Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 Goal #1

One of my friends over at Conception-Obsession challenged all of us ladies to create nine goals for 2009. After much thought and many drafts, I'm ready to announce them to the world. I realize this is potential pride suicide. If I don't meet my goals this year, I've got a lot of people to answer to. But, I figure I haven't made resolutions in a few years, so I'll pack 'em in for 2009. And besides, I could use the encouragement.

2009 Goal #1:
Get back and stay on the Dysglycemia Diet. When I was first diagnosed with PCOS in 2003, I was flooded with all sorts of emotions: anger, sadness, relief, hopelessness...the list goes on. I tried a few things to get pregnant like the magical Metformin my weirdo RE promised would knock me up. Apparently, Kev and I didn't even have to hold hands and a baby would miraculously begin growing in my womb. Sort of like the Immaculate Conception, I suppose, though raising Baby Jesus seems like a daunting task. Talk about a tough act to follow. Anyway, I also tried Chinese herbs and acupuncture as well as Mayan abdominal massage. I loved these treatments because they were so relaxing and I was encouraged to do things that I would normally consider pamper items such as meditating, relaxing, taking baths (ok, a vaginal steam bath is not quite the same as a relaxing bubble bath, but I take what I can get).

After a couple of years of these treatments (paid out of pocket, I might add) and no baby, I decided to make an appointment to visit my regular doctor. She practices holistic medicine and is a good friend of the family. She recommended that I try the Dysglycemia Diet to regulate my blood sugar. Because I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my body doesn't process sugars and starches the way a normal person's body does. In a normal person, sugars and starches are turned to energy. In my broken body, sugars and starches are turned to fat instead. This starts a vicious cycle of decreased energy, weight gain, depression, and yes, infertility (on top of some other yucky, more scientific things). Some experts think that the Dysglycemia Diet is perfect for people with PCOS. I followed this diet for about a year and lost weight, felt great, and got pregnant (even though I lost the baby) a few months after quitting the diet - might just be a coincidence, but I'm desperate here. I'm ready to try it again.

One thing I really loved about this diet is that it is vegetarian friendly. For every meatatarian dish, there is an equally delicious and nutritious vegetarian substitution. The document includes meal plans and recipes, reproducible checklists to keep track of what you've eaten each day, and daily menus for 1300, 1600, and 2000 calorie daily allowances. The first few pages also explain how the diet works and what the absolute no-no's are while on the diet, as well as tips for us veggies. It's really comprehensive. It's really a lifestyle change. It's really something I've needed to do for a long time.

If anyone out there is interested in taking a stab at this with me, I'd love to have a diet buddy. The link above takes you to the exact document I used a few years ago and will use again starting January 5. Why January 5 and not January 1 you ask? Because I plan on being thoroughly hungover on January 1 and I will want some pizza and soda. Maybe even some sweets of some kind. Yeah, I'm all over the sweets. Of course, I'll need a day or two to clean out my cupboards and fridge and shop for items on my new menu and plan out meals. Then, it's bubbye to indulgences and hello to a healthier, happier, thinner, more energetic Gina.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


One of my goals for 2009 is to finish the baby quilt I've been working on for the past couple of months.  This is the first thing I've ever attempted to quilt, so I'm a little concerned about how it may turn out.  

My neighbor is teaching me this wonderful craft.  Unfortunately, she is moving in a few weeks, so I'll have to drive to see her for advice from now on.  It has been so handy to have her right across the street.  I'll sure miss her.

I chose these patterns before I had a theme for the nursery.  Because we don't know if we'll be having a boy or a girl or if we'll even be having a baby anytime soon, I decided to go with black and white with a bit of yellow on the front.  The back will be a bumble bee print.  It is too cute.

Hand quilting has proven to be a great lesson for me in accepting mistakes.  Being the ultimate perfectionist (in some things - obviously not housekeeping), I was getting upset when my corners didn't match up perfectly or if some pieces were cut slightly larger than others.  When I voiced my concerns to my neighbor, she told me to relax and not to worry about it.  That I am doing this by hand, so it won't be perfect.  If I want perfection, I need to use a machine; but then if I use my machine, I won't have any excuses for imperfections.  She sold me on the idea and now I see the imperfections not as mistakes, but as character.

Alright, kiddies.  Go on over to see what else is up for Show & Tell at Stirrup Queens.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Past

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the ornaments Kevin and I receive from our loved ones. They are whimsical, traditional, memorial, and always special. We have recently established a tradition in our family when it comes to decorating the tree. Because I'm such an indecisive perfectionist, I have a difficult time choosing a temporary resting spot for each of the ornaments. It drives me insane and I know it makes Kev nuts.  Instead, I'm in charge of unwrapping each of them and handing them to Kev to place on the tree. This way, I still get to savor each one, but I don't have to stress over where to put it. Silly thing to stress about, I know, but that's just how I'm built. Anyway, here are a few of my favorites and the stories that go with them. 

My mother gave me this ornament in memory of the baby we lost at Christmas in 2006.  Since then, holiday seasons have been grim reminders of what we still don't have.  I cry when I hold this ornament.  I think about who that tiny baby would be now... and I cry.

This ornament is a memorial to Kevin's beloved childhood buddy, Jane.  She was a Black Lab "the size of Cleveland," to quote Kevin's mother.  Jane and Kev spent a lot of time together and I know it was hard for him when she left.  

We were given this ornament the year Kevin's dear, sweet Great-Uncle Walt passed away.  We couldn't be here for his services - we were working for Ogichi that summer and knew it would be impossible for them to find replacement kitchen bitches while we were gone.  So we stayed, and the family had another small service when we returned so we could get some closure too.  Harman family gatherings are much different without him.  Uncle Walt was a wonderful, jolly man. He was really kind of like Santa Claus - with a serving or two of scotch added.

Kev's grandmother used to host elaborate holiday dinners at her ENORMOUS and formal dining table.  She would place a special ornament on each person's plate indicating each guest's place at the table.  This was one of the first ornaments waiting for me at that table.  I love how whimsy and elegance are fused in this creation.

Aunt Sally gave me this ornament last Sunday at the gift exchange and family dinner.  She said that this is the first installment in her newest holiday tradition - finding and gifting her nieces the strangest Christmas ornaments.   I think it's hilariously cute.  Unfortunately, I also must admit that this little froggy's midsection resembles mine after all the infertility treatments this year.  Due to all the hormone injections, I've blown up around my middle.  Infertility's cruellest joke - to make infertiles look pregnant.

Kev's lifelong and best friend just moved back to KC after about a ten year hiatus.  His sister's husband has begun blowing glass at his studio located on their camp.  This is one of the pieces he created, though I must say I didn't get the ones I truly wanted because they had already sold at the art opening.  I suppose that's a good thing for him, and I really do like this one.

This is one of many ornaments my mother made a few years back.  She's such a crafty little busy bee.  This nutcracker, like the other figures, is made of bees wax and smells of Christmas spices.  I love them, not only because they are quaint, but mostly because my mom made them and I love her.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


About seven months ago, I found a magnificent place in the cyberworld. This place is called Conception-Obsession and is designed for women who have been trying to conceive for at least twelve months. It's a place where women can get and offer support for pretty much anything, but the focus is obviously on infertility and trying to conceive.

C-O (as it is commonly called) is celebrating its one year birthday in a few days. It's a relatively small group, which is part of its charm, but the women have enormous hearts. These women have helped me through some very trying times this year, and I'd like to think that I've helped some of them.

Consider this show & tell my shout out to Mindy (the creator of the site) and all the women at C-O who have become like family to me. Thank you for always being there and knowing exactly what to say when no one else does. I may still not be a mom, but I am a better and stronger person because of you.

Now, take yourself over to the land of Stirrup Queens to see what other neat stuff people want you to look at.
Show and Tell

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It's been about two months since our homestudy has been completed. It doesn't sound like a very long time now that I'm saying it, but it has felt like an eternity. Just sitting and waiting is driving me crazy. I feel so out of control. Even more out of control than what I felt when we were trying to conceive.

When we were TTCing, every day was a task to be completed to get us closer to the elusive positive pregnancy test. Oral meds, injections, ultrasounds, bloodwork, chart consultation, baby dancing... the list goes on. Ok, so maybe none of that worked, but I at least I felt like I was doing something. The illusion of control is a hard thing to give up.

We've mailed out about half of the letters we need to. There are still a lot of addresses we need, but honestly I wonder how effective those letters are. Do birth and adoptive parents really connect that way? It seems unlikely, but I'm new at this.

We've talked to several of the Catholic churches in the area that have an adoption program. The most popular one has a year waiting list just to begin a homestudy! Even though we already have a certified homestudy, they would have to redo it. We would have to do all the same background checks, etc. I don't like that. It makes me feel like it's about money, not finding homes for children.

Speaking of the Catholic churches, Kev and I have finally found a church that suits us. St. Agnes is racially diverse, supports two or three Catholic schools, and is close to our home. The congregation is enormous, and I'm pretty excited to be a member. Our Sundays now revolve around mass and family. Isn't that what it's supposed to be anyway?

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