MicroblogMondays: Babymoon Number One?

We are in the middle of our babymoon, or what I call “an excuse to go play”.  Or should I say “Babymoon Number One”?  I will explain later.

We wanted to go away before the babies come.   When we planned it a little while ago, May seemed like a good month to go because we would be well into our second trimester and things should be going pretty well.  (That was before the whole anxiety attack saga went down.)  The destination of choice is an area a bit over an hour from home.  Our niece is a freshman at a local college there so I really strived to visit before her quarter ends.  I feel so lucky that we found this quaint bed and breakfast in a very quaint town.  Restaurants and shops are within walking distance to the inn.  The room rates are reasonable.  The town is a short drive to everywhere we would want to go.  And how blessed we are that the world an hour away is totally different from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The trip started with a massage that both Bob and I desperately needed.  My left shoulder had been hurting and Bob had been complaining about his upper back (and also been asking for a massage from me daily).  That turned out to be the best way to set the right tone for the rest of the weekend.  I was hoping and praying that my period would stay away until after the massage.  I knew that my last period started on May 1st, so it was highly likely that Aunt Flow would visit around the first day of our trip.  To my very pleasant surprise, AF was nowhere to be found and I got to have the most amazing massage ever.  I know massages.  I am picky.  So for me to say that it was amazing I really am not joking.   After I informed the massage therapist my preference of firm pressure, she got to work.  I knew to breathe through whatever she was doing so we were in unison.  Have you ever had a massage where you don’t have to tell the therapist what to do and he/she does exactly what you would like?  My massage was exactly that.  She was so intuitive that I felt like we were in sync with each other.  Every stroke felt so good and intentional.  To say that I was in paradise was an understatement.  I am already plotting to return someday hopefully even after the babies arrive.  And guess what?  My body knew exactly what I wanted.  My flow started about 15 minutes after my massage concluded.  It was weird and wonderful at the same time that my body knew to hold off on the flow.

We checked in to the lovely bed and breakfast.  It is a tiny four-room inn and I have no complaints about it.  The innkeepers are warm and welcoming.  The wife of the team kept on calling my husband Cutie Patootie which was hilarious and fun.  We picked up our niece and saw her dorm for the first time before she leaves for the year and returns to another dorm next year.  She had picked out a Mongolian/Russian restaurant in town and we enjoyed a very delicious meal with lamb riblets, dumplings, and this amazing carrot salad.  I am not usually a carrot fan but it was so good that I requested an extra order of this dish.  We caught up with our niece about her school life, about her summer plans, and our babies.  It just amazes me that my niece has grown into this mature young adult and we are just starting our own family with the babies that are still baking.  It just boggles my mind sometimes how the life paths of siblings (me and my brother in this case) could be so different.

We slept 9 1/2 hours.  Many people joke about how much sleep we won’t get and tell us to sleep as much as we can. We know that you cannot store sleep but we still cherish the chance to sleep as many hours as we want right now.  Breakfast was home cooked and delicious:

After breakfast, we headed to a local state park for the highlight of our trip: meeting up with Rain, McRuger, Cadet, and Pumpkin.

I had been following Rain at Weathering Storms ever since before I became Isabelle on Binky Moongee.  I started reading even before they were matched with Cadet and his birth mother.  I feel like I know her and her family because I do.  I remember the details of that adoption and subsequently with Pumpkin’s adoption.  Seeing the boys grow up with such a wonderful couple  just warms my heart.  Knowing that we live in the same geographical area always made me want to get together with her.  I knew that she recently moved to the area where my niece goes to school.  Once I knew that we were going to spend a couple of days there, I immediately contacted her to see if she’d be available.  And I had been so looking forward to this weekend ever since we made plans with her.

I have got to tell you that meeting up with a fellow blogger who knows you has got to be one of the most marvelous experiences in the world.  I have been blessed with meeting quite a few bloggers and this experience never ceases to amaze me.  There was basically no awkward period to get through because you know them and they know you.  I didn’t have to update Rain about the things that were happening now because hey guess what?  She read the latest blog post already.  It was simply hanging out, “catching up” (although we really just met in person for the first time), and marveling at our fortune of seeing and touching the real person behind the screen.  Pumpkin and Cadet are just so adorable.  They look exactly like their photos.  I just love Rain and her husband.  I wish that we lived closer to one another so we could have a walk in the park every single weekend.  I am so happy for Rain that she is living the life that is so good for her family and her health.  It looks like small town life really suits her.  I feel so blessed to have met this wonderful soul in person.

Sunday afternoon was as lazy and relaxing as could be.  Bob took a nice long nap in the room.  I sat in the back porch of the bed and breakfast and wrote this blog post while listening to the breeze gently blowing the leaves and the subtle sound of the nearby creek.

I even managed to read a few chapters of my novel uninterrupted as I had the open area of the inn all by myself.  This is my definition of a perfect vacation.  Some active time and some down time.

Things on the food front were great on this trip as well.  In additional to the dinner with my niece and the breakfasts, we had a leisurely lunch (over 1.5 hours) and a relaxing and slow dinner (over 2 hours).  Bob had a beer flight at an alehouse for lunch.

The German meal for dinner was within walking distance to our inn.  My pork shank was such a delight: flavorful and tender inside, crispy on the outside.  I did Chinese people proud by cleaning all the meat off the bone.  The mushroom sauce on Bob’s dish was delicious.  I thought we didn’t have room for dessert, but I was totally wrong.  We had crepes with chocolate and hazelnut sauce.

We are going home today.  As far as a long weekend goes, this has been one perfect one.  So why am I calling this Babymoon Number One?  A few weeks ago, Bob asked me if he could go to a work conference in Hawaii in July.  Initially I was a little hesitant about it because we would be about 30 to 31 weeks into our pregnancy.  But then I thought about it, and thought what the heck.  Let’s just enjoy life and plan for it.  Bob went ahead and bought his plane ticket.  And then this thought crept into our heads.  What if I tagged along and went with him?  Hotel will already be paid for.  I would just need to purchase a plane ticket.  After a lot of contemplation (such as using up vacation time, the babies’ possible early arrival, and the cost), we decided that we should just take this opportunity for me to play before the babies come.  So I did!  I bought a plane ticket along with travel insurance (just in case we need to cancel) for me to go for about 6 day to Honolulu!  Bob will be very busy with his work conference even on the weekend.  I will most likely be playing by myself one last time before our babies take up our lives.  So should I even be calling that Babymoon Number Two if we are going to have fun separately?  I’d say so!  It will be our one last chance before we enjoy having two extra little people enriching our lives.  I know I will thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the downtime before craziness starts.

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MicroblogMondays: Maui In Photos

Microblog_Mondays

We finally did our “real” honeymoon, five years late.  So glad that we chose Maui.  It was indeed a beautiful place for honeymooners and apparently babymooners as well.

Like I said in my last post, there were plenty of pregnant ladies on the plane.  These ladies with bumps were also spotted on beaches, restaurants, and hikes.  A favorite game between Bob and me was spotting a lady in bikinis on the beach and asking, “Is she pregnant?”  Out of all the ladies that we spotted, I’d say 9 out of 10 times those ladies were pregnant.

I have been sick for the last week and a half.  I am still sick right now.  Majority of the time on Maui I was coughing and having a stuffy nose.  I think that was why I was so tired the first two days we were there. Our original plan was to go watch the sunrise at the summit of Haleakala National Park in the first two days of our trip since we would still be on California time.  But due to my crazy fatigue, we didn’t make it on day one or day two.  Instead, we just hung out on the beach and chilled.  The condo that we rented had everything that was needed for a beach day.  You’d often find us in our swimsuits and coverups hauling two beach chairs, a beach umbrella, a bag with towels and sunscreen lotion, a novel, and a bodyboard.  We only had to walk across the street from our condo complex to a very nice and calm beach.  It was so serene to just sit on the white sand and watch the ocean.  The sun was hot and the umbrella helped to keep us cool.  However, at times, the wind was also blowing strong.  Don’t let this picture fool you.  The umbrella flew away a few times.  Imagine me or Bob running after it in the hot sand.

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That IS Bob in the water facing the ocean on the right side of the picture.

I went into the water quite a few times.  It was quite fun the first couple of times when the water was calm.  The final day we went to the beach it was significantly windier.  The water was so choppy that floating on the bodyboard was a little bit scary.  Quite a few times I thought I was floating too far away from the shore and panicked a little bit.  For someone who is not a good swimmer, it was quite a scary thing.  The waves flipped me over quite a few times.  All in all, I am very thankful that we rented a place so close to the beach so we could go as often as we would like with the convenience of going back to the condo and washing up without getting into our rental car.

I have always loved Hawaiian food, so I am very happy with the food choices there.  Many good restaurants were within walking distances to our condo in Kihei.  I particularly loved the macaroni salad that came with all my Hawaiian plate lunches.  To save money, we also ate in a few times.  We picked up fish from Costco: ono, opah, blue marlin.  Fish that we usually don’t find here in California.  We ate very well there, but I also loved that we had a balance and didn’t overspend on dining out.

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My own cooking: ono with asparagus

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loco moco, kalua pork, and fried spam musubi

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loco moco, again

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macadamia nut pancakes

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seared ahi tuna and coconut shrimp

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two kinds of poke and pineapple cole slaw

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mahi mahi and ono fish and chips

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french toast with mac nuts

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kalua pork moco

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korean chicken and short ribs

And then there was dinner at a fancier restaurant our last day.  The chef apparently made one too many crab dips so we got that dish on the house at the end of our dinner.  Who doesn’t love some free food?

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buffalo shrimp

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short rib pot pie

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mahi mahi with lemon caper sauce

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crab dip on the house

Okay enough food talk.  Here comes my favorite part of the trip, which involved getting up at 2:15 in the morning.  Yup.  You read it right.  TWO FIFTEEN A.M.  I guess if you want to watch the sunrise on the summit of Haleakala, you have to leave Kihei at no later than 3am so that you can get a parking spot on the summit. Otherwise, you’d have to park somewhere lower and that’d have defeated the purpose of getting up so early.  Sunrise was at 5:48 that morning.  The night before we were going back and forth about whether or not we should do it.  Out of the fear of missing out, we said screw it and let’s get up early in the morning.  I went to bed at 8:45 the night before since I was still feeling sick anyways.  Bob probably didn’t go to bed until closer to 9:45.  Waking up wasn’t as torturous as we had imagined.  Bob even measured out the coffee grounds and the water for fresh coffee the night before.  It took about one hour 45 minutes to drive up that winding road to the summit.  Being from California, I am very used to winding roads.  The road wasn’t as horrible as some people on message boards described it to be.  It was like a zoo by the time we got to the summit parking lot at 4:45am.  It was pitch dark.  Park rangers with flashlights directed us to a parking spot.  We were dressed in our light down jackets and jeans, but it was still cold.  The temperature was probably about 45 degrees.  Comparable to a colder night in San Francisco.  As warned by my friends, I brought blankets and towels from the condo.  They proved to be very useful.  Instead of standing inside the glass hut on the summit, we opted for standing out in the open and braving the wind and the cold for a better view.  Bob wrapped a towel over his head and a blanket around his body.  He looked like he just got off a camel in the desert.  My phone’s compass pointed us to the east, and we occupied a spot facing that direction with plenty of crazy people who stood around like us.  We looked up and could see so many stars in the sky.  It was a great idea to come so early because the changes in the lights in the sky were phenomenal:

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Standing there at 10,000 ft above sea level, you can totally see and hopefully appreciate the grandeur of God’s creation.

That same day, we got a massage in our condo.  I felt that I slept funny the day I was staying at home being sick.  My back had been hurting and the massage was heavenly.

After much debate, we decided to also do Road to Hana.  I got mixed reviews from various people who had done it. Some said you don’t want to miss it.  Others said that it was really nothing much to see.  We don’t know when we’d come back to Maui again, so we decided to do it.  After reading many times on message boards about it, I paid $5 and downloaded this app.  It approved to be the best $5 that I had ever spent.  This app uses the GPS on your phone to guide you where to go.  It tells you what sights were must-sees, what sights to skip, where to park, where to eat.  On the way back, it also tells you stories about the history of Hawaii.  I highly recommend it.  You can download it at the app store.  It’s called “Road to Hana GyPSy Driver Tour”.  It will be the best $5 you will ever spend.  With this app, I didn’t have to look at a map or flip a book.  Since the road was winding as well, I would have felt sick and thrown up looking at a map or a book.

I am very glad we went.  It was beautiful out there.  There is really nothing much to see in Hana.  The journey itself is the highlight.

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black sand beach

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This was about the best vacation one could have.  Eight days was the perfect length.  We got to spend quality time with each other.  Bob didn’t have his phone with him the whole time so we could have a conversation.  We had beach time, lazy time, crazy time to see the sunrise, driving on the road to Hana to see the lush side of Maui, massage time, reading time, and even a lot of Gilmore Girls time.  Yes we watched plenty of Gilmore Girls on Ne.tflix.  We talked a little about our next steps for our fertility treatment but majority of the time we just relaxed and went with the flow.  It was perfect.

On the beach and on the flight back, we were surrounded by babies and little children.  These babies were all so cute in their little swimsuits.  Bob repeatedly asked if I could imagine my own little baby in a swimsuit playing with sand.  It didn’t quite make me sad, but it is a reminder of what we have been longing for.  My dream is that next time we go to Maui we’ll be with our baby as well.  I am really hoping that this dream will one day come true.

MicroblogMondays: Anniversary on Maui

Microblog_Mondays

Despite me being sick, we are having a blast on Maui.

Believe it or not, I have been sick since last Tuesday night.  I had to leave work early on Wednesday.  I lay in bed all day with a severe sore throat and feverish body on Thursday.  I was still not feeling well enough to see kids on Friday, but had to return to work to finish things up before our vacation.

Even with a hugely stuffed up nose, none of this matters.  Because, I am here on vacation for our 5th anniversary.  We arrived here without a hitch.  Rented a car, bought groceries at Costco (as recommended by numerous people including a popular guidebook), and drove to our condo.  The view from the balcony is to die for:

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The photo doesn’t do it justice.  All day long, the lighting and color of the ocean change.  This is a picture in the morning.  We sat in the balcony and ate our breakfast looking at the ocean.  Before I woke up, I could hear all the birds chirping and the sound of the waves.  This is so drastically different from our life in California.

We could have chosen a restaurant with a great view but so-so food for our anniversary dinner.  We eventually chose good food over a view. We were not disappointed.

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The spicy tuna tacos, the steak appetizer, and our fish of the day entrees were all so tasty that the dinner was very memorable.

The night ended with a wonderful shave ice:

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The next day, we sat on the beach in the morning.  The breeze, the warm sand, and the cool ocean water made it a perfect morning:

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When we were saving up money for this trip, we had always called it our “babymoon”.  I saw plenty of pregnant ladies on the plane on our way here.  I know that we are nowhere close to that, but we are not sad about not having a baby growing inside of me yet.  We are keeping our faith that one day we’ll be able to celebrate the growing of our baby in a way as memorable as our trip to Maui.

As for now, I’ll savor every bite of raw fish I can enjoy here on Maui for the next six days.

MicroblogMondays: Transfer Is Approaching

Microblog_Mondays

The next transfer is slowly creeping up on us.

I have been on Lu.pron and estrogen patches for a few weeks now.  The one and only lining check is going to be today at 11:30am.

How have I been feeling?  Mostly at peace.  I pray for peace and strength, and total trust in the Lord daily.  I did have one moment of panic about one week ago but it went away quickly.  I found myself in a different state this time.  Lighter, perhaps?  The old me would have been very on top of things.  However, this time, I have been quite forgetful.  I often get startled by the Goog.le calendar reminder for the Lu.rpon shot at 9:15pm. At times, I truly forget that an injection has been scheduled daily.  Maybe I feel that there are better things to do than to get overly stressed about the injection?  As long as the phone reminder does its job, I have nothing to worry about.  I was supposed to leave a voicemail with my clinic after I started my estrogen patch.  I did start the patch, but totally forgot about calling the clinic until my nurse hunted me down with a phone call.  This is very unlike me, but it tells you how much I am not thinking about the transfer.  After taking a break since our failed cycle, I finally contacted my acupuncturist for a few sessions leading up to the transfer.  When she saw me last week, I shared my feelings with her about this cycle.  She observed my face and my body language and said I did look lighter.  It’s so interesting to know that she could actually see it on my face.

Another interesting thing is, today’s lining check does not stress me out.  The last time I was stressed out because I had a date set and I really wanted to do it right before Thanksgiving.  With my mind set on a date, the appropriate thickness of the lining was very important on my lining check date.  This time we don’t even have a set transfer date.  Transfer will be any day between February 1 and February 5.  So the thickness of the lining today is not as important.  I feel that I am just going with the flow.  Whatever the nurses and doctors say, I’ll follow.

Don’t get me wrong. Even with this newfound “lightness”, I am still hopeful.  I am still thinking and planning ahead for a pregnancy.  I do think about a couple of months down the line what I will be doing with my new pregnancy.  Recently, Bob and I started talking about planning a trip for our 5th year wedding anniversary.  We were originally going to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon.  Because I just didn’t have enough energy to plan another thing right before our wedding, we abandoned that plan and went somewhere locally (and still had a blast).  We always talk about going to Hawaii but still haven’t gone.  We have already saved up the money for it.  We have even labeled our savings account for that trip “Babymoon”.  So we are going to go.  I haven’t booked anything yet pending Bob’s vacation approval from his work. But during all the research and planning, it did cross my mind that anything could happen at that point.  We could be 14 weeks pregnant.  We could have failed the cycle and be still looking for a donor.  Or we could have found a donor and our planned trip would be right in the middle of our cycle.  But you know what?  I can’t let all the what-ifs stop us from living life.  And I choose to believe that by the time our trip rolls around, I will be bringing our baby along.  It will be a trip for our family of three.  Isn’t that a wonderful thought?  I will even sacrifice the enjoyment of consuming various kinds of fish that Hawaii has to offer for the sake of my child.

And how’s Bob doing?  He is doing much better.  He was angry at God for a while but he seems to be in a better place.  He can pray again and we pray together.  He is also hopeful about this coming cycle but not as “light” as I am.  He is still skeptical about it and sometimes feels that we should save every single penny up for more treatment, such as the money we have already set aside for our babymoon trip.  I just let him go a little crazy for a while before he comes to me and tells me that we should go on our trip.  😉

So yeah, I guess transfer will be here before we know it.  I am really ready for it.  Hopefully I can keep my “lightness” through out these next few weeks.