Saturday, June 30, 2007

New Employee

Here is DS in his new work uniform. He gets a lot of comments about his outfit. He has become tall, or at least taller than me. I would estimate he is about 5'9" and still growing. And he can't wait to get his first paycheck!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Proud momma moment

You should have seen my 4-y-o at his swim class today. He swam 15 feet independently. I was completely amazed. Just 2 weeks ago he was shrieking and clinging to the kickboard for dear life. This private swim school does great work. Next week the youngest is starting a series of classes as well. He hates to get his face under water, but it's for his own safety. He needs to learn.

My 16-y-o son completed a couple of days of training at Knotts. Some of the things he told me were interesting. He learned that there will be 2 cameras pointing at his game booth at all times. I guess he better watch his little habits, eh? He will need to keep watch on all sides of the booth at all times so folks don't walk off with the merchandise. They also told him that somebody got fired for eating something as small as a Tootsie Roll Midgie. He was also taught how to recognize phony currency. Like how some folks wash off a 1 dollar bill and reprint it as a 20, so my son will have to look and see if the face in the watermark matches the face on the bill. I would never have thought of that. It's really neat that he is getting this training from them. I mean, parents can tell their kids what they need to do to get and keep a job, but him hearing it from the men at Knotts leaves so much more of a lasting impression. And yes, eating a tootsie roll that doesn't belong to you is stealing, which is a firing offense. If he wants a tootsie roll, he needs to buy it first.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Amnio Results are PERFECT!

Whew! What a relief! At my age, 43, I was much more nervous with this pg than with the priors. Another thing was that I had had all those miscarriages/chemical pregnancies, which I had never had before in my life after my youngest was born. I really doubted the quality of my eggs. Perhaps they still are mostly bad, but I got one good one. Thank you, G-d!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Random updates

I get questions and I apologize for not answering them in a timely manner. I'll try to answer them here.

How are the kids reacting to news of our baby-boy-to-be? The 2 littlest ones don't really understand. My 4-y-o is convinced that he is growing a baby boy in his tummy. He is so cute. He has even taken to carrying around the doll that DH bought for him when Joseph was born 2.5 years ago. He takes good care of his "baby" and makes him look both ways when we cross the street. :D

DS-age 8 is thrilled. He was asking and asking for another boy and he got one!

DS-16 is a little perturbed that I keep cranking out kids. No matter the gender.

DD-(almost 19) was hoping for a girl. She had told me in the past that she didn't want to be dethroned as my only girl child, but I think she matured beyond that. I was touched by her desire to see me raise another girl and happy that she reached a point where she was thinking along those lines. We both had a good laugh to hear that it was another adorable boy. We love boys!

How are the summer activities/jobs going for the kids?

DD is gone this week to Chicago, then she will start her job orientation at Knotts I think July 3rd. DS is at his first orientation/training today. He will have one or 2 more sessions this week, then I think his first 6-hour day will be Saturday.

DS-8 and 4 are taking swim classes these first 2 weeks of summer. Then DS-8 will go to 3 weeks of full-service day camp. He loves this camp. They have very elaborate field trips to all of the fun local attractions twice per week, with daily swimming in a heated pool and a rock climbing wall. Then the 3 weeks after that he spends with his father.

DS-4 will begin a new preschool session a few hours per day 3 days per week, and take private swim lessons on the off days.

Little Joseph, 2.5, will join DS at the private swim class in July. Joseph didn't like the one trial class he had in June, but DH and I think that he needs to get water safe, with all the older siblings running around and on the off chance that somebody leaves the pool gate open. He also starts Mommy and Me once per week for 1 hour.

So I continue to work 2 mornings per week, and try my best to juggle the kids' schedules around my own. I'm so happy about the older 2 having jobs and I don't even mind all the driving.

Monday, June 25, 2007

18 weeks

Here is my 18 week belly shot and also a link to a nice song about infertility, called "I Would Die For That". It is pretty moving.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thoughts about blood thinners

I forgot to mention that I asked the amnio doc afterwards about the Lovenox protocol. I was aware that my OB wanted to consult with her about it and so I decided to see what her opinion was. She told me that if indeed I needed Lovenox, it might be dangerous to stop at 34 weeks, as the reproductive immunologist's paperwork recommends as a standard protocol. I was inquiring if it would be OK to re-start baby aspirin if I was going to stop Lovenox. I am concerned about losing the baby to a cord accident (as my SIL did at 38 weeks) or having a stroke (high pg hormones is like taking birth control pills over the age of 40 and that is a risk factor).

The amnio doc said that it might be a good idea around 36 weeks to switch from Lovenox to regular heparin. That way, the heparin could wear off faster when I began early labor and I could just skip a shot then. That makes sense. I can usually tell I'm about to deliver within 24 hours of the birth. Since it takes 36 hours for Lovenox to wear off, that could pose a problem. The heparin shot needs to be taken every 12 hours, and that would increase the chances that I would be able to control the situation. She didn't think that baby aspirin would cause a problem with bleeding too much during delivery. But I know for a fact that when I take it at the same time as the Lovenox I get uncontrolled bleeding out of the injection sites, and large hematomas (blood-filled areas) when I strike myself, such as hitting my shin against a hard chair. Kind of scary.

The kids got their Knotts Berry Farm name tags today and went to the wardrobe area and found out what they would be wearing. They are so excited and so am I. It is great to find a job where they don't mind seasonal workers.

Remember to look at the bottom of the blog for an updated pic of the kids. They were all in the pool together, for once, yesterday and I decided to take advantage of the photo opportunity. I love them all so much. I can't believe that we will be adding another precious boy to the group. Thank you, G-d.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's a BOY!!!!!!!

Here are the pictures. The top pic is measurements of the baby. I'm not sure what all of them mean. I will have to figure it out or call the doc's office back. You *know* I have to know EVERY detail. :-D

The second pic is a profile of the little guy, looking up. The third pic is a gender shot. You can see both femurs coming up, and if you look down where they meet, you will see his boy parts. The bottom shot is his little footprint. I love little feet!

So it is another boy. How FUN! He will be able to run around and swim and play with his big brothers. He will be 3 years apart from his next older bro, and that is a lovely spacing. I am so happy.

The paper says I need to wait 10 days to hear the amnio results. It should be good news. There were NO markers for anything. Nothing was wrong with the baby on the ultrasound. They kept remarking how well developed he was based on his age. His heart was amazing. They showed all 4 chambers beating away. So beautiful.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I am petrified. I have even lost a lot of my appetite. My amnio is at 1pm today. The amniotic puncture scares me. I don't want to leak and lose a healthy baby. The other thing that worries me is stopping the Lovenox. I know it is necessary in order to have the amnio, but the last time I stopped Lovenox, the baby died. Granted, I was 5 weeks along. But my doctor talked me into stopping my meds and the first 2 nights I stopped Lovenox I got horrible night sweats, like my body was attacking the baby. After that, the sac continued to grow, but no baby. It was officially called a blighted ovum. And, of course, no doctor is going to accept the blame for that. It must have been a bad egg, right? The good news is that I did not sweat last night. I even slept. I woke up in the middle of the night as is my habit, but I got back to sleep after that too. DH and I are fighting. I think it's stress. I can't wait until this is over and things can get back to normal.

Monday, June 18, 2007

17 weeks

Here I am at 17 weeks. I'm a bit nervous about Wednesday. Not feeling too talkative.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

two more injections until amnio day

I'm trying really hard to remember to stop my Lovenox (blood thinner) injections on time for the amnio. It's really coming up fast now. I only have 2 more injections, Sunday and Monday morning. I skip Tuesday, and Wednesday is the amnio. I resume injections Thursday morning. I doubt I will be online Wednesday afternoon, more likely Thursday afternoon. The test is at 1pm PDT. I plan on going straight to bed/couch and staying horizontal for the afternoon of Wednesday. I will see Thursday morning how I feel. I remember at my last amnio, I felt a sharp abdominal pain if I got up to do anything on the afternoon of the test, but that feeling went away after a good night's sleep.

It will be fun to find out the gender, hopefully, at the ultrasound. I can't wait to see if the snowy white baby blanket I'm crocheting will have a pink or a blue border.

If they can't see the gender then I will know for sure by the time the amnio results are due, 2 weeks after the test, on July 4th.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Both teenagers are employed!

I am finally home after driving for hours to fetch my 16-y-o from his dad's house and take him to the hiring event at Knott's Berry Farm. He got hired as a game booth operator. He would need to be 18 to be a ride operator.

Yesterday DD got hired by Knott's as a restaurant hostess. She asked to be put into food service because she want to learn how to be a waitress, so when she is at UCLA she can work as a waitress and make lots of money on tips. I think that is a good plan.

So there will be some driving involved for me this summer because they don't have a car of their own, but I think it will be effort well spent. I believe that having a job and learing how to keep a job is an important step for teenagers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Carter dependent on Saudi money?

I don't often get "political", but I have to say that I am sick of hearing about former President Jimmy Carter on the news. He was a horrible president. I knew it back when I was in high school and I haven't forgotten. His Habitat for Humanity project is wonderful, but can he please keep his mouth shut? Is he still an American? Whose side is he on?

As for my high school memories, I will never forget the Iran hostage crisis. How the world knew they could run roughshod over us because we had a weak man in office. How inflation and 20% interest rates on home loans caused my parents to become hostages in their own home. They wanted to move and put their house on the market at that time but it was not possible to sell a home. We were all hostages.

Here is an enlightening editorial I saw this morning in the June 2007 edition of Orange County Jewish Life. I had no idea he and his causes have taken so many millions of Arab money. Why am I not surprised?


By Ilene Schneider

jimmy we hardly knew ye

I thought Former President Jimmy Carter was just an innocuous blond-haired, blue-eyed, soft-spoken “homeboy” from Georgia who got lucky enough to win a strange election. It was a time when a Rhesus monkey could have gotten elected under the Democratic banner in the aftermath of Watergate and the Vietnam War. Running as an outsider when many “innies” were seeing the insides of prison cells, this peanut farmer and born-again Christian was nominated out of a field of twelve Democratic candidates to run against an unelected Republican incumbent (Gerald Ford) in 1976.

Carter had a sister who proseletyzed too much, a brother who drank too much, and a campaign that promised too much, making Carter look feckless. Of about 1100 campaign promises, the Carter Presidency kept one – to create a Department of Education.

There was one other notable achievement during Carter’s Presidency – the Camp David Accords, which outlined a framework for a comprehensive Middle East peace. These accords, which were signed on September, 17, 1978, by Carter, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat following a two-week conference at Camp David, the presidential retreat, marked the first time an Arab nation formally recognized Israel’s right to exist. Israel, in turn, gave up territory it had captured in the Sinai Peninsula.

While Carter received a great deal of credit for engineering the historic event, it may have been spurred on by the high rate of poverty in Egypt or the desire of Sadat and Begin to take the first step toward stability in the region. Carter is probably remembered much better for another historic event – the complete failure to negotiate the return of American hostages taken by Iran in 1979, an event that, along with double-digit inflation, undoubtedly cost Carter the Presidency in 1980.

I thought Former President Jimmy Carter was just using his political capital and his relative youth upon leaving office to take some strides toward bettering the human condition. Nobody can argue with the premise of Carter’s brainchild, Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit housing organization that builds simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with people in need. Moreover, nobody can quibble about the utter lack of human rights in some parts of the world.

However, Carter’s attacks on Israel and factual distortions in his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, and the speeches he has given on college campuses (UCI, May 3, for example) in defense of the claims he espouses in the book are nothing short of outrageous. They also make any thinking person wonder exactly whose condition Carter is bettering.

According to an article in (April 30, 2007) Alan Dershowitz, renowned lawyer, professor at Harvard Law School, and author of six best-selling books, “Carter and his Center have accepted millions of dollars from suspect sources, beginning with the bail-out of the Carter family peanut business in the late 1970s by BCCI, a now-defunct and virulently anti-Israeli bank indirectly controlled by the Saudi Royal family, and among whose principal investors is Carter's friend, Sheikh Zayed. Agha Hasan Abedi, the founder of the bank, gave Carter ‘$500,000 to help the former president establish his center...[and] more than $10 million to Mr. Carter's different projects.’… Abedi called his bank ‘the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists.’ … Saudi King Fahd contributed millions to the Carter Center as have other members of the Saudi Royal Family. Carter also received a million-dollar pledge from the Saudi-based bin Laden family, as well as a personal $500,000 environmental award named for Sheikh Zayed, and paid for by the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates… Despite the influx of Saudi money funding the Carter Center, and despite the Saudi Arabian government's myriad human rights abuses, the Carter Center's Human Rights program has no activity whatever in Saudi Arabia.”

Dershowitz concludes, “If money determines political and public views as Carter insists ‘Jewish money’ does, Carter's views on the Middle East must be deemed to have been influenced by the vast sums of Arab money he has received… He is no better than so many former American politicians who, after leaving public life, sell themselves to the highest bidder and become lobbyists for despicable causes. That is now Jimmy Carter's sad legacy.”

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Monday, June 11, 2007

16 week belly pic

OK. 9 more days until the amnio. I'm feeling nervous about it. I feel pretty sure things will turn out fine, but I just want it over with. I'm worried about the needle puncture being dangerous to the baby, more so than a bad test result.

My blood sugar is doing great. I check it about one morning per week, fasting. It was hovering around 90 before the pg. The past 3 weeks it was 87 and this morning it was 85. I'm trying to lay off the candy. It's a sacrifice, but I'm doing it.

I need to weigh in this week. I think as of last week I had gained 4 pounds in the pg total. I remembered too late this morning.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Really fun weekend

Here are some beautiful pics from today's trip to the Nature Center. There is this little hiking area about 20 min from my house with a small nature center where the kids can look at reptiles/birds/fish and they can hike along a small creek, crossing bridges and enjoying the shade under the California Live Oaks. It was fun, and even little Joseph kept up with everybody and didn't need to be carried. DS is not attached to that stuffed animal, by the way. It was a school assignment to take pics with the class moose and write about it in the journal. The pics printed out so beautifully, I decided to share them on the blog. And that is a real rattlesnake behind the glass.

Yesterday we went to a birthday party where there was a bouncer/slide. The kids loved it and had a blast. Little Joseph decided he liked to sit at the top of the slide in the background and stay there watching all the kids going crazy.

Now the boys are napping after a lunch of homemade turkey-meat tacos. When they wake up we will all go swimming. I'm actually heating the big pool today so it should be more fun than usual. The water is now normally 76 degrees F when unheated, so it won't take much to get it over 82 degrees, which is where I like it.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Joseph tested negative for fifth disease

Yeehaw! One less worry for my poor worried mind. {sigh of relief}

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

still no test results

I called the ped office and they might not have the fifth disease test results back for another couple of days yet. Hmph. I hate waiting.

Devan, you asked about my daughter. She is coming here in a week from tomorrow. Thursday late am is the pickup time. I need to show up at her dorm without boys and without any seats in the minivan, so we can get all her stuff loaded and carted back to my house. Realistically, this will be my last full summer with her. She and several of her dorm friends have a lease starting on an apartment (cheaper than dorm living) this September. So next summer she will not be kicked out of her place of residence like this year. We talked about it and she is thinking of getting a job as a waitress this summer because that is a way to make the most money in the shortest amount of time. I agree with her. Her father worked his way through law school as a waiter at fine restaurants and that was working so well he was tempted not to go to law school. She is heading into finals week and is recovering from a week of fun because her boyfriend finally returned from Iraq about a week ago. He is really quite a man. I have the highest respect for the young people who put their lives on the line to protect all of us so that we can live peaceful lives and raise our children without fear. Anybody who does that is a full-fledged grown-up in my book. And he's nice, too. Treats her well, and that is the most important thing.

Monday, June 4, 2007

15 week pic and swimming boys

The boys are making great strides in their swimming. The youngest is now motoring across the deep of the jacuzzi in his inner-tube suit. He began swimming only in the past month. The next youngest is now no longer wearing a floatie and is getting used to wearing goggles. He is leaping across the jacuzzi using the kickboard and no longer chokes when the water covers his mouth and nose. And big bro is learning the forward crawl stroke. I am so proud!

Here is my belly shot. I'm bigger than last week, although I'm not sure the picture shows it. Sometimes different outfits create an optical illusion that makes the belly look bigger or smaller.

And a special congrats to Lisa for getting AWESOME nuchal results. 1.2!!!!!!! Woohoooo! Let's hear it for the over 40 gals!!!!!!