Friday, February 26, 2010

cd18

Last night we met with our realtor to sign papers to list our house for sale. Seems a little surreal. The sign is supposed to go up soon and we should be online today. I will post the link once I have one.

I honestly am not expecting much, so if it happens quickly I'll be surprised. At this point we will still have to bring $400 to closing so if someone offers a lowball offer it'll be, um, no thanks! We aren't desperate enough to sell to go into major debt to do so. So, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Today is CD 18 for me and according to temping I still haven't ovulated yet. I think last month I ovulated around cd 18 so I'm expecting it any day. I have my progesterone blood draw scheduled for cd 23 which is Wednesday. For those that don't know; after you ovulate the hormone progesterone peaks, so we do a blood draw to read my progesterone level to confirm that I've ovulated and also the quality of the ovulation. The number we want is 6.50, last month I was at 6.22 which my DR was happy with.
The hormone progesterone is also what causes the increased basal body temps (bbt) for a few days after you ovulate (or sustained bbt if you are pregnant). Between charting and the blood draw we'll definitely know if I've ovulated. The primary thing to watch before ovulation (so you don't miss your fertile window) is your cervical mucuous/fluid (cm). Sounds gross I know, but we women pretty much all have it. As your body approaches ovulation your cm will get increasingly wet and stretchy and more clear. It is often likened to an egg white texture when you are at your most fertile. Cm does the same thing in essence that semen does- it acts as a transport vehicle for sperm. Pretty interesting, huh! The key is to time intimacy a few days before you ovulate because once ovulation is confirmed through your BBT being increased for a few days you've already missed the fertile window. An egg lives 24 hours max and is commonly believed to actually only live 12 hours or less, while sperm can live several days. Make sense?

There is part of me that is fearful that even though I got pregnant on Clomid with Eliana that maybe it won't happen this time......but I am doing everything I can to make it happen; diet, losing weight, being active, trying to get sleep, supplements, etc..........so I just have to keep going and pray for God to give me peace about it and give us another sweet child. I also feel this strange pressure to hurry up and get pregnant since I'll be 27 in five months. I know that is still an ok age for egg quality and all that but I personally would like a few more children so I can't really afford to have a few year age gap between them all. There is no doubt about the fact that advanced maternal age makes it so much more difficult to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and have no complications. Of course most of us have known people in their 40's (maybe even 50's!) to get pregnant and everything worked out fine, but for the majority of women in their fertile time, age is a huge factor. I heard a fertility expert today say that a woman uses 1000 eggs each month just to release one viable egg- wow! This is part of why age is important...just simply not having as many available eggs makes it more difficult to get pregnant. Also, in the fertility world it is widely acknowledged that a 20 year old egg is much easier to get pregnant than a 40 year old egg. Seems kind of weird since they're both healthy, non-menopausal eggs, but for some reason the younger eggs implant better.
My pals Bill and Giuliana Rancic (just kidding, we've never met :) ) were on The View yesterday and Giuliana talked about how when she was 25 she saw so many of her colleagues in their 30's and 40's having children so she thought, "I'll just keep working and pressing forward in my career and I can have kids later no problem!" Little did she know that most of those 'older' (don't get me wrong, I don't think 40 is old, but in terms of fertility, it is)  pregnant women had used fertility medicine to get there. Now she regrets waiting til 35 to start trying. Her infertility seems to be unexplained as she does ovulate and Bill's sperm has been given the ok. They tried IUI (the turkey baster) unsuccessfully and will be moving on to IVF next week. Luckily for them it's not an issue of being able to afford all these treatments. For the more normal folks the costs are life changing and can be devastating. The View said the average cost of one IVF treatment in the US is around 13k, however I personally know families that have spent much more than that. I also have never met anyone whose insurance would pay for anything. Generally speaking insurance will pay while everything is still in the 'diagnosis' stage, but once you've been diagnosed and receive any treatment that is specific to infertility (in my case, Clomid), the door is slammed closed. It's pretty unfair if you ask me. It's not like asking for a boob job or a face lift, which I feel are both very optional and elective procedures. Is having a child optional? Honestly, when you feel that God has purposed you to be a mother and you want it so bad you can taste it, it's not optional. I always knew that I was going to be a mother and that the best job I could ever have would be that of wife and mom.
Infertility is a tough road and I know those of us dealing with it would never wish it on another person. I know many of you readers and friends are trying to get pregnant as you read this and I pray blessings on you and your womb.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (New International Version)



11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Monday, February 22, 2010

CD 14

What a beautiful string of days we've had here in Kitsap County! Eliana and I have made it to the park nearly every day. Makes me excited for summer when it's warm enough to go to Harborside Waterfront Park and play in the water!

Craig and I have been getting lots done around the house. Eliana and I stayed in my parent's house Saturday and Craig stayed home to mow the lawn, paint our bedroom, and some other misc stuff around the house. Our room looks a million times better now. All the rooms in our house are finally matching. The room looks bigger and cleaner and I like being in there much better now! Previously there was a very dark navy/tealish wall behind our bed. I liked the color a lot, but it really just closed our room in and made it feel dungeon-y. Now our whole house is a mixture of white and a beautiful tuscan beige. Makes for a great blank slate for future buyers.
I also decided to paint our old bedroom furniture a high gloss white. We have 5 different colors of wood in our room and it's a little crazy. Basically it's a mish mash of other people's old stuff and we've always just said, 'oh well we'll keep this old stuff til we get a bigger house' and then 5 years have gone by and we still have the old stuff. I decided if it was matching it might look better and the white will make our room look bigger. I did Craig's old dresser yesterday and bought new brushed nickel knobs today. Tonight I painted a dresser thingy while watching The Bachelor. So far I think I'm definitely liking the white! Looks new and clean and I have no idea why I didn't do it earlier.
Anyway, the house is coming together. Gardens are weeded, lawn is mowed, gutters are cleaned, trees are trimmed, siding is pressure washed.........Craig's been busy! I'm loving all the stuff being done and have decided if the house sells I'm ok with it and if it doesn't sell I'm ok with that, too :)

On the fertility front today is cycle day 14. I'm still charting faithfully on fertilityfriend.com and so far ovulation has not been detected but I have the 'green light' for intimacy with the hubs. I'm guessing I'll ovulate by day 20. I'm getting pretty darn good at reading the chart and it's definitely helping me not feel so clueless and out of control during the course of the month.  My morning temps have been pretty steady except the mornings I've been up at 5am with Elly.

I also wanted to say how pleased I am watching the recent Giuliana and Bill episodes (Style network, Comcast 183). They have been dealing with infertility and are currently undergoing shots and IUI. Pretty much it's just refreshing to see a celebrity be open with their struggles and not hide the issues. Many celebrities have dealt with infertility, but very few are open with it. It's rumored that Victoria Beckham has PCOS, although that seems unlikely to me given her weight and the fact she's had several children close together. Julia Roberts used IVF to conceive and Marcia Cross is reported to have used fertility medicine as well. I realize that dealing with infertility can be a deeply private matter. I was much more private about it all the first time around. This second time I feel like I want to be an open book and help other woman not feel so alone. And just maybe someone will read my blog and go , "Hey, those are my symptoms. Maybe what she's doing will help me, too!" I don't have any reason to not share my experience this time around so I'd rather just be available to encourage others rather than keep it hush hush. In light of that I just think it's nice when celebs become real people with very human problems and are gracious and humble enough to be public with their struggles. Kudos Giuliana! Hope you get pregnant soon :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thanks!

Yesterday and today have been so sunny and gorgeous. I went for a walk yesterday and also took Eliana to the park. She had fun walking in the grass and collecting pinecones. Today we went to Blueberry park which is new and really nice. We even found some 'flowers' (little daisy weeds) and she loved them. She was too afraid to pick them herself so I had to hand them to her. Pretty cute!

Not a whole lot going on that I feel like writing about publicly today, but I will say I'm very flattered by the traffic this blog is seeing; about 600 viewers a month and growing. So, thank you everyone for your support and for sharing helpful blogs with friends and family.  I had thought maybe 10 people would read these so it's like WOW that people are interested in anything I write about :)

 I know this post is uncharacteristically 'surfacey' for me, so I'll try to give more juicy life details soon.

Hope you all are enjoying the sun!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Editing!

The 'editing process' (as Nate Berkus says) has begun in our home. We got about 4 boxes of stuff out of our bedroom, mostly sweatshirts/sweaters and my books, and moved them to the basement. And earlier today I hustled and got 3 whole gardens all cleaned out. Woohoo! I put Eliana down for a nap and ran outside to work as fast as I could since she rarely sleeps longer than 40 minutes. I just worked and worked and when it started drizzling I went in and noticed it'd been 50 minutes and then sure enough, I heard the little one. I really think it was God that I was able to get 3 gardens done so quickly. It was almost like the weeds pulled out easily. Whatever it was, thank you Lord. I was thinking it'd take me one week to get it all done, but I think if I can get another hour somewhere I can finish the front two gardens and be done with it. We're really working on curb appeal. We let things go a lot during the winter so it's time to get our butts in gear. Craig mowed half the lawn today and yesterday he used the chainsaw to trim back our plum tree. It was on our roof and also the neighbors. They were probably thinking, "geez, it's about time you get it off our house!" Just kidding, they are a really nice couple :) So, back to the 'editing process'. Nate says it's a constant process and we should always be editing to see if the space is working for us, if we are piling too much into a room, etc. Because our house is space-challenged it doesn't take much for it to look cluttered. I feel like even if we are unable to sell, I'll still be glad to get things done around the house and work on making it more livable for us.
For me it's like when I was in college and I'd start to hate my car. I was jealous of other people's new cars and was slightly obsessed with getting a new car. But if I washed my car, vaccuumed and detailed it; I all of the sudden loved my car again! I know that I will appreciate doing the little things to our house, even if it's just for us.
Craig has a to-do list and I'm trying to help when I can, like the gardens.

On the TTC issue, tomorrow is day 5 of Clomid cycle 2, which means it's my cd (cycle day) 9. I'm still charting my temp every day and so far it seems pretty steady, as long as I get up at the same time every day. I'm not having any hot flashes with this cycle yet although I'm sure they're coming. I am feeling moody and emotional. I haven't actually cried but I've caught myself a few times feeling it coming.....like looking at a friends baby pictures or wedding album or texting a friend who lives far away.
I'm trying to take it one day at a time and make each day special with Eliana. I don't want the stress of all the stuff in our life to make my body decide not to ovulate. And as we know, stress plays a HUGE role in fertility. There's just so much going on and some things that I can't write about here. I know, I know. That's a shock since you thought I told the whole world everything about me on here.... :) !No, in all seriousness, as open as I am I do understand discretion (at least I hope) so things specific to Craig's work or to family and friends I try and keep out of the blog.

As far as weight goes, Craig and I are stuck. Together we're down about 24lbs since Jan 3rd and I guess we need to step it up notch to get past this plateau. We haven't given up yet though!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday

Life has been busy and I haven't had much to say the last few days. I'm worn out. Eliana is still not sleeping well. She wakes up screaming once a night lately and then is awake at 7am. Yesterday and today she only took a 30 minute nap. By about 5:30pm she is exhausted, cranky, and just not herself. But I can't put her to bed at 5:30 or she'll wake up at 5am :( So, I'm just hanging in there and trying to get things done around the house here and there. But I'm not gonna lie, I'm exhausted and emotionally worn out from dealing with a tired baby that won't sleep.

New news- Craig and I are looking into listing our house in the next couple weeks. I kinda feel like, are we crazy to try and sell and try and get pregnant at the same time? Probably, but oh well! It's amazing when I look at property listings how much you can get for your dollar now versus 4 years ago. If we are able to sell we will not make anything. The 4 years of payments, $15k of renovations and sweat....it all goes to crap. But at this point we just need more room. I sort of love this home, but it's not functional for us right now. I feel like if we are able to sell, great! We'll either rent or try and find something to buy. If it doesn't sell then God has other plans for us. Craig is working on getting some things done around the house so it'll be ready to list and I need to start decluttering in the house. Honestly, it's hard to declutter when you have such little space to begin with....but I realize we don't want potential buyers thinking that right off the bat. The gardens are a mess but it gets dark so early I can't get to them in the evenings and Lord knows it's not like I have a couple free hours (when other people's children are napping!) during the day.

I'm honestly scared to sell our home. As small and cramped as this house is for us, it's also home. We've been through a lot in this home and it has memories and it's my comfort zone. We survived Craig's accident and rehabilitation while living here, we survived working 6 day weeks and fighting with his psycho (unChristian to say, I know. But the title fits) ex about child custody and support, adopting our dog and then having to put our dog down, infertility, bringing our baby home, making it through 4 months of colic screams and GERD.....etc! This home has seen us through a lot and it's my comfort zone. It's scary to think of not having it anymore and just not knowing what the future holds. Everything in this home works; septic, heater, windows, roof, etc...it's all in great condition. I don't worry about that stuff here. But if we move then what if we end up in a worse place?  I know I need to take it one day at a time and trust God that He knows what is best for us. I know He hears our prayers and we have to see if the answer is no, yes, or not now.

Always something new to add to our prayers I guess.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crappiest Health Plan Around (or so it feels). How is this fair???

Why is it just when I think we might be ok financially a landslide happens?

When Craig first started working at his current job in 2005 they offered a wonderful Premera health plan. It was so wonderful in fact that when Craig's accident cost about $300k we ended up only paying a total of $5k or less. Then they majorly downgraded us to a KPS high deductible plan 1 month before Eliana was born. Nice timing, huh? With a $3500 deductible we were pretty pissed. Luckily I still had Aetna through Bank of America and the birth didn't end up costing us too much. Well, only 17 months later we have been switched again. This time to Regence with a high deductible plan. Only now it's $5000. I want to crawl in a hole and not come out. The stress and fear of what this means for us is literally right under my skin threatening to make me scream or sob at any minute. My biggest issue is that when we have another baby it'll cost us over $7500 out of pocket. Money we don't have and won't have. The $5000 deductible is only a deductible, meaning once we've met that it's not like everything is all the sudden 100% paid for. We still have to pay at least 20% for everything even after paying the $5000.
I know you're probably thinking, "what about DSHS, Medicare, Basic Health, etc?" Bottom line: we don't qualify for any of that. Yes, it's by a narrow margin, but it's enough that every questionaire comes back, "you make too much". And you can only have $1,000 of cash and/or savings. Well, sorry. I need to have more than that just to pay my mortgage!
I also just learned that the lab work done for Craig is costing us $1200. Plus another $225 for the 10 minutes the dr saw us. Wouldn't a caring dr let you know that a particular lab workup is expensive? I know dr's do not work for insurance companies (although they pretty much do), but even still I think they know a general ballpark of which procedures are cheap and which ones cost a lot. A heads up would've been nice. Instead we have no grocery money for 4 months. Awesome.

It's just so frustrating. I realize that not everyone even has a job right now and I am thankful Craig is working. He was laid off for nearly 3 months 10 months ago and I'd rather not do that again. However it's angering how hard he works and the extra time he puts in (with no overtime pay) to then just have our health plans reduced and reduced and be left with basically nothing. And they didn't even tell us! I had to find out on my own as nothing was sent to us from the company, or Regence for that matter. I almost feel like everyone was hoping we wouldn't notice our already crappy deductible just got worse. I heard things were changed because insurance premiums rose 40%. Why is that? How is that even legal for the insurance companies to do that? I know my anger seems aimed at Craig's employer, but in the big picture it's the whole stupid way that health care is organized in the US. This is not exactly a political blog but I will say that although I am a conservative Republican, in times like these I understand why Obama is trying to reform healthcare. It is absolutely wrong for a hardworking, middle class family to not even be able to afford to go to the dentist, or get eyeglasses, or see a physician should they get an infection, or want to have a baby. Something is seriously messed up!
Oprah had a show about life in other countries and I believe it was Switzerland (or someplace in that region) where they said they pay 50-60% income tax. However, in exchange for that they receive a FREE University education, FREE childcare, FREE medical care, 6-12 months government paid maternity leave,  up to 7 years of 80% pay when you lose a job, etc. We already pay a lot in taxes, I wouldn't mind paying 1/4 more and getting all that stuff in exchange. A huge stress for me is hoping we don't get sick or need to go to the dr. It would be really nice to know we could get medical care without the ensuing crazy bills showing up.

Sometimes I feel like we'd be in a better boat if Craig just quit. Then we'd at least qualify for state health and could have a baby without our house going in foreclosure. We either need to make more money to afford to pay all these crazy bills, or make less so we qualify for help. This 'middle class' thing sure sucks. What a jacked up system we live in!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

There's a first for everything....

Ok, so maybe TMI, but my cycle did start this morning. This is strange for me because it is literally the first time in my entire life that I've gotten a period without medicine forcing it to happen. It also means that, yes I really did ovulate in January! As we know, ovulation is what causes the menstral bleeding. However, for clarification sake, you can have a period without having a prior ovulation. Some women have an anovulatory cycle and still have the bleeding without ever having ovulated. The opposite is not true though. Typically (of course there are always exceptions), if you ovulate then you WILL have a period. Unless you get pregnant.
I think all the fatigue and weird mood stuff the last few days probably has a lot to do with my body having it's first natural period....at age 26 no less. The nurse said that's a good sign :) I'd like to think that me losing 13lbs in the last month is helping also.
Of course I wish I was pregnant, but I'm also a bit relieved to know what's going on with my body and how crazy I was feeling and to now be able to go on to the next round of Clomid. My Dr wants to keep it at 100mg since that worked for ovulation last month. Normally I would have to take 10 days of Provera to force a period but since mine started on it's own (still think that's so weird!) we get to go straight to the big guns- Clomid :) So, today is officially Cycle Day 1 and Clomid begins on CD 5. Here we go again!

I've decided to try basal temperature charting this month. A friend (thanks Mariena!) got me thinking about it again so I found this awesome website that makes it a breeze. You input all your info and it creates a chart for you and will tell you when you've ovulated based on your basal temp (usually taken first thing in the morning before you get out of bed). Or it can just create a calendar for you based on cycle length with an estimate of your 'fertile window'. FYI- Your fertile window is generally considered your ovulatory day and the 3-4 days prior to that. Semen can live for several days but your egg can only live for 12-24 hours and maybe even less. What I've been finding says that most pregnancies occur from intercourse within the 2 days prior to ovulation. You can also print out the chart if you need to take it to your dr. You can track weight, dr's appointments, pregnancy tests, intercourse, symptoms, etc. It seems very cool. Check out http://www.fertilityfriend.com/ . Also a good tool if you want to use natural family planning rather than birth control. As a new user I am getting little guides sent to my email daily with info on charting. So far I like it. The basic user stuff is free and I'm on a 30 day free trial for the VIP membership ($10 a month otherwise).

Also, sidenote- I'm super moody. I guess this is a normal symptom of a period? haha. Not like I would know I guess. My poor hubby. I bite his head off over nothing. Between the hormonal stuff and a toddler that is STILL not sleeping I just can't even summon the energy to sound happy when he calls :(
Eliana's been sleeping for about 10 minutes, let's see if I can take a 15 minute shower without her waking up.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Waiting game

Oh man, the waiting game is driving me absolutely crazy! Today is cd (cycle day) 33. Typically in the past with Provera and Clomid I've had 32 day cycles which would mean my period is 1 day late. I took a hpt (home pregnancy test) today but it was negative. I called the nurse and she said it's still pretty early to test and I should wait until Friday and retest. From there it's up to my dr what she wants to do next. If a period doesn't start on it's own then I assume it'd be 10 days of Provera again followed by Clomid on cd 5-9 and then another blood draw on cd 23 or 24.
I have been worn out, crying easily, and just not feeling like myself at all. I feel kind of groggy and sleepy and almost sad and that's been the last few days. I think a lot of this is normal for women on Clomid and it could also be that my period is about to start. Or I could be pregnant. But with a negative pregnancy test I doubt it.
This is so different than how it was getting pregnant with Eliana. With her I took a hpt at almost 5 weeks pregnant so it was positive right away. At this point I'd be barely pregnant so who knows if I have enough Hcg for it to show up positive. I just want something to happen either way. I either want my period to start so I can get moving on the next month of Clomid or a positive hpt. The waiting is ridiculous and I start to feel crazy.
I also asked the nurse what my progesterone level was (the specific number) because I've been seeing it all over TTC forums and websites. I didn't even realize you could ask for a specific number, I thought it was just a 'yes' or 'no' to ovulating. My specific number for January was 6.22. Apparently my dr likes to see 6.5 but she thought 6.22 was sufficient. Your progesterone number determines if you've ovulated and if you'll be able to sustain pregnancy. From what I can find a 10 is needed to sustain pregnancy ( I guess you get that high after implantation?).

I realize that if it doesn't happen now there is always next time around and I understand that God knows the perfect time, so please don't feel like you need to remind me of those things. For me, all the stress, frustration, waiting, and anger of trying for 1 1/2 years with Eliana comes back to mind and it's hard to stay positive that it will happen quickly. Every unsuccessful month that goes by is painful and nervewracking. But I don't have to tell you that if you've ever dealt with infertility! And I'm sure my mood and attitude are not helped at all by the synthetic hormones. I need a vacation!!!

Back to waiting and waiting......

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Updates

Quick updates:
Craig's tests are all back and something's funky with his thyroid. He went in for another blood draw today for more tests and we're back to waiting for results; probably next week.
He's down 8.4lbs and I'm down 13.2lbs :) Woohoo! I wish I could say I'm down 50lbs but since it's only been a month I think that's pretty good.
Still no word on if I'm pregnant or not, need to wait another week to check. I'm not having any more 'symptoms' so at this point I'll be 100% surprised if I am pregnant. But the good news we found a good medicine dose so next month could be it!
I will admit I'm exhausted all the time the last few days but I think that has a lot to do with my dear toddler not sleeping. Last night she was up screaming 4 times and she only took a 30 minute nap yesterday. I get no break at all and that really wears on me. Everyone keeps saying it's a phase but it's been lasting 3 weeks already. Hoping it does pass. And soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A letter to Generation Y

I wanted to talk for a minute about some differences between what my generation (20 and 30ish year olds) deal with that is different from our parents and grandparents generations. I feel that very little empathy is given to my generation (known as Generation Y-mid 1970's to 2000) for all of our hard to work to try and achieve even 1/4 what our parents did by their 30's. Here's my current beef- HOUSING! From talking to several people from Generation X or the Baby Boomers,, it seems that this is a relatively fair example of what they would earn and what they would pay for a small house in Poulsbo in 1980:
Earn: $11 an hour (plus bonuses)= $1906.66 Gross per month (this was a woman without a college degree)
Paid for 1500ish sq ft house on acreage in Poulsbo= $30,000 @ around 12% interest (current mortgage rate for 1980 was roughly 12%- http://www.erate.com/mortgage_rates_history.htm) makes a $308 monthly payment.

So, that being said, for this particular person their mortgage payment was not even 1/6th of their monthly pay. Gen Y, can you imagine that scenario? Hardly! For me personally our mortgage payment is nearly 50% of our income and our house is 763 sq ft in East Bremerton on less than a 1/4 acre. Go figure.

I guess I'm frustrated because I just feel like our generation has to work twice as hard for the things our parents were able to have. I even heard one gentlemen say he was making almost $30 an hour in the 80's (and he was about 30 years old at the time with no college degree).......and could buy a great waterfront home for $80k. That would never happen now. At least not in Seattle or Kitsap County and definitely not for those of you living in mid to southern California. Why have home prices gone up so much yet our pay is basically the same? It's completely unfair. Part of what bothers me the most is that there's no empathy for our hard work. I would love to hear someone from a generation above me say, "I'm really proud of you. I can't even imagine trying to buy a house now and support a family on a single income. You are working so much harder than earlier generations had to and I really respect your effort. " In fact, to hear that refrain might even make me tear up! It appears (correct me if I'm wrong) that very few people back then had to spend 50% of their income for a tiny little house. It was just understood that you get a decent job, you buy a decent house, you buy a decent car, and you take a family vacation if you can. Craig and I both have cars that are over 8 years old. We haven't taken a vacation in 4 years. We have an old tube television bought at Walmart several years ago. We don't have laptops or satellite radio or even a home phone.

Maybe the rain is making me moody and I know I'm ranting, but I hope you get what I'm trying to say. I don't for a second believe that earlier generations had it made in the shade and never struggled; I am not that naive! But I also think they will never know what it's like to be a young 'middle' class family in today's world. We make too much money to get any goverment support, yet we don't make enough to even have dental or vision insurance.....let alone take a vaca. Also, for those of you like us who have to pay child support it's a backwards system. We pay tax on money we never get to see (or govern how it's spent), we don't get to write it off, and we can't subract it from our income to qualify for things like state health care and dental. We are considered a family of 3 when in reality after all we spend on child support and tax for that money, we should be allowed to qualify as a family of 4. If nothing else just so we can get dental and vision for Eliana. Instead we're left in the cold.

I've gotten advice from 2 generations above me to 1) buy commercial real estate and make money off that and to 2) never sell a home but keep them as rentals. Well, here's the reality, how the heck can I afford to buy commercial real estate if I can't even afford a bigger home for my family? And how can I keep my home as a rental when what I can charge for rental income isn't even half of my mortgage payment? Riddle me that Batman! Gone are the days when you can buy a home and 2 years later sell it and walk away with a $60k profit. Also gone are the days when you can rent out a home for $700 a month with a mortgage of only $400. I realize that might be how it looked 30 years ago, but that's definitely not how it is now. So, rather than aged advice that doesn't ring true anymore........how about a simple, "Good job kiddo!" How about, "I'm proud of you for choosing your family and being financially disciplined."

Craig and I have chosen to stay in Kitsap County for one reason; family. We've looked at Georgia and the Carolina's and even Wyoming. All three places offer a less expensive standard of living and family friendly towns. It's hard to know that we could move to another state and buy a 3000 sq ft home for what we paid for ours here (Just this week a friend sent me a posting for a 1300 sq ft adorable home for 100k in a nice neighborhood and it looks totally remodeled). So, we are sacrificing so that we can be near our families, of which there are a lot. In exchange for our sacrifice I wish the older generations would realize how much young families struggle nowadays. Are there families on welfare abusing the system? Yes. But there's also families like mine that work very hard for everything we have- with no handout.

I've also been told that anyone in my generation can get medical insurance for free and anyone can go to college (kinda like, "stop whining" or something).....really? Where's all that being offered at? I'd like to go there! Ok, time for facts. Can anyone go to the ER and receive care in the State of Washington? Yes, it's a law. However, after you do you will receive a bill and should you choose not to pay that bill it will go to collections and eventually your credit will be torn to poo and you won't be able to buy a home, get a credit card, etc. So, if that's the free 'medical insurance or care' you're talking about, count me out! Doesn't sound free to me. And free college? Where's that! My husband and I both did the minimum college we could, not because we didn't want an education but because we couldn't imagine spending $18k plus a year for schooling plus pay for housing, a car to get to a job, car insurance, gas, groceries, etc. Neither one of us come from privileged families and when the rubber met the road we had to work. We both did our 2 years at a local school and worked full time while we were in school. There were few scholarships available for us and no one offered to pay for us to reach our dreams. I wanted to go to nursing school, Craig wanted to do engineering. So again, where's this free college???

Bottom line, since no one else is willing to say it, I will:

Dear Generation Y:
You are kicking butt! I'm so proud of you for all that you put up with and how hard you work to feed, clothe, and take care of your families. I'm proud of you for paying "The Man" even though we've been told that by the time we retire there may not be anything left. I'm proud of you for voting and paying attention and caring about politics even though previous generations and presidents have left insurmountable debt and problems for us. I'm proud of you for envisioning what you want for your families and working tirelessly to get there. May you hold your head high and know that although you haven't achieved all you dreamed of as a child or all the things your parents had by their 30's....keep trucking on.
I wish greatness for all of you and if you dream of a farmhouse with a white picket fence and a little garden out back......I pray you get that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ovulation Station

Wow, I am so surprised. I actually ovulated! I'm kind of in shock. I mean, this is the first time I've heard a nurse say, "the test shows you DID ovulate." I was like, "uh, really?" Even when I got pregnant with Elly the test didn't catch my ovulation so all I was told was no. I feel so excited and pretty much like I got the golden ticket to go to Hollywood on American Idol; hopeful! I 90% expected to hear, sorry, not this time. Let's up your dose and try again. That's what it was like month after month TTC Eliana. Now, even if I'm not pregnant (which we won't know for a couple more weeks), I'm at least excited that the medicine worked at 100mg, that my body responded, and that we have a shot at actually being pregnant. I'm shocked!
I've been having some strange symptoms like crying ridiculously easy, getting nauseous at smells of relish, scallops (and I LOVE scallops!)...and when I tasted a sundried tomato the other day I almost threw up. Seriously. But then again I doubt myself and think I'm going crazy and I'm making up symptoms simply because I want to be pregnant. Time will tell. Either way I'm just thrilled that the medication worked.