"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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I have a confession to make...

The dark side has captured me. Yes, that great time sucking hole that is *Facebook has gotten its claws into me. Even worse (or better), the dark side of Facebook has me in its grasp. I've gotten sucked (hahaha) into playing Vampire Wars and blackmailed into playing Mafia Wars.

Actually, I am very glad I finally gave into the requests and went over there. I have found one of my favorite people from high school again and am so thrilled to find out how well he is doing. I'm hoping to reconnect with a few other people.

Come on over to the dark side...we have cake.

*If you are on there and I haven't added you as a friend, I'm not ignoring you. I've added all the names I recognize. Please go ahead and add me if I accidentally missed you.

I have a MOST fabulous and quite hysterical Gabe story and video. I can't decide whether to share it now or wait for Saturday's Show & Tell.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Time to rally the troops!!!

Ladies, its a call to arms. Arian of Fractured Rainbows needs us. She got a BFN today and is feeling very down. We all know how insurance coverage or lack of it can screw with an infertiles babymaking attempts. Go offer her your love and support.

Perfect Moment Monday

Lori over at Weebles Wobblog says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

A few weeks ago, poor Gabeycakes was soooo sick. You know, the kind of sick where the only thing a kid wants to do is curl up in mom's lap and be held. Well, that's what we were doing. I was sitting down and Gabe was curled up in my lap. Gabe looked up and saw (in his words) a booboo on my cheek. My litle boy reached up and kissed it and said, "I made it all better for you mom." Even in the depths of his fever induced misery, Gabe tried to make me feel better. He tried to fix something he perceived as being wrong. That was my perfect moment.

Oh God help me...

My oldest son has inherited my husband's sense of humor. He came home from school on Thursday and was just dying to tell me this story.

Let's set the scene...two middle school boys, Marty and G, are at their lockers between class.

G: Hey Marty, did you know the French have a dessert called Spotted Dick? (its actually an English pudding)
M (snickering): Too funny.
G: And, its made with duck penis.

now's when it gets dangerous...

M: Hey G, if its got duck penis in it and you put it in your mouth, does that mean you are giving it a blow job? (Marty knows what it is because he asked me after he heard the term at school)
G looses it and almost falls over laughing.

I'm not sure what scares me more. The fact that Marty has his dad's sense of humor or the fact that he is old enough to make jokes like that.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: For the love of Liz

Many months ago, I was reading my friend Dora's blog and innocently followed a link she had in her post. Little did I know how much it was going to affect me. You see, the blog she linked to was Matt Logelin's blog matt, liz and madeline. This blog is the phenomenal story of a man who hit the highest of highs and the lowest of lows all within 27 hours. On March 24, 2008, Matt and Liz's daughter Madeline was born. She arrived early but healthy and strong. 27 hours later, Liz died and Matt had to say good-bye to his partner, his love, his wife. I don't know about you but I think I would have crumpled up and found a dark place to hide in if that had happened to me. But, no way. That isn't what Matt did at all. He kept writing...and all the pain, all the anguish, and all the joy of raising his daughter on his own started a groundswell of support that threatened to overwhelm him. When it got to the point that Matt had all the physical needs of Madeline covered, he channeled people's support towards other worthy causes. Matt joined singlemindedwomen.com in supporting MyStuffBags which provides "provides clothing, toys and necessary items for abused, neglected and abandoned children." And, people kept asking how they could help. So Matt and his friends founded "The Liz Logelin Foundation" whose stated mission is to "assist families who find themselves in the heartbreaking, catastrophic situation of having lost a spouse, life-partner, and parent."

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. Once again, Dora decided to change my life...LOL. She contacted me because she had a friend who had a bunch of crocheted hats that we could sell to raise money for the Liz Logelin Foundation. However, her friend wasn't able to handle the selling herself. Dora asked if I would be able to take over the selling. Of course, I had to say yes. I got the box of hats last week and have set up an Etsy store to sell them. If you want to buy one of these scrumptious hats...
head on over to my etsy store and buy one. All the proceeds are going to The Liz Logelin Foundation so you can get a fabulous hat and feel good about yourself. There are 31 adult hat (only $16 down from $25), 3 toddler hats (only $12 down from $20), and 1513 baby hats (only $8 down from $15). My mom bought some ...yay. Go on...spend some money...and do it for the love of Liz.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

Can we say overcommitted?

I have come to the conclusion that I am a glutton for punishment. In addition to launching my cross stitch design business, I also recently took over as administrator of the Cross Stitch Crazy board. Tonight's Show & Tell will also reveal another little side project I've taken on. I have an ongoing secret project for someone we all know and love (email me if you want in on the secret). And, then there are the projects I've committed to or have waiting for me to return too (WIPs otherwise known as Works in progress). I made the mistake of listing these all today and I scared myself...

Commitment Stitching
  1. Tanya's All About Me RR
  2. Dee's All About Me RR
  3. 1 baby quilt square
Commitment Sewing
  1. 1 memory/baby quilt
  2. 1 cross stitch baby quilt
  3. 1 quilted tote
  4. quilt for Gabe
  1. You Are My Sunshine by La D Da
  2. How Does Your Garden Grow (parts 7 - 12 left) by Papillon Creations
  3. Neighborhood RR (one square left)
  4. Perpetual Calendar (through June completed) by Cross Stitch Crazy Board
  5. Frosty the Early Years freebie ornie (scroll down to 2003 ornaments) think its by Whatnots 'n Woodknots (can't find freebie online)
  6. If you follow the rules... Dimensions Kit
  7. 2000 Free Angel (over 1) by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum
  8. Bell Pull with Winter Holly (completed), Spring Forget-Me-Nots, Summer Strawberries, and Autumn Acorns by Patricia Ann Designs
  9. Itty Bitty America (over 1 on 36 ct) by Twisted Threads
  10. 9/11 Tribute RR (only center section left)
  11. Christmas RR (header and one square left)
  12. Cherub with Tree (over 1) freebie by Mirabilia
  13. The Castle by Teresa Wentzler
Crocheted WIPs
  1. socks
  2. purple sweater
  3. 4 afghans
I think I am insane.

PS...please forgive all the random older posts that will appear on your blog roll or on Google Reader over the next week or so. I'm going back and adding categories/labels to posts.

Friday, March 27, 2009

When I was younger...

When I was younger, I had my life all planned out. I was voted most likely to succeed in my senior high school class. I always wanted to be a mom but I was going to have a high powered career too. When I got married , it was going to be to a man who had a high powered, white collar career too. When we decided it was time to have children, there were going to be three of them, all girls, and they were going to be spaced with two to three years between them. And, of course, I would have no delivery issues or conception issues because that just didn't happen in my family. Because I would be able to plan them all out, I would be no more than 33 when I was done having kids. Of course, I was also going to be one of those women with no metabolism issues and I was going to be able to fit into my college era clothes until I didn't want to wear them. I assumed I would love my high powered career so much that I would go back to work after the girls were born and we would have a nanny who came in during the day and took fabulous care of the kids. And, due to our two wonderful careers, there would never be any money worries and I'd live in the same house from then until we died.


You've heard that saying "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans", well...

Instead of this "perfect" fantasy of a life I concocted, I am a fluffy (oh come on Kristin, say the word, fat) SAHM to 3 wonderful boys. There are almost 9 years between the both of my oldest son and my youngest. My husband is a government worker (runs a 911 center) instead of the high powered executive I once pictured. We've traveled down the hellish highway of infertility and were lucky enough to come through it with our miracle child. Now, at almost 40 years of age, I'm preparing to try for one more baby because our family seems to have a little hole in it. Oh yeah, our finances, lets just say its a damned good thing I don't appear to need IUI or IVF because I'd be shit out of luck. The details of my life are not at all what I imagined they would be. But, the core part of my life, the contentment, the happiness, the all encompassing love for my family, is exactly how I thought it would be.

Even though some of my high school classmates might disagree, I think I have succeeded beyond my wildest imaginings. I am married to my best friend. He is my life, my love, the other half of my soul. Even when we piss each other off, it never lasts too long. Vic always can make me laugh and we never run out of things to say to each other. Most importantly, we have absolute faith and trust in each other.

After I recovered from the shock 13 yrs ago when my doc said, "You're having a boy", I have LOVED every moment of having boys. They are wild, wonderful, smart, and never, ever boring. And, despite my desire to have my kids closer together, the trials and tribulations of infertility brought with them many rewards and blessings. I would have missed out on so many things if I had never gone through IF.

Money may not be abundant but Vic has a secure, safe job and we have a house that can never be taken away from us. Nowadays, those things are worth their weight in gold.

I wouldn't wish my struggles and heartaches on anyone but I also wouldn't give them up for all the money in this world.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I am so fricking excited...

Not too long ago, my bestest bud and I launched our cross stitch design business, Cuppa Joe Designs. Well, in this short amount of time, we have gotten mentioned on 3 MAJOR cross stitch bulletin boards and this is what our stat counter looked like 5 minutes ago...
I had faith that once people were aware of our designs that we would start getting traffic but I had no idea it would happen so quickly. This is what I feel like doing...

The message is getting out there...

This week, infertility showed up in the most surprising of places. You might expect infertility to show up on a medical drama. It isn't even that surprising to see it in an episode of CSI. After all, we usually get lots of backstory about the crime of the week. However, I was shocked to hear infertility mentioned on 24 this week. Its an action adventure show...a classic guys show...but infertility did break through. It was only a minor character but it was there. The episode synopsis says, "At the port, Gadsen tells Jack and Tony that he was trying to make extra cash to support his impending twins conceived with expensive fertility treatments. He had planned to aid men that he thought were simple electronics smugglers." Now, as Baby Smiling In Back Seat said yesterday, this might not be a perfect way to raise the awareness of infertility because the man was helping criminals. But, I think the situation this guy finds himself in actually helps convey the desperation and horrific cost surrounding infertility treatment.

Its really saying something when infertility is getting mentioned in such unlikely settings. Maybe the general public is finally starting to get the message about the pain and suffering people go through when they experience infertility.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Drop on by...

and offer a little girl your birthday wishes and offer her dad your love and support. One year ago, little Madeline was born early but healthy. 27 hours later her dad Matt lost the love of his life when Madeline's mom Liz died.

matt, liz, and madeline

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random Honesty Shit about me...

The fabulous PrincessofTides from No Yolk has honored me with the Honest Scrap award. I will definitely fulfill the part that says I need to tell 10 honest things about myself but, since I've passed this one on before, I'm not going to specify anyone to do this. I'll just say that if you feel the burning need to do this meme, consider yourself awarded and tagged.

1) My favorite words learned over the past year are fucknuttery(thank you Roslyn), fingerboarding(thanks Mel), assclowns(thanks Kym), manbiscuits(thanks Kym), and pricksicle(and thanks again Kym). If I didn't have to censor myself in front of the kids, I'd find a way to use them every day.

2) I find it very silly that we assign words such negative connotations. Whats wrong with saying fuck. It can be very satisfying and a good way to get your frustration out. Then again, would it be nearly as satisfying if there were no prohibition against it.

3) I loved the Quizno spongmonkey commercials. And, after Kym mentioned them, I clicked on the link she had up and I found this onesie...
If I manage to have another baby, that child WILL have it...even if said child is a boy.

4) I am a certifiable nerd in a family of nerds. One night a couple of weeks ago, Vic and I were watching tv together Discovery channel) but we were both reading at the same time. My older kids can both wax eloquently about the theory of The Big Rip and regularly ask to watch things on Discovery and science tv.

5) The older I get, the less I give a shit what people think of me. Sure, I prefer it if people like me but, to hell with them if they don't. I gladly pissed someone off earlier this year in order to defend my family...and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

6) I used to be a Cub Scout Leader. I am not because the person I pissed off earlier was the person in charge of processing leader applications for my son's cub scout pack. Let's call him Ball-less Ed. I pissed off Ball-less Ed by addressing an anonymous complaint he sent to me via email and I sent my response to the entire leadership chain since I knew the complaint came from them. Frankly, I think he did me a favor. I have a lot more time to use the way I want to use it. Hmmmm, maybe I should go up to him at the pack meeting tonight and thank him for it....ROFL.

7) I wish I could play an instrument. I took one year of band while in middle school. I loved band but had the biggest asshole in the world as a band director so I quit.

8) My natural hair color isn't red. I was born with bright red hair and it all fell out and came back in blonde. It darkened with age so now it is a dark blonde or light brown. I was bored with my hair years ago and I went red. I refer to my dye job as correcting nature's mistake.

9) I have a very twisted, somewhat perverse sense of humor. Not too many people get treated to the full effect of it. Hehehe, it came out once while I was volunteering as a paramedic. We had a newbie on our ambulance that night (to help train him) and we ended up having to transport a body to the morgue at UNC. Once we got into the elevator to the morgue, my partner and I waited until the newbie wasn't paying a lot of attention, we slipped our hands under the foot end of the body bag, lifted it a few inches, and dropped it back onto the stretcher. When the body "moved", our trainee almost climbed the walls of the elevator.

10) I have been living in this house for 2 1/2 years and I still don't have all my pictures/artwork up on the wall. The important things all got unpacked and put away in rapid fashion but I still haven't managed to do that.

Monday, March 23, 2009

More random shit from my germ ridden brain

Despite my best efforts to feel better and even convincing myself I was feeling better a few times, I still feel like shit. I am brain dead and have no motivation to do anything because I am exhausted. So, here is another of my I don't give a fuck, random shit of the moment post.

Is it me or does my language descend into the gutters and lower when I don't feel good? People who know me well will tell you this is the way I talk when kids aren't around but I've gotten so use to censoring myself in front of the kids that I do it in my writing too.

Have you ever had a friend that was absolutely wonderful but came from a family of assholes? One of my dearest friends in the world is this person. She is fabulous. If I had to pick a sister, she would be a top candidate. But her family...oh man. I am eternally grateful that she had the strength and fortitude to become the wonderful woman she is. My life would be sorely lacking without her in it. I am flabbergasted that she overcame everything she did. (you know who you are and I love you)

Have you ever heard that Garth Brooks song "Thank God for Unanswered Prayers"? I think my life is a testimonial to that song. Way back when I had delusional ideas of having some high powered career and being married to someone with a high level, white-collared job. I would have been miserable. I love being home with my kids. I love the man I am married to and can't imagine life any other way. I once described him as nothing I thought I was looking for but everything I needed. He is my soulmate and my love. I am blessed. Not to mention the fact that my previous boyfriend's mother would have driven me bat-shit crazy if I had ever married him.

I am so excited. Someone stitched the first Cuppa Joe Designs freebie and it is gorgeous!!!

Gabe spent the day making loud weird noises and saying he was exploding like a volcano. Then he would stand there and start shaking. Once he had my attention, he would say, "Uh oh, the volcano is exploding." That kid cracks me up and brings so much joy and sunshine to my life. It was worth all the hell of infertility to get him in my life.

I think I underestimated how many books I was going to read this year. Somehow, despite the insanity of my life, I've already read 23 books.

I am sitting here at almost midnight, typing this post when I should be in bed. I have the hardest time making myself go to bed when my hubby has to work night shifts. I miss having a warm body to snuggle up next to in bed. So very glad night shifts are NOT permanent.

Its been almost 5 years since I lost my little girl. Most of the loss dates have faded into the background. I actually had to look them up to right my Reflections post. But, I still remember the day I realized we had lost Eva. I guess I remember it so clearly because I thought we had figured out the cause of my losses and I thought she was going to be our miracle baby. I miss her but I am so glad Gabe came along to temper the pain. He is a true miracle and a source of so much joy.

I was hoping some pithy observation or witty rejoinder about a current news item would come to mind but, sadly, all that is coming up is a big fucking nothing. Its hard to comment on current events when you have been to sick to pay attention to them.

All I want to know is why no one has invented a roto-rooter for your sinuses. That would make someone a fucking billionaire.

Good night ladies and germs...I'm going to bed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: Laughter is the best medicine.

I know we could all use a good laugh and I do love Gabe's laugh. So, here Gabe is watching YouTube. The voice at the very beginning is Joey and the female voice you hear throughout is from the video Gabe was watching. The more tired Gabe gets, the punchier he gets. Gabe was laughing so hard he almost fell out of my lap.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

Crafty Corner and a Question (please chime in with an answer)

Being sick has put a serious crimp into my crafty time this week. I tried to cross stitch. I was working on a soccer ball which is for a round robin one of my friends is making for her son. However, the second time I made a counting error in this simple piece, I put it away. So, this is all I finished...

Now for the question. I was browsing through a book of crochet patterns and saw a picture of a crocheted cowl. I was wondering if y'all liked it and, if you did, what you would where it with? Someone else commented that they liked it but not with what the model was wearing (looked like she was wearing it with a summery outfit).

Woohooo...its my favorite time of the month...

No, its not AF time. I said it was my FAVORITE time of the month...IComLeavWe. For any of you who have stumbled across my blog and aren't familiar with IComLeavWe, click that little link up there ad check it out. Just make sure you come back. I'll be waiting.

I don't want to bore anyone who was here in January with a recap of my IF journey. So, I'll just link to the post that covers all the family building/IF stuff. The only update to that is our attempt to conceive one more is temporarily on hold while my hubby gets his diabetes under control. It (the diabetes) is finally regulating and, hopefully, in 4 to 6 more months, we can jump back into the game. Oh gee...4 to 6 more months before I might just get to experience the sheer pleasure of jabbing myself with a needle twice a day for 9 months. Woohooo, I can hardly wait (sad but true).

My head is still stuffed up and I'm not thinking entirely clearly so this is it for the welcome. If y'all have any questions you want to ask me, fire away and I will be sure to address them this week.


Friday, March 20, 2009

The problem with being "the mom"

There is a huge problem with being "the mom" when you are sick. When you are sick, you don't give a shit if you eat. You don't give a shit about schedules. You just want to melt into a blob in the corner and be pitiful. But, when you are "the mom", that is not allowed. For some strange reason, children seem to think they need to eat regularly and they expect it to be at normal times. Why can't I be like Samantha from Bewitched and just twitch my nose to make dinner? Oops...that might not be good right now. I can just see it... TWIT-aaaaaachooooo and instead of dinner I would end up sending my kids to Outer Mongolia.

March Madness is upon us!

What those of you who don't live in the South may not understand is just how seriously we take our college sports. In North Carolina, college basketball is king! When the ACC tournament starts, tvs creep into the work place and sometimes even the classroom. And, when some of our teams make it to the NCAA tournament, the celebration starts!

Today, I am yawning and rubbing my eyes because, despite being sick, I had to stay up and watch the Duke vs. Binghamton game last night.

photo courtesy of Duke Photography

Duke won last night beating Binghamton 86-62. Unfortunately, the much hated Tarholes also advanced in the tournament.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Read at your own risk...

author is posting through a Nyquil induce haze. Post will probably jump topics (stream of consciousness like) and make little if any sense.

I'm still sick but I'm a little better. My wonderful hubby got up with the kids and took them to school today and I got to sleep until I woke up on my own. Vic is trying to give me a chance to feel better because he is on night shifts this weekend (I frakking hate that).

One of the best shows I have seen on television in a long time is coming to a close soon. Battlestar Galactica is coming to an end this Friday. Although I am very sad to see it go, I am so glad they are going out on top. Unlike the original Battlestar (which I did like), the production values and storyline arcs have been topnotch. Its been like watching a 5 year movie.

Speaking of movies, did you know my friend Monnie is a fledgling moviemaker? If her movies turn out to be even half as good as the scripts she has written and posted, she is going to kick ass!

And, as for asses, Senator Chris Dodd is a MAJOR ass. He insisted on attaching a provision to the bailout bill that ALLOWS payment of bonuses. That pisses me off to no end. AIG as a whole is a financially secure company but the financial services division was so horribly mismanaged that it brought that company to its knees...and the buttmunches in the financial services division are getting the majority of the bonuses in that company. Some have tried to justify the bonuses by saying that they have to be paid in order to retain the talented individuals. Well, I say fuck those "talented individuals". Their "talent" drove that company into a hole it may never come out of and where would they go anyway. Its not like any other financial giants are dying to hire AIG financial specialist.

Back to movies...have you heard the tragic news about Natahsa Richardson? My heart goes out to her entire family. I can't even imagine what her sons must be going through. Losing a parent at 12 and 13 would never be easy but to lose that parent in such a freak accident would be devastating.

Totally randomness...I almost sent a package on a tour of the US on Monday. I was mailing my package for the Sock-It-To-Me exchange and I had the postmaster check how much postage I would need to put on it. The lady weighed it, entered the zip code, and told me how many stamps I would need. I stepped out of line, put on the stamps, and got back in line to really mail it. Luckily, I was paying more attention when it was weighed this time. I noticed that the destination listed when she entered the zip code was not the same as the address. There should have been a 0 at the beginning of the zip but there was a 9. My package almost went to the left coast...oops. Glad I caught that mistake.

Have any of you read P.D. James' Children of Men? I am reading it now and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. It is intriguing and thought provoking yet I don't seem to connect with it. There are books I read that I kust can't put down but this isn't one of them (so far). If you've read it, what did you think about it?

Remember my review of The Art of Racing in the Rain. Well, I loved that book so much that I emailed the author to tell him how much I liked it and I actually got a response back. And, I know it wasn't a canned response because he mentioned something specific about my post in it. How very cool.

Well, enough of my sickness induced ramblings. Catch you on the flip side y'all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Its my turn now...

Marty and Joey are 100% healthy. Gabe is no longer running a temp but he does still have a bit of a stuffy nose. Vic isn't quite 100% but he is much better.

Now, I am sick. My head hurts. My nose is running. I'm sneezing. IT SUCKS.

Luckily, Vic is off today and tomorrow because he has to work all weekend. I think I am going to bed and let Vic deal with the kids and life.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I've been a bad, bad mommy...

I just realized that we forgot to take Gabe in for a 3 yr old check up. Oops...only 3 1/2 months late...LOL. At least he wasn't due to get any shots. Please, please tell me I'm not the only one this has happened to.

Happy St. Patrick's Day y'all

Today, the American people use March 17th as an excuse to go out and get shitfaced by drinking green beer and wearing green to avoid getting pinched. But, believe it or not, St. Paddy's Day was originally a religious holiday.

For those of you who feel the need to get your green on today, you can take the "How Irish Are You Quiz" at History.com (they have an entire St. Paddy's page) or check out all things Irish and St. Paddy's related at StPatricksDay.com.

I'd like to leave you with this Irish prayer...

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A most Fantabulous giveaway...

Kari of Mothering My Miracle Multiples is having her first giveaway and it is fantabulous. Thanks to Kari's very vocal adoration for the Whipped Shea Butter made by Great Cake Soap Works, the owner of Great Cake Soap Works has made some available for Kari's giveaway.

My hubby doesn't know it but the next time he has some overtime in his paycheck, I know where I'm spending it. I think the Cinnamon Bun Coffee Soap is calling my name.

Head on over to Kari's, follow the contest rules and enter.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Limerick Chick voting booth is open...

Please vote for me! Link is in the post below and my sidebar.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I'm a Limerick Chick too!

Lori's annual Limerick Chick contest opened and will close in the space of about a day. I don't think I can match the wit and deft use of words of the other participants (man did Kym have a great entry last year) but here goes...

There once was a community called ALI
filled with heartbreak, hope, and maybes
We use needles and take drugs
Say "FUCK INFERTILITY" and give hugs
All for the hope of a baby.

SHOW AND TELL: Its been a long time coming

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

No, wait a minute, that's the wrong tale. Many, many years ago a young girl picked up a needle,some fabric and some floss and relearned a craft she first tried out in Brownies (which was back in the dark ages). For years, she muddle along, not really knowing all the ins and outs of cross stitching (eek, I only left a 1.5 in border...not enough room for framing) and not realizing their was a whole world beyond the aida fabric and the plain cotton dmc floss available at Wal-Mart.

Then, almost 9 years ago, she discovered a cross stitch board on Parentsplace (part of iVillage) and the world of cross stitching opened up. The women she befriended there are still together and enabling each other's addictions on a yuku board called Cross Stitch Crazy. She discovered overdyed floss and hand-dyed fabrics and linens and evenweaves. She also discovered the wonders of cross stitch design software. Instead of having to hand graph designs she wanted but couldn't find for purchase anywhere, she was able to create designs with ease. And, she became addicted to creating designs.

Then a funny thing happened. The woman became brave enough to show her designs to her cross stitch friends and they liked them. In fact, they began urging her to start a design company. The woman kept saying, "Maybe one day." But, she never did it because the thought was always there...what if I design things and no one buys them. About 3 years ago, this woman discovered that her sister-by-choice, Christa, was a wonderful design partner. They could bounce ideas off each other and they really inspired each other's designs. So, instead of saying, "Maybe one day", that woman started saying, "When Christa and I finally open our design company..."

That some day and that finally have arrived. Christa and I have just barely dipped our toes into the design pool but we HAVE done it. Please, please click on the coffee cup pictured below and see the beginnings of Cuppa Joe Designs.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

Stitching Post Saturday 3/14

Welcome to another Stitching Post Saturday at Dragondreamer's Lair. I decided that gorgeous scarf I made last week was a bit lonely. So, once I had all the loose ends woven in, I made a hat to keep it company.

I also finished a square for a baby quilt. I wanted something a bit different so I designed a blackwork ABC block.

This will be offered as a freebie from Cuppa Joe Designs
as part of a blackwork series.

Check out what everyone else has been up to... Stitching Post Saturday on MiPa's blog.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Because Another Dreamer asked...

Another Dreamer asked about people's eye colors and, because she she asked so nicely and because she's a friend, I decided to humor her. I actually took this picture last month when Niobe asked the same question but I was a slacker and never got around to posting it.

When people ask me what color my eyes are, I usually say green but, as you can see, there is much more than just green there. I love my eyes and I love the way they look more or less green depending on what I am wearing.

So, what color are your eyes?

We have a legend among us...

Oh my fucking Gawd...Chicklet is PREGNANT! Go wish her well...NOW!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I just read an incredible book. I picked it up off the new book rack at the library because the title intrigued me and I am so very glad I did.

The book is called The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

The dustcover synopsis says..."Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it."

I really can't sum it up any better than that. Any book that can make me laugh and cry is a must read in my world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We should be quarantined...STILL...

Gabe is still sick...he is still spiking a fever of 102 when his meds wear off and has a runny nose that even sudafed won't help.

Marty has full body aches, no appetite, and an upset tummy. He's all better.

Vic is losing his voice and now has the same body aches as Marty.

Joey is better now...his body aches happened last Thursday and Friday.

I am exhausted.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday: Joey and me

Lori over at Weebles Wobblog says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

Yesterday, Joey and I had such a great afternoon. We both got to indulge our crafty side. I got out a brand new, unopened box of beads, a shiny spool of wire, and my wire cutters. I made *5 ornaments and Joey made an ornament for Gabe, a wreath for my nieces, and a bracelet for me.

But, what truly made it a perfect moment was when Joey wrapped his arms around me and said. "Thanks mom. I had a really good time."

*Sorry, I can't show you my ornaments. The intended reipient reads my blog.

Hey y'all...

Sorry if my posting and commenting get sporadic this week. I'm working on something really exciting that just might be ready to debut during next weekends show and tell (and, no, it is not pregnancy related).

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Barren Bitches Book Brigade: Never Let Me Go

Welcome to the seventeenth tour of the Barren Bitches Book Brigade--a book club from the comfort of your own living room. Today we are discussing Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut and, when you're done reading my review, you can 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 in this online book club: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.

Never Let Me Go is a phenomenal book and should be on everyone's must read list. On the advice of Miss Lollipop, I went into this book with no real knowledge of what it was about. I remember that when I figured out the plot twist I was stunned. The thought of anyone living for that reason was mind blowing. It is definitely a book that makes you think hard about the future and about what you've done with your life so far. If you haven't read the book, GO GET IT (and don't read any further).

One thing that struck me while reading the book is that the characters seem very passive. Although certain knowledge is withheld from them along the way, and they do have questions, they do not really rebel or protest their fate, or try to escape. They seem quite accepting of the future that has been laid out for them. Why do you think this is so? I believe the characters are so extremely passive about their future because they have always lived in a very controlled environment. Every aspect of their lives has been scheduled from day one. Also, although they are given a good education and are encouraged to explore artistically, they are never encouraged to truly think outside the box and show true creativity. They are never encouraged to think and dream about the future. When you are raised with such a narrow view of the world, it can be hard to look beyond it.

If you knew with certainty that you had a child with a shortened life expectancy, would you raise the child any differently? For example, are there certain experiences you'd want to ensure that they had? Are there things that you wouldn't bother to make them do (flossing? eat healthy foods? go to school?) since they wouldn't have the same long-term impact as they would for other children? Would it make a difference in your parenting if you knew exactly at what age the child was expected to die as opposed to a general sense of foreshortened lifespan? I am sure that the absolute knowledge of a shortened life expectancy would at least influence the way I raised a child. I know I would still try an instill a good set of ethics and morals. I would also educate the child. However, I also believe I wouldn't feel the need to stick to the sometimes rigid expectations of society. We would travel more, see more, do more. I wouldn't give on any things that affect health...the child would still have to brush teeth, visit the doctor, take vitamins...because I know I would always be hoping for a miracle of modern science and medicine to save my child's life. If I knew for certain the age my child would die at, I would kowtow even less to the expectations of society and we would live life to its fullest every damn moment.

If you were a student a Hailsham, would you have wanted to know your ultimate destiny as a Donor? Why or why not? How do you think knowing at that point in your life would have affected you? Does this desire to know your outcome apply to your own real life? In what situations do you find knowledge helpful? At what times can it be detrimental? I think I would want to know my destiny as a donor. I think that as a student, the knowledge that my lifespan was limited would encourage me to try things that might otherwise go untested because I would never, ever want to feel I missed out on something life had to offer. But, I think having that knowledge might also cause me to say fuck it about certain things in life...rules, grades, neatness...and those were all things the staff at Hailsham deemed important.
Part of me says I'd like to know the outcome of many things in life. However, knowledge of the future and how things will work out would remove a lot of the wonder and joy that come along with life. In certain situations (like IF), the knowledge of how things will work out (if its positive) will give you the power to continue to perservere and fight through tough times. However, if you knew treatment would never work out, you would quit (quite obviously) and you might miss out on some pretty damned incredible things...like this incredible online community. I think, for the most part, its better to live life without the certain knowledge of our outcome.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: what a difference 5 days make

5 days ago, we were having fun in our winter wonderland...

All pics are clickable to see bigger image.

Joey, Da Snowman, Marty, & Gabe

Da Snowman

Jack aka Jackleg running through the snow

Can you believe the birds are out?

Same trees in above pic...birds were up in the top

My Jolie girl

the same fence in picture 5
On Monday,the snow day, it was frigid. It went down to 16 degrees that night. Today, only 5 days later, the temperature has hit 8o degrees and we are wearing shorts. Even for NC, this is really screwed up....but I am loving the open windows and fresh air.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

I gave birth to bigfoot

We bought my 12 yr old son size 12 men's shoe's today. That was the size we had to get so he would have a little bit of growing room. I'm changing his name to Bigfoot Cruz.

my little ole women's size 8s vs. his big honkin men's size 12

This week I crocheted a scarf and modified some patterns for the cross stitch round robin I am in. Since the patterns are only modifications, not originals, I won't be showing them. However, I love the scarf and will show you it. Please ignore all the loose ends that still need to be woven in.

click on picture for closeup view

Check out what everyone else has been up to... Stitching Post Saturday on MiPa's blog.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Help fight heart disease and get a chance to win a pearl bracelet

My friend Tanyetta is sponsoring a contest through Cheerios® Circle of Helping Hearts and Sisters Saving Hearts grant program. On her blog she says "In America, heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death among women, particularly among African-American women, who are at the greatest risk for cardiovascular disease than any other ethnic group.

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond to help fight the battle against heart disease or have you given your heart and soul to save others?

Cheerios Sisters Saving Hearts, a grassroots grant-giving initiative, is searching for heart-inspiring people who help eradicate this curable disease.

The program will honor five heart-inspiring individuals or service organizations that have dedicated their time, talents and passion to fight heart disease in their local communities with a $5,000 grant to the charity of their choice."

Head on over to Tanyetta's blog to read about the contest and enter it.

Is it greed or is it need?

There are days I think I'm being greedy. Greedy to want to try again. Greedy to want another little one to love. Greedy to want more. There are days I feel like I should be satisfied with the three beautiful boys I have and not want one more.

But I do. I want one more chance. One more chance to see my husband in a being we created. One more chance to see the pure bliss on his face as he cuddles our newest little one. One more chance to be amazed at the children we have and the way they love the newest one.

I feel greedy because there are so many wonderful ladies in the ALI community who don't even have one. I feel greedy because I'm asking a lot of my husband who is 10 years older than me. I feel greedy because I am so blessed already. I feel greedy because "Shouldn't I stop while I'm ahead? Shouldn't I end on a high note?" and not ask the universe to grant me one more miracle.

But I am asking. I'm asking God and the universe to give me one more chance to experience the joys of pregnancy. I'm asking asking that my husband's health be good and stable so we can try once more and have many, many years to make this journey together. I'm asking for one more chance to be elated beyond belief and terrified beyond words when I see a positive pregnancy test. I'm asking for one more chance to complete my family because I truly believe there are suppose to be 4 children. I'm asking for one more chance to throw caution to the wind and try to overcome the odds.

But I still feel greedy. I feel greedy because I want to see another positive and there are so many who haven't seen one yet. I feel greedy because I'm asking for one more healthy baby and so many people have kids who struggle daily. I feel greedy because I want MORE.

But, you see, there is a little hole off to the side...an empty spot in the family pictures. I may be the only one that perceives that spot but that spot is waiting for a little one. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and 3 fabulous kids. I am happy and can continue to be happy if I ask and the answer is no. But, if I don't ask, I would always wonder. I would always suspect we missed out on something miraculous because we didn't try.

So, I am asking...

Please God...let everything in the universe align so the moment comes. Let my husband's health stabilize and improve so the moment comes. Let everything workout and let my whack job fertility hold on just long enough that we can try again. If we try and don't get there, I can be happy, I will be happy. But, please God, give us this chance.

I don't know if its need or greed. I t could even be a little of both.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

My friends...I need help and suggestions...

I am going to be making a quilt including these fabrics and, yes, all these fabrics MUST be included. I will be adding other fabrics in...maybe a dominant background color. I've come up with a few ideas but I wanted to see if any of y'all had any brilliant notions. Even if you don't think you have a creative bone in your body, throw some ideas out there. PLEASE

I am thinking of doing a primarily appliqued quilt. I was thinking that golden brown and white fabric (second from the left) might make a cute teddy bear. I was also thinking of using some combination of the fabric to make ABC blocks to applique on. Any other brilliant ideas for the quilt? This quilt will be used for a baby but it is also a memory quilt.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

House Supplies R Us

Vic called his brother to ask him if he had any idea how to get the two offending screws out that are preventing repair of our dishwasher. Vic's brother had an even better solution than getting out the screws and replacing the broken part (which costs $27 plus s&h). He told us that Habitat for Humanity runs a store here in Wake County and all the proceeds from the store support Habitats mission. My BIL got a dishwasher there for $30 about a month ago. So, tomorrow I am going to Habitat for Humanity's store and buying a dishwasher. Check out the store and see the phenomenal prices they have there. They sell furniture, appliances, counters, and much, much more. I bet this is something that is done in many locations and you can get one hell of a deal while supporting a great cause.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Welcome to the first announced meeting of the Secret Cabal of Rogue Reproductive Endocrinologists, otherwise known as S.C.O.R.R.E. Wait, wait, wait. I take that back. If we announce our meeting, our presence, people might figure out who our members are.

I think we all know who is one of the founding S.C.O.R.R.E. members. Octomom's doctor (why do I get this picture of a Doc Ock like mom creature with 8 arms...one for each newborn?), Dr. Michael Kamrava, is one of the proud founders of SCORE. He presents a public persona of a caring RE who will try anything to get you pregnant while his lack of skills cause him to go rogue in his techniques in an attempt to bolster his success rates. Despite Octomom's support, Dr. Michael Kamrava is living up to the tenets of S.C.O.R.R.E. and giving the general public a completely false and misleading impression of what ART is and does. Between his two most public patients, Octomom and a 49 yr old patient, Dr. Kamrava transferred 13 embryos and produced an octuplet and a quadruplet pregnancy. Dr. Kamrava is proudly leading the SCORRE doctors in getting the general public to believe that IVF can be used to produce litters lots of children for every mom who tries it.

And then, we must acknowledge the newest member of S.C.O.R.R.E. Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg is pushing the envelope for S.C.O.R.R.E. members. He is giving the public the impression he can create designer babies using the PIGD technnology. Do you want to avoid that horrid stick straight hair Aunt Martha has? Call Dr. Steinberg. Are you longing for a baby with your husband's blue eyes and your blonde hair? Call Dr. Steinberg. Lets feed this idea to the general public long enough that they will believe we are trying to create a generation of super children...bwahahahahaha.

Aaaah...the Secret Cabal of Rogue Reproductive Endocrinologists, proudly fostering false notions and public fears regarding ART for as long as they practice medicine.

Hmmm...do you think I can get the two doctors to work together and have a littler of 6 kids...3 boys; 3 girls; all with thick, luxurious black curly hair and my green eyes? Then I would only need a quintuplet pregnancy to catch up with my heroine, Octomom...BARF!

Randomness of Me

There are a lot of updates to be covered so forgive the blurb style of this post.

Vic's diabetes - For the most part, his blood sugar is under control. It still spikes if he has a really bad night sleeping or if he get sick but There are many days when it never goes above 140 (still a bit high but oh so much better than the week it was spiking to between 450 and 550). All the bloodwork numbers they check when they monitor diabetes have improved...some of them dramatically. The downside is that wile Vic is controlling his blood sugar (diet and insulin), the humongous doses of insulin required to do this are causing a small amount of weight gain so it looks like Lap Band surgery is becoming a necessity. Before anyone suggests radical diet changes or huge exercise plans, everything that can be done in those areas is being done. Vic takes so much insulin that you could probably drop an elephant with his dosage. He takes enough Lantus that they actually HAD to split it into two daily dosages.

Doggie update - Remember when my dog was hurt? Well, it appears that the second cycle of anti-inflammatories gave her the time she needed to heal completely. The vet didn't think it would work but Jolie girl proved her wrong. Jolie is showing no pain or reduction in function at all.

Household crappola - It appears all our good luck was used up by the car repair and the plumber visit. The latch on my dishwasher broke last night. It looks like it would be a fairly simple repair (only one piece to replace, I think) but Vic and I can't get the door panel off. 2 of the screws that hold the panel in place won't come out. The screws turn and turn but do not come out of the panel at all. If I can't remove the panel, I can't fix it. So, Casa de la Cruz is temporarily without an automatic dishwasher. I think Vic is applying for the job...LOL. Any brilliant ideas on how to get the screws out?

Kids - Joey got his Wolf badge at the cub scout Blue and GOld banquet this weekend...go Joey!!!
My much beleagured middle schooler is showing signs of growing up. On Saturday, he had come in to my room to ask me something (I was still in bed). While he was there, Gabe started yelling to get out of bed. Marty said, "I'll get him and take care of him this morning. Go back to sleep mom." That was such a wonderufl gift.
Gabe has a slightly split and swollen lip. He did a kamikaze leap off the arm of a chair and hit his chin. When he hit his chin, he bit his lip HARD. Ah the fun.

Me - Everything is good. I have a headache today but we had such a good day yesterday. We played int he snow and built a snowman. I got to read and stitch and crochet. What a great day.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday: from then to now

Lori over at Weebles Wobblog says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

My perfect moment involves that lovely crocus I found in my back yard the other day. I was talking to my MIL the other day and mentioned that I had found a flower in my back yard and had no idea how the bulb had gotten there. When I told her it was a crocus, she got a look of surprise on her face. Then she told me this little story...

33 years ago, my in-laws moved to Cary from Germany. In the part of Germany that my FIL had been stationed, people frequently planted flowers all over their yard, not just in a garden. When they moved into this house, my MIL initially wanted to have her yard like that so she picked out a bunch of bulbs and had my FIL plant them all over the yard (the back yard use to be heavily wooded...almost like a small forest). Among the many bulbs planted were some crocuses. As some of the trees got cleared from the yard, most of the bulbs got moved to gardens. Somehow, that one crocus planted over 30 years ago managed to either lie dormant or reproduced and we got our crocus this year. I look at it as a greeting from my FIL.

I guess the groundhog was right.

4 weeks after Groundhog Day and we have SNOW!!! Woohooo! The best part is that this snow is sticky enough to build a snowman with.

Around 2 am on March 2nd

Around 2 am on March 2nd

From my front porch this morning(about 6 hrs after first pic)

Snow on my Sycamore tree

The palm in the yard across the street