Thursday, December 23, 2010

Open Wounds

It is always at this time of year that I begin to evaluate my life and the year I have had. This time of year we not only celebrate the holidays, but the births of my three boys. It is impossible to not feel the thankfulness of these three gifts at such a humble, joyful and giving time of year.

Last night, by chance, I came across "Giu.li.ana and Bi.ll". I have always been a fan of Bill since his "App.ren.tice" days and the one other time I saw this show I loved how this couple interacted together. The episode that I watched was her final IVF cycle where, at the end, she found out that she was not pregnant. Through the show they showed them going in for their transfer, with parents in tow for well-wishes and good luck, Giu.li.ana on bed rest after the transfer, them eating a romantic dinner with so many positive thoughts and hopes for this cycle and the phone call from their RE with the BFN news.

As I was watching this show, I got choked up several times. It is so hard to go back and see these emotions and feel all of the same emotions come surfacing to the top. My DH also was having some emotions surface and kept making comments like, "they are so naive", "they have no clue what is about to hit them". Not in a mean-spirited way about them, but rather reflections from our IF journey.

It was hard to shake the heavy heart and tears as the show closed with Bill giving Giu.li.ana a pep talk while she was reading a letter from a fan and trying to hold back her tears. After the show was done I felt such profound loss. Loss for them and their journey, and remembering our losses. It was like the scars from our IF journey came ripping open and I couldn't stop.

In that moment I realized that no matter that my family is now complete, I still have, and always will have, those IF wounds. Sure, having the Little Monkeys has helped (and, of course, I am so thankful to have them), but my journey is still a part of me, and my DH. It is shaped who we are today and I don't think that even though we have had success that would could ever forget where we have come from to where we are today.

It is with a heavy heart, that I extend to my fellow IFers a wish for peace, healing and joy this holiday season. Whether you have your baby in your arms, your baby in your hearts or your baby waiting to come home to you I am still "all in" this together, with you, rooting you on and wishing only the best for you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Partner in Crime

With the recent snowfall here in Minnesota along came a change in our daily routine. We have a seasonal business wherein my husband doesn't work much, maybe 15-20 hours/week, in the winter months when the ground is frozen and there is 20" if snow on the ground. It makes it hard to dig/rip through the frost and unsafe to do so as underground utilities are hard to locate and navigate through properly. What this means for me is that I have a partner in crime to help me through my days.

This week has been so much fun! My DH has been around a ton to help me with the Little Monkeys during the day, including doing some Christmas shopping with us and going out to lunch with the Little Monkeys twice, and he even surprised Logan (and I) by picking him up from school one day so that they could go on a snowmobile ride together. I love that my husband has the opportunity to be so involved in our daily routine for 2-3 months out of the year because the rest of the year he is working 60-70 hours/week.

It is nice that we have our two businesses, but sometimes it really can cut into our family life. I am thankful, though, that this summer my DH made it a point to be home from work by 5:30 every evening to help out with our nighttime routine. I think there was only two nights this whole summer that he was home after the kids went to bed. This is a huge improvement from previous years and one that we both have struggled with knowing that he has to work when the work is available and knowing that the payoff is that he will have more time to be with the family in the winter months.

Lest you think any different, my husband is an AWESOME husband and an even better daddy. He will do whatever it takes to be there for us when we need him, even if he has a ton of work to do. A couple of months ago the power went out at our house in the morning right in the middle of me making coffee. When Logan woke up he was bummed that the power went out too. I called DH to tell him the power was out and he came home from work so that we could all go out for breakfast and wait for the power to come back on. And, last week when both babies woke up in the morning throwing up and I was trying to clean everything and get Logan out the door onto the school bus, my DH came home and gave me a hand giving the babies a bath and getting Logan off to school. It's the little things like this that make the winter months so much better and are able to help me through the long days of summer. Because just when I am struggling with my hands full- literally- he is right there ready to dig in and give me a hand.

So, yipee for me! My DH is around more for the next couple of months and it is just what I needed to get some much needed projects done uninterrupted. WOOOOHOOO!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Rash, MinneSNOWta, and The UnTwins

The last week has brought sickness to our house. It started Wednesday morning when Caden woke up looking like this:



The little guy had thrown up in his crib overnight and never made a fuss! He had a rash from sleeping in his food that he had eaten for dinner the night before. Poor little honey looked so sad and cute at the same time. During breakfast Colton ended up throwing up and then they both began on huge blowout diarhea diapers for a few days. Add in Logan throwing up SIX times (now, that's impressive!) on Thursday night and a mommy not feeling good on Friday and let's just say that I am glad we are all feeling much better. And, rest assured that with many applications of Avee.no lotion, Caden's rash was gone by the next morning.

Then, the SNOW began. We got 20" of snow between Friday night and Saturday morning! WOW, what a winter wonderland! DH and Logan were able to go on a little snowmobile ride on Saturday morning on the snowmobile trail across from our house, but got buried by the snowplow going by so they decided to turn aroound and come back home. I think they will wait until the groomer goes by and try again.


View from my front window


View out my front door


Colton, Logan and Caden


Logan

This last week of sickness and snow ended this morning with an odd conversation with a friend. She was telling me that she has a cousin who has twins from IVF. The grandmother of the twins was telling my friends mom that because they were "different" that they were not twins. As she started to imply that Caden and Colton were not twins I looked at her and said, "what are you talking about?" She explained that this is what her aunt had said. I said, "well did she say that because they are not identical?" She assumed that is why but then said something about them being from two different eggs and something about them having the same genetic material and that they didn't use donor egg or sperm. I explained that there were plenty of twins who were conceived naturally from two different eggs, ie, fraternal twins, and they are still considered twins. Seriously...it was the weirdest conversation I had ever had. After she left I was trying to figure out if her aunt thought that that her grandchildren were not twins because they were fraternal or because they came from an IVF cycle. Either way, they are still twins. If two babies are born from the same mom at the same time then they are TWINS for Heaven's sake!

Friday, December 3, 2010

All About Logan

Since it is his birthday week, I thought I would share some more things about my birthday boy.

A couple of weeks ago we went to his school conferences. I asked him before we went if his teacher was going to say anything bad about him. I just wanted him to be honest and feel like he could tell us if there were issues going on at school. He responded, "No, I don't think so". As we are going through the conference folder with his teacher she told us that he was the only student in the class that knew what each letter in the alphabet was and what sound it made. Then she flipped to the next page and showed us an evaluation on different parts of words, comprehension, spelling, etc (there were about 20 different areas on words and their structures). As she was going over each area with us she told us that he scored the highest in the class. WOW! We couldn't believe that he was doing so well. She also noted that she has six students on behavior charts in the class and that Logan was not one of them. He has also made friends and plays well with the other students in class. It was definitely a time where DH and I basked in the glow of our parenting success and gave ourselves a pat on the back! We couldn't wait to get home and love him up and tell him how proud we are of him and his accomplishments.

About a month ago Logan spent some time up at our shop (where we run our businesses out of) with my dad. My dad likes to ding around up there and have Logan join him and they bond over "guy stuff". Sitting on one of the shelves was a kid-size snowmobile that we bought used a couple of months ago. We bought it for our boys, but weren't decided on when to give it to Logan (and his brothers who will someday ride it as well), so it was just sitting at the shop. Logan saw it that day and asked my dad, "is that mine, Grandpa?" My dad told him that it was actually his (my dads). Logan told my dad that he was too big for it, so my dad made up a funny story to tell Logan about how it was his and how he, even though he seemed bigger than the snowmobile, rides it. My dad knew that we had not yet told Logan that it was his so he was doing his best to not let Logan know it was his.

A couple of days later Logan brought up the snowmobile to DH and I and how he saw it at the shop. He told us what my dad had told him and then he said, "...but I don't think it is grandpas because he is too big for it. Grandpa is as big as a Christmas tree so he can't fit on it". It was too funny! He is such a thinker! And we loved his Christmas tree analogy!

This week when we were at swimming lessons I had to tell Logan twice to get undressed and into his swimsuit. He likes to lolly gag at swimming lessons for some reason so the second time I asked him in a louder voice, not a yell, but louder to make sure he heard me, "Logan, please take off your boots, put them in the bottom of the stroller, put your clothes in the bag, go to the bathroom and put your swimsuit on!" He looked at me and with the cutest smile under his breath he said, "Your SO sassy". Just the way he said it made me turn my head and laugh. I asked him, "why do you think I am being sassy?" He explained, "well, you are mad at me". I told him, "I'm not mad at you at all. I just want you to get ready to go into the pool." As he turned away to get into his swimsuit DH and I started laughing so hard. It was one of those moments that just brings a smile to your face, not because of what he said, but how he said it.

Some days I just don't know how I got so lucky to have this child. He brings so much joy to our family. Even when the Brothers (aka Little Monkeys, aka Caden and Colton) are both screaming about something and needing our attention it doesn't bother him at all. He is so patient with the Brothers and does whatever he can to make them laugh and plays with them all of the time. He has a sense of what is right and what is wrong and we rarely have to discipline him for bad behavior. He is beginning to read simple sentences and loves learning at school. He finds friends wherever he goes and loves meeting new people. He is easy-going, but definitely is not afraid to share his opinions when they matter to him. And each day he gets on the bus to go to school, my heart melts just a little bit as I watch this little child, who is becoming a big boy, go into the world without me. Bittersweet.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Logan!

It is 6:28am. Six years ago. I am looking at a scrunched up face of my first born. My hands are strapped to the OR table. I am smiling. A huge smile. Looking at this new little creature and wondering who he is. Who he will be. Wanting to know everything about him. Wanting to hold him, but I will have to wait for that. I have just been through 36 hours of labor and an emergency c-section. But it doesn't matter. Because my baby is here, safely. Even after swallowing some meconium in utero during the long labor.

After going through recovery and then landing back in my room, I can't wait to hold my baby. But he is whisked away again, for a "boy" procedure. Another hour passes. I am finally able to hold my baby boy, Logan. My eyes well up. All I can do is stare at this child. Mine, all mine. Well, and DHs too. This little one who grew in my belly for nine months. And I am happy. Oh so happy. My heart is outside of my body and in this child. Looking at him, there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. Nothing.

Today that baby turns SIX! I feel like he was born just yesterday. My memory of his conception (hahah- memorable night!), the day I found I out I was pregnant with him and the day he was born are all still so vivid.


Our First Meeting :)


DH in the nursery with Logan while I am in recovery

The last six years of my life have been the best years. I can't even tell you how much I love that little boy, that is getting bigger by the moment. He puts a smile on my face and tears of joy in my eyes. My first born just melts my heart (his little brothers do too, but more on them on their birthday next month!).

We started off the day by having birthday cake and a banana for breakfast (I know, pretty healthy, but his birthday only comes one time a year). After breakfast he opened his birthday presents and DH helped him take everything out of the boxes and set everything up. The Little Monkeys joined in the fun by drinking their bottles and eating their breakfast in the dark whiile we sang happy birthday and Logan blew out his candles. They also spent a lot of time playing with the wrapping paper.

DH brought Logan to school today along with cupcakes for snack time. My dad, the Little Monkeys and I went up to school to have lunch with him and DH is picking him up from school today as well. For dinner, Logan wanted to go to one of his two favorite places for dinner- Jim.my Jo.hn's or Chip.otle :) I gave him so many other restaurant options for dinner and asked him if he wanted me to cook his special birthday meal. He still chose one of these two restaurants. Cracks me up that he didn't even pick Mc.Don.alds, which we hardly ever eat.

After dinner we have swimming lessons. Logan is in one class and DH, Caden, Colton and I are in another class right next to Logan in the pool.

On Saturday, Logan is having a pizza party at the local pizza place with 10 friends. Thankfully, my parents are coming over to hang out with Caden and Colton while DH and I tackle the 10 boys at the pizza party! :)

SIX YEARS OLD! I can't believe it. And neither can he. At lunch today he went up to my dad and said, "Grandpa, I can't believe I am SIX today!".


Two days old

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beyond Thankful

This past Thanksgiving was arguably the best ever. Why? Well, the obvious, of course. Four boys whom I love more than life. Food on the table with family, who are healthy (besides my dad's knee that he had replaced a couple of weeks ago, but more on that later). A roof over my head and a warm bed at night. A good RE who helped create two little monkeys. My first born who was created when I had no idea that there was another way to create life. And so many more reasons, too many to count.

Life is good. It's really good. And this is the first Thanksgiving in years that I have been able to throw myself into the thankfulness of it all, without restraint. For as I sit here today, my life and my family are complete. The missing pieces to the puzzle have been placed. My heart is full and so is my house.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Zoo Animals

I have so many blog posts swimming around in my little brain that it is a bit overwhelming. I haven't posted in awhile because I have so much going on and so much to say that it has put me right in to shut down mode. Where do you begin when there is so much to say? Today is my first step and coming out of a pile of good things to share, but don't know where to start.

Here are a couple of Halloween pics to get me started:


Logan playing a Halloween game at my sisters house


Me holding Colton the Tiger


Me holding Caden the Giraffe




DH and I (the unofficial zoo keepers) and our zoo animals in front of my sisters house


Logan the Gorilla

In the almost month since Halloween we have had a lot going on. A lot of good things, really good things and some things that are not so good right now, but will be good soon. More to come...I have a list of topics to talk about and my writers block is gone!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Green Anaconda

I don't know what it is about this song, but whenever my boys get fussy all we have to do is turn this on our App.le TV and voila! they are captivated and HAPPY. It is so funny! No matter what they are doing at the time whether it be playing with toys, fussing about something or in another room they stop whatever they are doing and look at the TV when this song starts playing.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F000UK_kUq4


All of my boys are doing really good, other than a little fussiness here and there. Logan is loving kindergarten and comes home from school and immediately starts his homework (yes, he has math homework almost every day!). He loves school and his friends, but his teacher...not so much. In my opinion, she is a nice enough gal, but she is a bit like a drill sergeant with the kids. I have talked to her a couple of times and it has been hinted to me that she has a difficult class. While it is hard to know that Logan isn't particularly fond of his kindergarten teacher, I understand the balance she needs to maintain trying to keep order in her classroom. I am thankful that there is an assistant in his classroom that Logan LOVES and he seems to enjoy going to school overall. I think his biggest problem with his teacher is that she has a lot of rules and that the whole class gets held back from doing things because she is trying to wrangle in the kids who aren't so "orderly" (for lack of a better word). I am just thankful that Logan is well-behaved at school and that he hasn't gotten into any trouble. Although I am sure that day will come as he gets older :)

Caden is as sweet as ever. He is so calm and content and just has such a sweet little personality. He will sit and stare at me with a slight smile on his face and it is so cute. He loves to follow me around with his eyes and keep tabs on me. I have caught him many times just sitting somewhere laughing at pretty much nothing. This weekend we visited some friends and he was sitting in their bathroom by himself (I was in the adjoining bedroom and he had crawled into the bathroom) laughing hysterically. He didn't have any toys or wasn't looking at anything in particular, unless you call the bathroom cabinet something interesting), but yet he was belly laughing. He is crawling around, but is most content just hanging out and being his laid back self. Caden is also so flexible, as in he can do all out splits and can sit with his legs outspread and put his nose to the ground. It is quite the sight to see!

Colton is still a bit more vocal and likes to tell us when he is upset, as well as when he is happy. He has a smile that lights up the world and loves to laugh, especially at Caden and Logan. He loves his brothers faces! He also loves to crawl over to Caden, push him over and take his toys. In all sincerity I don't really believe that he is aggressive, I believe that he is just playful and doesn't know how to be more gentle. Thankfully Caden thinks this is funny and laughs hysterically and pretty soon they are both laughing together. Colton is crawling all over the place and we had to put up gates to keep him a little more contained. He is also trying to pull himself up and can take a few steps with assistance. This is the little boy I will be chasing after next summer.

I am loving how all three of my boys are interacting more and more. Logan is such a good big brother and he loves his little brothers. He is gentle with them and loves to hug and kiss them. He often, out of the blue, says, "Mom, I love my brothers". I tell him that Caden and Colton love him too and that when they get older and can talk that they will be able to tell him how much they love him. It is so cute to see the softer side of my little Logan. He is such a neat kid and as he grows I am continuing to learn more about him and how to see the world through his almost six year old eyes.

Now, a list of other things to come:

---We are planning a possible vacation to Mex.ico this winter with some dear friends. We will be bringing the kids with us so it should be quite the adventure and tons of fun. We are hoping to go somewhere in the Pla.ya del Car.men/Riv.iera Ma.ya area and stay at an all-inclusive resort. If you have any suggestions on where to stay, let me know!

----The zoo will be visiting us this Halloween! I will have my own gorilla, giraffe and tiger and DH and will be the Zookeepers. Logan has a Halloween party and parade at school, we have trick-or-treating in my neighborhood on Saturday and my sister's Halloween party and Sunday we will be heading to my sisters neighborhood to do some more trick-or-treating. Should be a fun, candy-filled weekend.

---- I am planning Logan's 6th birthday party to be at a nearby pizza place. He and his friends will be making their own pizzas and we will be having cupcakes and games while we wait for our pizzas to bake. This is the first friend party he will have and he can't wait!

----I am starting to prepare my Christmas lists and get an idea of what to buy everyone for Christmas. I have some ideas for Logan, but am having a hard time finding things for the Little Monkeys. Does anyone have any suggestions for two almost one year olds?

----DH and I are starting to plan a two day getaway in January. My parents will be coming to take care of the kids while we get out of town and enjoy some couple time. We have never been away from Logan (or Caden and Colton) for more than one night so this is a big deal for us. We are looking forward to some time away and are thankful that we can get away for a couple of days to relax, reconnect and rejuvenate.

That's about it for now! I hope you all are doing well and I am continuing to read all of your blogs. I check them everyday, but usually have someone on my lap so commenting is not always an option.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tips for Moms

Having a baby(ies) for the first time or the third time is a huge adjustment. There are lots of things to research and do before having baby and so much more to do after they are born. To make it a little easier I have thought of a few things that were recommended to DH and I or things that we have done to make the adjustment a little bit easier and now I am sharing them with you. You might find some of these things helpful or not, but either way you will find what works best, or not, for your family.

Buy in Bulk- Before all of my babies were born I stocked up on everything. From toilet paper, to toothpaste to diapers and detergent to already cooked meals (either ones I had made and froze or from Let'.s Di.sh). One thing that is hard to do when you are so tired from those sleepless nights and possibly recovering from a c-section is to go to the store. If you have room to store stuff, then buying in bulk is so worth it. We have a membership at Sa.m's Clu.b and I buy all of our paper products there as well as many food items from there so that I always have it on hand to cook with. I buy hamburger and put it into 1 pound increments and freeze it in a ziploc. I also divide up steak, chicken and pork chops and freeze them too. I buy a 5 pound bag of corn and throw a little bit at a time on the stove top as a quick side dish. I buy snacks like applesauce, animal crackers and cheese and crackers and throw them in the "snack bowl" in the pantry for Logan to get on his own at snack time. And on the bottom of my pantry I have toilet paper, kleenex and paper towels at my disposal. It does cost a lot to buy in bulk because you are getting more product, but in the end when you do a cost analysis of the items you purchased in bulk vs. buying at the grocery store or tar.get it is usually cheaper in the long run.

Bring Baby With You-Getting out and about with your new baby(ies) can be quite the task. From making sure you have everything in the diaper bag to getting dressed and ready to get out of the house. In my experience, the sooner you leave your house after your baby is born, the better and the more you get out, the easier it is. When Logan was three months old we hopped on a plane and went to Florida in the middle of our cold Minnesota winter. We decided to go on a Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning at 7:00am we were boarding our plane. When Caden and Colton were eight weeks old we again hopped on a plane with all three of our children to Florida. Granted it was A LOT easier to do it with just Logan the first time around, I am so glad that we did it with Caden and Colton too. It helped me know that I can get out of my house and into the world. And packing up each day to go to Dis.ney Wor.ld and other attractions helped me get into a good "groove" of getting out of the house. At these ages it was so easy to travel too because the babies slept so much still that the flights were very calm and even going to Dis.ney Wor.ld was fairly easy because they slept through most of the day. When we went with Logan to Florida we did not go to Dis.ney, but we did hang out a whole lot by the pool, have a couple of drinks and just relaxed while our new bundle slept peacefully between our legs on the lounge chair poolside. BEST TRIP EVER!

Keep Your Diaper Bag Packed- Plan ahead and make sure you have everything in the diaper bag. When I stock my diaper bag I put everything and more into it. I have 10-15 diapers, a whole pack of wipes, four bibs, four burp cloths, des.it.in, toys, diaper changing pad, extra outfit in case of a blow out, wallet, and cell phone. I use a back pack right now because I need to have both hands free for both babies so all of this stuff fits nicely and it is easy to carry. I do keep a sample size thing of formula in the diaper bag so that I don't have to refill it that often, which leads me to my next topic...

Formula By The Pitcher- In addition, I make a pitcher of formula at a time and fill a days worth of bottles each day. When I go someplace I put the premade bottles in a cooler with an ice pack and when it is time to eat all I have to do is pull the bottle out of cooler. This may not work for everyone though. I have always given all three of my boys their bottles straight out of the fridge cold so they are not used to getting a warm bottle. Obviously if your newborn is having a hard time maintaining their body temp, I would not serve them a cold bottle out of the fridge. Even though my boys did not have a hard time maintaining their body temp, I did wrap them in a blanket when I fed them. For us, convenience of having pre-made bottles has been a life saver, especially when both babies were screaming to be fed at the same time. When they were really little we would fill a cooler of eight bottles and bring it up to our bedroom at night for those middle of the night feedings so that all we had to do was pull two bottles out of the cooler.

Date Night- It is important to get out of the house or to spend time together inside of the house. When Logan was three weeks old I felt like I needed a little break. We brought him to my parents house and then DH and I went to a movie at the theater down the street from their house. It was a nice, short little break and allowed DH and I to get out of the house for a bit. We did go out occasionally without Logan, especially when we were invited to functions without children. However, now that we have three children we find that it is more important to go out together. It is hard right now to have that quality time with DH at home after the kids go to bed because we have so much more going on during the day that it is hard to keep up with other things so we end up doing them after the kids go to bed. We thankfully have our nanny who is able to come and babysit the kids so that we can get out of the house for a couple of hours. We usually go out about one time/month, but if we are invited to other functions we do go out more often.

Make Friends- If you are deciding to be a SAHM after having your baby(ies) then try to make friends that are also home during the day. I had a really hard time adjusting to being a SAHM after Logan was born, not because I didn't want to be home, but because it was a huge change for me. Thankfully I had a few other friends who were also SAHM that I would get together for play dates with. Now that Caden and Colton are here, most of my friends have older children. I joined an early childhood education class with other moms whose children are Caden and Colton's age and I am also a member of my local moms of multiples club. It is fun to meet new people to share similar experiences with and to ask for advice from.

Do Laundry At Night- When all of my babies were still getting up in the middle of the night I would do laundry. Before I went to bed I would throw a load in the washer. When we got up to feed a couple of hours later I would put it in the dryer and throw a new load into the washer. When I got up a couple of hours later I would pull it out of the dryer and hang it and throw the load from the washer into the dryer. Repeat, repeat, repeat. There is so much laundry to do with newborns as well as laundry from the rest of the members of the family, that I found this to be a time-saving way to do laundry.

These are just a couple of things I thought of that have made my life easier. I hope you found something useful out of these suggestions and if not, that's fine too. :) You will find what works best for you and your family. :)

What tips do you have to make our lives as moms just a little bit easier?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

IVF Weekend in Review

I had such a great weekend this past weekend!

A couple of years ago I met a gal named J on IVFC. She lives in another state and when she found out that I lived in MN she told me that she has relatives who live in MN too. I told her that if she was ever in MN to let me know. Through the last couple of years we have stayed in contact and even became friends on FB. She had twin girls in July 2009 and we had our boys in January 2010. When she was pregnant with her girls she posted some belly pics on her FB page and I showed my DH the pics and his response was, "are you going to be that big?" My response was, "I hope so!" (I think that big pg bellies are the best! Big, healthy babies abound!)

So, a few months ago J told me that she was coming to MN this past weekend for a wedding. I penciled it in on my calendar and then just a couple of weeks ago we finalized our plans. I ended up picking her up at her hotel and we headed to the M.all of Amer.ica to grab some dinner and do some window shopping. We had so much fun! Talking about our kids, our IF journeys and just talking about girl stuff. And the mango margarita was awesome!

While we were at the Mall, we also hooked up with my friend S. S lives about three hours from me, but when I was talking to her last Thursday on the phone she told me that her and her DH were coming in to town on Friday for the weekend (he was running in a 10K on Saturday). I found out that they were also going to be at the Mall on Friday night for dinner. What are the chances?? I hardly ever to to the Mall (it is 45 minutes from my house) and for me to be there on the same night as them when they live three hours from the Mall. The last time I saw S and her DH was when they came to stay at our house in July for a weekend. I only get to see her a couple of times each year so it is always a treat when I get to spend time with them.

On Saturday we went to our local fire departments open house. They had all of the fire vehicles and a state trooper helicopter on display as well as fire truck rides, a fire truck jumper, activities and balloons for the kids.


Logan in the state trooper helicopter

On Sunday we were invited to the M.all of Amer.ica again to go to a birthday party that our RE throws every year for the babies he helped conceive. We met up with four of our IVF friends to go through the receiving line together to see our RE and his staff. The receptionist greeted us when we entered Under.water Wor.ld and she came up and gave me a hug. The next person that greeted us was the embryologist who was Caden and Colton's first babysitter :) I told her thank you for creating Caden and Colton's little lives. She said something along the lines of "we don't create just lives, we create families". It was so cute! I loved it because even though this event was for Dr. S. to see the Little Monkeys we brought Logan with us because he is our family too. It just really resonated with me how she said it because I felt like she was including Logan too.

We then saw two of our favorite nurses and then our RE, Dr. S. We even got a really funny, haphazard picture of Dr. S. with our family. I wish we had gotten a better picture, but it was so busy that we were happy to just get the picture we got. Dr. S. remembered who we were, which is impressive since we have not been to our RE clinic since June 2009, and he remembered which cycle # we had conceived Caden and Colton on and he also remembered that we had consulted with Dr. School.craft at CC.RM. What a memory! And there were probably hundreds of people there! Maybe he just remembered us since we did five transfers with him and was receiving treatment at his clinic for almost 1.5 years. ;)



After we saw Dr. S. we all headed out to dinner together. Fun, fun, fun!

I'll leave you with a family picture of us taken in August:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Me, Five Years Ago

Yesterday I went to a fellow mom of multiples house for a play date. There were six sets of twins there who were all nine months and younger. This is the fourth time I have gotten together with my moms of multiples group and each time a couple new faces show up. I love this group because we all have the joy and challenges of having multiples. It is fun to compare stories and receive information from others all the while having the bond of multiples.

But I also felt a bit disconnected.

On the 45 minute ride home the Little Monkeys fell asleep in the car and I had time to think. At the play date a couple of the moms were talking about how hard it is to have two babies. They are first time moms and having two at once can be quite the challenge. They then asked me how I was doing with having two babies. I explained that everything was going really well and that having twins this time is easier for me than having a singleton the first time around. They all looked at me in shock. I went on to further explain that if I had twins the first time I know that I would have struggled a lot. I had a hard time adjusting to being a new mom when Logan was born, trying to find my new role in life while quitting my job and taking on a whole new definition for myself, my new family and a whole new world/life. I also explained that while most days go off without a hitch for us, we do have our challenging days on occasion. They all looked at me with relief.

As much as I love this group, it is also an adjustment for me. I have to go back and put myself in their shoes, exactly where I was five years ago when Logan was born. It seems so long ago that I was adjusting to my new role as a mom and I have come a long way in the last five years and have been through so much trying to have Caden and Colton that I don't feel overwhelmed like I did back then. I am much more relaxed, calm and confident as a mom this time around.

Yes, we have our daily routine and sometimes we fall off of the routine and our days end up a little...scary, I'll say, but then the end of the day comes and I look at my boys sleeping peacefully in their cribs and my big boy, Logan, sprawled across his bed and it is hard not to find the joy in a day that has been challenging or difficult or trying. Those are the times that I tear up and know just how thankful I am to have all of my boys. I know that a new day will come tomorrow and it is a fresh start. I am determined to make each day great and not take for granted or get caught up on or dwell on the craziness of the day before.

After all, having a challenging day with all of my boys is so much easier than having a challenging day of going through IF. I would rather have the challenge of having two babies crying about something (which rarely happens since usually if one is crying the other is laughing at him crying), having two babies to lug in and out of the grocery store or any other errands, having two babies screaming for their bottles at the same time, having two babies to carry up and down the stairs of our two-story house six times/day than to have the challenge of IF again.

Sad to say, when Logan was a baby, I didn't always take these things in stride so well. Most of the time I did, but there were times that I did feel overwhelmed and would need to get out when my DH came home from work. I felt exactly how my fellow moms of multiples felt, only five years ago. With the realization that I was them five years ago, I have found the connection with these women.

These women who I am able to see the new, fresh outlook of being a mom. Whom I am able to remember the joy of "firsts" with Logan and whom I can draw on for the freshness with being a mom to Caden and Colton. Even though I feel comfortable in my role as a mom, I love to view the world through others eyes. And through these women I am able to see the "firsts" of Caden and Colton like it is a new day, a new beginning of life and to celebrate Logan again and all of the "firsts" and joy he brings to my life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Routine of It All

Now that Logan is at school all day, every day (the only option in our school district) the babies and I are getting situated into our new routine. Each morning I bundle the Little Monkeys up and put them in their stroller so that we can walk Logan to his bus stop at the end of our driveway. His bus arrives at 8:22am and he doesn't get dropped off until 4:09pm. That is a long day for my kindergartner! He is loving school and looks forward to going each day. Every morning when he hops up in the bus he looks out the window at me and waves and I wave back and blow him kisses until I can't see his smiling little face anymore. Oh, the joys at that age make me smile. He has made a couple of friends so far and has someone that he sits by on the bus. My little boy is adjusting quite well to this big change.

After he gets on the bus the Little Monkeys and I go for walk. It is peaceful in the morning and a good way to start our day with some fresh air and to help this Momma lose that extra 10 pounds from my pregnancy. When we get home, the Little Monkeys head up to their cribs for their first nap from 8:45-10:15. Once they get up, they eat and we either head out on some errands or hang around the house and they help me get some chores done. OK, so they don't really help with the chores, but they are fun to talk to while I work and I take lots of breaks to play with them.

They eat lunch at 12:30 and then go down for their afternoon nap at 1:15-3:30. While they nap I work in my home office and get some misc things done around the house. After their nap they have a little bit of time to wake up, play and then I change their diapers and load them in the stroller or lay a blanket out in the front yard and place them on it so that we can greet Logan when he gets off of the bus. After Logan gets home, I feed the babies and then he gets to play with them while I prep dinner. DH is home at 5:00 and we eat dinner at 5:30. We start baths or showers (yes, all four of my boys shower. DH hops in the shower with two shower heads with Logan and I hand him one baby at a time to wash. Logan loves showering and playing in the water and Caden and Colton love trying to "catch" the water from the shower) at 6:30, feed the babies at 7:00 and then they go to bed. Logan gets some time with mom and dad before DH reads him some books at 8:00 and then he goes to bed.

Our days are pretty routine, and I like it that way. I like the predictability of the "schedule" our house runs on. But I also like to shake things up a bit too. Next week, Caden, Colton and I will be starting an early childhood class one day/week and I have play dates with my mom's of multiples groups and other friends who are home with their kids during the day as well. I also have a ton of work and some fun non-work projects to do this fall.

My biggest project, however, is to cherish each moment with the Little Monkeys and Logan. Before I know it, Caden and Colton will be hopping on that bus alongside their big brother and Logan will be wanting to spend more and more time with his friends. Where does time go?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

For three years every time we drove past Logan's future elementary school we would tell him, "that is where you are going to kindergarten!". Over the years we have nicknamed it "Kindergarten School". In all of those times that we talked about him going to school there, I never imagined the day that he would actually go there. Sure, I knew it was coming one of these years. but how quickly those years have passed us by!

Last night before bed my DH and I were talking about how fast the past 5+ years have gone by and how we remember Logan when he was Caden and Colton's age. After a few minutes I began sobbing uncontrollably and worrying about my little boy hopping on the bus and going to school all day, every day (the only option my school district offers). Who would he sit by on the bus? How would he remember which classroom was his? Would he be nervous or scared? What if he didn't like it? etc.

And what about me (yes, I know it isn't about me, but....)? What would I do all day with him at school? Sure, I have Caden and Colton to keep me plenty busy, but they don't talk yet and the house is so quiet without Logan here. I have been mostly home with him for all of his life and now he is leaving me, how dare he! (OK, I am just being sarcastic here) And what about all of the things I want to do with him still, but I won't be able to because he will be at school. Really, by this point you would have thought that I was never going to see my beautiful little angel boy again. I was really working myself up.

Before I went to sleep last night I went into Logan's room, kissed him on his cheek as he lay sleeping peacefully, and then whispered in his ear, "I'm so excited for you and for the adventures that lie ahead for you."

Logan woke up this morning with a HUGE smile on his face excited to go to kindergarten. He got dressed in his outfit I put out for him last night and then came bounding down the stairs to his favorite breakfast of french toast and a berry smoothie. After breakfast DH and I took several pictures of him and then he tied his own shoes and then we loaded Caden and Colton into their stroller and headed out to the end of our driveway, where his bus stop is located (we live on a county road and our house is set a little bit off of the road so I will be walking him down to the end of the driveway every day).

As we waited for the bus to come I reminded him of all of things going on for the day: your lunch is in your back pack, if you forget the name of your bus, here is your bus card, your teachers name is (name), please give your teacher the forms in your backpack, etc. He looked at me and said, "I don't think I can remember all of this. Can you come with me today?". I reassured him that he would be fine and told him that the only things he really needed to remember are that his lunch was in his backpack (as opposed to eating "hot lunch") and the name of his school bus.

All of the sudden his bus was coming down the street....and then it passed right by our driveway! As the driver was passing by he looked and saw us standing there and stopped. He confirmed our address and asked where our son was supposed to be. We confirmed all of the information and that Logan should be on this bus (we changed his bus stop last week and apparently the bus driver was not informed). As we crossed in front of the bus Logan was running, he was so excited to ride the bus. I caught up with him just as he was running up the stairs and said, "wait! I need a picture!". He turned around with a HUGE grin on his face, let me take the picture and then found a seat.

After he got on the bus, DH and I loaded Caden and Colton into their car seats and we headed up to school to make sure that he made it safely and that he knew where to go once he got off of the bus. Yes, I officially stalked my child on his first day of kindergarten! Once his bus pulled up in front of school I got out of the car and followed him in to school and down to his classroom. I caught up with him as he was hanging up his back pack and his jacket on his coat rack. When I saw him I say, "Hey!" He looked at me, still smiling and said, "Mom! You came!" I explained that I wanted to make sure he made it to school safely. Then I asked him, "how was the bus ride?" He, still smiling, said, "Good! But we went a funny way to school" and started laughing. He thought it was funny that they drove all around picking up the other kids rather than driving straight to school. I gave him a kiss and his teacher asked him to find an open seat and I left....with my heart heavy and full.

My little boy knew exactly where to go and what to do, without me. How did time fly by so quickly?? And in two hours when he gets off of that bus I am going to give him the biggest kiss and hug and tell him how much I love him and missed him. As much as I miss him I am so excited for him and this new adventure ahead. And, in another short five years I will be doing the same with Caden and Colton. How quickly time flies!

Cheers to cherishing each moment!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Fun

This summer has been so much fun! From camping most weekends, to play dates throughout the week and watching the Little Monkeys grow more and more each day to watching Logan mature and get ready for kindergarten, it has been quite the whirlwind! The time has gone by so fast and in just two short weeks Logan will be starting kindergarten. I can hardly believe the time has come!

My DH had his 34th birthday in July. The boys and I ended up getting him Apple TV for his birthday and he was so excited since he has wanted this for a couple of years after seeing it at our friends house. After having some computer issues we finally were able to get it installed and load all of our pictures onto it to view on our TV throughout the day. As I look at the pictures of Logan through the years I am amazed at how quickly time flies! To see these pics of him at the same age that Caden and Colton are now just blows my mind. It is fun to see how much all of the boys look similar at this age, but yet so different. Here is a glimpse:


Logan


Logan


Caden


Caden


Colton


Colton

And a pic of all three of them now.

My Big Boy Logan wanted to try his hand in feeding his brothers. What a good helper!


Caden, Logan and Colton

And some summer fun pictures:

Logan


Colton on left, Caden on right


Me holding Caden, my niece Ashley, my niece Abby, Logan, DH holding Colton who is pulling Logan's hair :)


Caden


Colton

This summer, I also survived four days with the boys and without my husband . DH had a guys weekend planned for some much needed rest, relaxation, and have a good ol' time away. He went to some drag races with six other guys, including my dad and BIL. And, in just a couple of weeks I will be heading out of town for a girls weekend away to scrapbook for four days. I can't wait to scrapbook all of the fun we have had this summer!

Tell me about your summer...what fun things have you done?

Friday, August 13, 2010

An Everyday Survival Kit

I was given one of these survival kits a long time ago with each of these items placed in a bag with the words attached by a ribbon to the bag of items. As I was preparing for an upcoming scrapbooking weekend away I came across this and thought I would share it.

An Everyday Survival Kit

Toothpick - to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others ...Matt. 7:1
Rubber band - to remind you to be flexible, things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out ...Romans 8:28
Band Aid - to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else's ...Col. 3:12-14
Pencil - to remind you to list your blessings everyday ...Eph. 1:3
Eraser - to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it's okay ...Gen. 50:15-21
Chewing gum - to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything ...Phil. 4:13
Mint - to remind you that you are worth a mint to your heavenly father ...John 3:16-17
Candy Kiss - to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday ...1 John 4:7
Tea Bag - to remind you to relax daily and go over that list of God's blessings ...1 Thess. 5:18

This is my gift to you. May God richly bless you.

To the world, you may just be somebody ...but to somebody, you may be the world.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Infertility Is Grief

I came across this article on a friends FB page who is pursuing adoption and thought it was so relevant.

http://www.channel3000.com/health/10489743/detail.html

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Six Month Well Check

On Wednesday Caden and Colton had their six month well check. I was so excited for this appointment with their pediatrician because I had a ton of questions to ask him about feeding the boys solid foods. I forgot a lot of what I did with Logan in the past five years so it was a good time for a reminder on when to start certain things. They have both been eating solids for over a month, but I forgot when to introduce biter biscuts and other "chewable" foods. Our pediatrician would like us to feed the boys solids 3x/day, which we are currently doing 2x/day. He said that we can also introduce sippy cups to them, although they will take a while to get the hang of them. He also said that once they got the hang of eating biter biscuits without choking on them, that we could start to give them other soft table foods. The fun begins!

Since Wednesday we have tried a biter biscuit and have let them suck on some cantaloupe and watermelon. Colton dug right into the watermelon and was useing his gums to bite off chunks. He ate almost a whole 1"x1" square of watermelon! Caden ended up choking on his a bit and spit it out. He also made the funniest faces when I was letting him suck on the cantaloupe. I don't think he could figure out if he liked it or not.

They have also been experimenting with their sippy cups. I have been putting water and some ice cubes in them so at least if they can't quite get it to their mouths to drink that they get some amusement from the ice cubes hitting the sippy cup. Colton is better at holding his sippy cup and his bottle and Caden is trying here and there, but really has no interest in holding his bottle. He seems to have an easier time with his sippy.

I love this stage! As soon as I started playing around with different things this week I remembered doing all of this with Logan around the same age. It is so fun to see the expressions on their faces when they try something new or the look of concentration on their face as they try so hard to hold their bottles and sippy cups. I can't wait until we can pull out the cheerios to see how much they have to concentrate on picking them up and getting them into their little mouths.

And here are the stats for my Chunky Monkeys:

Caden
Length: 27", 72nd percentile
Weight: 19.0 lbs., 77th percentile
Head Circumference: 17", 35th percentile

Colton
Length: 27", 72nd percentile
Weight: 20.0 lbs, 89th percentile
Head Circumference: 17", 35th percentile

In short, the are the same length and have the same head circumference, but Colton weighs exactly one pound more than Caden. This explains Colton's rock solid torso and Cadens squishy one:):) My boys are continuing to grow so well and I love every pinchable inch of them!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Recounting the Journey

Yesterday I was telling Miss M, our nanny, the story of how Caden and Colton were conceived. She got all of the details and it was probably more than she bargained for when she innocently asked, "when you had Caden and Colton was there a chance that you could have had more babies?'

As I recounted the story of our many failed IVF cycles and the one successful cycle that brought me my Little Monkeys I was moved to tears. It was so bittersweet to go back and recount some of the most painful moments of my life and then in the next breath to recount some of the most happy moments. When I told her how I received the call from the clinic that I finally was pregnant and had an HCG level I was moved to tears just reliving that moment and she was too. What a journey! It still takes my breath away.

After I was done telling her the story she said that it was amazing that DH and I are still happily married because she knows that IF can tear a marriage apart. I completely agree! I explained to her that when I married my husband I knew that I loved him, but I didn't know how much I loved him until we experienced IF. I told her that each day I tell all of my boys how much I love them and I try to live each day as one filled with joy and thankfulness and not as a "to do" list. Yes, there are many things to do each day and my days are filled, sometimes too much, but my biggest project is to love my four boys to pieces. And, the smallest things that my DH does for me give me the greatest amount of happiness.

Not only was it good to relive our IF journey and share our story with Miss M, she, a fertile gal as far as I know, "got it". She shared tears and laughter with me and an amazing amount of support for the IF journey we had, which is downright PRICELESS! It was so fun to tell our story to someone who "got it". Did I mention that she "got it"? WOOHOO!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Comments Found and Pictures

WOOHOO! I found all of the comments that some of you posted when I was having commentng issues and was able to read them and post them. Thank you all for your comments on my Eating Worms post. You melt my heart:)

Here are some updated pics of my boys:


Colton on left, Caden on right



Caden on top left, Colton on top right, Logan on bottom



Logan getting ready to hang his bird feeders for the birds, which he calls his "customers" (have no idea why). When we first hung them he sat on the deck for two days yelling into the trees, "Hey, Birdies, it's time to eat. Come get your food!!". It was super cute and hilarious.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Warning: Sporadic Posting Ahead

Hello Fellow Bloggers! I think I have finally come to a a somewhat decision on my blog. This summer I will continue to post sporadically. It is just too busy a time of year for me to put coherent thoughts down. With Logan going to Kindergarten this fall let's just say that I am trying to soak up as much time with him as possible. He will be in all day every day Kindergarten from 9-3:30, which is a huge change from him going to preschool three days/week. I am going to miss him tons! I can't believe that the last 5+ years have gone by so fast and that he is already turning into a little man. I even cried at his preschool graduation when his teacher read this poem/quote:

A Touch of Love...
(Author Unknown)

You were six months old and full of fun, with the blink of an eye, you were suddenly one.
There were so many things we were going to do, But I turned my head and you turned two.
At two, you were dependent on me, But independence tookover when you turned three.
Your third birthday: another year I tried to ignore, But when I lit the candles, thre weren't three, but four.
Four was the year that you strived. Why, look at you now, you're already five.
Now you are ready for books and for rules. This year you go to school.
The big day came, you were anxious to go. We walked to the bus going oh, so slow.
As you climbed aboard and waved good-bye, I felt a lump in my throat and tears stung my eyes.
Time goes so fast it's hard to believe That just yesterday you were home with me.
And tomorrow when the bus brings you home and you jump to the ground You'll be wearing your cap and graduation gown.
So I'm holding to these moments as hard as I can, Because the next time I look, I'll be seeing a man/woman.

Wowsers! Quite the tear jerker and a reminder to cherish each and every day with all of my boys!

Caden and Colton are doing really well too. They are on a really good schedule and have been sleeping from 7:30pm-7:00am for a few weeks now. They are growing so fast! At their four month ped appt they were weighing in the 82nd and 93rd percentiles and I affectionately renamed them the "Chunky Monkeys". They are really good babies and only cry when they are tired or hungry.

Thank you all for hanging in there with me and my blog. I will figure out for sure what to do with it in the fall when I am hoping that I have more time. I will need to fill the void of Logan going to Kindergarten and what better way to do it than to write. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm Still Here. Are You?

Ok, so I think I finally fixed my "Comment Moderation". I think. :)

Sorry I have not posted in so long. I have been reading others blogs with a baby on my lap and sometimes am able to comment, and sometimes not. But, I assure you, if you are on my blog roll, I have read EVERY SINGLE ONE of your posts. I check them every day, sometimes more than once. Because I am addicted like that. :)

OK, blog friends, here's the deal. What should I do with my blog. I have so much to write about, but have been trying to figure out what is appropriate. This blog started as my journey through IF and now that I have my three angels I am at a loss. I LOVE to write, but feel like I need to take a step forward from this blog. I will never, ever forget our IF journey and every time I looked at my boys I am reminded of everything I went through to get them here. But I feel 95% sure that my family is complete. So, even though we are still infertile, I don't feel like I am currently on an infertility journey. Make sense?

So, I was thinking of starting a new blog to chronicle our new happenings in our house and my thoughts on random things. My purpose in starting a new blog and not continue on with this blog is so that I can share it with more IRL people. I only gave this blog address to a few family and friends. Now that my boys are here, I don't really want to get into discussions with those I have not previously given this blog to about how, what, when, where and why my boys landed on this Earth. I'm not ashamed at all, its just that if I didn't initially tell them about our IF journey I don't want now tell them about it. KWIM?

My question to you: If I move to a new "space", will you join me? I have LOVED getting to know each of you and would love to continue to rad your blogs and share my happenings with you. My nanny will be starting 2 days/week in three weeks so I will have more time to write and be committed to my blog. And when Logan goes to Kindergarten in the fall :( then I will continue to be able to write when the Monkeys are down for their naps.

And, if anyone who knows me enough to have my email address could try to post a comment and let me know if it works or not, I would be most appreciative. To those who have left comments on the past posts, I'm sorry that they were not saved. :(

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I'm Eating Worms

Ok, so either I turned off all of my comments or I am eating worms. Not one comment on my last post. I sincerely hope I didn't upset anyone (everyone!) with anything that I have written about lately. When I was younger and feeling sad about something or lonely (which didn't happen too often) I always thought of this song for some reason. I think I heard it at day care when I was younger and the song just stuck in my head for some reason. Do you remember this song??

Nobody Likes Me

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms,

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Down goes the first one,
Down goes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm.

Up comes the first one,
Up comes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm


That's me, just sitting over here eating worms:) How can I have so many followers and not have at least one comment? Any one care to comment on that? :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Comments

I was changing some of my settings recently and messed up the "comments" section so that readers could not post any comments. I think I fixed it now, so "comment" away! :) And, I love comments, just like every other blog author so don't be shy!

I also noticed that I have 25 followers. Wow! That is AWESOME! If you are out there reading my blog, leave a comment and say "Hi" so that I can stop over to your blog and say "Hi". :)

I should add that I am looking for more blogs to read and keep up on. I love reading and seem to have some time to do so (with a baby on my lap). So, if you leave a comment, I will for surely come to your blog and check it out!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Updated Pictures

Here are some pictures of our trip to Florida and some other random pics. Enjoy!


Caden on the left, Colton on the right


Logan wearing my sunglasses


Caden and I at Daytona Beach


Colton and I at Daytona Beach


Logan at Daytona Beach


Caden swimming in the pool in Florida


Colton sleeping on safari at Disney World- Animal Kingdom


My family with Mickey at Disney World- Animal Kingdom


At Disney World- Hollywood Studios

Monday, April 12, 2010

Infertility Hangover

So, I have been internalizing some thoughts lately and I need to get them out. I need to write them out and hopefully make sense of all that is going on my head.

This post is meant to represent a small piece of my life and one that comes to me in short spurts of thought. I don't sit around all day thinking about this, but it does cross my mind often enough where I need to get it out.

When I found out I was pregnant with Caden and Colton I was over-joyed. And I continued to feel that way throughout my pregnancy. I was so thankful that I had finally achieved what I was waiting for for so many years. But my pregnancy was also fraught with a lot of fears. Fears that I wouldn't carry the boys to term, that they would come too soon, that they would be born not "normal", and the list goes on of so many other things that could happen.

It was also difficult to cross over to the other side. Even though I wasn't yet holding my boys in my arms, I gradually, as each day passed and I got closer to holding my boys in my arms, crossed over to the other side. The success side of infertility. The side I had wanted to be on for so many months, years. And, of course, after my boys were placed lovingly into my arms, I became a mom again. Something I had been wanting to do for five years, since I held Logan in my arms.

The transition on the outside has been quite seamless. I have embraced being a mommy again like no other. Each day I look at all of my boys and am so SO so thankful that each of them are here filling our home with sounds that bring a joy to my heart that can not be explained. I feel like they have been here always. That they came into our lives just when they were supposed to and that we got the babies we were meant to have. I can see this about Logan too. He has adjusted so well to having two new little brothers in our home, as if they have always been here. Quite seamless from the outside.

But how do you make the transition from one life to the next? For three years I went to numerous doctors appointments, took too many medications and shots to count and lived my life in an underlying sadness for what I didn't have. Infertility was my life for three years. The life that I didn't choose to live, but the one that I chose to pursue.

I find myself missing that life in an odd kind of way (not that I want it back). When I drive to my parents house I always think about my drive to the clinic for our treatments (my clinic is five minutes beyond my parents house). I think about the nurses, our doctor and the treatments, my life for three years. I think about all of the girls whom I have met who have gone through infertility or who are still going through infertility. What an amazing support team!

I guess I said all of this to say this: I love my new life. The one filled with three beautiful little boys who bring so much joy to my life. As each day passes I think about our infertile life and miss it just a bit. Because for all of the bad things that happened the three years it took me to get Caden and Colton, there were also so many good things that happened. It helped shaped how my life is today. But at the same time, I feel like I am still trying to wake up from a hangover. A hangover that lasted for three years.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bullet Points

A lot of things have been going on in the last couple of weeks so here are the bullet points:

  • Colton has been sleeping 11-11.5 hours straight at night for the last couple of weeks.
  • Caden has been getting up one time in the middle of the night to eat still. But, two nights ago he did sleep for 11.5 hours straight. Mommy and Daddy LOVED it!
  • DH has been doing Caden's middle of the night feeding- what a rock star!
  • We are hosting, along with my mom and dad and sister and BIL, a NAS.C.AR and poker party tomorrow night. Our nanny, Miss M, will be coming to watch the kids for us so that we can have a night out.
  • My MIL has been continuing to come to our house on Thursdays to help with the babies. I am lovin' having this help and giving my children the opportunity to bond with Grandma D.
  • We have been getting our new camper ready to go camping this summer. We traded in our old one and bought a bigger one to accommodate our growing family. I am excited to bring the babies camping this summer and excited to hang out with our camping group, which includes my parents.
  • I signed Logan up for t-ball for this summer and can't wait for it to begin!
  • I signed Caden, Colton and I up for an EC.FE class beginning this fall and am excited to do this with them since I never did it with Logan.
  • I have been struggling with some things lately and have been internalizing them in a not great way. It has been hard to separate and organize my thoughts properly. I would like to try and write them out on this blog to talk through these "issues", but am not sure that I can organize them in a way that would make sense to you.
  • DH and I are going to a family members wedding in May that is a several hour drive away. We have decided to leave the kids home with my parents for the night. We are really looking forward to having time for the two of us for 30 hours.
  • The Eas.ter Bun.ny came to our house and brought Logan a new bike. We are hoping that he learns to ride his bike this summer. For some reason, last summer he was afraid to ride his smaller bike and didn't have any desire to ride it. We thought if we (the Eas.ter Bun.ny) bought him a new, cooler bike that was a bigger size for him (he has had a major growth spurt in the last year) that he would have more interest in learning how to ride.

That about sums it up for now! I continue to read each of your blogs, even though I don't always comment. I am usually reading them with one of the babies on my lap and don't have my hands available to leave one.:)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Three Remain

Lately I have been thinking A LOT about my three frozen embryos from my last IVF cycle that Caden and Colton were conceived from. Every day I think about those little embies sitting in the freezer waiting for DH and I to make a decision on what to do with them. I always wanted four children, DH always wanted two. Now that we have three it seems like a good compromise.

But those little embies were made with so many emotions that it is not as simple as that. We fought for three years and put all of our blood, sweat and tears into making those little frosties. During my pregnancy I never felt really attached to those three frozen embryos. I told several people that out of 11 embryos transferred, only two truly implanted and produced my twin boys. That means that nine embryos "didn't survive" inside of my uterus. After going through so many embryos, and the prospect of life for each of them, in a weird kind of way I became a bit desensitized to what they actually were. Looking back, I think that this was a defense mechanism to help me cope with so many BFNs, a sort of way to guard my heart.

Now that I am looking at my boys every day I noticed that I have been thinking about those embies in a different way. I wouldn't say that I see them as potential children (although they certainly are), but as rather the prospect of more emotions that include, but are not limited to, joy, elation, fear, hope, disappointment, excitement, anticipation and heartbreak.

I have firmly decided that we will never do another fresh IVF cycle. To allow myself to go down that path again when I have three healthy children is not something that I am willing to put myself and my immediate family into. There are just too many emotions that go along with it and I can't put myself back there. I remember all to well everything we went through to get Caden and Colton and it is a place that I don't want to be again.

But those three little embies are still available, each frozen in a single straw to allow for an eSET. But, if I possibly allow myself in the future to transfer each one of them, one by one, and it does not produce a pregnancy and eventually a healthy baby at the end of the pregnancy, will I be left wanting more? Will I be able to handle the disappointment and not want to do another fresh cycle? Or will it leave me wanting more and will I weaken and do another fresh IVF cycle?

I also think about the dynamics of our family. Right now I have three beautiful little boys. Do I really want another boy? Or do I really want a girl? Not that we get to choose the gender in the IVF roulette, but just thinking ahead. To be quite honest, I don't know that I want either. And what about my chol.est.asis of pregnancy that put me on hospital bed rest. Am I at higher risk for that again or for HE.LLP or pre-.eclamp.sia? Do I really want to go through another c-section? What about when DH and I want to retire and the financial planning aspect of our lives? What about making sure that all of my children get the attention they deserve and not feeling like I am stretched too far in order to feel like I am being a good mommy? There are just so many things to consider.

As it stands today, I think I am about 80% sure that we are done, but there is still that 20% that remains. And I know I will get a bill soon for the storage fees on those little embies. I think we owe them the opportunity of patience so I will happily be paying the storage fee on those little cells that are clumped together for at least the next five years.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hooray for Hearing! And Some Conversations With Logan

Yesterday Caden and Colton had an appt for their big hearing screen. They failed the newborn hearing screen at the hospital when they were born and they also failed the same test when they were six weeks old. We had to make an appt for a more specialized hearing test to find out what, if any, hearing loss they were experiencing.

We were supposed to do Colton's test yesterday and Caden's test tomorrow since the clinic only had one ABR test machine. DH and I decided to take them both to the appt yesterday because in order for them to perform the test they have to be sleeping. We figured that if Colton was not sleeping, that they could do Caden's test if he was sleeping. Each test was estimated to take 1-3 hours.

When we arrived at the clinic both boys were wide awake and hungry. We fed them right before they called us back to the room. After they were done eating, Caden fell asleep in my arms while Colton fussed and cried. I asked DH to take him on a walk in the hallway in the stroller to try to calm him down and get him to sleep. While he was gone the audiologist hooked up the same test that they had done at the hospital to Caden. He wanted to try the easier test first so that if they passed it would save time and we wouldn't have to sit for the longer test. Caden passed with a "robust response"! When DH walked back into the room five minutes later, I told him that Caden was already done. He was in shock.

Since we had plenty of time to spare for the allotted appt time and Colton was now sleeping, the audiologist performed the same test on him and he also passed right away with a "robust response". Hooray! Both my boys have full hearing in both ears!

I asked the audiologist why they may have failed the two prior same tests and he explained that they could have fluid in their ears from delivery when they were tested at the hospital and at their six week appt or that possibly the machine was not hooked up to them properly and they did not receive an accurate read on the previous tests. Either way I am so relieved that they both can hear. The best part is that both boys were tested and passed in under an hour, rather than the 1-3 hours that we could have spent there for Colton yesterday and Caden tomorrow.

I have also been having some really funny conversations with Logan lately. It is so fun to see how his little brain is thinking as he grows. For instance, we were driving home from preschool yesterday and this was our conversation:

Logan: Which brother is sitting next to me? Is it Caden?
Me: Does he have an angel kiss on his forehead?
Logan: Yep! So it must be Caden because he has one on his forehead, Colton has one on the back of his head and I have one on my belly.
Me: That's right!
Logan: How did we all get different shaped angel kisses?
Me: That's the way that God made them.
Logan: Well, God must have different shaped lips and then he must choose the shape lips he wants to use when he wants to use them.

Logical to a five year old, right?

The other day I was doing dishes and he was sitting at the kitchen table eating a snack and out of nowhere he looks at me and says, "you are the best mommy in the whole world! I love you SO much!". Awww, talk about melting my heart!:)

We have also had a very lengthy conversation on ABC gum. You know, the kind that has "Already Been Chewed". I was being so silly with him and asking him if he wanted ABC gum, but he couldn't quite get the concept that he wanted "ABC gum, but I don't want it Already Been Chewed". I kept asking him, "do you just want regular minty gum?" And he kept saying, "no, I want ABC gum, but I don't want Already Been Chewed gum." It was a conversation that kept going around in a circle where I was trying to explain to him that I was just being silly with him and that no, I was not going to give him my ABC gum. Too funny!

The other big news at our house is that for the last three nights Caden has slept nine hours straight at night and Colton has slept 10 straight hours at night! Can I get a "woot woot"? :) We are hoping that eventually they stretch this to 11 straight hours, but we are love, love, loivn' getting more sleep from our almost 11 week olds!