Simple, yet kind

Going off my post yesterday, Oh the Stares & Glares, (which was a bit negative) I wanted to update you on my experience yesterday afternoon while out and about with my kiddos.  Save big money, save big money, save big money when you shop____________.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist putting that catchy little tune out there and if you filled in the blank with Menards you are correct.

Menards is where I needed to go yesterday and once again, I had no choice but to bring my kiddos with me. The reason for this little errand  (not important, but in case you are wondering why I needed to go there I will tell you) is because we recently were given two end tables from my husband’s grandma as she moved out of her assisted living apartment and into a memory care facility.  Unfortunately, she needed to downsize as her room is much smaller where she is living now and she was going to be getting rid of some of her belongings.  We gladly accepted taking these end tables and I immediately saw a project.  These tables are older, outdated and needed a face lift.  I’ve been intrigued by all these lovely Pinterest refurbishing and distressing projects with chalk paint.  When I saw these tables that were being offered to us, I figured these they would be my guinea pigs to work on before I try to refinish the other pieces of bedroom furniture in my daughters room and our bedroom that I would also like to give a face lift.  If done successfully, they will be a neat piece and heirloom we will have from my  husband’s grandma, whom (K’s) middle name is named after (side note, my grandma and my husbands grandma had the same first name a big factor in why we chose that middle name and even more special, my husbands grandma borrowed us the last sum of money we needed to make our IVF cycle even possible and are forever grateful for her kindness).  Hopefully, if this project turns out I will post a blog about it later on.

Moving on, the errand with the girls yesterday was a cake walk compared to my WM nightmare errand last week.  The girls were well behaved and were in good moods, well rested, and simply content just riding around in the cart (some days just prove to be better then others).  I knew it was an errand that was not going to take me long.  All I needed to get was the chalk paint, a paint brush and some sand paper.  There was only about a 5 minute wait to get my pain mixed up and while we waited I gave the girls a little snack.

While the girls were snacking, I was looking at a DIY painting brochure and this is where I noted simple, yet kind act #1 occur.  The female employee in the paint section quickly rushed over to me with great concern and said, “I thought I should tell you I think your baby has something in her mouth but I’m not sure what and I don’t want her choking.”  I thanked her for her concern as it was absolutely appreciated that another person was attentive to the well being of my child and acting as a helper and not a judgemental a**hole (excuse my French).  I kindly explained to her that my baby did have something in her mouth, but it was just a teething Rice Rusk, completely safe for her to have.  The employee chuckled a little bit and seemed relieved that it was nothing more serious and then complimented me on how adorable both my girls were.   This truly warmed my heart.  Simple, yet kind.  Kindness goes a long way.

Simple, yet kind act #2 occurred next.  My paint was mixed and my kiddos and I walked towards the front of the store to check out.  We checked out and the cashier smiled at me and greeted both of my girls and even proceeded to ask E how old she was and asked me how old K was.   She engaged in conversation with me about soon becoming a grandparent to a baby boy who was soon to be arriving any day.  I was paying for items and K got a little fussy (nothing major) and the cashier quickly ran to her attention and started rubbing her feet, talking soothingly to her as I proceeded to take care of my payment.  This was so helpful.  When I was done paying, the cashier then said, let me bag your items today so you can tend to your little one.  Typically you bag your own items at Menards.  I quickly went over to K’s side and tended to her, while very enthusiastically thanking the cashier for her kindness.  Simple, yet kind.  Kindness goes a long way.

Simple, yet kind act #3 happened in the parking lot.  I walked out to my car in the parking lot and I first grabbed K and got her buckled into her car seat.  Next, I grabbed E out of the car and got her in the car and buckled in to her car seat.  I then went to grab the day bag and my items out of the cart.  As I was putting my items in the car, a nice older gentleman asked me if I was done with my cart.  I told him I was and he grabbed it and walked it over to the cart corral for me.  At first I assumed he was walking into the store and going to use it himself while shopping.  When I saw him walking back and over to the car next to me, I thanked him again for helping me out and he said, “It looked like you had your hands full and I wanted to help you.”  At this point I wanted to cry because I felt so humbled.  These acts of care were all so very simple, yet so very kind and going off how my heart was feeling in that very moment was just proof that one simple act of kindness goes a long way.  

After my trip to WM last week, I was feeling so defeated and down.  Due to the unkindness that surrounded me that day, it made me question myself and if I was a good mom.  My faith in humanity was tested, once again.  Yet, yesterday while running my errand my faith was quickly restored.  It is so ironic how that works.  God knew I needed a pick me up and He was present yesterday in the many people who were so kind to me and to my girls when I needed it most.  Kindness is out there.  It does exist.  Thank you God!

Choose kindness always.  Kindness always wins!

 

Oh the Stares & Glares

Recently, I made a trip to Wal-Mart (ugh) to pick up some groceries and other staple items for our most recent weekend camping trip.  Procrastinating this errand was something I admit I had been doing all week.  I dread going to that store in general and the closest one to where we live is, in my opinion, a ghetto WM.  I dread this store even more so when I have to tote my girls along with me. Truly, it had been my intent to go in the evening when my husband was home from work so I could go by myself and not have to take the girls with.  This did not happen though, mainly because by the time my husband got home and I made dinner and we ate and cleaned up dinner I was simply just spent.  Understandable so, the last place I wanted to go was (you guessed it), WM.

Instead, I ended up having to take both girls with me during the day.  Thankfully, I was able to go on a Thursday in the morning (around 9 a.m.) when it tends to be less busy, so that part at least wasn’t stressful. The stressful part was getting through my long list of items and surviving the trip with my 5 year old and 8 month old in tow.   Be thankful I am taking the time to write this blog post to recap my hellish experience because even the thought of reliving this trip to WM, gives me anxiety.

Typically I feed K before going anywhere so I know I have at least a couple hours (give or take) before she is wanting to nurse again, so I made sure to do this before leaving.  I also have her day bag (as I call it) packed with all the essential tools snacks/drinks and entertainment for both girls. Getting out the door and into the car can be a challenge in and of itself some days too.  It was, of course, one of those days that morning.  Nothing drives me nuts more then when I tell my 5 year old to use the bathroom before she gets into the car and she either says, “I already went potty” or “I do not have to go” and then when everyone is finally all buckled in and ready to go she quickly says, “I guess I really do have to go potty”.  Go figure right!

At this point, K was already screaming as she dislikes being confined in her car seat, especially when we are not moving.  Once, E finally went potty and we were good to go (or so I thought) I reluctantly started backing out the driveway and started on our way (the crying had stopped).  The quiet was short lived though because I forgot to put down K’s sunshade on her car seat and the sun was blasting through the window blinding my poor baby.  Her screams of dislike were matching what I was observing.  Driving with a screaming child is the worse thing ever.  Luckily, we have a short 10 minute drive to the store, but 10 minutes can seem like an eternity in some circumstances.

Deep breaths and repetitive, “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this” were being done by myself and said as I pulled into the WM parking lot.  I got everyone out and into the entrance and pulled out a cart, put K in the front and told E she could walk along side me and hold onto the cart or she could sit and ride in the big part on the inside of the cart.  She started protesting about this right away and whining about K getting to sit in the front of the cart and how she never gets to anymore. I explained for the 100th time that she is a lot bigger then K and not a baby anymore and explained yet again she had those two other options.

That’s when my sassy pants discovered a 3rd option.  E fixated her eyes on that disgusting, big clunky cart with the 2 child attachment on the front of it.  I am not sure if you have ever used one of these at WM before with your kids, but my advice is to avoid it at all causes.  It is so dirty and disgusting and something no sanitation wipe could fix.  It is sticky and the buckles don’t work.  It is big and hard to push and doesn’t steer at all.  However, sometimes some battles are not worth fighting over (as my mother has always told me, pick your battles) I had to accomplish this list of mine in record breaking time, with two kids.  I chose this bitch of a cart over arguing about it with my daughter.  E got to sit in the front next to K so she was happy and content and K seemed to be doing fine initially.

The contentment lasted maybe five minutes and K already started getting fussy and E was already asking to go look at the fish tanks in the back corner of the store.  I quickly took out my first tool to distract K (those Rice Rusk crackers) and she gladly accepted the distraction and started munching away, while E was still begging to see those damn fish.

The constant whining from E was highly distracting and I could not think strait, even with a shopping list in hand.  I got a few of the items on my list and quickly zoomed over to the fish tanks where we sat and stared at the fish for about two minutes before I decided it was time to keep going with this daunting task.  E started complaining that she didn’t get to see all the fish and we did not visit them long enough and that they will miss her.  Oh well kid, oh well…Mama has got shit to do.  Of course I didn’t say that to her (I am not cold hearted towards my kiddos, but my mind surely was thinking this).  At this point K had dropped her rice rusk on the bottom of the cart among all the other sticky, nastiness that was lying there and started crying again.

By the time we had made it to the other half of the store, K was in full blown screaming mode, even after pulling out a few more things to try an entertain her.  At this point I was sweating because of the damn cart and could actually feel the burn in my calf muscles from pushing that beast.  I pulled the cart over to regroup and see what else I could use to distract K but I knew at this point it was pointless as she was crying that “I want to be held”  type cry.  I could also feel the stares and glares of other shoppers around me.  At that point I was “that mom shopping with kids” that we all see and have our own judgments about.

My anxiety started to rise.  I saw an elderly couple peak out of the chip isle and the women muttered something to her partner and then shook her head making me start to feel flustered and sweat even more.  I realize that people don’t know your situation and can pass all the judgement they want and have a right to their opinion based on what they see and I shouldn’t let it get to me, yet what they failed to recognize was a mom who in that moment was struggling, as we all do, yet was doing the best job she possible could in that moment.  This is what bothers me.

In that moment, I would have loved a helping hand or someone to come up and say something positive to me.  Instead I got every stare you could possibly imagine and all the glares in the world.  Not once did someone offer to help me, offer a positive word of encouragement or sympathize even with me.  Yet another thing that bothers me, not that I was expecting an act of kindness.  However, it would be nice for someone to break the judgement cycle.  A little kindness can go a long way.

After this experience, I will offer this advice.  First of all, agai a little kindness goes a long ways.  When you see another person struggling in whatever circumstance or situation they may be in offer them a helping hand, offer a sympathetic smile or say something positive.  What I felt from others in that moment was very far from kindness, compassion or concern.  It was full on judgement being flown my way.  I did not appreciate it one bit and it was so not helpful and made an already difficult task  harder.

After pulling my cart over, I contemplated ditching it altogether and getting the hell out of that place but I was halfway through my list so I kept on.  At this point I had taken K out of the cart and was holding her, grocery shopping, holding a list, and pushing that stupid cart all at once.  On top of that, my oldest daughter was complaining that she needed to pee (again). So, I stopped what I was doing and we found her a bathroom, which of course was far from where we were in the store at that point (annoying).

After E had used the bathroom, she was then complaining that she was hungry and thirsty.  I told her that she could wait until we got to the car to get a snack and get a drink and she would not take that for an answer so she started whining harder and I consistently kept telling her the same thing over and over and over.  I was a hot mess at this point and sweating so profusely and wanting to just cry out of frustration.  K was happy as a lark being carried through the store all the while my back was aching from the load.

Making it to the check out line was less then fun because like any day at WM I had to stand in line and wait about 15 minutes before my stuff was even up on the belt and I had to put K back in the cart to unload it.  Of course she screamed and E was standing up begging to get out to look at the toys and candy.  I was not about to deal with E begging to get any toys or candy so I made her stay in the cart.  Instead I told her to entertain her sister (which was not working).  K’s screaming were getting worse and worse and finally that same elderly lady who glared at me earlier and shook her head at me was behind me in line and this time telling me I needed to “take that baby home and get her a nap” and then proceeded to tell me my baby “really had a set of lungs on her”.  First off, don’t tell me what my baby needs and secondly don’t talk to me if you are just going to be rude.  Clearly I can hear my baby crying and I am her mother and know what she needs, however, I again, am doing the best I can trying to accomplish this one task so please just go away!

After paying and seriously walking out of the store as fast as my sweaty and very tired little legs could go, I got to the car.  Then, I got the kids buckled into their seats, got E her drink and snack, got K her special blanket, got the cart unloaded and put away, and myself into the car.  Sitting in my car never felt so good and I took the biggest sigh of relief that I was in my own environment with two happy and content kiddos…finally. Then, I just started to cry.

Mom-ing is hard.  We are one person but many times we have no choice but to take on so many roles all in one breath.  So many times others forget this.  Be kind to yourself and gentle on yourself and most importantly always be kind to others.  Mama you are doing your best and I know and you know that nobody on earth loves your kiddos and cares for and about them like you do!

This was my WM trip from hell.  I’d love to hear yours too!

 

 

Wondering on Wednesday?

…perhaps a new weekly series in my blog?  Maybe!

Just a couple questions have crossed my mind lately.  Maybe there is a clear cut answer for these questions or maybe they are topics up for a discussion or debate even (I really hate debates).  I’ve always been told that no question is a dumb question (again, a statement up for debate…haha!), so please don’t judge me on these questions that I have. For me, I have been wondering about the answers because I have heard mixed answers and I am very unclear about what is truth and what is not the truth.  I am wondering what you know or have heard on these topics to give me any insight or personal experience you may have.  I thought perhaps my blog would be the perfect spot to place my confusion.  With that, I will just hop to it.

Question one deals with my menstrual cycle and ovulation.  I’ve been thinking a lot about baby # 3 lately.  I know the chances of this happening naturally is only about 10% (although the statistics could have changed since conceiving K.  What hasn’t changed is time.  The time is now!).  Regardless, our chances are slim and we likely would need IVF w/ICSI again.  However, our doctor told us that he has seen miracles happen where couples have conceived naturally with that low of a percentage, so we will try our luck until we are at a place where enough is enough and need to make a decision about our next step.  With that said, I have not got my period back since before I was pregnant with K.  I have been told in the past that without a period you can not ovulate and without ovulating you can’t get pregnant.  However, I know of women and have heard stories of women who haven’t had their periods yet and have been surprised when they find out that they are indeed pregnant.  What is true and what isn’t true with this?  Could I still be ovulating without having my period or am I out until my period starts back up again?  I am so beyond confused.

Question two deals with breastfeeding and my period.  I’ve been beyond blessed to exclusively breastfeed K since she was born.  My supply has been amazing and in fact, although she’s been EBF, I still pumped just in case my supply for some reason dipped mid year.  Well, it never did and now we have two freezers full of milk, that if I am unable to use for her, will hopefully be able to donate to someone who is in need.  Now, I know it is a myth that breastfeeding is a form of birth control.  I don’t know why women think that they can’t get pregnant while they are breastfeeding.  This is simply not true.  You can get pregnant while breastfeeding; I just think the chances are more slim.  My question is, will I be more likely to get my period back though if I stop breastfeeding altogether?  My goal is to make it to one year like I was able to do with my first and I do not intend to stop until K is ready to (or her teeth get the best of me like with E, ouch!).  My concern is that by breastfeeding, I am prolonging my period to stay at bay and therefore delaying more “trying naturally” time.  Time is of the essence as all of us who deal with secondary infertility know.  I am 33 and so close to that 35 year mark where, if I need IVF, things get more complicated and more expensive at 35.

Right now, that’s a wrap for Wondering on Wednesday.  I’d love, love, love to hear your thoughts on these questions/topics.  If you feel you have an advice for me I am open to that as well.

Aimless Twenty Talk Tuesday

Since I’ve got a lot of randomness going on up in my brain, I thought it would be great to establish a little place to put these jumbled thoughts of mine and start a little piece on Tuesdays called, Aimless Twenty Talk Tuesday.  If you happen to look up the word aimless in a dictionary, it simply means:  having no goal.  Obviously, there is going to be no theme or set topic, no organization, no direction, and sometimes no purpose to my twenty talking points.   However, since I have so many wandering thoughts going on, as I take on lots of roles in life (as we all do), I wanted to normalize that we can all be a little overwhelmed at times and sometimes all we need is someone to listen or a place to put these thoughts so others can comment on too.  So here we go for my first ever Aimless Twenty Talk Tuesday!

  1.  I downloaded Podcast Addict about 3 weeks ago and absolutely am in love with listening to podcasts.  I think listening has triggered a lot of these random thoughts I’ve been having.  Guys, I think I’d absolutely love to have a podcast of my own.  How do people even get started doing one?  I have no idea, but I think it would be amazing.  Given that I don’t have a ton of free time (especially because most of the podcasts I listen to are not appropriate for my kiddos ears), I’ve been primarily listening to them when I get dressed in the morning while my girls are still sleeping (in place of typically listening to the radio, primarily country music).  Given that I don’t have a lot of time to listen, I’ve only listened to a few podcasts.  I’d like to give a shout out to the following that I’ve enjoyed so far:  Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe,  The Ben & Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast, and currently I am listening to Matt & Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure.  I have quite a few others downloaded that I am anxiously anticipating listening to but if any of my followers have further suggestions I will gladly accept them in the comments!
  2.   I asked my oldest daughter (she is 5) if she slept well last night because she had a busy day and she seemed to fall asleep rather quickly and pretty hard.  She looks down at the ground and sighs and says, “No Mama, I did not.  I couldn’t stop dreaming about Old McDonald’s happy meals.” I was just thinking to myself how that would not have been a dream, sounds more like a nightmare!  Haha.  The other funny thing she said today while we were driving through Neenah (WI) to get to the Public Library was, “Oh my gosh, did you drive us to New York?  I feel like we are in New York.”  I responded, “Why do you think we are in New York?”  She says, “…because there are really tall buildings and  it seems really busy here.”  Quite the answer from a little girl who has never been to New York.  However, when I asked her where she learned about New York, she said with a lot of sassiness, “New York is part of our World and you should really know that already Mom.”  Ooook then!
  3. Starbursts are one of my favorite candies.  I tend to gravitate towards to original flavored ones, but ventured outside my comfort zone and bought a bag of the Summer Splash ones and I must say I am happy I did, so yummy!
  4. Last night was the last night of my daughter’s T-ball and next Tuesday is the last night of her summer soccer league.  As much as I’ve enjoyed watching her play, it will be nice to not have our Monday and Tuesday nights booked for the rest of summer.  …until the next thing she decides she wants to do, which she’s already been talking about swimming lessons again and possibly gymnastics.  We shall see!  It was so cute though because she got a cute little metal after her T-Ball game and she was over the moon excited over it (her first ever metal).  She’s been wearing it around 24/7 since she received it.  After her game, they did a little pizza/ice cream party.  I am so grateful we are able to let her be involved in activities and that she is learning new skills and what it is like to be a part of the team.  Little does she know right now, these are some of the best moments and times in her life!
  5.  I feel like since I’ve had K that I am so scatterbrained and easily distracted lately.  Is this normal?  Goodness, I can’t complete tasks mainly because I start something and then see something else that needs to get started on so I start that and that reminds me of something I need to do so I do that…it’s just an endless unproductive circle lately.  It’s created a lot of overwhelming feelings to fester lately.
  6. Tacos. I’m totally craving Tacos today-although I mentioned this to my husband last night (Monday).  TACO TUESDAY!  Guess I’ll be adding that to an upcoming Meal Plan.
  7. We went camping this past weekend and I decided to relax in the hammock.  The hammock rope snapped and I found myself going down with it, SMACK into the ground.  I have been hurting pretty badly since it happened (stiff neck, off and on headaches, upper back soreness, right hip and right thigh hurt).  I should probably make a chiropractor  appointment and I don’t know why I am putting it off, but I am.  I should probably just make the appointment eh?
  8. My husband and I desperately need a date night.  I’d love to even just watch a grown up movie from start to finish together or binge watch one of our favorite shows together.  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy.  I rented two movies from the library (The Intern and On The Edge of Seventeen) and had to renew them today in hopes we’d get a chance to watch them together before they are due back again…probably wishful thinking.  I can’t even remember the last time we watched a movie together.  We need to start feeding our relationship, we really do.
  9. I have yet to get a sunburn this summer, which is a first for me (except for small areas of my body I didn’t properly apply sunscreen too).  I’ve been so good about putting sunscreen on myself and not just the kids.  Not gonna lie, I am pretty proud of myself!
  10. Watching E & K play together is one of my favorite things.  Last night E had K giggling so hard it was music to my ears.
  11. I had ordered something and it was due to be delivered on Friday.  Got home from being away and no package anywhere to be found.  However, I had received the email confirmation saying it had been delivered to our mailbox at 3:01 pm.  Hmm.  I checked around with neighbors to no avail and finally called the post office.  Sure enough, they had delivered my package to the neighbors 2 doors down.  I don’t typically complain about things as I am not good at being assertive and I am understanding to a fault sometimes but this isn’t the first time these type of mail mistakes have happened (pretty much happens 8/10 times I order something).  It’s rather annoying.  When I called the post office they were nice about but also talked to me in a non-concerned, no care in the world kind of way.  They offered me this, “Mistakes happen.  Mail will get lost.  Yours was delivered but it appears the carrier delivered to your neighbor.”  Pretty sure I’m really happy this didn’t happen when we were going through the IVF process and ordered specialty meds that needed to be taken same day as delivery that could have jeopardized our entire cycle.  Some mistakes are just not ok and can cause a lot of headache and problems.  I do understand mistakes happen but they shouldn’t be happening as often as they do in our neighborhood.  Houses are clearly marked multiple times (on the mailboxes, on the house, a post with our house number is at the end of our driveway).  When this keeps happening it means someone is being careless in their job and not paying attention to detail-not good qualities for a mail position if you ask me!  Sorry, rant over.
  12. Why am I sweating?  The air is on.  The fans are blowing.  It’s 72 degrees inside (82 degrees outside) and all I am doing is standing here typing up this blog post.  I must have still been pretty heated over that last thought!  Hah!
  13. I’m really behind on K’s baby book, scrapbook and picture books.  I was so good about it with E.  Now I get the whole B K thing that my husband always talks about.  We are living it.  If you want to have an explanation about B K, just ask me!
  14. Gross.  I really need to paint my nails.  I actually thought about treating myself to a pedicure.  I typically do this like 1-2 times in the summer but this year I have not.
  15. I hate clutter.  It’s driving me insane at the moment.  I’m so tired of being the magical fairy that does anything about it.  Poof.  Where is my magical fairy in life?
  16. K is currently crawling on the wood flooring in the kitchen streaking her hand across the floor.  It makes this nails on chalkboard, cringe worthy type of noise and she will sit and do this all day if I let her.  She gets great amusement out of it for some reason.  EEEEEeeeeeeekkkkk, there she goes again.  It’s up there on the list with the worse noise ever.
  17. I finally got my old lady cat pet steps up to our bed.  I’ve had my best fur pal since she was a kitten back in 2002 and as of lately she’s having trouble jumping.  I think she’s got some arthritis going on that is giving her some grief.  She loves sleeping by me and on me at night and I was so happy to see her using the steps last night.  She’s always been strange with new things so I wasn’t sure if she’d actually use them if I got them for her.  Win!  It’s so sad seeing your fur pals getting old (however, it’s awesome when they life a long and quality filled life too).
  18. I’m rather burnt out.  I need a vacation.  I freaking deserve a vacation.  When I know that is not in the cards for a very long-long-long-long time it makes me even more burnt out.  2010 was my last vacation with my husband and that was our honeymoon.  Sad.
  19. Have you ever had that moment when you are in the car by yourself after always toting around the kids and having to listen to kid songs and are halfway to your destination and realize you are still listening to kid tunes because that is just the norm now and become filled with this bubbling excitement that you can turn that crap off and finally listen to your jams!  Woot, woot…that was me the other day.  I suppose that was like a vacation for me…for a few minutes.
  20. I’m really sad this is number 20 because I feel like I could just keep going with my nonsense.  It’s almost like therapy for me to do this.  Enlighten me with you nonsense in the comments.  It can be totally random and I will for sure dig it.

Boiling Eggs

It’s funny how one little task, such as boiling eggs, can make your mind drift to a significant moment in your life.  For real though, I am boiling 10 eggs this morning as we like to have hard boiled eggs on hand in the fridge.  If you like eggs, you should try having them on hand.  They make for an easy go to- snack, a great salad topping and you can easily whip up egg salad sandwiches for lunch when in a bind. Not to mention, it is something that my 5 year old actually eats that are good for her!  Hard boiled eggs is not the topic I wanted to discuss though.  What I wanted to discuss is where my mind wandered too when I first grabbed the eggs out of the fridge this morning.  Two words:  Retrieval Day.

During the IVF process, Retrieval Day is one of the many nerve wracking days in this process.  All those medications I took and all the shots I received were prepping my body to have enough eggs to fertilize and make embryos.  I say embryos in the plural form because I think most people’s goals is to have multiple embryos as an outcome.  At least for me, that was my wish.

I remember that morning like it was yesterday.  My husband and I arrived to the clinic in Gurnee, IL after a couple hour drive, from WI, that was filled with both anticipation and fear.  There were lots of quiet moments on that drive as we both were consumed with our own thoughts and yet there were also some moments with small talk because our nerves were getting the best of us.  When we arrived in the parking lot that morning, I remember that reality truly hit me in that moment that we were doing this.  Which is strange, because one would think reality would hit you the moment that big box of medications is delivered to your front door and all those overwhelming feelings settle in your chest and there is a $5000+ charge to your VISA from Braun Pharmacare.  It was truly one of those feelings I will never forget, and I remember taking a deep breath, got out of my car and felt that this was my time to be brave.  It was also our time in general.  I kept telling myself this over and over and over as we walked to the door, “you’ve got this, you’ve got this, you’ve got this.” On a funny note, I was really trying to tell my brain and my body everything I could to distract myself from the fact that I had to pee so bad (you are instructed that you need a full bladder for the actual retrieval and it was honestly the worst part of the whole process).

When we got inside the clinic, we waited a very minimal time in the waiting room, but I honestly remember it feeling like an eternity.  When my name was called to come back to my room and get prepped for the retrieval, my heart skipped a beat but I could also feel the smile of anticipation and excitement spread across my face.  The smile came from a place of this being such an pivotal moment in this process and the fact that we were one step closer to our embryos.

After being prepped, there was a short amount of time my husband and just he and I before I was wheeled back to the room where my eggs were being retrieved.  I remember my husband had ants in his pants (meaning he just couldn’t sit still) and he looked pretty darn nervous.  When I was finally wheeled away, I don’t remember too much of being in the actual room since I was put under.

When I was wheeled back into recovery, I wasn’t there too long before looking at my hands and thinking, Oh I guess they don’t write the number of eggs retrieved, in maker, on my hand like you hear some clinics do.  I looked to my husband instead, thinking he may have got the answer before me but he said they didn’t tell him anything yet.  A few minutes went by (the longest few minutes of my life) and finally Dr. Sherbahn came into the room.  He first asked how I was feeling and then got down to business.

I remember this part so clearly.  Dr. Sherbahn next asked, looking directly at me, “So, how many eggs do you think we got?”.  I remember thinking to myself that his face gave no clear cut answer as to if the number was good or bad or if we even got any eggs for that matter.  My expectation for eggs, was at least 20.  I again, remember looking at my doctors face before blurting this number out confidently and instead of giving him a number I looked at him in the eye and instead said, “Any number is better then none.  So, it is my hope that we got at least one.”  He again, very stone faced looked at me and said, “Well, I had high expectations for you myself and all has gone smoothly so far with treatment (my heart then began to sink) but we only got 4 eggs Nichole.”  I could feel the disappointment swell my entire being and then I felt deflated.  However, a little voice inside kept whispering positive thoughts saying, “Nichole, be overjoyed that you got 4.  It only takes 1.  It only takes one quality egg.”  With that little voice, I decided to smile instead of cry.

With those 4 eggs, in the days forward, we ended up having 3 embryos.  Two of which embryos made it to transfer, the 3rd arresting before freeze.  Fast forward to today, we have 1 beautiful, thriving, healthy & happy baby girl that we brought home.  I share this glimpse of my IVf experience with you because it is truly something you never forget.  As life continues on, it amazes me how one little instance can stop me in my tracks and take me back to certain days in my journey-like today just boiling eggs!  I also share this tid bit with you in my journey to continue to give those of you out there just a little bit more hope and hopefully you listen to that little positive voice that is whispering within you during a time when so much is against you and there is so much despair.  I haven’t talked about my IVF journey for quite some time but I felt compelled to share this with you all today. I really hope that it spoke to you in someway, shape or form!

Wiggling Octopus

As I mentioned in a past post, making the time to write in here this summer, I knew was going to be few and far inbetween. Never did I think I would be casting this hobby aside so much this summer. Life just got so busy and I have also been spending my free time putting my biggest priority first, my family. I love this blog and hobby, but if I am real, it is much lower on my priory list then other things. Summer is so short lived here in WI that I feel I just have other hobbies I would rather be doing. For those other bloggers out there, I am just curious how you make blogging work during your busy times? When do you blog? What time of day do you generally blog? Where do you blog most, as in what type of environment do you gravitate to most when blogging? Who is around you or are you by yourself? How do you make time for making daily/weekly posts and how long does it generally take you to make your final post? These are all questions I have for my fellow bloggers.

In case you are wondering the answers to these questions about me, today I will be answering them for you. You will also find out why this post is titled Wiggling Octopus as I am sure the title is confusing at first and probably not the topic you thought I was going to be disgussing.

Let me begin by answering my own questions about myself and my blogging habits (which have changed drastically since the birth of K). Then, if you are a blogger I would love for you to answer these questions about yourself in my comments. I cant wait to hear from you all!

First, here is a little about my blogging habits:

How do I make my blogging work during my busy times?

I really do not have a great answer to this question right now and really this is what I am trying to figure out for myself at the moment. Juggling my time and being productive has been hard with two kids as there has been a lot of change to adjust to in the last 7 months. I have been feeling scatterbrained, lost when I don’t have my planner near by & I am a constent mess of unorganized list of to-do’s and have multiple post-it notes scattered over my house as reminders for things I need to remember that I would easily forget otherwise, without them there. I will be honest, in those rare quiet moments that I do get I am typically not blogging these days. This post is only happening because it has been weighing on my heart and mind to get a post up since it has been a while & bumped up on my agenda to make it happen. If and when I ever figure out how to make more frequent blog posts happen again, you will be the first to know. Until then, I am anxiously awaiting to see your secret in how you make it work for yourself amongst your crazy busy life!

When do I blog?

Blogging is quite the process for me these days and when I blog tends to vary. However, lately I am finding myself multi-tasking while doing it. Typically, I am either blogging while nursing K or blogging while pumping for K. Unfortunately for my blog, I am weaning myself from the pump which has cut blogging time even shorter as I am only pumping 2 times per day, whereas before I was pumping every 2-3 hours. K has also started eating more solids, so we have also elimitated a few nursing sessions during the day, again limiting time I would normally write. Since I mostly blog while nursing and/or pumping I never finish a blog entry in one sit down attempt…it can be over a span of a few hours, a day or even a couple days to finish one entry. Blogging has been happening at all hours of the day. Pre-K I would blog my one entry with my morning coffee and be done in 1 sitting. It was the life, haha! Currently, I am typing this sentence while eating my breakfast, alone in quiet. A very rare moment for me. However, an example of a continuation piece that I did not finish yesterday.

What time of day do I generally blog?

Preferably, I enjoy most to blog in the morning. This rarely, if ever, occurs in the mornings for me anymore. This morning I started writing around 7:30 a.m. My entire family is still asleep. However, like previously stated my blogging happens over a span of time throughout the day, sometimes evenings as well.

Where do I blog most? What environment do you gravitate towards most? 
Honestly, 99% of the time I blog while at home. I have also blogged in the car a few times, as a passenger (thought I should clarify I never drive and blog!). I think I gravitate towards blogging at home (not out of favor, rather just convenience because that is where I am most being a SAHM. If I had more “me time” I’d love to go sit at my favorite coffee shop, a library, a park, etc. to blog. Come to think of it, I really should try to change up my environment to help spark more topic ideas. A change of pace can be good for the mind, body & soul.

Who is around me when I blog or am I by myself?

Lets get one thing strait. I am rarely, if ever, by myself anymore.  With that said, being  that I do the majority of my blogging at home, I am typically around my family. Given when I generally find time to blog, typically closest to me is usually my wiggling octopus, a.k.a K. On a side note, it takes talent trying to blog while nursing. Half the time she is flailing her arms and smacking my phone right on to the floor or kicking her legs my sentences look like jibberish. There has even been a couple times shes made her own publications (that I quickly deleted). Below is a quick video of my wiggling octopus, and just a taste of why it is hard to nurse and blog!


How do I make time for daily/weekly posts?

Generally, I dont get a lot of down time right now. I have to basically blog around my kids and fit it in when I can multitask and do it, at nap times, or during those rare quite moments like this morning.

How long does it take you to make your final post?

Truly this depends on the topic at hand and also the amount of time I have to blog during each particular day. I have been working on this piece since yesterday and am hoping to post it shortly today.

Well, that sums up my Q & A for now. Have a fantastic Saturday!


Follow-up

As promised, I told you I would do a follow-up after my daughter’s back yard splash bash birthday party. Well, the day has come and gone at what felt like as fast as I completed typing out this sentence. It was a bit nerve racking because the weather here in WI has been extremely unpredictable (go figure, I mean we do live in WI after all). In years past her birthday parties have been miserably hot and humid, which is what made us come up with the idea of a splash bash in the first place (actually that is a lie, because pinterest clearly gave me the idea first, haha). As my luck has it, the weather this year was partly coudy-sometimes sunny, a little rain drizzle here and there, consistently windy and a high of about 67 degrees. It was not my idea of a good water day. Stupidly though, this mama did not have a plan B and just went with the original plan, and only plan A.

To be fair, there was this sign before everyone entered my back yard. However, I am pretty sure the majority of Etta’s guests were 5 years of age or younger & couldn’t read! As the kids started showing up, most were hesitant to go in the water. Instead, they gravitated to the sandbox and swingset. Thank goodness kids can have fun and be content with the most simple of things because I really had no other impromptu ideas up my sleeve for this party. 


Also, thankfully there is always that one kid who is the life of the party and daring enough to be bold and go strait for the water, even on a below 70 degree chilly summer day. This one bold move got all the other kids in a strait up classic water fight. E was so excited to finally have a splash bash! Among chattering teeth, giggles, screams of pure joy…the kids seemed to have a blast. It was far from perfect. It was far from pinterest worthy…but the kids were happy and having fun and my birthday girl was on cloud 9 so I’d say it was 100% a success!