Monday, April 25, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), and all of my (IRL and online) friends who have dealt with infertility (IF), I'm blogging to bust an infertility myth.

Myth:  Infertility isn't all that common - I don't know anyone who's dealt with it.

Not true!  The problem is, infertility is still taboo.  It's not talked about - it's whispered about in back rooms.  Men and women who struggle to conceive on their own often hide their feelings - crying in private, month after month, as the negative pregnancy tests pile up.  They feel shame when they have to make an appointment to seek medical help.  "Why couldn't we just get pregnant on our own?"  "It's so easy for so many people!"  "Teenagers can get pregnant from one drunk night!  What's wrong with me?!"  "I'm broken!  I'm not a woman because I can't get pregnant."

If we just spoke up a little more, perhaps infertility wouldn't feel so alienating.  I hope I don't sound insincere, because I haven't dealt with IF first hand.  But I know so many women who have, and it pains me that they have to suffer in relative silence.  It frustrates me that so many insurance companies still don't cover IF treatment.  It saddens me that many of my friends have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars just for the chance to get pregnant.

If you'd like to know more about infertility, please visit the Resolve website.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And he's off!

Look at him go!

Another...this time holding his new ball:

And finally, showing off his new words - "kitty" and "uh oh!":

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My First 5K!

A couple of days ago, I found out about the Free to Breathe 5K, which is taking place in a suburb of Dallas on May 21. I found out about it through this news story, forwarded to me by my mom.

As most of you know, my father died of lung cancer in the fall of 2009. The chance to raise funds for the National Lung Cancer Partnership was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up. Last fall, I found out about another charity event put on by the American Lung Association, and even signed up, but it just wasn't the right event for me(a 52-story stairclimb? Yikes!) This one is much more palatable.

So, I signed up yesterday - and in a little over 24 hours, I've already raised nearly 50% of my $500 goal! I have no illusions that this is all because of me. I know people are giving money to the cause because they loved and cared about Wayne, or because they were by my mom's side through the whole ordeal.

This will be my first 5K. I'll probably walk most of it, but I may get up a jog or two in there. I'm hoping to push Ben in a (borrowed) jogging stroller, so he can be along for the journey (otherwise, I'm going it alone - which I'm fine with). My mom will be there to cheer me on from the sidelines. And Branden would be walking with me, except that he just started a second job, and will be working until 2 AM the night before. I'm giving him a pass on this one.

If you'd like to donate, you can visit my fundraising page here. Or just go and take a look at the little tribute I wrote about Wayne. He was such a special guy, and I am so, so fortunate I got to know and love and be loved by him for 20 years of my life.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

We have a walker!

Just a few days shy of 13 months old, Benjamin decided it was time to start walking. He's still a little unsteady, and only goes short distances for now, but it's a start! I got it on video a couple of times today:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

At this rate, he'll be starting high school soon!

I knew things would take off once Ben turned 1, but I had no idea it would go this quickly! What's he up to? Well..

For starters, transitioning to the toddler room at daycare. It's going really well. He already picked up the sign for "more", which he did at dinner a few days ago. He spends about half a day in the toddler room each day - though today he stayed even longer. He even napped over there today! This is a huge deal - because they nap on cots, and it was the part of the transition I was most worried about. Yeah, my kid's a champ, and I totally shouldn't have worried. I even got to see him napping on the cot when I stopped by today to drop off some diaper cream. So sweet!

What else? He had a pediatrician appointment on Monday - just a make-up for his one-year appointment. He was a little under the weather the first time, so Dr. A opted to delay his shots for a couple of weeks. Since that appointment, two weeks ago, he's gained over a pound! My not-so-little munchkin now weighs 26 lbs 10 oz, and the pediatrician jokingly asked "What are you feeding him, some kind of Miracle Grow?!" I never would've imagined he'd end up in the 90th percentile - this time last year, I was worried because he was such a skinny little thing, in the 10th percentile!

Let's see...what else...he's finally getting the motivation to take some steps on his own (just a few days shy of 13 months). After waiting on it for so long, and kind of expecting it somewhere around 12 months, I finally gave up and just relaxed about it. I found out from our moms that I didn't walk until 14 months, and my husband didn't walk until 13 months - so Ben's right on track! I really think the motivation is coming from being around the other toddlers and wanting to keep up. Hey, whatever works, right?

Here's a video of him taking a little walk (with the help of his Buzz Lightyear toy) in the lobby of our building last week:

On a totally unrelated note, Ben has a pretty nasty diaper rash right now. We were good about giving him naked time tonight to let it air out. My husband put down a blanket and hung out with him until dinner was ready. After dinner, I took him into his room to have a little more naked play time. Of course, that's when he decides to poo. Gah! Thankfully, my wonderful husband cleaned it up while I kept the kid from getting it all over the place. Ahh, the glamorous life of parents!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Computer problems suck!

This post may end up being one giant whine-fest - so don't say I didn't warn you!

Thursday morning, I booted up our laptop just like I always do. Everything seemed okay until it got to the home screen. Instead of our background, it was a plain black screen. The only icon showing was for Recycle Bin. And a screen popped up, claiming to be "WindowsRepair", and saying it was doing a scan of our computer and finding major errors. There was a button to click to "fix the errors", so I did...and after attempting to fix the errors, a message popped up saying that in order to fix some of them, we'd have to purchase the advanced WindowsRepair program.

Curious, but by this time extremely wary, I clicked on the button, which took me to a very plain-looking order form. This was sending up all kinds of red flags for me. I picked up my phone and googled "WindowsRepair" and didn't find anything on it. Meanwhile, I tried to look around at the computer, but when I clicked on my documents, it said there was nothing there...empty...same for my photos.

By this time, my stomach is sinking. I'm wondering what in the world could be wrong with our computer, and wanting to stop everything and take it to someone to fix! I managed to calm down, and once I thought rationally, I figured it must be some sort of virus, masquerading as our computer's home screen. This gave me hope that our files were still in there...somewhere.

We decided to hold off on paying lots of money to take it to someone. When I got to work, I sought out one of our IT guys and described the problem to him. He said it sounded like malware, and that if I brought it in Friday morning, he'd be happy to see what he could do to fix it. He was hopeful that it wouldn't be too difficult of a fix.

Fortunately, he was right on the diagnosis - it was malware. He ran a program to remove the malware. Unfortunately, after it was removed, the files were still missing. He was able to do a restore from a restore point on 3/17 - thankfully, recent enough that we didn't lose any files. (All the pictures and videos of my son's first year, for starters - only partially backed up).

Lesson learned, I took the repaired computer home, and before the end of the day on Friday, I had in my hands a 1TB (yep, that's terabyte) external hard drive (for only $50!) to back up our files.

Unfortunately, it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing since then. All our files are there, but they're acting a little funny. Our internet favorites were "missing" even though they were still in the favorites file. I tried to get Explorer to recognize them, but it won't work - so I'm going through them one-by-one, visiting the page, and re-bookmarking them.

Then I get to FlipShare. I've already had to uninstall and reinstall it once because it was acting up. I did, and didn't seem to have any problems with it afterwards, so I figured when it was again acting up, I could do the same thing. Wrong! This time, after the reinstall, it couldn't seem to "find" the video files. And the ones it could find, it was finding incorrectly. So I'd click on a video from August, and it would start playing something recent. Very odd. I messed with that for about an hour (using valuable toddler nap time!) this afternoon. The upshot is, I still can't get it to recognize most of the videos - but at least the ones it does recognize are correct now. I figure it's not the end of the world - all my videos don't have to be in FlipShare. At least I know they're still there (I can view them in QuickTime just fine).

Moral of the story? Make sure your anti-virus software is always up-to-date. Ours should've been, but we had an issue recently with Norton charging our CC for an auto-renewal and then the software not recognizing our renewal code. It was one of those things we kept meaning to figure out, but we put it off...when we definitely should have.

We also should have been better about having a good back-up system. I wouldn't have freaked out nearly as much if I'd known our pictures and videos were safe (they are now).

Lessons learned.