Now there’s a balloon in my uterus.

I know you all are just dying to know about that measly old troll from my uterus. Well, I had surgery a few days ago and this is what we found:

Troll- Dora

Oh no, wait. That’s the grumpy old troll from Dora. That chick is flippin every where in this house.

I’m not going to show you the real pictures of my uterine troll because that would be weird. And gross. And really weird. Instead I’ll just tell you what they saw.

*If you all have been following my story, you know that I went in for a diagnostic/operative hysteroscopy. Basically they dilated me and shoved a camera up there to see all that there was to see in the holy land.  If they found something they had to removed or needed to repair, they were going to do so. Check out the link above to read how we got here so far, and about my journey through recurrent pregnancy loss*

So after a comfortable 4 hour wait where I couldn’t eat or drink anything (and hadn’t since midnight before, and J didn’t eat in front of me because he’s awesome like that/I would have probably jumped him) we finally went back for surgery. But then we waited another hour or two until I *actually* went back to surgery. In between that time the rookie anesthesiologist just about made me faint from trying to insert my IV. Great start.

Finally they give me my cocktail for a med induced nap, and I’m out before I really recognize that I’m in the OR. About 45 minutes later (or so they say) I was in recovery. Easy-peasy.

Well, not so much. I really, truly thought that this surgery would be like my D&C. They’d go in there, grab what they needed to, be out and I would have virtually no pain. Not-uh, not this time. I woke up feeling like I was in LABOR. I had such bad cramps and the meds they were sticking in my IV were not working. On top of that, my doctor couldn’t get upstairs to talk to me because the Prez himself decided he needed a doctor’s appointment or something because the whole place when on lockdown.

Finally the meds kick in and I’m transferred to discharge. Its another hour or so before the doctor comes up to speak with me about what they found and what they did in there.

J had told me when I was in recovery that the doctor called and said what they had seen in the ultrasound a couple weeks prior was scar tissue. We are assuming its from m D&C because I’ve never had any other surgery that far north. The doctor explained that  they had snipped the tissue and inserted a balloon in there to keep the tissue from reforming where it was before. I go back in a week to have the balloon removed. In the meantime I am on ibuprofen for the pain, as well as Estradiol for the next 30 days to help the healing process.  Eventually I will start taking progesterone and then Provera to help jumpstart my first cycle after surgery. J and I were instructed to wait one full cycle before we start trying again.

I am conflicted in my feelings about the outcome of this surgery. Of course our biggest worry when the doctor said he found an “unidentifiable mass” was  cancer. So its pretty good that its not that. But I also kind of wanted to it be *something* that was maybe causing the miscarriages. As J put it, we wanted a scaepgoat for why all this was happening. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Since the scar tissue probably came from my D&C, it obviously cannot be the reason for the three previous miscarriages. ALL of my labs, and J’s chromosomes, came back normal (except for my MTHFR which they said really isn’t a reason for concern since I only have one mutated copy). So right now, we are deemed as having “unexplained secondary infertility.” At this point we are told to “keep trying.” We have a 50/50 chance of having a successful next pregnancy until miscarriage #6. At that time, the odds go down but I’m not sure how far. I didn’t want to ask.

I feel like we are kind of back to square one. I feel like the surgery wasn’t totally necessary but I’m glad we are taking the steps we need to to make things go smoothly the next time, whenever that may be. As always, the waiting game is the hardest. Its hard to wait until I’m off these meds. Its hard to wait one FULL cycle to start trying. It all sucks, especially when E was so easy.

At least I’m documenting all the work we are doing to give E a sibling so that when/if he/she arrives, they can automatically feel guilty about taking so long.

I kid. Kind of.

PS- Thanks to my awesome parents to helping us with E these past couple days . Recovery would have sucked with out you! And of course, thanks to my amaaaaazing husband for being my biggest shoulder to lean on through all of this. From the days when I’ve been crazy with worry to the nights I have cried myself to sleep, you have been there with chocolate and hugs on hand. I love you!

Today I’m like those drama faces

You know, these guys:

DramaQuite a few things mark this day today. One really awesome thing and a few not so awesome things. Let’s start with the not so awesome things, since I’m a glass half empty kind of girl anyways.

October 15th is National Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss Day. If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I’d be a part of this day, I would have laughed at you. Because the thought of us having one miscarriage was unfathomable after having E. Then we had two. Then three. Now I’m grouped together with the women who have experienced the same or worse things than I have. What a bummer.

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If my first miscarriage pregnancy had been successful, my little one would be 6 weeks old.  It is also two days shy of my estimated due date with my second miscarriage. I would be about 20 weeks along with my third miscarriage pregnancy, and we would be getting ready to know if we were having a boy or a girl.

But none of those things are happening. Instead I will be driving the million miles to the nearest military hospital to get some more bloodwork done to see what’s going on with my broken uterus. It sucks, majorly, but this day is about so much more than that.  Instead I have called off the Amber Alert on my period because- NEWS FLASH- she arrived. It surprised me while we were on a family trip, because Aunt Flo is awesome like that. Thank God my smart mother told me to take tampons “just in case” the change of air pressure from flying swept everything out. So if your period is missing, just take a long plane ride to make her show her ugly face.

Patent pending.

BUT this day isn’t even about that. It’s about my TWO YEAR OLD DAUGHTER.

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That’s right, she’s TWO today. Two going on twenty from her vocabulary and her attitude lately, but that is for another post.

If two years ago you asked me what October 15th would mean to me today, it wouldn’t be this. Not because of the miscarriages, even though those were unexpected. But rather it would be because of my daughter. I would never in a million years be able to dream up a little girl as wonderful as E. She’s smart, sweet, kind to her friends, lover of all things babies, and just…amazing. Its hard to describe how much I love her and what she means to me, but I guess that’s how it is for all parents. The words are never enough.

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I will never forget the day she was born, namely because she peed on me right away (gee, you’re welcome for pushing you out of my VAGINA). She was so tiny, so perfect.

Newborn Evelyn

E has grown up so much over the past two years and I can’t wait to see what her lifetime brings to her. I love you so much, E. Happy birthday sweet girl!

I need to file a missing person’s report.

If you read my post a couple days ago, you’d know that E and I have been traveling. It was a short flight so that was nice, but traveling just takes alot out of a person. Especially a small person who doesn’t have her own seat on the airplane.

E has been a cranky tired mess since we got home. She has pretty much cried non-stop. I’m guessing this is because she doesn’t have a constant playmate anymore like she did when we were visiting her cousins. Another reason why she really needs a sibling.

But now we are back to “real life.” Life after the chaos of experiencing multiple children in a household. I am back to the normal every day stresses of our home stuff, like WHERE THE F IS MY PERIOD?!

Yes, that is my main concern right now. Not my new day school in which I will have several little munchkins nipping at my heels three days a week. And not going back to school. And not this race I have in a month. Nope. Its totally and completely my damn Aunt Flo.

Aunt Flo

Except she’s missing. Stupid. 

Seriously, this chick is a skank. She never tells me when she’s coming, she’s ALWAYS late, and she hurts me like Chris Brown would if Rhianna was a uterus (too soon? Whoops). Its been 6 week post-D&C and I’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting for this chick to show. The stupid thing is I’ve been waking up almost every day saying, “Today’s the day!” like its my freaking wedding day (uterus style), but alas, she is still missing.

And the cops just laugh at me when I ask to file a missing person’s report on my period. Jerks.

Cops Laughing

Its not that I miss the cramps, bloating, and feeling like someone is stabbing me in my stomach. And I know J doesn’t miss the awesome moods she puts me in. But its that I have to sit here and wait for longer and longer to do any testing or to even *think* about TTC again until she rears her ugly little head.

Like I said- skank.

But, as one mom put it, all my issues with infertility have done *some* good. For one, I’m sharing my story with others. Also, I have been able to throw myself into things I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have put off because of baby making/not really baby making like fitness, starting my own business, and going back to school. So even though Aunt Flo is awful at RSVPing, at least she’s giving me a chance to cool my jets and focus on some good things for our family.

Oh, and uh, we’re planting trees today. Not like, “Oh let’s save the Earth and plant some trees,” type trees. We’re planting trees so we don’t have to look at people in our neighborhood. More like, “Get out of my face trees.” But they are apple, pear, and cherry trees so at least they will be bearing some fruit. Unlike someone else in this household (achem, myself…)

So I guess we’ve got alot going on. But its fun right now. And after a week of seeing life with 3 kids (really 4), I think I need to take a break from the idea of having more than one child. That was traumatizing.

Enjoy your weekend, ya’ll.

 

Miley Cyrus reminded me what I need to make a baby

A foam finger. DUH.

Ugh. No, Miley…just. No.

And that was one of the tamer photos. Because this is a family-friendly blog ya’ll. Ain’t nobody got time for that sh*t.

Now that Hannah Montana has successfully ruined all the dreams of those parents that thought, “What a good role model for our child!” we are going to move on to more important things- me and baby making. Sans the foam finger. Sorry J.

Today I had my first visit with a reproductive endocronologist (RE). An RE is a big, fancy term for someone who knows all about reproductivity (but not like those cheesy 80s movies you watched in middle school…more legit expert) so you can baby make like the best of them.

Mrs. Duggar must have known about the foam finger.

Let’s first explain my ordeal to simply get to this appointment. I want to have it on record so any future children can feel guilty straight out of the womb.

First I had to drive the hour north to my parents house the night before because this “special” appointment is over 2 hours away from  where I live. And that’s without traffic. My appointment right smack dab in the middle of rush hour, so it would take me FOR.EV.ER to get there. A toddler in the car who *just* gave up her pacis while in the carseat and got woken up 2 hours early AND traffic of any kind is not good. So off to Nana’s house we went so she could watch E while I ventured on out to this appointment.

I decided to take the train to the hospital instead of drive because, again, traffic. So I got up at 545am to shower and get to the train station. With Starbucks in hand (of course), I took the hour and a half hour commute to the hospital. The train ride was ok except that I got motion sickness. But it was a hell of alot better sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.

FINALLY I was at the hospital, checked-in, and sitting down with my new doctor, Dr. C. She was pretty awesome. She listened to me while I vented about my frustration with my other doctors, the losses, and how I just wanted to do whatever I could to help me have a successful next pregnancy. She gave me a plan, and anyone who knows me knows I like to have a plan. So here it is:

  1. Immediatley- Today we checked my betas to make sure they were going down appropriately. Hopefully they are, so we will see in a few days.
  2. September- Once my cycle returns, I will go in for hormonal testing for PCOS, lipid panel, and FSH/LH/Estradiol/Prolactin/TSH on cycle day 3. I will also go in on cycle day 21-23 for progesterone testing.
  3. October- Once my second cycle comes I will make an appointment to do a saline sonogram to check and see if I have any septum in my uterus that is blocking a baby from getting the proper amount of blood flow. I will also do a repeat of the RPL testing, because apparently I wasn’t supposed to do that with HCG in my system even though my prior doctor told me I could. UGH.

Before I had my D&C I heard back from my original doctor about all the RPL testing that I got done that I shouldn’t have, and she told me everything came back normal except that I had a gene defect- MTHFR C6227. Or the motherf***er gene as I like to call it. I am on the “good” side of this gene defect in that mine is heterozygous. It basically means that I don’t metabolize folate well and I need an extra boost of that stuff. Right now I’m taking my regular prenatals, as well as vitamin B6 and eating a natural derivative of folic acid each day like spinach or quinoa.

Right now we are on hold to try and conceive  until about November. Dr. C wants me to go through 2 regular cycles so we can check on everything that needs checking, and make sure we are doing everything we can. Things that I may need to take in the future if they can’t find anything wrong (which happens about 70% of the time) are:

  • Baby aspirin- this helps with clotting disorders, if I have any. The tests in September will help to determine if I do, but she said that some people still take it “just in case” even if they don’t have any known disorders.
  • Extra folate- to make sure that the baby is getting what he/she needs through development.
  • Progesterone- if my levels come back low, she will put me on progesterone suppositories until about 8 weeks when/if I get pregnant. I already have a prescription from my original doc but Dr. C *kind of* alluded to the fact that she shouldn’t have prescribed that willy-nilly.

Its a lot of info, I know. But if you are going through something similar, maybe this will help give you an idea of what you should be listening to your RE or OB mention when you’re discussing the next steps.

I’m just glad that I now have a plan of attack. A plan of attack on my uterus.

 

Third time is *not* the charm

I’m sorry for my absence in both regular posts and meal planning these past two weeks but our family has been dealing with some, well, sh*tty news. We found out that we are going through our third, yes, THIRD miscarriage in a row. BLEGH.

I wrote an email to some of my family members to tell them about it because the phone call was too hard to make. And its still kind of hard to talk about now so I’m just going to basically relay to you what I told them. If you have just started following me and don’t know about my other two miscarriages, take a look here or just read below. Perhaps one day in the future I will talk more about how I’m feeling and everything, but right now I just don’t feel up to it all.  But I do feel like its important for women to feel like they can talk about their experiences, their hurt, and their losses together so I am sharing with the world what is going on with me. For some reason its reassuring to read other people’s stories if only to learn you’re not alone.

So here it goes….

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I am now considered “high risk” because we have hit that magic/awful number of three. Only 1% of women experience repeat or recurrent miscarriages (more than 3 in a row) and now I’m part of that 1%.

The first miscarriage was so early we didn’t even know we were pregnant yet. It happened on Christmas Day and we didn’t realize it was a miscarriage until we got back home  and I got a positive test. My doctor found this odd so we tested my HCG levels and they were dropping. The second miscarriage happened about 5 weeks after that at the end of February. That one was a little later, probably about 6 weeks. When I went to get a confirmation at the doctor’s it came back negative and I knew something was up. After quite a bit of pushing them to do something, they finally drew my levels and they were dropping again. At that point my doctor wasn’t worried. She thought they were both flukes and that maybe my body wasn’t ready so soon after the first miscarriage.

This last pregnancy has been the hardest because its been the longest. I am supposed to be about 8 weeks. We found out at the end of June and everything was going really smoothly (or maybe rough if you asked J- I was a little moody).  I had consistent symptoms and every home pregnancy test I took showed up right away and was really dark, so we were pretty confident things were going well. But we had our first ultrasound yesterday and immediately we knew something was wrong. Nothing came up on the screen. At this point, since my first positive test was a month ago, I knew we should see something but there was nothing there. No fetal pole, no yolk sac, nothing. It has been really, really hard these past couple of days because everything seemed to be going well. Its been a difficult time as you can probably imagine.

Since we  have had so many miscarriages in a row, the doctors think that it is more than just a random event. I got my levels drawn yesterday and I have to get them drawn again to see if they are going down. There are several different factors that can cause repeated miscarriages such as autoimmune diseases, chromosome abnormalities, uterine abnormalities, and low hormone levels. J and I are going to get blood tests done to check all these things. My doctor suspects that they are probably going to come back normal because E was such a textbook pregnancy and birth. She mentioned, and I have read, that 50%-70% of repeated miscarriages are never formally diagnosed with a specific issue.

In order to take precaution with the next pregnancy, whenever that may be and depending on the results of these tests, I will be taking progesterone supplements as well as baby aspirin. Right now we are playing a waiting game to see if I miscarry naturally again or if I need to take other measures such as medication or surgery. Since no baby grew at all and my body still hasn’t miscarried naturally, we are leaning towards surgery because there is a risk of infection. One other scary and fatal cause of nothing being seen at all in my uterus at the ultrasound is an ectopic pregnancy. The doctors don’t think its ectopic but they aren’t totally ruling it out.

So right now we are just waiting to get test results back and decide how we want things to proceed in terms of expanding our family. I will share as things progress.

We appreciate any prayers, good thoughts, good vibes, etc that you can send our way.

As always, thanks for reading and supporting me in all this craziness.

Rule #1 of Homeownership: Don’t let the toddler near the paint.

In case you weren’t aware, trying to paint a room with a toddler around is not a good idea. But little old me thought, “Psh, no big deal. I’m just spot painting. I’ll be done in two seconds. Here, I’ll put the paint on top of her dresser and she’ll never reach it.”

Then I hear, “AHHHHH, MOMMMMMMYYYYY! PAINT!”

Sure enough, half a pint of purple paint was all over E and our carpet. Thankfully, most of it landed on the carpet and not all over her face. Poor thing was so upset that she made a mess, and for three days after the “Paint Incident of 2013,” she was still saying, “Paint. Messy.” Yes, E, very messy.

So I bet you’re wondering what we did to clean it up. Well, first we had to soak up all the paint. That was fun. If you’ve ever washed a paint roller you know how much paint can soak into fabric like that. Then we used hot water and blue Dawn soap (that sh*t cleans everything) to get up the majority of the paint. THEN we used hot water and Oxi-Clean. The stain was still visible. Oxi-Clean is supposed to get the tough stains out! WTH.

Paint 2After all the paint was initially cleaned up. This picture is blurry so its alot worse than it looks!

Then we decided we needed to try something else, so off to Wal-Mart J went. He came back with this product called Krud Kutter, and guess what? IT WORKED. Case in point below:

Paint 1At least its more…pink now. Now that its totally dry you barely see it. I hope.

Or maybe my eyes are just shielding me from what I don’t want to see. 

Ok, so its still not perfect but it’s a hell of a lot better than when we started. I’m still going to be putting some sort of accent rug in front of her dresser to cover it, and one day we will have to replace the carpet but as the saying goes- fake it ‘til you make it.

We have been slowly getting more and more of the house done. Most of the major projects are done (like the driveway…finally!!!) and now we are just getting some odds and ends to help make the house more “ours.” I have some great ideas for our laundry room and guest bathroom, but some of those things will have to wait for a little bit.

063This white edging is all along the entire driveway. J dug every centimeter and placed every piece of black edging along the sides, along with all the white decor rocks. It was a pain in the a** (so he says) but it look amazing. Great job babe!

One of my favorite rooms in the house so far is our mudroom. When we moved in, the space was just one giant walk-in closet. It had a bunch of open shelves and it was super messy looking. I hated it and I knew we had to change it somehow.

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 Before. Total chaos and mess. Like I need more of that in my life.

I wanted the mudroom to be functional yet really cute to look at when you walked in. It sits right outside our kitchen and goes into the garage, so it’s used a lot since we park in the garage for the most part. Or I do because J’s truck is ginormous.

First I had J take down all the shelves on one wall, and then all the shelves but the top two on the other wall. I decided on a light blue color for the walls because to me it gives a happy, clean feeling when you first walk in. We kept the white lining from the shelves along the entire room for two reasons: 1. We thought it give it a unique, nautical look and 2. We wanted to give new homeowners (if we ever sell) the option to put the shelves back up- they are stored in our basement right now.

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Shelves gone!

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Let the painting begin! We first had to sand and touch up with putty any

damage done when taking down the shelves. Blah.

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Painting complete!

Once the painting was all done I had to decide how I wanted to organize it. I knew I needed a place to keep my vacuums and cleaning supplies but I didn’t want them just sitting out, so we got a organization cabinet from Lowe’s to keep everything in the room but hidden. I also wanted a place for E’s diapers so I got a two-tier wicker laundry basket from World Market. Obviously, the mudroom also needed a shoe bench, so I got one from Target that had a matching tan pad on the top. E is eventually going to go to school, so I added some hooks to the wall at “kid height” for her backpack and coats.

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Lowe’s cabinet and World Market wicker basket

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Mudroom complete!

All in all, the project cost about $335. Here is the price breakdown:

  • Lowe’s cabinet: $200
  • World Market laundry basket: $40
  • Target three-tier organization: $15
  • Target shoe bench: $60
  • Paint (Wal-Mart): $20

I seriously love this room. J does too because it was our first “together” project in the house. It took a few days to do the gutting and painting, and then a few more to figure out how I wanted to decorate it and get everything built and organized, but now I’m really happy with it!

In the next couple of weeks we should have our office, dining room, and family room complete. Once all rooms are totally done I will post before and after pictures. Stay tuned for next week’s post about the best places to buy furniture online while getting CASH BACK for each purchase. Seriously. We’ve made almost $200 back!

Also, check out this week’s meal plan. There is a new pasta I tried from a friend that is delish!

Let’s Get Physical, Physical!

I was going to put the video up to help you transport you back in time, but it is VERY different from what I remembered as a kid. All I remembered was Olivia Newton-John working out in some leotard. YouTube at your own discretion.

Man, don’t you just love this 80’s style and hair?! THE HAIR, PEOPLE. They got more dressed up to work out than I do when I go to Target. Because let’s be honest, the only thing I do besides laundry and cooking is go to Target. In fact, when E gets into the car she immediatley says, “Shopping?”

Ok, that’s not entirely true. Well, the “shopping” part is. But I actually do do (<–haha) other stuff besides laundry, cooking, and Target. And Starbucks. I WORK OUT.

If you are a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) and/or a military spouse, you understand how hard it can be to find the time to stay fit. Its hard to do it at home because you have a million things to do plus at least one small person hanging on your leg or sitting on your hip (or both) at all times. And being a MilSpouse comes with all different sorts of challenges. Sometimes you don’t have anyone coming home at 5pm or on the weekends so you can run to the gym. The gyms on base oftentimes don’t offer childcare, and by the time you find a gym out in town that is affordable and not totally creepy you’ll probably PCS. Awesome.

When I moved to our current duty station, I wasn’t a mom. And I worked. Finding time to go to the gym was difficult (beacuse eating cookies while watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey is more fun) but not impossible. When I had E I was determined to not be one of “those” moms that totally throws any sort of physical fitness out the window. But even so, I gave myself a six week grace period because I had just pushed a baby out of my you know where and I was TIRED. And then J left for deployment. At that point, throwing everything out the window (except for the cookies) sounded like a great idea.

Over time, however, I started to feel like something was missing for me. I felt the need to pick up all that stuff I threw out the window and get back into some sort of workout routine. I didn’t know what to do though. For those of you that have been following me for awhile (stalkers) may remember this post where I was determined to stick to a tough workout routine while J was gone. That lasted all of 2 seconds- I couldn’t go to the gym on base because there was no childcare. I didn’t want to spend the money for a membership out in town because knowing myself, I wouldn’t actually go enough to make it worth the money. I needed some outside motivation but I didn’t know what to do.

Then God sent me a little angel. Well, lots of angels. More like warriors. With strollers. Stroller Warriors.

Heard of them? Thought you might have. That’s because our founder, Stephanie Gergahty, was selected at the Marine Corps Spouse of the Year for 2012 by Military Spouse Magazine. Hellllzzz Yea.

This is my story with Stroller Warriors (SW): My friend encouraged me to join a military wives running group. At first I was like, “Um, I don’t like to run.” Because I don’t. Well, I didn’t. Ok, so most of the time I don’t but we’ll get to that in a minute. Anyways, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I mean, these ladies all must be RUNNERS and I’m not a runner. I’m a walker. A yogi. A “watch a old Susan Summers workout VHS” type girl. Dudes, I don’t run. For pete’s sake, I was a CHEERLEADER in high school.

But I decided to go. What’s the worst that could happen? I would pass out and die? Maybe, but I was willing to try it.

My first run with SW sucked. It was cold, it was raining, and I was out of breath in the first 5 seconds. But hot damn those chicks were motivating. Some were out there pushing double-wide BOB strollers with PRESCHOOLERS. Others were wicked fast, and some were more my speed. Everyone that passed me (I’m pretty sure it was EVERYONE) kept saying, “Great job! Keep it up! Way to go!” and even though it sounds a little cheesy, it was super encouraging. It was awesome and for the first time in a LONG time, I knew I was going to actually continue with a group/routine.

SW

So here I am, one YEAR later and still running with SW. I did stop for awhile because E’s naps were during our run times and Lord knows I wasn’t messing with that. But once she went to one nap, it was on like Donky Kong. And I’ll be honest- I still don’t like running. I’d much rather be doing something a little less…exhausting. But these women are so great that I actually sacrifice my dislike for the sport just to hang out with them for a few hours each week. And, not surprisingly, I feel a lot better after the run and kicked-my-ass/my-armsbuttlegs-are-sore-for-the-next-8-days ground work we do each time.

Now, sadly, we are moving and the closest SW is kind of far. I’m hoping that I can do something to help set up a group closer to me though because this group is motivating. They are the reason I get my lazy azz out of bed on Tuesday and Fridays (and Sundays, on my own) to run. They push you to run harder, to run faster, and to be stronger. And occassionally they have run-free days with food, and that’s always a win. They are some BAMRs (Bad Ass Mother Runners) and I am so proud to have been part of this group if only for a little while.

SW Gear

E was munching on her recovery snack. She had a hard run…

In the next couple of weeks I’m going to be talking about some workout routines I’ve found online that I have found really helpful just in case you don’t have an awesome group of BAMRs close by. I may or may not have some before and after pics to show you too. It depends on what my after pic looks like because my before is like…gross. I will also be discussing some diet changes that are easy to make and KEEP even if you are a MilSpouse. So stick around. Until then…….

**Images courtesy of Google Images and personal images from Stroller Warrior members. “Stroller Warriors” video courtesy of YouTube**

Empty Arms

Late last week my husband and I were talking about my absolute compulsion to take pregnancy tests. Honestly, I should be on that show, “My Strange Addiction.” I AM ONE OF THEM. Maybe not exactly the crazy chalk eating lady or the guy that is “married” to his life-like doll, but I’m bordering on that level.

People, I could be on TV. Even more famous than I already am. Move over, Kim K.

On a more serious note: Even though we want to give my body a rest from the past two miscarriages, I still have pregnancy on my brain. ALL. THE. TIME. I analyze and over-analyze-and then analyze again the next day- every little thing that is going on with my body. Most daily decisions I make are based on the *possibility* that I could be pregnant- do I have that glass (or 3) of wine, should I push myself for that extra mile run, should I really get an extra shot in my coffee, should I really being doing sit-ups and planks? AHHHHHH.

So J and I discussed it and its no way for me to live. For us to live. Pregnancy tests (even the dollar ones) get expensive when you take 4 in 10 days <—-truth. Its becoming a point of contention in our marriage because all I want to do is just take a quick test whereas he thinks I’m driving myself crazy by doing this. He also pointed out that even if the test is positive, I’m going to go crazy taking test after test after test just to *make sure* everything’s ok, probably until the baby pops out. Damn him and his rightness!

Seriously, though, he’s right. I’m driving myself BONKERS and him, too. Sometimes I forget that he’s just as anxious and worried as I am that maybe another child isn’t in the card for us. Sometimes I forget that there are two of us waiting for those two lines, not just me. Talking about it really helped, but it also brought up alot of emotions I didn’t really expect to feel.

I thought I was doing ok with these 2 miscarriages. I was heartbroken and I cried when they happened, but after a day or so I felt better and I felt as if I was moving on. We had alot going on this past month with house-hunting so even though I thought about the miscarriages it wasn’t to grieve. I would think of them in logical terms like, “Ok, it happened. Twice. That sucks but we’re moving on and you won’t do this, this, or this with the next pregnancy.”

In talking with J though, I started to get upset. I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, and my mind drifted to two little angel babies. They were wrapped in blue with their little angel wings. They were curled up next to each other, spooning, and I was holding both of them as I slept. Oh dear Lordy did I cry. I cried and cried and cried. I’m sure if the lights were on it would have been an ugly cry. I cried hard when I found out I was miscarrying and I cried hard when the miscarriage passed, but this was different. I was picturing these two squishy, innocent babies lying there with me but no one was there. My arms literally felt heavy and empty. I needed something to fill them so I did the absolute no-no in parenting- I woke up my sleeping child.

I just had to hold E. I needed to hold my baby, to see her sleeping peacefully and listen to her breathe. I wanted to feel her little squirms and remember her little baby cries. As I watched her I cried some more because I knew I wouldn’t see the faces of my two angels until I get to Heaven. I will never get to hold them. I will never get to hear their baby cries. For the first time I really felt as if I lost my babies not my pregnancies. My babies.

Days like that are hard, but I guess they’re necessary. Maybe it seems silly to some because both pregnancies were very early when I lost them, but to me they will always be my babies.

BAHH, I’m such a sap sometimes. Off to take another pregnancy test *skips happily away*

JUST KIDDING. But only because Aunt Flo arrived. Stupid dream crusher. Damn you, Aunt Flo, damn you *shakes fist at uterus*

Traveling. With a Toddler. ‘Nuff Said…

Like my last post about house-hunting, the trip really centered around one person in our family: E. Thankfully she did really well staying with Nana and Gramps while J and I were out looking at houses all day. They were such a big help and we seriously could not have done it without them. Nonetheless, my main stress came from two places- 1. her sleep, and 2. flying.

Anyone who has flown with a toddler can understand my stress level here. If I could have snuck in a couple of liters of Malibu through security, I would have (because Lord knows I’m not paying $15 for a “sample” of rum the size of my pinky nail). E surprised us once again though- she did great! It wasn’t the most relaxing and comfortable of flights but I didn’t die and I didn’t kill anyone so I’m going to chalk that up as a win.

I’m a planner, so the week before we left I planned a ton of different activities to take with us on the plane. And of course snacks because what better way to distract a toddler than with snacks. Here’s the key in all this though- everything was new. The toys were new, some of the snacks were new, and yes- the apps on the iPad were new. New means interesting in Toddler World so new stuff was a must.

The snacks were things I got from the commissary. I probably paid less than $10 for everything. They included: Gerber Preschooler Fruit Snacks, Gerber Toddler D is for Dippers, Gerber Puffs, Gerber Cheese Doodles (those may or may not have been partially/mostly consumed by me…), and a shit ton of those squeeze pouch mashable thingys.

All the new toys I purchased at the Dollar Store so I spent *maybe* $5. Some of the things we already had at home but she had never played with before so they were new. And of course we brought some of her favorite books. Here is what we had: a Disney princess etch-a-sketch (huge hit- she loved to just point at the princesses and ask “isshe?” and hear their names), crayons, a bingo dotter, a notebook for coloring/dotting, window stickers, and play-dough (we didn’t actually use this- I forgot about it).

These are the window stickers. ‘Cept we had St. Paddy’s ones because we’re awesome like that.

Finally, I had everything packed in her carry-on bag to include diapers (I use disposables when we travel), a blanket, and an extra change of clothes. The flight to our destination was perfect. It was a red-eye so I was a little weary going into it because I thought it could go one of two ways- 1. she could sleep the entire time, or 2. she would scream the entire time because OH MY GOD THERE IS SO MUCH TO LOOK AT BUT I’M SO FLIPPING EXHAUSTED. Luckily for us, she slept. We even had the middle seat empty so she was able to have her own little bed which half consisted of kicking daddy and hitting mommy. But whatever, she was quiet. HEAVEN. Here is a little image of the awesome-ness she was rocking at the airport while we waited- she was going for travel chic.

Airport Chic

And no, we don’t know who that guy was but he enjoyed watching planes with E.

Once I realized what time our flight home was, I was like, “Crap, we’re screwed.” I knew she wouldn’t nap on the flight because it was during her entire awake time in the morning, so that meant we had to keep her entertained. Or sedated. We went with the former.

E is lucky her mom is so creative and such a great planner. And good at pinning things on Pinterest. Because she had a great flight and she was throughly entertained. She only slept for about a half hour but that was because there was a 1-year old crying behind us like, the entire time. Even E was like, “Dude, its just a plane. Chill out.”

I have to say though, despite my awesomeness in having things for her to play with, a big part of our success on this flight was because of the airline- Virgin America. The people are SO friendly, which really helps to reduce my stress level. The seats are big and comfy, they have tvs on the back of every headrest  with music, shows, movies, and games (who needs an iPad?), and you can order food and drinks right from your screen! We were able to get lunch for all of us on the flight, which was a God-send. I love this airline and highly recommend it to anyone!

Ok, back to me though. I bet you’re wondering how all these my extensive planning turned out. Well, I have proof.

Rip It SHOT

She’s starting off this flight right- by taking a RIP IT!!!!! shot.

No, I’m kidding, it was empty. But it did give us some perspective to see what she’ll look like in 18 years at college.

Sleeping E

Immediatley after taking said RIP IT!!!!!!!!! shot.

Stickers

Playing with her window stickers. Perfect for fine motor skills!

Climbing 1

The seats aren’t for climbing up and down 503839240 times? No? Oh well, it was fun!

Dippers

D is for Dippers/M is for freaking MESSY. But distratcting. So I guess it could stay D.

iPad

Fischer Price iPAD apps are the best thing I have downloaded from the Internets. Savior.

Happy flight

Look, we’re still a happy family after the flight is over. Winning.

PS- Please excuse my husband’s “leave beard.” He worked 2.5 long weeks on it and we were sad to see it go. RIP beard, RIP.

So it is possible people. You can travel with a toddler and not be kicked off the plane. Do you have any traveling with toddler stories or tips? Leave a comment below!

Are you traveling on a flight with someone a little smaller? Read my post about traveling with an infant here.

I think my husband found a new calling.

And that would be as a realtor.

We have been house hunting for about a week now and J has been busting his butt trying to find us the perfect home. Checking Redfin and Zillow, looking at mortgage rates and loan companies, and researching areas, drive-times, the closest Starbucks (ok, that was my job), and a ton of other stuff I’m not really sure about because 1. it all sounds like jibberish, and 2. E.

In all seriousness, he has been working super hard for the past week and I’m really proud of him. Astonished might be the better word. Not because I didn’t think he’d do such a great job, but because he’s going above and beyond to make sure our family is covered and protected, and in a house/area that is great for us. He’s an awesome husband.

Even through all the jibberish and E suddenly learning how to make her body go limp when I’m trying to walk her over to change her diaper, I have learned a TON through this whole house-hunting and buying process so far. I went into this venture thinking that it would be fairly easy to find a home we loved. I thought I’d walk into a house and think to myself, “This is it.” I thought my husband and I would agree on everything. NOPE, NOPE, and HA.

But what I have learned is that things are complicated. Not just the terms, not just the math and finances, but emotionally. There are people on both sides of the process, and I think you forget that when you’re in the midst of looking at homes. You see the house but not the people selling it. You don’t know why they are selling the home and what that means to them. You walk through their house and see their pictures, their clothes, their dirty dishes in the sink, etc and you realize that people LIVE here. They have laughed, cried, fought, hugged, and given their little brothers noogies here. It personifies the home and this whole process in a way I didn’t expect. It’s kind of…bittersweet.

But let’s get to the person that really runs this show: E. Anyone who has a baby, toddler, child, teenager, or sometimes (but let’s hope not) grown adult sucking the life out of your wallet knows that traveling away from home can be difficult. Luckily through all of this, E has been pretty good. Sleep hasn’t been fantastic (she’s waking up at night for quite awhile and is crying when we lay her down), but I figure that comes with being a relatively new environment. She is getting along fabulously with my parents who have very graciously watched her while we have spent 6-8 billion hours out looking at houses each day. And we were worried about how E would handle us being away from us and with people she doesn’t see too often (ok, I was worried) but she surprised us all.

When we traveled to my parents house over Christmas E was NOT having it with anyone. She was all

KOBYRA0117 KOBYRA0116

whenever anyone looked at her.

And now she’s all like

20130312_172155 20130316_173310

and saying, “nooooo” when I try to take her from Nana or Gramps. So it is great that her attitude towards family members has done a 180. Looks like we found some babysitters!