Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Show and Tell - 9.30.09

"Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything is right."
"New Shoes" by Paolo Nutini (great song)

These are my consignment shop purchase, impulse buy really, from yesterday. They are as you can see an olivey/lime green patent leather pump.

They are Steve.Madden and would have retailed for around $80. They were worn once and I got them for $15. I mean would I have ever have spent a lot of money on green shoes? Probably not. But, now there is no guilt. I already picture them as my Christmas outfit shoes.

To get a better look...

Guess who decided to walk around the living room in them? I can barely walk in these things.
They go great with doggy pajamas though!

P.S. Anyone know how to black scuff marks off patent leather. There are a couple of spots on the tips. I heard toothpaste is good for stuff like this.

Also, I ask that you put this picture on your blog. We need the Adoption Tax Credit to be extended. Your help in spreading the word is appreciated.

Check out the rest of Show and Tell

Monday, September 28, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

Check out Lori's for more Perfect Moments.

Yesterday Min Man and I were chatting about all the things that happen during the Fall. This year he will enjoy Halloween much more so I was trying to get him acquainted with upcoming events. We talked about cider, apple pie, costumes, pumpkins, and candies.

After Min Man went to his room for the night, he was talking for about an hour. It is so cute to listen to a two year old have a conversation with themselves. He basically says all the things that come to mind- stream of consciousness. For him his all motor vehicles, insert name of someone here, insert name of pet here.

But, the cutest thing of all- in the middle talking he blurted out "apple pie." This must have really made an impression on him because he tried to get up and kept saying "want apple pie." When he finally fell asleep, he was naming all the people in his life.

This morning the first thing he said after, "Morning Mommy" was " have apple pie, please?"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Possible Financial Support for IVF in NYS

This is from my RESOLVE newsletter.

The New York State Department of Health administers an Infertility Demonstration Program where IVF centers are selected to participate in a statewide infertility program. If you are a NYS resident hoping to do IVF that is not covered by insurance, you could be eligible for funding. Based on income, NYS will share the cost with you for an IVF cycle. The program includes a subsidy for testicular sperm extractions based on the services offered by the center.

Here is the criteria for eligibility:
  1. privately insured and your insurance coverage of these procedures is not a covered benefit
  2. no longer covered for infertility services because your benefit is exhausted
  3. a NYS resident
  4. between the ages of 21-44
  5. clinically infertile and meet other health criteria.

The program was designed so that the patient's cost share cannot exceed ten percent of the patient's gross household income annually; therefore, financial support is available on a sliding scale basis.

To find out which IVF center or if you're RE is eligible for the program, you can ask your doctor or check the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where the CDC publishes this information along with annual success rates for IVF centers.

Visit this website to find out more information on the program.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Randomondium 9.25.09

Random and Pandemonium.
What life is really all about.

1) Happy 6-0 to my mom! She looks and acts too young to be 60.

2) Penny for your thoughts? You may have heard of a movement to eliminate the penny because it is not cost effective to produce. Interesting fact:

- the "copper" penny is actually made of 97.5% zinc. Due to the soaring prices of metal, it costs 1.7 cents to produce one penny.

3) Birthday traditions in other countries.

Israel- kids do not simply say happy birthday but offer blessings such as, may you have a year of fun and happiness. Another tradition is the birthday child sits in a chair and adults lift her over their head one time for each year.
Scandinavia- The national flag is hung from a top window of the home alerting all the neighbors of the special day and neighbors stop to offer their congratulations
United Kingdom- Instead of birthday cake a scoop of ice cream is placed over a bowl full of JellO
Australia- The birthday food is much easier than baking a cake. They call it fairy bread. It's a slide of white bread smeared with buttered and covered in sprinkles.
** Australians call sprinkles "hundreds and thousands." - I love it!

4) Italian lesson

Fare passegiata- to take a stroll.
Italians often take a walk as a family after a meal to help digest and get exercise.

5) Tid bit

Put a couple of marshmallows in your brown sugar bag. It will help keep it soft.

6) Take my name poll on the right side bar.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Show and Tell 9.23.09

I used to walk by this little vegetable stand nearly everyday in the summer as a young girl. I would drive by, bike by, roller blade by when I was a teen-ager. I never paid much attention to what they were selling; it was more like a landmark. It was also something I expected to see arrive every summer and retreat every fall.

Last summer we moved to the house next to this vegetable stand. That is how we describe where our house is to natives of our town. "You know where the vegetable stand is? Our house is next door." Last summer it was great bringing out my $.75 for a head of broccoli to make for dinner. Our wonderful neighbors who run the stand insisted that we not pay for things from their garden. Every so often we will get some tomatoes or peaches. DH made a fantastic peahc cobbler last seaon. It's like having a farmer's market right next store.

The stand is run on the honor system. No one is sitting out there making sure patrons pay. There is a sign posted letting people know how ashamed they should be if they don't put their dollar in the can. I don't know the exact wording. Can you believe people stop and not pay? It's sad.
This vegetable stand has been up and running for around 30 years. I think this is a great testament to small town life. With the economy crash and record high unemployment rates people are getting back to the basics. Times are tough but there are lessons to be learned for all age groups. The vegetable stand equals simplicity to me, home grown vegetables and sharing with the community. I love seeing the cars stop on our busy road to pick up tomatoes or eggplant for dinner.
We started our own garden this year and unbelievably it did very well. It was a great feeling to pluck off a broccoli head and serve it for dinner. I didn't track how much money we saved, but it made us feel better- healthier.
Growing our own veggies and fruit spills over into hand made cards, riding bikes instead of driving, going to consignment shops, and reusing items that friends had or likewise. We do not always need, new, new, new. list and e.Bay always had the right idea. Now these types of sites are more popular than ever. The barter system is in full effect as well.
I came home one afternoon after work and saw that DH had hung all his clothes out to dry and was plucking a zucchini from our garden. It made me proud; I even had tears in my eyes. We have gone into these changing times with our eyes open. Min Man doesn't need a million toys. I do not need to buy that new dress if I can borrow from a friend and hanging out at home is so much better than wasting money at a bar or restaurant.
The time we have together is way more valuable than anything else. Who knew I could come to all these conclusions from a little old vegetable stand.
Check out the rest of Show and Tell.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How Couples Cope with Infertility

I don't mean to leave anyone out but this post is from the perspective of a couple, married or not. Marriage or a long term relationship with a spouse is hard enough. Trying to live with someone, compromise on major and minor things on a daily basis, and putting in the effort needed to remain happy is challenging. When a couple goes through a crisis, the true strength of that relationship cannot help but show itself. If there were already major communication problems, the crisis will all the more difficult to deal with. A crisis can bring out varying opinions never spoken of and for some this can mean the demise of the relationship.

Infertility is usually unplanned. Most couples are unaware of any fertility issues or at the very least the magnitude of trying to conceive. For example, a woman may know she has endometriosis, but then goes on to find out there is male factor infertility as well. My husband and I never even considered problems conceiving. Even when we found out I had PCOS, we felt that with some medical intervention, I would get pregnant. Our situation steamrolled into a colossal problem with finding out there was MFI and then the additional diagnoses of severe endo and anti-nuclear antibodies for me.

In the beginning I was more worried and consumed by PCOS than my husband was. I was very worried and down in the dumps. His positive attitude about it all being fine made me angry. I thought it was a huge deal. When we found out there MF, things became more complicated. We did several IUI's without success and I was a wreck.

When we moved on to IVF, there was a lot of stress involved with finding the money. Learning to do all the shots and coping with the endless appointments (most of which I attended alone) took their toll. The short version of our experience was that I had an ectopic pregnancy on the first IVF and 2 more unsuccessful IVF's where we decided to halt all medical intervention.

This happened over the coarse of 3 1/2 years. So, how did we get through it? Amazingly we did not argue that much. Even though we both dealt with our emotions in very different ways, somehow it did not come between us. One way infertility affected our marriage is that it forced us to learn more about each other very early on in our marriage. We were childless for the first five years of marriage, and it made us stronger. We had a lot more time as just as a couple than we would have had if we got pregnant when we first started trying. Infertility taught us how to act as a team. To our advantage we also had the same goal in mind- parenthood. Even though we did not know how it would happen, because we both agreed we would not live childless helped eliminate a major conflict.

We learned to respect each others opinions. With all the options out there for ART like donor eggs, sperm, surrogacy, etc. we had a lot to think about. We chose each other over a procedure that would result in pregnancy if both parties were not 100% on board. We married each other to be together, and if that meant we would not have a biological child, then we could live with that. Pregnancy was not the end all be all for us.

You hear a lot of infertiles joke about drinking a lot of wine and martini's.
"Give me some wine and I will trudge through the latest BFN or cancelled cycle."
We drank a lot during infertility. We would sit and talk and sit and talk over a bottle of wine or vodka tonic. Let's face it. We had a lot of time on our hands and a lot to talk about. We were facing not being able to have kids. Adoption was an option, but we were so overwhelmed with that topic it was too much to try and tackle. We talked about how to improve our house or what cars to buy. We focused on other things besides TTC, even though that always weezled its way into the conversation. Drinks would be poured after another failed cycle or pregnancy announcement. There was a lot to deal with that wasn't a whole lot of fun.

Some people eat a lot, smoke too many cigarettes, drink a lot when going through infertility. This is very common. Coping with the stress and disappointment is extremely difficult. I recommend therapy. I talked with a therapist often about my emotions. Admittedly DH did not go this route, and it turned out okay, but couples counseling could be very effective if both parties are willing to do the work. If both people are not willing to take the therapy sessions seriously, save your money.

Some people choose to be very private about their struggles, others choose to talk about it and seek support. We were quite open about our TTC battle. Not many people understood, but we made it clear that we were trying to get pregnant, and it wasn't going very well. The questions died down making things easier on us. If the ALI community was around in my beginning days, I believe I would have reached out. The anonymity really helps many people to get things off their chest without exposing their identity. The support is a gift. Feeling understood and having someone tell you they are thinking of you means a great deal.

Each couple has a different situation. Each couple faces their own challenges and will find their own coping mechanisms for dealing with infertility and the multi faceted problem it imposes on a relationship. The most important factor to consider is communication. Rely on your partner, learn what the other needs, be honest about your feelings. You're in it together. You're both hurting even if you show it in different ways.

A hug and an "I love you" did wonders for me. Coping with a partner does not have to be complicated. Go with your instincts- they will see you through.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Open Minded

How did I get to be a blogger?
I remember trying to find a good place to sign up for a blog. I tried one other unknown venue and quickly deleted my account when I found "The Fine Print" is my first blog- now closed. I wanted to update family and friends on our adoption. I wanted to provide educational tools and facts. Eventually I began to pour my heart out. At that time I thought that only people I knew were reading, but slowly I discovered that strangers or friends of friends were reading every day. That changed me. For someone who used to be extremely shy and guarded, I did not care that my inner most thoughts were made public. Writing helped me and helped others. I was finally able to explain to many people the hell we had endured for 4 years. I was finally able to rejoice over our pending parenthood.

I have been a writer most of my life. I wrote poetry starting in second and third grade. I was an avid reader of Nancy Drew and many other books. I sat down countless times to write my first novel. I did well in English class in school. But, over the years I stopped writing. I did not have a meaningful place to write except in a journal. About 5 years ago I took over our company's newsletter and thoroughly enjoyed writing and producing those pieces. I took a couple of writing classes and my goal to be published was revisited.

As my blog and readership has grown I have realized that my life is open. Sure, there are many things that I keep private. But, my posts are intimate, they are honest and real.
I am subjecting myself to criticism and hurtful comments. But, I am also subjecting myself to meeting wonderful people, hearing words of encouragement and being told that I am making a difference in someones life simply by writing my posts.

Words are my life. I wear my heart on my sleeve and sometimes get overwhelmed with what to do with my emotions. I care so deeply about so many things- it is a blessing and a curse. I have learned some lessons about the writer that envelopes herself in her words. I have learned that once I hit "send" it's out there. Being very open is not an easy thing to do. The mask of the computer makes it easier, but it also makes it easy to forget how many people my words will reach. I have taken a step back to realize that even though my intentions are never to hurt anyone, that sometimes my "thoughts" posted in this blog may make someone else feel uncomfortable. It is my choice to write about my life and it does affect other people.

I have missed blogging in the past 2 weeks. It is plain to see that this has become a huge part of my life. It is an outlet for all of my thoughts. And, I am thankful to have it. Blogging has opened up writing as a career for me. I never thought this would happen. Blogging has opened up a whole new world of people- good people. Thanks to all who read and make me feel appreciated. I would continue to write if nobody read it but my mom. However, thoughtful comments and encouragement keep me going and force me to develop my craft. Knowing there are readers pushes me to have interesting content on all parts of the emotional scale.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Before and After

Show and Tell- Before and After Take II

Here is another decorating before and after. This is this home we moved into last July. We fell in love with this house. It is my 1920's "farmhouse" with natural gumwood trim throughout. If you like old houses, you would love this house.

I love decorating. In this room we repainted the walls, I made new curtains, and we painted the brick surrounding the fireplace from white to chocolate brown.

There's Min Man watching his show.


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