Sunday, June 28, 2009

Am I Ready for This?

Tonight TOIAW said, "Just think, Honey, in a month from now, you could be pregnant!" The prospect thrilled him but ever since I heard the words, my tummy has been doing flip flops. I don't remember being this nervous last time. I'm so nervous right now I could easily be sick.

I was somewhat comforted when I calculated it and realized my beta would be on 5 August at the earliest so it's really more like 5.5 weeks. I really need that extra week.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Uhhhh....This is Getting Awkward

Dear Mr. President,

I didn't really think anything of it when your wife got all, "I love, love, love JCrew" even though it is well known that I am one of their oldest and dearest customers. After all, they frequently send me emails stating as much.

I didn't even think too much about you and the Veep eating at 5 Guys even though TOIAW and I eat there at least three times a month (thanks to Krista who first alerted me to their amazingly delicious delicacies).

I did, however, begin to get suspicious when, just months after we adopted a black and white rescue dog we named Bootsy, you adopted a black and white rescue dog you named Bo.

I realize there are many people who shop at JCrew, eat at 5 Guys, and own black and white rescue dogs whose names begin with the letters 'b' and 'o'. But don't try to act like going to my favorite FroCo (frozen custard, duh) shop was anything other than an attempt to see what it's like to be Me...and, of course, Bo's attempt to be PP and Bootsy by enjoying their favorite doggy ice cream treats. I'm sure you've heard all the stories about us and you've no doubt concluded it must be quite glamorous to be us. Actually, we get that a lot. Seriously, though, it's getting awkward what with you being TOIAW's boss and all. It's beginning to sound like the plot of one of those thriller movies that premier in September/October that no one really wants to see but you do anyway because there are no other movies playing and you spend most of the movie wondering if the girl in front of you is really that easily scared or if she's just trying to find an excuse to cling to her date's bicep.

Look, I'll make this easy. I'm moving in a couple of months. Until then, I'll just assume our paths will continue to cross by "coincidence" but if you show up in the Mystery Country or Oklahoma, I'll have no choice but to address this issue again.

Sincerely,
Rachel

P.S. No matter what the people at the Dairy Godmother told you about the frequency of our visits, it was surely an exaggeration and there is no need to worry about how all that FroCo might be affecting TOIAW's physical fitness levels. Besides, we always walk and anyway we only go so we can help Bootsy get over her fear of kids because when your security detail isn't guarding the entrance there are no less than 25 kids running around outdoor area. Anyway, if you were maybe thinking of bringing him in for a surprise physical fitness test, just let me know and he'll be there with bells on...but could I please have like a week's--no make it three--notice? Thanks so much, Sir. Or do you prefer Mr. President? Are you as sensitive as Senator Boxer? You know, maybe you should suggest she have some FroCo to cool the heck down. The DG's special flavor today is Butter Pecan and it's delish...or at least that's what my neighbors tell me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Relief

As I've said before, the IVF program at Walter Reed is cheap but it's also no frills. They do not hold your hand and they're very open about this. Once the director 'clears' you for a cycle your chart is sent to the financial coordinator and only after you have paid her are you able to schedule your start date (baseline ultrasound). We've had difficulty with every step: When we attended the orientation class our chart was "missing" so when I offered the nurse the forms on our medical history, she did not want them. After two reminder phone calls and a we-were-in-the-neighborhood-visit to the office, the chart was located but the director couldn't clear it because he didn't have the aforementioned forms so please fax it over and the director will look it. But, by the way, he'll be out of the office for a couple of days and won't look at it until he gets back. It was then a bit of a surprise when I received a phone call last week from the financial person. I gave her my card number and she said they would call me soon to schedule my cycle. I waited one day. Two days. Then I got a call and I knew from the number is was from WRAMC...but it was the financial coordinator saying our payment didn't go through because we needed to have a higher transaction limit. That was easily fixed but I was upset that it was delaying us even further and I was trying so hard not to be discouraged. So then I waited another two business days before I called the scheduling nurses. I managed not to lose it until I heard the second "I'll be out of the office until [next week]" message. Are you trying to tell me something, God? I know I said I would give this to You, but nothing is going smoothly!!!

I then realized I had the phone number for the head nurse, so I left her a voice mail (no one answers their phones). I know it was long but apparently it was also quite rambly because when she called me yesterday she said she knew I left all the pertinent information but could I please give it to her again so she didn't have to re-listen to the message? I quickly gave her my name and ID number and she put me on hold for what seemed like forever before coming back and telling me my start date is 7 July. This is the EXACT date I wanted but we had already been informed this would not happen because it was full and an exception was unlikely. Apparently God had it under control all along.

I don't think it's a small coincidence that we are going to plant a memorial tree for Sarah two days before I begin my cycle. In the midst of pain and sorrow, God always gives us hope.

In other news, the in-laws are leaving today. That deserves it's own post...and possibly some editing and/or deleting of blog posts but I'll explain all that later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

...and Then There Were Two

Guests, that is. TOIAW's brother and SIL left today but his parents are still here and will be until ??? They have yet to set a departure date. Lucky me. Today they're just hanging around the house (yay!). I'm actually upstairs hiding. When I arrived home after class and discovered that TOIAW had put dirty dishes away as if they were clean, I knew by my reaction that I was in no mood to handle my MIL. Since I'm not an absolutely horrible hostess, I did go down when I heard her struggling with the microwave and feigned interest in what she was doing long enough to be polite. When I asked them what they wanted to do for dinner they said it would be fine if I cooked something. Wow, it's like I won the lottery. Actually, that's fine since I'll be going to the grocery store any way to replace our fruit stores after my MIL ate the organic fruit I asked her not to eat. I know that sounds rude but they care more about variety than conventional vs. organic so I made sure I had plenty of fruit for them and I basically hid my fruit but what did she eat? Not only that, but she made sure to tell me she ate the blueberries because she had a craving for them. Why not the other blueberries already washed and in the huge bowl in the middle of the refrigerator? Oh, those?! Ha ha ha, hee-hee she didn't see them! And, you know, I can totally see why because her mind was most likely preoccupied with things like 'when is the next time I can make a comment to Rachel or TOIAW about how the only reason they are successful and have the things they have is because of the sacrifices my husband and I made to give him the best of opportunities?' Seriously she has mentioned this to me twice in the past two days. I don't give her the pleasure of a response.

I know I'm super crabby today but I didn't get much sleep again last night. My grandfather is not feeling well but refuses to go to the doctor. It's unclear whether or not he's having heart problems or experiencing lingering effects from shingles and/or the medication he is taking for them. He had a check-up with his cardiologist and general practitioner last week and everything looked good which is part of the reason why he doesn't want to go back. He thinks everything he's experiencing is from the shingles. I'm upset that he won't go just to make sure he's okay but I know him well enough to know he's going to do what he wants to do. I cried and cried and worried about it last night but this morning I decided that when you're 83, you've earned the right to do what you want to do. I love him; he knows I do. He loves me; I know he does. When I talked to him today I told him, again, that I really wished he would go to the doctor just for peace of mind and I broke down a little and told him I simply couldn't endure any more pain right now. He told me the worst thing that can happen to anyone is losing a child and that if I can get though that, I'm strong enough to lose him also. Gosh, it sounds so fatalistic but he didn't mean it like that.

One thing Sarah taught me is that you must enjoy every minute with the ones you love. I know it's cliche, but it's so true. During the week we had with her, something in my heart whispered to me over and over to drink in and savor every minute with her. I did and because of that my only regret is that I didn't spent more moments with her.

Now stop reading my whiny blog and go spend some time with someone you love!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No sleep 'til [they go back to] Brooklyn

This is my new anthem. Oh my goodness, I am so stinkin' tired. Having guests when you're working and they're on vacation is not fun. It's even worse when those guests nap all afternoon--while you're awake running errands, cooking, etc.--and then want to eat late dinners and linger over coffee and dessert during hours that you normally reserve for quiet activities such as REM sleep.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The in-laws are coming, the in-laws are coming!

I think the title says it all. They should be here mid-afternoon but tonight they're staying in a hotel so we probably won't see them until dinner. TOIAW's older brother made reservations for them because he was worried that TOIAW would be sick today (because he wasn't feeling great yesterday). He did this without asking TOIAW who was upset when they told him this morning. This is the first time TOIAW's parents have ever visited him. FIRST. TIME. He wants everything to be perfect for them and he's very excited to host them. Uhhh yeah, me too, Honey. I'm already feeling a little frustrated so I really hope he brings up the 'you must be a general officer or doctor or you're a failure' thing.

I suspect the hotel reservation has more to do with our guest accommodations than TOIAW not feeling so great yesterday. FIL has expressed--numerous times--that he thinks it would be better if we moved to the basement and he and MIL stayed in our room. It's not 5-star but it's comfortable and very private and, you know what, it's all we got. Additionally, it was good enough for my parents who spent a week with us when our daughter was born and then came back two days later when she passed away and stayed for another week (but I understand why the in-laws didn't come because they live 4 hours away while my parents live half-way across the country...). It's also been fine for numerous other guests we have hosted. I was down there yesterday getting things ready and thought about how much more we would visit his parents if we had accommodations as comfortable and private. So we'll see what they think. I'm sure it will be fine but I'm secretly daring them to say something.

I would really like to enjoy this visit rather than merely endure it. We shall see. BIL and his wife leave Wednesday and things generally go much more smoothly when it's just us and TOIAW's parents. And if it doesn't go well I'll just pour myself into my last week of language classes!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Back by popular demand! Okay, only one person requested it but his wife is pregnant and I REALLY think she needs this. Also, Michelle, you're not allowed to make this for family get togethers unless I'm not making it because I'm not willing to give up my easiest dessert recipe.



Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
2 (8 oz) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (combine about 1/2 cup sugar with 1 TBS cinnamon)

1) Using a 9x13 baking pan, unroll one package of refrigerated crescent rolls and line the bottom of the pan.
2) Flatten.
3) Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and extract.
4) Spread over the crescent rolls.
5) Unroll the other can of crescent rolls and place on top of cream cheese mixture.
6) Pour one stick of melted butter or margarine over the top and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Heart Paperbackbookswap.com!

If you love to read you absolutely MUST join this site. I've been a member for several months now and it's just the best. It works like this: You list the books you have and are willing to part with. Other people then [hopefully] request your books and you get an email informing you of their requests. You print the wrapper, package the book, mail it to the requester, and then receive a credit. With your credits you can order books from other members. The only cost is the postage you pay to mail the books you send. Quite a deal indeed.

I now use paperbackswap.com to justify buying new books. Here's how that works: If a new release is $25, I think, "Well, I'll buy it for $25, read it, spend $2.75 to mail it to someone else, and then a credit for another book so really this new book will cost me less than $14." How's that for logic? Sometimes I still struggle with whether or not to buy it, but with paperbacks I don't even think twice. However, thanks to my recent swapping I have a stack of at least fifteen books waiting for me to read. I'm telling you, it's a swell deal. An added bonus? You're recycling and reducing clutter...well, maybe it's a one for one exchange on the clutter but you're getting something that's more useful to you than a book you've already read.

I'm off to read a book I got today. It's a biography of Queen Noor of Jordan. I LOVE the Middle East and I LOVE biographies so there's a better than even chance I'll be awake late.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Nanny Nanny Boo Boo

Hey, guess what People Who Wouldn't Move to the Middle of the Metro Train Today Even Though the Driver's Instructions Clearly State That is the Proper Way to Board the Metro Leaving Me to Wait For the Next Train? The next train came along two minutes later and it was practically empty.

I got a seat AND the one next to me was empty. Ha! Ha! Ha!

I've been a little on edge today waiting to hear when my IVF cycle will begin. There was an issue last week when the nurse couldn't find my chart and since she had a bunch of others to process, I'm sure I am/was at the bottom of the list. This is completely out of my control and I should just relax about it but there's a small chance that if I get things scheduled early enough, TOIAW would be here for the 'heartbeat' ultrasound. Obviously I really want that. Even more obvious is that we have a lot of hurdles to cross before then and the main thing is just getting into the July cycle.

I need to relax and trust that God's in control. Clearly my Metro friends were just trying to help me out by not allowing me on the first train so that I might have a relaxing trip home, right?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hmmmm...

We have a neighbor who owns an old firetruck. Odd.

Sometimes (like tonight) it's not in it's usual spot as if he drove it somewhere. Even more odd.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I've been feeling extremely overwhelmed and anxious lately. I can't even log into Facebook because, for some odd reason, that produces huge amounts of anxiety. I'm pretty sure that's not normal but FB isn't an integral part of my existence so I'm just ignoring it. Writing emails is also stressful--again, not normal--so I just don't do that either (just ask my friend, G). Hopefully I'll still have some friends left when I become normal again. I have some theories about all of this but I'll save that for another day. Also, in case you haven't noticed, I've been horrible about commenting on blogs for which there really is no excuse.

TOIAW and I have been very busy and there is more to come. My brother, sister-n-law, niece, and nephew were here for a week and we had a great visit with them. We only seem to do the touristy things when we have guests so it's good them came! Our house has been too quiet since they left...

We also have a lot going on with the move(s) which is far more complicated than it usually is. It's manageable, however, and we're doing okay. I have a list (several, actually), a good calendar, and a plan which really helps me. What isn't on my calendar yet is my official start date for the IVF cycle but I should hear something by Wednesday at the latest. On Tuesday TOIAW and I attended an 'IVF Orientation' class at Walter Reed. The doctor's part was actually very informative even though this is our third cycle. The administrative stuff was notsomuch but it was necessary. During the times when the nurses briefly met with each couple, we overheard several interesting IVF/infertility war stories. I felt bad for some people and just flat out didn't believe others. I was very close to telling one of the women to shut her mouth when she blathered on and on and on and on about how poorly she had been treated by military physicians, her husband's command, the WR IVF support staff, the Dunkin' Donuts barista, the universe, etc. I absolutely couldn't believe it when she complained about the cost of the program; it's at least half the price of civilian clinics and for TOIAW and I it's more like one-quarter the cost. People like her--the my-husband-is-in-the-military-therefore-the-entire-country-owes-me-something type--really get to me but, again, that's a story for a different day. Can you see why I'm praying for God to give me more mercy for others? In any event, we were quite impressed with the program and feel very blessed that we have been accepted.

That's about it for now. I know I was going to tell you about my weekend with the in-laws. Well, believe it or not, I did begin a post but I never finished it so I'll just give you the highlights:

  • The first thing our 5 year-old nephew said to me was, "Where is your baby? Can I hold her?" Nothing was said or explained to him--at least not in my presence--his mom just changed the subject.
  • Nephew jumped up behind me and pulled my hair so hard my head was sore for a week afterwards. His punishment? Sit in timeout for 2 minutes. He was not made to, nor did he, apologize to me.
  • At lunch, after BIL's law school graduation, FIL told TOIAW that he must become either a doctor or a general or he will be a failure. I didn't hold back in telling him what I thought. TOIAW was visibly upset and I felt so bad for him. This is the part where I heed my mother's advice and don't comment on what I think of FIL because I can't say anything nice.
  • We had three cars at the graduation and since FIL forbade MIL from driving one of the cars I drove her (his exact words were, "She will not drive. I will not allow it. I forbid it.") and during the car ride she told me she lit a candle for Sarah for three nights following her birth but then she had a vision that Sarah would die so she stopped lighting the candle. I didn't hold back in telling her what I thought. I later apologized to her and explained why that was so hurtful. I don't think she understood me.

There's more I don't remember--or am trying to forget--but they'll be here in a week for a a week-long visit during which time there will surely be many more hurtful things said to both of us. Please excuse me, I have some praying to do...