Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Adventures

YIKES! I am so out of practice! It took me a solid 20 minutes to log in and an obscene amount of time to update my template and I still have a weird pic of a cat that I cannot get rid of.

People aren't joking when they say motherhood steals your brain cells! Maybe I should have my 6 year old customize my template for me?!

To answer the question many of you posed in the comments, we are very much still unsure if our family is complete. Right now, we need to focus on our health. I have very much neglected taking care of myself since I became a mom. I am at an all time high weight and just not feeling great about it. As a result, my cycles are wonky again and I truly cannot imagine being pregnant right now. We spent Spring Break in Baltimore visiting friends and family last week. Walking the harbor with the kids, left us sore and feeling old! If we are going to add #4, we need to be able to keep up or we are surely doomed.

A big thing that has changed for me and brings me great joy is that I am a business owner. I have been blessed and lucky enough to stay home for the past 6 years, but it has not been without stress and sacrifice. Sean works extremely hard to provide for our family, but also works in a field with unpredictable income. He was under a lot of stress at work and ends were just not meeting at home. We knew we needed to do something, but daycare x3 was out of the question as was me working nights and weekends. We had worked way to hard to build a family and I was not about to give up on my dream of being a stay at home mom.

Sean has always been very entrepreneurial and is always looking for the right opportunity or franchise. Thankfully, last spring, that opportunity found us and it has been incredible.

We partnered with the doctors who created the acne medication, Proactiv, in the 1990s . Doctors Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields launched their own anti aging premium skin care line and we decided to jump on board once we saw the magnitude of the opportunity. We offer skincare solutions to all your concerns - anti aging, sensitivity, sun damage and yes, acne.

If you had asked me 6 years ago if I would be a stay at home mom to three kids and selling skincare, I would have laughed in your face. Laughed and laughed and laughed until I cried. I was a Target skincare girl - if you can even call it skincare. I would wash my face with generic wash when I was lucky enough to catch a shower and then I'd put on Target brand sunscreen and call it a day. Skincare was not a passion of mine.

Yet, here I am. This has been the perfect fit for me. It has given us the ability to make ends meet again and reduced our stress enormously. I have been able to take over paying the mortgage, both car payments and preschool tuition x2 thanks to my job as a consultant with R+F. Taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University has enabled us to put our residual income to work for us!

It has also given my self confidence a huge boost - for so long I felt like my identity was my infertility and then it was all tied up in being pregnant and becoming a mom. As much as I loved being a new mom to 3 kids under 3, it was very isolating at times. For the first two years, my social life involved going to Target alone or with my mom for a couple hours. Once my littles started preschool and I was connecting with other moms, I realized how much I missed interacting with adults and using my brain for something more than figuring out who ate last and how to potty train a toddler.

Now, I connect with men and women all over the U.S. and Canada every single day. I lead a team of over 50 people and I consider them among my closest friends and cheerleaders. This job is the most fun I've ever had and it fulfills me in a way that I didn't know I was missing. My glowing skin also helps my self confidence and forces me to take a few minutes to myself every night to wash and practice a little self care.

My only regret is not finding this opportunity sooner. I sometimes day dream about how invaluable it would've been during my infertility struggle. Not only would it have been a way to help fund some treatment, but my infertility would've been a BIG part of my why. Now, my kids are my why and creating time and financial freedom drive me to succeed in this business. Our ultimate goal is also to retire Sean from his full time job and we are on track to do that.

Let me close by telling you a little bit more about these kiddos that I am lucky enough to have call me their mom!

Eliza is 6 and in kindergarten. She is a typical first born and little mama to everyone. She is wise beyond her years. She is responsible and independent and so loving. Everyone says she is my mini me.

Lydia is 4 and her 2 year old teacher nicknamed her Sassy Pants. It stuck and she has proved it to be very accurate! She is my wild child! She is funny and has an incredible imagination. She is going to set the world on fire!

Owen is 2 and my littlest love. His favorite color is pink and he wants to be just like his sisters (who he adores). He is smart and never stops talking. He loves me something fierce. Now, I understand what everyone says about a mom and her son.

So, that's a little snapshot of my life these days. I am going to try to better about blogging because the time is going so fast and I want to remember every moment.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Recently someone said to me, "You really have a way with words and your facebook updates about your children are always so funny! You should really considering writing!" I told her that I did, in fact, used to write. That I blogged my entire infertility journey for the world to see - the good, the bad, the ugly and the most beautiful moments of my life.
It got my wheels turning about why I stopped writing here and where my life is now. What my place in the world of blogging is or isn't anymore...My infertility journey feels like it was a million years ago now. In many ways, it was a lifetime ago, if one can compress a lifetime into 5.5 years. 
My life barely resembles that of the younger woman who penned these words all that time ago. Then, I was firmly entrenched in the pain of infertility, then the joy and uncertainty of pregnancy after IF and finally the mixed bag of emotions that is new motherhood. Now, I'm firmly entrenched in preschool and potty training, PTA and birthday parties. I live a life I never dreamed was possible 7 years ago. I survived having 3 babies in 3 years, the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding, failure to thrive, tongue ties, sleep deprivation, a 14 month old who had spinal cord surgery for tethered cord syndrome, a highly anxious child (I am still surviving that one), 2 moves, some stress and heartbreak, being "touched out" and most recently sending my biggest little off to kindergarten and my baby to preschool. It has been a whirlwind of cheerios, Disney Jr, play dates and overall chaos. Looking back over the last 5 years, it has been a BLUR! I wish I had kept up with my blogging to document it all because I have already forgotten so much. I struggle with if this blog is the right format for this stage of life that I am entrenched in.
The infertility chapter of my life is closed. I have a desire to have a 4th child, but I have no desire to get back on the roller coaster that is infertility. Sean is perfectly content to close the baby days chapter. We have been blessed with 3 gorgeous, healthy, happy, children. 2 girls, 1 boy. We have no way of doing if we would ever be able to conceive on our own again and deciding to "try"again, means deciding to at least step back in line for the roller coaster. Lydia and Owen were the biggest surprises of our entire life, We never made a conscious decision to try for more children. The last time we decided to try to have kids was in 2004 and the start of a 5 year journey that included 3 failed IVF cycles. I just don't have it in me to walk that road again. So to decide to try and then not be able to conceive again would be devastating in a whole new way. I realize how delusional that probably sounds to many, especially those still in the trenches...
I got a letter today from Shady Grove Fertility today asking what we would like to do with our sperm sample in storage. It was such a blast from the past and took me right back to a dark time in my life. Now, there is so much light and joy, but I will never forget...
So, my friends, we are at a crossroads. The baby days are just about behind us. The bottles and sippies long gone, the milk dry, no traces of baby gear, our days in diapers are limited and my "baby" boy started preschool this week! Just recently, there's been weekends away with my husband and girlfriends, moms' nights out, a few hours to myself every week and I even started a new business. It feels good and  yet so scary. Babies are all I have known for 5.5 years. I am not sure I am ready to let go of that stage of my life, but this new phase feels good too...
I often think of those of you who walked this path with me. I wonder where you are in this journey of life and marriage, parenthood and infertility, family building and chapter closing. I hope the years have been kind to you. I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Hardly Christmas Card worthy, but one of those perfect days that captures everything I ever dreamed of. Hilton Head, June 2015

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Well, this is awkward...

Hello there, friends. One thing is for sure, it has been far too long...almost two years, in fact.

So, where do I begin? I guess I should prepare you, my dear

readers (if indeed anyone is still out there, hello???), for a possible punch in the gut...

You see I am "one of those" infertiles. You know the ones we all love to hate, the stuff of urban legends and the origin of "just relax" and it will happen...IT happened and I am now a mom, of not one, but TWO gorgeous girls

Lydia Kathleen was born on August 31, 2011 in a home away from homebirth, (but that is a crazy story for another day!). She was our surprise BFP, our Christmas "miracle", our 2% chance you will ever conceive on your own, jackpot winner. Apparently Sean's varicocele embolization worked better than we ever could have dreamed.

The long and short of it goes like this: it was Christmas 2010 and I was still nursing Eliza who was about to turn 1. I had a few postpartum periods, but the thought of TTC had never even crossed our minds. We loved being parents and we were quite busy with Eliza. A few days after Christmas it dawned on me that my period might be late. There was a nagging voice in the back of my head that told me I was pregnant, but I refused to believe it. How could I possibly be pregnant?! the voice wouldn't go away so, while I was doing some last minute shopping for Eliza's 1st birthday, I grabbed a few HPTs.

I didn't even take my coat off before I ran to the bathroom to POAS. It popped up positive immediately & I shouted to Eliza, still bundled in her infant seat, "I KNEW IT!!!" I scooped her up, pee stick in hand and we drove to Sean's office to share the joyous news. Long time readers might remember this post, where I surprised Sean at his office to share our BFP news. This was becoming a habit!

Needless to say, I didn't make a public announcement this time, I simply called him down to the car to meet me. He was shocked, I was shocked. We were thrilled, but nervous. Could we really be pregnant on our own after 5yrs, severe mfi, a damaged tube, a history of uterine polyps, 3 failed fresh ivfs & an fet???

Yes, yes we were & after an uneventful pregnancy & very eventful labor & delivery, 3 became 4 and here we are today. Parents of two girls, Eliza & Lydia. It still takes my breath away.

There is so much I want to share with you about my girls. About what an incredible two years it has been, about Eliza & how she has brought us joy each & every day. About her sign language, her huge vocabulary & her funny, expressive personality. About what an amazing sister she is. About our sleep struggles. About her tethered cord syndrome & surgery. I want you to know all about Lydia & how easy going she is. How breastfeeding is a million times easier. About how having 2 kids under 2 is the craziest, most stressful, most rewarding, most incredible thing I have ever done. I want to tell you so much, but I don't even know where to start...

Thankfully, Sean did know just where to start. The ladies have inspired my husband to blog about life as their daddy. And an incredible daddy he is. My girls and I are lucky to have such a caring, loving, affectionate & selfless man in our lives. I never, ever took Sean as the blogging type, but he is hooked! His blog is pretty amazing stuff if you ask me, but I'm a little biased. Head on over to & check it out. Leave him a little comment love while you're there! He also tweets @mydaddymydaddy.

Reading his blog has reminded me how much I loved blogging & how much I missed it & how emotional it is. Honestly, it's been tough to revisit some of the darker days of our journey. It has also made these days so much sweeter.

So what about this blog? To be honest, I'm not sure what the future of this blog is. I may keep it & rework it, I may close it & begin anew. For now, I am looking forward to catching up with my blogroll!

A few more pics...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Well, hello there!

WOW! Where oh where has the time gone?! Last time I posted, Eliza was just 3 weeks old. Today she is over 3 months old! So much has happened, I hardly even recognize my own life, but before we get into all that, I think the least I can do is post a photo to make up for my absence.

We are officially back in Buffalo and thanks to my amazing husband, our move went incredibly well. Far easier than I ever anticipated. It is wonderful to be home and surrounded by our family and friends. Miss Eliza has had quite the social life since we moved back - meeting all her aunts, uncles & cousins has been joyful, indeed. She has even had the chance to spend some time with my grandma, her 90 year old, GiGi. Our new place is lovely, on the small side, but really nice. We lucked out and are renting from my sister-in-law's sister and it is a perfect arrangement. We plan to be here a year or two before we buy again. After 3 months at home with his girls, Sean started his new job yesterday. We LOVED having him home and feel quite blessed and spoiled to have had the indulgence of so much family time.

It is hard to believe, but one year ago yesterday, was transfer day & our little miracle began her journey to our lives. S
o much has changed in a year and we never could have imagined how full of love and joy our lives would be. We feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have Eliza in our lives.

Hmmm, so much to fill you in on. Let's see, breastfeeding has been quite a challenge. I have seen 4 different lactation consultants and every supply trick in the book. I will devote an entire post to it, but Eliza has a suck dysfunction - a possible type 4 tongue tie and I have a supply issue, possibly as a result of the suck d
ysfunction. Her weight gain has been slow, but with lots of pumping, giving her extra ounces of pumped milk & occasionally formula, she is gaining and has finally broke the 11lb mark. She is our tiny little girl.

Speaking of tiny little girls, Libby dislocated her hip again and just recently had surgery to permanently fix it. Poor thing, she has had it rough. She and Eliza are becoming fast friends.

Things Eliza loves at 3 months old:

1. Sleep! Eliza loves her sleep and sleeps a solid 7 hours per night straight and 12 + hours total. She is just like her mommy, daddy and fur-sister Libby. She is a happy, happy baby.

2. Binki - ahhh, heaven!

3. Her swing - girl can take some serious power naps in that thing.

4. Drooling

5. Snuggling - she loves being worn and snuggled close.

6. Baths - especially baths with mommy.

7. Her playmat.

8. Music and singing - she is a big fan of The Farmer in the Dell and the various silly versions Mommy and Daddy invent.

9. Hockey - yep, hockey. She is transfixed when it is on. Our little Sabres fan already. We really should nip this love affair with TV in the bud.

Things Eliza is not a fan of at 4 months:

1. Formula, or at least certain kinds. We need to send the video to America's Funniest.

2. Laying flat on her back - she is a reflux babe.

3. The car and her carseat. Boy, does she ever scream.

As you can see, the list of loves, far outweighs the list of dislikes.

She is happy, happy, happy and almost everyone who meets her comments on how smiley she is. She rolls over, laughs and kicks her feet a mile a minute. How did we ever get so lucky?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

3 weeks!!

Where or where has the time gone? I cannot believe my little girl is 3 weeks old today! How life has changed in 3 short weeks. I feel like I have been in a bubble. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been out of the house & I feel completely out of touch with the real world, but that is okay because I am head over heels in love with Eliza.

Eliza Caroline has big feet like her mama and fingers like her daddy. She looks like daddy, but has mommy's nose and profile. She has long eyelashes and huge, almond shaped blue eyes. Her hair is light in front, dark in the back and show some hints of red. I can't believe we made her - she is perfection.

Eliza's favorite things at 3 weeks:
1. being worn in the Moby by mommy or daddy
2. Snuggling up
3. Breastfeeding
4. Sleeping on our chests
5. being naked

Things Eliza dislikes at 3 weeks:
1. swing
2. bouncy seat
3. red lights
4. baths
5. sleeping in the cosleeper

Life is good but has been a blur of breastfeeding, diaper changes, babywearing, sleeping, rinse and repeat. BFing was really, really hard at first, got immensely better week 2 and week 3 is looking like there might be a supply issue as Eliza is still not up to birth weight. So for now, I visit the LC, stay in touch with the pedi, add pumping into the routine, take some fenugreek, go for frequent weight checks, supplement with pumped breast milk whenever possible and an oz of formula here and there. I HATE giving her the lousy ounce of formula and hope that she starts gaining ASAP so we can go back to exclusive breastfeeding. I know how irrational it sounds to hate giving her formula, I know it is helping her and not harming her, but it makes me feel like my body is broken all over again. LC suspects my supply issue could be due to the IVF and/or the postpartum hemorrhage. Hopefully it is easily fixable...

I know I owe you all my birth story, but I really want to do it justice so I am going to start working on it and post it when complete.

As if life has not been overwhelming enough with a newborn baby, we have decided now is the time to make the move back to Buffalo. I know - we are certifiable. Many of my long time readers know this has been on our radar for a loooong time and it has always been a long term goal. Having Eliza put things into perspective for us and when we looked at the big picture - budget, resources, Sean's job, our rental situation just made sense to pull the trigger and do it. So, we shuffle off to Buffalo on February 19th. Sean quit his job the day we decided and it has been wonderful having him home with us right now. He is handling all things related to the move and doing an amazing job with it - that is saying something coming from a control freak like me. Ask me if I feel the same when the major packing begins! We are kind of flying by the seat of our pants with the whole thing and it is SCARY! I know it is for the best though!

I am feeling good, but I had MAJOR weepyness the first week at home. I cried my eyes out when my mom left and when my inlaws were here, I was a hot mess. I even took the baby and hid in my bedroom one day. They were trying to be helpful, but the type A part of me could not handle it. The decision to move was not helping my emotional state either, but thankfully, the crying jags seem to have passed.

That is about all I have right now, but how about some more pics of the cutest baby I know???

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Birthday!

It's a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!

Eliza Caroline was born on 12/31/2009 at 7:11am after a whopping 49 hours of labor. She weighed in at 8.1lbs and 20in long.

I can't believe I am a mommy to a precious little girl. A daughter?!?! AMAZING.

What a perfect way to end 2009- The Year of Hope. What a dream come true. We are head over heels in love with our little girl. I have a feeling 2010 is going to be one of the most magical of our lives. I cannot wait to watch my little girl grow and change. So many firsts to look forward to...

Long and complicated birth story to come, hopefully sooner than later. Eliza is perfect and Mommy is on the mend after an incredibly long and difficult labor. A preview - stalled labor, swelling cervix, sunny side up presentation, vaginal delivery and more!

Wishing everyone a Happy & Healthy 2010! May it be a year of dreams come true...

Pics to come ASAP - hospital connection is dreadfully slow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Water, water everywhere!

My water broke at 6:15 this morning! Contractions began immediately 2-3min apart, but have sloooooooooowed way down. No pattern at all. Bouncing on the ball and getting ready to go for a walk. Lots of bloody show and mucus.

Called the midwife and she wants me to labor at home until I can't walk or talk comfortably. That seems like it could be several hours from now with the way things are going right now...

Hopefully today is the day I meet my little Ralphie!!!