Sunday, December 27, 2009

First Snow of the Year

A couple weeks ago we had our first snow of the season and it stuck. It was on a day off so I didn't have to go anywhere, which was nice. I don't like winter - I'd much rather warm, sunny weather, but it's still magical when it snows and to see everything covered with white.

River is IN LOVE with winter. It is his absolute favorite season. He adores playing in the snow. When it's cold outside, it is impossible to tire him out. He just wants to play forever.

Here is some during and after video of our first snow. And River of course, enjoying himself.

video
He is chewing on a tennis ball and "wrestling" with the falling snow.

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I got him to put the ball down so I could video him snapping at the falling snow - so cute!

video

Not much accumulation but it was so pretty covering all the bare trees.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! My Christmas was very nice: good giving, good getting, good food, good time with family :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Toy*

Woo boy my arms and shoulders ached the day after my yoga class last week! It was a good, sore muscle ache though. I have the bad kind of pain in my back, shoulders, arms regularly so it was refreshing to have meaningful pain. That sounds weird I guess. My next class should be on Jan 6th and I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm basically done with my gift shopping. But I have a lot to wrap. I bought C a bunch of things that fit together in a theme (kitchen/baking stuff) and I'm going to wrap each one individually. I bought her the cutest set of measuring spoons - I have to take a pic before I wrap them up.  C and I went in on a bunch of cooking/baking stuff for my other sister (S) too. I hope C doesn't mind having very similar presents! I'm sure she'll be happy with what I got her but it gives me a twinge of guilt that I wasn't more unique. I still have one very small thing to buy for C and I need to stop and get a gas station gift cert for S because she's a poor grad student. All presents are bought for my mom. R bought gifts for his mom and dad but they still need to be wrapped (by me). And that's it. R and I don't usually buy gifts for each other. He is extremely difficult to buy for unless I have thousands of dollars to buy him a camaro or some sort of new electronic device. The small thoughtful gifts are just not his style. We save the money we would have spent on each other and eventually buy something for our house instead.

We didn't put up lights again this year and we never bothered to get a tree. We both like the decorations but it just didn't happen. I used to be really into Christmas but not so much anymore. Christmas without children to share it with just isn't the same. We don't have any kids in either of our families and our few friends don't have kids either. I do like giving gifts though - it's fun to get someone what they want/need.


I did get to buy a toy for someone this year though! I bought it for a family our company sponsored for the holidays who have an infant that needs a kidney transplant. They also have a 2 yr old and I figured this thing would be great for both of them to use. It was so cute. I haven't bought a baby toy in a long, long time.

All our snow has melted. I don't think it will be a white Christmas. It would be nice to have some snow but please, don't snow on Thursday. We will be traveling to and back home from my mom's house (~2 hours each way) that day, as is our tradition, and bad weather would just make it annoying. Not that we couldn't handle it. We have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and R is a very good driver. Christmas day we are off to MIL's house (only ~ 15 mins away) in the afternoon so if it had to snow, that would be the ideal day. Have I ever mentioned how crazy my MIL is? I don't think I have. If there are any bizarre presents from her this year I need to remember to take pics of them. Corn on the cob handles anyone? Or how about a purple, plastic trash can? No? Then how about a staple puller and some blank diskettes? Oh it just goes on and on.

*One of my fondly remembered childhood Christmas movies. C and I were discussing this on Sunday (while baking about 4 different kinds of cookies for the holidays because it is one of our holiday traditions - frosted sugar cookies, gingerbread men, chocolate orange crinkles, and sugar-cookie-chocolate-peppermint bark) and now I really want to see it again! Maybe I'll order it on DVD. Whoa! I just looked and someone has put the entire movie up - the first part is HERE. I don't know if it's good quality but I'm off to watch it now!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Running Update and First Yoga Class

Sadly C and I have all but stopped running.  I definitely plan to continue but we are in a rut right now because of the holidays and the disgustingly cold, snowy, icy weather.

From when we completed week 9, to now, we've gone out about 2x per week, with at least one week off.  We regressed a little in our pace and then got better, our best time being slightly under 14min/mile.  I've also done my elliptical a couple times when it was raining or just generally crappy outside.  The last time I went jogging was last Tuesday - a week and a day ago.  I actually think about going a lot but jogging in the bitter cold is so very unpleasant it's all too easy to procrastinate.

I'm trying to figure out a good solution for us.  We just aren't going to be able to jog much outside in the next 2 months.  Buying a treadmill is not an option, especially because that would not allow C and I to continue jogging together.  I received a flyer in the mail recently for a fairly cheap fitness center membership that even claimed to have an indoor track (better imo than a treadmill) and I was hopeful that might be our solution.  This past weekend C and I went to check it out and we weren't impressed.  It was not a great looking place, the woman at the desk was not incredibly pleasant (though she wasn't really rude).  Besides the start-up fee, the flyer I received claimed membership was $10/month.  Well, apparently access to the indoor track area (which is suspended above the basketball court where smelly guys run around and sweat, and which only looked to be 1/4 mile or less) costs an extra $20/month.  This is just silly.  I don't think we'll be going there.  I'll be looking around for another indoor track but I suppose I would settle for just a nearby fitness place with a good amount of treadmills and a cheap membership fee.

I'm not counting myself as having fallen off the wagon just yet.  C will probably decline but I am going to try and get out there again tomorrow or this weekend.
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I've always been intrigued by yoga.  I've tried some yoga on tv at home but it's very hard to look at the tv and try to do the poses at the same time.  Also, it's hard not to get any feedback on if you're doing things correctly or not.

For some reason I've had a hard time finding any classes that would be easy for me to get to and not require me to spend a million dollars on a gym membership (though if I found a gym with a great schedule, I might pay a good deal to be able to attend the classes)

A few weeks ago I was excited to see a sign in the elevator of my work building for a once-a-week yoga class starting up on the 11th floor.  But then I forgot about it and ended up missing the first class.  The second class was supposed to be last week but was cancelled because of the weather.

So, today I attended my very first yoga class. I loved it! I wish I could take that class multiple times a week. It was challenging and relaxing at the same time. I worked on balance, worked my muscles, and stretched.  It was right in the middle of my work day and it was so nice to be able to get up from my desk and actually move my body.

The class is postponed now until after the new year but I can't wait to go again!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sharing a Song

This was my post for the Blog Cross Pollination. I wanted to repost it here as well because I've been wanting to share this song with everyone for a long time now. Ever since I wrote the post it's been replaying in my head.
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Being a mom is my dream job. I’m sure I’ve said it before. My goals have always involved having and raising children. If I end up without children, I know I’ll survive and have a good life, but it will be a life I never ever imagined. We all have our own version of the common infertility journey and even though I feel so strongly about it, I’ve found I’m unable to express how I feel properly in a blog post.

A few months ago I heard a song that completely expresses infertility, from my point of view, in a way I could never manage to do. The emotions and imagery in the song so closely represent how I feel.

I was working from home that day, listening to music, watching River asleep on the floor next to me. The playlist song switched and I unconsciously started listening ~Where do we go from here?~ to the words. Only a few lines in ~How do we carry on?~ I was pulled in by words I thought I heard ~…cuts me with every could-have-been~ and I started to listen more intently.

~Pain on pain on play, repeating~

Tears.

The words and my complicated feelings melded and she was suddenly singing my story, unasked.

It was a sad, lonely moment, lost in my infertility, but it was also not so lonely. Even if the song isn’t specifically about infertility, it is proof that others feel as I do. I thought of all the blogs I read of women going through this same hell and I wanted to share the song with everyone.

It expresses the uncertainty, the pain, the fact that there’s this unknown future without children waiting in the shadows (…backup makeshift life in waiting), the obnoxious “just relax” we’ve all been told (…time heals everything), the hopelessness and periods of giving up (…nothing to see here now), the sadness (…crumbled and puffy faced), even the millions of sterile, modesty-stealing procedures and appointments we’ve all endured (Around old magazines, fluorescent lighting sets the scene…).

My favorite verse is “All I want, only one street-level miracle. I’ll be an out-and-out born again from none more cynical.” It’s such a simple thing that I wish for – to get pregnant and raise a child. I no longer believe it will happen, but if it does, I will be so very grateful.

To listen for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNbTW0lhR1Y

Where do we go from here?
How do we carry on?
I can’t get beyond the questions.

Clambering for the scraps
in the shatter of us collapsed.
It cuts me with every could-have-been.


Pain on pain on play, repeating
With the backup makeshift life in waiting.

*Chorus*
Everybody says time heals everything.
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between?
Are we just going to wait it out?


There’s nothing to see here now,
turning the sign around;
We’re closed to the Earth ’til further notice.
A Stumbling cliched case,
crumbled and puffy faced.
Dead in the stare of a thousand miles.


All I want, only one street-level miracle.
I’ll be an out-and-out born again from none more cynical.


*Chorus*

And sit here cold?
We’ll be long gone by then.
And lackluster in dust we lay
Around old magazines.
Fluorescent lighting sets the scene
for all we could and should be being
in the one life that we’ve got.


In the one life that we’ve got.

*Chorus*

Are we just going to wait it out? Sit Here?
Just going to Wait it out? Sit here cold?
Just going to sweat it out?
Wait it out.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bloggy Cross Pollination

Today's post is a mystery guest post brought to you by The Great Blog Cross Pollination!
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Im busy reading this book called “Maybe Baby”. It’s a collection of short stories written by a multitude of people. All the stories are related to having children. Some people relate their story of how desperately they want children and the lengths they go to achieve that dream (obviously that’s the category we are all so familiar with) but then there are other stories of people who aren’t sure if they are meant to be parents or even want to be parents (a category Im starting to identify with), people who have had children and regret it (doubt I’ll ever be in this category), people who fall pregnant naturally (and quickly, like in first try – very annoying) but then face other dilemmas like abusive partners or their child gets cancer. Its actually a good book, quite a balanced outlook on having children, the ins and outs and how it works for some but not for others.

But there is one “golden thread” that runs through all the stories – in all the authors lives there is one big thing that happens to them in their lives. Whether it be infertility, working through an abusive lifestyle, financial difficulties, dealing with cancer, dealing with ones own parents, dealing with an ill parent, dealing with feelings of inadequacy etc. There is always something that happens to all of them. It appears that life is never plain sailing. The fairy tale of meeting a prince, getting married, having kids and living happily ever after is very often just that – a fairy tale. Wow, how jaded Ive become….(I hate the bitterness I feel for all my years lost thanks to infertility).

With infertility so much the focus of my life, this book has actually shown me that I need to start seeing the wood from the trees. I often feel a pang of jealousy as I see my neighbour’s kids running and playing or that cute family in the store pushing the baby pram and another on the way. The problem is what kind of lives are behind the fa├žade? What is the thing they are dealing with? My issue though is do you think that infertility is a big enough thing to deal with in a lifetime? Because I sure hope it is.

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Any guesses as to who my guest blogger is?  Let me know in the comments before clicking on the link below. :)

To find out who my guest blogger is (and read her story ), and to read my post for this event, click over HERE.

Many thanks for Geohde at Mission Impossible for organizing this!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Funky

I haven't felt much like blogging.  I haven't felt much like doing anything really.  Work for the past three days has been crappy.  I don't want to be here and I don't want to work.  If I were four years old I would totally throw a tantrum right about now.

I read my last post over again and I really didn't mean for it to be such a doom and gloom post.  The situation with the blood work was frustrating but really, what's waiting another few months in the scheme of the last 13 years of waiting?  Really, nothing at all.  And, I don't think the blood work is going to tell me anything anyway.  So, no big deal.  And my grandpa, I miss him and wish he hadn't died, but I'm not overwhelmed with sadness or anything.  I'm the most sad for my grandma.  Since I was remembering him while writing the post I figured I'd write out some things that I'll remember most about him.  It ended up sounding pretty sad.

Thanksgiving at my grandma's house was nice.  I think I'm a turkey snob now, after having cooked/hosted for the past three Thanksgivings, because I definitely missed my turkey!  But all the food was yummy.  My aunt had to prepare everything at her house and then pack up and move the entire meal to my grandma's house because my grandma doesn't want to leave her house anymore.  That's no small task.  She's a wonderful person. (not only on thanksgiving - she helps my grandma clean and even comes over on a regular basis to help her bathe)
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Anyway, I wanted to lighten up the posts and I've never blogged about crocheting before so here goes!

Back in July my sister (C) and I decided to learn to crochet.  We went to a craft store and bought a book, some yarn, and a hook.  Then we sat on my couch and proceeded to get frustrated in about an hour. haha

We kept at it though, C much more than me.  She has made a queen size blanket as an xmas gift for a friend, another half a blanket, a couple hats, and at least one scarf.  All summer and most of the fall she only worked part time so in the mornings she would crochet before work and she'd also do it while watching sports on TV with her SO.

I've never completed a project except for my very first one:

It's a... dishcloth :)  About 12'' x 12''.  It was fun to make something so small to start with because I really felt accomplished afterwards.  I wanted to make a bunch more but I haven't yet.  I think they'd actually be useful as kitchen cloths.

I have also done a few swatches to practice different types of crocheting.  After the dishcloth I started my blanket.




It is brown, cream, and brick colored yarn, double-stranded (you crochet the entire time with two strands of yarn held together - it makes a thicker blanket I guess).  I tried to pick colors that would match our basement room so that we could keep it down there on the couch.  I'm happy with how it's turning out.

I started it in the summer.  It's still not even half done!  It is now about twice as big as it is in the pic above.  Maybe someday I'll finish it.  I really enjoy crocheting but I never think about sitting down to just crochet and it's hard to crochet and watch a TV show with R at the same time.

Going to the craft store is dangerous now.  Even though I don't crochet often, every time I go I want to buy more yarn and patterns!  There are so many kinds of yarn out there!  I have to stay away from that store until I actually need more yarn for my current project.

Proof:

This is a beautiful pink yarn that I bought because I think it would make a wonderful, light-weight, baby-type blanket.  It's soooo soft I want to sleep with it like a pillow.  No, I haven't even started a blanket from it yet.

If I ever manage finish another project I'll definitely post pics.


Bonus bloggy fun: Can you find the dog in three of the six pics?!  hehe