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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Senior Pictures

I was totally excited to do a Senior Pictures photo shoot.  It has been a loOong time since I got to break out my camera and go to town :0)  This is Alexa.  She was a fabulous subject to photograph.  Of course it helps that she is SOoO photogenic, but also, she took verbal cues very well when I would ask her to re-position.  


This was our first location, a blue door on the side of an auto shop.  Who would have thought!  An auto shop the backdrop for a photo shoot....actually, it sounds kinda fun.  I might have to remember that one.  Maybe we can go indoors next time!


Two doors down the alley was this old, falling apart door covered in ivy.  What a gorgeous backdrop for such a gorgeous girl.

OK, yeah.  Totally one of my most favorites EVER!

This pose was just kinda by accident, but I think it was very flattering and somewhat intimate.  I like it.

The next couple pictures were taken in Chaska, MN.  This old fashioned main street is Chaska's very own.  Oh how I have missed the fabulously vintage streets of small town America!

Yeah.  No words.


I had to squeeze a silhouette picture in there.  It is unbelievably hard to find a hilly spot here in the Twin Cities area that isn't completely surrounded by trees.  Too many trees was not a problem I could foresee back in my Arizona desert days.  Back then I was just searching for any trees that didn't look like overgrown weeds.  The secret to a fabulous silhouette jump is to tell the subject to jump up as high as they can, and bend their feet back as much as they can, even til their heal hits their bum if possible.  That makes it so a person doesn't actually have to jump all that high and it looks like they have practically fallen out of the sky.





Alexa hates this picture :0}  I love it!

Alexa lucked out and got the deluxe package, all the shots and poses you could stand, since she is my very own super model {or at least she should be} cousin :0}  Thanks Alexa for letting me practice on you!  You were just perfect.


A Little Help From The Stork

***Baby Making Discussion Here***Not for little eyes***

I had the very exciting opportunity to sit in on a webinar briefing with the CEO and founder of The Stork, a new tool available to aid in conception.  Here is what he had to say about it...

When you want to start a family, finding out you're pregnant can be one of the most joyful experiences of your life - and we know that getting to that milestone isn't always easy. The Stork was designed as a natural, cost-effective option to help couples bridge the gap between natural conception and more aggressive treatments. It can be used in the privacy of the home without affecting daily routine (which we love) - both for couples with no known fertility issues and for those who are experiencing difficulty conceiving.  

There seems to be an increase in those struggling with infertility.  Here are some possibilities why:


This is where The Stork comes in.


OK, here is where this devise looks really good to me. I have mentioned a time or two before that I would still like to have one more child...{even though I strictly rule it out every night
 at about dinner time due to utter insanity}.

I guess you should know a little about my fertility struggle.  ***Here is where we get personal***  When Hubbs and I got married, I had no real view on how long to wait to have a baby.  Finally, it was deiced that we would put it in God's hands.  I had struggled with ovarian cysts all through the teen years, and even had surgery once.  I guess that is part of the reason why, even as a little girl dreaming of being a mom, I have always had this feeling that getting pregnant was not going to be easy.  Silly me!  We were pregnant two weeks later with my sweet little Madison.  She was born and the total pride and joy of my life.  I was so happy being a mommy I really couldn't wait to have another.  Secretly, we started "putting it in God's hands" when Mads was only 9 months old.  After about 6 months of nothing happening, I went to the doctor and asked him when you know you need help getting pregnant.  I had never gone on birth control, just used condoms until we were ready to add to our family, so the issue some couples have coming off birth control was not an issue for me.  

The doctor informed me that you should see a doctor after 6 months of trying, and then after a year, try clomid or other more serious helps.  I waited the 6 months more, then went back to the doctor.  The fertility doctor I had was a very cold, rather mean woman, but after 4 rounds of clomid, and two false negative pregnancy tests, I discovered I was finally pregnant with my handsome little Eli.  

Knowing that we wanted a big family, and after all the trauma and depression of trying to get pregnant with baby number 2, we never did try to prevent pregnancy...basically ever since.  Long story short, I just don't ovulate.  It has taken me years to finally come to terms with that.  No amount of hope or PolyAnna-ness is going to change the fact that I will now and forever ALWAYS require the help of a Doctor to conceive.  

Naturally, the length and depth of our struggle to get Eli to this earth was absolutely nothing compared to the 7 year black hole we lived through to get our last child Emmalee here to our family.  At that point in our lives, we were living in Minnesota and in a very, very rural area.  I had to drive to the closest "big" city, Wilmar, MN to get my fertility treatments.  During a 5 year period I under went 25 rounds of clomid, ovarian drilling {sounds pleasant, huh?}, and a couple very crazy, very multifacetedly embarrassing sperm analysis events. 

 Those were totally my least favorite part of the whole ordeal.  
Here, let me tell you about it :0}
I had to drive 30 minutes south of where we lived to pick up a sterile jar from the hospital, drive back home to my husband who had taken off work just to provide "the sample".  The "sample" was deposited into the jar, the jar put in a sock and the sock in my armpit {per doctor's instructions}, then I drove the "sample" 45 minutes the other direction to the medical lab in Wilmar.  Should I mention that the first trip the stupid guy in the lab didn't understand what the sample was and didn't get to it right away.  The samples have to be processed within an hour or something and my drive was 45 minutes.  Lameo!  When the doctor called to let me know the sample had to be thrown away I cried.  The next day the process was repeated all over again.

Anyway, I will keep the rest of the Minnesota medical ordeal from you.  We moved to Arizona, we believe, to have Emmalee.  After a year of break, I finally got nerve and sanity up to see a fertility doctor there.  He, unlike my backwoods doctor, was fabulous.  He informed me I NEVER should have had more than 5 rounds of clomid.  Over a four month period I underwent all the tests and procedures to make sure everything was in working order, then got my first dose of injectables to induce ovulation.  The plan was to follow up the meds with an IUI {Intrauterine insemination} if the eggs developed appropriately.   I was sent home with a kit to give myself a shot in the leg five days in a row towards the beginning of my first cycle.  The first month's dose was apparently too much.  Since it was my first try with injectables the doctor had no way of knowing I really just needed a sip :0)  I developed 5 eggs so my doctor cancelled my fertilization.  That was really hard, knowing that I could in fact get pregnant, but was choosing not to acting on it.  I had to keep reminding myself that if those babies were all born, and any of them had health problems due to my selfishness in going against my doctor's orders, I would carry the guilt with me all of my life.  I could not put any of those lives at risk simply because I wanted a baby more than I wanted life myself.

Anyway, the next round of injectables and IUI were executed and we were finally, at long last, expecting our third baby, sweet little Emmalee.  When she was finally born and I got to hold her in my arms I really had a hard time sharing.  I had to hold her all of the time.  I went through so much, so much pain and sorrow and just internal Hell the whole path to getting her, I just couldn't put her down.  Now Emmalee is 5.  She has blessed our lives each and every moment she has lived.  There is NO WAY our family would have been complete without her.  She was worth EVERY PENNY spent...Did i mention how many pennies???  I think in total we spend $25,000...no, probably closer to $30,000 to get her here.  Hmmm, in a way, we paid $25,000+ to buy an angel :0}

SOoooooo, I really do want one more baby.  I don't really want to have to start all over with diaper changing and all the crappy nights sleep and such, but I do want that one more spirit that will make our family complete...so I guess I have to take all that comes with it.  I am hoping we are finally settled in Minnesota and that life will iron itself out this year {yeah right} and we can give the fertility thing one more try.  Probably THE BIGGEST THING for me about the process is the cost.  I don't have $25,000 sitting around.  I don't even have $100.  

One thing mentioned at that webinar is that you can get the meds from the doctor and then have him/her prescribe The Stork and give that a try a couple rounds before you go all the way for the IUI.  The Stork allows you to do an IUI-like proceedure, AND have the same percentage of success, but not pay the other $5-7,ooo of expense.  

Here are the average costs:
Now, for my average costs: the IUI attempt number one was $5,000.  It included two procedures to make sure my tubes were open and to check the uterus, so those don't need to be paid for again with additional tries.  The injectables alone were $1500.  I actually had enough left over after the first month's dose, I only needed to order an additional $500 in meds the second attempt.  The doctor didn't do the full IUI the first time, so I wasn't charged for everything the first try or it would have been more expensive.

Anyway, if I could get the drugs, $1500, then try The Stork and spend $210 on that instead of $3000 on IUI, my cost is way less.  I would save about $2790!

It makes another try much more of a possibility!

I think it is worth a try.

So if you would like to do your own research to see if The Stork is something that will work for you, you can check it out at TheStorkForWomen.com.  They are working to make this product an over-the-counter item by the year 2014.  Until then, you need a prescription, but you can even visit a clinic at Walgreens or CVS to get the script.  

Let me know if you have any questions.  As for all you hopeful Moms and Dads out there, Good luck! I hope you have total success and have a sweet little baby in your arms soon!!!




Disclosure: I received stipend from The Stork and The Motherhood as part of my participation in this program. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Cub Scout Printables...or just different :0}

After a special request for a BLUE version of this print, I was shocked I didn't think of it myself!

Here are a couple variations on the popular original {black and white}


If you are in want of any of these files they can be downloaded from my Cub Scout file found HERE with  Dropbox.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Love My Book Worm

I didn't tell you yesterday, but I have ALSO been making other Back to School decorations for around the house :0}

Introducing, Walter the Book Worm!  Oh how I love Nerds!!!  This little guy is a welcomed new addition to the family of nerds currently housed in the Sew*CakeMaker household.

I made some pencils and apples too to go with Walter.  I cut all of these shapes out of 2" wood with my band saw, then cut the additional bits and pieces out of 1/8", 1/4", and beaded plywood.

I had the one pencil on the shelf for a day or two, but really didn't like it just sitting there.  That was when I ran out to the garage and sliced the bottom corner off.  Now I have a semi-standing pencil.  I totally love it this way.  I am currently fighting the temptation to slice the other one too.

Now, I have one more Back-to-School thing I hope to get done, said thing is to accompany my little book worm, but I am running out of steam.  We shall see if I can get to it before I hit the last stretch of wedding stuff waiting for me.

I don't know if it is weird, but these two guys are gonna stay on the porch.  I like them out there :0}

It is so fun to drive up to the house and see my cute little shelf sitters as I throw the truck into park.

Just in case you want a couple of these Back-to-School decorations too, I will have them on my Etsy site in the next day or two along with the pattern for sale.  You can order the wood crafts finished, or save a couple bucks and order them unpainted, thus keeping all the fun for yourself :0)  Whatever the case, feel free to email me if I don't get back here soon enough.

Happy Crafting everyone!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

School Bus Time!

School Bus Door Decor, FINISHED!  I was a little held up waiting for my white vinyl to arrive, but her she is :0}

I had so much fun with this bus.  The basic design has been swimming around in my head for months now, I just finally took the time to give it birth.  Speaking of the design, I plan to get the pattern for sale on my Etsy site in the next day or two and I also have an extra bus I can sell if anyone is interested.  Check my Etsy, or if you are in immediate need, email me at vanessa.cam5@gmail.com

Now, if I can only see some REAL school buses on my street...

Can I just say, this has been the longest summer I can possibly remember!?!  
We have been out of school since May.  The kids don't go back for almost two more weeks.  We are nearing pretty darn close to 5 months on summer break!!!

And right after a move...that means that the children have no friends to play with...or places to go...or anyone ELSE they can jabber to.  If you have meet my children, you know they never do stop jabbering :0}

I know eventually I will miss them, but that school bus is desperately wanted on this street today!


Monday, August 19, 2013

It's A Boy!

Talk about melting my heart!
I had serious baby withdrawals after leaving this photo session.

Meet little baby Brandon.  He was a fabulous new addition to a sweet little family I know.  His poor mom was sick and in bed her entire pregnancy, so his birth was truly a relief.  And what a blessing that he was born so healthy and perfect in every way. 

Don't you just love newborn toes!  I have dig down through the blankets every time I get the chance to hold a new baby just to see such tiny toes.  So adorable!


Bed shot with the clock set to the time of birth.


Thanks to my bestie Mary over at ContraryWiseDesigns I have this awesome Oscar the Grouch hat I love to use with little guys.  I am dying to get the little minion hat next...and maybe the monkey.  So many choices :0}

I had to squeeze in one bare bottom shot. 

 Little Brandon apparently really loves being out in the world.  I am so used to working to stretch the babies out to pose them.  I could not get this little guy to keep curled up.  He had to stretch out and spread 'em every chance he got.  It really is funny to see how different each little spirit is even from birth.

It seems that newborn pics are all supposed to be with the baby asleep.  Shoot me cause I LOVE it when we get a couple of their eyes open.  
Funny thing about this truck...I found it at a thrift store just before we moved from Arizona last summer.  I knew we were moving and stood there staring at the truck for about 10 minutes weighing whether I really wanted to pack and move it over and over again to just use it as a prop...
After this baby shoot, Eli took one look at that truck {in all of his 12-year-old-ness} and spent the next hour making truck noises and running things all over the house.  Emmalee and Eli had a few blowouts over who's turn it was to play with the truck.  I guess between their love of the toy, and how cute Brandon looked all snuggled up in the bed of it, I am glad I finally decided to add it to my cart.


Awesome!  I really have to get one of these things...
If only we could figure out how to keep them this small :0}

and sleepy