A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

My kid is obsessed with Halloween.  When people hear me say that he has loved the holiday since he was only nine months old, they often respond with, “Ohhh…of course he does because it’s all about candy!”  Nope.  I purchased a few Halloween books just before his first Halloween and he became fixated.  The same books still remain some of his favorites two years later.  Halloween isn’t just focused on come fall, its a year round interest for my little guy.  His excitement for Halloween has nothing to do with the candy.  That’s just a random element that he is aware of but it doesn’t fuel his love.  One key component?  Pumpkins.  Ryan is completely fixated with pumpkins.  Last year, we ended up at that pumpkin patch several times because it proved to be such a rewarding activity for us as a family.  David and I couldn’t wait to recreate that experience again this year!

Our favorite little local pumpkin patch opened this past week so we headed out as soon as we had time.  We love going to Upchurch Farm in Cary, NC.  It’s not overwhelming like some of the massive patches which feel more like  fairs.  There is a corn maze, a corn kernel pit, animals, a jump pad, a straw playground and they offer hayrides.  That is perfect for us at this point in Ryan’s life.

When we told Ryan that we were heading to the pumpkin patch, he began asking us questions non-stop.  (Yep, we have officially entered the bazillion questions a day phase.)  David and I were so psyched that this was just as exciting for Ry as it was last year, if not more.

We started the morning out by heading to the patch to find some pumpkins.  Because Ryan was so much older this year, he was able to more involved.  He selected his own pumpkins and also made solid attempts to help David pull them out of the patch.  He could have walked around all day long.  The only way we were able to pull him away was by telling him that it was almost time for our hay ride.  This proved to be the winning activity of the day.  The fact that my truck-obsessed kid was able to ride in the back while a tractor pulled him was golden.  It really was a pretty magical morning, all in all.

We ended up at the Farmer’s Market this past Sunday to hunt for some white pumpkins.  Ryan had overheard me tell David that I would love a few white pumpkins for our front porch and so he began telling us that he “needed” a white pumpkin.  We got out of the car at the farmer’s market and he spotted the massive amounts of pumpkins and literally began to skip-run.  Thankfully, the trip to the farmer’s marker (aka. no entrance fee) proved to be a far less expensive way to bring some pumpkins home.   This Saturday, we are heading with my family to The Museum of Life & Science in Durham for their annual Pumpkin Patch Express.  Basically, you ride the train there and at the end there are activities…and a makeshift pumpkin patch.  I’m pretty sure that our front steps are going to crack from the weight of all of these pumpkins.

I wish that I could say that the ones from the museum will need to be the last ones that make their way to our house but my nieces have the day off of school next Monday and so will are planning on heading back to Upchurch Farm one final time.  My sister-in-law made me feel better (about the amount of pumpkins we are accumulating) by saying that it’s not like we are going to Target repeatedly and buying toys.  This is such a wonderful activity for Ryan and she reassure me that allowing him to hunt for pumpkins isn’t the same as spoiling him with plastic objects.

Here are some pictures of our time at Unchurch Farm…crazy to believe that we will have two littles in these pictures next fall!

Hope you all have beautiful day!



…and three becomes four

David, Ryan and I have some news that we wanted to share with you all…we are expecting another baby!  On the one hand, writing this seems so natural as we were ready to grow our family and on the other hand, I am still in shock that this is happening.  It feels like Ryan was placed into my arms for the first time just yesterday so it’s surreal that we are already on our way to becoming a family of four.  Surreal and pretty darn incredible.

(A HUGE thank you to our friend and favorite photographer, Cat, from Cat Wilborne Photography for capturing these images.  You may notice that Ryan’s recycling truck made an appearance in every one of the photos…often that appearance was made on David’s head.)

When/How did I find out?  Back in February, I took a test to see if I was pregnant.  Kudos to those of you who are able to wait but I have zero delay of gratification.  When we started trying to get pregnant, pregnancy tests were purchased immediately.  I always buy the First Response tests that can predict up to 6 days before a cycle is predicted to begin.  In fact, I test before that day because I am certifiably crazy.  You don’t even want to know how many tests were taken.

I tested early and the test was negative…so was the next one.  Then, five days before my cycle, I saw what I thought was the faintest pink line.  Trying to see that line is enough to make you think you should seek professional help.  Squinting, holding it so closely to your eye that it makes you cross-eyed, backing it away, going to the window light, trying different angles..even different rooms.  I wasn’t completely certain that there was even a line but my instincts were telling me I was pregnant.  I set the test down and waited a few more minutes. It had darkened just enough that it was evident that there was a line.  I then went to the store and bought a few more tests.  Truthfully, we had experienced a miscarriage back in November so I did not want to share the news with David until I was 100% certain.  We have been through a great deal while trying to have a family and experienced the deepest form of loss a few years ago.  Back in 2013,  I gave birth to our precious identical twins boys far too prematurely.  The darkness and emotional pain was indescribable.  I share more about their story in this post if you are curious to know what caused the devastating loss.  I have always been an open book when it comes to sharing our heartache because it spreads awareness about their condition.  They continue to be in our thoughts all day every day.

Because of our emotional journey, I did not want to get David’s hopes up only to let him down.  The silliest part of all of this is that pregnancy tests do not show false positives.  If you see even the faintest line, it is indicating that it detects a pregnancy.  I KNEW I was pregnant but my compulsive nature took over and I tested….again and again.  Finally, I was completely convinced and shared the amazing news with David.

How far along?  I am currently 14 weeks

How am I feeling?  Oh boy.  I will try to make this as short as possible.  Pregnancy despises me…with full force.  During my pregnancy with the twins, my pregnancy with Ryan and now this pregnancy, I have had to be on several medications to help with nausea and reflux.  The decision to be medicated was not taken lightly but I literally cannot function without medical help.  While pregant with Ryan (and while on meds), there was a month long period when I left the house TWICE and it was for doctor’s appointments.  This time around, I have experienced sickness every minute of every day for the last two months.  Thankfully, it is beginning to subside!   The ironic thing is that, while I feel terrible, the sickness has been welcomed in a sense.  Sickness means that I am still carrying a beautiful baby.

Aversions?  No major aversions except in the moment something will sound terrible but I’ll be fine to eat it the next day.

Cravings? Both fruit and salty snacks but no major cravings

Body Changes?  Man, this pregnancy appeared physically FAR faster than when I was this early on with Ryan.  Bump and weight gain are in full force.

Gender:  We know the gender but are waiting until our anatomy ultrasound in four weeks to confirm before sharing.

We could not be more thrilled to be growing our family and I am looking so forward to sharing the journey with you all!

Have a beautiful day!



UPDATE: Our Fertility Journey

The day has finally come.  The first day of the last step of our final IVF cycle.

(read more about our journey here (this is a 5 part series), Update I, Update II, Update III)

Today our 7 little zygotes are being removed from the freezer and will be thawed.  Within hours, we will know how many survived the thawing process.  Within days, we will know how many embryos we will transfer.  Within weeks, we will know the outcome of our journey.  And all of that has hit me hard this week.

I’m not sure that the word “overwhelmed” even begins to capture how I’m feeling.  I had a check up on Monday morning and I have been extremely emotional since then.   I’m happy…happy that it is finally time.  I’m excited…so excited I allowed myself to looking at cribs and think about nursery design).  I’m nervous…nervous to learn how many will survive the thawing process. I’m scared…scared that the quality will be the same as my last 2 cycles.  I’m hopeful…very hopeful THIS IS OUR TIME!

I know I have to stay positive and, trust me, I have been since our retrieval in June.  I’ve had this gut feeling that this is going to work this time.  I’m going to get pregnant this time.  I’m going to be a mom.  Rudy is going to be a dad.  We are going to be parents.  But, I’m only human and I’ve struggled this week to not think about the other outcome.  In every aspect of my life, I always prepare for disappointment.  When I hurt, I hurt deep.  And this…this will more than hurt me; this will break me.

So, while I always try to stay strong and avoid asking for help; today, I ask for your prayers. Pray that our zygotes survive the thawing process.  Pray they develop into healthy embryos. Pray that we have a smooth transfer.  Pray for the doctors taking care of us.  Pray for us.  We need to be lifted up, so any thought or any prayer would be more than welcomed and appreciated.

God, I trust in your plan for us.  I know that only You control what is going happen.  So today, I pray:

“You know my deep desire for a child
A little one to love and to hold, to care for,
to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive
and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in
Your holy image.
Guide me in all my choices so that this
conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth
are in line with Your will.
Heavenly Father and Holy Mother,
hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.

With all my love,