Friday, March 30, 2012

Freaky Friday

Well, not really. More of an "I want to freak out" Friday. The kids were kooky but I can't blame them...I was ready to be on break before I even put on my casual Friday clothes this morning! The part that kind of made me want to fall apart was a conversation with the last pregnant lady on staff (the other 2 are home with their beautiful bundles). As she dropped off her kids she commented on a baby book that I had another class make for their teacher who had their baby about a week ago. The students wrote blessings for the new family and did phenomenal illustrations of mother and baby animals. Things like, "May you protect your baby like a mother lion protects her cub," and then they did a drawing of a mother lion and cub. I gave it to another teacher to bind (I don't know how to use that binder thingy) and she brought it to the office to share with the rest of the teachers and staff before she delivers it to the new momma. Enough intro to the convo...

It was pretty much just this teacher gushing about how the book was so wonderful and it made her want to cry because it was SO SWEET and she'd keep it out ALL THE TIME, blah, blah, blah. All the while rubbing her baby bump and talking about babies and pregnancy and hormones that make you so emotional about mother stuff. I was just like, "Yes, didn't they do a great job on the book? They were so creative." I was trying to end the conversation because 1. It was unpleasant for me. and 2. I had her class waiting in my room to start their project! Part of the beauty of handing that book off to another teacher to finish was that then I didn't have to think about it anymore. I know she didn't do it on purpose, but the conversation did not help me power through the next 80 minutes of teaching! And little does she know that I have a book in the works for her and the other teacher who had her baby earlier this month. I did not need all that, "I'm pregnant, too! I want a book! I want to feel special and recognized for my ability to reproduce!" hint dropping. It's in the works, lady. Just be patient. The kids already made their images and wrote their words. I just need to put the books together. That is one of the things on my spring break "To Do" list.

Looking on the bright side, I am officially on spring break in 2 hours! (tsk, tsk to me for blogging on my prep!).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

One. More. Day.

And then I am on spring break! I probably shouldn't be this excited about spring break at age 28, but I am! I get more excited about it as a teacher than I ever did as a kid, actually! I know the circles under my eyes will benefit from some extra rest and my tight chest will benefit from some de-stressing. I am SO READY for a BREAK!

Thankfully, today was really fun at school. The kids are amped but channeled their energy for (mostly) good. Two kindergartners brought me a huge poster they made for me (I didn't even have them today but they made it for me during their choice time! Awe!) by taping together several sheets of paper. It was such a nice end to the day!

Also, yesterday one of my co-workers got a tattoo that I helped design for her and I got to see it today! I drew it on her skin about 2 weeks ago with Sharpie and she snapped a picture to bring to the tattoo shop. I was tickled to hear that the tattoo artist wondered who drew it on her. When she said, "Our Art teacher!" he was like, "WHAT art teacher?! This is fantastic!" Well, at least that is what my co-worker said he said:) And the tattoo was EXACTLY like the one I drew, too! Size, color, placement, everything! It reminded me that I AM AN ARTIST and I do nice work. That part of me gets pushed down and ignored far too often. Hopefully I'll make some time for my own work over my break!

I hope all of you have a lovely Friday tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Prayer

Telling my Mom about our struggle with fertility has been one of the most liberating things for me in the last 20 months. I told her last October and she has been nothing but supportive (even though she says some funny things at times!). A few weeks ago she gave me a bag of stuff that included some sewing supplies, books about teaching, two tape dispensers (I have an abnormal love of office/school supplies), and some cardboard tubes and cereal boxes (that I use for projects at school, art teachers truly are scroungers!). I am embarrassed to admit that it took me this long to completely unpack the last of the goodies.

 Here is what I found at the very bottom of the bag:

Sorry for the terrible picture (I did not use our new camera to snap this photo!). It is a prayer card with St. Gerard Majella on the front and this prayer on the back:

Almighty God, Author of Life,
your servant,
St. Gerard Majella,
practiced love of you
and love of others
in an extraordinary way.
Through his powerful intercession,
grant the gift of life to couples
who need your help.
Protect the unborn and 
assist mothers-to-be.
May children,
especially those in the womb
and the most vulnerable,
be a sign of your unfailing love.

It was just what I needed today! I have been searching for a prayer for people dealing with infertility or a patron saint of infertile couples and found nothing! Then, without even mentioning it to her, my Mom found this and gave it to me! I will be saying this with my nightly prayers for all of us going through this difficult experience!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Last weekend we went up north for one last winter hurrah with some of our very good friends. It was a refreshing break from our day to day lives even though Mother Nature prevented snowshoeing, ice skating, skiing and snowboarding because it was around 65 degrees out! We did get to enjoy some pond skipping (skiers and snowboarders speed down a hill and try to cross a pond over the top of open water!). It was entertaining and it gave me a chance to try out our new toy:

A Canon Rebel T3i !!!

I saved a portion of last year's summer program income with the intention of buying this beauty and we FINALLY got around to it! The Bee is busy reading the manual and I have been playing with it but still have A LOT to learn! Hopefully, someday this blog will have lovely pictures to spice it up a little:) Until then, here's an okay image of the pond skipping (only my 12th or so photo...things should only improve!):

Other than that, not much going on here!

Monday, March 12, 2012

10 years

My 10 year class reunion is coming up this summer. For some reason my high school class held a five year reunion (who does that? weird.) that The Bee and I attended because some of our friends were involved in the planning. It was held a few months (i.e. 9 months) late so it was probably closer to a 6 year reunion, really. What a waste of an evening, in my opinion.

Again, some of our friends (and I am talking about real friends that we still see pretty regularly and enjoy spending time with, not just facebook friends or something) are involved in the planning of the upcoming reunion. One of them is actually the friend who is responsible for practically every good thing in my life. She was in our wedding and everything. And the reunion is being held ON OUR FIFTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!  Hahahahaha! So, thankfully, that gives us an easy excuse as to why we won't be attending. We didn't want to go anyway. Here are our other reasons:

1. We still see all of the people that matter to us pretty regularly. Many of us still live within a couple of hours of one another. Those who have moved further away visit from time to time and The Bee and I have traveled for a few of their weddings. If we don't see them often, we keep in touch via e-mail, telephone, text, snail mail, facebook...

2. Facebook has kept us in the loop with many people that we don't have 'real life' relationships with. I don't feel the need to spend my hard earned cash to go hang out with them and hear them regurgitate their facebook statuses and posts.

3. The 5 year reunion was painful to attend. It seriously felt like high school all over again (not the fun parts) for shy folks like me. I pretty much only talked to the people I mentioned in #1 of this list (the people that truly matter to us who we regularly make an effort to see in real life).

4. At the 5 year, not much had changed for a lot of people. The Bee and I were married at that point and I was wrapping up my Master's degree at the time. Since then, I have worked as a teacher using my Master's that I wrapped up 4/5 years ago and I am still happily married to The Bee. I don't need to go hang out with people to talk about that.

5. You didn't think I'd forget infertility, did you? Had things gone as planned, we would have a bouncing bundle of joy already. Instead we are pretty much where we were at the last reunion! It may be weak of me, but I don't want to talk about how we've been together for 11 years and married for 5 years (TO THE DAY!) and haven't started a family yet. I know people would make a big deal of it completely unaware of the pain they would be causing us.

So there you have it. Sorry, Class of 2002, I'll be celebrating five years of marital bliss with The Bee. See you in another 10 years:)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bring on the Spring!

Well, AF officially arrived last night. I, in my silliness, actually took a pregnancy test first thing yesterday morning (only the 5th one I've taken since starting ttc 20 months ago). I was wondering if *maybe* I could actually be pregnant and didn't want to go on my first run of 2012 if I was. I didn't think I was based on my previous cramping, lovely skin, and mood (hence the half of a rum and Coke I indulged in with Friday night dinner) but the heart is a funny thing and hopes even in hopeless times. It was a very clear BFN, obviously.

Yesterday was an amazing, spring-like day! Sixty-three and sunny with a lovely breeze! Very strange for March 10 in the cold north! The temperature actually broke the record for the historical high (it was 58 on March 10 like 60 years ago). I am so glad I went running. I was reminded about how amazing some exercise and fresh air can make a person feel! It did lift my spirits (thank God for endorphins!) although I still cried at least 3 times over the course of the day. I have 3 more cycles before The Bee and I get to move on to the next chapter of our story...I am both terrified and excited about my laparoscopy in June.

So, since AF is here, that means I get to go shopping for my new boots! I am thinking of getting some Minnetonka Moccasins. What do you think of them?


Friday, March 9, 2012

Have a happy weekend!

I had QUITE a day at, fun cramps (thanks, body, for not getting pregnant. AGAIN.), lice epidemic (thankfully none of the little darlings that I taught today), a handful of middle schoolers thinking they'd get away with playing hooky (they were hunted down by 9:30am), and finding out that one of the 3 preggo teachers will be induced tomorrow (her long term sub isn't available until next Thursday!!).

All I can say is TGIF. Now waiting on The Bee so we can have our Mexican food feast (he's picking up rum on the way home...he convinced me to only give up coffee and wine for Lent...ha!).

If you are in need of a laugh...check out this tumblr. It will crack. you. up.

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vegetarian before it was cool

I have had many people ask me about why I am a vegetarian, why I became one at such a young age, and why I decided to stick with this way of eating. The story really is not that exciting, but here it is!

My family stopped eating red meat due to the high blood pressure and heart disease that runs in my family on my Dad's side. A year or two later, my Mom saw a show on PBS where Linda McCartney (the now late wife of Beatle Paul McCartney) was talking about vegetarianism and meatless cooking. Her famous quote from the time was that she would "not eat anything with a face." My Mom ordered her cookbook and we stopped eating meat!

My Mom and all of my sisters are still vegetarians. My Dad and brother are what I call "social meat eaters" because they eat meat at restaurants, outings, and parties but don't cook it for themselves at home. I have decided to remain a vegetarian for a few reasons:
  • I was raised with it and am used to it
  • I think raw meat is terribly disgusting
  • I don't know how to cook meat and don't want to learn because I think raw meat is disgusting!
  • I have seen too many shows about mistreatment and filthy housing of animals raised for meat 
  • I don't like the idea of all of the hormones and antibiotics given to animals used for meat
  • The idea of Mad Cow Disease is enough to give me nightmares...after I learned about prions I wouldn't kiss The Bee after he ate beef until he brushed his teeth! I am not THAT nervous anymore, thankfully!
Recently, I have been considering starting to eat fish or maybe poultry because I am finding it very hard to follow both a vegetarian and gluten free diet. It is very hard to keep weight on and I worry about getting enough protein/other nutrients. It is still only a consideration at this point...I'll have to see how I feel after I am officially tested for Celiac. I also worry about eating too much soy, which has been linked to breast cancer and also increased estrogens (and endometriosis is a disease linked to estrogen dominance...I don't want to increase my estrogen if it will make my endo worse!).
It is a lot easier to eat meat free now that there are so many more options on the market for vegetarians, especially compared to 24 years ago! The original veggie dogs from the 1990s (called 'Tofu Pups') were fluorescent orange and really gross. They were impossible to cook over a camp fire because they would fall off the stick! I hated them! There was also a terrible product called "TuNO"...yep...fake TUNA! I don't know why anyone thought that was a good idea!

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) many of the quick vegetarian products, such as Boca and Morningstar products, contain wheat, which I no longer eat. I say that it may be fortunate because The Bee and I eat way healthier without as many processed foods in our diet! We have made 3 kinds of homemade veggie burgers and they are WAY tastier than anything you can find in the freezer section!

I want to point out that I am not a snotty vegetarian (oh, I know they are out there, though!). I don't care if other people eat meat. What I DO have a problem with is people picking on me because I DON'T eat meat, which actually has happened! If people make rude comments about my food (this has happened at work in the lunchroom before) I don't hesitate to point out that meat is the body of a dead animal. Not sure why dead bodies sound more appetizing than veggies and other non-faced food!

Oh, and just to make sure you believe me that I am not a snotty vegetarian, I cooked meat for a second time now! This time it was Caesar chicken (again, in the slow cooker) that I made for The Bee. Once cooked, it looked pretty tasty, but when it was raw? Ugh! I was gagging putting it in the slow cooker!

So, there you have it! I am a vegetarian because I was raised this way! I sometimes wonder how much of a role my eating has played in my fertility issues (too much soy may be partially to blame for my infertility?) and my digestive woes (I used to eat A LOT of products containing grains with gluten). Also, did you know Celiac is linked to infertility? I am not upset about being raised a vegetarian, but it is making it hard for me to make food choices right now. If I was raised a meat eater and was worried about gluten, I'd totally try the Paleo way of eating. Have any of you considered that? It is all meat, veggies, fruit, and nuts. No grains or dairy. I think doing that would be too much of a shock on my system, though, since I am going on a quarter century meat free!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

11 Things

Okay, I finally did it! Not that anyone was really freaking out over the waiting, ha! But here it is for you, Amanda!

First, here are the rules (that I am not completely following):

Rules For Bloggers: (you must repost these)
1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 people! 

11 Random Things About Myself:
1. I am super afraid of fish, mainly if they have teeth. Even if they are confined to a tank, please keep toothy fish away from me!
2. I got my first gray hair at the tender age of 15. I have a a nice streak like Stacy London from TLC's What Not to Wear. I also have a sprinkling here and there that I dye every couple months, but I embraced the streak shortly after The Bee and I got married. Don't worry, he loves it and says it makes me look cool like Rogue from the X-Men.
3. I have been a vegetarian since the age of four. In Kindergarten there was a family art project assigned for homework where we had to decorate these huge, cardboard turkeys with our parents and siblings. Mine had gorgeous, hand cut paper feathers and a sign tied around his neck that said. "I <3 Vegetarians." 
4. If I ever decide to eat meat, I will for sure eat bacon and ham. They smell so good! I think pigs must be the tastiest of animals to eat. Are they?
5.  I have only cooked meat once in my life and it was just last December. I made salsa chicken in the slow cooker. I didn't eat any of it, but The Bee said it was better than any chicken he had ever made:)
6. I love to paint. The feel of paint being spread over a canvas is so gratifying to me, almost sensual, really! 
7. I have to wear eye make-up every day or I don't feel fully awake. Even if it is just mascara, I NEED it!
8.  In my worst nightmares my teeth always start to fall out of my mouth at some point. When I wake up I have to run my tongue along my top and bottom teeth to make sure it was all just a bad dream!
9. I am intrigued by bento boxes and bento lunches. Someday when I have kids to pack lunch for, they'll have the cutest, most delicious lunches at their table in the cafeteria:)
10. Although I love ice cream (A LOT), chocolate, gummy bears, and fruit snacks, I tend to favor salty snacks like popcorn, potato chips, and corn chips & salsa. The perfect little dessert/snack? Chocolate covered salted caramels with the salt crystals sprinkled on top. HEAVEN!
11. I have a problem with over using commas, ellipses (...), hyphens, and exclamation points - seriously! I simply cannot help it...I love them too much! 

My answers to Amanda's questions:
1. If you had to have any one song play to announce your arrival whenever you walk into a room, which song would it be?
Who's That Lady by The Isley Brothers. It really doesn't describe me much past the fact that I am a lady but I love the song and it puts me in a good mood whenever I hear it. Plus it would be really funny when I am like 95 years old. Hahahaha!

2. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? (Note: there is a correct answer to this question in my book, so answer carefully.)
I'd say the chicken. And she was already with egg. Kind of like the virgin birth of Jesus. God can make things like that happen.

3. What one thing is guaranteed to make you cry?
Any commercial by Google (usually due to something about a baby or kids, blah, blah, blah). You can read my post about this here.

4. What do you do for a living? Did you grow up wanting to do this?
I teach Art. For many years I wanted to be a veterinarian (what kid doesn't at some point, though?), then I wanted to be a photographer/photojournalist  (for National Geographic, obviously), then I wanted to be a Psychologist (not sure why). I didn't change my major from Psych with an Art minor to just Art until midway through my Junior year of college (I always loved Art but never thought I was good enough to major in it/make a living off of it). I've always loved kids and didn't want to go into advertising (blech!) with my Art degree so I opted for teaching little ones and sharing my passion. When The Bee and I did our marriage prep classes, we both thought I'd teach a few years and then stay at home with our offspring. Haven't made it to THAT part of living (yet). So, long story short, I did not grow up wanting to do this, but I love it now!

5. If you had to name your next (or first) child after a pet you’ve had during your life, which name would you pick?
Kirby after my yellow beta fish who was named after a famous baseball player in my state.

6. What’s your favorite sport to play? And to watch?
To play? Haha. I guess you don't really play that. I guess basketball? I have never played an organized or team sport in my life! I was a dancer (and not the in-competition kind, I was the Community Center kind)! To watch? Any Winter or Summer Olympic sport (minus curling, that is super boring) or baseball in non-Olympic years.

7. What’s your pet peeve of the moment (because if you’re like me, they change from day to day)?
People who KNOW that The Bee and I are struggling to start a family making rude/inappropriate/thoughtless comments in our presence. I am way too close to not being able to hold my tongue around some people! 

8. If you had to eat one thing for breakfast every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
An egg scrambler with veggies, cheese, and tater tots or hash browns. I mean, it's got it all...protein, veggies, and, most importantly, POTATOES. Yum. If you get sick of a part, just eat what you want (i.e. the potatoes).

9. How many glasses of water do you drink, on average, per day? Are you proud of this number?
Not nearly enough during the school year...somewhere between 3-5. I do much better in the summer. I am not proud of this number and need to try to do better! 

10.What was your favorite grade in school growing up and why?
Ninth grade. I left my hellish Catholic school behind (the teachers/education were GREAT, the kids were beastly!!) and attended a public school. The kids were way nicer from 9th grade on. Also, I met one of my BFFs that year (the one responsible for, like, every good thing in my life!). 

11. How many pairs of shoes (estimate) do you own?
Forty-seven. But that does include 2 pairs of snow boots (NOT cute ones) so it should probably really be 45.

My 11 questions for anyone who is bored and needs something to do (I am skipping the tagging part because most of my 11 followers have already done this! ha!):
1. What is your morning routine for waking up/getting ready on a work day?
2. How many days a week do you wear your hair up (on average)?
3. What color (if any) dominates in your wardrobe? Note: Black and white don't count!
4. What is your "guilty pleasure" as far as media (movies, television, music, books) go?
5. What is your favorite flavor/color of gummy bear? If you don't like gummy bears, what is wrong with you? (sort of kidding on that second q)
6. Do you garden? What do you grow?
7. Do you make art or do crafts? If yes, what is your favored medium?
8. Can you do impersonations of any characters/celebrities? Who?
9.  Is your second toe (the one right next to the big toe) longer than your big toe? 
10. What kind of toothpaste do you use? Are you loyal to that particular brand?
11. What is your favorite card game (with a regular deck such as "Speed" or special deck such as "Quiddler")?