We grow. We change. Life happens.

Some of us are blessed with amazing careers affording us lavish lifestyles. Some of us are blessed with babies who redefine our purpose in this world. Some of us struggle to make ends meet. Some of us struggle with infertility. Some of us seem to have it all.

We all experience hardships. We all experience hurt. Some hurt changes our perspective.

At what point in life do we boldly remove un-fulfilling friendships? Or don’t we?

At what point in life do we ensure those we spend our precious time with, our time otherwise spent with our beautiful babies, are solid, supportive humans, worthy of our friendship? Or don’t we?

At what point in life do we stop pretending, and start being real? Or don’t we?

Personally I’ve been through a lot. We all have, though, right?

  • I changed my college major three times, changed colleges twice, and I’m still not sure finance, accounting, and the business world is for me.
  • I’ve been engaged three times, married twice, yet I still make mistakes in my relationships. Marriage is hard. We continue to learn everyday in a world where there is no instruction manual on love.
  • I’ve worked full-time, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, and still struggle to know which is for me.
  • I’ve been through countless IUIs, several rounds of IVF, experienced more pregnancy losses than I want to count, have two beautiful little girls, both born premature, experienced two lengthy NICU stays, and yet still long for a third child, knowing the risks.
  • I’ve lived in seven cities and still can’t figure out where home is…

How do friends fit into this you ask? Our experiences shape our views, our beliefs, our hopes, wishes, dreams… What happens when those we call friends no longer understand us? When the direction of our lives drift… When our beliefs diverge… When even a simple Facebook post is unintentionally hurtful… Do we burn bridges? Slowly slip away? Call them out? Hold our tongue? Continue pretending we’re enough alike to call each other friends? Or is friendship about celebrating our differences? Learning to understand others views… Seeing life through their eyes…


They’re Both Napping

They’re both napping… So I shall type fast… While I quietly eat these potato chips and dip with black licorice for lunch…

  • I was productive today. I cleaned out and organized the panty and cabinets, and I might do the fridge and freezer later this afternoon! Oh, and I cleaned the entire house as well! Okay, well, the cleaners did, but lets just tell everyone I did.
  • A clean house relaxes me. I’m sitting here listening to Christmas music on my new Amazon Echo. Does anyone have one of these? So far I’m not seeing the value. I know it does a lot, but all I figure I’ll use it for is listening to my Audible books and Amazon Prime Music. Maybe Nora will enjoy talking with Alexa… Maybe Alexa can translate Nora’s Chinese (?). 
  • Last week I took Nadia to Iowa City for her cardiology appointment. Did I already write about it? I can’t remember, so skip this bullet if I did. The appointment took forever. First they wanted a blood pressure on each limb, with her calm, of course. Nice try people. Then they wanted a EKG, with her completely still and calm. HA! I guess both were fine as the doctor increased her dose of Propranolol to 0.3 ml of I’m not sure how strong of a dose, every eight hours based on her weight and sent us on our way. We follow up in three months for another EKG. This Friday, two days from now, Nadia has another appointment in Iowa City, this time for her immature eyes.
  • Speaking of Iowa City, we were there yesterday for Nora. She had an immune blood draw and then a follow-up with ortho for her hips since she was born breech. Nora’s IgG level in August was 226, and yesterday it was 305, so a huge increase, and great news! It’s still far from normal of around 600 for her age, but we’re getting closer. And Nora’s hip x-ray was normal, so now we don’t need to return for an ortho visit until she’s 5. OMG, I can’t even imagine Nora five years old…
  • I’m seriously exhausted from taking these two girls to appointments in Iowa City. Do full-term babies have this many appointments in their first years of life??? These don’t include any of their regular well-baby exams.
  • Our Christmas tree has been up for two days, but it’s still not decorated. Am I the only person that loves a decorated tree, but hates the process of decorating? I always imagine sitting around as a family happily putting the ornaments on the tree. Somehow it never happens that way. I probably should be doing it when the girls are napping… Maybe tonight Eric can help me.
  • I did set up our Nativity scene… And as I was setting it up I told Nora all about each statue. And then I realized that we’re horrible about teaching Nora about religion, we rarely even take her to church. Why do I dread attending mass each week? The hassle of taking two kids? Of getting up early? I feel guilty, like I should want to attend mass each week. But I don’t. Is something wrong with me? How do I teach my daughters about religion when I can’t even make myself attend?
  • I’ve only ordered two Christmas presents so far… No clue what to buy anyone on my list, including Nora and Nadia. They don’t need anything.. I’ve mentioned Santa to Nora, but I think she’s too young to understand, right?
  • I might need to give up on using those blocks for weekly/monthly pictures. It’s so hard getting Nadia to sit in a chair with them. I got a few cute pictures of her last night, and decided those would be her 13 week photos… 
  • I must be slightly (a lot) OCD, as it bothers me now that all weekly pictures won’t include the blocks.
  • It snowed here this morning. Not enough to stick, but the first real snowflakes of the year. I’m already counting down the days until spring when the girls and I can more easily get out of the house each day again.
  • I’m down to pumping just once or twice a day. Wow, I have so much more time in my life!
  • Nadia seems to be falling into a groove, she wakes just once each night around 2am to be fed. Granted, I feed her around 11pm before I go to bed, and she’s normally awake again around 6am for her breakfast… I’m tired, but it could be a lot worse. Eric hasn’t done any night feedings, even though he totally could since we’re using formula now. I think Eric believes that since I stay home with the kids, that it’s my job overnight as well. He makes comments about how he has to be up for work and needs his sleep… How do other families handle this if one partner stays home? Does the one who works outside the home since help during the night?
  • I’m still disliking where we live. The house yes, but more the city. You know how you can search and find Facebook events near you? Well, it appears as if there are tons of kid related Christmas events where we used to live, but little to none offered here. I’m just so scared that raising our kids here is not going to be the experience I wanted to give them.  This topic probably deserves a post of it’s own, if I ever find the time.
  • I now have $75 worth (1,000 grams of powdered) Hipp Hypoallergenic formula that we can’t use. I ordered more after the first couple feedings, when I still thought it was going well, as I knew it would take several days to arrive. Does anyone feed or want to feed their baby this? Make me an offer… It’s still sealed.
  • Instead of exchanging gifts this year, my family mentioned vacationing together, although Eric wouldn’t be able to join us… Knowing we live in Cedar Falls, Iowa and want to drive (with little kids) to the destination, does anyone have any recommendations? Again, feeling like there is so little around us…
  • I feel so horrible that I haven’t made time for friends in my life lately. I mean well, I think of them often, but time gets away from me. Or maybe I’m just really bad at making plans and reaching out to others. I’m here alone so much, and would love the company, but the idea of getting two little kids ready to go anywhere in the cold discourages me, and how can I really expect everyone to come to me? How do adults stay in touch when they don’t live in the same city and feel so busy with kids?

Nora is stirring so I must go for now. More another time… I’ll leave you with a picture of her from this morning.

    Weekly Pregnancy Update – 22 Weeks

    How far along: 22w0d

    Baby’s size: 11.4 in. (crown to heel), 1.1 lbs., about the size of an eggplant.

    Total weight gain: I gained 0.4 lbs. last week so up 9.0 lbs. from egg retrieval.

    22 weeksStretch marks: Nothing new since the start of this pregnancy!

    Sleep: Last night I slept straight through from midnight to 5am, it was awesome!  I’m hoping this continues, as before last night sleep was really been hit or miss.

    Symptoms/Feeling: Still dealing with the awful heartburn, but I’ll manage.  I definitely now feel like she’s sitting on my bladder more and more, which is a super fun feeling, as I’m sure many of you know!  Driving seems to be the worse actually, maybe because I sit so upright and it feels like she falls into my pelvis.  I’ve also noticed quite a bit of tightening in my abdomen from time to time, but thankfully nothing consistent, and hopefully not for a good long while yet!

    Best moment of this week: Yesterday I had lunch with an old friend who I haven’t seen in way too long, and it was fantastic!  And I got to meet her son!!!  I actually feel quite embarrassed mentioning this, but her son is now 9 months old already.  I take all the blame for this one.  When he was born I was going through a tough time, I’m not trying to make excuses, just pointing out the obvious.  His birth was around the time I lost our first pregnancy, when we transferred the two embryos who would have been due last Friday.  At the time I wasn’t sure how to handle others happiness, others having babies, what I so dearly wanted.  So I dealt the only way I knew how, which was to avoid pregnant women and babies.  I’m not saying this was the more mature way, but it helped me through a different time, and as much as I dislike how I acted, I can’t change the past.  I hate that I wasn’t able to meet my friend’s son shortly after his birth, to be there for her and share in the experience, and we obviously can’t get that time back.  Being I’m in a much better place emotionally now, I’ve vowed to make more of an effort with those important to me.  I pray I can live up to friend’s expectations and be there when they most need me going forward.

    Miss anything: Cute jeans, wine with friends, staying up past 10pm…  I’ll have those joys again, at some point, right?

    Movement: I’m definitely feeling more this week, although still mainly at night in bed.  The movement is more forceful now and usually off to the sides of my belly.

    Food cravings: Still eating two oranges almost every night!

    Gender: Girl

    Labor signs: The tightening of my stomach from time to time scares me, but since it’s not consistent I’m trying not to worry.  I do sometimes feel stabs of pain in what I can only describe as my crotch.  I’m so hoping the progesterone is working and my cervix is still at 2cm next Tuesday at my next checkup.  The very last thing I want right now is bed rest…

    Belly button in or out: In but I’m getting scared.  Eric likes to tease me about it!

    Wedding rings on or off: On!

    Happy or moody most of the time: Moody, but it mostly has to do with moving to Cedar Falls and our house building project.  I’ll save that drama for a separate post.

    Looking forward to: Knowing where I’m going to be living in five months!  More on this in my separate post about our house building project.

    Purchases for baby:  I was good this week, didn’t make any purchases, as I’m holding out to see what is purchased at showers and such.  I still need to buy the stroller though, and possibly nursery furniture as I don’t expect those larger items to be gifts from anyone.

    Eric’s reactions:  Eric sang “Rock-a-bye Baby” to my belly the other day.  The most hilarious part, he didn’t actually know all the words, so we’ll have to work on that with him, but it was seriously cute.

    20w4d ~ Baby Shower ~ Updated

    Oops, sorry about that, I clicked on publish too soon!  This version has a bit more to it…

    I feel truly blessed that two friends have mentioned throwing me a baby shower.  No, I think I feel spoiled actually.  See, I’m weird about others, even close friends and family, spending their time and/or money on me.  And certainly planning and throwing a baby shower involves both, not to mention the gifts that seem to be expected at such an event.  I have no idea when or how this weirdness about me started, but if you’ve been following my blog I’m sure you remember some previous posts about how a baby shower might not be for me.

    I LOVE to give others gifts, the sheer joy of seeing the looks on their faces, or better yet, giving anonymously.  Just knowing you made someone’s day, or week, or year.  It’s a great feeling.  But then why can’t I accept the same from others?  Do I not believe I’m worthy or deserving?  To be completely honest, I have this strong desire to actively plan my own shower, and pay for it.  No really, I feel like I should order the invites and send them out so someone else doesn’t have to…  That’s weird, right?

    Speaking of invites, I need some advice.  I of course have the list of girls I’m close with, including those I work with who see me daily and probably have the best glimpse into my life.  But what about those who have come into my life in one way or another, those who maybe I haven’t actually spoken to or seen in months?  I’d love to see them, to catch up, to reconnect…  But is my baby shower the place?  I feel like inviting them forces them to purchase me a baby gift, and I certainly can’t and don’t expect that from women who don’t see me on a regular basis.  So where do you draw the line on invites?

    Very Good Day

    Guess what?  I had a very good day!  I know, you’re shocked, right?  Well, it’s true!

    So I dragged my behind outta bed at 4:30am this morning for kickboxing.  Okay, the dragging outta bed part was hard, as was the workout, but I burned 605 calories in 50 minutes, which is like a free scone, so I’ll take it.

    Went to work, which was blah, but this afternoon I had a wonderful visit with an old friend from college.  We haven’t seen each other in person, in well, wow, I’m not actually sure how long, and I’m sad that she’s in town for unfortunate reasons (sending many prayers her way) but so very good to spend a little time together.  Really made me miss our college days…  And brought to light truly how much has changed in the past ten years.  Good changes though 🙂

    One outta my two scheduled rental showings actually appeared at the appropriate time today.  Can you believe that?  And they seemed rather interested!  I just emailed off the applications and invoice for credit check/background fees.

    And then, as I was being all lazy on the couch tonight, the phone rang…  It was a very special lady I haven’t seen or spoken with in quite some time, which was a lovely surprise!  We caught up, swapped stories, reminisced…  She is one of the few who truly understands how difficult being married to a resident really is.  It has been way too long since we connected, I need to not let that happen again 🙂

    Oh, and Casey’s Taco Pizza for dinner.  Fail…  But since I worked out, I feel like it all evens out.  I mean, I wouldn’t want to get too thin or too in-shape now!

    I’m realizing that as hard as it is to get back out there and socialize, maybe it’s really what I need…

    Night all!