Monday, September 29, 2008

Rosh Hashanah

Just wanted to take a moment for all who read, comment, lurk, or pass through to thank you for your kind words, friendship and warmth. May we all enjoy a sweet new year! Shana Tova Umetukah!

Photo from Cooking Jewish; my challah, though I think it looks great, doesn't look that good.

Challah Back Girl

Yesterday, I made a challah (Jewish traditional egg bread). Me, the girl who misread a recipe for scrambled eggs and accidentally added 2 Tablespoons of black pepper in the mix. OK, I did that when I was 8, but still. The challah looks and smells like bread. I braided it and rolled it into a circle. (It's tradition to have round challahs for Rosh Hashanah, because it symbolizes the year, the life cycle, etc.) Hopefully, my honey-vanilla challah will taste as good as it smells. I hope to take a picture of the challah tonight and post it after the holiday.

I got the recipe from Ariella of Baking and Books; go check it out, her blog is filled with awesomeness.

The challah, and the Martha Stewart honey-walnut cookies, were made last night (both with whole-wheat flour because I had run out of white flour). Yesterday afternoon, my mother taught me how to make her fantastic matzah ball soup. I can't wait to eat it tonight.

Yesterday morning, I made a carrot-zucchini kugel (kugel is usually translated as pudding; it's sort of like a casserole). I also made a vegetable kugel with spinach, carrots, celery, mushroom and onions. The last thing of the morning was making two potato kugels.

I didn't want to make the whole day about cooking. I would have preferred to spread the cooking out over a couple of days, but I did get everything done, so I am proud of myself. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Good and the Not-so-Good

"We got good news and bad news. What do ya want first?"
"The bad news!"
"The only thing we got to eat is sh*t."
"What's the good news?"
"There's plenty of it."
--from a movie I can't remember, but I think is a Western with Kiefer Sutherland

Things That Are Not-so-Good
1. My meds stopped working and I'm in the middle of a depression, my anxiety level has skyrocketed and I feel like I'm about to blow apart into a million pieces.
2. The financial markets stopped working and the economy is in the middle of a depression, everyone's anxiety level has skyrocketed and we feel like the whole world is about to blow apart into a million pieces.
3. John Dear is not feeling well. Still. Now running for 2 years straight.
4. More people on my blogroll do have kids or pregnancy than do not and I feel left out.

Things That Are Good
1. I did not have a bagel on Friday. I am going to rock that weight loss and we will be able to do IVF and have a baby.
2. I'm spending time with BFF today.
3. I'm cooking for Rosh Hashanah all this weekend and I'm grateful to have this time to cook for my family and spend time with them and with G-D.
4. JD and I are going to a drive-in movie tonight!
5. My friends and family make me feel loved, wanted and needed.
6. The Boy is the best boy ever. Trust me, he is.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What I Want Most: a Library

I was born with a reading list I will never finish.
-- Maud Casey

This link takes you to my current "to read" list. It is long, it is involved, it may be a tad unrealistic. The original is organized and sorted in an Excel spreadsheet.

Have any recommendations for other books or comments on ones that I've listed? Please leave a comment here for us all to share.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Emergency Kits

So, I took advantage of waking up in the early dawn hours on Sunday to sketch out what I thought should go into the emergency kits I plan on making (see my 101/1001 list to the left). Yes, this may be crazy and paranoid and rank me somewhere near Ted Kaczynski in your mind, but I've seen one too many disaster stories and the September 11th anniversary got me all riled up.

Tell me what you think and if I should add anything else.

Emergency Car Kit
Scenario: All hell breaks loose and we're not at home

Jumper cablesRoad triangle or FlaresFlashlight
Road atlas + important addresses and phone numbersBlanketWater
Food in cans or packetsDog food (dry)First Aid kit + Tums, Pepto, A&D, meds we're on, Sunscreen
Cell phone chargerSwiss Army knife with can openerMatches
Duct tapeAnti-bacterial wipes or lotionSpare set of clothes, including hat and gloves

Emergency House Kit
Scenario: All hell breaks loose; we're at home, we have to stay there

Crank-operated radioFlashlightBlanketWaterFood in cans or packetsDog food (dry)
First Aid kit + Tums, Pepto, A&D, SunscreenCell phone chargerMatches & lighterDuct tapeAnti-bacterial wipes or lotion

Jump Kit/Go Bag
Scenario: all hell breaks loose; we're at home and have to leave NOW

PassportsMarriage LicenseWedding album
Photo albumsInfo on bank accountsAddress book
MoneyChange of clothes, including hat and glovesMeds we're on

Monday, September 22, 2008

Recipe Link

For those interested in the Southern Slow-Cooker Chicken and Grits from Weight Watchers, here is the link to my modified version.

This time, I'm going to steam some chopped broccoli and mix that in to the finished recipe just to get some more greens going.

Menu Plan Monday

I'm getting back on track with the menu planning (or at least the posting about it). Decided to hop back on the wagon because Rosh Hashanah is next week and I'm going to be doing a lot of cooking this week to prepare. The dinners need to be quick to prepare and even quicker to clean up.

These are the dinners planned for this week:

Monday - Chicken with brown rice and vegetable
Tuesday - Steak with baked potato and salad
Wednesday - Weight Watchers' Southern CrockPot Chicken and Grits and vegetable
Thursday - Tofu and Vegetable Stirfry and brown rice
Friday - Breakfast for dinner (eggs, turkey sausage, toast)

I'll post more about my holiday preparations later in the week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Humor - One of His Good Points

Setting: A freezing cold hotel room, 6:11 AM

Jendeis: I have heartburn and nausea.

John Dear: The heartburn is from lust. The nausea is because it's for me.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Can't think of anything substantial to write, so I was glad when Manda at I Think I Hear Your Mother Calling tagged me with the following meme.

The Rules
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, positively or negatively.
2. Link back to the person who tagged you.
3. Tag a few friends or none at all.
4. Post the rules and follow them or break them at your leisure.


1. For me, blogging allays some of my feelings of loneliness. I need never feel alone because of all you out there to hold me up.

2. The experience of blogging and reading other blogs makes me want to encourage others, to reassure them that they are not alone.

3. I'm much more aware now of all the things that can and do go wrong on the path to building a family. I'm a lot more nervous about pregnancy and ART than I was before I started reading blogs. I guess I thought that the main issue would be getting me pregnant and then, once I was, there would be no issues. I know really know that the worry continues forever.

4. Hand in hand with #3, blogging and the community of bloggers has given me a good resource for learning about infertility, treatments, adoption and even about how to raise a family. Now, when I visit my RE, I'm an "informed consumer" and can make educated choices about how we pursue treatments.

5. Finally, while I've always been pretty outspoken in my beliefs, I don't think I ever confronted strangers about their misconceptions prior to my start in blogging. Now I feel free to set them straight and if they've got a problem, tant pis for them.

I don't tag anybody, but if you do choose to do this meme, please let me know so that I can read your answers. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


So, I've been on a combination of Zol.oft and Well.butrin for a couple of months now. Things were going really well up until 3 months ago, when everything started going to the scheisshaus in a big way. Faster and deeper mood swings, increased depression, very much increased anxiety.

This is not fun.

I did, however, figure out why this is happening. It's because the pharmacy gave me the generic for Zol.oft and not the brand name. See, to get the brand name, your doctor has to specifically note that only the brand will do. Otherwise, you get the insurance company's first pick, the much cheaper (for them) generic (I'm paying the same co-pay no matter which they give me).

Generics are supposed to be the exact same as the brand with the same active ingredients and everything. But the generic form of Zol.oft appears to affect (or not affect, as the case may be) many people in ways different from how they respond to the name brand.

Why? Who knows? I suspect that this is the Splenda effect (a doctrine invented by yours truly). John Dear, who knows just enough about certain things to be dangerous, explained to me that in order to make sucralose (aka Splenda), the chemists just manufactured a mirror image of a real sugar molecule. So, it's basically sugar, only your body doesn't recognize it as such.

I think that the generic Zol.oft works in me the same way. It's backwards, so my brain doesn't recognize that it should effing stop absorbing the serotonin and pass it on to the next neuron. You hear that, Brain!! I'm on to you!

I made an appointment to see Dr. Chai and hopefully can convince her to get me back on the real stuff. Unfortunately, I'll have to deal with an all-intensive in-laws weekend sans good drugs. John Dear and I will be staying at a nearby hotel, so I'm hoping that I can at least minimize some of the graduate level crazy that goes on with those people.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Thank you for your many thoughtful responses to Circular Logic, my post regarding the struggle between those dealing with primary infertility and those pregnant or parenting after IF.

I don't think I articulated all of my points well, so I'd like to follow up.

I don't think that anyone pregnant or parenting after IF should have to bury that experience inside them or never be allowed to talk about it simply because they are no longer dealing with primary infertility. Quite the opposite.

My point was that, as Mel says, "once an infertile, always an infertile." I don't feel that there is any need (from my point of view as a primary infertile) for someone pregnant or parenting after IF to repeatedly and self-consciously explain how grateful they are or somehow have to justify themselves over and over again.

Of course, you are grateful for your child. Of course, you will never forget the pain of going through BFN after BFN and missed placements and lost treatments and the rest. Couldn't we just take that as a given?

Now, when I am in a place where I can't read about kids or pregnancy, I don't read posts about those things. Instead, I save them for later for when I'm in a better place. I don't expect you to never write about your pregnancy or your children because I haven't reached that point in my IF journey; I just want you to understand, and I'm sure that you do, that, sometimes, I'm not always able to read your posts right at the time that they go up on your blog.

Not really sure how to end this post, so I'll just end it as I ended every rough draft of my master's thesis: "In conclusion, I conclude."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Circular Logic

This post has been rattling around in my head for a couple of months and I can't seem to shake it. It's not polished and certainly, not finished, but DD's post on parenting after infertility and Mel's mention of it in the Friday Roundup jump-started me and I just had to get it down.
It seems like every few days or weeks, there comes another slew of posts from people now parenting after IF who plead that they still are dealing with IF, will do so forever and no one should think that they take anything for granted.

OK. Fine. I get what you are saying.

My bottom line: Though you may deal with infertility your whole life, you still have a kid. Right now, I've got zippy.

Yes, infertility is not like skin color. It's hidden and when you see a woman with a couple kids or very pregnant, you don't know if getting them was easy or hard what they had to endure to get to where they are today. But, I do know that you've gone beyond where I am now. I've not been pregnant, not gotten to call a child my own.

Parenting after IF doesn't mean that you forget the situation that you were in, when you were in my shoes. It just means that you are not in my shoes now. I'm allowed to have that. You are allowed to have that.

If I'm not in a space where I can read the lives of people who are parenting after IF or who are pregnant after IF, I don't read. And if I don't read, it doesn't mean that I think you're a turncoat, or that you don't know how it feels, or that I'm judging you. I just can't read your blog at this moment in time.

Can't we just have a blanket statement that no one who parents after IF or who is pregnant after IF is ungrateful or doesn't get it? Why do we need to keep repeating ourselves over and over? Why do we feel the need to constantly justify ourselves and reassure ourselves of the goodness of our actions?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Can we remember?

A marking point. A defining line. A place where you can distinguish between the two halves of your life. Before and After. BCE and AD. For my grandparents, that date is December 7, 1941, the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked. For my parents, it is November 22, 1963, the day that President Kennedy was assassinated.

I always wondered what my date would be. What day would stand out where I could clearly point to it and say, here, here is where my life was changed? As I grew older, I thought, maybe my generation won't have such a day. Could we be that lucky? (Of course, this is a very American-centric view of the world, there are dozens of dates to pull that are significant to peoples around the world.)

Well, we have a day, a defining line, a moment in time that is ours. September 11, 2001 is that day. The day that the world changed. How trite that sounds, but how true. I don't think I ever understood before that day how my grandparents or parents felt on their days. You can sympathize, but you don't really understand, can't empathize. I guess it's one of those things where you really do have to be there.

Time marches on. Time doesn't heal all wounds, but time blurs memories, makes them hazy, and you start seeing that day through a mist. Our children's generation will not know how our country came together on September 12th. They will know the stories, but not feel it in their hearts. Our grandchildren will learn about it in school, and just file that date away in preparation for a history exam.

We say that we should never forget, but how can we ever remember?

Today, in order to commemorate September 11th, Bridges is running their first 100 Words Project. Please stop by to read others' memories of our generation's defining moment.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Can Stop Hiding

I've calmed down now. Please read Lindsay's and Leah's comments on that last post, cause they just rock.

Vented about this to my mentor earlier today, who pointed out that the person was probably just trying to be helpful and I was adding in a lot of emotional baggage of which the person was unaware.

All I See is Red

Rage. Maybe I'm not responding correctly to the email I just received. Some backstory: per MIL's urgings, I contacted a few local fertility clinics to double-check if they too had BMI limits in order to perform IVF/ICSI procedures.
Here's what I wrote:

I live in XXXXXX and have been going to another fertility clinic.
My husband and I have been diagnosed with male-factor due to ejaculatory inhibition and poor motility. Our RE told us our only chance was IVF/ICSI, but that my weight was over what they allowed for IVFs. I am currently XXX lbs (44 BMI). Do you have a weight/BMI limit?

Here's what I received from one of them:

Dear Jendeis, Thank you for contacting XXXXXX, all reputable RE's will refuse to give fertility medications needed for IVF to someone who is overweight due to the multiple health risks, including an unhealthy pregnancy with increased blood pressure and gestational diabetes. However, you did not mention whether you have been evaluated and/or treated for polycystic ovarian syndrome or a thyroid problem which could be contributing to the weight problem. We have many patients with weight problems due to hormone imbalances that also cause infertility, with treatment and lifestyle cahanges [sic] they can be successful.

The more I read this, the more enraged I get. I'm trying to write a response, but I and it gets too angry and I can feel the veins in my neck pulsing. I clearly wrote that our issue is male-factor IF; not PCOS or thyroid problems. Also, our RE told us that the weight limit was for the anaesthesia issues, not the fertility meds. Really there is nothing keeping us from conceiving except for John Dear's slow sperm. I'm shaking I'm so angry. Am I interpreting this incorrectly? Am I totally out-of-whack?

I just want an answer to my question. What should I write? YOU be the author.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Coming Off

10 lbs baby!!! I finally hit the 10 lb loss mark at today's Weight Watchers meeting. If only I can keep duplicating that result, we'll be at this baby stuff in no time. Yay!

Friday, September 5, 2008


I am so in love with Jon Stewart and The Daily Show's ability to skewer all politicians who are being hypocritical. This clip, which ran on Wednesday, is fantastic.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Name Game

Too tired to write about anything serious. Work stinks (you might have heard that the real estate industry is experiencing a small blip just now? Ha), well, it doesn't stink, it's just uber-frustrating. I'm just exhausted.

But not too exhausted to share a meme with you!

The Name Game
1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car): Pache Escape

2.Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe): Mint Chocolate Chip Ballet Flats

3.Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal): Green Dog

4.Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born): Ellen Edison (sounds like Nancy Drew, not a soap opera)

5.Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name): Casje

6.Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Blue (Dr.) Pepper

7.NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers): Ralph Irving

8.Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Romance M&M's

9.TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Ragan Richmond

10.Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Autumn Gladiola

11.Cartoon name:(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now): Strawberry Skirt

12.Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Whole Wheat Weeping Willow

13.Movie star name (first pet, first street where you lived): Pache Sunflower

Your turn!

Monday, September 1, 2008

New Year

Happy new year (sort of). I find that in my world there are three celebrations of the new year. First is September, the start of the school year. Even though I'm not in school, and don't have a child going to school, September always gives me the feeling that I can start over.

Second is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is usually celebrated in September (the Jewish calendar is lunar, so holiday celebration dates on the solar ("regular") calendar change from year to year), so this helps add to my feelings that September is the start of something new, a chance to put things behind me and start fresh.

Third is the New Year's in January. This New Year's holiday usually helps me to recommit to whatever resolutions or plans that I made in September for that year.

What times/days of the year do you use to recommit, start afresh and begin again?