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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A little hick-up in the plan...

I am a planner ... I like when things go accordingly to plan.  I like when I can neatly check everything off my list - in order!

Well this whole house selling thing has not gone according to plan ~ as a matter of fact is has gone so far far far away from the plan as it possibly could!  It is very frustrating.  So since we are now back in limbo trying to figure out exactly what we are doing with our wonderful home....that I love but am not currently residing in, I have decided to put school on hold for just a little while ... yes this also means putting the goal of nursing school on hold for a while as I will not be eligible to enter the program without finishing the classes I was signed up to take.

In the grand scheme of things - all with be ok - but in the immediate it just sucks!  It was a huge let down to go back into the registrars office to withdraw when so recently I excitedly signed up.  I had been really charged up for these classes and truly enjoyed these first few weeks.  But the distraction of everything with the house has totally taken my focus away from studying as much as I should have been, and not knowing exactly what our next step may be is just a tad bit stressful.

So for now, I am fancy free!  Plans change, hopefully my plan for nursing school will not be derailed but just taking a small detour while we regroup.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

My girlie cracks me up...

I am very proud of my heritage.  I try to expose the kids to as much Danish stuff as possible.  We visit as often as we can ~ which will never be often enough!  We cook Danish foods ~ and we love love LOVE when we get goodies from Denmark in the mail (but we especially love when the goodies come packed in a suitcase along with visitors!!)  We also often speak about family, events and various happenings in Denmark.  Today we had a few fun exchanges:

In the car going to the Zoo:
Olivia: Mom is this a Danish that I am eating?
Me: yes
Olivia: yumm...I am a cannibal ~ I am eating my own kind!

At home looking at pictures of the new Princess in the royal family:
Olivia: You know a lot of men in Denmark have cheeks like that (referring to the proud dad ~ Prince Joachim of Denmark ~ with pink cheeks rounded out in a smile)
Me: lots of people have cheeks like that
Olivia: yes lots of people in Denmark
Me: well you know the prince of Denmark is half French and the mom (Princess Marie) is also French
Olivia: ooohh french toast ~ yummy
Me: what???

I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff ... she is hilarious.  On a more serious note, you Danes and Frenchmen out there, better watch out ... she may sink her teeth into you next!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catching up with M...

M&M and I have been texting back and forth over the holidays ... but never had the chance to actually catch up over the phone.  Well we made up for that just recently.  It was so much fun to hear about their holidays and how the twiblings are growing and their language exploding as only it can during the toddler stage of life.

I also got some sweet pictures of V ... she is so adorable with her big beautiful eyes!  Big hugs to cutie girl :-)

...I love that we stay in touch ~ it makes the journey of helping M&M to parenthood very fulfilling.  Getting those small peeks into their life is truly just so wonderful and it makes my heart smile.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thyroid testing...

It is done and all levels have fully returned to normal.

My labs taken as part of my full regular medical check-up back in October revealed that a few of my blood levels were not within the "regular" parameters of the norm.  One of these were my thyroid levels.  The overall level was increased above where it should it be, but as I discussed with my practitioner, it was likely as a result of my recent pregnancy and lactation.  I stopped pumping breast milk for little N just a month earlier and both lactation and pregnancy can have an impact on thyroid levels.

Never the less, the levels were off enough that my doc wanted some follow-up tests.  The first follow-up in December showed that my overall thyroid level had returned to within the normal range, but that my T3 and T4 levels were still not there yet.  So I went in for another follow-up last Friday ... and tada ... all my levels are now back in the range they should be.  Yeah - one thing to cross of my worry list!

The other two lab values that were out wack were my Vitamin D and triglyceride levels.  I have been taking a liquid Vitamin D supplement to pump my level back up where it should be.  Between the extra liquid drops and now being back on pre-natal vitamins, hopefully my levels will be great when we retest in about a month.

The increased triglyceride level is the one that stomps me a bit.  It really was not that far out of range but still higher than it should be.  I am not over weight, I eat a pretty clean diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies,  I try to stay away from a white breads,  I do not drink much soda or eat much candy ... so I am not sure why my level would be high.  Even so, I have become even more conscious of my diet since October.  I try to really look out for those refined sugars in food products and make healthy choices.  My exercise habits are also much better ... so hopefully when we re-test, the number will be lower....it could also be that my "normal" level is just a tad bit higher than "the average normal" range.  If that is the case, at least we have a base line to compare my follow-up results again.

So for this month my regular clinic is done "sucking" blood from me ... now I get to move on to the other "blood suckers" as the reproductive clinic has some testing requirements to be fulfilled.  For now we are waiting on my records from my MFM appointment and my regular physical to be forwarded on to Dr. H and his staff so they can determine which screening appointments I will need to move forward.
 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You got a plan until you have a new one...

I have spent the last week being extremely frustrated with our mortgage company and the mortgage insurance company ... in my humble opinion, they just SUCK!!!!

Anyways with a second attempt to sell our house gone astray ... we need regroup and make a new plan....and do it quickly!!  So we are pondering what to do what to do... 

There are options.  All of them are not exactly desirable, but they are options.  So now we just have to decide which option we want to go with.

Option 1 - let the bank have the house .... yeah won't really work for me.  I am just not up for completely botching my credit and ability to buy another home for who knows how long!

Option 2 - continue paying and using it as a vacation home.  Well that is a nice option, except the house is empty!  Oh and Rio works ALL the time so there is no time for a vacation, and lastly it is just too much money to pay for a home that is not used or loved.  We have been paying double rent for way to long at this point and it is just not a viable option to continue doing so.  Watching most of our savings leek monthly down the drain to pay for a home that we are not in ... well it SUCKS!

Option 3 - move back in.  Well that is also a nice option!!  Woohoo I can do that ... then again a job is really necessary and living in my lovely home but without a job ... that is not a viable option either.

Option 4 - winning the lottery ... YES!!!  This is my preferred option ~ guess I really need to start buying the lottery tickets in order for this to be a viable one.

Option 5 - renting it out.  UGH I hate this option...but alas it may be the only way right now.  We are looking into it and will be making a decision soon.  Anyone want to rent a fantastic and beautiful home on the Oregon coast ... let me know!

Hmmm.... so where I am - got a new plan?  Nope not yet .... but I am sure that a new one will come to me .. I just have to think about it really hard :-(

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Call with A...

What a wonderful start to my morning ... I had such a nice phone call with A.  There truly is such a sweet energy between us ~ I love it.  We are just so excited about the possibilities....it really is so wonderful thinking out aloud about the things to be and so easy because it just feels so right.

~ Happy Sunday everyone ~

Friday, January 20, 2012

STOMP..STOMP..STOMP...

I feel so stomped on :-(

Short sale attempt #2 ... no fun!!!  No fun at all ... the second attempt to sell our home has now fallen through.  I am so disgusted about it ... I just do not know what to do.

We have been staying on top of our mortgage, keeping current on everything even though we are no longer living in the house.  Since we moved for Rio's job, we have been hopeful for a satisfactory resolution to selling our home, which due to the lovely market conditions, has dropped significantly in value (read 40+% from valuation report post completion and landscaping of the home just 4 years ago to the most recent market evaluation in December) .... this sucks!!!!

We knew full well that it was going to be a challenge to sell our home.  We knew full well that the outcome was NOT going to be favorable.  We "could" have chosen to say "what the heck with it"  ... and let the bank take the home in foreclosure when we left the coast.  BUT we are not that kind of people.  We build the house, we put our savings into it, we undertook the mortgage - all done willingly and happily - and we loved that house.  We have done everything we could to keep our mortgage current and the house in excellent shape in spite of no longer living there.

Before the house was listed, I called the mortgage company and discussed out situation ... they did not want to hear it.  We were not behind = no help available.  I consulted with an attorney before listing the home, making sure that we were taking all the right steps to get to a successful sale.  And then we waited and prayed and payed.  Every month we have been right on time - paying our obligation even when it has been hard.

September/October rolled around and we got an offer on the home.  The bank was slow slow slow in going through the process.  They ordered a property evaluation which clearly did not reflect current market value.  We disputed the evaluation and they went on to reorder a new one based on our dispute....only they did not order it.  Then there were excuses and finally it was reordered and came in below what offer #1 on our property was ... too bad the buyers decided to walk because of the lack of timely response from the bank.

On to relisting our property at the new "bank value" as requested by the bank.  A new offer comes in and all looks ok and dandy ... well that is aside from the price :-(  The bank is very efficient up front and then it all comes to a sloooooooooowwwww halt..... weeks go by, our finances are being poured over from every conceivable angle ... our savings are dvindeling and our hope that this will end somewhat successful is disminishing.

Yesterday was the final blow ... the bank will only approve the short sale with us putting an obscene amount of cash down at closing.  Where exactly do they think we are going to get that cash from? .. beats me.  If the bank had done their what they say they would do when offer #1 was on the table, not only would we have had a higher purchase price but also we would be have been in a much better cash position....but alas that did not happen. 

Now the bank have all our financial records and know exactly what we have left ... still they asked for more than double that amount in cash upon closing.   Plus for us to sign a significant note for repayment ... and then the kicker ... they still will not release us from the remaining liability in writing (which the attorney stressed in great detail that we are to get).  This means that at any point in time they can come back for more..... when I questioned it the lady at the bank responded that she had never seen them go after anyone for that.  Right lady ... just like in December when you told me that our deficiency was really not that much compared to other going through the same scenario, and she did not really feel like we should worry about getting approval for the sale ... right!!!

So by now between, taking out a loan to "pay" the cash at downpayment; plus the new loan from them on the remainder balance; plus the added stress of not knowing when they want more .... not to mention the sucky impact on our currently perfect and unblemished (yes my pride and joy!) credit record ... I am just flat out broke.  My bank account is drained and my trust in the system has just flown out the window.

This is the real face of the drop in home prices in America people .... this SUCKS!!!!!

We have done everything we could ... and still I feel like we are being punished.  I bet if we had just decided to stop payment on our mortgage back last summer ... they would have been happy to work a deal with us.  But because we continued to pay all our obligations on time ... we are not a risk to them and they know. 

All I can say is I hope you do not have to sell your home.  I hope you do not get in the position where you have to move in order to secure employment.  And now I am left pondering what to do ... what to do... someone please hand over the magic wand!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Impatient...

I am impatiently waiting for some answers from the clinic....I know it has only been a few days but it would be nice to have the answers I need like YESTERDAY!  Hurry up and wait :-)

On a funky note, I got my new prenatal vitamins in the mail the other day.... and my DHA supplement is strawberry flavored!!!  Who on earth thought of that ... strawberry fish .. yummy!  No chance that I will ever bite into one of those ... dunk and swallow.  But thinking about it .. having strawberry burps will be much preferred over fishy burps :-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Spilling....overflowing really...

I am totally excited ... we are doing it ~ we are actually doing this. We are jumping into the pool testing the water and see if we can swim as a team!  Woohoo!!!!

I got my "pre-cycle" checklist from the clinic.  It is the same clinic and RE that I have worked with for both my previous surrogacies.  This is great.  I really like Dr. H a lot.  He knows my health history well and knows how I respond to their protocols.  I am two for two (two transfers = two pregnancies) at their clinic which is really cool indeed!  So here we go cautiously moving forward to number three.... 

Step one is taken .... I am back on pre-natal vitamins to prepare my body for a possible pregnancy.  It is still early, but we all feel that it is crucial to make sure that my body will have all the nutrients it requires to grow a healthy baby way in advance of actually pursuing a pregnancy.  Step two is to get going on the rest of the screening list and getting all the required testing done.  There is quite a bit to do.   I will need sort through the list as some items were already done with my regular medical check-ups back in the fall.

At this point things can still come up that will prevent us from officially moving forward with a full blown journey.  Nothing is set in stone yet,  and while I feel confident that all will be just fine, it is good to go through all the medical details in the nitty gritty just to make sure.  Everyone wants this to be a smooth go and accordingly we will jump through all the hoops in order to make sure that we are cleared for take off.

A&S ... what an incredible first few weeks of January this has been.  I am so excited for all the possibilities of what is to come.  I can think of no one I would rather do this with.

Life always have a way of coming full circle.  When I first "met" A&S, we clicked well and I truly wanted to help fulfill their dream of a sibling.  It was not meant to be at that time but the continued friendship between A and I has been wonderful.  It has been such a blessing getting to know them and makes this potential journey even more meaningful.

To me it is so important and very comforting that A&S know all about my previous journeys ... we are in full disclosure and are moving forward with eyes wide open.  A lot of the "hard" discussions have actually been really easy going.  In surrogacy it is SO incredible important that all the parties are on the same page with many many things.  Well, we were pretty much there a year and a half ago and while some things have changed ... most really stayed the same ... we know what we want this to look like and hopefully once we get to the actual contract stage, getting through it will just be a matter of formality.

A and I have been corresponding a lot via email .. it is great to wake up to her notes in the mornings.  Since we are not in the same time zone, timing of phone calls and managing kids can be kind of tricky, but email is great and it works well for us.  Recently we had a long phone call ... it was sweet and beautiful and full of so many dreams and wishes.  It was nice hearing her voice again.  Last time we spoke was back in August of 2010 ... but we picked up the conversation again so easily.

I think that I can safely say that we are all on cloud nine about the possibilities....oohhh the possibilities :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

To spill the beans or not...

Not!  I am just not quite ready to share - not yet anyway.  It feels like I am keeping a secret and everyone who knows me, know that I am terrible with secrets... all I want to do is blurt it out. 

Those of you who read my blog, know my struggles with understanding the fall out and aftermath of my last surrogacy journey...some things are just hard to understand.   It was a scary experience and it has touched me deeply and changed me in so many ways.  Despite of the outcome, my dreams and wishes for pursuing another pregnancy ~ another journey are still here....and this is really no a secret ...however, it is not something that I have openly shared with many outside of this forum.  Actually very few in my family (outside of my hubby and kiddos) know that I am even considering another surrogacy journey. 

It is a sweet feeling of something coming along quite nicely.  Trust me when I say that it is very difficult to keep it all in when you feel like you are bursting at the seems.  Somehow though I am not yet ready to share all the excitement that these first few weeks of January has brought along... but it is coming - I promise ...stay tuned!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

School is starting soon...

The kids go back to school from Christmas break tomorrow.  I am so ready for them to start back up as they are getting too bored just hanging around with me all day.  Rio has off this weekend which was so nice.  The kids are loving the extra time with him and so am I.  Yesterday we drove to Davenport, IA and went to the Putnam Museum.  There were hardly anyone there so the kids got lots on hands on time with the various exhibits.  We also saw a 3D Shark movie - it was really interesting.  This is the best 3D feature I have ever been to...I felt like the fish were coming straight at us.  Sebastian kept trying to catch the jelly fish ... it was so cute!

School for me starts in just another week.  I am very excited about my upcoming classes.  I am getting a little bit nervous too.  It has been a long time since I last had to study ... so time will tell how it will go.  I am thinking about just taking 2 classes instead of 3 but since one of them is an online class only, I hope it will not be too bad.

For now my New Years resolutions are holding up well.  I enjoy writing out little notes and I hope the recipients like them as well.  As far as working out goes ... I am sticking with it.  We ended up not getting the eliptical for a couple of reasons.  Instead I got the abglider and am using it everyday.  Rio also have a the insanity workouts so I will be trying those out as well.  I did the warm up for it today ... boo after those 10 minutes I was ready for a break!

I will be hanging with it though....just trying to get in tip top shape.  I feel great with the extra exercise in my day.  It gives a lot more energy ... and being in a great place health wise is important for many different reasons ; -)

Friday, January 6, 2012

A leap of faith...

A little wish made on a New Years eve in the wee hours of a brand new year, sat in motion a ripple effect of dreams and possibilities.

I have allowed for the seeds of wonder to grow .. opened my heart to the possibility of a new journey and let the excitement settle upon my soul.

It truly feels like something coming full circle...I am not doing this to get a happy ending, I am not doing this just to apeace my heart…I am considering this because I have connected with an IM that is very special to me.  Someone I have developed a friendship with and whose dreams of a baby is something that I have prayed would happen for a very LONG time.

Who knows where things will go from here …. who knows where life will take us. Maybe no where .. only time will tell. What I do know is that my last journey rattled my soul to the core and challenged my belief in that some things are meant to be. But here we are … another twist of fate and again, some things just seems like they are meant to be.

Sometimes in life we need to take a leap of faith...I think this is one of those times.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A wish upon a shooting star...

I think a dear friend made a wish upon a shooting star on New Year's eve ... the sparkle from the star is lighting the way for new possibilities.   Who knows where this will lead but how lucky I feel to have this friend...

The turn of the new year allows for one to ponder all the possibilities ... the dawn of new light brings forth a brand new day to embrace and make your own.

My Christmas spirits were on the low side but the brightness of the new year and all that lays ahead makes me ever so excited to see what is just around the corner...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Perhaps...

In my adventure into surrogacy, I have met three wonderful couples.  Each of these couples have become very dear to me and knowing their stories have given me much respect of my own fertility and how lucky I really am.  When I met M&M they were embarking on their journey to parenthood via surrogacy after many failed attempts of IVF and I was able to give birth to a beautiful little Violet for them.  L&J already had children through surrogacy but wanted to add to their family.  For them I had the absolute pleasure of carrying the two baby boys ~ sweet baby N and beautiful angel J.  In between those two journeys, I met A&S ... a couple who had carried a child of their own but still longed for more...

I became acquainted with A&S over a year and a half ago and got to know them pretty well.  We had lots of correspondence back and forth but at the time, pursuing a journey together was just not meant to be.  Although we did not plan a surrogacy journey together, A and I have stayed in touch ever since.  I truly enjoy my correspondence back and forth with A.  She is a sweet and caring mother and I enjoy hearing little tidbits of their life every so often as well as sharing parts of mine with her.

As many IP's, A&S have had a long journey and it is not over yet.  Since we "met" I have said countless of prayers for them, wishing right along with them that this was the right match and their journey would blast forward....sadly there have been beginnings but the end of the story has yet to be written.  Surrogacy is definitely not for the faint of heart.  There are so many factors that comes into play when planning a journey and sometimes the stars takes a while to align.  Like I have said many times, surrogacy is a "hurry up and wait" game ...and sometimes the wait is very long.  The point I am trying to make is that they are still longing more than ever to hold a sweet baby in their arms and I still wish it will happen for them very soon.

I have shared my beautiful journey of Violet with them as well as our wonderful article and television appearances.  I know that parts of that story has touched her heart and given strength to move forward in their journey.  Since I had N&J, I have also shared the events of that journey, the beauty and the heartbreak.  Not everything in surrogacy is wonderful.  A has provided some cheering up and kind words in the process.  Sharing of both the beautiful things and not so pretty things in surrogacy is important because life does not always go according to plan.  Sharing has helped me mend my heart and navigate through my grief, but it has also allowed for a way to shine a light on how wonderful surrogacy is and can be.

Recently my conversations with A have turned to possibilities...sure these are coming from a point of frustration as there has once again been hick-up in their journey of adding to their family.  But even so allowing those thoughts to blossom has my heart skipping a beat.  For now I truly hope that their bump in the road is quickly ironed out so they can move forward soon again ... I so wish for them that the GS they have chosen will be able to carry their treasured gold and bring a sweet little baby to them very soon.

For my own reasons, and I am sure some will think very selfish reasons, I would love the opportunity to carry another little one below my heart.   I do not "feel" done with pregnancy and fact is that I would love to feel the joy and life of a sweet baby in my belly again.  Lots of people have asked me if I would do another journey and my answer has been very consistent ... I would love to but regardless of my own desires .. all things being equal, I am probably not the best choice.  The likelihood of me seeking out a new set of intended parents is just not there when I know their bets may be better hatched elsewhere.  However, this feels different...I have known A for a long time now.  We almost embarked on a journey together and I know her heart, her dreams and wishes for adding to their family.  I have felt their heart ache when things have not gone as planned and many times have I sent prayers in their direction hoping that a sweet babe would be in their arms soon.  When we decided not to pursue a journey together, it was more because of timing issue than a personality issue.  If they, given everything I have been through, would want my help to add to their family, I would say yes in an instant and do what I can to help make their dream to come true.

Who knows if these hypotheticals will ever lead anywhere but I admit it is much fun to entertain the possibility.  After all is that not what a brand new year is for ~ entertaining all the possibilities of a new day and the new year to come?  Certainly much needs to be considered and looked into and there are risks ... but then again life carries risk!  The most important thing is that I have been completely up front and honest with A&S about my history.  I know the risks, I know the precautions needed, and so do they.  We all have a certain level of risk that we are willing to tolerate when worthwhile adventures are pursued ... and perhaps just perhaps sometimes the risks are well worth it!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Anniversary to my honey...

I cannot believe that it has been 18 years.  Fun times and hard times, Ups and downs, good times and bad, I loved you through it all ... and I still love you so very much!

Here is to another amazing year with you by my side.