Saturday, June 29, 2013

The End of Google Reader

Ok, so this is going to be the 250,000 post you've read about the end of  Google Reader. Believe me, I'm as sick of reading these post as you are, but I would be a terrible blogger I don't at least mention it. 

If for some reason you live on the moon or only follow my blog, or something crazy, and haven't heard, as of July 1 Google Reader is going away. That's in 2.5 days. Yes, I've waited to the absolute last minute to write about it cause I really really hoped it wasn't actually going to happen. 

I've been hoping Google was going to make another announcement saying "Oops, our bad. We're keeping Reader around because its easy, free and ugh, what a pain to switch." But, no such announcement has been made so I can only begrudgingly urge you to follow me {and all of your favorite blogs} using another feed reader. Bottom line, if you want to continue getting updates about Montessori tot school, or my pregnancy, or all the other fun stuff we have going you are going to have to switch -- and soon. 

Personally, I'm going to give Bloglovin' a try. It honestly hasn't been my favorite in the past, but that's because I've been such a die-hard Reader user. So, I'm going to give it a real try but be open to switching. 

If Bloglovin' isn't your thing, leave a comment and tell me what feed reader you are going to be using, I would love to check out some good alternatives. 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Montessori Inspired 4th of July Tot School

In an effort to keep my mind busy and off of all the waiting, I put together a quick Montessori inspired 4th of July tot school unit. I thought I would share just in case someone is looking for some easy, cheap 4th of July activities. Next week, we'll be working on...

Red, white {well wood}, and blue wooden bead pouring.

Dry erase matching.

Map dot painting.

1-to-1 red, white, and blue pom-pom transfer.

Patriotic pattern matching.

Red, white, and blue rice scooping.

Make-your-own Flag.

If anyone is interested in the map dot painting, pattern matching game, or the dry erase sheet, feel free to email me and I will gladly share! What do you have planned for the 4th of July?


Thursday, June 27, 2013


I'm numb. Painfully numb.

On Tuesday, Morgan and I were shocked to find out that I am pregnant. You may remember that we were on a break from the meds this cycle because of the Clomid cysts. Well, it happened anyway.

So we went to the RE for blood work since my history requires early monitoring. We got our results later that day...Betas came back at 77. 

In a healthy pregnancy, that number should double roughly every 48 hours. So I want back for a repeat test today. The results were not positive. 

My betas today were at 129. They hadn't doubled and weren't even that close. I also started spotting a tiny bit late this morning. 

So, we are facing our fourth miscarriage. The RE did say that some babies are just slow growing and sometimes take closer to 72 hours to double. But all things considered he wasn't particularly optimistic. We will repeat the blood work Monday which will hopefully give us a better idea about what's going on. 

I don't want to do this...face the next few days. It's too hard. It's too sad. It's too painful. 

If you're the praying type, please say a prayer for me and for this baby. We need all the prayers we can get. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Letter M Tot School {Part 2}

Once we moved tot school into our new summer classroom, Henry couldn't get enough of tot school. This week we continued with the letter M so we used the same letter m tot school trays that we used last week. Henry still loved these, particularly the mail tray. 

But we did a bunch of other activities this week too:

A Letter M maze: Henry could move the little glass bead from the capital M to the lowercase m. He didn't quite understand the "maze" but he did have fun moving the bead around. 

Letter M magnet board

Dry erase sheet connecting Muno {from Yo Gabba Gabba} and monkeys. This was a big hit this week, and it was the first time Henry traced a line all by himself. 

Letter M craft. Colored with markers and M stickers. A few other letters just HAD to join in too.

Letter M breakfast:

Learning about the Moon:

And I just love this picture, I think it is the perfect example of why we choose to use Montessori principals in our home. By allowing Henry to choose what he would like to do, he becomes so totally engrossed in his learning, and its amazing to watch. 

Tot School
Montessori MondayFor the Kids Friday The Weekly Kids Co-Op at B-Inspired MamaTuesday Tots


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tot School Summer Classroom

About half way through this past week, I asked Henry if he wanted to go to tot school and he fell into a heaping tantrum on the floor. But, he wasn't crying about not wanting to go to tot school, he was upset about having to go to the basement. 

It's finally summer here in Minnesota and the sunshine and warmth feels so good after months of snow and cold. And, I've noticed Henry really isn't even playing in our basement playroom as much -- he prefers the upstairs sunroom. So, at that moment, it became clear -- I needed to move tot school. No one, including me, wanted to spend a sunny afternoon in the dark basement.

Since Henry moved to his Montessori toddler room, the old nursery has been sitting unused with the exception of his changing table/dresser which we still use for diaper changes. The room has a beautiful new Ikea expedit shelf I picked up at Goodwill for $10 and the other expedit shelf we had when it was Henry's room. 

The plan all along has been to make that room the nursery for our future babies, but since that is not necessary {and may never be} I decided we are moving tot school up there for the summer. If I do get pregnant, we will move back downstairs this winter. Otherwise, we will make the change permanent, and take down the crib. 

Once I moved the letter M tot school trays, sensory bin, and other activities upstairs, Henry happily spent almost 2 hours at tot school following his tantrum. Everyday since then, I've had to pry him kicking and screaming from the space when we've been running late for other appointments. Now, that's the tantrum I like to deal with. 

The extra shelving allowed me to put out our normal tot school trays on top, but also all of the additional activities that I've planned for the week on the bottom shelves. This way, Henry could choose when and how often he wanted to do these activities, which was a welcomed change for him. 

You can see details about our Letter M, part 2 trays here.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Blogher13 Bloghop #4 Fashion!

So, not going to lie, I'm super nervous about how I'm going to look at Blogher. I'm probably the least fashionable person ever and I have a feeling yoga pants, a t-shirt, and messy ponytail probably aren't going to cut it. But, ugh, that's me. I do hope to go buy a few things before I leave, but still I can't guarantee it's going to be cute. 

On to the questions, feel free to judge me for the crap I walk around in on a daily basis.

- Show us one pair of comfortable shoes you'll be sure to bring.

These beat up old flats from Target are my daily staple. They are starting to show their age, but I can walk for miles in these things.

- Show us one current item in your wardrobe you'll be packing.

This is the newest shirt I own. I got it for like $6 on the Target clearance rack. I think its pretty cute?

- Show us one accessory you already own that you'll be bringing to the conference.

Hair ties are totally an accessory, right? Yeah, they are. Look, some are even colored. Yes, I'm that pathetic. 

- Show us your shapewear.  {Let's get real.  We're all going to be wearing it.}

Um, I don't own any. Oops. Turns out you don't need them when all you wear are sweatpants. 

- And finally, show us a dream outfit that you don't own but would love to, and would wear to BlogHer if you could!

I can do better than a dream outfit! Check out my I wish Blogher Style Pinterest Board! I feel like if I could just get over the prices, I could have a pretty cute wardrobe. I'm totally going to have to suck it up before I leave {nobody tell Morgan!} 

- Bonus question to add if you'd like?  Show us one hairstyle or make-up look you'd love to rock at BlogHer 2013!

Jayne promised to braid my hair...I'm holding her to it! 

What are you planning on wearing to Blogher13? Link up and share. I can't wait to see all the cute outfits!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Man's Perspective on Pregnancy Loss

{Morgan shares his thoughts on infertility and pregnancy loss and our situation}

I’ve been thinking lately. I wanted to give my thoughts regarding the recent and well documented issues regarding infertility and pregnancy loss. Nicole, to my surprise, has been very forthright and open with what we have been going through. At first, I was very uncomfortable with this. But then, over time, I realized it helps her cope and process. And in fact, her posts have also helped countless women that have found her posts, finding support and information. 

Nobody expects to have to deal with pregnancy loss and infertility. In fact, after having a healthy and happy (well, not so happy a lot of the time, also well documented) baby Henry, I never expected to have to deal with this. My goal (only half jokingly) has always been that I wanted to have “a baseball team” of kids (i.e. 9 kids). I just figured we’d start with one and it wouldn't be an issue to just keep going until we decided otherwise. 

During this time there have been several things I've observed that have been somewhat frustrating. The first is the lack of good information generally. The doctors are clueless. The nurses can’t figure out how to act around you. After the first loss, we were given a book from the nurse called “Empty Arms.” Just what I needed at the time, a 104 page novel to slog through about coping or some garbage written by who the hell knows. The internet seems to have some information, but not very much good information. And information for men? I couldn't find anything. Even now that we’re getting fertility treatment, I’m pretty sure the doctor’s official diagnosis as written in Nicole’s chart is “I don’t have a clue how to help you, but I’ll just ramble on about infertility like I’m actually accomplishing something, and then charge you a lot of money.”  

The second is, well, how was I even supposed to feel? Nicole was, I think, somewhat frustrated with me (and maybe still is). On one hand, I felt I needed to stay strong and supportive as we dealt with each loss and now infertility treatments. I wanted to stay positive, hopeful. I generally try to focus on the positives in life and recognize that good things in life are not promised to us. I needed to continue functioning, going to work and running the household. On the other hand, Nicole was angry, depressed, (and yes, hormonal) and would then get angry at me when I wasn’t feeling the exact same way she was. All the crazy medication has taken its toll on everyone’s sanity around here. In reality, after each loss, I would usually just burst into tears at random times for no reason, like sitting at my desk at work or during rush hour traffic, have a moment, and move on. It was usually when I would have a passing thought about things like, “I wonder how old our second baby would today” or, “wouldn’t it be great to come home to two, three or four kids running into my arms?” In the end, in between strong and supportive and total melt down, I think the most common feeling is total resignation and acceptance, because, well, there’s nothing I can do about it. 

The third is somewhat related to the first: how do other people act. Do you ignore it? Do you talk about it? Do you say “sorry” or “good luck next time” or “you’re doing it wrong” or…what? I don’t know. People are very uncomfortable about the whole thing. I don’t even think Nicole has the answer even though she complained about it a lot. C.S. Lewis wrote in A Grief Observed, “I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they'll 'say something about it' or not. I hate if they do, and if they don't.” Fortunately, Nicole received a lot of support from all over and it was very much appreciated and helpful. I’m sure it’s different for everyone. 

So, we’re still in the weeds at this point. Uncertain about the future. I continue trying to focus on the positives. First and foremost, Henry Morgan. That kid has so much personality and energy that you can’t help but smile around him. He’s so high energy that you literally don’t have time to wallow in your sorrow. He has helped us more than he knows.  We have a beautiful house, and jobs and wonderful family. Our dogs. Great friends. The list goes on. 

So there you have it. Maybe in a year or so I’ll look back on this post and think differently.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Life Lately

There are so many little things going on lately and they all seem to be taking up just enough of my time to make things crazy. I hope regular life slows down some so we can get back to checking things of my bucket list

~Almost three weeks ago, my work switched to a completely new system which has thrown a loop into my normal schedule. I used to write during the week, and edit on the weekends. Now it's reversed -- I edit during the week and write on the weekend. Along with the schedule change, I've also just about doubled my writing work load {to around 30 articles a week}, so that's been interesting. But, also kind of nice. I have more non-working week nights off and it's giving Morgan and I more couple time.

~I've been doing a little 30 days of toddler fashion challenge on Instagram. There are no rules, I totally made it up. I just show something that Henry has been wearing that day. It's been really fun, and I'm super enjoying using the chalkboard some more as a background for photos. If you want to join in, its certainly not too late!
~Henry is getting his second 2-year molar. Ugh. So, we've had lots of late nights, early mornings and really crabby days. Plus, he's back to chewing on everything. The number of times I've had to say "stop chewing on your shoe" is getting kind of crazy. 

~We bought a minivan!!! I'm officially a mom-mom driving my kid around, and its amazing. I'm so happy to not have to climb into my tiny car to strap Henry in. It's taken us Morgan months to find the perfect car. He test drove so many cars and spent countless  hours searching. We ended up buying a 2007 Toyota Sienna and serious, I'm so in love. 

So, that's life lately! Do you feel like your summer has been slow and relaxing or crazy busy?