Wednesday, February 26, 2014

“Now I know my ABC’s!”

About two weeks ago Grace gave us a super HUGE surprise!  She sang the entire alphabet as we were getting ready for bed without even being asked.  This is something we’ve practiced with her here and there but I don’t think either of us realized how much her Gaga and Papa were working on it with her.  That was until the evening she came out of nowhere and sang the song from beginning to end!  This kid, she’s amazing.

Gaga and Papa are pretty wonderful too. :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

9/52: "Duuukies, mama!"

I LOVE, love the park near our home.  For starters, it’s huge, but what’s even better is that it was just remodeled and has a big pond full of ducks that Grace can’t get enough of.  We don’t visit the park as often as I’d like with our busy work and weekend schedules but when we do, it’s always a good time. :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

2nd birthday party planning - a welcomed distraction

This week has brought about several new developments in the TTC #2 department.  Let’s start with me changing RE’s, shall we?  When G went through the TTC process we worked with Dr. C, the younger of the two RE’s in the practice.  G liked him and he did a good job but he always came off as kind of a jerk to me.  He and I just didn’t seem to mesh (mostly because I tend to ask a lot of questions and he didn’t seem to like that very much).  In all honesty, I didn’t really care that he was a jerk because I knew that at the end of the day we were trying to make a baby, not make new friends, lol.  When it was time to start the process with me, I talked to Georgia about switching to the senior RE, Dr. T who owns the practice (and was actually the RE who inseminated G with Gracie back in 2011 because Dr. C was off that day).  Ultimately, we decided that it could ruffle too many feathers so we didn’t make the switch.

For my first couple of appointments and both inseminations, I was surprised that Dr. C wasn’t present for any of them.  It was a bit weird considering he was present for all of G’s appointments but I blew it off.  I definitely found it odd but didn’t get bothered until around the 6th or 7th appointment that we went to and still, no Dr. C.  Now please don’t get me wrong, nurses are AMAZING but there are also a lot of things they can’t tell you as well as questions they can’t answer without consulting the RE.  This was our experience at our clinic anyway.  I became truly unglued at the 10th appointment we attend (still no Dr. C) only for this appointment we met with Dr. T, the senior RE who I wanted to switch to when we started the process.  He took one look at my blood tests and my lady parts and asked why I wasn’t taking Met.formin.  I had no idea what Met.formin was but as it was explained to me, with my PCOS diagnosis and my test results, one of which was slightly out of the “normal” range, the medication would significantly increase my chances of becoming pregnant and I should have started it months ago!  Umm, what?  Yeah, I was pissed.  Had Dr. C made it to just ONE of our “specialist” appointments over these past 3 months, I could have started Met.formin back in November and who knows how that could have impacted my first 2 inseminations.  I’m definitely not blaming Dr. C for my BFN’s, but his absence certainly didn’t help…

This made our decision an easy one and this week (after jumping through several hoops), I officially became a new patient of Dr. T!  I am beyond thrilled with this new development in our journey to give Grace a sibling. :)

The other tidbit of new info regarding our efforts to conceive, fell into our laps this afternoon.  When we were TTC Grace, I called our clinic just about every other month to check the supply of vials available for our donor. Once G got pregnant and we purchased 8 vials for future siblings, I chilled out on the check-ins for a bit.  Today, I read several online chats between moms in my lesbian mom group about the desire to have biologically connected children and suddenly I had to urge to check our available vials again.  I knew that we had used 2 of the 8 and that we were planning to do back-to-back IUI’s this next round using 2 more, so the thought of only having 4 remaining vials worried me a bit.  G and I decided that we would use our tax return to purchase 4 additional vials so I called in to make the purchase, like I had several times before, and was given the heartbreaking news that our donor only had ONE vial left for purchase.  I felt like I got hit by a bus and I seriously think I asked the person I was speaking with to check again about 4 times.  Unfortunately, our clinic doesn’t do a buy back program and there is no way for me to contact people with vials to see if they’re interested in selling.  Basically, that’s it.  We now have 7 “frozen possibilities” of giving Grace a sibling.  Have I mentioned that it took 7 inseminations to get pregnant with our daughter?  Umm, yeah…  This means that the possibility of having 3 kids, like I’ve always dreamt of, may not be possible. It also means that if it takes more inseminations to get me pregnant than it took G, we will run out of vials and Gracie will have no biological connection to her sibling(s). :( Now that I’ve put this in writing my plan is to forget about it for now and try to be 100% positive.  I will get pregnant this next round.  I will get pregnant this next round.  I WILL get pregnant this next round!  3rd times a charm.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in our TTC world.  I’m sure you now understand the title of this post – 2nd birthday party planning – a welcomed distraction.  Welcomed indeed!

Serious question here, how is it even possible that we are just two weekends away from our baby girl’s 2nd birthday party?  I know I say this often but time is flying as it has since the first day our gal entered this world.  As you may remember from a post I wrote last year, I promised the wife that when birthday #2 rolled around, we would keep it more “low key”, i.e. keep the guest list small(er), spend less money, keep birthday professional pictures optional, with the biggest promise being that I wouldn’t turn the guestroom and the rest of the house into a birthday party workstation…

I’m happy to report that thus far I’ve been able to keep up my end of the deal, for the most part.  I didn’t start birthday crafting of any kind until this past weekend when I made Gracie’s birthday banner and we kept things simple with the Bean’s invites this year too.  I ordered the design for her invitations on for $10 and because we already had the ink and photo paper, the only other things we needed to purchase were stamps.  We also decided to hold off on taking Gracie’s 2-year professional pictures until the end of March/beginning of April because squeezing a photo shoot in with February work travel + her extracurricular activities + party prep was just not worth the worry right now – especially since we just had our family photos taken 3 months ago.  I think her Christmas picture turned out super cute on her birthday invites!  See… holding up my end of the deal over here!

As much as G wants to pretend that she doesn’t get just as into “party mode” as I do, she totally does.  She is away on a business trip this weekend and already she’s hit up the Outlet Mall and made several birthday purchases all on her own, haha!  Check out these purple Crocs she got the Bean to go with her ‘Sofia the First’ birthday outfit.  Aren’t they the cutest?!

Gracie’s bday outfit was a total clearance steal as well!  The only thing I paid full price for was her Sofia the First t-shirt and it was only $9.  I got these purple sparkle shoes on clearance for 2 bucks so even though she’s not going to wear them to the party after all, she can still play dress up with them like she LOVES to do!

On the crafting agenda for this weekend is to make Princess Sofia gift bags!  With G being away I may not get the chance to get much party stuff done, but I'm certainly going to try.  Happy weekend everyone. :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

8/52: forward-facing!

Here's a video taken yesterday of Grace forward-facing in her car seat for the 1st time, which also happened to be after dark. It appears the lights and movement made for a pretty intense experience, haha! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A full and happy heart :)

I LOVE Valentine’s Day.  I mean, what’s not to love?  I know the day has been labeled a “Hallmark Holiday” and that may be the way some view the 14th of February, but not me.  I love the candy, the cheesy presents, the hearts, the cards and their sweet messages, the crafting, the pinks and reds and the chocolate… We must not forget about the chocolate!

This year I needed Valentine’s Day so very much.  I needed the distraction, the happy feelings and the reminder that while my mind is currently consumed with thoughts of TTC and we have yet to get our BFP, we have been blessed with an amazingly smart and beautiful little girl and that trumps everything else that going on.  She fills our hearts with so much joy and makes every holiday we share as a family all that more special. 

The Bean was an absolute blast this year.  She seemed to understand that we were getting ready for an extra special day of love and she seemed excited.  She told everyone including us, “happy vamtimes day!” all week long.  She LOVED handing out her handmade cards and heart crayons to friends and family and she somehow knew that she would be getting presents of her own even though we hid everything until the morning of. 

On Wednesday my mom kicked-off the v-day fun hosting an evening of cookie making at her house for all the grandkids.  This was a Nani and kiddos event (no parents allowed), which meant that I got to come home from work and watch 2 hours of uninterrupted TV in my big and comfy bed.  I did absolutely nothing productive and it was glorious.  G went to pick the Bean up when they were finished and when they got home Grace came bursting through the front door to give me the Valentine she made for us.  It was our first ever handmade Valentine as mamas and it made me tear up a bit.  Every time I pass her little Valentine hanging on the refrigerator covered in heart stickers and toddler artwork, I'm left with such a full and happy heart. 

♡ So many goodies ♡

G’s parents went out of town for v-day this year but they spoiled the Bean with a bunch of little goodies before they left and they spoiled us to!  Grace now has a giant stuffed zebra that she has slept with every night since Thursday.  She LOVES it!

Thursday night my ma hosted family night at her casa.  On the menu: stuffed red bell peppers, garden salad, mashed potatoes and cookies.  It was delish and so cute!  Nani had the table decorated in red and pink and we ate on red dishes.  She's so creative!  For Valentine’s Day Nani bought Easter dresses for Grace and Mia.  They’re going to look so stinkin’ cute in their little flower dresses this Easter. :)

Georgia and I took Friday off so that we could spend the day with Grace.  We started the morning with a Valentine’s themed breakfast and after naptime we headed off to the movies.  This was Gracie’s second movie in a movie theater, however she was only 2 months old when we took her to the movies for the first time and she slept through the entire movie… I don’t think that really counts, lol.  We packed a ton of different snacks, water and chapstick to keep her entertained and she did AWESOME!  We went to see the “Sing Along” showing of Frozen so it was very kid friendly.  Kids were singing all the songs and dancing in the aisles.  It was basically the cutest thing ever!  I was so proud of Grace.  There were zero meltdowns, no crying and she stayed seated.  And by the way, Frozen is an excellent movie so be sure to see it in the theater while it’s still showing.  You’ll love it.  

It was the best Valentine’s Day I can remember having in years and I hope all of you out in Blogland had a great one too!

Where’s Gracie?  Hehe ;)

Friday, February 14, 2014

{Fun Food Friday}

{On the menu for today’s Valentine’s Day themed breakfast}
Scrambled eggs, pancakes, turkey bacon & syrup.

Happy LOVE day everyone!  Once the bean is up from her nap, we’re headed to the movies to watch Frozen!  This could either be the best idea we’ve ever had or a complete disaster… stay tuned… 

Monday, February 10, 2014

IUI #2 = BFN

Is it just me or is every woman on the planet expecting?  I swear, between my Lesbian Families group and just FB in general, I read at least one soon-to-be mom making her big announcement just about everyday.  And then there is the general population of females in New Mexico – all prego, or so it would seem.  Several of my close friends have made recent announcements of babies on the way.  I mean, it’s everywhere I look!  Everywhere.

It’s hard not feeling a little bit jealous even when you are happy for an expecting mama.  It’s hard not to feel sad that you’re not the one seeing those two lines.  It’s hard not to compare yourself to other two mom families who are getting BFPs right and left.  And it’s hard not to blame yourself for the fact that you’re not pregnant yet like everyone else seems to be.  

I keep reminding myself that we’ve only been “trying” for 2 months but the truth is that we’ve really been trying for 10.  For 10 months now I’ve been on a regime of pre-natal vitamins… I’ve been going to weekly acupuncture appointments… I’ve had more tests and ultrasounds than I can count… I’ve given more blood samples in the past several months than I probably have in my whole life and don’t even get me started on the fertility drugs.  At times, they make me feel crazy, so that’s no fun.  No fun at all. 

It can be hard to focus on the positive but it’s so important that I try.  It’s important that anyone TTC at least tries.  As T. Roosevelt wrote in one of my favorite quotes, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.  I’m choosing to hold on to my joy and my hope.  I’m choosing to focus on the amazing things I have been blessed with and not the fact that I’m not one of the lucky ones yet.  I will join them soon; I feel it in my heart.  Hopefully, 3rd times a charm.

Baby dust to all my fellow TTC-ers out there. :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

{DIY Valentine’s Cards} and a little TTC update

In case you haven’t noticed by recent posts, I’m currently doing everything and anything I can to keep my mind busy and distracted from this whole baby making thing.  I haven’t quite decided what all I want to share about our journey to TTC #2, meaning, I’m not sure if I feel ok about sharing pregnancy news on the ol’blog as soon as we get our BFP, or if it feels right to wait until we get through the first trimester like we did with Gracie.  One reason for this is that finding out that you’re pregnant is really just the beginning.  You then have to make it through the beta tests, the heartbeat ultrasound and all of the other milestones a mama passes before she’s in the clear, so to speak.  I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I was that we held off on sharing the news when Georgia got pregnant the first time.  Having a miscarriage was hard enough to get through without the added pain of having to write a blog post about the fact that we were no longer expecting.  I’m definitely not trying to welcome any negative energy in our attempts with me, but once you’ve gone through something like that, it’s hard not to be just a little bit guarded.

On the other hand, I would LOVE to scream from the rooftops that Gracie is going to be a big sister the minute we find out.  I would especially love to share it here with all of you who have been through so much of the same experiences in creating your own families, and have been there for me since we started TTC #2 nearly 10 months ago.  Reading posts about TTC have answered so many questions for me and have helped me in my own journey, so much so that it makes me feel like I owe it to other families to share our story from conception as so many of you have.  What to do, what to do… I have no idea.  I would love to hear what my other blogging mamas did in this situation?

Anyhow, that’s just a glimpse of some of the thoughts that have been running on a loop in my head these days.  Thanks for listening.

and now we will return to our regular broadcasting…

If you’re still looking for a fun project to do with the kiddos this Valentine’s Day, this one is as easy as they come.  Chances are, you have all or most of the supplies needed in your house right now!

Here’s what you’ll need ~

- Toilet paper rolls.  I know we all have at least one of these lying around.
- Blank cards or construction paper or even just white sheets of paper.  I purchased the cards pictured at Tar.get for $1!
- Scotch tape or any kind of tape really.
- Paint of any kind.  We only had acrylic paint on hand, which isn’t non-toxic so we just watched the bean closely as she painted to make sure none of it made it in her mouth.

Literally the only step in this project is to fold in one of the sides of your toilet paper roll making a heart shape and then tape it.

Once you have your toilet paper roll heart, hand it over to your little one and let them go nuts stamping their cards.  We showed Grace how to do this a few times and she took it from there.

They came out pretty stinkin’ cute if you ask me! 
Happy crafting. :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

{DIY Recycled Crayon Hearts}

If you have kiddos, chances are likely that you also have several buckets of broken crayons in various rooms of your house.  Our little one isn’t even two years old and yet crayons can be found in the kitchen, in the guest room craft closet as well as in Gracie’s room and yes, they are all broken into tiny pieces.  For the longest time I would toss the Bean’s crayons once they were destroyed and buy her a new cheapy box from the Dollar St.ore, that was until I realized that I was wasting my time and money because once she got her little toddler hands on a new box, they too would be destroyed in minutes.

As it turned out, hanging on to these misfit crayons paid off when the time came for this year's Valentine’s project.  I got the idea for Gracie’s crayon hearts from a friend who made crayon stars last 4th of July that turned out so adorable.  I basically did everything the same with the exception of using old crayons rather than new ones and a heart tin in place of one with stars.  I did buy two boxes of Crayola Crayons just in case I didn’t have enough crayon pieces but I didn’t end up using them.  Quick tip: I discovered that generic crayons are easier to peel; they break easier and melt better.  Bonus – they’re less expensive too!

These little hearts make great Valentine’s gifts for school age kiddos or in Gracie’s case, for cousins who are still young enough to LOVE to color like she does.  If you give this project a go, be sure to let us know how they turn out!

Here’s what you’ll need:

- Crayons (cheap Dollar St.ore brands preferred)
- Heart muffin tin.  I purchased ours at Tar.get for $8.99
- Gift bags to wrap your heart crayons in when finished
- Conventional oven
- Glitter (optional)

Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees while peeling and breaking crayons into small one-inch pieces.

Step 2: Solicit the help of your kiddos to fill your muffin tin.  Grace LOVED doing this!  It gave us an opportunity to work on her colors while also enjoying some sensory play.

Step 3: We used more orange, yellow, white, pink and other bright colors for the heart crayons we made for Gracie’s girl cousins.  We also threw some glitter in for a little extra sparkle.  Glitter can be very dangerous for little ones if digested so mamas and papas, you’re in charge of the glitter portion. :)

Step 4: With the heart crayons we made for the little dudes, we used more greens and blues but also snuck a little red and pink in the mix.  It is love month after all and I for one know lots of boys who like pink!

Step 5: Once each heart in your tin is full, place the tin in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes with the oven light on so that you can check on your crayons as they bake.  After 20 minutes take your tin out (slowly and carefully as the crayons will be in liquid form at this point).  If you still see crayon chunks, cook for an additional 5 minutes but be sure to keep an eye on the oven to avoid burning your hearts.

Step 6: Once cooked, set your tin on the counter to cool for 10 minutes before placing the tin in the freezer to further cool for an additional 10 minutes.  The freezer allows your crayon hearts to pop right out of the tin once cooled.

Step 7: That’s it!  Wrap your recycled crayon hearts in your Valentine’s Day gift bags and be sure to throw a little candy in there too.  We added some Skittles and Jelly Beans. :)

Happy LOVE month everyone!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

6/52: Super Bowl XLVIII

7-layer dip: Super Bowl Edition

Even though our boys didn’t make it, we still had to represent!  Rudy’s face may suggest otherwise, but it was such a fun family night. 

Pre-teens… gotta love’em. ;)

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