Friday, July 31, 2015

July Reads

This isn't so much July reads as it is Everything Since May Reads. I've been reading a ton with the kids but not getting so much reading time in for myself. But here's what we've done, starting with chapter books I've read with Ollie and ending with my own books I've finished this month.

Ollie and I started the year with the goal of reading 12 chapter books together this year and we are already on our 12th! It's very exciting. I love our reading time together. It's one of the things I look forward to most.

Ramona the Brave (Beverly Cleary)- Ollie is a big fan of these books. He loved Beezus and Ramona and felt for Beezus on an older sibling level. He did complain that he didn't think Ramona was very brave in this book, haha. It's a classic. An easy read.

Half Magic (Edward Eager)- Another classic. We are looking forward to reading more from Edward Eager. This a book from my childhood that I was happy to share with Oliver. He enjoyed the humor. I think it's a very clever book and very charming and old fashioned in language, which is fun to read aloud. 

The Bad Beginning (Lemony Snicket)- This book tickled Ollie. If you haven't read it beware of spoilerness but he couldn't figure out how these kids could get out of their predicament at the end and when they did he was overjoyed! He was laughing and wiggling in his seat. We're reading the next book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. They're so fun and imaginative. 

The War with Grandpa (Robert Kimmel Smith)- I think this is one of Ollie's favorites. It's fun to read a book from a kid's perspective. I remember this book from when I was a kid and I loved it then and loved it this time just as much. It teaches some good lessons and has some fun laugh out loud moments. 

Now, MY books. 

The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)- This book is haunting and beautiful and broke my heart into a millions pieces over and over. I definitely plan to buy this book for reading again and to have for the kids in the future. It really is one to add to your must read list. 

 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)- Ahhhhh Harry Potter. I love these books. This one has always been my least favorite. I read it when it was published the summer I turned 16 and then I never did again. The rest I have read over and over but this one I just couldn't. Determined to make it through the entire series again, I put this one off for months and finally dove in. Interestingly, it was much easier the 2nd time around. Maybe because I wasn't deep in my own teen angst at the same time as Harry. Maybe I'm just older and wiser and can appreciate that @$%# Umbridge for the great writing that she is. She is seriously worse than Voldemort. And I think it's because he is sort of stereotypically evil and kind of like the embodiment of evil, whereas Umbridge is very much someone that could really exist and does all over the world. 

I have lots of feelings about this book this time around but I will just leave it with I loved to hate Umbridge, Sirius didn't affect me the way he once had, I loved Harry's teenage angst SO MUCH and got such a kick out of it and I can't wait to read the next 2 and finish the series off and binge watch the movies after that. 

Messenger (Lois Lowry)- I really love this series. I'm excited to be on the final book. Messenger was interesting and nice because it had characters from the other 2 books in it. It felt familiar. I was left pretty heart broken by the end though. I definitely think this series is worth a read. Another one that I'll be buying for my kid's to have one day. 

And that's a wrap. All caught up! I'm back on a reading bend and really enjoying immersing myself in it again after a month of not reading at all. Cheers! 


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge the Third

It's already the 3rd reading challenge check-in! How is summer flying by so fast?

We have spent so much time at the library lately. It's a cool place to get out of this 100+ South Carolina heat. Our pile of library books abounds.

Here's what our list is looking like right now-

We added to 3 categories.

A book featuring the alphabet-

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

My 4 year old looooves this book. It's great for kids learning to recognize their letters because it's a fun to have read to you and a fun one to look at on your own. Each letter is accompanied by a bunch of food that starts with that letter and a lot of the food is easily recognized by a kiddo so they can look at this themselves and see that S is connected to strawberries or L to lettuce. Al has had a lot of fun with this one.

A book about mom and child- 

Heather has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman

This one is obviously great for teaching your kids about the different types of families that exist. The end of the book even expands on that further by having different children in the story draw their families so you see kids that are raised by just one parent or a grandparent, kids with and without siblings, kids with parents of the same sex. An important read. For us especially because we don't have any LGBT friends that live in the state that our kids get to see regularly and we want this idea of family to be normal to our kids.

 A book featuring colors- 

One by Kathryn Otoshi

This book is beautiful. It's a gorgeous watercolor style throughout. It has won TONS of awards. Alice is actually asking me to read it right now so I think it's a hit.

That does it for us this check-in. We have another library trip coming up and we're hoping to hit all of the categories in the next few weeks!

Sweet Turtle Soup

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Living with Infertility- Clomid Update

Three weeks ago I got the results of my blood work back for my first Clomid cycle. I wrote this very soon after but never posted it because it felt too raw at the time.

I am writing this raw and fast while I'm feeling my feelings.

My cycle day 21 blood work showed that I didn't ovulate with Clomid this cycle.

It was news that I wasn't expecting. I really thought it had worked. My body was showing all the signs of wanting to ovulate but I guess it just didn't get pushed far enough. I really needed some good news and this was a hard blow.

We'll try double the dose next cycle. But I can't help being so upset and disappointed and sad. I am dreading another cycle, dreading more medicine, dreading OPKs and basal body thermometers and prenatal vitamins and more blood work and waiting for another call. I'm dreading planned sex and preseed applicators and soft cups and how sterile and scheduled sex becomes.

July 11th, tomorrow, is 2 years since we started trying to have a baby. Two years of my life. I had a 2 year old back then. I can't hide being angry at the universe or being terrified that this will never work. I'm so jealous of my pregnant friends and friends that have just had babies. I've started to unlike all of the parenting stuff that I follow on social media so that I don't have to see pregnant women and babies everywhere because it's so hard. I can't put into words how hard it can be.

Right now everything is just really heavy. This is the real life journey of infertility. There are very few ups and a lot of really deep downs.

I'm just trying to make it through the day right now. It's hard to tell people who knew about the blood work and it's harder to hear them being positive and trying to make me be positive. I just want to be miserable for a while. 

Three weeks later I am... less hopeless. I know sometimes it takes some tweaking before you get the right dose. I just really expected it to work. My body was going crazy and doing things it had never done before. Fertile cervical mucus, for one thing. I had darker OPKs than ever before, though never any positive ones (but I had stopped testing after a certain point) and my left ovary was really sore and painful, which I'd hoped was a good sign. I'm not excited about more cycles and my anxiety is going crazy over this but I am back to trying to be hopeful. Trying to see the silver lining. I did have really good, positive signs of ovulation wanting to happen. So hopefully with the extra 50mg of medication it will make an egg pop. Fingers and toes crossed.

I'm still waiting for a period to show up. Cycle day 43 now. I'm not in a big hurry. Last cycle we got to cycle day 37 and decided to go for meds to bring on my period but this time I am hoping if I wait long enough it will happen on its own and maybe having a natural cycle will be better. There's a lot going on in life right now and I'm happy to put off my Clomid cycle for a while.

I'm just trying to keep my head above water right now. Just keep swimming, right?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Crochet Lately

Life has had a lot more downs the ups the past 3 weeks. I haven't wanted to blog about much. Depression is pressing down on me pretty hard and family struggles are daily life right now. But in the midst of all of that I've been doing a fair bit of crocheting so lets talk about that! Because it's more fun.

It is the last few months before Christmas so things are about to get hectic up in hurrr. I have some fun gift plans. We also have birthdays and a wedding and plenty of babies being born. I'm glad I made the decision to close up my Etsy shop for the year and take time to make things I wanted and make things for people. A lot less stress.

I can't remember the last things I blogged about my crochet and I am lazy right now and can't be bothered to look it up so I'll just start with a cute bear hat and monster bib for my BFF's baby boy. 

Husband's co-worker asked me to make her future granddaughter, due in September, this pretty shell stitch baby blanket and a fun football hat. I really love how they turned out. Pretty colors.

I took my little miss to see Minions and obviously she needed a hat to match! This has been a big hit. She's not even that big of a Minions fan but she loved the hat and we got a lot of compliments on it. This is a Repeat Crafter Me pattern. I just changed the border color to pink and added a sweet little pink bow to the top because it has been Miss Mae's favorite lately.

A new obsession might have started. This Amish puzzle ball was a cinch to throw together and I love it so much. I made this for BFF's baby and I plan on making more. One for each of my own kiddos and one for my nieces. This pattern is free. There is also a book that I am seriously considering buying that has puzzle ball animals! I want to make a dinosaur so bad.

A sweet little lotus mandala. I made a few and plan to string them up into a little mandala bunting.

Probably the most exciting start to anything in a while. I decided to put that patchwork blanket on the back burner. The tiny squares are just too much for my hands so I'll definitely finish it but I'll take my time and probably spend a couple of years on it. So the first born needed a new idea for a birthday blanket and I decided to try out a graphgan! This little beauty doesn't look like much but if all goes well it should have the Flash symbol on it when I'm done.

That's about it for now! I'm happy to have crochet as a distraction. It's especially needed now.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge the Second

Another reading challenge check in! We've been reading like crazy, as always. I'm working my way through the 5th Harry Potter book and the kids have a nest of library books they have been going through. Our weekly library trips are the best.

This check in we checked off 3 categories-

A book about bugs- Miss Spider's Wedding

Miss Spider books are always beautiful and full of amazing pictures. This one was adorable and sweet and the kids really enjoyed it.

A book about princesses- Princess in Training

We actually read a few princess books recently. I try to find some really cool princess stories that show how fierce and cool chicks can be. Princess in Training goes on our list because it was such a neat story of a princess that doesn't quite fit in and tries to be the kind of princess that she's not but then discovers that she's amazing just the way she is! We also read The Princess Knight, which I really recommend. If you've seen the movie Brave, it reminded me of that a bit. And we read Stella, Princess of the Sky, which isn't actually about a princess really, but princess is in the title and it's a beautiful book.

A book you read as a child- Half Magic

This is actually a chapter book that we've been working on for a couple of weeks. We try to get through at least once chapter book a month. Half Magic is adorable and fun and sweet and neat and everyone should read it. I read it as a kid and it was a joy to revisit.

I'm looking forward to picking out some more books with the kids this week for the next check in! Happy reading.

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. - C.S. Lewis

Sweet Turtle Soup

Monday, July 6, 2015

4th of July Weekend

We had a really nice weekend! It was kind of busy on Saturday so I wasn't expecting to super enjoy myself since I get run down in social situations pretty easily, but it was good.

We started our 4th with more baby snuggles and some biscuits and gravy with my BFF. There's no better way to start a Saturday. We moved on to the zoo with our oldest niece and my MIL. It was a perfect zoo day, especially for July. Warm but overcast so we weren't being baked alive. And all of the animals were out! First time ever. The lions and tigers and bears. Oh my. I taught Alice to say that. It's as cute as can be.

From here we went shopping at Once Upon A Child, which is possibly one of my favorite things, and they were having a HUGE sale! All clearance for only a dollar. I got Alice a few more skirts and shorts and a couple of shirts and I feel like I should have gotten her more.

We had a big dinner with my family and then went to one of my other favorite places, 2nd and Charles, where I scored some excellent books. I'm slowly getting rid of books that I don't want anymore or plan to read again and I'm trying to build a nice little library for the kiddos.

It was already 8 by this point so we decided to just stay in town and find some fireworks to watch. I'm so glad we did! We went to a 'beach party' at the park and listened to The Tams and danced and played in the sand and then the kids oohed and ahhed at fireworks. It was worth staying out late just to see their faces.

We had an hour drive back home and got home at nearly midnight. The kids were passed out and went to bed so sweetly and without a fuss, which is unheard of. It was all so much fun. Sunday was lazy and slow with big meals and lots of laying around. Ace weekend.