January 31, 2012

I Resigned

I resigned from my Corporate American job.

I am officially a stay at home mom - a title I never thought I would have.

For those of you that didn't realize I still had a job here's some catch up.  I've worked in the oil and gas industry since graduating with my degree in International Finance and Spanish.  I spent the first several years of my career traveling 90% of the time (region was Canada, US, Central/ South America, Caribbean) as an Internal Auditor.  When I found out I was pregnant with Kate, and high risk due to various reasons, I moved to an analyst position and stopped traveling.  Both assignments were exciting, challenging, and exactly what I thrived off of.  I excelled and did a pretty good job establishing myself within my company.

I went on maternity leave in August 2010 and was off until March 2011 when I returned part time.  It was the perfect schedule for me.  I had days home with Kate but I also had days in the office, adult interaction, and a sense of self worth outside of the home - something my personality longs for. 

I went back on leave in July 2011 to get Kate through transplant and recover with full intentions of returning part time in March. 

And then unexpectedly I got pregnant.

And then we found out Will also has CAMT and will be heading to transplant at some point within his first year of life.

After many discussions about various things, multiple pro/ con lists, and prayer Alex and I made the decision that resigning from my job (as opposed to remaining on leave for the maximum amount of time) would be the best decision for our family.  I made the call today to start the process.

You'd think it wouldn't be a big deal, or impact me at all, seeing as I've only worked in the office for 5 of the past 18 months.  But, it's been hard.  I am 100% confident that we've made the right decision for our family.  However, I'm having a bit of an identity crisis now that I have closed the professional chapter of my life.  It might just be temporary.  I may be back in Corporate America in a few years.  But, I might not be. 

Letting go of something I am good at, something that makes me feel confident, something that has always been my dream, is hard.

Don't get me wrong, I know it is worth it.  I know my children need an advocate.  I know the most important job title I can have for the next several years is stay at home mom to Kate and Will.  Alex and I are blessed to be able to make this decision - to not have the financial worries that typically come with a parent staying at home.  We are blessed that I am able to devote myself to their health issues and care. 

We are blessed - plain and simple.

I'm equal parts excited and nervous and I step into the SAHM world - even though I've been doing it for a while now, it finally feels official. 

January 29, 2012

Project 365: Week 4!

Better late than never, right? I've had a busy day and am just now getting a chance to link up with Laura!

Looking back at our week, we had many jammie days as Kate hasn't been feeling great due to her rash and teething. Thankfully she is feeling better today!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

January 27, 2012

Friday Randoms

*Why is it that I have a great week blogging followed by a horrible week of barely cranking out two posts?  I'm sure being 7 months pregnant and having a 17 month old plays a huge part of it!

*I refuse to admit how many McDonald's egg and cheese biscuits I've consumed this pregnancy.  Let's just say I'm averaging at least one a week.

*Kate is finally starting to learn animal noises and it is so cute!  She knows dog, cat, and cow right now!  I know that this is something she should have been doing months ago but, we are dealing with some speech delays due to everything she's been through so progress like this makes this momma happy! 

*One of my resolutions this year was to stop wasting time watching pointless TV and start reading again.  I love reading and getting lost in a book and find that I am way more relaxed now that I am reading again!  I finished 5 books this year already!  If you haven't read the Hunger Games trilogy do it NOW!  It is amazing!

*Have I mentioned that second pregnancies are no joke?  I felt pretty good when pregnant with Kate.  However, I feel like a 90 year old granny right now.  My hips ache, my back aches, my entire body hurts.  I know it is all worth it but man, it's hard being pregnant and having a toddler!

*I'm also losing my mind.  This morning I put chili powder in Kate's oatmeal instead of cinnamon.  Thankfully I realized it before giving it to her.

*We are currently planning a trip to Disney World in October!  I am so excited about it and spending way too much time planning!  Right now I am super excited about the Disney Junior Character breakfast we are doing at Hollywood & Vine!  I hope both kids are healthy enough to make the trip and I can't wait to see Kate's reaction to it all!

*I have got to finalized the fabrics for Will's nursery so my mom can start on his bedding and curtains!  We are running out of time! My friend Susannah and I are making an Ikea trip this weekend to look at a sofa bed I want for his room.  I'm hoping I see it and love it so I don't have to shop around for something else.

*My glucose test was cancelled on Tuesday.  Apparently my doctor has switched to a 2 hour test that is more accurate that the standard 1 hour test.  The kicker is that you have to fast.  I was unaware of this and consumed a yummy egg and cheese biscuit on the way to the doctor.  I've rescheduled for this coming week and am not looking forward to drinking that nasty drink after fasting for 9+ hours.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!  I think we might break the rules and take Kate somewhere (with her mask on of course)!  We all need to get out!

January 24, 2012

27 Weeks - Hello Third Trimester!

Apparently my back side thinks it is pregnant too.

I can't believe I'm in third trimester!  This pregnancy is flying by - I guess that's what happens when you are busy chasing an active 17 month old!

Things have been relatively stable on the pregnancy front.  I'm finally feeling a bit better but still have days every now and then when I am miserably sick. However, mostly good days are a vast improvement over how I felt for so long so this is a welcome change!  Along with feeling better, I've started gaining weight and am up about 8-9 pounds now. 

I have my one hour glucose tolerance test this morning (at 8:30) and then an appointment and ultrasound as soon as it is done.  I'm very curious to see how big Will is now and hopefully see is sweet face!  Based on kicks and movement I'm guessing he is frank breech at the moment.  He still has room to move all around, and I'm having another c-section, so his position doesn't matter medically speaking, I'm just always curious how he is hanging out in there!

I had a few emails asking about Will's crib.  We went with the DaVinci Kalani in cherry.  I ordered if off of amazon and despite a few shipping delays, it was super easy to order from them.

I'll try to update about Will after my appointment today! 

January 22, 2012

P366- Week 3!

I'm linking up with Laura again for project 366!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

January 20, 2012

Impromptu Clinic Visit

Well, our first "walk in" visit to the BMT clinic has officially happened.  I had to take Kate in yesterday due to a rash. 

On Wednesday I noticed a few red dots around/ near her right eye.  By a few I'm talking 3-5 dots - something only a super paranoid, my child has been through hell, parent would even bat an eye at.  I watched it all day and it started to spread a bit.  By the time Kate got her bath Wednesday night the dots had migrated to her chest and back.  It still wasn't bad but it was enough for Alex and I to make the call that we would bring her in Thursday morning.  We've been told time and time again that you don't mess around with fever, rashes, or diarrhea when dealing with BMT kids so we wanted her to be seen.

My initial thought was that it was just a touch of a graft versus host rash due to stopping her immune suppressant medication.  Not a huge deal - get some topical steroid cream to treat it and everything would be fine.

By Thursday morning the rash was worse but still not horrible.  I brought her in and we had to see a doctor that I'm not a huge fan of.  Kate's regular doctor is out of town which always seems to be the case when Kate has something go wrong (she was out of town when Kate was hospitalized this fall).  Well, according to the doctor, Kate's rash was normal and he refused to do anything about it.

Um, what about a 17 month old covered in a rash is normal?  I'm pretty sure that's not normal for even the healthiest of babies.  However, you can't force a doctor to write a prescription so we came home and I was told to watch the rash and make sure it didn't become "angry".  Um, ok.

By the time Kate's home health nurse arrive for her weekly dressing change, Kate's chest looked horrible, as did her eye.  He encouraged me to take pictures and email them just to make sure they still didn't want to do anything.  I agreed and was planning on calling back anyways.

Another doctor looked at the pictures and determined that the rash appears to be a fungal rash due to how the raised areas/ bumps are clustered together.  She called in meds and hopefully we are on the road to recovery!  Kate's poor eye and chest look the worst but her back is also covered in the rash.

We would appreciate any and all prayers for this rash to pass.  Fungal rashes are very contagious and can get out of control quickly, especially with a patient that has a non existent immune system.  I'm hoping we caught it early enough and it will be all clear within the next week or so!

And I'm hoping we have a nice, quiet weekend at home that doesn't require any calls to the on-call doctor due to a worsening rash!

January 18, 2012

Enjoying the Weather!

We've had an unseasonably warm winter here in Houston.  It's always a mild winter but I'm talking 75-80 degrees for the past several weeks with just a handful of cooler days mixed in.  I personally love it and wish we had this kind of weather year round!

Because the weather has been so nice, and Kate is doing so well, we've started letting her explore outside a bit more and she loves it!  We've been taking her on walks in the stroller since about 1.5 months post transplant but she really is enjoying the freedom of being out of her stroller, walking around, and getting up close and personal to flowers/ plants/ leaves for the first time in her life!

Last Wednesday we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather!  Kate spotted our neighbor's flowers instantly and was sure to point them out to me!

Look mom, pretty flowers!

I'm not in the stroller so I can touch them!
(Note: I totally freaked out when she touched the flower and I am fairly certain the words "no touch that could have bacteria or fungus or germs on it" came out of my mouth.  Then, I realized she had her mask on, couldn't put her dirty hands in her mouth, and we would wash them as soon as we got home.  Still, having her touch things makes me so nervous given her compromised immune system and everything she's been through.)

Going in for a closer look!

An she's off to something else!

I'm hoping the warm weather continues because it has been amazing to watch Kate explore the world she has been sheltered from the past 6 months!

I know there will be questions about Kate's mask - she wears this special filtered mask anytime she leaves the house for protection from the nasty things that float all around us!  She is really good about keeping it on and knows that if she wants to leave the house, she must sit down and let me put her mask on her.  Yes it brings about stares and questions but who cares what people think - anything to keep Kate as healthy as safe as possible!

January 17, 2012

26 Weeks

How far along: 26 weeks

Total weight gain: I am fluctuating between 6-7 pounds

Maternity Clothes: I can still wear regular jeans but maternity jeans are more comfortable.  However, I pretty much live in leggings these day.  Since I'm carrying lower I am in maternity tunics/ tops for length!

Stretch marks: Nope

Best moment this week: Cleaning out the nursery - the crib should be delivered today!

Movement: Lots! Will is strong and his kicks and rolls are powerful! 

Food cravings: Skittles, skittles and more skittles.  I seriously bought 2 pounds of skittles at Kroger this weekend.  I'm also craving cold fruit - apples, grapefruit, clementines, etc.

Labor signs: No.  I have braxton hicks contractions regularly but nothing serious.

Belly button - innie or outie: It's getting flatter and depending on Will's position sometimes looks like it is about to pop out any second!

What are you looking forward to this week: Putting the crib together!

Overall, I'm doing good.  I feel like I'm finally getting some energy back too which is nice!  I'm still having hip/ back pain but I'm learning to deal with it.  Sleep has gotten harder this week as I either can't get comfortable or am up going to the bathroom all night long.  I'm in full on nesting mode and have gone a bit crazy with purging things from the house! 

I can't believe we have less than 12 weeks left!

January 15, 2012

Project 366- Week 2

Over the past two weeks, I've been hearing about Project 365 (or 366 this year since it's a leap year) all over twitter and blogland.

I decided to jump on board this week as I love the idea of capturing a picture every day for a year. I'm sure 99% of my pictures will be iPhone pictures that just capture a little bit of our daily life but, I'm excited to have these memories documented!

I'm linking up with Laura this week as she is hosting a weekly link up for everyone to share their week in pictures!

Sarah did an awesome post with several great tips about participating in project 365 from your phone! Be sure to check it out - I'm using all of them today!

So, here is our week in pictures! Enjoy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

January 13, 2012

Day +135 - A great update!

I feel like I haven't given a BMT update on Kate in a while.

We dealt with several set backs in December - the biggest being her red blood cell/ hemoglobin issue.  Ultimately, it was discovered that Kate's body was not producing a hormone known as EPO (it's made by the kidneys) which signals the bone marrow to make red cells.  After blood transfusions and starting a new IV medication that stimulates EPO production, Kate's hemoglobin increased!

We did a week trial without the medication (last week) and thankfully her hemoglobin was stable at her appointment on Tuesday so we are going yet another week without the medicine.  Our hope is that she just needed a boost to help her body "re-learn" how to make EPO.  If her hemoglobin drops, we will re-start the medication and look into other reasons why she can't sustain her red count (things like kidney damage that would mean her body may never be able to sustain EPO and RBC).  We are praying that isn't the case.

Despite this setback, Kate had an amazing appointment Tuesday!

She is 4.5 months post transplant and her platelet count is FINALLY normal!  And, it is the highest it has ever been her entire life!  We went to transplant due to a platelet issue so I've been very nervous that her platelet count remained low for so long.  But, it is right where it needs to be now!  Her ANC looks great as do her liver levels (which gave up problems in November).

Kate's BMT doctor mentioned that if things keep looking this good over the next 3-4 weeks, there is a big chance her central line will come out some time in February! I cannot believe we are to the point of talking about removing her central line, switching to every other week clinic appointments, and stopping medications!

Yep, that's right - we've dropped blood pressure medication and as of today Kate is completely off of her immune suppressant medication as well!  That leaves only one medicine in the mix which is her oral anti pneumonia medicine and she will be on that until 1 year post transplant.

We also heard today that Kate is 98% donor which is wonderful as well!

I didn't really know what to do with so much good news on Tuesday.  I've become so accustom to hearing good news coupled with not so good news so to have an appointment where we only had positive things to discuss was wonderful!

God is good and we are moving closer and closer to normal life!  There's even talk of some of Kate's isolation restrictions letting up in the next 1-2 months!

I am so thankful that so many people have prayed for, supported, and been their for our family and for Kate.  I know she wouldn't be doing this well if it wasn't for the community we have rallying behind us!

January 10, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies!

I posted a picture of my no bake cookies on twitter and several people asked for the recipe so I figured I'd post it here!

These cookies are so easy to make and oh so yummy! They remind me of my childhood and visiting my mom's family in Mississippi. No clue if they are a regional/ southern thing - all that matters is they are yummy!

No Bake Cookies
1 stick of butter
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup peanut butter

In a sauce pan, heat butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and milk until everything is melted. Bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.

Turn off heat. Mix in oats and peanut butter. Stir until combined.

Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper (I didn't have any so just spooned it onto a baking sheet) and let cookie set.

Do yourself a favor and don't drop all of the batter into cookies so you can enjoy some warm, gooey goodness straight from the pan!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

January 7, 2012

iPhone Picture Dump!

I have some "real" pictures to post but thought I would do an iPhone dump of our week!

Kate got a ride in one of our suit cases that was out from our trip to Mississippi! Funny how something so simple is so fun to a child!

Sibling jealousy has begun. Kate thinks the infant carrier is hers. I'm certain she will try to sit on Will while he is strapped in at least a million times.

Will and Momma met with up Auntie Sus for a much needed pedicure which meant I actually looked decent and left the house to go somewhere other than TCH, Kroger, or Target! I got this tunic from Old Navy and love it!

I've eaten my weight in this chewy, fruity goodness.

A certain little girl refused to look at the camera. I love this dress so much! It was part of her Christmas gift from Colt- a fellow BMT baby. I think his mom just wanted an excuse to shop for a baby girl!

Kate got the rare treat of a bath in the big tub! Her central line can't get wet which makes bath time hard. We've mastered the quick dip and wipe down. However, this week I decided to let her play in the tub for a while. It was the night before her weekly dressing change so I wasn't too worried about the possibility of things getting wet. She had a blast!

Kate had a photo shoot...of herself. I guess she's learned how to flip the camera to the front and take selflies. Now to work on smiling!

We twirled until we couldn't stand!

I finally took the time to organize the mess of toys Kate has! I still have a few more things to do but, it already is so much more manageable!

Kate enjoyed the beautiful 75 degree weather we've been having and pulled out summer clothes!

And enjoyed her dinner so much last night that she just had to lick every last crumb from the bowl!

We've had a good week over here! I'm about to make no bake cookies, Alex is out fishing (and has a kayak full of fish!), and Kate is in a great mood! I know this weekend is going to be a fun one!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

January 5, 2012

January Sponsors!

As I mentioned last month, We're Finally Three is accepting sponsors this year!  I am excited to introduce my January sponsors.  I personally know the owners of each of these companies and can say, without a doubt, they are all amazing companies and are wonderful people to do business with!

JakesTrade.com is a NEW way to promote your Trade or service whether you work from home or at a business.  Tutoring, house cleaning, piano lessons, carpentry, ironing, event planning, handyman work, and monogramming are all Trades you will find at JakesTrade.com!  Start your FREE trial today at JakesTrade.com!

Simply Chic is an online, chic, and affordable jewelry and accessory business that run completely through Facebook.  Shopping and Facebook at the same time, is there anything better?  We run fixed price auctions of 20 to 25 items every Monday at 8pm CST.  Items are listed on Simply Chic's wall along with a picture, cost, quantity available, and a description.  It then turns into a race between our fans to see who can claim the item first by commenting the quickest!  It is a first come, first serve listing so come ready to shop on Monday nights at 8pm CST sharp. One of the best parts about our company is FREE SHIPPING on all order - no matter how big or small!  If you have any questions, send us an e-mail at SimplyChicJewelry1@gmail.com.

Tantillo Foods started about 18 years ago and is a family run business, but we are not your average mom & pop operation.  All of us have a hand in the business to help keep it growing more and more every year.  Our product line started with a delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil and now we have five different varieties of oil, two different vinegars, four marinara sauces, and two juices!  We are always trying to think outside the box and come up with new products to help bring our consumers the best tastes of Italy.  We strive everyday to deliver not only  the finest quality ingredients, but to offer the most affordable price points we can.

Please take some time, visit their sites, and show them some love! Thanks guys!!

January 4, 2012

All about Will - 24 weeks!

Here is a long overdue baby update!

I am currently 24w1d (this picture was taken at 24w) and doing pretty good!  I had an appointment today and everything looks great.  I'm finally gaining some weight and am up 4 pounds total.  I still have days where I am miserably sick but thankfully I do have good days mixed in.  My back and hip pain is pretty intense at times but Alex has been wonderful about letting me rest as much as possible.  Second pregnancies are no joke and I'm learning just how hard it is to balance a busy toddler and a pregnancy!

Will looks great and you'd never guess he has major health issues.  He's growing, and growing, and growing some more!  As of now he is a big boy and measured in at 1lb 12oz!  Kate was bigger until about 32 weeks when her growth came to a halt so I am curious if he will keep gaining or be more like Kate was!

Up until a few days ago he was head down and very low.  He's recently flipped and is now moving between transverse and breech.  I wasn't shocked by that due to where I am feeling kicks and some major/ uncomfortable movement I had a few days ago.

We've started coordinating his birth as lots of doctors will be involved - my perinatologist, a neonatologist, pediatrician, and most likely a BMT doctor as well.  If all goes according to our plan, we have a little less than 14 weeks until we will welcome Will into this world!

I'm hoping that the new nursery will start coming together soon.  We sold our guest bed and hopefully it will be out of the house this weekend.  Then, we have a few more things to get rid of before we can start re-filling the room with baby necessities!  We will be purchasing another crib as Kate is no where near ready to make the transition to a big girl bed (now am I ready to move her). 

I have picked out a few nursery fabrics already.  I hope to find a few more to mix in but right now, I know we will use both of these!

Just for fun I did a little comparison of my belly at 24 weeks with Kate and Will.  The general facebook and twitter consensus is that I'm smaller and lower this time.  I'm not surprised by either - I am still well under the weight I started at when pregnant with Kate and I can just feel that Will is hanging out lower than Kate did.  However, my back side seems to always get the memo when I am pregnant as it is rapidly expanding just like it did last time!

I hope to get better about pregnancy updates!  I did such a good job documenting Kate's pregnancy and am doing a terrible job this time.  I've really just become a terrible blogger all around.  But, I am making a point to get back to regular posts in 2012!  I already have four posts in the works!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is enjoying a fresh, new year!
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