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.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

July, 2020

One of the best things about this month was sleeping in every day until 9am! The kids are on a great sleeping (and napping!) schedule. Au and Cha sleep from 10pm until 9am and they both also nap every day at 2pm. Au usually naps until 4 or 5, whereas Cha naps until 6pm, a solid 4 hours. I go to bed around midnight and still get close to 9 hours. I've heard that some 5-year-olds no longer nap, but I'm holding on to this dream as long as I can.

Wait, Au and Cha? Previously, I was writing their names as A and C, but using just an 'A' gets confusing. I'm not trying to conceal their names necessarily, but do want to prevent them from having a google presence just yet. We'll save that until they're 12 and aspiring famous YouTube-ers.

On the first of July, we had Au's birthday party at Wish Out Loud, a place I highly recommend if you're in Orange County. For the party package that I chose, we were limited to 12 guests and she had 13...a great turn-out for a party held during a pandemic! First, guests had pedicures. Then, they split into two groups - one to make charm bracelets and another to have their hair done. Next, it was time for a pizza/tea party at the beautifully decorated table, complete with real china. During the luncheon, Ariel came out and made the rounds, interacting with all of the guests. She was there for the rest of the party, which included signing happy birthday, serving the beautiful cake, a crowning ceremony and dancing on the stage. Toward the end, bubbles started falling, which was a welcome surprise for all guests (and, me!).
Before quarantining ahead of our trip to Oregon at the end of the month, we squeezed in as many play-dates with Au's friends as we could. We had few beach trips, hikes and pool or hot-tub dates with friends. We also celebrated the 4th with a park play-date for her new school, and fireworks on our street with our neighbor friends.

In Oregon, Au became comfortable swimming in the lake! This was a huge step, because now she is truly water-safe there. She went in almost ever day, and was even able to swim to one of the little islands, and also the water fountain. I continued my daily 3 mile runs, and started taking both retrievers with me.

It was a summer of salamanders, as Au and I caught some most days. We would only keep them a day or two and then release them and catch some more. I also took the canoe out most days, just the kids and I. As always, it was a relaxing time. Although we didn't get to go to Krakow and Croatia as planned, extra family time is always valued. I love the adventure and freedom that Oregon allows them, with Au venturing out some mornings to feed pony while I cooked breakfast. With encouragement, she almost walked around the lake on her own.
My running buddies.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

June, 2020

Nearing the end of the school year but working from home due to COVID, we took the opportunity to head up to my in-law's property in Oregon for just under three weeks. Because COVID can be deadly to those with underlying health conditions or the elderly, we quarantined and also had the nasal swab test before we left. It was our first time making the 14+ hour drive with the kids and just like before our first international trip, we were nervous. But the kids did great, sleeping as we drove through the night and only asking "Are we there yet?" forty-two times. 

It was so nice to take a break from California and all of the media coverage surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and then Defund the Police. While both movements started much earlier, the  death of George Floyd at the end of last month pushed them into the mainstream media. It seems that everything is politicized these days, even (especially?) COVID, and that the country has a deep divide politically. But a very good friend of mine (who happens to be on the opposite end of the political spectrum) reminds me that the media makes us seem more polarized than we actually are. Liberal or conservative, most people meet in the middle on many issues and can agree on much more than the Huffington Post or Fox News would have us believe. Frustrated with the great divide highlighted in the media, I took the change of scenery as an opportunity to unplug and focus on what really matters my world and what I have control over: Our family. 
We've spent every day together since March 13 when the schools in California were closed and it has been the biggest blessing. The kids are bonding in a way that just wouldn't be possible with them in school and daycare full-time. They are often their only playmates, and get along so well, with almost no conflict. And it's a good thing that they get along so well, because as of now, A is planning to marry C. I don't have the heart to tell her that's not how it works. I am loving all of the time with my husband, and all of the time to workout.

When we returned to California toward the end of the month, my Mom's birthday was looming.We were supposed to fly to Krakow that day, but travel restrictions are in place. Mom died in 2014, far too young at only 63. Each year on her birthday, I try to plan something with A that Mom would like. For now, it's about getting through the day. But hopefully in the future, happy memories can eclipse the sadness and it can turn into more of a celebration. This year was the closest I've come to that so far. I booked a private appointment at Le Petite Princesse for A and I. We had a spa treatment and tea party, just the two of us. And I told her some stories about Mom, and how much she loves her, even now, from Heaven. But it's tough, no matter how I try to re-frame it. Mom loved children more than anyone I know, and would have relished being a Nana. Whenever A tells me I'm the best Mommy, I tell her that it's because I had the very best Mommy, which I did. Mom was so loving and kind, never speaking ill of anyone, yet listening with a smile when I did. She always made me feel loved and accepted and was always so proud of her children. If and when my brother or I fell short of what would make a parent proud, she loved us just the same.

Back in California, we resumed our daily walks, often hiking the trails behind our house. We made the tough decision to enroll A at a free public charter school that we applied to on a whim, before learning that it aligns with our values. It was a tough decision because prior to that, we found a private school that we loved, with amazing facilities including an art studio with a kiln, small class sizes and multiple 3-D printers. It was a school that C could also attend. But the $20,000 a year tuition would need to be paid even if governor Newsome once again closes the schools. That made us nervous because we don't want or need distance learning for kindergarten. And by the end of the month, we realized that we made the right decision because as COVID cases started to rise, it was announced that all schools would begin with distance learning. 

I continued running 3 miles every day all month, but added in weight-training nearly every day too. With gyms closed, I use our weight set in the garage and YouTube videos. Most of the videos are only 10 minutes, so it is hard to find an excuse not to fit them in. Remember that I ran and walked 173 miles last month without loosing a pound? That was pretty frustrating, but with adding in some short workouts, I started seeing (small) results, with a two-pound weight-loss by this month's end. Here's my favorite: