Catching Up

This happens every year when November hits. I get completely lost in the bustle of birthdays, holidays and life. November is a joyous month with Lila’s birthday, Luke’s birthday and hosting Thanksgiving (four years in a row now), but it’s also a stressful one. Throw in a move and a vacation on top of all we normally have going on and I have officially been running a thousand miles a minute.

Some of the good times we had in what is always the craziest month of the year for us…

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My main man had a birthday. I always have intentions of writing a sweet post to Luke for his birthday, but then it falls on Thanksgiving and I’m hosting 20 people and WHERE IS MY TURKEY BASTER??! You get the idea. At least I got around to baking his annual cheesecake. This year is was salted caramel chocolate, and it was the best one I’ve made yet!

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Poor guy did have to share his cheesecake with our Thanksgiving group, which included family from my Dad’s side. It was pretty sweet when my grandpa said “I woke up this morning and thought of you. I thought, how is she going to pull this off??” Just two weeks after our move, it was a bold decision to host Thanksgiving, but one that was made easy by having guests who brought nearly everything.

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The next day, Luke’s parents came to our house to help us get our Christmas tree and decorations up.  Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.32.01 PM

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The church across the street from us sells Christmas trees, so it couldn’t have been more convenient. We ended up getting a “Charlie Brown” tree because I couldn’t resist the sign that said “every tree deserves a home” next to them. Plus, our house needs a tree with character, right?

The next day we packed up and went to Naples, Fl for a week of “vacation.” I have it in quotation marks because we were both still working full time. It’s pretty awesome to have jobs where we work remotely. While it wasn’t as relaxing as real vacation, it was much nicer to work sitting in the sun than in cold Ohio.

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Wrapping up our whirlwind month, this weekend we went to Salem, MA for my cousin Clara’s wedding. Lila went to Indiana to hang with Luke’s parents. Salem is a super cool town with a lot of history, character and charm. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re near Boston.

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Now we are all home and regrouping before Christmas. Lila has been sleeping like crazy while I do laundry, wrap presents and get our house in order. Next week the Christmas fun begins!

 

Dear Lila: You’re Two!

Dear Lila,

Today you turned two years old! This weekend we had a small family party for you at Gee and Mimi’s house. You got so many awesome presents like dress up clothes from Gee and Mimi, a doll house from Auntie Em and Uncle Matt, a rocking chair from Grammie and Gramps and on.

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Before your party we practiced blowing out candles. It was hard work! At first you got confused about which was blowing out and which was sucking air in, but after awhile you got the hang of it. Mommy may have helped you a little during the real thing.

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What can I say about you as a two year old? Well for starters, you are an absolute doll these days. I was telling daddy that lately it seems like nothing but good days with you. You sleep well, eat well, play well and generally are sweet as can be. We both really love that we can be home with you most days.

You have really taken to your new house. I was worried there may be a tough transition period, but you eased right in with no troubles. You continued to sleep like a champ and love playing in your new playroom. You still insist you have a “pink!!” house, and I have to gently remind you that “it’s green baby.”

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Speaking of pink. You have turned into quite a girly girl! At any given moment you will have three necklaces, multiple bracelets, a purse and your play makeup on. And I can forget about picking your clothes and shoes out these days. You are a little fashionista and want to pick it out for yourself!

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You are talking a lot these days and saying the cutest things. One of my favorites is when you want me to hold you, you ask “Mama, hole shoo me!” (mama hold you me). You’re still working on those pronouns. :) You also have very nice manners and always say your please, thank you and no thank you’s. We have never really “taught” you to say these things, but just focused on modeling for you, so it’s sweet to see that you’ve picked up on it.

Our days together are busy and fun. You take gymnastics and go to story time with cousin reagan, and then you and I do swim lessons on Friday. Otherwise, we spend time with friends at playdates, go to the zoo or museum or just play together at home. You like to be on the go and often ask me “Mama, I go bye bye peez.”

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It can take you awhile to warm up to people you aren’t as familiar with, but once you are comfortable, you LOVE your friends and family. Whenever you see your cousin Reagan, you girls scream and giggle while you play.

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You also adore your cousin Mabel and constantly ask to watch videos of her on my phone. You love spending time with your grandparents in Ohio and Indiana, which makes daddy and I so happy. In terms of animals, you love, love, love grammie’s cat Frankie. From what I hear, he loves you right back (even when you try to put your jewelry on him).

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I know it sounds cheesy, but you really do light up our lives. Every day with you feels like a special gift. When daddy or I get stressed out or anxious about all the responsibilities in life, you can instantly lift our spirits with your smiles, hugs and kisses.

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We love you so much baby. Happy second birthday!!

Mama

A Blue, Turquoise and White Playroom Design

We officially move into our house on Monday. I am so excited to get in, get settled and start life in our new home. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been wonderful living with my parents these past few months, but we are ready to have our own space.

We literally have no furniture, because in Tahoe, we always rented furnished homes. I’ve been working hard to piece together each room in our house and purchase as much furniture as I can, so we aren’t sitting on the floor for dinner. Plus we are hoping to host a small family party for Lila’s birthday just 10 days after we move in (aggressive, I know).

We worked with local designer RCI Interior Design to help with furniture placement. colors and to pick out some furniture for us. Since we weren’t physically in the house, it really helped to have some measurements of each room and an idea of where furniture should go.

I’ll plan to take some photos once we are all settled in, but until then, here are some of the furniture pieces we’ve picked out.

First up, the playroom: The playroom is upstairs and will be a mix of white with turquoise and other blues/greens. We got most of the stuff from IKEA for this room, because kids and messes.

I love the white day bed we got there. It has three drawers plus it pulls out to be two twin beds for sleep overs. We are pairing it with white storage cubes with wicker baskets, a bright rug and this cool storage table also from IKEA – each level has storage.

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I’m excited to see how it all comes together and to FINALLY have a place for all of Lila’s toys. If you’re interested in any of the items I’ve posted, visit my Playroom Pinterest page and each item is linked to it’s store.

I’ll be back with some photos once we get settled. Until then, wish us luck with our eighth and hopefully LAST move!

The Plan

Since my miscarriage, I’ve been on a fact-finding mission. Mainly to discover what, if anything, could have been done to prevent what I went through.

I quickly learned that a diagnosis of “miscarriage” is a very mysterious, confusing one. On one hand, you could just have had chromosomal issues and the egg was doomed from the start, while on the other, you could have a chronic health issue that will cause you to likely miscarry again and again.

What’s even more frustrating, it that the pervasive thinking in the medical community is to do nothing until a woman has had at least three repeat miscarriages. THREE. That boggles my mind. While doctors will hand out antibiotics and prescription drugs like candy, they won’t run routine blood work on a woman who has miscarried to rule out preventable causes until she suffers through three of them in a row.

Well I am by nature a researcher, so there was no way I was going to just “wait and see” if I was going to go through this two more times before running tests. I became very assertive about my health and ended up going to four different OB/Gyns until I found one who would take me seriously.

I knew I had found the right doctor this week when after I apologized for “being difficult” by asking so many questions, she said “no, this is your health and it’s right of you to take control of it. I’ve had two losses myself and I know the desperate feeling you get when you just want answers.” Yup. Bingo.

I am happy I kept searching for the right doctor and pushed for this bloodwork too, because it turns out in addition to my compound heterozygous MTHFR, I also have very low progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that sustains a pregnancy in the beginning until the placenta takes over in the second trimester, so it was likely that if left untreated I would have continued to miscarry.

Progesterone is a tricky thing too because one of the main things that can lower it, is stress. Well, it’s safe to say I’ve had a lot of that in the past six months with a cross-country move, new job for Luke, living as a guest in my parent’s house, buying our own house AND suffering a miscarriage.

My new doctor helped me devise a plan I finally feel confident in. First I will take high doses of methylfolate to combat my MTHFR. I will also add in a baby aspirin as a preventative measure as MTHFR can cause clotting in people with high homocysteine (which I do not have). At the first sign of a new pregnancy, my doctor will run a progesterone level and start me on supplementation immediately if my level is low. Finally, I am doing my best to reduce my stress level with walks, meditation and prayer.

I feel like I can finally put my worried mind to rest for a bit, knowing I have more information about my health and how to optimize it for a future pregnancy. The past few months have been an exhausting and emotional roller coaster that hopefully I’ll never have to relive again.