Saturday, September 10, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
After graduation we moved into my parents' house, not exactly a palatial experience, in fact we nicknamed our new dwelling the "cool cave". We are in the unfinished portion of the basement, like I said, not palatial, but it has its advantages. It is really cool down there and more excitedly is free. Yep, we are totally blessed to have a place to live during our transition without paying a penny. It also has some extra perks such as my mom paying for most of the groceries! Yay us!
My husband is working so hard to study for his boards in July and I know he will pass. He works so hard and he studies all day to be ready. I am really proud of his attitude and hard work. I know his long hours will pay off.
I am blessed to have my education. I am applying for work as well and it is so wonderful to put a degree and experience on my resume. My first choice would to be home with my children, but I feel blessed that I can work in a desired location and profession.
Life is great even in its hardest of times, our focus and energy becomes us. I hope to continue to focus on our blessings and gifts; not the inconveniences that are part of life.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Myth: If you already have one child, you know you are fertile and will have no problems conceiving again
Of course after we told people we couldn't have any more children on our own they would ask why we had to do IVF after TESA for a baby. "Couldn't you just shoot some sperm up in there and get pregnant?" First of all I guess I could with donor sperm, but we did not want that route yet, and TESA does not retrieve much sperm, IVF/ICSI was our only option to have a biological child.
Another comment I would get was, "It only takes one." Well if you know the facts under 20 million sperm is a low count, and last I checked 20 million is a whole lot more than one, and if people were having trouble getting pregnant with 20 million my chances were zero.
After all this explanation well meaning people would say, "Since you already have a child, it will be easy for your body to get pregnant with the IVF, you will only have to do it once and you will get triplets." In reality it took three times. One completely failed cycle, one canceled cycle and one frozen cycle to get one child. Even though my body had been pregnant, it didn't mean that I would automatically get pregnant with help. Many factors go into getting pregnant, and it doesn't always work, even if your body has had a successful pregnancy.
For more information about infertility go to:
We bought our trailer and we have sifted through the junk. I have taken carloads to the local charity organization and trash bags to the dumpster. Who knew that we had that much junk? It feels so good to get rid of so much stuff. I hope I don't cry when we get settled and I realize that my stuff is in someone's house besides my own. I am almost sure I won't, but with all the stress I just might :)
On another note, I have been having major insurance issues. I am trying to buy reasonable insurance until my husband secures a job and it is insane. I thought I found some insurance that was reasonable, only to find out they did not carry the insurance in our new location. So I found insurance in our new location signed up only to find out that I cannot be on it until we actually are residents of the state. I found something else that had maternity insurance (which is something I really want, in preparation for a frozen cycle sometime soon) only to find out it had a combined deductible of $15,000.00 for maternity, that is besides the $10,000.00 deductible for regular stuff. So, my question is why insurance if we have to pay everything out of pocket anyway?
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Really?!? Is that possible? My mind is a 10 track race course that has at least 20 things whizzing by on it during any one part of the day. In fact when I get a moment alone...oh wait do I ever get a moment alone...I am solving the world's problems including my own. It usually happens when I am getting ready in the morning...I get out of the shower and tell my husband about the million and one plans I have for the day.
So does anyone else feel this way, or is it only me? Please tell me I am not the only one that thinks way too much.
Luckily at night I can wind down and think about only three or four things. I don't have a problem sleeping, yet...but do not want to develop a problem with sleeping, especially because my mind is going. I have had that happen a few times, and it is not fun.
Any ideas on how to wind down, not think about a zillion things at once, fall asleep fast, without medication? I am sure I am not the only one who would be interested in some sage wisdom.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
But, we have decided to do just that! Yikes!?! We are moving across the country and when we added up all the costs of the rental truck, the tow dolly for our car, and the gas, it would cost nearly $4000.00. Wowsers!?! That is a lot of money to move mostly hand-me-down furniture and odds and ends. So I started thinking could we buy a trailer and tow it for a better cost. Turns out we can...plus the added bonus is that we can sell the trailer once we settle and buy the stuff we had to leave behind.
So...we are in the process of the biggest dejunking project ever. Only the most loved and necessary items will go...my piano, our bed, the bunk beds, clothes, computer, scrapbooks, photos, etc. I started today, well really I started several months ago, with the totally unnecessary items, but I really started today. I got rid of four giant boxes from my kitchen...mostly extra dishes, a basket, coffee mugs (we don't even drink coffee) a rug, a step stool, mixing bowls (why did we have 14?) and some other junk.
The best thing, I found a place that I can donate it to that gives it to families that are displaced from their home for one reason or another. They do not sell it, trade it or yard sale it away, they give it to those that don't have anything.
Here's to starting over.
Monday, April 4, 2011
My paternal grandmother was an especially wonderful story teller. She told me how it was like to live before electricity came to her town, and how she played the piano at a dance hall for a silver dollar a night. She could make a piano dance. She knew every ragtime, boogie woogie, hymn and classical piece possibly written for piano. She would wake at the crack of dawn everyday to practice the piano, and we never left her house without her sitting down to play something. Her husband, my grandfather, was equally amazing. His sense of humor was infectious to everyone including my grandma, who was often the brunt of the joke.
I never met my maternal grandma. She left this world at the young age of 43 when my mom was just entering her teenage years. I am grateful for the stories and the photos that have been passed on to me, but more grateful that I met her mother when I was eight years old. She lived several states away, and we planned a long awaited trip to visit her on her farm. Amazingly she did not enjoy a single modern luxury besides electricity. No running water, no flushing toilet, not even a machine washer or dryer. This baffled my young mind having never used an outhouse except in the case of camping. Yet she was energetic, moving about her mundane chores with satisfaction. She said once that it was a blessing to be poor in the country, and that she always felt sorry for the poor that lived in the city with only dirty sidewalks and streets to look at.
My maternal grandpa is the only one of my grandparents still alive, and he is almost 90. At 89 he is still active, energetic, and lucid. I was able to talk with him the other day and he reminded me that the most important things in life are free, yet we need to work the hardest at those things. Things such as family, character, and love. He is very strong in his faith, and reminds me to be strong in mine.
As I look at my heritage I feel as though I may be one of the luckiest people in the world. Thank you to all my grandparents for wise, kind, prudent lives; lives that I hope I can emulate.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
So many times I think if only I could trade places with that person, my life would be pretty sweet! I wouldn't have to deal with infertility, job loss, a less than full bank account, or student loan debt up to my eyeballs, and I would most superbly be talented beyond measure and be extremely crafty. But looking from the outside in I cannot see the whole other lot of problems in the mix that do not appear on the surface of another person. As I realize that every person has a specific set of challenges, abilities, and experiences in this life I quit playing I want to trade places with someone else game. Oh the thoughts come to mind every so often of, "Wow, wouldn't that be nice?" but I remind myself that I wouldn't be the person I am today if I traded places because I would have to trade everything not just what I see that I like. And for that fact, I wouldn't trade places with anyone, and I feel extremely lucky to be the person that I am, even with all my faults and challenges.
"You are not just the size of your bank account, the neighborhood you live in, or the type of work you do. You are, just like everyone else, an almost inconceivably complicated mix of abilities and limitations." 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Turn off the TV!?! When you could watch hundreds of channels and see millions of shows and keep up with more than one show or game in several languages, it can be almost impossible for the TV to stay off. What in the world could you talk about at the water cooler if you don't watch TV? And how can you possibly stay current in a changing world if you don't watch the evening news? Can we truly survive without the boob tube?
Of course we can! Early on in our marriage we made a conscience decision, to not have televisions in the bedrooms of our house and to not buy cable. This may have been a mostly economic based decision, but I think we have reaped the rewards of not watching television all day long. In the past three years not having cable has meant not having television period. We do not get even one local channel, and we haven't missed it one bit. Now we do watch movies, probably too many movies, and our kids have their videos, but as far as network TV we don't have anything. Because of this we have to make concerted efforts of what we watch. We have to look it up on the internet, pull out a movie, or add it to our cue before we watch it.
Some of you might think it is crazy to not have network TV, and that we are missing out on pop culture, news, interesting facts, or quality programming for children. We can tell you we are not missing out on anything; in fact, I think we have gained so much more, more time, more love, and more conversation. And we have lost a few things as well; commercialism, kids asking for every toy or cereal on every commercial, weight, desires to look or be a certain way, sexed up shows that have lost touch with real families and real values, and we even lost ourselves in more than one book. So I guess this means I don't know who was voted off the island, I don't know who the bachelor chose, and I really don't think I know who can dance; but I really don't care.
So am I sad that we have unplugged from cable and network TV? No, not one bit.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
You see our oldest child has never questioned bed time or the boundary of his bed. Once he is in bed, well he stays there. If he needs something, he calls out to us and we go and take care of what he needs. This continued until last year and we told him it was fine to get out of bed for a drink of water, go to the bathroom, etc. But, he knows his place and if he makes too many excuses to get out of bed he has consequences.
We knew that brother would be different from the start. He has always tested boundaries. He has tested every boundary we have ever placed, including bed. We will put him to bed and every so often we will hear his thundering feet running around playing and we put him back into bed. I say thundering feet, because he sounds like a 14,000 pound elephant dancing hip hop walking around, instead of a slight 30 pound baby. He really hasn't tested the bedroom boundary at night time until last night. We put the kids to bed and I was on the computer when I hear the thuds of his feet coming down the hall. He peeked in the room and gave me a million dollar smile as if to say, "If you don't tell, I won't." Well, we are not about ready to sacrifice our alone time, so I marched him back to bed and told him that if he got up again he would be in the crib.
I thought that had cured him of the "What does Mommy and Daddy do when I go to bed?" question, apparently not. We had settled into a show and a nice Oreo shake when I looked up at the staircase. Once again I saw our two-year-old's round dimpled chinned face peering around the corner, with an ear to ear grin, he looked at our shakes and said, "wan yum-yum" Oh no, not only did he see that Mom and Dad are not in bed sawing logs, but worse... he saw that we watch movies and eat luscious desserts while he is stuck with a 7:30 bedtime. The worst part, he learned how to walk quietly, he crept quietly out of bed, down the hall, and down the stairs in cat-like formation, our alarm system of kids out of bed, ie thundering feet, turned off. Unfortunately, I don't know where the on button is located.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
This is a good one for us...we are moving in six weeks and it is really hard. We love our friends here and know that this time here has been greatly enhanced by our sweet loving friends. Some we may not cross paths with again. I am so glad that I have a variety of friends from the acquaintances at the grocery store to the invaluable walking/jogging partners to the deep friendships of those who share my faith in God. All have blessed my life immensely and I can't imagine my life without them. I will be so sad to leave my dear friends here, but I am of course excited to build new friendships and rekindle old friendships by moving closer to family and old friends.
This past weekend I was overwhelmed by the friendship that we have been blessed with by our son's stay in the hospital. We had visits, cards, balloons, phone calls, texts, emails, facebook messages, etc. We live in a wonderful age of technology that allows us to connect to so many people.
In 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People David Niven, Ph. D reminds us not to only use technology to expand our friend base, but to become friends with our neighbors. We could spend our whole life on the computer and miss friendships right outside our door.
I have to add that friendship should not be based on age, appearance, or social status. We have much to learn from older and younger people; rough, hardened, not so attractive, or very beautiful, polished, well-dressed sorts; and we should never look at monetary wealth as our source of friendship. Each person rich or poor has something to offer, and beyond has a great need to connect to others. "People need to feel that they are part of something bigger, that they care about others and are cared about by others in return." 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I loved that statement then, and I love it even more now. The world is full of wide spectrum of things. The beautiful thing about life is to become a little better than we were the day before, and if we do that we won't have time to make comparisons.
Right now I think of the widespread challenges in the world and I count myself blessed, and with my abundance of blessings I look to pay it forward. I want to find ways to give to those in need, and as I do I learn so many things. I learn that I don't need to compare to share. I can give and help to even those that seem to have everything, because sometimes the only thing they lack is a friend.
So if you look to compare your life to those around you, I believe that you will always come out dissatisfied. Either unhappy about the things that you do not own, or unwilling to share the bounty of your wealth.
Here is hoping on Saint Patrick's Day that we will all put way the green monster of jealousy and do some introspective thinking about what we can do to lift another.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Hoping a few of our goals will come to pass.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
When I first started playing games with my son, he would freak out if he didn't win. Now granted he was four, but it really wasn't any fun to play with him.
Fast forward two years and many upsets and fits later, we now have game Saturdays. I love it! Yesterday we played a fantastic game of Star Wars Monopoly and we both had an enjoyable time. When he didn't win the game he smiled and handed me over the money and said, "Let's do it again." I feel like I had won the lottery. He finally realizes that he doesn't have to win every time, but it might be fun just to play.
"Ultracompetitive people, who always need to win, end up enjoying things less. If they lose they are very disappointed, and if they win it's what they expected would happen anyway." 100 Secrets of Happy People
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
If we live so that we understand that we are all connected I imagine that we will have a happier world. No more evil glares or middle fingers to strangers from behind the safety of our cars. No more ranting at perfect strangers on the phone or at a service counter. Pleasant interchange would rule and our happiness would spread.
Anyone heard the phrase, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."? It is so true, moms control not only the happiness in their homes, but the happiness in the world. When a mom is happy she sends happy kids and dads to school, work and play. Their small smiles brighten teachers, lunch workers, neighbors, friends, strangers and co-workers.
Imagine what would happen if all moms pledge to send their kids to school with a smile instead of frantic mayhem in the morning. Wouldn't the world be so much brighter? Here's my pledge to prepare the night before the things that need to be ready for the day, and to send my kid to school on a positive, happy note; so in turn he can spread that happiness to those he meets throughout the day.
Hoping that you will pledge to spread a small amount of happiness in your corner of the world.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I consider myself a fairly happy person. I am satisfied with my life and glean great joy from the experiences I have. This is not to say that I don't have "bad hair days" (just ask my husband), but I really do try to choose happiness over the crappy things of life. While I say this I believe that there is always room for improvement. I want to be able to get out of a funk as fast as possible and not dwell on the negative, so I have decided to create an experiment. An experiment that will hopefully change my life and the life of my readers for the better. An experiment that will be a journey through a book that immensely helped me on my journey to "Ritkiss".
About four years ago I received a book from my administrator with a challenge to read it. In fact he asked all of his staff to read it and I agreed. It was modestly titled, 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People. I was definitely intrigued. We were trudging through some very difficult times, and I needed the "secrets" of being happy. We had already come up with our catchphrase "Ritkiss", but I still craved more; more ways to put a smile on my face and truly feel it. I could slap a good smile on my face, but I couldn't fool too many; unfortunately I wear my emotions on my sleeve like a soccer mom cheers for her child at the big game. I wanted to feel "Ritkiss" not just say it. I truly desired a need for some happiness, and not the fleeting kind that comes from buying too many shoes, but the luscious kind that you can sink your teeth into after a hard day. So I began my journey to become more happy, and I am proud to say that this book help me rediscover some of the truths that I had been taught as a child, but somehow lost.
So now here I am, a much happier person in a much different state than I was five years ago... Please join me on my experiment with exploring this book in detail with my life. As I said, I do believe that I am a happy person, and with that in mind I will strive to become even more so as I take a deeper look into a book that help me on my journey to become much happier : 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It seems as though I will be getting a double dose of the oh so fun potty humor.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Well we are in the thick of this process as my husband nears graduation. We are less than two months away from graduation, and our prospects are about the same as when we began...zero. Well maybe not quite that bad, but it definitely feels that way.
And to make matters worse, I opened the resume my husband has been sending out and using for the past two years. I know I have looked at it before, but somehow a big fat typo was facing me in bold giant print. My husband spelled INFORMATION: INFORAMTION. Really?!? I couldn't believe I was looking at the resume, THE resume that he had been using all this time. Was this the same resume that I so blindly sent to 40 people hoping that someone would pick it up and think wow this is the guy that we need to add to our illustrious organization? No, it couldn't be, but alas as we looked through the records it was the self-same resume that I had zipped off across the country via email.
So what did we do when we discovered the blunder of the century. We laughed, we laughed until we cried. What else could we do?
Here's hoping that our mistake has been overlooked, as we had both done for the past two years.
Curse Microsoft for not spell-checking all caps
Friday, March 4, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Not a few nickels and dimes kind of change, but a whole jar that has been saved for three years kind of change.
We don't know what to do with our change; if only we had been given a road map with it, we might not have the headache.
The headache of sorting through each piece, counting, and rolling it up in nice neat papers to give to the bank.
We are still in the sorting stage.
What to do with this nickel, how 'bout this quarter over here.
We found a dollar piece at the bottom, but we haven't quite figured where that fits into the picture.
Will these pennies really be worth saving, they have talked about doing away with pennies.
If only I were a kid, this kind of change might actually be more fun!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
No, I am not at a loss for words; that rarely happens, unfortunately. My son is. No, not the six year old blabber-mouth that talks almost as much as I do; no it is the two-year-old. I first noticed that he was not talking very much when he was about 16 months. He could say, “mamma, dada” but that was it. As other children his age and even younger ones started talking more readily than he, I began to worry. I would show him books that he would throw across the room. We play with toys, which he also paid little or no attention to. I would talk, something I do best and he would smile and laugh, but not say much. Oh he would try, much to his avail, and most often we would get the most glorious sound effects. It was something, but not words. So we began talking with our doctor. She agreed he was behind, but we would have to do some tests and most likely he would catch up. He passed the hearing test, something we didn’t doubt, (what two-year-old could pick up the correct shirt put it in the correct drawer from only a verbal command). We knew he could hear, but why was he slow of speech. I mostly blame myself, (what mom wouldn’t) the loud mouth. I can’t seem to stop talking, so I must crowd out the opportunity for him to speak. With some extra testing he is in speech therapy twice a month, his progress slow, but sure. I am now hearing two-word phrases instead of a grunt and a gesture in the direction of his wants. Names instead of jibber jabber. Words in place of sound effects. So before he really talks I want to capture the moment of his cute little vocabulary before his verbose explosion, and I forget all the quirky ways my son let me know what he desires.
“Neow” - Cat
“Dog-go” – Dog
“A-Vroom or MMuuMM” – Truck
“Quoowack” – Duck
“Hole-me” – Hold me
“Sthoes” – Shoes
“EE-EE” – Monkey
“Ah-Bee” – Vitamin
“Kackhoe” – Backhoe
“Brushee” – Brush teeth
"SH-SH" - Sleep
I almost forgot my favorite:
"Daogo" - Bug not to be confuse with Dog-go, dog