Sunday, May 31, 2009


Are you familiar with They have a deal of the day-they sell only one thing every day, but it changes daily and you can get a great deal on something.

We had our own deal of the day yesterday. We both use our credit cards for almost all purchases. And we rack up the bonus points. We do pay it off each month, so it's not like we're paying for these points through interest or finance charges. I think I last cashed in some points about 18 months ago. With the recent news about the credit card industry and potential changes to credit cards, we decided to see what we could get with our bonus points in case the banks decided to stop their bonus programs completely.

For the past several months, I've been wanting a Wii. My reasons for wanting a Wii I stem mainly from jealousy and my less than perfect relationship with my dad. See, I was the only one of his 3 daughters for whom he did not buy a Wii for Christmas. He gave both of my sisters a Wii; I got a crochet and golf book, both of which had the flavor of books you find in the $5 bin at Barnes and Noble. So I've been wanting a Wii as kinda a way to make a statement to my dad. Of course having played one, I know how much fun they are, too. And hubby's been wanting one because he likes video games.

So we were on the hunt for a Wii. Now I had 35,000 points on my credit card. Unfortunately, the free Wii required 67,000 points. But, for a reason I will not understand, I could get a $250 gift card to many stores, including Best Buy (enough to buy a Wii) for only 25,000 points. Woot!

Hubby had enough points for a $100 Best Buy gift card, so we cashed that in as well. Hubby also had a variety of Visa debit cards that he got from various places and still had a couple dollars left on them, which are like gift cards except you can use them at any store that takes debit cards.

But our deals didn't end there. Before we left for the store, we checked online to see if Best Buy had any special deals on the Wii. They didn't. We got to the store and as we were picking out our purchases, the salesman came over to help. I asked him about any special deals they had with the Wii and he explained the bundle deal where you buy the Wii and a bunch of cr@p you don't need and save a few bucks. We weren't going to do that, but also saw on the same price tag thing that they would give a $20 gift card after we purchase a Wii. I asked about that and he said it was a go. Woot!

So we got our Wii, a WiiFit, and an extra controller and went to pay. Our plan was for me to buy the Wii and get the extra gift card and then hubby would buy the rest with our new gift card and extras from our bonus cards. The register did not ring up the $20 gift card automatically and I asked about it. The guy at the cash register was unsure that program was still going on. Hubby couldn't find the guy who told us about it, but he did find the price tag that outlined it and brought it the cashier. Once a manager came over, we were able to get the $20! But we were the last ones in the store to get it b/c the manager made clear to the cashier to not put it back out on the floor.

Having squeezed all we could out of Best Buy, we headed to Gamestop since BB didn't have the game hubby wanted (Mario Galaxy). We were searching the Gamestop shelves when a salesman came over to help us. We asked about the game and he said, "oh that's our special deal this week, so it's in front." Woot! We ended up buying 3 games (buy two, get one free). Again we had trouble at the register. I think the special deal was supposed to end on Friday and not go into the weekend or there was some problem and we were not supposed to get all the deals we did. But the gave them to us anyway.

So to sum up, we got a Wii, WiiFit, extra controller, and 3 games. And we only spent about $80 of our money.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Thank you all for your nice words and kind thoughts during this hard time for my family. I guess it was good that I wrote these memories of my Nana since now I've been asked to speak at her memorial service to represent the grandkids. I'm not sure why my dad and uncle asked me, maybe because I have lots of public speaking experience. But, well, I'm not one who is very good at holding back emotion. I cry during cotton commericals (it is the fabric of our lives after all).

Monday, May 25, 2009


On this Memorial Day I am remembering my grandmother, Nana. I'm not sure exactly what her role was, but she was in the Merchant Marines during WWII.

As far as my grandmothers go, she was never the "fun" one, but she showed her love in her own way. For example, one day when I was about 15 I was dropped off to help her around her house. After I was finished, I had to wait for my ride to pick me up again. Not being much else to do, I read one of the many Reader's Digest laying around. She was so impressed that I read the entire thing that the next time I talked to her, she had a bag full of Reader's Digests ready for me to take home. She thought I enjoyed them and saved them all up for me.

She had two children, my dad and uncle. My grandfather passed away when my dad was about 10, so I never knew him, and my dad didn't really either. Both of her sons had their first kids at the same time, two girls born one month apart. I came along 2 years later. For 6 years we were the only grandkids. We each had our own special cup that we used at her house. Each had an animal on it and the tail curled around for the handle. Mine was a cat.

She is very short. Very very short. We called her Nana Smurf. She actually shrank as she got older. It was a point of honor when we kids got tall enough where we could rest our elbow on her head. That was a lot of fun.

My parents were divorced and she lived just a few minutes from where we lived with my mom. She would take me and my sister and mom out to eat every month. At the Spaghetti Factory. That was our special place.

She was also a remarkable woman. She volunteered for JFK campaign when he first ran for the senate. She met every president from JFK through Clinton. Her battle with Alzheimer's precluded her from meeting GWB or Obama. She was a teacher and education was important. She wrote curriculum books called "Amanda Panda". Although teaching has long relied on women, schools used to not allow married women to be teachers. Once women married, they were supposed to be home taking care of the house. Rather than fire her, her position was turned into a long-term substitute position so she could still teach but not be a teacher. Eventually this situation no longer made sense and Boston Public Schools changed their policy about married women teaching. Because she was a vet, they made her one of the first married women hired as a regular teacher.

I was the first of her children/grandchildren to graduate from college. Probably the only one she is aware of who graduated. One sad thing about her disease is that she lost awareness of what was happening. And she forgot who we were or what we were doing. First it was gradual. She knew I was in college, but couldn't remember where. She was so proud and told all her relatives and friends that her granddaughter went to Harvard. I actually went to Stanford, but the sentiment was the same. She was from Boston, so Harvard was the best to her. Later, as the disease progressed, she stopped recognizing us completely.

She's been living with my uncle for the past several years. My dad called last night and said she had respiratory distress and probably wouldn't last through the night.

**Update: Nana passed away this afternoon. Fortunately my dad was able to fly out there to see her before she passed. She will be missed. I hope she has finally found some peace.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Yellow paint

We moved into our house almost 2 years ago. The main hallway was one of the first things we painted. We found a nice yellow called "high plateau." Usually when we paint, we end up using more paint than we do primer. But when we were priming the hallway, we kept going back again and again to the paint store for more primer. The walls couldn't get enough of the primer. We started worrying about how much paint it would since we always use more paint than primer.

When hubby went to the store to buy the last can of primer, he came back with 4 extra gallons of the paint, in addition to the 2 we bought to begin with. He did not want to run out of paint.

Of course you can guess what happened next. We only needed to use our original 2 gallons of paint! We're not sure what happened with the primer, but we used just as much paint as we originally thought we would need. But now we had 4 gallons of nonreturnable paint.

We gave 1 gallon to my sister, who painted her kitchen.

We painted 3 walls of our own kitchen, which is connected to the hallway. But this only used 1 gallon. The 4th wall is a dark red. My sister and I have nearly matching kitchens now.

This weekend we finally used up the rest of the paint for our stairway, which is also off the kitchen. So the same color goes from the hallway into the kitchen and then up the stairs. And we are finally done with the yellow! I like the yellow, but we are not painting anything the same color again.

The funny part is that we actually needed to buy more paint as we needed about another half gallon to finish the stairway. And the store didn't have the same color anymore. Of course they wouldn't, we bought it all 2 years ago. But they still had the formula in their computer, so we were still able to get our matching color.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Five Word Friday

OK, I'm a little late to this since it is Saturday (but very early on Saturday), but I found this while commenting for ICLW and think it's a great idea.

Five words to describe summer. Here's mine:

1. School-as in none of it. I've spent many years in school and college and now work at a university. Things change during the summer with the absence of students.

2. AC-much needed in my location during the summer.

3. Tahoe-one of my favorite places for vacation. In fact we are going there in less than a month!

4. Picnics-I love picnics. And eating outdoors is a key part of summer for me. Especially if it involves a movie or outdoor theater.

5. Shakespeare-Best in the park. I love going every year.

Go visit here to see how others define summer.

Friday, May 22, 2009


When I first turned to the Internet before we started TTC, I had no idea what was in store for me. I joined message boards before but the community was never very stable or cohesive. The community I found on iVillage and the ALI blogging community have been an amazing source of support for me through this long journey.

When my blogging friends experience a loss, I feel the loss as well. We go through these times together. So please go give my friend Katie some support. She has been strong and an inspiration for how to endure and support others. Her husband has been battling leukemia and passed away yesterday. Katie and her family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, May 18, 2009

For the dogs

I watch a lot of HGTV and TLC. It's my addiction. But there are some shows where I draw the line. And when I saw the ads for their Leader of the Pack show, I knew the line had to be there. If you haven't seen the show or the ads, this show gives a family 8 dogs and each week they vote one dog out of the house, until they finally pick their new dog.

But last night, after saying goodbye to my hubby for a whole week, I found myself sucked in to HGTV and my addiction took over. I watched the season finale. It is just as bad as it sounds. At times it seemed like a parody of a reality TV show. They had both the mom and the dad individually lobbying the son and the daughter to vote for the dog they wanted (the mom and dad lobbied for different dogs). They had the brother who wanted dog A, but wanted to vote for dog B just to throw the tribe family for a loop. The confessionals with the stage-whispered voices and super-closeups (so close you could see up their noses). The vote on specially designed paper placed anonymously in a fire hydrant. Except the voting paper looked more like a dog-shaped note paper torn from a pad you might find at the dollar store and write your shopping list on. You could feel the fake tension in the air as the host read each vote and it was (gasp!) tied going in to the last vote.

Friday, May 15, 2009

RE update

Some thoughts from my most recent RE appt:

1. Apparently my diagnosis is “ovulatory infertility,” which, when she described it, sounded an awful like unexplained infertility. She doesn’t think the male factor is that big a problem given hubby’s second SA results. Even though the lab that did the test called his motility and morphology “low”, she thought it was pretty normal. So either the first SA was a bad test or the vitamins he’s been taking have worked. As for me, she is concerned about the variable length of my cycles and short LP phase which would indicate not very good ovulation. She doesn’t think I have endo and as for PCOS which she previously thought I had, said I have only a mild variant of it.

2. Her clinic recently moved locations to this brand new facility. Still part of the same university hospital, but in a different location. Actually, the hospital converted a shopping mall to a medical clinic where the big stores on the outside on the first floor are still retail (so you can move straight from your OB appt to Babies R Us…less helpful if your visit is for IF). The inside of the mall on the first floor are hospital administration offices (billing, etc). The second floor is where all the clinics are, plus a bagel shop. This was quite a strange experience although it seems to work. I was tempted to stop by Michael’s on my way out.

3. This new clinic is all state of the art. Very high tech. The doctor spends the whole appointment typing away on the computer, which is kinda weird but then you can see the impact when she can easily review your status and know your whole history at the follow-up appointment. And I like the online system where you can message your doctor. But sometimes all these high tech goodies really seems unnecessary.

For instance.

When you show up at this clinic, instead of checking in with the nice ladies at the front counter, there are automated kiosks like you see at airports. They check you in, verify your current contact information and insurance, and can take any co-pays by credit card. It does not seem to me like these functions take all that much time or the lines are so long that taking this function away from real live people saves all that much. Especially since the next thing you do after using the kiosk is talk to the lady at the counter. She gives you the medical info sheet to complete and--get this--a buzzer! to let you know when the nurse is ready to see you. You get the fantastic experiences of both an airport and an overcrowded restaurant all before someone starts shoving things into your private parts (which, if you think about it, kinda goes with the airport theme).

4. Since I’ve had 3 unsuccessful cycles on clo.mid and this cycle I appear to have O’d without clo.mid, I had some blood drawn to check my progesterone levels. My temps definitely indicate I O’d on my own, but hopefully this will confirm that. The next step is to schedule an HSG for the first part of my next cycle.

5. She gave me a prescription for letrozole (Fem.ara). I’m a little worried about using a drug off-label. Need to learn more about this. I'm especially worried that it might cause birth defects.

6. When they designed this new clinic, apparently they thought people have gotten larger because the chairs are super wide. The chairs in the waiting areas seem normal enough, but once you are in the treatment rooms they get oddly wide. Not wide enough to be called a bench. Only one adult could sit there, or two little kids. But you can’t really sit there comfortably because they are so wide that the arm rests are too far apart.

7. She said we could go straight to IUI if we wanted, but since I’m young there is no need to rush and we can give it a few tries on another drug. I at least want to get the HSG done before we start with IUI.

8. She also said I could stand to lose 10 pounds to help with my ovulatory infertility. Ugh, I’ve been trying, really.

9. This appointment was both frustrating and encouraging. I left feeling like I had a plan and might see a baby at the end of this relatively soon. But frustrating because she took my diagnosis away! Unexplained IF is not fun at all (not that any IF is any fun).

9. I asked my hubby if it was weird to give the semen sample in a dr office, but not specifically about showing up in a OB/GYN's office. While I was sitting in the waiting room, a man shows up by himself and checks in. Why else would a man be at a women's health center by himself? The entire shopping mall clinic does have other offices, but this section was at the end and most definitely focused on women's health.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I stopped buying clothes over a year ago. Once we had decided to try to have a baby, I figured it was a waste to spend money on clothes now. I mean, pretty soon only maternity clothes would fit me anyway. Those pants may look fab now, not worth that money to just wear them a couple times before needing an elastic band.

OK, I'll admit I didn't stop buying clothes completely, after all there were some months when some major retail therapy was needed to get through it. I would rationalize it by saying it would give me motivation to get back in shape after a pregnancy.

But there was one piece of clothing I resisted all this time. Even though I needed replacements for existing wardrobe pieces. There is after all one body part that people say never gets the same shape back after a baby. I couldn't rationalize buying these when I thought I had a good chance of getting pregnant in the next several months. I'm not sure if my need for this particular item of clothing just became dire enough or if my perception of the chances of getting pregnant went down, but I finally broke down and bought it.

Yes, I bought a new bra. Three of them, actually. That's how long I've been putting off this purchase.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

We all rock!

Happy OMG You Rock Day! This was a great day. Not only did I get a terrific gift from my OMG You Rock buddy, Sunflower Childe, but more importantly I had a reason to look forward to today. It is hard to escape M Day in our society as it takes over restaurants, church, newspapers, TV, etc. I'm not opposed to celebrating mothers. I love my mom. But the day leaves other women left out. Women who may very well by worthy of a little celebrating but b/c they lack those three little letters (mom) they don't get to participate in this national celebration.

Today was different. Today I had something to do and somewhere to go (the Stirrup Queen Ballroom forum). I had a community of people who would celebrate with me. I felt I belonged. Thank you.

Here is a picture of my awesome gift. I love red and I love ice cream, so this will get lots of use.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


How bad is it if a major league baseball player can see more lines on a home pregnancy test that you can?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I just have to say I'm really looking forward to OMG You Rock Day. As the big M day is getting closer and it's appearing in various media, I'm so glad we can have our own celebration. Thank you to Liv for turning a day of dread into something I can't wait to arrive.

Plus I love what I made for my OMG buddy. I hope she loves it as well! And I hope it arrives on time, there was a little confusion with the UPS guy.
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