Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Re-Entry

Have you ever seen a (newly-yesterday was my birthday!) 38-year old pregnant (with twins) lady the day she comes back from an 11-day vacation?  It's not pretty.

Today's reentry to work has been ROUGH.  Not only am I exhausted from all of the fun things we did over vacation, but I also haven't had caffeine in months.  Months.  It's pretty brutal.

So last week we sailed to Gloucester for 3 days and then we sailed back to Boston.  While it was mostly fun (I got sick on Monday and pretty much had to stay in bed the whole day), it was also tiring.  We always get sucked into the romanticism of sailing for vacation and I think we forget how tiring it is.  7-9 hours on the open sea, no one around, not much land...it gets very boring.  Even though we love being on the water and love traveling, it just gets old after about 5 hours.  We want to BE THERE already, ya know?  Anyway, we came back after sailing (no nausea for me-yay!) and stayed in a hotel just outside of Boston.  Just to stay in a hotel.  We played some mini golf, ate Japanese food and relaxed.  It was actually really great.  Then this weekend my 12 year old niece and our 11 year old God-daughter came for the weekend.  Which was fun, but MAN-I was ready for some QUIET by the end of the weekend.  Thank God we had yesterday off.  We relaxed and slept in and then got up for a very late breakfast.  Then did nothing until dinner when we got dressed up and ate lots of yummy tapas.

But still, I'm exhausted.  I didn't sleep very well last night and without coffee, I'm functioning at a very low level right now...

I need a vacation!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I'm Pregnant With Twins

I just ordered two pair of these shoes:


Because you know, they're adorable.  But also because we need them for our pregnancy announcement, which we'll be sending out the first week of August.  Via email and Facebook...it will involve our feet in our boat shoes, along with two sets of baby boat shoes.  On our dock...possibly with the city behind us, if we can find the perfect spot.

I'm pretty excited about it.  Marking the end of my 1st trimester is cause enough for celebration, but being able to actually tell people in our lives that we're having a baby two babies is super exciting.  I'm looking forward to people knowing I'm having twins instead of them thinking I'm just getting a little fatter than I already am.

There will actually be two announcements.  One will be normal and that will be the one I'll use, and one will say, "We're gonna need a bigger boat" and that will be the one B1 uses.  I hate that quote and hate that I'll probably hear it 1000 times now that we're having twins.

"Oh, really?  Twins?!  That's great-you're gonna need a bigger boat!"  Har, har, har...

(I don't know why I hate it so much...I just do.  And pregnancy hormones make me hate it more!)

Anyway...

Tomorrow I hit the 9 week mark which means I'm SO CLOSE to the 2nd trimester (13 weeks).  They say I'll feel better then, and I'll be so angry if they're lying! :)  This has been a tough week and a half for me.  I'm sick all of the time and am exhausted but can't get to sleep early.  I can't eat much and am rarely hungry.  And apparently I don't like kiwi anymore, because I couldn't swallow it the other day.  But I love kiwi.  Pregnant Mags?  Not so much.

Such is life when you're pregnant with twins!

(Yes, I'm saying that a lot...I'm trying to get used to it!)

Monday, July 07, 2014

Four Feet

A little over a year ago, B1 asked if he could talk to me.  Nervously, I sat down and looked at him expectantly.  He told me to close my eyes and hold out my hands.  I trust him, so I did.  What he placed in my hands that day forever changed our lives.

In my hands, he placed a pair of baby boat shoes.

B1 never wanted to have children.  I knew this before we were engaged and while I was disappointed, I wasn't devastated.  It wasn't a deal breaker.  We met later in life and by that time, I had already given up on the idea of having a family.  Hell, I had even given up on finding true love.  So hitting the jackpot in love was always enough for me.  Sure, every now and then I would dream about how awesome B1 would be as a daddy, or what it would be like to be pregnant, but I pushed it out of my head and focused on while a wonderful life we have without children.  And I dreamed about all of the things we would be able to do because we didn't have children.

And then he put those shoes in my hands and told me how much he loves me and how, over the last few years, he's realized that he wants it all.  He wants to have a family with me.

I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to hear those word.  Of course I wanted to start a family with B1-of course!  In fact, I couldn't think of anything I wanted more.

We decided that we would hold off on trying until the end of the summer so that we could have one full summer free of morning sickness and doctor appointments.  We'd start trying in September, we said...

...but then we got excited.  And I stopped taking birth control and we said that we wouldn't actively try but we wouldn't not try either.  But nothing happened and we had a wonderful summer anyway.  In September, I started tracking my cycles, taking my temperature and peeing on sticks to predict ovulation.  Every month we'd anxiously await the results and every month they were negative.  By December I knew it was time to see a doctor.  Since we are both considered "old" by fertility standards, I knew that the normal 1 year of trying would be knocked down to 6 months.  So I called and made an appointment for January 2014.

When I met with the fertility doctor, I showed her all of my charts and gave her my full medical history.  She ordered some tests for both myself and for B1 and after a few weeks, we knew the diagnosis.  While I won't get into specifics here, we were, as a couple, diagnosed with infertility.  And given our ages, it was suggested that we skip over all of the normal fertility drugs they start with and go right into our first cycle of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). For several reasons, this didn't actually occur until late April.  There are so many factors involved with beginning IVF including getting insurance to approve everything and getting my cycle on track.  I was impatient to get started, but happy that the ball was at least rolling.

Around mid-May I begin my first round of injections into my stomach.  For the most part, this went off without a hitch and didn't really even hurt most of the time.  The drugs did sting for a few seconds when they were absorbing into my body, but that's about it.  After each (specifically timed) injection, I placed an ice pack on my belly and laid down for about 20 minutes to relax.  By my side was a nice big glass of red wine, to also help me relax.  I did this every night for 10 nights.  Toward the middle of this cycle, my blood was tested almost daily to monitor my hormone levels.  And then toward the end, I also had internal ultrasounds to check to see how my ovaries were doing and to see how long my folicles were getting.  The bigger the follicle the better, as they are the heros who produce the precious eggs.  On the last day, I was told to go home and replace all of my shots with a different shot-one that would trigger my body to ovulate, and thus releasing all of the eggs we produced.

That shot hurt like a mother.  And it left a huge welt, too.  But it did it's job and two days later, I went into surgery to extract the eggs.  All in all, 8 were retrieved-a great number.  I came through the surgery fine and only had a few minor side effects (major bloating-I couldn't even stand up without it hurting!).  Later that day, 7 of the eggs were fertilized using B1's sperm (which he was so nice to leave for the lab while I was in surgery) using ICSI (IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection).

Five days later, we went back into the lab to have two perfect embryos (their words) transferred back into my uterus.  That was quite amazing to watch.  They projected it up on the screen and we could see them floating down the tube into my uterus.  Such a surreal experience and while I wouldn't wish this process on anyone over natural fertilization, I felt very fortunate to be watching what could potentially be the conception of my child.  They even gave us a picture:


When I got home, I laughed and laughed about the fact that the embryo on the right seems to have a "B" on it.  B1'a name starts with a B, if you didn't catch that.  Hysterical.  Isn't that sort of amazing?

After the transfer, we went out to lunch by the ocean and relaxed.  We went to the store to pick up a new garbage can and then went home and rested.  I was back to work the next day and while I was still a little bloated, for the most part I was great.  Anxious, but great.  That was a Wednesday.

On Sunday, I was exhausted. And I was (forgive me) constipated.  And I'm um...pretty regular.  So I thought, "Hmmm...this could be something."  On Monday, those symptoms were worse and I told B1 that I couldn't wait until Friday (which was when our "Beta Test"/blood test was) and that I had to take a home pregnancy test.  On Tuesday night, after B1 got home, I went into the bathroom and emerged 3 minutes later.



It was faint, but it was 100% POSITIVE!  Over the course of the next few days I continued taking home pregnancy tests and the line continued to darken.  We were having a baby.  Or two.  But we didn't want to get our hopes up TOO high until Friday the 13th when I was having my blood drawn for a "real" pregnancy test.  That said, my symptoms continued to grow along with that double line, and I was pretty certain that the result would also be positive.

And it was!  Two more blood tests followed to check to make sure that my hormone levels were rising (they generally double every 24-48 hours in the beginning) and they did.  So an ultrasound was scheduled for 10 days later to make sure that everything was progressing as it should be.

That 10 days was worse than the 10 days we waited to see a positive.  I had to stop reading IVF blogs and Google because my mind was going crazy with the with if's and why's (is that cramping normal?!  Does it mean a miscarriage?!)  But I got through it and B1 and I sat patiently in the room while the ultrasound was being performed.  The tech kept the screen toward her the whole time until she was done.  When she did, we saw the most amazing thing ever:



Yes, there are two.  B1 and I are having twins.  Apparently those embryos apparently really were perfect!  Needless to say, we were (are) shocked and amazed that our first IVF cycle was a success.  And we are beyond excited about the future our "ready made family".

I am currently 7 weeks, 5 days pregnant with twins. Today we saw their little hearts beating.  They've grown so much already since this first ultrasound picture was taken, and we are hopeful that both will continue to develop and grow into full-term babies.

We know we're not out of the woods yet, and that's why only our immediate families know.  If you know me in real life, please feel free to reach out to me PRIVATELY.  PLEASE DO NOT POST ANYTHING ON FACEBOOK OR TELL ANY OF OUR MUTUAL FRIENDS.  We are keeping this close to us until I hit the 13 week mark, in case something happens to one or both of the babies.

So, there you have it.  Twins.  B1 and me are havin' them.  And I feel like it, too.  I've been sick this whole week and haven't eaten much.  In fact, I've lost about 4 pounds so far-which is fairly normal in the first trimester, I'm told.  I am eating when I can, taking my vitamins and drinking plenty of fluids.  And I'm resting as much as I can and learning quickly that I can't do everything I used to without getting extremely tired.  B1 is so wonderful, picking up the slack, doing laundry, filling our water tanks, lifting everything that's heavy...he's the best husband ever and he's going to be the best dad ever too.

We plan on staying on our current boat for as long as we can.  I'll talk more about that as we progress, but we think we can stay with this boat until the babies are around 2 and then we'll have to upgrade.  And, if at any point it's just too hard to do this on the boat, we'll move back to land.  But we really don't think that will happen-and we don't want it to happen-so we're going to make a strong go at making these babies, boat babies.

After all, they already have the shoes for it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stay Tuned!


I'll be back on July 7th with a special post.  See you then!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cheddar Olive Disappointment

 

Anyone who knows me can tell you that given the choice between chocolate and cheese, I will always choose the latter.  I could happily eat cheese everyday for every meal...that is, if it didn't mean I'd have severe belly problems.  In any case, I'm more of a savory snacker than a sweet snacker, so when I found this classic recipe for cheddar olives, I knew I had to make them.

The recipe claims to "come together" in 20 minutes, but I knew that was a lie.  There's no way.  It took me 1 hour 23 minutes from start to finish, including baking time.  Which isn't too horrible if they were amazing, but because they weren't, it's a little excessive.  

The problem with these potentially amazing olives is that cooking them renders them even saltier than they are right out of the jar.  I even rinsed them off before I wrapped them in the cheddar dough (which by the way, is awesome), and they were still too salty.  Perhaps using smaller olives next time would solve that problem (I chose to use the large pitted and stuffed olives found in my grocery store) but I'm not really chomping at the bit to try it.  Mainly because at a party of approximately 40 (olive loving) people this weekend, only a few people tried them, and of those people, only 1 of them had seconds.  I'm not too excited about those odds.

I WOULD make the dough again though, and perhaps wrap it around something sweet, like a date or a fig, which is why I'm posting this recipe at all.  So, without further ado, the recipe for cheddar olives:


1 8- to 10- ounce jar of pitted green olives, either pimento-stuffed or plain.
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, smoked paprika or freshly grated black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

1. Drain the olives well, and dry them completely with clean dish towels. Set aside.
2. Combine the cheese, flour, butter, and spices in a medium bowl and knead it within the bowl until a dough forms. If the dough is still crumbly and won't hold together, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until it does.
3. Pinch off a small amount of dough, and press it as thin as you can between your fingers to flatten. 4. Wrap and smoosh the dough around a dry olive. Pinch off any excess, then roll the olive in your hands until smooth. Continue until all the olives are covered.
5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Alternatively, freeze the olives on a baking sheet until firm, then wrapped tightly and freeze for up to a week. Bake straight from the freezer for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

To Do:

Work is becoming increasingly stressful for me these days.  I keep trying to relax myself in many different ways, and by constantly reminding myself that this is just a job, not my real life.  My real life is floating in Boston Harbor with the love of my life and everything that encompasses.  But sometimes it's just really hard to get past the politics, the unknown and the bitchiness I am currently dealing with.  Today, the sunshine is helping, along with the memory of an impromptu date night in our dinghy last night...

I often find it hard to think of things that I'd like to do.  After work, tomorrow, next week...before I die.  It's really easy for me to get wrapped up in what I'm doing, or so overwhelmed with my present that I can't imagine my future.  So I thought I'd make a list.  Here, in no particular order and by no means complete, is a list of things I'd like to do.  Someday.

  • Swim with the dolphins.  Preferably in the wild while they were swimming by our boat.
  • Take a big chunk of time off with B1 to sail somewhere where the water is blue, the drinks are strong, and the sun it hot.
  • Visit Tahiti, Hawaii, US. Virgin Islands, Ireland, Spain, India, Italy, Greece, Germany...and so many more.
  • Learn to play the guitar and the piano.
  • Eat at Primo, Toro, The French Laundry, WD-50, and many more.
  • Visit Napa Valley
  • Own a bed and breakfast on the water
  • Write a cookbook
  • Go see the Vegas version of Cirque du Soleil
  • Zip line in Costa Rica
  • Go horseback riding on a beach
  • Take a road trip across the country, driving mostly on back roads.  Stopping to eat in little unknown places.  
  • Own a dog with B1.
  • Be known for one dish that no one can live without.
  • Dress up fancy and dine on a 6-8 course chef's tasting menu.  Somewhere.  And not care about the cost.
  • Live in a tiny cabin in the woods.  On a lake.  And grow some food.
  • Go skinny dipping at dusk.
  • Meet as many cool people as I can and become friends with them.
  • Truly forgive
  • Take a ride in a hot air balloon
  • Go on a real safari (as opposed to the one at Disney!)
  • Learn how to knit or crochet.  And enjoy it.
  • Attend the Boston Pops
  • Free summer flicks
  • Buy a stranger coffee
  • Learn to sail well enough that I can do it alone.  But still with B1.
  • Buy a kayak 
  • Take a horse drawn carriage ride through a city and not care about the cost.  Or the smell.
  • Memorize more recipes so I can make them without looking
  • Visit New Orleans (not during Mardi Gras) and Savannah.
  • Learn how to play poker.  Well.
  • Master the art of martini making
  • Murder mystery dinner.  Host or attend, either is fine!
  • Stay in an ice hotel
  • See a glacier in real life

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Randomivity

Rye Bread's 12th Birthday Cake: Laser Tag.  It's not close to what I wanted it to look like, but it's still cool.

Our NEW dinghy!!  Inflatable 10 foot with outboard.  SO EXCITING!!!
It looks like B1 was the only one assembling, but I did just as much.  He just doesn't take pictures of me.
 
The floor.
Getting the floor in was the hardest part.  But it's in...I'll take a picture of the completed, floating dinghy soon!
 
Home, to the right...

Securing the bridge on Marathon Monday.
The view from our new summer slip.  It's amazing.  Too bad my phone takes horrible pics.