THE Driver's Test

I've heard that most women, by the time they are 30, either have learned to parallel park or have learned to avoid it. I have gone with the second option and have been pretty successful, until this week.

Jonah's school doesn't really have a drive-by and drop-off line, but instead a parking line. There is actually 2 parking lines, one on each side of the street leaving little room to maneuver between them.

I think along with back-to-school shopping and dentist and doctor's appointments we should have to make a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles when we first send a kiddo off to school. A special course should be given to show us mom's of kindergartners how to safely parallel park while trying to:

stay out of the way of the other mommy's who are trying to do the same (and half of them have had my "avoid" it policy)

help our kid find their name tag and adhere to to their shirt so that it is not covering up any part of Superman

not fall into a steep ditch or block someones driveway

not hit the 5th grade crossing guards who are conversing in the middle of the road

Maybe I should break out my copy of the Rules of the Road before pick-up time.

No girls allowed

Jonah's first day of kindergarten was a "boys only" day. The day before all of the girls went so that just half of the class was being acclimated at a time.

When asked if he was excited about returning today he said, "Not really."

When I asked why, he of course replied something along the lines of "there will be girls there."

A matter of Opinion: Gathering Information Part 2

My desire was to take the next 2-4 weeks to obtain some pretty serious information in order to help us make a decision about trying to have another child. I wasn't looking forward to this because I expected lots of frustration through many hours of Internet research and phone conversations. I expected to not get anywhere, fast, at least.

I thought that today would be Day One in the process. Jonah is in school and its a new week. But in the middle of trying to send him off last week and do all of the last minute things involved with the start of school, a variety of information was thrown my way. It was in no way gathered, but instead hurled my direction.

I mentioned expecting frustration, and I've already experienced my limit. In an attempt to "gather" I sought a 2nd opinion about the cause of my water breaking and advice about the next step. I thought making an appointment with a local doctor, who has lost 2 babies the way I did, would be a good fit for me. But, she wouldn't see me. She doesn't do a lot of high risk and she definitely doesn't do infertility. She would be happy to be a homebase doctor for me if I do get pregnant again but she would expect that I would need to see a high-risk doctor as well. I guess even without an appointment, I got her opinion: I need specialists.

After that door closed I soon found myself in the middle of an insurance mess. Apparently I filled out a form incorrectly and if I had done it right the problem could have been corrected by now. But until then, I'm not allowed to see the specialist or receive treatment of any kind in this state (his main office is out of state). The right paperwork has now been filed and now we just have to wait.

I was ready to give up on Thursday when all of this occurred but thankfully, something good did come out of it. One of the nurse pracs called on Saturday to discuss a new plan, just in case I couldn't see the specialist. Her planned involves seeing a doctor who although is not a perinatologist , sees lots of high risk cases and is very qualified to do the cervical cerclage (if I do become pregnant). And, she got my in next week! This is what I wanted, to talk to another expert.

In the process of getting that appointment, I got yet another opinion- from the nurse prac. She DOESN'T think I have an incompetent cervix and thinks I lost the baby because of bad luck. She also thinks I don't need the cerclage and that I wouldn't be put on bed rest. She says that infertility specialists and OBGYN's often differ on these matters. Great! If professionals cannot agree, how am I, an emotional female who has just got her heart broken, make a wise decision?

We do, however, have an appointment with a social worker from Bethany Adoption Services this week that was easy to obtain and has caused very little frustration. I'm sure that is to come though as we continue our gathering of information in order to make a wise and informed decision.

First Day

Here are some not-so-good-pictures of an eager kindergartener who had no qualms about being dropped off this morning. Despite the rain which caused both the bad pictures and the drop off process to be crazy (we weren't yet informed on the bad weather drop-off policy) things went well. Jake had decided that he didn't want to miss it so I drove and he walked him in (since he'll rarely get to do that).

I hope this afternoon to figure out this "parking line" (which is NOT a drive by and drop off line) and that it stops raining so I can pick him up at his door and maybe snap a decent picture or too.

Me, I'm doing well! I'm amazed at having time to myself and not feeling too sad about it. Maybe that will change since only an hour has gone by but for now I have bills to pay and a friend to meet for lunch (and a deal to work at Walgreens). I think I have some place to be everyday next week and of course, there are big decisions to be made. In the meantime, I will look forward to hearing all about the pizza sticks.

Kindergarten Prep

This week has been kindergarten preparation week. With kindergarten beginning tomorrow we have:

1. Stocked up on lunch box staples (he requested salami, of all things) only to find out that my somewhat picky son is very interested in "hot" lunches (tomorrow is pizza sticks).

2. Made a triple batch of pancakes to freeze because pancakes are his favorite breakfast.

3. Went to kindergarten registration. We put our supplies in our desk, met our teacher Miss Bailey, and found out that we knew two fellow kindergarteners in his class (I quickly traded cell phone numbers with another mommy, "just in case"). We also discovered that kindergarten is very academic and THAT will be another blog all together.

4. Tried on all of our tennis shoes to make sure that they fit (they did) upon discovering at kindergarten orientation that we cannot wear sandals.

5. Used up the last of our summer reading program prizes which involved one trip to the Children's Museum and one visit to a local ice cream store.

6. Had a day-before-kindergarten-Mommy-and-Jonah-baking-time where we used a free Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix to make fabulous cut-out cookies. He colored his own frosting with a variety of food colorings to make some great pastel swirl frosting that went perfect on Christmas bells and Halloween bats.

With tomorrow being a big day I asked him what excited him the most and he said, "Lunch". What makes him nervous? Nap.

One More Adventure

Jake's mom (above) invited Jonah and I on a pre-kindergarten-end-of-the-summer adventure. We took the St. Louis Metro into Forest Park and then took the Forest Park Shuttle to the St. Louis Zoo. Although taking a variety of public transportation is enough of an adventure for us small town folks, we had a great time at the zoo.

I love the St. Louis Zoo because it is FREE and the exhibits are great- the penguins are my favorite. Jonah, with his trusty map, helped "guide" us from one to another. We saw the lions first, then the hippos, the new tiger cubs, the penguins (of course), and a variety of bears and apes in between!

Seeking: Information

Yesterday I was talking to one of my sister-in-laws and mentioned that I had finally gone to the administration building and was now (2 days before school starts) in the system to sub at Jonah's school. I also will sub occasionally at the Christian School.

She said, "I didn't know that was the plan!" I realized that I didn't know that was the plan either! But that is what came together. I doubt I'll get too many days or much income this way but I think that might be for the best for RIGHT NOW. A month from now, that could change.

But this month, I'm in the "gathering information" stage. This stage is a lot harder than I thought. I haven't been about to get into (yet) the doctor that I wanted to see for a second opinion. The nurse (at the pregnancy center where I'm taking my Threads of Hope grief counseling class at)has yet to make and appointment with me to discuss what in the world an "incompetent cervix" is. The adoption counselor (also at the pregnancy center) finally called me last night to tell me that she only works with birth mothers but would be happy to help me all that she could.

So basically I have gathered no useful information to help us make a decision about "what to do next." But with Jonah going to school on Friday and only one sub job on the calendar, I hope to put the gathering into high gear.

I hope to:
1. get a 2nd opinion about whether I have an incompetent cervix or not (and in the process find a new OB because I'm not going back to my current one)

2. find out actually what an incompetent cervix is and what it would mean for a future pregnancy (this really concerns me- IF I get pregnant again, will I be confined to breathing, eating and sleeping for 8 months???)

3. way our options about how aggressive we want to be with getting pregnant again such as if we want to use meds or do IVF again

4. Research different adoptions options. Begin to make a decision on whether we want to proceed with adoption even if we decide to "try again."

I have some pretty serious info to obtain over the next few weeks. We could, of course, use prayer for wisdom during this process. Also, if you are an expert in any of the above subjects, we could use your advice too!

Clean and Organzied

Four months ago when I realized that I WAS NOT having a baby this fall I freaked out. I didn't know how I would make it through the summer. I wondered what I would do. I decided I would do what all women with my type of personality would do in the face of tragedy: organize, redecorate and clean. I couldn't have a baby but I WOULD have a few newly painted rooms and organized closets.

The summer is almost over and Kindergarten is less than two weeks away and the hallway is only halfway painted! We must have spent too much time at the park across the street. I must have over-planned overnight trips, swim lessons, soccer camp, library programs, and play dates at the pool. Now, I'm not complaining because I think Jonah had fun and all of those activities kept me busy and somewhat distracted. I even feel a little proud of myself- I made it through summer and my my kid doesn't think I'm a basket case! We did the zoo and the library and all of those places with a zillion pregnant ladies and babies without driving my hubby crazy with random clean freak attacks.

But since Kindergarten is just 10 days away (and I still haven't decided what I am going to do) I've started feeling the "need to clean" again. I appeased myself a little with:
1. A purchase of a 2nd hand Kirby vaccuum
I had just had a demo in my home while they were canvasing my neighborhood and the very next day I stumbled upon a friend selling one for cheap. I couldn't pass it up and am oh-so-pleased with it. I can't wait to try out the shampooer!
2. Completely reorganizing all of my food cabinets and 2 hall closets and creating a small "pantry" in the closet under my stairs. Oh labeled bins, how do I love thee, your organized contents make me so happy...

I'm saving finishing the hallway for the first full week of school because that will be yet another battle to be won (but I can do it, I haven't even tried ALL of the Kirby attachments yet).

Made It

So we made it through the dreaded due date. I know that the days to come will continue to be hard. For the past four months I've thought "I should be pregnant now", but now I will think "I should have a baby now". That could be a little more difficult to handle, but its hard to tell at this point.

Yesterday went like this:
Jonah and I worked some SWEET Walgreens AND Kroger deals (why stop at just one store) (My advice: Buy a big city paper like the Chicago Tribune, their coupons are AWESOME, well worth the $2.50).

We met my mom for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Jonah and I shared some decent mega nachos.

We got home and I took every food item out of my cabinet and then rearranged several times until I found places for the 11 Kelloggs items and 20 Betty Crocker baking products that I had just purchased for $6.83. The cakes mixes and frostings are now living under an end table.

Jake brought me a rose from one of our bushes and a plant that he had picked up at Kroger on the way home. That was very sweet. He had asked a co-worker where he should stop for flowers on the way home and the co-worker asked "what did you do or what do you want???" Jake laughed and brushed that question off.

My counselor and I had talked about me writing the baby a letter to put in her memory box yesterday but I just didn't feel like it. I went instead with the "staying busy and getting through it" line of thinking.

My day ended with small group (complete with a coupon clipping party) and some rush packing for our trip today. Now I will have a couple days of distraction while hanging out with Jonah in a hotel while Jake is doing a trade show. Time to load up the Crown Vic (when you're going to a police show, you get to ride in style)!

Rubbing Off

After several "bad CVS days" I announced that I was giving it up and once again becoming a "walgreens girl". Here is Jonah's response:

Let it Go

With our due dating being tomorrow there are a lot of things that I have to let go of, the big one being that we are not having a baby this week. We have dubbed tomorrow "sad day" and Jonah knows that the baby was suppose to come tomorrow but she is not therefore mommy and daddy might be a little extra sad.

Although I have to let go of that and many other things, I do not have to let go of my current deal addiction. My dear husband says that I do when I say things such as "I just can't get these cookie coupons to print" or "If I could just get this deal worked out then I will make 1.25 at CVS".

I might sound crazy but it is a worth wild distraction for me right now. I end up with a little extra leftover in my budget and a lot more things in my cabinet. I'm not going to say that all of them are useful, but I will say that most of them are! Did I mention that this was a good distraction for me?

Fabulous deal that I got at CVS this morning:

I spent $1.60 (over 2 transactions) out of pocket (it would have been less but my total was in the negative and the cashier did not know how to adjust down a coupon, so I just had Jonah pick out a pack of gum).

I got:
2 oral B toothbrushes
2 tubes of Crest
1 tube of Colgate
2 bags of Chex Mix
1 bottle of Dawn
4 Cover Girl products
1 children's advil
1 bottle hand sanitizer (on J's school list)
1 bar of soap
and a pack of gum (missing from picture)
I used 12 coupons and $7 in EBCs (Extra Care Bucks) and got 7.29 back in EBCs.

This ended up being a random blog post, but pray that we can get through tomorrow and the weeks to come. I doubt the sweetest of deals will make tomorrow any easier. But I might go to Walgreens and give it a try.

Amen for College Friends

Last night we were at the Decatur Celebration, Illinois' largest free street fair. We had already seen Caedmon's Call once but decided to stay for their late show as well. We returned to our good seats (which were now totally in the shade) and enjoyed another good show. Towards the end of the show a light went on at the Compassion International Tent as they encouraged fans to sponsor a child in need.

As soon as the light came on I knew my good friend Rachel from college was working the booth. I could tell not only from her height and hair but from her stance and the way she pushed her hair back. Even in the shadow-light I knew it was her. Jake bet me 25 cents that it WASN'T our friend as I went over to see her. He owes me a quarter!

It was amazing how being around her made me feel like we were in college again. Although it would 13 years since Fall since our first days in Lincoln Hall together it seemed like there is no way that that much time has passed. Jake went home to put Jonah to bed and after she had helped clean up the booth we walked back to her car together. We decided to be on the look out for vendors who wanted to get rid of some of their $10-a-pop leftovers. I soon found out (via a call from Jake) that the non-English speaking smoothie vendor was giving away free smoothies, but he was out of cups. That was no match for Rachel, who marched into the un-manned Pepsi booth, opened up a box marked "Solo" and came back with 2 cups. She wouldn't have had any problem doing that 10 years ago either! I laughed so hard I almost spilled my free smoothie!

She came back to our house and we all easily shared our "stories". I needed that talk and she said she felt like running into each other was a blessing. I couldn't agree more!