Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Bumpdate

Wow, a whole week flew by before my eyes!  But, as they say, another day another dollar-in this case, a week further along!  And, this week was like getting the tax refund-you feel like it's free, however you did work for that money!  I found out at my first OB appointment that my due date is being moved up to 8/23!  The machines are much newer and more accurate, and my ultrasound measured 10 weeks 4 days, which was further ahead than it should be.  My husband now jokes that next time we do an ultrasound we'll determine the baby is really due in July :)  
So here we are, 10 weeks, 2 months!  So far so good.  I actually think I've felt the baby move a few times. Now I know it sounds crazy, and one of my friends even suggested, "it must be gas," but believe me, I know what gas feels like. It's not gas, it's a distinct movement/knocking like sensation.  

I was released from Dr. Beloved, bittersweet...I am to take one progesterone for a week, and then no more!  It will be nice to be done with those pesky things, but I'll be sad to miss my weekly visits.  I didn't know at my last appointment that it was my last, so I sent him an e-mail tonight thanking him, and declaring my love and appreciation for him.  

Because I can barely keep up, and I'm late getting the 2 month picture as it is, I'm going to do monthly updates as oppose to weekly.  So, here we go:

Excuse me for looking's almost Friday....
 How far along: 10 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Up 10 pounds. Yikes!
Maternity clothes: No-and can still fit into my regular skirts...which is a little strange considering how much weight I'm up.
Stretch marks: Old ones
Sleep: Fine, waking up about once a night to visit the bathroom.
Sickness: A little bit of nausea, but thankfully no puking, yet...
Special moment: Another ultrasound-it's amazing to see how much the baby grew from last week-it's legs and arms, it was bouncing all over...
Movement: Little taps...
Food cravings/aversions: Not really craving anything too much,just want to eat!  Unfortunately, I haven't been eating healthy, which I feel terrible about.  Part of it is that the food I used to eat makes me nauseous, the other part is the more unhealthy food sounds better.  And, I'm enjoying eating what and when I want as oppose to dieting.  I really have a goal of working on that in the upcoming weeks when I regain some energy and normalcy.
Exercise: bad weather, nausea, and a sinus infection derailed my running plans...I'm slowly easing back into it and I'm hopeful that this week will provide me with decent, consistent weather and I can get in at least 3, 3-4 mile runs.  I also have to begin looking into DVDs for pregnancy-something for flexibility as well as strength.
Gender: Don’t know...the debate is on about finding out!
Labor signs: Nope!
Belly button in or out: In
What I am looking forward to: first trimester screening is 2/12.  I'm looking forward to more consistent movement, and an actual baby bump as oppose to a muffin top. 

Here's the 10w4d ultrasound, again, thanks to hubby for scanning for me as a last minute request-he came downstairs after putting the kids to bed to see if I needed anything else-hoping to be told no so he could go up and go relax.  I burst out, "scan this and take a picture of my bump!"

Getting bigger!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seeing the bigger picture...

In general, I am a pretty glass half empty kinda gal.  But at the same time, I do believe that everything happens for a reason, that everything fits into the bigger picture, and there will be a silver lining.  It's just hard to live in the storm...

Our plan was always that when our youngest child turns one, we'll resume treatment.  It's funny, we haven't actually discussed how many kids we want.  We knew we needed fertility treatment before we were even engaged, so I guess it just wasn't something worth talking about.  We wouldn't really have control, so what's the point in deciding we want-say 4 kids, when it might take 20 years to just have 1 or 2?  So, we just let it be.  However, we did discuss that we will give all of our frozen embryos a chance, we have 4 left.  And Dr. Beloved has already told us not to forget about them- don't worry, we'll never forget them!

In June I met with Dr. B for a consult. We didn't have insurance coverage, but we thought that through a couple of different means we would be able to pay for a transfer out of pocket.  Unfortunately we found out that our landlord was getting divorced and wanted to move back into his apartment, and between moving costs and a series of unfortunate events regarding the move, in a matter of a week, our savings went to $0.  We had no choice but to table treatments for the time being. 

At that time I had already been hired by my current job, but it didn't start until September, so insurance coverage wouldn't kick in until then, and the details on the fertility coverage were still unclear.  At the time, I was really upset and hell bent on pursuing treatment- I have the mentality that I can't take it for granted, I have to do whatever it is that I can to make sure I'm doing my part in trying to grow our family.  But my husband reminded me, that we just.couldn'  I cried, a lot...but I found a silver lining-Dovy was  is still an avid nurser, so I just reasoned and thought that he still needs me, and if I was doing treatment, he'd have to stop nursing, and he obviously isn't ready.  I was ok with that...

Eventually work started, and insurance coverage was on the way-until I found out they lost the papers...eventually things were settled, coverage had been granted and that lead to my appointment, which I later found out I was already pregnant.  I know these aren't new details to you, but it dawned on me the other day-had our finances not been rocked, I would have pursued treatment all throughout the summer.  I never would have been given the opportunity to become pregnant with this baby, to have this experience.

What's funny is that I remember crying to my husband when our money, well, once it was no longer our money-that this is keeping me from having another baby.  That money was for fertility treatments, it was our one shot at another transfer. That's what kept me up at night-how we would come up with money to begin treatments, how long until we got to that point?  Yes, I knew there was a bigger picture, but I just wondered what it was?!?  

Yesterday, it kind all hit me like a load of bricks-we went through the financial hardships to string us along, long enough for me to get here.  I needed to forgo treatments, for months longer than I would have liked, to get to the point when I was supposed to get pregnant-and it was free.  

That money wasn't for a baby, G-d heard me, and answered our prayers, and now, I see the bigger picture.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Overcoming the next hurdle....

I love being pregnant, but for me-it's filled with worry, anxiety, stress, and overall doom and gloom.  Don't get me wrong, I find much joy throughout my pregnancies, but it's a constant battle to choose to rejoice in the positive, as oppose to be consumed by the fear.  

I don't think there is ever a safe point in pregnancy.  Just as I get to a new "safe" and begin to breathe a sigh of relief, I remind myself that anything can happen, and I shouldn't get my hopes up.  Sounds bad, I know, but I'm constantly reminded whether it's through other blogs, or personal friends' and family's experiences, or the reminders of the stillborn statistics in the third trimester in my pregnancy magazines (I know right?!? Just what I want to read!)  So with that being said, I am constantly anticipating the next hurdle, and fervently pray, and hope, that things will work out.  

Yesterday was one of those days.  It was ultrasound #2, the last of my ultrasounds (unless I demand one next week ;) with my RE, Dr. Beloved I'll call him (b/c his last name begins with a B).  Things could be good, or they could be bad...I imagined it both ways, but mostly the first.  Because of the holiday, my husband was off, Moshe was home from school, and the babysitter was off, so Dovy was also around.  On the drive in, I told my husband I had recently read a statistic that was something along the lines of, after a first healthy ultrasound, there's 95% chance of the pregnancy continuing as normal.  So at first, I breathed a sigh of relief, but then I reminded myself that my first ultrasound was a lot earlier than the normal ultrasound.  So, theoretically, it was at this point that if things were looking good, there's a positive outcome, not based on two weeks prior.  So I was a little bit of a nervous wreck.

We decided to make a late arrival to Dr. Beloved, and we hung out for an hour (and what an hour it was-nothing like keeping two wild boys away from the water cooler, off the stairs, away from the fish tank, AND quiet), and finally it was time for the ultrasound.  We all squished into the small room, and because of my last experience, I told my husband he was in charge of giving me the nod to let me know it was alive...

Without further ado...

I can't believe I have a folder of pictures titled Baby 3-eeek!!!!
Thanks to my husband for finally doing the scanning :)

Thank G-d, all is well!!! I'm even measuring ahead...well, that can be taken loosely as the date of conception is unknown, but based off of the first ultrasound, I should have been 8 weeks 5 days, but I was measuring 9 weeks 1 day.  My dr. said the first measuring ultrasound is probably more accurate.  As long as we didn't see a lag in growth, there is nothing to be concerned about.  

Thank G-d, Thank G-d, we have overcome another hurdle!!!!  

I go back to Dr. Beloved on Tuesday to monitor my progesterone levels-since the second blood test I've been on 1-3 supplements a day.  My progesterone dropped to as low as 12, so I am not reducing it just yet, and will continue to be monitored over the next couple of weeks as they continue, and then finally wean me off.  I also have my first OB appointment with Dr. Wonderful (yes, his name begins with W, how did you guess?!?)  So, that's the next hurdle...

This is ultrasound #1, at 6 weeks, 5 days

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What you see on the a reflection of the inside

That's what I feel like when it comes to the cleanliness of my house. If it's disheveled, so is my brain!  When it's organized, clean, and tidied up-so am I :)  I'm a much calmer, happier individual when things are put together!  
Now that doesn't mean that I'm a neat-freak, or that I'm too anal.  Please, don't come looking inside my cabinets, closet or garage...or now that I think about, my car either! It's a constant struggle....

I don't have a cleaning lady, and spending time cleaning is really not how  I want to spend my free time, or something I want to choose over relaxing!  So I have a few tricks up my sleeve that allow for a tidy house, on extremely short notice!  

A couple of tips I recommend:

only allow yourself to do dishes once a day-otherwise, I would be doing them after breakfast, when I come home from work, and after dinner.  So, only at night, when ALL that dishes are in the sink, do I commit to doing the dishes.

clutter looks better in a pile- I can't tell you how many different piles I have all over my house- recyclables, things to hang, things to move to the garage, things to gift, things to pack away, on and on and wears on me, but if it's organized, it's not as much of an eye sore and it's possible to be organized into a smaller pile then if it was just thrown somewhere.  It's called organized chaos!  

Now onto the cleaning:  

I do the dishes once a day-nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing clean dishes and an empty sink!  

Every night I will organize my counter space (see pile of clutter above) and condense it as much as possible!  

Then, I use BabyGanics all purpose cleaner, the grime fighter, in lavender!Oh my, it's totally non-toxic, the smell is heavenly, and it seriously knows how to fight grime!  I use this all over-it even cleans the beige fabric straps of my highchair!!!  Seriously, I can't get enough of this stuff!  So every night, my kitchen smells like heaven :)

Next up is addressing the mess of toys, in!!!

Downstairs, we have a 4x4 Ikea Expedit.  Which I love!  Although, it's still not big enough-can never have enough cubby space!  So, here you'll begin to notice my obsession with baskets!  We have 5 baskets in the unit, the rest of the space is full of books, and the bigger toys.  I have an additional two baskets on the floor-one holds the baby toys (which I need to go through and modify at this point) and another basket holds all the kitchen supplies.  We have two end tables with room for baskets underneath and I foresee two more baskets making their way soon! 

The boys each have a basket for toys in their own room, along with a bookshelf with two more baskets, and two additional baskets for diapers, supplies, etc which is placed on their dressers, my husband and I have a basket in our room, and we also have a basket in the kitchen for the foil, press n seal, etc. 

Here are some baskets I am drooling over currently, and I am anticipating their arrival :)  
These pretties are from Pottery Barn Kids


The thing I love about baskets is that you can find them to match any color and style-they come in all different types of materials.   But what's great about them is that they're like my kitchen cabinets-you don't see the inside, but on the outside, it gives off an organized appearance!  Now don't get me wrong, I don't like that the insides of these baskets are disorganized, but I have spent countless time organizing, and it just gets undone, so it's not worth my while to be uptight about it!  Organizing the play space is definitely on my list of things to do-along with my closet, linen closet, bathroom closet, garage, pantry, cabinet...hmm are you getting the idea?  It's all about fake it till ya make it!  

I'll be sure to include you when I do get around to organizing all of these places!

And of course a few from my other top fave- Restoration Hardware baby and child

So there ya have it-and if anyone has any idea on how to create collages for pictures where I can lay them out, add links, details, etc-I'm obviously in some need of help! These picture have a mind of their own!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Time Management 
Being a full time working mommy is hard!  Add in the extra pressures we put on ourselves as women, mommies, wives-no wonder anxiety and blood pressure run high! 
My role as woman has developed over time.  At first, I was in college and literally, my only obligation was to do my own laundry and split a cleaning schedule with 2-3 other wonderful ladies!  Heck, every meal was provided for, there were no bills to pay (on my end that is), and everything was about me!  I had no one to look out for!  

Then came marriage.  Now I had another person I was obligated to-twice the laundry (or maybe triple the laundry considering the husband's clothes are so much bigger than mine), definitely no more meals handed to me, so I had to begin cooking, and not only was I attending school, but I had to now spend 2+ hours a day traveling.  It was hard, but not that hard; so we had pasta for dinner sometimes, big whoop.  

Graduate school was a welcomed break.  I welcomed Moshe a week into my first semester of graduate school for my masters in Speech Language Pathology (cue gasps when I walked into my first class at 39 weeks pregnant); because of him, I attended school part time until my final year where I increased my course load.  With school being part time, and my only requirements of school for the first two semesters being attending class, I had many days off each week, and plenty of time on school days.  I had a babysitter only for when I had class.  Grocery shopping got done, home cooked meals got done, cleaning got done, the list goes on and on of all the things I was able to accomplish on a daily and weekly basis.  Eventually I had to work in the in-house clinic, and student teach, but somehow there wasn't a lack of time-until I started my first, full-time, job.  

Working full time leaves little room for cramming in all the things I have decided are top priority:

time with the family
home cooked meals
a clean house
daily exercise 
time for arts and crafts 
extra DIY projects
healthy, well planned lunches for my boys, for myself, for my husband
time to hang out with friends
time to blog/catch up on social media
 So what do I do? I'm not saying I'm an expert, or the best-far from it, but I do believe I'm extremely organized and dedicated to the things I think are important.  Many people have said they can't believe I'm able to do what I do.  So, I'll offer some tips...

I have seen many home management notebooks, and while it seems enticing to have a cute, nicely organized notebook-it just seems like it's a different type of stress inducer.  Looking at the notebook, writing in the notebook, etc.  That's why I decided against creating a home management notebook, even though it's pretty.  

Me, I still prefer the simple, plain 'ole Post-it Notes.  They come in beautiful colors, patterns, for many different tasks-and what's better than being able to stick it onto your desk, your computer, your door, your notebook, ANYWHERE???  If it's not out there for you to see-you'll likely forget it. 

Here are some examples of their regular collection 

And here are some tabs and labels...

Yes, I will write and re-write that list...part of helping ease my anxiety of all there is to do, is actually writing the list.  Sure, many things make it onto multiple versions of the list-but not everything can be done at once! 

The biggest trick I've learned is to adopt a motto along the lines of: what needs to get done will get done...and adding to that when it needs to get done! So no more pressure when you see your endless list be exactly that-endless!

Up next I will show you my created cleaning schedule and the daily tasks I do that help give my home a put together and organized look and feel, only within a matter of minutes!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Backstory 

OF COURSE there's a back story :)

In June of '12, I went for a consult with my RE.  Mainly because we thought we could get reimbursed the cost through a benefit my husband received-ultimately, we weren't aware of the fine print, and we didn't get our money back-major fail!  

But then, my husband switched jobs, which meant new insurance that my doctor did not accept; this was in July.  I knew I was starting work in early September and could opt in for the same insurance we had previously, which my doctor was working hard to begin accepting.  We weren't for sure of the benefits, but figured we would wait and see what coverage I got, because paying for it solely out of pocket was totally doable out of the question!  As soon as I began working, I promptly made all the obligatory phone calls with HR, the other insurances, the higher ups, etc.  After getting the run around, we decided on an insurance and I sent in all the required paperwork.  After the processing time had long passed, I called them up to find out my paperwork had been lost in transit.  So I had to resubmit my papers and wait, again, for the registration process.  I finally received word of all the benefits and approval of an FET in December.   

It was then that I scheduled blood work and an ultrasound.  You can read about that appointment HERE.

Now for the backstory...

Just to recap: no spontaneous period since summer of '10, last time my lining was shed was when Dovy was born 8/11.

With Moshe I got my period 10 months postpartum, so I had been expecting it again at some point.  When it never came, I just attributed it to the extra exercising (running) I was doing, and figured no big deal.  At the end of November I started to just feel funny.  I felt a lot of movement and for a week I was just uncomfortable, not crampy or bloated, just weird.  I actually took 3 pregnancy tests and they were all negative.  I told my husband, "either I'm pregnant or I'm getting my period."  When no answers were revealed-not a positive test, nor a period in site, I decided that I would call my RE to begin the initial appointments-we knew we were getting ready to move forward, I just wanted a look inside to see what was going on.  But, a week after this all started, on December 3, my uncomfortableness turned into lower right pain.  It hurt to walk.  I assumed it was ovarian and called the RE to ask to come in the next day for an ultrasound.  My husband wasn't convinced it was ovarian necessarily, and wanted me to go to my OB/GYN to make sure it wasn't appendicitis or ovarian contortion. Now mind you, he made these possible diagnosis over the phone, freaked me out, and when he walked in the door commented, "you don't look like someone with appendicitis."  I should point out now, that later that evening, my pain literally disappeared with a snap of the fingers-gone!

The next day, with an appointment scheduled at my OB, I placed a call to my RE.  I told him what was going on and how I would have preferred to come into see him, but no one called me back in time yesterday and with the increase in pain, I was forced to schedule with the OB/GYN.  He requested I get progesterone and estrodial drawn.  Of course my OB thought it was a little much, but he happily obliged.  He determined my pain was a gas bubble, and no ultrasound was needed-off I went.  I was to call in two days to get the results of the blood work.

On Thursday afternoon I received the blood test results and called them in to my RE.  He told me with levels the way they were, we could hypothesize that I had ovulated!  So, first time I ever ovulated, I was in too much pain to take advantage of the opportunity, and, it was confirmed almost 4 days after it happened!  I knew we were going to be doing a transfer soon, so I didn't think much of my sudden, spontaneous, ovulation, or of the missed opportunity.

For the next few weeks things seemed fine.  I noticed I was having an issue with weight gain and the inability to lose it, as I'm an avid weight watchers follower, but I just attributed it to my decrease in nursing and not decreasing the cheating ;)

When I went for my appointment on 12/18, we did an ultrasound.  Nice thick lining, which my doctor wasn't thrilled about because it hadn't been shed in a LONG time, but nothing was seen on the ultrasound.  And on 12/19, I got the call!

Needless to say we were all in shock!  My husband's reaction was, "how did this happen?"  I knew my doctor was right-the blood test wouldn't lie, but I promptly went and bought my own digital pregnancy test because I needed to see that word!

We're still in shock, but beginning to wrap our heads around this, and realize and of course hope, that we'll be blessed for this to result with a live baby around my EDD of 8-28!  I have yet to take a bump picture, I've missed the 1st month and I don't have a FET picture either, so I'll have to begin that in time for month 2.  Oh, and maybe I should start (and finish) the baby scrapbook for Dovy that has been sitting on my dresser for 17 months and through a move before this baby make his or her debut!  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The things that define us

This post was triggered by a post done by Kate over at The Small Things Blog.  Ironically, today, she shared her struggles with getting pregnant this year.  Go show her some love peeps!

Once I learned that fertility treatment was in my future (at age 19), I decided I wanted to create something positive from it.  I wanted to educate and create awareness.  So, I became an open book!  I remember discussing fertility treatment, openly, long before there was a date in the calender-even before marriage!  I wanted to be a poster child for infertility awareness and education.  I found it so hard to believe that I did not know people who had a similar battle to fight.  How could that be?  Lo and behold-it's not so uncommon, people just don't talk.  So I figured, there must be a reason I was given this  challenge, and I'm going to talk about it.  If people start talking, it won't be taboo.

I went to school at a religious institution, and as mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I knew that there were religious laws that played heavily into the situation.  I offered multiple teachers that I would present to their class, I spoke with former high school teachers to let them know about speaking to their classes about such issues.  Any way I could spread awareness, I was in.

I was labeled infertile, and was happy.  You could often times find me echoing sentiments such as:

s.e.x. doesn't equal a baby
my baby cost a lot of money

along with other thing such as the general hardships of going through infertility: the frequent appointments, and therefore missed school/work, the pain, the shots, the procedures, and all the emotions that go along with all of that jazz.

I am infertile....until all of a sudden, I'm not.

One of my first concerns, after I freaked out in the car after hearing my Dr's message, was, what am I going to do now?  Now duh, the obvious was to call my husband, set up the following appointment, etc.  But I had so proudly labeled myself infertile, and found joy in my journey.  Now, baby #3, came along without any medical intervention, which I am beyond thankful for, but it makes me question my infertility status.

Next time we want another baby, will I be told to try on my own?  What if I can get pregnant on my own again (which I'm not planning on), what will become of our 4 frozen embryos?  Have I lost part of my place within the infertility community because now, I'm one of those?

This is the first baby where I don't have a picture of their embryo at day 5, or from the thaw, to put in their baby book.  My first two kids had special shirts made and a special picture taken with my doctor, and I don't get that this time, because no doctor was required.

Other people have deemed this baby to be such a miracle, how this is more of a miracle, I have no idea.  They claim that this is natural, and since my body didn't do it before, this is a miracle.  I think a little bit of the opposite-that this is natural, this is what is supposed to happen-which is more or less of a miracle?  It doesn't matter, not one bit-all children are miracles.  But there is a profound difference between my first two and my current pregnancy.  Will this matter in later years?

Truth be told, I'm struggling with silly things:

an embryo from a 21 year old is better than an embryo from a 25 year old
my frozen embryos have demonstrated their "strength", this could be "bad"
this was too easy, something must be wrong
it's too good to be true

All of these are silly and I have no basis for even thinking such things, because as a fellow infertile pointed out-hey, normal people get pregnant all the time and have babies; but I'm infertile...until all of a sudden, I'm not.

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's ALIVE!!!

Today's ultrasound revealed that I most certainly have a growing embryo, with a heartbeat! Thank G-d!  I am measuring 6 weeks 5 days-which is further along than I had anticipated, so no complaints there!  
It was an interesting morning to say the least!  First of all, I went by myself, which is something I am so anti, but there was no way my husband could miss work.  I hit about 45 minutes of traffic, so instead of just driving over, there was a lot of nervous, quiet, sitting.  I also stopped to get gas before, because I knew if I did not get good news I would not want to pass go or collect $200.  

I eventually made it to my doctor, but I was last in line of about 5 women for ultrasound...time went on, slowly, e-mails, no facebook or instagram updates....finally I was taken back for the ultrasound, but the lady left me to change for 5 minutes!  I had already prepped for that (changed into socks from tights) when I first visited the bathroom!  The ultrasound tech came in, someone I have never met before, and put the camera in with a straight face...and that straight face continued while she was scanning until I said, "you're look is not very convincing."  Her response, "I always scan with a straight face."  Ok, I get it, but hello lady, this is the first ultrasound, I want to know if it's alive!  "So is there something alive in there?"  "Yes."  Well, 6 weeks 5 days it is!  Dr. confirmed that everything looks great and I am to return next week for another blood test to monitor the progesterone and on Martin Luther King Day I'll return for my second ultrasound!  Thankfully my husband is off so he can join me.  My kids will also be coming with us because my babysitter will have off.  I am always hesitant to bring my kids into the office, however my doctor loves when I bring them in and tells me not to worry, "we all have our own story."  So, hopefully that will be another day filled with good news that our family of 4+ can share together!  

*I will update with the ultrasound picture tomorrow.  My husband is not home and I have no idea how to do it!  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bump Ahead...

Google Images

So last I updated you I was waiting for a phone call from my doctor with results from my first blood draw. I was to receive a call Wednesday afternoon.  The nurse typically calls with instructions towards the end of the day, so I wasn't awaiting a call during my work day. I had gone out for a run and when I returned I noticed a missed call from them.  I was on my way out, to quickly run to CVS to pick up my filled prescription of provera, and run home to prep dinner in the short hour I had left while my children were with their babysitter.  Instead of getting a call from the nurse, I got a call from the doctor and this is what he had to say:

Yeah, total shock!  Tomorrow is supposed to be the, "healthy pregnancy ultrasound,"  we shall see...I've had 4 blood tests these past two weeks, all that reveal a healthy increase in numbers, but one can never be too sure.  

Now, I said I wouldn't keep any secrets, but I must admit, I'm not too thrilled to be outing myself so early. Although, I've eaten enough donuts and ice cream  this baby is a-growin' and I'm already a-showin', so it won't be long...that is if all goes well tomorrow.    Can't be so sure, until I'm sure, and even then-I'll probably have comfort only for the afternoon.  And I must apologize for not putting this up sooner; my husband and I just were hesitant, we still are, but I feel this is the path I chose. 

Oh man, I forgot how obsessive I get during pregnancy, but obviously wouldn't change it for anything! Now, I do know that outing myself does not = death of the embryo, but I'm still freaking out, but ultimately, I know, what will be will be.  

If you know me in real life, or from Facebook, please keep this mum for some time.  You can private message me or comment on this blog though :)  I will update tomorrow.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oh the weather outside is frightful.... 

It has been blistering cold here!  Last winter was kind to us; last January the temperatures were in the 40s, today, when I got into my car, it was in the 20s.  For the sake of not running through our life savings in order to heat our house, we've been bundled up in sweats and sweatshirts, and enjoying some delicious hot chocolate!  

I must admit, we've made a few too many trips to Dunkin Donuts in our time, and my husband has a mild obsession with their hot chocolate.  Hot chocolate isn't a typical drink I go for, I'd rather go for the expensive delicious iced coffee drinks.  So I don't really get what the big deal is, but when we've been freezing our tushies off, I decided to go for some stove top hot chocolate, because I really don't keep that packaged stuff in our house.  I was delighted to find out how delicious it was, and when we made our next trip to Dunkin Donuts, we realized their hot chocolate has nothin' on us.  

Stove-top hot chocolate (from Hershey's naturally unsweetened cocoa)
6 servings

1/2 cup sugar
*I have started putting a little less in, I also use truvia
1/4 cup cocoa
dash of salt
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
*I do not add this in

Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan; stir in hot water.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils, boil and stir for 2 minutes.  Stir in milk and heat.  DO NOT BOIL! Remove from heat and add in vanilla. 

I enjoy topping my hot chocolate with marshmallows and recently bought some whipped cream.  I may or may not have put both in my hot chocolate.

Enjoy with loved ones  :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year Resolutions

I don't remember ever formally writing, or even thinking about for that matter, what I wanted to accomplish in the new year.  I consider myself pretty organized and ambitious, so I always have a To Do list a mile long. Yes, unfortunately some tasks make it onto numerous To Do lists, but typically, what needs to get done, does.  But, this year, I'll put a few formal goals out there:

1.  I recently purchased a parenting class set, Chanoch L'naar (this is a Jewish, religious class, so not for everyone!)-it comes with all classes (one per week, plus a few bonus classes), the ability to call in to a hot line, and a work book that correlates to the weekly classes.  
In order to accomplish this goal, I will need to set aside at least one night a week to listen to the hour long class.  I will need to do the homework and set aside as much time as I can to implement the techniques.  This is extremely  important to me for a couple of reasons.  I paid a pretty penny and I do not want to just see this CD collecting dust by my desk. But most importantly, my oldest son is 3.  Once kids start talking-they demand, they complain, they boss and they talk back.  As a parent, it is my responsibility to learn how to deal with these behaviors appropriately.  What does appropriately mean?  I could always be screaming and yelling, use the time out chair I had specially made on Etsy, or I can learn how to be productive with these behaviors and hopefully build a strong parent-child foundation.  My sons might be young now, but soon they'll be older, and they'll know if their mommy and daddy are strong, on the same page, love them and respect them, but at the same time are strong enough to set appropriate boundaries that will help them learn to lead productive lives.  I know it's a big pill to swallow,  but we'll take it one day at a time, one year at a time.  I know from people who have taken this class that this is a yearly commitment, as every year you have a new age to focus on.  The process of discipline is constantly evolving for many reasons-circumstances, age, behaviors, etc.  

2.  I began the Couch 2 5K in February of this year.  Yesterday, I ran my last run of 2012, totaling 475 miles.  This year, I want to run at least 500 (although the number 1,000 has been thrown out) and I want to run a few races.
In order to accomplish this goal I will need to run 20 miles a week (for 1,000).  Now, I'm not sure I'm that ambitious, but regardless of the end number, I want to run at least 4 times a week.  Part of the reason I am aiming for 4 times a week is just to maintain the habit of setting aside the time, lacing up my sneakers and getting out the door.  Another reason is because I do want to increase my annual miles.  This goal could all change depending on the races I choose to enter.

3.  I want to pay more attention to health within my family.  I want to make sure we're eating balanced, healthy, home cooked meals majority of the time (we already do),  but more importantly, I want to make sure my boys are eating healthy lunches and healthy snacks.  I want the dessert to be limited-and when there is some, it should be clean.  Again, I said majority of the time, I probably have the biggest sweet tooth in my family.
We have already started off in the right direction.  About 2 months ago, I banished diet pop from our house during the week.  Daddy keeps a 12 pack of Coke 0 in the car, but it is not to set foot indoors.  We will sometimes put a 2-liter in the freezer and hope it doesn't explode fridge for special occasions-i.e. when guests come.  Additionally, I want to put in a little bit more prep time for lunches and snacks for my boys-I want them to come home to healthy, fresh snacks, not grabbing packaged food from the snack drawer.  (Maybe we'll eliminate some of that food too, although sometimes on-the-go food is necessary for late mornings and diaper bags.)  

4.  I want to provide my husband with the opportunity to go back to his running roots.  Before we met, and while we dated, he was known for running down the Hudson, across the George Washington Bridge, etc.  We never ran together, because I was not a runner, but it is my dream for us to enjoy 10+ mile runs together, with the stroller.  
This will be extremely difficult on my end.  The way our set up has worked thus far, was that dinner is ready when he comes home at 6:30, we eat and by 7:30/7:45 he takes the kids up to bed.  Bedtime for us has been a real mess (maybe that should be a goal....) and it's known to last long into the night, leaving no time: without kids, to socialize, to discuss the important household issues, or, for him to exercise.  As much as I need the alone time to do the dishes, clean, prepare for the next day, blog ;), in the back of my mind, I am always bothered by his lack of exercise.  My husband is not bothered by his nightly duties, in fact, it is about the only time during they day he sees the kids.  But, it leaves him with no time to do what he needs to do.  So, together, we will need to create a solid nightly schedule, I will need to forgo some of my nightly alone time, or at least cut it down, and I will need to then be ok with him leaving the house for at least 45 minutes a night.  I think it is a very worthwhile sacrifice.  

5.  I want to spend less time on my phone and on the computer and more time with my kids, but mostly-being more in the moment.  
All too often I find myself counting down-counting down until daddy gets home, counting down until bed so I can do what I want to do, counting down until pay day, counting down until we make some extra money.  Really, none of this matters-Thank G-d I have kids, they are healthy, we are all healthy, and we're happy.  I need to focus more on the positive and stop worrying about my To Do list and the future-things will all work out.  

I think those are realistic goals for me, but I have some informal ones I want to jot down:

I want to learn how to stick to a budget better.
I want to learn how to be satisfied and not feel the need for materialistic items. 
I want to be positive more often.
I want to take better advantage of my time at work so I can be more productive.
I want to speak to more of my family on a regular basis.

I think that should do it-what goals do you have for 2013?  What do you want to be different about this year, 2013, than this past year, 2012.  
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