Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018

1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!

Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

March, 2020

This month started with mild concern over COVID-19 that seemed to grow stronger by the hour. The risk seemed small at first, with people hoarding toilet paper and sanitizer but quickly snowballed, with large festivals being canceled; flights to Europe (except the UK) grounded for 30 days and all gatherings of 250 or more people urged by the governor to be canceled. Then, the number was reduced to 50, 10 and finally everyone was told to stay home. Disneyland closed as well as all sporting events. By March 13, a National Emergency was declared and the Orange County Superintendent recommended the closure of all schools for a minimum of two weeks. California's governor ordered all but essential businesses close, and "shelter in place orders" with this being deemed a pandemic. By month's end, schools across the state announced that they would remain closed the rest of the academic year, with distance learning taking place.

The majority of people I know were not concerned about the potential effects of the virus on themselves, but we all worry about the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. What I find most unsettling is that you can be completely asymptomatic for 2 weeks and unknowingly transmit COVID-19 to others. By the month's end, we learned that about 25% of people who are infected remain asymptomatic, passing it on to others. For this reason, we canceled our spring break trip to see my in-laws in Oregon and have not been able to visit with my Dad, who usually visits us every week.

Before all of this blew up, we celebrated my brother's birthday on March 8th with a trip to Knott's Berry Farm. Hand sanitizer in a holster, I noticed A's fingers in her mouth and I (hopefully uncharacteristically) snipped at her, "Get your fingers out of your mouth!" Her sweet response was not what I was expecting "Mommy, my tooth is loose!" We were all very excited about the news, but the tooth fairy was not able to take her tooth since she accidentally ate it while having her cheese fries. She still left money for a gift.

With the shelter in place orders, or social lives came to a grinding halt, starting with what was to be the kids' first hockey game: fourth row for the Ducks at the Honda Center. But you know what? I didn't miss it. Not only did it save us $350, but the weekend was relaxing and not rushed. We walked to a historic dam, about a mile from our house. The kids were in paradise, with lots of opportunities to throw rocks, watch turtles, climb trees and cross a small stream, sometimes falling in. We went back again and again, all month long.

Remember that A gave up TV for Lent? We've managed to stick to it, surprisingly. We are spending so much time outside and also sprinkling learning throughout the day that there often isn't much time for it. We are, however, watching part of a movie on Disney+ some days. 

She's finishing up learning her alphabet and knows the majority of it (H and K need some work, as well as C and S). We continue to practice tracing letters and writing her name, coloring, and she is starting to learn the sounds of each letter as well as recognize some sight words. She knows most of her lower numbers, can count to 40 and is able to do some basic math. My husband and I are each reading a chapter or two each day from two separate books to her; Warrior Kid and Treasure Island. 

We go on at least one daily walk as a family (2-3 miles), sometimes two, and she is riding her big bike cautiously out front, and her tricycle like a speed racer out back. They both love going in her blue Jeep. We have finally found time to sit in our padded rocking chairs out front and watch them just play, waving to neighbors and talking to them from a distance as they pass by. Paradoxically, though we all remain isolated, there is more of a sense of community than ever before.

Me, I'm running 3 miles almost every day with my audiobook, and have set the goal of doing at least 36 miles every week for this quarantine period. Refusing to gain the quarantine 15, my weight-loss continues, though it has slowed. While I've managed to stick with my intermittent fasting, more days are 16:8 instead of the 19:5 that I was doing while out of the house.

At the risk of sounding tone-deaf (best example: David Geffen) I have to say that this is quite possibly the best time of my life. Hopefully, it goes without saying that I wish none of this were happening. I worry about my father, my friend's mom, my in-laws and the countless elderly people (and their families) who are or will be affected by this. Or those with compromised immune systems. I recognize that we are blessed and fortunate to have secure jobs, and I cannot pretend to know what it would be like to be unemployed right now, or worry that was coming. I can only imagine the disappointment of every senior out there, with so many long-anticipated events and milestones canceled.
But this time together is just such an invaluable gift.

We spend almost all of our time off of school away, and I have longed for some time to just be at home and enjoy it or organize things that I haven't gotten around to since we moved here just over a year and a half ago. Our shortened summer was completely booked with Krakow, Croatia, Oregon and Shaver Lake, leaving us one week at home. One week! Now, the earliest we will return to work is August and I just cannot believe all of this time that we have stretched out before us. Together, as a family. I'm seeing the kids interact in ways that I've never witnessed before and it melts my heart. With all of their playmates removed, they are relying on each other for entertainment and I love nothing more than hearing their belly laughs when they get into mischief, like pouring water on the dogs. I've started reading the Bible, and continue to work on growing my faith. I finished the first course in my EdD program, and have 18 more to go. I've organized the washroom and together we cleaned up the garage so that we can access the weight bench. I was a bit more productive in the beginning before I knew that we would be off the rest of the year. Now, there's always tomorrow and I'm totally fine with that.  
Princess dress on a hike? Sure, why not!
My Mom had an uncanny ability to see the good in every situation; in any situation. Now, more than ever, I realize that she passed that on to me. I'm sure that a large part of it is due to me not watching the news, and only glancing at headlines every other day or so. But the main reason that I don't watch is that nearly all of this is beyond my control. Can I control all of the spring-breakers congregating on the beaches of Florida and putting senior citizens at risk? No. And so like she did, I focus on what I can control: a fun and calm and loving home-life, filled with more dogs than you can shake a stick at and lots of time outdoors.

One of my main goals in life is to pass on the positive attitude that Mom had to our children. Whenever A is upset at something she can't control, I smile and try to help her see the flip side; the blessing in disguise; the silver lining. You never know if what you're trying to teach your children is working until they throw it back at you. We walked into Target right at 8am to buy eggs, milk and a toy with her tooth-fairy money. The store was desolate, making it easy to keep distance and I had my sanitizing wipes in hand. Without realizing it, I gravitated toward the Starbucks out of habit, only to find it closed. Asking an employee when it would open, I offered over-exaggerated disappointment upon learning that it wouldn't open "until all this is over." Sweetly, A placed her hand on my cheek and left it there, while she said "It's okay Mommy! You have coffee at home and today is a good day."

Things I don't want to forget about this month:

Currently Reading:  
  • C picking a dandelion to give me.
  • A asking if she can have ice cream early in the morning, wear her princess dress on a hike, pancakes for dinner or 5 more minutes of a movie and her reaction to me telling her yes. "Best Mommy EVER!" 
  • C learning to kiss and doing it every day! 
  • A waking up next to me and her first words being "I love my family."
  • Words: Bee, moon, up, wa-wa, eye, shoe, outside, baby, ball, no, bubble, bye bye, baba, Mama, uh-oh, woah, Dada!

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