on infertility, four years later

When we were trying to get Vivi here, my entire though process revolved around getting and being pregnant. Every decision I made in or around my house included the fact that one day a baby would be in it and so I had to plan accordingly. I’d think about what kind of baby gates I would need and where, I thought about where I would store toys and how we would arrange car seats and strollers. I’d think about holidays with a baby and how long we could travel with her as a lap child and I’d think about how many times we could go to Disneyworld before she was 3. I fantasized about how I would spend my days with this baby, how I would document my pregnancy and what I would do differently in regards to labor and delivery.

I knew she was out there waiting for us. I felt it, I just didn’t understand why it was taking so long to get her here. (I get it now.)

I also knew I wanted another girl. Yes, healthy babies above all else, la la la, but I wanted another girl.

So what does life feel like now? It feels complete. I don’t think about getting pregnant, my mind doesn’t revolve around pregnancy math and fertility appointments. I don’t feel a nudge that someone else is out there (something I felt STRONGLY even when Addie was only days old) and there is no second guessing our decision to be done even under the spell of a tiny newborn. We’ve cleaned out the closets and rid ourselves of baby stuff.

It feels really good.

We’re meant to be four. Four is good. Four feels right. Four is right for us.

I look forward to the things we can do together, as well as the things I will soon be able to do once Vivi is in school. I have all these projects and jobs I’ve wanted to pursue for years but didn’t or couldn’t because I was either too caught up in wanting to be pregnant, being pregnant or keeping a baby alive. I would never say the time I spent trying to get pregnant was wasted, the things I learned about myself, about Cody, and about other women are invaluable. They were lessons on empathy and compassion that can only be learned the hard way, and unfortunately I did hurt people in my single-minded and obsessed desire to have a second baby. I while I regret hurting others, I appreciate the subsequent lessons on redemption and forgiveness.

If you’re not sure you’re done? You probably aren’t.

If you know there’s someone (or someone else) out there waiting to join your family, don’t give up. Even when you’re convinced you will be swallowed whole by disappointment, jealousy, and pain—don’t give up. Six years felt like an eternity, but now that she’s here, those six years were nothing when compared to what I get to experience every day with these two little girls. It only took six years and nine really hard months to make the most spectacular thing I’ll ever witness, these two together.

November 2014

these bug me, and that’s just the way i am.

There are two phrases in particular that light my fury on fire, perhaps there are more (I’m sure there are) but for now, let’s discuss these two because maybe they’re you’re pet peeve too or perhaps you say them yourself not knowing how much damage they can cause.

1. “Someone forgot their medication.”

There’s a difference between finding a prescription bottle someone left at a hotel and sarcastically accusing someone of irrational behavior because they forgot to take a supposed prescribed medication for a mental illness they may or may not actually have. It’s the latter of these two that cause my fists to ball up. For a long time, whenever I would have a bad day Cody would ask “Did you take your medication?” as if the little while pill at bedtime would control every emotion I possess. It drove me crazy because I felt as though he expected me to have no range of emotion at all and that he put all of his hope for a “normal, happy wife” into a pill. Knowing I take medication and accusing me of forgetting it is one thing, accusing a stranger you know nothing about? That’s entirely different. That’s how stereotypes are born and bred. It puts shame not only on mental illness (because clearly we could all be controlled if we were medicated) it is also an unfair judgement of the person being accused. Before claiming someone “forgot their medication” to the person next to you under your breath, take a step back and try to figure out why the person is distraught in the first place and acknowledge that you’re not always on your best behavior in public either. Does that mean you forgot your medication too?

2. “That’s just the way I am.” or “That’s just the way he/she is.”

People can change. I’ve seen it, I’ve changed myself. It’s one thing if I insist on giving my friends a hug when they’re crying, because that is the way I am. However it’s entirely different if you excuse someones a**hole behavior under the guise “That’s just the way he/she is.” No one gets to be a butthead to other people for no reason. “That’s just the way I am” is just an excuse and when you have people excusing your own bad behavior? Whew, that’s when you know it’s gone too far and it’s time to start working on being a little nicer/more understanding/less selfish in general. Vivi likes to hit, scream and cry when she doesn’t get her way. I can’t tell other parents “Oh, that’s just the way she is.” because the other parents would cry foul and Vivi wouldn’t have any friends. However when an adult throws a fit to get their way or uses some other impolite tactic of persuasion — oftentimes their behavior is excused or begged to be reasoned with “because that’s just the way they are.”

No.

We can all do better. Don’t excuse others bad behavior and if you find yourself excusing your own with “That’s just the way I am” really think about how you’re presenting yourself. I for one do not want to associate with people who are unwilling or unable to change, expecting instead for others to bend and accept their unacceptable behavior.

Now, let’s put this into practice:

OKAY: You see a prescription bottle in the back of a taxi so you give it to the driver and say “Someone forgot their medication.”

NOT OKAY: Someone has been waiting in line at the DMV for several hours when they are told they will have to come back tomorrow with more paperwork and the person gets understandably upset. Upon witnessing the person demand to see a supervisor you lean over to your seatmate and whisper “Someone forgot their medication.”

OKAY: I will always have fair skin so there’s no use in tanning — it’s just the way I am.

NOT OKAY: Your brother is being incredibly rude and condescending to your wife, you respond with “You’ll just have to forgive him. He doesn’t understand, it’s just the way he is.”

Are there phrases that chap your hide? (Like ‘chap your hide’ or ‘nail down the details?’)

 

two wii u to two of you

UPDATE: Congrats to Meredith S. and Matt W. for winning the two Wii U Bundles!

Another product post, sorry, but when Nintendo asked if me if I wanted to give away two Wii U bundles to you guys I couldn’t say no.

Addie was asked to be a part of the Nintendo Kids reviewer program several months ago and she’s been taking her job very seriously.

Originally I set her up to write a portion of this giveaway but her little blurb contained so many ALL CAPS DECLARATIONS FOLLOWED WITH WAY TOO MANY !!!!!!!!! I figured I’d bottle her enthusiasm for another project that we’re working on.

I have always been partial to Nintendo as they don’t offer bloody, nasty games where you could run over prostitutes with cars, or gut pirates with your bare hands.

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coloring your hair at home has come an awfully long way.

My friend Heather is a self-proclaimed $7 box of at-home hair color kind of girl, but after today she may very well be spending $20 more on her hair color while I may end up saving $70.

We’re both in love with the Madison Reed at-home hair color I tried on her today. (Full disclosure, I spend a lot on my hair and I’m very loyal to my hairstylist, so I didn’t want to risk messing up all her hard work with some mail order hair color which is why I enlisted Heather, because $25 hair color was a huge step up from $7 drugstore hair color, she agreed.)

Finding a color for her was easy using online recommendations, the packaging was gorgeous (which really shouldn’t matter, but it does) and Madison Reed solves all the problems I hated about at-home hair color from before. Every kit includes two pairs of gloves, barrier cream to keep color off your skin, a cap to keep color-drenched hair under control, a wipe to clean off any stray color as well as enough shampoo and conditioner to last for several washes. It also smells spectacular, absolutely no gross chemical smell and the directions are clearly printed inside the box.

MadisonReed-2

If you have a whole bunch of hair there’s even an option to add an additional color bottle for $10 at checkout. Brilliant.

Since Heather came to my house with some pretty sweet roots, some grays, and her hair previously colored we balanced out the timing leaving the color on her roots for about ten minutes before applying the rest and leaving it on for around 20 minutes. Another huge bonus? Once we rinsed out her hair her skin was free from hair color and her scalp wasn’t dyed a strange color.

This is where we let the before and afters do the talking. Because I can’t tell you anything you can’t see right here:

Madison Reed Before After

GORGEOUS, RIGHT?

We used Sardinia Red – 6NCG and it was the exact color Heather dreams of. She admitted to hoping she would be apathetic about the results so she wouldn’t feel the need to spend any more than $7 on her hair. She’s been converted. I think I have been too (sorry Kristine! I promise I’ll never let anyone else cut my hair! So there’s that?)

Madison Reed Information

Want 50% off your first order? Use code Better4U at checkout. You’ll also have the option to have your color automatically delivered every 4-10 weeks (you choose!) or make a one-time color purchase.

One more before and after because I can’t get over how gorgeous this color is on her (if you’ve ever gone red then you’ll know how hard it can be to get red right.)

Madison Reed BA

(I also convinced Heather to give red lipstick a try last month and I’m so happy she listened to me.)

Disclosure: This post sponsored by Madison Reed. Everything said within is my honest opinion, especially since I’m the one with pretty boring hair at the end of the day compared to Heather’s ravishing red. Links are affiliate.