CLICK HERE FOR FREE BLOG LAYOUTS, LINK BUTTONS AND MORE! »

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

:-( ...

Not meant to be.  Our potential buyers walked even when an offer to reduce the price to the PBO value was put on the table.  This suck!

Suspense...

Monday was not a happy day.  The buyers for our home decided that the wait time had been long enough and their patience with our mortgage company had run dry.  Alas they rescinded the offer to purchase our home as we could not secure the short sale approval from our mortgage company.  I was in tears...

At this point we have had double rent since last February and our home is going on 180 days plus on the market.  The real estate market is tough right now especially if you are trying to sell.  Really it sucks!

I am sure that the person I am dealing with at the mortgage company is tired of hearing from me.  On Monday she was especially tired of hearing from me!  We had a good offer, with a good reflection of the current market price, and here we are with an offer slipping away.  It seems like a vicious  cycle ... in order to generate a new offer, we will need to lower the price.  With a new lower price, we will likely get an offer below what the mortgage company is willing to accept .. just like this time around.  I know we are far from the only ones in this situation but where does it stop? 

Well today we got the new Broker Price Opinion back ... $30K below the first PBO and $9K below our last market price ... and to boot $4K below the offer that was just rescinded :-(  GRRRRR....

My wonderful realtor is working hard for us right now.  We are hoping that the potential buyers will still be interested in moving forward.  Maybe just maybe it will happen ... holding my breath and biting my nails here..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

At a loss...

Over the last week I have read about several recent pregnancy losses on SMO (surromomsonline) and while all make me sad, twin related losses just cuts right through my heart still.  A few days ago a fellow surrogate lost a twin pregnancy at around sixteen weeks gestation.  Reading about it made me numb and incredibly sad.  It brought so many memories and the loss of little J right back front and center.

As surrogates, we care SO much about someone else's baby (or babies) and when things go wrong it is just heart wrenching.  We want so much for these sweet little ones to go home to their forever family, to be loved and cared for by the parents who have gone through so much just to have family.  We put our hearts and soul on the line often for strangers who become dear friends in the process of a surrogacy journey.

Although the love for a surro child is different than the love we have for our own children, we care deeply for the babies we carry and for the families we carry them for.  It is sad and an utterly helpless feeling when a baby is lost.  Regardless of when that loss happens it has an impact on both the surrogate and the family we try to help.  Failed transfers and early trimester losses are tough, second and late trimester losses, and especially loss after viability and birth, are just so devastating.

In a perfect world much would be different...but as much as we like to seek perfection, we have to deal with the hand we are given.  Today I send many healing prayers to all the special women who have experienced a loss in surrogacy and also to the all the parents who have gone through much heart ache just to have the family they so wish for.

My hair is back...

well at least it is growing and I can see it and feel it!!!  Woohoo.... I have always lost a lot of hair post pregnancy but this time I almost had a few bald spots.  I have a whole lot of baby fine sticking out everywhere and I am so happy!  Now if it could just grow back as really thick hair with beautiful curls like my daughter then that would be extra bonus but I am not holding my breath on that one!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Family Tree...

Thanksgiving weekend was a busy weekend and we had so much fun!  We spent a quiet Thanksgiving day at home cooking a nice big turkey.  (Rio just cannot get a big enough turkey ... this year he settled for one just under 15 lbs for the 5 of us ~ he will be eating leftovers forever!!).  Then Friday we went to St. Louis for some fun at the City Museum and then on to a weekend with Rio's family - what a treat! 

A family get together was planned for Saturday and it turned out to be a small family reunion ... great to see family that we have not seen for a long time and so much fun watching all the little cousins running around and playing with one another.

Being in the midst of family, reaffirms to me once again why I choose to be surrogate.  Family is so important.  Without surrogates, some people would not have the opportunity to have a family they long for or the opportunity to carry on their legacy.  Surrogacy is truly such a blessing.

Both Rio and I are blessed with really large families .... crazy big families really.  Yikes it is a job just to keep track of everyone.  Two of Rio's cousins started to draw up an improptu family tree ... it is amazing to see all these names listed down on paper .. so many people to name.  Rio has 41 fist cousins on his mom's side alone.  Add that to the 16 cousins I have on my dad's side and at least that many on my mom's side and you get a whole lot of family.  Our history really is so rich and filled with incredible stories and wonderful people.  One day, when life slows down a bit, I hope to sit down and draw it all out for them.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble Gobble...

I am stuffed!  Rio cooked a beautiful turkey - it was moist and yummy.  I normally do not care much for turkey but at Thanksgiving time I will indulge.  We have enjoyed a quiet day together.  We raked the front yard, cleaned the cars and went for a hike in a near by park while the turkey cooked.

After the meal we all snuggled up on the couch and watched a funny family movie.  Then Rio, Olivia and I went out for a walk to look at Christmas lights and then home for dessert.  Now the kiddos are off to bed and I will be hitting the couch once again to relax.

What a wonderful day.  I am so thankful for my family and I really enjoyed being together just the five of us.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful...

Two days and Thanksgiving is here .... where did this year go?  I just cannot believe that the holidays are right around the corner.  For one, I am just not ready for Christmas to be here yet, and two .. time is passing by too quickly ~ so many things to do so little time!

There are times when I struggle to be thankful but I know that I have many many things to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband, who is a bit stressed out but who is working so hard to make a go at his new job.  I know it is not easy being the "new guy" and I am so proud of him.  I have three great kiddos who makes me smile everyday ... ok yes they also makes me go absolute bananas!  But even so, they are my world and I love them more than anything.  Each day, looking at them reminds me how fortunate I am and every day I strive to be a better person because of them.

I am also so thankful for my surro babes.  Miss V is learning new words by the day and I am sure the explosion of new words and ways to put them together is such a delight to M&M!  ..and little N is getting bigger and stronger day by day.  I have been so fortunate to get lots of pictures recently - they always warm my heart. 

This last year has been a bit of a blur.  It has been a hard one emotionally and God only knows that there were experiences that I could have been without.  However, the happenings of life shape who we are and what we become.  I have a renewed focus and I know that even on a gray day, the sun is behind the clouds somewhere.  More than ever before, I try to look for the silver lining in life and my faith is slowly being restored.  There are so many things that I will never understand but I have got to believe that somehow there is a meaning with everything.

I know that I am truly blessed and I try to remind myself of that every day.  Today I am so thankful for the little ones I have carried in my belly.  They all own a piece of my heart ... especially sweet little angel J.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And by the way...

My hubby is a big pain in my a..!!!  Literally!

A few nights ago I was flipping through the channels and off course informercials are scatted about on the different channels.  One of them was on a "Brazilian But Lift" - another work-out gimmie I am sure but it did have some great glutes workout suggestions.  Anyway we laughed a bit over of the trainer's funny mannerisms and moved on.  And then tada... my sweet hubby actually went out and searched for a couple of down-loadable videos and all I have to say this morning is Ouch!!  Thanks honey you literally caused a pain in my bum!  I am so sore ... guess I have not used those muscles in a while - but hey if they will get the jiggle out of my booty, bring it on!

Pedometer count from yesterday ~ 13,176 steps equivalent to about 5 1/2 miles...woohoo!



In pursuit...

Life is about pursuit .. pursuit of happiness ... pursuit of freedom to be who we are ... pursuit of the living the life we want... the pursuit of a toned tummy and loosing the last pounds of pregnancy (ranking pretty close to the top of my list these days ;-) ...the list could go on.

Life is amazing and each day is a new gift.  Recently I read an analogy about how life is like money; imagine that every day you wake up to bank account filled with $86,400 and the money is yours to use on whatever you choose, but what you do not spend by the end of the day will be gone and lost forever.   This is like time.  Everyday we wake up to 86,400 new seconds of life.  Like money some seconds will be used on necessities but the remaining are ours to use or to loose.  Once the time is gone you can never have it back.  And if there is one thing that I have learned in watching my children grow, it is that time flies and regardless of hard I try to hold onto the moments they will slip through my fingers like sand on the beach.   

Here I am standing on the threshold of opening up a new chapter in my life.  It feels like standing in the doorway between two rooms and not being able to decide which one to enter.  I am not sure that I am ready to close the old chapter just yet and I will leave the door ajar.  What I do know is that I am so ready to make inroads into what is to come next.  I am just really hopeful for the possibility of being accepted into a nursing program for Fall.  I am so excited about what lays ahead.

Going back to school will be bring a big change to my routine - our routine.  I am already now trying to figure out a good study schedule and how to get everything managed around the house so have a minimal impact on everyone else.  Changes for all will come soon enough if I do get accepted into nursing school.

For now life hangs in a balance and I will navigate between two spaces to find my way forward. One never know what tomorrow will bring but change will come and if you ask me these are exciting changes for sure!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Forever missing...

It was on SMO this morning and an intended mother shared a picture book of her little twin boys that just recently turned 6 months old.  The book and pictures were beautiful...such a wonderful and sweet way to commemorate their journey to parenthood.

Looking at the pictures however reminded me how there never will be such pictures of N&J together.  They spent their first part life so wrapped up with one another and too early they were separated for a lifetime.  While I am incredible grateful that baby N is giving out great big smiles, it would have been amazing to have pictures of two sweet little boys smiling out at the world together.

Some times life is just not fair ... I wonder if I will ever get to a point where I do not feel the sting in my heart every time I see or hear about twins.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

11/13/2011...

Today it is six months since N&J were born.  An adorable little N is growing big and has the cutest little chunky cheeks ~ oh how I would love to pinch them and give him a big hug.  I just got new pictures of him and he is such a little sweetheart.  I am so grateful that he is doing so well.

During the last month or so I have steadily been increasing my workouts and although I feel stronger physically, I am still not seeing as much change in my body as I would like.  I was really hoping that "eating right and exercise" would let me drop those last few pounds ... but they are determined to hang on!  Rio suggested getting a personal trainer for a couple of months but I am not quite ready to give up on doing it on my own just yet. 

Everyday I make sure to get some type of cardio into my schedule.  Most days I go for a run but I do try and mix it up a little bit.  Friday night we went ice-skating which was a lot of fun.  My ankles were sore afterward but surely not as sore as Sebastian's bum!  Some days I grab the bike and go for a ride, today Olivia and I went for a long and very hilly ride and it was a great workout and so much fun having my girly come along for chit chat.

I also track my step count every day to make sure I am on target for a minimum of 10K a day.  My daily goal right now is 11K and will gradually increase it to 12K over the next few weeks.  12,000 steps for me is about 5 miles and I find that having a goal is a great motivator and truly becomes a mental game to beat the goal and "bank" some extra steps for a rainy day.

The short story is that six months post birth, my abs are still flabby, my legs still have cellulite and I am still hanging on to about five extra pounds.  Since I am not a fan of dieting, I will not do any kind of crazy diets to drop the pounds....really all I want when I go on a diet is what I cannot have.  Then I give into just a little bite and it all becomes pointless.. so no diets for me.  But I will remain in a pursuit of a more well toned body and loosing those last pounds ... hopefully being consistent with more cardio exercise will be the key.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Info session part two...

Today went well!  The information session was .. well very informative!  I got lots of my questions answered....as a matter of fact I got all my questions answered because no one else bothered to ask barely anything ~ but you know me...I will get the answers I need so hopefully some of the things that I wanted to know about the school and program was helpful to other students as well.

After the info session, we toured the school building and one of the simulations labs located at the hospital.  I also had an opportunity to talk to a student currently in the 2nd degree program and get a more personal take on the program which is always useful. 

One of the neat things about this particular college is that the majority of the clinical rotations are actually at the hospital and I really like that.  The sim labs will also be very useful for targeted practice and getting prepared before heading out into an actual clinical setting. 

After the campus visit, I had lunch with Rio.  I shared with him the information about the program and I know that he will support my decision for going back to school.  I am getting increasingly excited about it all.  I talked to the director of the program about the competitive aspect of actually getting into the program.  Of course she cannot tell me that I will or will not get in at this point, but she did say that with my GPA (...which of course is magnificent!!!!) I have an excellent chance of getting admitted for the Fall. 

Now here is to tackling the last few pre-requisite requirements ..which includes getting the school to approve transfer credit for my statistics class from SIUC ~ currently they are not and they want me to take another general education statistics class at ICC :-(  I am going to call the math department at SIUC next week and see if I can get a course syllabus so they can actually see the different components covered by the class and hopefully approve it.

Hopefully come March I will receive an admission letter to the programs and cruising through A&P I, microbiology and sociology!!!  Power of prayer and positive thinking :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Info Session...

I am going to an information session at the College of Nursing tomorrow ....  I am excited to hear more about the program and I have lots of questions.

Going back to school is a big decision and I am not taking the it lightly.  I want to make sure that I am making the right choice and that includes making sure that "school fit" is a good one.  I do feel in my heart that this is the right direction for me but I am also aware that timing needs to be right in order for all the pieces to fall into place.

Tomorrow will be exciting .. stay tuned ...


A little progress...

Yesterday I went on a field trip with Olivia's class.  We visited the Challenger Learning Center in Bloomington for a "visit" to outer space.  The kids had all been preparing very hard for their mission called "Rendezvous with a Comet" and they had a fantastic time.  It was just so much fun observing them and seeing them put their learning into actual application.  Olivia was on the "Remote Team" and while in space, she got to examine bugs and plant life...she was a happy girl!

Upon returning home, I got some good news ... well at least I hope it is good news!  Finally the lady from the mortgage company came back with a reply.  Based on the BPO (broker price opinion) dispute information that we have submitted, they are ordering a new opinion.  I am hoping that this new opinion will be more reflective of where the market is actually at and will configure within a certain "magic" number of our current offer so that the sale will be approved to move forward.  I am keeping my fingers crossed and staying hopeful that we will have an answer very soon.

I really really hate having to sell our home ... I loved my house on the coast and miss our neighborhood and friends very very much.  I miss the sounds of the ocean, walking by the beach and feeling the tranquility of the sounds and looking the endless blue ocean ... But I love eating dinner together (so a paycheck is beneficial!!!) and I love the fact that we are all together again every day...being a family is better than any house because it is just a house ... just a structure... family is love and my heart is complete when we are together.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ugh...short sale wait...

So here we are and we still do not have an answer on our short sale.  As a matter of fact, I still have zero correspondence from our contact handling our short sale on the mortgage side.  Yuck!!!  I am getting nervous and impatient.  I know that the "short" sale process is not a short one but a response to my emails and questions would be nice.  Even just a acknowledgement that they have receive our information would be nice.

I have sent them stuff and our real estate agent has sent them lots of stuff....not a word in return.  I am getting stressed out as I worry that the potential buyer make retract their offer and then we would be SOL completely.  I just cannot believe that the mortgage company would prefer to go through a foreclosure rather than working with us when we have a buyer lined up. 

Keep thinking that STRESSED spells DESSERTS backwards.....off to eat another cookie to keep my stress level down....wait that just counter acts all my running.  Hmmm what to do what to do...

Monday, November 7, 2011

11 credits for spring...

It is official, I am registered for 11 credit hours in the Spring semester!  I am almost scared ... but so excited too.  I got most of my first choice classes which was good.  The only upset is that the lab class I wanted for microbiology was already full so I had to take one on a different day.  Which is too bad because I will now need to go to campus 4 days a week instead of 2.... but oh well ... I guess that gives me plenty of opportunity for study time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I love books...

I am sitting here looking through my lab book for my A&P class.  I am registering for classes in the morning and I find myself a bit nervous and hopeful that the line will not be too long.  I really hope that I will get into the classes of my choice with regards to time preference.  Rio is very busy at work and his schedule is a bit unpredictable, so I need to make sure that the timing for my classes work with the kids' school schedule.

It is often said that people will change their career direction a few times in their life....I really think my time is now.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and the timing just feels right.

I have always loved books.  I love the library and the book store .. heck I love my kindle (except it is broken right now which is annoying as holy heck because I was in the middle of a book!).  Anyway, when I was a little girl ~ I think about Olivia's age (who by the way is a little super ready as well!) about 10 or 11 ~ I stumbled across a series of books about a nurse.  The books were old and collecting dust in the attic on my local library.  I loved going to the attic and looking through the old book boxes and for some reason I just found these books very facinating.  I remember obsessively reading the Sue Barton books (by Helen Dore Boylston) .. about a young woman going to nursing school.  The series has 6 or 7 books and cover Sue's young adulthood through nursing school and her life on through marriage and kids.  I loved these book, so much in fact that I re-read them again later in my teens ~ I remember thinking that being a nurse must be totally cool. 

As I went on with school, business seemed to be the way to go and although I like my first career choice, I do find it funny that maybe I knew all along what a better choice might be.  Only time will tell how things will work out but for now I am excited to start something new!

Surro lunch...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting two fellow surrogates who frequents SMO.  I drove up to Davenport and we met up for lunch.  It was wonderful to have an opportunity to share experiences and to meet new people.  Lunch was very enjoyable and chatting for a while with a couple of lovely ladies who totally get why I choose to be a surrogate was awesome.

My Asian Chicken Salad left something to be desired ... but I gotta say the Flying Monkey (think lemonade, Citron Vodka and peach schnapps)..... totally yummy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The petals fell too soon...

I woke up this morning and stumbled across this poem and it just made my heart smile.  Little J would have been almost six months old now.  Despite his brief presence in this world he touched my heart and soul in ways that I cannot explain.   The imprint of his little body snuggled close to my neck the time I held him for the very first time, the light feather weight of holding his little hand, and the soft touch of his little head will always linger in my heart. 

Loosing a baby is the most difficult experience and something that I wish no parent would ever have to endure.  Although I am not the parent, J was mine a little bit too ... and I feel such a strong connection to this sweet little boy whom we lost so soon.  Just like his momma, I miss him every day.  I wish that he did not have to go and that he was still here with all of us.  I feel the heart ache of his parents and the fear that he will be forgotten as other people are afraid to ask about him and talk about him in our presence out of fear of not wanting to hurt our feelings.  

Everyday I think of N and am so grateful that he is here to bless our lives...I believe that his special guardian angel is looking out for his well being every day ... little one where ever you are in heaven, know that forever you touched my life and I will never forget...
   
The world may never notice
If a flower doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
     author unknown                   

Friday, November 4, 2011

4508...

...steps that is and it is only 8:32 AM ... I think I am going to meet my goal of 10K today!  I am actually really proud of myself for this week.  I went for another run this morning right after the school bus left - adding more distance and more running time ... and my thighs are now killing me!  Which is ok because my arms are killing me too after doing some extra lifts after my run....

Rio came home the other day saying that he wanted to get back to doing P90X again.  Just so he will be in shape in case a trip to Hawaii should come up some time over the winter!!  Well if indeed a trip to Hawaii will sneak up on us then you bet I  will be ready! 

We really want to go on vacation but we need to get the house sold first.  We are still hoping that we will get some answers from our mortgage company soon with regards to the short sale.  They are taking their time and I am getting antsy - it is just not fun having both a mortgage and rent to pay.  Wishing for a fairy to make the real estate market somehow magically restore it self to its former glory.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Woohoo...

Congrats to M ~ my buddy surrogate who delivered V's big brother ... she got a positive beta today!!!  Woohoo many congrats to M and her new IP's ... wishing them all a long and healthy pregnancy :-)

Girl ~ you rock!

Run in the rain...

I have been sticking with the running...well for the most part ~ yesterday I skipped the run as I had a couple of appointments in the morning.  I did make up for it and took Magnus and Sebastian for a bike ride after school.  The weather was beautiful, cool and crisp but not cold.  It was a great day for yard work and we got lots and lots and LOTS of leaves down to the curb for pick-up.  We are drowning in leaves here ... it is beautiful but so much work.

This morning we woke up to crappy weather.  Gusty, cold and rainy...a typical November morning.  Winter is on the way!  However despite the rain, I went out for a run and I feel great!  My endurance is still not the best but I feel an improvement and every time I go out, I add a little more running time to my routine.  I still do not go all that far in distance but it is a start.

I purchased a pedometer last week to keep my motivation going and to track the number of steps I take.  For now my goal is for a minimum of 10,000 a day.  I did not move enough the first few days I was keeping track and dug myself a little whole!  Day 4 of tracking, I was below my goal by 13,317 steps ... ouch!  So the catch-up began ... it really does take some effort to get to 10K.... seeing the number on my pedometer throughout the day keeps me motivated to move especially when the number is low!  Running helps a great deal too - hopefully between my daily weight routine and the running, the scale will show the results as some point too. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I am truly blessed...

A couple of days before Violet's birthday, I received a beautiful wall hanging in the mail from M&M.  It depicts a mama bird and her nest ... with a sweet note thanking me for nesting their baby girl.  My heart is so humbled and flooded with gratitude.  On little V's birthday, I got to say hello to her on the phone and talk to both of her parents ... such joy to hear about their little girl and how life is going.  It is such a special privilege to continually be included in their life.  

Having this bond with them makes me feel very fortunate especially as just yesterday I read a post on SMO from a surrogate who recently gave birth.  She was in a dual surrogate situation just like I was ... only she did not know!  Her IP's never shared with her that they had another surrogate.  I understand the rights that any IP's have to keep their life private but there are some things that needs to be shared when you undertake a surrogacy journey.  Honesty and openness is so important.  I can understand the fears that potential parents have with the pregnancy not working out and that having two surrogate may double their chances for becoming parents but it is hard for me to understand why the IP's would keep such significant information to them selves.  A surrogacy journey is based so much on trust between the parties and basing the relationship on a lie is just a disaster waiting to happen.

I can only imagine the shock of finding out this news right after giving birth and then having the IP's lie straight to her face after she has helped them achieve a dream.  I hope the surrogate will find peace with her journey and that more than anything else, she feel the satisfaction of knowing that two sweet little miracles are in this world because of how special she is.

Registering...

Wow I can't believe that I am actually going to register for classes!  My transcript has been evaluated and as it turns out, I need 4 more required classes for the nursing program I applied to.  So my plan is to take three classes for the Spring semester.  Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology and Intro to Sociology ~ both Micro and A&P has a lab component as well so it will be a busy semester.  Then in the summer I will take A&P II.  Hopefully registration will go off without a hitch.

I have already purchased my A&P book and I will be doing lots of review over the next few months.  Right now I am focusing most on medical terminology.  I found a couple of different free programs online and I am all about FREE!

While learning or should I say reinforcing medical terminology, I am also trying to solidify my knowledge of the human bones and muscles.  I am trying to relate my learning to my daily activities to connect the dots of learning.  I want to make sure that I am leaning not just for the class but that I "get it" and commit it to memory for future recall.

So here is to getting off my gluteus maximus to get rid of the extra chocolate caloric intake from Halloween!