Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Birth Control

This past weekend I did something I haven't done in 7 years.  I started taking Birth Control Pills.

Warning:  This post may contain more then you ever wanted to know about my body, my period and much more.  No apologies.  You can stop reading now if you want.

I originally went on the Pill back in college to help regulate my periods.  I've always struggled with heavy cramping and bleeding and the Pill provided some much needed relief!  When we got married I continued to take the Pill since we weren't ready to start a family.

When I went off the Pill over 7 years ago I joked with Ben that he was in for the ride of his life since he had only known me when my hormones were regulated by a little pill I swallowed every morning.  My period took quite awhile to regulate itself when I first went off of it which only lead to me thinking I was pregnant every month day.  I must confess that I was administering so many pregnancy tests I started buying them at the Dollar Store. Those things can be pricey!

I learned quite a lot about my body after I went off the Pill.  I was convinced that if we timed everything just right we would get pregnant in no time.  I charted when I was ovulating (by tracking my temperature and cervical mucus--yes I just said mucus!) and waited expectantly each month.

If you know anything at all about our story you know that none of what I did ever lead to us getting pregnant.  They say with knowledge comes power.  I don't know if I agree with that statement.  For me the knowledge I gained about my body lead to much heartbreak.  I knew exactly what was happening and when it was happening and still could not control when I would conceive a child.

As time has passed my periods each month have been getting significantly worse and worse.  I have been thinking about going back on the Pill for some time but have been putting it off.  You see for me to go on the pill means in some ways that I am forever closing the door to having any biological children.

Last month my period was so awful I took myself to the ER worrying that a cyst had burst inside my uterus.  Everything checked out fine but I decided I was done with these heavy and debilitating periods.  So I scheduled an appointment with my OB/GYN and got a prescription for Birth Control Pills.

When I took the first one this last weekend I expected to feel sad or at least a little nostalgic.  I didn't.  Maybe it was because I was busy.  Or maybe it's because I've finally come to terms with the fact that my family will not grow or multiply in the way I had originally intended.

As I write this post I look expectantly to the future.  I'm about to start a new school year in a new room, in a new grade level (Yes, you can start praying now!) and will hopefully not have to suffer through any horrible and heavy periods!  (Do you know how many bathroom breaks a teacher gets during the day?!  Let's just say my bladder has gone through intense training these last 9 years!)  We also are about to turn in our Home Study paperwork (once we finish our darn CPR training!) and then will start the interview process to become certified to adopt.  All of this means we hope to bring a baby home sometime this school year!

In some ways I feel like I'm closing the door on one chapter in my life and am standing at a new door ready to start the next chapter.  I'm excited (and if I admit it a little nervous) about what God has in store for our family!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A New Fundraiser

A friend and former classroom parent of mine wants to help us bring baby #2 home! If you're in the market to buy or sell a home and need a realtor, Kari can help you out! And the best part?! She will donate a portion of her commission towards our adoption fund! All the info you need is below!  

Thanks Kari! We are so very appreciative!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Baking Soda & Vinegar

The only good thing that came from our Potty Training Weekend Disaster was it forced me to try a lot of things with Nathan that I have had pinned on Pinterest for forever!  Today we experimented with Baking Soda and Vinegar (with food coloring added)

He had trouble maneuvering the dropper so I had to help quite a bit.  I think his interest would have held longer if he could have done it himself.

It was fun watching each drop fizz!

The grand finale!

Potty Training Day 4

With the success we had at the end of the day yesterday I went to bed motivated to start this week as a single parent  (Ben is away at Camp for the week) and continue our potty training journey.  I wish I could say my motivation lasted...but it didn't.

Nathan was soaked from head to toe upon waking.  I expected this to happen and chose not to wake him in the night based on my experience the night before of him not to going back to bed.  He needed his sleep!

We had a few successful pees in the potty when bribed with stickers toward his next prize and he even stayed dry during room time and came and told me when he needed to go pee.

I decided to venture out of the house and prayed for no major accidents.  We went to Wal Mart and checked out the bathroom while we were there so Nathan could see what it would be like.  But no potty breaks since he said he didn't need to go.  Then we went to our Bagels & Blenderz and ate there. We checked out the bathroom there as well on our way out but again no potty breaks.

When we got home I made him take off his shorts since we were home and because I wanted to keep an eye on his undies in case he had an accident.  Upon taking them off I noticed he was wet and rushed him to the bathroom to finish on the toilet.  This is where the day started going downhill.  He had no interest in finishing on the potty and had accident after accident not wanting to go.  Even if I placed him on the potty as he was peeing!

I think the final straw for me was when I asked him why he didn't tell Mommy his undies were wet and he said because he wanted to eat his snack instead.  If he doesn't care about being wet I don't know what I can do to make him care.  All the snacks, treats, and prizes in the world weren't cutting it.

I still had some pride left so I thought to myself that if I put him in pull-ups instead of diapers (believe it or not we had not tried pull ups with him at all up to this point) maybe I won't be counted as a total failure.

Little did I know that putting on pull-ups would prove to be a traumatic experience for my son.  He screamed bloody murder insisting he be allowed to wear his underwear.  I told him that we needed to put a pull up on if we weren't going to keep our underwear dry.  I told him if he went in the potty he could keep them on.  He refused.  As all of this is happening he is starting to pee all over the floor and me. I got the pull up on him and he throws a huge tantrum and says it's hurting and is inconsolable.  I now feel like the World's Worst Mother on Earth.

Later when he calms down I explain to him that if he wants to wear his underwear he needs to pee on the potty and stay dry.  I think he gets it.  But I'm not sure.  And at this point have no energy to think any more about it.

As I'm sitting here writing this post who but my son should call out saying he needs to go the bathroom?  I take him.  He sits and pees.  Claps for himself and goes back to bed.  The irony!

Tomorrow I don't plan on mentioning the word potty unless Nathan brings it up.  Maybe he will. Maybe he won't.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Potty Training Fun

On our last day of our 3 Day Potty Training Adventure we did some more fun things that I found on Pinterest:

Button Sorting

The teacher in me was excited about this one!  

But Nathan lost interest pretty quickly...

Pom-Poms + Empty Water Bottle = Fine Motor Fun

I had to go back and read the directions on how she got the pom-poms back out though! Ha!

This was Nathan's favorite of the day: "Mud" (aka pinto beans) & construction vehicles.  Once he got his first potty training prize we introduced this one.

He loved it which makes me excited for his construction themed birthday party coming up in October!  

He's 3 stickers away from earning a dump truck to add to his construction site!

Potty Training Day 3

I woke up today ready to face reality that our 3 day potty adventure might be coming to an end. Yesterday was an awful day and continued into an awful night.  I've been sleeping in Nathan's room to assist him in the middle of the night if he needs to go.  It's taken him forever to fall asleep with one of us in there so he ends up falling asleep a lot later than usual.  To top it off in the middle of the night I heard him stir, asked if he need to go, he said yes and we went.  He was pretty wet but he went in the potty too (always a success).  We returned quickly to bed and the kid would NOT FALL BACK ASLEEP! 3 more trips to the bathroom and an hour and half later and he fell back asleep.  The kid was up from 2:30-4:00!  

Toddlers don't know how to sleep in so we were up at 7 as usual.  The first thing he told me was that he wanted to put his diapers back on.  Trying to make a grumpy sleep-deprived kid do something he doesn't want to do is pure torture.  But I was committed to staying positive and seeing the day through.   

Ben left for camp today at 4 and before he left we talked about what we should do if today ended the same as the night before.  Ben encouraged me to continue while he was away.  I wasn't so sure.  

As I said yesterday Nathan has needed to poop and was still continuing to struggle.  Well today I kept on him to try and go while sitting on the potty.  

And. He. Did!  

We've been bribing him with a prize from our Potty Training Toy Box all weekend if he went poop.  So we immediately gave it to him and he was THRILLED!  When I mentioned he could earn another prize by going pee and earning stickers on a sticker chart he jumped down and said "Mommy, I have to go Potty!".  Music to my ears!!!  IT CLICKED!  He stayed dry from the time he pooped until he went to bed!  And he continued to ask me to go potty!  Amazing!  

We've still got a long road ahead of us and I must admit I'm pretty nervous about venturing outside the house but this was the encouragement I needed to keep going.  When I bought and downloaded the 3 Day Potty Training E-Book I remember reading that the author's first child did not get it until the end of day 3.  But I was sure that wasn't going to be my kid.  Well it was and I couldn't be happier!  Yay Nathan!  Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Potty Training Day 2

All I can say about today is I can see why people have given up on day 2 of this method!  Today was ROUGH!  The novelty of using the potty and getting a treat afterwards has wore off big time.  

He didn't want to go.  
He didn't tell us when he needed to go (unless it was time for a nap or night time-go figure!)  
And when we rushed him into the bathroom mid-pee he would scream and throw a fit and often refused to stay on the toilet to finish the job.  

We are pretty sure he needs to poop and of course that isn't happening either.  I will say that I kept it together and did not yell or scream in frustration.  Instead I reverted to tears.  Nathan didn't know what to think!  

I think the tears started today because I'm worried there may be something wrong.  Last summer Nathan had a posterior valve resection.  In layman's terms that means he had surgery to remove a blockage in his urethra.  Because this blockage had been present since birth it may have caused the walls of his bladder to thicken which in turn can make it harder to pee.  I know I'm borrowing trouble here but it's hard not to think about the possibility of there being something wrong.  

At this point Ben and I are committed to seeing the full 3 days through.  Our boy is one smart cookie.  If we were to put him back in diapers or pull-ups attempting to go potty throughout the day would go out the window.  Why stop playing to pee on the toilet when you can just pee right there?!  And if we tried to do pull-ups just at nap & night I can see our boy easily holding it until the pull up was on and he could go in his bed by himself.  

Amidst the frustration of this day as far as potty training goes we still managed to squeeze in one new fun activity.  Nathan tried out "Bingo Daubers":

He likes to draw with them more than "daub"

Here's to hoping Day 3 goes much better!  Tomorrow we'll be celebrating the Sabbath from home and thanking Jesus for every victory in the toilet  (no matter how big or small)!  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Potty Training Day 1

Well 27 pairs of underwear and 1 roll of toilet paper later we are close to the end of day 1 of our 3 day potty training adventure.  I say close because our adventure is non-stop for these 72 hours.  Ben and I are taking turns sleeping in Nathan's room so if he needs to go in the middle of the night we are there to assist. So far we've had a lot of pee in underwear but an equal amount of pee in the toilet.  Here are some pics I managed to squeeze in when I wasn't staring at Nathan waiting for an accident to occur:

Throwing out all of the Diapers!  Those are for babies! 

Getting ready to put on his first set of real underwear!

Downing his first (yes, I said, first--I'm on one of those Moms) juice box in order to get things flowing...

Since we normally get out of the house each day for fun (okay if I'm honest it's for my own sanity!)  I went to Pinterest for ideas of things we could do while we are locked in for the next 72 hours.  First up I created a runway for Nathan to use with his planes:

All you need to create your own is blue tape and a piece of poster board!

Eating a fruit & veggie popsicle to keep things moving along...

I decided it was time to try out some scissors.  He LOVED it!  He predominately uses his left hand to do most things but he actually found cutting to be easier with his right.  In the picture below he started with his left.  

We listened to my Kindergarten cutting song as we worked.  So much fun!

By the end he was switching back and forth.  We may have an ambidextrous son!

Next up on the list were some printable roads I found on Pinterest.  You can find them for yourself here.

Nathan had a blast constructing different roads for his cars to drive on!

Is this not the cutest bottom you've seen?!

It's almost my shift in Nathan's room.  I have a feeling my dreams will be focused on pee and poop.  You may hear me talking in my sleep saying some of the following phrases as well:

Tell Mommy and Daddy if you need to go Potty

Are you dry?!  Good Job!

Keeping pushing your pee out!

Here's to waking up to dry undies and sheets!  
(Just for the record I'm referring to Nathan, not myself!)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fireman to the Rescue

Fireman to the rescue!  Who needs a fire truck when you've got a dinosaur?!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Puzzle Fundraiser

It's time for another fundraiser and we are sooooo excited about it!  Recently we had some pictures taken for our adoption and had this one turned into a puzzle:

Our Journey Group volunteered was coerced into helping us assemble it:

We made a lot of progress in one night!

Our littlest helper slept through the whole thing!

My Mom (aka the Master Puzzle Maker) helped us finish the puzzle!

Now the question is, will YOU be the missing piece to our puzzle?!

Are you confused yet?  Well let me explain how it works!  Our puzzle has 513 pieces.  We are asking people to "sponsor" each piece of our puzzle for $5.  

If every piece of our puzzle is sponsored we will raise $2565 for our adoption fund!  

Whenever someone sponsors a piece of the puzzle we will write their name on the back of that piece.  When the puzzle is complete we plan on framing it in a double sided glass frame and hanging it in our home.   On the front you'll see the picture and on the back you'll see the names of 513 people who helped us bring our baby home!  Are you excited yet?!

If you would like to sponsor a piece of our puzzle here's what you need to do:

1) E-mail, FB Message, Text or Call Alisha and tell her you want to sponsor a piece!

2) Submit your donation via the donate button on our blog through Pay Pal or send us a check in the mail.  Or if you live close feel free to hand us your $ in person!

That's it!

Oh and by the way... if you want to sponsor more than one piece no one is going to stop you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I'm going to try my best not to make this blog post into a rant but if it ends up sounding like one I apologize in advance!

As we are filling out a pile of paperwork for our home study I have been struggling with bitterness.  This bitterness may be caused somewhat by the fact that this is the second time we are having a home study done.  If we were still living in AZ we would have been able to renew our home study but since we've moved to CA we get to start ALL OVER AGAIN.

The paperwork hasn't been horrible, it's more of the stuff we have to do (Mind you these are only SOME of the things we have to do!):

-We had to go get our fingerprints done.
-We have to get CPR certified.
-We have to submit a driving record.
-We have to make copies of our Driver's License, Marriage License and our Birth Certificates.

It's a lot to do and up until today I thought I was on top of everything.  But I'm not.  And it's frustrating.  And it's causing me to grow bitter.  Although I have never been a biological parent I"m pretty sure they don't have to do any of the above in order to have a child.  In fact I'm almost positive they don't.  And that makes me a little bitter too.  Because let's be realistic: if I got pregnant I could sit back, put my feet up and wait for 9 months until a baby pops out of me.  Right?!  (Sorry there's no font for sarcasm in blogger)  In reality, I didn't choose not to be a biological parent, the choice was made for me.  And that sometimes makes me bitter too.

I'm desperate to add to our family.  And if I admit it I'm in a little bit of a hurry.  And all this stuff I have to get done is keeping me from cradling a new baby in my arms.  And I may or may not have a tiny bit of baby fever!

So where does someone who finds herself growing bitter turn to?  God's word!

In the book of Ruth, Noami told those around her to call her "Mara" because the Lord had made her life bitter.  Everything Noami had was stripped away from her.  But in her bitterness she chose to still find Hope in God.  And Hope she found through Ruth and her Kinsman-Redeemer Boaz!  God did not forsake her!

In the book of Genesis, Esau was bitter over losing his birthright and blessing.  He was cheated out of what was his.  When he was reunited with his brother though, Jacob found that he was no longer bitter.  He had chosen to find joy in what he had been given.

In the book of Philippians we find Paul imprisoned.  Instead of choosing to grow bitter he used his situation to share the gospel of Christ with those who may not have heard it otherwise!

Although it may be hard.  Although it might seem impossible some days.  I will choose to not grow bitter.  I will choose to find Hope in my Redeemer.  And maybe, just maybe, my story can encourage others to do the same.