Sunday, January 10, 2010

We have news!

Yes, we have good news!

We've also moved websites, and would love for you to join us...
Romancing the Stone

Wishing you the very very best!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Little (Baby got) Back-story

I love this time of year. Besides the manic rush to fill everyone's stocking with things they don't need-I blog, and dream, and get lots of comments. I treasure every comment someone takes the time to leave behind as I do believe they fill me with some superpower juice. (Perhaps it's just the meds).

The Bear does not understand my fascination with blogging (something, by the way, I thought I would NEVER do). G-d forbid he catches me tweeting. I tell him it's kind of like his unbridled obsession with football, or with sugary breakfast cereal. "You know when you paint your belly blue and you go out there in the freezing cold and have a tailgate party at Gillette Stadium? " I explain "All that (dare I say) brotherhood and bonding over pony kegs??? Well, that feeling you get is what blogging gives me (without the hangover)." 

A little hooyah for all my sisters on the "Visiting" team. Our stats might be questionable, but we are here to kick some @ss!!!!! 

Random strangers

And we don't have to paint our bellies blue to do so!
For those of you visiting this blog for the first time, I wanted to give you a little backstory. I am a 41 year old newlywed. That might sound rather "golden aged" but I still get carded and have wonderful skin. I feel 28 on the inside when I am not pumped up on meds.

I always aspired to be a high powered career girl with many lovers and pool boys who would fan me with palm fronds. The career developed beyond my expectation, but the lovers were duds and no pool boys materialized. One day I read this ridiculous article in O Magazine where the writer suggested that if you put your INTENTIONS into the would, you would reap a bountiful harvest. She said you had to write a list of 100 things you hoped to find in a partner, to fully actualize your hope in your mind. I had nothing to loose, as I found the love-over-30's dating scene to be somewhat lackluster, so I gave it a try. I got stuck around #64 I remember, but I mustered on. I remember asking that he "had a job", "had nice hands", "was devoted to his family" and "cracked me up" among more direct and personal hopes. (These hopes might seem simple and shallow but you would be AMAZED at some of singletons out there!) Writing this list made me feel somehow empowered. But as most "life changing" resolutions go, I quickly forgot about it.

About six months later, I met this crazy guy after a string of horrid internet dates. On our second date, he insisted on cooking dinner for me in my tiny condo. I noticed his big hands. As he passed me a glass of wine, I thought about my penchant for pool boys. Was this somewhat better?

After a few dates we began sharing our history. I told him things in the hope of scaring him away, so that I could resume my independent life. I mentioned that I had pursued adoption through foster care (then on hold), and had explored being a single mother by choice (unfortunate miscarriage). Surprisingly, he did not run screaming from my life. Instead, he somehow understood and expressed his desire to one-day become the father he always wanted to have. He was a keeper.

We were married five months later.

After we were married, I stumbled on that journal of "man-traits" as I was cleaning out the office. I was surprised to see that it felt as if I was describing him! The only pitfall- the "# 72.stylish dresser" is sometimes questionable, but hey, he still ROCKS in those nylon wind pants and that shade of acid washed jean will one day come back again!

So that's our story. Fifteen months into our marriage and we have endured extensive prodding and poking (and not in the good way,) several losses and many bumps and cheers on the road to baby hood. We have also experienced countless tears and laughter. I would never want to do it with anyone else.

Write your list. Then throw it away. It probably won't bring you additional luck, but it's nice to put your hope and intention into the universe.

(Thanks Elizabeth)

Wishing you joy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet Article about Motherhood, Adoption and Love

My family c.1972

This is one of my favorite articles on motherhood. The Bear read it to me a few weeks ago when we were at a little cafe before puppy shopping. (No puppy, but the day was wonderful....) Enjoy!

Baby, what a difference

A decade later, a lot has changed in the world of motherhood

By Louise Kennedy, Globe Staff  |  December 5, 2009
Babies don’t change much from one era to the next, but babyhood sure does.

At least that’s how it feels as I compare the arrivals of my two children, more than a decade apart. I gave birth to our son 12 years ago, and this summer my husband and I met our daughter in China, one week after her first birthday.

OK, so technically that makes her a toddler, not a baby, and certainly there are plenty of differences between preparing for a newborn and bringing home a 1-year-old. But the two of them are so startlingly similar in temperament and habits - both alert, curious, and cheerful (or, as I say in my grumpier moods, lousy sleepers, into everything, and loud) - that it makes it easier to see that, even with only 11 years between their births, they’ve landed in two surprisingly different worlds.

I started noticing the changes even before we flew to China in July. When I was pregnant with C.J., I read a few books, talked to a few friends, and made a list of the items we’d need. A friend supplied the crib, my mother bought a deluxe stroller, and for the car seat we went to Babies R Us, checked out the five or six models on the shelf, and picked the one that looked sturdiest and easiest to clean. Diapers, onesies, board books, done.
For T.T., on the other hand, things seemed much more complex. That was partly because the slowdown in adoptions from China meant that I had more than three years to make my lists. But the real difficulty, I think, was simply that there was so much more information available than before - and instantly, addictively available, too, via our new friend the Internet.

The trouble became most apparent once we’d actually received some basic information about our daughter, so that I finally knew (roughly) how big she was and what kind of car seat she’d need. But why schlep to the store, I thought, if I can just shop from the comfort of home?

And thus began my three days of Car-Seat Craziness. I quickly discovered not just the shopping sites, but also the online reviews and arguments about every imaginable style and brand of car seat. Issues I had never even considered - matching seat precisely to vehicle type, fretting about the compression factor of winter coats, locating an inspection site - soon flooded my brain.

Finally, sated with data and dizzy with ratings, I pointed and clicked on the model that I’d liked at first sight - and then found it for $100 off because I was willing to choose a less popular fabric.

Which brings me to another oddity about Planet Baby 2009: the new obsession with style, not just in all those adorable little outfits (now far cheaper and more accessible than in the dark ages of 1997) but in every accoutrement of infant life. Designer diaper bags? For 200 bucks or even more? When I knew that, no matter how stylish, in a year the thing would sit, beat-up and becrumbed, next to the sippy cups and snack holders in a box headed for Goodwill?

On the other hand, sippy-cup design and snack-holder technology have really come a long way in the past 12 years. That, plus all the cute, cheap clothing, is my happiest discovery in this brave new world. Oh, and baby sign language - something I’d dismissed as a yuppie trend back then, but now fully embrace as a remarkable way to soothe the frustrations of a young person who has plenty to communicate, but just can’t do it with her vocal cords quite yet.

Significant advances, all. They almost make up for the baffling, and dismaying, rise of electronic technology aimed at infants. If there’s one way I’d turn back the clock, it’s by eliminating all the toys that produce nasty flashes and beeps. Of course, that might take us back to 1897, not 1997, so never mind.

So many changes - it’s almost enough to blog about. Except that that remains the single most incomprehensible difference of all between babyhood then and now. I am just as tired, just as busy, and just as besotted with this baby as I was with the last, and I assume that all the other new mothers are, too. So where, how, and when do they find the time to blog?

It’s a mystery, and one I’d be happy to contemplate at length, except that the baby just woke up from her nap.
Some things never change.
Louise Kennedy can be reached at, but not very often until her maternity leave ends next month.  

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sending LOVE

Hello all you gorgeous women out there.
I just wanted to send you some good energy!!!!

Listen, I spoke with the Bear last night, and we decided that whatever we hear later today regarding (our pregnancy test )will have to be kept between us until after Christmas. As much as I would like to share our results with you sisters, we feel it best to have a face to face with out families first-and we won't see my side until we fly out for Xmas day.
Plus my mother, sister and sister in law are following this blog from time to time, and I wouldn't want them to get their news (good OR bad) through the blog.

Also, I know that things change and the beginning is so fragile. So if the news is good, I'd just like to sit with it for a little while before putting it out on the blogosphere. If it's not good, I'll definitely need some processing time!

Deep breath!!!

I will say however that I am thinking of all of you. Everyone who has read this blog or has left a comment, and I have you all in my heart : )

We did the reverse the curse rituals last night and I have to say that it did fill me with a lot of girl power and happiness before the PT. I must say that sleeping on the opposite side of the bed was super fun, and having an "afternoon delight" first thing in the morning really started the day off right! So no matter the outcome I am covered in good luck charms today and feel full of good energy. I highly recommend making your own rituals to get through the Pregnancy test!
Wishing you well!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Willing the G-ds of Fate : Part 2

Happy Hanukkah to all you Jewbies out there!

For those of you that don't know the story of Hanukkah, it's really about faith. I was not raised very religously, so let me give you the Brooklyn skinny. Long, long ago there was this group of Jewish folk who were being persecuted. They took refuge in a temple. They had only one lamp, with oil for one night in it. Somehow, the lamp burned for eight days instead of one, and that's how they knew G-d was with them, and G-d had their backs.
Last night my Italian-American husband and I lit our menorah to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. Being married to a Jewish princess, my dear one is getting accustomed to all of these "unusual rituals". Last year he walked uphill in the snow to surprise me with candles for our menorah. This year he made us a feast (of roast beast and mashed potatoes) and got me a glow in the dark dredel

So we lit our menorah to celebrate to first night of hanukkah. We said a prayer. We put the small photo we have of our little embies next to the candles in a makeshift alter

Hopeful, our G-d has our back. Hopefully She/He knows how very much we hope to add on to our family.

I know that everything happens in its own time. I do not know if our children will be born through our bodies, but I am assured in my heart that they WILL come in to our lives when the time is right.

As far as willing the G-ds of fate into reversing the cycle of devastating news after our past IUI's andIVF's I have decided to simplify my action plan, so I am not overwhelmed by ritual. The following is my abridged action plant for blood test day:

1. The Bear and I will sleep on opposite sides of the bed. That way I will truly be starting the day on the right foot.
2.I have been soliciting "good luck" charms from a few friends. I will bring these tolkens with me to the test. You can't have too many wishes from friends.
3. I might still eat ice cream for breakfast.
4. I just surprised the Bear with two skybox tickets to this Sunday's Patriot's game (a gift from a dear friend) so I hope the great sex the night before the test is still a possibility....
5. Possibly flowers and words of affirmation left among post it notes by my desk...

Easy enough....
Any comments you leave for us will be added to our GOOD LUCK treasure trove!!!!!!

Whatever your faith, I wish you the BEST and I hope G-d had your back!!!!
Love, Shell

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Willing the G-ds of Fate

I’m still at the tail end of the two week wait. We are trying to decide if it’s best to have the nurses give me the news of my blood test, or have them call the Bear. I want to be IN CONTROL and hear it, but I don’t want to be stuck between meetings weeping in the bathroom stall (as before….).
Sometimes it feels like the movie“Goundhog’s Day” where we remain in a cycle of horrific repetition. We get the same news every time. I am always told I am pregnant, but the numbers are too low. They make me do other bloodtests and wait till the number is zero before they leave me alone. It makes me feel like my soul is holding on to a faint heartbeat that is getting slower and slower until it stops. It’s been terribly painful for both my husband and me.

Obviously I cannot control fate, but if I can break out of the cycle of repetition, perhaps I am doing something in my small way to WILL the g-ds of fate to give us a new solution. What if I do everything differently on the day of our blood test? Here are some of my ideas so far. I'd love additional feedback and other ideas. Even silly or outlandish ones....

1. I will wear something very bright, even though it's winter in New England. That way the g-ds of fate may take notice and I will proclaim "This is the day!"
Maybe I'll wear a lucky necklace or something I haven't worn before...

2. I will get my blood drawn at another location.

3.I will have massive sex the night before. That's not something I would normally do before the test.

4. I will begin the day eating something unconventional- like ICE cream for BREAKFAST.

5. I will leave myself little notes of affirmation at work, so no matter what the news, I will see these little wise and supportive thoughts.

6. I will go to temple a few days before. It will be Hanukkah no less! (If I am not feeling particularly Jewish, I will create my own little temple and say a prayer somewhere...)

7. I will send myself flowers...(????)I have not done that- so no matter what the outcome I will get a little present of love.

8. I will leave a little WISH note in the third stocking we have hanging on the mantle. That way our wish is out in the universe. 

Any other ideas???????? Any favorites.

Please say a little prayer for us and our embies! Every little bit helps....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Poem: Starlings in Winter

This poem was on NPR Writer's Almanac today. I loved it and wanted to share it with you...
Wishing you joy...
Dec. 8, 2009 
Starlings in Winter
by Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers, 
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can't imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots 
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings. 
"Starlings in Winter" by Mary Oliver, from Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays. © Beacon Press, 2003

Starlings in Flight: Watch Video 

European Starling eggs

Nesting: For more information on these beautiful birds. Click here.