***If you have made your way back to Momsie, I am so glad you found us! We had some technical issues with the domain name so make note of the new web address. Another good reason to "follow" us and "like" us on Facebook so you can stay in the know!! Pass the word to people still searching for Momsie!***

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Public Service Announcement...

While spending some time at the park yesterday I ran into one of my biggest pet peeves.  As I sat in the hot sun and watched and listened I became more and more frustrated.  And suddenly I realized that I have a mommy blog and I could rant in rave in print!  So, my big pet peeve is bratty kids.  Yes, I said it.  Bratty kids are the worst.  And let me preface this by saying that my kids have tantrums, act selfishly, and can push my buttons all day long.  So, I am not referring to the typical kid behavior.  I get it, I know that's part of childhood.  What I am talking about are the kids who are out and out rude, mean, and just general pests.

I should also preface all of this by saying that I fully understand that kids are a product of their environment.  They mirror what they see and their behavior most often reflects what is going on in their little lives.  I know that ultimately the kid is not to blame...it is their parents.  Yesterday we ran into Bratty Brat McBratterson.  He was intent on pushing my son's buttons.  Luckily my son is too young still to really get what was going on but I was fully aware.  Should I also mention fully hot and fully hormonal??  It started on the swings.  While I pushed Sullivan (my youngest) Oliver waited on another swing for me to come push him.  He has not mastered the whole pumping your legs thing so he just sat there still.  Next to him this kid was just dying for attention so he just repeatedly said things like, "Wheee I sure am swinging high!"  "I am glad I know how to swing by myself!"  "Swinging so soo easy!"  

You know how to spot a brat?  They are the ones who aren't intimidated at all by adults.  When I walked over to push Oliver this kid just kept up his commentary.  Staring at both of us just daring, WISHING, we would say something to him.  Oh, it was tempting but I didn't want to give him the satisfaction.  I just tried to remind myself that he was in need of attention.  I tried to feel bad for him.  Tried.

So cut to the slide....guess whose there??!  Oh yeah, Mr. Brat and he was on a mission to make enemies.  This time just sitting at the end of the slide staring off into space so no one else could go down.  Then it was off to the monkey bars where he could swing wildly into other people.  And then finally a round of following some poor kid staying 2 inches from his face.  He went around just sucking all the fun out of the playground.  And best of all, is that I never saw a parent.  No grandmother, babysitter, teacher, no one!  I envisioned his mom on some bench texting or maybe sitting in her car reading a book.  Sure he was annoying but the real problem is that he had no adult around correcting him or reigning him in.

So maybe my rant should not be about brats but more specifically brats' parents.  Where are you people that let your kid run wild??  Where are you when they are being nasty to other kids??  Why is it everyone else's problem??  Man up and watch your kid!  If they have gotten too out of control, don't bring them to a park and set them free for God's sake.  Give them some extra love and attention.  Take them to a specialists if it is out of your control.  At the very least, don't let them ruin the playground for every other kid (and hormonal mom)!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Thoughts...

Can I be this cool in my next life?

Say what you want about Gwenyth but girls got some serious style and a body to die for!

FREQUENT FLYER   photo | Gwyneth Paltrow

And I will take Reese's pregnancy style for $200 Alec.

Can she get any cuter?  She makes it look so effortless which I can appreciate these days since most of my mornings start off with my whining about all my clothes that don't fit.

GRAY SCALE photo | Reese Witherspoon

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pregnancy Style for a Wedding...

Wouldn't you know that we would have a wedding to attend right smack in the middle of this in-between stage I am currently going through.  My old clothes don't fit and maternity stuff is generally too big.  And now we have a wedding this weekend and I have been scrambling to find something, ANYTHING, to wear!  Luckily my friend loaned me a dress and I have thrown together an outfit similar to this...

maternity cocktail

Not the most exciting outfit but it will work and I only had to buy the necklace, which was $13 from H&M.  Those lovely little heels you see at the bottom have been on my wishlist for a long time!  They are from Zara and apparently they are on a lot of people's because my size keeps selling out.  Boo :(  

What were some of your go-to shopping sites for maternity clothes??

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cattle Call at Your Local Fertility Clinic...

So I shared that we embarked on in vitro fertilization (IVF) for baby #3 after suffering two ectopic pregnancies.  I had some experience with our fertility clinic after my first son, Oliver was born since I was having trouble getting pregnant a second time.  I was referred to Reproductive Endocrinologist Specialists of Charlotte (REACH) by my OBGYN after having my first ectopic and subsequently not being able to get pregnant for several months following.

I will start by saying that REACH is a fabulous practice with some of the greatest doctors in North Carolina.  I am beyond grateful for all of their help in my journey and I really grew to love my doctor there.  Grew to love him.  My first visit to the REACH office was not great.  At the time, a couple of years ago, my mental state on all this baby-making business was pretty bad.  I was sick of trying to get pregnant with no results and I didn't understand why it had suddenly become a problem after an easy first time.  I was impatient and scared.  Leaving my regular OBGYN was hard too since I had become familiar with his practice and all of my nurses there.

First of all, the vibe in a "regular" OBGYN office is much lighter.  Most people visiting are there for regular exams or are pregnant.  People are chipper and happy.  Usually you are leaving with normal happy results and visits are pretty routine.  The vibe in a fertility clinic could not be more different.  Everything is somber and no one makes eye contact.  The staff is friendly enough but they don't make a lot of small-talk.  I assume it's because they never know the mental state of the patient with whom they are speaking and they do not want to rock the boat.  I understand, I mean after all most women are there because something is "broken" with their reproductive system.  Patients are coming because either, they having been trying without results, have gone through something traumatic like multiple miscarriages or are starting the process of a sometimes-lengthy fertility treatment.  Needless to say, most patients do not come in looking like a ball of sunshine.

Add to these factors that a lot of patients have zero children.  They are sometimes couples who have waited later in life to start families and therefor are running into issues with fertility.  I always felt like these couples would look me up and down with a sad smile as if they were thinking, "Hey, at least you have age on your side."  It made me feel bad that I am young (ish).  Or there are healthy-looking young couples who are clearly ready for a family and for whatever reason are not having any luck just yet.  These couples just look worn down.  It was always these women who avoided eye contact as if they felt embarrassed or ashamed that they had to be there.

The absolute worst was when I was forced to bring my children with me.  Children are not a regular sight at a fertility clinic and I know why.  When I would bring my kids they stood out like a sore thumb.  It just feels wrong to bring them there....like you are flaunting them and your good ovaries.

But as bad as it was to bring children into the office it was far worse to witness the men.  Sometimes the men were just there to accompany their wives and offer support but when you see them on the 3rd floor, it is a whole other story.  The poor men would look absolutely mortified to walk in the lab to retrieve their "specimen" cup.  They know why they are there and you know why they are there and there is no way to pretend you don't even when they try to act nonchalant.  Come on buddy, we all know why you are going in that little room.  Poor men.

All of this is just a prelude to your actual first appointment.  For me, that was not a good day.  I couldn't wait to meet this specialist and finally get some answers.  So after waiting for a good 30 minutes for a doctor who, I would later learn is notoriously late, I was fuming.  You would think that a good joke to break the ice would cure my irritation but something about a doctor talking like Donald Duck just didn't ring funny to me that day.  Or the several after on which he would do his impersonation again.  This man risked his life by 1. being late and 2. trying to bring a Disney character into my appointments.

So, the warm and friendly vibe of my regular OBGYN was gone.  I became a name on a long list and started feeling as though I was part of a cattle call.  But slowly I began to find the familiar faces who always made my appointments feel more personal and less depressing.  Even my doctor became a trusted partner in this whole process and I came to love him dearly.  Yes, duck voice and all.

My experiences at REACH became less and less horrible and eventually I found my groove among all of the somberness.  Hey, on one occasion I even saw a reality star!  Wish I could share who but I really wouldn't feel right.  So hang on with me and I will continue to share my road to baby #3!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lessons from the Dark Side

Week two with a 2 year old and I've aged about 10 years on my life. I mean, did someone send him a memo that said, "Hey kid, you're 2 now. You know what that means, right?". It's like he went to bed a little, innocent toddler and woke up with a mission to destroy. Ok, maybe I'm being paranoid. But he is at least looking to conquer if not destroy. I know, Mother's Day just passed and that's supposed to be when you reflect on your immense love of mothering and the wonder that your kids are. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was too busy picking up a toddler from the day's 10th tantrum and pleading with him to just take a deep breath to have time for all that mushy stuff. Now that's what a Mother's Day celebration looks like with a 2 year old. Hey, don't judge. I'm just being honest. Throw in the fact that I'm barely 2 weeks away from expanding this family from 3 to 4 members and you can just imagine about how much patience I have. I found myself recently enjoying a rare quiet moment and thinking about what exactly I could do to make the toddler years bearable (other than boarding school)and it really boiled down to some simple ideas...
Set low expectations for behavior. Our farmer's market just started back up and I was so excited to take Nash last week to enjoy the much needed Seattle sun and my favorite ice cream. Silly me. Why would a kid want ice cream?? It's just delicious and sweet and a rare treat. He screamed when I offered him any and ended up throwing it on the ground. Lesson: Don't expect that they'll be as excited about something as you think they would be.
Don't tell them what to do. Ok, so this is nearly impossible I know. You just have to find a way to tell them without telling them. For instance, Nash and his beloved dog are playing together. Nash has the dog's ball which he's been throwing for the dog to fetch. When I say to Nash "throw the ball" Nash screams and refuses to let the ball go from his clutches for the rest of the afternoon. Why? Because I told him to do it. Lesson: Don't interrupt a good thing. If there isn't blood or danger involved, keep your mouth shut and let the good times roll.
Lie. Yep, that's what I said. Lie. I'm sure there are about a thousand parenting "experts" that would gasp at the suggestion but I'm here to tell you, it's mama's secret weapon. Now, I don't mean lie about the big stuff (or maybe do, I dont' know). But if you need to tell them that they're best friend is waiting for them at the grocery store or that mama's food is too hot for them to eat then by all means go on and tell that lie. Lesson: If it gets you from point A to B without a colossal meltdown or physical harm then that lie just saved the day.
Beg. Just like a dog you sometimes gotta beg. Beg for peace. Beg for quiet. Beg for mercy. I swear Nash can hear the desperation and pleading in my voice when I'm at the point of begging. "Please. Please just don't scream. I promise I'll do whatever you want. Just please don't scream." He's got me right where he wants me at that moment. Lesson: I aint too proud to beg.
Repeat to yourself, "This too shall pass." Nash has slowly been changing up his sleep patterns and not for the better. We went a week with no nap (hell on earth), a week with pre-7am wake up (a no, no in this house), and several nights of 9pm or later bedtimes (ever heard of the book "Go the F to Sleep??"). In the moment I was freaking out thinking that this would become the new normal, he would be crabby forever, we would all be sleep deprived, we had a newborn on the way...AHHH!! I imagined it to be the worst case scenario. And the truth is that although he's not going to sleep as much as he used to, it's not the end of the world. He'll get as much sleep as he needs and we're all going to survive. Lesson: Nothing stays the same forever- for better or worse.
Don't get me wrong about all of this. There are so many moments of every day where my precious boy genuinely makes me laugh or warms my heart with his endless kisses and hugs. The kid has my heart, no question about it. And all of this isn't exactly ground breaking advice. But it's helping me survive or at least get a game plan in place so that Nash isn't raised without a mother. I may not know much but I know that if I can find ways, little or small, to raise a well adjusted, happy child then I've already won. Best of luck to you mamas trying to do the same.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Will Survive...Right?

I'm taking a break from bringing you the best of Pinterest this week in honor of becoming the mom to a newly 2 year old boy. Clearly every birthday is reason for celebration and this one was no exception. But along with celebrating I also have an intense dread of what is certainly on the horizon for parenting a 2 year old. Toss in the fact that in a few short weeks I will also be bringing a newborn into the picture and it's enough to bring even the strongest of mamas to her knees. I may only be a day into the "terrible 2s" but here are some things that I've already learned are a sure sign you have a 2 year old...
  • You sneak in all of your meals, snacks, and drinks so that you can enjoy them in peace
  • You constantly find your belongings in his ball popper toy
  • You find yourself using a voice that is usually reserved for mental patients to avoid yet another meltdown
  • After several minutes of uninterrupted peace and quiet you can't decide if you should check on them or just enjoy this brief moment of silence
  • Instead of singing the latest radio hit, you're stuck with their tv show or favorite game's song playing on repeat in your head
  • You feel a surge of panic when you hear them wake up early from their nap or, God forbid, they start to drop their nap all together
  • You feel the need to wear body armor when changing their diaper
  • You have to pack a bag of snacks, toys, blankets, and pacifiers for just a quick trip to the grocery store
  • You find yourself praying every night for patience...and forgiveness
  • Things that were previously off-limits suddenly don't seem to be that big of a deal if it helps the whining stop
  • You don't care who's watching when there's yet another public tantrum
  • You say their name more than you say you're own
  • You say "no" more than you say their name
  • You find yourself asking other mother's "is it normal when...?"
  • You pray that they act better for the babysitter/teacher than they do for you
  • You wonder if a 2 year old has ever been kicked out of playschool
  • You're constantly amazed at the number of uses he/she can find for a stick, lid, or piece of tupperware
  • You wonder how they've made it through two days on milk and cheezits
  • You find that a bib is a complete joke
  • You realize that being this tired is a close second to having a newborn
  • You decide to put off teaching manners until you can master the more simple things such as no hitting, screaming, or hurting the family pet
And finally...
  • You realize that you'd lay down your life for this precious child and they really aren't all that bad...when they're asleep.
Do you have a 2 year old now? Or did you already survive the terrible 2s? What's your advice to us newbies? Or what would you add to this list? I'm serious here. I'm taking all the advice and war stories you care to share.
In all fairness, I have to say that I have one of the cutest 2 year olds out there and although there are days I'm convinced he was sent here to destroy me I can't imagine life without him. I guess that pretty much sums up being a mom, huh?!

A Good Recipe I Have to Share...

Cooking is not my thing right now but I have ben slowly finding more and more recipes that

1). Sound good to me right now
2).  Do not involve a lot of steps

I saw this one on Pinterest and immediately went to the store to get the ingredients.  And, survey saaaayss...it was delicious!!

avocado enchiladas

{ps..I made the non-spicy version by removing the seeds from the serano pepper and it still had a pretty good kick.  If you hate spicy or want a more kid-friendly version I would recommend using a green bell pepper instead.}

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Join Me, Won't You?

There is strength in numbers, right?  I need some serious motivation to get my baby books under control.  I am one of those moms who has kept journals for each of my kids.  I always start one as soon as I get pregnant and continue it as they grow.  I chose to do journals because I like to to write all the details to capture what I was feeling and all the aspects of their developing personalities.  I write their journals in almost a letter-form in the hopes that they will one day read them.  Maybe they will toss them and not give a flip but I will treasure them forever.

As with most things, the journals have started to go unnoticed the older my kids get.  I used to write in the journal once-a-week for my oldest son and now I am lucky if I get a chance to write in my younger son's once-a-month.  As for baby #3...I haven't even bought a journal!!  This is a habit that I really want to keep up and I need some help.  The best plan I can think of is to have a set day once a week to jot things down.  I know that sounds too frequent but I have found that if I only do it once a month I wind up forgetting things or get too busy.  Doing it weekly will allow me to just write down little chunks of information and will hopefully keep things manageable.

I am choosing Sundays as my journal days.  I will mark it on my calendar to really make it feel like an obligation and then find a chunk of time each Sunday to write down a few things.  I like to keep it pretty simple...what they are doing these days, funny things they have said, their favorite foods, and any major events that have happened (i.e. first steps, lost tooth, last day of preschool, etc.)  And just so you know, I have used the same journal for my oldest since I was pregnant and I am barely half-way through it.  I write 1-1.5 pages on average and he is 5 years-old.  That should give you an idea of how long a journal will last.

So, who is with me?!?  Let's rally and get these baby book sunder control.  Sundays it is!

ps...Once I have this little schedule under way I will be tackling the big daddy...pictures!  I get queasy just thinking about all the downloading, uploading, organizing, and ordering that it is going to require but I am determined to tackle it this summer!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

OK, lets do this...

If you are a long-term reader of Momsie you already know that I suffered a miscarriage this year.  I shared with you all back in October that I was about 5 weeks along when I miscarried.  I am blessed to have 2 sons already, Oliver and Sullivan and they were a huge reason I was able to move on from that with a lot of peace and thankfulness.  I was also so touched by the loving emails and comments I got from you all.  I know that I am not the first woman to go through a miscarriage and I know there are many situations that are worse than mine.  And I realize that by already having two children I am beyond blessed.

To fill you in a little more, my miscarriage was not your typical miscarriage.  It was also not my first.  After having Oliver I got pregnant pretty quickly again but after only about 6 weeks I was rushed to the emergency room.  They discovered that I had an ectopic pregnancy which means the pregnancy attached to the inside of the fallopian tube instead of attaching to the uterus as it should.  In some cases, if it's caught in time an ectopic can be treated with medicine which disolves the pregnancy.  In my case the pregnancy had already grown enough to rupture my tube which was causing internal bleeding.  So, my tube had to be removed.  Recovering from that surgery was not awful in the physical aspect, especially since it was not as painful as a c-section but emotionally it really took some time.  It was so unexpected after having no trouble with my first pregnancy it really messed with my head.  I was anxious and sad and dying to get pregnant again.

It would take a full year and a half for me to get pregnant with Sullivan.  I started seeing a reproductive specialist at REACH and test after test would reveal that there was no real issue going on which only made me more frustrated and impatient.  Why was it so hard suddenly for me to get pregnant??  Let's just say that I was not a happy camper during these days.  After multiple procedures I finally got pregnant on my own.  No drugs, no help just a good ole fashioned natural pregnancy.  It was a shock and a huge relief.  My pregnancy with Sullivan proved to be the reward for all my trying.  It was so easy and I was so happy throughout those nine months.  Sullivan also was a dream baby so I finally felt like my luck had turned.

When we started considering trying for a third I was feeling really healthy and positive.  I had started accupuncture, had run my first 5K, was relaxed and not stressed, and open to letting things happen when they were meant to be.  So I was beyond shocked when I got pregnant on the first try.  I felt like it was so fitting and deserved after what I went through with the miscarriage and the trying with Sullivan.  Never once did I think that I was at risk for another ectopic.  Sure, they had told me your chances are raised once you have one but my remaining tube had never shown signs of damage and seriously, what were the chances that would happen to me again?!

I was at the beach when I got that positive test so I didn't have my first appointment until I got home.  Being "high risk" meant I got to see my doctor as soon as I found out which was great because every girl wants that first appointment as soon as possible!  I floated in that day without a care in the world.  I had had a really busy day and never even stopped to think about the appointment.  I knew I was really early on so I was not surprised when the ultrasound tech said she couldn't find the sac on the screen.  I had a little flutter of nerves but figured it was no big deal.  My doctor came in and his first words were, "I am worried that it is in your tube."  I sat there stunned, not knowing if I should laugh or cry.  He and I have a great humorous relationship so I seriously thought he could be joking.  I looked over at my husband, Taylor for confirmation that this was not happening and he just looked at me worried.  I don't know what was said after that because all I could focus on was not bursting into tears.

The next few days were an excruciating wait of blood tests and ultrasounds, each one in hopes that the sac would show up or the levels would indicate a normal pregnancy.  To my delight the blood work was promising.  Each day my levels were going up, something that would be unlikely with an ectopic.  I had gone back to my doctor at REACH so that I knew a specialist was monitoring me and he was really hopeful that it was not in my tube.  At the very least he would watch things closely enough that he would catch an ectopic before it ruptured my tube.  My days during that week were a haze and full of prayers.  My stomach tied itself in knots.  On Friday I had an ultrasound and the doctor thought he saw the sac!  He told me that that combined with my blood levels were a great indicator that everything was ok.  His last words to me were that he was "95% sure that the pregnancy was not in my tube."

Saturday night I woke with terrible cramping.  I knew something was wrong but the symptoms weren't like the last time so I held out hope that it was just gas or something benign.  As I got up to move from the couch to my bed I blacked out for a minute.  I came to and realized that something was terribly wrong.  I was instructed to go to the ER and by the time I got there I was telling the doctors that it was an ectopic.  I just knew.  The night was painful and scary and I can still remember the doctors face as he spoke to me before I was put to sleep.  He explained that he would do everything he could to save the tube if it was safe but that I should prepare to wake up without it.  At that point I didn't care anymore, I just wanted to be out of the pain.  When I awoke I knew it was gone so I immediately said one little prayer, "God, just give me peace of mind."  It was all I could think to ask and I repeated it every time the anxiety creeped in.  God definitely answered my prayer time and time again.

So, suddenly I was tube-less.  My chances of ever having another baby relied on in vitro fertilization.  Sure there was the option of adoption or surrogacy and both options did cross my mind.  I wondered if this all happened because I was meant to do one of those things.  I wondered if I should just leave well-enough alone and just be grateful for the two I had.  All I knew was that it was going to take time to figure out what we wanted and I was in no rush.  Suddenly the pressure of when to have a baby seemed silly and I decided that however our family came together would be fine in it's own time.  We took time to just heal and once we were ready we decided to make our first appointment to discuss how IVF would work.  We got all the information and were told that whenever we were ready we could get started.

So how do you decide you are ready for that??  We decided that we would just follow our instincts and start when it felt right.  No timeline, no pressure.  And if we changed our minds altogether that was fine too.  I have to say that even I was shocked at how quickly I was able to get to a good place with all of this.  I know that having two kids helped distract me and take away a lot of worry.  I also became so busy with new things with designPOST and Sullivan's growing high-maintenance-ness :)  Life really felt pretty good.  So when Taylor was the one to bring up the thought of getting started I was kinda surprised.  What surprised me even more was how little time it took for me to get on board.  As soon as he showed some interest I got a little excited at the thought of trying again.  Clearly the thought was also terrifying at the same time.  

I had always heard about IVF but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would go through it myself. I imagined lots of scary medicines, crazy mood swings, and of course the chance of me having a litter of babies!!  I quickly found out that some of this was true but some of it was not that bad.  Oh but the bad parts were brutal!  Stay tuned next week when I will share the fun of visiting your local fertility clinic!
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