Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ladies Conference

My mom flew in this week to attend a Beth Moore conference in Colorado Springs.  We had our hotel reservations cancelled.  Thankfully I booked through Expedia, which I never do.  But because I did, they were able to find us another one.  And the one we ended up getting what phenomenal.  Excellent customer service, beautiful room, fantastic full hot breakfast and a gorgeous indoor pool.  But, that is not where the story starts.

The girls going to the conference show up at my house and we head down to the gas station to fill up.  Grabbing gas, the ladies and I gear up and start our trip two and a half hours south into the heart of the wildfires terrorizing Colorado.  The traffic through Denver was horrendous.  What normally took an hour and a half, took four hours.  It was bumper to bumper traffic that inched forward at a snail's pace.   We passed several accidents.  One that was a semi trailer that was jackknifed and on it's side on the shoulder of the four lane highway.  One of our friends had decided not to go a few short days before because she said she was not at peace with it.  And that was fresh on my mind.  There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding this whole trip.  The fires raging through all of Colorado are devastating.  Smoke and ash cover our town on the Colorado/Wyoming border.  Thousands of people have been evacuated all over the state.  The worst fire in Colorado history is burning Colorado Springs.  Right where we were headed.  I have friends in the Springs and I watch their Facebook page and just cry at the devastation that I see.  Homes going up in flames, trees being burned, the mountains glowing with an eerie glow. 

We finally manage to get passed all the accidents and the traffic begins to whiz all around.  We are in the left middle lane and heading towards a small hill.  Suddenly my truck RPMs die and the power from my 3/4 ton Suburban is dead on the middle of one of the busiest highways I've ever been on.  I tried to guide my slowing vehicle to one of the shoulders without any sort of success.  Watching cars, trucks and semis in my rear view mirror flying at break neck speeds right towards my truck gave me a heart attack.  I have three other ladies in my truck, one being my mom.  And I am pregnant.  Everything in my heart is screaming.  My face is instantly hot and the adrenaline is rocketing through my veins.  Being a prior service cop, my first thought is to hand off the drivers seat to someone else and direct traffic while the other two ladies push my truck to the shoulder.  But I am pregnant.  And my history with pregnancy loss makes my reactions be extremely protective.  I have literally just passed the threshold of knowing that my baby is going to make it to delivery in seven months.  There is absolutely no way that I could even attempt to open my door with all the traffic.  Out of nowhere a Suburban towing a trailer whips around us and stops right in front of us and backs up to close to hitting my bumper.  A small Mexican man jumps out and rushes to my window.  He has to nearly scream at my to be heard over the sound of the traffic.  He tells me that he's going to tow me to the shoulder.  Everything in me is screaming with the protective nature of a mom.  All I can think about is my friend and her choice to not come, my baby and someone hitting us from behind.  Watching the cars again in my rear view mirror is terrorizing.  Watching the fear in my friends faces, I try to start the truck while its in neutral as our Good Samaritan attempts us to tow us.  The tow strap snaps in half.  His trailer shakes as he lurches forward.  He's halfway into the next lane when a police officer pulls up behind us.  She turns her lights on and gets all those crazy drivers to give us some space.  Our Good Samaritan gets another tow strap. The truck finally starts and I was able to help the towing journey.    He finally gets us to the shoulder.  I was able to breathe a sign of relief.  We are no longer directly in harm's way. 

He tells us to follow him to the next exit and he'll help us figure out what's wrong.  My truck is started and I attempt to pull away.  Once again the RPMs die and I am dead in the water.  He runs back and asks if he can start my truck and he jumps in.  He tells me he thinks it's bad gas.  Fantastic.  He asks if someone can drive a trailer, and  my friend and my mom jump out and get into his truck.  We pull out into traffic and head down the highway.  My truck makes it to his exit.  Through all of it, he's asking if I am on drugs because apparently my truck decides that she's fine and makes me look absolutely crazy.  If I didn't have all the other ladies telling him that it was indeed acting up, then I am pretty sure that he would have continued to think that I was high.  Once we get down to his exit, he puts some gas cleaner additive in and my truck is just fine.  All the girls and I are cracking jokes.  As we are pulling away to jump back on the highway Good Samaritan, flags us down and asks if we like China.  We all were stunned.  What is he talking about?!!?  The country, the food the dishes....  He grabs a box from his truck and puts it in the back of my truck.  Its filled with priceless China.  Okay..... this guy literally just saved our lives in the middle in the highway and then just gave us a gift of China....  I was baffled.  What in the world is God doing?????   He ended up following us all the way down to the Springs traffic backed up a bit again, and he pulled up next to us to inform we screaming through open windows that water is pouring out of my exhaust, which apparently means we have bad gas.  He followed us all the way down to our exit.  We waved as we left the highway.

We actually get into our hotel room and get to the conference about an hour after we were supposed to, but everything worked out great!  Our room was fabulous, we were able to get great parking, and was able to get all four of us into reserved seating instead of just two of us.  There were so many more little blessings that made their way to us that it blew my mind!

Here is all of us outside the conference.  We could literally watch plumes of smoke come off the mountain.  All the white clouds behind us are actually smoke clouds.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Today was....

I know that many of you were waiting for this post and I apologize for making you wait longer than I should have!  My family and I got hit with some major food poisoning from some burgers from King Soopers.  Nice.  Thankfully Shine didn't eat the burgers.  A toddler throwing up is not any fun at all.

My nerves were shot yesterday.  I had spent the whole night comforting my vomiting six year old Sparkle and then having to share the potty as I started throwing up.  I don't get morning sickness when I am pregnant and I've only experienced it once when I was pregnant with Shine and I got off some medication too fast.  Need less to say, I was not a fan.  So last night, I wasn't a fan either.  So with little to no sleep, no food or water in my system, I headed down to Denver for my doctor's appointment.  Strong stayed home the girls.  He started feeling pretty bad too, so to avoid any unsightly situations, he just stayed home.  I had to stick a gallon sized freezer bag in my purse, just in case. 

I finally arrived in Denver, an hour and a half away for my specialist appointment.  I was extremely nervous.  The nurse didn't tell me my blood pressure, but I am pretty sure that it was higher than normal.  I did the normal routine.  Pee in the cup, get my blood pressure, cover my eyes when they took my weight.  Finally they called me back for my ultrasound.  Wringing my hands and whispering prayers for a heartbeat, I sat there as the little form popped up on the screen.  My heart nearly dropped.  The little thing wasn't moving.  Inside I thought I was going to die.  Then a microsecond later, the technician, said "And there's the heart beating. And the arms and legs are moving."  Literally it wasn't even a second before the baby showed on the screen and the heartbeat showed.  I started crying as the baby rested there gently and waved his arms and legs at me.  Almost as if he was saying, "Hi mommy.  Don't give up on me." 

When I had my ultrasound done with Sparkle she was wiggling and moving and waving and squirming at eight weeks.  With Shine, she wasn't moving as much but still moving.  Which is pretty funny that their personalities are much like their first ultrasounds!  This one was barely moving, just gently waving.  I wonder what this one's personality will be like. 

Yesterday was a day that was filled with joy for me and my family.  When normal women get that positive pregnancy test is when they are filled with that overwhelming sense of joy.  Mine comes with that test, but it's different.  Its filled with hesitation and hope.  But when I am past nine weeks and I get an ultrasound that shows a heartbeat is when I am filled with complete excitement!!!  Now starts a journey to prepare for our number three little one. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Big Day

Tomorrow is the big day.  The day that we see if our baby still has a beating heart or if my body has once again claimed another life.  I am so thankful for a busy schedule of shooting, editing, mommy time, vacations and appointments.  I would go stir crazy sitting around my house all day wondering.  I swear that I can feel teeny movements, but I think I could be psyching myself up.  I felt both my girls early, around 14 weeks, but nine weeks still seems so early.  I googled it, bless the internet.  A few sites claim that moms can feel their babies as early as eight weeks.  This is my twelfth pregnancy, I am claiming veteran rights.  I can feel my baby.

I am pretty nervous.  Thankfully my appointment is pretty early in the morning, plus over an hour drive.  I hate the fact that I had to formally announce before tomorrow.  My belly is too big to not notice.  Being home now, I see more of the friendly faces that I am used to.  And those faces see me too.  And they know how I am supposed to look.  A very round belly isn't usually in the picture.  I am fearing seeing that all too familiar motionless tiny frame and flat line where a heart beat is supposed to be.  I am dreading having to post and text saying that the baby isn't alive anymore.  And then the slew of comments that will come.  It makes me incredibly sad.  I am praying that we don't have to post that.  I am hoping with all my heart, that I get to high five God and say thanks!  Its the little things in life.  And secretly, I am praying that two little ones are visible on that screen.  Both with heartbeats.  Both wiggling around in their warm little place.  Both with four chamber hearts and three vessel cords and intestines on the inside of their bodies.  Both with the exact amount of chromosomes they are supposed to have.  

Much weighs on my heart tonight.  If we see a heart beat tomorrow, the chances of us being able to keep this baby alive is very, very good.  If you remember, please say a prayer for us.  If we lose another one, my darling Sparkle will be absolutely devastated. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Busy Bag Swap Part Deux

Welcome to my second busy bag swap!  Please see the activities in my first one * here *.  I had SUCH a good time with this swap!  We had a TON of excellent projects submitted!

Pricing is working like this:
Registration: $15
Shipping to me: $15
Shipping to you: $15
Cost of project: Around $20 for all 20 bags (this is just an estimate)
Local participants to Cheyenne, Wyoming are not required to pay for shipping, but they MUST commit to dropping off and picking up their busy bags for the entire duration of the swap.  I will not be responsible for them.

All you need to do is fill out this form and chose from the list below, your top five choices that you would like to make.  I will assign you one project to make.  Once you receive your assignment, please order your supplies and get busy!  I MUST receive your payment with your registration.  If I do not, another participant will take your place. This swap closes July 30th.  Please have your set of twenty identical bags to me by August 30th. Once I have everyone's busy bags to me, I will have everything sorted and shipped out by September 15th.  *As long as I receive everyone's bags on time.  Please be understanding if I receive some bags late, I will have to ship everyone's bags out late as well.*

Please make your payment using one of these links:

Local to Cheyenne, WY
Non local swappers

Fill out my online form.

Here are the projects that we are doing this time!

Molds can be purchased here. Please do both boy and girl shapes.  Please do at least 10 different colors. 

Please do at least five different colors.  Please package these in something that seals VERY well.  Sandwich baggies will not cut it.

Please include 3-4 sheets of sticker, or more, a note pad, pencils and then package nicely!

Please include at least one car with your bag. 

Please include forty sponge sticks with each bag.

 Please include enough to make four cupcakes.

Please include fifteen jar lids with your game bag.

You are more than welcome to do the entire book, but if you chose to do just the dress up dolls, please do a boy and girl.

Please include all 26 letters with each set.

Please include a quart storage bag full of mixed colors and string with each bag you make.

Include a generous portion in a quart storage bag of all the different shapes.  more than one set may have to be purchased to fill enough bags to meet the requirements of this swap.
Please include enough materials to design at least five different designs.

Please include dry erase markers and all three sheets with each bag.

Buggy Bugs
Purchase magnifying glasses and bugs and put it all together in a cute way!

Please do two different food kits.  This takes more time to do as well.  If you'd like to do this one, please let me know when you register and I will give this to you so that you have enough time to get this all done.

Please include twenty different things to measure and two rulers.  Package it up and call it good!

This takes a little more time to do than the other projects.  Please keep in mind that you will be making twenty of these.  If you'd like to do this project, please let me know as soon as you register and I will give it to you immediately, so that you have time to make all twenty sets.  Please be as generous with your felt pieces as the tutorial.  This will be just as close to pricing as the other projects, but WILL take more time.

This one is a containment bag.  This is a sewing project meant to house all the busy bags from this swap.  The person responsible for this bag will create simple homemade bags to store the entire swap.  I am super excited about this addition!  If you'd like this project, please let me know when you register and I will give this to you as soon as you register to give you time to make them.

And one just for giggles.  I saw this a while ago and I fell in love!  This is just for your own fun.  This is not part of the busy bag swap.  Sparkle and I did something like this when she was much younger but with cardstock and stickers.  A shower curtain would be SO amazing!!!


So after a much anticipated waiting period, I am now free to make an announcement.  :) 

Hubby and I are expecting another wee one!  I was  actually not even pregnant as I wrote that first sentence.  But I am praying fervently for this and I am super excited to see God answer prayers.  And he did because I am nine weeks and counting!

We decided to wait and not tell anyone that we were expecting.  Not my besties, not our families, not even our children.  Sparkle would have spilled the beans really early anyway because she would have been SO stinkin excited!  We didn't tell a soul!!  Well....I do have to confess, I did tell my labor and delivery photographer so she wouldn't plan any vacations during my delivery time.  She knew on day one that we found out.

I have been having round ligament pain a bit today.  That is usually my first sure sign that I am pregnant.  I also have been having some killer heartburn tonight, which I've never really had.  Pair that with getting dizzy and acne and you've got yourself one sure fire pregnancy.  I am absolutely positive that I am pregnant.  I started taking my folic acid today.  That keeps the acne away and balances a few hormones that go haywire and fight off my own baby.  

I find it strangely ironic that I am pregnant right now.  Adam just told me a few days ago that he is ready to have another baby.  Which obviously, I think is fabulous.   I have been feeling pretty guilty about really wanting and trying for another one without Adam's blessing because I really wanted to be pregnant again.  I have been praying that God would change His heart.

One of my best friends told me that she already has my baby shower idea in her heart and that she is saving it just for me.  It made me giggle just to think about what he idea is.  I am really praying for boy/girl twins.  I would love to have another girl and a boy.  We will be done after this pregnancy.  Not because I want to, but because the losses are just as hard on Strong as they are on me.  He doesn't want to loose anymore little ones.  Pregnancy is so hard on me during the first 4 months.  The anticipation at the ultrasounds every week.  I have never had high blood pressure, but during these ultrasounds they skyrocket.  Nearly everyday is a prayer warrior type praying.  Each and every moment that I continue to stay pregnant is a miracle and a blessing.

I have factor 5 clotting disorder, which causes blood clots in the umbilical cords and kills my babies.  I also have to take baby aspirin, folic acid, progesterone injections, lovnox injections, and steroids the first 14 weeks.  When I was pregnant this last fall, we lost the baby in November.  I kept refilling my prescriptions for three months.  Our insurance was going to change from something WAY good to something REALLY not as good.  My husband's company merged with another one and the new company changed e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  There went our really good insurance.  I was SO bummed.  But I have three months of prescriptions that cost around $3,000 without insurance...per month...    *happy dance*

I took one of those digital pregnancy tests yesterday and it showed negative.  I was super disappointed, but I tried to remember that those are usually only accurate five days or less before your missing relative.  I was six days out.  So on the way home from taking Sparkle to school, I stopped and bought the plain jane ones. showed positive!!!  It was super faint, but hey, a line is a stinking line!!!  I have only told my birth photographer, so that she doesn't plan a vacation.  My maternity photographer is next.  She's expecting my phone call this week.  I am planning a super fun announcement to our friends and family!  I want one of those photos with all legs and feet and then extra pair of shoes.  I have been praying fervently that we would get pregnant with boy/girl twins.  Strong doesn't want twins, at all.  I am praying that he would change his mind about that.  I tossed the positive test.  I will buy a digital one and take another one for all the photos.  I am having second thoughts on how I want to tell my husband.  As much as I love the Willow Tree idea, I want to be able to tell him soon before I start having bruises on my belly from the injections.  He would know instantly.  I wish I could post this and ask for ideas.  But I don't think that would go over well... He would wonder why he was the last one to find out!

Well, with a little help from my birth photog, I think I've narrowed it down.  What do you think?  I did a slideshow for him.  I pretended that I had some client photos to share with him.  I started out with this photo...

I was pretty sure that he wouldn't "get" it so my birth photographer did this image too, just in case...

And then I ended with this one...

He totally got it on the first one.  He said, "Are you serious?"  {Scroll to next photo} "Really, babe?" {scroll to final image} "Babe, are you really pregnant?"  He was not quite ready for it, I think. 

And of all things, I am craving Funyuns like nobody's business.  And anything super salty.  I don't usually get any cravings until the 7th month of my pregnancies...  I found some healthy chocolate chip cookies yesterday when I was picking out the snack for Sparkle's soccer team.  I have a feeling those will be ingested in the bagful here in the next few months.

Mommy brain has officially come to stay too.  At first, I blamed my hydration levels and gulped a ton of water.  While I was getting groceries yesterday, I realized that it was not hydration was definetly mommy brain.  This is the thing that I hate the most about pregnancy.  I am SUPER busy during my days with projects, activities, lists, and my businesses.  Forgetting things is a natural thing for me while I am pregnant.  My friend who does my nails is going to know as soon as I forget one small thing.  I am usually really good at remembering everything.  So when I forget something, she's all over it. "You're pregnant, aren't you."  

Heartburn is a frequent visitor to me too.  I am super surprised that I am having so many symptoms so early.  Maybe I am just noticing it more because we were actually trying.  This is the first pregnancy where I have gotten pregnant when we were trying.  It has NEVER happened.  I think my body freaks out and stops working.  As soon as I stop trying...BAM...pregnant.  I was actually pretty relaxed with this whole process.   I am due January 27th, 2013.

I called both my OB/GYN and my specialist.  I have three appointments set up with my doctor.  He's amazing and I seriously love him.  He knows all about my history and no other doctor in that facility can touch me without his consent.  Even in the delivery room with Shine, the same doctor that delivered Sparkle was on know the one I kicked in the face...  I told her that my doc needed to be notified.  She responded, "Humpf, he doesn't deliver babies anymore."  He does today Crazy Lady.  So I called him and he delivered her.  Like I said.  I also LOVE my OB/GYN.  I have a frequent flyer card with them.  ;)  They all know me in there and when I called today, they got me scheduled for three appointments and let my doctor know that I was pregnant.  They said they aren't really supposed to book appointments like that, but I guess I am a special case because of my history.  The lady was WONDERFUL and knew me as soon I told her my name.  And even said, "I'll put you with Doc _____." *Sigh* they make me happy.

My specialist is a whole other story.  He's the number one infertility doctor in the nation, and most certainly the best in Colorado.  While he's good, I know the routine.  Drive over an hour down to Colorado, pee in a cup, get the news I'm pregnant, get blood work done, get an ultrasound, get a fistful of prescriptions, fight with the nurse about getting on injection Progesterone instead of the pill form (it works better for me),  get an injection in the office, pay my co-pay, drive all the way back up to Wyoming...  Just thinking about doing all that makes me want to bang my head on the wall.  Then comes the next fun part, getting an appointment at the VA's office to get my maternity care paid for by the military.  Whatever my regular insurance doesn't pay for, my Veteran's Affairs insurance does.  It's extremely tedious and takes hours of my days.  I have to see my specialist every other week with ultrasounds.  And then do blood tests every couple of days for a few weeks.  I truly wish I were normal.  Normal monthly visits, normal pregnancy tests, normal monitoring, just normal everything.  No more injections or pills or freaking out for four months.  I think I need to pray for peace about the process!  One thing I do love about being on the injections, is that I can't have an epidural for 18 hours after I take my last shot.  Which means, I don't get pressured to get one.  I hate them and I don't want them anywhere near me.  Whatever someone else wants, is their thing.  I don't want it.  I delivered Sparkle with an emergency c-section with being knocked out completely.  Hated every second of it and the recovery was SO LONG!  I desperately wanted to do a natural VBAC with Shine and that's exactly what I was blessed to be able to do.  My doctor knew exactly what I wanted and did everything he could to make sure that happened.  He is my hero.

This is three weeks.  I snapped these right after I found out I was expecting again.


Its been an annoying few days.  I have been having heartburn nearly all day and I'm nauseous all the time.  I have never had any of that with any of my pregnancies, all eleven of them.  I can appreciate what other women are saying now.  It just seems so early to have all those symptoms.  I gave been looking online about early symptoms of having twins and everything has been saying, amplified symptoms,  larger uterus than normal, breast tenderness (don't even get me started on this.  I breast fed two babies for a year each and nothing compares to the tenderness of what I have now...), larger appetite, super positive pregnancy test, and being super tired.  I have all of that except being super duper tired.  I am more tired, but not exhausted like some of my other pregnancies.  I took another pregnancy test to see if it would be super positive.  I am still two days before the start of my period.  It was a positive almost instantly and it was a digital test.  I was five days before when I first found out that we are expecting.

I have been praying for twins, boy/girl twins.  I desperately want that.  I want to have another girl, but I really want a boy.  And I know that my husband is VERY done with having any more, so if we don't have a boy this time, we never will.  Just the other day, we went to a Denver Rockies game with two of our best friends.  We aren't telling anyone that we are expecting, and somehow it got brought up about having a boy.  Strong went all through what he wanted to be able to do with him.  Like putting him in jujitsu (my husband is a former MMA fighter), and rock climbing and working on trucks.  He loves the girls we have with all his heart, but I know he wants a little boy..  I am also praying that these babies stick around.  My two sister-in-laws are pregnant right now.  One is having a girl and is due in August and the other one is having a little boy, and is due in September.  I am due in January.  I will be announcing we are pregnant again when I am 12 weeks along.  My babies usually don't make it past ten weeks, if we aren't going to be able to keep them.  I have a fantastic announcement all ready to be done.  (Except, I had to announce now at nine weeks.  My belly is too big to miss...)

I am also praying that my hcg counts on Monday will be triple digits if we are expecting twins.  And that it rises like it's supposed to without any problems.  In about two weeks, I'll have an ultrasound down in Denver and we'll know for sure.  How fun is that?!?!  I am very excited!  I picked out a crib and dresser set online.  If we are having two, then I'll have to get another of the same crib.

Between all the photographers that I want to hire (maternity, birth, and  family session) its around $2100 for just photography.  I am also thinking about hiring a newborn photographer too.  As much as I love newborns, I think that just having twins would make it much harder to take their photos myself.  Which is frustrating because I am a professional photographer, but all these sessions are ones I can't do myself!

I can't wait until 12 weeks.  I hope and pray it flies by.  The waiting game is horrible.  Especially when I am so excited.  I am praying that the babies are incredibly healthy and that I go full term.  I don't want babies in incubators or wires attached to them.  I saw enough of that with Shine's open heart surgery.  I will be praying for my doctor to know exactly what to do and when.

I went in for my blood test today.  It came back at 107.  I have been praying for two days that if we were having twins that my numbers would triple digits.  I am usually right around 30-60 for nearly all my pregnancies.  This is the first one that has been that high.  I remember when I was pregnant with Shine, and we were heading to go to Des Moines, IA to visit Strong's family for his parent's anniversary.  I had just found out that we were expecting.  I had gone in three days before we left for a blood test and it came back with around 40.  The nurse was very doubtful that everything was okay.  I prayed my heart out for two days.  I prayed that everything would be okay.  After I had done another blood test the day before we left, I prayed that it would jump incredibly high.  And it did.  The nurse was shocked.  It had nearly tripled.  I remember being at a gas station in Nebraska, leaning over the passenger seat and crying.  Telling God that no matter what, if we lost the baby or not, that I was so grateful just for that.  Just that the numbers jumped so high.  I was amazing to see an answer to prayer.  This was another one of those moments.  I am extremely grateful for an answer to prayer.  God is amazing like that.  Even when I don't feel that I deserve any kind of good gift, here He is to hand me something that I have been praying for two years and counting.

I go in again on Wednesday for another blood test.  I am praying that the numbers are over 900.


Blood test came back today.  My levels are looking excellent as the nurse said.  My hcg levels are 245.  I go in for another blood test on the 30th.

I had one of my best friends ask me if I was pregnant today.  She and I have a God connection.  We have a history together.  She is such a sweet spirit and I absolutely adore her.  She told me that she's had a feeling for a few weeks now.  Which I find funny.  I only found out four days ago.  God must have given her a premonition for me.  Probably to pray for my children.  In a weird way, I love the amount of prayer power that is necessary for me to be able to bring children into this world.  I love the self-sacrificial effort that others put into my family.  I love that God gets every ounce of the glory for it, because we have no other way to explain it.  We all have to trust Him for this, more than other things, I feel.  I am seeing the number one infertility endocrinologist in the nation.  I am a terrible frustration to him.  I've been on the best drugs money can buy for years.  I have lost six pregnancies while on this medication.  Sometimes, I think he sees me as a pet project.  It amazing to me how people who are not believers will struggle and fight with a force they don't understand and think they can win.  He is a very good doctor.  Not very cordial, but I suppose when you make the kind of money he does, you don't really need it.  Which is sad.  I know he sees strength in me.  He says that almost every time he sees me.  Not because I can go through what I've been through and not be in a mental institute, but because I can hold his eye contact when he asks me too.  I find that so odd. 

I have tried to explain to him that it is God who gives life and who takes it away.  I have tried to explain to him, while I appreciate all his effort, it is God who will make sure this life is here to stay.  I have come to a pathway in journey.  I am extremely grateful for the opportunity for one more chance for another baby.  I am absolutely smitten with my girls.  I absolutely adore being pregnant.  I love new babies.  I love the planning.  I love the newness of everything.  I love the journey.  I think for many of us, we take certain aspects of life for granted. Many women that I have talked to don't even understand the miracle it is to be able to get pregnant.  Everything has to be just perfect for conception to happen.  Then the miracle of the baby forming just right.  And even if he doesn't, the miracle that he can survive with an extra chromosome and still be absolutely perfect.  How about being able to make it to a healthy delivery?  There is SO much about baby-making that is miraculous.  We need to celebrate every single one.  Even when all it gets to be is the miracle of conception.

My brother's wife is pregnant with their third in under four years.  It is a joyful time for me.  My husband's brother's wife is pregnant with their second.  She lost a baby between the two of them and then struggled with infertility.  This is truly a joyful time for me.  The only things that could make this even better was if I were to continue to stay pregnant, and if my two best friends would get pregnant and have successful deliveries.  Both of them have struggled with loss, infertility and a whole mess of things.  One even did invirto to have her children.


I was supposed to go in for my first appointment yesterday.  Due to our wonderful insurance we had to reschedule it. I had to go to the VA hospital and get some more blood tests done so that they would cover the remainder of my pregnancy.  Its so annoying to have to jump through hoops, but it is a necessary evil.  So now I don't get seen until next Wednesday in Cheyenne and Thursday in Denver.  I'm a little nervous.  I just want to see if they are two babies in there or not!

i have been incredibly tired the last week and I think it is directly tired to not being on Body by Vi anymore.  That stuff is wonderful and I need to get back on it.

I took a little break from writing on this post, mostly because I was absolutely swamped with photo sessions, end of school stuff, and getting ready to leave for vacation.  I am home now and settling into our family's routine again.  I had an ultrasound before we left.  It showed one little peanut in there.  I was slightly disappointed.  But it was healthy and had a heart beat!!!!!  The heart beat was 120 which is really good and was measuring spot on, which is rare for me.  They are usually smaller.  But everything so far is looking great!  I have another ultrasound on Tuesday and that's the biggie.  That one will be the one that says, yes or no, to have an alive baby.  My hips have been hurting, which is one of those signs that could either mean, "you're growing and hormone levels are rising and are good." Or it could mean, "your hormone levels are dropping because the baby is no longer alive."  I am fairly certain its leaning on the good side.  But I've entered into the phase of being extremely anxious, nervous and scared.  I know that God is on my side and I have to lean on the fact that He has a really good plan for me and our little one.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Busy Bag Guest Post

Here is Friday's guest post from Brenda over at the Kidlet Occupation!  I am truly honored to have her here at Sprouting a Little Nostalgia!

There's something magically empowering that sparks inside me when I create activities I think my children will find entertaining. For one thing, I really love seeing my kidlets engrossed in play, especially when they're simultaneously learning. But I also think about all the things I can actually accomplish while they're busy.

The thing is... my magical superhero feeling often popped with a loud disappointed bang when the busy bags I took time to create did not live up to my grand expectations.
It's been more than a year since I totally immersed myself in the world of busy bags. During that time, I've learned a thing or two. I'll share them with you, in hopes of saving you a few popped dreams.

5 Things I've Learned About Busy Baggin'...

1. The value of a busy bag is not always measured by the amount of time and money you put into it. You may have spent over $5.00 and 12 hours making this activity as cute as can be, but unless your child takes an interest in it, it's value as a busy bag is a complete zero. Sometimes, the greatest busy bags are born out of a spur of the moment, desperate idea. My four kididdles (then 6, 4, 2, and 16 mos.) once spent 2 whole days playing with empty spice containers and bendy straws.

2. If left unorganized or in reach of the children, busy bags simply become a pile of junk. I'm super, duper good at coming up with excellent organizing ideas, but always hit brick walls when it comes time to implementing them. "Well, I can't organize that way, because my closet doesn't have the proper shelves." But I've learned (the hard way... ahem) that busy bags left in the unlimited reach of children only results in a huge mess of "trash". Even when the mess is picked up, their value is lost, because the kidlets are no longer interested in them.

3. Keep your swap expectations in check. If you ever have the opportunity to join a swap, and have the means to participate, DO. However, keep in mind that a swap is a conjunctive activity. A collection of high quality busy bags is only possible if each participant creates high quality bags. Like it or not, there is an almost 100% chance that you will receive at least one busy bag you will deem less than "the best". It's o.k. Don't get your apron strings all tied up in a knot. You never know the story of the mom behind the bag. Don't judge her.

4. Busy bags are like shoes. Some will fit. Some won't. Every family is different. Every stage in your family life is different. Every child in your family is different. A blogger may be singing the praises of a particular busy bag or activity, but you may find that particular busy bag produces as much excitement in your child as a vegemite slathered tofu steak. When choosing activities for your kidlets, think about the interests of your own family and your own children. If dinosaurs are not a part of your family culture, do not waste your time creating dinosaur busy bags.

5. Don't forget to "do" the busy bags with your children. Do not make the mistake of thinking busy bags are only for occupying your kidlets while you get a shower, a nap, the dishes done, the laundry folded, etc. Busy bags create the perfect opportunity for quality one on one time. Delight your child. Sit down with them. Have fun. Make memories. Love on 'em.

Brenda Prentice lives with her husband and four children in the boring wonderful state of Indiana. She owns and operates a busy bag business, Kidlet Occupation. She can be found blogging there at Kidlet Occupation and at Unsolicited Advice.