Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Other Love

My husband might have been my first romance, but he was not my first love. In fact, we still have an "open relationship." I've never lied to him. It's not that he's second fiddle, it's just that he can't be everything, and there's something else I need that he just can't give me. There's something else, and there has been ever since I can remember.

It's the Library. I can't help it. I might have backed off a bit in college when our school library was mostly academic snoozers and I wasn't a resident so I couldn't have a county card, but I started right back with it as soon as I was out. It was already a weekly occurrence, but then I bought myself a Kindle with some old visa rewards points, and discovered that libraries lend e-books. Just when I thought I could't love the Library any more, it goes and melts my heart all over again. Because it is so much easier to read on a Kindle while nursing than having to hold a book open and turn pages.

What can I do? I am passing along this obsession to the girls. They will be library princesses if I have anything to do with it!! This is from the "good manners tea party." Where Hannah refused to wear her Tea hat. Ellie is off camera trying to eat it.

My passion is being fed like mad these days. We moved from podunkville, USA where the library with the good preschool program was 45 minutes away (and YES, we made that drive every week!) to a Big County System, where the central library has 4 stories and our local branch is 10 minutes down the road.

The kids programs are awesome. Not only is there story time every week, but now there's a weekly language class for pre-schoolers (Spanish for now- French in the fall!), with short videos that I can access from home, a craft, and songs to learn. Then a couple of times a month, they do a themed story/ craft with decorations and the whole bit. THEN, they have a "Mommy and me" pre-school ballet class once a month- could it get any cuter?

And they deliver books directly to my house. And they have live music events. And they have adult language learning online. And, and, and.... it goes on! I love the Library, and I just can't help it! Oh, and if I check out 10 books, I get a free movie to download. This is not a problem. Date night on the Library!

So, right now, I am reading The Never Ending Story for the first time- anybody remember that movie? Strangely, they changed the name of the imagination world from "Fantastica" to "Fantasia." I am halfway through and still having trouble not saying "Fantasia" in my head every time I read the name of the book world. And Sam and I are reading(me)/ listening to(him) the Inkheart series, which is wonderful. I finally found a way to get him to read with me, thanks to the Library!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy Nurses/ Teacher's week!

Thursday was my day. Until I babysat the cousins last minute. And Friday was my day. Until Ellie fell asleep 2 hours early and didn't take a nap during Hannah's quiet time. So Saturday is my day!

Now let me tell you a story. Several years back, I had a bad day at work. And was 7 months post miscarriage and not pregnant again. So I had a sudden craving for Cinnabon, because, it was necessary. I looked it up. Not only was the closest Cinnabon about 10 minutes from our apartment, it was Nurse's week, and Cinnabons were FREE with a name badge. 


So, I took advantage of the deal. And from then on I tended to associated Cinnabon with nurses week,  and with sugar palliation of disappointment. 

Last week, we redeemed that association. For the first time since that episode, I went to Cinnabon. This time, I took my girls. I got to give them a special treat off-budget because I am a nurse! It was heavenly. Heavenly tasting, yes, but more so it just made my heart burst to share the moment with my two girls. Here they are, eating my Cinnabon. 

And the home health agency I take jobs for was giving away cheap stethoscopes to their nurses, so now the girls have a "real" toy stethoscope to play nurse/doctor with. And they are quite cute. 

If you look closely, you can see Ellie's cast on her little arm. She had a tumble in which I caught her, but her arm hit the side of the bench as she fell. Earned herself 2 weeks in a cast for a fracture, poor little princess! Hannah picked the purple for her. It's off now, and no further follow up needed, so we're all back to normal now.

So, of course, it was teacher's week too. I painted the back side of the kitchen cabinets with chalkboard paint, and now the girls can play school too. Hannah has been getting check marks for doing little chores like making her bed (with help) and staying in her room at bedtime. Yeah for teachers and nurses!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

BFP: Why is it so hard?

I used to fantasize about having a surprise pregnancy. You know, just feeling off, or something. Not trying. Testing "just in case." I thought, maybe after we transfer all the embryos, that we could just let things be. Maybe we'd get surprised. I'd imagine the elation, the joy, imagine getting to come up with some creative way to tell Sam since he would have no idea it was coming.

The key to that statement was "after."  Then it happened before. The cycle I was waiting on to end so I could start back with the Reproductive Endocrinologist.... it didn't end. I had been careless for once in using our family planning, presumed upon on our history of infertility as justification, and rather than realize I was late with excitement, I put off testing with a sense of dread.

I would never have imagined that I didn't want to be pregnant. There I was, though, standing over a pregnancy test early in the morning 7 weeks after my last cycle, willing the blank space to stay blank. We all know it didn't. There was no denying this one.

So what did I do? I crawled back into bed with Sam, woke him up, told him we'd made a baby, and cried. I cried. The miracle of life, even more amazing to us than to 85% of the population at large, with the added blessing of it being a surprise, and I was inconsolable. I wanted Hannah's sibling to be there instead. I felt like I had abandoned the embryos. It was like that second line brought with it an enormous wave of guilt and I was drowning in it.

 So my husband took my hand, dried my tears, drew me out of bed and onto my knees, and began to thank God for the baby. He prayed for its health. He prayed for our fitness as parents. Most importantly to me at the time, he prayed for the safety of the remaining embryos as they would have to wait a while for their turn. And my heart began to change. I was able to thank God too, and start to value and love this baby who God had wanted to create. It was a very bittersweet moment, very bitter, and very sweet.

My heart still feels the blow. It was difficult to get people to understand that no, we didn't want to just send the other embryos back now that we could apparently "do it on our own." It was difficult to explain that we had emotions other than "thrilled," and that those emotions included shame and guilt. There are times I look at Hannah that I want desperately to have her full sibling in our arms, when it doesn't seem fair to her that her sister has such different features, that I don't have to tell the doctors about Ellie's "biological parents" like I do for Hannah. 

Maybe though, it's better this way, assuming that we will be able to bring home the other embryos in the future. Maybe it's better that a genetic child of ours isn't the last "special miracle baby" of our family, but simply one in the middle of a group.

I am reminded of Psalm 127, where it says that unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain, and unless the Lord guards the town, the watchman keeps awake for nothing. God is constructing our family- He gets the final say. He wanted Ellie here with us, and her presence has made me more open handed as I approach the throne of grace with our blueprints as we prepare to hope for another embryo sibling to come out of the freezer and home with us.

P.S. I thought if I scheduled it, it would publish when I scheduled it for, but it didn't, so I'm sorry this post didn't show up until Friday 5/23. I need to learn a lot of things about this blogging business. :-(

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ready to Start Over

I have been horrible at keeping up. It's just... time I don't take. It's not as easy to sit and think when babies have multiplied and they're all walking and needing things, and those moments when they're sleeping are filled with things like... showering, and dishes, and helping Mr. Myth grade papers, and let's face it, I have a slight addiction to books.

Blogging was a lot easier when Hannah took 3 naps a day and I could count on 45 minutes of silence when nothing else seemed pressing.

But, I really, really, want this blog to work. I think about it often. Here's my plan: Thursdays. I'm scheduling it. I've successfully scheduled Wednesdays as budget day, I can schedule Thursdays as blog day.

Yes, I know it's Wednesday. But Mr. Myth is sick, so we're not grading tonight, and I have more time. But as long as I can get both girls to nap at the same time on Thursday, Thursday it will be.

In the meantime, here's a nice little timeline of how we've kept busy:

We cook:

We play with treasure:

We master the art of Selfies:

We fix cars:

We have tea with fairies:

Wow, this makes my life look fun and exciting. I guess that's when you take pictures, huh? That's why I need to continue this blog on a regular basis. I do have regular moments of beauty, and one post would just get cluttered with everything I should have been documenting. It makes me love where we are so much more when I can reflect like this.

Thursdays. It's on the calendar.

In which, I am Goo.

Staying at home with two little ones is a daily balancing act. Most days there's a lot of redirection, screaming for no discernible reason (them, not me!), and back and forth between the never-coordinated needs of a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I love it, I wouldn't trade it; I'm not so rose colored that I think it's fun and easy all the time.

The other day though, we had one of THOSE days. The rare ones. The one in which everything you imagine happening, happens. 

First, we all slept until a decent hour. Then, we made our beds, got dressed brushed our teeth, and got breakfast ready without any meltdowns. Then, we had nothing planned, so we walked to the park with our strollers. The weather was perfect, not hot, but not at all cold. There were flowers to pick, so we stopped to pick them. We mood at cows. I even had a plan for dinner.

This is when Hannah came up with a new game. It's the renaming game. It went something like this:

"Mommy, you are Goo!"

"Oh, I'm Goo, huh?"

"Yeah! And Ellie is Bugga Boo Boo! And I'm Gigi!"

"What do you think, Ellie?"

"Not Ellie! Bugga Boo Boo!"

"Oh, sorry. What do you think, Bugga Boo Boo?"

(Bugga Boo Boo giggles)

"She likes it Goo!"

We played like this all day. I was, in fact, "Goo" for weeks. For some reason it makes Hannah and Ellie break into giggle fits. 

Then we came home and Gigi and Bugga Boo Boo played with water, got drenched, got muddy, then got to play in the bath. I don't actually remember what we had for dinner, but I know it got made at a decent time. And that Daddy didn't get a special name for whatever reason. It was just me. 

Daddy gets a lot of privileges, you know. He's gone all day, so when he gets home, it's fun hour. He gets the daily recap, the tickle fest, and the dance time while I cook. But this was a Mommy special. Those other days, the ones where I wonder how many times I can repeat the same set of directions, or try to figure out why the hysterics started, or clean up some kind of staining spill, I remember this one. I get tired, I get grouchy, I get overwhelmed, no doubt. But I must be doing something right.

Because I am Goo.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Summertime.... and the living is easy.

It's hard to believe that summer is halfway over. I would like to say that I  haven't posted anything because we've been sooooo busy, but the truth is quite the opposite; I haven't done much of anything because we've been sooooo relaxed these days. We officially completed our time at the boy's ranch ministry, and moved back to our hometown at the end of April. We're renting for now, but will be moving again when we find a house to purchase that's closer to the job Mr. Myth is starting in August.

That's right- new job, new house, new community coming up next! The job is at a charter school that focuses heavily on math (Mr. Myth's specialty) and science. It's an exciting career move and his making a normal teaching salary will allow me to stay home with little girls again.

So, what HAVE we been doing?

Well, in May we went on a BIG TRIP to see a family member graduate medical school and made several stops along the way:

First we saw my friends from college who have little girls about the same age. Then we saw cousins at the graduation/ commissioning ceremony. Then we went to see Sam's aunt and uncle, and concluded with visiting the girls' third cousins a good friend who had recently moved away. 2 weeks on the road was plenty. I'm glad to be done, but I'm also glad for the fantastic opportunity afforded us to take the trip. Here's a sample of the fun.

Who doesn't love a pool?

First cousins!

Shameless "my kid likes healthy food" brag pic.

Third cousins!

Porch swing on a summer evening- perfect.
What else? Well... not much. We go to the park a lot. We go to the library for story time. We walk to the grocery store around the corner that gives out cookies. We have my sister and the cousins over for a little post-partum exercise session a couple of times a week (her little boy is 2 days older than Ellie!). Mr. Myth had a minor surgery a couple of weeks ago, so we've been laying low and even watching some Veggie Tales in the evenings. Hannah doesn't know that the originals aren't the cool hip thing for kids right now!

It has been so. nice. Just hanging out as a family and having time for friends whenever has been a huge breath of fresh air. I love summer. Soon enough things will get hectic again, in different ways, but I hope we can hold onto some of the solidarity and enjoyment of each other's company that we've been reveling in recently. The most recent picture-worthy thing we did was the 4th of July parade. There was a water fountain incident on the way back, I could tell you, or I could show you:

"Oh look! Water!"

"I'm wet..."

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hannah: The Year in Review

It's been a long year.

In April 2013, I started a job. 12 hour night shifts, 3 nights a week, every other weekend. Hannah was 15 months old. She could barely talk. She loved grapes, cheese, and the park. She looked like this:

She started going to a babysitter on days I had to sleep and Daddy had to work. She learned a little bit of Spanish from the babysitter- we still use the word "agua" almost exclusively when talking about water. I missed her on days I worked, but she adjusted well. I used the opportunity to slowly wean, since our doctor wouldn't do another embryo transfer until a month after we were done completely. 

In July 2013, Mr. Myth and I celebrated 6 years of marriage. Hannah was 18 months old. We were down to nursing only at night a few nights a week. I was preparing to cut her off completely once my next cycle started. It didn't. We looked like this:

In September 2013, Hannah was still nursing since I no longer had to wean for the next embryo transfer. She was 20 months old. We started potty training. She had to get a new babysitter because the old one started a new job. She potty trained in about 3 weeks, using the "3 day method." She still didn't talk much, so she could use the potty, just not talk about it. Good thing she'd go on command. She loved to "help" with dishes. She looked something like this:

In October 2013, Hannah's granddad got remarried, and Hannah got to be the flower girl! She was not shy. She marched right down that aisle with her flower girl partner in crime like she was born for it. I should start a business renting her out as a professional wedding attendant. We stopped by a pumpkin patch with her cousin (1 year older) on our way back home from the wedding. She was 21 months old and looked like this:

In December 2013, Hannah turned 2! I got a wild hair and threw her a themed birthday party- the Very Hungry Caterpillar. She obliged by being her Very Hungry Self. She had started picking up lots of words just a couple of weeks before her birthday. She looked like this:

In March 2014 she was 27 months old. She would put her hand on my belly and say "baby!" She was talking in 2-3 word sentences. I was on maternity leave and loving the time I had with her as she transitioned from being an only child to being a big sister. We looked like this:

And then, everything changed. In 1hr and 45 minutes on the morning of March 28th, we went from a family of 3 to a family of four. Now we look like this: