June 23, 2015

A Support System

I have found myself feeling pretty down lately.
The news I was expecting but wasn't ready to hear from a medical professional was a bit devastating.

Then to compound it there are some bullies in my life at work and in my personal life that have really brought me down.

Although it's been a struggle to ignore the rude and selfish comments I know I can rely on two people- my hubby and my son.

The moment I get home I have a giant toddler running up to me giggling like it's the coolest thing ever to see mom finally come home!

Then I have a husband who supports me no matter what.
He gets a little riled up sometimes in my defense and it's very *ahem* attractive.

I really appreciate all he does to be my support, my best friend, and my eternal companion.

I could not ask for two greater men in my life!

June 22, 2015

Random Monday

20 Random Facts About Me That You May/May Not Have Known:

  1. I'm 32 years old but claim to be 28 this year so I can be the same age as my hubby.  We're just over 4 years apart with me being the older sugar mama
  2. I was born in Sandy, UT as was my husband.  We lived maybe a half mile from each other but did not OFFICIALLY meet until I was 26, he was 22.  
  3. I am LDS, belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am a Christian and have a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel.
  4. I’ve never smoked a cigarette/cigar in my life and the smell alone disgusts me.
  5. I don’t drink.  I have struggles with caffeine so why would I want to try anything stronger?
  6. I’ve never even tried an illegal drug in my life.  Again, with the caffeine thing- if I can't handle that why try anything else?
  7. When I do have caffeine I get anxiety/panic attacks.  Seeing Jurassic World last week with Cabe I drank some of his Cherry Coke (he usually only drinks that at movies, some sort of tradition).  The combination of a scary movie and the caffeine- I seriously thought I was dying.
  8. I used to love movies like Jurassic World but somewhere along the way after having Little Turbo I can't stand any bloody or violent movies.
  9. I graduated from Weber State University with a BS in Technical Sales. My program title no longer exists at the school.  It's now professional sales
  10. I worked at Old Navy right after high school for 5+ years.  LOVED it there but wanted a job that didn't require so many Sundays of working
  11. So I went into the only job I could think of that is closed on Sundays- banking.  5+ years of that and I just about lost my mind
  12. I now work in the travel industry, more specifically the largest student travel organization in the US.  I plan school trips to festivals that we run in Orlando and St Louis (we do many more but those are my assignments).  I love this job!
  13. While in college I went on a trip to Europe- not studying abroad but I did still get 9 credit hours for playing in Ireland, Scotland and England
  14. I fell in love with Scotland.  Spent most of my time in Edinburgh but LOVED it
  15. Cabe and I met at a singles ward for church when I heard his name and thought- hey, that was my friend from elementary school's li'l brother.  So I walked over, said hi. He text his sister later to ask if it'd be weird to ask out a girl her age.  He got her approval. :)
  16. Currently we live in his parents basement while trying to pay off student loans whilst Cabe is finishing his degree in Chemical Engineering.  It's not as rough as I thought it would be but the lack of space is hard
  17. I am potty training my 2 year old boy right now.  It has been the most eye opening experience into the lives of boys in the bathroom...
  18. I'm very conservative and fully believe in the right to bear arms.  Gun control is not going to prevent the idiots from getting a gun.  
  19. I have always wanted 5-6 kids.  I never wanted to be an older mom but it looks like that is what we'll have to do to get more (most likely through adoption/foster care).
  20. I am allergic to most fruits, some vegetables, and some spices.  However I am not allergic to sugar, deep fried things, and bread.  Therefore I am not as skinny as I'd like but I am happy
And there you have my random 20 on Monday.

June 15, 2015

Summer Lovin'

I don't have many pictures of summer stuff yet.
We've really been doing a lot and having fun but sometimes I just don't take pictures because
1. That takes time
2. a 2 almost 3 year old DOES NOT HOLD STILL anyway
3.  most of the activities are hard to take pictures of- being in the pool, riding bikes, summer drives in the car

But here are a few!

Memorial Day- out in Draper, UT for my great-grandparents
Little Turbo with his sweet cousin Ellie

Suddenly obsessed with flags- so Memorial Day was fantastic for him!
Don't worry about his SUPER long shorts.  I hemmed them a few days later.

He had to try on his new (hand-me-down) boots and didn't want to wear pants.
I asked for a pose- this is what I got.

After hemming my own pants he suddenly has to wear the hemmed portion as a headband.
Which makes him look like the big brother in Goonies.
And makes him look so muscle-y. :)
We're also potty training right now which is oh-so-fun.
He's been great with #1 during the day.
He even tells us by saying "I'm scared" when he has to go.  Funny kid.

Today is the first day of shortened hours at work for me- since our busy season is the school year of August-May we have June and July with one extra hour off per day.
Too bad it's already getting HOT in Utah but we'll still have to have fun somehow. :)

Cabe is taking just one class on MWF mornings so we've only needed a babysitter for a couple hours on Mondays when he stays late to study. It's been a small blessing as Simon is really thriving on having one of us home more often (I've been going in late on MWF to cover and going in early Tues and Thurs to make up the hours).

We really see that he wants a sibling badly right now.
So if anyone needs us to babysit their young'ins let us know cause he loves babies!

June 12, 2015

Family Planning

Growing up, when I heard my mom was 22 when she got married, I always thought she was SO old and I would not be that old.
I mean, my 19 year old sister got married when I was 6 so I thought that was great.
(remember I am in Utah.  A lot of people get married young here- not that it's a bad thing, just wasn't for me!)

Then I turned 22 and I thought- My mom was so young!  No way am I getting married at this age.

Then I hit 26, had a degree and lived on my own.
I started thinking- well, if I want 5 kids and don't want them so close together, I had better get working on that marriage thing!

So I got more serious about the "singles ward" scene.

When I was 27, in January of my 28th year, apparently I told my mom (I don't completely recall this but she does!) that I would be married by October.

Well... I was married in November.  By the time we got engaged in August October was coming up WAY too soon so we pushed it to November.

Cabe was only 23 when we got married (yeah, robbed the cradle and he got a sugar-mama).
We knew we wanted to wait at least a year before considering having children.

But we had this feeling (amidst lots of praying) about 7 months after we got married that we would not necessarily TRY to have a baby but we wouldn't stop it either.

Two months later we were pregnant.
Twelve weeks after that I miscarried (the doctor called it a failed pregnancy as it never passed the yolk state).
But two months later we were pregnant again and now we have our Little Turbo.

Considering the risk we were taking in not using methods to prevent having a girl (refer to this post about why we should only have boys) this was MAJORLY risky and many people thought we were crazy.  But we had prayed about it and knew it was right.  He has been a major blessing in our lives and continues to be the best form of love and entertainment.  What did we do before a kid? :)

Fast forward 3 years and here we are.
Cabe is getting closer to being done with school where I can stay home full time.
So we thought we'd start getting the paperwork/testing done to see what it would take to have another baby added to our family.

We went to the Reproductive Care Center right by our house (seriously, a 10 minute bike ride) yesterday to have a consultation.

It was... informative and disappointing.
the newer technique we were hoping for will not work for our case as it only has about an 80% success rate of having a boy.  that 20% is pretty risky.
The only technique to have a 99.9% success rate of a boy is Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS).
In our case it would cost $40,000+
Not exactly ideal for a bit after Cabe graduates putting me closer to 40...  Yikes!

So for now we're working with the Doctor on a letter to submit to insurance to see if they will cover it.  $40,000 verses $2million for a transplant.  Kinda in their favor to do so!
But I bet the chances of approval are around 2%.

So our family planning to expand is rather on hold right now.
Adoption is always on our minds but we can't afford that for a bit either.

We'll just have to concentrate on what we have now- an amazing almost 3 year old (sniffle for mom), getting Cabe done with school, paying off student loans and getting our own home.

Good goals to have to make life a bit more secure.

May 27, 2015

How I'm Saving on Groceries Right Now

After moving in with my in-laws while Cabe finishes school, although the extra money is meant for student loan payoff, we find ourselves spending more on food than we did before.

Some of it is splurging.
Some of it is eating healthier and fresh foods can cost more.
But most of it is eating out- yikes.

I am an avid blog reader (see picture showing 401 MORE sources?  yeah that's 408 blogs I follow right now)

and have found many in our area that helps me match coupons with deals.
I also take advantage of the digital coupons I use at Smith's, our local Kroger store.

I chose Smith's as our main grocer because
1. My father in law works for Kroger- might as well support the family business! :)
2. The gas discounts- it really is the closest gas station for us so it is convenient
3. I love how their digital coupon system works

Utah Deal Diva posts Smith's deals every week, linking up coupons, rebates (including Ibotta which I'm just starting to use), and just good deals in general with advice.

While I don't follow her posts every week as I don't meal plan that often it is still a valuable tool near Smith's stores.

With Ibotta that I just started using you use mostly the mobile app- luckily I am a recent convert to a smart phone so I downloaded the free app.

The app lets you know what rebates are offered at specific stores- sometimes it's generic like any brand of milk or sometimes specific with a brand.

The app may ask you to watch a video/commercial to load the rebate.
Then you scan the items' bar code and take a picture of the receipt proving purchase and date.
Then you can use the cash back amounts towards gift cards!
You can also use Ibotta to do purchases online as well.

I'm still fairly new so I don't have a lot to use yet but there really are some simple ways to save money on grocery shopping when you're busy and don't want to take the time to go coupon crazy.

This last weekend I spent $69.74 at Smith's.
Using the digital coupons and a couple paper coupons I saved $20.95 (23%!).
I still need to submit my receipt to Ibotta to get a bit more savings.

Also the gas points- I had a digital coupon for double gas points by shopping on the weekend.  SO we got 138 points for this shopping trip.  every 100 points gets you 10¢ off per gallon.  So far for May we have 455 points so 45¢ off each gallon!

Another thing to do every 7 days is you can do a survey on your receipt to get you 50 more points towards discounted gas.  And be entered to win gift cards (I have yet to win but I can hope!).

But not bad!  Especially with a 2 year old in tow that apparently shouldn't go grocery shopping with mom anymore.

April 24, 2015

How to live in a 2 Bedroom/1 Bath (part 1)

When we were first married we had a rather large 2 bedroom/2 bath condo, 2 car garage, big family room, decent kitchen.  Loved it!
Then about 2 months later we moved into married student housing.  2 bedroom, 1 bath, tiny kitchen/family room.  But it was cute and simple.  Loved it!
Then we moved into a 2 bedroom/1 bath basement apartment where we brought our Little Turbo home from the hospital.  It was totally 40's/50's still and I loved it!
Then we got the opportunity to move back into our original condo.  Lotsa space, I knew where I wanted everything cause I had lived there in my singlehood and our first couple months.

This last November, due to financial opportunities, we decided to move into my in-laws basement to pay off some student loan debt (the only debt we have, yea!).

We are now in technically 2 bedrooms and 1 bath.  I say technically cause Little Turbo's room is a real bedroom.  We are in a "playroom" with no closet (we converted a storage shelving area into a closet) and no window.
But the bathroom is a dream! Jetted tub, two cabinets of storage space, TONS of awesome lighting.

However we lost any storage space we had for sheets, food, laundry supplies, etc.
No family room (using the in laws as they don't come downstairs much) and no kitchen to ourselves.

We boxed up all of our kitchen supplies except our blender, toaster oven, and a can opener and put it all in our storage unit.

The only (big) things we brought were Little Turbo's dresser and toy chest (he is using his Daddy's old bed from when he lived with his parents) and our bedroom furniture (bed, dresser, bookcase).

Our bookcase is our food storage area and "sippy control station."
Our food we use every day is on one shelf in the in-laws pantry, part of a fridge in their garage, and a mini fridge in our bedroom.
We also have a microwave on top of the mini fridge.

We have had to really simplify things.
Unfortunately, in the cramped quarters, even when it's clean it still feels CLUTTERED.

A recent post on Money Saving Mom is my goal to declutter a bit with paper.
It seems we do hold onto everything- the birthday card we forgot to send but still hope to, the receipt to the blender in case in breaks, the paper bill for something that is auto-paid.
I love the advice of- if it were to burn down, what papers would you miss?
Or will you miss it in 25 years?

So this is my goal for this weekend- go through all those papers and use those questions to get rid of STUFF.

I would post pictures of how we are living but:
a. the lighting is BAD in there with no windows.
b. I did mention it is really CLUTTERED right?
c. I'm at work.  When I get home I doubt I can remember to take pictures.
d.  I'll post this now so I can get ready to leave work (hopefully) early.

It's a spring rainstorm along with thunder right now.

April 20, 2015

National Infertility Week

I am not infertile.
I am somewhat overly fertile.
But I have a problem that no one else I know of has- I'm not ALLOWED, SUPPOSED, or SHOULD get pregnant without discussing options with a medical personnel first.

My husband's disease is on the X chromosome.  If we have all boys we'll be fine and hopefully eradicate this disease.
If we have a girl- she will be affected and be a carrier.
Most likely need a transplant soon or some time after birth.

So we prayed for our little Turbo and got pregnant.
I had a "failed pregnancy" at 12 weeks.
About 6 weeks later we were pregnant again- this time with a very viable pregnancy and Little Turbo came 41 weeks later at his healthy 9 pounds.

He filled a spot in our family and has made us so happy.

We faced some issues with friends and family being concerned that we did this naturally and did not seek advice to make sure it was a boy.
But it felt right.

Now he is here and everyone loves him and supports us in our previous decision.

However, the desire to have more kids has some people really judging us, wanting to make the decision for us, and telling us how/what to to do.

As we would love to have a sibling for LT as he is almost 3 and talks about babies a lot- we know we have options that cost money, cost time, and we'll be getting a lot of "opinions."

1.  Use PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis) to remove the gene from a fertilized egg or pick and choose only the male fertilized eggs.  Lots of risks involved and lots of $$$
2.  Use MicroSort where we can choose the male sperm to fertilize eggs, thus not having any X-linked chromosomes passed on.  Much more $ pocket friendly but not available in the US yet
3.  Do some intense praying (which we would do for every decision) and maybe go at it the natural way again

Option 4 is not really an option but something we will do- it is something we had always planned on.
We want to and will adopt.  We would really like to adopt older children, possibly a sibling set.  We know a baby can take longer and these older kids need a family now- we can provide that once we are more established (aka not living with the in laws :)).

So though it may be National Infertility Month and I am not infertile- I still have similar struggles.
Each month wondering if I'm late could it be a blessing?
Could that blessing be a trial?

Then when it comes wondering if I'll ever be able to carry a child within me ever again.

Until all these options really start to be considered more seriously- we will enjoy LT and the blessing he is.  All of his spunk, opinions, dirty fingers and toes- love it all!