Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do I scare people?

No one ever wants to think that they, themselves may have something to do with other people's fears. I've never intended to scare anyone, but it's come to my understanding that even without trying to ( actually, doing my best NOT to), my experience with baby loss has had an impact on those around me who are trying to conceive and those who may also be pregnant and expecting.

I don't like that one bit. I have had multiple friends succeed in getting pregnant (so many in fact, I lost count long ago) and delivering healthy babies since our initial loss. I've got a couple of friends who, like myself, can't just wink at my husband and pop out a baby 9 months later..They too understand the 2 week wait and the anxiety it entails. I've got three friends who have had stillborn daughters, and a handful who have had complications but went on to deliver otherwise healthy children.

I keep tally, cause I'm like that. I may curse statistics, but I still obsess over them.

What I didn't understand, in writing about my loss on my blog, was that it may affect those I care about per chance that they get pregnant. No one has said anything to me about it, but I started thinking about it today, and how naieve most pregnant couples are, but those around us..those who supported us through our loss ( me moreso than my husband--because he "got it" even way back then--that we needn't scare others just because we had bad luck...too bad it has taken me 18 months to come to the same realization) are acutely aware that things can go wrong..and I feel responsible for the loss of their naievity during their pregnancy.

Should I feel responsible? There is no way to really go back and "eat my words" and I really think blogging has helped me cope and get through the stages of grief in a healthy way. How do I shield those around me from letting my experience have any weight on theirs? Am I being too hard on myself?

This is just one of those things, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. To blog about it or not to blog about it? Either way, even if I didn't talk about it to anyone, those who did support us through our loss would still be aware that losses do happen, so maybe I am just being hard on myself.

My question...Any other baby loss mom's struggle with the idea that your experience and talking about it may taint someone else's naievety during pregnancy? Or do you think "hey, it's just a fact of life--deal with it?"

Edit: After this blog was first posted, I received an e-mail from one of my college bestie's, childhood besties, who reads my blog with lovely note about how it got her thinking...and in turn, she blogged about "The Other Side" and wanted to link to this post. In turn, I would encourage readers to check out Jenn's post for a view from a woman going through pregnancy, and the feelings she has after being surrounded by loss.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Buon Apertito

Instead of posting a whole slew of photos, I made a slideshow to one of my all-time favorite songs by George Strait. Thanksgiving 2010 was our first attempt at hosting supper for the Zentils, Aguirres, Santanas and Vendrame's..and it was a success, with only one small hiccup, that caused us to go hopping the fence to our neighbors to cook the ham in their oven when we realized our bottom "oven" is a broiler, not another oven.

Everything went smoothly, thanks in part to our organization and kitchen stadium dodging of one another in the kitchen. We stayed on track all day, with the help of a timetable that we outlined earlier this week. Hey we may be geeks, but it de-stressified the entire experience to the point that if asked to do it again next year, we'd jump at the chance.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stumbling into the Holidays

photo courtesy of

Ever since NZ returned from India, we've been go..go...go, with every single weekend filled with some sort of to-do from our list...As soon as he got home, we went to Santa Barbara for a weekend get-away, the next weekend was Halloween with friends, then the next weekend we went to San Diego..I think you get the picture..

All of a sudden, my birthday came and went without much hurrah. It's okay, I didn't want much of a fuss, and believe it or not, I requested NZ NOT make a cake for me this year. This totally broke the tradition of our relationship. Every year since we have been together, he has surprised me with some sort of cake. This year, however, I just wasn't feelin it. Instead we had icecream sundaes ( minus the fudge, but in lieu of fudge, my sis-in-law made some to-die for cookies) with my husband's brother and wife.

And now we're prepping Thanksgiving supper, our first one in our house even though we have lived here three and a half years. It dawned on me today that we have just stumbled into the Holidays..the same holidays that saw me at my lowest point of grief last year..and this year, staring down the barrel of Christmas upon us, I think I'm doing alright. I can't even describe how much different I feel this year, and really, what has changed, except for the passing of time.

I'm relieved. I think that despair is one of the worst feelings in the world, aside from deceit, and I have to admit, I had both despair and deceit last year, feeling like my little girl and my dreams were taken from me. I felt decieved by everyone who told me things were going to be okay with my pregnancy, and when things didn't go as planned, I was mad at those people.

I'm over those deep dark feelings for the most part, now. I have hope again. I am thankful for the ability to acknowledge that I am moving forward, and I am thankful for some of the opportunities that Nick and I are able to take advantage of. I am thankful that time has helped heal my broken heart, although there is a piece that has been taken and will never be replaced.

Who knows what the future has in store for my husband and I, and our journey to adding to our family, but I do feel quite fortunate to be able to look forward to the holidays with hope and happiness again.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On my doorstep

We had a note from UPS on our doorstep earlier this week, indicating that they had a delivery for us, which would need to be signed for by persons over the age of 21. Nick and I looked at each other and wondered which one of us ordered something and forgot about it..What on earth could it be?

So, today, after a horrendous workday ( my own fault, no one else's..damn hormones!), I schleped myself over to the UPS station and signed for our package.

I looked at the box to see if it indicated who it was for.

Nick & Brie Zentil

Hmm..okay, so it obviously wasn't something either of us ordered, but who could it be from?

I opened it up, while in the UPS lot ( I am impatient, if you didn't already know!) and smiled for the first time today.

Inside the box was a bottle of GUFO wine, and a wonderful little note from my dad's cousin & his wife. They have a vineyard in the Santa Cruz mountains and they sent us a bottle of their Pinot to share with our family on Thanksgiving since they heard that Nick and I are hosting this year.
How sweet is that?

Tonight, I am thankful for my family and it's deep roots.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chevron Pillow Cover

I have had an infatuation with the simplicity of the chevron design since first seeing this photo from Jess at make Under My Life

She has a tutorial on how she made these canvases, and I adjusted them to substitute a 20x20 inch piece of muslin instead. I used my current favorite accent color, burnt orange ( perfect for Fall, right?) and got to painting my fabric with fabric paint.

[My chevron pillow and it's striped partner]

A simple envelope back to my pillow with muslin, and I have a new pillow cover, just the way I wanted it. My motto is becoming..."Can't find it? Make it."

The best part?

It was cheap!

The Cost breakdown: $1.49/yd of muslin + fabric paint $1.99= A new pillow cover for under $4!

Iron Me Pretty

I gave my old delapidated ironing board a make-over last night. Believe it or not, I love ironing. I even iron my pillowcases and flat sheets when I have time. The crispness is freshly ironed sheets are to die for. You should try it sometime. You will be hooked too.

It took about 30 minutes, and it was a free project since I was re-purposing some extra fabric from a Kingsize Duvet cover that I cut down a while back. It takes about a yard of cotton fabric to make a cover for a fullsize ironing board.

To make: I removed the rope that was encased and laid the previous ( hello's that for dating an instyle ironing board?) cover on top of my pressed fabric. I didn't even use chalk to trace, I simply cut around the old cover with 2 inches added. I then removed the old cover and pinned the new cover edges in with a 1 in. seam allowance.I then sewed the 1 inch casing with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying if I ever decide to wash the cover ( which I probably won't, but just in case) and left an opening of 2 inches at the top end of the board to thread the rope through. Just slip a safety pin on a knot at the end of your rope and ease it through the casing. The next step is easy...just slip the cover on your ironing board ( replace the foam if it is all old and wrinkly) and pull both ends of rope so that the cover cinches around the board. Tie a bow or a not in the end and you're done! Now get to ironing!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A few good Women

My goal as a gymnast, was not to go to the Olympics, but instead to stretch my career as long as I could--with an ultimate goal of competing at the collegiate level. I had been riddled with injuries throughout my career ( which gymnast hasn't?) with the worst of the lot being a fractured back Freshman year...But, for me, there was no option. Gymnastics was life. There was no offseason, there was no other option. Eat, Gym, Sleep, Repeat.

Did I miss out on High School football games? Dances? Parties? You bet, I did.

But, the important thing is I didn't feel like I was missing out, because I was doing something I loved, and had a great group of friends on my gymnastics team...Besides, I got to travel, compete and see things that other teens my age were missing out on.

[hmm, go to a high school party vs. competing in the Bahamas?]

Well, I finally somehow finagled a spot on a collegiate gymnastics team. In August 1995, at age 17...I moved to UCDavis for summer training. There were 7 of us fresh faced freshies. The older girls who had apartments and houses each took a few freshmen on and we stayed with them until the dorms opened.

Little did I know that the girls I met that first day of summer training would end up being like sisters to me. We learned the ropes of bike riding to campus together on big ol hoopty bikes with wide handlebars, found out where the best bagels and smoothies were, and how to keep our backs from getting bike stripes in the rain.
[95-96 Freshman class]

Our team was like a sorority, only minus the cattiness. We all pulled for one another, whether it be to eek out the last tumbling pass on floor, or to help study for an O-chem test that was next to impossible to pass. It was a built in sisterhood, made of girls from all over the place, with gymnastics being the common denominator. We'd plan our class schedules together, so that we could have study groups together to complete homework assignments.
[Note writing in anthro class? Guilty. ..Evidence above]

Who am I kidding???We'd just schedule classes together so we could sit in the middle of the lecture hall, writing silly notes and pictures back and forth until one of us ended up laughing out loud, or in one instance, choke on a carrot stick while eating in a class where food and drink were prohibited. In my friend's defense...we had classes all day, then practice from 2-6 p.m. with a lecture from 7-10 p.m...We were training athletes and had to find sometime to eat a makeshift dinner..Heaven forbid she eat carrots in class!

Once Freshman year was over, most of us moved into apartments together. I lived with 2 other teammates, Missy aka. Pissy Sue ( How affectionate, I know.. She called me Beavis, so it's even), and shared a room with Dawn aka. Mac or Becca (don't ask). Some of the other freshman also moved in together in an apartment that some of our older teammates moved out of. They passed the torch, so to speak.

I guess what I am getting at is that I love the sisterhood that was formed on our gymnastics team. Most of us have all stayed in touch in day to day life, with at least a couple of our teammates, and all of us are on facebook, so we're all in touch in that sense. Many of us have stood as bridesmaids in a teammates wedding (or two or three), taken fresh cooked meals to those who have just become new parents and driven 50 miles to give someone a hug who most desparately needed a shoulder to cry on...Many of us have had heartbreaks and hardships, ups and downs, and we all have those one or two teammates from the UCD team that we know we can call on and count on for support.

[1996 team by yours truly]

I love the fact that it's been a good 12 years since I was a member of that team, and I still feel like we could all get together for a reunion and start right back up where we started... So many good memories made with A Few Good Women.

Monday, November 8, 2010

San Diego

Nz and I took a quick trip ( there and back within 36 hours) to San Diego this weekend to see some of my favorite people, ever...who happened to be vacationing in California this week. We had a great time catching up, and making new memories with big thanks to Liz for setting up a sunset sail through . The boat carried 6 guests, and we made up four and a half amongst ourselves. We poured ourselves some cocktails, and enjoyed the ride.
[Adult beverage time]
[Me & my sunshine]

[Fully bouyant Karsyn]

[Liz & me..Love this crafty bee]
All I could keep thinking as we were looking at the San Diego skyline, was that stupid Ron Burgandy sign-off..."Stay Classy, San Diego..."

P.S. Check out all of Liz' projects on her blog, A crafty bee. Just another reason she's one of my favorites! We could craft hours on end together!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Woe vs. positive me

As I lay in bed last night, NZ reminded me that it's almost my birthday. My first thought was Oh yes, another reminder that I am getting older..tick tick tick, damn biological clock..One year closer to being considered advanced maternal age (which HELLO! There are women in their 40's conceiving so I technically have time left, but not without being considered even more hi-risk than I already will be right off the bat). I started to reflect on the year since my last birthday, as I often do as another one draws near, and was close to chalking it up as one of the $hitt!est ones yet. This was the woe-is-hormonal-me thinking..because as I laid there trying to chalk up my laundry list of "bads", I only came up with one. And ya'll can guess what that was...Yup. The "I'm-the-only-woman-in-the-world-who-is-not-pregnant" cop-out.

Then positive me kicked in (thank goodness!) and went through a mental list of good thingssincemy last birthday..We found a wonderful RE who has taken us under his care and is helping us get where we want, he diagnosed a potential cause for the loss of Denise and my other two pregnancies, we have a home, both my 'ol man and I have jobs (with as much security as one can have these days), NZ got the opportunity to take on a challenging task in India, and came home, safe and sound with more experience under his belt, we had a marriage in the family, we spent vacation time with family.. Our family members, for the most part are healthy. No cancer this year, no major illnesses, and that is something to feel good about, and I do. I most definitely do.

So right then and there, lying in bed, nearing my 33rd birthday, I realized, that even if we never have our own biological kids, I am happy with the life I live. I'd be hard pressed to live without my husband by my side, or my family nearby..without them, I'd struggle..but as for now I have to let myself feel complete, whether kids are in the cards for us or not. I can not let the lack of being pregnant outweigh everything that is good around me, cause I am sure there are a lot of people out there who are down and out and see us as the luckiest people in the world--you know, having a roof over our heads and stuff.

Time to be Thankkful for the day to day stuff.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cowgirl & Nerd: Part 2

NZ and I were invited to join some friends at a local bar for Halloween this year. It's been at least half a decade since we last dressed up. I had a tarty little number in the hall, reminicent of Carmen Miranda, but OMG, too much skin! I can't believe I ever galavanted around town in that thing. Cute, yes. Appropriate for me to wear now? Hardly.

{Halloween 2010}
So, after my spirits of being Carmen Miranda were dashed by my body's inability to look 25 again, I started searching my closet for other "free" costumes, and decided I would be my old go-to...A cowgirl. I owned everything but the boots..which, I borrowed from our 12 year-old neighbor who was all excited that we have the same size foot.

{Haaay-ayyy, we're here...arriving at Bogey's}

NZ decided to use his old go-to, and dress as a nerd. He upped the ante this time, by adding some perfectly geeky accessories. New glasses, complete with tape on the bridge, and a dangling piece of toilet paper from his shoe. I couldn't stop laughing at this costume, however, between you and me, I LOVE GEEKS. He's really something special!

{Protect your pockets}

{hey man, You've got something on your foot}

And here we are, nerd and cowgirl back in the day...Lovin my shirt and his pants..and where on earth did I get red pants?

Halloween Candy Brittle

A little late posting, but I found a cheater's recipe for a fun Halloween treat. My definition of a cheater's recipe is one that requires mixing a ton of store bought ingredients and requires no baking skills whatsoever...This treat is definitely for the non-bakers out there.
Line a shallow cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or wax paper
spread out 3 handfuls of pretzels, 1 handful of nuts ( any kind), 1/2 c. raisins, a small bag of candycorn, 1 c. broken up oreo pieces, an individual size bag of reeses pieces (or m&m's) and coconut. And oh yeah, I crushed up a butterfinger somewhere in that mix too..Really, anything goes.
Melt a bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave on low heat. Zap for 30-45 sec intervals till melted. If too thick to pour, add 1 TBSP. of oil to the melting chips and stir. Pour over the cookie sheet covered in candy and pretzels to coat. Use a silicone spatula to spread the white chocolate over the entire sheet. Let set & cool for 1 hour. Break apart into bitesize pieces and serve.