Thursday, July 10, 2014

The One with the Project Update

Long post, no pictures coming...warning given.

As most "normal" (read: not reproductively challenged) people will eventually do, Hubs and I began the discussion of a second baby over the past few months.  It seems we have amnesia about the sleepless nights and the breastfeeding fiasco and the explosive poops of newborn baby-ness.  Nevertheless, we started to talk about frobaby.

If you have been reading for a while, you may remember that we had one embryo viable for freezing at the end of our fresh IVF cycle in August 2012.  This frobaby has been chillin' (literally) at our clinic waiting for us to make a decision about him/her.

Little background on my vag, ute, and ovaries lately before I get to what the plan is...

I went for my yearly gynecologist appointment in April and talked to Dr. B. about my weird periods.  In the last six months or so, my periods have had a mind of their own.  There's spotting, there's bleeding like a freakin' open wound, and there's waaaay too many days of it every month.  My gyno took a biopsy of the cells in my ute to check for the scary stuff (cancer, etc.) and the only thing he found was some inflammation which could have been a possible infection.  So, he put me on an antibiotic and said we would most likely need to do a saline sonohysterogram to further investigate my lady bits.

Fast forward 10 days...

I called and requested the SIS because I wouldn't really know if the antibiotic worked until my next period and I didn't want to wait that long.  I went in for my SIS in late May and Dr. B. told me my uterus looked "textbook perfect."  In fact, he mentioned wishing he had med students in the office so he could show them my "perfect" ute.  I'm adding that to my resume by the way - "awesome freaking uterus."  So no real answer for the screwy periods, but he mentioned the possibility of small polyps that he couldn't see and said I could have a D&C to scrape out my uterus (sounds pleasant huh).  I mentioned that Hubs and I had been talking about a possible second kiddo and he said to talk to Dr. Bow Tie about the situation and go from there.

Fast forward a month later...

I go in for my consult with Dr. Bow Tie about a FET (frozen embryo transfer).  I mention the recent SIS to him (he wanted to do one before the transfer anyway to check things out) and he says if all looks good once he gets the images from Dr. B., I can start the process with my next cycle.  Hubs and I would both need routine blood work first to check for STDs and the such, but there really wasn't much prep before we started moving on things.  Holy goodness, I guess this is really happening!

I met with my nurse and she went over the whole process and med protocol with me.  It is ridiculously "easy" compared to a fresh cycle with way less meds and much less monitoring and probing.

Once my period started, I would begin taking Estrace twice a day.  This is an estrogen pill that, in combination with my other med, helps to thicken the lining of my ute in preparation for transfer.  I take this for 12 days and then increase to three times a day on day 13.  On day 14, I go in for an ultrasound to check my lining.  If things look good (meaning it's lush and gorgeous looking), I start my second med.

And then she dropped the sucky bomb...

My second med was progesterone in oil (PIO) instead of a vag pill.  They have found more success with frozen cycles by using the PIO.  Well that is good news.  The bad news is that this med is an intramuscular shot with a huge needle.  Remember when I stressed out about subcutaneous shots? Awww that girl was cute with her worry.  This is gonna suck way more.  I will inject this med once a day (actually Hubs will most likely do it because it's in my ass and I won't be able to reach) and do it through the first 10ish weeks of pregnancy if this transfer is successful.

The transfer will be scheduled for 5 days after the ultrasound if my lining is cooperative.  Then we do the dreaded two week wait again, get my blood drawn for a beta pregnancy test, and pray like hell it worked.

When I left the office that day, the nurse instructed me to call the insurance and pharmacy companies and make sure everything looked okay on that end, talk to the financial lady at the center so she could go over what our co-pay would be, and then call when my period started.

Soooo, the short story is...we are crazy enough to be trying for a second little one (who technically would be L's fraternal twin) and once again praying and hoping like crazy the whole process goes smoothly and gives us another baby.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The One with the Fourteen Month Update

Liam Michael you are


Max has been feeling awfully left out lately.

Mama is officially on summer vacation and it has been non-stop around here!  We are soaking up every minute of summer and enjoying lots of time outside.

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?
No new reports from the doctor (we go back next month), but you are probably somewhere around 28 pounds and have definitely grown in height.  You can now reach things on the edges of the kitchen counters so we are constantly making sure everything is pushed back.  

What are you eating?
You continue to eat well and enjoy your meals.  You still love fruit of all kinds, but are especially fond of berries.  This month, you tried rice and a bison burger for the first time.  You continue to love your whole milk and get one 6-ounce bottle in the morning when you first wake up and one 6-ounce bottle before bed.  We are hoping to cut out the morning bottle in the next month or so and just give you milk in a cup in the morning with your breakfast.  You have sippy or straw cups of milk with your meals and water in between.

When do you sleep and eat?
Your sleeping and eating habits have remained pretty consistent this month, although Mommy and Daddy have messed with them a little because of some weekend happenings (you took it all in stride though!).  Most mornings, you are ready to start your day by around 6:30 and enjoy a bottle of whole milk in your room.  We do breakfast by 7:30ish and you are ready for a morning nap between 9:30 and 10:00.  You usually nap for an hour to an hour and a half in the morning.  Lunch is around noontime and you are down for an afternoon nap by 2:30ish.  This one is also usually an hour to an hour and a half.  We have dinner between 5:30 and 6:00 and you are still asleep by 7:30 most nights.

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?
Mommy packed up all your 12 months clothes last week and you are wearing 18 month and 18-24 month clothes.  You are still in size 4 Pampers Cruisers during the day.  You wear size 5 Huggies Overnites with an extra absorbency pad at night.

What are some things you love?
You are happy anytime you can be stand at the sliders and sign "please" while pointing outside multiple times a day.  You have so much fun playing with your water table and dumping all the water onto yourself.  This month, you have shown a much greater interest in books (more on that below) and will bring them over to us and sign "please" for us to read them to you.  You like to push buttons (phones, remotes, etc.) and have discovered you can climb on things.  You love the app Peekaboo Barn and get so excited when the music comes on at the beginning.  Walks in your stroller are a daily occurrence and it's a way to keep you amused and contained!

What are your favorite books and toys?
You love books lately little man, which makes Mommy's heart so happy!  You will bring books to us and snuggle up for a few short minutes so we can read together.  We have always read to you, especially before you go to sleep, but you didn't seem overly interested during the day until recently.  Right now, you love Heads, Each Peach Pear PlumTrucks, and Tumble Bumble.  You are enjoying playing with your bubble machine outside and any and all kitchen utensils.  You still love the dog toys and find any opportunity to put them in your mouth.  You also think the vacuum is super fun and will go over and "tell" me you want me to vacuum.  In fact, you love all cleaning tools, especially Mommy's mops.

What are some things you don't love?
You have definitely shown more frustration lately when you are trying to communicate something and we don't understand.  You don't like having things taken away and diaper changes are still a battle of who is stronger!

What can you do?
This month, you learned to stand from sitting and it's pretty cute to watch you stick your bum up in the air when you are trying to stand up.  You are able to follow more and more commands each day - "Liam, give that to Mommy.  Liam, let's go to your room for a rest.  Liam, take Max's toy out of your mouth!"  You can identify body parts on both yourself and others.  You are now smelling everything, including food before it goes in your mouth.  You hold phones up to your ears and are getting better at throwing balls and things out of your playpen or laundry basket in the tub.  You also recognize people in pictures and associate the names to the pictures.  You are signing "all done" and we are working on several others.

What are you saying?
Still no actual words yet, but there are a lot of beginning sounds.  Mommy thinks you say "whoa" with meaning behind it pretty consistently, but I'm not sure we can count that as your first word!  You recognize school busses and will say /b/ whenever you see one.  You also say the /r/ sound when you see a truck.  

How many teeth do you have?
So remember how last month Mommy was convinced that you held the record for the most teeth coming in at once?  No sooner had that post been put up, then we discovered 3 more teeth coming in! You now have 15 teeth and number 16 isn't far behind.  So all we have left are your 2 year molars!

What are some firsts from this month?
You stayed up much later than your bedtime this month when we went to CT for Uncle R.J.'s graduation party, but you handled it very well.  You also went to the beach for the first time.  You weren't too sure about the sand, but we had fun.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?
We will be starting swim lessons very soon.  We are also going to pick strawberries and blueberries and visit the farmer's market.  Later this month, you will be going on your first airplane ride to North Carolina for a family wedding.   

You continue to amaze us every day with all you are learning and how much you are growing.  We love you so much!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The One with the Thirteen Month Update

Yea, I'm super late on this one.  Chasing after a 13 month old is exhausting!


Liam Michael you are


Kid, you are a one-man comedy show, wrecking ball, and Energizer bunny all wrapped into one!

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?
We don't go back to see Dr. G. until August but I'm guessing you are around 27 pounds.  You don't seem to have gotten too much taller based on how your pants are fitting, but you are looking so much more like a toddler every day.  You have a whole head full of blond hair and Daddy keeps talking about getting you a hair cut (not happening!).

What are you eating?
You continue to be an eating machine and will shovel just about anything we give you into your mouth.  This month, Mommy gave you a few more "unhealthy" choices for foods while we were eating at some restaurants.  You had chowder and clam cakes, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, kielbasa, and hot dogs.  You also tried your first taste of donut cake at your birthday party.  Fruit continues to be your favorite thing to eat, but you do still love hummus, macaroni, meatballs, and peanut butter.  After your one-year wellness visit with Dr. G. we go the go ahead to try whole milk and we haven't looked back since.  You now get one 6-ounce bottle of whole milk in the morning when you first wake up and one 6-ounce bottle of whole milk before bed.  You have sippy or straw cups of milk with your meals and water in between.

When do you sleep and eat?
Ever since you started walking (and trying to run most days!), your sleeping habits during the day have really changed.  You are typically awake between 6:00 and 6:30 most mornings and you have your bottle with Mommy in your room.  Your breakfast is usually around 7:45-8:00, depending on what time you get up.  On most days, you are ready for a nap between 9:30 and 10:00.  This nap is now at least an hour in length (and you slept for 3 hours the other day!), but can sometimes be closer to two hours depending on how tired you are.  You have lunch around noontime and take another nap by 2:30ish on most days.  If you take a longer nap in the morning, you have been known to skip an afternoon nap...makes the early evenings before bed time suuuper fun!  We have dinner between 5:30 and 6:00 and you are still asleep by 7:30 most nights.

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?
You are wearing 18 month and 18-24 month clothes, although a few 12-18 month clothes do still fit.  You are still in size 4 Pampers Cruisers during the day.  We switched to size 5 Huggies Overnites at night and added an extra absorbency pad inside the diaper.  You have been leak-free since then.

What are some things you love?
You love to move everywhere and have taken to running around the house whenever you can.  You absolutely LOVE being outside and got some great new toys for playing outside for your birthday.  You are obsessed with the timer on the kitchen stove and will sit and stare at it while it counts down from a minute.  You are taking more of an interest in books lately and will bring them to us to read to you.  You still love to drive Max crazy and try to "play" ball with him regularly.  Everything still goes in your mouth and you still love the top to Nana's cup, the spatulas and spoons, and the dog's toys.  You enjoy making noise of any sort - screeching, screaming, or banging being at the top of your list.  You like to dance to the music channel on TV and always love to roll around on Mommy and Daddy's bed.  You love the water and think dumping Max's water bowl out is a game.

What are some things you don't love?
There honestly isn't too much that you don't like, except when told no when there is something that you really want (case in point - the picture below).  You can get awfully wiggly and crabby on the changing table, making diaper changes a bit of a challenge lately.  You do not like time out and are starting to learn the concept of consequences.

All because Mommy told you not to eat the soap.

What can you do?
You have learned a lot of new things this month in the language department (although you are not saying actual words).  You can wave hi and bye and will share an object when we ask you to.  You can now sign "please" and will do it constantly to show us that you want something.  You are able to squat down to pick something up.  You will hold our hand and bring us to what you want (like jumping on the bed).

What are you saying?
You have started to say mama more, but we still aren't quite sure you understand the meaning behind it.  You are trying to get words out and will attempt to repeat a sound after we say it, but I wouldn't say there are any actual words yet.  You can still follow simple commands and understand a lot of what we say - especially if we mention going outside or in the stroller!

How many teeth do you have?
I think you may hold the record for the most teeth coming in at one time.  While we knew that two molars were coming in at the beginning of the month, we were shocked to find out that all four molars were coming in at once!  You handled it like a champ and now have 12 teeth!

What are some firsts from this month?
You celebrated your first birthday with a big party with all our family and friends.  You went for your first ride in your tricycle.  

What are some of your nicknames?
Swiper, Mr. Man, Liam Michael, Stinker

What are we looking forward to in the next month?
We will be celebrating Father's Day with a special weekend for Daddy.  We will also be going to Connecticut to celebrate Uncle R.J.'s graduation and you will also celebrate the 4th of July with a party at our house.  Mommy will be on summer vacation very soon and is very much looking forward to spending extra time with you.

You are so much fun, little man and we can't wait to explore and enjoy the summer with you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The One with the First Birthday Party

We celebrated Liam's birthday on Memorial Day weekend with all of our family and friends.

The theme for the party was The Very Hungry Caterpillar, based on the book by Eric Carle.  I have always loved this children's book and I thought the bright colors would be so fun for his party.  Plus, I could sneak in my love of polka dots without making it too girly!

I worked with awesome shops on Etsy and was able to have some great items customized for the party.

The invitation was from LCDesigns615 and Lisa was very accommodating with my changes and requests.  She is doing a thank you card for us too.

I found a shop that had a whole VHC themed decor package that included signs and labels and favor tags.  This was super helpful because, while I knew I was crafty enough to put decor items together, I really didn't have the time or the ability to design all the items.

Kiyomi Designs was another awesome shop and there were both generic and personalized items that came with the package.  I didn't use them all, but here are a few pictures of the items we did use.

Treat bags filled with Skittles

Bug catchers (yay Dollar Tree!) filled with gummy worms for the kiddos

 Signs for the doors

A caterpillar using Liam's monthly photos

Close up of the beginning of the caterpillar

The banner we hung right above the food table

Liam's outfit for the day came from Tutu Kute and was so very adorable!

This is one of the only pictures I have of him where you can see most of it.  His name was underneath the caterpillar.

I also had a birthday poster made that we used for Liam's one-year pictures a few weeks ago.  We hung it up at his party, even though some of the info had changed (like his 8 teeth have now become 12 and his cruising around the furniture has turned into running around the house!).

I was tempted to do the foods from the VHC but with 50+ people coming to the house, it was going to be rather challenging to serve plums, salami and cherry pie (to name a few) that the caterpillar eats as opposed to good ol' fashioned hamburgers and hot dogs.

So, we did a cook out with the typical salads and sides and everyone enjoyed eating and mingling.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that donut cakes are a pretty serious tradition around here.  Allie's Donuts makes the most amazing cakes in the world and we have them for every celebration in this family.  Therefore, it was only fitting that they would do a caterpillar cake for Liam's birthday.  We also had a caterpillar made from cupcakes and a smash cake caterpillar head for Liam made by my very talented colleague at school.

Liam did have cake on the weekend of his birthday when we did his one-year pictures and cake smash, so he had tasted cake before.  He didn't dig right in, but with a zillion people snapping pictures and talking to him, I think he was a little stunned.  For the most part, we fed the cake to him, but he did dig around in it a bit.

We were blessed with a beautiful day and had so much fun celebrating with so many of our family and friends.  Liam is very lucky to have so many amazing people in his life!

The One with the Actual First Birthday

Considering Liam's 13 month post is coming in less than 48 hours, I thought it was appropriate to finally write about what happened on his actual birthday.

Another post tomorrow about his party once I finally download all the pictures!

I had a doctor's appointment that morning, so I was home from school and got to spend the day with the little man.

That morning, I made funfetti pancakes for Liam.  It was a really easy recipe that I adapted from several different places.  A box of funfetti cake mix, couple eggs, some oil, and a little water until I reached the right consistency.  I also added more rainbow sprinkles because duh, who doesn't want more sprinkles on your birthday?

Notice my mother keeping Liam away from fire but herself out of the picture.
Liam got to eat off of The Red Plate that I got at my baby shower.

We had matching tops from SaSeaDecor.  The owner paired with Jessica of Little Baby Garvin to create shirts and sweatshirts using one of Jessica's chalkboard designs.  They were perfect for Mr. Man's Cinco de Mayo birthday.  They say "fiesta like there's no manana" and I have been living in the sweatshirt for the last month!

Awkward selfie, messy living room.

After my doctor's appointment, I ran a few errands while Liam stayed home with my mom and picked up lunch from Panera on the way home.

Shortly after I got home, flowers were delivered to the house from Hubs to thank me for our son.  It was really sweet and they were beautiful.

When Hubs got home that afternoon, we gave Liam his birthday present (which technically we put together the day before and had been sitting in the living room all that day).  We got him a customized Radio Flyer wagon.  He loves it and we have been getting a ton of use out of it in the last few weeks.

 You think he likes it?!

We took Liam for a spin around the neighborhood in his new wheels before our Mexican-themed dinner.

Notice the convenient drink holder for Mommy's margarita?

When we got home, it was chips and salsa, margaritas, and tacos for dinner to round out our Cinco de Mayo celebration.

We had a great day and almost a month later, I still can't believe I have a one year old!