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Snow Day(s)!

February 27, 2015

Hi friends!  Thank you for all of your kind words about my last post– I was a little worried about putting all of that info out there (too many informations!), but I shouldn’t have doubted the response, which was so supportive and sweet.  Thanks for your comments, public and private.  As I said to many of you, this is a pretty sucky club, but it helps to know that I’m not the only member.

In other news: SNOW.  SO MUCH SNOW.  This is Alabama, right?

In other other news: I’m officially ready for spring.  Hopefully this was winter’s last hurrah.  It *was* beautiful though:

Dealing with Fertility Problems

February 18, 2015

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, unsure of what I wanted to say—or if I wanted to say anything at all.

I made the mistake of opening my big mouth last year and proclaiming that we’d be trying for a second child soon.  And honestly, if I could go back in time and keep myself from publishing that post, I would.  Because I feel like I opened up a can of worms when I wrote it—I felt so sure that having a second child would be as easy as it had been to have the first, and so I thought it was no big deal to share that we had our sights set on expanding our family in the near future.

Of course, now that it’s taking a lot longer than I’d hoped, I wish I’d just kept my big fat mouth shut.  It feels like a classic oversharer move:

The thing is, I don’t consider my blog to generally be a place of oversharing.  Sure, I’m open about my life (mostly my food) on here—it’s not like I’m keeping any big secrets from y’all.  Except for my heroin habit, but who wants to read about that?

But, again, I felt pretty safe posting about our desire to have a second child—I figured by the end of the summer (at the latest), I’d be pregnant.  I was open about it with friends and family too—I told one of my friends that if I wasn’t pregnant at her wedding in October then something had gone wrong.

Something’s gone wrong.

I wrote about going on Clomid here, so I might as well update you about that—it didn’t work.  I mean, obviously, right?  I had my doubts about it because I’ve never had ovulation problems (regular cycles, regular ovulation once I started tracking it, etc.), but my doctor also told me that Clomid can sometimes be helpful with unexplained infertility, so I was also hopeful. 

That’s the thing about where we are now—EVERYTHING feels like it might be the answer.  I get my hopes up by each new trick we throw into the hat, only to feel crushed when we pull out nothing again.  Clomid, accupuncture, hundreds (seriously) of dollars worth of supplements—they all get sold as some magic solution.  And the online forums don’t help, with each new person exclaiming that “x” worked for her—big fat positive right after we started using x! Baby dust, y’all!

And now the latest in our line of failed solutions: iui.  I finished my second iui (aka, the medical turkey baster method) last month, to no success.   Our doctor at the fertility clinic (did I tell you we’re going to a fertility clinic?  We’re going to a fertility clinic.  It’s forty minutes away from our house, so that’s fun.) said (again) that iui’s can be helpful with unexplained infertility.  And that’s the word that keeps coming up with us: unexplained infertility.

Which essentially means that they have no idea why this is happening.  We’re both healthy.  We’re both young.  My fertility doctor said, upon our first meeting, that he suspected Ryan was the problem (story of my life, right? Winking smile), but after giving his first sample, our doctor said that Ryan’s numbers and motility were fine—great, even.  So yeah…no reason for this, really.  Other than bad luck.

I think that’s supposed to make it easier—there’s nothing wrong with either of us.  But in some ways, I think it makes it harder—there’s nothing wrong with either of us, and therefore there’s no ideal solution.  It feels like we’re throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.  And none of it is sticking. 

Can you tell I’m feeling frustrated?

We’re going in for a third iui, and then our doctor said we’d sit down and talk again to discuss where to go from there if this one doesn’t work.  That’s scary to me, because I know the next step will probably be ivf, and neither one of us knows if we want to go there.  It’s expensive.  It’s invasive.  And frankly (and this is the big one), I don’t know if I could handle the disappointment if it didn’t work. 

I assumed that having a second child was a given, but I’m having to accept the fact that maybe it’s not.  It’s like an ulcer that I can’t stop pressing my tongue against—it hurts, but I can’t stay away from it.  My mind is constantly wandering to that place: what if we never get pregnant? I told Ryan that at some point, we have to decide when we’re going to be happy with what we have—one child that is healthy and happy.  Which is more than some people have, I know.  That’s the thing about secondary infertility—it makes you feel selfish and unappreciative.  It makes you feel stupid for thinking that because it was easy once, it would be easy again.  And it makes you feel guilty—guilty for not appreciating the baby days.  In some ways, I feel like I spent a lot of time wishing away Lila’s infancy—because she was a hard baby, and I was exhausted, and it never occurred to me that she would be the only baby we’d have.  I wish now that I had lingered in those moments—even the hard ones. 

It feels strange to be writing to openly about this—but at the same time, I know this is a struggle that many women go through.  I was shocked when my doctor told me how common it is for couples to struggle with having a second child, even if they didn’t have problems conceiving the first.  So I guess I’m hoping someone who needs this post will read it and feel not so alone.

Maybe even me.

V Day

February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Or, as my friend Liz Lemon would put it:

Indeed.

We’ve had a good Valentine’s Day over here so far—although it feels like the excitement of the actual day is nothing compared to everything leading up to it.  Lila has been doing Valentine’s Day crafts at school all week; we’ve been reading Valentine’s Day books since the first day of February.  Sometimes I think we do so much leading up to the actual holiday that when the day gets here, you’re just ready for it to be over.

Welcome to the most depressing Valentine’s Day post ever.

Anyway, we made these cute cookies for Lila’s school party, following this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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They were okay—they were really cute, but taste-wise, they were just okay.  I think I overbaked them a little bit, so they were kind of dry by the next day.  Not bad at all—just not the best cookie I’ve ever had.  But they *did* look cute, and Lila had fun rolling the dough balls in the sprinkles.  Very kid-friendly recipe!

Lila also made her own Valentine’s Day cards to hand out at school.  We went to Michael’s and loaded up on doilies, stickers, and glitter. 

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Ah, the first card.  When the mess was still contained.

I thought it would be a fun activity, but I soon realized

Lila lost interest after about four cards, and our kitchen spent the next few days looking like Cupid had thrown up everywhere.  Lesson learned.  Next year, we’ll buy cards like everyone else.

As for the rest of our day, it was pretty uneventful.  Lila had her party at school:

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…and Ryan sent me some flowers, plus some fortune cookies with personalized messages in them from one of the English clubs on campus—pretty cute!

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Last night, we ate veggie paninis and watched The Good Wife.  There’s your romance, folks.

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Have a good one!

Shaking Things Up

February 3, 2015

Hi friends—did January already come and go?  How did that happen?!?

Things have been busy here—Ryan has been out of town a bit and is tied up with a LOT of school stuff, and we both have really full teaching loads this semester.  Between all that and the regular day-to-day stuff that comes with having a toddler, we’ve felt a little frazzled.  Eh, it will pass.

Workouts have fallen by the wayside big time, largely because of our hectic schedules.  One thing I’m trying though?  A subscription to Daily Burn, a website that posts new workouts daily (get it?), most of which you can do really easily from your home with minimal equipment.  I’ve come to accept the fact that, despite my best efforts, making it to the gym is hard these days.  I’m hoping that bringing the workouts to my gd living room will at least remove *that* excuse from the (growing) list of excuses.  It’s also been nice to try some new workouts—I’m really bad about sticking with the same exercise (running, generally) over and over and OVER.  I’ve done some tabata-style workouts, a kickboxing workout, and an “animal strength” core workout (don’t ask) through Daily Burn, and have really liked all of them.  Plus, I have it in my head, I think, that workouts done at home aren’t as hard or “valid” as working out in a gym or running—but after the Tabata-style workout (it was from Bob Harper’s Black Fire series—how’s that for sounding intimidating?), I literally had trouble walking for three days afterwards. 

I’m also trying to get a lot of workout in for not a lot of time—did I mention we’re low on time these days?  I bought a box-step off of Amazon because it seemed like a lot of the workouts on Daily Burn use them, and we’ve been having a lot of fun with it—I mean, holy heart rate raiser, right?!?  Box jumps are no effing joke.

This morning, I used it to do a quick interval workout that I just kind of made up on the fly.  Here’s what it looked like:

1 minute Box Jumps (as many as possible)

1 minute Squats (amap)

1 minute Pushups (amap)

plank for as long as possible

I wrote my stats down as I went.  You know you have a toddler when you’re writing your workout down in crayon:

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I feel like this is a pretty weak base-point, but meh—it will be fun to try to improve those numbers.

After one round of this (with rest in between), I went out for a short run—1.4 miles, at about an 8:20 pace.  I’m usually a slow and steady runner—distance is a lot easier for me than speed—so pushing myself to go faster in a short amount of time is challenging.

When I got back from the run, I did about five more minutes of abs and box jumps.  Pretty good workout for about 25 minutes!

How do you shake up your typical workout routine?  Have you ever tried Daily Burn (or a program like it?).

xx

Lowest Key Birthday

January 21, 2015

Hi friends!  Yesterday was my birthday, and I think it was the most low-key birthday…ever?  Which was fine.  It’s all downhill after thirty anyway, right?

I went for a run in the morning:

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…and then headed up to school to teach.  After teaching I came home, read my book, and took a nap while Lila napped.  WATCH OUT, WORLD.  Thirty-two is going to be crazy.

I had a (small) glass of wine before taking Lila to our 6:30 Little Gym class.  Some things are totally necessary.  Like drinking a little before at toddler gymnastics class.

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Ryan teaches on Tuesday nights, but before he left for campus, he cooked a lasagna that we could have for dinner because, as he said, “You shouldn’t have to eat leftover vegetarian chili as your birthday dinner.”  Can I get that made into a t-shirt?

The lasagna was tasty:

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…and enjoyed with an episode of The Bachelor.  Pretty dang good birthday.  Hope you had a great day!

 

 

Sunny Days

January 19, 2015

Hey friends!  I’m working backwards here with pictures from my phone, so bear with me.  We’ve had a great long weekend of SUNNY weather– what a nice break!  Temps have been in the 50’s, the sun has been bright, and we’ve taken advantage of it all weekend long.  I just got back from a nice run– did the first three miles by myself, and then picked up the dogs at the house to walk a few more:

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Last night, I cooked up some vegetarian chili featuring beans and sweet potato:2015/01/img_4523.jpg

It was delicious, especially considering the fact that it was a totally “pulled from the pantry” meal.

Yesterday morning, we played hooky from church and enjoyed a beautiful hike instead.  Lila has become quite the little hiker.  The hike we chose was 4 miles total, and I bet she walked 2 of those miles on her own.  The rest of the time, she hitched a ride in the Ergo, which is still going strong.  The first time she hung out in it, I think she was about two weeks old,so it’s safe to say we’ve gotten our money’s worth.2015/01/img_4504.jpg2015/01/img_4488.jpg2015/01/img_4515.jpg

On Saturday, we hit up the Botanical Gardens.  They’re doing their “dog days of winter” special right now, which means that a part of the gardens (a giant open field in the back) gets turned into a dog park! They’ve added a dog agility obstacle course this year, which our dogs really had very little interest in…but Lila thought it was fun!

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Hope you’ve had a nice long weekend! Off to enjoy our day off work!

Lately…

January 15, 2015

Hi friends! Just playing a little bit of catch up over here.  The first full week of school is almost done– one down, fifteen to go.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’m teaching all five days of the week this semester, which is a bit of a shift– I’m not used to going up to campus every day!  Still, the reason I’m teaching all five days is exciting– when we first moved here, UAH barely offered anything in the way of creative writing.  The classes they had offered, in recent years, were offered sporadically (“I hope not sporadically!”) and without any real regularity.  And now, this semester, I’m teaching two sections of fiction writing– both of which have filled over capacity.  It’s nice to see the students excited about creative writing.  And it’s nice to teach fiction instead of freshman comp. :-)

Beyond teaching, we’ve been eating pretty healthy:2015/01/img_4364.jpg

I ended the holidays feeling like we (I) had indulged wayyyyy too much, so it’s nice to get back on the healthy train for a little while.  I’ve also managed to go to yoga for two weeks in a row, which must be a new record (sad but true).

Lila has been prepping herself for a marriage proposal from Prince Harry:

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And she also started taking classes at the Little Gym again after taking a break in the fall:

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And finally, Ryan went out of town last week and my mom came to help out with Lila.  We loved having her here– Lila is still talking about how much she misses Honey. :-(

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That’s about it for us– looking forward to the upcoming long weekend.  Hope you’re keeping warm!!

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