Saturday, August 23, 2014

Baby Clothes on the Cheap

Our little man is going through clothes at lightening speed.  He's wearing 18-24 months clothes right now and I'm grateful for creating a stock pile when I had the time to browse.  I try to stick to an under $5 rule.  I'm already looking forward to Black Friday deals so I can stock up.  I know...so sad...but I can't help it :)

Thought I would share the websites and stores where I find the best deals:

MyHabit.com is a new website that is owned by Amazon.  It functions a lot like Zulily, which is another one I watch for free shipping items.  They have new items every day and they are always discounted.

Ebates is awesome.  It gives you cash back on pretty much anything you buy online.

Other stores that I watch for deals are:

Ross
BabiesRUs
TJMaxx
Marshalls
Walmart
Macy's
H&M
Gap
Target
and local consignment/resale shops

Any that I'm missing?? Please share!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Birth mom visit & road trip

The munchkin is 9 months old this week!!  He has 6 teeth and weights 24.5 lbs.  He's pulling himself up to stand like a little pro and is moving from one piece of furniture to the next.

We took a little road trip this week with a friend of mine that I've known since high school.  It was nice just to have a little change in scenery if only for a couple days.  The baby did great in the car and he took a little dip in the river and loved it.  My friend commented on how parenting is just non stop and he said that I've always been very organized and just kind of on top of things, but now with a kid he kind of pointed out how it's impossible.  With everything you have to cart around and remember it is kind of chaos from his perspective, but he did enjoy playing with him and hanging out.  Vacations are no longer the vacations I've had in the past, but I wouldn't change it.  And I wouldn't leave him at home at this age either.  He's never been away overnight and I'm not sure when I'll be ready for that step.  Not anytime soon!

I met with his birth mom last week and took him with me.  We went shopping for some interview clothes for her.  She's trying very hard to get a job and I wanted to help.  She wasn't emotional when she saw the baby or when she held him or even when I dropped her off after shopping.  She was holding him in the store and she told me that if she passed him on the street she would have no idea he was her baby.  She told me that he looks like me, which is strangely what a lot of people have said even though they know he's adopted.  She asked the baby if he was ready for a little sister.  This makes the 4th time she's brought up a sibling.  I don't think she's currently pregnant, but I do think she wants to give him a sibling.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's been a while!

I've been quiet lately, I know.  Life has gotten in the way of frequent updates.

Levothyroxine/Thyroid update: after just over a month of taking the medication I took myself off of it.  I loathe taking medication and I feel like it was another daily reminder of our infertility struggles. I don't know if that means I've given up or given in or just want to enjoy my life right now just the way it is.  Whatever it means, I'm good with it.  When I stopped the meds my skin broke out like crazy and it just solidified the reason why I don't like taking anything.  I felt like meds were coming out of my pores and that it was just toxic.

Baby update: he is almost 8 months!  Holy moly why does it seem to go by so fast?!  He's mimicking now and starting to practice talking.  He's crawling like crazy and got his first little cold recently.  I used homeopathic treatments and it went away in just a couple days.  Was very proud of myself for that one even though everyone was telling me to take him to the doctor for antibiotics.  Turns out he didn't need them and he's almost completely back to his normal self.

Work has been insanely busy for me.  I'm not going to lie, it's been stressful keeping up with everything, but I'm managing.  Luckily we have a very reliable caregiver that can come to our home when I have appointments which are sometimes very last minute.

Birth mom:  She is back in town and has been hanging out with the bio dad.  I met with her and had lunch and just caught up.  She seems to be in a very good place and it was a good visit with her.  Last week she called wanting to have what is now our 3rd conversation about a sibling.  She just wanted to make sure again that if she's pregnant we would want to adopt the baby.  Then she asked me if I would go to a doctors appointment with her in the next couple of weeks.  She said that it's just a checkup, but it has me wondering.  She's not one to jump to go to the doctor considering she didn't have any prenatal care until she was 5+ months pregnant.  I'm wondering if she's pregnant and wants me there when it's confirmed????  She scheduled it for this Friday, but had to cancel because of my schedule.  I'm waiting to hear when the appointment will be.

In all of this, there is a repeat lesson it seems that there is no way to predict the future.  Any semblance of control is an illusion and life is full of surprises.  I try not to stress about the what ifs or hows, but it's a struggle some days.  It seems like building our family is completely out of our hands, but then I remind myself that really if you think about it it's like that for everyone, infertile or not.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Baby Food Stage

This next transition was hard for me.  I was not looking forward to the fact that Jones wouldn't just be bottle fed.  I waited until after his 6 month birthday to try any solid food.  We started with avocado, which he really liked.  Then we gave him a couple tastes of banana which he surprisingly didn't like.  This last weekend he tried sweet potatoes and loved it.  I went a couple days not giving him solids at dinner and he woke up both of those nights wanting a bottle.  So it's official, the little guy needs solid food.  I have to get over it.  It's funny because I never saw myself as someone that would have a hard time with these transitional stages, but I do!!

So far everything he's tried has been homemade, which I'm very grateful for.  But realistically I know that I won't always have that option and at this point it's necessary for him to have a little more than just a bottle each day at dinner.

So began the research of what baby foods I would be willing to use.  I decided to share this to spare others the time I spent on researching all of this and driving around to stores.  My requirements were that they had to be certified organic, in BPA free containers and sugar free.  I also used this Food Babe article to help me weed through the ingredients that seem harmless.  Even though it's a article about coffee this was sadly relevant to most baby food because of this section of the article:

"Look out for these hidden GMO ingredients: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products"

I started on Amazon since I buy pretty much everything on there.  They also usually have a picture for the nutritional and ingredient labels so that you can read it before purchasing.  The first brand I cam across was Plum Organics.  Everything looked great until I got to their Puffs and noticed that they added cane sugar.  So I crossed them off the list.  The next brand was Happy Baby and everything looked great until I saw that they added Ascorbic Acid.  So that was eliminated.  Then I went through all of the other brands one by one:


  • Amara (great brand, but you have to add water)
  • Earth's Best 
  • Ella's Kitchen (no label photos so I had to wait until I got to the store to check out ingredients)
  • Gerber
  • Peter Rabbit Organics
  • Sprout
















After going through all of these and double checking ingredients at the store, I narrowed it down to two brands:  Ella's Kitchen and Peter Rabbit Organics


Now that I had the brands narrowed down I was on the hunt for the lowest price.  Amazon has two options for Peter Rabbit that are "subscribe and save" options that are the best price I've found.  But since I would like a variety I will purchase the majority through (surprise!) Walmart.  It's really encouraging to see such a large chain carry quality organic healthy baby products.  I would love to have all of the baby food delivered to my door through Amazon, but we'll just stock up every once in a while through Walmart unless Amazon starts carrying more flavors that have the "subscribe and save" option.  Walmart also has some 10 pack options on line that come out as a better deal if you buy online, but you have to buy $50 for free shipping.  Same with Target, but Target isn't a convenient stop for me.


***sorry for the weird highlighting, when I copied pasted the portion of the article and list of baby foods it seemed to have highlighted things weird.  I'm not techi enough to know how to change it lol
















Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Birth mom call

I reached out to our birth mom for her address before Mother's Day.  I wanted to send her a little card and something special just to let her know we were thinking of her.  She asked if she could call me and we ended up talking for about 45 mins.  I learned that she was actually doing really well.  She had blocked a lot of friends and family and seems to really be in a good place.  The blocking is a good thing in her case.  It was a relief to hear.  She told me that she reads my letter I wrote her all the time and hopefully it has helped her.  

She also asked me if we would be adopting more children.  I told her that we would love to and that we didn't want Jones to be an only child.  She said, "Well, that's good to know.  You know me, fertile myrtle." and laughed.  I wasn't completely surprised by this, but it was much sooner than I expected.  I would love for him to have a bio sibling.  I told her that although we would be thrilled she needs to focus on her right now and she agreed.  But she told me that if she did get pregnant that I would be the first to know and that maybe the next time we wouldn't have to go through the agency and could just use an attorney.  It's such a strange conversation to be having with a birth mom.  Our relationship has been so unique from the very beginning.

Lanie over at Unruffled Lanie got me thinking about my own thoughts about baby number 2 with her latest post.  Each month I do still wonder if by some miracle we'll get pregnant.  I also still wonder if I will ever get to the point where I want a biological child bad enough that I would seriously look into a sperm donor.  IVF is no longer an option in my mind at all.  Many factors figure in on the pregnancy part of having a child.  Farmie had a major adjustment when Jones came home and had I been through a birth myself I think it would have been 10 times worse.  Farmie also isn't really supportive of the donor idea, but I've never been to the point where I've wanted to push it either.  In an ideal world I think it would be best for Jones to have a biological sibling by the time he's 3.  And with the recent conversation with our birth mom that is a real possibility.  But the biological baby at least when it comes to one that is both mine and Farmie's is the biggest long shot of all and I've accepted that, but it's not to say I've given up.  I know anything is possible if it's meant to be and in the end I don't have any control over that.  

Jones is doing awesome!  He turned 6 months this weekend (how did that happen?!) and is 20 lbs 8.5 oz and 27 inches long.  He's a big boy and is such a happy baby.  Each new week is a new stage and a new development and I'm loving it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thyroid Update

I've decided to go back on the thyroid medication.  I don't see this as being a long term thing though.  Generally, I don't like taking medication period.  Since I really haven't had any symptoms of hypothyroidism the main reason to go back on it is just a "what if".  What if by some miracle that's one part of the puzzle for us getting pregnant?  I guess I'm looking at it as the last effort on my part for having a biological child.  I'm not going to do ovulation test strips or obsess about getting pregnant.  I'm just going to take a little pill each morning and see what happens.  My plan is to give it a year.  At $4 for a month prescription it's not a big expense and I'm going to be on such a low dose I shouldn't have any of the side effects that I had with the first IVF clinic.  They gave me 4 times what I was supposed to take according to the naturopathic Dr.

Baby update:  The not so little man is 19 lbs 1.5 oz, 26.5 inches long.  He's eating closer to 8oz for each feed and is rolling over like a champ.  He's trying to scoot around, but gets more frustrated than anything.  He's my world and I feel blessed every single day.

Our trip to visit my dad and grandmother went really well.  We took some video of my grandmother holding him and talking to him.  It was a very emotional trip for me because she is so ill.  She's basically wasted away to about 85 lbs.  She's so different from how she has looked my whole life because she's always been a little plump.  She told me that she knew this would be the last time she would see me and the baby and we both shed some tears.  A gradual death like this really makes you think about so much.  I'm proud of the fact that I feel like nothing is left unsaid with those that are close to me.  If I were to pass or anyone close to me would pass, I feel like I'm pretty open about my love for them.  It's also a reminder that the important things in life are the relationships with our friends and family.  There are so many distractions in life whether it's a job or focusing on the negative.  In the end, it's only important I think to leave a positive impact on the world and put your family and close friends first above all the outside noise.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hormone Test Results

I am so relieved to have good news regarding my hormones and FSH levels.  From the lab results everything is fine except my thyroid is at 5.23, which I assumed it would be high.  It was initially 5.09 when they tested me at the beginning of our IVF journey.  It's just a big relief and I won't worry each month now.  I'm glad I just did it instead of continuing to wonder.

So the dilemma I'm facing right now is if I want to go on Levothyroxine again to help get my levels in a normal range or not.  Part of me wants to and that would eliminate one box on the "may affect fertility" column.  I might just take it for a few months to a year in a very low dose and see what happens.  If we're meant to have a baby I know it will happen and if it doesn't happen I'm perfectly happy adopting again.  Jones is a blessing and regardless of the fact that someone else carried and birthed him he's my baby boy.