Making a Baby

GCCjr, Embryo Version

GCCjr, Embryo Version 1,2, & 3

Do we want to have a child?  We discussed this topic many times over the years.  For a long time we both thought the answer was no, but… then things like maturity, love, and a strong relationship happened

Like most people, we knew how to make a baby the old fashioned way.  But no matter how hard we tried (or how many times), it just wasn’t happening.  Perhaps this had something to do with the vasectomy I had about 12 years ago?

Determined to extend our family, we explored our options, comparing costs, success rates, and convenience factors.

Although we had health insurance at the beginning of our journey, it seldom (or never) covers the costs of infertility treatment, so cost efficiency was important.  Why pay more than we had to?

Here are the results of our path to pregnancy

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The $7,000 Baby

Somewhere in the deep recesses of childhood memory, I vaguely recall a fuzzy black & white Lee Majors sprinting across the television screen at incredible speed in the TV show The 6 Million Dollar Man.

We Can Rebuild Him

We Can Rebuild Him

For the unfamiliar, Majors played Steve Austin, an astronaut who was severely injured in a test flight of an experimental aircraft.   Rebuilt by the government with a bionic body, he had superhuman strength and speed, infrared and zoom vision, and the greatest in 1970′s fashion.

The total cost of this life-saving operation? 6 Million Dollars. That’s a lot of money to create one amazing human being. With inflation, that 1973 procedure would cost more than $33.5 million today. Or would it?

Over the past few months, using the latest in modern technology, we have managed to create an amazing little human of our own at an expense of slightly less than $7,000 (although certainly that is only the down payment)

That’s right, Winnie is pregnant!  We are both pretty excited

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A Taiwanese Dental Visit

It’s that time of year again, time to give the teeth a little tender love and care.

Taiwan is the 4th country in which I’ve visited a dental office, and this one looked much like the others.  The diploma on the wall from The New York University College of Dentistry could have been on the wall of any dental office in any town in the United States. The Chinese calligraphy too

Take a Seat Please

Take a Seat Please

The cleaning was quick and efficient, and personally taken care of by the dentist himself. He found a missing filling and another two 10-year-old fillings with small cracks in them. This was explained in perfect English, but a high-res camera let me see the cracks and the diagnosis clearly first-hand

A week later I had these 3 fillings replaced. It was quick and painless, both physically and financially

The total cost for a cleaning and the replacement of 3 fillings was less than the $250 my old US dentist charged just for a cleaning.

Until next year

Office visit fee: 250 TWD ($8.50)
Cleaning fee: 800 TWD ($27)
Cost of each filling replacement (x3): 1200 TWD ($40)

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An Excellent Session of Cupping Therapy

For years, I would sit at work with hunched shoulders, counting our dollars and contemplating our early retirement and world travel plans

No longer do I obsess about the value of our portfolio, but I have yet to completely shake the Mr. Burns hunch.  Sometimes after long guitar sessions, writing a blog post, or hours of practicing Chinese writing, I can feel that old work tension creep into my shoulders and upper back

This Guy Needs a Massage

This Guy Needs a Massage

Doing a little yoga or getting a massage helps, but some of those knots are deep, built up over years. It isn’t something a 90 minute massage is going to completely work out

So I decided to give something else a try… so I signed up for a session of Chinese Cupping Therapy.  When in Rome…

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Another 3 Meals in Taipei, Taiwan

Exploring the numerous Taipei dining options is a big task.  Thousands of restaurants, food carts, and street vendors offer nearly every dish from across the globe, making it possible to have a hamburger, hummus, and haggis all in the same day.

Buy we are in Asia, so let’s feast Asian style!

Here are 3 more great meals we’ve shared in Taipei

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The Cost of Traveling the World (June 2014, Taipei, Taiwan)


Taipei National Music Hall

June was a month of adventure, of both the intellectual and physical varieties.

I enrolled in another semester of intensive Chinese language study, and continue to play guitar daily.  Winnie is diving deeper into oil and Chinese water color painting, calligraphy, and the flute… so much so that we made some additional capital investments in this area.  We are now the proud owners of a $10,000 hand-made silver flute (purchased used for $3k, naturally.)

We also dedicated one fine evening to music appreciation at the National Music Hall, listening to guest flautist Denis Bouriakov play with the Taipei Philharmonic.

In the physical realm, we went to the coast with friends to enjoy a little swimming at the Dragon Hole, and I went on a 10-day bike ride around the island.  Since this was the first time we’ve been apart since beginning our travel adventures, I left a little surprise for Winnie at home.

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It’s All Chinese To Me

Oh yeah, give me some of those dumplings

Oh yeah, give me some of those dumplings!

“I’d like some dumplings, please.”

“Why, are you tired?”

“What?  No, I’m hungry.  I just want to buy some dumplings.”

“But I sell dumplings, why would I want to buy some?”

“Arghhhh!  Forget it, just give me some noodles”

Learning Chinese is difficult enough without having to do so on an empty stomach.

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The Cost of Traveling the World (May 2014, Taipei, Taiwan)

How much did you spend?  "Thiiiisss much!"

How much did you spend? “Thiiiisss much!”

In Taipei, April showers bring… May showers. And despite what stoic characters in Game of Thrones might have to say, summer is coming.  In Taiwan that means heat, humidity, and typhoons.  In other words, it means we should get out of town, but no…  the gluttons for punishment that we are, we have decided to stay another few months.  I’ll be studying Chinese for another semester, and Winnie will be continuing her pursuit of the arts

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