Friday, May 10, 2013

Surgery Day!

We were up bright and early at 4:45 this morning for Scott's surgery!! . We had to be at White Plains hospital really early and luckily Dad lives 10 mins away (it's an hour and 15 from home), so we had a sleepover at Dad's to make the morning process easier... The surgery was scheduled for 7:30 and he was wheeled in right around the , so we were right on schedule! It's supposed to take about 2 hours or so, so we will be home later today.

Scott's getting varicocele surgery today (you can Google it if you're really interested so I'll spare you the fun & crazy details), and this is the next step on our path down the road of infertility. Dr. Werner (Scott's reproductive urologist) is amazing, so we know Scott is in good hands today!

Sporting one of my fav shirts today, "My husband rocks"... One of the best ways I thought I could show support. :) Dad took this pic and said "You're documenting your first step in baby making!"....We laughed and said "Well, for us it is!" Ha, you HAVE to have some humor while undergoing serious things. 

All of the staff was nice and friendly this morning. We were among the first people to arrive at the hospital since it was so early, and Scott kept smelling coffee. He wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything after 11 last night, and he loves coffee, so he kept joking with all of the staff because it's all he wanted and we kept smelling it!

Having the first scheduled surgery time is pretty nice because they were right on schedule for everything. The anesthesiologist was a funny guy too and told Scott he would be his personal bartender for the day; the IV was a nice white wine, and the happy drugs were a vintage 2013 bottle from the wine cellar just for today. Lol. He had us laughing and said our Dr was his urologist as well and did IVF also! I knew that was a good sign for us. :) Being present for the IV setup was creeping me out (I am NOT good around needles, even though it wasnt me- I kept shaking my foot and staring at the wall. Blah!!). So then they told me to give him a hug and a kiss goodbye (3 for good luck because that's our thing), I said "see ya later, alligator!", and they wheeled off down the hall.. I'm sure Scott knocked out prob seconds later.... It's just about 2 hours since they said he started, so it shouldn't be too much longer now until he is in recovery... Then we can head home and relax for the weekend. From here, we have to wait 4-6 months before taking the next step to proceeding with IVF. Hopefully the surgery will help get sperm production going, then in Sept & Nov we have to check and see if there are any recruits for a swim team! (Haha- best way I can put it in funny terms, sorry!) So after today, we sit back and relax for the summer because it's out of our hands at this point! But we are on the right path! :) 

One step at a time!

After today, Scoot's not supposed to carry more than 10 pounds for like 2 weeks. So this was the last he could do for a while, carrying my stuff upstairs to Dad's last night... Hehe

Dr. Werner came out to the waiting room himself to let me know everything went well and Scott was doing great. I got to go in and check on him in recovery for a bit and he will be good to go home soon. Because I am such a dork and we wanted to document all the big pieces of our journey, Dr Werner agreed to take a pic with me to celebrate one more hurdle! (Ignore the cheesy-face, I was very appreciative and happy we are done with this step!) Luckily, he was a good sport, too!! :)

Here's to lots of good vibes and some swimmers in the fall!! :) 

Xoxo <3

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

School is Cool... Hug a Teacher!

*~*Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!*~*

This is one of my favorite weeks at school because we really feel loved and important. Sometimes Often being a teacher is hard work. Some view it as babysitting, a cake job where we work 1/2 the year and are overpaid. I can see how this would be thought of from the outside, but anyone who has worked in a school or is the family member of a school employee knows that this can't be further from the truth. Yes we have weekends, holidays, summers, and snow days off... and yes, it's a nice perk. But we work hard all year long, our work is not done when the school day is over, and our job is constantly changing due to state/district guidelines. We are always on our toes; you have to be ready for anything at any given time, there are so many unknown variables in each and every day. This makes it exciting because each day is never truly exactly like another.  We don't just teach academic skills all day; we teach manners, social skills, attend to injuries (physical and emotional), break apart "he-said, she-said" situations. Teachers do more than just simply teach.... This is one of my favorite quote-pics about the many hats of a teacher...

I do so much more than just teach. <3 

It's a wonderful job, it really is, despite all the stresses that surround it. It's a hard job but I love it and I can't picture myself doing anything else. Yes, summers off are nice... and summers off are well-deserved in my opinion. Not that I think it's more difficult than any other job, because that's not true, but every time the end of June rolls around, it's a much needed time to re-energize and rest before jumping in and starting all over again. So, this summer when you are cursing all of your teacher friends for having the summer off, remember this: many of them will still be working many hours (unpaid) searching for lesson plans and ideas, creating name tags and bulletin boards, and setting up their classrooms to prep for the new year. Nights and weekends are sometimes spent in the same manner- grading papers/tests, checking homework assignments, researching new websites and activities, and creating lessons and games. On most days, I don't leave school for at least an hour after the kids have left (by the time cleaning/prepping/checking emails/filling out papers/etc is done). It's more than just a babysitting service for the day, and I just wanted to bring awareness to that, especially this week. 

One last note... I almost forgot!! Our PTA always goes above and beyond to show appreciation of us at school, they're really incredible, but today I was almost in tears (of happiness) because of their latest idea. Recently during library classes, the kids had to write poems about a teacher or staff member in school, and these were collectively hung up in our long breezeway. EVERY staff member in the building was represented (office personnel, custodial staff, etc) and had a rhyming or acrostic poem hung up about them. Being a classroom teacher, I had a stack of poems that each student in my class (1st grade) wrote/illustrated about me. They were so sweet. I made sure to read each and every one of them this morning and they really brought a smile both to my face and in my heart. I have some difficult days with my class sometimes, and some days I really wonder if I'm making a difference... but reading their adorable little lines about me were so heartwarming, it was a great confidence booster. The special treat was that there were 2 extra poems from girls in upper grades (1 third grade, 1 fourth) who remembered and thought of me when doing this assignment. It was very special and I started my day on a great note. Words of appreciation are an easy way to my heart; well, besides food! ;) 

Thank a teacher... after all, you're able to read this because of one. <3

A Dose of Inspiration...

We can all use a dose of inspiration sometimes.... A reason to believe in something, a reason to pick yourself up, a reason to chase your dreams, or keep pushing forward. A reason to step back and give thanks for all the wonderful things in your life that you might take for granted, a reason to have compassion for others who are different from you. Scott showed me this video clip tonight that he watched at a work meeting today and it's so amazing that I wanted to share.... You might want to have a tissue or a sleeve handy, it's pretty touching.


AMAZING, right??!?! (I don't know how you could think it's not, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.) Yoga is truly amazing... As I was watching the beginning and he mentioned most yoga teachers turned him down, I thought of my current yoga instructor. I know without a doubt she would be among that small percent who would have embraced this man. She would have welcomed him into her class no problem. It really does heal and restore the body in amazing ways and this is proof. Proof of the powers of yoga, determination, motivation, and will-power. I don't know about you but I thought this video sent a powerful message of inspiration to NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON SOMETHING YOU WANT! You may be facing a tough experience in life (a sickness, a disability, a stressful relationship, chasing a dream, or in our case, infertility), we all have our mountains to climb... what I take from it is this: Don't give up, keep at it, take one day at a time, put your all into it, stay positive, and just keep swimming... <3

Saturday, May 4, 2013

*~*Fairy Tale Romance*~*

My husband. My best friend. My soul mate. My sidekick. My guardian. My therapist. My coach. My motivator. My confidant. My everything. 

If you're gagging at the mushy lovey dovey stuff, stop reading. I'm certainly not forcing you to and would not be offended in the least. It's no secret that I am head over heels, in puppy dog love, for this guy. He rocks. I didn't always think so, and there are certainly days where I am mad or frustrated at him, but that's human nature. Nothing is perfect, I certainly am not and I know I drive him insane on most days too, but bottom line is we are smitten.

When I was downloading quote pics for the last post, I realized a lot were about love so I wanted to keep those in a separate, special place. The reason this blog is here in the first place is because of Scott, indirectly. He didn't know I wanted to start one and probably couldn't care either way if I created it or not, but it wouldn't be "TEAM RICCI" without him. He's a huge part of who I am and where I am today. Sure we are our own personalities, but I wouldn't be exactly where I am in this moment without him. And I mean that in a good way. Scott has taught me a lot of valuable things in life through different experiences we have lived through. He's been my coach and mentor in situations where I have no idea what I'm doing, he's been my therapist when I need advice for how to approach countless life situations, and he's been an amazing friend- we enjoy spending time together whenever we can.

Amen to that!
Engagement Pics 

I hope everyone experiences the bond that we have together at some point in their life~ if you find it, hold onto it and don't let go. I am truly blessed to be in the relationship that I am with Scott. We have our balance of ups and downs, differences, arguments, and things that we may lack as a couple, BUT despite it all I would truly not want it any other way. We have a blast together (on most days!) and genuinely have fun being together. We are two big kids and often act like goofballs whenever we can. Why do you think we go to Disney so much??! ;)

This pose was Mickey's idea ;)
I often wonder if part of the reason our bond is so strong is due to the fact that we have very different work schedules. I'm a school teacher; Scott is a retail manager. I work Monday-Friday and am usually home somewhere between 4 and 5:30 (depending on what kind of day I had) with weekends and holidays off; he works practically EVERY weekend and holiday. My schedule is 100% predictable; his changes every week. His days off are always different, his shifts are always different. This makes it very hard to make plans (for ourselves, with friends, and for events) and the amount of time we see each other varies week to week. The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year, and the busiest for Scott. Our schedules could be more polar opposite I suppose (and I am thankful for that), but it is a struggle compared to couples that both work Mon-Fri business hour jobs. We don't know what that's like at all because he's been in retail for 12 years now, just after high school. We started dating 2 years before that but were young high school kids in love who pretty much only hung out on weekends. So it's hard (for us) at times. I stress "for us" because compared to military couples, it's nothing. I have friends that are military spouses so I totally get that I have it easier than you, and I'm not trying to throw stones, just saying it stinks for us. An average week consists of a schedule like this for Scott: Sun: 10-8, Mon- 12:30-close (which could be about 11:30 leaving work), Tues- off, Wed-off (days off aren't always consecutive), Thurs- meeting from 8-10, then back for the 2:00-close shift (something like that), Fri- 12:30-close, Sat- 11-9.... This varies week to week in the shifts and days. Sometimes, once in a blue moon, he will open and we will actually get to have dinner together. Sometimes, again rare, he will work the late shift on Saturday and stay late to do the ad set for Sunday, and be off on Sunday as a reward. It stinks. I'm usually in bed before he comes home, and I leave before he's up or as he's getting up. He goes to work before I come home, so there are a lot of evenings and weekends spent with me, myself, and I. I try to keep busy as best I can, it gives me a lot of opportunities to hang out with friends on the weekends, and occasionally some alone time is nice to do the things I want to do and not feel bad about leaving him at home. I think because our time is limited and not consistent or predictable week to week, it gives us a better appreciation for the time we do have together. I sometimes think it's a blessing in disguise because we get to be ourselves separately and together. It's never JUST us attached at the hip, but it's never us alone all the time either. It's not an equal balance, but it is a balance. Some days I hate it and miss him like crazy and will cry over being alone for another night or weekend. When I've had a stressful day at work or a bad day just because, or I've heard yet another pregnancy announcement, I wish I could run to him for a hug but often have to settle for sending a text if he's at work. We are there for each other in the best way that we can be, and it's the way we've lived for the last 12 years. It's not ideal but we roll with it and find ways to work with it. Holidays stink because it means more hours away from home and lots of angry, mean customers demanding products when they are the crazy ones coming to a store expecting an item on Christmas Eve, and yelling at Scott. Thanksgiving is often interrupted to get to sleep early for Black Friday insanity, and we can never ever go away during the holidays when I'm off. Ultimately, we'd love for Scott to get out of retail and into something that has a schedule closer to mine. I often imagine the possibilities~ dinner together most nights at a decent time (I'd actually cook more rather than throwing together randomness for myself at whatever time I feel like), weekend day trips or fun outings, sleeping in together, doing home projects together, taking a weekend trip somewhere, making plans with friends/couples who have "normal schedules" too.

Baby making would have been less stressful too if we had some consistency. It doesn't matter now as we are going the in vetro route in the fall/winter (hopefully), but before we knew we were facing infertility, it was SUPER stressful timing certain things that are essential while trying to conceive. I would get obsessed with certain dates on the calendar each month (a very tiny window for those who don't know~ it is NOT as easy as they make it seem in health class... yet all those people with unwanted pregnancies STILL manage to get pregnant. I swear, if everyone would be more in tune with their cycle, they might be able to prevent such things) and then realize Scott was closing pretty much each of those nights. And I am not a night person, not usually ever, but especially not on school nights. I need my sleep, a lot of it, and I am super cranky otherwise. Feeling forced into something because the calendar said so was not a fun time for either of us. It often caused extra stress, arguments, and me feeling deflated each month. No fun. I kept thinking it would be easier if we were on the same schedules. This would probably be a little bit true, but not completely. Plus it doesn't matter now anyway. Phew, glad those days are done!
Germany, July '12
Ok, I keep blabbing and forgetting the reason I started this rant. See, I could write all day. I can go on and on about a topic I'm into. Ask me to write a research paper on something, forget it. I don't know what I'm talking about and it takes me hours to get something mediocre down. This is more my thing... ok rambling again, sorry! Back to Scott...

Scott is a jokester. He's hysterical. Some people dislike him when they first meet him (1 was one of them, remember?). My best friends from college weren't super impressed with him on 1st impression either, but now love him (I think! haha). I think because we are pretty opposite, people expect someone different and more like me- quiet yet bubbly, super smiley and animated at times, pretty reserved, etc... and then they meet Scott, who can be a strong personality (in a good way) and they're just, well, confused. People who take the time to get to know him love and admire him in the end. He's blunt and will tell you the truth about something right to your face, he doesn't believe in BSing someone. He's funny. He can ALWAYS make me laugh or smile- even when I don't want to, ESPECIALLY when I don't want to. If I'm mad at him and want to make a point, he'll find a way to make me smirk and the whole operation goes down. Grr. I have a face that he coined the "I hate you but I love you" face~ Trying to be serious but can't help smirking. Gosh, I love that kid. He has the best smile- hates smiling for pictures, but his real genuine smile is the cutest. He gives the best hugs. I try to steal at least 2 from him a day- but I will be annoying and try to sneak in as many as I can. I am such a hugger and these get me through my days. He's a great snuggler. Most nights we curl up on the couch with some popcorn and drinks, and watch TV snuggled with each other. He has blue eyes, which I love. He's tall (and I'm short), which sometimes stinks but it makes hugs nice because his chin can rest right on my head when we hug, and I sometimes like to stand on a step and hug him because then we're the same height (ha, I'm such a dork!). He's super handy dandy at home. He does laundry. He likes to shop and run errands with me. He's creative. He's smart. He's kind, respectful, and genuine. He's a great husband, friend, brother, son, and uncle. He's my high school sweetheart. He's my kiss goodnight.

Our engagement party~ 2005
11:11 is our thing: make a wish and say I Love You <3

He makes my heart smile... and I don't ever want to lose him. <3

Team Ricci~ Est. 2007

Words to Live by <3

I'm a quote junkie... Quote obsessed. My house has word decals or different decorative sayings on frames/plaques in practically every room. A friend told me my house is like a living Shutterfly book because I have photos and quotes EVERYWHERE! That analogy was so accurate. I'm addicted to positive sayings and advice. Quotes get me through EVERY situation in life. Seriously, every single one. If I'm in a great mood, I love happy quotes. Love quotes. Friendship quotes. Positivity quotes. If things go wrong, I find comfort in things that apply to losing friendships, death, stress, hardship, whatever, it's there. I google quotes related to the situation, and voila! ("_____ quotes"). The photo quotes are my fav. I have so many favorites and was so indecisive about which one(s) to put on my blog heading, but didn't want to overload it, so I decided to make occasional posts just with quotes, so here we go!

"I don't want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings" (The Silver Linings Playbook)

"Live well~ Laugh much~ Love often"

"Love blooms where kindness is planted."

"Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be."

"Everything happens for a reason."

I realized there are WAYYYY too many to post at once... so I'm going to break them into different posts.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Junk Food & Funk Mood

Just one of them days... Blah. No real reason, just feeling blah. 

No one is perfect, and I certainly don't claim to be. I'll let you in on a secret (well, not anymore!) that I haven't really expressed to too many people: I have this weird, irrational fear that some people don't like me because they view me as a goody-2-shoes who thinks I'm better than others. Anyone that truly knows me would (hopefully) agree that it couldn't be further from the truth. I often keep to myself and am shy around people I just meet or are not yet comfortable with. I have always suffered with a degree of low self esteem~ I am always worried what other people think of me and I'm always worried I won't fit in. If I catch someone staring at me in public, I immediately worry there's something in my teeth, something spilled on my shirt, or they're making fun of the mole on my face, my clothes, something. I am a rule follower by nature; my dad is a retired state trooper and I was just never into crazy partying or breaking the rules. I didn't have a house that you could sneak out of~ we lived in the woods on a mountain in a small country town, so it was quiet and secluded, with a crazy loud alarm system... I always stayed in line. I don't look down on people who acted differently (after all, I did marry Scott! We could not be more polar opposite in the sense of following all the rules and caring about what others think) and I don't consider myself better than anyone. In fact, I'm often comparing myself to others way too much and it leads to me being way too hard on myself for all kinds of things. I can't help it. I don't feel like life is always fair. There are people out there who I know that get whatever they want, when they want, have perfect families and friends, never face hardships, and always seem to get what I want. 

If I find myself stuck in a rut of comparing myself, it just brings me down. So I started being more positive whenever I could, however I could. A quote here, a silver lining there. It's the little things that really matter most. I have to keep focusing on these things. I can choose to let life constantly knock me down and disappoint me, or I can get back up and fight harder, and find happy things to focus on. Life is a balance~ You can't have any rainbows without a bit of rain; You can't have compassion without some suffering (thanks, Gemma!); you can't have appreciation without heartache or disappointment... So I pick myself back up time and time again. Something crappy comes our way YET again? I fall apart, feel devastated, depressed, and hopeless for a while... and then I start to search and find meaning in it. Find a lesson in it. Find a silver lining in it. And then I pick myself back up and keep moving on. Hurdles make our successes even more celebratory. Sometimes the only positive I can find is the fact that I have a great, supportive husband who is my teammate and partner in crime through it all. Sometimes I rattle off names in my head of the people who love and support us no matter what happens in life (the really close friends and family who love unconditionally). I think of the things that really matter most, or the things that I have and others strive for (Scott, family, friends, a stable job, a house of our own, a car to get to/from work, health, etc.). I don't consider my life perfect~ in any way. I am blessed with some great things and I am forever grateful for them all. Just because I choose to look at the bright side in order to avoid depression and negativity, it doesn't mean I am a spoiled brat. I choose to create my own happiness and take hold of what is available to me and use it to the best of my ability. The people who I fear have skewed views of me don't know the real me~ they're just basing it on things they think they know. I like to think I'm the last person to act conceited or fake... I'm usually the first to apologize (over apologize), guilty of over-analyzing, and just try to make the best of what's around. 

Sorry for the weird random rant tonight. Scott is closing tonight (the life of retail management) and the next 2 nights, so it's just a lot of quiet alone time. His shift starts before school gets out and he is home after I'm in bed. He was home the last 2 days so it's always nice to catch up but then getting back into the groove of being alone again puts me in a bad mood. School is winding down but that means a longer to-do list and crunch time to fit certain things in (35 days left~ Yes I am counting down, it's been an emotionally draining, stressful, exhausting year for many reasons... Go ahead and make a comment about teachers having summers off. If you have not spent a full day in a classroom setting, there is no judging allowed. It's not babysitting by any means~ it's 200+ jobs rolled up in one and it's a box of chocolates each and every day. A summer "off" is time to re-energize but also time to start planning and prepping for another year of roller coaster events.. so yes, I am counting down). It also means spring fever has set in but we still have a lot of topics to cover- so take hyper 6/7 year-olds with spring fever who don't want to do school work, and bring on the exhaustion at the end of the day. My house is getting cluttered because by the time I get home I'm too overwhelmed to do anything but sit and relax on the couch. The DVR is filling up because I don't even have time or enough of an attention span to catch up on some of my favorite shows. I know this too shall pass, it always does, but man it's a hell of a ride. 

It's days like this that I wonder how I'm going to handle being a mom if I can't even take care of myself. I never leave work before 4 (we get out at 3:15 but there's always so much to do to prep for the next day or clean up from today), in fact it's usually more like 4:30-5:00 that I leave, and I feel like it gets me nowhere. The house is a mess, the laundry piles up, and I'm tired. Throw in a baby and how will I function? Maybe this 6 month wait before moving to IVF is supposed to teach me a lesson to get my own act together before adding on the life of someone else. I keep thinking maybe a baby will force me to be more organized and better with time management because I'll have to center around the baby so I can't have lazy moments. I'm definitely planning to take this 6 month hiatus (and summer break) to work on myself, chores, and relaxing with Scott. Ok, done with my rant. Time for bed.... tomorrow is School Forest Day~ taking the class into the woods for 2 hours of nature activities: TGIF!! Thanks for putting up with my rant... <3 xoxo