The House That Built Me

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I currently live with my husband in the house I grew up in. We bought it from my mother, re-painted a few rooms, and switched up the positions of the furniture in my parents’ old bedroom, which is now my bedroom. Since moving in a few years ago, we’ve also taken out the pool, bought two new cars that don’t at all resemble my dad’s old pickup and my mother’s sturdy Subaru, and I’ve stopped imagining my father eating peanuts on the floor watching football in his sweatpants, or my sister as a child coming down the stairs in the morning. This is a good thing – the first few months of moving back here, it felt like ghosts of my family were watching, and I half-expected my father to come around the corner and make sure N and I weren’t making out on the couch.

Those feelings, while sentimental, didn’t make it any easier to re-create a new family life in the same house, so I am fortunate they only lasted a few months. Now, a few years later, this does feel like my husband’s home, too. He has been around for so long, visiting me when I was 15, staying for dinner and playing wiffle ball in the driveway with my eight-year old sister while I did the dishes, completely in teenage love. It’s only natural, in a sense, that this became his home, too. And with the addition of two dogs, a fence, his new vegetable garden – it’s okay. I like my house, actually. Miranda Lambert’s song is pretty fitting, in this case.

However, we left the upstairs as it was. There’s been no need for those two bedrooms and a small bath (it’s a cape) because it’s just the two of us. Someday, before we move, which we will eventually do, those will be children’s rooms, and they can fight over who gets the bathroom first in the morning, like my sister and I probably did. But for now, my sister’s room remains fit for a young teenager, with turquoise walls and a border going around the room covered with horses. She’s got three bags full of stuffed animals in the closet, still (hey, come and get those…). And my room – oh, it’s no better. Probably worse. She cleaned her room out, mostly, but I did not. It remains lavender purple, of course. My collection of chimes still hang all over the ceiling, including the one N made for me himself, cutting up different lengths of metal to create the sounds. My CD player/radio system, which my father meticulously wired with excellent speakers for a thirteen year old’s use, actually turned on and worked the other day, when I tried it.

But the best part of my old, untouched bedroom is my memory box. It’s more of a tub. Over the years, I kept almost everything that touched upon my life from elementary school through to the first few years of college. Pictures weren’t in it – those are already in albums. But my 6th grade presidential award was in there. The program to the chorus show in which I sang the finale, “Somewhere” from West Side Story. The softball all my friends signed back in junior high, when we won the championship. Best of all, though, are the pieces of written proof of my life. I’m talking diaries – at least six of them. They date back to age 9, and go through to college. That’s not all. The notes.  A few years back, apparently, I organized my notes. You know, the ones your friends slip into your hands in junior high when you’re passing between classes. They are all folded up in only the coolest teenager way (that tight little square). My friends and I got sick of wasting individual pieces of paper, and we started passing notebooks instead. Entire notebooks. I have those, too. Anyway, I organized my notes by year, and I have, in huge ziplock bags, notes from 5th grade to 11th.

A few days ago, I spent hours going through that tub. That’s going to be a child’s room someday, and I still have college memorabilia all over the walls, and they deserve a spot in the tub as well. So I cleaned a bit, getting rid of the majority of the awards, programs and things like that. But I kept the notes, the notebooks, the diaries.

Now I don’t know what to do with them. They will be saved, of course, especially the diaries. But I’d love to do something more with them – I have no idea what. They are fascinating – a peek into my life. I mean, of course many entries are dull, full of normal teenage angst, but they cover my life from age 9-19. There’s so much in there that explains – everything. Explains me, explains my family, my husband (lord knows how many entries, and notes, and notebooks, are filled with endless nothingness about him). But not just that – they explain children, teenage girls, teenage boys. They explain my 5th graders and my old 6th graders. I just feel like all of this evidence is a window into a world that I’d like to analyze further, and do something with. I just don’t know what. Here are two examples:

(5th grade diary entry): Dear Diary, today is the 27th, and I got an A- on my report, and Todd gave me a necklace. I was happy, until at band Joe told me Todd wanted to break up with me. I don’t know what to believe! Oh well. It’s almost 7:30, and at that time I am going to call Jenn. Today in art, Miss D. said that we can start working on this contest where we have to draw a holiday scene. We don’t have to enter, but I tried anyway, and it came out great! My mom also bought me new pajamas. Gotta go!

(11th grade diary entry): Yesterday I only saw N for like 45 minutes, but it was worth it. He just left for his little snowboarding trip in Vermont for the weekend. I already miss him. I’m also frustrated cuz work called me, said my job’s not over – I’ll work when someone calls in sick. But I don’t want to be led on. Plus I think I’ll be getting a job being a waitress with Jen. So I’m mad. And N’s calling me sometime tomorrow. I’m not gonna miss his call while I’m at work so I’m not going to go.

And here’s a telling one: Remember AIM? I saved a conversation I had with N over AIM, probably around the same time period. I was expressing my frustration that my parents wouldn’t let me go on vacation with N’s family, and I said: I love you so much. They will realize it eventually…when I tell them that I’m marrying you. And I did.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies – those dating years in high school had more fighting than they didn’t, I think, and my diaries in those years are drama filled. But I still find them so interesting, explaining what really goes on in the mind of a preteen, or teen. There’s also a journal written to me, by my parents when I was born. Letters from my husband. There’s a lot of written evidence of my life, and I’m glad to have re- discovered them the other day.

The fact of the matter is, this post was inspired by another one. This one, from Stirrup Queens, about her elementary school. I have to admit, she’s right. I teach in the town I grew up in, and though I’m not teaching in my elementary school, I am teaching in my husband’s. It’s odd to imagine him walking my halls, going to my nurse’s office, as a child before I knew him. But when I am in both my current school and my childhood school, the memories definitely come back. They have a smell – a mix of years’ worth of crayon shavings and school lunches.

I guess I’m sentimental. I enjoy looking back on my life, and the parts I loved most. Lucky for me, I have them in writing, tucked away under my yearbooks and trophies, in that lavender bedroom.

 

Happiness ebbs and flows.

Back-to-back posts today. I thought about putting everything in one giant post, but I wanted to leave the “definition of trying” post alone.

In last month’s issue of Redbook (one of my favorite magazines), they had a very interesting article regarding happiness. To get straight to the point, happiness ebbs and flows. I suppose that’s common sense, but people must forget that simple fact, because there was a need for that article. I sure needed reminding.

The best part of the article was the examples. A graph was used to show the happiness levels of three women throughout their lifetime. I found that when I looked back on my own life, I saw the same chart, and it did make me feel a little better. Try it yourself – start with your childhood. If you don’t want to make an actual graph, rank times in your life on a happiness scale from 1-10.

In general, my happiness level had always been a 10, until my parents got divorced, and for a while, I’d say it got down to a 5. Then I got married, and back up it went. Even my relationship with N could be analyzed using this same scale – there are months that go by where we’re at a 10 every day, and then sometimes, it dips down. It’s done that many times since our teenage dating days. But I know it goes back up, and it does. Sometimes there are reasons for this dip in marital bliss, and sometimes there’s not. It always goes back up.

The first two years of marriage, my life’s happiness scale stayed high, between 8-10. I love my job, I’ve loved 3 out of 5 classes I’ve had (sorry, those other two just..didn’t make the cut!), and the rewards teaching brings me has helped keep that happiness level up. In the last year, my happiness level has gone from a 9, and slid all the way down, farther and farther, until I’d say it’s solidly been at a 3 or so. There are good days and bad days of course, and your own happiness chart can be as specific or general as you’d like. I’m content-ish, right now. I’m living. But my happiness level won’t really change, until..well, you know. Something good happens.

If your happiness level is currently peaking above an 8, well then the thought of someone else’s being as low as a 3 is a bit pathetic. But I don’t over-analyze this – the article is right. Happiness ebbs and flows. Like I said, it’s common sense that your life isn’t always going to be amazing, and similarly, won’t always suck. But I think it’s a nice reminder. Bad things will eventually lead to good things, just because that’s the way life works. Sometimes, it just takes a while. I’m not a “fate” person. But the odds work in your favor, eventually. They have to.

And until they work in my favor, at least regarding pregnancy (because, I know, things could always be worse), I’ve attempted to focus on other things. It is the third week of summer, and it has taken until this week for me to really accept that summer is here, and it’s mine for the taking. I don’t like excess free time, I don’t like doing nothing, and I especially don’t like being alone. I’m trying to keep from two days in a row of being in this empty house. I can do one day, but not two. The first two weeks I walked around in a daze – no papers to correct? No kickball to play? But now I’m trying to enjoy the weather, the reading, the…run-errands-when-I-feel-like-it, staying up later, random kickboxing and Pilates classes in the middle of the day.

I’ve also enjoyed this:

I love fresh fruits and veggies. I love picking them myself. I especially love fresh-picked blueberries. We’re in the peak of the season right now, and as you can see, these berries are huge. I picked $13 worth. Excessive, yes. But these aren’t any old blueberries you get in a store – they’re the best. Yum.

Also, I joined a women’s softball team. N has been on a men’s team for a few months, and watching him, combined with my new recess sport of kickball motivated me to join my own team. They had already played a few games before I joined, and my first game was Monday night. I am SO BAD. It’s embarrassing. I had to buy a new glove, of course, and N and I have been playing some catch. But in a game situation – not knowing anyone and yeah, it’s been 10 years since my last softball game, I was awful. Hitting wasn’t any better. Just – bad. I am going to continue, because it is fun. I’m kind of quiet around people I don’t know, but don’t get me wrong, I like to be around people. I like the “team” atmosphere. But man, am I bad. I think I’ll be hitting up the batting cages this weekend.

I’m also reading. I’m about to embark on a Nicholas Sparks marathon. I’ve read him before, and it’s okay. I’m not a die-hard love-story type, but yet, maybe it’ll keep my spirits up this summer.

And as I like keeping busy, these next few weeks will be the quietest of the summer. After that, I’ve got a couple mini-vacations planned. N has his big Ironman race in Lake Placid next weekend. I’ll be back at school, working on my room in mid-August. And of course, my daily shots in the stomach.

I don’t even know what cycle day I’m on anymore, I’m too lazy to figure it out, and really, who cares, but it’s in the upper 60’s. Either way, my ovaries are reacting very slowly to the follistim, and today will be my 8th shot, without an ultrasound yet. None needed – nothing much is happening. I just bumped up my dosage to 66 IU last night, and I’ll have more bloodwork done on Friday. This is taking a while, but it’s okay if it works. N’s race is coming up, though, and I’m worried about the timing. Worst comes to worst, he will go in before the race and we will freeze his sperm. It’s not covered by insurance, but I’m not missing this. So we’ll see.

Even in one post, things are up, things are down. You probably knew this already, but it was important for me to see in print: happiness ebbs and flows.

Hitting the year mark – what’s the definition?

It’s been a year since I started this blog. One very long, mostly frustrating year. My first post was an indicator of just how clueless I really was going into TTC, because I thought I actually knew things. I take that back, though: I did know things, but it was information for people who simply have sex, and boom, they’re pregnant. You know, most people. I naively thought that would be me, which now I find almost comical.

But the real reason for my post lies with the definition of trying to conceive. This goes hand in hand with the definition of being infertile.

There has been much debate in many people’s blogs lately over the definitions of these things. It does seem we can all agree that most doctors want you to be “trying for a year” before “infertility” can be your unofficial diagnosis and you are sent off to a fertility specialist. It also seems that most of us agree that’s insane.

The differences in opinion come when we get down to the little details, and I will use myself as an example. One year ago, my husband and I started trying. I had already been off birth control since April, and I was noticing irregular periods, but I was hoping it would settle on its own. We still tried. Then, soon after starting this blog, I was told by my old endocrinologist my TSH level was too high, an 8, and I must stop trying immediately, until further notice. That’s when my blog started to focus more on diet and thyroid health than anything else. After a month or so, we continued trying, and got the official “okay” from a doctor a few months later. And from there, I had long, irregular cycles, including an 82-day cycle that wrapped up in November, when I was finally given Provera and put out of my misery. I was fortunate enough to be able to see a fertility specialist earlier than most people, and started on Clomid in late December. The rest is history.

Since N and I started trying one year ago, I have ovulated exactly 3 times, to my knowledge. Maybe there might have been one more in there, soon after going off the pill, because I did get my period on my own the first time. But I won’t ever know for sure. These three times have been in January, March, and May of 2012. That’s three chances to get pregnant. Does that mean I’ve only been officially “trying” since the first Clomid pills did their job? I would have to say no.

I think it’s interesting that people who aren’t going through infertility question what “trying” means. I get it – for most people, you get a chance every single month, which I can’t even imagine. So when you’ve been trying for a year, you’ve “tried” 12 times. But is that what trying means – it only counts when you actually ovulate? I don’t think so. I think it’s more mental, with an addition of a physical act. We’ve been physically trying, when we are able, for one solid year. That might have meant many a night of praying to the gods that regular sex with no IUI, plus a miracle of releasing an egg would do the trick. Many nights of thinking, this cycle could be the one. Countless days (more than I care to think about) of checking my CM, charting, temping, analyzing, Googling….and I’ve released 3 eggs. Most people think “trying” means sex, and only when it counts (as in, when you ovulate). I refuse to think of it that way, because it would negate everything I’ve gone through in a year.

So as I see it, yes, we’ve been trying for a year. I know some of you have tried for way longer, multiple years, and I hope my time comes sooner than that. However, hitting the year mark is kind of a big deal, to me at least. I just can’t help thinking about the way my feelings about trying to conceive have changed, and my emotions as well. I went from over-the-top hopeful (I guess everyone starts out that way) to so upset, disappointed, devastated, to angry, to numb, and in the last few months, my current feelings are pushed right out of my head. I try not to even think about it. It’s not numb, necessarily, but it’s – wow, this is so frustrating that it’s not even worth coherent thoughts. I’ve tried to move on with the rest of my life, while a healthy dose of bitterness lingers.

As for the definition of infertile – it’s a debate I don’t fully want to jump into, because I honestly believe we shouldn’t all have to adhere to one specific dictionary definition. I agree with others who find it irritating if someone tries for a while, and then it works, no problem, and they called it infertility. I think once you find out what’s wrong, then it’s okay to place the label on yourself. If you weren’t able to see a specialist for a long time and then you found out something was wrong – I’m not saying your infertility started then. It started when you started trying. But you wouldn’t have known why until a doctor told you, most likely. I didn’t know what was wrong until I saw the specialist, but now I know: my eggs don’t grow and release on their own. Anovulation. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other auto-immune issues. I wouldn’t say that I’m “infertile”, because it sounds permanent. I will be fertile, but with the help of some major drugs. But it’s all how you define yourself. If you have a blog about trying to get pregnant, chances are, you’ve been through the ringer and you have enough to say about the topic to write about it on a regular basis. I’d say you have the right to claim infertility, for sure.

In the end, we write these posts because we’re looking for support, not judgement. I’ve had nothing but support since I started, but I know there are people out there who do judge. We all have different journeys, and I’m not sure putting “infertility” on a scale in severity from 1-10 will make anyone feel better. If anything, it’s a reminder that we’re all struggling, and it sucks.

Advil causes hives – who knew?

Thank you everyone! You are always so helpful – I knew right where to turn with my question!

It looks like the majority of you found it somewhat painful, with a few finding it very painful. Not many of you had little to no pain – but you all highly recommended taking lots of advil beforehand.

Here’s my next issue with that – I didn’t bother telling you this a few posts ago, because my mind was wrapped around school, but I had hives last Thursday and Friday. Specifically, lip hives, the horrible, scary kind. Considering I’m staying away from foods that cause this like a pro, I couldn’t figure out what was causing it.

Wednesday night, when I had that tell-tale lump in my throat, I panicked, thinking this was all stress-related with the end of the school year, and I desperately tried to get rid of that lump. Two things have always helped eliminate it – hot tea and exercise (obviously something to do with internal heat). So, at 10:30 Wednesday night, when a cup and a half of tea didn’t help, I put on my running shoes, grabbed a head lamp and ran out the door. I have never done that before. But it actually did help, at least calm me down. The next morning, I had lip hives. Of course, it was the day of our moving up ceremony, and I only had to face – oh, I don’t know, 400 people, including the parents of my students. After it was all over, I was even more calmed, so imagine my surprise to wake up to the hives again Friday morning. This time, I had a suspicion and it was confirmed – it was advil.

At the beginning of last week, I pulled a weird muscle in my back climbing the monkey bars. I only did it for a minute! Yeah – I can play kickball and all that, but apparently I need to draw the line on the jungle gym. Apparently I’m too old. Anyway, not wanting to miss out on the last few games of kickball at recess, I kept re-injuring it, not letting it heal. So starting on Wednesday, I started taking advil around the clock. And that’s when the hives started. N found an article online that claims ibuprofen, as well as aspirin, can contribute to angioedema. As soon as I stopped taking advil, the hives stopped.

Now, I don’t take advil often, but when I do, it’s usually just one or two doses, usually with my period. I never take it around the clock. So I’m wondering whether I should take the advil before the HSG, but just the one, huge dose of it beforehand and suck it up afterwards, or find something else entirely. I can suffer with lip hives for one night, that’s fine, as long as they stay confined to my lips. It’s when they start to move down my throat that I start to panic.

So, regarding medication, I don’t really know what to do. I either have one day left to figure it out, or two whole weeks. That leads me to my RE appointment, and I’m just going to write another post, because otherwise, this one will be quite long!

I could be a great mother.

I’m back from my little hiatus. How long has it been – two weeks, I think? Maybe a little more. I knew I was going to need the break from blogging, and just about everything else, as I turned all of my attention towards my students for the last two weeks of school.

It was a fun two weeks. We had something going on every day, including:

– Field Day: Not sure if the rest of you teachers out there have field day, but it involves rotating through different activities with the rest of the school, with most of them being outside. There are always a few water activities too, and I always end up soaked myself.

– A trip to our local park, where, similarly to field day, the 5th grade only rotated through a few stations, including rolling around in a giant hamster ball. My personal favorite was kickball and volleyball with my class.

– A game show came to our school. It went by grade level, so again, it was just the 5th grade. This company had everything – the whole setup of a game show, with buzzers and prizes, music, etc. They had some academic-type questions and some physical challenges, like having the kids on the floor, eating pudding off a plate without using their hands. Then of course, the teachers were forced into participation, and though I didn’t answer any academic questions correctly (do you know how many zeros are in a google?), I was able to be the first one to answer, “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

– Bingo, with candy for prizes.

– A kickball tournament.

– Two pizza parties, one for our class only for winning the “Penny Wars” competition (we raised over $450 in my room alone), and one yesterday for the whole 5th grade on the last day.

– The “moving up” ceremony. In my old school, this was always a pretty big deal. This year, we tried to keep a lot of the same characteristics. It went very smoothly, actually, despite the fact that the temperature got to over 100 degrees, and we were packed into the gym 400 people strong, with no ventilation whatsoever.  My five teaching partners and I were very prepared, taking turns reading the names of the award winners, shaking hands, etc. The kids all dressed up, which is one of my favorite parts. They always complain beforehand but love seeing each others’ outfits when the day comes. Teachers dress up too, and in addition, I surprised my class by singing the national anthem with a student.

-And finally, yesterday was the last day. I loved my class this year, probably more than any other, so I was dreading this day. We had Popsicles, a final assembly where we handed out a few more awards, saw a few slideshows, ate pizza, got in one last kickball game at recess, signed yearbooks, and then I had my group huddle. I started it last year, and it was such a nice way to end.  With about 10 minutes left to go in the day, a few parents had made their way into my room, and I asked them (probably rudely, but oh well) to leave so I could have the huddle without anyone else in there. Then we literally got into a huddle, and I thanked them for everything, wished them luck next year, etc.

The kids were balling. Of course, partly it’s the concept of mass hysteria, which works for any age group. A few people get crying, and it spreads like wildfire. It started with one student, who began crying a good half hour before the end of school, watching a slideshow. He’s been at the school since kindergarten and I think the realization of moving forward to a new school kind of hit him all at once. Then, back in my room, kid after kid started becoming upset, until I’d say a good 20 out of 23 kids were crying. Even my toughest boys were wiping their eyes. I hate that. I don’t cry, not in front of them, because I just don’t feel like I should be making them more upset. I gave out lots of hugs, and said goodbye, which I don’t do well.

And here we are, the next morning. I received the most awesome present a few days ago from the girl whose mother was the one we raised money for:

Her father came in and said, “We wanted to fill it with chocolate but ____ said we should use peppers instead!” It was very cute. I cut them all up and brought them into school the next day, and my students were ecstatic to eat a ton of peppers. I also got this wonderful note from another student:

You know that you have an amazing teacher when you call her mom  by accident, look up to her, and walk in the class feeling great when you see your teacher and all those things are true to me .You make me feel like a better person .

These are the things that make this job worth it. I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to teaching – I’m only five years in. But this class in particular I am grateful for, for allowing me to care for them, and give as much as myself as I could. I have always opened myself up to my students, as I feel it’s important in making those connections. This year, though, was different. I started playing at recess (kickball mostly, but racing and basketball prior to that) on Friday afternoons, and in the last few weeks, it turned into almost every day. I did something with them last week I’ve never done with any class – I took them to the piano in the cafeteria, and they all gathered around it, and I played them some classical music. I took lessons for 11 years but stopped, and just picked it up again. Together, the students and I created this safe, family-type community atmosphere in my room, and it was so nice, every single day.

I know I was doing this partially for selfish reasons, but because it was beneficial for the kids as well as myself, I’d call it a win-win. I was filling that void, the void of not being pregnant when just about everyone in my age group is. The void of meaningless thoughts – thoughts about not even being close to getting pregnant, when instead, I could think about my kids. That student who called me “mom” was one out of, I’d say 10 or so students who accidentally called me “mom” on a regular basis. I’m not their mom, and I reminded them of that every time, as they would blush with embarrassment. But deep inside, of course, I take it as a compliment. My students are proving it – I could be a mother. I could be a great mother.

I know it will take me a few days to get my class out of my head, but it will happen. I will adjust, I always do. I just need to be sure to fill my summer with a lot of activities – I must keep busy or I will go crazy. Besides, I do have something to look forward to on Monday – my appointment with my RE. You know, the one I’ve been waiting over a month for.

As a recap, because it’s been a while, I didn’t ovulate on the 150 dose of Clomid, and it did crazy things with my emotions, and I refused to stair-step up to 200 mg. Therefore, the nurse recommended I move on to injectables, which I’ll happily do, but they wouldn’t let me until I meet with the RE first, and he had no appointments until Monday. Monday, for the record, will be CD 46. I have tried not to think much about this waste of 46 days, except to remind myself that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss any school the last few weeks, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.

Hopefully by Monday my thoughts will be swimming with questions about injectables and no longer my amazing students, but until then, it’s a bittersweet weekend.

 

Summer is coming.

Once again, I am brought back to blogging with inspiration from another blogger.

Once again, that blogger is Lindsay from Tiny Bits of Hope.

First, I want to say that I have many blog posts spinning around in my head, and I’ve been trying to make a mental note of what they are, in order to write them later. Also, the same applies to my blog comments I’ve received. I’ve been an awful blogger and haven’t responded to them in a more timely fashion, for no other reason than after I write a post, I want to walk away and avoid the computer for a good week. I love to blog, but I don’t like the feelings it brings up – so I need to do it, but it hurts. Damned either way. Regardless, I want to respond to your comments, so this weekend, I will.

Lindsay says:

“Being a teacher I probably get asked this question at least a few times a day this time of year: How many more days until school gets out, you must be so excited??”

Followed by:

“This group of students has been with me through all the tests, procedures, medications, and month after month of failed pregnancy tests.  And each morning, it was them, that got me through everything.  Yes, I have a supportive husband and we both have wonderful families, but it has been my students, and their undeniable need for me, the pure love they have for me, that has given me the strength to get through this year.  There is nothing like walking into a classroom after you have missed a day of work and seeing the look of joy on your students faces when they realize you are back. I can’t help but see them leaving me in a few weeks as a representation of the time that has gone by and the things that I have gone through, and the fact that I am still not pregnant.  It should have been this class that found out I was pregnant.  It deserved to be this class, they are the ones I wanted to share the good news with.  But it’s not, and there is no good news to share, and it is really hitting me hard.”

Sometimes I don’t know how to explain the rush of emotions I have been feeling on any given day, or how I am replacing my sadness over lack of a pregnancy with sadness over losing a great group of students in two weeks. I can sense what I am doing, and I also understand why I am doing it. Grieving over students leaving my safe haven of a classroom is manageable – it will go away soon, once summer is in full-swing. Grieving over troubles conceiving, or coming up on the year mark – those aren’t so manageable. So I put 150% of myself into my students, because dammit, I’ve got two weeks left to enjoy something that makes me feel normal. An empty summer is an indication of what I’m supposed to be, and what I’m not.

The part of Lindsay’s post I feel most strongly about is the line regarding the class that should’ve been celebrating my pregnancy. That is exactly how I feel! This would have been the best class to share that news with; as they are always so happy, up-beat, and supportive. Instead, my co-worker is pregnant, and her class is celebrating, along with kids in my class. It hurts, and I can’t deny it. At the same time, selfishness is not a good quality. I am trying..I’m working on it. I am happy for everyone out there who is pregnant – and a lot of you are – and I don’t mean to sound selfish. But it should’ve been me, and it should’ve been this year, with this class.

It’s not. And while I’m out of my Clomid funk, feeling much more like myself – summer is coming, and there is absolutely no reason to celebrate. What is there to look forward to, when 23 of the people that make me the happiest walk out of my classroom and don’t need me anymore?

 

And in a quick switch of glass-empty to glass-full – maybe the summer is a celebration. I’m celebrating starting injectables, and (hopefully) being one step closer to baby.

 

One day, when my children are older, I will tell them again and again and again how badly their parents wanted them, how hard it was to wait, and how grateful they are to have them in their lives.

 

It’s a new day.

It’s been another week of not knowing what to write about, so I haven’t. But then, it’s amazing what a 10-hour mostly uninterupted sleep will do for a person, because I woke up today and decided it’s time for an update.

On the infertility front, I’ve been trying hard not to get worked up about the fact that my consultation appointment with the doctor isn’t until the end of June. Since I started with my RE back in November, I haven’t been in limbo. I’ve been waiting, maybe, to ovulate, but since we all know that isn’t going to happen right now, I’m just going on with life until the doctor would like my period to start. Back to Provera – it’s been 7 months since I was last on that.

That’s why I was a little surprised to have some tell-tale CM signs a few days ago. It was around CD 21, and I wondered if maybe it was possible, that I could be ovulating. I used OPK’s two days in a row, nothing, and decided I don’t want to waste them. My CD 12 ultrasound showed absolutely nothing happening, and they haven’t monitored me since, especially after I declared an end to stair-stepping and more Clomid.

Besides, there are three weeks left of school. Three very busy weeks. I will be throwing all my energy into my students, with activities, awards, parties, reflections, etc. and by the time it’s all over, my appointment will be here. It will go fast. And what if I did ovulate right now? I mean, I’d be happy, definitely. But then I’d have to take time off work to go in for the IUI, and lord knows what other tests I’d need to have done, and I do not want to miss any more school this year. I want to be at work, with the kids who have made me pretty happy the last 6 months. So I’m letting it all go.

And when I say all, I mean all. I haven’t temped, I haven’t charted, I haven’t tried to plan anything with regards to fertility. Unfortunately, Clomid is still in my system. I still have good moments and bad moments (I wouldn’t even call them days, it’s up and down multiple times a day), and when it feels really bad, I chalk it up to Clomid. Now, I wouldn’t be able to do this, probably, if that were the only sign that Clomid is still around. But my hot flashes continue. You know, I’m having a hard time remembering a time when I didn’t have hot flashes. They are so common now that while they irritate me, I don’t think much of them. I’m having one right now, as a matter of fact. I just get super flushed, all of a sudden, and have to take off a layer, or throw the sheets off, while my skin burns for 3-5 minutes. Then it’s over. But I’m hoping with the end of Clomid, they are on their way out. I wake up in the middle of the night only once or twice now, as opposed to two or three times, like the last few weeks. And my good moments are increasing. I feel more like myself –  more motivated, excited to be and feel healthy, happy to be laughing with good friends. I feel better, most of the time. This just reminds me why I will never go back on this drug. I’m moving on to injectables this summer, and I’m frankly excited to do so.

I had a little conversation with my husband this week, after Facebook revealed one of his closest friends and his wife just had their baby. They had had a miscarriage at 6 months, which was extremely hard for them, and finally got a take-home baby boy. I am happy for them, of course, but the pictures still sting. Anyway, I asked N how he was feeling. I said something like, “I know the ups and downs emotionally are usually all about me, and we never talk about you. Surely you must be a little upset over seeing the baby pictures?” And he replied, “No, not really. I mean, I do really wish that was us, but just like with everything else in my life, (and he shrugs his shoulders), it’ll happen soon. I know it will.” And that’s really his mindset. It used to drive me crazy, when we were dating, how nothing fazed him. Sometimes it’s a good thing, but other times, when I wanted him to care about something, he didn’t. Either way, this is who he is. He doesn’t stress, he doesn’t get worried, he assumes things will work themselves out. This is NOT who I am, but I am grateful to be married to someone this way, because if my husband was as worried and stressed as I am – we’d be a mess. He balances me out, for sure.

Besides, he has other things on his mind, too. He’s got a full Ironman he’s racing in July, but tomorrow, he’s “practicing” with a half-Ironman race. It’s a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike ride, followed by a half marathon, 13.1 miles of running. It’ll take him around 6.5 hours, and I am bringing snacks, a comfy chair, my camera, and the second book  of the “50 shades” series (more on that book series in another post).

I’m finding, recently, that I’m craving movies and books more than I have in my whole life. I think I’m enjoying being lost in something, other than my thoughts, and that has never happened to me before. Therefore, in the past two weeks I’ve read the first “50 Shades” book (that took two days last weekend) and saw two movies. For those who really know me, I don’t watch movies. I’m really not interested, unless there’s someone really good-looking in it (and this has only occurred since my hormones have decided to show themselves), and then I’m interested! I saw “The Avengers” with N last weekend, because he’s been dying to see it, even though it’s not really my thing. But then I got stuck on the actor who plays Captain America (Chris Evans, btw), so then last night, I watched “Captain America”.

I’m going to need more books to read, after I finish this series. I am looking for those that I will get stuck in, can’t stop thinking about, and can’t put down. Those that take me away from my own problems. Any suggestions? I know you all read a lot out there – what’s a really good book recommendation you can give me?

Finally, on the health front – since my happiness has returned to me (it’s been two weeks since that awful weekend), I’ve been motivated. Exercise has never really been a problem, but I continue to do it, with spinning and running and Friday afternoon kickball games, of course. But as for food – I continue to try to take my sister’s advice. (In between meals), when you’re hungry, drink water. I’m not a water drinker – I never have been. I can run a half marathon and not want a drink. But pushing water has really helped. It helps my IBS issues, it curbs my cravings, and it keeps the bloating away. I’ve lost a few pounds of water weight, but I wake up feeling skinny, because of the lack of bloating. I’d say the biggest thing I’m finding, to wake up feeling skinny, is that I force myself to drink a whole water bottle between dinner and bed. As for what I’m eating, I’m still 100% gluten-free, 99% sugar-free. I haven’t caved, and my proof is in the hives I don’t have. I’m eating a lot of produce, that’s for sure. I feel good with vegetables. So, when I do want that snack, I have a bell pepper, cut up cucumbers, or even fruit (watermelon, apple, etc). Fruits aren’t as good for me as vegetables, but I can still have them in moderation.

My students laugh at my bell peppers. In fact, they have created this “event” they are calling “pepper time”. There are about 5 students whose buses are called late in the afternoons, so they stay in with me as I have my after school snack, my bell peppers. For whatever strange reason, they have built this up to be a huge thing, and during the school day, they are setting timers and counting down until “pepper time”. I have, on occasion, given them a piece of one, and they love them. They started asking me if they could bring in peppers for pepper time. One student in particular brings in red peppers every day, to match mine, and when I eat mine, he eats his. Two other kids brought in jalapeno peppers one day (disgusting), but whatever they bring in, they are happy to sit with me as I eat a pepper, of all things. Strange, yes, but their innocence and happiness is infectious. I’ve decided, as a treat, that in the next few weeks I’m going to bring in a ton of cut up peppers, cucumbers, and carrots, and let my whole class enjoy “pepper time”. To think that I don’t need to bake them cupcakes – they want what I eat, vegetables. I can work with that.

You know, every day is a new day, and I’m not always sure what my mental state is going to be. I’m still a little worried about this summer – I have to keep busy. Just thinking about sitting home, doing nothing, and wallowing in self-pity is depressing. But until then, I’m going to enjoy these last three weeks, with hopefully a happy, optimistic attitude, because I deserve that. Now, to pick up “50 Shades Darker”…

A Teacher Story

Let me tell you the story about the 5th grade teaching position I almost didn’t have.

Right around a year ago, knowing that my elementary school was being closed down, and my town was switching from a K-6 to a K-2, 3-5 model, I was impatiently waiting to find out my new position. I knew all the 6th grade teachers would be heading up to the middle school, but unfortunately, they only had room for 16 of them – and I, on the hierarchy of 6th grade teachers, was the youngest, at #18.

One Thursday afternoon, word spread like wildfire in my building that the placements had arrived. The whole staff gathered in the main office (it was the end of the school day), shut the door, and mourned the loss of our building. In particular, a 4th grade teacher (who, after 17 years, was being moved to 5th grade) and I were balling our eyes out. Now – I’m not a crier in front of anyone – if I cry in front of you, it must be really bad. And I was balling/hyperventilating.

They were putting me in a kindergarten support position – not even classroom teacher. Now, I had spent the past four years as a 6th grade teacher, including my final year at my old school, where I was the only 6th grade teacher in the building and started the year out with 29 kids. Those students were awesome – such leaders – and I took such pride in having them be role models for the rest of the building. This new job, this support position, would involve me sharing a room with a few other support people, and pulling kindergarteners who were struggling with math or reading to work in a small group with me for a half hour. That’s it. There’s nothing wrong with having this as a job, mind you, but it’s not for me. I had just finished my 2nd Master’s degree, and I wanted to put what I learned to good use. With 6th graders. Not struggling kindergarteners. Worst of all, what I loved most about teaching – connecting with the students – would be virtually impossible, not only with that age of student, but for the amount of time I’d see them a day. I would not have my own room, I wouldn’t be able to put smiley faces on papers, I wouldn’t be able to talk about college and life plans with the kids…etc. Gosh, a year ago I was one hot mess. I was freaking out.

In those last few months of school, one year ago, I was sad. My school was closing, my staff was going to be spread out all over town, I would miss my students whom I grew close to, and I was heading into, for me, what would have been the worst job of all time.

I don’t really know what happened after that, besides my principal speaking, multiple times, with the HR director. She put in a good word for me, and I think he contacted other people about me as well. I left him messages…trying to put a bug in his ear without flat-out harassing him. Rumors were swirling that another 6th grade position had opened up at the middle school, and either I might get it, or #17 on the list. If she took that job, her newly-appointed 5th grade position would open up. I’d happily take either one, hence the phone calls. In my head, I was begging – please, please, I cannot have this as my job – I just can’t. I’ll be stuck in this position forever and I’ll never get out.

You know what people said, in an effort to try and get me to feel better? “Oh, don’t worry. You won’t have to correct papers or deal with parents; you’ll be so free that you can put all your effort into getting pregnant.” Ha!

Anyway, on the second to last day of school last year, with my room full of packed boxes, and in the middle of our “graduation” awards ceremony, I got a phone call from the HR director. “We found you a position,” he said, “in the office building. You don’t have any windows or anything but it’s not that bad.” I sort of choked on the phone, and he said, “I’m kidding! You got the 5th grade position. Over 15 people asked me to switch into that position, but I gave it to you.”

One year later, and I am wrapping up  my 5th year of teaching, but my first year teaching 5th grade. Had I been stuck in that support job, not pregnant, not connecting with the kids, I would’ve been a horrible wreck all year. Instead, I was handed the funniest, happiest class I’ve ever had. Well-rounded, helpful, and outgoing, these are students I enjoy being around every day. Friday afternoon kickball games are the best part of the week. And as this school year winds down, with 20 days left, I am reminded just how lucky I am to have been given this 5th grade spot, with wonderful teaching partners (including the 4th grade teacher from my previous school who was moved to 5th 🙂 ) and wonderful kids.I will be sad to see this year end, as I am every year.

This is why I was especially delighted to read this paragraph from Lindsay over at Tiny Bits of Hope:

Only 20 days left of school.  This is always a tough time of year for me.  I grow too attached to my students, I think that is why they respond so well to me, because they know how much I truly care for them.  I almost always cry on the last day of school, every year has gotten a little easier, but no ending to a year is easy. 

This is exactly how I feel! Everyone is happy for the end of school year except me, and I don’t think I handle the change well. I also grow too attached to my students, knowing how well they respond to me, and I learn this lesson the hard way every year – with this year being one of the hardest.I have no doubt tears will be shed after my students file out the door for the last time.

I guess the easiest way to describe what a good class is like for a teacher, especially in this black cloud of infertility, is to say that they make you feel like a superhero; a rock star. Like you can do no wrong, as they shriek and jump for joy when you walk into the room as if you are a celebrity; like showing up to work every day makes them happy and excited. I only hope in a given school year to inspire and guide them into becoming successful, kind, and happy pre-teens. But I can never count on what they do for me – build me up and carry me through whatever I am going through.

I’m sure that when I have kids, someday, I will lose a little bit of this closeness I build with my students every year, because instead of giving all 150% of me that I currently give, it will probably be more like 70%. Until then, these are my kids from 8:30-3:00, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

Every September you are given a group of children of whom you try to mold, shape, and guide all year long. Every June, you say goodbye, feeling as if your own actual children have just left you for good.

Teaching is the hardest, yet most rewarding job around, I think, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In fertility news, I spoke with my nurse yesterday after having my second blood test done this week. “Wow,” she exclaimed, “I cannot believe you didn’t respond to 150 mg of Clomid! I was sure you would!” After describing my serious depression last weekend to her, and wondering aloud if I lost my mind, she said, no, I didn’t – and that what I was describing was extremely common. That did make me feel a bit better, and I told her I don’t want to go up to 200 mg of Clomid, or even stay at 150. She said I’d be probably moving on to injectables (thank you for the information, everyone, about that in my last post), but I would need to make an appointment with the doctor before changing up the plan.

I called today to make the appointment – and they have nothing until a month from now. Seriously. A month. So, the month of June, in blog-land, won’t have much news in it. I’ll be in limbo until I call to get Provera and induce a period, right before I meet with the doctor. I haven’t had to wait around like this since before Christmas – it will be a bit weird.

However, it’s my last month with my students. Hopefully, putting Clomid hormones aside, I will be able to enjoy every minute I have left with them before they are off to middle school and I’ll be left with an empty classroom until September.

By the way, we won the fundraiser for the first week of Penny Wars ($216 raised in a week) – and will be rewarded with a fancy doughnut and juice breakfast 🙂

 

I’m having a quarter-life crisis.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s 9:00 at night (which, as a teacher, is basically my bedtime), or the fact that I got up this morning at 4:45 to go to spinning class – maybe I’m just tired.

But really, honestly, I’m miserable.

Driving home from watching one of N’s men’s league softball games (we took two cars) I formed this post in my mind, and I decided I wasn’t sure that I wanted to even share it with you. Mostly because I don’t – know what I want from it. I don’t want pity (I have enough of my own), I don’t want to become the whispers of gossip that spread like wildfire (not that I’m saying you all would…but it just seems to happen sometimes), and I don’t even know what the hell is wrong with me.

But then I decided that if anyone out there can sort of pull me through all this, it’s you. And at the very least, writing it down does seem to help. This is kind of long, I’m warning you.

Here’s the problem: Besides the obvious, I just don’t feel like myself. I’m not happy with my life, let’s face it. I’m of course happy with my husband, my dogs….but not content, not fulfilled. I’m just living and breathing every day, but I’m not experiencing anything. Something is missing. In addition, I feel like I can’t – connect to people like I once could. I have this dark cloud hanging above me, and I can usually fake it, but those who know me know it’s there – and I hate that they know it, that I’m not myself. I feel like I’m letting myself down, because others who once knew me as happy-go-lucky (if not slightly high-strung), now might see me as this negative ball of dust.

So not only am I not happy with my home life, in that it’s all work and no play, the connections I have with people I care about IRL, but also, I don’t want school to end.

It’s pathetic to even say that – what teacher doesn’t want summer?

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. And I’m starting to notice a trend. My first class ever, 5 years ago, was beyond amazing. They were just – wonderful, supportive, helpful kids. And we all formed a tight bond – there was crying and hugging on the last day and nice notes shared. That summer, which was when I was in limbo – not married, living in a tiny apartment, hoping to keep  my job and get engaged soon, going through the motions – I had a hard time getting over that class. I couldn’t wait to get to school, to see these kids, who made me so happy because they were full of life and energy, jokes and laughter, and I wasn’t, and it helped. But then, when summer came, it sucked.

The following year, my second year, I was engaged and planning a wedding. That class was fine enough, but they did nothing for me. I was excited for summer. They all cried on the last day and I was grinning. I wasn’t in limbo anymore. I had a solid plan (getting married that July) in a house of our own with two dogs. The plan was in place and everything felt perfect. Interestingly enough, I also had no hives or autoimmune issues this wedding planning year. I was stress-free.

So, after that second year, I told myself, the way I emotionally handled the leaving of my first class was just because they were my first, and every year after that, I’ve never gone back to that weird place.

Until now. This is my first year all over again, in a way. I’m in a new school, new teachers, new grade level, new curriculum. My kids are awesome. They make me laugh, a lot, every day, and they are kind and helpful. They are also hyper and messy, but that’s another story. I can already feel the emotions of this school year ending deep inside, just like that first year, except maybe worse this time. I dread summer. I don’t want to be home, cleaning or doing random house projects. I want to be with kids, with my kids, kids who make me forget about this lack of a pregnancy and make me feel important, needed, and in control.

This class is seriously doing more for me, I fear, than I am for them. They are filling a void. And it has hit me all of a sudden. I suppose it’s not just my class – it’s children in general. Not too young, because then I’m reminded that I don’t have a baby. But a little older, when they are funny and amazing, and have baseball games and piano lessons. I want to attend those games, and those lessons.I want to BE their mom. And I’m not – not even close.

I feel odd saying this, but I have never dreaded summer more than I do right now. And there are 5 weeks until that day comes. It also doesn’t help that my students always go to the junior high the following year, so the majority of them, I never see again. It’s very sad. I’m already sad about losing them and we still have 5 weeks.

Again – I don’t even know if I want to post this rambling nonsense. I feel foolish, idiotic, and slightly insane. I’m attached to my students because they fill a void in my life, and that’s just weird. My only hope is that my life follows some type of a pattern (highly unlikely), and this year, the limbo year, is followed by a year of stress-free, pregnancy life. No need to be attached to other people’s children if I’ve got my own.

I think I’m having a quarter-life crisis. Seriously.  Call it an identity crisis, if you will. I’ve said this before, and this is a big issue as well, but I either want to be my age or a little older, with children I’m driving around town, or I want to be young – really young. Like, high school. Or even elementary school. Those years were the best – carefree, mom’s got dinner covered, all you have to do is your homework and clean your room. The innocence of those years is what I think I really miss most of all, and I try to remember my days as a 5th grader. It’s hard to do, and that’s sad, too. I only remember quick little moments, but not the fun and excitement that I see in my own students.

So, either 30 with kids, or 10. There is no in-between, but unfortunately, that’s where I find myself. Hence being in limbo. Hence why I find myself, on Friday afternoons, playing kickball, basketball, or running races with my students. And loving every minute of it.

I feel like a total nut. Completely out of character, definitely not my old self. N used to call me naive, but I preferred optimistic and innocent. I am so not that person anymore, and I really, truly wish I was.

As usual, I do feel better after writing this down. And a new thought – perhaps it’s the Clomid that’s causing my emotions to totally whack out.

I’m on 150 mg, though it’s only the third day of taking the pills this round. Anyone else experience weird emotions while on Clomid?

Hey, thanks for reading. I post this to the internet because I know somewhere, someone can relate, and that makes me feel better.

 

 

Being a mother – through nature or nurture.

Well, I’ve reached the final stage of grief after that last 60-day cycle: acceptance. And on Mother’s Day, no less, which I will call an accomplishment.

I’m good, I’m over it. It sucks, for sure, to know I won’t know if I’m pregnant next cycle for another 2 months, but I try not to think about that. The fact of the matter is, I got my period three days ago, and now I’m moving on. On to the next cycle.

I am a little concerned about the plan. I called the nurse on CD 1, and she was out, and a substitute nurse tried to answer my questions. She didn’t know my story, but to make a long one short, she basically told me that people with anovulation as their diagnosis (still not hearing PCOS, but I know it’s there) have to have an extra dose of patience (ha!) because everything just takes a long time. I said, I understand that, but I only ovulate if I stair-step Clomid (take a second dose in the same cycle) – do a lot of other people do the same thing? Yes, she said, they do. She was kind enough to say a few kind words, such as, “I know how hard this must be for you,” which is something my regular nurse never does. But she checked my chart, said the doctor wants me to continue as I have been, and that’s it.

I guess I can continue with the double cycle thing. I hate most of all that they are 2 months long, but that’s only because I don’t ovulate the first time! What I am concerned about is the dosage of Clomid. I feel like the doctor hasn’t been paying attention. When I started Clomid, I did ovulate on 50 mg. Then, after my period, I required my first stair-step, from 50 to 100 mg. Then, on the next cycle, I needed to stair-step again, from 100 to 150 mg. Now, here I am, no doubt I’ll be starting on 150…and it won’t work, and they’ll put me on 200 mg. But I don’t want to go to 200 mg. The hot flashes and emotional ups and downs get worse with each increase in dosage. Doesn’t he see that I did ovulate on 50, 100, and 150? I just needed a double dose to do so. So I proposed (in a voicemail to my nurse) that if I have to stair-step again, which I’m sure I will, I start at 150, fine, sure, but then the second round, I do 150 again. Or even 100. Why go to 200? Anyway, I expect to hear about that tomorrow, as I need to start Clomid on Tuesday.

So that’s enough about that. As I did last cycle, I’m taking a Fertility Friend break – no temping, no any of that. I know the current situation well enough on my own. And now I feel like I’m getting pretty good at being able to tell when ovulation is coming, so I don’t really intend to temp until the week of ovulation. If that. I may just say, screw it this cycle. Let’s try a round without charting. I’m sick of being obsessive – that dies out pretty quick when you only ovulate every 2 months and that fails, again and again.

I’m also at a place, mentally, that I get to every cycle around this time. Shoot, if I can’t be pregnant, I might as well look good. Which means lose weight. I’m not overweight, really. BMI is still in the normal range. However, for my clothes, for my normal, I’m a good 15 pounds heavier than I should be. My jeans that used to require a good strong belt, now requires nothing and is frankly tight. But it’s not just the looks. I swear, I wonder if being 15 pounds overweight has anything to do with not getting pregnant. A lot of people say, once they do lose the weight it happens. Also, with PCOS symptoms…I feel like losing weight right now would be the #1 smartest thing I could do for myself.

Unfortunately, I SUCK at willpower. Really, really bad. I have cut out gluten and sugar from my diet, but only like…98% of the time. Eating gluten is just plain stupid – I end up with horrible stomach pains the next day. Eating sugar is equally stupid, I come out with massive lip hives that take 24 hours to go away, as I found out two nights ago from eating 1, just 1, delicious meringue at a wedding shower at my school. Between the hives and the IBS problems, you’d think I could keep away from those two things.

But it’s not just that. If I put my foods into a list of things I shouldn’t eat, gluten and sugar would be #s 1 and 2. However, #3 would be corn products – and I’m SUCKING OUT at that. Chips and salsa = comfort food. And corn tortillas are a nice substitute from the flour ones. #4 on the list would be processed ANYTHING. Tell that to the rice cereal with almond milk I just ate. Yum. The paleo diet got old – it just…I can only eat so many veggies, fruits, nuts, and meats. I start to lose my mind. But I need to try it again – maybe keeping dairy around this time, but it’s got to happen. Unfortunately, breakfast is already in my system so it’s going to have to wait until lunch.

But seriously, how nice would it be if I could lose this little stomach that calls attention as if I were pregnant, and people could comment not on wondering if I am expecting or not, but on how awesome I look. That would make me feel better.

I also am starting to feel like I’m getting old (tell that to the guy at Costco yesterday, when, after checking my ID while I was buying wine, proceeded to still ask me my age and stare me up and down – YES, I’m 27, I’m married, see my ring? I’m a teacher. I’m not under 21. Good god. This happens all the time, and I think I’ll post about it in the future because there have been some funny stories.) On Friday, as I do every Friday, I play with my kids at recess. Usually either basketball, racing, or, for the first time, kickball. Sprinting around those bases did a number on me, as did racing them back up to our building. I nearly had to sit down and felt dizzy. Yuck – I just watched an episode of Modern Family last night where the father can no longer stomach roller coasters because he’s getting older and that sucks. That’s how I felt – except dammit, if I’m not going to have any of my own children right now, then I want to feel like a kid myself. At least physically. I look the part, I just have some extra poundage and I can’t sprint the bases without sore legs and dizziness. So I really want to work on that. I mean, how many more years of teaching will I be able to play with my students at recess? I’d like to extend them as long as possible.

So, I’ve decided that I need to start doing things that are just for me. Every single minute of my life, I feel like, I’m doing something for someone else. Certainly, in my job, whatever I do is for 23 10 and 11 year old’s. But when I get home, before I get to change out of my clothes or go to the bathroom, I’m doing things for my dogs. Later on, I’m cleaning, straightening, organizing, making lunches, walking the dogs….and it’s the same on weekends, just add 7 loads of laundry and grocery shopping. Sure, I do watch a show once in a while, and I blog here, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

N joined a men’s softball league and I went for a few minutes the other night to check out his first game – and that, I realized, is what I need. I need to join an organization that happens after school or at night, that makes me feel as young as I look, and takes my mind off of what I can’t have. Specifically, the two organizations I want to join are a women’s softball league and a chorus. A good chorus.

Problem is, I waited too long on the softball…because I thought I might be pregnant. And the chorus – I just can’t seem to find a good one in my area. But I’ll keep looking, because right now, I feel that could really help me out.

It is Mother’s Day after all, and because I’ve never even gotten close to pregnant, I’m not upset. We got an email from our principal the other day wishing all of us, those who are moms through nature or nurture, a Happy Mother’s Day. I like that – a mother through nurture. Nurturing, guiding, and teaching 23 kids every day – yeah I guess that counts, too.

And most of all, for my own mother, as a great role model, fellow teacher, and future grandmother. 🙂