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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A 3 Year Old Photographer and Letting Go

About the Photographer:
Gavin is 3 years old and got his hands on my camera today while visiting with my grandmother. I saw that he had it and decided that I was picking my battles today and getting the camera back wasn't worth the argument. Plus it isn't like we use film these days. The worst thing that was going to happen is that I would have to delete about 100 pictures of this:

But to my surprise, after deleting 47 pictures of his fingers over the lens, he has taken a number of really cute pictures!

I have done no cropping or editing!

To bad Grandma and Joey were making a funny face!

I have learned that "letting go," even if is just letting go of a camera for an hour, it is amazing what beautiful things can happen. I am really trying to do the same when it comes to this month in the baby department. Since this might be out last shot for up to a few years, I am just giving my fragile heart to God and hoping that something beautiful might be discovered.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Featured Blogs-Week Five

Each weekend I am picking 3 blogs to feature on my homepage for the week. Should they feel called to do so, they may put my button on their homepage for the week as well. This is certainly not a requirement-just a great way to network. Be sure to check them out!

Groovy Green Livin

Me as a Mommy


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sometimes I Have to Laugh

Given what had been going on with Doug, my parents volunteered to take the boys overnight at their house. They literally live down the lane from us so it is a quick trip to bring any forgotten items. Since I was really hoping for a night to just relax, regroup, and collect my thoughts, I wanted to try and make sure I have everything packed for both boys. As I am scrambling about gathering extra binkies, clothes, blankets, and white noise machines, I hear a thud followed quickly by scream crying. Not the, "I'm irritated because I fell down trying to get something out of reach," but the, "I am hurt! Get here fast!" cry. When I turn the corner I see Joey laying on the floor. This is a sight I see at least 3 times a day now as he is pulling to stand but hasn't mastered balance yet. Then I noticed three little drops of blood on the floor. When I pick him up I see blood in his mouth and it seems to be coming fast and in significant quantity. My first thought was of panic and frenzy. Then I quickly flashed back to the first time Gavin got hurt and drew blood. Gavin was fine after a couple minutes 2 1/2 years ago and Joey would be fine now. So I calmly tended to the very small cut in his mouth and put a little bit of ice on his lip (which he actually LOVED!) and despite a bit of a fat lip, he was fine in a few minutes. I had to laugh or else, I'd cry.

Before I left to take the boys down to my parents I asked Doug what he was in the mood for for dinner. He requested, "Real macaroni and cheese. You know? The kind with the toasted breadcrumbs on top." The only place I could think of that had that was a 20 minute drive but, it was a good excuse to be alone with my thoughts. I drove back home with dinner thinking about how I was going to spend my child-free night.

I got home and unpacked dinner. No mac and cheese to be found. None. I drove all the way there for the mac and cheese and now Doug has a side order of home fries but no macaroni and cheese. I was so disappointed in myself that I didn't think to check the bag. I was frustrated that my efforts to please my sick husband were thwarted by a Bob Evan's carryout snafu. I ate my salad and watched my husband eat an order of "too salty" potatoes. I had to laugh or else I'd cry.

Because the boys were at my parents, I slept until after 8 am. Something that hasn't happened since Joey was born. Every Saturday morning, I go to workout at a MMA Fit class. It is a challenging workout but I look forward to pushing myself and working hard. After my first class several months ago, I lovingly nicknamed my Saturday trainer, "Steroid Raging No Necker." This isn't him but he looks a lot like the guy on the right. I will warn you that the following stories are just weird but they were too funny (read awkward and uncomfortable) not to share.

In the middle of class, the trainer was demonstrating how my stance was putting me off balance. His point was taken but he evidently wanted to demonstrate how off balance I was. He pushed me in the chest to knock me off balance. Now, as I am sure when you pictured this, you imagined his hand pushing me somewhere between my breast and my shoulder, right? Um. No. His hand was planted squarely on the fleshy part of my boob. I fell backward and laughed out loud thinking that he simply forgot he was training women today and not a bunch of sweaty male fighters. I thought for sure that he was going to be apologizing profusely and blushing at what HAD to me a mistake. He didn't. He didn't even acknowledge the booby grab. He went on continuing to have me demonstrate my stance. I thought I must have been going crazy. I had to laugh, or else I'd cry.

Then, after class had finished there were a few of us chatting about self defense. (Now, thinking back, I totally should have asked him how to defend myself from booby grabbers!) The next part is the strangest and I am not sure I am going to be able to describe it well but I'll give it a shot. He wanted me to hit myself in the neck. I did while looking at him as if he was crazy. He told me to do it harder. I laughed and said, "I don't really want to hit myself in the neck." Then, like a mean and intimidating parent, he looks at me sternly and tells me to hit myself in the neck while demonstrating the action on himself. I am smiling but now it is out of sheer anxiety. I do it two or three more times thinking that if I humor him I will be able to escape. I guess I wasn't doing it hard enough or something because he gave up on telling me to do it and then he hit me in the neck with the side of his hand. He asked me what I felt. I told him that it hurt and again laughed but almost with tears because I was so confused. His behavior just wasn't making any sense, but like a group of teenagers, people stood around watching this happen and no one, including me, had the guts to tell this dude to shove it where the sun doesn't shine. I guess hurting wasn't what I was supposed to feel because he then told me that hitting me where he was, the jugular vein, it was supposed to distort my vision or something. He hit me in the neck one last time quite hard and asked me what I saw. I was so inside of my head that I wasn't seeing anything. He finally gave up. Yeah. I had to laugh or else I'd cry.

Then for lunch, my husband really wanted that mac and cheese that he didn't get to have yesterday, so I climbed into the car to drive to the restaurant. Again. We didn't have to pay for the macaroni this time since we paid for it yesterday but while the manager was working out the issue on the receipt, I decided to treat myself to a fountain Coke. After all, I got my boob grabbed and then hit in the neck repeatedly. I deserved a Coke today!

I got back in the car and start driving home. This is what I find when I try to put my straw in my drink. Yeah. Enough laughing. I just cried. In case you can't tell, it is fused at the bottom and couldn't be used.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Update on My Better Half

We just came home from the doctor and we have answers! While it looks like it is going to be a very long road to recovery, we at least have a destination on that road. The diagnosis is autoimmune hepatitis. Now, I should emphasize that this is not a contagious form of hepatitis (like A, B, C, or D). Simply put, Doug's autoimmune system was somehow threatened and is now not recognizing his liver as his own. So, his immune system is fighting against his liver and causing him to feel nauseous, fatigued, and generally wiped out. Knowing the name of what we are dealing with and fighting against brings us some peace.

As far as treatment, this looks like it will be a long long journey. He will be taking some steroidal medications which should help him feel better in a couple of weeks. He will also be having a liver biopsy to determine to what extent we are dealing with the hepatitis. The treatment is going to take 2-3 years. Yes. You heard me. Years. The rate of recurrence of this is also 30-40% at some point in the future.

I am so happy that we have direction but I am so sad that, first of all, it is going to take a couple of weeks before he will feel any better. I am also sad that he has to potentially deal with this all over again at some point. I have always been blessed to have healthy people around me. Major illnesses just don't happen to us. So all of the emotions that come along with doctor's appointments. tests, and medications are so new to me. For whatever reason, while my recurrent losses were emotional, this feeling is very different. I think it was because, even if I was never able to have more children, my existence wasn't threatened. My individual "quality of life" wasn't directly effected in a long term way. This is a new place I find myself in, but God must have chosen this road for us for a reason.

Doug will be fine, but I think that the last week or so has really reminded me about what is important. It is so easy for me to get caught up in having another baby, but my husband's health is so much more important to me. I need him and he needs me. So... while my husband is on the mend, I think our effort to add to our family is going to be on hold- unless of course I am already pregnant (and there is a chance for that). I know that God's timing is perfect so I am putting it in His hands.

Thank you for all of the prayers!!

(I promise to get back to more festive and fun posts soon!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Please Pray

In order to get caught up we have to flash back to Easter Sunday. I mentioned what happened to Doug on this day in the post called "Checking Out". In case you didn't read that post, here is the abridged version. We were dressed and ready for church and about 10 minutes away from piling everyone into the car. Doug clutches at his midsection and tells me that he has to go to the bathroom. He dashes up the stairs and I hear moaning and groaning and after a few minutes I went to check on him and he was in obvious pain. I had assumed it was gas and thought that it would pass. No pun intended. We ended up at the Emergency Room and, of course, by the time he was undressed and in a bed, it was gone. After of hours of waiting for the doctor to release him we went home to eat.

Then came Mother's Day. We spent the morning at a landscaping place picking out pretty flower baskets and fruit trees to plant in the back yard. Doug and Gavin spent the afternoon planting and watering the trees on one of the few sunny days we have had in the last 3 weeks. The next day Doug wasn't feeling well and stayed home from work. We both sort of figured that it had to do with working out in the sun mixed with the fact that if Doug was any more pasty white he would glow in the dark so he ended up with pretty bad sunburn. As a quick side note- we buy sunblock in bulk (not joking) for him and the kids. Why he chose not to use any is beyond me. He spend the day lounging in bed and resting up.

All seemed to be okay in the following days except that he complained of nausea. It wasn't really constant. It came in waves. His apatite had decreased as a result. He continued to complain on occasion of just not feeling great but, to be honest, it just sounded like stress from work, and just spreading himself too thin. Then, about a week and a half ago he decided to call the doctor. She prescribed something (I think it was Prevacid or something similar) and told him to call if he didn't feel better in a week.

Doug's nausea and fatigue gradually turned into more nausea and fatigue. Appointment were scheduled. Blood tests were taken. Now we were waiting. Last night at dinner, I caught a glimpse of his sad eyes. But to my surprise they weren't just sad eyes. His eyes were yellow. Jaundice. After two babies who both dealt with this at birth, the thought of dealing with this with an adult never occurred to me. Since I wasn't sure what to think I googled the crap out of his symptoms and what we had learned thus far from his few doctor appointments.

Tomorrow is the appointment that should hopefully answer all of our questions and hopefully point him on the road to health. It is obviously linked to his liver, hence the jaundice, but we have no idea if it is something easy to resolve, like gall stones, or if it is something much worse. The possibilities range from a virus to liver cancer.

So anyway, here I sit. I am worried. I am scared. I hate seeing my sweet husband so sad, sick, and tired. I hate feeling so out of control. I hate not having answers. I never thought that I would find a worse "Two Week Wait" than waiting to find out if I was pregnant. These past weeks have been excruciating. Please pray for Doug's health and pray that I can be a good wife who can ask the right questions, advocate for him with the doctors, and make sure my husband gets everything he needs. I will update when I have more information. Thank you!

Modern Day Miracle- A Guest Post

© Helen Scanlan – Kladi

133 words – 32 lines

(Dedicated with much love to Nikolaos and Athena)

It started with attraction

Flirtation and seduction

Then a formal declaration

A life together - the affirmation.

Through years of consternation

Love was our salvation

We finally made an admission

About my barren condition

Consultation and verification

The doctor’s suggestion

For pro-creation

Was In-Vitro Fertilization

After much deliberation

And a fear of condemnation

I started medication

For ovarian stimulation

With determination and trepidation

We endured the daily injection

And prayed for divine intervention

And successful implantation

For a two week duration

We waited with apprehension

At last we heard the confirmation

Hooray - Impregnation

A healthy gestation

An uncomplicated C - Section

Produced our twin sensation

And we cried in adoration

The culmination of this aspiration

Allows us to say with humble appreciation

Our full time occupation

Is parenting this next generation.


Thank you so much to Helen for submitting this poem. Congratulations on your twins! If anyone is interested in guest blogging please drop me an e-mail. I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant?! But Wait! There's more!!

Today I had to go see my OB/GYN for a yearly "check-up". Since I really didn't have any interest in sharing a story about having a pap with a very inquisitive 3 year old and a teething 10 month old in the room, I left the boys with my mother. As I drove to my appointment I had an empty car which left me alone with my thoughts. So rare and thoroughly enjoyed, I must say. I spent most of my drive thinking about what I wanted to ask my OB, if I was going to have to pee in a cup (a skill I am most skilled at), and how I needed to remember to share with her the website with my labor a delivery pictures that she has been asking about.

I then started daydreaming about having a surprise pregnancy (despite knowing that it would never happen to me) and came up with this strange observation. If it does happen, and I know it does, that a woman doesn't know she is pregnant and has no visible signs of pregnancy then what about the opposite of that happening? I wonder if a woman has ever known that she was pregnant and waited and waited for a visible baby bump and never gotten one. I can't imagine that this ever happens. If it did then wouldn't we be hearing stories about this happening. I am not talking about little ladies who just never really got huge in the last trimester. I am talking about women who never look pregnant at all.

I would feel totally ripped off. Being pregnant with no baby bump would be like a road trip without a car. It just doesn't make sense to me. So, if this happens one way, not knowing and no bump, then it has to happen the other way, knowing with no bump. Right?

I would love to hear any stories of women (you or someone's old high school friend's dog walker's mom) that had a baby with no bump. I totally think TLC could have a show called "Baby But No Bump". I would totally watch it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant?!

I have watched the show, I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, a number of different times. I know I am not alone in the shock and awe that I have when I watch woman after woman tell their stories of having no clue that they were pregnant. I know that if women have an irregular cycle they might not suspect that they were late. I know that some women have periodic episodes of bleeding or spotting during pregnancy. But, really?! Nine months of no clue that there was a human growing inside of your womb?!

I blame this stupid TV show for my delusional thinking. Almost every cycle, when I see my temperature drop indicating that my period will be showing up, I ditch the thermometer for a while. There is no need for me to wake up every morning at the same time to take my temperature to remind me that I am just sitting around waiting to ovulate. Then, I wonder... Maybe I am one of those women. Maybe I really am pregnant! I have even been know to use a pregnancy test after my period, just to make sure. Because, really, if you really think about it, you can feel pregnancy symptoms no matter where you are in your cycle. Needless to say, about 12 seconds after using a test, I think about how ridiculous I am.

I love pregnancy too much to wish that I could not know I was pregnant for 9 months but I would love to not know I was pregnant for a few months. I would love to find out after the first trimester. Then, for me, I could feel like I was out of the woods. I could just sit back and enjoy the fun parts of pregnancy. But, sadly, this will never happen.

I love what charting has taught me. I love that since finding Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I have a much better idea as to what is happening inside of my body. I enjoy having a little understanding of the miraculous things God created our bodies to do. But, on the flip side, I will never not know these things. I will never be able to just let things happen. I will always know in the back of my mind, temperatures or no temperatures, if and when I have ovulated. I will know when I am fertile. I will know when I am not. And, the most difficult for me right now is that I will always know when I am not pregnant.

Again, I love what I know, but I am a bit envious of women who are blissfully unaware. I just feel like knowing one's fertility is like riding a bike. I know it and will never be able to forget.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Featured Blogs-Week Four

Its time again for my Featured Blogs! I honestly look forward to this day because I get to share my new blog finds and spread the love! These three blogs will be featured on my homepage for the week. Should the featured bloggers feel called to do so, they may put my button on their homepage for the week as well. This is certainly not a requirement-just a great way to network. Be sure to check them out!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Road Ragin'

Since having children, I have become much more aware when I am driving. I still travel at a good speed but I am always aware of where other cars are, who is changing lanes, and who is busy texting their soon to be ex-boyfriend. The one thing that drives me the most insane is the middle lane driver. I don't exactly live in a thriving metropolis so the largest roads we have around here have three lanes. Maybe it is the fault of driver's ed teachers all over the county but most people simply don't know what to do with the middle lane.

Most drivers like to treat the middle lane as the ,"I'll drive whatever speed I want" lane. They must think that since there is a lane on either size of them, that cars can just go around them. I spend the majority of my time driving behind the middle lane driver, trying to force feed them the lesson of what the middle lane is for. I think that if I tailgate them long enough, they will move to the slow lane. There can be no car in the slow lane for a half a mile and they will continue going 3 miles per hour under the speed limit camped out in that middle lane. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Maybe I just made up this road rule. I don't think I did but I am hoping that someone can chime in here and tell me if I am creating new driving rules. It has always been my understanding that the right lane is the driving lane. If there are two lanes the right lane is the driving lane and the left lane is the passing lane. If there are additional lanes, the other lanes are for passing slower traffic in the right lanes. If you are in a middle lane and a car is behind you and wishes to go faster, it is your responsibility to move to the right allowing that car to pass.

One day I was cruising behind a middle lane driver who may have been passing the car in the right lane. The only issue was that the car was passing by going about .25 mph faster than the car it was passing. I was going crazy! It was taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Then, I had an epiphany. God put that horribly irritating car in front of me for a reason. That car may have been there to make me slow down so that I arrive at the exit 4 miles ahead 20 seconds later. If this infuriating driver isn't meandering along pretending to pass the car in the right lane, I could be at that intersection just in time for someone to run a red light and be killed or worse yet, my children could be hurt... or worse. So, whenever I am on the verge of rolling down my window and giving that clueless driver the one finger salute over the roof of the car so that Gavin doesn't see (Joey is still rear facing :) ), I take a second and thank God for putting that car there. I then put my finger back in it's holster and think, "I'm glad that God is running this show."

While I am always thankful that God has put that clueless driver in front of me, I am shocked at how many people must be running red lights.

Do you have a driving pet peeve?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Motherhood In Pictures

It all starts with a cozy but empty home.

We wait... and wait... and wait...

Ahh! A family!

Never to have a clean house ever again.
Crap everywhere!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shhh... It's Personal

Last night I had an opportunity to participate in a twitter chat hosted by Unspoken Grief about why talking about perinatal loss is so taboo. While it was a really interesting topic of conversation, I must be too long winded (or whatever the typewritten equivalent is) to make a point in 150 characters or less. So, after the chat last night and thoughts lingering in my head today, I have a few theories.

The first is that people that have had losses aren't sure how to bring it up, when to bring it up, and who to bring it up to. When the WalMart Cashier offers the obligatory, "How are you today?" we may be thinking of nothing other than how we are still healing after the loss of a much wanted child but we say, "Fine. Thanks." If we run into an old friend at a grocery story and they ask us, "What's new?" it isn't easy to spill our emotions out in front of the cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli. We say, "Not much. You?" When our parents ask how we are feeling, we don't want to have them worry that we are are never going to crawl out of the dark place so we just say, "Doing okay. Still sad, but I'll manage." So, why don't we talk about our losses. I think we are trying to protect others from the sadness, hurt, and tears. We save those moments for when we are all alone.

Another theory is that there are a few things that people don't feel comfortable talking about. Bleeding from one's vagina is one of them. While we might say, "I had a miscarriage." and be talking about the emotional loss, someone who hasn't had a loss might think this comment is akin to saying, "Let me tell you about my menstrual cycle." Well, this is an awkward conversation to have now isn't it? If someone is having explosive diarrhea they would never dream of mentioning that in typical conversation with their next door neighbor. If they were asked about their health, for whatever reason, they would probably say they were having digestive issues or dealing with some "bug" that has been going around. They would never say that they have spent the last 3 days captive in the bathroom to the extent that there may be a permanent impression of the toilet seat encircling their nether regions. If they were gutsy enough to say, "I'm having diarrhea." The neighbor would probably give a sympathetic look and say, "Oh. I'm sorry. That really stinks." (no pun intended) Ironically, this would probably be almost the identical comment that the neighbor would make after being told about a miscarriage. Since no one wants to hear an apology similar to one that would be made for a horrid bout of the runs, we just skip mentioning it altogether.

Then there are the well meaning comments, and suggestions that no grieving mother wants to hear. So rather than subject ourselves to the advice, stories about people they know who had the same thing happen, and the "you'll have another baby" lines, we just keep our mouth clamped shut. Bring on the small talk so that we can get home and be alone with our thoughts.

For the past couple of years I have tried to be more open regarding my losses. When people ask me if I am going to have more children or learn that we are trying, I share my history. I don't get too in depth but I do tell people that I had 6 losses in between my two successful pregnancies. They do instantly give me the shocked look which is quickly followed by the sympathetic look. The shocked look isn't all that much different than the look I get when I say that I'll have as many children as God wants me to have. I hope that my sharing about my losses with help others not feel so awkward when it comes to talking about their own.

Do you talk about your loss(es)? Why or why not?

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Joneses Can Shove It!

When I was in high school we had to write a thesis paper on any topic we chose. I would love to be able to find that paper. The general topic was causes of Autism. This would have been written in the early 1990's when Autism was just starting to become a more well known diagnosis. The very limited books that dared talk about what causes autism speculated that it was either physiological or environmental. Most often it was the mother that was picked on in the latter explanation. As I wrote that paper, now nearly 20 years ago, (wow... I am getting old) I had to believe that it was physiological. Wires got crossed somehow. There were too many loving, caring, sweet moms out there who were dealing with a child with Autism. It couldn't have been lack of love.

Now, 20 years later, with 2 children of my own and seeing more and more speculation of what causes autism including vaccinations and household cleaning supplies, I have found myself thinking about this topic again. The rates of diagnosed Autism "increased dramatically since the 1980s" according to Wikipedia. That made me wonder what else was going on in the 1980's that could directly impact children. The second wave of the women's movement started in the 1960's and was winding down in the 1980's. Women had read their copy of The Feminine Mystique and realized that they didn't have to be "stuck" at home. They felt like they were finally living the life that they had always dreamed. They got to got to work outside the home, be taken seriously in the workplace, and make competitive wages in the job of their choice. These are all good things, right?

In 1976, the phrase "Keeping up With the Joneses" was reintroduced by way of an article on parenting styles. Mother's were less concerned about tarnishing the family name and more concerned about making sure their child had all of the "things" that the other kids had. I am guessing that this is when kids learned to use the phrase, "Everybody else has one." or "Johnny's mom got him one!" Consumerism took over as the priority and mothering took a backseat. So, in order to make sure that they could buy all of the thingamabobs and thingamajigs that the neighbors did, they had to work. Who had time to take care of the babies?
At a very young age, sometimes at just a few months old, these babies had to be handed over to someone else to feed them, hold them, and change diapers during working hours. Sometime it would be many different "someones" over the course of the first years. At the most fragile developmental stages of a young infants life, we ask them to form attachments to many caregivers. Many different arms, smells, smiles, faces, eyes, and mom is just one of many people who feed them, burp them, and hold them. Then, when the child should be developing socially, we are surprised when they aren't sure who to trust, who to look at, who to talk to. They choose what has been the safest environment to them. What has always been consistent. The world within their own heads.

I am not trying to say that all children that went to daycare have Autism. I am not saying that all children that have moms who stay home, will not. I just find it to be a very interesting correlation that the feminist movement was getting women out into the work force, consumerism was keeping them there, and the diagnosis of Autism increased.

I recognize that this is something that could never be proven or disproven since there are so many variables that cannot be controlled. I just think that it is worth thinking about. If you are on the fence about staying home with your child or returning to work, think about how very important you are to your baby and his/her development. It isn't just ensuring that you baby gets food and sleep at the right times so that you can afford the thingamajigs. It is about always being the one who responds to your babies cries and teaching them that no matter what, they can always expect you to make them feel better. I know that sometimes a woman has to work in order to put food on the table, as in a single parent family, but please prioritize your child's mental health over your own, especially in those very important developmental years.
Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two Pink Lines Aren't Always Good News

A few weeks ago, I decided that I should probably stock up on pregnancy tests. I found a good deal on eBay and bought three boxes of First Response (3 in each box) and clicked "Buy It Now." A few days later, they arrived in the mail. Some people get really excited about new shoes, new jewelry, and new kitchen gadgets. I get excited about fresh, unopened boxes of sticks to pee on. As I was putting them on my pee stick shelf I noticed that there was a free fertility test in each box of tests. Ooooh! I have never peed on one of those before. This could be great fun. I read the instructions and learned that they were to be used on the third day of my cycle. I was so hopeful that I would have a positive pregnancy test and that the third day of my cycle wasn't going to happen for at least a year. Since my period decided to show up and dash my dreams of a pregnancy, I was looking forward to peeing on a whole new kind of test.

On the third day of my cycle, Friday, I took the test. The test is supposed to be read at 30 minutes and no later than 60 minutes after it is taken. This is what I was looking at at 30 minutes.
Any other pee stick I have used this would be great news. But not this time. For the First Response Fertility Test for Women, if the test line (the line on the left) is as dark as or darker than the control line (on the right) it indicates elevated levels of FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone. This is not good news for a women who is trying to conceive.

This test is not intended to be used as a diagnostic tool. It is recommended that with a positive result that I follow up with my doctor. I intend to call my doctor and see what sorts of tests are indicated given this test result. I have done enough research to learn that this doesn't necessarily mean that I am infertile but it can mean that it will take longer for me to get pregnant. It may also mean nothing at all.

While I follow up with my doctor I would love to hear your opinions on the following: Do you think that seeking medical treatment to increase one's fertility is trying to interfere in God's plan for us. Meaning, if I enter into menopause early and I use fertility medications to induce or improve ovulation, is that trying to step around the plan that God has intended for me? Please share your thoughts with me.
Saturday, May 14, 2011

Featured Blogs-Week Three

Here are my featured blogs for the week! Check them out!
Each weekend I am picking 3 blogs to feature on my homepage for the week. Should they feel called to do so, they may put my button on their homepage for the week as well. This is certainly not a requirement-just a great way to network. Be sure to check them out!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Your Thursday Thoughts

Today's Question:

When you see kids dressed alike, do you think...
a) Aw, how adorable!
b) Wow! That's annoying.
c) Were they dressed alike? I didn't notice.
d) Depends on ...

I am going shopping for the boys tomorrow since Joey is growing out of his 18 month clothes (yeah... I know...he's huge) and Gavin is in need of spring and summer things. So far, I have only bought them matching pajamas but I know I will be tempted to buy other matching outfits if the opportunity presents itself. Good idea? Not so much?
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Post About... Oh! What a pretty bird!

I have a really bad habit of losing my train of thought when I am in the middle of a story. It can be an exciting, fun, even thought provoking story and I notice something that causes my mind to wander. Then, it is simply gone. I'll ask Doug, "What was I saying?" His typical response, regardless of where I was in my story is, "I think you'd finished." I the follow that up with, "If you were really listening then you would know what I was talking about." This happens at least 3 times a week. At least.

I would like to think that I don't have attention issues. I might be in denial but really this post isn't really about my attention issues. It is about the attention issues of our children. Well, I say issues but what I should really say is our expectations. So many children are being diagnosed with ADD or ADHD these days that it makes me wonder what has changed. It think that over the course of the last century, the lifestyles and expectations of our children has changed dramatically.

One hundred years ago young children had responsibilities that involved being active. They had to help outside gardening, farming, tending to their backyard animals. If they had already done the work at their own home, they were sent walking to the elderly neighbors (probably closer to a mile away than next door) to help them do what ever they were needed to do there. Of course, on the way they probably climbed trees, splashed in puddles, and caught a couple of frogs. Then after a long day of activities they would eat dinner, help clean up, do a couple more household responsibilities, wash off the layer of accumulated dirt, then turn in for the night.

Today, children are expected to sit. Sit for a while longer. Then after they are done sitting they can play quietly for a while. They wake up and sit at the table to eat. Then they are strapped into a car seat to sit on their way to daycare where they sit in circles to learn, sit in their chairs for lunch, then sit in the teacher's lap to read a book. They might get some time to go out and play for a while but if it is raining or cold then they get to sit and play indoor games. Then back home they go to sit down for dinner, sit in front of the TV, computer, video game system, then sit in the tub for bath time. Whew! They must be exhausted from all that sitting so we should turn off the lights and go to sleep.

No wonder so many children are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. When are our kids supposed to run around, be active, get muddy? When are they supposed to get sweaty, smelly, and find creepy crawly bugs? In 20 minute spurts that happen a few times a week? I think that so many of us have been taught to expect our children to be well behaved little adults that when they want to burn off some energy we view it as an "disorder". When I was teaching, I was being handed evaluations for students as young as 5 years old to determine if they had ADD/ADHD. I filled them out as accurately as I could but I really wanted to write, "Of course Little Johnny doesn't always follow directions. Of course he gets out of his seat 2-3 times an hour. And surely he doesn't focus on his work for more than 5 minute intervals. HE IS FIVE! I am 25 (at the time) and I don't always remember to do what I was asked to do. I get up from my desk 10 times during an hour. I can't remember what I was saying after getting distracted by a pretty bird flying by the window. Why are we expecting little people to have better attention spans than adults?"

Let's let our little ones get outside and "misbehave". Let's let them get dirty, smelly, and touch things that give us the shivers. They should be nice little people but not miniature adults. Let them pay attention to 100 things in 100 minutes and learn 100 things. That is not a disorder, that is what being a child is all about.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Green Means Go!

I made mention of the "light turning green" in the Happy Fertilizer Day! post and thought I should go into a bit more detail about this awesome little find. When Gavin was a baby he was a fantastic sleeper. He fell asleep on his own. He rarely woke during the night without being able to fall back asleep. He also would sleep in until 8:30 and sometimes 9:00 in the morning after sleeping 12-13 hours. Then he would nap 2-3 hours every afternoon. I was in heaven!

Last October I was in for a rude awakening! My dreamy sleeper showed me what life with a real kid is like. Gavin started waking to go potty almost every night. Then after his trip to the bathroom, he wanted to get up for the day. We would talk to him and explain that we had to go back to sleep until the sun woke up. He would reluctantly oblige. Then at about 5:00am he would start shouting that it was time to get up. Again we would tell him that to wait until the sun woke up. This happened every single morning. So, I was in the market for some way to help Gavin understand when it was time to get up and when it was still time to hang out in Sleepytown.

I found the Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock and Nightlight. It was exactly what I was looking for. I ordered it and as soon as it arrived home I programmed it and set it up in his room. I set the clock to turn from yellow/orange at night to green at 7:00 am. Then, I showed the clock to Gavin and told him that, just like a traffic light, the light would turn green and then he could get out of bed. That day and frequently until bedtime, we talked about the light turning green and how the sun will be getting up at that time too! Then the next morning, although I heard Gavin wake up before hand, at precisely 7:00am, Gavin announced, "The light turned green! It is time to get up!"

Sweet victory! Gavin learned very quickly about when to wake up in the morning. The only issue that we are facing now is that when we taught him how to wait for the light to turn green I paired that with the sun waking up. I hadn't thought about the repercussions of daylight savings time back in October. So, now that the sun is waking up at 6:00am, so is Gavin.

I love this clock and blame myself for the green light not working for us right now. I am working on teaching Gavin that the sun wakes up very early now and that we get to sleep for a while while the sun is warming things up for us. I think that with time, we'll be back to a normal wake time.

If you are looking for a way to catch just a few more Z's with a super early riser, I recommend giving this clock a try. It also has games that can be played to help kids learn how to tell time and a button that will read the time aloud. I liked it so much that I bought a second clock for my parents house since Gavin spends the night there when we get to have a date night. I hope it works for you, too!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Headed Downhill but Toward Something Really Exciting!

I won't lie. I was hopeful. More hopeful than I think I have been in the last few months. As it turns out, I am not pregnant. Again. I am actually feeling remarkably okay with this. I have been praying every night for a few things. First, and most importantly, I thank God for all of the many blessings I have. My children. My husband. My family and friends. I thank God for the food we have available to us, our good health, and a safe, warm home.

I pray that if it is God's will for me to be pregnant again, that I have a happy and healthy pregnancy. I ask that while I am waiting for this blessing, that God helps me find patience. I pray that he helps me find some way to pass the time, to do His will, and bring me closer to Him.

Then, before I drift to sleep, I pray for all of the people who are dealing with losses. I pray that they turn toward God when they are feeling weak.

So, instead of get too worked up about another month pass without a fun pregnancy announcement, I did something else fun. I started my Amazon store! I decided that since God is the one who is really guiding me on my blogging journey, and I have Him to thank for the traffic, followers, and so many new found friends, all of my proceeds from this store will go directly to one of two charities.

The first is called Heaven Born. When I first decided that I wanted to donate my proceeded I did a search for "faith", "miscarriage", and "charity". On the first page I found an article about Heaven Born. I knew in my heart that this was going to be a great pick. Maureen at Heaven born, started this organization to make pillows for women who suffer from early miscarriages. Please take a minute to check out her site and see what a wonderful job she does to help women deal with the pain of miscarriage and early pregnancy loss.

Heaven Born

The second charity is more well known in the world of loss. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is simply one of the most touching and beautiful organizations I have ever come across. At no charge, photographers volunteer to take gorgeous, professional, and always breathtaking portraits of babies born sleeping. Please take a moment to visit their site and experience what a wonderful organization this is.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Please browse my Fertility Store and More. If there are any items that you use that are available on Amazon and not currently listed on my store, please let me know and I will add them until the store is full. If you are anything like me, I would feel better buying pregnancy tests and other things I would be spending money on anyway, and know that my money is going to be going to help a woman who's baby met God before they could kiss them goodbye. Feel free to share my store with your friends on facebook, family, online communities, etc. The more shopping that happens the more people we can help! Thanks for your participation!!!

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