Family, Random Act of Kindness, Surrogacy

I Should Really Explain….

You know how you get in to that slump where you don’t want to write, answer emails. The slump where you no longer answer the phone; because you just don’t want to talk to whoever is on the other side of that call, because you would be required to answer so many questions that you are at the point of pure, utter exhaustion because you’ve had to answer them over and over and it never seems to sink in, so they continue asking.

Guy’s third birthday is approaching sooner than later, I’ve yet to finish his second birthday letter. I’ve yet to contact IARC with all those wonderful things I want to suggest to help with gestational carriers. I think I was their most determined to have a baby GC. I was so determined that even when there was the suggestions put out there that I may not be the one, I disregarded all of them because in my heart, I knew I was the one meant to have a baby for R&G.

I’m still in that slump where I just don’t know what to do or what to say. I’m trying to get the understanding out there that none of my issues pertain to Guy. He, R&G were there to help me fulfill something I also wanted to do. What is more selfless than having a baby for someone?

I also keep reminding anyone who asks, that even knowing this specific outcome, all of my medical issues after his birth, all of the complications since then; that I would undoubtedly follow the same path!

I may have saved a little more here and there, I may have cut back on all of those dinners out, I may have done a number of things different on my end just to be prepared. With all of that, I still would have gone through the entire process. I still would give up my body, my health, my inability to do a lot of things now that used to be second nature so that Guy was born. So that R&R continued the process with me! They are my chosen family and forever will be. We began this process as strangers, became friends then became the sort of family you just can’t live without. The type of family that you are excessively happy when they send a message or you see their name pop up on your phone. They are my forever family!

I don’t get to spend nearly as much time as I’d like with them, but will be seeing them again in December. They will be coming back because Guy will be a big brother. We will have a month or more where we get to spend together. A month to where I can learn enough Hebrew to understand what Guy is trying to tell me, what he is trying to ask for, what he is seriously upset about because I can’t understand what he’s really saying.

I’m going to be back again. I’m going to write and try to figure this all out. I want to be useful to other GC’s that are going through the process, have finished the process, or who were never able to complete the process because of the heartbreak over and over again.

Random Act of Kindness

Under Charged And Feeling Bad…..

I recently mailed a package to Ronen and Gadi via FedEx and for some reason I got undercharged. I signed the credit card slip and it clearly stated the correct amount but my bank statement is reflecting a totally different amount….like $150 less than it should. I’ve been talking to many other people regarding this mishap the last few days and it seems that everyone has the same response. That I should just let it go and be happy that I was undercharged instead of overcharged.

That’s just WRONG! Someone that works at FedEx is surely going to get blamed for this mishap that clearly was just a human error. It isn’t like he took cash from me and shoved it in his pocket and is telling FedEx to just stick it! It’s a mistake that he will most likely get blamed for and he really shouldn’t. I want to pay the price that I should have paid to mail the package.

I’d go back into FedEx with my credit card receipt and show them my bank statement against the receipt to show that it’s seriously $150 less than it should be (to the penny) but I didn’t keep that portion of the receipt. I only kept the portion that has my tracking number listed.

So now I feel even worse. How can I get them to charge me the correct amount when I don’t have the proof to back it? I know it sounds crazy but I don’t want someone behind the counter at FedEx to lose their job over a mistake that was made that I’d like to make right.

Any suggestions?

Family, Random Act of Kindness, Surrogacy

Implant Time Again….

I received notification that my next implant will be either at the end of December or at the end of January. All depending on the schedule of the CReATe for the holidays. Jayde and I don’t do a “traditional” Christmas so even if I need to travel right over Christmas, all will be good.

Ronen and Gadi are Jewish so they don’t celebrate Christmas “traditionally” either so Jayde and I decided that we needed to have them partake in our “traditional” Christmas. Jayde and I, since she was two, have done the 12 days of Christmas with a little twist. I don’t get her 5 golden rings or 7 swans a swimming but what we do is get each other 12 gifts on a $120 budget. I set this budget 12 years ago now, I figured $10 per day would be sufficient because it would force me to be creative and I knew as Jayde grew that it would force her to be creative as well. There were many years that Jayde went “shopping” and I got some things that I really think she wanted more than I; but as the years have progressed, she too has picked up on my creativity and you’d be surprised at what $120 can get. Jayde is able to tell you each gift she receives during the 12 days, she has an entire day to enjoy it prior to moving on to the next day. Unlike Christmas Eve or Christmas day when kids open a pile of gifts as tall as the tree and don’t remember who they came from, what they opened 15 minutes ago and don’t really appreciate what the gift really was.

Over the years, Jayde has gotten gifts from a video camera to clothing items, from stickers to candy but after each day she says the same thing “How did you know this was exactly what I wanted?” This year is no different from the years past, she will receive some items that are way over the $10 daily spending limit but then on other days she will get something as simple as a bottle of tea or piece of candy. There is one difference this year, I’ve increased the budget to $150 from the 12 year budget of $120. What can I say, shipping costs have increased and the things I know Jayde would really want need to be shipped from some far off land. I’ve had to trade services, use money off coupons and work my magic this year to ensure that Jayde will once again get everything she wants without knowing what it really was that she wanted.

I will be sending our 12 days of whatever you want to call it for Ronen and Gadi to Ronen and Gadi in hopes they too get as much enjoyment from the little daily gifts as Jayde and I do.

December also starts our newest tradition of Random Acts of Kindness. Hoping that even the smallest gesture will encourage someone else to do for others.

Random Act of Kindness

Too Much Snow….

I know….I know….it’s where I live.  It’s inevitable to have loads and loads of snow with nowhere to really put it.  This morning when I went out side there was far more snow than normal and I kept thinking to my self “why is it again that I live here?”

The wind is blowing so hard I can hear it howling, snow is pelting me in the face but I plaster that fake smile on my face and grab the shovel and head out to the garage to start my car.  I noticed that my neighbors hadn’t shoveled in front of their garage yet so I walked on over and started to shovel there as well.  I don’t know my neighbors very well; they tend to stay to themselves most times.  I do however know they have eight children and they moved here from Somalia.  I really can’t imagine either; eight children or moving from the desert to this frozen tundra.  Maybe they will notice the nice deed and do the same for someone else, or just spend an extra few minutes with each of their children today.

Random Act of Kindness

The World’s Best Cookies (according to me at least)

My Grandma made these wonderful cookies while she had the Cafe that my mom now has. Every time I’d go visit my Grandma I’d want to hoard the cookies so I’d have some to bring home with me. I’d like to believe these are fat-free, calorie free, extremely healthy cookies….but then I remember I don’t live in my dreams and each cookie has a ton of calories and really isn’t all that healthy (except for Christmas when everything is calorie free).

I get asked at work quite frequently to make these cookies but the only way I know how to make them is in MASSIVE quantities. I really don’t enjoy rolling out cookies with a rolling-pin for five to six hours so I think I’ve finally figured out a much “smaller” version of the ever famous recipe. I tried it once this year and they turned out pretty good….not perfect but only having to roll out dough for two hours made up for the “pretty good”

3 Eggs
2 1/4 Cups of Granulated Sugar
4 Sticks of Butter (none of that fake stuff either – it needs to be salted butter)
2 Cups of Heavy Cream (again none of that fake stuff)
3 Teaspoons of REAL Vanilla (Vanilla Beans also work nicely)
4 Ounces of Disaronno Amaretto (VERY important ingredient)
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
6 – 8 Cups of Flour (just enough so you can roll the dough)

I roll them about 3/8 inch thick and then bake them at 325 until they are just starting to turn brown on the edges. They are meant to be a soft cookie, if you bake them until they are golden brown on the edges they won’t be very soft in the end.

I also frost these cookies once they are cooled. I just mix powdered sugar with Amaretto and it turns out wonderful. So this was my Random Act of Kindness for the day…..Jayde and I made cookies for the people at work that ask me for the recipe and now I am parting with the recipe. I sure hope one day Grandma will understand……

Random Act of Kindness

Going Postal…..

I was standing in line at the Post Office to purchase the rest of the stamps to mail my Christmas Cards and I decided I was going to buy a book of stamps for the next person that tried to purchase one from the clerk I was working with. When I told her of my plan you would have thought I was telling her that I was mailing something “potentially hazardous, liquid or flammable” from the reaction I received. She stopped me in mid sentence and said could you please wait a minute while I get my supervisor!

Really???? All I want to do is purchase a book of stamps, leave them here with you and have you ever so nicely give them to the next person that walks up to your station and says to you “I’d like to buy a book of stamps!”

The supervisor came over and I started my speech all over again…..”I would like to purchase three books of stamps, two of them are for myself and one I would like to purchase and leave here for the next person that asks for a book of stamps.”

Now instead of one confused person looking at me, I have two! I was told “Well Ma’m, that’s against our policy because….well it is.” I am now thinking if it’s against your policy can’t you give me a logical reason why it is against your policy instead of “well it is”…..geez these people were frustrating me.

So I started again…..”I am doing Random Acts of Kindness throughout the month of December and I know that Christmas is a stressful time for people and I would like to remove a little of the stress by doing something nice for someone else. Could I please just purchase a book of stamps and leave them with you, or just leave them here on the counter; on the customer side of the counter. If someone should happen to ask about these stamps that I leave on the customer side, you could just say that someone purchased them and wanted to leave them for someone in need.”

Now they understood…..”Oh you want to buy a gift for someone you don’t know?” My answer was “Exactly!” Then they proceeded to ask for my name, telephone number and address????? When I asked why they needed this information, they said in case someone who didn’t know me wanted to give me a “gift” for giving them a “gift.”

I wonder when I will receive my book of stamps in the mail?

Random Act of Kindness

Keeping Their Hands Warm….

I had actually put a lot of thought into this next Random Act of Kindness because I wanted it to be something that affected more than just one person. The more I thought the harder it became to come up with just one thing less than $10 that could affect many people. I came up with the idea of handing out hand warmers to the people ringing the bells outside by the Salvation Army Red Buckets during the month of December and now the hard part was going to be finding hand warmers for the masses for less than $10.

I started by looking at sporting goods stores and found they were about $3.00 each warmer, then on to gas stations where they were $2.99 each warmer all the way to Wal-Mart where they were $2.49 per warmer. This just wasn’t going to work for what I wanted to do. I was at Sams Club on Friday evening and I spotted a box of 28 Pairs of hand/feet warmers for $9.97. Perfect! I could now help 28 different people to keep their hands warm.

I let my friend Jen in on my little plan as she too was doing Random Acts of Kindness throughout the month and she was in on the plan. She too was going to hand out warmers along with me. When I talked to Jayde about it, she wanted to take it a step further and deliver Hot Chocolate, Cider or Coffee to all of the Bell Ringers. While I wasn’t able to deliver the beverages due to not having the right equipment we still had a great time taking around the hand warmers.

I never realized how hard it would be to actually find Bell Ringers standing outside! I always thought every store I walked into had them ringing loudly. Come to think of it, I can still hear the bells in my head. I drove from store to store only to find that the people were now inside ringing the bells and that this was going to be rather difficult. I did however find about 8 different stores where there were people standing outside ringing the bells along with Postal workers walking in the frigid North Dakota winter, the drive up grocery boys and a few homeless people to pass along my fortune to.

The reactions from all were priceless. I’ve never seen such excitement over a disposable hand warmer.