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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Where To Begin?

If you've been around here for any length of time, you will have noticed that I never do any type of countdown or recap. I don't list my favorite posts, or mark milestones regularly (except for Marky Mark's birthday, I get that one almost every year).

I don't watch the Best of Everything shows that are on this time of year either. I don't really have a reason, I'm just not interested. I could be self-important and say that I only look to the future and don't care what is behind me, but we'd all know I was lying because, well, I spent six years of college looking into the past. (Side story: If Joshua and I could have dinner with five people, dead or alive, four of our people are the same. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and George Washington. Match made in heaven, I tell you.)

Could it be that I'm just so boring that there isn't really anything to recap?

I'm going to say that is probably the best answer I can come up with. Why would I recap "Oh yes, in January, I got up and went to work. And then in February, I got up late and went to work. Same in March..." and you get it.

This year though has been full of milestones for us. We've got so many firsts going on, and 2013 looks to be a continuation of our lists of new experiences.

A few off of our 2012 list:
Josh graduated college, passed state boards, and got a job in physical therapy. (I'm still so proud of him).
We ripped up carpet, vinyl tile, and put down laminate floor.
We saw a urologist, then a fertility specialist/RE, started medicine for IUI, and decided against IVF.
We assisted puppy birth (hopefully this can also go on our "last" list too).
I accepted that my carefully laid plans for life aren't up to me, and let go.
I learned that fried food is better than baked food. Hands down.
I started a journal to our child, and fell in love with someone I still haven't met.
I watched the entire Friends series.
We sat through two awkward meals in order to meet our baby's birth parents.
I cut off most of my hair.
I failed at several pins, but the strung out on Opana hair was my favorite.
I drank too much wine and wrote a post about the junk in my purse.
I was forced to run outside in the winter, and had a great fall.
I assembled a crib.
We told family and friends that we're going to be parents.
I told my brothers about SuperBaby.
I heard our baby's heart.

I can't even imagine my life one year from today. I don't have a clue what it is going to look like. I know, for certain, that this time our life really is going to change. Our life already has changed.

So maybe now that I'm not the most boring person on the internet, I'll do a recap every year.
Side eye from Rach.
Yeah. Probably not.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

From California to Kansas

Hey guys, I haven't been around much the last few days. Today though I am guest posting at From California to Kansas. Head on over to Mallory's blog and check it out. I think she's pretty awesome.

Here is a bonus. This is my Phoebe at 12 hours old:
 And this is her at four weeks. Isn't it amazing how quickly they grow?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pin Win

First, can we celebrate that I FINALLY got a pin to work for me on the first try? Really.

I hate doing this, but the Pin doesn't link to the original source. I am so sorry to whomever made this delicious pin that has changed our breakfast lives for ever, but I have to post it. I have to. You understand.
This is the link to the pin. Not the original source.

Yesterday, Ingrid pinned it, I repinned it, and made it this morning.

I didn't have the Grands biscuits, because they're a million dollars. I get the generic four tube pack of biscuits for like a dollar. I cut them in half instead of fours, but next time I will do quarters so that they're bite sized.

True story: this is the first time I've ever deep fried anything. We don't have a fryer, and I typically just pan fry if I'm going to fry at all. 
They fried about 15 seconds per side. Once I could see the other side was golden I would tip them over, fry the other side for about 15 seconds and transfer them to a bowl of cinnamon sugar mix.

I used three tubes of biscuits for all of these. They grow once you fry them. Also, the oil grows too, so don't use too much. I filled my sauce pan about half way, and I would have been fine with less than that.

You don't know what you're missing if you don't make these. Honestly.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dear SuperBaby,

I haven't written as much to you lately as I did when we first learned of you. I can honestly tell you, it is because we've been so busy preparing for you that every night when I go to bed, I'm exhausted! You won't even recognize our house (well of course you won't, you've never been here before. Duh. Silly Mama.) because of everything we've done to make it your home too. 

You have your own bedroom! I worked so hard on it. I tried to be WonderMom and do it all on my own, but just as you will learn too, sometimes we need help from others. To be honest, you have the best room in our home. I know you'll love it. I go in there a lot and just sit in your chair and look around. I imagine you in your crib, or on my lap listening to me read you books. Last night I went in and just read my own book. Today, your Dad and GrandMan are going to pick up your dresser, and then your room will be mostly complete. I have my eye on the mobile I want for above your crib, and you are going to love it. Being in your room makes me feel closer to you, even though you've never been there. Even though we've never met.

Next week will be our last Christmas without you. For the past three Christmases I've always had this picture in my head of announcing to our families that we're having a baby, and this year, it's real. They all already know, so the picture is a little different, but you're already here in our hearts. Next Christmas will be so much different than the 26 we've experienced before this one. Next Christmas you will be nine months old. If I were better about reading my Baby's First Year book I could tell you what you'll be doing then, but I haven't made it past the newborn part of the book. In fact, I don't think I've even made it to the leaving the hospital part. Maybe I'll read it in real time. Like a manual. What do you think?

I realize that last paragraph might make you nervous to have me as a mom. Let me tell you, SuperBaby, you're not the only one. Your Dad is nervous too. He keeps telling me that he has no idea what he is doing. I'm probably not making a better case for us, am I? If it makes you feel any better, we're told that you never really know what you're doing until you experience it. And since you've never had parents before, I think you'll love us just because we love you so much. And because you have an awesome room. And because we're really cool people. And we know really cool people. And our Netflix has a kid section (even though you're not allowed to watch cartoons as much as your Dad does).

I hope you know how much we love you. You're already the center of our world, and we cannot wait to meet you. 
Until then, I love you.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Step 3: Home Study, The Home Visit

We had our final home study meeting, and this one was at our house.

We have a nice house. It was built in the 1950s, and has been well maintained. We aren't super handy or anything, but if something needs done, we take care of it. I go back and forth between loving and hating the house, but for the most part love it. I only hate it when something is wrong with it that costs money. I have even grown to love our tiny galley kitchen.

However, when someone is coming to tour your home and speak with you in it, your home immediately becomes the most disgusting place you've ever seen, and you spend days, even weeks preparing for a ten minute tour. (When I say "you", I mean "me".)

I seriously started deep cleaning eight days before our visit. The nursery being in such disarray was not helping matters. I finished the nursery (for the most part) the day before our visit.

I had divided up the chores between us and started on my own. Unexpectedly (since he hasn't been sick in three years) Josh came down with the flu. Not the puke-and-feel-better flu, the I-can't-do-anything-but-lay-on-the-couch-for-days flu. So add that to my pile of stress.

When the time finally came, our social worker couldn't find our house. If you've ever tried to come to our house before, I think you've probably done the same thing. We have the most passable house in the world. We know we have ordered pizza too much from the same place when the delivery vehicle arrives on the first try. So anyway, I called her and helped be her GPS and navigated her into the driveway.

Josh and I were required to take the PREPARE/ENRICH test to determine if we're compatable as husband and wife and as parents. I would think the past ten years would be a compatability test enough, but whatever. We do what we have to do. We found out that in fact we are a good match and scored in the highest bracket possible. Go us.

We discussed the results of that for an hour and then talked about our final homework page. Josh always complains about filling the paperwork out, so I always tell him to just write whatever he's thinking, even if it is sarcastic. It is how he feels and he should write it.

One of the questions was: "What experience do you have with newborns?".

Josh's answer: "I have held a few".

So she recommended we check out a parenting class. Ha.

She asked me a lot about infertility and how I handled it. It was really a short and easy visit, not at all worthy of the panic I was feeling leading up to it.

We took a walk around the house, said a few more things, and she left.

Before she went though I asked her what happens next. She told us that our part is done. We have put in the time and effort required of us, and now we sit back and wait. She will begin our final report next week and it will be finished mid-January. I asked if mid-January is when we will find out if we're approved. She said that we haven't had any red flags or anything to worry about this far, and that her report in January will just be the official approval, but that we are unofficially approved now.

So I'm still waiting for the weight to be lifted off of my chest. I'm still in panic/survival mode. I know that I can relax, but my body won't let me yet. I'm planning to give it another go tonight on the couch not doing anything. Heck, maybe I'll read like I used to.

Now that the worst part of this is out of the way, we just wait for SuperBaby's arrival. We can't wait.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Baby, You Were Meant To Be

For the past three years I have always tried to figure out God's plan. It's foolish. I know.

I would think to myself though, and try to figure out why we have infertility. Why us? What in the world could happen to us that it would all be worth it? How could something amazing come from something we had lived with and cried over for so long? Obviously, I always knew the answer was a baby. A baby would make all of the tests and medications worth it. Infertility would be worth it to have a baby of our own. I always pictured a biological child ending our infertility, and we would have a joyous pregnancy in which I would be sick, but would be grateful for it because I would know the cost it came at.

It is as if God said, Haha my child, you think you have me all figured out. Guess again.

At the doctor the other day, our birth mom and I waited in the lobby for an hour so she could have her sugar test done. (All results of all labs came back perfect.) She was filling out paperwork and talking to me at the same time.

She told me that she shakes her head from time to time at how everything has worked out.

She was supposed to have a tubectomy. She had one scheduled. While we were talking with the nurse, birth mom asked about getting one done. The nurse came back and said that one had been scheduled last year, but birth mom didn't show up for it. Birth mom says she didn't recall getting an appointment time. Two weeks after that procedure was to have happened, SuperBaby was conceived.

After SuperBaby was conceived, and birth mom knew she was pregnant, she considered abortion. It makes me nearly cry to even think about it. She told us that she was reading the pamphlet, and felt like God was asking her what in the world she was thinking. She knew then that she couldn't do it. She knew that there was a reason why she had gotten pregnant again, and she would do what she had to, but she couldn't get an abortion.

At the time she decided she couldn't have an abortion, we decided we couldn't go on with the more expensive fertility treatments. It wasn't so much a decision that we made, but one that was just not realistic for us. As I mourned the loss of the normal life I had envisioned, we considered adoption for the first time. We put our hearts on the line for a baby that wasn't meant to be ours. At the same time, our birth mom was looking for a family to adopt SuperBaby.

When we were sitting in the waiting room, comparing our journeys side by side, it is amazing how everything lines up. Every path she took, and every path we took, led us straight to each other. There is no other explanation for it, than this is God's plan. Two times, SuperBaby has made it past hurdles that should have ended the path to us. This child really is a SuperBaby.

I can only think that God is having a good chuckle at me for trying to predict his will. I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined that he would put us here. I never knew I could feel the way I do. I never thought I could love someone I had never even met. I never thought that life could be completely changed, and everything would work out. I was beginning to think that infertility was who I was. It was becoming my identity. Now, that is changing. My new identity is mom. I'm going to be a mom.

It still blows my mind.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The One with the Laminate Flooring

Every SuperBaby needs a SuperNursery, right? Right.

Side note: I had a dream the other night that I was watching an episode of Friends called ''The One with the Laminate Flooring''. I told you my dreams are boring.

Baby T's room is our old guest room. It had my grandmother's antique bed in it, and Joshua's clothes because he prefers to use his dresser drawers to store his ammunition. True story.

The first obstacle was to clear out the closet and Joshua's clothes. We donated a lot of clothing that we hadn't been wearing, but kept because we had the room for it.

The second step was to tear out the carpeting. It was old and smelled and it was definitely time to go. We decided we wanted to put in a wood laminate flooring and I found some on sale at Menard's the weekend after Thanksgiving.

This is the SuperNursery after we pulled up the carpet, and vinyl tile that was underneath.

This is the laminate I picked out.
On Friday, I was talking about the flooring at work and told my boss that I was going to put it all in that night. He bet me that I couldn't do it, and he was right. I got this far before I got mad and quit. I tried so hard too.

 So Saturday morning I pulled it up and tried again.
 And failed again. Josh's cousin Jason came over Saturday afternoon to help me do it, and he was like magic. Seriously. I swear he was doing the same thing I was, but he was making it work. In my opinion, it turned out beautifully.
 I am going to put the dresser in the closet and make fabric ''doors''. So Pin.
 This chair is from our living room. I put a glider on our registry, but as it is insanely expensive, I am assuming I won't be getting it.This chair works perfectly, so I'll probably take the glider off of the registry.
I love it.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Heartbeat

The first time we met our birth mom she said that I was welcome to come to her appointments with her. Today was the first appointment since then that I've been able to go to. It was only the second time I've ever seen her in person. I was so nervous.

There was some error in communication, and the due date of February 1st, isn't correct. Our baby is due March 4, 2013 (as per the doctor).

You have NO IDEA what this does to get rid of my anxiety. We are going to finish our home study in the next week, and our social worker told us that it will take her a few weeks to write up her final report. I was so worried that the baby would come early and all of our ducks would be misaligned. An extra month is golden. I can't wait for SuperBaby's arrival, but I do want to make sure we have everything done properly first.

I didn't have a clue how prenatal visits went, so when I was told to sit in the chair that gave me this view, I kind of panicked. Turns out, not all visits are like annual exams, and everyone kept their clothes on. Whew.

Our birth mom is 27 weeks pregnant. She is experiencing round ligament pain and headaches. Her blood pressure is good, as is everything else.  The baby is the size of a rutabaga.

I was sitting, listening, taking it all in when the doctor told me I was listening to the heartbeat. I thought he was having trouble finding it or something, but then he told me that noise was the heartbeat. I wasn't all mushy about it until the appointment was over.

At this moment:

I was nearly in tears.

We waited to get all of birth mom's blood tests and her sugar test done today. We sat in the waiting room talking for an hour, and it went really well. After we finished everything, we went to our attorney's office so he could explain everything to the birth mom. She agreed with everything he said and told him that no matter what, she wants the baby to come to us.

Today gave me great peace of mind, and made me even more excited for what is to come.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Step 3: Home Study, Part 2

Our homework for this meeting was about our marriage. There were questions like: "What do you like most about yourself?", "What are the strengths of your marriage?", "How long was your courtship?", and my favorite: "If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?".

My answer? "I would not worry so much, and I would get rid of my anxiety. I would trust God more, and stop trying to do everything on my own."

My husband's answer? "Nothing."

He's perfect. Just ask him.

We were laughing about it with our social worker. She said she chuckled when she saw his response.

This meeting was much more relaxed (I mean, I was more relaxed) and we laughed a lot. We talked about our jobs, infertility, living together, and how men are different than women. Josh is incredibly laid back, while I am not. He was saying that he doesn't understand why I can't relax, and I was saying that I don't understand how he can always be so relaxed.

Our social worker made the comment that women always have so much going on in their brains and men focus on one thing at a time. She said that looking at Pinterest (See! I love her.) is like looking at the female brain. There are so many things going on at once, and they're all different, and we're thinking about all of them.

It reminds me of one of my favorite Friends clips. The one right after Ross and Rachel kiss.

This is the difference between men and women. It couldn't be more accurate.


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