Tuesday, June 26, 2012


How much stuff does it take for 4 people to go camping for 3 nights? Way too much, that's how much. It is insane how many things you have to take with you when traveling with children. Our car is packed and we are evening strapping things to the roof rack this time around. Here's to hoping we don't lose our tent on the 15. The kids and I are SO excited about this camping trip. I can't wait to get up to the mountains, one place I always feel at home. By the end of the week we are going to be filthy and exhausted, but I'm sure we'll have a great time. 

As for the surrogacy, Ali has a tentative timeline for egg retrieval, sometime in September! So exciting. They are going to retrieve early, fertilize, and freeze all the eggs until Ali and Brian are officially ready to transfer later this year. This will make the timing of the transfer much easier. Instead of having to sync mine and Ali's "schedules" to ensure that she is ovulating, and I'm ready to accept eggs at about the same time, they will take eggs when her body is ready and then transfer when mine is!

In my last update, I completely forgot to update everyone on the status of my moles. I went to the dermatologist back in May and had a "punch" biopsy done on the "ugly duckling" of all my moles. A week later, it came back "severely atypical." So basically, it was non-cancerous {yay} but could turn to melanoma over time. They scheduled me for another appointment two weeks later to have an excision of the mole done. At that appointment, they removed a large, football shaped area of skin from around the site of the mole they had biopsied. They take a pretty big amount in order to ensure they get all the margins of the mole. I got stitches and orders not to lift the kids or anything else that was heavy for 2 weeks. The kids were great about checking on my booboo, and making sure I didn't do anything that the doctor said I wasn't allowed to. I was in a decent amount of pain for a few days, but the site is healing well. She said I will have a "not-so-pretty" scar there, but at least I don't have cancer. At that time, they also biopsied one of the other moles, which came back completely benign. I am so glad I finally got the moles looked at. I will now be followed by dermatology every 3 to 6 months to keep an eye on the other moles. Here is a picture with some helpful hints for checking your own moles:

We had another yard sale on Saturday and raised a little over $300 this time around. I'm so impressed with how the yard sales have been doing. They aren't bringing in a ton of money, but considering how cheap we are selling everything, they are doing great. Every penny counts, so either way, we are happy. If you want to help out, but don't have your own money to donate, see if you can get a few friends, neighbors and family members together for a yard sale and donate the proceeds. You can clean out your house while supporting a great cause!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Since I have finally moved up in the world and obtained an iPhone, I'm linking with Jeannett at Life Rearranged for InstaFriday. It has been so exciting to finally be able to use Instagram. My old phone was not compatible with the app...just one more reason to thank my hubby for the iPhone!

The weather this week has been pretty darn nice, as per the usual for where we live, so Olyvia, Ethan and I spent a lot of time at the park. Here is my little man with a stick he found and quickly renamed a sword.

Here is Olyvia having a lovely time on the play structure.

Carlos had a dining in mess night at the Staff Club just around the corner from us, two of the guys from work came to our house to get ready and they all walked over...gotta love a Marine in his blues.

This week was Olyvia's last week in her preschool program on base. She has loved the past year-and-a-half that she has been there. Her teacher, Miss Gail, is amazing and we can't wait for Ethan to join her class. 

This is Olyvia's school picture for this year. I cannot believe how grown up she looks here!

Now, I'm off to finish the preparations for our fundraising yardsale tomorrow and to go for a run...look for pictures of Carlos and the kids' attempt to make a house for the dogs!

life rearranged

Thursday, June 21, 2012

a much needed update.

Wow! I had no idea it had been so long since I last blogged. For the longest time, I didn't want to bump the giveaway, so I just avoided the blog all together. Now that it is long over, it is time to catch up...

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone SO much for all of your support during the awesome blog giveaway. I still cannot believe we raised almost $1100!! To all the handmade businesses that donated, thank you, thank you, thank you! Without you, we wouldn't have been able to raise nearly as much money. To all who entered the giveaway, thank you, thank you, thank you! If it weren't for all of your love and support, this entire surrogacy would not be possible. I'm so excited for all the winners, and I hope you all are enjoying your amazing prizes!

I also want to note that we had a fundraising yard sale last month, and earned over $400 in one day!! Almost all the items we sold were donated from friends and random military wives. I am still amazed at how well we did considering we didn't have a single piece of furniture to sell, and only a few things there for over $10! We are giving it a try again this weekend and hopeful that we will be successful again.

As for me, I'm working hard on becoming more physically fit, hoping for a healthy pregnancy! About 3 weeks ago I started running. I absolutely love hate running. I always have, and I probably always will. However, over the course of these 3 weeks, I have realized that despite how much I can't stand doing it, it really makes me feel good. I definitely do not plan on becoming a marathon runner, or anything near that, but for now, I'm enjoying zoning out on some good music while I leave all my frustrations from the day on the pavement. I even started running with my husband...something I swore I would never do. He does a great job of silently motivating me to push myself. I actually enjoy my runs with him much more than my solo runs now. The kids are enjoying it as well. Ethan is my little motivator and always tells me what a great job I'm doing and how fast I'm going. Olyvia keeps me in check...every time I start to walk for a bit, she is quick to remind me that "we" are supposed to be exercising, not walking! Must be nice to "exercise" in the comfort of a stroller while eating a snack! I'm proud to announce that I just bought the a pair of shorts that are by far smaller than any other thing I've ever bought in my adult life. My guess is that if I were to put on my wedding dress right now, it'd be too big! This makes me happy and gives me hope that I'll be able to sustain an exercise regiment throughout the pregnancy to keep myself from gaining any unnecessary weight.

These pictures are definitely just for fun...this one is something I strongly believe in and I find myself telling myself this all the time throughout the run:

This one is just so stinking funny, I can't help but share it! You can believe that you will never see a picture of me running...it definitely isn't cute!

The kids and I also enjoyed a wonderful visit from my friend Sam over at To Paris or Bust. She is currently a gestational surrogate, carrying twins. We met through an online pregnancy group when I was pregnant with Olyvia and she was pregnant with her son Peyton. It was the first time we actually "met" and it was so much fun. We went to Sea World one day and just spent lots of time hanging out. It was great to be able to connect with another surrogate and hear her side of things first hand. The kids had a blast and Olyvia loved that she had 2 babies in her belly. She always wanted to know which one was the boy and which one was the girl. She even said that all the girls, meaning Sam, her and the baby girl should sleep in her room one night; while all the boys, meaning Ethan, Peyton and the baby boy should sleep in Ethan's room! It was interesting trying to explain to her why the babies can't come out to sleep in separate rooms!!

The kids have somehow figured out that Ali was going to have a baby. They must have overheard phone conversations, because neither of us had ever actually told them anything. So, now they are full of questions. Olyvia asks me often if Ali's baby is in my belly yet, and also likes to remind me that she does not want a baby to live in our house. She also told Ali one day that once she has her own baby, she won't need to have them at her house anymore. I suppose she must think I loan her and her brother out to Ali to keep her company! I love hearing what that girl thinks!!

Since summer is now in full swing, our family is about to embark on our first ever tent-camping trip. We will be spending 4 days next week in Big Bear and I couldn't be more scared excited! Hopefully I don't go crazy while we are there. In all honestly though, I'm giddy with excitement. I can't wait to attempt (and probably fail) to cook an awesome dinner on the fire, followed by s'mores and stories by the camp fire before bed. The kids are anxious to play in the dirt and "climb mountains." We are also hoping to fit in some fishing while we are there.

As far as the surrogacy goes, I'm not quite sure where we stand at the moment. I know Ali has been busy with doctor's appointments...getting approved by her GI doc (yay!) and skyping with the fertility clinic in Arizona that they have chosen. I believe she has somewhat of a schedule now, and I will be updated on that tomorrow! I'm so excited to get this thing going!!!