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.

Friday, February 7, 2020

January, 2020

New Year's Day
While I love Christmas and am always sad to see it go, I do love the start of a new year (decade!), full of resolutions and possibilities.  I started this year off a few pounds lighter, resolute and excited about something I finally found that works for me, and that I can stick to long-term. If you're not yet tired of me talking about it, you can read more HERE.
I said "Show me your horsey" and he held it up.
Not currently wanting to spend $200+ a month on Disneyland passes, I somewhat reluctantly bought us all annual passes for Knott's Berry Farm. We'll make the most of it, I thought. It won't be that bad. Imagine my surprise when I actually liked the experience more than Disneyland! We spent the Sunday after we returned from Oregon there and I was amazed that there were not any lines in Camp Snoopy. It was practically empty, even though it was the last day of Knott's Merry Farm and all the decorations. We were able to walk on most rides, and there were quite a few that the three of us could do together! We went later in the month with the same result. I love that parking is just right across from the entrance (read: No tram or bus required!) and that she was able to stay on the Camp Snoopy coaster over 10 times without even getting off! It's just so much more manageable and less of an ordeal. Although Disneyland will always have it's special magic, sometimes the very thought of going stressed me out!

Mornings can be hectic, even with all of the prepping I do the night before by laying out her uniform, packing her lunch, etc. A recent morning was running pretty smoothly, with A earning a star for helping get herself ready without any prompting, which she taped to her window. Five stars earn her something from Mommy's prize box. That's when my husband told me that our neighbors, despite our concerns (and the fact that it is illegal), were firing bow & arrows in the direction of our front yard the day before the kids and I returned from Oregon. "Real" ones, not ones from a set. Pretty upset about this, I left the house in a huff, muttering "I need to run" under my breath.

Running is my go-to when I'm stressed or upset or worried or mad or...well, anything besides 100% myself. And when things are good, it makes them even better. But, so can Jesus, I'm learning!

Coincidentally, I had taken an hour off work to attend morning prayers at my daughter's school. They have morning prayers every morning and on Thursdays, a small group of parents gather to pray the Rosary together. Father Damien led the prayers and gave me a medal of St. Benedict for C who was on my hip, as well as a rosary for A. I asked him if animals go to Heaven, and told him about our adopted dog Coco who died and the fact that A still talks about him. "Which one is she?" he asked, before walking over to her in line and letting her pick the color of her Rosary and talking to her about Coco. She felt so special being given this gift  and talking to him, and had a huge smile on her face as I walked to the parking lot. I realized that all my stress and worry and annoyance were gone. I felt better without realizing it, and felt closer to God; taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture always helps put things in perspective. I made a mental note to rely on Him more and to actively work to bring him into my life and our family more this year.

This month, we began steeping A in the history, legends and geography of Krakow to build anticipation about our trip, which is now less than 6 months away! We will be staying on the oldest street in Krakow, within the walls of Old Town which has the largest medieval town square of any European city! We'll be a stone's throw from the Warwow castle. Legend has it that a dragon lived in a cave there- what child wouldn't get behind this exciting story? I purchased a book about it for $5 on Amazon and it became her new favorite bedtime story.
He's in his element!
We started having picnics out our back gate this month. Although we do bring a blanket and some snacks, "let's have a picnic" is really code for eat Cheetos, run around and explore. C throws rocks and digs in the dirt while A looks for clues, animal tracks and swings on the rope.

The kids are also able to play in the backyard when we get home from school while I watch them through the kitchen window. C can now climb the stairs to the play structure by himself and also go down the fast slide!

We continue to foster our small, black, senior Chihuahua named Colette but are very close to becoming a "foster fail" and keeping her. She is such a sweetheart, and sleeping in A's bed every night. We took in an additional foster dog named Turbo for less than two weeks before he found his FUR-ever home. 

A started back in swim lessons, and we bought her a bigger bike. The lessons are at our gym and so it is perfect because it isn't another "appointment" and also gets us to the gym! We go as a family, and put the kids in the Kids Klub while we workout. Then, we take her over for her lesson. I'm even able to sit in the sauna while I watch her!

I didn't think that she learned much at her last lessons; progress seemed so slow! But she did, because on her first lesson, she was so excited to level up because she already knew how to float on her back, and was able to push off from the wall with her face under and "swim" to her instructor! She was so proud, and excited when her congratulations card arrived from grandma with some money in it later that week.

She also received a ribbon at Medieval Times when she was chosen as the Queen of the Tournament by our green knight! We were front row, and when he came over to give roses, I pointed at her with no luck. He came over later with even more roses and I pointed again at her. He didn't seem to notice, so imagine our surprise when he rode his horse right up to us, with his lance pointed directly at little A, with a ribbon on the end of it! She was thrilled and felt so special...because well, she is!
We met a friend at Adventure Playground in Irvine and the kids had a BLAST! Have you been? If not, you have to check it out! Its more than a playground, it's a huge wilderness wonderland for kids, complete with mud! Could anything be more fun?

This month and the beginning of the year has just been amazing. Are we busy? Yes. Are we too busy to enjoy things? No! Although I continue to work on the weekends with photo sessions, we are always able to carve out some down time. I love and actually cherish our daily commute and the conversations that happen. I love the time before bed, and how easy it is to make them happy with extra time outside or cuddled up in bed watching Disney +.

I love surprising her by picking her up early from school. I was able to do this five times this month because we had a week of minimum days. One day, I told her that I would be there to pick her up while she was on the playground. On a whim, I decided that I would take her to Knott's, and so I went to get my shashimi lunch first, and ran and errand.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I could see that they were still on Kid's Kingdom, their playground. 

As I approached, I could tell she looked sad. As soon as she saw me, her face lit up, as she started to break down with relief and happiness. "Mommy! Best Mommy EVER! I thought you weren't coming! Look! This is my MOMMY! I knew you were coming...Mommy but I was afraid you weren't coming!" I scoped her up for a hug and put her on the picnic table, as a few tears fell down. I didn't realize that she truly was expecting me earlier, but she was beyond elated when I told her "We're going to Knott's Berry Farm! Just you and me! Just the girls!"

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

Currently Reading: 
  • When she paints me something at school and is excited to show me. 
  • When I'm changing his diaper, how he stretches up his little toes for me to kiss and how it makes him laugh and laugh. 
  • Seeing them bond with our dogs, and how kind and gentle they are.
  • His new word: Bye Bye!