Sunday, January 30, 2011

Please pray.

type type type. backspace backspace backspace.

I am here to ask for your prayers.

I have not been sure whether or not to put myself out there like this. But I have decided that I will. Because this is something that is weighing heavily on me. Because this is part of who we are. Because this is part of who so many people are.

Kyle and I have decided that we would like to have a baby. One problem ... we cannot just knock boots to make that happen.

The amount of stress ... anxiety ... emotion that infertility causes is dreadful. Unless you have experienced infertility, I'm not sure you ever really can understand what it is like to want a baby so badly ... but not be able to do a damn thing about it.  

Mason and Payton were both conceived through in vetro fertilization. This was after several years of trying the old fashioned way, taking Clomid and then going through four failed intrauterine inseminations. We were sure that each step we took was going to be it ... we were going to get pregnant.

Nada. Nil. Nothing.

To experience the big.fat.negative. month after month for years ... I can't even explain how it wears on a person's soul.

Until we moved on to in vetro fertilization. We were blessed with great insurance at the time, allowing us to financially afford to be able to do it. Not anymore ... no more coverage for fertility treatments. That sucks.

So for now ... we have one chance. One really small chance. 

When we went through treatment for Payton, we had a total of four blastocysts that made it to day five. Two were transferred ... one took. And that is my most perfect baby girl ever.

So we had two left over ... Payton's fraternal triplets, in essence. We froze them. They have been frozen for almost six years now. And the catch is that they were froze under ancient methods ... apparently. That sucks. We are told that our ultimate odds of having a baby from these two frozen blasts is 30%.

30% ... that is not ideal.

We have been doing injections ... or maybe I should clarify that *I* have been receiving injections. Ha. And Tuesday is the big day.

Tuesday we will find out whether or not our blastocysts can survive thawing. Step one. And I have to be honest and say that I am not prepared to have the thawing fail. I need to at least get the chance to have this work.

Step two. Both blasts will be transferred and in a couple weeks ... we will know whether or not it worked.

Gosh, please pray. This has to work. We cannot afford to begin a fresh cycle right now ... and we are so ready for this. We have waited until Addison was well adjusted into our family and until we knew that our bond with her was strong. The time has come.

Please pray.

monster jam.

monster jam.
instead of having a big birthday party ...
mason opted to take a few of his buddies to monster jam.
so we went.
and it was awesome.


14 people. 6 adults. 8 kids.
pre-show pit party passes.
excited boys {and girls}.
and chaos.


the show was in downtown DC.
did i mention it was chaotic?
each adult was assigned a child. or two.
but i am pretty sure all 6 of us felt like we each had 8 kids to watch.
it was good. great teamwork.


lunch arrangements for 14 people was hard.
restaurants were packed.
i want a cheeseburger!
i want a quesadilla!
i want a chocolate shake!
i want a brownie!


before the show ...
all service men and women were called to stand.
fire and police men and women too.
we had a cop with us.
it was very touching.


we stood for the star spangled banner.
our little cub scouts knew exactly what to do.


the show was loud.
i'm not sure what i expected, but it was deafening.
thank goodness for ear plugs.
the illuminator was our favorite monster truck.


actually, the lobster was pretty cool.
he got a flat tire.
he's wild like that.




who had the idea to change grave digger?
not nearly as cool.
that dude sure can fly though.




did i mention it was loud?



sometimes exhaustion overrides loud.
my nephew.
i could smooch those eyelashes all day.


mason and alex.
buds since diapers.




$10 snow cones.
worth every penny.


a great day had by all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

10 inches.

Being a midwest gal at heart, it is ridiculous to see what 10 inches of snow does to the metropolitan DC area. The entire city stands still. Quite literally.


Snow plows prepare themselves days in advance, yet once they get out there ... they don't know what to do. There has to be a rhyme to their reason ... and they are missing the rhyme. A friend that works for the department of transportation told us once that they throw these guys in the plows with no experience ... hence the huge piles of snow that get left in the most random places. Oops ... you missed that foot deep pile of snow right there, but hey ... at least you got to the right and left of it.

*shakes head*

Schools shut down. Traffic becomes a grid lock. Hearing the stories on the news today was crazy ...

It took me 12 hours to go 30 miles.

Everyone was running out of gas because they couldn't go anywhere in all the traffic.

The lady in front of me decided to just stop her car in the middle of the road to clear it from snow.

One guy built a snowman on top of his car as we sat on the interstate at a halt.

People were just abandoning their cars on the side of the highway ... and even in the middle of the road.

I had to be across town early this morning ... there definitely was a lot of entertainment on the road. I couldn't believe all the cars just deserted on the highway ... some really were just sitting in the middle of lanes of traffic, now piled with snow.


Maybe it is just me, but I can't see just leaving my car like that? I guess the traffic and weather condition was so bad that people literally could not move their cars off the side of the road. Like ... where did they go once they deserted their car ... hitch a ride with the guy behind them? So crazy.

Nonetheless ... Kyle stayed home from work today and we relaxed at home for most of the day. A long afternoon nap, enjoying the snow, a little Guitar Hero (I rock!) ... and bedtime movies and cuddles. Poor Mason is running a fever ... not quite sure what is going on, but he isn't feeling that great tonight.








Thankfully, school is already canceled for tomorrow. Maybe my kids will sleep late. Yeah, probably no chance.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A five minute vent.

2nd Update: We picked up this other antibiotic and it was Amoxicillin. I am seriously doubting this doctor's office right now. I thought she needed to be on Augmentin?!

Updated: Nika is currently on Bactrim. They are telling me she needs Augmentin. When I google how to treat a UTI, Augmetin is not even on the list ... yet Bactrim is a first line treatment. What in the heck?! Are they seriously confused? 

I'm seriously frustrated.

On December 30, I had Kyle take Nika into the doctor because I was concerned that she had a urinary tract infection. She had never had a UTI before, but given her foul smelling urine ... I knew something was going on.

The interesting part of this is I always historically have bathed my kids in plain water. Well ... at Payton's birthday party, all of the kids got bubble bath as party favors ... including her sister. So over the past week or two, the girls have enjoyed bubbles in their bath ... as evidenced by some of the pictures here.

*smacks forehead*

I mean ... I had always heard the correlation between bubble bath and urinary tract infections, but it never had affected me personally.


So back to the doctor appointment ... that I should have went to in the first place. I had sent a urine sample with Kyle, since I knew that getting a sample from Nika would be hard to do on the spot. He came home telling me the doctor threw the sample away and diagnosed her with a yeast infection.

Say what? I am no doctor, but it didn't take much to know she didn't have a yeast infection. But I went with it and treated her with anti-fungal cream as told.

And shocker ... her urine did not get better of the course of the next several weeks.

So earlier this week, I took her back to the doctor demanding a urine test ... saying that I was sure she had a UTI in light of the smell of her urine. Nika did not present with any other symptoms, other than that perhaps she was peeing a bit more than usual.

The doctor apologizes to me, says she clearly misunderstood what Kyle had told her ... that he didn't describe symptoms of a UTI. I asked her why she thought I would have sent in a urine sample if I hadn't thought she had a UTI ... and she didn't have an explanation. (Kyle says this is crap ... by the way ... that he clearly told her what I told him to tell her ... he is not accepting her blame.)

Anyway ... we do a urine test. It was positive for nitrates.

Then the doctor really felt stupid, but whatever. We discussed whether or not to start antibiotics to treat the urinary tract infection ... or should we wait for the culture to come back. I said I wanted to start treatment, as I was sure this was the problem given the smell of her urine.

She agreed.

So ten minutes ago, I got a call from our pediatrician. "Hi Mrs. Balsis ... this is so-and-so from the doctor's office ... Addison's urine culture came back showing infection. We are going to call in an antibiotic ... which pharmacy do you use?"

So I say, "We already started the antibiotic."

The nurse says, "Yes ... but that antibiotic does not cover urinary tract infections. She needs to be switched to Augmentin."

In my most pleasant smoke-coming-out-my-ears voice, I asked why the doctor would have started Nika on an antibiotic that did not cover a UTI, when we both clearly knew we were talking about the fact that her urine rapid-tested positive for such ... and Nika was not otherwise symptomatic.

Honestly ... if we cannot rely on our doctor's to properly provide care ... then what? When does my medical degree arrive, because right now I'm feeling like I knew better than she did. This seriously makes my blood boil.

Vent over.

our perfectly imperfect life ... and a giveaway.

Why our perfectly imperfect life?

If you have spent any time in the past floating around our little corner of cyberspace, you will know we started out as Life with Bubba and Chicky ... and then when we adopted Addison, we oh-so-creatively extended that to Life with Bubba, Chicky and Nika.

Let me back up ... prior to having Payton, I had never even heard of a blog. After connecting with other parents of children with Down syndrome, I heard all this chatter about blogging. Me and my clearly-sheltered-self asked, "What in the heck is a blog and how do I get one?"

And it was born ... Life with Bubba and Chicky. But over the years, my creative side has felt something missing. I sat around one day thinking about what really defines our family ... who we are, what our purpose is in this life, how others view us ... our perfectly imperfect life.

perfect: complete and correct in every way, of the best possible type or without fault

imperfect: damaged, containing problems or not having something

We see our family as being perfect, although the dynamics of our family cause others to view us as being imperfect. I'm not going to get into the who or what or why ... I am just going to accept that we are perfectly imperfect ... that is cool with me.

Thus our perfectly imperfect life.

We have infertility. We have Down syndrome. We have international adoption. Most people have not experienced any of these things in their life, but each of these things are a huge part of what defines our family. And even if you can't relate ... hopefully you will learn a little by coming along with us.


A giveaway ...

One way that I keep track of my insane schedule is my BusyBodyBook ... love, love, love it. If you are a close friend of mine, you likely have received one as a gift from me ... because everyone must have a BusyBodyBook.

Right gals?

I gift them to teachers and therapists at the end of each year ... and I have four left over for the 2011 calendar year.


Since we are a month into the year ... and as clutterish fantastic as they have looked sitting on my counter ... I figured I needed to stop procrastinating get rid of them.

So there ya have it ... wave your arms in the comments if you would like one ... four names will be drawn February 1st ... night night! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

He had a bad dream. A nightmare.

Are there certain things from your childhood that you remember so vividly ... that you wonder why you remember them so well ... when there are other things that you cannot remember for the life of you?

When I was around 10 years old or so ... I remember waking up crying after having a bad dream that my parents were getting a divorce. My mom rushed into my room to comfort me and from what I can remember, to ensure me that she and my dad would never get divorced.

Well ... fast forward three years or so ... and they got divorced.

Why do I remember that dream so vividly? It is so bizarre.

*In no way, shape or form am I bringing this up to make my mother feel guilty. I totally get why it happened how it did ... and here is why ...

A couple days ago, I woke up in the morning to find Payton sleeping next to me ... knees in my back. A few minutes later, Mason crawled in my bed too ... although he didn't know I was awake.

He was sniffling. I figured he was just a little congested and thought to myself that I should get up and get him a kleenex. Next thing I knew, he was whispering, "Payton. Payton. Payton!"

I rolled over and told him to stop trying to wake his sister. And he started bawling ...

"But Mommy, I don't ever want to be an adult. I want to be a kid forever."

Completely confused ... and slightly worried as to where this was coming from ... I asked him what in the world he was talking about.

"I don't want to grow up. I don't want to be an adult. I want to be a kid forever." Through tears, he repeated this over and over and over again.

I told him to come to me and I held him. My heart was breaking for him, because I assumed he had just had a bad dream ... and it turns out those sniffles were a result of him crying.

I asked him, "What are you talking about, Mason? Did you have a bad dream?"

He nodded his head and said, "Yes."

I asked him what happened in his dream ... and he said, "You and Daddy died. Someone came into our house and killed you."


"Baby ... Mommy is right here and Daddy is at work. We are fine. Nothing is going to happen to us ... everything is okay."

And all during this conversation, memories of my conversation from my childhood flashed in my mind. Was I lying to Mason? What if something ever does happen to Kyle or I ... and Mason will always remember that I told him that nothing is going to happen to us.

But how ... in that moment ... could I have said, "Well son ... some day Mommy and Daddy will die ... blah blah blah." That would have sent him into further hysterics!

Ei yi yi ... parenting is a hard thing.

I realized later in the day that we had spent the night prior talking about Martin Luther King, Jr., who he was and how he died. Mason told us, "He was shot because people didn't like him."

I can only assume that Mason went to bed that night thinking about how people are shot in this world ... for many reasons. And how horrible I feel that he had that dream ... it really took a toll on him.

Yesterday, he told me, "Mommy, when I grow up, I don't ever want to drive because I don't want to crash Daddy's car. I just want Daddy to always drive me around." Knowing we were headed back to the I-don't-ever-want-to-be-an-adult conversation, I asked him to discuss his dream with me again. Same story. 

"Mason, Mommy and Daddy will teach you how to drive. You will do great!"

He persisted in that he just wanted Daddy to drive him around forever. Sigh.


Love this kid to death ... and I will say it again ... parenting is a hard thing!

Friday, January 21, 2011

We have been ...

enjoying snow days.

the kids' charlie brown christmas trees they each decorated

yup, hay bales still left sitting from nika's birthday bash

taking time to enjoy real breakfasts.




doing science experiments.



cleaning and purging.

left over garage sale stuff being donated to a local adoptive family ... makes my heart happy



contemplating ... and designing.






drummin' (him) and strummin' (me).


sharing love.


eating too much left over candy.


potty training.



wholesaling out inventory ... everything 50% off ... email me with your wish list for details.


wishing it hadn't taken me four days to write just this measly little post that is getting published incomplete. Ha.