Monday, December 31, 2012

This post brought to you by Merlot...

It's a quiet night at home...it's New Years Eve and all is good in the world.  Elliot is playing with his new Christmas present from Santa (Nintendo 3DS), Emerson and London are watching a Disney movie and I'm enjoying a nice glass of red wine.  Jesse has some party buses out tonight, so I won't be totally relaxed until he and the other drivers get home safely..but the wine is helping me relax just a little bit.

And true to how things are in my family, London just farted and no one can stop laughing.  Including me.

This is my life.  And I'm totally okay with it.

So 2012 was pretty great.  I mean, I gave birth to the cutest little guy and made daddies out of two of the coolest guys I've ever met.  I went through a lot both physically and emotionally and I wouldn't take any of it back for anything.  It was the most amazing experience I've ever had and for that, 2012 will forever be pretty frickin' awesome.

The past few months have been, uh, weird...but everything is fine.  Everything wasn't fine for a period of time, but it's fine now and that's what matters.  What happened over the past few months is not worth sharing over the interwebs of the world, but know that now, I'm in a place that is good.  I'm in a place that is very good.  I'm happy.  It took some soul searching to get here, but when I arrived, I knew it was where I wanted, needed and was supposed to be. 

I have a few things on the docket in 2013 that I'm quite excited about.  Jesse and I have purchased tickets to see Brian Regan in March...front row.  I'm totally pumped because I'm secretly in love with Brian (ssshhhh...don't tell my husband).  In May, I'll be taking a little jaunt to Kentucky to visit Cole--the plan is to run a 5K while I'm there, but that may just turn into eating at a buffet for 3 hours instead.  I'm kidding.  Maybe.  I'm sure at some point I'll make my way back to Colorado to cause some trouble with my ling lost, Jeni.  Finally, in July, the hubster and I will be going to Prague to visit the guys and Jachym!  We're also going to hit up Italy for a bit.  Yeah, I'm just slightly excited about it.  Man, I think about this trip and I get all giddy.  Eek!  It will be right before Jachym turns one--how flippin cool, eh?? 

2013 will also likely bring some pretty heavy discussions with my family about the possibility of doing another surrogacy journey...another journey is always on my mind and it's something I know I really want to do, however I want to let a little more time pass before I move forward with it.  I'd like to spend time with my own family and focus on them for a bit.  I have these exciting things planned (trips) for this year and I want to be able to enjoy every second of them--and there's no way I'd be able to cause trouble in KY and CO or drink copious amounts of red wine while in Italy if I were on meds or preggo...I also want to get into better shape physically so when I am ready to make a final decision on another journey, I can jump into things pretty quickly and be totally ready.

And because I know everyone loves a photo, here are some for your viewing pleasure:

My beautiful girls in their PJ's, all ready for Santa to come!

The newest member of the Cheesehead Limousine driving team!
The cutest little surro guy, ever!

2012, you were awesome.

2013, I am so looking forward to what you have to offer.

Though my blog posts have been few and far between lately, please know that I still treasure you all--those that read this blog, those that write other blogs.  I'm gonna do my best to keep ya'll appraised of my life and its' happenings.  Happy New Year, everyone!! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Visitor!

On Tuesday, I welcomed a very awesome visitor to my home.

No, Santa didn't come early. 
This visitor was way cooler.

Can you guess?  Can you??

It was Tomas!!  (no baby Jachym or Honza, just daddy T)

I knew he was coming for a visit, but kept it on the DL...mainly because I wanted it to be a surprise for Elliot.  You see, Elliot developed quite a bond with Tomas and Honza while there were here.  Like me, he was pretty upset when they left.  So, this kind of surprise was something that I knew would be very awesome for my first born.

Tomas and I went to Elliot's school to surprise him in his class. It was pretty dang cool--the class was in story time and the teacher pointed out someone was at the door.  When the kids turned around, Elliot's eyes got huge and he got up and ran to Tomas and gave him a big hug.  I might have shed a tear.  I think Elliot did too.

The teacher invited us into the class and Tomas was able to tell the kids where he was from:




The kids all thought Tomas was pretty cool, especially since he flew in an airplane (for a really long time) to get to us!

We stole Elliot out of class, grabbed Emerson (who was also quite happy to see Tomas...though we did interrupt snack time for her) and went home so we could all visit.

After hanging out a bit, I took my "date" to the movies (Breaking Dawn 2...which was AWESOME if you haven't seen it yet) and we grabbed a bite to eat at one of the guys' favorite places to eat while they were here in July.  It was so nice to relax and catch up with one of my 3 favorite people from across the ocean. 

Tomas, thank you for visiting!!  We miss you already and can't wait to see you again!!  And special thanks for the presents!!

(especially the beer)


On a side note, I know I've been neglecting my blog lately.  There's lots going on in my life and I'll hook you all up with some updates, photos and cool s#*t soon...I promise.  I hope you are all doing well. I miss you.

On another side note, Jacob was extra hot in that last movie.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

4 Months Old!

I was one lucky girl this morning--I had the pleasure of Skyping with my favorite Czech people!!

...and I was reminded that today is little Jachym's 4th month birthday!

All is well in their world.  They tell me Jachym is a very good baby--I even got to "talk" to him today!!  It seemed he recognized my voice, which is pretty dang cool.

Here's the little guy either trying to eat his hand or the ribbon on the bear--


Such a cutie!!  Happy 4-months, little guy!!  (or should I say "big" guy...he's in 6-9 month clothing already!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Transfersary

Exactly one year ago today, a little procedure happened that forever changed the lives of 2 men...

Exactly one year ago today, a beautiful little embryo was implanted in my uterus...

Exactly one year ago today, I became pregnant...

Exactly one year ago today, I became a surrogate...

...and this little guy was created....


Here is a little walk down memory lane about that awesome day.

Happy One Year Transfer'sary to us!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Moo.

Yesterday, FedEx came to my house and picked up approximately 2,200 ounces of frozen breast milk.

It was delivered to a preemie milk bank.

Even if what I've done will help just one baby, I am happy.

But I think that much milk will help way more than that.

And that makes me really really happy.

And just for kicks, here's the equivalent:

2,200 ounces =
     65.06 Liters
     4,400 Tablespoons
     17.18 Gallons
     68.75 Quarts
     275 Cups
     137.5 Pints
     13,200 Teaspoons

Yowsa.

I am still pumping, but I've started to cut back.  I want to continue producing until at least November 20th.  At that point, I'll have met my goal and will likely stop...slowly.

As much as I'd like to continue, it does take a lot of time.  I've stuck through the every 3 hours pump since Jachym was born.

And the idea of being able to sleep through the night sounds lovely.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans...I Thank You Today and Every Day


Happy Veteran's Day to you all.

Whether you do so in person, via text or e-mail or simply in a thought, please take the time to thank a veteran today.

I will be sure to say a special Thank You to this man, my father:



Thank you, Dad.  Now and Always.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nursing Home Olympics

My mom's nursing home had an awards ceremony for a recent resident Olympic event.

And my mom won an award:


Here's a close-up of said award:



I'm totally proud of my mama.  This award is more than appropriate.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gone

This was the house I grew up in:



And here it is today:


Gone.
Razed.
Demo'd to make a parking lot.

I knew it was coming, I did. 

But I wasn't prepared enough.

As I drove past the ruins this morning, my heart sank.  My heart cried.  I cried.  I sobbed.

I have so many memories of my house.  MY house. 

I have photos of my first day home from the hospital after I was born...in that house.

I have photos of my first day of kindergarten...in that house.

I have photos from the night before my wedding...in that house.

I have photos of years worth of Christmas Eve celebrations...in that house.

I have photos of my mom and I...in that house.

And now there's nothing. 

Nothing left...
...but a lonely bird house...

Which I now have.

It's all I have.  They never called me.  They said they would.  They said they would let me in one last time.

But they didn't.

So now all I have left is the memories.  The memories of my house...

...which is gone forever.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Killer Boots, Man.


"Pullover!"

"No, it's a cardigan, but thanks for noticing."

"Yeah, killer boots, man!"










The above photo was taken by my husband last week.

He was in the passenger seat.

The driver?  Me.

See those blue lights in the mirror?  There were red lights too.

You're welcome, State of Massachusettes, for the $200 check, courtesy of my lead foot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

3 Months!

Uh yeah...you read that right. 

3 Months Old.  Baby Jáchym is 3 months old today.

I can't believe it either.

I hear he's just an awesome baby! Tomas and Honza are totally enjoying fatherhood, which makes me one happy girl.  There's no better feeling in the world to know that you had a part in making someone truly happy.

So, how am I doing 3-months post-partum?  Pretty good.  The emotions are no longer all over the place.  I'm back into my groove of working, being a mom/wife and living my "normal" life...but I can't deny that I don't think about the guys/baby every day.  They cross my mind a lot, and when I think about them, I smile.  I'm just so happy to have been a part of something so awesome.

Yup, I'm still a milk machine--pumping 6 times/day!  The milk bank I'm donating to has a 90 day "waiting period" (because I had the Rhogam shot in the hospital) so I'll get my clearance sometime this week.  They just need to do a blood test to make sure all is good.  Once they get the "all clear", I'll ship them all the milk I've pumped to this point.  Yes, I've had to store it all...freezer space has become quite limited.  I'm happy (and quite proud) to say that as of this very moment I have 1,857 ounces (14.5 gallons) of breast milk in my chest freezer (those on the metric system-that's just shy of 55 liters).  My plan is to continue pumping for at least a few more weeks, if not a few more months. 

Okay, okay--onto the good stuff--here is the little guy (who's now a big guy)!

Seriously.  Adorable.

And for comparison's sake...(3 days old):

Though I had nothing to do with his cuteness, I'm still a VERY proud surro mama!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Tooth Saga Continues...

Many of you have been inquiring on how the tooth saga turned out.


For those that have no clue what I'm talking about...
Bungee Cord Incident Part 1
Bungee Cord Incident Part 2

Sadly, the saga isn't over.
Yet.

The last I left you, I was headed in to get a beautiful implant….a little procedure that would take approximately 1 hour and cost me over $4000. Okay, it wasn’t really going to be $4000 out of my pocket—they were willing to bill it to insurance under 2 different procedures in 2 different calendar years…so my out of pocket would be about $2000.

Still, that's craptastic amount of funds that I'd rather spend on a new handbag.  Or seven.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the implant not actually happening.

Without getting into too many details that will make you squirm in your seat, let’s just say after lots of “digging around “ in my tooth area, the dentist came to the realization that there was not enough bone in the correct area to place the implant. So, he “sewed” me back up (literally…I think I got about 7 stitches), put my poor little dead tooth back in, cemented it yet again and said we needed to move on to plan B.

Well, wait a second…plan A could possibly still work—if the bone graft he put in did what it needed to do in about 8-9 months’ time. Then *maybe* they could do the implant at that point. I was given about a 30% chance of that working.

Gee, doc. Those are some fantastic odds.

Plan B. Bridge. Grinding down the teeth on either side of trouble tooth and put a 3-tooth bridge in. It would look real, I could get it done in 2 visits and it would be cheaper than the implant.

Fine. Let’s just do that and get this damn thing over with. So, I scheduled the bridge for September 27th. Before I walked out of the dentists’ office, I asked the office chick (I can call her that because she’s kind of on my shit list) to e-mail me the procedure costs so I could make sure I knew what I was getting into.

No e-mail.  (perhaps she didn't understand me due to the copious amounts of Novocain still evident in my mouth)

I did, however, leave with a prescription for "Extra Strength" Vicodin.

Fast-forward to September 27th….the day of the implant. I’m on my way to the dentists’ office and I see I have a voicemail…from the “office chick”. The voicemail says they’re looking forward to seeing me (in 10 minutes) and oh, I have a balance due of $5300 (after insurance). I can either cut them a check or set up a payment plan.

Uh, negative ghost rider. Not happenin’.

So, I walk into the office and a way too-friendly woman asks me how my day is going. I sternly reply “well, it was lovely until I just listened to my voicemail. I need to speak to (the chick).”

The chick brings me back to her desk and explains the costs. She kept saying “I’m sorry” and “I know this is tough to take”.

Ya think?

Long story short (too late, Jesse) I walked out of the dentists’ office with tears in my eyes…without my pretty new bridge.

Even longer story short, I ended up getting a quick appointment with a dentist that my husband has done business with for years (he's a limo customer). He did a quick consult with me and I will now be moving forward with his office doing the bridge. The cost differential is significant and he’s going to do a very good chunk as a direct trade with Jesse…so basically, my husband’s limo is paying for a nice portion of my teeth.

(one of the perks of being married to someone that owns a business, who’s a big fan of barter)

As I was getting the consult with dentist #2, dentist #1 leaves me a voicemail and says the cost estimator they gave to me was incorrect. Said it was going to be $2000 cheaper than what they said.

Someone tell me how that mistake is made?? I have a good judge of people. Of business. Something’s not right here. You don’t just mess up on something like that. Oops?  Really?

Sorry dentist #1.  You effed up.  And lost my business.

For various reasons, I have to wait until after the calendar changes to get the bridge. Yikes. So, my poor little tooth that has been hanging on for dear life now has to be a total rockstar and hang on 3 more months. That’s all I need. 3 more months.

So, I’m right back to where I started. The tooth that was knocked out 11 years ago is back in, cemented to his buddies on either side. I’m out some significant funds because of the “extraction”, but alas, I have a positive outlook and know that everything will be fine.

In 3 more months.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Da Funk.

So I've narrowed down this little funk that I'm in. 

Sadly, it's about 5 different things. 

And here's one of those things...

If you're a follower of my blog, you may remember a couple posts I did about my childhood home.  104 West Main St.  Here are the links to those posts:

It's MY House
My House...It's a Steal

And if you don't want to read those, that's totally cool.  In a nutshell, my mom had a stroke 5 years ago, my stepdad was an asshat and foreclosed on the house they lived in and it was put up for sale.

About a month ago, I noticed the for sale sign was gone. 

(Yes, I drive past the house on a semi-frequent basis)

A few weeks ago, I heard a rumor that a local cheese factory had purchased the house.  You see, this cheese factory was right next door to the house.  Well, not right next door...a parking lot separated them. 

Can you see where this is going?

Yes, my fear was that the factory purchased the house to level it and make a larger parking lot. 

Ugh.

This thought has been lingering in my head for a few weeks...and I got some pretty concrete answers on it this past week:



raze   
verb (used with object), razed, raz·ing.
1. to tear down; demolish; level to the ground


My biggest fear has come true.  They're tearing it down.  

My childhood home will be gone.

Completely.  Gone.

I'm sad.  I'm pissed.  I'm upset.  I want to cry.

I can't do anything about this.

And here's the creepy part..Sartori (the cheese company) is actually one of my clients.  Well, the HR person contacted me the other day for some insurance "stuff" she needed (a client that I rarely ever hear from, mind you).  During our conversation, I decided to ask about the house. She only knew that they had purchased it and were planning on tearing it down in the near future.  
I needed to do it...I asked if I could get into the house once more before the dozers get there.   

I want to see it one last time. 
And I want to take something.

Anything.  

Something that I can say "This came from my house, the house I spent the first 18 years of my life in".  

She said she'd talk to the powers that be and let me know.   
We haven't talked yet, but I'm hoping to hear from her soon...  

And no, I have no idea what I would take.  None.  Just something.  Anything.  Anything that can give me one last lingering memory of my home.  My childhood. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Foto

So I've been neglecting my blog, you say??

Yeah, I know. 

I'm in a kind of funk right now that I can't explain.  I'm sure there's lots of contributors to my funk, but I won't air that all out in blog land. 

You're welcome.

So, instead I'm gonna post a picture.  One that makes me smile.

Because I love taking pictures.

And because I love fall.


I took that the other day on property I probably shouldn't have been on...but it was too cool to pass up.  And adding a trespassing arrest to my life right now would be just too appropriate (no worries, I didn't even get so much as a warning.)

I'm writing up some witty posts, so stay tuned for some updates on my life...and I'll try to get you a photo of one of the cutest little guys ever!! 

(T & H, if you're reading this, I NEED A PHOTO FIX...PRONTO!!  :))

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this...



Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending some time with Jeni and her family at her home in Colorado.

And it was pure awesome.

Seriously.

We talked a lot. We ate a lot (I was super scared to jump back on the scale when I got home, but I didn’t do too bad. Just a little bad.). We laughed a lot. 

It was what a girl’s weekend should have been. No disappointments.

Jeni was kind enough to let me stay with her in her beautiful home. Her daughter gave up her awesome room (and really comfy bed) for me for the weekend (thanks, Skyler!!). Her other daughter (Savannah) showed me some pretty slick dance moves. Jeni’s kids pretty much rock hardcore.

One night I was able to meet a fellow Circle surrogate-she was uber cool. She’s waiting for her transfer with an international gay couple—so she, Jeni and I had lots and lots to talk about. It’s always cool to meet up with people that hang out in the same awesome little world as what you do. I want to publicly wish her the best of luck with her transfer!!

Jeni and I are alike in many many ways (it's kinda scary, actually) however there’s one thing we disagree on:


Jeni (the driver...left side) is always cold.  Always.  I'm hot (temperature wise, kids).  Thank the Lord for dual climate control in the vehicle.  Had she had total control, I would have had to have taken Skyler or Savannah's bicycle everywhere...and exercising while on vacation is not fun for Jesse.  Good thing I packed my walking/running shoes because I used them never.

I knew we were going to go to a Stomp show on Sunday. What I didn’t know is how sucky our seats would be. So note:


Yeah. That’s the stage right in front of us.  FRONT ROW. (and for those of you that have no idea about the amount of sarcasm I can produce, “sucky” is hardly in the realm of a word I would use). It was amazeballs. Seeing Stomp is pretty awesome in itself. Seeing it from the front row was the coolest ever. We could see the sweat pouring off my new boyfriends’ face. Yes, I have a new boyfriend. I’d certainly love to provide you a photo of us together, but he’s touring with Stomp right now so you’ll have to wait. 

We may have very well had a Dog the Bounty Hunter sighting:


Okay, that really isn't Mr. Chapman, but it was close enough.

On Monday, Jeni and I became movie stars. I’ll dangle that little carrot for you but I promise I’ll supply you with my copy of the final product once it’s completed. :)

I’m headed into the absolute busiest time for my work, so a girls weekend was just what I needed to chill out and relax before the start of hell week (times at least 12 weeks).

Jeni, thank you to you and your family for your wonderful hospitality. I had the best time ever and can’t wait to come back!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Livin' The High Life...Literally.

Today, I was a rock star.

Well, at least I pretended to be one.

I have a new client.  This new client is implementing a really fabulous vision plan on October 1st and today was a fun-filled day of employee enrollment meetings.

Basically I had to stand up in front of a bunch of people and talk about how really great their new vision plan will be.  It really is a great plan, I promise. 

Anyway, the morning meeting was in one part of the state, the afternoon meeting was in another...(red dot on right was the morning, red dot on left was the afternoon)


Naturally, when I first learned of these meetings, I assumed I would be driving the 250+ miles to get to the 2nd meeting.  And then I realized it wasn't going to be possible considering the amount of time it would take to drive this distance, especially since nearly the entire state of Wisconsin is under some form of road construction.

So, how did I manage to do 2 enrollment meetings on opposite sides of this fantastic state today and still get home for dinner??

Private jet, people.

Oh yeah.  My new client is pretty awesome.  They have their own form of air transportation...

What would have taken over 5 hours to drive one-way, took less than half an hour in the air. 

And this was my view for the flight:


Not a bad view for a Tuesday, eh?

The pilots were super nice and gave me the low-down on what they do and how they do it:

No, I did not learn enough to fly a plane.
Would be cool, though.

The cabin was quite comfortable and very schnazzy:


And we didn't even have to turn off our electronic devices!

Finally, during the flight I got to catch up on my new favorite magazine...


Funny how I couldn't find a copy of SkyMall anywhere...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Heads up, Colorado

You may recognize this chick...


...that's Jeni and she's pretty damn cool.

Oh, and guess what?!?!... 

I'm going to visit her this weekend at her home in Colorado!!

Yeah, I'm just a smidge excited.

There are a few things I know will happen this during my visit. 
We are going to...

          Talk.  A lot.
          Eat.  A lot.
          Laugh.  A lot.
          See Stomp
          Talk, eat and laugh some more.
          Maybe cry a little.
          Visit the DQ.

I am looking forward to every one of those things.  Seriously looking forward to them.

So, heads up State of Colorado.  A little bit of Wisconsin is headed your way and she's pretty damn pumped!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

11 Years Ago Today...

On September 2, 2000, a handsome young chap got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

And I said yes.

Our engagement photo:
Yeah, that's totally not my natural hair color.
I know you were wondering...

And on September 22, 2001, I married that handsome young chap.




Happy Anniversary to us!! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One

I'm good at a lot of things, however there's one thing I kinda am not so good at:

growing vegetables.

If you remember, I did a post last year about my Topsy Turvy and the fact that I only got one tomato out of the plant. 

So note my sad little lonesome 2011 tomato:

This year, I opted for the non-topsy version of a tomato planter.  I took the plunge and planted a healthy little stater of a tomato gem in my herb garden.  I followed the directions oh so carefully.  It was actually marketed as a patio plant, so I knew I wouldn't get too much out of it.

Yeah, ain't that the truth...

Observe:

One.  Again, one stinkin' tomato.

*sigh*

Oh, and don't let me forget to mention that the one little guy that I grew so lovingly disappeared one day...

...and I never even got to say goodbye...

So, if as a society, we're ever dependent upon growing our own vegetables to keep us alive, I won't be much help to anyone.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Bungee Cord Incident...Part 2

This is the continuation of Part One of the oh so tragic story of me vs. the bungee. If you haven’t read Part One yet, you may want to do that.

Or, here’s a re-cap.

Labor Day 2001. Bungee Cord hit tooth. Tooth knocked out. Hillbilly.

So, the last I left this wonderful heart-warming story I was on my way to the dentist…on a holiday…with my tooth in a glass jar full of milk…

The entire way there I kept picturing myself walking toothless down the aisle for my wedding (which was 19 days away). I even remember thinking we should change the wedding date. No, I’m not that vain, I promise; but I’d be lying if I didn’t have that thought run through my head at least once.

When we got to the dentists’ office, Dr. K greeted us at the door. He was in blue-jeans and a plaid button down shirt (yes, I totally remember that detail)—claims he was working in the yard when he got the phone call….then I noticed the grass stains on his jeans and knew he really was doing yard work.

I sat/laid down in “the chair”. Dr. K took a look at the gaping hole in my mouth and asked if I had saved the tooth. Presenting the jar to him, he took the tooth out and confirmed my smart thinking likely saved the tooth and thus, he could put it back in!

And that he did.

Now, I have to give a huge shout out to my then fiancé (now husband). He was Mr. dental assistant during the entire visit. You know those suction things they put in your mouth to suck out all the spit? Jesse was holding that. You know that little mirror thing the dentists use to look around? Jesse was holding that. Dr. K had him doing all the stuff a normal dental assistant would be doing.  What a guy, huh?

I sat in that chair for a good hour and a half.  The procedure was pretty painless (the root had come out with the tooth and apparently the nerve did too), but still weird. Awkward. Full of drool.

Because the tooth didn’t really have anything to “hang on” to, he cemented the back of the tooth to the other teeth around it. That’s how it was able to stay in.

For 11 years.

And I had a beautiful smile for my wedding.


I had to go back (to a different dentist because Dr. K retired) three times since to get it re-cemented, but the tooth hung on.  My slightly (but not really noticeable) discolored "dead" tooth hung in there.

Okay, that sounded gross.  Sorry.

The first two times I went back to get the repair done, x-rays were taken to make sure all was good.   Well, as good as it could be.  On visit number two (in 2009), Dr. M told me I wouldn’t have much longer with that tooth.  Normal “wear and tear” on a dead tooth would cause it to likely break.

And because it’s sorta cool (and I hope this totally doesn't gross you out), here’s that x-ray from 2009:

You can see the tooth is barely hanging on.  That white spot is a hole that was drilled into the tooth to "hollow" it out.  For what reason, I know not.  If I did, I'd be a dentist and I'd making WAY more money than I do now.
Fast forward to September 2, 2012. The day before Labor Day.  My birthday.  The morning of Pork Fest.

I was blowing up an inflatable cooler and bit down on the little plastic thing used to blow it up.  I heard a crack in my mouth.  And I felt my tooth “fall forward”.

I quickly pushed it back and prayed that it would stay. (and yes, I cried a little)

Luckily, the tooth stayed in place enough that I didn’t have to make another emergency visit to the dentist.  I could still eat (kind of) and talk (kind of) and the tooth held on. (And as I type this, it’s still holding on for dear life.)

The Tuesday after Labor Day I went back to Dr. M. He took another x-ray and gave me the news.  He could no longer temporarily mend it.  I needed a permanent fix.

I knew this time was coming. I had lasted 11 years with just a little bit of cement holding my tooth in place.  I was lucky.

So, in 4 days I will have an implant put in place of the dead tooth that has held on for 11 years.  I am actually quite excited about this dental work to be done. I’ve gone 11 years without being able to bite into an apple or eat a cob of corn. (I’ve gone the last 2 weeks of not being able to bite into anything…that’s kinda challenging. Take my word for it).

Wish me luck.  And if you'd like to contribute to the "Jesse is getting a really expensive tooth next week" fund, let me know.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Bungee Cord Incident...Part 1


(Even though this happened 11 years ago, I do remember many of the details quite vividly. Trauma like I experienced will do that to you.  Some of the quotes may not be remembered word-for-word, but it's darn close, I promise.)


Some people are afraid of spiders, some are afraid of clowns.

Me? I have a fear of bungee cords. (and spiders and clowns too) 
Here's why...

September 3rd, 2001 was like any other Labor Day. My husband and I were enjoying some time in Northern Wisconsin, relaxing as much as we could before our wedding, which would be upon us in 19 days.

We had just taken a leisurely trip in the Bayliner (boat) on the beautiful waters of Green Bay and decided to pack up and head home to do some more wedding prep.

I, being the ever awesome fiancé and helper, was doing my duty in helping strap down the cover of the boat. No, we didn’t have those fancy strap things or expensive ways to go about this.  We used bungee cords.  The bungee was attached to the boat cover on one end and the boat trailer on the other.

Something kind of like this…
I was at the back of the boat bungee’ing the last of the cords to the trailer—on my knees in the dirt, pulling that cord as tight as I could get it when I lost my grip.

Smack.

The bungee cord snapped back at my face and the hook on the end hit my front bottom tooth dead on.

A little shaken at first, I had no idea what happened...until I pushed my tongue against my lower teeth and realized there was a gap.  My tooth was gone.

I screamed like I’ve never screamed before.

Jesse (the then fiancé) ran to my aid but for many moments we both had no idea what to do.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t in any pain, which I thought was odd…until I later realized that with the tooth came the root as well.

“Find the tooth!!” I screamed as blood was dripping out of my mouth.

As I was searching the dirt/gravel area around me, I only had one thought:  I’m getting married in 2 weeks.  I can’t get married without a tooth!  I’ll look like a hillbilly!  FIND THE TOOTH!!!

So I cried.  And continued to search for the tooth through my tears.

Amazingly enough, I found it.  Even though the bungee snapped back with such force, the tooth didn’t projectile as far as I thought it would.  Nor, did it break.  The tooth was in perfect form.

“Get me a glass of milk! Quick!” I yelled to Jesse.  He looked at me, puzzled. “Just do it!” I yelled back at him. (man, I was demanding back then, huh??)

A few seconds later he came back with a small glass jar, half-filled with milk. I threw the tooth in the jar and closed it up.

For whatever reason, my mind had decided to retain this little piece of knowledge that if you put a tooth in milk, the tooth won’t discolor. Don’t ask me where I learned that or why I thought it would be a good idea to hang on to that little nugget of knowledge. I had no idea if the tooth was even remotely salvageable at that point, but to me, it was worth a shot.

And then I remembered something…

It was Labor Day.
I was 2 hours from home.
I'm sitting here with a bandana on my head and a missing tooth.
What am I supposed to do?? 

I panicked and did what any 22 year old woman would do. I called my mommy.  She, bless her heart, called my dentist.  At home.  On a holiday.

Dr. K was home and completely willing to go to his office and meet us there.

With a glass jar half filled with milk and my front tooth, we jumped in the car and started the 2 hour drive to the dentist's office...


...to be continued...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

6 Weeks Old!!

May I present to you a very cute 6-week old....


Is he precious or what??  Man, I just want to squeeze those cheeks!

The guys tell me all is well back at home.  They're settling back into a routine and Tomas and Honza are loving every second of fatherhood (how could you not with a kid that cute??). 

Me, well I'm doing great!  I was supposed to have my 6-week post-partum check up today but I had to reschedule it due to a bit of an issue with my tooth.  Let's just say I'm looking forward to a nice $4,000 dental implant next week.  Yes, that's one tooth.  Be jealous.  (I will get you more on that story in a few...here's your teaser:  bungee cord)

Besides that, I really am doing great!  Emotionally I'm MUCH better than I was a few weeks ago.  It was sure tough to say goodbye to the guys, but knowing that I'll see them again makes it easier to deal with.  We were able to Skype with them last week and it's always great to "see" them.  Yeah, I wish I could have them over for beer and pizza, but we'll be able to do that again some day...

Physically, I'm awesome.  I've been walking every day, watching what I eat and overall I feel fantastic!  Hearing the words "you look great" on a semi-regular basis sure feels pretty damn good.

Oh, and as of this morning, I had 2.8 gallons (364 ounces) of breast milk stored up!!  (for those on the metric system, that's 10.7 liters).  That's a lot, eh??  I've been working hard on pumping and it feels so awesome to have that much stored up.  I will be donating it to a preemie milk bank and feel pretty great about that.  My plan is to continue for a few months--sure, it takes up a lot of time and it's slightly annoying to have to wake up in the middle of the night to pump, but if I can help some preemie babies out, that's all worth it to me.

So, the 6 week mark is pretty great overall.  Jáchym is growing like a weed, the guys are loving their daddy roles and I'm doing fantastic.  

LIFE
IS
GOOD

Monday, September 3, 2012

KY, Pork and Fat Ass

Catch your attention, did I?

This weekend was pretty fantastic.  Here's why....

On Thursday night, my friend Cole and her family drove up all the way from Kentucky (KY) to stay for the weekend! If you recall, Cole was the one I met up with in Indianapolis last year (in a Fiat).  Cole and I try to get together at least once a year, if not twice.  We met over 11 years ago and she's pretty awesome.  Though I didn't plan anything too exciting for their stay this past weekend, we still had a super time hanging out.  Good friends are nice to have, ya know?
I'm so very glad you didn't think the KY had anything to do with a certain lubricant.

Here are our children of the corn...
 

From Left to Right:
Kaylee (Cole's child), London, Emerson, Elliot, Joey (Cole's child)

Friday was Elliot's birthday--



That little guy turned 7!!  I offered him his choice of a birthday breakfast and he chose the ever scrumptious Hamburger Helper.  So, the little birthday boy got some cheeseburger macaroni and was as happy as could be!  We had a tiny party planned for him on Sunday, so we didn't celebrate a whole lot on his actual birthday (explaining that to a 7 year old is a little tough...).

Sunday was actually my birthday (I turned 29 again).  It was significantly better than last year.  My day started out with a birthday breakfast made by Elliot:

Peanut butter and banana sandwich.   Oh Yeah.
The day was great--here's why:

PORK FEST
2012

This tiny party I referenced earlier was our first annual PORK FEST and it was a freaking blast.  Okay, so it wasn't a tiny party.  We had a good 80 people there (including a substantial amount of children).  My husband and I have wanted to do a pig roast for some time--we figured this year was the time.

And it was awesome.  A huge success.

Dan, the pig guy, arrived around 8:00 am to start roasting Mr Piggy and he (the pig) was ready to consume at approximately 3:30 pm.  Yes, that's over 6 hours of roasting.  Now, to not offend anyone I shant post a photo of said swine, but do know he was pretty good and perhaps not big enough because by the end of the day, Mr Piggy was gone.  Completely.

What I love about these kind of parties is we bring together people from all over--family from all sides, friends who've never met.  It was pretty fantastic and a damn good day.  Here are some photos...


The PORK FEST EXPRESS with its captain, Elliot.


Love this.  My mom drinking a Smithwicks. 
The woman has had 2 strokes but still knows a good beer when she sees one.


We had a tent.  And tons of people.

Mario, uh, I mean Elliot with his cake.

The house of bounce.

Husband Pyro getting ready to start the bon fire.

For an amateur, my husband put on a darn good fireworks show!
Excuse the blurriness of the left hand side of this photo.  But I thought the fireworks part was kinda neato.

What's a party without your own custom pens?
We have extra-if you want one, e-mail me with your address and it's yours.  Free.

So where does the fat ass fit into all of this? 

Here.


One of the last nights before Tomas and Honza left, we went out for Mexican food and decided (more like I kind of begged) to do a few tequila shots.  The waiter recommended this brand and I must have expressed my liking of it...because the above is what my mother in law got for me for my birthday.  Nice gift, eh?  Yeah, you should totally try it.  It's dang good.

So having friends in town, Elliot's birthday, my birthday and Pork Fest were all pretty awesome.  It was a pretty fantastic weekend.