Just another mom blog…

For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “August, 2011”

Saga of the 4th Bean

Sorry to keep you waiting on the news.  The lady did indeed sing.

My doctor informed me that I am losing the pregnancy.  So it is officially a bye-bye to number four. She wants me to go in so that we can sit down to talk about my body’s randomly wonderful new ability to conceive and its complete inability to sustain the pregnancies.  I have already been having fatigue, weird sweaty hot flashes, and the unique nausea that I only seem to get when my pregnancies are either just starting or they are ending.

I was smarter this time around and did not allow myself to get attached to this particular conception.  So I am largely ok with it aside from wishing the physical part would hurry up and normalize soon. I am definitely very much wanting to find out what the future holds as far as fertility and pregnancy support options.  I have to prepare myself for the fact that it may very well end up being an experiment of sorts where I just have to go through a few more miscarriages with different medication protocols until something ends up working for me.

I need to seriously consider where I plan on drawing the line on how many miscarriages I will allow myself to go through before I call it quits on creating a biological child. I mean, how does a person decide on that?  What if our beloved baby is lucky number 9 and we quit at 8? Can I live with that? With not ever knowing, but seriously wondering, “what if?” Consider this, Nathan was one of the last 3 embryos out of 12.  He could have been lucky number 10, 11, or 12.  If I were conceiving those embryos one at at time, would I have given up before getting to Nathan? What would our lives be like if I had? Do I think that the experience of each miscarriage is enough to justify giving up on a lifetime of love and joy with a second child? Have you ever thought about what you would do in this situation?

I am kind of bummed because it is almost fall and I just realized that I have spent the summer either pregnant, miscarriage, or in between pregnancies.  I am guessing around 5-6 months worth total. All of that time and effort, I feel at least, has been wasted.  I cannot take that time back. So I need to figure out how much more time I am willing to risk potentially squandering on this particular endeavor.

In the meantime, on a less heavy note, I whittled away the hours in Nathans playroom this evening.  I have so far managed to make two of four muslin roman shade curtains so far.  I just sort of winged it instead of following directions but they look awesome so far. I will do one more run-through to make sure I have the simplest, quickest steps/method for this particular design and then I will post a tutorial.  My first one took me almost 2 hours. Then I thought it through some more before tackling the second one. I simplified the steps and managed to make the second one in about 30 minutes.  I would like to get it down to around 20 minutes, but we shall see.

Also…a HUGE thanks to all of you who kept us in your thoughts this week as we went through the Saga of the 4th Bean.  It meant the world to me and the kind thoughts and words helped us get through this time.  For all of you out there who are currently in the midst of your own Bean Sagas, I hope that your hearts stay strong, your hope stays alive, and your spirits stay bright as you continue on your journey toward the miracle that lies ahead.

The Lady Shall Sing tonight….

This evening I will be getting the news which will mark the beginning of the end to something. It will be either the end to these ridiculous miscarriages or to the actual pregnancy, supposedly 7 weeks based on my calendar. I just hope it is not another loss.  For some reason, a natural miscarriage at home after 6 weeks is significantly more physically painful than a four or five week one.  I have no explanation for this, but it is very much true based on personal experience.

I woke up today feeling a whole lot better.  For the last few days I have been dog tired. I was taking a one or two hour nap during the day with Nathan and then going to bed at 8pm and sleeping until 8am. I would wake up and still feel super tired after noon or so until I finally crashed and fell asleep.  I didn’t have this with the other pregnancies, including Nathans.  With all of them except for the first of these recurrent losses I just felt nauseous all the time.  Anyhow- today I woke up feeling more clear-headed and alert than I have felt in many weeks.

So…just trying to prepare myself for whatever news I will be getting this afternoon.  If it is a loss, once I get past the most painful parts of losing the pregnancy material, I have tons of things to do.  I am still working on and making progress on my Happibutt cream.  I am currently trying to figure out how to add a better barrier quality to the cream, so that it can help irritation heal faster without being irritated by the next elimination.  (Trust me, j-pouchers will really appreciate this part.)

I also have Nathans playroom materials in. I need to get started on sewing so that his room will be ready in time. I dragged myself and the little monkey to Ikea. I was already in the area for a appointment and needed to stop for lunch anyways, so to Ikea we went. I got a little chair for his repurposed side table-turned-kids table; a large, cute wooden abacus for counting purposes, a little multipurpose, raw wooden stool/table/footrest thing on clearance, a heavy metal work lamp for extra lighting; a zip-line cable to hang up his artwork on, and a few metal milk pails in various sizes to hold all of his crayons and other small items stylishly.  I am super-excited about this playroom.

So…lots of things for me to do.  I guess I better go and get dressed so that I can go and get my blood drawn for the HCG/pregnancy levels test.

It’s not over yet…

So, last night I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. So I foolishly resigned emotionally from the pregnancy and accepted this as a loss. I could practically hear my mom chiding me for not having a little more faith in her, but what could I do? I took a negative pregnancy test after getting the news that my numbers are very low.

Then I decided to take another test to make sure that things were over. Well not only were both tests positive, but they both were darker than any test prior!!!

So…I have my hopes ever so slightly, cautiously elevated for this little bean. I guess it isn’t over until the fat lady sings. The Lady plans to sing on Wednesday evening if you want to check back to see the results. The Fat Lady meaning my reproductive endocrinologist doctor, who is definitely not a fat lady, and I really hate that term anyhow because it seems like a mean thing to say. She is actually this adorable, very sweet, super-smart lady. Let me revise: this round is not over until the adorable, very sweet, super-smart lady says so! 🙂

Sticky Beans

Well…it turns out that this little bean may be sticking around. Or it may not. It turns out that while I am (?) indeed preggo, my numbers are really low and so I won’t know if I am still pregnant or not until another blood pregnancy test on Wednesday. If the HCG/pregnancy numbers at least double, then I am pregnant. If not, then I will be having myself my fourth miscarriage since January of this year.  Feeling frustrated and impatient? Welcome to my world.

I woke up today feeling a little different. Better different. As in, less pregnant different.  I still feel insanely tired, but the nausea, hunger, and feeling bloated has gone noticeably down. I am not happy with this. I am probably one of the last women on earth who took immense comfort in these uncomfortable early pregnancy symptoms.

I recall saying that I will be ok with either outcome, but I did not consider the whole waiting period until we know what the true outcome really is. Part of me- the impatient, slightly illogical, hormonal part, wants to throw a tantrum and cry and demand that someone give us answers as to why this keeps happening. (See “hormonal” above).  I stand corrected- answers AND a working solution.  Or just skip that whole mess and just give us a baby.  (That would be the illogical part). Cause in the end the three of us just really, really want to be a family of four. Is that too much to ask?

Part of me feels frustrated. The vast majority of women can conceive and carry for the full nine months without much ado. They usually bring kids into the world and sometimes do not fully appreciate on a deeper level just what miracles those little guys are, and how blessed and lucky they are to have a child.  I think when folks like myself have to go through heaven and H-E-double-hockey-sticks to bring a child into the world, we tend to appreciate ALL of the parenting experience.

Tantrums? Yes ma’am.

Sleepless nights? You betcha.

Destroying our old DVD player AND new one by jamming peanut butter crackers into the DVD slots? Well….yes. I’m going to have to say yes even to that, and here is why:

It is due to a culmination of spending years trying for and failing to conceive a child; saving up a small fortune to pay for invasive, painful, violating fertility treatments to inch closer to our dreams of parenthood, then going through the Worlds Most Difficult Pregnancy fighting continuously to give said child the best chances of making into the world and be as healthy as possible.

We loved this child for YEARS before he was even conceived. We cried for him, prayed for him, laughed over him, discussed and planned for him while laughing, crying, and praying some more. For YEARS we prayed for those very tantrums, sleepless nights, and broken DVD players that we finally, triumphantly, became blessed with the possibility of experiencing on that fateful October day, the day our son was born.

That being said, here we are going through heaven and H-E-double-hockey-sticks once again to bring a second child into the world. The non-heavenly part, naturally, refers to the joys of multiple, recurrent miscarriages and the -ahem- heavenly effects of such roller coasters on my body; and on C and I’s minds and spirits. But you know what? Eventually we will have our beloved second child, just like we did with our Nathan.  That is why I am ultimately okay with these miscarriages, because I know that at the end of this series of storms lies a miracle waiting for us. That miracle, of course, being the second child that we so long for.

Holey-moley. Wow.

Well, after posting the post below, I started to wonder about her message a little more. I considered the possibility of pregnancy, and the timing just wasn’t adding up in terms of possible conception. I then remembered that if there is a normal way that a women’s body should act, that mine would make it a personal mission to do the opposite and veer from the course. Never mind the millions of years of biology, my body has a mind of its own.

Anyhow, thought some more. Two days ago I took an early-detection pregnancy test as I do every month because I have to start on hormone support the minute I think I’m expecting so I like to be careful and check. The test, which tells you 6 days before a period if you are pregnant, turned out to be NEGATIVE even though I was due for my Week of Joy. I was positive I was going to start the ladie’s “Week of Joy” any moment now. In fact, I just bought some um, lady supplies, last night on sale. Nope, I thought. Not preggo.

Then I thought about the dream some more. My mom did not say, “You will be pregnant.” She said, “You ARE pregnant.” I even told her of my shopping trip for some Week of Joy supplies and she was adament about her message. She didn’t care about my reasoning, she insisted that I am pregnant and that she is going to help me.

Anyhow, I was tidying up our bathroom vanity this morning and I saw the pregnancy test. I decided to humor myself and took the test. I set it aside and finished tidying up the vanity. When I was done, I got up and checked the test. It was POSITIVE.

Holey Crapola.

No freaking way.

What the hey??? Are you serious? My Mother….deceased mother….randomly popped into my dream, pulled me aside and told me that I am pregnant. She was right. Totally, completely, correct despite me being 1000 % sure that I was not. I can totally see her smiling at my excitement and telling everyone around her the possible good news.

Thank you, Momma!!!

***Note: Due to my recent history of miscarriages, PLEASE do not send any notes of congrats or tell others that I am possibly expecting. I am not allowing myself to get excited until I am around week 9 which is when I am past the major danger zone of losing the pregnancy. Any prayers are MUCH welcomed and needed. Thank you!!!

The Dream

Last night I had a dream with my mom in it.  In my dream, I was going about my day and she pulled me aside to tell me that I am pregnant. I feel shocked, saying that I indeed was not expecting, and if I were, that it probably would end in yet another loss.  She said that no, I am expecting and that she’s going to watch out for me so that I can have my baby, the second child we really want.

I woke up feeling comforted. C and I have discussed trying again for a baby soon.  Having this dream makes me think that perhaps my intuition is telling me that it is ok to try again.  I surely hope so.

Stroke of Good Luck & Updates

The other day Nathan and I set out to gather our playroom pallets, wood, and wine crates to make his storage and shelving with for his playroom.  I ended up scoring several wine crates, a pallet (one was all I had room for), and a car load of wood for less than $9 total! I am really excited and hope that I can start on his shelving/toy boxes soon.  I am going to do some built-in shelving using the existing ledge as a platform to support the shelves on either side of the bay window downstairs.

Anyhow, Nathan is growing up so fast. The other day, while wearing my ‘ears’, I heard him trying to sing one of the songs I made up for him. I am looking forward to starting home school preschool with him in October. I have already started working on teaching him basic knowledge. He can recognize and correctly (verbally) name most, if not all of his letters. He can recite the rainbow colors in order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).

He can count to ten by himself in English, understand it in sign language, and repeat after me in Japanese.  He can spell his name. He knows all of his regular alphabet cards and can tell you the picture on the other side if you only show him the letter. For example, show him the letter A, and he’ll say apple; K, and he’ll say kite.  One of his favorite things to do is run up to me with something he finds to point out the item that he knows and is color. Sometimes when he is in a silly mood, he’ll mess up reciting or give me the wrong answer and then laugh and laugh as if it is the most hilarious thing ever! For example, the other day while reciting numbers, he stopped at the number 5. So I prompted him by asking him what comes after the number 5. He said, “Two!” and then burst into laughter. The rest of the day the number two was his answer to my every question followed by the silly laughing. Really cute!

I also want to introduce the game of chess to him during his 2nd year because I really think that this is something that he will take to very quickly. He loves memory games and challenges, so chess seems like something that he will like very much.

The child does not forget anything and is very tenacious about what he knows. The other day, he pointed to a spot on a plastic shovel and said, ‘Moom.’ I told him that it was in fact not a moon but a shovel. He persisted in saying ‘moom’ over and over until I looked up close, and sure enough a tiny moon was etched into the shovel as a trademark of the brand.

Awhile back he pointed at a package in our bathroom and said, bubbles! I told him that yes, we like our bubbles and then asked him how many. He said the phrase (how many) for the first time. A few days later he somehow got into our bathroom and fetched said package. He ran up to me, pointed out the bubbles, then said, How many? He does. Not. Forget. Anything!

I really believe that he will be reading by age 3.  He is a few months away from turning 2 and the next logical step from knowing letters and most of the sounds they make is to start with reading sight words and learning to put words together.  I am not pushing him at all to do this. He genuinely enjoys learning and reciting things. Anyone will tell you that I have to hide educational materials like flashcards, or else he will get upset if I won’t sit down and let him go over them over and over.

I am really, really lucky and thank God everyday for letting me have this child.  I thank my hubby on a very regular basis for letting me stay at home with Nathan and supporting the homeschooling option.  We are strongly considering homeschooling for at least part or most of his primary education, and for all of his preschool education. Then possibly private school after that if the public school system is not up to par, or if the school system does not accept him into their gifted programs because this child is obviously very bright. I mean, consider this: if all goes as planned, then he should start the 5-6 year old educational level when he is 3. I think this means that by the time he is old enough for kindergarten that he will be starting 2nd grade around age 5, middle school at age 8, and high school level at age 11 or so.

Of course, I am not sure at all if this will come to fruition. All I am focusing on now is just making sure that he is not being held back or slowed down at all educationally/intellectually strictly due to age alone.  I think that there is nothing more tragic to a bright mind than to prevent them from learning all they can.  I believe that it is my duty as his parent to make sure that he has every opportunity he needs to become successful at whatever he wants to do.

Anyhow, that is all that I have at the moment for his developments. Tomorrow a friend is coming over for a play date and we are both *really* looking forward to it! We are both into many of the same things with regards to homemaking. We both make soap, laundry detergent, do serious couponing, like organic foods, and make our own natural cleaning products.

Speaking of, I found some awesome recipes! One of them I just made is a soap recipe using CRISCO. You know, the tub of lard that you fry chicken in? Yep- that crisco. I made some bars and LOVE the way it turned out! The soap is scentless, makes your hands majorly soft, is gentle, and lather up well enough to use as a shaving cream! It only has three ingredients (crisco, lye, and water) and is perfect for sensitive skin. I love it because it is works better than shaving cream and leaves legs feeling super soft. You can add other things to it but it is great as it is and is perfect for first timers like myself:

Crisco Soap Recipe

With the crisco soap, you can then make a gallon of liquid hand soap for dispenser  for super cheap.

Playroom in Progress

I apologize for the long dry spell with regards to posting. We just got back from a wonderful vacation on the Gulf. I took tons of pictures and will surely post about the vacation soon.

In the meantime, Fall is rapidly approaching.  That means very cold days will be here soon.  Very cold days with a busy toddler stuck indoors. Which naturally means that I better get his playroom done or we will be in for a very cranky winter.

One of my friends from Georgia, Kristin J. (website here) has traveled the world designing hotel rooms and the like. She recently decided to branch out into interior designing for residences and this is where I ran into some serious good fortune.  I asked Kristin if she could help design Nathans playroom, and she said yes!!! So we started emailing back and forth and I sent her a few pictures.  I had a few needs that had to be incorporated (unless she had a better alternative) which included: a low budget, a gold chenille chair & 1/2; chocolate walls, book display, and a way to display his art. I have been stuck on how to get around and include these needs in designing his room. For her though, it was no biggie! She whipped up a brilliant room design and sent me something called a concept board. The board has all of the main features of the room, colors, and how it is supposed to look when it is done. Here is what she sent:

Design by: Kristin Jackson of The Hunted Interior.

I cannot tell you how absolutely thrilled I am with this design! It is almost like she crawled into my head (and Nathans) and put together a room that both of us would LOVE.  Isn’t it awesome!?! So…I am going to get busy soon doing this budget-friendly makeover.  I am planning on utilizing a few tutorials that I recently stumbled upon. Like this set of toy boxes made from FREE wood pallets. (Free!) Oh, did I mention the wooden pallets are free? Just checking. Take a look at these (free) toy boxes (tutorial here):

I thought about using the same (free) source of wood from the pallets and make him a toddler-sized couch/cot for him to read or nap on.  I can use a solid color fabric and make a pillow cushion large enough to cover the couch/cot, then use the print fabric to make pillows for the back of the couch.  I am not sure if I will be doing this but it seems like such a cute idea!

I will have to make him a pair of stools to go with the repurposed pillar side table though. I am thinking something along the lines of this, but I’m not sure yet:

A Small World

This weekend C headed up to watch Tiger Woods and his colleagues compete in golf while Nathan and I spent the weekend together. I LOVED seeing C so excited about it! 🙂

We had us a super-busy weekend.  Saturday we had to head up to our annual Cochlear Implant (CI) Recipient picnic at the park.  I usually try to make rounds and talk to everyone, but this year I was pretty much chasing a toddler around the whole time.  Everyone doted on him so it worked out ok. I did meet two couples our age! They came to support their friend, a lady who is my age and has a CI too! It took about an hour and a half to complete a conversation due to my frequent breaks to chase Nathan, but we learned that we have so much in common. When it was over, we exchanged contact info and we def plan on getting together once all of this summer craziness is over. 🙂

After the picnic, Nathan and I stopped by our local section of the “Worlds Longest Yardsale.” I found a french chandelier for $20. It looks somewhat like this.  Also found some french figurines, crystal candle holders, and wicker wreaths for $1 each! Then I found some picture frames for my wall collage for 50 cents each and then a lady gave me (FREE) a matching pair of vintage hobnail milkglass lamps with shades! 🙂

We came home and both took a nap. After we woke up and ate dinner, we got started cleaning the garage. Sunday, we went to the Village in Covington for more of the yard sale events.  I didn’t really find much though. On our way to the car, I stopped at this quaint little coffee house and had the most delicious chai tea latte. While sitting there enjoying the tea, a grubby looking older man sat near us and we started chatting.

I should add here that as long as I feel safe, I do not mind talking with folks from all walks of life. Some of the most talented, kindest, most brilliant people I have ever met look on first impression to be homeless or else just don’t seem to fit into any of society’s ideal profiles.  This man was one of them. I am so glad I talked to him, because he turned out to be an absolute jewel. A diamond in the rough kind of thing.

It turned out that his man is a bona-fide genius. I, of course, looked like a typical soccer mom suburbanite, but he took a chance on me anyways and we were both pleasantly surprised that the other did not fit the suspected stereotype.

We discussed philosophy and the human psyche. He recited line after line of interesting quotes and he turned out to be extremely well-read. I told him about my decision to quit pursuing my PhD in neuroscience to have my children and focus on them, which he praised. We discussed the nature of memory, the limitations of human understanding and perceptions, and about the nature of intuition. He talked to me at length about his interest in musical serialism. More specifically about his current project of composing music using the mathematical 12-tone matrix and how he wants to address the flaws associated with the equality of the tones in this theory.

Our conversation was extremely fast-paced and by the time I had to leave due to a cranky toddler, my head was pleasantly spinning. He was renting a room under said coffee house, and so he told me to stop by next time I am around to chat over chai tea. There was absolutely no reference to the fact that I am a female. It was strictly a mind-to-mind kind of interaction which I thoroughly appreciated.

Something I absolutely LOVE about living here is the people and arts. I have met so many friendly, well-traveled bright people in the area. It seems like people here embrace other cultures and support the arts. People are free to express themselves through interest groups, clothing styles, lifestyles, and so forth.  Everyone seems so down-to-earth. I LOVE it.

After this, Nathan and I headed home for our nap. We woke and I finished up in the garage. It looks SO nice now and smells nice and clean. After I got done in the garage, my neighbor came over and Nathan and I headed to their yard to pick fresh peaches.  We brought the peaches home and I made a huge pot of yummy peach preserves. I plan on canning them and bringing them with us on our trip to the beach at the end of the week.

Finally, I was reading a magazine and saw a picture of someone familiar. When I went to see Dr. Zahi Hawass, I brought my camera with me. While there, an older lady approached him and made Zahi laugh. I took a picture of this moment and it turned out well. I later approached the lady and got her email so that I could send her this picture. She was beyond grateful and so very nice. I saw this lady in this magazine which by reading I discovered that she is actually a famous art dealer and her house is practically an art gallery/museum of priceless pieces. For instance, in the photograph, she was sitting on a 16th century Ming couch bought from a renowned antique dealer in China. Its a small world!

Framed Doily Tutorial

I recently acquired some gorgeous hand-made antique doilies. They are so beautiful that I really wanted to frame them so that I could display them in. First I tried to get quotes on custom framing, and it would have been way too expensive. So then I decided to buy frames for them and do it myself. Well, not only are frames expensive as well, but it is hard to find circle and square frames. Most are oval and rectangle. Anyhow, I finally found some 12×12 frames from Hobby Lobby. They were plain black contemporary frames, but they were 50% off! I decided to get 4 of them to re-do for my Doily wall cluster.

I found some wood appliques at hobby lobby in their wood-making section. I decided to use different appliques for each frame, so that each frame is unique but cohesive. The frames were 4.99 each, and the appliques were 99 cents each pack at one per frame. I also picked out thick 12×12 scrapbook paper, choosing various patterns.

The black frames were smooth and had seams where the corners met. Seams on picture frames are a pet peeve of mine. So I used some leftover adhesive caulk to cover the seams. I LOVE this stuff because it is so easy to work with. Just use a wet paper towel and it does whatever you need it to. I used it to mount the appliques onto the frames. Then, I used some of it to add texture to the smooth black frames so that the glaze would have something to stick to.

I let it sit to dry for about 15 minutes and spray painted them shiny gold.  Then, I used some of the pecan wood glaze to make it look antique. Just wipe on the glaze, and use a wet paper towel to take off some of the glaze. Be sure to work the glaze into the applique crevices.

Then I turned the frames over upside down after they dried and placed the glass back into the frame. I placed the doily in the center, put the scrapbooking paper over that, and then put the frame backing in place.

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