We Now Return To Our Regular Self Deprecating Program...

We interrupt this love fest of happiness to return to our normally chaotic and fragmented lifestyle. Oh how we missed thee!

It's Friday here and about time that we recapped the week...

* The baby slept thru the night on Tuesday. Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Yahoo! Of course, he's my child, so it was only a fluke, and he's back to waking up at either midnight or 3 am. But it's possible....

* The maid, who Matt and I finally agreed upon hiring, didn't show up on Tuesday. She sent me a text message saying that her husband was in the hospital. Being married to the glass is always half empty guy, I immediately didn't believe her (as we recently had a "discussion" over salary and I thought it was just her way of telling me to go take a hike with what I was going to pay her... which in all reality is VERY fair considering ... though I digress). So I called her after I got her text. No answer. Matt called her from his phone. No answer. Over an hour later I get a return call with a mini explanation. She asked if she could just come Thursday. What do you think happened Thursday?

* We've been going to the pool almost every day here, and coming home just before dinner time. It's quite hot and humid out, so we're usually pretty darn sweaty and gross when we return. Matt has Grady duty when he gets home so I can finish up dinner, relax, whatever I'm in the mood to, because, HEY, I have 3 kids attached to my hip all darn day, and even I need a break. After a few days of evening diaper changing, he told me he's very concerned with his boy's "boys" due to the heat. In fact, he's taken it to the next level and told me that I need to air them out every once in awhile because... well, they need it. Not owning a pair myself, well... literally that is.... I can't relate. He's 10 weeks old... does his life already revolve around them now?

* We're living like ragamuffins right now due to the limbo of our move. The house should be ready within the next week, and we're putting off every thing we possibly can until we get into the new house. I have bags from our LA trip that are still packed, most of the air shipment that arrived 3 weeks ago is still in the boxes, and I haven't bothered to really stock the pantry because I know that I'll either have to move it or pay the movers to move it. We're SO ready to relax and settle down, and most importantly, move Grady into his crib in his own room!

* My driver said to Matt last week, "Sir, I thought you said that madam was thin. She's not." And then turning to me said, "You're not thin, you're still fat. I see it in your arms, your stomach...." Hey - I've lost 25 of the 32 pounds I gained. Sure I'm cramming my tush into my pre-pregnancy pants because I can't take the elastic waistbands anymore... and maybe, JUST maybe I have a slight muffin top. But fat? Um yeah... that made me feel GOOD!

* You know you're back in India when the first thing you do is go to the health unit and start your rabies immunizations. Ooooowwwwwwiiiiieee. Next up, Japanese Encephalitis!

Here's to a relaxing weekend...

These adorable shirts are from a dear girlfriend...
Dina - the girls love them!! Thank you!


I Feel Good... Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na...

Feeling good these days is NOT over rated. Feeling good is something I only dreamed about... and hadn't felt in so long that I'd honestly forgotten. Feeling good is ... well... a pretty darn good feeling.

As I sat on one of the many airplanes on our return to India last week, I looked out the window over my two little girlies watching another movie and I exhaled. The kind of exhaling you do when you're suddenly aware that you're taking a deeeeeeeeep breath in and then sloooowwwwly letting it out. It was an exhale where I had to look around me and see if anyone noticed the small noises that probably accompanied it. It was refreshing. It was eye opening. I felt alive.

When Grady was about a week old, my girlfriend called me while Matt was dropping the girls off at school. I don't quite remember what I was doing when the phone rang, but I do remember what happened when she asked me the most innocent of questions, "How are YOU doing?" While the normal person would answer with, "I'm okay" or "I'm fine", the emotional person (me) answered with hysterical, gut wrenching sobs, "I'm gulp-gulp-sniff....so...sniff-sniff-huh-huh... happy."

For several years I spent too much time worrying. Worrying about when "it" was going to happen. Wondering why every medical issue seemed to be happening to me. Spending way to many nights asking myself, "Why?" It was often difficult to put on a smiling face. I became a recluse. In retrospect, it impinged my feelings about being in Israel. I had so many thoughts and dreams that weren't fulfilled. I couldn't wait to leave, to get away, to move on. I sadly willed away our last year, and what coulda-shoulda-woulda been...

The discomfort of (in)fertility was almost too much to handle. From the emotional rollercoaster beforehand to the physical during. Endless shots, blood tests, sciatica, doctors appointments, weight gain. Can't this cool cat ever catch a break?

I'd forgotten what true happiness felt like. Forgotten how good it felt to wake up in the morning and feel rested. Not well rested as in getting a good night sleep. Rather emotionally rested, where the weight of the world is finally lifted off your shoulders and you can exhale a sigh of relief. It was that instance, that moment in time, where I finally realized that I felt good.

As hard as depression is to admit, it's almost harder to accept when it passes. What? You mean I'm allowed to feel good? I no longer have to wonder when "it" was going to happen? I don't have to put on a fake smile and tell another friend how "happy" I am for them, all-the-while cringing inside? I can actually go out and smile a real, honest to goodness smile?

And yet as I sat down on the couch eight weeks ago trying to catch my breath, and tell my girlfriend that I really was okay, I couldn't believe the words coming out of my mouth. Heartfelt words that slipped off my tongue as easily as easily and quickly as the tears streamed down my face.

This is going to be a great year. I am at peace. I am truly happy. I finally feel... and it's ALL good.


Presto Chango

As I look back over the past two months I realize that I have been a horrible mom of a 3rd child. I have far fewer photos of the not-so-little guy than I have of his sisters. Shame on me. So here he is in all his glory... at exactly two months today. Woo Hoo. As of yesterday, Grady weighed in at 12 lbs 8 oz and is a smidgen over 23 inches. He eats like a champ and is already in 3-6 month clothes. He smiles. He coos. And he knows how to sleep... especially during the day. Which leads to some long feedings in the middle of the night.

We've often heard that Grady resembles Sheridan ~ even from people who didn't know her when she was a baby. So I decided to put a few photos of the two of them side by side.
Can you tell who is who?

On another note, Sheridan was the happiest girl in the world today as she finally had her anti-thumb sucking device removed. The first thing she wanted to do? Chew gum.


There's Never A Dull Moment

After ...

Taking 4 airplanes

Landing in 4 countries

Flying 11,091 miles

and traveling for 41 hours

... we finally made it home safe and sound.

We are crocked. We are pooped. We are tired. Sheer exhaustion doesn't even begin to describe how we all feel.

After the debacle in Dubai, and an 8 hour layover, at long last we made it onto an Emirates Air flight that departed at 4 am. We landed in Chennai around 9:15 am, and after quickly clearing customs, we were in our car and on the way home by 9:45 am. However, our bags were still on the Lufthansa airplane in Dubai and I had to go back to the airport twice yesterday to retrieve them once the plane finally made its way here (I was initially given the wrong time by the Lufthansa agents...). Go figure!

On the bright side, all 10 bags made it safe and sound... and more importantly, the 3 huge soft sided coolers that I had packed to the gills with bacon, deli meat, sausage, cheeses, and beef all survived. Thank goodness for all the ice packs I had in each bag!

I spent a majority of the afternoon unpacking bags and putting everything away. Of course... it makes no sense to really organize it all as we're packing up the entire house and moving to a different one in a few short weeks. More on that later.

For now I'm just glad to be home, to sleep in my own bed, and to once and for all be reunited as a family. Home is definitely where you hang your hat... or at least your Baby Bjorn.


Folks...We Need To Make An Emergency Landing...

That's what I heard as I groggily woke up from some much needed sleep around 5 hours into our flight to Chennai from Frankfurt. I thought I was dreaming. But when the flight attendants came around, woke everyone up, and opened the shades in the cabin, I knew my nightmare was coming true.

In less than 15 minutes we were on the ground and taxying towards an open area where the mechanics would come on board and fix this unknown problem. We were told we couldn't exit the plane, but could get up, walk around and stretch our legs.

About thirty minutes passed when the pilot got on the speakers and told us that he had bad news. The plane needed a part flown in from Frankfurt, and that we had to exit the plane, go through security, and head towards an empty gate where Lufthansa crew members would work to get us on another flight.


The kids and I walked about a 1/2 mile where we entered the airport to the empty gate and we waited. And waited. And waited some more. Within thirty minutes the 250 passengers were all in line ready to find out our fate. Would we get onto a plane tonight or have to stay the night in Dubai and fly out the next day?

One agent showed up. Just one! After waiting for another 15 minutes in line, I finally marched up to the very front of the line, slapped my hand on the desk and loudly exclaimed, "I'm traveling alone with 3 kids and I need help NOW!" I need to get on the next flight to Chennai. The agent stopped what he was doing, asked everyone who I just cut in front of if they minded if he put me and the kids on a flight departing Dubai in less than 30 minutes. Nobody objected and we got the last 4 seats.

We ran as fast as we could through the airport, and made it to the gate with mere minutes to spare. But my luck ran out, as the airplane closed its doors and wouldn't accept any more passengers.

So here we sit, waiting for the next plane to take us to Chennai. We hope to make it out in the middle of the night. But even if we get there our bags won't until tomorrow. Which leaves me with NOTHING ... no diapers, formula, pullups, wipes, bottles, clothes, toothbrushes... etc.

Thank goodness for Starbucks, where I'm going to drown my sorrows in a triple venti Caramel Macchiatto with whip. Grady's too... I'm sure that it must taste better than formula anyway, right?

Stay tuned... I guarantee there's more to come!


Yo Matt...Better Get Your Sleep On 'Cuz We're Heading Home And This Mamma Is Pooped!

We survived the first leg of our trip back home. It was only a 4 1/2 flight to D.C., and the girls can do that in their sleep. It's the next two flights that will test all of my patience (or lack thereof). I scheduled our itinerary to allow for long layovers, not because I enjoy sitting around airports while the girls find every disgusting thing to touch and smell, but rather so that we have enough time to lolly gag as we slowly make our way from one terminal to another.

We got up at o'dark thirty this morning and were met by the car service at 4:50 am. After zipping up the last of our 8 bags, 3 car seats, 1 stroller, and 4 carry-on bags, we were ready to head to the airport. A quick trip to LAX was followed up with an easy check-in, and an even easier move through security. A final Starbucks run, a little bagel action, and we were ready to get on the plane.

Right now we're sitting in the Red Carpet Club in Dulles, preparing to board our flight to Frankfurt. The girls are ridiculously hyper and have apparently left their listening ears back in LA. I'm not looking forward to these next 10 hours, and even less to our last 10 hour flight. We'll make it there, though it may not be very pretty. No, not very pretty at all.


I'm 'Fixed' And It's Fabulous!

Just home from the hospital after a long morning of hurry up and wait. Everything went well and I feel surprisingly good .... despite the overwhelming need for sleep that happened long before the general anesthetic wore off. If only my littlest munchkin would give me more than 2.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night... he's such a formula piggy!

I'm laying around today, a bit groggy and tired, and trying to get the laundry and packing done as best I can while there are still some calm moments in my immediate future.

Thanks for the warm notes and well wishes. I"m bottling them up for Thursday's and Friday's usage!

We're Back.... And Getting Ready To Go Again!

What a fantastic weekend we had in Indianapolis. Totally worth the schlepping, the utter and complete meltdowns, and my oldest daughter's latest fears about flying... especially on the puddle jumpers between Chicago and Indy. We ate, we mingled, we ate, we bonded, we swam, and we ate some more. And throughout the eating we even managed to squeeze in a trip to the Indianapolis Children's Museum,Steak and Shake, a Rehearsal Dinner, and even a wedding ... with such a beautiful bride!

The girls had an amazing time hanging out with all their cousins. They were so hyped up that they ate way too much junk food, slept very little, had only 1 vomit incident, and laughed louder than I've heard in a very long time. This weekend was JUST what they needed to keep them going for these last few weeks without their daddy.

We took tons of photos this weekend, my favorite being the first cousins with all their children and our grandfather photo. It was a special time to have us all together again... I can't remember the last time we were or will be again (with 2 of us living outside the U.S.).

There's so much to do this week before we go back to India on Thursday.... from picking up all the things Matt had "fixed" while on this trip, to buying food for our freezer, sending out more thank you notes (yeah... I'm totally behind on them - please forgive me... they're eventually coming!), packing, and of course my procedure tomorrow. A heck of a lot to do in a short amount of time.

So off I go. Wish me luck that we get it all accomplished before Thursday. With any amount of sanity left intact...

The girls in the cockpit. The girls with their cousins at the museum

4th of July at the Rehearsal Dinner

Side View photo of the cousins and their kids.

Left: A photo of a ton of the grand kids and great grand kids.
Right: All the first cousin girls - from youngest to oldest


Laughing All The Way To The Bank

And in the bank too as I soon realized that my ATM card expired at the end of June. Doh! Of course being over 10,000 miles away from home doesn't lend ease to cash withdrawal without the new card... nor does it help that it's a 3 day weekend and the bank can't send out a new card until Monday.

I can't make this stuff up people!!

All I can do right now is laugh... and I'm doing a heck of a lot of it lately. Especially yesterday at the OB's office. I mean, what can I really do EXCEPT laugh, right? It's nobody's fault. And it's just extra time... despite it being a hot commodity lately. As I re-read yesterday's update, it sure took on a Debbie-Downer tone. But honestly? I wasn't upset about it. I actually appreciated the doctor's integrity for not going through with something he wasn't comfortable with.

We're set to go on our trip to Indianapolis tomorrow. All 3 kids and me on a "trial run" for our BIG trip back to Chennai next Thursday. As much of a pain in the tush it is to organize and pack up our stuff for this weekend, I'm super excited that for the first time in a very, very long time, all of my 1st cousins and their families will be together. I look forward to meeting new munchkins and introducing my kids to cousins they've never met. What a great photo opportunity too!

We get back late Monday night, and I'm scheduled to be at Hoag Hospital at 5 am on Tuesday morning (no rest for the weary). So if I don't get a chance to post photos before I'm finally 'fixed', I wish you all a wonderful 4th of July celebration!

No truer words have I spoken this year... G-d Bless America!

Left: Visiting with my girlfriend Cheryl ... Right: Hanging with my girlies


I'm Fit To Be Tied... Or Not...

I had a bevy of witty euphemisms all ready and waiting to use this afternoon ...

~ Let's Just Call A 'Spayed' A 'Spayed'

~ Tied And True

~ I'm Fixed - Though I Never Knew I Was Broken

~ Oh Baby, Oh Baby, NO!

... though after this morning's debacle, I no longer need them.

I went in this morning at just shy of 7 weeks post baby to get my tubes tied, and left the doctor's office with them still intact. Can't this girly ever catch a break? Seriously??

When my OB/GYN came to check on me in the hospital the day after I had Grady, we discussed all future birth control options. With only one that really suited our needs, we decided that I would undergo a uber cool in-office tubal ligation procedure. Hey, we've filled our kid quota for the family. No more munchkins from us! So I called the office manager and booked my procedure for today.

The idea of an in-office procedure was far more appealing than an outpatient surgery as I really didn't want to go under general anesthesia, nor deal with the additional recovery time. From everything I've researched, Essure seemed the best way for me to go.

After minor preparations, I went in to my OB's office today ready to walk out future-kid free. They gave me a local anesthetic, and after a few short minutes we were ready to rock and roll. The whole procedure should have taken less than 15 minutes from start to finish... that is if everything went as planned. All the doctor needed to do was verify that he could clearly see into each fallopian tube, and if so, insert the Essure micro-insert that blocks each fallopian tube. The body naturally builds scar tissue over the inserts, thus permanently blocking the fallopian tube and preventing unplanned pregnancy.

Sounds easy right?

It should have been. It was also virtually painless. Though it didn't work. It failed. I'm a failure. I'm broken.

All kidding aside, the doctor saw that one of my fallopian tubes was blocked. Hey, we're halfway there already, right? Unfortunately no. As the FDA requires that the coils go into the entrance to the fallopian tube, if one is blocked, the doctor can't be sure it's inserted correctly, and could potentially lead to an "Oops!". And if I had an Oops... well, let's just say that everyone should watch out... because I'd go postal!

So where does that leave me? Well... doing the craziest thing I know. Having the Essure procedure done in the Hoag Hospital operating room under a general anesthesia where the OB can use more advanced equipment and ensure that he doesn't hurt me or cause any discomfort. If it works great. If not, then he'd take the final steps and do a traditional tubal ligation where he cuts and ties off the tubes. Nothing like leaving it all until the last minute before I head back to India, eh?

Now I have already been asked why Matthew doesn't just get a little snip, snip himself. Well... would you trust your ball-sac to the medical system in Chennai? He may get a little more snipped than we bargained for.

Whatever. It's not like I don't have enough to do next week...

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