Friday, January 24, 2014

Minivan Mom

So, I've become THAT mom.

You know, the one who swore up and down that they would never, ever, ever, in a million years drive a minivan.

I'm now the owner of a minivan…..

It's really not as bad as I make it sound.  I'm just still a little sad about giving up my Acadia.  I loved that car.  That car was such a beautiful car.  I felt like such a cool mom in that car.  Oh well.

Drew and I have been trying to come up with ways to cut our spending every month.  We seriously pay an ungodly amount every month for the Acadia.  We bought it brand new because we figured that with a vehicle that big, we wouldn't need to change cars, even when more kids came along.  We bought it with 0% financing, and haven't really been in a rush to pay it off when there are other things that we owe on that does carry interest, like student loans.  So, we've chugged along every month making the minimum payment, and watching the amount that we owe on grow smaller and smaller.

But, it's not growing smaller fast enough, and we want to cut what we spend every month.  So, we decided to start van shopping.  We knew that a payment on a van would be much smaller.  And also, really the only reason that I pushed hard to get a van, was for the side slide doors.  At this point, I am so over trying to get my kid in and out of the car.  She's getting bigger, and I'm really not unless you count the belly.  It's getting hard for me to lift her in and out and try to struggle with getting her in her car seat. What's worse though, is when you get someone who parks too close to the side of the car, and then I can't open the door all the way.  So then, I'm stuck trying to get my child in the car and in her car seat with a door that's only partially open.  And, I'm always worried about banging into someone else's car.  I knew that I wanted side slide doors, especially with another little one on the way.

Drew and I did a little preliminary research, and talked to Jess and Eric, who own a Chrysler Town & Country, and we decided to go check those out.  We went to a dealership here in town and looked at all the features.  After spending an afternoon there, we decided that we definitely liked it, and that was the model we wanted.

We came back home and started looking around the area for used ones that we like.  We found a 2012 in St. Charles at a dealership that we liked, and drove there today to look at it.  Once we arrived, we found out that the battery on it was dead and that they were trying to charge it up so we could drive it.  They told us that if we decided to buy it, that they would replace the battery for us for free.  However, after taking one look at the inside, we knew that it wasn't for us.  The leather on the seats was beat up and worn and kind of ugly.  For only being two years old, we weren't impressed.

Then, Drew decided that he wanted to look at new ones.  After a bunch of test driving, and feature comparing, we found a new one that we loved and went inside to start negotiating prices.  Negotiations took forever.  After we settled on a price for the new van, we informed them that we were going to be trading our Acadia in, and negotiations started on that.  Eventually, we all came to an agreement on prices, and we started all the paperwork.

We left out of there much later than we originally planned, but we were the proud owners of a new van!
So far, we really love it!  Annelise seems to really enjoy it too, because she hasn't thrown a single fit about getting into her car seat.  Fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Overnight Getaway

Our good friends, Josh and Amanda, texted me early last week and asked if we would like to go to one of the water parks in the Dells for a night.  I, of course, jumped at the idea!  We shopped around for rooms and rates, and eventually decided to go to Glacier Canyon Lodge, which is a part of the Wilderness Resort.  I've only been to Kalahari, so I was excited to try a new water park.  Drew has NEVER been to a water park!!  Can you believe it?

We left Saturday, late morning, and began our drive north.  We were so lucky to be leaving while it was snowing pretty good.  Getting out of Illinois was a little tricky, but once we got a little ways into Wisconsin, the roads cleared up and we had a pretty easy drive.  Annelise took a little nap on the drive up.

When we got there, I went inside to check in.  I was told that our room wasn't ready yet, but we could still go use the water park.  I had packed a bag with just our swimsuits to be prepared in case our room wasn't ready.  We drove around to where our room would be located and went inside.  Then, we began the two mile hike to one of the indoor water parks.  Seriously.  Once we got to the entrance to the park, I didn't even really see any locker rooms, or places where we could change.  So, we decided to walk allllll the way back to our car, go grab some lunch, and just wait for our room to be ready.  On our walk back, the resort sent me a text to let me know that our room was ready.  Hurray!  We still decided to just get back in the car and go eat.  A pregnant woman's gotta eat!  And so does the toddler, if I'm being honest.

We just grabbed a quick lunch at Culver's.  I even let Annelise have some lemonade.  I usually only give her water to drink, with the very, very occasional juice.  I explained to her that it was a special treat because we were on a little vacation.

After lunch, we got back in the car and took the short drive back to the resort.  Once there, we located a luggage cart, and went up to our room.  I loved our room!
We rented a two bedroom deluxe suite.  This came with a full kitchen, a dining table, living room with fireplace and tv, a bedroom with a king size bed, a bedroom with bunk beds with a twin and a queen, a murphy bed, and a bath and a half.  Perfect size, maybe even a little large considering we were only going to be there for a night.  But, with kids and six adults, it was nice to have the extra space.  I really liked the knotty pine and brick decor.  It just felt very log cabin and homey.

We unpacked our stuff and waited for Josh, Amanda, their two kids, and her sister and boyfriend to arrive.  Annelise had a great time just running around the room and exploring things.  She especially loved to close and open all the doors, which has been her favorite activity lately.  Once they arrived, and got their stuff settled, we all changed into our swimming suites and headed down to the water parks.

This particular resort has four separate water parks, one of them you have to drive to.  We decided to go to Klondike Kavern first.  This park was just ok to me.  Annelise (and I) thought the water was pretty chilly.  She was not a fan and had no desire to play in it at all.  Honestly, I was really bummed.  I thought for sure that she'd love the water park and have a blast.  We rode around the lazy river a whole bunch and she didn't seem to mind that.  I could tell that she was cold and she huddled up against me.  We eventually got out and wrapped up in a towel.  We talked to everyone else and decided to go try the other water park that was just a short walk away.

We walked over the Wild WaterDome and this park had the wave pool.  We dropped our stuff and went into the water.  This one was warmer, but not by much.  I could actually tolerate this one enough to sit in the water, but Annelise still pretty much hated it.  After only about 20 minutes, we all decided to head back up to the room and figure out some dinner.

We ordered some pizza and garlic bread for dinner.  We were all pretty hungry at that point, including the kids.  After eating, we decided to go back downstairs to the arcade and playground that they have.  Annelise played in the playground with Drew while I sat and watched.  My belly hurt and I was a little crampy.  We came back upstairs around 10:30 PM and got Annelise ready for bed.  I followed quickly after.  Drew and Josh went to the casino to play.

I woke up around 8 AM, and Annelise was right behind me.  Josh walked down the hallway to a little coffee/convenience store and got us all some doughnuts.  We all ate some breakfast, showered, and then packed up the room.  We had to be out of the room by 11 AM.

Once we got the cars all packed up, we drove over to the Wild West water park to try that one out.  I really didn't have high hopes for it.  But, this water was so warm, just like bath water.  I was in heaven and Annelise was much happier!  Thank goodness!  I was going to be so disappointed if she hated every water park.
We spent a ton of time playing around in the kid's area.  Then, we decided to take Annelise on one of the family tube slides.  She was antsy waiting in line, and we had to explain to her that the people in front of us go first and we have to wait our turn.  Once we finally got to the top, we all hopped into the tube and down the slide we went.  This particular slide was entirely enclosed, therefore dark the whole trip down.  Annelise didn't seem too phased by it, and even asked to go again once we got down.  That girl loves rides, slides, roller coasters, anything like that.  We went down one more time and then decided to get some lunch.

In the park, there was a little cafe, with all the typical junk food.  We ordered a slice of pizza, fries, a yogurt, and Drew got a burger.  Annelise loved it all and kept pointing to either the yogurt or pizza depending on what she wanted a bite of.  After we ate, we decided to hit the road.  Drew had to go to work tonight, and he wanted to get back home with a little bit of time to unpack and pack up his lunch and stuff.  The drive home was uneventful, and Annelise fell asleep shortly after we got on the road.

I'm so glad that we were able to get away, even for just a night.  It's nice to break up the monotony of our routine and go do something different.  This was Annelise's first time in a hotel and she loved it.  She had so much fun exploring and seeing all the new things.  We've actually already been talking about doing something like this again for her birthday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Expecting #2

So, I'm pregnant again!  I can't believe that it's been two months since I've last blogged.  There really isn't any excuse for it, just pure laziness.  So, let's recap what's been going on.

After lots of discussion, Drew and I did decide to do a transfer last year.  October 24, 2013 to be exact, one day before our five year anniversary.  At the end of the day, we just didn't really want to wait.  There was no guarantee that things would be easy and that there wouldn't be problems, so we figured that now (then) was just as good a time as any.  

We did have a few speed bumps along the way before we got to the actual transfer.  At one of my baseline ultrasounds, Dr. D was checking my uterus, tubes, and ovaries.  He saw some cysts on my ovaries, which I mentioned on another post, but then he also saw something in my fallopian tube.  He said that it might be a hydrosalpinx, which could cause some issues with a pregnancy.  He couldn't be certain without further testing.  After some discussion with Drew, and some more discussion with Dr. D, we decided to just leave it alone and pray for the best.  I started taking Estradiol and progesterone in oil injections and prepared for the transfer.

Drew, Annelise, and I all drove into the lab that we use in Chicago on October 24th.  When they called us back, the nurse informed me that children weren't allowed back in the room.  I was beyond angry.  No one ever told me that children weren't allowed, and I was always able to bring Annelise to any appointment that I had at my RE office.  So, Drew took Annelise outside to wait and I went back to the room by myself.  I sat there on the verge of tears the whole time.  I was so irritated that my husband wouldn't be able to be in the room when we transferred our embryo.  When the doctor came in to talk to me, she could see that I was upset and asked me what was wrong.  I told her everything and she really offered no sympathy.  Shortly before they were going to begin the procedure, the nurse came in and told me that she had looked for Drew because she was going to watch Annelise while Drew came back for the transfer, but she couldn't find him.  I later found out that he was near the parking garage letting Annelise play.  And, of course, I had awful reception in the room and could barely send or receive texts.  

Transfer went very well, my lining looked great, embryo was beautiful and was already hatching.  I spent the rest of the day at home resting.

I had my first beta on November 1st, and it was 88.9.  Officially pregnant!  Second beta was November 4th and had risen to 324!

Our first ultrasound was November 15th and we were able to see the beautiful flicker of the heartbeat.  Everything looked great!

I have felt wonderful this time around.  I've been nauseous some, but no puking!  I have been taking a Unisom every night before bed, and I really think that has helped my nausea.

Annelise will point to my belly and say "baby", and when we took her to my first ultrasound with my OB, as soon as Dr. M put the baby up on the screen, she pointed at it and said "baby".  Even now, every time she sees the ultrasound picture, she will say "baby".  I don't think she truly understands that there will be a new baby here in a few months.  But, I do think that she is going to absolutely love the new baby.  She is obsessed with babies.  I'm so excited to see her as a big sister.  I do have moments where I get a little sad knowing that my time with her as my only child is growing shorter and shorter.  I'm trying to soak up all the moments that I can, and Drew and I have some exciting trips planned for us to enjoy our last time as a family of three.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

July 10, 2014

Here we go again!