Friday, December 30, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

My self-diagnosed ADD strikes again!!! Tonight I was very easily distracted, thankfully I am not ALWAYS this easily distracted.

I opened my laptop tonight with the intention of starting my Powerpoint presentation that is due on Wednesday, 5 whole days away! Considering my work habits for papers and presentations (last minute) I am ahead of schedule...or so I thought. Any given day I can start one thing, which will lead me to another thing, that leads me to another thing (and on, and on, and on, you get the point) until what I had originally set out to do gets pushed to the back of my mind. Which brings me to this entry tonight.

Series of Distractions:
As I open up my laptop, Eric asks me to text him to make sure his new phone is working. I open up my phone and send him a text and I realize that I have so many conversations that should be deleted. As I am deleting conversations I remember that I need to send a couple texts, so I do. As I am texting, I receive a text back from Eric, letting me know that it works. I then realize I don't have a picture for his icon, which is weird because I had chosen the "sync to facebook" option when I got my new phone. Hmmm thats strange, oh well.

Eric is so stoked about his new phone, so he shows it to me, pointing out his awesome new durable case and how it protects the phone. As he passes the phone to me so I can feel the rubbery awesomeness that is his case, I accidentally hit his photo gallery icon which prompts a box to come up that says "Add social network". I then say outloud "I saw that box on my phone too. I bet if I choose this option it will download my pictures from Facebook and I could use my profile picture of us as your icon." He doesn't respond since he is used to me "thinking outloud". I proceed to hit the box and what do you know, there are all my photo albums from Facebook, sweet!!! So I go to my profile pictures and choose the picture I want as his icon only to find out that it does not give me the option to save it as a contact icon. Oh well, I will figure it out later, I have to get to that Powerpoint.

LIGHTBULB!! At this very moment, as I am typing this, I am fighting the urge to go to my phone and click on Eric's contact info and then choose the picture from my FB album, that has to be the way. Who was I kidding? As you can probably guess, I couldn't resist, I just grabbed my phone to see if that was what I needed to do. To my surprise all my FB friends who are contacts in my phone now have photo icons next to their names :)

Back from my distraction, to focus on the original series of distractions that has prevented me from beginning my Powerpoint.

Anyway, where was I? Thats right, I was talking about pictures. At this point pictures are on my mind, and I see my camera bag out of the corner of my eye. Remembering that I have pictures from the snow and Christmas Eve that need to be downloaded, I ask Eric to grab the SD card out of the bag so I can download them. After the pictures downloaded, I briefly looked through them giggling about the memories from Christmas Eve. I see a picture of my niece, Breanna, and remember I need to ask her a question, so I text her. I then close the picture folder which opens up my picture library. I see quite a few pictures that were from my last Powerpoint presentation that I no longer need that can be deleted, so I delete them (darn it, I still need to start my Powerpoint). Then I notice a folder that I was unsure of what its contents were, and I MUST know, so I open it.

The pictures that the folder contained were from Thanksgiving 2010 and Christmas 2010. As I looked through the pictures, I realized how much has changed since last year. The appearances of all the kids in the family are drastically different. Their faces are so much more mature, some have shorter hair, some have longer hair, some have gotten a little chubbier and some have thinned out. It just made me realize how change is not always as noticeable when it happens gradually.

As 2011 comes to an end, I am counting my blessings. I am thankful for a healthy family, great friends, and minimal personal struggles throughout the year. Today as I was counting my blessings, my thoughts went to those who have struggled throughout the year and continue to struggle. It is hard to watch people you care about struggle, regardless of whether the struggles are cirsumstances beyond their control, or circumstances of choice.

Just a few of the things that I am looking forward to in 2012: finishing school, getting back into the work force, and possibly doing a sibling project for my IFs. My last class is scheduled for either July or August and as fast as time is flying by, my graduation will be here before I know it. On the first night of each class we do introductions that consist of our name, degree program, our job and what we plan on doing with our degree. My answer to what I will do with my degree has remained the same "I have not yet decided". I have always been fascinated by death, which according to my mother started at an early age. Once upon a time I thought I wanted to be a medical examiner, then realized it was the criminal aspect of homicide that intrigued me, not the medical aspect (although that is fascinating too). I would love to be a homicide detective.

Knowing that I will be looking for a job soon, there is so much going through my head! OMG, I NEED to figure out what I want to do!! Probation? Parole? Sheriff's Deputy? Police Officer? Private investigation? AHHHHH!!! Will I be able to secure a job in law enforcement right away or will I have to find something else until a job is available? If I find a job in law enforcement, will I be able to do a sibling project? There is just so much uncertainty, but I KNOW it will all work out the way it is supposed to. And by this I do not mean that I will LET things happen, I will MAKE things happen.

I am very easily distracted and still have not started my Powerpoint.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wonderful Time Spent With Family

This year for Thanksgiving we got to spend the day with both sides of the family. Tuesday night I started on the pies. This year I had a couple new recipes that I wanted to try so I HAD to make test pies, and they turned out great. Wednesday is when the real baking and prepping started. Before I knew it 8 hours had passed and 4pies had been baked, cranberry sauce made, cooled and then chilled. Another new recipe I tried was Roasted Asparagus with Feta Cheese, so I did a trial run on Wednesday as well. I made some garlic artichoke hummus for pre-meal snacking. Wednesday was a very busy day!!

With the sounding of my alarm at 3:30 am the turkey was put into the oven (with the help of my husband of course), and Thanksgiving day had begun. Let me tell you, I love oven bags for turkey. There is nothing like being able to put the turkey in the oven and going back to sleep knowing that I don't have to baste the turkey and it will STILL be moist. Once the yams and asparagus were finished we headed to Trent and Jessica's where she had prepared the rest of the meal. She did an absolutely amazing job and this was her first time making a Thanksgiving dinner and turkey. It really does not surprise me though, Jessica is a pretty amazing girl who has become such a great friend. It was great hanging with the cousins and grandma.

Next we were off to the other side of the family. It was so much fun hanging with the family, talking, laughing and watching Cody bust his moves...the boy can get down!! As ornery as that little guy can be sometimes, he sure can make us smile. I love to see my family happy, especially the ones that are working through struggles. Tough times are what strengthen us as individuals and sometimes we just need to experience them to put things into perspective.

Although family time was awesome, Black Friday (or shall I say Thursday?) was a bust. Usually I am a die hard Black Friday participant, but this year opening the doors as early as some of the stores did was such a disappointment to me. Despite Walmart's claims of "there will be no lines since we are opening at 10pm" there was indeed a line that went from the front of the store out to the street half way to Costco. Figuring we would get inside and everything would be gone, we moved on to the next store which proved to be equally as disappointing. Eric and I decided we would go home. We went to Walmart at 8:30am on Friday and still got all the stuff we wanted. We hit Target, TJ Maxx, Sears, Walmart (another location), Victoria's Secret, and Best Buy. Our Christmas shopping is almost done...yay!! Tonight we will catch up on our sleep :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let the Month of Thanks Continue!

Initially this was supposed to be my blog entry to kick off November, the month of thanks. Too bad that crazy thing called life got in the way. So, I deleted my saved document and started all over today, November 15th. Each day I have been thinking of how lucky I am and about the great life that I am blessed with. I was fortunate to have something I was grateful for each day.

When I was younger, I thought I had it all planned out. I thought I knew exactly how my life was supposed to be. HA, I had no idea!!! This month I have thought about all the blessings in my life and how they have changed me as a person. I have amazing family and friends, and my three sons are pretty awesome too.

In my family I have people that I can talk straight to and get honest feedback from, they are always there to lend a hand to help, an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. Throughout the years my family has had their struggles with many things including, drugs, and alcohol. Even with all the struggles, my family has some of the biggest hearts I have ever seen. I love each one of them for who they are and what they bring to our family!!

They say that true friends are hard to come by, and I have found this to be true. I have fewer than a handful of people that I consider true friends, they also happen to be really great people! Something special about my family and friends is that we don't always see eye to eye on issues, yet we continue to love and respect one another. We don't talk everyday, or visit with each other on a regular basis, but we are still there to celebrate the good times, laugh about the silly things our kids do, and be there when we are needed. This is what true friendship is and I am so grateful to have the family and friends in my life to share it with.

My boys, well...they are pretty amazing! Each one of them is unique. These boys are constantly making me smile and laugh. And I find that sometimes it is so hard to discipline them when all I want to do is laugh!! When I was young I envisioned myself being a mommy to little girls: dressing them up, doing their hair, playing dolls with them and having tea parties. Turns out that it just wasn't meant to be, and I am MORE than ok with that now.

Each time I was convinced that I was having a girl, I think because I wanted it so bad. When I was pregnant with Isaac, I was REALLY sure he was a girl. The day that I was due to have my ultrasound, I stopped by my cousins house to chat. It was then that she told me her cousin had passed away from an overdose, he left two little boys behind. At that moment I decided that I no longer cared what the gender of my baby was, I was just glad that he was healthy. All along God knew exactly what I could handle...I am so glad that God doesn't just give us what we want and pray for, he gives us what is best for us. God did however bless me with three neices that I could play barbies with...I mean have tea parties with and do their hair. It is fun every once in awhile, but dang to have to do that daily, umm, no thanks! Doing my hair and make-up alone is enough of a task!

Andrew is a smart kid, he is witty, such a momma's boy and overall just a good kid, soon to be adult. He has such a great heart, and is so much fun to be around. It is so funny to watch him say the things to his brothers that I have said to him his whole life, it is like he has those "ah-ha, this is what mom meant" moments. It took me so long to get there, I was so stubborn. He is not the typical teenager who gets into trouble. He doesn't befriend a certain "type" of person, they don't all dress the same, very much different in fact. I love that he trusts me enough to come to me with the happenings in his life and for advice or just to talk. He is a lot like me when I was younger as far as learning goes, he struggled with mainstream learning but is rocking it at Charter! I am so proud of the effort he has made to graduate school, he is on track to graduate early. He loves music, he and his friends can be found at Guitar Center often trying out new equipment and playing the guitar and drums.

Eric is also a smart boy, and has no problem with learning. I knew he was smart but was blown away at his school conferences. His scores on the MAPS testing were at a 10th grade level, and he was receiveing A's, a B+ and an F. He quickly found out through that F that NOT turning in a project could be detrimental to his grade. He really enjoys science, sports and video games. He is still such a cuddly and lovey boy at 11 years old. He is playing the drums in band this year so we went to a music store to get his book. There, I found a book for beginning singing that came with a CD. As we were listening to the CD, I realized he has an ear for music and understands it. Me...not so much. He has come such a long way behavior wise. As annoying as he finds his little brother, he has great restraint when Isaac does something like punch him in the face. That is definately something we are working on!! This year marked Eric's 5th year in tackle football. He has become such an excellent player and has much heart when it comes to playing the game.

Isaac is my baby boy. He is silly, smart, artistic and a super sensitive kid. This year he finally found the joy in reading, YAY!!! It had been a struggle up until this year. Like his big brothers, Isaac also has an interest in science. He loves to go to Lakeshore Learning to see the types of science kits that they have. He once used an entire box of baking soda and 3/4 of a bottle of vinegar (the one from costco...the REALLY big one) on the front sidewalk to make a volcano. He is very artistic, loves to draw, color, paint and he is constantly creating things out of stuff he finds around the house. It is always interesting to see what he comes up with. This boy of mine cracks me up with some of the things he does. I went through some stuff to donate: purses, shoes, scarves, and clothes, and he goes into the garage and puts some of this stuff on, strutting like a model on a runway. Here he is in some pink heals, a scarf to match and just his shorts! After he realized I found this funny, he continued his runway session with other equally fashionable ensembles. He loves to make people laugh. He loves to ride his bike and do tricks and is working on learning to ride a skateboard. The skateboard wasn't as easy for him as the bike. When he was 4 he took off his training wheels (yep, he did it himself) and jumped on the bike and started riding it. He is always finding new ways to amaze us.

My kids are pretty amazing. No matter what my kids do, say, or how they behave the love I have for them will never, ever change. Isaac asks me (a lot) "Will you love me even if I do something bad?" I tell him "Of course I will", then he says "Something really, really bad?". Then I say "I wouldn't like what you did, but would still love you." Unconditional love, they know that no matter what mistakes are made my love will always remain unchanged. Although I have to say that this repeated question of "really, really bad?" has got me a little nervous, lol. He assures me that he has no evil schemes up his sleeve.

I am going to close this out with giving thanks to my best friend, my husband. There is so much about Eric that I am thankful for. Most importantly he is a great husband and father, there is nothing that he would not do for us. He is adventurous and keeps us on our toes. He has been so involved in raising our boys, he taught all three of them how to tie their shoes, and he helps with every aspect of the care of our boys and our home. Sometimes I am amazed at how much he does and is willing to do for us. There are days that I have been so busy with school work or running around that I didn't quite get to everything. I forget to take something out for dinner sometimes or don't get to the latest disaster that the kids have made, and he NEVER complains. He understands that I don't always have enough time or that I get so wrapped up in my school work that I forget things like, oh taking out dinner...oopsie!

He has supported everything that I have wanted to do like going into the Army, surrogacy and going back to school. While I was away for those 8 months of training, he made sure our boys were taken care of, he acted as both mom and dad. I know how hard it is to have to be both parents, and he did it and did it well.

When I came to him with my idea of wanting to become a surrogate, he was unfamiliar with it but supported me. Surrogacy is one of the things that has made a big impact on our lives, it wasn't just me, he too was a huge part of both journies. He drove me to my transfers, gave me injections, sat with me through the sad and scary times of my journies and has just gone above and beyond to help and support me through everything. Now that I am going to school, same thing. He has been so supportive and I don't think I could have done it without him. I am so happy that we are where we are today, and I wouldn't change a thing about our life together!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Perfectly Imperfect

Class is going good, last week things got heated up. Whenever we are dealing with race and cultural differences emotions can take over. For once it wasn't me though, lol. I do think people hold on to the past too tightly, how long after our ancestors have been gone must we still pay for their mistakes? 600 years? 6,000 years? What about who we are now and what we have done since? And what would the future be like if we could just let go of the past and open our minds to work together? I live in my own little world...I know.

Interesting how one realization can lead to the decision making process of a completely different situation. The past...I do hold on to certain things. I am stubborn, I may rush to judgment at times, I will speak my mind and not just what someone wants to hear. But on the flip side, I am always open to hearing the other side and truly like to see the other point of view. Over the years I have really been working on not jumping to conclusions based on what I see. Each mistake I have made has had some lesson to be learned no matter how small the lesson was.

I am hard on myself when I make a mistake or hurt someone's feelings. When I realize it, it isn't easy letting go even if it was unintentional. Looking at things from every angle before making a decision is something that I am constantly working on. In the grocery store, strolling along with my groceries (kid free, this is my quiet time) there is that mom with her kids, she has lost all patience and is frustrated. So often I think to myself "Oh my, she is mean!" Then I think back on my own situation the week prior, everything went wrong that day. I had to run to the store to get that last minute dinner ingredient, dad wasn't home so the kids had to go with me. They had been fighting since they got home from school and that didn't change just because we were headed to the store. They fight all the way to the store, despite my pleas for them to stop. At this point I feel like pulling my hair out, I raise my voice and I give "the look" and miraculously there is silence. Those are the moments that make me feel so bad, wishing I had handled it with more grace and patience.

It is after my moment of reflection on myself that I am able to look at the mom and give her a sympathetic smile, a small gesture to remind her that she is not alone and some of us do understand how she is feeling. It isn't always easy, we can't always be patient, and perfection is not a reality. Even the person who looks perfect on the outside has their flaws. We are not a flawless species, from our flaws we learn not only how to be better people but how to understand others.

When I was 16 going on 30 I knew all the answers (just ask my mom), my way was THE way and no one could tell me different. It didn't occur to me that I was being close minded...I was. As a person I am continuously growing and changing and it isn't always easy to see that I may be wrong.

Why is it that my mom is always right? Yesterday she didn't tell me what I wanted to hear and for that, I am grateful. It gave me a reason to look at the situation and make a decision that wasn't based purely on emotion. I mentioned I was stubborn right? Well, when it comes to my kids it is magnified by 100! When I think of my perfectly imperfect life I realize that every good and bad thing that has happened to me throughout my childhood and adulthood has shaped me into the person I am today.

My point is that I cannot protect my kids from everything, I need to step back and let them see and experience things for themselves (within reason). When it comes to these three boys of mine I can turn into an angry mama bear that would do anything to protect her little cubs, they are my world and I cannot imagine life without them.

I believe that people can change, I know that I have. It is still hard to let my guard down when it comes to some people. Today I am grateful for my ability to be able to look at myself and pick apart my flaws and change what needs to be changed a little at a time. Afterall...I am perfectly imperfect.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Last night was the start of my new class, Cultural Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice. The instructor for this coure is a hoot!! He has a great sense of humor and has a lot of experience to share. I love that the instructors for these classes always have stories to share. My first impression was that he seemed rather uptight, before class started he stood at the podium and didn't say anything. He had this serious look on his face, and I was sure that he was going to be this uptight, no nonsense kind of instructor. First impressions can be VERY deceiving!

So often we go through life, making assumptions from the limited information that we are given about people and situations. We can be so quick to judge or assume based on what we perceive something to be, versus what it really is.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Five years of my life I will never get back or have a chance to do over. I graduated high school in June of 1993, one month after I met him. Looking back on it there were many warning signs of the abuse to come, but I had no idea. I spent quite a bit of those years in my own private hell. Always making it look a little better than it really was. My self-esteem had hit an all time low and maybe he was right...nobody else would love me like he did. Looking back on it he was right, I was better than that and no other man would treat me that way. I deserved better.

There was a point in time within those five years that I didn't understand how my family could turn their back on me...I get it now. It hurts too much to watch someone you love make a choice to be taken advantage of and abused, knowing it will just end in heartache and physical pain. I thought marrying him was the answer, you know it would make everything all better and then my family would have to accept him...right? Nope, my sister didn't even want to be a part of my wedding...I totally understand now, Tina, and I know it was not easy for you to do, I love you! To tell you the truth, on the drive up to our wedding chapel I kept fighting off the urge to turn around and drive back home because I had changed my mind. Deep down I knew it wasn't the answer to all my problems, but again I didn't listen. The marriage only lasted a year and a half, most of the time was spent living apart.

I wont go into the details of it all, but I finally wised up.

I can hardly express how it actually felt when I realized I was DONE! It was something I had never knew before and man did it feel good. I could get dressed up nicely and put make-up on without being a whore...something I could never do before without accusations of infidelity flying my way. I was finally free!! It didn't matter that me and my son had to live at my grandmother's house, we were safe and loved by our family.

It still baffles me how much time me and the mother of his other children spent fighting over him. He was no prize, that is for sure. The only thing I can chalk it up to was how young we both were; she was pregnant at 15 and me at 17. By our bad choice in men, we were brought together as friends. We went to each others weddings, we spend the kids birthdays together and even a country concert here and there. She is one of the strongest women I know and just a great friend to all!

Here are some of the signs of domestic abuse or domestic violence I received from

"Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.

Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe."

It has been almost 13 years and I have never looked back. It never could have worked...EVER. And I have no regrets. Thinking back on everything maybe I would have done things a little differently, maybe I would have gotten out sooner. From this craziness that was our relationship we have an amazing son...he is unlike any other teenager I know. He is funny, respectful (for the most part, I mean come on he is a mouthy teenager)he is loving, compassionate and his little brothers look up to him. Out of all the things wrong with our relationship, he was the one thing we did right.

I wish the re-telling of my experience was enough to make a certain someone going through a similar situtaion aware of their own greatness and that they deserve more in life. You must find the strength to realize your own worth and how great you truly are, I believe in you!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Now that I have the energy to move around and gets things done, nothing in this house is safe! I am often inspired by articles that I read in some of my favorite magazines and today's inspiration comes from an issue of Women's Day. I used to keep magazines thinking I would go back to them to retreive the information that I felt would be helpful to me, but the truth is the magazines would just start piling up until I eventually threw them out. So, keeping it all here was a better solution to me.

Now more than ever I feel the need to get rid of things that are not useful. Last year me and some of my other family members did a bit of an intervention on my grandma's home while she was away. Grandma is a hoarder, but it wasn't always like that. Knowing this, I am fearful of becoming like grandma someday. Anyway so here are some of the things I got from that article.

Often we have an emotional attachment to things that are just not functional in our lives. There are five main reasons we don't toss things out:
1. "Someone special gave it to me"
For example: When I was 10 and my dad passed away my dad didn't have much to pass down, but what he did have we gratefully accepted as a reminder of him.
The collection of keys he had were one of those things I kept for years, but as I grew older I realized I couldn't keep them forever just because they belonged to him, so I finally parted with them.

It is helpful to keep in mind that our loved one would have wanted us to keep the items that we would get use out of, not things that will sit around and collect dust or clutter up otherwise useful space.

2. "It's irreplaceable"
As a mommy I have been given enormous amounts of priceless art from my little ones. Surely they are all special but there is just no room to keep everything. So I have begun to save the very special ones.

Something that can be done to save these precious pieces of art is to take digital images, that way you can always look back on them.

3. "It reminds us of a specific time in our lives"
A great example here is my wedding dress. We are coming up on our tenth anniversary and I had held on to my wedding dress up until a couple months ago when I added it to the donation pile. I am the mom to three boys so there is just no reason to keep it. Now, had I had a daughter I may have kept it for her. Sometimes giving up things like this make us feel like we are losing a piece of ourselves.

In reality the object is not a part of us, it is just a piece of history, an object taking up space. The memory of that special time is what should be held onto, not the item. I can always look back on my wedding pictures to reflect on that special day.

4. "We might need it"
This one is the hardest for me, you know because I MAY need it someday. What if I did get rid of that item that I needed to keep just in case and found myself needing it a year later? Easy, borrow it from a friend!! Putting it that way makes parting with those items much easier for me.

5. "But it's pretty"
Lets face it, we only have so much room for pretty little knickknacks and they aren't something that we exactly use. I am not sure about others but I know that too much clutter of anything sends me into a little bit of a panic, so that helps me to not collect too many knickknacks, this goes for holiday decorations as well. If you have noticed for the last three years that you have passed up certain decoration during Christmas, it is time to let go of those decorations. Other things that fit in this category could be clothing or anything really. Just be open minded when attempting to rid yourself of things you know you just don't need.

It took quite some time for you to accumulate all these items, so it will take some time to declutter. Giving yourself one week per room should be an ample amount of time if you schedule two-four 2-hour time slots to work on it each week. Going through things can be an emotional time and you can put too much thought into it to the point of not being able to let go of anything. So try not to think about the things that you are going to get rid of, sometimes a friend being there for moral support can help you part with some of the items.

The best thing to do is to build your own decluttering plan that will work for you. Perhaps a week by week table that will show what your plan of attack is. The first thing you will want to do is go for the obvious, you know that area of your house that makes you cringe when you walk into it.

Once you have successfully decluttered, throw yourself a party to give away all those items that someone else may need. Happy decluttering!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Birth Story of a Proud Surrogate Mother

As I have said this pregnancy flew by so fast. June 1st I went into the hospital at around 9:30 am. The doctor came in to see where I was at as far as dilation goes, depressingly I was at 1cm long and high. So the decision was to give my cytotec to soften the cervix and hopefully get some contractions going on. They said I may need two doses before anything happened and the doses would be 4 hours apart. Within an hour of the first dose the contractions began and they were about 2 mins apart.

By 2 o'clock I had only progressed to 2cm. That was a bit depressing and I was beginning to think that little miss Shia's birthday would end up being June 2nd. There was lots going on in our room to help pass the time. Through watching some funny breast pump videos I found that laughter eased the pain of the contractions. There were quite a few people in there to keep me entertained. There was my husband, my mom, my cousin Tati came by for a brief visit but didn't stay for the birth, my sister, Mike and Rudy (AKA the daddies)Sara- she was documenting the whole day, Darcy- Mike's mom and Gina- Rudy's sister. The hospital was very great about everyone being there which was not originally the plan, there was only going to be a total of 5 people.

As dinner time rolled around there wasn't much of a change in my cervix, so almost everyone headed out for sushi. That was around the shift change of the nurses. MJ was our first nurse and Cheryl was our second. Right at the end of MJ's shift the contractions seemed to slow a bit. It wasn't until Cheryl took over that the contractions began to pick up and my water bag began to trickle.

It was about that time that I opted for the epidural, the contractions were so strong and at one point one of them lasted for 3 minutes then there was a less than 30 second time period that it started to taper off only to go right back up again for another 2 minutes. That was probably the worst pain I have ever felt during labor. I had my sister call my husband and let them know not to come in until I had the epidural and that I was still only at 2cm so there was no rush. My pain level was so intense I did not want anyone to see me like that. At this time in the room with me was my sister. The anesthesiologist seemed to take forever and of course I really couldn't get a break between contractions during my wait. Right in the middle of all this intense pain my mom came back from tending to my kids. I really felt bad for them to see me in that much pain. At one point the nurse had me sitting up and I felt this hard thump, it was the baby's head dropping. Cheryl checked me and there wasn't much of a change except for the baby's head had decended further into the birth canal.

After the anesthesiologist got there it was still quite some time before I felt any kind of relief from the epidural. My doctor came in right after the anesthesiologist and checked me. He looked back at my sister and told her that she better call them that I was at 7cm. He also said that they better run. I was so surprised that I had dilated so much within minutes! At the same time I was glad that we were almost there because the epidural wasn't completely working just yet. Within 10 minutes she was born. She came into this world at 8:29 on Wednesday June 1, 2011 weighing 6lbs 5oz. After she was all cleaned up from her bath I nursed her and she nursed like a champ! She is such a little angelic looking baby girl I could hold her and stare at her for hours.

It was such an amazing experience and I feel so blessed with our entire surrogacy journey together. Mike and Rudy have been amazing the whole way through as well as their families. Getting to see them interact as a family and the love they all have for one another assures me of all the love this little girl will have throughout her lifetime.

I have been blessed with two wonderful journies and had the pleasure of blessing two sets of parents with their dreams of having a baby. There is just no greater feeling than that.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Counting down the weeks

I just cannot believe how quickly this pregnancy is flying by. We are down to less than 6 weeks. Just this past Tuesday we went to court and did the pre-birth order to ensure that Mike and Rudy get put on the birth certificate. My last surrogacy we didn't go to the court hearing, just the lawyers went. So being a part of this one was pretty special. They have done an awesome job on her room and the only thing that they are missing is a baby!

Spring break has come and gone. The first week pretty much sucked! The weather was gloomy and I was so stinkin' sick. Nearly two weeks later and I am still fighting off this cough, but it has improved quite a bit. I still have a few more days of antibiotics and I am hoping to be back to normal. This week the weather was perfect, me and the boys spent time in the sun and playing in the water. Yesterday we went to the Carlsbad Strawberry Company to pick our own strawberries. They have the BEST strawberries ever.

Tonight the boys are spending the night with their cousins so it will just be me and the hubby. He is currently headed back home with a movie for us to watch so I am off!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Busy Bees

Our last two weeks have been super busy! Last Friday we went on a weekend trip to Disneyland, three nights in a hotel and 2 days at Disneyland and California Adventure. I have been feeling really great during this pregnancy so I figured it would be no big deal, boy was I wrong. By the first night my feet and knees were killing me!! A nice soak in hot water and a good nights sleep had me ready to go for our next day at California Adventure. That was our first visit to that park. It looked like a lot of fun, I couldn't ride most of those rides. Isaac and I spent a lot of time in Bug's Land. He is not a fan of roller coasters, although he did go on Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and Haunted Mansion. He screamed so loud when the lights in the Haunted Mansion elevator went out and the thunder clashed. I felt like mom of the year right there! He was stuck like glue to me the rest of the way through the ride.

The kids were so well behaved those days that we were vacationing, it was awesome! The first night for dinner we headed over to Joe's Crab Shack. That was the most tasty crab I have ever had and the kids meals had a variety of food and a good price. The atmosphere was fun and the staff was friendly. That is definately our new go to place for seafood. While planning our vacation I made a mistake thinking their vacation was a week earlier than it was, so Monday the boys did miss school. Thankfully their testing didn't resume until Tuesday.

Isaac woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat and fever and you could see it in his eyes that he was not feeling good, so he had a rather short week at school. He was feeling better last night so we went to the drive-in movies, it was either sit on the couch and watch a movie that we have already seen or sit in the car and watch Rio and Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2. So we picked up some Panda Express and headed to Santee. Isaac is feeling way better than yesterday, so I am a happy momma.

It's quiet in the house right now, Andrew is with his dad and the two Erics are fishing. Just me and Isaac are here at the house, he is playing a video game and here I sit catching up on my blog and watching Couples Retreat. I have decided to start adding some new stuff to my blog, instead of only writing about what goes on in my life I am also going to add some tips that I get from magazines. This is a great way to pass on useful info and for me to not have to remember where I read things.

In the mail I just received a letter from the middle school welcoming my middle son. Oh my goodness!! I can't believe he is moving on to middle school. It seems as though time goes by so quickly when you are an adult, but as a child you cannot grow up fast enough. I remember wanting to grow up to become an adult, so badly wanting that independence. Not truly knowing what being an adult involved. We never see situations for what they really are, we always see the greener grass side of things.

Things are going great in my pregnancy, we just hit 32 weeks. I have an appointment on Monday with the OB and I think he will schedule me to begin my weekly non-stress tests. We also have the perinatologist appointment on May 3rd where she will do the final growth scan on little Shia. Her daddies are getting more excited each day as they await her arrival. They just finished her fairy themed room. They did such an amazing job on it. She has so many people who are waiting for her arrival and ready to give her all the love every baby deserves. I can't wait to watch this couple turn into a family!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things couldn't be going better right now! Yesterday we had a Super Bowl Party with some friends and family. We love hosting parties and bringing everyone together. I had cousins from each side of the family over at the same time for the first time in my adult life. During the last year we finally reunited with my dad's side of the family. This time we are keeping in contact and doing things together and I am loving it! Just a couple weeks ago we went to see my cousin's band play, they were down from San Francisco for a few shows. Even grandma came out for that one.

I love how easy facebook makes communicating with friends and family. And I love that the communication can happen at any time of the day. Now there is no reason for us to lose contact ever again. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

My life just got a little busier, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I have decided to go full force with my Mary Kay business. I have been in business since August of 2008 and have just been doing little orders for customers here and there and now I have found myself wanting more! The foundation of the Mary Kay Company was built on faith first, family second and career third. I cannot tell you how many times that I had to call out to work because one of my kids was sick and the guilt trip the boss would lay on me...ugh it made me feel like crap, like I had to choose. I don't miss that at all! I feel so blessed for the Post 911 GI bill which pays my housing allowance while I am attending school, without it I would still have been stuck at that same old job. Now I can focus on school without the stress of that job over my head.

Speaking of school tomorrow night marks week 4/5 of my final math class, woooohooooo!!! Algebra has been a little like torture for me, at one point I cried from the frustration. It is getting a little more tolerable as I have had some help from a very accomodating classmate, thank you Justin!!

This pregnancy is going good. I have made two trips to L&D already. It seems that some things are happening earlier in this pregnancy than my last. The braxton hicks started last week, and from what I remember they hadn't started until I was over 30 weeks in my previous pregnancies. And then of course the lovely leaking fluid. But when it all comes down to it I would much rather be told that I am peeing on myself than having a leaking bag of waters. For the first time it was actually explained to me why it happens. The nurse said that the amount of progesterone that is produced during pregnancy tends to relax the muscles in the urinary system resulting in the leaky urine. Both trips ended up good, I couldn't ask for more. I have always been one to err on the side of caution. So those two things are out of the way and she moves like crazy so I have not a thing to worry about.

Mike, one of the baby's daddies has picked out the colors for the nursery and has gotten quite a few things for her room already. He has invited me to come take a look once it is all done, so exciting!!!

The other day I was asked the question "How do you carry a baby for nine months and then hand it over to someone else?" I hadn't given it a whole lot of thought until the question was presented to me. First off, babies born to a gestational surrogate have no genetic link, secondly I have no desire to have any more children at this time in my life, and lastly I noticed that there is no attachment to the surrogate babies I have had in my belly. Don't get me wrong, each of them will always have a special place in my heart, but I think there is something about preparing for your own little one to be born versus getting excited watching someone else prepare for the little one you are carrying. Hopefully that made sense to someone other than me.

In Saturday's mail I got pictures of my five year old surro son, Cole. As I was putting his pictures on the wall, I felt so proud that I had helped bring him into this world. I love to share his pictures with family and friends who come over, especially the ones that stood by my side as I went through that journey. They are almost just as excited as I am to watch him grow.

Once little Miss Shia Leighton is born I will be starting a precious moments princess train for her and build on it each birthday. I had started one for Cole, but not a princess one, his is a precious moments animal train. It is my way of acknowledging his birth and I guess it is also my way for him remembering me. There are some people who don't like the idea of surrogacy and some who treat me as if I am the greastest woman on the planet. I try not to care too much about what others think of me either way, so in the end it all kinda balances out. I am just so glad that I have had this opportunity to be a part of making two couples dreams of having a family a reality.

Well it is bedtime in the Alcala home and time for me to tuck my littles in bed.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In the Blogger Hall of Shame...

I cannot believe that it has been more than 2 months since I have updated! Every now and then I tell myself that I will get better at this and update more frequently...FAIL.

Lets see...the pregnancy is going great. On December 23rd we found out M&R are having a little girl. This is exciting on many levels. They wanted their first to be a girl and I wanted to experience carrying a girl. I have noticed a difference in how I have felt this pregnancy compared to my other four. I was sick for the first couple of months with her, I had NEVER been that sick with any of the boys. And so far (knock on wood)I have only gained about 8 pounds and I am almost half way there! The noticeable movement started at around 16 1/2 weeks and has increased significantly. I have only been able to feel her outside my belly twice. This is what I love so much about being pregnant

This will most likely be my last pregnancy. It is bittersweet. Since my last OB retired I had been seeing his PA (until this pregnancy)and when I went for my yearly to get cleared for another pregnancy she cautioned that due to my age (I will be 35 when I deliver this baby) it would be best if this were my last pregnancy. After the age of 35 there are increased risks. I am finishing up my degree and want to start my career in criminal justice (still undecided what I want to do) so this was my plan anyway. This is M&R's first baby and they will be planning a sibling project in the future, it is a little sad to think that I won't be the one to help them complete their family. But on the other hand, who knows maybe I will.

The boys are all doing well. Andrew is moving right along in his classes. He got equipment for his band for Christmas and we will be picking up another guitar for him tomorrow morning. He loves music, he writes songs and plays the guitar, drums and sings or shall I say screams. I have yet to hear him because he says he is embarrassed to do it in front of me, he thinks I will be critical of him. Someday I am sure I will get to hear him.

Lil Eric and Isaac...well what can I say? They are always at each other's throats. It has been non-stop lately and is driving me batty!! Isaac wants so much for Eric to hug him and show him affection but Eric refuses. Then Isaac's feelings are hurt and he lashes out at him. Lil Eric has had a major attitude lately. He back talks like a teenager and for that he has been getting himself grounded from his favorite things. Perhaps one day he may want to play his video games again and will think before he opens up his mouth to be sassy. Drawing is one thing they have in common and can do well sitting next to each other without fighting. I just keep telling myself that one day they will get along.

My husband just had a birthday and we had our first date night in what seems like months. We went to Old Town while my sister babysat the kids. It was very nice to have that one on one time. In February it will be 12 years since we have been together and the time has just flown by. We have had our ups and downs (not too much between us but with his family) and we are determined to not let them ruin what we have. As parents we have decided to raise our kids differently than we were raised, we were both raised completely different from one another. We take the good things and memories from our childhoods and pass it on to our kids the best that we can and try to leave the bad behind.

Over the last couple years I feel that I have gotten bitter over certain situations and I HATE that. I am trying to accept that some things are beyond my control and I can't change the way people do things or treat other people no matter how I feel about it. It just stinks to be asked for my help over and over again for years and then when I make a decision to do something that I see as the only way to get results I am the bad guy. I will never understand some people and I will no longer try to. I am only in control of me and that is where my control ends.

I haven't really made any definative New Year's resolutions but one of the things that I am working on is being more organized. IKEA was a great first stop for me. I scored on some storage containers and other items to help make getting organized possible. Now if I could just get the rest of the family on board. We were cleaning the boys room the other day and Isaac decided it would be best to just get rid of all of the toys, that way they can't make a mess anymore. It was hard for him to understand that it just doesn't work that way, there are some things you just have to try for. Their room is still a work in progress.