Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Plan vs. Gods Plan

Remember when you had it all figured out? Your life plan after college. Married by 23. First baby by 26. Baby 2 and 3 to follow and be all wrapped up by 30. Travel the world, make lots of money, you know what every college kid dreams of. Well, as 23 came and went, and my plan evolved. Married at 23 turned to 29....thank GOD! Kids starting at 30 not finishing....thank GOD! Funny how my plan didn't really play out.....or has it ever really been my plan?

Disclaimer: There are curse words in this post. I only use them to really get my point across. Sorry if this is insulting to you. I also talk about menstruation...enjoy!

Most recently, my plan was to nurse Raleigh boy until he was a year old. That plan dried up around mid June. A few weeks before his birthday. It was a process I thought would be dramatic and heartbreaking for both of us but honestly I was ready and he was ready. I was working a summer school program and exhausted! I would look at my breast pump during my 30 minute lunch break and physically cringe. At eleven and a half months the boy wanted cow's milk from a sippy cup. Fine with me. I wanted to get rip roaring drunk and float the river! Done and done, with Fourth of July right around the corner I was ready to have my body back!! Or that was my plan at least. The beginning of July found me sprawled out on the side of a neighbors pool with a stomach bug. A bug that rocked me to the core. I could not eat, drink, get out of bed for what felt like three months. This parasite took me well below pre-pregnancy weight to 90 lbs. Yes NINETY!! Dig out the Reed Middle School cheer uniform, it would have fit!

This bug sent me onto an emotional roller coaster of stress, guilt, and fear. This is no ordinary stomach bug folks..................this is a baby bug:)

How the hell did this happen?!?!?

Yes friends, we are having another baby! My stomach bug was no bug at all. I am pregnant! And no it didn't take me 3 months to figure it out. It took me staring at my dinner plate and feeling ravenous and not being able to take one bit. I turned to Mr. R and said "Will you go get a pregnancy test? I mean, just go to the dollar store, there is no possible way I am pregnant. I'm still nursing and I haven't had a period but just in case....just so I can drink on the 4th, go get one. Like, right now." Blank stare from across the dining table. "I'm not going to buy you a pregnancy test from the dollar store."

After I took the test (and in disbelief took the second...I totally understand why they sell them in twos), And PS it did not take 3 minutes for that second line to appear. I kept looking at the box and actually shook the "pee stick" like a thermometer trying to re-set it! I came out of the bathroom in total shock. Happy tears mixed with scared tears. Raleigh boy was not even a year old. Our plan was to have our kids close but not this close! Our plan was to get pregnant in November so I could take full advantage of my maternity leave and summer break...not MAY??? Question mark there because we in fact had no clue when this child was conceived! Our plan was to have a few friends catch up with us in the baby department. Our plan was to vacation in England over Christmas break and party the night away in upcoming wedding parties. Our plan was was was...Never our plan at all!

God was laughing so hard when we were making all these "plans". Knee slapping, belly holding, can't catch your breath laughing.

So there you have it. Baby number two is on the way. It's been a weird couple of months. A lot of shock, I lot of feeling like crap, and a lot of this baby really going to happen moments. The last two weeks specifically have been emotional and all around unsettling. After a very routine 17 week check up everything seemed to be on track so I decided to tell my boss, Raleigh's teachers, and a few people from work. Mainly because I am showing!! I am always so timid to start telling people because anything can happen. Anything! At any moment this pregnancy could just poof, be gone.

SOOOO two days after I break the silence I get a call from the doctor's office saying they had my lab work back and to call them asap. I didn't really find this weird but looking back they usually leave a voice mail saying everything is ok. I called back and they put me on hold and then the phone with the doctor. The freaking DOCTOR!!!  I was so flustered when he got on the phone and said "Allison?" I answered "Yes, Ma'am". Something was wrong. To sum it up, a routine triple screen blood test came back wacky and he wanted to do another test the following day. In case you don't know....

Triple Screen Test:

The triple screen is measuring high and low levels of AFP and abnormal levels of hCG and estriol. The results are combined with the mother’s age, weight, ethnicity and gestation of pregnancy in order to assess probabilities of potential genetic disorders.

High levels of AFP may suggest that the developing baby has a neural tube defect such as spina bifida or anencephaly. However, the most common reason for elevated AFP levels is inaccurate dating of the pregnancy.
Low levels of AFP and abnormal levels of hCG and estriol may indicate that the developing baby has Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) or or another type of chromosome abnormality.

That all makes sense right? I am sitting there on the phone listening but not listening. Trying to seem calm in front of a class of 9th graders...

This was me on the outside. Uh huh. Sure. Ok. Did you say (whispering) Downs? uh huh. Well definitely not an amnio. Ok. So what's a small percentage? Uh huh. (Fake smile to the class) Sure, tomorrow works. (Giving the finger to mouth "shhhh" sign to my students followed by a thumbs one is even looking at me). Two weeks for the results? Is that normal? Ok. Sure. Alrighty then. Bye.

This was me on the inside. WTF!?!?!?!
I'm panicking. I'm panicking. This is what a panic attack feels like. Or am I having a heart attack? Don't cry in front of these kids. Shit, I need to tell Scott. He's going to panic. Stay calm. Small chance. Downs? I got this. Internet....whoa, never mind. That percentage is not that small. I'm no math genius but I hate those odds! What is going on??? I'm too young for this shit! Oh wait, I'm not that young. Panic. Panic. Nervous swaying. Could everyone just be quiet for one second? Thank you! (fake smile). Don't throw up. Shit!

I was so dizzy, no other word to describe it, when I went back to the doctors office and I didn't even ask them any questions. I just gave the blood and left. It was like if I wasn't there, in the office, this wasn't happening. This is how I normally role with stressful situations. Avoidance! The following day after getting on the internet I fell into a puddle of tears on the couch. The I'm cool, I'm not stressed about abnormal chromosomes facade crumbled.

It took about 72 hours to finally exhale. There was nothing I did or didn't do to cause this, except get pregnant. There was nothing I could do to prevent it. All we could do was wait. And after the results were back start planning for whatever played out. I wasn't worried about Downs I was worried about loosing the baby all together. And the worst scenario of all....thank you internet...was to carry the baby to term, deliver, and live in a hospital for a year with an infant hooked up to machines. This scenario I'm sure happens everyday. It was a weird, emotionally complicated two weeks. My prayers were not to change anything, my prayers were for God to guide us down the right path. Whatever cards were dealt we would play.

After the results were back I called the doctor's office and without any change in the voice of the receptionist she read the results. Low risk. 1 in 10,000 chance of chromosome abnormality. I asked if there was a "no risk" box and she said no. Relief. News that should never be given over the phone by a receptionist but delivered on an over sized cookie cake by Santa himself! Oh relief...sort of.

I have said it once and I'll say it again. We are so unbelievably blessed. I know there are women out there who pray every moment of the day to feel morning sickness. And my heart breaks for them. This is a child we are/were not promised and we realize it now more than ever. Every pregnancy is a miracle! Every child born is a double miracle!

Thank you God for giving us this oppoturtunity to be parents again. This is the best, most rewarding job we have ever had. We will do everything in our power to show his baby that they are loved everyday. We will not let you down and we will not let this baby down. 

And now half way to the finish line we are finally settling in to the idea of a family of 4. I am finally feeling good enough to joke about feeling like dog crap for the past 15 weeks. So here we go.....

First pregnancy vs. Second pregnancy
- Puking almost everyday until 15 weeks ish vs. Dry heaving and horrible food aversions until 18 weeks ish
- Horrible heartburn vs. No heartburn...yet
- Big boobs vs. NONE!! I'm too skinny and Raleigh sucked me dry....I miss you boobs!
- Emotional crazy woman vs. Emotional totally rational all the time woman
- M&Ms, fried eggs, cottage cheese vs. Spaghetti, gummy bears, mint chocolate chip ice cream, turkey sandwiches....and champagne...and donuts!
- Nervous about every pregnancy milestone vs. Really nervous about every pregnancy milestone
- Tummy really popped about 22 weeks vs. Tummy popped at 18 weeks
- Tired vs. Completely and utterly exhausted down to my toe nails
- Acne vs. No acne
- Nursery design planned vs. Nursery complete....we are moving Raleigh into a big boy room which I haven't started so new baby gets a hand me down room that is just a little bit worn.
- Had a dream about a sonogram and a scrotum:) vs. no baby dreams yet:(

And all the disgusting things that happen to your body while your pregnant happen again, but sooner, and grosser! The veins are bigger and bluer and everywhere! So glamorous! Well there you go world. Baby number 2 will hopefully hold out and make his or her appearance mid February. We are having another was too much fun the first time not to have another one!

Here is the one and only belly shot of this pregnancy. Raleigh seems pretty excited....or he has no clue! There are not enough filters in the world to hide to exhaustion on my face so here I am in all of my pregnant unfiltered glory!!!

20 weeks! Super awkward bump shot!
Happy Baby #2!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Call me Cruella...

Finally something to show besides that stinky baby boy;)

When we first painted the entire house almost two years ago I opted for simple in the hallway. It's a small cramped area and I wasn't quite sure how the space would evolve or if it would evolve at all. We removed the door frame and just framed out the door opening (pretty sure there wasn't even a door there...just hinges). We did our standard ceiling color SW White Duck on the walls mainly because we had with what you got people. I can't remember the original color but it was probably somewhere in the Easter egg family like the rest of the house. None the less we painted to clean up the joint. And then not a damn thing happened for two years. Well of course nothing in this hallway.

So now, two plus years, two dogs, and a baby later we are regretting removing the door. Wouldn't it be nice to shut off the bedrooms from the main living area, specifically the ice maker. Oh if we could go back. Well we actually have a master plan for the entire fridge to be moved another day and many dollars in the future so for now the hallway needs a little love. What we have...

A door that is opened or closed 50% of the time that separates the hallway from the front room. An opened doorway to the kitchen, usually barricaded with a wagon. Most recently trying to barricade the dogs and the baby. Attic fan timer, thermostat, alarm key pad, water heater closet, attic door in the ceiling, a very old ceiling light fixture, air conditioner vent, and an original telephone nook. All of this crap in one teeny tiny hallway!!

So ones first instinct is to paint light because the space is so small. But this is a very high traffic area and every little scuff shows against the light paint. I didn't want to go too dark because it is already so cave like. And then I found my inspiration. It's a little out there and I am not sure if I am even 100% sold on it but here we go. Spots. Not dots, not circles, straight up Cruella Deville spots.

I sent out some preliminary feelers to my people and got probably the greatest decorating advice of all time. "It's just paint". This very advice I have given on several occasions to different friends. I couldn't get it this pattern out of my head. Something about spots felt fun and flirty and glamorous. My life right? Total joke here. Black spots it is. Black?...ok they are Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black.

So the inspiration wallpaper was way out of my hallway budget price I even have a hallway budget? No. So I decided I could hand paint this pattern at a fraction of the cost. $6 total if we want to get specific. I just started making marks with my paint brush. Totally eye balled it.

I also replaced the ancient light fixture for $20. It's not my favorite but it is a huge improvement from the original!!!

I wanted to highlight the telephone nook and continue the "gallery space" feel with other framed pieces. I went ahead and kept the large green metal "A" and the shutter because I just love the color so much AND I have no other place for them.

I know it's out there but I really like it. It's a quick walk through and we are keeping it for now. I could never sleep in a room painted like this. It's just a small enough space to get the point across.

Warning! These photos were taken with my crappy phone....sorry.

*This post has been written for months but I hadn't found the perfect grouping for my original 1950's telephone nook. My awesome friend Katy, who has a love for the junk like me, found this little gem of a phone in Minneapolis....yes it crossed state lines for a whopping $8. Which reminds me I never paid her back.

$6 paint and an $8 vintage phone....everthing else I had around the house. I think I stayed on budget:)

Now that we are back to school and on a normal routine my goal is to post at least once a month. We will see how that pans out.  I hope everyone had a wonderful start of school!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dear Raleigh....

To my sweetest boy on his very first birthday,
One year ago today you came into this world with the biggest eyes I have ever seen on a new born baby. You wanted to see everyone in the room and I swear you smiled at me that day. You were so cute and little! I love you more today then I did then. How is that even possible? I am so lucky to be your mama. Raleigh boy you are the light of my life.

This year has been far from easy. I feel like I never really knew what tired was until you. Yes little boy, you have created a very groggy, unshowered, yoga pant wearing lady cruising around Wal-Mart at 5am. But through all those nights of very little sleep you have filled our days with so much joy! You are so stinkin' happy. Thank you or being the most good natured, charming, adorable little man I have ever known.

The best part of my day is putting you down for bed. You are just tired enough that you are not trying to crawl out of my lap (and I am just as tired). You get your orange fox blanky and roll it up and make a little blanket nest on my chest and up look up at me with those dark eyes. You blink so slow and heavy I swear I can hear your eyes close. I pat you and you pat me right back. You are my favorite one year old boy in the whole wide world!

I love that when you know you are about to do something "bad" you turn and make sure no one is watching. I also love that when you get busted doing something that is a "no no" you start running and laughing. Oh Lordy!!

I love how you play with every "non" toy in our house. Watching you push around the mop and dragging my curling iron behind you makes me and your daddy laugh. Boxes, hangers, cords, spatula, bag of ribbons, basically anything not in the toy box!!! I guess this means you are using your smart already!

I love that you love your cousins, and your grandparents, and your puppy brothers! I love that you sleep through the night. THANK YOU! I love that you will eat anything and everything I put in front of you. I love that you are dirty 90% of the day and that crawling in the dirt is your favorite outdoor activity. I love love love that you are finally enjoying books!

I love you baby boy. You are the very best thing I have ever done. To hear you laugh, to see you smile, to watch you play with your daddy, makes me the happiest mama in the whole wide world. Happy birthday!
How can I make him stop growing?

Thank you Heather Ford for these amazing photographs! And just another example of how strong willed this boy is, I put him in a nice pressed button up shirt for the photo session and he was NOT having it! He stood there with his arms out screaming until I took it off. I am so happy I have him in a t-shirt....drool and all. He is my cool, comfy, casual boy!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Lovin'

The start of summer is very nostalgic for me. 4 years ago this very week Mr. R and I started dating. 3 years ago this week we got engaged. 2 years ago we were knee deep in a house renovation and packing for our Croatian adventure. Last year Scott was in the middle of 3 intense certification classes and I was hot and HUUAAAGE! Just 12 months ago we were getting ready to have a baby and everything that goes along with that. We had no idea what we were about to get into. We consider ourselves incredibly lucky/blessed/fulfilled.

This June has found us both teaching summer school which is always bitter sweet. It's fun and easy and the money is great but it means Raleigh is not with us. I am driving 45 minutes both ways. Everyone who knows me is very aware I do not leave my 10 mile bubble....EVER! Scott calls me a south Dallas snob...I'm ok with that. Hats off to anyone who has to sit in traffic everyday year round. No thank you! 3 more days of summer school and then we are officially on vacation! Which for us means hanging out with Rals and the dogs and working on our house.

Raleigh boy is 11 months old. I can't believe it's been almost a year since we brought him home from the hospital. What on earth did we do before him? Why did I ever think I was tired? Why was my house not spotless? Why did I ever dread running errands alone? Thankfully we are not as home bound as we were in the beginning and we do get out but when your kids still naps twice a day your outings are pretty close to home (10 mile bubble).

Raleigh has been pretty spoiled playing with his cousins, swimming, jumping on trampolines, going to the park, etc. We are so incredibly lucky to have family so close that can help when we need them. Aunt Sue-Sue has been our savior the last three weeks...she's just the best if you didn't already know.

Raleigh is not walking but running everywhere. He is all boy! Climbing, throwing, eating dirt. He loves to sweep/swiffer and water the plants. He have been chasing the dogs around and he giving them a little taste of their own annoying medicine. They are so tolerant of him....probably because he feeds them the good stuff! He eats EVERYTHING! I can't imagine the damage this kid will do at 16! He is still happy as ever. Just the light of our lives.

Just a few pics from our June adventures. Follow us on Instagram agr2023 and scootermirez.


Eating dirt!

Exploring Dallas

Helping mama

Passed. Out.

Next month is the big "1". Party planning in the works. My strategy is to start small and get bigger once the can actually remember being there. I'm too exhausted to have a Pinterest worthy party...sorry kiddo! I wonder what we will be doing next summer? Making memories!

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Show me the Bunny!

I am still recovering from Easter break. We call it a farm hang over. Four days off from work was not enough...

Easter 2014

We had a wonderful time down in Glen Rose. Raleigh boy had so much fun with his cousins, Lady and Poppie, and all the dogs! Here are a few photos from the Easter weekend.

Saturday fun...

Porch time with Poppie
Sand trap
Trampoline fun

Oh Nelson found a few eggs too!

Sunday morning egg hunt....
While most families are posting pictures of the children in their perfectly ironed seersucker suits and smocked jumpers before the annual egg hunt, this is how we roll y'all.... Jammies or a diaper!

Easter Sunday Church

Two of my favs! 
Love these kids!
My boys!
Sweet MG, she is growing up so fast!

"Everybody wink!" 
Ily Belle
My favorite Easter bunny! 9 months old!
I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter! Pushing through this week and getting ready for our annual neighborhood garage sale. If you are in the OC this weekend come by and see us and all our junk!

Friday, March 28, 2014

March on....

How is it possible that March is nearly over? I swear I blinked and it was gone. We have been busy busy the last couple weeks having lots of fun with family and friends.

First off, I started the Lenten Season by giving up Facebook. Technically I deleted the app from my phone. I was spending a little too much energy mindlessly scrolling. If I was tired, I browsed. Nursing, browsed. Standing at the kitchen counter waiting for coffee, browsed. It got to the point where I wasn't feeling entirely present just being. So goodbye Facebook, see you after while! (now if you are reading this you think I have cheated but I can link to fb without actually opening my news feed. ) Instagram now is getting all my love. Agr2023....holla!

For spring break this year we (3 SUVs, 8 adults, 4 kids, 2 babies, and 5 packed coolers) headed to broken bow Oklahoma for the week. We stayed in a beautiful big house with an great porch and a hot tub. Spent most of the day eating drinking and hiking. Not in that order. We started House of Cards which has become our latest TV obsession. Raleigh boy went on his first hike and loved it ...or hated it. He slept so I'm not sure if he was bored or exhausted from all the excitement.

All of the kids were so fun and well behaved.  The babies kind of slept through the night. All of the meals were amazingly delicious and my wine glass never seemed to run dry. Beautiful family vacation. I'll try not to be too cheesy but my family pretty much rocks. We all really enjoy each other and want to spend time together.

Cousin time is the best!

Day 1 hike

Baby playing with a biggy!
Sweetest boy!

Day 2 hikers

Mr. R and I headed to New Orleans for one of our closest friends 40th birthday this past weekend. Our first time away for the boy. I thought I would cry all weekend but I was surprisingly ok. It doesn't hurt when you are getting pictures from the farm like this.... 
When mom and dad are away....the boys will play!
I actually did not cry at all. I did miss him like crazy and could not get to him fast enough. We flew home Saturday night so we could all wake up together Sunday morning. And baby boy must have got the memo and slept in an extra hour.

We had an awesome time and found some new favorite places to eat. Of course we have our usual go tos. Just a few random pics from the weekend. Nothing too wild!! We kept it pretty tame. Nice to spend time with great friends.

W Hotel under a cabana and a bottle of wine. Yes. Please!

Port of Call burger is my favorite lunch spot!
Happy birthday Mr. P!!
Raleigh boy is some how 8 months old! Crawling, and into everything! Pulling up and standing on his own. Time really does fly!! He is saying mama and dada and lots of gibber grabber in between. At dinner he goes into these long aggressive monologues that seem incredibly important to him. I wonder what he is trying to tell us???

Raleigh boy met his cousin Elizabeth!
The pups have also been extra enjoyable these days too. I found myself missing them on our trips. I have a little dream to rent a house somewhere for two weeks and take the dogs and really live as locals. That would mean we would have to be somewhere within driving distance that was dog and baby friendly. Any ideas? I would love some recommendations. Phew, I actually finished this before April!

Keep calm and March on!