It's unusual…

..what started out as an IVF journey and ended up being about life

Snow Day Projects February 19, 2014

Filed under: Do It Yourself!!,Life,Parenting — gertyrae @ 12:53 pm
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We have had a bevy of snow this winter and I have spent the bulk of my days figuring out what we can do in.the.house.all.the.time.

We’ve done puzzles, played Legos, watched movies and even broken down and purchased Disney Infinity….

But, it all comes back to baking and yesterday we decided to make pretzels. Great project for C and they were delishly yummy. Shout out to Jessica Fischer for the basic recipe on good cheap eats.

Here is our version:

Homemade Pretzels

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1/2 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk (microwave for 1 minute)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast

Whisk all above together in stand mixer bowl until blended. Let sit for approximately five minutes to get a bit foamy.

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With dough attachment on mixer, add the following:

1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups bread flour

And mix together. Remove dough from mixer and knead for approximately 10 minutes. You can take turns 😉

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Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm location to rise. Allow to rise about 1 hour, dough should double.

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When dough has doubled, flatten it out and divide into equal pieces approximately golf ball sized. I put them back into the bowl and let them sit as we shaped each pretzel. For each pretzel, roll dough into a rope about 15″ long, lay dough on counter and make a “U” shape

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Now take the open ends and twist them around each other twice.

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Turn twisted ends back to the “U” part and press together. Set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Now you need to make a soda bath, in a 6 quart pot boil 8 cups water. When water is boiling add 1/4 cup baking soda…very slowly!. We had a volcanic eruption cuz we added it too quickly. When the mixture is at a rolling boil add pretzels one at a time and let boil for about 30 seconds. Remove each pretzel and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

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Once your cookie sheet is full, salt pretzels with coarse salt (or leave as is for cinnamon/sugar pretzels) place in oven and bake until browned, 8-10 minutes.

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Remove, allow to cool and Walla!! You have pretzels. If you opt for cinnamon/sugar brush the pretzels with melted butter while warm and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.

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Yummy delishness!!!!

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Oh, and enjoy the snow!!

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weather or not we’re together November 8, 2012

Filed under: Life — gertyrae @ 1:21 pm

So, I figure I’ve got to do this since we live on Long Island.
Not only have we been slammed with SuperStorm Sandy but we now are dealing with a Snowy Nor’easter.
In the space of a little over a week.
Just for the records sake, most of the South Shore has been underwater numerous times, two of my close friends pretty much lost the lower parts of their homes, my best friends parents’ pretty much lost everything…and numerous other people I know have been affected by this wave of weather.
Gas is in short supply and there are lines that are up to 4 or 5 hours long.
Over 75% of the population on Long Island has lost power at least once.
Ten days after the original storm, more that 300,000 people are STILL without power.
People are being told they won’t be able to get back into their homes until next year some time. And if they started working on their houses already, they are having issues with getting help from FEMA. It’s a lose – lose situation.
My job as a 911 operator has been overwhelming…call after call after call after call.
Everyone is so out of sorts it’s not even amusing anymore.
and then there is the crime – looting, illegal gas sales, people fighting with weapons over gas, robberies…etc.
It’s pretty bad out there. It’s almost as though Armageddon might actually be happening.
I really can’t wait for normalcy to come back…in some way, shape or form.
We have been unbelievably fortunate. We never lost power and we had no structural damage from either storm. We had no television, phone or internet for a week but that is minor compared to what other people are dealing with.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was severely affected by these storms. I hope you all can get back to some semblance of normalcy sooner vs. later.
Someday this will all be a memory and we will reflect on how lucky we all were (I hope).
In the meanwhile – some images to record what happened:

Flooding in the subway

 

Blessings and Tragedies September 3, 2012

Filed under: Life,Parenting — gertyrae @ 4:02 pm
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Since I do have a little free time – I wanted to take the opportunity to just post about the good in my life.

For a multitude of reasons.

One – because sometimes I think we forget how good we have it and get stuck in the muck of daily life.

Two – because maybe it can help someone else in some fashion or other, such as raising awareness, raising money or just making someone else see outside the muck of their daily life.

Three – because no matter what else happens, none of us should forget how truly blessed we are. Especially when our true dreams and hopes come true

Four – because I never want to lose empathy for those who struggle in any way, shape or form. To forget that might be to lose my own humanity.

On that front, I need to express my thoughts and prayers for some people who are close to me.

One is a friend from my book club. Her daughter was born on May 16 and was quickly diagnosed with a failure to thrive. Further testing has shown that she has Niemann-Pick Disease which has a terrible prognosis. They are now down in North Carolina at Duke in the hopes that they can do a stem cell transplant. They will have to undergo a multitude of tests just to make sure their little girl is eligible and all this at only a little over 3 months old. I have no idea how my friend has found the strength to laugh and live and be there for her other two children. I don’t know how she handles loving this baby knowing how bad her prognosis is. I can only pray that they are able to help their baby and that, by some miracle of God, the stem cell transplant is a viable option for their daughter and it works.

Then there are two of my friends that I met while going through all the infertility treatments, both of which are having medical issues with their Moms. Having lost my own Mother, I want to cry for them because I understand all the fears and anxieties that go along with our parents getting ill. While it’s normal to outlive your parents, it’s also terrible to watch them get sick and feel as though there is nothing you can do. Old age is a terrible thing. And as we get older so do our parents, I was in a very difficult place losing my mother when she was so young. But I realize that no matter how old you or your parent is, it never gets easy. It is so hard to watch them go to doctors, specialists, etc. and not get any great answers. It is so hard watching the person who has always been strong for you get weak and/or sick. And it is hardest of all to think that the possibility of the person you always went to for advice and help may not be there. So, I pray for both my friends’ mothers – that they are only suffering minor setbacks and make a full recovery so that my girls can have their Mums around for a long, long while.

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, probably the saddest of all. The woman who took all of Colin’s newborn photos, as a kindness and donation to us because she felt so badly that we had lost our son Rogan, is Summer Lyn. And she is an amazing photographer as evidenced by her photos of Colin and many more that you can see on her website http://www.summerlynphotography.com . I have followed her through the years because I think her work is amazing and although I certainly couldn’t afford to pay for her services while we are struggling with daily expenses, I still love to look at her photographs. Her brother and his wife just gave birth to a baby boy named Easton. Easton was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa- EB also known as Butterfly Disease as his skin is so fragile it cannot be touched. He was born with burns and he is constantly blistering and burning. As of now, he is undergoing surgery to have a second PICC line placed into his chest for feeding. His prognosis is terrible. My heart breaks for this family. I wish there were something more that I could do for this baby, his parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. How do you watch this?! How do you sit there completely unable to comfort your baby boy? How do you go home and take your other boys school shopping? How do you get up each morning and go to the hospital to watch your baby endure the horrors of bandage changing? God give them the strength to get through all of this. I don’t even know how Summer deals with the fact that she has to stay here, work and care for her own children while her brother and sister-in-law are in Cincinnati trying to save their baby. I just don’t know…..

But it does make me say prayers for all of them and so many others that are dealing with tragedies and at the same time it makes me so much more aware of the things I DO have in my life. And grateful for the good things that have come my way. And it may be a long while before I complain about not having all the things I want since I really do have all the things I need; a loving husband, a happy and healthy child and a roof over my head…

God Bless all of you….

 

p.s. – if you would like to donate to Baby Eastons family please go to the links on left side of my page under charities…and if you would like to view Summers work check out her link under photography – thank you!

 

Requesting Donations!! April 27, 2012

Filed under: Life,Pregnancy — gertyrae @ 10:25 am

Okay – so if anyone reading this blog understands why it started, you also understand why I need donations.

After losing our son, Rogan, we were devastated. The only response we could come up with was to walk in the March of Dimes walk in honor of our baby. The following year we continued to raise funds and my husband walked while I was on bedrest. We are continuing the tradition and have become one of the top teams in the Long Island area.

This year, however, we are falling far short of our $2500 goal. As a team we still need a little over a $1000 to make goal. Please think about making a donation to Team Rogan so that we can continue to do our small part in helping those babies born prematurely as well as educating mothers and funding research to prevent birth defects and premature births. Thank you all in advance!!!

Just go to http://www.marchforbabies.org/team/rogan to make a donation.

 

ByeBye Santa Fe April 22, 2012

Filed under: Life — gertyrae @ 10:24 pm
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Ah well….my Santa Fe is no more 😦
my faithful sidekick has left me – no more beach drives, no more off-road trips, no more curb-hopping. I will miss you so…
I know it sounds pathetic, but I love my cars – especially when they are MY cars: as in I decided this is the vehicle I like, I research to the “nth” degree, I price shop like a crazy person til I think I’ve found the best deal and then I baby my vehicle for all the days that I own it. And I hate, hate, hate giving up my vehicles.
My first car was a 1978 Chrysler LeBaron. I called it the green hornet. Bought it in 1983 for $800 and kept it for 7 years of body work, mechanical work and interior work. If there were a lemon law in those days this car qualified. When I was ready to move on I gave it to my brother who quietly (or maybe not so) made it disappear.
I replaced the Chrysler with a brand new 1990 Toyota Celica and I still miss that car. It was like going from a Sherman Tank to a Formula 1 car and I loved it. I put the best stereo system, amps and bass tube in it and drove it for 13 years and 120,000 miles. I trailered jetski’s to races in that car and spent many a night down by the water with a cup of coffee and the radio all by myself in it. That car didn’t give me a lick of trouble and was the easiest thing in the world to maintain. And then it started to have problems so I decided it was time to move on and sell her for a mere $1300 and a LOT of aggravation from buyers.
I then purchased a new 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe…and I can’t say enough great things about that truck. While not a sleek and fast as the Celica, the Santa Fe was another winner. I drove that thing on beaches, rocks, dunes and in the woods. I commuted in that sucker for 6 years. It literally saved my life when some guy plowed into me doing 65mph on the Long Island Expressway while I was at a dead stop. That truck just wouldn’t (or won’t) die. I’m sure the woman who purchased it is going to get plenty out of that vehicle. And I hope she takes care of it and loves it only half as much as I did, which she probably won’t but what can you do. 10 years and 213,000 miles is a lot and that truck owed me nothing, but I will still miss it.
So, now I’m driving my husbands used Tahoe. Not that I hate it, but it’s not my choice of vehicle and it hasn’t had the best of care so I feel like I’m playing catchup. But, it’s a good, clean truck and the engine has plenty of miles left in it so I’m going to get the most out of it that I can…and make it as much mine as I can…and hopefully in a few years I can sadly lament the departure of “my tahoe”.
Oh, and we bought hubby a 2009 Sonata that is a very nice car…good gas mileage, nice condition…but for some reason I am not in love with it…I actually feel like the Tahoe has more personality. So we have solved the gas mileage problem, now we just have to pay this new car off so I can think about what I’d like for a new car. 🙂

 

Okay so I’m poor… April 15, 2012

Filed under: Life — gertyrae @ 2:10 am
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…and now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I feel better. On the upside,  I think  I have accepted poverty (for now) and will just deal with it.

We are going to try to battle it a bit though. Step One – get a car that doesn’t burn so much gas. We have two trucks right now and they both average 16mpg so we are going to dump mine and get a car that will get more like 30mpg.

And I’m going to start loving cheap stuff!!! Baking for example – cheap and gratifying…and Colin loves to sample the results so it works for everyone. I really like the decorating part better than the baking. And after months of trying I have finally figured out royal icing. And I’m starting to make biscuits for the pups…hopefully better for their skin and coats.

Also, running – have decided to run a marathon this year so I’m training now. Wish me luck on this one cuz it ain’t gonna be easy. Because for me I can’t just do a marathon, I have to do a trail marathon in the hills of Connecticut. Should be interesting to say the least.

Oh – and I have to share this Colinism: sitting at dinner the other night. He’s on my lap, hugs me and says “mommy i love you, you are the best mom” then looks over at Dan and says “and daddy you are my dad and you are the best dad”…Misty comes over cuz she’s looking for scraps and Dan says “and who is that”…Colin’s response: “This is my sister Misty!” and he gives her a big hug. Totally unprompted, we never say Misty is his sister and yet she is just a part of his family…And Stormy is his pest 🙂

So that’s my update – not much else going on…

 

Hah!! It’s only been a month!!!! June 11, 2011

Filed under: Life,Parenting — gertyrae @ 10:23 pm
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And I’ve decided to try to keep better tabs on this. Mostly because, when I read my old blogs I realize how much you forget as time goes by. And the best way to preserve and remember my feelings, actions, etc. is to be able to come back and read these posts at will. I know no-one else really cares at this point, but it matters to me.
Things are going pretty well here – C is getting bigger and “better” lately. He is really going through a super brat stage right now and I’m not happy about it. I think it’s kind of amusing how much I wished for this child and how hard I worked for him and sometimes (very occasional) I’d like to brain him. We went to a 4 year old’s birthday party the other day and he spent the entire 2 hours screaming and crying – fullblownscreamingsnotrunningtearsstreamingredfacedeyessqueezedshutstampingfeet screaming and crying. It was like my worst nightmare. Not only was I embarrassed for him but I felt like my head was going to explode. We had to go outside three times for time-outs. I really should have left and next time that’s what I’ll do because it was totally not worth staying – for either him or me.
On a brighter note – he’s usually not like that. I really think he’s going through a phase. Maybe the terrible twos hitting a bit early.
And I’m having fun planning his birthday party. No major thing – some of the parties these days frighten me a bit. Just a backyard BBQ with his friends and our family. We have to have two every year, one in CT with DH’s family and one here with our friends and my family. So we are doing a Monster theme – not as in the movie, as in monsters in general. And it’s kind of cute as well as being apropos right now. I made pinatas, goodie bags and am going to bake “monster cookies” which are just giant kitchen sink cookies. The pinatas were a real biatch but they came out really cute. I did a trial run of the cookies and they came out yummy. So we are pretty well set with the parties….
And we went to a Pirate thingy today at the Maritime Museum near us. C really loved the “pirate music” and was dancing all over to it. I think it sounded like Irish Folk music, but what the heck – the kid is a little Mick so it’s only natural.
One more thing – I noticed while looking back that I used to talk about Misty all the time and I don’t want it to seem like she’s been forgotten. She’s great, doing so well with C and is just as cuddly as ever. I take them for walks in our local woods and they have a good time together. She runs circles around C and he just laughs…then he’ll run a tiny bit just to get her to chase him and she’ll do the circles all over again. She’s starting to show her age (she’s almost 7) but it’s really just in the greying of her face…when you take her for a run she’s just as crazy as ever. It may take her a little longer to sleep it off is all.
Oh, and I’m fully back into running…just did two 5K’s and finished both in under 27 minutes! I’m a happy camper – now I just have to lose that last TEN pounds!!!