Tuesday, April 25, 2017

National Infertility Awareness Week

It's National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), which always resonates with me.  Last year, I wrote this post for NIAW and everything I wrote still holds true today.  Though I have my two boys, infertility is something I'll always struggle with.  It will always be a part of me.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend Recap

Thankfully, our weekend turned out a bit better than I expected.  W went to bed at 5:30pm on Friday and work just before 6am Saturday morning.  He told us he was feeling better and asked for pizza for breakfast, which I took as a good sign.  I was really surprised since S had been sick for about 4 days.  Because W seemed to be feeling well, we decided to go to W’s friend’s birthday party.  It was at a place that advertises itself as a “sensory play space”.  We weren’t really sure what to expect, but there were different rooms aimed at different sensory experiences – a dark room, an art room, a game room, a music room, and a room to climb and make obstacle courses.  The boys really enjoyed it and I’m happy we could attend.  After pizza and cake, we headed home.







At this point, I started not feeling well.  Stomach pains, aches, and I was just tired.  I tried to tell myself it was from waking up early, but I was pretty sure I was the next victim of the stomach bug.  Nani had also let us know that she was sick.  A kindly took the boys on a long walk so that I could nap.  I woke up feeling better and we decided to head to church.  W ended up falling asleep right after mass began and slept through the entire thing.  S was a bit feisty and kept asking to go potty though he is not potty trained.  We ended up going to the lobby after communion.  After mass, A went back into church to grab our things while I stayed with W, who was still sleeping on me, and S.  A lady came over to me and asked if the boys were twins.  This has happened at least 4 times in the past month and it’s so strange to me – they look completely different and W is definitely taller than S.   I told her no, that they were 2 and 4.  Then she asked if I was a housewife.  At least I think that’s what she asked.  What?!?  I was so caught off guard and confused why anyone would ask that so I just said “uh huh”.  I have no idea what I was thinking or why I didn’t just say no.  I was trying to make sure S stayed near while W slept on me and I still wasn’t feeling great and just wasn’t up to having a long conversation.  So I guess people will just think I’m a “housewife” at our new church.  What the heck??

Anyway, once we got home around 6:30pm, W went to bed and S soon followed.  I was in bed around 8:30pm.  Pretty lame for a Saturday night.  A got to experience feeling like a bachelor again for one night – ha.

Sunday morning, I wasn’t feeling great and W complained that his tummy was hurting again.  Eventually, we both felt a little better and decided to head to W’s first tennis lesson.  It was not really what I expected.  The class was combined so that it was younger kids - a couple 4 year olds like W, but also older kids – 6 years old.  A big difference.  It was clear that W was the least skilled (to be blunt).  He seemed intimidated and I sort of felt like I set him up for failure.  I was picturing hitting the ball with the racquet, or maybe some parent child drills where I could work with W (since it was advertised as a parent child class), but it was mainly centered around learning the parts of the racquet, running drills, and balance.  There were some positive experiences – W did participate the entire time and I helped him throughout the class.  I think the older kids could provide him with someone to look up to.  BUT there were also quite a few times where W just seemed overwhelmed and disinterested.  I left feeling proud of him for trying, but also guilty, like I had pushed him into doing something he wasn’t interested in or coordinated enough for (even though I don’t think I ever pushed).  On the bright side, when we got home, he wanted to pretend that he was the tennis coach and gave me instructions.  He was able to communicate some of what he learned, which was awesome.  We’ll see what the next lesson brings…





By the time the lesson was over, I was feeling pretty good and so W and I decided to meet up with A and S at Starbucks.  I was able to eat half a bagel and some juice.  Neither of the boys wanted to go to the grocery store so I headed home with them while A shopped.  They convinced me to go for a long walk and we played outside for much of the day.  I also learned that Papa and my mom had caught the nasty bug, which leaves only A unaffected.  Here’s hoping he can continue to avoid it and everyone is healthy next weekend!


Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Thoughts

S is finally feeling better.  I ended up taking him to the doctor on Wednesday after he started vomiting again on Tuesday.  The doctor said it was just a stomach bug and something (likely milk) triggered the vomiting on Tuesday.  By Wednesday night, he seemed to be back to normal.  And just when I thought things were looking up, W started complaining his tummy hurt this morning and vomited.  I’m so over this illness and praying that A and I don’t get it.

We’re supposed to go to a birthday party tomorrow and W starts tennis on Sunday.  It seems unlikely that we’ll make the birthday party, but I hope we can make it to tennis.  I’m curious to find out if W will actually participate in tennis class.  It’s a parent/child class so maybe he’ll like it a little better?  Or not…  I played tennis in high school and I’m really hoping W enjoys it.  If nothing else, hopefully he appreciates the one on one time with mommy.

Because tennis is on Sunday mornings (which I still find odd), we’ll be attending a different church on Saturday night.  A little nervous about that since we’re so used to having my mom at church and we’ve had the same routine forever.  Fingers crossed…

Did you know that you don’t get a passport stamp when you travel to Canada?  My colleague and I were so disappointed.  My number of stamps remains at one.  Lame.


Here’s hoping this weekend is better than the last, but at this point, it seems very unlikely… :(

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Stitch Fix #15

Finally getting around to sharing my latest Stitch Fix.



Because I’ve received a few questions, a little blurb about how Stitch Fix works:

You create a style profile through the Stitch Fix website.  Basically you’re asked several questions that define your style – likes, dislikes, preferences.  If there is something you absolutely don’t want to receive (for me, it’s purses and jewelry), you indicate that here.  You select a price range and frequency for shipments.  And whaalah… a box arrives at your door.  You keep what you like and return what you don’t.  Stitch Fix carries several sizes including plus size and maternity. 

There is a $20 styling fee and this is deducted if you choose to keep an item.  So obviously it’s in your best interest to keep at least one item (this hasn’t been a problem for me!).  If you keep all five items, you receive a 25% discount.

A bit of advice if you decide to partake:  Provide your stylist with detailed descriptions of what you like and don’t like and create a Pinterest board that represents your style.  The Pinterest board has really helped as I often get one or two items directly from my Pinterest board.  And I always try to keep the five items I receive and sell anything I don’t love in one of the Stitch Fix buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook.

I often get asked about price point.  This depends on what you indicate in your style profile.  For me, tops are often around $40-60, dresses are $50-70, and jeans/pants $60-80.  While that may seem a bit pricey, I would argue that the items I’ve received are very high quality and fit me extraordinarily well.  Stitch Fix also has amazing customer service.  And if I can take advantage of the 25% discount, even better!

If you’re interested in trying, my referral link… https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5478084

First up, the Sweet Grey Ashtonne Striped Open Drape Cardigan.  I LOVE cardigans.  I know I’ve mentioned this before.  This particular cardigan was long, thin, and had such a cute stripe pattern.  It was perfect for me.  I originally paired with an off white top and dark skinny jeans, but wore it to work with a navy top and white jeans.  I love it either way and I think cardigans are such a great work staple – they can make an outfit more interesting and appear put together.  They also keep me warm (since I’m always cold at work).  KEPT




Next up, the Daniel Rainn Micha Split Neck Blouse.  I’ve sung the praises of Daniel Rainn previously and my stylist definitely knows I’m a fan.  I was a bit reluctant about this particular blouse, though.  The colors and pattern are a bit more bold than I’d typically wear.  When I tried it on, I actually liked it better, but still wasn’t completely sure.  I do think it’s perfect for spring and I’m curious to see what it looks like with an off-white cardigan (I know, enough with the cardigans already) because I think it could tone down the print a bit.  Ultimately, I decided to keep this for the discount, but I do think it will be great for work. KEPT



I paired the Daniel Rainn top with the Liverpool Kay 4-way Stretch Skinny Jean.  I have a pair of these from Stitch Fix and they are my absolute favorite jeans.  I requested the same exact pair, but my stylist sent me a brighter blue pair.  The photo doesn’t do these jeans justice – they’re more of a true blue in person.  I’m usually all about dark denim, not that I’m suggesting these are a light color – just a little brighter than I typically choose.  Because I love my original pair so much and I also thought these would be great for spring, I decided to keep them. KEPT



I tried on the 41 Hawthorn Rebeka Dress next.  I had this pinned, but it was way more gorgeous in person. I absolutely loved the style.  SO me!  I’m such a sucker for cute dresses and of course, stripes.  While this isn’t casual enough for hanging with the boys, it will be great for work, church, or wedding showers.  I’ll definitely find uses for it.  KEPT



Finally, the 41 Hawthorn Breyson Pleated Detail Blouse.  Red is my favorite color, but I hardly have any red in my closet.  The bright red and floral pattern on this top are beautiful  The fit was loose and a little flowy – perfect for me!  I wanted to see what this would look like with both white and blue denim and I really liked both outfits.  Another great work piece that also works for hanging out with the boys.  KEPT





Another 5/5 Fix in the books.  Happy to have Kate styling me once again.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekend Recap and a Disappointing Easter

My goodness, I don’t even know where to begin.  Our Easter weekend was a huge disappointment.  Poor S has had a few very rough days.  Even W got stung by a bee on Easter.  Not at all what I hoped for and anticipated.  But before I get to all that, let me start at the beginning with my business trip…

I flew to Montreal on Wednesday with one of my colleagues.  She and I get along really well so I was happy to have someone to  share the experience with.  The flight was great, but once we arrived in Montreal, the line for customs was really long.  We made it through… does anyone else get nervous about the interview?  I’m afraid they aren’t going to like my answer and turn me away.  Anyway.  Traffic was horrendous.  I’m used to Chicago traffic, but this might have been worse.  We finally made it to the hotel, dropped off are things, and headed out for dinner with a couple other colleagues and a group from the company we were visiting.  I was excited to meet them in person – I email various people from the other company nearly every day and have bi-weekly teleconferences so it was great to meet face to face.  Dinner was a four course, three hour affair.  I was amused that everything was in French.  I guess because it’s such a short plane ride from Chicago, I don’t expect people to be speaking a foreign language aside from Spanish.  But I loved saying “merci” and “bonjour”.

Our business meeting on Thursday was very productive and casual, which I really appreciated.  I’m used to formal slide presentations, company initiatives, and high level overviews that don’t always provide thorough answers or details.  This meeting felt more like a conversation with actual solutions and ideas.  I was introduced to poutin (French fries covered in gravy and curds) and before I knew it, it was time to leave.  While I’m disappointed I didn’t really see any of Montreal, it was completely expected.  Had it not been so close to Easter, I might have tried to stay an extra day to explore.  Hoping to return in the next couple years!  Thinking it might make a great “first foreign country” experience for the boys.

On my way to the airport with 4 of my colleagues, I received a text from A telling me that Nani and S had fallen outside and that S had hit his head.  No blood, but they were heading to the hospital.  I immediately typed back ‘are they ok?’ ‘did S lose consciousness?’ ‘can you call me?’  And I heard nothing.  I told myself that if it was an emergency, A would have called, but as time went on, I got more and more scared.  I tried calling A and he didn’t answer.  10!!! minutes later, A called and explained that he was talking to the doctor.  To which I responded I don’t care if you were talking to the pope, I’m your wife and my baby is at the ER… that trumps anyone/anything else!!.  Ok, I didn’t really say that, but I was thinking it.  S had fallen hard, but he remained conscious.  He was upset, but talking and walking.  An x-ray of his skull and assessment from the doctor suggested that he was ok.  Such a relief!  Meanwhile, my colleagues were all concerned and as I was on the phone, I could hear them providing an assessment… “is everything ok?  She doesn’t seem too upset.  She’s remaining calm so it can’t be too serious.  I hope everything is ok….”  I appreciate their concern and gave them the summary as soon as I hung up.  I felt terrible that I wasn’t there (wasn’t even in the same country) during the whole ordeal and bought the boys stuffed moose, which they couldn’t have cared less about.  Mom guilt. 

I made it home just in time to tuck W into bed.  To my disappointment, S was already asleep.

Friday morning, S woke around 6:30am.  I was so happy to see my baby and brought him back to bed where he drank his milk and cuddled with me.  Within minutes, W woke up and hopped into our bed too.  It was the perfect morning, snuggling with my boys.  A and S eventually headed out to pick up bagels, donuts, and juice.  We had a low key morning.  My mom ended up coming over around lunch time and brought the boys some Easter goodies.  We all went out for a walk.  Later in the afternoon, we headed to the grocery store and had dinner at Mod Pizza.  All in all a great day.

Saturday morning, I got up and made cupcakes and frosting to bring to Easter brunch while A entertained the boys.  W had fun decorating the cupcakes and did an excellent job.  



S wasn’t interested in breakfast and just wanted juice.  Around lunch time, I sat him at the table and gave him lunch.  One bite and he puked everywhere.  I thought maybe he had just had too much juice since he was acting normal.  After that episode, we headed to a local Easter egg hunt and then had plans to head to the park.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  The Easter egg hunt was packed and both boys were a little overwhelmed.  They gathered a few eggs, but weren’t really interested.  We live in such a small town, I didn’t think anyone would even know about the Easter egg hunt.  Wrong!!  



As we headed back to the car, S asked for juice again.  As we drove to the park, he puked all over my car.  Again, I didn’t think too much of it.  He gets car sick and I know better than to give him anything to drink while in the car.  I wasn’t thinking and forgot he had his juice cup.  We headed home to clean up the car (and S).  From there, I took W to the park and S stayed home and napped.  Once S woke, he puked again and again.  BUT he was still acting somewhat normal.  Asking for books and more to drink.  It was strange.  At one point, he asked for a popsicle and sat at the table with his popsicle.  A picked up Potbelly sandwiches for himself and me.  As I was eating my sandwich, S pointed and said “I want that!”.  Umm… no.  I was hesitant, but decided to try turkey and crackers, hoping they would be easy on his tummy.  He kept them down.  At bed time, he asked for milk.  Again, I was very hesitant, but decided to try just 1-2 ounces.  He drank it and fell asleep...  Until about 9:30 when he puked all over his crib.  He was up off and on the remainder of the night.  When he woke up at 3am, A and I both got up.  We ended up laying a towel on our bed and he slept there for the next 3 hours or so.

Sunday, it was clear that S would not be going to church or the Easter festivities at Nani and Papa’s house.  I was so incredibly disappointed.  I had matching outfits for the boys.  A and I had laughed about going completely overboard with their Easter baskets.  We had so much fun selecting items to place in them.  I live for quality time and holidays so this was such a huge disappointment.  On the bright side, W looked beyond adorable and was great a church.  But it wasn’t the same having just one boy excitedly run in to find his Easter basket.  


Poor S had a fever all day, could barely get off the couch, and had zero interest in anything Easter related.  Once A and W had gone to Nani and Papa’s for Easter brunch, I convinced S to go for a walk (in the stroller), but once we were back at the house, he laid on the couch and fell asleep.  He had no energy and also seemed a bit congested.



I felt awful for S.  A trip to the ER, vomiting, and fever all in a few days.  W had fun at the Easter celebration, but got his first bee sting while hunting for eggs.  For the most part, he seems to have handled it well.  He had fun opening up all his eggs and exploring his basket when he got home.  My sweet husband brought me a plate of food.

S seemed a little better today.  He slept from 7pm until 8am with only one wake up in between.  He’s managed to get off the couch today and has been keeping food and drink down (knock on everything).  We will continue keeping an eye on him.


If only I could have a redo for this weekend!  L

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekend Recap

Oh, this weekend…  Lots of fresh air, lots of meltdowns (W), little sleep (S).

If I remember correctly (weekends are always a blur), the boys were really good on Friday.  They spent lots of time outside, we ordered pizza for dinner, it was a good day.

Saturday started with S’s preschool class.  We had a great time per usual.  S enjoyed painting, playing at the sensory bin, and running around outside. 




Then it was off to meet up with A at W’s last swim lesson.  We have a birthday party to go to in a couple weeks so we’ll miss his actual final lesson.  When S and I arrived, W was out of the pool and crying.  I later learned that he was scared of going under water?  Something must have spooked him because this was the first time he reacted this way.  He eventually got back in the water, but would not participate.  It was so strange.  We talked about it afterwards and he mentioned something about not liking the back float, which he’s never liked, and going under water.  I’m not sure what exactly happened, but I didn’t want to dwell on it and I’m hoping not bringing too much attention to the failed lesson will help him get over his fear.  His teacher mentioned that he knew W could do the skills he had learned and must be having an off day.  It was definitely a disappointing way to end the class since he had done so well prior. :(  We’re going to take a little break from swim lessons as W said he wanted to try tennis and t-ball.  In all honesty, I’m expecting t-ball to be a disaster since W has never shown an interest in baseball.  Here’s hoping I’m wrong!  After that, I got my hair cut and we finished the day with a park outing.  S was so upset when it was time to leave the park – I swear, that boy would live outside if he could!







Sunday, W woke in a bad mood and was just plain awful challenging the entire day.  Palm Sunday mass was long so I know the boys were getting restless, but W was just defiant – not talking quietly when I told him to, not wanting to wait to go to the restroom.  After communion, I stood with him in the back of church and he wanted to know a lot about my dad – when he had passed away, where did he live, and could we light a candle for him.  When mass was over, S wanted to be picked up and I obliged.  W had a massive fit because he wanted me to hold him and not S.  Crying and laying on the floor at church – totally unlike W.  I explained that I just spent time with him and it was S’s turn.  Both my mom and A offered to pick up W.  Nope.  The tantrum continued.  Side note:  I swear W is forever scarred because I couldn’t pick him up after my c-section.  He didn’t understand why I could hold S and not him.  To this day, many meltdowns begin because I can’t/won’t pick him up.  Sigh.  Anyway, W was rude at Starbucks and I decided I just couldn’t handle grocery shopping with W acting the way he was.  We got home and A decided to head to the grocery store with S while I stayed home with W.  Still, W was defiant.  He didn’t want to use soap while washing his hands and refused to listen to me.  I took away his park privileges until he could earn them back.  We did take a walk together, which he really enjoyed and he was really good during that little outing.  After S’s nap, W told me that he wanted to go the park and would be really good.  I explained that in order to go, he would have to do something nice for S, say something nice about S, change his shirt, and put on his shoes.  He did all of those things so off we went.  To be honest, I wanted to get out of the house and take advantage of the weather so I should have come up with a different punishment.  Mom fail.

There is a tree planted for my dad at a local park and I asked W if he wanted to go to the park where grandpa’s tree was planted.  He responded with, “I want to go to grandpa’s park!”  I love that he now calls it that. :)  The boys were wonderful at the park and even took a picture with grandpa’s tree (they hate pictures!).  S took a couple spills and ended up with a skinned knee, but all in all, we had a great time.  

Grandpa's tree



So this shirt... I had it on W and realized it was a tad short.  So I took it off W and put it on S.  S turned 2 in February and is wearing a size 4 shirt and size 3 shorts here.  Whoa.
And then when we got home, W had a major meltdown because I wouldn’t rewind his show.  I have NO idea what was with him.  He has a tantrum every now and then, but nothing like this.  All I can think of is that he was worn out from so much fresh air all weekend.  I could not wait for bed time.  

And then S was up the whole night for seemingly no reason?!?!  He woke up at 12:45am so I went in his room to calm him.  By 2am, he was still up and would not stop moving around in his crib.  It was as if he just couldn’t relax.  I couldn’t handle sitting in the rocking chair anymore so I brought him to our bed.  He finally fell asleep I’m guessing around 2:30am, 3:00am… who knows?  A brought him to his crib where he immediately woke screaming, “I want mommy!  Mommy’s bed!  No nap!!”  Somehow A got him to calm down, but then he woke again at 4am.  What the heck?!?  Brought him back to our bed and the alarm went off at 5:15am.  I think I got 2-3 hours of sleep.  I’m used to S waking once during the night, but not all night long. :(  Needless to say, very tired today.


Despite the challenges this weekend, we had so many great moments.  The weather was beautiful!  The boys even wore shorts and we grilled out for the first time!!  I love seeing the boys so happy at the park.  They’re starting to play together on the playground equipment, which is wonderful for my mom heart. :)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Thoughts

It’s been a tough week – nothing specific, but stress at work, worries about the future, politics, and lack of sleep have led to major anxiety.  The kind that causes an ache in my chest and inability to fall asleep.  Finally feeling a bit better as the week is wrapping up and I’m hoping some fresh air this weekend will ease my mind.

Our weather had been pretty dismal all week – cold and rainy.  BUT we’re supposed to have sun and warmer temperatures all weekend.  I can’t wait.  I plan on having the boys outside as much as possible!

I have to fly to Montreal this coming week for a business meeting.  It will be my first time in Canada, though I’ll only be there for a very short time and likely won’t see much of Montreal.  Still looking forward to a new place.  We have a dinner planned and the reservation was sent out.  I always check out menus ahead of time and when I researched the restaurant, I realized everything was in French.  Here’s hoping I don’t order anything gross. :)

My kids break EVERYTHING.  I knew that children had a tendency to drops sippy cups or spill food, but I had no idea the extent of damage they are capable of… wooden blinds, picture frames, Christmas ornaments, eye glasses, lamps (yes, plural), drinking glasses, scratches on wood tables, broken cell phones, cracked iPad screen, and I’m sure I’m forgetting several others.  I don’t think my boys intentionally break things, but they are curious, clumsy, and a bit mischievous.  Wednesday, I was working from home when I heard a giant crash.  S had attempted to climb the pantry shelves trying to reach something and an entire shelf full of food collapsed, vinegar spilling all over the floor.  That same day, one of the boys broke a spindle on the foot board of our nice wooden bed frame.  What the heck??


And finally, I’m about to brag about my kiddo so if you find that annoying, apologies.  When I picked up W from school, one of his teachers came up to me and said, “I just have to tell you, I love talking to him.  We have the best conversations.  He seems to have an old soul and I love the way he thinks.  If I could, I’d just talk to him the entire time.”  Proud of my sweeties.