Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

This isn’t a subject I enjoy talking about.  It’s been an ongoing issue now for around 10 years.  My wife and I tried to get pregnant years ago to no avail.  It was obvious, looking back, there was an issue with one of us.  At the time, I was in denial.

I apologize in advance…the timeline of events will not be accurate.  Some of the details will also be incorrect.

After tests, it was determined it was my issue.  I had a motility issue.  My “swimmers” didn’t swim.  I had several test samples and my motility rate was anywhere from 0% to 9%.  I think the doctors told us at a minimum; it needed to be around 20%.  I did; however, produce far more than average.  So, how can you get to where you want to go when you are surrounded by a mosh pit.  That’s what I always said anyway.  I suppose that was my way of dealing with the fact “I can’t get my wife pregnant!”

We then started looking into medical procedures that would assist us.  We decided on intrauterine insemination (IUI).  This is the process of washing the sperm and shooting it directly into the uterus.  In order to improve our chances, my wife had to take daily shots and Clomid pills in order to mass produce eggs during ovulation.  Jennifer went thru a lot and I was shown a room and given a Home and Garden magazine to do my duty.  That’s not a lie.

We tried IUI several time and each time my boys failed to do their job.  Each time my wife would take it hard and I knew why.  Because I was failing her.  I could not get my wife pregnant, even with 21st century medicine and Home and Garden.

But, that didn’t mean we could not be parents.  Prior to getting married and talking about having children, my wife expressed an interest in adopting a baby girl from China.  She has always wanted to do that.  I had no problems with that.  We figured we would have 2 or 3, and then adopt down the road.

Because of my infertility issues, we decided we would look into adoption sooner, rather than later.  Ironically, my neighbor growing up (and a fellow Iowa State grad), worked at an adopting center in St. Paul, MN.  And even more ironic, she worked in the China department.  So, it was sign.

We went thru the process.  It wasn’t quick.  The process is very drawn out and expensive.  But, we took it in stride and eventually received a picture of our daughter.  It wasn’t long after that first photo, Jennifer was on a plane to China for almost two weeks to close the deal and bring her home.

We officially started our family and we couldn’t be happier.  However, we still tried getting pregnant.  We started a couple more IUI cycles until we finally, a couple years ago, decided to try in vitro fertilization (IVF), this is when eggs and sperm are brought together in a laboratory glass dish to allow the sperm to fertilize an egg.  In our case, they also did Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).  ICSI, is when they drill a hole in the egg and insert the sperm.  How small of a drill bit did they use?  They didn’t think my boys would be able to swim strong enough to drill thru themselves.  How can that be!  I am a 400 pound plus bencher!

This process, while improving the odds over IUI, is also far more costly and dangerous.  Jennifer would have to go under when they retrieved the eggs.  I was given a much more appropriate magazine this time and they also had videos.  After all, we went to Mayo Clinic for this, and they are the best in the world at treating the sick and their library of porn.

After a few days, we ended with five embryos; however, only a couple looked real strong.  They ended up inserting two of them.  They wouldn’t, out of ethical reasons, insert more than three.  That’s how the Octomom ended up with eight kids.

It didn’t work.  Failure again.  We haven’t tried a medical procedure since.  At some point, you have to just see the writing on the wall.  It was speaking real clear.  “You will never get your wife pregnant!”  That, and it’s very expensive.  I have come to accept the fact that there is something wrong with me and we can’t do anything about it.  I am not any less of a man because of it.

Even with my issues, this doesn’t mean we have to be a single child family.  So, my wife put us on the waiting list to adopt from the Marshall Islands.  In fact, a month or so ago, we got an e-mail telling us they are opening the Marshall Islands up for adoption again and they wanted to know if we wanted to remain on the waiting list.  So, perhaps one day we will have another child to add to our family….

…..On April 5, 2013, I watched and saw its heartbeat.

Don’t give up, don’t ever give up – Jim Valvano


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Posted: March 17, 2013 in Family
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  This weekend has been pretty uneventful.  We didn’t do much of anything.  I was able to work out both Saturday (chest and tri’s) and today (back and bi’s).

We watched the movie End of Watch on Friday evening.  I like it and Jennifer said she would have went to bed an hour into it if it wasn’t for the eye candy (Jake Gyllenhaal).  Whatever!  I actually really enjoyed the banter back and forth between Jake’s character and his partner Mike, played by Michael Pena.  It’s worth checking out, if you ask me.


Green Beer and Steak



On Saturday I destroyed a 20 some ounce porterhouse and four green beers.  I haven’t had a steak in some time and it was nice to be able to grill again.  I’m also not a big drinker, but the beers went down good.

Excursion Day!

Posted: March 11, 2013 in Family
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Excursion Day!  Jennifer got her hair done on Saturday.  Which looks fantastic, BTW.  While she did that, Mia and I went to the MN Zoo.  It was a nice trip for Mia and me.


Bald Eagle

She said her favorite animal was the wolves.  I am partial to the Gibbon’s, or flying monkey’s as I call them.  I love to watch them swing from branch to branch.  Unfortunately, those lazy bastards weren’t in the mood this weekend.  I enjoyed seeing the bald eagle, the national bird of the United States.  Such a big and powerful bird.  I also liked the wolverine.  He seemed very agitated and was pacing back and forth along the glass.


Miss Teen Minnesota

While we were at the black and brown bear exhibit, we ran into Myah Lanoux.  Myah is the current Miss Teen Minnesota.  We were lucky to be able to get a picture with the future Miss Teen USA.

Last night, the place we are getting our puppy updated the pictures.  They are 12 days old and already growing into big Saint’s.  We also learned that they are shipping a puppy on the plane, so they will be able to bring ours to us.  That will save us a 6 hour round trip, which is nice.


Fish Photo Bomb

Tomorrow is one of the best sporting days of the year.  NFL free agency starts tomorrow.  We should be hearing rumors shortly of what players the Vikings are lining up to meet with.  As I say every year…this is the year the Vikes win it all.  Skol Vikings!

Lions, Tigers and Flying Monkeys!

Posted: March 8, 2013 in Family
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What?  Pardon me if I continue to ask you to repeat yourself.  You see, I went to a concert last night and my ears are still ringing.  There was some head banging going on and I even noticed a small mosh pit.

ImageMia and her fellow 2nd graders had their winter concert last night and they sang a bunch of songs about snow flakes.  After the winter we have had…and how long it seems to have dragged on.  The last thing you want to hear is how wonderful snow and snow flakes are.  However, the kids did a great job.  Mia even had a small speaking part before the last song.  That, in its self, is a huge stepping stone for her.  She’s an extremely shy kid and she did a great job.  She spoke loud and clear.

Tomorrow, while Jennifer is getting her hair done…I think Mia and I will be going to the zoo to check out some of the inside exhibits.  We generally hit the zoo a few times in the summer; however, we typically stick to the outside stuff since the weather is nice.  This is a good chance to spend some time checking out the things we usually skip.  Flying monkeys…Here we come!

Oh…we had our annual gymnastics meeting with the Head Coach on Wednesday and Mia is being moved up a level this June.  She will be in level 4.  Wait, wasn’t she a level 4 last year?  Yes she was.  Every 8 years they change the compulsory routines in gymnastics nationwide with new and more challenging skills.  So, the former level 4’s, across the country, were reclassified as level 3’s (our gym labeled them Level 4-Training Team).  However, come the new season she will be bumped back up to level 4.

Albert Einstein was right

Posted: March 7, 2013 in Family
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Technology…what a wonderful thing.  It makes everything easier.  I have said for years the greatest invention ever was Tivo.  As a sports fan and someone that doesn’t miss a game;  Tivo offered me the opportunity to watch every baseball or hockey game in minutes, rather than hours.  Which, in turn, gives me the opportunity to spend time with the fam.  I think everyone wins.


Albert Einstein

That’s what I tell myself anyway.  Ironically, I saw this photo today on my facebook wall.  I have an iPad.  My wife has an iPad.  And my 8 year old daughter has an iPad Mini.  In addition, my wife and I both have iPhones.  All great inventions in their own right.

I’ve got apps for everything.  I have a facebook app, I have a twitter account, a youtube channel, a my fitness pal app, now a wordpress app and stupid addicting game apps.

It seems my life revolves around working my 9 hours a day, lifting weights, doing some cardio, shower, eat and trying to beat level 68 of Candy Crush.  I have to check my facebook to see what my “friends” are up to, did someone “retweet me”?  I got to know.  Who’s following my blog and what are they about?  Why can’t I beat level 68!?!

What kind of life is that and what kind of message am I sending my daughter?  Where is the interaction?  My daughter would rather sit in her room watching youtube videos than play outside.  That’s not her fault…it what she knows because it’s what she sees.

I think we need to put the iPad’s down and get back to old school family livin’.  Anybody know of an app for that?

Neverending Birthday Party – Part 2

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Family
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Finally Mia’s birthday is over.  Or should I say birthmonth and that is what it felt like.  We had her final party this past Saturday for her and her friends at the Holiday Inn swimming pool.  All together, 13 kids in a pool.  However, I must say they were all well behaved and I didn’t have to do any chasing around.

This week is going to be pretty busy.  We have a bit of a snow storm going on right now and it is supposed to go into Tuesday.  Mia has Gymnastics twice this week, rather than the typical three nights.  On Wednesday, rather than practice we have a conference set up with her coaches.  So, we should be finding out what their plans are for her for this upcoming season.  They will either be keeping her where she is at or moving her up a level.

On top of that she has a concert Thursday night for her school.  She also has a speaking part prior to one of the songs.  That should be interesting, as Mia is an extremely quiet and shy girl.  Except around us, that is.

Happy 8th Birthday Mia!

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Family
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8 years ago today, Mia was born in China. Since Mia has gymnastics tomorrow and that doesn’t get over till 7:45, we will be waiting to go out to eat until Thursday. Mia picked Red Robin for her birthday dinner and she’s excited to get her free ice cream dessert from there. We will also be meeting her at school to have lunch with her today….that is if I can free myself from work.

Happy birthday Mia, we love you.