August 24, 2019

Back to School Shopping for Toddler Boys

With having two boys, you might think that I would miss shopping for cute little girl things, but I honestly love shopping for my boys just as much.

Caden is starting his official first year of preschool soon and I picked up some versatile pieces that I am sure he will get lots of use out of. Another benefit of having two boys, is that I know a lot of these things will get passed down. With that in mind, I don't mind to spend a little more for good quality. I also stuck to mostly tops since he has several pairs of jeans and pants that I purchased at the end of the winter. Sticking to mostly grey, blue, red, and white; these are all great for mixing and matching!

A couple weeks ago, J. Crew Factory was having a great sale and I loaded up on some super cute stuff. I also took advantage of a recent sale at Kohl's for less expensive items for outside play and lounging. The less expensive pieces may not last forever, but I don't feel too bad because they always have such great prices!

Here is the rundown on what I purchased from J. Crew Factory -

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At Caden's school, they are outside a lot. Even during the winter, as long as the sun is shining, they get the kids outside, which I love so much (and he especially loves it!) These are my Kohl's picks and they are great for layering up under snow clothes and cozying up in at home. I also grabbed a pair of less expensive play sneakers from Gap and the cutest Adidas sneakers that I have been eyeing for a while (yay Nordstrom sale!)

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I'm so excited for C's first day of school as I know he has really been missing it. I'm even more excited to see how much he will grow and change this year. So proud of my big kid already!

I know this is a totally random post, but I got on a roll! Never mind that it took me three days to finish while trying to entertain our two little guys. Such is mom life.

December 26, 2018

Our new adventure!

We finally decided to see a new infertility specialist in May for a second opinion. We just were not getting the results that we wanted and I wasn't feeling good about how things were going. We had three cancelled IUIs and I just found that to be unacceptable considering the amount of money were were spending on medication, etc.

We saw Dr. Conway in May and she ended up cancelling what was to be our first IUI under her. I was disappointed once again, but at least we had some more information this time around. She had decided to cancel because she found my lining to be too thick on CD2. She prescribed ten days of Provera and a repeat HSG since my previous one was at least 2+ years ago.

We got everything done that she recommended and were given a go to start injections at the beginning of my next cycle in June. 

Thankfully this woman knows her stuff because it WORKED! On July 6, I took a pregnancy test and found out that we were finally pregnant. So exciting!

20 week anatomy scan.

That was FIVE months ago and today I am exactly 28 weeks. Our baby BOY is due March 20, 2019 and we cannot wait to meet him! We are headed out in a few days for a family moon/ baby moon to southern California and I just know that once we get back, time is going to FLY.

With this being said, I look forward to sharing more from our baby journey and being a mom. We have also been thinking about next year and planning some trips and I cannot wait to share all of this with you all! I've got lots on my mind and hope to put it all into words soon. Thank you all for following along and for all of your sweet words and warm wishes!!

March 8, 2018

IUI Update..

Unfortunately, the IUI last month did not work.

We have moved on to a new cycle and are doing the same medication protocol with Femara and Gonal-F injections. 

I had an ultrasound this morning that showed two potential follicles, 18mm and 13mm. My doctor suggested doing one more Gonal injection tomorrow and then having a repeat scan on Saturday. 

I guess once he gets my results from Saturday, we will decide the next steps. I'm hoping for an IUI on Monday.

When we were in Hawaii, we were so unbelievably fortunate that we had access to a military hospital that had infertility specialists on staff and were able to do all of our scans, procedures, blood work, etc. Now that we are in Idaho and nowhere near a MTF that does this, we have to work with what we do have.

There are no infertility specialists that reside in our area so we are at the mercy of a doctor from Utah that has an office here. He only comes up for a couple weeks at a time and it's not always on our schedule. We have been working in conjunction with my OB/GYN's office and they have been helping with the ultrasounds and the actual IUI procedures. My RE basically just manages my medications and calls the shots. It can be really frustrating though.

I am thankful that we still have the opportunity to work with an RE, but I definitely took for granted the ease of having everything done all in one place.

February 13, 2018

Journey to Baby H #2.

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last couple years (I know there isn’t always that much to read), you may know about our infertility story and what the journey was like to conceive our son.

We always knew that we wanted more kids and we were really hoping that #2 would come a lot easier. After actively trying again for several months, we decided to consult with a new RE and get the ball rolling since it didn’t look like it was going to happen naturally again.

We tried a couple months of Clomid and timed intercourses, but that didn’t work. The next step was to go straight to what worked when we got pregnant with Caden - FSH injections and IUI.

Our new doctor recommended using Femara in conjunction with FSH injections so that was to be our next step.

Last month, we got all the prescriptions lined up and when it came time to schedule the IUI, we found through an ultrasound that I had possibly ovulated already. We decided to cancel the IUI since it would be pointless to do it at that point. I was really bummed since we had been trying to get to the point where we could try IUI again since October/ November. 

After last month’s mishap, we decided to try the same medication protocol and schedule the ultrasound earlier so we could stay on top of things. I’m happy to say that the timing worked out much better and we are scheduled to do our first IUI for baby #2 on Thursday.

I’m praying that the timing is better this month and that what worked before will work again! Please send lots of prayers and positive thoughts.<3

October 19, 2017

How fast a year goes by.

I'm having all the mom feels lately as it gets closer to Caden's first birthday. 

In less than two weeks, my little Halloween baby will be a whole year old. How is this possible?! It feels like just yesterday when Shaun and I were racing to the hospital after my water broke. 

So much has changed over the last year. We moved across an ocean... drove across the country... visited many new states and saw lots of new places... got to see lots of family and friends and even got a trip to Disney World out of it. I know C probably won't remember any of it, but it's important to me to make memories as a family and we'll have all of them and some great photos to share with him when he gets older.

Along with Caden turning one, comes a lot of other uncertain certainties. Shaun and I would love to have another baby (or two) so that Caden can have a sibling (or two.) And as we've been trying for a few months now, I'm starting to think that this probably won't happen until I wean him from breastfeeding.

I'm having a hard time digesting that thought though and while I want another baby so badly, I don't want to stop too soon. I'm proud that we've made it a whole year, when in the beginning, I wasn't sure we would make it a whole month. It's an important accomplishment (to me) and definitely one that I'm more than proud of. 

Only time will tell, but in the meantime, I'm so looking forward to a new chapter with our little guy. He is growing to be such an adventurous yet sweet little boy. 

Cheers to the next year and forever, baby boy.

warmest aloha,

September 27, 2017

New England Trip!

Last month, Caden and I took a trip back to the Northeast to visit my family. Now that we live a little bit closer,  it makes going home to visit more frequently, a little more feasible.

We flew into Providence, RI, so we could spend a week with my parents at the Cape (Cape Cod for all you non-yankees) then we traveled back to Connecticut with them for the second week.

I've always loved visiting the Cape during the summer and was so happy that I got to bring Caden to one of my favorite places. I hope that we can make it somewhat of a tradition as it was when I was growing up.

We got lots of bike riding in at the Cape and Caden LOVED it. Can't wait to get one of these bike trailers for home.

Having a blast on the swings!

Some sightseeing in P-town.

Can't visit New England without having a monster Lobster Roll!

We celebrated TEN months during our trip!

Got the cutest little baseball cap from The Black Dog.

We had the most beautiful end of summer/ early fall weather during our trip.

Vacation baby!

Grammy couldn't be happier to spend time with little man.

Got to spend time with Uncle Kyle and Auntie Maegen.

Lots of strolls!

In CT, I took Caden to Mystic Aquarium. We saw lots of penguins, sea lions, whales, sting rays, etc.!

Another must-do in CT, a trip to Lyman Orchard!

 Caden loved riding around in his new wagon at Grammy and Grampy's house!

Checking out some goats at the Hebron Harvest Fair.

Spending some quality time with his cousins!

Checking out some big ships at the Connecticut Maritime Festival.

More wagon riding!

 C got his first pair of big boy shoes while in CT! He's not walking just yet, but loves to crawl around EVERYWHERE and pull up on EVERYTHING.

My sweet little travel buddy was such a champ on all of our flights. I think this kid has traveled more in his first year of life than some people have in their whole lives.

We had so much fun and I was so excited to do some of my favorite things with my little guy. I know he won't remember everything, but I'll remember, and we'll have plenty of pictures to show him when he gets older. 

To me, nothing beats getting to travel with our little one. My only regret was that our time in CT was so short and went by so fast that we didn't get to see a lot of people that we usually make it a point to see. Oh and also, Shaun had to stay behind and work (sad face!) I can't wait for the next time that we'll all be able to travel together. <3

Warmest Aloha,

August 17, 2017

A REAL Breastfeeding Story.

In light of World Breastfeeding Week, which was earlier this month, I feel compelled to share our story.

Before having Caden, I mostly heard things like, "she was a natural" or, "he latched right away." So, with having a pretty easy and uneventful pregnancy, labor, and delivery, I thought for sure we would be a "natural" at breastfeeding, right? Wrong.

What so many people fail to tell you, is that breastfeeding does not always come as "naturally" as you may have been lead to believe. It is hard and stressful and emotional for mom AND baby and you may think about quitting every single day.

From day 1 in the hospital, I was already starting to see the dark side. Caden had a hard time latching, he didn't have a lip tie or tongue tie, but he was new at it and I was new at it and we needed lots of practice. What I didn't know then, was that this was going to mean lots of tears for both of us and lots of sleepless nights to come. I'm sure all of those crazy postpartum hormones didn't help either.

I thought I felt pretty knowledgable about latching, I took the hospital's breastfeeding class, but that was only just a small piece of the puzzle. Every time we woke to nurse, I had the nurse there trying to help. We tried every position she could think of and since all modestly had gone out the window long before, nothing was to be left untried.

When we were discharged to go home, I guess I didn't feel too worried, thinking that this was all new for both of us and we would catch on soon.

The first night home actually went okay. I literally set my alarm to wake every couple hours to nurse and although not easy, we made it through and I felt somewhat rested and optimistic by the next morning. Then, the second night home, my milk came in.

I had heard about how this could feel, however, it was just one more thing I was NOT prepared for. As if latching wasn't hard enough, add milk-engorged breasts to the equation. It's not hard to figure out what the outcome of that was - lots of tears for both me and Caden. Thank God our insurance covered a breast pump and I had already been equipped with one long before baby boy arrived. At about 1:00AM, I made my way downstairs and broke that thing out. Through sleepy, bloodshot eyes, I read the instructions and finally found some relief.

By the next morning, I was convinced my boobs were going to stay like that forever (obviously an irrational thought) and called my lactation consultant. I left her a teary voicemail and with a call back a short time later, I was so thankful to hear that she had an opening that day. It was Friday mind you, I don't know what I would have done if I wasn't able to see her before the weekend.

Of course, Caden latched and nursed pretty well in the appointment, but she gave us some comforting words and advice and a silicone nipple shield and sent us on our way. That nipple shield was a God send. We were finally getting somewhere. I didn't want to become too dependent on it though and was determined to make this work for both of us.

Within about a week, we were only using the nipple shield at night since that always seemed to be our toughest time. When we were both tired and frustrated, that little thing got us through. It also helped a bit with the pain because up until then, it felt like razor blades every time C tried to latch. In time, the nipple shield started to add to the problem so I was relieved when we were able to eventually stop using it.

The first two weeks were the absolute hardest. The lactation consultant had told me to give it at least six weeks. When you are four days postpartum, that is the last thing you want to hear and six weeks seemed like an eternity. In some of our lowest moments, I was literally hand-expressing onto a plastic spoon that Shaun held for me so I could feed our baby. 

I can promise you that I thought about giving up breastfeeding every. single. day. over those six weeks. But the nurse was right - around the six week mark, things finally seemed to be getting easier. We still weren't perfect and it still took some effort, but we were getting there. There were some lows, but by now, those feel like a very distant memory.

Looking back, I'm very happy that I decided to stick with it. Even in our toughest moments, I just didn't feel like there was any other option. Today, Caden is nearly ten months and we have made it so far. I don't really know exactly when our breastfeeding journey will end, but until then, I will soak up all the baby snuggles and every moment, bonding with my baby boy.

This post is strictly to tell our story. Breastfeeding may not be for everyone and it literally isn't an option for others. I have no judgement toward anyone who chooses another way; the most important factor is that your baby gets fed whether it be by breast or bottle, you do you. Being a mom is for sure the hardest job I have ever had and I know that I'm not a perfect parent, therefore, I would never want to judge someone else for doing what they need to do to be the best parent they can be. xo

warmest aloha,

August 9, 2017

Summer reading.

Another thing that I've been trying to pick back up on is reading. Having an infant definitely makes it hard to even find enough quiet time to read more than a page or two, but things have been getting easier around here and I finally got through my first book of the summer (summer is practically over, I know.) 

I recently finished The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. It was on my Goodreads list for the longest time and I was excited to get it. I finished it in less than a week, not bad! I also just recently got a library card. I haven't had a public library card since I was in high school - 15+ years! So after doing the the other day, I checked out Glory Over Everything, which is the follow-up to the Kitchen House. I haven't started it, but I have less than 21 days before it needs to be returned. Ha.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll actually do a lot more reading once it starts to get colder, since we won't be spending as much time outside, so I'd like to find some new books to add to my reading list. 

Does anyone have any good suggestions???? I'm open to "summer reading"-type books still. I like fiction and especially American historical fiction and chick lit, of course! Because, let's be honest, who doesn't?

August 8, 2017

Mommin' and bloggin'.

I guess I fall into a whole new category of bloggers now - moms! 

I have a lot of thoughts that I'd like to share, however, I do not claim to know everything nor do I have all the answers. Maybe I'll add that disclaimer to each post. I'd just like to think that if any little tidbit I write can help someone, I'll be happy.

I somehow managed to be TERRIBLE at blogging while we lived in Hawaii, which is so, so sad because I was so fortunate to meet so many amazing people and have such amazing experiences. I've been thinking about picking one day each week to re-cap and put those experiences down on "paper". They so deserve a spotlight and I won't ever turn down an opportunity to talk about our time there.

Just one very small peek at a bittersweet day - this photo was taken on our very last day on Oahu. Caden was 9 weeks old and it was a perfectly beautiful evening on Bellows Beach.

Looking forward to sharing so much more!

warmest aloha,

August 7, 2017

Life lately.

I've been having a strong urge to get back into blogging, such as I always do, but life tends to get in the way.

I have a whole list of topics to write about and daydream about when I'll actually have the time to sit down and type out my thoughts. Hopefully this is a start!

I thought I'd do a little post to update everyone on our life lately. 2017 has been quite a whirlwind to say the least.

After my husband's promotion at the end of last year, he got new orders that would move us away from Hawaii. Sad, I know! So, here we are, in our new Idaho home.

I know it sounds odd for someone who is active duty Navy to get stationed in a landlocked state, everyone always looks at us funny. Long story short, he is currently doing oversight at a huge Department of Energy site here in Idaho.

So far, we like it okay. There is LOTS of new territory here to explore and we have done a little bit so far. I've always wanted to live out west and here we've got our chance so I look forward to taking full advantage of the next few years!

When we left Hawaii in January, Caden was nine weeks old and he just recently turned nine MONTHS old. I can't believe it. Since then, we have been able to go home and visit both of our families in Connecticut and Kentucky. We also took a two-week long vacation to Florida. We got to spend some time with my parents in Port St. Lucie, attended my cousin's wedding in Orlando and got to take C to Disney World, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot. We spent the last part of our vacation in Fort Myers with some of Shaun's family.

We camped, for the first time as a family and with Caden, over Memorial Day weekend near Yellowstone National Park. We rented a camper and went with some friends. We also spent some time exploring the park.

Last month, Shaun's family came out to visit us in Idaho over the Fourth of July. We spent a few nights in a really cool cabin near Yellowstone and spent about a day and half exploring the park with them. So far, we've spent about five full days exploring the park and there is still a lot we haven't seen. It's incredibly big!

I hope that next year we'll be able to do a big national park loop through Arizona and Utah or a Northern California trip; still so many places we're dying to see!

Our little guy keeps us on our toes and I know it's just a matter of time before we'll be chasing him all over the house. He makes our universe so much brighter and he is literally my reason for breathing. No one ever said that being a mom would be easy, but it is more than worth it.

warmest aloha,

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