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Friday, June 29, 2012

Cancer Survivor meets the Big "M"

I am a cancer survivor and for all my life it was something wonderful-- worth being proud of. I am still so very thankful to be alive, but maybe in the last 7 years I have begun to feel the affects of being an experiment in the 80's. True those experiments saved my life and I am forever grateful to them. But I am also frustrated at not understanding everything thats going on. That might go on.

And I feel alone. Very alone.

I'll ask my doctors a question and they'll respond, we don't know-- we're kind of watching you to see what happens. Sigh.

When I graduated from CHOP I was told that three things could happen-- I would never have kids. Never carry my kids to full term. And most likely go into menopause by the time I was 30. The doctor started to cry and I just sat there stunned. I was one of 4. My dad was one of 7 and my mom ws one of 6. Having kids or not having kids really had never entered my mind until that moment a few months before I turned 18 and began college. And then, before I really had time to process that news, my mom got breast cancer.

Fast forward a few years and my mom was fine and I was a newlywed who had just had a miscarriage. That was such a low point for me as noone directly related to me had ever really had one and it seemed to seal the deal that biological children were not an option.

But, God is so good and he gave us one and then one more, and then a bonus one too. We were good and set. We would def. open our hearts to a fourth, but my third pregnancy was so rough, we just weren't sure it would happen.

And now I am pretty sure I won't as at the age of 28 I am almost positive that I am going through perimenopause. So, at the age of 28 I'll be going through hot flashes with my aunts while my sisters and friends have babies. This has not been an easy pill to swallow. For one thing having been told that I had till 30, I really figured I had to 30. Also, I think at one point a very ignorant and uninformed doctor laughed when I told him this and I really felt like a fool for buying into the whole early menopause thing. I just can't really wrap my brainaround the fact that this is happening and really hate feeling super sad about the whole thing.

But here I am and all the things I look up and read support what I know in my heart to be true. I had to finally break down and call the doctor today and convince the nurse on the line that I wasn't her average 28 year old and wasn't taking any drugs. Fun. How does one even go through menopause with a 2 year old in the house?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Places to Play in PA- St. Peter's Village

Saint Peter's Village is like a little hidden gem of Pennsylvania. It is absolutely amazing. I think the locals know all about it, but it's on the hush hush. Or we're just not in the loop. We have driven through the little village part for years ohhing and ahhing at how cute and charming it was. But then one saturday when we had the kids with us we decided to go for a hike. Somewhere. Somewhere in the village since we alway saw people ducking behind the village going somewhere to hike.

This is the Inn at St. Peter's Village, but we'll get back to that in a second. Anyway, we went behind the bakery and down some steps and were blown away! The view is amazing and there were hundreds of rocks to hop on over and jump across to go explore. However, given the ages of our kids and the fact that they would each need an adult buddy, we knew we hadn't found the family friendly entrance. We went back to the bakery had an amazing lunch, and my husband and I planned to come back kid free and scout it out with the intent of going again as a family.

So, we had lunch at the Inn first-- sooooooooo good, but their pizzas are ginormous and that should be overlooked as you can share and there was one with goat cheese and so out of this world amazing. My husband had something with meat. I'll be more specific, he had the itallian roast beef I believe with Italial potatoe salad on the side and also very good. he even finished his.

Then we went down to the rocks behind the bakery again and started off. I am not going to lie, some of the areas can be tricky and the rock area should be, um, jumped on with caution. But it is a lot of fun!

We kept going down and found a RC course being set up and stopped to watch for awhile and while we watched we kept seeing people with kids, little kids, heading down on a path across the river. So, we kept on and eventually found a bridge that connects to the kid friendly path-- mission accomplished! So, to get to the little bridge, park somewhere past the ghost tour building or arcade. Be prepared to turn into the parking lot quickly as the village ends and the road keeps going and it might be hard to turn around.

The arcade there is all vintage old school games. My husband was in electronic heaven-- seriously-- thats where games go to die ;) Just kidding-- it was really neat and they are open weekends! Throughout the year there are special festivals and events-- we enjoyed the man playing away on the porch! This is a wonderful place to go with a family or without-- we LOVE it and bonus-- at the end of the path there is even a swimming hole! It truly is a wonderful place that PA has to offer!


Designing a Purple Themed Girl's Room-- At Last!!

When my husband and I had our first baby nearly 7 years ago we decided to be surprised when it came time to finding out the gender. We ended up having our first boy who was closely followed by our daughter who was followed by another little boy. I was always glad we went with a gender neutral theme and would reccomend doing that even if you do know the gender of your first as you never can tell the gender of the next baby... or the next. We had this sweet Pottery Barn lambie theme and it was just so sweet that all three shared the same nursery.

However, since our third was a boy for about 3 years our older two shared yet another gender neutral room this time courtesy of Ikea. I still in 5 years of having a little girl had never gotton to do a girls room. So, it was with much tears but also anticipation that we transformed the nursery into a girl's room. Oh, I'm sorry, a BIG girl's room.

My daughter seems at times like a mini teenager and then a minute later like my sweet little baby and then again 5. She is unique, spunky, sweet, sassy, snuggly, and the only girl in the middle of two boys. I wanted to pick something that reflected her, celebrated her uniqueness, and wasn't too brassy of a theme that it wouldn't pay some sort of homage to an older house.

I got the quilt and bedding at T.J. maxx and her bed online at Wal-mart. This bed is adorable, but if your daughter thinks she is a ballerina-gymnast, she will be swinging from the bars. The adorable little end cabinet is from Ikea and was actually from their bathroom line, but I loved the door and inside the top is an adorable little mirror with some secret storage. her dresser was from a local Thrift store and I painted it and then bought the hardware at Lowe's. The curtain rod is also from lowe's, but was on clearance. We "made" the shelf-- it was a pinterest inspired project mixed with over zealous insanity. Just buy a shelf at Michaels and the effect will be the same. Her little wicker chair is from Ikea too and makes a compfy nook for reading. If you look on the light there is a little clay bird which is a gift from a Highschool friend, Katie. The DREAM decal is from UpperCase Living and I got it in plum.

She loves her room and thats the most important thing. I love her having her own girl space, although I have found her brothers in there using her bed to read or jump on and they all settle on the rug to play games and read more books.

So, there you have it. A labor of crazy love for our crazy girl :)