Thursday, April 17, 2014

Saying Goodbye to my Kitties

We found a new home for our kitties. It was very, very bittersweet.

I've never chosen to lose a pet like that. And I cried. But it was for their own good. I haven't been a very attentive pet owner the last few years. They just need so much more attention than I'm giving them, Zay has never liked cats and has just tolerated them, and we've struggled trying to find places to live in this area that allow pets.

I've mostly felt relief since then. We can find a nicer apartment now. It's one less responsibility for me (I'm trying to simplify and de-stress and focus on the most important things, and the cats were not a high priority for me). I worried Kal would miss them, but he got to say goodbye and he's been fine.

When we first moved to Utah, I had a really hard time adjusting to not having cats. We always had cats growing up. Zay came home one day and surprised me with a cat who had been abandoned at a vet. He already had a name - Felix. So I gave him a middle name. He became Felix Bojangles. Ha ha. I loved that cat SO MUCH. He was my buddy. He slept on my chest. He purred loudly. Loved, loved, loved that cat. We had him for a year when Zay surprised me again. He got him a brother from a neighbor's new litter. I named him Zeus because I was reading a lot of Greek mythology at the time and he was so teeny tiny that I wanted to give him a big strong name that he could grow into. Zeus Shenanigans. Zeus and Felix were awesome companion kitties. They loved each other as much as I loved Felix. They were attached at the hip.

Then we brought Kal home. Felix had been with us for 6 years. Kal was sleeping on my chest and Felix didn't have the same place with me. Then my brother moved in with us and he teased the cat and had him hissing all the time. I hated that. Leave my cat alone!! And then... somebody left the window open. He got out. And we never saw him again. I cried so hard for my Felix. I put up missing cat posters all over the complex. He had a microchip and I reported him missing. No word. I was devastated. I still think about him 3 years later, hoping he was found and taken care of. We've moved twice since then, so I know he couldn't just find his way home. I had to let go.

I never bonded quite the same to Zeus. He was quiet and timid. He hid a lot. He liked to sleep under the bed rather than with me. I'm sure he was so sad to have lost his best buddy. So we got a "replacement Felix." A guy at my job had a litter of kittens he was trying to find homes for. He had one named Moo Moo. So, in came Moo Moo Ragamuffin to heal my heart from losing Felix. Moo Moo became Kal's cat, because they were born about the same time and were sort of "growing up" together. That was the hardest part about letting Moo Moo go. Kal used to give each of the kitties a kiss every night before bed. Not so much anymore, but still - that sweet memory made it such a hard decision to let them go. Moo Moo and Zeus got to know each other and became brothers just like Felix and Zeus had. They would curl up into one big cat poof together all the time.

The day came when I just knew I couldn't take care of them anymore. I've been apartment-hunting for a couple months and trying to find a place that allows pets and isn't a dump or crazy expensive is just impossible. Zay's allergies are always acting up. Cat hair was everywhere all the time. I still missed Felix. And these two cats had become a part of the background. They were best friends with each other. Kal played with them every once in awhile. But they became a burden to me. That made me so sad. Believe me, I'm one of those animal activist types who wants to save all the strays. And here I was trying to decide if I could even take care of the ones I have anymore. I felt so guilty as I looked into shelters nearby. The thought of taking them to a shelter made me sick. I posted an ad on craigslist, hoping against hope that someone would want them both so they wouldn't be separated. But who wants 2 adult cats? Seriously?

I don't think it was more than a couple days later when someone excitedly responded to my post. A family who was looking for two adult cats. They had just bought a house and was in the market for pets. Wife didn't like kittens, but was good with older cats. Husband was a big cat lover. They had two little girls who were excited to show new kitties attention. They came over that night to meet them. I could've sworn they were going to hide and be grumpy, but they came out and played with the family and were so cute. They loved the attention. The family loved them. I told them I was taking the kitties to the vet to get updated on all their shots and then I could bring them over with my whole big trunk-load of 6-month's worth of food and litter (seriously, I had a lot).

Kal and I spent those last few days with them paying them lots of attention. Brushing them. I let Kal know over and over that they were going to go to a new house and were going bye bye. He kissed them lots and said, "Goodbye kitties! Goodbye Zeus! Goodbye Moo Moo!" I brought him with me when I took them to the vet. I told him all about the "cat doctor" and how they were getting "medicine" before they go to their new home. He came with me to take them to their new family and he giggled and ran around with the two girls. The kitties sniffed the new place and I dragged myself away from there before I cried too hard. I came home and vacuumed every little bit of cat hair that I could find. I found their cat bed that I had forgotten about and cried about that and wondered if I should bring it to them. I threw it away instead.
 
Zeus Shenanigans

Helping me usher the kitties into the carrier


Moo Moo Ragamuffin



Giving me his best "sad face"


At the vet. Zeus has always been the shy one.

Moo Moo, checking out the vet's office

At their new home, hiding under a crib.

And this is where I left them. :(

Ugh. That was tough. But I'm so happy they're where they needed to be and now I can focus on other things. We're going to be pet-free for awhile and I'm okay with that. It was the right thing to do. *deep breaths*









Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"I'll Have a Baby for You"

Photo: www.nytimes.com

I don't know how many times someone has off-handedly declared that they would have a baby for me. I always laugh because 1) no you wouldn't and 2) that's not necessary. I think people have good intentions when they say something like that, but really... it doesn't help. It's nice to know people care and like to think they would make that kind of sacrifice for another, but no... really you most likely wouldn't... and even if you really would do it, you shouldn't.

I don't need or want a surrogate, if that's what you're offering. That's a complicated legal/ethical matter that I'm not comfortable with personally. And if I had the money to do in vitro and I felt okay with it, I'd be doing it on myself... not someone else.

And if you didn't mean surrogacy, but just meant that you'd conceive a baby, give birth to them, and then give them to me... I don't think so. Even a lot of women who find themselves pregnant in awful circumstances can't bring themselves to place their baby for adoption, even if they thought they should. What makes you think you could do it? I sure as heck don't want you off sleeping with a random guy to get pregnant "for me." Ummmmm, no. That wasn't the point of us adopting. It wasn't just to heal our situation and give us a child, no strings attached or by any means necessary. The point wasn't just to have someone randomly have a baby for us. It wasn't all about us. There's a child and a mother and a father to think about when you decide to go out and "make a baby" for me... that is heavy stuff, not something to joke around about or take lightly - "oh, I'll just have a baby for you" isn't that simple.

We went into adoption knowing it means a lot more than someone just creating a child for someone else. Kal wasn't just a gift from one person to another. It's so much more complicated than that. Adoption is difficult, but something we felt we needed to be a part of. Something spiritual. And it was, and has been. Adoption has taught us a whole heck of a lot about redemption and sacrifice and love and family. He wasn't created in a vacuum and he didn't come to us with a "clean slate." He has biological ties and they're not to us. That's complicated, even if it's beautiful. There's no need to go out and purposefully create more complicated. That doesn't make any sense. Complicated happens already - it happened to us when it really sunk in that we weren't able to make biological babies at the time we were trying and it happened to Kal's birthmom when she realized she was in a situation she didn't set out to be in and wasn't ready for. We both tried to do the best with what we had/knew at the time and adoption was the answer. That's what adoption is about, not just about us and what we want. Not just about creating a baby for us at any cost.

Sooooo, thanks. But no thanks. :)




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Clomid Cycle #3

Previous fertility posts:
I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again
Figuring Out My Thyroid
Clomid Cycle #1 
Clomid Cycle #2

Last cycle "on our own" with the last of my fertility meds! Then off to the fertility specialist we go!

Journal Entries:

3/17/2014 - Sending a package to Miss H was a success! Lots of people donated. I got 2 packages together to send. She got the first one and was appreciative but didn't say much. Didn't say anything at all to me, actually. Just talked to Zay. Big sigh... whatever. February's cycle resulted in ovulation (yay!) but no pregnancy. I just finished the very last of the Clomid, so I'll know in less than a month if 3rd time's a charm. After that, the plan is to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist. And go forward rapidly! We're gonna do at least 6 IUI's... that's the plan. And I'm telling myself that it won't work until the 6th try, so I don't get my hopes up (yeah right). It's gotta work by the 6th time, right?!?! I'm fairly confident it'll work. But if it doesn't, I'll feel like I did all I could to make it happen and I think I'll be okay with that.

4/1/2014 - We have an appointment with the fertility specialist at the end of this month! I got an appointment a little early rather than waiting till May. I'm ready to get the ball rolling!!! I should have ovulated in the last week sometime (after using up the very last bit of Clomid) but I never got a positive OPK, so I'm confused as to whether it happened or not (I haven't been tracking my basal body temperature to help determine if ovulation occurred or not). I guess we will just wait until our appointment and see if I get a period along the way. If I do or don't, it won't matter (unless I don't get one because I'M PREGNANT, lol... But that won't happen.) I just wonder what my body is up to. I thought I might not ovulate because I had to go down in dosage of Clomid, but the lower dose worked last time so it could've worked this time. Meh, it probably didn't work. But who cares! We're gonna do an IUI!!! :) In adoption news, we were contacted by an expectant mother in Maryland but I don't have high hopes about that. It's keeping us in the adoption game for a little longer, though. Oh, and Miss H offered to have another baby for us before she gets her tubes tied. I told her to get her tubes tied! Lol. She must feel guilty for changing her mind on us, but NO I don't want anyone to go get knocked up to give me a baby. Omg. I really don't ever want to hear from her again. We did the right thing by her and now we're through.

4/6/2014 - I'm thinking I didn't ovulate this third cycle. At all. No fertile signs whatsoever (I like to refrain from talking about my cervical position or cervical mucous, but yeah - I've been checking on those and it doesn't look like I've ovulated). I kept taking ovulation tests for a good long while, but then I stopped. We've done the deed as though I'd be ovulating any day, so if I did ovulate we did good no matter when it happened. But I'm thinking we'll make it all the way to the fertility appointment without seeing any signs of ovulation or the period that should've followed it. Because my body doesn't know what it's doing and Clomid only works half the time for me. Oh, and we heard from our caseworker that Maryland mom went with another family for her baby boy. She's 38 weeks along today - I had put it on my calender. Well, so much for that answer to a prayer. We're still hanging in the adoption game, but just barely. Ugh. Let's get this fertility party really started! I have no more Clomid on hand to taunt me. And our consultation with the fertility clinic will be here in about 3 weeks. Woot! Woot!

IUI diagram - doesn't this look oh-so-fun? :)

4/10/2014 - I'll just paraphrase - I ranted about not being able to trust anybody and being hurt, feeling rejected, etc. Not remembering how to be positive or excited about anything ever again.

4/13/2014 - Well, I know why I was so grumpy and paranoid a few days ago. I started my period the next day. Which means I had to have ovulated, right? Fourteen or fifteen days previous? Ugh, I don't even know anymore. I'm not sure how well the ovulation predictor tests have been working for me this last cycle... I never got a positive. I heard that sometimes women with PCOS can get false positives on OPKs, so that makes me question everything. But I didn't even get a positive. Part of me wonders if Clomid actually makes me ovulate at all, even all the times I thought it worked. It's possible that my body gears up for ovulation and produces the hormone that OPKs measure, but then never actually releases an egg. The follicles never get to the right size and they just die and the lining sheds about the same time that it normally would. It would explain a lot if that were the case, but I really wouldn't be able to know that unless I was being monitored with ultrasounds throughout my cycle. Right now I'm thinking sperm count is what's keeping us from getting pregnant and that my body IS actually ovulating on fertility meds. But then it's also possible that my body isn't "sperm friendly" and is contributing to the reason the sperm can't make it up the reproductive tract. Some people have a sperm/semen allergy in which the body attacks the cells as if it's an allergen, a danger, a threat to the body. I don't know how they test for that, but I wouldn't be surprised if I had that too. We'll see, but the IUI should fix all of that anyway. The sperm will be the best of the bunch, concentrated, and placed right in the uterus so they don't have to do much traveling and my body won't have enough time to screw anything up. It's supposed to give us the normal fertile couple's chances of getting pregnant, about a 20% chance. That would be amazing odds. I'm excited. :) It's so weird that I got my period though. All 3 cycles on Clomid "worked," but of course no pregnancy. That's ok, we'll figure this out. In total, this was Clomid Cycle #16 actually... if I go back and count the cycles I did back in 2009-2010. Only 9 resulted in ovulation, maybe - I think anyway. It's not really recommended to take that many cycles of Clomid, but I did anyway. I wasn't seeing any of the negative side effects (like over-stimulation and cysts) and half the time it wasn't even working. But, no more Clomid for me dangit. It's time to try something new.

Next fertility post: Fertility Center Consultation




Sunday, April 6, 2014

Clomid Cycle #2

Previous fertility posts:
I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again
Figuring Out My Thyroid
Clomid Cycle #1


Using up the last 3 cycles of Clomid I have on hand:

Journal Entries:

02/02/2014 - Miss H decided to parent, no surprise there. I'm not pregnant, no surprise there. Stopped progesterone cream and I feel my period coming on (I felt it coming even on the cream). Baby aspirin, prenatals, and other supplements still going. Once my period starts I'll have to decide whether to hop on into Clomid Cycle #2 or not. Since the adoption fell through, it was like a punch to the gut and all my baby hungriness started wavering. But persistence is what's gonna get me pregnant. So I need to keep going. Zay doesn't know I'm using up the last of the Clomid (being sneaky has been fun), but he definitely does want to do the IUI in May after his semester is over, although he hates the idea of getting his "balls checked" again, haha.

02/08/14 - I don't get why I can't let adoption go. There was a reason we did this before, but why are we doing it now? I don't know. I'm so conflicted. I feel like I'm being used. By pregnant women who just feel like they need someone to talk to. We aren't being respected. Our feelings don't matter. This year, I want to BE BRAVE. I want to change something. I want to stand up for myself. I want things to work out positively for us this year. I WANT MY TURN. I can't do that if I allow myself to be a sounding board for all expectant mothers in a crisis pregnancy, who will use me and toy with my emotions. Because I become emotionally involved in these women's lives. I try to live vicariously through them and do everything I can to help them. And I really shouldn't. It affects me too deeply and personally.

02/09/14 - I decided to keep going and take Clomid again... Cycle #2. I have enough to take 150mg instead of 200mg for the next two cycles. It may not work if I go down in dosage, but I'm going to try it anyway, since it's all I've got. Miss H apologized for putting us through the ringer and I got her mailing address out of her. I decided to put a package together for her. I hope it helps her out. How cool would it have been if we had gotten pregnant AND adopted that baby? That would've been AMAZING. But neither happened. And now I'm taking a deep breath and continuing on.

02/11/14 - Sometimes life is just hard and it takes some time to process it. Grieving is not something that can be rushed. And when I allow myself the time to process, I don't suffer as much or as long. It's a necessary step in a normal emotionally intelligent adult's life to learn to handle disappointment with grace. And not fall apart and cease normal functioning. Because life is full of failures and disappointments. If we let them destroy our faith, that's when we've lost.

Next fertility post: Clomid Cycle #3




Clomid Cycle #1

Previous fertility posts:
I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again
Figuring Out My Thyroid


Using up my last 3 cycles worth of Clomid... Cycle #1:

Journal Entries:

1/5/2014 - I started my period on Tues the 31st!!! I'm taking Clomid!!! I calculated when I should know if I got pregnant this cycle and I would be 8 weeks along by Zay's birthday - wouldn't that be such an awesome present to give him? I am really setting myself up for disappointment already, but it is so hard not to. I'd be 12 weeks along by the time Baby Girl is born and IF I get pregnant I FULLY intend on keeping it a secret, which I think I could if I was only 12 weeks. How exciting would that be?! Let's just say I'm gonna do everything I can to get pregnant this first cycle, lol. But I know the odds are stacked against us. Our caseworker let us know when she was available for a homestudy visit. I said how about the 9th? Texted Miss H Happy New Year and attached a picture of Kal with sparklers. Will she respond? Who knows. I don't care.

1/12/14 - Homestudy went well, piece of cake. Miss H has not responded about meeting with the lawyer even though I sent her a very direct email about it. She doesn't respond to any kind of communication right now. I have talked to lots of lawyers in Mississippi and have a couple conference calls soon. We'll see how that goes. I don't want to pay much, if any, money up front, especially when she's ignoring me.  I should be ovulating this week sometime, I've started taking ovulation tests and I hope I'm reading them right. They've been negative so far.

01/19/2014 - I ovulated!!! I think yesterday. Omg, I have never been so excited about my body doing what it's supposed to. I'm gonna take an ovulation test today to make sure it's negative and that ovulation did already occur. I was so worried about the ovulation tests not showing up right, but when it was positive it was easy to see. So we did NOT miss our opportunity! Haha. Zay has no idea why I've been seducing him a ton (I haven't clued him in on what I've been doing yet). I told him I was just trying to speak to him in his love language, lol. Now since I'm worried about low progesterone not allowing me to keep a pregnancy, I'm going to pick up some bio-identical progesterone cream to use at home for the next two weeks until I can confirm whether I'm pregnant or not. If I do end up being pregnant, I'll keep taking it at least till I'm 12 weeks along to help support the pregnancy and keep me from miscarrying. Taking the progesterone will keep me from having a period, so I can't count on a missed period to know. I'll just have to wait until about Feb 2nd - Grounding Day! - and take a pregnancy test. If it's negative, I'll wait a week and take another one. If it's still negative, I'll go off the progesterone so that the drop will bring on my period. Then I start over! Which is fine, because now I know the Clomid works! Whoo hoo! I've still got two more cycles. Two more chances if this time didn't work, but Dang I hope it worked! I ovulate pretty late in my cycle, about Day 19, so I almost ran out of babymakin' steam by then. Next cycle I'll know better and build up my babymakin' stamina for the right days. :)

01/26/14 - I picked some progesterone cream up after I knew I had ovulated for sure. Good Earth sells it. I worry about getting the progesterone cream on anyone else (I've heard horror stories of getting the cream on other people and screwing up their hormones), but so far I've managed to slather it on me twice a day and keep it to myself. I don't feel pregnant or anything, no cramping or implantation bleeding or anything. Halfway through the two-week wait! I'm gonna start baby aspirin too. I ran out of prenatal vitamins, so I'm gonna pick some up. Oh, and also Miss H had her baby Fri (8+ weeks early!!!) but wasn't sure about us coming (*sad face*). Waiting on her decision, gonna email her today. Found a great lawyer in Mississippi, but won't need her if this all falls through. The two-week-wait AND waiting to hear if we are gonna adopt a baby?? At the same time?? What a crazy time this is!!!

Next fertility post: Clomid Cycle #2




Figuring Out My Thyroid

Previous fertility post: I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again

Photo: www.webmd.com

Figuring out my thyroid was sketchy at first:

Journal Entries:

12/1/13 - I'm not as excited about getting pregnant as I was, because I am NOT healthy. I'm glad I haven't started my period yet, because I am not in a position to be making fertility meds decisions right now. I started taking an increased dose of Nature Throid without consulting my doctor and I don't think that was a smart move. Yesterday I felt like I was having a panic attack. Seriously. I've never felt how I felt yesterday (which marked about 3.5 weeks on the new dose). My brain was buzzing, I couldn't concentrate, everything was fuzzy, I felt like I was going to pass out, I couldn't tend to Kal at all, I needed to be put out of my misery so I managed to take a melatonin + theanine pill and make Kal some eggs to eat in his high chair and I just went and fell asleep. I slept for about 11.5 hours! I had let Zay know that something was wrong with me before I did and that he would have to take over when he got home from work, which he did... which thankfully was only a few minutes after I was knocked out in the bedroom. I remember him coming in and asking me what was wrong. He didn't say much, he just listened and I really appreciated that. I couldn't think straight to actually hold a conversation with him, I just needed him to take over with Kal when I couldn't do it. I finally woke up the next day and I managed to get to church after deciding that the problem was my Nature Throid dose. I went back to 1/2 a pill and I immediately felt a difference, but I still was coming out of a haze. I got my church work done and as the day wore down I gradually felt better. Not near as good as I had before when I was taking 1/2 pill, but I felt relief knowing I was getting better. I had no idea how much my thyroid being off could affect me. In adoption news, we decided to update our homestudy rather than letting it expire, even though I'm really just sick of adoption and have no confidence in Miss H following through with what she's promising. I ran around getting a bunch of papers updated. I told our caseworker I would be out of town, so we could re-do the home visit when I get back. I want to put that off for as long as possible so I can have time to clean and babyproof again. There are a few things I need to make sure are safe before she comes (things she told me to get done last time). I'm not really looking forward to that visit, but I want to get it over with too. We are still going to try to get pregnant, and try to adopt Miss H's baby. I don't know what we will do if that adoption falls through... but I imagine we couldn't bring ourselves to close our adoption profile. I don't know. Maybe we'll let it expire at the end of 2014, just in case. But then... we'll be done. That chapter of our lives will be closed. I think I would be 100% okay with that by then. But it only makes sense to renew it for now. Miss H got back in touch with us, barely. She doesn't say much anymore, but even though she blocked me from Facebook and Instagram and stopped talking to us for a month, she told us she would be honest and she said she hasn't changed her mind.

12/8/13 - Being on this trip so far has made me really want to move back to Georgia... but not yet. We're not ready yet, but eventually. I've been homesick, but this trip will fill me up so that I'll be ready to get back into the swing of things, prepping to adopt and get pregnant.

12/15/13 - I feel SO much better on a half pill of Nature Throid. I don't know what exactly made me think that upping my dose was going to help, but it induced a panic attack and I really shouldn't have done that. I'm back home from my GA trip, so today I will be getting back on my supplements and apple cider vinegar routine. My period hasn't started yet. The anxiety from changing my dose really scared me. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. Anxiety/panic attacks are no joke. All of a sudden I worried about whether I could handle a pregnancy or even an adoption. I didn't think I could handle parenting, that's how much messing with my Nature Throid medication screwed me up. But back on the right dose, I can think clearly and I feel sooooo much better. Back home from the craziness that was a GA trip with a toddler.... I know what I want and what I can handle. And what I want is to plan hard for this adoption AND try to get pregnant AND leave our options open with the adoption agency. And NOT stress about it. Make it fun. Enjoy this time in our lives, because it won't always be just the three of us and I feel a change coming, so I need to embrace the here and now while it's still here! :) Miss H is worried she's going to have Baby Girl really, really early. So I really need to sit down and make a plan just in case that really does happen. Be prepared. Seeing Kal's birthmom reminded me of why I wanted to adopt and why adoption can be a positive thing. I need to plan a baby shower (welcome home baby party) for May sometime, and get people involved for that. I need to look for a bigger apartment to move into in April, right about the time baby is coming. I won't decorate a nursery till after we move and Baby Girl's home... A friend called and told me she's pregnant...ugh, but yay... I found some tips I might try to naturally induce my period: over-the-counter Bio-Identical Progesterone Cream, low-carb diet, parsley tea, ginger tea, cinnamon tea, and exercising 5x a week for 30 mins. So yeah, I might try something to get this period started.

12/29/13 - We have been sick/miserable most of our Christmas break. Although we've had a lot of fun spending so much time together and talking. Back home in Utah, I still feel like it's the right thing to do to move to Georgia. I talked to Zay about it and he seems on board with the idea of a fresh start. We even put a date on it of April or May of 2015. So, we looked up colleges - I think he should transfer to Kennesaw State University. And we will plan it so that he will go to school full time and I'll find a job and work full time, hopefully I can use my connections to find a job that could support us through that. I want him to be able to focus on school and really network to find the kind of career that he'll enjoy. Something he can be proud of, but at the same time go out and get that money! For his family. :) I know he won't be rich as a social worker of any kind, but anything is better than what we are living on now!!... You know what I can't stand? When pregnant people whine and complain about EVERYthing. Ugh. Moving away from the constant pregnant women would be nice too, because they're driving me nuts. In adoption news, Miss H hasn't contacted me since I've been back, even though I've texted her and emailed her. Enough is enough, really. I'm so confused... I don't know what the heck is going on?! Should I wait for a response to my emails!? Wtf. I don't know where this relationship went off the hinges, but it doesn't feel anything like it did in the beginning. I'll give her some time to respond and then see what happens. In fertility news, right now I'm wondering when the heck is my period gonna start?? I haven't tried naturally inducing it yet, but I'm emotional and my nipples HURT. I took a pregnancy test just in case by some miracle I had gotten pregnant without trying with meds yet!! But it was negative. So I'm sitting here with sensitive nipples (lol) and I want to cry and/or yell at Zay about something. And no period to explain anything. I went to see my thyroid doctor and she told me to stick with a half pill and to increase the protein in my diet (she weirdly suggested this after "asking" my body questions to see what it needed....hmmmmmm). I listened and I've been eating lots of eggs and chicken. I just barely started exercising again. I feel so fat and unattractive and unmotivated. I've gotta change that... It looks like our LDSFS caseworker changed back to the one we had before... the one I didn't much care for. So I emailed her and updated her on what's going on with us and asked when we could do our home study visit. Haven't heard from her yet. But that visit is necessary to being approved again, so we'll have to suck it up and have our home critiqued again, and by the new/old caseworker who I didn't feel very good about the first time around. Ugh. This whole process is so painful. I'm so glad we won't be subjecting ourselves to the adoption torture chamber for much longer. I wanna make my own dang babies.

Next fertility post: Clomid Cycle #1




I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again

I'm actually behind on documenting fertility stuff on the blog, so here we go!

Journal Entries:

11/17/2013 - I'm ready to try to get pregnant. Officially. I'm ready! I'm taking all my supplements and my thyroid med. I'm making Zay take supplements he needs as well. I'm drinking more water and generally eating better and exercising more. My fingernails are thicker and longer, so I know the prenatal vitamins are getting in my system. I ordered 100 ovulation predictor tests and 20 pregnancy tests off Amazon (it came in a combo pack, lol). I'm just waiting for my period to start on its own (which could be who-knows-when) and then I'm gonna use up the last 3 cycles worth of Clomid that I have. It's expired, but whatever. I'm gonna use it up in a last ditch effort to get pregnant semi-sort "on our own" before moving on to insemination. If we're lucky, we'll just get pregnant before we see a specialist again, but of course that's not gonna happen, lol. I'm pretty positive the Clomid won't be the only thing we'll need to get pregnant. Insemination (IUI) is our best bet. But I want to use up this Clomid first just in case. Miss H has stopped responding to us and I'm so done. I'm not gonna chase her around and beg at her feet. If she pops up in March, we can handle that then. But I'm not counting on it. I'm not gonna travel just to see her if she won't respond to us. I'm sick of being treated this way with adoption. There's no way to not take it personally. We are good people, we are good parents, and we deserve better. Don't drag us along and lie to us.

11/24/2013 - My period hasn't shown up yet and I'm wondering if there is a natural way to induce it? I'll have to look that up - inducing a period after/during an anovulatory cycle. Before, I had to induce it with Progesterone prescribed by my doctor. But I don't have any leftover, so I'm just gonna wait it out. I got my ovulation predictor and pregnancy tests in the mail and decided it couldn't hurt to take a pregnancy test right then and there. As usual, it was a big bright obvious negative, lol. I didn't expect otherwise. Better get used to seeing that Negative test again! I expect we'll see a lot of those. While I'm waiting for my period to start, I'm practicing patience in preparation for all the crazy amounts of patience I'm gonna need throughout this fertility journey. Step one, wait for period. Step two, take 200mg of Clomid on Cycle Days 3-7. Step three, take ovulation tests on Cycle Days 8-20 (or until I ovulate for sure). I will be massively confused if I don't ovulate on that dose. I'll have to re-think my plan if I don't. Step four, have sex (the baby dance) about every other day after period stops, until I get a positive ovulation test. Then have sex that day plus the next day. Two days in a row. Maybe even three days. Step five, wait for period 14-15 days after the time I think I ovulated, indicating I DID ovulate but didn't get pregnant. Start over. OR, if my period isn't showing up, take a pregnancy test. Don't get upset about ovulating and not getting pregnant (which is what I expect will happen), because it usually takes fertile couples a few months to get pregnant. I have to remember that I'm NOT fertile and neither is the hubby. I'm just barely starting to take care of my thyroid. So, baby steps. This is gonna take time.



Next fertility post: Figuring Out My Thyroid




Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kitchen Tips By Yours Truly (j/k)

I never learned to cook. Ever. I learned to microwave. Does that count? That's probably why I've got thyroid issues now, lol. All that microwaving canned food in plastic containers my entire life... I'm probably full of toxins! Eek.

I've learned a few lessons from teaching myself to cook over the last couple years.

Cooking tips for dumb-dumbs like myself:
  • There's a difference between butter and margarine, and shortening and oil, and all kinds of other ingredients. They're not all equally interchangeable. I think one time I actually tried to substitute Cool Whip for butter. Why, I have no idea. It made sense to me at the time.
  • "Meh, that looks about right" is not an accurate standard of measurement. And dry and wet ingredients have different tools of measurement. Use the proper tools to get the best results!
  • Follow the recipe exactly, especially the first time around. Don't try to get fancy if you don't know what you're doing. And don't try to "substitute" if you're using your own brain to do so.
  • Don't get distracted. If there's something on the stove, don't wander off into another room and start another task. Things will burn. Horribly. To the point of no return.
  • When baking, don't try to put twice as much batter/dough on the same pan just because it "fits." It will overflow into a monster and GET EVERYWHERE. Just use two pans. It's not that hard.
  • Although it may sound efficient, cooking food at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time is not wise. There's a reason for cook times and temperatures, mainly to avoid DEATH!
  • Practice, practice, practice. Get over the aversion to the kitchen. Quit going out to eat to avoid setting foot in the kitchen. Find a dozen easy recipes to rotate through over and over until it's easy peasy to throw it together!
I'm much, much better now. I've even made some meals where Zay has said, "Hey, this isn't that bad." LOL. But I've spent many years avoiding cooking, eating out instead, microwaving things, or getting Zay to cook (who is amazing in the kitchen or on the grill). So it's still in me to want to avoid it.

How do stay-at-home moms who cook all the time actually get it done?? It seems like such a constant, thankless job. You can spend hours in the kitchen and the food is gone in 5 minutes. And then everybody has to eat again a few hours later, lol. I think that's why I take pictures of my food, as proof that I actually did something! I want the credit for it, dangit. Ha ha.

Zay grilled last weekend and I over-ate like a big, fat glutton because it tasted SO GOOD. I loved when he was a stay-at-home dad and he cooked for me all the time... it was AMAZING. That's a fast way to my heart - good food. He hasn't had the time for it and I've been in there slaving over the stove, trying to make healthy meals that are edible (i.e., not burned) and don't taste like bland cardboard. It's tough.

It was really too cold to be grilling outside last weekend, but we did anyway and invited some friends over per usual. The weather is supposed to be getting warm here soon, so we'll be out there much more often now. And I'm just relieved that I won't have to cook so much!!! Zay will be out of school for the summer at the end of the month. He's got a brand new grill and is ready to get right on it. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm! I'm excited. My goal is to get fit and eat healthily, but this BBQ'ing is conflicting with that right now. I'm okay with that. Maybe we can make it a once a week thing and eat healthily the rest of the week. We'll see. :)

Our friends Derrick & Ora. Derrick had us cracking up cuz he was falling asleep while eating cuz it was SO GOOD he had to close his eyes and chew. Ha ha ha.



Our buddy Austin. Zay and Austin work together and call each other Shawn & Gus (for you Psych fans!)... I think they're an adorable duo. :)

Kal ate like 2 full plates.

Poor man's food. Baked beans, meat, and onions. :)





Thursday, April 3, 2014

Supplements for Hypothyroidism & PCOS

I have both hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which are pretty common together. Both contribute to my infertility. I test my thyroid every few months and take a natural thyroid hormone replacement prescription called Nature Throid. The only medication I was ever prescribed for PCOS was Metformin (Glucophage) to help with the insulin resistance aspect of the disorder, but that drug wreaks havoc on your gastrointestinal tract. So I quit taking it and replaced it with a more natural treatment (apple cider vinegar). The PCOS Diva is really helpful in advising diet changes and supplements and I like reading her blog. I've made a lot of changes in my diet since September, when I started treating my thyroid. I've noticed a drastic difference in how I feel, but it's been hard to overhaul my entire diet and I don't always succeed. I'm getting better. I drink a lot of green smoothies (check out The Green Smoothie Girl) and protein shakes and I supplement where I need to, because adding supplements is easier for me right now than trying to eliminate other things (like sugar and gluten). One thing at a time!

These are some notes I've jotted down over the last few months - supplements that I've researched and have found that help with either hypothyroidism or PCOS, which go hand-in-hand for me. I'm not a doctor... these are just my notes! It took awhile for me to really want to make a change and focus on my health in general and on my fertility specifically. I'm ready to get pregnant, lol. That may sound obvious, but I don't think I was ready until just recently. All these 10 years of "trying" have all been laced with the fear of it actually happening. Eek! But I'm ready now, empowered. Let's do this! :)


Supplements for Hypothyroidism and/or PCOS:
  • Strong, high quality multivitamin (I take a prenatal)
  • Iodine (very important to test for a deficiency before supplementing iodine, because it's rare to have a deficiency)
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • All the B vitamins (vegetarians/vegans in particular should pay close attention to eating vitamin B-12 fortified foods or supplementing)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D (very, very important and the daily recommendation of 400 IUs is usually not nearly enough... I'm taking 5,000 IUs right now to build mine back up because I was super deficient)
  • Vitamin E
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Amino acids (specifically tyrosine for thyroid, but also n-acetyl cysteine, carnitine, arginine, glutamine, isoleucine, leucine, and valine)
  • Magnesium
  • Probiotics
  • Chromium picolinate
  • Apple cider vinegar (a shot of it right before each meal helps with insulin resistance)
  • Co-Enzyme Q10
  • True cinnamon
  • D-Chiro-inositol

Things to limit/avoid:
  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Chronic stress
  • Pesticides (eating organic helps)
  • Toxins/heavy metals (detoxing helps)
  • Fish with high mercury levels
  • Genetically modified foods
  • Cow's milk
  • Smoking
  • Over-the-counter "thyroid-boosting products" that include thyroid hormones (these should be prescribed and monitored)
  • Large quantities of cruciferous vegetables (I doubt the average American gets anywhere near "large quantities" of cruciferous vegetables, so I wouldn't worry about this unless it's all you eat)
  • Foods high in sugar, carbs, and starches
  • Unhealthy diet in general
  • Birth control pills

Other notes:
  • Prescription replacement thyroid hormone is usually necessary if you have a thyroid disorder, no matter what supplements you take (unless you have a really mild case). Nature Throid has worked really well for me.
  • Exercising every day is important, even for just 30 minutes.
  • Addressing underlying food allergies/intolerance is important.
  • Blood work can be done to determine if you have a deficiency in any of the essential vitamins/minerals.
  • Finding the optimum dosage of each supplement is important, so do the proper testing to know where you are deficient. I was super deficient in vitamin D and have been taking a much higher dosage than normally recommended to build it up in my system. It's possible to overdose on certain supplements, so figure out what YOU need.
  • Addressing weight issues is important (although both hypothyroidism and PCOS can make it very difficult to lose weight).
  • Drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Baby aspirin helps to aid blood flow to the uterus and ovaries and is also something I take.
  • Some supplements or medication can interfere with Nature Throid absorption, so I take my thyroid medication in the morning and all my vitamins at least 4 hours later.
  • Don't take anything without talking with your doctor first, especially if you have additional health problems and/or are taking other medications, including fertility drugs.




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Naming an Adopted Child

I've always loved baby names. I doodle them when I'm bored. I think of all kinds of cute matchy-combos for twins. I have a list of possible future baby names and I love my list. Naming my babies is important to me and is something I've had A LOT of time to think about.

Seriously... this is a screenshot from my "baby names" Excel sheet... don't click on it, it's embarrassing. Ha ha.

In adoption, naming the baby can be a touchy subject with some birth moms. Some want to do the naming themselves, or have a lot of input. And I understand that want, because it's their child too. And part of having a child is getting to name him/her.

I also believe that naming your adopted baby can be a chance to honor their birth family. But when it comes down to it, the adoptive parents have the final say in the child's name - because they will be the parents. And this is hard for some birth moms to accept.

Some adoptive parents will say anything that they think an expectant mother wants to hear, including agreeing to a name that she wants. If the adoptive parents hate the name, that's not cool. They are the ones who have to live with it (and the child, of course). If they decide later to name him/her differently than promised, that's not cool either (breaks trust in the open adoption relationship).

We're really specific about what we like in baby names and we like to take input from expectant mothers, but we usually don't agree on the same names at all. In the future, if adopting a second time actually happens, I want to be clear and firm about that. It's important for me to name my babies, so that's just the way it's gonna have to be if we adopt again. And the right birth mother for our family would at least be okay with that, if not totally supportive of the idea.

I think it's important for the adoptive parents to name the baby because it helps with bonding. I like the idea of hearing what she would have named the baby (if she had a name in mind) and thinking of her while we name him/her, but I think it should be the adoptive parents' privilege and responsibility - part of parenting. And with adoption, SO MUCH is out of our control. We should be able to control something so fundamental as naming our own child.

In the future, if we end up being able to adopt a child from foster care (or international adoption), they will (most likely) already be named. I still think we would change their name. It's symbolic of becoming a member of the family. A new life. A new start. A new family. A new name. (In international adoption, most likely a new country and a new language as well.) If they're old enough, I'd make it an exciting thing to get to change their name and hear their input and have them agree on a name first.

With both of the failed adoptions in the last year, we had baby names picked out. Each one felt specific to that baby and that birth mom. But the name we had for Baby Girl we kept to ourselves and didn't share with (hardly) anyone and somehow that helped the name not get tainted by the situation and I think we'll use it whenever we finally do have a daughter. Part of the pain/hurt from each of those failed adoptions was not getting to use the names we wanted, and knowing they are named something differently now. That pain was small compared to these babies not ever knowing us or us not getting to be parents again obviously, but it still hurt.

Maybe that's an "adoptive parent privilege" attitude that I shouldn't have, but I do. Adoption has worn me out... there's so many things we miss out on. I want to be pregnant. I want to experience a pregnancy and the birth of a child without being deathly afraid the entire time that someone could take my baby away from me at the drop of a hat. I want to name my child and not worry about offending a third party.

The loss of control of when to have children, how many children, and how to bring those children into our family is the worst. THE WORST. I don't think the average fertile couple can understand how much that sucks.

I'm ready for fertility treatments again because now I am armed with more information. I know what's wrong with me. I know what's wrong with Zay. I know it will most likely just be a matter of time and money and patience and effort with the right doctor. We've sunk money into adoption that didn't get us anywhere. I want to put that money towards getting pregnant. I need more control.

I didn't feel this way before and that's why we stopped fertility treatments and pursued adoption. But I definitely feel this way now. It's my turn and I'm determined to make it happen.




Monday, March 24, 2014

Perfect

Today was Baby Girl's due date. For awhile there I was still getting the Baby Center "pregnancy update" emails, and updates on my calendar reminding me of Miss H's pregnancy-related things. Ugh. Even today my calender still said, "Today is the day!" So much for that.


I was texting with Kal's birthmama not too long ago. We talked about how Zay and I are thinking of moving back to Georgia, but it'll take a little time to figure out all the details - Zay transferring colleges, finding a place to live near to where we'd eventually want to buy a house, job for me, school for Kal, etc. There's lots of pros and cons about moving back, but it feels like where we need to be. She's excited for us to be closer. :)

I thanked her for choosing us to be Kal's parents even though we're all the way across the country from her. I know that wasn't originally in her plan. She wanted a local family. But luckily for us her aunt told her she needed to meet us! (Thanks, S! For always being so supportive!)



Thinking back, I'm so glad we flew to meet her, even though we also didn't plan to adopt from so far away. I don't usually think of things as "meant to be," but somehow this adoption fell together and worked out so well. I know it was hard for her. The hardest thing she's probably ever done or will ever do. But she still stands behind her decision. And it's just so hard for me to imagine our life without Kal in it. He is deeply rooted in our hearts and plays such a large part in who we are now. I can't imagine not having that, not having him. He is so amazing.

She told me, "He belongs with y'all. It's perfect. :)" Awwww.... my heart!

Love that girl to death! She's such a sweetheart and we intend to make sure Kal knows that about her. One of the biggest reasons we want to move back to Georgia is to be close to family - all of our family, including the family Kal was born into. It only makes sense. There's nothing keeping us in Utah anymore since I graduated from BYU. That's the reason we came out here. Now we're just trying to figure out what the heck we're doing with our lives and staying where we are doesn't make sense anymore. (I am SO going to miss our friends, though!)

BYU's motto is "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve." That's something both Zay and I believe in. That we need to go "home" and build up a better future for the people there. To take our education and experience back to a place that needs it. I know there's a lot of good that could be done there, especially in the Social Work field, which is what Zay is going into. He wants to make a difference, to be a mentor. And honestly, in Georgia... there's a lot of difference to be made. Zay is going to do a lot of good in his career - I'm so excited to see that! I've been drawn to Foster Care for awhile now. And I think that's where we should do it. There's a huge need for foster parents there. And a whole lot of black and bi-racial kids in the system. And not enough black or interracial foster parents.

This was the blog post I was writing when I was praying about whether we should keep trying to adopt (in the meantime, before we move back to Georgia). I was asking myself, "Are we asking too much to try to have this happen for us twice? When the first one was so perfect?" I think the answer is yes, this could happen for us again and we should definitely leave the adoption door open just to leave that chance, that possibility available. It's just not going to come as easily, as we've already seen. But I think perfect definitely could happen twice. I'm just not counting on it, ha ha. (I'm ready for fertility treatments again!)




A Prayer Answered

I believe in prayer and in receiving personal revelation and a God who individually guides His children as they seek Him (or even when they don't). I believe the Spirit can help us make important decisions if we listen, and that no big decision should be made without praying about it with an open heart, knowing that the answer you receive may not be the one you were inclined to make.

About a month after we learned we actually would not be the parents of a little girl in Mississippi, I finally got up the courage to do what we knew needed to be done - take down our adoption profile, let our caseworker know we're done trying to adopt, and then live happily ever after with the family we have now until we can save the money for other options: international adoption, fertility treatments, or buying a house big enough to begin foster care.

But before I did that, I prayed. Really hard. I let God know what was in my heart - that we really couldn't do this anymore. That the waiting and the emotional vulnerability that is required of us and the heartbreak when it doesn't work out is just way too much. And that we're confused about what to do, but we are really only hesitating slightly right before pulling the plug. That we know without a doubt that we were supposed to do this (adopt) before. That Kal came to us at the exact right time and could've only come to us the way that he did. But that maybe now we weren't supposed to be doing this anymore. We did what we were called to do and now that chapter is over.

I started a blog post that morning (that I never published), using it to work out my feelings about all this before calling it quits. I wrote that we were "closing our file if something doesn't happen soon (even though we just barely renewed our homestudy for the year). We'd need a HUGE OBVIOUS sign to keep going if this is what we should be doing. I don't see it happening, but I'd love for someone to prove us wrong!"

That same exact day, only a few hours later, I saw a short email from an expectant mother working with LDS Family Services in Maryland saying she'd like to speak with us and she'd prefer the phone and as soon as possible. I literally laughed out loud. I wasn't actually expecting a sign. I was expecting nothing to happen. We were already set on not going through this anymore. That we were done. That it was over.

I quickly emailed her back and gave her my phone number. It was Zay's birthday and he decided that all he wanted for his birthday was to be able to take a nap. So he was sleeping. I took Kal outside and we watched the rain as I waited on her to call. I started to get really nervous and my hands were shaking. It took about an hour before she called, so I nervously fidgeted and grabbed a pen and the back of an envelope out of the minivan and started jotting down questions to ask her.

Right when I thought she wasn't really going to call, she did. We talked for close to an hour. At first she wanted to keep the gender of the baby a surprise. She said she wanted to find a couple who didn't care about the gender and then when she decided what family she wanted to go with, she'd let them know with the ultrasound picture (how sweet is that?)... but she let it slip on accident and we both laughed about that. It's a boy! Due April 20th. She was just shy of 33 weeks along.

She let me know her situation and why she was choosing to place him for adoption. The birth father's involvement. What she wants in adoptive parents. What she wants for her son. Ideas for baby boy names.

She wants her goodbyes to be at the hospital and to not have anything set in stone about openness until she knows how she feels afterwards. At the very least she wants to be there to answer his questions when he's older, but she doesn't know if she could handle pictures and visits. We told her we'd respect that, because everyone who places a child is different. But I made sure she had an idea of how our first adoption works and that she can be open with us with communicating what she needs. And that we wouldn't disappear on her, ever.

She seemed super happy to talk to me and almost didn't want to talk to any other couples. I encouraged her to take her time and really be sure about her decision. Look at all her options. I told her I'd talk to Zay and have him call her the next day so she could get to know him a little as well. She said she would love that. And that she'd want to make a decision by the end of March. If she is leaning towards our family, she will want us to fly out and meet her beforehand and then come back after the baby is born. I told her we'd be willing to do that.

My mind quickly raced with the possibility. A son. To make up for the one we lost last summer. Same ethnicity, same beautiful little face in my mind. The name "Malik" came back to me. If I use a name from a failed adoption, could that make all the grief forever go away? Make it seem like it never happened? For a split second, I imagined this woman as our child's birthmama and how we could interact with each other over the years. What that relationship would look like. For that brief second, I could see it.

How awesome is this quote? Part of me still loves adoption.

Zay woke up and I summed up all that had went down while he was asleep! Ha ha. I asked him would he like to talk to her... and does this sound like a good idea? He said yes immediately. He called her after work the next day and... she said she was sick and she'd get back to him. And then... she never did. We haven't heard from her since... and we haven't heard from her caseworker in Maryland at all.

I looked up all the adoption laws in Maryland, just in case. To see how it would likely play out if by chance she did get back in contact with us. I found out Maryland has 30 days for the revocation period (time period after birth parents sign relinquishment papers in which either one could back out and change their minds about the adoption plan). THIRTY DAYS from the time they sign papers, which could happen only after the baby is born. I don't think I could do that. Fly out and meet her? Fly out a second time and "adopt" her baby, leave the state, have a son for up to a month and then have to possibly fly back and return him if she panics and wants him back and changes her mind??? (because we know TOO WELL how that happens)

Ummmmm, NO. That is too much. That, plus the baby is due a week before Zay's finals and he'd have to fly back to Utah to take them and then come back out to Maryland with me and Kal and the new baby, all shacked up in a hotel. My mind kept going back to the conversation I had with her on the phone, and this girl really sounded like she didn't have a clue how hard the whole adoption thing was actually going to be. It didn't really add up to something I think we could commit to after all. Zay understood and knew it would be too hard for us and not the right timing. I don't think we're ever going to hear from her again anyway, but I'm glad we were able to come to that decision together and be okay with it.

I still marveled at that answer to my prayer. Out of all the times we could've been contacted by a potential birthmother, it happened the day I was pouring my heart out to God about it. I needed a sign. Something to say, "Don't give up yet." And I think that was it. AND I think I've learned that it will be okay to say "no" to a situation that doesn't feel right. If the girl from Maryland calls again and it still feels like something we can't do, that's what I'm telling her - "no." It's not going to work for us, sorry. And that's okay. The world will not end. It will just save us a lot of pain.

So, our adoption profile is still up. We're not taking it down. We'll ride it out until our homestudy expires next January or so. But it won't be our focus. If something is supposed to happen with adoption again, it'll happen. But we'll be off trying to make babies again in the meantime. We have an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist in May (after Zay's semester is over) - I'M SO EXCITED!!! We're gonna get the fertility party started again and jump right into an IUI. We'll leave the adoption door open, but our lives will not revolve around it and possible-baby-mamas anymore. It just can't.




Sunday, March 23, 2014

*Cornrows by Alice Anne* - Part XIII

"princess crown braided bun with beads" was her request





Guess whose braids look better?? Huh, huh? Yep, mine are better. Go Heidi!


MMA fighter


Zumba girl!




Gym Rats

I've never been a gym person before, but we got a family pass to a rec center at the beginning of the year and we've gone at least a couple times a week since then.

Zay plays basketball for hours on end. Kal shoots on the kid-sized goal and gets some coveted electronics time while he waits for us, or sometimes tries to join in when there's an exercise class going on (especially if there are ladies... he loves the ladies and the ladies love him, lol). I head to the weight room or the elliptical (where I get some TV watching in, and strain my eyes/brain trying to read the captions and be coordinated enough to not fall off the dang thing in the process).

I'm still not a gym person, but I make myself go. I'd rather be out hiking! But I think I've hiked myself out. Maybe when the warm weather comes back and sticks around it'll push me to get back out there in nature. I'm just gonna keep making myself go to the gym until I find something to motivate me physically again. I need a challenge. Maybe a Spartan Race? :) We'll see. It's been hard to maintain the level of fitness I reached a couple years ago when I was training for the Tough Mudder, but I want that health and energy back. I had almost completely eliminated sugar from my diet and everything! Man, I need that focus back.

I'm forcing it right now, but I do have a reason to get fit again... so I need to figure out how to get my motivation to match my goals. I wanna get healthy because I wanna have a baby. From my own dang body. I'm ready for that. I'm ready to try fertility treatments again. But I'm picking myself up from being beat down constantly by adoption, so I'm having to force the energy, force the motivation until I snap out of it. I've also been walking with a friend for about 3 miles 3x a week, which is fun and doesn't feel like exercise, so that's been good. :)

I'd like to think Kal was trying to take a picture of his sweet ole Mama, but I'm thinking he might've been eying the girl in pink.









Saturday, March 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Two Fave Guys!

Zay turned 32 at the end of February and Kal turned 3 a couple weeks later. 

Zay feels old. Too old. Like his body is creaking and popping and clicking when he gets up in the morning, ha ha ha. He is NOT old, but he acts like it. He didn't want a party, so we made very little plans. I made sure he ate 3 awesome meals that day: breakfast burritos with REAL bacon (I always buy turkey bacon), Sensuous Sandwich for lunch, and spaghetti w/garlic bread for dinner... I make a dang good spaghetti (when I don't burn it)! Plus fudge brownies and ice cream for dessert. All he wanted for his birthday was to take a good long nap, so he napped in the middle of the day and we watched whatever he wanted to watch when he woke up. And I put Kal to bed super early so we could have some alone time. It was a great day. :)

We celebrated Kal's birthday the weekend before his actual bday... it was gorgeous weather (Utah, you've been SO GOOD TO ME this winter!) and we spent most of the party at the park with him and his friends running around like little crazy people. Then back at the house for food and ice cream and cake! On his actual birthday I got to talk to his birthmama and I sent her a book of all the Instagram photos I've taken over the last year. Next year I think he'll actually be able to talk on the phone to her - right now he just gets shy and runs from the phone or holds it to his ear with a smile on his face without saying anything, lol.

Super Kal! Poster for his room. He LOVED IT, omg.

Making his cake.

He's "helping."

Trying to figure out the best (or hardest) way to make a cake I was envisioning in my head.

Creepy armless, legless cRaZyEyEs monkey cake...!


Figured out how to add hands and feet.

THREE!

Kal loves monkeys and dinosaurs, so he was impressed. :)

We made some chocolate and sprinkles-dipped frozen bananas. I took a picture of the sprinkles and forgot the actual bananas when they were finished! Ha ha ha.

Chicken salad sandwiches and a few other goodies.

Very happy that the day was all about him!



Walking to the park.

He had so much fun. This is the only pic I could catch him in, ha ha.

I look better in black and white if I'm not wearing make-up! My face is too pink! :)

We all got in on the fun park action. HA HA HA. There's actually a hidden child behind Kal; we squeezed 4 people on that thing. :)

Let's see if we can get a good picture of these 3 buddies...





... I think this is as good as we're gonna get!

One of Kal's bday gifts. He was in shock. He opened it and said, "Oh wow look at that!"

I do believe we're gonna have trouble getting him to take this off! He silently stared at himself in the mirror for a good long while. He was AMAZED. Ha ha!

"We need dinozord power!" -- Kal

Kal is always a fan of the big kids! He loves his friends. It was a good day. :)





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