shy at all.  I am so proud of you.  You told him we were there for blueberry picking and you were so excited!!!

We headed back toward the area he mentioned and you were thrilled!!!  You saw all the blueberries and instantly started eating!  I think by the time we were done, you ate a pint all by yourself.  You just kept eating them!  Good thing they are so healthy.  (smile)

We moved through the bushes and rows and found some really great blueberries.  After a while, you started playing with sticks, hide and go seek, and (my favorite one of all) you would go into the bushes and pretend you were in a jungle.  HILARIOUS!  You had a great time and when it came time to leave, you did not want to go.  (smile)

All in all, we had almost 5 pounds of blueberries!  Here are some pictures of your adventure with blueberry picking!

Love these precious little hands! 
You've got a blueberry in your sites!

Success!  Down the hatch it goes!
And who couldn't love that smile.  Love you sweet girl!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pictures through the years

I was going to title this as another Wordless Wednesday but I just cannot give enough credit to ignited Photography out of Howel, MI.  Kevin and Heather are dear friends of mine and they have taken shots of Miss E since before she was born.  Here is a sneak peak of her 2.5 year photos!  I cannot wait for the blog teasers and will link those as soon as they are complete!  Once again, many many wonderful thanks to Kevin and Heather Autry!!!

Here you are my cute, lively 2.5 year old!

And here are some shots taken of you over the last 2.5 years from ignited Photography.  I love you so much kiddo!

Here you are as a newborn:

3 months:

 6 months:

9 months:

1 year:

18 months:

2 years:

I love you to the moon and back!