About Me

Name:
Sue

Location:
Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla
Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.


Alysa
Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.


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Mothers Day 2009

Saturday, September 30, 2006
Living with Food Allergies

So I thought I’d give a little more info on one huge aspect of our family. My oldest daughter Kayla has a Severe Dairy Allergy. She was born, full term at 8lb, 3oz and completely healthy. I attempted b/f’ing and failed miserable. Due to my hormonal infertility issues (2.5 years worth), I was unable to produce enough. So off she went onto formula (she got some b/m from pumping through 3 weeks of life). At a week old, she started crying after her feedings. In a matter of days she would scream for 2+ hours after each and every bottle. Sometimes, I’d have to feed her again b4 she even stopped. We even had one emergency room visit b/c she was 2 weeks old and refused to eat AT ALL. It was after 9pm and her doc wanted her examined b4 prescribing medicine for her Reflux. She ended up on Zantac for the first 8 months of life and the only formula she could tolerate was Nutramigen which is dairy-based but very broken down (most dairy allergic babies don’t “recognize” it as dairy). And it’s double the cost of “regular” formula. Luckily the extreme pain ended between 3-4 months of age – but it was a loooong few months. She would scream for so long and so hard and high-pitched that when she was not in pain and actually coo’d (she was actually a very easy going baby), you could hear that her voice was horse. Very sad. She also has battled Eczema on and off (which is typical of food allergies as well). She was diagnosed with the dairy allergy at 8 months when she broke out in hives from 3 bites of yogurt. She also still has reflux and we had to battle FTT (Failure to Thrive) for quite a while (she was born in the 90% for weight and by the age of 15 months was in the 5%). Both of these often go hand-in-hand with food allergies. Luckily the FTT is now under control and she is holding steady with her rate of growth.

Her reaction to dairy is both hives (upon contact of the skin) and vomiting when she ingests (luckily she has only ingested it once). Per some definitions, this would be considered an anaphylactic reaction since 2 systems of the body react. Luckily, we have never had an anaphylactic SHOCK reaction where she has trouble breathing, etc. But we do carry epi pens just in case. With food allergies, reactions can progress very quickly, so her next reaction could be anaphylactic shock. Plus, hives are a precursor to this type of reaction. We actually feel much safer having them around.

They key to outgrowing a food allergy is COMPLETE AVOIDANCE. And with Kayla’s reaction being very sensitive to contact of anything dairy, that is no easy task. Two months after being diagnosed (before we knew all we know now), Kayla’s little friend was eating cheese doodles and b4 I could stop her (those Toddlers are fast), she touched Kayla’s back. I quickly cleaned it off, but to no avail – within a couple minutes she had hives on her back. The only other reaction she has had was over 6 months ago. After dinner – she somehow got into something with dairy in our kitchen. She had hives on one side of her face. To this day, DH and I kick ourselves – mostly b/c we can not figure out WHAT she came in contact with. So, now we are even more strict and don’t eat dairy around her. No matter how careful you are things happen.

We are not a dairy-free house, but don’t have a lot of dairy around anymore and we eat dairy free whenever she is awake and home. Reading ingredients lists has become second nature. I can be at work and eating something that she won’t be having anywhere near her, but I still read the ingredients. We read them at the store and we read them when we get home and put the food away and then I read them again when I take it out of the pantry/fridge to open it. You can never be too careful. She will not be tested again until she is 3. We are hoping beyond hope that she will outgrow this so she can have a “normal” life. But I’m not holding my breath for that. Be prepared for the worse but hope for the best – that’s what will work best here.

At home, things are very “easy”. Kayla has her own shelf in both the pantry and fridge. On these shelves are foods completely safe for her. So if my parents or a friend happen to watch her for any reason, they can always know they have somewhere to go for Kayla-safe foods. Going out is the tricky part. We don’t take the kids to restaurants b/c I am not ready to trust someone else with her food. And packing up her entire meal for a meal out is just not worth it to us. It’s no fun. Also, being home and having people over is not too bad b/c we don’t serve dairy and it’s easy to enforce your own rules (i.e. washing your hands and face after eating, etc). Parties are the hardest as these typically revolve around food. Plus, being elsewhere makes it hard to put on restrictions, depending on whose house it is at.

It’s hard to balance isolating your child for their safety, but also getting them involved so they can be a normal kid. Food is everywhere – grocery store carts, playgrounds, even in the lobby of her gymnastics. It’s nerve-wracking and stressful. It’s hard to constantly ask strangers to wash their kids’ hands, but I do it. I’ve even asked Moms at her Ped’s office and music class to put away a cup of milk their child was just carrying around. I have to say Mom’s have been very understanding and wonderful. And we’ve been surprised by those we thought would be harder on us by being wonderful about it. And unfortunately, we’ve had some that we thought would be understanding that was less than understanding. But overall, I have found some great Moms who have gone out of their way to help us keep Kayla safe, even in their homes. One purposely only gives her son water to drink when we go to her house. Another went out of her way to not put out any cheesy snacks at a party she was having so Kayla would be safer. And others have done the same/similar things. They are forever surprising me - I will be forever grateful to them. Then of course, there are the ones that think we are insane, overprotective, neurotic parents. Well, I won’t give them anymore of my time. :) We do what any parent would do to protect their child.

<>We hope Kayla will outgrow this allergy – if not by 3, then later. Until then, I will continue researching and learning more about food allergies so I can give her the safest environment and give her the fun she deserves as a child. So far Alysa has no known allergies. But we are taking it slow with food introduction. We have our fingers crossed that she does not develop any food allergies.


posted at 7:53 PM  
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Thursday, September 28, 2006
Living My Dream

When I started this blog, I was not sure how it was going to go – IF it was going to go. Plus, I am not what you would call “creative”, so I don’t come up with witty or meaningful titles very easily (if ever). And since the blog thing seems to be going well - I’ve decided to change the “Name” of my blog to something a bit more fitting of me and my family. Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a Mom. It was a given in my mind, never an “IF”. Well, it became an “IF” when I was diagnosed with Infertility. Kayla was a 2 ½ year battle. But luckily it was a battle we won – and a battle well worth the fight. Alysa came soon after to our surprise and excitement. And luckily we beat some staggering odds with her - with both conception and an inevitable miscarriage – that obviously we were able to stop from happening. I credit both myself and my doctor’s office. We were all quick to respond to my shocking positive pregnancy test.

My dream was to have a family. It was what I wanted more than anything. I couldn’t imagine life without children. The hope that I would somehow achiever motherhood kept me going. And it is because of hope and my doctors (and some wonderful supporters) that I am Living My Dream!



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Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Success!
Well, Kayla's second try with paints went very well. She actually enjoyed it this time and did not mind getting her hands dirty. Of course, she didn't like the "no thumb in mouth" policy. Here are some pics of her creating her picture for Daddy.

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I'm now excited for more fun arts and crafts adventures!


posted at 3:44 PM  
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006
On the Mend
Well, we are almost all over our colds. Alysa is the only one left with a runny nose still. My cough is lingering, but I'm feeling normal again. And Kayla is FINALLY back to a normal sleeping pattern. It's always a rough adjustment getting to to sleep good after the extra attention she gets from being sick.

Then, of course, DH finds out yesterday that his boss wants him in Baltimore today through tomorrow. HUH? His boss is notorious for this last minute communication. Luckily I was able to rearrange my work schedule, so he can go. So he leaves today at noon and will be home sometime tomorrow night. So it's just me and my girls tonight. He'll be missed.

I have some home-made baby food recipes ready for me to try out tomorrow. Alysa despised baby food - actually she most anything you have to feed to her. She only wants to eat crackers, toast and her bottles (or cup). Currently she loves soy yogurt, but we'll see how long that lasts. Hopefully she'll like some of this new stuff and it will help with the transition to table foods. We have a bad track record of eating in our house with Kayla's dairy allergy and both of them having GERD (Reflux). So it's a constant struggle for me with feeding them.

I also plan on working with Kayla on finger painting. For Father's Day this year, I had the idea to put their hand prints on a t-shirt for DH. I figured it could even be the start of a yearly thing so he could have a nice collection of their growing hands. No such luck - Kayla wanted NOTHING to do with the paint. So Sunday, I made a trip to Michaels and got some finger paints and water colors. I'm hoping I can ease her into it. I'll try painting it on her hands. But she doesn't like to be dirty - so I'm sure I'll get. "Mommy mess." "Wash fingers?" We'll see - hopefully I can have a fresh masterpiece for DH's desk at work when he gets home tomorrow night.

I guess we'll see how productive I am today and tomorrow - as any mom knows, it depends on the kind of day the kids have. Wish me luck!


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Sunday, September 24, 2006
11 Things We Can't Live Without...
Here are some things that each of us could not live without...

Kayla:
  1. Her Thumb - It has been her best friend since she was 3 months old.
  2. Books – Thankfully she LOVES to read. It's good to know we're doing something right.
Alysa:
  1. Her night light – but not how you think… She LOVES to pull the flower part that covers the lightbulb off. I now have to take it down in the morning and put it up b4 bed b/c I’m too afraid she’ll break the light bulb one of these days.
  2. Things to climb on – I’m thinking she’ll be climbing out of her crib b4 her big sister.
DH:
  1. Coffee – Need I say more???
  2. Flavored Coffee Milk - he says coffee isn’t the same with regular milk.
Me:
  1. My computer – The few times my internet has been down, I have felt lost. I do everything on the computer. My budget, gift lists, Christmas card list. You name it; I’ve probably got a file for it on the computer.
  2. Books – Although I don’t have time to read hardly ever, I so enjoy it. And books give me some great quality time with my girls. It will be nice when my girls can read by themselves so we can all sit down and read together.

Last, but definitely not least – what DH and I both could not live without…



posted at 9:13 AM  
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Saturday, September 23, 2006
My Little Monkey
Alysa is only 9.5 months old, but she took her first steps 2 days shy of turning 9 months and is walking like a little Frankenstein now. She's also turned into quite the Monkey. Kayla was not too big into climbing. She climbs, but never to a point where I would worry about her. Now Alysa is going to be a whole different story...

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posted at 6:36 PM  
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My Little Big Girl
Well, we are all slowly getting better. Alysa is the last to get the cold, so she is still not feeling good, but the rest of us are on the mend. Now we just have to catch up on our sleep. Kayla mostly - b/c she is still going into 10 minute tantrums over the small things.

I have to say that now that Kayla is 2, I see such a difference in her. Her and Alysa are 16 months apart. Boy was that a rough transition. And I know that it is a hard adjustment for a child of any age - welcoming a new baby into the family. But I can see how it would be easier, had Kayla been 2. She is turning into such a Little Mommy. She is now into wanting to really help. When I give Alysa her bottles, she will come over and say "Kayla help." or "I help.". She puts her little hand on the end of the bottle and helps me hold it. Of course, if Alysa tries to put her hand on the bottle, Kayla will push it away. She won't even share Alysa's bottle. LOL She also like to give Alysa puffs or toast to eat. And yes, she feeds herself in between as well. It's so neat to see this new side of her. Even though she will not think twice of pushing Alysa down to the ground for trying to touch "her" toys, she will also rush to her side to pat her head because "Alysa bumped head".

And I know DH is secretly hoping for some Tomboy in both of them - so they will be interested in working on the car he is rebuilding as they get older. But for now, I see a girly-girl working her way out in Kayla. She has recently found my jewelry chest and loves to rummage through it. When she finds a necklace or bracelet that I will let her play with, she walks around the house so proud to look so pretty. And a week ago, while I was quickly painting my toenails b4 work one morning, she asked me to "Do Kayla's toes?". So I just got done painting her toenails for the 2nd time. The pink polish looks so cute on her teeny tiny toenails. And I can tell it makes her feel special to "be like Mommy".

I can see all the new fun things that are in our future. And hopefully grease, oil and tools will be there for DH too.


posted at 3:47 PM  
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Thursday, September 21, 2006
TGI-Thursday
Well, Thursday is my Friday where work is concerned. It's been a long week and I'm still not feeling good. So it's an extra welcome day. I think the girls feel the same since they won't detach themselves from my legs once I get home from work on these days. They are a sleep and I'm crossing my fingers for a semi-good night tonight. Last night was better, but not back to normal. And with our colds, dh is still banished to the couch - so I miss him.

I'm thinking it will be low-key this weekend for the most part as we recover. I don't see us making it out to gymnastics and Kindermusik. I don't think the other Moms will appreciate me coughing all over their kids. Sunday, my best friend is coming over for a visit and my Dad (aka Gramps) will be babysitting the girls so we can go out for an adult lunch and shopping. I'm very excited.

And I'll say, as much as I don't like the days getting shorter, it's so nice to take the girls outside and feel the cool, crisp air. Kayla loves being able to put on her "life jacket" - it's what she calls any jacket, coat or zip-up sweat shirt. She gets this from Dora and it's one of my favorite of her Toddlerisms. We took a nice walk as a family yesterday. Alysa in the stroller and I pushed Kayla on her tricycle. It was fun.

And 3 days ago, Kayla started to get into singing the Alphabet song. Well, the first day, she managed "A-B-C..." and then would get confused. Well, today, she is singing all the way up to V. Now that's fast learning. I love their little sponges, er minds.

Well, I had to take a break from typing to go up to Kayla as she was crying. Not good. But it's typical that she needs to cry herself back to sleep after being sick. Not fun, but it's "normal". So this was my last time tonight to go up there. Hopefully she'll go to sleep soon and the rest of the night will be quiet. Well, one can dream, can't she?


posted at 7:57 PM  
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Rough Few Nights...
Well, I haven’t been on here much the past few days and with good reason. Kayla started with a cold on Friday and it’s trickled down through the rest of us since then. Thankfully its only colds, but they can really knock you out. Hopefully DH, Kayla and I are on the mend, but Alysa is just beginning. And not only have I had trouble sleeping because I’m sick, but last night I banished DH to the air mattress because we have been keeping each other up. But mostly, Kayla has not been letting me sleep. Sunday night, Kayla was up from 10:30 to almost midnight. She woke up crying from congestion and had trouble from there. The second time she was up crying, I brought her in bed with us. Keep in mind that DH had convinced me to take Nyquil b/c he was home to take care of the kids. Now, he’s great and will do it, but let’s face it, when a child is sick, they only want Mommy. So there I was exhausted, congested and groggy from the medicine. So the second time she cried I dragged her in bed with us. I was hoping beyond hope that she would just go to sleep so I could try to sleep. Well, before she settled down, she had to tell me she had to pee –but even I’m not going to take her to the potty at 11 at night. Not that she would have sat on it anyway (her thing now is to tell me she has to “pee pee potty”, but then refuse to sit on it. So I changed her diaper and then we got in bed together. And she did get comfy with me for a while. I actually started to doze off. And actually, that was the best thing I could have done (bring her in our room), b/c about 11:45 or so, she turned to me and said “Go Kayla’s Room?” “All done Mommy’s room”. So she then went back to sleep for the rest of the night.

Monday night was better, she was only up briefly at 11pm. But last night was bad again, she was up from 2-3am. I can’t even say why, as she wasn’t congested. Getting used to the extra attention I guess. I went in, comforted her and put her back down. About 20 minutes later, she got upset again and was calling for me. I went in to tell her that I wasn’t coming in again after this. Well, as soon as I walked in she said to me – “I go pee pee. Mommy change you?”. Why, oh why must she feel the need to be so in tune with her diaper in the wee (pun intended) hours of the morning? So I changed her and she went back to sleep. But of course, Alysa was up crying for 30 second intervals at 4am and 4:45am. I didn’t have to go in, but it was enough to destroy any additional sleep I might have been able to get.

So it’s been rough. And today was a long work day. Although, the “selfish” part of me has to admit, it’s nice to NOT have to chase after 2 cranky children today, but I still miss them terribly. And I’d rather be home. And Kayla usually is great the days I work and happily waves ‘bye bye’ to me. Well, today, it was all me. She was clinging to my legs screaming “MOMMMMMYYYYYYYY”. DH told me she cried hysterically for 5 minutes after I left and then went on a hunger strike. She had been begging for breakfast b4 I left, but after she refused food and drink. It broke my heart leaving this morning and now all I want is to go home and hug them both!

I just keep hoping that tonight I can get some sleep.


posted at 2:27 PM  
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Works for Me Wednesday
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In order to avoid losing their teeny tiny socks to the sock-hungry washing machine and dryer – I got a mesh lingerie bag and put their socks in these bags to be washed. Now I don’t lose any of their socks!


posted at 2:02 PM  
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Monday, September 18, 2006
Always Trust Your Instincts
Let me start out by saying, we (Kayla, Alysa & I) were a bit traumatized today, but my girls are OK!

Alysa had her 9 month check-up today. So I packed up the 3 of us today (all sleep-deprived girls and went on our way. Kayla is getting over a cold and was up from 10:30pm to midnight last night with congestion. I too have a cold (and I was up with Kayla of course) and Alysa would not nap this morning. So we were all groggy and miserable. Well, Alysa’s check-up went well – both girls were amazingly cooperative and well behaved. Alysa didn’t need any “normal” vaccines, but we gave her her first flu shot. So I am at the check-out desk waiting for my receipt with Alysa in the umbrella stroller and I was helping K pick out a sticker to take home. I then hear Alysa start to cough. So I check on her and notice immediately that the little round band aid they put on her injection site was no longer on her leg. I knew immediately where it was. I immediately used my finger to try to fish it out of her mouth. I could not feel it and she was still coughing so I ripped her out of the stroller and began to pat her back (of course, no nurses were in the hallway at this time and the receptionist (not their best) was not paying attention to me). At that point, she stopped coughing and was breathing fine. As I’m trying to look to see if the band aid was anywhere on her or in the stroller (anywhere but her mouth), I have to run after Kayla who thinks the Ped’s office is a playground. My instincts told me that the band aid had gone in her mouth even though she was no longer coughing or choking – so I wondered if she swallowed it. I did not want to leave w/o checking her mouth – so I asked the receptionist to get a nurse to help me look b/c she “ate” the band aid. Immediately, her Ped came over and took her so we could check. Sure enough, that band aid was in her mouth – stuck to the roof of her mouth. I tried to get it with my finger w/o pushing it down her throat. No such luck. Her doc left and came back with some grabby tool. She and I tried to get in her mouth to get this precariously positioned band aid out of Alysa’s mouth b4 it slipped down her throat. She had to get a nurse to help b/c I also had to make sure Kayla was ok and not running off, climbing on the table or traumatized. As the nurse held Alysa down and the doc tried to get in her mouth, I felt terrified. I’ve been scared and worried about their health before, with high fevers, allergic reactions to food and Kayla’s Failure to Thrive Diagnosis. I’ve even had them both choke on food or other items b4 – all which was easily dislodged with a few good “pounds” on their backs. But never had I experienced something so potentially dangerous that would not be “easily” fixed. And her Ped was worried about her crying too hard and sucking it down her throat. When her Ped after trying unsuccessfully again, leaned back and said the band aid was starting to slip down her throat, I saw that she was visibly shaken up. In the end, it took the nurse, her Ped and another doc (2 holding her down, and one with the funky tool) to get the band air out of her mouth. But they DID get it out. So I was finally able to hold my 2 traumatized children and try to comfort them and myself the best I can.

And as I tried to give Alysa lunch (an hour late) when we got home, I happily relented and gave her what she wanted – a bottle. It also gave me the time to cuddle her and be thankful that I listened to my instincts. She is napping now and as I watch her on the monitor and I am trying not to think of the “what-ifs”.

This gives me yet another reason to LOVE my Pediatrician’s office. They have always been wonderful. As I watched their doc try to remove the band aid b4 the worse happened, I realized that they probably don’t deal with true life-or-death situations often like this. That was evident in her demeanor. But she was calm and rational and helped me comfort both girls when it was over. Is it any wonder why I love her as their doc so much?

It’s also good to know that even as a totally sleep-deprived and sick Mom, my instincts are dead-on! Some people may have left since she was breathing fine. I don’t want to think of what would have happened had I done that. This just goes to show that Moms know best and ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!!


posted at 2:00 PM  
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Saturday, September 16, 2006
Win A Blog!
I just entered into a contest to win a free Custom Blog Design from Blue Bird Blogs. It's easy to enter - you just need to e-mail her your name and blog address. She will announce the winner on her website on September 23, 2006.

Wish me luck!


posted at 9:46 AM  
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Friday, September 15, 2006
A Fun Day
Well, last night I had a girl's night with a couple of friends. We had a great time and it was nice to get out. Of course, they dragged me to dinner in Philadelphia and I'm a Country Bumkin, but it was a great night. The only negative, was that I have my long day of work on Thursdays, so I never got home after work and b4 dinner, so I did not see my girls b4 bed. It was my choice, but I knew it would be much harder on them (and me) to go home for 10 minutes and turn around and walk out the door. They would NOT have been happy with that. Especially since on those days, they attack me when I walk in the door and won't leave my side until bedtime.

Anyway - today we had a fun day together. Kayla had Gymnastics in the earlier morning and then after that Alysa's Kindermusik class started. It was a busy morning but the girls had a great time.

Then, J (aka DH) got home from work early and he was able to bounce the girls around on their "circle" as Kayla calls it. It's actually a mini moon bounce type of thing without sides. Both girls love it.

Since we don't get much family time with the 4 of us - it is time that we cherish, so I wanted to share. Here are a couple pics...

Here is Alysa being bounced ever so gently...
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Here is Kayla...
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Thursday, September 14, 2006
Why So Fast?
You spend your entire childhood wanting to be an adult. You can’t wait to be a teenager, then you can’t wait to drive, then you can’t wait to be a legal adult, then you can’t wait to drink, then it’s graduate college. You want to get out on your own and take care of yourself. Then, for me, I couldn’t wait to get married and of course, have children. Now – all I want to do is STOP time, or at least slow it down a bit.

Kayla, the child I waited for and struggled to conceive for 2.5 years is now 2. Alysa – the one we never thought we’d have and the one we almost lost is 9 months – she is all over the place and is taking tentative steps (3 being her max so far). I can not believe how fast this time has gone. We all know time flies. We constantly tell each other how fast the year has gone, etc. But having children, puts a whole new meaning to that phrase. I have enjoyed each and every stage of my daughters’ lives. And at each and every stage, I have wanted to find a way to freeze time. This probably accounts for the volume of pictures I take of them. My family and friends are very patient and kind with the large albums I send out monthly (and some in between). I love them just as they are. But I also have so much excitement and anticipation for who they will be tomorrow.

With both of them, I have jumped for joy and done happy dances when they reach a new milestone, but I have also cried when they leave a stage and when Kayla has learned to say something the “right” way. Kayla used to say ice cream with her nose crinkled up, in a nasally voice. It was so cute – but it’s near impossible to describe. She also used to make the pig sound by breathing in and out really heavy and grunting – it was so much cuter than ‘oink’. I remember the day this stopped – it was this past Easter and my 30th Birthday. I was crushed as I tried to show off to my IL’s how cute she said “oink” – but this time she did it the “right” way. What a present, right?

Kayla’s newest big girl thing is to call me Mom. Come on, she’s 2 – isn’t this young to be switching from Mommy to Mom? And it is also getting more and more frequent. And on the way out is Ni-Ni being replaced with ‘Good night’. So, where I used to get “Ni-ni Mommy”, and now get (some nights) “Good night Mom”. Where did my little girl go and who is this in her place?

Kayla will now answer some questions directly – as opposed to repeating what I say if it’s what she wants. In the past, if I said “Kayla, do you love your Mommy?”, she would respond “Love Mommy?”. But now she will answer “Yes”. And Alysa, screeches with delight over something she finds silly. I will hear her laughing all by herself while playing with a toy. It’s amazing to be able to see their mental development (as well as their physical). I would truly LOVE to be in their heads for 24 hours.

As I watch my girls grow up I know there will come a day WAY too soon that they will crave to be bigger and older than they are. And I will crave for them to be the little girls they should be. So each day I strive to soak in as much of them as I can. I try to engrave in my memory how they look, feel, sound (this is evident by the video and digital camera attached to my hip and the digital voice recorder I carry around) and act. I see them both growing up way too fast. But then there are the times, when Kayla will crumple to the ground in tears and a tantrum because I told her she can not watch Dora b/c she is done with tv for the day and I smile to myself, happy to see my “baby act her age”.

Oh and one more thing – can’t I keep ‘Mommy’ for a little while longer???


posted at 2:59 PM  
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Works For Me Wednesday
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Changing crib sheets can be a hassle, especially when they are young and spit up and pee through, etc. So when my odd was a baby, I started layering her mattress I have the normal fitted waterproof mattress pad on the bottom. Then I bought the flat water-proof mattress pads and layer the sheets. This way, when of them gets the sheets dirty or wet or on Sundays (since Monday is laundry day for me), I take off the top sheet and the flat mattress pad and there underneath is a fresh, clean sheet for them to sleep on. I have 5 flat pads for each of them, which gives me 6 blissful weeks of not having to fight with the mattress and the bumper and the crib bars. This is especially helpful for the middle of the night sheet changes.

It works for me!

For more great tips, click on the picture above to go to the WFMW site!


posted at 1:12 PM  
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What She Would Say if She Could
This little meme for kids has been going around. I got if from my sister's site and I was disappointed that I could not ask Kayla these questions yet. She's close, but I think these would get me a blank stare. So, I decided to answer them for her. I will do my best to answer them as I think she would...

Something you do well - "Read" my books to myself

Something you can improve upon - Pushing Alysa withOUT getting caught Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Your favorite food - Ice Cream and Orange Juice Ice Pops

Three words that best describe you - Silly, Funny and Cute

Your happiest moment- Anytime Mommy is ALL MINE

The most important thing in your life right now - Mommy, Daddy, Alysa and my Dora toys

I tag anyone who reads this!


posted at 1:03 PM  
  1 comments



Monday, September 11, 2006
I've Been Tagged?
Well, I got a phone call from my sister today wondering why I never responded to my "Tag". I was baffled. She said that it's a Blogging thing and that a couple posts ago, she "tagged" me. I told her I'd check it out. Later, I rememberd that I had been checking her blog and found it odd that she hadn't posted in a few days. Well, I'm having some technical difficulties Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting with this whole blogging thing. Netscape was not updating my own blog - I had to use Explorer. Well, now, apparently, Netscape is not updating my sister's either. Which is why I never saw this "Tag". So here is my attempt.

What do you like most about where you live?

I live in Southern New Jersey - about 15 miles East of Philadelphia. I grew up in the country on 2 acres, across from a farm - so it's a change for me. I am not a city girl and even find development living difficult at times. But I have to say, I love my street. We got the deal of a lifetime on a great house on a cul-de-sac. We have a great environment for our girls to play in as they get older. We couldn't ask for better neighbors (I even work for one of them). We help them, they help us. We get along. It's really nice. Unfortunately, all their kids are grown - teenagers and older, but you can't have everything. :) And there is a lot to do around here. There is every store known to man somewhere within a 10 mile radius and we are 15 minutes from Philly and less than 1.5 hours from The City (NYC).

Is there anything strange about where you live?

Hmmm…I would have to say how bad the roads crews are around here. They hardly ever patch the roads and when they do, it’s horribly done. And when it snows – forget it. They plow enough to get one lane through on a 4 lane road. And they never go back to plow the rest of the road. So as people go back to work, turn lanes and 2nd lanes are blocked which causes a traffic nightmare. Not sure why they do that – but it’s very frustrating…

What's one of your all-time favorite music albums, and why?

Billy Joel. I have his box set – I got it when I was taking DH to see him in concert many years ago. He has great music and it stands the test of time.

Did you have a passion for something as a kid that you still have now? (If not- what is one of your passions now?)

I’m not really sure you would call it a passion, but I have always been into technology and computers. I got my first computer as a Freshman in high school and still love to be on it. I’d rather type than write (which is part of the reason my handwriting stinks). I love to make things on the computer and wish I had the time and money to do so much more than I do. But I have my pictures and even sound clips of my girls on there. It’s also a release for me.
Another would be children. I have loved kids since I can remember. That has stuck with me and motivated me to do whatever it took to become a Mom.

What do you like most about having a blog?

That’s a tough one since I’m very new to this blog thing. I’ve been a part of the bulletin board scene for a while and hope that with time, I become as comfortable here as I have there. But so far it’s nice to have place to put down my thoughts, even the random ones. I’ve never been one for journals, so we’ll see how long it lasts. LOL

Let’s see…I don’t really have anyone to tag at this point as I’m just getting acquainted here.

So I’ll Tag anyone who reads this…

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posted at 7:40 PM  
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Remembering 9/11
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Today, it has been 1 year since 9/11. It’s a day that I have stayed home with my girls and keep looking at them and being extra thankful to have them with me.

Growing up, I remember – whether in history class or just from random adults – hearing from time to time how “everyone remembered what they were doing” when JFK was shot. It was one of those powerful moments that everyone remembered. It was one of those moments that I never expected to experience myself. But I did.

That morning, I had a f/u appointment with a dermatologist about an allergic skin reaction I had been fighting with all summer. I went in, saw the doctor and left there after 9am w/o a clue. As I was driving to work, I heard on the radio that 2 planes at hit the World Trade Center. I remember feeling in shock and not knowing what to make of it. By the time I heard, there was no doubt it was an attack. I tried to call DH and could not get through. I was able to get through to my mother at work. She already knew. When I got to work, I was in a daze and scrambling to reach DH.

When I got into the office, it was an environment I was not accustomed to. Everyone was solemn and buzzing with the unfolding events. No work was getting done – we were all huddle together over a radio or in my boss’s office watching the news on a small black and white TV screen. This is where we all were when the towers came crashing down. It was an overwhelming feeling. Shortly after everyone was sent home to be with their families. I remember on my drive home – traveling over the Ben Franklin Bridge the utter fear of “what if Philly is next”? I was in a “panic” to get home before any other major city was targeted. I spent the rest of the day home alone, watching the news coverage. DH is in retail, so he had no choice but to stay at work. I caught up with some friends – making sure we were all “ok”. And in the midst of it all, I got a call from our attorney on our pending house purchase – I guess Real Estate never stops either.

I knew people who where there. Thankfully no one I knew died, but some had to run for their lives and another almost didn’t make it out. Their stories are terrifying and heartbraking. In the aftermath, I remember the courage of our President and the rescue team. I remember the stories of despair and hope and desperation of the families of those missing and lost. I remember feeling incredible fear and sadness and awe of the bravery of the men and women who gave their lives to save others and of the heroic emerging stories of those helping others in the buildings, on the ground and in the air. I felt (and still do) so much pride in this country and what we stand for. And it was good to see everyone united the way we should be.

I live in NJ, only 1-1.5 hours from NYC. The Twin Towers were there while I was growing up. I never visited them, nor did I dwell on them. They were just simply there – something I took for granted. But now, when I see old reruns of Friends or watch the intro to Sex and the City (as DH and I continue through our marathon), I get choked up every time I see those 2 buildings. And watching Friends, you can see the progression of time. In the pre-9/11 episodes, they are there in between scenes, and then there are the episodes post-9/11 with no towers. It’s very sobering.

Now, 5 years later – there is no longer the feeling of unity in this country. It saddens me greatly. I see so many people settled back into their routine. The pain, sorrow, fear, etc of that day should never be forgotten. We need to remember – both for those who lost their lives that day, but also so we can continue on as the great country that we are and not let this happen again!


posted at 7:39 PM  
  1 comments



Our Apple Picking Adventure
Well, the girls and I and my parents ventured out to go Apple Picking yesterday at a local farm. It was a lot of fun. And even though I know on the way there, Kayla didn’t understand what apple picking was. She knows apples and she knows she loves to eat them – so that was enough to get her excited. Nonstop the whole way there, we heard – “Go apple picking” “Apple picking”. She was even more excited to actually be there. She loved the hayride around the farm and running amongst the apple trees in the orchard. Of course, there’s a big sign with rules – one of them being “Do not eat the apples until you pay”, another one saying “all fruit must be washed with soap and water”. So what does my father do first thing? He eats in apple. :) Then, what does Kayla do? She follows suit. So there they both are, eating their apples in total ignorance to the “rules”. And Kayla ended up carrying her apple back on the wagon and to the corn field. She devoured it though and it made her very happy. What more could a mother ask for? Plus, she could be eating worse things. :)

Although, I’ll say I wish I knew they still had corn and peaches in season, b/c I then would have told DH not to buy them at the grocery store the night before. Ho hum… But we got some anyway – they don’t get any fresher, right?

Unfortunately, DH wasn’t there b/c he had to work. We have opposite days off – he has off the 2 days a week I work. It stinks for times like this, but it’s how we are able to avoid putting the girls in daycare. It’s what works for us.

Alysa had fun too. She was very good in the Baby Bjorn for the apple picking. And she had a good time on the wagon and checking things out. I love doing these types of things and seeing how much fun they have. Now I can’t wait to go Pumpkin Picking next month.

Here are some pictures of us at the apple orchard.

Here is Kayla picking an apple
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Me and my girls
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Kayla enjoying her apple
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Alysa checking out the wagon
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posted at 2:45 PM  
  1 comments



Saturday, September 09, 2006
How Things Change...
Let’s see, I remember a time, when most of what I purchased was about me or me and DH. Even 3 years ago, I would be invited to Longaberger parties and Pampered Chef or Party Lite parties. I would go, have fun with my friends and buy stuff for me. Every season, I would go shopping for new clothes for me. I mean, I really needed new clothes – my closet was maxed to capacity, but I still needed them. :)

Well, having kids changes that. Now, a splurge is buying them each a little something – an outfit, a new toy, a new book. Last night I went to my first Usborne Book party. I’d never heard of Usborne books before. Well, ok, I have, but I didn’t know it. I found out when I saw the books that Kayla has one – and it’s one of my favorites – who knew? So I go to this party with the idea that I’ll buy something for my girls and get some Christmas shopping done. Well, when I saw all these great, adorable, educational, wonderful books – I knew I was in trouble. And those were just the ones they had on display.

I decided then, that I needed to host my own party. Especially since we plan on giving mostly books this Christmas – my girls have an adequate number of toys. They don’t need much more on that front.

So, where 3 years ago, I would have to hold myself back from going crazy buying things for myself – now it’s buying things for my girls. I had to get rid of most of my young hip clothes that I’ll never fit into again. Partially b/c they’ll never be worn, partly b/c I had to make room in my closet for DH’s things when we lost our 3rd and final bedroom to Alysa. Now, I find myself having to buy new clothes b/c I literally don’t have anything – and I am buying the bear minimum.

Now, my excitement goes to what I can get my girls. I can’t wait to have my Usborne Book party so I can do the bulk of their Christmas shopping. They have so much I want to get them. I did a good job controlling myself last night – but that was mainly motivated by me wanting to wait for my party. Now, we just have to see how well I do controlling myself at my party…


posted at 9:04 AM  
  1 comments



Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I am a Mom for Modesty


It has been discussed lately in recent blogs how young girls dress. This too has always been a concern for both me and my husband. It was b4 we had children and even more now that we have two girls.

I wonder - how will our children learn to dress properly if their Mom’s don’t? On numerous occasions, I have seen Moms with their kids wearing revealing clothes and pants with comments written on the back side. What kind of message is this sending to their own kids, let alone mine?

I too want my girls to dress modestly. I want them to know they can look pretty and cute and just plain good dressed appropriately. They will gain more respect by dressing with their belly covered and no lewd comments on their shirts and/or pants.

Yes, a toddler can look adorable with their belly showing – let’s face it they have such cute bodies. But I won’t let them out of the house that way. Over the summer, I one day put an outfit on my odd and it was then that I realized, the shirt was too short and her belly showed. Of course, she looked adorable. But DH and I agreed that as cute as the outfit was, she would only wear it around the house. And honestly, she’s worn it maybe once since then. They do not wear sexy clothing or bikinis.

As a kid, I don’t remember wanting to ear anything that revealing. Both my sister and I gravitated towards modest clothing. I can’t say whether this was “the luck of the draw” or if it was solely due to our parent’s influence. I just hope that I don’t have to police my daughters as they leave the house for any contraband clothing they may have snuck in.

So I too, will take the Moms for Modesty Pledge and will do my part to keep my daughters well dressed. I will help them to dress with confidence and know they are loved, appreciated and respected for dressing as they do.



posted at 1:28 PM  
  2 comments



Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Will the Teething Ever End?

Well, it’s 8:00 at night and my girls are in bed. The youngest, A is blissfully asleep and K is probably still rolling around upstairs as she winds down.

It’s been a rough few weeks as far as A is concerned. She has been miserable, eating horribly and running low-grade fevers almost daily. I am going on the assumption that it is teething – at least I keep telling myself that. It’s easier to deal with if there is a reason. But so far, no teeth. I can see them getting closer on the bottom, but nothing about to pop through yet. She has never been one for baby food. She dislikes her cereal, but she loves apple sauce, carrots, sweat potatoes, squash, etc. Most of the time she’ll eat peaches and bananas. But the past few days, she just cries through the meal, devours her cup of formula. She will eat toast and puffs like there is no tomorrow – so I know she prefers to chewing rather than slurp off a spoon. :) But the crying/fussing the whole time is not the “normal” her. It’s common for cereal, but not her fruits. She even likes her meats, but not now.

I’m hoping her teeth come in soon so I can get some of my sanity back. I’d love to give her more table foods, but we have a family history of food allergies (K is severely allergic to dairy), so we have to take it extra slow. And once we finish cycling through her meats next week, we are challenging her on soy formula (she is on a hypoallergenic one right now due to her Reflux – GERD). So it won’t be anytime soon.

<>I was spoiled with K, as her teeth never made her fussy. She ate less when she teethed, and she had the low-grade fevers, but no crying, no crankiness. Well, A is a whole different ball game. <>
So let’s hope these teeth decide to show themselves soon so her and I can stop being cranky. <>

:)


posted at 8:12 PM  
  1 comments



Monday, September 04, 2006
I'd Try for a BABY
Recently, my sister posted on her blog that she gets some very surprised, rude, insensitive and ignorant comments when people find out that she had her 3rd child this past December. I have thought a lot about that, because as DH and I don't plan on having any more, I get a lot of the opposite comments. It is all about perceptions. My sister's first two children are a boy and a girl (in that order). So according to society, she has the "perfect" family. So everyone seems surprised that she would do something so "crazy" as to have another baby. I, on the other hand, have 2 girls. So all I get is "Are you going to try for a boy?" So if you have one of each, you should not consider having more, but if you have 2 of the same sex, you should continue trying for that “perfect family”?

There is nothing a Fertility survivor (or sufferer) hates more than people thinking it’s their business to question your reproductive plans. Depending on your current mental state, it can send someone into a tailspin. Now that I am in the Survivor category, I can field these types of questions with a new strength. It no longer sends me into despair, but it still hurts.

If DH were to tell it, we are perfectly content and happy to stop after our 2 daughters. He has always ONLY wanted 2 children. Even if our IVF had yielded twins, he always said we’d be done. I, on the other hand, I have always said 2 or 3, depending on where I was in my life (with my DH of course, but I had this in my mind b4 he was in the picture). So as I have been struggling to come to terms with having “only 2”, it’s been tough. And I can’t say it pleases me to field the questions – “Are you going to try for a boy?” Yes, if we had no fertility problems, things would be the same, in that we would be having no more than 2 children. So why is it so hard? Because it has not been OUR decision. My failing reproductive system and the cost of getting pregnant and maintaining a pregnancy is way too high for us to even consider having a third right now. Don’t get me wrong – I am over the moon with my two precious girls and I love them dearly and wouldn’t change them for anything. And truth be told, I’m perfectly content having my 2 girls. But I know that if DH and I had had the need to sit down, toss around the pros and cons of having a 3rd and decided to stick with the 2 we have, I would feel differently. DH doesn’t understand this, but he’s been supportive in how I feel.

I have recently been packing up all their baby clothes and selling them on eBay and giving some to Good Will. This had hit me hard. So for me, it’s not about discontent with my life as it is now, but the inability to choose to have or to not have any more children. It’s just one of the many scars left from my battle with Infertility.

And as a Survivor, I will answer that question of “are you going to try for a boy?”. If we were able to try again for a 3rd, I would try for a BABY!


posted at 7:39 PM  
  1 comments



Sunday, September 03, 2006
A Little About Me...

So I thought I’d share a little about me. I am 30 years old and Mom and Wife. I would much prefer to be a SAHM, but realize that it is not in the cards for us at this time. And I am grateful to have found a part time job working for a wonderful, flexible boss. I work 20 hours per week and of those 20 hours, my girls are with a babysitter for 2.5 hours. For the rest of the time, they are with their father. So, if you have to work, we have the next best thing to me being home with them every day.

I miss them terribly when I’m gone, but I know them being home with their father has helped the three of them to build a very strong bond. My girls are 9 months and 2. And they adore their father. Who can blame them, he is wonderful to them.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an MBA in Finance. I was able to finish my MBA while I was pg with K, which was very nice. I can’t say I’m using that degree to its fullest now, but I’ll have plenty of time for career when my girls are older and grown up. Right now, I’m perfectly content to put them first.

I love being a Mom. Have wanted to be one ever since I can remember. And after a torturous 2.5 years of Infertility, which was draining and exhausting on SO many levels, I have my 2 girls.

When I’m not with my girls I love to be on the computer, read and get together with my girlfriends. I can’t say that happens all too often anymore, but I do the best I can. :) I collect Longaberger baskets – of which I don’t buy as often as I used to. And I recently started to scrapbook. Although, it’s way more time consuming and expensive than I thought it would be – so it’s VERY slow going. But my goal is to keep it up even at a snail’s pace. I don’t consider myself all that crafty, but when I do something, I do it well. I just have a hard time coming up with the ideas. I’m much better doing things on the computer.

I have had my fun and done my share of partying in college, but overall I am a very conservative person. Conservative politically, financially and as a parent. I prefer the pool over the beach and prefer mild weather to extremely hot or extremely cold. So I much prefer spring and fall over summer or winter – when there IS a spring or fall. I like cars over trucks and don’t like development living (even though I live in one). I would much prefer to live on 2 acres if not a house in the middle of farm land. I’m basically a country bumpkin as I’ve been called by some friends.

I guess that will have to sum me up for now – as my girls are requiring my attention. Be back soon.

<>



posted at 4:48 PM  
  2 comments



Saturday, September 02, 2006
How My Family Came to Be…

DH and I have been married for 5 years, but our relationship started over 15 years ago. I was a freshman and he was a senior in high school when we met. To make a looong story “short”, we met through a friend of his. I had a crush on his friend and him and I ended up dating for 5 years. My “boyfriend” and I had a falling out with DH and we didn’t speak to him for a couple years. We met back up right b4 DH got married to his first wife - a blessing and a curse all wrapped up in one (more on that later). I even attended his first wedding. His marriage broke up about 8 months after it began. He was divorced a year after that. My relationship had also been on the rocks. Our friendship grew out as we supported each other through difficult times – it developed into what it is today. We were married in 2001 and celebrated out 5 year anniversary this year.

<>
Shortly after we were married we began house-hunting. It was then that we started ttc. I had wanted a house first and with a contract, it was a “done deal”. I went into this new chapter in our lives very excited. I had just gone off the bcp and was sure I’d be pg well within the 8 months it can take on average after coming off the pill. Boy was I wrong. Each month there was disappointment, but still I was confident. About 8 months into, I decided to get more aggressive and chart my cycles. To not drag this out too much, I noticed issues with my cycles. So I saw my doctor, 3 months b4 the standard “1 year” mark. They agreed that tests needed to be done. It was determined that I had LPD (luteal phase defect) and he put me on Clomid. After 2 cycles with my OB, I decided to be more aggressive and switched to a fertility specialist (RE). I did 2 more Clomid cycles, had surgery (was confirmed I had endometriosis) and 3 injectable cycles. It was after this that they decided to tell me that I had low ovarian reserve and that at 27 I would need donor eggs. I was devastated. I wanted to give my eggs a try with IVF (even with the 10% chance they gave me) but they had a waiting list. So I sought out a 2nd opinion. In the mean time we would try on out own with the <.5% chance that we had WITH medication after ovulation. My new doctor said I didn’t need donor eggs and that they could start me on IVF my next cycle. So, we switched. I had 2 failed IVF attempts and then I saw the top RE in their office – the head of the practice. Boy am I glad we did. Our embryo’s from the first IVF (and 2nd – frozen transfer) sucked, to be blunt. He had us to a “natural” cycle to see where my problems really were. It’s good we did. Although, it added to my laundry list of diagnoses. Our infertility problems were:

-Severe Luteal Phase Defect

-Mild Endometriosis

-Poor Egg Maturation/Ovulation

-Low Ovarian Reserve

-Poor Egg Quality

-Hostile Cervical Fluid

-Poor Response to Med

<>Well, with the genius of our new doctor, our 3rd IVF worked and 2.5 years after starting ttc, I was FINALLY pg. We called K our Miracle Baby. We couldn’t be more happy. But we knew that if our dream of having 2 children were to be realized, we could not wait after having K. We would have to jump back on the ttc bandwagon soon after her birth. So when K was 3 months old, we saw our doctor again. He told us to try on our own for just a few months (we started ttc on our own as soon as the OB gave us the green light) and if nothing, to start injectables and possibly IUI. So when K was 7 months old, I ordered my meds and geared up to start the endless cycle of shots and ultra sounds, etc. But when I got the medication, we had a huge blow – DH’s insurance changed and now only covers the meds at 50% - they covered it 100% with K. And since I need about twice what the “normal” patient needs, this meant $6K per cycle. I was crushed and knew a second baby may never come to be. Luckily the office had some samples they could give me and hopefully all I’d need was a boost to get one good egg for an IUI. So I waited for my next cycle to begin. On a Wed, March 23, 2005 I started spotting. I made my first u/s appointment for Friday – as I never spot for more than a few hours. Thursday, just spotting again. So I changed the appointment to Saturday. Friday – not spotting. I was getting annoyed as I was anxious to get on with it with the cycle. Late Friday, I decided that if I had nothing more by Sat morning, I would take an hpt just so my imagination would not run away from me. So Saturday morning, I woke up at 6am with K, took the hpt and sat there in SHOCK as the 2nd line appeared almost instantly. It was VERY faint, but most definitely there. I then began to hyperventilate. This HAD To be a cruel joke. NO WAY could I have beaten those less than .5% odds (w/o medication no less) and conceived. And if we had, I knew it was doomed for failure, especially with the spotting I had already experienced. I had to have DH come home from work so I could go get blood drawn. The nurses and I agreed that I would start on progesterone support immediately, to be safe. Luckily I had it all in preparation for my upcoming cycle. I was a wreck all day, knowing this pg was doomed for failure. But apparently, on that Saturday, March 26, 2005 – the day before K’s first Easter, at 7.5 months old, A, my 2nd Miracle had other ideas. K was going to be a big sister and our family would be complete with the 2 kids DH and I had always envisioned.


posted at 8:24 PM  
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