Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Conception Day!

I don't think that the majority of people can actually say this to their children. Only some of the 12% or so of the population that struggles with infertility, seeks treatment, and is successful in their family building efforts through that treatment. So I guess that makes our family special in a way...

One year ago today these turned into this today:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Out of the Closet

I'm doing it. I'm coming out of the closet. About my blogging, that is.
Up until now no one knew about my blogs. Not even J. But my blogging has evolved since it started - from a way to document my infertility journey and share experiences with people going through infertility and pregnancy loss as well (which by the way are both very isolating in real life) to now a blog about my childrens' lives and also what it's like parenting after my infertility/loss experiences.
I won't run out and share my blog URL with everyone I know just yet. I just won't keep it a secret anymore. I won't be worried if someone IRL finds it and reads it. I will share with my close family so they can check for updates on the bugs if they'd like.
If you are someone who knows me IRL and you find an archived post that makes mention of you, please remember that my blog is a documentation of my feelings and emotions, and although some of the things I've written can seem hurtful or mean, it was how I was feeling at that moment. Infertility and pregnancy loss can bring out a huge range of emotions that are sometimes difficult to contain and writing about them was cathartic for me. It does not necessarily mean that is how I feel about you now, or even how I felt about you a minute after I hit the publish post button.

Mel over at Stirrup Queens said it best, "A blog post records one moment in time. You know the world is much larger and complex than that. For every blog post, there are 1000 additional blog posts that should have been written as a follow-up afterwards as feelings change. But they're not written and it isn't helpful to make assumptions."

So that's that. Hope if I've given you the link to this blog or if you've happened to find it, you at least enjoy reading it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting to Know Yule

Getting to know all about yule...

Thanks to Tracy! This did seem like fun so here goes…

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly wrapping paper. Gift bags only in a pinch or if the present is an unusual shape.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Absolutely real! I have always had a real tree and always will. Alex and Landon don’t really know what it is this year. They do love the lights though. I can’t wait until they’re old enough to trek through the woods, help cut the tree down, and drag it out. Fun!!

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually two weeks before Christmas

4. When do you take the tree down? January 7th – Right after the Feast of the Epiphany.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but only non-alcoholic. I lost my taste for alcoholic drinks made with milk/cream products after some bad experiences in college.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My dollhouse

7. Hardest person to buy for? My Dad

8. Easiest person(s) to buy for? Alex and Landon.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, and I put it up every year. It was a gift from my Mom. I remember playing with our growing up so it always had some special meaning to me.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither anymore…who has time?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A sweater from a boyfriend with a giraffe on it. And, no I am NOT kidding.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s a Wonderful Life, of course.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Let’s just say I’m doing it all this weekend. ARRRHHH!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Absolutely. And I have a stash in my attic of gifts that are ready to be recycled at a moment’s notice.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Everything.

16. Lights on the tree? Multi-colored.

17. Favorite Christmas song? “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.”

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Right now we travel but only for this year and next. Once the boys understand about Santa we’ll stay home for Christmas morning and travel that afternoon. We’re within a few hours of family so could still make it there for dinner.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crowded stores.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? No one theme or color. Each ornament I have is unique. No two alike.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Ham

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I’d love a Wii.

Okay, consider the snowball thrown your way! Do your own post and let me know via a comment so I (and others) can go learn more about "Yule" and your holiday celebrations!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Why is it considered weird?

We've done it. We've made the tough decision not to use daycare any longer. We just didn't feel it was the right decision for our family, neither financially or for the bugs. We gave our notice to our providers, citing financial reasons as our main reason for leaving.
And, today was the first day that J became one of these

It's scary to think about financially going from two incomes to only one and a half (J is looking for part-time work for evenings and weekends) but I still believe that it is the right one. Money issues always seem to have a way of working themselves out and if need be we can trim our budget - should we find we have to (bye bye Cable package)
J was nervous this morning - questioning his ability to do this. Societal stereotypes have most likely caused those feelings of inadequacy. So I did what I could to boost his confidence and walked out the door to head to work.

Stopped home at lunch and all the boys seem to be doing well. Hopefully the afternoon goes well too. If he can get one good day in I'm sure his confidence will increase.
As for me - I'm a bit sad that I can't be the one to stay home but financially this makes more sense for us. I am happy though that I don't have to worry about the bugs care. I know that they are being cared for by someone who loves them as much as I do.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Striking a Balence

December – time again to think about warm hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, wooly mittens, holiday shopping, big fluffy snowflakes falling, and the magic of the season.
Holiday season can be so difficult for people dealing with infertility. And no one knows how difficult unless they themselves are in the middle of the struggle or have faced the struggle in the past. The holidays are all about kids – Santa’s around every corner, toy catalogs and commercials, children’s programs on television. There’s really no escaping it.

It’s different for J and I this year though. In year’s past we did whatever possible to avoid the painful kid-focused celebrations, either gracefully bowing out of attending or downing as much alcohol as possible to help numb the feelings. This year, because there are few children in our family, we are the center of attention. Or rather the bugs are. Everyone in our family is focused on the bugs first Christmas.

I feel like a traitor to my fellow bloggers still walking the IF long and winding road. How do I transition from one side to the other? How do I keep the promise I made to myself to always remember my experience with infertility and how it made me feel – so that I can be sure to remain sensitive to others who may be going through their own struggle? How do I find the balance between the excitement I naturally feel for my children’s first Christmas and the remembrance of how I used to feel at this time of year, knowing that so many other people are still where I was last year?

Last year I wrote this post about what I wanted for Christmas.

This year I’m asking Santa for health and happiness for my boys. That’s all I really want or need right now. (OK, and maybe one hour of uninterrupted time to soak in a bubble bath with a glass of pinot grigio and some nice holiday music)

As for finding the balance…Yes, I’ll go out and get all of those “Baby’s First Christmas” things, look through all of the toy catalogs, shop excitedly at the parent-crazed stores this month for toys to put under the tree, and do whatever I can to see this holiday through my children’s eyes. I also will keep my promise to myself by doing some other little things – I will try to teach my children about thinking of others, not just at holiday time but throughout the year; I will try to make sure I do what I can to make at least some of our holiday celebrations not strictly kid-focused; and I will never send out one of those Christmas cards of a picture of my children to everyone on my mailing list.