Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Perhaps you are wondering why I am posting a gas receipt. 
You may not know, but this receipt, yes this very receipt is a badge of mathematical prowess.
My husband is obsessed with getting the dollar amount on a gas receipt perfect.
Meaning he tries to get it to the nearest full dollar.

We shop at Macey's.

There's a 5 cent discount per gallon of gas.  Not 5 percent, 5 cents.
So David has to anticipate the discount based on the price of gas
while the pump shows full price.
He has a very dizzying intellect.
Just wait till he gets started!
(Name that movie!)

On July 23rd he achieved greatness.  It was brought to my attention with shouts of glee
and a smile like he'd just won first prize at the county fair.

It's the little things that make him happy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Let's Converse

David:   You once drove all the way to Grace from Preston steering with your knee?

Lora:  Yeah, I'm pretty cool that way.

David:   What were you doing?

Lora:   Eating a shake from Big J's.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


If you were to peek into the Sullivan household just a few hours ago, this is what you would see:

4 hours ago:  David doing the dishes.
3.5 hours ago: David cleaning the bathrooms
2.5 hours ago:  Lora getting home from work exhausted with a headache that won't quit.
2 hours ago: David lying comatose in one of the recliners while Lora is reading a book.
1 hour 50 minutes ago: David and Lora both lying comatose in recliners, the book forgotten.
1 hours ago:  David folding laundry while Lora finishes her book.

This is not a typical day, but I am oh so thankful for my wonderful husband who spoils me every so often.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bow to the fertility gods!

As many of you know, yesterday was our first appointment with a fertility specialist in Sandy.  His name: Dr. Hatasaka.  David and I went through the entire appointment not sure of his name because we just didn't pay that close attention.  Felt a little silly when the nurse later asked what doctor we were seeing today and we said "Dr. Ha....?" "Hatasaka?" she replied.  "Yes, that's it" we said sheepishly.  Then immediately committed it to memory by thinking "Dr. Hot Socks!" Perfect.  As a result, you'll never forget either!

K, that was a lot of nothingness but I had fun.

***Warning*** this post will contain things that may make you uncomfortable if you are unable to handle the topic of reproduction or the inability to.

Verdict:  There are six tests to be done that are actually conclusive.
1.  Ovulation testers:  Home kits, lots of stick peeing.  Chart the results
2 and 3.  This is for David.  He gets to have another sperm count but not just to see if he's shooting blanks, he also gets the shape of his little swimmers tested.  That's right, the shape.  Apparenlty not all sperm are created equal.
4.  Ultrasound on my parts to see if they are shaped properly as well as lacking in scar tissue etc.
5 and 6. More blood tests to see if my "ovarian gas tank" is full or not.  Hate to be wasting all that effort if I'm empty.

After these tests are complete, then the doctor will have an idea of where to go from there and what track to take.  Overall David and I were pleased.  He's a very easy to talk to man with a sense of humor and comfortable manner.  And most of all he knows what he is talking about. 

I also liked the fact that since it was in fact an appointment for infertility I was spared the trip to the scale along with the blood pressure test.  It was just par for the course at the Women's Center and it wasn't until today that I realized they really only needed such vital information with each subsequent visit if you were in fact with child and therefore had a reason to be concerned about weight gain or the lack thereof.  It only made me feel fat for no reason.  Just one more reason to go to a specialist!

Info to pass along to others that may be walking in my shoes:  if you decide to go to a specialist, start tracking your ovulation now.  First day of the monthly visitor followed by the day the ovulation test shows the go ahead and then again with the period.  Dr. Hot Socks would like a couple of months worth just to see where I am.

So that's it for now.  Thank you all for your kind words of support.  Truly appreciated.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I want

Sometimes I think I missed my calling in life.  Well, not really calling because you just can't discount the road that got you to where you are.  But sometimes, especially recently, I think it would be just oh so fun to plan events.  Not so much the wedding things but parties, themed parties.  I think it would be fun to take a theme and a color scheme and do all the little things to make the event special.  And the above picture next to the professional pictures really makes me want a better camera... sigh.

I would especially love to put events together like this:

or this:

or this:

I just think it would be fun to have pull it off.  To just make that special event a treat for the eyes as well as the mouth.  Someday huh.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Confession Time

So here's where I need your support.  Here is were I tell you my woes and no matter how non-sensical they are, like the wonderful people you are, you come to my aid and say:  It's okay Lora, it will be alright.

For some time now my good friend and past roommate Brenda has been asking about our story.  The story that led us to want to adopt. I've put it off because it just didn't seem like there was much to tell.  So many people have gone through so much more than we that it just didn't feel worthy. We hadn't exhausted our resources in the medical field because we just didn't think it was the right time for us.  Or more accurately, I honestly don't think I could have handled it emotionally.

When we started trying for children a whole 5 months after we got married back in September of 2005, we weren't that serious.  We didn't want to wait too long because we weren't getting any younger.  But we weren't entirely sure we were ready for parenthood either.  We were conflicted.  I needed to finish my schooling and David was contemplating going back to school.  We didn't really have our path decided on.  We just weren't sure where we were headed in the next little while.  So though we didn't stop anything, we didn't worry too much as the months kept passing by.

And then the months kept passing by... and passing... and passing.  I had graduated, got a job.  David was back in school.  We were older.  We wanted children.  Sure it wasn't the ideal time with tuition on the horizon, but we didn't care about that.  We knew that the Lord would provide should He decide to bless us with a little one.  So we started counting days, making use of ovulation kits, paying attention to temperature etc.  Nothing.  Next step was the doctor.

End of 2007 we went to a doctor that we both hated.  Took blood tests and couldn't quite bring myself to go back.  Got busy with life and left it for awhile.  In 2008 the passing months got too much again.  So we went to the Women's Center to a recommended doctor and had a better experience.  He actually explained a few things, like what the tests were for and how it all worked.  We did the tests, got the blood drawn, went through lovely exploratory procedures to rule out the usual suspects, and went on Clomid.  What a lovely little drug so full of disappointment.  Fortunately one of my other good friends, Ginny, informed me that the drug actually gives you all the signs of being pregnant.  Hot flashes, brain leakage, mood swings, the works.  Which is why it's so disappointing to have that monthly unwanted visitor still come and visit.  And visit it did.

Back to the doctor.  "Oh my, you have a cyst!  I don't feel comfortable putting you on other drugs until the cyst is taken care of."  Ummm. okay?  "Let's wait a month and see if it goes away all by itself.  Besides we don't know if it was there before the drug or if the drug actually caused it."  Ummmm. Okay.  So we waited until that lovely visitor came around once again, back to the doctor, cyst still there.  "How about we wait another month?"  Ummm, not so okay but okay.  Another month rolls by with same results.  At least they are prepared somewhat for my tears of frustration by this time.

Only frustration doesn't really sum it up.  How about living day to day knowing how badly you and your spouse want a family and realizing that it's your body that is failing.  Your body that is providing this monthly let down.  And still more months go by.  Finally surgery is the option of choice to take this cyst away since it's clearly in for the long haul.  Oh and did I mention that in the meantime I got to be on another lovely drug that was supposed to balance some kind of hormone level with the thrilling side effect of depression?  Yeah, those were good times.

Surgery successful.  The surgery to remove "Bob" (yes, by this time the hated thing had a name) did the job and he was gone.  More drugs?  Not yet, let's give the body time to sufficiently heal.

I took myself off of the drug with the depression side effects and David rejoiced that he has his wife back and she smilesVoluntarily!  He was overjoyed. 

A few more months pass and back to the doctor we go. And guess what?!  Wait for it, wait for it... Bob had a brother!  Took up residence once he left.  Tears.  Another month passes and the brother-of-Bob stays.  That's when I couldn't take it anymore.  At this point my doctor is giving me that "oh, it's you again" look.  Very encouraging.  Like I wasn't feeling bad enough already.  So I quit. I took myself out of the biological baby-making game and threw myself into adoption.

We had been thinking about it for awhile but had never felt it was the right time.  July of 2009 we felt like it was the right time as well as the only option that would keep me sane.  It was wonderful to be doing something that didn't involve my dysfunctional body!  This was paperwork, and pictures, and interviews.  It was heavenly and hopeful.  Our hearts were lifted and hope for a family returned.  We cried as birth mothers told their stories.  We cried as adoptive parents shared their joy at a prayer answered by a birth mother angel.  I day dreamed about the day we would be chosen.  How we would tell our families.  What we needed to prepare for it.  What our little one would look like.  I still think about it, just not as much.

When we started the adoption process David wanted to keep both doors open, adoption and biological, and I was amenable to that as long as it was on my terms.  I have trouble dividing where my energies and hopes go.  My body had disappointed me for so long that I couldn't put any trust in it anymore... at least not till now.

On Memorial day at the annual Robbin's family celebratory grave hopping ritual, we were bombarded out of the blue with stories of IVF and what it entailed.  Ok, bombarded might be extreme, but two very separate and hard to run into people were run into and brought up their story all by themselves.  It got us thinking.  It got me thinking.  Perhaps it's time to open up that biological door and let in a little air.

So we've decided to go travel the biological route again.  Or at least look a little farther down that road.  Best part is that I'm also feeling okay with both doors being opened.  I don't care where our family comes from, I just want a family.  I want to join the ranks of sleepless nights and diaper brigades. I want to capture those half smiles in the sleep and the discovery of toes.  Our family is just a couple.  It's not complete.

So, on Monday July 19th we will be meeting with a specialist in the Salt Lake area.  He's been involved in the field since the first IVF pregnancy was done in the 80s and was actually at the hospital where it was performed.  It gives me hope.  We hadn't thought much about this route before because it's just so expensive.  However we just found out that David's insurance, that sometimes we curse, is actually phenomenal when it comes to fertility.  We pay $500 and they pay 100% of the rest.  We seriously had no idea.  So at this point we have nothing to lose.  Hope is alive once more.

Then I filled out the online questionnaire and had a bit of a reality check.  It asks all sorts of questions about how old your mom was with the first and last child.  Is there a history of infertility in the family?  Do my sisters have trouble getting pregnant?  Any weird drugs?  Any health problems?  I can't tell you how completely discouraging it was to answer no to all of those questions!  No, there are no problems with any other member of my family for generations with infertility.  I am the anomaly.  I am the exception.  What's wrong with me?

I have two purposes for this route.  Well, I guess it's all the same.  Can I have children or can't I?  Up to this point it has not been clearly defined.  No one knows why my body is misbehaving.  No one's been willing to take it that far.  Heaven knows I am but I need some help getting there. I need a professional to outline my routine so all of the diagnostic steps can be taken and an answer achieved.

I honestly am okay with finding out I can't have children.  I just want to know.  It's the not knowing that is so difficult.  No answers.  Just guesses.  Dark alleys of wondering.  If I know why this is happening to me, or rather not happening, then I really can go on.  No more divided loyalties.

So, there you have it Brenda and all who have ventured this far into an incredibly long post.  That's where our story is right now.  Here's where we venture into that one dark and unexplored alley to see what's really there.  And here's to hoping for a happy ending.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

No Pressure

I’m am sometimes the worst when it comes to acting out under pressure. Whether that’s acting out in a bad way (like uber obnoxious I-can’t-believe-I-just-did-that-where-is-the-hole-that-is-supposed-to-swallow-me mode) or the complete lack of acting out which stems from my childhood fear of not being accepted if you only knew who I really am.

I know I have blogged about this before and I find it somewhat disturbing that it has reared its ugly head yet again. Don’t my insecurities have something better to do? Why can’t those energies go into backyard tree removal, or gourmet cooking? I’d even settle for laundry folding at this point. Sigh.

My point you ask? This. Please don’t judge me on first time meeting experiences. I am a fraction if my witty self when it comes to meeting new people. Always have been and I fear I always will. I don’t really warm up that much until a few times in. I like to think that I do an okay job of at least not being too terribly awkward, but… no promises.

Oh great, now I don’t know how to wrap this up without sounding awkward again. Double sigh…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Outcasts United

Each year the Connections Program on campus picks a book for the year.  This year it is "Outcasts United" by Warren St. John.  It is about a small town, Clarkston, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta that has become the home of refugees from no less than 50 different countries.  Many are driven from their homes due to the violence there and know little English if any.  They have come to the country legally and try to find their way in a new and strange land in a town that has difficulty accepting the forced change in their home.

The story is about the young boys who come together playing soccer.  There is hope and encouragement throughout, but there is also a disturbing look at a complicated life.  I can't help but think what I would do if placed in the same situation.  Not that of the boys playing soccer, but of the residents of Clarkston.  Their quite little all-American town changed right before their eyes in a matter of 10 years or so.  People from all different nationalities complete with authentic dress, became part of the everyday scenery.  It made them uncomfortable and a lot of the residents chose to hide from rather than embrace the change.

I couldn't help but think of my last ward.  The Riverwalk apartments were included in the ward boundaries.  There was a family from Burma that spoke the Karen language.  Do you know how hard it is to find someone that speaks Karen?  Let's just say we spend a lot of time smiling and gesturing.  I didn't realize it until this book that they were also part of the refugee relocation program.  They had originally been placed in the Salt Lake area where they joined the church.  Now they are in Logan trying to find their way in this new life.  How am I going to react?

Our neighborhood has a lot of non-caucasions.  The Soccer World Cup brought out Brazilian flags and cheers from around the neighborhood.  Some from El Salvador, some from Mexico, and of course Brazil.  The United States, even in little Logan, Utah is becoming more diverse with each passing year.  Are you going to embrace the change and help those going through it, or run and hide behind closed doors and hope to wake up one day and find it all gone?

Something to think about.

Story line:  Excellent.  Hope, tenderness, tough love.
Language: Clean actually. The coach allows no swearing on the team. Two f-bombs in quotes though.
Difficult/adult content: minimum.  Some stories of the team members past are difficult but nothing scaring.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If I have to hear that one more time...!

I feel the need to do a little rant about a few things.  None of them are important, I just need to shout it out to the internet gods if for nothing else, to see where it lands and to make myself feel better.

1.  Co-worker:  "Are your people going to take care of that?"  What is this your people? My family?  My race? My religion?  It's my co-workers you say?  The ones that I have no authority over and never really felt possessive of in the first place? What is seperating my people from their people?  I tell you what!  It's that imaginary line that runs down the middle of the office just as sure as the the east is divided from the west, the north from the south, that allows one half of the office to play computer games all day while the other half actually earns the paycheck that is given.  That imaginary line that says my people have to do all the work that their people don't want to even though it's in their people's job description! Grr.  Argh.

2.  Yesterday I actually washed my car!  It sparkles.  So today after work I went to the parking lot and stood there.  Stumped.  Unable to find my car.  Head swiveling back and forth trying to recall the morning routine and hoping it would illuminate whether or not I parked on the first or the second level.  That's when I realized that my car was in front of me.  I just didn't recognize it in it's clean and sparkly state.  I'm pretty sure that deserves a sigh.  Collectively please.... thanks.

3.  On the drive home I couldn't help but wonder what possessed the woman driving the very large and expensive white SUV with gold trim to think it was a good idea to flip a U-turn in 5 o'clock traffic on a road that was clearly too narrow to be U-turn friendly and that just happened to be teeming with vehicles as the University workforce sought to make their way home?  Perhaps "just go around the block" hadn't been introduced into her vocabulary.

4.  I will never be the person that waits at the front of the line through the entire yellow light at a complete standstill watching the light turn red. I just won't.

The end.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th!

The Fourth of July.  A day celebrating independence.  Though the holiday traditional celebrates the independence of American from the British there are many other reasons to celebrate ones independence.  This day, this 5th day of July in which David and I had the day off, we celebrated our independence from the tyranny of landlords and freed ourselves from the oppression of a portion of our overgrown yard.



It's hard to tell in the picture, but you will notice a patch of dirt where no less than 4 different bushes once held root.  Hands are sore, muscles are tired and all in all it was a good day.

Aside from today's events though, the weekend was marvelous!  We spent Friday with friends and watched the fireworks.  Saturday brought friends for dinner.  Sunday a much needed breather from daily life complete with a walk around the neighborhood.  It has been a full weekend, but I'm still not ready to go back to work.