Sunday, December 25, 2005

Uncle Jake and Big E

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Hey Jeff!

I figured that you would get a kick out of seeing yourself on my blog, LOL. For the other people that read my blog, the kid is either Joshua or Aaron. His counterpart is in the lower left corner. I can never tell which is which. Posted by Picasa

Cousin Jake got the biggest jawbreaker ever!

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Hayden got the train he asked Santa for

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The Boys' New Ride

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

A phone call from Santa, new jammies, and sugar cookies

Santa called Hayden around 6pm tonight. He was excited to hear from the big man himself. I am going to arrange this every year from now on. How cool!

Joanna's mission was successful (if you are wondering what I am talking about, check out my post from earlier today). She delivered the pajamas without anyone seeing her. Hayden thinks that elves brought them to him (that's what we told him, lol). The note told him to put on his jammies and hop in bed early because Santa is on his way. He was thrilled. Clayton was just as surprised.

We made sugar cookies tonight because Clayton insists that Santa *MUST* have them, lol. They turned out really pretty. Hayden enjoyed helping decorate the special ones for Santa. They are now on a special plate on the mantle waiting to be eaten by the big man (no-I am not referring to my hubby, hee hee).

Fun Stuff

Here's a layout that I finished today. It was made with the awesome new January kit from The Scrapbook Stand. The papers are from We R Memory Keepers. They are subdued and look really cool in real life. Seeing them online does absolutely no justice. The alphabet letters are the coolest. They are made from thick chipboard and are double-sided. The photo was taken at the mineral hot springs in Thermopolis, Wyoming. We were visiting Clayton's family at the time. The funny thing is that Hayden wasn't potty-trained until the next month, so he had on a swim diaper and needed to poop. He was confused and whined to Daddy about needing to go. We had to take him out to the car and change him into a real diaper before he did anything. He was so pitiful. I felt bad for him holding it like that. It was great that he didn't try to do it in the pool (yuck!). Anyway, the photo is of Clayton comforting him on our way out of there. Betcha wouldn't have figured any of this out if I hadn't of told ya, LOL.

Oh, and just so you know, Shirley at The Scrapbook Stand R-O-C-K-S!!! Along with our design team kit, she sent us all the 2006 Autumn Leaves calendar and some Li'l Davis vintage wood shapes. Earlier in the week, she sent us all homemade caramels and candies from a gal on Willow Traders. I am so lucky to have the privilege of knowing her and being on the team!

Little does Hayden know, but Santa is going to be calling him tonight around 6pm. I cannot wait to see his face when he answers! That will be fun. We should be making some sugar cookies at that time for Santa's arrival. Then around 7pm, my neighbor Joanna will be placing a baggy from Santa's elves on the front porch. I told her to ring the bell and run. Clayton doesn't even know that I have this planned, so he will be surprised too. The bag has new Christmas pajamas for all of us in it and a note from the elves that says that the kiddos need to go to bed soon because Santa is on his way. I am so giddy! Could this day go any slowwwwer???

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fun at Chick-Fil-A

The kiddos and I went to Target for unmentionable shopping and then we headed to eat lunch with my friend Krista and her two boys, Carson and Trevor. The kids ate well and played great together. They were pooped afterwards. Big E is sound asleep in his crib and Hayden is quietly watching Thomas. Ahhhhh, I am enjoying this peaceful moment.

I have a great photo of the kids and Santa, but I won't be able to post it until tonight. Hayden LOVED Santa! He ran up and hugged him instantly. It was so sweet.

Shirley at The Scrapbook Stand sent me some homemade caramels, turtles, chocolate/caramel pretzel rods, malted balls, and chocolate-covered caramels. It was all so yummy! Thank you so much!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Wow, surrogacies require a LOT of medicine

Wow, just wow. I am amazed at all the drugs I received today. It is unreal! We had to go to Atlanta bright and early for an injection class. Unfortunately, my Mom wasn't available, so we had to take the kiddos. The kids did fine in the car though, thank the Lord. While we were at the clinic, our intended mother's nanny watched them. She is SO good with them. I am sure that they had a great time. We were late getting to the clinic due to going the wrong direction on 285, but they didn't even seem to notice. The injection tutorial went pretty smoothly. I got to do a pretend Lupron injection to a styrofoam cube (those are the little shots). The instructor offered to let Clayton do a pretend progesterone shot (the big shots-pictured below) on me with saline. I let him do it because I figured it would be best to do a trial one with her watching him. At least he will know what to do when we really start doing them. The needle is HUGE (22 gauge/1.5 in. long) and has to go all the way in, but I didn't feel it; however, I did feel the actual injection. That part hurt. It's not that bad though. The needle has to go into a particular quadrant of my rear and that is why Clayton will be doing them for me. I can't reach it that well. Wish us luck!

Monday, December 19, 2005

We are a pathetic bunch...

Our whole household has been sick since last week. That is why I haven't been updating the ole blog very much. It all started with Emerson and then progressed to all of us. Poor Hayden got an ear infection also. We took them to the doctor on Friday and they got their flu shots too. Hayden went first and didn't complain at all. We were shocked! He got a sucker afterwards and was proud of himself. Emerson was a different story. He screamed bloody murder. It was pitiful. It's funny, but Hayden now asks to go get another shot from the doctor. What a weird child, huh?

I have been meaning to tell you all, but I keep forgetting, Emerson has said his first word(s). Before he turned one, he was saying "what's that?". Isn't that hilarious?! He points out an object and say that. It kinda sounds like one word, but hey, it's 2 syllables. I am impressed, lol.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

To all you gals doubting the Grocery Game, a photo for you:

Today I had the best grocery trip ever! I got all of the above for $66. My savings was $81. It was amazing to get 5 boxes of Toaster Strudels and 4 cans of chicken broth for *FREE*!!! The strudels were on sale for $1.34 and I had 5 coupons for $.75 off. My store doubles coupons so the coupon value exceeded the price, thus making it free. The broth was 2 cans for $1 and I had 2 coupons for $.50 off of 2 cans, thus making all 4 of them free. Here's what all I got:

-15 boxes of yummy frozen Green Giant veggies
-4 boxes of frozen Tyson chicken
-2 6-packs of bottled Coke
-1 8-pack of Coke Zero
-1 2-litre of Coke Zero
-2 packs of frozen biscuits
-2 packs of flavored bottled water
-2 boxes of Mini Swirlz cereal
-4 brownie mixes by Duncan Heinz
-2 cake mixes by Duncan Heinz
-1 Bic pack of 10 razors
-1 pack of 5 daisy razors by Gillette
-1 bag of grapes
-2 boxes of Aunt Jemima pancake mix
-1 box of Kraft Mac and Cheese
-1 bag of Sanitas corn chips
-1 bag of Harris Teeter pretzels (the only generic thing I bought)
-1 bag of french vanilla coffee from New England Coffee
-2 wrapped sweet potatoes for the microwave
-4 cans of Sweet Sue chicken broth
-1 jar of Newman's own pineapple salsa
-6 cans of Green Giant green beans
-2 cans of Planter's cashews
-1 box Mrs. Smith's frozen honey buns
-1 pound ground beef

So, to all those doubters, you should be envious right now! This whole list would have originally cost me almost $150. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Way We Were...

Today is our 6th wedding anniversary. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown nor how much our lives have changed since we met in college. Clayton and I met while working at Abercrombie in Crabtree Valley Mall (Raleigh). At the time I was engaged to someone from my hometown of High Point. Clayton never asked about my ring and I never mentioned it. Besides, we were just casually flirting and there was never any harm done. The funny thing is that I never knew his name, LOL. We had been around each other so much I figured he would be upset if I asked his name so late in the game. I felt kinda silly the one time that I brought my mom into the store with me and didn't know how to introduce him. I somehow skirted that issue. Anyway, I quit the job soon after that and never walked back in there. We were both going to NC State so I thought that we would see each other again eventually.

After about 4 months we bumped into one another. I guess with over 35,000 kids on campus, it isn't likely to run into to someone you know very often. I was with my roommate and friend Laura. She saw how we looked at each other and knew there was a definite attraction. We didn't exchange numbers or anything during that brief chat (he was on his way to class) so I still had no contact with him for awhile longer. Besides, I was still engaged to someone else. Before the end of the semester Clayton found my dorm room and tried to see me. I had already gone home for summer break.

I went back home to High Point for the summer. My relationship with my fiancee grew turbulent and I knew I had to get out. I waited until I returned back to school to break it off. He didn't take it very well at the time but I am sure that he realizes now that it was for the best. Anyhow, on my first day back to school, guess who called me up as I was walking out the door to work at the bookstore? You guessed it, the man himself. My roomie Leslie answered the phone and said "She's right here" in a strange tone. I knew it was someone that she didn't recognize. My heart skipped a beat as I answered. I was hoping that it would be him. Thank God it was. He had been waiting for school to start so that he could find me. I was doing the same.

Over that past summer, he worked in Lexington, NC (about 25 min. away from me) at Kimberly-Clark. He knew that I was close to there and tried to find me. The campus directory from NC State did not give him my parent's number; however, it did tell him my parent's name and address. He asked a co-worker if he could borrow their High Point phone book and he tried to find me. Unfortunately, my parents kept the number unlisted. Little did he know at the time but the guy that he asked the phone book from was my first love from high school. I can't believe that they worked together that whole summer and Clayton never said my name around him. When Jason asked who he was looking for, Clayton just said he was looking for a girl from High Point. No more questions were asked, THANK GOD!!! If he would have asked Jason about me, he would have headed the complete opposite direction. I was incredibly mean and heartless throughout our past relationship (I was 14 and very immature for crying out loud!). The funny thing now is that Jason and his wife Natascha are our bestest buddies.

I totally believe that everything happens for a reason and that this was fate. Clayton and I were meant to be together. He is the greatest father and huband I could ever ask for. He loves me unconditionally and I couldn't live without him. This morning he left me the sweetest card and I am still crying after reading his message.

Happy Anniversary sweetie! I love you with all my heart!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Lights and O' Christmas Tree

I finally got a decent shot of our Christmas lights. I had to stand in Joanna's driveway with a tripod in the freezing cold. It's a good thing that no one drove by, LOL. I am sure that they would have thought that I was a nut.

Here's our pretty Christmas tree. Clayton dragged it out and decorated it all by himself this year. He did an excellent job. I may just nominate him to do it every year from now on. I hate pulling all of those Hallmark ornaments out of their boxes and making sure that the tinsel is on right. I love it when it is done though!
Here's a cool shot just as you walk into our foyer and look into our living room. I thought that it was a neat picture with the exception of how the tree lights look like the cherries from the Hi Ho Cherry-O game, LOL.

Our First Fire of the Season

Clayton felt a little chilly tonight, so he decided to start up a fire in the ole fireplace. I remember sitting around a fireplace as a child. It always made me feel so safe. The flames would mesmerize me into staring at them for long periods of time and my Mom would break out the hot cocoa and buttered toast to munch. I miss those childhood days. Posted by Picasa

Our Decked Out Neighbor

Our neighbors tend to out-do everyone in the decorating department each year. I can't imagine how much his power bill is at the end of the month! Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lots O' Stuff to Talk About

I got a Eggnog Chai latte from Starbucks yesterday and it was delicious! Even if you aren't into eggnog, I believe that you would still like it. It was so yummy.

Yesterday was my grocery day at Harris Teeter and I saved $75. I spent $90. That means that I got $165 worth of groceries for $90! You gotta love that!!! Normally, I save more than I spend, so I was a little dissappointed. It was the excellent onion chiabatta (sp?), gourmet honey mustard, and red pepper hummus that pushed me over the edge. I couldn't help but buy that stuff even though I didn't have coupons. Shame on me. I rarely buy anything without a coupon any more. If you are interested in saving $ like me, go to The Grocery Game and check it out. Feel free to use my email as a referral- .

The GG has a free list that you can try out for Walgreens. I have done it the past 2 Sundays and it has been well worth it. Now, I will say that it is a little confusing because Walgreens does a rebate circular, a weekly sales circular, and they take manufacturer coupons that you find in the Sunday paper. I spent $22 on $46 worth of stuff this past Sunday. I got 2 bottles of Thermasilk shampoo, 3 packs of batteries that had 6 in each, 4 packs of Tic Tacs, 2 packs of Eclipse gum, a 50 count pack of latex gloves for Hayden's class, 2 big bottles of Ajax dish detergent, a Colgate toothbrush, a big pack of Sudafed PE Cold Medicine-36 count, 4 small gift bags, and 3- 8.5x11 padded envelopes. That's a bunch of stuff for just over $20! Oh, and the medicine has a $2 rebate on it that I will get next month on a Walgreens gift card. So far, I have earned a $9 rebate since the beginning of the month. As long as I choose to get the rebate back in the form of a gift card, I will get 10% on top of that. Whoo hoo :)

Our surrogacy journey is finally progressing. Clayton and I have to go to an injection class on the 20th in Atlanta. I can't believe that we have come so far! Clayton better be nice to me with those shots, LOL. I begin Lupron on 1/1/06 and those are little shots that I should be able to do myself. They just barely go into the skin since they are subcutaneous. The big daddy shots, progesterone in oil or PIO, begin on Hayden's birthday-1/29/06. The needle is huge! It is 22 gauge and 1.5 inches long. Since the shot is intramuscular, the needle must go all the way in. Eek! They will go in my rear, hence the reason that Clayton will be the one doing it. I am contemplating going to my doctor's office for it. My gosh, it is just up the road. The problem is that it is a daily shot that I will take for 4 weeks. Our IVF transfer will be around February 2-4. In case some of you don't understand the process, here is the breakdown in simple terms:

-They align my cycle with the Intended Mom's cycle using birth control pills (kinda funny that we take birth control to get pregnant, LOL).

-They remove my IM's eggs and fertilize them with her hubby's sperm in a lab. These eggs will be left alone for 3-5 days to see which ones fertilize.

-They will transfer 3 embryos to me and we pray for the best.

All of this is done while taking numerous drugs to make my body think that it is pregnant and to make hers produce as many healthy eggs as possible. We both take birth control pills to align my cycle to hers so that our bodies are in sync. Then, I take Lupron to suppress my ovaries and to keep them from releasing eggs. It temporarily shuts them down. I then take Estrogen patches and lozenges to create a nice soft lining in my uterus to carry the baby or babies. I then take Progesterone shots to make my body think that it is pregnant. Your body makes this hormone naturally when you are preggo. Since my body will not be preggo yet, I have to take the synthetic version of the hormone. After all of that, we then transfer and hope that the babies stick. Wish us luck!!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Just Add Photos

Oh man, I am so in love with this latest kit from TSS. I really need some snow photos though. Maybe I will be lucky and it will snow soon. I made this layout for the first snow of the season but I will have to add the photos whenever it happens, LOL. I kinda jumped the gun, huh? The ribbon scanned a little funny. It's sheer and shiny. I guess the scanner didn't like it very much. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Check it out!!!

Can you believe it?! I talked with the fertility clinic today and found out that we should be transferring the embryos between February 2-4. I am so excited!!! Clayton and I both pray that the transfer goes well and that we get preggo that first round. Our intended parents are so deserving and I cannot wait for the day that I can tell them that they are going to have a baby :)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fun Friday and a New Layout

I just completed this simple and sweet layout of Emerson from last Christmas. He was so little and cute. I sure miss those baby days. Everything used came from the latest scrapbook kit from The Scrapbook Stand ;)

Last night, I went to Mom's Night Out with the MOMS Club. I was Mom-in-charge so I chose a fun restaurant called McGuffey's and then a movie theatre afterwards. We didn't make it to the movies. Instead, we headed over to Applebee's for drinks and dessert. It was so much fun! We had a great turn-out. The night was filled with eating and chatting without kids to tend to. How nice is that?! I am going to be the Mom-in-charge again next month and we all agreed that Applebee's would be fun to do again, so that is what I am going to arrange. I can't wait! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Newest LO using the December kit from TSS

I just love this new line from KI! It is called Chill Out and it is being featured in the latest kit at The Scrapbook Stand. The photo is of my Dad with the kiddos last year on Chirstmas morning. Don't they look so sweet? Posted by Picasa