Friday, February 27, 2009

Yeah, about that post I never got to yesterday...

Just so you know, I did have all intentions of writing a second post yesterday but, well, I honestly don't have a good excuse! I don't know where my night went! G was out kind of late & then we wanted to go work out at his parents' house (4 workouts for me this week! WOO HOO!), then I came home and made dinner (chicken w/ herbed gravy and rice) and by the time I was done cleaning up from dinner, making G's lunch and getting myself ready for the next day's work, I pretty much just went to bed!

But my post was GOING to be about my relationship with God as of late. I haven't posted much because I've kind of been in a weird place. Over the past year, my relationship with God has kind of been correlated to where we are in our TTC efforts. If we're pursuing treatments or waiting, I'm pretty good and I have a lot of hope and I really feel as though God is really with me and understanding me. But when we get bad news or plans change or get postponed, I get frustrated and angry with God for allowing this to be drawn out EVEN LONGER! I guess you could say that the stage we're in now is no different. We're juggling a couple of different donor prospects for the study; just getting myself to believe that we will actually get to be a part of this is enough to give me hope and feel as though God is coming through for us...but then to see how people have rallied around us and supported us is just amazing and it definitely shows God's faithfulness in His time. One woman from an online infertility support group has offered, as well as a middle/high school friend of mine from back in the day. Also, a friend from the online support group has been scouring her friends & moms groups and a third prospect has come forward, as well as a couple of people who have just randomly stumbled across my blog. I find it all so incredible. And humbling.

But I digress...back to the whole God thing...I was telling a fellow infertile blogger the other day that I often feel like Job. He was God's beloved; he was upright and of pure heart; he tried to please God in all he did. And then Satan came and destroyed all that he had. His family was gone, his home and riches were destroyed, he was covered in boils and sores and even his friends (who stood by him) didn't quite understand him. He felt so alone, yet he remained faithful to God and refused to turn on the Lord. There were times of desperation when he shook his fist at God and demanded to know "why?". But you know what? God basically gave it right back to him...and slowly, I, too, have been learning that I don't need to know WHY or HOW or WHEN...I just need to know how to have FAITH and PATIENCE and TRUST.

The Caedmon's Call song, "Faith My Eyes" has really been speaking to me lately. If you've never heard of CC or this song, you've gotta check them out!

But if I must go
Things I trust will be better off without me
But I don't want to know
Life is better off a mystery

So keep'em coming these lines on the road
And keep me responsible be it a light or heavy load
And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes

But I get turned around
I mistake some happiness for blessing
But I'm blessed as the poor
Still I judge success by how I'm dressin

And also Caedmon's Call, "Table for Two"

'Cause You knew how You'd save me
before I fell dead in the garden
And You knew this day
long before You made me out of dirt

And You know the plans that You have for me
And You can't plan the end and not plan the means
And so I suppose I just need some peace
Just to get me to sleep.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It might be a two-post's the first

I haven't given a good preschool story in a while, so you're in for a treat today! I am still kind of reeling from the shock of this one. I know that I shouldn't be too surprised, but wow...

We were sitting down in the lobby of the preschool while we were waiting for all of the kids to show up in the morning. I was stooped down talking to my kids. One of my boys (one of the devil twins) went to flip his coat up over his head and he ended up accidentally punching me in the forehead. I kind of faked being hurt so that I could use the moment to teach him about saying sorry even when you do something accidentally, so I said, "R, I know that was an accident, but if we hurt someone, even accidentally, we need to say we're sorry. Can you tell Mrs. S you're sorry?"

And do you know what he said???

"No, because you deserved that..."

I am still speechless...Um WOW...I said, "Excuse me?" and picked the kid up and put him in a chair and went and got my director to tell her what he did so she could ream him out...I knew if I opened my mouth, I wouldn't be able to control my rage at that point in time. I realize that he probably heard that from his parents and had no idea what he was saying, but WOW. It's one thing to hear something at home and quite another to think that it's appropriate to say that to an adult. So when I went to go get him to walk down to the classroom, I had to pick him up and make him stand (he was refusing to come to the classroom) and he made fists at me and told me he wanted to "break this whole school down!" Anger issues? you think???

And guess what? When I told his dad about it, he said to him "Oh, R...." and that's it! Even after I said that it was very serious and he had to sit down with my boss to talk about not saying that to people...I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...3-years-old or not (actually he's 4.5 now), if I did that, I think I would STILL be grounded to this day. How about you??

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rite-Aid Savings!!!

My bloggy friend, Amy (check it out! She's got a coupon giveaway going on!), has blogged about her awesome trips to CVS from time-to-time where she spends a few dollars out-of-pocket and winds up with A TON of stuff, thanks to store coupons, ECB (extra care bucks) and manufacturer's coupons. I thought I would do something to make her proud, after scouring the sale flyers & registering for their online rebate program, I made my way over to Rite-Aid (it's the first time I've been to the one in our town, despite the fact that it's been there for over a year) with my coupons in hand!

I ended up buying the following items (I'll post a pic later, don't worry!): 10 Soy Joy bars, 1 pkg Stayfree feminine products, 2 packages of Big Red gum & 1 can Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves styling mousse. And here's the breakdown...

Soy Joy - regularly $1.39ea, on sale for $.50 each, plus I had 2 coupons for $1 off of 4, and another coupon for buy one, get one free (check the math! That adds up to 10 bars). For their in-store rebate program, they are paying you back $5 if you buy 10 bars! That means that once I get my rebate back, they will actually pay me $2.50 to take those 10 bars off their hands!
Stayfree pads - regularly $3.99, on sale for $2.99, plus a $1 in-store coupon & a $1 manufacturer's total spent, $.99!
Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Mousse - regularly $4.39, on sale for $2.99 & a single check rebate for $2.99 which makes this mousse FREE!
Wrigley Big Red Gum - I went into the store not knowing that they were having BOGO on this, so it worked out doubly well for me! Regular price is $1.29. I had a coupon for a free package, so I had only planned on getting that one package, then I noticed that they were BOGO, so I ended up getting 2 packages for completely FREE!

My total bill at the store was $6.66 for $24.86 worth of merchandise. My rebate check will be for the amount of $7.99, meaning I will actually be making a profit of $1.33 on this shopping trip! Savings like this literally give me a high! Who needs drugs????

And I did forget to pick up one thing (that I did have on my list, but of course didn't re-check), which was their Zilactin mouth sore ointment which is also free after the single check rebate, so I will be heading back tomorrow to pick that up!

So....can you beat that?? I would love to hear your stories!
PS - find out more about Rite-Aid, CVS and other savings programs at The Freebie Blogger

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (Sunday)

I ended up changing things up a bit last week & instead of my Chicken & Rice bake on Tuesday, we instead ate the leftover rice (that we took to the ILs house the night before) with Pioneer Woman's Ranch-Style Chicken. I had a little leftover bacon & some cheddar, so it seemed like the perfect way to use up things that I already had in the fridge. Friday's plans were kind of sketchy & I ended up doing my first attempt at French Onion Soup using Pioneer Woman's recipe. It must have been good because between Friday's dinner and today's lunch, DH & I ate the whole thing! DH even told me that soups are definitely my specialty...I've now got chicken noodle, vegetable beef & French onion under my belt!

Sunday - I didn't know what to do for dinner (we knew we wanted to do something with chicken) so I typed "crusted chicken" into google and came up with this AWESOME recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Seriously - this recipe was amazing, pretty easy & by far the best chicken-finger type recipe I've had! My only complaint is that the recipe for the breading makes SO much & unless you keep it in a separate container (from what you're actually breading the chicken in) & add more as you need it, you'll end up wasting a lot. I might halve the breading recipe next time, because it really made a ton!
Monday - Pasta with marinara, garlic bread & salad
Tuesday - Family night w/ ILs
Wednesday - Wing Wednesday for DH, so I'll be on my own
Thursday - Herbed Chicken & Gravy with rice & salad
Friday - to be determined...maybe a beef stroganoff? Sounds good to me! :)

PS - If you're thrifty like me, make sure you click on my header & check out today's post about my awesome deals & steals at Rite-Aid today!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Procrastination creates a productive day

Have you ever had to do a task that you just kept putting off and putting off, finding a multitude of other (often less-important) things to do instead? Other things, all of which under normal circumstances would be the same things that you would be putting off in order to do some even less important task? Well...guess who's been-there & done-that today? You guessed it! ME!

The day started with G & I sleeping in. He got up & before long, left to go watch a hockey game with his friend & I started cleaning the house. I vacuumed all of the carpets, then I vacuumed all of the baseboards. I did 2 loads of laundry & cleaned the hardwood floors. I organized my closet & got rid of a small bag of stuff. I talked to my mom online & made myself grilled cheese & tomato soup for lunch...I pretty much did it all (ok, so even my procrastination couldn't make me work out...but I digress)...

That is except for working on my job applications. I'm just having the hardest time getting started on these. It is SUCH a huge undertaking with everything that you have to do now. Everyone is going to online applications, even for teaching jobs & it's so tedious to fill out all of their forms (forms that are nearly identical to ones that I already have filled out and saved on my computer, but are not in the same format, so they must be re-typed/submitted). It goes on and on for pages upon pages of references, test scores, awards & organization memberships, essays, short-answer questions, prior experiences, grades/GPA, etc, etc, etc. And that's not even including the 3 federal & state clearances I'm required to apply for & submit, plus the medical exam. After today, I am remembering precisely why I procrastinated so long last year, and that by the time I got around to starting them, I gave up because it was too late to get hired for a teaching job anyway!

Let's hope I can stick with it this time. I got one site's applications done in its entirety today & hopefully I'll get to work on the other one tomorrow...after my boss told me yesterday that she "didn't have anything to do" so she sat at her desk and facebooked for an hour, I knew it was time to start looking for another job. I mean, is it just me, or are those the kind of things that as a supervisor, you just don't do...or if you do, you at least don't tell your employees (who make under $10/hour) about it...Maybe that was my motivation.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What do YOU need?

This is a really funny meme of sorts. Type your first name and then the word "needs" into Google and post the first ten things that come up! I'll warn you that a few of these are not G warned!

Here's mine...along with a few comments from yours truly.

1. Teri create a no-close-up-unless-an-army-of-photoshop-assistants-are-within-50m clause in her contract (OUCH!)
2. Teri needs..saving
3. Teri be saved from her own d**n self!
4. Teri needs..the toilet (umm...ok?)
5. Teri seriously look at its current strength and capacity to meet the challenges of the future (Wow! You can say that again!)
6. Teri needs..some problem-free **censored**, and I think I've found a way for her to get some (YIKES!)
7. Teri sound like a normal twelve year old advice giver! Not to be pushy.
8. Teri needs..make-up (alright already!)
9. Teri shoes; hers got ruined from accident
10. Teri needs..therapy (NIIIICEEEE!!!)

Try this out & post it to your blog - if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I've jumped off of the menu-planning bandwagon for a couple of weeks, due to things going on here at the house (preschool progress reports, our mini vacation to Disney, etc.), but I'm happy to report that I'm jumping back on this week! It's going to kind of be a mixed up week, though, so we'll see how it goes.

Monday - Family Night #1 w/ DH's family - MIL's making Pretzel Crusted Chicken (please, do try this! It's SO good!) and I'm taking Easy Oven Rice (minus the chicken meat) as a side. Also, since we're both off of work today, I made beef fajitas for lunch, using this recipe for the seasoning. It was great!
Tuesday - Easy Chicken Bake (looks familiar, eh? Just like the rice from Monday night?? DH is addicted to this rice and could eat it every meal, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to make it again - this time for a meal)
Wednesday - Family Night #2 with DH's family
Thursday - DH has pizza party for his basketball girls, so I will probably do leftovers
Friday - maybe going out to dinner for a belated V-day meal! We don't really celebrate V-day much, but we'll take any excuse we can find to go out and enjoy a meal (that I'm not cooking!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A letter to my doctor

Dearest Doctor,

I wanted to take the time out of my busy day to write you a letter. You see, I really need to thank you for the wonderful start to my day today! I sprang forth from my bed, chipper and alert, at 5:15 this morning. I smiled as I drove 45 minutes to the office & got excited (really!) as I was called in for my appointment right at 7AM. But it was really too, too generous of you to ask me to sit in there (naked from the waist down, mind you) with no magazines or television for forty minutes before you came in, entertained only by the sound of the ultrasound gel warmer clicking on and off (and on and off, and on and off) over and over again.

But you just didn't feel that was enough to express your appreciation for the tens of thousands of dollars I've spent at your office, did you? No...of course not. So when you sweetly asked where we were in our search for a donor, I told you we were still looking. To which you replied, "Oh, where are you on the waiting list?" Of course I told you that we're not on a waiting list, we're trying to procure our own donor. And you so nicely told me, "Oh, no! You don't want to do that! Definitely go anonymous! That's the only way to go!" Thanks for reminding me that you make a doctor's salary and, if you ever needed to, you could make a decision like that so easily, without having to think about financial constraints.

Finally, after the hour spent in your office (for a 5 minute ultrasound & 2 minute bloodwork), I am so glad that I got to spend 50 minutes (while rushing back to work) in the car reflecting on my wonderful experience at your office today. I am so happy that I only had 5 minutes to prep my classroom for our Valentine's Day party before the kids came in...I mean, who needs to be overly prepared for three-year-olds anyway?

Thank you again for everything today.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Works for me Wednesday: V-day style!

Today was my Valentine's Day party for my four-year-olds. Tomorrow is the party for the 3s. I have a lot of food allergies in the classroom, which makes providing treats suitable for everyone in the class a bit challenging. My healthy and kid-friendly solution? Fruit kebabs! I took wooden skewers (2 per child, but I don't think they'll really eat that much) & loaded them with grapes, strawberries, fresh pineapple and mandarin oranges! The kids think they're tons of fun & they don't get soggy like a fruit salad would! Plus, they're easier to serve than a fruit tray! It's healthy, fun & it WORKS FOR ME!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hello, my friend. What brings YOU here today?

With the Google Analytics feature on my blog, I get to be a spy and take a sneak-peek at the search terms that bring visitors here. Sometimes I am amazed. Sometimes I am befuddled. Sometimes I laugh. And sometimes I cry...really. (If you used these search terms, please know that I'm glad you're here, despite the emotions your varied keywords evoked!)

For example , many users stumble upon my blog simply with the terms "infertility," "infertility chronicles," or "trying to conceive." I guess those are kind of the standards that you would expect to find in a blog of this nature.

But then, of course, there are a few that just leave me scratching my head...such as "infertility in the dog." I don't know about you, but I'm thinking this must have been a breeder searching for more info. It isn't everyday that you find someone scouring the net for animal infertility. And then there's "cooking spray infertility" - yeah, I have no idea where that one came from...anyone? anyone? Bueller?

And then there are ones that make me hurt & this mouthful: "lying awake at night thinking of things beyond my control ready to give up the fight tired and weary of carrying the load i know i am supposed to be strong" and "infertile for 4 years what is wrong with me"? And to that, I want to say, "Honey, there ain't NOTHIN' wrong with you - God just knew we were fighters!"

And finally, there are ones that just make me "giveaway baby" - oh my heart hurts...

What brought YOU here today?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

Sometimes we can learn a lot from animals...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

No news isn't always good news

No news isn't always good news...especially in the case of searching for an egg donor. It's been almost two full weeks since our initial mention of a donor was made in our church bulletin, and one week since the e-message went out & we haven't heard anything. I realize that this is a matter that isn't to be taken lightly & therefore requires a great deal of thought & prayer on the part of everyone involved...but man, I'm just so tired of all this waiting. And wondering. And worrying.

Worrying that we might not end up finding a volunteer to donate eggs for us. Worrying that if we don't find someone, we very well could shell out $6-8K for a that otherwise could be used toward an adoption. I mean, there are definitely pros to that avenue, as well (like the fact that we could choose a donor who looks like me & has similar body structures & features as us), but it all comes back to the money thing. How much is the pregnancy experience worth to me, exactly? In non-monetary terms, it's worth more to me than just about anything else, to be perfectly honest. If money were not an obstacle, we would have been at an agency yesterday...two months ago actually. But this is the real world. And money is a factor, unfortunately. I have to start making decisions that no woman should ever have to make. Do I want to be selfish with my desire to be a mother the way that I want to and shell out lots of money & possibly not end up with a pregnancy anyway? Or do I be "sensible" and take the path that my head would lead me on, which is to put my selfish desires aside & put the money towards an adoption. Let's be honest...following our heads isn't always the "right" choice either. So we continue to hope & pray (and even though I shouldn't, we worry).

Work continues to be work. However, my 3s are getting better each day and M has really started to show emotion and interaction with others (mostly adults, more so than with classmates). Today, he actually got up and hugged the man who was helping out in my classroom (the after-school supervisor) & then said, "Wait! I forgot to kiss you!" and he planted a kiss right on his shoulder! Wow! That was a HUGE WOW! And Tuesday at gym class, he just looks at me with this sweet twinkle in his eye, places his hand on my shoulder and says, "I like you..." Ok does that just melt your heart or what?

And today, it was so darn cute...we were watching a power point slide show that I made for the letter Rr. It was Rr Animal Riddles. I would give clues (and sometimes animal sounds) on the power point and try to get the kids to guess the animal. The one was really stumping them, which said: "I have a beak and feathers, I live in a nest, I am usually the first bird that you see in the spring, I have a red chest." Everyone was pretty stumped, so I was trying to think of some clues for them (if you work with kids, you know that bird classification is not really in the scope of skills for a 3 yr old...pretty much anything that flies is a "bird"). Finally, I thought about one of my student's whose mom's name is Robyn. I said, "Hey Noah! What's your Mom's name?" and he just sat and thought for a minute. Then I said, "You know, what's her real name? What does your Daddy call your Mommy?" And he thought for another second, "Ummmm, Honey?"

There you have it! Too, too cute!

Please pray!