All the Sun For You

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


This Year

It’s 2014… And this coming fall and winter, we think we’ll start an FET for baby #3. It just feels weird saying and writing that. “We’ll be trying again this year.” THIS YEAR. I sort of dreaded the turn of the year for this very reason.

I hate how I feel when I cycle – the anxiety, the uncertainty, the hormones, the hope. Our last cycle went perfectly and left us 5 frozen embryos. Will those 5 give us a baby? I don’t know. I do know, though, that those are our last embryos – there will be no more fresh cycles for this lady. That feels both good and bad. It feels good knowing I’ll never stim again, but it feels bad knowing that those 5 embryos are our only chance at another baby.

I did something weird today – I pulled out my BFP sticks from my pregnancies with the boys. I kept just the ones taken on 10/19 for each of the boys, and the first one from Bryson’s pregnancy. I got all of those same giddy feelings looking at that BFP from 4dp5dt in 2012. I twisted it in the light, squinting at that very faint line, smiling from ear to ear. I did that several times, as if I was seeing that BFP for the first time.

It was weird.

It felt GOOD.

It felt scary.

It felt hopeful.


The Monday Snapshot – Back to Normal

We spent the weekend sharing two cabins amongst B’s immediate family (MIL, FIL, SIL1, SIL2, BIL, niece, nephew, the four of us). It was, surprisingly, a very fun, comfortable time. The only issue, and I truly mean ONLY issue, was our niece who is very mean, selfish, and manipulative with everyone, but specifically with Matthew. By the end of the weekend, Matthew had started mimicking her nasty behavior (being antagonistic, pushing Bryson over, claiming everything as his) and I was pretty upset. It’s hard when you spend lots of time with people who parent so differently from you, that you need to expend most of your energy running interference between the kids. My SIL does not correct her daughter, and claims that everything she does is “just helping.” Sneakily pulling a chair out from under a two year old is not helping. Running toward him and shoving him backwards off his feet and onto the floor, and then telling us that “he slipped,” is not helping. Calling Matthew over for a hug, and then kicking him in the face telling him not to touch her is not helping. This went on ALL weekend, and her mother stepped in only a few times. Other than that, she’d say, “I know you’re just helping him.”. Gah! So I stepped in, and B stepped in, and called both kids out on their behavior all weekend.

We’re home now, and we’re sort of “reprogramming” Matthew into the nice boy we took on vacation with us. We’ve heard fewer, “mine’s” out of him today, and he’s only pushed Bryson down once. We’re getting there.

And everyone is napping and sleeping in their rightful places again!

(Please don’t think that I think Matthew is perfect. He’s not. Just ask the neighbor boy he bit (first time for that – GAH!) last week and his preschool teachers who keep teaching him to NOT TAKE TOYS FROM HIS FRIENDS! Ha!)


Purge, Purge, Purge

Everyone seems to have added “reduce/purge clutter” to their new years resolutions.

I didn’t.

But after reading just one post on it (thanks, Steph!), I decided it was time to do some purging of my own. Josey had mentioned a “30 bags in 30 days” challenge that she took part in one year, and I figured that was a good goal. I had no idea what all could be put out to pasture in our house, but I knew we had a lot.

I upped the bag count goal to 31 bags since January has 31 days. I’m not taking part in other purge challenges because, well, I was already on quite the roll before the challenges started and there are no before pictures of what we’ve already done. AND – that’s just too much pressure for me.

So far, I have taken 7 full garbage bags of clothes to the Goo.dwi.ll, tossed out 7 bags of garbage (our trash bin has never been so full), given away 2 garbage bags full of clothes, and loaded up another 2 bags of clothes to take to Goo.dwi.ll later this week or next week (when I have even more to take!). The itemized list of donated clothing is ridiculous and a little embarrassing, as is the LOAD of fitness clothes I’m sending to my sister and also donating in the next round of donations. I hope to never fill closets again like I did a few years ago.

B hasn’t even TOUCHED his tubs of clothes and I suspect we’ll have around 4 bags of clothes to donate once he’s done.

So far, we have purged and completely organized the following spaces:

  • Linen closet
  • Matthew’s closet
  • Food pantry
  • Deep freezer
  • Regular freezer
  • Craft cupboards (2 of them)
  • Bryson’s dresser
  • Rearranged the living room, opening it up a ton!
  • Moved Matthew’s toys into his room (from the living room)

The following spaces are half-done:

  • My side of the closet
  • Bryson’s closet
  • Store room full of tubs, and tubs, and tubs, and tubs, and…
  • Mud room

Here is what remains:

  • The remaining side of my closet (drawers… ugh!)
  • B’s side of the closet (his job)
  • B’s tubs of clothes in the store room (his job)
  • Our walk-in pantry (OMG that is going to be a chore for us both)
  • The spare room in our basement that stores baby crap
  • The filing cabinet
  • The craft closet (sigh)
  • The cabinet in Bryson’s dresser (double sigh)
  • The garage (his job)
  • Finish mud room organizing

So a lot has gotten done, but holy hell, a lot remains to be done.  One day at a time… one day at a time.  I already feel so much better about the state of the boys’ closets in particular.  It is amazing how freeing it is to finally tackle something that’s been hanging over your head.

Now, I must go rescue my baby who is crying for some reason… he hasn’t woken up this early in weeks.  Damn!


The Monday Snapshot – Pack ’em Up!

I packed up all of Bryson’s 6-12 month clothes today – 95% of which were never worn. Matthew was built true to size, so lived in jeans (you all know how much I love to dress my boys in jeans EVERY DAY) and sweaters but Bryson is just too husky for jeans. What this means is that he has not gotten any use out of Matthew’s monstrous wardrobe (6-12 months is my largest collection so far) – and hanging them all up in his closet was a true waste of time. 🙂 I was so hopeful that these clothes would get a second round of usage but no. Oh well.

What this has also meant is that Bryson has gotten all new clothes and has a style all his own, which is fun! He has spent the winter so far in super cozy sweater one pieces and everywhere we go, people say that he looks so cuddly and comfortable… Two words that actually describe him well!

I went through our 12-18 month supply and it’s mostly summer stuff, so I need to buy some long sleeved t-shirts and sweaters. The 12-18 month jeans are working for now, so I will be taking full advantage of that… Even if I have to roll up the legs quite a bit!

Here’s to hoping that maybe these clothes will get another chance if we have a third (boy desired!). If not, someone at the consignment stores will be hitting the jackpot in a couple of years!


The Friends in my Life

This post has been brewing in my head for a long, long time. Nothing in particular sparked it, but many little things prodded me to think a lot about it.

I am not a gal’s gal. Growing up, I preferred friendships with guys because there was no drama involved. My mom is a lover of the drama, and I knew this at a young age. There was always some falling out she was having with someone, but then they’d be best friends again a month or so later… Until the next round of drama. It was all very confusing for me and seemed like such a waste of energy. No thank you!

I had to learn on my own how to be friends with women, and more importantly, how to be a friend to women. Guys didn’t require much at all out of friendship – all I had to do was show up to have a good time. It was awesome! Eventually though, I grew older and maybe wiser and realized that real, deeper friendships would be needed for the long haul. Eventually, we all couple up and male/female friendships usually fizzle in the interest of focusing on our own romantic relationships. When that fizzle happens, what are we left with if we have no friends of the same sex?

So, once I was in my mid-20’s, I decided to make female friendships a priority. I still had male friends, but my primary friendships were with women. I really struggled with these friendships but usually persevered. I did not make my mom’s same mistakes, but I made several of my own. For instance, I would easily lose touch with old friends left behind in Chicago because they were out of sight and out of mind. This was a remnant from my days of being friends with guys – they never cared if you checked in just to see how they were doing. Women like to be thought of. Who knew? I also said a lot of hurtful things that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. I tell it like it is and figured that’s just me – but it couldn’t just be me with women. We’re sensitive creatures and until we really know one another, it’s best to not always call it like you see it. Again, I didn’t know that!

I am proud of the friendships I have now. I have a lot of friendships, both IRL and URL, and most are rather solid. I know that each friendship fulfills different needs of mine, just like my friendship fulfills different needs of my friends. It’s weird to think about it this way, but I have different “categories” of friends:

  • Closest of Friends – I trust these women with the details of my life. I tell it like it is with these women – they can take it and value that- just like I value their candor with me. These women know when B and I fight, what we fight about, the ugly things I said to him, and how things shake out. These women never hold this knowledge against me or B. I can count these women on one hand – they know who they are. They know that they are cherished. They also know that I have their backs in return – I would do anything for them.
  • Great Gal Pals – These women are easy to laugh with and share much with. Things don’t get near as intense in conversation with them as they do with my closest friends, but conversations flow easily and two ways. These friends make life fun and easy, and entertaining. These friends are fun to banter with on FB or in comments of blogs. I feel very free and light with these friends.
  • Mom Friends – The name of this category seems pretty lame, but it is what it is. These women make me feel good about my parenting, or rather, my failings as a parent. Ha! They make me feel normal. They make me feel sane. They help fill my days. We all help each other out when needed or just desired – I would watch their sick kid in a heartbeat so that they could get their other kid to some activity or appointment. We laugh about our husbands, we talk about poop, we silently mouth the swear words to each other in conversation. As I was writing this post, a group text conversation with my mom friends got a moms’ night out scheduled for next week. See? Sanity!

Many of my friends fall into 2 of the above categories at once, which I think is normal. I like how my friendships with women have shaken out. I like that I have so many different types of friends, all enriching my life in many ways. I like knowing who I can turn to for what needs, and I like being a support system for my friends. I don’t need to be super close to all of my friends, but I do need to always be a good friend to each of them in the way they need me.

I have no time in my life for drama. I am not my mother – I don’t particularly like drama. I like interesting stories and situations, but drama is just not my thing. I’ve learned how to let go of friendships that bring no value to my life, especially when they bring nothing but drama. I have been surprised by some of the friendships I do have (like a super fun gal pal on FB who was in my high school class and although we got along well, we were never what I would have called FRIENDS), and I’ve been surprised by some friendships that have fizzled. I don’t spend time analyzing either type of situation – I just go with it and enjoy each friendship for what it is, what it brings to the table, and what I bring to their table.

It’s a good place to be, and not a place I ever thought I’d be back when I was hanging out with all of those guys. I mean, let’s face it – those guys would have been happy to talk about poop – but only their own. Bring up the topic and contents of a little person’s poop with any of those guys, and they would have run for the hills. So not what I need and value right now! 🙂



THIS Moment in Time (#30)

Bryson is doing really well lately at sleeping. I’ve been way more relaxed sleep training him than when I trained Matthew because, well, we’re doing it 3.5 months sooner this time which means I’m not nearly as sleep deprived as I was with Matthew. With Matthew, I was so tired of being tired that it felt like brute force to get him trained (even though it really wasn’t). This time around has taken longer, with a vacation break in the middle, and is just more relaxed.

And last night, as I got ready for bed, I thought, “please, god, let tonight be the night.”. I then laughed at myself because I know it doesn’t work that way.

But last night was the night, and I credit these little 5:30-6:00 cat naps for it. We’ve been doing this 3 days in a row, and things have progressively gotten better. Bryson slept from 8:30-7:00 last night with just one 9-minute sleep transition at 3:09 (which did not require my assistance).

I know that we’re not fully ‘there’ yet, but it’s a start.

And thanks to these little cat naps, I’m getting the snuggles I’m giving up each night (which was hurting my heart a bit). Everybody wins when we snuggle!


Wrapping up the Holidays

Here we are, it’s 2014, and I haven’t visited my own blog in ages. So sad… so very sad.

Things have been busy with the holidays.  My parents planned a family trip to Colorado starting on Christmas Eve, lasting until the 27th, and that trip put a wrench in everything holidays-related.  We were scrambling to buy gifts in time to ship them to the hotel, get things for the flight (stroller, accessories, car seat bag), and pack all four of us up for a four-day trip.  The trip preparations put a damper on everything else, including decorating the house and getting the lights up outside (which never happened).  Needless to say, I was a total Scrooge this year.  It just didn’t feel like Christmas.  I felt robbed – and I still do – in a way.

The trip was great – well – great in an “adult trip” sort of way.  The resort was fantastic (a very special place to my family and a resort that B and I have travelled to many times because it’s special to us too!), the room was spacious (my father insists we call it a suite, which is sooooo not me!), seeing my sisters and their kids was unforgettable, and the food was great.  But my goodness – B and I spent so much time in the room suite with napping/sleeping kids that I felt like I wasn’t able to do the things we were there to do (spend time with my parents, sisters, and their families) and that made me very grumpy.  I wasn’t upset with the kids – they nap (and well) and go to bed early (thank God!) – I was upset that we took our kids away from home ON Christmas to spend it in an unfamiliar place.  The times we spent with my family WERE great and super fun, but I just felt so disconnected from the whole thing, including Christmas in general.  I have nicely told my dad that we will not be doing that again while we have small kids – and he gets it.  I think he knows it was hard for my younger sister and me (she has 3 young kids who nap and go to bed early as well).

(I do want to make a note here that both Matthew and Bryson were complete angels on both flights.  Matthew sat in the big seat without his car seat, and he sat still and was a good boy both ways (and slept the entire return flight).  Bryson nursed and slept on the way up for both flights and flirted with everyone once we reached our cruising altitudes.  The descent on the return flight got to his ears and he cried, but no one can be upset about that.  Poor baby.  We are going to fly again this spring and are super calm about it now knowing how well the boys did for this trip.)

We celebrated with B’s family the weekend before Christmas and it was nice!  There were some annoying things like our 4 year-old niece being nasty to Matthew and our nephew constantly referring to Matthew as, “that kid,” but I put a stop to both of those situations immediately so that we could move on with merriment.  HA!  Matthew still is not into opening presents and I had to give him a time-out to get him to come sit with us to open his gifts.  After doing that, I read that that was the entirely WRONG thing to do so relaxed a great deal about his lack of interest in his gifts both in Colorado and then at our house on the 29th.  I’m learning… I’m learning  😉

We got home from Colorado on the 27th and no gifts were wrapped, so we didn’t celebrate on the 28th.  On the morning of the 28th, we felt a strong need to see B’s parents and let the kids have some good interaction with grandparents who are into them (my parents are not into any of the kids – they just aren’t).  That was good for my soul – it was great to be with B’s parents who are so happy to see us whenever we can make it work (every other week or so) and it was nice to just be still with them.  I’m not sure that makes sense – but that’s how it felt.  I always leave them feeling relaxed, which was not always the case.  B’s mom and I have come a  very long way in our relationship and respect for one another.  It feels good!

We finally did our Christmas on the 29th.  The best part about it was wrapping presents the night before.  B and I setup shop in the basement and I put the art easel together as he wrapped, wrapped, wrapped!  He bought a bunch of fun little toys for the boys, things I hadn’t seen yet, and he wanted to keep it that way so that I was surprised when the boys opened their gifts as well.  That was fun!  I picked out the discovery tower (for the kitchen) and the easel and put them both together since they were my ideas and because I like putting things together.  It worked out great!  I got a little tipsy with my favorite beer – hooray!  The next morning, Matthew took forever opening his gifts which was A-OK with me.  He got some super fun stuff from B and it was fun to see his reaction to things.  B is an AWESOME gift giver for the kids!  And this year – he NAILED it with his gift for me.  It made me cry a bit.

I got a wild hair on (our) Christmas morning and asked B if he wanted me to make a big prime rib dinner if I could find a roast (being after Christmas and all).  Of course he said yes (he loves my prime rib… and I will say that it is pretty good thank-you-Williams-So.noma!) so I got to work and spent almost 7 hours in the kitchen cooking, cooking, cooking.  Oh my god, it was like the best gift to myself!  Cooking big dinners relaxes me a great deal – prepping food calms my nerves.  I made cheese fondue (gruyere cheese, Emmentaler cheese, dry white wine, salt, pepper) as our appetizer, endive salads with blue cheese and bacon, prime rib and roasted asparagus, and chocolate fondue for dessert.  It was awesome – so fun to sit down to a multi-course meal together as a family!  We invited B’s brother who is always a fun addition to the evening!

So our holidays ended much better than they started.  They ended with loving grandparents, a happy family unit, well-rested kids (finally!), perfect gifts, and a fantastic (if I do say so myself) dinner.  Finally – finally – it felt like Christmas 4 days after the fact.

Our tree is undecorated and ready for the wood chipper.  The kids are back to their normal sleeping routines (Bryson is sleeping almost through the night with an early morning feeding sometime between 3:45 and 5:45 before sleeping again until 7:00-8:00 each morning).  Our laundry from the trip (and afterwards) is almost all caught up.  All of the new toys have homes within our home.  NYE was celebrated in an unconventional way by letting Matthew stay up to watch The Po.lar Exp.ress in our bed and then sleep all night with us (oh the joy!).  And we’re now looking forward to a 2014 full of travel (starting Jan 9th to KC) and better fitness… and much-needed (and deserved) sleep.

As my Aunt Linda loves to say – HUZZAH!