Saturday, March 16, 2013

Catching up...

Well, it has been over three months since I wrote last and A LOT has happened in that short amount of time.  Unfortunately, I did not manage to knock too much more off the list… most of what is left will have to wait until I am no longer a human incubator. J The biggest news is the Hubby and I are expecting our first – and second- baby! The irony is that when I wrote the blog in late November about my struggles with infertility, I was actually pregnant.  The pregnancy was confirmed through (multiple) tests on November 24, 2012.  I should have planned that a little better though because the Hubby was in Illinois for the weekend and he learned the news by way of me blurting it out over the phone while he was surrounded by friends – and of course I told him that he could not react or tell anyone.  Poor guy, at least I was home alone to cry my tears of joy. 

I had the “confirmatory” appointment on Deceber7th, 2012.  The Hubby couldn’t come with me so he texted me about 20 minutes in and asked if it was “confirmed.”  The words “You are Pregnant” were never said, but I peed in a cup and they came back to me with about 50 pamphlets of information and a list of what not eat, so I assumed that was a yes.  Then they gave me a “due date” of August 4, 2013.  I scheduled another appointment for December 21, 2012.  That was our first glimpse of my little passengers.  About two seconds into the ultrasound, the tech goes “Do you see what I see?” and I said, “I see two,”  She confirmed that I was in fact not losing my mind and I immediately cried again.  She asked if I was okay and I admitted the fear I was feeling due to a friend that had recently had a fairly rough pregnancy with identical twins that were still in the hospital at that point.  She said “honey you don’t have to worry about that, your little guys are di-di.”  Ironically, I felt relief when I honestly had no idea what that meant at the time.  Di-di stands for dichorionic and diamniotic – meaning they are in two separate sacks and most importantly, they carry the lowest risk of complications in twin pregnancies.  We both did pretty well about keeping the pregnancy quiet up until this point, but I couldn’t keep it to myself any further.  We told my parents that night by having them open some Christmas ornaments that we had sent in the mail that said “Grandma” and “Grandpa.”  Needless to say they were pretty excited.  We told his parents the next evening when they came to our house for Christmas.  We had planned to wait until Christmas Day, but I was having trouble keeping quiet – as well as staying awake and keeping my pants buttoned.  Not to mention at that point I was eating pretty much everything in sight!

So, needless to say there are a few things on the list that are going to have to wait until the fall at least.  I asked the doctor specifically about using my Groupon for the Lake Norman Range and I received a “no,” so we gave those away and shooting a gun (#6) will just have to wait.  The wine tour/tasting (#20) will have to wait as well.  Karaoke (#15) more than likely will not happen until the fall either as I am 99% sure I will not get on a stage without a few drinks in my system.  Although – they wouldn’t “boo” a pregnant girl would they?!  I do think that I have Made a Difference in Someone’s Life (#24) – in fact I think I am going to make a difference in at least two lives.  My dad told me I should have crossed this one off a long time ago because of the field I work in, but I never specifically felt like I impacted anyone’s life.  I also feel comfortable crossing off the one about using all of my stationary (#30).  I definitely made a huge dent in my stationary; I think using all of it would be over ambitious as I have a TON. I think I have made progress with learning to use my camera and I did make an attempt at learning to crochet and playing the guitar, but I did not completely accomplish those things.  I also did not complete my scrapbook! Something tells me I will have a lot more sitting time on my hands over the next few months and I NEED to get that done before I start baby books.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Who is John Galt?

The good news, I now know the answer. :) After almost two months (64 plua hours) of listening to the book for my drive to and from work and the many drives I do in the middle during the day I am able to cross another one off the list.  Atlas Shrugged in text intimidated me, it is a HUGE book with very fine print.  I checked into the library and learned that I could "rent" the book as an MP3. I got the book, downloaded it to a flash drive, and began to listen.  I want you to know that The Hubby did tell me that he was impressed with how much of the book I was understanding and we have been able to have several conversations about it as well. Done.

There are a lot of things still on the list to accomplish and I only have two months and two days in which to complete the tasks.  I think it is time to get realistic and pick and choose what I am going to accomplish.  Maybe I should actually use the living social deals I purchased for The Lake Norman Range? Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New York, New York

I finally got to see New York City! I know that it has taken me a few weeks to write about it, but things have been busy and I finally have some time to sit down and write.

Day #1: This was predicted to be the worst weather, so we decided it would be best to stay inside.  We rode the bus into the city and decided to walk to the Museum of Modern Art.  I was pretty excited to see Starry Night (my favorite painting).  We walked through Times Square on the way to the museum and there was a whole lot going on there! While we spent a few hours wandering the museum, it began to snow outside.  I caught a glimpse through a window and got excited – if only I knew what I was in for later.  We left the museum and wandered the city to find Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.  We went in and out of a few stores to include Toys R Us with a Ferris wheel on the inside.  We decided to call it an early day due to the snow storm (or BLIZZARD) that we had found ourselves in.

Day#2:  We rode into the city with a friend of his aunt and uncle.  He dropped us off right at the door of the American Museum of Natural History and watched us walk in – he apparently had a bad experience in the city and he is careful to ensure the safety of others. J We had a lot of fun wandering the floors of the museum and finding different “characters” from the movie Night at the Museum.  At one point, I thought we were almost done and then realized we had three more floors! It is a huge place. We had rented a hotel room for the night (by Macys) and we walked from the museum to the hotel.  There is so much to look at in the City that a walk can go by pretty fast.  We were not able to walk through Central Park due to the damage form the storms, but I took a good look from the outside.  On the walk, we decided that it would be fun to see a show that evening so we walked a little faster to check in at the hotel.  We had requested a specific room (king bed and city view) and when we went to check in they informed us that they were “all out.”  I very kindly asked what the purpose of a reservation was if they planned to give our specific room away.  All in all, we got free breakfast and I reminded myself that I was not there for the hotel room so we left in search of fancy cupcakes and a ticket for the night.  We ended up seeing A Christmas Story: The Musical and it was AMAZING! I was laughing so hard – I loved it! We had a few drinks with some local law enforcement after the show and talked with them about the Hurricane and the impact it has had.  It made me very appreciate to think about all the work they had done, especially when most of them had extensive damage to their own homes yet they still came in to work to help others.

I am going to cross another one off the list with these pictures- Shooting the Sunset. :)

#3: We ate our (free) breakfast and then went on a Circle Line Tour by boat to see the Statue of Liberty.  The Statue and Ellis Island were closed due to the damage form the storm, but we were able to get pretty close on the boat.  We walked to the Rockefeller Center from there and went to the Top of the Rock to check out the view.  It was a much nicer day that day and there were people skating at Rockefeller Center and they were working on putting out the Christmas decorations.  We walked to the Empire State Building next and again went to the top for another great view – and to meet King Kong.


#4: Today started off pretty somber as we decided to visit the 9/11 Memorial.  It is an amazing site to see.  My feelings were overpowering while there, especially since there was a Veteran’s Day ceremony taking place.  We walked to Battery Park after leaving the Memorial.  On the way there, we were able to see a lot of the damage form the storm including cars that were abandoned as they were very clearly completely under water at some point.  We walked through the Financial District in search of a restaurant – a lot of them were closed due to the damage.  We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, went to China Town, and Little Italy – where I had a great cannoli.  We walked along the High Line – a new walkway that opened up on an old train trestle.  It was very pretty and a unique experience.


#5: We rode with his aunt and uncle to the Walkway over the Hudson.  (For a girl that has a semi-fear of bridges, I have crossed quite a few recently.) We relaxed for the afternoon before flying home for the night and back to reality.
**More pictures on facebook.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Infertility is a scary word.  The first time I saw it written on my paper when I left the doctor’s office I cried.  It’s not like I didn’t already know that, I was at the doctor for that reason, but seeing it written down made it so official.   It was a long journey to even get to that point and it was by far not the first time the situation has brought me to tears – and it won’t be the last either.

Fourteen months ago we made the very important decision that we were ready to become parents.  At that point, I thought to myself “six months tops” before we would be pregnant.  The first couple of months were not that bad emotionally.  Of course there was disappointment, but that I had expected.  What I did not expect were the feelings of sadness that overwhelmed me as I found out friend after friend… after friend… was pregnant.  I started to really question myself, wondering why I did not deserve to be happy. Did I do something wrong? Why am I not good enough? (Please for any pregnant friend that is reading this or for any friend that has a new little bundle of joy – don’t be offended or worse, feel sorry for me. I am very happy for you and I love getting to play with all the new babies of the group and I look forward to the ones to come.)  The “tearful episodes” became increasingly worse to the point that one time I felt as if I resembled a 3 year old that had just been told “no.”  Luckily, or not so lucky for him, the Hubby has been able to witness just about every episode.  He has also had the joy of dealing with the bouts of sadness where nothing seems to make me happy.  He gets the joy of looking at me and being able to ask what is wrong before I burst into tears. (Disclaimer: I have an amazing Hubby and during all of the above scenarios he held me, let me cry, and kept reminding me that I am not alone in this)

I am going to be brutally honest.  There is NOTHING you can say that is going to make me feel better.  I know that people mean well when they tell you that it is going to be “okay” or “if you just stop thinking about it, it will happen.”  The best answer I ever got when talking to someone about it, “That really sucks, I am not going to sugar coat it.”  It is okay for me to be sad.  It is okay for me to cry.  It is okay for me to be mad.  Anything I want to feel, I can (and will) feel.  You can be thankful for what you have and still feel sadness for what you don’t have- it is okay.  I know that some of my friends have felt as I do right now and there really is not one word that describes it.  You know when you are learning to run and you get a little better with each run and you are able to see the progress? There is no progress with this goal.  Each month is a pass or fail, a positive or a negative if you will.
The positive at this point is we are getting help medically – emotionally is another story.  We went through the standard rounds of tests and discovered that I don’t necessarily ovulate every month. Think back to your health class, that is kind of a vital part of the process.  For the past two months I have been on hormones, which are a real joy when you are already an emotional train wreck.  The good news is that the hormones appear to be working and maybe our dream will come true. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Meeting Mildred

It has been almost a month since I wrote last, but don’t worry you did not miss out on anything… I will take you back on a short journey through time – with pictures so you won’t get bored! J

October 2, 2012: The Hubby turned 30! Our big celebration consisted of going out to Boardwalk Billy’s for dinner and a shopping trip to Michaels.  I know what you are thinking – exciting right?! Well, not a whole lot you can do with a birthday on a Tuesday so we stored up our energy for the big party to take place on Saturday the 6th.  I did give him his gift on Tuesday and I believe it was already in use on Wednesday so I must have done a good job.  Let me tell you, I am a salesperson’s dream.  I went into the store planning to get a small device costing about $40 that would allow him to track his distance while riding his bike.  I walked out of the store with a Garmin GPS navigation system for his bike.  You can check out his blog for further details.

October 6, 2012: The big Shin-dig.  Many different friends and family came by to celebrate the big 3-0 and most of them brought his second favorite gift (I think I won favorite gift) – beer! In non-typical fashion I did not take any pictures that evening, but fun was had by all and even the babies seemed to be content. J

October 13, 2012: My second attempt at a “fancy” cake and I think this one was a definite improvement.  We were celebrating the upcoming arrival of Jack and Will Andrade.  Two babies deserved a two-tiered cake.  In total, this cake took me about 6-7 hours to make.  I did some of the prep work during the week before (making the letters and sea animal shapes), baked the cake Friday evening, and put it all together Saturday morning.  (Also Friday night, there was a break in the cake decorating for more cake decorating as I assisted the youth group with making 150 cupcakes for the Women’s Shelter – I felt like I had bathed in frosting by the end of this weekend.) 

October 20-21, 2012: I managed to have a very busy weekend without even leaving the house.  I spent Saturday painting our guest bedroom and then cleaning the carpet.  I also re-organized several closets in the house and created a big pile of items to take to Goodwill.  I have accumulated enough baking supplies that it necessitated an entire shelf in the basement closet.  I will post some pictures of the room once it is completed (meaning stuff hung back on the wall).  I plan to paint the other room this Sunday and clean that carpet as well – and maybe I should paint the rest of the baseboards as I only got about halfway around the house that weekend.
October 27, 2012: I ran a 5k for Fetal Hope.  This race was important to a friend of mine as it was her first ever running experience and then it became even more important to me.  One of the many fetal syndromes for the fundraiser is TTTS – Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  Our good friend Amy (and future friends Jack and Will) began to show signs of that syndrome just the week before.  She was ordered to bed rest and then one of the little guys got a little anxious and they tried to come out early.  The amazing doctors at CMC were able to put a stop to it, but the newly forming little family will have to remain at the hospital until the little guys arrive – but no rush guys, make sure you finish “cooking” before you try and come out the next time.  That night we took the youth group kiddos to a corn maze – my first experience.  It was a little crowded for my taste, but despite the crowd we did manage to get “lost” a few times. 

October 28, 2012: I was anxious to cross something else off the list and we decided that it would be a good weekend to visit the mountains.  The Hubby and I hopped in the car and headed for Grandfather Mountain.  The weather was beautiful on the way there and we were able to stop and get some pretty pictures of the trees and the changing leaves.  As we neared the mountain, the trees got a little sparser and the fog got a little denser.  When we parked at the bridge you could not even see the visitor’s center building in front of us.  In fact as we parked the car it felt like we were driving off the mountain into the abyss and I was a little uncomfortable with that.  Needless to say we did not do any hiking, as not being able to see your hand in front of you face is not recommended while hiking.  I did cross the bridge and was helped by the fact that I could not see the ground below me. J There was a two minute space of time where the winds died down and the fog cleared and I was able to see the world below.  The Hubby and I will have to go back in the Spring or Summer and actually complete a hike as it seems like a very pretty place to visit. 

Mildred - don't worry she is friendly! :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Done and Done

I actually feel pretty accomplished this weekend. Friday night I baked a 10 inch round and a 6 inch round cake - at midnight due to our attendance at "Honey Boo Boo Live" otherwise known as the Cleveland County Fair. (Special thanks to the Hubby for staying up after I went to bed in order to take the cakes out of the oven.)  Saturday morning I got up early in order to make the frosting and frost the cakes before class... and discovered that my hand mixer had bit the dust.  After a quick trip to Walmart I was able to successfully frost the cakes and run out the door five minutes before my tall cake class.  (Again, a special thanks to the Hubby that helped me to make the frosting and then cleaned up the kitchen while I was at class!).  I signed up for the class to learn how to stack cakes and to get some decorating ideas for the baby shower cake I am making in two weeks.  It is a nautical theme and I think I have a good plan for the cake! I am excited to work on it!  Today I cleaned the house and gave the dogs a bath.  I also did about 7 loads of laundry - no thanks to Jasper's early morning vomit routine on the bed. :/  I also put out all of my Halloween decorations today.  I love this time of year and being able to put decorations out in the house...

AND - most importantly - I am going to cross a few things off the list! I finally finished our name by printing out a few pictures - hopefully you are able to tell the letter.  I like that we were able to do this on our own and now we can make changes to the frames with our future travels - or even spell out other words. 

My other major accomplishment of late is that I have stopped drinking soda.  I honestly have had a few sodas here and there, but not nearly as many as I used to drink.  I think I have had about 5 total in the last 8 weeks.  Most of those came at the same time as a headache as caffiene has always been my go to when I had a headache.  I find that now I even opt for water when presented with soda. 

I am going to leave you with a few pictures from our Pigeon Forge trip with the family...

How could you not love this face?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Criss Cross Applesauce

I had a moment of panic recently when I discovered that apple season is very limited.  A local orchard stated that they only had apple picking for one more weekend and then another stated that you could not pick your own apples due to an early frost.  I was in a bit of a panic when I did a little research and found out about Hendersonville, NC - aka Apple Valley.  I picked a destination and we passed about 6 farms on the way to the farm I had inputed in the GPS - Coston.  Upon arriving I walked up to the counter and told them my plan.  They directed me to the wagons, gave me two large baskets, and some sort of contraption to get the apples from the top of the tree. When asked how many I planned to pick I stared blankly and was told that two baskets equaled a bushel - way too many apples for just the two of us!
In order to completely knock this one off my list I had to actually make something with the apples.  Tonight the house smelled amazing as I cooked up some apples and cinnamon for applesauce.  Homemade applesauce and ice cream as a snack - so good.  I was told I had picked a "peck" of apples meaning that I have many left.  I plan to make an apple crisp and possibly some apple butter. 
We spent the end of last week with my family in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge,TN.  I love being able to spend time with my family and wish that I could seem them more often, but distance and travelexpenses make it difficult so I make the most of the time I do get to spend with them.  We visited WonderWorks, the Titanic Museum, Dollywood, and did some shopping in downtown Gatlinburg.  I took a ton of pictures - I really need to do some work to catch up on my scrapbook! I will leave you with a few pictures from the trip out of the 200ish I took. :)

Less than thrilled for his photo shoot. :)