Shower Time

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Well, tomorrow is a big day! I have been planning a baby shower for my girl friend who is due any moment now.  The shower will be an intimate brunch tomorrow morning.  Actually, this will be her 2nd shower in 2 years… that’s right friends, any given day now, she will have had 2 babes in 2 years.  And she is the one of two girl friends who have had 2 babies in the past 2 years… so that makes 4…and to give you a grand total..  9 babies have been born to my dear friends while we have been trying to have just One sweet baby in the past 3 years.. could we just squeeze one blessing for little ol’ me please?

Anyway, it took me a while to gather up the courage to put together this shower.  She is a very good friend of mine and I really am happy for her.  But I will have to endure 2 hours of baby talk, sharing baby pictures and such.  I am sure I will be ok as will I drown myself in a chocolate chip muffin and virgin mimosa (perhaps I can sneak a tiny bottle of champagne in my purse?).

Other hopeful-moms can relate to the mixed bag of emotions that baby showers can bring, right?  We love our friends and we can’t wait to hold their brand new bundle of joy.. but at the same time we can only hope one day we will be the guest of honor at the next baby shower.

You know that awful game we play at weddings, where the bride turns her back to a crowd of single gals and throws her bouquet as far as she can…only to have the strongest the strongest and most aggressive lady pushing over the flower girls to catch it!  Vice versa with the men…only, they are a little more reluctant to catch the bride’s garter belt.  Yes, we’ve all seen it 😉  Well, supposedly, the lucky couple would be the next to marry, right?

Hmmmmmm…. baby shower game scheme brewing in my head.  I think if I can get my lovely mom-to-be to throw one of these ducks and me, being semi-aggressive (could it be the hormones?), catch the duck… I think I’m on to something here!

Dear Facebook

Dear Facebook,
You are a source of entertainment for me.  After all, almost all of you are my very own friends and family.  Through this expansive venue, I can share pictures of my most recent vacations while I can laugh at your latest mishap at the local coffee shop. Though our community spans across the world, one click and we are next-door neighbors!

But there are times when I must ignore you.  With all sincerity, I must overlook your ‘great news’ (congratulations, by the way) for the the lack of my own ‘great news’.  Sometimes I must ‘unsubscribe’ from your latest baby pictures (yes, she is adorable) to live my life ignorantly assuming that the Social Networking World is only filled with quotes spelled out on old-fashioned pictures and an overwhelming amount of game requests (sorry I ignored them).

Please forgive me for not responding as often as I would like, I’m sure my future ‘news’ will be eagerly displayed for you to choose to ‘like’ or ignore.  But, we can just have this understanding if I don’t hear from you at times.  In the meantime, the quote-pictures, game requests, and daily funnies are free reign for all.
You’re friend,

1SuburbanChic

My Bucket List(s)

A few weeks ago, we had a little family get-together at the beach.  The weather was beautiful and, though it rained a little, we saw the most magnificent rainbow on that Saturday evening.  The next morning my eager boys got up about 7am to go to the beach and so I got up with them and we headed out.  Just looking out at the vast ocean, listening to the endless sound of waves crashing, birds chirping and kids laughing got me thinking.. what am I going to do if or when this is over: parenting

So, I got out a piece of scrap paper and pen and started writing an Empty Nester Bucket List.. well, it started out as 1 list but then spilled over into 2: “Empty Nester” and “When They’re Gone”

Being on both sides of this parenting spectrum, so much of me has been poured into being a mom.  Blood, sweat, and tears (literally, all 3) have been put into raising these boys, as well as, trying to have a baby.  And a little part of me is saying ‘just start preparing for the worst.’  Does it have to be the worst?  I have friends who live the childless life happily.  Some with kids going off to college, others who choose to travel.  It can’t be that bad, right?? To me… it feels like it would be the end of the world!

And so.. I started writing.. Things I want to do before the boys leave for college:

Join the PTA – having finished college while they were in Elementary school, I missed out on being an active PTA member, I would have LOVED to join the Bake Sale or chaperone more field trips

Do Outside Activities With Them (Golf, Football) – Yeah, this will take some coercing. Haha… I’ve offered to throw the football with the boys, but being a girly-girl, I DO throw like a girl.

Teach Them to Drive – Yep, its almost that time, and I’ve already started teaching my 15 year old.

By the time I was done, I listed 17 things.. Then I started thinking, well what about AFTER they leave for college???  So I continued:

Start my Business – I’ve always wanted to open a re-used book store / coffee shop.

Find a Mutual Hobby with Hubby – Yes, we get along so well because (1) we enjoy doing things together like watching movies, trying new restaurants..etc (2) we give each other ‘individual’ time/space  But we don’t really have a Hobby that we enjoy as a couple.

Finish their Baby Books – well, they did get started when they were babies.. but, as the years have passed, pictures and mementos have gotten stuffed in the front of the book to be properly scrap-booked in later.

Not that I think I’ll ever be ready if they decide to move back to the West Coast.. but I think at least if I can check off the things on my list, I’ll have felt like I didn’t waste my time while they are still under my roof 🙂 And the things I’ve listed on my “After They Leave” list sound pretty exciting to me!

The Talk

Well, I today I will have ‘the talk’ with…. my boss.  The talk, about the ‘birds and bees’, you ask?  Why yes, the Birds, the Bees, the appointments, the needles, the medications, the 4 days I’ll be requesting off (depending on the day I ovulate).. yep.. The Talk.

As I’ve mentioned before, this month is our first round of Modified Natural IVF.  We chose this route because, though we have IVF insurance coverage, after the amount of money already spent towards infertility, the remainder would not cover Traditional IVF.  And so, since it is the “Modified Natural” option, the process solely depends on when (or even if) I ovulate.
Anyway, back to the topic, I am planning to have this dreaded talk with my boss.  Of course any working woman could relate to my anxiety, right? It’s so taboo to speak of pregnancy, even the thought of having a baby when, not even a month ago, we were talking about ‘next steps’ in my career!   And though I trust her and believe we have a great working relationship, the “it’s not personal, just business” side of working in the Corporate World makes me cringe at the repercussions that might come if, say, the first round doesn’t work.. Where do we go from there?  Will there be subsequent months of un-scheduled days off?  If we end up not being able to conceive, will the little bug in her ear cause her to think I am not capable of focusing on my career?
Here’s to hoping this goes well!

Pay Day!!

That’s right, it’s Pay Day, the day we all wait for in the Working World, time to have fun!  Well, unless you have fertility meds to pay for, doctor bills, counseling appointments…..
Speaking of counseling appointments, I had my first appointment today.  I decided I was at the very limit before I started packing my bags and living off the trees in the forests of Indonesia.  It turned out as I was speaking with my nurse at the fertility clinic, we found out my new counselor is her very best friend.  Hmmmm… small world!  As I walked, in she had a clipboard set out for me to fill out: Insurance Info, Contact Info…etc.  I sat there for a good 10 minutes, waiting, then thinking, does this counselor know about me already?  How long I’ve been going through treatment?  Does she know I call the fertility clinic almost every other day like a maniac following up on this lab test, asking about that result, making an appointment for yet another ovary check.  Or am I (hopefully) a blank slate?

She finally came out to greet me.  She seemed like a fun person, she said the first appointment would be an ‘assessment’ to see what I needed.  So I slowly told her my issues with infertility, with having teenage boys.. and then for some reason it all started pouring out! Next thing I knew I had the kleenex box in one hand, pile of tissue in the other, what happened??  I had no idea all of this mess was inside of me.  After all, I thought I was the fun one! Bubbly, happy, problem-solver that I was… right?  Well, I have another appointment set up in a couple weeks, we shall see…

As for pay day… yeah, that was just a ploy to get us all excited, but we all know where that money was gone before it came into my account… hey there’s always the Power Ball!

So…. You’re asking me to Drink This??

What is that you might ask?? Well, I’d like to know myself!  I did some ‘googling’ and could not figure out what this concoction is made of… however, I do know and TRUST that this is going to help in the making of a baby.

Let me backtrack…. Last Sunday my son and I set out early looking for yard sales.. I love garage-‘sailing’ but we went through several neighborhoods and there were no signs posted!  We decided maybe it wasn’t our day to find any good bargains, so we set out for the Farmer’s Market.  When we got there, lo and behold, it was not open, then I realized it was a Saturday-only venue.  Not wanting to go home empty-handed, we figured it would be a good morning to walk through China Town (Or the International District, as I grew up calling it in my home town).  China Town here is really just a 4-5 block stretch of Asian groceries, stores, and restaurants.  So we parked and set foot..  As we were walking, we passed a Chinese Medicine store… on a whim, I thought, “hmmmm…let me just ask…… do you have anything for infertility?” and mannnn, I had no idea what I was getting myself into!!

The doctor/specialist asked me a few questions and quickly said she would put together a 7-day dosage for me.  I waved as she ran to the back room.  Wonderful!  7-Days of herbal remedies, no problem-o!  After all, I have bottles of herbal remedies at home: fish oil, cranberry pills, ginseng.. to name a few.  So we waited, waited, and waited for about a half hour… Customers came and left, store employees answering questions, some ladies putting together bags of what looked like tree bark.  So, not having seen the specialist come back I asked the lady at the counter if I should come back. “No, I am almost done,” with a smile.  I notice those bags of ‘nature’ were mine… all 7 of them!  Still, I think no problem, I can do this and it’ll be a new experience for me.  After all, I’m Asian, my great grandfather was Chinese, I can embrace my roots!  She gave me instructions as filled the grocery bag with my medicine, then rang me up “98 Dollars” she says… WOW, did I think this was going to be cheap?  Did I not know that quality medicine in any culture would cost a pretty penny??  I pray to God that this will work!

Night One: Boil the herbs in 6 8-oz. Cups of Water over medium heat and boil until it reduces to one cup. Easy as pie!  No… let me just paint a picture… the first time I tried to ‘smoke-bomb’ my house to get rid of sugar ants, I figured I could easily set off the spray upstairs, close the doors and carry on about our business downstairs (and vice versa).  Well, within seconds I realized I was totally wrong and we were all forced to sit out on the porch in our pajamas for 4 hours!  This is how Night One went.  The smell went through the pores in our walls and everyone, including my dear husband (who works from home), left me to stomach the fragrance.  After the concoction was finished, I was to strain the tea into a cup and drink it.  Consumer Tip: Do Not Attempt to Drink a Chinese Herbal Medicine Through a Straw ooooh.. no amount of sugar in the world made this taste any better.

 Morning One: Using the same herbs from the night prior, add 5 8-oz. cups of water and boil over medium heat until it reduces to one cup. Note: Cooking a Chinese tea at 6am while trying to get ready for work is not recommended.  First of all, I am not a morning person to begin with.  This is how it went down.. knock, knock, knock… I answer the door.  My older son says it’s time to wake up.  My feet hit the floor as I curse the school system for starting high school at 7am.  I have about 30 minutes to make this tea… as it boils, the house does not smell as bad.  It finally reduces and I ask my teenage son to help me strain it into a cup.  Friendly Advice: Strain Chinese Herbal Tea After Drinking a Cup of Coffee – Highly Encouraged   Brown juice splashed all over the carpet, on the floor, and through that crack between the stove and the counter …. Aghhh!  Ok, I can do this..

Night Two: I warn everyone before boiling the tea.  Everyone decides they’ve gotten used to the smell, no one moves.. ok.  I get out the Glad Scented Candle (which I got for FREE, thanks to my fabulous couponing skills, I’ll get to that eventually), turn on my mini fan, turn on the range-top vent… and turn up the heat.  A little wiser this time, I chug that ‘ish’ down like it’s a Buttery Nipple during Happy Hour.

Morning Two: I’m sleepy, I stay in bed till 6:15, I boil the tea.. It reduces down to 2 cups.. ahh darn it.  I can only get one cup in my travel coffee mug.  Oh well, watered down herbal medicine it is.

Night Three: Like a Cake Walk

Morning Three: Did I say I was not a morning person?  Not happening, I’ll take a double-dose tonight..

I have 4 more days to go…. I am hoping beyond hope that it works.  I’m praying more that God blesses us somewhere in all of this … after all, next month we start the IVF process.. and to me, that will be the final step on the staircase of fertility.  And it costs as much as a brand new car.  So I’ll do what it takes this month and if it happens I will be the happiest woman on the planet!

Lunch Time!

So, last week my son made me this.  It was the first day of school.  He’s going into 8th grade – big man of middle school…and he made his momma a sandwich for lunch.  Awwww… It was the sweetest thing.  I loved it: turkey, a huge slice of Velveeta cheese and a glob of mayo. “Mmmmm, yummy” is what I said.  But having already gained 10 lbs from the fertility medication, I stored it in the office fridge for 3 days , eating a slice each day.  This is only a glimpse of the sweet children I have.  Don’t get me wrong, they are 2 typical teenage boys with their own sets of issues.. but it’s these little things that make my heart melt!  And melt it does!!  I spent half the day in the office bathroom crying the day he gave me that sandwich…  Was it the hormones?  Am I dreading the Empty Nest syndrome?  Was it just the stress of everything going on?  (Are you confused?)

Well, you see, I just got married a little over a year ago.  Like many newlyweds you start making plans – house, baby, family…etc.  Well, it didn’t happen as planned.  By recommendation from my OBGYN to see a fertility specialist, we began a series of fertility treatments… in a nutshell: I have been on hormones for OVER a year!  (And don’t get me started on the house situation; I’m sure many can relate to how difficult it is to sell a condo in our economy these days!)

Secondly, I’ll just give you a brief synopsis of the Stage 1 Empty Nest Syndrome that’s creeping up on me.  We have been living on the East Coast for 14 years and 9 years ago, my ex-husband moved back to our home-town, on the West Coast.  My boys spend their summers with them every year.   And this year my son, the sweetheart 8th grader, comes back with a birthday card for me!  In the card, it very lovingly says, “Mom, I love you and I’m here for you no matter what happens.”  So I turn to him and say, “if what happens?”  And he so sweetly says, “well if I decide to move back to the West Coast.”  Hmmm, that wasn’t a shock, I have always figured they might eventually want to move to our home-town.  But that was not the type of birthday card I expected!  However, it did get me thinking…. If the boys leave, and the fertility treatment doesn’t work…. Besides my husband, I won’t have any family here on the East Coast.  And that’s where the thoughts started pouring in….

Where do I go from here?  I need to prepare myself for the worst case scenario.  And this is why I started to blog.  If you have comments, advice, your own blog to share, I’d be happy to read up!  This somehow seems like a new path in my life.. but I’m just not sure of where it’s headed!

A Little About Me

When you’re younger, you look at your people of influence and wish “I had a story”.  Something interesting that others might be able to relate to.  And something that would define you – separate you from others.  My teenage son came to me recently and said, “Mom, I wish I had a story.. ” and my first reaction was, “son, you don’t want to chase a story, just live your life and enjoy yourself.”  Well, looking back, I have a story, not much of what I want to tell.  But I’m sure a little of that will come out here and there as I share my thoughts with you.  And perhaps you can share some of your story with me.

The reason why I want to start writing… well, there are 2 major things I am going through right now: 1) As my 2 teenage boys grow a foot by the day, my ‘Empty Nest’ syndrome has suddenly kicked in. 2) This month, marks a year of trying to conceive with a fertility specialist and next month we will be doing IVF.. in what feels like my last hope.

So I hope in this I can find laughter, hope, and sanity.