Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Up/Currently

 It has been raining for a week now and shows no signs of stopping.

For a while the rain was peaceful and refreshing. Nothing better than a good curl up on the couch with a book and the drip drip drop of rain outside, right? Except now it has been so long and the ground is all mushy and there is flooding and we are stuck in the house and it's just getting silly. Where was all of this rain during the summer when it was dry and hot as hell?

Fall is here! I can't believe it's the last day of September. It's still warm here. No Autumn crispness for us. Still, the little lady and I are enjoying starting our mornings off with hot cocoa every day. Lots of marshmallows and sprinkles on top.

We are gearing up for a wedding in the family in a week. So much to knock off of my to do list!

I've already made a bunch of October plans and I'm waiting anxiously like a little kids for it to finally roll around and the fun to begin. There are pumpkin patches to explore and Halloween food to make and a costume to sew and Boo at the Zoo and the annual Halloween festivities at the art museum and of course trick or treating!

To kick off  October we are making chocolate covered apples. Om nom nom.

Probably my most exciting Halloween plans are that the guy I married and I are going to a haunted house. I have never been to one! I'm already scared.

This popped up in my memories on Facebook today and I could just burst. I remember this night. Alice was only 2 and she said 'nigh nigh, seat tight, no bugs to bite'. Translation 'Night night! Sleep tight! Don't let the bed bugs bite!'.

We are probably going apple picking again this weekend because my mom loved it so much. To be honest, I have so much to do to get ready for the wedding and I'm a little stressed at the thought of driving all the way to the orchard and spending hours there and driving all the way back but I couldn't say no because my mom doesn't get out to do fun stuff often and I love that she loves it so much. Making memories.

Alice is obsessed with learning to spell and turning her S's into snakes.

As I was finishing this up I saw the first rays of sun we've had for a week. Golden first morning light. The best kind. Happy Wednesday. Check out the link up!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Halloween Booooks

'Tis the season to get your spook on! Here are some of our favorite Autumn and Halloween themed books.

Room On the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler
Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo
Where's My Mummy by Carolyn Crimi
Scaredy Cat, Splat! by  Rob Scotton
Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane
Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon
Inside a House That Is Haunted by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

Any recommendations for must have Halloween reading?

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Word- Hope

I want to incorporate a word into my life. Something that holds meaning to me, that I feel I need to focus on. A word that encompasses my world right now. Words are so powerful. We breathe them in and out. We can build nations with them or we can tear people apart with them. Words move you, they shake you, they make you get up and do something. They change you. Words are important.

My word is HOPE.

Today I go in for my blood work. We'll find out this week if the 2nd round of Clomid worked or not. Today, I need HOPE.

Let me be honest. I am a very realistic person. Sometimes, realism seems like cynicism or pessimism. Maybe sometimes it is. A person wears a coat of realism to hide their inner cynic. Personally, I don't think I'm a cynic or a pessamist. I think I'm honest with myself and I don't believe we'll get the good news we long for. I think we'll hear back that Clomid didn't work again. Part of this is because it didn't work last time, so there's nothing to prove to me yet that it CAN work. Part of it is to defend my heart a little, because last time I was so sure it had worked and was completely swept out to sea when we found it hadn't.

My realism doesn't stifle my hope.

I am realistic about this journey, knowing everything that I know. I know that not everyone gets their happy ending or their miracle. I know that I am lucky to have had children at all and I'm grateful to have the chance to be a mother. I know that infertility is expensive and can take years to see any improvement. I know that I'm nearing my 30's and your fertility takes a nose dive. I'm realistic, see? Knowledge.

But I have hope and I will keep fighting for the hope and I will remember that I decided to take on HOPE as my own word and think on it every day. I believe that the best is yet to come. I believe that we are meant to be parents again. I don't know how or when, but I know that it's supposed to happen. One day we'll welcome a child to us and all the pieces will fit together. I know that there will be really bad days where I will cry and hate hoping, because hoping makes it all harder when things don't work out, but I know that this journey isn't going to end for us. Not yet. I really do believe.

I'm lucky enough to have a partner that doesn't waiver and really believes that this will all work out. He is a rock. Not once has he stopped hoping. That gives me strength to keep going. I couldn't get through this without the wonderful person that he is.

This has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm writing this out for my own benefit, to come back to when I need it. I hope that wherever you are, whatever you are going through, you will keep a close guard on your hope and never let it go. Hope is what makes us dream.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Easy Bean and Ham Soup

It's getting so close to autumn and cold weather and hot weather food. I love soups and stews and chili. They are so comforting. I've gotten hyped up about them a little early and started soup making already. Here's one of my favorites-

Very Easy Bean and Ham Soup


- 3 to 4 carrots, peeled and chopped into coins
- 3 to 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, diced (depending on your love of garlic, ours is strong)
- 2 cans of white beans
- 1 cup of diced ham
- ham bone (optional, but yummy)
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste (don't add salt until the end after you taste it! ham is very salty)

 How to-

I usually start with roasting a ham. I do this the day or 2 before and use some of the ham for dinner that night. Usually for a 13 dollar ham on the bone I can stretch it out to 3 meals. So for the first night we just had sliced ham and some veggies and a starch. Then I chopped up what I needed for my soup and reserved the ham bone.

Super easyness about to happen- chop up your carrots, celery, onion and garlic and throw it all in a heavy bottom soup pot with some oil over medium heat and cook it about 5 minutes until it's softened up and fragrant.

Add your Italian seasoning and let that cook a minute to rev up that flavor. Add your cans of beans and your ham and the chicken stock and then plop the ham bone right in there. I leave a lot of meat around mine so that it falls apart as it cooks. Add a couple of cups of water if you need some more liquid or more chicken stock if you have it.

Crank the heat up and bring all of this to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer, cover it up and cook it for about 2 hours. Add a little pepper (or a lot, if you're like us) and taste to see if it needs salt. Ours didn't at all. All done!

Serve this deliciousness with some crusty bread or some garlic bread and you're good to go! So good. So easy. So filling and comforting. Cheers!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Clomid- Round 2

I'm starting my 2nd round of Clomid. It feels much different than the first. I had very high hopes last time and I really thought it had worked. But my blood work confirmed I'd never ovulated, which was totally unexpected and it crushed me. It took me a long time, a couple of months, to feel ready for the 2nd try and now that it's here I'm anxious and scared and I have no expectation built up.

This cycle I'm not using any fertility tracking, I'm not stressing over having sex every day or putting my legs up the wall after. I'm just going to go about my business as usual and hope for the best. It's all I can do right now.

I'm crossing my fingers and toes that it works this time. I'm not even looking to get pregnant right now, I'm just hoping to ovulate so I know that my ovaries are working. Little steps. Little hopes. It's hard to put on a brave face. The next few weeks are going to drag. Blood work on the 21st cycle day will confirm what happened up in here, so body, listen up! It's time to do your job. Pop out an egg or two. Make me happy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Love That Body

Everyone is talking about the fat shaming video (yes, SHAMING) made by some youtuber see-you-next-tuesday. I am not going to link to anything about her, I'm not going to look up her name because frankly, I don't give a shit who she is or what she has to say. I should also say that I haven't watched the video because I like myself and I don't want someone to make me think things that aren't true. I can't quote it. Obviously I know what it's about and I have read articles about it and seen quotes from it and I've read what other very smart people have to say about it. I've got the gist. And honestly, it hasn't even really made me that angry or upset because she isn't the first and she won't be the last.

In our society, bodies are public property. Splashed all over magazines and the internet, we scope out women's bodies and we compare them and we whisper about them and we write about how so and so hasn't lost the baby weight or LOOK AT THIS LIST OF CELEBRITIES THAT GOT FAT OMG or this celebrity is so thin, could they have an eating disorder!!!! Body shaming, specifically fat shaming, is the last socially accepted form of bigotry and bullying. It is perfectly natural for anyone to comment on anyone's size or shape. It's the norm. There are reality shows based around fat people not being fat anymore or people getting plastic surgery to be more 'beautiful'. It's a sickness. Unfortunately, it's not a sickness that most people realize they have. Because it's normal and it's what is done so people blindly do it. But there's a group of people out there rocking the world. The body positive movement is in full force and it's not just for fatties! It's for everyone! I urge you to seek it out. Change your world. Whether you are thin or fat or whatever. We all have body image issues. And the body positive movement acknowledges that and says 'love yourself anyway! even when it's hard! even when people are mean! because you deserve it!'.

So all I really want to say is that there will probably always be assholes that say that body shaming doesn't exist and want to talk about your weight and feign concern or truly believe that by making fun of you or making you feel awful, they can force you into some sort of change that THEY deem necessary. Don't buy that bullshit. Don't buy into it, man. Your body is yours. And it's great! It's gorgeous. Give the world the finger. Tell it to go suck an egg. Do you. You are wonderful. Our bodies do not belong to anyone but us.We have big, juicy brains in our head and we get to decide for ourselves what is what. Don't let anyone crap on your happy rainbow parade of life over something as lame as weight.

And to any bitches that want to talk smack about people's bodies, tattoo this on the back of your hand so you don't forget anymore- if it's not your weight, don't talk about it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Our Weekend- Anniversary Celebrations and Apple Picking

It's a bittersweet Tuesday. We sent our boys off to work and school this morning for the first time in 3 days. Actually, it has been 4 days for Husband. I miss them so much.

What a lovely weekend though! We had a rare weekend to ourselves since my mom offered to take the kids for our anniversary. Lucky number 7! We dropped the babes off with her and then went to the zoo and walked through their gorgeous gardens.

Our actual anniversary was Sunday and we had such a relaxing, chill day. We stayed home and watched movies and ate yummy brunch and dinner and peanut M&M's and played a new dice zombie game. We slept in until 10! I'm grateful we had that alone time together to regroup, spend quality time and be lazy.

Monday was a very special apple picking day! We took my mom and she had a blast. It was her first time. We took the hay ride and the kids played a ton and looked at farm animals and we picked a whole bushel of apples which is A LOT of freaking apples.

Some gorgeous memories we're making and with the best little family a girl could hope for. Cheers.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thoughts On Our Anniversary

Nearly 7 years ago I married my very best friend. I truly have never met anyone that is more giving and tender and devoted and loving. I honestly believe I must be the most well loved person on the planet. He's just that good and wonderful. I know that through us, our children are learning what a strong, respectful, loving relationship looks like and one day if they decide to have partners they will have a great example to grow on and that fills me with such joy. There isn't a better partner in crime. I just don't have the words and I'm all full of sobs now because I love him so much and I'm so grateful every second of every day. Even when he's driving me nuts and not picking his socks up and using puns as a second language. He's my favorite.

It has made me better, loving you. -Henry James