Archive | July, 2011

Seven

27 Jul

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqWLpTKBFcU

“No one ever said it would be this hard” – Coldplay

Today marks the beginning of our 7th month trying to have a baby.  It’s been a bad day.  I’m frustrated.  I’m angry.  I’m sad.

We spent so long trying not to have a baby.  We were so careful because we knew we wouldn’t have been good parents then.  We didn’t want to be parents.  We didn’t have steady income, didn’t have our degrees, didn’t have space, didn’t have time, didn’t have the desire to parent.  Now, we have all of those things.  And no baby.

I look at all the women around me who never had to try to have a baby.  Women who got pregnant on accident or on their first try.  And I’m so jealous.  And then I’m angry at myself because I have so much to be thankful for.   I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful family, a place to live, fabulous friends.   But we always have a tendency to look at what we don’t have, don’t we.

I’m trying to keep myself busy now.  I’ve remade quite a few dresses and shirts that I don’t wear lately.  I just got our new dog collars listed in our store.  I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I always try to read books before the movie comes out.  I like to critique them. 😉  It was a good book.  I’ve really gotten into African American lit since I took Kim Ruffin’s Af Am Lit class last spring (and aced it 😉 ).  I re-read The Hunger Games trilogy in anticipation of the movie that comes out next year.  I think that might be up there with my favorite series ever.  I like that there’s no magic, no mystical figures.  I like that the main character is an average person with obvious flaws.  Right now, I’m reading Inconceivable by Carolyn and Sean Savage.   They underwent IVF for their very last baby only to find out another couple’s embryo got implanted by mistake.  Oops.  It’s a really good book though.  It’ll make you pretty weepy.  I think that brings my grand total for the summer up to 10 books.  I need to keep reading though.  Books help me stay busy.  Betty White’s autobiography is up next and I’m sure that will keep me entertained. 😉
Meanwhile, my grandmother is coming to visit on Friday.  She’s teaching my sister, Becky, and me some fabulous cooking tips, since the two of us are pretty incompetent in the kitchen. I know, Mom, we can read recipes…. 😉  I’m hoping cooking with her will give me another hobby to hop into.  Poor Jeremy doesn’t always get the most nutritious dinners…
After she leaves, I’m heading up to Wisconsin to visit Jessica and Tyler for a couple days.  Here’s hoping for an early labor, Jess. 😉

I need more distractions.  Teaching is going well and my knitting class is scheduled to start in September.  Becky, my mom, and I might be taking a ceramics class at the community college this fall too.  I’m really looking forward to that.  I love ceramics and I love spending time with my sister and mom.

I’m trying to focus on the positives.  I’m trying to stay optimistic.  It’s not abnormal for young couples to try for a year before they get pregnant.  Plus, I just ordered a fancy digital ovulation kit via Amazon.  Technology and science are on my side. 😉

And so, here’s a brand new chart, for a brand new month.  Anything can happen…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As of Today…

19 Jul

*Beautifulness*

Look at that pretty chart! 😛  We’re 4-5 days past ovulation today. Beautifulness.  I’ve been reading another blog lately, get in my [lemon]belly.  She’s doing clomid and intrauterine insemination (IUI).  I feel for her.  I’m also thankful we’re not at that point yet.  It’s got to be incredibly difficult. 😦  Le sigh…

This past weekend was good though.  My little brother, Alex, turned 15 on Friday.  I kind of can’t believe it.  I feel like he should either be a little kid still or be a lot older than he is.  He’s a good kid. 🙂  We went to Six Flags in Gurnee, IL to celebrate.  My niece, Calli, and I stuck with the spinning rides while everyone else went on the coasters.  I think we did the tea cups 5 times.  We ❤ spinning rides.  No one else can stomach them, so we’re amusement park buddies.  She’s 6 by the way. 😉  As soon as I can get her to go upside down, she’ll be my Zipper buddy too.  Love that ride, but never have anyone to go on it with me.  So sad.

Sunday, I went with my sister and Calli to visit the new puppy they’re adopting in a few weeks.  He’s a medium, black goldendoodle named Mr. Smith.  He’s adorable!  I’ll be trying to talk Jeremy into a standard size until we buy a house. 😉  I would really like a dog.  I love our cats, obviously, but since I’m home so much I wouldn’t mind having some company.  I’ve been stuck on wanting a poodle for years and years.  They make awesome guard family dogs. 😛  But goldendoodles have all the great qualities of poodles, plus they’re faces aren’t quite so scary and pointy, which was always the major negative in poodles for me.  We’ll see.  I have some time to bribe, throw a fit, sneak, insist, do it anyway, have an adult conversation with Jeremy about getting a dog. 😉  I’m hoping he LOVES Mr. Smith.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning and sewing lately.  I’ve got to keep our upstairs areas as clean as possible now that allergy season has come in full force.  I’m feeling ok. Just a little congested and head-achy.  And sleepy.  I could sleep for 10 hours a day easily right now.  Keeping things vacuumed with my anti-allergen vacuum.  My mother- and father-in-law put an allergy filter in the a/c unit and I think it’s helping.  I can breath at least and that’s all that really matter, right?
I think I’m really enjoying this stay-at-home wife thing.  It helps that I have sewing for the store to do.  Last week was bad.  Between my allergies and feeling down about not being pregnant yet, I didn’t do much.  But I’ve got quite a few projects lined up that should last through the summer.  I’m going to visit Jessica in a couple weeks.  We’re going to push refrigerators around her front yard to try to get her to go into labor while I’m there. 😛   Actually, I think we’re going to be freezer meal fools so she doesn’t have to do any cooking when the baby comes.  Same thing, right?  She’s too cute. 🙂

I’ll have some pictures to post soon on my most recent projects, but you’ll just have to wait for pictures. 😛

Preserving Your Basils!

12 Jul

I feel like all I have to report on lately is my garden and my lack of baby making…  This is a garden post, but it’s a useful garden post, if that helps. 😉

I’ve started really harvesting from my garden these days.  All the mints and basils get trimmed once a week.  I even trimmed my rosemary over the weekend. 🙂
Yesterday, I picked a big container full of green beans.

Yum!

I munched on them throughout the day, they’re my favorite vegetable, and then Jeremy and I finished them for dinner.  They were awesomely fresh and I’m looking forward to picking more.

As with most of my garden, I didn’t do nearly enough research on these until after they were planted and established.  Next summer, I’ll know to plant a handful of seeds ever couple weeks so that I always have fresh green beans available. 🙂 Yum!

LOVE!

I have mixed feelings about not being able to harvest my echinacea this year though. I would really love to be drying out those fabulous flowers to use for tea this fall, but, ideally, you want to wait until your plant is a couple years old before you harvest roots or flowers.  So, on the plus side, I get to enjoy these beautiful blooms as my plants establish themselves.  I thought I’d get them started now and maybe by the time we buy a house I’ll be able to just divide them up and move them right along with us.

Yum, again!

My strawberries suddenly appeared over the weekend.  I’m going to go pick the ripe ones again tomorrow.

My zucchinis will be big enough to harvest soon.  And according to our next door neighbor, George, our jalapeños still need some time.  George has a kick ass pepper garden going next door.  His garden puts mine to shame. 😉  He’s been really helpful though.  Jeremy and I were invited over for tacos on Sunday night and all I can say is “Oh My God!”  The were spicy and sweet and crunchy and oh my God.  😉

Now, on to the real reason for this post.  Preserving your basil (or cilantro, parsley, oregano, etc).  When we lived in the city, we shopped at Trader Joe’s all the time.  Their prices were good and their food was good for you.  Rather than buy fresh basil or garlic, we would buy their frozen cubes.  Each cube was a teaspoon and was already chopped up and ready to go for you.  Super convenient, especially for two college students who ate McDonald’s 4 times a week between classes (and I wonder why I gained weight 😉 ).

When I started my garden, I knew I was planting way more basil than I could possibly use.  I decided to freeze it much like the Trader Joe’s basil was frozen.  Not only did I freeze my basil, but my cilantro too.  I’ve never been a big cilantro eater, be we do use it now and then.  Much to my surprise, few people have really heard of this fabulous way to preserve herbs.  Some herbs, like basil and cilantro are just so much better when frozen rather than dried.  This works too if you’ve had to buy herbs at the grocery store.  They never let you buy a little bit, so you buy the bunch knowing it’s going to go bad after you’ve used the little bit that you need.  Now, you can freeze them.

Getting that basil squeaky clean!

First, even if it’s store bought, pull all of the leaves off of the stalk and put them into a colander.  Basil grows low to the ground and gets a lot of dirt splashed onto it when it rains.  Make sure to give it a good washing so that it’s nice and clean and green.  Throw out any leaves that aren’t green all over.  Yellowed or brown leaves aren’t going to taste very good.

**On a side note, have a fruit fly problem?  Throw those empty stems into your compost container with a leaf or two of basil.  Basil is a great, natural fruit fly deterrent.   I actually keep an entire stalk in a glass of water in my kitchen.  It’s really helped with the fruit fly invasion we’ve been battling.  And no chemicals! YAY! 😉

Sharp Knife!

Next, I typically throw my leaves into my handy salad spinner, but it’s not really necessary for things you’re going to freeze.

After that, you could chop those leaves as finely as possible or…

So easy!

Use your food processor.  I love my food processor these days. ❤

pesto, anyone?

From here, scoop that chopped up basil into a bowl, and measure out a teaspoon into an ice cube tray.  Try to squish it down as best you can.  The less water you have to put into each cube, the better.

Once you’ve used all of your chopped basil, fill each cube with just enough water to cover the basil.  Pop that bad boy in the freezer and you’re done!

Once they’ve frozen, I put them into a large freezer bag to save space.  I’ve already got wayyy too much basil and it’s only the middle of July. 🙂

In other new, yes, baby making new, I’m breaking out like crazy around my chin and jaw line.  Good new?  Yes.  Why?  Those are hormonal breakout areas.  What does that mean?  Possible some ovulating.  Cross your fingers! 😉

Charts

8 Jul

Now THIS is an ovulation chart!

Wooo!

For those of you who have no idea what you’re looking at, I’ll educate you.  Basal body temperature charting is a relatively reliable way to see when you ovulate each month.  Using a basal thermometer, you take your temperature at the same time each morning before getting out of bed to get your core temperature.  At the beginning of your cycle, it should be relatively lower and then spike noticeable when you’ve ovulated.  Your temperature will stay high until just before your period starts and then drop dramatically, or stay high if you’ve conceived that month.   It’s useful for predicting when you’ve ovulated because most women don’t have bodies that stick with the average 14 days.

For the last few months, my charts have looked like this:

Yikes...

Fertilityfriend.com gave it’s best estimate as to what that chart meant last month, but as you can see, it’s pretty wonky.  The first chart is from this cycle so far, and it looks like my cycle might finally be normalizing.  And this makes me VERY happy. =)

Baby talk, out. 😉

In other news, I might finally finish my Snow Day Socks that I started in January this weekend…  oops…  Also, my garden is beasting this weather. 🙂

Babies?

3 Jul

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a while.  Why have I been putting it off?  Probably for the same reason women rarely talk about it.  Infertility and trying to get pregnant in general is a taboo in our society.  And that is ridiculous.  Women who choose not to have children are praised for exercising their rights as modern women.  Women who choose to have kids are praised for being mothers and for helping to contribute to the next generations.  But what about women who want children and can’t have them?  Where do they fit in?  Don’t get me wrong.  I have quite a few friends who are pregnant or already have kids and I think it’s great.  But where do I fit in?  What do I say when friends and family ask if we’re thinking about having kids?  Do I make it awkward and say that we’ve been trying for more than 6 months and have obviously been unsuccessful?  No.  We vary between “We’re waiting for the right time” and “We’re not ready for kids yet.”  Why?  Because its easier.

But. I don’t want live like that anymore.  I would like to praise myself for trying to have a baby. 🙂  I want to praise my husband for being supportive month after month as I keep looking for some new trick we haven’t tried.  I want to be able to talk about my frustration so I don’t have to keep it bottled up.  I want to be happy for my expecting friends and not be envious of them.  I want to show support for other women who feel alone in their baby making exploits.  None of us are as alone as we feel some times. 🙂

So. I’m going to talk about it.  Probably a lot.  Women having trouble getting pregnant is nothing new.  It’s a growing trend that should be talked about, accepted, and respected.   ❤