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This blog was started in 2008 when we did IVF for the first time to build our family after 5 1/2 years of infertility. We now have 7 and 1 year old boys (thanks to modern medicine) and we are enjoying our blessed life as parents ♥ In the summer of 2016 we took another huge step and moved across the country from Oklahoma to New York! This blog is about life and everything in between



Monday, January 31, 2011

The End of Another Month

Can you believe tomorrow is already February 1?? Time flies! I feel like January has been a pretty productive month for us, and I look forward to seeing what February holds in store. I usually have my taxes done by now, but they will get done soon enough! I at least have started them.

My lovely mother got me a Kitchenaid food processor for Christmas and I used it for the first time yesterday! I made a nice batch of hummus for my personal enjoyment. Hubby isn't a big fan of it, and he doesn't buy it when I tell him it's just bean dip! It was so much easier than MASHING the stupid beans by hand, let me tell you!


Here is a big pot of homemade chili that I cooked yesterday to warm us up...yum! Diced tomatoes, ground turkey, Mexican corn, light AND dark red kidney beans...


Now for the big news!! Do you recall the "colorful" blanket for Brad I have been working on? Well I finally finished it!


I used the "spike" stitch, and of course bright colors! I'm saving it for when I redecorate his room. Whenever we switch him to a toddler bed (yikes!) I am redoing his room from safari to robots!


I loved the graduating square pattern when I saw it in my crochet book, and I knew I had to tweak the pattern from a granny square to a blanket!

Otherwise, things in the Pierce household have been good. Brad has been a wee cranky for the last couple of weeks--I'm blaming it on either teething or growth spurt. He has been extra clingy and cuddly so I've been taking advantage of that and holding him a lot more. He did learn how to cough into his hand and blow his nose this week though!

As of today, hubby is going to join me in being a guinea pig for the Lynn Institute! He is signing papers to do a 14 week study. I like to think we are helping others out there who can benefit from the drugs we are testing ;)

Last night we got to go out on a double date with one of Nick's old friends and his new fiance! We all ate Chinese, then went to Ihop afterward for some coffee. I was very disappointed to find they don't have flavored creamers anymore! Anywho, Nick is going to be the best man at their wedding in November. It was a nice evening out of the house, and little B had a fun evening with his aunt Sarah!

Well Oklahoma is supposed to get another crazy blizzard tonight! I heart the snow and wish we could just get plain 'ol snowfall like everyone else, but I will take what I can get! I have to work tonight, so I am kind of expecting the dayshifters tomorrow morning to get in late. I'm sure I will have trouble sleeping so I just may stay up for awhile and we can all go out and play in the snow! Of course I will have pictures for you!
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

POLL!

Please turn your attention to the month-long poll I have created on the top right side:

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I have decided it is time to update the name of my blog! As my header says, I started this blog in 2008 to journal my "journey" thru IVF and becoming a parent. Well THREE years later....here we are--parents! It has been a rollercoaster trip full of joy, love, fear, pain, and miracles. Our journey TO parenthood has evolved into a journey THRU parenthood! I feel the name of my blog should reflect what the current content is about, and that is our life.

Of course I would love your input on this! I didn't want to suddenly change the name and then everyone is confused...is this the same blog? Why did she change the name? So all of you LURKERS out there who read but don't comment--this is your time to contribute (anonymously of course ;) and let me know which name you like the best. I will reveal the winning title on March 1, 2011.

In other news....we attended the funeral of Nick's grandmother today. It was a simple graveside ceremony with a viewing afterward. Several of Nick's cousins, aunts, and uncles were there that we haven't seen for years. It is sad that most family only reunites under such sad circumstances, but c'est la vie. My dear mother also attended, and spent most of the day with us after.

I am at work tonight once again, and won't see much of my family until Friday evening. I am most of the way done with Brad's colorful blanket--only a few rows left! I hope he likes it and grows up knowing that his momma made it just for him out of love!

PS: I ordered 2 flight vouchers with my bonus points at work last week! After I get them in the mail, we can book our flight to NY whenever! Our plans are moving along...

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

On to a Better Place

It is 5:30am and I am counting down the minutes until I get off of work! As usual, I am meeting mumsy at her house for coffee and chit chat before I go home and get some sleep. The last couple of days at work have been filled with looney patients so I am happy to get away for a few days! I don't go back until Tuesday night.

Friday morning we were awakened by a phone call from my mother-in-law. She was calling to let us know that Nick's grandmother had passed away. We are all sad that she is gone, but we know that she is truly in a better place! She has suffered from Alzheimers the last few years, and was bedridden for the last 3. She will be missed but her spirit lives on in our memories. She is now reunited with her twin in Heaven!

Things like this remind me of how lucky I am to have such a long history with Nick. I met him when I was only 11 and we began dating when I was 14. Since he lived out of town at that time, he would frequently come up to the city and stay for long periods with his grandparents. Because of that, I was always over there and I am happy that I got to know them when they were both still in good health. They loved when I came over, regardless of the time of day, and they always treated me as if I were family.

After being married for a couple of years, his grandmother Ella started developing Alzheimers. It progressed quickly, and his grandfather could no longer take care of her on his own. They were moved down to Elmore City to live with Nick's parents after Ella became completely bedridden. When we had Bradley, we took him down there and he got to meet his great-grandpa Garrison a few times. Garrison has since become mostly bedridden and his dementia is progressing.

It is a sad thing to see loved family members getting older, but unfortunately that is the circle of life. All we can do is make the most of the time we have with our loved ones and make sure they know they are important! A lot of us forget how something so simple ends up being so important in relationships. You never know when your time will come, and you can't go back and change what has been done. That's why I try to make my loved ones know that I value them and how important they are to me! No one should have to feel like they are unappreciated, unwelcome, or overlooked.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Orders and Presents

I have been crocheting blankets like crazy the last few months! But baby blankets go much quicker than large afghans, so I don't mind making those!

This baby blanket is my most recent order from a coworker. She is a respiratory therapist that works days who heard about my work and tracked me down to place an order! She is expecting her first grandchild in July and wanted me to make a white/beige blanket.


I would have liked different colors, but these are what she chose so that's what I went with! It is actually 3 colors--tan, white, and a striped beige/tan in rows.


Isn't the edging beautiful?? It is another stitch I tried for the first time out of a book my mother got me. She's the best!


I am still working on Brad's blanket of many colors. This might be the first "official" blanket that I'm making for him, but I actually crocheted several different baby blankets many years ago when Nick and I first started trying to have a baby. Most of them are pretty feminine though, and back then I didn't get nice soft yarn. So they are still sitting in a bag, all folded up and unused!

My next craft is an idea I saw on some blogs I follow. I made these yesterday as one of the presents for our neice Zoe who turned 2. They are refridgerator magnets! Who needs the cheap plastic ones??


Speaking of turning 2....our little guy will be celebrating another birthday in just a few short months! Nick and I have been talking about where we will have it, and what kind of stuff we will have to eat and do. We have a few other friends with children around Brad's age, so that will be fun to see them all playing together and interacting. These are the days that I had dreamed of for so long! Planning birthday parties for my little one and seeing his face light up when he opens presents and eats his cake--my heart just glows thinking about it! We are so blessed to have the friends and family who have stuck around and been there for us through our hard times!

The bad things in life help us to appreciate the GOOD things (and people) in life even more!
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The 4 1/2 Year Afghan Story

This blanket has a story...

We bought our current house in July of 2006 right after I graduated nursing school. The master bedroom was already a gorgeous textured color of sage green, so we went with it and bought matching bed linens and such. I got the great idea to crochet a coordinating blanket for the foot of the bed.

So I picked 3 complimentary shades of greens and cream, learned a cute stitch, and got started. I did row after row after row...and quickly got disheartened and burned out. It was so long that I felt like I wasn't making any progress! So after a few months, I put the leftover yarn and unfinished blanket away in the closet.

Fast forward to November 2010--I magically remember that I have an unfinished project rotting in my closet! I dig it out and begin where I left off with renewed fervor. Unfortunately, I quickly remember why I gave it up in the first place! I worked on it for days and only added a few rows! I measured the length of the stupid thing--it was EIGHT feet long! I have a queen bed but they are not that big. I stopped working on it again, and thought long and hard about what I would do with it.

It took a couple weeks to come up with the balls guts to do it, but I decided to UNRAVEL everything I had already done, and restart the blanket. I know, I know...I felt anguish with each stitch I pulled out. Nick, on the other hand, enjoyed it because he sat there and made yarn balls out of the mass of yarn that was used. So that's what I did! I restarted the blanket--same stitch, same colors--but this time I made it shorter. FIVE feet to be exact! That may not seem like much, but it made all the difference in the world!

The first night I worked on it, I got about 5 inches width done in just a couple hours! I proceeded to work on it when I had free time, and I got the blanket FINISHED within a few weeks! I only used the yarn that I already had, and I even had a new unused skein of each color that I was able to take back and exchange for other yarns! Thankfully my crazy idea worked out, and I was very happy to see this poor blanket that had been ignored for so many years come to new light and be appreciated for its beauty!


After I made it as wide as I wanted, I went back and did a pretty picot edging along all of the sides. Then I washed it (to soften it up) and tucked in all of the yarn tails.



It hasn't made it upstairs to our bedroom yet--it is still downstairs on the couch being showed off! I like happy endings!

On another note, let me introduce you to my new favorite friends:



These are two books my dear mother has recently gotten me (with my guidance) and I just LOVE the wealth of information that is in them. The "A to Z" one is full of stitches, techniques, edgings, finishes, and joining that all of color step-by-step instructions! The other one is simply 200 different styles of crocheted squares with color combination suggestions. Some of them are so beautiful and intricate; I can't wait to try them!

The blanket I just started is a baby blanket for my little angel. I don't know why it has taken me this long to make him one, but I am making it special nonetheless! I wanted it to be very colorful b/c his next room theme is going to be robots and bright colors. The pattern I am doing is one from the 200 blocks book, and the stitch I am using is from the A to Z book! I'm about half done now, so I will show you pics soon!
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

8 Years Later...





Yesterday was our 8th wedding anniversary!! Looking back at these pictures, for one--I can't believe how YOUNG (and skinny) we look! It's amazing how time flies. For those who don't know, Nick and I ran off and got married when I was 16 and he was 21 (don't judge!). For that, we went to the courthouse with my mom and his parents. Then, on our 1 year anniversary, we had a "reaffirmation of vows" ceremony at our church and a reception afterwards. I am so glad we ended up doing that because I love having the pictures to look back on, and it is priceless to have your friends and family there to witness your love.

We look back on our years together and remember all of the good and bad times that we have gone through. We started off with NOTHING in a shanty house sleeping on the floor with no fridge, and now we have a beautiful house, a miracle baby, and college educations! God had blessed us and we are thankful for what we have been given. We have EACH had our share of bad jobs, bad family, and bad friends, but we persevered and lean on each other in hard times!

Now for the celebrations! On January 16 was my brother Eric's 31st birthday. We all met at my mom's house for a big homecooked Mexican dinner! I brought a chocolate cake, and I think that was Brad's favorite food!


We snuck off for a bit at 6:30pm to go downtown for our horse-drawn carriage ride. It was so relaxing, and romantic! The driver was so kind and remembered every little detail I had emailed him about. The horse was very well trained, and the weather was perfect. For a moment we pretended we were back in downtown Chicago!




When we got back, I found my little cherub like this:


Isn't he the cutest?? The next day, Monday, was our actual anniversary. For lunch we all met my brother, sis-in-law, and my dad in MWC to eat at Poblanos. After we got home, Nick's sister Sarah came up and took care of Brad for the evening while we left on the second half of our celebrations.

First we went downtown to see "The Dilemma" at the Harkins Theater. It was a funny movie with some drama mixed in, but we both loved it and laughed hard throughout. We both love Kevin James.

After the movie we headed off to the north side to eat at a little Italian restaurant called Vitos. We had never been there, but we heard it was good. It was very small on the inside, but cozy and authentic! It is an Italian family-run little hole in the wall with great food and big servings! I got the eggplant parmigiana, and Nick got chicken parmigiana.


When we got done eating there, we grabbed a bottle of Moscato wine and some gourmet cheesecake to relax with at home for the evening!
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Big Plans!

While I am sitting here at work with one patient (making overtime pay...) I guess I will share what I've got swimming through my mind...

My paycheck yesterday included 80 hours of vacation time that I cashed in, so that plus my overtime shifts are going solely towards bills, debt, and savings! I haven't decided what all we are going to use our tax return on. I have been thinking along the lines of paying my car off, buying a new mattress, or rebuilding our back deck. The only thing that would use all of the return is paying off my car, so I may put a chunk toward that and another chunk toward the deck. A new mattress isn't a priority, we are still happy with our memory foam that we got a few years ago. But our deck does need work before we sell the house, and of course it would be awesome to pay off the car! I only owe like 3k on it now so I'm sure I'll pay it off at some point this year. Car payments are not conducive to frugal living! After this we won't have another one for a long time. Maybe never!

I am VERY excited about our upcoming anniversary celebrations! Sunday evening we are going to a Mexican dinner/birthday party for my brother, then Nick and I are going on a horse-drawn carriage ride downtown at 6:30pm. I can't wait! It's going to be dark and chilly, and I can't wait to snuggle on my love with a blanket while we slowly cruise the streets in true old-fashioned style.

Monday will be our EIGHTH wedding anniversary--and no, I can't believe it has been that long already--so we are going out to eat Italian then see a movie. We will have a nice bottle of wine and some pastries waiting on us at home to enjoy while our little boy sleeps. His aunt Sarah is going to babysit while we are out on the town. I am already thinking of big things for our 10th anniversary in 2013!

I am very grateful that I have 6 days off in a row this week. I don't go back until Friday evening, and I plan to get a lot done! The regular chores of course, but in addition to that I want to do some yardwork, try some new cooking techniques, do some scrapbooking, and tidy up my craft room. Our neice Zoe turns 2 on the 20th but we haven't heard of plans yet for that.

I have finished the bedroom afghan that I have been talking about! Before I take pictures I want to wash it then tuck in all of the yarn tails. I am about 3/4 done with a baby blanket for a coworker so I am going to finish that this week also. Then I will have free time to work on other projects!

The upcoming months are already filling up too! Next month I have several family birthdays, and I just signed up for more extra shifts every week. In March is my dad's birthday, and I am going to take him to an Italian cooking demonstration by the chef of the Italian restaurant Benvenuti in Norman. I'm sure mom and I will go to one too, but we haven't decided which one yet.

In March I also have my next craft show that I will need to start preparing for! I still have some leftover hats, but since it will be later in the year, people aren't going to be buying hats and cold weather gear. I am trying to think of other things that will work good for Spring/Summer use. I have to really think hard and be creative because there are always several booths with repeats of the same things--jewelry, candles, headbands/warmers, soap, shirts...and I don't want to be one of those! The trick is to be original. That's why I don't like Etsy.com. There are just millions of everything on there, and whatever someone puts on there is going to get lost in the waves of inventory.

That's it for now! My next blog will have pics of our carriage ride, my blankets, and maybe my baby boy!
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Friends and Baby Talk

Sorry, still no pics yet! I have been a busy girl the last few days. Once I get done with the edging on my afghan, I will have pics of that for you! I am also currently working on a white/tan baby blanket for a new grandmother at work.

I have been picking up extra shifts at work now that their "budget crisis" is over. They reopened the 4th ICU because we are finally all full again. I am remembering how much I hate being gone from home, but my motivation is the reminder that this year is our year to save up money to move!

We had a great couple over last night for a home cooked meal. I made parmesan-crusted chicken breasts, fettuccine alfredo and garlic bread with cherry cheese danish for dessert! They brought red and white wines, but I couldn't find our corkscrew so we could only drink the white wine b/c it had a screw lid. It was yummy! Nick and I are going to find another bottle of it for our anniversary next Monday.

We sat down to eat around 5:30pm, then after dinner and dessert we all played In a Pickle in the living room. I got Brad up from his nap at 7pm, then we played a couple rounds of Catchphrase. That was pretty fun, but the boys wanted to quit after the girls won twice in a row! I fed Brad dinner and just watched him run around until he went to bed. We all sat around and laughed until they got tired and left around 10pm. I forgot how nice it was to have good couple friends!

Lately Nick and I have been amazed at how quickly Brad is growing. We just look at him and remember how this time last year he could barely crawl, and was just starting to eat solid food! Now he is a full-fledged toddler with emotions, desires, and a sense of humor! We truly are so blessed to have him in our life, not to mention that he is so well behaved compared to some other toddlers! Sure he throws the occasional tantrum but I think his temperment paired with our loving discipline has turned out pretty well!

The best part right now is when he runs to me and throws his arms up for me to hold him or pick him up. He is showing me that he wants me and loves me, and I couldn't ask for anything more! I love putting him to bed and how he snuggles his arms around my neck while nestling his head into his blanket. My heart melts!

We are also amazed that he will already be 2 in just a few months! Before we know it, it will be time to work on number two! HA! But don't worry, mine will be adequately spaced out so that I can focus my attention during his important milestone years without being one of those crazy frazzled moms dealing with multiple toddlers under foot.

On that note, I think the theory about "having them close together so they get along" is a load of crap, to be quite frank! Age has nothing to do with getting along with a sibling, personality is the main factor there, and there is nothing you can do about that! A young toddler who is still so dependent on their mother shouldn't be FORCED to take a backseat to a newborn. They still have so much learning and growing to do! I intend on giving Brad my full attention for his first few years. He didn't ask to be here, so he deserves the spotlight for awhile.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Recipe Box Redo

Just wanted to share an idea that I tried out and really like! I saw somewhere a regular photo album that was turned into a recipe book. You just put the 4x6 recipe cards into the little slots and bingo! It already has the clear protector over, holds 200 cards, and you can put little notes in the memo area if needed.



Because I'm anal like that, I took it one step further and came up with several categories of food and used them to organize and alphabetize the order of recipes for easy finding. I am going to keep my eye out for more sturdy divider tabs.


My last touch was an index of my alphabetized categories at the front of the book! I didn't write it directly on the page because I pretty much almost completely filled up the book with my current recipes. If I get many more, I am going to get another book then redo one into a dessert book, and the other into a main dish/side book.


So far I am pretty happy with it! It is a lot easier and more visually appealing than flipping through an overstuffed recipe box. What do you think?
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Maiden Voyage!

After 3 months of hardcore restoration work, Nick could finally take his '50 Chevy out for more than just a test drive around the block.


It doesn't have seatbelts yet, so I followed him with little boy in my car! He watched daddy drive in front of us the whole way.


We took the back roads until we are sure it is okay to take on the highway. It did great and he got all of the stares!



He stopped at his grandparent's house in the city to trim some hedges while Brad and I went to my mom's house to hang out. She had a girlfriend over and they both oo'ed and awed at Brad and his adorability! I fed him dinner and watched him chase the dogs around. Nick came back after a bit and we grabbed some yummy Chinese food for dinner. Then he went out and saw some friends in the city and we headed home after that!

Mom and I went to a fairly new bookstore in the city yesterday, and it was great! I picked up several books--all for under $5--and I can't wait to read them. Two of them are big movies, and one is about raising a toddler. Another is a present for my MIL. They also buy used books, so I need to go through my bookcase...
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