"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Saturday, August 30, 2008

SHOW AND TELL: Cruz Family Reunion

This week, my show and tell is a video tribute to my father-in-law and that whole side of my family. About 1 week before my father-in-law went in for surgery, the entire family got together over at my in-laws house. Even the sister that lives down in Miami and her husband managed to make it up here for our get together. I got some wonderful pictures that day and, with a little combing through my files, I found many other wonderful pics taken over the last 2 1/2 years. The video is set to the song "Family Reunion" by The OJays. Its about 7 minutes long.

PS...Don't forget that I'll be holding a giveaway to celebrate my 200th post. That will happen sometime this week. Keep your eyes open!

Friday, August 29, 2008


I was reading a blog the other day and the author was recognizing the anniversary of her loss. I realized that without looking up the information, I couldn't tell you what the days of my losses were. I guess that is both good and bad.

Its good because that means I am no longer obsessing about my losses. Before I had Gabe, I could tell you the date of each of my 8 losses. I still miss those babies. I still wonder what they would have been like. But, I no longer think about it every minute of every day.

Not remembering the date of every loss is bad because that means I have so many of them that it is hard to remember. I also feel like I'm doing those little souls a disservice by not remembering those days. It seems like everyone else remembers their loss dates and I sometimes feel like I'm failing at something when I don't remember the dates.

I guess overall, its better that the dates of my losses aren't always on my mind. I would only have 5 months where I didn't have a loss I had to recognize. And, that's not how I want to live my life. I want to focus on the positive. I want to appreciate what I have. I refuse to spend my life mourning what I don't have.

It took a long time to get to this place. I'm glad I have reached it.

My children
Marty 2/20/97
Joey 11/15/00
6/17/04 (Eva)
Gabe 12/2/05

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My life...

My friend Velda posted a picture of a word cloud she just made and it is so cool. I decided I had to go check it out at Wordle. I think I'm going to have to do this again...soon. BTW, the image I got was horizontal but I rotated it so I could keep the pic big enough so y'all could read the words.

PS...Silver...I have tried to comment on your blog but when it asks for me to enter the word verification, I do not see any letters to enter.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Need Blogger Help

I am trying to help a friend with her blog and its driving me INSANE. Her dashboard says

New posts - Edit posts - Settings - TEMPLATE - View blog instead of

New posts - Edit posts - Settings - LAYOUT - View blog like mine does.

I don't know what to do to fix that and can't add what we want to add unless I can change it. Can anyone help?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A little bit of everything...

Yesterday was the first day of school for my older boys. Marty wasn't too happy about having his picture taken but I insisted. He was also nervous about school because this would be his first year in middle school. He tried to tell me that he would be too old to have a back to school picture taken in the 7th grade but I just laughed. Joey, on the other hand, was more than happy to have his picture taken. Joey was also looking forward to this year at school. Luckily, both boys had a fantastic day. For those of you who know Marty, you realize what a HUGE thing that is. When he isn't around people he is close to and comfortable with, Marty comes across as the quiet, studious, smart one which has made him the target for a lot of teasing in the past. It was such a wonderful change of pace having him come home from school in a good mood.

All my boys had great summers. Gabe developed an obsession with the lawn mower.

Marty and Joey both improved their swimming ability greatly and ended the summer being able to enjoy the deep end of the pool.

And, Gabe being Gabe decided he could do everything his brothers could do.

I hope their school year is as wonderful as their summer was.

***BTW, I will be holding a give-away in celebration of my 200th post. Keep your eyes open.***

Monday, August 25, 2008

FIL update...pretty good news...

Well, the surgeon was pleased with the surgery. Like all oncology surgeons, he was unwilling to say he definitively got it all. However, he told my MIL that he is certain he got all that he could and he feels very positive about my FIL's outcome. Pretty damned good news. However, that news was tempered by the fact that they had a really hard time controlling his blood loss. Ultimately, they said my FIL lost probably 1/3 of his blood volume. That is pretty damned scary. Due to the volume of blood loss combined with his age, he is being listed in critical condition. His docs all feel confident that the blood loss will NOT ultimately hamper his recovery but it does mean he will be in the hospital until next Monday. One my FIL has recovered from surgery, he will have to undergo chemo to insure any stray cancer cells are eradicated.

I am so thankful we live where we do and he has had access to the outstanding medical care he has gotten. I am still very worried and "Please dear God let him survive" is continually running through my head.

Now, we have to figure out how much more to tell the boys. They know Grandpa had to have surgery because something was wrong with his liver. They also know that it was/is serious but his doctors expect him to do well. Since my FIL is going to undergo chemo and will have to deal with the aftereffects of it, my hubby and I agree we need to tell Marty and Joey more. We just don't know how much more it should be. Any suggestions?

My FIL went into surgery at about 7 this morning.

They expect the surgery to take between 4 and 5 hours and then there is the time to recover from anesthesia. Hopefully by late this afternoon, I will have some news. Please keep praying.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blogs I love...

My dear friend Margaret surprised me with this award...

The rules of the award are:

1. The winner can put the logo on her/his blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated.

Here are the terrific bloggers I give this award to:

1. Monnie
2. Carolyn
3. Rebel
4. Henny
5. Cecily
6. Mel
7. Tanyetta at both her blogs

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How do I feel?!?!?!?

I am nervous, happy, scared, excited, and about 1000 other feelings I can't quite put words to. I have found a new OB/GYN office and we are officially getting ready to try for our last child. After getting all the ridiculous paperwork filled out, I was called back. All the nurses I met seemed really nice. No one came across as short tempered or bitchy. I really liked the nurse who worked directly with Dr. BB. Its a shame he is exclusively a GYN and I won't get to have her as my nurse if I manage to get pregnant again.

Dr. BB spent about 10 to 15 minutes talking about my past history with me and then gave me a general overview of the approach the docs at this office would like to take. He agreed that the course of action (progesterone and lovenox) would likely remain unchanged. However, he said since I am a new patient in their practice, they would get me a referral to a perinatalogist that they work with and that doc would review my records and sign off on the course of action. Then, Dr. BB made me laugh...not an oh my God thats funny laugh but a laugh of irony. He said, " If you are going to schedule a pregnancy, its better to go ahead and get the referal now. That way we won't be scrambling to make sure you have what you need." I let out a sharp bark of laughter and he gave me a look. I told him that the thought of "scheduling" a pregnancy after everything I've been through was to ridiculous to be believed. Luckily, he seemed to realize that he had just placed his foot firmly in his mouth and said, "All I meant is that since you are planning on trying instead of just letting things happen, we should go ahead and schedule your referal." I'm glad he realized how ridiculous it was to speak of scheduling a pregnancy to someone who has been through all the losses I've been through.

I think this office will be a good fit for me. I don't feel as comfortable there as I did at my old OB's office but I had 7+ years at the old office so I don't expect to immediately feel as at home in the new office. *Sigh* its just a shame that my old office is almost an hour and a half away.

So...to recap, new office, mirena iud out, referral being scheduled...guess now we just have to wait and see where things go from here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The coining of a word...

For those of you who aren't married, I need to remind you that men find it funny to blame their flatulence on others...preferably children or four legged creatures who can't deny the passing of said gas. While you are dating or newly ensconced in a household together, men try to behave like civilized creatures. That all goes out the window when you've been married long enough to have a child or two.

Now, to set the scene...picture a bedroom (door closed) with a man stretched out on the bed and the woman exiting the bathroom after brushing her teeth before bed....

From the direction of the man...BRRRRRAAAAPPPPP...followed by a horrendous cloud of gas
Wife: Damn honey...that really stinks.
Hubby (in best Tim Taylor/Home Improvement voice):Uh...wasn't me?!?
Wife: Then who was it?
Hubby: It was Joely (our dog).
Wife: Um, dear, the door is closed and she isn't in here.
Hubby (still using Tim Taylor/Home Improvement voice): Oooh, I meant Joey. His butt was sticking out from under the covers and he let one rip. The fart wafted across the room, down to the floor and under our door.
Wife: The we would have only smelled it and not heard it.
Hubby (still using Tim Taylor/Home Improvement voice): Didn't you know he was *fartriloquist (blend of fart and ventriloquist)?
Wife: Bwahahahahahaha...I can NOT believe you said that!

And with that, a new word enters our lexicon!

*fartriloquist - noun - a person who performs or is skilled in fartriloquism. (coined by Vic Cruz on 8/18/08)

fartiloquism - noun - the art or practice of farting in such a manner that the sound of the fart does not appear to come from the farter but from another source.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Barren Bitches Book Brigade Tour #14: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The current book being reviewed by the Barren Bitches Book Brigade is not one that inspires a neutral response. People tend to either really love Eat, Pray, Love or they really hate it. I fall into the "Love It" category. I really learned a lot about myself from this book. Among other things, Ms. Gilbert really got me to contemplate how I pray and what I pray for.

At the start of the book, the author states that she will not go into the details of her divorce. Could you accept this and move on to the rest of the book, or did this lack of explanation influence your opinion of the entire book?
Initially, I thought it would bother me to not know the details of her divorce since that was so obviously the start of this spiritual journey. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was better not to know about the divorce. If I had known the details, it would have influenced my opinion of her and, therefore, my opinion of the journey. Once I realized that, the nagging questions about why she divorced faded into the background.

Do you believe in reincarnation and that a soul chooses its lessons before each lifetime? Or do you believe it's all just random challenge? Do you believe you are doing a good job dealing with the cards you've been dealt? What do you think your challenges are trying to teach you about the big picture that other people might miss ...that you might have missed if your life didn't take these turns?
I do not believe everyone is reincarnated but I DO BELIEVE some people are reincarnated. I do believe that certain unresolved issues can cause a soul to return. I know one couple where the husband is fairly certain his soul has been here before. His wife teases him and says he kept coming back because he hadn’t found his soul mate… and that now that he has found her, he won’t have to keep coming back.

I think I am dealing fairly well with the curves life has thrown at me. I have clung to my faith and come out of my battle with secondary infertility even stronger than I went it. I by no means think I am doing a perfect job of learning the lessons God and life are trying to teach me but I am trying. My battles with SIF and the financial trials we have suffered through because of my husband’s career ending injury have taught me patience. They’ve taught me to be frugal (although I still dream big). They’ve taught me that my husband and I can face anything, can deal with anything as long as we stick together. They’ve taught me that I can plan all I want but sometimes God has a different agenda. I might not have learned those lessons had we not dealt with those trials.

In Elizabeth's journey, she meets several characters ... Richard (who calls her 'Groceries') and Ketut and Italy itself ... who see her 'from outside of the frame,' who offer her valuable, catalytic perspective and they help her to penetrate her misery. Who are the characters in your own life that have performed/perform this role for you? What have they helped you to understand? ... Sometimes perspective can come from a book, rather than a person IRL ... so if it was a book that gave you this gift, which one(s)?
Interestingly enough, the person “who offer [me a] valuable, catalytic perspective and help[ed me] to penetrate [my] misery dealing with our multiple miscarriages was someone I haven’t met. In fact, I don’t even know her name. The incomparable Getupgrrl of Chez Miscarriage was the first one that showed me that we could use humor to mitigate the pain of our losses. Grrl was my introduction to ALI (adoption, loss, infertility) blogging and I am forever thankful for that. I hope Grrl is enjoying every minute of every day with her son but I hope the message of how much we miss her reaches her.

Elizabeth Gilbert writes that "when you're lost in the woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize you are lost. For the longest time you can convince yourself that you've just wandered a few feet off the path...then night falls again and again and you still have no idea where you are, and it's time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off path that you don't even know from which direction the sun rises anymore." Have you had a similar experience and if so, when did you come to realize you were lost and how did you find your way back?
I really do feel I went through a similar experience. I tend to be a glass half full kind of person. I know I have been blessed and am thankful for all I have. But, with each miscarriage, I found myself more and more depressed. Things I normally would have been excited about seemed more of an annoyance. After the loss of our Eva, I felt like I was being sucked down into a deep dark hole. I really felt like I would never escape from it. You know its bad when your parents offer to take you and your kids to Florida and Disney World and all you think of is what a hassle its going to be. That was the moment I finally realized I needed some help. My wonderful OB prescribed Lexapro for me and it was enough to help me shake off the depression. I was only on it a short time but it made a world of difference for me.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens . You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty (with author participation).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

SHOW AND TELL: National Stitch in Public Day

Show and Tell

September 3rd is National Stitch In Public Day. The Embroidery Guild of America's web site says "EGA invites stitchers of all ages and skill levels to join in a day of community crafting that will celebrate the traditions and trends of needlework, right right where they are. There's no cost - just an effort to encourage community among stitchers. Embroiders, quilters, knitters and who will shine a light on their crafts Sept. 3 by stitching together in public spaces such as coffee shops, parks, malls – anywhere they can be seen. Let EGA Headquarters know about your event so photos, stories and updates can be shared online. Contact Brad at bcape@egausa.org if your chapter or group of stitchers wants to organize an event. Call (502) 589-6956."

I plan on participating and I'm going to work on the Papillon Creations freebie "How Does Your Garden Grow". This freebie is being released monthly through their newsletter and (eek) I'm about 3 months behind.

Do you stitch? Are you going to participate?

My father-in-law does have cancer.

The biopsy came back positive. For some reason, they aren't clear on the type although it is located in the liver. There is one large-ish mass that does not appear to have spread at all. It is not in an area that interferes with the blood flow to the liver which is good. His surgery is scheduled for August 25th (its also the first day of school). They are hoping they can just take a wedge shaped piece of the liver and get all the tumor. If that is the scenario that happens, they estimate they will only have to take 20% of the liver. If the tumor has infiltrated further than they think and a wedge will not take care of removal, the amount of liver they have to take could approach 60%. My FIL is a big man (not fat, just big) and the docs worry that 40% may not be enough to handle body functions if they end up having to take the more radical approach to the surgery. His doctors are very positive abouta good outcome but, of course, can not guarantee anything.

Please pray for him...that the surgery goes well, that they can take care of the tumor and only remove a minimal amount of the liver, and that he recovers fully. He is a wonderful manand I want him around for a long time to come.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My next big crafty thing...a Bat Mitzvah present...

A dear friend of mine in Florida will be holding her daughter's Bat Mitzvah next month. A group of 10 of us joined together to help create this special gift for her daughter. I get the honor of assembling the quilt for this lovely young lady.

Here are the cross stitch squares that are going into the quilt...

And here is the first of the 12 motifs assembled...

I need to complete this in the next two weeks. All the squares are cut out. All the squares made from 2 triangles are sewn together. Do you think I can get it done?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My children are soooooo weird.

My seven year old is sitting here BURPING the Wonder Pets song. Only with boys.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Now comes the part I dread...

My hubby and I have really talked and we've decided we would like to try for one more baby. Vic would have been perfectly happy to just stick with the 3 we have but he understands that I truly feel there is suppose to be a 4th baby. Sooo, the game is afoot.

The next step is the part I dread the most. I have to find a new OB/GYN. That's right, I have lived here for over 2 yrs and still don't have a local doc. No, I didn't go that long without an exam. I just drove all the way back to Burlington and had my yearly exam at my old OB's office so I didn't have to go through trying to figure out which doc/office would be best. I think I was also avoiding having to explain my whole history to a new doctor. UGH...I could really do without that.

See, its not that doctors intimidate me. Just the contrary, I have no fear in advocating my course of treatment with a doctor (and I believe that's why we have Gabe). Its just that my last OB and his office staff were so wonderful that I fear I will be dissatisfied with whatever doc I pick. My old OB had actually been through infertility treatment with his wife so he had a clue what it was like. I didn't have to fight him for testing. I didn't have to fight him to get the prescriptions I needed. In fact, once we decided on a course of action, I left the office with the prescriptions for both progesterone and lovenox to be filled at the appropriate time. I want...no I expect the same treatment this time around and I am worried it may be hard to find.

I've got a list of 6 offices locally that my insurance covers. One office got eliminated before I even talked to them because ALL the reviews I found for them were horrible. There is one office I am leaning towards. I hope they are as good as their info indicates. It would be nice to get it right immediately.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My crazy life...

Life is never ever calm and quiet in my household. We have 3 boys, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and three fish...and none of them are quiet (except the fish). Anyone who has visited me or knows me can tell you I keep a close eye on my kids. Despite this, in less than 2 weeks, Gabe has almost broken my glasses, learned to climb the ladder to Marty's loft bed, opened a motrin bottle and attempted to eat one, stolen my flour container while I was cooking dinner and hid it, sprayed himself in the eyes with bug spray resulting in me having to forcibly flush out his eyes, and climbed onto a dresser 6 times. Joey has taught himself to spider walk after watching Ninja Warriors.

The cat thinks he needs to attack the fishing pole.

And yet, I seem to think I need to add more to my life. Yeah, I want to add a baby to all this craziness. I think I must be certifiable because I love my life.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Memory Tag...

Margaret has this over on her blog...what fun!

So who reads my blog (even all you lurkers)?

1. As a comment on this post, leave one memory that you and I have together. It doesn't matter if you know me a little or a lot, post anything you remember! And, if you've never met me in real life, you can leave a comment about your favorite post I wrote and why it was your favorite.

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. Its a lot of fun to see the responses you get. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A funny story...

The author of a blog I read asked for funny stories...I thought I'd share the story I posted there with y'all too.

Whenever my kids are being wild or loud or just way out there, I blame my husband's Y chromosome. Yesterday, my 11 yr old and 2 yr old were in rare form. When I commented on it, my 11 yr old looked at me and said, "I have your husband's DNA. If you wanted calm, quiet, compliant children, you should have done a better job picking." I think it was at least 5 minutes before I stopped laughing.

Can someone explain to me...

exactly what "2007 fertile school crafts" are? This is one of the latest google searches that found my blog. Its just bizarre enough that my mind it going places it really shouldn't. Anyone have a really good explanation as to what the thought process behind this search is?

SHOW AND TELL: Presents from friends and a present for a friend

Show and Tell

Yesterday, one of my blogging friends was thanking her friends for supporting her through a hard time. I told her, "You are very welcome. My "computer friends" have gotten me through so many hard times. Supporting you was the least I could do." When I used the term "computer friends", I am simply referring to all my wonderful friends that I've met through the boards I post to or the blogs I visit. Many of you I have never met in person but that doesn't make you any less of a friend. Two of my friends on my cross stitch board recently surprised me with gifts just because they wanted to. I wanted to say thank you to Dee and Carolyn. The love and support of friends during good times is as valuable as their love and support during bad times. Carolyn sent me a wonderful dragon (the green one)...

and Dee sent me a few cross stitch patterns off my wish list. I am so lucky to have friends like that.

The ladies on the cross stitch board also recently completed a gift for one of our members. This is the big project I referred to in my last post. 40 people from all over the world stitched squares of love and friendship for our dear friend Henny who recently lost her husband. I had the privilege and honor of assembling all the squares into a quilt. Click on the picture of the quilt to see close ups of the squares and a larger pic of the quilt itself.

Have you done anything special for anyone recently? Has anyone recently surprised you with unexpected support, a present, or something you really needed? Pay it forward!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Crafty Me...

I haven't posted anything about all my crafty projects in a long time. Here are some of the projects I have been working on recently...

Biscornu (think 8 sided pin cushion)

Victorian house I designed and stitched for Kathye's round robin...

Director's chair I designed and stitched for a friend...

My Welcome round robin designed using the Dragon Dreams alphabet...

A friendship piece I designed for one of my best friends in the world...

The band I designed for Stef's band sampler...

and, my ornie (from a design on Angelic Stitches), stitched over one, for our Christmas in July exchange...

I have one more BIG project completed recently but I can't post the pics yet because the recipient hasn't received it yet.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

How cool is this?

This map shows where the last 100 unique visitors to my blog have come from.


Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Vic...

We've been together for 16 years and married for almost 14 and I love him more today than I did back then. He is kind, thoughtful, and a gentle bear of a man (even though he always reminds me that bears have claws...LOL). We have been to hell and back together. Life has thrown more at us than anyone should have to go through. But, we relied on each other and our faith and came through it all stronger, better, and ultimately even happier. My husband is a wonderful man, a fabulous father, and one of the hardest working men I know.

I am so truly proud of this man I married and want everyone to know just how blessed I am.

I love you sweetie and I hope we have many, many more years together (50 more would be good).

Yay, yay, yay...REALLY GOOD NEWS...

My friend Rebel from Diary of an Infertile Madwoman got good news. She is cancer free! She instead had a complex hyperplasia without atypia. This is an endometrial problem and is pretty common in women with PCOS.

Thank you so much for the prayers you extended her. Y'all are great.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

BlogHer and the Adoption, Loss, and Infertility Panel...

BlogHer is a site and a conference that celebrates women bloggers. They had panels on everything from publishing a book from your blog to alternative parenting to crafts to Adoption, Loss, and Infertility. I know many of my friends have never dealt with infertility and I know some have. For those of you who want to know more about how infertility affects people, go by Mel's site Stirrup Queens. She has posted the video of the Adoption, Loss, and Infertility Panel. This panel features some fabulous women and the people in the audience are just as incredible. Its a long video (about an hour) but it is well worth watching.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Good news and bad news about my Father-In-Law

The good news is that his pancreas is fine. That is really, really good news because pancreatic cancer is terrible.

The bad news is that there is cancer. My FIL has a history of his internal organs not always being located exactly where you expect them to be. His liver is located partially behind his pancreas and the spots that appeared to be on the pancreas were actually located on the liver. The liver has multiple lesions. The good news about this is that the lesions are NO WHERE ELSE. They are going to be aggressive and hopefully stop the cancer in its tracks. They are planning on taking half the liver out. This isn't that bad because the liver does tend to regenerate. Hopefully, once that part of the liver is removed there won't be any reaccurance of the cancer.

Please keep him in your prayers.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

One of the great authors of our day has died...

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has died of heart failure. You wouldn't think reading about the horrors of the Soviet gulag system would be enjoyable but his writing was incredible. I read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich when I was in high school and I still remember it well. Godspeed Mr. Solzhenitzyn. Your talent will be missed.

Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling...

This is a fascinating article on the New York Times web site. It talks all about trolls, what they do, their fluid morality, and the affect it can have on us. You will have to register to read it but registering is free. Do yourself a favor and go read The Trolls Among Us.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Prayers needed...

My friend, Rebel, over at Diary of an Infertile Madwoman needs your prayers. She got some potentially scary news today.

Please send her your love and prayers.