Friday, February 27, 2009

2009: The Year of Change?!?!

You know that saying, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans" ?Yeah, well that might be the best way to sum up the past week.

Just when I thought 2009 was going to be a boring year, we have a big shake up in our household. This past week has brought about some major changes and it has taken us a little by surprise. My last post about moving back to Buffalo? Well, it may not be happening any time soon, but that's okay.

First, let me start with the beginning of the week. As I think I have mentioned, we have been in the market for a new car for almost a month now. We were thinking used SUV. We looked and looked and looked and were having a really tough time. We are super picky and type-A about things & that is a really annoying way to be when you are making large purchases. We weren't even considering new SUVs because this purchase was all about getting into a larger vehicle at a great price. Well, thanks to the craptastic economy and the stimulus bill, there are some great deals out there on new cars & our amazing salesman was able to get us into a NEW SUV for right around what we were going to spend on a used one. We were pleasantly surprised and after 4 weeks & many bad experiences, we drove off the lot in a brand spankin' new Fo.rd Esc.ape Limited! It is a little smaller of a truck than we were looking at originally, but the gas mileage is unreal - 28 miles to the gallon- & that was super appealing. It also had many of the features we were hoping for. At the end of the day, it is more than large enough for the 2 of us and the 4 wheel drive will come in very handy when driving up to Buffalo. Realistically, we could even get away with 2 little ones and have enough space. So, that was the beginning of our good news for the week.

In my last post about moving back to Buffalo, I alluded to the fact that things haven't always been perfect at Sean's company, but they have always been flexible about us moving back to Buffalo and they were open to taking Sean back after he left to open his own business - you take the good with the bad I guess. Recently though, despite the refi boom, things have been slooooooowwww & no sign of improvement on the horizon - so more bad than good. Sean is always networking & keeping his feelers out there and late last week an old friend spoke to him about an opportunity at a local brokerage. Sean called and an interview was arranged. We discussed it & decided Sean would at least go on the interview - nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? He had an interview on Wednesday & he felt that it went very well.

On Thursday afternoon, they called and made him a formal offer! We had already decided if they made an offer, we would accept. So, it's official! He resigned today and says he feels like the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders. He starts on Tuesday. We are VERY excited about this opportunity and are looking at it as a total new beginning.

Some of the highlights - the hours are much more appealing than his current job - 10-7pm daily instead of 9-9, no weekends, no pressure. The benefits are great (not sure about IF coverage yet, but I won't hold my breath), Sean knows a lot of people on the sales floor, & the compensation plan is very appealing.

Sean spoke to the management team about the possibility of moving back to Buffalo at some point and they are open to it. No promises, but there may be an option to work from home or open a small branch of the company. We decided it was not a deal breaker for us, if it works out - great. If not, that is okay too. Perhaps this will be a bridge to something else, perhaps we will extend our time frame a little bit. Right now, we are just going with the flow.
This was not part of the plan, but we always try to be open to change. Though it is an overused cliche, I do believe everything happens for a reason.

We feel like the tide has turned for us a bit. We have had quite the stretch of bad news of the past 18 months - Sean's shoulder surgery, the car accident, the business not working out, 3 failed IVFs, Sean's dad's cancer, my Dad losing his job & not being able to find work, the economy etc... We have learned a lot, but I am so over all of it! We feel way over due for some positive news. I truly feel like there has been a shift in the cosmos. Perfect time to get our FET under way!

You may remember that my mantra for 2009 is "The Year of Hope" & I went into it with no expectations. Well, so far 2009 has been full of surprises and full of hope too. Looking forward to what else is in store...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shufflin' off to...


I have been leading you on for weeks about a big life change, but I haven't been quite ready to put it out there. I think my title kind of gives it away, but first, a little background...

Sean & I were both born & raised in Buffalo, NY and our entire family is up there. I came to MD in 1997 for college and we stayed. In 2003, we decided we would like to move back to Buffalo. We were getting married in August of 2004 and hoped to move by then. Sean's CEO agreed and the plan was for Sean to telecommute and eventually open his own branch of the company in the area. We decided to build our dream home 3 miles from my parents. We absolutely loved being back and could not have been happier - God, I loved that house. We had been in our home for just 6 months, when Sean was offered a promotion that was just too good to pass over. We put the house on the market & packed up and moved back to Maryland. The promotion wasn't what it was supposed to be and Sean was really unhappy and frustrated for awhile. He even left the company for a little while to pursue opening his own business. Ultimately, the current economy dictated that it just was not a good time for risky ventures and Sean returned to his old company in a new capacity. While he has been happier, we have never been able to shake the feeling that we should be back in Buffalo.

With all that said, we have decided that the time has come to leave Maryland and move home once more. We no longer own a home here and in some ways it is the perfect time to do it. Although taxes are high in NY, cost of living is much lower than it is here in MD. Housing is so much more affordable and being close to family is priceless. Sean's Dad's cancer diagnosis this summer really got the wheels turning for both of us. We know that when we have children, we want them to grow up close to their grandparents & extended family. We have a HUGE family waiting for us and we feel like we miss out on so much. Although we try to get home as often as possible, it is still not the same & travelling over the holidays is stressful!

We are not moving any time soon. In fact, it is more of a 1-2 year plan. We have decided on a price range for a home and are saving aggressively for a down payment. We are also putting extra money away in the event that this FET is a bust and we need to do IVF #4. We have really buckled down and are cutting back where ever and when ever we can.

Sean has communicated to his CEO that moving back to Buffalo is the plan and he is 100% supportive of that and even commented that it was a mistake for him to have ever asked us to give it up in the first place. Sean will remain with the company and work from home. I have not told the family that I tutor for yet, because it may be a non-issue. Robert graduates from high school next June and Michaella will be in 10th grade and has never needed the level of support that Robert has. Although I love my job and the kids are like family to me, it is not a reason to stay here. In this age of technology, there is nothing to say that I could not work with Michaella via chat if I had to; I certainly know the curriculum well by this point. I think the family will be supportive.

We have not told our families yet and probably won't for a little while. We would like to be able to tell them in person and also have a clearer time line in place. We still need to figure out which towns and neighborhoods are most appealing to us. Our families have been through so much with us, we want to tell them in person and be able to have concrete details to share.

So, that my friends, is my big news! It is a little scary to being doing this all over again, but I know in my heart it is the right thing for us and our families. I am glad it is not happening immediately though. I want the time to save and plan and figure things out. It will be here soon enough! Thank you for all your support and positive thoughts over the past few weeks! As always, it means a great deal to me!

In IF news, my endo biopsy results are in and they are normal! Pretty much what I expected, although it is always nice to have answers. Now we are back at square one. They did recheck my prolactin and now it is a little low -only 2- it should be over 3. It went from too high to too low. Dr. P had me stop the meds and will recheck it in 3 weeks. I hate taking meds that I don't have too, so that is fine with me. Today is cycle day 1, but we decided not to do my FET. I am going to take this month off, keeping losing weight and give my body a break from the meds. I should start my FET right around St. Patrick's Day - may the luck o' the Irish be with us!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Endo Biopsy

I am approaching the end of my mock cycle and today was my endometrial biopsy. Believe me, I read some HORROR stories and was a little nervous going in this morning. Although my RE offered my an Rx for pain pills, I did not take him up on it. Pain meds make me really sick, so my thinking was that a few seconds of pain might be preferable to hours of nausea. I opted to take Ad.vil instead. I took 1000mg an hour before my appt and I made sure to get a good breakfast of protein and whole grains to keep my blood sugar steady.

Sean came with me and was able to hold my hand which was really comforting. The whole thing went very quickly and was really a piece of cake. I asked Dr. P to talk me through each step and he did. First, the speculum, then cleaning with a giant q-tip and beta.dine. Next, he inserted the catheter which was a little more crampy than a typical IVF transfer or Saline-Sono, but not terrible at all. He had me press down on my tummy, breathe deeply and then the biopsy began - it took just 15 seconds! I had some mild cramping and that was it! He said I did very well and we were "lucky" - whatever that means. It wasn't even as crampy as my HSG. I have had a little bit of spotting, but I feel 100% normal. I am so glad I did not take any pain meds. I know everyone is different, but I wanted to add my positive experience after reading so many bad ones. GL to anyone who has one coming up!

In other news, we were shocked to wake up and hear about the crash of Flight 3047 in Buffalo, NY. Buffalo is such a small town and a tight knit community, I know this must be very difficult for everyone. The victims and their families are in our thoughts and prayers.

Some good news - I lost another 3.5 lbs for a total of 14.8 AND I was able to wear a pair of jeans yesterday that haven't fit me in almost 2 years. Doing a happy dance!

I am looking forward to the weekend, especially dinner at R.uth's Chris tomorrow evening. It is "our place" and we have "our waiter" who knows us well and takes care of all our preferences. He was even able to get us a table when they were booked solid. Scott is the man!

I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day and a wonderful weekend. I hope everyone has some time to reconnect and recharge this weekend - don't forget the romance :)

Oh, no more meds for me after Sunday night! Woo!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just Dance

Lately I have had the urge to get silly drunk and in the words of Meredith and Christina on Grey's, "dance it out." I figured the odds of this happening any time in the next decade were slim and none. Silly drunk was doable, but dancing it out was highly unlikely as I no longer do girl's nights on the town and Sean is not, never has been into dancing. I often tell him we got together under false pretenses - we danced the night away in a club the very first night we were together but since then, not so much.

Late last week Sean proposed that we head to Atlantic City Saturday night. I hemmed and hawed and didn't really feel like it. Shouldn't spend the money, need to go car shopping, find someone to dog sit Libby etc... Sean persisted and even called the hotel to see if he could get us comped. He succeeded in scoring a room and dinner for Saturday night and I had little room to resist. My Aunt & Uncle agreed to take Libby and off we went!

The room was just ok - not bad for free. Dinner was amazing - on my list of top 5 meals of all time. It was the perfect steakhouse dinner - soup, salad, bread, Cowboy Ribeye perfectly seasoned -cooked medium, baked sweet potatoes, steakhouse fries, very dirty martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives and a delicious glass of Cabernet. Great ambiance, fantastic service, good conversation - the perfect meal. Very romantic.

After dinner we played a little and I won a little bit. Sean was not really feeling the blackjack mojo so we decided to take a gambling break and go listen to the band in the lounge. They were a fun cover band - perfect for a wedding or a casino lounge. Up until this point, this was a very typical evening on the town for us - great meal, a little romance, a little gambling, call it a night...

Instead of following our usual script, one cocktail turned into another and then another. The band played their final set and then a DJ took the stage. Then, the most miraculous thing happened - we danced and danced and danced all night! I got my wish - silly drunk and I danced it out with my husband, which is the greatest part of the whole story, in my opinion! Who are you and what have you done with my real husband??? I never mentioned to him that I was feeling the urge to cut loose, but some how he knew... he always does.

It was fun to be so spontaneous! We usually have a plan and stick to the plan. I love having a plan. Lately though, I am sick to death of the plan! It felt so good to just let it all go for a few hours. We laughed until our cheeks hurt, we danced until our feet were sore, we kissed and flirted and acted like teenagers, we drank until we were giddy (and the room was spinning), we went to bed at a ridiculous hour, slept late and had an amazing, huge, delicious breakfast, we left for home smiling and recharged and a little hung over too. We didn't gamble much at all and the casino is probably a little bitter, but it was just what the doctor ordered! Now, where is my To-Do List...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Halfway to Nowhere

Well, I am about 1/2 way finished with my mock cycle. I had my lining check yesterday and my lining looked "beautiful!" I did not ask for measurements, because I figured why worry about something that does not matter anyway? I get to cut back my Est.race to 2x per day and I started Endo.metrin 3x per day this morning. Lucky me!

Although the mock cycle is easy and boring, I am not really a happy camper. The estrogen put the whammy on my sex drive in a major way and we all know how very romantic progesterone suppositories are to top it all off. Sigh... poor Sean. Poor me.

My endometrial biopsy is scheduled for next Friday the 13th. Looks like Valentine's Day weekend is going to be filled with romance. Sigh...

I stop all meds on 2/15 and call with a period. I can start FET right away pending results and we are leaning towards doing that.

I am down 10.4 lbs since the New Year and going strong. Losing about 1lb. per week for the last few weeks. I am hoping the meds don't blow me up like a balloon though. Sean is down almost 10 as well. I love cooking and am always looking for more healthy recipes!

We are new/used SUV shopping and it is maddening. I will spare you the details, but after spending Friday, Sat and Sun test driving trucks, I think we are getting closer to making a decision. We are terrible at making big decisions like this. We have a tendency to over think, over analyze and over plan things. Hopefully this weekend we will be the proud new owners of an SUV!

We are also making some headway on our "big life change" plans that I mentioned recently. I will unveil the plan soon. Thank you all for your well wishes and support!