Chicago Part 1: Millennium Park

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For our first big trip with toddler, we decided to head to the Windy City! The flight seemed a tolerable length (4 hours) and it has great public transit (we didn’t want to bring a carseat with us), not to mention the deep dish! We also have some friends from Chicago who were more than willing to make a list of all the must-sees and must-eats, making it less daunting to try and plan.

We stayed in Chicago for 4 days and 3 nights so it was important to us to stay somewhere central to many of the city’s attractions, but also close to public transit in case we wanted to stray to a different area for a day.  We also needed to have a suite with a proper door that separates the bedroom from the living area so that we could stay awake after putting Ro to bed.  These are essential for us, though she ended up in our bed after 2 am each night anyway.  One of the best bargains is the Embassy Suites.  Not only do they have completely separate living areas, they also provide a crib (for free!), offer nightly guest reception aka happy hour (Ro ate their alfredo pasta for dinner one night and loved it!), free wifi for Honors members, and a great AAA discount.  We stayed at this one:

Our first full day we decided to hit up none other than Chicago’s Millennium Park.  It was so much fun! First of all, it had the most epic splash pad I’ve ever seen.  Not only was the walk on water part huge! But the water falls were gigantic, and of course the city skyline and tree top backdrop was so picturesque.

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See that wall–with the face? That’s Crown Fountain (btw that face changes to different faces of the people of Chicago and is a work of public art) every once in a while the mouth with spew water and the top of the wall would be an enormous waterfall.  That’s what all the kids were waiting for.  After Ro was thoroughly drenched, we headed to the Bean.

The Bean is more formally known as Cloud Gate, and is basically a great way to spend forever taking pictures.  All the kids seemed to love finding their reflections and looking at their distorted selves.

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On our way back, we stumbled upon Maggie Daley Park. Which was THE most amazing park for kids.  If you ever find yourself in Chicago with a kid, definitely spend an afternoon here.  If we had known about it, we would have spent more time here, but by the time we made it Ro was a tired mess.  There were so many imaginative spaces and splash pads for the little ones.   It made me wonder why a great city like LA doesn’t have a park that compares to this one for littles.

That was basically our first day in Chicago, of course we ate pizza for dinner, but that post demands it’s own title.  More to come…

National Ice Cream Day

Some genius decided to give every junk food its own day of the year, and people bought it.  Give anyone an excuse to buy a donut or an ice cream cone, and every glutton out there is all over it–including me!

Sunday was National Ice Cream Day and while I prefer a snow cone (when is that getting it’s own day?) I played along for the sake of my husband and daughter.  I know this sounds bad, but I kind of love giving my daughter sweets.  We avoided them for so long, and now that she’s almost two, I feel a treat every once in a while is not so bad.  The joy that a lick of ice cream gives her is so simple and contagious.  Maybe I’m setting her up to be a diabetic, but I can’t stop!  This face:

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It was her first strawberry ice cream, and I dare say she liked it as much as chocolate and vanilla.  Disclaimer: We did not let her eat that entire “kid” sized scoop.  Mama ate most of it, though it was tricky getting her to share.

I look forward to the next National Junk Food eating day, and if anyone knows when snow cones get the recognition they deserve, please let me know.

FET #2

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It’s no secret, Ro is our rainbow baby.  After two IUI’s & 3 IVF’s, we finally got our rainbow.  I don’t know why, but I just assumed that trying for baby 2 wouldn’t be as hard as the first time around.  We already had embryos so there was no stimulation phase (this seemed to be the worst since my body never made enough eggs, which in turn led to no embryos, and therefore no transfer).  The first and only transfer we did worked! I just assumed getting to skip all those first steps would lead to a second rainbow much more quickly.

Well, here we are at failed FET #2.  Thankfully, our embryos all are still stored away, but we have been through two unsuccessful stimulation cycles.  The first of course was natural (the way Ro was conceived) and the second/current one is medicated. In case you want to know the gory details: I basically started bleeding this weekend; which means instead of building lining to prep for an embryo, my body despite all the medication telling it to do otherwise, started shedding lining. At this point I’m afraid to ask what next steps are.  I’m kind of leaning toward trying another natural cycle.  There are a lot more doctor’s appointments involved, but less drugs.  I’m starting to trust my body a bit more, and I’m trying to relax about the whole process which will hopefully help. The first cycle I was so adamant about not bringing Ro to any of my appointments that it caused a lot of stress to try to find childcare.  This time around I brought her to my appointments and she was so patient and cooperative (as patient as any one and a half year old could be).

With this next cycle I want to make a few changes to my approach to life, which I hope will better my odds of this working out:

  1. Sleep More – I’ve been getting 6-7 hours a night and I just think that’s not enough.  I’m going to try and sleep by 10 every night.  That should guarantee a good 7-8 hours if I can just control my bladder at 3 am.
  2. Prioritize the Cycle – I’m a big people pleaser, and I tend to make plans with people and then get super stressed out about flaking due to last minute ultrasounds or bloodwork appointments.  I’m not going to stress this time around.  Sure, I have some plans with friends, tickets to big events, but I’m not going to try to figure out how I can make it all work with the timing of my cycle.  I’m just going to let it go.  So if I have plans with you in the coming months–I’m sorry.
  3. Let Things Go – I tend to overanalyze everything, especially when it comes to friendships.  I’m not going to do that.  Easier said than done–I know.  But every time I start replaying a situation in my mind, I’m going to intercept it with thoughts of a beautiful baby.

Now all I need to do is cross my fingers and build some lining.