Saturday, December 10, 2011

This and That

Today's post is totally going to be full of's been so long since I posted that I imagine most of you have forgotten about me.  Sorry for that, but I had to take a break and have some "me" time.  I've been working late each day, trying like a madwoman to get Christmas presents done, and then dealing with life in general, so here is an itemized list of my last month or so...

1.  No period since October 13.  I haven't been working out due to the fact that I'm going to training, practicing for worship team, have meetings, or have youth group up until the gym is closed.  I have also been just sick enough with the creeping crud that on days when I could have gone to the gym, I couldn't breathe well enough to make it through the workout.  Then there was the car...

2.  The Car...(cue dramatic music)  The first week of November, my car died.  As in kaput.  It took three weeks in the shop and $2,000, but I got her back with a new engine.  I had her for three weeks and then Tuesday happened.  We were experiencing our first snow of the season.  I had already had my husband call the school to let them know I would be late to work, like 15 minutes late due to the road conditions.  Halfway to work, (while traveling at top speeds of 30mph on a 55mph), at a crossroads, there was this young woman who decided that she should just put on her brakes WHEN she got to the stop sign.  She of course, skidded straight through the intersection.  I swerved to avoid her and then hit the guy coming from the other direction who was also swerving to avoid her.  Even though it was a slow-impact crash (We both had been slowing down b/c we could see her approaching the intersection and it didn't look promising), the estimate is $4,000 of damage to my car.  All fixable, but still...I just spend $2000 to fix it!

3.  That $2000?  It was my new home/adoption fund money.  It stinks that I can't use that money for its intended purpose.  We have to have a new home to qualify for foster/adoptive parenting.  Does this sound familiar?  Yeah, it does.  I go through this like every three months where I want to move forward with becoming a parent and then get hit with the reality.

4.  Hubby did get a job again.  I don't know how long it will last, but the additional income is greatly appreciated.  We can start building up the adoption/new home fund again.

5.  I am working crazy hours trying to get an afghan done.  I tweaked the pattern and am trying desperately to get it done--so far it's required two trips to Wal-mart to buy more yarn.  My goal is to have it done by December 22.  We'll see...

6.  I'm getting referred to an OBGYN who specializes in fertility medications.  I haven't heard from her yet, and it probably won't happen until February or later, but it feels nice to think that we're moving forward with our family planning process.   (Which is still a weird thing to think how much planning we have put into this when so many others don't plan at all for children.  It's almost getting to a scientific endeavor with charts and graphs and timing and calculations...that part stinks, but my future children will KNOW how much they were wanted--there will be no "accidents" here!)

I've already taken too long away from the afghan, and I still have to go to Grandma's house to practice for the two Christmas concerts I'm playing for...the music is still kicking my caboose, but I've got to get it together...Have a good day, and in case I forget it, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Worst. Dream. Ever.

Last night I had the absolute worst dream I have ever had in my life. Ever.  It didn't even fall into the "horrid nightmares that occasionally return to creep me out to the point of not wanting to look in the closet or under the bed" category.  It was absolutely awful.  I woke up shouting and sobbing, and held on to hubby for half an hour in the middle of the night.  Then I only slept for 10-20 minutes at a time for the rest of the night because every time I fell completely asleep, one scene kept repeating itself and I just kept waking up trembling.  I have thought about it all morning, and hope that it just stays a dream and NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER TO INFINITY HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE.

Normally, my nightmares fall into 2 categories:  Critters I despise, and harm coming to those I love.  I've gotten to the point where dreams of me falling and breaking various limbs has turned into a "Stooge-esque" affair, where I just shake my head and think, "yeah, that's probably what's gonna happen one of these days."  But it doesn't SCARE me.  The recurring critter nightmare is one where I have the Midas touch, only everything turns into poisonous snakes or spiders.  And of course, the spider one is all the more disturbing because spiders do actively seek me out to bite.  After one of those nightmares, I find myself praying for kittycats and puppydogs, or sitting up and counting my blessings and then turning on the TV to watch a movie for about 15 minutes until I've cleansed my mind of the terrifying thoughts.  It always works for me.  The nightmares about those I love are a little harder, because they have that small element of truth to them.  I find myself praying for that person or people, and then telling my husband the dream.  He's really good at soothing me back to sleep, and he usually turns on the TV or radio to quiet my mind until I get calmed down enough to go back to sleep.

Last night, though, nothing worked.  In that weird way that dreams work, time was flexible, locations appeared that I have never seen before, and you find yourself doing things that seem impossible in the light of day.  The dream started off innocently enough.  I was in the hospital having a baby. I have those kind of dreams every now and then.  No biggie.  We bring him home to our house and life goes on as normal.  (And by normal, I mean that one second we're bringing him home and then the next second, we've been home for a month.)  I don't recognize the house at all, never been in it before in my life, but I don't think twice about the fact that it's my house.  (Everything sounds great, right?)  Anyway, I find myself sitting at the kitchen table eating a Sub.way Meatball Sub.  (Which I have never had in my life--What's up with that?)  I find myself getting ready to send them an e-mail on a pizza sub idea I had.  Then I sort of sigh and smile as I pick up my iced tea, and reflect upon the fact that hubby and I had been cozy the night before and that it might be possible that we could have two children within a year...(And right now is when my mind should have been red-flagging this as a total dream, due to my PCOS, but it didn't.  I am still not realizing that this is a dream.  It is all as real to me as this computer is.) that exact instant, I drop my iced tea glass to the floor and realize that I have not heard my son cry or make any noise whatsoever.  Furthermore, I can't remember when the last time was that I saw him.  It strikes me that it's been over 24 hours since I fed him, and that I don't know what's wrong...(I know now that this would not be possible, but once again, at 3:00 in the morning when I woke up, this was NOT an impossible situation).  I scream for my husband, and he rushes into the baby's room. By the time I get there, he's screaming and crying and trying CPR.  I see him holding our baby, and there's no movement, no sound, no nothing.  And because of my vast knowledge gleaned from all the crime shows I've seen, I know that our baby has been dead for at least 12 hours, and I never had checked on him in that time.  Who doesn't notice their baby is dead for 12 hours?  What kind of horrible person was I?  I just fell to the floor sobbing and screaming...

And then I woke up.  In my head I know that I will be a good mom when that day comes, but in my heart right now, I'm wondering if I would be a good mom.  It's just scared the bejeebers out of me.  I spent at least 30 minutes just sobbing and shaking, and apologizing to my husband for not being a good mom.  He just kept holding me and comforting me, and praying over me until I stopped shaking and the sobs had subsided.  I have seen that baby's face every time I close my eyes since then.  You would think that something so obviously NOT real wouldn't stick so strongly in my mental movie gallery, but that's all that's playing right now.  Ugh.

It's like satan is using my biggest fears against me.  Add to that the fact that my cousin lost her little boy last week, and I know kinda where this dream came from.  But my dream was sooo vivid, and so realistic...

Let me state what I know.  I know that I do not actually have a baby son.  I know that I do not live in that house.  I know that I don't eat that kind of food at Sub.way.  I know that I would not ever "forget" that I had a living baby.  I know that I would worry if I didn't hear my baby breathing over a monitor.  I know that I wouldn't "forget" to feed my baby. I know...that this was a nightmare, using things that I hope about and things that I fear, twisting them together until it becomes something that would never happen...I know these things, but like any good lie, there remains that niggling doubt in my head and heart. 

It's going to be hard to go to sleep tonight.  I need to watch something completely benign before going to bed, and then have something in the DVD player that is just funny to get my mind off of things so that I can go to sleep and NOT have this dream again. EVER.  I don't even want anyone to joke about it.  It bothers me greatly, and is still giving me the willies. 

I know that if you're still reading this, you've probably decided that I'm certifiable.  Right now, you're probably not far off the mark.  If there's any consolation, it's that I'm not normally like this.  You also probably didn't want to hear or read any of this, but I needed to kind of "write it out", in the hopes that it would keep it out of my head tonight.  Here's hoping for a better night tonight.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is one of those days that few outside of the Infertility and Infant Loss Community ever hear about, but for those of us who have experienced such a loss, it is a day you don't forget, because it means that someone, somewhere in this world, is praying for you and your family.  It means that you are not alone in your grief, and that feeling is freeing, especially when it seems that so many people have forgotten that you had a child.  My heart also mourns with my sisters who also lost their pregnancies early on, when all you have is that one ultrasound picture, if any.  It is a day we stand together, arm in arm, hankies at the ready, as we remember our children, the dreams of our children, and the hopes we had for our children.  We remember that we are not alone; that no race, no age, no level of health, no socio-economic status is exempt from this tragedy.  We remember oh so deeply that life is a precious gift, not to be taken lightly, not to be discarded or trampled upon.  We REMEMBER. 

One of the ways we remember this day is to light a candle at 7:00 and keep it lit for an hour, creating a wave of light around the globe. While so many will not know why we light our candle, we know.  I have many friends across this country and beyond who will also light their candles tonight.  We pray that someday lighting a candle on this day will just be lighting a candle, but for us, for now, this is our memorial; our tribute to the lives that could have been.

This year it's hitting even harder than the past two.  This is my third year to light a candle for my Elizabeth.  It's actually her expected 2nd birthday.  I should be bustling around planning a party, but instead, we're spending a quiet evening at home--just the two of us (and the pets).  But as I sit tonight and remember my loss, I also pray for my cousin, who lost her 3-month old to SIDS last week.  He was born soo premature--just 3 pounds, but he had made it all the way to six pounds, and the doctor was so pleased with his development.  That was on Friday.  On Saturday, his mom took him to a family gathering with the cousins (I stayed home--I just knew I'd see them at Christmas, and I had a bad cold that I didn't want the babies to catch.).  Then on Sunday, while he was laying on the couch sleeping while his daddy was sitting in there with him, he just stopped breathing.  He couldn't be saved, even though everything was tried. 

I just don't understand it.  I understand that miscarriages happen.  I know (in my head at least) that there are all kinds of things that can cause death in utero.  I even know that infants die--how can I not know that, since I scream at the TV every time I hear about one of these precious ones being thrown away by their "mothers" or killed by "mom's boyfriend" who shakes him or her to death.  But it just boggles my mind that a family who fought so hard to bring a life in this world has to now lay to rest all of their hopes and dreams for his life.

So tonight as I light my candle, I'll light another one for my cousin, and remember to say a prayer for all of those who grieve as I grieve, who mourn as I mourn, in the hopes that one day we can rejoice with those who rejoice.  I light my candle to remember that innocence I had that has now been lost, and pray that not one more person has to lose that innocence through the loss of the life of their child.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Right Battle, Wrong Armour

Wow!  It's been one heck of a week, just like I thought it would be...anytime I try to get more serious about something, my week just explodes around me, as if daring me to make plans and try to stick to them.  So this post will be some randomness, some thoughtfulness, and a whole lot of just stuff I want to write down so I don't forget it.

***Remember, feel free to comment---I won't bite, and I might even find a way to bless you, too***

First things first---after spending over 45 days with either spotting or heavy bleeding, I can finally say for 100% certain that my cycle of doom is FINALLY over.  Where are the helium balloons, the streamers, the cake...?  Now I'm on to a new adventure of a cycle--and I have no idea of what day I'm on, simply because I was counting how long it took to stop bleeding, not when to chart as the new cycle.  Oh well, I'm just going to roll with it.

Secondly, I was surprised by something my mom did for me this weekend.  I went over to her house to help her with some computer stuff, and she handed me a box with HCG pills in it.  She watches Dr. Oz, and he had said that they're unsafe when you use them with that drastic diet plan, but that he often prescribed them for patients suffering with infertility.  So my mom wrote down all of that information, and got me a month's supply.  At this point, I don't think anything will hurt, so here I go for a month.  It was just weird, because just two weeks ago, she was chewing me out over worrying about what was going on with my body.  Massively chewing me out---as in "you should stop moping about this, the world doesn't revolve around you".  "You're making a mountain out of a molehill...if you just stop thinking about infertility your attitude will get better" kind of stuff.  She also included the "don't talk to you brother and sister about all of this stuff because they get worried about you and then I hear about it.  Some people just aren't supposed to have children and you need to get used to that idea."  Yeah...there are times when I can have conversations with her about what's going on and she's super supportive, and then I get..."the talk".  So, I'm not going to talk with her about stuff when I'm actually emotional anymore.  I really am to the "matter-of-fact, shrug-it-off" stage of this struggle with infertility.  Maybe because we have no money to go further medically and have no way to go forward with adoption/fostering, but I'm usually NOT weepy or crying anymore. 

However, every now and then, a perfect storm of stuff happens to me and I get the gloomies.  And I really want to be able to call my mom and just hear words of comfort, but that's not gonna happen, because then it means that I'm "having a fit" and "need to get off of my high horse". calls to family when I'm weepy.  (And if you know my mom in real life and you tell her about this vent, I will have to hunt you down...OK, not really, but I need this blog to be a safe place to vent and telling her what I said totally undermines that, so keep this on the QT, OK?)

OK, that was a rabbit trail I wasn't planning on talking about, but I'm not going to delete it, because, well, it happened and I want to be honest on this site.  I need to face things head-on, even things when I'm in a not-happy spot.

But the main purpose of this particular post, the one that explains the title is this:  We're well on our way to reading through the Bible in 90 days.  I am daily finding new ideas, new thoughts about the Old Testament that I hadn't ever thought of before.

ANYWAY, this morning our youth minister was leading our weekly teacher's devotional time this morning before school and he brought up something God had just hit him upside the head with---and to be honest, it was an upside-the-head moment for me, too.  He said that God impressed upon him that many times our lives are like David's when he went to battle with Goliath.  David was supposed to fight that battle.  He had prepared for it by fighting the bear and the lion that had attacked his sheep.  God had set aside that battle for David, not for anyone else.  However, when he went to fight, he was waylaid by well-meaning people like the king of Israel, who insisted that David wear the king's armour.  David was fighting the RIGHT BATTLE, the one appointed for him to fight, but if he had gone forward with someone else's armour, he wouldn't have had success, because it would have been the WRONG ARMOUR.  Just as David had to hand back the wrong armour, we too need to make sure that we are 1) fighting the right battle, and 2) wearing the right armour. 

How does this apply to my journey with infertility?  I don't know right now.  I need to meditate on this right now.  I think it's going to involve lots of prayer, talks with the hubby, and discussions with the doctor.    Check back with me in a few days..

Hopefully by then I'll be able to actually talk about it.  I've had a wordless weekend due to laryngitis, and I'm hoping that it goes away soon.  Have a blessed week, and remember that smiles go farther than frowns!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bible Challenge

Today our whole church started a new Bible challenge:  to read through the entire Bible in 90 days.  Just read, not fill out worksheets, or do in-depth studies, or link the Old to the New Testament, or...  Just reading through the Bible.  It comes out to about 12 pages a day.  It doesn't seem too difficult, but I can tell you that as far as finding the time to do it, I'm pretty sure that "things" will come up that will try to sideline me from my goal.  It seems that every time I'm working for the Lord, "things" happen in my life to knock the wind out of my sails. 

However, I know that in this instance, I'm not alone.  I'll have friends from my entire church working on the same goal.  We'll be able to encourage each other and lift each other in prayer.  I'm hoping it helps our church grow.  I'm praying it will make me grow.  I know I will be changed as a result of this challenge, and hope that it leads to me taking a more active role in studying my Bible.

I've already done today's lesson--Genesis 1:1-16:16.  I found myself listening to my husband read (he's in radio, so he has a great voice) and was astonished to hear some things that I know I've read before, but had never really hit me. (Like tar pits in Israel--not a big detail, just one that I hadn't heard before)  I'm already excited to begin tomorrow morning with a new lesson, even if I just get in a page before work.  I'm thinking about having hubby record himself reading it out loud so that I can put it on my computer and just listen to the Word at any time.

I'm also hoping that this new-found motivation will work its way into my regular life.  I need to begin to take my medication on a regular basis, work out on a daily basis, and start taking control of my PCOS, instead of just treading water with it.  I have the best coach in the world, my hubby, who is wanting me to become the best me possible.  Here's to a fresh start at the beginning of a new season!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

September Daze

Wow.  I'm sitting here this Saturday morning (OK, it's ten minutes to noon, but that still counts, right?) and it has just dawned on me that it's the last weekend in September.  I'm in shock, because that means it's just three months until Christmas Yikes!!  I've got to get busy crocheting for my Christmas presents.  Here's what I did for my nephew and niece last year:
It's my own design!!
This year, I'm crocheting for the adults--here's hoping it turns out. (Please cross fingers that I find the time to do what I have in my head to do.)

Anyway, here's a sampling of things that make September a great month:

1.  Hubby came home from his week-long horse show!!!

2.  My oldest nephew turned 3, my middle niece turned 12, and the smallest niece turned 1.

I made J's 3rd b-day cake--out of cupcakes.
This is his favorite ball that made it through the tornado, and it's what he wanted for his cake.
3. My cycle of doom ended---now if only I could get AF to stop (20 days so far, new record)

4.  The temperatures are FINALLY below 100 degrees!!! I am almost into furnace season.

5.  I finally got paid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is sooooo nice to have money again.

6.  Hubby and I have a plan for paying off debts, buying a real house, and then starting a savings account to save for fostering/adoption costs.  We are leaning more towards foster parenting/adoption over IVF mainly because (if we need to go that far) in my case, I more than likely won't qualify for IVF, especially if the US adopts some of the IVF restrictions that other countries have.  Which means that by the time we save that amount of money, we will have had an election, and the results of the election will probably determine whether or not that mandate is approved. (Oh, joy and rapture--not!)

7.  The Ozarks are starting to show off the colors of fall---which means fall mums, red maples, the smell of burning leaves, football, fall parades, craft shows, hot chocolate...(I think I've lost track of the original idea, but you get the picture!  I looooovvveee the fall...and the winter..and spring...and summer.  OK, I really like all of the seasons, but it's important to remind oneself of the joys of each season!)

Soooo...September has gone by really fast, and while I'm looking forward to whatever's ahead, I am not wanting this time to go by too quickly.  I am feeling my age, and I'm not wanting to see my next birthday come too soon because I do want to begin some medicated cycles and see if they will work for me.  Here's hoping I can get into my favorite doctor in two weeks for her to schedule me with a specialist within my new insurance network.  That's the part that I'm scared about--seeing a new doctor and having him/her tell me that I'm a hopeless probably won't happen that way, but you never know...

Well, time to get away from here---we've got a horse show to work tonight and I need to get my stuff in order so that I can put together a bookshelf (I'll tell you the whole story next time) and work on some crocheting before we leave.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning...

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years...the day that America lost its innocence again.  I remember everything that happened that day, down to tiny details that pale in comparison to the awfulness of the tragedy, but I can just close my eyes and re-live everything as if it just happened yesterday.  I was half a country away, in the heartland here where I live, and yet I also sat in disbelief and shock at the loss of so many of my countrymen's lives. 

I was teaching at a small, rural school.  My first year as a teacher.  I was the band teacher, and my students and I were outside practicing, so we never heard the initial news.  When my next class came in, they asked me if I had seen the news that morning...I thought, "What an odd question..." but told them to get out their books and we went to work on their first major project.  I didn't go to lunch because I had to get my gear together to go down to the elementary school for my beginning band class.  When I arrived, the elementary music teacher asked me if I had heard what happened when the planes hit the twin towers.  I hid a grin as I asked, "No, what happened?"  I was positive she was giving me the straight line for a joke.  I mean, who uses planes to hit a famous building?"  Then I looked at her face...and felt the blood rush from my face as I realized she was telling me news, not a new joke.  I spent the rest of the day in a daze.  I spent my afternoon teaching middle school, and they let us spend 7th hour watching the news.  I had a 7th grade study hall, and we just sat in disbelief.  One girl asked, "Miss C, who would do this thing?".  I started naming countries in the middle east that were known terrorist hotspots, and even mentioned bin Laden.  The boys were upset that the school cancelled their first football game.  I told them that everything in America had been cancelled that night.  I remember telling them to ride the school bus home and then hug their moms tight, say a prayer for the families of those who were lost, and to not complain because we were spared.

I remember as if it were yesterday...the same way my parents remember the day Kennedy was assassinated, and my grandma remembers Pearl Harbor.  Those moments stick with you.  I never could quite understand how they felt about those events, but I knew that they were honored memories, ones that shouldn't be messed with, disrespected, or tossed aside.  I know they prayed that their children and grandchildren would be spared the horror that a defining tragedy brings, such as I pray the same for my students.  It is a horrible thing to see innocence ripped away in a moment such as that.

Which is why it is even more upsetting to me that we have teens today who seem to think that 9-11 is no big deal.  I saw one young lady (via a friend's comment) who said, "What's the big deal about today.  The planes crashed, people died.  Get over it already."  It felt like a punch to the gut.  What kind of generation are we raising?  Where is the respect for others' memories?  For grief?  For the significance of such an event?

I do not expect them to have the same reaction as me.  They were too little to understand how vastly our world changed on that day.  But just as I don't understand the Kennedy assassination, or the "Day that lived in Infamy", I still respect the loss of life and the feelings of those who personally went through it.  I have empathy for those who lost everything on those days.  It saddens me so much to see such a callousness in our younger generation.  We have lost our empathy, our sense of respect for our elders, our...I can't even describe it except to say that it was like a knife to the gut to read that thought from a young person.  I have studied my history---I know that those who do not understand their history are doomed to repeat it, and I don't ever want to repeat that day 10 years ago.

So where were you 10 years ago?  And how can we get our students to understand that this wasn't "just a day"?  And that it was R-E-A-L and not a video game or something that happened half a world away?  And that there is a reason to "never forget"?  And that it wasn't some vast conspiracy by our own government, but evil perpetrated by evil people?  And that evil people continue to exist and seek to do us harm? 

I don't know answers to these questions, I only know that in my corner of the world I can educate my students and make sure that they understand.  I cannot save the world, but I can shine a light in my corner and make the darkness go away through the light of my life.  It may not be much on its own, but I hope that others will join with me to light the darkness and drive away apathy, and hatred, and irreverence, and disdain. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I'm so excited that hubby is coming home tomorrrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I really am--can you tell?)  In the meantime, I"m sitting here writing this post as I stare at the ever-growing list of things to do here at home.  I could be cleaning the bathroom, putting up some border, finishing the re-do of my closet, daring to go into the spare room and unpack bins and then put some semblance of order into my crafting space, vacuum the living room, doing the laundry...

I'm doing none of those things, however.  I was out shopping with my mom this morning in the "larger-than-our-town" town (not quite the "big city").  She was shopping, I was along for moral support--my checking account is telling me that I can't buy anything until hubby gives it some money.  Anyway, that threw a monkey wrench into my plans for the day--but who's going to do chores ahead of shopping with mom? 

Anyway, I've spent the afternoon NOT doing my chores, well not doing the more dreadful ones anyway.  I'm working on crocheting my Christmas presents for Brother/SIL and Sister/BIL, and SIL/BIL.  And I need to come up with b-day presents for my nephew and my I've been working, just not on grownup stuff.

I think my procrastination will catch up with me, eventually.  I've already discussed this with my body, as it has had its own ideas on procrastination.  After putting it off for three months, my body finally decided that *perhaps* I would want an end to the cycle of doom.  So in response, I have been dealing with the effects of my body's procrastination--an AF that has been going strong all week.  So, since it is CD 5, I'm going to start on soy again to see if it will work this time. 

Here' s hoping for a *normal* cycle this month.  A "monthly" cycle, like other women have.  One where I feel like a real woman again.  Where I don't feel like a failure, and where I have confidence in my womanliness. 

Well, that's enough wool-gathering for now.  Off I go to put clothes in the dryer, take out the trash, and get back to work on the afghans.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  Maybe it'll be the day I'm hoping for!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

As I've started spending more time reading other blogs and learning what others are doing, I realized that many bloggers participate in "Wordless Wednesdays".  What a novel concept...that will NEVER happen here since I have not yet figured out how to shut my mouth about anything!! (Hee-hee)  So, I've decided to create my own "special" day:  Thankful Thursday, where I count blessings and share uplifting-ness!! Here goes:

*I'm thankful for a job where I can make a difference.

*I'm thankful for this blog where I can just be me, even if my "me-ness" is too, well, me.

*I'm thankful for being able to keep this blog going--and have spent a bit of time re-reading all of my past posts.  It's neat to see how God has brought me this far, and hope that He continues bringing me further.

*I'm thankful for a WONDERFUL husband who loves me even though I sometimes don't love myself.

*I'm thankful for my family--including my in-laws--because they are a great support.

*I'm thankful for a lady in Australia who made this picture because she knew we were grieving the loss of our baby.  http// (I think that's the site.  I'll double check later)
I am really, really, really thankful to have something this beautiful to remind me of the daughter I had, not that I need reminding or her existence, but in that it is tangible evidence that she existed.  And that someone half a world away has remembered her name.  And has made her memory look as beautiful as I have imagined she would look.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Changes Are Good Sometimes do you like the changes to this page?  After almost a year of blogging here and there, I've decided to get more serious and actually start using this thing correctly.  So, I logged onto the changy thingy and changed some stuff up.  Do I know what I'm doing?  Calling it a "changy thingy" should be your first clue.  No, I have no idea what I'm doing.  I just like trying some new stuff out every once in a while. 

 I think I like the new look.  I tried to find a picture that looked like "the road less traveled", but since I don't really know what I'm doing, the picture of the highway was the closest I've gotten.  Which, if you really think about it, does fit.  I expected to find a picture of this neato nature-ish pathway, and instead, I found the highway.  Oh well, at least you can go faster on the highway than on the pathway---hoping that unexpected metaphor rubs off on me in real life!!

What's new with me today???  I (gasp with drama) have a list.  (To which you reply sarcastically, "Of course you have a list!")  Here it is:

*Work is going well.  My schedule has changed--yet again.  We're working on my girl becoming more independent, and the 7th graders need a para in their Science classroom.  I am amazed that there are teachers out there who will not modify their assignments for the super-low special ed kids.  It just boggles my mind.  It doesn't require mounds of extra work.  It just means that you have to have more than one day planned and that you understand that special ed means "cannot read, write, or compute on grade level", and that MR means "functions at about a 1-3 grade level when in 7th grade".  And that pass/fail means that if they are in your room, attempting things, and not causing behavior problems, YOU GIVE THEM A PASSING GRADE!!!!!!!!!  Sheesh, I mean how can you expect a kid to understand, much less fill out, a 7th grade worksheet when you don't allow them to take their work home with them or to the Sped room????  (Ranae pauses, takes a deep breath, and then steps off of the soapbox, because the teacher she is referring to will never change, and totally did not get the subtle sarcasm that Ranae used today when telling her that she should give those particular students FULL CREDIT for attempting the assignment, because they DID IT,even though they didn't answer her every question or use complete sentences properly (and 1/2 of their answers were written by Ranae because, ya know, THEY CAN'T WRITE AT A 7TH GRADE LEVEL!!!)  Seriously, how do you not know how to modify...)

*Hubby is working a horse show this week and is gone.  I miss him something awful, even though he is getting paid good money to tell people and horses how to walk around an oval.  We really need the money, but I am sooooooo looking forward to when he returns...

*My period finally started yesterday, so it's officially CD2.  Here's hoping to a MUCH shorter cycle this time round.  I think I'll cry giant tears of despair if I have another 80+ day cycle again.

That's my today!  I know that I'm getting several of you who read, and I've changed the settings so that you can comment without being a follower--so comment away!!  Tell me what you think, only remember that even if you disagree with me, do so in an adult fashion, using polite words, and don't bash people!!! (I hate having to add that, but having seen the comments some of the ladies I follow have received this past week...people need to follow the Thumper rule:  If ya don't have sumfin' nice to say, don't say nothin' at all." )

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"It's Just A Game"...except when it's not.

For the last week or so, Facebook has been brimming with a new "game" that's "for women only" that asks you to support breast cancer awareness by posting a status that suggests you're pregnant and craving a certain type of food.  It concludes by "making it a secret" from all the men.  This bothers me.  On many levels.  So I'm going to explain.

First of all, I know that for some of you, this seems like making a mountain out of a molehill.  But once again, this is my blog, my opinions, my space to vent about how things make me feel.  Sooooo....if you think I'm over-reacting, then stop reading.  There is no reason to trash-talk someone for expressing her personal opinion on her personal blog.

Here's what bothers me about this "game":

1.  It has, every year that I've seen it, used a double entendre to show "support"
for something serious.  The first year was your bra color, then it was the size of
your shoe, in inches, (which sounded like the length of a certain body part)  then
last year was the location of your purse (worded to sound like locations for sex),
and this year it is a fake pregnancy announcement.  The purpose of a double
entendre is to sound suggestive while saying something completely innocent.
I personally thought the whole point of breast cancer awareness was to
"de-sexualize" the breast so that people would take this type of cancer as
seriously as we do lung and brain cancer.  This "game" seems to be in direct
opposition to that goal.

2.  It's supposed to be kept "secret" from the guys.  Why????  Men get breast
cancer, too.  I don't like portraying anyone as being dumb or  imply that they are
"not smart enough" to get jokes.  I get that breast cancer is mainly a women's
disease, but I'm not cool with this "anti-men" thing.

3.  Anyone who takes offense at this "joke" is told, "It's just a game.  You just
need to get over it."  Really?  There are a lot of things I put up with, but put-downs
are not one of them.  We tell our children that bullying is bad, but where do
they learn it?  From the adults .  I get that most women just kind of giggle about
"being in the know" , and just play along, especially as this is supposed to
promote breast cancer awareness.  But some people, me included, really think
that this is hurtful--especially the fake pregnancy announcement joke this time. 
I don't find the humor in it.  That's because of my prior experience and the fact
that I don't treat pregnancy as a joke.  It's hurtful to the many women that have
gone through infertility, infant loss, miscarriage, and those who have lost the
chance to become birth moms due to cancer treatments and hysterectomies. 
But then to belittle their hurt by telling them to "suck it up" because they took
offense?  That's bullying.  No, we don't have  to participate in the game, but
don't put us down for being upset about something that cuts us deeply.

4.  This "game" doesn't actually help breast cancer victims, survivors, or
research in any way.  It just makes suggestive statuses the rage for a couple
of weeks.  Wanna help out the cause?   Perform monthy breast self checks. 
This is important for everyone, but especially for those of us who are
"well-endowed" because our breast size makes it hard for a mammogram to
detect the early stages of cancer.  Check your husband out as well.
(This can definitely be more fun than your own check!)
Donate to the American Cancer Society.  Visit someone going through chemo. 
Lend a hand in the cancer treatment center.  Pray for those going through
treatments, mourn with those who have lost the fight.  But don't make light of a
serious issue---because behind every issue there is a real person going through
a real fight for his/her life.  Don't trivialize the fight.  Stand and fight alongside
them, helping them to fight, to endure, to win, or to die with dignity against
an enemy that seeks to rob them of both their humanity and their dignity.

In the end, I guess this "game" has increased breast cancer awareness, but mainly because we infertility bloggers have really gotten livid about the vehicle used this year to promote it.  I, like many of my fellow bloggers, find it offensive to "fake" a pregnancy in any way.  More than some, I know what it's like to both be pregnant and then have that ripped away in a heartbeat.  It's not fun, it's not a game, and it's making light of the great miracle that pregnancy and birth is.  As far as for it being all in good fun, I don't find any humor in double entendres in general.  In the privacy of my home, I will occasionally use one when joking with my husband, but never in public.  It's just crass.  I find more honest humor in the funny things that happen at church, in my classroom, and that come from the lips of my nephews and nieces.  I love a good practical joke--I had to, growing up with a younger brother like mine!  I can be a funny person.  But double entendres aren't funny.  And neither is this game.  It's not "just a game," any more than cancer is "just an illness."  Remember to think before you put something on-line--it's good advice for everyone.  Make sure that you lift others up, and shy away from things that put others down.

And for what it's worth,  I'm not "mad" at anyone who participated in the "game".  Just mad at the concept and not understanding how a Facebook status could help save someone from a potentially fatal disease.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The More Things Change...

Well, I'm finally back to blogging, and I do hope to write something of note more often--like start writing a bit each night instead of these long novels every few weeks!  But like the good little procrastinator I am, I have a really, really good excuse.  Drumroll please...........................I've been tired.  More like exhausted.  I come home from work each day, collapse in my favorite chair, check my FB, read the news, grab a bite to eat, go to watch some TV, and then practically fall asleep in my chair by 7:30.  So hubby usually wakes me up long enough to get dressed for bed and I'm sound asleep by 8-8:30.  Then up again at 6:30 and off to work before 7:00.  Exciting life, huh?  I don't know what exactly is going on with my body, but if I thought I could make money off of it, I would bet that it's hormone related--only no one who knows me would take that bet b/c I'd win every. single. time.

I've settled into my job now, and I really like it---I work as a personal aide to a girl with Down's Syndrome and then help the other MR kids in her class when we go to "regular" classes.  They're all great kids, some with autism, some who are just really low.  But none of them are "dumb", they all have that light of intelligence in their eyes, and none of them are saddled with the added difficulty of being "drug babies", so no behavior issues.  They're just low-functioning---but at the high end of the spectrum.  I'm getting to be a teacher, just in a slightly different setting and just at the salary of a Para, but I'm loving it.  I've had several doors open for me, and I hope to be able to step into the ones God has for me.  So for the first time in a few years, I'm starting to feel renewed as an educator.  It's a good feeling.

Now for the elephant in the room.  No, I am not pregnant.  I am not going to be pregnant for a LONG time.  It still stinks.  However, I am excited to become an aunt again.  In March.  Slightly unexpectedly.  I'll explain.  My SIL had privately e-mailed me a while back that they were wanting to expand their family in the near future, but knowing the pain that sister had caused me with her all-of-a-sudden public announcement, they would tell me first, over the phone, and understand it if it took me just a bit to be "ga-ga" over the news.  Their plan was to wait until March, when their daughter was 18 months old, to begin again.  I had told my husband way back in June when everyone else in the world was announcing they were pregnant that I thought Brother and SIL would probably be expecting by Christmas.  Well, last week, I got my call--and I am excited for them.  They are both still in shock, because between birth control pills and breastfeeding, they thought they had covered their bases on contraception.  But it meant a lot to me that they thought of how it would make me feel when they went public.  It was a little thing in the big scheme of things, but it meant a lot.

I am STILL in the middle of the longest cycle of my life.  I am *almost* positive that my weight has caused these cycles from you-know-where.  I have joined the local Curves, and am hoping that the exercise, combined with Metformin and pre-natal vitamins, will bring that weight off.  I actually had 15 days of spotting, starting on the first day of school, but since I never ovulated, it wasn't actually a period.  Who knew my body had its own finely-tuned version of sarcasm and irony?

I'd better get going, since I still haven't packed hubby's suitcase.  He leaves today for an entire week--announcing a national horse show that pays good money, but it seems to last forever when he's gone.  And I really do miss him a lot when he's gone.  We married so late in life (ok, I was still technically in my twenties at 29 11/12ths) that we'd each had enough of being alone, and do really enjoy the pleasure of each other's company.  I'm not one of those "whew, he's gone.  Now I can have some fun." type of women.  So it's going to be a long week.  And I have to make sure he has presentable clothing to wear on this trip.  So, until later, Adios!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Being Flexible

So I've spent this week getting ready to start a new year of school as a Paraprofessional in a new building, doing new things, and learning new stuff.  Just so you know, it's not just kids who get the jitters about being the new kid in school. :o)  

When I first started teaching 11 years ago, I felt called to teach middle schoolers.  They were still young enough to be excited about learning, challenging enough to keep you on your toes, stubborn enough to need more than "because I said so", and old enough to grasp sarcasm--my native tongue!  As the years progressed, I moved more towards elementary, and if I ever teach again, I'm going to concentrate on the little guys.  I felt my calling had changed--it just broke my heart to see the middle schoolers losing that "little kid-ness" and becoming hardened individuals before they hit age 11 or 12.  Doing drugs, sleeping around, getting pregnant,...and I know it's a sign of the moral shift away from absolutes, but that kind of stuff wasn't supposed to happen to "my kids". 

Then when I was crying out to God for a job, when all else was lost, I took on a job last year as a Paraprofessional for middle school math.  And loved it.  I found my zeal for the middle schoolers again.  I had been renewed, and began looking for something similar (OK, I was looking for a teaching position, but this one offered me a job first--before I had even started the interview!), and this job opened up.

I started officially on Monday.  When I was hired, I was going to be a Special Education Paraprofessional for High School Job Skills Students. (Nifty title, huh!)  When I arrived at my first meeting, I got told that I was still hired, but that I would be moved to the elementary.  I was OK with that.  So, I went to my meetings, looked over the IEP data for my assigned elementary students (very low functioning), and started getting together a schedule.  When I arrived on Tuesday, I went to two elementary meetings and then got told by the Special Ed. director that where I was REALLY needed was with the lower functioning Middle Schoolers.  So I went to the middle school special ed. teacher who teaches the low functioning students and we made out a schedule of when I would be doing push-in with regular teachers, and when I would be doing work in her room.  I shredded the elementary stuff and re-organized my "first day of school" bag.  Then, as I showed up this morning for my training meeting, the director told me that she thought I would eventually end up in the middle school, but that for the first week, I would be working at the high school with the low functioning students up there.  So, once again, back up to the high school.  I met all of the teachers I would be coordinating with, wrote down ANOTHER new schedule, and then was getting ready to leave for the day when the director called my new cooperating teacher.  We had a new student enroll in the middle school who had such severe disabilities that a full-time aide HAD to be assigned starting tomorrow.  So, I guess this is all to say that I go in tomorrow, the first day of school, to start assisting a very special student that I have never met, don't know how much assistance he/she needs, have no idea about how much physical support to offer, and don't know if I will need to utilize what sign language I know to communicate with the student.

What I have learned: 

1.  I am "technically" in violation of our confidentiality policy, since I have seen the IEP's of    
     students I'm not working with. (although when I saw them, I WAS going to be working with
2.  I am apparently really good at being FLEXIBLE!
3.  They trust me enough to let me work with the lowest-functioning students.
4.  I will be expected to know how to handle students with varying abliities--and I do, just not
      on a 1-to-1 basis.  I'm going to be learning a lot, and learning it quickly!

So, I guess I'll find out about my job as I go.  Here's to a great school year and the hope that this turns into a teaching job sometime in the future!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me?

Well, today is the day that I turn 33.  Unlike most women, I absolutely adore my birthday.  I even still celebrate my half birthday!  (Although I will admit it's more because it's a heck of a lot cooler in February than in August)  I got to have a family birthday party last night and am looking forward to another one with the in-laws in another couple of weeks.  Since it's so hot, I'm thinking that just celebrating my birthday the entire month might be OK so that we can pick the one day the temperatures are under 90 degrees and then go to the zoo that day!

Today the hubby is taking me to the Ozark Empire Fair--compliments of the press pass we got since he works for a radio station, out to dinner where the wait staff will sing to me, and then cap off the evening with a movie at the $2.00 theatre.  Call me a cheap date if you want, but I can have fun for a tiny amount of money!

The only time I wish I didn't love my birthday is when it comes to our childless state.  I really would like to stay 28 until I had my first child, then age after that.  Urgh.  I see all of my high school and college friends/collegues on facebook sharing pictures of their families, and realize that I AM old enough to be the mom of a high schooler.  Many of my high school friends were finished with their families by our ten-year reunion, and most of my college friends are on child 2-5 right now.  There are many days I wish I was in their shoes.  I knew I would be an older mother, since I didn't get married until four weeks before my 30th birthday, but I really thought I'd have one and maybe be expecting #2 by now. 

That's really the only thing that really stinks, and God knows I think it stinks.  I let Him know frequently, and try not to whine about it all the time.  I can't stand whininess, so I try to not whine to Him.  I do, however, repeatedly plead my case before His throne.  There are days when I can see how His timing is best, but then there are many more days when I just stew about why my life (while admittedly NOT crummy) isn't filled with the joyful laughter of my own children.

But that's enough stewing today.  I hope that by the time I write this post in a year I will have different things to stew about.  Here are my hopes for when I turn 34:

1.  I hope I'm pregnant/a new mom/in the process of becoming a foster/adoptive mom.
2.  I hope I am healthy and have my PCOS under control.
3.  I hope I've lost 60-80 pounds.
4.  I hope both my husband and I have good full-time jobs so we can qualify for #1.
5.  I hope that we can move to the community we attend church in.
6.  I hope my relationship with my husband grows deeper and fuller.
7.  I hope my relationship with God grows fuller and deeper as well.
8.  I hope I can be more than just a "fun" aunt to my nieces and nephews, but also be a 
     listening ear and a Christian example for them.
9.  I hope that I can say I've had a positive impact on the students I work with.

I hope...and pray...and as my brother-in-law said last night, "Dear Lord, we thank you for this year, we thank you for the birthdays we celebrate tonight, and we ask that this next year be better than the past one."   I would like to add "Pleeeeeeeeesssssseeee Lord, let this next year be better--I think two years of yuckiness (and yes I know You've taught me things, and they haven't been yucky all the time, but...) has earned me a happy year.  So pleeeeaaasssee, let this year be better than last."  Amen.  (and amen)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Just In Case You Ever Wondered...

In case you've ever wondered what it's like to walk a mile in my's a video that sums up my emotions quite nicely.  And no, I'm not like this every day, but I've heard of 10 new pregnancy announcements from friends and family in the last 3 weeks, and while I'm happy for all of them, there's this feeling of being left in the dust while everyone else gets to see their dreams come true.  And I guess I'm also worried that when I finally get in to see the specialist this fall, he'll tell me that I'm too fat to be a mom, or too old, or that I'm a hopeless case.  I just really, really like my current doctor, and I don't know about a guy doctor--especially one who doesn't know me.  Anyway, here's the video, and no it's not directed at anyone--I really am happy for those of you expecting--it's just that I'm sad that it's not me at the same time---I really think that those of us suffering from infertility lead dual lives with multiple personalities.  I feel like two people most of the time, happy yet sad, hopeful and hopeless, ready to meet things head-on while still wanting to hide behind a rock...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Telling My Least Favorite Bible Story--HELP!!

This week I'm teaching Vacation Bible School at my church.  Who am I kidding?  I'm not just teaching it, I'm adoring it!  My two favorite things:  preschool kids and teaching.  What's not to love?  I've got all these great ideas, and I'm full of ideas since I haven't been teaching for a year...

Anyway, it's going wonderfully except for one teensy, tiny, itsy-bitsy thing...the story for the final night of VBS.

It's the story of Hannah, and the theme of the night for the preschool is "God gives us good gifts."  Ugh.  I know God gives good gifts, but couldn't we have expressed that thought with another story?

All of my helpers are moms or grandmas, and while I don't know their personal stories, its going to be hard to tell the story with them in there.  Why you ask?  Well because the story of Hannah goes like this:  Hannah was married to a guy named Elkannah.  She was his most-loved wife, but he had another wife who was exceedingly fertile, who had borne him many children.  Hannah had none.  Zero, zippo, nada.  Wife #2 apparently had scads of free time, because she spent every waking moment reminding Hannah of her status as an infertile--and insinuated that Hannah was not "woman enough" or "religious enough" to be blessed as a mom.  Her husband, because he knew she was being treated wrongly, loved Hannah all the more tenderly.

Hannah wept bitterly, and I'm sure she often questioned God in her prayers.  Finally, during a trip to the temple during one of the holy festivals of the year, Hannah breaks down in prayer during a private visit in the temple.  She is crying and praying silently,(because even then infertility was the "taboo" subject) when the priest sees her.  His first thought is to shoo her out of the temple because she wasn't praying aloud--he thought she was soused--but then he asked her what the matter was.  When she explained her heart's desire, the priest assured her that God had heard her prayer, and that anyone as devoted as she would have their prayers answered.  Her prayer was that if she had a child, she would give him back to God.  Sure enough, by the next year, she had her baby.  Three years later, she came back and gave her son, Samuel, back to the temple in the service of the priest. Impressed by her faithfulness, the priest blessed her and her husband, and later Hannah ended up with 3 more sons and 2 daughters.  Samuel went on to some really awesome stuff, and there are two whole books in the Bible about his life.

It really is a wonderful story, and some days it does give me hope as an infertile woman.  My problem this week is that it seems that they want the story presented as "If you pray for something hard enough, it will be given to you."  I don't want to give my itty-bitties false hope, don't want to be that bitter, "God doesn't always give us stuff" person, and don't want to just start bawling in the middle of the story.  I don't want to mess them up.  I know they're just 2-5, but I worry that telling them something that's not a complete truth will end up being a stumbling block later on in life.

So here's my would you tell the story?  The theme "God gives us good gifts," is true, but what about the fact that He doesn't always give us everything we pray for?  How can I show my kids something to make the story "stick" ? 

On a personal note, how do you as an infertile woman deal with people who quickly bring up this story as the be-all, end-all to point out that if you were just religious enough, or prayed harder, that God would suddenly bless you with six children, and the reason you're not a mom is because you're "just not Godly enough"?  I've not dealt with a lot of women like that, but have had it dragged up by family memers (not close ones) and some older women who have never heard of PCOS.

I know this has been a long post, but I really would like a lot of input, please. Thanks!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

MIA...But not on purpose

Boy, a lot can happen in two months, especially when you live in Missouri.  Ididn't intend to leave my blog unused for so long, but life has happened to my family at such a rapid pace, I just haven't had the time to sit down and compose anything.  When I last left you, I was trying to put in a memorial flower garden for the daughter we lost in utero two years ago.  That project has also been placed on the back burner with everything else because of what's gone on.  I promise that from here on out I'm going to more regularly update the blog, even if life gets in the way.  But, so that you can see I'm not joshing you about the hecticness of my life, here's what happened while I was away:

May 14th--Last blog post.  Spent the day and most of the next week working and picking strawberries out of my giant strawberry bed.

May 22--Out picking strawberries, trying to beat the coming storm, when I get a call that my sister and her family have just survived a tornado that hit Joplin.

May 23-27--Trying to get things organized and get plastic bins bought so that we can salvage as much as possible from my sister's house.  Find out that I lost 3 friends in that tornado.

May 28-30--Memorial Day weekend--Cleaned out my sister's house--saved about 90% of their belongings, but most things that were in their garage are gone---saw all of the places I used to shop at, work at, visit often--and they were all gone, some completely.  I saw how God protected my sister and her family--the room they were in was spared by six inches--God is good.

June 1--My sister has her baby.  All my worries about getting to hold my new nephew went out the window with all that had happened before.  We almost lost my sister in the delivery, though.  Doctors believed that it was delayed shock from the tornado--but she and the baby are doing fine.

June 9--I go to the house my sister is staying in temporarily and get to babysit the boys--boy was that torture (not!!!).  I've gotten to spend more time with both boys since #2's birth than I was allowed to spend with #1 the first year of his life.  Of course a lot of that had to do with the fact that they were needing to take care of insurance stuff and trying to find a new house.

June 11---My period FINALLY started.  It was a 64-day cycle, the longest one I'd ever had in my life.  I'm worried that it could be early-onset menopause, because, you know, I'd have no luck at all if it wasn't for bad luck.

June 12--We had to put my cat down.  He had been with me since I lived in that house in Joplin, and was my constant companion and a good mouser.  It broke my heart to have to do it, and I still miss him.

June 13--Babysitting the boys again.  My husband has decided that Christmas is too long to wait for a new kitten for me--he's decided I'm getting one for my birthday in August, but while he's on the porch talking to me over the phone, a VERY bedraggled, flea-bitten, rib-showing, tiny kitten stumbles into our yard.  God knew I needed something to keep me entertained--after a LONG bath and an hour picking off and killing fleas, he looked adorable--we named him Greyson.

June 17-24--I'm doing Missouri Girls State, where I'm the music director.  Camp is a blast, except for the total lack of sleep involved!

June 30-July 2--Moving my sister and her family into their new home.  Of course it was the hottest day to date for that move :)  I discovered my new favorite cleaner---Bon Ami---it cleaned all of their appliances that had taken the brunt of the tornado's wind and debris so it looked like they'd gotten a new stove and fridge.  Now I can't find any of that miracle stuff for my house (of course, because if I didn't have bad luck...)

This last weekend, we spent a vacation/anniversary trip/needing to get away from it all/HAD to go see the niece trip in OK City visiting my brother and his family.  Got lots of photos of the niece, got to go to a wild animal refuge and pet baby white tigers, toured the bombing museum and memorial, and then saw Green Lantern on the way home as a anniversary present to my husband.

Whew!!  It makes me tired just writing about it.  In the middle of all of that, I lost at least half of my strawberry crop due to not being home to pick, went and had my annual "well-woman" exam and found out I'm going to have to see a specialist to do anything like Clomid or Femara, and that due to not being able to take my Metformin regularly, I had gained 20 pounds--(back to the no luck but bad luck)--I've even been eating better and don't eat as much anymore (I hate you, PCOS!).

But I start my new job in two weeks, get insurance again in six weeks, and will finally be able to get back to seeing if I can become a mom before I'm 90 like Sarah in the Bible. 

That's been my two months in a nutshell...can anyone top that?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Fitting Tribute

As you know, I've been struggling with a way to physically memorialize the daughter I lost.  I'm still going to put in a flower bed this year just for her memory, but that's provided that it stops raining long enough to dry things up enough to till the soil...but I'm thankful for the rain, because it's God's way of cleansing spring.  I just wish it hadn't rained for 20 of the last 30 days!

Anyway...I've been following this blog:  for some time now, hoping against hope that I could send in Elizabeth's name.  I always managed to visit the site when the request list was closed, but finally got in last week.  Today I visited, and there it was, such a gorgeous picture, loving made, with her name written in the sand.  The lady who started this has herself lost a child, and has created a ministry from that loss--she lives in Australia by a white sand beach and every week she takes that list of names and writes those childrens' names in the sand.  She then takes a picture of name, sand, sea, and sunset for the family to remind them that each life matters--no matter how long it was on this Earth. 

This is the closest thing I have to a Mother's Day card.  It's the closest thing to it that I'll ever have from my daughter.  I'm going to print it out and frame it and put it on the wall.  It will come with us no matter where we move, and it will serve as a reminder that once upon a time, I was a mom, for a fleeting moment, to a beautiful daughter.  That seems to be a fitting tribute.  And one day in heaven, where I'm sure we'll see a comprable view, Elizabeth can show me how she can write her own name in the sand.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Random Thoughts In My Head

Sooooo...Yesterday was a really, really, really hard day, and nothing made it better except for the fact that I took a three-hour nap and then went to bed an hour and a half earlier.  I honor my mom and grandma on Mother's Day, as well as my sister and sister-in-law, but other than that, I would be perfectly fine without a whole day whose purpose seems to be to point out the fact that I'm NOT a mom.  I know that just about every woman struggling with infertility thinks that, and to be honest, most people who easily have children don't understand exactly how deep the hurt is.

Six years ago, I began making corsages for the ladies in my church.  It was my way of honoring the moms around me.  Six years ago I was mourning on Mother's Day for a different reason--I was 26 with no husband in sight--I had no chance of being a mom because of that, and so I threw myself into it to keep from being uber-depressed.  I also noticed that moms don't wear corsages anymore--that was a given when I was growing up, and I thought it was sad that the tradition had kind of gone by the wayside.  Plus the Ag teacher at my school always hadthe 8th graders make their own and he showed me how it was done.  I wanted to use my new skills to help others.

Fast forward three years.  I was at a new church, and had just lost my first and only child.  I made those flowers to keep from bawling all day long.  Each corsage reminded me that I wasn't a mom, but yet it was cathartic because I could impart some of my love for Elizabeth in each flower.  It was more of a "I've started this as a ministry and have to keep doing it," than any sort of memorializing action.  This year I made 108 of them for family and church moms.
This was the one I made for my Grandma!

It has morphed back into a ministry, but it's still a reminder that this is my third year as a married woman, and the third Mother's Day I'm still not a mom...ugh. 

And in other news involving my LOVELY body, I still haven't started my new cycle.  I was so excited about getting that soy and getting to use it, and here I am, Day 30, with no ovulation in sight, which means no way in heck I could be pregnant, which means that I'm royally ticked at my body.  I haven't had a cycle this long in YEARS.  On days like today, I absolutely HATE PCOS.  Every time I think I've got it under control, or at least am on an even keel, something happens that just tips me over.  To top it off, thanks to PCOS, I still have all of those "lovely" early pregnancy  symptoms--faint nausea, sore you-know-whats, extremely weepy,...etc.  I have had long cycles in the past, none longer than 48 days, but it's just frustrating, because...what if it's not the PCOS?  What if I'm more of the family freak than I know and its early onset menopause?  Or cancer? Or some weird disease?  I mean,  (as I get reminded all too often) I AM 32, almost 33, and those eggs are getting stale and moldy.

I guess that I just need to try to regroup.  I sat in church yesterday, trying to hold back the tears, and felt that maybe it was time to say goodbye to motherhood.  I don't want to, but I've been trying for what seems like an eternity and it gets harder every time I see a friend or family member cooing over their new addition. 

What slammed into me like a brick wall was this:  I sent a dozen corsages with the men serving communion at the nursing home.  They handed them out to the ladies there who were mothers.  I know that someday I will be that elderly lady in the nursing home.  Who will come visit me?  I realize that sounds incredibly selfish, but I don't want to be old and lonely--and with my need to serve others that probably won't happen, but that's what floored me yesterday.

OK, enough brooding.  I've got a great day ahead of me at school, and then I get to spend the night at home.  That's good enough for today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good News...FINALLY!!

As far as the title goes, I should clear up a few, I'm not pregnant, no, I haven't lost 100 pounds, no, I haven't found a cure for people who say stupid things without thinking, and no, I haven't found a million dollars just lying around the house. (Hee-hee!)

I do have good news though.  First, I was nominated for this blogging award by one of the ladies who follows this blog.  That's just cool.  It makes me feel like an adult--(now if I could just be as tall as an adult...) I'll get back to it in a second.  But my BIG good news is this...I FINALLY GOT A FULL-TIME JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I would do a flip, but then I'd probably end up in the emergency room.  I'm still going to be a Paraprofessional--or teacher's aide, but at a larger school, and FULL-TIME.  I'll be working with Special Education students in the high school and helping them both with their academics and with job/life skills.  I went in for the interview and the lady told me that I was one popular woman, because she'd had a TON of phone calls and e-mails from people telling her how good I would be for the job. (Thanks people at church!)  I didn't tell anyone to contact her, but my church knew I was hoping to be considered for the position.  Anyway, I make it official on Monday after I talk to my current principal.  It's just sooooo nice to be offered a job after an interview.  I have some of my confidence back.

OK , back to this award thingy I got.  I'm supposed to link back to the person who nominated me (which I don't know how to do--help!), then list 10 facts about myself (okey-dokey), and then nominate other blogs that have touched my heart. (which I would do, but most of them have already gotten this award, and the others are private blogs--soo once again--help!)
Here goes:
1.  I am three inches taller than the mandatory "you should be in a booster seat". 
     Amazingly enough, I can still drive well and see over the hood of my car.
2.  My husband is a foot and a half taller than me--which points to God's sense of humor!
3.  We have a cute dog and two cats.
4.  I enjoy crocheting, knitting, needlework, reading, writing, gardening, basically any
     type of work that allows me to be creative.
5.  I'm one of the pianists/organists at my church, and I pray every week that the organ
     doesn't blow up while I'm playing it!
6.  I'm amazed by the love the FATHER has shown me these past few years.
7.  I find beauty in the small things--the wings of a sparrow, the sunset, the face of a child...
8.  I intensely dislike housework.
9.  I'm waiting impatiently for the yard to dry so that I can get started on the garden.
10.  I believe that children are one of God's biggest blessings...and continue
       to be surprised by those who take them for granted.

As far as the rest of the challenge---I'll do it as soon as I learn how.  But thanks very much for the honor.  And..........I'VE GOT A FULL-TIME JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Doing Difficult Things

I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to difficult things, I'm a waffler.  Some difficult things I see as a challenge and then do them just to prove someone wrong, while with others I just don't do them because it seems too hard.  I'm going though some difficult stuff right now and I'm having to work really hard on my motivation to put everything in category one instead of category two.  It's hard, especially when some of my hard stuff seems so easy to others.

Under category one, I have the ongoing issue of borrowing the tiller.  My grandma owns a Mantis tiller.  She is one inch taller than me, weighs 90 pounds dripping wet, and is 90.  I was able to borrow the tiller last year because I lied and told her that my husband would be running the tiller.  If I ask to borrow if, she says she'll just come over and do it because I'm "too little" to run the tiller.  I don't get it either, but I'm waiting for it to stop raining every other day to go over and ask to borrow it.  It's hard work to till the garden and the new flower beds, but I'm willing to do it because I want to honor the memory of my daughter and to be productive with a garden--it keeps me busy and helps me get out frustrations!

One of the difficult things in category two that I am in the process of overcoming is the church nursery.  I was all ready to help out two years ago when I was pregnant.  I signed up to be on the rotation, but the first Sunday I was supposed to help was the Sunday right after I miscarried.  No one noticed that I removed my name from the roster, and no one ever asked me to help again.  It's been two years, and I'm finally to the point that that room isn't too scary for me to be in it.  It helped that a couple in our church has started a marriage Bible study group, and no one volunteered to help them out with childcare.  I asked if they needed the help, and so Friday night I found myself alone in a room with an 8, 15, and 18 month old.  I try not to think about it too much, but the 18-month old is the same age mine would have been.  I did fine, I mean, I was a nanny in college, I'm a certified teacher with a certification for K-12, and I genuinely love kids.  It was just a hurdle to get past.  I'm going to be doing it again tonight, and I hope to have some more little ones to watch.  We'll see.

As for the things that are still bothering sister is due to deliver her second son in a little over a month, and I'm still not ready to deal with that.  I was OK when my brother and his wife had their little girl, and I didn't get too bad about holding her (partly because I didn't get to meet her until she was 3 months old, and partly because they weren't worried that I'd drop her).  But my sister is a different story.  When her first son was born, I got to hold him in the hospital, my heart melted, and my husband and I began talking about starting our family.  Then I got pregnant and miscarried.  During that time, when my nephew was about 3-4 months old, he got to spend his first night with grandma and grandpa.  My sister left three pages of instructions about his care, and right there in the top 20 instructions was the one that said I was not to hold him "because she might drop him".  I have balance issues.  When I'm tired.  It was like a slap across the face that she thought I would hold a baby when I was dizzy.  My mom had me hold him anyway, and my mom was the one that made me hold him after my m/c.  I know I'll fall in love with the new nephew too, but I don't think I can deal with "instructions" again.  I guess there is a part of me that's afraid that if I touch him, something will go wrong and I'll be blamed for it. 

So I've got a month and a half to work on my attitude regarding the new nephew.  I think my parents will be upset if I don't go see him in the hospital or within the first week of his life, but I don't know if it's a good idea to touch him until he's older.  Who ever heard of it being difficult to just hold a baby?  I mean, that's what women do, right?  Of course women are also supposed to be moms just like that and we all know where I am on that issue.  Ugh.  I'll get there, I'm just going to need to reallllllly lean on the Lord for this one.

 I also still need a job.  I'm to the point where I just want to walk into a superintendent's office and say--Just pay me that wages of a first-year teacher.  I don't have to be paid like a 10-year teacher.  Almost every job I applied for last year, they told me I was the best interviewee, but then they hired someone right out of school.  It stinks.  I haven't heard back from one school yet this year.  It's getting disheartening.  I know it will work out in the end, but this is year two of the job thing too, and I really need good news in that front, too.  God will provide, He will provide.  If I just say that long enough, it might sink in and help to relieve some of that stress.