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, January 7, 2022

Class Valentine's Day Idea

Every year, I am so excited about what my children are going to give their classmates for Valentine's day! My daughter is in first grade, and loves those pop it toys, so I thought this would be prefect! When you search on Etsy, they are up to $3.00 each for a cute bag and tag to go along with the pop it. 

Instead, I ordered these on Amazon, which are only $13 for 16! That means I can get more than I need for only $26. I like that they are gender neutral, so it doesn't matter if she passes them out to boys or girls. I'll do the same for Cha's class as well.

I have some cute tags which I'm happy to share. Email me at megan26.2@gmail.com and I'll send you the file.

Planning ahead for holidays fun events takes the stress out of celebrations for me. And yes, I already have her 7th birthday booked for the end of May. This one is going to be the best yet, and involves a few different destinations and a limo ride! Now, to start taking down all of our Christmas decorations at home...my goal for this weekend!

December, 2021

Each December, the nostalgia of Christmas combined with the approaching new year stirs in us a wistful feeling. Since the children have been born, I have diligently filmed every precious moment that I could capture. I imagined that one day, I would lovingly relive them, warm smile on my face and mug in my hand. But, I think it has sll been for naught. Just seconds into the video below taken five years ago in Christmas day in Italy, and I feel just like Chevy Chase in Christmas vacation. Not the jovial, fun Chevy Chase but the sad one, when he's sitting in the attic watching the old reels of his childhood and bawling his eyes out. And, this video wasn't even taken that long ago! I imagine the nostalgia will only compound over the coming years, and doubt that it will be any good for me at all. Time, you are a thief!

Okay, that's enough melancholy reminiscing for one blog post; let's get back to the present. Truly, this is the most wonderful time of the year, even if it does make us all a little wistful. About ten days before Christmas, I tired to slow down and focus on enjoying the moment. But that doesn't mean not going anywhere; we can still slow down and enjoy while we are out and about at Knott's Merry Farm, Disneyland, Irvine Regional Park or anywhere else! To me, enjoying the moment means putting my phone down and noticing the small things that the kids say or do, smiling and not worrying about things beyond my control, all the presents that need to be wrapped or wondering how it will all get done. It always does, right? It means choosing joy, and realizing that as long as everyone is healthy and happy, we are truly blessed. Life is good, and God is good. And when it seems like He's not? It's only because he has bigger and better plans.

We started the month with my husband's (and his twin's!) surprise 40th birthday party. Thank you to the Leach's for hosting and to everyone who came out! It was fun, yet stressful, keeping it a secret, since that's not my style. Since we were not able to coordinate the twins arriving together, they each arrived separately for two different reveals...within minutes of each other. The kids had a blast running around with sharp objects on the side yard, and no one was injured. It was a late night for this non-drinker but it was worth it. The kids slept in one of the spare bedrooms without protest, and just after 3:30am, we scooped them up to go home.

The kids each had a Christmas performance through their school. We were driving to church for Aut's Christmas pageant and I was explaining that the event was going to be live-streamed. Realizing that she did not know what this was, I explained that her Grandma was going to be watching her do everything right when she did it. It wasn't a recording that would be watched later, I explained, but Grandma would be viewing her live, and in real-time. Suddenly, she understood, and sweetly stated "Oh, I understand: My Grandma in Heaven will be watching me on stage." My heart. It was both humorous and heartbreaking. "No baby, I meant your Grandma in Oregon. But, your Grandma in Heaven will be watching too...I suppose that is just like a livestream..." My father and brother (collectively known as GrandpaGlennie) came to church to watch the performance. 

This month, we discovered a game-changer book for our girl! She came home very excited about this Gerald and Piggie book, which I ordered from Amazon. When it arrived, I gave her to it for the drive to school and it was the first time that she read on her own without any prompting and was truly excited! She also needed very little help. Other than the humor in it (same author as Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!), I think the fact that there is only once sentence per page makes it less intimidating for her, as she is able to progress through it very quickly.

The kids were fortunate to see Santa a few times this season. They are now aware that Santa is so busy that he has special "helpers" that are often placed at the mall and other places to help him out since it's such a busy time of year for him. She could tell that the Santa they saw at Disneyland was once such helper, but we were able to locate the real one a few weeks later. 

The real Santa was found at Once Upon an Island's special Christmas event! How did we know this guy was the real deal? Because he knew that Aut had left flour out on the floor in front of the fireplace last year, in order to obtain evidence of his visit. He mentioned it as soon as she walked in: 

How else would Santa know that she did that? You can tell she was a bit caught off guard (and, wowed!) and told me after that she thought he may have been upset with her! But she loved every minute of it, and said that she wants to see Santa at this location, every year. Done, baby girl; for as long as you'll let me take you, we're there.

We had a nice dinner at El Ranchito in Corona del Mar afterwards, and thoughts of Mom were on my heart, as we often visited CdM when she was in town. My favorite Christmas picture of my Mom and I was taken there, on the beach in Crystal Cove. I love how we form a heart shape with our hug. June 28th, October 8th and all of December are tough for me in regard to missing Mom. I still whisper, once a day, I miss you, Mom with a heavy sigh. Then, I try and pull myself up by the bootstraps and channel that longing into something positive and fun with the kids. Mom did not spend much (if any?) time feeling sorry for herself because she was just too busy living and enjoying every moment. 

We had Christmas with my Dad and brother before my husband left to make the long drive to Oregon with the Golden Girls, our retrievers. My Dad and brother always go out of their way to make the kids' Christmas extra amazing, and Aut often says Grandpa gives the best gifts. This year, my father gave me a new heirloom piece that will one day be hers: An exquisite strand of Akoya pearls that shine unlike any I've ever seen. He was able to throw me off the scent by dropping an untrue hint earlier in the month when he said I don't know if you'll know how to use it which had me thinking it was an appliance of some sort. I was (and still am) wowed.

We met my best friend Andrea and her husband and son at the Huntington Library for the day. I cherish my time with her. The kids loved exploring the children's garden on their own as we chatted, but were less enthused with the indoor art. We had a nice dinner afterwards at the Northwoods, and exchanged gifts. 

The kids and I flew to Oregon on Christmas eve. Our original flight was cancelled, but my hubby was on top of it as always and quickly rebooked us. Afraid of longer lines, we arrived at the airport early, only to find it almost empty, which was nice. The kids were so excited to see their cousins, and stayed up a little later, after setting out all of the necessary milk, cookies, letters and carrots for the reindeer. 

Even though it was a late night, they were all up before dawn. Imagine their (and, our!) dismay when we learned we wouldn't be opening presents until almost noon, right as they thought they were about to dig in! But the kids took it in stride, and I personally didn't mine drawing out the anticipation of it all, which really is the best part. 

Aut asked Santa for "A real live hamster" and Cha asked for "tools." We were not sure if he would be able to deliver on the live animal, especially since we were at Grandma's. Aut was consumed with wondering what was in her Santa gift, and realized that it felt like a cage when it was moved and she was told she couldn't open it just yet. The anticipation had been building and her little heart must have sank when she opened the cage and saw the worst thing imaginable: A STUFFED, FAKE, NON-LIVE HAMSTER. She must have been extremely disappointed, but tried very hard to conceal it. She seemed to be in shock and was very quiet until we realized that there was was hope; there was a letter! As soon as I started reading it to her and she realized that he had come through for her, she started crying tears of joy and relief! 

We were blessed with a white Christmas; our first white Christmas! The snow actually stuck on the ground for Christmas morning and only continued over the next few days. It was so beautiful and we loved watching it fall. Grandma bought sleds for the kids, and they had a blast playing with the neighbor girl and renter's granddaughter. We even pulled them behind the gator on the volleyball field!

Due to the snow, this was the first trip to Oregon in which I didn't run! I did work on the blanket I'm crocheting, and read. When Cha saw me crocheting the blanket, he inquired "Why you making that blanket? You look like old lady, making that blanket!" 

In spite of this very adorable insult, he was super affectionate on this trip! He went through a phase awhile ago where he was very stingy with his kisses. Sometimes, I only received one kiss a day, which I had to bribe him for. Now, he is a love, often kissing me first thing in the morning and proclaiming "You da best Mommy in the whole world!"