Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Five

TGIF, am I right? I'm so excited for the weekend. Here's 5 from our week.

1. Tomorrow is our anniversary!

Look at us! Such babies! Halloween 2006 was our first date. <3 We are going on a date to celebrate tomorrow for the first time since our 1st anniversary.

2. Treats on the Streets

A town near us does a special Halloween event the Thursday before Halloween where all of the shops on main street hand out candy to children. It was so fun! Our town doesn't do much Halloween-wise and there isn't a lot of trick or treating to be had so this was great. Alice decided to dig into her dress up box and be a princess instead Supergirl. Ollie stuck with the blue Power Ranger.

3. The best library stack.

4. Al and I started our first chapter book!

After 1 chapter she asked for another and then when I said we had to take a nap she said it was the best book ever and can we please read it so much that night. Yay!

5. KonMari

If you've never heard of KonMari, it's a method of cleaning and decluttering and organizing your home. It is pretty much changing my life. Mostly the idea of only holding onto things that spark joy. I definitely hold onto things because of fear or feeling like I have to. Something a family member gave us and feeling like it would be rude to get rid of. Holding onto baby toys and clothes, not because they bring me joy but because I worry we'll have a 3rd baby and not have any of these things. Letting go of these fears is freeing. I've been loving getting rid of things. As the clutter of the house disappears, my mind feels less crazy and anxious.

Off to the last day of the week! Have a beautiful weekend.

Linking up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October Reads

I had every intention of reading some scary books this month for Halloween but it just didn't work out that way. I do have a zombie book waiting for me at the library so I'll read something scary around Halloween. Counts? Counts.

Lets get to it. No scary stories but still a lot of reading was done!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K. Rowling)- Harry's 6th year at Hogwarts. Junk is getting real on the Voldemort front. This was my very first audio book of all time. I grabbed it because I'd heard such rave reviews and it certainly delivered. Jim Dale is phenomenal. I am now addicted to audio. I obviously loved the book because I love Harry Potter for life. I am about to pick up the 7th one and start on it to round out my year of reading HP all over again. 

Last Chance Out (Staci Rizner)- Set in the near future, a group of teenagers flee South Carolina and cross the east coast to New York in hopes of getting on one of the last space shuttles off of Earth. Smart, talking, thinking dinosaurs, created by the government in an attempt to stop WWIII, are ravaging the country and killing people. I read this at like 16 or 17 years old and I wanted to read it again because of memories. The author was a teen when she wrote it and she's from my state which is how I found out about her back in the day because she was on the local news. The description does not do it enough justice. It's much weirder than it even sounds. It's not awful but it's obviously written by a 15 year old. I would actually totally buy this and have it in our family library because it's so crazy and entertaining. If you like crappy Sci-Fi channel movies, this is your jam.

A Wind in the Door (Madeleine L'Engle)- All of the main characters from A Wrinkle in Time return for another adventure, this time with Meg and Calvin leading the way. I love this author, I love this family, I love these books. They are like comfort food. I crave them. There is never a time that isn't perfect for L'Engle. If you like deliciously wonderful thought filled sci-fi, this is YOUR jam.

The Titan's Curse (Rick Riordan)- The 3rd book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This book finds our favorite demi-gods and satyr friend in another rough and tumble adventure, this time with Annabeth kidnapped and another war among the Gods looming over everyone's head and obvs the stubborn Gods aren't listening about a Titan threat. Obviously, Percy and friends much save the day! An Ollie and me read. We are steadily working our way through the series and we both enjoy it a lot. I'm happy to have found a fantasy series that my kid loves so much. This one was just as fun as the last 2 but with a little more heartbreak involved. so beware.

 The Dragonslayers (Bruce Coville)- Witches? Check. A fire breathing dragon? Check and check. A ragtag group of characters hellbent on slaying the dragon? Check. A heartwarming ending? Check! Bruce Coville must be in everyone's bookshelves, right? He's a standard little kid read. Ollie and I read this one together in a couple of nights and I loved getting back to some Coville. He's so fun. In fact we ordered Into the Land of Unicorns because I need some more Coville. Must read for kids.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Mindy Kaling)- I love Mindy and I really wanted to love this book. I thought I would. It was another audio book selection and I thought I'd enjoy hearing her read her own stuff but it was pretty lackluster, I'm sad to say. This is a collection of essays it feels like and I agree with a Goodreads review I saw that said she hasn't lived enough life or done enough things to fill a book yet and so she was just kind of putting out weird opinions, like what sort of chest hair she prefers on a man, which would be fun but it felt jumbled and scattered to me. I really thought it would be quirky and endearing and it was fun in some parts and the last few chapters really drew me in, but mostly I was bored. Boo. I think if you are looking for some really light, fluffy reading, this could be great.

That's it for October! Happy reading.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Happenings

I think Boo at the Zoo is one of the cutest ideas and names ever. Or as Al calls it 'the boozoo!'. 

We'd never been (how? why not? I don't know!) so I insisted on it this year and I'm so glad I did. So much fun! Our zoo is awesome on a normal day but this was all new and exciting. A trick or treat trail, a dance party with a DJ, s'more making stations and a foam zone where you could get covered in bubbles. Yes please.

We got to trick or treat with the blue Power Ranger and Supergirl! How cool is that!

We also did our carved pumpkins on Friday! Is carving pumpkins always such hard work or am I just getting old? I felt like my hand was going to fall off. Alice and I did a mummy cat and Ollie and husband did a spooky face. They came out fabulous. We love lighting them up every night.

Linking up again with this cool group. Happy Halloweening!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Beach

A little over a week ago we got to spend 4 days in a cute beach house right by the ocean with my husband's family. We had so many beautiful walks on the beach. We collected shells, found star fish on our early morning walks, made sand castles and little rivers from the dunes to the ocean and we even donned a ton of glow sticks and went for a night walk on the beach to search for crabs, which there were MANY of. Memories that will never fade for this mama.

These 3 faces smooshed next to mine make me the most happy.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hallo-Winning (Link Up)

I have so loved October this year. Even if we didn't have kids I would be all about Halloween themed foods and snacks and movies and decorations and crafts. But WITH kids, it's even better.

Our weekend festivities had everything from fun snacks to pumpkin painting. I might love it more than the kids at this point but I think they appreciate my effort.

Friday night we had family movie night. My favorite ever Halloween movie- Hocus Pocus. If I had another sister I would so make my siblings dress up as the Sanderson Sisters. As it is, I make do just watching the movie every year. It happens to be the kid's favorite too.

We made mummy pizzas and Halloween puppy chow with pretzels and Reese's Pieces and husband made them 'magic potions' to drink with some sprite and green juice. Delish. Much snuggling commenced.

Probably my most favorite thing was buying little pumpkins and sitting outside painting them. We put on some Halloween music (Monster Mash anyone?!) and the kids painted for a full half hour.

I think they really enjoyed it. At the end we had 2 super fun pumpkins to decorate our steps with (the real fun comes next weekend when we get our big carving pumpkins!). Alice decorated her front reddish purple and her back like Cinderella's dress, she said. It was all purple-y with yellow polka dots. Ollie made a scary face! I think it's pretty impressive.

Linking up with some fun peeps! All the Halloween goodness.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Living with Infertility- Clomid Round 2 Update

Well, it has been a while since I wrote about our 2nd round of Clomid. My last update was about going in for the blood work. We've since got the results back and it's not good news.

Round 2 didn't work. Which, I suspected it wouldn't. I don't really know why. Maybe I was being realistic or maybe I just had some sort of intuition. My ovaries stayed stubborn, my progesterone didn't rise and I didn't ovulate.

It was a big bummer. I was okay at first and then I had a nice long crying spell and now I am still sad but... it is what it is, right? I can't change it now. I did everything I could and it didn't work. So we move on.

Moving on is kind of the hard part. My NP can't give me any more medication. She has to send me off to her doctor now. From what I know at this point he'll want to do another round of 100mg Clomid and see if that helps, if not he'll probably try me on a different medication.

Right now I don't really want to do anything else. Husband and I have talked at length about this and we think the best option for us is to take a break for the rest of the year. I'm trying to decide if I want to go on birth control and see if that will help regulate my cycle a little bit or if I just want to keep off meds altogether until January or so and make an appointment with the doctor then.

The break is for a few reasons. There's money, for one. Infertility isn't cheap. I kind of would rather be buying Christmas gifts than paying to be jabbed with needles every month. And then there's how hard this has been on me emotionally. I have really struggled. I'm at a point now where I can be happy for most people when they announce they are pregnant and still feel okay being sad for myself. I've worked hard to get here. I don't want to fall back into being jealous or angry. And frankly, I'm just tired of being sad all the time. Trying to get pregnant is just a constant, daily reminder that I am messed up somehow and can't get knocked up. Daily prenatals, doctor visits once a month, blood work, I can't take Advil, etc. I think taking a break from being reminded that I'm infertile would be nice.

The nurse has said she thinks it could help my cycles and that in a lot of cases women go on birth control for 3 months and get off of it and immediately get pregnant. I'm not holding my breath for THAT but doing something productive to regulate my cycles seems promising, at the very least.

So anywho... that's that. The update. Nothing worked. We're pretty sure we know where we're going with this next. It's hard and it feels like taking a step backward and it's really difficult to think that we'll be purposefully preventing pregnancy and we won't have a chance of getting pregnant this year, but it feels like the best choice right now in the few that we've been given.

I am sending so much love to everyone out there struggling with fertility. I hope you get your miracle soon. Sister on. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Flood

This weekend, my state was hit with a massive amount of rain. Dozens of inches of rain all within 3 days. Most of it on Saturday. Our town had 11 inches. The midlands had almost 30.

Flooding started Saturday and continued throughout the weekend. Even now, with the sun shining outside, there is more flooding happening because dams are breaking. Cities have been evacuated. So many people have lost their homes. So many people lost their lives. A friend of a friend drowned in her car when she was caught in flood waters. The damage can't even be put into words. And damage is still happening.

We were so lucky. Somehow, through some magic, our town was one of the few that wasn't hit hard by the weather. We had some flooding but it never reached our street. The rain stopped and an hour later our yard didn't even have a puddle. Meanwhile every town surrounding us, every county bordering us, was flooded with over a foot of water. In many places the water was as tall as a man or taller.

I can't do this justice with words. I have seen entire houses swallowed by rain water. I have seen roads washed away, bridges that are usually stories above rivers bathed in river water because the water level rose so high, entire roads and interstates shut down, the entire peninsula of Charleston was cut off from the rest of the state and the flooding was so bad that people were not allowed to enter the town. An aerial view of the midlands of South Carolina right now shows a swamp land with just a few house roofs peeking out. The sky is so blue and clear for the first time in 2 weeks but we are suffering and the damage is excruciating and it just keeps coming. We were lucky. We were safe. None of our friends or family lost anything in the flood, even though everyone we love lives in the Midlands or Charleston. We were spared.

With all of that said, I also have to say that South Carolina is one of those magical places where someone is always willing to help. We are facing a lot of clean up and homelessness, a lot of heart break and damage, but we are all together in it. Immediately there were people putting together volunteer groups to go out and help communities clean out the damaged houses and try to prevent mold and bacteria from growing and spreading. Libraries opened their doors to be water distribution centers. My favorite tea shop opened as soon as it was safe to do so and offered free cups of tea and coffee and some company to anyone who needed it. Citizens were out in their boats helping rescue teams get people out of their flooded houses. Teams of people were moving shelter dogs to higher ground and delivering water to them. There is nowhere like here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in a storm. I love this state.

We are still in the middle of this but I know we will pull through and we will help each other get back on our feet.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Reads

This was a good month for reading. A lot of downtime. Lets get to it.

The Lightning Thief (Rick Ridordan)- I am probably one of the last to read this. Ollie chose this one after I bought the first 2 to give us more chapter book choices. We'd seen the movie and I have to say that this is one of those books that is wayyyy better than the movie. I try not to knock movies or compare books and movies so much but they watered down the story a lot (ha...ha... watered down... son of Poseidon...) in their movie adaption. Anywho, we really enjoyed the book! It was really funny and as a Greek mythology geek for my entire life, this was super fun to view those myths in a new way. Ollie really enjoyed it. A lot of adventure and wit and fun. He's very interested in mythology now.

Wonder (R.J. Palacio)- August is born with a facial deformity and his parents choose to homeshool him his entire life to protect him but for the first time he's going to public school and not sure how his peers will react or treat him. The story is narrated by Auggie and the people around him. This book. I can't even. It was one of my favorite reads of the year. Of all time. I LOVED this book. At first I thought it would break my Mama bear heart, and it did in a few places. It's not an easy story. But it's important and it's amazing and wonderful and it makes you feel all the things. Sometimes you need a book like that. I picked this up to read and see if it would be appropriate to read with Ollie sometime and it's definitely a book I'd recommend sitting down and reading with your kids. I think it will help you have some good conversations. I'll be purchasing this one for our family library.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Roald Dahl)- Another Ollie and me book. I've started up a collection of Roald Dahl because I'd like to make my way through all of his books and I think so far the kids really love him too. This is a short and sweet book. Good for making funny voices while you read aloud. It took us about 2 nights to get through, so easy peasy! It's a fun, short read.

Prince Caspian (C.S. Lewis)- A while back Ollie and I read The lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and even though Ollie didn't want to continue the Chronicles of Narnia at the time, I decided to carry on by myself. I've read the Wardrobe twice now and this was my 2nd time making my through Prince Caspian, but I've never read the rest! Bad book nerd. I made it my personal quest to finish the series. I am reading them in the original publishing order, so it might seem like a strange order to some. They are just lovely though. I really loved Prince Caspian, even more than the first read through when I was a kid. It's such lovely language, isn't it? The Pevensies are some of my most favorite book characters ever.

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend (Michelle Cuevas)- Jacques Papier thinks no one likes him. The teacher ignores him, he doesn't have any friends, the bus driver slams the door in his face. What he doesn't realize that he's his 'twin' sister's imaginary friend. I saw this book and thought the cover and titles were interesting so I picked it up. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't explain how beautiful the imagery and language is. It's touching. The story is moving and wonderful and Jacques Papier is a really beautiful character. It would be a great read aloud book with the family.

The Sea of Monsters (Rick Riordan)- I get the feeling I'll be typing out Rick Riordan's name a few more times. Apparently my first born is very into this series. It's fun because it's the first series he seems to really love. We're working on the 3rd one now. It's just as fun and adventurous as the first book and you have a few new characters to enjoy. Again, the book is better than the movie. Like, the movie is basically an entirely different story, actually. Very few things even happen the same? They took a lot of creative leave, there. And the characters are so washed out in the movies. They are much more vibrant and funny and interesting in the book. Give the book a try if you haven't yet. You won't even have anything spoiled because the movie is SO different.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (C.S. Lewis)- First off, the name of the book is beautiful. Secondly, the cover of this edition (which is the one I have) is gorgeous. Serene. I'm still making my way through Narnia and this book was just as charming and adventurous as the other 2. I enjoyed it. I adore Lucy. The ending of this particular book was very bitter sweet and lovely. I'm so glad I decided to finally, at the ripe old age of 28, get through them all.

I have some exciting reads waiting on me in October. I'm trying to find a good ghost story or scary book to read in honor of Halloween but so far I haven't had much luck finding something I'm interested in that my library actually carries but I'm still searching. Happy reading!