St. Patrick’s Day Crafts For Toddlers!

**To view the video of us making these scroll all the way down!***

I have been wanting to blog about all of the crafts that I do and want to do with my little man. Crafts alone are fun but the little ones make it so much more interesting. I found two doable crafts for toddlers on Pinterest this past week and this morning my son and I were busy trying them out while recording it all. I chose to do these two crafts:

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I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday to pick up the materials and it was very inexpensive, here’s what you need!

  • Elmer’s stick glue ($1.99)
  • Medium sized white poster board (5 for $2.99)
  • Non toxic green washable kids paint ($3.27)
  • Bowl for the paint to be finger dipped from
  • Print out of a clover
  • 4 Scrapbook pages design of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Toddler

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First print out a large clover, I found mine doing a Google search, make sure it fills up the while paper. Then cut along the edges.

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Apply tape on the edges so the paint won’t sneak in to where you don’t want it

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Place it in the center of a medium sized poster board paper

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Squirt the green paint in a bowl

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Dip your finger in, or your child’s finger in-I had to show my little man how to do it and then he would copy what I was doing. This was after he stuck it in his mouth because he thought it was a condiment haha, good thing it’s non toxic!

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And then however you want to paint or dot the outside of the printout, it’s okay to get paint on the printout because you will be pulling it off and discarding it

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Once you’re done slowly peel off the printout, I suggest doing this after you wash all the pain off of your hands so you don’t get paint anywhere you don’t want it to be

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Ta Da!

Next Clover project!

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Take the scrapbook pages you have and cut them evenly into columns and then take the strips and cut them into little squares, also take that printout that you used fr the previous craft and trace around it on another piece of poster board to get the above clover

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I put all my little squares into my little man’s spider man bucket

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Then you take one square put glue on the back and place it wherever you want on the clover, I would glue it and hand it to my little guy until….

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He wanted it to do it all by himself…

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Testing it out I let him and yup he was able to do it all by himself, such a big boy!

Once you have covered the whole clover you can be done with that but if you really want it to look sharp flip it over and cut the excess scrapbook paper squares off, and that’s it! You can frame either one to really make it snazzy or hang them on the fridge like I did. Good luck!

 To view the video of my son and I making these click below!

 

 

I’m Back!!

 

The worst blogger award definitely goes to me! I would like to apologize first and foremost for taking such a long break but I do have many good reasons for not blogging lately, most due to being uninspired and overloaded with life. (It happens!) Before you make your verdict of whether I am guilty or not for receiving forgiveness of my absence let me present my case of why I have been sucking at keeping up with my blog.

School

School: If you ever want to challenge yourself try having a family, working and going to school all at the same time. To add some spice do all that while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. This alone was enough to send me into a corner and cry because of all the stress that comes with this. I’m in a Bachelor’s degree program for Criminal Justice and every 5 weeks I finish a class and start a new one. It’s an awesome program, but I just found out that I have a lot of units to still complete on top of the program to fulfill the state’s requirements for graduation. Being that I am a transfer student from another state 6 classes aren’t being counted towards requirements and I have to complete a certain amount of units within this state to graduate. This was a major bummer and I have been dealing with this lately as to how to quickly complete these units and the cheapest way possible. I definitely found the cheapest way: completing them at a community college and the quickest way is to overload my schedule with classes so I can graduate by summer of 2017. For all of this to happen I am starting this summer by taking 4 classes on top of the program so this summer I will be taking 5 classes. Even though this completely sucks by this summer I won’t be working at my current job anymore so I can stay up late to get all these classes done. It’s not too bad, I was able to do the 5 classes a semester and working a 45+ hour third shift job before so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Work

Work: I got a part time job at a retail store and the shifts are early morning, VERY early morning.  We share a room with my toddler and he doesn’t fall asleep until late at night so I’m only getting about 5 hours of sleep the days I have to work and then the days that I don’t work I still have to go to bed early for the next day. Two days have to be taken off to be able to do anything because you are either tired from that day of work or you have to go to bed early for the next day of work. I definitely do recommend this schedule but again I see it as a blessing that I was able to find a job that fit around the Hubs’ schedule so we won’t need someone to take care of our little man.

pregnancy

Surrogacy: This happened just recently, but I was released from contract from my last intended parents at the very end of January and was immediately matched with new parents. I have a transfer date of March 18th so a lot had to happen before that date but thankfully everything that needed to be done has almost been completed. I will be posting an update on that as well 🙂

channel

Vlogging: We just started vlogging at the end of December and we love it! It’s a lot of fun to keep track of what is going on with our lives through video and being able to share it with the world. As much fun as this is it requires so much time with planning out the videos, gathering what we need for the videos, filming, editing, uploading, and sharing the video. I want to be able to keep up with both our vlog and my blog but bare with me I won’t be perfect at this! Here’s our latest video! Don’t forget to subscribe!

 

 

money

Money: With doing all of these fun blog posts of crafts, recipes and other creative visual content I had to purchase all of the supplies of course and this can get rather expensive. We’re trying to pay off debt and buy a house next year so blogging comes last on the list of expenses. BUT we are in a much better financial state now so we can afford doing some fun upcoming blogs!

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Gym: On the days I’m not working my husband and I are working up a sweat and this takes up our whole morning until the Hubs has to go to work.

mommy duties

Wife/Mommy Duties: With being the one who mostly stays home I am in charge of our little man with all of his needs, as well as all meals, the cleaning, the bills and anything else that comes with running a household, but I love it! I wouldn’t want it any other way!

If I’m not pumping iron I’m stocking shelves, if I’m not editing videos I’m making dinner, if I’m not studying I’m changing a diaper, and if I’m not cleaning I’m catching up on what needs to be done that is surrogate related. A lot of good is happening in our lives but it has been kicking our butts and after I have gone to the gym, studied for a test, made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cleaned our home, paid the bills, edited a video; the last thing I want to do is write. It’s not that I don’t love to write it just is not my favorite thing to do when I am so exhausted. I’ll try to type and I will have 5689 typos because I fell asleep at the keyboard 🙂 Creativity goes out the window when you can barely keep your eyes open.

Things are changing though! I am quitting my job in two weeks because we are doing so well financially so I will be able to focus on the things that I love to do!

Hang in there with me and keep reading in the future for: surrogate updates, craft ideas, healthy recipes, life updates, mom tips, pregnancy tips, breastfeeding tips and whatever else I can think of! Thank you for reading!

 

 

We are Now Vloggers!

I have been blogging since this past February and it really opened the door to a very creative world, coming on here lets me store all of that energy some where. With getting to know this blogging world, you come across the term vlogging which is just like blogging but in video format. I was planning on blogging my whole surrogate journey and my road to zenith but why not add video to it too! It would make it so much better to get an actual visual on what exactly goes on in the surrogate process and what’s going on with my road to zenith. My husband and I have talked a lot about doing YouTube channels, probably for about 2 years and last weekend I thought why not start now?! There is no perfect time to start, being that I am in contract but still waiting for the next transfer date to be revealed. We didn’t have the greatest camera but we upgraded that this past week because we really want to invest in vlogging AND we are enjoying it immensely. Hey it might go somewhere, right?! I purchased a low cost video editing program for now, that is probably the next thing we will be upgrading but we still need to learn a lot about social media networking and how this all works before we invest anymore money.

We have been having so much fun with thinking of content that would be entertaining but at the same time goes along with our daily life. Also with gaining comfort in front of the camera, cutting out annoying little sayings like: um, uhh, so and so on. I have been busy with learning how to work the new program, how YouTube works and how to grow your subscriber number.

I think the main reason why I wanted to start the channel is because I looked up to see if there were any other surrogates who vlogged their journey and I couldn’t find any! I thought how awesome would it be to let people, especially women, know the true world of bringing babies to this world for couples who physically cannot? We also are in college, we are parents, we are very much into fitness/meal prepping, were a married couple, gamers and whatever else we can muster up. I hope all of my blog readers will tune in to our channel, subscribe hopefully and enjoy what we upload!

I will still try to blog as much as possible so that I have written and video content of everything, but for right now vlogging has been taking up a lot of my time.

Our vlogger channel name is: The Sanzo’s

You can click on the links below to view! (We only have 3 videos uploaded so far)

Super Mario Felt Christmas Tree

I have been working on this for over a month now. I am so excited to share the end result! I got the idea of a felt tree from Pinterest but came up with the theme of Super Mario ornaments and how to make them on my own. Since we don’t have much room in our apartment we couldn’t get a Christmas tree, so I turned it into something fun for my toddler to play with. Here is the end result:

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Here’s what you need: (1 yard of dark green felt for the tree $5.99, and then one small square each of the following colors: yellow, brown, orange, red, white, tan and green 4 for $1.00. Felt glue $5.99, permanent marker $0.99, fabric scissors $2.99 and printouts of whichever character you choose).

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First I drew an outline of a Christmas tree on the yard of green felt, and then my husband (whose the better artist) drew over my Christmas tree:

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Then cut it out and place on the wall (I mounted mine to the wall with a staple gun).

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Next print out the characters that you want and cut those out and then place the cutouts on the color of felt that is dominant in the character:

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Trace the characters and cut them out: (For the precise lines do your best to draw them on with a permanent marker).

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For the smaller felt parts cut out the traceable part from the character you printed out like this: (Then trace on the right color of felt and glue on to the previous felt part that was cut out)

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I referred to online pictures from my phone to make sure that I got the right colors and the right parts where they were supposed to go:

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Let the glue dry for about an hour and then let your lovable ones play!

Just be careful to monitor them, my little guy already ripped the question mark block apart…Have fun!!

 

 

Surrogacy: Unsuccessful Transfer

I had my first embryo transfer at the end of this past August, I found out only 12 days later that the transfer was not successful. I was in complete shock at first when I heard my doctor’s voice on the phone sharing the news. I told him that I didn’t believe him that I was having pregnancy symptoms that were identical to when I was pregnant with my son. Since I went into a nearby clinic for my blood to be drawn for the first pregnancy test, he wanted to make sure and asked for me to drive to his office so his phlebotomist can do the blood withdraw. I showed up as soon as the office opened the next day and received another phone call that afternoon with the same results. For the next week I went through a lot of emotions starting with self blame, I was mad at my own body for not making this pregnancy happen.

I came to the conclusion though that it just wasn’t meant to be, I did everything I was supposed to with the self injections, medications, vitamins, diet and restrictions. It just amazed me that the transfer wasn’t successful because I know I am fertile, healthy and it only took one try for our son to be conceived. Also, every ultrasound visit I had with the IVF doctor was flawless, everything that needed to happen happened and the doctor would tell me how well my body was doing with all of that was being put into it. So why didn’t it work?

On the phone with the doctor with the second results of the pregnancy test, I asked him what the grade of the embryo was(they are graded on an ABC scale, with A being the best), and he said it was grade A. With everything going as smooth as it did from all aspects, it really was just not supposed to happen. I then was given some closure when the phlebotomist told me that each embryo transferred has a 50/50 chance. That’s why a lot of times surrogates end up pregnant with twins because the IVF doctor likes to transfer at least 2 embryos to have a better success rate. But there was only one A grade male embryo from the retrievals and the intended parents had their hearts set on having a boy.

After receiving the news of the failed transfer, I immediately emailed my intended parents to share my condolences. That I wish there was more that I could do or could have done but honestly I did all that I could have.

I wanted to make something for my intended parents, something they could hold on to, to remember this baby by. After brainstorming I collected all that I had during this surrogate process and printed out a poem and arranged it all in a shadow box:

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I was very happy with how it turned out, I received an email from them as soon as they received it and they were very thankful and touched by my gift. After a couple of weeks I emailed them sharing that if they were willing that I was more than happy to go through with another transfer. They thanked me for my willingness and wrote that they are still deciding if they want to do another transfer or not. It’s been 3 months since then and I finally received word from them mid last week that they are still deciding but that it doesn’t look hopeful. The donor they were using isn’t so inclined to do another transfer and they don’t want to use anyone else. There are female embryos available but they really wanted to even the boys and girls in their household. They have until March for there to be a viable pregnancy, if that doesn’t happen then the contract expires unless all parties agree to extend the contract. It takes about 1 month preparation for everything before the transfer and then about 1 month after for a confirmation of pregnancy, so I should know for sure by January if we’re going to try again. I really hope they do decide for another transfer, the parents were wonderful and we get along very well. In my surrogate support groups I would hear other surrogates’ stories of how their intended parents are international and do not speak English so all of the pre-natal checkups are awkward, especially if there isn’t an interpreter. I also heard another horror story of an intended mother living in a different country and when the baby was born she left the United States with the baby without completing the rest of the payments for the surrogate, thankfully she did pay the remaining balance on the last day though. Hearing all of the stories that I had made me very thankful for who I was matched with.

I have yet to decide, though, if these current parents decline another transfer if I want to open my contract up to new parents or not. I didn’t realize how connected I would feel with the parents when I started this journey. It really is an emotional roller coaster, the anticipation starts when the inject able medication starts because then there is a count down to transfer day. Then each check up appointment to check on the uterine lining and hormone levels also adds to that anticipation because you see your body progressing and getting ready to accept their baby. The day of the transfer is just filled with jitters and excitement, it’s a good thing they give you Valium for your body to calm down before. The following days after the transfer are a slow torture wondering if it was successful or not. Then the day comes for the results and you can either receive the most beautiful news that soon there will be a baby or the most tragic news that there won’t be.

For now I am enjoying the holidays, praying about my decision and waiting for the intended parents to get back to me, I really hope that they choose the female embryos; I think that they are meant to raise more beautiful women to be in this world. I will keep you all updated for what happens next, stay tuned and thank you for reading! 🙂

Cover Photo

 

What I am Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving!! Today we reflect upon what we are thankful for and I have been doing this for the past two weeks because God has released the flood gates of blessings on our lives, He has always blessed us but just recently we have just been overwhelmed and I want to share what’s been going on in our lives! And an explanation of why I haven’t posted anything in 3 months…

First off the last time I posted was about my surrogate embryo transfer, unfortunately the transfer was not successful. That’s all I am going to say about that in this post because I will be writing about it in depth in another post that I will be publishing probably this weekend. Even though it’s sad news there has been events that happened, as of just last night, that I am thankful for in that category.

To set a picture of our lives when we first moved to California last summer (2014) I would like to write about what happened when we first moved here. The plan was to move in with my mother and for her to help us get on our feet by helping out financially so we can pay off debt and helping with our newborn son and in turn we were going to help in other ways for a trade off. Things fell through and we had to get a place of our own which we were not expecting. Money was so tight being that I went part time after our son was born and moving expenses were huge also; we were living by the dollar after I was hired at a local warehouse and cleaning a house on Saturdays.We were barely approved for the apartment because of our income, you have to gross 2.7 times the amount of rent and we were approved by that requirement by just $20.

Being hired at that warehouse was the start of the blessings when we moved here, it’s the best paying warehouse job that I have heard of, and it’s also very difficult to be hired there; I was ecstatic when I received a job offer. When we moved to California we sold all of our stuff and packed it all into our SUV and drove across. When we got our own place in Cali we had barely anything and on top of that no money to buy the things you need like pots and pans, a bed, etc. Thankfully our son was all taken care of, we brought his crib with us and he always comes first, he was never without anything. We were so broke that we were sleeping on an air mattress, our TV was on the floor, I ate a sandwich and fruit bar for work and we couldn’t do anything on my days off to save money for gas. Our diet was also terrible with eating ramen noodles, mostly pasta dinners with canned pasta sauce, etc. It sucked, but honestly it wasn’t that bad, at the time we were quite pissed about our situation  but I look back and think even in our “bad situation,” it’s better than most people living in this world. But coming from what we had before we moved out here, we didn’t realize how good we had it. This whole experience of moving out here has been such a humbling and rebuilding experience for us as people, as parents, and for our marriage.

We didn’t want to put our son in daycare because we have a very hard time trusting people, especially listening to horror stories from the news about what goes on in day cares, that and day care is really expensive, at the time the price of daycare would have taken up most of one of our incomes anyways, so we decided it was better that one of us stay home with the little guy. The Hubs started school immediately last fall and is still working on his degree today, and I was working 6 days a week. We were so stressed during this time that we started verbally attacking each other. Our marriage was suffering, the Hubs felt terrible for not working and I missed my son so much, to make things even more difficult for me, I was still breastfeeding, my pump became my best friend, but carrying that thing around 6 days a week was very annoying; but, I was thankful for technology that there was a way that I could still feed my baby in the best way while working so much.

The December after we moved here I was finally able to quit my cleaning job because the warehouse I was working for gives out this very generous bonus at the end of the year. We decided to use that money to supplement income so I can spend more time with my precious son. That’s when things started to get better. Now I’m working a normal 5 day a week schedule but I still am really missing my boy and the Hubs is still feeling extremely guilty for not being the sole provider for the family. So we switched! I got him into the job I was at and he has been doing so much better, he loves coming home to his family…and my cooking 😉 That was spring of this last year (2015) Shortly after he started working, my surrogacy journey started and I also started working at a part time job that had an off schedule from the Hub’s schedule, so one of us is always with our son. Again, HUGE blessing to find a job that works with my current limited schedule. Over the summer I was accepted into a local universities’ online program to continue my education to receive a Bachelor’s Degree, which is one of my dreams. School started about two months ago, and I absolutely love it.

Another blessing just happened when a previous co-worker asked me to babysit their child during the week in the comfort of my own home. That has been working out great, now my son has a playmate and I can generate even more revenue to really help us get out of debt, all without leaving my own home. Also, having two toddlers to look after has given me a very accurate idea of how life will be when we have baby #2.

With the Hubs going to school, he received a grant at an amount that they have mailed him the excess balance after the tuition was paid. Then in December he is getting the same bonus that I received from that company last year.

Now we are both going to school, we are both working, we were able to buy a bed, a couch, a TV stand, a desk for our computers, pots & pans to cook with and all the other essentials that you need to run a house hold. We also have a much better diet that is filled with meats, mostly organic foods, home cooked meals and all the goods. All while our son never having to go to daycare which was the most important to us. We have never been stronger in our marriage, we have never been closer to our families, even though most of them live on the other coast. I wake up at 3am to go to work 5 days out of the week and my day isn’t over until 9pm, I have long but fulfilling days. I love both of my jobs, I love the people I am around, I love my husband and I definitely love the little boy I have been blessed with. We are all so healthy, on such a good path, and everyday is such a blessing, and I thank God for providing for us when things were tough and in our prosperous days; for helping us withstand the storms and giving us the strength to do so. I hope my story inspires you to hang on, a year ago today, I felt like I was going to be swallowed up by the waves with how much stress I was under, but here I am now doing so well and I am so entirely thankful for that. I hope that you too can be thankful for what you have no matter how little or how much.

Tv on the ground:

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My adorable son and our lovely air mattress in the back:

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We also bought these college dorm chairs because we couldn’t afford a couch and were sitting on the floor to watch TV:

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