Wonder Weekend


My oldest nephew turned six and we all got together for a super hero party in the park. 

Jax wore this:

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Wonder Woman! Lookout Linda Carter – Wonder Woman Jax is taking over.

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OMGoodness! Have you ever seen anything so stinkin’ cute in your entire life?

Doubtful!

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Jax’s favorite auntie, Sarah, made an appearance as Cat Woman.

cute cat woman

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Grandma Gloria was only days out of the hospital from her second knee replacement in as many months. Wonder Woman Jax worked her super powers and made GG feel better!

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Wonder Woman Jax tending to a fallen party guest (she was actually trying to steal the little girl’s purse).

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The Guest of Honor. My adorable nephew, Gabriel, celebrating being six dressed as “Shredder.” Who the heck is that?

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Wonder Woman took a break from fighting crime to take her crown off, let her hair down and enjoy a bag of chips.

Smile


Looking through old photos today and came across these two that made me smile.

Tubs

What a tub! This has got to be one of my all-time favorite pictures ever taken of her. It is so quintessentially Jax, all pudge and preciousness. Lovin’ the little smirk on her face. She’s only about 6 months-old here but she hasn’t changed a bit. I just want to grab her outta this picture and squeeze that chubbiness.

mommy and me

Look at that cutey. Don’t you think the baby is adorable too? Just kidding. Jax was barely 3 months-old here and it seems like only yesterday she was this tiny. I miss her at this age. I miss her at every age she’s been. Isn’t it our jobs as mommies to wish our 18 month-old was still 12 months old, wish our 12-month old was still 6 months old, wish our 6 month old was still newborn? And two minutes later wish they were old enough to sleep through the night, make their own breakfast and be potty trained! 

 

 

 

A Spot of Tea


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Over the weekend I treated my little sister to a girl’s day having high tea at the beautiful Phoenician Resort. She loved it and I enjoyed seeing her happiness over being included in such a fancy treat. The Phoenician’s high tea is fabulous – an robust tea selection, adorably delicious sandwiches, yummy scones with delightful accompaniments and decadent desserts all presented with top-notch service in a stunning and luxurious setting. There is nothing like it in town!

It was funny to get dressed up and enjoy the company of a giddy eight year-old girl. I think we will make this an annual tradition, me and my sis kicking off the new year with the dainty indulgence of high tea. It will be fun to include Jacquelyn when she is old to enough to sit still and appreciate the experience.

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First course: lovely, little sandwiches served on beautiful china. The great thing about tiny sandwiches is you can eat a bunch of them and not feel guilty. On second thought, maybe that is a bad thing…I may have eaten the equivalent of three sandwiches.

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The second course: scones served with strawberry preserves, lemon curd and Devonshire cream. The scones are my favorite part of tea service, mostly because of the Devonshire cream. I want to visit Devonshire and thank them for their cream.

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Third course: PASTRIES! Notice there are eight desserts on my plate, yup eight! You may think that high tea is a dainty and delicate affair but you are wrong. I guess you could practice self-control and choose just one or two desserts to cap off your high tea experience…but why would you? The servers recommend having one of each of the offerings. High tea is after all a refined affair so you don’t want to be rude and scoff at their suggestion. Manners state that you should indulge and indulge I did.

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I think loose tea is a wonderful thing. Especially when steeped in a lovely china teapot and poured into a china teacup through a cute silver tea sieve.

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This was our view while we took tea. It was a gorgeous day in Phoenix. A sunny 74 degrees in early January. People were actually swimming! I love Phoenix winters.

A New Knee for GG


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For years now my mom has been in excruciating pain due to arthritis in her knees. It’s bone on bone in both and she has needed a knee replacement for awhile; however doctors were reluctant to do it because she has a compromising shoulder injury that could prevent her from being able to use a walker, thus hindering rehab.

The pain in her knees is so bad she has become depressed to the point of needing medications and it has started to affect her blood pressure and heart. It’s been very hard to see my mom endure this.

Harder still is how badly her pain has affected my relationship with her. I have always, always been very close to my mom but her pain and depression have caused her to become constantly short and moody. I try to remember that it’s not her fault but our bond has definitely weakened. I’m ashamed of this. Very heart breaking.

I love my mommy.

Mercifully, her doctor finally approved the surgery and she checks in the hospital today for a total knee arthroplasty. I know this is a very common, pretty routine surgery but I am worried. She isn’t young and mobile or particularly healthy but the doctor says her health should improve tenfold with the surgery and will deteriorate without it. She can become more active and live happier without the pain. She will need to have the other knee done in a few years but this is a start. I just want my mom to enjoy her life again.

Please keep my mama in your prayers for a successful surgery, rehab and recovery.

Jax and I love and need. And even though I see her regularly I miss my mom so much.

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Guest Post: Believing in Fairy Tales


Having a baby of my own has totally changed my outlook on everything. I see things differently. Motherhood has altered my being. I embrace it.

Motherhood is a blessing and it fits every woman differently. There are all sorts of moms out there. All different and unique and what unites most of us together is the love we have for the beings we bore or adopted into our lives.

The post you are going to read on my blog today was contributed by a woman named, Erika. I went to high school with her and what I remember most is her easygoing personality. She was an athlete but didn’t align herself with cliques. She was that girl who got along with everybody and in turn, everybody liked her.

I reconnected with Erika through Facebook a few years back. I saw that she was married…to a woman. She looked so happy. I enjoyed seeing the photos and updates she posted.

Then, much to my surprise, she posted an ultrasound picture announcing that she and her wife were expecting a baby girl. I about died; I was overcome with jealousy.

I was in the throes of infertility myself and everyone around me having a baby. Every time I saw someone’s announcement I’d get sick with envy. Then the least likely person I knew to ever get pregnant…was!

Do I sound like a jerk? I don’t mean to. I was happy for her but sad for me. As it turned out my time came just a few months later.

But I digress, this post is about Erika.

She and her wife are amazing mothers to their sweet little girl. That child is absolutely gorgeous and radiates a glow that tells you she is supremely loved, cherished and cared for. So what if Erika and her wife live an “alternative lifestyle?” It’s theirs to live and they are doing a damn good job with that baby!

I was touched to read that while her life is so much different than my own, we shared the same monthly disappointments on our journey to become moms, we had the same burning desire to have a child of our own. We are connected through motherhood and through our unwavering love for our child.

Read this post with an open mind; you just mind find a connection as well. Here is Erika’s story:

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Believing in Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away…wait, wrong story! Although, what you’re about to read is a fairytale of sorts. So, as all stories go, we’ll start at the beginning.

My name is Erika. My wife is Danielle. Yes, that’s right…we are two gals who decided to fall in love and spend our lives together. We had an incredible life, went on fantastic trips, bought a few cars and a house, got a couple of dogs (who were our babies!), and we had lots of nieces and nephews to love on and spoil. We were living the dream and we were happy!

Then, after about six years, I got the itch. Which itch you might wonder?! I started to think about something I hadn’t really thought was an option for us – having a baby.

We obviously don’t have the “equipment” to make a baby ourselves; and adoption is not an easy process, especially due to our “alternative” lifestyle. So the question of ‘how’ was playing in my mind. I’m not the most feminine of gals as all of that girly stuff goes, so there was no doubt in my mind that Danielle would put in all the “work” of growing a baby.

But there was a problem…I was ready but Danielle wasn’t. It took about a year for that itch to finally hit her too. Once it did, we didn’t waste any time! We were ready to jump in with both feet and hit the ground running; but we had no idea where to start.

Our first decision was determining where to get the other half of what makes a baby – the swimmers…so to speak. We went back and forth trying to decide whether we wanted a known or an anonymous donor.

Danielle leaned towards anonymous but I wanted to be able to tell my child where he/she came from; so I thought a known donor was best. Finally, I convinced her to go with a known donor and we were able for the next step.

Let me tell you, we have the most amazing friends in the world! We figured that since the cost of fertility clinics was pretty high, we would try the “at-home” method.

No, it’s not what you might think. There was no wine or dim, romantic lighting involved. Actually, there was no real contact with the donor at all other than the very awkward hand-off of certain supplies.

After months of no luck, we decided that we should go ahead and seek the help of medical professionals with our “project”. This included numerous doctor visits, multiple weekly tests, blood work and counseling sessions. After all of that and months of no luck, Danielle went in for a minor surgical procedure to see if there were any underlying conditions that could be preventing conception. As odd as it sounds, we were disappointed to find out that she was fine. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t upset that Danielle was okay, we were frustrated that we didn’t have any answers as to why pregnancy wasn’t happening.

By this time, we were exhausted – mentally, emotionally and financially. Our hearts broke a little each month with the start of her cycle.  Although, we both felt defeated, Danielle wasn’t ready to give up. So we tried for a few more months before I started to wave my little white flag. We had been trying for two years and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. And with this, Danielle agreed to stop.

As it so happens, we are in the unique situation of having two uteruses (uteri?!), so we decided to switch. Getting pregnant was not anything that I had ever considered, nor did I ever think it was an option given my “better half,” but we wanted a baby so badly; I was willing to give it a shot.

Since our financial situation had taken us pretty much as far as we could go, we decided to go back to the “at-home” method. In an effort to protect our hearts, we decided that we would only try three times, and that would be it, baby or not.

We tried once…no luck. We tried twice…nothing. We tried the third and last time…and I started to spot. Assuming that it didn’t work again, we finally began to come to terms that the only babies we would have would be our pups. That would have to be okay once our hearts mended.

Then, after a few weeks, when we had finally started to put our baby fever out of our minds, something changed in me. I started to get ridiculously tired during the day…like, couldn’t make it through the day without a nap tired. And I could NOT get enough lemon…on EVERYTHING…even on spaghetti! After about a week of this, I started to think that my behavior was pretty weird, so on a whim I took a pregnancy test.

There it was – a super faint line. It was so light, that I didn’t know if it was really there or if I just wanted it to be there. I tried to put it out of my head and go back to work. Easier said than done – I took another test later that day. Still a faint line.

I knew that we had one more test at home, so I decided to test again first thing in the morning. I took the test as soon as I woke up and this time there was no disputing the blue “+” sign that showed up almost instantly!

I stared at it for a bit in total disbelief and then went to wake Danielle. I couldn’t even speak, all I could do was show her the test. Once she realized what she looking at we both just stared at each other incredulously and then started laughing! We didn’t know what else to do! After all the years of trying and crying, all we could do was laugh.

We decided early on that we wouldn’t announce anything to anybody until after the first trimester (which if anyone is interested, was horrible for me!). When we finally started to tell people our news they totally cracked up too! I’m not exactly the type of person who fits the “glowing pregnant lady” description, so it actually was pretty funny – even to me!

Three years and nine months after we started trying, we finally welcomed our beautiful baby into the world. And our little family is finally complete. We named her Danika Marie, a combination of our names and a tribute to our moms. Our baby girl was finally with us. She is the most amazing thing we have ever known!

I guess the beginning of my story was right after all. It really is our fairytale, and our “Once Upon A Time” has most definitely turned into our “Happily Ever After!”

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