Thursday, June 26, 2008

Baby Borrowers

I watched it last night. Did you? What did you think?

If you didn't watch and you want to learn a little bit more, this article did a great job in explaining "the experiment."

My thoughts:

Overall, so far so good. The show eases the teens into becoming parents. I found it interesting how one girl fell apart over using the pregnant belly. (I sincerely felt bad, she must have some sever body issues.)

Also, I found it interesting that the actual parents could suprovise and when they decided and how they interacted with the teen parents. Most telling is that one set of parents are educators and one mother was herself a single mom. They probably know something of the value of a show such as this.

Surprisingly was that one teen boy felt like this was the best decision for him and his girlfriend. And that it may make her change her mind in wanting a baby soon.

I must admit that I was intrigued in a morbid "need to see what the accident looks like" way. But, now I am more impressed with the shows creators, the teens, and the parents who are involved with the show.

I'll be calling my friends with teens and telling them about this "experiment" - I sincerely can see the value.

Now, I really want to know your thoughts. Did you watch? If so, what did you think?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Crazy thoughts of the day.

Last night, I had a crazy dream. I was in high school/college and I didn't have my schedule. It should have been mailed to me, but for whatever reason I didn't have it. And I kept looking down at my cartoon vulture notebook.


It was one of those dreams that you're left thinking about. It was so vivid. The colors were bright and cartoon like. Not sure if that was why it left such an impression.

It was probably brought on by the fact that I'm thinking of going back to school. Yes, grad school. Maybe I think that I'll be thrown to the vultures?

If I go, it won't be until next year. The program I'm interested in requires a language proficiency exam. So, I'm actually taking a Spanish class this fall. Then next Spring, assuming it doesn't collide with Aruba, I'll take a class in the program to try it out, with a another Spanish class.

I like the job I'm in currently. My intent is to do the program part time and it will take me years to complete. But, I'm all right with that. It will compliment my current position. For all these reasons I like the degree and it would allow me to pursue my dream position - Director of International Students.

I know random.

But -- I think -- it would be my dream position. It would allow me to use my immigration knowledge, with college aged students, in academia. All of those things sound intriguing to me.

If I'm honest, some days I want to go back to school and work full time. And other days I think to myself - you're crazy - you really want to do that?

So I think the Spanish class will ease me into the thought process and practice of studying.

The book club is also allowing me to use my brain. I am greatly enjoying the books, which I know I wouldn't necessarily choose for myself. Also, the women are really nice and interesting. Sadly, I don't want to give up the book club to go to class. I know really mature! At this point, I am enjoying it. Why take something out that makes me happy?

So more happy/fun dilemmas.

The wonderful Lolly, or Mel, has me searching for a Blog Name. You need to read the post to understand, go ahead read it, while you are there, whish Lolly a happy blogoversary!

Ok, I need a new name. Lolly and I both agree that Flutter needs to be part of my name. Lolly thinks it should be my first name and I'm leaning towards it being my last name.

What do you think? And thoughts on what my new name should be?

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Book Club Thoughts - Daughter of Destiny by Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto's autobiography, Daughter of Destiny, made me think of so many things. The autobiography focused mostly on her father's rise to Prime Minister, the take over of his government by a dictatorship, her subsequent detainments, her mother and husband's incarcerations, the death of her brothers and escalation to power.

The book for me was a slow read. So many details and facts, that I didn't want to miss a thing. Benazir was an interesting person. Raised in a political family (think the Kennedys), well educated (Radcliff and Oxford), Muslim and a feminist. Many of her characteristics seem to be contradictory, but somehow she blended them together.

Thrust into politics after her father's murder, she became the people's politician. Her intentions seemed exceptionally pure. It is tough not to read this book and not like her. She endured so much, and yet rose above it all.

Besides I have a special place for all woman leaders. I know it is a bit biased. But, since I can only think of three - Indira Gandhi (Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and 1980 to 1984); Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1979 to 1990); and Benazir Bhutto (Prime Minister of Pakistan on December 2, 1988)

But part of her "wedding vows" for her husband:

"Asif must look after the children while I am out campaigning and not prevent me from going to jail, You must agree that Benazir will serve the nation"

His response:

"That is all right with me, for I will serve the nation by serving my wife."

I found it interesting that Benazir said, "Despite the great strides women have made, the double standards in viewing the conduct of male and female leaders obviously remains." This quote resonated with me especially considering the recent race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

All in all, I enjoyed my time with Benazir. As the book neared the end, I faught with myself over whether or not to read the final pages dealing with her murder. All I can say for certain, is that the world lost a very special person.

What's in the news?

By this point, most of you have probably heard about the seventeen teen pregnancies occurring in Gloucester, MA. If you haven’t, please go read the Time article.

The article sounds like something out of a Jodi Picoult book. Maybe it is?

I chuckle at the idea that Juno or Knocked up were the reason. I am more inclined to believe that Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney Spears, Nicole Ritchie, or Ashlee Simpson – to name just a few. After all, in my humble opinion, in the last few years it has been glamorous to be a mom. And all of these women – and I’m not saying that they shouldn’t – gush over their children. But, the simple fact is that these very young women have money. Therefore, they can afford these children. They can afford nannies to continue school or their careers. They can afford diapers and food.

For the most part, their fans cannot. But, it is not surprising to me that teen pregnancy is starting to rise. This article touches upon a multitude of scary truths.

Teen pregnancy is intriguing to me – maybe because it is the opposite of my situation – I feel fear and compassion for the unborn child. I feel as if the circumstances are a tragedy, but that the child is a blessing. My interest has escalated in the new reality show on NBC entitled Baby Borrowers. It is too late for these 17 girls, but it may help others, after all, as the show states “It may be the best birth control.”

I think it may be very true considering this quote from a teen mother in the Time article:

“But Amanda Ireland, who graduated from Gloucester High on June 8, thinks she knows why these girls wanted to get pregnant. Ireland, 18, gave birth her freshman year and says some of her now pregnant schoolmates regularly approached her in the hall, remarking how lucky she was to have a baby. "They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally," Ireland says. "I try to explain it's hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m."

Maybe teen parents, should be asked to talk to the general school population to deglamourize children? They could tell them a little about their daily struggles and give others the reality of parenting – hard work!

As I get off my soap box, this is the latest:

The School Committee is now disputing that the girls made a pact. Instead, they are saying that the pact happened after the pregnancies. However, several of the girls’s baby daddy is a homeless twenty-four year old.

Because that makes it so much better.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How is it going?

OK, so according to my counter, I'm getting about the same number of views. Not a bad thing.

But, I am wondering - what do you think so far?

I know it hasn't even been a week! But can you tell that I'm feeling just slightly apprehensive?

Also, on the menu for the blog that is - My fitness struggle, What's in the news?, and Crazy thoughts of the day.

Is there anything else that you would like to read about?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What's for dinner?

I love food. As a result, I adore the Food Network, T*p Chef, and H*ll's Kitch*n. The chefs and their wonderful creations can and do mesmerize me for hours. Also, so does drama! Sometimes, I stumble upon a recipe that I think I can master, such as:

"Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008
See this recipe on air Saturday Jun. 14 at 7:30 AM ET/PT.

1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 pound orzo pasta
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 ounces (2 links) mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

Using tongs, place the bell peppers over a gas flame. Cook, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Alternatively, place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, until charred.) Place the charred peppers in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the peppers to steam for 20 minutes. Under running water, peel away the charred skin from the peppers. Pat the peppers dry with paper towels. Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, water, and kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sausage mixture, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to combine all ingredients, adding reserved cooking liquid, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Top with the ricotta salata and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve.

Recipe Summary
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
User Rating:

Episode#: EI1209
Copyright © 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved"

So, it seemed simple enough, and something that my finicky husband would enjoy. As a result, an attempt and here is how it turned out.

Please note I made the following substitutions: instead of 1 orange bell pepper - 1 yellow bell pepper, 3 cups of chicken broth - 2 cups, 3 cups of water - 4 cups, plum tomatoes - vine strawberry tomatoes, double the sausage and spicy variety, double the garlic, ricotta salata cheese - three cheese grated (parmesan, romano & asiago).

I doubled the sausage because it was our main meal and it was initially presented as part of a picnic, while the other substitutions were out of convenience/necessity.

Also, the recipe and show both didn't explain this, but it you are new to roasting peppers - first you can buy them pre-roasted (who knew) and secondly - you need to deskin all of it. The texture is just not pleasant. Thank G-d I for once didn't follow the recipe exactly and deskinned before we got that far.

T gave it a thumbs up, so you know it was easy and that any one can do it. :) Baking is my thing - more on that for another day.

We both agreed that I would definitely use the ricotta salata next time or more of a crumbly and substantial cheese with a sprinkle of the grated to top things off. Also, T suggested using a raw pepper instead - but that is his preference he doesn't enjoy his peppers cooked.

Overall it was YUMMY and bound to be repeated soon in our home!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Book Club Thoughts

Do you remember that I joined a book club? As a result, I thought I would start doing a monthly post regarding the books I'm reading. So here it goes:

The first novel was Rebecca by Daphne du M*urier, an excellent story with intrigue and suspense. It delves into social status, second marriages, and regrets. I really enjoyed it - despite the fact I was aggravated by not knowing the narrators name! Also, it left me feeling if I would like the nemisis if only I knew her side. Kind of like with Wick*d? (A novel I loved simply for the fact that it reminded me that sometimes - you need to know where someone is coming from to understand his/her actions.)

The second book, The Hum*an Stain by Philip Roth.

The Hum*n Stain is a story full of irony. In the attempt of becoming "a new being" the main characters threw away pieces of themselves. They all had a secret which they believed plagued them in society. As a result, they believed by shedding themselves of these characteristics allowed them to overcome society. In the end, these same characteristics may have been a partial reason for their destruction. In the back drop is the story of Bill and M*nica.

It brought me back to the summer of 1998. My first job out of college in the Senator's office. My primary responsibility, to listen to hundreds of people complain that the President got a bl*w job in the Ov*l Office. Yes, after that job, I jumped everytime a phone rang. Five hundred calls a day explaining to so many that Bill was not the first nor the last president to have an affair in office. Actually, it has been historically established that every president since FDR has had an affair. (Not sure about our current or Reag*n.)

But, I am digressing.

The Novel brought up so many social and ethical questions. Topics such as Veterans, domestic abuse, segregation, etc. At times, it was repulsive to me and yet it always made me think.

Ironically, it left me feeling like everyone should have a Sylvia - after feeling disgusted by Mrs. Danvers.

Has anyone read these novels or scene the movies? I'm actually curious if the movie for the Human Stain was well done. Obviously Reb*cca must be a great movie - it was done by Alfred Hitchc*ck - but thoughts opinions?

The next book is an autobiography by Ben*zir Bhutt*, Daughter of D*stiny.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Me Meme

Guess who has been tagged by the lovely LoriBeth. If you haven't been tagged, please consider yourself so!

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago, I graduated from college, and moved back home. Almost exactly to the day, I went to my first interview for a job in a Senator’s office that I was over qualified for, but thought it was a foot in the door. I got the job with the caveat that I would be eligible to apply for the job I wanted in a few months.

What I learned, you never take a job in hopes of another, especially in a political office. Since, they usually know who they “owe” that job too – even if you would be better for it.

2. What 5 things are on your to-do list for today?

1. Call my Dad and wish him a Happy Father's Day! (We are celebrating next week when my sister comes home.)
2. Feed the Boy and Girl (Kitties).
3. Download music to my Dad's Father Day gift - an IP*D Shuffle.
4. Read
5. Go to the movies? Indiana J*nes?

3. List some snacks you enjoy.

1. Hershey’s Nuggets
2. Flavored Sparkling Water
3. Iced Coffee with milk and sugar
4. Kashi Roasted Almond Crunch
5. Almonds

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?

1. Buy a townhouse with three bedrooms, two baths and basement in MA.
2. Travel the world.
3. Buy smaller homes in three of my favorite places.
4. Go back to school forever.
5. Create a fund for individuals who don’t have insurance which includes for fertility testing and treatment.
6. Donate to the Brain Tumor Society, Make a Wish, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

5. List the places you have lived

1. Massachusetts – Town South of Boston/Route 24;
2. Scranton, Pennsylvania; and
3. Massachusetts – Town East of Boston/Route 3.

6. List the jobs you have had.

1. Babysitter;
2. Bagger, Shaw’s Supermarkets;
3. Cashier, Shaw’s Supermarkets;
4. Temp (At a knickknack place, with a priest, and T*lbots).
5. Staff Member/Receptionist at a Senator’s Office;
6. Legal Assistant at a Bank (It announced a merger two weeks after I accepted the position!)
7. Immigration Paralegal
8. In-house Paralegal (Immigration, Employment, and Corporate)

Friday, June 13, 2008


Happy 2 year blog anniversary to me! And 300th post!

A few other stats which I found interesting:

I’ve had 36,134 site visits, 2,217 profile views, and 1,673 comments.

So every one who has ever come to visit and especially for all who have left me a comment, thank you!

My little blog started because I had so many things rolling around in my head regarding infertility. It at first was avoiding my physical and mental explosion, then it turned into a chronicle of our infertility treatments and ode to our unborn child(ren), and it eventually reverted back to my pensieve.

All in all, it has been my cathartic therapy and you all my care givers in a difficult time.

During an interview, I had someone say to me, “You are what you present yourself to be. There is no hiding with you.” I was initially shocked by this assessment after taking a personality test – because it was so true. For the past two years, this blog has been me - reflective, sad, mournful, and one dimensional.

Since stopping treatment, nine months ago, I realized that I am more than my infertility; but, at the same time, I had forgotten who that was. With the help of T, I’ve been able to recapture a bit of myself.

In the spirit that time heals all wounds, I’ve come to a conclusion that my whole is greater than my sum of my parts. As a result, I am planning on nurturing all of my parts.

To be clear, I would describe myself in the following words:

American, baker, blogger, brown eyed, brunette, calligraphist, Catholic, college grad, cousin, crafter, daughter, Democrat, ditzy, evolving, fair, feminist, friend, granddaughter, law abiding, lover of history, infertile, inquisitive, Liberal, kitty momma, multi-lingual, niece, paralegal, Portuguese, quick to laugh, reader, shoe aficionado, straight shooter, sister, strong, student, tall, thoughtful, traveler, wife, woman, yogi.

Ultimately, infertility will always be a part of me, hence a part of this blog. However, I will be focusing more on my other parts. And I know this is the right choice for me. Since making this decision, I've had to put myself on hold on blogging, I actually have five posts written - I wanted this post to be my 300th - the official turning point. But, I realized I have so much to talk about (books, the news, cooking, yoga, etc.).

I realize that by venturing outside the IF community, I may come across individuals who have strong beliefs against ART. As a result, I’ve only listed non-infertility blogs that interest me or password protected blogs (that I am unable to access thru G**gle reader). Please note, I’ve transferred my previous list and will continue to read and comment.

Truly, I hope that you will continue to read, comment, and get to know a little bit more about me. But, I will also understand if you decide not to.

Please know that I don’t believe in change for the sake of change, but I do believe in evolution. To me, this is the beginning of mine, my evolution to my new self. Knowing where I’ve come from, knowing my separate parts, and knowing that I am greater than all of my parts. (May be this is what it means for me to live without children?)

Thank you and welcome – I hope you stay for another two years and 300 posts.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday dear Dianne,
Happy Birthday to you!

My 32nd. For some reason, I'm hopeful in what it will bring.

If you need a good laugh, my dear T got me this, perfect for the girl who gets lost in her home town! (By the way, it isn't exactly the one he got, but you get the point.)

Remember, my next post on Friday, will commemorate my 2nd blogaversary and 300th post! WOO HOO!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Show and Tell

A coffee cup? Yes, a coffee cup.

Almost fourteen years ago, I left home for college. It was a big change for me. I was the first of my family to go away, and only the second to attend college. Many things were against me, including male family members. But, I had determination.

My childhood friend A, my first best friend, gave me a coffee mug of the Little Prince. I adored that mug. It gave me comfort being so far away from home, family and friends. Every time I felt a little sad or overwhelmed, I'd make hot chocolate and use my special mug.

A few months into school, my floor mate was using my mug. When it accidentally broke. I could see the horror in her face which mirrored mine.

That afternoon she gave me the mug that is pictured above. This mug has always been special to me. It represented to me the beginning of that friendship. Even if we have lost touch, I always remember her fondly. It is the mug I always grab for first.

It brings me comfort in the same way as the first one did. Because it came from a friend. Who wanted to make it better. It seems to have some magical element to it.

Even thought my drink of choice now is coffee. It always makes me feel loved.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Simply a wonderful time.

Last weekend I went to visit friends in Virginia. This get-a-way was in place of my ten year college reunion. (GASP! It has been that long!)

Instead, I had a bit of girls weekend with my friend and former roommate J. Fourteen years ago, we were placed together by a computer. If I ever saw that computer, I think it would be fitting to give it a place of honor in my home for it was truly brilliant.

The trip to her new home was wonderful. I was shown around the beautiful college town. The weather perfect with blue skies and high eighties and low nineties. So much to do with activity after activity and the people! (We went to S*x and the City, a dog show, a farmer's market, and a polo match.)

It was perfect!

The best part was our heart to hearts. I miss my J - so much. I have been very blessed by my friend. She has been there ever since that faithful computer placed us together. A friend for life.