Monday, February 28, 2011

30 Days

As the sun rose over Mount Rainier this morning I came to a decision.  I'm going to give myself a much needed vacation from the mundane.  For the next thirty days I'll be doing more to make myself happy.  Truly I am the only one that can make myself happy.

I decided upon starting with something quite simple.  I would start with cleaning up and out my facebook.  No more of those time wasting games.  Those are gone.  Next I'll be cleaning out my friends list.  Really am I truly friends with all those people on my friends list?  I think not.  I'd say at least thirty were just added for games I used to play.  One a day will disappear unless I can prove to myself that they are worthy of my precious time.  I'm not looking at my time as though I am above all others.  I'm looking at my free time as something precious to be enjoyed with good friends, laughter and hopefully no drama.

For the next thirty days I'm going to try to release the stress I've built up from trying to conceive.  I'll be still trying this cycle but I'll be doing less of the grunt work around the house and taking better care of me.  After all if I am to become a sacred vessel I need to make sure that vessel has no cracks.

I was almost sure I was pregnant this month up until Thursday when all the symptoms just disappeared.  This might be a bit too much information for some as I mention the symptoms.  My breasts were engorged and blue veined, I could feel the slight painfulness of my uterus stretching with the diagnosed round ligament pain which was sharp at first.  I had the dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, lower back pain and of all things I was drooling.  Yes all the signs pointed to a good implantation.  Thursday arrived and I just did too much around the house and the symptoms stopped.  Everything I had hoped for came to a hault.  Something I did made the egg disengage.  I was told that at my age this could happen and for no obvious reasons.  I guess the only hope I had out of this was that for just a little bit of time it did work and that this coming cycle, if I'm really careful, I'll get it to stick and grow.

So starting today for the next thirty days if friends get ignored, the phone goes unanswered, if I don't want to deal with others problems and drama there is a darn good reason, I'm my number one priority.  I have to take care of me and my needs.

Next week I'll be scheduling another IUI.  After the IUI I won't be lifting a finger to do housework.  My husband now has this clear in his head that I have to follow the doctor's orders and be treated like I'm pregnant.  I will be a high risk pregnancy being that I'm forty-one years of age and have high blood pressure.  I can't be doing all the stuff that I could have at twenty-one or even thirty-one.  I have two chance, two cycles to get this right.  I want to get it right.

So to my friends and family, if you are reading this have some compassion. Be there for me without question, help me out when you can because you know I would do the same for you and for many I have done the same.  I'm not asking you to do my housework, I have a respite care worker that could help with those things.  What I am asking for is time.  Treat me like the sick friend that you don't want to startle or upset because it could make the condition worse.  I think I'm worth thirty days, don't you?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Doing The Girl Thing; Shopping and Facials

Okay so some days I like being a girl and all it means.  There are days that I long to be with my gal pals to shop and get facials.  But even better is dragging the manflesh along when I go shopping.

This past weekend I went shopping at the outlet stores in Centralia, WA.  Wonderful bargains were to be had thanks to our Presidents and their special holiday weekend. 

Folks I was able to purchase the Coach bag and Coach wristlet together for only $149.  Considering the handbag alone went for $398 originally I'd say I got a darn good bargin.  Take a look at the prices online at the Coach.  I love to shop when there are sales going.  I don't like to shop during the holidays.

Not to worry male viewers my husband enjoyed the shopping expedition as much as I did if not more.  My purchases at the two kitchen shops assured him that he would be eating various new and exciting foods for some time to come.  Plus I'd say the pair of Tony Lama cowboy boots he bought himself added to his shopping pleasure.

Six hours of shopping and about $500 later we finally headed out to Taco Bell for some lunch.  J loves his Taco Bell and I can usually find something on the menu that I'm not allergic to as well.

Now to the facial aspect of this post.  I don't get the chance to indulge in spa facials and facials at home are also rare due to my lack of time with all the repairs being done on this military house.  Just today I had to have Equity back in here again to take a look at the window they had installed on Tuesday. The window is icing up inside the room.  D, an Equity repairman, just told me after speaking with K, his supervisor, that there is nothing that can be done about the condensation.  D tried to blame it on my spouse and I breathing in a closed up room over night.  First off we sleep with the bedroom door open.   Second my spouse sleeps only about 5 to 6 hours a night and I am up a lot during the night due to my fibromyalgia.  How could we possibly be the culprits of so much moisture on that particular window I ask yet again?  I swear I was arguing with someone who didn't realize that I did indeed understand the science behind condensation.   I need a bit of time to myself to relax so I have a honey mask on my face and I'm trying to forget about that window for a few minutes.   I love my little house on this military installation, I just don't like how the repairs are being handled.

I want to be extra girly today.  It is the beginning of the weekend after all.  I want to enjoy my time with the manflesh.  I don't want to look all cranky-faced from having to deal with inept repairmen.  Maybe I'll even paint my nails.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


"A good opinion once lost is lost forever" Jane Austen.  I interrupt that opinion to be an impression.  Impressions can last a lifetime.  What we say, what we do, what we wear and how we present ourselves with body language encompass what becomes the first impression that others draw from us.  How do you want others to see you?

Of late I swear I must be doing something wrong.  I get the impression that I'm on the product recall list and folks around me aren't sure how to treat me with my limitations.  Okay so I shouldn't be doing housework but I've learned that if I don't do it, like the laundry, it will just become a mountain.  So today I'm breaking down and doing laundry.  J was helping on that but of late he has decided computer gaming is more fun than housework.  I can agree there but um, I don't like to run about naked in the cold weather because I have no clean clothing.  I'm back to doing all the cooking again too.  So much for me being treated like I'm already pregnant.  If I want to eat I have to cook.

I get the impression that I'm okay to be lied to.  Bit of a touchy subject there.  I just don't like it when people lie to me.  I'm an adult and I wonder if they look at me like I'm a child that has to be lied to because of my health conditions.  Really I'd rather a person just hold their tongue than give me a lie.  I can tell when a person is lying.  I notice the body language right off.  If I'm being lied to over the phone I can also hear it quite clearly in the person's voice.I always figure out the lie and will bring you to the mats for lying to me too.  Its not a pretty sight.  If you know I'm going to have an adverse reaction to your lies then why do you tell them to me?  Seriously do you like to see me get angry and have my already high blood pressure elevate even further?

If someone wants to make a good impression on me they will put their real self forward.  I don't go for all the smoke and mirrors.  I want the real you.  A better and stronger friendship is created when a person is honest, it shows that they can be trusted.  If all you want to show me is that you want to suck up to me than we aren't going to have much of a friendship.  I won't be calling on you to be there at my parties, nor will you be invited to dinner or even to tea.

Sounds a bit harsh but truly would you want a friend that lies to you?  Would you want to be friends with someone that only wants your friendship just to get ahead in life?  If you receive my attentions and food gifts its because I find you worthy and value our friendship.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fear Of The Unknown

Fear of the unknown is ever present in my life and in the lives of my friends and family.  Feed a fear and go into a panic.  Starve a fear and overcome it.  Well that is something I say at least but I'm not always sure it is true nor am I sure it always works and for all situations.

Just today a friend of mine who is in her twenty-seventh week of pregnancy started bleeding.  I fear that she will have a preterm baby like the last one.   Can I do anything to prevent it?  No.  The only thing that I can do is make myself available to her via phone and web to help her cope with the stress levels.

I have a fear that yet again I won't be pregnant.  I have only two cycles left in which to conceive and then I'm done.  Yes I'll be done.  At forty-one years of age the military doctors don't like to have a woman keep trying to conceive.  If I was thirty-one things would be a bit different.  If I feed this fear that I'll never get pregnant I'll become depressed.  If I starve this fear I might do something foolish and risky that might accidentally terminate a pregnancy if indeed I am pregnant.  No exercising, no heavy lifting either with the round ligament pain I have right now.  I have to be cautious and its driving me nuts.  Sunday I should be able to test at home.  If its negative yet again I have to wait even longer before I can go get the blood work so I can start my next round of clomiphene citrate.

My spouse is going through his own fears of the unknown.  He has a lot of choices he has to make with only about two years of active duty left on this contract.  Does he stay in and pursue the career he always wanted as an officer, warrant or go the NCO route?  Does he get out and try to find a job in the economy?  Jobs are scarce and he told me just last night he doesn't want to get out.  He has his OCS packet all ready to go but others are telling him to hold off on submitting it until he makes one more rank.  Do they realize that would mean he'd have to start from scratch again on this packet?  It has taken him the better part of a year to get this packet ready since he started it when he was deployed to Iraq.  While references were easy enough to gather together the physical wasn't that easy to get with his busy schedule.  Last time he tried to get the physical he had to wait on chopper flights to the nearest MTF (military treatment facility) in Iraq.

I'm guessing his fear is of rejection.  He would make a great leader.   But if he continues to second guess what those around him are thinking about him he'll never try to excel.  Would you keep trying to better yourself if you felt as though the folks you work with have no confidence in your abilities?  They haven't told him they have no confidence and most likely he is just fearful of the unknown and looking for that reason to lose hope.  We've all been in those situations before.  Just like when a guy proposes to a girl the fear of rejection is there even if he believes its a sure thing he doesn't know what her answer will be but just has to hope.  However if the workplace situation isn't conducive to mental growth a person will not feel as though they are worthy enough to apply their skills and succeed.  Just as if a child were brought up in an abusive family that child would feel worthless and continue to harbor those feelings of self loathing through adulthood until assured differently that they are indeed worthy. 

The Army has changed greatly since when my dad was a soldier.  Back in his day, the 1960's, a guy could easily elevate himself through the ranks.  One day he'd be a sergeant and get into a fight lose his rank but within a month he'd have his rank back again.  Usually a soldier back then would make sergeant in under three years in the service but not now.  Now they have the points system.  Now a soldier who has the capabilities to excel is held back because he or she doesn't have enough points to warrant that extra stripe or brass marker.  What happened to be being judged as worthy? 

With two wars going on simultaneously one would think that attaining rank would be that much easier, but its not.  Now many soldiers are leaving the service after just four years and they are leaving as specialist.  Sure they leave with the GI bill for college but they didn't have the time that the recruiters assured them they would have to take classes while in the Army.  Benefits have been cut so deeply for the soldiers that not only are they receiving less money for housing, they don't get the computers for college they were promised, and now the MWR (morale welfare recreation) programs are on the chopping block too.  The MWR is what runs our commissary (grocery store) and exchange along with the wonderful discounted trip programs.  Why should our soldiers of all ranks care about helping the other guy get ahead and assuage his fears when they are feeling the economic pinch?  Not all NCO's (non commissioned officers ) are out for themselves but quite a few of them are from what I've seen.  "So lets feed the fears of the junior enlisted and make sure they stay where they are" is what I get from this system that is straight out of the feudal period.  Oh haven't you noticed that its quite close to the feudal system?  Right down to what the people are allowed to wear, eat and where they are housed.  Yes its a broken system but I don't see where it can be fixed. 

Sorry about the rant.  Back to where I was before it now.

Its just too easy for me to tell my friend to relax and for me to tell my husband to just go ahead and submit the paperwork for OCS (officer candidate school).  I'm not in their situations.  I'm not the one facing their fears.  I have enough fears of my own, self-inflicted fears, to face.  I made my own decisions in life that got me thus far and had to face my own share of fears.  All I can do is just be there for my friends and family with open arms and an open mind.  I just hope they do the same for me when I have to face my own fears.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Waiting With Hope

So much is going on in my life that I don't know where to begin.  I want to complain, I want to rant, I want to go back to sleep.  I want to be the jellyfish in the picture all pretty and just drifting through my glass cage at the zoo with many admirers.

This morning is going to be one of construction, I hope.  I want my bedroom window put into place and finished.  After very little sleep the furniture has been moved out of the way so that the construction workers can finish the job. 

Much as I wanted to do an environmental post this weekend it never happened.  We just had to get away from the house.  I didn't get to do my research this week and had to share my computer.  J's, computer is still being repaired.  Its been gone for a month now and he wants it back as much as I want him to have it back.  I detest feeling like I need to shorten my computer time just so that he can play his games on the computer.  Yes, after sharing it for a month I told him how I feel about having to share.  I don't like someone else installing programs on my computer.  With J using my computer after work we don't get the chance for conversation at night after work since my computer is a desktop and it resides in the home office.  Okay so that is me venting.

I'm in pain today.  I have on my leather orthopedic boot, known as the Colorado boot and if its gets worse I'll have to put on my Air Walker or as I like to call it my Storm Trooper boot.  I also have on my right carpal tunnel brace.  Now if only I could get a brace for the Round Ligament Pain which is due to an ovarian cyst.

No signs of pregnancy yet which is grating on my nerves.  I only have signs of PMS.  This morning in my email I got a notice from an online menstrual cycle tracking site letting me know of my impending new cycle.  Gee thanks just what I needed, another slap in the face!

Am I done with the woe is me attitude today?  No clue.  I should be worrying about other matters in the news like the earthquake.  I shouldn't be thinking so me orientated but like most bipedal beings I'm inclined to think about the number one each day.  So forgive this selfish hormonal female for being annoying today.  Like most moods this will change once I've eaten and seen installed my new bedroom window.

So for now I go back to waiting for signs of pregnancy and some glimmer of hope.  I wait for the construction workers to show up.  I wait for the pain to subside.  I wait for the foul mood to pass and the sun to rise.  I do still have hope for today.  Now to go forage for sustenance to fill the void in my burning pit I like to call my stomach.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nothing On My Mind, Thank You Fibro Fog

Today is just a boring day.  I went shopping for clothes, ended up buying a new pair jeans.  I tried on a pair of cute shoes but the toe box was too tight.  No handbag in the store was to my liking and I desperately need a new one.

After clothes shopping I went grocery shopping.  I saved $17.00 USD in coupons at the commissary.  Not really all that bad.  Brought my grocery bill down to $78.00 plus a bit in change.

I'm not sure if its the weather or the round ligament and ovarian cyst pain but moving around just hurts.  I know that Fibromyalgia, of which I have, can be worse during cold, damp weather.  Whatever the problem is I'm tired and feel like taking a nap.  However, with Fibromyalgia, I'm not supposed to be napping as I might not sleep well later tonight when I should be sleeping.  Really I'm not quite sure what sleep is any more.  For the past twenty years I haven't had one solid night's sleep.  For those of you that have no clue what Fibromyalgia feels like I'll give you a hint, it feels like you have the flu 24/7 for years on end with only a few days occasionally of half way normal days.

I want to be left alone but yet I want company.  I want to go outside and do whatever most couples do when they have time off together.  I have to pick and chose what I can do each day.  A few of my friends also have this rotten condition and they do understand how it feels.  I'm really sorry that they have it as it does put a damper on life.

So with all said above my brain is once again blanking out.  I've forgotten what I really wanted to post about today.  Sorry it turned into a complaint but that is how it goes with Fibromyalgia.  Now where did I leave my book again?  I bet I'll find it some place weird.  Once I even found it in the fridge!

For more information on Fibromyalgia click on any of the links below:

The Oregon Fibromyalgia Foundation

Fibromyalgia Information

National Fibromyalgia Association

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nice Weather Means Construction

Every spring warm weather means construction time.  It doesn't matter where I live in the world, even if its warm in winter, when spring rolls around the construction begins.

Right now my nice, lush, green lawn is discolored with blue, red, white, and green spray paint lines.  This seems to be the norm for my neighborhood as I look up and down the street on my walk to get the mail and find I'm not the only one soon to have trenches in their yard.

Needless to say my husband is rather upset that the lawn he worked so hard on is going to be destroyed.  We've been told that they will restore the lawn after they tear it apart.  I have my doubts as to how good of a job they will do in its reconstruction.

This morning a man in a hard hat was walking up and down my street with white sheets of paper sticking them in every door on the street.  Oh dear, this just can't be good is what I thought.  Its not good.  This is going to be a long process.  I now know the window of destruction.  Starting this Monday, a holiday mind you, February 21st through June 30th our street is going to be crowded with earth moving equipment, loud noises and more often then not rude construction workers.  I realize they have a job to do but I don't like it when they block driveways and make it quite difficult to navigate the narrow road.

In this four months of construction work we are to also have power outages they stated on the paper.


Note the typo of "tennants" that should be tenants.  I highly doubt they'll keep it to just 4 hours without power as we've gone 16 hours before in cold weather.  This is not going to be my cup of fun. 

Yoga, Tai Chi, and Zen breathing will hopefully get me through the stress of living yet again in a construction zone.  In NY I lived in a construction zone for two years.  I thought I did my time in Hell, I guess not.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rainbows and Fruit Bars

Now that Valentines' Day is over I had to do something with my living room window for St. Patrick's Day.  Well I didn't have to but I wanted to and what's more fun than playing with Crayola Window Markers when you know if you make a mistake its just a damp cloth clean up away?

I'm not the best artist and I haven't drawn much in the past decade but the photo to the left is what I did yesterday afternoon while on my "bed rest".  So its not really bed rest but I'm restricted to what I'm supposed to do with the round ligament pain and ovarian cyst.

Today I made Fruit and Nut Bars of which I will share the simple recipe with all of you, my favorite people, my blog readers.  I just took the pan out of the oven and its still sizzling.  I won't be eating any of these creations, though I'd love to and they smell irresistible, as they are for the soldiers my husband works with at the COF.  The photo below is of the fruit and nut bars before baking.

Fruit and Nut Bars  (Makes 24-36 bars)
2 cups unsifted flour        1 cup sugar     1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt                     1/4 cup milk    1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 (27 oz.) jar of None Such brand Ready-To-Use Mincemeat (Classic, Original, or Brandy & Rum)   1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add oil and milk, stirring until mixture is well moistened and crumbly.  Reserving 1 cup crumb mixture, press remainder firmly on bottom of 13 x 9-inch  baking pan; top with mincemeat.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining crumb mixture, then nuts.  Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool.  Chill if desired.  Cut into bars.  Store loosely covered at room temperature.

I used the Brandy & Rum None Such brand mincemeat.  I just prefer the taste.  When creating the crumb mixture I used extra virgin olive oil and used a wire dough blender, an antique handed down to me.

Have fun baking and don't forget to be a kid when you use window markers.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why Me?

I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a weekly posting about my Army house.  Seriously I'm so sick of this entire matter and I have only the techs to blame on their shoddy repairs.

After a sleepless night on the couch I was told by the tech that I'm basically stupid.  Okay so he didn't actually say that word but he did talk down to me.  Worst part is that this is the Head Tech.  No one to complain to about this particular guy's manners.

I explained to the tech from Equity that I've only had the humidifier for six weeks and I have to have it as I have chronic sinusitis.  My doctor told me I needed a humidifier, neti pot, hepa filter, and air purifier.  I have all but the hepa filter installed in my home.  So the Head Tech, K, said it was because I had the humidifier in the bedroom that the window sill is rotting out.  I beg to differ.  I explained that I've been in this residence for two years.  The mold and moisture problem has been here since day one of my occupancy and its been noted before I even purchased the humidifier.  Still K didn't listen to me. 

We moved on to the other windows in the other rooms that have moisture between the panes.

K, "Oh its okay some moisture is normal." 

Me, "Really?  How much? Each day I go around and wipe up the mess going through multiple towels.".

We move on to the next problem.  Why am I still short a fluorescent light bulb in my kitchen fixture?  I've been waiting patiently since the last tech said they were out of them in December.  K tells me that I'll have to call that one in.

Next I address the issue of the gas burners.  I'm on my second stove in this house as the first one was beyond repairing. I have one burner of the four that doesn't have much height to the flame.  He tears it apart and fixes the problem so that I have a bit more height to the burner flame but still its not even with the others and its mostly a yellow flame.

On we go to the front door.  For 25 months I've had a problem with the storm door.  The latch likes to lock people out and lock them in.  Techs have been quite frustrated with my storm door but none have offered to fix it.  Again K tells me I'll have to call it in. 

One more problem I bring up to K is the smell of ammonia in my house when it rains heavily.  He tells me that I need to call it in.  I tell him that I've called it in before and we've isolated the problem to the master bedroom closet.  One tech pulled off the baseboard molding in search of the obnoxious odor to no avail.  No seepage or discoloring was noted.  I was told that I would have to treat the area with a special chemical concoction out of my own pocket.  I explained to K that I have no pets and having lived here over two years now I shouldn't have to put up with that odor.  We have no carpet in the house that is wall-to-wall, only tile on the floors with throw carpets that were brand new two years ago.  Again I'll have to call in the problem.  Why bother?

I'm so sick of the attitudes of these repairmen.  Yes they are all men.  The good ones, the efficient ones, the ones that don't act like women are inferior have all quit. 

I love my house.  I love living on post.  What I don't love is trying to get something repaired in a timely manner.  That brings me to the number one complaint of the morning.  I asked K how come when the tech was here yesterday afternoon he couldn't give me a time table of when they'd be here today.  K tells me that when I call after hours they don't always get the message and will take care of scheduling the next day.  K said that they will tell me, upon putting in a request, if its going to be a morning or afternoon repair.  I said to K, that is not what I'm talking about.  The tech, D, that was here yesterday afternoon told me that someone, not anyone in particular, would be here today and didn't tell me if it was going to be morning or afternoon.  He had nothing to say.  Finally I got K to silence his superior attitude.

Still for the next few days and into next week, because we are coming up on a four day weekend, I'll be dealing with a torn up bedroom.  Tonight I was informed I will be able to have J, my husband, shut off the dehumidifier and move it to the living room.  A night in my own bed is always better than a couch.  J slept on a cot last night.  He slept soundly enough to be snoring like a chainsaw while I tossed and turned.

It looks like this summer I will be having my lawn torn to pieces.  I've told J that he might as well let the landscapers take back the lawn duty.  We have red, blue, green, and white marks up and down our neighborhood ground surface where they will be upgrading different systems like the sewer, power, water, and other cables.  K told us we'll have a trench in our side yard.  Oh great.  Just what I wanted outside my bedroom window in summer, the sound of heavy earth moving equipment.

Maybe I'll run away for the summer and leave no forwarding address. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Protecting Our Air And Water Quality

We can do more to protect our air and water quality but most of us are unaware of how to go about doing our share for their protection.  Did you know that in Washington State alone transportation accounts for 47% of the greenhouse gases emitted?  This would be the emissions from our cars, trucks, trains, boats, motorcycles and so on.  Why don't we use mass transit more efficiently?

My husband told me just last night that only about 3% of the population actually uses the mass transit.  Mass transit uses up the majority of the budget for the Department of Transportation.  J explained to me this is why our roads are in such bad condition because of the budget not being proportioned according to the populous usage of the actually modes of transportation.

On our road trips we've noticed how many cars are with just one person in them.  What ever happened to car pooling?  Even here on the Army installation one would think that with so many soldiers leaving at similar times for work a carpool could be started up.  Personally I'd love to have the car to myself for even one day a week to go get groceries with a girlfriend.  I've done it in the past.

If we aren't going to use our mass transit then why have it?  Why pay out the majority of the budget to keep a broken system going when the funds could be used elsewhere?  If we want to improve our air and water quality we need to find cleaner modes of transportation.

Here is my challenge to all of you readers, start using your public transportation more often.  Start a carpool, my dad used one for his one hour commute to his work place for most of the twenty-five years he work at the plant.  If you live close to your work place think about walking or taking a bicycle.  Yes this means exercise.  Nothing wrong with dropping a few pounds of extra weight since two thirds of the American population is now considered to be obese.  Get off your butts and make a difference.

For more information see WSDOT which is the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fun FRG Meeting

Since my brain is basically mush this morning this is going to be a short posting.  If it seems a bit choppy I can only say its due to fatigue.

Last night was the first FRG meeting we've had since our soldiers got home in July.  I found out that our current FRG leader will be leaving us sooner than I previously thought.  KG, I'm going to miss you.  EC welcome to our brigade.

FRG meetings are always important and I'd love to see that many soldiers and their spouses come to every meeting. Last night's meeting provided us with the upcoming training dates.  I can now start making informative decisions as to when we can do travel, fertility, and when I'll be needing extra help here.

The incentive to attend last night's meeting was that the soldiers wouldn't have to show up to work until 0900 hrs the next day, plus they got free soda and pizza.  Bowling was optional and at your own cost but hey we still had a good turn out on the lanes.  I alas did not bowl due to the restrictions on me right now with the "pregnancy" for two weeks thing.  My spouse did bowl.  He felt a tad awkward bowling with the guys that were higher ranking than he but he still gave his best try.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Resources For Surviving As An Army Wife

Because for the next two weeks I'm to be treated like a pregnant woman on restriction I have nothing better to do than to research.  Heavy housework is just out of the question leaving me with just dusting and again that means no lifting of furniture and crawling around raising my blood pressure like I was exercising so with that said here is what I found today to share.

For those of you new the Army way of life or for those of you not so new but didn't know it all and want to know more I have some links to share with you for more information.

One particular link I found very useful and have actually called them when my husband was stationed overseas on an isolation tour is Military One Source.  There are some wonderful folks willing to help you answer even the smallest of questions you might have to the more horrific ones that we all dread having to ask.

Another link I would suggest would be Army One Source.  If you can get the chance in your busy schedule to take the Army Family Team Building course do so.  I alas have not had that chance so far but many of my friends have and they've told me it does help out.  I am a member of my FRG, family readiness group, and do stay in the loop as to what is going on in my unit and on post.   Sometimes I even know about events before my husband does, which makes for a good chuckle at the dinner table.  Really if we are informed it makes it so much easier to handle the mission.  Yes we do share in their missions.  We have to hold down the fort so to speak while they are gone.

A few good reads, available for free download on line, I highly suggest are:

Making The Most Of Your Military Lifestyle  by Tara Crooks

Finding Your Battle Buddy  by Tara Crooks

Army Spouse Guide  English edition

Army Spouse Guide  Spanish edition

Checklist For New Military Spouses

Now for three books that I myself purchased or were gifts from my husband that I suggest you read or sign out from your local library are:

Married To The Military A survival Guide for Military Wives, Girlfriends, and Women in Uniform  by Meredith Leyva

The Army Wife Handbook by Ann Crossley and Carol A. Keller    To some of you the book might seem a bit outdated but really if you are new to the Army way of life and don't know how to act at military dress occasions or a spouses tea its worth checking out from the library.

Under The Sabers The Unwritten Code Of Army Wives  by Tanya Biank   Yes this is the book that prompted the making of the television show Army Wives but by no means does the television series follow the book.  The book is about the tragedy of  murders at Fort Bragg, NC in the summer of 2002.  The reason why I suggest that women read the book is that if you or a friend  have domestic violence in the marriage you need to get help now.  You do not want to have your life ended just because you were afraid to speak up.  Enough said.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Egg Assured

 Moisture covered my bedroom window from top to bottom reminding me that soon the whole window frame would have to be replaced. Wiping  the wetness and mold from the structure yet again, I looked out and saw that frost covered the verdant lawn as the sun rose over Mount Rainer this morning.  It was going to be a beautiful day, though a cold one.  The floor was cold enough in the bedroom that I could feel the icy fingers of frost through my socks.  Yet, all was right in my little world.  Today I had a chance, a slim chance but a chance all the same.  Today I would have my IUI.

My spouse did his collection and the count was even better than last cycle.  I have more follicles than last cycle too.  The technician who did my insemination this morning told me that even though I'm 41 I still have a really good chance with the sperm and egg counts this cycle, better than most actually.  My husband was happy to hear that we had a good chance.  He really wants to be a daddy, not just a father that spends a few hours a week with his kid because he has to.

We often talk about the future and children.  Daydreaming about what our kids will look like, if they'll get into trouble, their grades, and yes the possibility of grandchildren.  For the next two weeks I'm to be treated as if I am pregnant until I test one way or the other.  So for the next two weeks I can dream with hopes of a happy, healthy baby.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quality Versus Quantity

Sticking my hands into the pockets of my black London Fog hooded trench I walked with my head down following my spouse to where he parked the vehicle.  Rivulets of blackish tears were pooling on my cheek to drop unchecked to my coat.  I just didn't care.  My life was falling apart.  I was given bad news today by the doctor.

I'm fertile I cry.  I'm just too old to conceive it seems.  Eight years ago my husband wasn't ready to be a father.  We were college students without a good source of steady income.  Five and a half years ago we wed.  We still thought we had time to have children with neither one of us having medical insurance it was an understanding that we'd wait it out.  Almost four years ago he joined the US Army, we had good medical insurance at last.  Our problem then was location.  He ended up on an isolation tour of Korea, next was his deployment to Iraq.  Am I not meant to have children?  I've been doing the responsible thing all along.  I waited until I had insurance and could afford to feed an extra mouth. I didn't get knocked up as a teenager because I was afraid to have sex and get pregnant knowing that I'd get kicked out of the house.  So am I being punished now for being a responsible person?

Today was my ultrasound.  Each cycle I have an ultrasound to see how I am responding to the clomiphene.  I scored six large follicles.  Yup six eggs ready to be fertilized.  My first cycle on the clomiphene I had four, second cycle I had five do you see a trend?

The problem with me is not my blood pressure the doctor told me, though it is high and there are risks associated with high blood pressure during pregnancy.  There were three officers in my ultrasound room this morning, one was the female nurse that is required, one was the male ultrasound tech and one was the male doctor that told me the results.  He was also the bearer of bad news.  He said not to worry so much about my blood pressure but more about my age.  He explained that with each month my eggs are getting older and the mechanics in them, the DNA if you will, is getting defunct.  So this is why with five eggs last cycle I didn't conceive. 

Now I have to make a choice that I was hoping I wouldn't have to make.  The doctor is pushing for the IVF treatment.  Easy for him to say as he isn't paying for the procedure.  He told me its now $8,000.00 out-of-pocket.  Well that is going to just about clean out my savings account.  But there is only a twenty percent chance of it working.  He said eighty percent chance with my age of it failing but he said its our best option.

I have to let my team of doctors know soon if this is what we want to go ahead with.  I'll have to most likely call them by the end of the week with our answer.  I'm still going ahead with the IUI tomorrow and will do a double over two days.  I can still hope that one of the six eggs will take, right?

Needless to say I left the fertility clinic with tears in my eyes.  I should have been happy to find out I have six eggs.  I'm not.  The quality of the eggs isn't good. 

There is no rhyme or reason to how life works.  If you want something you work to get it.  Well I've been working my butt off to get a baby of our own.   Honestly I don't think I could adopt.  I couldn't deal with the open adoptions they have now knowing that the birth mother could take my child back on a whim.  Foster care to adopt runs the same risk but that the birth parents have to prove that they are now able to take care of their child. 

I'm so emotionally invested in having a child of my own now that I have to stop and think about the costs.  The hormones are tearing me up.  My husband is warned in advance, according to where I am in my cycle, of what to anticipate for moods.  He likes to anticipate.  So I warn him.  I don't like the hormone roller coaster, but I will do what I need to in order to ensure that I become pregnant with a healthy baby.

For my female friends out there, don't wait until you are in your forties to have a baby.  Its harder on the body and the egg quality diminishes quickly.  I was just told today that I have only a few months left in which to conceive.  I'm still far off from menopause but they don't want to try after I hit forty-two, of which I will be this summer.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Recycling Through Smart Shopping

I have found a great way to recycle.  I like to go antique shopping.  Maybe a few thousand other folks have also come up with the same idea as antique shops are really busy on the weekends.

If you haven't really given a thought to antique shopping or are just afraid of being a bull in a china shop I'll give you a few tips.  First off the better places for a novice to antique shoping are located in what they call malls or in towns where they are lined up quite efficiently.  Do these places really exist or am I full of fluff?  I came from a small rural town in the Northeast part of New York State.  For us antique shopping was the flea market or someone's yard sales.  Over here in Washington they are a tad bit more organized.  All the better I think, though you do pay more for some items since these sellers aren't they yard sale nickel table type.

Leave your bulky winter outerwear in your vehicle.  Unless of course you don't mind being that bull in the china shop and have plenty of money to just give away on broken items.

Leave  your children at home.  This might sound a bit harsh but like the above first tip unless you have plenty of money to just give away on broken items then don't bring them.

Ladies, that large hobo bag you like to call a purse has to be stored away too.  Go in with a slim as possible a purse.  Do you really want to turn about in a small space and break all that Nippon china?  I think not.  Invariably there are always those small, tight spaces that you have to side walk into just to see what hidden treasures awaits.

Antique shopping can be a joy.  Bring your husband, boyfriend, or other male friends when you go shopping.  You might need them to help carry out your large furniture or other heavy purchase to your vehicle.  I drag along my husband.  He immediately seeks out the tools, knives, guns, swords and books.  See there are things that guys would be interested in at those antique malls.  He might have to fain interest in your bone china teacup that you just have to have but he will most likely enjoy the more manly items that await his treasure hunt.  If you guy is into toys, action figures, trains and marbles those are usually also found at the antique malls.

By no means are these places run like Pawn Stars or American Pickers but if you are into that then go sight-seeing and find yourself those pawn shops and old barns to pick through for the day.  Bargaining with the owners over a price on an item can be done at the pawn shops, yard sales and antique malls.  I've seen first hand the antique mall owners call up the sellers of the item and ask if they'd come down, sometimes they do especially in this economy.

I hope that all of you have some joy in this fun part of recycling.  What some once considered junk might just be your treasure.

Friday, February 4, 2011

More Glue Please

Well the workmen are here for the second time this week.  I'm starting to feel as though my on-post house is falling apart much like the one in the photo.

Today the last of the slab leak repairs should be finished.  However, the bedroom window sill is another story.  I was correct when I noticed that it was rotting out.  I knew it would have to be replaced but I also know that the repair folks like to take short cuts because they are instructed to do as such.  The bedroom window project will have to be contracted out since it is indeed rotted out.  Scratching my head on that one.  Aren't these guys the ones that the Army contracts out to for repairs?  Why do I need yet another contractor crew in my home?  Its not that hard to replace a single window sill.  I've seen it done on a second story window personally.    At this point I'm like whatever as long as it doesn't interfere with my appointments next week for fertility I'm fine with it getting done on its own schedule.

I'm wondering if I should go out and buy several rolls of brightly colored duct tape and tubes of colored glue to hold this place together.  At least it would look cheery right?

I've noticed a trend in the repairs now, they are getting more in-depth and harder to fix.  At least I know that my roof is sound, that was replaced last summer.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Its All Talk

Today is just one of those days.  Its grey outside.  Grey would be a good thing if there were snow on the ground, but no its threatening to rain instead.

There are days like today that I feel as though if I open up there would be no one to hear me.  No one to listen to what I have to say.  No one to understand that I too have good ideas.

Sometimes its as though I'm talking and all they hear is "blah, blah".  I've learned to keep my mouth shut about a few things I hear and see.  No good would come of me talking about them and possibly it would only get others in trouble.  Of course if someone was in danger you can bet I'd step up.

Today I got hit on.  A supposed friend sent me an email stating that he'd like to get to know me better for a romantic relationship.  This is just one instance where I feel like someone isn't listening to me.  I'm married.  I have a wonderful husband.  If this guy were truly interested in me he'd read my profile and see that I'm married with photos of me and my spouse doing activities together.  This guy proclaims  "you are a very beautiful woman you really look stunning, i would like to get to know you much better.   i am looking for a honest caring, faithful, generous, calm, cool and ambitious woman to start a new life with and have a very serious relationship with." I've heard that before.  He goes on to tell me about his hobbies, his cheating ex-girlfriend that he  now wants a serious loving relationship and basically  I'm just what he's looking for. He wants me to tell him more about myself, what I want in a man and if I've ever dated on the internet, if so what was my experience.

I wrote back and told him I wished him luck in finding the love of his life.  I reminded him that I'm married and I move around a lot due to the fact that my wonderful husband is a soldier.  I wouldn't mind a friendship with the guy as I have a lot of friends from a wide range of backgrounds but I don't need another husband, one is just plenty for me.  One is all I want.  I have the one I want.  I guess at my age its nice to still get some guy telling me I'm beautiful.  

Yes, the main problem with marriage is that your guy sees you so often that it seems like they don't notice your looks.  I swear I could walk about the house in torn sweats and snarls in my hair, of which I don't,  and my spouse would only ask where the food is and when it would be ready.  He loves me enough to ignore my harried appearance brought on by the drudgery of housework and only worry if it becomes a daily habit.  Of course he would notice but wouldn't want to bring up my appearance for fear of upsetting me.  Today he noticed right off and commented on the fact that I was wearing a sweater and skirt.  Later today I have an appointment so I decided on office attire for the meeting.

So I digressed again.  I do that a lot I know.  Back to my main thought on folks not listening.  Ever notice that your friends, not best friends but just friends, aren't there when you need to talk?  You listen to them and admittedly at times are distracted with your multi-tasking.  You know when to respond with an, "I understand" or "oh that's terrible".  However when its your turn to vent they never seem to have the time to hear you unload.  Makes me want to thin out my friends list a bit.  

I'm blaming my lack of concentration on the weather today.  Oh, and for those of you interested in the drama queen well she returned home within about seven hours of the ambulance pick up so its obvious that it wasn't all that serious.  If it had been a miscarriage at her stage of pregnancy you can bet they would have kept her overnight.  I'm inclined to believe its more of her Munchhausen's Syndrome.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I firmly believe that Karma does exist.  I don't always like how it comes back to me or to others if something bad has been put out there.  I enjoy the effects of good Karma often.

Where do I start with the good Karma that has happened in my life?  Lets see, okay I put out enough good into the world that I have a wonderful husband.  I have food enough for my table and the occasional guest.  I can now budget for a vacation when we get the time together.  But this good Karma only came about because I worked hard to get these much deserved things.  I had to be a good person first.  I had to try.

Now for the negative Karma.  I stressed out last cycle raising my blood pressure too much and felt the affects of bad Karma when I didn't conceive.  I have no one else to blame for me not getting pregnant but myself when I let the outside world, outside of my bubble, affect my own happiness.  This month I shall strive to attain happiness even during moments of stress.  I shall try to relax knowing that if I can achieve this it will benefit me with the hope for a baby.

I have to tell my readers what prompted this Karma posting wasn't the thought I put into the above but the fact that I just saw an ambulance pull up across the street to my neighbor's house.  I can only hope for this couple that she is just being the Drama Queen that she can be.  I really hope that she isn't losing her baby at five months.  I feel for her since I know what its like to lose a baby.  But I can only guess the reason why she is being taken away by ambulance is because she stressed herself out with trying to stay on top and be the boss of everyone around her.  When I first met her she said to me, "You know how there is the Alpha Male?  Well I'm the Omega Female!  I'm the boss of this family."   

I wish her only happiness and not bad things.  But really it is true that what we put out there does come back to us threefold.  Sure some of you may disagree with me on this, of course we all have different upbringings making us have different viewpoints.  For me its Karma telling her that if she continues on her rampage she isn't going to get what she really wants.  I know I need to relax and keep my blood pressure down.  Not that easy with the synthetic hormones of clomid racing through my system.  I need to find my focus, my center, and just concentrate on that to relax.

Maybe, just maybe if I think only of me for a change, not an easy task for a person that is a giver and nurturer to do, then I'll possibly get pregnant this cycle.  Next week Tuesday I have my ultrasound and will schedule my set of IUI's for the following days.  Yes we are going to dig deep into our pockets this month with more than one treatment.  I'll have to take it easy and avoid stress and the heavier housework.  But I have a plan to relax.  I have the yoga and Tai Chi that I can do to relax as long as the doctors approve.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three More Leave This Week

Well I guess its good bye times three this week.  Three more soldiers leave our network of friends.  One left the service on a pregnancy chapter.  One left the service because he couldn't make the weight and tape guidelines.  One PCS'd to a new duty station.

So this is my good bye to them.  I wish them well in their life journeys.  May they make only good choice and find life easier wherever they may go.

The pregnant one I knew but not all that well.  She has known my husband since AIT.  I guess she was an alright gal.  Little odd but then again we all have our quirks.

The guy who is leaving is a friend of my husband's but not really one of mine.  He is in our network of friends but to say something nice about the guy from my mouth would probably hurt my face.  Read He's Not My Friend and you'll understand why I'm not really going to miss him.  I do wish him well.  I hope he can find a job. 

Finally we get to a set of friends, had I more time, I would have liked to have gotten to know them better.  This family has seen the good and bad side of the Army community and the guy's unit.  Could they have treated him better, probably.  Will they in the future treat other soldier's in that unit better, I have my doubts.  See he isn't the only soldier that has left the military from this particular unit, I won't mention numbers and names, that have complained about its chain of command. I have two other friends from that particular unit that had nothing good to say about it.  They are happy to have it in their past now.  I'm just glad my husband doesn't work in this unit.

I count myself lucky enough to have known the above mentioned people.  I've learned from the experiences. 

PCS =Permanent Change of Station

AIT = Advanced Individual Training