October 10, 2012

September (oh crap, it's October) recap...

i'm absolutely horrible at this. this blogging thing. it's been more than a month since i've posted anything, and of course a lot has happened in the last 6 weeks. once school starts it's a mass chaos of scheduling conflicts bombarding our household (and put on top of that, having a baby?!) so, let's make this kind of quick...

we started off September by celebrating P-Donculous birthday. i'm pretty sure that every year i have the same photo of the the 3 of them shirtless behind a cake. the only differences might be the kind of cake and that those buggers keep getting bigger.

the same weekend we celebrated a birthday, we also had our opening weekend of sports. this year we now have all 3 boys playing soccer, and P-Donculous also plays football, so, that means just about every Saturday we have 4 games to juggle. i have yet been able to make it to all 4 games. scheduling is a nightmare and 98% of the time there are at least 2 games scheduled for the same time, which means The Husband and i have to split our sideline cheering time between the boys. i don't know what we're going to do once Miss Pink starts participating in sports and we have the possibility of 6 different events in one day. 

anyway, back to this week's big event...NoNo's very first soccer game! he surprised us and actually played a great game, considering he spent the last practice before the game crying for the first 30 minutes. so proud of little dude. look how cute he is in his replica Barcelona uniform. he's also the youngest kid on the team by  2 years, so, he's doing pretty good at holding his own. it only took him 5 games before he scored his first goal, but you would have thought he scored the winning goal in the last second of the game the way i was screaming on the sidelines.
of course, we can't leave out the beginning of football...our Longhorn team has gone undefeated so far this season, which means we get lots of criticism from other teams that we're cheaters and we play dirty. seriously?! it's 1st grade flag football people, how in the world are we cheating? this is the biggest problem with small town sports and the way parents expect every team to win, each kid to score, and everyone gets a trophy. wake-up parents. those participation trophies your kids are getting are not going to get them into college. sorry, i was up on that soap box thing. what was i talking about? oh, my own kids...yes, so i managed to get pictures of 2 of the games that day, but because of scheduling i haven't been able to get P-Donculous or C playing soccer this season. (i still have a few more weeks before the season is already over) 
move up a couple weeks and we now have Homecoming week. i didn't get the best pictures this year, but i can blame that on the fact that C had to be taken to the ER clinic right as the parade was starting, because he busted his chin open (leave it to C to walk under a sign and slice his chin wide open). for being in such a small town, we have the longest parade ever! it took almost 2 hours, and they have this thing on a Wednesday night, so the kids then have to get up for school the next morning...lame

NoNo's PreK class went on their first field trip. for most kids it's the first time any of them have ridden on a bus, but since my kids take the bus every morning to school, nothing new for him. and they went to the pumpkin patch, the same one we've been going to for the last 5 years, so, not so new and exciting for NoNo. 
on top of all of our other activities, we've been trying to get Miss Pink's room put together. you would've thought that the years of waiting for her arrival would have given me plenty of time to know what i wanted in a little girl nursery, but nope, i was at a complete loss of creativity. we finally had the room painted, which of course makes the rest of the house look like crap, but at least her room is all new and shiny. i painted some of the furniture. trying to make it different, since it's the same baby furniture we've had since C was a baby (10 years ago!). i tried my hand at some abstract art and i'm in the process of putting together some mismatched frames for the wall. this crafting thing is for the birds. i would much rather find someone on etsy to make it for me. eventually we'll have everything in place, i'm hoping before she gets here...

August 31, 2012


it's taken me almost a week to get these pictures together, so i'm just going to leave this post pretty short. the week before school started the whole family (and our friends the Czarneckys) flew down to Belize for a much needed beach vacation. last year we all went to Grayton Beach, but this year we opted for a little more adventure. if you're wondering how we chose Belize, well, it's simple...1. The Husband and i went there 3 years ago for our 10th anniversary trip and fell in love with the place 2. it's only a 2 1/2 hour direct flight from DFW and 3. the country speaks primarily English and the water is ok to drink. Belize is a very tiny country with absolutely no fast food restaurants or shopping centers. if you want to stay off the grid, this is the place to do it. although, if you have some picky eaters in your group, they might get a little hungry. the kids found the local market to be a mecca of interesting items. they pretty much lived off Pineapple Fanta the entire week we were there. for me, being pregnant had some other food disadvantages...i didn't drink the milk (it smelled and tasted very wrong), i couldn't eat the "raw" seafood, and they didn't have sweet tea, but other than that the food is absolutely amazing.

our adventure on the trip included a Jungle Tour with this crazy local named Percy, who, when we went diving for lobster, just stripped down to his "manties" and jumped overboard with a giant stick with a hook on it. Percy was an interesting character, but extremely friendly and he even took us to his momma's place to eat lunch (stewed chicken and coleslaw - pretty sure that's a Belizean staple). we spent a couple days at a pool down the street, which was amazing and completely deserted (most of the time we were the only ones there and it was a giant resort pool - very strange). we drove up into the jungle and went zip lining, and yes, pregnant momma went too. the last day we took a boat out to Laughing Bird Caye, which is the southernmost island of the Belize Barrier Reef. since none of us are PADI certified to dive, we all stuck to snorkeling around the island. when we stepped off the boat it was seriously like Gilligan's Island there. you could see from one end to the other and walk across the entire island from east to west in less than 20 steps. being in the water was like swimming in a giant aquarium. after our week long adventure it was time to say goodbye to Belize and head back home, just in time for school to start...

August 29, 2012

first day of school...

i'm going to completely skip over the vacation we just took, and get to an equally exciting time (well, for me anyway)...THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!! this year all 3 boys will be in school full-time and all 3 will be riding the bus to and from school...JACKPOT!! the only downfall to them riding the bus in the morning is the absurd wake-up time of 6:15am. i'm sure for most people this is a normal time to wake up, but not in our house. if the sun ain't up, we're not getting up either.

the first day was fabulous, considering we didn't even get back from the airport until 9pm the night before from the vacay. C rode the bus to school and refused to pose for any pictures other than the first one. P-Donculous didn't want me to take his picture either, but NoNo was more than happy to have us follow him around most of the day. i'm assuming the day was a success for them as well, because i didn't get any phone calls during the day and they all made it home by 4pm (yep, they were on the bus for more than 45min). it's going to be a little strange having peace and quiet all day, well, at least for the next 4 months anyway...

August 15, 2012

Miss Pink...

today was the day that i had been thinking about for months now. the overwhelming irrational fears that i had slowly melted away once we finally were able to see her face. yes, that's right...HER face. to top the list of completely irrational fears, was it truly a girl? just because a geneticist tells you it is, are they always 100% correct? of course there were other crazy thoughts (mostly because i watch too many Lifetime movies) that something could be wrong, but once we saw that little "hamburger bun", nothing else mattered.

we brought all the boys with us to the appointment so they could officially see their sister. wow, that is really strange to say. after all the butt, fart, and boobie jokes were said they all rolled around on the floor competing for the best view of the monitor. then came the list of outlandish names they had come up with. it was hard to tell if the sonographer and doctor were annoyed or amused with those three. oh, and by the way we don't have a name, but more on that a little later.

it turns out everything is perfectly great and little Miss Pink is right on track for her January 2nd arrival.

ultrasound pictures are just scary. she looks like an alien, but then again all babies do until they are about 2 months old. for now, this is what she looks like and here are a few questions answered for all of the ones i'm about to get. considering we never really announced the pregnancy and i'm already 19 weeks, i'm sure there's about to be a ton of inquisitive people out there...

1. no, we do not have a name picked out (unless you count the names the boys have picked - Diamond, Margarita, Donquita, and Trouble) and it's a little bit of a sore subject in our house, because we can't agree on a name
2. no, i'm not carrying twins (anymore...see the previous post about that one - although, the doctor did find our second little angel still hanging around in there) i'm just a very large pregnant person
3. yes, you can touch the belly, but only if i can touch yours
4. no, i will not be your designated driver for NYE...i might be a little busy
5. other than the usual heartburn, i feel fine, and yes, the so called morning sickness hit me for the first 14 weeks, but now i'm just dandy
6. i can still see my feet, well, for at least another few weeks anyway
7. i've already gained 9 pounds
8. all i want to eat are noodles, especially Ramen Noodles
9. we're not sure who she looks like, but the consensus is that she definitely looks like a McCool
10. yes, i can feel her moving...her feet are standing right on top of my HooHaw, which isn't very nice, and her little hands get me in the ovaries at least 6 times a day

anything else you wanna ask?

June 5, 2012

keeping a secret...

we started on a journey almost 2 years ago, one that we happily shared with the world (read here & also this one) but things didn't quite work out the way we planned. i should have known, things do not always work out for us the first time around, ever. so, when we tried again a second time, we kept everything to ourselves. and for good reason, the second time around was a complete disaster. we thought we would give it one last try (honestly it was getting ridiculously expensive). again, we decided to keep it to ourselves. why burden anyone else with yet another disappointment. we figured if we eventually got great news, then that's when we would tell everyone. 

it was almost like deja vu, we started the same process in March, just like we did last year. after weeks of multiple injections a day, we hoped for the best. on April 17 we went in for "the harvest". i knew that by the third time around i wouldn't have much of a reserve left. surprisingly we still ended up with 15 eggs. out of those 15, 10 became embryos, but by day 5 we only had 4 healthy ones left. two of the four were not the best looking embryos, but there were two that looked absolutely fabulous! and guess what? those two just happened to be girls! so, on April 22, we took our last shot at having some equality in our house. it's hard to tell by the picture below, but that little hatching blastocyst is in excellent condition.
of course, then comes the dreaded two week wait. that time from transfer day until the day you go back for your first blood draw (aka beta hCG). it has got to be the most nerve wracking 10 days, and you can't even calm your nerves with a glass bottle of wine! after doing this 3 times, i just couldn't take it anymore. i kind of cheated (it was only 8 days past my transfer). i was standing in line at the Wally World and there it was staring me in the face...a little box containing a pregnancy test (and it was less than a dollar!). i was almost embarrassed to buy it. i don't know why, i'm a grown ass woman, but i felt strange buying a pregnancy test from the check out lane next to the gum and reader's digest. i raced home and threw it in the closet, again, i don't know why i do these things. no one was even home to hide it from. the box stayed in the closet for a couple hours before i worked up the courage to open it. i circled the bathroom a few times before i finally sat down to pee on that little stick. of course, then you have to wait again (they recommend a couple minutes, what?!). i placed that little stick on the counter and paced the bathroom again. forget waiting two minutes, in less than 20 seconds i had my answer...

i was contemplating on how long to keep this a secret, but i immediately texted The Husband. i would have called, but i knew he was at a pretty big lunch meeting and wouldn't answer anyway. i knew that picture would get a response. he said it took all he had to not scream in the middle of the restaurant. other than that, i kept my mouth shut. two days later we went in for our blood draw, and guess what? they make you wait a couple hours before calling you. so, to try and ease my mind, i ate...a lot.
right on schedule, somewhere around 1:30pm, we got the call, and once again we were in the car. this time was different, mostly because i cheated with my little Wally World purchase a few days earlier, but i was still extremely nervous. i'm not allowed to answer calls from the doctor (my husband knows all too well how much of a nervous wreck i am) so, he cheerfully answered and listened to what the doctor had to say. i knew it had to be good news, but i just didn't know how good. on a numbers scale, your beta hCG needs to be anything greater than zero. most over the counter pregnancy tests won't even detect hCG levels less than 40-50. well, my first beta was 275! of course i had to get on all the message boards to see what that meant. most of the other responses to positive betas were all less than 100, so i was pretty sure that my 275 was pretty damn high. like most tests you have to repeat them to make sure they are accurate and that the numbers are improving. two days later we tested again, and by this time they expect your hCG level to have doubled from your last test. oh, it more than doubled...797! it was this call that made us nervous. not only was the doctor super thrilled to give us this news, but he thought he would throw in that high numbers usually means twins. WHAT?! we knew going into this that having twins would always be a good possibility, but when you actually hear it...speechless. 

at this point keeping this a secret was really hard (damn near impossible), so, we caved and told the family. we had to tell someone! but just getting a positive pregnancy test isn't quite enough. it was now on to weeks of ultrasounds to make sure we actually had a growing baby. from past experience we know that just getting two pink lines doesn't always mean the kick start of a healthy pregnancy. so, for the next few weeks, we went in for multiple ultrasounds. i didn't bother posting those, because you really can't see anything other than a black circle (or in our case 2 circles). did i forget to mention that i'm still giving myself injections every night? happy happy joy joy! at 6 weeks i was finally released to my OB, where i started yet more ultrasounds. at 7 weeks we were told that one of the babies (even though it had a heartbeat) was not looking so fabulous anymore. her sister was more than twice her size and growing steadily, but Lil' Bit just wasn't keeping up. we knew from the beginning that one was smaller and in an awkward location, but we had our hopes that things would turn around and she would catch up. when we went in for our last ultrasound, (i was technically 8w6d) baby A, aka Big Momma, measured at 9w3d with a heart rate of 163! unfortunately Lil' Bit only measured at 7w3d and we could no longer find a heartbeat. as upsetting as it should have been, it was just as joyous to know that we had a very strong healthy little girl in there. we took the boys with us this time, so they could actually see what all the fuss was about. according to P-Donculous, mommy is growing a little shrimp in her belly...

introducing Little Girl McCool
aka Big Momma

*even after writing this i was still a little hesitant about posting it. i know that at this point we should be out of the woods and close to the safe zone (i don't think i could keep it a secret for 3 more weeks) as far as "announcing" our news, but it's almost like it's too good to be true. i've been sitting at my computer for an hour (not including the 3 hours i spent yesterday actually writing this) with the nervous jitters avoiding that little orange publish button at the top of the page. maybe it has something to do with the 2 cups of coffee i just finished while sitting here (don't judge, it's half-caff) but i just can't bring myself to share the news yet. well, since i only have a handful of people who actually read this, then maybe it's safe, and we'll keep a Facebook announcement for another day (or week)...

June 4, 2012

school's out for summer...

our kids didn't even hear the last bell at school this year. we pulled them out a couple days early and headed out of town quick like. our kids desperately needed a break (ok, so maybe we all needed it) from the day to day business around home. we packed up the truck and drove on to New Orleans. this has turned into a yearly thing for us. the drive home to Florida is only 12 hours, but we like to break it up and make a stop in NOLA for a night. the kids love it and it gives us a chance to explore a very interesting culture. this year we took the boys on a swamp tour, which meant a couple of hours hanging around on a very slow moving pontoon boat, but we did get to see some alligators.
i didn't do a great job of taking pictures this time around. we made it to the beach 4 days out of the 6 we were home, but never once broke out the camera. i would like to call this a successful vacation, because i'm pretty sure i only put my watch on once the entire week and i can bet that i never even wore a bra the entire time we were gone. yep, pretty good vacation. 

our last day we spent lunching with my sis and my dad at this very interesting little spot called Tucker Duke's Lunch Box (they don't have a website) in Valparaiso, FL. talk about an eclectic menu...maple bacon popcorn? pimento cheese grits? a double cheeseburger stuffed between two grilled cheese sandwiches? yes, they have all that and more, but just don't order a sweet tea, they use instant crap (why bother?). the rest of the day we spent on the boat pulling the boys on the tube. i'm pretty sure this was the first time they've ever attempted it, but they held on pretty good.

and after enjoying our nice relaxing week "off", it was time to head home...