Friday, January 3, 2014

The end of 2013

BE WARNED, there are some graphic pics in this post.  It seems like this is becoming a tradition in our New Years Post...

As you can see from earlier post, we have had a great year in many ways.  But that isn't to say we haven'd had our trials.  One of our biggest trials has actually been for the past few years, which is infertility.  We have been so blessed to have our two children, so by no means am I complaining.  Neither Tate or Addie were planned, but I can't help but wonder if we didn't have them when we did, if we would have been able to have them at all.  If we waited to have kids, there is also the chance that they would have ended up very far apart in age.  This would have been sad since they do have each other to enjoy while growing up (even though they fight pretty much 24/7).  I have to believe that God played a huge part in the timing of it all.

In 2012 Matt and I decided to go to an infertility specialist.  Both Matt and I were checked out and nothing stood out too alarming as to why I couldn't get pregnant.   Because we had been trying for over a year already, I was getting worried since my other two were getting older.  I didn't want there to be too big of an age gap between the youngest and older two.  I also decided I didn't want any regrets of not trying everything I could to have another baby incase it never happened.  For this reason we moved forward with our options and months later we started our first round of artificial insemination.  We would try 3-4 times.  Our doctor was very positive this would do the trick, but on our last and final AI we learned it had not worked.  By now it was Nov. 2013.  I hated feeling sorry for myself, especially knowing how lucky we are to have our two.  But I also have to admit that each time I went through AI and it failed, I got a little more sad and more discouraged.

We went in to meet with our doctor.  Matt and I learned that his insurance would cover almost all of in vitro if we chose to go that route.  The problem was his insurance would change by the new year so we had to get moving quickly.  Once again I thought about how I wanted "no regrets".

If we had to pay the full cost of in vitro we wouldn't do it.  We already had two children and with the cost there is no guarantee.  In fact the percentage of getting pregnant with in vitro is much smaller then you would think.  It is only a 30-35% chance for women under the 35.  Since everything would pretty much be covered it was a no brainer so we went forward with in vitro.

In vitro put me on an emotional roller coaster.  I began the treatments the following day after meeting with my doctor.  Shots everyday and blood test every other.  During this process the shots you inject in yourself cause your ovaries to enlarge EXTRA big.  I was super uncomfortable and bloated.  I could hardly bend over and had no clue, til then, what in vitro puts your body through.  Not only physically, but mentally.

Once again we were all very hopeful but again the treatment failed.  I never thought I would have taken it as hard as I did.  It was a huge let down.  We have enough embryo's for at least one more in vitro cycle but I hate getting my hopes up.  It's especially hard knowing this will be our last try.

During all of this self pity I had no clue what else was about to unfold.  During my in vitro cycle my father noticed a lump in his back growing at an extremely fast rate.  He went to get it checked and the findings were not good.

My parents decided to wait to tell me of any of this as they did not want the stress to cause me not to get pregnant.  They would feel too bad if they told me and I didn't get pregnant, out of fear that it was a result caused by the stress.  The waited until a few days after I found out I wasn't pregnant and a couple days before my dad was to head in for surgery.  I respect them for that decision.

My dad had cancer.  The tumor they found was at a stage 3 and they would not be able to tell if it spread until they took it out.  Even then, it would be unknown if it got into the blood because this kind of cancer will not show in blood test.  Enough of my self pity, I now was filled with the pain for my dad and the fear of the unknown.

In Dec. my dad went in for surgery to have the tumor removed.  It was the size of a grapefruit and until they could fully dissect the tumor we would have to wait for results to see if the cancer had spread.  This also meant that they would have to leave the hole in his back opened in case they needed to go back in.  They covered it with sort of a plug looking thing with a tube attached to a machine he would have to carry around.  All through Christmas my poor dad had to walk around with a tube coming out of his back carrying a bag with a machine attached.  He was super uncomfortable.

We were so relived to learn the cancer had not spread.  There is still a small chance it got in the blood, but most likely they got it out.  Right before the new year they were able to sew his back up and when it heals in the next month he will begin radiation.

Here is a picture of my dads back with the plug/tube thing and a picture of what it looked like when they took it out.  Not pretty.

I love my dad and this scare really got  to me.  I feel so blessed that right now things are looking the way they do. I know things could be far worse than they are now.

My mom also sent us in for a scare shortly after Christmas when she got in a car accident with a bus.  The bus hit her on the driver side.  Her car was totaled and she defiantly sot some bruises and soreness.  I happened to call her right after she got in the accident and headed over to help.  She seemed pretty shooken up and I knew my dad wasn't feeling his best either so I wanted to help as much as I could.  I have to admit that for reasons like this, I am so happy to be back in Utah close to family.  I can't imagine being too far away to help and check in on them.  As much as I miss cali and as much as family can get overbearing at times, I know I wouldn't change a thing.  Being close to them and building the memories we can because we live close, is something that is irreplaceable.

It will be interesting to see what this new year will bring.  So much is in the air.  I am looking forward to it though, and hope I can appreciate all we have been given more because of the lessons I have learned thus far.

Welcome 2014!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Round Up still Continues...

 In August the kids started school.  Addie had her first day of kindergarten and Tate was a third grader at a new school.  I transferred the kids to Charter school in hope that it would be a better fit for Tate.  He wasn't excited about the uniforms but I actually thought it was sort of cute.  So far the school has been great and I think it was a good move for both Tate and Addie.

Every 3 years I do a big birthday for the kids.  This year Addie got her big birthday which was a hit.  She wanted to do a Fashion Show theme.  The kids all got to choose their own dress to model and my nieces did their makeup.  We practiced our fashion walks and turns and took our fashion photos.  Near the end when parents showed up the girls put on a fashion show for them.  I created a runway on our basement and turned on some music.  They all had a good time and it was fun watching the girls pretend to be models.

In October we had our Halloween Kid Party.  Halloween is my favorite holiday and I love getting all into it and letting the kids join in all the fun as well.  Sadly I didn't get many pictures of the decorations, but we hosted it in our unfinished basement.  I hung lanterns all ober and had tables set up for food and crafts.  The kids played pumpkin bowling with liters of soda in our front yard.  My friend and her husband were over the games. We rotated groups since it was such a large amount of kids. Towards the end of the last transition, I went out to see how the pumpkin bowling was going.  When I walked outside it was a mad house. There were pumpkins being thrown in the air and seeds everywhere.  Then I caught a glimpse of my friends husband shaking a litter of soda, throwing it int he air and as soon as it hit the ground it shot off like a rocket.  Soda everywhere.  I wasn't thrilled about the mess but the kids were loving it so I gave in.  I also have to admit seeing all the chaos was rather funny.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Round Up Continue...

In June Addie graduated Pre-school. This is also when she announced she wanted to be a captain of a ship when asked "What do you want to be when you grown up".

June is also dance recital time. 2013 was exceptionally fun because I taught dance at my sisters dance studio.  I've missed dance and using my creativity, being a dance teacher gave me the opportunity to bring both of these back into my life.  I taught one Preschool Creative Ballet Class and 3 Dance With Me (age 18 months - 3 years old) classes. It was a blast and Addie seemed to enjoy having me be a teacher at the studio as well.  The theme for the recital was Fairytales, Fables and Folklore's.  Addie was in 3 dances Noah's Ark, Star Constellations and Gingerbread Man.  She did great and LOVES dance!  My dance class did "Princess and The Pea".  It was fun because I used my creativity to create a huge bed for the stage scenery. It turned out awesome and my little dances looked so cute on stage.

In July we headed to Northern California to San Francisco.  Here we met up with our good friends the Johnson's, from Southern Cali.  While we visited San Francisco we went to a magic show where Tate and I got to go on stage for a couple of different tricks.  Tate was hilarious on stage.  I don't even remember what he did, but he was just being Tate and everyone in the audience was laughing at him.  We also took the kids to Alcatraz which we weren't sure how it would be but the kids were great. Tate actually really enjoyed it and had lots of questions about the prison when our tour was over.  We also went to an awesome park at the Golden Gate park and saw the Golden Gate bridge. It was such a fun vacation and so nice being able to spend a few days with them and their kids. 

After San Francisco we headed to Yosemite for the Snow Family Trip.  It was so beautiful there and Matt and I hiked The Half Dome, which was wicked scary.