Monday, September 29, 2008

Last Week Butt Kicking

I don't know looking back if last week kicked my butt or if I managed to still kick butt back. All three of us were fighting off different kind of bugs, but no one was sick enough to stay home sick. So Leo was traveling, I got Phoebe on and off the bus, we did all after-school activities and managed to keep moving. I made chicken soup on Friday night to help us all get rid of our different sicknesses.

Some people were asking how to get to the "corner turning" we seem to have achieved in Phoebe's focus. I think it has to do with Flylady routines. For those of you who have never checked her out - DO IT! I've been flying off and on since Phoebe was born and it's always helped us keep our heads above water. And with this school year it seems to have helped Phoebe too. She has her own list of things that have to be done after school. We started this last year, but she still fought doing it on her own. I think now that it's a whole new year and she's a whole year more mature, it's starting to click. I'm trying to impress on her that she can't play with her friends or watch TV until homework and guitar practice is done. The days that we have after-school activities, there is also very little of friends or TV. She's getting better with understanding this and we try to make sure she has plenty of time for those things on the weekend.

On the next IVF cycle status, AF still hasn't shown up. It's been over 4 weeks since my D&E. It can show up any day now and if it hasn't in 6 weeks, I'm supposed to call the doctor. Wouldn't it be a hoot if I got pregnant in between these cycles? It would save me the co-pays for the next cycle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Second Grade - Turning a Corner?

Phoebe has seemed so much different in the last week or two and in such a good way that my brain is amazed at her transformation.

Firstly, she seems to have a lot more focus. Both her ice skating coach and guitar teacher have made this comment last Thursday. All of a sudden she is much less talk and more doing what she needs to do. They both made comments at what a difference there seems to be. And let me tell you, my heart swelled triple-size to hear her praised like this.

The other thing that I've noticed is that I don't need to nag her to do the things that she needs to do as much as I used to. Last week, if I came home after her (DH was working from home a lot last week, so I could do this) I'd find her sitting on the couch, no TV on, reading a book, which is part of her homework to read for 15 minutes. It was such an odd thing to see! And then Saturday I took her grocery shopping with me. Usually when we get back from grocery shopping, she makes a beeline for the TV and doesn't want to help get the groceries in and put away. She didn't do that on Saturday. She helped bring all the bags in - without me asking! And then helped put them all away. She really knew where everything needed to go.

I'm not sure what's going on, but I am loving every minute of this "new Phoebe." Of course I've been thanking her for all her help and praising her for not needing me to nag her to do her homework and such. Yesterday evening we even had time to play tennis in our driveway!!! I thought that was an appropriate reward. I always tell her that one of the perks of getting things done and helping me get my stuff done faster, is so we can have some playtime together. I'm hoping this continues throughout the school year.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Election Woes

I think I've decided to vote for Obama. To set the record, I am a long-standing, tofu-eating (granola is really not that good for you), tree-hugging, national health insurance wanting, democrat. I waiver these days on voting Republican for one reason and it's not because they have Sarah Palin. It's taxes. Leo and I have our income fall into a bracket that needs to pay the alternate minimum tax. Please note that this was a tax that was supposed to keep really high-income people from not paying their fair share of taxes. This is increasingly netting more people in this bracket every year, but the government is not doing anything about it, because it is keeping the national budget from being as bad as it could be.

Now let's be plain here. We're not the Rockefellers. We're not bad-off, but this is also because we both work in very high-stress jobs. We both get paid well to do this. If we weren't married, we would not fall into this bracket, but because of our combined income we do. If the tax laws stay like this, I would almost want to tell my daughter to not marry the love of her life, but live in sin. Just because I'm not Miss Suzy Homemaker (not that there's anything wrong with that), I don't think we should be penalized as much as we are.

But I have to consider the big picture. I don't like the war we're in. I'm sick of this state of fear the current administration keeps lording over our heads. Did you know that if you as an American citizen try to cross the border into Canada or Mexico or back, they can confiscate your computer and keep it "for national security"? Did you know your phone line could be monitored and you don't even know it? I want the health care crisis fixed for all people. I think what's happening on Wall Street these days is a cry to let us know that a hands off big business approach is not working. There needs to be some governmental controls. The environment needs to be protected. If I need a D&E because I have a pregnancy that's not working out, I want to have access to that instead of having to wait for weeks for my body to figure it out and have the pain of a normal miscarriage. I had that once and it was the worst ever. I much prefer a D&E, but that could be taken away by pro-life policies.

So long and short of it, the scales are tipping toward Barack Obama. I think he's an interesting guy. He's a little less seasoned than I'd like. But considering he and his advisors had the intelligence to pick someone as smart and seasoned as Joe Biden to be his running mate, I could be swayed to give him a second chance. But taxes alone are not enough to sway me to the other side. I just can't do it.

Tagged: 5 Ways Blogging Has Affected Me

I've been tagged by Trace

The Rules:
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

1. I have made some great friends to support me through both infertility as well as parenting. Parenting after infertility is much different than parenting after a "normal" pregnancy. You think about things a lot more and want to make sure you make the right decisions. Not that other parents don't do that. It's just different. You seem to appreciate your children in a different way.

2. I've learned a lot by reading other bloggers' experiences how much a person can go through and still come out OK. It's amazing the human capacity for survival.

3. There will always be a part of me that Leo doesn't understand because he is a man and that's OK. I don't like him to read my blog, because he doesn't understand that when it seems like I talk a lot about infertility on my blog, that that is not all I think about when I'm not talking in real life. I write about infertility here so I can try to compartmentalize it and forget about it and go on with the rest of my life.

4. It's helped me understand my thoughts about IVF, domestic and international adoption. I've loved reading other people's experiences with each of these situations.

5. I also love reading blogs of American expats. I like the idea of living in another country for awhile. Leo and I toy with that idea every now and then. My current favorites are Americans living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and London, England.

Myself, I'm going to break some rules and not tag anyone at all. Have a great weekend! I will have two posts today, as next I will be posting about the election as promised.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Losing the IVF Pounds

I know I'm going to be doing IVF again in October, but keeping my weight at a healthy level is part of a larger goal for me. I want to make sure that when I get pregnant next time, it is a very healthy pregnancy and that I stay in shape. This has nothing to do with the actual weight on the scale. I just want to make sure I'm in the best place physically when I get pregnant again.

We have an elliptical machine at home that I absolutely love and I'm trying to create a habit to spend 45 minutes on it every day. This started about three weeks ago. Last week it didn't go so well because DH was away for work and sitting on the couch with DD is so comforting when he's not around. But I'm back to it this week and it's going well. My butt is starting to not sag so much and getting itself into a better, perkier shape.

BUT ... I did have some strange weight shifts with the last IVF cycle. My stomach. It's bloated, especially in the evenings. In the morning it's not so bad. Now please note, I am not used to this at all. My butt is usually the bane of my existance. Usually when I start exercising, even if it's on my lower half, the stomach is usually flatter than a board earlier than my butt takes shape.

I think its a combination of my hormones being out of whack and the fact that I've taken up with some bad-for-me dairy products again. In particular with my cup of coffee at work in the morning. At least I keep myself to just that one and I haven't been having any after that. So what I'm trying to do to help my hormones and bloatedness is drinking a dandelion detox tea a few times a day and I made a pot of kitchari for my lunches this week. I've been keeping breakfast light but nourishing and the same with dinner. Breakfast has carbs, dinner has no carbs and low protein, like a big salad or roasted veggies. I've also restarted some ab exercises and yoga last night when I was finished with the elliptical machine.

It seems to be working. I have actually seen some pounds come off on the scale (I did gain 5 lbs during my IVF cycle in July/August) and things are feeling more like my old body again. I did take the stairs yesterday at work - 5 flights - and I wasn't winded in the slightest! However, I did have a setback last night when we took Phoebe to Dunkin Donuts after her ice skating class. That chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles did call to me!!! But hey, you gotta live a full life. Nobody said I was trying for sainthood!!!

In staying with definining the next days post - tomorrow will be my thoughts on the election. I'm currently one of the undecided vote, but I do have some definite opinions and I will need to decide by election day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to School Activities

As Alli mentioned, I need to get back to posting every day! I'm going to work on that truly I am. I think between the miscarriage and the back-to-school stuff, I needed to step away for a bit.

All of Phoebe's afterschool and weekend activities are in full swing now. Her schedule, other than school is the following:

- Monday - off
- Tuesday - CYFF (aka CCD - Catholic education) - 6:30 - 8:00 PM
- Wednesday - ice skating group class - 7:00 - 8:00 PM
- Thursday - ice skating private lesson 5:00 - 5:40 PM
- Thursday - guitar lesson - 7:30 - 8:00 PM
- Friday - off - Family Night
- Saturday - Opera Delaware play - 11 AM - 2 PM
- Sunday - Opera Delaware play - 11 AM - 2 PM

Busy girl, eh? We have no more room for anything else. I don't think she's overloaded. We still get homework done and she has plenty of time to play with her friends, so I think this is the right balance.

Last night was "Back To School" night at her elementary school, so Leo dropped her off and picked her up for the first night of CYFF while I went and saw a sappy video in the cafeteria showing all the kids on their first day of school that made me want to cry. Then we went to visit our kids' teachers and got info on what to expect for homework this year, their schedule for the day, signup for classroom volunteer stuff and such. I do admit I like her teacher, she seems very nice. I like that the teacher does get the kids up and moving around if they seem like their attention to sitting at their desk work is waning. She mentioned it mostly for the moms of boys, but I know this works well for Phoebe too. Sometimes I find she focuses much better after she's run off some steam.

I'll decide tomorrow's topic today. Tomorrow will be how I'm trying to lose the IVF weight I gained before the next cycle.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kitchari Recipe (Mung Beans & Rice)

One of my favorite comfort foods is also a recipe that is supposed to be good for cleansing and digestive issues. Mung beans are supposed to be the easiest of beans to digest and soaking your beans makes them even easier to digest. I thought I had posted it on my blog, but when I went to search for it so I'd have easy access to the recipe I couldn't find it. I had to go searching all my whole foods cookbooks to find the computer print out the original version was on.

There are many different recipes for kitchari. This is mine which is tweaked from a recipe that Yoga Journal published once on their website.


1 cup mung beans (soaked in water overnight)
1 cup brown rice (can be short grain or basmati)
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons shredded coconut (can be dried)
handful of cilantro
3 tablespoons of butter or ghee
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, cardamom, ground cloves, tumeric
3 bay leaves

In a blender, blend the ginger, coconut and cilantro with 1/4 cup of water.

In a soup pot, melt the butter or ghee and saute the cinnamon and other spices for a minute or two.

Drain the mung beans from the soaking water and add to the soup pot. Add 1 cup of brown rice and the mixture in the blender. Add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

I need to get back to blogging everyday. With the vacation and Phoebe starting school again, it's been difficult. But we'll be gearing up for our next IVF cycle and my goal is to make life as relaxed and productive as possible until then.

Last night was a good start. I'm getting back into my Flylady routines and we had leftovers for dinner (whole-wheat pasta, sausage and roasted brocolli), got dinner cleaned up, got Phoebe ready for bed, which included making sure all her toys were put away before bed (that hasn't happened in a looooong time!). I was also able to go on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes and did some yoga for about 20 minutes afterward. BTW, I've noticed my belly still doesn't realize it's not pregnant. When I try to pull my belly in when doing forward bends and other poses, I noticed it really wants to stick out. So my butt is looking better from the past two weeks on the elliptical machine, but my belly looks worse than ever. I feel great though, healthy, so I'm just going to spend some time in the evening on some core exercises to make sure my lower back stays strong no matter what direction my belly decides to go in, LOL.

My next steps are to reread some chapters of Julia Indichova's book The Fertile Female and to actively post on her boards on her website. I know I need to keep working on the emotional issues that I know affect how I feel about being a mother again. I also like that her work also helps bring clarity to other areas of your life as well.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Doctor and Other Updates

I'm exhausted from this week and looking forward to a quiet weekend what with the hurricane coming up the East coast and all. We're going to be going grocery shopping shortly.

We went to the doctor today and I mentioned I haven't stopped bleeding yet. He said let's wait until mid-next week and if I'm still spotting to come in to see him and he'll find out what's going on. If it does stop over the weekend, we're cleared to have Ahem! marital relations! We haven't had that kind of fun around our parts since July and I'm looking forward to it! We've been told to use condoms, he he, to make sure there won't be any infection, not a pregnancy.

Anyway, last update is that the couple I through the baby shower for had their baby yesterday. They named him the same name as an old friend's son. I really like that name - Rohan. I wish them all the luck in the world. Can't wait for them to bring him in the office!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back to School Time

My week off was wonderful, but now it's time to get to the back to school/work routines. Phoebe had her first day of 2nd Grade today. Hopefully, I'll have time tonight to post the pic Leo took of her on the front step in her "Back to School" clothes and new backpack. She looked so cute!!!! I can't wait to get home today to find out how the first day of school went. She kept telling me she didn't want to go to school today and that she doesn't like school. But when we went to visit her new teacher last week, she didn't want to leave the library!!! And she gave the librarian a big hug. It was so sweet. I hope she has a good time this year. She does very well in school, so that's not an issue.

So now we'll be getting back to after school activities. Ice skating starts tomorrow!!! She's in Gamma 1 for those that out there that know about ISI levels. She went up a level over the summer, she worked so hard. CYFF (Catholic education classes) don't start up until mid September, thank goodness. She has First Communion this year, so there will be some extra parent meetings for me and a retreat that we need to go with her on one of the Spring weekends. She's so looking forward to wearing the Communion dress that all her aunts and girl-cousins wore. My MIL is talking about putting an extra layer of lace at the bottom, so it's at least tea length. She tried it on this spring before it went to Wisconsin for her cousin, Beth and it just fit. I think the middle will fit great still by next spring, but we all know her legs keep growing longer every day! And we'll be getting back to guitar lessons soon too. Her teacher had knee surgery this summer, so she's had the summer off. I want to get the piano from my in-laws soon, so we can get it tuned and we can both start piano lessons. She plays around with the piano at OperaDE and she can make up her own tunes that sound so pretty.

On the second child front, we have a post-op appointment with the RE on Friday morning at 9 AM. We already talked a little and I believe we're going to be able to start again in October for another IVF cycle and we agreed that the protocol I was on for the last one was spot on and no need to change.