Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas, Take Two

The husband, Maren, Sully and I returned yesterday from Michigan where we were visiting my in-laws.  There, we had our second Christmas.  The kids received a few more gifts, the best of which was just getting to spend time with their grandparents.  The husband and I got the gift of two afternoons spent with just each other.

Thursday we walked the street(s) of downtown South Haven.  We visited a few antique stores and had lunch at a local cafe.  It's a very picturesque little town situated right on Lake Michigan.  There were actually quite a few people wandering around along with us, probably due to the relatively nice weather for December (a balmy 40 degrees or so,) but I can imagine it's quite a bit busier during the summer months.

Friday we decided to do some wine tasting so we drove to the Fenn Valley Winery.  We skipped the tour and went straight to the tasting room.  I liked the Edelzwicker and the Lakeshore Demi-Sec, both sweeter, lighter, white wines.  Chris really liked the Meritage and I must admit it was quite good, a very strong, dry, red, but I can only imagine the headache that would ensue if I actually chose to drink a glass of it so that one didn't make our list of ones to buy.

After wine tasting we wanted some lunch.  Whenever we're in a new place I google for the best local restaurants and search for a place that isn't a chain and that the locals rave about.  We really wanted to try Ranch House Ribs but they are only open in the summer months.  Major bummer.  A very nice clerk at the winery suggested Salt of the Earth in Fennville, but they aren't open for lunch.  Major bummer.  So, we ended up at his second suggestion, Phil's Bar and Grill in Sagatauk.  Let me tell you, if you like chicken wings and are in Western Michigan, this is the place to go!  I wish I had taken a picture of them because they were bigger than any chicken wings I've ever seen.  And, they weren't covered in the traditional buffalo sauce or bbq sauce, but instead were tossed with an ancho-chile citrus glaze, which was out of this world.

We made one more stop at Bob's Meat Processing to pick up some bacon because I read that their bacon is even better than Neuske's.  We bought thick cut bacon as well as some maple smoked bacon which we tried yesterday and it was very, very good.

Saturday, Chris and I realizing we couldn't possibly sleep one more night on the air mattress, drove home with Maren and Sully.  Shannon and Quinn got to stay in Michigan for a few more fun filled days.  It's weird being home without them.  Today I made a bowl of popcorn and no Quinn appeared smiling coyly not wanting to say she wants some but clearly wanting some.  I miss them.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas

I was awoken this morning by Maren wanting to eat. As it was 5:00am I figured I would just get up and stay up. Oddly, I was the only one up for two full hours. I figured the other kids would be up by 6:00am and dying to see what Santa had brought them but nope, they actually slept in until nearly 7:00am. It was nice to have some time just Maren and me and coffee, let's not forget the coffee (made while holding Maren, see, there are her little Santa feet.)

Being up alone gave me the opportunity to pop the overnight french toast into the oven and have it baked by the time everyone got up. I tend to only make this on Christmas Eve but I'm not sure why I don't make it more often as it's pretty simple and tastes pretty good.

Once the kids got up it was all crazy fun from there on out.  I managed to stop them from running down the stairs long enough to snap a pictures of them in their new pajamas and robes.

And new footie pj's for Sully.

Santa was good to all the good Terry children.  Quinn got a My Little Pony castle.

Sully played with a new race track.

 Shannon helped Maren open her musical monkey.

 And last, but certainly not least, Shannon played his new WiiU.

My gift, a beautiful Mission style secretary desk, is not scheduled to arrive until mid-January, but watching the delight in the kids' eyes today was gift enough.  What a very merry Christmas it has been.

Friday, December 21, 2012


It's not even the new year yet but I'm trying to get a head start on my biggest resolution for 2013 - Simplify.  To that end, I just spent easily half an hour opening every email in my inbox and hitting the "unsubscribe" button for any company where I find myself deleting their emails day after day after day rather than opening and reading them.  And there were a lot of those.  Starting in 2013 I hope to spend a lot less time dealing with my overflowing in box.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

And Just Like That


Tuesday after I finished my work I got out of the house for a while and ran a bunch of last minute Christmas errands.  As I headed out it started snowing big, fluffy flakes that coated everything in beautiful, pristine white.  I love the look of the bare trees covered in snow.  What I don't love the look of is five minutes later when cars have driven on the snow and it all starts to turn grey and black.  What I also don't love is the time it takes to outfit four children in puffy coats, hats, mittens, scarves and boots.  Winter is a lot of work!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Balancing Act

I'm typing this with my laptop balancing on the arm of the chair and Maren balancing on my leg.  She's sleeping so quietly, her little chest rising and falling with each breath.  Last night was a pretty good night.  She ate at 7:00pm, had a little snack at 8:30pm and then slept from 9:00pm until around 2:30am when she woke up to eat again.

It's coming on Christmas and despite my best efforts I'm running behind in my preparations.  The tree is up and decorated and a bunch of presents are wrapped and beneath it, BUT I still haven't gotten presents for a few important people and worse, I still have no idea what I'm getting them.  I really wish that the adults in my family would stop exchanging gifts but I have yet to get them to agree.  I love giving presents but what do you get people who have everything they need? After years of giving pictures of the kids I think that's getting a little old.  Last year I had the kids make some gifts for their grandparents so maybe today I'll hop on Pinterest and try and find some easy, kid friendly, crafts they could make.

So, let's add kid's crafts to the list of things to get done.......a list that keeps getting longer instead of shorter.  I've been doing better getting things done since I've been home but it's still a balancing act.  I have more time to do laundry, straighten up, organize, etc. as I'm home everyday but at the same time I'm trying to balance my desire to get all that stuff done with just spending some quiet time with Maren and some fun time with the rest of the kids.  In two short months I'll be back at work full-time and all the kids will be that much older so I really want to enjoy these moments.  And, I want to figure out a plan to maintain a better sense of balance once I am back to work full-time.  I think I could do that if I hired a full-time housekeeper but as that isn't a real possibility I'll have to find a way to make it work with just the husband, the kids and me.

Right now it's quiet time but in another five minutes Shannon, Quinn and Sully will be up and it'll be fun time!  Or at least breakfast time.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The good:

Maren slept through the night!  I headed upstairs around 9:30pm and she came with me and fell asleep lying on my chest.  Maybe an hour later I swaddled her up, put her in the rock 'n play and went to sleep myself.  At 4:30am I woke up because she was stirring but she didn't actually wake up until maybe 5:15am at which point she was so hungry so gulped down an entire 4oz bottle in record speed.  Now, having been through this before, I know that her sleeping that long last night is no indicator that it will happen again anytime soon but one can hope, right?

The bad:

Despite what could be considered a full night's sleep, I woke up yet again with an absolutely horrible migraine.  It's nothing new, as I've suffered from migraines since college, and, after each child I've had a month or two of very frequent migraines I assume from my hormones trying to get back to normal.  But, knowing it's normal doesn't make me feel any better.  Thank goodness for Frova but even that magic pill hasn't been able to completely take away the headache I have this morning.

The ugly:

So, as if it wasn't bad enough that my head feels like it's splitting in two, when I headed into the kitchen to make my morning cup of coffee I started to feel a little sick, reminiscent of morning sickness and I even threw up a little.  After throwing up for nine straight months I was really hoping for more than just a three week break!  To add insult to injury, as I lifted my head out of the kitchen sink, I caught my reflection in the window and holy huge bags under my eyes.  Ugly.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just a Pool of Mushy Goo

Adventures in Babysitting is not by any means a good movie.  It didn't win any Academy Awards, wasn't even nominated for any, but, in many ways, it is one of my favorite movies.  And, it has quite a few quotable lines, one of which is "just a pool of mushy goo.  Like spaghettios?  Spaghettios with meat."

My stomach, post baby, is exactly that, just a pool of mushy goo.  I've lost around 25 pounds in the two weeks since I had Maren and yet I still look a little bit pregnant.  I know it takes a while for your skin to snap back but let's face it, mine wasn't all that tight even prior to this pregnancy.  I see lots and lots of Spanx in my future.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's a Girl! Introducing Victoria Maren

Victoria Maren surprised even me by arriving at only 37wk 1d.  She was born at 2:14am, November 15, 2012, 8lbs 10oz and 19 inches long.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Too Many Savings?

Am I the only one overwhelmed with the number of savings deals emails received on a daily basis? I get Groupon, Living Social, Saveology, Google, Amazon Local, BradsDeals, emails from the Entertainment book, not to mention emails from overstock/clearance sites such as Zulily, HauteLook, OneKingsLane, The Mini Social.........the list goes on and on and on.

Many times I find good deals on things I actually  normally buy, such as Umi shoes for QT or Geox shoes for SB.  However, there seem to be just as many times when I see good deals on things that I probably would never have actually gone out and shopped for such as fancy dresses for QT, funny t-shirts for SB, clothes for the new baby and probably worst of all, more shoes for me!  I need to remind myself that spending money on things I don't need, no matter how good a deal it may be, is still spending money on things I don't need.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Three Hour Tour

Just sit right back and I'll tell you the tale, the tale of a fateful trip.......

With each pregnancy that made it to 27 weeks I've gone in and taken the one hour glucose tolerance test. And, with each of them, I struggled to keep the orange drink down for the full one hour. There was at least one time that I threw up immediately after they took my blood but despite not enjoying the test, I always passed. Except this time. This time I was actually offered my choice of nasty, sugary orange, lemon-lime or fruit punch drink. I opted for fruit punch as I actually sometimes like to drink an orange Fanta and downing an orange glucose drink makes me never want to drink orange soda again. I got it down within the five minute time frame and managed to keep it down until I got to my car a little over an hour later. I found out about two hours later that I hadn't passed. My first reaction was "but I've never failed a test in my entire life." Then, oh wait, there was freshman Latin in high-school that was a huge struggle and perhaps I had actually failed a few of those tests, but nothing in more recent memory. I was disappointed and nervous. It seems silly to feel bad about failing a medical test, it's not as though I didn't do enough to prepare, but that didn't change that I felt as though I need to do something to help me pass the dreaded three-hour test.

And so the googling began. Did you know that some doctors recommend you actually eat a high carb diet in the two to three days before taking the three-hour test? It seemed counter-intuitive but made more sense when I thought about how you are trying to train your body to react quicker to high amounts of carbs (sugar). Well, eating carbs is not really an issue for me so upping my daily amount came pretty easily. The night before the big test the husband and I actually had the night to ourselves as my in-laws took all three kids overnight. We went out to eat at a neat local place, the North Avenue Grill, and then headed to a movie. It was actually hard to find a movie to go see. I'm not sure what is going on, but lately when I look at the list of movies that are out very few seem to speak to me. In the end, we actually ended up seeing a classic - Raiders of the Lost Ark. In keeping with trying to eat more carbs, I loaded up on popcorn, sat back and enjoyed the movie. What I didn't enjoy was waking up at 2:00am and throwing up every.single.thing. I had eaten earlier that night. I also didn't enjoy knowing that I wouldn't be able to eat breakfast in the morning as the glucose tests require you to fast.

I got to the lab right at 8:00am but wasn't called for my fasting blood-draw until 8:30am. After having the blood drawn, I opted for the orange flavored drink. It took everything I had to get it down in five minutes. It was hard enough the first time around but with the three-hour test there is actually twice as much sugar in the drink as there is for the one-hour test. Gross, gross, gross. Then, I sat in the waiting room for an hour playing Temple Run on my Kindle Fire and reading some magazines. At the one hour mark I had blood taken again and then it was back to the waiting room. Rinse and repeat one more time and I was done! The drink made me a little dizzy and a lot nauseous so I was happy once it was over and I stopped for lunch on my way home.

Later that night I received the email with my results and good news - I passed!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Day Thus Far

Today I am in my 26th week of pregnancy. So, you'd think I'd be past the whole morning sickness thing but nope. My morning started with my hitting the snooze button without even waking up enough to remember it. I've been waking up multiple times each night so I'm not sleeping very well and don't feel super refreshed or awake in the mornings. By the time the alarm sounded a second time it did wake me up but I was still slow to get out of bed. Normally I take my thyroid medicine and baby aspirin first thing but this morning I forgot, probably because QT wanted a huggie or the baby was crying or something distracted me. Or, perhaps it was simply because these days I can't remember anything unless I have a little yellow sticky to remind me. Anyway, by the time I'm done showering I remember to take the medicine and then proceed to do my hair and get dressed. Things seem to be moving along well until I start feeling quite sick and a large coughing fit ensues. The coughing triggers my bladder to just loose all control of itself and I begin wetting my pants. Yep, forgot to put a liner in the undies so now I'm changing those and re-fixing my clothes, which is no small task to make sure the jean skirt isn't pulled up to high or falling down too low or that the spandex tank top isn't showing or that my shirt doesn't look baggy and goofy below my protruding belly. I finally get it all set, get my shoes on, apply band aids to the places on my feet where the shoes rub the wrong way as the day wears on and my feet begin to swell and I'm ready!

Or not. Because guess who forgot to do their twice daily shot of Lovenox. Yep, me. So, I have to pull the two shirts up and the skirt down and administer a shot which then causes me to begin bleeding and I don't have any tissue close by so I'm trying to waddle my way into the bathroom while still holding all my clothes out of the way of the blood and get things cleaned up. I spend the next three minutes re-fixing all the layers of clothing and finally, finally I head downstairs.

Fast forward a few hours. I've eaten breakfast, two small cheese croissant danish thingies and half a cup of coffee when all of a sudden I know I'm going to throw up. And, it's not like my normal I know I'm going to throw up sometime in the next ten minutes or so type warning, it's an all out, the food is already in my throat I'm going to throw-up moment. I quickly look to the bathroom and see someone is already in there - GET OUT! GET OUT NOW! I'm thinking as I'm also frantically trying to figure out how I will ever manage to throw-up at my desk and not also pee in my pants at the same time. Thankfully the bathroom clears and I rush in there but not quite in time as I vomit onto the floor and then finally make it to the sink. In between heaving I open the cabinet for my barf bowl and realize someone has taken it. Why oh why would someone do that? I know they have no idea why it was in the cabinet but obviously someone put it there for a reason. Did I really need to label it "Kelly's barf bowl?" So, I'm left with only the option of throwing up into the trash can while sitting on the toilet and peeing. For those wondering why I can't just throw up into the toilet, well, let's just say that with each pregnancy my bladder control is less and less and so I can't vomit without also peeing like crazy at the same time. Too much information I'm sure, but it's the cold, hard truth. Now, even with the garbage removed and the bathroom floor mopped, it still smells horribly of vomit and I'm sure that I am the talk of the office but honestly, at this point, I'm just too exhausted to care.

Right now it's afternoon and I feel hung-over. I'm tired and have a massive headache but I'm too scared to try and swallow any medicine for fear it will bring on another vomiting attack. Hope everyone else is having a little better day than I am thus far.

Summer Lovin'

I can't believe that the summer is almost over and that SB has returned to school already. QT starts school next week and although I'm excited for her to start on a brand new adventure, I sometimes sit back and wonder how it is that I have two children old enough to be in school. As I've said before, the days are long but the years are short. I look around at the women I work with and think about how their kids are heading off to college or embarking on new marriages and careers and I think before I know it that will be my kids doing those things. I want to keep them safe and small and cute and at the same time I love watching them grow and mature into their own personalities and little persons.

Things are a bit hectic right now what with it being back to school time. I managed to make things even more hectic by attending an out of town business conference two weeks ago and taking a week off for a family vacation last week. We went back to the same house we rented in Eagle River, WI last year and had a great time. The kids got to spend time playing in the sand, swimming in the lake, roasting marshmallows at a campfire, playing with their grandparents, taking boating and fishing trips, driving go karts, taking a train ride and even taking a ride on a pirate ship. Good times were had by all, except that I can assure you that having a week off from work was NOT a vacation. I think I did more work while on vacation than I do in my average week of working at my job. Sully was up by 5:45 ever day demanding Baby Mum Mums and I stayed up later than usual at night so my tiredness level has escalated to an all-time high.

We got home late Saturday afternoon and I spent the better part of Saturday night and Sunday unpacking and doing laundry in preparation for SB returning to school on Monday and my return to work on Monday.

Did you know I'm having another baby? Yes, of course you do, as do I, but I'll be honest in that the full reality of that hasn't quite hit me yet. I realized the other day that within three months I will have a newborn and a total of four children and it's still just not something I can wrap my head around. I feel like a broken record of worries - is the baby okay? how will we ever have enough money to raise four children? where will they all fit in our little house? what if I go into labor and it's too quick and I can't make it to the hospital? what if I develop another blood clot? why am I getting so many headaches, is it pre-e? how will I ever have enough time to give each child enough attention? things are so disorganized now how can I even think about adding another baby? and so on and so on and so on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's All Good

The anatomy scan went wonderfully. Heart, check, brain, check, fingers and toes, check. Sex of baby remains unknown, at least to us. It was wonderful to see the baby squirming around and it's also wonderful that more and more I'm feeling the baby moving although I'll admit to letting panic seep in when there seems to be long gaps in feeling movement despite not being at the point where I've ever felt consistent movement. I am now officially more than half-way through this pregnancy as tomorrow will mark 21 weeks. I considered myself half-way at 19 weeks as 38 weeks is the most pregnant I have ever been. Somehow it still doesn't seem possible that I'm even pregnant, much less half-way to actually having a baby but at the same time time really seems to be flying. The nesting instinct is hitting off and on but like last time, it really has taken on sort of an organize the entire house tone rather than just focusing on preparing for the baby. I organized the refrigerator using plastic trays and I also ordered some recycling bags for the kitchen so that I won't have to keep stuffing used grocery bags full or bottles and boxes. The husband and I also made a trip down to Ikea to purchase some storage bins for the kids' toys and a stand-alone closet for our bedroom which will be used to house my shoes and his clothes. We're making strides but the house remains rather cluttered and is in need of a good purging. Someday. In more family news, Sully turned one yesterday. One! How has an entire year gone by? We had a nice, family party for him and he received more gifts than any one child needs but SB and QT were quite excited to help him out and play with all of his new toys. He's only lucky little boy and I'm a woman with even less storage space than I had when the weekend began.

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Not the Heat It's the Humidity

Actually, no, it's both. In case you are somewhere in the world where it's cold in June, you may not be aware the absolutely stifling temperatures here in grand old Milwaukee, WI. Yesterday it was near 100, and over 100 if you believe in something called the heat index (think opposite of wind chill). When I was younger the heat never really seemed to bother me. Yes, my skin turns colors of red that would rival a lobster, in under 15 minutes when I'm out in the sun but that's different from being just uncomfortable in hot weather. As a youngster the house I grew up in had central air but I can remember that breaking at some point and never getting fixed. Sure, some days were mighty hot, but never so hot that I couldn't sleep or eat or play. Even as recently as seven years ago when we purchased our un-air conditioned home I didn't give it much thought as I've always much preferred open windows and a breeze to fake, cold air. There were a few nights when I was pregnant with SB when the temperature was over 95 in the shade and I recall trying to fall asleep with multiple fans blowing directly on me and I was uncomfortable (I was 8 months pregnant) but I did fall asleep. Turn to today and I'm not sure if it's my age, my being pregnant, or a some combination of both that is just making me hate the hot weather so much. Yesterday I came home from work and immediately retreated into the air conditioned bliss that is my bedroom thanks to a wonderful window air conditioner the husband put in last week. I ate dinner while sitting in bed and fending off the curious hands of the baby trying to grab my food. I got annoyed every time I had to venture out of the cool, cool air and into the stagnant, hot air of the hallway. I felt guilty putting my children to bed in their un-air conditioned rooms with mere fans blowing hot air back on them and then I remembered how the heat used to not really bother me and so it is I suppose with my kids. In fact, QT insisted on having her comforter pulled up to her chin, crazy girl. I'm hoping for a break in the heat soon and I'm also hoping for rain. Normal people hope for rain to help water the brown lawn or keep their gardens growing. Not me. I need it to rain to rid myself of this headache. Pressure systems have always been a trigger for my migraines and that hasn't changed with pregnancy. What has changed, of course, are the medications I can take and right about now Tylenol, even the kind with Coedine is not helping at all. Having a bad headache, in turn, makes my morning sickness worse and yes, I still experience morning sickness even at 17 weeks pregnant. Yesterday I had a wonderful lunch of vegetable tortellini only to completely lost it right around 3:30pm. It was disappointing and exhausting. Vomiting just has a way of sapping all of your energy. I'm hoping that today's lunch will end with better results but just in case it doesn't I'm going to try and pick something to eat that doesn't involve carrots and spinach.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Back to One Baby

The husband, SB and QT all piled on a plane Wednesday and headed down to Texas. It was the kids first time on an airplane and I was sad to miss it but I'm just not feeling up to a big trip with all three kids, not to mention, everyday I take off from work now is another day I don't have for my maternity leave. So, I am home with just the Sully. It's strange to go back to the days of having just one baby. I've been planning Sully's first birthday party and at the same time I'm beginning to wonder if he's heading down the same road QT did. He's barely crawling, mainly he rolls around to get where he wants to be, and he's making no attempts at all to stand. And, much like QT, when I try to stand him up he pulls his feet up off the ground. I was really hoping that the helmet would be his one "thing." SB had the NICU, QT has IVF and her little robo-legs and Sully had the helmet. I suppose another set of robo-legs wouldn't be the worst thing but geez, what's up with my kids and their bones/legs/muscles?

It's hard to let myself get too worried since he's such a cutie:

Notice that he is holding the tv remote control. He really does take after me.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Two Years Later

If you had asked me two years ago today as I sat in my doctor's office crying because I had just been told my baby no longer had a heart beat if I would have another baby I would have resoundingly answered yes.  I'm stubborn like that and my losses weren't going to stop me from pushing onward and continuing to try for a third child.

Now, if you had asked if I would have another child AND be pregnant with yet another I think my answer would have been no way.  Not because another child was unwanted but simply because my brain wouldn't have been able to figure out the logistics of that.  And so it is with the life, somethings are just mysteries in how and why they happen.  This baby is a wonderful mystery.

Speaking of mysteries, QT is quite adamant that she would like a baby sister and then another baby brother.  I told her we would need some time to think over adding a fifth baby, afterall, where would a fifth baby sleep?  She said he could sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag.  Problem solved.  Anyway, every time SB hears QT say how she wants a baby sister, he responds with "you don't get to choose, it's a mystery."  And he's right.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Today I am 13 weeks pregnant (but I easily look 20 plus weeks pregnant).  I hesitate to even type that things have been going pretty well.  I feel sick off and on but am not throwing up anywhere even close to how much I did in my other pregnancies.  A little bit of my energy seems to be coming back and so although I'm still in bed by 8:00 p.m. most nights, I'm not necessarily falling asleep that early.  I haven't had any bleeding, thank God, and I dare say I have a lot of hope that this pregnancy will result in a real, live baby.  And yet, there is always that nagging somewhere inside of me saying I shouldn't have told so many people that I am pregnant, that I shouldn't have just bought some new maternity tops, that I shouldn't ever assume this pregnancy will result in a real, live baby.

June 10th is fast approaching, which is when I lost Therese, but my thoughts mainly go back to how horrible my 13th week of pregnancy was with Trey.  I try not to dwell and try to push forward with more positive thoughts but it's hard.  When I found out that I was pregnant I really thought that since this pregnancy was unplanned it wouldn't be so crushing if I did miscarry again, I was wrong.  I know it would crush me and the husband and our children who are patiently awaiting the arrival of a new little brother or little sister.

I think if I can get through the next few weeks I'll have a little less fear.  I hate to wish the time away but I am hoping the next few weeks go quickly.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

In the Groove

On Tuesday I went in for the NT scan.  I had just listened to the baby's heartbeat the day before so I was pretty sure we'd see a wiggly baby, but I was having lots of thoughts about seeing a very thick nuchal fold.  Much to my delight, the fold measured a mere 1.3mm and that nasal bone was definitely present.  Also present were brains which was very good news indeed.  The ultrasound tech suggested we remind our baby of that when he or she is acting like a brainless teenager.

It was wonderful to see the baby again and wonderful to have nothing obviously wrong show up on the ultrasound.  The tech, knowing my history, even kindly pointed out that the placenta was attached at the back of my uterus and that she couldn't see any bleeds anywhere, and definitely not behind the placenta. 

And so, for right now I am feeling quite good about this pregnancy.  Yes, I'm still nervous, specially now that I'm in my 12th week which is when everything started to go wrong when I was pregnant with Trey, but I have a good feeling that things are going to work out the way they should for every expectant mother.  I feel like I'm in a really good groove right now with summer starting, at least a little bit of my energy coming back, and with more hope than trepidation regarding the future.

So, fingers crossed that the next 26 weeks are uneventful ones.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chugging Right Along

Today I am 10 weeks pregnant.  It really feels strange to be pregnant again so quickly after having Sully.  I've been feeling nauseous but haven't been throwing up with any real frequency, which is both nice and terrifying all at the same time.  On Monday I had a normal ob check-up and since the doctor was running quite a bit behind schedule, the ultrasound tech offered to do an ultrasound.  I certainly wasn't going to turn her down.  The baby was super wriggly and I think he even waved at me (I am using the universal "he" there, I obviously don't know the sex of the baby yet).  The heart rate was great at 174.  Although I am always hesitant at the beginning of each ultrasound for fear that there will be bad news, I was fairly confident that the baby was at least alive as I had heard the heart beat using my doppler just the day before.  I've been able to find the heart beat since 7wk6d, which my ob was just fascinated by.  He obviously doesn't understand that once I put my mind to something I figure out a way to make it happen.  So, yes, it may have taken me an hour or more to find that little beating heart, but I found it, and in the end that made me happy.

I got a little scare yesterday when the nurse called to say that my Lovenox levels, which were tested on Monday, came back showing there was no Lovenox in my blood.  It seemed to surprise my doctor who wanted me to return to the lab immediately to have the levels re-checked but it didn't really surprise me as I do the shots around 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. each day and so considering they drew my blood around 5:00 p.m. that really is towards the tail end of the medicine's effectiveness.  I did return to the lab and the new result has been deemed normal.

Additionally, she reported that my progesterone level was 16.62.  My doctor considers anything over a level of 10-11 to be normal but come on, we all know they should probably be higher than that.  Cue my inner panic about how the level might be too low, and definitely might be too low for the second trimester, and how will I ever be able to bring myself to stop using the supplements and will the supplements even continue to help............
and then, last night, I got the email saying that I had new test results waiting for my review and even though I already had been told the results I figured I'd check them anyway and low and behold, the nurse had given me the wrong level.  The 16.62 was from my appointment a month ago.  The level from the blood drawn on Monday was over 29, which I think might be my highest level this pregnancy.  I plan on asking to have it checked again, before I discontinue the supplements, but at least my panic has decreased considerably, at least where progesterone levels are concerned.

That's all for now as I need to head out in search of some Tums Smoothies.  I seem to have made a grave mistake today in eating Real Chili for lunch.  Not that Real Chili isn't pretty awesome, it is, it's just not sitting well with the little baby who is in my belly.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Let Me Explain, No There is Too Much, Let me Sum Up

When reading the title be certain to use the accent of Inigo Montoya. And, if you don't know who Inigo Montoya is, for the love of all that is holy, go Redbox or Netflix the Princess Bride.

Anyway, to sum up the reason for my absence I give you:

Today I am 8 weeks exactly. I had an ultrasound last week which showed one, beautiful baby measuring right on track with a heart rate of 137. Last night, after much searching, I was able to find the baby's heartbeat for a few fleeting seconds using my doppler and it was in the 160s.

I am overjoyed and overly paranoid.  Everything is going well, or so it seems, and I have a really good gut feeling that things are going to turn out alright but that doesn't stop me from wondering every time I eat something and then don't feel sick if the baby has died.  Why don't I feel sicker?  Wasn't I sicker at this point in my previous pregnancies? (including the one when I lost Trey so why I think being sick equals a healthy baby is beyond me but this is what pregnancy and miscarriages do to you - they make you CRAZY)  Is my progesterone level too low? (at last check it was only around 16 but when I lost Therese it was in the 30s and well, you can see how much good that did me)  What about doing the intralipids again?  Did they even help last time?  I have no way of knowing.  I do know that they nearly bankrupted me and that right now I'm both mentally and physically exhausted and that the mere thought of driving for the weekly appointments, much less paying for them, is so overwhelming to me.  These things are weighing on me, along with the larger issues of just having a family of six, four of whom will be under the age of six.  I know things will work out, they always do, and so for right now I'm sticking with that thought and trying to push all the questions and worries from my mind.

To my little baby I say "I am sending you all my love and good intentions" and, in sticking with the Princess Bride theme, I suppose I should add "As you wish."

Friday, March 23, 2012

The End

How did Marquette and Wisconsin both manage to lose on the same night? Disappointing and now I'm no longer first in my bracket contest which is also disappointing, although expected.

Today also marks the end to the very, very, very long road the husband has been on to finish his dissertation. It seems that each time I think it's over, such as the day he defended, it's not. Somehow, academia finds a way to stretch the process out even longer, as if SEVEN years hasn't been quite long enough. Today he is turning the final, final, it damn well better be final, copy of his dissertation for publication. Thank God.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness

In the grand tradition of my father, I'm starting my children off young with regards to sports betting. This morning over breakfast the whole family filled out their NCAA tournament brackets. QT was pretty funny, she picked the underdog in just about every game. Needless to say, I don't think she'll come out the winner, but the tourney sure would be interesting and crazy if she did.

One thing all the kids agreed on was GO MARQUETTE!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Plague

The plague aka walking pneumonia has struck our happy home. It started with SB who was told at his 5 year check-up (which took place when he was actually 5 years 5 months old because that's how on top of these things I am) that he has walking pneumonia. At that very same appointment the pedi checked out QT at her 3 year check-up (which took place on her third birthday so see, I am on top of things with at least one child) and declared her healthy. About the same time SB was finishing up his antibiotics, QT started coughing something fierce so it was back to the pedi for her and yep, sure enough, walking pneumonia. Getting QT to take the antibiotics has been a struggle. She is one very strong willed little girl who loves to cry and scream and it literally takes every ounce of patience I can muster to deal with her some days. The more days though she takes it the better she is about it so I figure by tomorrow, which is her last day taking it, we'll have no issues whatsoever. Then, a year from now when she's sick again she'll forget how easy and painless it was to take it and we'll be back to screaming and crying. Ugh.

Anyway, I had high hopes that the baby would avoid the sickness which has descended upon our normally happy home but he too started coughing loudly yesterday. I'm hoping that spending some time in a steamy bathroom will help him but if not then it's back to the pedi for the third time in three weeks. I know so many parents for whom this is just typical, one kid gets sick and then everyone gets sick, but my kids aren't sick all that often and this is the first time for them to be really sick since I had the baby so honestly, it's wearing me out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pinterest Makes Me Feel Like a Failure

Today I received some emails that recipes I pinned on my Pinterest boards were re-pinned. Whenever that happens I like to go and check out the boards of the people who have re-pinned my items. Inevitably, I end up pinning a whole bunch of stuff from their boards. I mainly pin recipes that look delicious, look super easy to make or seem like things my kids would eat. In reviewing my board, however, I realize I have only made about one thing from an entire, ever growing, slew of recipes. And that makes me feel like a failure. How is something that's meant to be fun and organizational make me feel so bad? Because it's yet one more thing out there, taunting me, and reminding me that I rarely even muster up the energy to try a new recipe. So, so, sad.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Meow Kitty Party Time!

Tomorrow is QT's birthday. I can't even believe she's turning three. Where have the years gone? Where is my little baby snuggling in my arms? She's so big now I can't even lift her anymore, although we do still snuggle in bed sometimes.

I was off from work on Monday so I decided to spend the day with her as an early birthday present. We went to see Puss in Boots. She enjoyed the movie but I think she enjoyed eating an entire medium size popcorn even more. After the movie we visited the Build-a-Bear store where she selected a Hello Kitty, had it stuffed, gave it a bath and then picked out a cute robe with matching slippers. It dawned on me when we got home that Hello Kitty is actually a very self-centered little kitty. Her robe was covered in Hello Kitty faces and even her slippers had Hello Kitty heads on them. That would be like me getting a robe and slippers made with my face plastered all over them. Who wears clothes with pictures of themselves on them? Hello Kitty does, that's who.

Sunday we'll have her birthday party. February birthdays aren't really the easiest to plan for. SB has a great birthday at the end of September where I can plan something at the house but the weather is normally nice enough that the kids can get outside and run around. We have a small, inflatable bouncy house that we pull out and it's great to not have everyone crowded in our little house. But February? February is cold, snowy, rainy or muddy. There's no going outside. And, because she's not in school yet and doesn't really have friends her own age it's hard to plan a party out somewhere. Her cousins are a little too old for things that would be fun for her.

She got to pick her theme. Last year she had an owl themed party and this year she requested a "meow kitty" party. Really, it's just a party with invitations that have a kitty on them, a happy birthday banner with a kitty on it and thank-you cards with kitties on them. One of my nieces is making a cake with a kitty on it so that will round out the kitty theme.

I can't believe my little girl is growing up so fast.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spick and Span

Last Friday I had a cleaning lady come over to the house. Way back, before I had SB, I had a cleaning lady who would come once a month and clean the house. It was wonderful, except for the hours and hours and hours of cleaning I would do prior to her arrival. I'm a cluttered person both in my home and in my mind. So, I would spend large amounts of time moving and hiding clutter so that all the surfaces in my house could be cleaned. Well, to be honest, I just don't have the desire or the time to do that anymore and thus why I've been just muddling through on my own, because I couldn't imagine finding anyone willing to clean around my clutter. Until I did.

The woman is a friend of the woman who cleans my parent's home and my grandfather's home. When I called her I explained that I have three small children and that even if I didn't, my house would always be somewhat cluttered. I explained that I didn't want to have to spend time cleaning before she came to clean and she laughed and said it would be fine. We agreed that I would leave a list of what I wanted done and what I didn't really care so much about (dusting the wine bottles we never drink has never been a top priority for me whereas dusting the cobwebs out of the corners is) and she would take it from there. It was wonderful to come home to a half-clean home.

I plan on having her come back but need to figure out how this will work into our budget, which is pretty tight at the moment. I've been saving considerable money by not going out to lunch at work everyday so that will help.

There is so much more to talk about, potty-training, dieting, the perfect timing for our FET, etc. etc. etc. but I'm just too tired to even get started on all that. Hopefully one day soon.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Aching Back

Yesterday, while reaching down to grab a onsie for Sully, I pulled my lower back. How is it possible for me to move furniture, lug pounds and pounds and pounds of laundry up and down two flights of stairs, carry around an 18 pound baby, etc. and yet pull my back while picking up a onsie???? I'm sure much of my back issues can be attributed to my weight. Weak stomach muscles make for weak backs. I've lost just about five pounds and am trying to recover from a weekend of not sticking with the healthiest of eating. Weekends really are my hardest time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

So Fancy

Don't you wish you had one?

Sully finally got his helmet on Friday. He's been in physical therapy for months now to try and correct his torticollis and although it's been improving he'll need to wear the helmet for three to four months to help correct his plagiocephaly. He's taken to it quite well and even slept in it all last night with no problems. I didn't think it was possible for him to get any cuter but I think he just might be cuter with the helmet on.

In other news, I am having a trial run with a house cleaner on Friday, which has prompted a rush of trying to organize things and clean off surfaces around the house. That is exactly what I hated about having cleaners the last time, was how much work it was to get ready for them to come over. I'm trying to come up with a list of the things I want cleaned and then just make sure those areas are able to be cleaned without too much time spent either by me or her pre-cleaning them. We'll see how it goes. It's funny how I want someone to clean my house but then feel embarassed by how dirty it is so I actually end up cleaning it before the cleaner comes.

So the battle against clutter was fought well this weekend and I came out on top. The battle with eating better was not fought nearly as well and I definitely came out on the bottom. I find it so much easier to stick with eating better when I'm at work. Being home all day on the weekends is just too much time for me to think about eating and then eventually give in. Maybe I need to start a new knitting project or something else to keep my hands busy - apparently having three kids isn't quite enough!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I am normally a very healthy person. I rarely get sick and there are some people who would argue that my immune system may actually work too well and may be what caused my miscarriages. Typically I don't even miss one day of work due to illness. My sick leave is used up by doctor appointments and maternity leave but rarely is it used for actual sickness. So, it is surprising to me that I have been battling the same cold, cough, sinus congestion thing for months now. I think I first got it in December and now here we are at the end of January and I still have it. Oh sure, it will lighten up just enough for a few days to have me thinking that it's finally gone but then I'll wake up unable to breath through my nose and the whole things starts all over again. This past weekend was bad, I had a very sore throat and stuffy nose, but now today I'm feeling a tad better so I'm hoping that I'm on the upswing and that finally I will be rid of this forever.

Another thing I'd like to be rid of are migraines. I got a doozy yesterday afternoon and then, like a total idiot, I didn't take any medicine for it, instead hoping that sleep alone would take it away. I was wrong and woke up this morning with the same headache. One $13.33 migraine pill and an hour later and it's gone.

It's shaping up to be a good day. First, it's supposed to be 51 degrees and sunny today. In January. In Wisconsin. Second, I weighed myself this morning and I lost one pound, bringing my total thus far to nearly 7 pounds lost since I started my diet. And third, I paid some bills which is something I always put off because it's depressing but at least now I can be rid of the nagging feeling that I have bills to pay. I'm going to try and catch up on some reading during lunch today and keep things light. Tomorrow seems like the perfect time to think about the heavier things going on like deciding on where to send QT for kindergarten, how we're going to afford the new roof we need, whether the husband will have a job come next year and when oh when to schedule our FET. Such pesky little matters.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Piling Up

Things seem to be piling up. Sully has a bad cough, has a doctor's appointment tomorrow and will get fitted with his helmet next week. SB has been busy with school, is trying to raise money for Jump Rope for Heart (if he raises $1,000 he'll get a scooter, yea kid, good luck with that), and is gearing up for Catholic Schools week next week which means something new for me to plan for everyday (crazy hat and sock day, mismatched clothes day, etc.) and QT, well, QT is still working on using the potty and being her super cute self while having a toddler meltdown multiple times a day. That's the kids, and then there's just stuff. You know, stuff - car insurance is due, credit card payments are due, grocery shopping to be done, run and pick up prescriptions at Walgreens, oh my gosh we're almost out of toilet paper, invites for QT's meow kitty birthday party need to get sent out and on and on and on.

Anyone noticing a theme here? One of only partial organization, just enough to get by but not enough for there to be any real efficiency? Story of my life.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mid-Life Crisis?

My 40th birthday basically came and went with no fan fare, no celebration but also with no distress, sadness or pining away for my "youth." Over the last five or six years there have been many times when I've wish myself younger but those thoughts tend to revolve around my ever closing window of time to have children. I envy the luxury of time 20 somethings have to plan their families, space their children, save up more money, etc. But, that is a very specific reason to want to be younger. I don't look back at my 20s as some magical time so I suppose that might be why I have no desire to be 20 again. I feel as though I really came into my own while in my 30s and assume that I will continue to do so in my 40s. I'm actually kind of excited to see where my life goes in the next decade - how will I grow as wife and mother and what new opportunities will my career bring. But, underlying that excitement is also the stark realization that many things I've been putting off for years and years can no longer be put off.

For starters, losing weight. My weight has always been an issue I've struggled with. I think I went on my first diet in the 7th grade. I had some good success while in college losing weight and then again in my mid-20s and again in my 30s before my wedding. But, each period of loss and then maintenance ultimately ended and I gained back all the weight I had lost. When I began having children it became easy to think that I could push off seriously trying to lose weight until I was done. After all, why lose a lot of weight after your first child if the plan was to become pregnant again quite quickly? And so it's gone for the past six years. Sure, I've made some half-hearted attempts but nothing really serious resulting in anything more than a ten pound loss. But, now that I'm 40 I realize that I don't want to wait another five years to lose weight. I'm tired and I know that part of the reason I'm tired is my weight. I'm tired of clothes not fitting right, tired of spending money on clothes that no matter how great they look in the store or in a catalog never end up looking good on me, I'm just plain tired of the whole situation. In my 20s and 30s I always though that things like cholesterol was something I could worry about later, like in my 40s, and well, now here I am in my 40s.

Secondly, there is financial stability. Don't get me wrong, we make enough money to afford our home, cars, groceries, etc. but we have no real plan for retirement. I know it's still an awfully long way off but at the same time I know this is something I should have tackled long ago. I would like to eliminate my credit card debt so that we can focus on paying off student loans and the car and then I'd like to amass a nice savings cushion so that I don't have to spend so much energy worrying about all the what ifs of the job market. Ahhh, wouldn't that be nice?

Thirdly, I'd like to be more organized. For me that means lots of different things. I want a cleaner house, I want to actually put away the clean laundry before it's time to do another week's worth of dirty laundry, I'd like to have dinners at the dining room table as a family, I'd like less clutter............gosh, I could go on and on and on with this one. I know that I can cut myself a little slack in that having three small children in a smallish house means the reality is it's not always going to be neat and tidy and I'm really okay with that. But, I just have this need to feel more in control of my homelife. Not sure this really has anything to do with turning 40, it might just be that since adding Sully things need to be more organized just to make sure the basics get done but then again, when I think of people who are 40 I think of them as sort of set in their lives and I don't really feel that way right now so maybe it does all relate.

So, wish me luck while I hit my 40s head on with a long list of things to accomplish before I turn 41.......or 45.........or heck, can this stuff just wait until I'm 50????