Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quaking In My Boots

I'm a pretty strong woman. If you've ever met me, know my story, know who I am, you know that I'm awfully hardy.  I'm sweet and soft and kind and compassionate. And I'm tough as nails.

But here I am about to approach what I am finding is the scariest thing I have done in a very, very long time. We're making a baby. The Wife and I have been talking a lot about how much of the process we should share with the world. Not because we're shy, but because we don't want to be that couple that over-shares everything.

I'm a little bit scared, because I've been labeled "infertile" before. When I was married to my ex-husband, he had what was essentially a zero sperm count. Anything below 15 million sperm is considered a low count. My ex had less than 500,000. So, technically, my ex was infertile, but I was the one that had to go through all of the treatments. There's not a lot out there to fix a zero sperm count. So, our option was insemination. When you combine that with my polycystic ovaries, and our chances were very, very minimal. We tried naturally for over two years, and then did 2 inseminations with ovulatory drugs, and failed every single time. Each time I got my period, I was pretty sure my heart was being torn out of my chest. I am fairly certain it was the beginning of the end of our marriage.

I met The Wife. I fell head over heels in love. She and I began talking about babies fairly early on in our relationship. We knew it was something we both wanted, though I really wanted to be married and settled in before we started putting a lot of energy into knocking me up. But now we're married and we're very settled. We have a wonderful relationship. We live in a neighborhood we love. The Wife has a fantastic job. I am in a position where I can continue to work occasionally and be at home to care for a child.  We're ready.  It's definitely time!   

But I'm so scared! And I know I'm going to need support and I'm going to need to vent. I will absolutely continue to link to my blog posts on Facebook, but I'm going to try to keep the baby making crazy contained just to my blog so that my friends who could care less about this process don't have to read it. 

So, how can you support us? Honest, I don't know. I do know the things that hurt when I hear them (and believe me, we've already started hearing them).

Things NOT To Say When Your Gay Friends are Making Babies

You can always adopt or foster. 

It will happen when it is supposed to happen. 

Maybe it isn't meant to be. 

Aren't you afraid of multiples?!?!

Have you tried XYZ method of increasing fertility? My second cousin twice removed did that and got pregnant right away!

You can just keep trying. 

It was hard for me and Mr. Me, but we just kept having sex and it happened.

Every time my husband looks at me, I get pregnant.

Why don't you just go have a one night stand? 

Who will the father be? Do you know what the father looks like? 

What will The Wife be to your baby?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I May Be Dying of Withdrawal

Last week, I started the process of weaning myself off of caffeine. I cut my regular coffee 50/50 with a pound of decaf. And I did alright. The first day or two I had a mild headache, but I did okay. And by the end of the week, I was having no problems at all! I was so excited. This was gonna be easy.

So, when I got up this morning, I wasn't even a little bit nervous about making the switch to 100% decaf. I brewed it up in my Aeropress so that it would still have a really strong flavor. Just because I can't get the buzz, doesn't mean that I can't enjoy a good cuppa, right? And it tasted great.

About an hour later though, I was completely out of it. My head was throbbing. I was having a hard time forming complete sentences. When The Wife asked me if I could measure a space in the kitchen for the new table we're considering, I couldn't remember how to work the yard stick.  Really!  A YARD STICK. A stick with inches printed on it. Was I supposed to measure from one end or the other? It wasn't long enough! OH!

So, I went back to bed. And slept it off. And woke up a few hours later much more clear and ready for the day. Around 6 o'clock, I finally started feeling like a human again.

Day one- Caffeine free. ACHIEVED!

This baby had better be awfully cute!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Giving Up "Blogging"

Trying to hard to be a "blogger" and not to just write. I have no desire to be a blogger. I just want to clear my head, get my thoughts out, and maybe occasionally connect with someone else. For awhile, I was enjoying the idea of it, but it's just not what I'm in this for. Sure, the free stuff is fun. But it's just too much work to consistently need to try to "build a reader base" and  remember to reply back to every comment. I enjoy reading your comments, I really do. I just hate responding to them out of obligation! I want to respond because I enjoy the relationships! So, from now on, no more "blogger". Just Amelia. I hope you stick around.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #2: Skin Care

This time of year, specifically if you live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, skin care tends to come up in the forefront of your mind. Moisture!  It runs from me. It vexes me. And it must be mine! 

For someone with extremely acne prone skin, like me, it becomes a constant war. Right now, my facial skin care routine works about 90 percent of the time, which is the best results I have had in my SCHMIRTY SCHMIX years of life. Obviously, there is room for improvement, but I'm just not up for changing it up right now. 

I've always found cleansers to be far too drying for my skin.  For many years, I used Noxema because it was a good old fashioned cold cream. But it also triggered my acne horribly. I discovered Olay Wet Cleansing Cloths a few years back and I adore them. They get my skin clean, but I never feel like they have thrown off the pH or the oil balance of my skin.

Growing up, we didn't have health insurance. So the idea of visiting a dermatologist about my worsening skin was something that my family never considered. Now that I'm an adult and I am privileged enough to have awesome insurance, I got some prescriptions to try to get a handle on my acne. And it's definitely better than it used to be. I use clindamycin phosphate in the morning and tretinoin gel at bedtime. 

And another Olay product for a moisturizer! I hate to sound like an Olay advertisement, but they are truly the only products that don't irritate my skin. I use the Olay Complete all-day UV moisturizer for sensitive skin with SPF 15. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Has anyone seen my brain?

The Wife and I both started classes this last Monday. To say that our house has dove headfirst into a bit of chaos is the understatement of all time. She's working her way through four classes. I'm working my way through four classes. Essentially from as soon as we finish eating dinner at night until we are ready to fall asleep, we're both working on homework. Thankfully this first week has been pretty simple and it's giving me a little bit of time to ease into it. 

The Wife has been doing this for a few semesters now, and between working full-time and her class load, she's been pretty exhausted, but successful. And I'm sure that once I get a handle on the overwhelmed feeling and get myself on a better schedule for my day to day household management, I will be successful, too!

Until that household management schedule gets put in place though, if you come over to visit, don't mind me. My hair is never brushed before noon anyway! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Books N Bloggers Swap

So freaking excited about the new swap that I've joined over at Chaotic Goddess Swaps!  This time around we're swapping books! I absolutely have no reason to add more books to my collection and absolutely no reason not to. Bring on ALL. THE. BOOKS. 

The guidelines are pretty simple. Send your partner THREE books:

  1. A book you love
  2. A book you haven't read but are interested in
  3. A book from your partner's wish list

Monday, January 6, 2014

Family Friend Low-Carb Part 5: Spicy Cauliflower Casserole

We have quite a few nights every month where there are multiple appointments, errands that need to be run as soon as The Wife gets home from work, teenager crisis that need to be handled, animals that need to be fed. It can get a bit chaotic.

This is another one of those quick meals that is super easy to prep. Because it's an oven casserole, it takes a hour to bake, but the prep literally takes about five minutes. We use it on nights when we have a ton of other things happening around the house that takes up. (This recipe also has a slightly higher than normal carb count than we would normally consume at dinner. So, when you make it, make sure the rest of your day allows for additional carbs.)

1 lbs spicy breakfast sausage
1 can/box condensed cream of chicken soup (we like Pacific Naturals Organic)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup water
1 small head cauliflower
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Season to taste (I generally use sea salt and black pepper, but that depends on which soup we use)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown sausage and drain. Chop cauliflower into to bite sized pieces or finer. Layer cauliflower and top with sausage. Combine soup, cream, and water in a bowl and pour over cauliflower/sausage. Bake in foil covered casserole dish for one hour. Remove foil, top with cheese, and bake for five additional minutes to melt cheese.

So easy. So delicious!

Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 452
Protein: 20
Fat: 36
Carbs: 11
Fiber: 3
Net Carbs: 8

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #1: New Year Inspiration

So, I joined up with the other folks over at the 2014 Blogger Challenge. That essentially guarantees all of you that I'll be posting at least twice a month.

The very first challenge of the year is to talk about our New Year Inspirations. 

Instead of making resolutions, I make a commitment to one word. But while I was narrowing down my words, I stumbled upon a number of beautiful quotes that are really inspiring how I want to live my life this year.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014 and One Word 365

I tried the resolution thing for years.  Each New Years' Eve I would start obsessing. What in the world was I going to do about my life? What tiny little thing was I going to focus on that was going to change everything? Before midnight, I'd come up with a horrible list of goals and obligations that I would stress out about for the entire month of January. By the second week of February, I would have a list of excuses just as long as my list of goals. And a year later, nothing had changed.

A few years ago, the beautiful and genius Regina over at Soul Composting introduced me to the concept of a choosing one year to focus on throughout the year.

I recently discovered the One Word 365 community and I'm pretty stoked about connecting with other folks who are committing to the same word.

Last year, I chose to focus on Balance. And it was such an affirming selection. I learned balance in my world view. I applied balance to my parenting style. I found balance in my daily schedule, and in the time I devoted to my home, my relationships, and my self-care.

This year, I spent most of December thinking about the word that I would concentrate on for 2014. There were a few really close runner-ups;

  • Present (to BE present and focus on the present)
  • Grace (to do honor or credit to, and, of course, God's Grace)
  • Faith (in myself, in God, in others)

But none of those words felt exactly etched into my heart. I prayed. I meditated. I word-clouded. And nothing felt right. Until I woke up this morning, and the word slid into my thoughts as though it had been waiting, a little epiphany and blessing.

For 2014, I will CONNECT

Connect to other people- New people, old people, current relationships, family, friends. I want to foster relationships with authentic connection.

Connect to myself - Pay more attention to what my heart and soul truly need. I want to listen to my inner guide. I want to connect to who I am behind everything else.

Connect to God- My focus will be more on my relationship with God this year. More prayer, more listening, more reflection. A deeper connection.

Connect to community- Finding a church, taking more classes, joining more groups, establishing true community connections. 

Connect to nature - Spending more time doing the things I truly love outdoors; hiking, camping, kayaking. And while I am doing those things, truly taking the time to appreciate the connection  of everything. 

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