Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This is why we can't have nice things....

"Good morning, Mom!"

Meet my stealthy-Ninja climber, 3 year-old Lily.  Sadly, this isn't the first time she has scaled her changing table.  However this is the last time.  After I maneuvered the table to where she couldn't access the shelving on the side to use as a ladder and then locked the wheels in place (all without Lily's knowledge) she still managed to move it to where she could climb it yet again.  See how proud she is?  She should be very proud.  She managed to do this without my knowledge.  Despite still using a baby monitor in her room I had no idea she was awake until I heard the tell-tale crinkling sound of her getting into the wipes.  Note the massive mess on the floor.   Ya know, I might not really be *that* concerned about the mountain climbing if she could figure out a way to get down.  This girl can climb UP with the best of them, but getting DOWN is the problem. I've tried everything from helping her get down, having another kid show her how to get down, and finally just tough love: if I ignore her surely she'll figure it out. No dice. One day she'll figure it out, right?  The diaper changing table stopped being the diaper spot long ago A. because she out-grew it about a year ago and B. we only do diapers at night and nap time.  However it has a ton of storage space, and the table was a safe place for her humidifier, wipes, and baby monitor.  So after 3.3 faithful years of use the diaper changing table must be removed from her room. One problem: I'm cheap and don't want to buy a new set of dresser drawers to replace the drawers from the table, and what extra furniture we have available is mismatched and less than pretty.  What am I to do with the loss of all that storage space? PAINT ALL THE THINGS!

Meet subject #1:

This lovely guy has been hidden away in closets for years.  Perfectly adequate in providing a space for sweaters, PT gear, and the like.  But not something one wants to look at for extended periods of time.  Ugly handles, chips and gouges, and a loverly faux oak stain. I'm sure it came from Goodwill at some point, but he's been with us through each PCS so I truly have no recollection of how he was acquired. His main upside: It's real wood and has mega potential.

Meet subject #2

Now this secretary isn't that bad looking, and has actually been in Lily's room here in Portsmouth from day one.  It's white and matched her white crib. I put a pretty drawer pull on her and called it a day 3ish years ago.  This is another piece of furniture I've had for-ever.  I'm pretty sure I had it in my first apartment in Stillwater.... um.... *doing the math* 12 years ago.  The inside is full of cubby holes and the door is still sturdy enough to use as a desk, if needed.  I've basically just changed the pull to match whatever room she was living in.  She's had a black pull, red pull, green pull, and now this pretty purple bloom pull. 

Once it was decided I'd paint everything we headed to Lowe's. The only design requirement I had was that they had to match Lily's super PINK room.  I was overwhelmed by the bajillion paint choices.  Thankfully Cayce saved the day and picked up two purple cards and said how about we go two-tone?  Done. We settled on Byzantine Purple (dark) and Grape Arbor (light) in Satin. We gathered up the rest of our tools and a new set of knobs for the dresser then headed home. 

This is why I have no free-time.  I was so excited for school to be over in June.  I was thinking to myself "think of all the time you'll have to do whatever you want!" Right. What that translates into is free-time to do all the things I've been neglecting for 3 months.  And THEN only have 3ish months to do it all before I go back into school-hibernation mode.  So instead of just making due with what we have I chose to spend my entire 4 day July 4th weekend working on these lovelies.  In the end I'm in love with them, but it was a chore for sure.  Anywho.  Here's the final results.

Subject #1 redux:

Subject #2 redux:    I swear they are the same colors. I just suck at taking pictures.


Note: The Grape Arbor color (light purple) is what I originally wanted as Lily's wall colors before I went insane and had an attack of extreme PINK.

And because I was truly in the "PAINT ALL THE THINGS!" mode I also painted the footstool she uses in the bathroom:

Oh. What did I do with the changing table?  


I spray painted the purple knobs with some green I had left over from another project and then moved it into the dining room to use as a pseudo-buffet.  I couldn't get rid of it.  Even though I have finally started letting go of a lot of Lily's baby stuff (mainly going through the totes and totes of her clothes and the cheaper items) I'm still holding onto her crib in the hopes there will be a baby #2 in the future.  But that's not a reality until we get settled in Colorado next year.  So until then I re-purpose!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Two Week Wait, Maybekindasorta

Yeah, I dunno.

So today was my cycle day 12 check-up. 

Now let me recap the previous cycles.

Each cycle has been the same.  I go in on CD12 get my lovely ultrasound, and the RE looks around, goes, oh there's a couple follicles (follicles become eggs).  Not quite big enough yet, but growing nicely.  Come back in a couple days and we'll check it again.  I go back in on CD14 for another ultrasound, and oh, look, perfect sized follicles ready to go. Then I get a shot of HCG ("trigger") and ovulation follows within a couple days. 

So when looking at the calendar for this cycle Cayce and I were kind of fretting because (historically) CD15ish has been go day.  Well, this month CD15 fell on a duty day.  Duty meaning Cayce is unable to leave the ship for an entire 24 hours.  Well that's inconvenient when one is trying to get pregnant. Cayce thought there was a 37% chance he could do a duty swap or maybe a 12% chance he could actually take leave for the day.  He's one of only a handful of people in his duty section with a specific qualification, and there is little wiggle room when time off is needed.  Oh and guess when that little qualification snafu will get fixed, um never, thanks to Sequestration (drink!).  So the past several days have been kind of worrisome. I've been praying for an earlier timing schedule. Maybe today I'll go in, the follicles will be ready to go, and we won't even have to worry about duty.  Sometimes you get what you ask for.

Cue today: I went to the appointment alone.  Which has only happened once before, but there was no getting out of work early this afternoon.  No biggie.  Lily will go to daycare, and it's just the CD12 scan so nothing too important will happen.  We start the ultrasound. The right ovary has its normal gathering of baby follicles. Perfectly routine. Then things start looking wonky.  Hmmmm what is all that excess fluid? Oh look at the stripe there. Hmmmmm.... shift over to the left ovary.... click, click - measure a follicle... just over 18mm, but shaped funny (not spherical).  Do some more looking, pushing, moving around.  And we're over.  So the RE says here's what I think has happened.  I think you've already ovulated.  Like just ovulated.  Since we didn't do a base line scan this month (like we have previously) I can't be certain.  The biggest indicator is the excess fluid, but then we see this stripe (points to fuzzy black and white picture) and that's a sign of progesterone in your system.  Then we see the big follicle that looks to be collapsing (what happens after ovulation).  She says she has to go by what my uterus is showing her, and my uterus is saying I've ovulated. 

Well boo.  What the crap ovaries, you couldn't wait two freaking days? Usually you go late in the month, and now you're just so ready to get on with it you release that egg early? Geez. She says we could bring me back in a few days, but most likely the scan would still look similar.  So we're not going to do an IUI this month.  Thanks to some fortuitous timing this cycle isn't a complete waste, but it's definitely not looking so hot.  I was a bit sad at first.  Well, really sad.  I was that crazy lady in the parking garage crying silently in my car.  BUT after a while I focused my thoughts and I found a silver lining!! Yay for silver linings!

As I said in a previous post this would be the last month because the timing of the cycle next month and our vacation.  Well if I did indeed ovulate early that means my cycle will now start earlier next month, leaving us plenty of time to continue monitoring.  We may even be able to have an IUI.  At the very least we could get the follicles to the right size, and then the RE could send us to Walt Disney World with the trigger shot leaving us to take full advantage of our vacation. ;)  We could even be 2 for 2 of bringing a baby back from a trip to WDW. :D See, silver linings.  Actually lots of silver linings.  Now we don't have to worry about figuring out duty. I don't have to spend two weeks this month with false pregnancy symptoms (from the HCG shot). I won't have to decide whether or not to take a pregnancy test daily. These little things make me happy.  It's easy to say I give up, but to actually do it, well not so much.  This cycle and the sequestration combine to give me some hope that we're not yet giving up on our dream of another baby.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Confession Time

Over the course of my adult life I would categorize myself as a below average housekeeper.  I just suck at it.  I'm unorganized.  I get overwhelmed. I get tired of doing the same things over and over again and over and over again and repeat.  Pre-Lily this really wasn't such a problem.  I was working.  Cayce was working. So generally speaking we were able to keep the house at a non-emergent level of clean.  I think my main problem is that we have too much crap.  Just too much.  Good grief. I don't understand where it all comes from.  I assume at night while we're sleeping tiny trolls are scavenging dumpsters and thrift store drop-offs and then quietly and delicately placing the new items in a casual "bomb explosion-fragment" display.  That's the only logical explanation for the amount of stuff we have and its constant state of disorganization.  Now, don't get me wrong, we're not destined for an episode of Hoarders, we do keep things somewhat "clean." There's just a bunch of piles, stacks, and cleverly hidden stashes.  Ugh.  It's overwhelming.  You would think since I'm now at home full time with Lily I would have this under control.  You would be wrong.  Before Lily when I was gone at work there was no one in the home each day for about 9 hours.  Now there's someone at home all. the. time. And that someone is a crafty 3ish year-old who can make a monumental mess in about as long as it takes me to pour a cup of milk.  So basically I've just played catch-up for 3 years.  There hasn't been time for deep cleaning, de-cluttering, or organizing.  Ew. Then factor in my return to grad school last year, and wow, yah housework is like #762 on my list of priorities, right behind end world hunger. I know millions (probably billions, I don't know, I'm not a statistician) of other moms have the innate ability to hold it all together and Pinterest their way to fabulousity.  I however, came into this mothering thing with a major handicap, my strong aversion to cleaning.  So I suck at cleaning. I know it, and I ignore it.

This lengthy airing of my dirty laundry - ha, pun intended - and my major SAHM suckiness is build-up to today's big project.   My resolution for 2013 is to de-clutter and organize our home.  Part of this may or may not  have to do with the fact that in less than a year strangers will come into my house and tenderly (not) pack all our belongings and crate them to a yet to be determined destination.  Last PCS, 2 years ago, we had less crap.  Lily was only 9 months old and had significantly less junk.  I don't know how she keeps getting stuff.  She must have a job that I'm unaware of and routinely shops 'til she drops.  So now we have all this stuff.  Oh and did I forget to mention that while the Navy will kindly (not) move us free of charge, they will however weigh our junk and if we're over our weight allowance we then get to pay Uncle Sam for all our extra lbs?  That's definitely some motivation to get rid of stuff.  I have actually been doing a pretty good job since January routinely going through totes, boxes, and piles donating and trashing things.  Lily's closet became a nightmare over the past month because someone (I dare you to guess who) discovered what a fun place a closet can be and slowly, daily, destroyed the organization I DID have in there.  I really did have it organized. I promise.  So this week I went to Kmart (yah, Kmart) and bought a shelving unit, put it together during naptime, and then re-ogranized the closet.  Then to top it all off.  I put a hook-and-eye latch on the door so someone (did you figure it out who yet?) can no longer pilfer when she's supposed to be napping.  I wish I had taken a before picture because it literally looked like a 38inch tornado had landed squarely in its midst.  But now it's bea-u-ti-ful.  So today I tackled our closet.

The master bedroom of our house is the converted attic.  It's spacious, but has some awkward angles.  One end of the attic is the bathroom and the other end is our closet.  It's nice sized.  It does triple duty as closet, reading nook, and sewing room.  Without further ado - my biggest secret.

For the closet I needed an actual workspace for my sewing and crafts as well as a spot for our shoes.  Our lab enjoys carrying shoes around the house.  She doesn't chew on them, just transports them from one place to another. Since there isn't a door on the closet we can't shut up the shoes to keep her away from them. Today at Bed Bath and Beyond I found a large shoe rack.  At Lowe's we purchased a solid piece of 2ft X 4ft birch for a table top, and found a couple cheap steralite drawers at Walmart.


Free Fabric

I had 2 yards of fabric left over from a craft project gone wrong.  I simply stapled the fabric to the wood to create a splinter free work surface.

$24.00 total for the drawers.

$35.00 (holds 30 pairs of my shoes)

$35.00 (holds 30 pairs of Cayce's shoes)

The shoe racks are actually one tall shoe rack that I kept separated.  This way Cayce and I would each have our own rack and I could place them to take up the least amount of room.  Plus, if I had actually put it together I would have had to put the shoes in the bathroom because there wouldn't have been enough room height-wise to keep it in the closet.

$110.00 grand total plus a few hours of work for some much needed organization.

I know what you're asking yourself.  How in the world did she live like that? I didn't.  I ignored it.  I haven't spent more than 2 minutes in that closet since December when I was finishing up my Christmas crafts.  The sight of it made me anxious, and I knew it had to be tackled. But it was going to be such a time and energy consuming task that it really became a mind over matter kind of thing.  It's soooooo much better in there.  We still need to go through in weed out some more clothes, and yes the sweater stack is still there.  I can live with that.  I still have my sweatshop footstool seat, and at some point I'll bring up a folding chair.  It's not a deal breaker though.  I'm kind of used to the ease of my little swivel stool. :)

So one massive undertaking complete.  My next chore is the office.  What? I have an office, yet I'm using my closet as a craft room? Yeah.  That's a whole 'nother story. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Third time's a charm.


So obviously last cycle was a bust.  I'm currently taking my Femara, 7.5 mg daily, getting my ovaries to start growing some follicles.  This doesn't seem to be the issue.  The other two cycles everything developed how it needed to we just didn't get pregnant.  So, yah, that's where we are.  I have a couple more days of Femara and then we wait for about a week and then go have an ultrasound to see if anything developed.  From there more decisions are made about how to move the cycle along.  So right now I'm just taking pills and not really thinking about much. 

The one thing I do know is that this will be our last monitored cycle for the foreseeable future.  Next month we (finally) take our trip to Disney World and won't be here for monitoring, and then (sequestration [Drink!] pending) the ship schedule picks up dramatically and the other party needed to achieve pregnancy won't be here. ;)  I'm not sure how I feel about this being the last go.  On one hand it sucks to know this is it.  Our last real go at adding to our family. But on the other hand infertility treatment is exhausting, both physically and emotionally.  After the first 12 days of each cycle I'm in the doctor's office about every couple days to check things.  Then we get the IUI and then I just drift aimlessly over analyzing every little twinge, ache, and cramp.  So I essentially spend half of each month in this weird disconnected fog.  Not a productive way to live.  I feel bad for Cayce and Lily.  I'm sure there are those out there who sail through IF treatments without batting an eye.  I'm just not that person.  I think maybe IF treatments should come with therapy. Ha! When that negative pregnancy test comes up then all your fears are realized.  I feel like a failure.  I feel like I'm letting everyone down.  I have family who want another baby (and talk about it like it's as easy as picking up a gallon of milk at the store).  I have friends who are lovingly taking this trip with me.  I have Lily who would make a wonderful big sister.  I have Cayce who wants to give his heart to just one more little one.  And I have my own heart that knows there is just *something* missing.  So once I know I failed...again... I just feel the failure that much more strongly.  *sigh*

So to protect my heart I start trying to make myself believe one-and-done is good enough for us.  Lily is amazingly wonderful.  I just, I can't describe it, it's just perfect this love I have for her.  We had a smooth pregnancy and delivery, a relatively smooth infancy, and toddler-hood has been (shhhh don't tell anyone. I'm not supposed to admit it.) kinda easy. Now we're getting to the point where Lily's becoming increasingly independent.  She just started part-time day care, and *gasp* I have freedom again to shop on my own, lunch with friends in peace, and take my time browsing stores.  Of course that all sounds really frivolous, but the real reason she's entered care is because I start school next month.  BUT you better believe I've been taking advantage of my free time THIS month. Ha! We've started throwing around the ideas of Lily free vacations... a notion 6 months ago that wasn't even an option in my over-protective mind. So if life has become so easy do we really want to start over? Especially considering everyone and their mother has told us that since Lily was such an easy baby the next will be exponentially more needy and cranky.  Ugh. Yes, yes I do want to start over.  As a wise friend (Nikki) once said, they are only babies for a short amount of time compared to a lifetime of joy.  Yup.  Sounds about right to me. 

But right now all that doesn't matter.  I'm doing the best I can.  I've got plenty to distract me from what's going on in the baby-making-hood.  Tonight is the Gator Ball (YAY!).  Lily's birthday is coming up, our 9th wedding anniversary is nearing (holy crap how did that happen?!), we get to enjoy our long awaited WDW vacation (and Cayce's 30th b-day), we pick orders in April, and I get back into my slammed routine of school. It's gonna be busy around here for a while and I need it. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Two Week Wait = Eleventy Billion Year Wait

We are officially half-way through with our two week wait following our IUI, Saturday the 9th. The procedure itself was simple, quick, and painless.  Lily and Cayce were in the doctor's office with me, so if we conceive we have the distinct pleasure of saying our child was there for the conception of her sibling without fear of a referral to child welfare ;-).  Since it was a Saturday we were seen at Labor and Delivery, rather than having my regular awesome-sauce RE do the procedure.  Of course even if she did work weekends she probably wouldn't have been able to be there because she was literally about to pop and her NLT date was that Sunday.  God bless the woman for continuing to take care of her patients at almost 42 weeks pregnant. :D When she told me I would have to go to L&D for the IUI she apologized to me. I told her it was no biggie, and she said she just didn't like having to send her non-pregnant clients there in case it was sad for them to see the new babies and mothers and fathers.  I totally didn't even think about that aspect at all.  Eh.  Whatevs.  But I appreciated her concern for my emotional well-being.  Man I'm going to miss her while she's gone!

Anywho, I had some 23 year-old (maybe, I dunno, probably closer to 27) do the procedure.  I liked her.  She complimented me on my shoes.  One can never go wrong praising footwear.  We were in and out in less than an hour.  We then enjoyed  a nice lunch at a local restaurant that I am now forever in love with, No Frill Bar and Grill. The service was excellent, Lily was well behaved, and the Salmon club was To.Die.For. Some night when Cayce and I have a sitter we will need to return and enjoy it on an adult level. After lunch we went home.  Lily went down for her nap and I continued my quest for a ball gown.

Thankfully, I have had the never-ending shopping extravaganza for the Gator Ball to keep me busy.  On March 1 we are attending the Gator Ball here in Portsmouth.  It is for all the Khaki sailors (E7 and above and Officers) of Expeditionary Strike Group 2. If you look at that list, that is a WHOLE lot of ships and sailors.  This is a formal event, and I'm a wee bit excited.  Cayce's dress uniform includes a bow tie! That's a wee bit hilarious to me. I get to wear a gown.  The last time I wore a formal gown was for my Senior Prom. 

That's me, dead center in pink, next to Holly in the saturated blue and Val in the lighter blue.

Cayce and I eloped, so no fancy gown then, and we have yet to attend a Navy Ball.  So the Gator Ball is my chance to get gorgeous and feel like a million $$. And you know what, after being a stay-at-home mom for nearly 3 years I think I totally need a night to play princess dress-up. I spent two afternoons searching for my gown.  I finally found it at David's Bridal, of all places.  Here it is. Ooooooh I love it.  I spent three days searching for matching shoes.  I looked at 23 different stores and ended up back at David's Bridal. Here they are, in the champagne. I'm mostly finished with the shopping.  I have a couple "unmentionables" I need to purchase... note to world, an ivory mesh and tulle gown WILL show the world the color of your undies(they were red by the way), but otherwise I'm ready. I can't wait!

I'm just glad I've had this project to keep me busy.  Last cycle I was a nervous wreck.  This cycle, I can't lie and say I haven't been thinking about it, but at least I'm not insane about it.  I have been taking pregnancy tests daily, but that is to test out the HCG trigger shot I received to ovulate.  I *think* it's finally out.  This cycle and last cycle both marked the HCG out of my system 8 days after the shot.  Hopefully that doesn't foreshadow the end results of this cycle.  Blah.  Like I said I am thinking about it a lot.  I had a friend direct me to an online support group for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome called SoulCysters.  They have a subsection all about infertility and trying to conceive... I'm on there daily lurking, looking for advice, trying to see myself in their results, and in general educating myself.  But on the shallow side I've thought about a due date (Nov 2), names (Rocco, Luca, or Daisy), how to tell Cayce if I finally get a "pregnant" pregnancy test (That's a surprise), where the baby would sleep for the first few months of his/her life (in our room, obvi, but WHERE in our room), etc.  So yeah, here I am again letting myself run away with the excitement of what could be.  Clearly I did not learn my lesson last cycle.  The day of the trigger I let my imagination run wild.  I explained to Cayce, at that moment I was not NOT pregnant so it was safe to dream and fantasize about this magic little being who could soon be a part of our wonderful family. *sigh* Anywho, we're on the back end of this cycle, and soon I can stop fretting one way or another.  Hopefully I'll soon have good news to report!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


There's nothing more loathsome to me than an abridged audiobook.  Just because I'm lazy enough to listen to a book rather than *read* the book doesn't mean I'm so lazy I also want random chunks missing from the novel as well.

Well today I give you an abridged version of the previous 6ish (may be 7 I haven't quantified my procrastination) months of the Mautino home.

July -
     4th of July:
            Cayce spent the 4th in Boston with his ship.  Lily and I celebrated at a friend's house.  They live on the Bay, and it was great time.  Fun fact: Lily has made the decision ocean water is not for her.  So I had no reservations about watching the fireworks on the beach.  Funny thing about Bay water, it's warm and calm.  I could not get Lily out of the water.  Neither one of us were dressed to be in the water, and it was after dark so it was kind of nerve wracking, but hey at least we found a natural body of water that she does enjoy. :)

     Mom also visited in July, and then she made the long trek to OK with Lily and me.  Fun fact: Lily will not sleep in the same room as anyone else. So the one night stay in the hotel was pure misery, and a complete waste of time and money.

     In July, while mom was here we learned Cayce had been selected for Chief. :-) That was exciting. Mom, Lily, and I were in the NEX wasting time when I got the call from Cayce.  He whispers... "I made it." What? Are you serious? This better not be a joke! "No, I just got a call from _______ and she said she saw my name on the list. They haven't released the official names yet, but she's positive I'm on there." *cue blubbering fool in the middle of the NEX* That night started a very long 6 weeks for Cayce. Very little sleep, long hours on the ship, long hours in "training" (aka initiation), and very little food.  He lost a lot of weight, not that he has a lot to lose to begin with, but he did.  Lily and I headed to OK so he could enjoy the *fun* of Chief's induction without the added stress of family responsibilities.

August -
     Lily and I spent about 3 weeks in OK.  It was glorious.  The god's of Oklahoma weather shined upon us and we actually enjoyed pleasant (for August) temps.  Lily spent every waking moment in the back yard, alternating between chasing chickens and harassing goats. 

Helping Grumpy feed the goats.

Helping Grumpy feed the goats... even when he's not there....

Oklahoma air conditioning

     The big first for Lily and me was her over night stay at Cayce's mom's house.  It was the first time ever that Lily stayed a night away from me.  She stayed two nights.  We both survived. 

September -
     Chief's Pinning:
     A magical moment where I barely stopped crying.  I was (am) so incredibly proud of Cayce.  Of course we *hoped* he would make Chief, but never in a million years did we think it was an actual possibility.  I mean he'd been in the Navy for only 10 years, it was only his second look for E7, and quite frankly it just seemed like a pipe dream this early in his career.  But here were are. :)  Several of Cayce's family members made the trek.  His uncle, a Vietnam era vet, and Lily and I were the ones to pin him.  I cried from the moment we crossed the quarterdeck until I crashed in my bed for a much needed nap.  Cayce's sponsor asked who the family members were who were with me, and I barely squeaked out that it was his grandmother and father.  Oh stupid waterworks (in my defense I was running on about 4 hours of sleep). The most fun part of the event came in the surprise attendance of Cayce's "everyday friend," Joe.  Of course I had asked Joe if he wanted to come to Cayce's pinning.  Joe and Cayce worked at Parris Island together and became great friends.  Their friendship carried over after we moved to VA and Joe got out of the Navy and moved with his family to NC.  Of everyone who could have been in attendance there was no one else who could quite understand the significance and just plain insanity of Cayce's advancement.  When I asked Joe if he would like to come he kind of never really answered me, so I gave no more thought to it.  Cue roughly 15 hours prior to the pinning and I get a text from Joe telling me the Ditzel clan would be making the 3 hour trek up for the pinning and oh BTW what's for dinner? :) Lasagna was for dinner, and I stayed up waaaay too late chatting with Joe and Amanda.  Thank God for Amanda.  She saved my butt.  I was exhausted and stressed from my 5:15 wake up call and getting ready in the morning was just not going as smoothly as planned.  She asked if I wanted help getting Lily ready for the day, and man did she ever.  I practically did nothing, and it 100% soothed my nerves.  Back to the surprise.  So Cayce had NO IDEA Joe was going to be at the pinning.  Part of induction involves a "last night" thing so even if I had had the desire to tell him Joe would be attending, I couldn't because I couldn't actually contact him.  Amanda was also kind enough to bring her camera (she's a professional photographer) and in hindsight, I have no idea how I thought I would take ANY pictures.  I was too busy trying not cry all over everyone and then of course since I was IN the ceremony I don't know how I thought I would get a picture of that. ;-). So Amanda took some ah-mazing pictures.

"Brothers gotta hug!" - Joe, Cayce, and Joe's son Michael.

"Outta the way, Daddy deprived baby coming through!"

Because I haven't cried enough.

So proud... and the ship left for another underway an hour later, returning over a week later.

     Andalso... I started my second semester at Drexel.

October -
     So Cayce said if he ever made Chief he wanted to take us on a family vacation to Walt Disney World to celebrate.  I agreed, of course, not expecting him to make it any time in the near future.  So when he did actually make Chief, he was still gung-ho about this plan.  So in August I planned our trip to WDW.  Cayce got his leave chit approved and all was good.  Then the ship schedule changed, and they were supposed to be gone during our vacation.  If there is anything to learn about the Navy it's that they don't like sailors missing ship movement.  Luckily Cayce has the right people in his corner and the XO approved for Cayce to miss ship movement and take an extra few days so he could take this vacation.  Woo hoo! Great! Oh wait, even better news, the schedule has changed... again.  If there is anything to learn about the Navy it's that ship schedules ALWAYS change. Now they will be in port during our vacation time, and there's no need for extra leave or anything.  Oh goody.  So towards the end of October the ship left for about 5 days underway.  Cayce would get home on Friday, and we'd fly to Orlando on Saturday to spend a lovely week in la la land.  Does anyone remember what happened at the end of October? Anyone? Anyone? Yah, Sandy.  So the ship went to NY, and our trip was cancelled.  We were given the okay to re-schedule the trip for two weeks later.  Surely the ship would be back by then.  No.  Trip cancelled for good.  They finally came home after 3 weeks in NY.  Doing nothing.

November -
     Mom visited for Thanksgiving.  Cayce was on duty for Thanksgiving.

December -
     Finished up my semester. 
     Finally made it to Raleigh to take family photo's with Amanda.  That was part of the Sandy debacle.  We had a wonderful overnight with the Ditzels, and then Amanda took more ah-mazing photos of us.

Fun with leaves.

Fish face!

God, I love her.

     In September we started the long process of getting treatment for infertility.  That involves lots of tests, for everyone, and lots of facetime with the RE.  I ended up with a diagnosis of Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Tell me something I don't already know.  I was also given a nice prescription of 1500 Mg/daily of Metformin.  Finally in December we reached a point where actual work to get pregnant could begin.  I was given a 100mg dose of Clomid for 4 days.  When we got pregnant with Lily I took 50mg of Clomid, and we got pregnant the first time out.  Lily was conceived at Disney World. :-) So, I wasn't necessarily expecting this go around to be a walk in the park, but I certainly didn't expect it to be as difficult as it has been.  Everything about trying for baby #2 is much more stressful and exhausting.  I spent the majority of December greatly uncomfortable, in retrospect it was probably OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome).  But everything was working like it was supposed to so I didn't mind the 24/7 pain and discomfort, I mean, we were going to have a baby who cares about a little pain! A few days before Christmas I found a bit of blood.  I first panicked, but then realized, oh this is PERFECT timing for implantation bleeding.  So I kinda allowed myself (and Cayce) to get excited.  We spent a wonderful Christmas morning with Lily, allowing ourselves to think this may be the last singleton Christmas for us!  As the day progressed my cramps started getting stronger.  The spotting was still slight, but the cramps were worsening.  I still *fingers crossed* thought it could be from implantation.  We had plans to spend Christmas evening with friends, the same friends from the 4th of July.  We made our way over to Virginia Beach, and still my cramps were strong, but nothing to write home about.  Then a couple hours into the festivities the cramps became unbearable.  I was shaking from the pain, could barely stand, let alone walk, and I wanted to vomit.  We had to excuse ourselves early, me apologizing profusely. By the time we got home I could do little more than huddle under my blankets in fetal position alternating between cold sweats and chills.  That night AF started.  Immediately all pain and nausea disappeared.  I was up doing chores that I had neglected because of my constant state of sickness from the fertility treatments.  Despite keeping myself busy I was beyond upset, and beyond denial.  I still kept taking home pregnancy tests, maybe just maybe that was just some serious implanting of the embryo, maybe it's twins, maybe that's why it was so bad? But of course that was all lies I was telling myself.  There was no baby to celebrate.  Ugh so crushing.  I had already designed the cute way we would tell everyone.  I had already named the baby.  I had already picked out a Halloween costume.  So yeah.  I'm a moron.  I definitely got ahead of myself. Part of my depression was my fault for letting my heart run ahead of my body.  But then also came the reality.  This will not be so easy as last time.  If we couldn't get pregnant with everything looking *perfect* how do we expect to make this work if things aren't perfect? Blah.  So yeah. Cycle 1, complete failure.  Then we had to pack and to go home and face people when all I wanted to do was hide under the covers and wallow for a bit.

January -
     Spent 5 days in OK enjoying family, reconnecting with distanced relatives, and generally healing.      
     Spent 4 days in MO... Thank you to Kay.  Thank you, Kay.
     Came home with a cold Lily (who is NEVER sick) brought back with her.  It was pretty gross here for a while, and then we met back with the RE. She made me feel wonderful and hopeful.  Changed up the course of treatment.  All we needed was for AF to show up.  And she did towards the end of the  month.  After a bunch of confusion with the clinic and one awesome warrior in the form of Cayce we got in to see the RE for an ultrasound to make sure the cyst I had developed was gone.  All was good, and I started my Femara.  I had very few side-effects.  I had headaches, but that could have been the virus I was sacked with.  I had night sweats, but that could have been the virus I was sacked with.  Other than that, no side-effects. 

 February -
     So here we are, on Cycle Day 12.  We have an appointment today to see what's going on in the Ovary-hood.  On one hand one of the reasons REs like Femara is its lack of side-effects, but on the other hand I feel like *nothing* is happening.  Without the side-effects - dull ovary pain, bloating, cramping etc I don't know that my ovaries *are* working.  I'm afraid we'll get in there today and there won't be a follicle as far as the eye can see.  I'm also afraid that since I've been sick with this virus that morphed into a nice sinus infection it will have messed with what is supposed to be happening in my uterus. Blah.  I pray if Lily decides to be a mother she does not have these struggles.  I pray she's a happy fertile Myrtle and pops out the babies to her heart's content.  I pray we get good news today.