Yes, I know I'm cheesy... that's one of the reasons Jer loves me.
Today was quite the day. I had my usual 4 kids... then added Max and Allen to the mix from about 1:30 til 7... It was a fun day, the kids played VERY well together and the babies let me work on getting the cushions sewn back together for the rocking chair. We had our Fencing Class Demonstration/Tournament as well. It was so close! Three of the students very easily could have gotten first. I've been very proud of my class this last time, they've all worked so hard. I'm especially proud of my two cute kiddos. Sam has amazing form for a 3 year old. Sometimes he has a hard time understanding right of way... but so do I at times. Ada made huge strides today. She usually doesn't like to fence the boys her age. She gets scared that they'll hurt her, which is kind of funny because she's good enough to parry most of what they can give her... as long as she's not thinking about the fact that she's scared. The first bout was Allen and Max... very close... 4-5. The next bout was Sam and Ada... Sam did great considering he's so small against these 5-7 year old kids... theirs was 3-5. Then Ada and Max battled it out for the trophy that I'd gotten for the winner. Theirs was a very close match. It was hard to call some of the points. It took three adults to wrangle the rest of the class and ref their bout. After lots of encouragement and pep talks by Dad and Lorrin they came out at 5-4. Ada was thrilled to death and Max was a very good sport. They both came away as proud as can be! I was especially proud of Ada for getting over her fear of fencing Max. She did get hurt twice, but she finished and did so well! I got all the kids a donut and later took Ada out to get a special cookie that she's been wanting instead of the donut... Sweet Tooth Fairy is the cutest little cupcake/cookie place. Ada was even really brave when she got her brand new "special" cookie from the cashier and promptly dropped it upside down on the floor. She got a little teary but never actually cried. I helped her pick it up and we went home and redecorated it.
My friend is a dog trainer and while they lived nearby I learned about clicker training... I thought it was very effective and Lucy definitely perks up every time we use the clicker to learn something new. I taught Ada how to do it and she loves to be out there feeding the dog treats and doing tricks. She came to me all excited, "Mom! I taught Lucy a new trick!" I went out and Ada says, "Lucy, sniff." Well, Lucy did indeed sniff... I mean, she is a dog. Ada then proceeded to click the clicker and award her for sniffing. Good job.
Both Pips and Evelyn love babies... So the 5 or so babies that we've inherited/bought have only usually been used during play groups... Until now. Now they wrap their babies in blankets, pretend to feed them, and most of all... Cuddle them. It's kind of funny though... They both have the same two favorite babies so they have to compromise on which has which baby at any given time... But it is really cute.
You never feel as accomplished as when you finish something that you voluntarily started. This weekend we got our front steps fixed, our lawn ready to fertilize, and our arbor ready to paint... but the best one? I finally finished the bench cushions for our kitchen. I was sick of the light colored ones that were in there... the kids would breathe on them and they'd turn different colors, so we made new ones. Maybe not the most amazing covers in the world but they'll fit our needs. They're dark, have a major pattern going and they match the pictures and floor... can't ask for more than that I guess.
This was from Valentine's, but I had to put it up here... love it.
Evelyn is our lover of meat.... especially fish. We went out to Texas Roadhouse for our date night this last week. Jer and I decided to split one of the combo plates so we had it in the middle of the table. Evelyn reached right for the whole steak and tried to put it on her plate. When Jer put it back on the plate in the middle she stood up in her chair, shook her finger at him and said, "No! That's mine!"
Warning: long post and probably too much information for most people, but this one's for me.
As you probably know, or maybe don't... Jer and I both have infertility issues. We're pretty dang lucky to have been able to get pregnant three times. To get pregnant with Ada we had to have a $3000 surgery, Sammy was a little bit of a surprise, and I had to be on an insulin-resistance diet to get pregnant with Evelyn. Now I'm not ovulating at all. They think that they can make me ovulate with Clomid, but Jer's sperm count came back pretty low and just for the cherry on top... the sperm motility is pretty bad. I've been trying to lose weight and mostly just control my insulin (which has never tested extra high, but does have a lot of ups and downs). We're meeting with a fertility clinic to see what our options are. But with all this going on I've been doing my infertility research again... feels weird what I've forgotten since I last started it 5 years ago... I'm going to write down a few that pertain to us just so I remember in the future.
Age - once you hit 30 your fertility drops (in women... men's is something more like 50, I can't remember) Stress - extreme physical or emotional stress can stop ovulation Medication - Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin and Aleve can interfere with follicle development and implantation. BMI - a BMI between 20-25 is recommended for someone trying to get pregnant (*my first thought was whoa! Most people say to stay lower than that. That would mean that someone my height should be about 140-150ish lbs... everyone "healthy" has said that I should be 120-125 or so, and just to go along with that... my mom is a labor and delivery nurse, she told me that most ladies that she sees with harsh pregnancy symptoms are usually the skinny ones... if they "have a few extra lbs on them" then the don't usually have the morning sickness, dizziness, whatever... the very heavy ones usually have problems with their blood pressure and their blood sugar levels... but it seems like the middle ground is that 20-25 BMI for feeling the best during pregnancy as well as getting pregnant in the first place.) "Before you get pregnant, strive to achieve a balance between normal body weight and optimal nutritional intake." Activity - Avoid extremes... here's what the fertility clinic has to say about exercise: It’s no surprise that exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle. However, too much exercise may interfere with your fertility. In fact, a 2009 study showed that intense exercise might impair sperm count, motility, and morphology. For this reason, experts recommend that men not exceed one hour of moderate exercise three times per week. Dieting - Even women with a normal/healthy body weight may have problems conceiving if they are constantly on a weight loss diet. Adding antioxidant-rich foods (avocados, pomegranates, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, etc...) can boost fertility in both men and women. Smoking - no... of course not Overheating - men, don't use hot tubs, saunas, wear tight clothing, sit for long periods of time, put laptops on your laps, etc... Alcohol - no, don't do it.
and of course
Hormones - unless your hormones aren't too crazy you should be fine. This is one of my biggest problems... my crazy hormones make my insulin crazy, which has made my BMI crazy, which is a source of stress... kind of ironic don't you think? They do have some medications that I can take to help but I don't know what they're going to say when they get all of our medical records. I've heard of people taking Metformin to help with the insulin part of it, but since I'm on that insulin diet my doctor didn't say that I needed it... (he said that "6" normal and I was a "7" which was still in a healthy range. I don't know what he's measuring it against, but there it is). Sometimes the doctors put you on a type of birth control pill that regulates your cycle so that your body will start ovulating when you get off the pill... that scares me though. I know a lot of people that have miscarried after taking birth control pills, that's a roller coaster all in itself. My sister was on a hormone pill while I was pregnant with one of my babies to help control her PCOS... but it was really a strong one. I couldn't touch anything around her or really be in the same area as she was for an hour or two after she took her pill because it might cause me to miscarry. I don't see that that one would help us get pregnant.
Want to know something ironic though? Because I'm on this "control my insulin diet", my insulin is better in control throughout the day but my blood pressure started going up it's usually about 106/70 but it's been 127/80, not too bad but high for me. I figured it out though, I've been eating a lot more salt because I've been eating fewer sugar/carbs. I have cut back on the salt but I haven't had my blood pressure taken since then. We'll see what it is next time I go in.
So all in all - no sugar for me, less exercise for Jer, more veggies for both of us, no laptops on laps or trips to the hot tub for Jer, and though it doesn't specifically say it... more exercise for me. (I do exercise but I'm trying to bring down my BMI more while we're trying to figure everything else out.)
And money? Well, we won't have to do the $20,000 surgery... but here's what we've had so far and we're only starting down our way...
Rosanne doctor appointments - $30
Rosanne medication so far - $30
Sperm count - $175 (have to do a second one soon)
Jer's doctor appointments - $25
Initial consultation with Fertility clinic - $250
Then if we do what my OBGYN is thinking we're going to do it will be another $600-$800 per treatment and it may not take the first time. He did say that most his patients that had it done usually were pregnant within 2-3 months... we'll see. Luckily we have extremely good insurance though.
Well, I have to say that it isn't as expensive as getting pregnant with Ada to begin with, but it sure is going a heck of a lot more places than the money went last time. I don't feel like our family is complete yet, but it is what it is. If we have more I will count our blessings over and over. If we don't, I will count the three very specially cute blessing that we do have and be grateful for even that (but please let me mourn a little bit if that's the way it goes!).
You'll never guess what this little one did today... she peed in the potty. Weeks ago I had her pick out her own potty seat at the store... then she carried it around the house for a couple days... then I showed her how it goes on the potty. Since then she will randomly ask me to take off her diaper and sit her on the potty. Today she peed on it. Technically, we are not actively potty training... and I don't want to deal with the poop accidents yet so I haven't even showed her the underwear in her drawer, but I think that when I'm ready she'll go at it with gusto.
Pips started walking a couple weeks ago, and Evelyn likes to take her hand and guide her around the house. Too cute.
After our time with the Hansens, we went on down to Tucson. We hung out with our cousins at an amazing park, enjoyed the warm sun and the breeze, and just loved being in James and Em's home. We got started back on Tuesday morning and hoped to be home late that night... Then Ada threw up the whole way home and we got pulled over trying to get ahead of some trucks (warning only... phew!), and got on the wrong road after getting gas and took a detour to Califonia where we saw a place called Pirates Cove... We got home about 1:30am, but we got home... then Sam threw up from 1:30am til about 3:30, but we were home.
Each of the cousins are so fun.
Aubrey - What a great older sister/cousin/helper. I love her smile and love how she's always thinking of something fun to do.
Mariah - What a dynamic girl. She's willing to tell me where things go in the kitchen and play all sorts of games with the younger cousins.
Jonathan - What a sweet and caring guy. He looks at others to see how they're feeling and helps them out. Sammy said that he was his favorite to play with.
Amelia - Sweetest smile ever! She and Evelyn played and played so cutely together.
Henry - What a smart and happy kid! Ada had fun climbing over the back fence with him to investigate things in the wash.
Wesley - Such a sweet boy, he loved to tell me all about things and kicked our trash at all the games we played together. That kid can roll dice like noone's business.
Graham - What a cute kid, and an amazing climber. He and Evelyn are so similar it's funny! They both insist on being up in their brother's bunkbeds, love their mommies, love to ride bikes, and lock themselves in rooms. They actually locked themselves in a room together... alone... with a keyed lock on the door. Evelyn's too short to really work the doorknob well so luckily Emily was able to talk Graham through opening the door from the other side. And he did it!