Monday, September 26, 2011

We're Having a Yard Sale For a Good Reason!

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I'm having a yard sale this weekend...we're moving!!!  More details to come soon. For now, I'm going to advertise for a yard sale website I'm using so I can get a free upgrade!

Find more garage sales in West Columbia onYard Sale Search.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our Little Fish

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A week ago, Sam would not even put his face in the water, much less leave the side of the swimming pool. Then, I introduced him to Ms. Laverne, a.k.a. The Swim Whisperer. Watching Sam be transformed so quickly was amazing! His lessons ended on Friday and Scott came home from Texas the next day. Sam was able to show off his new skills on Sunday and I think he really knocked Scott's socks off!! Take a look!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Beating the Heat

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Sam and I have totally figured out how we’ll survive the 300 degree temperatures this week.  I’ll be sitting on the deck, under the tailgating tent with my feet in the pool and a book in my hand.

Sam, on the other hand, has his own strategy.

fun in the heatwave june 20 2011 favs to share

fun in the heatwave june 20 2011 favs to share for collage

fun in the heatwave june 20 2011 favs to share for collage1

We had so much fun taking these pictures!  My favorite part…each time Sam wanted to move the sprinkler he would call out “Mama, kinkle the sprinkle!”

I actually think we’ll survive the heat this week!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cinco de Sam

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Oh, happy day!  Today my child, my monkeydoodle, my love turns 5!  We don’t have a lot planned for today.  Sam and I are going toy shopping this morning and will go on a pizza date for lunch.  Tonight we’re going to dinner with Nathan, one of Sam’s best friends.  (Oh, I just realized how appropriate it is that we’re having dinner with Nathan and his Mom and Dad since his dad delivered Sam 5 years ago today!) After dinner, we’ll come back home for cake and just a few small presents.  I had to make the cake myself because the store was out of Spider-man decorations for the cake Sam wanted.  I don’t think I did too bad but most importantly, Sam loved it! We decided to sing and blow out the candles this morning before Daddy left for work.

Sam's 5th birthday 4 21 11 to trash after blog

Sam will be having a huge carnival in a few weeks to celebrate with all his friends. The invitations went out last week.  We are getting so excited!

Sam's invite for blog

Dear Sam,

Happy 5th birthday, Monkeydoodle!  You are truly the coolest kid I know!  Daddy and I are enjoying you so much right now because you have a “knock ‘em dead” sense of humor and an imagination that never stops. 

You are such a curious and eager learner right now.  You are reading and writing and it amazes even me how you can play with words and sounds in your head without even seeing the letters.  And as good as you are with reading and writing, you are really good at math!  We are so proud of you and how much you love school.  Mama’s dream will come true in a few months when you get to start Kindergarten at Mama’s school!

You are really into Legos, Spider-man, Scooby-Doo and poop right now.  You and Nathan both, all poop all the time.  That’s how I knew you were feeling better last week. You started singing about poop again.  Oh, you are such a boy!!  It is fun to watch you play with your toys and build Legos with you.  You build some incredible things!  And what your imagination can do with a stick and a piece of cardboard is amazing!  Don’t ever stop being so creative!

Mama loves you most in the mornings when I snuggle with you to wake you up and at night when I read you to sleep.  I love you most when you are writing with me and when you are swinging on your swing like Superman.  I love you most when we are playing Star Wars Wii and when we are singing and dancing in the car. You are loving the songs “Forget You” and “Dynamite” right now.  We turn them up really loud and play them over and over again dancing our way down the road!  I love you the most when you tackle me and when you say things like “Mom, you’re breaking my heart” when I won’t let you do something.  I love you the most when you are running around the house in your underwear and when you are playing in the sprinklers. I love you the most when you tease me about kissing girls someday.  I love that Kathleen is your girlfriend because “she knows a lot about patterns and fiber foods.” I love you the most when you use your good manners.

I guess I just love you the most.

Happy, happy 5th birthday, Sam!  Mama and Daddy love you so much!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our First Class Party

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Sam treated his 4K class to cupcakes and juice boxes this afternoon to celebrate his 5th birthday next week.  It was so exciting for me to be “Sam’s Mom” for the afternoon and get to see him in action!

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So, here’s to Sam’s first class party and to many, many more to come!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why NOT me?

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I have probably talked about it here before, but I am not nor have I ever been a “Why me?” sort of person.  I just don’t have that feeling in my heart.  If I had the energy right now, I’d scan a comic strip that I clipped in high school to share with you.  It’s one of those B.C. comic strips with one of the characters looking up asking “Why me?” and God (or whomever) replying “Why not you?”  And that is just simply how I choose to live my life. 

Even on a day like today.  A disappointing, heartbreaking day.

I had surgery this morning to retrieve eggs for another IVF.  The morning went well.  I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to the anesthesia!  I like a good 20 minute nap and my hopes were that I would wake up and that stupid knot would be gone from my back.  It was!  But, when I woke up, I also learned that they were only able to retrieve two eggs.  That was not good news!  So when the nurse called a few hours later, I could only laugh a little when she regrettfully informed me that those two eggs didn’t fertilize.

So, folks, the train stops there. I won’t start injections and medications tomorrow like I expected.  I’m left exhausted and mildly crampy.  I did however get to drink a Coke!  Yay!  Didn’t think I’d have another Coke for a long time.

I’m sad, of course, but I know that there must be a purpose.

My heart is breaking for my husband, and for my son, and for my family.

Right now, I just want to love my husband and cuddle my son more tightly than ever. And sleep.  And cry a little. And as soon as I get off the painkillers, have a mojito.

Thank you for all the prayers that have lifted us up today.  I have felt the hugs across all the miles!  I have had my friends with me all day through texts!  And, when I have answers, you’ll have them.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Becoming the Mother I Want to Be Part 3

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Part 1  is here.

Part 2 is here.

So, I guess the kind of mother I want to be is more about quantity than quality.  I’m perfectly happy with the quality of myself as a mother.  Hopefully, this will be the year that we add to our family.  Sam wants a baby and we don’t want the burden of our old age to fall on Sam’s shoulders.  And of course there are other reasons, too.  One being, I’ve always dreamed of being the mother of a whole gang of boys!

So we find ourselves attempting another IVF cycle.

Tomorrow actually. 

Just to catch you up to speed and to document the process for myself, since February 9th, I have given myself 37 injections of three different medications in my belly and endured one shot in the hip to trigger the magic for tomorrow.  Scott and I have both been on an antibiotic since then as well.  I have had my blood drawn 7 times and have had 7 internal ultrasounds. Yes, friends, internal. I’ve become very familiar with all those eggs growing in my lower belly.  Sam even got to see them all!  He’s pretty excited.

So, hopefully, tomorrow will be a very fruitful day!

Emotionally, I’ve only had one bad day.  Friday I was just weary. 

Weary from all the shots.

Weary from the daily ultrasounds and blood draws.

Weary that many of the other women going through this cycle were a few days ahead of me and that my eggs were taking their own sweet time. 

I found out the next day, though, that my doctor was intentionally making me go slow.  With Sam’s IVF, I developed Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I was carrying two grapfruits around!  So, we’re taking it slow. Whew! 

I got the good news Saturday afternoon that I could go ahead and take the trigger shot Saturday night.  The trigger shot is what tells the follicles to loosen up so that on Monday morning, we can retrieve the eggs.  Yippy!  It was so good to finally know exactly which day I’d be heading into surgery!

So here I am, Sunday night.  I’ve been trying to take it easy today.  My lower belly feels huge and I’m a little uncomfortable but nothing like last time.  We’ll head into surgery tomorrow around 9.  I’ll be put under for about 20 minutes then I get to head home and park myself on the couch for the rest of the day!

It has been a long journey already and we’re not nearly done.  I’ll keep you updated from here on out so that you can take this journey with me.  Don’t worry, I’ll be keeping all the injections to myself! You should be thankful.  The next 12 weeks or so will (hopefully) bring twice daily injections to my hips.  Oh, yay.

All this, though, is totally worth it if it helps me become the mother I want to be!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Becoming the Mother I Want to Be Part 2

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You can find Part 1 here.

So, exactly what kind of mom do I want to be this year?  First, let me give you a little history, OUR story.  I’ll try to be brief.

Scott and I met and fell in love our freshman year of college.  We dated for 5 years and even moved to Chicago before ever getting married.  A good friend passed on the “be married a few year before starting a family” advice and we did just that.  So after about 5 years, while living in Kansas, we started trying to have a baby.  My two best friends and I started at the same time.  Kinda like one of those high school girl pacts you hear about.  Not really.

Anyway, five years and 3 (possibly 4) miscarriages later, we finally sought help for infertility.  Our first IVF (in-vitro fertilization) gave us Sam.  Remember his first picture?

Sam's very first photo with message_thumb[6]

It turns out that getting pregnant is actually really, really hard.  And for us, really expensive!  (As an aside, I will never forget the friends episode where Pheobe’s brother says “Just get drunk!  It worked for a bunch of girls in my high school.” LOL!!)  Oh, if is were that easy!  It is a freakin’ miracle anytime life begins and don’t ever think for a moment that it is anything less.

I would never complain about the five years it took for us to get Sam.  God knew exactly what he was doing and we were incredibly accepting of His will and our journey.  And look what patience brought us!  The most incredible child I could ever imagine!

Fast forward to last fall.  Well, rewind with me for just a moment, then we’ll fast forward to last fall.  When we did IVF 6 years ago,  we retrieved about 18 eggs from my grapefruit sized ovaries (I'm not even kidding!) and about 12 of them fertilized.  Five of those embryos/babies survived to be 5 days old.  On day 5, three embryos were transferred back inside and two were frozen for storage.  (Remember how we started with 18 eggs? Isn’t life fragile?) So, last fall, we thawed our sweet angels out and tried to get pregnant again.  All I could think to pray for was that they survived the thaw.  And they did!  Here they are:


We did not, however, get pregnant.  And again, it’s all part of our journey and our faith is unshaken.

More of our story tomorrow…

Friday, February 18, 2011

Becoming the Mother I Want to Be Part 1

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Disclaimer:  No part of this post is in reference to my husband.

If there is one part of my life where I am completely confident, it is my role as Sam’s mother.  I thank God every day for trusting me to raise his special angel.  I feel blessed beyond words and I truly believe that though I am not perfect, I am the perfect mother for Sam.

No one else knows my child like I do.

No one else knows how to be his mother.

No one else could have raised Sam to become the exceptionally cool kid that he is.

I never have to worry about being judged for how I raise my child because there is not one fiber of my being that is the least bit concerned about what others think.  God gave Sam to me and I never doubt God.  (Well, I did once.  It is too hard to attend a funeral for an enfant without doubting him. But I got over it.) And though I clearly do not need the extra vote of confidence, my mother (the best mom in the world) makes me feel like I am the best mom in the world.

So, what kind of mother do I want to become?  More on that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos from our recent trip to the state museum.  Just because…


Monday, February 7, 2011

Totally Worth It!

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Three tickets…..$66

Cotton Candy with hat…..$12


Chocolate Magic Snow Shake…$10

S’more on a Stick…..$5


Taking my boys to the circus for the first time in both their lives…..Yep! Priceless!

We had a fabulous time at the circus.  Sam loved the trains they would ride around that stage and Scott and I thought the 7 motorcycles in the cage thingy were the coolest thing ever!

Here’s a slideshow of some of my favorite shots:

Afterwards, I tried to get a picture for Sam’s Valentines and this is what he gave me:

Circus Feb 2011 sams collage

I can’t complain!

Sam was so filled up with sugar from today that he didn’t eat any super.  Luckily, he passed out right at bedtime!

Soooo worth it!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just a Taste

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Can’t wait to tell you about all the fun we had today!  I’ll type during the Superbowl tonight, but for now, just a taste!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

2. Becoming the Wife I Want to Be

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I don’t think Scott would complain about me as a wife, but I put way more energy into being a mom than being a wife, and I’m just not satisfied with that anymore.


Many, many moons ago, when Scott and I were dating (1992-1997) and early in our marriage before Sam came along (1997-2006), I was a pretty good other half.  I spent lots of time being creative with gifts and taking extra special care of my honey (i.e. LOTS of back scratching).  But now that I’m a mama, Scott’s lucky if I even remember special occasions, let alone come up with a good gift idea!  The best I can come up with is one of those long handled back scratchers!!!  It’s funny to me that he now comes up with the most thoughtful presents and that he’s the romantic one in this relationship.  My slightly competitive side will be seeking to change that this year!


God knows I love my son more than my next breathe, but I most certainly want my husband to feel every bit as loved.  In fact, my goal this year will be to make him feel as loved as I feel everyday.  For him to know how proud I am of all that he does and for what he brings to our family.

So, for Valentine’s day, I’m torn between two ideas:

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What do you think?

Yeah, I’m a little rusty. Well, at least I have a while to keep thinking.

Coming soon: 3.  Becoming the Mother I Want to Be

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


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Sunday afternoon, as the temperature was dropping fast and we were all getting ready for this snow and ice storm that has stopped us in our tracks, I saw him.  Just before I crossed the river, I happened to look over and saw a man sitting alone on a rock close to the riverbank.  I thought about him the rest of the day and hated myself just a little for not knowing how to help him.  I tried to reassure myself that surely he would be heading to shelter soon.  It was too cold to be out there.  Didn’t he know, couldn’t he tell that a big storm was coming?!  A million questions ran through my head the rest of the day about those who need help and who have no homes or shelters to protect them. 

Guilt over not helping him, and not even knowing how to help him continued to haunt me.  But eventually I forgot about him and busied myself with getting our own warm, comfortable home ready.

Until today.

Sam and I took Scott to his office this morning and just as we were coming off the bridge, I happened to look over and see the man sitting there…exactly as he had been three days ago.  It was unmistakably the same man, in the same position, and I was suddenly overwhelmed with guilt and worry. Sam and I drove to the police department to report that there was possibly a man frozen to death down by the river.  Sam and I talked a lot about it and he was sad for the man, too.  Rather than drive home to wait for a call that may never come, we drove back to the river and got there at about the same time as the police officer.  I pulled up behind his car and watched him walk all the way over to the man. 

You cannot understand the depths of my relief when the man looked up at the police officer.  My very first thought was a prayer to God for thanks that I didn’t kill the man by leaving him on Sunday and then I asked for forgiveness for so many things.

I waited for the officer to return to his car.  He told me that the man was fine.  This was just his favorite spot to sit so he gets up early to claim it. 

Whether that is true or not, all I know is that he is alive.  And that I will forever be changed.  Now, what to do about it.

352930205_c7d28c5074 (Disclaimer: I sure wish I could claim this picture, but I found it on Flickr!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1. Becoming the Woman I Want to Be

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I am NOT a dieter.  I have successfully lost weight only two times in my life.  One, I was pregnant and wanted nothing sweet.  Two, the summer I took ADD medication I wanted nothing to eat. Oh, how I loved both diets!  Lost about 25 pounds both times…and gained it right back and then some. 

As far as any other diet, I just can’t.  My ADD brain will not support it.  I could make a list in the morning of five foods I will not eat and sometime during lunchtime I’ll look down and realize I’m eating three of those foods.  Seriously. I’ve tried it.  Me and diets just don’t work well together.

So, my goal this year is twofold—a short and long-term goal. 

I do have a short-term goal of losing about 15 more pounds by March 9th.  Scott and I are going to Italy and I need to make some room in my clothes for all the scrumptious food and parmesan cheese I’ll be savoring.    I’ve already lost about 7 pounds but the next two months will be difficult.  I’ll be taking lots of hormones which keep my weight up and I’ll be struggling everyday to not drink a Coke.  (BTW, 4 of those pounds were lost over 4 days when Sam and I both had an appetite killing virus and I can’t explain the other 3 pounds!)

And finally, I am simply sick of worrying about it.  I will not let the thoughts consume me.  I will not diet.  Ever.  I will, however, work to make some important lifestyle changes over the year…mainly cutting down sugar.  And when the weather gets warm, we will get back to walking because that’s really the only exercise I enjoy. 

You see, about about 8 years ago, Scott and I met Joe, our hairdresser.  And meeting him changed my life.  I no longer worry about my hair.  I have not once walked in and said “I want ___.”  I simply walk in and let Joe do whatever he wants.  I trust him.  And not once have I been disappointed.  I am at peace with my hair.  Joe has taken one aspect of my life off of my plate so that I no longer have to concern myself with changing my hair or looking for the next best thing.

That peace, or acceptance, is exactly what I will be searching for this year in regards to my body and weight.  I want to be satisfied with myself.


Coming soon: 2. Becoming the Wife I Want to Be

UPDATE:  It turns out that May 6 is International No Diet Day.  Ha!  Seems women all around the world are sick of dieting, too!  There’s even a symbol:


Monday, January 10, 2011

Viva la Snow!!

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We are LOVING being snuggled together at home today!  Daddy has already played outside with Sam, beating the freezing rain, and we have already enjoyed our snow cream!  Thank goodness that this time, we were home and had all the right snow gear!

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Now, the only question that remains is  will we have another snow day tomorrow???  We say, bring it on!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesdays are for Mama!

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I just finished reading to Sam and bless his heart he always falls asleep during the last book.  But the first book we read tonight was Llama Llama Misses Mama about a little llama and his first day at school.  Sam and I talk a lot while we read together.  This was tonight’s conversation (oh, how I wish you could hear his sweet voice):

Me:  Sam, do you ever miss your mama, like Llama Llama misses his mama?

Sam: No.

Me: No?  (sniff, sniff)

Sam: No.

Me: Oh…that makes me a little sad.

Sam:  You should be happy, not sad.

Me:  But I miss you sometimes when I’m at school.

Sam: Oh. Well, I do miss you sometimes at Mimi’s house.

Me: You do?   (Yay!)

Sam: Yes, but I miss you on Wednesdays but not on Fridays.

Me:  Hey!  I’ll take that!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year of Me

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Today, 1/1/11,  I turned 38.  And this year, more than any other, I truly do believe that the coming year is going to change my life in so many ways.  This is the year that…

…I will become the woman I want to be with the body that satisfies me.

…I will become the wife I want to be.

…I will become the mother I want to be.

…I will become the cook I want to be.

…I will become the photographer I want to be.

…I will become the blogger I want to be.

…I will become the teacher I want to be.

…I will become the friend I want to be.

…I will become the organizer I want to be.

…I will become the reader I want to be.

…I will become the creative soul I want to be.

…I will become the housekeeper I want to be.

…I will become the coupon master I want to be.

…I will become the money manager I want to be.

All my years so far have been spent exploring and dabbling and as I get dangerously close to 40, I have a strong desire to find myself and know myself deeply, to be the me I want to be.  I want to focus my ADD brain and all my energy on identifying the obstacles that hold me back and overcoming them.

This will be the year of me.