Friday, December 28, 2012

2012

This year was okay. It wasn't great, it wasn't horrible. It just was.

I'm still looking forward. The Mayans believed this month marked the end and beginning of a cycle, like a new year, so technically we get two New Years this year. I would like to think that this will be a fantastic new beginning, but it is what it is.

I do have big plans, things that are in my control, and at this time none of it includes having a child. These plans should include taking care of myself and losing some weight, or even just going for a run once in a while, but I haven't gotten that far yet. Maybe I'll get there as soon as the holidays are over.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

I was in the mood to bake and of course I needed something healthy, since I need to get my ass in gear. I wanted something pumpkin but I also wanted it to have some hidden veggies!

I took this Zucchini Muffin recipe, and tweaked it!

Dip's Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups grated fresh zucchini
2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups oatmeal
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini, canola oil, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mix and stir well.

4. Grease a muffin tin. Spoon the batter into the cups to fill them about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick or small knife inserted in a muffin comes out clean.Let cool slightly, then run a knife around edges to loosen muffins, then remove.

Per muffin: 89 Calories, 15 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g fat, 3 g protein, 180 mg sodium

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why I hate T-Mobile, Let Me Count The Ways

I have been a T-Mobile customer for almost 10 years now. I was fairly happy until I moved. Now my signal is non-existant about twice a month on average, and I find myself having to call regularly. I used to get people who actually listened, cared and took care of the issues. Now, I contact their "award winning customer specialists" and experience the following. I hope you enjoy it. I think it's actually pretty funny, except it happened to me, and after 24 hours, I still don't have a signal. The best part is, there is no escalation possible, other than sending snail mail to a customer relations address given on the web. There is no other number to call, other than an outsourced call center in another country, that is not connected to T-Mobile much more than I am. One more note: While this is only one chat conversation that I emailed to myself, I actually chatted with two other people and spoke to five other people. In one day. And still no resolution. Good times!


You have been connected to !Dee C.

Dipitie : No coverage in my small town. All my phone lines are affected. This is the second time I have tried to chat with someone, as the last session got kicked off. I'm frustrated and of course would call you, but I have no phone

 !Dee C: Hi Dipitie! Thank you for contacting T-Mobile Live Chat. My name is !Dee.C and my Rep Id is 145-1990. I'll be happy to assist you today.

 !Dee C: I will be checking on the notes that was saved on your account regarding the conversations regarding the issue.

 Dipitie : Not much, but the signal goes down very regularly. I often don't even notice because I don't even need this phone any longer, but of course was stuck in a contract.

 Dipitie : I stopped calling after months of issues because nothing was ever done, other than credit me.

 !Dee C: I understand. May I ask how many bars of signal on the phone?

Dipitie : No bars. No signal. big X.

!Dee C: I understand. Are you using the T-Mobile G2?

Dipitie : yes

!Dee C: Thank you.

!Dee C: May I ask does the issue happen at a particular location, at several locations, or everywhere?

 Dipitie : everywhere. from what I understand, there is only one tower in my town.

 !Dee C: I understand.

!Dee C: Are there other T-Mobile customers in the same area having the same issue?

 Dipitie : But I have a full signal on my ATT iphone. VERY frustrating.

Dipitie : What other tmobile customers?

Dipitie : You don't even have a store within 50 miles of here. It's actually more like 150 miles I think

 Dipitie : Right now I really want to know my options for maintaining my number but not using your service.

 Dipitie : I defintiely want to take the internet off because it's of no use to me

 Dipitie : probably the text messages too

!Dee C: I understand. We will be going to troubleshoot the phone for us to check if you we can be able to resolve teh issue.

 Dipitie : I've already done all of that, this is not my first rodeo. Don't you see all the times I have called before? YOUR TOWER IS DOWN

 !Dee C: I do apologize however we have to troubleshoot the phone in order for us to check on what actions are we going to follow.

 Dipitie : fine. It's already been rebooted and I've already tried to connect to the network manually

 !Dee C: I understand.

!Dee C: Please make sure your phone is not in airplane / flight mode. See Network under Settings.

 Dipitie : it's not

!Dee C: Thank you.

!Dee C: May I ask for your complete address for me to check if there is an outage.

 Dipitie : 

!Dee C: Thank you. Please gove me 3-5 minutes to check.

!Dee C: Thank you for waiting, upon checking there is no outage on your phone, I really suggest that we do basic troubleshooting.

 Dipitie : Whatever

Dipitie : you guys tell me the same thing every time I call

!Dee C: I understand. May I ask for the IMEI? Please dial *#06#.

Dipitie :  

!Dee C: Thank you.

!Dee C: Please turn off your phone and detach the simcard, please let me know the simcard number.

 Dipitie :

!Dee C: Thank you.

!Dee C: Please return the simcard and turn on your phone.

!Dee C: After that please try to call if it will go through this time.

!Dee C: Please let me know once you are done.

Dipitie : all done. No network. Still.

Dipitie : Still have full signal on ATT

!Dee C: I understand.

Dipitie : How long will it take for you to understand the TOWER IS DOWN?

!Dee C: Please perform a manual network and let me know what are the options you are seeing on the screen.

 Dipitie : Every single time you tell me that service is fine, and then after all of the jumping through hoops you then come back and say, Oh, Mea Culpa, you're right, the network is down.

 Dipitie : the only option is ATT. I have done that three times now. FULL SIGNAL ON ATT

 !Dee C: I understand, however upon checking on your area there is no notes that is saying that the tower on your area is down.

 Dipitie : You know, I don't even care about it anymore. I want a credit on my phone and I want to know what the lowest cost options are to keep my basic service. I need a new (NON-SMART) phone because the one I have sucks

 Dipitie : There probably aren't any notes because nobody at T-mobile even thinks to check and nobody else in town probably uses you!

 Dipitie : Maybe you should pass me over to a supervisor now.

!Dee C: I understand this is frustrating on your end however we are still currently doing our troubleshooting steps and if we finish that we will know what are the options that we have, if we are going to file a trouble ticket or we are going to consult our technical care department regarding this issue.

 Dipitie : fine. continue.

!Dee C: Thank you.

!Dee C: Have you tried to perform manual network selection again?

Dipitie : for the fourth time? You honestly think it would help?

!Dee C: I will be needing the message and the exact option that you are seeing on the phone.

 Dipitie : I truly feel like you're just wasting time hoping the tower will be coming back online.

 Dipitie : It says that my selected network, T-Mobile, is not available and the only network that IS available is ATT. What else do you need?????

 !Dee C: Thank you. Please give me a moment to check the error message that you are getting.

 !Dee C: Upon checking we will be needing to master reset your phone.

Dipitie : okay?

Dipitie : stop wasting my time and just tell me

!Dee C: I will be sending you the steps for the master reset.

!Dee C: Please allow me to have 2-3 miutes.

!Dee C: befire we master reset please be advised that master clear or factory data reset restores the original factory settings and erases content, including downloaded ringtones, images, programs, and contacts stored in the internal memory. This feature allows for resetting of sound profiles, display settings, and phone or memory card settings. However, if you want to try resetting some factory settings without losing any data, then clear system cache before a master reset.

 Dipitie : oh great, thanks for nothing.

!Dee C: Since the next troubleshooting step requires you to perform a master reset which can take up 10 to 15 minutes and requires you to back up your data and reset your phone, I am going to send you the steps to perform a master reset. Please contact us after 15 minutes to see the results.

 Dipitie : I'm not going to do a effing master reset to clear every single thing I have placed on my ophone over the last two years BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO OPEN A TROUBLE TICKET FOR SOMETHING THAT IS YOUR FAULT

 Dipitie : TRANSFER ME TO A SUPERVISOR RIGHT NOW

!Dee C: Back up all necessary data and synchronize files. See: Prepare for a master reset and back up data on AndroidFrom the Home screen, tap the Menu key.

 Tap Settings.

Tap Privacy.

Clear the Back up my data check box. If this data is backed up, the phone will not completely reset.

 Tap Factory data reset.

Clear or select the Erase SD card check box.

Tap Reset phone.

Tap Erase everything.

If prompted, enter the password.

Note: The default password is 1234.

Tap OK.

10. If necessary, enter and confirm the password again.

11. Tap OK.

Dipitie : NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M DONE WITH YOU

 Dipitie : PLEASE PLACE THIS ENTIRE CONVERSATION IN MY ACCOUNT NOTES SO THAT I DON'T HAVE TO GO THROUGH ALL OF THIS EVER AGAIN

 Dipitie : IVE NEVER BEEN ASKED TO DO A MASTER RESET EVER BEFORE AND I THINK YOU ARE WRONG

 !Dee C: I understand this is frustrating on your end.

!Dee C: Please be reminded that we have follow the procedures that are possible of us to resolve the issue.

 !Dee C: Please wait while I will attempt to bring in a senior agent or a supervisor to assist us with this issue.

 Dipitie : no, you don't understand. you obviously don't listen to what I am telling you nor do you even go back and read the notes. I have been here before, and there WAS an outage. IN ALL THE TIMES I HAVE CALLED, WHICH I CAN'T EVEN COUNT ON MY FINGERS, nobody has EVER asked me to reset my phone. I see this as another time waster so you don't have to help me.

 Dipitie : EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAVE CALLED, THERE WAS AN OUTAGE. I BET MY OWN LIFE THERE IS AN OUTAGE. IF THERE ISN'T AN OUTAGE, I WILL JUMP OFF A BUILDING.

 !Dee C: I understand.

!Michael W has entered the session.

Dipitie : No, you obviously don't.

!Michael W: Hi Dipitie, my name is Michael one of the senior representatives and for your reference, my ID number is 1450763. Please give me 3-5 minutes to review your concern.

 Dipitie : well, hello Michael, care to jump in?

!Dee C has left the session.

Dipitie : Thank god

!Michael W: Thank you for patiently waiting. We apologize for the inconvenience.

 Dipitie : and?

!Michael W: Let me go ahead and review my resources here.

Dipitie : are you in the United States?

!Michael W: Just to verify, your just having issues in your area or even if leave your town?

 !Michael W: I apologize, I am unable to disclose that information for security purposes.

 Dipitie : in my area. I don't leave town. I would have to drive 40 miles to get to the next T-mobile coverage are

 Dipitie : That means you aren't

!Michael W: Thank you for that information.

!Michael W: Let me go ahead and check your address.

Dipitie : My address is in the above text. Now that I have been in chat for over an hour, I have to go to a meeting in 10 minutes

 Dipitie : what a collassal waste of my time.

Dipitie : with absolutely nothing accomplished.

!Michael W: I apologize if you feel that way. We have to check every single detail to make sure that the resolution is accurate.

 Dipitie : really excited I can email this to myself - I think I'll be sharing this ridiculousness with every one I can think of.

 Dipitie : You only have to do that because you're in another country and don't have any other resources.

 !Michael W: Regardless of my location, I have the appropriate resources to check on this.

 !Michael W: Are you getting any error message 'Emergency Calls Only' or Error: 'SOS?'

 Dipitie : nope

!Michael W: Are there other T-Mobile customers in your same location with service?

 Dipitie : You don't have the reources to test if there is an outage... which there is. You have to have someone else open a trouble ticket before you can verify

 Dipitie : No, there probably aren't any other T-mobile customers because T-mobile sucks.

 !Michael W: That will be determined by the out come of the troubleshooting steps that we are following.

 !Michael W: I understand that you are frustrated, please bear with me on this one so we can determine the steps that we need to take to resolve your concern.

 !Michael W: Are you using your T-Mobile G2?

!Michael W: Dipitie are you still there?

!Michael W: It seems you have stepped away from your computer. I regret that I am going to have to disconnect this chat. Please contact us again via Live Chat, or by calling 1-800-937-8997 or by dialing 611 from your handset. Thank you for using T-Mobile Chat. Have a great day.

 Thank you for using our online help. You may now close this window.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Three months

I haven't blogged in three months. Wow, time sure does fly. In some ways, a lot has happened, and in other ways, nothing has happened.

I survived my birthday, the anniversary of my last IVF, my only pregnancy and my only miscarriage. I had an anniversary with my husband. I've traveled, and I've worked. I've run a bit, I've hiked a lot.

I guess you could say we are again trying to get pregnant. Although, after four and a half years, what exactly is trying? I guess I will try to actually have sex around the time I ovulate. Believe me, when you get to be my age, and when you have the schedules that my husband and I have, sex is always often an afterthought. I know I must have some hope, because that is the only thing that would possess me to even consider peeing on an OPK these days.

I have good days and I have bad days. I still hate I'm still jealous of every pregnant woman I see. All the family babies that have been born in the last five years... I hate getting their birthday party invites because they just remind me how long we've been doing this. I should have a child older than that niece. When that nephew's first birthday invite arrives, I should be thinking about Austin's first birthday.

There are times I feel okay about it, good enough to discuss my struggles with others. There are other times where I break down for no apparent reason. It's like the tears were there, just waiting for me to let my guard down. I don't even feel sad, and then there they are.

Sometimes it makes me feel like I'm losing my mind.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Adept at Pork!

I have really never been able to cook pork unless I took 12 hours to slow cook it. Put it in a crockpot or a smoker, it was fine, but every other way I tried, it was always tough, chewy and stringy. I have tried both pork chops and pork loins, baked, pan seared, and grilled., and it never came our right.

I'm a BzzAgent, so I was challenged by Bzz and The National Pork Board to try it again. They sent me recipes and tips and also pointed out how healthy pork is, so I decided to try once more to make a decent dinner out of a pork chop. I sent my husband to the store to pick out the pork, mostly because I don't have the confidence to do it myself. I knew he would do a MUCH better job! He ended coming home with a loin chop, and I only know this because of the "Know Your Chops" section of "All About Chops" booklet that came with my packet. He suggested we brine the pork to keep it juicy, and since I have had success doing it with turkeys, I thought that was a good idea. I made a brine of 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 cups water, peppercorns and bay leaves, and let it brine a few hours. I then removed it from the brine (don't want it to be overly salty!), patted it dry with a paper towel, and rubbed it with the Basil Garlic rub from the Pork: Be Inspired website, and then let it sit, covered, in the fridge until the next night.

It only took about 10 minutes on the grill (5 mins each side), and they were DELICIOUS! I was shocked! They weren't fall apart tender, but they weren't totally chewy bricks either like I normally end up with. I served it with spaghetti squash that has been sauteed in butter and garlic, as well as a healthy green salad. My husband was super stoked, which was awesome because he had worked until 9pm that night, and I was completely in charge of making dinner. In fact, I think this was the best dinner I had made in a long time! And I have Bzz and the National Pork Board to thank. I will definitely be making more pork in the future!



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gucci Flora Collection

I finally got my Gucci Flora Collection in the mail! I was really excited because I have a hard time trying fragrances in stores - it sometimes takes me a long while to decide if I like a scent or not. I also have a favorite perfume, but it was a limited edition that wasn't available to the public, so I have no way of getting another bottle. I keep hoping I will run across a perfume that smells similar, and since it is a floral based fragrance, I had high hopes for the Gucci Flora Collection.

Back to the package. It was wrapped up so nice, in a gorgeous box (that I will totally reuse!), tissue paper, etc. It came with three small bottles of the frangrances, a set of testers to give out to friends and some marketing info. Of course, I immediately applied all three on three different spots on my body... and immediately forgot which one I put where!

After that fiasco, I've decided to use them one at a time, so that I could know which ones were which. First I tried the blue bottle - Glamorous Magnolia - since blue is my favorite color. It smells nice going on, almost sweet, but the way it wears is lovely. Sweet and floral but almost fruity, citrusy at the same time.

The next day I tried the green bottle - Gracious Tuberose. The smell was a little strong and green at first, almost as if I would sneeze by smelling it. I didn't though! After a couple hours it mellowed out into a not so floral but very expensive smelling perfume.

Then I tried the pink bottle - Gorgeous Gardenia - It's not unpleasant, but it smells pink. Baby-powderish if you will. Maybe a touch of baby powder, but high end baby powder if you catch my drift. I'm not a fan of most gardenia perfumes, but this one is not overpowering at all, it's just not as much my style as the other two.

I have also tried mixing them. All three blend well together and really allow you to experiment. I do like Glamorous Magnolia and Gracious Tuberose together the best, maybe because I can't decide which one of those is my favorite!

I definitely like all three of them AFTER they have set on my skin a little bit, sometimes the first few whiffs is a little strong. They wear amazingly well. I was also able to share some samples with a couple friends and I hope they like them as much as I do. Now, I am saying I like them, not that I love them. I have yet to find a substitute for my favorite perfume, but the Gucci Flora Collection is a good alternative until that happens.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Renal Failure

No, not me, but instead my older furbaby.

Initially, I was actually happy about it. We have been through a lot with her over the last few months - chronic infections, vet drama and practically a complete breakdown in house training... it was nice to have an answer from a vet who actually sounded like they knew what they were talking about. Let me back up.

In January, she got a UTI. I had the choice of going to the non-recommended vet in town, or driving 40 miles to the vet that is recommended. I chose the one in town. $1000, six weeks and two courses of antibiotics later, the vet tells me I need to spend a ridiculous amount of antibiotics for 60 days of treatment and in the same breath tells me that the infection has damaged her kidneys. He also tells me that she has a mass in her bladder and instead of letting me give the cheaper Piroxicam that has been shown to reduce bladder tumors, he wants me to get the anti-inflammatory that costs four times as much. I asked if I could order the drugs online to save approximately $300, and the vet flipped out on me, refused to call me back, and stalled on the prescription approval. I consulted with the vet 40 miles away and they said that she didn't need to be on the antibiotics for 60 days, so I kept the extra pills for the just in case.

Since then, she's had a couple of accidents, and when she does, I put her on the antibiotics for two more weeks. This time, she had an accident the day after I finished the course. Either the infection is resistant (crap) or it's not an infection. So I truck her down the road to see the better vet, especially since the one in town won't even see us anymore.

What a different experience. She noticed immediately that my pup's urine wasn't concentrated, a sure sign of renal failure. She is doing a culture to make sure there is no infection, and can prescribe Proin, a muscle tightener that will help with incontinence and keeping her bladder safer from infection. We also got a renal prescription food, that my pup SCARFS down. It initially felt like we finally had answers, which was comforting. I am still angry at the other vet for his incompetence, and I wonder if the strong antibiotic that he wanted me to give her for two whole months damaged her kidneys more. Thank goodness I didn't give those antibiotics for the full two months. Hopefully we caught this in time.

But the reality is this is the beginning of the end. She's 16 years old. Every year for years I have wondered how much longer she can live. She's been blind half her life, she's been deaf for a few years, and her back and hips have seen better days. I did some research online and it only made me cry. I am still waiting for answers and test results, but I just hope that this will help to arrest the progression of her disease. And I hope that I will recognize the right time when it comes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

For the Runners

I've been wokring really hard at getting my butt out to exercise and lose some weight. Sometimes I don't feel like it, and sometimes I feel really discouraged - like I feel excessively tired, slow, like my lungs are going to explode, etc. But I can still do it.

A friend of mine named Rebecca commented on an auto-tweet that my Nike+ does for me, announcing to the world that I have been on a run for so and so distance. She said "Wow! Good for you" which is the type of supportive response she would normally give and I expect from her. She's always been really supportive of me, and I try to be supportive to her as well, although I often fall short.

She's been in a lot of pain lately, rupturing ovarian cysts is the post prevalent issue right now, and I wish there was something I could do to make it better. Rebecca can't run right now. She can't walk, can't sleep much of the time, can't do anything really, so I should be happy that I can run. That is what I must do - run and be happy I can. Someday, I won't be able to run any longer. But today is not that day.

Rebecca, I really hope you start to feel better soon. Sending you lots of love.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Comfort to the Childless

I was going to call this post "Happy Mothers Day to the Mothers without children" or some similarly inadequate title. But this post isn't for the Mothers. This post isn't for the mothers who struggled. This post isn't even for the Mothers to be. It's for those who will never become mothers of living, breathing children.

I don't harbor any ill will towards those who have children, I am happy for them, especially for those who struggled, because I know how scary and painful that journey is.

But not all of us become mothers. I hate to sound like a broken record, but lately I have had a hard time facing other people's parenthood. I want to be supportive, I really do. But right now, especially on Mother's Day, I am unable to read about pregnancies and births and first Mother's Days and weaning and teething and the like. I just can't. When I had hope, I was much more supportive. I would get really excited when someone found success from IVF, when they had a surprise pregnancy after struggling with infertility, when they gave birth. But a place without hope is a dark place indeed.

So I dedicate today's post to the women who are in that dark, hopeless world. Those who, for one reason or another, will remain childless. Those who have lost their babies. Those whose babies were never conceieved. Those whose babies were never brought to them through adoption. I hope you can find enough support and comfort to get through this day. The good news is that we won't see a Mother's Day again for a year. To those who are enduring this pain with a male partner, you may have to be extra supportive of him for the next month until we can get Father's Day under our belts too.

We can do it. If nothing else, infertility develops our tough side.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

101 Things Update - WWYD?

I'm currently reading (okay, listening to) "Eat, Pray, Love." Never mind that I am only reading free Kindle books on my phone and listening to books on my runs. There is a reasonable explanation for that - I haven't gotten a library card in my new town, but because I have one in my old town, I can download books from there quite easily!

Back to the topic. While I know some people felt her book was preachy and didn't enjoy it, I am actually finding it to be very insightful with lessons that I can take to heart. Maybe it sounds better in the author's voice, which is the benefit of an audio book. Who knows, but I find these lessons to be important for healing my heart. The lessons presented in her book are lovely, and it has nothing to do with religion. One of the lessons I think is extremely valuable is forgiving yourself.

Which brings me now to the real topic: my 101 things list. I am 23 days away from the deadline and only about 1/3 through the list. The biggest thing that kept me from finishing my list was the personal recession in my household.  My husband hasn't spent much of these last three years working. I was laid off and spent money to move to a new town for a new job. We put money we didn't have into IVF, maybe against our better judgement. Maybe my list was too ambitious. I ran out of time.

So now I need to make a decision. I forgive myself for not finishing the list. I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I feel like I accomplished so many other things that weren't on this list, like learning to knit, surviving so much turmoil in my life, seeing and enjoying beautiful things, putting myself first, and more. These things weren't on my list, but I think they were just as important to my growth.

So now, I have to make a choice. I could absolve all of this by donating $350 to charity, but I don't have $350 laying around. I could also give myself a one-year grace period. I still won't get all the way through the list, but maybe in a year I will be in a better financial position to pay the charity cop out. ;)  I could make another list of 101 things I want to do, since as my life has evolved, so have my goals. Maybe I do an IOU for the $350, or maybe I up the ante and do double or nothing - $10 per goal I don't accomplish! Or maybe I make shorter term goals - what do I want to do this summer? What do I want to accomplish by the end of next winter?

What would you do?

Friday, April 27, 2012

My NIAW Post

Last year, I was much more involved with NIAW and Myth Busting. That seems like eons ago, not just 12 short months. In the last 12 months, My husband lost his job, we underwent two more rounds of IVF, got pregnant, miscarried at 9 weeks, moved, saw our due date come and go, and gave up on TTC.

I didn't think we were giving up on TTC, I thought we were just giving up on infertility treatments. I guess when you're infertile, that usually means giving up completely. However, I had all intentions of timing intercourse and keeping hope, but lately we can't even bring ourselves to have sex when we're supposed to. My cycles have gotten wonky too, so timing intercourse is next to impossible. What we should be doing is having sex every other day at the minimum, but we can't seem to be bothered.

I'm not sure if we're tired of sex, or just tired of TTC. I also don't know if we will get our old selves back. Sex really fell off when I got pregnant, and never picked back up after the miscarriage. I suspect the experience damaged both of us more than either of us care to admit.

So, moving forward. Our lives are good, but not amazing. There is a lot of stuff I gave up to try to get pregnant, including the money paid for treatments as well as my actual job. I have a new job now, which I love, but times are still tough. It's hard to pay off IVF debt when you can barely pay the bills. And I want things. Cross country skis, new snowboard boots, a stand up paddleboard, money for race entries. My husband wants things. A downhill mountain bike, new speakers for the entertainment system, a new pair of powder skis, camping gear. It would be awesome to vacation together since haven't been on a trip together since October of 2010. These are all frivolous things in the grand scheme of course, but that doesn't change our desire.

I guess my point is that maybe the long dark night is over, that we can see dawn in the knowledge that a baby would prevent a lot of these wants from being possible. This is what I cling to. When someone is talking about their kid and tell me I don't understand because I'm not a mother, I cling to this. When my sister-in-law is pregnant with her third, I cling to this. When the adorable toddler at the store stares at me, I cling to this. Focusing on the potential benefits to child free is the only thing that gets me through most days.

If only one thing comes out of NIAW, it should be acceptance. The more people are accepting of other's choices, the better the world is for everyone involved. Be kind. Everyone makes their own decisions on what they are going to pursue and when to stop. Don't offer advice unless asked, and try not to judge. You don't know what someone is going through on the inside. Everyone has their own battles and faces their own demons.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Races

My still slovenly, slowly spreading ass checking in. I've run a few times, but still don't have that drive, that goal. I was saving my pennies so that I could enter the lottery for Nike in October... and then I saw that the full marathon was $175. $175?????? Total sticker shock. It's only $25 more than I was expecting, but that $25 seems to make all the difference. I hear that a lot of races are that much... but I still find it completely unreasonable. But I guess it will still sell out, and there will still be people not able to do it because they weren't selected for the lottery. But here's the thing - I have done it twice, and while I would love to do it again, do I really need another Tiffany necklace? Wouldn't that money be better spent on races I want to do but haven't had the chance yet?

So here is the current list:

LA Marathon
Napa Valley Marathon
Big Sur International Marathon
San Luis Obispo Marathon
San Francisco Full
ET Full Moon Marathon
Half Moon Bay Marathon
Lake Tahoe Marathon
Humboldt Redwoods Marathon
Cloverdale Marathon
Paso Robles Harvest Marathon
Portland Marathon
Catalina Island Eco Marathon
Santa Barbara Marathon
California International Marathon

Of course, I won't be able to run all of these in a year. It would probably take me more than two years. But at least I have written them down. Put them in a list, so I can't get sidetracked as easily. I hate it when I realize that a race I want to do is sold out, or I don't have enough time to sufficiently train for it. It's good to have goals written down, to keep you on track, you know?

Oh, there is one more goal, a goal I have been thinking about every since I was drooling over the Fourtitude medal (how sad am I that that medal is no longer offered?): I want to be a Marathon Maniac. I am only going for Bronze - no need to get crazy! So that's three fulls in 90 days, or two fulls in 16 days. I am considering going for that in the fall.

And I also may want to see what kind of Heavy Medals the Rock n Roll series has in store for 2013 before it's too late to line those races up!

P.S. I might have too many friends that want me to run Nike with them, in which case I might have to suck it up. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Healthier than I thought

So, my new PCP apparently has the fastest lab ever. Blood work is back. Believe it or not, most everything was perfectly normal! Weird because I have had worse blood work in the midst of a way healthier lifestyle. The only thing that was slightly off was my cholesterol - I haven't had cholesterol under 200 in years, but when I'm running I at least get my HDL through the roof and my LDL in the basement. Not this time - HDL was 78 and LDL was 148. If I was still running fulls, those numbers would be reversed.

I forced myself to run today. I hemmed and hawed and came up with multiple excuses, but then just did it anyway. That felt good. Of course halfway through I lost my mojo. Fortunately, I wasn't on a treadmill, I was out in the wilderness, so I had to get back to my car. I made it back through a lot of walking. But at least I did it.

If I keep forcing myself, maybe I will eventually remember that I love to run, and that will affect my outlook on life. That's the plan. I've also decided to sign up for the Nike Marathon again. I'll find the money somewhere.

Monday, March 26, 2012

An OB is not an RE

I have been meaning to get my annual check up done soon as well as consult with the OB my RE recommended. You see, in this teeny, tiny, small town, there are no RE's, only OB's. So when I started spotting right about O time (not to be confused with O-town) and spotted all the way to my period a whole week early, I figured it was time to make an appointment. I was probably jumping the gun a bit.

My appointment started with a pregnancy test. Ha! I could have saved them the test. Apparently when other people have random weird cycles and bleeding, they are pregnant. Unfortunately that doesn't really hold true in Dip's world. The other possibilities are STD's (no) and anovulatory cycles. Which means I need to start charting/OPKing/etc.

So, what did I get out of the appointment? Not much. He thought that maybe I should be on Metformin. But I don't have PCOS.... or do I? He thought that maybe I did, because apparently lack of cysts on your ovaries doesn't mean lack of PCOS. Huh? But then instead of prescribing Met, he said to ask my RE. You know, my RE that is 340 miles away and I haven't seen since September.

But that brings me to my next dilemma. My health. Now, I do care about my health, but I tell ya, it doesn't mean as much to me in my current state. I'm depressed, I know it. Not depressed enough that I can't handle it, and not depressed enough to take meds. I probably could take meds, but I don't want to. Right now, I'm in a funk and really couldn't care less. In the past, most of my motivation came from preparing my body for pregnancy. Preparing for IVF, giving my uterus and ovaries their best shot at conceiving. But it never worked, and now I have no faith that it will work. It's hard to muster up the motivation when there is no foreseeable benefit. Yeah, I could be healthy, but my depression doesn't care how long I live or how healthy I am while I'm living.

So anyway, I am waiting for the rest of my bloodwork to come in. Today I am eating crap and drinking wine. Enjoy it now, because tomorrow the axe will fall. I guess I will know more about my body than any OB, and I will somehow have to find the motivation to be a healthier person.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick Easy French Bread


I wanted to pin this recipe, but of course, Pinterest won't let me pin a recipe without a picture, and there was no picture. So I had to take my own. Just so I can share it with my Pinterest pals. This may not be the most refined bread and is certainly not what I would call artisan, but it's really easy if you have a mixer with a dough hook, and is super fast. And my husband loves it!

QUICK, EASY FRENCH BREAD
(from Cooks.com)

1/4 c. warm water (105-115)
1 pkg. dry quick-rise yeast
Pinch of sugar

1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 c. plus 2 tbsp. warm water (105-115)
3 1/2 - 4 c. flour
1 egg white and 1 tbsp. water

Combine 1/4 c. water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add sugar, salt and remaining water. Mix well. Gradually add flour, mix well, and knead 5 minutes. Let rise 15 minutes in a warm place.

Divide dough into two parts. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough with a rolling pin to get air bubbles out. Then roll up jelly-roll style and turn ends under and smooth out. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Cut 3 diagonal slashes across loaves. Combine water and egg white; mix well and gently brush on loaves.

Preheat oven to 300. Boil kettle of water. Pour boiling water in shallow pan on lower rack of oven. TURN OFF OVEN. Set sheet on rack above. Let rise until double and then take pan of water out; turn oven to 425 degrees and bake 10 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 8 minutes longer. Makes 2 loaves.



Your turn!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Change Your Thinking

This was one of those uplifting emails that you are supposed to forward to 30 of you closest friends for fear of bad luck. I never forward that stuff on, but I thought the message was lovely. So in case you haven't seen this yet...

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking..

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'

Epilogue:

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .'

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I lost count

I know I can look it up, since my stats are readily available on the internet, but I have forgotten how long H and I have been TTC. This is a sign, right? A sign I am moving on.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Picking Myself Up

Thanks for allowing me my pityfest yesterday.

I decided today, that as sad and defeated as I feel, I have to keep moving forward. I don't share everything on this blog, and sometimes I feel I might be a little phony for not laying it all out on the line. There are just some things I don't want to talk about.

The biggest thing I haven't discussed is my husband's health. He has been sick for a while. Sometimes he gets better, sometimes he gets worse. Right now he is better, but his disease has affected us in multiple ways, including draining our finances. However, it's his health and this blog is about me, not him. I know he wouldn't be comfortable with me sharing all the gory details of his life, so I won't.

Other things I may have discussed on Twitter, but haven't brought into this blog... My ancient, sick dog and my job.

My 16 year old dog has had issues with her bladder for weeks, and her vet doesn't seem to care enough to get me meds. Long story, but after spending $1000 of money I don't have, I am done with him. I have enough meds to last a lifetime now, so in a couple weeks I'll have her culture repeated. By a different vet.

And my job. I have been working 6 days a week for a while. I think I got two days off back in the beginning of December, and then two days in January. And then I demanded two days off this week. I have been doing two jobs, and last week they doled out a 10% pay cut across the board. This doesn't work for me. I was only getting about $30 a paycheck before (so $15 a week to live on) and my husband is only getting a few hours a week at his TWO jobs. Not to mention he was off work for two weeks because of illness. Now, I am $87 a paycheck short on my mortgage, and that's before groceries, gas, etc. Let's not even mention that I took a 10% paycut in September when I took this job. So, those marathons I was training for? Can't afford to register, much less go. It's hard to train for a race you can't do. Besides, not sure I'm going to be able to train at any quality once I cut fresh fruits and vegetables out of my diet. The good news is that this will be the easiest diet! Hard to cheat when you don't have food in the house. At all.

(By the way, as you can see above, I try really hard to be funny/sarcastic and it just comes out sarcastic. This is why I will never be a great comedic writer. I need to figure out how to take the edge out.)

To add to the paycut, I am still looking at 6 day workweeks, and I have to deal with two people I absolutely despise. Why do I despise them? because they are the epitome of all talk, no action. They are supposed to be helping the company, but they haven't done a single thing that is helpful. They haven't brought in any revenue, they haven't even brought in a decent prospect. What they do is give everything away for free in the name of "business." Supposedly, these business prospects are going to work out and make us money, but in the meantime, I have more work accommodating all of their crap. Oh, and did I mention that they call me incessantly on my cell phone, even on my days off. Maybe if I actually could take a break, I would be in a better mood and not want to rip off their heads and shove them up their asses.

What I am mostly angry about is I love my job and I don't want to move again, but the complete lack of respect for me and my position is infuriating. Sometimes I wonder if I should finally act out of anger, and just quit. I was in a position like this four years ago, and I should have quit then, but I did the "responsible" thing and stayed at a job that I hated until they threw me out four years later. Right now, I might only be $87 short on my bills, if I quit, I will be a hell of a lot shorter. I have been fantasizing about declaring bankrufptcy, and moving away, but I certainly don;t have the balls for that.

Oh, and last - my due date is approaching. Which means I am getting all kinds of fun things in the mail - yesterday I got Similac, a postcard for a balloon company, and an ad for casting my newborn baby's feet and hands in bronze. Fanfuckingtastic. Just what I need! I'm so looking forward to the next 5-10 weeks. At what age do these things stop? Any idea how I can stop them now? If I knew which shitty website sold my name (I'm looking at you, The Bump) I would send them multiple scathing emails. Maybe I should send scathing emails to every pregnancy website out there.

So that's more of what is going on in my world. I'm not a positive person to begin with, so it's hard to see the sunny side. I do love my husband and my dogs, I love where I am living, and I love my job whenever I don't have to deal with the two jackasses. I just need things to get better. I want to be happy, I just haven't yet developed that skill, to be happy no matter what is going on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Defeated

I give up on life. Except I don't have giving up in me. I do what I need to do, but I'm screaming inside. I can't do anything right. Nothing is going right. I often think it's me. I have bad karma from a past life. My negativity pulls negativity towards me. I just don't have the right outlook.

Except I always get cut down right about the time I think something is finally going to go right. Right about the time I start to believe my pregnancy might actually be viable, my baby's heart ceases to beat. Right about the time I think I love my job, the floor drops out from under me. Am I actually a bad person, and just delusional to think I am not?

Sometimes I feel like anything good that happens to me is just the universe setting me up for more heartbreak. I don't know how much more I can take.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Storks

It's hard to let go of the extreme unfairness of infertility. I'm not in any way saying I am more deserving than others, but I don't understand why so many amazing and deserving people are denied parenthood, when others don't give it a second thought. I know I have blogged about this very topic before, and it's old news. But I still can't shake the anger and sadness.

There are days where I feel so much more in control of my life and emotions. I feel calm, and can talk about it in a matter-of-fact moment. I get compliments about how well I am dealing with everything. And then other days where I tear up at my desk, or fall asleep crying. I obviously need some more therapy, but even when therapy helps, I seem to hit a dead end in healing. The last way I got past that wall was with antidepressants, and I don't want to go down that road again. For now, my therapy has been running, but the effects seem to be short lived, at least for now.

Even though I'm staring at the end of my body's fertility, I'm still not ready to completely let go of my genetic's future. There are so many things that I wanted to pass down to my biological child. Musicality and mathmatics, two things that don't seem to be related, but so are. My artistic sense as well as physical strength. I wanted my child to have a more complete life than I did, to be more open to the possibilities of life, something I didn't have a chance to do until I was older. Too old, in fact. Some might say that it's so I can live vicariously through my child, and maybe in some ways it is. But in reality, I just want to see some of my talents find life in the most natural person it can - my child.

So I walk this line between despair and hope. I can't be the only one that feels this way, but I sometimes wonder if I'm the only person who has given up (without letting her heart give up). I have no plans for more treatment, or even adoption. I never have been religious, but maybe I'm going down that road. I suppose if it's meant to be, it will be. And maybe I will be okay with everything by the time this chapter of my life is complete, one way or another.

Weight Loss - Not an exact science

This week I appeared to have gained 1/2 a pound. WTH. Even though it's a convenient excuse, I wonder if I'm not eating enough calories. The first week I was doing this, I didn't exercise, and was 267 calories under my goal (as calculated by Lose it! to lose 2 pounds a week), and I lost four pounds. Granted, some of that was water weight. The next week, I added in exercise - Bodyrock and some running - and I was under my goal by 358 calories and lost 2 pounds. This week, I've exercised more than last week, I'm under my calorie goal by over 1000 calories. That's probably too much. I have made sure I eat at least my pre-exercise calorie goal every day, but maybe I'm not fueling my body enough.

To be super anal retentive, we can look at my average macros of Fat/Carbs/Protein (Wheeee!):

Week 1 - 21/59/21
Week 2 - 27/50/22
Week 3 - 29/47/24

So, should I be going lower fat, higher carbs?

This is what drives me nuts about weight loss. The good news (and maybe the only news I should care about) is that I have lost an inch from my waist! I know I shouldn't be so hung up on the scale, but it's the first and easiest form of feedback.

What else do I need to report on? I have done 10 workouts, so I deserve a massage! I also already ordered Bridesmaids for reaching 185. Well, I hope to be back under 185 by the time it arrives, so it's not really cheating. I still haven't reached all of my weekly goals, so no trip to Rite Aid for me. I did stretch once this week though, so I'm getting better. Continuously getting better, and I guess that's really the only goal.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 2 of the BodyRock Challenge

I ended up doing day 2 today instead of yesterday, mostly because they seem to post the workouts late, so I thought an extra day would help me do my workout when its most convenient for me!

I'm still good on eating, but the cravings are starting to get to me. It's probably more Pinterest than anything... these looked so incredibly good. The weird thing was that for the first 2 t0 2 1/2 weeks, I had no cravings whatsoever, and all of a sudden, here I am. Oh well, I'm managing well, considering I had a mini Twix on my desk today and I didn't eat it. Go me!

Anyway, my scores! I did the 300 rep challenge in 26:09, and on the abs workout, I did 7 reptile pushups (each side), 30 mountain climbers, and 43 star pushups, minus the pushup. Freddy didn't actually do pushups, so I didn't either!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bodyrock 30 Day Challenge, part Deux

So, after one week of following January's 30 day challenge, Bodyrock decided to post a new one for February: The No Excuses 30 Day Challenge.

So, after only one week, I decided to start again, and to do the Fit Test again. In one week, I already have a lot of progress! I think part of it is definitely because I am learning how to do the moves, not really because I am getting that much fitter, but who cares, right?

Fit Test Scores:

Squat Jump: 24 (+3)
Push Ups (on my knees, on my knuckles): 15 (-5, I blame my bad hand)
Burpees: 9 (+2)
High Knees: 64 (+23)
Switch Lunges: 15 (each side, +5)
Tuck Jumps: 19 (+14)
Straight Abs (modified to crunches): 44 (+12)

I've also been running - Got a four mile run in on my day off, and then ran home from work Saturday and today. Saturday's run had a misfortune - I had a choice between a car and a patch of ice, and I chose the ice. I slowed to a walk, but I made the wrong choice - I slipped and fell. I landed mostly on my ass but my hand found it's way to the ground as well. That night I thought I might have broken it, but it felt much better the next morning. It's still sore and I can't put weight on my palm (which is why my pushups and burpees today were done on my knuckles) but I am proud of myself for getting the fit test done today!

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how I'm feeling, and my motivation level. Oh, and I've lost 6 pounds in two weeks, so I must be doing something right. And that means I get to buy Bridesmaids! :D

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I had a great idea yesterday - to bring my running stuff to work, change at the end of the day, get off the bus much earlier than normal and then run the rest of the way home! Brilliant, right? Until I realized that I had no idea where my backpack is. Have I mentioned that I'm still not unpacked completely? And I'm not sure when I want to unpack, because packing was such a huge pain in the ass.

Anyway, I have plans to beg, borrow or steal a backpack in the next couple of days, so this plan should go into effect next week at the latest. Slowly but surely I am getting into the groove. Week one of eating in my calorie zone, week two I added in some workouts, week three I should get all my runs in, and then maybe by week four, I will be hitting all my goals by finally adding in some stretching/yoga. And so far, thanks to BodyRock, the weather, my Wii Fit and some videos, I have been able to accomplish all of this without paying for a gym membership. Someday, I will probably have to, but until then, this is working out just fine.

I started the BodyRock 30 day challenge just this week, and after three days, realized that I was supposed to be marking down my scores. Hahahaha! I also saw that there is a second 30 day challenge starting next week. I think I will start with that one next week, so I guess mine will be a 37 day challenge when all is said and done. No rules, so no rule breaking as long as I keep it up, right?

I have also been working through my infertility a little more, but that's another blog topic.

Monday, January 30, 2012

$1 a workout



I love this idea, and will be implementing it into Operation Ass Reduction right away!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One Week Down in Operation Ass Reduction

One week in. I've lost four pounds, but that was eating alone. Other than the normal walking I do to and from the bus and around work, I didn't do anything extra. I have no excuses - working seven days a week and generally being exhausted isn't really an excuse. I also have the non-excuse of not knowing which gym I want to join. I can't decide, so maybe that's an indication of me not really wanting to join any of them.

So, I decided to do this: Bodyrock.tv's 30 day challenge. Today I did the fit test. And thought I might have a heart attack, but I didn't. I'll share my measly scores (which may not even count because I wasn't really doing real burpees or tuck jumps :/):

Squat Jumps: 21
Pushups: 20
Burpees: 7
High Knees: 41
Switch Lunges: 10
Tuck Jumps: 5
Straight Abs: 32

Let's hope that after these 30 days, I will 1) Still be alive and 2) Can do better on these tests.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Goals

Maybe the best way to get me on track is set some goals.

My overall goals:
1. Lose 35 pounds to get back to my Weight Watchers goal weight of 156
2. Break a 2 hour half marathon
3. Break a five hour marathon

My Weekly goals are:
1. Stay at or under my daily calorie goal (tracked on Loseit.com)
2. Three runs a week
3. Three strength training workouts a week
4. Two yoga classes or deep stretching sessions a week


I also need some (non-food rewards).

For every week I hit all my weekly goals: $10 to spend on makeup
For every ten workouts I complete: A Massage
185 pounds: Bridesmaids DVD
180 pounds: Gloves with touchscreen compatible fingertips
175 pounds: Gaiam Calorie Coach
170 pounds: Spring/Summer Race registration
165 pounds: John Frieda Hot Brush
160 pounds: Video Game of My Choice
156 pounds: Fall/Winter race registration

When I get there, I would love to set some new goals, but let's start here.