Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wow, discussions abound!

You are THERE Bleaders!!  Thanks for the discussion about how to raise a good kid.  Very interesting thoughts and opinions.  Makes me feel better and gives me some insight from people who are "there, doing that"!

Oh, in the mist of that discussion a new name has come out.  Ms. Belly (aka my BFF who has offered up her belly should we need it - love her!) will now and forever more be known as My Belly Mama (MBM for short).  She commented on Tuesday's discussion and said Mommy Belly was her name and that made me think of My Belly Mama, which suits her more because hello, that is what she would be if we need it further down the road.  Again, how lucky am I to have one of my sisters offer me her belly if we need it to make a child.  If it comes to that, we really will be related! :)

Ok, so what's new in my life?  J's 33rd birthday was yesterday.  He had already picked out his birthday present, um new tires for his quad, so didn't have a lot to give him except I did make him his favorite cupcakes.  Mayonnaise Chocolate Cupcakes.  Yes, it sounds disgusting.  But think about it.  What is mayo made of?  Eggs, oil, maybe a little sugar.  What goes in cake?  Eggs, oil, sugar, flour, chocolate.  So this cake is made without eggs and oil, and instead mayo.  It makes the cupcakes really fluffy and a little less sweet.  He's not a sweet guy, ha ha.  He also doesn't like frosting.  So he has his cupcakes, sans frosting and he's lovin' them.  We went to dinner with my Dad, Mom was at a church retreat.  And today J's parents are in town helping us put a door on our bathroom (whoever built this house was kind of a moron not to put a door from the master bedroom to the master bath) and we'll probably go to lunch too or do something to celebrate J's birthday.

I've re-registered for big nasty (CFP), re-scheduled a cram course, booked my ticket to Denver and now just need to book the hotel.  I was studying yesterday afternoon after having read a new book on one of the subjects I struggle with and when I took the test at the end with 50 questions for the FIRST time, I got a 74%!  For me that is HUGE!  In the past, it's been about 50%, so there's progress!!!

I also got a sweet treat yesterday with an impromptu Angel reading.  Angel Ash emailed me and said she kept getting told to pull a card for someone but she couldn't figure out who and then I popped into her brain.  So here's what my card said:

FLOW OF PROSPERITY - The finances are coming to you that you need and have been praying for.  Continue to think positively to bring abundance into your life.  (We do need finances for IVF later this year.)

CLEAR AND SHIELD YOUR ENERGY - Do not let negativity creep in.  Ask the angels to remove all negative energy from you and your surroundings.  Then ask them to place a shield around you.  Do this everyday. (With CFP looming, this is certain to be true.  I'll have to concentrate on not being negative.)

POSITIVE CHANGE - Things in your life seem to be changing, but it is a positive change.  Enjoy the ride as your life begins to fall into place. (I'm hopeful this means passing CFP and starting life as a Mommy!)

So WOW!  What a way to end the week!

Happy Weekend Bleaders and talk to you soon!
Nikus

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How do you raise a kid to be a good person??

I have been thinking about this for a bit this morning.  Given all the craziness that Tucson has ensued, how do you "do it right"?  I feel bad for the parents of what's-his-face-maniac-shooter (I refuse to utter his name).  Some would say you couldn't see this coming, but what about the skull bbq in his backyard?!  Anyway!  Enough about that.

What really makes me wonder is the families around me and mine.  I am an only child.  Therefore, I have no knowledge of blood siblings.  I've taken adopting my friends as my siblings, and mostly sisters at that.  But the ones I have "adopted" have really good relationships with their siblings.  And I don't know how you get that.  I see families where siblings barely speak to each other and even at holidays it is difficult to get along.  What happened there that blood siblings can't stand each other?  In many cases it isn't even one specific, tragic, event that has led to the non-relationship.  So how do you prevent this?

In one specific case I know of, the children were raised by the same parents and one is seemingly off in the boonies, while the other is perfectly sane and hardworking.  What happened there?  How do you raise a child to be a good person?  I know the parents of this scenario and they are wonderful people.  Loving.  Trustworthy.  Money-conscious.  Sane!  So what happened that these traits didn't transfer to the one child?

Does anybody have any magic potions that I am not aware of?  I do realize the families with seemingly beautiful relationships have their issues, but they seem to rebound without tragedy.  So how do you do that?  How as a parent do you create that?

Thoughts?  Comments?

Sorry this post isn't terribly funny, but just wondering how I make good kids.  I admit first I have to figure out how to make children, but after they are born, then what?  Any advice is appreciated!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh Doctor!

Wow, I slow down on writing just for a bit and lose some followers! OW...pride is hurt a bit Bleaders.  Anyway, thanks for those still with me.  I know my writing has drifted a bit from infertility, but it's on a back burner right now.  Gotta get through big nasty first!  Not gonna do CFP and IVF together...I think I might implode!

So when I last wrote I was wallowing over not passing CFP.  I have gotten over that, mostly.  I re-enrolled in the test and found a different cram course (over Valentine's Day week, boo).  I will get this done.  I will go to Denver for my cram course (and on the side see some friends beforehand, yay).  And I will pass.  End of story.  I will pass.  (BTW, my friend who took it on her second go round passed, so I AM OVERJOYED and FILLED WITH HOPE!)

Something infertility related that happened that I have been meaning to share is J and my visit to his doctor.  His regular doctor.  I don't know about the rest of you, but getting DH to go to the doctor is WORSE than pulling teeth!  (He doesn't go to the dentist either, but his teeth are pretty nice...although once kiddies start to go, that will be on the table for discussion.)  Anyway, it was time for J's annual appointment.  He needed bloodwork done and that in itself was a drama, but he got it done.

I go with him for his visits as "4 ears is better than 2," but I think he's really kinda nervous.  I won't bore you with all the little topics of discussion, but there is one tidbit I'll share.

Dr. C is very good.  He's kind and listens and doesn't rush.  He said,"Last year you said you were trying to get pregnant, how's that going?"  I piped up with, "We're gonna do IVF this year."  Dr. C looked at J and said, "Do we know what the issue is?"  We both shook our head.  And then J just started talking and I was in a trance. 

He said something to the effect of, "it just sucks that all of our friends get pregnant so quick and we have issues.  I wish it could just be as easy for us.  Plus the money!  IVF isn't cheap.  But we want to be parents so bad." 

Now, we talk about this and discuss how to get there.  But to hear him open up to someone else, a man no less, about his feelings seriously made my heart swell.  Especially to hear him say he feels the same way I do in his own words.  I am really NOT alone in this struggle.  And as many times that I may roll my eyes at something silly he did or annoying thing he said, he is the right guy for the job.  The job of being my husband and the father of my children.  Happy Nikus!

Changing lanes...this weekend J went camping so I was on my own.  We've kinda been on each other's nerves so it's not a bad thing.  He likes to sleep outside in the cold, and I prefer the warm bed.  Plus we get a little chance to make the heart grow fonder.  And it did. 

So I hung out with my Grandma who is in town.  We ate out, we watched movies, we caught up.  I also went to a movie and lunch with Ms. T and just chilled.  This morning, I just chilled in bed and watched "The Back-up Plan."  Very cute and fun.  And while it wasn't really about infertility since J.Lo. wants to be preggers but has no man, it was a nice different story for once.  Definitely worth a trip to Red Box!

And now, off to finish some chores before the weekend ends. Happy Last Full Week of January folks!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Big nasty strikes again

Well Bleaders, I wish I had good news to report but I don't.

After weeks of waiting for test scores, it came yesterday (Saturday) and between my heart beating out of my chest, my breathing becoming rapid, and my hands shaking so hard, it was truly difficult to open the damn envelope.  I skimmed the letter to see what the outcome was, I finally happened on the word that let me know it all.  Unfortunately.  So no, I didn't pass "big nasty" this go round.  It totally sucks.  Big Nasty 1, Nikus 0.  The pass rate was 51.3%.  So apparently there are a bunch of other people feeling the way I do today.

Before the tears ensued (oh, and they did) I called my Mom and told her what had happened.  She was disappointed, like I was, but reminded me that I still have a job and this doesn't change how she loves me.  (It may change what I think of myself right now, but not how she does.)  There wasn't much to say after that.

I texted J to let him know because he was at work.  He responded that he was sorry and he was proud of me for taking it and that it was a really hard test, and just that, a test.  Also that he has faith I will pass it in the future and that he loves me.

Then I did a mass text so I wouldn't have to call everyone and tell them...my BFF in San Fran, my BFF in Phoenix, Meanie Chrisitinie, Ms. Belly, Volleyball Queen, Busted Kate, Lobster, Katiegirl, Trainer's Wife, Megs, Michelle, Tri-Woman, Ms. T., to name a few.  Basically, everyone who knew so I wouldn't have to tell them and risk bawling my eyes out in front of them or on the phone.  So then there were mass texts that came thru, and a couple lovlies who called, even though I wasn't really in a chatty mood.  I did talk to BFF in San Fran, well, she talked, I cried.  I didn't talk to anyone else, because I was trying to hold it together and because my phone was ringing off the hook with texts so talking and texting would have been difficult.

Finally, the phone settled a little bit and it was time for a drink (which many people had recommended).  A large drink.  Yesterday was probably the first day in a long time that I was grateful I am not pregnant, because I have to start studying all over again and studying and being preggers, just doesn't sound like a good plan.  Especially with all the stress, and drinking.  J finally got home and I was hanging out on the couch, but when he looked at me I immediately began to cry.  I just felt like I let him and everyone down.  Kinda like when we didn't get pregnant after IUI #1.  I know he doesn't think that, but I feel like I did.  So more drinking ensued.

Then, some friends (who are also clients) from Phoenix were in town and needed to drop off a check for their account, so they stopped by.  I had already texted them letting them know the outcome and that I wasn't highly social at that moment.  They hung out and had a drink, and took my mind away from things.  Thankfully I didn't look too red-eyed when they showed up.  Hugs were good and no tears while they were here.

We ordered in dinner, because there was no way I was cooking last night.  And yes, it was greasy and oh-so-unhealthy, but I needed that.  WW would say "don't eat your feelings."  Well, I did just that last night.

And when we went to bed and I finally let J hug me, I cried yet AGAIN.  (It's really getting old to be this damn emotional about a stupid test.)  But at that point, I was so tired and intoxicated, that it was all I could do to hold my eyes open.  I don't think I even made it through Weekend Update on SNL, which I usually strive to do.

Amazingly, as I write this post I haven't cried.  I've felt my eyes well up a bit, but nothing spilled.  Ms. T finally saw my text from last night and texted back this morning that she was sad about the result.

I will say that I have incredible friends who even though I look at myself as a bit of a failure right now, they don't.  They aren't pitying me like I feel like they are.  I was reminded last night that the reason my friends feel bad is because they care and there's a difference between feeling sorry FOR me and feeling sorry WITH me.  (Thanks Katiegirl).

But, yesterday wasn't ALL bad - well, yesterday afternoon was, but yesterday morning wasn't.  I had Megs baby shower yesterday morning and that was a blast.  Megs and I have been friends since 2nd grade (that I recall).  She swears its been longer because we went to church together as kids and thinks it dates back to kindergarten!  I can guarantee though that it has been at least 21 years!  That's a long time.  To boot, much of her family is also clients of Mom's and mine, so they are additions to our work family and awesome.  They were all there so there were many hugs to go around.  I had made her a blanket for baby Liam and she opened it almost last.  There had been nothing else handmade at the party.  Here's a few photos so you can see just how adorable she is!

 Megs and her cutie belly, next to her beautiful cake!

Megs eating her beautiful cake, that was SOOOO YUMMY!  I should have snagged some to bring home!

Megs with all her presents.

Megs first glance at the blankie I made little Liam.

And she opens it up to see the whole thing.  Apparently the colors matched the room perfectly, but I didn't know that when I was making it.  (Her Aunt tried to steal it later claiming Liam could see it when he visited her in Phoenix.)

Friends for 21 years!  Megs and myself...although not the best photo of me, very cute of Megs.

So that was my day yesterday...first up, then WAY down.  At least I do have a bright point to look back and see.

Now, just have to figure out how to study to pass big nasty in March when I get to take it, again.

Fair warning Bleaders, I'll probably drop off the planet again for a while as I prepare.  I love you all, don't think I'm dead.  ;)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dun na...Dun na...Dun na, dun na.....

I have this great sense of impending doom right now.  (That was supposed to be the theme from Jaws as the title, but I'm a little pre-occupied right now and it doesn't look right.)

This may very well be my last post before CFP (aka "big nasty") scores are in.  Yes, you read that right.  At this very moment, the letter about my CFP score is some where in the postal system waiting for me.  However, it's not in today's mail.  Boo.

I know this...it was mailed on Wednesday (or so the report goes) from D.C.  So I've estimated that it could take 3-7 days to get here, not a window that makes me happy by any means.  Today is day 3 if the results were in fact mailed Wednesday morning, and not Wednesday night.  (Do you see how much thought has been put into this?)  However, if the letter isn't in tomorrow's mail, then it really doesn't matter because I can check the score online on Monday.  It really seems backwards to me.  Wouldn't normal people post the score online, THEN send the letter?  Immediate relief I guess....after a huge waiting period.  I guess I have just a few more days to stress over the outcome.  I really hope I get it tomorrow because then I have the weekend to deal with the outcome, whereas if I get it Monday morning, I won't have time to cry or rejoice really, as I'll be at work and need to get busy.  However, if I'm at work, Ms. Belly and my Mom will be there to hold me as I cry, if I cry.

So what does all this mean?

If I fail, will I not have a job next week?  No.  This was pointed out to me by one of our consultants when I told him I was really nervous about the outcome.  So will it suck if I fail?  Yes.  Will I cry?  Probably.  But will my career be in jeopardy?  No.  Will I die?  No.  Will my life change for the next few months?  Yes.  But we'll deal.  (Look at how well I am preparing myself for this score!)

If I pass, what will happen?  C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E!  I promise to use every means of communication to spread the word!  I am not anticipating this though.

I have anticipated and prepped myself for opening the envelope and how to react.  And given any day, I may have notions that I passed (depending how many people say "I know you did fine" and how I feel in general) and I probably have notions that I didn't pass.  But every time I think about getting the letter, or what the score might be, my stomach definitely drops to my toes and I get butterflies and worried.

I just don't know what the future holds.  Prayers people is all I can ask for ... prayers.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Results for one of the two January tests!

Okay, so we all know that CFP scores are coming but do any of you remember about Elite Performer that I was to also find out about in January?  Well, here's the post on that, and another.  If you don't remember and don't want to go look at those posts, here's a short summary of what it is.

I belong to a smaller gym (not Bally's or Gold's, but privately owned) and I love it.  We're friends with the  owner who also happens to be my trainer.  When I signed up (no initiation fee and no contract - also love that) you got one training session a month with a trainer which is all I really need.  It works perfectly.  We meet, he changes my workout, I do it for a month, we meet again and either change or fix workout, go another month, etc.  It keeps me honest and it helps change things up.  Plus it's all included in the price, so I feel like I am getting a good deal.  Unfortunately, that deal isn't offered anymore because (get this!) nobody took advantage of the trainer part!  Don't get me wrong, they still train with someone, but nobody wanted their freebees!  So wasteful!  Anyway, back to me...

Every year in August, he starts what is called Elite Performer.  Basically, it's a series of exercises that you do as a baseline (walk on treadmill for 15 minutes, plank, push-ups for a minute, sit-n-reach, leg presses of body weight in 2 minutes, weight and fat percentage).  Trainer notes them down as to how far, how many, how long, how far or how much.  Then, for 3 months, you work out and try to get better.  You do another test of all the exercises again in November and you are graded on how well you improved on yourself, with some other factors added in...level of fitness, age, etc. and compared to how other people improved upon themselves.

Anyway, did that and have bugged Trainer to tell me for the last few months if I won or didn't win.  He refused.  Tonight, he had his annual Open House...everyone dressed up (no sweats), good food, alcohol, and mingling.  Plus, he hands out prizes and tells us who won Elite Performer.

Last year it was a man who won and all men in the top three.  This year, a woman won and all women in the top three.  Drumroll please....

No, I didn't win.  Boo.  But I did come in third!!!

Probably 20-30 people did this, so I'm pretty proud of that!  Trainer was also very nice and said something to the effect of, "This lady mostly works out by herself and on her own and I dare you to do her workouts because they are hard!"  (He sets them up, he should know!)  So it was sweet and nice.

Didn't win anything, except a little pride about a small accomplishment!  And there's always 2011 to win Elite Performer.  Now I need to improve MORE!

Now if I had to pick between winning Elite Performer and passing CFP...CFP wins!  So maybe this is good karma?! 

And no, I still don't know the answer to the CFP score.

Happy Weekend Bleaders!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The second half of my weekend

Okay, now why did we miss the second half of the Dateline NBC?

We had sat down to dinner, yes in front of the TV, for pizza that we had warmed up in the oven.  Our puppies, Sierra and Blazer, adore pizza crust so they were seated beside us begging. J reached down to pet Sierra because she was bugging him for pizza and when his hand came up it was covered in blood.  He immediately got up and ran to get a flashlight while screaming at me that she had blood on her back.  I called her to me and tried to find the wound.  It was really large and while not bleeding profusely, it was in fact bleeding.  We herded our other dog outside and called a vet hospital down the road to make sure they were open.  We put the leash on her, stored the food so our cat wouldn't eat it and got on the road to the hospital.  Thankfully, they were about 5 minutes away and pretty empty.

J carried Sierra inside, although she wasn't very happy about that, and a technician appeared immediately.  They took Sierra to the back while we filled out paperwork and waited for the doctor to look at her.  About 45 minutes later they called us back to a room to get her history and figure out what happened.  We had no idea what had happened!  The only thing we could figure out was that the dogs were playing and they got a little rough.  The doctor finally came in and discussed what he wanted to do...put her under anesthesia to sew up the wound.  It looked to be the size of 2 half-dollar coins, fur completely gone and really looking at her "meat" for lack of a better term.  They brought us the proposed bill which wasn't cheap as you can imagine...about $1,000!  But we didn't feel we had a choice...this is our wedding baby...our love bug.  We agreed and they showed us where her kennel was.  That was then I started to get teary eyed.  She didn't want to go in the kennel and I felt like she thought we were giving her up.

Technically, we are Sierra's 2nd owners.  We adopted her a couple days after we returned to Colorado after being married in Arizona in 2004 from the Dumb Friends League (essentially the Humane Society in Denver,CO) and the family who had taken her home for a very limited amount of time we were told said she was nipping and playing aggressively.  We took her home and found her to be nothing but sweet and loving, and of course, a three month old puppy.  However, we believe she still has some fears because of that situation.  Whenever we pull out a broom to sweep, she heads for the hills.  She also hates to be touched on her hind-quarters.  When we go to the vet for her annual exam, getting her temperature takes 3 people!  She also gets very upset when people speak Spanish around her.  We have neighbors who are rarely home but when they are and they are outside talking in Spanish, she goes bonkers!  When Sierra lived with J's parents while we searched for a home in Tucson, they reported the same thing about their neighbors speaking Spanish.  But anyway, back to last night.

So we left her at the hospital overnight for her surgery and I was kind of a wreck.  I didn't know if I would sleep, so I had a glass of wine to calm me down a bit as well as this stuff called Neuro Sleep that I found at Albertson's last week.  It's a drink with Melatonin in it.  It helps!  J and I went to bed about 11 am after trying to calm down a bit.

We had asked that after the surgery they call us and let us know how Sierra was doing, so about 3 am, my phone rang and the doctor told me that she was fine and could be picked up anytime.  I don't think I really had slept by that point, at least not well.  So after I relayed the message to J, we both went back to sleep.  However, I did wake up with puffy eyes this morning.

We picked Sierra up from the hospital this morning and the bite looks so very bad.  My poor puppy!

She was in great spirits and so very happy to see us.  The vet even said she was so cute and sweet and he loved working on her.  I already knew that though!  We brought her home and our other dog, Blazer, was happy to see her too.  He was probably the one that did this to her, but there seemed to be no love lost between them.  Sierra doesn't even act like she is in pain.

We were given antibiotics for her, as well as pain meds, so we gave those to her this morning with breakfast. Thankfully, the bite wasn't as bad as they thought (although it looks worse than J and I both thought it would) so we only had to pay about $850!

I am able to work from home so that is what I have been doing, somewhat this morning.  I didn't have a lot of work, so am really keeping an eye on her and finishing up little things here and there.  We had to put a t-shirt on her so that she wouldn't lick or scratch the wound, but thus far she hasn't really touched it.  The only thing I did find her licking was her leg where they put in the IV.  Here's our little girl in her new outfit.

Like I said, she doesn't seem in pain, but has been sleeping a lot with me in the office while I am on the computer.


We have to keep her inside for the next 14 days so she doesn't rip her stitches and doesn't play rough with Blazer while we aren't around.  The dogs have crates that they sleep in, so she'll probably be left in hers while we're at work.  Thankfully J doesn't work far from the house, so he can come home at lunch on days that I am at the office and let her outside supervised, then put her back in her crate until we both come home in the evening.  Both dogs will hate it because they love being together, but we want to make sure she gets healthy.

So on top of all the shooting drama this weekend in Tucson, we've also been dealing with this.  I'm glad she's home and on the mend, but last night wasn't really fun in our house.  

Oh, and a few more tidbits.  AF came on Saturday, making it "just that much more fun."  And I learned this morning that CFP scores are being sent out this week!  They mail them, and then next week update us online as to if we passed or not...shouldn't that be the other way around?!  Anyway, I'm on edge about what that envelope will hold.  

Pray for Tucson, pray for our puppy Sierra and pray that I passed CFP!

Tragedy in Tucson

Hi folks. 

It's been a crazy weekend here in Tucson.  If you haven't heard, there was a shooting at a Safeway grocery store Saturday morning at 10 am, where our local Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was holding a Congress on Your Corner to meet the public.  Six people died and another 13 were injured.  The gunman, 22 year old man, was taken down by 2 of the people there, before police showed up.  He shot the Congresswoman point blank in the face and she had surgery on Saturday to remove part of her skull to let the swelling go down.  The bullet exited her head, but it did do some serious damage.  Currently, she is on a ventilator and responding to small commands (i.e. squeeze hands, thumbs up, etc.).  The doctors at University Medical Center have her in a medically induced coma, which they bring her out of to check her status every-so-often. 

The other victims that died were:
Christina Taylor Green - age 9.  Christina was born on 9/11/01.  She had recently been elected to her student council.  Her neighbors invited her to go so she could see some real-life politics.  They were also injured.

Judge John Roll - age 63.  Judge Roll was a Federal Judge for Arizona District Court.  He showed up at the rally to support his friend, Gabrielle Giffords.

Gabe Zimmerman - age 30.  Gabe was Gabrielle Gifford's aid.  His job was community outreach.  He was my age and had recently gotten engaged. 

Phyllis Schneck - age 79.  Phyllis spent her winters in Tucson from New Jersey. She was active in her church and not politically active according to myfoxny.com.

Dorwin Stoddard - age 76.  Dorwin died shielding his wife from the barrage of bullets. Mavanell "Mavy" Stoddard, 75, was shot in the leg several times but is expected to recover.  Dorwin and Mavy were high school sweethearts who married later in life after their spouses had passed away.  They were both leaders in their church ministry and stopped by to tell the Congresswoman what a good job she was doing.

Dorothy Morris - age 76.  Dorothy and husband, George, went to see Gabby Giffords and were caught in the crossfire.  Dorothy was declared dead on the scene, while her husband remains in critical condition at the University Medical Center in Tucson.  Dorothy and George were high school sweethearts as well, but married early in life.  She was a secretary and a home-maker, while he is a former pilot for United Airlines and a retired Marine.

Now a little bit about where this grocery store is located.  J worked at this grocery store while he was in school, along with many friends who we still talk to.  My parents frequent this grocery store at least once a week.  Thankfully, they usually go Saturday night after church.  And, J's Dad works for Safeway and visits this store when he comes to town to check up on his department.  Thankfully, he wasn't there this day.  

For us, this hits really close to home. 

So where was I Saturday?  I happened to be at a baby shower at a friend's house whose husband (now a firefighter) used to work with J at this very Safeway.  As people started arriving at the shower, my friend got a call from her husband (who wasn't working at the time) and was making sure not only that she wasn't there, but to let her know what happened.  We immediately turned the TV on to see what was being reported.  There were a couple other people at the party whose husbands were cops or who were cops themselves.  So we were getting initial reports there.  From those reports we heard that Gabrielle Giffords had been shot in the face at point blank range and was declared dead on scene.  When my friend's husband arrived after the shower, we learned that initially they thought Congresswoman Giffords was dead, but upon further assessment she was in fact alive.  She was immediately airvac'd to University Medical Center and in surgery about 40 minutes after arrival.  

This is all over the news and we get updates whenever something new is revealed.  Apparently the shooter is -- I have no words -- but the media is calling him mentally unstable.  How can anyone wake up and decide that they are going to assassinate someone?  I just can't wrap my head around something so horrid!  He has been charged with attempted assassination of a member of Congress as they found items at his home that show this was premeditated.

The story as I understand it is this.  The Congresswoman was set up outside the entrance of Safeway and people were lined up to shake her hand and exchange a few words.  The shooter apparently asked to speak to Gabby Giffords and was nicely told to wait his turn in line.  He proceeded to the end of the line and after a few moments, with a look of determination on his face, ran to the front while firing a few shots.  He then shot Congresswoman Giffords in the face at point-blank range and proceeded to empty his clip of 31 bullets of his 9-millimeter Glock that had a larger clip that usual.  As he attempted to change the clip (to the 2nd one of 31 bullets), a woman grabbed it out of his hand.  The shooter then loaded a third clip of 31 bullets into the gun but the spring (?) got stuck and wouldn't fire.  It was at that point that the shooter was tackled by two nearby civilians and held until police arrived and arrested him.  As far as I know, he hasn't said anything.  His last message on MySpace said, "Goodbye friends...don't be mad at me."  The below video is a good account of everything that I have noted above.


 

As you might imagine, Tucson is stunned by this.  I did venture to a different grocery store yesterday and it was all people could talk about.  It's all over all the news here and from what people have told me, all over the country.  It was on Dateline NBC last night, which we caught a bit of, but then we had another issue to deal with last night (see the next post).  It's very scary to see my hometown all over national news.  I cringe when I hear "Tragedy in Tucson" on anything.  It's very sad.

I did hear one good thing this morning.  A friend of mine from high school is an anesthesiologist at UMC.  She was there when this all happened on Saturday and she posted this on her Facebook page this morning:

"Last night, I was back in the hospital OR, doing a lung transplant. Before putting him to sleep, I told my patient that I would take good care of him. He replied "I know. This is the place where you guys saved all those peoples' lives. I trust you." Amazing work, doctors, nurses and employees of UMC. I am so proud to call you all my colleagues and friends."

I don't quite know how to categorize this. But hopefully people will learn from this incident that politics aren't worth someone's life and to be more compassionate.  I'm still without on how to understand this whole thing.


One of our local radio stations in town talked to many of the people at the event this morning.  I urge you to listen to some of the interviews, including one from the mother of the 9-year-old who died at the event and one from the woman who helped disarm the shooter.  Click here.


So dear Bleaders, what I want to say is that yes this is my hometown and please keep Tucson in your prayers.  I would say all affected, but that is all of Tucson I believe.  Obviously, those who lost loved ones or are injured need prayers too.  Please keep us in your thoughts and I'll do my best to let you know if I hear anything else, but I have a feeling the media will be reporting a lot for a long time about this.

Stay safe and God Bless.

Nikus

Friday, January 7, 2011

Grey's Anatomy *Spoiler* - LOVE IT!

First off, thank GOD that Grey's Anatomy is back on TV and I'm not gonna go on and on about the first episode of 2011, only the very end.

At the beginning, there was one scene I wanna talk about...Derek and Meredith (the ones dealing with trying to get pregnant) are fighting in bed and he turns over to go to sleep and she says, "I'm ovulating, but I don't even want to look at you!"  Derek then says, "then turn over" and they proceed to do some baby making.  Been there too!  Mad at J, but when it's time, it is TIME!

Then at the very last, the scene below came on.  It's awesome and anyone who has dealt with infertility has probably felt this way.  I wish I could find the official clip...but I couldn't find it, so I used my phone to video the part I wanted to share.  Make sure your volume is up and if you get this blog via email, you may have to go to the actual blog to see the video...WORTH IT!  Click here.

video

Yes, there is a lot more to the episode but that just got me.  First off, if you have ever been in my shoes where there are so many things you shouldn't do while trying to conceive (i.e. no caffeine & no artificial sweeteners - this two stipulations reduce my fluid intake to water and milk, no juice, no wine, little fish, etc.) you have probably had this thought.  Yes Busted Kate?  Second, it's classic Cristina and Meredith!  LOVE THEM!

Then, they show the preview for next week and it shows Derek and Meredith talking about getting pregnant and Derek says, "it takes some people a while to get pregnant" or some version of that.  Then, they show them both looking at a pregnancy test.  I kinda think it won't be positive.  Can't wait for some heavy Infertility TV next Thursday!

Thanks Media Gods...you make me smile once again for showing the world that the people who suffer from Infertility aren't weirdos and few and far between!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Step Two...Talk to the IVF Coordinator

Hello Bleaders...can you tell my mentality has changed a bit recently?  At least until my "big nasty" score gets posted....YIKES! (I am seriously freaking out...at least if I don't know the score, I can fathom on some level that I may have passed!!)  But I digress...

When we last left, I had called Dr. H's office and left a message for the IVF Coordinator, Holly, to call me back and discuss how we progress.  She called yesterday morning while I was at work, so before going too far into the conversation, I shut my door and settled down to take notes.  Didn't get very many taken.  Basically, she wanted to know when AF was due next (ahem...Friday, oh joy!) and that meant if we wanted to progress and do extraction in February that I needed to start birth control next week!  Whoa Tonto...Kimosabi Nikus is not ready QUITE yet! 

I told her about CFP and that we were kind of waiting until the score was up so I knew if I would have to go back to studying or was free to stress about other things.  (Let me just say that CFP caused me more stress than I realized.  While I was studying during November I noticed that I had an eye twitch...I kid you not.  It got so bad at one point, that I looked it up on Dr. Internet and it said it could be caused by a number of things only two of which I could really relate to myself, stress and caffeine intake increase.  Let me assure you that both happened in November, but recently my coffee intake hasn't gone down and I have noticed that said eye twitch is GONE!  Not a little bit, but completely!  If you've never had an eye twitch, count yourself lucky.  Basically, my left bottom eyelid (mostly) would just start to move by itself for no reason what-so-ever for about 15-30 seconds.  Very annoying and weird I'm sure to look at if you were talking to me at the time.  It wasn't happening when I was thinking about CFP, just anytime...however when during November wasn't I thinking about CFP.  So I'm not looking forward to welcoming that back if I must for anything, CFP or IVF.)  Again, I digress...

Holly agreed that two things as stressful as CFP and IVF shouldn't be mixed and all I had to do was call her a couple days before AF showed up so she could call in the birth control prescription, and then we would schedule the extraction, etc., for about 4 weeks later.  I find it quite interesting that when trying to get pregnant, they put on you birth control, but she explained that it suppresses the body and hopefully you get more eggs when they are extracted.  We also discussed if I needed more bloodwork and she recommended a couple, but they weren't anything fertility related (i.e. thyroid, and I forgot the other one) so hopefully insurance should cover some of it.  Also, she said that we would need STD testing if we even were considering giving an egg to someone else (?) as required by FDA.  This struck me, I guess because I wasn't thinking like Holly was.  Why would I give up a beloved egg if we weren't pregnant yet?!

So she explained.  When they do the extraction, they may get as many as 20-30 eggs from me...good LORD, I will feel like a chicken carrying around all those bad boys!  After they extract, they fertilize them all in a petri dish of sorts, and then maybe have as many as half (if odds are good) that will become embreyos.  They only put 2 back into me (no Octo-Mom here) and freeze the rest.  Of course, all of this is included in the $8,770 price tag!  If we get pregnant on round one (here's hoping), and if we decide we don't need the eggs anymore, we can decide to get rid of them or adopt them out.  Now there's a thought, donating my eggs out.  I hadn't every considered that before.  Holly said that she has heard the weirdest stories...people who've been successful in IVF flying somewhere and randomly sitting next to someone who strikes up a conversation about their fertility struggles and somehow they decide to give their eggs to this person!  WOW!  I guess after things work for us, I would be more than happy to help someone else get preggers if I could.  If we don't get preggers on round one, then we go back and get more eggs, therefore not having to do extraction again because the embreyos are in the freezer (and apparently just as good as fresh ones) and we try again.  However, if we decided to use a surrogate and hadn't been STD tested before extraction, we'd have to do another extraction per the FDA.  So we'll be STD tested just in case!  I know we're fine, but gotta prove it to everyone else I spose.

So where did Holly and I leave things?  I told her that "big nasty" score should be up in the next few weeks and that would decide things.  If I pass, I'll call her and get birth control.  If I don't, I'll go back into full time study mode and hope that we get to do this thing in May or so after the next score comes up. 

So that's our update.  Not much else goin' on...just trying to wrap my head around this whole thing.

Have a wonderful day Bleaders!

Oh, and if you could add a little something to your prayers totally unrelated to CFP or infertility for me.  Ms. Belly's Dad is heading to Iraq today for 6 months. Please pray for his safe journey, adventure and return.  For him, and for all soldiers, especially those that aren't on US soil.  Thanks!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Step One...Call the RE and remind him you exist

Hello my lovely Bleaders.  See, I'm doing better already.  Two blogs in a small span of time...we're headed for greatness, or hopefully great reading.

2011 has begun and thus far I'm not doing too bad.  I worked out yesterday and today.  Ate well today (not terribly yesterday).  And I called Dr. H.  Yup, you read that right.  I called the doc to see what we do now.  They must have a new receptionist because she didn't know my name...me that has called in tears and demanded I get a blood test because I swear I'm pregnant and the test didn't agree.  How can you forget me?  And when she asks you to spell my last name, then asks if I meant to say an entirely different last name, I started to get concerned.  Finally, she discovered that I existed and we moved on to leaving a message for the IVF Coordinator.

Yikes, that just terrifies me thinking of it. Are we really gonna do this?  I guess so.  Now, don't get worried...it won't happen tomorrow.  It's about a 3 month process and we won't even start until after I know the outcome of CFP.  If I pass, we begin.  If I don't, we wait until I do...so at least June!  Hopefully I passed for so many reasons that I won't even going into. 

So now we wait for the phone call back to see where we go from this point....let the process officially begin!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

No, I am not dead....

Hello....Bleaders?  Are you still there?  Have you given up on me yet?  I am still alive...just on hiatus I guess.  Well, mostly just sick and got sucked up by the holidays.  After Mission Christmas Tree, I woke up with a scratchy throat and things went a little haywire from there.  Here's how my illness went...
Monday (Dec 20th) - worked out with trainer, great day, no issues except for a little scratchy throat before bed which was treated with Nyquil
Tuesday - woke up with scratchy throat, day progressed to dizziness and exhaustion, worked from home
Wednesday - went to work, left a little early with little dizziness
Thursday - worked from home, dizzy, scratchy throat
Friday (Christmas Eve) - mostly good, lunch with BFF from San Fran, running around finishing Christmas stuff, Christmas Eve mass with J and the folks, home for homemade Arizona pizza (that's pizza where the sauce is on top instead of on the crust) and presents
Saturday (Christmas) - drive to Phoenix to see J's family, home pretty early (8 pm) and tired
Sunday - still wrapping up Christmas, movie and lunch with BFF from San Fran before she left, rest remainder of day
Monday - supreme dizziness, stuffy nose, sore throat and sick day from work (I don't take many of these!)
Tuesday -  super congested, overall yuckiness and dizzy, sick day from work
Wednesday - FINALLY beginning to feel half-a-step better
Thursday - a full step better and back on my feet, heading full-steam towards recovery (but SNOW in Tucson)
Friday (New Year's Eve) - Worked out with Meanie Christinie to make up for some missed boot camps, dinner with J at our favorite Greek Place, and somehow managed to stay awake until midnight
Saturday (2011!) - Extremely productive day (Christmas stuff put away, healthy treats baked, organization done), feeling much better except for a small bout of lightheadedness I think brought on by a lot of running around and working and very little nourishment.

So that brings us to today.  Sunday.  Day 2 of 2011.  I've slept in.  I've put pictures in the new frames that J's sis bought us for Christmas that is amazingly a good gift (she always is way off).  And I'm about to go clean.  But first, I wanted to remind you folks that I was alive...if you haven't abandoned me because you felt I abandoned you.  I am here.  Alive and much better than the last few weeks.   Also, wanted to catch up on a few things before January got too far underfoot.

Guiliana & Bill - the latest episode was quite a while ago but it was very infertility intensive.  They finally decided to do IVF round #2, and we saw that as well as the outcome that they were so excited to hear about, except that it was unsuccessful.  Now, J always fights me when I click to watch this on the DVR and sometimes I've previewed them to see if they are infertility intensive, because that's all I care that he watch.  Lots of the rest of it is just fluff.  I knew this one was, and I begged him to watch so he could understand what we might be facing this year.  I surely hope not, but we have to understand what may lie ahead.  That being said...what lies ahead for us this year?

First thing, I find out if I passed CFP.  How am I feeling about this?  Some days I have a glimmer that maybe because I think so badly, I did well...or everyone else did badly, thus bringing up whatever curve is built into the crazy scoring of this crazier test.  Other days I am positive that I will be retaking "big nasty."  I hate to think about that, but at least I have one under my belt and have an understanding of what to expect.  Let's just hope we don't go there.  I check the board's website every Monday for an update on where they stand in the grading process, and will again tomorrow.  Partly to drive myself mad, but also to have a continued discussion with my friend Anne in Scottsdale about how we're both coping. 

Next, we proceed with IVF (unless I miraculously become pregnant before then - and don't think for a minute that it hasn't crossed my mind recently with all the dizziness that has been going on around here lately - but again, doubtful.)  I anticipate this being very stressful, very expensive and very tolling on my body...if pregnancy weren't enough.  There's of course the strong hope that this works first go round, but always the chance that it won't.  Thankfully (or at least I hope) if we have to do a second cycle, it should be cheaper than the first cycle because if they get a good load of eggs, they don't have to go in and do a 2nd extraction (saving us $5,000). 

My friend who did the Angel reading suggested a clinic out in her neck of the woods (East Coast) that has a Shared Risk program.  Basically, you put in $20,000 (yes, you read that right) and it covers up to 6 IVF cycles.  If that doesn't work, you get your money back.  So basically the clinic is in it just as much as you are, however if you get preggers the first time, you have just really overpaid for that cycle and you don't get a dime back.  It is a great idea, especially for someone who has done this a few times.  Logically speaking, without even including the travel time and expense, and time off work, I could probably get 6 cycles here in Tucson for that cost if all goes well in the extraction department.  I was grateful for her recommendation and the information from the clinic (of course I researched it), but at this point, we don't need to go there and we couldn't afford it if we wanted to!

So what else does 2011 have in store for  J and Nikus? 

I have no clue.  Those are my two goals.  Well, I'd also love to be crowned the Elite Performer winner at the gym (if you have no idea what I am talking about, see this post), but we'll find that out in about 2 weeks.  I'm not holding my breath, but I feel like I'm a contender because I improved on myself in almost every category and that's really what the contest is about.  And improving on yourself more than anyone else!  So cross your fingers for that...however, that won't make or break me.  I don't think!

Oh, one more thing I would like to work on...expanding my Better Binders By Niki line and actually making a sale or two.  I'm going to create a wedding one, and a TTC one and who knows what else.  Obviously, this takes a backseat to CFP (if I have to go back to studying full time), but at some point, I'll get more created and hopefully up on Etsy.com.  Will keep you posted...don't worry!


New Year's Resolutions?  I don't make those.  When I did, it was always the same thing...lose weight.  Well, I'm working on that.  And being more positive.  But as Trainer posted the other day on Facebook, "A resolution is a goal without specifics.  That's why they don't work.  Define your goal.  Get specific.  Make yourself accountable and get things done."

So I leave you with that dearest Bleaders....oh, and I promise to blog more!  Happy 2011!