Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Merry Spring!

It only seemed like it! 
I couldn't handle baring my heart for awhile. 
Ok, it was a long while this time. 

I left you here mid 2013. So what's happened?

Not too long after my last post, things became dicey with our Dane girls. Kira was almost 8 years old, which is toward the higher end of average for Great Danes. We had been managing her discospondylosis, hip problems, and knee conditions for about two years. She was not only taking supplements, but Rimadyl and Tramadol for pain control. But she became more touchy, and was lashing out at Misha. There were a couple of fights, a couple of trips to be patched up. In the end, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to let Kira cross the Rainbow Bridge. She was our first 'baby,' a comfort while we were trying for a human baby. She was my very first dog to boot! It colored the rest of the year. 

We also made the decision for Monkey to attend public school, since we are in one of the best districts in our state. I couldn't keep up with his appetite for learning! We'd finish his work in just a couple of hours, and I had no idea how to fill our days so that he was learning and moving forward. He's had amazing teachers who helped him, pushed him, and let him keep progressing. This year that has changed, and we are reconsidering our decision if this trend continues. For now though, it works. 


It was a good year! Monkey did well in school, Kevin and I were both very involved in the class room and I went on a couple of field trips. We just lived a normal life, whatever normal is. 

At some point, we decided to try a few more rounds of fertility treatment. Two rounds with my regular OB/GYN (while working with a Reproductive Endocrinologist) led to two extremely early pregnancy losses. We followed through with more intensive testing, which didn't reveal a lot, but did leave us taking a few months off of trying to conceive. 

Sometime in there, I started attending a FitSkate class with a local roller derby team! Tons of fun, even if it ended in a bruised tail bone a few times! I hadn't been on skates since I was a teenager, so there was a definite learning curve. However, I started having super strange symptoms at the end of the year (numbness, a foot drop, falls, weakness...just a host of weirdness). I saw my primary care physician for a work up, and a referral to a neurologist. I needed to see one anyway for following my migraines, so this wasn't cause for alarm at all. 

We had a good holiday season, my mom came near Thanksgiving and Christmas was great! 


While following these issues, I ended up in the hospital for a few days in January. They found an ischemic event in my brain (either a stroke no one knew about, or tiny bleed from a concussion during a car wreck in 2012). It was old when found, so not a giant concern but it sounded scary! I was evaluated for Multiple Sclerosis. Since this is a diagnosis mostly made by exclusion, it involved lots of testing. At the same time, we working on another round of fertility treatment. We had to stop right when I was to start Femara again, so the cycle was interrupted.

To make things just slightly more fun, we knew Kevin was soon to leave for pre-deployment training and then for deployment to the Middle East. We decided then we'd try once more with the doctors help after he returned. I started occupational therapy to strengthen my left side, and kept up with that while Kevin was away for training. He left just after our wedding anniversary. I had a few tests with results that were only *slightly* out of normal, but my symptoms slowly faded, and it was determined I wouldn't need to come back for several months. A couple of weeks later, I noticed I hadn't had a cycle since the medicine I used to induce it for our aborted fertility cycle in January/February. Nothing unusual, especially considering my PCOS and endometriosis. I took a pregnancy test before I called the doctor. 

Imagine my shock when it was *POSITIVE.*

I'm sure I almost fell over. Talk about pins and needles! My first ultrasound was inconclusive, showing only an amniotic sac and yolk sac. Since we had no idea when I'd conceived, we weren't sure if this was a problem or not. The next week though, there was a tiny flicker of a heartbeat! Monkey found the pregnancy tests I'd inadvertently left on my bathroom counter, and me forgetting how smart he was, demanded to know "does dad know about this?!" He was fairly excited though. He got to come to the 13 week ultrasound, where baby looked like a baby instead of a blob. He announced this big news to my mom via video chat. Kevin was home for a few weeks between training and deploying, and got to see an ultrasound as well.

Kevin left just as school got out, and Monkey and I spent the summer playing at the splash pad downtown and took a trip to Colorado with Kevin's sister. We found out baby's gender, and used pictures of Monkey to announce our little girl! Monkey started 2nd grade in August, and Kevin returned home in October. I spent most of the summer and fall craving cheeseburgers and grapes, and watching my active belly bounce around. She was due Dec 10, but after a concerning biophysical profile on my birthday, we induced labor.

My little Owl was born on 20 Nov at 1018am. She was 6lbs, 15 oz and 19 inches long. (I'll be back soon with a proper birth story post and many pictures.)

Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent at home with our tiny new baby! In January, Kevin attended two weeks of training (and I survived my first TDY with 2 kids!).

On this day in 2004,
(which was also the first day of Spring)
Kevin and I were married. 
Twelve years! 
Two babies! 
An almost 8 year old Monkey,
 and as of today, 
a 4 month old Owlet.

Life is awesome.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

An Honest Ramble

It's time that I have been honest with you and myself.
I have always tried to present the good side, with out a lot of the heartache here. And to keep up the positivity. But I have to tell you.

A lot of the time, I am not positive.

My personal story is long, complicated and arduous. Maybe one day I will share it here. Our road to a family is hard enough. I've shared it here a couple of times.

Monkey was six years in the making. And I am so, so grateful for him. I spend my days with him, especially the hard ones, trying to remember the prayers that I prayed, the tears I cried and the begging and pleading with God or Goddess, to any thing that might be listening. And you know what? Sometimes, it is hard to remember.

Kids can be difficult - especially moving through the toddler and preschool years. I had to admit to myself recently that homeschooling is not the best option for us. I believe wholeheartedly that it is a good and viable option. For me though? It was proving to be tough. Monkey is a very active kiddo, who needs constant stimulation. He has such a thirst to play, to go, to learn - I couldn't keep up. He flew through our school work in a matter of 60 to 90 minutes. But then I was left with the rest of the day and night - with no break and no clue. As a stay at home mommy of an only child - I am the playmate, as well as mommy and teacher. Perhaps if he had siblings, someone else to play with - to talk to - to bounce ideas off of - to ask questions -'d be slightly easier, as I wouldn't have to fill all these roles. Off he goes to Kindergarten next week, and happy as a clam about it. Gotta tell you, I am terrified - happy - apprehensive.

It's been 5 years since Monkey was born. There has not been one iota of birth control used. Two rounds of fertility meds and IUIs. One miscarriage. And so I managed to convince myself, and later Kevin, that adoption was our best option. We are an interracial couple, who preferred a multiracial child. We were open to infants, and sibling groups. Surely it wouldn't be long until we were chosen by a mother making an adoption plan. We borrowed money against a vehicle, and went for it.

Ha. God proved me wrong again. We waited more than a year for our match. We spent several months there, with everything looking good. And after that baby girl was born, it felt like she was ripped away, leaving my heart raw. In reality; logically, I know that her mother decided to parent her. I know that she's loved. But...I loved her too. I still wonder about her. So we went for it again -- and had to turn away from a baby boy because we were out of money and couldn't afford the legal fees.

We decided to take a break from it all. No active trying to conceive (but that didn't stop my heart from wishing and hoping), no more moving forward with adoption. Nothing.

So here we are. Soon, we have to make a decision on reactivating our contract, or just chalking up the money paid to our adoption facilitator as lost. Once again, finances stand in our way. We have to pay a reactivation fee, get a new homestudy done, and be ready and able to pay legal fees IF we get a match and IF the adoption goes through.

Or maybe we could say, forget the money. And we could go back to fertility treatment. Before our move, we had all of our fertility testing updated with an awful doctor. You wouldn't believe it - but I have PCOS and Endometriosis! Who knew?! (Except us and several doctors!?) Anyway - that costs money too. Money that we simply don't have.

I don't know what to do. WE don't know what do.
And still every month, I hope and pray. That my stupid ovaries work. For two lines to appear on a pregnancy test. Never mind that we've never gotten pregnant on our own - not once in nearly 11 years.

My heart still stops, and my breath catches - every time a friend gets pregnant. Every baby that is born. I still go home and cry hot, silent tears at night. But I paste a smile on my face, and drum up some happiness for my friends. Because I am happy for them, and I love those adorable babies.

As my Monkey turns in to a Big Kid, and takes off for elementary school, I know he is slowly but surely leaving me behind. I love that boy, who will always be my baby, more than life. But if I am honest with myself, and with you?

My womb still aches for another pregnancy, to feel those magical moments again. I'd do just about anything for another 17 hour labor and delivery. To nurse away long nights, and wash mountains of diapers. I thought that the pain would lessen after having Monkey in our life - but losing the dream of a large family, and grieving the loss of the pregnancies I won't have? It still weighs heavily. Not as often, I admit. It seems like it might be fading most days. Considering leaving it all behind, because we simply can't afford it though, that fills me with panic. How can I say that I am ready to give up?

I'm not. I am. I'm not. I am.

Back and forth.

If a pile of money were to appear in front of me - the first thing I'd do is adopt babies. Babies (even if they're children, they're still babies) from El Salvador, Honduras, Burundi, Sierra Leone - everywhere. And then maybe, I'd revisit a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

I just wanted to be a Mommy to Many. Didn't seem like a lot to ask, a fairly simple life.
It seems it isn't to be.

How do I give up the future I thought I had?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Big Kid

Monkey was not a good sleeper.
Not at birth -
seriously, the nurses got frustrated with me. 
Not at home -
he only slept if being worn, held, or snuggled.

To say that he was a high touch infant 
is the understatement of the year.
In order to preserve our own sanity,
and for me to sleep at all,
we became a co-sleeping family.

It wasn't what we intended, 
but it worked. 

Monkey was half sleeping on his own for 
a few years now. 
He'd go to sleep in his room, 
and we allowed him to come into ours 
if he woke.
There were several setbacks,
but it held steady.

At our new home,
I've resorted to bribery.
And it's working. 
The bribe is not much:
New bed set -
quilt, sheets and such.
Matching decorations.
And that we'd paint his room.
(Likely, we'd have done this anyway.)

It's worked too well.
He goes to bed,
stays asleep.
He only asks for a flashlight,
and Misha
(one of the Danes).

I do not miss being kicked and punched.
I do not miss having no room to maneuver, 
no sheets. 
But on the other side,
my heart is so sad that he's this big!

The materials are on the way. 
I can't deal with this. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Home Plans

I haven't gotten my camera out to start documenting. 
I plan to this weekend,
because there are some serious transformations happening.

First up, a fence.
We cannot live without one,
not with two Danes and a five year old. 
We're toying with the idea of installing it ourselves,
since having one done professionally
turns out to be mountain loads more than we expected.

I am sharing my list of plans with you
so that  maybe it will hold me accountable.
At least a bit. 
 Here goes:

Paint Monkey's room, add his new bedding. 
(He's getting this as a reward for sleeping in his own bed, all night, all the time.)
Paint all this ugly oak trim white.
Replace the ugly oak interior doors with white six panel doors.
Redo the kitchen and bathroom cabinets:
white, new bronzed hardware.
Replace counters in bathrooms and kitchen.
Replace laminate in entries, bathrooms and kitchen with tile.

Sounds ambitious.
Seeing it written is kind of scary.
Especially since we are learning as we go.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Updates and Plans

I took another long hiatus. 
Retraining, preschool, church, finances, moving. 

In March, 
Kevin and I celebrated 9 years of marriage. 
I did my best not to fall apart into 
a puddle of mush on Baby Girl's 1st bithday.
I succeeded, even if my heart ached. 
Easter was awesome.
There were no hospital visits during it. 
We did have a wonderful dinner
with our friends
(Pony Princess, Minnie Mouse, and their baby brother).

In April, 
we went house hunting!
We drove to South Dakota.
Got stuck in Cheyenne, Wyoming for a few days.
Yay, snow storm! Ha.
This limited the number of days we had to look.
There was seriously a marathon of houses.
Billions, probably. 
In the end, the day before we left --
our offer was accepted on a house!
(Pictures forthcoming.)

we spent organizing, sorting, donating, selling.
Monkey finished up his last year of preschool.
My mind was blown when it was recommended that he be put in first grade.
We've decided to homeschool.
Our solution was to do kindergarten as fast as he needs or wants too,
and move on to first grade early if called for.

The movers packed.
They took our things.
We lived on air mattress.
We were named God-Parents of Pony & Minnie's brother.
We drove.
And drove.
And some more.

Two cars.
Three humans.
2 Great Danes. 
1 Cat.
1 Parrot. 
Lots of luggage. 
A luggage carrier whose keys got packed into boxes.
It was therefore left with friends.

After a couple of weeks of chaos -
hotels, boarding animals, etc
we got into our house.
And soon after, we finally closed! 

We've had our household goods for about two weeks.
Life is settling down. 

I have lots of projects that I plan to do and share here.
Decorating, re-doing, and freshening. 
I look forward to seeing you back here.
There will also be more to come on homeschooling,
family life, and plans for our family and future children. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Looking Back

Reading posts from a year ago...
We are in such a different place. 
Last year, such excited anticipation.
So close to having a baby in our arms.

Today, I saw a dress that I fell in love with.
If she were ours, it would have totally gone home with us for Easter.

But she's not.
It's weird to ponder a baby that we held
and know she's not ours.
It's much different that pondering the pregnancy that we lost.
Which is weird in and of itself.


Despite all that, 
time moves forward.
And so does the Air Force.
We are getting ready for a move - again.
This time to South Dakota.

The Monkey and I are planning to go on a 
house hunting trip in a few weeks. 
He thinks we need a house with a trampoline and a tree house.
We have a few more requirements. 
(You know, pesky things like number of bedrooms
and a not microscopic kitchen.)

I am really excited for this move.
A desert dweller, I am not.
Green grass, trees, rivers, lakes! 
It's not quite the ocean, but we have to take what we can get.


Friday, February 8, 2013

An Adventure

We took a road trip with our closest friends.
"Forever and ever" is what we were told it took.
In reality, it was about 8 hours to Flagstaff, Arizona.

While we were there, we decided to drive the bit to see the Grand Canyon.
It was another hour and a half or so, but we all figured that was a lot 
closer than driving from home!

 Daddy and Monkey

Mommy and Monkey

All of us. Kevin forgets to smile a bit.
It's the military, I think.

Monkey hangs out with his best friend.
She needs a blog name.
We'll call her.... Pony Princess.

Proof! An actual sign! 

View from one of the look outs.
We were on the South Rim.


Here's where it gets good.
We drove back to our hotel, and found that our Elf 
(Jolly Jingleheimer. He's mostly known as Jingles.)
He brought pajamas!
And tickets.
Apparently, there are portals all over the world.
It's how Santa gets around. 
There's a magic trolley that some elves took us on.
We had to say a magic spell with our eyes closed,
there was music and flashing lights, and 
There we were. 

After we got there, we knocked on the door.
An elf let us in, and we saw Santa's Toy Hall of Fame.
It was pretty cool.

(Monkey and Pony Princess checking out a wagon in the Hall of Fame)

The next room the elves let us in, was Santa's original work room.
It's a much bigger operation now.
His head elf, Alabaster Snowflake, 
showed us some cool stuff.

They were pretty impressed.

This train is magical, and it goes from the old workshop to the new one.

And it is pretty awesome, as you can see from Monkey's face.

We went to the actual workshop,
and the kids made some toys for other kids who might not get any.
Monkey made a cheerleader bear, Pony Princess made a football bear.

Then there was rocket Nerf war among children and elves.
Next, we walked through the wrapping room.

 After the wrapping room, we got to sit down and have a snack.
There were cookies and snow man soup
(for you grown ups, that's hot cocoa).
 Pony Princess, Monkey, and Pony's sister Minnie Mouse.
And an elf. See, she glitters!

Then, we headed to Elf University.
We had to learn Elf Manners and pass a test so we could leave.

 After that, there were lists for Santa to write.
It took a lot of concentration, especially for Pony Princess.
She needed to know how to spell DOLPHIN.

 After writing them, it was *almost* time to see Santa.
First, the elves had to check and see if their names were on the nice list!
It looks worrisome.Very stressful.

 They were all on there! Even Daddy's!
They had to do the Nice List Dance.

Next up, we got to visit the Sleigh Room.
 It's a lot bigger than I ever imagined.

 This is Santa's Navigation System.

 And the Believe Meter.
Because if you don't believe, he can't stop at your house!

The last bit of the night was seeing SANTA!

(We got a picture from the workshop, but I don't have it with me right now.)


It was a pretty amazing adventure. 
If you'd like to check it out for yourself, 
I totally recommend it!