Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018

1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!

Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

April, 2020

This month has been amazing! Although working from home while caring for two little ones is challenging, this time together is such an amazing gift. Most of my Zoom meetings are muted so that coworkers are not interrupted by the kids, who will often come to sit on my lap and point to themselves on screen. I usually try to have A working by my side during the meetings. She has grown leaps and bounds in her learning this month and can now read or even create some three-letter words. We purchased Hooked on Phonics, and it has been helping tremendously. Our days are loosely structured, with plenty of flexibility and free time to explore in the back yard, morning and evening walks, learning, snacks, naps, chores, bike riding, rollerskating, and a dip in the hot tub. I like to sprinkle in her learning throughout the day rather than have her sit for too long. We usually do something learning-related at least three times each day. And one of our main priorities is always to have fun! I'm finding that it's so much easier to be spontaneously silly without the stress of always rushing somewhere. They both love it, for example, when I put on Eye of the Tiger and dance around while cooking breakfast.

Little A lost her second tooth at the beginning of the month. And, also swallowed that second tooth. Fortunately, the Tooth Fairy still pays a visit even when there is not a physical tooth for her to take. By the end of the month, one adult tooth was peaking through and her third tooth became loose.

I'm happy to report that this month, I ran 3 miles every day, with the exception of two days following my breast biopsy! I haven't run this frequently since high school! It feels amazing, and I'm pain-free! My total mileage was just shy of 150, averaging 35 miles per week (almost half of that is from our walks). Now, don't get me wrong: there are still many days that I don't want to get out there. Especially when the weather nears of even tops 80 degrees. But to give myself something to look forward to, I listen to an audiobook on every run. It doesn't do much for my pace, but it is a welcome distraction.
What was that? Breast biopsy? Not to worry, all was good! My mammogram detected a lump, and an ultrasound the next day confirmed that a biopsy was needed. Not a needle biopsy, but a core biopsy which was about as fun as it sounds. Because all non-necessary appointments have been canceled due to COVID, I was able to get in right away, which was nice. But I still had to go through Easter weekend not knowing, which was fine until Sunday night rolled around. Thoughts of Mom and the evil that is cancer broke through my fearless front. It was a relief to hear the nurse's tone in the morning call, telling me before her words did that everything was alright.

With our social calendars cleared, Easter was really an event to look forward to! All the build-up was equally as exciting for the kids as it was for me. Is there anything more gratifying than seeing your kids' eyes filled with anticipation? We dyed Easter eggs, and I just couldn't wait for the kids to open their baskets first thing in the morning! But first, they had to find them, a tradition from my husband's family. A is not too keen on chocolate, but little C loves it, so much so that it hampers his egg-hunting ability because he stops to open nearly every egg! We had a social-distancing approved visit with GrandpaGlennie and had our neighbor friends over for the actual hunt. Grandma sent A a pair of skates and she set about using them right away!

With Easter came the end of Lent and A's 40 days with no TV! It was much easier than I anticipated and we are so proud of her for choosing that and sticking with it! There were days that she would forget and ask for it and surprisingly when I reminded her that she gave it up, she did not question or insist.

We squeezed in a beach day before the governor closed all OC beaches. It was easy to keep our social distance, as there was hardly anyone there. I had so much fun watching their joy. A loved to running up to the water's edge and squealing and running back as the tide brought the small waves in. C loved throwing sand and watching Sissy.

This was the month that A finally became comfortable jumping into our spa and even into bigger pools. It seems like just a few months ago that she didn't want to go under, and now she is able to jump into the deep part and swim to the sides! We had a few pool play-dates over at our neighbors' and also the Carter's. She even feels comfortable enough now to let Dad throw her in! And for C? He can now navigate the stairs while standing up, both up and down! He does hold on to the railing.

I have the kids on a great nap schedule. They both sleep from 1:30 or 2 until 4:30 or 5! My husband is on the same nap schedule as well and so during this time I have time for my murder-mysteries and a picture-sorting project that I dove into earlier this month. Our dining room table is covered with every photo from my childhood, and all childhood photos from my Mom and Dad. Also, a few photos of their parents. Because my parents moved so many times over the years, all of their photographs were in totes with little organization, save for a few albums. Decades mixed in with other decades. I work a little on this each day and it is bittersweet. I love discovering "new" photos of my Mom and I, and learning about my different parties; reading what she has written in my baby book. Yet seeing these photos makes me yearn for her. What I wouldn't give to pick up the phone and hear her voice. Now that I am a Mom, I have so many things to ask her and so many things that I want to share with her. Missing Mom always seems to end up increasing my faith in God, in part because I want to know that she is aware of the kids and how amazing they are, and because I long to be reunited with her.
And so, slowly but surely I continue to work on cultivating my faith. A friend recommended this video, and it has helped me tremendously. If you want to have less doubt too, check it out. 

We made the very difficult decision this month to check our daughter out of Catholic school and have enrolled her in a Lutheran School for kindergarten in the fall. I will not get into any of the reasons we left her previous school, as there are staff there that we love like family, but it was the right decision and we are excited about what is to come.

One of our new favorite activities is to sit out front by the fountain and watch the kids play after we finish our evening walk. We are very blessed to be at the end of a cul-de-sac and love the sunsets we see from this vantage point. We're not watching nearly as much TV as I feared we might when this whole quarantine started. The kids have hours of unstructured play each day, most of which is outside. One of A's favorite activities is "training" her dogs by putting a leash on them and leading them around. This slower pace is exactly what we needed. When things are back to normal, I can guarantee that we will be still staying home a lot more than we did before.

Things I don't want to forget about this month:

  • How excited A was on the last day of April because the next day was May and our birthday months!
  • How C will lean his head on the dogs to show affection. 
  • Words: Cup, stick, duck, bee, moon, up, wa-wa, eye, shoe, outside, baby, ball, no, bubble, bye bye, baba, Mama, uh-oh, woah, Dada!
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