Stories, Bugs and Strolling

I wanted to do something with the kids that was fun, even before Christmas started. So I was delighted to read about the Tyron Creek Story and Stroll.  I signed up and took Jayden and Ethan to the park and we had such a great time.  They read one of Jayden’s favorite books so he was happy and, surprisingly, Ethan actually sat through the whole thing quietly.  Then we walked around the park (with Ethan in the stroller) and Jayden kept pointing out all these little, unusual bugs he was finding along the path. Then he wanted to stop at the swings and roundabouts so we did that for a while, with Ethan just glazing admiringly at his older brother.  So the whole thing was fun and I think the kids really had a good time.  It’s definitely a way to get into the Christmas spirit ahead of time.

Female Fertility in the Forties

So it wasn’t so easy for me to get pregnant with my kids – harder for Ethan because of my increasing seniority – but it wasn’t too intense either.  We did three IUIs but my FSH numbers were pretty rotten. I really wanted to avoid IVF so when it looked like I was either peri-menopausal or even menopausal at 38-years-old, I decided to give alternative therapies a try.  Thankfully, after three months of having needles stuck around different parts of my body on a weekly basis along with ingesting some Chinese herbs, I got pregnant with Ethan.  Thankfully after he was born, I knew I was well and truly done having kids.

The stress you go through trying to conceive, getting pregnant, doing all the ultrasounds and amniocentesis and other genetic testing in your 40s is truly just hell.  And my good friend Amanda, who only got married at 38, has been trying to conceive now for four years, since the moment she got married. Nothing has happened.  Not even a miscarriage.

So last night I was thrilled when she came over with her husband Matt for drinks and she said with a grin, “it’ll just be orange juice for me…for the next 9 months,” and she confirmed her pregnancy (she’s actually 3 months pregnant but said the 9 month thing for affect).  Daniel and I were delighted.  He and Matt are such good friends and it’s been tough for us all to avoid saying anything about our kids, knowing how much they wanted their own.

Now I just hope the  next six months goes smoothly for her.  She’s staying with her fertility doctor for the duration of the pregnancy as apparently she herself only had kids in her mid-forties so tries not to be such a panic-button-pusher and just let Amanda get on with it.  She wants me to guide her through all the stages, particular to older women which I’ll be glad to do.  And I sure as hell won’t be disappointed it’s not me!  I’m really glad for her as I know how tough it is to want kids and not have them and feel that tremendous frustration every month as your period descends.  This just makes me thank God for Jayden and Ethan that little bit more every day.

Getting Ready for the Weekend

I’m looking forward to the weekend.  I know it’s only Thursday and I still have another day left of work (I’m a content writer for an Internet company) but still, I like to plan ahead for fun things.  So I think on Saturday – weather permitting – I’m going to let Daniel rest (he’s been working so hard on his video projects recently) and take the kids and Galvin to Brush Prairie Dog Park on NE 149th Street. Measuring over 10 acres, I love the space here, and, to me, it is everything awesome about Portland – the greenery, the freshness, the environment preservation factor – it truly is awesome. And Jayden loves hanging out there – especially as I usually bring his favorite snacks.  Sometimes some of his buddies from preschool go there too – there are a lot of dogs in the area and we really do love to frequent this park.  We also get to choose from two different parks for Galvin – one for bigger, more assertive dogs and the other for somewhat shyer, smaller dogs.  Galvin often goes to both!

In the afternoon maybe we’ll just do a movie for the kids and I’ll get to read the weekend papers.  That, or Daniel will build something with the boys – or at least with Jayden – while I try to stop Ethan from destroying it all!

Basically I’m planning and hoping for a mellow, getting back to nature weekend.  So we’ll see what happens in actuality. As the old adage goes, “man plans and God laughs!”

Portland Crime


Generally things in Portland – and especially in my residential, suburbia neighborhood – are nice and quiet and that’s how we like it, especially with the little ones.  But of course, as we all know too well unfortunately, no city is completely crime-free. 

I know that crime exists, and I also know that there are very sick people everywhere.  But I guess I hadn’t heard about the two men who had been accused of sexually molesting little boys.  That really hit home, especially given that I’ve got two boys of my own.  Anyway apparently they were arrested a year ago but sentencing was only passed just now at the US Federal Court, Medford.  They got pretty substantial punishments, so that was at least something.  It seems they will be in prison for more than 25 years and then, after that, will have a 20-year term of supervised release.

Still, I like to focus on the nice things about where I live and this was a bit unsettling.  I guess that’s why – as much as I can – I avoid the news. But Daniel happened to be reading the local newspaper and I saw him look a little troubled so I asked him what it was about.

Let’s hope there’s some good news to counter this in the next few days.  Sorry to have been a bit of a downer today…hope you are privy to some nice news, wherever you are.



Finding a Pediatrician

Thankfully my kids are rarely sick. During the winter months they’ll of course pick stuff up from play-dates and pre-schools and get the odd sniffle or two, but other than that we hardly ever have to see a doctor. Oh, apart from the fact that Ethan sometimes teethes so bad, we often mistake it for something more. Still, Daniel said it was high time we find a pediatrician for the kids and I knew he was right.

So I checked out Pediatric Associates of the North West with which I was really impressed. From green-based clinic services (which is definitely my philosophy) to a whole slew of medical advisers, pediatricians, practice nurses and more, this is really going to be a great and easy option for my kids if/when the need arises.