March 30, 2011

I will always love you Honey! April 2001 - March 30, 2011

This morning, she woke up as usual.  Around 7:30a, she started coughing and fell off from the perch. She was gasping for air, and next thing she curled up and stopped moving...  Everything happened less than a minute or so .. My husband and I could not do anything to help but to hold her and see her slowly closing her eyes..
Honey, your cage is still sitting there and I can't stop picturing you squeaking and singing, playing with toys and making noises. And I am really heartbroken. I am such a wimp and keep thinking back what I could have done differently to save your life.. 
I will miss you Honey. I hope you had a good life with me. You loved me kissing and rubbing the back of your neck. You always came to my shoulder and just seemed so comfortable. You were my first baby girl I've ever had.

I will miss you so much. And I will always love you Honey!

March 29, 2011

Double punch

Yesterday, I was exchanging emails back and forth with RE office manager. I was getting ready to pay deposit to secure my spot for this coming IVF cycle. The package I was interested in was 3-cycle Outcome Based Plan, which is to offer % of money back in case of no live birth after all the cycles. I was gearing myself to go for July cycle only because my RE was participating. Well I come to find out that not only they raised the package price $4K more but also he is only doing the June and August cycle.
It is just 4K more but for us, it is totally out of reach. So we now have no choice but to sign up for 2 cycle pkg, which does not offer any kind of money back no matter what happens at the end. Yeah.. 3 cycle with money back is a peace of mind deal for us, but I don't want to put ourselves in deeper financial hole than we already are. Also pushing back the cycle was another punch in our face.

DH and I discussed what we are going to do. The choice seems to be clear. We are going for 2 cycle IVF starting Aug 19. We have to find a positive aspect out of disappointments, that is,,, we have 1 and 1/2 extra month to save money and...maybe we don't need 3 cycles!?  I believe in "EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON".  Sometimes life can be easier when you have no other choice.

March 22, 2011

Raspberry-CreamCheese Coffee Cake

Today, I became a bakery chef at home. I tried this recipe a couple of times before and my husband loved it. He requested today, so I made it. The kitchen is HIS space, so there are some things I'm not sure where to find. I am slow in the kitchen but very clean when production goes on. So by the time when I put the dessert in the oven, the kitchen was spotless! Anyways, I just wanted to share the recipe here!

Prep Time: 25 min
Start to Finish: 1 hr 35 min

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon baking power
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1.  Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottom and side of 9-10 inch spring form pan with cooking spray; lightly flour. In large bowl, mix flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture.

2.  To remaining crumb mixture, stir in baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, almond extract and 1 of the eggs until well blended. Spread batter in bottom and 2 inches up side (about 1/4 inch thick) of pan.

3.  In another small bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 egg until well blended. Pour into batter-lined pan. Carefully spoon preserves evenly over cream cheese mixture. In another small bowl, mix reserved crumb mixture and sliced almonds; sprinkle over preserves.

 4.  Bake 45-55 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is deep golden brown. Put a stick in the middle, if nothing sticks it's ready. (preserve may stick, but that's ok). Cool 15 minutes. Remove side of pan; leave coffee cake on pan bottom. Serve warm or cool. Store in fridge.

March 16, 2011


I used to think birthday was HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I had never thought anything else of it up until certain point. I am not sure when exactly this threshold age was, but now I feel it is more frightening factor than being happy to have birthday every year especially with TTC. I was once told that egg counts go down as I get older.  I am one of those people who can't sometime remember my age when someone asks. I feel young mentally so I tend to understate my age : )

Set aside my don't-wanna-get-older feeling, I had 4 days off to enjoy my time.  As a hiking lover, I had to hike, did 3 of them. We also went out to see exhibits, and other time we went to the private party at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas that we were invited to.

Day 1, We went to Sunrise Mountain. It is nearby mountain in Las Vegas. It was early morning hike. The details are in my other blog: 
In the afternoon, we watched Nascar on TV,  the even that was held at our Las Vegas Motor Speedway, only 15 minutes away from our place! We kinda missed out on buying good tickets this year. I am going next year for sure! If you are Nascar fan, lets get together!!
Oh, I also had birthday cake. My husband wanted to bake a cake for me but I didn't want the huge cake sitting in the house and being obligated to finish before it went bad. SO! I got some cupcakes! Lately I watch lots of cupcake programs on TV and my eyes have been on look-out for good cupcakes in town. Let me know if you know any good cupcakes guys!

  Day 2, We went to this one. Peak 5146.  This is located along the highway from Las Vegas, going to Idaho direction. Weather was acting crazy. Sunny, Hale, Cloudy, Rain, and back to Sunny. As much as we love hiking, we have NOT invested in rain coat. Isn't that stupid!? Well, we got HAILED on! So we used garbage bag as a shield. Ugh I look such a cheap hiker, don't I!??

 Day 3, I don't remember what exactly we did during the afternoon. I am sure just taking it easy, relaxing, catching up on things. But I am the type of person who can't sit on my butt all day, I had to go out. We went Titanic Exhibits at Luxor. Also we had been invited to this private party, held at the pool deck of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Luckily it happened to be on my birthday weekend and it was perfect!

Oh, let me tell you about this high-tech hotel parking lot. They go 5 stories underground. Every turn you make to look for a vacant spot, there is an indicator showing # of availability. Each parking spot is sensor operated and shows red when occupied. So we look for a green light, which tells us the spot is available. You can spot the green light from far away. In this parking lot, you never have to worry about driving around in circles looking for a spot to take.

Day 4, we went Zion National Park, in Utah. It is 2 hours away from our house. Angel's Landing is a trail we could not complete back in 2004, due to our fear of hiking on cliff edge at high altitude. We challenged this hike to overcome the fear. And we DID IT!! We got to the summit. I will be blogging just about this one in my hiking blog, but this was HARD ONE!! We almost chickened out. Basically the last 0.5miles of hike is on the edge of 1500 ft drop off cliff, climbing with chain. Yeah! Doesn't that sound scary to you?? Well at the summit, the view was spectacular. I couldn't sit still. I got dizzy... hahaha

I had a fun weekend! Watch, my next birthday is coming around the corner.... I forgot how to count after 33 LOL!

March 11, 2011

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Sendai and Tohoku region in my country, Japan

Higashi-Nihon Daishinsai

On 3/12/11 around 2:46pm Japan time, M8.9 earthquake hit Sendai and Tohoku region in Japan. It is said that this was the biggest earthquake ever hit Japan. My mother lives in Kanto-region which is also greatly affected. According to mom and friends, the quake was strong enough and the ground was shaken so hard that they could hardly stand on their feet. THANK GOD that all my families and friends were safe!! I was devastated that I could do absolutely nothing to be with my mother who lives alone,, since I am here so far away from home...
The disaster made me realize how powerless human beings are when it comes to nature's force. 
Although it might take some unknown amount of time and efforts, I pray that 
everyone affected will find the way to gain strength and hope in life.

March 4, 2011

Not smart - by choice, Choosy taste - no choice

I have come to realize that everything I want to do comes with price tag. I personally think this has something to do with me being the only child, who did not need to do much "sharing" with others. Well, I wasn't given anything and everything. Just that I got the things I wanted. And THAT seems to be my fate now.

When I think back, I have always gotten my way, somehow, someway, with or without obstacles. Once I lay my eyes on certain thing, I will get it sooner or later no matter what it takes. For example, college. I could have settled to go nearby college where I live, but I had to choose the one that was a few hours bullet-train away. And it got worse. As an international student in the USA, the tuition is like 5 times more than what local students pay. So I did that too. When I had an apartment in Boston, I couldn't settle with just so-so room. I had to rent one in a really nice area. And by no means, I'm not rich. It's just that was what I wanted to do. I didn't have to move across the state every time I changed school, but I did it, because I wanted to experience and challenge different thing.
Choosy taste is not only about schooling and living different places. It happens in my daily life. I can't use certain chapstick, the kind they sell in grocery stores or pharmacy. It gives me blister on my lips so I have to use organic one. I would rather buy $300 wallet and use next 5 years, instead of $50 one that looks so cheap and won't last a year. I need a cell phone with all kinds of gadgets even if the monthly bill goes up, I just have to cut other expenses, like groceries, to budget the household. I used to be a competitive swimmer. So I have to buy 'speedo' brand, not any other, when it comes to
"that" kind of swimming. Cars. I wish I was not so picky. Many people can think that cars are just to move you from one point to the other. Cheap cars, Expensive cars, they all do one thing. It's a means of transportation. However, even financially tight, I need certain luxury on them. So I had to purchase the car that comes with hefty monthly payments of $500, oh because I liked the body style, sunroof, stupid things. (i paid it off after years!). The other day, we had an estimate for dental cleaning on my dog. It ended up 3 times more because his teeth was worse than expected! Ugh!  And NOW, I want to have a baby! With my luck, there is no way that will happen naturally. If his FSH was not so high, he could have taken meds and the problems would be corrected, therefore we only need less expensive procedure.  Well it is not so easy fix for us. I should have known, I have to pay for it, as always. Not a small amount, but thousands of dollars.
I always wonder if my life will ever get easier, and that why everything has to be so hard for me. For something, I am not using my brain and I know it. I do have a hard time sacrificing. But some IMPORTANT matters, I have no control and I wish I had. Yap! it's just my random blah blah talk! Thanks for listening.