Vacation Recap: Embarkation and Port Departure- Part 2

Embarkation
Happy Father's Day!  It really was the perfect day for Embarkation.  FatherWinter made the suggestion for a cruise this year and it seemed perfect that we were leaving on a day meant to honor fathers. FatherWinter was in a great mood and decided to share it by encouraging Superbug to wake up :)

Daddy jumping on the bed to wake Superbug


After gifting FatherWinter with Father's Day cards and getting ready for the day, we were off to the Port to go cruising!

Superbug had several great memories of the trip.  One of his favorite was driving to the port and seeing the ship as we approached.  He talked about it quite some time after we were actually on board.

Approaching the ship

Approaching the ship

Once we arrived at the port and paid for parking, we went through the boarding process.  We were pleasantly surprised that, though there were already quite a number of people, the lines were moving quickly.  After having all of our documents processed properly and posing for our Sail and Sign Cards which served as currency on the ship, we were ready to go.

Superbug is ready to board the ship

Taking the escalator to the gangway

Preparing to board
Superbug was very excited to cross the gangway onto the ship.  Our sister and brother (in love) were already on board, so we went straightway to their cabin to say hello.  After a brief conversation and catch-up, FatherWinter and I took the kids to our cabin and placed our luggage, which had been bought to our room, inside.

The cabin was a very nice balcony cabin with an upper berth for Superbug and a pullout for Honeybee We stood outside on the balcony taking in the sights and then decided to grab a bit to eat!  (Our family loves food).  Despite their being so many of us (4 adults and 6 children), we were able to find a booth section rather quickly.  The men went to the buffet line for the moms so they could bring back plates for the kids.

The food was absolutely delicious and everyone was very satisfied with their meals.  Being done, we all went to the top deck to take in some of the sights of the port before leaving. It was such a pleasant time up there.





Taking in the sights from the  ship

Somewhere over there is our car

Cousin time
 We knew our time would be a bit brief there as the ship had to prep for the muster drill.  The drill is like a fire drill for a cruise ship.  It preps the passengers for what to do in the event of an emergency requiring passengers to access the lifeboats and/or prep for an abandon ship order.  The safety briefing that accompanied the drill was a bit long, but the information was important.  I didn't mind at all.

This was our second time on the Carnival Victory, but our first with children.  We were interested in hearing how things would be done with and for them in the event of an emergency.  All of that was explained including the actions that would occur should the children be in the youth clubs while the emergency was declared.  Children under the age of 12 were all given wristbands that coordinated with their muster station.  They wore those bracelets during the duration of the cruise.  Even my 9 month old nephew had one attached to his ankle.  It gave a good feeling knowing the kids were so carefully considered in the cruise.

After the muster drill was over, the family returned to our previous activity of viewing the port sites, but this time we were also excited to see us towed to sea.  FatherWinter and I had never departed from this port before.  It's funny the comparisons one makes in their minds.  I think I might have an aesthetic preference to Miami only because you are leaving by the highway and people are more inclined to wave.  (It kind of makes you feel super special).  However, the port workers were very kind to wave goodbye, as were some of the passengers on the cruise ship we were departing.




Pretty soon, we were out on open water and were ready to head for a day and evening of fun.  We went to a show and then decided to check out the kids club.  I'd already registered the children prior to boarding the ship, but SisterWinter (that's FatherWinter's sister) had not.  We took all the kids in and allowed the younger ones to play in the club to get acclimated before we would have to return later.

They loved it.  For the rest of the cruise, all I had to do was sing to Honeybee let's go pla--a-ay".  She would giggle and sing it back.  Then would anxiously go to the cabin door ready to leave.  The staff was awesome to her and called her "cutie pie" which is now a new word in her vocab.  The older children also enjoyed the club for the most part.  They enjoyed the activities and made some new friends.  After registering the kiddies, we walked around and caught a show, caught an early dinner, and enjoyed some of the endlessly fun activities. Superbug asked if he could hang with his cousin for a while in her cabin with Sister and BrotherWinter and we were glad to let him hang out with family.

That left us with Honeybee and entertaining her.  No problem.  We got her dressed for bed and posed for a few selfies.





Soon, it was time for Honeybee to call it an evening.  FatherWinter and I watched the NBA Finals in our bedroom until my tummy started growling again.  Superbug, who'd returned to our cabin by then, joined me for a jaunt upstairs where we searched for, found, and claimed cheese and pepperoni pizza.

Without a doubt, it was a great day.

-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Freeport, Bahamas-Part 3

Welcome to Freeport


When we woke the next morning, we were greeted by the the inlet of Freeport.  Because we wanted to give the kids a chance to experience the cruise and didn't want to overdo it with activities, we decided not to do excursions this time.  We decided to go out an explore the harbor on our own.

There were plenty of shops and eateries available.  We walked the main drag and enjoyed looking at all that was available to see.






-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Formal Night and Nassau, Bahamas-Part 4

No lengthy explanations needed here.  We enjoyed beautiful singing, lots of fun activities, a beautiful beach (Tiki Beach Hut), and tons of great beverages and food.  It was a great time!  There are plenty of other pictures, but I thought I'd keep some just for us :)  We hope you have enjoyed journeying with us.  We will talk to you soon!

Singing and dancing for love

Formal night fun







-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Road Trip to the Cruise Port! Part 1

We're back!  Oh my goodness, what a wonderful vacation we had!  I have to admit that I was more than a little nervous about taking the kids on their first cruise, but I needn't have been.  They loved it. FatherWinter and I are already discussing doing another one when Honeybee is just a bit older.  For this first one for the kids, it was really nice.

The Drive Down
FatherWinter and I decided that it made much more economical sense to drive down to FL for cruise embarkation than it did to fly.  Round trip flights for a family of four are not inexpensive.  Buying gas for the car and going down just seemed to be a much better option for us.

Our original plan was to leave at 5AM, but some challenges had us leave about 7AM instead.  The kids were pretty excited about a new adventure and were all for pre-trip photos before our departure prayer.





After we let, the kids were sleep pretty quick.  As was I.  FatherWinter took first drive and we slept for about four hours and then stopped for breakfast at the local Shoney's.  This is sort of a tradition for our family.  When we do long road trips South, we stop at Shoney's for a good breakfast buffet. This one didn't disappoint and after a quick meal, we were on the road again.


Several hours later, we arrived at our hotel and were so excited to just to stand up lol.  We grabbed a bit to eat and then met up with FatherWinter's sister and brother in law and their kids.  The older kids went to the pool and played all evening.  I went straight to bed with Honeybee.  We were exhausted!

-WinterMommy


I'm Out




Well, ladies and gentlemen. No surprise here. I’m out. Today is CD1 for me. Right on time. Just like clockwork. Aunt Flo has arrived complete with her cramps and mood swings. In my mind, I see her laughing rather mockingly at me. ‘How dare you think you were going to conceived this month’. Man, this sucks.

There is such a general disappointment after seeing a BFN on a pregnancy test after you are so very certain that you could have conceived this month. The tweakers on the #TTC sites may pull a faint line here or a possible there. You spend countless hours (and data space) snapping photos of your own tests to manipulate, zoom in, squint at, and so on. You start looking at due date calendars and possible pregnancy symptoms on Google. You wonder if this symptom that you didn’t have last month could be a symptom that really means implantation and pregnancy this month. You hope against hope. You pray against prayer. You even quote the “I’m not out until AF shows” to yourself willing conception to occur. And then, quite suddenly sometimes, it’s over. You’re back at CD 1. The cramps of defeat your only company. The bloating and release of unused lining your proof of misery. And you mourn…all over again. You agonize over the loss of yet another month. You realize that you are one month older in the conception timeline and close to one year older in the maternal age category. You feel sad. You feel damaged. You feel inferior. All because you’re out.

So, I’ll try again. But I’m not sure I want to. It’s hard. Grieving the loss every month. The emotion is raw. You find your sanity tested. You find your faith tested. Yeah. You find your faith tested. There is never any point in getting mad at God. He has his reasons. Maybe it isn’t time. Maybe there is something else you need to focus on first. Maybe, it isn’t His desire for you to be a mother yet…or at all. That sounds horrible and you find yourself feeling guilty for thinking it and for your anger. But it’s there and it’s palpable, and can’t be ignored. You want to be a mother, again. You hear those who say at least you have children. They are right. You do. And love them more than life. But you know that you have the heart and capacity for many, many more. You have already adopted. You aren’t against doing it again, desire to even, but you want your husband’s blood line to be represented as well and you realize that maybe that just isn’t going to happen. And…you’re out.

It’s CD1 and I’m writing another post about how this month wasn’t the month. I’m looking at yet another article on fertility diets and viewing yet another vlog about what they did to get pregnant this time. Maybe I’ll try the maca root this time. Maybe acupuncture. Maybe I should get the Fertilease for my husband. Maybe I should get the female version for myself. And sure enough I hear that small voice that says “Maybe you should just give up”…and I want to. But I can’t. Because I want this more than anything. But I know that I’ll be 36 next month and my egg count is depleting and no one knows the quality. And so, I move forward…again.

It’s Cycle Day 1 and I’m out…


-K

Superbug's last day of school!!


I can’t believe it! Today is Superbug’s last day of school. He is officially a 5th grader! OH MY WORD! HE’S GOING TO 5TH GRADE!!!! Okay, sorry for the screaming, but you all have no idea!!! This came way too quick for me, but I’m so glad.

This year hasn’t been the easiest for our Superbug. He has had a bit of trouble staying focused. It’s very easy for him to get distracted and even easier for him to become unorganized. We are well aware of what that sounds like and have even had a couple of people hint at it. I prefer not to label and instead work toward a solution that works for everyone involved and doesn’t involve medication. That being said, Superbug has made marked process in getting tasks completed, but still has to work on organization.

I checked with ADDitude, an online magazine for children with ADD and have found some really great organizational ideas. Since I really want to bless Superbug with a Superhero room for his birthday, I’d like to incorporate some of them. So, that will be on my list of summer activities I’m sure.

Anyway, tonight, I am going to bake stuffed shells with ricotta cheese and sausage. The dinner salad from last night will be a side dish and I’m getting some yummy garlic bread on the way home. I’m also grabbing a very small cake (just enough for the family) that says “Congrats 5th Grader” just so he knows it’s all for him.

Love my Superbug. I really do.

Weekend Recap: Of Seminars and Family

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  It's been great for us thus far.  Last night, Superbug and I had a Mommy-Son night.  Since last month sent us bowling, we opted for free movies!  Yep.  Thanks to discounts and movie packs, we were able to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
Photo courtesy:  youtube.com
It was a pretty good movie.  But I have to say he enjoyed it more than I.  I give it a 3 out of 5.  But, we had a great time watching it together and that is all that truly counts :)  After the movie, Superbug asked for dinner at Burger King.  I have to laugh at this because of all the places we could possibly go, he wanted Whoppers.  Sigh, I'll get him in the habit of enjoying real food sooner or later lol.  In the mean time, Superbug has hinted that he wants to do laser quest next time.

When we arrived home after our Mommy-Son night festivities, we found we were home alone.  There was nothing wrong though.  FatherWinter had some family members who were coming in from out of town for one evening only.  He and Honeybee joined them with NanaWinter for dinner.  When we arrived, they hadn't quite made it home yet.  That just meant Superbug and I sat down and conversed about a few more interesting topics--school, life, our upcoming cruise (8 more days!!!), and vacations to see NanaNorth.  Soon, it was time for him to call it a night and I was left to my own devices.  (That's code word for sleep lol).

Today, Honeybee and I went o our church for a Women's Ministry seminar on Domestic Violence.  It was very informative and sad to hear the statistics.  The representatives from the local organization were wonderful though.  They are actively seeking volunteers and I think I may want to sign up.

After the seminar was over, our original plan was to go to the Food Truck festival about thirty minutes North, but it was so very hot that I didn't think it would be a good idea to walk around outside for three hours in 70+% humidity.  So we have been at home enjoying family.

I will catch up with you all in a few days.  Have a great evening.

-WinterMommy


Wow, it's been a while

Hello everyone.  I've been updating Instagram for a while now, but there hasn't been much writing going on in the blog world.  Sorry about that.  There have been plenty of days I wanted to write, but I wasn't sure anyone wanted to hear about my thoughts and musings.

After last month's #BFN following a two false positive results on two different tests, I did some speaking with medical professionals and some Google research and realized that blue dye tests were never again to be used in my household.  Both of my positives came from blue dyes.  So, this time, all test will be pink and only pink dyes.

S. and I have done all the regular baby dancing, Pre-seed, symptom checking, etc. for this fertility cycle.  The new app I'm following (that makes three #ttc apps going at the same time) says that implantation should have occurred yesterday or today, more than likely today.  While I have yet to see spotting, I did wake up this morning with a pretty strong cramp and weird "pinch" inside.  I also have, not spotting, not necessarily discharge, but a light tan tinge to my vaginal discharge (TMI) was in the undies this morning.  However, I saw the same last month, so we will have to see if this is a symptom.

My breasts, particularly my nipples are sore this evening.  I am not sure if that is a pregnancy symptom or is a period symptom, but I'm watching.  My apps say I may test within the next five days, but I am going to wait a bit before doing so.  If this is truly our time, I don't want to rush the time that the HCG has to increase.

Either way, we'll see what happens and where we will go.  Keep us in your thoughts.

-K.

The streak is done!

Congratulations to the team! Superbug's little league baseball team officially ended their losing streak of 0-5 and won a hard fought game! Yay! 🎉🎉 Last night, the fellas worked very hard to get on the board and surpass their opponents. It worked out well with a 9-8 victory.

Proud of the guys. There are three more games scheduled. Hopefully, they can do it again!

Awesome job, guys!!!
-WinterMommy