Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry, Merry Christmas!

This is my most favorite time of year. This year Stephen and I reflected on all the miracles that have happened in our lives. We have had some pretty rotten years in the past, but we are finally over the hump. We have a beautiful home, Stephen has a fantastic job, and best of all, we have two incredibly wonderful children to share our life with.

Little Stephen was so excited about Christmas this year. It was the first time he truly understood what was going to happen. His top three gifts were: the Nintendo DS and all the games, a pogo stick, and a Batman cave. Jillian's top three gifts were: a vtech play jewelry box, a lady bug rocking seat, and a new bouncer/exercise seat.
My favorite gift was a bike seat attachment and my hubby got a new bike... for his exercise regiment... we'll see.

Anyway, we are in NJ, having a great time with friends and family. We laughed so much on Christmas Eve, it was much needed and enjoyed. The best part of the night was the Dirty Santa gift exchange. What fun and so sorry I'll miss it next year. (We alternate families).

Here are some pictures, hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


November was a busy month for us. We had a family wedding in NJ, Thanksgiving in Winston and lots of stuff in between. We have so much to be thankful for this year and just wanted to share some of our thoughts. First and foremost we are thankful for our family and friends. Without family and friends, there's not much to life. We are so thankful for our two wonderful children and thankful for the joy they bring into our life. I am most thankful that Jillian is sleeping through the night and I get to also! We are thankful for Stephen's job and all that he does to provide for our family and my lack of a job and all that I can do to provide for my family at home. We are thankful for our parents, that they are so loving to our kids and so generous to them. Lastly, we are thankful for our home. We really feel like we finally have a home, (as opposed to a house). This neighborhood is where we are meant to be and we did take the long, scenic route to get here, but we are here. We have fantastic neighbors and have enjoyed our time here so far.

I am thankful for all my blog followers and friends from the internet. Without you and your support, these last few years would have been much more difficult, lonely, and uninspiring. I'm sorry I'm not on your blogs commenting as often as I would like, but I'm trying. I pray for you all each and everyday to have your heart's desires come to fruition.

Please enjoy some of our pictures from this month...

Daddy and Jillian

Uncle James with the kiddos. Not even funny how much Stephen LOVES Uncle Jamesy Wamesy

Muscle Maker food is paying off!! How funny is this face!!

Will they ever both look at the camera?

Cutie Pie!

Newest Endeavor

See what I mean? Looking different ways again...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ready for Santa!

Thanks for reading and happy holidays!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


What a great month October is turning out to be! Hubby had a birthday, Stevie had a great month with his t-ball team, and Jilly has started eating cereal and sitting in her exasaucer (now known as stationary entertainers).

We also had a visit from my mom and dad that was too quick. The greatest part of their visit was Stevie also had a t-ball game while they were here. So, my parents and Stephen's parents were there to watch his game. Now, in some families, that may be a common occurrence, but in our family, (because of location) it doesn't happen very often. Those are the times I am most happy for our children. It is wonderful to see them with all four of their grandparents. Too sweet!!

Next we celebrated my hubby's bday and I made him this:

Yes, that is a chocolate, peanut butter cake, complete with fudge in the middle with chopped pieces of peanut butter cups, then iced with a thin layer of fudge and peanut butter icing, decorated with peanut butter cups around the cake. See, hubby is a peanut butter cup LOVER!! But... he's not the only one...

I wonder who that could be...

Caught in the act! He loved the cake as well. In fact, he already requested one for his birthday in May. Gotta love my peanut butter men!!

A few days later, our doorbell rings and there is the FedEx man. Stevie loves him because he knows that it usually a gift from his Aunt Jackie. Well this time it was a gift for Jilly from Aunt Jackie. (His came a day later!) But he enjoyed her gift I think more than she did at first. She has since gotten the hang of the exasaucer, but poor thing can't reach the bottom to rotate herself. :(

A few days later, we attended the NC State Fair. This is a stretch for me. Fairs are just not my cup of tea. I like places that are clean, not crowded, and a fair share of healthy food choices. Well, we got skeavy booths, way too may people, and fried everything. It amazes me how people walk around the fair with no shame. Eating crazy things like turkey legs (hubby tried one), funnel cake (not zeppoles, but close enough), fried anything and everything. We did try the fried oreos. I've lived in NC for six years now, I've heard a TON about them, so I caved under pressure. They weren't half bad, but I'm sure they are terrible for you. Stevie even gave a thumbs up to them. All in all, when the night was done and we used all our tickets on fun rides with Stevie, I have to admit we had a good time. Maybe next year I won't be so reluctant to go. :)

Our neighbors turned 50 and threw themselves a party. I volunteered to make some cake pops, because, quite frankly, I am in love with these cutie pie cakes. Take a look at these yummilicious cake pops...

We are off this weekend to visit the Cav's and celebrate some more birthdays and babies. We both have two kids now, born the same years, both sets of kids are four months apart. Gotta love how family keeps going on and on. Pictures to follow :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Two Cutie Pie Pics!

Not too much new going on here. Stephen is loving his new job, although he is working non-stop. Life gets a little hectic when he travels, but I am settling in to it again. Stevie has been learning how to write his letters in school. This week was "B" and today for show and tell, he brought in his blankie. This is by far his most prized possession! Love it! Jillian is doing great, sleeping more and more in her crib (her room is almost finished)! We haven't made the jump to the over night sleep yet, but it will be coming soon. She is giggling up a storm and using her voice for more than crying. Here are some new pics of her. Sorry so short, but I'm exhausted! More to come in a few days...

Monday, September 19, 2011

School, T-ball, and Jilly, Oh My!

That's right, school is back in session. Although, Stephen is the only one going to school this year. I am staying home with our little Jilly Bean. Stephen is absolutely LOVING school. He has made some new friends and is crazy about his new teacher. He even had homework tonight. He had to trace the letter A in upper case and lower case form. Ummm... it took 20 minutes! Is this payback for all the homework I've given over the years? Just kidding. He really enjoyed doing his homework and proceeded to tell me that he wants homework every night. If he only knew. ;) He is also playing t-ball. Granted, we only made it to 2 practices and no games yet. This is the craziest league ever. The first game was cancelled because of the hurricane, the next weekend was Labor Day, then we were at the beach, and this past weekend, it rained. So, we have a game Saturday and then a double header on Sunday. Stevie may just be baseballed out this weekend.

T-ball Practice

Stephen, my hubby, started his new job today. He is now working for a new company that is business partners with IBM. He is excited for the possibilities at this company and I am just so proud of him for getting to where he's wanted to be in his career. <3

First Day of School, practice smiles

Jillian is growing like wild. She will be three months on Thursday. She probably weighs around 12-13 pounds. The cutest thing of all is that she is giggling and smiling all the time. She also blows bubbles and makes raspberries with her lips. Super cute! Love, love, love her!! She is getting on a regular schedule, which is really starting to help out here with our daily routine. Jilly is also sleeping through the night. Her last bottle is around 10 PM and she sleeps until 6 AM. I'll take that!


So, finally, the update on me: I think I rebroke my toe. I don't know what the deal is, but I'd like to chop it off. It's the pinky toe and I've been told that it is a wasted appendage. Haha! I just wish that it would get better. It is affecting my exercise regiment. I have been turning into a Suzy homemaker lately. I painted Jillian's room. Just waiting for the trim to go up and then I will post pictures. I have been making chicken soup for the fall. Yum! Also, I made a yummy-licious apple pie (with the wrong apples). I used the wrong apples because it was our turn for snack for Stevie's t-ball game and it was cancelled. So, what was I going to do with all those sliced apples? We couldn't eat them all in a day or so. The pie came out delicious!!

First Day of School!

Lastly, I visited my favorite doctor, Dr. Lipscomb, for my annual visit. It was a really special visit because we were able to introduce him to Jillian. He has been down this journey with us and had celebrated our positives and then listened to the stories of the negatives. It was so wonderful to let him see us come full circle and be triumphant. We also had a great discussion about more naturalistic medicine treatments rather than pumping our bodies with hormones. I have become a big advocate of this in the last year or two (as much as my family thinks I'm crazy). It was nice to have a doctor actually see a patient as a human that deserves the best treatment medically and emotionally. He discussed a more natural method for birth control and also for family planning. Unfortunately, neither of these two topics pertain to my "situation" down there, but I'm sure it does apply to some. He has a medically proven way for women to come off the pill and use their own hormones to regulate their cycle, plan pregnancies, and prevent pregnancies as well. If anything, it is something to THINK about!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Routines, Routines

Next week our lives will settle into the normal routine of life. Stephen will be starting preschool and will need to be there at a regular time. That mean I need to feed Jillian at a regular time so we don't have a hungry, screaming baby on the way to school (like we have had in the past for summer camp). Which means that I need to get up at a regular time to make sure she is up to feed to make sure we make it out the door on time. Sounds crazy... you have no idea!

Stephen will also have his t-ball practices and games to throw in the mix. He has practice during the week at dinner time (this makes me really mad, but, whatever!) and then games on the weekends. We are getting ready to throw church back in the mix and I feel like my opportunities to steal a late morning sleep in are becoming less and less likely. Sometimes hubby lets me sleep in, but with our crazy schedule coming up that would mean missing something. Not ready to do that over a few hours of shut eye. I try to nap during the day, but it doesn't happen as easily as it used to. When Jilly is asleep, Stephen is wide awake and wants to play with mommy, even though I am barely keeping my eyes open. Sometimes he'll let me "rest my eyes" if he is playing Wii, but he ends up waking me up to help him change cars.

Not sure what prompted this sleep discussion, it surely wasn't the focus of my thoughts when I first laid down (in bed) to write this post. I guess it is what my body is craving the most. Good thing is that Jillian is down to one feeding during the night. We have a new diaper, full belly, and back to dream land in 45 mins or so during the night. Hubby used to offer to get up on the weekends so I could get a full nights sleep, but that became a catch 22. He would be so tired the next day, it almost became a nuisance. He would need a nap or get super cranky. Well, that in my eye, defeats the purpose of helping my out. So, I kindly suggested that he didn't have to get up with her any more to save our weekends and keep the peace! :)

Anyway, here are some quick updates with the kids:

**Stephen is loving t-ball. He has made new friends and has play dates regularly now. :) He is a fantastic big brother and calls Jillian his "honey bunny." He is such a big helper, I don't know what I'd do without him some days!

**Jillian is a champ at her feedings. She is gulping 6 ounces pretty regularly. She was 11 pounds and change at her last check up. She gets up around 4 or 5 each morning for a feeding. She is smiling and giggling (which melts our hearts!!) and she has started to ohhhh and ahhhh.

Of course, here are some photos we'd like to share:
BIG smile from Jilly Bean!

First day of T-ball practice!

Monday, August 15, 2011

8 weeks

Tomorrow Jilly Bean will be eight weeks old. It is hard to imagine that time is moving this quickly. We have been enjoying every single moment with her. Most recently, she has just begun to smile and giggle (in only a way that a baby can giggle). She has been taking four to six ounces per bottle every three to six hours. Not exactly as on schedule as Stephen was. She loves, I mean LOVES to sleep! She could sleep the whole day and night away. We try to force her to stay awake a little more now during the day. She does really well at night, only waking once for a feeding.

Big brother Stephen is loving his baby sister in a way that I've never seen. He is so gentle, kind, and protective of her. He enjoys holding her and laying on the floor with her looking up at the Rainforest gym that used to be his. I swear he enjoys it more now than back then! ;) Stephen has also been going to summer camp at his new preschool. When I pick him up and ask him how school was, he has the same response: fantastic! Who could ask for more than that?

We have had a ton of visitors and spent a week in NJ to visit my family. It was so nice to be back home and share Jilly with everyone. We saw more people that week than I can ever remember seeing during our visits. There was a lovely barbeque to celebrate her arrival and she slept through the entire party! I'm talking from 3 to 9. Ok, she woke up around 5 or 6 for a bottle, but then right back to sleep. She received many gifts since she has been with us and let's just say that she has a fashion forward wardrobe for her first year of life. We are so appreciative of everyone's generosity and love for this little peanut.

Here are some recent pics, I will make an effort to post more frequently, but lately, I'm happy if I can check my email. Life changes when we went from one semi-independent four year old to two children where one needs are more demanding.

Thanks for reading and chat soon!

Jillian, 7 weeks

Jillian, ready for her big "Welcome to the Family" barbeque

Stephen, our little fishy, LOVES to swim!

Jillian, mad, hungry face

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Sorry it has taken awhile to get these up. We had some visitors and internet issues. Hopefully tomorrow we will be discharged and able to head back to the condo. I can't wait to get back into regular life!

Thanks very much from the bottom of our hearts for all the comments. It is just such a nice feeling to see so many people wanting good things for us. We wish you all the same luck in your journeys!!

So, here she is:

It's a ....


Jillian Elizabeth
6lbs 13.5 oz
18 inches
June 21, 2011
9:11 pm

Pics to follow :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



Niner, Niner!

Niner, Niner!! She's at nine and plus two (for those of you that get that)!!

Shouldn't be long now!!

We Have a Fiver

Five, yes, I repeat five!! Slowly but surely!!

Sorry about the last post, that's what you get for auto correct and bad eyes! ;)

No Progress

Nothing new to report, except we are the ome delicious pizza for dinner. Sound familiar? ;)

Almost 4

Labor is going slowwwwwwwwww. She is almost 4. Water has been broken, but not much mor progress yet. Poor thing!

3 and Counting

BM is dilated to 3 cm already. She is on a pitocin drip and has the epidural in place. We are in a separate room and just found out that we get to spend the night!! Woooohooo! We were not aware of that earlier. Please check back here for updates throughout the day. Thanks for all the emails, texts, bbms, and messages on FB today. It is wonderful to feel soooo loved!

So Close...

Today is the day! Our BM is going to be admitted at 6am and we will arrive shortly after to pace the halls and keep her company. We had a fabulous lunch with her and her mom today. They told us a lot of their family history and funny stories we can share with our child when the time is right. After that, we spent the evening at he pool. We both got workouts in and are getting ready to try to sleep. I will update ASAP, I promise!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quickie Update

No big news yet, still planning on flying to Arizona on Sunday unless our little peanut decides to come earlier. Unlike surrogacy, you are less privy to information about the pregnancy and doctor reports. We are still waiting for an update from Tuesday's appointment, maybe we will get it tomorrow. However, we remain in good spirits and continue to surround ourselves with positive people.

Just want to say a big THANKS to all my loyal friends leaving comments. I was a little nervous how our news would be received in the surro community, but you guys never fail or cease to amaze. I wish you all the best of luck on your journeys, wherever they may lead you.

I will continue to update as I receive the information. We are excited about going to AZ, as I have been there once previously, but hubby has not. And the best part of all is... we get to meet Rhonda and her family! We have been friends and supporters of each other for a long, long time now. It is just wonderful that they live in the general area that we will be staying in. Talk about a small world.

Off to bed, dreams of baby days again! :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We've Been Keeping a Secret ;)

Yes, we have been keeping a very, very big secret. We are ready to share because we are about to burst! We were matched with a birth mother (or expectant mother) a week after we received our completed home study. That was April 20th. It was the craziest day!!! My dad had just come into town to visit, Stephen's parents were here to have dinner with us and we were secretly completing paperwork and sending off our profile to be viewed by a birth mom. It all happened within 36 hours. Talk about craziness. It happened so fast, that we were scared it was too fast.

But, as the next few weeks turned into months, here we are, about WEEK away from a scheduled induction! We are so happy to share this news with our family and friends. Our birth mom will be induced on the 21st if she does not go into labor sooner. We will be flying to AZ next weekend or earlier.

We are on cloud nine, for months now. It is such a nice feeling to let our hearts open up to these emotions again. Please continue to pray for us and for our birth mom to continue with her adoption plan. Stay tuned! Exciting things are happening for us!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hey All!!

Ok, ok, I have neglected my blog long enough. I've had two friends in the past two days email me and say "Update please!!" So, here it is...

After many days and weeks of considering our next move, we have decided to step away from surrogacy for a while. The emotions were just getting to be too much. We would receive a positive phone call and then with in the next few days/weeks, we would get the "I'm sorry" call. No one's fault, but just getting harder to swallow each time.

So, we thought and thought and have decided to move onto adoption. We would love another biological child, but more than that, we want a sibling for our son. We are going to adopt a newborn and then in a year or so, try to unfreeze our leftover embryos and give them a whirl.

I hope you all understand where we are coming from and can support us still the same. It has been years of crazy emotions, ups and downs. When we decided to adopt, we felt a big sigh of relief for some reason. I will continue to update as we walk down this journey, but for now, I'm setting up our house and painting.

Best wishes to all and thanks for reading!

PS- Max did make it back to our house a few days later :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bad Day

I can't wait for this day to be over. It started with a phone call that we lost our pregnancy and got worse from there. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why we keep losing our pregnancies, but I'm at the point where I am almost numb to it. How sad! :(

Then, the Directv guy is here installing our tv service all day and our cat, Max, escapes. We have searched the neighborhood and left food out. He has not come home.

Can't wait for this friggin day to be over!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And the Phone Call Said...


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bittersweet Wednesday

Wednesday can't come fast enough, but I don't want it to come too fast. Wednesday will be 14 days since EPU and theoretically, we should hear our good news from the doctors. This may have been our best quality transfer yet, as all three embryos were 8 cell, grade 1/A. But, also, Wednesday is the last day we are living here with my parents and family around. We leave for NC on Thursday morning. So, Wednesday is bittersweet. I want to hear from the doctors, but I want to savor the moments we have left here in NJ. We have spent the last two days packing up our moving pods. We are down to the bare bones of survival needs here. We came up with 6 pods and we are moving down with 8 pods. Can you believe that we accumulated more stuff while we were here? Unbelievable!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Feelings on Jet Lag

So, we have been home since early Friday morning. Since then, I have not had a full night's sleep. I am suffering from the worst case of jet lag ever! My husband is fine and dandy. He sleeps through the night without a problem. My usual waking time is 2 am. I have to sleep through the night tonight, even if it means taking a swig of NyQuil. That should do the trick.

Some other, better news: we have transferred three, grade 1, 8 cell embryos into our surrogate. We are beyond excited at this possibility of this pregnancy. We have about a week and a half or so until we get "the call." We are remaining very positive for our pregnancy and for the other couples that we met transferring right around our time also.

There seem to be a lot of babies due within the next 4-6 weeks, so Mumbai should be hopping! Good luck to you all and best wishes for happy, healthy babies!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Goodbye, Mumbai!! We will be back in 9-ish months for baby(ies) pick-up!!! You have not seen the last of the Craters!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


On my way to Lilavati, will update this afternoon. Say a little prayer for many, many, many good looking eggs and successful fertilization rates!!

After a long day at Lilavati, I am happy to report a collection of 12 eggs. We are overjoyed and anxious for transfer news.

Also, had a lovely dinner this evening with our friends from Canada (on baby pick-up) and Dr. Sudhir and Dr. Yashodhara. What a perfect way to end our trip. Stephen and I have agreed this time was the most enjoyable yet. Next trip will be enjoyable also... it will be a baby pick up!!! (everything crossed!!!)

More info and pics tomorrow. We are exhausted! Thanks for all the love from our comments and also on FB. Feels so good to have so many people wishing good things for you!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Grow Embies, Grow

Today was a very, very good day. Not only is my husband here, but we had a second scan. Even with my sluggish left ovary, I am currently hosting my highest embryo count since we have started this baby making marathon! They are able to see 16 eggs. I am beyond ecstatic! If my left ovary was a team player, it would've jumped more to the neighborhood of 20 or so. Can you freakin' believe that!! We are super excited for the next few days to come. Tonight is my trigger shot (wooohooo) and Wednesday is EPU.

Tomorrow, is the best day of this entire trip. It is the day that we meet our surrogate. Being that this is our 4th attempt, we wondered if we really wanted to meet our surrogate. It becomes so personal and there is a great emotional attachment. Especially when you hear why they are volunteering their bodies to this. We were really touched by our surrogate this past summer and it was hard to let go of her when we did our FET. We waited and waited for her body to get ready, and it just wasn't. We had to let her go and select a new one. It was almost like a break-up. We wanted so badly to help her family, like she wanted to help ours. That is the beauty of this deal. I know I say it every time we are here, but there is something about helping the people who are helping you. They want this to happen just as badly as we do, but for other reasons.

Switching gears, Stephen and I had a fun time by the pool today. We were only there for an hour or two. He is already winning the tanning contest. I have been laying by the pool for five days now and he beat me in two hours. We have very different skin tones. He is a bit red, but it will tone down tomorrow. He suggested I share a funny story I told him today. The first day I was here, my driver was bringing me to the clinic for my initial scan. While we were driving there, he hit a car and motorcycle. Now, if you have been here, you know how easily this can happen because of the erratic driving and ignorance of those white lines that form lanes. haha! All joking aside, he tapped the car and threw the motorcycle man off balance. He had to jump off to regain his balance. I was getting nervous at this point, but didn't say anything. He kept peeking in the rear view mirror to see if I was reacting to his driving. It was pretty funny.

All in all, we are enjoying our time together. It is always nice to have time to recharge our batteries and reconnect. Life just gets so busy at home and we tend to overlook those moments we should savor.

Thanks for reading and talk soon!

Engagement party

Engagement party

Local florist

Local General Store

Produce Stand

Man Transporting Stuff

Local Barber

Another Produce Stand

Woman's Clothing Store (where I got my dress)

Fast Food (Indian, of course)

Local Chemist (Pharmacist)

Taxi, anyone?

Road for Hotel