Sunday, August 29, 2010

my very first recipe blog

i LOVE to cook, and i cook about as often as i have time (and sometimes more often than i don't know why i have never really written about food and recipes, but i'd like to do that more.

yesterday i made a very simple dessert that was a very big hit at sunday dinner today: banana split cake.

in a 13x9 cake pan - preferably a pretty deep one since this gets thick (i didn't know that and had to sort of squish mine), spray some cooking spray. just in case. you never know when something will stick.

then, make a layer of ice cream sandwiches, cutting them to fit as necessary. on top of that goes a layer of sliced bananas (it took about 3 bananas).

over that, drizzle chocolate and caramel syrup (as much or as little as you like). you can add a layer of cool whip if you want here, but i didn't.

then do another layer of ice cream sandwiches. (this is when i started squishing because i realized that there was no way it would all fit in my standard cake pan. it works out because the ice cream fills any gaps between the sandwiches.) on top of those, drizzle more chocolate and caramel syrup, and top with a layer of cool whip.

mine was so deep that the cool whip stuck out above the top of the pan, so i froze it for about an hour before i covered it in foil. then i just stuck it back in the freezer for the night.

if your freezer is super excellent like ours is (thanks, tim!), you might want to microwave a serving of it for about 10 seconds before eating it.

mine was a toned-down version of paula deen's recipe. if i remember right, she added strawberries and pineapples to hers, as well as walnuts. my husband doesn't like any of those, so i cut them out.

it's easy. it's delicious. you should try it. :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

don't mess with grandpa

so today we went to red lobster for my birthday. we had seven in all, with my parents, my grandpa bob and grandma bette, seth, and then justin and me.

that isn't really the story though. the story comes after the eating. we were leaving, and i had drank about 3 glasses of their raspberry lemonade so i had to stop at the restroom on the way out. everyone else stood outside of the restaurant and waited.

i was walking out the door, and if you've been there you know that they have the two sets of double doors at the entrance. i could see grandpa standing just on the other side of the left outer door. in front of me was a 40-something couple. both of them stood about 6 feet tall. they had no idea of knowing that i was there with the man outside the door.

the entire right side of the exit was clear. nobody but the tall couple (compared to me, at least) and me, and then grandpa on the left outside.

the man proceeded to go straight to the door behind grandpa. now, my grandpa is 80 years old, and he can't hear very well, and he doesn't move like a flash and that's just fine because he's 80 and he can do what he wants. but that guy pushed open the door practically into my grandpa's back and asked him to move out of the way!

i went to the right (the clearest path out), opened the door, and with a glance sideways i said right to them, "you know, this door opens too."

the woman got in a huff and snarkily said, "well thanks for telling me, i sure wouldn't have known."

to which i replied in my own best snarky voice, "well, i wondered."

they stomped off and got in their big tall pickup truck and honked as they left. i think it's guilty conscience. some people like to be jerks because they feel entitled, and if you call them on it, they know they've done something ridiculous and they get ticked at you because they still want to feel entitled.

know this, rude people: if you mess with my grandpa, i WILL tell you about it.

i almost think they deserved harsher words, but there were so many on my tongue at once that i just stated the obvious. sometimes you've just gotta flip over some tables, i guess.

(i resisted the urge to flip something else whenever they drove by honking...but seth had that one covered.)


well it seems something did change, but not change at the same time, with the different med schedule. normally i don't get a positive opk until seven or eight days after i stop taking clomid, but i got one today and it's only been five. buuuut, since i was delayed two days on my normal schedule, it's actually the same day it has been happening according to the old schedule too. maybe that makes sense. i hope so.

then yesterday at work a little girl said, "it was weird seeing you at mississippi flyway last friday!" i became confused, because i haven't been there in at least a year. i said, "i don't know who it was, but it wasn't me..." apparently she even told the person hi and her mom even commented on how strange it was to see her teacher.

so to my look-alike in the town where i work: please don't do anything ridiculous in front of people i know. let's not go to the mall falling down drunk, or wear skimpy nasty clothing, or make out with someone on the street, or any number of various other things that i would not like to do or be seen doing. you might accidentally be an authority figure, and i'd hate for you to screw it up. thanks.

Friday, August 27, 2010

justin's card for me

on my 26th birthday:

Here are 26 things I love about you:
I love...
1. the way you sigh after laughing
2. the way photography makes you smile
3. that you get sad when people don't like banana flavoring
4. that you love me
5. the way that you snort sometimes when you laugh
6. your sunflower eyes
7. that the food you cook tastes good
8. that you make the time to cook that good food
9. the way you love summer
10. how I never think you're paying attention when we read together, but you always understand more than I do
11. the way we laugh together
12. that you tear the crust off your bread
13. the way you love chocolate
14. that your face lights up whenever you talk to children
15. that you get un-cranky after you eat
16. your desire to be a mother
17. that you challenge me to be a better man
18. that you cut recipes out of magazines
19. the way you keep track of household affairs
20. that you love our pup
21. your shoulder freckles
22. that you bear with my faults
23. the way you think you're a bad painter but you're not
24. the way you get shy about singing in front of me
25. that you will tell me every word i misspelled in this card
26. that someday, God willing, you will be the mother of my children, however God decides to give them to us

and he didn't spell anything wrong, either. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

seeing lights...

so this time around, my infertility doctor prescribed my clomid and told me to take it two days later than i normally had been, according to some different "rules," so to speak, than my doctor down here uses.

it is the same exact dosage as last time, but it is making me super dizzy and i am seeing all kinds of funny lights in the bottoms of my eyeballs. of course everything inside my head goes, "maybe that means it's going to WORK." but it most likely just means that i am seeing lights.

i started doing opks today and it was negative, but no big deal. it will be positive soon enough. we are not doing an IUI this month, but we do have an appointment next week to talk more about IVF and our options with that. i am still leaning toward three and i am hoping that the doctor AND justin will be with me on that. we will see soon, i guess, but i am ready to have the decision made just in case it does come to that. i also anticipate learning about how exactly the endometriosis has affected my fertility - namely my egg quality - through IVF.

i also researched adoption a little bit. with the local agency that we would use, we can't even apply until december because you have to be married for three years first. on top of that, it's just about as expensive as IVF. sigh. i told justin today that we might as well face the fact that we were most likely going to have to go into debt to have kids. (granted i would go into debt so far that i couldn't even afford the value menu at mcdonald's for a fancy date, but that's not how it works.)

and with work: second year, new group of kids, it's amazing the difference. i really like our group of kids. some of them are even shorter than i am, so that's different. also, they are really funny. today there were like three minutes left before the final bell, and one kid said really quiet, "when i get to the crib, i'm gonna eat some hot pockets." i cracked up. maybe you had to be there. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

avoiding it

i don't like to go to church anymore. sunday school doesn't bother me, but church is overwhelming. it's not about the church service at all. it's not that i'm living my life in such an unholy way that i feel so convicted that i'm squirming in the pew.

for various reasons, instead of going and getting filled up for the week ahead, i leave more drained than i feel on a friday at 2:30 after a week of work. i usually am in tears by the time we get to peach street.

i just never know how something is going to hit me that day. i might be ok all morning, or at least able to fake it enough, or i might cry through half of the song service and the altar call. that's pretty taxing on a person who already feels run down.

and then, there are the poorly chosen words and phrases from people. i'm not talking about the people who are coming up and telling me their infertility success stories. that is actually something that i really feel lifted up by (albeit frustrated at my lack of a miracle). i just mean maybe an offhand comment about something. i try not to be overly sensitive, but my goodness everyone knows what we are going through. i'm not asking people to tiptoe around me, but telling me that i will understand such-and-such when i'm a parent doesn't do a whole lot for my emotional well being. if i make a purposefully silly comment about pregnancy or about babies or about children (which i am not totally ignorant of, as some may believe) and someone takes it seriously and corrects me on a fact "there's no way i would know" about, i want to crawl into a hole. a comment someone made on mother's day that was just not a good idea and completely unnecessary still sticks me in the heart, and it's august.

and then there are certain conversations i won't join, because i know i have nothing to contribute. just in case, you know, someone might be talking about pregnancy or kids.

and granted, more times than not, nobody says anything totally insensitive, but the times when people have just give me anxiety wondering which day it will be that someone does it again. and sometimes, i don't cry through half of the service, but most of those times it's just taking such effort to shut down and not cry that i might as well.

i understand these are all ways in which the devil works. he doesn't want me to go to church. he wants me to be sad. he wants me to get relief from not having to go to church. and to a small extent, i do.

i just don't really know what to do about it. and that's why i write - because i don't have all the answers.

Friday, August 20, 2010

first friday back

well we all made it through the first week of school. i had the kids fill out "getting to know you" papers so that i could learn about them. this is the class that i subbed for a LOT so i've had many of them in class before. one of the questions on the paper was, "who is your favorite teacher and why?" to which one student replied, "so-and-so is my favorite teacher. but you were my favorite sub." HA. i'll take the compliment, but it won't affect the grade. ;)

in other news, my endometriosis is back in full swing. hello, cyst. it is shooting pains down my legs, across my abdomen, and up my back. i am not having surgery again until they take it all, so i'll just have to live with it. DUMB.

i have asked justin to consider attempting to fertilize three eggs. i think he is leaning more that way, which is good. we are going to meet with the doctor again soon, at least by september 15 but maybe sooner. if we can get her to agree to implant three if they should all fertilize and grow, i imagine we will.

of course, chances of this resulting in triplets are slim to none - even twins are probably unlikely. but with 1/3 of the eggs generally fertilizing and growing, maybe we will have one awesome tiny baby. and maybe we will have three, and maybe we will have none. it's hard to tell.

i have been afraid that God will tell me that i am not supposed to have children. i know that most fertile people probably think that's ridiculous, but it's hard to knock the feeling. but He hasn't said that yet. i am hoping He honors our careful consideration with a child, but God doesn't always work like that.

i think that my biggest worry is money to pay for the IVF. we have enough for one cycle. we would freeze any extra eggs, and if we needed to go back and use those, we could attempt it, although the technology is still experimental (so much so that it is FREE to freeze, store, thaw, and then if they survive, fertilize them). the only cost there would be the meds and the transfer, which probably still comes to $5000, but that would probably be covered too. that's when the money runs out. i'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

i'm hoping we just get a miracle baby this month and forget all that. but then i think i'd take a miracle baby any month, really.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

we canceled

and i actually have peace about not doing it this month, because i feel like we need to reach an agreement on GOOD terms and in the RIGHT way.

we have both talked to my doctor, and she went ahead and prescribed me 100mg of clomid this month, so i start that on thursday. it's interesting because the days i will be taking it are a couple of days different in the cycle from what i had done with my doctor locally. i wonder if it will make any difference in how things go.

our prayer is that God will remember us, hear our prayers, and open my womb - that He will heal my endometriosis and allow this month to be the month we become parents, against all odds.

i'm just gonna say that if God wanted to work a miracle, these next few months would be a great time. please be praying with us for unity in our decision making, for conception and healthy pregnancy, and for our relationship to grow ever stronger with each other and with God.

Monday, August 9, 2010

initiative is ok.

throughout the past year, i have had lots of emotions. it has been stressful and trying and ugly at times. it has been up and down and hormonal (thanks, clomid) and taking my temperature and cutting out caffeine in two-week bursts. it has been hard.

all the while i know how much we want a baby, and how it's no longer a thing that can be taken lightly. my endometriosis is aggressive, and no amount of de-stressing and waiting will make it better. it has to be handled aggressively.

i say all of that to say this:

more recently, i have struggled a lot with knowing how to feel about our pursuit of infertility treatments. i don't feel any moral objections toward any of it. i KNOW it must be done in order for us to have a baby, whether i am pregnant right now or whether we have to pursue further treatments. it won't work on its own, apart from a miracle, and that's that. it's pretty matter-of-fact.

but everyone knows that patience is a virtue. and i really want a baby, so it must be an idol. and isn't it better to just "give it to God?" so these ideas have made me feel like God has to be against us if we are taking any initiative whatsoever.

and in spite of all of the typical "encouragements" for someone going through a hard time, it's unfair to apply every message of perseverance and patience and putting away your desires to our quest to have a baby. i cannot simply say, "God wants you to be patient and just sit and wait and not do anything." He hasn't told me that. i cannot say, "if you would just stop wanting a baby so much, you would have one." that is ridiculous. i cannot say, "if you would pray about it, it would happen," because we all know that we have prayed about it for a long time, and others have prayed with us.

you don't sit around feeling hungry and hope God will send you some food. you go to the grocery store and buy it and cook it and eat it. matt chandler has a sermon about waiting around as a single person, and how ridiculous it is to never try to meet anyone and instead "just wait on the Lord to bring her to me."

we have made choices and have done things instead of just waiting around. we will continue to pursue this, and hopefully God will bless us with the child we want so much.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

this is it.

in four days, we will know if this last try before ivf worked. my temps have been extremely weird this time. i have had several low, which isn't good, for several days, and that doesn't usually happen until like day 31. it's been since probably day 24. hm.

with my higher dose of clomid this month, i can't be sure how to interpret anything. i have had several shooting, pulling pains in my abdomen over the course of several days. i have been tired. i have been emotional. and it could be pregnancy, and it could be 100 mg of clomid tricking my body into being overly hormonal. i'm betting on the latter.

our schedule is printed out and tacked to the bulletin board behind me. a baby schedule. how weird is that. call the doctor, get the final schedule, take this medicine, give yourself this shot, give yourself that shot, come to the doctor three million times in st. louis while you are working, etc.

so we will see how it goes this week and what we are looking toward next. this is it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

the importance of neat handwriting.

i had a kid in my class last year who had horrible handwriting and who also littered. i would find his scrawling, shaky handwriting all over papers stuffed into a desk on a regular basis, for which he received several detentions.

once one of my students in another class found one of his papers and read it.

he made a comment that made me wonder what on earth he had seen written on that paper. i later read it myself. it was about dogs and the various things that they were used for.

dogs, it said, are pets. it also said that dogs can be workers. lastly, it said, "dogs are therapists."

the other student's comment came back to me:

"this person thinks dogs are the rapists."

and that is why it is very important to practice your handwriting.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

just in time.

i must preface this blog by saying (for those of you who don't know my "schedule" lol) that i don't know whether or not i am pregnant, so that's not why i am writing this.

sometimes, you want something - maybe even need something - and you feel like for some reason it is out of reach, even though you feel your intentions are good. you might pray about it, even praying daily for this thing that you want.

you might pray for so long about it that you begin to stop praying about it, thinking of it less and pushing it back from view. then you just stop altogether.

you stop thinking it can happen. you are abraham, asking God how in the heck a 90 and 100 year old could have a child. you are sarah (how appropriate, huh?) wondering how her worn out (or in my case, broken, just to interject the baby theme here) body can have a child - laughing at the idea.

one night, you might mention this old desire and even get encouragement to go in another direction from someone. it might be sound advice, too.

and then, suddenly, God answers your old prayer - the one you stopped praying. the one you gave up on. the one you just settled for hearing no answer to.

genesis 18:14 - is anything too hard for the Lord?

the phrase after that is "at the appointed time."

at the appointed time, you will have what God wants you to have. at the appointed time, your prayer will be answered in some way or another. at the appointed time.

and it's nice to reach that appointed time for something.

God sometimes reminds me that we are not forgotten.

thank You for the blessings,
the opportunities,
the people,
the friends.
thank You for Your love,
and the love others show because of You.
thank You for the reminder that You will answer at the appointed time.