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About Me

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Western North Dakota , United States
My husband, Allen, and I are high school sweet hearts. We started dating Sep.99'- I kind of followed Allen home one day, and never did leave, is Allen's story. November 02' we were engaged, and on November 22,2003 - we were married. Having been married for 6 years in 2009, marked the 5th year we had been trying to start our family. With the referral of a Fertility Specialist from a friend, our IUI attempts ended up being a complete success despite my doubts. We welcomed our sweet little girl, Hayleigh into the world on June 30,2010 at 6:28am after 37wks and 1 day of gestation. She weighed 7lbs 14oz and was 20 in long. We found out that we were Baby #2 on April Fool's Day- a complete surprise! Reid Allen was born 11/13/12 3:24am 9lbs 8.2oz 21", after 38wks 5 days. Our 3rd baby, Eva Jane, was born on April 19, 2015 after suffering a pregnancy loss June of 2014. We are currently anxiously awaiting baby #4 due 2 days before Eva's birthday, so we are having Irish Twins! Our family is so blessed and happy to be growing!

Blog Archive

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Baby G

I've been feeling a lot better lately about my last ultrasound- hoping to see more this coming Thursday which is also my mom's birthday too. I've been back on the baby name debate, and had started to reconsider using our name we had picked out for the last pregnancy, Charlotte Cecilia Rae. I think that name has now been laid to rest. People may think it's silly, or stupid for my reasoning, but this is my beef with that name. That name was for that baby. When I thought about using that name again, and really started to contemplate it, I started spotting this pregnancy. I don't know if any of you have seen the movie or read the book, Heaven is For Real, but I have. The part that struck me the most in that movie was when the little boy was in heaven, an older little girl came up to him and wouldn't stop hugging him. He asked her what her name was, and she didn't have one. (I'm bawling right now as I type this). Anyway, the little boy's parents had a miscarriage before they knew what gender the baby was- it was early on. I could go on and on about how that breaks my heart, but I won't, and how the movie goes on after that, but you will have to read the book, or watch the movie for yourself. Anyway, all I can think about is this little being up in heaven with no name, and us giving her name to another baby. I can't do it. I'm not going to go on and on about our baby Charlotte- we don't even know what the baby was, but I do know that name that was reserved for that baby, will not be used for this baby. I want that baby to at least have a name up in heaven even if they do not have anything showing they were here for how little of time it was. I feel bad I threw out almost everything- the pregnancy tests, the balloons from that pregnancy. But, I did save the announcement cards I had with my final blood draw. I just could not bear to have those things I tossed to remind me of something that ended so terrible. This time, I tucked the tests away in the cedar chest along with Hayleigh and Reids tests, and all my charts and treatment stuff. I already have a new name picked out- it just keeps coming to me- kind of like when you try on your wedding dress, you just know that it's the one. I just have to convince my husband of this name now, but I think we can compromise on it. This baby, I can already picture in my mind. I see a little girl with brown hair- I might be proven wrong on hair color, but I see a sweet little girl with brown curly hair. Either way, this is my Georgie baby- so fitting as to the antique baby doll my sister and I fought over my mom had I called baby George. So Georgie is going to make it, we will get to meet them, hopefully her next Spring. And I already have her middle name picked out as well, I will save as a surprise, but the initials also spell something just like Hayleigh and Reid's both do- I have goosebumps!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Late Night Pondering Off the Cloud and On the Ground Looking UP

I've been too anxious to be on here lately. There has been lots of things making me busy and have just been swirling around. My late night ponderings have steadily made me question everything I know. Just Monday, I started spotting. It ended up being a one time bathroom trip deal, but scared me to my core once again and knocked me onto my ass and off of my nice fluffy cloud I have been sitting on. Everything was fine until Wednesday morning, I woke up spotting once again. But this time it wasn't a one time deal- ended up lasting the whole day and evening. I was in a state of panic, thinking back to back in May when I spotted with my last pregnancy. I had booked an ultrasound for Thursday anyway, but had had enough to call in to get checked out that day. I scrambled the whole morning, and ended up having to take Hayleigh with me to the appointment right after she got out of preschool late. Reid was staying with a friend that I am thankful for and thankful I dropped him off before going to Hayleigh's preschool. I was so nerved up that I left my cell phone in the excursion. Hayleigh and I waited what seemed like forever- no phone to tell me what time it was. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her I was scared. She hugged me and told me I was alright that she had me and it would be okay- same thing I tell her when she's scared. I am thankful her class did get out late because my little four year old was there for me. We spent our time talking about her day at school. She told me she had fun and really likes her teacher. She loves playing with the toys there and drawing. I finally got called back, and my blood pressure was through the roof- 130/80.  I knew it would be. Hayleigh got a sucker and we went back to the room. We made small talk with the nurse, and waited forever again for the doctor to come in. She was very dry, and quick, and short. Not what I was needing right then. We saw the yolk sac and the sac, just not a baby yet. All we can do is go back in a week and see how things have progressed. I left feeling just as worried as before. The new receptionist didn't help in taking 10 minutes to figure out how to schedule my next appointment and cancel my one for the next day. I ended up finally making it home with both kids and taking a long nap, relaxing the rest of the night. I did consult the Internet and found that what I saw was very common, and I most likely ovulated very late this time. So, I haven't spotted today, and I'm trying to keep optimistic and as positive as I possibly can.

It's funny how all I ever worried about was getting pregnant. Pretty much, I didn't worry really as much as I do now to sustaining a pregnancy. I'm scared I am getting older, so my eggs are probably getting ehhh, I have joked to Allen that my uterus is now hostile. Used to, once that stupid stick had 2 lines or said positive, you were golden. Now.. I'm almost afraid to sneeze. It really amazes me how bedside manner is lacking in an area that is very sensitive. I am very anxious to switch to a midwife as soon as everything checks out. My past experience with OBGYNs has not been too great. My first tried to tell me I was too young to worry about infertility- I was young and it would happen- stupid MALE asshole. Second one was all up for diagnosing my infertility but his office had a crappy way of doing things- would not bill my insurance for diagnostics covered by my insurance and wanted me to pay in full up front over a thousand dollars. The specialist were great I dealt with, then I moved on to my first midwife. I LOVED her- she always remembered what we talked about- took great notes and care to know her patient. I had to see a OBGYN then before delivering just to have one on standby in case of surgery- she was cold, short, and dry. My midwife stayed the night with me laboring- not in the room, but checked on me often, and was there a few hours after I had Hayleigh. With Reid when I found out I was pregnant, she ordered tests, and followed up with me to make sure everything was fine. I moved out here to Colorado, and got another midwife- she was good- not as good as my first, but I was happy with her. Then I got pregnant in April, and my midwife was no longer here, so I decided to go with an OBGYN in her office that was on maternity leave. Decided to see an associate there- MALE doctor for my first couple appointments. Well, we can remember how that went. He blew me off, never even called or checked my charts or blood work he ordered- took a Friday off, and I still had to call him. I watched this same doctor that blew me off deliver a baby a little over a week ago. It was weird, and I didn't breath a word. I then went back to the same doctor that had been good to me and took care of business of what Male Dr. could not do, and she was very cold this time. I don't know where the personable part of being a doctor has went with all of these people. It is really sad that I'm guessing that their jobs have turned into just that a job... I'm just hoping and praying in the meanwhile that I make it though this all and get to switch to a midwife after we move.

I miss living on that cloud of not worrying or having to really worry about anything going wrong. Truth is I had been very lucky. Once we fall or have something bad hit us hard, it's hard to get back up and look at things the same way ever again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hayleigh's First Day of Pre-K

In all of this new baby, new to pre-k, possibly relocating, and crazy busy with photo sessions, I have managed to forgot to post about Hayleigh's first day of Pre-K.

Hayleigh's first day of Pre-K was hard...we got up early, got her ready with her new backpack. I had everything laid out from the night before, even the camera with all of her supplies. I almost bawled, she was so excited until we got there, and then she just stood still like a statue. Reid on the other hand made friends immediately, playing with 2 other boys with dinosaurs. He was beyond upset when we went to leave. Just having Reid home with me for the few hours made the house sooo quiet! We sat on the floor and played, then I finished a few edits from a previous session while updating everyone via phone about how Hayleigh did. When we did manage to pick Hayleigh up, she was very talkative, and exclaimed "MOMMY!" when she saw Reid and I in the doorway. She is getting better at it, and has become less shy with every day. She is such a big girl already, and it makes me so sad knowing this all went by too fast. I guess at least I still have Reid and then this baby on the way for me to finish soaking up all the baby days I can, while I still can. 

It really does scare me how it will all be someday when all of the kids are out of the house. I envision one of those moms on a movie that is so clingy, embarrasses the kids, and goes through extreme empty nest syndrome. I have pretty much given everything up just to be a mom, and stay at home with my kids.. photography has become the outlet to help try to keep from becoming clingy mom, and do something for myself.

 
 



Friday, August 22, 2014

Secrets, Hopes, and a BIG FAT TRAITOR! - Draft from October 2013...

Well, if you are reading this post, I did end up publishing it for a good reason.

I have a secret..or rather secret HOPE

For the past week and a half, I have felt like I haven't felt in almost a year- 10 months to be exact. I have had a lot of signs pointing in one direction, and from what at first freaked me out, turned into a secret hope that only Allen and I share until we know for sure.

Can you guess what it is? Well I'm sure you know by now, because I am planning on not publishing this until we announce the big news. So, for right now, September 28th, on a very late Friday night, I think, and have thought I am pregnant once again.

Yes, I realize Reid is only 10 months old. Yes, I realize that we said we were done. Yes, I realize we already have one boy and one girl. And, YES, I realize that I can potentially be crazy right now.

BUT, I can't help but hope that we were wrong about our family being complete, and we are making room for one more tiny sweet soul in our family.

Right now, I should almost be 4 weeks, and I know it is very early. I am having to wait to take a pregnancy test. I can smell everything, I'm bloated deluxe, my boobs look like I've had a boob job done, and I have been crampy, I'm craving chocolate, my nose is slightly stuffy, I'm exhausted, I have headaches all the time, with a few other tell tale signs... If I don't end up being pregnant, you will not be seeing this, and I will utterly feel completely crazy with this staying on hold in my drafts! So, if you are reading this, I am probably one of the happiest people in this world right now.

I realize with one more baby, it will mean one of the kids will have to share a room. At first, I was feeling down about this. BUT, we will not be living in this house in three years time, and we can find a house with 4 bedrooms to settle into by then. The kids can bunk up- after all my sister and I did until I was in 4th grade. We even shared a full sized bed, to which I am leaning towards if we have a girl, and after she is ready to come out of her crib. If it's a boy, we can get bunk beds, and we're set!

While this was not in our plans, I kind of feel like my heart has lead me here. Right now I am trying to come up with great things to do if that test turns positive to surprise Allen with, and other ways to tell our family- to which I am praying they are all excited and HAPPY about. I know with talking it over with the possibilities with Allen that we both have our hopes up for a baby to really be on the way. I think to us our kids are the most precious things in life we have. Well, they are not things, but are beings, but to us, they are the greatest treasures/gifts in this life that we have right next to our marriage.

On a different note. I am a traitor. I am a big fat traitor if you are reading this my fellow inferitiles. I am no longer an infertile. One, okay- with Hayleigh, I was, but now 2 kids - well one here, and one on the way.... Yeah, I feel like a total hypocrite, traitor, etc. I can no longer classify myself in that category. I have dealt with infertility, but it was just to get Hayleigh. I realize that I am a happy ending to infertility, and this does happen to other people all the time, but I just cannot help but feel for the ones I've left behind on this. I know others out there are struggling to get pregnant, and I didn't have to these past 2 times. I know that that is a real blessing, but... I don't know. I know it is very bittersweet for me is all.

The part that makes this the worst, and I mean the worst, was I was on the pill. I felt funny, and thought I might just be, and I stopped taking my pill after the date the baby would have been a done deal. I jinxed myself when I got off the mirena, after they asked me not once, not twice, but FIVE times if I was sure, and I kept saying put me on the pill light dose, I'm not Fertile Myrtle..... Inserting Foot in BIG fat Mouth! So, if I am pregnant, and you are reading this, we are waiting to see if I have the baby c-section or not. If I don't, Allen will be getting scheduled in right after baby is born to get fixed, otherwise, I will be getting fixed. I'm not even going to say a word about chances of either happening or anything- I've learned my lesson from the Mirena. So, yeah... I don't know what else to say. I just know that I wanted to say something now, before we knew exactly if it was a yes or no kind of deal. I wanted to remember what I felt right this moment. I feel completely anxious, hopeful, and extremely fearful that I am crazy- I'm imagining this all, and I am completely stupid to think otherwise. Because, if I really am not, I don't know if I can go back on that pill now.

All I can say is that I am really HOPING and PRAYING to be able to carry a sweet life once again- it is one of the biggest miracles in this world. To bring life into the world. I think when I've been pregnant, it has been the greatest feeling in this world to me, despite how uncomfortable, or in pain I have been at times. I feel the most beautiful pregnant - swollen ankles, belly and all. After all, bringing life into this world is the greatest thing I have done with my life. Those babies can change the world someday, and will bring love and happiness into this world as well.

If you are reading this, I know that someday this special life will also be reading it one day in the future. Just know you was loved from the moment we thought you was a real possibility and you was not once a regret or a mistake. You was made with love, and brought into a loving home, and we will love and cherish you every single day of our lives. See you soon- most likely in end of May, since neither your brother or sister wanted to wait to meet the world.
We love you sweet angel. 
Love, Mommy 

Another Draft From June... Through Good Times and Bad, We've made it through together~

Today was a good day. I laughed, cried happy tears, and got some stuff done. I'm feeling more upbeat today which feels so much better than grouchy blah. I heard from a friend that I've been emailing back and forth, and spent quite a bit of time playing with the kids. I did everything from reading up on the Saints to debating over getting holy water in the house to help get this cloud looming to move.

Tonight we decided to watch a different set of shows for a change- wedding gown search. While watching the shows it had me thinking back to when Allen and I got married going on 11 years this November. To think that the wedding was the big deal. Now, looking back it was just a small step in the big things. I definitely wish we had Pinterest back then- I think we would have gotten a wedding that more fit us on our budget- I think that most brides from back 5 years or more all can agree on that. I've been tempted to get out my wedding dress that is in a box preserved. I know there is no way I can fit that dress now which is okay. I certainly don't expect Hayleigh to wear my dress when she gets married someday, but what I do want is for her parents to still be in love and still married.

When we got married we thought that this marriage business would be a piece of cake. How hard could it be when we already took care of one another, supported one another, and after all we really loved each other and were best friends. No one tells you just how hard that first year is regardless of what your relationship was before. No one tells you how hard after that first year it will be and continue to get. I guess it's not that being married is hard. Life gets hard. Between bills, money, jobs, trying to even have kids, to having kids, working and working 13 hours away from your family... that's the hard stuff. I think it's the deciding that no matter what happens you will stick it out for each other, you will fight for each other, you will celebrate life and mourn it together. It's not easy, but you do it.

This past week I know I've told my husband at least a hundred times that I'm sorry for not being happy. I know he's hurt as well over the loss, but I think what hurts him most is that he cannot make the hurt of the loss go away or make it any less. I know on Tuesday when I was at that doctor's office by myself getting the D&C done that he wished he could be there to help me through it. He was scared for me- how it would change me, or hurt me. I made it out of it all just fine- better than I even thought I would but I think it was mainly because I had my mind set on the fact that I had to. I had to be okay not only for me, but for him and for the kids. I didn't have time to breakdown even if I wanted to. My husband relies on me to hold our home together while he is away working. It's nothing he has told me or we have talked about, but it's something I have to do for us and for our family.

I was looking at our wedding picture earlier thinking we looked like a newborn baby does. It is a fresh start. From that point on everything is new. Eleven years later we have plenty of hard times, and plenty of great times. Some of the hard times could have broken us- some almost did. But, during it all you learn to change with what life's throwing with you, and you cling to your partner while changing course. Having babies has been the most emotional parts of us being married by far. While we have had our share of fights, I think the hardest fights were us fighting ourselves. We tend to fight more when we are battling ourselves because it's hard to focus on your other half when you cannot even focus or get to terms with yourself. The other things life has thrown at us have been tough, but it was so much easier for us to cling to each other than the self battles we faced. All you can do when those battles hit is be there for your partner, and not leave their side no matter what, even if you have to take a step back and let them have their space you always stay there.

It really just amazes me how far we've come, how much we've changed, and how loving each other through the tough times seems to get easier as time goes by. I know it won't always be that easy to love one another, more hard times will come, but we look forward to the good times to come...Watching our kids grow up together, and being there together for them. I don't know what the future holds for us, but one thing I count on is us being together, still best friends and growing old together. I look forward to watching our kids someday get married and us being there together remembering the day we said our vows and hoping our kids have a strong marriage like we have had.

Rainbows - a post from July I've kept in my drafts until now

Funny how I thought the days of wanting a baby so very badly were gone. Here I sit once again 5 years later from the first time I was in the trying to conceive camp. I have to wait until this Sunday to test, and it is now Thursday. Only 4 people know about this right now, and let me tell you I'm going crazy waiting. I've joined 3 support groups just to vent and have left all 3 within the same week because everyone is soo focused on every single thing. Every possible symptom has me on edge. I know it is not likely that I'll get a positive test, but my hopes are sky high.

I used to not really worry a whole lot while pregnant or getting pregnant that something would be wrong with the baby. Now, I'm scared to death. I just want a happy and healthy baby. That's it.. just ONE more. Now granted if someone upstairs thinks this is funny and gives us two, then I'll still take it. I absolutely hate having to wait to find out. Hate it.

On one of the sites I joined there was a bit about rainbow babies. I'm not big all of these deals they all do- baby dust and all of that, but this did make me sit still and cry for just a minute. It perfectly describes what I feel like now- what I am hoping for. That hope is what has been keeping me going.
"Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.♥

I read that yesterday evening. Then, last night while lying in bed a thought struck me. (I was not even thinking of the rainbow baby poem. If we do get a baby, it will be considered a rainbow baby) My grandma always used to write in all of our birthday cards: ~"May there always be a rainbow in your heart to help make your dreams come true"... I'm really hoping Grandma was trying to tell me something last night.

I still have this little being pictured in my mind of who we are missing. We are still missing our Charlie. Plain and simple. Now whether we will ever get that little being is not determined yet that we know of. But I hold hope of my little Charlie bug for someday.

**While I was not pregnant after all in that moment in time, it is happening right now. I was so on edge and focused on too much- and it didn't happen. It never has for me when I've been so focused on every little detail. This past month, I made a point to keep myself busy- stressing over every single thing does not help you out one bit. I learned that after my second round of IUI that resulted with Hayleigh after spending the whole month avoiding all pregnancy related stuff. I just made sure I followed my drugs and the schedule, and did not stress over it all.  This time I completely threw myself into my photography- did the trick! Now, I'm just praying everything runs smoothly, but wanted to share this**

Dear Baby

To Our Sweet Little Angel,
It has almost been a whole week since we have found out that you are really there. While I'm so excited and anxious to get to see you on an ultrasound monitor and hear the sounds of your precious heartbeat, I worry for you and pray for you each and every day. I'm scared for you, and don't want to lose you like I did with the last baby back in June.. But if we wouldn't have lost that baby, there would be no you.  I've been watching what I eat, and taking my vitamins like I should and try to take it easy just for you. I've been dreaming of who you will be, and what you will look like. I'm sure you will probably look a lot like your brother and sister do- they look a lot alike, I'm still holding out for you to have dark hair like me like I dreamed about before Hayleigh as born. It doesn't really matter who you will look like- you are already loved so much. As anxious as I am to watch you grow, you are my last baby. I want to enjoy all this time with you as much as I can, because it will all be gone in a blink of an eye, and you will be walking and talking just like your brother is now- who grew up way too fast for me. Feel free to kick, bounce and roll around as much as you can while in my belly, because that will be one of the first things I will miss when you make it out here. I'm sure by the time we are in the final weeks of you making your grand appearance, I'll be changing my mind on this, but I mean it- bounce around all you can just so you can help me stay relaxed knowing your are doing just fine, and your brother and sister can see and feel you moving around too. I'm planning on getting a fetal Doppler so we can listen to your hiccups and heartbeat every day. Both Hayleigh and Reid are so excited- Hayleigh gives you hugs and kisses every morning and night. She says she will take care of you- help feed you, change your diapers, and play with you. Reid gets so excited saying Baby and pointing to my belly where you now live. Your Daddy is also so excited, but worries for you and me both, hoping you are healthy and everything goes smoothly. We are hopefully getting ready to relocate very soon to be with Daddy all the time- it will be nice to have Daddy home with us every day getting to watch you grow, and my belly grow, being able to go to our appointments, and not having to worry about him missing your grand entrance into this world. I know I've said I hope you are a girl, and feel deep down you are a girl, but if you come out being a boy, I'll love you just as much- even though dresses and girly stuff are more fun. I already have your crib, and car seat picked out, and your name if you are a girl. Above all, I hope and pray you are healthy, and keep growing and developing just fine and I can see you thriving in there very soon!

Love you to the moon and back~ Mommy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

And there were 5.....

The day I've been waiting for... to spill some big beans. I'll go ahead and say it, then catch everyone up to speed second. We're expecting again!! Due April 2015.

So, basically since we lost the last baby the 2nd of June, and I had to go in for a D&C, we have been trying for another. It's not to replace the baby we lost at all. Right now, my hormones have been optimal for this, so it was do or die.. We have set a new record or trying for only 2 months- which to me is a huge shock. The past 2 (Reid and the baby we lost took 1-1/2 years and 9 months) We are both elated, and I really couldn't keep this in any longer. We found out exactly 5 years to the day we went in for our first round of IUI- kind of neat huh?

While I am so excited, I really am scared shitless. Since losing the past baby, it kind of sucked some of the joy out of finding out with this one. I'm still in denial this is happening. I did order Reid his big brother book, and have shirts for both of the kids, that I just could not bring myself to order last time. I'm determined that I will be thankful, joyful, and optimistic no matter how scared I feel deep down. I will be as happy with this one as I have with all of my pregnancies. This is a blessing, and no matter how scared I am of it going away, I still want everyone to know about a precious blessing/life that is starting now. I could have waited until I made it to 12 weeks, but that would be living in fear the whole time. Until the baby is born and is healthy and thriving outside of the womb, it is always a possibility that something can go wrong. Anyway, I have my first ultrasound on the 4th of September, and until then, I think I'll be on pins and needles. As much as I want our whole family there for that moment, it is not going to happen. Allen is gone until the 15th- to which I can schedule another follow up ultrasound... nothing like hearing the miracle of a baby's heartbeat.

I know this is kind of choppy, but I'm sitting here literally waiting for Reid to wake up so I can finish the pictures without blabbing it beforehand on facebook. It's just really nice to know that every night I prayed for this baby, and God answered that prayer. Both of the kids are excited, and Allen and I are over joyed for this new miracle.

 

 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Should I stay or should I go....

I have a problem that has become clear. It is 1:30 in the morning and I am not in bed enjoying snuggling with my hubby. It is hot in our bedroom, he is sweaty, snoring, and I love our bed- but not with him in it right now... what the hell has happened here??? Well, with him being gone for 2 weeks, and home for 1 week, I have grown accustomed to having the WHOLE bed to MYSELF. When it is just me in there it is cool, the bed curves to me only and I am soo snuggled in, blankets all stay in one place with sheets all staying tucked in hospital corner style. I also don't cook much anymore- only a few times a week do I with just me and the kids- I'm talkin mac n cheese, spaghetti, meatloaf or goulash are a BIG deal here. I cook and clean every day Allen is here, and frankly I've gotten to where I don't know how other "moms" out there do it every.single.day.... Something is really wrong with that....

Let me take you back a day on this all. Sunday night I think Allen and I reached an epiphany. He is now driving back here by himself, no partner to help drive back and forth since his partner got switched to another crew/rotation. Now, Allen has to make the 12-13 hour drive in GOOD weather by himself. This used to not even be a problem. When we first moved out here, there was a direct company flight that left here on Sunday morning, and flew in on Monday afternoon at 2pm. It was wonderful- picking him up here at our airport in the private plane sector. His crew got split up- he is the last original guy left on Silver Crew from his Grand Junction crew. They moved the flight to just Denver around the time Reid was born since they lost people from here, and people on the flight. Now, Allen can drive to Denver to catch that flight if he wanted- it doesn't get into Denver until 6pm- which puts him home around 930-10pm on Monday night in good weather across the slope, and he leaves out 7 am-ish on Monday morning. It's a hassle, and he loses time here with us with it.

So, where does this all lead us.... to somewhere I swore we would never go. After Allen was leaving North Dakota after working all day, we were both expressing how much we hated his drive. Then I think we both kind of just broke down on it all. Our lease is now up- we are free to move around. We love this area a lot but.........He's gone 2 weeks, then driving 30 hours round trip to and from us. We are fine with the schedule- we make it work. What if we gave up a few things for making some things not so hard though???

Halliburton has housing for families, and just workers. They have man camps- basically a dorm like setting that is free for employess to live there. It is noisy, people coming and going at all hours- it's kind of like a dorm/hotel deal. A "maid" comes and cleans your room, so you have no real privacy. But it's free- which is great. They also serve food for free- cafeteria style- after a week you're burnt out. 

Then, they have the townhouse housing for employees to share- that is what Allen does. For $275 a month, you can have you're own private master bedroom with bathroom- has a lock key card like a hotel to get in- so it stays locked, they share a garage, kitchen, 2 living rooms, and a dining room, laundry room, and outdoor patio. All utilities are paid- including cable and internet, and it is fully furnished with 4 guys living there. It is really nice- we visited Allen's back when he only had 1 room mate. Right now his townhouse is full- but they are all clean, and cook together. I joke one of the guys is Allen's work husband- he keeps the place stocked up with scented candles and air freshners, brought in more curtains, and rugs. I promise the guy is not gay- he is just pretty picky on what he likes. They all share 2 grills they have brought there, and grill out a lot. It's nice and Allen really likes it over the man camp even if he has to do his own cooking. The only thing they do not like is they have cleaners come every other week that go into their rooms- just to vacuum and mop the bathroom floor. With these guys, it is not needed, and the people who do this snoop and spy on the guys- the maintenance guy was thought to have come in on a day he was not on, and $400 cash went missing from scented candle guy's room. It was a big to do, and the ladies were called in and were complaining how guys up there had hookers, and were messy, had drugs.... which we know for a fact was not going on in this townhouse. sigh.... anyway......

Then for families, there are 3 types of housing. There is Halliwood- the apartment complex everyone has dubbed the name Halliwood. It is a huge apartment that has 3 bedrooms- all with their own bathrooms. The key card has been disabled from all of the doors- it was orig. set up like the townhomes, but so many families were moving up there, so the apartments switched to family only. They cost around $1200 a month. It is a cesspool for gossip, colds, and just drama. That's what I hear anyway since I would say 90% of the women are stay at home wives. I believe their utilities are included except for cable/internet there. They do have a garage area- one car slot and is open, not private to all who live there. It is actually right across the field from Allen.

They then have 2 levels for mainly supervisors and service leaders- the townhomes and houses. The townhomes are supervisors for the most part with their families. I believe they run the same as the apartment, and some utilities are included. I think the same as the apartments- but not completely sure. They do not have a fenced in yard- basically they are unfurnished versions of Allen's, but just a family occupies it instead of room mates. They are 3-4 bedroom and have their own bathrooms I believe as well. They have a park right in the neighborhood- something we do not have here, and a dog park as well.

Then there are the houses. Those are service leader only. They are very limited, but have their own fenced in backyard, and I believe run the same as the townhouses- just a house. Same deal with them on utilities as well I believe. 

So, as you can see we have an option here... no, not the apartment. Allen's supervisor title should be done and through when he goes back up this Sunday. We are currently checking into getting into a townhome as it seems. This is where our talking lead to.  I know we've went on about how much harder it would be to live with Allen- he is on a night one week/day the next work rotation. The kids would have to stay quiet, and he would not get to see us but a few hours a day. That was our main reason for staying here- it was just easier- we had our own schedules. But... the bedrooms are all upstairs, unlike the apartments to which the bigger problems with noise really are with bedrooms being on the same level with a family. The kids really don't get loud through the day and Hayleigh will be in kindergarten next year.  It would be nice for Allen not to have to take the extra time to cook and do his laundry- getting up earlier for those- I would already have them done, and we would get more than 30 minutes a day on the phone talking. We really do love it here in Colorado- not saying we would never come back. We have plans in our near future- 2-3 years for Allen to switch gears and move up. We are living in our rent house as a temporary thing... and quite frankly it's getting pretty old here. We need way more storage than what we currently have- there is hardly much, and it is very small- but cheap on rent for here.  I really do not like our neighborhood, but it's not terrible. People just really do not take care of their places here, and I HATE that neighbor's barking dog that apparently no one can do anything with. I think pretty much the only things we do not like here are our house, the area the house is in, the time away from Allen, and the drive. We do not have family here, there is no longer a company flight, and Allen's crew is not all here- like it was when we first came here- our reason for moving here to begin with. Now, we do love this area- the city, the amenities, the scenery, things and places to do and see, and it has 3 great hospitals. It is very clean for it's size, and has great private schools. The parts we like, we would be giving up. The grocery shopping, just shopping availability in general, the restaurants, and things and places to see/do would be cut. The closest place to go to a mall and Sams club is a 2 hour drive- about like back in Illinois what we had there. But, we would gain seeing Allen every day, him not driving almost 2 days worth every month, we would save over $800 a month without the double rent and the travel expense, not to mention the wear and tear on a vehicle with the insane mileage that is being put on it. Allen would have meals already cooked for him, see us, have his laundry done, and not being spending time driving and missing us.

What to do..... After saying the things we would gain out loud Sunday night, I kind of got sold on the townhome deal. IT IS NOT PERMANENT. That is what I keep thinking over and over again. The kids and I really don't get out much at all. I don't go to the mall hardly at all- mainly when Allen is home- but once every 3 months or so. They do have bad winters up there, I go back to tornado area- we do not get them here and I LOVE that, the town is still growing- they have a new rec center that is open all year round, new bigger hospital, but eating out is not good- service is horrible, the traffic is thick and crazy, shopping at Walmart is like shopping in a third world country- everything is left out on pallets all the time. I have Amazon, and at least do not go shopping much, and we already don't get out much. Some of Allen's crew live up there, and I could have more friends there that are on the same rotation, and same company/line of work. My photography business could be moved with no problem as well, since I am not established here yet. The only things I really worry about is the school situation- we would do private, and the doctor situation. I know there will be more dog walking, and bundling up. But to me the trade off would be better than what we have now. AND I would get used to sharing a bed once again...

Nothing is set, and nothing will be happening soon. I'm sure there is a waiting list- but it's all who you know up there and who you are. Allen is moving up very fast there, and his second level service leader really does help Allen get things moved along. So, who knows what will happen. I'm sure we will probably be spending Christmas here, and maybe much more time than that, but at least we are free from a lease and free to make changes if we would like to.

~ just some late night thoughts coming from she who does not share a bed well......

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

If You Don't Know Me By Now.....

Today, I said some things on social media I've been holding in. I know I've posted about it all on here- goes to show how much people listen to what I have to say- and I am okay with that. The people that know me best- the three girls I am proud to call my best friends all live in Illinois. LONG way away from me here. It doesn't mean I don't have any other friends though. But I think everyone can agree I am a bit outspoken at times. I try to be honest with everyone, and I don't like things sugar coated, or fluffy. The next person that tells me they ALMOST bought a plane ticket to come see me, but couldn't find the time to write me or call me instead, I'm going to cut. Seriously, why would you out of the blue come to my front door without telling me first? It would be a grand surprise, but if it was to be here for me when I needed it, say like a month ago, and you could not fly to me, or was not going to fly to me, couldn't you just send me a little message, call me, or text me somehow and tell me you are at least thinking about me?
The things about me you probably already know: I'm outspoken at times, and I deal with stuff the best I can by myself. I deal with stuff by myself not because it's easier, but mainly because no one is here to help me. I'm not good at asking for help at all- I can't cry to Allen wanting help... he can't just beam here and fix what needs fixing, but if he HAD to if it was really important, he would. My D&C I had done first of June, he would have come, but I didn't want him to lose time at work- he's in the middle of a big promotion, and I have to be able to take care of stuff at home for him. I did it all for me and for him. I did call for help at least that time- had a friend here take care of Hayleigh and Reid for me while I was getting the procedure done, and to drive me to and from the appointment. That was really such a life savor.

If you are one of my friends, or just someone who actually reads my blog out of the 20-30 people who do, you pretty much get the picture, and get most of what is going on here. I don't hide much, you get me at 100% or nothing.

I'll go ahead and put out there that I am hoping for baby #3 to come along. We are putting forth effort, so I don't want to ever hear if it happens again about "Oh, wow, 3 you'll have your hands full" or " Wow guess you know how that works now". IT's not funny and YES I would like to think we know how this all works, and better than most do after our extensive learning we went though 5 years ago with the whole infertility card.

I've also found that maybe I need to get some happy pills to help take some of the edge off- but of course you cannot take them while pregnant. Let me just say that I have not had any of these happy pills to this day. And now I know how every other mother out there keeps their calm and happy faces, while my hair is doing a fuzz bing into the air with smoke rolling out of my nose and ears. I might actually have to look into these someday, but I've made it this far without going bat shit crazy happy pill free. Be amazed....lol.

This has turned into a bit of a rant - 2nd one of the day. I just do not understand why people are shocked or surprised about something I've said. I'm pretty straight forward. I'm a talker- I talk through my stuff. I will always have a ear to listen- thanks to the 3 gals back in Illinois, and God forbid my husband at least. I usually do not bore him with social media unless we have absolutely nothing to talk about since we talk about everything already.

Anyway, I'm tough for a reason, and I guess I expect the women around me to be tough too since I don't like holding someone's hand while crying over coffee.. We will be out doing something productive while mourning at the same time. The Band Perry's song, Chainsaw, would be mine had I ever had a boyfriend besides Allen, or maybe some Miranda Lambert songs...  I love hard, I pray hard, I work hard, play hard..and I just don't do easy. Plain and simple.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

50 Shades of Blue


If I could sum up this month it would be 50 Shades of Blue for me. My left arm is still black and blue from the lab drawing my second HCG levels. If you could see me on the inside it would go from bright red from anger to black/blue from how sad I am.

These two pictures I have a love hate relationship with right now.. They are the last bump pictures I took. While I'm grateful I have them, they hurt to look at them at the same time. I absolutely LOVE Hayleigh's expression in the first. I couldn't pay that girl to do that in a picture while I was pregnant with Reid. This time, she was constantly loving on the bump..hugging, kissing, playing peek-a-boo with the baby. She was really excited. I don't think she has completely figured out that the baby is gone yet. She still wants to hug what's left of my belly, and kiss it. I tell her the baby is gone, and she replies without missing a beat don't worry, she will get me a new one. I love that little girl to pieces.

I have been doing better about the whole baby loss aspect of things, it just seems like everything else has been hitting me lately and I just am tired. Very, very tired of fighting. After cleaning up poop everywhere yesterday, and I do mean every where, today started out much better- no more poop and I got a room done. Then I decided it was a good idea to order pizza from Munchies and go and pick it up. It all went down hill when I went to put the car seats into the excursion, and Hayleigh's won't lock- it will buckle in, but the back will not snap down. Then the fridge and dirt bike decided to not want to let go of my car doors, got everyone in, and forgot that Allen has swapped out the switch in our vehicles since the part that went out of his that controls the fan speed would take a week to get in. Basically it will only run on high fan. It started to rain, my low fuel light come on, and then the battery light on the dash popped on....... I swear. I managed to pick up the pizza and make it back home- I knew I had plenty of fuel to make it back but I did not feel like stopping past a parts store to have them test the batteries which are both less than a year old along with the alternator. I'm hoping it's throwing the code since that switch part is not working correctly. Tomorrow is the last Friday the 13th with full moon until year 2049, and I'm half scared to get out of bed in the morning. I will not be doing much of anything- I can promise that much.

I know people have been wondering if we will be even trying for another baby or not. Allen was after all going to get fixed. I just cannot end it all on this note. Because we lost a baby we would put an end to it all- I just cannot do that. So, we are just letting it all roll, and settle down before we make that decision. If we are blessed with another life, we will be grateful and end it on that note, otherwise I don't know how long we will wait. I think just to the point that we are both at peace with the decision.

I absolutely HATE feeling so tired and grouchy, I can say that. That's what I feel like most of the time- tired and grouchy. I just don't have the patience or energy to let things roll off of me, and I don't have the energy to fight it at the same time. So, I'm just here grouchy and tired, but moving on for the better as much as I can. I've already stopped bleeding from my D&C from Tuesday, so that is at least done and over with. The kids and I are feeling a lot better- no more puking or diarrhea after it felt like we had a poop factory here- poop everywhere.

I finished Hayleigh's room finally after over a week of getting Hayleigh a new bedroom suite. Finally I have something done that we can all see that is done. Now, if I could only just get the rest of the rooms in the house done I would be happy.

Tonight, I've decided I'm skipping my Grey's and reading a new series I've had in my nightstand for almost a year. The Sylvia Day Crossfire series. Hopefully that will help since I haven't had the nerve to be able to move my What to Expect When You're Expecting book or change the headline pic on here or my profile info. Maybe that series will be just what I need to kick me just a little be more.

As you can see all I have managed to do is ramble on little bits and pieces of what's going on. It's still dark, but I think I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. I'm hoping that this might be all of the darkness and anger I have with babies, or my kids. I couldn't imagine losing one of them at all, and hope that I never do. At least we are stronger as a family because of this, and the kids give me the reason to get out of bed and try to make it a better day. They make me laugh, and growl- especially this morning when they snuck off to Hayleigh's room and got into hot pink lip gloss and fingernail polish. But, I know without those moments, my day would be completely empty without them here to fill it up.   They are my little bucket fillers, making sure they fill my bucket up each and every day.  ~check out the children's book Have You Filled a Bucket Today?  It is our most favorite book for bedtime.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

From Hell and Back

I started this post last week- on Thursday, my second blood draw day....

You know after I finally had Hayleigh, followed shortly by Reid, I never thought I would ever feel the way I did when we were trying to get pregnant with Hayleigh. Rage. Anger. Helpless. Losing My Faith in God. Some of my darkest days were after our first failed IUI in August 2009. I was so angry with EVERYTHING, and I do mean everything. Allen and I fought more just because I was like a bomb- getting ready to go off at the slightest thing. I was very angry with God- pretty much lost all of my faith- I still haven't really gotten back to where I was before all of this started. This went on until November 14, 2009 at 1:30 am when I was completely in denial those two weeks before that the second round of IUI would even work. When I saw those two pink lines show up on that test, I was in shock. My fighting was over. Then when we first saw Hayleigh on our 5wk, 7wk, and 9wk ultrasounds, and got to hear her heartbeat, all of that pain and anger was pretty much gone.

When I found out I was pregnant again on April Fool's Day, without Allen home with me since he had just started his new job with Halliburton in ND, I was in udder shock. My faith came up even more, and God finally had a sense of humor and this was my reward for all of those years of nothing, and all of the heartache. I never worried about anything being wrong with Reid in the beginning. I just knew everything would be just fine. I did have to fight other demons with my family instead, since we were moving away. I lost a lot I had gained in my relationship with my mom the day Hayleigh and I told her Hayleigh was to be a big sister. We had a few scares with Reid along the way, including the moment he was born he was purple blue because the cord was wrapped so tightly around his neck. I still worry about how that affected him to this day. I know he is just fine, but I still worry for him.

Fast forward to almost 5 years later, on this past Tuesday, those feelings of anger, rage, helplessness, and being very angry with God resurfaced. Like I said, I didn't think I would feel that way or could feel that way again with having a failed pregnancy again.

I worried about this pregnancy and I found myself praying constantly for this baby to grow strong and healthy. I would rub my belly with my budding baby bump and talk to it, sure that that was our little girl. She would grow to be my mini me. Strong and sassy, not as girly as her big sister Hayleigh, but she would be the final piece and I could see the three of them all playing under a blanket fort giggling like Hayleigh and Reid do now. She would be my Charlie girl. Even if Hayleigh didn't want to do sports or hunt, my little Charlie girl would, and she would have such a great relationship with Hayleigh and Reid. They would all three love each other and look out for one another. That all changed Tuesday when I walked into that doctors office, just having a feeling that something was wrong.

On Tuesday, everything was going well. We checked on getting Allen some new tires for his truck since he really needed new ones. He checked on some new rims and got a great deal at over 50% off of a set that someone had ordered, then didn't like and didn't end up buying. We left the truck at the tire shop to go get some lunch and then go to my 10wk checkup we had waited a month for. From the time we got to that place everything felt off. The ultrasound tech came and got us, and from the very first word she said, I knew her attitude would make the whole appointment not very fun. We got back into the room, I started to get our camera ready to video so all Allen had to do was push record- the tech proceeded to jump my butt and tell me NO! Not until I make sure everything is okay. That hit me like a rock, and from that moment I knew something was going to be really wrong. She wanted to do above the abdomen to start with- I just knew we would not be able to see anything because I have never had one on my abdomen that early. I was right, and she told me we would do the internal. I knew we were heading in a downward spriral at this moment. She only took 5 minutes with the internal- shortest one I've ever had. She did not say a word the whole time, just kept sighing as Hayleigh and Reid entertained themselves by the curtain. We saw a glimpse of the baby, but she then ran off to get Dr. King, and told us she would have him come in. That was it. I knew it was very bad- Allen just looked at me you could see he was wanting to know what was going on since he was watching the kids mostly in the brief amount of time she was doing the ultrasound. I looked at him and told him this was not good at all. Of course Dr. King didn't have the decency to even come in, and back came the bad mannered ultrasound tech. She just told me that he was too busy, and he was putting in a blood test for HCG for that day and two days out, with a follow up ultra sound in a week. She didn't say anything else, didn't act anything but like we were taking up her time and like the plague needed out of her room. She then pointed out the lab to me, and escorted Allen and the kids out to the waiting room. I sat in that lab room for 10 minutes by myself before anyone ever did come in. This butterflies and gumdrops bouncy lady came in and sat down to rub my knee and ask if anyone had explained what was going on to me yet. Trying to hold it together, I told her no, but I was not stupid and after going through IUI with my first, I knew what going after HCG levels meant. I was all to well informed on how this all worked. She then left and told me Danielle would be in, in  a minute to draw my blood. I sat for another 10 minutes there just thinking to myself, going through everything I knew about what was going on, trying to grasp it all. I just wanted to get out of there, hold my kids, and Allen. I kept mumbling to myself "come on" trying to get Danielle to hurry up. Danielle finally shows up- not a care in the world. Then doesn't know what color to use for the tube to collect my blood- has to go off and double check while inside I'm scream growling just to take the f'ing blood and let me out of there. She finally figures out what end her head and ass are on, and draws the blood, then tries to start to tell me what HCG means, and I just bluntly tell her I am well educated on it all, I just want to leave. So she then points me to the check out. I go up to the only booth to check out. There, checking out is a lady that cannot speak a lick of English, with the receptionist translating. I stand there for 5 minutes waiting and waiting while they laugh about the check out lady being skinny and what diets to try. The papers I had to fill out when I first got there are burning in my hand. I'm ready to beam fire at these people. I JUST WANT TO LEAVE. The translating receptionist finally notices me in the middle of their diet talk, and offers to check me out. I take the clip board to her and she asks when I want to schedule my next appointment. I just looked at her wanting to scream, cry and yank her head off. I pulled it together and told her our appointment did not go well, I am just getting blood work done, and we will see when we get some news on that. She just stared at me. I handed her my paper work, and asked if I needed to pay my copay or anything, and she told me I needed to finish filling out my patient history papers- apparently the one I thought was office work on 2 pages was not. I just looked at her and asked if I could wait to do those. I just wanted to get out of there. She looked at me, I told her if they could be filled out later if my pregnancy was still progressing I would do them at the next appointment. She just looked at me then panicked and told me that was fine. I grabbed Allen and the kids and pretty much ran out that door. we made it to the excursion with Reid tripping the whole way over everything and anything he could. I got him strapped into his car seat, and jumped into the passenger seat and just looked at Allen, trying not to bawl right then. He grabbed me, giving me a hug and I lost it- not completely, but I bawled. We sat there for 5 minutes while I just kept thinking that today was going good, this was not how it was supposed to go at all. We talked for a few minutes, then I calmed down and we went to go check on his truck- Allen concerned if I was able to drive home or not. I drove home and just sat numb.

How was I back to this dark place, and now with both of our kids concerned because Mommy was sad. I laid on our bed, just letting it flow out of me. All I could think was we just lost Charlie. She was gone. Everything I thought or had pictured of that little girl was all gone. For the better part of the evening that is the main thought that swirled in my head. Of course I wanted to go back in time, but I knew that would do no good, because we would just lead up to here again. I had so many people expressing their thoughts and prayers were with us. While I appreciated all of it so much, I was so hurt that God had not listened to me or them at all. People say God has a plan. In my mind in those dark moments it is when praying for the baby to me was just wasted air. God had a plan all along. For that baby not to live. So why do I bother to pray for a baby that already had a plan the whole time?

Wednesday, I was just kind of numb. I tried my best to put on a good face for Allen and the kids. I called the OB back and got my numbers from the day before after they acted like I was stupid for asking and didn't know what they would mean. The number was low, but in range. I became slightly hopeful that the tech didn't have a clue what she was doing, and missed something. I prayed for those numbers to go up. I had hope, but somehow I knew deep down that I was not going to get my prayers answered.

Thursday, I went in and got my blood drawn again. The lab managed to give me a bruise that is still horrible looking today (Wednesday morning). Long story short with Thursday, my OB blew me off, and proceeded to tell me that they would be out on Friday, and if I wanted, I could call back and see if the doctor on call would go over my numbers and call me. I went up to the hospital to medical records and got my results Friday morning, and my HCG number went down by 4,000. I knew then that this was over. I began checking with a different OB to see if I could get the ball rolling on getting something done. I spoke with my mom, and she didn't have any words of comfort, just told me that she was canceling her 3 day vacation out here for Hayleigh's birthday since I didn't know if I would be up for traveling back with her and the kids. I then felt as if the whole world was deciding that I was a lost cause, and to jump ship.

Saturday, we spent the day driving around. It felt soo good just to get out. We cooked supper and went to bed. Sunday, I woke up feeling awful- throwing up all morning thinking I had severe morning sickness kicking me back on the way back down. Allen ending up leaving to go back to work, it stormed, and our power went out for 2 hours, while I was in the bathroom getting sick for the last time that day. The power came back on, I felt better and actually ate something and kept it down. Took a bath with Hayleigh, and told her she could sleep in our bed since I didn't want to be alone. 2am, she started getting sick, and I realized we had a flu bug. I tended to Hayleigh all Monday morning and afternoon, and tried to get a doctor to do something. Of course the first office never returned my calls, the second one I called back to try to make an appointment. The receptionist told me 3 weeks. I screamed at her I was already 11 wks and I did not want to carry a dead baby for 3 more weeks. By 5 pm after not knowing what to do, the second OB called me back. After being confused and thinking the nurse was from the first OB, we got everything straightened out, and nurse Kerri got me scheduled for a D&C for Tuesday- the next day at 1pm.  I scrambled around and made arrangements for the kids and for me. I was nervous, but finally felt a sense of relief.

Tuesday, I woke up happy for once. I got stuff ready around the house, and was ready for my appointment. My mom sent me a text asking what time my appointment was and who was taking the kids. She didn't ask if I had someone to take care of me or anything. My dad called, and couldn't have made me feel any better than he did. He told me he was sorry that this baby didn't make it, and that I was right that we did have 2 healthy kids even though it didn't make anything better. He made sure I had someone to take care of me, then bragged on how much of a sweetie Hayleigh was and how well mannered both of the kids were. He told me I was a great mom, and I was strong and could make it through this, and to call him after we got home. I got ready, even managed to shave my legs, and tried to eat a banana.  I made it to the new OB, and I felt so a peace. Everyone was extremely helpful and personable. I was just happy and felt like a pile of bricks was off of me. I could finally move on now. We did another ultrasound and this time my new doctor did it. She told me measurements, and basically found the baby and sac quit developing at a little over 6 wks. She was very sympathetic, and I was okay. She gave me two options, one of them being the D&C and the other to go back home since there wasn't a lot of tissue. I opted for the D&C just to be done with everything. Kerri my nurse and Dr. Simms got me ready, and started the procedure. It wasn't near as bad as I was expecting it to be. We joked and talked about wine, and what all I would be drinking that night. I immediately felt better once they were done and the cramps subsided once the procedure was done. I laid there in total peace relaxing while they let me rest. I had closure now. Everything had been laid to rest like a funeral.

I finished up, and still felt great. I made it back to the kids, and my friend took us home. The kids did great the whole almost 3 hours I was away. It was still great to walk through that door, and both of them light up yelling Mommy to me, and Hayleigh telling me she missed me. We made it home and took it easy the rest of the evening, which leads us to right now. Almost 2 am, and I can't sleep. I've caught up on 3 episodes of Grey's and I just finally felt the need to finish this post. 

I know I left out a few things, but I just wanted this done. I wanted to share this so that if anyone else goes through this, they know they are not alone, which I found this past week. I'm grateful for everyone who stuck by me even when it was hard, and I was in a bad place. I'm happy now, and looking forward to the future, and just glad many stuck by my side. I did end up unfriending quite a few over this, but it was mainly if they could be there in the good times for me, but couldn't even show me they were there, they were gone. I just don't have time for it anymore.

Anyway, now I feel so much better and relieved and at peace. We are planning for future things to do, and it's great I can put my mind to those things instead of remaining stuck on what happened last week. All I have left is an appointment to go back in two weeks for a follow up and I'm cleared and FREE.

You never fully know just how strong you are until you have to be that strong. Over the past 5 years, just when I think I cannot handle anymore, something comes in and makes me even more stronger. At least I'm learning from it all and gaining perspective on things better than I did 5 years ago. This is not the end, it is making way for something even better even though this was really bad. So, if I'm meant to have another baby, all I can think is this will make me just even much more better of a mom, to be more appreciative in the small things, and remind me that life is fragile and it can go at any time. So, for now, I am thankful for all the things and people I have in my life, and grateful for the 2 healthy kids I can hug and kiss every day. Because without them or Allen, I know I would be a complete mess.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

First day out in a week results in AC crapping out

We had a fabulous day today- first day we have gotten out of the house in a week. But, of course the only day we get out our AC decides to stop working. sigh.... Anyway, I should be cleaning the house right now, and setting my alarm to call my landlord at 7 am, but I'm trolling facebook, and craigslist. Basically I'm coming up with every excuse not to get off of my couch right now. It is at least not bad in the house right now, but we are headed for another 90 degree day tomorrow, and my landlord will probably not be able to do anything about the AC until tomorrow evening after he gets off of work. After this and having problems with our furnace over the winter wanting to be finicky, I've about had it. Our house is only 10 years old. Our lease is up first of July, and with baby #3 on the way, I'm searching for another option to not be completely cramped in our 1200 sqft house. I've found one option I'm also calling about tomorrow. A much bigger home with a much bigger garage for not much more than what we are already paying with 4 bedrooms. I don't know what will happen, but go figure the one day we leave the house, the AC decides to stop working.

I really do not want to have to move at all. Packing everything up and unpacking it all. BUT we really need more space, and it would be nice to have a yard that does not need a complete weed overhaul over every other week. (it needs more gravel and new weed barrier) I really do not hate our house- it has grown on me, I do hate these little hiccups. The ac is now out, the furnace had fits all winter, the hot water heater went out and dumped 40 gallons of water into the kitchen, the garbage disposal does not work half the time, and the sprinkler system is a joke, the only ceiling fan in the living room sounds like a propelled plane, there is a weird noise in our 2nd bath all the time like a ball bouncing in the plumbing or vent, don't even get me started on their choice for or not for edging in this yard- terre cotta edging in the front that doesn't even match up and then the divider of our yard and the neighbors to nonexistent in the backyard, not to mention the screen door for the slider is in horrible shape and I haven't got to use it from day one, ohh and I almost forgot that stupid barking dog of the neighbors behind us along with all of the weird neighbors but the ones to our right. Okay, so I listed quite a few.. It's not a bad house, it's just not a great house I guess.

We had a lot of fun at the pool today, and Reid did not want to leave after protesting and crying for the first 2 hours. He cried, he wailed, he hung onto me like he was about to go over a cliff. The water was really warm- it was indoors and had a toddler area that they all ended up loving. I imagine given the circumstances, tomorrow we will be going back to escape the heat, and will be finding somewhere for Missy to go to stay cool as well.

Just a tiny tidbit of our day today. Now I must clean  up this house before bed since my landlord will be here tomorrow, and I would rather the house be in tip top shape.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tidbits on Current Happenings

After I got off of my soap box, I figured I should maybe say something about what all has been going on lately. Schools just finished up here today, and the pools have now opened. We are planning our first pool outing for Friday- going to Fruita where they have both an indoor and an outdoor pool.

 
We are currently a little past half way on our time away from Allen. It has been really hard, and has dragged on and on. 4 weeks is really tough to hack. The kids have been extra rowdy, resulting in lots of late night Grey's Anatomy on Netflix time for me. I've contemplated re-reading my 50 Shades of Grey, but that won't help me missing Allen anymore.

 
They say every pregnancy is different. I think this one most reminds me of my first with Hayleigh. My nose gets really stuffed up at night- I finally learned to take 2 Benadryl every night before I go to sleep, otherwise I wake up gaging and trying to get my nose and throat cleared up like I did with Hayleigh and I then find myself sick, so if I take the Benadryl, I skip that part of my morning. I worry a lot more with this pregnancy- not just because I'm closer to 35 now, but I've had 2 successful full term pregnancies with 2 healthy babies. I know my odds are dwindling down on this. It could very well happen that something bad happen. I worry about stillbirth, miscarriage before 23 weeks, or something going wrong during delivery. I try not to worry, but I'm a natural worry worm, so I think of the worst possible scenario all the time. Last week I about fell over when I found blood on my underwear before flying into the bathroom to discover I had bumped a scab from shaving the night before. I liked to have had a heart attack. I worry about this baby because I already love this baby so much. I feel like this baby is a girl, and I already know her, what her name is, and what she will be like. I don't think I'll be satisfied until I get far enough along I can use a fetal Doppler at home- I will be purchasing one soon for not only the kids but for me to use and aid my need for the feeling of some sort of control.

 
My moods have leveled out somewhat. I feel sometimes like I'm back to where I was before Hayleigh- ready to spit fire some days. I find myself yelling more than I like, but I think that just comes with being so tired for the time being.

 
I have already welcomed out my maternity clothes, and have been happily lounging in them every day. I really do not know why some do not want to even wear them, but I LOVE them, and would love to make a tummy slimming pant styled like the maternity pants are. Having a baby bump is so beautiful to me anyway, just something about looking round and full of life I guess.

 
Even though this is my third pregnancy, I've been reading all I can yet again on successful breastfeeding. I've only lasted 3 months with each Hayleigh and Reid. My goal is at least 6 months this time. I have many questions for my OB for when she returns from her maternity leave on getting a prescription for lactation. 

 
We did get a new kitten this past week. Her name is Figaro, and she is a orange tiger stripped long hair kitty. Hayleigh is over the moon for her, and she has earned me some good brownie points as well. I won't lie, she is getting annoying. She has never been outside, until now, and that is where she will be living. So, for now, she plays some through the day in the house, gets put outside whenever it is day time and she's not inside- which is about 6 hours through the day time, and then she gets put in a crate for bedtime. She is getting better at being outside, and it helps with the kids being outside playing as well.

 
I had a dermatologist appointment today. I'm not a big fan of going since I takes 4 months to schedule out in advance and my derm has a big ocd germ problem. They all have some weird quark about them all I've found. I don't think she is comfortable around kids after watching her with my kids who were well behaved today. She was counting them, and telling me I will have a posy of kids when this one is born. At least I don't have another appointment until after I'm done breastfeeding this baby after it is born- so hopefully not for a full year!

Pregnancy BEFORE Marriage PLANNED... not a taboo thing of today

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and talking with a few of my friends about babies of course. The subject that always comes up is teen pregnancies, and now how much they are planned now. Maybe I'm a little old fashioned but I'm not at all warming up to the idea of a planned pregnancy in high school, or just right after before you are even married. I do realize that some do happen- play with fire, you get burnt. It happens. BUT, I've been watching 16 and Pregnant and of course, nobody is ever on any birth control, or they don't think it will happen to them, blah blah blahhhh. Sigh.

Back when I was in high school it was a very very bad deal. If you were pregnant, you was labeled a whore. It was just the way it was. No one was worried about how you would handle it, or how good of a mom you would be, you was just labeled with a big fat red scarlet letter W for whore. There was no glow, they all tried to hide it as long as they could. They didn't celebrate in the hallway with feeling the baby kick, or pass out invitations to baby showers. They did have a program that I thought was total crap where if you became pregnant your junior year, you could graduate at the end of that year. Now I don't know exactly what was involved, but to me back then it was just a thing- don't want to go to school, get knocked up... I know that is really harsh. Still pregnancy before getting married back 10 years ago was not a good thing- often really looked down upon- especially in my family even though it had happened. I cannot tell you just how much of a relief it was on our wedding night, thinking "Thank God !! We made it, now it does not matter if we do or don't." Now a days, people don't have to get married at all- it's not considered a bad thing. Having a baby whenever isn't a bad thing- whether you are 16 or 23... I just really do not understand it at all. I do know one thing is for sure and I do not want my kids thinking that these current ways are okay at all. If you cannot legally commit to someone besides telling someone you will spend your whole life with them, you do not need to have kids together. Spending your lives together and planning on not getting married is one thing. Having a baby.... well you are stuck with that other person for life. Doesn't it just make sense that those two things go together? What keeps the other person from just getting a wild hair one day and leaving you besides their word? Marriage is not just a legal piece of paper, and it is very sad that not many people view it that way anymore. To me, the day you are married, is the day your family starts. It grows with children and pets, but it is a family. You have declared that you are a union that will work together and be there for each other in good and bad times.

I know what many are thinking now, well then many people get married thinking well if it doesn't work, oh well, I can get a divorce. I don't mean to be standing up and lecturing right now, but no. If you cannot say with great confidence that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you love them, and no matter what happens, you will stick together. Divorce is the last thing you want in your life, maybe you should not get married. Marriage is something that has been taken from something being sacred to something that you order in a drive thru, #3 sounds great to me, how about you? The first big fight a couple has, divorce is threatened and thrown out there like a curse word. They make plans for when things do go sour- to have an escape plan. It's all very sad.

The point of this all is that it has been making me sick to see that I am so "old fashioned" in just 10 years since we were married. I do not want my kids growing up where teen pregnancies are a planned and celebrated thing, and getting married to someone is just something extra you do. If babies are not regarded as something special, you wait until you are older for, they turn into pets- like a puppy or kitty. If you get sick of them, send them to Grandma's to raise so you can go party since you had to give up so much, when all you had to do was to WAIT. I am personally thankful that babies did not come soon for us. I know at 26 when I did get pregnant with Hayleigh, I was a lot more grown up than I was at 20 when we were married, even though I felt grown up at the time we were married. There is much to learn in life, and some things are worth waiting for- you don't have to rush through milestones in life so quickly.

I want to make it clear that I'm not looking down at people, because this has all become the new "norm". It just makes me incredibly sad to see that so many morals and values have been thrown out in the past 10-12 years so easily. Makes me scared to see what our future holds as a every day norm.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Do Not Disturb

As I sit here trying to relax on this comfy couch, there is a stupid dog barking right behind our fence of the neighbors that keep stupid in a dog run all day, and do not let him out- so he howls at 6 am and barks ALL DAY LONG. I really do hate that dog. I hate his owners mostly for not taking care of stupid.

People and things have been on my nerves pretty bad this pregnancy. I've been really emotional, and no matter how hard I try to keep it reeled in, I lash out some of the aggression. I've only gotten sick a few time, for the most part I'm starving and bloated up, and I cannot remember anything. I crave cheeseburgers and chocolate ice cream. But people have been driving me completely crazy. Our waitress at Red Robin last night was horrible, I've been selling stuff on facebook and some people I'm ready to hunt down and run them over with my car, another person shared my status on facebook about being annoyed- to which I don't know why, but she got axed, and other people are making me go out of my way to get my stuff back for things I've done for them for free. I'm no longer taking anyone's pictures for free, unless they are family. I spent a whole week editing pictures without any promotion from the person for doing them for free, and I still do not have my flash drive back from a week ago I guess I will have to go back to pick up even though I was the one who did EVERYTHING for FREE. I'm fed up and frustrated about it all. I guess unless you are family and have some stupid little side business and are throwing a party you do not get any recognition for services.

Okay... I'm done ranting...

On a separate note, I've been trying to come up with a plan for when the baby gets here. How we will reconfigure rooms, trying to get a schedule of who is coming for a visit when. That schedule is extremely hard when you are dealing with both sets of parents being divorced. Our kids share 7 Grandparents alone- not counting greats that are alive. Trying to balance and keep everyone happy, and not excluding anyone is a juggling act. I'm hoping our kids don't have that balancing act to deal with when they are grown and married. I look at these other people I know my age that are lucky enough to have both sets of their parents still married and I think how easy that must be. Not to have to worry about forgetting someone. Just 4 people- that's it, and they usually get along together, so only 1 party! I'm envious, but it is what it is, and I can't help what it is, so I do my best. Our situation doesn't bother me as much as it used to. I can't do everything, so I need help sometimes, but I've learned I cannot make everyone happy all at once. It's not going to happen. So, for now we do the best we can, and move on about it all, because I really don't have time to sit and dwell on anything more than making sure that everyone has been cared for between me, Allen, and the kids.
Right now, all I want is a nap, a clean house, and food waiting on me after waking up from said nap with the laundry all done as well. The yard mowing can wait for me since I do love doing that. I'm lucky to have a good husband that knows these things, and has for the past few nights and mornings made sure to help me get the house picked up and things put up from the kids tornado mess. So for now, I'll settle for my nap and the fact my husbands here helping me for the rest of the week. We will deal with next week, and the 4 weeks for me solo with the kids when Sunday gets here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Telling Daddy Baby #3 on the way


Running a Baby Farm

There is a big difference when preparing for baby #3 compared to baby #1. With baby #1, you need everything. Even all of those fancy new gadgets, you need it all. Everything catches your eye when you go shopping, you comparison shop everything and read and research everything you can. The nursery is complete and ready for baby by the time you hit 21 weeks- a week after you find out gender of baby. Baby #2, you read those magazines at the doctors office, you drag out your old stuff thinking you need some new. You go out and buy stuff without researching every bit about the stuff, and are happy with your decisions. You do not buy all the fancy gadgets, but maybe one thing, maybe upgrade a few of your items, and are happy with what you have. You get the nursery set up for the most part- not really worrying about it a week before you have baby. Baby #3, you make a list of what you need to replace and that list is not very long at all because you still have most of the baby stuff left from #1 & #2. You don't plan on the baby's nursery even being done up because they will spend the first two months with you in your room, so what's the point of getting it ready to sit. The changing table stays in your #2's room, since he is still in diapers, just rearrange the diaper basket organizer and you're set.

It is soo funny how excited and anxious I was when I was pregnant with Hayleigh to now. I pretty much know what is coming now, compared to my first time of reading about the changes in pregnancy and celebrating every mile marker. I am ready to get to where we feel kicks, and hiccups, but I know once those start, they will be over soon after and I will start being uncomfortable- especially while trying to sleep.

I'm not really worried about how the kids will adjust this time around- since yes, there will be two other kids at home to bring the baby home to. I'm not expecting them to be excited, or really know what is going on, but I know Hayleigh will have a better grasp this time around. I kind of dread taking both of them to the doctors office this time- Hayleigh was kind of hard when I was pregnant with Reid, but I'm pretty used to it now. I was talking to Allen about this last night, should we take the kids with us to our first baby appointment, or not. We decided to go ahead and take them with us. Even though they probably will not pay attention to what is going on, we will be videoing the appointment, and I want our whole family to be there. This is now the way our lives are- chaotic at times but full of life. Five years ago, all I wanted was this- having a house full of noise, laughter, and to just be a mom most of all. Here we are now with a house that looks like a tornado hits it every day- I clean it up at least three times through the day, there is usually screaming, crying, but most of all laughter coming from two little kids that are having so much fun playing together. There are also lots of snuggles on the couch, and requests to hug me tighter with I love yous. Even though it does get quite crazy and loud here, I really would not trade it for anything and I know it will get even louder in less than nine months now.

The only thing different this pregnancy so far is my hormones.... OMG! It feels like you could flip a switch and I can change moods like that. I don't remember being this emotional or moody with either Hayleigh or Reid, but I'm sure I was to a degree. So I try to do things that help lighten that mood up whenever I can. For example, I sit here now, elbow deep in baby clothes from both Hayleigh and Reid, sorting through newborn stuff, organizing it all. I dug out Hayleigh's white knit baby sweater that had some stains pop up, and I have it treating now. Luckily for me, I couldn't bare to part with my maternity clothes, so out they came last night, and got a good washing. Going through those things makes me giddy and happy. The pregnancy books and DVDs also made their way back out as well, welcomed back like an old friend. They are nice to watch and read to more of reminisce and make my mood lighter, rather than  to learn anything new. The only other thing I have managed to get out of the garage is my Grandma's bassinet. That bassinet was the same one I borrowed from my Grandma when Hayleigh was born. It was a tradition among the grand-daughters to use it for their new babies. Grandma passed before Reid was born, so the bassinet was put into her estate sale after he was born so I didn't get to use it for him. I managed to make sure I was there when they were auctioning off the bassinet and got not only a great deal on something so precious to a lot of my family, but a heirloom I was hoping to pass onto Hayleigh and Reid to use someday. Now, I'm lucky enough to get to use it one more time, and I cannot tell you just how happy that makes me to know a part of my Grandma will be here with us for this baby as well. With that bassinet I can see Grandma beaming about another baby on the way- Grandma loved babies so much and they loved her. Babies were always calm and happy when my Grandma held them- myself included that would NOT let anyone hold them unless they were my Mom or my Grandma.  So, I guess I get a sense of calm when I see that bassinet because of Grandma even though she is no longer with us, a part of her is here with me- all the way out here with us.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Life Happened


I do remember saying that we were done with kids, but isn't life funny. Allen and I had no intentions of having anymore, but if one popped up before he made supervisor and he got in to get fixed, it would be okay. Well... that is where we are now sitting. A BUN IS IN THE OVEN...

It's funny when we first got married, we both agreed we wanted to have 3 kids. After Hayleigh was born, and I got pregnant with Reid and we found out he was a boy, we agreed 2 was enough. One of each. Now, here we sit dreaming of what this baby will be when it gets here. I would have never have thought that this would happen. It took us 6 years of trying then having to go to a fertility clinic and do not 1 round, but 2 rounds of fertility treatment and drugs. Back then we could have ended up with 4 babies on each of the rounds of IUI we went through that we got Hayleigh out of. Now, here we are on our third pregnancy, the second one without having any help and I feel partially on the fence now. Like I've said before- the infertility camp has always been my home. Now, I've kind of been booted out of that said camp in a way. I'll still be one of those people that had to fight for our first baby, but I believe that maybe since we did have to go through all of that for all of those years, maybe God decided that was enough on helping mold us into parenthood, and that our next pregnancies would come along a lot easier.

 I am sure that this will be the LAST baby we have. I've had crazy dreams, I'm hung over feeling in the morning, and just tired pretty much, but thankful for what we have. Growing up, my sister and I always wanted a little brother, or just another sibling- that never did happen of course. So, I sit here now thinking of how Hayleigh and Reid play together, and how one more to that mix will be so much more fun.. a lot more work, but worth it all. They will have someone else to help them both along in life, to be there for them, to share secrets with because now we will have either 2 girls, or 2 boys. I'm hoping that they will be best friends, even though I know that is a little much to ask for, but I hope they are all at least close.

From the feeling I get and the chart that was right for both Hayleigh and Reid, I feel deep down this baby is a girl. I hope I'm right, but I just feel like I already know this baby already, and who she will be somehow. Allen and I have already agreed on 1 name, while we are still trying to build a list, but I feel like this is baby, if indeed is a girl, will be our little Charlotte. I remember Hayleigh was kind of the same way- we had her name from day one pretty much as well too. In a few months, we shall see if I'm right, but I've already dreamed about her, and I'm soo excited to see if it all comes true.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Being a Grown Up is NO FUN!

After finally deciding that we are going to after all send Hayleigh to preschool now, I have been in a constant state of panic. The school we are planning on having Hayleigh attend kindergarten on up was already booked in one day when I checked with them. I found the Catholic lite school- the Lutheran one here in Junction and they did have openings. After getting Hayleigh's name on the list for the 14'-15' school year, I was both relieved and scared at the same time.

I don't know who is going to be the most sad over all of this- her or me...or Reid..

She will be going only part time- M-W-F, and only for 3 hours a day. I am sure every other Mama out there has felt the same with their first born too. I'm scared for her- I would rather just keep her here at home with me but alas she would grow up too sheltered and non socialized so that's out. I worry abut her getting into trouble, having a hard time sharing, and just being scared without me or Reid there with her. I am sure she will be just fine, but I can't help but be scared for her. Will she be at the same level as all of the other kids- or will she be behind or advanced? I really am not ready for anyone else to be in charge of my baby. I'm not ready for someone else to be the all knowing person in her life, and I'm not at all ready for her to be excited to get away from me and have friends besides me, Reid, and Daddy being her main squeezes. Next thing you know it will be Mommy go away, I'm fine. I feel like George Banks in Father of the Bride when Annie tells him she is getting married. I still see her as our little baby girl- not old enough for school! I don't want to be that parent that is questioning the teacher, especially if and when we get a note sent home about her getting into trouble.  Sigh.... I know I shouldn't worry about it all but it makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.

The thought that really made me sick tonight was that she will start in August!!! That makes only 3-1/2 more months of our daily routine of not having a care in the world about much of anything else. My baby will be growing up and flying from the nest in less than 4 months. As if her turning 4 the end of June wasn't hard enough... I swear! I don't have a clue what Reid and I will do without her mothering us around- I'm sure we will find ourselves spending more time at the parks and library.

Sigh... being a grown up does nothing but get harder and harder, and these kids just keep growing up faster and faster. Both need to knock it off!

I am sure when Hayleigh's first day of Pre school comes, I will be a hot mess after leaving her at school. Until then, I'm going to hoard her to myself all that I can, trying to hang onto my baby as long as I can. I would love to rewind our past 4 years together and start them all over again. Just seems like yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital after what felt like forever to get her, now I'm having to let her go. Years from now, we will look back at this like it wasn't a big deal, but today it will have to be a big deal for us.

If anyone finds something to slow down time, please throw it my way. It's going by too fast for my liking and it scares the hell out of me.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Starting off on the Right Foot

One of my favorite captures from Saturday ~ Letters on fabric squares on a banner
 by the gate entrance to the public ground we were out riding on 

If you know me, you know I like to tinker and dabble in a little bit of everything. If I'm not so good at it, I move onto the next. My mom played a big key along with my dad on this, as well as other members of our family. I guess one thing that has also helped this has been my creative gene. My uncle Dale is an artist- a different than what I considered myself. I was never any good at drawing portraits, but horses, animals, objects, and trees... I loved horses and trees. I could draw those things all day long.My teachers always went on I should pursue a career in art, but my uncle told me unless I didn't want to get paid, art was a very hard career to make it in. Back when I was in 6th grade or so, my summers included watching HGTV with my sister for most of the morning. We LOVED the Christopher Lowe Show. This guy made everything, and showed you how to do it. How to decorate spaces. We also watched that and a drawing show on the local public broadcast channel.From then on I wanted to be an interior designer. It was fun and easy! Sports then kind of sucked all of those things to the back of my mind.  Later on in high school or so, I watched a documentary on Martha Stewart's life. I think that was one of the things that rekindled the fire of making stuff or doing stuff myself. That was the way Martha grew up anyway. Look at that woman now- minus the prison time, I really have looked up to her.

So, how does that get me to today.. taking pictures, and really wanting to make a go out of it all? Since I naturally want to do stuff myself, rather than pay someone else to do things for me, this all kind of started when I was pregnant with Hayleigh. I had NO clue what was entailed in photography- family, kids, couples... no clue. We had never had professional pictures taken by anyone- not even our wedding to which I really regret. Feeling this regret, I vowed that since we had waited so long for Hayleigh to be on the way, we would get good pictures taken. You only get the opportunity just one time. So forth began the booking and money flying right and left- but we got the good pictures.

Of course after a few sessions, I started to find things I didn't like, and wanted different, but it was too late of course. I did find one photographer I LOVED, and I mean LOVED. She was new, and she was really good. She was very laid back, and when we talked about what we wanted to do, we were on the same wave length. She even could put stuff together I had not even thought of. Alas, after the first year, she started booking up really fast, and she took on the local school's pictures and local sports pictures. We also moved, so I had to start all over once again. The things I loved about that lady was she gave us a full hour. If we went over five minutes, ten minutes, it was not a big deal, and she did not charge us - nickle and dime us. She had our proofs up within a week, and our picture order back to us within 3 days of that. You could purchase all of the edited proofs for around $30 on a textured 4x6 photo paper. I absolutely loved this so I could put them in albums for Hayleigh, and have what I wanted in the portraits on the wall. Her prices were very fair, and she was still making money off of them. Our last session she started to offer all of the edited proofs on a disc for not a whole lot. She was my favorite and most client friendly/pocket book friendly of all that we have went to.

I did try a few local photographers back in Illinois, one being expensive and one being a cheaper one that nickel and dimed you on time, but had about half the proofs I would get back compared to my favorite gal there. The session with the nickel and dime was rushed, it was not easy going, and she didn't have many ideas on poses for families. The more expensive one did have the ideas, but she was expensive was my only gripe. I didn't like the idea of having to purchase an expensive package that you could only get the prints because you didn't want to know what she would have really wanted for a digital file. Then we got out here, and everyone is expensive.

The first one I used had a very expensive sitting fee, with unlimited time. She was good, and laid back, but very slow with showing proofs. You also had to set up a meeting in person to see proofs, then was forced to order then. You couldn't sit in front of your computer in the middle of the night looking at the pictures over and over, finding a place and the sizes you wanted for them to go on your wall. Reid was born and it was during his newborn session I got to see the proofs from the maternity session 6 weeks prior. There was only 1 sneak peak on facebook. Then the newborn proofs afterward were not available until he was almost 2 months old. By the time I got the pictures- paying over $50 per 5x7 to get the ones we really loved, I was sick.

 The second one I decided to give a whirl was this past fall. Only a $40 sitting fee, we had all the time we needed. She told me we would get sneak peaks then schedule a date to come in and order. I waited and waited until almost 2 months later finally asking about the sneak peaks. The sneak peaks there were the actual photos you ordered. sigh.... I was fuming after this one. The day I went in to look at proofs, they were all unedited, and I had to pick the ones we liked, told which heads to swap in which pictures and given a 3 week window of pictures returned to us, costing $40 per 5x7 picture. This session ended up totaling over $500. Allen and I then decided we would get our own camera and just try to do our own pictures.

A couple of months ago, I finally got my camera- my birthday present. I was scared to death. No amount of pinning on pinterest could ever prepare me for well there you go- now take pictures. I did so much reading- I still am. I've practiced and practiced with the kids, and just about anything that I can take pictures of. I switched to shooting in RAW now, and I'm still learning. I ordered my first 2 backdrops and a backdrop stand, and sat the kids down in 5 minute increments and was amazed at what I had on my computer editing from the first go. The pictures are not perfect. I'm still learning new things, but just the calm and relaxing part of just shooting when the kids are happy has been so wonderful. The more I take pictures, the more I love doing it, being anxious to get to my computer to pull up my work for the day to sit and edit them, even slapping my new trademark on all of them. I cannot wait to get the walls mostly covered in my own work. Pictures I can be proud of, knowing at that moment, it was not staged, we were actually doing something, and I have an actual memory and not just a sit and look pretty picture. I know this has been long, but I just wanted to explain how I got here. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I would become a photographer. It fits so well. I have something to keep me busy when Allen is at work. When he is home, I can get our own pictures. I have something that will work with our schedule, and will be a job to me when the kids are in school. I can be as busy as I want to be. That is what I love. I don't want to be over booked, trying to make good money from this. I want this to be affordable- something I would be happy with if I was the client. I have had 4 years to watch the photographers, what they have done- what I liked and didn't like. I'm using that as a learning experience, and hoping to grow from it all in my own endeavors.

Now for the fun part. My peeves/loves about photo sessions. I posted on facebook that I would elaborate about this a tad more. Here is my list.
1. photographers that are soo booked up that if your kids are not having a good session at all, will not even consider picking up on another day a day or two later. It happens, why be forced to pay for pictures you will not like at all..
2. being rushed at a session- nickel and dimed for time. I know time is important to people, but at the same time- the people you are taking pictures for should not feel rushed, or feel that their time is not important as well.
3. Paying over 12 times more for the same prints I can order from the online professional photo lab. This really makes me sick to pay over $40 for a 5x7 completely luxed out from the same photoshop that only charges me $3 for the same thing. After I checked on multiple professional labs, and found their prices were all comparable, I was fuming mad. I also know that some photographers make all their money from the prints, but to me that is really limiting because families want to order more prints, but cannot afford to do so- if the print prices were affordable, they could order more, be more happy, and the photographer in my opinion would make more money. Some photographers argue that people only really want 2-3 pictures. I bed to differ. I would love to have them all, having them in a book with the few on the wall. Not second guessing myself on my choices later on when it is too late to put another order in because of the conditions and restrictions that photographer had.
4. Over use of airbrushing, or not using any at all. I do not like that our fall pictures the close up ones of us we look plastic. I hate that look. No one looks like that. I also did not like on Reid's newborn pictures, I had dark circles under my eyes, that would have only took 2 minutes to fix, or necklaces of Hayleigh's that the back was showing the clasp that could easily been photoshopped since the photographer did not catch it during the session.
5. being placed in non flattering poses or not told to move here or there to help fix that. Photographers do not work miracles on making you look like you weigh 50 pounds less, but being posed in certain ways can make you look heavier or just not look great.
6. Having to meet with the photographer to see the proofs, then expected to place an order at that moment. I like to sit and look at the pictures over and over- making sure I am happy with my decision, knowing where the pictures will be going in my home, and also for family that does not live anywhere around me to be able to see the pictures as well, and put in their own order. I think this is almost #1 of my dislikes.
7. Having a set amount of time to have an order put in, or if you do not order a picture having to pay a fee to be able to order it later on- if even then. The last photographer you could not order a picture that you did not originally order when you did the meet and order session.
8. Having props or backgrounds that you do not like being used over what you have provided. With Reid's newborn pictures, I ran into this. As a mom you want to stay away from the baby during this session to help aide in the baby staying asleep. I did this and could not believe the girlie or stupid costumes Reid was put into over what I had laid out and expressed what I was looking for.
9. Having to pay an extra person fee for a family shoot that is immediate family and not over 10 people. Most make you pay an extra person if you have 3 kids with the 2 adults anymore.
10. Turn around time. I absolutely HATE getting pictures back after 2 weeks of the pictures being taken. I know that the photo labs over night or at least 3 day ship the pictures out for a fact. I have had Christmas pictures sent out late now 2 years in a row because of this. This will be the first year back to having my pictures out at the beginning of December. Also along with this- the photographer going on vacation and having to wait for your prints with Santa Claus that were taken beginning of December and not receiving them until first of January. SMH...
11, Almost forgot this one BAD LIGHTING.... I've only experienced this once in a studio, and it is just one of those things that should not be an issue