Saturday, December 31, 2011

This is NOT a 2011 Year in Review

I will spare you from sharing my top 10 recipes, projects, posts, etc... although I have enjoyed reading everyones.  It's mostly because I just don't feel like going back through and re-sharing them.

2011 hasn't been the best year for us... but I still want to remember the things..both good...and really bad that happened in our lives in 2011 - especially since I neglected to begin my annual Shutterfly album until two days ago.  I am happy to say I finished it last night...and it is patiently sitting in my shopping cart until I get a coupon for a free book... because I just KNOW if I go ahead and order it the free coupon will come the next day.

Madison comes home this evening after spending a great week with her grandparents.  I am happy she is coming home.  Chris and I have really enjoyed some alone time this week... but our house is just not the same without her.

I am HOPING like hell that 2012 is a better year for our family on every level...


and that we end 2012 with a healthy baby...finally...please.

Friday, December 30, 2011

What We've Been Up To...

Madison has been gone since Monday morning visiting her grandparents in Virginia and Chris and I have had a great week together.

Chris and I both worked on Tuesday.  When he came home we headed to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner.  Afterwards we went to the Christmas Tree Shops for a little shopping.  I got a frame I needed and a heart shaped cookie pop pan for just $2.99 which I cannot wait to use for Valentine's Day.

Chris took off Wednesday and after sleeping in we got in the car and headed to Massachusetts {which is actually really close to Rhode Island}.  We stopped and had lunch at Tropical Smoothie Cafe {one of Chris' favorites from Virginia} and then went to A.C. Moore.  I am on the hunt for mini 2x2 canvases... which I cannot seem to find anywhere.  Then we headed to Target.  We came home and did laundry and went through some boxes in the basement looking for a frame I wanted to reuse for another photo.  We ordered Chinese food for dinner and hung out and watched movies.

Yesterday I worked until 3.  Chris and I ordered a pizza for dinner and watched Our Idiot Brother which had come from Netflix.  We stayed up way later than usual and Chris watched football and I finally uploaded all of my 2011 photos and started my 2011 Shutterfly family album.  I am just about finished and will finish later tonight.

This morning I went and signed up for Curves. It really killed me to pay the sign up fee... but I figured if I was motivated now, I might as well do it now instead of waiting until March when they have the no joining fee. Of course they are now closed until the 3rd.. but I will be going then. I chose Curves for a few reasons... (1) it is super close to our house (2) I have gone there before so I am familiar with the equipment (3) I am hoping it will give me some socialization.

Afterwards I came home to get Chris and we headed out for a date day lunch.  We went to one of our favorite local places here, the Coddington Brewery and enjoyed a great lunch.  Then we picked up some photos I ordered from Walgreens {that I got for FREE}, went to Home Depot {to get paint and scrap wood for a new project I am working on}, to the Dollar Tree {for something else for the project}, to BJ's for a few things, and then to a local coffee shop for smoothies before heading home. 

We miss Maddie but have really enjoyed spending a lot of quality time together this week.  It has been really good for our marriage.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

I saw this link posted on Facebook and thought it was well worth a share on the blog.  It is 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself.

Here are some that really stood out to me.

4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner
I think too often as mothers we put everyone else's needs before our own.  I am definitely guilty of this and need to start taking some time for just Melissa... this does not mean I will stop making my family's needs a priority... it just means I will realize I have needs too.

6. Stop trying to hold onto the past
You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.  This has been hard for me...especially recently.  I definitely want to work on this.

There are more that I think I can work on as well.... what a great article.

Which of the 30 do you think you can work on?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So What Wednesday!

I am linking up again with Shannon for So What Wednesday.

So what... if it is almost 2012 and I haven't even started my 2011 Shutterfly Family Album.  I was ready to just not do it this year, but then I figured one year my kid(s) will look back at the books and wonder where in the heck the 2011 one is? I was talking to Chris about this last night...and he said well 2011 was pretty crappy... Well I have decided to work on making a 2011 one anyway... it may not be very big (many of the photos I took this year from May on were on my iPhone), but I've got to do it.

So what... if one of my new absolute favorite guilty pleasure shows is TI & Tiny - The Family Hustle on VH1.  It airs on Monday nights. 

So what... if I recently discovered (no exxageration) that we have at least 100 picture all sizes, colors, styles, etc... that are not on the wall... and I bought an 8 x10 black frame last night.

So what... if when I checked Madison in at the airport on Monday and was trying to tell the ticket agent that she was flying alone... that I could barely get the words out.  Not to mention I teared up when she was getting on the plane...and then again when the plane was in the air.

So what... if I swear way more than I should.

So what ... if it's almost January and I am still wearing my flip flops.  I have yet to buy any boots.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last Week...

Last Friday I was forced to come to terms with some things that have been going on in my life...

This has been pretty much the most difficult year of my life thus far...

2011 has included our second year of marriage, a job I wasn't happy with, leaving that job, moving far away where I know nobody, a new school and struggles for Maddie, struggling to conceive, conceiving...finally,  and then the loss of our unborn child. 

It has been A LOT.  I have cried A LOT.

Add that to spending about 95% of my week inside the house... and you could say I am not the happiest person.

My husband has noticed and commented.

My daughter has noticed and commented.

I have some changes I need to make.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Celebrating Christmas

We woke up Christmas Eve morning and I did some household chores and then I prepared cupcakes, blondies, a cheese ball, and green bean casserole for Christmas dinner. 

We enjoyed a fabulous early dinner (minus the bad waiter) at PF Changs.

We had the spicy shrimp appetizer, vegetable spring rolls, Mongolian beef, combination lo-mein and chicken lettuce wraps

Best Dessert Ever - Banana springrolls in caramel and vanilla sauces with fresh berries and a scoop of pineapple-coconut ice cream

Once we got home we let Madison open one present.  The one she chose was Sims Pets 3 for the Xbox Kinnect.  She is playing it now and obsessed.

On Christmas morning we woke up around 9 am and I insisted on making breakfast before opening Chris and Maddie went through their stockings at the dining room table while I made pancakes and bacon.  Maddie loves lottery tickets and won $10.

Then we opened Christmas presents.

Chris's family came over around 2 for Christmas dinner.  We had a great time.

We had a nice day.  However my thoughts this morning and throughout the day kept leading me back to the fact that I should be in my second trimester now... and no matter how hard I try to move on... it still makes me terribly sad...just about every day.  I also learned yesterday my friend, Jill, lost her baby... when she should have been about 12 weeks pregnant.  Having confided in her during early pregnancy and relying on her for information while going through my miscarriage... my heart aches for her and her family.  I thought of my friend, Kelly, who was murdered almost a year ago by her husband...and her two sweet children.  I thought of my blogger friend Brandy... and the loss of her sweet baby boy.  I thought of my friend Mary, experiencing her first Christmas without her sweet baby Remy... I thought of my childhood friend Laura who is no longer with us and her family.  I about how my parents were supposed to be here today with us... and they ended up not coming.  I thought about how only some of Chris' family came...and not all of them due to crazy/awkward family rifs...

So as much as our day was great... it wasn't without reflection and sadness.

Merry Christmas from Melissa @ A Dozen Years Later

Since I am pretty sure the 25 Christmas cards I sent out have made it to their recipients, here is our 2011 Christmas card.  I took this photo of Madison myself and you can see the Newport, Rhode Island bridge in the background.  Merry Christmas from our home to yours.

Stripes In Color Holiday Card
Shutterfly always has unique designs for our holiday cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Randoms

~ I got up this morning and did my Christmas dinner grocery shopping fairly early (9am).  It was still a mad house.  My best find was sweet cinnamon Cool Whip.  I have never seen it before, but I will be using it to top a pumpkin pudding pie I have added to our menu.  I stopped yesterday after babysitting to get my ham at BJ's. 

~ Also, since we do not have seating for 8... I am serving Christmas dinner buffet style... and on plastic sectioned plates...with paper napkins... and plastic cutlery.  Fancy stuff over her I tell you...

~ Madison had her first "babysiting" job Wednesday evening.  She did great and on Thursday afternoon (we both went over that morning to watch the kids - 3 of them - a 2 1/2 year old boy and twin 7 month old girls) the mom asked her to start coming every Thursday evening.  She is super excited about her job and for a chance to make a steady income.

~ Also, after babysitting Madison and I were starving and went to Wendy's for lunch.  They had raspberry Diet Coke!!!! I was super excited.  I will be going there in the very near future for another one.

~ I have a pile of dishes in the sink... to do AGAIN.  The crappy thing about eating at home... is there are always dishes to do...sigh...

~ I am working on a 2011 recap post... which is going to be probably boring and depressing because 2011 was a real crapper of a year for us.  I'd like to say it can only go up from here... but the Debbie Downer in me knows it could always get way worse... still I am holding out for a much better 2012.

~ I have a list of things I want to accomplish in 2012, but instead of making yearly goals or resolutions... I am dividing them up into months... smaller goals for each month.

~ I am so looking forward to our Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow at PF Changs... it is one of my favorite places and we haven't been in forever.  I may even treat myself to a drink... I do not remember the last time I had a sip of alcohol... I may get dessert too... I plan on splurging.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SO WHAT Wednesday

I have been reading Shannon's blog for awhile and thought I would link up today for
So What Wednesday.

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...

~ So what if I have not bought one thing for my husband for Christmas.  I think I will go tomorrow.  We are just doing stockings this year.
~ So what if my new idea of treating driving down to the local gas station for a 32 ounce fountain soda... 1/4 cherry coke and 3/4 diet coke.
~ So what if my breakfast this morning consisted of one buckeye candy and my lunch so far has consisted of a handful of cinnamon sugar pretzels (I made both yesterday...see that post for recipes)
~ So what if I really don't feel like adding the links to those two recipes for you... but it is worth going back to get them (for you).
~ So what if I haven't paid my Direct TV bill this month... I think it is overpriced...a waste of money... and I kind of want to just cancel it (or get it cut off) to see if we can manage with out it.
~ So what if I will then miss all of my trash reality shows... I bet there is a way to watch them all online.
~ So what if I too often let dishes pile up in the sink before washing them or clean clothes sit in the dryer before folding them.
~ So what if I really am considering just taking our fake tree (with the ornaments on it and everything) and putting it in the basement until next year.
~ So what if I picked up two lottery tickets (scratch offs) at the gas station earlier to put in Madison's stocking... she likes them.
What are you saying SO WHAT to today?

Holiday Baking ~ Teacher's Gifts

This morning I am doing some baking before work.  I want to make little treat containers for Madison to pass out to her teachers.  When you are working on a tight budget and your middle schooler has multiple teachers... holiday gifts become a bit more difficult to manage.

I had these leftover Chinese takeout boxes from our wedding favors plus those great and super cheap labels I ordered through Tiny Prints.

I filled them with chocolate frosted brownie squares and Buckeyes.

Then I made cinammon sugar pretzels (sooo good) and tied them up in little baggies with more custom labels for her teachers too.
I know it isn't much, but I hope it is a small treat to brighten their day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Planning Our Christmas Meal

My husband and I are hosting a Christmas dinner this year.  There will be 8 of us (the three of us, my mother-in-law, plus two of my husband's brothers and their daughters).  After much deliberation I finally decided on our Christmas menu and here it is ....

I think I may channel my inner hostess and have this printed out and framed on the table with all of the food.  We do not have seating for 8 (unfortunately) at a table, so it will be buffet style.  I plan on serving the appetizers in the living room between 2-3:30, and then I will serve dinner around 4:30 or so.    I am excited to be hosting my first Christmas dinner... although it is bittersweet.  My parents were supposed to be here this year for Christmas...and they are not coming. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Easy Homemade Macaroni & Cheese Recipe - Two Ways

Since mentioning it in a previous post, I've received several emails asking for my recipe. I am happy to share it with my readers and I'd love to hear if you enjoyed it if you decide to make it.

You will need:

1 box of noodles - I always use elbows
1 stick of butter
1 cup of milk
1 small brick of Velveeta
(1-2) bags of shredded cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil your noodles. Drain and return to the pot. Add the stick of butter, the milk, and the brick of Velveeta (cut up).

2. Keep on low-medium heat and stir often until the butter and cheese melts. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now this is where I stop for Chris and Maddie because this is how the prefer it.

I like to spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and preheat my oven to 350. Then I layer half of the mixture in the pan, cover with shredded cheese, add another layer of noodles, and another layer of cheese. Then I bake it for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is a light bubbly brown.

This isn't the "healthiest" recipe... Nuts it's so good and easy to make. I don't have a photo to include and I'm writing this from my phone... So I hope there are no typos.

Make this. You will not be disappointed.

Linking up to -

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Busier Weekend Than Usual

We usually don't do much on the weekends... but this weekend was busier than usual

Friday night we picked up Chinese food and Chris and Maddie watched movies while I worked on my Christmas cards... a few went out Saturday morning...but then I needed more stamps... so the rest will go out tomorrow.  I didn't order enough... oh well.  I will be posting my card this week...but here is a little sneak peek.

I worked a four hour shift on Saturday.  Chris and Maddie went out to run errands which included picking up Dunkin Donuts gift cards for her two bus drivers.   Her bus has never been pick her up or drop her off.  I figure a bus driver is a pretty thankless job and I just wanted to do something small to thank them and to let them know I appreciate their punctuality. 

Later that day my Aunt Carol and Uncle John drove in from Massachusetts to visit.  They've really made a great effort since we have moved closer to reach out to us, invite us to family gatherings, out for meals, and even to come to their house for Thanksgiving.  So we enjoyed being able to spend the afternoon/evening with them in Rhode Island.  We enjoyed at late lunch at the Coddington Brewery.  Then they came back to our house for a little football and to hang out.  I sent them home with some goodies - 7 layer bars and chocolate peanut butter pretzel balls (which by the way are amazing)...although they ate plenty of them while still here. 

This morning I had to be up and out of the house early.  I occaisonally help out a local family with three small children.  I answered an ad a bit ago.  They have twin babies and a 2 1/2 year old and basically when one of them is working... the other one just needs an extra hand.  I was really dreading going this morning because it was cold and I wanted to stay in bed, but once I got there the time went by the extra cash isn't bad either.

This afternoon I headed out solo to finishing shopping for stocking stuffers... I picked up a Paris locket and chain Madison had seen while out yesterday with Chris, a Paris notebook, a fun graphic tee, some candy, some gel pens, and some headbands...all to stuff in her stocking.  Then I stopped at BJs to pick up a few things...mainly trash bags which we were totally out of before heading home.

I cannot believe Christmas is in a week.  I am making Christmas dinner here and need to finalize my meal plan for that day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

4+ Days Without Blogging - Catching Up

I haven't blogged since Saturday...and that was just to show our Christmas cards we didn't choose.  I've upped my hours at work this week and so I have been busy with that...and Madison was home sick today.  She seems to have come down with the runny nose/cold/cough/sort throat that Chris and I both had.  She rested all day...sipped on ginger ale, and took some meds.  I hope she feels better tomorrow.

I am busy making a big 1 pound pan of macaroni and cheese for an order for one of Chris' co-workers.  They are having a work potluck tomorrow and he ordered a pan of my macaroni and cheese... $30... in my pocket tomorrow.  It is super fabulous...and insanely easy to make...and it will be finding its way to our Christmas dinner table.

I worked three night shifts this week so I made three crockpot dinners - a pot roast, chicken and dumplings, and pepperocini beef.  Roasts were BOGO at the grocery store this week so I incorporated them into the meal plan.

The pepperocini beef sandwiches are amazing.  Make it.  So simple, easy, and tasty.

It makes a ton which we used for sandwiches, a container which is now in the freezer for a meal next week, and then I used some of the leftovers to make this tasty BBQ Pepper Pizza for dinner tonight.  I used honey bbq sauce as the pizza sauce, some leftover Mexican cheese I had in the fridge, and I heated up the leftover beef and peppers and topped the pizza with it.  Chris was a little skeptical at first when I told him I used bbq sauce on the pizza... but we both agreed it was amazing and wish I had made more (I only did 1/2 of the pizza in this flavor).  We will definitely be making this tasty pizza again.

I combined some deals and placed two separate orders and was able to purchase 6 different sets of address labels and gift labels from Tiny Prints for just $2.  I ordered these to seal the envelopes of our Christmas cards (which I am still waiting for the cards to arrive).

I made another wedding invitation ornament for my friend Amy who got married over the summer.  I must drop it off at the post office tomorrow... as she lives out of state.

Madison and I were at Michaels last weekend when I realized we did not have a 2011 family Christmas ornament.  I picked this one up for $2.50... but it ended up being on sale once I got to the register.  I came home and added our names and the date.  

Here is Madison last weekend.  We were eating homemade brownies and working on crafts at the dining room table.

Every year I buy my wrapping paper at the Dollar Tree.  It is just going to get torn off.  Here are the rolls I picked up this year.  Wednesday morning I wrapped all of the Christmas presents I bought and put them under our tree.

Speaking of crafts... here is my craft bin..and you can catch a glimpse of two projects I am finishing up.

I made this. I painted the canvas red, printed out my vintage subway art Christmas printable and used Mod Podge to adhere it to the canvas.  I love how it turned out.  I plan on making more next year to give out as gifts.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Shutterfly Christmas Cards

I decided to stop being such a Scrooge and to send out Christmas cards after all... So this morning we headed to downtown Newport to take some photos of Madison along the water. 

When I came home I made three different cards and then I let my husband choose his favorite (which is the one I just ordered... and I only had to pay $6.41) which is basically tax and shipping thanks to a code I won on a blog for free cards.

Here are the two cards from Shutterfly we didn't go with... I will post the one we chose after they have reached our friends and family.

Wishing You Merry Christmas Card
Find unique and modern Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Faith And Hope Christmas
Turn family photos into personalized Christmas cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

I hope they arrive soon!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Constant Reminders of What Should've Been...

Yesterday was the first day since November 9th that I haven't cried.  November 9th was supposed to be my first appointment... where I left with all sorts of pregnancy information and a little sonogram picture that I could take home and use to create our Christmas cards.  But that isn't what I left with...

The hits keep coming...

I really wish Baby Center who I have unsubscribed from...and emailed... would stop sending me updates on the baby I am no longer having... because I can guarantee what they think my baby looks like now... is no longer accurate.

And I am kicking myself for signing up for a free subscription soon after I found out I was pregnant to Baby Talk magazine... because that arrived in the mail today-

And I am not sure how I ended up on an email list for a formula company... but those emails could stop coming too...because there are no family beginnings happening in this house...

Then of course this bill comes in the mail today.  We have pretty good health insurance through my husband's employer that we pay A LOT for each week.  When I pay A LOT for our health insurance I don't expect to pay A LOT of additional expenses out of pocket.  I got a bill today for $311.63.  Now I had three different sonograms.... one on the 9th (where I was told my dating was was too early...come back in a week), one on the 17th (where I was told nope... we were wrong...there isn't a live baby in there... and there hasn't been for some time), and one on December 2 (yep... all is clear... there are no more baby remnants inside of you?.  I expected to be hit hard out of pocket for the sonograms.  What I am having trouble swallowing... is the $120 fee... knocked down to $80.71 for our appointment with the OBGYN that took place after our second appointment...which went like this -

We waited and waited and waited to see someone.  She came in, sat down, and told us there was no baby.  That it had most likely died around six weeks.  As I sat there sobbing... she never offered me a tissue...instead I wiped my tears on my jacket.  She gave me three prescriptions and offered very little guidance for how to take the Cytotec to get the miscarriage going... didn't give me a sheet of paper with directions, nothing... Most of what she said was a blur... and I ended up Googling at home a week later before I used it to make sure I knew what to expect.   When I asked her what may have caused it... she insisted we come back in for a consultation prior to trying again... even though I had just seen my doctor back home for the same in July.  She made me feel like it was my fault. She offered us no answers, no sympathy, and no hope...and now I owe $80 for that?  It wasn't until out third ultrasound (which we haven't even been billed for) that I was able to meet with a doctor who had some compassion, who listened to my story, who listened to my plan for the future, and who offered me a tissue when I began to cry.   

I want to go a day without constant reminders of what happened... I just want to move on. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Ramblings...

* I have had a horrible head cold/cough since Monday morning + I have worked 7-8 hours every day this week.  I am so glad I am off on Friday.  I am looking forward to resting, possibly a nap, and getting caught up on some crafts (I have many things started... but I need to finish).  Plus I need to finish and order my Christmas cards and finish my Christmas shopping. 

* I made reservations today for our Christmas Eve dinner at PF Changs.  It is one of our favorite restaurants and we haven't been since the spring. Every year since I can remember we always went out for Chinese food.  

* Madison is flying to my parents the day after Christmas for an entire week.  I am slightly nervous about her flying solo... but I always did when I was her age.  She isn't scared... so I am trying not to put my fears off on her.

* I realize my rant the other day may have come off as a little bit nasty.  That wasn't my intent... it comes more from sadness.  I realize that other friends, family members, random Facebook people, and other bloggers are going to keep getting pregnant and having babies. I swear each day I read a post where someone else is due in June... as I should be. 

* I am so sick of the rain.  I just want the sun to shine.

*  I am so glad Teen Mom 2 is back on... it is like a train wreck I cannot stop watching. 

* I am making homemade pizzas again tomorrow night for dinner... it is like the third time in about a week and a half... it's quick, easy, and delicious and way cheaper than ordering pizzas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Miscellany Monday

1. Birthday Treats - This morning I baked a chocolate fudge chip bundt cake in honor of Andrew. I frosted half in peanut butter chocolate frosting and the other half in a vanilla butter cream with sprinkles. His mom and dad love dessert and they felt like a great way to honor their son on his birthday would be to enjoy desserts.  I "met" Andrew's mom through blogging.  I have never spoken to her other than commenting on each other's blogs and emailing one other about lots of things... but I've still mourned her losses and celebrated her joys with her.  I think about her often... and especially today she is in my thoughts.  I am wishing much happiness in the upcoming months for her.   {The star on the sign Madison made comes from the potato print art we did this past weekend}

2. Successful Party Food -  I woke up yesterday morning expecting there to be leftover food from the UFC event my husband hosted.  Guess what? The guys ate it all.  These party ham sandwiches were fabulous and I hope to have them again soon.  I actually used the 12 pack of the Martin's Potato mini rolls.  Other than that I followed the recipe as is.  I plan on making them again this week, but with turkey so Madison will (hopefully) eat them.  I shared the recipe with my friend Erin yesterday morning and she ended up making them Sunday evening for her family and they loved them too.  You HAVE to make them. 

3. Annoyances - I loved  the blog post I read today which was entirely devoted to morning sickness... Seriously? You basically sneezed and became pregnant and you want to bitch about a little puke? I would feel sick, tired, and puke if it meant I was still pregnant.  Then Madison comes home and brings in the mail.. my issue of US WEEKLY has Kourtney Kardashian on the cover and a nice big article about how her and her douchebag husband are having another baby and how it "just happened"... then she goes on to say how happy Khloe is for her... guess what Kourtney K... I am pretty darn sure your sister who has been trying forever for a baby of her own wants to punch you in the face.  Not to mention Kourtney feels "confident" telling the world at 9 weeks... well Kourtney K... I sure hope that doesn't come back to bite you in the ass.

4. I LOVE COUPONS - It probably has been a year since I ordered anything from Tiny Prints.  This morning I had a coupon code for $20 in my email.  I chose 3 sets of labels - two sets of address labels... one for the family and one for Madison (she likes to send handwritten letters to friends) and these cute holiday square labels to use for packaging baked goods for Madison's teachers this year.  I only had to spend $4.55 out of pocket (for shipping and tax)... what a great deal!

5. My Art - My husband hung the sign I painted last night.  I love it.  It looks great hanging in our entry way above our coat closet.

I am linking up for Miscellany Monday over at -

lowercase lettersblogdign

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What a GREAT Saturday...

Our Saturday...

Laying in bed talking until 11am on Saturday morning...

Watching recorded episodes of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives...

Which made me get up to make homemade mozzarella sticks like they showed... and they were amazing {recipe to follow}...

Grilling out a quick lunch...

A little HG TV...

Sending Chris out for supplies to make homemade pizza... {again} for dinner and potatoes to make carved potato prints with Madison...

Making BBQ meatballs and party ham sandwiches {recipe to follow} to serve Chris' co-workers who are coming over to watch UFC fight tonight...

Hanging the sign I finished painting on Friday evening... a motto I'm trying to live by...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Good News & Rude News

{I wrote this on Friday afternoon...}

This afternoon was my follow-up sonogram/appointment from the miscarriage.  I made the decision to stop at Target and Panera on the way in to the city.  About ten minutes into my trip someone cut me off... I then proceeded to spend the next ten minutes crying.

After a successful Target trip, I treated myself to a tasty lunch at Panera.  It is one of my favorite places.  Then I headed to the obgyn office.

Where I got to sit down in an office of pregnant women and moms with new babies.  Fun.  This lady and her mother walk in, she checks in, and I hear her ask at the desk if she is here for a check-up or just to talk to the doctor as a follow-up from her surgery.  She then asks about getting a letter about returning to work.  She looks sad and somber and has a seat near me.  A few minutes later a visibly pregnant woman and her husband walk in, go to sit down, and the pregnant woman recognizes this other woman.  She goes over to her, tells her how sorry she is, asks her how she is feeling...and THEN... she tells the woman (who has obviously just suffered a loss) that she is in fact here for her 20 week appointment.  I thought the other woman was going to lose it.  I almost started crying... my heart going out to this woman... who not only had to sit in this office (like me) knowing she wasn't expecting a baby but this "friend" of hers comes in... and then states the obvious.  I muttered "what an idiot" and just sat there...feeling so sad for this other lady...who like me was just waiting to be called back into a room.

This time I was brought back to a different sonogram room... this time the big screen on the wall was not turned on.  Once the sonographer left so I could get dressed, I looked at the printout.  It appeared to me there was no longer a sac... but I am no doctor.  I was sent back out to the waiting room...and within a few minutes I was called back again to meet with the doctor.

My husband and I were not impressed with the doctor we saw on the 17th who told us 100% there was no more baby.  Not so much for the news she shared, but for the way in which it was presented.   She was cold and withdrawn.  She let me sit there sobbing...wiping my tears on my jacket...and she never offered me a tissue.  I went in today knowing I would be seeing someone else, but fully ready to ask for a copy of my records because we would be going elsewhere for a future pregnancy.

Well the doctor I saw today was fabulous.  She listened to me... listened to my experience... offered me a tissue when I cried... and showed me compassion.  That was all I wanted the other week.  A little compassion.  She let me know everything was "cleared" and looked fine.  She asked about our journey to parenthood.  She asked about my birth with Madison.  She listened to me.  She heard me.  She gave me the go ahead to conceive again whenever I felt I was emotionally ready.  She agreed to see me again early on when we conceive again to see how things are going as she said she knew how comforting just knowing things were okay would be for the next time.  She actually is not an OB, so she wouldn't be able to deliver our baby, however when I explained to her our experience with the other doctor, she offered names of other practitioners in the practice she felt I would like.  I left feeling better...feeling hopeful...feeling like I mattered as a person and a patient.  I will be writing and sending her a thank you note.  I appreciate how she made me feel today.

I got in the car to find the song "I'll Be Missing You" on the radio...which was a little weird because it's a pretty old song. I felt good for once... Then i proceeded to cry most of the way home (it is about a 40 minute drive)

I will be okay.  I know we will eventually get the baby we want so desperately.  I am not sure when that will be.  I am not sure when I will feel emotionally ready... sometimes I feel like it will be next week... sometimes I feel like I will never be.  But I know I will.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Cutest Holiday Ornaments

One of my favorite shopping sites is Joss & Main.  Have you heard of them? They are kind of like Rue La La or Zulily but for home goods.

Today they are featuring Glory Haus handpainted ornaments.  I just placed an order for two of them.  One for our tree...and one to send to my mom for her tree.

How cute are these hand-painted ornaments?  They are just $9.95 each.