All the Sun For You

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



I have to admit something today that I have not had to admit yet as a mother.

I admit defeat.

When I posted a while back about the top 10 things that surprise me about myself as a mother, some people mentioned that they don’t have patience and my response was, ‘this could all change tomorrow.’

It changed today.

Matthew is a good boy – a very good boy – but man alive, he woke up before the crack of dawn this morning for no apparent reason.  This would normally not be a big deal because when this (very rarely) happens (5 times since he was 10 months old), we’ve known just what to do and he’s back to sleep in no time.  With the exception of that nasty double ear infection, the other few times he’s woken up have been just brief interruptions to our night.

Not last night.

Matthew woke up just plain mad and standing up in his crib, which cues an immediate dash to his room to try to calm him before he wakes up completely.  Too late.  He wanted to get up.  WHAT?  He pointed at the door and wailed.  I finally hollered over the monitor for B to get us some ibuprofen because what does every good bad mother do when her kid won’t sleep?  Drug ’em!  The firm holler of mine (I had to be firm so that B could hear it over the sound machine – I wasn’t mad) triggered something in Matthew because he just fell quiet immediately.  I was thrilled.  After the ibuprofen, he settled in to sleep.  GREAT!

But he never fell completely asleep.  He cried and tossed all over me every 15 minutes or so.  I didn’t catch a single wink.

I tried putting him in his crib several times to no avail.  So, I brought him into our room and bed.  It seemed like that was going to work but then he freaked out and we were back to his room.  An hour and a half had passed and I was exhausted.  In his room, there were more random fits because I just think he wanted to be up.  I finally changed his diaper (I don’t usually do that because it wakes him completely up – but what the hell because he was obviously completely up?) and that seemed to settle him.  He finally fell asleep around 6:15 and so did I, with him in my arms.  I woke up at 7:30 and put him in his crib while I got the house picked up.  He woke up at 8:10.

I figured the day was salvaged.

But I was tired all day, and he was crabby and fussy.  He fought his nap but then relented and I thought I’d get some sleep.  Wrong.  Just after I fell asleep, my 2-3 hour napper woke up after 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Ready to go again.

I was really upset, to be quite honest.  I almost cried.

But we played and watched CG with Matthew being fussy and crying intermittently the entire time.  I did what I’ve never done out of frustration – I texted B and asked when he would be home.

I had given up.  I was tired.  I was defeated.

Matthew went to sleep just great at 8:10 tonight.  Just like last night.  Let’s hope tonight is better.

Look at that little sweetheart, yelling at me for God-only-knows-what.  This was actually taken the other day, but is totally what I witnessed today.  ;)

Look at that little sweetheart, yelling at me for God-only-knows-what. This was actually taken the other day, but is totally what I witnessed today. 😉



I had my 12w scan today for NT testing. It did not go well for the reasons that the technician wanted. The baby did not cooperate for the neck measurement after 30 minutes of trying everything, including a trans-vaginal scan. It did go well for my own reasons – well half of my own reasons, anyway!

First, we still have a heartbeat. I always worry about that. HA! Second – because of the trans-vag scan, we got GREAT 3D photos of this baby! We got a 3D photo of Matthew at this stage and although a super cute photo (he looks like a little boxing avatar in it!), it’s not nearly as clear as today’s photo. You can check it out on my pregnancy page, if you so desire.  We did go in asking if we could check out the gender of the baby and she said that if she could get the angle, that she’d go for it.  Well, she didn’t get the angle.


But – because she also couldn’t get the NT measurement, we have another scan on Wednesday.  We shall see if baby cooperates this time.  It really needs to because we’re at the end of the window for NT testing.  I strongly believe in first and second trimester screenings for ME.

If we can’t get a hint 0f the gender on Wednesday, we’ll likely do an elective gender scan in a few weeks.  I just need to know what this baby is (and so does B – he’s been anxious).  I’ve been dreaming that it’s a “lady baby,” as SRB likes to say.  Names are in the works for both, but knowing will make those discussions MUCH easier in this house.

The receptionist greeted me by name today – that was nice but so strange.  They have hundreds of patients (15 docs in the practice) and I was just shocked to hear, “hi, Courtney!” from the receptionist.  She has always been my fave, but I didn’t know she knew me by name.

I didn’t get to see Dr. H or Nurse A today, but I see them in two weeks.  Everyone at this clinic is so nice that it actually makes trips there FUN.

The gal on the way out gave me the “new mom kit” with formula (which is fine by me, because you NEVER know!) but the big thing is that it had one of those fancy nursing bottles in it!  Score!  I noticed a bunch of the bottles on the counter and asked if those were the ones we’ve been waiting for in the US (they weren’t – I forgot that those were Medela and these were Lansinoh) and the gal said she didn’t know, but to take one.  And then she said, “take one of these kits too – there’s a bottle in there too so now you have two!”  And with that, Baby #2 now has his/her first item acquired especially for him/her  🙂

I love this clinic!

Maybe on Wednesday I’ll have some exciting news to share… and yes… if we know, we will share!


The Monday Snapshot – Getting Big!

I spent the weekend going through Matthew’s old clothes and moving the things out of his closet that don’t fit anymore. This is always a sad exercise for me 😦 We went through and organized a bunch of his REALLY old stuff (0-12 months) and that was really tough on my heart. It made me wish for another little boy who can wear all of Matthew’s cute stuff 😉

I took a photo like this when we moved out his 6-12 month clothes. I wish I’d been doing this all along. I will continue to take these until he goes to college. HA!

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This is my contribution to the Monday Snapshot series over at PAIL. Go check out the rest of the cute kiddos for the week!


Because You Asked…

Many of you have asked about these secret weapon hair products I have stumbled across, so I will share my secrets with you!

But some background first.

I am not a hair person.  I was raised by a woman who wasn’t a hair person.  My mom never taught us how to do our own hair because she didn’t really know how to do hers.  We were put in front of a mirror, at the age of 9 or 10, with a curling iron and hair spray and told to make our hair look nice for brunch at the country club (oh dear GOD!) but we had no clue what we were doing – and Mom wouldn’t help us.  Many times, we tried our best and were told to start over because it didn’t look good.  This is not included in my list of fond childhood memories.

My older sister learned how to “do her bangs” 80’s style and taught me.  I had sky-scraper bangs for years.  YEARS.  The higher, the better.  We moved from being forced to curl our own hair to having to curl my mom’s hair (geesh!) for trips to the beloved country club.  It was quite comical – skyscraper bangs on a grown woman.  But – we did as we were told.  And, in all fairness, every one of every age had stupid, high, hair-sprayed hair back then.

When it was time for me to go to high school, I was being transitioned from public school to a very small Catholic, all-girls high school.  I was not looking forward to it because I loved my public school – I fit in great, I was quite active in most things, and had lots of good friends.  I went begrudgingly to private school and immediately stood out as a “public school transfer” because of my perm and sky-scraper bangs.  The girls I was joining in private school were mostly quite refined and simply attractive – “girl next door pretty” (the type of pretty I always wanted to be).  They’d been in the private school system their entire lives and had been simply pretty by nature and grooming by their mothers.  I know this sounds trite but believe me – it’s true (in regards to my high school, anyway).  I think wearing uniforms is a big contributor to this (and I’m a big, HUGE, proponent of school uniforms).

So I quickly decided that things had to change – that it was time to look the way I wanted to look and not the way my  mom wanted me to look.  I ironed my hair with an iron – on an ironing board – for a week before my mom relented and let me get my perm reversed.  I immediately started growing out my bangs.  I quickly had long, bone-straight hair with perfectly bouncy bangs.

And that was it – that was my look for the next 19 years.  I shit you not.

Because I still didn’t really KNOW how to do my hair.  HA!

When I became pregnant with Matthew, I decided that it was high time that I get a look for myself besides my old Catholic school girl look – that I needed a real hair style.  The gal I’d had cutting my hair since moving back to Iowa would trim me every 8 weeks and never suggest anything – no suggestions on style, color, shape, etc.  And – her neighbor was one of the gals from my high school that molded my image of myself.  She was one of the girls with the beautiful long, dark hair and awesomely bouncy bangs.  And I needed to get away from that – but she always wanted to talk about that gal when I’d come in.  (That gal still has the same hair style – and honestly – it still looks perfect on her!)

So I asked my friends for recommendations on a stylist who would not only cut my hair, but suggest fun things to me and teach me HOW to DO my hair.  I found the most perfect gal and she truly spent the first session writing down instructions for me, with tips for each product and when to use it.

She sold me this awesome thickening cream that was proprietary to the salon (it was a white label product that they put their logo on) and it was great.  It did the trick every time.  I used it for over a year and I had great, thick, straight hair with style.  And then they quit carrying that thickening cream this past spring.  Holy hell, I was at a loss.  My hair gal said that they didn’t have anything quite like it anymore and that all of her clients were upset.  She helped me try new products, but none of them did what I wanted.  None of them did the same thing that that cheap cream did.  In fact, they all dried my hair out.

I went to Ave.da a month or so ago and explained my plight.  They told me that they didn’t have anything like that cream for me.  Sigh.  I went home and kept using that drying stuff.  But on Monday, I needed more conditioner so headed back to Ave.da and asked a different gal for her thoughts.  She sold me two things and told me how to use them.  The best part is that Ave.da will let you return any product you don’t like as long as it’s not more than half-used – so I was taking no financial risks (after spending over $100 so far trying to find a replacement for the discontinued cream).

I bought the Pure Abundance Style Prep to spray on my wet roots right out of the shower, and the Phomollient to put in my damp hair after drying it just a smidge.  This stuff is working!  What’s funny is that I used to use Phomollient years ago, but I was using it all wrong by putting it on my very wet hair.

My routine is this:

  1. Shower
  2. Pat dry hair with towel
  3. Spray roots with Pure Abundance Style Prep
  4. Blow dry hair for a couple of minutes until hair is “damp”
  5. Put 5 pumps of Phomollient in damp hair, concentrated from roots downward
  6. Style with hair dryer until completely dry
  7. Comb and shape
  8. Put about two pea-size dollops of Arr.ojo Texture Paste in dry hair, working from roots downward
  9. Come and style again
  10. DONE

I no longer need to flat-iron my hair – it keeps its straightness all day long, even after being tucked behind my ears.  My hair has more volume now at the end of the day than it every has.

So there you have it!

My new line-up1

My new, winning line-up!


Wordless Wednesday – I’ll Do It Myself, Thank You Very Much!

Damned teeth coming in! I had Matthew in a headlock this morning for the first time ever to get his teeth brushed. Brushing twice a day is NOT optional in this house! He usually opens up with no hesitation, but his gums are sore. Once the headlock portion was done, he took his toothbrush and brushed willingly. he brushed, and brushed, and brushed! He got mad when I took it away! He’s becoming so independent!


Another List!

Life has been great lately – I feel like things are really going smoothly for me.  My reasons for feeling this way are extremely ridiculous – but I can’t help but feel energized by them:

  1. After months, and MONTHS, of trying to find replacement hair products for my secret weapon product that the manufacturer discontinued (without asking my permission) – I have found them!  I have spent a fortune on multiple products that are sworn to do the same thing as my discontinued product, but none of them do.  All they do is dry out my very fine, flat hair.  I went to Ave.da yesterday to pick up some moisturizer and asked the gal if she had ideas for me (I asked a different gal a month or so ago and she told me I was out of luck).  This gal sold me two things (ugh) and told me precisely what to do with them.  I followed her instructions today and my hair has never looked better – and with half the work I was doing before (no more flat iron!).  HUGE win!
  2. I got new slippers.  I have had the same pair of Ac.orn slippers for a couple of years and although they’re still comfy, they were missing that “walking on clouds” feeling that comes with a new pair of faux fur-lined Ac.orn slipers.  I was at the mall yesterday, on my way out through my favorite outdoor gear store, and thought, “oh – my slippers!”  They had my size, they were on sale – and they were mine!  They’re the wrong color (black = yuck) but I  My feet are warm and comfy (I’m wearing them in bed right now – even though they have soles on them.  HA!).
  3. Maternity clothes.  No – not because of the fit and comfort (but yeah, that too), but because I get to wear my wonderful be.maternity stretchy shirts (from under everything, which means in these winter months, I am sealed up from head to toe now and I’m not cold everywhere I go.  So happy!
  4. Maternity jeans at Ga.p Maternity were $35 a pair at their retail locations.  I needed new ones and stocked up.  I’m so happy!  I couldn’t have gotten them cheaper at cheap maternity stores.  To put the cherry on my sundae, they are the same size as the jeans I bought at Ga.p this past summer when I was smaller than I am now (pre-IVF meds) – so that was nice!
  5. Matthew is sleeping longer these days.  YAY!  We planned our work and worked our plan and we have success!  He slept 11 hours last night and 10.5 the night before.  He is waking up  happy versus crying.  I am sleeping more too which is nice!
  6. We are going to bed WAY earlier than normal.  At 10:00 tonight, I asked B, “ready for bed?”  A week ago, I would not have asked that so early but we’ve been going to bed before 11 each night for a week now and I’m just a lot happier.  Yes, I can function on very little sleep, but more sleep is always better!
  7. My diabetic cat is in a diabetic remission.  Don’t tell the others, but she’s my fave and when she’s sick, I get very sad.  Her behavior was off for a couple of weeks so I decided to get out the glucometer and test her.  Turns out we were giving her too much insulin because she’s in remission.  Since chatting with the vet and dropping the shots for over a week, she’s back to normal and happy.  I’m happy too!  This won’t last forever, and I have to watch her closely – but that’s never been a problem for me.  She and I are almost inseparable (but she was not hanging out with me while being OD’d with insulin which tipped me off).
  8. Matthew is back to eating almost everything we put in front of him.  There isn’t much he won’t eat.  He even loves scallops.  This has made life way easier because he eats what we eat every  night for dinner.  It’s awesome!
  9. I have an old doll from my childhood that we keep in Matthew’s closet.  She looks like a real baby (she’s a hospital mannequin – don’t ask!) and we got her out a couple of years ago to teach B how to diaper a baby.  We just kept her in the closet for whatever reason.  Matthew has found her and now asks, at least once a day, for the baby to come out.  He treats her like a real baby and is very gentle and loving, and tries to hold her like a baby (she weighs 5 pounds so that makes it hard for him).   He was hesitant at first, even though he wanted her out of the closet, and just wanted to look at her.  He now pats her head, touches her nose, kisses her, and strokes her while I hold her.  This makes me think to our future with a big brother and it melts my heart!
  10. I have less than a week’s worth of shots left.  I have 6 left starting tomorrow.  Ahhh… this is so exciting!


So there it is – the list that convinces me that things are pretty good right now!  I’m sure things will change tomorrow, now  😉


What We Want and What We Get

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I want our family to look when we’re all done building it.  It’s no secret – we still have 5 embryos in the freezer and we really want to give them a chance.  At this point, we’re thinking we want 3 children.  But then I wonder – do we REALLY want 3 kids, or is it because that’s the potential due to our frosties?  If we didn’t have those frosties, how many children would we have had?  How many children would we have seen ourselves with?

Before we found out we were infertile, we both said we’d be happy with just 1 child.  ONE!  Then we were told we couldn’t have any children and the floodgate of emotions were opened and I started to think about the things I never really knew I wanted – like the amount of kids I wanted.  At the time, I was feeling very cheated because, “what if we want 2?  Then what?”  We didn’t even have 1 yet, and I was feeling cheated by infertility because it felt like it was taking away my choices to have more than 1 child.

We were at a holiday party last night and a close “couple friend” said that 2 children didn’t feel like enough for them, but that 3 feels like too many.  She wasn’t complaining – she was just stating the exponential addition of work when you go from 2 to 3 children (I hear this a lot and understand!).  That comment made me pause and wonder, “will 2 not feel like enough for us?”

I can already say that 2 doesn’t feel like enough – and we’re not even there yet.  I see us with 3 children – I just do.  How did I go from seeing us with ONE to seeing us with THREE?  How did THAT happen?

Again, is it because we have 5 frozen embryos that we moved heaven and earth for?  Have I just folded the idea of one of them into my vision of our family?

This all makes me very nervous for our future – and not in the way that fertiles would think.  I’m not nervous about providing for 3 children, or having enough time for 3 children, or having enough time for B with 3 children.  What I worry about is this – am I setting myself up for complete devastation if one of those 5 embryos doesn’t turn into my third child?

I have convinced my head that a third child would be “gravy,” that it would be the cherry on our sundae, that if it doesn’t pan out, that I’d be OK with that.  But would I?  I know that I will never stim again – I know that we will never EVER do another fresh cycle.  If none of those frosties turns into our third child – then we will be a family of 4.

A family of 4 is great – but is it enough for us?  Is it what we truly want?  Or do we want a family of 5 because we have the potential for it?

I guess we won’t know until the time comes to start working on #3 (we will NOT be doing a transfer again on October 12 – HA!) – but I wonder.  I wonder a lot.  I wonder all the time.

What do we really WANT, and will IF, ultimately, decide what we GET?



The Monday Snapshot – Naughtiness!

We had a hectic morning yesterday – B went out for a run and I had to get Matthew and myself ready while he was gone.  Matthew usually quietly plays with his trucks and watches CG.  Yesterday, he got his hands on a box of wipes and I figured it was fine because they were mostly dried out anyway – he could have at it!  I then quickly forgot about his new little past time until I came out and saw this… I came to check on him because it was just TOO quiet!

A box of wipes, CG, old baby gym support rods, a bunch of books, and one cute little boy!

A box of wipes, CG, old baby gym support rods, a bunch of books, and one cute little boy!

This is my contribution to PAIL’s Monday Snapshot.  Click on over and check out the other fun kiddos!