Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Picture Pages, Part I

Well, AF made her appearance today, so the DIY cycle was a no-go. Now M and I wait in anticipation for June 12th. Great, another two week wait. Who knew I would measure my life in two week increments? School has started again and the frantic pace of a summer session should keep me very busy. So, I will distract myself with my Picture Pages entry. Baby Blues wanted "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" and Winks wanted to see my feet and the one item I would run back in my burning house for, among other things. :)

This is a rosary that belonged to my great-grandfather. He was not Catholic, but he was a missionary for the Near East Relief and this was given to him by a fellow missionary. The beads are coffee beans and the cross actually opens up and has a piece of stone, dirt, wood and a scroll inside. It was supposedly blessed by the previous P.ope B.enedict, but that may just be family legend. This is my "something old" and the item I would run back in the burning house for. (Assuming my cats and M were outside, that is.)

Ok, this is my "something new". Yes, it is. Well, it's new to me. It just came the other day and I am so excited. It's a brick from W.rigley F.ield! They did some remodeling and gave people a chance to buy the discarded bricks. I had to have one. On second thought, I might run into a burning house for this, too. :) Go Cubbies!

My brother-in-law lived in Africa for several years and has quite a collection of African Art. It is technically on loan, so this is something borrowed. It's supposed to ward off bad magic. Some people are a little freaked out when they see it, but most protective items are scary looking. Also, my something blue is the couch cushion he's leaning against.

Last but not least.....my feet. I do not like my feet and yes, they are big. I am almost 6 feet tall, so I have never had cute little feet. Those are my fuzzy pink socks I like to sleep in.

I still have a few more pictures and will try to get those out soon!

Friday, May 25, 2007

My Two Cents

I am an avid NPR listener. The other day they interviewed a woman who wrote a book about ART and it's downside. Ok, fine. There can be a downside. I admit that I may be a little sensitive about this issue, but it just came across as judgemental and over simplified. It's not too long if you care to listen.

So, I wrote into the show and they read my letter! I couldn't believe it! They didn't read the whole thing, but if you want to hear what I said, here you go. It's the second letter they read. The part they left off was my point that the face of infertility is one of many different races, religions, income levels, ages, and genders. So there.

I love JJ's idea, so I am going to have a picture page, as well! Let me know what you want to see in my oh-so-lovely town of H.ouston, TX and I will start snapping pictures!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just Call Me "Health Goddess"

The new and improved health plan continued this week with my first yoga class. My good friend T is a yoga goddess/health advisor extraordinaire and teaches a few students from her home. I know I looked like an idiot and almost fell at least ten times, but it felt good and I am sore this morning! We also decided that we are going to walk 3.2 miles (5K) after each class. That will get me into shape in no time! I have joined many others and given up caffeine completely. I have decaf Red Tea in the mornings which has tons of anti-oxidants. Besides a few more yawns, I haven't really noticed a difference.
The new patient packet arrived from the RE last week and I have to fax it in tomorrow. It contained page after page of embarrassing questions, which I am used to, but I don't know what M will say when he sees his section. They should be calling M soon to schedule his "date" with the lab and then we will be all set for the 12th. *gulp* So, there you have it. We don't have much scheduled for the holiday weekend other than gardening and a friend's wedding. I'll be waiting for AF to arrive since I don't think this DIY cycle is going to end the way I hoped.

I am putting together the recipe for The Braces Bunch this weekend so be on the look-out! If you have not joined and you want the recipe, send me an e-mail and I can send it to you that way.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rainy Days and Tuesdays...

It's raining this morning and I wish I could have stayed in bed. The weather is matching my mood today. I am slowly letting go of my positive outlook for this cycle. My temps are high enough to have ovulated but not high enough to be encouraging. My body is showing no signs of anything but the usual, wonderful PMS. It just doesn't feel right.

I am also letting go of the hope I had for an unassisted pregnancy and reaching out towards an attitude of "maybe it won't take too long." Underneath it all is fear and a bruised ego. It's hard to admit that you need help and I am particularly bad at it. I was unprepared for the feelings of inadequacy that rise up in me now when I speak to people who have children or people who are pregnant. It's like I am being kept out of a club that I desperately want to join. When it comes to this, though, I know that letting go of my silly pride is the only way I am going to be successful.

One thing I am profoundly grateful for is M. We celebrated our 2nd anniversary on Sunday and I realized that I am so lucky to have his love and support. I love the picture I posted at the top. There we are, together and facing the same direction. Whatever happens I know that we will handle it together with faith and as much good humor as possible.

I don't know what the lesson will ultimately be, but I know what I am being taught right now.

I am being taught that insensitivity, unintentional as it may be, knows no bounds.

I am being taught that the uneducated pre-wanting-a-baby Kate may not have gotten along with IF Kate

I am being taught that generosity and kindness do exist in surprising places and just when you need it.

Thank you so much to the braces bunch ladies who have sent me cards recently. Caro, Jen, Winks, Farah and Artblog really made my day and I am so glad that we are doing this! (It's not too late to join.)

I guess the only thing to do is keep going. It brings to mind a Chinese saying:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sunny Day Thoughts

The great purge has begun!! By the end of the day phase one will be activated! Of course, I still have to cook things with those damn peaches! I found a Peach Crisp recipe that isn't so bad, so that will probably end up being the final resting place of most of them. I have to say, I am a little tired of peaches. They are very good, though!

I have a few other bloggers who are going to join me in my quest for better health. If you are a braces bunch member I will be sending a very yummy, very healthy recipe out this week.

Ok, I was tagged by Baby Moxie for a little question and answer session!

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.

1)Thinking Out Loud
2)Are We There Yet?
3)Outlandish Notions
4)Baby Moxie
5)Kicking You From The Inside

Next select five people to tag: (if you haven’t done it already)

1) Sticky Bun
2) The Open Door
3) Clumsy Kisses
4) Maybe Baby
5) Third Time Lucky

What were you doing ten years ago?
Hmmm....I was in college (T.exas T.ech) and getting ready to live in Boston for the summer.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
One year ago I was getting ready to go to the C.ubs vs. W.hite Sox game! Oh, and also throwing away my birth control pills.

Five Snacks You Enjoy:
Hummus, carrots, anything salty, anything spicy and chocolate covered pretzels

Five Songs to Which You Know all the Lyrics:
I was a music teacher for six years, so any children's folk song, most Beatles songs, and thousands of others....

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire:
1) Get a MS in Ethnomusicology
2) Buy a vacation home on C.ape C.od
3) Buy a vacation home in S.tockholm
4) Start a fund fund for inner city students to get more involved in music education
5) Buy the C.ubs some decent f-ing pitchers

Five Bad Habits
1) Chewing my nails
2) Eating when I'm bored, not hungry
3) Piling stuff on my coffee table
4) Leaving 1/2 empty water bottles on the kitchen counter
5) Staying up too late

Five things you like doing:
1)Being with M
4)Taking Walks
5)Watching Baseball

Friday, May 18, 2007

Granola Wishes and Vitamin Dreams

I have been thinking a lot about my health lately. Some of it has been inspired by the Coalition of Caffeine Free Ladies out there. Some of it, well most of it, has been inspired by my obsession with my weight. In the almost two years since M and I were married I have gained 20 pounds. I hate even writing that, but it's true. I am technically still within my healthy weight range, but that doesn't make you feel better when you look in the mirror and you just don't like what you see. A lot of the weight came on after I got off of birth control, which makes me suspicious of various hormonal problems I may have. All of it comes together to add to my feeling of being out of control. Every month that goes by I feel as if I have less and less say in what happens inside my own body and with my health, reproductive and otherwise. Does anyone else feel this way?

I exercise, though not as much as I should, and I have not completely given up caffeine. That is all going to change. This weekend shall be known as The Great Purge! My closet, my pantry, and my refrigerator will all fall victim. White rice? You're out!! Foods with high sodium content? Hit the road! Old, out of shape Kate is gone. She has been replaced by new and improved Earth Mother/Yoga Queen/Pure and Simple Kate!

I am going to try to stay strong, so anyone who wants to join me is more than welcome. Strength in numbers always works, I say!

Here is my first healthy life question for everyone:

What is the one food you would never, ever give up (even if it's not healthy)?
I could never give up anything spicy!

If you would like to learn more about Ayurveda, take this quiz. Even if you're not really into this type of thing, it's kind of fun.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

8 Random Things....

Ok, here we go:
8 Random things about myself

1. I hate, I mean HATE bananas. I don't know if it is the texture or what, but I can't stand them.

2. I have a cat named Banana. He was named Banana at the shelter and I just couldn't change his name. It seemed so cute. His sister is named Mango.

3. My ancestors came over on the Mayflower. I have always been interested in genealogy and My Uncle Bob has painstakingly traced our family back to G.eorge S.oule who, by the way, had nine freaking kids! Also, my ancestors were British loyalists during the American Revolution. Oops.

4. I collect Rosaries. I became Catholic shortly before M and I got married and I have been collecting them ever since. I like the way one object can be represented in so many different ways by so many cultures. I have some that have coffee beans for beads, one fancy one from the Vatican and one very simple one made of wood from Costa Rica, amongst others.

5. I want a hedgehog. I friend of mine rescued a hedgehog (very weird for Texas) and it is the cutest thing you have ever seen. It reminds me of Beatrix Potter (Mrs. Tiggywinkle)!

6. I once met Keanu Reaves. I was a DeeJay at my college radio station and we went to hear his band, D.ogstar, and also to get a recording of him for a station promo. He was taller than I thought and very nice.

7. I hate having my picture taken. This is weird since M is a professional photographer. I've gotten better, but it still makes me uncomfortable.

8. I once told a group of a.stronauts to stop complaining. When I was still teaching M and I were enjoying our usual Friday happy hour and were talking in a group about work. When a few of the a.stronauts started complaining about how hard their job was, I told them that none of them would last 5 minutes in a room with 25 six-year olds, but if they wanted to trade jobs to let me know. They immediately agreed I was right. I know there are a few teachers out there and they can back me up on this one! :)

My 2ww starts tomorrow....yippee?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ich bin, Jag är, Yo soy, Jestem

Woohoo! H2H tagged me, so here it goes.....

I am:
jaded (at times)
fiercely loyal (especially to the Cubs and Red Sox)
a work in progress
a mother at heart
messy (at times)
a gardener
a nature lover
an idealist

I think everyone I read has done this, so I think we should all keep adding to ours. We are all so amazing, don't you think?

In other news, I have officially made my appointment with Dr. Fast. It will be June 12th. I will hopefully get to call and cancel the appointment! No matter what, though, it feels good to have a plan.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Just Peachy, Thanks!

Well, here I am buying peaches in F.redericksburg, TX. If you are ever in the T.exas H.ill Country, F.redericksburg is the cutest little town and the location of our little mini-break this weekend. M and I decided that we needed a vacation so we booked a room at a really cool hotel, drank beer (it is a G.erman town, after all) and wine (there are at least five wineries in the area) and tried to take it easy.

On the way home we decided to stop and get peaches which are very good in this area. Do you see the box the teenager is holding? We got all of those! I have given away as many as I can, but I am still left with many, many peaches that are ripining as I type! If you have any good recipes that use peaches, pleeeease e-mail me. I am running out of options here!

I have gotten some really great notes from The Braces Bunch and if you haven't joined I highly recommend it. It's so nice to get a little mail at the end of the day that isn't a credit card offer or an ad from a carpet cleaning service. I am going to send out several more notes tonight.

I am feeling pretty good as my last DIY two week wait begins this week. I'm making appointments with the RE, as well. I'm covering my bases, I guess.

I keep thinking about a little saying that my high school drama teacher had posted on her wall:

Hope for the best
Expect the worst
Life is a play
We're unrehearsed

Friday, May 11, 2007

Holger Danske

Hopeful to Hateful asked me about the picture that I use for my blog. Since she isn't the first to ask, I would like to introduce you to Holger Danske.

If you are ever lucky enough to go to Denmark there is a castle called Kronborg which sits at the very tip of Denmark. On a clear day you can see see across the water to Sweden. Kronborg is also the home of Hamlet, if you are a Shakespeare fan. Being on the sea, the Danes have had their fair share of war over the years. Kronborg still has cannons, although I don't believe they have been fired in a very, very long time. There aren't any proper castles in the US so I loved visiting this one.

In the casemates of Kronborg sits Holger Danske, also called The Sleeping King. There are many stories starring Holger, but in this case, if Denmark is ever attacked he will awaken to defend her once again.

I wasn't sure what picture to use for my blog. I was originally going to use a picture of the Little Mermaid, but this one caught my eye. He seemed a little lonely, which was how I felt. Now that I look at it, though, he is just waiting, isn't he?. We all know a lot about waiting.

A few minutes ago I heard that my friend MP is going to have her baby today. I wish her much happiness and a safe and uneventful delivery. I'm sure she can't wait to meet her baby. Deep down inside, though, there is this little bit of hurt that just won't go away. Somehow I have to find a way to stay positive and believe that someday I won't have to wait anymore.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Run It Up The Flagpole

I enjoy watching sports. Football (American) is ok and I enjoy watching soccer (my brother is a big Chelsea fan), as well. One sport I really love is baseball. More specifically, I love the C.hica.go Cub.s and the Bo.sto.n R.ed So.x. As I approach the home stretch of our last DIY cycle, I have to turn to my beloved teams for some motivation.

For those of you who don't like or care about baseball, I won't bore you with the details. Basically, if these teams were trying to have babies they would have their feet up in stirrups most of the time. The Sox finally achieved their goal and gave birth to a beautiful championship in 2004. I believe they are trying for a second this year. The C.ub.bies? Well, they have not been as lucky. And, like so many people who are trying, they hate it when people ask, "When are you going to win the championship?" or "Haven't you been trying for a while now?".

As any Cu.bs fan will tell you, losing is no matter because there is always next season. When they do win, a beautiful white flag with a big "W" is run up the flagpole at W.rig.ley and stays there until the next game. As I lay in bed last night, listening to the game (it went 15 innings and they lost - I went to bed in the 12th.) I knew that part of their popularity was their ability to get back up and dust themselves off. Just like all of the amazing women who share their experiences in their blogs, they have determination and they have hope. Even after almost 100 seasons without a championship, there's always next season. That's the attitude I need, only without the 100 years part, of course.

I need the power of Bi.g Pa.pi , the precision of Di.ce-K , and the fielding skills of P.ie . This is it, folks! M and I have to hit this one out of the park, so to speak. It may seem strange to compare ttc with baseball, but it inspires me to think about it this way. I know that this may only be the beginning and that there could be many more months of struggle ahead, but right now I am going to stay positive and try to visualize flying my own "W" flag. No matter what happens I have to remember that there's always next season..er...next month, I mean.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Play Ball!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Wake-Up Call

M and I woke up at 7:30am on Sunday morning to the sound of the telephone. This isn't entirely unheard of since his Aunt C sometimes likes to call bright and early. It was my mother-in-law calling to let us know that M's brother was in the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. We were immediately awake.

Getting this kind of call in M's family is particularly scary because, save for Uncle J, all of M's uncles died of heart attacks before the age of 60. M's father suffered two heart attacks and unfotunately did not survive the second one. That worry is always there.

M's brother leads a hectic life. He has a high powered job and three kids. All of that aside, he stays in shape, eats healthy food, and doesn't smoke. After all of this effort to avoid the fate of so many of his male relatives he ends up in the hospital, anyway. Then these words came out of my mouth: "He needs to relax!"

Can you believe it? The words that I hate and resent came so easily. I realized, though, that I didn't really mean "relax" I meant, take care of yourself.

Relax is such a judgemental command. It always feels so dismissive, like what you may be worrying about isn't really important. I always feel that when people tell you that to get pregnant you just need to relax they are saying the reason you can't get pregnant is your fault. You can't relax, so you don't get what you want.

I recently turned down an invitation to a baby shower and when I e-mailed my friend I was honest about the reason. Her reply was, I understand, and if you need to vent, you know where I am. Take care of yourself.

I almost cried because that was the first time a response to my request for understanding didn't make me feel defensive or guilty. She didn't give advice or tell me not to worry. Her wish for me was an acknowledgement that I needed some space and some time for myself.

I know that my friends don't mean to be dismissive or unkind. I think that many times we assume that since we've been through difficult times, we can relate to everyone's difficult times. What I have learned, though, is that each challenge in life is different and leaves a fingerprint on who you are. Everyone will come away from a difficult experience with something unique. You can't judge someone else's hard times by comparing them to your own, but you can offer to listen and to be there.

Hearing about M's brother made me realize that I need to make sure I take care of myself. Obviously I need to take care of my health, but also my heart, my dreams, and my soul. It won't solve all my problems, but I don't think that's the point. I think the point is recognizing that I am worthy of a little TLC and I am worthy of kindness. I am allowed to be grateful for what I have and to want more for myself, even if my body doesn't always cooperate. It sounds silly to have to say this, but most of the time I get so wrapped up in not wanting to put-out, offend, or hurt the feelings of others that I forget about me. I'm sure that most people are the same way.

M's brother is out of the hospital and will continue to be monitored. He has many health factors in his favor, so we are expecting a full recovery. I'm sure he will see things a little differently now, although I don't know to what extent. M and I see in him a person that we are glad to have in our family. He is one of the many blessings we have in our life, even as we hope for more.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hang On Little Tomato

Here is my first tomato! Peppers should soon follow and I cannot wait to distract myself with more gardening. It's much more fun than school work.

Reproductive Jeans wrote a very good post about Hope and I have to agree with everything she said. It is definitely something that I hold on to for dear life. It made me think about my own little irrational dance with the four letter word this week.

AF came right on time, the bitch, and I went about my business. On Sunday, though, it stopped. I mean, there was nothing. All of a sudden my mind started making up wild scenarios. What if that wasn't really my period? What if I was pregnant? Do I feel queasy? Do my boobs hurt? (Well, after poking at them they did). I went to bed trying not to hope, but hoping anyway. I went through the same fantasies in my head that I did every month. You know the ones. It's where you imagine telling your husband, then your family, then your friends. Everyone is so happy and excited for you. People tell you how cute you are going to look when your belly starts growing. I'll stop now.

I woke up the next morning and took my temperature - 97.66. Nope. I didn't even waste another test. AF came back with a vengance. I guess she forgot something in my uterus and had to go back for it.

Why do I do that to myself? As long as we are not officially diagnosed with any problems I can still believe that we have a good chance this month. I still have hope. At the very same time I imagine being told that not even modern technology can help us conceive. The two feelings exist simultaneously inside of my brain. At the heart of it all is fear, I suppose.

I keep thinking about a Buddhist saying - the root of all suffering is desire.
Tell me something I don't know.

In the mean time, I turn to Ms. Dickinson.

Hope by Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.