Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cram class wrap-up

Hello my lovelies...have you noticed that I was gone?  I am still breathing, despite the fact that I feel very steamrolled in the last few days.  We have covered a lot of material and let me tell you, light has donned on yonder window!  But that doesn't make me any less exhausted and overwhelmed.  A few notes about the last couple days.

Day 1 (Valentine's Day) - My alarm went off at 5:30 am.  Class started at 7:30 am and I needed to check in before then, so my plan was to get up between 5:30 and 5:45 am.  Alarm, right on time, went off at 5:30 am.  I hit snooze...or at least at the moment, thought I did.  Then, the next time I opened my eyes...what did the alarm clock say?  7:45 am!  I swear, I hadn't fallen back to sleep for that long.  Flew out of bed and could hear the coffee maker in my mini-kitchen humming so I felt like something was up.  Found my phone and discovered it was really 7:45 am.  After inspecting the alarm clock, I realized that at no matter what point you touched the "hour" button, it changed whatever was shown on the screen.  Well, that's not how mine works at home.  Thankfully, I wasn't late and I could continue to get ready and be at class on time.  Just before rushing off to breakfast, I opened up the Valentine's Day card J had sent along with me.  Very sweet.  Made it to breakfast, pretty decent and even better that it was free.  Made it to class on time and was immediately given a huge bag of MORE books that I wasn't expecting.  But, no worries. 

Class started without incident and the personalities started to come out.  As expected, we had one patient who thought he knew everything about insurance and had decided it was his mission to stump the professor.  Not the place to do it!  For the most part, no other real prominent attitudes.  For now.  Had lunch with another out-of-towner from ALASKA and we compared notes...he works with his Dad, so at least I'm not alone.  Was on the fence about telling anyone that I had already taken the test once, but when another female pipped up that she was in the same boat, I laid it out on the line.  If I can prevent even one more person from taking this test again, I'm happy!  Plowed through the first day and was ready to get back to the hotel for a break from the books.  Shuttle picked me up from the hotel and called J.  He asked if I had any surprises in my room and after my "no" response, he started to worry.  Walked to the front desk with him on speaker phone and found a "delivery" for me.  Brought the box back to my hotel room and unloaded the beautiful long stemmed roses and stuffed puppy dog.  Very cute.  I feel very loved.

Day 2 - No drama in the morning due to placing the dog over the buttons I wasn't supposed to press so the time on the clock wouldn't change.  Woke up on time, breakfast in a timely manner and ready to attack the day, even though it was cold and windy outside.  Long days and lots of material, but had many lights go on and even a few moments where I could envision a couple questions that I missed on the first exam.  Hopefully now I have some more tools in my belt to get those right.  Nothing really exciting to talk about, except that I learned of another 2nd test-taker and the first once started to become a little odd.  But whatever.  Home from the class and dinner served in the lobby for FREE, so had a very healthy dinner of tacos, nachos, salad and wine.  Yummy, but not really healthy. 

Day 3 - Hump day, half way through after this day.  Again, a lot of information (but really, I will say that everyday).  Morning lecture ran a little long, and lunch was cut short, but really not a big deal since lunch was being delivered to us.  But by the end of the day, I was ready for a glass of wine and a great meal.  It was discovered that a friend of mine from high school is actually the Executive Chef at a great restaurant downtown so after some discussion with Schelle we determined that we could make it for dinner and see an old friend.  Hotel shuttle was late, so finally called them and was informed they were stuck in traffic.  Of course, the one time I needed to be on time back to the hotel to freshen up and meet Schelle.  After hanging up, cell rung 15 seconds later and I was told that someone would be coming to get me in her "C-aar".  She worked for the hotel and would be there in a matter of minutes.  Great.  And she was.  Rushed back to the hotel after wonderful conversation, threw on some different clothes and Schelle showed up.  We flew (well, as fast as we could during rush hour traffic) downtown to eat at Vesta Dipping Grill where my HS friend Brandon Foster is Executive Chef (really, how often can one say that?!).  Got there, caught up a bit after hugs and proceeded to have probably one of the best meals of my life.  It was truly spectacular!  And super filling!  But way yum!  Made it back to the hotel about 10 pm, caught up with J, read a bit to calm down and finally to sleep about midnight knowing that it would be hard to get up in the morning.

Day 4 (today) - More than halfway through now, and in for a long day - investments and income tax.  Way fun!  Don't you wish you were with me?  By now, we're all joking with each other and having a pretty good time, considering the material.  (Quick side note and only because I happen to be watching Grey's Anatomy while I write this...Derek just sequestered Meredith in an elevator while they were eluding to having sex, only when they stopped the elevator he shot her up with fertility drugs!  Sad, that I love it, but I do! See, there's still a bit of infertility in this blog.)  Pretty good day, a lot, but again making sense.  My favorite part was when the prof said, "If you get completely stuck choose either B or C, or the longest answer.  Better chance of survival.  And, if you got it down to 2 answers and one happens to be B or C or the longest, you are probably home free!"  Had I known that last time, I just might have passed!  Time will tell.  Class ended almost on time and called for shuttle which appeared super quickly.  Texted Schelle to ask if she wanted to come by for dinner as it's free and includes wine.  She was happy to oblige and have a break.  Dinner was pasta, pizza and salad.  Not too bad and free to boot.  Now she's left (I sent my roses with her because obviously I can't take them home and that way at least someone enjoys them) and here I sit finishing the blog, while I watch Grey's and anticipate packing to go home tomorrow.  Boo to packing, yay to going home.

Last note...if you haven't read Busted Kate's blog today, please do.  Click here.  Great reminder about what it feels like to be an ex-Infertile, even though she still refers to herself as one.  Love you my Kate!

Next time I write, I'll be in AZ!  Happy Friday Bleaders!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My brain hurts!

Hello folks...I'm here!  Maybe not "here" but physcially alive.  I've made it through days #1 and #2 of Cram class, and I am still breathing. 

It's definitely been an interesting week.  While sleeping at Schelle's, I was fine.  Slept like a rock.  Now that I am at the hotel, I am having serious issues.  Not sure if it is the bed or the stress.  I seem to have a lot on my mind every time I lay down my head to go to sleep.  I think about CFP.  I think about IVF.  I think about the weather.  I think about work.  I create great blogs in my head and then can't remember what I wrote.  I think about A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G but sleeping.  It's a little brutal right now.  Hopefully tonight will be better.

The first class was pretty good.  Felt better about all the things they were talking about, even learned a few new tricks.  Until this morning that was.  We covered Retirement Planning and it was like we were steamrolled.  It was just so much information and so crazy!  Looking back at my report from the CFP Board, I actually did pretty well on Retirement last go-round.  And I remember the last test I did and I did well into the 70's.  I am hopeful that I just felt steamrolled because he was talking about a mile-a-minute.  This afternoon was back to Estate Planning and I feel pretty confident about that.  I excelled last time at EP, hoping that flows through until this time.  Of course, that won't happen automatically...need to study.

So in the time that has passed, Valentine's Day was upon us.  I hinted rather heavily to J that I would like flowers to arrive at my doorstep in Denver.  And after a little help, they did.  Very cute and sweet.  Just what I needed to liven up my little "apartment."  He also sent a little Valentine's Card with me to CO, and that was nice to open yesterday morning.  He isn't the biggest romantic, but with a little help, he can pass for one. :)

Some people dream about being on the Grammys.  Some people dream about being a size 2.  I dream about passing CFP and being pregnant, no matter how fat that makes me.  I also dream about telling people I passed CFP and that I am pregnant.  Hopefully 2011 brings both!

Night Bleaders!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And we begin again....

Hello my lovely Bleaders.  How have you been?  Have you missed me?!  I would say I have been sitting around doing nothing, but I've been super busy this weekend in Denver (J is at home in AZ enjoying the warmer weather than here in Denver!) seeing friends and important people.  Now, well, technically tomorrow, we start the CFP Cram course again.  Yup, sad to be doing it again, but feel better about what I am walking into.

Flew into Denver on Friday about 1 pm and my good friend Schelle picked me up from the airport, after which we found some lunch.  I wish I could say that we did something uber-exciting, but we really just hung out and caught up a bit.  Rented Social Network...very interesting...and had some appetizers for dinner, along with wine and Samoa ice cream - so healthy I know! 

Saturday involved a late breakfast, and then hitting the mall for some much needed shopping.  Schelle and I are really good shopping buddies.  We have similar tastes and can be honest with each other about how things fit, feel, etc.  We did some damage, but not too serious.  All killer deals and things we'd been looking for for-ages! :)  Then again, found some dinner at one of my new favorite (since yesterday that is) places called Garbanzo, which is this Chipotle-esk place except it is Mediterranean food (Falafal, Pitas, Hummus, etc).  So yum and I love that they show the calories ON THE MENU!  I will definitely have dinner there before I leave again. We then went home to watch The Proposal because Schelle had never seen it!  We both laughed, a lot!  And also did nails and had vino.

And today, my last "free" day before class starts was another fun "girly" day.  Schelle was nice enough to drive me up North to the outlet mall so I could have lunch with my former boss/mentor and ASU grad (yes, ask yourself how that relationship ever works due to large U of A vs. ASU rivalry?!), Sparky Lover (please note: it was very hard to come up with a name for this lovely lady, so if anyone has a better one for her because I truly love/appreciate/value her, please let me know because I am not 100% happy with "Sparky Lover").  We had a wonderful long lunch with great catch up conversation, including strategy for CFP and Infertility stuff - yup, she's that good.  Said our goodbyes and I found Schelle for another round of shopping.

Please note, my savings is still sounds like we bought WAY more than we did! :)

We walked around this huge mall forever and by the end of it, as we tried to make it to the car, we were literally walking about 50 feet, then sitting to help heal our aching feet.  This mall is gi-normous!  I figure we worked off lunch and probably the Samoa ice cream from the nights before with all the walking, trying on, finding new sizes, trying on again, walking, etc.  Finally made it to the car and Schelle drove us back to her place to grab my bags and take me to the hotel, where I checked in, got settled, ate leftovers from lunch for dinner, talked to J and my Mom, watched the Grammy's (Katy Perry baby!) and ASU men's basketball lose to U of A (sorry Sparky Lover, I texted you a bit early that we won, but I wasn't wrong!) and here I blog.

And with that note, I must hit the hay because I need to be at class by about 7:15 am so I can register and be ready to start at 7:30 am, until 5 pm!  L-O-N-G D-A-Y!

Have a very happy Valentine's Day Bleaders!  Happy Birthday Arizona!  And goodnight.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Here we go again...

See, told you Bleaders (for clarification that means Blog Readers - not those that Bleed Readers - as was asked to me by Ms. T!) I would disappear as I get back to CFP and the fun-ness that that is. 

Actually, just got off a plane in Denver for my next cram course and a mini-girls weekend with Michelle.  It's not as cold as I was worried about, but it definitely requires long sleeves and sweat shirt, and J's jacket that I tucked away just in case.  The high is supposed to get to be about 50 degrees this weekend, which is what I left in Tucson this morning!  Tucson is supposed to get to 70s this weekend,while I'm in Denver with coldness and possible snow.

I wish I could say that I have a lot of excitement to to share, but I really don't.  Been concentrating on CFP, trying to get through all the books for the classes, which  I am really close to being done, but still have a couple practice questions to do before class starts Monday at 7:30 am. 

Nothing to really report, sorry Bleaders a little boring this week.  Hopefully this mini-vacation will be helpful and give me a couple fun stories to share.

Happy weekend lovelies and stay warm!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Man it's COLD!

I am not frozen to the sidewalk, I swear.   But I could be and J most definitely could be.  Yes, we live in Arizona but it was 18 degrees when we got up this morning (no boot camp, thank GOD!) and when you added in the windchill it was something like 1 degree out!  YOWZA!  This is why we moved OUT of Denver. 

We haven't had snow like so much of the rest of the country, and if you look outside you would swear its at least 75 degrees.  But it doesn't mean it is any less cold.  J works outside mostly.  I mean, there's a roof over his head but his shop is all open with no heaters, so he faces the cold ALL DAY LONG. Poor guy. 

So I figured today, with my poor J being outside in the cold, I needed a post about why I love him so.  And why he is the right one.  Just as I was sitting down to write this, Ms. T posted this on FB and made me smile.

"If you have a wonderful man, who helps balance your whole world. Who isn't perfect, but is perfect for you. Who works hard and would do anything for you (and your kids). Who makes you laugh and drives you crazy, who is your best friend, who you want to grow old with, and who you are thankful for everyday, and who you could not live without. Brag about him a little and re-post this as your status."

Of course I posted it and now let me tell you a couple little things that have made me even more appreciative of the man I married almost 7 years ago, and met more than 9 years ago.  

I won't say that J and I never fight because we do and most of the time we recover quickly, even if it takes 4 hours of discussion in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning.  But we get through.  As of late we haven't really fought, more discussed how to handle the situation.  Again, don't get me wrong, there are days when I want to wring his neck repeatedly.  And I am sure he wants to wring mine.  But we get over that. :)  We're human and like it or not, that's how it is.

J is not romantic in the sense that I come home to roses and candles all the time, he's more practical than that.  He'll make a big deal of washing my SUV and making sure I know how he detailed every inch of it.  He tries to save me time with little things so I have more time to relax.  I know these are little things, but they do matter.  There's a million more little things I could check off, but you'd get bored.

The biggest thing that has come to my eyes the last few weeks is his desire to be a father.  Well, really the last 3.5 years. 

And what a good father I think he'll be.  His eyes light up when we see kids of friends of ours.  He engages them by playing hide and seek, encouraging them to eat their vegetables or machaca as the case may be, and loves to hear them laugh.  We have three animals and while he gets disgruntled with them at times, for the most part he is so tender with them and wants to make them happy.  When Sierra got hurt more than a month ago, (read about it here) he was all over taking care of her.  Looking at her wound every day and making sure she got her meds.  And was so excited when she got her staples out (Tuesday, finally)!

He doesn't open up and talk about how much he wants a child a lot, but it does come out occasionally (like when we find out another one of our friends is pregnant, with their first or fourth).  Or when we go to the doctor.  Or when his parents visit and act like they can't wait for grand babies...and they know the situation with us well. 

Quick story...when J's parents were here this last weekend to help us put a door up in our bathroom, the guys were upstairs working and the girls - myself, mother-in-law and sister-in-law - were downstairs gabbing.  J's Dad kindly asked for a beer because he was getting stressed, mostly because our house isn't straight.  MIL took it to him.  Then, J asked for one and I said I would get it.  MIL stopped me and had a glint in her eye.  She ran to get the beer, then stuffed a balled up sweater in the back of the sweater she was already wearing and walked up the stairs dragging one foot behind her - a la the Hunchback of Notre Dame - slurring "As You Wish Master" all the way.  I can only imagine the looks on the faces of J and his Dad, but sister-in-law and I were downstairs dying of laughter!  So random.

Anyway, when I brought up the story to J and we laughed again, I asked him where that came from.  I've never seen his Mom do anything like that EVER!  He said that she did that kind of stuff a lot when he and his sister were little, and he thought she was gearing it up again for when we do IVF and get pregnant (or so we hope.)  They are beyond ready for grand kids, as are my parents, I think.  But when he told me this, his eyes glassed a bit and I started to cry.  He told me to, "stop, or I'd get him started too!"   

The realization is that I am not in this battle alone and he wants to be a Daddy just as much as I want to be a Mommy.  That is a great feeling to know that my partner stands right next to me in this battle of infertility.

After our third failed IUI in 2009, we discussed the next step being IVF and the price tag being almost $9,000.  He wouldn't even say it.  Now, he can not only utter the words, but the price.  (These are big steps people!)  I know we're not happy to spend that money, but we're very hopeful that it gets us one step closer to being parents and that's our dream.  He's accepting that this is our fate and we gotta do, what we gotta do.  Again, HUGE progress.

This blog has definitely helped me build up some tough skin and express myself.  J (as many men are) doesn't express a lot of feelings crap sometimes, so it takes him longer to wrap his brain around stuff.  He definitely doesn't do research like I do, but I blame part of that on really everything happening to MY body, not his.  I want to know exactly what is gonna go down.  I'm glad he is finally embracing the ride we're on instead of ignoring our fate.

So yes, I love him very much and I truly believe I married the exact right man.  And now I've got to go finish his nice hot dinner so I can thaw him out when he gets home.

Hug the ones you love Bleaders, man, woman or child! They're worth it! And stay warm, wherever you are!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wedding Dress Quilt

This post is very unrelated to our fertility struggles, I think.

Let me begin with a little about where this idea came from.  We have a 3 bedroom house and seemingly little storage.  We have an attic but have been told to not put stuff up there because it is too hot and it's in an odd location - the "porthole" is in our master bedroom closet!  ODD huh?  So over the years we have cleaned and boxed and cleaned and boxed and made storage in a variety of places in the house and garage.  We have a two story house so we had a friend of ours make the area under the stairs a little storage place that is very handy.  And we have cleaned and boxed more.

At some point, the closet of the now guest bedroom (at some point will hopefully be the nursery) is chock full of stuff.  Organized, but still very full.  I know it needs to be cleaned out and some gotten rid of, but without a fire under my butt it is hard to take a weekend to do that.  One of the things in that closet is my wedding dress, and some of the fabric that was used to make the bridesmaid dresses.  I had a thought the other day when I was pondering what to do with stuff and how to clean it out about making a quilt out of my wedding dress and the scraps from the other dresses (I ordered extra material to give to vendors, etc. and still have a bunch left over). 

I am not a quilter in the least bit!  I have helped make a quilt ONCE in my life and I was maybe 11 at the time with most of the work done by my Grandma (Mom's mom).  I still have it and it's a great memory.  But making a quilt out of my wedding dress is a huge task.  Not to mention actually taking scissors to my dress! 

I did a little hunting online and found people that will do this but for $400-$500.  Hello, my dress cost about $300!  I can't fathom spending another $400 to have this done. 

So where did the idea come from?  Well, it would get rid of a huge box in the closet - great!  And thus get me started on the guest room/nursery clean out - great!  It would allow me to show off my dress by laying the quilt on a bed or pulling it out for some warmth - great!  And I think it would be a good use of my dress...because let's face it, any child of mine probably won't want to wear her Mom's dress from 2004 when she gets married 20-30 years in the future! 

So what is holding me back?  The cost for one.  The actual act of cutting my dress (that I have worn twice...once at the wedding and one Saturday months after the wedding when I pulled it out to see if it still fit and ended up vacuuming in it...yes I did that!  What else do you do with a wedding dress?!).  The worry that on the bed it might get ruined and then where would I be?  Ruined because we have 2 dogs and a cat who are mostly good, but have their moments.  However, I have already run my dress through the wash machine (but not the dryer) and it survived (the lady who sold it to me told me to and it didn't harm it what-so-ever)!  And the design.  The quilts I have seen online are kind of boring.  In my head I have a picture of the dress kind of reconstructed on the quilt with patchwork of the bridesmaid dresses behind it.  So envision the dress itself laid on the floor, cut up and then reconstructed like a puzzle in the quilt with purple and lavender patchworked together around it.  I think it would be beautiful!

This idea came to me rather recently, so am still rumbling it around in my head.  We've been married for 7 years this April and I'd love to have something better done to my dress than just up in the guest room closet in a big tupperware!

What do you think Bleaders?  To do or not to do?  And how to do?  Those are the questions!