Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of Bio Girl 2011

This is the fifth year I posted a 'Best of Bio Girl' on New Years Eve (here are 2007, 2008 , 2009 and 2010 if you really want to do a BG marathon of epic proportions) I have no idea if you all want to read through my old posts, but I get a lot of joy out of looking back over my year of blogging and picking out what I think were my best posts.  I have thought about keeping a running list, but I find that I am sometimes surprised by what I like at the end of the year.  Posts that didn't seem that funny or important when I wrote them sometimes become my favorite.  Posts that I thought were great just seem average when I reread them months later.  So really, it works best to make my list at the very end of the year.  Or at least that is what I tell my procrastinating heart.

So on to the list! 

  • Starting right out of the gate with a post I totally forgot about, but made me laugh sorta hard when I remembered getting yelled at our the Post Office!
  • This post is from Last January and is about Missy's second sugery.  I have always loved it, but it is very sad.  Maybe that is why I like it.  If feels honest. 
  • Let's lighten things back up here on our 'Best Of' list!  Nick babysat for Cici.  They had fun. 
  • Remember that time Henry acted drunk with his Speech Therapist?  No?  Well here is the story.
  • A post about Henry waking up early on a work day.  I sorta love this glimpse of a random morning.
  • We welcome the world to Henryville, the most wonderful place to live.
  • Henry's birthday picture slideshow is always and forever one of my favorite posts of the year.  An entire year worth of pictures of my boy set to music and packed into four minutes? How could it not be my favorite?
  • We cracked the code for Henry's good night sleep! (Key card included)
  • I sometimes reread this post when I am having a hard day about our infertility.  It is a about a day before our final FET where I really felt at peace with the size of our family, no matter what happened with the last cycle.
  • This summer I found out what happens when Mama leaves the house for a weekend.
  • I wrote a lot of posts about our Final FET and the heartache that followed.  This one is what I picked for my Creme de la Creme submission for 2011.  I love it.  It feels like my heart is on the blog in this post.
  • My god, I am a sap this year, but here is another post that captures Henry at a specific moment and it just MELTS. MY. HEART.
  • Someone struggles with keeping the TR- (rather than an F)  in TRRRuck.
  • In this post Henry and I debate the need for a haircut vs just allowing him to become a Samuri and wear a Topknott.
  • Here is a post where I found another infertile who had been in the Trenches at my work.  Still, every time I see him in the hallways I think "we are more alike than anybody would know"
  • Here is a post that captures the reasons I spend time blogging.
  • We went to Florida.  I set our pictures to music.  Henry and I enjoy watching it ALL. THE. TIME.
  • Our two little owls! (I am still extremely proud of these home made costumes!)
  • Here is a post about making wishes on 11-11-11 that I think is pretty good.
  • I love this post about Dancing with Henry.
  • I am including more sad posts than normal on this years list, but here is one about still being Raw about our failed cycles and the fact that we are now out of the infertile game.
  • Of course we have to include our Battle with the Squirrels in our Attic!  We are happy to report wehave had no additional POW's.
  • And we will end the list with Life Lessons according to Angry Birds.  Because this post makes me smile!

And that's it!  The Best of Bio Girl 2011 is COMPLETE!  And incredibly long.  Like MUCH longer than years past.  Does this mean I am becoming a better blogger or that I am less selective than I used to be?  Only you can tell!  Click around if you want.  Read some old posts.  Let me know what you liked from the blog this year!

I hope you all have a wonderful time ringing in the New Year.  See you in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

This was one of the very best Christmas seasons I have ever had. Henry was in love with the tree and the Christmas lights. He talked about Santa and would say he wants him to bring "CANDY!" (and when pressed for more details, included a request for M&Ms ). He loved opening presents. We had shreeks and giggles. Yells of "ANGRY BIRDS!" or "PLAYDOUGH!"  .  He loved his time with all of his family, constantly excited and amazed as we once again got in the car to spend entire days with our favorite people.

 It was just... perfect. And the idea that this amazing holiday could be better next year. That he will understand better, that he will be MORE excited, that this could get any more fun. It doesn't seem possible.

And I could talk about that forever.  Our love of Christmas.  Our amazing week.  But you see... I am sorta someplace special.

And you know, this is sorta important. So rather than talk and talk and talk about the magic that was Christmas, here is a slideshow. It says it better than I could anyway. Because truly, it was magic.

  Song: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra

There is only one thing I can think of that will make Christmas even more wonderful next year...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Life Lessons- The Angry Birds Edition

Christmas 2011
When Facing a difficult situation...
Christmas 2011
Don't hesitate...
Christmas 2011
Just attack!
Christmas 2011
When things seem too big to handle...
Christmas 2011
Consider using weapons to gain an advantage.
Christmas 2011
Always recover your weapon so you are ready for further attacks
Christmas 2011
When things seems a little too easy...
Christmas 2011
Approach with caution.
Christmas 2011
And always keep them guessing
Christmas 2011
Attack when they least expect it
Christmas 2011
Perfect your battle cry...
Christmas 2011
Claim the newly conquered land as your own...
Christmas 2011
build on that land as soon as possible. You never know when unwanted birds or pigs might try to take it over.

**Just a few pictures from Christmas morning.  Many more to come in the way of a slide show! (you are excited about a slideshow five days after a holiday is over, right? RIGHT? I have over 400 pictures.  Even if I only pick the top 25%, a slideshow is in order.)  I am heading to meet Sweet Nora this weekend (YAY!!), but should hopefully have a Christmas post on Friday, the Best of Bio Girl for 2011 on Saturday and my Resolution post on Sunday or Monday.  Gotta love traditions to make blogging easy during the holidays.  Hope everyone is enjoying the season as much as we are at the Bio Girl house.  It has been amazing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Introducing Sweet Nora

Baby Nora
She is finally here!  Meet Nora.

Just one picture and I am completely in love.  Isn't she beautiful?

Nora finally decided to join us this morning at 5:39am, weighing in at 8lbs 1oz.  

The birth mom was induced at 8am yesterday, so it was a long labor! I don't know any details about how the delivery went yet (because I was sound asleep, and now Boo is sound asleep!).  Boo said last night that they really liked both the birth mom and the biological grandmother.  They spend most of their time in the delivery room with them all day yesterday and last night, and I am sure it was an amazing experience to get to be so present during the birth of their daughter!

** I know, Christmas, right?  What blogger just SKIPS Christmas?  It has honestly been the best Christmas of my life. Just perfect.  And I have pictures.  LOTS of pictures.  I will post a few tomorrow and a LOT after our final Christmas on Thursday.  Just hold tight.  It shall be well documented!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Squirrel Fight

So you know that squirrel I casually mentioned a few days ago?  The one that was INSIDE MY HOUSE?  Yeah.  Let's talk about that, shall we?

So recently we have had a couple of squirrels move into our attic. It is extremely annoying.  We heard them running around, so Nick went out and found a small hole they were using to get in.  He covered it up, thinking the problem was solved, and went about his day.  The problem was not solved.

The next day we noticed a nice hole had been chewed into our gutter and soffit.  That's right.  The damn thing chewed through a METAL gutter.  Nick patched that up and a new hole arrived the next morning on the soffit over our front porch.  Nick promises to buy a trap on his way home from work because clearly these squirrels need to be relocated far far away from our house.

Unfortunately "on the way home from work" was just a little too late.  At 3pm last Friday Nick's mom called.  There was a squirrel...and it was INSIDE.  Nick rushes home to find a WILD ANIMAL has taken over our laundry room. It came down through an old attic entrance that was covered with insulation, which apparently Mr. Squirrel was jumping on which brought the entire thing crashing onto the Washer.  The damn thing ran straight up a wall.   How is that even possible?  Nick comes in and opens all the doors, trying to get the thing to run out of the house, when the squirrel instead decides to take refuge under our China cabinet.  Mr. Squirrels last stand.

Nick quickly blocks off all openings under the china cabinet and runs to the garage to build a quick cage. He drills a small hole on one side of the blockage so he can scare the Mr. Squirrel into the opening on the opposite side which happens to lead to the home made cage.  It was genius.  Except Mr. Squirrel poked his head into the cage one time and yelled "HELL NO!" and returned to the deep recess of his hiding place. He started Hissing and growling like crazy.  You all, it was TERRIBLE.  Every time we walking near him he would start to growl and I became convinced he was going to chew his way out and eat off our faces to punish us. Then he would take our house as his prize. 

So we had to come up with a plan.  Mr Squirrel would not leave.  He sounded Rabid under our China Cabinet and he refused to enter the trap.  So... (this is where I get glad I don't have a million readers to tell me I am a bad person.  Please remember, squirrels are RODENTS.  They are basically rats with tails.  And it was IN MY HOUSE. WHERE MY BABY SLEEPS.  AND I LIKE MY FACE AND DON'T WANT IT EATEN OFF)  we decided Mr. Squirrel needed to no longer live.  ("die" sounds so harsh.)  Nick's grandmother is the master of killing squirrels (they take her pecans. she will NOT apologize for killing every last one of them).  And she told us if you just leave them they will die within a day or two.  But... Mr. Squirrel was IN MY HOUSE (did I mention that) and you know... the face eating thing was in my head.  So we (Nick) came up with a plan.

It wasn't like we could shoot it, so we came to the idea of poison.  Except.  Well, he would have to eat it.  And he didn't seem like he was in a snacking mood.  And we wanted something painless and fast.  That is when my scientist husband came up with an idea.  A humane idea.  An idea that would inflict no pain on the WILD RODENT we have in our house.  We were going with Euthanasia.

So we got some dry ice.  Nick kept saying "The science is sound...this should work" .  CO2 poisoning is painless, he would just go to sleep.  So...we chopped up the dry ice and slid it under the cabinet.  Nick "borrowed" (we threw it away afterwards) some of Henry's play dough to cover up air holes so it would be quick.  And... well, it was.  And it was over.

So we were sorta proud and at the same time felt sorta bad.  I mean, we aren't hunters.  We are totally meat eaters, but the kind that buy all that mean packaged at the grocery store.  For god sake, we used our Chemistry background to come up with a plan to GAS A SQUIRREL.  We are not cut out for this.  So the next day we bought a live trap. 

The next day we caught one alive.  Nick had to carry the cage down from the attic while Mrs. Squirrel was dive bombing at the door right by his face to try to get out.  We googled how far you have to go to relocate a squirrel so it can't come home.  THIRTEEN MILES.  So in the pouring rain we left the county to give Mrs. Squirrel a new home.

We were pretty please with ourselves for our nature friendly ways as Nick got out in the rain to release her into the wild.  And I will be damned if she didn't run straight out into the road.  Idiot squirrel.

Last night we heard another one up there.  God Help us.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Any. Day. Now.

Mama says: Hi Henry.

Henry says: Hello...
Christmas 2011
Mama says: Are you ready for your cousin to be born?  It will be Any day now!
Christmas 2011
Henry says: I find it hilarious that you think you know ANYTHING about when Baby Girl is going to be born!

Mama says: No no, REALLY!  ANY. DAY. NOW!
Christmas 2011
Henry says:  Ahhh hahahaha!!  You... with your.... oh I can't breath.  You are funny Mama, thinking you know stuff.  You have been saying this for a MONTH!  I no longer believe you.

Mama:  Henry! Stop laughing at me!  I DO KNOW!  They are inducing her on MONDAY!  SO there!  I told you I know stuff.  Don't mock your mother.
Christmas 2011
Henry says: Wait, Monday?  Baby girl will be born on Monday??

Mama says: That's Right!  Aren't you so excited?  Cici will have a new little sister!
Christmas 2011
Henry says: Gotta go Mama.  Need to hide all my toys.

**As long as the birth mom doesn't go into labor on her own this weekend, Baby girl officially has an eviction date of December 26th.  What a wonderful late Christmas present.  We are SO excited.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sisterly Updates of the Happier Variety

Well Missy and my parents had the conference call with the doctors up at the NIH and after meeting and discussing Missy's case the doctors decided that Missy does NOT need surgery right now!  This is such a blessing.  These surgeries are extremely difficult on Missy and come with a ton of terrifying possible complications, so avoiding surgery is the greatest news we could have possibly gotten today.

  What it basically comes down to is that although the growth of the tumor over the last eight weeks is alarming, the tumor is not extremely large.  Combine that with the fact that she is having no side effects from the tumor, and it makes them think surgery is not what she needs at this time.  There is the IV treatment that has not only prevented growth of this tumor but has actually shrank it a little in size, and they think the best treatment is to go with the medication first, then see where we are in a few weeks.

So they want her back on her IV meds.  Like first thing tomorrow.  She will do a treatment right away, then another in two weeks.  Two weeks after that she will go back to the NIH for another scan.  Hopefully it will show no new growth.  The option for surgery is still on the table at a later point, she is very strong and the tumor is operable, they just do not think the benefits out weight the risks as of today.  We are hoping this medicine continues to work and she does not need surgery any time soon!

Yay!!! (!!!!)   (!!!!!)

As for my other lovely sister, the birth mom went to the doctor today, but we have not had a report.  We are assuming no news means all is the same.  The child is holding out until 2012, I am telling you!

Thank you for all of your comments, emails, prayers and support of my sisters.  It means so much to me how you all embrace my entire family.  I will continue to keep you in the loop on Missy's treatments and our sweet Baby Girl!

Monday, December 19, 2011


** No new baby news.  

** An update on Missy will come tomorrow afternoon after the doctors meet to decided if they officially suggest surgery.  We are anxiously waiting, but doing okay.  Missy is so strong.  She is doing awesome.  If you aren't sure what I am talking about, I posted on Saturday.  

**It's officially cycle day one, and endo cramping and back pain are in full swing.  Awesome.

** And now I am going to post a cute story about Henry.  Just because.
On Saturday Henry missed his nap.  For awhile, back in September or so, he stopped needing a nap.  We thought he had outgrown them, and were really fine with it.  I mean, I LIKE nap time, but I hated the fight to get him to actually GO TO SLEEP, so whatever.  Then we went on vacation and all of a sudden he remembered that he loved his nap.  He takes one most days now and there is little to no fight about it.  He happily lays down and passes out.

Well, Saturday we were running around and nap time came and went.  We didn't think it was a big deal.  He went months without a nap, right? Should be fine.  At 6pm he asked for a glass of milk.  Not unusual, but he does always have a glass of milk before bed (which is typically around 9:30pm).  He then crawled up in Nicks lap and passed out.  When this has happened in the past it has meant DOOM for for me and Nick getting any sleep.  He wakes up around 2am and stays awake until around five or six.  But we tried to wake him up and he wasn't having it, so we just laid him down in his bed, accepting that we would be up all night.

At 2am he woke up.  Calling out to us, so Nick went in there to tuck him back in.  Henry looked at Nick and said "Henwee" (because he talks about himself in the third person.  Always.  and it is so adorable we don't correct him.  Also, he can't say his R's, so he says Henwee instead of Henry.) anyway he said "Henwee get up??"  And Nick said "No bubby, it's the middle of the night. It sleeping time."  He then rolled over and went back to sleep, but we expected to hear from him again in 20 minutes.

At 9:20 Saturday morning I wake up again.  This time I hear "MAMA!!!"  I walk into his room and he is sitting in his bed with a huge smile on his face.  He then says "ALLLLL DOOOONE SLEEPING!!!" and jumps out of bed and heads for the living room before I can stop him (maybe afraid I would say he needed to go back to sleep).

What?  You are all done sleeping after FIFTEEN HOURS?  Go figure.

You guys, It. Was. Awesome.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Day After Yesterday

I sort of left you all hanging yesterday.  Promising updates on both sister fronts, only to go completely silent.  I know.  It's just I needed a day to process.  And now here I am.  The day after yesterday.

Missy's MRI results came back showing aggressive new growth of her tumor.  So aggressive that the doctors up at the NIH (National Institute of Health) think the best action to take is most likely going to be to go in and remove the new growth.  Her doctor will meet with the board on Tuesday, but he seemed to think at their appointment on Friday that surgery would be the best option.  This is not the worst news we could receive, although it took me several hours to realize that.   The worst news could have been that there was aggressive growth and there is nothing they can do.  This is worlds better than that, and that fact is what I am holding on to.  We have options.  We have treatments.  We can fight.

Actually we have two treatments, which makes this news even easier to handle (not to down play the blow that this news has been to our entire family and especially Missy, who will have to have a third brain surgery in 18 months).  Four months ago the doctors took Missy off an IV infusion treatment that was meant to cut off the blood supply to the tumor.  The six months she was on that medication there was no growth.  She was also on a chemotherapy pill, which they left her on, but gave her a break from the IV medication.  Without that medication the tumor has grown out of control. 

Fighting cancer is very hard.  And the most effect way to fight it is to remove as much as possible.  And that's what they want to do.  The most effective treatment.  Because she is very strong, she is fighting very hard, and they want to give her the very best chance to beat this.  And that means taking out what they can, then putting her back on the medication that we now know works to stop growth of whatever is left.  So we think that is the plan.  So we will know for sure on Tuesday, but we are expecting surgery in early January. 

Fuck yesterday.  Fuck Cancer. Today we are looking at how lucky we are to have two very good ways to fight this cancer.  Today we are fighting.

**Yesterday also held news on Baby Girl, but nothing exciting like a planned birth day.  They say she has flipped back over, but we found out they are basing her position by nothing but feel.  She has not had an ultrasound since she was 7 months (her one and only ultrasound).  The birth mom did not realize she was pregnant until she was six months along, so her dates are very questionable.  The birth mom is not dilated at all, baby and mom are both doing good, blood pressure is fine, they seem set to just let her keep going and let Baby Girl decide when she is ready.  Could be soon, could be in January.  Who the heck knows at this point.

**Yesterday also included the event of a LIVE SQUIRREL getting into our house.  That's right.  But that is a story for another day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Backing Up

I don't have any news on either of my sisters yet this morning.  When I know about Missy's results I will post over on her blog and will update this post to let you know it is posted.   I will also update this post to include any new news with Baby Girl, short of a birth.  A birth will of course receive it's very own blog post.

I was reading Melissa over at Stirrup Queen's blog last night and she had a post about backing up your blog.  Reading it gave me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Oh lord, I have really been MEANING to back up this blog.  I have been MEANING to do it for the last...Five years.

The truth of the matter is that this blog is not saved anywhere but right here.  I have no copies of posts.  No saved template.  No back up of comments.  No nothing.  NOTHING. If there was a glitch in the Matrix and I logged in to Blogger tomorrow and found a notice that my blog was gone, corrupted or accidentally deleted, there would be nothing I could do.  It would just be lost.

Do you know how devastating that would be for me?  DO YOU??    So after being freaked out by Melissa I decided that I was going to back up RIGHT THEN.  Of course I did.  Because what if my blog is GONE in the morning?  What if it is GONE in ten minutes?? DO I HAVE TIME TO BACK IT UP BEFORE IT GETS DELETED?  I decided the quickest easiest way to do a basic back up was to first just copy and past all my posts into a word document. This was suggested by Melissa, so I didn't come up with the plan on my own.  I know there are ways to back it up online, and I want to do that TOO, but I thought for now a Word document of all my posts would allow me to sleep at night.

So I started cutting and pasting.  The most recent posts first, then just clicking "Older Posts" to get to the next page.  I was doing about 20 posts at a time, and I thought it would be a quick process.

You guys.  How do you even read this blog?  It is a NOVEL of epic proportions.  Do you want to know how far I made it with my copy and paste method?  I made it to May.  Of THIS YEAR.  Do you know how long that took me?  OVER AN HOUR.

And here's the kicker.  Do you want to know how long my Word document was for the last eight months?

253 pages.

And I know what you are thinking. I do.  I have a lot of pictures posted.  Surely most of that 253 pages are picture, right?  Well Word also gave me a word count on my document.  Are you ready?



Now I just need to copy and past the other FOUR YEARS AND THREE MONTHS into the document.

Good lord.

Do you all back up your blog?  Do you make a copy as you go?  Does anybody have a good blog back up method they would like to share with me?  Clearly I need one.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Can't Even Think of a Title

I feel like I should post, but am lacking in subjects to talk about.  Or rather, my mind is just consumed with thoughts of Christmas and gifts, wrapping and finishing up work for the year... Oh, and the fact that BABY GIRL WILL BE BORN ANY MINUTE!   And between all that thinking I can't seem to string together one solid thought for blogging. Not even a title. But I am here.  All is well.  We are waiting. 

The birth mom is 40 weeks tomorrow.  She went to the doctor yesterday and found out that Baby Girl has flipped back around and is now breech.  For some reason they did not schedule her for a C-section , but instead just told her to come back in to the office tomorrow.  We are hoping for some kind of a plan then.

In other sister related news, Missy is up at the NIH for her 8 week scan to see how things are looking.  All prayers and good thoughts are very appreciated for both of my sisters over the next 48 hours. Prayers for good MRI's and for a safe delivery of Baby Girl ASAP.  If she is born this weekend Boo and Chris might still have a chance of being home for Christmas. Otherwise they will most likely be in a hotel celebrating with their new baby several hours away. 

So that's about it I guess.  Not much of a post.  I guess I can leave you with a picture at least...
Someone is REALLY ready to meet her baby sister!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Party!

This weekend we had our annual Friend Christmas party.  While going back and pulling up the archives for our partiess of years past I realized that I ALWAYS seem to title the post "Christmas Party!".  Who am I to break tradition.

So Friend Christmas has become one of my favorite nights of the year.  It isn't that it is a huge deal, it's just that it's a tradition.  And I am a fan of all things tradition!  I remember hosting Friend Christmas (with many of these same people in attendance) back in 1999 when I was a sophomore in college.  I have been blogging about it since 2005.  Here is an archive of Friend Christmas blog posts: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 , 2009 and 2010 ! That's a lot of Friend Christmas.

So this year we returned to Boo and Chris' house for our annual Christmas Party.  The entire event felt rather up in the air right up until it's start time because we had no idea if Boo and Chris would have to drop everything and head to meet Baby Girl.  Alas, the child is stubbornly staying where she is, so the party went as planned at their house. 
Friend Christmas 2011
Our hosts were happy to be there, but also REALLY want this sweet girl to be born!
Friend Christmas 2011
Boo had all the pictures of the girls from years past on the fridge, and we realized we forgot to take one last year.  We made sure to get the girl group shot early this year!
Friend Christmas 2011
The guys also wanted a group shot.  Or...the girls decided they did.  Still, aren't they handsome?
Friend Christmas 2011
This seems to be the only action shot I got, and I took no pictures of food or what have you, but trust me when I say we had so much fun.  (and we ate an insane volume of food). The gift exchange game was played, we broke out the white board for our annual boys vs girls Christmas Pictionary, the white board later turned into target practice for the Nerf gun Missy won at the gift exchange.  It. Was. Awesome. 
Friend Christmas 2011
Now to random shots of people at the party (that MAYBE only people at the party will care about, but whatever)  Here are me and Nicholas.  Enjoying the holiday festivities.
Friend Christmas 2011
Sisters.  Love.
Friend Christmas 2011
Missy and George looking adorable
Friend Christmas 2011
Me and Andy.  I kinda love this picture of us.  All these years of friendship and I think it might be the first picture ever of me and Andy.
Friend Christmas 2011
I actually made it my mission to mix up the pictures this year and get people photographed together who aren't usually in pics together. I feel it was a success.
Friend Christmas 2011
Brother and Sister.  Also love.
Friend Christmas 2011
The Kelsey Clan.  Now that Morgan is officially 18 she has graduated from ZPO junior member and is just 100% ZPO.  we need to plan an initiation.
Friend Christmas 2011
Ryan and Arielle. This is not an unusual combination, since they are married.
Friend Christmas 2011
As are these two, Rhi and Chris.  Maybe I didn't do as good with my picture mash ups as I thought...
Friend Christmas 2011
Oh well.  The pictures are nice, but the memories are better.  I love our little group of friends.  And I love celebrating the holidays together.  Yay for Friend Christmas!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Finished!! (My Last Outlander Book Review)

Over six thousand pages.  SIX THOUSAND.  Do you know how attached you get to characters after SIX THOUSAND PAGES.  (no, I will never stop capitalizing it.  It should be shouted.  SIX! THOUSAND! PAGES!)  It's like I don't know what to do with myself.  How can I be at the END of what has been released of the series? For some reason I actually thought this book was the last ever.  Like,  I was prepared to be DONE done.  But no no, there is another one coming out.  Just not for another year.  A YEAR.  Are you KIDDING me?  It would be easier if it was actually done.  Because then there would be closure.  But no, I read SIX THOUSAND PAGES and am left with CLIFFHANGERS. It  might kill me.
Okay, so My feelings on Echo In the Bone.  Given to you in bullet form, of course.  The only people who might find this interesting are my mom and aunt, but I DO NOT CARE.  SIX. THOUSAND. PAGES.  It deserves one more blog post.  Spoilers abound below. 
  •  Okay, we are going to start at the end and then I will attempt to remember my other feelings but for now, THE END is all that matters.  Lets just get to the heart of the matter here.  Claire thought Jamie was dead and she SLEPT WITH LORD JOHN.  I  know. I cannot turn off the cap lock.  But LORD JOHN?  I love him.  Truly.  And I get it, he was protecting her from being arrestested so they had to marry...but I was like, "Well THAT'S a safe marriage! Jamie will understand!"  Wait, WHAT? She slept with him?  I did find it funny (and am so glad that it was in this book) when Lord John told Jamie about it and Jamie just said "Oh? Why?"  Like he was too shocked to even be mad. Although, oh he will not be pleased with it in the next book.  I feel sure.

  • William. Oh Willie.  I love him.  And I am really glad they didn't drag out the "will William ever see Jamie and KNOW??" question any longer.  Although once you know that William dreams about Jamie (as Mac the groom) and still wears his rosary and all that... I find it hard to believe he wouldn't recognize him when he went to the Ridge back in book 4.

  • WHEN the hell is Roger?  And did I miss something or did Diana Gabaldon just like FORGET to give us an end to that entire story line.  Am I wrong to think that Jemmy is stuck in the dark on the train (NEAR THE TIME PORTAL!) but Roger thinks he is in the past and went after him (with his five times great grandfather!), so NOBODY CAN TELL HIM. And you KNOW he wont come home without Jemmy!  And Bree is in her house with the no good Cameron guy trying to find out where the gold is?  That is not how you end books DIANA.  I need closure!

  • Speaking of Bree, why in the hell wont she read all the letters?  If Henry was taken back in time (and we were able to time travel and I had letters from my parents...okay, if I was BREE) , the first thing I would do is read every single thing my parents wrote me in case it says "Oh sweetie, Roger is here but we can't find Jemmy... we think he might be there with you.  Why don't you look for him, then come here and join us"  I mean, that MIGHT be in a letter, right?  And then the next letter could be from HERSELF and say "Hi Me.  Mandy and I made it fine.  Don't be afraid to come on back!"

  • Young Ian.  Is "Runs with Lizards" actually his son, or does he just "have Ian's spirit".  Like genetically... are they related?  I am confused. 

  •  I am in love with Ian and Rachel.  When Rachel says "Thee are my wolf"  I about died.  ABOUT. DIED.  I was REALLY worried there was going to be a love triangle with William so I am glad that didn't happen.  Although clearly William was into her.  Poor Willie.  He needs to catch a break in the next book. 

  • I am SO GLAD Arch Bug is dead.  I have been terrified of him and what he might DOooooo to someone I love. 

  • Old Ian.  How sad was his death? And then the fact that Jenny felt like her home wasn't hers anymore.  It makes me so sad for her, even though I am still angry about her telling Claire she has no soul.  HELLO, cold hearted.  But her husband was dying and she thinks Claire is a maybe I see her point.  (so glad Jenny is in America now. I think she will be a great addition to the next book)

  • ROGER.  WHEN ARE YOU?  (I know I already mentioned this one, but I love him.  I needed to ask again)

  • What in the heck are Fergus and Marsali doing letting Germain hand out these dangerous papers AND learn to be a pick pocket.  THESE ARE DANGEROUS TIMES!  And then CLAIRE goes and gets caught handing them out.  These people need to learn to lay low. Espcially when there is no Jamie to get you out of trouble.

  • I love Rollo, although I do wonder how old he is now. He's a really big dog, and I think they have been in America over 10 years, right? And he was already full grown then.  I wont question it because I NEVER want Rollo to die. 

  • I loved the cousin bond between Ian and William, even though William didn't know they were really cousins.  And when they called him Bear Cub because he picked the bear to be his spirit animal, and Ian brought the gift from "Bear Killer".  I loved that part.

  • I am really enjoying the American Revolution parts of this book, and it makes me want to go see all the battle fields and things! Look, reading these books are making me care about my nation's history!

I am sure there are more, but that's what I remember for now.  I loved this book.  After the series took a dip at the Firey Cross (book 5), I really think A Breath of Snow and Ashes (book 6) and An Echo in the Bone (Book 7) have been awesome.  I am enjoying the end of the series more than I did the beginning, and that is really saying something.  Can't wait for the next book!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Henry and Cici love each other so much.  Like, SO. MUCH.  I can't really explain it, but already you can see that their relationship is special.  I always want pictures of them together that capture their bond, but every time I try to snap a few shots they both look wrong.  I can't get them to smile, I can't get them both to look, I can't really capture the love.  Until now. I finally realized I didn't need them both posed and smiling at me.  I just needed to try to catch a glimpse of them being themselves. Together.

We snapped these while trying to get pictures of them for each of our Christmas cards.  What do you think, did we capture it?
Winter 2011
They love holding hands.  They do it on their own.So they are sure they stay together.
Winter 2011
They run together, but Henry makes sure Cici can always keep up, slowing down and saying "Run Cici, RUN!!"
Winter 2011
Our sweet girl
Winter 2011
And our big boy*
Winter 2011
They love being together.  And it makes me so happy.

* This is the picture in our Christmas card.  I am in LOVE with it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finding Friends

Thank you all for your sweet comments and emails after my post yesterday.  I am really okay.  Actually I am dramatically better.  It's amazing how healing talking about things can be.  And these are hard things to talk about out loud. But writing about them, that I can do.  And I am so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing friends both in real life and online that are so very supportive of this healing process.  I am always a little embarrassed when the responses start rolling in.  I am so very touched, but then also worry that I have made too big a deal out of things, been too open, too honest.  But there is just no denying how healing your words of encouragement are to me.  So thank you.

Speaking of my online friends, I have made such amazing friends within this online community.  True friends.   I didn't realize what amazing people I would find when I started blogging.  But here you are.  My online friends.  Who really don't need the world "online" in front of their names.  They are my friends, pure and simple.  And I am so lucky to be a part of this group.

A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail from England.  One my my best blogging friends had wanted to send a gift to Baby Girl.  She knitted hats for our new girl, for Cici and of course for Henry too.
Winter 2011
How amazing is that?  Thank you Amanda, for your constant words of encouragement here on the blog, and for taking the time to make something so special for our sweet babies.

I am mailing out three packages today.  Packages for a Secret Santa, and two other packages of baby boy Christmas clothes. I may not yet be ready to sell his stuff, but I can share them.  I can send a few things to my close friends who have little boys of their own.  All three packages are going to friends.  Friends I have met online.

Thank you for being here, and thank you for supporting me.  I am not sure how people do these things alone.  My friends and family here, my friends and family online.  Without you, this would seem impossible.  Both the good and the bad.  The infertility and the heart break it brings, but mainly the love, the parenting.  It is so much easier with a village of loved ones that love this little guy almost as much as I do.
Winter 2011
My little dinosaur

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Last night Nick and Boo climbed into our attic to pull down some baby gear.  The travel swing, the Bjorne, and lots of newborn gowns.  Our sweet girl will be here ANY MINUTE so all the last minute prep is under way.  Since we didn't know if Henry was a boy or girl until he was born, we were well stocked in the neutral gown/sleeper department.  Boo and Chris used these clothes for Cici in her first few weeks of life, and were planning to use them for Baby Girl too.

So, we broke out Henry's newborn clothes last night.  The sleepers and the gowns.  The hats and the blankets.  The stuff.  And I remember lending it to them for Darcy, and saying "Just give it back when you are done because we are doing out FET soon!".  I remember those tiny little clothes coming home and Nick carefully putting them back in the attic where they could be found again.  For our new baby.  I was pulling things out, sorting into piles of what they wanted to take and what was going back in the attic, and Nick make some joke about getting rid of it when they were done... and my eyes filled with tears. We laughed, because... how silly.  But then I had a hard time holding it in.  We laughed more, because what do you do? What do you say? How do you control emotions that are TOTALLY unwanted and out of your control?  I just... I could cry right now.  Full disclosure, I AM actually crying just a little right now.

It's not jealousy.  Not even a little bit.  This really has nothing to do with the Baby Girl.  I am so thrilled for them and have been from the moment this adoption started.  I am so thrilled for ME.  I want my sweet niece in my arms more than I can tell you.  These emotions have nothing to do with their family being complete.  It's just that seeing Henry's baby clothes, the idea of new babies, of second children, of still rubs such a raw spot in my heart.  An extremely sensitive spot that I try so hard to hide.

So often I get comments and emails on this blog telling me that people are jealous of how well I am handling the acceptance of our family of three.  That I am doing so well! How Great! How Wonderful! An Inspiration in being happy with what you have!

I can't bring myself to get rid of a single thing of Henry's from when he was little.  I promise Nick I will.  It's taking over the attic.  There is so much STUFF, and we don't need it.  Not anymore. I tell him I will clean it out. I will weed it down to just my favorites.  I will.  But then I just "forget".  Or I make plans to put it in this consignment sale that is later.  Not now.  Not yet.  Because... how can I get rid of this baby stuff.  This stuff I might nee... oh wait.  No, I wont need it again.

And yet I continue to "forget".  I ignore.  I cover the raw place on my heart with an over sized patch and think "I will deal with THAT later".  I think what I need it time, but then I sit holding one of Henry's sleepers from when he was born and I cry in my living room.  Six months after I so bravely accepted that it was all said and done.  Just  a few days since my last email of a reader saying how I am doing so well.  An Inspiration!

Am I really?  Or am I just good at faking it? I try to not let it control me. To not take away from my time with Henry.  I refuse to spend his childhood so upset that there isn't another that I don't enjoy the one I am blessed enough to have.  I guess in that regard, I am doing okay.

We have talked so much about the new baby, and for some reason Henry has started saying "TWO Babies!" all the time.  I am not sure why.  I don't know if he means him and Cici, or Cici and her sister, or if he wants a baby of his own.  He is too little to tell me, and honestly I would be too afraid to ask.  But I know one day he will ask for a brother or sister.  And I know that once again the bandage will be torn off that raw place, and I don't know how to prevent it.  I don't know how to develop a callus that protects my heart.  Because I want to feel nothing but joy with my family.  I want to honestly be able to say "Mama and Papa have one baby!" and not have my heart break every. single. time.

I cannot wait to hold Baby Girl.  I cannot wait to see her with Cici.  I cannot wait to tell her how wanted and loved she is.  Not just by her parents or her sister, but by her Aunt Sarah.  And it is absolutely worth rubbing this raw place to get to be here and to be a part of this miracle.  And I am so lucky that my family understands. That Boo knows I am so happy for her, and that this rawness has nothing to do with her.  Because my god, I am happy for her. So so happy.  And totally seperate from that happiness for them is a rawness for myself.  And I feel selfish for feeling it, but it is there. And to pretend it isn't is to not be truthful about what infertility is.  It breaks your heart when you what to feel nothing but joy.  It steals from you and it leaves you raw.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

We took the babies to see Santa this weekend.  Henry did so great!
Santa 2011
I mean, how can you go wrong when Santa takes the time to read to you about Rudolf?
Santa 2011
Or shows you how to make Reindeer antlers?
Santa 2011
And even lets you hang out in his seat all alone for a bit?
Santa 2011
Unfortunately Cici was not fooled at all by these tricks. She still was TERRIFIED of the strange man in red. Luckily Santa let her hang out with Henry instead and just peeked into her Christmas picture.

Santa is the best.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mixed Tape

Last night after dinner Nick announced he was going to make a playlist.  He heads to the computer and gets to work.  I go over to see what he's doing, but he doesn't want me to see the list.  Not yet.  Henry and I head to the living room and are playing when he comes in to see if we want to listen to his creation.  Henry seems confused as Nick hits play and turns of the monitor. What, no video?  We don't usually just lay in our beds and listen to music with Henry.  We have actually never really done that with him, but we used to with each other. Back when we were young.  Teenagers listening to the songs that spoke to us.    

We all three climbed in the bed and listened to this old school mix of songs that Nick has pulled together.  Counting Crows, the Verve, The Cranberries, Oasis, Harvy Danger.  You all, it was like a sound track to my teenage years.  And it was SO AWESOME.  Literally, we just laid there.  Sometimes with Henry, but eventually he got up to play with Ellie and Nick and I just piled on the bed together, enjoying the soundtrack of our teens.  Of the time when we met. Of the time when we worked in the little local coffee shop before there were Starbucks in town.  The songs we had on mixed tapes to listen to in our old beat up cars on our way to high school each day.

We really need to start teaching Henry the joy of laying in bed and just listening to music.  Or maybe he will learn on his own as he gets older.  And he will lay and listen to Counting Crows or Ben Folds in the same way I listened to The Beatles or CCR.  Respecting the music my parents used to lay around and listen to in their teens. The music that spoke to them too.  And Henry will find his own music to lay in bed and listen to.  It's kinda of sweet to think of him there, in his room as a teenager, just listening.

Nick says tonight he is making side B of our mix tape.  I cannot wait.
That coffee shop couple, about twelve years ago.  Back when the songs we listened to last night were actually popular.