Thank You Announcements

Dear  Most Awesome Urologist,

Yep, its true, we are finally expecting a little one to join our family sometime before Christmas this year. Its been one heck of a ride to get here, but we are filled with so much gratitude and excitement - and a fair amount of trepidation as well!

We wanted to thank you for the role that you played on our journey. Your kindness and compassion was unmatched by any other medical professional we encountered. And your professional approach to our treatment plan, although it didn't result in the outcome we hoped for, did give us hope to continue on our journey to become parents. 

We will forever be grateful to you and your staff.
Stay tuned for a birth announcement!

With deep appreciation,
Mr and Mrs Foxy.

Who would have guessed that there are so many doctors and clinics and therapists who I need to thank as I send them our "We're Expecting" announcements!?!


HBear Drama

Oh my goodness, we knew it was coming, but it really irks me more than I expected it to.

(For background reading on HBear check out this post and this post and this post.)

HBear is up to no good. We got a call today from her after-school job asking to confirm that she missed work last Friday due to a dr appt. Um, No. We purposely scheduled her Dr appt on Thursday after work even though it was much less convenient for ML and I. Apparently one of the other workers saw her at the corner store with some other kids which led to the suspicion. (This is the second time that she lied in order to skip work, after promising us that it wouldn't happen again. grrr.)

She called us "after work" on Friday to see if she could hang out with friends. We said fine. Then when she came home before curfew at 9pm, she immediately asked if she was in trouble. She asked if I'd received an email (in retrospect presumably from her boss), which I hadn't, and then insisted that we drop the conversation. We tried to push, but didn't have any reason to think that she'd done anything wrong, so we let it go.

Then on Sunday when I pay her for her weekly responsibilities, I asked her to verbally go over each one with me. We only have 4 house rules, Be respectful, Be responsible for yourself, Communicate, and Be honest. I asked her point blank if she had been honest with us this last week, and she said YES.

The other thing that is really bothering me is a brief conversation we noticed on facebook. (Yes, we spy.) It was an exchange last Wednesday between HBear and a boy we didn't recognize. He asked for her address, she responded with our address but said that her cousins (ML an I) are still awake. Then she writes and says that her cousins went to their room, but she needs to wait until they are asleep. he responds a bit later asking if they are still up. and thats it. no further messages. What the hell is that all about?

Last night, I wandered back into the living room for some unknown reason to find the lights on, the front door unlocked AND slightly ajar. After locking up again, I stopped by HBears room to find her laying in bed awake. I asked if she'd opened the front door and she looks up and says, "What, No, What" I asked her again with the same reply. Then I ask if she'd been in the living room, she says "What, No, Oh Yeah, I got a glass of water." I ask again about the front door, telling her that it was unlocked and OPEN, and she says "Um, oh, I, um heard a noise outside." What the hell am I supposed to think is going on? Seriously, I'm ready to lock her in her room at night.

We lost a lot of ground with the week-long school break. She had gotten into a rhythm of school, work, and homework, and had actually earned some freedom. We let her have the week to do as she pleased. Bad call on our part. She didn't actually seem to enjoy herself and got herself into some sort of situation where she and another girl at the part exchanged words. This drama apparently followed her back to school.

She saw her mom for the first time since she moved in with us at my shower. I worried that it might be a huge scene, but they quietly slipped into the back room and talked for a good while. All of their conversations by phone until then had lasted no more than a few minutes ending in someone yelling and hanging up on the other.  Their relationship is toxic. Really horrendous. But HBear loves her mom and wants so desperately for her mom to love her unconditionally. And her mom does love her, I don't doubt that for a moment, however she is so consumed with her own issues that she just can't seem to be there for HBear the way that this child needs her to be there.

Last Monday, first day back to school after the break, HBear called us to say that she was sick. We told her to stick the day out, and she did. Then on Tuesday she texted to say that we needed to come get her or else she was leaving campus. ML and I went to the school to meet with her and the counselor. She begged and threatened, anything so that she didn't have to stay at school. We didn't budge. She told us that she'd rather live in a group home than live here. I calmly told her that I'd help her find a good group home, but that until she moved she had to keep attending school. She threatened to just leave campus, and the counselor explained the truancy laws and enforcement in our County. Three unexcused absences lands you in front of a judge. She backed down and went back to class. Then that evening she told me that she didn't really want to live in a group home. Go figure.

When I take a step back and look at the big picture, she is really doing very well here. She is attending a full day of classes, compared to the 3 hours of classes that she barely attended at all. She is back on track academically to graduate with the class of 2013. She is working 8 hours a week at a job, compared to having to no other structure in her life. She is abiding by our house rules, for the most part, and generally making progress towards her long term goals of graduating from high school, getting her drivers license, and surviving as an independent adult.

Regardless, I am so pissed that she lied to us.  We intended to confront her about it tonight, by giving her a chance to come clean on her own, and then taking the night to consider a suitable punishment. But ML was out late and by the time I'd finished homework with her, she went straight to bed. The reality is that we don't have anything significant (meaning anything that she cares about) to hold over her head.

It has to be her choice to make the right decisions. Our challenge is figuring out how to manipulate her into wanting to make better choices. Its hard though because I can't relate to where she is coming from.  I know why I lied to my parents (on the very few occasions that I did), but I'll stand to this day behind my reasons for making the choices that I did. My mom suggested that I was well behaved because I didn't want to disappoint my parents, which I'm sure was an underlying reason, but never something that I thought about specifically. I'd suggest that there were lots of things that I enjoyed in life, sports, ski trips, extra-curricular activities, borrowing the car, etc that I knew could be taken away from me.

We really are trying to figure out how to focus on HBear's strengths. We are trying hard to give her every chance to be successful. I wish that she could figure out how to play along.


The Big Announcement

It took me a while, but I finally took the big step and made the facebook announcement. It finally feels right. The awesome Alison at The Privileged Infertile created the design for my blog header, and I loved it so much that my dear sweet friend IRL helped turn it into an announcement. The response was almost immediate, with comments and likes and lots of love.

ML and I went through all of the baby shower gifts yesterday. He helped get everything organized and sorted. Rather than writing the thank you cards as we sorted, we just took pictures of each gift with the card. This will help me remember exactly who gave what to the baby. In a perfect world, I'll be able to snap a photo of the babe with each gift at some point over the next year and share that picture with the original gift-giver... ambitious, yes, but worth a try.

We have a whole library of books now set up on the bookshelf in our bedroom. Most people taped a picture of themselves in the front cover (just like we requested in the registry) and I have am hoping that I'll be able to add photos of the others once we get the baby shower pictures. I love the idea of showing our baby pictures of all the people who showered us with love.

I keep waiting for the nesting instinct to kick in. There is a lot of organizing that needs to be done around here, and we are quickly approaching the end of this pregnancy. 7 weeks until our due date, 5 weeks until we hit the window for a full term delivery. I had some sort of a stomach cramp yesterday afternoon that stopped me in my tracks for a few moments. ML suddenly became concerned that we need to get things in order around here. He had me pull the supply list for the home birth and suggested that we get our 'just in case' hospital bag packed today.

I on the other hand am still content to leave all the 'stuff' in the garage. I actually had a hard time taking tags off of clothing so that we can wash it. I am excited about these next few weeks, but still not ready to do any 'nesting'.

It was am incredibly gorgeous day here - one of the nicest we've had all year. ML went on a bike ride and I got invited to go for a walk to the beach with a close friend (the one who made my beautiful announcements), her amazing husband, and my puppy. It was warm enough that we could stand at the waters edge with our feet in the water. My friend is 17 weeks pregnant and rocking the most adorable bump. I am so excited that we will get to raise our babies together.

I placed the order for our thank you cards from Costco tonight and will be busy writing thank you notes the rest of the week. I still can't believe how many people made the trip to celebrate at my shower last weekend. I just don't have the words to describe my gratitude for this amazing life experience.


Showered with Love

Sunday was perfect. My moms house was packed with so many people who I love. I had the most wonderful time and was simply overwhelmed by the love that was bestowed upon me. We just got a preview of some pictures from the shower and I am so excited to share... I can't wait to see the rest!


Like Christmas Morning

I woke up early today. It feels a little like Christmas morning. But better - oh so much better!

Bestie and I went shopping yesterday and found a really cute tank top that I can wear for the shower today. We haven't been shopping sans kids in, lets see, two years since Little One was born. it was so nice to just hang out for a few hours.

I have a hair appointment this morning so that my hair will be styled and beautiful for the pictures today. My stylist is coming in special today just for me, just for the special occasion. :)

I painted my nails last night. It was a bit of a feat to get my toes painted, but I managed to pull it off for what will be the last time before this belly shrinks.

Packages have started arriving at our house addressed to " Baby Foxy". They are all sitting by the door so I can just look at them and know that they will all soon be loved by our very own baby. It feels so surreal and perfect and wonderful.

My sister-in-law is here with my little niece, my aunt flew in from out of state, and so many other friends and family are coming into town to celebrate this special occasion today.

I can't believe how much love there is here right now.


32 weeks and feeling good

Ohh Booo, I wrote a whole update, and then it disappeared... here goes again...

How far along? 32 Weeks
How is Mommy Feeling? 
- Still feeling great. Finally loving this pregnancy.
- I love my growing belly and the way that my body looks being pregnant. It is so much more beautiful than I ever imagined it would be. I need to start thinking about a maternity photo shoot with ML. I don't ever want to forget this.
- I love feeling the baby move around. I sometimes wish that it was more constant movement and that it was stronger, but I've been reassured that all is well. 
- Increasingly confident about my ability to give birth to this baby. I was worried, not about my physical ability to do this, but about the emotional experience of labor and delivery. We took our Birthing from Within childbirth class this past weekend and I am feeling more confident about my own ability to ask for the kind of help that I need. I'll do a review of all the childbirth books that I've been reading at some point.
- Crazy silly excited about my baby shower this weekend. My mom and sisters have been planning for months (maybe even for years :) and I know that every detail will be just perfect. There are so many people coming and, well, I am beyond excited.
How is Daddy Feeling? 
- Scared. of a lot of things. Of how our lives are going to change and of the kind of dad that he will be, that he might not like it all among other things. I'd always thought that he was joking when he said things like this, but recently realized that he is quite serious. 
- He was able to hear the baby's heartbeat today just by putting his ear up to my stomach - crazy cool. 

Total weight gain? 
- up 43 lbs to 198 as of this morning. 
- However I've had more than a few people tell me that it looks like I've only gained weight in my belly. I am inclined to believe them, but also have to wonder if they ever paid any attention to what I looked like before I got pregnant.
- I am having some serious pain and discomfort on the right side of my rib cage. It is definitely slowing me down. Making it hard to sit in the car for very long, or to lay on my side, or even to sit in a meeting if I can't move around. Laying on my back with an ice pack seems to be the only way to relieve the pain. I don't want to complain, and know that it is temporary, so am inclined to say that I am fine and it is totally manageable. 
- Heartburn is a regular occurrence, and I carry tums with me at all times. A bit of a bother, but totally manageable. 
- My body aches, but I'd expect that with all this extra weight. 

The Belly? 
- No doubt about the baby bumb I'm rawking. 
- I might be crazy, but I think that it might be on the small side for 32 weeks. I am wondering how much more it will grow between now and when the baby comes. 
The Boobies?
- We've got our first stretch marks on my right breast. There are three little marks. I'm actually kind of proud of them, but at the same time I love my breasts and am realizing that they will never be the same again. 
- We've got liquid! Enough to leave a little wet mark if I squeeze my nipple a little. 
- The pain issues have subsided enough that I am no longer terrified of breastfeeding. I'd always planned to bf, but there was a while that the pain was so bad the thought of anything touching my breasts was out of the question. 
What I miss? 
- I'm feeling pretty good these days, not missing much, and really relaxing into the experience. 
Big News this Week? 
- Baby shower is on Sunday. Did I mention that I am over the moon excited? My mom hired a photographer, so I'll have a ton of pictures to share. I really can't wait to see everyone, open my very own sweet baby gifts, and have my belly touched and loved. 
- HBear finished her first quarter with us. We are awaiting the formal report card, but based on our regular communication with each of her teachers expect it to show all passing grades. This is a HUGE accomplishment for her and I am so proud. 
- I found a lady to fill in for me at work while I am out on maternity leave. She is going to be fantastic and I won't have to worry about anything. Secretly I am thrilled that she is headed to grad school in June, so I also don't have to worry about her 'taking' my job! 
- The midwives suggested that I try drinking a bit of wine to take the edge off of the rib pain. I couldn't be more thrilled to have the excuse to have a little drink. Cheers!

love and hugs,

Loving Fall

Nine weeks to go, and I am starting to wish that I could spend more time relaxing at home, with an icepack on my back and my feet up on the couch. Its Thursday morning at 10am and I am still in my bathrobe, need a shower, need to eat breakfast, and just moving so slowly. Thank god that my job is flexible enough to accomodate me. I do have a meeting at 1pm that I need to prep for, and a desk full of work that is waiting, and am feeling bad that I've not been at 100%.

Its raining outside and feeling like Fall. I love Fall. It might be my favorite season. My birthday is coing up in November (on the 17th) and the snow is starting to fall up in the mountains. I feel so cozy sitting here in my living room, with my puppy curled up next to me on the couch, looking out into the backyard at the faling rain. I love our home and feel so lucky that we are so comfortable here. Every time I look out at our backyard and lawn, I picture the toys that will soon be scattered and the children's laughter that will fill the space. My heart just fills with gratitude, for oh so many reasons.

We got a package in the mail earlier this week, addressed to "Baby Askew." I can't stop looking at it and am getting more and more excited for the baby shower next weekend. My mom hired a photographer and she and my sister have every little detail planned out. I'm seriously can't wait, and feel SO special knowing how much work they have put into this special event. Every time my sister tells me about someone new who has RSVP's I get little butterflies of excitement and my heart fills with love. I made a hair appointment for the morning of the shower to get beautified, need to make a nail appointment, and go shopping for a special outfit.

ML's dad called earlier this week and asked if he could come visit for a few days next week. His wife wants to go to a softball tournament but won't leave him alone, so ML will be going out to Vegas kind of as a babysitter for his dad. I think it is pretty sweet that his dad called and invited him to come. He really is an amazing man, so full of love for his kids. I am thrilled that ML will get to spend some more time with his dad. Yet, HBear has next week off of school and I am not sure how I'll manage her on my own.

I suppose I should motivate myself into the shower and start my day. Sending so much love out to all of you Bloggies - If you only knew how much I think about each of you and appreciate just knowing that you are out there. Wishing you all a beautiful day!


Little Hiccups and Other Random Thoughts

The other morning as I laid in bed slowly waking up I felt little baby hiccups from inside my belly. How cool is that!

The belly dance parties are becoming stronger and more frequent. and I love every single movement.

The other night I just sat on the couch and watched the movement from within my bare belly. Beyond incredible.

My baby shower is in two weeks and I am beyond excited. Way more excited than a normal person should be. SO excited. I can't wait.

I am starting to become very achy. My hips ache, my belly aches, and my ribs ache. Oh my gawd do my ribs ache - intensely ache. I'm not sure if I did something to them, or if they are just expanding, or what, but the right side especially is painfully achy. Sitting in the hot tub seems to help, as does ice packs, but jeez, the rest of the time I am increasingly uncomfortable.

I love watching ML interact with HBear. He is so patient and kind, rational and stern when necessary. I love him more than I ever thought possible.

HBear LIED to us last week. We were expecting it, but still I was shocked. We had a long talk about honesty (one of only 4 house rules - honesty, communication, respect, and personal responsibility), and grounded her for the weekend. It has actually been really fun hanging out with her this weekend... maybe we can ground her again sometime soon :)

Did I mention that I am SO excited about the baby shower that my mom and sisters are planning.

I love love love the way that my stomach looks. It is so much more awesome than I could have ever imagined it would be. At 30 weeks it looks incredible, no doubt about there being a baby inside.

Chocolate ice cream is delicious.

Apparently I am a back sleeper. They (whoever 'they' are) are telling me that I need to be sleeping on my side now that I am in my third trimester, but I am SO much more comfortable on my back. When on my side the rib ache intensifies, and a leg or arm falls asleep, and my hip starts hurting. But my back is perfect. I keep trying anyways.

I'm not yet sure how we will afford it, but I am planning to take the month of December off (using up any vacation time I might have saved up), then take my 12 weeks of FMLA/CFRA starting January 1. My job will be protected and my health benefits paid for those 12 weeks, but I won't receive any salary. In April I'll slowly return to work on a part time basis (20 hours a week) to keep our health benefits active. We'll see how things go that month and make decisions about how to best proceed. My boss is up for re-election in June, and depending on the outcome of that vote I may or may not have a job after 2012. I am confident that she will win, but its am unknown that looms in the future.

So many more thoughts to share, but my ribs are calling for some ice, and my bladder for a(nother) trip to the loo, and my baby for some chocolate ice cream. TaTa for now.


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