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.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Putting Covid (and other) Risks to Kids in Perspective

Putting Covid (and other) Risks to Kids in Perspective

This great piece in The New York Times lays out the risks of kids getting Covid, and we must bless the columnist, David Leonhardt, for writing these particular lines:

A cautious approach may be especially sensible for families in which the children have underlying health conditions or some adults have chosen not to be vaccinated.

But other parents will be more willing to resume many parts of normal life before all of their children have been vaccinated. And those parents will be making a decision that is as scientifically grounded as the more cautious approach.

In other words: As parents, we are all making decisions based on what we know, what we think makes sense, and what we prioritize. We are allowed to accept some risk, even when it comes to our kids. That’s because, as a Johns Hopkins doctor in the article states, “Everything has risk.” So even when it looks like we are choosing the “zero risk” option, that’s not true. There’s a risk to no risk. In the case of Covid, there’s a risk to venturing outside and there’s a risk to staying home for a year.

Covid compared to car accidents and other dangers

Statistically, twice as many minors will die of drowning than of Covid. A whopping (and terrifying) FIVE TIMES MORE will die in vehicle accidents, says Leonhardt. (Other stats show car accidents killing about 10 times more kids than Covid.) That means …

If protecting children from small but real risks of serious harm were society’s top goal, keeping children away from pools and cars would probably have a bigger effect than isolating them in coming months.

Who thinks that way?


Americans also are getting the raw numbers wrong, vis a vis Covid and kids. A survey by  Gallup and Franklin Templeton found that people think 8% of U.S. Covid deaths have been to people under 25. The actual percent?

It’s 0.1%.

So now it’s time for a thought experiment: Let’s replace “Covid” with “Stranger Danger.”

After all, many parents keep their kids inside, for fear of them being harmed by a stranger. But, as with Covid, there is no such thing as zero risk. Staying “safe” inside holds its own dangers of depression, diabetes, anxiety, obesity.

What’s more: We get our stats wrong about kids and crime the same way we get them wrong about kids and Covid. In this 2020 Gallup Poll, fully 78% of Americans said they believe that crime is going up. This is wildly at odds with reality, as you can see for yourself on this chart of the US Crime Rate. It shows that violent crime peaked in the early ’90s and has been declining ever since. The latest year on the chart is 2019, when the crime rate matched the rate of 1965.

For more charts and data, check out Let Grow’s Crime Stats page.

As for the number of minors kidnapped by strangers, that has always been — thank God — much lower than most people assume. The most recent stats peg the number at about 105, and of these 92% made it home alive.

Kids now spend 4 to 7 minutes a day outside in unstructured activities

And yet, think how much childhood has changed, based on our collective misperception of stranger danger. As reported here just last week, the age that parents now let their kids play outside, unsupervised, has gone up by TWO YEARS in just one generation. Parents who played outside on their own at age 9 now give their own kids that freedom at age 11.

What’s more, all sorts of studies show kids are spending far more time on the couch, on devices, on homework, on organized sports — on almost anything indoors and/or adult-supervised, because, in part, this feels like risk mitigation. We’ve mitigated risk to the point where kids now spend an average of 4 to 7 MINUTES A DAY outdoors in unstructured play. This does not feel like an unalloyed triumph.

As columnist Leonhardt concludes: “It’s important to keep in mind that acting in the best interests of children is not the same as minimizing Covid risk.”

We’d add: It’s important to keep in mind that acting in the best interests of children is not the same as minimizing stranger-danger risk.

(If you're not familiar with the Let Grow Movement, find out more here!)

Thursday, April 22, 2021

March, 2021

The kids have a fairly busy weekly schedule with Awanas, horseback riding lessons, gymnastics and ice-skating, so sometimes it is nice to have the flexibility to play hooky on a whim and skip something just because it's raining outside and we don't want to leave the couch. We skipped Awanas one night in favor of a Disney movie, popcorn and cuddles. But the next time it rained, we made sure we walked in it and sent the leaf boats on their way in the gutter water, thoroughly soaking both kids' shoes. 

Kids this age (or any age?) can sure get disappointed when something promised doesn't happen and so rather than let them down, I like to surprise them with small things such as an impromptu visit to her favorite ice cream shop rather than planning something only to have it fall through. I love the flexibility it affords me and also the excitement that comes with the delivery. This month we had a surprise mani-pedi, walk on the back trail to the playground where we passed (and petted!) a horse, a trip to the Ferris wheel on Balboa Island via the ferry, a hike to the two palm trees on the hill, playtime at Pioneer Park and a pool day.

Cha is thriving at "My big house!" and talking up a storm! At night, he askes me to do "This little Piggy" and I always read to him. I love our nightly rituals, and am now reading Aut this chapter book. We started our Easter festivities early, with the first egg hunt on opening day at Irvine Regional Park. They also had a fun hunt with their cousins and at a park with their friends, getting in plenty of practice before the real day next month!
This month, the kids had an outdoor movie night with friends but had more fun playing than watching. They also had a blast selling popsicles through the fence to people walking on the trail, safely, with a sign, microphone, menu and basket and pully system. Leprechauns visited on St. Paddy's Day while the children slept and created mischief! 
Thanks to the vaccine, I was able to see my very best friend for the first time in over a year and celebrate her son's first birthday. We had amazing Mexican food and talked for hours, but time with her is never long enough. I also reconnected with an amazing couple that I used to baby-sit for and have not seen in over two decades! With Mom gone now, friends from my past who knew her hold even more meaning to me. Even if unspoken, there is an additional layer of closeness that I feel to her when in the presence of someone she knew.
Aut continues with her horse lessons, and earned the privilege of leaving the arena and riding on the trail, riding alongside her instructor! She did this by appropriately learning to control and steer her horse. We are so proud of her and all that she is accomplishing in this!

Books I finished this month:

And Then There Were None (Thank you, Andrea!)