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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 2 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, June 30, 2014

Celebrating a 5 Year Old!

Saturday was my little boy's 5th birthday party! We had some people cancel at the last minute, then others who RSVP'd the morning of! There ended up being about 8 kids and maybe 15 adults there. The house was full! I had lots of finger foods and goodies. The theme was "Construction Trucks" so it was decorated up pretty cute. Brad just loved running around with all of his friends, and the adults seemed to mingle well with each other.






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He got tons of great presents and every one seemed to have a good time. My dad and brother's family stayed late after the party so we all ended going to a diner together for dinner. Another fun birthday for the history books!
 
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bradley Turned 5

On June 26, 2009 this was our new family of THREE!



It just blows my mind how much he has grown--physically and mentally--in 5 years. He has his own personality, his own jokes, an excellent memory, and a huge brain! He didn't want to be very serious for picture time!



I am now doing his growth pics only once a year...so you won't see another one until he turns 6! Here are the updates on his development so far:

Height: 44"
Weight: 39lb

At 5 years old you.....


  • are very silly, independent, and can be stubborn
  • are usually polite and say please, thank you, you're welcome, yes ma'am/yes sir, excuse me
  • love to eat and only have a couple of things you don't like
  • LOVE school and reading
  • read sooooo good! Even 3-4 syllable words. It's amazing.
  • can write very well and even know how to spell many words on your own
  • love riding your bike and always wear a helmet
  • just finished your first swimming lessons!
  • went to your first VBS and loved it
  • wear size 4T clothes and size 9 shoe
  • go to bed around 8:30pm and get up around 7:30am to watch cartoons
  • usually take a nap from around 4p-6p
  • love staying the night with grandparents
  • will start full-day Kindergarten in August

Tomorrow is his last day in swimming lessons and he seems to have learned several things! The first few days he was more concerned with playing than learning but he is doing much better now and participating in all of the activities. He still refuses to go underwater but we'll work on that later! Here he is with his class and teachers getting help on the diving board....




Today for his special day Nick took him to an arcade after lunch and they played all kinds of games. For his treat I made a cookie cake which turned out DELICIOUS. I will post the recipe for that later! Saturday is his big party so check back after that for party pics!

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IVF Calendar!

Today was our ART screen with our RE. We got up bright and early to drop Bradley off at my mom's then headed downtown to the doc for our 8:30 appt. First we went over the consent forms and IVF calendar with the coordinator Connie. She also talked about the meds she will be ordering for me soon and answered any questions we had. We saved ourselves $450 by NOT needing an IVF workup on Nick (because we already know we need to do ICSI--where they inject the sperm directly into the egg). Yay! A dollar saved is a dollar earned. We are also saving a bit by not needing the medication administration class--I think I got that one down already :)

Next we went into the lovely exam room where the US machine and it's fallic-shaped probe were waiting for me. Dr. Hansen came in there and first did the mock transfer, then a sonohysterogram. Everything looked great on those tests so we spent the last few minutes with him talking about exactly how the cycle is going to go and answering any remaining questions we had.

After that we paid for the visit (tax deduction adding up!!!$$$$) then I went to work and Nick took Bradley home.

In a nutshell, I will start Lupron on Sunday, stop BCP on July 5, start Follistim and Menopur on July 12, and my HCG trigger shot will be around July 21. We also prescheduled my next few appointments up to July 18. My next appointment will be July 9 for bloodwork, urine sample, and US.

I just hope the next few weeks go by quickly. I remember clearly how uncomfortable I was toward the end of the stimulation cycle when I felt like a hen full of eggs. I also remember well how much pain I was in for a few days after the egg retrieval. We are estimating my retrieval to be between July 22-24 which means by the beginning of August I should know if it worked or not! They said that since we already had one successful cycle that actually increases our odds that it will work again :)

I'm REALLY trying not to get my hopes up too high this early. I have complete faith in the doctor and nurses and I know they are going to do everything with our success in mind. I'm going to follow my instructions to the letter and have already alerted my boss that I will need a few days off that week of the retrieval and embryo transfer. After that it is out of my hands!

My first batch of meds is getting delivered tomorrow and I started injections on Sunday. I'll keep you posted!

Something else I did is got a new hair do! Yesterday I finally found a salon in Norman to spend my birthday money on the popular ombré hair color. I've been eyeballing it for a long time now but was apprehensive because I hate spending money on frivolous things. Thankfully my birthday money was the perfect opportunity to splurge on myself! The great thing about this hairstyle is that it is super low maintenance and will still look cute as I continue to grow my hair out.
   



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Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Saga of My Pool

Let me start off with some history of our pool.......

It is a smallish inground oval pool that was already here when we bought our house 8 years ago. It is about 3.5ft deep on the shallow end, and maybe 5.5ft deep on the deeper end. Nothing fancy, but we thought it was awesome (at first). We thought we could have all our friends over for cookouts and barbecues and spend the summers lounging poolside and enjoying the sun.

Evidently our friends thought differently--people rarely came over, and very seldom did they want to swim. On the occasional summer birthday we could coax people to get in but it mainly ended up being just us swimming quietly together on really hot days. Oh and that fantasy about spending the summer poolside? No, I forgot about life, chores, sunburns, and a pesky little thing called a full time job that got in the way of that.

Mainly we felt like we were spending more time cleaning it and maintaining it than we actually were getting in it! Half the time the water was too cold to be enjoyable. Being in the ground it is insulated so the temperature takes a lot longer to go up in the summer, and it is in the shade half of the day.

After we had Brad our appreciation for the entertainment of the pool was slightly renewed. Now we had a third person who had to swim with us (whether he wanted to or not!) and cool off on the hot days. He loves getting in the water and splashing around.

Then the problems start.....first a friend used the pool ladder and the steps broke so we had to replace that. Then about 3 summers ago our jets kept shooting out sand from the filter every time we turned the pump on. After looking into it, we found that meant the filter is going out and needed to be replaced. After a few estimates from repair places that were ABOVE the $1000 mark, we decided to look into doing it ourselves! We found a new filter that was even better than the one we had and Nick managed to get it in all by himself for around $400.

The next year our pump was giving us issues....so Nick took that apart and rebuilt it himself and replaced all of the old gaskets and whatnot that had worn out over time. Last year when we opened the pool for the summer, we discovered that a large section of the vinyl liner had come out of it's track on the edge. We tried to stick it back in but could never get it to stay. We could still enjoy the pool so we didn't worry too much about it.

This year we waited later than usual to open the pool since we went on our Europe trip. About a week into June we finally took the cover off and found that the first section of liner that came out had grown to be around a 5ft section, and another spot on the other end of the pool about 2 feet long had come out as well! The large section was actually drooping down in the water. We stopped right there and knew we couldn't do anything further with the pool until someone came out to (hopefully) fix it.

Being the summer time, of course all of the pool repair places are full with customers. We managed to find one that made it to our house in about a week, but were disappointed to hear that it looked like our liner was too far gone and too shrunk from age to be restretched back into the track. We needed a new liner! Grrr....

We immediately began calling around for quotes on a new liner. The prices we were hearing were averaging around $3000. It did cross my mind to do it ourselves--a new liner is about $400 plus the little odds and ends. I watched a Youtube video and that squashed any hope of doing it ourselves. Too big and too hard! Nick finally found a guy who could come out the next day and had the best rate of anyone.  We told him let's do it!

So here we are....he came out yesterday to drain the pool.


Today he came out with a helper to take out the old vinyl and do measurements to order the new liner. You can see the tree roots growing in from our neighbor's tree....the pool guy said that's not a big deal and it will get taken care of.



He is ordering the new liner today and it should come in about a week. Here is the design we picked out:
We are taking this opportunity to fix the light in the pool. It went out a couple of years ago and we never wanted to drain the pool just to fix it. Gotta look at the bright side, right??

In the back of my mind I knew this was coming. Our house was built in 1979 and I'm sure this pool (as well as our deck and broken hot tub) was put in shortly after. We rebuilt the deck last year (and are chunking the hot tub this year). I'm also expecting the air conditioners to go out at some point too, but hopefully it's well after we have sold the house!

The moral of the story is: When you have never had a pool, it seems like an awesome amazing thing to have. Until you have it. Then you realize the hard work, time, and money that goes into maintaining it and keeping it simply functional. For something that you can really only enjoy a good 3 months of the year, I'm gonna say it's not worth it and we will definitely NOT be getting another house with a pool in it! Hopefully the next owners of our house will enjoy it more than we have, and be thankfully that we went through all of the trouble of turning it into basically a brand new pool.


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Friday, June 13, 2014

IVF Update




I found that funny image on this blog post here, which quite comically describes a man's experience in what I call the "Man Room" or what he calls the "Boom boom room".

This won't make any sense, but it feels like the summer is flying by yet our upcoming IVF cycle is taking forever. It might be because we planned it almost a year ago, or because I just want to get it over with! The latest update is small yet worthy of being mentioned.

While we were out of the country I started my latest cycle (fun!) on May 31, and then started my oral BCP on June 2. I'm on my third week of those now and just talked to my RE's office today about the next step. On June 25 we are going in for the ART (artificial reproductive technology) Screen where they do a mock embryo transfer and a sonohysterogram (where they inject saline to look at patency of uterus and tubes via US). At that visit we will also receive our official IVF "calendar" that outlines when I start each drug and probably dates of egg retrieval/embryo transfer.

On June 29 I will be starting injections of Lupron. According to the last time I did IVF, I did my egg retrieval 22 days after starting Lupron. That means sometime around the middle of July is when I would anticipate the egg retrieval/embryo transfer, and hopefully get a BFP by the end of July! Last time I got a faint + HPT 8 days after a 3 day transfer (or 11 days after the egg retrieval) so of course I'm going to be holding this cycle up to the same standards....

In other news this month makes 1 year ago that my grandma Margie passed away. She included Bradley and I as some of the beneficiaries in her trust, and part of that my money is going toward this IVF cycle! Thank you grandma :) She loved little Bradley and was so happy every time she got to see and hold him.

This month also makes 8 years that I've been a nurse, and my 28th (!) birthday was on the 11th. My whole family got together for some delicious food and I had a wonderful day. This weekend I'm cooking a nice dinner for Nick and my dad, and somehow squeezing in a garage sale on Saturday and Sunday. It's a busy month!


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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vacation Pictures Continued! Part 2: London and Paris

 Alrighty here you go! The last 4 days of our trip. In my last post HERE I showed you the pictures from our time in Dublin and Edinburgh. Now we pick up after flying into Heathrow airport in London!


In the last 2 cities we used buses to get around in the city. Here in London it was much easier to use the subway--or as they call it, the Tube! We got our tickets at the airport and hopped on the Tube with a map in hand to make our way to our hotel. The subway lines were super easy to figure out and we had it down pat by the end of the day. We felt like locals!

Our hotel was very nice and modern. This is the view from our room...


After we got settled we spent the evening going around the town and checking out our surroundings.





 Big Ben


Westminster Abbey
 


Houses of Parliament
 

One of the things the boys HAD to see was famous Abbey Road crosswalk from the Beatles album cover. Here they are trying to make a dash across the street while traffic impatiently stopped for them (and the millions of other tourists trying to do the same exact thing).
 


The next day we headed out early in the morning to catch our London tour. Here we got to spend the first half of the day on a famous red double-decker bus with a tour guide narrating our sights and stops around the city!
 







Tower Bridge over the Thames River
 

We beat the crazy traffic and caught up with crowds in just enough time to catch the changing of the guards in front of Buckingham Palace!





After this we did a short river cruise on the Thames and got to see some neat point of views from the water. We got a break for lunch then met back up with the group for the second half of our excursion--Stonehenge! It is a 2 hour drive from London to get to the site (out in the middle of nowhere) so we dozed a bit on the bus then enjoyed the views and history when we arrived.
 




The next afternoon we headed into the St. Pancras train station in London to board our Eurostar train to Paris! This is the almost-200mph train that goes under the English Channel. The ride took just under 2 hours and we arrived with no trouble! In Paris we also used the subway for our transportation (they call it the Metropolitan--or Metro--there) and figured it out just as quickly as we did in London--even with the names in French!

Our hotel was on a beautiful scenic Parisian street that had flower boxes on each window ledge and you could hear music coming from down the street! Here is the view from our window....
 


We did not do any tours outside of Paris so that evening we rested up after getting dinner. The next day we went up and down the city on foot and in subway to see the sites on our own. Our first stop was the Arc de Triomphe.

From there we walked to the Eiffel Tower. It rained the entire day we were out but thankfully I had brought my umbrella!






After seeing the Eiffel Tower, we took the Metro to see the Parisian Catacombs underneath the city. We stood in line (in the rain) for 2 hours but it was worth it to get to see the historic tunnels underneath stacked with the bones of millions of people.
 





After the Catacombs we caught some lunch at a cafe, then took the Metro up to see Notre Dame Cathedral.
 






After that we walked around a bit more to see some more sites, then headed back to our hotel tired and a little damp!




The next morning we headed out to the airport only find out our flight to Chicago had been delayed FIVE hours.....thankfully they gave us some meal vouchers so we milled around the airport and tried to entertain ourselves until our planed finally left around 5:30pm. It was a 9 1/2 hour flight to Chicago but since we were traveling west it stayed daylight and we technically arrived at 7:30pm (but it felt like 2am to us). We got thru customs then our flight to OKC left around 10pm and we landed just after midnight. We were dead tired at this point and almost couldn't find our car in the airport parking! We made it home and crawled into bed around 1:30am (felt like 8:30am to us) after being up and on the go for 24hours. We slept like rocks and it was so nice to be back in our own beds! We drove out to my inlaws' house to pick up Bradley the next afternoon and he was very happy to see us.

Nick and I agreed that our favorite city of the 4 was Edinburgh, Scotland. We really loved the hilly cobblestone streets and medieval buildings. We liked the big sites in London and Paris but they were both so busy and full of people. Paris surprised us with how much graffiti and litter there was around.

 We had a fabulous time and are blessed that we are able to fit traveling into our budget! It is nice to be home and we enjoyed telling our family and friends about the stories and sharing our pictures. Everyone loved their souvenirs that we got. Now it is back to reality and we definitely have a busy summer ahead! Birthdays, swimming lessons, IVF, work, weddings.....the fun never ends!

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