Friday, June 27, 2008

Quinoa Roasted Vegetable Salad

I've finally made Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). I found some rough instructions on the web how to make a good grain salad with it and I really changed it a lot. What I really liked about this is I was able to have it on the table for dinner in less than 30 minutes. This is a perfect summer worknight supper. This was our main dish as in the summer we like to eat light. I put this over a bed of lettuce and sprouts as our main dish.

1 cup quinoa
2 medium zuchini, halved and sliced
1 small bunch of brocolli cut into flowerets
1 red bell pepper
juice of one lemon
olive oil
garlic powder
sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water in a saucepot, uncovered until the water is soaked up by the grain. Then turn off, put a lid on it and let it sit until the rest of dinner is ready.

While the grain is cooking, slice up the veggies, put them in a roasting pan cover liberally with olive oil or lemon infused olive oil. Sprinkle garlic powder, sea salt and fresh ground pepper over the veggies and mix. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, keeping the veggies a little crisp and not brown.

Mix the veggies, quinoa, lemon juice and some more fresh ground pepper in a bowl and serve. It can be served warm or cold, over a bed of greens and sprouts, as a main dish or as a side dish!

I had the leftovers for lunch and it was great!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Meds Are In!

I received my shipment of meds yesterday for our IVF cycle. Wow! It's a lot! It's about twice as many medicines as the ovulation induction cycle we were doing. I'm getting really excited. I'm hoping this works quickly. I'm not sure exactly how much I can take. I'll be trying to stay relaxed and such in the meantime. I'm scheduled to stop taking birth control pills on July 2nd, and I'm not sure how long it will take for me to get my period when I stop. It's not like I've ever been on BCPs before. There was never any need. So the excitement is mounting over here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sex & The City Movie Review

One of the perks of Phoebe being at the in-laws is the ability to go out on a weeknight. We went to see "Sex and the City" last night. There were some things I liked and some things I didn't like. There are minor spoilers here, so if you haven't seen the movie yet (why the h*ll not!) don't read any further.

Things I Liked
- The final outcome for Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte
- The ways Charlotte wasn't so perfect
- The clothes!!!! The Vivienne Westwood wedding dress was to die for!!!

Things I Didn't Like So Much
- The final outcome for Samantha (and she's my favorite character, so really not happy!!!)
- How Charlotte's daughter was hanging out with the girls all the time and they had to watch what they said. Brady was in some of those hang out times, but not as much as Lily.

I almost forgot to mention my ultimate favorite part, which is when Samantha notices Miranda's hair issue "down there" when they are all sitting in their swimsuits in Mexico. Very close to her exact words are "I could be on Death Row and not have that issue you have going on there!" Leo and I discussed that coming home from the movies. Especially remembering that when I was pregnant with Phoebe, there was a point I stopped shaving because it was just too hard to reach. Well the actual day my water broke (I was only 36 weeks) I got really frustrated with what was going on "down there" and sat on the bottom of the shower stall that morning and took care of business. Funny thing is I didn't remember until a year later when I watched the video of her birth. Leo and I were watching it and all of a sudden it hit me "I was shaved completely bald and no one said a thing!" LOL. I guess that was my version of nesting. So ladies that check my blog that are pregnant, if you hit an unexplainable urge to shave parts of your body that the sun doesn't (usually) shine, you may be nesting!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday, Monday and Self Magazine Article Review

What a day! I'm going to leave work shortly and it was a very tiring day. People just having no customer service skills whatsoever. Thankfully, I know their manager and she is a reasonable person. Just got off the phone with her and it's mostly sorted out. At least I feel better. This is not good for the relaxation I need to be trying to find.

On another front, I read a really interesting article yesterday in the July 2008 issue of Self magazine. It was about a woman (Deanna Kizis) who gave an actual name and personage to the negative voices in her head. She gave him the name Stan. Stan tells her all the bad things about herself: too lazy, nobody likes her, etc. and she tells him to go F off. I like this idea and I'm thinking about it. I am very self-critical and I'm wondering if this can help me. I've also been feeling very negative lately, mostly because of how critical I am and it's affecting my life. I'm starting to think that maybe it's my Stan that's been causing me to not live fearlessly as I've discussed in previous posts. Maybe the fact that I thought I haven't been living fearlessly is Stan's voice. I think I do live pretty fearlessly. I face my infertility, marriage, job, mothering with an open mind and I'm pretty out there. I come up with my own creative solutions for things every day. Take my other post on the rules for Phoebe and her friends to play in the house. No one told me they did that or that it was a good technique. I came up with it all on my own. I don't know how it's going to work yet, since Phoebe's been at Leo's parents since the day after they were posted and she didn't have anyone over in the one day they were posted and she was home. But I am creative, talented, energetic and amazing. And I'm liking the name Stan. I think I'm going to have a conversation with him today and tell him where to go and how to get there!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mall Curfew in Delaware

I'm getting behind on posting everyday. I was watching the news this morning and they reported on something that made me very happy.

The mall nearest us is in Delaware (Christiana Mall) and has an issue on Friday and Saturday nights that it is overrun with teenagers. I don't mind teenagers except when they run free in this mall, they have a tendency to fight and curse. We have accidentally forgotten about the weekend night teenage crowd and have brought our daughter to the mall then, and I inwardly cringe the whole time.

Well they have a new rule that will go in affect on July 11th - no child under 18 is allowed to be in the mall on Friday and Saturday night without an adult present. The mall administrator on the news said they are going to post security at the entrances during these times and ask to see ID and if there is someone that's under 18, and there is no one over 21 with them, they will turn them away.

I think this will make a huge difference, as I know of many families and adults that avoid the mall during these timeframes, so it's only made it worse that there's usually just teenagers.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A View To A Kill

I'm picking this up from Doctor Grumbles. I love my iPod and just had to see what this would come up with. It reminds me of Mad Libs, which I loved when I was a kid.

BTW, thanks for all the comments on my last post. I feel the love!!!!!

Here are the rules:

1.Put your iTunes/music player on “Shuffle”
2.For each question, press the “Next” button to get your answer
3.You MUST write down the name of THAT SONG no matter what. (aka NO CHEATING!)

Comments after a song in italics are allowed.
Okay, kids. Here we go…

Love Me Do by the Beatles (???)

Was It Worth It? by the Pet Shop Boys (Well, I do love the Pet Shop Boys!)

Left To My Own Devices by the Pet Shop Boys (I don't like to be forced to behave in any one way by and significant other)

Anywhere Is by Enya (Anywhere is where I'd rather be today than at work. It's too nice outside)

Fluorescent by Gwen Stefani (Well, I do like to live colorfully!)

Lisa Listen by Lisa Loeb (I try to listen more than talk. I talk too much, so just trying to listen more makes me seem more normal than the chatterbox that I am.)

U Started It by Gwen Stefani (I do sing this to Leo sometimes. He is my friend.)

That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore by The Smiths (I don't think I want to touch this one.)

Will You Love Me Tomorrow by Carole King (Not sure on this one. People do either love or hate me. I sometimes wonder which one I'm exposed to at a moment.)

Bathwater by No Doubt (Well, Leo is my best friend and I do love to wash in his bathwater, but I won't share his toothbrush, ick!)

The Name of the Game by Abba (???)

I Before E Except After C by Yazoo (I sometimes try to play by the rules too much)

Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog (Oh this is perfect! I am a lover and a dreamer! That's what I want to be!)

Dancing with Mephisto by Enigma (I do like to dance with Leo in the middle of the kitchen)

Promises, Promises by Naked Eyes (not sure if I've kept them)

Tesla Girls by OMD (well, Leo and I are both electrical engineers, but we danced to Forever Young by Alphaville)

Blues Away by Erasure (I do like this song. I hope I take someone's blues away.)

Dance With Me by Alphaville (I do love to dance)

You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk by the Pet Shop Boys (Oh boy! I wonder who's singing that!!!)

Within You Without You by the Beatles (???)

A View To A Kill by Duran Duran (I do love James Bond theme music)

Feel free to do it, too! I'm not sure if all these made sense. I'm curious to see what other people get.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My IVF Protocol

I finally know what my IVF protocol is. I got a call today from the IVF coordinators at the doctor's office. I start birth control pills tomorrow (today was Day 1 as AF has finally completely arrived) and will stop the BCPs on July 2nd. After that I'm told I should get a light period a few days after I stop them. Can I tell you how happy I am to know I'll probably have AF for the Fourth of July? Total sarcasm here....

I have to call them on day 1 when I get that and they'll have me come in for a baseline ultrasound and bloodwork on day 2. I'll be starting Bravelle and something else that will suppress the ovulation surge a few days later. BTW, my RE doesn't use Lupron anymore for suppression. He used to. I don't know when he stopped, but they told me he did. When we did IVF before several years ago with him, I was on Lupron for suppression. I'll then be monitored for egg retrieval and then fertilization and transfer. So it looks like I'll be starting my IVF cycle around the Fourth of July weekend. Woo hoo!

Wish me lots of luck!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Rules to Play in our House

I got this idea from my SIL who runs a day care from her house. She has a list of rules posted in the kitchen for all kids to follow. I noticed I kept telling Phoebe the rules for when her friends come to play in her playroom, which is also next to her bedroom with a bathroom in between. So they pretty much go through all those rooms. They are good kids, but cleanup is often a pain, as they don't put things back where they belonged and I'm not always happy when they choose to play with things that are not toys, such as her good dresses that fit nicely and such. I was getting annoyed with reminding Phoebe of these rules and depending on her to tell her friends.

This wasn't a huge deal in the school year because everyone was busy doing homework and afterschool activities, so the girls in the neighborhood only came over on weekends. Now that all the schools are out, they are free to play in the afternoons. Today was the first day of all afternoon play and they came to our house. Now, I do want the kids to come to our house to play. I like interacting with them and knowing where they are and if they are getting into trouble.

So today I posted the rules to play in Phoebe's house on the outside of her playroom door. I told her to have her friends read the rules and to tell them if they can't follow the rules in the house, they need to play outside. Here are the rules I posted:

1. Please do not play with the clothes and shoes in Phoebe’s closet. They are not play clothes.
2. Do not play with money in piggy bank. Money is not a toy.
3. Please only take out one bin or drawer of toys at a time. Put them back where they came from so it’s where it belongs next time.
4. Do not play with water or art supplies upstairs.
5. Do not play in Phoebe’s parents’ room. This is off limits.
6. Inside toys are not taken outside for play.
7. Please use your manners and play nicely.
8. Have fun!!!!!

Has anyone else with older children done anything like this, if not do you think this is a good idea, or am I totally off my rocker. Please note my daughter will be 8 in October and her friends in the neighborhood are all a year or two older than her.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bok Choi Recipe and Macrobiotic Dinner Menu

On the macrobiotic dinner menu tonight, I had the following:

Miso soup with ginger
Brown Rice
Kinpira (carrots and burdock)
Braised bok choi

The braised bok choi is my own recipe, but it is very easy. You can do this with any upward-growing vegetable, like kale, escarole, or bok choi.

Braised Bok Choi
I head bok choi, chopped into medium size pieces
olive oil
chopped garlic

In a medium size sauce pot over medium heat, saute the garlic in the olive oil until the oil is flavored with the garlic. Add the bok choi, stir in with the garlic and oil, cover and let steam in it's own juices. Serve hot.

Prince Caspian Movie Review

I didn't get a chance to post yesterday, we were barely home on Father's Day. So this will be my post for yesterday, and I'll put in a post later today for today's post.

We went to the movies yesterday and saw Prince Caspian, the new Chronicles of Narnia movie. It was amazing! Even though it was over 2 hours long, you left the theater wanting more! Even Phoebe had no issues sitting through this movie. We were all on pins and needles through the whole thing. The special effects were great. I love watching how they bring the animals and other creatures to life. I also love how they are so true to the feelings the books are supposed to give you: feelings of wanting to be noble, brave and true in your everyday life. The grace and nobility these characters portray on screen is amazing to see. I especially have to say I loved the way Susan was portrayed in the movie. She's gracious, strong, brave and beautiful. This movie was everything you want a family movie to be.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but The Chronicles of Narnia were my total favorite books growing up. I read them all many times over and they were my beginning of a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction novels. BTW, I never knew that these books had "Christian or religious overtones" until I heard about the first movie coming out when I was an adult. I do see that now, but what I still remember the feeling as a child that I love to see in these movies, is the want to be a better person - noble, brave, gracious and true. And I enjoy sharing these books and movies with Phoebe, because it's one thing to push manners and the right way to behave, but it's even better for your child to see these things in action in a great work of fiction. These books and movies are a great way to excite your child (and ourselves) about being brave and acting nobly. I mean who wouldn't want to have the graciousness of these child kings and queens?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some of My Favorite Pictures

Here are some of my favorite pictures of Phoebe recently. The first one I actually have a pic of how I see her when she's not so animated, which is very hard, as she's always animated when the camera comes out. The second was for Halloween, one of her favorite holidays. She wanted to be pirate in the worst way. I think she's the cutest pirate ever!

Friday, June 13, 2008

IVF Status Update and Yummy Tofu Recipe

I'll start with the recipe. I will have to tell you, I really have never liked tofu. I would pick it out of dishes and eat around it. Something about the texture I didn't like. I must admit that's been changing, and I've been trying some tofu recipes lately just to see what I think. This is from Jessica Porter's book "The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics." I modified very few things, and it is so yummy! I had it for dinner last night with a fresh romaine lettuce salad and then I had it for lunch again today too. I must admit I was looking forward to the leftovers! The other thing I liked about this recipe is that it's very good for a dinner you need to get on the table in less than 1/2 hour. Most macrobiotic dinners take around an hour to put together, because that's how long it usually takes to cook brown rice and other whole grains. It's nice to have this macrobiotic recipe in my back pocket for nights I have to get my dinner together pretty quick.

Scrambled Tofu
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large vidalia onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar
1 3-inch piece burdok, sliced into matchsticks (I don't peel the burdock for those who are wondering)
1 medium carrot, sliced into matchsticks
8 baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 pound extra-firm tofu
1-2 tablespoons shoyu (a type of soy sauce)
sprinkle of chile powder
1/4 cup spring water
chopped scallion for garnish

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for about 1 minute. Sprinkle the umeboshi vinegar on the onion and saute until soft. Add burdock and saute a few minutes, add the carrot and saute for a few minutes more. Add mushrooms and saute until they are soft. With your hands, crumble the tofu into the skillet. Add the shoyu, chile powder and enough spring water to wet the bottom of the pan. Cover, allowing the whole mixture to steam for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, toss with scallion and serve.

IVF update - I called the RE's office this morning and they called me back. My test results are all in and my chart is on the doctor's desk to decide a protocol for IVF. I wanted to talk to them today because I can see a bit of spot showing up and AF will probably rear her head sometime over the weekend. The nurse told me to call on Monday and let them know if I got it this weekend and they'll let me know what to proceed with medication-wise. She said that he might prescribe birth control pills for 7-10 days before we start stimulation. This is completely different from when we did IVF with them a few years ago. Back then I was on Lupron first. So I have no idea what the dates will look like at this point of when we'll start and what to expect. I'm kind of OK with that. I really have a "go with the flow" feeling right now and I'm liking that. I think the nice summer weather I'm looking forward to enjoying this weekend helps with that. And the lack of yang-ish meats.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Be Fearless

This morning when I was driving to work, I was thinking and wondering where my fearlessness went. I was listening to some music I used to listen to when I was in college and reminding myself how I felt I could do anything. And I haven't remembered feeling that way in a long time. I think I hang back too much. Waiting for someone else to tell me which way to go, what to do, what needs to be done, etc. I think it has to do with getting older. As time has gone by, you realize you haven't accomplished everything you thought you would be able to do and that makes you wonder why you ever felt so optimistic. But when you step back and think about it another way - if you weren't so optimistic and shooting for the moon - would you have ever got off the ground?

I know I've talked about it before, that I feel like I haven't been truly living, just kind of coasting through life right now, but I really need to get off my butt and get moving again. I'm trying to remind myself to "Be fearless" in my every day life. I did that at work today and I think I accomplished a lot. Now I need to feel that way about things in my personal life. I'll be working on that. Have you done something fearless today, or another way of looking at it, did you truly embrace life? If so, what did you do?

I'm off to take Phoebe to her ice skating lesson. I need to plan out our grocery list and menu for the next week instead of chatting with the ladies.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I just joined NaBloPoMo. I'm very excited committing to write every day!!!

It was odd to have a night with power strange, as that might seem. It was the first night with TV, Internet, the phone. Wow it was great. I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen and got some stuff done on the computer.

I have labels now for my posts. I've been meaning to do that for awhile now. So if you stop by, check out some of my older posts from the labels, especially the long story of how our Phoebe came into being. That was a lot of hard work and worth every minute of it. The label I created for it is "Our First Baby Story". I did that as I'm hopeful we'll get to have a second baby story.

Tonight I'm watching "Sex in the City" episode reruns as Tom's out of town. I still haven't seen the movie yet. I need to see it soon before it leaves the movie theater.

Another Powerless Night

We had some serious thunderstorms whip through the Philly area last night and our power did not survive. It went out around 7:30PM before the rain even hit. The winds that preceeded the storm were wicked, and that's when the power went out.

We taught Phoebe how to play a new card game (for her). It's A$$hole, but we called it "Butthead" which is the worst thing you can say in 7-year-old language. She loved it. We played three rounds of cards before it got too dark to play anymore and then put her to sleep in her own bedroom. I told her we couldn't sleep well the night before when she was in our bed, as she was all over the place.

Leo and I then sat in our sitting room with some candles lit and we talked a little and then we both fell asleep. We eventually woke up and went to the bed, and woke up at 3:30 AM when the security system panel was beeping because it's backup power was out. I didn't know Leo tried to fix it and came up empty. I went downstairs to try to do something as it was keeping me awake and the panel is right under Phoebe's bedroom. I was afraid it would wake her up and then she'd be miserable today. The first thing I tried on the panel did work - I punched in the security code and hit OFF. I had a hard time falling back asleep. I was thinking about work issues - and that rarely ever happens to me, yuck! While I was just starting to doze off, I noticed the clock was blinking and our ceiling fan turned on, which let me know we had power again. I set the clock time and alarm and went back to sleep.

Tonight I have got to get some serious work done around the house. Since we haven't had power for the past two nights, I haven't been able to see to straighten up the house in the evening. Laundry is piling up and stuff I wanted to get done on the computer hasn't happened. Hopefully tonight will be a "powerful" night (pun very much intented).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Power Out Last Night

We had an interesting but unproductive evening last night. Our power went out in the middle of dinner at 7PM last night. It didn't come back on until around 3AM.

We're really lucky that we have good friends five minutes from our house. Their power was out too, but they have a pool! We went over there until it was time to send Phoebe to bed. She slept in our bed last night and stole all our covers (even when it was hot with no A/C).

Leo and I were really tired, so we went to bed around 10PM, but we all still had a hard time waking up this morning.

It's been unbelievably hot for the past several days here in the Philly area (heat index of 103F today!). I'm hoping the power outage wasn't load related and that we don't have a repeat tonight. I'd like to get some things done around the house. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to cool down to the 80s and that will be much better!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Waiting Pattern

We're just in a holding pattern here at our house. Waiting for AF to show so we can begin IVF. I'm due sometime the week of the 16th. I give a big leeway for when I'm due since I usually don't last 28 days. Another symptom of endometriosis. I'll go make a notation of that one too in my old post. I'm due on the 20th but I'll probably go a few days earlier.

This is Phoebe's last full week of school. Next Tuesday is their last day and they have a 1/2 day. I'm so looking forward to summer. She's going to spend two weeks with my DH's parents and then she'll have six weeks of summer camp at Opera Delaware. I'll love having her driving with me back and forth to work and camp (which is around the corner from my office). We'll get lots of quality talking time. Maybe not so much in the morning, as she's not a morning person, but definately in the afternoon car rides, she loves to talk.

We went to Wildwood with our nephew this weekend and had a blast! I got a bit of a sunburn on my shoulders, so did Leo and our nephew, but Phoebe was completely unscathed. She just tans. So now I'm jealous of her complexion as well as her abs. Have I ever mentioned my daughter has amazing ab and arm muscles for a seven year old. You can't tell because she's so lanky, but to watch her go across a netting hanging over a pool at the waterpark on Saturday is so funny to watch. The girl is destined for American Gladiator she moves so fast.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Endometriosis – Diagnosis and Solutions

I’ve been around the endometriosis block for around 9 years. In that time, I’ve read a lot and experimented a lot and have quite a bit of knowledge on the topic that I thought I’d share.

1. How to know if you have endometriosis? There is no foolproof way to know you have endometriosis, other than laproscopic surgery. Other than that though, there are some telltale signs. Some are known, some are not so well known.
• Painful cramps during your period. You know those people that tell you their monthly cycle is so painful they need to stay in bed or take strong pain meds. That’s one of the most common signs of endometriosis. I never had it, but I found out during labor I have a high tolerance for pain.
• Heavy periods with lots of clots. Oh this is me! If you need to change your pad many times during the first day or two of your period and you can’t help think this is the grossest thing ever. That’s a good sign.
• Combine this with if you’ve not been able to conceive and you’ve been trying for over a year and/or you’ve had an HSG test done by your OB/GYN and it shows one or both of your tubes are blocked.

2. What are the causes of endometriosis? There are no real known causes, but things I’ve read and some I’ve experienced:
• Dairy products – some people have a hard time with dairy products. I am one of them. They definitely don’t like my digestive tract. The hormones in regular dairy products these days are also probably a factor.
• Genetics – I think endometriosis runs in families. My mom’s sister and her daughter have it just as bad as me at the same age (late 20s). Maybe my Mom did, but she had all the children she wanted in her early 20s, so she probably has it, but doesn’t realize it.
• Stress – Am I stressed? No (sarc). I’ve been a type-A personality all my life and love to push myself and feel like nothing is ever good enough. I went to school for engineering (that’s not stressful, right?) and have worked in a high-stress IT job since I graduated.

3. What are solutions or lifestyle changes that can help keep endometriosis at bay?
• Laproscopic surgery – I did get pregnant 3 times after two of my surgeries. I still haven’t gotten pregnant after this third surgery that was back in February.
• Diet changes – eliminate dairy products and caffeine. Add lots of whole grain foods and leafy greens to your diet. This will increase fiber in your diet, which some say helps reduces excess estrogen in your body. Some believe that endometriosis thrives in a person with excess estrogen in their body.
• Exercise – I think this especially helps with stress. I always feel less stressed when I exercise regulary.
• Supplements and vitamins – take Vitamin E, spirulina, Omega 3s, and evening primrose oil.
• Get pregnant – now wouldn’t that be nice. They do say that endometriosis can be alleviated by pregnancy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Internet Saved Mr. Bear

What did moms do before the Internet? How would a non-Internet Mom find out how to save her daughter's prized teddy bear after she accidentally slept with a ball of Silly Putty and got it all in the fur.

I woke up Phoebe yesterday and I was surprised to see some yellow, sticky stuff in her bed. It took me awhile to realize it was Silly Putty all in her sheets and teddy bear. She was so upset about her favorite teddy bear getting ruined. I explained like I always do, that I can fix anything. Thank God for my friend Google. Within 5 minutes I knew that rubbing alcohol would get out silly putty. I did a quick rub through of Mr. Bear before she left for school yesterday.

After work, I bought two more bottles and by the time she went to bed, Mr. Bear was clean and her quilt made by Ma and sheets were in the washer. BTW, after I got the putty out with the alcohol, there was still a little stain in the fabric from the color in the putty. I sprayed some Shout on that and put it in the washer on "Heavy Stain" mode and let it go to town.

Before the Internet, how many friends would I have to call to figure all that out? I'm so glad that I was able to have the answer quickly so she could go to school knowing Mr. Bear would be OK.