My Blessed West Life

Each day is a chance to start all over again.

Our Baby Story March 14, 2012

I have been asked by those I deeply love to share our baby story. A story that continues to grow every day…and a story I hope will encourage and bless others.

After the Hubs and I married 10 years ago we immediately started trying to have a family. We did everything we knew to do and prayed daily for a baby. After 10 months of trying we went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and I began treatment with Clomid and started taking a drug called Metformin to help manage the PCOS. I became pregnant shortly after. We had one week of excitement and bliss followed by the devastation of an early miscarriage. We repeated the Clomid treatments six times without success. We took a mandatory break from trying when the Hubs served in Iraq. When he came home we tried clomid a few more times. Each month was an emotional rollercoaster. Every time my cycle would start again I felt like a failure.  Every time a friend or family member would announce they were pregnant, even though I was happy for them, it was salt in my wound. So, after six years and countless tears we got on a waiting list for one of the best Reproductive Endocrinologist in the world. Three months later we were sitting in his office. The doctor recommended we do an IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) with Clomid. So, after a battery of blood tests and sonograms we were ready for the IUI. The first month did not lead to pregnancy. The second month we did injectable ovary stimulating drugs, Clomid, and an ovulation trigger injection along with the IUI. We found out two weeks later, on Christmas Day that we were expecting!

The following few weeks were filled with trips to the doctor for blood work, and trying not to worry. It did not feel real! I could not believe it was finally happening. As we were called back for our first sonogram of the baby the nurse commented to us “Let’s go see how many are in your litter?” I questioned her as we entered the sonogram room. She told us that because my blood work numbers were so high they suspected we were having multiples. In shock we watched our sonogram and we saw two embryonic sacks stacked on top of each other and the tiny baby and heartbeat of the sack on top. We were ecstatic! The doctor told us that he could not confirm the second pregnancy because he could not see all the way into the second sack because of the way they were stacked and released us to my regular OB/GYN for routine care and a follow-up sonogram in a few weeks.

At our next sonogram appointment at 11 weeks we were told that we were only expecting one baby. After a little grief we enjoyed and celebrated a great pregnancy. We welcomed our son into the world that August. Our sweet baby boy is now three and a half and has been asking for a brother or sister. He even asks God in his bed time prayers. It is the Hubs and my desire as well.

I thought that once we had a child the pain of infertility would go away, but it only did temporarily. Once the Mini turned two I had baby fever again. We began to try on our own with no luck. We decided that we would go back to the Reproductive Endocrinologist at the first of the year. We went to our first appointment in January and the doctor recommend repeating the same treatment that we conceived the Mini with, but before we could continue I had to go through a series of blood work and sonograms to test for a whole slew of things from egg reserves to fibroid tumors, since I am now over 30.  We were given the green light and all clear from the doctor and our fertility drugs were ordered and in our refrigerator waiting for my cycle to start to begin treatment.

During this waiting time we began to pray even more for a baby. We longed to conceive naturally so we would not have to endure the risk and high costs of the fertility treatments. The Hubs and I both began a 40 day fast to focus our prayers and heart to God and fervently seek His will for our family and our desire to have another child. Through our prayers and fast we found peace and encouragement. A week and a half past and I started coming down with a virus. My noise was stuffy, my head hurt, and I felt physically worn out. I left work early that day to go home and rest. When I got home I was getting myself ready for a nap when it occurred to me that my cycle should have already started. I wanted it to hurry up and start so we could begin our fertility treatment. The sooner it would come, the sooner we could get pregnant.

Then, like every month, I began to entertain the thought that maybe I was pregnant. I got butterflies in my stomach at the thought. But then, reality hit me. We had been trying for ten years and it never happened on its own. I dug in the back of my bathroom cabinet and pulled out a pregnancy test. I took it, anticipating and preparing for disappointment. My disappointment quickly turned to disbelief when a few moments later the test read an unmistakable “pregnant.” I sat there stunned for a few minutes, unable to move. I took the test in my trembling hands and showed the Hubs. He held me as we prayed and thanked God for the miracle and for answering our prayer. I was crying as I called the doctor’s office.  They needed me to come in that afternoon for blood work to confirm that I was pregnant.

Everything came back good! I repeated the blood work several more times over the next week. All the tests showed my pregnancy levels were increasing as they should. Two weeks later we were scheduled for a sonogram and we saw a precious little beating heart! We then shared our good news with our friends and family.

Due to my pregnancy history we continued to have sonograms every week through week ten. It was a blessing to watch the baby grow so quickly in those first few weeks. It was also very reassuring! Morning sickness has seemed to subside and I am feeling good. We have a fetal heart monitor that we listen to the baby’s heartbeat with and some days it still doesn’t feel real. Then I look down at my belly…its is definitely for real!

Me at 10 weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is our baby story…a story that continues to grow every day. A true miracle to us!

Love to all~Blessed West

 

Christmas Eve Angel December 30, 2011

Filed under: Everyday Blessings — myblessedwest @ 3:33 pm
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Christmas Eve found my little family at church. The sanctuary was packed, definitely a full house. I enjoyed seeing everyone with their families dressed in their fancy Christmas clothes.  The Mini usually attends the pre-school class during church, but not tonight. Tonight would be his first Christmas Eve service. He looked adorable in his boots and buttoned down shirt, and the candle he was given as we entered the sanctuary held his attention throughout the service.  The music and message were amazing and as the service was drawing to a close and the Lord’s Supper taken, the lights dimmed. We all turned on our battery operated candles. (Same effect as regular candles just tons safer.) Silent Night began to play and we all stood up and joined in singing.  The Mini had managed to find his way into his Granddad’s arms. I peered over at him and he looked angelic. The glow from the soft candle light made his blonde, curly hair appear like a halo and his sweet little voice was lifting up a song to the Lord. It was a perfect moment that I want to freeze in my memory forever…. ahhh my sweet angel.

But it was only a very brief moment, the next thing I see in the soft, flickering light is my son brandishing his candle like a sword trying to engage the man standing in front of him in a battle.  

Neither moment will I forget.

Love to all~Blessed West

 

Chocolate Almond Cookies

This gluten free recipe was passed onto me my mother-in-law and I’m so glad she shared it. It is chewy, chocolaty and delicious. It does not have a grainy texture like many gluten free cookies have. The only disappointment about these cookies is that almond flour is expensive. I paid $12.99 a pound for it, doubled the recipe and used about two thirds of the pound….but so worth it!

 

Chocolate Almond Cookies

8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/3 c granulated sugar, plus more for decorating
3/4 c ground almonds or almond flour

 

 

Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave (I used microwave.)

 

Stir softened butter into chocolate

 

Beat eggs and add sugar

 

Continue beating until egg mixture is light

 

Gently stir egg mixture into chocolate mixture

 

Add ground almonds, combining very well, but gently

 

Cover and refrigerate overnight (I was impatient and only refrigerated a few hours)

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

 

Form into 1 in. balls and roll in bowl of granulated sugar.

 

Place on lined cookie sheet

 

Bake for 10-12 min. or until set

 

Eat a copious amount with a tall glass of milk.

 

Take a nap.

 

Go back for seconds.

 

Send some to me.  🙂

 

 

Love to all~Blessed West

 

Christmas Gator December 27, 2011

Filed under: Everyday Blessings — myblessedwest @ 2:01 pm
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Yes, I realize I’m way far behind on writing. So far behind in fact I will not be going back to catch up. Except for Christmas. I will talk about Christmas.

We took the Mini to visit Santa as Bass Pro Shop the day after Thanksgiving. There was a somewhat substantial line to see him so we took our place at the end. Or at least I did. I turned around to hold the Mini’s hand and he was gone. I turned frantically to find him running up the line and into Santa’s lap, nearly knocking some other kid to the floor in his excitement. As I raced after him he could be heard telling Santa he wanted a big four-wheeler for Christmas, and not the little kind, the kind he can ride on. I apologized to everyone as I scooped him up and handed him off to his Dad.

So Santa had no choice but to buy a four-wheeler. And when I say four-wheeler I mean a John Deere Gator with a clutch and dumping bed, cause that’s what he really meant to say. So Christmas morning came and I was poised with camera in hand to snap the look of sheer joy and splendor that was to overtake the Mini.

Only that didn’t happen. He didn’t squeal or cheer. He sleepily walked passed it and gave a wirery smile and hopped on the sofa, as if to say he knew it was going to be there all along. He had full faith in Santa and had never doubted.

After he fully woke up he was pumped about it. He pulled on his new boots with his jam jams and coat, yelled Happy Birthday to Jesus, and headed out for the maiden drive.

 

The world as we know it will never be the same again.

Love to all~Blessed West

 

An Early Gift December 9, 2011

Filed under: Everyday Blessings — myblessedwest @ 10:31 am
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One special Christmas gift came early this year.

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our little family.

Please say hello to Captain Chewy!

Chewy is our  new 2 1/2 pound, 8 week old, miniature dachshund puppy…and minus the poop and pee…is precious. These pictures don’t do his cuteness justice. The Hubs plopped down the deposit for him just after he was born and we have been waiting to wrap our arms around him for over 6 weeks now. We made the two-hour trip to pick him up last Saturday.  As soon as we got him he chewed,whined,wiggled, wagged, licked and pooped, and that about sums up how our week has been. We let the Mini name him. I was afraid he would name him something generic like Spot, or Doggie, or Ralph, or Cutie, so we were pleasantly surprised and happy when the Mini blurted out Chewy. Chewy is just the sweetest little fuzz ball. Unfortunately I discovered a protrusion in his groin and the vet confirmed what we had suspected, a hernia. We have made arrangements with his breeder and vet and Captain Chewy will be having surgery soon to have it repaired. Otherwise, he is perfect. He has already made a place in our hearts.

Love and puppies to all~Blessed West

 

Pitter Patters and Kisses November 24, 2011

Filed under: Everyday Blessings — myblessedwest @ 4:27 pm
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Sorry that my writing seems to have gone MIA,… but then again I’m not. I’m busy making memories to write about later. We are celebrating a non-traditional Thanksgiving. The Hubs is busy working, but I will have a small feast waiting on him when he gets home. No turkey or ham here. New York strip steak is on the menu tonight!

I slept in this morning and when I finally did get up I was surprised to find the Mini still tucked in tight and in dreamland. I poured me a cup of coffee that the Hubs had made me before he left the house for work and poured in an extra-large portion of French vanilla creamer just because it’s Thanksgiving. The Hubs told me that calories don’t count on the holidays. I sipped my coffee and had my quiet time in quiet, which doesn’t happen too often. I spent the next several minutes reflecting on everything that has happened the past year to my little family. God has been faithful and good to us. He always is, but I feel His special blessing now.

“Mommy!” My thoughts were interrupted by the Mini’s sweet voice followed by bare foot pitter patters and big Thanksgiving hugs and kisses. I have much to be thankful for!

 

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalms 136:1

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with sweet memories and blessings.

Love to all~Blessed West

 

Double Tucked October 31, 2011

Filed under: Everyday Blessings — myblessedwest @ 10:24 pm
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The Hubs told me yesterday that I’m letting all my fans down. “Fans” I said. “What fans?” He said he missed reading my blog. So, this blog goes out to my number one fan.

As I write this the Mini is double tucked into his bed. The past week has been delightfully busy for him.

I help teach a class at church on Wednesday nights. The class is 3 and 4 year olds. Yes, I know I’m brave to take on 20 of them every Wednesday night. The Mini is in the “Cubbies” class I help with. He gets so excited to go to his Cubbies class that he starts the morning off with his first words being “I wanna go to guppies.” Every time he says it I chuckle, if not audibly, in my soul. Even though the class is challenging to handle, hearing my baby express joy over going to church is so precious…and even comical when he pronounces it wrong. I know that all too soon I will wish I could have held on to his little toddler voice saying that he wants to go to guppies.  

Thursday I left the Mini alone to brush his teeth while I went to start a load of laundry. I walked in to find him scrubbing the inside of the sink with his toothbrush. I gave him a brief scold and then had to quickly leave the room so I could laugh. I threw that brush away.

Our little family attended a costume party Friday night. I know the Hubs and I would have come up with better costumes had we planned appropriately, but at the last-minute we were throwing ourselves together. The Mini was a monkey, of course. I was a long-haired hippie, and the Hubs went as Joe Dirt…or Billy Ray Cyrus. He looked equally like both with his fantastic mullet and cut off shirt.

We got home late and tired. The house was chilly and we turned on the heater as we settled in for a night of deep, therapeutic sleep. Somewhere around 1:30 am we were jolted awake by the smoke detector. The amount of synapses that takes place in the brain at moments like this amazes me. I wrote about this once before. http://wp.me/pXKWk-40  My brain was firing off a million thoughts at one single moment. The Mini was crying and yelling for us, obviously scared, and my nose was detecting an electrical smell. I was sprinting down the hall way to scoop up the Mini and head to safety when I collided with the Hubs in the Mini’s bedroom doorway. He had our baby in his arms already. I was baffled over how he beat me to him and as I was trying to get things straight in my mind the sound stopped.  The Hubs, who is always the calm voice of reason, had already concluded the problem. He told me that the heater kicked on for the first time and that the dust that had accumulated on the unit over time had gotten hot causing the hot electrical smell, and set of the smoke detector. He put the now calm Mini back in bed and headed back to our room and the Hubs was back asleep in less than two minutes. I went back to bed too, but it took a while for the adrenaline coursing through my veins to go away so I could sleep.

The next morning we carved pumpkins. The whole reason we decided to carve them was to involve the Mini in something fun and creative. However, once he discovered we were not giving him a knife he was not interested. So the Hubs and I did it while the Mini played. Here is the outcome.

I took the cutest little monkey to our neighbors to trick or treat tonight, followed by the carnival at church. Here are the two loves of my life.

Love to all~Blessed West

 

Monkey See October 19, 2011

Filed under: Everyday Blessings — myblessedwest @ 12:18 pm
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I finally broke down and did it.

I know they say they are cute, but really hard to take care of.

I’ve heard it said that its like have a toddler running around your house.

But I went and got us a monkey anyway.

I love him to pieces and I will keep him forever. I will hug him, and kiss him, feed him bananas, and call him Mini.

Nothing is better than a big monkey kiss in the morning.

Love to all~Blessed West

 

What Not to Do – A List October 18, 2011

Filed under: Everyday Blessings — myblessedwest @ 1:59 pm
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A couple of weeks ago I attended a professional seminar. Not with co-workers, and no one in my line of work (thank goodness) but other professionals…or so they called themselves. I got a great deal out of the training despite the atrocious behaviors of other “professionals” in the room. Here is a list of things not to do while attending a training that I witnessed first hand throughout the course.

1. Do not play with your gum. If you choose to chew, please keep it in your mouth. It is not silly puddy or play dough. We are all adults…right???

2. Do not hock up snot. If you have a mucus issue, please take care of it in the bathroom. I understand a cough, grunt, sneeze and an occasional nose blow…but not a tooth-brush gagging hock. Gross!

3.  You paid to come to the training (or your company did) so you may want to put the magazine and romance novel down and at least look interested.

4.  Did your mother not teach you to keep your feet off the table? Seriously people!

5. I’m so glad you brought your lap top, WiFi is so nice, but do you really need to shop at Target now, here, in this training? But if you must I would definitely get the shirt with the ruffles and the towels in that lovely shade of brown.

6. If you are going to take a nap in class at least make sure you are not a loud snorer.

7. If you can’t silence your cellular device at least change your ringtone from the air raid siren and machine gun sound. My heart would greatly appreciate it.

8. Do not pick your nose…and do not look at what you picked. That is what tissues are for. This goes hand in hand with number two.

9. If you have to leave early for some unlikely reason do not peal out of the parking lot.

10.   Do not clip your nails in a training. Do not clip your nails in public. Period. I think I got hit by a flying pinky nail! I can’t imagine being the presenter and looking out to see someone chopping off their nails. If it had been me I would have called them out.

Just a few things to keep in mind for next time.

Love to all~Blessed West

 

Pretty Much Perfect October 2, 2011

Filed under: Everyday Blessings,shopping — myblessedwest @ 6:15 pm
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Has it really been almost two weeks? Time is just flying by. I have so much to say and no time to say it!!!

Weekend before last will go down in history as one of the best three-day weekends that ever was. Yes, it was pretty much  fantastic.

It started on Friday and the Hubs Mini and I emerged slowly from our beds with ample time to enjoy our cup of joe (the Hubs and I any way) and showers and as we left town we stopped for breakfast at Chik-Fil-A where we went through the drive through and ordered several chicken mini breakfasts. If you have never had them, it is a must!

Our first stop was Sam Moon in Frisco (sammoon.com)…need I say more ladies? That in itself makes for a great weekend. Then we went to Stonebriar Centre Mall in Frisco (www.shopstonebriar.com) where I dreamed about being rich and spending all my time volunteering and shopping for  shoes and purses. We went to Build-A-Bear for the Mini. He had a gift card from his birthday to spend (thanks to Cooper and his Mommy and Daddy). He had a blast picking and stuffing his new puppy. The Mini was not remotely interested in dressing his new stuffed dog, he only wanted the tiny sketcher shoes and roller skates. He named his naked stuffed pup with shoes and skates Will. He spent the rest of the time at the mall pushing Will all over the corridors, eating a giant jack-o-lantern cookie and riding the amazing carousel in the food court. This is the Mini riding the carousel.

We rode with him and soaked up all the innocent joy in his face…then we kissed him like 17 times.

After the mall we had lunch at  Five Guys Burger and Fries (home.aspx). Then  we went drove through crazy traffic to get to some police supply store in Dallas. We were there for what seemed to me like hours…many, many hours. But I was mostly patient, I think.  Then we went to the Dallas Arboretum to see the 50,000+ pumpkins and lots of other organic things.

It was beautiful. I heartily recommend it!

Then the Hubs had planned a wonderful dinner at the Magic Time Machine (www.magictimemachine.com) where Paul Bunion…er…I mean Paul Bunyan was our waiter. We met several famous and infamous people there. When the Mini met Woody from Toy Story he was speechless. We also met Superman, Tinkerbell, and Joe Dirt to name a few. It was fantastic. Here is the Mini with Mr. Bunyan and his new naked pup Will!

We ended the night with family in Grapevine and headed out shopping the next morning. We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (www.thecheesecakefactory.com) …it was delish. You must go and be sure to get the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake for dessert.

The Hubs surprised me by getting me a Rangers shirt, so we all matched, then it was off to the game with the family. This was the first Rangers game that the Mini has been to that he will be able to remember. He was amazed by the whole experience and had a blast hanging with his cousin…and of course the Rangers won.

It was pretty much perfect. I hope yours was as well.

Love to all~Blessed West