Monday, November 28, 2011

All in?

As I've mentioned before, earlier this year I started a moms group for moms who started their families after struggles with infertility or through adoption.  I'm going to start by saying how thankful I am for the people that I've met through that group.  Having other moms who truly understand my situation, has been amazing, and I've found some wonderful friends.  It has also strengthened the other relationships in my life because I don't feel the need to rely so much on the rest of my support system as much when it comes to infertility.  It's hard because the people that I love, and who love me, want to support me so much but they just don't understand how, or what I need, when it comes to the infertility situation.  And I'm glad of that because I wouldn't want them to understand.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  So it's been incredible feeling supported by my usual network and my new mom friends.

The problem is that the group is a bit slow starting and I've been putting in a lot of energy without a lot or response from folks.  I've been working on getting the word out, but it's slow going and it's really hard to get input from the people who have responded so far.  There are the faithful few that I can always count on, but I wonder if all the effort is worth it for just a few people.  So I'm at the point where I feel like I either need to go all in and really make a big push to get people more involved, find new members, and give people lots of options of events to go to, or I need to take the friends I've made and walk away. I feel like there's so much potential here and I wonder if I just need to ride out this slow start or if this is a group that I really need, but that other people out there don't have the same feelings for.  Maybe other people don't feel as tied to infertility after they become parents.  I'm not quite sure what to do.  My plan for now is to ride out the holidays, when everyone is so busy anyway, and then see if there is some renewed interest at the beginning of the year.  So we'll see what happens.  Right now I'm just so happy to have a few mom friends who have dealt with infertility.  Maybe I'm expecting too much to have more then that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Good friends, good food

Today we had our second Thanksgiving.  Our first was last week with my parents and today we celebrated with hubby's mom and one of my dearest friends.  There's a group of four of us from college who have stayed friends since we've graduated and are more family now then friends.  I love them all dearly.  We've been scattered around the country until last year when one of my wonderful friends came to live less then a half hour from me.  What an incredible gift that has been.  We have become even closer in the last year and I just love having my dear friend so close by.

This afternoon she came over and we cooked up a delicious meal for our second Thanksgiving.  I love cooking and baking but since Bean was born, I find it challenging to have enough time to do it as much as I used to.  Weeks ago we planned a menu for today and divided up the tasks.  Everything went so smoothly, was so much fun, and really turned out perfectly.  Not only that, but I got to do all the "work" with someone whose company I really enjoy.  It doesn't get much better then that.

So tonight I go to bed full and happy.  Happy to be home, surrounded by those that I love, and ready to face whatever the rest of the holiday season has to throw at me.  Actually, I'm really excited about it.  I can't wait to share all the things I love about this time of year with Bean.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our cozy home

I know I've been a little cryptic lately.  Essentially we were visiting my parents for the last few days and working our butts off to try and get their house ready to sell.  This has been the routine for at least the last year now, and it's wearing on us all.  It feels like it's never quite going to get done.  But we keep plugging away.  Needless to say we were all really happy to get home today.  I'm always happy to get home.  I love our little house that we have worked so hard on and made into a wonderful home.  I love every inch of it.  There's no place else in the world that I'd rather be then here with my little family.  I admit that I still look at the local real estate and think about what our next house will be like.  The reality of the situation is that there won't be a next house for a long time.  And I really don't want there to be.  It's fun to have things to dream about, but I love what we've done with our house.  I love the way it feels.  I love how happy Bean is here and the memories that we have.  I can't imagine living anywhere else and all of the stress from the last few days melted away as soon as we turned the corner and I saw our little house waiting for us.  I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful place to live and such wonderful people to share it with.  And I'm SO looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.  If Bean lets me sleep that is.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beautiful weather

We've been busy today.  Or rather I have been.  I haven't had much time to spend with Bean, or anyone else, and have been trying to get as much done as I can to be a help to others.  I'm tired and the day was rather stressful.  At one point Bean went into full on melt down mode and I was reminded that as much as I need to help others, my first and foremost responsibility is to Bean.  So I dropped it all, got her in her boots and coat, put a leash on Pup Pup, and Hubby and I headed outside with everyone.  The weather was beautiful today.  Warm and pleasant, which I appreciate because Bean has been sick and if it's really cold we've been trying to play inside.  We forgot about all of our responsibilities and ran around, from one end of the yard to the other and back again.  It was blissful and I am so thankful for the chance to drop it all and just enjoy a beautiful day with my beautiful baby.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Doing the best I can

As promised, today and for the next month until Christmas arrives, I'm going to challenge myself to blog everyday about something that I'm thankful for or something that makes me feel joyful.  It feels like today should be the easiest day because it's the first one and because we were supposed to spend the whole day focused on the things we're thankful for.  I don't feel like that happened.  Thanksgiving was today and we ate turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie.  We sat around a table and said a prayer about how thankful we were to be together.  And that's where it pretty much ended.  There were a lot of things that didn't go as I would dream today.  My dream Thanksgiving was a far away thought and I was really struggling to keep myself going and trying to focus on the good today.

So part of me was just going to cop out and say the easiest things today, the most obvious.  Which of course would be Hubby, Bean, and Pup Pup.  I am so very thankful for all of them.  But instead, I'm going to be thankful today for what got me through the day, because sadly, I hardly had a moment to focus on, or spend with, my wonderful little family.

Today I'm thankful that I was born such a patient person.  I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher because I loved kids and because I have the right personality for it.  I am incredibly patient, something I both recognize, and have been told.  This was such an important part of my teaching style, but it has also served me so well in many other ways in life, and today was no exception.  There were times today when I could have thrown my hands up.  When I could have gotten angry or frustrated.  There were moments when a little part of me wanted to.  But I didn't.  The rest of my took charge and I just plugged through, attacking each moment as it came and working on making it from morning (which started quite early) until night.

And as I sit here looking back on my day, I feel a few things.  Exhausted for sure.  Exasperated.  A little sad that I couldn't have made more magic happen today for Bean.  Hopefully that will change in years to come.  I could list pages of negative words that I feel about the events of today.  Instead I look back and I feel good.  So much today was outside of my control.  I was thrown into a situation and just had to make the most of it.  And I feel like I did that.  I can go to bed tonight without one regret as to how I handled myself.  I may not have been able to give my family the day that I dreamed of, but in the situation we were in, I feel like I did the very best that I could.  I feel proud that I didn't let it all drag me down and I am really happy that I was a good role model for Bean today.  I took what I was given and was able to navigate it all gracefully.  And for that, I am very thankful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday time again

Around this time of year I always end up spending a few days trying to figure out how it's the holiday time again.  It seems like I was just breathing a sigh of relief that all of the busyness and obligations of the season had passed, and here they are again.  Down time is fleeting to begin with, and in the next month or so it will become nonexistent.

This year though, I'm trying to look at things a bit different.  I'm trying to focus solely on making this a special time and meaningful time for Bean.  Growing up I always LOVED this time of year and my goal is to create the same love for her.  For me, the holidays have never been extravagant.  Our family didn't have the money for that.  But they meant something.  They were a time when we all spent more time together, thought more about each other, and were genuinely thankful and aware of the good things that we had.  My family was relatively religious also so we talked a lot about the religious meaning of the holiday and what we believed had been sacrificed for us.  My mom also filled the holidays with special moments and traditions so that there was always something around the corner to look forward to.  And as if that weren't enough, my grandfather brought the holiday to life in a very special way.  He had such a vivid imagination and told all kinds of tall tales that I believed as a child and just enjoyed as a young adult.  According to him he worked for Santa and was the first in line to take over if anything were to happen to him.  There are moments when I still feel like that's where he is now.  He passed away almost ten years ago, but I still feel him at this time of year and I still remember every tale he ever told.

It's hard to figure out how to pass that joy and love that I have for the holidays on to Bean.  She has to experience it for herself and it isn't going to be the same.  I don't want her to regard this time of year as simply a time to get what you desire.  I want her to see it as I do, as magical, as a time to show others how much you appreciate them, and a time to really reflect on the big and little things in life that there are to be thankful for.  Somehow in my own family, that has been a little lost in recent years.  The hardship and difficulties have over taken the joy and thankfulness.  The holidays have become about obligation and neccesity.  I almost hated to see them come.

Last year was a little better.  It was hard not to just feel thankfulness and love this time last year as it was Bean's first with us.  This year it's even easier in a way.  We've started to get the hang of being parents, and being a little family.  Bean understands so much more.  It's time to start making it all real and special.  It's time to build the meaning and magic into her life, and I'm excited to do that.

So with all of that, I have a challenge for myself and a challenge for you, if you're willing.  The challenge for myself is to not let the stress and obligation of the holidays get to me this year.  To focus on the real meaning of it all and all the reasons that I have to be joyful.  So starting this Thursday, on Thanksgiving, I'm going to try to blog everyday about something that I'm thankful for, or that brings me joy, big or small.  My challenge to you is to tell me what your favorite part of the holiday season is.  What are your favorite traditions and memories?  How do you keep from letting it become overwhelming?  I love hearing what makes this time of year extra special to other people and I can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jumping back in

One of the things that I sometimes find overwhelming in the blogging world is stepping back.  If you need to step away, or if you're forced to for some reason, it feels really hard to come back.  So much has happened and all of these posts are there waiting for you to read and comment on.  The world has kept going even though you have stood still in a way.  It's like trying to jump back on a moving carousel.  So I've been standing here, on the sidelines for the last week, trying to look for the perfect foot hold.  I want to jump back in but I'm tired, and I can't seem to figure out where to land without somehow making a mess of things.  Then I realized that each day that I stay standing still, waiting for the right moment, more and more is just building up making it feel more and more impossible.  So I just have to jump.  Which is what I'm doing.

Life has calmed down a bit here and I'm seeing the bright side of things again.  I think one of the reasons that I've been avoiding the blog too is because I've been avoiding a larger issue in my life in general.  The whole point of weaning Bean was to start trying for another baby.  As soon as I was done I was supposed to call my RE.  I was definitely supposed to call her on day one of my first period.  Well, both of those things have happened and I haven't made the call.  It just all happened so fast, I didn't feel ready.  I wanted at least a month where my body was just my own.  I wanted to try to lose a little bit more weight before we started trying again.  And I wanted to just live life for a little while without it all feeling like a roller coaster ride.

What I realized is that life is always a roller coaster ride, no matter what you might do to try to stop it.  And as far as having my body back to myself, well, that's kind of a joke.  I have had maybe one glass of wine, a cup of half caffeinated coffee, and some ibuprofen.  It's been over two years since I only had to worry for myself when I put something in my body and I just can't switch it off.  So why switch it off to just switch it back on?  I don't miss any of that stuff really, except my allergy medicine.  I DEARLY miss my allergy medicine.  The only thing here that really seemed to matter was losing the weight.  So I got back on the elliptical in our basement for the first time in 2 years and it felt really good.  I plan on keeping up with that.

So I'm not sure where I stand right now.  I'm ready to be pregnant again in the larger sense.  Am I ready to go back to the RE for real?  I don't know.  I may wait on that until after the holidays.  Although that thought always starts the sound of a really loud clock ticking in my head.  We'll see what wins.  The desire for a somewhat peaceful holiday season, or the unrelenting feeling that I'm wasting precious time. I want to really enjoy this time of year with Bean.  It's always one of my favorites and she understands so much more this year.  I kind of feel like we need a last hurrah before life starts to change.  But that could just be me procrastinating something that feels hard right now.  I've got some thinking to do and hopefully I have it all figured out before my period comes again.  Whenever that may be.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Exhausted but thankful

My apologies to everyone, as I have been absent all week from blogging and commenting.  For once though, it's not my fault!  The plug got pulled on us last Saturday.  We got hit by that crazy snowstorm that came through and the power went off until Tuesday.  My mother-in-law was staying with us until Thursday when her power came back on.  So today is the first day that I actually have my real life back.  I missed it!  And I want so badly to jump back in, comment on all the posts that have gone up in the last week, and tell you all about what's been happening here.  But I am exhausted.  This last week took a lot out of me, and on top of that I have family stuff that's weighing on me.  So it's going to take me a little bit to get up and running again.  Right now though I'm really thankful.  I'm thankful for electricity, for heat and water, for a normal morning with Bean, for the fact that Bean was able to get through all this so easily, even if it was hard on the rest of us, and for the fact that this event was just a short spurt in my life.  I know that there are people out there who deal with basic challenges like this everyday and I'm not going to complain about what we had to deal with because it could have been much worse, and because it was temporary.  I am however, thankful that it's over.