Archive | February, 2012

Bread Baskets? Definitely a Trouble Zone.

28 Feb

This blog is supposed to be about my life but I have noticed that there is one big sub-category missing from my recent postings: weight loss. There’s a reason for this and that reason is that I have sucked at it lately. I have been eating whatever, working out extremely sporadically and just not made much of an effort at all. Today though I did an awesome job food-wise (until dinner) and tried a new workout, so for now at least the weight loss blog is in effect.

This evening my workout buddy (henceforth known as C) and I did Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones Having done the 30 Day Shred, this was our second foray into the world of Jillian Michaels and I must say, she did not disappoint. While the Shred is more of a quick cardio based circuit workout, NMTZ is a longer more weights based circuit workout.

NMTZ is seven six minute circuits aimed at every “trouble zone” (think thighs, upper arms, butt, tummy.) In true Jillian fashion she keeps you moving the whole time and sometimes makes you want to punch her in the face. During the workout I could feel that my heart rate was increased and I was extremely sweaty when we finished. Overall, this is a good workout and a nice bang for the under an hour sweat buck.

In other news, I was standing by the door talking to C and I hear six legs running down the hall. Randall and Titan came bounding into the entryway all excitement, wagging tails (Randall, obviously) and big smiles. We have been waiting on some good work news for Randall and he got the call tonight that the project and client came through. This is a big feather in his cap and I am very proud. We shared a big excited hug (in which Randall picked me up off the ground; I’m not tiny, so this gives him one more mark toward the BAMF tally) while Titan ran around thwacking things with his tail, which is his preferred method of celebration.

Since I am a) a fat kid and b) from a family that rewards with food I suggested we celebrate with a dinner out. Not wanting to break the bank we hit up Carraba’s and I promptly blew past my calorie allotment with bread, Chicken Bryan and perfectly garlicked mashed potatoes. Totally worth it.

So for today, it’s a Thankful Tuesday. Thankful for Randall getting good work news, thankful for amazing goat cheese enhanced chicken and thankful to JM for kicking my ass.

You Whippersnappers Better Get Off My Lawn!

26 Feb

I don’t get dubstep. This makes me tragically uncool, but I just can’t like it. I have tried, I just don’t understand the appeal of it.

If you are over 23, you are probably like “what is dubstep?!?” Technically, dubstep is defined as a genre of electronic music featuring tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals (thank you Wiki.)  If you watched the Grammy’s this year you probably heard or saw a mention of an artist called Skrillex, he is the newly mainstreamed driving force behind the dubstep movement. In layman’s terms (mine) dubstep can be described as taking a really great electronic song and throwing this dirty, shockingly gritty bass line into it and ruining the song.

Skrillex sample:

 

Dubstep and by extension Skrillex is every where right now. People are talking about him on Facebook, I hear his bass lines reverberating in the cars that drive past our house at 3 AM, my little sister is crazy for him.

Why did I feel this warranted a blog post? I mean, so what I don’t like a new artist or genre of music. The thought of blogging about this struck me last night while talking to my sister. She was so excited about going to see Skrillex at a music festival and I heard myself say to her, “I just don’t understand it, that’s not even music.” She responded with “alright, mom…” Shocked, I realized then that Skrillex/dubstep is the first real thing that I have firmly allied  myself with the “oldster” view on. Next thing you know I’ll be wearing shirts with bedazzled zebras and thinking a fanny pack is a handy way to carry everything when I travel. I’m getting old!

Because I am a glutton for punishment and am still seeking some semblance of “cool”, I just spent half an hour listening to Skrillex on Spotify trying to find the appeal. I was unsuccessful until I reached the hidden track on his new album. I really loved the song but sadly since it is an orchestral arrangement based on his hits, it really did nothing but reinforce my oldster status.

 

If you need me, I’ll just be over here signing up for the AARP. 🙂

Boredom Cure

23 Feb

The last couple of days have been kind of dark around here. Randall is traveling (again!) and coupled with the surge of hormones from starting a new cycle it has made for some down days. Oddly, even though it’s the first day of my aunt’s monthly visit, I woke up this morning in a great mood. It could be the gorgeous weather, or it could be that Randall is coming home, either way I’ll take it.

This afternoon, Randall mentioned to me that his shoulder was really hurting. I remembered seeing a deal for some pain relief cream this week and that coupled with some mid-afternoon boredom inspired a couponing trip.

Total before coupons: $56.22
Out of pocket after coupons: $7.57
Total register rewards (like cash at Walgreens, good toward next purchase): $6.00
Net total spent: $1.57

20120223-164706.jpg

Not too shabby for a last minute trip!

Where the Light Is

20 Feb

Some things before I update the Ten Before Treatment:

1. Facebook’s new Timeline feature is an absolute beast to update. Since it assumes dates from the time you post things on FB, my wedding date was off by eleven days. I wanted to fix that add the day we got engaged, it literally took an hour. What a freaking beating.

2. The Coldplay station on Spotify is the most chill and awesome station ever. Coldplay, Keane, The Fray, The Killers, John Mayer. Good stuff. Unless you hate slightly whiny male singers, then don’t listen to this station, it might make you break something.

3. I do some of my best thinking while washing my hair. I realized today I stopped losing weight around September of 2011. We had been trying to conceive for 6-7 months and that’s about when the novelty wore off and the bitter set in. I have watched myself make peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, pecan cookies, cake and other goodies “for Randall” in the last few months. My baking ability does not mesh well with my inability not to eat my depression about being a barren bitch. More on this another day.

Ten Before Treatment Update:

1) Run a 5k. – I registered for a 5k I really loved last year a few days ago. Since it’s in September, it doesn’t really count though. I am considering the Firefly Run or maybe bringing it full circle and running the first race I ever ran, the Mayfest 5k. If I wasn’t A. a chickenshit and B. scared of being too chunky too run fast enough to not “die” I would totally be down for this one:  Zombies!!

2) Visit all of the wineries within 20 miles of my house. – Yeah, I’ve just been drinking all the wine in a 20 miles radius of my house. I should probably get more organized about my wine-soaked weekends.

3) Get back into the coupon swing. – As of last Sunday, Randall has enough deodorant to fend off smells for the rest of the year. For this we are thankful to the Coupon Gods.

4) Spring 2012 semester 4.0 a goal – I have been kicking ass and taking names this semester. VERY happy about this.

5) Put together a plan for “what if.”  – Three plans exist currently: 1. Train for/run half marathon, 2. Go on 2013 cruise, 3. Visit the Willamette Valley of Oregon with Randall. These things deserve their own post, so that’s all I’ll say for now.

6) Dine at least three of the top-rated “nice” restaurants in the Fort Worth area. – One down, Eddie V’s was awesome. I have decided I am going to go on a lobster bisque bender if treatment doesn’t work out. That stuff is like crack.

7) Finish two projects. – I don’t know that this necessarily counts as a project but I did finally, a year and a half after getting married, print/put wedding photos in the nice silver frame we bought before we got married. Procrastination for the win.

8) Finish our on-going flooring/remodel projects. – Randall finished our kitchen floor! Excuse the quality of these photos, I literally took them on my iPhone and uploaded them like a minute ago.

Our linoleum used to look like this:

Now our ceramic looks like this:

9) Work on both our front and back yards. – Not yet, a spring time goal.

10) Enjoy life – I have really been embracing this one as much as possible. I fall into bed on Sunday nights drained because I am going all weekend with Randall, friends, things to do. It’s a nice but tiring feeling. I’m not the only one feeling it in the house:

Lately any pillow that makes it to the floor around here is Titan Territory. 🙂

So, that’s the current TBT status. I’ll try to make an update every few weeks to the list. It helps to keep me accountable.

In closing, the soundtrack to this post morphed from Coldplay’s channel to John Mayer’s Where the Light Is live album around number two in the update. If you are a fan and haven’t given it a listen, run, don’ t walk to iTunes…it’s really his best work ever.

Two of a kind, working on a full house.

19 Feb

As we round out the first cycle of the TTC break, I find myself becoming pensive and sad. It seems that no matter how much wine you drink or how many miles you run the ache that accompanies the inability to conceive will find you.

We ate at a local Mexican restaurant yesterday for lunch. As Randall and I sat munching on chips and salsa and talking about how we love the word haberdashery and other random things, I noticed women gathering in the party room I was facing. I watched as pink and brown balloons were set up, as piles of pastel presents arrived. Women laughed and fawned over the two cakes, both diaper and traditional. The expectant mother arrived as we got our check, her face lit up and her grin grew as large as her burgeoning belly as she saw all of the work the women had put in for her unborn little girl. Taking it all in, I surprisingly felt no jealousy, no envy, just a hollow sadness.

I had a ridiculous spat with a friend yesterday. We were talking about when we plan to start treatment and how I was feeling about it. I let my upbeat attitude lapse for a minute and told her it was kind of unbelievable, I just never imagined how it would feel to write a check for a chance to conceive a child. She flippantly replied that she had had to pay for her daughter too, so she totally understood. I responded back that I thought paying for a vasectomy reversal and a subsequent immediate natural conception was a little different. I felt like a bitch the second I said it, because really who I am to judge.

Which brings me to what I really wanted to talk about before I wrote all this other stuff. I was thinking of joining a message board for people dealing with infertility. I thought it would be helpful for me to have people who had been there to talk to during treatment cycles. I had one picked out, had added my “history” to my profile signature as is protocol for the board and began reading the board daily so I could get the vibe  down before introducing myself. Unfortunately through this reading, I now know I will not be joining this board.

Last week, a “regular” poster made a post regarding “real infertiles.” She complained that she was tired of seeing people who were new to infertility coming to their board and getting pregnant. She felt like her infertility and that of her friends who had been around for awhile was much worse than those who were new and demanded “respect for the veterans from the new people.”

Sadly, this is a really common thought in infertility circles. It’s like this twisted game of poker. A girl using Clomid with annovulatory cycles has a full house, but that is always trumped by the four of a kind of someone doing IUI and the royal flush of infertility is having to resort to IVF. Having failed a combination of any of these in addition to the use of others gets you more chips, while a very bad diagnosis or a miscarriage coupled with failed cycles gives you the pot. Using this analogy, as someone with an unexplained diagnosis and no treatment cycles under my belt, I am not even invited to the table. Sickly, I can only assume I’ll be able to buy in when I give myself that first injection.

I’ve been thinking about the psychology behind this line of thinking for awhile. I have come to the conclusion that since becoming a mother is the gold standard of womanhood those who can not achieve this Holy Grail of motherhood on their own have to justify their worth as women by the amount of work they are willing to put in to become mothers. Bitterness accompanies these justifications because deep down, no one wants to be here, no one wants to win the poker game of infertility.

Sadly, this theory doesn’t rest solely on the infertiles of the world. The same motherhood hierarchy continues when it comes to breastfeeding, diapering, immunizations, educating, rearing, etc. The common line of thinking seems to be that the “harder” you work at being a mother, the better mother you are. Who decides these standards? Why do we buy into them?

This entry got heavy at the end, but I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and wanted to get it out here. I am going to do an update on the Ten Before Treatment sometime early in the week, so stay tuned.

**Bonus points for knowing the cheesy country music reference the title came from.** 🙂

Self Discovery Through My History Peers

13 Feb

Life update: Break is going well, pretty sure we almost completely missed the “fertile window” this month, also pretty sure I don’t care. Running is going well, I lost three pounds last week. This sounds awesome until I point out they were part of the five I gained over the holidays, so still -2 for now.

Since it is getting on in the semester, I thought it was about time for a school post. I am a History major so that means my school hours are filled with discussions of ancient economies, war torn societies and random facts about prostitutes (not a joke, the oldest profession in the world almost always pops up in every class.) While all of this is very interesting to me, the best part of being a History major is the people you are surrounded by. Like other Humanities, History tends to be one of those majors that draws the eccentrics, the people who like to wax lyrical about pretty much anything. In the interest of sharing my life via the blog, here are a few of the characters:

“Did you know in Czech society…?” Girl: One of my classes is about Ireland from 1600 to the present…100% Irish History. So why do you feel the need to regale us with pieces of (obvious) Czech history? Dude, you mean the Czech Republic and Slovakia were once Czechoslovakia?!? No way!!

Harry Potter Obsessed Historian: A girl in one of my classes is OBSESSED with Harry Potter (NO this is not about me.) Like Czech girl above, she feels it is important to interject during lecture little tibits about HP. Luckily she is in both my American Civil War and Irish History classes. In case you were wondering, she feels that JK Rowling probably based Voldemort loosely on Hitler, the whole imprisionment scene in the 7th book really reminded her of Bobby Sands and the Irish IRA Hunger Strikes in 1981, Harry Potter could be channeling a little Robert E. Lee and that the banking system in the HP universe would probably have prevented us from going into economic decline as it is based off of gold.

The Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons: If you have ever seen the Simpsons, you might be familiar with a character known as the Comic Book Guy. I have this guy in one of my classes. He is tubby, he wears glasses, he wears shorts ALL the time, he has greasy hair, he has a voice that lets you know he considers himself far smarter than others. He also references comic books during discussions and “powered up” this morning before our essay test by walking around the front of the room chanting and doing Power Ranger kicks.

After typing this all out, I had a realization. I just referenced a children’s book series and a cartoon series in my blog with dorky history references. It would seem that although I am poking fun…I am probably with my people.

Return of the Run-i

8 Feb

Bonjour blog peeps, I hope all is well with you.

Running is one of the activities I have highly anticipated resuming during “the break.” Yesterday I got my first true run in and it was glorious. This may seem an exagerative description for something that involves pushing your body to it’s limits while combating screaming lungs and a steady stream of sweat, but it’s a truly apt.The last time I have done a run of any remarkable time or distance was November 1st, 2011. In late October, I could sustain a decent pace for about an hour with no walking breaks and was normally covering 4-5 miles during each run.  Though I had no idea how much my running fitness had suffered in the three months I had been away from running, in reading other blogs and general running advice I had pretty low expectations.

Since I attend the gym with awesome, new, well maintained machines but no overall sense of actual urgency to work out or ettiquette for others, it was no surprise when I walked in to the cardio room and found the only open treadmill between an old man in jeans and a young woman texting on her cell phone, both of whom were SLOW walking on the treadmill. I hopped on and started a quick paced walking warm-up. My original intention had been to start with Week 1, Day 1 of Couch to 5k assuming that my running fitness would be near nil. For some reason though I just started my running playlist and decided to listen to my body instead. After a five minute walk, I kicked it up and started to run. I got really into my running music and focused on a spot on the wall in front of me. I looked down and had been running for five minutes, then ten, then fifteen, then twenty. At twenty I decided to walk a few minutes to give my lungs a break but then felt a little tug inside to run again, so I did ten more, called it a run and started cooldown.

After the run, two things of note happened:

1. I was walking back with my “blue gym cleaner” soaked paper towel to clean the machine and overheard a snippet of conversation between two ladies on stationary bikes. I assume they thought I couldn’t hear them as I still had my earbuds in though the music was off. They were looking at me and discussing how if “that big girl could run, maybe they could too.” While “that big girl” isn’t my favorite nickname ever, the fact that I, Leslie who was scared to go to the gym when she first started working out because she thought people would make fun of her slowness and fatness, had inspired these women to even have this conversation is an awesome feeling. Though I only ran thirty minutes last night and only ran an 11.5 minute mile; it’s a far cry from the dying after sixty seconds, slower than 15 minute mile pace person I started at. I never believed I had the strenght to seek out and be this person, but I did (and do!)

2. My friend who had been running on another treadmill away from mine asked me what was going through my head while I was running. I laughed and told her that I had felt amazing and realized just how very much I had missed running. She told me it was obvious because I was grinning like a fool the whole time. 🙂

I always wish I knew what other people in the gym are listening to, so in case your curious here’s the playlist I used last night:

County Warm-Up:

  • Crazy Girl – Eli Young Band
  • Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean

Run it Out:

  • Addiction – Medina
  • Beautiful People  – Benny Benassi f. Chris Brown
  • Levels – Avicii
  • I’m On One – Drake, Rick Ross, Lil’ Wayne
  • Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
  • Paradise – Coldplay
  • I Wanna Go – Britney Spears
  • Dynamite – Taio Cruz
  • Sleepyhead – Passion Pit

Slow Jams Cool Down:

  • Motivation – Kelly Rowland and Lil’ Wayne
  • Young Forever – Jay-Z f. Mr. Hudson