Sunday, February 22, 2015

What Child is This?

BC and I have been pinching ourselves for about a month straight now. It seems that about the same time that Iyla went through her sleep regression, someone replaced our clingy doesn't-like-to-socialize toddler with a new much more social one. One who is curious, engaging, and seems to genuinely enjoy interacting with others. One who -at a small gathering last night- said to me while we were alone in another room: "let's go see everyone!"

Who is this child?

We are loving it to say the least. Watching Iyla interact with the world with confidence & joy just melts our hearts. For so long we were constantly nervous about having company over or bringing Iyla out where she'd have to meet new people, due to the very likely outcome of tantrums & extreme clinging. We thought it was just her introverted personality and admittedly, being the first time Mama that I am, I worried that maybe something was wrong with her socially- though socializing more just seemed to exacerbate the negative behaviors.

I needn't have worried.

It appears that all of those behaviors may have been a prolonged attachment period coupled with pretty strong separation anxiety. From that attached cocoon the most confident, charismatic little butterfly has emerged, ready to fully spread her wings. Iyla is definitely still an observer- an introvert at heart, but her recent transformation is nothing less than extraordinary to us. We hope it sticks around for awhile!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's 2015

Yesterday marked the 9th Valentine's for BC and I. We were lucky enough to get two (!) solo date nights last week, then had a lovely family outing with our sweet Iyla Grace on Valentine's proper.

Starting the day at a breakfast date with her Papa

Family dinner out. A rose at Jacoby's!

'Be my Valentine?'


My heart is full!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Updates on The Study

I knew there was a chance after my last cycle (which I hoped and prayed would be THE cycle where I miraculously got pregnant naturally) that I might still be able to participate in The Study.  Bloodwork & initial screening had been done, and the Study Coordinator had me on the tentative roster for late January.

The estimated time frame of it all was crazy. It was likely that the retrieval and embryo transfer (the biggest parts of the IVF process) would go down right around the time we'd be heading out for a 9 day getaway outside of Austin, meaning we'd have to drive back into town for those procedures. It's also the absolute busiest time of the year with my work right now, with nary a spare moment to myself.

I am already feeling crazy with how much is on my plate…so I figured why not throw an IVF cycle into the mix?

And so it began. Or rather, my period began. On a Saturday morning, of course, which meant I had to go in to get my final study screening done by cycle day 3 (Monday) at the latest. I left message after message at my doctor's office and got radio silence all.weekend.long. I was cursing The Study Coordinator (whom we'll call Turtle for her ridiculously slow correspondence) more than ever, as she had made it clear SHE was the one who would schedule all appointments.

That Sunday afternoon BC departed for a week long business trip. That Sunday night at 7:30pm, Iyla began the first of her sleep regression episodes. When I collapsed into bed at 8:45, I finally had a response from Turtle, saying I had to come into the office Monday at 2pm to do my final screening.

I was irate. I was with Iyla all by myself on Mondays, and 2pm was smack dab in the middle of her nap time. I could have easily come in for my screening at any other point that entire weekend while BC was home to tag team with me, had Turtle returned my messages sooner.

Several back and forth emails later, I'd at the very least been able to push the appointment back to 3pm, though there was no getting around Iyla having to accompany me.

And so it was. Iyla came with me to 2 doctor appointments, 1 blood draw, and 2 pharmacy visits (the first pharmacy's electronic system was completely down, resulting in 20 person deep lines at the 2nd pharmacy). We didn't get home until 7pm which is usually Iyla's bedtime. I was exhausted to say the least, but absolutely amazed at how well Iyla did. She thought the entire afternoon was one big grand adventure, waving her play magic wand at every stop and delighting in getting to watch her beloved Frozen during all of my appointments.


Interestingly enough I found out from Turtle that The Study had just been put on an indefinite hold. At my screening appointment she had me back date all of my paperwork, such that I barely squeaked in before the hiatus. Further confirmation that my pull to participate in the midst of my insane schedule was the right thing to do.

My attitude during all of this has been surprisingly non emotional and skeptical. Life is keeping me so busy I don't have any time to think about The Study itself- to scrutinize and analyze protocol and statistics. And if you pinned me down to ask me if I thought this would result in a pregnancy? My resounding response would be NO.

I've been so nonchalant, in fact, that when I went to my pre-Lurpon sonogram appointment last week I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to bring BC with me, along with all of our IVF paperwork to sign.

Whoops.

I guess I might have to start paying a little bit more attention.

So… why am I doing this if I don't feel like it is going to work?

I'm doing it to give one last big PUSH in the intervention world- and IVF is as big of a push as you can do.

I'm doing it because the opportunity with The Study saves us a lot of money on this intervention.

I'm doing it with the hope that if we don't get pregnant, we'll still have some good quality embryos to freeze toward future cycles.

And if I DIDN'T do it? I'd always wonder 'what if' if we weren't to get pregnant again.

This way, if we make the huge push and don't get pregnant, at least I know we gave it our all. Then I can more easily come to a place of peace in my heart about being a family of 3. I am oh so grateful for the beautiful, smart, silly, charismatic little girl we are fortunate enough to spend our days with. It's an amazingly good life, and I work hard to stay in a place of gratitude for all I've been given.

I am now in my 3rd week of birth control pills and will begin Lupron shots tomorrow morning. In another week and a half I'll start my stimulation meds, toward a retrieval and transfer in the first half of March- ironically the exact same time of year that Iyla was conceived. God help BC if we were to conceive another Scorpio!

And away we go...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Two Year Sleep Regression

I've seen several threads on my November 2012 Mama's board about the two year sleep regression. And passed them all over with a sympathetic 'thank goodness I have a great sleeper.'

Ahem. Famous last words.

This past week has been incredibly challenging on so many fronts. BC was gone on an 8 day business trip to Arizona and Mexico. My work became insanely busy, demanding every.single.moment of time I could possibly devote to it (and seeing me working many nights until at least 10pm… which… if you must know, is an hour past my normal bedtime).

Then my sweet toddler- my always consistent good sleeper of a girl- decided she was going to shake things up.

It started the day BC left. At bedtime, Iyla played her now typical 'let's delay bedtime' games- running away from me, taking EXTRA long on the potty, demanding to play more, etc. When I had finally successfully got her into her crib, instead of a peaceful goodnight she freaked out crying, demanding "Mama hold you! Mama hold you!." I went through every trick in the book to soothe and reassure her, alternating between compassion ("I see you are sad. Mama loves you and will be back soon!") and stating firm limits ("you are SO tired. It is time to go to bed. You already snuggled Mama- you can now snuggle your lamb.") These shenanigans took the bulk of an HOUR, with Iyla scream crying hard every time I left the room.

The challenge for me was trying to figure out exactly what was going on. Testing limits? Separation anxiety (her Papa had just left)? Teething (she was cutting ALL four canines)? I was at a loss and hoping this evening's events were a one night fluke.

Nope.

Every single day this week Iyla has had something new up her sleeve. Sometimes it was a complete meltdown before bed. Sometimes it was waking in hysterics in the middle of the night or after her nap. All very extreme reactions necessitating much coaxing and calming, and one night finding me resorting to putting her to sleep in our bed. The first time she's been there since she was 3 months old!

This would be exhausting no matter what, but having to field this behavior PLUS a crazy work schedule PLUS operating as a single parent was absolute insanity.

Needless to say I was so ready for BC to return home late last night. He was thrown into the fire with night & morning duty, and reported Iyla was up 2x last night, one of which had her screaming "door open! Door open!" until he went to her and left her bedroom door open.

If any of you readers have words of wisdom or advice, I am ALL ears!

You'd never know from these adorable morning shots just what a stinker this one has been lately….

"Sleep regression? Who me?" 
(Love how it looks like she has wings here… given she has SO not been angelic to deal with lately!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Super Woman

Phew. It is only 2pm here, and the amount of multi tasking I've done so far today is mind blowing. So far I have:

*Woken with a sick child who absolutely let me know she needed her Mama, then promptly called and cancelled our nanny and my appointments for the day (!)

*Facilitated a plumbing appointment to clear pipes in our bathrooms

*Booked all flights for BC, myself and his mom (who will care for Iyla here at our home) for an upcoming trip to California at the beginning of May- PLUS booked the Couples Retreat we will be participating in

*Prepped for 3 listing appointments I have in the next two days and fielded around 20 other work emails

*Went to grocery store with sick toddler

*While toddler napped, cooked green curry soup from scratch (much needed for Iyla right now!)

*Cleaned up kitchen & did all dishes

*Wrote this blog entry

And now…. back to WORK while Iyla gets some much needed R&R. On the agenda for the afternoon? A lovely, relaxing walk in our gorgeous 75 degree weather. Yes, please!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Face Off at Nordstrom Rack

Let me preface this story by saying I almost never find shoes or clothing I like for myself. Even if I head to a store intending to buy myself something, I almost always leave with clothes, shoes, or toys for Iyla. I can't help it- she is so much fun to buy for!

So today I set off to Nordstrom Rack to browse the Holiday sales and see if they had any cute kiddo items. Lo and behold I found this new treasure for Iyla buried in the midst of the toddler sale rack:

Swoon! 

Fox sweater in hand, I decided to check out the women's shoe department, where historically some of my favorite pairs of shoes have been found. I headed to the size 6 isle and got down to business. After a few try-ons I found this amazing pair of black Rag & Bone boots for 25% off the already discounted price:


I then started trying on ballet flats, which I've never owned before. I've always wanted some for business casual wear, but never found any that were quite comfortable enough. There was one pair in particular that caught my eye, and I took them out for a test run up and down the Nordstrom isle. They were comfy and cute, but I wanted to comparison shop a few other pairs before making the final decision.

As I was taking off the shoes I noticed another lady had entered the isle. We proceeded to weave around one another several times in a sort of territorial square off. 

I then headed around the corner to take a quick peek at the next isle. Upon finding there weren't any other flats that interested me, I returned to the first isle with the intention of buying the original pair. 

They weren't there.

I quickly realized the other lady had pulled them down, put them on, and was now doing her own promenade. And this was a long, full isle of shoes, folks; I was fully convinced that she had found THIS particular pair through my original modeling. 

I noticed she had one other pair of flats waiting by her purse, likely deliberating between the two. I was paralyzed, knowing that the only thing I could really do was covertly stalk her and HOPE against hope she didn't take the shoes. I had already scoured the racks and knew this was the only pair left in my size. 

The lady then turned the box on its side, slid it back onto the shelf, and went around the corner. I surmised she had laid the box that way to mark it so she could easily find it again. 

I had other ideas.

With adrenaline pumping, I grabbed the box and headed straight to the register, praying she wouldn't see me racing walking across the store. My heart didn't stop pounding until I got into my car & slammed the door, shoes in hand.

My Nordstrom trophies

It's amazing what a sense of competition can do to one's perceived value of an item! These suckers had better be worth it.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas 2014 Recap

From a night out at the Driskill to the flu hitting our home, this Holiday season certainly has kept us on our toes!

When we returned from celebrating with my parents in Houston, BC and I headed to our beloved Driskill Hotel for a blissful overnight staycation. We attended a fancy party hosted there that evening, and luxuriated in our beautiful room- complete with a corner balcony overlooking the city. Much needed and SO much fun!


Christmas Eve we took Iyla back to the Driskill, as our little lady loves that place just as much as we do:


We opened a few Christmas Eve presents:


Then more on Christmas morning!


We hosted my side of the family at our home for Christmas Day. I was set on having a nice home cooked meal, so invested in a fancy La Crueset dutch oven and served up a roast! It turned out pretty well if I do say so myself- and I am SO not a cook. Iyla also got to wear her fancy Holiday dress:


Unfortunately BC started feeling unwell Christmas Day, thinking he had allergies. On the 26th not only did my cycle arrive (super early with full on cramps!) but BC was knocked down completely with a feverish flu, which proceeded to last a good 5-6 days. We sequestered him to another room in the house filled with a Tamiflu prescription & other meds, hoping against hope that Iyla and I would remain well. I became a single parent for the duration of this time, which was exhausting and not quite the family Holiday we'd all envisioned.

Thankfully Iyla and I persevered, and BC is now on the mend! We were well enough and in good spirits to host a little gathering at our home for New Years Eve, and will make the most of these last few days with BC off of work.

Happy Holidays Dear Readers- here's to a gentle, balanced, productive New Year!