Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hard Won Battles

Have you ever noticed that the things you wanted most in your life you usually had to work the hardest for? Is that just me? I don't know. My life until college was relatively easy. College was really, really hard. I worked my ass off and did not party like my peers did. If you don't know, my degree is in electrical engineering, that's how hard it was. Most of the time when I tell people what my degree is in I get this crazy stare like, "Whaaaattt?! Really?!" So my college experience, including affording it as well as studying, very hard won battle and it was really worth it.

I think meeting DH was the only thing that wasn't that difficult (met at college), but keeping our relationship fresh has been very difficult. Learning to communicate with each other has been really hard, but the rewards have been worth the hard work. We get along so well now after 16 years of marriage, I can't imagine my life without my best friend that I can say anything to.

Work, ugh, very hard won. I've been through it all. Bad managers, depression about not getting recognized, long hours. But things are pretty good right now. I love my job and the people I work with. I feel appreciated and well paid (although I wouldn't stop them if they paid me more, LOL!).

Having children was the hardest battle ever! I knew my RE for 10 years before we finished having children. I've studied countless books, went to two acupuncturists (the second one was awesome!), chiropractors, changed my diet, taught myself to relax more (very hard to do when you're infertile) and went through endless cycles of OI/IUI and IVF. We got our reward. Our three kids are the best ever and well worth the wait.

What makes me think about this? Well, the next chapter. What am I willing to sink all my energy into now to make my life become something different? I think I know what it is, which is writing my book and talking to Moms out there about not forgetting who they are deep down while they immerse themselves in mothering. I just need to kick myself in the butt and keep at it. Making writing a goal daily. Lately I've been doing that by blogging more and trying to increase the consistency of that writing. Then when I'm sitting to write my blog, I write down a few paragraphs on the topic of my book. It takes commitment to self-motivate. I see that, but I'm working on the drive that drove me through all the other life events and progressions.

What motivates you these days? What does this motivate you to do?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Romance Me Through My Stomach

I'm sure I've mentioned before, but DH is an amazing cook. When we were dating he used to woo me by making me fabulous dinners. He still does it after 16 years of marriage, making something special when it's just the two of us. Last night he made me poached salmon over a bed of an Asian-inspired cole slaw made with cabbage, bean sprouts, onions, sunflower seeds, toasted sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and I don't know what else. It was really delicious. Here's DH in the kitchen, just where I like him!

Here's our fabulous dinner! I know it's not the most exciting colors, but it was out of this world!

And our date night simple table setting:

I tell him he can keep feeding me fabulous food forever! I'd love to share the recipe, but he does everything in his head and barely tells me what's in it. I think he forgets what he did.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crazy Thoughts Go Away

So for those of you who fought infertility and were successful thus far, have you thought about having more children? Do you get that weird pang inside when you see a baby of "Ooooo - maybe I should try again?" If you heard that someone was doing IVF with your RE and they were paying extra to have an outside lab select the gender, would that give you pause to think about trying again. Especially, if it would be nice if you had "just one more daughter". And yes, I did hear this recently from the lady going through IVF with my RE that they are doing gender selection. She has two daughters and never had a son, so they are trying for a boy. I would've thought they wouldn't do that for ethics reasons, but for some reason it is OK. I don't know if I would ever really decide to do something like that if we had a chance, but I know DH really wanted another daughter when we had the twins (he really wanted boy/girl twins), Phoebe would love to have a sister (until she starts going into her makeup, LOL) and when I smell a sweet baby head, I think it would be nice.

But let's get back to reality here..... I've had more IVFs than I can count to have the three children I currently have. I have had three miscarriages and two pregnancies, resulting in three children, two of which had a long stay in the NICU (5-6 weeks) because for both pregnancies, I get PROM (Premature Rupture of the Membranes), which they say if it happens once it will happen again. Gee, I had that happen 4 weeks early with Phoebe and 9 weeks early with the boys. I'm pretty sure it will happen if I get pregnant again and I don't think I want to test that theory and bring another premature child into this world. Plus the hormones from IVF suck. I think I've done my duty of bringing a number of our fabulously gorgeous and intelligent children into this world, so I should be able to be done. I do also think when I look at my family and contiplate our family structure that we are complete. I guess I could tell Phoebe she'll get a little sister if her brothers marry women that aren't 9 years their senior!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love Sex in the City 2

I got to watch Sex in the City 2 and I know it got bad reviews, but I still loved it! I continue to feel I embody every character in the show and movies. I know I've written about it before, but with this movie, it was even more as they continue with the movies. So here's a round up: Carrie - I love fashion, shoes and spending time alone with my husband. As we find ourselves with one more week sans kids, I'm enjoying the time we have together to relax, eat dinner, talk and watch TV. If you've seen the movie, it even makes me think of wanting to watch old black and white movies like we used to, just like Carrie and John James Preston do. Charlotte - I love my family so much, had a hard time having children, now they are all here and I do think it's nice to have some time off. Miranda - I'm fiercely driven by my job and career, but I do need to figure out how to have better balance just like she is trying to in the movie. Samantha - I do like sex, I'm blonde and outspoken. Nuff said. LOL

So one more week while the three kids are enjoying themselves at boy scout camp. We talked to the kids on the phone tonight. Phoebe told me she went today to take the swim test and she past (of course), so she can go on the deep end. The boys both said "Hi" on the phone and said "Mommy" and "Daddy" so obviously they aren't forgetting who we are.

We'll it's back to work tomorrow and my friend is working at my favorite Black and White store (that's what I call it) tomorrow night, so I think DH and I will stop by and maybe grab a bite to eat after work. I'll have to see what sale items I can come up with. I do want to look at their bathing suits!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Universe Is Being Very Very Nice Today to Me

I am completely floored with how nice today is turning out considering how icky yesterday was. I was in a full melt-down last night that I haven't known in ages. So what happened is I seem to be getting a forced day off of work! On a beautiful Friday! What happened it seems is that the PC computers at my office are all down! We can't login to our computers, check our schedules or emails. Thankfully, it is a quiet time of the month at work, so I don't mind one bit! I do feel for the people who are working on the issue, which we don't know what it is.

So what happened is I woke up this morning with my pretty toes, fingers and glowing skin, thanks to the well-needed primping I did last night, but I still wasn't feeling 100%. I know there is still a lot of personal stuff I want to get done and considering I had to shower and go to work, and then try to leave early today as DH and I are going away for the weekend to the mountains with friends, kid-free, there was no way any of it was going to get done. I got out of the shower and heard my cell phone ringing downstairs with a text message. I figured it was nothing important and I could get it later, so I finished getting dressed and before I put my makeup on, I decided to take a few things downstairs so I wouldn't have to make a few trips later. While downstairs, I checked my text messages and I had a few phone calls too! They were all from work saying everything our computers were all down and they were working on it, but no ETA. I called one of the managers on my team back and he confirmed. So we called the few people who weren't in the office yet and told them to hold tight at home and see what happens. This was great for one of my other managers as her two kids and husband are all sick with fevers and sore throats. I decided to do the same and I've been putz-ing around the house getting lots of things done. I got laundry started (on the second load in the washer now), the living room picked up of toys, dusted, straightened up the kitchen and soon I'm going to vacuum the living room and clean up my desk. Then I'll pack for the weekend and I think we'll be able to get an early start, if DH isn't stuck working (he's working from home today).

Wow! Just when you think you've hit an all new low, something comes along and perks you up!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rough Day

Ever feel like you just had the worst day ever? I'm not sure if it's hormonal or just that it was a rough day. I did take my birth control pills late in the day the past two days when I usually take them in the morning. Right now I feel like I could cry. I got home after a rough day at work to find out that I got something in the mail that said a credit card payment was past due. I was really hungry from working late tonight, so I grabbed some leftovers before I dealt with the mail piece. After I ate, I checked the checkbook and sure enough, there was the listing for the check and what the payment amount was at the beginning of the month. I called the credit card company and they took care of everything, but I had to stop payment on the check. So I went to the checking account's online service and did a stop payment on the check, but then noticing after I hit complete that it costs a $25 fee. Considering the bill was probably lost in the mail or on the floor of the credit card company, I don't think I should have to pay such a high fee, so I called the bank for my checking account. She couldn't do anything since the fee wasn't posted yet, but she was very nice to me since I think she could tell I was ready to break down. I'll have to go to the bank tomorrow to see if they can do anything, but that's just a crazy high fee for something that the computer is doing.

I think I'm going to go get a glass of wine, give myself a facial and and mani/pedi. Sounds like a good idea, right?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Infertility Support

I do feel good about being very open about my infertility struggles. Hopefully, it has helped people I've come in contact with. I do often feel that one meets certain people in life so that you can be "at the right place at the right time." I feel that happens to me a lot recently. Today I actually shared my blog URL with someone at work, which I never do (if she reads this, I don't mind - you seemed to really need that support today). I hope reading about what I went through, which is so similar to her situation, she will find hope that I found my happy ending. I know not everyone does, but I hope just knowing is a bit uplifting. I've also been talking with another woman at work who is currently doing IVF as well. She says all the talks we've had over the years have helped her come to this current place and she seems really secure with her decisions she's discussed with me. She does currently have two older children, 14 and 10 years old, but for years has wanted to try for another. I can also name two other people at work that have come to me for advice on their situation. One has a baby girl now, the other I'm not sure. I don't like to ask and feel if they have good news, they'll share it willingly.

The funny thing is my RE had approached me about him wanting to start a support group for women going through IF in his practice. I told him I'd be more than happy to participate and gave them my personal contact info. I'm not sure if it never materialized, but the funny thing is I guess I've been doing it on my own, because all but one of the people I mention were patients of his at the time, LOL.

I try to be open about my situation because when I was in the thick of things, I felt so alone. It was the support of my fellow IF bloggers and writers such as Julia Indichova and Randine Lewis that support my belief that we would have more children, even as my age was continuing to increase and knowing that even from the age of 23 when I got married, I've never had an "oops" pregnancy. Calliope on Creating Motherhood recently wrote about a driver she had to the airport talking about being a positive ripple in the world and believing that if he is positive and nice the next person would also want to do the same. I hope I'm being that positive ripple in the world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heather's Life List of 40

My very good online friend, Marcia of 123Blog, has finally gotten me to break down and create my Life List. She has 36 as she's 36 years old, so since I'm 40, I went with 40. I don't expect to get all these things done this year, but I'd like to get quite a few done over the next 5 years. I'll research how I can put this link in my header of my blog and keep everyone updated.

1. Pay off credit card debt (yes, we have some)
2. Build a successful online business
3. Write a book
4. Be able to stop working in the corporate world
5. Buy a rental property and obtain successful renter
6. Declutter house
7. Build my routines I can stick to
8. Have a pool installed
9. Build our outdoor living spaces
10. Get new flooring in the house (carpet, hardwood floors, leather floor in study)
11. Decorate all the rooms in our dream house, including organizing the garage
12. Buy a new family car to replace the current one
13. Learn to wear heels regularly again
14. Have my breasts done (lift and enhance)
15. Have varicose veins fixed on legs
16. Commit to daily exercise
17. Get a massage once a month
18. Get a pedicure once a month
19. Keep up with my hair color (have done every 4-6 weeks)
20. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day
21. Stick to a skincare routine
22. Take 1 yoga class a week
23. Complete a yoga teacher training program
24. Look fabulous in a bikini again
25. Learn to cook more fabulous healthy recipes
26. Have a successful vegetable and herb garden
27. Organize, backup and print out photos
28. Get in front of the camera more
29. Spend more time with friends
30. Spend 1-1 time with each of our children
31. Have a date night with DH 2 to 4 times a month
32. Help DH be happy with his career
33. Volunteer at kids school
34. Have more time to keep up with Phoebe’s activities
35. Get boys enrolled in preschool
36. Learn to play piano
37. Learn to speak French
38. Travel to Italy
39. Travel to France
40. Travel to England/Ireland

Monday, June 20, 2011

New York City Weekend Vacation

We had a great time in NYC the weekend before last. We left Friday afternoon by Amtrak and headed to Penn Station to meet DH who was there already for work. We had a fabulous stay at the Marriott East hotel in Manhattan. See our fabulous room:

See how happy the peeps were at our room as we were leaving for some Friday evening adventures.

We got a New York Pass, which was a great value for us, as we wanted to do lots of museums and stuff for this trip. Friday evening we went to Madame Tussaud's wax museum. Here's some of our favorite moments there.

Then we were pretty hungry. It was almost 10 PM and we hadn't had dinner yet. So we started walking back to the hotel by way of Bryant Park and had a late supper at an outdoor cafe there. It was really yummy!

I think I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow Friday night (although I think I did every night we were in NYC). The next morning, we went to the Today Show and stood outside while we waited for the weekend anchors to come outside to visit.

Phoebe and I got our picture with Amy.

After that we had our breakfast at a diner where the waiters and waitresses all sing in between serving guests. I'm sure it was a touristy thing to do, but Phoebe loved it so much she barely ate her breakfast.

We then took the subway to the South Street Seaport for our two late morning and afternoon activities.

We saw the Bodies... The Exhibition down at the Seaport, which was really cool, if you're not easily creeped out. We are not, and it was very educational, not just freaky real bodies preserved forever in some polymer process. We couldn't take any pictures in there, and I like to follow the rules, so there really aren't any pictures. Did I say it was really cool?

After that, we had reservations on a clipper ship to tour the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Governor Island. It drizzled and then it rained, but the staff was super nice, they had a bar on the ship that had coffee and hot chocolate to go with the other bar beverages. They handed out plastic ponchos in little bags to keep us dry when it really started raining hard. We had a lot of fun despite the weather.

After the boat ride, we caught the subway back to the hotel for a quick change into evening wear before taking a taxi to Tao for dinner and the Cirque du Soleil show currently at Radio City Music Hall. It was the show that sparked it all, as if you know us, we've gone to about 10 of these shows with Phoebe since she was 4 years old. It's our thing with her and we bought these tickets as a surprise back in November when the pre-sale tickets were available. Here's the pics of Phoebe and I at the restaurant. My hair was mad crazy with the rain. I just let it do it's thing.

We had a great time at the show and we were able to take a few pictures before it started.

The clowns were so funny. They were searching out bald guys to clean and put carpet on their heads.

I got a picture with one of the performers before the show. She and her costume were gorgeous!

This is the guy announcing the beginning of the show. I think this one turned out fabulous.

And then I turned off the camera, sat back and enjoyed the show. We went straight back to the hotel after the show. It was an 8PM show, so we got back about 10:30PM. I again fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Sunday morning, we showered, packed, checked out and gave our bags to the desk while we finished our excursions with the New York Pass. We went to the Guggenheim, which was very disappointing as most of it was closed for a new installation. We then had extra time, so we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and caught just a few highlights to show Phoebe. We walked back to Rockefeller Plaza for our scheduled time with the NBC Studio Tour at 1:15PM. We walked as the Puerto Rican Parade was that day, so we got to enjoy seeing that on our walk back. No celebrities, but the atmosphere of the crowd and parade was pretty cool. After the NBC Studio Tour, we went to the Harry Potter Exhibit in Times Square. Then we got a bite to eat at Ben's Deli. On the way back to the hotel for our bags, we stopped at the American Girl Doll Store to pick up a doll that looks like Phoebe that she had picked out that morning. We walked from the hotel to Penn Station with our bags and caught a 8PM train back home. It was a late night for a school night, but Phoebe and us all had a great time. Here Phoebe is on the train with her new doll. It does look like her, doesn't it?

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Status of Week Alone with Three Kids and Work

So this week, DH was away most of the time as well as Niki, my SIL and the boys nanny. The boys were in day care Tuesday and Wednesday and they loved it. Here's a recap of the week:

Took a personal day as the day care medical forms weren't finished as Liam didn't have a physical when we went in for his two year check, as he was sick. They rescheduled for Monday afternoon at 1PM which was nap time. It still went well and Liam did great for his appointment. We got the forms filled out and that night I got everyone ready for day care the next day, packing bedding, extra change of clothes, diapers, wipes and lunch. Getting stuff packed the night before really helped.

Got Phoebe on the bus for school and took the boys to day care. I was a little later for work that usual, but everyone got where they needed to be and the boys were happy to go outside. It took awhile to get them into school, as I needed them to walk and they walked in really slow, but the good news is they could walk. The last time we went there, neither of them could walk and it was tough to carry them both and their accoutrements. This time was better in that it was slow, but my arms weren't killing me, LOL. After work, picked up Phoebe from the house, got the boys and made a very quick dinner at home and then ran to Phoebe's ice skating class with the boys in tow. We got back, I cleaned up the dishes and packed lunches. DH just got home and had to leave early the next morning.

Got Phoebe on the bus and was trying to make an early start to get to work as I had a 9 AM interview to hire a manager for our Mumbai position. Phoebe had a project due at school that day that DH and her worked on all weekend. It was a paper mache planet and it did get destroyed on the bus Wednesday morning as no one could drive her to school. We thought everything would be OK, but my gut told me it would not be and it very surely wasn't. So, picked up Phoebe from the house, the boys from day care and took them to AC Moore so Phoebe could get supplies to re-make her planet from a foam sphere and other stuff, ordered chinese food when we were in the parking lot after we acquired these supplies (Phoebe found out I keep our favorite take-out places in my cell phone contacts list) and went home to feed kids, put boys to bed and Phoebe worked on her planet and all other homework. In the meantime, the in-laws decided to pick the boys up early on Wednesday night instead of Thursday and then it was just Phoebe and me. She slept on my bed Wednesday night and who would have known that a 10-year-old girl could take up an entire king size bed?

Thursday (today)
No babies - sniff! Even Phoebe said she missed them. Drove Phoebe to school to make sure the new planet project didn't get ruined on the bus. Went to work and tried to get as much done as possible. Tomorrow I'm working from home and I'm sure I'll get a lot of things done. We're taking Phoebe to NYC for the weekend tomorrow evening and she doesn't know yet. That's why my in-laws were taking the boys for the weekend. I hope she has a good time. Well I have to go soon, so Phoebe doesn't see what I just typed.

To sum up though, the important things I've learned is that it's better to prepare the night before with clothes and lunches for everyone and that it's easier now that the boys can walk and express themselves with some small words and phrases. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Garden Work

I've been hard at work the past few days. Sunday afternoon my sweetie was flying to Dallas, so I weeded the garden. It really needed it. The funny thing is I have some plants like peppers, tomatoes and lettuce popping up in random areas. I'm letting it do it's thing. I think they are from last years crop. I'm going to move some of the random tomato plants that popped up that are doing very well. Here's what everything looked like when I was done. For the record we have zucchini, onions, garlic, asparagus, lettuce, carrots and tomatoes.

Yes, I have some random tomatoes popping up at the entrance to the garden. Those will be moved.

Mmmmm. Lettuce and carrots!

Here's my tomatoes where they are supposed to be and some view of the peas that I wish I had a trellis for. We'll have to see how it goes. I didn't need one last year.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Walk in the Country

I really really love where we live. It's beautiful and we're in the country where there's lots of beautiful sights and creeks. Niki and I took the boys for a walk when Phoebe and DH had to work on Phoebe's school project. We got lots of exercise pushing the stroller up and down hills and had lots of fun!!! I took these pictures with my new camera I got for being able to have something easily portable for on-the-go type pictures and movies. It's a Sony Cybershot DSC-WX9. It does HD movies and panoramic and 3-D photos, although I haven't taken advantage of those yet.

I loved this garden gate that led to someone's backyard.

We walked down this path to get to the creek.

The boys worked on throwing stones into the creek.

Here's Niki with Tommy coming back up the path! I bet she'll love that her hat hid her face in this picture. She hates having her picture taken.

This was our view on our walk. This was about a 30 minute walk from our house.

Also proving what a rural area we live in, here's a barn I like which is about a 15 minute walk from our house.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Friday - Doctors and Work Stuff

Again I got a lot done today, but I'm exhausted! This morning I got to make up for not seeing the boys last night as when I got back from getting my hair done they were in bed. Niki had a doctor's appointment and I watched the boys and got some work done from home on the computer while she was gone. Then I realized when I was changing Liam's diaper that he had a rash on his body, so took him to the doctor for the second time this week (and we'll be back on Monday to finish his physical!). Turns out that high fever was really a virus and this is the rash that follows it. That's what I thought anyway. The thing I'm worried about is he needs to get his appetite back. He was 23 lbs on Monday and today he was 22 lbs 10 oz. That means he lost 6 oz in a few days and he's a skinny kid to begin with! After I brought Liam back home, I went to work and got a ton of stuff done there. I got the computer accounts requested for the new contractors that are starting soon and then I cleaned out a ton of emails. Now I seriously need to relax and have a weekend.

BTW, sorry about being asked for a password when you connect to my blog. I'm trying to figure out how to fix it. An old blog friend put a password on her blog and I did remove it from the blogs I was following, but it's still asking me for a password and acting like I still have it on my blog roll on the bottom left.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Another Time Lapse Post - ala Bridget Jones Style

11:20 AM - Had meeting with my boss this morning. Now I'm currently reviewing resumes for the Mumbai manager position on my team and getting interviews setup. I have a meeting in 10 minutes, so let's get through this fast. There are only 3 resumes to review.

1:25 PM - done with communicating with Mumbai HR and setting up interviews for Monday and Wednesday. Also cleaned out some emails. Now I need to do some research on a bunch of emails from one topic that someone is looking for more information on.

3PM - lots of people stopping by my cube today. All work related conversations, but I finally figured out what I need to do for the research for someone. I need to look up some metadata and send them info on 39 fields we send. I don't have time to do it right now, as I have to go home, pick up SIL, Niki, as we have a hair appointment at 4 PM. I'll finish this research later at home.

5:20 PM - I love my iPhone! I'm at the hairdressers getting my roots done. Will be very happy when this is done. I'm catching up on blog reading on my phone. Getting really hungry. Niki and I will get a bite to eat when we are done. Then I have that work thing to finish at home as well as finish writing out some bills.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Getting It Done

I've had a great day today. At work, after coming back from taking a four day weekend (not just a three day weekend), I got caught up on most of the emails. There are a few I have to do some research to answer. I also started folders for each of the two contractors that are starting on 13 June, which contain information on the accounts and other essentials I'm requesting for them. That's my way of keeping papers for new hires on what they need for their first days on the job. I also left work at a decent time.

I picked up an old Apple laptop I had in the shop, and I'm so proud of me for dropping that off at a local computer repair shop. Apple had told me it would take over $1,000 to repair and it wasn't under warranty, so I should probably just buy a new one. We did that as I really needed a computer that would work at home (to work from home when the kids are ill, juggling appointments, etc.) and I figured I'd try to get the old one fixed somewhere else, but never had time to look into it. I prioritized it last week and it was all taken care of for $300. And let me tell you that laptop was in sad shape. The 4 key hadn't worked in ages, the battery died and the mouse stopped working. Everything is fixed and I'm so happy to now have two working laptops in the house!

I got home, we had dinner (Liam's appetite still hasn't picked up), cleaned up the dishes, bathed the boys, read them a book, said their prayers, went through Phoebe's school papers, straightened up the living room/playroom. Now I'm going to clean up the papers on my desk, do the bills and work out. If I can get that done, I'll be a happy camper and feel some great accomplishment today.

And I also feel good that I know I do need to work on time management so I went to fellow twin blogger Marcia's business website and signed up for her newsletters. I'm definitely going to take her advice and get my time better organized and working more efficiently.