Monday, October 29, 2012

There's a Hurricane A-Coming!

As I type this, Hurricane Sandy is barreling through. It's crazy windy out there and has been raining like mad. This afternoon we had power flicker out twice for less than five seconds each. I refuse to reset the clocks until I am 100% sure the power won't go out again. What's the point of resetting all of the clocks if they're just going to conk out again, right? Anyway, I just hope our friends and family a bit farther south are faring well and staying safe.

As for me, I am /not/ pregnant. Yesterday was CD1 again. I actually had a 27 day cycle. Go figure! Me! Crazy ovulation lady having a normal and even slightly short cycle. lol Anyway, I'm neither happy nor sad about it. It's more an annoyance than anything else. Here's to another normal cycle! *fingers crossed*

I can't remember what I've told you about our new cats, but we had a little change over this past weekend. We had to give Frodo to the animal shelter because he was being too aggressive with the kids, and the point of having cats was to have the kids play with them and learn to care for them (eventually). I couldn't do this with Frodo, and people kept getting scratched and bitten. I had to sedate him to get him into his crate, because he will maul your face off if you try to put him in there. I was terrified that I had oversedated him and killed him, but luckily he was just fine. Shmuel dropped him off at the shelter, and when I checked in with them on Sunday he was still there. WHEW! I was so nervous they would just kill him because he's aggressive at times. Morgan has been sick and it's been a pain giving her medicine. We were afraid she might die since we couldn't get anything into her, and I took her to the shelter. They convinced me to keep her and showed me how to give her medicine. She's still having some trouble, but at least she's eating and drinking now where she wasn't doing this before. In the meanwhile, we got a cat to replace Frodo and he is a delight. He is the friendliest cat in the universe, even with the kids. He's also declawed, so I don't have to worry about him scratching anyone. We named him Merlin, though I jokingly say his alter ego is Colin because then we'd have two cats - Colin and Morgan. *giggles*

Speaking of Colin Morgan, my trip to London is in 3 short days. Today Eoin gave us his first clues in weeks! He's been so busy filming the movie that he's hardly been on Twitter to provoke the fangirls into convulsions with his teasing. Here are today's clues: "Less than a week to #ColdCon & we have extra tickets & the coolest guest...I'm excited & I've worked with him. But I still stare. A lot." and "And I can't announce our special guest cos people may fall over with excitement...and cos its more fun for me to see people's reactions..." Ok, now we speculate. We know it's a him, so that really narrows it down. And there are only two people in the cast (aside from the ones we know are already going to be there) who are stare-worthy. Colin and Brad. As for falling over with excitement, that also could be either of them. There are plenty of fangirls for both actors. lol Honestly, I still think both of them are going to be there...probably because I so want both of them to be there. :-) Only a few days left until I find out for sure!

I actually made another plane reservation to go out of town at the end of December. Yep, that's right. The girl with severe aerophobia is taking another flight. But this time I'm staying in the US and going to the midwest to visit my best friend Heavyn. We're going to have a blast for about a week and a half while I have some time off from school. I will do my best to blog about it with pictures, of course.

If you're wondering about the title of this post, it's a line from Golden Girls, Season 7, Episode 8 (The Monkey Show). It's the one where they're having a hurricane, and I thought it would be appropriate to watch it today, so I did. lol It was absolutely hilarious...and fitting. As they were having a hurricane on the show, I was listening to the wind howl and the rain pound against my window.

That's all for now. Most likely my next post will be after ColdCon... OMG I can't...even... *dies*

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Interesting Milestone

We just passed a very interesting milestone back on Oct 12th. On that day Tzipora was the exact same age that the twins were on the day she was born. Pretty wild, isn't it? And we only just started TTC. Funny how things change as time goes on.

Speaking of TTC, we're hanging into today at 6dpo. I'm still reeling at the fact I actually ovulated on time, CD 15. The wildness of that to me is completely mind-boggling. I looked back at my past ovulation charts - and I have the past 6 years in charts - and the only times I've ever ovulated prior to day 16 were when I was on Follistim and/or took an hCG shot to trigger ovulation at a certain time. And even with that, I only rarely ovulated prior to day 20 of my cycle while not on any actual fertility medication (ie Metformin, Clomid, etc.) When I was using Chinese herbs and FertilAid (waaaaaay back when I was TTC #1) I ovulated on day 18 or 19 a few times, but even when I was on Metformin I usually ovulated on day 17! Maybe this was a fluke and next cycle (if there is one) I'll go back to having crazy late ovulation, but I'm hoping not. It feels good to be normal. :-) The fact is, if I got pregnant this month I would actually be able to give my midwife my real LMP and get my real due date! That's beyond cool. With both the twins and Tzipora I gave my OB/midwife a made up LMP that I concocted based on the actual day I ovulated/had my retrieval so she would have my correct due date and not an inaccurate one. Would the extra 2 days have actually made a difference with my care? Well, with the twins it would have put me as 35w3d instead of 35w1d at their birth...not a big deal considering they did fine regardless. Tzipora was born at 39 weeks, so their records would have stated 39w2d. But...had I gone "overdue" with Tzipora, the extra two days could have meant the difference between having an induction forced on me or not. This is why I like accuracy when dealing with pregnancy! I don't want any practitioners claiming I am 42 weeks pregnant when I am still 41w5d and could give birth on my own. For some women who ovulate weeks late, this is HUGE! And this is also why it is SO IMPORTANT to either know your ovulation date or to have an early ultrasound (like 6 or 7 weeks) to date your pregnancy accurately. One of my doula clients has a habit of going all the way to 42 weeks according to her midwife. But really, she ovulates nearly a week "late" she's really more like 41 1/2 weeks when she gives birth! She's narrowly escaped Pitocin induction twice now because she's begged and pleaded to be left alone until 42 weeks. Had she made up a LMP based on her ovulation (or close to it), she would have gained some extra time. Now then, I'm not saying to go hog wild and randomly pick a date here. If you know your exact ovulation date, use it to calculate back a LMP if you haven't ovulated on CD 15. If you don't know the exact ovulation date but have a range of a few days, pick one of them. If you are completely 100% clueless, get as early an ultrasound as possible. The earlier on, the more accurate the date they will give you.

Speaking of pregnancy, I had some super weird dreams the other day about being pregnant and giving birth. Yeah, I're all going to say "But Elana! You only have really weird dreams when you are pregnant!" And then I'm going to tell you to shut your face because I already know that and it's creeping me out. Anyhoo, in dream #1 I was actually in labor....and it hurt, too. But then my mother walked in and interrupted and my body was all "YIKES MOM IS HERE!" and stopped being in labor. LOL I was kinda pissed about that. In my second dream I actually gave birth. From what I remember it was pretty fast and Heavyn and Melanie were my doulas. (That is actually what I would LOVE to happen for real next time I give birth, but anyway...) I was all proud of myself for having them as doulas and not needing a "professional" one. Though honestly if I were going to do this in real life I would train both of them in the preceding months to make sure they'd be superb doulas anyway. But the kicker was that the baby was a girl, and I was NOT happy. I was all "Seriously? Another girl? No freaking way..." LOL My third dream was about school, but I don't really remember what happened.

Other symptoms this week: I am extraordinarily gassy. It's completely obnoxious and painful at times. I hate those gas bubbles! I've also had a bit of the runs, which is not fun either. I've been a bit dizzy too, but that's not really new. I've had horrific orthostatic hypotension ever since I started taking a beta blocker for my migraines, so it's most likely related to that.

I'm sure you've all been dying for an update on my London trip, right? Well there's nothing really new to report. As of the last time I chatted with Steve they don't really need any extra help, but Eoin is also completely consumed with filming the movie and isn't in the mindset to even be thinking about the convention. So I asked Steve if he would reconnoiter with Eoin after filming and ask again - this time making it super clear how much it would mean to me to help out - and he said he would. I still have some hope left! But no news on who the other two special guests are. There haven't even been any clues since my last post. I'll keep you updated on that front when I know more.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another Update & (In)fertility News

I finally got an email from Steve this morning...but it was just telling me that he still hadn't spoken with Eoin but he will do so tomorrow and get back to me. Ugh! I had a total heart attack seeing that he had finally emailed and BOOM nothing new at all. But we emailed back and forth a few times with him giving me tips on where to go and what to see in London, and any suggestions from my readers is more than welcome.

As for Eoin, he finally announced the venue - Thistle City Hotel, Barbican, Central London. Yesterday's hints on surprise guests were: "I don't believe it but a certain guest will be there" and "two very special may never see them at one of these conventions again..." Today's clue is: "just can't announce them yet, out of respect for them, they are quite private....hint hint" *fingers and toes crossed that it's Colin & Brad*

In (in)fertility news, I actually chucked out my birth control when I randomly got my period at the beginning of October. I had been on the mini-pill which meant no periods since last May (woo!), and then all of a sudden I got a surprise when October hit...and not a happy surprise. lol I asked hubby if he wanted me to stop with the pills, and he surprised me by not refilling them. Ohhkay... I haven't been temping or anything interesting like that, but since I'm a control freak who likes to know what's going on, I decided to take some OPKs to see if I might actually ovulate. I'm not on Metformin or any other interesting medication, I've just lost a crapload of weight and am at the lowest weight I've been at in many years, so I figured maybe my body might just figure itself out. Well, you could've knocked me over with a feather yesterday while I stared at a + OPK...on cycle day 13. WTF?!? Day 13? Seriously? I have not ovulated this early since I was a teenager... And I can tell I'm ovulating, left ovary was twinging at me last night and the cervical mucous is, well, noticeable. I'm in complete shock actually ovulating on day 14 of my cycle...something that "normal" women do. Me? Normal? As if...

But the funny thing is that I have no overwhelming desire to become pregnant this month. If it happens I'll be shocked beyond recognition and luckily will have 9 months to let it sink in. At least by the time a baby would be born I would be finished with nursing school, the twins would be almost 4 1/2 and Tzipora would be 2 1/2. The twins would be getting ready to start pre-school and Tzipora would be starting play group. The twins would also be potty trained, so I would go back to only two in diapers (WOOOO). And for me an infant is very easy to take care of...I would do it any time. By the time a future baby would turn one and be out of infant territory and mobile (ie causing trouble), the other kids would be much older and hopefully getting into less trouble...maybe even helping out? So it's not as crazy a prospect as it would seem...four under the age of five. Well, maybe it is crazy, but I still would like to complete my family (6 kids?) before I turn 35, and I'll be 30 next August.

It just feels strange to be TTC with no feelings one way or the other about being pregnant. I think there are a few reasons for my hesitation on becoming pregnant, or rather my lack of excitement about it. First of all, my birth with Tzipora was very, very painful. Yes, it was short, but it was excruciating. The thought of going through that again is terrifying to me. My doula was incredible with trying things, but it was just overwhelming. I need to think of something (besides just getting an epidural when I arrive) to help with that. Secondly, while I will have just finished nursing school and hopefully will have already passed the boards, I want to start midwifery school immediately and don't want to have a conflict with orientation or have to put it off. I'm hoping that since it's midwifery school they would allow me to bring a baby with me for the week, but who knows. Third, I really want to have another son, and I am completely terrified of getting pregnant with another girl and really tipping the scales off balance. No, that fear isn't going to go away no matter when I'm TTC, but it's still something that makes me hesitant and nervous about the whole thing. I love Tzipora Sara and can't imagine her as anyone else, but I still don't want to have that feeling of disappointment that I had last time. I don't want to be one of those families with 5 girls and 1 boy. If anything I would have preferred 5 boys and 1 girl! I so want to give Dovid a brother to play with, although he is quite attached to Chana. He just really needs another male around...

So, that's the scoop. I am hoping for an epic update tomorrow from Steve and will let you know when I hear from him.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Update and Speculation

Eoin gave a small update this morning... He said on his Twitter that "apart from us 3 [Eoin, Tom & Alex], we have the 2 coolest actors from Merlin doing an appearance & a Q&[A] which u won't expect." He also said that "we aren't going to tell u WHO is at which [session], but u won't be disappointed either way."

Well, that doesn't get me so much further along than I was yesterday, but it gives me something to speculate on at the very least. Unless he's trying to be funny, everyone knows that the two coolest actors from Merlin are Colin (Merlin) and Brad (King Arthur). And this speculation is given further credence by the fact that he said someone wouldn't be disappointed either way. To miss Colin but to see Brad (or vice versa) probably wouldn't disappoint your average Merlin fan. To me it's a huge deal since I'm making this trip, but I would be at the full event in either case, so it doesn't matter to me who is at which session (morning or afternoon). Especially if I get to be a volunteer *fingers crossed* I will for sure be there all day.

I still haven't heard from Steve, and I'm getting way nervous. My flight actually decreased in price between yesterday and today, though not by much. I have enough anxiety to be dealing with these stupid airfares that change on an almost daily basis. I just want some kind of confirmation from him on what I'll be doing (if anything) so I can either book my tickets or sulk that I won't be going. Though the chances of me not going are so slim that I probably should book my tickets...I'm just so anxious about the whole thing. Anyone that knows me knows how much I hate flying. If I'm going to take a 7+ hour plane ride (there AND back), I had better be having the time of my freaking life on my vacation. It better be epic or I will not be happy.

What are your thoughts? I feel like no one's commenting any more, so I have no clue what you guys are thinking. Am I totally nuts? Do you think I should go? Do you think I need to wait to hear back from Steve before booking a flight? I just wish my anxiety would cool it so I can function. I'm hoping it will once I know what's going to happen and have my flight booked (or not).

Update: I did it. I said "what the hell, you know you wouldn't miss this for anything" and booked my flight. I know this is going to be an amazing experience, and I actually have tears in my eyes. I'm going to ColdCon2012...Someone pinch me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Chance of a Lifetime

I am extremely excited about something, so forgive me for being giddy and freaking out about this and fangirling all over the place. In my last post I mentioned (all the way at the end) that I would be Skyping with some actors from the TV show Merlin. Let me explain how that would come to be in the first place...

Eoin Macken (that's pronounced "Owen" for those who aren't Irish) who plays Sir Gwaine in Merlin directs films himself and is currently making one called Cold. I decided to help support his film, and in return I was actually invited to be an extra, have an Associate Producer credit and be invited to the cast/crew premiere (when it happens) among other things. The problem is that they're taping in Ireland, and I can't exactly take a week off of school to go film (as much as I want to so badly). I had been in touch with Eoin's assistant (Steve), and I asked him if I could have a Skype chat with Eoin and Tom (Hopper - who plays Sir Percival in Merlin) instead of coming in for filming, and they agreed to that readily. Woo!

Fast forward a few days and Eoin announces on his blog that he's having a convention for his movie. It's going to be in London at the beginning of November and on a weekend. Score! I can do weekends!! But I wouldn't necessarily just go to meet Eoin and Tom... What really is tipping the scales are the "very special surprise guests" that Eoin is promising. Now then, according to Eoin we "all know who they are likely to be let's be honest" and we "know who [his] friends are" which leads us to believe that there will be multiple Merlin actors there. Wait a minute... *heart stops* Did I just say Merlin actors? Well, if you were making a convention and wanted to draw a big crowd for support, which actor from Merlin would you invite? BINGO! Merlin himself... *dies* No, I have no confirmation on this whatsoever, but I've already been in touch with Steve to find out who these surprise actors are going to be and if I can volunteer to help out at the event - like be a runner and get things for the signers or take pictures for fans. I mean, I do have an Associate Producer credit for the film, so I really should do something to help them, you know? And I live for the moment when Colin Morgan says to me "Hey, Elana, can you get me X?" *dies again* I also asked if I can have some kind of VIP access. Steve says he'll take care of me when I come, and I know he will...I just need to know if Colin will be there before I book my flight. I have already taken one step, though. I renewed my passport earlier today since that is more time sensitive than a flight...though the flight is going up in price every day and I don't want it to exceed the number of credit card miles I have. LOL

Eoin says that he may announce the first of the surprise guests tomorrow, and I've been obsessively checking his Twitter in case he says something. And I've been on my email and Google Talk constantly, so I will know the second Steve goes online or emails me back. I have my fingers and toes crossed. If Colin is going to be at this convention, I will get over my phobia of flying and go all the way to London just for the weekend to spend time with him, Eoin, Tom and anyone else from Merlin who shows up. I have faith that Steve is going to pull something amazing for me out of his hat should I come, especially since he knows I'm taking a special trip all the way from Boston to see them.

Wish me luck, because I think I may stop breathing at the sight of Colin Morgan in person, faint at the sound of his voice and die if he were to give me a hug. And you thought me meeting Blake Berris was cool? Oh gosh...meeting Blake has nothing on meeting Colin...nothing whatsoever. Picture your favorite actor of all time... Is it Brad Pitt? Benedict Cumberbatch? Jared Padalecki? George Clooney? Then picture yourself meeting him, spending time chatting, getting a hug...yeah. I'm dying with excitement and anticipation over here, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it if and when it happens. But don't worry, you'll know as soon as I get confirmation from Steve that I should be making my flight. You'll hear the scream all the way from Boston to wherever you are.

Update: I woke this morning to Eoin's announcement of the first special guest...who is Alexander Vlahos, who plays Mordred on Merlin!!! *goes into atrial tachycardia*

I may book my flight anyway (which came down in price since last night...woo!) because the suspense is killing me, and I actually happen to like Mordred...a lot. :-D

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Meeting the Cast of Days of our Lives

A few weeks ago my mom, my nanny and I took a trip to Mohegan Sun for the weekend, leaving Shmuel home alone with the kids. Days of our Lives had a once-in-a-lifetime event, bringing nine stars to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for signings and a Q&A session. It was beyond amazing, even though we had to stand in line for 8 hours!

We got up bright and early and got in line around 8:45am. They were going to start giving out bracelets in order to get autographs starting at 11:30am, but we knew they were only giving out a few hundred bracelets and didn't want to miss out. We were lucky to have gotten in line so early. There were already about 75 people in front of us at that early hour - some people had been in line since 2am!

The first exciting thing that happened was that someone realized Joseph Mascolo (aka Stefano DiMera) was eating breakfast at one of the open restaurants and was waving at fans. Cue me to run the heck over there with my camera. Poor guy was bombarded by fans yelling and waving at him, yet he took time to wave back at everyone personally. This was him waving to me.

After waiting in line for about 3 1/2 hours, we finally got our bracelets. Then we promptly got back in line to wait for the signings, which weren't scheduled to begin until 1pm. Meanwhile, we were making very good friends with the family behind us, and they even helped to hold our spots when we had to get out of line for whatever reason. They took so long with the first 70 something people that it wasn't until after 2pm that we finally got our chance with the stars, and we were hurried through it terribly. I took videos for posterity, of course. The first group was Kristian Alfonso (Hope Brady), James Reynolds (Abe Carver), Suzanne Rogers (Maggie Kiriakis), and Shawn Christian (Dr. Daniel Jonas). I gave each of them a bar of Godiva chocolate as a thank you for coming all the way out and meeting us. You can hear them thank me for the chocolate. :-D The first video is me meeting them and the second is my mom. Enjoy!

Once we had met this group, we got back in line (again) to wait for the second group. While the first group was continuing signing, the second group were doing a Q&A session, which I went to see. I tried to get pics, but none of them came out so well. Once the first group finished all the signings they traded places with the second group. I got back in line at this point (my spot being held by our awesome friends and my mom) to wait for our turn. We finally got to meet the second group around 4:30pm, and it was worth the wait. The second group was Camilla Banus (Gabi Hernandez), Blake Berris (Nick Fallon), Drake Hogestyn (John Black), Lauren Koslow (Kate DiMera), and Joseph Mascolo (Stefano DiMera). Nick is my ALL TIME FAVORITE DAYS CHARACTER, and I had actually met him once before several years ago, but I didn't get a hug then...this time I was determined. Once again I handed out chocolate bars...and you'll see what happens after.

After our amazing time with the stars mom and I hung out and took some time at the casino. My personal favorite was the Lord of the Rings slot machines, which I even got my mom into (and she doesn't gamble...ever).

We sat in the lobby for a little bit before leaving, and who should walk by (while my mom was absent), but Joseph Mascolo!!! :-D So I went over and got to chat him up a bit before letting him go to his room. lol He was super sweet and even gave me a hug. Unfortunately no pictures of that. *sigh* Oh well. But it was an amazing weekend in any case, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

In fact, the very next weekend I went back to Connecticut to meet Shawn Christian again, since I had absolutely no time to talk to him and hadn't gotten a hug at the first event. He was incredibly sweet to meet, and I even got TWO hugs from him! Before meeting him, though, I got henna on my hand and arm.

At this event they actually gave out numbers so you wouldn't have to stand in line for hours on end. Very smart move. I ended up waiting maybe a half hour or so in line before it was my turn...

It was awesome talking to him, and, if you're curious, I do actually know what Heavyn teaches I just didn't know exactly what her lesson was for that day. I was just a bit nervous talking to Shawn and didn't express myself properly. Love you, Heavyn! :-)

So, that was my adventure! But even better were the tweets I got about the chocolate after it was all said and done... I screamed out loud and jumped up and down when I received this first one from Blake. Remember, he's my FAVORITE DAYS CHARACTER EVER IN THE UNIVERSE!

Next up, Skyping with some Merlin actors... Hasn't happened yet, but it will, and when it does I will be blogging about it for sure with a video. :-D