Friday, August 27, 2010

The Second Illness is Upon Us :(

Alex is sick again...her second illness ever. This time it's a cold-and hopefully it will stay a cold and not progress into something else like last time. She woke up tonight at 11:30 pm crying because her nose was stuffy. My poor little monkey. So we sat on the couch together for awhile, had some bottle, some children's Tylenol and, for the moment, she is sleeping peacefully. Keeping my fingers crossed that this stays mild, as my cold did. Still kind of paranoid after the whole pneumonia diagnosis a month ago. No coughing though-just a runny nose and sneezing-which were pretty much my only symptoms.

Oh...I forgot to mention that Dan is still out of town on business, so it's just me tonight. Looks like it could be a long one! I have to try to resist the urge to let her sleep in my bed for the rest of it-when they're sick, you just kind of want to keep them close!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What To Do, What To Do....

Loving her pups

Sitting up like a big girl & playing with her toys!

Alex's first time at the park. She loved the swing!

Dan is out of town; he's on a business trip to NYC. Usually these trips are only one night; however, Dan left at 6am yesterday and doesn't come home until midnight on Friday. Bleh. The house is super quiet without him around and I am getting kind of bored. Granted, I'm not doing much, myself, because I am fighting a cold and trying to get Alexandra to take it easy so she doesn't get said cold. So yeah-I'm going a little bit stir-crazy....hence this hodge-podge of a post. I'm thinking that I might shoot out to Wegmans today, though, and buy stuff to make pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. It's a good day for baking-cloudy and kind of fall-like.

We have a busy weekend ahead though-so hopefully I'm feeling better and hopefully Dan and Alex don't come down with this cold. Tomorrow, my friend Colleen and I are going to the State Fair (mom is watching Alex), Saturday, I have a wedding shower to go to and we have a surprise party to go to at night and Sunday we have another party. So I guess I should just revel in my boredom for today and just rest.

Oh...on a positive note....I lost 5 pounds in 9 days :) And only a few more weeks until we go back to our fertility specialist. If I keep this rate up, I will be well past pre-pregnancy weight! Could make getting pregnant easier!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Just Never Knew... quickly calories could add up before I began tracking them online! Seriously-it's amazing how a cookie here, a cracker there, can add up! I generally eat healthy-but I am a grazer. I snag a little something throughout the day and don't think too much about it. It's amazing how much more conscientious I am about what I eat when I actually have to track it!

Anyway, hooray for me because in three days-I have lost three pounds (granted, I'm drinking 100 fl oz of water, which I'm SURE has something to do with it)! I know I know-you shouldn't lose more than two in a week and all that, but I needed a kick start. And I'm being healthy-just exercising and sticking to about 1200 calories a day. It was getting frustrating before, when I *thought* that I was being healthy and not losing anything; but again, I don't think I really added up all of those little snacks. Apparently I thought all those calories went into a black hole or something.

I'm happy though, kind of feel like I'm back in the zone. Which is what I need since I have about five or six weeks to go before we see the RE again. I really want to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight when I go back. And, of course, losing some weight will only benefit me in terms of pcos.

Wish me luck, ladies! I am determined NOT to fall off the wagon OR become completely obsessed with it. I just want to have a healthy life which means healthy body and healthy mind ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Official...

...Back to school season is officially in full swing. Why is this important, you ask? Well, like for all the kids out there, this marks the winding down of summer. As a school psychologist I, too, have to go back to school-er-work. And just like most kids, I have mixed emotions about going back.

On one hand, it will be nice to be on a set schedule again. Gone will be the "willy nilly" days of summer where Alex and I are in bed until 9:30 and laze right through the morning. Yep-they will be no more, baring the weekends. Instead, it will be me getting up at six, getting ready, leaving my baby girl at home with her daddy and sitter, and doing the whole commute thing. There are certain things I look forward to though, I must be honest. I like my morning commute, listening to my early morning radio shows and having a cup of coffee. I like hanging out with my friends/colleagues before the kids arrive-inevitably drinking more coffee. I enjoy the work-the counseling and the evaluations and using my brain for something different than what I use it for domestically-which is not to say one thing is better than the other. Anyway, it's a bittersweet time because I'm a tiny (I mean tiny) bit excited about going back....but know that the novelty will wear off and that I will just want to be with Alex all day again.

The saving grace is that I do love fall and I love the progression into the holidays. Right now, the tree in our side yard is *just* beginning to change colors-which fills me with excitement and dread, in equal measures. I love the cool, crisp air, apple picking and pumpkin picking. I adore walking into the house and the crock-pot being full of something rich and hearty-and having the smells waft through the house. I love fall cooking. I love sweaters and scarves. I love the first frost and warm apple crisp and homemade applesauce. I love Halloween decorations and Halloween parties. I cannot wait to see Alex in her first Halloween costume and "carving" her first pumpkin. I love the way that the air smells in the fall-like smoke and leaves. And Thanksgiving this year-well-I am truly thankful to have a wonderful husband and a beautiful baby to share the day with.

So yes, it's exciting and sad to see all the "back to school" sales and ads. Life is marching on though and I can't live in summer limbo forever. Here's to hoping that this school year is a good one-and not too stressful!

Monday, August 9, 2010


I think I might have new baby envy?! Friends of ours are due to have their baby any minute-they're overdue really. I keep remembering the excitement of that time-of thinking about what the baby will look like and sound like. The excitement of adding a whole new person to the family and to your life (I think I have conveniently blocked out the sleepless nights though). I guess I'm surprised that the feeling of envy struck me this early. I didn't expect it for another six months at least. So perhaps I'm more ready than I had thought to go back to our fertility specialist.

I've been really torn between wanting to have another child, to complete our family....and wanting to keep Alexandra an only child for a little bit longer. I really am just enjoying us being a family of three and probably would be content with this for a few years longer. But the reality is-I don't know how long it will take to get pregnant this time around. I don't know what we'll be facing. Will it be easy? Will it be a long and difficult process? Will I have any more losses? Despite these worries and some conflicting feelings, I think we're ready to move ahead. It's kind of one of those things where you sometimes just have to jump feet first in and stop agonizing over the decision...and just hope for the best....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Outback Pictures

This is a typical, old-school, Queensland style house

See the Emu?

Yes, this is a real road and there are cows in our way

An uninterrupted view as far as the eye can see

Alex, hamming it up ;)

One of our very fun dirt roads

In Tambo

Another typical western house

One of my favorite pictures, Alex very happy after coming out of the hot spring

Alex and Auntie Genevieve in the spring. In this picture, you can't see the water being pumped into the pool from the ground, unfortunately

Alex and the bull, right before she grabbed his horns

Animal training demonstration

Watching the dog shepard the sheep....onto the bus?

The general store in Long Reach

The inside of the store-looks like a display, doesn't it?

Where we stayed our first night

Drive through bottle shop-something we're missing in NY

Dan and his sisters

Mmmm....meat pies with tomato sauce! Something the U.S. is missing!

Looks like the tourist center in Alpha is doing a lot of business, doesn't it?

Our Outback Adventure!

Despite this trip being my fifth or sixth to Australia, I had yet to really venture into the outback. Mostly, we just stayed on the coast near all the beaches and hot spots. For those who aren't familiar with Australia, the vast (vast) majority of the population lives on the coasts-mostly the east coast. The outback certainly is not a buzzing metropolis. It's mostly miners (along with small mine towns) and cattle country. Cattle stations can be hundreds of miles from each other. Anyway, I did want to get the outback experience so Dan, Alex, Veronica, Genevieve (Dan's two sisters), Shannon (Veronica's husband) and I went for a road trip.

We had a great time. The outback is a gorgeous, desolate place. The first day was mostly a driving day. We stopped in a town called Alpha for some lunch, which of course consisted of nothing other than meat pies. Americans do NOT know what they are missing with meat pies-they are scrumptious. Dan and I keep joking that we are going to open an Aussie eatery with various flavors of meat pies, sausage rolls, chips w/ sweet chili sauce and sour cream, kebabs (not kebobs...totally different), Lamingtons, Pavlova, dapper, etc. We would do a killing, I reckon. Ok, tangent done. We continued driving out to Long Reach, where we spent the night in a little cabin in the desert. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Of course, that night we went for steaks at the local pub, as we were in cattle country.

The next day went to the "Stockman's Hall of Fame" where we were able to go through a museum which focuses on the history of the outback. I was particularly fascinated with the early women settlers of the outback. It's amazing what they had to cope with in terms of living conditions. We also saw a demonstration of how animals are trained....we even got to see a dog shepard sheep.

After that, we stopped in another pub, had a few pints and a burger and went to a nearby town (can't remember the name right now) that had a natural artisan well with a hot spring. After a long day of driving the day before, we couldn't resist. We jumped into our suits and enjoyed the spring. It was so nice and warm, but not too hot. Alex loved it. She kept laughing at the bubbles and was kicking like crazy. After that, we drove to Tambo, where we stayed the night. Tambo is a very small western mining town. Veronica's husband, Shannon, is incidentally from Tambo-his dad is/was a miner. We went to the local pub, got some dinner, hung out with some locals and had a good time.

The next day, we got a nice breakfast and Shannon called a woman he knows in order to open up her shop. This woman sells something called "Tambo Teddies". About fifteen years ago, a group of women got together and pitched ideas to make money for themselves and to improve employment in the town. They came up with the idea of making teddy bears 100% out of local wool. Each bear comes with a number, which is registered to the person who bought it, and a name. The name consists of an outback station name with a normal name. For example, we bought "Ercidoune Elliot". Ercidoune being the station. So-Alex got to take home her very own, original, handmade Tambo teddy.

The rest of the day, we just drove around seeing the sights and slowly worked our way home. We took several dirt roads, which was really neat because you saw so much more of the raw outback, than if you were on a paved, main road. We saw dozens of 'roos and a few emus too. In all, the trip was very successful! I'll post some pics, because there's no point in trying to describe the sights if there are pics!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Alex went to Australia....

....and came back with her first illness :( And not a seemingly benign illness like a cold-but PNEUMONIA!!!! Pneumonia-what a scary word! I just cannot believe that she has this as her first illness ever. I was expecting a runny nose or something similar. I've pretty much been dreading this first sickness, just because I didn't know what to expect. But having your baby get sick away from home, away from her doctor and in another country no less, is a bit disconcerting.

It started out with a mild cold during the last week of our stay. Dan's mum was sick for a few days with cold like symptoms, so I'm assuming that is where Alexandra picked it up from. Poor Corrie felt so bad-but really, it had to happen at some point. Alex certainly does not live in a bubble. Anyway, the first sign was a bit of a cough and some congestion. So off to the family doctor we went, and he said her lungs were clear.

We kept an eye on her for a few days and noticed that her cough was getting a little worse, but other than that she was completely happy and had no fever. Just to make sure things were still ok (since we were heading back to the states soon), we took her to another doctor in Yeppoon. He listened to her lungs and said that she sounded "raspy", but not badly so, and that he was going to prescribe amoxycillin "just in case"-due to our traveling. Ok, no worries. Well, the day before we left for the states, we were in Brisbane and had a doctor actually come to Dan's friend's house to check Alex over because I could feel her chest rattle. Still-no temp and she didn't act sick, no labored breathing either. That doctor said that it was phlegm build up and prescribed prednisone to help open her airways.

Ok, fast forward three days and we're home. Alex still has a cough, but not too bad. She still does not have a fever and acts perfectly normal and happy. I decided to take her to her normal pedi just to have her looked over here. Well, the pedi said her chest was perfectly clear and the cough was due to residual congestion. This doctor actually wanted me to stop the amoxycillin because her lungs sounded so good. But, this doctor was wise and decided to do a chest x-ray before taking her off the drugs. I think she was very surprised when a little bit of pneumonia was detected! And I was shocked too-Alex really hasn't acted sick and her cough isn't even that bad. I always expected a child with pneumonia to be very sick. If anything, I thought I was overreacting about a MILD cold. Crazy! And scary!

Anyway-Alex is to stay on the meds and to rest. She woke up today smiling and laughing and acting normal, thank God. She was definitely less congested today too-so hopefully this will all be behind us soon. I'm so grateful that this was a very mild case and pray that it stays mild and goes away quickly! Sick kids are nerve just feel so helpless. Oh, and seeing your infant having a chest x-ray is pretty horrible. They put Alex in this clear plastic case (like a body cast) and it suspends her arms over her head. It closed around her super tight and I couldn't even stay in the room with her (because of the x ray). Poor kid just cried and cried. Well, that's all for now-going to keep unpacking....

Australia Pics!

We're on our way! Alex doesn't really know what to expect here!

In Australia-learning poker with Dan's mates. Alex is my "good luck charm"

Family dinner with Dan's family

See the wallaby?

Going for a beach walk

Out of order pics....but my first time ever playing poker and I won! And gloating a little ;)

Dan and his mates from uni hanging out

Yeppoon, beautiful!

Some neighborhoods in YeppoonAlign Center

Beach at Emu Park, low tide

Alex's first time at the beach and touching sand!

Picnic'ing at the beach

Alex and I

Alex and her Dutch great-grandmother, Omie

Alex and her nana
View from Dan's parents' house

I have a gazillion more pics, but wisely decided to only post a few. Outback trip pics are coming :)

We're Home!

Dan, Alexandra and I at Farnsborough Beach, QLD, Australia

(Alex's first trip to the beach!)

Ahhhhhhhh! It's good to be back in our own space! However, it was a little bit sad coming home. I love Australia and Dan's family both, so coming back was kind of bittersweet. Yeah, three weeks isn't long enough and, depending on some things such as pregnancy, we would love to stay six or eight weeks next year.

Anyway-we had a fabulous time! Alexandra did phenomenally well on the plane trips-despite being in the air for an obscene amount of time! Unfortunately, Alex did end up getting sick at the end of the trip-but that's a whole 'nother story. We mostly stayed in Yeppoon with Dan's family, but also squeezed in an outback trip too. That was great fun, especially because I've never been to the outback. This was my fifth trip to Australia and until now, I've just stayed on the coast. Anyway, I'll probably blog separately about the outback experience. Let's just put it this way-it's a WHOLE different world! In Yeppoon, we had a very relaxing visit...a lot of beach walks and picnics, mountain walks, etc. Alex was able to spend a lot of time with her aunties and her nana and deda (dan's parents), who hadn't seen her since she was 7 weeks old! Boy, has she changed a lot. Alex was also able to meet both sets of great grandparents...what a lucky girl to be able to meet both sides!

I was pleasantly surprised at how well Alex adjusted to all the changes. Not only to the different time zone (I have no idea how many we crossed...but there's 14 hours difference between where we live and Australia) but to all the new people and surroundings. She seemed to become more relaxed to change and travel as the trip progressed, which is a relief. Alex has become quite a little flirt too-trying to catch any one's eye to grin at them and poking her tongue at them as well...funny girl!

At the end of the trip, Dan, Alex and I spent a few days in Brisbane to hang out with friends from uni and a day on the Gold Coast. Boy, did that bring back memories!!! Very bittersweet. Dan and I met at Bond University on the Gold Coast in October 2001 when I was studying abroad there. We went back to see the campus and so much has changed. But it was surreal to be back to that same place we met as a new family of three. Especially when the odds were very much stacked against us in the beginning. I was looking for someone to take a picture of the three of us in front of the main campus-but couldn't find anyone. We really wanted to get Alexandra a Bond Uni sweatshirt, but the shop was closed. Oh well, next summer.

Anyway, I was just really flooded with memories of how, for lack of a better word, magical that time was when Dan and I first met. But it was so sad and stressful too because at the back of our minds, my imminent departure was always looming. But man-we had a wonderful, crazy whirlwind time of it. It's different now, of course, but certainly just as wonderful. Being back on the Gold Coast reminded me of who I was nine years ago and who I am now and I can only say that I am so thankful that I had every experience I've had (even the gut-wrenching one of saying goodbye at the train station nine years back, not knowing if we would ever see each other again) and that Dan and I were able to stay committed despite prolonged separations of the geographic variety. It all makes me so thankful for where we are today <3