Monday, June 27, 2011


I'm getting ready for vacation. We leave Thursday (my birthday). I'm dreading the packing and I have one more hotel night to book. We are going to visit family in NY. I'll keep you posted.

Not a whole lot is happening. I thought I'd post a few things from today. A friend of mine from church kindly chastised me for not keeping up with my blog. Lately my mind is racing with all the things I need to get done and it's a lot easier to post a one sentence Facebook status than it is to write a blog post.

I picked 1 pound of cherry tomatoes from our garden today. It's been really hot lately which really makes me not want to step outside. My poor garden is suffering. But these little babies were ready and there are more waiting. I told my neighbor we will be leaving and that she could pick whatever she wanted. She was very excited. I think she is more excited to pick my Zinnia than my vegetables.

Jason's dinner of baby carrots, self-poured Caesar dressing, and bread and butter. I took a picture because I loved how he had his carrots all lined up.

This is his dinner two minutes after I took the picture. He ate most of the carrots.

I went shopping tonight. Wendy made me a list. She really wanted to make sure I didn't forget to buy new crayons. She is going to be thrilled in the morning to see 98 new ones waiting for her. 

That's all for tonight. It's painful for me to leave out things that I want to blog about, but that will have to suffice for today.

Oh, but one important thing before I forget......George is WALKING!! He's been taking steps, but walking is officially his preferred mode of getting from point A to point B as of Saturday, June 25. I have to document it here on my blog so I can fill in the baby book in 10 years or never. (Wendy is my last one that I bought a baby book for and I'm pretty sure it's blank.) So sad :(

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Strawberries and Sharks

Before we get to the Strawberries and Sharks, I'll tell you about the beginning of my week.....

So Baby Blighted was born on Miscarriage Monday. I'm very happy she complied with my alliteration schedule. What an obedient ovum.

I've been through four miscarriages now and this was by far the most traumatic. I was expecting it to be like the others with just some heavy bleeding and cramping. But I guess since my body pulled a prank on me and pretended to be pregnant for a total of 11 weeks and 2 days instead of terminating when the pregnancy stopped progressing at 6 weeks, it was a little more than what I hoped for. I won't go into details, so let's just say my bathroom looked like a murder scene and smelled like hemoglobin. I called my husband at work and freaked out to him during the ordeal. I had a call into my doctor's office from earlier that morning and the nurse returned my phone call about five minutes after it all happened. Poor Ann had to hear me cry as I expressed my traumatizing experience. She said, "Oh, I called.......because you wanted to have your thyroid tested." It was true. That was the original purpose of my call. I think I caught Ann off guard, but she was very nice and scheduled me for an appointment for the next morning.

When I knew it was about to happen, I wrote my husband's cell phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to Emily. I told her that if I passed out, to call 911 and Daddy. Thankfully I didn't pass out. My uterus did a fine job of contracting and controlling the bleeding. The scientist in me collected the specimen and I was able to examine it in great detail. It was quite fascinating and a great lesson in biology, but I chose not to use it for homeschool science that day.

So I went to the doctor on Tuesday, while an awesome friend of mine from church watched my kids plus her four kids, and it was determined it was a complete miscarriage (which I was already certain of), so no D & C. Yay! He told me I should get my real period in about 4-6 weeks and he expects to see me back in a few months, with more success next time. He explained to me that every time I get pregnant, I put myself "in the game." He said at this point there is a 30-40% chance of miscarriage. I think that sounds awfully high, but I suppose my age (34) and previous pregnancy losses raises the odds for me. He also said that the more you play the game, the more chances you give yourself for losses. Well, I have been playing the game a lot.....

Then he brought up my thyroid concern. Google told me that thyroid issues can affect fertility, so I wanted to be tested. He made it clear that he did not believe I had any thyroid issues. I asked him why.
He said, "You don't fit the profile."
I said, "What is the profile?"
He basically said, "Not you." But he agreed to allow me to get it tested to ease my mind. I think he's probably right. He's been practicing for over 30 years and probably knows a thing or two.

Then I brought up the pain in my right shoulder muscle. I told him I thought it was from sitting at my computer, but wasn't sure if it was a sign of something more serious. He agreed it was probably from the computer and told me he gets it too. I asked him, "So you don't think I'm having a heart attack?"
He laughed and said, "No, I don't think you're having a heart attack."

Then I brought up the pain in my right hip/upper thigh. It's this kind of pinched nerve pain that comes and goes. It seems to be correlated with my cramping uterus. Kind of like a referred pain because I only had it the two nights that I was cramping, but he said it was unrelated. I asked him, "So you don't think I have a blood clot?"
He shook his head with a smirk, "No, I don't think you have a blood clot." He also didn't think it had anything to do with my uterus, but I still do.

Then I told him my theory about my immune system attacking my fetus. He said, "No." (I still think it's possible, but he's probably right.)

I decided not to bring up the 10 melanomas I've been suspicious about. At that point I was pretty sure they were just freckles or age spots since my dermatologist gave me a clean bill of health in February.

I'm pretty sure he wrote in my chart, "Dx: hypochondriac; Google-itis"

I then proceeded to the lab to get some blood drawn for my thyroid test. I'll have the results by Friday.

So that's been the last three days or so. I'm back to my normal self, so don't turn the other direction if you see me in Walmart. It's not likely I will sob on your shoulder in front of a shelf of maxi pads. It's crazy how hormonal I was the past week. I would start crying for no apparent reason. Once everything was finished on Monday I felt so relieved. It was like the ultimate uterine cleanse. I think I might try a liver cleanse next. I never knew there was such a thing, but there is. You basically fast for 12 hours (ex 7PM - 7AM) and then drink some funky concoction in the morning of olive oil, ginger, and other stuff. So in the morning instead of saying "Lego my Ego." you say, "Lego my EVOO." (Extra Virgin Olive Oil for those of you who don't watch Rachael Ray.) Ug. It's making me nauseous just writing about it and I'm not even pregnant. Where do people come up with these things? I'm not ready to give up my midnight snack and Honey Bunches of Oats in the morning.

Speaking of EVOO, I made my first pesto the other night. It was delicioso. I didn't realize walnuts were in the recipe, so I substituted cashews because that's all I had. I think real pesto is supposed to have pine nuts, but they are SO expensive! There was a BOGO (Buy One Get One free) sale on olive oil at the grocery store this week, so I bought some and I'm going to try to make some more pesto with walnuts. I tried making some pesto tonight, however, my blender busted. I wasn't sure what happened at first. Pesto was oozing all over the place from the bottom of the blender. When I yelled, "Arrghh! What is happening?" (sometimes I speak pirate) Bradley came into the room and said, "I think maybe I didn't put the blender back together right."

Upon further inspection, that was exactly the case. When he reassembled it the other evening after washing it, he attached the parts in the wrong order and there was no seal on the bottom to keep in the contents. In the process of operating the wrongly assembled blender, I busted the spinning thing on the bottom of the glass pitcher part and now all it does is smoke when I run it because of something called "friction."  I'm actually looking forward to getting a new blender because ours is 11 years old and kind of old school. I want a stainless steel one to match my toaster. Hmmm....maybe that will be a good Father's Day gift or a birthday gift for me.

Gosh, my posts have been long lately! Have a I lost your attention? Now to get back on topic, here are the pictures to explain the title of my post:

George amused himself at dinner by sticking a strawberry to the side of his face. He's learning that it's fun to get laughter attention from his siblings.

Shark Girl Sarah. Sarah hasn't lost any teeth yet, but she is growing new ones. I told her that her only job the next couple of days is to wiggle those teeth until they fall out.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Slow Saturday

Just a little update. I still haven't bled this baby out yet, but I hope to in the next week. I'm anxious to get it over with. Blighted is taking her merry ole time. So I have this theory why Blighted became blighted. The ultrasound dated my pregnancy at about six weeks. It was exactly at six weeks that I came down with the stomach virus that all of my kids had. Remember? I spent Mother's Day puking. Normally I don't think stomach viruses jeapordize pregnancies. I had a stomach virus when I was about six to seven weeks pregnant with Rachel and she turned out fine. Well....she doesn't talk a whole lot yet, but she's only three. However, this virus was strange because my sinus infection that seemed impossible to get rid of, and George's goopy eyes that he had for three months all miraculously cleared up after we were through with the stomach virus. My suspicions tell me that my immune system might have mistakenly said, "Hmmm, what's this foreign thing in Melinda's uterus? Let's get that too, while we're at it. ATTACK!"  And poor baby fetus became blighted. (sad face) Wah Wah Wah Wah (click that link and you get to hear my sound effect for the situation.) Anyway, that's my theory for now. It sounds a lot better than "rotten old eggs."

I cut the girls hair today. It was long overdue. I look forward to curling freshly cut ends tomorrow morning.

I went to Walmart today. Yay. As I began my shopping, I saw a friend from church. She expressed how she was sorry to hear my news and asked me how I was doing. At first I was wondering how she knew, then I remembered "Duh, I publicly (please don't mistake that for "pubicly") announced it on my blog. I broke down crying. I probably could've held it together if I had not been standing in front of a monstrous display of maxi pads, but they were staring me in the face. I feel bad for putting her in that awkward situation, but she was very nice and compassionate.

So, there are a billion different types of maxi pads! It can be mind boggling. I think I like Always the best. Now if I could just have some substantial bleeding, it might actually be fun to give them a test drive. (I'm sure this is TMI for my male audience. Sorry, guys.)

I don't know if you can read it or not, but that little conversation bubble is the package saying, "It's alright to have a little fun and indulge now and then." I never realized pads were an indulgence, but I suppose it's better than newspaper or cucumber leaves. I'm totally living on the wild side and indulging with the ultra thins!

We went to the library yesterday. We have a special bookshelf in our family room where we keep all the library books. Unfortunately, it's at George's level and he thinks it's a great place for a books too.

Why do babies think they need to do that?
(And, yes, we have over 100 library books at the moment. 69 of them are due on Tuesday.)

He's really hard to get mad at though. 

George loves watermelon, except when Mommy leaves part of the rind on it.

George learned how to use a fork today. I enjoyed watching him during the whole experience.

Now this kid, Jason, is a lot of fun too. He made himself a new pair of eyes.

Jason does has a mischievous and defiant side. Since the experts say we shouldn't hit our children, we have found that a successful discipline tactic is to threaten Jason with a cold shower. In my opinion, Time Outs are a waste of time for both child and parent. I'm sure Super Nanny would disagree, but I've never had much luck with them. Most times that I get frustrated with my children is when they are not cleaning. It's not very effective to sit them in a corner so they don't have to clean, as punishment for not cleaning. Anyway, Jason does NOT like cold showers. He will usually obey once the threat is issued. We have only carried through with it a few times.

But now that summer is here (I know summer officially begins June 21, but we are having 90 degree weather everyday now), it has become very ineffective. The cold tap water is at a constant 82 degrees which is 4 degrees warmer than the the room temperature in our home.

So our new threat is Wasabi. He got a taste of it the other night. Jason has a bad habit of sucking on the neckline of his shirts. It's destroying them and stretching them out, not to mention it looks disgusting and they won't last for George. I wasn't there when the punishment was executed, but I think it was effective. He didn't suck on his shirt all day today.

As I was researching to make sure Wasabi wasn't dangerous for kids because it stopped their heart, or anything like that (responsible parenting), I came across this Google Search result. You know how sometimes when you browse the internet you can find the answer to your question by simply reading the Google Search result description? Well, this is a good example of when NOT to depend on the description to give you the answer to the question you were searching for. It made me laugh. I hope nobody thinks Wasabi is a good "Natural Toothpaste that their kids will love."

So that was my Saturday. Not all that eventful, but it was relaxing. That's what Saturdays are for, right?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Postpartum Poetry

Ok, so what's wrong with me....(It's kind of long. I know. Sorry.)

Well, actually I didn't think much was wrong with me. I was 10 weeks pregnant on Saturday. I was feeling the nausea off and on, my pants were feeling tighter. I can't say that my boobs were getting bigger, but the hope was there. I had my first doctor's appointment yesterday morning. Usually I go when I am about 6-8 weeks, but with my husband getting a new job, we didn't have insurance until June 1, and since my doctor only works on our side of town on Tuesdays, I booked an appointment for the first Tuesday in June, the 7th.

So, I was excited to go. My husband worked from home so he could watch the kids. I have to say that I had been nervous about the whole pregnancy for the past 6 weeks, but I passed it off as just normal first trimester nervousness. I had morning sickness, although not as bad as some previous pregnancies, but enough to slow me down a little bit and excuse myself to watch TV instead of clean. It was one day last week that I had a minor/possibly major panic attack that something was wrong. On Wednesday I didn't have any morning sickness all day. I was for sure that my pregnancy was ending. I wallowed in self-pity all day and did too much unnecessary Google searches to throw me in a further panic. Then for some strange reason the nurse, whom I've known for 11 years, from my doctor's office randomly calls me. She congratulated me and said she was looking forward to seeing me the following week. She asked me how I was doing and I broke down crying. I told her everything and she wouldn't let me talk negatively. She said we were going to think positive until my appointment on Tuesday.

I took her advice and got on with my day without anymore Google searches.  My husband was gone at work and wasn't going to be home until 9PM that day. He told me that he had prayed that I would have a good day. I kindly told him to not pray that I would feel ok, because I wanted to feel bad. Morning sickness was comforting to me. The morning sickness returned a couple days later and I managed to make it through the weekend without any anxiety.

So yesterday the ultrasound tech brought me to the dark room and had me sit on the table and she told me that it's always nice when patients come in a little later than the typical 8 weeks because they can see so much more. I briefly told her about my panic attack and paranoia. She began the sonogram and said my gestational sac was measuring small and that perhaps I had my dates off. However, I was measuring four weeks too small. I think she knew I wasn't falling for "you must have your dates off", but that was what she was trained to say. The rest of the sonogram appointment was very silent. I was hoping I would wake up in my own bed to the sound of an alarm telling me to get up for my 10 week doctor's appointment. But it was real. I could definitely feel the cold jelly on my belly as she poked and prodded the ultrasound thingy to see my uterus and ovaries. I finally broke the silence. "There's nothing there, is there?" She gravely said, "no." She told me that my doctor would talk to me and perhaps order some blood work to help better date the pregnancy." Again, I think it was something she was trained to say.

She had me go to the bathroom to pee in a cup, and then she escorted me to sit on some chairs while I waited for the nurse to come get me. It was slightly torturous to sit a patient that thought she was pregnant, but was carrying an empty gestational sac, in front of a bulletin board of a bunch of pictures of new moms with their new babies in the hospital. But I reminded myself that I have seven wonderful children at home for which to be grateful, and that I was once one of those moms rejoicing over a sweet baby.

The nurse came to get me. She was enthusiastic until she saw the tears streaming down my face. She promptly got me some tissue, spoke with the sonogram technician, and brought me to a room to take my blood pressure and weight. We talked a bit, but it wasn't the usual upbeat conversation. The whole situation was a little awkward because she was also training a new nurse. She brought me to my doctor's office, not an exam room. He came in moments later to discuss the situation. There wasn't too much to discuss, but he confirmed that the pregnancy was not viable and he labeled it a "blighted ovum." He suggested to see if it would naturally abort and to come back in two weeks. If it doesn't naturally abort we would discuss a D&C.

I asked some questions like, "What is wrong with me?" and he assured me that I was fine. He rattled off some reasons that things like this can happen and I think I heard him mumble "age" but I'm not totally sure or maybe my ears refused to hear it. He also mentioned "bad luck." I stuck with the bad luck explanation. I stifled the tears while I booked my next appointment at checkout and walked to my car dreading calling my husband to tell him the devasting news. I drove home with sadness.

I cried off and on all day. There is no avoiding the emotions that come along with loss. There is always some degree of mourning no matter how big or small the loss. I have grieved the spectrum of loss from my own mother to my Arizona piggy bank. Some loss is more painful than others. Even though I don't quite know if I was even pregnant, I still mourn the loss of what could've been and the four weeks that I've felt nauseous for no reason.

I started spotting yesterday evening. I've had some minor cramping and more bleeding today, but not enough to change my pad. I'm hoping to just get it over with soon. If not, patience is a virtue and I will become more virtuous. I've been through this all before in December 2008 and May 2009 along with one miscarriage before my first child, Emily. I've also had two chemical pregnancies. One was in November 2008 before the two miscarriages before George,and one was in February of this year. When the the nurse updated my chart, she added one more to my gravidas to a total of 12. (I didn't go to the doctor for one of my chemical pregnancies because it was so early and not a big deal. I basically had a faint positive pregnancy test and got my period on the day I was supposed to get it. If I hadn't taken a test so early, I never would've suspected.)

Sometimes emotional pain can really make you dig deep inside yourself. Some like to express their pain by creating a song. Some create prose. Mimes like to use movement. I like to express my grief in poetry. So I'll leave you with my heartfelt epitaphs dedicated to my sweet Blighted Ovum. He/She will be missed (Sniff):

I would like to put a thank you out to for assisting me with this poetry. (They also have assistance with alliteration. Very awesome. Rhyme Brain is my new best friend.) And, yes, I spent WAY too much time on this today, but it was therapeutic. And in case you didn't know, not a whole lot rhymes with Ovum.

Ya'll, I'll be fine. My doctor said to give it one regular mentrual cycle and to go for it again. I think next time I might keep you in the loop along the way. It will be a little more like reality blogging with all the drama that way. I was afraid if I announced being pregnant too soon on my blog that I might jinx it, but it's proven that it isn't the case. Blighted Ovums are jinxed whether you blog about them or not.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Growing Garden (Kind of)

Look at me! I'm blogging! I don't know what is wrong with me that has caused this unnecesary delay in blog posts. Well, actually I do know what is wrong with me, but that is content for another post. Maybe tomorrow. It's nothing bad, I just have moments when I get overwhelmed. You know. The good news is that I've had some productive procrastination and have been working on another Bach minuet that I might be able to perform via YouTube in a week or two.

I thought I'd give a little garden update. We haven't had rain in our subtropical climate in over three weeks! Well, actually there were some puddles in the street this morning, but I don't think the amount of precipitation was enough to jump up and down about. It perhaps deserved maybe a monotone, "yay." I can tell it wasn't a lot of rain because my phone line was still working in the morning. (My land line sometimes goes dead when it rains and I can't figure out where the problem is.)

I let Jason pick some "cherry potatoes" this evening. He picked about 14 oz. of cherry tomatoes from our four plants (he picked 28 of them). We had cucumber as well. My cucumbers are not thriving in this dry weather and I'm too cheap and lazy to water the garden everyday. My dad told me last night that the misshapen cucumbers are called "nubs" and are traditionally used for making relish. I think I might be making a lot of relish this year.

I've been feeling rather domestic lately. While shopping in the poultry section of Walmart on Saturday they had some fresh whole fryer chickens at a reduced price. I bought two. One was $3.74 and the other was $2.69. I roasted one tonight with some olive oil and herbs from the garden. I used rosemary, thyme, and sage. I was so glad to use them because I was afraid the herbs would sit unused in my garden all summer since I am so unadventurous in the spice arena. I don't think I have ever cooked a whole chicken before. I'm not a big fan of handling raw poultry. I can handle throwing some skinless boneless chicken breasts in a pot of boiling water, but handling a whole chicken with the bones, skin, and giblets can be a little scary. I'm getting braver, but not quite ready for cutting the head off and plucking feathers.

Can't have a post without pics:

Jason picking his "cherry potatoes."

This cucumber was actually from last week. But you get the idea.

I like to weigh our home grown produce because I think it's fun to get an idea of how much I save by not having to buy the vegetables in the store. And I just love using my postal scale. I didn't buy the scale just so it could sit in a cabinet on top of an unused phone book all year long. Unfortunately all the water, compost, and garden supplies that we end up purchasing each year probably still puts us in the red with our gardening budget. That's when I say, "It's not about saving money. It's about the education and using the postal scale."  (By the way, the oranges are from the grocery store. I can't be having you getting too impressed by thinking we have a citrus orchard on our 0.15 acres.)

The roasted chicken. 

The chicken was gorgeous and delicious. Of course we had four children (Emily, Sarah, Wendy, and Jason) arguing from the moment I showed them what was for dinner, because drumsticks are a hot item in this household. David taught them how to cast lots (actually drawing marbles out of a bag). Emily and Sarah won, but Emily was kind and gave her drumstick to Wendy. Of course it was probably easier to give up her drumstick tonight knowing I have another chicken to cook tomorrow. 

Normally we don't eat this much chicken in a week, but it was a good deal and the "sell by" date was June 6 (today) and I have no room in my freezer for the other chicken because I also bought five containers of ice cream (all different flavors) because it was Buy Two Get Three Free. I wasn't going to pass up that deal! We had an ice cream party last night and Emily said, "It's like an ice cream shop!"

So we are having chicken and herb week. My basil bushes are looking beautiful despite the drought. I think I might learn how to make pesto tomorrow.

It feels so good to be back blogging again! Don't let me do that again.