Monday, May 21, 2018

Georgia June Update

Georgia is 15 months now!  After she turned a year I figured I'd stop doing monthly updates but honestly she's changed a lot in the last two months since she turned one so I figured I'd update if not for anyone else but myself to remember these huge milestones that she's hit these last couple months. 

G hit 2 big milestones since she turned one; the first one was she finally started teething!  Just a couple weeks after I stopped nursing her and right after she turned one, she broke her first few teeth all at once. She's been a drooling, snotty, feverish mess since, but she looks adorable with her top two front teeth!  The top two are just about all the way in and the bottom couple are working their way through.  It was definitely something I was glad did not happen while I was nursing!  

The other big milestone was Georgia began walking!  She had been cruising the furniture and taking a couple steps here and there for awhile, but just did not seem to have the confidence to walk.  She could FLY with her push walker, but wasn't ready to let go.  Finally, on Easter we were at my Grandmas who has a house full of carpet and that seemed to be exactly what she needed because she took off.  Our house is all hardwood and I think it maybe effected her confidence, once she hit the carpet, that was it & she's been walking ever since.  It's seriously adorable and so fun!

Georgia can say a few words like hot, hi, bye, kitty, ball, and back.  She can blab up a storm of her own words too.  She is still sleeping in our bed but we are hoping to move her to her crib permanently once I get pregnant again.  She sleeps through the night now and it's magical.  Once I stopped nursing, she immediately began sleeping 10-12 uninterrupted hours.  She's slowed down on growing which is nice because we have been able to get a lot more use out of all the clothes!  She's currently wearing 12 month and some 18 month clothing.  Her appetite is that of a grown man.  She eats anything and everything.  Her favorites are fish, cheese, blueberries, bananas, and pouches.  She's still napping 2x a day and still drinking lots of breastmilk and whole milk.  She's an absolute joy to be around and almost always smiling, however she is a toddler and has her moments.

Last month we took off for a quick family getaway to the Wisconsin Dells, it's about 3 hours north of us so it's an easy place to zip up to where there is a lot to do, even in the off season there was enough to keep us occupied, especially with a baby.  Most of the popular places there are big resorts like Great Wolf, The Wilderness, and Chula Vista, however I didn't want to spend over $200 a night so we opted for a smaller hotel with a mini water park in it which was perfect for us and was only $110 a night.  We ended up having the entire water park area to ourselves for most of the afternoon Saturday and Georgia had an absolute blast making Joe take her down the slide over and over.  We did Paul Bunyan's which is a "shanty" with breakfast served family style.  Delish and so fun.  The weekend was perfect and just what we needed.

Last weekend we celebrated Mother's Day!  Saturday mom and dad had a parents night out and Georgia slept over at grandmas.  Mama had too much to drink, but really enjoyed a date night out with daddy, just the two of us.  Joe got me a huge orchid for mother's day and Georgia and I spent the day with my mom at the winery and then visited with Joe's mom and my grandma.  The weather was cold and rainy all weekend which was kind of a bummer, but we still had fun.

Other than that its been pretty quiet around these parts.  Looking forward to another Memorial Day weekend coming up pretty quickly here, but other than that we don't have too much planned which is nice.  We have been soaking in all the warm weather and trying to get outside as much as possible.  Georgia has been obsessed with bubbles lately and also loves to play on the neighbors swing set.  We will be looking forward to pool days and lots of outside time this summer plus traveling to Georgia for our FET for baby #2!  

Thursday, May 03, 2018

FET for Baby #2

I wanted to give you guys a quick update on our plans for baby number 2!  I've been sharing quite a bit of this on Instagram, but if you don't follow me there then you may not be familiar with the saga the ensued several months ago. 

Back in the fall our donor sent me a text saying that she had been trying to get ahold of the IVF coordinator at the clinic we went through because her regular doctor wanted her medical records from the procedures she had as a donor.  She said she had been emailing her and getting no response.  I told her I'd try to contact her via email saying I wanted to start an FET (even though we were nowhere near ready) I thought that maybe there would be more of a sense of urgency for her to reply to someone wanting to start a cycle, well I never heard from her either.  We both got pretty fired up about it and my donor actually reached out to their main office in Atlanta and was finally able to get a response from the IVF coordinator. 

I knew that because of this communication situation I wanted to get into contact sooner rather than later with the clinic so we could make sure all bases were covered in a timely fashion.  I emailed her in the middle of January and figured she'd get back to me within a few days.  10 days later I still had not received and email so I decided to contact the Atlanta office (the same lady my donor had) and within the hour had a response from the coordinator.  She gave me some bs excuse as to why she hadn't responded to my previous email, but she has been in quick and constant contact with me since.  

So in order for us to proceed I have to be completely weaned off of breastfeeding which I've been for about 2 months now.  I also have to have 2 normal cycles and since my period came back at 4 months PP, I knew that wouldn't be an issue.  I've actually had both of my normal cycles after weaning so realistically we could be cycling right now for a May transfer, but that's actually a little sooner than anticipated.  So instead we will be waiting until mid-summer (hopefully July) before we actually transfer.  A part of me would really love to transfer as soon as possible, but since we have some control of when this happens, another part of me would like to wait a little bit longer so that this baby would be born in Spring rather than in winter like Georgia was.  It may seems silly but winter in Illinois is a really crappy time to be off for maternity leave and also leaves very little options when it comes to birthday parties! 

I am excited to hopefully get pregnant again, but I’m really not looking forward to the prep for the cycle.  I am already obsessing over the calendar counting days and trying to figure out dates.  We do have to travel on a plane out of state for this to happen so for us the sooner we know, the better, however we don't have much say because it's all dictated by my body so we can't really be booking any flights or anything like that yet.  If my calculations are correct we could be transferring the 3rd week of July somewhere between the 17th & the 20th (see, obsession) which would give us an end of March, early April baby.

The biggest downside of the process this time around is that we no longer have infertility treatment coverage so the monitoring ultrasounds will not be covered, the transfer won't be covered, and some of the meds won't be covered.  Luckily, just like last time, I have already had all of the meds I need donated by some of the amazing women from our Instagram community.  I also opened an HSA account with our new insurance plan and fertility treatments are considered to be "qualified" medical expenses and can be paid for out of that account.  My company contributes $1300 a year into the account so there is some relief even though our full coverage benefits that we had before were definitely better.

I am definitely excited for what is to come for our tribe.  We have 5 frozen babes on ice and I'm very hopeful that our transfer will work and we will be bringing home baby number 2 next spring!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Favorite Toddler Apps

I am going to preface this post by saying that I truly believe that too much screen time for a child can be detrimental and that we feel very strongly about making sure our child plays outside and uses her imagination to the fullest for the longest she can.  We want her to stay a kid as long as possible and definitely do not want her face plastered to a screen at an early age.  With that being said, I also believe that screens are the future for our children.  It's inevitable whether we like it or not.  They will be raised and taught on tablets and computers.  I do feel like books will still have a strong presence in Georgia's life as well, but the nature of the beast that is technology is that our kids will be using them at a very early age.

So lately Georgia has been showing an interest in our phones.  It's kind of a monster that we created ourselves being that we use our phones in front of her, maybe sometimes too much, and she sees that so she wants them.  Very rarely do I ever give her my phone to play with, one because she has already FaceTime'd with someone I haven't really spoken to since college (not in a bad way just grew up, got married, got jobs, families, etc.), and two because I don't want her to be plastered to a phone screen all the time when she has plenty of toys and books of her own and hopefully soon we can get her outside once the weather makes up its mind and we finally get some warm weather.

I ended up giving G our old iPad.  It doesn't take updates anymore because it's so old but it works fine still it's just a little slow.  It's still on iOS 9.  It works well for her because it's obviously bigger than a phone and it's not as easy for her to get into things she shouldn't (like calling) because there are only a few apps on it.  So far there are only a few apps that she uses, most of which are entirely educational.

Fisher Price Laugh & Learning Letter Monkey
If you search Fisher Price in your App Store there are tons of them.  Georgia's favorite most used app is the Learning Letters Monkey.  It does letters, numbers, shapes, and songs.  It's definitely the one she prefers over any other.  The songs are cute and catchy and the colors are bright with very cute & simple illustrations. 

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Shapes & Colors
This one is great too.  It has 2 levels, level 1 is colorful shapes with little faces and they bounce all over the screen and play music.  Level 2 is similar but it also has a colorful piano that they can make their own songs with.

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Animal Sounds
This was the first app I ever bought for Georgia when she was like 8 months old just to play the sounds for her.  She never showed an interest in the phone or the app at that time but now this is one of her favorites.  It's also got 2 levels and plays through different animals like Lion, Monkey, Bear, Goat, Frog, etc.  There are literally tons of FP apps, these 3 are free, some are paid, but they are all geared towards learning and these are some of our favorites.

Baby Bubbles
This one isn't really "educational" but it's fun for G.  She likes to pop the colorful bubbles that appear on the screen.  The downside to this is it doesn't hold her attention very long, but I think as she gets older it will be one to keep her occupied in a pinch if we need it! The nice thing about it is it has no adds or interface so there is nothing else they can accidentally press to take them out of the app.  It also has sounds and the bubbles are different colors.

Kids Doodle – Movie Kids Color & Draw
This app is fun!  It's just a blank drawing board with fun neon colors that change each time you take your finger away and then put it back down.  It also has a video function that plays back the steps they took to draw their picture like a movie.  There's also a gallery with this so you can save your work and go back if you want.  I think I like this app more than Georgia but I know it will be one she will start to enjoy as she gets older.  Again, not as educational as the FP apps, but drawing is always fun & I think it's a great way to be creative. 

Sometimes it's just easier when we are cooped up in the house because of a lingering winter, or we are on a long flight, or our kids are just being assholes, to hand them the phone or tablet for the sake of everyone's sanity.  What are your favorite apps for your kiddos?
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