Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12.21 Kimi's Birthday

12.21 Winter solstice and my sweet mama's birthday. Although she isn't here anymore, we still celebrate her. I hosted dinner for the first time at my house in honor of her tonight. It went wonderfully. Although, my guests weren't too picky (family).

I haven't blogged in a while and a LOT has happened...

First, Caleb released his book Chewables! A real LEGIT book! We are sooo excited about it. I am currently functioning as his manager, president of the fan club, and also head of security. Chewables is a book of 40 daily inspirations for a healthier body, heart, mind and spirit. He wrote it with the ymca in mind but it has had a broad appeal (especially chapter 31 starring yours truly). I attached a link to amazon, if you are interested in purchasing your very own Chewables book :)


Second, My dad came for a visit! He drove over from Wenatchee, toolbox and all. For Christmas he hung up our TV. Which, was no easy task. He was outside in the rain AND under the house crawling around...  4 snowcaps later and a few bad words.. MY TV was hung and the wires were all hiding! :) BEST Christmas present ever!

Third, We went into our next infertility appt. and due to my damaged tube we decided to start clomid... Which will help me ovulate a little more frequently.  We will begin that next cycle in hopes that it will work. The doctor told us that for a normal couple their chance of getting pregnant is 20% any given month. A couple that has been unsuccessful after 1 year has a 5% chance each month of getting pregnant. Pretty interesting huh?

Fourth I hosted the second annual Christmas cookie party in honor of my mom. My sweet cousin Ally came by to help me make cookies before the party. When she arrived she said, I brought some music to listen to. At first i was apprehensive as i was so content with my Christmas music... But i was so happy with her selection. The first couple songs were just nice and mellow. But the third song, was "have I told you lately... That I love you?" It was a song my mother always sang to me as a child. I even wrote that line on the Christmas cookie box i made for my mom years ago. I'm sure ally didn't know about the song connection. And I had to hide my tears from her! It felt like a secret hug from my mom. She was there with us! The party was incredible by the way. My auntie Cindy and Friend Shavon came early to help me set up. LOTS of friends stopped through!

That's all for now, Merry CHRISTMAS!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good News and Giggles

So.... this is Caleb, writing for my wife, Hilary, who is curled up in a Vicodin hangover. We went to the Tacoma branch of the Seattle Infertility Clinic early today for an exam - checking out Hil's "tubes." The outcome was just about as good as we could have hoped. While one of the tubes doesn't seem to be working properly, it doesn't need surgery. It's NOT a case of hydrosalpinx. It's just a less-than-perfect tube. The other tube seems to be working just fine. So we have reason to believe that a natural pregnancy is still possible. Hurray!

So, you know how much fun Hil is, right? I mean, all the time... She's a giggle-maker. Well, especially when she's hopped up on meds. She's been extra-hilarious. I'm thinking about producing an internet show, "Hil says the darnedest things."

Example: After the exam, Hil was feeling a little nauseous. Attentive, the nurse left the room and entered again a minute later with a cup of water. "Hilary, here is some water for you," she said sweetly. "Oh...thanks," Hil started, "but do you think I could have some juice?" And a danish, Hil? the nurse went to the staff refrigerator and poured her some strawberry lemonade.

So, we're excited about the good news from the exam. And we're laughing at silly Hilly. Thanks for reading, thanks for caring. And you can bet that Hil will keep you up-to-date, right here. Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas cleaning

WELP, Jodi the quilter just left with all my mothers fabric. (TEAR, pause, breathe.) I made a quilt for my sister Andrea's baby that is due in January and Jodi is going to quilt it for me. I called her yesterday and asked if she could come and get the quilt and oh... by the way would you like some of my mothers scrap fabric Jodi?  She said yes, she would love it. She would use it in her classes and what is left over she would take to the angel guild. She didn't know what she was saying yes to, 4 bins full of fat quarters, scraps and some bigger pieces as well. She was so sweet to take it all away. I'm glad that it will be used and kimi's fabric will be circulating homes in the harbor in some way. She was incredible that mother of mine. She did so much, so many quilts and project. Some unfinished that I will work on. 

I finally came to terms with the fact that I just couldn't possible use all of my mothers fabric, and it just wasn't my style. So I rummaged through all the fabric and paired it down to this...
Mixed in with all of her fabric was love notes from when I was little. Or note pads with insanely long lists on them and at the top it would say TODO Monday. She would undoubtedly have everything crossed off her list. Made for a teary start to my day yesterday. My auntie Karen came around 1, just in the nick of time. She was there to help my cut the binding for the baby quilt, but ended up cleaning up the sewing room with me. It's not finished, but its WAY better.
I want to recover that couch... on the todo list. And unlike my mother, when I say i want to recover that couch, i am NOT implying that I will be doing it. I will have someone else do it :) Anyway, after Karen and I finished upstairs we came down and worked on my kitchen. If you remember, when I had just gotten married my mother flew down to Arizona right before she was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and helped me re-organize my kitchen. Well here we are two years later and her sister was doing the same thing for me. We pulled everything out and put it back in. Two garbage cans full of old spices and odds and ends. She even "attacked" my stove top. What a sweet Auntie. It has been tough entering into Kimi's season again this year. It seems as though we are all feeling sad. I may have jumped the gun and put up Christmas at our house last week but, I like love Christmastime. So many incredible memories from when I was young. I have the stockings hung... Caleb, me, Kimi and Emma cat
My mom made mine and her stockings... Karen made Emma cats. And Kimi had started Caleb's but hadn't finished. Last year my grandma finished it and surprised us with it for Christmas. She hadn't told me that she was working on it. She went to the yarn shop and they helped her finish it. It took grandma and yarn-shop angels a while to figure out where kimi left off. We will treasure our stockings forever.
Tomorrow Caleb and I finally have our second appointment to find out more information on my hydrosalpinx situation. We will be praying that it is just blocking the one side, not the other... And that it's treatable and we can still get pregnant naturally. That would be great! We will update when we find out. 
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Play dough and PKU

A week and a half ago, My mother-in-law called and asked if I would be interested in flying to Chicago (Wheaton to be exact) to assist her take care of Lucy, JT, and Eli (Caleb's brother's kids). I checked my schedule and sure enough, I could make it work. So, 5 days later I was on a flight to Chi-town getting ready to surprise my nieces and nephews. I told Kimberly and Josh (My in-laws... PS, i hate the word in-law... it sounds so judicial) to keep my arrival a secret, i really wanted to surprise them. Gina (mother in law, Caleb's mom, marriage mama) and I arrived and grabbed a cab to the house... Our cab driver wasn't the most friendly taxi-driver I have ever met. He wanted NOTHING to do with us! He pretended like he didn't speak English when we asked him if he could swing through a McDonald's/anything we were starving but, managed to understand directions perfectly! Strange huh? Anyway, I had him drop me off a block away, then I walked up for my grand entrance. I pictured in my head kids squealing AUNTIE HILLY... big hugs all around, tickle fights... NOT SO MUCH! I got a scared look out of the kids and a timid hug, Maybe they weren't even sure who I was?! After about an hour of so, they warmed up. I did have to prove my coolness with some doll-playing/play dough/coloring/whatever they asked me to do! :)

Josh and Kimberly took their newborn Ruby with them to Baltimore, which left the other 3 for Gina and I to play with. Ruby was absolutely precious.

She was born with PKU as well as their 3rd child Eli. PKU (phenylketonuria), in its classic form, is a rare, inherited metabolic disease that results in mental retardation and other neurological problems when treatment is not started within the first few weeks of life. When treatment is begun early and well-maintained, affected children can expect normal development and a normal life span. only treatment is a very strict diet that limits the amino acid, phenylalanine. What does that mean for Eli and Ruby??? It means these brave little ones get a blood test weekly that their mother administers and sends away to doctors to be monitored. The "treatment" is a diet.

Diet. The diet for the most severe form of PKU, called classic PKU, eliminates all of the very high protein foods since all protein contains phenylalanine. This means that all concentrated sources of protein must be eliminated from the diet in order to limit the amount of phenylalanine. Except in rare circumstances, the diet does not allow consumption of meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, cheese, ice cream, legumes, nuts, or many products containing regular flour.
A synthetic formula is used as a nutritional substitute for the eliminated foods. This formula is very expensive.
The diet is supplemented with special low protein foods and weighed or measured amounts of fruits, vegetables and some grain products. These foods are allowed in quantities that suit the individual child's tolerance for phenylalanine; some can have fairly liberal diets and still maintain good control of blood phe, while others must have a very strict diet.

So, you can imagine now why Gina wanted my help with the kids. Three kids is hard enough, now we had to do this pku thing. Sweet Eli is so great, and for the most part drank all his "milk" for us and the food that we gave him. We made it just above 200mg of phenylalanine almost every day which was our goal. Lucy and JT of course know the diet well and were very helpful coaching Gina and I on the diet. Can you imagine a day in the life of sweet Kimberly? Four kids under the age of 5,  Two with a very demanding disease. Did I mention that her husband and JT are gluten intolerant!? Talk about WONDER WOMAN! I am so in awe of her! :) We really did just have the best time. I cried leaving the kids, they are so precious.
Grateful for family and airplanes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm a sewing machine.

No, not my Halloween costume... I really am a SEWING, Machine. My auntie Karen came over and helped me figure out my sewing machine so I can use it. I inherited my mothers beautiful Bernina Virtuoso 150... Lots of bells and whistles. I have been having fun pressing buttons and what not. I grew up sewing with my mom. I remember making pillowcases and doll clothes. I think i finished my first quilt by the age of 8... although I never cut any fabric?! Still a FP is a FP! (FP in my family means, finished project) I quit sewing altogether when i was in my teens.
                                   Photo above is of my mom, pinning fabric together for me.

My dad had made my mom a sewing/hobby room that I often think about. I think her heaven might look like that room with the skylight right above her sewing machine. We would have so much fun in their when i was little. She was an excellent teacher. She was so patient and sweet. It is and always will be one of my favorite memories as a child. And as I grew up, I remember her getting ready for her wedding to my step dad in their with Andrea and Kirsten listening to Bonnie Tyler's bright eyes on repeat. Because her sewing/hobbying was such a significant part of who she was, when she got sick with Cancer I wanted to do one last project with her. In 3 months we put together the most special love bird quilt. She had to reteach me how to do almost everything, but it all came back quick. She was busy pinning fabric for me to sew up to 4 days before she passed away. (CAN you believe that???) She saw the completed project before she passed. I know she was overjoyed... but it was more then just a FP, for her she was more excited that I had began quilting, carrying on her legacy. That is why it is so fun for me to quilt. I feel like she is with me. She is here, somehow she is here with me whenever i sew. I can just hear her say, ohh... good corner. Nice seem, or you might want to rip that out and start over. :) either way. It brings me close to her, and I love it. I have made my friend Misty a quilt (co-made it with my auntie) and another quilt for my sister Andrea that is going to be sent to the quilter this week. I have done all my sewing up until know on my mom's old bernina... Its the same machine i grew up using from the 80s.... Don't get me wrong, it still is a great machine! But, my mama gave that machine to my auntie Karen. So whenever I sewed I would go over to her house... Which I also loved because she is so talented and helpful. If you don't know my aunt Karen, she looks just like my mom and is an equally talented sewer. We always have fun.
 My Auntie and Emma teaching me how to use my machine... THE machine!

I cant tell you how fun it is to sew in my own house now. I have been going through some of my mothers fabric and making little projects. Inspired by my new facebook friend Courtney Schultz, and my friends with babies... I have been making stylish burp cloths. Nothing really to them, and I'm just playing around. But they are fun and cute, and will be great baby gifts!

The top one is just your basic burp cloth with fabric sewed on, and the bottom one is flannel with fabric.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Laundry and The Office

 If it wasn't for the office, i may never get any laundry done. We bought the season dvd's and i watch/laugh while i fold. The office really just doesn't get old for me! :) Laundry really piles up over here with our gym habits and my wanting to put everything i wear in the laundry basket because it is easier then hanging it back up or putting it away. (things that drive my very neat husband crazy) Cleaning house just isn't something that I'm naturally really great at. I have to work at it, If my husband didn't mind my messes we would live under a pile. 
 About a month before my mom was diagnosed with Cancer, I begged her to come down to Arizona to help me organize my house. I didn't want her to clean, I just needed help with a system. Bless her heart, she came down. Pulled everything out of my kitchen cabinets and put it all back together more organized and efficient. She also helped with my filing cabinet. Boy could I use her now.... Sometimes I think we got too big of a house. 600 square feet would have been much more manageable for me :) 

Last night we went to a birthday party for my niece and nephew (Kirsten's kids). It was SOOOO fun to be with so many kids and relatives. It's definitely a different stage of life, All the kids are having kids now. Its fun to see my brothers/sisters/cousins personalities and faces play out in their kids. So cute. I love being auntie Hilly.
Today we had Kirsten, Isaac, Justice, Selah and new baby Jude out to our house. It was so fun to be with family all day long. Justice loves football so much right now. When he got to our house he looked at the TV and said, Um... Aunt Hilly, this is the Dolphins vs the Steelers... I want to watch the  Jaguar's/chief game. ADORABLE!

 On our front porch Selah, Me, Caleb and Justice
                      J-man doing his 3 point stance (looked different when Bryan asked him to do it!?)
      Isaac, Justice and Caleb
Kirsten and Selah

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Im a blogger

I have often thought about blogging but never really got around to it. I love social networking, keeping up with people i love... So hello friend! Here's what you can expect to read here... Updates on our life, our struggles, our successes, my pilates, Caleb's books, Our spunky little Emma cat, and so on.

To get everyone up to speed. Caleb and I got married November, 22 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona. At the time we were living there, and to our knowledge we were planning on staying there for the next 10-15 years. But, only three months into our marriage I got the absolute worst call of my life. My mama was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer (for the most part, pancreatic cancer is terminal)  I didn't bat one of my long eyelashes before i was on a plane back to Washington. Upon arrival I launched into full time nurse-mode for my precious mama kimi. It was such a special time for me. We never know God's plan, why does cancer happen? Why do people die young? What happens when people die? And I'm here to tell you I still don't have any answers! :) But, I do have peace. I know that my mom is in heaven. I know heaven is the coolest place you can imagine.... Sometimes I think about heaven... Maybe for my first 10 years there i will just catch waves (body surf) in somewhere that looks like Spain and i never get water up my nose and I drink prosecco and eat mussels all day long. Just one of my many scenarios. Either way I have fun imagining my life in heaven I know it will be AWESOME! I think its safe to say that i was and am devastated by the loss of my mom. She was my best friend. But, I trust that I will see her again and I try to live my life to the fullest... Making sure not to take my friends and family for granted as I know first hand they can be taken away from me in a second.

Around the time my mom got sick March/April2009 Caleb and I began trying to get pregnant... hoping that my mom would be around long enough to see a grandchild. When we realized the cancer was moving faster then we had hoped and upon my moms request we took a break from our "efforts" if you know what i mean ;) We started back at our "efforts" in augustish. We reached December with no success, at which point we decided to take it up a notch. I began charting my temperature which helps you figure out when you are ovulating... making our "efforts" a little more educated. While taking my temperature every morning and sometimes night (i became a little obsessive... sometimes i made Caleb take his too) i observed some pretty low temps. Which my book Taking Charge of Your Fertility says is often evidence of  a low functioning thyroid. So I went to my first doctor who tested my thyroid he did only one of 4 tests... Which came up normal. So I went for a second opinion. Sure enough low thyroid. I got on medication... and still no pregnancy. I was using my ovulation sticks, (one time i took a pregnancy test same time... just in case) taking my temperature, eating healthy, exercising regularly...  Meanwhile everyone around me was getting pregnant... What the heck was wrong with me and why were none of my doctors looking for a solution. I think they looked at me, assumed i was healthy and that I was unable to get pregnant due to the stress of losing my mom, moving, yada yada yada. I got pretty tired of the runaround from my doctor. To get into see yet ANOTHER gyno it would take up to 2 months. Who may eventually direct us to an infertility clinic. Caleb and I prayerfully decided (with some advice from friends) to go to an infertility clinic to just get a little looky-loo into what was going on.  DID I go there? YES I DID... It seems to be a pretty taboo thing to talk about. Except guess what, a lot of people are struggling with infertility, yet nobody talks about it. Probably because it is painful and embarrassing. But it has been around since before Jesus, HELLO... Sarah and Abraham, they were like 90 when they finally got pregnant. I hope Caleb and I wont be quite so old :)

The Verdict... not great. It looks at though I have a Hydrosalpinx on my left fallopian tube which translates most literally as “blocked water tube.” And if you’re trying to get pregnant, that’s a particular kind of water tube you don’t want blocked. I don't want to go to in depth about what it is until I have more information from our doctor. We will go in for our second appointment early November.

We are hopeful... and grateful for each other.