Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Warm Weather Favorites

Guys the warm weather has finally decided to stick here in Illinois!  Yay!  Winter seriously lingered here FOREVER this year and it was so frustrating.  All it brought was an extended period for people to be sick, and lots of stir crazy adults and kids ready to get outside and start enjoying spring.  Our girl is a total outside chick.  She just loves to be outside.  My parents take her outside when it's nice out pretty much all day.  They do a lot of bike rides, trips to the park, and playing in the yard so she is just used to being outdoors.  She also gets a lot of time outside with her friends at daycare.  At our house we finally got some things set up in the backyard for her and she's having a ball so far.  I am rounding up some of my summer must-haves for you guys today.  Some things we have gotten to play with and some we haven't yet but we are itching to!

Little Tikes Hide and SeekClimber and Swing
So for some reason, this combo is not on Prime anymore, but the slide is and here is a similar swing.  We got this as a Christmas gift and it sat in our basement for the winter, but it's perfect for outdoors!  The slide is a little slick and steep but the swing is low enough that she can get herself in and out which she loves.  Miss independent.  

Everyone swears by water tables and there are so many out there to choose from.  I thought this one was cute and I thought the price was right.  I don't think you can go wrong with ANY water table though.  So far I made a good choice, G loves putting the balls down the spiral.
Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox 
Little Tikes really nails it on their products.  This turtle sandbox was something that we had as kids & my mom reminded me of it.  I ended up getting mine off of Facebook Marketplace for $20 full of sand and toys.  

Big Mouth Ginormous UnicornYard Sprinkle
This one I am so excited for.  It was a huge pain in the ass to find because after Scary Mommy shared the article, Target sold out of them multiple times but they appear to be in stock now.  My SIL was also on the hunt for the same sprinkler and ended up finding a pre-order for it from Perpetual Kids so we both ended up scooping it up there.  I cannot wait to set this thing up in our yard for the summer.

Giotto Kids Swim Water Shoes
So we live on a small river, it's very rocky and mid-summer you can usually walk all the way across it because it's so dry.  Lots of kayaking and river rafting goes on on this river in fact our neighbors operate a river rafting business.  I wanted something that G can wear when she goes to explore this summer in the water to protect those tiny little feet.   She also has been wearing these at daycare too when they play outside.

Stearns Puddle Jumper InfantLife Jacket
This was another must-have for us being that we live near water.  Our family also does a lot of kayaking and my dad has a speed boat that we take out on the Illinois River so a life jacket is something we will get a lot of use out of. 

Swimways Baby Spring Float SunCanopy
I shared this last year and on our vacation recap but this is seriously probably the best $20 I have ever spent on baby gear.  We have gotten a ton of use from this.  We took it to the Dells, we used it on vacation, and we used it all summer in my aunts pool.  We'll definitely use it again this year in her pool as well. 

Intex Gator Inflatable PlayCenter
Although we have a family member with a pool, I'd still like to get Georgia something to enjoy at home too, especially on weekdays when we don't have time to make it to my aunts.  Pairing this with her unicorn sprinkler and water table would make for a perfect little water play area right in her own back yard.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Georgia June Update

Georgia is 15 months now!  After she turned a year I figured I'd stop doing monthly updates but honestly she's changed a lot in the last two months since she turned one so I figured I'd update if not for anyone else but myself to remember these huge milestones that she's hit these last couple months. 

G hit 2 big milestones since she turned one; the first one was she finally started teething!  Just a couple weeks after I stopped nursing her and right after she turned one, she broke her first few teeth all at once. She's been a drooling, snotty, feverish mess since, but she looks adorable with her top two front teeth!  The top two are just about all the way in and the bottom couple are working their way through.  It was definitely something I was glad did not happen while I was nursing!  

The other big milestone was Georgia began walking!  She had been cruising the furniture and taking a couple steps here and there for awhile, but just did not seem to have the confidence to walk.  She could FLY with her push walker, but wasn't ready to let go.  Finally, on Easter we were at my Grandmas who has a house full of carpet and that seemed to be exactly what she needed because she took off.  Our house is all hardwood and I think it maybe effected her confidence, once she hit the carpet, that was it & she's been walking ever since.  It's seriously adorable and so fun!

Georgia can say a few words like hot, hi, bye, kitty, ball, and back.  She can blab up a storm of her own words too.  She is still sleeping in our bed but we are hoping to move her to her crib permanently once I get pregnant again.  She sleeps through the night now and it's magical.  Once I stopped nursing, she immediately began sleeping 10-12 uninterrupted hours.  She's slowed down on growing which is nice because we have been able to get a lot more use out of all the clothes!  She's currently wearing 12 month and some 18 month clothing.  Her appetite is that of a grown man.  She eats anything and everything.  Her favorites are fish, cheese, blueberries, bananas, and pouches.  She's still napping 2x a day and still drinking lots of breastmilk and whole milk.  She's an absolute joy to be around and almost always smiling, however she is a toddler and has her moments.

Last month we took off for a quick family getaway to the Wisconsin Dells, it's about 3 hours north of us so it's an easy place to zip up to where there is a lot to do, even in the off season there was enough to keep us occupied, especially with a baby.  Most of the popular places there are big resorts like Great Wolf, The Wilderness, and Chula Vista, however I didn't want to spend over $200 a night so we opted for a smaller hotel with a mini water park in it which was perfect for us and was only $110 a night.  We ended up having the entire water park area to ourselves for most of the afternoon Saturday and Georgia had an absolute blast making Joe take her down the slide over and over.  We did Paul Bunyan's which is a "shanty" with breakfast served family style.  Delish and so fun.  The weekend was perfect and just what we needed.

Last weekend we celebrated Mother's Day!  Saturday mom and dad had a parents night out and Georgia slept over at grandmas.  Mama had too much to drink, but really enjoyed a date night out with daddy, just the two of us.  Joe got me a huge orchid for mother's day and Georgia and I spent the day with my mom at the winery and then visited with Joe's mom and my grandma.  The weather was cold and rainy all weekend which was kind of a bummer, but we still had fun.

Other than that its been pretty quiet around these parts.  Looking forward to another Memorial Day weekend coming up pretty quickly here, but other than that we don't have too much planned which is nice.  We have been soaking in all the warm weather and trying to get outside as much as possible.  Georgia has been obsessed with bubbles lately and also loves to play on the neighbors swing set.  We will be looking forward to pool days and lots of outside time this summer plus traveling to Georgia for our FET for baby #2!  

Thursday, May 03, 2018

FET for Baby #2

I wanted to give you guys a quick update on our plans for baby number 2!  I've been sharing quite a bit of this on Instagram, but if you don't follow me there then you may not be familiar with the saga the ensued several months ago. 

Back in the fall our donor sent me a text saying that she had been trying to get ahold of the IVF coordinator at the clinic we went through because her regular doctor wanted her medical records from the procedures she had as a donor.  She said she had been emailing her and getting no response.  I told her I'd try to contact her via email saying I wanted to start an FET (even though we were nowhere near ready) I thought that maybe there would be more of a sense of urgency for her to reply to someone wanting to start a cycle, well I never heard from her either.  We both got pretty fired up about it and my donor actually reached out to their main office in Atlanta and was finally able to get a response from the IVF coordinator. 

I knew that because of this communication situation I wanted to get into contact sooner rather than later with the clinic so we could make sure all bases were covered in a timely fashion.  I emailed her in the middle of January and figured she'd get back to me within a few days.  10 days later I still had not received and email so I decided to contact the Atlanta office (the same lady my donor had) and within the hour had a response from the coordinator.  She gave me some bs excuse as to why she hadn't responded to my previous email, but she has been in quick and constant contact with me since.  

So in order for us to proceed I have to be completely weaned off of breastfeeding which I've been for about 2 months now.  I also have to have 2 normal cycles and since my period came back at 4 months PP, I knew that wouldn't be an issue.  I've actually had both of my normal cycles after weaning so realistically we could be cycling right now for a May transfer, but that's actually a little sooner than anticipated.  So instead we will be waiting until mid-summer (hopefully July) before we actually transfer.  A part of me would really love to transfer as soon as possible, but since we have some control of when this happens, another part of me would like to wait a little bit longer so that this baby would be born in Spring rather than in winter like Georgia was.  It may seems silly but winter in Illinois is a really crappy time to be off for maternity leave and also leaves very little options when it comes to birthday parties! 

I am excited to hopefully get pregnant again, but I’m really not looking forward to the prep for the cycle.  I am already obsessing over the calendar counting days and trying to figure out dates.  We do have to travel on a plane out of state for this to happen so for us the sooner we know, the better, however we don't have much say because it's all dictated by my body so we can't really be booking any flights or anything like that yet.  If my calculations are correct we could be transferring the 3rd week of July somewhere between the 17th & the 20th (see, obsession) which would give us an end of March, early April baby.

The biggest downside of the process this time around is that we no longer have infertility treatment coverage so the monitoring ultrasounds will not be covered, the transfer won't be covered, and some of the meds won't be covered.  Luckily, just like last time, I have already had all of the meds I need donated by some of the amazing women from our Instagram community.  I also opened an HSA account with our new insurance plan and fertility treatments are considered to be "qualified" medical expenses and can be paid for out of that account.  My company contributes $1300 a year into the account so there is some relief even though our full coverage benefits that we had before were definitely better.

I am definitely excited for what is to come for our tribe.  We have 5 frozen babes on ice and I'm very hopeful that our transfer will work and we will be bringing home baby number 2 next spring!

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