Saturday, November 30, 2013

Yeah, Right.

Day 73: Nov. 30, 2013

Drink more water. Relax about all things. Live free and easy. Care less about my husband's parenting choices that don't coincide with my own. Realize that all we have is time, so the idea of wasting time is just that, an idea, not a reality. Reduce stress. Eat fruits and vegetables.

Early New Year's resolutions!

Coffee: had some in a "for here" mug at a coffee shop.

Cups and Bags Challenge: Up to $98! 2 more dollars. If you use a reusable cup send me an email, text, or FB message and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!


Friday, November 29, 2013

My Little Hurricane

Day 72: Nov.29, 2013

My two year old is wind. Loud and relentless. By the end of the day, I am on my knees and the tears have been pushed out from under my eyelids flowing sideways past my temples by his gusts of energy and constant motion. I can see my daughter and I can hear my husband, but I am standing in a wind tunnel.

Every morning, I think to myself, how shall I brace myself today? Shall I agree to hold him every time he says UPPEE even if I have to make the breakfast, clean the dishes, pick up the toys, scrub the floors, wipe the spills, fold the laundry, comfort my daughter, make the lunch, pack the bags, eat food, get dressed, feed the goats, answer the phone? How many deep breaths will it take to absorb the gales? Three or three hundred?

Every night I think about how many times I saw the whites of his eyes that day. You know how when a dog is scared out of his mind, he gives you that look and you can see that part of his soul that makes you sick with sadness for him. I wonder how many times I scared the crap out of my son trying to calm him.

Then there's my daughter sitting in the wings, waiting. Waiting for a chance to talk to me. To see me and hear my voice. Well, and how she tells me that she loves her brother, but then he hurls a metal car at her back.

Sometimes there is laughter amidst all the noise. Loud exclamations of "CRAB," which to me sound like, "CRAP." And the song twinkle twinkle little star sung entirely on the word, "muffin."

Coffee: I made some yummy coffee in a coffee maker.

Cups and Bags Challenge: Yay! One more email came in today. Its fun to hear from people who have cup stories. Oh, and one of my friends brought her cup to rehearsal the other night... she doesn't know that I noticed. So we're up to $97! If you use a reusable cup, send me an email ( or a text or a FB message, and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Not Ready

Day 71: Nov. 27, 2013

My friend's mom died two days ago. I'm thinking about him a lot. I'm remembering when my grandmother died, she was in her eighties, but died way too young. She was vibrant and young, got pancreatic cancer, and died six months later. I was furious. I wasn't done being her friend. We were close, playing music together, going to concerts together. I missed her and still miss her. My uncle also died young. He was 46. I was 12. There was a rush of sadness in our family. In my entire enormous extended family, and of course for my cousins and my aunt. I was too young to know what the sadness meant. This kind of sadness is still incomprehensible to me now.

It seems like what's unbearable, but essential in death is that the lives of the living must continue, and you wonder, how can this be? It's too much to ask, at least at first, or maybe forever. But it must. And the person who has left you resides in a new space inside of you, and at first, it is not enough. But then it is. And there's a gratefulness for having known and loved the person, there in your heart. 

Well, and then there's your community who also loved your person. The people who also feel the emptiness of the world because your person is gone. But they shed light on you through their having known her. Like, another friend whose mom died about a month ago, and who learned that she had friends he had never met. Friends from her daily breakfast at Waffle House. People who loved her and talked with her every day for years. The manager of the restaurant who wept and whose life had been touched by my friend's mom. 

I don't know what it's like to lose a parent. But I'm pretty sure I won't be ready for it when I do.

Coffee: none today!

Cups and bags challenge: back tomorrow on this one. Playing scrabble with my dad now.


Will post tomorrow!  Hope turkey day was great!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Sister

Day 70: Nov. 26, 2013

When I was little, I slept in my sister's bed one Christmas eve. She was older, no longer in the Santa believing years, but she was all in, pretending to hear the sleigh bells, pretending to wonder what Santa would bring, and when he would come that night. I actually did hear the sleigh bells and I'm pretty sure I saw Santa darting around in the sky. Santa was as real as he would ever be for me that Christmas.

Until I was in the fourth grade, I had my sister at home with me. Her room was right next to mine. She was the person I looked up to with utter wonder and amazement, and loved more than anybody. I was sad when she left for college, and when she came back to visit, It was like the world fell away and left her and me there listening to music in her room: Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Elton John, Billy Joel, and the Jackson Five.  I can't hear any of these artists without being transported to her bedroom, sitting on her bed watching her get ready to go out with her friends.

When you love someone, it doesn't matter how far away they are. You think about them all of the time, wonder about their day, their family, their friends. You hope they are happy. And you know that when you will see them again, seeing them will fill you with all of the history of your lives together and with the surprise of their growth and how their experiences have changed them. I can't wait to see my sister again, and her husband and her little boy. Just writing this makes me feel them in the room.

Coffee: One frantic coffee in the car.

Cups and Bags Challenge: We're at $95 again today. If you use a reusable cup, send me an email ( or a text or a FB message and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!


(not sure where the missing eye went.)

Monday, November 25, 2013

What We're Thankful For

Day 68: Nov. 25, 2013

Today my kids and I were eating lunch together at a burrito restaurant and we were talking about Thanksgiving and what we were thankful for. Here are our lists:

My Daughter:

1. You, mommy.
2. The Goats, of course.
3. Daddy
4. And my brother
5. My friends
6. My School
7. Meme and Poppe
8. Yaya and Papa
9. The Beach
10. Thanksgiving
11. Turkey, the live kind
12. Flamingos, because they have these beautiful feathers.
13. Tomato soup
14: Sand castles
15: Sand volcanoes
(will she ever stop talking?)

My Son:

1. Chairs
2. Those pictures
3. Orange Juice


1. My Husband
2. My Children
3. All of my family
4. The food we're eating
5. Eating lunch with my kids
6. All of the friends in my life
7. Sun shining through trees
8. The opportunity to sleep in a bed every night
9. My Health
10. The Health of my family

Coffee: One cup of homemade coffee enjoyed in my reusable cup! No cups bought.

Cups and Bags Challenge: I wanted to share some photos of people's cups who have shared them with me!



We're up to $95. Ok, we're almost there! Soon, we'll start on Challenge 2!
If you use a reusable cup, email, text, or FB message me and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling. (


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Day 67: Nov. 24, 2013

Today's text message from my mother in law: "Happy anniversary, you two!"

My immediate thought: Oh, cute, its someone's anniversary. Who else is on this message? Oh, wait, what's today? Uhh... woops.  It's MY Anniversary!

My phone call to my husband after receiving the above text message: "Hey, do you know anyone whose been married for exactly twelve years?"

His response: "Is that today?"


At least we both forgot!

Dinner was good. So was the movie.

Coffee: No disposable cups bought today.

Cups and Bags Challenge: I'm humbled. My latest set of emails (2) are from folks who travel with their own mugs and hot water pot and one who carries her cup everywhere and forgoes coffee if she forgets it. LOVE! If you use a reusable cup, email me (, text or FB message me and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

If You Want It, Be Determined!

Day 66: Nov. 23, 2013

I remember the first time I walked out onto a stage as part of a professional symphony orchestra. It’s a stuck moment, lodged in my memory like a photo on a wall, or a home video that plays every once in a while when I’m least expecting it.  The time it took me to walk through the doors into the bustle of the stage was short. But the moment I felt the stage lights on my face, I also felt the twenty five years that had been my life hit me in the gut like a giant fist.  

When I as twelve, I switched to the violin teacher I would have until I was eighteen.  She was old and sort of pissed at the world.  She always said, full of conviction, that a life as a professional musician is HELL.  I didn’t mind her saying that. I never once imagined I would be a professional musician even in my senior year in high school when I auditioned for lots of music schools. I got into them, but didn’t go. It wasn’t the life for me.  And I was surely not good enough to go to those schools for real, and what would I do once it was all over?

But then, while teaching sixth and seventh grade English and History after college, I decided I wanted to be a professional singer song writer.  Makes sense.  Because that’s an easy easy life. Good money too. Thankfully, a month of guitar lessons inspired me to pick up the violin again and that spring I decided to quit my job. I had three months to improve myself and audition for the Baton Rouge Symphony, which I did, and was offered a spot in the first violins. Holy Smokes, can I really do this, is what first popped into my head when that happened.

I did do it, and I am doing it! This fact still amazes me. The first concert I played in Baton Rouge was a milestone in my life that I’m reminded of every time I sit in my chair and wait for the conductor to wave his arms and for me to play.  It’s been fifteen years since that day I first walked out of the back stage doors into the lights and now, it’s old hat, and I can write my blog posts during intermission.  And I can relax and enjoy the music and resist the urge to weep when Juliet dies on stage (tonight we collaborated with some Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors who portrayed Romeo and Juliet while we played Prokofiev’s version of that piece.)

And just to say, having a grumpy violin teacher was not all bad.  She taught me how to be the teacher I want to be, which is demanding, but fun, and positive, and encouraging! I love to tell my students my story and to let them know that if they want it, they can have it.  And that they have to be determined.  Isn’t that what life’s all about? If you want something (and you have a support crew (THANK YOU, to my support crew)) be determined, and you just might get it.

Coffee: no disposable cups bought today. I had a lovely turn around the grocery store today, completely alone with my decaf, and to celebrate, I ate an extra chocolate square.

Cups and Bags Challenge: Well folks, we're fast approaching $100! Today, three emails from readers I've never met (!!) came in to describe their reusable cup usage. So, we're up to $90. If you use a reusable cup, send me an email (, a text or a FB message and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Thoughts on Screens, Kids and the Weather

Day 65: Nov. 22, 2013

Its November in Eugene, Oregon and the sun in shining! And its COLD. Our friends said it was 17 degrees at their house this morning. Our well pump froze and the water stopped flowing through our pipes. YIKES. Here's the thing. My husband and I chose to move to Oregon as opposed to Maine in order to avoid 17 degrees. Its supposed to be warm and rainy. We're supposed to be bundled in rain jackets and rain paints instead of winter parkas and ear muffs. And the other thing is that I grew up in hot New Orleans. Hot, balmy, sweaty, smelly, wonderful New Orleans. I know, I talk about this all of the time. There will come a time when I will have lived away from New Orleans longer than I lived in New Orleans.  Actually, that time is coming soon.

On another topic.  I just read an article about Generation Y or iY as kids these days are called. It was called, "Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids." Here it is: What grabbed me in the article, and what always grabs me in these kinds of discussions is how kids these days are "addicted" to screens. i pads, i phones, TV, whatever. For the most part, I agree that too much screen time for a kid is bad news. And I will resist my kids having their own phones and i pads and video game equipment and their own computers as long as possible. My husband will argue that this will put them at a disadvantage in the world. He feels like video games foster problem solving skills.  I'm fine with that. And its true, people today are checking their phones at every turn. I do it. I was at a birthday party the other day, and at one point, every parent was looking at their phone while the kids were running around. I was at a restaurant for lunch close to a middle school. A seventh grader sat down at a table with his box lunch, pulled out his i phone and ate his lunch with his phone. Is reading your phone the same thing as reading a book?

When I was a kid, I had a Donkey Kong game. I was in middle school, and I loved it. It was a big box with a screen and some controls and it had sound effects. I played it a lot. Man, it will be interesting to navigate this electronic mine field as my kids grow up. Maybe I'll steal Michelle Obama's screen time rules for her kids: no screen time at all Mon-Thurs, one hour on Friday, and two hours each on Saturday and Sunday. That's any screen. TV, computer, phone, etc. (Once when I was watching TV I saw her give an interview about obesity with Dr. OZ. In this interview she also demonstrated her amazing jump roping skills.)

Coffee: No disposable cups bought today!

Cups and Bags Challenge: Holy Smokes! I had FOUR emails today about reusable cup usage! Thanks everybody! That puts us up to $87!  13 more dollars people! If you use a reusable cup to buy coffee, send me a email, text, FB message, and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Could be a Lion

Day 64: Nov. 21, 2013

Sometimes I'll be slipping into the doldrums and realize that I haven't had a sip of water for six hours. Or I find myself spitting fireballs of rage at the sweet sound of my children's voices, and I realize that its five o'clock in the afternoon and I had chocolate for lunch. What I didn't realize is that there would come a time in my life when eating food and drinking water would no longer fit into my schedule. Or into my mental reserves.

Lions only eat once a week, or thereabout. And they don't spend lots of time washing dishes or cleaning the kitchen. Some snakes eat once a year, I read recently. When I first met my husband, he had a cookbook called 15 minute meals. The thing is, it's never only 15 minutes. You have to prepare. You have to go to the grocery store and know what you're going to make. My friends are organized, and they prepare their shopping lists for the week so they're not worried about that moment when your kids say, "what's for dinner?"

These are the meals I remember my mom cooking when I was a kid. Chicken Tarragon: bone in chicken cooked with butter and tarragon. Spaghetti and meat sauce: onions, green pepper, ground beef, sauce from a jar, noodles. Red Beans and Rice: Crock pot red beans cooked with a ham hock, andouille sausage, bay leaf, other spices over rice. Skillet pork chops: pork chops fried with onions and green pepper. An occasional Crayfish Ettoufee,  Gumbo, Shrimp creole. My mom cooked all of our dinners. For a long time, she cooked us full breakfasts as well.

I enjoy eating. I really enjoy eating with my friend Alex, who really really enjoys eating. And cooking. Sadly, I'm not a good cook. The main problem is that instead of preparing ahead of time, I do other things. I forget to drink water and eat lunch. Maybe one time, I'll tell the story about the time I made Moo Goo Gai Pan in Seattle.

Coffee: A decaf Americano at a coffee shop! (finished Pride and Prejudice.) Here's the advantage of being a decaf drinker. Often places won't brew drip decaf, so they'll make you an Americano for the same price.

Cups and Bags Challenge: One more dollar for my wonderful friend still using his cup in NYC!! So we're up to $83, baby!! Email, text, or comment if you use a reusable cup and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One False Step = Endless Ruin!

Day 63: Nov. 20, 2013

I'm so furious at Victorian England right now. How ridiculous that a girl of 16 who runs off with a man who led her to believe would marry her, then doesn't, is better off dead.  And that her entire family might as well dig a giant hole underground and go live in it because otherwise they will be shunned and ridiculed throughout the land. This is what's going on in Pride and Prejudice right now. The youngest of the Bennet sister's left her guardians and rode in a carriage with a male officer to London thinking she was eloping, but somehow they didn't get married and instead were hiding out in a hotel somewhere. Once found, the man was bought by her relatives and convinced to marry the girl. And in the mean time, the girl's entire family is in panic mode because the loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable and one false step involves her in endless ruin. (That last sentence was lifted directly from the book.) And the family is encouraged by her neighbors (who are offering to help, but secretly celebrating  the family's downfall,) "to throw off their unworthy child from their affection and leave her to reap the fruits of her own heinous offense."

What must it have been like for smart educated women in Victorian England to have absolutely no worth whatsoever except as a wife and mother? Oh, this would have driven me to insanity, as it probably has driven lots of women throughout the history of the world. I am so glad that women nowadays have choices. And that at least in most places, people have loosened up about marriage and love and relationships. I'm glad that the discussion today for women is about how to have a family and a career, as opposed to how to be transferred from the authority of their parents to the authority of their husband with as little humiliation as possible. Not that the question of family vs. career is an easy or fortunate one. Having a mother who has worked all of my life and still works today made it very difficult for me to consider staying home with my kids, although when the time came, I was ready. I had worked, I had studied, and my husband's job could support us all.

Perhaps I will explore this topic later on, but for now, enjoy today's watercolor lady.

Coffee: NO cups bought today!

Cupsandbags challenge: one text message came in so we're adding a dollar! $82! Email me if you use a reusable cup and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I said I would, but I didn't.

Day 62: Nov. 19, 2013

Last night, I had a dream about trying to get back into analysis with a friend who wasn't even an analyst. We were going to have a session in a public place, where my mother was wandering around. I didn't feel right about it. I thought we should at least go somewhere private. And she asked me if I was really going to go deep. I thought I would, but then thought that could be weird since we were friends. And I thought that a complete stranger would make a better analyst. Then I woke up.

I said I would write every day in a journal while on vacation from the blog, but I didn't. I wrote maybe twice. And I painted one watercolor that was destroyed quickly by my children. I feel like I betrayed my blog by completely ignoring it , and not doing what I said I would. I was supposed to explore my deepest thoughts and come away with answers and fresh energy to write spectacular prose and paint vibrant paintings. I think this is why I had this dream. I'm trying to decide how much energy I would like to devote here. How much I can say, and if saying it is weird since its my friends and family who hear it.

Here we are again, though: the blank page looms. My husband asked me if I planned to resume blogging on a daily basis, or would I make it every two days, three days, or once a week. We discussed the possibility that by blogging daily, I am sacrificing other activities in my daily life. Our banter remained banal, like, I could be sacrificing my nightly TV viewing, or practicing violin more often. What was not spoken, but surely there in the air, is the possibility that I sacrifice my ability to keep the house clean and orderly, and I sacrifice carefully prepared meals, and I sacrifice my attention. Not that my husband was thinking these things (he was,) and not that these things are attended to when I am not blogging (barely.) But, ultimately, when we're not working or attending to our kids, we get to pick what to do with our time.

So, for now, I am going to blog everyday. And all the little random thoughts that go through my mind will probably show up here as usual. And I'm going to be grateful for the little things! For example, thanks to having my in laws in town for the past week, these are some of the things I did while on vacation: had a beer with my mom after playing tennis with her,  ran under the trees on the ridge line trail south of town, played two difficult concerts, hiked up a mountain with my daughter, watched my students play in a piano and violin recital, had lunch with my husband, slept.

I feel renewed. I don't feel any less crazy or insane, but I feel like I can face the blog again and the holidays, and the winter and the two year old.

Coffee: So, I'm not sure this is a confession or not. I bought one of those Starbuck's semi-reusable cups. The one's you can use for 30 days or so, then recycle. I was desperate. I was at Albertson's right before my 9th rehearsal in as many days, after 9 long long days, and really wanted a decaf. I'm still using it. How long will it last, I wonder.

Cups and Bags Challenge: Where were we?? Let me check! Wow! We were at $80! We're close! And I just checked my email and we have one more dollar to add from the past two weeks. Yay. $81, baby.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Taking a Break!

Today begins my first break! I'll be back in two weeks.

I plan to work on all or part of a watercolor daily.

And I plan to write in a private journal as well. I have a few ideas into which I would like to dig deep.

I'll miss everyone!!!!!!! Come back on Nov. 19 for the next post.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Schubert Death

Day 61: Nov. 4, 2013

Tonight we (the Oregon Mozart Players) begin rehearsals on Schubert's string quartet, Death and The Maiden, arranged for string orchestra.  The concert is this Saturday night, and it should be terrific. This piece is drama drama drama. Imagine a murder mystery combined with a love affair combined with an agonizing personal struggle, all taking place in pristine beauty. (This reminds me of the book I'm reading right now, Wild, by Cheryl Stayed, which I plan to write about soon.  Really good book, but somewhat agonizing and very personal.)

Listen to Schubert Death here:

Coffee: One coffee at our lunch spot in my reusable cup.

Cups and Bags Challenge: Adding three bucks for my friend in New York who has been using the cup that he bought!! Up to $80!! Almost there.  If you use a reusable cup to buy a coffee, email me here: and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling.


Sunday, November 3, 2013


Day 60: Nov. 3, 2013

Today's watercolor is supposed to be a representation of my son and daughter walking up our driveway.

When asked what she doesn't like my daughter said: "When A throws hard things at me." When asked what he doesn't like my son said: "When S bangs the ceiling on me."

Coffee: Lots of green tea today, no coffee, no disposable cups!

Cups and Bags Challenge: I'm adding $1 for my husband's cousin who uses leftover spaghetti sauce jars for his water bottle and coffee cup! He's the bomb. Up to $77. If you use a reusable cup to buy a coffee, email me here: and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling.

Watercolor: (If I could do it again, I'd make the shadows lighter. Next time.)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Baby Making Part 3

Day 59: Nov. 2, 2013

This last episode of baby making will explore the joys and trials of my first pregnancy.  The bummer about IVF is that it does not guarantee anything once you get pregnant. You still have to be pregnant and grow the baby inside of you like normal people. You forget this when you’re doing IVF. You think, once you get pregnant it’s all over. You have arrived and accomplished the impossible, fait accompli, au revoir. But, no, the chance of miscarriage is equal with IVF as with a natural conception, as is the chance of all things dangerous or abnormal in a pregnancy. So, with that being said, I was amazingly optimistic! I was 35 years old (advanced maternal age,) and pretty sure my two babies would make it to the end, (two embryos implanted.)

I was pregnant with twins for twenty weeks. I referred to the babies as my little guys, and I would talk to them incessantly. Once I wiped out and fell hard on my side, and we talked it out and my little guys were fine. They were always with me.  My little friends.  I found it fun to be pregnant. Especially once the first twelve weeks were up and my energy returned and I could run a little, walk a lot, eat a ton, all the things I love to do.

Then at eighteen weeks, we went to the doctors for old pregnant ladies. The doctors who tell you if your baby will have a debilitating chromosomal disorder or in our case, a hypo-plastic left ventricle.  I saw the ultrasound of both hearts, one with four chambers, and the other with three.  As the nurse was moving the ultrasound thingy around on my belly, I made an off handed comment about how the hearts looked different, and she just kept smiling. They must train them to keep smiling, because she knew. Just keep smiling, just keep smiling. I get it, she’s the messenger. It’s not her fault that my baby’s heart would not keep my baby alive once it was born.

The next part of the pregnancy was so bizarre. I was simultaneously devastated and miraculously hopeful. We had decided not to allow baby A to come to term. She would have needed many surgeries in her first week, and many more before she was two, and a heart transplant early on, and probably would not have survived even after all of that. And there was baby B. Healthy baby B who is now my daughter, and just thinking about it is making me cry.  Between eighteen and twenty weeks, I said goodbye to Baby A and I thanked Baby B for her understanding.  Baby B and I discussed the situation over and over. We went through every scenario. What if we had never found out? What if the two of them had been in the same sac? What if she had been healthy but the two of them had been born dangerously early? Every day that baby A was alive after I found out that she would not be born, I held her to my heart. I allowed her to fill it and I allowed myself to weep. And then it was done, and I moved on.

Baby B came two weeks early after a smooth and easy second half of the pregnancy. There were reminders of Baby A, like when the ultrasound tech at my OBGYN’s office expressed confusion in the most indiscreet manner which I would like to write about, but is too gross and offensive. Either she didn't read my chart, or she has a serious tact deficiency.  Nevertheless, baby B arrived and we celebrated. We became parents and suddenly everything mattered and nothing mattered. The baby making story became irrelevant in the face of sleepless nights and staying sane (going insane.) But all of it was worth it. Exactly as it happened.

Epilogue: After 15 months of Baby B’s life, we decided we wanted to try for a sibling, made possible by the fact that three embryo’s from Baby B’s petri dish had been frozen in case this very urge came upon us. Because the embryos already existed, the second time around was much easier on my body. The embryos were transferred in the exact manner as the first time around.  We waited two weeks, and I was pregnant despite being 100% sure that I was not. (No symptoms whatsoever.) And when #2 was born, his nickname was, by complete coincidence, having to do with his name, “Baby A.” 

Coffee: I bought some beans from Starbucks today. (YUM!) Made a cup at home and ate it in the truck while my son slept in the back seat.

Cups and Bags Challenge: Well, what a surprise! Three reports of cup usage on my Yahoo account. Very exciting! Thank you. So that puts us up to $76 today. We're getting there people!  If you use a reusable cup, email me here: and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Baby Making Part 2

Day 58: Nov. 1, 2013

Its baby making part 2. Get your popcorn.

We were one year into trying to get pregnant, and I called a doctor in Austin who said, lets shoot some die into your tubes to find out if they're blocked. No, they weren't blocked. Then he found some pre-cancerous cells on my cervix which needed to be removed, so baby making was put off for nine months. Then we moved to Oregon.

Three years went by. During that time, I started looking on an open adoption website and memorized all the people waiting for babies. I looked every day to see who was still there, to read testimonials, to look at pictures of happy families. I also decided to have some fun. Travel (we went to New Zealand twice (my parents were living there at the time,)) we went to England and France, we went to movies, played softball, hung out with other childless couples.

My husband began to wonder out loud if not having babies would be so bad.

I called a specialist. His name is Doug Austin, and if I could have dinner with him every night I would because he's that amazing.

We tried a few months of very mild drugs and baby making techniques that didn't take place between the sheets, and finally I said, I want a baby, and I'm willing to go all the way. Dr. Austin said, why didn't you say so in the first place, let's get going, and we started down the IVF road. Every step of the way, I was sure there would be failure, and every step of the way, Dr. A was sure it would work.  He knew. He was upbeat in the face of every possible downfall.

Here were some of the fun parts. In the middle of violin lessons, I had to excuse myself to stab myself in the abdomen with powerful hormones, and return with a smile and reassurance that all was well. One really fun drug caused insomnia, and I'm talking, all night long, lying on the pillow with my eyes open.

The very most fun, for real was the day the eggs were gathered. I was put to sleep for the procedure and I was so happy to be asleep, nothing else mattered, and I could have remained that way for the rest of my life. Then we had to wait three days at which point my husband went in at exactly 9:09 to deliver the goods, and at exactly 9:17, the doctor conceived my children! Of course, I didn't know that then, so I was in a constant state of hidden anxiety. Would they survive? (There were 9.) We went in three days after that and four embryos were transferred into my uterus. I will not go into detail about this, even though there is a story to tell. Maybe if I ever write a book, I'll tell it then.

After the transfer, the big guns came out. A three inch needle was inserted in to my hip every night for two weeks with a hormone that made me so tired and cranky, I wasn't sure who I was anymore. And every day I felt twinges of this or that, and wondered, am I pregnant???  That was probably the most agonizing two weeks of my life. But the two weeks passed, as all two weeks do, and the blood test was positive. When the nurse called, I fell to my knees and my husband cried.

Stay tuned for part 3, tomorrow.

Coffee: Only tea today

Cups and Bags: My wonderful, most best friend besides my husband in the world, bought himself a coffee cup! This is big. I'm giving that one action another $10. So, we're up to $73!