It's unusual…

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

Valentines Fun February 12, 2015

Filed under: Do It Yourself!!,Parenting — gertyrae @ 9:38 pm
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Having a kindergartener and living on Long Island where snow removal is generally a fiasco makes for lots of craft activities. And so we prepped ourselves for V-Day.

First up was the kiddie valentines. Since Colin’s school is a no food zone we had to come up with a non-edible idea. Legos are the toy of choice right now so I decided to opt for Lego gifts. For the girls we made Lego heart necklaces and the boys get an assortment of block. We used Lego #3176 for the necklaces and I picked up a basic value pack at Target for the assorted bricks. The necklace strings were macrame cord purchased at Michaels. Then it was onto the packaging. A bag of 40 small clear bags from Dollar Tree and some cardstock labels that I mocked up and we were good to go.






Now onto the teachers! For them I broke out the Shrinky Dinks and we made Valentine key chains. Again, Michaels saves the day with their little $1 Shrinky Dink kits. We also made some tissue paper stained glass hearts that C picked out while we were in Michaels. Add a chocolate rose and a Dunkin Donuts gift card and we are done. I got the hang tag via and just cut out the shape. All packed up in a neat little Dollar Tree gift bag (can you guess my two favorite stores?).





Oh yeah, we had another pretzel day in the mix!

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentines





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

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


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.


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 ūüėČ


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.



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


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


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.


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.


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.


Yummy delishness!!!!


Oh, and enjoy the snow!!








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 . 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!


Yikes! April 23, 2012

Filed under: Parenting — gertyrae @ 11:21 pm
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Guess who cursed? Yuppers…my lovely 2 year and 9 month old son. And he did it soooooooo well.
We were having dinner and he got up from the table, went to the living room and picked up one of his storybooks. Brought it back to the kitchen and I asked him what he was doing. His response “I want to read a book.” And I said “We are eating dinner, no books right now, put that back.” and my little angel said “Fucking Christ!”, threw the book onto the ground and got back in the chair.
Not really sure whether to laugh or cry I asked him what he just said and he repeated it, albeit very quietly…
I told him we don’t say those words, they are bad words and left it at that. Haven’t heard anything since, but still think it’s kind of hilarious and had to put it down for posterity – on the internet that is.


I’m back…for whatever it’s worth January 3, 2012

Filed under: Parenting — gertyrae @ 5:19 pm
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I really keep saying I want to keep up with this and it’s terrible how I don’t. I’ve gone through another set of holidays without posting one thing in regards to my son, hubby, dogs (yes that’s dogs) we acquired a puppy on October 23rd. All is good in general, but I would love to keep a record of the finer points so that someday I can go back and see where we were and how far we’ve come (hopefully).

Well, we got approved for our home modification, which I hadn’t even posted about at all. Payments went up $75/month but our back payments were absorbed. Huge weight off our shoulders. Thank you to Chase Home Finance for seeing the light on that one and not letting us lose our home. I really love our house and was totally sweating the last year thinking we might lose it.

Colin is doing great! Happy, healthy, extremely talkative two year old…as in never.shuts.up. He talks in his friggin sleep. But, it’s well worth it. He has a real sense of humor and a few weeks ago I was reading him a book before bed and he flipped up his sippy cup straw and chocolate milk sort of spewed out…we both were belly laughing about it and I thought to myself afterwards how it’s all worth it just for that moment. All the pain to get here and the terrible two moments are gone in an instant when you are laughing with your son and it’s real. He loves to cook, cook, cook…everything he does is some variation of cooking. My friend swears it’s because he’s around me cooking all the time, but I think he just has a natural tendency towards cooking¬† – – Master Chef here we come!!

Potty training began last week and it’s been pretty good…dry for a few days, then an accident…today he pooped in his undies ūüė¶ for the first time. But, I think he’ll get it sooner versus later and I’m not expecting perfection. He’s also in a toddler bed now. We did that the a few days after Christmas. Our house is a disaster with toys strewn everywhere, but a big part of me loves it. Can’t wait til the weekend when the tree comes down though.

And our latest addition:Stormy the pit bull/beagle (at least that’s what I think she is). Cute as a bug but what a maniac. We went into Petco and a young man was walking out with her. Of course we stopped to moon over her and heard that she had spent a week left outside in all the elements, including a Nor’Easter and fell in love. She’s a happy dog but kind of dumb…still hasn’t gotten the housebreak thing down completely and now I have to work on obedience cuz she’s starting to jump up for food, etc.

I’m going to leave it at this for now…hopefully I can do a little better this year as opposed to last…but we’ll more promises to myself or anyone else. Oh yeah…and I gained back a bunch of weight I had lost so I’m starting off the new year at 179 pounds and I need to get my raggedy butt back down to 155….

That’s all folks!!



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!!!



Okay – so it’s not quite another year… May 9, 2011

Filed under: Life,Parenting — gertyrae @ 8:57 pm

…but almost:(

I don’t know how it is I forget to do this so often. I guess it’s just cuz there is so much going on.

I don’t think I ever realized when I started this blog that I would actually have a child…I seriously don’t. My life has changed so much since then. Even the conception of Colin was sort of surreal since I had conceived before and then lost the baby. Now that we do have him, my life is a whirlwind and so much about has changed.

He is going to be 2 in just two months and he is an extremely happy, rambunctious little boy. He is talking up a storm (all single words, no sentences yet) and one of the most energetic kids I’ve ever seen. He has no fear and he loves speed, heights, spinning, etc. The only thing he’s scared of is the lawn mower and even that he is curious about.

I’m now a 911 Operater – which is a whole other story and I may have to add some of those little anecdotes to this blog when I manage to remember them as they are certainly covered under the “unusual” title. I started this job right before bedrest and went back when C was 10 weeks old. It pays the bills but has totally dimmed my respect for people in general. Actually, it barely pays the bills.

We still have Misty and Espresso and have added a Betta Fish, “uni” to the mix…contemplated a turtle cuz C loves them but I don’t think I can care for any more animals. Especially since we are also feeding the birds outside.

As far as our little boy – he is wonderful and the main reason I want to return to updating is because I feel like I’m going to forget the special moments.¬† As it is, I barely remember him when he was a baby and have to refer to his baby book or photos.¬† And this is a child I worked for years to conceive, what must it be like for those who just have children without thinking.

Anyway, on to C:

He is so loving right now – he won’t harm a flea it seems…he hugs Misty, runs after Espresso trying to pet him, feeds all the animals every day (outside birds and fish included) and gets very upset if we don’t let him do it.

He is as stubborn as a mule – if he doesn’t want to do it – it don’t get done!

He is the worst eater I have ever seen…I truly hope this changes, but he’s terrible. I’m happy if we get one good meal in him a day – today it was a PB&J – all other food was ignored completely. He does love cookies and cake and on Easter Sunday ate nothing but that and candy.

He is being soooo stubborn when it comes to the potty….not sure what I’m going to do about that. He was actually sitting on it and going about 2 months ago and then just did a turn around…I’m not sure if I missed the window or what.

He sleeps at night like a dream – down at 8 and up at 7. Daytime naps are iffy…sometimes he’s up all day and others he’ll sleep for hours.

So those are the basics….if I can remember to write more often I’ll be sure to add small anecdotes that will help us to remember the little things better.

And here are some pics from the last month: