Wednesday, November 30, 2011

THE Light Display...

...let me just say that this light display has been the topic of many arguments at our house. Instead of a trivia night, I thought it would be easier to make a light display and work the gate a couple nights at the local park Christmas light display. I should have picked someone other than my super, insanely busy husband to help me with this project! But in the end, it got done...

This is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association. This is a board with clean air facts:
Giant stocking and the present on top is "supposed" to move up and down. However, I think it's too heavy so we'll have to revamp that. Now, bonus points for anyone who notices what's wrong with this picture...
The total scene:
It's nothing too spectacular but it works. We'll be making a minimum of $600 for ALA so that alone was worth it. If you're in my area of town, please be sure to go tour this park!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Story of Baby Awesome AKA My Compact Six...

...okay, wow! Thank you for all the great comments and tweets! Matt and I are very excited but also, a little nervous...okay, I'm nervous and Matt thinks his wife is a crazy freak. This whole thing is just surreal to us and I really feel like I'm in a constant 2ww from appointment to appointment but I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world! I'm going to try to summarize the last 17ish weeks for you so here goes...

After our IVF cycle last December, we froze 3 embryos. On August 26th, we transferred all three. Matt was really leary about transferring all three but I told him that if we end up with three babies at once, we'll make it work! My favorite doctor at the clinic did my transfer so I was super excited!

The Wednesday after Labor Day, I went in for my first beta test and it was positive!!! Matt had forgot his phone at home that day so I was freaking out and couldn't tell anyone. I went to the local bakery and picked up a sticky bun and put it on the table with a note that said, "We've got a bun(s) in the oven!" When Matt walked in, I could hear him opening the bag and he took FOREVER to get to the living room. When he did, he was smirking and munching on the bun and said, "So...what did the doctor say?" Men!

I went back the next week and my beta numbers were doubling like there were supposed to. I started to do a little research and saw that we were OFF THE CHARTS for triplets! When I told Matt, he was freaking out but I surprisingly stayed very calm. The next week or so, we went in for our first u/s and the tech confirmed that we had 2 babies. However, Baby B had a very low heartbeat (probably my heartbeat). At 6 weeks, we got to hear the heartbeat, I was grinning from ear to ear and Matt was practically laying on top of me to get a closer view of the u/s screen. We went back 2 week later again at 8 weeks and they confirmed Baby B had no heartbeat but Baby A was doing great. Matt didn't go with me to this appointment and it was CRAZY to see that the baby already looked like a baby! The tech hooked me up with some good pictures to take home to Matt since he couldn't come.

After that appointment, I graduated from WashU and was released to see my own OB. If you remember, I don't have one because I broke up with mine. I have since found one that I LOVE, who is actually a D.O. At 10 weeks, Baby Awesome looked....well, awesome! :) I've had one more appointment since and didn't have an u/s but a Doppler hearing and Baby A's heartbeat was strong and right where it was supposed to be.

So today I'm 15w4d (give or take a dr measures one way and the other another so it confuses me). I feel blessed to have had an easy pregnancy so far...a little nausea but I've only actually thrown up once, lots of constipation (funny moms out there, I don't remember reading THAT anywhere on your blogs!) and my new bedtime is 8pm. I've had some headaches the past couple weeks but I'm accounting that to stress at work and I'm refusing to take any meds other than my prenatals. I went off all my fertility meds and shots on Halloween per doctor's orders and my hips are so very thankful.

I call Baby A either Baby Awesome or My Compact Six. There's no way to know for sure which embryo it is but I strongly believe my Compact Six is the one that's growing inside me right now (a compact six embryo is REALLY good). My due date is May 13 which ironically is Mother's Day. As far as gender, I do not want to find out but Matt does. At this point, I think I have him convinced not to find out but I'm sure that'll change before the appointment gets here. I also don't want to tell names but my husband's a blabbermouth and has already told some people!!! I got on to him so again, we'll see if he stops or not.

Of course, we want a happy, healthy baby but Matt really wants a boy and I want a girl. I feel strongly that it's going to be a boy because I refer to the baby as he/him and we immediately had a boy name but haven't even thought of a girl name so maybe this means we're already preparing for a boy so it's really a girl? WHO KNOWS!?!

In true Alyssa fashion, I'm a total worrier, nothing has changed on that end. If Matt would've let me wait longer to tell people, I would've but he was ready to tell at 6 weeks! If I feel weird, I think something's wrong, if I feel normal, I think something's wrong...I just want to make sure everything is okay!

So I think that sums things up and answers most questions. Let me know if I didn't answer something. I'll try to post pictures of the u/s next week and I'll also do a post about how we told our families. I tried to be as creative as possible for all of them.

Now you all know why I haven't been blogging and commenting lately...this lady is in bed at 8 every night!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving... it is Thanksgiving morning! In my mind, this post today is going to be so different than my post last Thanksgiving but I'm not so sure. Just the other day, Matt and I were driving to tell his mom our big news when I got all teary and said to him, "You know God is so good, look at all the blessings in our lives" and it's so true. Despite what we have been through, we still have each other, we've got strong support systems in our families and friends, we have jobs that are flexible and support us. We live in a community where the medical knowledge is overflowing! We have a roof over our head and cars that get us from Point A to Point B. We have clothes to keep us warm and food in our fridge. In other words, God is good!

I know we all could list everything we're thankful for but I wanted to call out some extra special things we're thankful for this year....

*Matt and I are beyond thankful for the doctors, nurses, embryologists, lab techs, EVERYONE at WashU especially Dr. Keller (who I absolutely love!) and Dr. Omurtag (who puts up with all my freak out medical tweets). Without these knowledgeable people in our lives, we wouldn't have our dream coming true right now.

*Prayer! I am beyond grateful for prayer. This has been what's gotten me through a lot lately. When I'm upset or frustrated, I just stop for a moment and pray. I try to thank God for each blessing He has provided. Last week, I was taking my exam to be a professional in my field and halfway through I was near tears thinking there was no way I was going to pass so I just closed my eyes and asked God to get me through this and He did and I passed! And prayers from all of you and our friends and family. I know I asked for prayers during our journey and I ask to keep them coming please!

*The baby in my belly! Words can't even describe how much we already love this child and are excited to have him/her be a part of our lives. This is a HUGE blessing, one that we've prayed about for a long time and we are so grateful for this baby.

*Most of all, Matt and I are thankful for our support system...our friends, our family, our co-workers, blog friends, doctors, puppies...all of them! I will admit going through treatment this time without telling everyone was a lot harder than last time. All the support we have in our lives makes us feel very loved and for that we cannot even begin to express our gratitude.

There's so much more that we could list but I've got to finish the green bean casserole! I love you all and I'm thankful for each and every one of you. Happy Thanksgiving and remember....THE BIRD IS THE WORD! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Emma & Shadow...

...Emma & Shadow have something they want to tell you...
Matt, Emma, Shadow & I will be welcoming Baby G this coming May (May 13 to be exact-Mother's Day!!!). More details to follow! We feel very blessed this Thanksgiving season. Thank you for all your support and please keep the prayers coming!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

8 Pointer!!!

...this past weekend was opening weekend for rifle deer hunting. Due to the conference, this was the first year since we've been married that I haven't gone and I will most likely not be allowed to go back. Why? Matt got an 8 pointer!!! His first buck ever!!! I'm so proud of him!

As much as they all complain and hate that I take pictures and document EVER moment of our lives, I think Matt was pretty bummed that the only picture taken was on his brother's phone which we can't get bigger than like 2 inches by 2 inches. So this is the best we have:

My pretty husband with the antlers! He's happy because he got a buck and I'm happy because I have meat in my freezer! Deer chili anyone??? Nice job Mattie!

Monday, November 14, 2011

MIA Conference...

...whew! We survived the first MIA conference!!! It was a huge success. We definitely have things we can improve upon but let's focus on the great things, ok?

Wonderful bloggie friends who volunteered and dealt with crazy people named Summer!
Moms and step-sis who volunteered and handled the busy registration table!
Cookies, cookies and more cookies! Seriously, we had SO many cookies it wasn't even funny! These were cookies we had made to give to the speakers and sponsors as thank yous.
Wonderful doctors in our community!
A community full of support!
Generous Dr. Simckes from Fertility Partnership who gifted a FREE IVF cycle...on an IOU card! This couple won and they were the sweetest-I'm so happy for them!
After the conference, one couple (who none of us knew) came up to myself and the two other founders and gave us hugs and thanked us. It was truly just an amazing experience and something I'm so glad I'm a part of! I've already got ideas of where to have the conference next year and how we can improve on it. But first, I need like three days to sleep and recover and THEN we'll start planning for next year.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Misc. Monday...

 ...UGH! As you can tell from the title, this was SUPPOSED to post yesterday! When I scheduled it on Sunday, it said scheduled and then when I just saw it didn't post about 10 minutes ago, I logged on and it said draft. Blogger keeps doing that...any ideas??? Now on to the meat and potatoes!

...hey all! Hope you had a good weekend! This is probably the only post you're going to get from me this week. This Saturday is the MIA Conference so I'm busy, busy, busy gearing up for that. I'm super excited about what all it has to offer and the speakers that are going to be there but I'm even more excited because I get my guest room back! It's currently been storing giveaways for 200 attendees. So on to the miscellaneous, shall we?

*I was thoroughly looking forward to a weekend of nothingness. Well, I was well on my way to that at 4pm on Saturday when I was still lounging around the house in my pajamas. Then my husband called to inform me that he had a blow out in his truck just west of Columbia. He was with three other guys as they'd been at a paintball tournament. I quickly threw on some jeans and jumped in the car (sans bra, thank goodness its oversized sweatshirt season!) and drove 2 hours to pick up the guys and drove them 2 hours home. We got back to STL around 8:30 and the tow truck had JUST arrived to pick up Matt. To say I was upset would be a MAJOR understatement. Once I got home and calmed down, I realized I'm very thankful the guys didn't get hurt and I sent up some major prayers for that.

*FYI-Matt knew he was in the dog house. When I got to the exit they were at (might I add this was the creepiest, most desolate exit EVER), I offered him a cookie and he said, "No...I feel bad." I responded with, "You should but you can still have the cookie." You might be asking WHY Matt was in the doghouse since a blow out wasn't his fault. WELL, my lovely husband told me their tournament was in Columbia when in reality it was halfway between Columbia and KC. He also "forgot" to tell me that he was even driving. These things, coupled with his family calling me every 5 minutes while I'm trying to get him a tow truck and our conversation less than 24 hours prior about him making more wise money choices and stressing me less equals Matt in doghouse.

*We did not "grow" a garden this summer/fall. A garden kind of grew it's self. Sunday both Matt and I laid down to take a nap so we didn't feed the dogs at their precise time. I woke up about 30 minutes later than we normally feed them and they were both snacking on baby tomatoes straight off the vine!

*Due to the conference this weekend, this is the first time since we've been married that I will NOT be attending Opening Weekend for hunting at the farm. I'm okay with it but very sad. I told the ladies that are helping me with the conference that we need to pick a different date next year.

*Holy moly! Can you all believe Thanksgiving is in 2.5 weeks and then Christmas is a month later?! Seriously, time is FLYING! I'm usually an overachiever and done with my Christmas shopping but I just started this past weekend. I know some people are all about Black Friday and going to the stores but please give me online shopping and I'm a happy girl!

That's all I've got for now. If I have time to post again this week, I will but if not, I'll be sure to post on Monday about the conference...only the highlights like Dr. Hottie who I'll FINALLY meet after a year!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How Young Is Too Young for the World Series???

...well, as you all know, my sister, niece and I were lucky enough to have an awesome dad/papa who took all three of us to our first World Series game. My niece is only 7 years old. There have been some snarky comments made to both my sister and I that, "it's a waste of a ticket to take a kid to the World Series." My question is why?

She fully understood what was going on and how "big" the whole thing was. She helped me keep attention because she read the ball-strike-out count to me between EVERY pitch and the girl cried at the end of the game because of how awesome it was! Tell me how many adults (aside from the losing Rangers fans) that cried at the end of their first World Series game because they were overwhelmed with emotion. This 7 year old didn't complain ONE time about being cold or that she was tired and she didn't even bat an eye when it started to rain. Heck, I could barely get her to go to the bathroom with me in between innings! Aside from being hit in the eye a few times by her rally towel, I thoroughly enjoyed having her sit next to me at my first World Series game. It's a memory that my sister, my dad, me and I'm sure my niece won't EVER forget.

So I ask, if it's a waste to send a kid to the World Series then who should go instead? The girl who doesn't even know what teams are playing and runs for cover at the first sight of a sprinkle and only spends one inning in her seat? Or maybe the guy who is so drunk, he probably spent his entire week's salary on beer and won't remember the score of the game, much less who was playing? Please let me know who is the appropriate demographic to go to the World Series so that you're not "wasting a ticket."

The bottom line is, everyone has their own opinions. I don't really care WHO goes to what game. When I go to a game, I'm there for the atmosphere, the excitement and to cheer my team on. I don't look around and judge who should and shouldn't be there. If only the "perfect fans" were allowed to go then people watching at the game would be BORING!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Artichoke's Heart" by Suzanne Supplee

...I recently finished another young adult book. It was Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee.

Summary: Rosemary is an overweight high school girl with no friends, no social life and in love with Mr. Reese's, Mr. Snickers and anything else that is bad for you. Her mother and aunt nag her constantly about losing weight but, as we all do, the more someone tells us to do something, the more we resist. Rosemary's mother is diagnosed with cancer and she begins to turn her life around. Between Christmas and the end of the school year, Rosemary looks 45 pounds, gains a best friend and even a boyfriend!

Review: Let's be honest, this was no Pulitzer Prize here but it was an easy read that kept my attention. The kids in her school were REALLY mean. I'm sure my high school was the same way but I just floated in the middle crowd so I never saw it as much as some of these young adult books point out. I almost wrote this book was predictable, and yes at times it was, but I was expecting some sort of conflict with her and her boyfriend but there never really was. On the topic of her boyfriend, I also never really felt there was a true connection but that's just me. Would I recommend it? I wouldn't say go check it out today but if you want an easy read, sure go for it.

Rabbit, rabbit!