Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Puppy dog kisses

The video quality might suck, but you can't dispute the fact that this is darn cute.

The key thing we are looking at here is that while he's bending down towards the dog, he's kissing her!

Kisses have been a big deal to little E over the last two weeks. His first kisses started with a big open mouth (kind of like a fish). He then progressed to presenting his binky sucking mouth to me. Next came putting his hand to his mouth like he was blowing a kiss. Finally he has started leaning in with a closed mouth and sometimes just presents his forehead. Now he's kissing Sweeptea!

I <3 it. Love it.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Toddler Proof Tree

Step 1: Buy some two dollar stuffed ornaments from Target.
Place them on the bottom of the tree.

Step 2: Elevate your tree by placing it on a table!
Thanks for the idea Auntie D!

Step 3: Get some holiday cheer! :)

Step 4: Knock on wood.


Monday, November 28, 2011

So tired.

I wish I was doing this.


Sunday, November 27, 2011


I know the Elf on the Shelf is a great little tradition to start but damn, does the elf have to be so creepy looking?


PS. Any suggestions on a lightweight or umbrella stroller?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


On Monday, I start a three week stint working off my internship hours so that I can become a principal. I'm not really looking forward to it since 1) I have to leave little E and 2) have a crapload of homework to wrap up for the end of the semester.

Despite my lack of desire to start, I know that I'll enjoy the work once I'm there. I am soooo glad that I have taken the last year and a half to go back to school for yet another credential. I feel like I'm still moving forward career-wise despite not actually working full-time. However even with all of the warm fuzzies I feel about progressing, I am really really sick of school. I hate having the stress hanging over me all of the time because I let it drive me nuts! I really resent anything that takes my focus off of E. The good news is that I'll be done in June. :)

Better go get to it.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Moose Crossing!

Today was one of those rare days in Alaska where we had magical moose moments. It all started while I was sitting at the dining room table working on some graphs for my principal internship project. My mother looked up from her computer and saw a brown head and body filling up the window. Behind me was this moose about three feet away from me outside of the window! We dashed for our camera and caught this picture as she ran across my yard.

 She spent most of the day with her baby grazing and then resting in the neighbor's yard.
When the sun was about to set, they got up and trotted back across my yard and into our woods. They were immediately followed by another mama and baby set. I <3 my neighborhood moose!

Even those people who are raised here think it's cool to see moose. It's just one of those magical reminders that humans are not alone in the world.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I love this holiday. It makes me incredibly happy that my family is always together, eating, baking, and generally having a great time. It looks like little E is a fan too...

Last year...2010

This year...2011

The oh so cute turkey T-shirt is made by *Golden* and purchased by my dear sister. The cute pumpkin hat was made by Little Bug Creations.

I am thankful for every day I have as a mom, sister, daughter, and wife. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Wife puts son to bed.
Son screams bloody murder.
Husband goes in and picks up son.
Husband brings son to couch in living room.
Husband sets son down after he squirms and doesn't want to go to sleep.
Husband asks wife to put son back in bed.
Wife puts son back in bed.
Son whimpers on the way back.
Son screams little heart out.
Husband says, "Mommy is so mean."



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cookie & Milk

Is there anything better than your first cookie? Make that your first chocolate-chip oatmeal cookie baked from scratch by your very own Granny. Yes, today we introduced E to a cookie and milk!

What was that flying saucer?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Present

While I really really <3 Thanksgiving, Christmas is coming which means I need to start planning something special for my boy. With Thanksgiving mostly prepped for, the ideas have started stirring.

My main thing about Christmas is that I don't want little E to become one of those greedy present scarfing kids. Yep. I said it.

So while I don't want to impose severe limits on the grandparents or aunties, I think for my present to him I want to do something simple. My idea for this Christmas is to make him his own blocks with letters, numbers, and family pictures/names. 

I found what looks like a pretty simple tutorial over here at Our Family of Four which I'm going to try out. When I finish, it should look something similar to this, although I think I want to add numbers and letters as well.

What do you think?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Big Mess

Before I had E, as an infertile I wondered how anyone who had hit the jackpot with a beautiful kiddo could get in the dumps like this. Well, shit happens.

It seems like the past few weeks I've just been a big messy ball of sadness, tears, irritation, anger, and of course, puke. After the happiness that E has brought to our lives, this past month felt like a huge slide backwards. I really really don't want to be in that place. I've been taking steps to get out of that funk because I know it's been a doozy. By that I mean I've given myself free reign to feel that way, but with a time limit. However, my time limit has expired. Then I got sick. Then I got sick again. So now it's really time to haul myself out of this! Besides, my favorite holiday is just a few days away.

So, today I'm reveling in the fact that I FEEL BETTER! The relief of not being sick, of just feeling normal, is huge!

So now, I'm hanging with my mom and sister and staying warm! It's been hovering in the negatives here which is COLD!

Be safe and warm!


Saturday, November 19, 2011


So apparently I have failed my NaBloPoMo month of blogging goal. If I had posted, this would have been it.


I'm sick. I'm the kind of erupting sick that you don't want me to talk about. Now I'm crawling back to bed.


Last night was hell. I'm hoping the worst of it is over now. Sigh.

Besides the two days of hell, I now have my mom and sister in residence. Enzo is incredibly happy having his Auntie and Granny to play with! Yippee!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


When I was in high school, I was a joiner. I was actually queen joiner. My list of extra-curricular activities actually didn't fit in the space allowed on my college applications. When college came, I took the opposite tack and  became a non-joiner. Over time, I have continued on the non-joining path. Then, infertility firmly moved me from being a non-joiner into a downright group-hating-girl.

Motherhood and moving to a new duty station has brought that to a screeching halt. Well, to be fair, my attitude hasn't changed that much, however I have joined TWO moms groups in the last year to simply meet some people. Necessity for sanity.

The first group I joined helped me get out of the house and dive into some Alaskan activities with my kiddo. Thumbs up.
The second group is a huge local MOPS group, that despite the religious affiliation, is not overly pushy on that aspect. Instead I get to talk with other moms twice a month while my son safely plays downstairs. We have an assigned table within the bigger group which makes it more personal. Thumbs up.

Despite the general niceties of both groups, a few things drive me nuts:

a) groups of women often have catty or high schoolish tendencies. Boo.
b) groups of mothers can complain about their kids and ramble on about procreation on a frequent basis. Double-boo

I don't know if it is my infertile scars or group-hating tendencies that makes me back away from fully connecting with these ladies, but I find myself very guarded with them. During the last meeting, a mom-with-no-filter kept going on and on about how easily she gets knocked up. And oh by the way, she doesn't want to get pregnant with her fifth kid now because her husband is deploying. My pissed off angry self thought, "shut up you stupid bitch." I know, that's totally mean. Of course I didn't say anything. Instead, I murmured my goodbyes, turned around, and left quietly crying. I was just so raw from my appointment with the doctor the day before. Yet even from this crappy moment, today something changed within our little group. One of the girls just came over and hugged me with her other friend who told me that last year at the ripe-old-age of 29 she had to have a hysterectomy. Maybe I'm not the only slightly broken down girl there.

Bonding over crappy stuff like this isn't exactly what one hopes for, but hey, it's something.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back to basics?

My sister forwarded this to me today. It made me chuckle. Is this back to the basics parenting?
A stiff drink will help your child with his anger issues

By: Jemima Lewis

My four-year-old had such a monstrous tantrum the other day that I bought three parenting manuals. Being an anxious middle-class mother, this is what I do when trouble strikes – read books. I have dozens, on everything from water birth to sibling rivalry. I’ve even bought a book on the pointlessness of parenting books.

Much of the advice is hopelessly otherworldly – or at any rate, Californian. I am counselled, for instance, to use something called “reflective listening” to communicate with my “spirited” child. Instead of telling the blighter to stop kicking me and say sorry, I am supposed to help him identify his feelings and negotiate a way down from his “anger mountain”.

“I can see that you are very frustrated,” I should say. “You wish we could stay in the park forever playing Spider-Man versus the Hulk. How can we find a way to make going home easier for you?” So far, my attempts at reflective listening have been met with a look of furrowed curiosity (Mum’s acting weird again), followed by redoubled wailing.

Still, every now and then one comes across a mercifully practical piece of parenting wisdom. The Australian psychologist Steve Biddulph recommends that, as soon as both parents arrive home from work, they should sit down together with a stiff drink. The alcohol, he says, will make them more relaxed – and thus better parents.

This is such a joyously unmodern, generous-spirited piece of advice that it automatically makes me trust everything Mr Biddulph says. In fact, I think it should be the starting point for manuals of every sort. Planning a spot of DIY? Having trouble with your spark plugs? Just relax – it’ll all seem so much easier after a large Martini.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Let it Snow!

The first snow hit my house on October 30th.

It kept snowing.

And snowing.

Until my poor dog had snow up to her belly.

It's only November 14!!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why a haircut?

Oh, can I tell you the response from my friends, family, and blog readers about little E's haircut?

The moaning!
The wailing!
The lamenting!

Okay, I'm totally exaggerating. :) In general though, all of the people who kept BUGGING me about cutting his hair are now bemoaning the fact that I actually cut it.

The main reason for the cut is that the comb-over was simply getting a little too long to swirl correctly. When worn as a  faux-mo(hawk), the ends would start curling instead of staying spiky. In the I'm-growing-naturally-like-a-skunk hair do, the tip of his hair was long enough that it would dangle in between his eyebrows. Not so cute.

So finally did the deed and shaved it the night before my hubby came home from Korea.

I've been assured from my hispanic friends that shaving a baby's head is the way to get a nice thick head of hair. So, I guess we'll see! In the meantime, he looks like a mini-me of his dad. Heehee! <3 my boys


Saturday, November 12, 2011


Thank you to my ten readers who participated in my Shutterfly Giveaway! Here are the winners!!

The Voices!

I've sent the three of you emails, so let me know if you have any trouble with the codes or if you didn't get the email.

Thanks Shutterfly for your generous promo!


Friday, November 11, 2011


My dear hubby was shipped to Korea for about twenty days while I was on my trip down south. I was incredibly jealous as I would go there simply to shop and eat. I can eat bibimbap and kalbi for days without getting sick of it! Since it is where my hubby and I met, it also reminds me of some good times!!

Regardless of my petty jealousies, we were super excited when Thursday arrived and we could head to the airport to pick him up. Over snowy roads we traveled the hour to the airport. I parked and went in to wait. Little E had just woken up from  a short nap and spent several minutes standing in one spot and just staring at the all of the airport sights. So when daddy came and threw his arms open for a hug, little E just stared at him! I think it might have hurt daddy's feelings a little bit.

Once little E warmed up to him again, he got his hugs and kisses.

Oh, my boys.


Thursday, November 10, 2011


The hair is gone!


One more day to enter my GIVEAWAY!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I live in a huge state. :) So, thankfully the storm is really far away from us. However, it's really battering those villages on the coast. Please keep them in mind.


PS...Two more days to enter the GIVEAWAY for 25 free Shutterfly cards! You don't have to Twitter or Facebook anything....just become a follower and leave a message on the giveaway post!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


**For those who are coming for the first time, this post is about my lovely friend Fairyeggs who donated her eggs to me for our third IVF cycle. I wrote about how I felt about our relationship after I took my son E to North Carolina to meet her and her family for the first time when he was one.**

Before I went to North Carolina to visit with Fairyeggs, I had a brief moment where I wondered if physically seeing little E would change the wonderful balance we have now. This was a veeeeery brief moment. Our friendship has remained consistent through tornadoes, snowstorms, broken down buses, a car accident, living in different countries, children, and dating boys. Of course we would be just fine! It's only human nature to have a wandering thought or two which is why she had a moment of questioning too.

In reality, we have an even stronger friendship than we did prior to little E.

Now there is something between our families that stretches like a gossamer thread. It's a thread so faintly visible that most people barely perceive it, but you can feel it as it brushes across your face. There are threads that run between me, Fairyeggs, our moms and dads, our sisters, our husbands and our kids. It comes from the shared experience from the start of infertility treatments until now. Since I have always shared what we were going through, my family and hers were there for all of the ups and downs.

When we talked about it over Mexican food and margaritas, we agreed that we don't define E's relationship traditionally. By this I mean that neither of us think she is "mom." Similarly, we don't view her kids as siblings with little E. Yet at the same time, there is this connection which we've decided is more like cousins, but not exactly....? Although he's not really talking yet, we decided to have little E call her by the name that her niece and nephew currently use which I think is ridiculously sweet. The role of auntie fits, but is also not inclusive enough. :)

The feeling I left with from the trip was just an overwhelming feeling of love, acceptance, and family. I personally have no term for the woman who gave me this beautiful incredible baby boy. I'm just really grateful to have her and everyone around her in our lives.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Hard to Stop Myself...

While I might have made a decision about baby number two, my heart still jumps at the thought of getting pregnant. It's just hard to stop myself! For example, I was catching up on my blogs when I came across SIF mentioning that Dr. Sher is giving away a free IVF. My instant reaction was, "I could be that person!" Then I laughed at myself.

The same thing happened today when I read about DuoFertility. While it's in FDA trials right now, it's already available in the UK and Europe. Is it bad that I want one?

AND btw, there are four more days to enter my giveaway for 25 free Shutterfly cards! I have three sets to giveaway and only two people entered. Don't make me beg bloggies.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

A bracelet

After out trip to Oklahoma, the next leg took us a little further east to North Carolina where Fairyeggs lives. That's right folks, Fairyeggs finally got to actually meet little E! I have a lot to say about much that I've written and discarded about five posts. So, I'm going to try to break it down.

For those of you who weren't following me back then, Fairyeggs is one of my best friends from college who donated her eggs in a cycle which resulted in my amazing boy. Since the DE-IVF cycle, we have seen each other only once back when I was about five months pregnant and still in Missouri. With E's birth and our move to Alaska, getting together before now has simply not been feasible. However before I even planned our trip to see her, I planned something else.

The connection between Fairyeggs and my family is something incredible and really different from the norm. So, on E's birthday, I wanted to get Fairyeggs something to show my appreciation of her gift. I chose to get her a Pandora bracelet with a couple of charms to celebrate what we did to get to this point. With each subsequent year, I plan to give her a new charm to add to her bracelet, just as E will add to our lives each year.

This year, the first charm I chose was a simple silver heart to symbolize the love of our friendship. While most people wouldn't choose love as a representation of friendship, for us I do. I love that girl!! She's proven over and over again how friendship through thick or thin really works. The friendship that we forged in college became the first step of the path that led us to today.

Secondly, I looked for a representation of the cycle. Since neither a needle or a carton of eggs is available as a charm, I chose the Angel of Hope. After the dismal failure at egg retrieval for my second cycle and the subsequent BFN, I was in a pretty dark place. Out of nowhere, she gave me hope. I know, I know--it sounds cheesy! But these types of things, this is why these phrases were made. 

Last I chose the traditional baby carriage as a symbol of E's first year. Simple. Straight forward. But no, I didn't actually have a baby carriage, pram, or bassinet. 

When I gave it to her, she cried. I think she liked it. :)


Five more days left to enter my giveaway for 25 free Shutterfly holiday cards! Anyone who is a follower can leave me a message on the giveaway post and you are in! If you aren't a follower, it's simple to become one! Click on the right hand side of the page where it says followers and you'll be on the path!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meeting Great-Grandma

Recently, little E and I embarked on a multi-stop trip that first took us to Oklahoma where my mom's family mostly lives. One of my cousins recently got married down in the Caribbean and had a lovely reception back at home. So, finally little E got to meet this side of the family. A really important part of the trip was meeting his great-grandma. :) 

She completely won his heart -- just like a man -- through his stomach. For my whole life, she has always made her own fabulous wheat bread and cinnamon rolls. Unlike store bread, this stuff is dense and full of flavor. After his normal breakfast of banana and oatmeal, he would down a whole piece. I don't know where he puts it!

My cousin who got married is a former marine and a die hard OSU fan. While he doesn't know the details of everything we have been through, our struggle to have E has really made E special to him. He would keep photos of him on his phone and show them to his co-workers. :) My cousin decked him out in OSU gear and I made him a tie-onesie in the colors for the reception. 

Besides all of the family fun, the beautiful seventy degree weather gave little E some time to play outside. He was eating it up! 


Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! It's easy...become a follower and post a message in the giveaway post!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Moping Day 3

Another day of moping here in Alaska. The eight hours and ten minutes of daylight we have right now just isn't cutting through my funk. In all fairness, it's the combination of everything: the decision, being sick, and the start of winter snow. I give myself the weekend to roll around the muck and physically feel better. 

Of course, I always have my personal ray of sunshine...


Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for 25 free Shutterfly cards!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Thank you so much for your support from my Death of a Dream post. I have to chuckle over the melodramatic title, but then I want to cry because it's true.

I forwarded the post to my husband because he's largely out of contact while in South Korea for a month. As usual he was completely supportive. The same ideas have been percolating in his brain for awhile now. However, it just took me more time and a doctor repeating what I already knew to make it sink in.

To add insult to injury, I woke up last night heaving up the contents of my morose pizza binge. Not fun. I've spent most of the day curled up in a ball in the play area with E. Being sick really detracted from my wallowing time that I have decided to give myself. So annoying.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GIVEAWAY!! (updated)

Although I didn't grow up celebrating Christmas, now as an adult, one of things I really look forward to in the season is the CARDS! I love receiving the cards with family pictures full of kids, dogs, decorations, and bad matching sweaters! There's just something about seeing my friends and family change over the years. 

My go to place for holiday cards is always Shutterfly. They are a greeting card haven! 

In past years, I have chosen the folded cards because I prefer cardstock compared to photo paper. However, this year I'm leaning towards the flat stationary cards that come in 4x8, 5x5, and 5x7 sizes. The very best part is that you can use both sides of the card for photos and writing. This works for me because I like to add in a little more information than you typically include on a flat card, but I prefer a flat card to a folded card because it's easier to display. This year, I'm going to make this to display my beautiful cards.

Keeping in mind that it costs more to mail square versus rectangular cards, I excluded square cards (and there are some darn cute ones too!) 

Among all of the holiday cheer, I'm in love with the retro or vintage cards like these holiday cards:

At the same time, I've also been contemplating sending out New Year's cards instead of holiday cards so that I can include my family who do not celebrate any holiday. Shutterfly offers some adorable options for these too. My faves are...

Besides the great cards, they have a ton of things to add on to make your cards extra nice and of course easier for you like...

Shutterfly is generously giving me free cards for taking a look at this year's cards (like that's a hardship!) and also giving you a chance. There are two ways:

A. I have my first giveaway! If you are not already a follower of the blog, become one by clicking follow at the top of the page or onthe right hand side of the page by all the pictures. Then simply leave a comment below and you are in! Three lucky followers will win 25 free cards!! I'll be leaving the giveaway open for one week. 

B. Do you blog? Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here:

Which card do you think I should send this year?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Death of my Dream

Today sucks. 

After a really long day of flying across the country and then up to Alaska with little E in tow, we rolled out of bed to head to my appointment with Women's Health aka OB/GYN at the hospital. 

Originally I made the appointment in the hopes of getting a referral to a local doctor who might do some injectable cycles with IUIs. In the military system, this takes an appointment with your primary care doctor to get a referral to OB who will then refer you to an outside doc. I knew going into it that there are no Reproductive Endocrinologists in Alaska which doesn't really matter since IVF is not covered by my insurance. However in the few months that have passed between waiting for my various appointments, I have come back around to question whether or not it's feasible for me to safely carry another child. So in the end, this was the main topic for today.

The doctor was quite kind in giving his assessment in a way that respected our right to choose our own path. He didn't flippantly say adopt, but instead acknowledged that every path to a child for us will be difficult. 

I think today I just accepted the fact that to have another child myself would be a bigger risk than I'm willing to take. Between the financial and emotional risk, it just seems too large of a hill to climb. While I think we have a handle on the types of treatments that would get me pregnant (donor eggs or donor embryo), it would still cost thousands of dollars to simply get me pregnant. Of course, knowing us, there would also be some failures which would continue to squish our hearts just a little bit more. This would be followed by a pregnancy that would definitely require a cerclage and most likely end up in with a preterm delivery meaning NICU time and health issues for my child.
Besides these things, the toll of the worry and stress on my husband would be considerable. I think it is often much harder to be the one that is worrying rather than the one enduring. If I were to carry again, the doctor said we would need to plan on several months of bed rest. 

Contemplating this just makes me feel selfish. I want to do this because the birth experience was amazing. Seeing baby E for the first time was the most joyous moment of my whole life. I want that again. The cost of what it would take to get that dream? I think it is too much.

When I walked out of that office today, I felt like I just knew. I knew that this wasn't the right thing to do. So what is?

It felt like the death of my dream.