Friday, March 30

Mochaccino Ramblings

I mentioned that my Thurs/Fri client got new coffee machines and oh boy I think I'm getting addicted to the mochaccinos.  They are lovely.  Caffeine is not always good to my punctuation and thought process, so we'll see where today's list goes.

  • Mr. Lina has been sick this week.  He took Wednesday off work, worked a little from home on Thursday and has generally been hopped up on Neocitron and wanted to snuggle.  I've watched a lot of tv this week instead of sewing, but it is hard to argue with snuggles.
  • I thought I was doing well until I started to cough last night.  I may be skipping the initial feeling stuffy part and going right to the cough.
  • Which doubly sucks as we have very close friends visiting tomorrow night from the UK, with their two kids in tow.  I don't want to make them sick at the start of their visit. 
  • I did switch to my better vitamins on Saturday, 2 pills twice a day.  I dunno if they are truly that much better, but I don't seem to have flourescent pee from the excess vitamins my body can't process all at once.
  • Went to the clinic yesterday to review the plan, price and paperwork.  Switching from IVIG to intralipids streamlines the process, apparently I won't be taking Fragmin (blood thinner, daily injection) but they do want me taking vitamin E daily and there will be a week of being on an antibiotic.
  • Intralipids take about 3 hours, they do it in the clinic in an examination room.  I am to bring a pillow, a blanket and something to do.  Apparently most people sleep.  I don't have to bring a driver (although Mr. Lina is still welcome to come) because they don't expect side effects and a nurse will check on me every half hour.  We'll do it once prior to Day 9 of the FET cycle, again with a second positive pregnancy test, and a third time if there is a heartbeat for the six week ultrasound.
  • Ah, and the bill...  I guess I'm just too far down the infertility road for suprises, the nurse was teasing us we were so quick to agree and sign papers.  Intralipids will cost us $700 per treatment (far cheaper than IVIG but because that was done in the hospital it was covered by the government) and I'm okay with that.  I can't say I like it, but I'm the one that wants to do this, I would rather see my tax dollars pay for my mom's eye drops so she can see.  FET fees went up from $1200 to $1400, I got the feeling the nurse was expecting us to react to that.  It's not an unreasonable percentage over two years and they typically discount the second FET off of the same IVF by 50%.  I get a lot of personal care from nurses and it's still cheap relative to the US. 
  • Odd that the car cost less than the clinic bill but seems to hurt more.  I put $900 into it in January, $1500 yesterday.  Ouch.  Next oil change better just be an oil change.
  • So... no dressform for Sera. 
  • For now.  And I'm okay with that.
  • We are watching How I Met Your Mother on NetFlicks.  It's been great to watch good comedy.  And now we're at the point (season 6 I think) where Lily and Marshall are interested in babies so three episodes have resulted in one of the two of us crying (we seem to have different triggers). 
  • How I Met your Mother also inspired Mr. Lina to send me pictures of tea cup pigs instead of lambs.
  • From
  • I don't know if we just power through this story arc or shelve it for a while.  Sometimes it's good to release a little pressure off of the emotional dam. 
  • Today is day 31 of this cycle, we're heading into some potential PMS time if my period sticks to it's 35-43 day "routine". 
  • Okay, this is going to sound lame, but... we go camping Victoria Day, May 21st with a big group of friends.  If this cycle ends April 1, the next cycle will end fairly predictably at 28-30 days because I'll be taking Provera/Lupron, so say it ends April 30th.  The embryos are specifically Day 5 blastocysts, so they need to be transferred 5 days after I ovulate, so Day 19-21 and that puts the transfer right in the middle of the long weekend.  Yay me.  Another year of camping being fucked up by infertility. 
  • Day 5 Blastocyst, not actually mine.
  • Do I hope that this cycle lasts closer to 40 days and the Provera-induced nightmare lasts an extra couple of days so the transfer is later that week?  I'll still have to drive into the clinic at least once, possibly every day, over that weekend, but we don't travel far to camp, it would be about an hour each way.
  • This is the petty and annoying part of infertility treatments, my life becomes nearly unplannable until the time arrives but two months out I know there might be complications.  I've missed camping a few times now because of infertility.  The first IVF cycle I figured I could manage it not realizing that I'd be on two injectable drugs starting that weekend that needed to be refrigerated but not frozen (frozen is more of a risk overnight than too warm in May).  It was insane and led to tears on my part and Mr. Lina completely stressed out worrying about the very expensive medication.  At least this time all the medications are pills.
  • Monday I had my performance review and while it went well, there was a clear dividing line of happy Sera prior to August and not so happy Sera after August.  I am harder on myself than they are on me, but in a way that paralyzes myself into feeling useless.  It was nice to hear they still want me. 
  • Positive feedback included that I am a good presenter.  I know that, at least, I feel that I am good giving presentations.  I enjoy doing it and I like teaching people, I am comfortable with questions on the fly.  It seems that because I am perceived as quiet, they think I will be shy and then are pleasantly surprised when they attend a presentation and I'm relaxed and engaging. 
  • This is a reoccuring theme in my life, people see me differently than I see myself.  Half of them know me as the bubbly, chatty person that feels natural, and the other half think I don't talk at all.  Seriously, the first time this happened was kindergarten.  Although, I was rather selective of who I talked to then so it wasn't entirely unfounded.
  • I misplaced my cell phone yesterday, I had it prior to walking into the mechanics, but not after the doctors.  I'm pretty sure it's in my car, I can't see it but my hands free bluetooth seems to be connecting to it so it has to be there somewhere, right?
So, that's essentially my week in review.  With friends visiting overnight, I don't think I'll get to sew this weekend.  Next project is a second take at the Consultative Dressmaker pants block.  I am eager to get at it so first opportunity I'll be there.

Wednesday, March 28

Elan 645 - Retro Styling

I finished Elan 645 and worn it for a little over a week and while I like it, it's not the holy grail of bras for me.

Socks filling the cups, tee hee...

Things I like
  • Wow is this band supportive.  My posture would be so much better if I always wore a band like this.
  • The back is really low.  I could wear a damn near backless dresses with this bra.
  • I love purple, I find the end result pretty.
  • The straps generally stay put and yet are far enough to the side to not show up under my boat neck top.
  • Speaking of the straps, another successful venture making sliding straps.
  • And my first bra with integrated straps as opposed to just tacking them onto the back.
  • Mr. Lina also thinks it's pretty.
  • My breasts are staying put in this thing.  The top less so because the lace isn't going to hold them down if I jumped, but it's a real shelf underneath.
    • Of course that's my own fault for putting 3 layers of fabric in the lower cup - stretch purple satin, purple tricot against my skin and a little powernet.  It's the first time I've tried powernet in the cups, I think it's overkill.
  • The directions are pretty good.  I did keep my Bra Makers Manual around because I've put my own notes in the book about channeling and for once I did that right on the first try.  For the most part I followed the directions with the bra and found them good enough.
  • The underwire is actually sitting flat against my chest between my breasts
Things I'm not sure about
  • The shape.  It really does lift my breasts up and out, but it's a bit like a shelf and feels a little retro compared to the modern soft cup look.  Gertie posted about the fashion of breast shape, and this looks like a lot of the retro images she included rather than the modern tshirt bra. 
  • Wearing a tank for modesty, but you see the pointed shape.
  • The change in shape seriously impacts how this fits under my clothing.  My bust is 44" in this bra, other bras are around 43".  Some shirts have wrinkles under the arm, they just don't fit the same.
  • I had a headache the first couple of days of wearing it, but that seems to be easing as the bra is stretching out a little.  This seems in line with Gerties post "Is my girdle making me dumb?"
  • Something is funky under the arms, about an inch of the top band is floating away from my body.  This is likely my sewing error, maybe stretching something that shouldn't be stretched while sewn or the fabric stretching when I picked out stitches, I'm not sure.  It's not really noticeable except that I'm looking for problems.

Things I don't like
  • Initially, I was going to say the band was too tight.  I really felt the headaches were due to oxygen being cut off, but I can tell it's relaxed in the week I've had it.  Wearing it on alternating days or shorter periods of time was a good call.  I'm still wearing it on the loosest setting but the headaches aren't so noticable.
  • I seem to have not caught the stitches well under one of the underwire.  Elastic is stitched once on the right side of the fabric then turned under.  It is key to go close to the picot edge so that you only see the little pretty detail of the edge when it's flipped under.  I guess in focusing on the elastic, I didn't look closely at the fabric and it's  frayed and pulled through.  I have put some fray check on it, and zig zagged a little there.  Really, who is looking at my bra that closely? 
Nice match on the thread, eh?

  • The cup seams are not well curved and you can see them through my clothing.  It was hard to find an outfit that would work well with the bra but that is improving as I mentally adjust to the shape and try it under more clothing.  As mentioned, it's noticable on my black Renfrew, but I still wore it. 
  • My preference in RTW are partial band bras, this is the first full band bra I've made (well, second, but the first 645 was pretty but far too big).  That longer piece of fabric under the cups is rolling when I sit at a desk (again, my posture sucks).  If I pull the bra higher it helps but the underwire starts to get so high it shows up at the neckline and it won't stay there.  I think there is a reason I haven't purchased many full band bras.
So net-net, I'd say it's a wearable, functional bra but I'm not sure how many of this style I would want.  I like my partial band styles better. 

Tuesday, March 27

The Addiction Continues

I did have time to sew this weekend and I enjoyed every minute of it.  What did I sew?  Renfrew, nothing but Renfrew.

First, was for my mom.  So that was unselfish sewing that I haven't taken a picture of.  Mom picked a floral rayon knit.  It's pretty vibrant, but she can pull off bright colours.  Here's hoping it fits.

After finishing that, I got to thinking about my own Renfrew collection.  I love them, but they are too warm (and polyester) for summer.  There was about 20cm of the 60" wide fabric left when I was done with Renfrew #3.  It's pretty fabric and when I came across some thin black knit (quite likely ponte knit but I'm not 100% sure) I thought this could work well.
I tried taking pictures outside this morning, but the sun just seemed to cause problems.  Either I'm totally bleached out like at the top, or it ended up super dark where you couldn't tell where the pine tree ended and I started.  But.. .the bleached out colour is good for showing black I suppose, at least you can see the wrinkles etc.  The above picture is my backyard, this is my front yard.

So the "inside" of the cowl is the same rayon that I made Mom's shirt from, the outside of the cowl is black like the rest of the shirt.  I am thinking now I could have done the arm bands in the same print, I have enough for that.  But maybe this way is okay, it's like wearing a black t with a permanent scarf.

Now under that shirt is my Elan 645.  Honest, post is coming.  I thought I lost the little doohicky that makes the little memory card fit into my computer, but no, Mr. Lina put it away.  I'm just more excited by what I'm wearing today because it's new.  You can see the seam line of the bra at the side. 

The black fabric was a whole lot easier to work with than the rayon knit.  Getting that to fold in half was a serious pain in the arse.  It just kept shifting or clinging to itself and I'd think it was matched perfectly at the selvage but still have wrinkles at the fold like indicating it wasn't quite perfect.  Cutting took way more time than it should.  The black folded nicely, has a little slink to it so the fabric didn't grip itself when folded, sewed lovely.  I am glad that I bought a lot of it.  I didn't remeasure, but I think I bought 4-5m.  Now that I've used it, it will be top of mind. 

As I was cutting this one out, I folded Renfrew back into the envelope.  I will likely return to it to make the scoop neck t at some point, but folding it up will get me to move on to something else for a while.

Friday, March 23


I think I need a TGIF label because it really fits for every Friday post.  I am always happy to see Fridays arrive.  I'm at a client office I like, the weekend is ahead of me with lots of potential.  What's not to like?

There hasn't been any sewing yet since my in laws left.  I've puttered a little moving the stuff we hid in there around, the table itself is clear except for the fabric for my Mom's Renfrew.  Wine with dinner was a barrier to last night (and I was too tired anyhow) and Wednesday night I ended up on the phone with a friend. 

I am finding myself thinking about aging and Mr. Lina's grandmother (the one who serves cinnamon buns for breakfast and fruit filled perogies for lunch).  I adore her.  I miss my Nana and it was wonderful to have one again in meeting Mr. Lina.  She is a stubborn independent woman and it's funny to see how his family deal with the traits that make her who she is.  She is in her late 80's, living independently with her son a few houses down from her and Mr. Lina's cousins are down the back lane.  She can't hear much even with hearing aids, she's having low blood pressure issues that make her dizzy, but all in all, she's doing really well physically for her age.  She just forgets how old she is sometimes.  Case in point.  The day my in laws flew to see us, she walked over to the cousins house to drop off a card.  The back lane is a mess of pot holes and puddles.  She tried to jump across a puddle and tripped, breaking her nose and needing two stitches.  My MIL is shaking her head that her mother wouldn't just walk the longer but safer way on the streets or get her shoes a little wet walking through the puddle.  I don't know about you all, but I hope when I'm over 85 I still think I can jump over puddles.  If I was in Winnipeg right now, I'd give her a high five and a hug.

MIL, Grandma and I - Summer 2011
While my in laws were visiting, I was wearing as much me-made clothing as I could to show it off.  It has made me realize how many options I have now.  I literally went 8 days without doing laundry and wearing something me made each day.  It helps being a seasonal transition where I could wear full out summer clothing (hello rayon black dress) and cool weather Renfrews, but it wasn't hard and I had a good mix of social, weekend and work options.  AND as I get to today, nearly two weeks since the last time I did laundry so the pickings are getting slim, I felt sad that the only me made options were my undergarments.  I might actually be getting to the point where I could do a Me-Made/Self-Stitched month.  Right now, I think I average 3-4 items a week (excluding panties).

This is going to be a fairly quiet weekend for us.  Mr. Lina has organized a Jackass marathon where they will watch all three movies in order.  You can safely say that all guests will be male and I will not be in the basement.  I can deal with a little bit of that kind of humour, but a lot of it is lost on me, particularly the gross out stuff.  So assuming no one brings their wife/girlfriend, I will be upstairs doing my own thing.  It's going to be lovely.  Just lovely.  Tonight the plan is for Mr. Lina and I to snuggle up with a movie and bottle of wine, maybe I can pre-wash the silk etc from Fabricmart.  A glass of wine won't hurt that...

Wednesday, March 21

Back in the Saddle

I dropped my in laws off at the airport this morning on my way to work.  As much as I struggle while they are visiting, it is again proof that about the time I adjust to having people in the house is when it is time for them to go.  In some ways I wish they stayed longer so that the time that they are here doesn't feel so precious I can't go off and do my own thing when I need a break and I can have time to adjust and just enjoy having dinner made.  I have a great time while we're playing cards or out and about.  Well, maybe less so at Bass Pro, Toronto Sportsman's Show or Canada Computers.  Not much that really appeals to me at any of those places.  Particularly the TSS, it was too big to hang out by the live fish tanks or falcon exhibit and find them again because they didn't know what was going to catch their eye next and none of us really knew the layout. 

The queen bed arrived on Monday afternoon, some trading was done to max out the guest room bed.  We have kept the frame and box spring from that room but moved our mattress over.  I didn't sleep all that well the first night on our new bed.  I guess because it has independent support or whatever the term is (like the bowling ball commercial) there is a little ridge down the middle.  I woke up a few times in the night not sure where Mr. Lina was and feeling an uphill battle to find him.  Last night was a more solid sleep.  I will say that bed is super quiet.  This also helps in ah, dealing with um, various forms of stress while having guests in the house.  ;)

The weather has been absolutely beautiful the past week.  However... my Tues/Wed client has horrible air circulation.  In fact their air conditioner is broken and so old that a part has to be made for them because no one makes air conditioners like theirs anymore.  That won't be fixed until mid-April apparently.  Yesterday was 22C outside, 28C in someones office (not that hot at my cubicle, but hot enough).  They set up 6' fans all over our area so it's like working with a plane taking off in the cubicle beside me.  I saw this coming from past summers here so I dressed accordingly.  Yesterday I wore Kwik Sew 1595.  I don't wear it with this tie belt, I have an elastic belt I made but I don't have a picture of the outfit together.  Anyhoo, I like that although this dress is polyester knit (similar in weight to my Renfrews), there is no sleeve (the cap is just a wide shoulder, there is  no under arm seam).  With air flow at the arm pits and a loose fit, it works well in summer without hose and winter with tights/boots.

And today it's Lekala 5432 in a really light rayon if I remember right.  That sweater will be coming off this afternoon.

Jeez, that reminds me how long it's been since I got my hair cut, it's in a pony tail today.  I really should do something about that.

Warm weather has me digging out summer shoes.  Those cute red flats above?  I can only find one.  I'm sure I had a pair of open toed black heels for work, can't find them.  I wanted to wear some super casual sandals to bowling, I could only find one.  Is our hall closet like the dryer with socks?  Eating one shoe at a time?

I think purchasing a dress form will be put on hold for a bit.  My car has a whine when moving that I have been trying to pretend is not there but it's past ignoring now.  Add oil change, tire rotation and I found out Monday the A/C doesn't work.  This will not be a small bill.  Also, the FET will likely run about $1,000 depending on how the clinic discounts or prices have changed, how much medication is covered and added transportation costs.  We can cope with both bills, but I don't want a dress form enough to shoulder debt for it so we'll see how those bills go first.  I suspect my savings will go to one of those two and I'll start setting aside money again.  I've managed just fine so far and if I really want it, there is always the duct/paper tape options.

Tonight, I get to enjoy some Shepard's Pie my MIL made for dinner and a quiet house.  A former coworker is going to call me up.  She's leaving a place I'd like to work so I'm getting the inside scoop as to what is going on over there and if I really would like to go there.  Location isn't everything if the environment has changed from what it was.  Lots of movement creates positions I could move to but it also may change what I liked about it. 

Perhaps I can move some of the crap we hid in my sewing room and start planning my next projects.  It was mom's birthday on March 10th and while I had a long talk with her on her birthday, I didn't have a gift ready.  I think Renfrew would suit her well so I offered to make one and let her pick from a few suitable fabrics I had in stash.  That will be the next project.  Then a summer weight Renfrew for me because that polyester 3/4 sleeve will not work as summer approaches.  Then a return to pants.  Or the Tanit-Isis blogiversary top.  I have some lovely plumb bamboo that would work well.  Or the Blank Canvas Tee.  Or I did buy Pendrell when I bought Renfew and silk was in the fabric order from my parents earmarked for Pendrell.  So many plans, so little time...

Tuesday, March 20

Walking on Sunshine

ElleC has been kind enough to award me with a Sunshine Award.  ElleC is certainly a ray of sunshine herself.  Tanit-Isis was also nominated and in titling her reply Sunshine lollipops stuck a song in my head.  Here's hoping Walking on Sunshine gets rid of the ear worm.

Favourite Colour  Purple hands down.  I like a lot of other softer colours, wear a lot of red, but purple is my favourite.

Favourite Animal  Oh.... Sharks.  I find them fascinating.  Absolutely entrancing and scary all at the same time.  I think I saw Jaws waaay too young.  If I'm swimming in a lake (even little man made lake near my parents) or a backyard pool alone, I'll think of Jaws.
Favourite Number  I don't really have a single favourite number.  I liked 88 when I was younger because my cousin wore that playing hockey.  2 is good for my birthday (Sept 2nd).  Natural 20 is always a good thing when rolling dice.  ;)

Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink  Tea hands down.  Lady Grey Tea, Loyd teas, rooibos tea, peppermint tea, fruit teas like Toasty Almond (or blends like Iced Princess).  I think I have at least 3 kinds of tea at each desk that I work at and probably 12-18 kinds of tea at home.  I generally take my tea just as is, no added milk or sugar.  Although iced tea is completely different, that needs to be the sweet flavour Tanit-Isis was talking about although at home I usually make a pitcher that is part powdered sugar tea and actual brewed tea so I can control the sugar and caffeine content as needed.

Facebook or Twitter  Facebook, but not as Seraphinalina, just as me.  It's good for organizing invites for the house concerts and keeping tabs on friends who live far away.  It's strange now that my mom is on Facebook.

My Passion  Jeez, isn't that why I blog?  You get my passions in little bite sized bits.  Sewing, independent music, being a mom (we're still working getting there), hosting in general.  Funny, work isn't going on that list, although I do think of geographer as part of who I am.

Giving or Receiving Gifts  Hmm, I do love getting a wrapped present and opening it up and making a big deal to make the giver feel good.  But, then I get itchy when my in laws give me a bed, so maybe I am better at giving.

Favourite Pattern  Oh... I guess Renfrew at the moment.  But I also really like Lekala 5432 for dresses.  Sorbetto is always fun too.  I'm not a huge pattern collector.

Favourite Day of the Week  Friday.  Lots of potential for the weekend ahead and it's usually a good client day.

Favourite Flower  Depends, in the ground, crocus.  Cut, carnations.  Both flowers I associate with my Nana and Papa.  Papa gave me crocus when I was about 12, a little kit with a plastic windmill for a pot and I do love the purple ones.  Papa bought carnations for Nana frequently the last few years she was at home.  She was getting to the later stages of Alzeheimer's, he was caring for her when she didn't know anyone and really wasn't talking much anymore, but his love was for better and worse so he bought her flowers.

Favourite Celebrity Role Model  Hmm, I'm agreeing with a few others that I don't really see them as role models.  I'm not even enough of a red carpet watcher to really identify with a specific person for their fashion sense. 

And to nominate others...  ElleC beat me to a punch on a few bloggers I enjoy.  I'm going to nominate a few that are new to me.

TwistedCistern - what a neat concept, two sisters sharing a blog.  I've already traded a few music recommendations with Margaret.

Making it Well - She's just made a lovely paper tape dress form and I'm looking forward to seeing her put it to good use. 

Everyone that I read I add to my blog roll.  I started reading blogs by finding Gertie's and expanded from there.  I hope others find my blog roll helpful as well.

Okay, time to get to work, I've got a full plate today and I've actually been making headway.

Friday, March 16


Another week over and done with.  I like March Break, my drive to work is so much better without teachers on the road and extra people on vacation.

Remember how I said that my in laws like to spoil us?  And I'm not always so good at accepting?  We are going to buy a queen bed tonight as a gift.  I shouldn't have any mixed feelings about this.  Our bed is getting up there in years although still in good shape.  The guest room bed, however, is creeky and a foam pad only goes so far.  Really, my in laws want us to get a new bed so they get the one we're using.  Still...  it took me more than a minute to be excited about it.  My first thoughts were about the details, all the dust and crap I don't want them to see under my bed.  Then do I want a queen?  We are snuggle sleepers, I'm not overly keen on King beds in hotels because I can't find Mr. Lina in the middle of the night and it wakes me up.  My ass sometimes knocks lotion off my night stand because the bed is presently that close to my night stand (although that's also functional so I can reach my glasses and see the clock without them).  But I have decided that I'm being silly, I will say a very heartfelt thank you and show excitement at the store tonight.

Tomorrow we're going to St. Jacobs farmers market.  St Jacobs used to be where Mennonites shopped, then they realized they could make more money selling to the public than to each other and it's now a bit of a functional tourist destination and the Mennonites shop elsewhere.  My in laws are fascinated with it and generally happy to go.  I love buying at the market from local farmers for once it's completely win-win.

Sunday, we will be going to the Toronto Sportsman's Show.  I do try my best to find anything vaguely interesting.  Perhaps the fashion of life jackets or admiring the colours on fishing lures.  I really do try because the rest of them all find it great fun.  Perhaps they will have cammo fabric for sale, although I actually already have a bolt of really heavy green cammo (gifted to me).  I like swimming, I like fishing, but even with fishing I just want to hang out on a boat, I don't care nor understand why one rod/lure is better than another.  Although I will cut my own beef heart to bait the hook.  I'm not that much of a wimp.  Oh... but I don't take the fish off the hook, it's too wiggly.  I'm not scared, it just slips out of my hand. 

I could use a little sewing time.  It's visits like this that are wonderful but make me value the time of being along in my own head working on a project.  I was chatting with my brother Clone, it's funny, he struggles with the same things as me with his in laws.  Although he has not experienced hosting inlaws, only visiting, but it's the same themes.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 15

Visiting Family Ramblings

My thoughts are a bit scattered today.  My in laws arrived last night, I think I'm ready.  They are absolutely wonderful people, they want to help us so much but I am not always good at accepting help.  Financially, we don't need help but they believe absolutely in fairness, if $40 is spent on my BIL, then damn it $40 will be spent on us.  It makes me feel petty to not want it when I understand where it is coming from.  Mr. Lina has taken 3 days off work, I will be going to work.  He has more vacation time than I do, they are his parents, and then I'm not around to feel stressed out about what they want to do to my house.  Although it is a bit like a scavenger hunt when I get home.

Perhaps point form will help make some sense of my thoughts
  • I missed reading blogs.  It was great to be focused on work on Monday and Wednesday (seriously I was on fire yesterday) and evenings were about prepping for inlaw arrival, but I missed reading what was going on with everyone.  Good things posts stay up so I can catch up eventually.
  • I have a post written on my Elan 645.  I have pictures taken of Elan 645.  Some with me wearing it which will need cropping prior to posting so I don't have my breasts on the internet.  I can't do that on my lunch hour, I'm not keen on doing it at home while I should be socializing with my in laws and I sure as hell don't want to be seen cropping pictures of me in my bra by my FIL.  So, it will wait.
  • Mr Lina made an off hand comment the other day that made my heart smile.  I have said he needs time to think about big issues like adoption, it made me realize how much processing he has done.  I have also said part of me is afraid that I misjudged this, that maybe he won't come around, but I know now I was right.  He will with time.
  • Still no word from CAS.  Double pout.  I'd be more upset if there wasn't other stuff going on like the upcoming FET.
  • I am a complete klutz.  I have managed to burn my right hand twice in the past week, and last night soup burned my arm when it came to a boil as I reached to turn the temperature down.  My aloe plant is getting some mighty short leaves.  And now I have two bruises on my left hand that are a mystery.  Mystery bruises happen because I take daily low dose ASA as a blood thinner, still, two on the same hand is not common, it's usually my knees/shins/thighs where I get a glancing blow walking into tables etc.
  • All of the flavours of Loyd mulled wine tea are fantastic.  I picked up the honey rooibos, field berry and raspberry on Tuesday - LOVE them all.  My MIL is talking about visiting Starsky's after one cup of the honey rooibos last night.
  • My MIL is Ukrainian, her grandparents moved to Manitoba from the Ukraine to farm, they thought trees indicated great soil but ended up with a lot of rocks and so-so farm land in the interlakes region. 
  • So this will be a week of borsht, beet roll ups (little bits of dough wrapped in a beet leaf then covered in cream, dill and fried onions and baked, this is served as a side vegetable, similar recipe), kielbasa (which they pronounce koo-ba-sa and I grew up saying ka-ba-sa), possibly cabbage rolls (holuptsi is how they say it, more later, similar recipe) and perogies (petaha) and meat & potato meals that please my FIL. 
  • And we have reached the end of Ukrainian language that made it through 4 generations - all about food. 
  • Oh, I forgot about Geedo and Baba (grandfather/grandmother), but because there was still a Baba alive when Mr. Lina was born, he calls his grandmother Grandma.  I suspect that my MIL will claim the name Baba when it's her turn.
  • Grandma sent us two trays of cinnamon buns (my MIL is celiac so 2 trays for 3 of us)
  • Uncle tried to send garlic sausage, my MIL vetoed that going in her luggage.
  • My first visit to MB, I had no idea how any of these things were cooked, my great grandparents are from English, Scottish and French Canadian, I didn't know what perogies were until university.  I thought the little, palm sized holuptsi were a "healthy choice", I mean, it's cabbage with rice in the middle, not the big beef filled ones my mom made.  Little did I know... Grandma saves fat from hams to line the bottom of the dish so they don't burn, there is actually bacon in her holuptsi, that's what the little flecks of meat were, pretty sure she isn't draining off much of the fat first. 
  • Grandma thinks that blueberry crepes or plum filled perogies are perfect for lunch after a cinnamon bun for breakfast.
  • She also serves mushrooms sauteed in full cream as a vegetable
  • You can see why I refer to Manitoba as "the land of a pound a day"
  • My first visit, I had to buy pants after 17 days in Manitoba.
  • Four framed pictures from Star Wars have been "returned" to my husband.  What am I going to do with a picture of Han Solo?  Chewy and the gang?  They certainly are not going in my bedroom or the guest room.  Pretty sure the artists we host don't want R2D2 and 3CPO looking down at them.
  • Although I won't be sewing, my MIL is an avid knitter and sews mostly crafty things or rag quilts.  We will be talking about our competed projects and fabric.  :D
Okay, time to get back to work so I can leave on time and get home for whatever food my MIL feels like making.

Wednesday, March 14

I feel like me.

I have been struggling to stay interested, engaged and productive with my Tues/Wed client.  So very much of this is me, absolutely.  But the air here seems stale, I have no windows near by, I don't have many social people around me.  It is quite easy to wait for work to come to me rather than seek it out and with many of the people I do work for/with being a province away, it's not so noticable.

But today...  I want to do things.  It's easy to stay focused (although I suppose writing this at the moment is the opposite of that).  I am kind of excited about being able to help someone with a project this afternoon once I wrap this one up.  I don't feel overwhelmed.

For the moment, I feel like me.

Monday, March 12

We've Got a Game Plan

How can a weekend feel like you both did nothing and were busy at the same time?  We had people over for D&D (although I got a migraine so I was a bit of a space cadet once medication took care of the pain), we saw Dr M, went to a house warming, went out with a friend for lunch on Sunday, and finished making my bra.  And yet I also managed to not clean the house and play hours of Plants vs. Zombies on our Playbook. 

The appointment with Dr M went really well. He agreed with us not to do genetic testing.  He feels the test at Yale is still controversial and isn't overly keen on pursuing that route.  I'm okay with that, I feel that at this point, we've proven I have issues through 6 pregnancies that went no where.  So the plan is to just go ahead.  We will do the scratch test, we're going to try intralipids instead of IVIG.  I still have to do some reading myself on this but intralipids are a fat that is given intravenously and was designed for people with nutrition issues.  It reacts much like IVIG but not being a blood product, it's cheaper and they can do it at the clinic and control the timing better rather than being at the whim of the hospital.  So really, how bad can the side effects be for a product to improve your nutrition through fats?  I'm good with that. 

The basic process for Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET) is this:
  • Next cycle will set up medication.  Around day 21 I'll take Lupron-Depot, a shot in the ass that suppresses my system for a month.  With IVF, I take the same medication as a daily injection for greater control.  Everything from here on in has to done through drugs because my body will not ovulate predictably.  If it did, this would be a whole lot easier.  Sometimes on that first cycle I go in for monitoring to see if it is going to be cooperative, but it hasn't worked yet.
  • Same day I'll take Provera to force my period to arrive.  This medication is evil, be ready for some crazy-woman posts and possibly a day of work if it gets really bad.
  • Cycle 2 starts and I return to normal, I book ultrasound (both external with full bladder and internal) and blood work for Day 3.
  • Somewhere between day 3-8, we'll do the scratch on the lining of my uterus and the intralipids
  • Day 3-8 I'll take Femara every day, this will make my follicles grow. 
  • Day 9 I will start going for daily ultrasounds and blood work.  No full bladder for these, it's just internal ultrasounds (believe me, you just get used to it, it's better than having to pee or worry that you don't actually have a full bladder etc).  These appointments will be alternating days until the follicles are starting to look mature, then I go every day, even on weekends.
  • When the follicles are mature, I take medication to trigger ovulation.
  • At this point, they thaw out my frozen follicles to sync them with my body.
  • When both of us are on either Day 3 or Day 5 (I can't remember how old these ones are, we usually do day 3), they will be transferred back to my uterus.  They guide the catheter past my cervix to my uterus by ultrasound, probably the worst of it is that my bladder has to be full.  Picture it, pap test with a full bladder.  How fun is that?  But, it's uncomfortable, not painful.
  • I rest for about 20 minutes at the clinic, then home to sit on my ass for 3 days.  I am not suppose to lift anything, walk more than necessary, just... rest.  I take these days off of work and generally get pampered by Mr. Lina.
  • This part is my favourite.  For the next week or so, I can just believe I am pregnant.  It's too early for there to be signs, I know multi-celled embryos are in there, I just believe and talk to my little embryos.
  • Then I start going crazy looking for changes in my breasts.  My nipples go all big and weird almost immediately.  They also return to normal quickly, thus far, they have been remarkably accurate.
  • 12 days after transfer (or 10 if it's day 5), I go in for a pregnancy test through blood work.  They call with the results later that day.  I have passed this test 5 of 6 times.  It means nothing to me, a pass here is simply a fact, not something to be excited about.
  • If that test is positive (HCG level over 5, home tests are positive at 25), then I go back in two days.  We should see the HCG levels doubling every 48-72 hours.  This is the test I usually fail or the numbers are dropping. 
  • If things go well, I go for an ultrasound about 10 days later.
  • If things do not go well, I have to go in for pregnancy tests until they fail.  Ectopic pregnancies will jump all over the place, they need to be sure I'm not pregnant.
There will be other twists and turns and medications, but that's the basics.  I already take Metformin, baby aspirin, and prenatal vitamins, they will add others.  Prednisone quite likely, possibly Fragmin (a blood thinner), we'll see.  So now to wait for Day 1 to arrive.  Given that I just had my period, it's going to be a few weeks and that first cycle is pretty boring with moments of insanity.  But it's a plan.  I like having a plan.

I will post about this later, but I did finish up that bra.  Pictures are going to be necessary to explain some of this.  I'm wearing it today so it fits well enough, but I think I'll have more to say with a days experience with it.

Also, I got a metric crap ton of unsoliciations on my Renfrews on both Friday (purple) and Saturday (blue/brown).  I was basking in the glow of positive feedback.

Friday, March 9

Friday Ramblings

  1. Thank you to JillyBeJoyful, I didn't realize that the double word verification was on my blog.  Honestly, I'm not that worried about spam right about now so I'm happy to turn it off until it seems needed.
  2. I'm wearing my purple Renfrew, I wore it on Monday too.  Renfrew has me doing one load of laundry more frequently so I can rewear them.  This also works because I often only have enough time in the evening to wash and dry one load prior to going to bed anyhow and is keeping me well stocked in panties and socks (the usual reason to do laundry)
  3. Remember the bra I started?  Then got distracted by pants and Renfrew?  I'm back at it and while the band is rather tight (possibly too tight) it's not looking too bad although a little retro in shape.  It still needs hooks at the back, elastic across the top (which I am hoping will solve some upper cup issues) and straps, but getting the channeling and underwire in let me have a sneak peek.  I can't believe I started that in January and still have not finished.  Where did the time go?  Oh right, Renfrew.  Never mind.
  4. I don't want to do work today.  Not at all.  Happy to be here, don't really want to do it.
  5. They installed new food service coffee machines with my Thurs/Fri client.  I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but man that mochaccino whatever was pretty tasty.  The longer I work here the closer I get to being an actual coffee drinker.
  6. CAS still has not sent me information on adoption.  I've sent a follow up email. 
  7. Research continues on dress forms, I do love each and every opinion expressed, keep them coming. 
  8. We're seeing our fertility doctor tomorrow, seems a bit surreal for some reason.  I am looking forward to it, even when he has bad news (and lets face it, I am never seeing him face to face with good news) I feel better after seeing him.  At least there is a plan at that point.
  9. Any tea drinkers out there?  I am a tea whore, I will drink just about any kind of tea - black, green herbal, rooibos, etc.  Present favourite is Loyd wine infused tea I bought at Starsky's after hearing raves from R's mom.  I do not have any with me at the moment and that makes me sad.  I have tried Traditional and Plum.  Both are good, I initially liked Traditional better, but after a few cups, Plum is winning out, there are two other varieties still to try.  Maybe another mocha-whatevery will make me feel less sad.
  11. D&D after work tonight, ordering in pizza and then the game will begin.  Incentive (in theory) to do work.  I am guilty of picking away at work and suddenly realizing it's 3pm and I have 8 more things to do before I go home and leaving late.  People are arriving at 6:30, it's generally 45-75 min drive home from this office, I can't do that today.
  12. Mr. Lina passes a little hobby farm on his way to work.  He is getting very excited that three of the sheep are getting very fat.  They are often just sitting on the ground rather than walking around.  The llama and donkey seem to stand near them in a protective way.  Perhaps there will be lambies soon and I will get daily updates on what the lambies are doing and how big they are.
  13. My inlaws are visiting next week, arriving on Wednesday.  I love them, I have truly won the in law lottery, but I sometimes struggle when they are on my turf and moving my stuff around.  I went a little bat-shit crazy the first time they visited after we were married feeling like everything was criticism and I should have anticipated everything.  Doing things to Mr. Lina's apartment didn't bother me, moving my stuff in my house did.  Serious cleaning of things I don't want them to clean, purchasing of things I do have brand preferences for, and hiding things they don't need to see needs to happen prior to their arrival.  I don't need another bottle of Windex entering my house just because they can't find the two they bought in previous years. 
  14. Mr. Lina is now sending me links to pictures of pregnant sheep and lambs.  Sigh.  Welcome to the world of infertility where lambies represent your desire for children.

Wednesday, March 7

Dress Form Debate Part 2

I suspect I will be pondering about dress forms for a while before committing to purchase.  It's just the way I am.  Sadly all the drawing of opinions and options can lead me to analysis paralysis and at some point I'll realize that I have known what I wanted for a month and a half and it is time to admit it to myself.  I still have a lot of work to do to find room for it anyhow.

Yesterday I was trying to find more opinions on the Uniquely You dress form.  Talk about a sewing community, I was reading Carolyn's post on online supply resources and saw ElleC suggest A Great Notion.  I thought I better check that out and they do indeed sell Uniquely You dress forms.
Reviews seem to be somewhat mixed.  The process is that you sew the cover until it fits you so close you can't breathe and then wrestle the dummy into it.  The foam compresses and fills the cover and ta-da, you have a clone of yourself.  But... some people have found the cover stretches a bit over time so it's not accurate any more.  Small busted women have needed to take a knife to the breasts because it's too much and compresses in weird ways.  Elegantly Basted bought this last year and I found her struggles educational, as was Diary of a Renaissance Seamstress.  I think I could be up for the fitting, my bust is probably big enough I don't have to worry about it escaping to the sides or cutting them off to make them softer like DofaRS did to fit her corsets.  But... I can't do pants or a bathing suit or anything involving the crotch...  I know I don't do a ton of that kind of sewing, but it seems like I might at some point and it's silly to limit options unless it really is the best option.

On Pattern Review, someone suggested buying a Roxy form and padding it out

Roxy have full body, half body (dress forms) and three quarters (body forms).  Now these aren't adjustable but they are pinnable.  It would require padding out.  I'm less interested in the half body because of the reasons listed above.  The three quarters is only $50, could be used for pants etc, but only comes in one size.  Getting a 34" bust to my full bust is a heck of a lot of padding.  Full body come in a lot of sizes, I could get a size 12 that fits my upper bust of 38" and pad out.  Full body is $379 and comes with a full (detachable) arm for free.  I have no idea how shipping would go at this point.  Handmade by Carla bought the half body version and the padding from Fabulous Fit to pad it up.  Georgeous Things bought the full body from Roxy, and if you look in the comments, so did CoutreMode and Kadiddlehopper.

What did we do prior to Google?  I have been able to find a ton of links and reviews and opinions about these forms.  I know it muddies the water to have so much information at your fingertips, but at least I feel like will have made an educated decision rather than just going with whatever cheap ass form Fabricland was carrying because it was the only option I knew of.

Tuesday, March 6

Mish Mash of Catch Up

What a weekend.  No time at all for sewing, although fabric did arrive.  I'll post about all the great music when I get the picture of Ben and I (in Renfrew) off the camera.  Short version is that the music was all fantastic.
The clinic called on Friday - reception with an appointment time.  I missed the call so I was half listening to the message when I heard the appointment is for March 10th.  8 days from the time they called, that's... unheard of.  Someone lit a fire under someones ass to find an opening for me.  So, I'm going to take that appointment with a huge smile.  I'd rather see my doctor than broken telephone through a nurse, but I wasn't so interested in the potential 2 month wait.  So, we'll see what he has to say on Saturday morning.

And fabric...  My parents came to the house concert on Saturday with my box of fabric in tow.  I still haven't had a chance to really pull it all out (never mind wash it), just enough to get a quick peek and put it to the side prior to guests arriving.  I ordered some denim and it's super dark and a nice weight.  I chose dark because I do wear jeans/casual to work on Mondays and Fridays but I still think darker washes look more work appropriate and while denim may fade to a softer colour, it will never get darker (without help anyhow).  I bought this silk charmeuse jacquard with Pendrell in mind.
I don't think I noticed the dots when I was looking at pictures on line.  It's quite pretty but I still haven't pulled the full length of it out to see it all.  The bright colours in the picture are true to the fabric, it is vibrant.  The navy modal and the light plum bamboo jersey felt soft and I like the colours, but I'll have to take pictures at home.  Fabricmart seems to be out of stock on the same skus. 

You know what's funny is that I think I am a different shopper online than in store.  I do occasionally buy solids in person, but it's been driven by people talking about linen or ponte knit and so I buy some wanting to see what the fuss is about not so much because I am excited in store.  In store, I bring home prints like my Renfrews or polka dots like Lekala 5432, or a texture I love.  But online, I mostly bought solids.  I'm not sure that print in person would have really caught my eye, I would have seen more yellow than purple and thought it was too busy.  I am happy to have all of what I purchased, but part of me is looking at the box wondering what I was thinking about when I ordered it.

I have a confession to make.  I may need to enter a 12 step sewaholic program.  I am addicted to my Renfrew shirts.  Because I go to different offices on different days, I can rewear favourite clothing without worrying about someone noticing beyond Mr. Lina.  He likes my Renfews so I'm not hearing complaints.  I literally wore them Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.  I did a single load of laundry just so I could wash them and wear it again that night (there were other clothing in the load, I just didn't NEED those clothing).  But no one saw me wearing them twice (of course the down side is now I can't wear them for a week).  They are just so perfect, knits feel casual enough for weekends and with jeans or a fun skirt, paired with black dress pants and heels and they look office appropriate.  Two is just not enough. 

Friday, March 2

Mark Reeves

I'm out to an offsite company event today which will contribute to more phone tag with the clinic.  Last year it was quite nice, a good lunch, hand out some awards, and a bit of entertainment.  This year it's a hypnotist.  We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, we're going to a house concert to see Mark Reeves.  Now I posted about this in October, but I think 2 people were reading my blog then so it's pretty safe to say most of you wouldn't remember.  Here is the key story from that post:
And I am feeling a tad sheepish about meeting Mark Reeves.  We saw Mark maybe in 2007 at Summerfolk.  I thought he was just fantastic, he has some amusing and cheeky lyrics, great sound and a beautiful voice.  His song VDub was the first song we played when we bought the Jetta.  He has done Home Routes the past two years, but not on the Ontario route and every year when the list comes out I lament that it's not fair that Alberta gets Mark and I don't.  So when I crossed him in the hallway with a bit of ah... wine induced false courage, I babbled at him about this.  Seriously.  I didn't shut up.  He was getting an offer to go join some friends outside for a "fresh of breath air" as my high school friends might say and I was oblivious, Mr. Lina told me later.  Sigh.  At least by the end of it he did want me to email him and remind him of the when and where of our conversation.  Good to know I wasn't so scary to be ah, unforgettable.
I'm going to be putting that unforgettable part to the test.  I did email Mark after OCFF and put him in touch with people who also occasionally do house concerts (I last saw Boho Chapeau at their house).  Sunday works out really well for him.  Last night he was in London, Kitchener tonight, a house concert in Ancaster on Saturday, Etobicoke on Sunday and then Oakville on Monday.  Not too shabby.  The timing with Ben Sures I certainly wouldn't have been able to host him myself.  April he's heading out west to Saskatchewan and Alberta.

So I'm one part 12 year old girl meeting Justin Bieber, one part sober Sera not sure what drunk Sera was thinking and one part mature adult going to support a talented musician. 

And while I think VDub is amusing, or Sure is a Pretty Name is a bit on the naughty side, maybe this is a better choice for this week.  It Takes a While to Get Like This.

Thursday, March 1

Rough Days

May I start off to say you guys are all great.  I really appreciated the replies to my last post.  It was like a lot of hugs when I needed them.

I suppose I needed to phrase things a little differently.  We're not quite on the adoption bandwagon quite yet.  I still have four frozen embryos I can't walk away from, and that's going to take time.  It's two cycles to do a FET, plus a cycle for the Yale test and whatever time in between.  But... I have requested information on adoption, and it's more about the tone of conversation between us that feels good.  Shifting from obstacles to solutions.  Having a clear idea of what's next if those embryos don't become babies.  Mr. Lina's job is about having back up plans to back up plans (he once called me his redundant memory, I was not amused until he explained the importance of the phrase redundant in his work world) and he's more comfortable when those next steps are well defined.  Sometimes he needs to know what the third option is because only having two is a little... unsettling. 

I haven't posted about how I have been feeling in a little while.  Post-Christmas, pre-immunologist, I was feeling okay.  Maybe not perfect, but good enough that I didn't have much to say on that front.  We even decided to stop seeing our therapist until after seeing the immunologist, and she agreed we didn't need her.  I should have booked that post-immunologist appointment.  It's been a really rough spot again for me.  Tuesday was, well, not pretty.  Sleepwalking, crying driving to work, crying at work, spacing out, leaving work early, nope, not a good day at all.  If I didn't carpool to bowling, I probably would have missed that to just stay home and cry.  So a lot of back sliding has been going on through February.

A great deal of it I think is tied to feeling stagnant.  In limbo.  Unable to change a damn thing and not really wanting to get off my ass to set the ball rolling.  Hormones may also be a factor for the disaster of this week as my 38 day cycle has come to an end just today.  Progesterone makes me feel sad, sad upon sad is not a good thing at all.  Sleepwalking is a sign of stress for me.  I first remember doing it when I was working in aquatics.  If I worked more than 40 hours in a week, odds are I'd start dreaming of the pool.  I would wake up either standing at the foot of my bed wondering where the kids went or lifting sheets looking for a specific 2 year old who fell back into the pool on me once (which in real life was fine, nothing bad happened, but in my dream I can't find her).  I rarely walk far and I'm generally aware it's going on. 

Yesterday, I finally got up some umph to do something.  I phoned the clinic to follow up on the immunologist report, I emailed children's aid for information about adoption, and I spent a little time last night sorting through the crap in my sewing room. 

Not a lot of time was spent cleaning because the sleep walking was tied to the book I'm reading.   The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross is part of the Laundry series I recommended to LazySubculturalGirl.  I am enjoying it, but it's a whole lot bleaker than previous books.  The series take place in a modern world where the writings of H.P. Lovecraft are correct and one day Cthulhu and all the other Deep Ones will come and eat our souls, complex math is like magic that connects our worlds to other worlds.  The Laundry is the UK government secret agency that keeps those worlds from colliding with ours and the whole thing covered up.  Generally I've found it amusing (if technical - Andi, I went back and read Atrocity Archives & Concrete Jungle, I still like them but I see what you mean) sci-fi, but man, this one is bleak.  So, no more reading this before bed so I don't wake up at 3am looking for the trap door to the Laundry offices and seeing people with worms behind their eyes.  This is pre-10pm stuff only and there must be something done prior to bed so sewing room cleaning filled the slot nicely.

There were a surprising number of my clothes cluttering up my sewing room.  I guess I take things off to try on what I'm sewing, or see how things were made, and then forget to take it out with me.  Between that and filling two boxes with previously homeless fabric, it actually does look better (I didn't say good, just better).  The third Ikea box is becoming a toy box for when kids visit.  We may have bought a tea party set while at Ikea (okay, we did, but in our defense it was cute and friends have 3 girls of the right age).  We already have a few stuffed animals, construction paper, pencil crayons, and some dinky cars that have been all over the house.  Now they have a single home and it is not my sewing room.

The clinic called me back while I was driving to work this morning and I couldn't get the hands free fast enough to pick up so I'm now in voice mail hell.  I am not willing to wait another 2 months to get feedback on this from my doctor, that is the time frame for appointments with him.  I know what I was told by the immunologist, and yes I want to hear my doctors point of view, but I'm happy to hear it from a nurse. I am not sure they will agree but I can be stubborn at times and this is likely one of them.  Given that it's nearly 5 and they shut down at 3, I'm not getting an answer today.

This will be a music filled weekend.  We are hosting Ben Sures from Alberta on Saturday night.  Sunday we are going to a house concert for Mark Reeves.  From now until Saturday night, there will be much house cleaning going on.  It's a good thing we host so often because I really don't feel inspired to clean on my own behalf.  Ben is actually up for an international songwriting award.  It's a bit complicated, but you go here: follow the link to like them on Facebook and in Facebook you will see the Peoples Vote button, it will prompt you for an email address and you can vote once per day.  There were quite a few familiar names to me across multiple categories. 

Anyhow, here is a sample of Ben Sures work.