Sunday, November 30, 2014

Brian's work party

Thus begins the season of sickness for our house. Lucky me felt horrible at church today. Horrible. But I didn't know what was going on. So I stuck it out. When I got home I told Brian I had to lay down. It was the most marvelous sleep until I woke up and had to run full tilt to the bathroom. The barf fest had begun.
Brian was not impressed with me at all. Today is his work party. And I MADE him take Gideon with him so I could die alone at home. Brian came back with these pictures so it couldn't have been that torturous. Beside, I would rather go alone with my kid to a work party than die at home from the flu.

I have no idea what happened at the party or I would comment on it. Gideon came home with a new toy drill and we got a game. And I found these pictures to share. The end.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Birthday hang over...

As a gift to myself for birthing this child, we went out to dinner the day after Gideon's birthday. But we totally snagged Gideon a free treat for being the birthday boy!

I think this is my favorite picture I've ever taken in my whole life. My two boys. Ugh, plays with a momma's heart strings. My whole world in one tiny picture.

Gideon decided that the adorable birthday chair cover and placemat my mom made us, were a perfect bed for Elmo. Poor Elma was moved all over the house today but had to sleep all day long!

Even though I'd like to buy one of most everything in the store for this kid, (I'm sorry, I don't know why I feel that way. I just do. But I set a budget and stick to it. So no worries, people.) buying toys for him is tough because he doesn't play with them much. This gift was a total success. He played ALL DAY long and cried when he had to go to sleep. Yay for present success!

And we have finally moved onto mudding the bathroom/laundry room downstairs. I cannot tell you how completely incredible it is to have walls in that room again! I can just feel the stress rolling off of me.

Gideon made the perfect little helper. Good thing he had goggles for safety glasses.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Three already??

Gideon's birthdays are so much fun!! The two downsides are my tiny bit of sadness that he is getting bigger and that I cannot, for multiple reasons, buy him every single toy in the store. This is a real struggle for me. I just want to buy and buy and buy. Silly mommy!

We started the day with Gideon opening his presents before Daddy left for work. This was not our plan. Gideon got up before the sun because he wanted to open his presents so bad. Good thing they were already wrapped! He got this Batman house and all sorts of superheros and bad guys to go with it. And I totally scored the Batman house for 75% off!!

I asked Gideon what he wanted for his birthday lunch. I should have known it would be a lunchable!

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After lunch we got an incredible burst of the sillies! This video is sure to make you laugh. Don't mind the mess and drywall mud boxes. We are in the middle of fixing the bathrooms.


The Hansen cousins came over for cake and ice cream and to play for a bit. Overall, it was a great day for a little guy turning three!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Superman Lego head knight


Remember just the other post when I told you I scored all those Halloween costumes for so cheap? And I said he wears them all the time? Gideon has now figured out he can mix and match his costumes for even more excitement! Today he is superman. lego head, knight guy. I love this kid!

Gideon's birthday party!

You know, sometimes you dream so much of having a child that you forget that nine months later means a birthday right around Thanksgiving and barely before Christmas. Sorry Gideon. This really just means we have to celebrate his birthday a week early every year! And like this kid cares. All he wants is to lick the beater!!


There were so many cute ones that I had to share multiples of him doing the exact same thing. This makes we want to make icing more often just so I can watch this cutie lick the beater!

This year I decided that I LOVE Costco cake far more than a homemade cake. I didn't know that was possible because homemade ALWAYS tastes better to me, but maybe there's something in those Costco cakes. I asked for a completely blank white top.

Gideon wanted to have Super Gideon on his cake. So I printed off the perfect picture from the internet and put my artist hubby right to work. He tried to complain but he can't fool me. He LOVES this kind of stuff!

I have now tried 12 times to flip this picture. I have officially given up. Didn't the cake turn out perfect?!?!?! It was hard to cut into that perfectness. Oh, I just love it!

We took Gideon, lots of friends and family to Kangaroo Zoo this year. I had an AMAZING coupon from being a teacher that I used. It expired the week after Gideon's party so it was totally meant to be.



I didn't include all the photos we took of everyone else's kids playing. I just get so nervous they don't want them up on someone else's blog. So I chicken out. But know that Gideon had lots of comrades to run crazy around the place with. Other than the fact that everyone else in Utah decided to come to Kangaroo Zoo the same day as us, much fun was had climbing, bouncing, jumping, sliding, and generally falling over with giggles.

Leave it to Gideon and McKade to find the tiniest spot ever to crawl into. It totally freaked me out to even watch it. I shudder at the picture. But these silly boy did it over and over and over again.





Then it was time for cake, ice cream, and presents. Gideon was spoiled like birthday boy's should be. Parents were able to visit and enjoy some adult conversations. I do apologize for only having tiny chairs to sit in, but... Thank you to everyone who came and made Gideon's party so awesome!! I can't believe my baby is already THREE!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fireworks

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Right before I took this video, of course, Gideon was running around the living room pretending to be a firework. But when I tried to capture it on video, all I got was this. But it still shows his adorable voice and his bright blue eyes. So it's a must share!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Infertility

This post might be something you don't want to read. It's going to talk all about my emotional struggles with infertility. It's not for everyone. So if you want to skip this one, be my guest.

Infertility is a strange thing. First of all, I'm beyond grateful for the one little guy I have that is all mine. Some people don't get that blessing at all. And so for years I've hardly said anything and just struggled inside and in private from infertility. It's hard to be so sad and long for something and feel like I can't express my feelings when others think and say things like, "At least you have one child." "Be glad you don't have three children you have to take to the grocery store." "If you had more children, you'd wish you just stayed with having one." "Stop thinking about it and you'll have another baby." "I'm jealous you only have one child." Now if you personally have said any of these things to me, I'm not striking out at you, these are the exact same things I hear ALL the time, from numerous people. Not just you. Plus, even if it was only from you, I have a right to be hurt by what people say and I have to get over it. So you can too. See, I was right, this post isn't for everyone to read.

I see where people are coming from with their comments, suggestions, and thoughts. But most people who have never faced infertility just don't get it. It took me awhile to understand that and now I face comments like, "He sure could use a sibling." "Why aren't you having more kids?" "This one's so cute, when's the next one coming?" in a very different way. I know people don't say these things to hurt me, or anything along those lines. But you know what? The Lord blessed me by surrounding me with people who have faced infertility too. We have all had different challenges regarding infertility but we understand each other. We cry together. We listen to each other's struggles. We pray for each other. And we are beyond thrilled when one of us conquers infertility and there's a baby on the way. So that helped me see how to deal with these situations. Which is why I finally started talking about it. I really was so tired of these types of questions with no real way to answer them. So I finally just started saying the truth, "I struggle with infertility. I'd love more kids but it doesn't seem like that's the plan for us." And you know what? I feel so much better. If I have to deal with it, so can other people. I don't give my entire life story. I don't share my emotions or break down. It's short, it's simple and I love that I don't have to make up some lame lie to answer someone's question or comment. I just get to be real. You have no idea how refreshing that is.

Some people may not know I faced infertility with Gideon as well. It took three and a half years to finally get pregnant with him. A lot of medications that totally screwed up my emotions and your head. I had two miscarriages before him. One of them a really embarrassing trip to the ER while teaching school. Do you know how broken and horrible someone feels when they can't get pregnant or can't keep a pregnancy? Do you know how broken hearted it feels to look at the negative sign on a pregnancy test, not just month after month, but year after year? I'm sure far more people have faced this than I have any concept of, but the most womanly thing I always felt I could do was have children. And now my body just can't do it. Do you know how horrible that makes a woman feel? I'm broken, I don't work right, I can't do the one thing my body was made for. It hurts so bad that sometimes when I look at other women with babies and children, I can't breathe. Go ahead and think I'm over thinking this all you want or that I'm dwelling on it too much. It's not true at all. I'll be having a great, wonderful, perfect day without a thought of infertility, when someone walks across my path and BOOM - I can't breathe. It doesn't always hurt. But sometimes it really, really, really hurts. I don't know why, I don't know how to stop it, it just happens. I have never cried in public, unless in my car while I drive home counts. I keep it inside. I smile. I act completely normal. But inside I'm dying and no one knows. Could you do that time after time?

I've had friend after friend and family members have babies. Am I happy for them? Heck yes! I'm grateful my feelings for other people are very different than my own feelings for myself. I can easily be happy and excited and thrilled for other people having children. I can snuggle that new baby, hold and play with babies and be perfectly happy. I can do this and not even think of myself and infertility. I find joy in these situations. I just have moments or a day that hurt. And it has nothing to do with someone specifically. Some days or moments hurt and I don't know why. But I do know that I go days and weeks without a thought of infertility and then it hits. And sometimes I just need to talk about it or be mad or hurt or sad or depressed or overwhelmed by it. And that's okay because I'm mourning. And it really hurts when I have no one to reach out to so that I can get these horrible emotions out of my head and back to real life. Or when I get comments like the ones I mentioned above when I do try to talk about it. So I mourn alone and wonder why others don't understand that all those things they say to me have already been through my head a million times but I'm emotional so telling me these things doesn't help. Cry with me. Be sad for me. Mourn with me. Tell me how horrible it must be. Try to understand what I'm going through and don't dismiss my feelings. What I feel is real to the core. It has shattered what I think of myself and who I thought I would be in this life. It has brought me to the brink of a sadness I didn't even know existed. Please don't dismiss the depth of these emotions.

With Gideon, I saw a specialist and we made a plan. I did every single thing he said to the T. It resulted in two miscarriages, several adjustments to the plan, and finally Gideon's pregnancy. It was a LONG three and a half years. A lot of money. And a lot of negative pregnancy tests. It's hard to struggle with something that is such a righteous desire that apparently isn't for me. Do I give up or do I keep trying and praying and wishing? It's a hard road to navigate. Especially by myself. I never told a single soul about my miscarriages until recently. I wish people understood how horrible infertility drugs can be. They wreak havoc on the body. And I did it all filled with hope and longing, just to see another stupid negative on the pregnancy test. Until Gideon came along.

I vividly remember how different my pregnancy with him felt from the very beginning compared to the miscarriages. I still hold my thrill and over the top happiness as a precious memory in my heart. I'm grateful for infertility for that reason. Every day, even though I threw up like crazy my entire pregnancy, was a blessing. I relished every moment of being pregnant, even though some days were so hard. I remember coming home from work every day, laying on the couch rubbing my belly, and thanking Heavenly Father for this miracle. My OB even commented on how I was the happiest, sickest patient he ever had. Without infertility I probably wouldn't have cherished pregnancy so much. Or currently be so grateful that I have Gideon. He is spoiled with love, hugs, kisses and lots of other things. I do over the top birthday parties for him because it's the only party I'll ever enjoy. I'll never have another 1st or 2nd or 3rd or whatever birthday party to plan and enjoy. The time and effort I put into it is therapy for me. I love going overboard. I always imagined I would have four kids so I wrap four kids worth of birthday parties into that one. It's the only one I'll ever get and if you don't understand or agree, I don't care. Like, I really, really don't care. It's not about Gideon, I'll be the first one to admit that. It's about ME. And that's the way it's going to stay because it's healing for me. I remember talking with my neighbor, Marcia, about my excitement for Gideon's upcoming birthday party. She smiled in a way I'll always remember and told me she did the exact same thing for Christmas every year. She only has one son, that her and her husband adopted. She gave him enough presents for all the other children she longed to have. So it's not just me. I'm just going to from now on claim, "It's an infertility thing!"

Brian and I knew getting more children here wasn't going to be easy. For the second round we went right to the OB to get on fertility drugs. That requires three prescriptions and several other over the counter medications. (See the picture at the top.) And that's just what the OB gave. I should have taken a picture when we went to a fertility specialist. For almost a year I did everything I was told and had done before. I got pregnant and because of my history swore Brian to secrecy. At 8 weeks along I miscarried. Three other friend's were all pregnant at the same time as me. Two of them also miscarried. Talk about a support group. First time I had one. I loved being there for others and having someone there for me. I held my miscarrage secret from people for awhile. It was the most difficult year of teaching I'd ever experienced. I wanted to quit every single day I went to work. Poor Gideon bounced from one caregiver to another that year. The drugs were really taking a toll on me. I cried every day for several weeks. And then I gave up. I took myself off all the drugs and I literally gave up. I felt like a shell of a person during that time. Every aspect of my life was hard. I wanted a lot of things to just end. If I shared my miscarriage news, I was afraid everything else would come rushing out too.

Then my best friend, Mary, miscarried and kept trying in spite of it. We talked a lot and walked a lot and ate a lot and had girl's nights and it was incredibly healing for me. Mary gave me the courage to keep trying. And my cousin's, Heather, Holly, and Ann, shared their stories with me and we cried with each other and they encouraged me to keep trying. And it felt so RELIEVING to finally talk about it!

I made the appointment with a fertility clinic and Brian and I headed on up there. I went back on all the drugs and more, gave so much blood for endless tests, was overwhelmed by the medical bills but I had the courage to endure it again. What I wasn't ready for was the results and the rollercoaster ride that was coming my way. The new fertitility drugs made my monthly cycle completely stop. The doctor told me I was in premenopause and there would be no babies. Oh wait, this was the one and only time I cried in public. Ugly, horrible crying right there in the doctor's office. I sat in my car for at least 1/2 hour before I could drive home. I fought to get on the main fertility drug I had used in the past and my cycle came back. But not regular at all. Not good when trying to get pregnant. More drugs. More tests. I was told my eggs were aging. More drugs. More tests. I was officially diagnosed with PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Which means my eggs don't mature but just hang out, collecting, in my ovaries. I went in for an ultrasound and several other tests that were quite ovasive. The ultrasound made the doctor think I didn't have PCOS because instead of immature eggs filling my ovaries, I have two ginormous eggs blocking the follopian tubes. No wonder all my hormones were completely out of whack. One was filled with blood which is the cause of ovarian cancer. That was a horrible thing to hear. But I did get good news at that time too. My tubes were not blocked, my uterus was the perfect shape for getting pregnant and had a perfect lining for an egg to attach to!! So now what?? I was then told I had a 3% chance of ever getting pregnant but IUI would increase the chance to 10% and IVF to 30%. By this time we had spent everything we had on medical bills. I also knew it takes the average couple three rounds of IUI to get pregnant. Every round costs $2000-3000 depending on drug costs. One round of IVF is about $14,000. We didn't have that much money, nor would we ever. It was completely hopeless. I was devastated.

However, the entire time I worked with the Fertility Specialist I felt like I was just a number to him. Not a person. He did things in a specific order. If step 1 didn't work, on to step 2. Step 2 not working, on to step 3, and so on. I didn't feel he took my body and all the data collected into consideration. He just followed the set in stone plan. And when I said before I had to fight to get on my previous infertility drug, I really mean I had to FIGHT. He didn't think it was strange my cycle completely went away. So I decided this wasn't working for me. No more fertility clinic. I called up my regular family doctor and asked if he would look over all the results and tell me what they meant. I didn't need him to counsel me in fertility, just educate me. He agreed and I headed in. What he told me from my million tests is that I do in fact have PCOS and I do not have premenopause. My eggs "age" are perfect for my age and still completely at a good age to have a baby. The large eggs in my ovaries were causing my hormones to rise. That causes insulin levels to rise. Which causes the hormones levels to rise. Which causes the insulin levels to rise. Vicious cycle. This is what was causing me to miscarry and not get pregnant. A typical woman should have a insulin level of around 10 to carry a baby. Mine was at 42. At his advice I've gone off all infertility medication and am on medications to lower my insulin levels, and my hormone levels. I'm back to the gym to work on losing weight. And several other things he recommended. Right now I'm not focused on getting pregnant. I'm not sure it will ever happen for me. I'm spending my energy on getting my body to a healthier place and fighting all the fun symptoms PCOS brings into life. I had no idea, until I was talking with my doctor, that all people don't walk around all day with horrible cravings for sugar and carbs. I seriously had NO IDEA!! That is one of the major symptoms of PCOS. Now on top of my mental health issues on infertility, I'm completely jealous of those whose bodies don't crave crap foods. Which by the way, just make the entire PCOS symptoms even worse.

I feel in a better place currently because I'm working on healing my body which could possibly make it so I can get pregnant one more time. Pregnancy might happen, it might not. I still feel much the same. Most days and moments life is just life. Occasionally, I have days or moments when I long for another child and seeing a mom with four little boys playing a game and laughing make my heart break. I think worst is when Gideon prays for a sibling, or when he notices families and tells me he wishes he had a family like that, or he expresses to a friend that he wishes he had a sister/brother just like them. I shield him from all my crazy infertility thoughts. The things he expresses are all his own. I'm still happy for other people having babies. I still struggle with tough emotions and moments when I really need to get those emotions out. I am eternally grateful I have Gideon. I am much more blessed than some people I know who struggle with infertility. I still long for just one more. But I'm also mature enough to realize that having that one more isn't going to "fix" me. I need to work on accepting my body for what it is able to do, not just mourn what it can't. And that's tough.

So if I leave the room when there is a conversation about having children, just realize I'm okay. I just don't want my emotions coming up. I'm not being rude. You are more than welcome to discuss any topic in the universe. I'm just saving myself some heartache by not listening to conversations that are difficult for me. Please respect that and don't talk behind my back. Things people say, even though they don't mean to hurt me, do hurt. Sometimes I wish people would realize words do hurt and it doesn't help anything to say them. The situation is still exactly the same and I do not feel better. I have a right to mourn, cry, wail, and all those ugly emotions people try to avoid, when ugly thoughts are filling my head. You may not think anything is wrong with me because I can't get pregnant, but I do. You may not think any less of me, but I do. No one can do anything, except me, to change that. Please respect the place I am in. I am working on feeling better about myself. It's a long journey with lots of obstacles and detours to tackle. I am doing my best through all of this.

We all have overwhelming obstacles we face. Mine may seem simple to you, but to me, there is nothing simple about it. I feel I've been blessed in my infertility journey to develop empathy for others facing overwhelming situations. I don't want this post to come across as I am the only one suffering or my suffering is far greater than someone else's. I'm just tired of being silent. I'm tired of being told trite phrases that should suddenly make everything better. Struggles are real. I just want to be respected and understood. I'm positive anyone going through a situation where they feel they have no control, feels similar to me. This is my struggle and I feel for anyone going through something heartbreaking in their life. My heart goes out to you. Our situations might not be the same, but I get all those lonely, painful, longing, what if, self deprecating emotions.

I just want to share my story. It's a big part of my life. It's defined me. It's put me in directions I didn't imagine for myself. It's made me really poor. And because of that, I need it to be recorded somewhere. I didn't write this to offend anyone. Just like people don't say things to me to offend me. This is part of my personal history and it just needed to be said.

Bumblebee!

You know what's really awesome about this time of year and a cute boy that LOVES to dress up? Everyone is getting rid of their costumes for $3.00 - $5.00!! I snagged a bunch of costumes for this price by posting on an online yard sale. Today, Gideon wanted to be Bumblebee. He now has about 6 or 7 costumes and typically goes through every one of them, at least once, every single day. My kid is happy (and so is my wallet!)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mary's baby shower

Today was Mary's baby shower that I was over the top excited to throw for her. I had so much fun coming up with and making decorations for her pink pumpkin fall shower. The shower was AMAZING! TONS of people came, baby girl was spoiled rotten, the decorations were adorable...I just forgot to take a single picture. Not one. Mary didn't either. So sad, disappointing, and heart breaking. So I did the next best thing...I took pictures of the decorations to share. You'll just have to trust me when I say how adorable it was.

On a display table and the food tables were pink and orange table cloths, with the cute burlap runners: solid orange with pink polka dots and solid pink with orange chevron. I put the corn filled jars with tea lights all over the tables and even lit them.

On the display table was the BABY in frames. Which looked so much cuter in my head!

The cute cards read, "It's a girl" and were over the food. With a matching sign on her front door.

I think this was my favorite. I used different dry items from the bulk bins at WinCo to layer. These are now decorating my living room. They also had a tea light on the top.

And of course everything HAD to match. Orange bowls and plates. Pink silverware and napkins. Orange striped straws. Mary's sisters made soup and homemade rolls to eat. I made a candy apple dipping station where guests dipped their apple slices in chocolate and toppings of their choice. And we had orange and pink slushy drinks. Not to mention the best company, so many cute clothes for the babe, and a happy momma to be! Perfect day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

FOOD!

To save myself some time, I cooked several squashes at one time. The first one is a sweet pumpkin just for making pumpkin pie. I've always wanted to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. Wow! It was amazing...FYI! Also we have some butternut and acorn squash that I used to make muffins and cookies. I got the pumpkin from Peterson Farms, but the others came from my garden!

And Gideon walks around all the time using apple slices as walrus teeth. The crazy things this kid comes up with! My favorite is when he tried to talk with the apples in. Hilarious!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

New Roof


This last, less than, a year, we had lots of shingles blow off our house, the entire garage was reshingled, we've had our roof leak twice causing major damage in both our bathrooms. And a pipe break that made the already awful things, even worse. It's been an expensive year. And lots of home projects we weren't counting on. Plus, the company we called to fix our roof didn't fix it, causing the second leak, so we were in a fight with them to get our money back. Just when things were settling back down, projects were getting done, money was returned by the roofing company, etc our insurance carrier called to say we could not renew our house insurance because of the major claims made this year. Ugh. The only way we could get insurance was to get a new roof on the house. We were already planning on it, but were waiting until next year when we could save up the money. Now we had no choice.

Luckily, we were really blessed because a neighbor and friend of ours used to do roofs for a living. He's an electrician now. He offered to do it for us!! Of course we bought the supplies and paid him for his work, but I didn't have to worry about trusting him, like I did the last company that we eventually got our repair money back from. And I loved that he brought his son and his son's friend to help. They were an amazing team up there. The boys would lay the shingles out and he would just go along stapling them into place. Such a relief! Gideon loved the day the big truck brought the shingles and lifted them up onto our roof!

And here is a view of our perfect, insurance qualified, shingles. I love the fun shape they are. And I totally didn't do a before and after because I was too stressed to think of such things, but this view will work. Now to save up some more money to paint our house! Anyone want to come help us out??