Monday, January 16, 2012

The pile is growing....

It has been quite a while since my last post. I keep trying to be better at posting more regularly, but then either nothing that I think of as "noteworthy" happens or I just get too busy that I forget. Most of the time I feel like I am under a pile of life "stuff" that boggs me down, and lately it seems to be growing. Here's hoping that this year will bring time to MAKE things noteworthy!

I found out last fall that my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My grandpa had been diagnosed in the '90's so my dad was getting his PSA levels checked regularly, thankfully. This is the reason that it was caught so early, and the reason that he was able to have robotic surgery to remove his prostate and required no further treatment. I didn't accept the news all that well when my parents first told me. For those that really know me, it is no surprise - I don't initially handle bad news all that great if it deals with life & death, and have not always handled death gracefully. Once I really absorbed what they had told me and got all of the pieces of information, I was able to realize that this was not bad news. Yes it was cancer, but the bottom line is that it is not a bad cancer to have and it was caught so early that he had options. The day came and my sis and I stayed with my mom while dad was in surgery, chatting and perusing the hospital gift shop. Everything came out great and the pathology showed that it was all contained and removed, THANK YOU GOD.

He had 6 weeks to recover and then he was to undergo his second surgery/hospitalization of his life (quite impressive really that both happened within a few months of his 65th birthday), a 3 level spinal fusion. Spinal stenosis has been causing problems for him for a while and after working with a neurosurgeon for almost a year it was decided that surgery was his option. Once again we found ourselves in a hospital for what was this time a very long day. Surgery went perfectly and after wearing a collar for a month he got the OK to take it off this past Friday, and he is once again able to drive! That made my mom's day more than anything ;-)

Christmas this year was a lot of fun with E. He definitely knows how to unwrap presents, but we enjoyed watching him so focused on what he was getting that he would forget he had more to unwrap and I would have to finish for him while he played with his new toys/books. By the third family celebration he was finally unwrapping all of his gifts instead of the first one or two. I try to keep the amount of toys we have down to an amount that he can play with everything he has - I never want him to have so much that he doesn't know what he has and doesn't play with half of it. We got a lot of great books this year and a few great toys too.

We continue to want to expand our family, but there have been some issues this time that forced us to take a month off of treatment. Hub has also (during that month) started seeing a neurosurgeon for his continued back problems. His latest MRI showed something his doc didn't care for, so the referral process began. Thankfully, the neuro they sent him to was dad's surgeon, so I had met him and got a great first impression from him that day. Surgery is an option, but they are trying everything they can before they bring that to the table. We spent an hour last Wednesday in a pain management center while he got an epidural to help the sciatica he has been suffering from. As of this morning a shot that should have helped him for 2 weeks is no longer helping, and barely did at all anyway. He has been limited in the things he is allowed to (or can) do with/for Eli and that has really been bothering him. Hoping and praying that something gives soon so he can restrengthen the bond he and E have! More tests and whatnot in the immediate future and hopefully a decision will be made by the beginning of next month what to do to help him. Not sure what that means for the baby thing for us, but I have faith that if our family is meant to expand then it will, when HE says it's time.

E is growing SO much. He is starting to get a little bit of an attitude at times, showing us the "twos" are right around the corner. At the same time though his independence is rapidly growing too. Once he learns he can do something on his own he does it repeatedly and does NOT want help with it, no matter what. His vocabulary is off the charts - we have officially lost track of what he knows because there is just so much. He is the parrot that I never knew I always wanted ;-) 

Hope you all are healthy and happy and had a wonderful Christmas and New Year full of blessings!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Been There, Done That

I have been really and truly enjoying motherhood since day one, well truthfully as a whole since maybe the end of week one or beginning of week two (once we started formula since I wasn't producing anything). Part of me thinks that since it was difficult to get to motherhood that God blessed me with an easy child baby. The older he gets the less easy he is. Don't get me wrong, he is a passive soul (much like his father) but he is definitely at the beginning of tantrums when he doesn't get his way or when he feels like it. We are taking it all in stride though, because even his tantrums are still cute to us....for now ;-)
Once I got pregnant with E I heard from so many people how their bodies kicked in and started working properly once they gave birth and they didn't have to get help to have baby #2. I held onto a tiny piece of hope that that would be us. Once E turned 1 we decided to stop preventing and see what happened. BIG.FAT.NOTHING. Turns out, I am not like all those other people - my body did not get the message after all. While I was a little bummed about not being able to do things ourselves (and for free) I have at least come to the conclusion that at least we know this time around that we CAN have a baby and what it takes to get there.
So the journey to becoming a family of four has begun. After speaking with my OB a few weeks ago I was once again referred to the wonderful Dr. R. Consultations get to be skipped this time around (yay!) and the drug regiment was started after a brief phone conversation with Dr. R's fabulous nurse. I am almost 2 weeks in and had forgotten how crappy these meds make me feel. Hub & I are supposed to go to Mexico for a belated anniversary trip next week so I am hoping that I actually feel good enough to enjoy it....AND that I don't get a visitor while we're there - THAT needs to wait until we get back so I can get an ultrasound on day 1 to prepare for IUI again!! I am excited and stressed at the thought of expanding our family - but becoming a family of 3 has been so freakin' awesome that how can becoming 4 be anything less? I am so in love with my sweet E and being his mother - THIS is my purpose.
While all of this has been going on we have also been dealing with family troubles. My dad is having some health issues, fairly big ones, and that has hit hard. E will be staying with them when we are gone next week so I know that will be good medicine for him right before his surgery. Hoping and praying the recovery is easy on him, as he then turns around and has another surgery for a nerve problem in his neck that is causing him to lose his grip - one week before Christmas! Things will be interesting this year - that recovery is supposed to be pretty hard. Anyone reading this - please stop and say a prayer for him (and for my mom/family) - that God guides his surgeon's hands and that recovery isn't just awful. And for a VERY successful surgery (especially the first one!!) It is going to be a busy and probably long holiday season for our family, but hopefully next year will be a healthy one for all of us - and maybe we will have a new member of the family never know!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A to Z of ME

Got this from my friend Blair's blog, Life of a Mamarazzi and figured I would do it too. Don't post as much as I'd like these days so maybe this will give you something new about me that you didn't know before!

A. Age: 32 and 363 days. Wednesday I once again become the same age as my hub - I always enjoy the 9 months of him being older ;-)

B. Bed size: KING!

C. Chore that you hate: Floors and/or cleaning the showers/tubs. Our shower feels so closed in so I REALLY don't care to clean it (don't worry, I do it anyway, I just don't like it)

D. Dogs: Love dogs when they are someone else's. We had a dog growing up, but it wasn't very nice so I never really became a dog lover. Plus I married a man allergic to dogs and we had a son that is allergic to ALL things furry so I am pretty sure we will never have a furry pet.

E. Essential start to your day: I have to see E. I am not a coffee drinker and rarely drink pop even, so caffeine is not a thing for me. When we are at home living normal day-to-day life, I have to go in and whisper goodbye to E if it is not my day to take him to Grandma's or "school" and he is still asleep when I leave for work. If i leave without doing that, I feel wrong all day long.

F. Favorite color: I am not sure I can answer this really. My love of colors is fairly broad and ever-changing (as far as my color obsession of the moment). Right now, I guess it would be a teal kinda green-blue color. Wanting to redo my living room (without spending much $$) and use that as a accent color!

G. Gold or Silver: I am usually silver or white gold, but I have warmed up to yellow gold lately - totally depends on what I am wearing

H. Height: 5'9"

I. Instruments you play: I took piano for a few years when I was younger (2-4 grade I think). I can still kinda read sheet music enough to play my old Christmas Carol books and some past recital pieces ;-)

J. Job title: Art Dept. at my paying job and MOM at home ;-)  oh, and wife of course!

K. Kids: So far we have Eli who is 18 months and the absolute joy of my life. He is my happiness personified ;-)

L. Live: In a suburb of OKC

M. Mother’s name: Helen - so thankful to have such an amazing role model and friend in her!!

N. Nicknames: mama, Jules

O. Overnight hospital stays: When I had Eli

P. Pet peeves: When people are stupid and don't think before they do or say things

Q. Quote from a movie: totally really need to watch movies more often

R. Right or left handed: Right!

S. Siblings: Brother, Gef, who is 7 years older. Sister, Lisa, who is 4 years older. (and then a whole slew of brother and sister-in-laws)

T. Time you wake up: Well, I WAKE up at 6 every morning - I don't GET up until at least 6:30 most days - Thursdays and weekends if I am lucky I get to go back to sleep until 8ish

U. Underwear: yes ;-)  no particular brand, but no thongs!

V. Vegetable you hate: Mushrooms!!!

W. What makes you run late: If E isn't cooperating and it is just him & I. If he is in a mood it makes me run late getting ready and it spills over until I am am late to where ever we were going

X. X-Rays you’ve had: teeth, knees, hand, fingers, foot (MRI of neck/upper back/spine)

Y. Yummy food that you make: I like to pretend everything I make is yummy ;-) I follow a recipe quite well, but my favorite lately is Cinnamon Sugar Bread!!

Z. Zoo animal: Monkeys and giraffes!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is there something in the water?

Is it just me or are more and more people having infertility issues these days? Perhaps my own experiences have just made me pay more attention, or maybe it's just talked about more? It is crazy how many people I know that have had to have the help of an RE (reproductive endocrinologist for those that don't know) to have their dreams of having a family come true. (I have just been thinking a lot about this lately and needed to purge my brain so I could actually get some work done, so here we go!) I can't help but wonder if there is some environmental factor in play here. It is just odd how many people in my life have had to experience difficulty or loss when it comes to having a family. And most of those people are my age.

I have had family members (myself included) and numerous friends from college struggle to have a family or to expand their family, all for various reasons and with various procedures and medications used. The majority that I know have had success, some still struggling and doing everything in their power to have that dream realized. People don't realize how much it can affect you mentally, emotionally and physically to want to get pregnant so badly and to try and try have nothing happen. I was near depression and my dear hub was suggesting we stop and I go to therapy because I was struggling so much. Needing a lot of help to even ovulate so the possibility of getting pregnant could even be in my future changed me. I am so thankful that I found that combination of pills and procedures to help me get there. I was terrified to get my hopes up so I think I had planned for the worst, expecting nothing to work. We had even discussed selling our house to pay for IVF or adoption if/when it came to that, and as much as I wanted to carry our baby I wasn't sure I was strong enough to try IVF and have it not work. But for us it didn't come to that and we were blessed with a wonderfully perfect-for-us little boy. I really feel like the journey to him makes me love him differently than I might if I had gotten pregnant right away and on my own. (Now, this is NOT to say that I love my kid more than anyone else loves their kid(s) - this is just me talking about my feelings pertaining to my family. Please no one be offended!) I feel like I look at every little milestone and every little experience with him in a more thankful way, like I appreciate it more. Perhaps my experience was put into my life to teach to truly be thankful and not take anything for granted - that is what I like to think anyway. Mind you I will love whatever sibling Eli has some day (hopefully) just as much as I love him whether we have that baby on our own or with help again. I think Eli just opened my heart up a little more and allowed me to love the people in my life a little deeper and to be more appreciative of their presence in my life.

For any reading this, I have four special friends (at least, there could be more that I don't know of) that are currently either expecting or working with their own REs to have babies. All have been having their own troubles, some have had VERY long and hard roads and some are at the beginning of their journey - all of them want desperately to have a baby though and all of them would be or are tremendous mothers! Please pray for my friends, that they may know the love that I have come to know and probably couldn't survive without. My journey to Eli was, in a twist, one of the best things to happen to me. I pray that my friends can say the same thing someday when they look at their children. The love you feel for your child and from your child is like no other....

Friday, July 15, 2011

Where did my baby boy go?

I know I constantly say that I don't know where time is going, but I'm sure all parents have felt that feeling that once your kid is born time speeds up and never slows down again. I still feel like it was last month that we had our last IUI that brought us Eli, and here we are and he is 15 months old and turning into a true little boy. He is walking all over the place, even starting to run more as he showed me his skills IN HIS CRIB last night (as visions of him smashing his face into the railing as he went down danced through my head - he isn't very sturdy when he's tired and despite the running he was tired).

We had the pleasure of turning his carseat around this past weekend. They changed the recommended age a few weeks before his birthday from one year to two years and as much as I don't necessarily agree with it I figured I would wait and ask his doc. I forgot when we were there for his 1 yr so at his 15 mo. last week I asked and his doc responded saying that those guidelines are based on size and that I have a kid that is plenty big to be safely facing forward - SCORE! I have to admit, it was getting difficult to get him in and out of that thing with it rear-facing, but if his doc would have recommended we stay that way I probably would have listened. However, we were told we could/should turn him so now he has the pleasure of facing the front! You would think most kids would be excited to see where they were going instead of facing a seat back but not my kid. He may like it, but if he does then he hides the excitement really well. I think he has raised his hands like he was riding a roller coaster two or three times for a few seconds and squealed, but other than that he sits very stone-faced staring ahead, it kinda cracks me up. He weighed in at a wonderful 28 1/2 pounds and is 33 inches tall by the way, 90+% on both ;-)
He is also expanding his vocabulary on what I feel like is a daily basis. Ball I think is his favorite word and toy, along with his cars. He points at every ball he sees, no matter where we are, and announces to us that he sees it (which I really love) and even manages to find the balls hidden in pictures as we read. His appetite is steady as ever, he really loves having family dinner with G and I too, he just sits there and smiles and looks at us as he eats....melts my heart every time!

I went back to work another day a little while back. I miss my Tuesdays with him now, but the extra money is nice (got a raise for giving up a free day too!) and will come in handy to save up for creating a sibling for E someday (if we have to go back to our RE for assistance that is). Besides, I still have my Thursdays off to get some mommy & E time! I would really LOVE for him to have a younger sibling, but if it isn't meant for us to have another baby ourselves then maybe we'll revisit adoption - that is a discussion for G and I to have if/when that time comes though. Neither of us really want him to be an only child (no offense to those out there, we have both gotten to reap the benefits of having siblings though) but we are not in control so I guess we shall see.

I should probably get back to work now. I have just gotten SO bad about writing anything on here, mainly because I am not sure who in the world would want to read about my daily life these days, but I decided that I didn't care and am going to try to get back to it anyway. It's cheaper than therapy!

E is 1!!

I know I am past his birthday by a good two months, but I am a little slow keeping this current these days. We had my favorite photographer (CAT Photography) take E's one year pics the weekend before his birthday and they turned out great! Here are some of my favorites....

As well as one last pic from his birthday party, where he polished off his chocolate cupcake....the ENTIRE thing....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Such a Slacker

Well, I have been enjoying life too much I guess to take the time to sit and update this thing. Busier than I have ever been, that is for sure. So now, as my precious E sits and finishes his cereal & bananas for breakfast before "school" I have a minute. I am in awe at how fast this year has gone. We struggled for what seemed like forever to have a baby and when we finally have one a year passes in the blink of an eye. My baby boy is going to be ONE next Friday - what?! How can that be already? I sit and watch him now and sometimes have trouble remembering how he was before he moved - not that I couldn't look at the thousands of pictures and videos we have ;-) It seems every day he is learning some new "trick" or skill and I am constantly amazed at this kid. His former reluctance for real fruits and veggies has almost gone and he has been enjoying bananas, strawberries, blueberries, edamame, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. We still have a few more staples for our house to work on, but I am enjoying this part of eating so much! He might not be too far from walking - he certainly cruises the furniture and has even started walking a bit holding only one of my hands instead of both! He's not completely sure about that yet, but he does it for about 5-10 steps before he reaches out for the other hand. What a kid ;-)