Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Life Lately

Life has been busy and full, and the warm weather has made my heart happy! Playing outside for long periods of time makes for a happier mama, new experiences, and longer naps! Now to work on Noelle not complaining about how "hot" it is...

Two weeks ago, I took the kids over to a local park where we were able to walk through a tunnel and around a path where there's a little "waterfall". They loved throwing sticks into the water and watching them drift down the little stream. On our walk back to the car, we stopped in the park to walk over a little bridge and throw more sticks into water. There's just something so wonderful about being outside in nature!

A local church had a little "spring break" festival in one of our downtown parks last weekend, and the weather was perfect for it. Noelle and I wandered down to meet Heather and Jason while Jonah was taking his nap. Noelle was so excited about the pony ride and jumping in the bounce house. We also got yummy hot dogs and cookies, but the biggest highlight was probably getting a unicorn painted on her face. After she saw herself in the mirror, she said "Don't I look fabulous, mommy?"

We've had MOPS meetings, play dates, Uncle Max and Aunt Ruth came for a brief visit, and outside play time with our neighbors. I ran the Clyde's 10K last weekend that I've been wanting to run for the last few years! It was fun, and there was delicious post-race food, which I was able to grab before heading home to go to church with Luke and the kids. On the drive to the race, I heard the Jamie Grace song "You Lead", and the lyrics 'I know what you got for me is more than I can see'. In this season of God's plan not matching up with my plan, I'm learning to trust that He has something so much bigger planned!

I went in for some more blood work yesterday as we track my cycle, and fainted soon after the blood draw was over. I think it was because the nurse had to stick me twice and it was really painful. Thankfully I was surrounded by nurses and was still seated when I passed out! We'll see what the doctor wants to do next in terms of treatment, and keep on praying that God would show us what's next!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jonah!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my favorite little boy! (Two days late!)

I know every mother says it, but how has time gone by so quickly? You are definitely not a baby anymore, and run around just like a big boy. You are saying SO much and communicating so well with us. You repeat so many things, and keep us laughing with your silly antics. You say "again, again" when you want to replay a song in the car, and as soon as daddy gets home from work, you say "play star wars" to get daddy to go play his Star Wars game so you can watch. And "Anna snacks" (Frozen fruit snacks) are your most favorite!

You'll try most any foods, and you definitely seem to have a sweet tooth like your mama. Lunch and dinner are usually chicken nuggets, PB&J sandwiches, grilled cheese, cheese, or turkey. Or you like to just eat whatever mom and dad are eating, as long as it's right off our plates! You love candy, and if given the chance, will tear into whatever chocolate you can find (ahem, Easter Egg hunts this year!)

You and your sister fight with each other a lot- as soon as one of you picks up a toy, the other immediately wants it. But the two of you also have such sweet moments when Noelle will "read" you a book, or you'll hold hands when we're walking around. I hope that you two continue to build a relationship and friendship that lasts well into adulthood. Believe me, siblings are some of the best friends you'll ever have!

I cannot believe how big you are- fitting into 24 month and 2T clothes (for the most part), and size 4 diapers. I'm pretty sure you're within a pound of weighing what Noelle weighed at age 3! You sleep really well for the most part, taking a two-ish hour nap most afternoons, and sleeping from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. for the night. Your crib is always full of books, stuffed animals, and I think four blankets at the moment. Thankfully those books help keep you entertained before and after nap time.

On the days that Noelle is in school, we spend our time playing trains, going outside when it's nice, grocery shopping, or you help me clean. You always want to do things on your own, which can make things take twice as long as they should, but I know you're learning and becoming your own little person. You love playing at the library, picking up rocks, digging in the dirt, throwing balls, chalk, bubbles, and playing in the nursery at church and MOPS. You are so active, but will sometimes sit still for a book. You love copying your sister and wearing princess dresses and high heels- and it's hilarious watching you clomp around in them.

For your birthday this year, we started with donuts for breakfast and family movie time watching The Good Dinosaur. We grilled burgers for lunch with Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Lyd. After your nap, you and mommy had some one-on-one time for a walk in the sunshine to the waterfall. For dinner Nana, Grandpa, and Aunt Heather came to share pizza and the ice cream cake Aunt Heather made for you.

We are SO thankful for you, and pray that you come to know Jesus, who loves you more than anyone on earth ever can. We pray that we can be examples of Jesus to you, and that as you grow, you will be an example of Jesus to those around you.

We love you, Jonah!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Last Minute Race and the Dentist

About two weeks ago we got an email from some out of town friends letting our small group know they were going to be in D.C. for a conference, and wanted to meet us all for lunch that Saturday. They mentioned that they needed to get a 17 mile run done for their marathon training, and hoped some of our runner friends would join them. One of our runner friends replied that she was running a half marathon Saturday morning and invited them, and anyone else who wanted, to join her. Even though the longest I have run in awhile is 7 miles, I briefly thought about doing the race just because it would be fun to go to a race with friends! But decided I was most definitely not in half marathon shape. When Luke was saying good-bye before heading off to work that morning, he asked me if I was going to run the race, and I told him I had thought about it, but knew I wasn't in that kind of shape. He told me he knew I could do it, and that was all the encouragement I needed to sign up for it later on that day. I was most definitely nervous that I would end up walking a lot of it, but figured it would at least be fun to hang out with friends.

picture by Jess!
The race was the Oldfields Half Marathon, and it supported Back on My Feet, a non-profit that benefits homeless individuals. The race started at Oldfields School and ran along a flat crushed gravel trail. I met up with my friends and we drove out together, getting there in time to grab our race packets, wait in the potty lines, and the other three ran a little warm-up while I hung out under the trees to stay dry from the drizzle. As we were walking to the start line, one of my friends and I figured that we were aiming to run the same pace, and decided to stick together until one of us felt like going faster or slower. We ended up staying together until the last little bit, and it's probably the only way I finished! I am so thankful for her! We ran at what felt like a comfortable pace and talked almost the whole time catching up on life. Since it was an out and back, we were able to see that her husband was in the top three and our other friend was first female. We ended up running an 8:15 pace, and other than one sore hamstring, I avoided being in pain the next day!

Last week was my 31st birthday, and to me it stung a bit more than turning 30. I am now IN my 30's, which just seems to much older (and my body seeming to fall apart doesn't help!) We had a MOPS meeting that morning, Noelle had a dentist appointment in the afternoon, and then I had a leadership meeting for my other MOPS group in the evening. The MOPS girls surprised me with a cake, fruit, and a card, and it was a fun little to-do embracing the MOPS theme of celebrating lavishly!

When I had told Noelle a few weeks prior that she had a dentist appointment coming up, she was actually excited about it. Some nights before bed, she would say "When I wake up, what day will it be?" I would tell her, and then she would ask if we were going to the dentist that day. And then on the morning that we were going, she came downstairs all excited that it was THE day! Once we got there and it was time to sit in the chair, she started to freak out a little bit, but the dental hygienist turned on My Little Pony for her, and all was good. She sat there in her little sunglasses totally enthralled while her teeth got cleaned. Jonah, on the other hand, was climbing on and off my lap, up into the chair with Noelle, and pointing to everything. Thankfully Noelle is still a part of the No Cavity Club (much to our surprise)!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Praying for Wisdom

Last Friday Luke and I had our first appointment with the fertility doctor. Before going, we completed some questionnaires, and I spent time contacting our insurance company to find out what, if anything, is covered. Thankfully we have pretty good insurance, but we will still be paying out of pocket for some things, and based on what the doctor told us, we're trying to figure out how far down that road we want to go. I at least want to do the initial testing to find out if there are any easy fixes that may help us.

After the doctor reviewed the questionnaires we'd completed, and asked us a few more questions, he basically told me that it was most likely that my body was not ovulating because I do not weigh enough. Along with getting the initial blood tests and ultrasounds done, he wants me to work on gaining weight and working out less. It was pretty much the same thing my GYN told me- except she basically straight up asked me if I have an eating disorder. While I do run pretty much every day, it's more for sanity's sake than for the calorie burn, but I do appreciate that too!

Since our appointment with the fertility doctor, I've been focusing on recipes that include healthy fats (so far mostly avocado). And right after our appointment, Luke and I went out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my birthday while my mom still had the kids. My brain was already in gaining weight mode and so I picked the California Guacamole Salad- so much avocado and it was delicious! (And Luke and I "shared" a piece of chocolate tuxedo cream cheesecake!) Along with adding more healthy fats to my diet (I already consume so much peanut butter, and use coconut oil and olive oil when cooking), my plan is to run no more than four days a week, and walk and/or do 21 day fix workouts on other days. I'm really hoping that doing less strenuous exercise will help with getting my cycle back!

I got my initial blood work done on Monday, so I guess I'll hear the results once the doctor gets them back. I go in to the fertility office twice this week for more blood work and ultrasounds in order to assess where I am in my cycle. Once we have the information, we can hopefully figure out a course of action.

I've been able to share this with some girls in my MOPS group, and with some friends at church, and two of them have also been through the overwhelming feelings and emotions of infertility and being treated through the clinic we're using. Both have told me that I can come to them with any questions or if I need a shoulder to cry on, and I am so thankful for that!

Luke and I are unsure about how far in to this we want to go because if it really is just a matter of me gaining weight/working out less, then we should be able to do that on our own. Or I might be better off paying a nutritionist than the infertility doctor. BUT in the case that it is more than that, I want to do the initial testing. Friends and family who have dealt with infertility have encouraged us to at least go that far. I am a tad skeptical about my weight being the sole issue since up until six months ago, I weighed more than my pre-pregnancy weight with Jonah, and had my one and only spontaneous period after I lost that "extra"weight. But the doctor said that it's possible my body's threshold has changed, and now I need more weight in order for everything to function as it should.

I've been doing a lot of praying that God will give us clear answers on what to do. Maybe we're done, and my desire for another baby will go away, Or maybe God is just saying wait- and He has a plan for something else down the road. I don't know yet, but I do trust that He knows best.

And in the meantime, I'll mourn the fact that my "baby" is almost two!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs!

So much catching up to do! I feel like we've been going, going, going, but sometimes I look back at the week and can't remember what we did!

Leading up to Easter we went to a couple of Easter egg hunts. We haven't really talked about the Easter Bunny, so the kids just see it as a fun game of finding eggs with fun things inside. My local MOPS group did a family play date/Easter party. We made Easter Bunny ear hats, carried Easter eggs in spoons, and did a little Easter egg hunt inside the church since it was a cold and dreary day. The kids loved it, and almost a month later are still playing with the bouncy balls they got.

Our town also has an Easter egg hunt, but when the day came, it was rainy.  They still invited everyone to come out and visit the Easter Bunny in the park pavilion, so we headed down to check it out. By the time we got there, it was no longer raining so they put out a few eggs for the kids to pick up. Of course Jonah's favorite thing is to pick up an egg, eat the candy, and then get another egg so he only got like three eggs. And when we went to sit with the bunny, Jonah refused and Noelle surprised me by wanting a picture with him!

We also did some Easter egg dying with both Grandma and Nana, which all of them (grandmas and kids!) loved! Grandma had a fun technique of wrapping the eggs in a little towel, squirting various colors around the egg, and then pouring the vinegar over. It gave the eggs a pretty tie-dye affect! And then with Nana, they enjoyed putting the eggs into all the different cups to get the various colors.

Another local Easter event, is the Peep Show. People submit creations all made out of peeps, and there are some really impressive masterpieces! As we were waiting in line to get into the building, I overheard someone say that it was the first day of the show, so of course it was SUPER crowded. We didn't last too long, but we took a quick tour through each room and Noelle and Jonah recognized Pooh Bear, Snoopy, Starwars, and some other fun ones! And I'm a sucker, and bought them popcorn and candy to eat on the drive home.

Our last Easter egg hunt, before the one at Nana's on Easter, was the day before Easter at our neighbor's church. It's a really big outreach event for them where they invite everyone in for a puppet show (this year they talked about Noah and the ark), and then do a big egg hunt with cupcakes and snack afterwards. I took Noelle when I was super pregnant with Jonah, but hadn't been back since. Luke came with us, and we met up with our other neighbors who have a 5 and 2 year old. Noelle and Jonah loved it, and Jonah, sweet boy after my own heart, kept stuffing his face with chocolate and candy!

Lot's of fun adventures in March, and hopefully the weather starts cooperating again with some warmth so we can spend more time outside!