All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Get Away!

What a weekend!  On Wednesday, we decided we needed to get out of town – we just needed to GO SOMEWHERE.  I suggested Kansas City because, well, I love it there and the last time we headed out of town, we went to Minneapolis so I didn’t want to do that again.  We’ll go to Minneapolis soon enough, I’m sure (I love MSP – I would move there in a heartbeat if B wanted to).

We invited our friends to come with us who have a new baby – and they were itching to go somewhere too so they came down Saturday around noon.  We had a great time!

When B and I travel, most things revolve around food.  We are always looking for some place new to try, and are open to just about anything.  Matthew is open to most foods too, so we’re pretty lucky there.  What Matthew can’t handle, unfortunately, is a long dinner at a quiet restaurant.  So, on Friday night we went across the street from our favorite KC restaurant (too quiet for Matthew!) and had some fancy Mexican food.  I love Mexican food.  I love it more than any other food type in the world.  I cannot get enough of it.  This place did not disappoint.  But – Matthew was a hot mess and tired from the drive down, so we wrapped up pretty quickly and got him back to the hotel for bed.  For some reason, the grilled chicken and superbly cooked veggies weren’t doing it for him (and truly – they were fantastic!).  Sigh.

We did stop at a wine and cheese shop and picked up lots of fancy chocolates (B loves chocolate!) and a bottle of red wine for later.  Matthew enjoyed sampling the cheeses which was nice since he didn’t eat much dinner  😉  B enjoyed picking out chocolates.  I enjoyed just being out on a nice night!

Bedtime went ridiculously well – Matthew only cried for 30 seconds and he was out cold.  We had our chocolate and wine but we feared waking him so we went to bed shortly thereafter.  I think it was the earliest I’ve gone to bed in years (9:40).

Matthew woke up too early on Saturday and wanted to get out and about, so B took him out for coffee so I could sleep a bit.  Matthew was tossing and turning all night long, and being a light sleeper and a nervous mother (I like to be constantly aware of how he’s sleeping), I heard every sigh, flip, and grunt.  I basically had been awake since 4 AM so I welcomed a little extra sleep with great enthusiasm.  I made it count 😉

We shopped and shopped – but really just walked and walked.  It was beautiful in KC and the Plaza is perfect for getting out and about and just enjoying the weather.  I did find some shirts for Matthew that I’ve wanted but refused to pay the ridiculous prices for – but they were on SALE so I got them (it was a crazy sale, ladies)!  We went to our favorite place for lunch (Houston’s) because they have the BEST smoked salmon but what do you know?  They changed the salmon since we were last there and it wasn’t cooked enough for Matthew.  As everyone knows, Matthew LOVES salmon so we were super excited about getting this for him (cold smoked – ummmm!) but alas – we could not.  We ended up getting him tuna (figured we should try it) but he hated it, lost his shit, and we were out of there.

Notice a trend???

I headed out with Matthew as B got our salads boxed up (best salad ever – I am so sad I didn’t get to savor it!) and we went back for a nap.  Our friends weren’t in town yet so the timing was great and I snuggled with my boys.  It does not get better than that!  Matthew slept on my chest and sure – my neck was all screwed up and I didn’t really sleep – but my nose was buried in his sweet hair and I was in heaven!  This nap lasted almost 3 hours.  Wonderful!

We then headed back out with our friends and picked up cupcakes (more on this later), played at a park, and then grabbed a quick early dinner before the rush.  Again, Matthew was not having it so we boxed up his food once we were all done and headed out.

What is going on with this kid who used to love going out to eat???

We all stopped at the wine shop again and got some goodies for the night.  Upon returning to the hotel, we put Matthew to bed (not a peep out of him) and S and I sent our husbands down to the hotel bar with a free pass to stay out as late as they wanted, and to drink as much as they felt the urge to drink.  S and I had a great time sitting on the sofa, dishing about the latest happenings in our lives, eating chocolates and cupcakes, and drinking wine.  B bought me a bottle of bubbly and I drank that whole thing – and didn’t even get tipsy (what is wrong with me – I never drink so this makes no sense?!).  We shared the best cupcake we’d ever had (strawberry lemonade and HOLY HELL it was GOOD!) and I got to hold her new baby the entire time (LOVE!).  The guys came back late and expectedly tipsy.  We all sat around and laughed and laughed before parting ways and going to bed.


This morning consisted of a sleepy baby who woke up too early, had his morning milk, slept for another 15 minutes on my chest (oh my back!), tried to get up for about 45 minutes but was cranky the whole time, and then took a nap on me for 1.5 hours.  I am not kidding – he went down for a ” nap” from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM.  CRAZY!  He woke up still tired and that’s when I got that cute photo of him with B on the sofa.  I’ve never seen Matthew so mellow in my life!  It was precious.

We headed out for brunch – back to the Mexican place – and had a great breakfast.  The babies behaved and it was quite enjoyable.  We then parted ways with our friends so that I could get to the highlight of the trip!

We met up with Steph, JJ, and Chloe from Blawndie’s Blawg and had a super fun time!  We went to a local park and let the kids and hubs play while we chatted.  This was my first experience meeting a bloggie friend and it was super fun!  Matthew was exhausted (really?  After a 1.5 hour morning nap and 10 hours of sleep prior to that?) and very stoic, but he showed his dad what it’s like to parent solo at the park  😉  The kids swapped sippy cups and Matthew attempted to steal a kiss from Chloe before he realized that we were trying to photograph them.  HA!  Chloe was just as cute in person as I was expecting (I can’t get over her cuteness and her blonde curls!), and we escaped the morning without a hair pulling incident (Matthew loves to pull hair – a lot!), so I would call it a success.  🙂

Matthew was asleep before we hit the road – he crashed while we were filling the car with gas.  He slept the whole way home and was still exhausted when we got home.  He was in bed at 8:30 sharp – sound asleep.  B says he’s going through a growth spurt and I’m starting to buy into that.

I didn’t take a lot of photos but these capture some highlights:

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The Secret Room…

Have you ever had that dream where you discover a secret room in your house – one that’s always been there, but you never knew about it?  That dream came true for Matthew today!

We have a finished basement that we rarely use.  There are a few reasons why we don’t use it much.  I won’t get into the reasons because they’re way too stupid to even discuss.  B asked me this weekend to please remove one of the reasons (a litter box in the main living room) so that Matthew can run around and enjoy it.

So I did.

Matthew and I spent a couple hours in the basement today and it was like a whole new house for him.  He was running around like crazy – squealing and chattering the entire time.  He would turn corners and scream with delight!  It was super fun watching him!  I grabbed my phone to take a bunch of pictures for B.  This post is really for him so he can see how much fun Matthew had per his wonderful suggestion  🙂

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Monday Snapshot

So this Monday’s snapshot is not about Matthew, and it’s not about parenting, and it’s not about IF.  It’s about ME!

This is my latest project… or… these are my latest projects.  They’re not even half done, but they will be done this week and up for sale soon on Etsy.  Mama’s making this family some (a little) money.  HA!

This post is part of PAIL’s weekly series, The Monday Snapshot. Please head over to meet our guest host of this week, Mrs. Gamgee! To join in, click on the link and add in your post!


Happy Birthday, Grayson!

Grayson, how can you be 2 years old?  I’ve been reading your mom’s blog since March and I still (and probably always will) think of you as that cute little 18 month-old in his snappy little shortalls  😉

You inspire me, little man, and so does your mama!  A day does not go by that I don’t think of you and wonder what you’re up to, or wonder what you’re learning at school.  You are such a strong, brave little guy who finds so much joy in life (and Veggie Tales!).  I always look forward to your mom’s updates and photos because YOU make me smile, Grayson  🙂

Happy birthday, buddy!  I hope it’s wonderful, and tasty, and fun, and so exhausting that you sleep like a baby and dream all night of the things you’re going to do in year 3!



Oh Hope…

… How I hate you sometimes.

I had my baseline blood work yesterday.  I went by myself (my choice) and chatted it up with the receptionist who was on maternity leave when we were in the office a month or so ago.  She showed me pictures of her baby and I couldn’t help but wonder if our conversation was making the others in the waiting room uncomfortable.  Hmm… not sure what to think of that.  Anyway, it was so nice seeing her!

The phlebotomist called me back just as my favorite embryologist caught a glimpse of me.  She told the phlebotomist that we’d take the long way around and meet her in the back.  I got to chat with H (my VERY favorite person there!!!) and she told me that she was just reviewing the charts and info on our frozen embryos.  You know, that made me feel good, knowing that they’re already planning their work and working their plan.  It made me feel so much like a real person and not just a patient ID.

I took the opportunity to ask her if she thinks we should use the embryos from our failed fresh cycle (in which I stimmed too quickly at the end and ended up with some minor OHSS) or the ones from Matthew’s cycle.  Matthew’s cycle resulted in two 4BB embryos (which translates to still excellent status) but the failed fresh cycle has a few 4AB/4BA’s in there.  She said it’s up to me.  I don’t want it to be up to me!  I told her that I TOTALLY trust her (their) judgement and will go with what they suggest, that I was just curious.

I’ve always wondered if that first cycle resulted in “over-cooked” eggs and bad embryos.  I mean, it did fail and then the FET from it ended in an early loss (empty sac – I have a hard time calling that a miscarriage since there really was no baby at all).   She said that the only indication of embryo quality is how they appear at the end, after a few days to grow.  She said that all of ours look terrific so she’ll pick the ones that looked the best at freeze time.  (Of our 7 embryos, they are all 4BB and above – all baby-grade embryos.  We shall see.)

TERRIFIC!  This put me at ease in regards to those embryos from IVF #1.  I trust H completely so if she says they’re good – they’re good.  That’s enough for me!  I am not going to wonder anymore.  I heard it straight from the person I trust the most – so I am done questioning it.  Period.

I then asked the (stupid) question – the one I KNOW not to ask.  I asked if she thinks we have a baby in those 7 embryos – if she thinks that we’ll get a baby out of an FET.  She said yes.  Without hesitation, without thinking, she said, “Courtney, I do.”  I then said that our plan is to do just 2 FET’s before moving to a fresh cycle (if needed – I’m hoping it’s not) and asked, “do you think we’ll get a baby within 2 FET’s?”  Again – she said yes.  I then looked her square in the eyes and asked, “are you just telling me what you think I want to hear, or are you telling me what you really think?”

“I REALLY think you will get a baby out of 2 frozen cycles.”

And with that, hope crept back into my life.

I think I was happier assuming this wouldn’t work.  😉


On a side-note, I have totally stuck it to that bitch, LUPRON, and dropped 4 pounds.  I took her evil as an opportunity to shore up my eating habits and fix some things.  I was eating too much… well… drinking too much.  I was getting a coffee drink  Why?  I don’t know.  I needed something sweet.  No excuse though.  I stopped doing that but did get one this morning because I had a rough night full of nightmares and constant tossing and turning (more evil side-effects from that bitchy injection).  I needed caffeine, and I wanted something hot.  Campfire mocha it was…. and it was delicious!

I am moody from the shot, or at least I think I am.  I’m far from depressed or blue (like I was those 2.25 years of TTC), but I have moments of impatience that I didn’t have a week ago.  I told B about this so that he knows I’m aware  😉


My sister isn’t coming for a visit anymore… her mini-van wouldn’t start.  Poor thing.  She’s coming next week, or the week after.  This is the story of our visits to one another.  I’ve cancelled/delayed many visits in the past as well.  We’re cool with it!

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It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday!

Yes, those are some Justin Bieber lyrics, but hear them in your head being sung by the cast of Glee and now you’re in my head  😉

I need this weekend, and I don’t really know why.  We’ve had a good week, one that has involved some tantrums but Matthew is teething at a record pace right now (he still only has 2 bottom teeth but 4 top front teeth and also a molar up there) and I understand that he’s just not feeling good.  We’ve done some super fun stuff like going to the park (two different parks, even!), swimming, playing with the neighbors, and going for countless wagon rides.

So why do I need a weekend so badly?  I don’t know – I just DO!  Maybe it’s the massage I have scheduled for tomorrow that I’m looking forward to?  Probably (I haven’t had one since the week before Matthew was born)!  Is it the birthday party for our friends’ 3-year old?  Highly unlikely.  😉  Is it my sister’s surprise visit that she scheduled just yesterday?  Yes and no.

Yes and no?  Yes – yes and no.  My sister and I are best friends, of epic proportions.  I can’t wait to see her, but I also know that we are going to stay up way too late talking, and when Sunday rolls around, I’m going to be exhausted.  You take the good with the bad, right?  We’ll have a great time, but man, we’ll be busy!  She’s bringing her three littles (4, almost 2, and 6 months) so this house is going to be rockin with craziness in just a few short hours.  Maybe that has me a little tentative  😉

Whatever it is, I need the weekend!  I am hoping for a nice long nap for all of us Sunday after my sister heads to my parents’ house.  Until then, we’ll live in mass chaos and enjoy as many minutes of it as possible.

What are you up to this weekend?

Happy Friday, everyone!


Guilt, Grief, and Moving On

The PAIL Monthly Theme post for September is “Guilt and Grieving.

This is a tough topic for me because my feelings are all over the place.  I mean – ALL OVER THE PLACE.  Something happened just the other day that brought out my ugly IF side – but more on that later.

PAIL asked this month what we lost with our IF struggle, what we grieve.  Good questions… and ones I needed to think about.

I don’t really think I grieve much when it comes to our infertility.  I am an “everything happens for a reason” kind of gal.  I have always lived my life that way and applied it to our IF struggle (which did not make it any easier, but helped me keep trudging along).  On June 27th in 2011, as we pulled into our neighborhood with Matthew in the back seat, on our way home from the hospital with him, I turned to B and said, “all of the shit that got us here was worth it.  If we hadn’t had that miscarriage (with the FET), we wouldn’t have Matthew.  If the IVF had worked the first time, there’d be no Matthew.  I’m so glad those things happened.”

Honestly.  I said that.

And… I still feel that.  I am so glad those things happened.  I am so glad we had to do IVF to get him because if we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have him.  We’d have another baby that we would love just as much, but it wouldn’t be him.  I feel that so deep down in my core that it has become a part of me – IVF was a gift that gave me my wonderful boy!

I do grieve our first failed IVF cycle because it was so hard on us emotionally.  We never thought for a moment that it wouldn’t work.  We had a clear diagnosis, we had a well-defined protocol, we had a great stimming experience until the very end, we had great retrieval numbers (16 eggs), and we had 9 stellar embryos, 2 of which were transferred and 7 frozen.  We were nothing but positive – but it failed.  If positive thinking gets you pregnant, then I should have been pregnant with IVF #1 because there was no one more positive than me.  The thought that it may  not work never really crossed my mind.  So yeah, the memory of that first failure – of B coming down the stairs to tell me that it didn’t work and then me losing my shit and him holding me as I sobbed and sobbed uncontrollably – I grieve that memory.  I always will.

But it’s not because it failed.  It’s because it killed the hope within me.  Every cycle after that became less and less exciting – so much so that by the time we did IVF #2 (after an early loss with FET #1), I had no fight left in me and I just did what the doctors said to do.  I didn’t read into anything, I didn’t ask them if they thought it would work, I didn’t pay much attention to the ultrasounds when they counted my follicles.  I just went in, let them do what they needed to do, said hello to the people I loved to see, and walked out.  I didn’t get excited about anything.  I figured it would fail.  I had no hope.  That makes me sad – but it is what it is – and I honestly think that that helped me cope with that final IVF cycle that resulted in Matthew.  I do believe it made it even more special when it worked.  That phone call was magical!

I lost a lot with my IF experience.  I lost hope, I lost peace, and I lost optimism.  My pregnancy was awesome – it was almost perfect aside from the debilitating heartburn (which was remedied with a prescription) – but I was so nervous the entire time.  All I thought about was how the baby was doing.  I was nervous before every single ultrasound and each time the doctor used the doppler.  I counted kicks like a crazy woman even before you’re supposed to (before you can rely on regular movement).  I counted down my pregnancy in days, not weeks, because every day down was one day closer to a live baby.  I was so nervous about still birth that I checked out NILMDTS and searched photographers in our area and picked the one I liked best in case the worst happened (true story – and this is how we found our birth photographer which was awesome!).  IF robbed me of a mentally pleasant pregnancy.  I had the physically pleasant pregnancy, and I loved every moment of that, but I was constantly worried that the baby was going to die and we’d have to start all over again.

IF also robbed me of being genuinely happy for other pregnant people.  I still struggle with this today.  I’m getting much better, but sometimes there are still feelings of envy when someone gets pregnant easily.  Just the other day, a friend told me that she’s pregnant and I was genuinely happy for her (truly!) and I was so proud of myself.  This was a big deal for me because it was one of many recent pregnancy announcements that made me happy for the person instead of jealous.  I feel like I’ve turned a big corner in this department.  I then asked her if she was excited and she said, ‘no, to be quite honest.  I don’t like having babies until they’re 18 months old.’  It took everything in me not to pack up Matthew and his things and leave their house immediately.  My ugly IF side returned instantaneously.  I am apparently very fickle when it comes to pregnancy announcements  😉  If you don’t say it just so, then I may lose my shit.  Ugh.

IF has made me very self-centered, and for that, I feel guilty.  Take the story above as an example.  When this friend told me that she wasn’t excited to be pregnant (which I just don’t understand if she was trying to get pregnant, which she was), my first thought was, “how can you say that to your friend who you know has to go home in 2 hours to give herself a shot in an attempt to get pregnant?”  I hate this about myself – because it’s not about me.  But I make it about me.  Being jealous of pregnant people is ridiculous because they didn’t get pregnant AT ME – they just got pregnant.  End of story.  But I still take it personally.  I take it very personally when they tell me it was an accident or that they aren’t excited about it.  I need to work on this.  I know that.  I feel guilty about this all the time.  I need to keep reminding myself that it is not about me – someone else’s fertility has nothing to do with my infertility.

I don’t feel guilt anymore when I read TTC blogs.  I feel empathy.  I still read quite a few TTC blogs because I want to support those gals who still don’t have their first baby.  Trying to get that first baby is so hard – it’s just exhausting.  Because of that, I will always continue to throw my support to those trying for #1 – because it’s a dark lonely place – and it’s hard to keep hope alive.  But I don’t feel guilty.  I did my time, and I’m doing it again, and my guilt won’t help these women get pregnant.  It just won’t.

So how’s that for being all over the place?  😉

And with that, I’ll close with a picture of the boy that was worth it all – and continues to be worth every emotion that courses through me.