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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A letter to Davis

Dear Baby Davis,

As you’re expected to make your debut any day now, I felt as though it was my responsibility as your aunt to give you a few tips to help make your life outside mommy’s stomach a little easier. So here goes nothing!

For starters, I just wanted to tell you to hurry up. It is 3 days past your due date, and you should know that your mommy can be pretty unpleasant when she is made to wait. Trust me—I know this from experience. When your mommy and I used to wake up early to go to the gym in college, I endured more than my fair share of wrath and evil looks from her any it took me longer than 5 minutes to get ready, so the fact that you’ve made it this far without getting yelled at is actually pretty impressive!

In case you do decide to push your mommy’s buttons by waiting a little longer, however, I have one piece of advice: Never underestimate the power of a well-timed frapuccino. I’m sure your daddy will remind you of that regularly.

Something else you should know is that your parents aren’t like normal parents… they are more like grandparents. Don’t be surprised when you spend the night with a friend and realize that their family eats dinner after 4:30 pm, or that they don’t get up at 7 am on Saturday to go to the grocery store. The good news is that you will always be well-rested and you’ll always have plenty of fiber in your diet.

I also want to encourage you to start saving any money that you’re given right away. Your mommy and daddy really are very generous, but they are also frugal. So while you may think it’s completely rational to order that $2 soft drink with dinner, it might behoove you to offer to pay for it yourself so that mommy doesn’t flip out. Don’t worry—if they’re anything like Franny and Pop Pop, they won’t actually let you pay, but they’ll appreciate that you know the value of a dollar.

And speaking of being frugal, it’s a good thing you have been able to endure a warm environment for the past 9+ months, because mommy and daddy do not like to turn the A/C down. Oh, and make sure not to leave the water running while you’re brushing your teeth! Your daddy will take this one especially personally because he is kind of a dork when it comes to water… actually, he’s just kind of a dork in general :)

Another thing I should warn you about is that although you may think you are, you aren’t actually mommy and daddy’s first child. There are actually two that came ahead of you, and they are furry, loud, and a tiny bit on the spoiled side. Rocky (he’s the small white one) has what I can safely refer to as ADHD, while Tucker (he’s the big tan one) is the poster dog for anxiety. My advice? Don’t bark when mommy’s in the house, do your best not to wake mommy and daddy up too early in the morning, and don’t chew on the walls… in fact, don’t chew on anything. If you follow this advice, you will easily secure your spot as the favorite.

You should know that your mommy and daddy already love you very much, as do their friends and families. You will never be lacking in attention, prayers, laughter, or new clothes. Most importantly, you will be raised knowing who God is and all that He has done for you. In fact, your uncle is a pastor, so in case there are any difficult questions about your faith that mommy and daddy don’t know how to answer, feel free to give him a call. In fact, just to keep him on his toes, once you learn how to talk, you should probably go ahead and ask him to explain the trinity to you. He’ll love that.

I think I’ve covered all of the highlights, but if I haven’t, no need to fret, because whether you like it or not, you will be seeing a lot of me! And until God decides to give me and your uncle Brian a baby of our own, we’re going to insist that your mommy and daddy share you with us, so you’ll just have to get used to having 4 parents. Fortunately, 2 of us look and act alike so it will probably seem more like just 3 :)

I love you already, Baby Davis, and can’t wait to hug you, play with you, and then give you back to your mommy when you need your diaper changed. Lots of love and prayers for a safe and swift delivery!

Love Always,
Aunt Amanda

PS- Oh, and one more thing—go ahead and find yourself some imaginary friends. You’ll fit in more quickly that way, and trust me, it makes life much more entertaining!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some Easter thoughts

Here I sit, 7 pm on Easter Sunday, and I am in a certifiable chocolate-induced coma. I'm not sure if it was the Reese's eggs or the bite-sized Twix bars that put me over the edge, but I am totally there. I keep telling myself that I need to stop, but something about the pastel wrapping makes any attempts at exercising self-control completely pointless.

Anyway, we had a lovely Easter weekend. We kicked it off by spending Friday and Saturday in La Grange with Brian's family, and come to think of it, that is where I think I really gave my self-control the boot.

As evidence, this is a picture of Shannon and me eating cheeseburgers on Friday night. We have taken this same picture every year since 2005, also known as the Easter That I Broke My Foot Playing Guesstures. Here's the original for your viewing pleasure:

Oh, and yes, apparently my other tradition is wearing "vintage" (white trash?) t-shirts while partaking in the annual burger feast- Exhibit A: The new (but vintage-looking) DQ* shirt that Kristen gave me this summer featured in this year's pic. Exhibit B: The neon pink Continental Airlines shirt that I bought at a thrift store to wear on "White Trash Friday" senior year of high school featured in the 2005 photo. I'm a real trendsetter, I know.

*Speaking of Dairy Queen, I honestly can't remember the last time we went there. I am storing up BOGO coupons (as is Brian since I convinced him to join the BOTM club as well) like they're going out of style, but due to my current reliance on the medicine of death, I'm not really able to down blizzards with quite the same level of enjoyment as I used to. Sigh.

The misery produced by this same medicine is also the reason why I was contemplating drowning myself in Brian's grandparents' fish pond yesterday afternoon after consuming a healthy "lunch" of crackers, cheese, grapes, cheese, cookies, cheese, and cake. And cheese. Oh, and let's not forget that the Easter Bunny showed up with some of the aforementioned candy (along with Pei Wei gift cards and bubbles- best Easter Bunny ever!) mid-afternoon. And I couldn't disappoint him by not appreciating his gifts to the fullest, now could I?

Here's Shannon blowing the bubbles, by the way. They are actually colored! Sort of a mess, but way cooler than clear bubbles for sure!

Anyway, we made it back in town last night and were up bright and early to set up for our church's first ever Easter service! In fact, we woke up so bright and early (6:30 am) that Brian had time to hide some plastic eggs around the house for me to find before we got ready for church. It was actually upon my "suggestion" that he did this, but regardless, he was sweet to comply.

And here is me, all ready for church. I took this picture for my parents (mostly my mom) because she used to make sure we looked cute and seasonally appropriate for Easter services growing up, so I wanted to show her that I was capable of carrying on the tradition. Allison also thought I looked like I was posing for my 1st day of school picture, but I'm ok with that. Oh, and don't worry, Brian didn't hide all those eggs- those were the ones we took to church for the kiddos.

And here is the altar all set up for Easter in case you wanted a visual. Brian and I were responsible for decorating for the service, so if you are displeased with the set-up, keep it to yourself... and stop being such a jerk.

Rumor has it that the cloth draped around the cross above is actually the original cloth that Jesus was buried in... I may or may not have started that rumor.

Regardless, the service was a success, but I was a little bummed afterwards because it was our first time to ever spend Easter Sunday without either of our families, which meant we were on our own for Easter lunch/brunch for the first time. We decided to eat at Black Walnut Cafe, which actually serves a great breakfast menu, but I was totally lame and ordered a salad. It was tasty, but not nearly as tasty as Belgian waffles or French toast would have been, or as tasty as Brian's breakfast quesadilla apparently was (PS- Wouldn't it be nice to have his metabolism?).

Fortunately, we continued our Sunday night tradition of pancakes for dinner, and even though I opted for toast instead of pancakes tonight (don't worry, food police, this is the first time I have foregone pancakes since the Great Pancake Persecution of 2010), I still got my breakfast fix. So it's safe to say all's well that ends well.

And on that note, we are off to finish off our Easter celebration by watching Desperate Housewives. Because hey, Jesus died for their sins too, ya know :)

Happy Easter to all!

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. - 2 Corinthians 5:21

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A whole new level of frustration

It's funny, because every setback that we encounter in our fertility issues makes me say to myself, "Ok, well the good news is that this is a new low. It cannot POSSIBLY get any worse Linkthan this." And every time, I'm wrong. (Ok, except Vomit Fest 2011- that really was the worst!)

The last time I filled you all in, I was about to start a round of Prometrium (progesterone) to get my cycle started so we could try another round of the Femara. So for 10 days, I diligently took my medicine. And then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. And here we are 13 days later and still, nothing has happened.

Typically something is supposed to happen within 3 days of stopping the medicine. So last Friday (8 days later at that point), I called up the doctor's office to see what they recommended. As I feared, Robot Nurse answered and offered up one of her favorite explanations, "Hmm... sometimes it just takes a while. Call back on Tuesday if nothing has happened." Gee. Thanks.

I honestly wasn't all that irritated because I had read online that it could take up to 2 weeks. But being that this had never been the case for me in the past, by the time Monday rolled around, I was feeling pretty frustrated with the fact that I was no further along than when I last went to the doctor and was going on day 50-something of my cycle.

However, I am nothing if not obedient, so I waited until Tuesday morning. The first thing I did when I woke up was take a pregnancy test because I knew that would be the doctor's first question. Negative. As they call it in the world of the fertility-challenged, a BIG FAT negative.

There is nothing subtle or gentle about that one pink line. And I think because I have never handled rejection well, I take it extra personally and interpret it not just as "no," but rather, "No, you idiot. Were you really foolish enough to think it would be positive?"

Fortunately, I wake up at 5:10 am, and at that hour of the morning, no one is awake to listen to me except God, and so rather than crying embarrassingly in my cubicle, I am able to - without interruption - have the same conversation with Him that I have been having for 1.5 years now. And thankfully, He hasn't pointed the remote control at me and pressed "mute"... yet :)

Anyway, as soon as the doctor's office opened yesterday, I called and asked if I could come in, and thankfully they were able to get me in today. But before I share about the appointment, I just want to make sure and explain why this is a whole new level of frustration for me.

Nothing about this process has been straightforward or simple. My body has, for the most part, not behaved how it is "supposed" to, nor has it responded "correctly" to the variety of ovulation-inducing medications I've been on. However, the progesterone is supposed to be fairly foolproof, and in the handful of times I have taken it in the past, it has worked. Sure, it made my skin break out and added 3 or 4 pounds of water weight on the scale (added bonus), but it did what it was supposed to.

So even though I wasn't thrilled to be starting over again after my last appointment, I was at least relieved to know that there wasn't any guess work or critical thinking involved with how the progesterone would work. So for that- the simplest and most consistently successful part of the process for me so far- to not work felt like a huge setback. I found myself asking God, as I have far more times than I care to admit, "WHEN is something going to go my way? WHEN will I stop being disappointed?"

Unfortunately, I still don't know the answer. I do know that I just have to do my best to focus more on the blessings in my life and not so much on the disappointments, but some days that is harder than others.

Ok so back to the story- I went to the doctor today. He did an ultrasound to check my uterine lining, because his biggest concern was that it might be too thin (due, he said, possibly to a lack of estrogen... at which I laughed and informed him that my husband will confirm that my estrogen is most definitely present and accounted for). Fortunately, that was not the case and my lining looked just fine. UNfortunately, that still gives no explanation as to why the medicine didn't work.

Regardless, he wrote me a prescription for Provera, which is basically just a different form of progesterone, in hopes that it will work better than the Prometrium did. So here we are, praying for a period. And my 9th grade self is reading this in disbelief and wondering how I could EVER be at such a desperate point in my life that I actually wanted a period.

I am thankful that this has been a reminder not to take any of our successes for granted, and to surrender every step of this process to God- not just the seemingly daunting ones.

So that's the latest. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby Davis, but I am also aware that his arrival has major potential to shove me across the line between "a little sensitive" and "completely emotionally unstable," so please pray for that! Oh, and please pray that he comes sooner rather than later because I'm fairly certain that Allison will have to be committed to a mental institution if she has to twiddle her thumbs for much longer :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More unrelated thoughts

1. I haven't cried in 3 weeks. THREE WHOLE WEEKS. In the world of infertility, that is basically an eternity. I came close when reading my sister's blog post this morning, but managed to keep my cool. A warning to my husband: Don't be surprised if something seemingly insignificant causes me to majorly overreact and cry irrationally in the very near future :)

2. I was recently setting up an online account, and as is customary, the website asked me to answer a few security questions (ie: What's your mother's maiden name?, etc.). The first question was, "What is your favorite color?" So I typed in "red." At which point I received an error message and was informed that my answer must be at least 4 letters. Um. What kind of favorite-color-forcing communists are you people? And how am I supposed to get the security question correct when red is, in fact, my actual favorite color? Am I just supposed to lie?

3. Brian recently bought me Tina Fey's new book, Bossypants, for no particular reason other than that I am a big fan of hers. First of all, my husband is the best. Second of all, this book is hysterical.

4. We finally finished watching Lost! I was sad to see it go, but not nearly as upset as Brian, who was behaving very much like a close friend or relative had died. He just kept talking about much he was going to miss the characters, and woke up this morning telling me he had dreamed about the show. And keep in mind that this was his second time to watch the series. Anyone else think it's time that Brian finds a new hobby? :)

5. My newest nephew, baby Davis, is due in only 10 days! Does it surprise any of you that I have created a list of things to do/pack when we get the call letting us know that he's on his way? I have debated getting a bag ready (you know, like the ACTUAL mom is supposed to do), but thought that might be taking it a step too far. Don't worry- I still have 10 days to convince myself otherwise and pack anyway.

And that is all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy house-iversary to us!

Yes, my friends, that's right- as of today, we have officially lived in our new house for an entire year! We closed on March 31, 2010, but didn't actually move in until April 10. A week later, I gave you a tour in this post, which ended up being my most viewed post of 2010. Fun times!

So in light of our house-iversary, I give you the top 10 differences between living in our old house/neighborhood and our new house/neighborhood:

10. We own it! Every time something went wrong with the old house, we struggled with the idea of spending money to fix or improve it knowing that it was only temporary and we wouldn't get any return on it. And even though owning a house can be expensive, it is much easier for us to fork over the money when we know it will (ideally) pay off in the long run.

9. It's quiet! Sure, we live near train tracks (which we also did in our old house), but we aren't in close proximity to (a) a busy street or (b) a hospital, or (c) the county jail. In fact, as I type this, I can actually hear the ticking of the clock (shockingly, Brian does not have any sports or youtube on in the background...).

8. There are sidewalks. You would think this would be a given in any neighborhood, but you'd be wrong.

7. It feels and smells clean, even when it's not! Here is where you all make jokes about how you highly doubt a Nelson twin would ever have a less-than-clean house. And for the most part, you'd be right- it's really not ever "messy." BUT we don't clean every week, so there are times when there is dog hair on the floor or crumbs on the counter. But it never looks dingy, the floor never feel mysteriously damp and mildewy, and the closets never reek of cat urine. Always a plus.

6. There are people outside on a regular basis! There has never been a time that I've gone on a walk or run without seeing other people out- and this includes at 5:15 in the morning. And as an added bonus, they never look like they just escaped from the local prison (yes, we live near a jail and a prison- aren't we lucky?) or like they are strung out on drugs.

5. The neighborhood is not overrun with stray dogs. Granted, there is a golden retriever on our block that likes to frolic from house to house, and a severely overweight pug that has tried to come into our garage on more than one occasion, but other than that, we don't run into any random wildlife around here. And if you'll recall, we once came across a rabid possum (complete with a swarm of flies) on our former street, so this is a a huge improvement.

4. There are lots of kiddos in the neighborhood. I know we will appreciate this even more once we have kids of our own (and at the rate we're moving, the toddler that lives across the street will be old enough to babysit by the time we have a baby:). For comparison purposes: we averaged around 5 trick-or-treaters at our old house, and easily between 75-100 at our new one.

3. We can (and do!) actually use our garage. Technically, we were able to use it at our old house. But it wasn't connected to the house, it was infested with ants, the light didn't work, and the actual garage door only worked intermittently (and at one point fell off of the tracks). So other than keeping our grill and some tools in there, it shockingly didn't get much use otherwise! Now my Jetta rests peacefully in the garage whenever I'm at home, and she is much happier because of it.

2. It is much better for entertaining. One of the things we liked most when looking at the house was how open the main area is. In the old house, the kitchen and the living room were completely separate... which is fine, but not all that convenient if you share in the opinion that socializing without easy access to food is not really socializing at all. Now we can get up to get ice cream without even having to pause in the middle of Lost and not miss a beat... which is imperative, wouldn't you agree?

1. I have said this before, but I think you all agree it's worth saying again - NO COCKROACHES. Not a single one. In fact, other than the occasional tiny spider, we have not run into any other life forms inside the house besides dogs and humans. Oh, and Rocky :)

So there you have it. If you haven't come to visit yet, then here is your reminder/invitation. We don't charge admission, but baked goods are always accepted and appreciated :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This and that

1. I hate to keep rubbing it in and making you all jealous, but I really do have the greatest twin sister in the world. When we picked up the mail today, there was a package inside from Gringo's headquarters. Being that we don't receive a lot of mail from restaurant headquarters, we were understandably curious.

When we opened it up, this was inside:

In case you can't read it, it says, "Sorry you didn't win the giveaway/thanks in advance for helping with the dog/happy early birthday Brian! Much love, Allison, Wade, Rocky, Tucker, & Davis!"

Such a thoughtful gift, and an unexpected one- the best kind! We are planning to stay at their house and take care of the pups when Baby Davis arrives, and Brian's birthday is May 3rd, just in case you were wondering. Oh, and for those of you who, like us, did not win Allison's giveaway, I'm sure your $25 consolation gift card is on its way to you in the mail :)

2. I recently came across a children's book that was apparently written about me:

Brian often mocks my affinity for pouting, and while he pretends that he thinks I'm ridiculous, I know deep down that he sees it as one of my more endearing qualities :)

I admittedly didn't read the book, but I think it is safe to assume that it wasn't a very complex plot. All I know is that I can totally relate to this fish these days:

Anyway, I skipped to the end (shame on me), and saw that on the back cover, it said, "Sometimes a kiss is all it takes to turn things around." I appreciate this because I can't tell you the number of times I have told Brian that when I'm feeling down (or even in a fit of rage), sometimes all I really need is a hug. Or a kiss. Or both. I'm sure some of you can relate!

3. We made one of my favorite recipes for dinner this week, and although I am not normally one to post recipes, I would feel selfish if I didn't share this one with you all.

It's from the cookbook by Holly Clegg called Trim & Terrific- Allison actually introduced me to this cookbook and it is one of my favorites because the food is (for the most part) healthy, but not fancy or complicated.
At the risk of admitting my palate is similar to that of a 5-year-old, I should also point out that most of the recipes are very kid-friendly :) Anyway, make these and you won't regret it:

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas
(Makes 8 enchiladas)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup water
1 cup fat-free sour cream, divided
8 (6- to 8-inch) flour tortillas
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sliced green onions

- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a non-stick skillet, heat the spinach, black beans, taco seasoning mix, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened. Remove from the heat, and stir in 1/2 cup sour cream.
- On each tortilla, spread 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce, about 1/3 cup spinach mixture, and 1 heaping tablespoon cheese. Roll up each tortilla placing the seam-side down in an oblong baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the filled enchiladas, cover, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Uncover and garnish with the remaining cheese. Continue baking for 5 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted. Serve with the remaining sour cream (we don't), and sprinkle with green onion.

That's all for now- thanks for
tolerating the randomness of this post!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Further proof that we need children of our own

Oh, and further proof that we have the cutest nieces/nephews in the world, wouldn't you agree? :)