The Boys Start Kindergarten at US

The first morning, when we arrived at the circle at US, as we hopped out of the car, Giles remarked, “Boy Mama why didn’t they take time to think through the parking?” I thought this was an amazing observation for a five year old. Don’t you think? Truth be told, after that initial glitch, everything has been uphill!

As we entered the building what we observed was teachers and staff outside welcoming boys to school with the typical handshake. It was quite striking. This simply handshake, right there on the sidewalk, was the beginning of my boys’ formal training at US! I did not realize it then, but in fact, my boys shook hands with the new head of school, Ben Rein, on that early morning on their very first day at University School! If I were to tell the truth, a tear dropped from my eye, just from seeing the sight of so many young boys shaking hands with their elders. This was acculturation in progress.

Week one at US is now complete and the boys are loving it! In fact, every night Giles comes home and tells me how much he loves US! Jarvie and Giles are in Mrs. Schreiber and Miss Bobnars’ class with 12 other boys. A few of the boys they knew previously from their travels. If first impressions can be trusted, all in all, it looks like a good fit.

The highlight of the week was definitely the Handshake Ceremony. The kindergarteners and all the new boys shake hands with everybody else in the University School Community. My boys shook some three hundred hands that morning as they were welcomed into the school. They were especially excited to shake hands with their cousin Ben, who is now in 7th grade. When Jarvie came eye to eye with Ben he melted into his arms. The thrill of Giles’ moment with Ben was caught on film.

On Thursday after school, the boys got in the car and reported they had learned that there would be a football game on Saturday at 1:00 PM at the upper school campus and they wanted to attend.

I was very impressed that my kindergartners could be told about an event with date, time and location and then accurately share that information with a request to attend.

After completing some fact finding and verifying their story, I made arrangements for the boys to attend their first US football game today with their nanny, while I attended a funeral for the father of a classmate of mine from Laurel, one of the other independent schools in the area. Indeed there were US alums at my function as well.

Did I mention that Giles are Jarvie a legacy boys at US? Well they are. Nothing like a bit of tradition! Their grandfather attended US, their three uncles, my brothers, attended US and I cross registered from Laurel! Let’s not forget Cousin Ben attends US. So there you have it.

Just to round out the week, there was a gala reception at one of the families’ homes welcoming all the parents of the kindergartners to the school. This was attended by parents, teachers and administrators. It was a truly phenomenal event! Think wedding, not get together! I was privileged to attend. It looks like I am really going to enjoy being part of this community! I am sure to have more to share with you regarding the boys’ experience at US at a later date!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Twin Surrogacy Boys
Written in My Little a Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Crowding Out

Crowding out is one of the themes that Joshua Rosenthal of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) discusses. Crowding out refers to the notion of eating so much healthy food that there simply is not enough room in your stomach to eat unhealthy foods. This actually really works.

Try to concentrate on having enough healthy foods each day so you don’t have room for unhealthy foods! When we eat at home we have much more control about what ingredients are actually in our food!

How would you go about crowding out? Start by bringing home only healthy foods and trying to limit the amount of times you eat out.

When you shop, try to purchase food from the perimeter of the grocery store, where more of the whole foods and less of the processed foods can be found. This will help.

Next, you actually have to prepare and eat the healthy foods! It simply doesn’t count to have kale and dandelion greens rotting in your fridge! You have to chew and ingest for the magic to take place! Take joy in the experimentation process here.

What does your intuition tell you is a good meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner today? Well now go to it and get busy and don’t forget to crowd out those unhealthy intruders!

Happy eating!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Wellness Coach from Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Primary Food

Exactly what is primary food? Joshua Rosenthal of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition contends that primary food nourishment is just as important as the nourishment we get from the food on our plates. Primary food is the nourishment we receive from physical activity, relationships, our careers and spirituality. Joshua contends that when these areas are out of balance that people often seek to rectify the situation through eating excessive amounts of food or by consuming more toxic food.

By comparison secondary food is the food we put on our plates. Most of us thought that what was on our plates was the totality of our nutrition, but Joshua extends that beyond the plate to reach into every aspect of our lives!

Have you ever noticed that you may seek out certain foods to comfort you when things have not gone as planned at the office or with one of your close companions, be it a family member, spouse, officemate or friend? Try to keep each area of your life in balance and the choices you make regarding the food you opt to eat will likely be better and more nutritious for you in the long run.

Do you feel you need less to eat when you are having a really good time? If you feed yourself through literature, a great chat with a friend, exploration out in the world, art, a good walk in nature, or swimming 50 laps in the pool are you more able to make good choices in the kitchen and at the table? If you are not sure, try it out. You just might make a $50 million discovery!

Well if it’s not worth $50 million, it may invaluable for your health and wellness and the health and wellness of those around you. Remember this stuff is catching and if you find the road to health you make take others with you on your journey whether they like it not!

Go on! Be a scientist. Check out your own anecdotal data! Just try to disprove the null hypohothesis!

Leap Into Action and Build a Better Body Today!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written at The Beach at Lake Morey Resort Fairlee, Vt

What is Bio-individuality?

So what is bio-individuality anyway? Bio-individuality is a concept developed by Joshua Rosenthal from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Bio-individuality suggests that “one person’s food is another person’s poison,” meaning that no one diet will work for everyone! Moreover, a diet that works at one age will not necessarily be appropriate or meet the demands of that very same person at another age. Likewise, what works in the summer may not work I the winter and vice versa! Consequently, at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Coaches are taught all of the 100 diets of the day,yet not taught to hold one in higher esteem than another.

The Institute further contends that more than respecting a specific dietary theory, it is important to respect each client and what they know about their own situation. They know what is nourishing to them as well as what doesn’t sit well with them.

Joshua states that our bodies are great computers. Left to their own devices they will correct themselves. He notes are bodies are so precise, we never forget to breathe and our hearts never stop beating until we die. He observes, “giraffes never go see giraffe doctors, when they are ill.”

This begs the question, what are we doing when we go to doctors and take their potions? What is all this madness we have been sold? Fact, fiction or just a bill of goods? Maybe we should just nuourish our bodies with the best produce and whole foods available and let things take their course. Some even contend food is all the medicine you need. Where you believe it or not it is good food for thought.

What do you know about your own bio-individuality? What diets might work well for you and which ones are simply not for you.

Ask yourself if you are ready to make a dietary change in the coming week? If yes, while honoring your own bio-individuality, write out a list of three things you could concentrate on and alter in the coming week. Follow what you already know would be a productive dietary shift for you. Then place this list in a prominent place where you will see it regularly to remind yourself of your resolve to make these changes for the next week. At the end of the week, surmise whether you generally stuck to the proposed changes. If yes, ask yourself if you feel any different. If you do feel different, is this a positive change? Then decide if you would like to continue On this journey toward health. What do you have to lose?

Let’s get going! Leap into action!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Wellness Coach from Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in The Movie Theatre at Lake Morey Resort Fairlee, VT

Building Better Bodies Rocks!

It’s a new business for me, but a worthy one. It falls in the eye of the storm of my greatest difficulty! You see I am 55, overweight and I can barely walk. I just had back surgery 10 weeks ago and I can’t say I am much better. Is it my knees? My hips? My muscles? Inflammation? I am not really sure, but if I lose weight I surely can’t hurt anything! If I can find a way to break through here, I know I can lead others to find their own truth, their own path to wellness.

In the US, 60 % of us are obese and even more are suffering from one form of illness or another, if not a whole host of problems, owing to the Standard American Diet (the SAD diet). We are eating ourselves fat and need to acknowledge that we can do the same in reverse and Eat Our Way Thin!

We need to get back in the kitchen and cook with love. What we cook in our own kitchens is far healthier than fare found in restaurants, hotels and clubs. We need to make the effort to be responsible to prepare our own food for ourselves, and our families. It just might be the most profound thing you do each day! Moreover, taking the time to connect and eat as a family is a time to exchange ideas and get support for difficult issues and problems. Don’t let our go-go lives degrade the simplest of time honored family rituals. Don’t forget to save time for dinner with the ones you love!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Wellness Coach from Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raisin Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in the Rented Lincoln Town & Country Minivan
While Watching Up at the Laundromat in Fairlee, VT

Me a Health and Wellness Coach?

That’s right! You heard it correctly. I am becoming a health and wellness coach and I want to walk the walk!

I am talking a year long class with Joshua Rosenthal through his Institute of Integrative Nutrition and if all goes well at the end I should look and feel better and then be able to coach you to do the same through my new business Building Better Bodies Rocks, where I will help people one person at a time to build a better body today!

Joshua believes in the ripple approach which refers to the fact that health can be catching and as I help you you will in turn help to promote wellness in others.

I know this to be true in my own family as while I improve my own diet I hope to improve the diets of my five year old twin boys, Jarvie & Giles, which can have profound effects on their overall lives and the lives of not only their offspring but also others they connect with in a meaningful way. It is really exciting when you think about it that way.

One of the thoughts from my recent modules at the Institiute for Integrative Nutrition is that the more you involve children in the cooking of the family meals the more they will be engaged in eating it. I am going to begin to employ this idea as soon as we get home from vacation. I really want them to embrace this change.

Even if only the meals at home are ultra nutritious, I will make a profound impact on their overall food choices just by modeling healthy eating in the home.

I am pledging to work on my dieting and play with healthy eating for one year from August 20th, 2015 through August 20th, 2016. So let’s see what happens.

I will be keeping you apprised of all of my trials and tribulations throughout the year kind of like Kiersty Alley of Jenny Craig, Queen Latifah for Jenny Craig, Marie Osmond for NutriSystem and Jennifer Hudson for Weight Watchers, except I will be manifesting Mark Hyman’s detox diet!

Wish me luck! I’m going to need it!

Mark Hyman’s Detox diet

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in the Rented Lincoln Town & Country Minivan
While the boys watch UP at the laundromat in Fairlee, VT

Hold on to Your Hats

Not so fast, that was just the retainer that I signed the other day!

These embryo donation / adoption agreements are boiler plated and sound a bit crazy given our particular circumstances. We want an open agreement and these have a gag rule, in which, if you talk openly to the newspapers, etc., you can be sued. Yikes!

Doesn’t make sense to me to be sued just telling your story, to whomever! Fortunately, my recipient and I are on the same page.

We are in the process of hammering out the details. Within a week or two everything will be signed sealed and delivered.

I am feeling so much better now about giving my snowflakes away. So glad peace and tranquility has arrived.

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Coach from Surrogacy Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written at Lake Morey Resort in New Hampshire

The Embryo Donation is a Done Deal!

In this very litigious world even handing over a few snowflakes must be attended by a few lawyers!

I have employed Tom Pinkerton and Michelle Keeyes at the Reproductive Law Center to oversee the contracts between me and my recipient regarding the donation and adoption of my remaining two embryos. My recipient has retained Steve Klein of Falletta and Klein.

I have signed on the dotted line and my egg donor has provided her John Hancock, enabling me to donate my embryos, thus giving them a chance at life. I am truly so grateful to my recipient for being ready to take the next step and attempt to help these embryos become babies.

It feels good knowing where the embryos are going and being allowed to hear the story as it plays out. I love that I already know, like, and trust my recipient. I am all for open donation and adoption of embryos and other genetic material.

My recipient and I began this conversation more than a year ago. I feel so fortunate to have made her acquaintance. We literally met in Target. First laid eyes on one another at Boston Market. What if we had gone to a different Restaraunts that night? What then?

I surely do hope they stick. I am secretly hoping she has twins. She is hoping to do the transfer the weekend of Labor Day. It is the same weekend she conceived with her son, who is now 4, soon to be five. So it’s meaningful to her. I hope she gets her way!

I’ll keep you posted.

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Coach at Surrogacy Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

My Son the Jokester

Giles sporting boxer briefs over shorts
Giles sporting boxer briefs over shorts

Giles will go along way for a laugh. He left the locker room at Purvis Park, our local swimming hole, with his boxer briefs over his shorts. They match so darn well it almost looks like one pair of shorts. But no, that’s my five year old trying to make everyone laugh with a new look. I must admit, I didn’t even notice until my babysitter Sascha pointed it out. I truly wonder whether he’ll be a comedian one day!

Traveling with Newborn(s)

A great deal of thought went into the notion of how I would get my little ones home to Cleveland after their birth in San Diego.

Really, we went through several gyrations. My father thought we should rent a private jet and a neonatal nurse and make the journey that way. I thought that was massive overkill. I’d prefer to use money for care during the coming years, instead of using so much for that one brief experience.

I considered driving briefly, until I got my head screwed on right that is. Can you imagine several days driving with screaming babies who want to be held. What if something went wrong with the car and we were in the middle of East Jesus? What then? Complete nightmare.

In the end we travelled first class. We dropped off the rental car, took two planes and a limo to get home. I tell you what, it was a long day.

Just preparing for the journey was something. My friend Frank, who I first met when I was 13, was fearful of going first class because he worried about disturbing people who paid so much money for their tickets. He just didn’t want babies to cry out in stereo and ruin everyone’s flight. Moreover, there was a little problem in that we couldn’t get 4 seats in a row, with the aisle in between. Something told me these problems were small potatoes. Thank goodness, I knew this implicitly upfront. Things always have a way of working themselves out.

After booking the flights, I went out to purchase a few additional pieces of luggage to carry all the babies possessions. They were just 18 days old, when we were released from the NICU.

We travelled out the next day. Both boys were less than 5 pounds and all of 17 inches long. We were going to be traveling with little ones, with a lot of gear!

Our day started at 3:30 AM Pacific Standard Time. I had to get up, feed, and change the boys. Then pack out of the Catamaran Resort and Spa in Mission Beach. I highly recommend it!

We had to return our car and make our way to our airlines front desk. We had strollers and bottles and laptops. We had car seats and formula, and changes of clothes. We had luggage for ourselves. We’d been there for about a month. First waiting for the boys to be born. My surrogate had false labor. The initial contractions came early and the docs wanted to do everything they could to keep the boys inside as long as they could. In the end, they came a few days later and 8 weeks early. So even with the two of us and the two of them, it was like a Filini movie getting through security. Literally everything had to be scanned. Can you imagine what a drag it would be showing up after us in the security line. Good grief!

Once at our gate, I made sure to make quick friends with a few stewardesses who were traveling on our flight, not to work, but to get from one place to the next. That bit of time surely paid dividends. I explained our surrogacy story and they gooed and gawed over the babies.

Once on the plane, these same ladies took care of business. They simply asked a few people in first class if they would be willing to move, so we could all sit in one row. Everyone was especially accommodating. How could you not be, especially with Frank cracking jokes and cheering everyone up?

As luck would have it, not a peep out of the babies from San Diego to Houstan. Everyone pretty much got up and gave us a standing ovation. These little pip squeaks had been wonderful.

Now for the coup de gras. We had a connecting flight in Houstan. I must admit I was terrified regarding how far we were going to have to travel to get to our connecting flight within the airport. For goodness sakes the Houstan airport is like a small city!

Guess where we had to go? Our connecting gate was just across the aisle! Amazing. If ever there was a time I did not want to hoof it from one wing to the next, this was it, and my wish was granted. We merely shasayed across the aisle.

And pretty much the same thing happened. Space was cleared for us, in first class to travel comfortably together. The babies performed the same miracle again. Not a peep out of them. Sure I fed them, and burped them, and changed them, but no fussing whatsoever. Phenomenal!

Then we had to collect our bags and off we went to the limo that was waiting for us! The first sound out of one of my sons was at 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Jarvie had spit up and his clothes needed to be removed. He didn’t seem to care for the March cool air. Once he was re-bundled, we were in route for my home and no more distress was apparent.

We made the whole journey, 14 hours, without any major meltdown or malfunction. It was truly our lucky day. I’d say the Travel Gods were definitely with us that day!

I can only wish you as much of an uneventful trip when your turn comes around. Just remember, be kind to others. Share your story. It is fascinating. Then hopefully, you will be treated with kindness. It does take a village! Don’t be afraid to open up to your village, then you can feel it’s warmth. Bon voyage!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Coach from Surrogacy Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio