Friday, June 13, 2014

Life, and love

We went to visit the birth parents again on Tuesday. She was not due for an ultrasound, but she made arrangements to have one. I appreciated that she did that. It isn't something that we would otherwise get to be a part of. We saw and heard the heartbeat, his face, his hands, his genitals. My heart melted.

This whole thing is so surreal. I went back and read a lot of my old posts and just shook my head and even cried. It is interesting how some of them seemed so void of emotion. It was hard to read. I left so much out, yet all of those emotions were right at the surface with each word that I read. It has been such a long road. I was good at relaying the facts. And while I spend a lot of time rationalizing things in order to stay sane, it was never without feelings. So much of my life has been filled with a combination of laughter and tears and I wish I had been better about writing it down. Five pregnancies and 9 years of effort and here we are.

But as I sit here and try to write, I struggle with words to describe what I am feeling. I am already so in love. But the love inside me isn't just for this baby boy. It is for my husband who has been amazing at keeping me steady and standing by my side and being on board every step of the way. It is for my friends and family who have continued to support me with shoulders and wine. It is for the birth parents, who are about to give me something I can never re-pay them for. They are going to continue to be an important part of our lives, and my love for them is unlike any that I will have for anyone else in my life.

I know people say that there is no love like the love you have for your children. I am excited for that. But I wish sometimes that people would give credit to the love that goes to an from everyone else. Because every relationship in my life is filled with love of some kind. And each one is as indescribable as the next. And I am grateful for each and every one.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Holy crap

I am getting a boy at the end of the month! I am going to be a mom......... I don't even know where to begin. A wise friend told me to journal, and I didn't. So dumb.

It has obviously been a while. And I need a little back story, for myself, and maybe some of you. This is long, but I need to get it down. Writing for me is a therapy, not always an entertainment. So skim, stop, read, whatever you want. Here it is. 

When we had first found out that we couldn't have kids, we had met with an agency, and were quiet turned off by what they had to say. Through heated discussions, and me still under the influence of hormones, there were a lot of tears, and a decision not to try and expand the family. I didn't mention this before. It was painful, and felt so final. And like most women with a biological clock, it didn't go away. We have had a lot of fun in the last couple years. I did 16 weeks of trapeze, which was awesome, we have travelled, I have taken more classes and almost have my Associates of Applied Science in Fashion Design. I still love teaching, and have nurtured some great relationships. It has been a fun few years, and I don't regret it. It was a time of healing and reconnecting and soul searching.

I discovered that the need to be a mom still haunted me. I hate that it was something I hid from Jon, but I knew he wouldn't understand. In the fall of 2012 I decided to tell him. I told him that I wanted to gather some information on adoption. I felt that if we were going to completely close the book on expanding our family, then I wanted to know that we made that decision having had all of the facts. Talking with 1 agency when I had just received a major blow wasn't exactly my idea of having all of the answers. There was a lot of upset, arguing, crying. Jon felt blind sighted, I felt vulnerable. We questioned our marriage. If I wanted it and he didn't, would I stay? What was stopping me from finding someone else who would do this with me? If we did it and he didn't want it would he resent me forever? If he said no, would I hate him? There were a lot of questions. It took some time for him to accept that at this time I just wanted to know more, that if we didn't find something that we were both comfortable with, I was ok with not having kids. But I didn't think we had investigated all of the options. Part of my desire to have kids is because I want to raise them with him, not with anyone else. I married him for better or worse. It was tense, it was hard, and it took a lot of communication. I took my time in part so he could adjust to the idea. And because he needed to know that I still loved him. I needed to know the same from him. 

In the spring of 2013, I went to lunch with a dear friend. She told me about how she adopted her 2 kids by using a lawyer, a private adoption. I had no idea her kids were adopted. How did that work? She told me everything. After mulling it over, I talked to Jon. We argued some. Sure, I could talk to a lawyer, but how would we pay her? We have no money. Oh yeah, fertility, and I have always had a spending problem. 

So we worked on our finances. I became more aware, and more involved. Something I should have been doing a long time ago. We paid off our debt, I got control of my spending, we started saving.  Come fall break, I decided to call the lawyer, who referred me to someone who could do our home certification. Beverly from Adoption Specialists of Arizona happened to be having an informational workshop that Monday and Jon and I went. She was informative, funny, candid, honest, and said all the right things. Things that I knew but that Jon needed to hear. It was a long ride home and Jon chatted the whole time which was wildly unexpected. I thought it would be uncomfortably silent as he processed the information. 

That Friday, my alarm had just gone off and I was lying in bed, doing my morning processing routine. I hadn't really talked to Jon since Tuesday night since he knows better than to talk to me a lot in the mornings, I had class Wednesday night, and Thursday was parent/teacher conferences so I was home late. I was exhausted and today was Shadow a Student day. Ugh. Jon always showers with the light off, so the room was dark when I grumbled a good morning from under the covers. His first words to me were, "why don't you call Bev and get the adoption process started." I just laid there. Did I just hear what I think I heard? How do I respond to this? I tend to overact when I first wake up. Tread carefully. I asked him if he was serious, he said yes, I said ok, and I started silently bawling. When I could compose myself I went to the kitchen and started again. "This is bigger than when you asked me to marry you!" I told him. We got fingerprinted that day.

We got certified by January, we wrote our birth letter, we told everyone we knew in case they knew anyone wanting to place a baby with us. People would tell us all sorts of adoption success stories, and ask if it is as stressful as everyone says it is. Um, no. After everything else we had gone through, having someone come to my house, ask me a few questions, and sign some paperwork was a walk in the park. The lawyer emailed us the occasional potential adoption profile, were we interested, we will include you, blah, blah, blah. We responded and never heard more about any of them. Fast forward to last week. On Monday I received a call from Rita Meiser's office. There was a couple that wanted to meet us, could we drive to Prescott for lunch Tuesday or Wednesday. Yes! I was shaking. Really? Wow. The shock quickly turned to calm. We were told that the couple had 2 families they wanted to meet with, which my lawyer wasn't happy about. And they wanted to meet with them back to back. Another terrible idea. The only thing we could do was be ourselves and late the universe decide. As with fertility, if it didn't happen, life wouldn't be any different, and we could take something from the experience for next time. 

We met them at Applebee's and talked with them for 3 1/2 hours. It went really well. Halfway through they told us that it had come down to just us, there was no other couple, and if we were comfortable they would like to move forward with this. Jon grabbed my hand, I cried and sputtered out a "Yes! Yes, thank you." It was hard to collect myself. Thursday the lawyer called me, she had talked to their lawyer and all looks well. The birth mother and I have been emailing back and forth and we all feel good about the decision. 

Tomorrow we are going up there again to take them to lunch and go to a doctor's appointment with them. We will get to see the baby in an ultrasound. I can't wait!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Anxiety & production

I am ready for school to end, both as a teacher, and a student. These seem to be my 2 identities these days. I forget that I am also a wife, friend and person. Exhaustion has taken over, and anxiety is kicking in. Anxiousness is something I have always been plagued with, and management has always bee a struggle. The only thing that seems to alleviate it is getting things done, and off my plate. But time never fails to uncover more and more things when I try to be productive. Narrowing those things down is where the anxiety come in. "There are 24 usable hours in each day!" exclaimed Liz Tyler's character in Empire Records. True. But that character was also a closet speed freak. Not exactly a path I want to tumble down.

As I reflect on the last month, I have improved some of my habits. It is a slow process that only I notice, but there are coming along. For instance, I deleted some shows from my DVR, and only have a couple left that I watch. This was a complete shock to my husband who when I mentioned eliminating cable he said to me "I just find it hard to believe that you, of all people, are going to watch less television. Over the years you have only increased how much you watch." Less TV time meant more time for homework. And I only had to spend an hour today doing my assignment for Tuesday, which opened up time to work on my lesson plans, and a sewing project (for, gasp, leisure). Amazing. Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks. However, with my extra time, I am noticing a lot of cleaning up that has to happen, both physically, and mentally, which is causing some anxiety.

This made me wonder how I can quantitate my goals in order to track my progress. Will this make me crazy? Maybe. But in order to feel successful, I need a way to assess my progress. And everything is better done in 2s. So I am going to alter my goals a little in anticipation of the upcoming summer. And everything will be done in 2s. I know these don't seem like a lot to some people. But my full time job, and 2 classes a week drain my brain and physical strength most days. I am hoping to push myself a little, for my own mental stability. With out further ado, this Type A personality will bring yet another list to you.

  1. Read 2 books a month. I don't care what kind of book they are. In the past month I read 6 (going on 8 (books, and it was really nice to reconnect with the motivation and words of another world. In the 6 months prior, I maybe read 3. Disgraceful.  And I count audio books in this category. That being said, this should be easy. If I read 1 book for fun, a business/entrepreneur book, a textbook, a cookbook, and an audio book a month, I will well reach my coal. And I think all of those are possible. 
  2. Cook dinner for Jon and myself 2 times a week. It is easy to let him do all of the cooking, or fend for ourselves. But that isn't a fair burden on Jon. He loves to cook, and it is really his only hobby. I wouldn't want to deprive him. But I do want to take some of the burden off. This is tough when I am taking night classes, but I need to make more of an effort, and we both know that.
  3. Complete 2 projects a month (soon to be per week, come summer). yes, projects. I have 43 boards, and over 2,00 pins on Pinterest. Most of these are projects that I want to try. That is ridiculous. If I spent as much time making, as I spend pinning, I would get a lot accomplished. Time to do it. I can't wait to start creating. I need that for my own mental sanity. I haven't created for fun in months. 
  4. Reconnect with a minimum of 2 friends each month. These friends being friends that don't live in AZ. Seems silly, but I affectionately adore some of my Facebook friends, and don't often get a chance to touch base with them. I need to at least send them a note and say hi, and let them know that I think of them often and that have influenced me one way or another. I met with one of my favorite high school friends in February when I was in San Diego, and it was awesome for both of us.  My family and local friends get to hear that all the time. But those far away don't. There needs to be more love in this world, and I want to start spreading it. 
  5. Blog twice a week. 
  6. Cardio 2 days, yoga 2 days, and weights 2 days at the gym. In no particular order. 2 days a week seems to be no problem. But is should be more than that. 
It is Sunday, and the month will be over in 9 days. I have already completed goal 1 for the month. Let's see how the rest go......... To be continued. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013


I have had a hard time with this last birthday. I don't know why. I always thought I would grow old gracefully. For the most part, I have. I loved turning 30. I hated 25. What is wrong with 36? I think I have been spending too much time thinking about where I am, where I thought I would be, etc. My life plan got off track when I was 20, and there are days when I still struggle with it. The biggest issue is my biological clock, and the not knowing what to do about it. My youth is quickly escaping me, and it isn't coming back. What do I have to show for it? Am I doing enough? Because I don't have children to contribute to society, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to give my life more meaning. I am lucky to have a very fulfilling job, and for that I am grateful. However, I know there is more I could be doing to give back. I am on the constant quest to find the perfect program that I want to give my time to.

One thing I have always wanted to do was donate my hair. A lot of organizations won't take color treated hair, and I am going to have to do that eventually. I think I am the only woman I know who doesn't color her hair. Which is pretty awesome for 36, right? So on Thursday, I decided that I needed a makeover to rejuvenate my attitude, and give a little back. It is hair, and it grows back. So I told my stylist to do it! And she chopped off 10" for Locks of Love.  I love my sassy new do. And it takes a lot less time to wash and style. With that and my fat melting, I am going to turn it around in no time and own my 36.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mmmm....... Grains

I don't even want to talk about my proposed schedule.

Let's instead talk about my slight tendencies towards OCD. I have become obsessed with my diet, which is exactly what I didn't want to happen. I am wasting so much time thinking about food that I can't get anything done, and my stress level continues to climb. I was so stressed out at the beginning of the week, and I justified the fact that I wasn't losing weight on the fact that I haven't been meeting my exercise goals. And then...... Wednesday happened.

I had a Lia Sophia party at my house and made a bunch of appetizers that I, of course, couldn't eat. Fruit skewers, and raw vegetables were ok. But potato skins, tortilla chips (with salsa, guacamole, mango salsa), hummus, tomato/basil/mozzarella bites, and cookies were all out. What was I doing to myself? And then after 2 glasses of wine, also not on the diet, I made the plunge. I didn't go crazy. But I was starving, and I couldn't very well cook myself something different then my guests. I should have done that before anybody got there, but I didn't think that far ahead. I ate 2 potato skins, 4 tomato bites, and counted out my 14 chips for dips. And it was heavenly. And the next morning, I was 1/2 pound lighter. Hmmmmm...... Fluke, right? Thursday there was some leftover guacamole that needed finishing, so once again, I counted out my chips, and polished it off. I added salsa to it as well, so it was a great snack. Friday, I was 1/2 pound lighter. Ok...... So on Friday, I took a friend's kid to the movies and snacked on some popcorn. And I had a couple chips when I got home with the mango salsa. This morning, I am another 1/2 pound lighter. On top of that, I didn't have that mid-afternoon crash that I had been experiencing lately. I felt really good.

I am 7 pounds in, and am basically halfway to my 15 pound weight loss goal. With the help of some grain. Ultimately, I think everyone has to figure out what works for them. I think grains, in limited quantities, may work for me. I am going to make an effort to eat relatively grain-free. No more than once a day, and only a couple days a week It is going to kill me, and I need to lighten up a little a let myself have it.

That being said, the gym has been closed this week to upgrade equipment, floors, and locker rooms. It is open again today, and I have a Hot Yoga class to hit. Later!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Long week

It was a long week. I really need to win the lottery. I have a feeling the remainder of the school year will be continued stress for me, and I have to figure out how to deal with it. I have a history of taking on a little more than I can handle, so I don't know why I am surprised. But I am looking forward to a 4 day work week so I have an extra day this weekend to decompress. Or get stuff done. Whatever.

I like to think I work best under pressure. With my new diet, I am struggling a little bit with focus. I feel great, but I feel like I have ADD. So getting things accomplished this week has been a little bit of a challenge. Which doesn't help my stress level. I can't wait until the last minute on things with my brain in a slight fog. So I need to start scheduling days for certain tasks. And with my new philosophy, I am going to write everything down. I barely function in the mornings, so everything I schedule has to be after work. That being said, my tentative plan is:
  1. Monday - Workout and grading papers
  2. Tuesday - Lesson planning, and go to class
  3. Wednesday - Workout and homework
  4. Thursday - Workout, and either homework or grading or lesson planning, whatever needs done.
  5. Friday - Rest day, and party time
  6. Saturday - Long workout, chores, Precocious Peacock research and development
  7. Sunday - Precocious Peacock R&D, prepare myself for work the next day. 

Somewhere in all of that I have to also pencil in my husband and friends. On a plus side, I did a really good job of eating this week. I planned my lunches well, and learned that I need to be better job at packing snacks. One thing that is really weird about this diet is that when I am hungry I need to eat immediately. There is no warning of oncoming hunger. This can be eliminated if I eat small meals frequently. And besides the general brain fog, I feel great. I lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks, so that isn't too shabby. I will probably only lose about 1 pound a week from here on out, though I am hoping for 2. That will require more workouts, which will also help my stress level. There were only 2 workouts this week, and they were good ones, both over an hour. But my goal is 5. The gym is closed this week, of course. But that shouldn't stop me from working out at home. No excuses.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Inappropriate porch activities

Ah, Spring Break. A week of mostly blissful production from my design studio. Ok, my living room converted into a crafting mecca. That being said, my favorite part of the room are the windows that look onto my front yard. My yard isn't the best on the block. We need more gravel, and there are a few weeds that we both drag our feet on spraying. But we do have the best Mesquite tree in the neighborhood, and the birds love it. Yep. I am a bird nerd. I have a hummingbird feeder hanging in the tree, and a seed feeder on the side of the yard that I can see from the room's other window. The cat goes crazy watching this feeder. It brings the both of us non-stop entertainment that I normally miss out on when I have to go to work.

Because I was able to sit in front of said window all week, I have noticed an increase of doves in my yard. This can only mean one thing - mating season. Oh, yeahhhhhhh..... (cue Marvin Gaye music).  Typically, I find a dove's coo quiet irritating. I am more of a chirp and song kind of girl. But I do think it is sweet that they are monogamous and sometimes mate for life, and often go back to their birth place to mate. We have had a couple nests on our property and we try not to bother them. But as a birder, I can't help but try to obsessively see if there are baby birds around. So when I see more doves around, I know that some of those baby birds are all grown up. I know exactly what they are here for. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they are in my yard because I have provided the perfect environment for them to to do the nasty. Bow-chick-a-bow-wow!

So I don't know why I was super surprised when I was lazily staring out the window, procrastinating my homework, when I saw 2 doves perched on the porch railing about a millimeter apart. "Aww, look how close they are sitting. That's cute," I thought. They were cleaning their feathers, each others feathers, they hooked their beaks together in a crazy kiss, and then POW! Did I really just see what I think I saw? My head was swimming with emotions. Gross! Cool! I am a perv!

Once I got over my initial shock, I couldn't stop giggling. I immediately went on the interent to see if that is really what happened. And it was. Then I wanted to know how often they did it, how long it took for an egg, etc. Weird? Maybe. But this stuff usually only happens on the Discovery Channel, and someone famous is usually narrating all of this important information.  I learned a bunch of great stuff that many of you would find lame, and uninteresting, that I am sure I will get endlessly teased about. So I won't bother sharing since I know you don't care and can look it up yourself. But I will leave you with this, for your viewing enjoyment: