Monday, October 29, 2012

Time Change, Tradition, Temping, Toss Up

Still with the alliteration. Heh.
Moxie reminded me that the time change is coming up. If I remember correctly, “Fall Back” is the good one. Although it will be getting dark earlier, the sun being up in the morning makes Little K such a pleasant and cooperative child. Hooray!
My parents were with us this weekend and brought us a lovely new toy: A pressure cooker! It was commissioned with my hands-down favorite meal from my Dad – short ribs with mushroom gravy. OMG. The short ribs just fall apart and the sauce is good on everything. Case in point? We ate the gravy over fresh biscuits on Sunday and I’m having it over scrambled eggs today. BEST. Not to mention my mom made her delicious rainbow chard with bacon and smoked gouda “mashed” cauliflower. *swoon* I’m still a little afraid of this thing, but I’ll be using it to make collards for Thanksgiving this year.
We took Little K to Hillridge Farm on Saturday and carved pumpkins:

Mom and Dad took Little K Saturday night so R and I could have a date. Yay! We had a delicious evening at Melting Pot, where I broke my diet for cheese and chocolate fondue. So totally worth it. I took Little K to see Hotel Transylvania on Sunday and did some Christmas/birthday window shopping at Target. And then Dad made curry beef stew last night. SO MUCH EATING! They’ll be back again for Thanksgiving. Hooray!
Tonight is BSF. We missed last week due to lack of sleep on Sunday night. I’m not sure about tonight. My parents left this morning. Little K was understandably upset but I was able to cheer her up pretty well before I left for work. We’ll just have to see how the day goes. If she has a tough day at school or is moody tonight, I’ll probably keep her home and get her to bed a little early. I hate to miss class but I don’t want to set her up for a hard week at school.
I’m continuing to temp but it’s getting harder to find the motivation each morning. I may just be doing it out of stubbornness at this point. While it is nice to see what’s going on and learn about my body, the chances of it being helpful in a reproductive sense are slim to none. I’m mostly okay with that. It was a tug on the heart on Saturday to see all the baby-wearing moms at Hillridge. Nine weeks to a decision.
One more thing: this coming Saturday is the last day for early voting in our county. R and I have been talking about skipping voting since our votes will cancel each other this year, but as I have thought about it I’ve realized that I want to be counted. I want to stand up for what I believe in, even if it “won’t count”.
I understand that everyone has an opinion about this election. It’s weird for R and I to be on opposite sides of the ballot this year but I’ve realized that each of us has our one BIG issue, the issue that will decide our vote. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind. I just want to encourage you to go out and vote. Even if you feel your vote doesn’t matter or that it will be cancelled out by a friend or partner (*waves hand*) – please vote. Stand up for what you believe in.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cycles, Symbols, Scripture

*Does it still count as alliteration if the letters aren't the same?*
I’ve been quiet the past few weeks. Part of it has been the incredibly weird periods I’ve been having
Aside: Eight week cycle, three days of bleeding; seven week cycle, two days of bleeding; three week cycle, going on five days of bleeding. What even?
and the extended PMS.
Aside: I mean, seriously. I get a little testy the week before my period but I have learned to recognize it and adjust my responses accordingly. But three weeks? Three weeks of the worst mood ever?? That was freaking hard.
But I’m feeling much better now. The extra hormones are on the way out and my good will has returned. Ahhhhh. Big sigh of relief.
I’ve been especially quiet on the baby thing. Three weeks of PMS managed to knock those baby cravings right out. And, of course, my professional opportunity curling up in the corner to die helped with that (another sigh). Although I’m not yet at the point of giving away the few remaining pieces of gear in the attic, I’m definitely feeling like it’s not going to happen and am working on being okay with that.
We originally set the end of 2012 as the big decision moment, with the understanding that R would spend the months leading up to it working on coming around. Then the SSA thing happened. Originally it helped sway him toward having another child but as the months have worn on, depression has set in and R is against the whole idea. The possibility of me working from home opened the idea back up for a while and now that’s out, too.
I think that one of the reasons I went so baby crazy this summer is because SSA moved out. The last time he moved out and then back, R told him that, if he moved out again, he would not be allowed to move back in with us. I think that part of my push to have another child would be to use up that room in our house, requiring R to stand by his earlier statement.
As we can see, three months later and, instead of a teenage boy’s room or a nursery, we have a guest room. It feels calm and neutral, a step toward healing and an agreement to keep ourselves a family of three. I’ll be honest and let you know that I’m scared of what will happen if SSA moves back in (40% chance in Summer 2013). The guest room is a commitment to our new normal and seeing it go back to the way it was would be so, so hard.
I want what’s best for our family. I want SSA to mature into a young man and eventually grow into a competent, responsible adult. I want R to be happy. I’m not sure those last two can happen at the same time, which makes this whole situation so much harder.
I’ve shared my thoughts with R in love and am working on trusting God with the outcome.
Lord, help me to trust You with the outcome of this situation. Help us to parent SSA in a way that honors You and causes him to grow into a young man. Make Your will clear and make us open to acting as You have called, even if it is hard. Soften my heart and help me to accept Your final decision, even if it is not the decision I would make. Take R’s worry and depression and fill him with joy and peace. Protect our family and our marriage during this time. Help us to honor You with everything that we do. You are God; You are Good. Amen.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Romans 8:28

Wow, am I glad last week is over! But first, three four good things:
·         My parents unexpectedly visited this weekend!
·         I began my crochet Christmas presents!
·         A great weekend with Little K!
·         R surprised me by washing my car yesterday!
Last week was… wow. Between the layoffs, company-wide reorganization, and my big flu season project wrapping up, the whole week was exhausting. I am just so, so glad it’s over. Now we all deal with the aftermath; packing the materials away for next year and updating all of the spreadsheets ever to reflect the new org chart.
My parents had some good news to share this weekend which should provide them with the financial freedom we have all been praying for. I am so happy for them! The one downer is that it pretty much sinks my professional opportunity. Blah. Although the whole thing kept fluctuating between “it would be nice” and “could actually happen,” it’s hard to let it go. I was looking forward to the possibility of doing what I really love. R reminded me this morning that we will be debt free except for our mortgage within five year and can reevaluate everything then. And he reminded me of what I always tell him: God has a plan. And I know it’s true. Just a little bummed that God’s plan didn’t involve this opportunity.
I’ve been in a terrible mood for the past three weeks. Really, there are no words. I had my standard 6-7 week cycle, started my period on October 6th, stopped on October 8th, temps over 98* for 13 days, and then started another period yesterday. WHAT EVEN. I’m hoping that everything just goes back to normal. I’m a generally happy and optimistic person. I pride myself with being pretty darn patient, understanding, and generally not letting things get to me. Being in this mood is just the worst.
And, because I’ve managed to work myself up now: Without the professional opportunity, a baby is pretty much guaranteed not to happen. And R and I are still in complete disagreement as to what to do about SSA. And everyone in our house, including Little K, was up until midnight last night. And I woke up this morning with four pimples. And I haven’t had carbs in over three weeks.
Just… done. Feeling very, very done. So, it’s back to doing my thing at work. Grateful to still have a job. Hoping that the week flies by and that my hormones level out. Because, seriously, what even.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pink Slips

Today is another tough day. Our office had five unexpected layoffs last Thursday and our satellite office had another four. Management announced on Friday that they will be ready to provide a comprehensive review by Thursday of this week - tomorrow. Many of the remaining associates believe that additional layoffs will be happening at the end of the day today.
All you have to do is walk the halls here to see the effect this is having on everyone. People are downcast, slow to laugh or even talk to each other, quietly typing away. The layoffs were a complete surprise and there is no way of knowing who is next.
I have a bit of insight into the process but the additional knowledge doesn’t make it easier. The worst part is that whole positions that are being eliminated. In this situation, it isn’t about the person, their performance, or the value they bring to the company; it is solely based on whether or not the job description was found to be expendable.
It’s hard to get any work done, knowing that your performance no longer has bearing on your job stability. I think everyone is just waiting to see what tomorrow brings.
In the interim, I’m sure people are looking for other options. It would be foolishness to know that your company is downsizing and not search for outside employment. I have a feeling that, even after the layoffs, we will see people leave for new opportunities.
In speaking with my former boss, she and I came to the same thought: God knows. He knew these layoffs were going to happen and He will provide. That goes for everyone here, she and I included. In a way, it’s comforting to know that these decisions have already been made and are out of our hands. I know we are all anxiously awaiting the end of the day.
I feel like Dolly in A League of Their Own, when the government telegram carrier comes in without a name. She watches Jimmy walk toward her and another woman. The woman shrinks in on herself, glancing worriedly at Dolly; Dolly takes a deep breath and straightens her shoulders. She’s scared but not afraid. Dolly knows that whatever the message is, good or bad, she will take the news with dignity.
Who knows where the week will take us. Prayers for all are appreciated.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hard Days, Hopeful Nights

Things that make me feel warm and fuzzy:
·         A hot cup of coffee
·         A class of berry iced tea
·         Giving away extra fair tickets
·         Cuddling Little K
·         A new, old book
Things have been... tiring here the past few days. Several associates were laid off last Thursday and more are expected this week. Little K has been complaining of a stomach ache the past two days. R’s professional opportunity is still in limbo. We are having a difficult time seeing eye-to-eye on SSA’s living arrangements. And, of course, there is the ever present elephant in the room.
We are definitely feeling the effects of several tough days. I would like to find a way to recapture some of the joy in our life together. Maybe it’s a family walk this evening. Maybe it’s taking R and Little K bowling or to a movie this weekend. Maybe it’s playing cards tonight by the fire. I would say that intimacy would help but it’s hard to get in the mood when we’re both so stressed.
I have been praying this morning for R to experience God’s love, joy, and peace today.
I would like to do something today that will bring R joy and show him how much he means to me. I’m not sure yet what that is… He’s not the kind of guy you bring flowers to, you know? I would offer to handle the dishes tonight but he has said many times that washing the dishes calms him in the evenings. I already folded all of the laundry yesterday. Maybe I’ll clean the house tonight; a clean home seems to lift his spirits. And perhaps a new dessert.
In other news, my chart is cashews right now. I am currently on CD11 and have been in a foul mood since two days before my period. I rarely experience PMS anymore and certainly not for this long, so it's really throwing me for a loop. My coverline temp was 97.3 last cycle; my temp for the past five days has been 98.1+. What even? I am beyond confused at this point. The only change has been that we’ve stopped sleeping with the fan on at night but I hardly think that would effect my temp so much!
It does seem silly to still be charting. I am still in “no baby” mode after this last period and R’s stress about SSA has turned “maybe” back into “no”. Combined with my professional opportunity going bye-bye last week, the current uncertainty at my workplace, and this whole SSA debacle, it would certainly take a God-size event to make a change.
My weight loss is continuing to go well. I had unknowingly upped my carbs last week, so everything platued for a few days. But I made some adjustments and it's starting to go down again. Currently down 9 pounds from when I started three weeks ago! I wonder if the change in carbs/weight is effecting my temp?
I submitted my post for the 2012 Crème de la Crème yesterday. It was a difficult decision. Last year’s Crème was basically the whole reason I started my blog. I already had the journal entry written and, when I heard about Crème, I knew I wanted to start a blog so I could submit the post. In the end, this year’s submission doesn’t even touch on infertility. Instead, it’s about God’s grace. I hope that, when the list is published, the post touches someone’s heart and helps them recognize God’s hand in their own life.
Finally, please offer your support to Hapa Hopes who had her third transfer and third negative. I am so, so sorry Lisa.
Lord God, make your presence known to all who are hurting today. Help us to experience Your love, comfort, and peace. Help us to draw close to You, hearing reminders of joy and hope for the future. In Your Powerful Name I Pray, Amen.

Monday, October 8, 2012

CD3: Slightly Down, Maybe Out

Three Four FIVE SIX! good things:
·         R’s professional opportunity is still alive!
·         We have a base cycle in the Fertility.Friend app!
·         My parents came to visit!
·         Music time with my dad!
·         Looking through photo albums with my parents and Little K!
·         We finished the guest room!

The rest of this will be a bit complain-y. Feel free to move on.
A few things happened this weekend:
·         My professional opportunity did not come together the way we expected.
·         My period started.
·         Little K had a tough day on Sunday.
All of this has me a little… done right now.
Honestly, Little K having a tough day on Sunday wasn’t her fault. I feel like it was mine. I was so off from my period and the professional thing that I wasn’t as patient as I could have been. How important was it for her to change into regular clothes? To finish her breakfast? To not toss her stuffed animal in the air? To stop touching my face? I could have let all of that slide. Instead, I insisted on each one and she got upset because of it. *sigh* Yesterday feels like a parenting fail.
Professionally, I expected today to go differently. Instead, I drove to work as usual and back into complete craziness as we prepare for our biggest event of the season. I’m glad to have so much to do at the office the past few weeks; it makes the time fly. And I feel very on top of things right now! Event planning is definitely my thing and it shows. Plus my monster project is caught up in a way that it has never been before. I feel like I just might be able to pull this off long term. The bad news is that we can’t predict when another opportunity like that will come up and TTC depends on making that change.
As for my period, I expected it. My temps were nuts all last week, fluctuating between 97.7 and 97.3 (my coverline). Charting has been a blessing and a curse. I love gathering information and learning about my body. I hated how waiting to ovulate caused us to not be intimate as often. I hated knowing when I was TWW-ing. And I hated how the app popped up with symptoms and probability of pregnancy. BLAH. It definitely messed with my mind, even with the vasectomy.
Between the parenting fail, hormones, and professional mess, I feel like I don’t even want to try for another child. My days are packed full, starting at 6:30 AM and ending at 10:00 PM. No time to sit down and read a book, let alone parent another child. No additional patience to spread around. No money for day care. Why bother?
The tough thing is knowing that I only feel this way because of the those things above (professional, period, patience). As my body ramps up for ovulation, I know the baby crazy will take over again and I’ll be all “Baby Times!” Argh. I feel like I don’t know which side is real: the no baby or the yay baby. Both are wrapped up in hormones and my cycle. I think this is where I’m really trusting in R to lead our family. If he one day decides that we can try to expand our family, then we will. Otherwise, we won’t.
It’s that simple for me right now: I can’t trust myself, so I’ll trust him.
And I trust R by praying for him. For the Lord to make His will known and to guide R in his decision making.
Oh, how I wish I could eat a plate of chocolate-peanut butter-oatmeal drop cookies and BIG glass of milk. Instead, I will swallow a 5-HTP and some cheese with celery. Darn you, At.Kins!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weighs to Make Your Crazy: CD43

Currently 16DPO and 13 days into low carb. No signs of spotting or bloating. Constantly hungry, exhausted, and moody.
Yet decidedly not pregnant.
Channeling all craziness into transforming the spare bedroom into a guest room.
Definitely NOT counting on the jinx method, where creating a guest room automatically equals a positive test and the need to change it to a nursery. (It’s like wearing white pants when your period is late – you know you’re gonna get it that day.)
Daily Wisdom: Salad and chicken is nothing like pizza and brownies.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thoughts and Things: A Non-Baby Update

So, it’s been a while. The baby crazy has really been up and down since ovulation and I haven’t been able to settle my mind enough to make sense of it all. Right now, I’m just looking forward to my period starting – theoretically tomorrow. I want a break from the hormones!
I hate seeing my blog hanging out here without new content, so here’s a list of what I’ve been up to that isn’t baby related. Enjoy!
Seasonal Decorating
It may just be the Southern Living magazine subscription talking but it is my perception that a true Southern Woman celebrates each season with home accessories. I attempt to embrace the culture a little more every year (and, certainly, do so with a smile), so Little K and I went shopping this weekend for autumnal decorations. Our finds included three faux pumpkins for the front porch in Australian blue, mini white, and tall orange; a set of rustic glazed and wire gourds for the mantel; a fall leaves table runner; and pinecone, pomegranate, and moss pumpkin filler for the dining centerpiece. We also crafted it up with a pennant banner proclaiming “Autumn” above the fireplace. Not a bad days’ work if you ask me.
This weekend we took the plunge and mapped out the redesign of SSA’s bedroom into a guest room. R has definitely decided to take the reins on this project, although it helps that my dad is coming this weekend. We tossed the AWFUL hutch above the dresser, moved the television, and pulled all of the art off the walls. I went up into the attic and pulled out the beautiful vintage patchwork quilt and shams (so southern!) that we picked up at an antique shop three years ago. And we picked up new curtain rods. R is filling nail holes today and picking up paint for the walls. Little K and I are heading to Home.Goods and Pier1 for some simple art and foliage this afternoon. Taping everything on Tuesday, painting on Wednesday, and decorating on Thursday before my dad arrives. It will certainly be a fast turnaround!
We also tackled R’s office this weekend. The closet was cleaned out, our Japanese futon set (given to us by Okasan four years ago) was moved to the attic, and the metal and glass desk was posted on Craigs.list and replaced with the wooden desk from SSA’s room. Don’t you love redecorating without spending a cent?
At the height of baby crazy last week, I came across a video tutorial for the best homemade cloth diaper! Middle, middle, middle and now I have the pattern and fabric to try making one myself. If this first one turns out well, I will be sending it to BecomingBrina for the little niece she is cooking up for us. I hope this is just the first in a long line of adorable projects!
Christmas Presents
I am so proud of myself on this one. I have ordered Christmas presents for: my mom and dad; BecomingBrina, J, and Baby M; bestie W; and started gathering stocking stuffers for Little K, R, and the boys. Booyah! I also picked up NC State yarn (variegated red and grey) to crochet a little something for R and a seriously thick crochet needle to finally make the scarf I bought yarn for two years ago. Just so pleased!
Weight and Such
I finally bit the bullet and went back to the only diet that has ever worked for me: low carb. Bleh. I hate low carb, specifically because I LOVE carbs. But my weight has gotten out of control. I had an honest talk with R about how I was feeling about my body and we agreed it was time. As of today, I’ve been doing low carb for a week and I’ve already dropped 8 pounds. I know that’s mostly water weight, but it is SO nice to see the scale drop under my pre-pregnancy weight again!
The first two weeks are certainly the worst but it gets much better after that. I’m really focusing on taking out carbs without adding a lot of fat. I’ve been trying to eat “whole foods” the past six months and really like how healthy it makes me feel; I hate the idea of replacing real food with processed substitutes. So I’m focusing on simple things like replacing the bread in my lunch with veggies, changing from bottled iced coffee to homemade, and just plain not serving myself the starch at dinner, whether that’s rice, potatoes, pasta, or tortillas. The only real substitutions I’ve made are Carb.Smart ice cream (I have to have something sweet at the end of the day) and At.kins protein bars (when I just *need* something that tastes like candy).
I started at 159 and am down to 152. The plan is to stay on Phase One (<20 carbs/day) through the first of the year (with a semi-pass for Thanksgiving Day) to get to the goal of 135. If this plays out as it did before, I will be able to start slowly adding healthy carbs back in at that time until it’s up to <30/day.
The worst part is the baked goods. Baking is one of my biggest stress relievers, especially around the holidays. I’m not sure how to make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas without baking a whole mess of cakes and cookies! It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
We’ve taken to calling this whole subject (temps, charting, baby making…) the elephant – as in the elephant in the room. I am currently on CD41/14DPO and, if Fertility.Friend is to be believed, my period should start tomorrow. I’m looking forward to sharing the final chart with you. I can safely say that temping is nothing like I expected.
So there’s all the crazy, jumbled mess from the past week or two. It may not be deep or insightful but I am happy to say that it is life and it is good, with or without another child. Here’s hoping it just keeps getting better!