Thursday, January 31, 2008

Second Thoughts

Ugh. Remember how confident I was yesterday? I was sure we made the right decision in proceeding with IVF in late March/early April. Now I'm not so sure. I had to call our regular doctor today because he is the one who will manage the stimulation and I will only go to the one I saw yesterday for egg retrieval and implantation. It's not what I prefer, but that's how it's done (or so they tell me). Okay, so I talked to our doctor and he doesn't understand why we're waiting and expressed a strong desire for me to proceed immediately. I'm so confused. TOIAW is going to call and speak with him about it. I am rife with fear that I'm going to make the wrong decision.

My intuition tells me to wait. There is no incentive to rush anything except that I might be pregnant sooner. Of course that would be wonderful but the timing doesn't work too well with my March trip. What to do, what to do? Go with my gut or go with the doctor's recommendation?

The other option is to go with another medicated (injectible) cyle and see what happens but I have little faith in that since it didn't work the first two times. I hate this. I wish it were easy! I know I am very fortunate to have options (mainly that I am a good candidate for treatment and that are finances are not an issue) available and should stop complaining. I'm going to walk PP now and I will be on the lookout for a plane with a banner giving me the answers or maybe the leaves will blow around and land in the form of a word? I'll let you know how that works for me...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Redemption




Does that look like a great place to make a baby, or what? That's where the magic is going to take place...in a lab on the 3rd floor. It's romantic, yes?

As you probably surmised, we liked the RE and after finding out it is less expensive than we anticipated, we decided to go for it. Because who doesn't want to save a few bucks when manufacturing a baby? Seriously, it was a nice surprise and I shouldn't make fun. The decision was officially made after the appointment while we ate some very good Mexican food. This is the second time I've eaten Mexican food in Germany and the only time it was good food. Clearly God was sending us a sign.

We are not going to launch Operation Baby until late March/early April because I am traveling to the U.S. in March. It will give me some time to Google my heart out and lose more weight (8 pounds so far!). The only thing that bothers me is that 2 of my 3 unsuccessful pregnancies have begun in April and ended in May. Am I a freak for thinking about that?

But you know what I thought about today? Nurnberg is a city that was known for it's Nazi zeal. There were large rallies held there in the 1920's and 1930's which served to promote Nazi propaganda, showcase the party's power, and generate enthusiam. In a few months, TOIAW, a Jew, and I are going to make a baby (or should I say have one made?) in the same city. It literally gives me chills to think of God's amazing redemptive power! He can take something that was the site of such evil and hatred and breathe new life. Wow! He does the same thing in you and me--that's even more cool, huh?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Big Day

I have my appointment with the uber fertility specialist tomorrow. My regular specialist doesn't do in-vitro or inseminations and this is the doctor he recommends. I'm really nervous. I don't know why I'm nervous, but I am. Rational thoughts and feelings have seldom been a part of this fertility adventure. I want to be rational and ask all the right questions and then discuss it all with TOIAW (and Google) before making any decisions but I'm pretty sure I'm going to go in there and say, "I want a baby. Here's a check. Can we start yesterday?" TOIAW will be the rational one. He will have a list of questions with follow-up questions to his questions. Don't you for one minute think he is predictable. He'll keep you guessing, that man of mine! For instance, there's really no way of knowing if he'll have the questions written in his little green notebook that never leaves his person or if he'll have them on an index card that is inserted in said notebook.

I'm both happy and sad to report the coffee group was rather normal. Only one slightly odd person and I didn't talk to her much. I did overhear her telling someone that Munich, a city steeped in history and rich Bavarian tradition, does not offer her the cultural outlets she so desires and it such drudgery for her to live in Europe and not be able to indulge her "refined tastes." [Yes, that was a direct quote and I'm still not sure it makes sense and even if it does is it appropriate for one to say that about herself?] mmmmmkay. I actually knew several of the ladies there which made it more comfortable and I had a nice chat with someone I would like to know better. We'll probably be great friends by the time we move...in August. Yep, TOIAW just sprung that on me last week. I knew we were moving, actually, but I thought (and hoped) it would be later. No worries; it's not as if I can change it.

We're still having to feed PP a special diet of cottage cheese and rice. I'm beginning to develop a conspiracy theory involving the vet and PP. I was okay until the vet suggested PP might tire of the cottage cheese/rice mixture and chicken may need to be added as well. The people at the grocery store probably think I am selling cottage cheese and rice on eBay because I buy massive quantities at least twice a week. With that I'm off to take her for a ball fetching session. Yesterday it turned into a fun game of Mama Fetch where I would throw the ball, PP would chase it, and then get distracted with other smells forcing me to retrieve the ball. Who needs a personal trainer when you have a dog?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Get 'Er Done

So far today I have cleaned three bathrooms, dusted and straightened my bedroom, dusted the guest room, cleaned the refrigerator, cleaned the kitchen, three loads of laundry, taken the dog for a one hour walk...and there are miles to go before I sleep. I want to take a nap! I'm generally much more productive in the morning (don't get confused and think I'm a morning person because I AM NOT) and now that it's afternoon I just want to curl up in my reading chair and finish my book. No, no, no I WILL stay on track.

I have a semi-busy week which is why I am trying to get everything done today. Tonight I have the dreaded officers' wives coffee group. I wouldn't go but a friend is hosting it and it's just around the corner which leaves me without a good excuse. These groups often have unique dynamics; I promise to take notes if there is anything amusing worth sharing.

I just heard that Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms and 78 bathrooms. At least I don't have to clean that.

P.S. Is anyone else having issues with Blogger's spell check? It won't work for me and I simply do not have the attention to detail to edit my own posts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Facebook

I opened a Facebook account today. It kind of scares me. I don't think I like having my picture out there like that. On the other hand, I like being able to easily keep up with my friends scattered around the globe. It still freaks me out. There are some people who I do not want to find me. I mean I'm not a wanted felon or living in the witness protection program, but when it comes to getting in touch with old friends, I prefer to be the searcher rather than the searchee. Did I mention I'm a bit of a control freak?

I still remember watching this movie with Krista and Katie in Katie's bedroom in Mevasseret Zion. I've loved "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" ever since and it was even on my wedding CD. *sigh*

I also loved A Knight's Tale, which I also saw in Jerusalem (at the theater where it was common to see people with two guns, not just one that a lot of people carry), with Ellen, Krista, and Katie.

If I was going through a tough time and, for whatever reason, couldn't talk to TOIAW or my family or, perhaps, they tried to reach me but couldn't, those three lovely ladies mentioned above would be there to support and love me. They are just a handful of friends I can count on. I pray my friends know I would fly anywhere in the world to do the same for them. I simply do not understand how anyone--in Hollywood or elsewhere--can just sit back and let their friends self-destruct. I know it's more complicated than that. I know people have to want help. Maybe I'm just really blessed (I am) but I have no doubt that my family and friends would exhaust all resources before allowing me to meet my demise in such a way.

Yesterday one of my neighbors asked me if I would like to go out and celebrate another neighbor's 30th birthday. I said sure and assumed her husband was out of town. It's a natural assumption considering I really don't know any of my neighbors that well and wouldn't think they would choose to spend their birthday with me as opposed to their husbands. Turns out her husband was home but had not planned anything which upset her so she made her own plans. We had a nice time but it was bittersweet as she shared about her husband and some of the issues he is having. He won't get help for his PTSD and she doesn't know what to do. She loves him, you can see it in her eyes, but their relationship is crumbling as he crumbles also. I encouraged her to talk to someone to help her deal with all of this. I laid in bed last night thinking about her and then it hit me why this is so upsetting to me: I, or any number of my friends, could easily be in the same situation.

Okay, no more depressing posts for a while, I promise :) I just wish that mental health wasn't so taboo. Even my neighbor who I've talked to about 3 times since August, told me she had a lesion on her "female parts." Why is that okay, and chemical imbalances are not? It's not as if I was all that comfortable talking to her about the lesion but I did. So let's all go out and encourage others to talk about their battles with depression, addiction, and the voices in their heads. Maybe not? Okay, let's make sure our friends know we care about them and we will never give up on them. Ever.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"...Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity..."



As I told you a couple of weeks ago, we were voluntarily bumped from our flight back to Germany so we could spend a few days [alone] in D.C. I have been there several times but had never really taken the time to visit all the monuments so that is what we did. When we were at the Vietnam Memorial, there were a few youngish guys who were walking by it as if they were walking on any sidewalk anywhere else in the city. They weren't overly loud, however, they certainly weren't being as respectful as I felt they should have been. TOIAW, on the other hand, thinks I'm a facist when it comes to these things and that I would have loved to approach the young men in question and share my thoughts with them. He's not too far off the mark there, but I did no such thing.

Our differences of opinion stem partly from the fact that we simply have different personalities but there is something else there as well. As a soldier who has been awarded the Purple Heart, been in harm's way many times including several protracted fire fights, lost a number of friends and colleagues, and daily sees the memories of his war experience in the form of scars, I believe he has more than earned the right to his own opinions. Experiences like this remind me of his tolerance and why I love him so. I can't help but think of how differnt his life would have been were it not for his father. In the late 1970's TOIAW's widowed father brought three little boys to the United States. None of them spoke English so his father went to night school to learn and during the day he was a mover in New York City hauling furniture on his back. He had been a professional in the Soviet Union but in NY he was just another manual laborer immigrant who didn't speak English. Eventually, of course, he learned Enlgish and was employed as an engineer with the city of NYC for a number of years. Believe me, TOIAW is driven, focused on his career, and committed to being a great leader but the reason behind it all is that he wants to serve and defend a nation where everyone has a right to express their own opinoins without fearing the consequences.

As we were leaving the memorial area, there was a huge (not fat, just tall and big) man sitting on a bench sobbing to his wife. He said he knew that he had traveled all this way to see the memorial but he just could not bring himself to walk closer to it. It was a very emotional scene; my heart broke for him and his wife who seemed confused as to what to say or do. I've been there. TOIAW noticed the scene as well and went over to the man, shook his hand, and talked to him for a few minutes. TOIAW did not tell me what they talked about and I did not ask but as we got further up the hill I turned around and saw the man and his wife walking towards the wall. I hope he saw the names of his friends and remembered happy things about them. I truly do...



Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chef Extraodinaire

It seems Princess Poopsalot contracted a bug at puppy camp. No big deal in terms or her health but the treatment almost killed me. We had to starve her for 24 hours. If you want to be technical about it, she was on a fast but I felt like I was starving her and I almost couldn't stand it. TOIAW was all tough about it in a "it's for her own good" kind of way until he saw her practically climb on the kitchen counter to rescue her bowl. I stopped by for a lunch date with him yesterday and instead we decided to go to the grocery store, stock-up on cottage cheese and rice, and rush home so we could both be with her when she broke her fast. It was like puppy Ramadan...she dove right in, tail wagging all the while. For the next day and a half, she continues with the rice and cottage cheese diet then we re-introduce regular food. The vet said she could eat all she wanted but I've had to put limits on that otherwise all I would get done is making rice. She now has a Pavlonian response to the opening of the microwave door.

The sun is shining this afternoon! Other than an hour walk this morning when it was so foggy I couldn't see more than 20 feet in front of me, I've been inside cleaning! Ahhh, the joys of being a housewife...

Did anyone watch American Idol last night? I tried, but I just couldn't bear to see all those people humiliated like that. Last season was the first time I ever watched it, but I don't remember the judges being so cruel to people. Is that entertaining to anyone? I found it disgusting. My heart just broke for one person (don't remember the gender) when they sang and the judges laughed through it. Why not just stop them and end it? Why have them continue to sing for you while you laugh in their faces? I know no one was forced to audition but no matter who you are it takes courage and that kind of ridicule can easily crush people. I was really disappointed.

TOIAW has a "4-day" weekend which is actually just a 3-day weekend because he will be traveling again next week. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have him home for a few days and I don't want to worry about cleaning or laundry so I better get 'er done before he comes home. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dear TOIAW,

Why is it that I can let the dog out, shower, get ready (hair, make-up, get dressed), make breakfast, pack your lunch, put dinner in the crock pot, make a phone call to reschedule an appointment, remove towels from dyer, transfer clothes from washer to dryer, begin another load of laundry, and eat my breakfast all in the amount of time it takes you to use the toilet, shave, shower, get dressed, and eat your breakfast (that I made and sat on the table for you)? I'm asking because you were so insensed when I asked you to please take the dog for a short walk before we leave her alone for 5 hours. I believe your exact words were something like "this was not in my plan for this morning." I did not realize that asking you to take the dog for 5 minute spin around the block required 48 hours advance notice but, believe me, I will NOT make that mistake again.

Love,
Your Adoring Wife

Monday, January 14, 2008

Am I Being Punked?

WARNING: This is a complete non-sequitor post.

My mother-in-law called me yesterday. You know, just to chat. 'Cause that's how we roll; we're chums. NOT. I was a little surprised by how chatty we were when I saw them a few weeks ago, but I chalked it up as a one off situation. Even my FIL was nice and actually sought me out for conversations. I definitely found this odd but I only see them twice a year so it's hardly a pattern. I'm still waiting for Ashton to pop out of a corner...

TOIAW is home safe and sound. Maybe this house can get on a normal schedule again! I haven't gone to sleep before 2 am one night in the past week. It's a combination of jet lag and a lack of a schedule. Even the dog has been out of sorts although I'm still a bit concerned that she is not feeling well so I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow just to be sure. I wish she could talk or cry or do Morse code with her paws so we could communicate. I don't actually know Morse code, but I am willing to learn.

I have some exciting news: Friday I had lunch with a friend and we decided to go to Dubrovnik, Croatia for Spring Break! Neither one of us are in school, nor do we have kids but why should Spring Break be reserved for that crowd? I saw Dubrovnik on The Amazing Race and it looks pretty cool. Hopefully we won't get road blocked. TOIAW gave me his blessing for yet another trip without him (December, March, April...this is getting to be a trend) and said he would be working with the Brits during that time so I wouldn't see him anyway (read: "I'm not going to need many meals then, so go and enjoy yourselves"). The only possible reason I would cancel is if I found out one of the Princes was coming to Themiddleofnowhere, Germany to train. In that case, I would sit in the woods with camoflauge on my face and twigs in my hat waiting for a glimpse of their royal cuteness. I'm just kidding. I would be much more hi-tech in my stalking.

So it seems that the President of France is squiring a lovely young lady who is even rumored to be pregnant. A marriage is not out of the question. They both have children from previous relationships so it's kind of a Brady-Bunch-on-the-Seine thing. The only difference being that the girlfriend's son was fathered by her ex-boyfriend's son. Oh snap! Who needs the Spears family when you have this? Hmmm, come to think of it, the Spears family is from Louisiana which was first settled by the French...do you see where I'm going with this? I think her new response should be, "It's okay, I'm from Louisiana so for all intents and purposes, I'm French." That would shut them up.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Welcome, Little One




Introducing my newest nephew, John David! Welcome to our family, Little One! He's pretty much perfect as you can clearly see. Today is his 2 week birthday. TOIAW and I were able to meet him before we left. I'm very excited to see him again in March (and June). My little brother makes some cute kids, huh?



His big sister REALLY loves him and is VERY protective. I was a bit concerned when she kept asking to touch his nose because her little hand seemed to be covering both his airways but their parents weren't worried so I guess this is normal? I also cringed when she appeared to use his head as a "handle" when climbing into my mother's lap. If their relationship is anything like their father's and mine, that is only the beginning!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I Am From the Circus...

This morning I returned from running errands to see a man at my neighbor's door. He showed her a piece of paper, she went into the house, and then came back and handed him something. I had talked to her as I was leaving the house and she's very sick so I didn't bother being nosy and asking her what it was about because it everything looked fine and it's not uncommon for people to come around asking for food or clothes. A few minutes later my doorbell rang. The same man was there and he started speaking in German but I told him I didn't speak German--because that's one of the only things I can say in German--so he pulled out his paper. I am totally serious, this is what it said, "I am from the circus. Could you please give a little money to help feed the animals." Perhaps I have a strange sense of humor, but I found this to be absolutely hilarious. I went in to get him some change (3 Euro which is probably $6,500 with the current exchange rate but I stopped doing the math because it's so depressing) and managed to give it to him without laughing in his face. I truly hope the money is used to feed the animals but if it isn't I am still happy I gave him the money because it takes real courage to go around with an ice-breaker like, "I am from the circus..."

P.S. He did have a handle bar mustache but I didn't notice any other circus-like characteristics. I think they should send the bearded lady around because that would certainly give them more legitimacy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

I know I said that today I was going to write about our trip to D.C., but I think I'll save that for tomorrow. The truth is I'm too lazy to go upstairs and find the cord so that I can upload the pictures. Pathetic, huh? Ironically, I joined Weight Watchers online yesterday. I might eat less but I'm not going to make unnecessary trips up and down the stairs. Oh well, you have to start somewhere...

I've actually done Weight Watchers before with a fair amount of success. I've never done the online program but I love to be online so it's reasonable that I will like it. TOIAW is always saying anyone can lose weight if they just exercise enough. While this is true for weight management, I do not think it's true for weight loss. At least not for me because I need more discipline. WW helps me because I have to budget my food choices and it's just so easy for me to let that get out of control. It's so cliche to begin a weight loss program in January. In the immortal words of my 7 year old cousin, "You gotta do what you gotta do." So very true. [His school has a motto so he thought he needed a personal one as well.]

I'm in a wedding in March and another one in June (woo-hoo, more Target shopping!) and I really don't want to be the "is she pregnant or not?" bridesmaid. So, in addition to the WW program (which is suprisingly easy or at least it has been for the past 2 days) I am employing TOIAW's suggestion to kick my work outs up a notch, or eight. Sadly,I didn't do anything yesterday and today other than walk the dog. That, however, is no small feat because the walking trails around our house are literally covered with a sheet of ice. Very. Dangerous. TOIAW and I went on a walk today and it took us more than hour to do a loop that generally takes about 25 minutes. I still have to walk the dog but tomorrow I'm also going to the gym. I'm sorry, this is a really boring post.

I think I will work out tomorrow before I go and yell at the phone company people. That should make things a bit more pleasant for everyone involved. Our phone is turned off. I know that's ghetto, but let me explain. Since moving in August, every bill we have received has had erroneous charges. The company recognizes the errors but tells us we should pay and we will receive a credit on our next bill. So far they owe us in excess of $280 (based on a very favorable--for them--exchange rate) but the bills still show that we owe them money. Apparently not paying money that we do not actually owe them results in our phone being turned off. Super. I already know how it's going to go: I'm going to explain my problems and they're going to wonder why I'm so exasperated then they're going to call someone and speak German (and probably say bad things about me) and they'll tell me I need to pay and nothing will be resolved but I will pay because my husband is in a foriegn country and I really would like to be able to call him. But I get to live in Europe and it is oh-so-exotic!

On a more cheerful note, today was a gorgeous day! I actually got a lot accomplished which was nice. Princess Poopsalot woke me up at 3 am to go outside and I could never go back to sleep which might be why I'm a bit cranky. I should go to sleep and rest up for my big phone company battle tomorrow. First, though, I need to make a "To Do" list for the next 5 days. It is sure to involve cleaning, organizing, and crafting though not necessarily in that order!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Home, Sweet Home

There is a saying among military families that home is where Uncle Sam sends you. I prefer the idea that home is where your stuff is. It was wonderful to walk into my home yesterday morning. Full disclosure: It was good to be home but it seems TOIAW decided to do some furniture rearrangement and picture hanging while I was gone and niether pleased me much. By "neither pleased me much," I mean I yelled at TOIAW so loudly that I'm sure the neighbors heard me and thought, "she's baaaack." Okay, people, it wasn't my finest moment but in my defense the plane ride was long, cold, and we didn't get upgraded and the very expensive shuttle we arranged to take us home failed to show (the driver claimed he got stuck or some such nonsense because there was very little snow) forcing us to walk to the rental car counters and hire a very expensive car.

But now the furniture is back in place and the wall hangings issue has been resolved so we're good. I think I might be over jet lag which is an added bonus! We ended up being voluntarily bumped from our Thursday evening flight and spending two nights in Washington, D.C. We had a lovely time and I will blog about that tomorrow. It was so nice to have TOIAW to myself after being apart and then sharing him for two weeks. As you probably guessed, I survived another vacation with TOIAW's family. More importantly, so did our marriage (no small feat).

Princess Poopsalot had a great time at puppy camp which is how the owner of the kennel describes it. I was a little disappointed that she didn't come home with a plater-of-paris paw casting or, at the very least, some macaroni art to hang on the fridge. I'm pretty sure we could have sent a child to space camp for roughly the same amount it cost us to send PP to puppy camp. That's money well spent, however, because not once did I worry about the care she was receiving. In fact, she stays in the house with the family, their cats, and the other dogs whose owners are willing to cough up the extra money so that their dogs receive the same treatment. We only had one small issue:

Kennel Owner: "Oh, does Princess Poospalot know how to open doors?"
Me: "Yes, she does. I guess she showed you her trick?" (said with a sweet smile while thinking to myself, "I told TOIAW to mention that on the 'is there anything unique we need to know about your dog' part of the questionaire.'")
Kennel Owner: "Well, at first she didn't know how to open our doors, but she tried. One day we were gone and returned to find all the dogs in the shop (there is a pet shop connected to a hallway that also connects to the living room of the house making it two doors away from the room where PP and her pals were). The next day I noticed PP putting one paw on the door, one on the wall, and opening the door with her nose and I am sure she is the one who opened the doors. We caught her trying to open the doors several more times."
Me: "I'm very sorry. Did the dogs cause any damage while they were out?" (praying they didn't eat their weights in treats since they have a lot of chew toys sitting out in open bins)
Kennel Owner: "No, it's not a problem but your dog is very clever and you should always watch her closely."

Yep, thanks, got it. That's why we have to lock her in a room when we leave and take the key (because she can still get out if we leave the key in the door). That being said, she's done nothing but sleep all day save the short walk where I fell on the ice and decided to cut it short. Good times.

Did I mention how cold it is here? Very cold. I don't want to know the exact temperature. Oklahoma set record highs on Saturday. It was so warm when I got there and then there was the most devastating ice storm ever to hit the state followed by snow the following weekend. When we were in Georgia there were very low temperatures and even a dusting of snow however this weekend it was in the 70's there. I'm beginning to feel like the Cold Weahter Fairy!

Well, my lazy day must come to an end now as I have much work to do. TOIAW is leaving on a week-long business trip tomorrow and he wants to take clean clothes or something like that. I tried to point out that he is going to one of the former Soviet republics and, if the people there are anything like his family, he only needs two set of clothes, max. He didn't find that as funny as I did.