Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Negative - Day 26 (Month 1 of Trying)

Until Next Month... 
Well, the first month of trying was a no-go. It’s OK. I think I was so psycho about it because I deep down knew I wasn’t, but wanted myself to believe I was. Make sense?

Deep down I knew when I took that test on Saturday and it came back negative that I wasn’t going to be by the end of the week. 
Sometimes I feel like this at home!

Also, I realized how anxiety can consume a person (ehem…ME) and how it totally affects the whole process. Throwing that out the window month two. It truly made me ill and NUTS!

I decided that I have another month of feeling like me, so I’m going to focus on getting our house ready.
I would love answers. Will we be putting our town home up for sale? Will we be renting? Will we be staying until baby #2 arrives? I can’t answer any of these questions right now and it drives me nuts. But instead of being frozen and doing nothing and putting the house off again, I’m going to purge and downsize.

There are things in our house we NEVER use. There are things in our house that have been there since I bought the place in 2002 and just don’t seem to reflect who we are at all. There are also dust collectors everywhere.

I can’t imagine renting a storage unit. To me if we have to store stuff, do we really NEED IT then? We also don’t have the $100 it costs every month to rent a unit. 

Regardless of what we decide, I feel a million times better when there is less clutter and each room has a purpose. I feel in control of my emotions. I feel happy. I feel free.

Right now, I’m not sure why we have 50 candles throughout the house (totally bugging me), or dying plants taking up space, tons of books I'll never read again clogging our bookshelves and a million photos hanging on our walls and framed pictures from my college days. I’m tired of the excuses I have for all of these things! 

Usually I look at something taking up space and I worry I’ll hurt that person’s feelings if I throw it away since they gave it to us. Or I feel like I’m tossing away money. OR I know I have to keep all Jackson’s toys because we will have number two. That doesn’t mean I can’t pack away and store in a closet that is now stuffed with things we NEVER EVER USE.


A few other reasons I’m OK with the negative results:
  • I also get to strength train extra hard this month and use the steam room and hot tub! Yay!
  • I also get to drink a beer whenever I want. Yay!
  • I also better get my sushi fix in too….

What did you feel and do when the test came up negative? 

Going Crazy - Day 26 (Month 1 of Trying)

I’m realizing that I’m kind of crazy
Does anyone else think this much?? Again, the reason why I write. I need to get it all out. And who wants to listen to me talk all the time about this stuff?

This is what I have for ya. Saturday I had an appointment to get a hitch on our new car. I’m excited because this means we’ll be taking our bikes somewhere COOL to ride other than the bike path down the way. Maybe even CAMP this summer!!!!! YIPPEEE. It’s a must. I think Jackson will love since he’s such a nature boy.

Anyway, as I’m waiting for my car (which was really nice – I actually made it through an entire magazine!) I started to feel gross again. Nauseous, light headed, dizzy. And then I became really hot. OK…my yellow winter coat was still on, but the last 10 days I’ve been freezing (yes, we were in a historic arctic blast. I get that.).  On the way home I decided to buy a home pregnancy test. Only after I paid $21.99 for THREE, I found out that the dollar store sells these and they are JUST as good. Oh…

I took the test at home. I was on day 24. Maybe too early? Not from what the box tells me though.
Results: NEGATIVE.

Looks like you'll have to wait another month.

Grrr. I remember with Jackson I peed and that stick changed the second it hit but I also took the test on day 29 or 30. Still, this tells me that I’m not, and all the things I’ve been feeling are in fact anxiety, which is CRAZY to me. Did you catch all that? In short, my brain is POWERFUL. Still, I can’t believe this though or accept it. Great.

I Google and it sounds like tons of women get the two lines (positive) even at three weeks. I can’t be then. Can I? I think back to my friend who a year ago emailed me on day 24 and took a test, negative.  But she swore she was. She had the symptoms. She took again on day 25—sometimes even taking the test twice—negative.  It wasn’t until day 28 when the two lines showed up. Is this normal!?!?! I can’t picture this happening to me. I feel like my body should know and it should show up already. However, I’m NOT taking another test until day 28 or 29. It’s like throwing $7 down the toilet if I take another! We’re on a tight budget here!

Seriously, I need to let this go.

So I still worked out. I ran my fastest mile yet (8:57). AND I burned close to 300 calories in 25 minutes doing stair stepper at level 12 and felt AMAZING afterwards. Sure, I was gasping for air more than normal, but I still did it. Granted, I’m in pretty good shape, but I can’t picture me doing these things if I was PG. I didn’t feel like passing out either.  So there’s that.

AND I got a killer headache yesterday. A clear sign my monthly visitor is coming. Right? OR it could be the fact that I can’t seem to drink coffee like I used to. Why? Karl told me it’s because the coffee has tasted gross. Oh. His simple explanations! He might be on to something since he brewed a different brand today and I drank a bunch. Now I’m on a caffeine high. Oops. Did I mention a cup of coffee to me is MAYBE 10 sips max? This drives Karl nuts. How can one be this hyper in the morning and not consume a lot of caffeine?  

OK. Back to the symptoms. There has been cramping.  I’m craving chocolate like crazy. BUT usually I’ll get a few Cyclops on my skin the week of my monthly visitor. Skin check: pretty clear… BUT we’ve been eating a lot of fish. I swear, the more often I eat fish, the better my skin looks. Again, could be in my messed up head.

I had these symptoms when I was PG with Jackson. I took Advil and Midol back then thinking my monthly visitor was coming because of the cramping. I wanted to stop the cramps before they became unbearable. I remember being VERY VERY VERY tired with him the week of finding out too, but I also played 8+ hours of volleyball in the HOT AUGUST SUN. I remember feeling like a truck hit me the next day. NOT feeling that this time… Or else it could be because I’m just used to that “tired” feeling chasing a toddler around???
The only odd thing is I’m sleeping AMAZING at night. And I’m having crazy weird dreams. Like Karl was trying to murder me by making these weird loud snoring noises. When I woke up, I realized he was snoring louder than he has ever snored. So weird how that all happens.

So yeah…now that I thought all this through, I pretty much thought my period was coming when I was pregnant with Jackson, so it’ll always be tough to know until I take a test, which I did. Hellloooo.
So basically I told myself I need to LET GO. God has a plan for us. He’ll know when the timing is right. We’re doing the work, but God knows best.  Right? It’s the only way!

I’m such a control freak though. Wow.

When did you find out you were PG? What day? 

How I'm Feeling - Week 3 (Month 1 of Trying)

OK. Definitely feeling nauseous. 
Is this in my head?? Am I really this stressed out right now?

I woke with ANOTHER headache and we even went to the chiropractor yesterday. Did I mention that Jackson LOVES going? He hops right on the table and says, “POP!” after each adjustment with the CUTEST SMILE. When we get home from daycare or on weekends, he makes us get on the floor and adjusts us. It’s way too cute. He did this over Christmas in Kansas too. So funny. Usually he jumps on me and walks on my back…then starts laughing. ALL BOY.

I bought a $5 bottle of essential oils from our chiropractor and am addicted. I have no idea what’s in it (coming soon), but I told the chiropractor that I thought I was fighting off something. She said to spray it on my lymph nodes around my neck. I have been and so far, so good!! I even squirted Karl with it. He thinks it smells weird. I think I was told I could even squirt it in my mouth on throat. I need directions!!
Is it weird that it might have helped me sleep better too? I sprayed it on my pillow. Slept GREAT until someone stole the covers. Won’t mention any names…
The bottle of essential oils I'm trying out. Smells like cloves and vanilla to me!

Anyway, I was hungry when I woke up and decided to have two eggs and heat up one of Karl’s super healthy pancakes, topped with flaxseed. This particular pancake has bananas and oats and blueberries in it. NO sugar. For some reason I could barely eat it. The smell. Eww.

Uh oh.

Then Karl came down and toasted two slices of bread he made from our bread maker (it’s REALLY good) and the smell of that got to me. I felt my stomach rise. Could this ALREADY be happening!?!? I didn’t mention anything to him because I’m thinking he’ll say, “It’s anxiety, babe!”

Could be.

I’m scared this is already a sign that there will be two pink lines next week. With Jackson, I was feeling off for three solid weeks –not until weeks 6 through 9. I never threw up, but there were times I was close and getting out of bed for work was HARD. I think that first trimester was hit or miss after those three weeks. I’d feel really good but then maybe a day I wouldn't feel the greatest. If this is a sign of what’s coming… and THIS EARLY… Oh dear. ESPECIALLY after yesterday’s work meeting. I will have a LOT on my plate in 2014. A LOT. I’m super excited about all the projects but feeling a titch overwhelmed. Thinking positive here though. I always get everything done! I’m going to be learning a lot. My resume is going to grow a bunch. Can you tell I’m super pumped about this? I like making myself invaluable. I’m also officially down to four days a week. I’m SO grateful my work is willing to let me do this as a manager. I feel like I WANT to do the best I can for the company and really make a difference in the company. I love feeling this way. Motivated. Driven. Challenged. Excited.

Just wanted to share some thoughts and how I’m feeling. I’m trying to get coffee down and that’s been hard too. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I guess I’ll be surprised if I’m not cooking a bun in the oven right now. 

Did you feel ill early on in your pregnancy? 

The Waiting Game - Am I, or Aren't I? (Month 1 of Trying)

Could I Be?

T-minus 8 more days until we find out if the first month of trying worked. I don’t even have any tests at home. I should buy some, huh?

I can tell you last week I had a rough time eating breakfast and couldn’t swallow down my beloved coffee. (We’re talking chocolate glazed Dunkin Donuts coffee too.) What is that about? Could be stress. Could be anxiety. I mean, that would be awfully early in the game, don’t you think?

Karl laughs at me when I say, “I know my body.” But I DO. Like nothing else.

Friday, I met with our Realtor who walked me through our townhouse and told me all the things I had to do if we want to sell or rent. Let’s just say I’m feeling VERY overwhelmed. VERY. Like, that frozen- state-of-mind-can’t-start-anything-because-i-don’t-even-know-where-to-begin.

I also feel like a hoarder. So I watched an episode of Hoarders. That sparked some motivation. And some serious itching.  

Last night I started getting pains in my left tonsil. I was also VERY crabby. My brain couldn’t think. I let Jackson dump the frozen carrots all over the floor because I didn’t know what else to do to keep him from whining. It is very very very cold out. Our freezer went out. I managed to cook a steak dinner. I cut everything up in bite size pieces for Jackson. I tried to listen to Karl’s day and answer his questions and process things he was telling me, but all the while block out Jackson’s whining. It felt like too much. Like my brain might spill over the information in it from my work day too. Was it really that much??

In the middle of the night I woke up a bazzilion times with my throat throbbing. Finally around 4 a.m. I took Advil. I know I shouldn’t take Advil right now but it’s all we had and I needed SOME sleep. When I stood up, the room started spinning. I couldn’t stop it. And it’s been like that all morning. Either I have vertigo or some kind of bug or maybe just maybe it’s another sign that something is cooking in me?? My ears do feel a little clogged.

One thing I remember that first month we found out Jackson was on the way was I ended up getting back-to-back colds in August. Simply getting sick with a cold was already really unusual for me. But twice?
Something was UP. I think I read that the immune system of a pregnant woman goes down. True? Not sure. 

My chest feels a little tender and I have been using the bathroom a lot, BUT I also drink a ton of water and have been drinking HOT HOT HOT tea since we’re in a historic arctic blast right now. A lot of this can be in my head too. The brain is SO POWERFUL.  

One thing I’ve been following is a little article I found in my Women’s Health Magazine. It lists some of the best foods to eat to boost fertility. I’ve also added quite a bit of fish to our diets. Why? I ran out of my prenatal fish oil vitamins and wanted the real stuff. It’s better anyway. But it’s expensive though. One pound of wild salmon was $37. That’s a quarter of our weekly grocery budget. The only thing I haven’t had is the buckwheat listed. I’ve never cooked with it so I guess it’s something that has peaked my interest and we’ll be trying soon even if this month works or doesn’t. It’s healthy, right?

That’s about all I have. A friend sent me a link that freaked the ba-jezzes out of me. I still laughed at it though because I’m almost positive it’s spot on. I guess I should just focus on #2 and NOT #3. I kind of have this problem of jumping ahead. Can you tell?

Growing the Family - Here We Go Again (Month 1 of Trying)

So we started trying for baby #2 yesterday. Woot! Don’t worry, I’ll save you from all the details. I’m mainly writing this post because I shared my first pregnancy and I need to be fair to this little love bug too.  Plus, I’m a writer. It’s what I do! (ehem -  Did you notice I didn’t call myself  just a “mom”?)
AND because I can’t believe that we’re at this point… 

I thought for a while there Jackson (20.5 month old son) would be it. That first year was a VERY tough and challenging journey for me. Yet, really awesome too. I think some of you parents out there will “get” that statement.  I look back at photos of myself before Jackson and think, you had NO idea what was coming your way. I was judgmental then. I thought I knew all the answers. I was focused a lot on things that were such small pieces of the puzzle and bigger picture, and man, I sure looked rested!!!

Then I was blinded by this thing called motherhood. 

I really think the transition was so hard because I was never around babies to start and I was never that googly goggly baby person. I was fine if I didn’t hold a baby or change a diaper. Friends never called me to babysit. I had NO clue what I was doing. I knew how to play volleyball though and cook and set up friends and write… Now I was sleep-deprived to the max and I had SUPER high expectations of how well I should handle everything and I wasn’t meeting ANY of them. I was totally off my game.


And to top it all off, my hubby was frozen in fear and working a bunch. We were once TIED to the hip before kids. We did everything together and traveled the world and came and went as we pleased throughout the day and weekends. Oh, the life! PLUS, I didn’t realize how much work (and painful) breast feeding would be. I was determined though. And then transitioning back to working full-time and all the pumping breaks and cleaning parts and toting bags around, and all the dishes…

Let’s just say that first year was the biggest emotional rollercoaster of my life. I’ve never cried so much in my life. Now, I see a stranger cry and I’m sobbing right beside them. What happened to me!?!

I feel. I feel for everyone.

After Jackson, our life changed in a HUGE way. HUGE. I still remember how alone I felt when Karl would go up to bed and I was downstairs rocking Jackson to sleep, praying he’d give me three hours of solid sleep. Five and I would actually function. I was so anxious before bed, sabotaging any good sleep by wondering just how tired I’d be the next day if I didn’t fall asleep in the next ten minutes, hour, two...  

I so wanted to crawl in bed with Karl like we did before every night, but I couldn’t, I had a huge responsibility crying in my arms. Things weren’t easy anymore. Or I still remember how isolated I felt when we finally gathered the courage to travel (on a plane!) and I’d have to scurry on downstairs every couple hours and find a dark room to nurse while everyone was having fun and drinking like old times. Clearly the list could go on here.

Well, well, well…wasn’t that short-lived?

I can’t even begin to explain how magical becoming a mom has been. Obviously it outweighs all the above. Jackson blows me away every single day. Can he seriously be this cute!?!?

Yes, I stare at him ALL THE TIME and yes, I literally feel my mind smoking and my heart growing ten sizes bigger when he says “Amen, mama!” after our prayers at night or he wraps his little arms around me or he walks up to me and kisses my lips. How is it possible I am this lucky to be his mom???? I pinch myself sometimes. Am I dreaming? Am I in some weird bubble right now? It’s so weird. So cool. So incredible. SUCH a MIRACLE.

The transition of “me” has been incredible too - a scared first-time mom (who wanted to hide in the clothes rack at Kohl’s Department store), growing into a confident, loving, strong mother who thinks she’s ready for another.

I never realized how much I could love someone, and have that love grow every single day. Weirdly enough, I’m not worried about loving another. I thought I would be. But I know it’s going to come and I’m going to fall fast and hard. That’s what has amazed me most about becoming a mom. How easy it is to love – how natural that comes (maybe not immediate but it floods your heart when the time is right) and how my instincts are spot on ALL THE TIME.  

Don’t get me wrong, there are fears! Ohhh, doggie, there are fears. The more you have, the more you have to lose. And yes, I’m scared of ALL the work ahead of me and figuring out ways to share my time equally while keeping my head on straight and not losing sight of myself. I honestly don’t know how it’s going to work out, but I’m trusting God on this one because my heart is telling me something else. 

Why another?

  • I want Jackson to have a sibling. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the relationship I have with both my brothers. I want Jackson to have that. He is going to make the BEST bigger brother.

  •  I want to grow our family. Some of my favorite moments are just hanging out. Walks, bike rides, time at the park, reading books, playing. Yet, I feel that we are missing someone. Is that weird?? Like, I can already SEE this little love bug in photos, in my heart in our life. It’s weird. I just know it’s time. I want those nights at the dinner table as a family and just those awesome moments I had with my family.

  • I want to soak up every last minute of this one. My guess is this will be our last since I’ll be high risk towards the end and Karl has pretty much put the kibosh on any more. And financially things are tight. Yeah. Yeah. I also think I’ll know a little more of what to expect and not be so hard on myself. I won’t be worried about every last thing (ha!). I will relax a little more on the nights I’m up rocking in the middle night, and NOT worry so much about how tired I will be. I will take things as they come and just BE. (This is a more rested mom saying this.)


Because I know now this stage ISN’T forever. NOTHING stays the SAME for long. They grow SO incredibly fast and change in a blink. I can’t believe Jackson is almost two. How on earth did that happen??? All I know is things DO get easier. I WILL get my evenings with Karl back and I will be able to sip wine again and cook and play volleyball and workout and run outside. I will get to do ALL THAT AGAIN. Maybe not as much and not right away, but everything evolves so quickly. I think this is why we moms forget about labor. It’s only the teeniest fraction of motherhood.

I remember someone posted on my Facebook wall after I had Jackson. “Congrats on the delivery, now the hard part begins.” I was like…HUH?? That labor sucked!! But they were right. Labor is nothing. Like I said before, it’s an awesome kind of hard though.

I’m ready for this beautiful journey ahead. And I wanted to be able to say that in my gut before we started trying. So heeeere we go!! Round two!  

Pray for us