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Miracle/Rainbow Babies

This photo of a baby wrapped in a rainbow swaddle surrounded by the syringes used to conceived her went viral and is helping to bring awareness and shares the struggles woman endure to become moms/have families. The O’Neill’s told Christin Zdanowicz of CNN, that after four years of trying, seven attempts, three miscarriages, 1,616 injections, and approximately $40,000, they were overjoyed to welcome their daughter to their family.

Seeing this moving picture, touched me and I wanted to share some of my own thoughts since, infertility has so many faces and names associated with it…it does not discriminate based on ethnicity. In our case, the anguish was one that started almost 20yrs ago, and after a 10 yr battle with endometriosis and adenomyosis accompanied by debilitating pain and years of treatment ultimately resulting in a hysterectomy–defined “infertility” for me. Now the face of our joy is in the form of our miracle baby who after years of praying, one special kind hearted angel, phenomenal physicians, and $90,000.00.  Really, a price can’t be put on the beautiful, thriving, content toddler who KNOWS she is a gift from God and has two parents who WANT/WANTED her more than anything in this world.

I can still vividly remember the tears and emptiness I felt being wheeled into the operating room 9yrs ago.  It was a one of many days that forever changed me and my future family. This was a day that I had fought so hard to avoid for so many years and I felt like a true failure as I conceded in defeat to the disease at 27. I wasn’t strong enough to fight through the pain anymore and left with the anguish of knowing anatomically everything making me female was essentially about to be taken from me. Even having the support of family and the few friends who knew the struggle I hid for so many years, the fear of the unknown, sense of hopelessness and emptiness consumed me.  As the doctor came in that day and asked, “are you ready?” I suddenly felt alone as the negative emotions and self deprecation swirled around in my mind, but then the encouraging and eye-opening words of my husband from weeks early echoed in my ears as I sobbed and drifted away that day, “we can’t have/be a family if you aren’t here.”  I hadn’t even stopped to consider the toll this disease had taken on him or the emotions he experienced as he cared for me each day as I slowly weakened.  I knew logically he was right and surgery was necessary to my survival and being a mother would be the same no matter if it occurred biologically or through other means available, but it took many months, years, and ultimately our beautiful baby girl to be placed in my arms moments after her birth for me to truly believe the words my brain knew to be true all along.

We were blessed to have been able to make our family a reality given the expensive nature of adoption, ivf, and surrogacy. In the case of surrogacy, that expense also comes with the relinquishment of control, tearing down of emotional walls, and our case a beautiful relationship filled with memories that provide a lifetime of happiness.

I share my story because in awareness there is also power and healing. I know, there are so many women who suffer in silence and grimace through the fake smile while enduring such pain both physically and mentally while infertility slowly robs them of the joys life and motherhood bring. This doesn’t have to be the case. Seeing this photo reminded me of the silent suffering I endured for so long and the questions I am still asked today.  I share my story openly when asked so I might help another to feel as if she has one more person to empower and stand beside her on her journey.

We are all stronger together and two are always better than one!

XOXO,

Tiffany

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Laughter Fills The Day

Today was an incredibly busy and productive day as I had product to make for my dear friends at Sisters, entertain an incredibly busy toddler, as well as train our big fat Buffy to lay her eggs in the appropriate space!

With all of these things to do, I had to start the day out with some caffeine! Lately, my go to has been cold brew and almond milk with a splash of maple syrup and scoop of vital proteins. Gives me the boost I need with some protein for these busy days 😬.

Once I had Miss K her protein smoothie and other goodies served, I made my way down to the coop to check on the girls and gather the eggs…I had decided to leave everyone cooped to try and get Buffy to lay in the nesting boxes rather than the flowerbed. Well about 9am I started to feel bad that everyone was having to stay inside the coop so I allowed all of the girls except her to go out to free range, well I didn’t imagine the chaos that would ensue…Mister Rooster was all bent out of shape as he ran from the garden area back down to the coop a million and one times because the Buffy was all kinds of ticked off. Well I finally decided about noon to go let her out after checking in on them several times without any egg layed. Let me just say when I opened that coop she darted up the hill to the front yard and into the flowerbed so fast, I was afraid an egg was gonna pop out at anytime. I have never laughed so hard before or seen a chicken move so fast! Needless to say she went right back to her previous spot and layed me a beautiful tan egg.

it wasn’t long after this, it was time for lunch followed by nap. In this house, nap time is the best time and today it was certainly necessary for all of us! I decided to open Miss Ks door after about an hour and a half and as I walked away I heard, “No, nap-time is not over mommy, shut my door, I’m trying to sleep!” I promptly shut that door to which I was greeted only a minute later with, “can we go swimming now?” Of course we did and as we headed out, Zeiss needed to potty, so he found a nice tree and Miss K said, “I think he’s holding on to the tree while he potty’s because he has to go outside instead of on the potty.” Of course this had to be one of the most innocent, creative and hilarious things I may have heard, but I just replied, “yes I think you’re right sweetheart” and we continued to the pool. Our pool time didn’t disappoint either as we found a locust, a snake 🐍 swimming in the pool…yes a snake came to visit and Miss K tried to coax Mr. Steve in by having Mister Crab pinch him.

We swam a bit later than I had planned so when got back, I spiralized and sautéed some zucchini and yellow squash from the garden as the spaghetti sauce was simmering.

What are some quick meals you put together when you are short on time?

Hope your day was good!

XOXO,

Tiffany

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An August Egg Hunt and Other Summer Fun

Good Afternoon!  I hope you all are staying cool or enjoying some cool weather where you’re at because it is quite warm and thick outside today in Texas.

Miss K typically has dance class on Wednesdays but todays class was rescheduled, so we enjoyed a nice day on the homestead.  Well, we really spent two hours in snake books searching for our Buffy who started disappearing periodically on Sunday for a few hours each day…I knew she was close/should be laying anytime, so I needed to find where she was hiding out.  Well, of course, I traipsed through the brush/weeds etc in my boxers, camisole and snake boots only to find her 2 hrs later in the front yard. Now, I had searched the front yard and flower beds a million times, but I guess it was that last time as several cars drove past I would find the “nest” in my Sunday best!  Now I’m hoping maybe leaving the girls cooped for the next several days will help her to lay them in the nesting boxes rather than the flower beds as I don’t need any snakes coming up for a little afternoon/evening snack.  Do any of you have any ideas on how to get her to lay in the nesting boxes?

Anyway, yesterday, we tried to take our friend Miss Lauren paddle boarding, but mother nature was not having any of it, as the winds gusted over the lake and small whitecaps formed.  We were a bit bummed, but being strong willed individuals we weren’t about to let the day waste away, so we settled for having a fun morning at Yanaguana Garden where we played chess, checkers, foosball, connect four, and enjoyed the splash pad and playground.  It is located downtown at the corner of Cesar Chavez and South Alamo and has a coffee and juice bar, popsicle shop and newly opened pizzeria.

From the Garden, we decided to go have a bit of lunch at Rosarios off South Alamo, and let me just say as a first time Momma, sometimes just sometimes, you may want to watch what you say as you drive looking for an open parking space just as the Hanger starts in.  A combination of small parking lots along with folks continuously going the wrong way led this hangry momma to utter the phrase “seriously you idiot”  Now i wasn’t thinking my keen as a cat toddler was listening so intently in the seat directly behind me as she uttered “mommy, did you just call them an idiot?”  Now Lauren and I busted out laughing, and of course I had to fess up to the current situation and say yes as the questions continued to roll out regarding the comment.  Sometimes these funny episodes are good reminders to always be aware of the words flowing from our mouths, or at least this mommas.  We finally found a spot and had a delicious lunch and walked across the street to Steel City Pops (all natural popsicles with a large dairy/soy free selection) to enjoy some healthy treats before heading back to the compound for a much needed nap!

Where/what is your favorite summer hangout/park/activity?

XOXO,

Tiffany

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Threenager in the house!

HELLO friends!!! I haven’t posted in so long and I have missed doing my daily/weekly blogs so much. We have been enjoying the fantastic Texas HEAT and a whole lotta SASS along with our library time, visits to the zoo, doseum and beach as well as some fun playtime with friends this summer.

My sweet little two year old princess turned three and let me just tell you, as I was warned on numerous occasions, it is a whole different ball game being played at this stage. When things are good, it’s good, even shall I utter the word FUN, but when things are bad, they aren’t just bad, they are horrible, horrendous, and some days, you just barely survive! So let me just share a few of our “fun adventures” in the last few weeks. First, on the list is a play date with one of our friends where things were going
great and everyone was having fun until the game of “hide and seek” began. Now, I don’t know who out there has ever wanted to be the counter, but my little girl and her friend wanted to both count and let me just say things escalated quickly from her telling him: “I am counting”—screaming, “I am counting” as he had his hands covering his eyes and counting out loud only
to be followed by her sprinting over with meanest look on her face while grabbing him by the shoulders and belligerently yelling, “I AM COUNTING!” Now as a mom, I was mortified and apologizing profusely as I promptly left our play date. Luckily our friends are awesome and didn’t even think one more second about the incident…thank the LORD!! Second, my little threenager was utterly in a tantrum not wanting to go return the coon trap recently, but we really didn’t have any other options, so she had to go. She cried the whole way there (25 minutes) so I quickly removed the trap and put it up and told our friend thank you and left with my raging friend continuing her deafening screams. Of course since my brain was in shock, I had a bright idea to try and calm her with a trip to the local Whataburger for some French Fries because when you have food allergies, that’s all one can have at a FF chain. Well friends, as I ordered she continued to scream (going on 50min) and we pulled to the outside lane as instructed where she raged through the carhop bringing us some water and collecting payment. At this point I had been editing the hair raising, ear-splitting tantrum for over an hour, so I exited my vehicle, unbuckled her and calmly placed her next to the vehicle where I crouched down and told her she needed to calm down if she wanted to get back in the car. Well let’s just say every car had gone around us and was gone from the drive-thru before there was silence and we were able to get back in the vehicle. Most recently, I had just finished cleaning the house: top to bottom, windows, baseboards, shutters, etc when I was greeted with “mommy I shined the door”…with almond milk no less…all I could say was, “thank you honey, maybe next time we could use water rather than almond milk?” If this doesn’t give you a little clue as to why after my friend goes to bed at night I haven’t been blogging, then I don’t know what will 🤪🤩.

The girls had another attack and the rooster was a bit scalped this time. All I have to say is that rooster is a tough little guy to have made it through the dog attack! Hopefully, we will be getting some eggs very soon. They better be some beautiful, golden, tasty eggs at that.

I’ve also begun cold brewing coffee and experimenting with making ice cream with it and oh boy oh boy is it good! Thanks for following and hopefully you had a few laughs and relatable moments as well as some feelings of “OH THANK HEAVENS IM NOT ALONE” in this awesome adventure we call LIFE!

XOXO

Tiffany

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Raccoons, Frogs and Planters Oh My!

Good Morning!!! It is beautiful here today ☀. We had quite an eventful weekend trying to catch the little rascal(s) who beheaded our beautiful girls last week. We finally succeeded in trapping what we think might be the culprit in Saturday night only to have pull a Houdini sometime between 10pm-7am…boy can you just picture the look of sheer disappointment on my face as I walked down to see an empty cage! Well we set the trap again Sunday night and this time the same beady eyed raccoon was staring back at me Monday Morning…and that little tiny handed escape artist did it again as the hubby was trying to take care of him out in the brush…he just squeezed through the tiniest of openings…I just know on his way through he turned and looked chuckling to himself and saying, “hahahahaha. You can’t catch me…me-2, humans-0”. So finally, this morning, we have eradicated the little guy and hopefully given our girls a little more open-range enjoyment!

We also finished up the planters around the garden to try and keep the insects and rodents from snacking on my veggies! My husband did such an amazing job, better than I could have imagined or purchased! I showed him these from Hayneedle and look at the ones he built!! Miss K and I went to Fanick’s Nursery on Saturday in San Antonio to get the plants and herbs…it is beautiful there and the friendly/helpful staff makes it so much better…if you are in the San Antonio area, I highly recommend you go see them.

We headed to Church on Sunday morning for a wonderful message and then back home for lunch an naptime…I also enjoyed a little two hour nap with Miss K 😬. After nap it was time to head outside for some fun in the splash pool, where a bullfrog was waiting for the little bug/insect/amphibian loving little girl! She played and talked to that little guy for at least 30 minutes! Who knew entertainment was lurking in our back yard all this time 🤣🤷🏼‍♀️.

I hope you all enjoyed the weekend and have a beautiful week ahead!  Take some time to enjoy a few popsicles with the littles this week!

XOXO,
Tiffany