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!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Wait Listed

Remember the IVF Study I learned about in October? I finally decided to go all in and participate with my late December/early January cycle. BC and I planned ahead with our upcoming schedules (this sucker takes at least 6 weeks), and attended the mandatory IVF Orientation session with my clinic. During this session, The Study was briefly mentioned, along with the caveat that there is often a wait list.

Say what?

The study coordinator I'd been emailing with had never mentioned a wait list. I had naively assumed that once we were ready, they'd be ready for us.

After the orientation I sent an email to the coordinator (who ONLY communicates through sporadic email, which can be frustrating to say the least). Through a string of responses, I learned that if my cycle started December 31st or after, I could proceed with The Study for January. Anytime before that? Wait listed. Absolutely no exceptions (I pestered her quite a bit on this). I knew my cycle would be arriving sometime in the December 27th-29th range- which meant that because of a few days' discrepancy, I'd be on the sidelines for several months, due to a 10 day trip we have planned mid-March (did I mention this sucker takes at least 6 weeks?)

Boo.

I'm trying real hard to go into my Frou with this, trusting that things happen for a reason and perhaps now was not the right time for this. BC also came down with the flu on Christmas and has been completely down for the count, meaning I've been single parenting it for almost 4 days now. That would have made for a lot of challenges with getting his final blood & semen screening done, and my having the ability to go out for necessary monitoring appointments.

I did head out this morning to complete all of my blood work screening (which included 2 needle pokes and 7 vials of blood!). I want to have ALL of our ducks in a row and be fully pre-screened for when we are ready- schedule wise- to move ahead with everything. At this point it probably will be mid to late spring, and there are no guarantees The Study will still be going on at that time. I'll have to just trust that things will work out one way or another.

And in other Frou news? I've started to finally 'hear' another little one (I know that sounds crazy, but I felt I 'knew' Iyla for a couple years before she even came… complete with her being very feminine & feisty, and telling me she was planning to be 'beautiful' in this life. Ha). I've been a little concerned with the timing of my interventions lately given I haven't been 'hearing' another little one… but in the last month it's like he came flying in. Of course time will tell if my intuitions are correct, but for now I am feeling a little boy (!) who is coming to bring 'joy' to the family. He is light and funny and jolly, and has a tendency to storm forward and into things without a lot of thought. Social and charismatic. And I think I know his name too- on a recent visit to our beloved Driskill Hotel there was a ballroom we'd never noticed before that had a large banner of a name on it- and that name hit me like a ton of bricks and just felt right. 

Time will tell. For now, the Frou is again helping calm my heart and soul as I wade through the frustrations & sorrow that this infertility journey brings.

And now, we wait….

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Round #1: Houston

The fun & busy Holiday season has begun! 

This year we began by assembling Iyla's first gingerbread house. Admittedly Mama did pretty much all of the work, but Iyla did enjoy taste testing every single decoration. 

"I think these peanut butter chips need a little more sugar."

Then we were off to Houston for an early Christmas celebration at my parent's house!


Highlights for Iyla included: 

*Trying to locate all of my parents' cats (who weren't too thrilled to have a toddler on the loose)
*Receiving a glowing amulet necklace
*A new fairy costume from Uncle Andy & Aunt Jeannine that was worn and danced in for our entire visit
*A new play castle from Mimi and Grampy
*A new art/snack table at Mimi and Grampy's. She kept running to it and exclaiming it was time for a 'tea party!'

I might love this castle as much as she does

But the most amazing moment occurred the morning after our festivities. 

Iyla awoke early at her Mimi and Grampy's bright eyed and bushy tailed- ready to 'go find kitties!' We got dressed and headed downstairs to play. She wanted to wear her fairy costume again, and began dancing happily beneath the Christmas tree lights. She then ran into my arms, hugged me tight, and breathed into my cheek: "I love you so much." 

I think my heart exploded.

That was the first time she has EVER said those words to me, and it completely melted me. This kid sure knows how to pull out the Holiday memories; last year on Christmas Eve she began walking, and now this! Be still my heart. What a lovely beginning to our Holiday celebrations.

Happy Holidays sweet girl!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

And Then We Found Olaf

Our first 24 hours away in Fredericksburg were admittedly a bit rough. It's amazing how much of our experiences ride on the coattails of our toddler's moods and temperament!

Happily when Iyla awoke from her nap on day 2, the clouds parted, the rainbows came out, and she was in the sweetest, happiest, most joyful mood. We decided to take advantage and head downtown- where lo and behold, there was a life sized Olaf cavorting in the downtown square! BC says this might be one of his favorite moments ever with Iyla- watching our child's face light up as one of her story book characters magically was brought alive.


We then had a fun dinner downtown complete with live music:


And returned back to our cabin for a cozy fire and s'mores:


It was definitely a welcome and wonderful conclusion to our getaway!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Vacation" With a Toddler: Fredericksburg 2014

When we returned from Kansas, BC mentioned he'd taken a few days off of work in December to provide for a 4 day weekend, and that he'd love us to stay in Texas' Hill Country. He asked if I could take the reigns to plan it?

My honest first thought was: that sounds like a lot of work. 

Call me a curmudgeon, but instead of feeling excited I felt overwhelm at the prospect of planning all of the to-do's that a weekend away would necessitate. All of the food and supplies to pack for Iyla. All of the research to find the right spot that could accommodate us comfortably and allow for a toddler. BC thinks I over-plan things (guilty) and is known to say "let's just wing it." Ahem. If I 'winged' it our child probably wouldn't have milk, snacks, her pajamas, potty, toys, etc. You get the idea.

In the vein of acknowledging this could be fun and relaxing once there, I pushed past my initial reservations and did the research- finding what seemed to be a perfect little cottage community on 200 acres just outside of historic Fredericksburg Texas. We were off!

And now I bring you a series of photos I'd like to call "Image vs. Reality."
Subtitle: "No Matter How Much I Plan, I Cannot Control the Outcome."

 IMAGE: Darling, idyllic private cottage in the country. 
NOT PICTURED: The loud partying group of 10+ people in the cottage immediately beside us. And their yapping dog.

IMAGE(S): Iyla communing happily with nature. 
NOT PICTURED: Deer poop EVERYWHERE (and of course smeared all over the bottom of Iyla's shoes). The fact that all of these photos were taken in a 10 minute period, after which Iyla was instantly fussy and bored again.

IMAGE(S): Happy family playing in Fredericksburg's center square. 
NOT PICTURED: Iyla's repeated tantrums & food throwing at breakfast, my endless yawning.

IMAGE: Iyla peacefully relaxing under the cottage Christmas tree.
NOT PICTURED: Iyla's refusal to do ANYTHING other than watch videos at the cottage.

Here are a few shots that show a bit more of reality:

Pacifying Iyla with snacks

Iyla spitting out her snack

Iyla refusing to cooperate

Iyla having a meltdown

Iyla giving me the side-eye

"I will ruin your getaway!"

Suffice it to say we are all pretty exhausted and I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things in Austin. We have one more night here in the Hill Country, and luckily two bottles of wine…. wish us luck!