Thursday, August 28, 2014

More recipe ideas

This week I have been trying all sorts of new recipes. I'm enjoying cooking a lot more and have been getting a little better!  I've been reading a lot about eating healthy and quinoa seems to keep popping up. I had never made it before so figured I would give it a shot. I was surprised to find out a relatively small bag was about $9 and more than I was expecting but wanted to try it! It turned out pretty well, and I liked the blackened chicken. I've been on a bit of an avocado and cilantro kick lately too. I guess it reminds me of a fresh summer meal or something! Lots and lots of protein in this meal.  Here it is!
And here is the recipe from saracasticcooking.com
It didn't take too long to make either. I know a lot of us are busy and looking for quick but healthy meals!

Lastly for the avocado cream sauce, I just used one avocado and plain Greek yogurt blended together in a food processor. The recipe said 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt but I used a little more. I would add some salt and pepper too. Hope you like it!

And one more! I made a pot roast in the crock pot for the first time! It turned out pretty well too! 
Here the recipe from creolecontessa.blogspot.com
And directions
Add everything to the crock pot. I cooked on high for 6 hours but you can do low for 10-12 hours. To make the gravy just drain the juice from the crock pot and add a tablespoon of cornstarch and some seasoning and you're good to go!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Match.com opportunity

Today I got an email from match.com inquiring about our interest for another  little feature. I absolutely love hearing from them, and of course I am interested!! I sent over some pictures and the information they asked for! I'll keep you all posted when it will hopefully air this fall. I'm still so thankful that they helped me find my husband, and I can't thank them enough! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend with friends and coworkers

This weekend was a really fun one! I love when we have plans each night and with different people. Friday night we went bowling with another couple who is getting married in November. We went and got Jeremy fitted for his suit before bowling. Always love seeing him in a suit and excited that he is going to be part of their special day! 

We were going to do the movies but I always prefer a more interactive activity when catching up with friends so bowling sounded like a good option. I was feeling mini golf but it's been pretty hot lately and figured that could wait a few more weeks! Bowling was a lot of fun!

On Saturday we were pretty low key during the day and then at night we went out with some of Jeremy's co workers for dinner. Always love those dinners and spending time with his coworkers and their significant others. We went to Aqua Blue in Roswell, and it was pretty good. We had never been before and always love trying new restaurants. The shrimp and crab dip and the fried green beans were my favorite! It's a lot of seafood but a good mix of other stuff too. The creme brûlée was delicious and this coconut tres leche cake looked awesome too although I didn't get to try it! Unfortunately I forgot to get a group picture! 

On Sunday, we had a pool date with one of my old workers and her boyfriend. Luckily the thunderstorms held off, and we got a full pool day in! I'm loving the warmth and sun lately. I'm definitely not ready for the summer to end. Thankfully we still have plenty of warm weather to look forward to this fall in Atlanta.

For those of you in the NJ and Philadelphia area, I just booked a week long trip up there to visit friends and family. Jeremy is on a business trip in Philly so figured I should tag along! Always looking for a good excuse to go back home and visit my high school and college friends! If you're in the area in mid September, I would love to meet up! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A little break from infertility posts

In case you hadn't noticed, I've taken a little break from all the positing about my treatments and infertility stuff. As open as I've been all along, sometimes I'm finding I'm not always quite ready to share it all right away especially now that things have gotten more intense and aggressive. I know that I will be ready again soon but it gets difficult sometimes writing and sharing such personal experiences with the whole internet world to see. 

I think I learned my lesson a few weeks back when I posted that the medicine worked one morning just to find out that it hadn't that afternoon. I can't really be too quick to post and share because through previous experiences I've found sharing that positive news then required me to turn around and change that positive news into a setback. That's never fun to do! Sometimes, the things I could post are also TMI and should be kept to a personal paper and pen journal. Anyone who has gone through inferility or has had a baby knows that there are a lot of things that probably shouldn't be shared with everyone! 

At times I feel like inferility can be consuming too. While writing about it and getting my thoughts out for others to read is often therapeutic, it can also be a challenge and sometimes taking a break from that is good too. That being said, I still really encourage people to open up a little more and share those difficult times in life with others. Opening up and sharing a difficult time doesn't necessarily have to come across as complaining but instead it can be a way to support others who might be going through a similar time. Until you talk about it, you will never know who can relate to you. Whether it's inferility, a break up, a divorce, an illness, financial problems, anxiety, depression, or something else, sometimes opening up about it actually can help the situation. I find many people keep these secrets bottled up inside and think of it as a weakness. Just because you might be going through a challenging time doesn't have to be a bad thing, and it's likely something that wasn't even in your control. Until we seek help and trust others, it's hard to overcome the challenge.

For many of you, a blog and something so public like this isn't appealing so maybe start smaller. If there is one thing I've learned over the past year, it has been to appreciate those great times in life because it's not always easy. Live more in the moment, cherish today, and look forward to the future because as much as we try to plan ahead, tomorrow could be filled with something we never expected! Have a great weekend everyone! Enjoy what's left of the summer!

Fish tacos

A friend of mine sent me this recipe, and it was a great summer meal. Only mistake I made was a little too much blackening spice, and it was definitely spicy! So be careful about that if you do try to make it! Here's a picture of it, and the recipe from women's health magazine.
The avocado mango topping was great!
I honestly wasn't a huge fan of using corn tortillas, and I think next time I would just use regular Mexican soft taco shells but it's really whatever you prefer!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Officially a substitute teacher

This little ID just came in the mail. It looks oh so similar but that bright red square and that one word "substitute" definitely makes it look different. The strange feeling though is that I still feel like a teacher. I've heard a saying, "once a teacher, always a teacher" and I really do feel that way. I still think I'm adjusting to the idea.
I'm not sure if this is normal or if it's just my hormones lately but I'm feeling a little nervous about subbing. I was fortunate enough to get my full time position immediately following college so I don't have any experience subbing. This will be my first time, and I think it might be tricky not knowing the kids names, routines, and how the teacher runs the classroom. I think I worry about the kids taking advantage of subs and not behaving well for me, but I hope since they know me that they won't do that quite as much.

I'm looking at subbing as a learning experience and to become an even better teacher. I haven't really had that many opportunities to go into other classrooms and really see how their centers work and routines run. I think it will be really interesting to see all the great ideas of the wonderful teachers I worked with last year. I think I need to just get past that first time, and it will get easier from there.

I also worry about the students potentially asking why I left. I guess I can always try and change the subject and just focus on how happy I am to see them again. If only they understood the real reasoning but that is obviously something that isn't to be shared with a child. I have a few subbing dates on my calendar coming so hopefully it will go smoothly and be a good experience. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Infertility seminar by the CDC

A friend of mine who works at the CDC sent me a link to an inferility seminar lead by some doctors and representatives that support the detection, prevention, and management of infertility. I'm always glad to see when infertility is given the coverage and awareness that it deserves. I took screen shots of a few of the slides that had an impact on me and that I thought were educational. All information was given through a presentation called Time for Public Health Action on Infertility. I couldn't agree more and found lots of the points the speakers made very interesting.
They started by talking about how this issue is starting to be more widely acknowledged and addressed but that we still have a long ways to go.
Definitely agree with that slide. The next slide regarding insurance coverage didn't surprise me but really made it clear how our country is lacking insurance coverage for infertility patients like me. 
As you can see in the chart, only 8 states, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have an insurance mandate in place to help cover IVF treatments. 7 other states have some mandated coverage but do not cover IVF.   It is noticeable from this chart that our country as a whole does not provide much financial help for couples dealing with infertility, and that is something I so greatly wish I could change.

The one speaker had a great point too. She mentioned how insurance companies are willing to pay for multiple pregnancies and the prenatal care that comes from technologies like IVF, however, they aren't will to pay for the safest techniques which could in turn bring down costs of prenatal care. With IVF, many practices transfer two embryos to yield a better success rate but that can also lead to more complications for the mom and baby.


Often times people take more risks because they are hoping for a better success rate due to high out of pocket costs. I think it's a great argument that insurance companies should push for safe single birth treatment options if possible to reduce the amount of complications. Our decision making should be made in the best interest of the mother and the baby instead of the best financial case.
I truly hope that over the next few years changes will be made to provide better access to inferility care. We were fortunate enough to be able to seek help, however, for many couples financially it isn't possible to afford the treatments. There is a group called RESOLVE that I'm thinking about getting involved with that supports infertility patients and pushes for better detection, management, and treatment. This is definitely a lingering public health issue that deserves more attention and better access to treatment. Everyone deserves to have the family that they wish for, and I just hope one day it gets easier for all the people who are out there struggling like me.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Busy busy

The past week has been super busy. Lots of babysitting and projects around the house. We also celebrated my mother in laws birthday today. I'm sorry I haven't had a lot of time to post lately but  I will catch up on everything soon! I've spent a bunch of time writing my Voices of PCOS post which I will share once it is edited and posted. 

It's amazing how busy I still am even with out having a full time job. From cooking, cleaning, and paying bills to getting estimates for new tires on my car, I feel like I'm always headed somewhere. All that lovely fun adult stuff. 

I've also spent a lot of time this week going through the endless insurance claims we have. There are over 30 claims in the past 30 days which seems crazy but just shows how often I'm at the doctor these days. Infertility costs are definitely a lot. The claim for the genetic testing came through, and I kid you not, they billed our insurance about $7,000! What kind of bloodwork could possibly cost that much? I panicked when I saw it saying we owed a huge chunk of that but fortunately I don't think we do. At least that's what the company who processed the bloodwork is saying. I just always like to make sure I understand what I'm paying for and making sure that I'm not being overcharged. Insurance is one thing in life I'm not sure I'll ever completely understand. It is so complicated and confusing to me. We have met our deductible now so hopefully that means the insurance company will start paying their 80%, and that we will only owe our 20%. One thing I'm ready for is maternity costs instead of infertility treatment costs! That will be way more fun. 

And as for another trying to conceive update, we are still waiting a bit to see what's going on with my bloodwork before figuring out the next steps. Hormones can certainly be crazy in people with PCOS. What a slow process this all can be! I'm working on staying positive and busy in the mean time because stressing out certainly doesn't help the situation at all. More soon!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Organizing

As most of you know, after six years of teaching, I decided to leave the classroom to focus on my fertility treatments. It was a decision I struggled with for months and months leading up to my final choice. To this day, I know this decision was the best for my health and that it was best for my students but I don't think I realized how much I would miss teaching and those sweet kids. Just yesterday one of my coworkers told me one of my students from last year stopped by her room and asked, "Where is Mrs. Ciak? I have been looking all over for her." Such a sweet little comment and made me feel really good that I had such a positive impact on my students. I'm looking forward to subbing occasionally so that I can still help out and be part of my old school. It still holds a special place in my heart, and each day when my coworkers go to work, a piece of me wishes I was going to. It will also be neat to sub in second and third grade and have the opportunity to teach some of my former students! I just love the idea of that.

Anyway, this week I finally started sorting through the boxes and boxes of teaching materials brought home. They have been in the garage for weeks now and need to be sorted through. I need to consolidate everything. I have a 4 tier filing cabinet full of files in boxes that needs to be looked through too. It's a huge project, and this why I have been putting it off. I am not a procrastinator either! It's just that I honestly don't know what to keep or what to donate which makes it hard to organize it. I got started yesterday and this was just one box full! I sorted all these math center games into the same subjects like shapes, numbers, measuring etc. It needs to be organized and easily accessible since I'm not sure when I might need it! 
I got two boxes down to one and that felt like an accomplishment but there is so much more to go through. Im going to keep working on that today!

Oh and the other thing I'm working on is a blog post about my PCOS experience. September is PCOs awareness month, and I am going to be featured on another ladies blog who shares other peoples PCOS stories. I have to figure out how to make a 500-1000 word post describing my experience as a PCOS patient, how it has impacted our ability to conceive, and how the doctors have helped me manage it. I'm really excited for the opportunity to share our story on other websites as I feel like I've become a strong advocate for talking about PCOS and infertility. I have really been enjoying writing my blog and trying to help others through my challenging trying to conceive experience. I have learned more than I ever imagined about PCOS, infertility drugs, inferility treatments, and just all the reasons why couples struggle to conceive. While this past year has been extremely difficult emotionally, physically, and even financially, I hope that by opening up and sharing my experience that I have opened some of my readers eyes to what some couples secretly go through. But anyway, I need to get started on that submission soon and am honored to be featured on the Voices of PCOS blog. I will definitely share the link once it's shared! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cooking to pass the time

I've been proud of myself for cooking a lot more lately and attempting lots of new things! This past week, my two newest meals I tried were beef stroganoff and chicken enchilada casserole. In the past, many times I'm disappointed by the meal after putting in all the time and effort but lately they've been turning out pretty well! 

Last night I made the chicken enchilada casserole. It was definitely a lot of work and preparation but worth it. I made a homemade red enchilada sauce, cooked and pulled the chicken, and then I was ready to assemble. We opted out of beans like the recipe but everything in it was delicious. Monterrey jack cheese, scallions, corn, avocado, and cilantro layed with soft taco tortillas, and the red sauce. We had a friend over for dinner so I was hoping it turned out well. Here is the final product!
Top view and inside view
Here is the recipe from gimmesomeoven.com
So good!

The beef stroganff was pretty yummy too. My husband and I aren't a fan of recipes with cream of mushroom soup as the base for the sauce but I found another option that sounded much better. It was simple and tasted good. I love egg noodles and mushrooms and onions so it sounded delicious to me.
I'll post the recipe soon! Need to find it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Emotional rollercoaster

The past few days have been all over the place with inconclusive news. It's been an emotional rollercoaster without definitive answers. I have to go back to the doctor on Wednesday and will try a make sense of it all and get some final answers before I make a post that isn't accurate. Back to hoping and waiting. Why does this have to be so hard?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Keeping busy

This weekend Jeremy and I did a lot! Friday night we saw the movie Boyhood which I highly recommend. In case you're unfamiliar, it films a boy during his childhood. It was neat seeing him literally grow up on screen. It was fun seeing the filming from the early 2000s too. It's a longer film so we went to a theaters with the comfy seats! Love those movie theaters where you can recline and really get comfortable. 

On Saturday, we just ran errands and went over to my brother in laws place. We just got take out and spent a rainy night being lazy with Jeremy's brother and his girlfriend. On Sunday, we had a brunch housewarming which was nice, I babysat, and then we went to a BBQ. Busy but fun day! It kind of kept me distracted which was much needed! 

Today would have been my first day of school. I'm definitely thinking about all my old co workers and wishing them a smooth day with their new class. It definitely feels strange to not be starting my seventh year teaching however I still do believe this is the best scenario for me and for the students I could have taught. With such an uncertain year ahead, this situation makes me feel more at ease and has eliminated a lot of stress off my plate which has been great. But I will miss teaching more than I think I realized. I'll miss those smiling faces saying good morning Mrs. Ciak and seeing those reading levels and sight word charts increase. I'm anxious to sub for the first time and am actually a little nervous since I have never subbed before! I think it will be good once I try it out and being at a school where I used to work is more comfortable than being in a school with unfamiliar faces. Subbing will give me the opportunity to see my old students and coworkers occasionally which is a nice option to have. Flexibility is so important for me right now. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Living with PCOS and infertility in your 20's

PCOS is something I had never heard of before being diagnosed with it. Most people I tell about it have never heard of it. PCOS stands for Polysystic Ovarian Syndrome and is a hormone imbalance that causes inferility. PCOS is estimated to affect as many as 5 to 7 million women of childbearing age in the United States alone. The most common symptoms include irregular periods and fluid-filled cysts on the ovaries. It’s a tricky disease, affecting fertility, weight, metabolism, skin, mood, and more. PCOS is one of the most common endocrine system disorders in the country and is often the most mis- or undiagnosed hormonal disorder. (Info from theinfertilityvoice.com) That website has a section called Voices of PCOS, and the bloggers encourage earlier detection and awareness which is similar to my goal of sharing my story.

PCOS affects many millions of women, and it is still catching so many of them by surprise (like me). It is necessary to take some of the mystery of this disease away so that young women can advocate for themselves to their doctors. I remember not believing my ob/gyn when he told me I had it. Just the other day I told my pharmacist that I had it. She looked at me in shock and said, "You have PCOS? I never would have guessed that." For those of you that haven't read a description of some of the symptoms, here they are. Many PCOS patients are overweight, have acne, and excess hair growth just to name a few. For people like that, life changes can make it go away. I still distinctly remember the day my doctor told me that I was a unique case and that there wasn't a way for me to make it go away. Instead we have to manage it and that is the trickiest part.

Even though I do everything I’m “supposed” to do, even with the assistance of infertility meds, we have yet to become pregnant. PCOS complicates my ability to conceive, and I think that's the biggest misunderstanding that I think people have about my situation. I can't tell you how many people keep telling me to relax and just let it happen. If only it was that easy, and I wasn't battling against my own body. It's similar to telling someone with diabetes just not to use their insulin pump. It's just not an option, and it isn't that simple.

But anyway, I do remain hopeful but my favorite words these days are cautiously optimistic. I'm afraid to get my hopes up too much because I've been disappointed so many times before. There is that constant need for caution, for protection against defeat, and from getting my hopes up too high. Even though the conditions seemed perfect this time around, it still feels somewhat unattainable based on previous experiences and because of my PCOS.

Sometimes I feel as though inferility in your twenties is misunderstood too. If you’re young like me, many people (even doctors) say, “It’s okay, you’re young, you have plenty of time.” But it really isn't okay. I know what PCOS is, and I know what it does to my body. It is not going to get any better as I get older that's for sure. It’s only going to get harder. I know what it’s like to spend my time hoping and wishing for a miracle. I might be 28 but does that mean I hurt less than the woman who is 35 or 40? My hopes and dreams are not less valid, and my treatment or situation shouldn't be treated with any less sense of urgency just because of my age. Fortunately I do feel like my doctors are being pretty aggressive now but in the beginning I definitely felt like people didn't think my situation was that important because I am still young in the fertility world.

Once my husband and I decided, we were ready for a baby, I wanted to be pregnant. We are so ready! What could be more special than a living, breathing expression of your husband and yourself? That child is a representation of your love, and the family you created together. I want that so badly! The bottom line is that infertility is incredibly difficult no matter what age you are or what your situation is. Please try to remember that and be sensitive to people dealing with inferility in their twenties as well. :) 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Salmon recipe

For those of you that like seafood and salmon, you might like this one! Avocado and salmon are always foods that I seem to find on lists of super foods. I really liked how the cool avocado salsa complimented the spices on the salmon.
Jeremy and I both really liked it! I got it from a website called cookierookie.com
Here is the recipe! 
I'm really enjoying cooking for the first time since I feel like I have the time to experiment with new meals and things that are a little more time consuming. The honey roasted carrots as a side came out pretty well too!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tick tock! Passing the wait

The waiting this cycle just seems different. You would think I would be used to it by now after thirteen months but I don't think this is a situation you ever "get used" to. Each month varies and presents new emotional challenges. I think it's due to the IUI and all the firsts that happened this time around that make this wait the hardest one yet. New medicine, first IUI, and first pregnancy test in the doctors office. Something just feels strange about someone in a lab, and my doctor knowing I'm pregnant before I do. I much prefer the at home test and having the confirmation at a doctors appointment but this month that isn't an option due to the HCG trigger shot. I have to find out through a blood test done in the office. Just thinking about waiting for that phone call all day makes my heart race. I want to know so badly but I don't at the same time because I fear the news that I've heard for the past year. 

This week my mind goes back and forth between optimistic and pessemistic. I want to believe that all these new changes made a difference but I've believed that for the past five months of medicated cycles, and I feel like I've learned not to assume something will do the trick. Part of me is trying to prepare for the words I hope not to hear. This time verbal confirmation from the nurse saying "It didn't work" or "you're not pregnant" makes me so nervous. Of course I would love to hear her say congratulations as the first word out of her mouth but that just seems too good to be true! Think about how waiting for that call would make you feel! That being said, I think I plan to go to support group again tomorrow so I can talk and listen to how others at my clinic deal with the suspense.

Until I get to pick their brains about passing the wait, I came up with a few ways I am distracting myself from wondering if I'm pregnant or not. Here are a few things that seem to help me.

1. Reading other infertility blogs- It is beneficial to me that there are tons of other ladies out there waiting to find out and who understand this fertility treatment process so well. Being able to feel like your thoughts and concerns are valid is comforting. I do find others in my situation have similar struggles, and it's nice knowing I'm not the only one out there going through this even if I don't actually know them.

2. Read a new book or watch a new TV show- It is always good to get engaged in a new story line that you get engrossed in. Try to take your mind off it by focusing on that story instead of your own!

3. Cook a new recipe- I've done a bunch of that this week. Cooking is time consuming and requires your focus and attention to detail especially when making something new. Great distraction.

4. Go on a long walk in a new location- Maybe with your husband, a friend, or just your dog. Find a new park or trail. It's okay to picture taking your baby stroller there too! After all, you could be pregnant right this second. :) 

5. Make a photo book or scrapbook- Bringing out pictures from a special time or trip is a great way to focus on those wonderful memories while taking your mind off the current situation. Bring yourself back to your wedding day, honeymoon, or another special occasion. Remember those amazing times and go back to that happy place.

6. Reconnect with an old friend- Having a conversation and catching up with someone is always a good way to pass the time.

7. Organize your closet and donate some clothes- This gives you satisfaction that you were productive, and you made your house neater and less cluttered.

8. Go to yoga or get a manicure, pedicure, or a massage- As the counselor in my support group said, the best way to deal with inferility is to take care of yourself. I know you probably don't want to spend money on it because of all the medical bills but it's okay to pamper yourself once in a while especially during this crucial waiting phase. 

9. Have a date night with your husband- Try not to talk about baby stuff! We are having a date night to the movies on Friday night to see Boyhood. I'm not a big movie person but that's one movie I've been looking forward to seeing! A giant popcorn and an icee will make you feel better for sure!

10. Journal- whether it is through an online blog like mine or a personal paper notebook, write down the things you are thinking and get them off your chest! 

And here are a few things I promised myself that I wouldn't do during this wait.

1. Don't symptom spot- I've done that so many months and convinced myself that any little twinge or cramping meant I might be pregnant. I was wrong every single time. This time I learned my lesson, and I am not trying to guess what each little symptom might be. After all, I had new medications and a shot that could have altered things anyway so it's just not worth the time in my opinion.

2. Don't let the medical bills get you down- When dealing with infertility, you check the mail, and this is often what you see. It's never fun paying bills. I'm trying to remind myself that every single one of those bills will be worth it once I get to be a mother myself. I know it will be worth it. Focusing on the end goal is the best thing you can do.

3. Stop googling things- I really wish I could turn off the internet sometimes. It is so easy to google what different test results mean and what this or that hormone level might indicate. The internet can be great but it can also be more overwhelming. Use it as a resource but try not to over do it. I'm not a doctor, and I never will be so I can't assume the internet has all the accurate answers to my questions.

Anyway, I'm off to make dinner. I'm trying a new salmon recipe with Cajun spices and avocado salsa and honey roasted carrots. I'm still learning how to expand my blog to include different tabs so I can filter it into categories such as recipes and infertility. One of these days, I'll get the recipes section separated and functioning!







Interesting day

It's not everyday that an Ebola patient lands practically in your backyard. News crews and helicopters have been outside our neighborhood all morning awaiting the arrival of the second patient's plane. This was the scene when you leave our neighborhood. Everyone was there waiting to see the plane land and the ambulance transfer to Emory hospital.
It's pretty crazy that an international news  story like this is so close to home.
The cameras were ready and plane came in right around 11:30 am. Seems like they are doing a great job containing the patients but it's definitely interesting having the first Ebola patient so close to home! Perks of living near an Air Force base. Our realtor had said that it was important to like the sound of freedom when choosing our place. I knew fighter jets and massive planes would be overhead but never imagined the first Ebola patient in US history would be flying in here too! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bringing back old memories

Today I went out to visit the two schools I used to teach at in Gwinnett County. It was the first time in over 5 years that I had been back to the school where I started my teaching career. That school holds a special place in my heart! All the administrators are different now as well as many new teachers but I was still able to reconnect with some of my old coworkers. I loved seeing their reaction when they realized it was me, and when I reminded them it had been 5 years since I was transferred. 

I still remember that day. The day they called the Kindergarten team to the office after the ten day count. If you're a teacher, you know being called to the office after that count usually means someone is being transferred. I remember sitting down in my principals office with my team being told someone was getting displaced, and I still can picture all the eyes turning and looking at me. Although I had 2 years of experience, I was still the lowest man on the totem pole. Just like that, my teaching world was turned upside down. The school that I loved and the ladies that were like second moms to me would no longer be my coworkers. Saying goodbye to my class and seeing them distributed to other teachers broke my heart. I remember crying all of Labor weekend and being scared to change schools after the year already started. And the thought of moving and setting up a classroom all over again and meeting a second new class in one year was overwhelming to me. Such a bummer but it worked out okay once the news set in. Jeremy and I had only been dating for about 4 months at the time so that was the first challenge that he helped me through! He was wonderful then and is even better now! 

I absolutely loved reconnecting with people, especially ones who impacted me so greatly. I got to see my first mentor teacher and my para pro from my first year teaching. Both of them are so wonderful and helped me tremendously! It was awesome to see them and catch up. It brought back lots of good memories and stressful ones as well! 

Then I drove over to my second school where I was transferred. Tomorrow a brand new school opens its doors to the students. It was neat to see the new building, and the building I taught in was completely gone. It's amazing what can happen in two years since I changed schools again. I enjoyed touring the new building and seeing some old coworkers. A few of us went to lunch, and it was great to hear about their lives now. While Facebook does keep us somewhat connected, I enjoyed actually seeing them! I got to see my old principal and APs as well. It definitely felt strange being back but nice as well.
This morning I also had bloodwork to check my hormone levels post IUI. All day I was waiting for the call. Would it be good news or not? Fortunately it was great! My hormone levels were where they need to be at this point. So that's good news and no need to add on any more medications! Hurray! I'm always a huge fan of when my body does what it is supposed to do since I've gotten used to it not cooperating. Back to waiting! I'm trying to stay optimistic but also realistic. I  like to call it cautiously optimistic. It's a fine line to balance. Getting my hopes up too much in previous months led to more disappointment. It is hard not to get your hopes up when we tried two new strategies this month though. I just have to try and be prepared for good or bad news. In the mean time, I'm going to keep busy! Have a great week everyone, and for all my teacher friends out there, have an awesome school year! I'll be thinking about you all in the next few weeks!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fun weekend

This weekend was relaxing and fun at the same time. Ever feel like you get invited to three different things all in one weekend at about the same time? Well that happened to us Saturday night and unfortunately couldn't make it to everything. I always feel bad when we can't attend everything but we did have fun at the events that we could make it to.

My Dad is in town since my parents are headed out on a Mediterranean cruise, and it is always nice to see him. We also had an engagement/housewarming party for one of my first friends in Atlanta. We met at our apartment complex in 2009. We both have puppies two days apart and are teachers, both from big ten colleges. We've know each other since making that transition from college to teaching and from dating to engagement/marriage. We actually both helped each other land teaching positions at each other's schools. Such a great friendship and so much in common! She even watched my dog our wedding weekend so of course I offered to do the same for her wedding weekend. I really enjoy seeing friends get engaged and married. The memories for me still seem like yesterday, and I know what a special time it is preparing for your wedding! I think we already have six weddings coming up. So fun!

I also spent part of this weekend looking into jobs that are flexible besides babysitting and subbing. I wish there was something I could do part time from home that would work around my intense doctors schedule. In my research, I came up with things like a teacher of online courses for education. I feel like with six years of teaching experience that maybe I could do that, and I love helping teachers. I remember thinking when I did my online graduate courses that it would be cool to be an online teacher sometime. There are some work from home jobs out there but I'm not sure really how to begin or find something like that! If anyone has ideas or suggestions of jobs that can be done remotely, I would love to hear! I love having something to focus on and to feel like I'm being productive but right now in this treatment phase flexibility is key and that is hard to find. Off to brunch and then dropping my parents off at the airport! Hope you both have a wonderful trip, and I can't wait to see pictures!

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