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?)


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!

Friday, December 12, 2014

To Iyla at 25 Months

Sweet Iyla Grace, today you are officially 25 months old! You are so full of curiosity, affection, sweetness, feist, & wonder, and continue to amaze us at your capacity to learn. You are such a smart girl!

This month you have become extremely interested in letters. Every time you see a word- whether in a book, a billboard, clothes tag- you'll say "those are letters!" and ask me to "count" them, meaning you want me to name off each letter as you carefully study them. You know quite a few by sight now, and I'm planning several Christmas gifts for you around this newfound interest.

Speaking of Christmas, you are LOVING this Holiday- especially the decorations! You think snowflakes are called "Let it Go's" (from the Frozen movie- your only real reference to snow, being a Texas babe) and recite "flower gleam and glow, let your powers shine" from the Tangled movie every time you sit under the Christmas tree. So cute!

You love listening to Christmas music, and when we go on evening bike rides we always look for Christmas lights around the neighborhood.

We also went to the tree lighting ceremony & caroling at the Capitol, and started the evening with a visit to the Driskill Hotel. Your eyes were huge with wonder when you realized Christmas was at the Driskill too!

Ever since we've returned from Kansas you've been especially affectionate with Sam. You've also discovered he is fun to dress up! He's been a patient playmate, and I am still SO amazed he has never bit you. Lately when others have cared for him while we've been out of town every.single.person has gotten a pretty significant Sam bite. But somehow he just knows to be extra gentle with you, and it warms my heart.

The weather has been gorgeous, so we've been enjoying daily walks to our local park. You know the way there, and hold my hand for the entire walk. I love these afternoons with you so much.

This month you had 2 days of extreme "growing"- which is what we term days when your emotions are on HIGH and meltdowns occur over the most seemingly trivial things. For example, last week when we went to pick up Papa from the airport we walked up a huge staircase to the floor where we had to meet him. You then had a HUGE meltdown because you wanted to immediately ride the escalator back down. After taking a millisecond to try to reason with you (we need to wait here for Papa! We'll ride that escalator with Papa soon!) I very quickly discerned that the best course of action was to just go ahead and ride that escalator. You were what we call a 'hot mess' that entire evening, and spent much of the time while we waited alternating between watching videos on my phone and writhing in defiant fuss on the airport floor. You KNOW when that paci comes out outside of bedtime things are serious!

And yet- true to our term "growing" days- after every extreme period of fussiness you emerge with newfound complexity & knowledge. I truly believe these fussy periods are times when your brain is actively shifting and imprinting, throwing your little world into temporary dismay- where everything you once knew and perceived has become more complicated and different. The fussy periods are shorter than they used to be (a couple days vs a couple weeks) but are extreme in their intensity. 

This last "growing" period saw you emerge and start identifying "he" vs "she"- pointing out men or women in books and saying "that's a he" or "that's a she" and also saw you understanding the concept of "favorite." You were playing with a toy tiara and was starting to fuss for a different one I knew was in another room. Upon fetching it for you, you told me it was your "favorite," and I knew this to be true!

You've also shown an increased interest in understanding emotions. You are aware of when people are sad, mad, or happy, and can imitate all of the facial expressions associated with those emotions. You'll often reflect that "Iyla was sad, Iyla cried" after you are fussy or upset about something. This ability also makes it easier to explain things to you- as I can say things like "Mama felt sad when you weren't being a helper at bedtime" and you can now better understand the sentiment and are more likely to cooperate.

'Oh hi- I'm getting smarter every day!'

A little blurry, but I still think you have the absolute CUTEST profile I've ever seen

This month I was struggling with what to do with your hair. It is very fine, curly, & at times unruly, definitely with a mind of its own. My big dilemma was: trim your bangs or grow them out?  I was on the path to growing them out, but they were often getting in your eyes and required that you have your hair  'done' daily. So I succumbed to practicality and cut them again- doing a more professional job than I'd done the previous two trims (which involved lots of phone videos for you as I parted and combed and clipped over and over and over again!) The new bangs backfired the next day at swimming- a place where I thought they would be MOST convenient. Turns out they drip a lot of water into your eyes, so from now on at swimming I'll need to pull your bangs up into a sort of Bam-Bam do. Overall I think it was the right move, as you can now wear your hair down AND we can still opt to clip your bangs to the side. You're adorable either way!

Still life with toddler. Typical morning hair!

Bangs in the sun

This month's LOVES:

*Bacon & Prosciutto
*Cliff Bars (we are trying to restrict this one as you ask for them all.the.time!)
*Walking to the park
*Finding flowers
*Christmas decorations
*Coloring & stickers (all day every day!)
*Dressing up magnetic dolls
*Discovering & naming letters
*Picking out your underwear each morning

You are such a JOY, sweet girl, and your Papa and I love you so very much. Happy 25 months to you!