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Monday, January 31, 2011

Are you crafty? I'm a copy cat crafter!

It's true, I really don't have an artistic bone in my body unfortunately (after 1 year as an architecture student I gave up hope of that career and switched to finance which does not require an ounce of creativity!) but I dream of being really crafty and coming up with cool ideas that others praise me for being genius for!  Until that day comes, I like to find ideas on other people's blogs on copy them.  Here are two really cute ideas I found today that I can't wait to try!

First up, I''m going to attempt this in the next couple weeks for the boys' play area!  It's a framed alphabet and wait until you see how easy it is!  http://www.designmom.com/2011/01/alphabet-art-by-destri-bufmack/

Next, I'm always looking for little gifts I can add to baby shower gifts since I whole heartedly believe you should buy from someones registry and not tell them your choice of (bottles, pacifiers, toys, etc.) is a much better choice than what they chose (cringe!  I've heard this more than once at showers.) but I like to add something they didn't ask for along with something they did.  These little owl crinkle teethers are A. Dorable.  http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/2011/01/crinkly-owl-teethers.html

And with that said, anyone have a really cute Valentine craft idea?  I'd love to hear!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weight Watchers Weigh In!

I lost .8lbs this week!  yahoo!  I did not exercise and that was not a good idea so I'm hoping this week to take 3 boot camp classes but I'm honestly a little lazy these last few weeks in that aspect.  I'm also trying to limit my splurge day to one meal.  We had family in town last weekend and I ate way too much:(  I even confess I ate a pint of Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Ice cream in 2 nights, boo!  What I do well is I cut up my weeks veggies and make my ranch dip with light sour cream and Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix on Sunday for the entire week, I've been bringing my lunch, and I don't snack at night.  Here's my 3 goals for this week:
1) Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.
2) Workout at least 5 times this week for at least 30 minutes each time.
3) Track everything I eat including my splurge meal.

I really want to hit my 5% goal which is 10 lbs so I have 2.4lbs to go!  I was 192.6 when i got pregnant, morning sickness got me down to 183 and when Dylan was born, I was back to 192 when he was 1 week old.  Then somehow, 8 more pounds snuck up on me.  My goal for this year is 145lbs and then to get pregnant.  I've never lost more than 30 pounds in one year and I gained it back in a matter of a few months so I'm hoping this time the weight is lost and stays lost!  Have you all seen Esther, faintstarlite on YT, in the new Weight Watchers ad?!  She looks awesome and is a really great inspiration:)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Poll Question! Please Vote!

There is a poll on the right hand side of my page.....I'd love for you all to "vote" and obviously this poll is geared to those that have experienced some form of infertility. The answers are limited so if nothing really applies to you, feel free to add a comment below!  Thank you for sharing!

Adoption through FC: Questions to Ask at Orientation and Facts

Here is a list of questions you may want to ask during orientation or privately to a social worker:
1)  How many newborns come into foster care every month?  Do I have to have any special training or are their different requirements to take care of a newborn?
2)  Will I be able to get WIC for the baby? (That's what our state program is that provides ALL of your formula and then baby food as they get older).
3)  Does the state help with daycare costs? (Our state pays up to $700 a month, must be licensed through the state and city though, sorry, can't pay your friend to do it unless they are licensed).
4)  Is their a clothing allowance?  (Our state is $300 per lifetime, we never asked for the money though).
5)  When can I start the adoption process once I bring home a child?
6)  How long does it take to get licensed from the time I turn in my application?  How long does adoption usually take?
7)  Can I take the baby out of state?
8)  Do I have to pay for my lawyer and home study up front for the adoption or does the state cover that?

Facts (please check with your state, I'll go based on mine but it should be very similar)
1) You receive a monthly "reimbursement" which is supposed to cover the costs of taking care of the baby from food to clothing to extra utilities to activities, etc.  I think what we received was WAY TOO MUCH.  It was over $800 a month....seriously, the baby used maybe a fraction of that.  This money may stop when you adopt however most people we know negotiated with the state to still get that money and it was called a stipend I believe?  This is NOT about the money and getting free money, but seriously, we can all afford to send the kid to college on that amount, so I'm not opposed to asking for it.
2) FC kids automatically receive medicaid.  Therefore make sure that you ask how medical care works, here you can take them to any doctor that takes medicaid.  If that's how it works where you live, make sure to start calling around to pediatricians offices so you already have a doctor lined up!
3) You should receive WIC and get free formula for the baby while fostering the child and then after that depending on your income.  At first, we were so opposed to taking any assistance....but at $27 a can when you can get it for free....why not!
4) There should be daycare assistance.  Some people still can't believe I can be a foster mom and work full time!  Why would foster kids be any different or less loved and cared for by someone other than a stay at home mom!  So just know that you don't have to be a SAHM if you don't want to, but obviously that is up to you!  Please go check into day cares if that's what you'll need shortly after the baby arrives because here, you can be on a waiting list for a few months and if you need to go back to work, that's going to be difficult!  It's different than when you are pregnant and you know when you'll be back to work.  If tomorrow the social worker calls and says come pick up this baby, all of a sudden know you are looking frantically for day care!
5) If the child is native American, they fall under the Indian Child Welfare Act.  My honest opinion is that if you want the least amount of risk of losing a baby and you are not native or Indian, make sure you specify the baby not be native American.  It's a whole different ball game and the tribes will be involved and their preference is almost always to find a home with a Native American family.  However, I'd love for some of you to be willing to take the risk because honestly, there are far too many ICWA cases and very few Native American families willing to take them in and adopt them.  The VERY first question my son's birth mom asked was, "Are you and ICWA home?"  Really?  That's the first words out of your mouth!  Ugghh. 
6)  Ask the social worker, but in our state if you have one child in foster care or you have recently had your parental rights terminated, you DO NOT GET TO GO HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL WITH YOUR NEWBORN.  It's sad, it really is, but I bring this up because most of the families I know that adopted infants, that was the case.  Here, the social worker notifies all area hospitals several months in advance that as soon as that mom checks into labor and delivery, the state is to be notified and the baby is to not leave the hospital.  Even my son's mom had a baby back in June.  A sweet baby girl and I was torn up inside on what to do, in the end his aunt took her and it's working out well but we had decided that if the aunt did not do it, we would have been more than happy (albeit tired as heck!) to have her be our daughter.
7)  Don't think that other FC homes and adoptive parents will be fighting you over a newborn or a baby for that matter.  Just like you've all expressed to me, so many people are worried about the baby going back to the birth mom and for a FC home, a baby is not nearly as easy to take care of versus a 6 year old.  Diapers, late night feedings, etc. and school age kids head off to school every day so many FC homes prefer older school age kids. 
8)  If a parent is in prison (assuming the other parent is not around and not willing to take care of the newborn) and the sentence is for a couple years, it is highly unlikely the state won't move to terminate rights because it's not healthy (in my opinion and many doctors opinions) that a young child be raised by someone for a couple years, then turned over to a parent getting out of prison and hoping that they stay out of trouble and raise the kid properly.  And honestly, at least if the mom was in prison when the baby was born or most of the pregnancy, it's highly unlikely she could do drugs and alcohol through much of her pregnancy.
9) You can specify age, gender, and ethnicity.  Don't be surprised when a placement worker calls and asks you to "just think about" taking in a sibling group.  I think it's pretty darn rare that moms with kids in the FC system have only 1 kid.....and that they don't go have more after the kids are in the system.  But feel free to say no.  Discuss with your spouse in what situation, if ANY, you'd be willing to take more than one baby.  But with that said, most families I know that adopted babies, just adopted that baby, not a sibling group and a lot of that was that the siblings were already adopted out to families that did not want to adopt more.
10)  Babies that are exposed to drugs may see less physical damage than those exposed to alcohol because of how it passes through their blood stream but please research this!  Many of the babies are fine and not exposed to anything but others are and before you get overly worried, ask questions and talk to a pediatrician.  If the birth mom delivers, the doctors are going to watching that baby very closely for signs of drug and alcohol exposure and other development issues, it's not a guarantee, but where I live, they do a great job of screening  the babies.
11)  You have to decide whether it's in your best interest to take a chance of bringing home a newborn  and waiting for the parental rights to be terminated and going through adoption versus maybe taking in a 6 month old or a 1 year old that is legally free and maybe missing out on those newborn moments.  I personally, would opt for taking a chance with a newborn. I do wish I could have been there for some of my son's first moments and having even pictures of that time to show him.  But it's not the end of the world.  On the other hand by 5 months old, he soon slept though the night for 12 straight hours!
12)  You don't have to be rich to adopt.  The FC system isn't looking for a bunch of rich couples, they want couples that want to parent a child and love them unconditionally so don't worry that they think you don't make too much.  If you are going to do it because you think you'll get free money every month, please stop even thinking about adopting or doing FC.  That's just not right to do to any child.
13)  There is an adoption tax credit up to $13,000 and some change.  Find out more here http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html .  Most likely this won't even apply to you if your state is covering the costs in full, but just in case your state expects you to pay anything, this should apply.  Also, if you choose to do a private adoption, check out the credit.
14)  Closed vs. Open adoption-  Everyone that I know has done a closed adoption through FC.  Since our son's birth mom relinquished her rights and that allowed her to skip the trial where her lawyer could have potentially fought the termination of rights, we agreed to a letter and pictures every 6 months.  But no visits.  We obviously are allowed to do visits but at this time, we are not ready to do that and are not obligated ever to do so.

And to wrap this all up, I'm presenting this idea because I've met so many great PCOS ladies and women that have other IF issues and my hope is that all of them get to be mothers some day soon.  And I don't believe that just because you adopt and then keep trying to conceive a baby that that meant that adopted baby just wasn't good enough, seriously, that's so far from the truth!  Otherwise, wouldn't all great moms just have 1 baby?

And I leave you with this quote:
 "If not you, who? If not now, when?

Adopting through FC: How to start the process

I'm going to abbreviate F0$+er C@re for now because I really don't want someone googling this topic and finding it until we are done with our adoption because you never know who's reading!  Once we are finalized, I'll go back and edit, so bear with me for now please!

Make the Call-  Please visit this website http://www.adoptuskids.org/resourceCenter/rrtPackets/chooseState.aspx and click on your state and you should find a number to call your FC system.  Our state has a lot of information on their page (I'm very impressed!) and what we did was call and ask if there was an orientation we could sign up for and there was and we did.  It was about an hour long, there was about 6 families at ours and it went through the basics of how children come into the FC system, what resources are available and what's involved in the approval process to do FC and adoption.  In our state, you have to be approved to be a FC home before you can do adoption because it's not like this all happens in one day, so technically you are fostering a child until the adoption is finalized. 

Fill out the paperwork-  We received a large packet of papers at orientation to be filled out and faxed or mailed back to our state office.  Don't be super worried about any of that, unless anyone in your household has been convicted of violent crimes, crimes against kids, etc.  We filled out the packet of paperwork and then they assigned a licensing worker to us.  Also at this time, make sure whether you need to be getting finger printed or any other steps.  Again, none of this costs us any money at this point.

Home Study- The FC home study is a little different that the adoption home study.  Prior to the licensing workers arrival, we received a copy of the rules of FC and a sheet of "Saftey Requirements."  The safety stuff had to be completed prior to her arrival and it doesn't mean child proof your entire house.  It does involve (for our state), installing extinguishers, working smoke detectors, making sure the water temperature isn't too hot, storing chemicals in a place where kids can't get to or putting a child proof latch on your cabinet, and making a box in case of a natural disaster (radio that works on batteries, a first aid kit, a couple gallons of drinking water and non perishables which can be soup and granola bars, my ex-military husband bought a ton of MRE's, yuck!).  So this step may cost you a little bit of money but you should be able to keep it under $100.  Then the licensing worker came, went over all the rules, then checked that we met the safety requirements.  At this time, depending on your state, you should be able to show the licensing worker where the child would sleep or if necessary, have the room set up.  The licensing worker will talk to you about what your preference for children is and please speak openly and honestly with her because when she goes back to her office and talks with the placement worker, you want to make sure she conveys your wishes (even though they are written on paper) clearly!

Room Set Up-  By this time in the process for us (the first visit from the licensing worker), we thought we would not get pregnant, it was late January, or early February but we decided to create a neutral bedroom that could be easily changed depending on gender.  Now this is where you spend what you want and can afford.  We bought a crib, painted the walls and did a little decorating (I think you can go back to one of my YT videos in February and it's on there) and set it up with a dresser and a twin bed.  You obviously can do this on the cheap if you go on craigslist or know someone with a crib.  But you do need this stuff.  They will not give you a baby on the premise that you'll rush around the day off and get a bed for the kid!  This part can be emotionally a really awesome feeling, or really hard.  I was excited to do it personally. I felt like I was moving forward to becoming a mom and FINALLY I could go baby shopping for myself and not for another damn baby shower! HA!  Also, I'm going to assume most people reading this are thinking of adopting an infant so I'll just use that example.  You will need to get just a few toys (they can be used, whatever you want) and some basic clothes.  The licensing worker needs to see that the baby will be clothed!  We went to once upon a child and I picked as much gender neutral options as possible and very basic onesies, pants, socks, pajamas and I bought about 2 outfits and a pair of pajamas in each size up to a year (because at least the next day you can go shopping after the baby arrives, but the first day, don't count on taking a baby for a couple hours shopping!)  You DON'T have to buy diapers, formula, bottles, etc. (at least where I live).

Training and Classes- Our state requires 20 hours of classes and we did them over a Friday night and all day Saturday.  Both parents had to attend and it was AWESOME!  I can't even explain what it was like to be in a room of about 12 couples that were all super excited to become foster parents (a few already were because of emergency placements so it was nice to hear their experiences too).  I can't tell you how many tears were shed during these classes.  Most of the men included.  Obviously classes are different across the country so I really hope you enjoy your classes and have a great teacher like we did!  About 8 of us went out to lunch each day together and had a blast and on Saturday night 6 of us went and hung out together at one of their homes, it was crazy that we just all had this instant bonding and we are all still great friends:)  So definitely try and meet other couples at your classes so that you start creating a support system.

Second Home study- So now the licensing worker came back, did her final approval, looked at the bedroom and it was short and sweet and she left saying, "Expect a call from us any day with news that we have a child for you!"  We were stoked, I randomly took a pregnancy test as soon as she left and BAM, I was pregnant.  I talk about that in my YT video, that was a crazy day!

Next I'll do a post of questions to ask and some things that might be helpful to you!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Because Life's Not Fair....But It's Beautiful :)

Here are a few blogs, not about infertility, but about resilience and about taking a moment to look at everything beautiful in your life instead of everything that didn't happen according to what you had planned.

First, grab a box of Kleenex's and start with this post http://www.kellehampton.com/2010/01/nella-cordelia-birth-story.html and if you are like me, you'll probably spend many hours over the next week catching up on all the posts from Kelle over the past year.  She has the sweetest little girls and beautiful photography.

Stephanie Nielson survived a near fatal plane crash that burned over 80% of her body in August 2008, start here http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html but also, jump right into present day.  She's an awesome mom and wife and her story will make you stop for a moment and appreciate life and how precious it is and how quickly it could end.

My new favorite.  At first when I found a link to her "blob" I kind of just didn't get it, there was this super stylish lady with cool outfits and then, there it was, the story of her journey through motherhood under circumstances many would think they couldn't endure.  Read this post http://www.reagansblob.com/2011/01/piper-jane-reunited/ and you'll start to understand how life's not always easy but just because something is far from easy, doesn't make it any less amazing.  And I'm in love with all the "Piptures"! 

A Little Food Break

Let's take a break from the serious talk, let's talk food! 
I made Cooking Light's Basic Banana Bread on Monday and it was FANTASTIC!  Definitely not a diet food or something I could eat every day but it hit the spot on Monday and Tuesday and then I'm letting the hubby finish the rest.  Here is the recipe (I omitted the icing on top):

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3  cup  plain fat-free yogurt
  • 5  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 6.75  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4  cup  ground flaxseed
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3  cup  powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  1% low-fat milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until combined.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground allspice). Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool completely. Combine powdered sugar and milk, stirring until smooth; drizzle over bread.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 167  Fat: 5.1g Protein: 2.9g Carbohydrate: 28.3g Fiber: 1.5g
Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2010 Original Recipe Here

Adoption Is Not Expensive. End of Story.

It's not and I'd love to debate this topic all day long.  I guess I just don't understand that when a person opens their heart to the idea of adoption, how they can ONLY think about private adoption or, well, I'll just come out and say it, not adopting a foster child.  Then they say that adoption is too expensive so they'll have to wait or that they just can't do it at all because of the expense. So then there they are, open to the idea of adopting, but closed to foster care.  Please explain it to me someone! Please!  I'm being serious, I want to know if it's because people assume that adopting through foster care is expensive (honestly, it's practically free, no joke) or that you think those kids are different than the kids born to birth parents who choose a private adoption or is that you think it's only older kids or that they'll get taken away and given back to their birth parents.   I've been asked several times by people whether my son was exposed to drugs and alcohol, is that maybe a concern some of you have?

I guess for some reason, I can't wrap my head around the idea that if someone finally decides that adoption is right for them, will then wait years or not even pursue it at all because of the costs, and won't even attempt doing it through the foster care system and possibly not become parents any time soon but still continue to be heart broken over their infertility and upset when others get pregnant and they still aren't.  Can I tell you how everyone from family to friends to coworkers embraced our foster sons, hugged them, bought them presents, came over to visit them, constantly asked how they were doing, and we were told over and over what an amazing gift we were giving those boys and we in turn could tell them they were such a gift to us, we can't even begin to explain it.  Because at the end of the night, they give us hugs and kisses and I'm the one they shout, "Mom, MOM!" to multiple times a day!

I completely understand that some couples are not open to adoption OR some couples have the money to do a private adoption and I'd never suggest someone become an adoptive parent through foster care if they aren't 100% committed to being a foster child's permanent parent because those kids deserve the world, but I want to know what is it?!  Why is that barely anyone mentions this adoption route?  Be honest, be truthful, and if you have questions about it that have held you back from deciding to do it, I'd be more than happy to answer those questions.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Hard

First there was the video when Dylan was about 3 months old and I was trying to describe how everything was going since he was born and the minute I said, "It's hard."  Cue the tears, bright red face, and ugly cry and I barely managed to say, "It's really hard." And I continued to talk through my crying and finish the video.  I deleted it a few weeks later and never uploaded it to You Tube.  How was I supposed to post something like that where I knew many TTC'ers experience fertility  problems were trying to get pregnant and here I was with my sweet little baby in my arms telling THEM it was hard.  I felt guilty.  So I just deleted it.  Because hard is NOT having a baby right?  I'm guilty of kind of laughing under my  breath at women talking about it took them a while to get pregnant and they are counting months and not years so I don't really want to hear what they have to say because they don't know what hard is.  But my hard is different than your hard and YOURS and you over there. 

I kept getting messages on YT in the past year saying that I should make videos and people missed me.  But what the heck did I have to make a video about?!  I figured no one wanted to hear that I hated breastfeeding.  There were days when I was like, it's not so bad and yes it's pretty amazing I can feed a baby, but most of the time I did not like it.  I wanted my body back, I was sick of people asking how it was going or sharing just how many months they breastfeed for.  Or just all the crap I heard and read about formula and that ANY ONE can get their supply back or increased (this is false.  just in case the Le Leche league won't tell you the truth, it's absolutely false.  Not every women produces enough milk for their baby.  End of Story.) 

This weekend I caught up on some videos that I subscribe to on You Tube and even checked out some other vloggers  I'd never watched before and it's so hard sometimes to watch the videos and then feel like I need to sensor what I'm about to say on my video so I don't offend anyone or sound insensitive.  But there was some talk about adoption and how it's just too expensive and it makes me want to scream at my computer.  I whole heartedly believe that anyone of sound mind and desire to be an awesome parent can be a parent within a matter of months!  It's called Foster Care.  They're called legally free/risk free placements.  The adoption process costs you nothing.  These kids don't have people lined up at an adoption agency with really cool scrap books that highlight their great family with fingers crossed that just one birth mom picks them out of the stack.  They are newborns and toddlers that belongings are packed into a black trash bag and far too often experience the days after their birth in the nursery at the hospital where no one cuddles them for hours and takes pictures of them and tells them how long they've waited for their arrival.  And upon their arrival, a social worker is frantically calling around begging a foster family to please consider a baby.  And you could be their mom.  AND you can still continue to TTC all the while loving on a precious baby.  It can happen and I hope for all those babies that are in a hospital nursery without a family to love them, that you decide that you will take the next step in adopting through the foster care system.  Please just think about it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Laser Hair Removal, First Appointment

It was NO BIG DEAL!  That really sums it up!  I had knots in my stomach thinking what if it just hurt so much that I couldn't take it or what if scarred my arms?  In the morning I shaved my arms.  Such a weird feeling since I've never done that before but man, they looked so nice I must say:)  I went into my appointment, put on some big black sunglasses that turned the room into bright green and black and away we went with the laser.  The lady at the spa told me that the most sensitive areas would be my fingers and my hands but once we got to my arms, I would barely feel it and she was right!  The first zap I kind of cringed, it almost felt like if you touched a hot iron on accident but it only lasted for a split second.  Once we got to my arms, it honestly did not hurt at all.  It took all of 25 minutes for both arms and once we were done and even through the night, you could not tell I had anything done! No redness or swelling or sensitivity.  I will upload pictures of my before shots later but I just wanted to give a quick update.  My next appointment is March 4th and it will be interesting to see what my arms look like between now and then.  I'm thinking very seriously now of getting my upper lip done starting with the next appointment:)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My undies won't stay up!

It's time to go underwear shopping my friends!  I just can't take it, my underwear does not want to stay up!  I wore a lot of my underwear during my pregnancy and I never really thought that I was probably stretching the heck out of them and know the elastic is so weak they are always sliding down my cheeks and hips!

Can I just ask the women out there whether or not you tried maternity underwear when you were pregnant and what brands you loved?  I got a pack from Motherhood Maternity and they were horrendous!  They folded over on top so that towards the end I could unfold the top, they didn't even cover my cheeks though:(  They looked like a thin cotton diaper!

3 Pack Maternity Fold Over Panties http://www.motherhood.com/
When I was pregnant, I'd be walking around the store and my underwear would fall all the way under my cheeks and in the front too!  They'd make like a straight line at the top of my thighs, so embarrassing!

And nursing bras....I really want some suggestions thrown out here in the comments section because let me tell you, the ones I got at Motherhood were awful or very unsupportive.  The ones with the clips where I could unclip one side at a time made my boobs like I was into bondage with tight straps stretched across them and small holes for me to nurse out of. 

Sports Clip Down Nursing Brahttp://www.motherhood.com/
I'm now a 38DD so I was a little bigger then and wearing the bras that look like soft cotton sports bras were fine around the house but not out in public.  So please ladies, let us all know your tried and true proper undergarments for maternity and for nursing please!  I know, such a random post, but I'm curious!

So Inspiring, This Girl Rocks!

Do you watch Ellen? Here is You Tube sensation Meghan Tonjes and she is so talented and she has such a great message about being yourself and comfortable with who you are!

Marriage Counseling, the final session

Well, I'm trying to figure out how to best explain what went on in our last counseling session and my thoughts are all jumbled and I'm going to try to refrain from writing in all caps but just bare with me please!

DH and I had talked a little before our appointment that maybe it would be best to talk about him starting college courses again and how to support each other when our schedules get pretty out of hand because the last time DH took college courses, I really felt I was left to do everything and blamed when he didn't do well in his course work.  And I just want to make it clear that we both felt we were really doing so much better at this point, we hadn't had any big blow ups and we were just curious what suggestions our counselor would bring to the table to help us. 

I can tell you within 5 seconds of sitting down in her office, I just knew something was off and I immediately felt nervous.  Usually we'd sit down and she'd smile and ask how the past week went, commend us on making improvements and then kindly ask us what she could help us with this week.  This time....she didn't smile, didn't say a word, DH and I looked at each other, then looked back at her and she said, "Well are you going to speak?".......Uhhh,, HUH?  WTF is what I wanted to say!  So we looked at each other again and I told her we wanted to discuss DH's new schedule with school and how to handle allowing him to have enough time to study and go to class, yet how to help me out at home (his classes were 3 weekday night classes along with 1 online class).  And she still didn't say anything.  I get we are there to talk but she is there to guide us through the discussion. 

Within about 2 minutes the conversation morphed into her proposing to DH that he either A) quits his job and goes to school full time or B) finds a part time job or C) finds a job that he can work 4- 10's.   The very first session we had I had told her I had had several anxiety attacks when discussing or experiencing Chad's layoff's and just how stressful that was and it topped my list of fears.  So when she started discussing these options with DH, I began to panic.  First, she has no idea of our financial situation (at the time, we had ZERO in savings.  I had saved 4 months emergency savings prior to having Dylan and because I couldn't work full time and make sales, we used it up), second, in this economy it's pretty hard for a guy with no degree but a military background and being a disabled vet, that he could just find a job that works 4-10's and had decent insurance and paid as well as his current job.  I have a feeling I'm going to make this start sounding more confusing but I'm going to just keep going.  And third, who says his part time income is enough and probably wouldn't have decent benefits.  Our current insurance pays 90% of EVERYTHING after a $100 yearly copay, it's awesome!  Also, I make 4 times as much as my husband so any time he makes less or is laid off, I have to pick up the slack and try to make more and so it's constantly made me feel like I'm solely responsible for my family's financial well being.  But after such a rough couple of years and big money expenses such as fertility treatments with the first OB/GYN that diagnosed me as infertile and we spent about $10,000 in those 4 months, then 3 months before I got pregnant, my Audi engine died and a few months later the Turbo had to be replaced costing us over $10,000 (don't even get me started about that, it was outrageous and we paid in cash and they pretty much held my car hostage for 2 1/2 months until they got around to putting the car back together) so I felt like any decreases in his pay was just not feasible at this time.

So now that I probably overwhelmed you with details, short story is, we were there to figure out how to come to some understanding of how to make it work with DH gone so many days a week and needing to study while I was talking care of 2 kids under 2 and not spin myself back into PPD because I was slowly coming out of it at this point.  Last time DH took classes, it seemed when I needed help with the house, kids or to go to an appointment, he'd throw a fit that he HAD to study or he was going to fail a test and so I'd feel guilty and upset.

So about 5 minutes into her conversation with DH (and I was ticked at him for acting like this all sounded fine and dandy!) I started to have an anxiety attack and I kind of just "went off."  I told her that him not working 40 hours a week at his current job was just NOT AN OPTION at this point.  And she said, "Do you hear yourself?  You are telling him he's just a paycheck to you."  And then DH starts crying and if you've ever seen a grown man cry, it's heart breaking.  And this is the same counselor that in our first session told DH that, "I can tell you this, she really does love you because if she didn't, she'd be gone because financially, she doesn't have to stay.  Many women stay because they don't know how they could afford to be on their own.  That isn't the situation here and besides that, just seeing you two together and the things you've said, you can make this work if you are willing to work at it." 

Then how did she turn this around to he's just a paycheck?!  But I'm 29 years old with 2 kids and it's just not the time for my husband to not work or work less so he can go to school.  I think that takes time and planning and saving money.  I mean of course school would be easier on him if he can just do school and not go to work for 40 hours but to act like that was something we could do in a few short weeks, NOT POSSIBLE.  So I'm freaking out at this point thinking 'What if DH thinks this is a great idea and we get home and he is adamant about doing it because this professional told him to!'  I guess I just didn't understand HOW she thought I was going to pay all the bills and why does he get to be the stay at home dad and go to school?

And then I questioned her on where he was going to find a good paying job that he could work part time or 4-10's because he looked for a good paying job after he get out of the military in 2007 and didn't find anything that paid even $15/hour and now he makes good money (when he's not laid off) and your telling him to walk away after he's invested over 2 years in learning his job?  Seriously, he's 34, not 18 and he chose to have kids and a wife which means he has to step up and help take care of his family and if he wants to focus on school then we need to plan that out and it'll probably take a couple years to get us to the point where we have enough money in savings where maybe that could work.  But in 3 weeks?!  And I was really ticked that she knew this causes me anxiety and she just kept pushing the idea!  When I started to say, "How do you expect us to pay the bills?  And really, where are you going to find a job that let's you work 4-10's?  And don't you think insurance is important?  We could go into debt so fast if anything happened to us or the kids.  We are trying to adopt a kid and I'm supposed to prove I can take care of him without your income or only part of your income?  You were laid off for 5 straight months after I got pregnant and we used up our savings, I worked 40-60 hours a week my last 2 months of pregnancy to get us ahead again, and now you want to just focus on school and stop working full time?  When do I get break?!  This just means I'm going to have to work that much harder and I already work hard!" 

And then the counselor said, "Stop, now, just stop.  I'm not going to let this go on any longer and i WILL NOT schedule your next session until you can go home and think about this and decide that you are ready to make some changes and when you can call me and tell me that, then we will schedule your next session." 


And that was it, she got up and opened the door.  We quickly walked to the elevator, left in separate cars and I just broke down.  Was I really wrong?  Was I really supposed to go along with the idea of this?  Why was this lady suggesting things that could put our family in a really bad financial place even after I told her we did not have the money to make those decisions right now!  And would I be married to him if he didn't work?  I never thought I'd grow up, go to college, have a good career and THEN take care of a grown man and put him through college while having 2 kids under 2!  Why?!  Why when most of my girlfriends were talking about being a SAHM am I talking about supporting the entire family on my own!?

I was really worried when we drove away that DH thought she was right and I dreaded the argument that was probably to come once we got home.  However, once DH got home from work, he said she was out of line and he knew it was not an option right now.  He said he felt really bad for the way she treated me and he knows how stressful it can be when he's laid off and I'm the only one earning money and he would have never suggested he quit his current job (which does not have an option to go part time).  Over the weekend we talked about how to handle his college schedule AND that we were not going back to that counselor. I even opened up to my friend that suggested this counselor because she goes to her also and she agreed that she shouldn't have been advising DH on doing things that affect our finances after we told her we didn't have money saved to do that.

I can tell you since that session this past summer, I have worked hard on myself to reduce my anxiety about layoffs.  Oh, and the first week of November DH was laid off for about 6 weeks and we didn't fight about it and I didn't give him a hard time but we also had worked on our savings so I knew we were fine and I understand it's not his fault he gets laid off and he understands it still puts more pressure on me to make more money during those times so this last time he really stepped up taking care of the kids and house and running errands so I could focus on appointments with my clients in order to make sales so I think we are in a much better place.  I really believe our counselor was having an off day, I think something must have irritated her before we ever got there or maybe it was me but I still think she was way out of line. 

Any thoughts?  Have you been to marriage counseling, anything you'd like to share that helped your relationship?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My ovaries ache

I didn't even know what PCOS was until about 3 years into TTC so I was not really aware of my body and things I was feeling up to that point but the past couple weeks, the areas where my ovaries are, feel sore and sometimes I get these twinges of pain and I don't know if it's something new or something I had before I was pregnant and just paid no attention to.  I don't know if it could be cysts or something else or just that time of the month but when it happens I start to think, 'What if last time was just my one shot to be pregnant and have a biological baby and that was it?  What if I never get pregnant again?'   I don't really remember having pain there before I got pregnant with Dylan but at this point I really don't want to ask the doctor about it because I know my doctor and most likely she'd have me get a transvaginal ultrasound to just make sure.  And I just need to soak up where I'm at in my life now with my 2 boys and not be worried about how not normal my body is.  My mom had endometreosis when she got pregnant with me and even though my dad would have liked to wait a while before having another kid, my mom's doctor told her her time to be able to get pregnant was coming to an end.  She had a hysterectomy right after having me.  That's always concerned me that I could go through the same thing.

I don't know if women who have experienced infertility ever get over the worrying until they are done having kids.  Have any of my readers had a baby after having trouble conceiving your first child?  Did you receive the same treatments/drugs and how long did it take compared to the first time once you were actively TTC again?  I'd really love to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marriage Counseling, Learning to Resolve Issues Before the Massive Blow Up

I just wanted to say quickly that the only reason I've decided to even write about this is because infertility can be, not always, hard on a marriage and the divorce rate is higher for couples that experience infertility so I know I'm not alone.  And then there's PPD and I could have placed a large bet on the fact it would have NEVER HAPPENED to me because I wanted to be a mother so bad, everything was just going to be awesome once I had a baby.  And well, then PPD happened to me. 

.....So we walk into the counselor's office and sit down and immediately, I liked this lady.  She was easy to talk to, but I couldn't stop crying.  Seriously, I used to cry like twice a year, I'm not a crier, but when you lay out all your problems on the table, it was overwhelming!  The first session was just so the counselor could get to know us and she laid some ground rules:
1)  Fight fair.  No name calling, no fighting in front of the kids, and no leaving the house in a middle of a fight.
2)  One issue at a time.  Each session would be devoted to one issue and we'd spend the hour on that issue.

And that was about it.  It felt really good to talk about our problems to someone besides our friends and family because I did not want people to know all of our problems or hear only my side and well, very few people are able to keep a secret and not tell their best friend, their spouse, their mom thinking that person would not also tell someone and before you know, several people know your problems!

Immediately my husband and I decided each of us would get 4 hours to go do what they wanted on a weekend day.  No kids, no chores, no running errands, just time for ourselves.  I usually spent my time on Sunday and would go to movies with my mom, brunch with my girlfriends, shopping, the bookstore, or whatever relieved stress at the moment and I loved it!  And the minute I got home I'd hug and kiss my kids a million times but I deserved that time to my self.

Also, DH agreed to take the kids to daycare in the morning.  At this point I was getting up between 4:30-5am to get ready for the day and be ready for when the kids got up at 5:45 am.  DH on the other hand would get up around 5:45 and leave the house around 6:05....he had NO IDEA what it was like to make sure I was up and ready BEFORE the kids got up otherwise, it took me 2+ hours to get ready while trying to watch 2 kids.  And then to wrangle 2 kids to my moms every morning, it was just too much.  It made more sense for him to get up at 5:30, get ready, the kids wake up and he'd take them to my moms at 6:30 allowing me to get up at 6 and getting ready while the kids were gone and then head to work.  He had always said he'd be late to work and I argued that he wouldn't be late if he left my mom's house at 6:30 and who cared if his boss would no longer see him at work 20 minutes earlier and instead 5 minutes early!  He doesn't get raises or jobs based on his timeliness!  He's union, he gets called off a list so there was no benefit but there was a huge benefit to me to be able to sleep until 6 (except on days with my trainer).

Chores-  Our second session was devoted to chores and our counselor asked if we had a chore chart.  Of course not!  DH was really tired of me getting really upset if he got up from the table and left his plate and cup or if he made his lunch and left the crumbs on the counter, wrappers etc.  I believe in picking up as you go!!  Also, I felt like he never did laundry unless he needed his work pants!!  And the only way he'd really help out is if we had a huge fight and he'd storm around the house, ignoring me...but cleaning (and I must say, I didn't mind, at least he was cleaning but I know that's no way to live).  We made our chart, put it on the fridge and I can tell you what it has transitioned into :

1) Dishes/Kitchen Clean Up/Dining Room- We trade every other day.  Neither can get upset as long as the chore is done prior to going to bed so we wake up to a clean kitchen to start the day fresh.  All dishes have to be done, no "soaking" pans.  We usually just do this chore right after dinner and the other person takes the boys to take a bath.
2) Laundry-  We used to do Wednesdays and Saturdays and the machines did not run any other time (unless one of the kids wets the bed).  Because we don't have spit up on clothes all day long, we are able to just do Saturdays now.  At the end of Saturday, everything has to be folded AND put away in it's place and no clothes can be left in the machine.  And we do this together.
3)  Floors, bathrooms, rooms, dusting, done once a week, and we do it together.

The chore chart was much more detailed than this for the first month but it was too micromanaged and I didn't feel the house was cleaner than it is now:)

By this point, we were doing a lot better and we talked a lot about everything.  I really watch when I'm upset to not say to my husband, "You never doing anything, you never help out!"  Because it's not true but back then it sure did feel like that!  I was reading one of the forums I used to go in all the time for moms with babies born around the time Dylan was and one lady had said she wasn't sure if she was ready to TTC again because her husband doesn't help at all and it would mean that she'd be "a single mother with 2 kids" in her words.  I'm definitely not in that situation and I'm thankful.  Doesn't mean my marriage is perfect but DH helps me out so much now, it's awesome.  He does the grocery shopping, he helps out, and he doesn't have to be asked to do something, he just does it!  Now I'm not naive to think that with our next baby this current pattern will continue but we do talk a lot about what would have to be different this time (he'd have to take on the majority of the laundry, dishes, and cooking chores the first couple months).

So everything is going well at this point and we are really proud of ourselves for getting help before it was too late or just allowing these problems to continue. 

And then, our final counseling session.

I did not know it was going to turn out to be our final session and there was no way I could have prepared myself for the shit storm that was about to happen and the deception I felt from my counselor.  That session resulted in me going home directly afterward, crying all day long, and my husband calling and texting several times to ask if I was okay and him saying, "She crossed the line.  I am so sorry Brandi."

Here's an article about relationships when couples experience infertility (http://www.slate.com/id/2250361/).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Marriage Counseling, What led us to that point....

I can't really explain in a few short sentences how having Dylan and the fact he was colic along with having another son 11 months older than Dylan, still having to work and figuring how to DO IT ALL, going through nearly 4 years of infertility, my husband being laid off 5 months after I found out I was pregnant with Dylan, affected my relationship except to say that it turned my marriage into something I contemplated getting out of. 

I was overwhelmed with doing it all and feeling the only time my husband helped out enough is when I got really mad and pretty much had a breakdown, then he'd go clean stuff and not talk to me.  I knew a couple months after Dylan was born that I had post partum depression and I felt a huge lack of compassion and help from my husband to help me with the situation since I didn't want to take anti-depressants.  Because even an anti-depressant wasn't going to cook dinner, pay my bills, and clean up the house.  I needed my husband to step up in a HUGE way that he was not prepared for so I could eliminate as much of the petty stuff that was somewhat petty but had to be done (clean clothes, washed bottles, grocery shopping, cleaning the floors, soothing Dylan through the night so my body could feel a full 6 hours of sleep).  I was learning to cope with everything a little bit better but not perfectly and then we went to California for a week in June and it was awful.  I can't tell you how hard it was for us to travel with 2 infants but it was so far from relaxing.

The last day we went to the beach and I reached in to get my Iphone while Chad was playing with Monkey in the Ocean and the first image on the phone was porn:(  Short story, my husband was so mad at me that he decided it was fine to look at porn and PURPOSELY leave it in the diaper bag for me to find.  On PURPOSE.  I can't tell you how crushed I was that day.  And we still had to head back to my sister's house and get ready to head to the airport and let me tell you, when the plane took off and the lights were shut off, I silent cried like I had never cried before.  I was shook to the core by his intentional act of trying to hurt me and it was something he'd never done and I just sat there for 6 hours on a plane thinking, 'What am I supposed to do? I can't stay right?  Because if I stay this is going to happen over and over and I don't deserve this and I know I can't pretend it didn't happen.  And why now??  Why AFTER we had kids did he do this?  Why couldn't he have done it before and I could have started a life with someone else and not had to bring kids into it?"  We got home that night, slept in separate rooms, I cried myself to sleep, got up, we ignored each other and finally that night he came back to bed and as soon as he turned out the light, I said, "I can't do this anymore.  I don't think we should be married."    And for the next couple hours we both cried and talked and agreed that we couldn't go on this way anymore.  During that long talk I told him I did not want to hear a single reason why what he did was my fault and why I was responsible for it because we are adults and this was not going to be a blame game.  I told him either we go to marriage counseling or we file for divorce.  The next morning we called and made our first couples counseling appointment for 2 days later.   I'll write more later.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I only look at Porn on Fridays!

Yes, you heard that right!  After the kids go to bed, I power up my laptop and spend a good hour just taking it all in:)  Porn.....well food porn to be exact!  I weigh in at Weight Watchers every Saturday morning so after the weigh in, it's my cheat DAY.  I'm really trying to get it down to one meal, but for now, it's a day.  On Friday I'm on the hunt for the best looking dessert recipe first, followed by something mouth watering for dinner.  I've learned I can't look at food porn the rest of the week because it triggers my cravings and then I find myself with 2 dozen cupcakes and not enough calories left in the day to enjoy even a fraction of my creation.  So for now, that's how I'm learning balance...one day of indulging in super yummy, high calorie food....then come Sunday morning, it's egg beaters and veggies, followed by chicken breast and broccoli for lunch.  This week I lost 1.4lbs so I'm sticking with this plan for now!  Here's a few of my favorite food porn sites:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So many great things to share about my laser hair removal consultation!

Because I am literally overflowing with information about the laser hair removal and PCOS in general, I'm going to skip posting a lengthy message about it and opt to do a video!  I'm hoping I can get that done tomorrow or Saturday.  Short story is....it's WAY more expensive than I thought...I almost was  NOT a canidate for it....the owner of the spa has PCOS and has a heart wrenching story about infertility....therefore they give PCOS clients extra perks....a great book about PCOS was recommended to me!  All in a short 20 minutes!  I'm super excited at the moment! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recipe: Penne with Italian Turkey Sausage and Vegetables

I can't even remember how I first found the site oduamy.com but I mostly just read her reviews of Cooking Light recipes and it was so nice to hear an honest opinion about the meal before I bought all the ingredients, spent an hour chopping and dicing ingredients, only to have it taste like....blah yuckity yuck!
The following recipe is my all time favorite meal!   Here is the link to the original recipe but I have made some slight changes and in some areas doubled it to make twice as many servings.  I will always remember making this for when Monkey and his Brother G came to live with us.  Their mom said G liked mashed potatoes, meat loaf and fried potatoes and well, that just wasn't going to cut it in my house.  I owed it to them to give them healthy and delicious meals.  G ate 2 bowls of this!  He had already been to another foster home for a week prior and that foster mom said he was picky but loved fruit loops?!  If you are really trying to watch your calories, I have served this with spaghetti squash instead of penne and did not combine the sauce with the noodles, but just spooned it on top!  If you don't like or don't have one of the veggies, it still tastes great to substitute or omit.  My husband brought home a cucumber instead of a zucchini yesterday, so that ingredient was omitted last night!  I often serve this for company!
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)


  • 1 pound  hot Italian turkey sausage ( I love Foster Farms!)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  chopped red onion ( I use less or more onion depending on my mood!)
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 2  cup  mushrooms, quartered
  • 1  small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1  small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1  small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
  • 1 Cup premade spaghetti sauce ( I use Prego's Roasted Garlic and Parmesan)
  • 1/4  cup  fat-free or light sour cream
  • 8  cups  hot cooked penne (I use a 1 lb package and just use all of it once it's cooked!)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper


Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini; saute 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sausage is done. Stir in tomatoes and premade sauce; cover and cook over medium-low heat 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Add pasta and black pepper; stir well. Cook over medium-low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Add hot cooked pasta and combine!  This recipe is awesome as leftovers and the portions are huge! 

I LOVE the Ergo Carrier! And Hiking Tips!

If you are looking for a baby carrier that supports your back, can be used for a newborn all the way through young toddlers, then this pack is for you!  I received the Baby Bjorn at my shower and when Dylan could support his neck I star

ted using but never Really loved it.  Then when he got to be around 4 months old, he just wasn't very comfortable in it and he was getting so big that it strained my back and I used it for very short periods of time.  Around the time he was 6 months old we started hiking several times a week and his

little legs would dangle and hit my thighs when I was trying to hike plus all the weight on the front of me made it really hard to be out for very long!  So for Mother's Day, my husband bought me the Ergo carrier!  There is an insert you can buy for newborns but at this time Dylan was fine using the pack as it came.  It distributed the weight on me much better than the Bjorn and I could go up steep hills without squishing his little legs against my thighs!  I would highly recommend purchasing the Ergo instead of the Bjorn from day 1!   You can buy it on Amazon.com now!   Also, I did not discover this awesome add on until now but there is a waist extender.  I normally wear a size 16 and this would have been really nice!

Hiking tips for infants:
1)  Make sure temperatures are not too hot or too cold.   When it's hot and the baby is right up against you, you both start to sweat and get hot very fast which is not necessarily a great thing for an infant. 
2)  Dylan lasted about 1.5 hours before he was just done hiking and wanted to be back in his own environment so even though it's nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air, make sure you turn around at a reasonable time.  Most hikes we took, if we turned around too early and got back to the starting place and Dylan was still fine, we almost always could find somewhere else to venture around.  But when we would go for to long before turning around, sometimes it was miserable just trying to make it back quickly to the finish.
3)  Expect to do a diaper change or 2 while you are out!  I learned to change Dylan before we started in the back of the car, then when we were about 45 minutes into the hike and he seemed much happier that way until waiting until he cried and then hurrying to change his diaper.  Bring an extra set of clothes in case you have leakage!
4)  Depending on the time of the year, bring a thin receiving blanket and hat that covers his ears.  Sometimes I wound up hiking holding my hands over his ears (I'd move him to the front of me) when there was a breeze and that was okay if he was awake, if he was already asleep that just didn't work (and that's what I get for bringing the cute hats that only cover half of his ears!).  If he was asleep it was nice to work a receiving blanket around him to keep him warm.
5)  Dress them in soft clothes, try to avoid zippers and hard buttons or stiff fabrics so they can be comfy in the carrier.  Also, try layering a long sleeve shirt over short sleeve since the weather where you are hiking can be different than what it was at your house!
6)  Bring a thermos of hot water from your house and make one bottle in your car before you head off from the parking lot of the hike and then make sure there is enough hot water in the thermos for when you get back.  We always kept room temperature bottled water in the car in case the water was too hot in the thermos.  It sounds like a lot of bottles in a short amount of time, but trust me, it's better safe than sorry and hearing a screaming baby because you didn't plan ahead!
7)  If you live where there are bears, keep your bear spray accessible.  Don't stash it in your pack, under the diapers, wedged by the spare clothes and extra hat!  This is just a little jab at my hubby...not sure what he was thinking!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Made the Appt. at the Laser center!

I did it, I chickened out multiple times in the last few days so I hurried and typed the numbers as fast as I could on my Iphone and hit the call button and made the consultation appointment for this Thursday!  Ahh, I'm nervous but I don't know why, I think embarrassed is more accurate than nervous.  Because I work so hard at either wearing long sleeves or bleaching my arm hair so others don't notice but NOW I'm going to let some look up close at all that hair, YIKES!  I'm 99% I'll go ahead and make an appointment while I'm there to start the laser hair removal and if I do, I will make some YT videos so you can see the before and after and hear how the process went. 

I told the receptionist I was interested in hair removal on my arms but the truth is, I'd love to have it done on my chin and for sure my upper lip.  One day, if I'm really brave and save up the money, I'd love to do a full leg laser hair removal.  Have you ever had your legs waxes?!  OMG, I did and when they waxed the back of my thighs, I thought I was going to die of such intense pain!!  And it lasted all of 2 days before I had stubble and cost over $100 so this since way more cost effective in the long term.  I'll update you all on Thursday!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm thinking about getting laser hair removal

I've got to get the courage to call the day spa that does it and make a consultation appointment but man is it embarrassing to go, "Hey, I've got hairy arms, can you fix them?"  On a scale from 1-10, I'd say mine are like a 7 so not horrendous but totally noticeable.  I used to bleach them from the time I was a freshmen in college where my sorority sisters introduced me to all types of bizarre grooming techniques.  I probably bleached 2-3 times a month (edited on 1/11, i previously said 2-3 times a week!  oops!) and once I got pregnant with Dylan I stopped since I didn't know what it would do if anything to the baby.  After having Dylan, I just haven't really done it except for my high school reunion.  The laser treatment I would be getting is  Palomar Medical Technologies' Pulsed Light hair removal systems to achieve permanent hair reduction.  What I've googled about it, seems to run around $350-500 which I would for sure be willing to do.  And I'd definitely like to do it before I TTC again since I'm sure my doctor won't allow it during that time or after I'm pregnant.

Have you done laser hair removal?  Do you have excess hair and how do you deal with it?

My Goofy Baby Boy!

Remember how I said I really wanted to blog because with two little ones running around, it was almost impossible to record a video, edit it, and wait for it to upload.....well apparently blogging is difficult too because Dylan can not understand why I would want to be on the computer instead of playing with him.  So he took it upon himself to climb up the ottoman I was using, and bit my laptop screen:(  Needless to say, I closed the computer and went and played with him before I had a laptop snap in two pieces!

And here's my super happy little guy after he woke up from a nap!  I was laughing at him because he was so excited to be awake but he had major bed head that I could not get smoothed down.  And also, where did my baby go??  He's getting so big!

But don't think having a 1 year old doesn't come without some hair pulling moments.  Here's how Dylan reacts EVERY SINGLE TIME I sit down to drink my cup of coffee!  He throws the biggest tantrum and wants a drink!  I finally gave in one time thinking he'd be over it as soon as he knew what was in there.  Nope, he spit it right out on his shirt and then cried for more but I didn't give in. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Used to Be Fat on MTV! I love this show!

Have you watched MTV's new show I Used to be Fat??  I have and I'm loving it!  Maybe I wish I was that teenager and could have taken care of my weight problem before I started college but more than that, it's just amazing how the first 2 girls are losing about 7 pounds a week!  I really was amazed by Gabrielle from the first episode.  I couldn't stop the tears when her mom was not being supportive.  But in the end she did it, she lost the weight!

On the second episode they showed the teen girl going into a boutique style clothing store and of course nothing fit.  It brought back a ton of memories of when my girlfriends used to like to shop together and when I went with them, I'd either end up with nothing or one item that I barely squeezed into and really didn't look that great but I wanted to be able to buy something.

This show does make me stop and realize that exercise is really key for me in my weight loss journey and these girls moved A LOT!  I really have no excuse for not working out 5 days a week for an hour or more.  30 minutes, 3 times a week just really is not enough to lose the weight and who knows if it's even enough for someone with PCOS to maintain their ideal body weight.  I agree, it's better than nothing but in my honest opinion, it just is not enough.

Have you watched this show?  What are your thoughts so far?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

If I had a baby again, I would do A LOT of things differently!

Top 25 Things I Would Do Differently
1) I would not allow my in-laws or any other family members to come stay with us to visit until the baby is 2 months old. This was a living nightmare, for me, I just need space, I need to not entertain or clean up after anyone else and feel free to nurse the baby where ever in my house.
2) I would not nurse in my bedroom the entire time.  It was winter time, it was dark in my room and isolating and I had too much company all the time and I don't nurse in front of others so it meant a lot of time holed up in my room.
3) I'd buy a different pump.  I think I'll get a Medela again, but the freestyle.  The one I had came with this bulky block that had all the mechanical parts and was not easy to pack around.
4) I'd hire someone for 3 hours a day during the week for the first 2 months to come in and do laundry, clean the kitchen and dishes, sweep, and meal prep (not cooking, but chopping veggies, thawing meat, etc), and to hold the baby for 30 minutes while I go take a shower and change clothes.  You'd think my husband would help with this and the in laws that came to stay but what I found was that no one really went out of there way to do things before I asked or do them right.  There was always these things to do and everyone just laid around like it was vacation which for me, meant working double time.  It SUCKED!  Every day I'd spend about 30-45 minutes washing the pump parts, bottles, pacifiers and then about 1-2 hours doing laundry and then when my family would clean the kitchen, I'd go in there to wash the counters and put away all the crap all over the counters because apparently cleaning the kitchen just means doing "most" of the dishes.  Uggh.
5) I'd buy more nursing tanks and comfy pants and I nice rob.
6) I'd register for lots of newborn stuff and 0-3 months because I had to make so many runs to Target to get all the stuff everyone tells you NOT to register for (ie newborn diapers, newborn onesies, newborn socks, hats and mittens, wipe warmer).
7) I'd make a menu and write a grocery list that has check boxes and print about 10 of them so I could just check off the items I wanted my husband to get at the grocery store.
8) I'd love to have a summer baby and go for a short walk each day, I think that really could have helped with the PPD.
9) When I could pump extra milk, I would.  I'd always wait until the day of when I had to go somewhere where I'd need a bottle and sure enough, I'd be able to pump like .5-1 ounce and we'd have to cancel plans.
10) I'd schedule the newborn pictures for the week after the baby was born and find a photographer that would be flexible in letting me email her a couple days after the baby arrived and get in to see them on short notice.
11) I'd take monthly photos of the baby as I mentioned in an earlier post.
12) I'd make sure to tell my friends I would call them when it was a good time to come over to visit and I'd learn to nurse better with a cover up (with a nipple shield, boppy and nursing cover, it was a bit much to orchestrate and I'm just not comfortable exposing myself in front of people).
13) I will hire a babysitter/nanny that comes to MY house (by this time I'll have 3 kids) because I can't even explain how stressful it was to bundle of a newborn and 11 month old every morning and take Monkey to daycare in the middle of winter (imagine a baby carrier slung on one arm, while I'm unbuckling Monkey and getting him out of the car and he couldn't walk until 14 months so I'd carry him as well as Dylan through the snow, OMG, it was horrible!!).
14) I'd put the baby bath in the shower with me while I shower.  Dylan loved laying there in the warm shower and I didn't figure this out until he was about 3 months old!
15) I'd give a baby a bottle of formula sooner instead of having a complete meltdown after nursing an hour and 30 minutes later the baby is hungry again...every. single. time. for the first 2 months.  My baby first cooed when at 8 weeks we were told we needed to supplement because he only gained 1.2 lbs.
16) I'd weigh the baby weekly if I thought nursing wasn't going well to see if he was gaining weight.
17) If it's a boy, I'd make sure the hospital had the circumcision kits on hand to do after the birth so I didn't have to wait until his first check up.
18) I'd take 3 months off of work, and I mean off off.  Not here and there work.
19) I would buy the Angel Care monitor and the video monitor, my fear of SIDS was almost unbearable.
20) I'd put the baby in his bassinet in his own room at least after the first month, it wasn't until about 5 months until Dylan no longer slept in our room.
21) I'd pump bottles so that my husband could do the weekend nightly feedings after the first few weeks.
22) I'd get a caddy for all my pumping supplies like Carla Thebubblelush did, genius!
23) I'd pack the baby around in the Moby wrap more often when they are fussy.
24) I'd skip using a Baby Bjorn and use the Ergo Carrier instead, it rocks!
25) I'd buy the best rocker/glider I could afford with nice upholstered arm rests and thick padding on the seat because spending 8 hours a day in a chair is a lot.  The glider from Target was just not cutting it after about the second day.

Lunch with my girlfriends:(

Every few months about 4 or 5 of us go to lunch together to catch up with each other and I had just wrote earlier in my post "Overwhelmed" about how the people I was surrounded with often love when I asked them questions about their lives and at the end of a conversation I realize that they never even really asked me about myself.  After re-reading the post a few days ago, I thought maybe I was just being Negative Nancy and the situation really isn't that bad.

***On a side note, my best friend that has twins called on New Years eve and we talked for 2 straight hours and I can honestly say that the questions went 2 ways and I don't think either one of us was doing all the asking while the other talked about themselves the entire time.  So yay for friends that are awesome!

I had a great time at lunch, we all chatted for about an hour, had good food, and then went back to work.  I was feeling pretty good about the situation and even for a moment thought how lucky I was to have close girlfriends that after 15-25 years we are all still really connected and close.  But then it hit me...

A) No one even asked me how work was going yet I can tell you almost verbatim how their jobs are going.
B) No one asked about Dylan or Monkey (one of the girls brought her 9 month old and I made sure to ask her things because ALL MOMS like talking about their kids!).
c) No one asked about my husband and how work was going.

So what in the heck did we talk about?  No really?  Not me that's for sure! Did they also drive away thinking they were glad that I'm doing so well and that work is going great and that my boys are happy and healthy and that Chad is doing awesome with his new company?  Well the answer to the last question is no, they couldn't have because they didn't even fricken ask.  I don't get it. 

I guess why I post about this is to help you make sure that you are being the friend that every person desires, the one who can listen, not interrupt all the time, that can ask questions that show that you care what is going on in their life and that you don't always control the majority of the conversation.  My mom is a notorious interrupter.  I love her to death, but she is the one who interrupts and does not let anyone finish a sentence.  And my family has made her aware of it because it just got to the point of being so rude and I can even raise my hand and say I have definitely been guilty of it from time to time and if I do catch myself, I stop and say "I'm really sorry I interrupted, please go ahead." 

I really want to stop dwelling on it but it's really hard to not be asked for weeks how I'm doing, how are my kids doing, and how work is going just really gets to me.

Monthly Baby Photos

This last year was in some ways a blur for me and there were several things I had planned on doing that well quite frankly, just didn't get done because I ran out of steam!  I think one of the items that tops my list is taking a monthly photo of Dylan and Monkey in the same place each month to show their growth....and well their overall cuteness!

For ideas on monthly photos....
I love how cute these turned out!  Isn't he adorable?!
I've been thinking of making something like this for baby shower gifts and for my next baby to do monthly photos with.  Simple but such a great idea!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Next time, I want it to be fun, not stressful. Umm Okay?

Yes, that's what my husband said to me last night in bed when we were talking about when to TTC next time!  He said he didn't like having to have sex on cue, LMAO!  Well buddy, I didn't like it much either and you know what else I didn't like?  Multiple transvaginal ultrasounds, taking Clomid that turned me into a moody-sweaty-bitch, and dropping my pants so a nurse could stab me in the rear end with a needle. 

So to my DH, I'm really sorry it was so hard for me to tell you we HAD TO HAVE sex on a particular day, but I should forewarn you that it will probably be the SAME EXACT way next time:)

Just to make it clear,  I was not mad, I was laughing through our conversation and it made me realize just how affected he was by our infertility issues.  He went on to talk about how all of his friends were having "oops babies" while he was the one who actually WANTED to be a dad.  Oh trust me hubby, I completely understand. 

But I was honest and told him we would be monitored by my doctor who would follow my cycle and do what's necessary because the one lesson I learned from TTCing last time (the first 3 years that is), is that after about month 4 or 5 of just hoping it "just happens", sex becomes less fun and it's hard to put on a happy face when you are not pregnant month after month.  AND, I really feel that because women with PCOS are at an increased risk of miscarriage, I want my doctor monitoring me as much as possible.  I think after I told him that, he finally understood.

Does your husband/partner talk about his feelings towards infertility? 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I LOVE this blog from an actual fertility doctor!!

I read this ENTIRE blog here http://fertilityfile.com/ when I was searching for answers on how to get pregnant and it's so insightful and the doctor is a straight shooter.  I encourage you to read it too!

My favorite necklace from my boys!

My boys gave me the greatest gift this Christmas!  It's a necklace from Julian & Co. with a baby foot print, their name, and their birth date on the back of each round piece of sterling silver. Here is the link to the necklace my boys chose http://julianandco.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=122.

I also really love this one here http://julianandco.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12_16&products_id=199  and may hint at it for Valentine's day!

Or I may just want to purchase this http://julianandco.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=84 with my husband and my wedding date engraved on the back to add to my necklace.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 New Year's Resolutions

I love resolutions and goals and I've been that way since I was in elementary school.  I'm proud to say I've achieved many of my goals I've written down and many have a habit of showing up on the list year after year, but here goes!

1) Lose 60 lbs this year and become a Weight Watchers leader by tracking my food every day and working out 5 times a week.
2) Save 8 months in emergency savings.  I have 4 already and a side note is that I do have a couple credit cards that I'd like to pay off instead but in this economy, I really believe Suze Orman's advice to get your emergency savings done first so that's the plan we are on.
3) Make $200,000 this year.
4) Get pregnant between 9/1-12/31/11.
5) Adopt Monkey!
6) Start a non-profit that provides birthday parties to economically disadvantaged elementary school age kids (I'll write more about this later, but it's been my dream to do for about 5 years now) and do at least 1 party by the end of the year.

I'm going to work on breaking these goals down into steps I need to achieve each month and focus on one month at a time since that's always been key to achieving my goals.

Do you have a resolution this year? If you do, please share, I'd love to hear about it!


I cannot shake this feeling of being overwhelmed and worrying about what other people IRL think and say and do and how I measure up to them and their lives.  Here's what I'm talking about:

I'm doing Weight Watchers, but in today's world, unless I'm on a vegan diet, raw diet, only eat organic, chickens must be free range, cows must be grass fed, unprocessed food diet, I feel like it's not good enough.  

I work out, but I'm not training for a marathon, triathlon, or I don't go on leisurely 5 mile hikes up the face of a mountain without feeling like my lungs are burning and about to explode out of my chest at any moment.

I have happy kids, but do I feed them all organic, make their food, still breast feed, never let them eat chocolate or candy, or watch more than 2 hours of television? No.  Seriously, I can recite the songs to the Backyardigans, Olivia, and Wonder Pets, and I know who Moose and Zee are so I feel like a failure.  Do I load up my jogging stroller (don't even own one) and take my kids for a run each night?  No.  Do they eat fruits and veggies at every meal? No, I serve them, most of the time they end up on the floor or in the side of their chairs.   Do I never raise my voice at my 2 year old and always calmly give him a warning...heck no!  Do I give them bubble baths nightly using Johnson and Johnson even though it's supposedly so super toxic and bad for their health, yep!  Do I vaccinate according to the normal schedule at the doctor's office, yes ma'am!

50% of the time would I be  mortified if someone walked into my house before I had at least a few hours warning and therefore they'd see the piles of crap, the laundry scattered, that the floors need mopped, that I haven't dusted for over a month, that I have whatever meal Dylan decided to throw on the floor crusted on there from the night before?  Yes!!!

Am I embarrassed to say I watch ALL the Real Housewives shows and Jersey Shore and I wish I was Oprah and I never miss an episode?  Not embarrassed about Oprah, the other shows, yes and why are people so shocked that I WATCH TV??  Seriously?  I cannot tell you how many people tell me they never really turn their TV on??  When I said this weekend I was excited for the premier of OWN, Oprah's new network, a friend said Oprah disgusts her.  My reply....pedophiles and murders disgust me, not Oprah.  I just wonder why that person felt the need to chime in on my excitement and make such a statement to me?

Or that I really like Taylor Swift?  That I DO THINK SHE is talented and that if I had a daughter that turned out with her grace and manners I'd be over the moon?!   But my sister has to say, "Taylor Swift is AWFUL!  I can't believe you listen to her."  I would never ever say anything like that to her, ever.  Why would I want to make her feel bad about her choices?

I don't know when or why it started but I've always felt bad saying what I do or what i like even though in my mind, I'm seriously okay with the things I've chosen and that if other people didn't question why I like or do those things, I'd be so much more content. 

I'm trying to focus on not being afraid of being proud of what I do and how I do it and to block out what others say or think.  I mean seriously, why can't I like Taylor Swift and Oprah??  Or am I just not friends or acquaintances with the people that do like those things?  I've been friends with 3 of my best friends since I was in kindergarten and the other 2 since 6th grade and 9th grade but they are just so different than me.  When I go to baby showers, house warmings, Christmas parties, I am just so different than the rest of the people and I feel like everyone thinks I'm so damn social because I can ask them questions about them for hours and so they feel great, but people don't in turn ask me things about myself.  It's like, yes, we just talked about YOU for an hour and now you think I'm nice?  How many times did you ask me about myself and comment how great this and that was?  I think that's why I'm so drawn to YouTube and why I used to love making videos, because it was my turn to talk about myself and I didn't have that instant criticism I would if I said one or 2 sentences to someone I was standing right next to and I can choose to just read the comment and not comment back.  But at some point, I have to get back in the real world and get face to face with people to start building better relationships and really stand up for myself when it comes to the choices I've made about how I live my life. 

Do you ever feel this way?