Infertility never goes away

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I have every intention of doing some overtime this afternoon, but I have to write this post first. It's sort of a collection of random thoughts, but they are all connected, I promise....

The last few days, with the "actual" baby preparations getting underway, I have been reflecting alot on our journey here. The journey called infertility and the journey that has shaped me forever. It is impossible to forget it, to "move on" completely. In about 10 weeks, God-willing, there will be baby cries in our house- something we've prayed for for so many years.

A week or so ago, a bloggy buddy posted as she reached 30 weeks, and my first thought was "Wow, she is really far along!!". And then I realized (since I'm only about a half week behind her) that I was also (about) that far along. It doesn't seem possible though- we had all but convinced ourselves we would never get to experience this. How can I already be 30 weeks- wasn't I just praying to make it to my 6-week ultrasound? I am so grateful for every single second of this pregnancy and for our little girl's life; some days, it is hard to comprehend that God finally answered "yes" to our prayers after saying "not yet" for so long (or "no" as I had thought He was saying).

This morning, after we'd chosen a spot to sit in church, my friend who lost her baby at 16w and her family (they have 5 girls) filed into the same row on the other end. It was almost more than I could bear to stay in our seats. How could I sit there, with my baby belly now totally obvious, while her baby left her so many weeks ago? I kept thinking of her on the other end, and praying that my (belly's) presence was not completely ripping her heart to shreds. I don't know how she made it through without completely breaking down- I barely did. My heart just aches for her.

Then on the opposite side of the church was another prolific family, and I swear I think the mom is pregnant again (her youngest is barely 2?). My infertile mind could not be silenced, and if I'm being honest, I definitely thought "Are you freaking kidding me, another baby to that family?" (It's the one where the dad had this to say about his youngest son.) Of course I don't know for sure- maybe it was just the dress she was wearing, but when your mind is tragically and ironically trained to scout out pregnancies before 95% of the population could spot them, you just can't turn it off.

Then there are my friends, especially K (in real life) and all of you readers, who are still battling the infertility monster. K and I always referred to infertility as a train, and we always said that if we had to be on the train, we were glad to be traveling together, but that one of us seriously needed to get off the train to show the other of us that it could be done. Since she has an "issue" (post-ovulation bleeding), and the only thing they could ever find out with me was lackluster hormone levels, there were many times when I was afraid that her bleeding would easily be fixed and she would have three kids easy peasy. Just shows you that you can never anticipate infertility. We ended up conceiving on our own, and she is still bleeding. She has been nothing short of unbelievably supportive to me, as we still talk often. I have to admit that I am not sure I would have been quite as amazing. Sure, I would have tried, but I don't think I could have done any better at being the one still on the train, while she washing diapers and setting up baby swings.

Infertility is weird on friendships. Even those steeped IN infertility. As I just mentioned, K and I are very close "thanks" to infertility, and my pregnancy after infertility has not changed one bit of our friendship. Likewise, I have had several other friendships that were made based on this common struggle, and even as those ladies adopted or became pregnant before I did, we are still very good friends. Even a few non-infertility friendships have managed to remain strong despite those girls becoming moms before me. Of course the super-fertile women who take their fertility/kids for granted are nearly death for infertiles. But what is the weirdest is when friendships based in infertility do not survive a pregnancy. It saddens me greatly when (in my personal experience) an infertile woman cannot cut another infertile woman some slack in the way the latter responds to the former's pregnancy... how can you forget how it felt to know that someone else had been blessed while your arms were still empty?

I hope it is has been completely evident during my pregnancy that having the opportunity to create and carry this baby has been one of the most humbling and amazing times of my life. I do not take anything for granted, and many days, it is hard to believe that the Lord had it in His plan to allow us to "overcome" infertility. I have not forgotten any of you who are still in the trenches; I still weep when you weep, rejoice when you rejoice, and I understand if reading about diapers is the last thing you want to do. A dear friend commented on my reflective post on Friday: "I want to hope but it just hurts too much. I'm so glad that you got your miracle...", and it made me reconsider my post in a new light....

All my "year later" posts this year are infertility success stories of the most obvious kind: after a long battle, we are finally expecting a baby. But what if we hadn't been blessed this year? What if we were celebrating Bert's "gotcha day" without freshly-washed diapers on the changing table or without an infant seat in my office? What if we had continued to eat organically and lead healthy lives and enjoy our dogs and strive to be a fulfilled family of two? Would I still feel like we had overcome infertility- would I still feel like we were an infertility success story?....

What is the most inclusive definition of an infertility success story that you can be comfortable with? Does it have to mean that the couple conceives or adopts a baby? Can someone be an infertility success story without growing their family?

Without wanting to seem like I was the perfect infertility struggler, I would like to think that we were well on our way to being an infertility success story. On December 30, 2010, I wrote about what I thought 2011 might bring:

"I don't really think anything big is going to happen for us in 2011. I think we will continue loving each other and our dogs, paying down our mortgage, reading good books, making wonderful food, and falling asleep at 9:15pm. I think in the eyes of most people, we will be kind of boring. And I think in the eyes of society, we will be less than a family.

But I think 2011 will be a good year. And I'm not trying to be vague just so next year at this time I won't be proven wrong again. I have high hopes for it in every way except for expanding our family."

Despite the fact that I didn't think that our family would expand, we had every intention of living each day the best it could be, and not cowering in the dark scary shadows that infertility can cast. It had taken months after our failed IVF(s) for us to reach this conclusion and commit ourselves to living this way. But we had decided to make a change for the better in how we lived in 2011. And I'd consider that a success, a triumph.

I know this is long, and I hope that none of it has been hurtful or oblivious or lacking compassion. I am so gratefully, humbly, amazingly almost 31 weeks pregnant, but there will never be a day when infertility doesn't touch my life in some way. I may seem like a knocked-out-of-the-park infertility success story, but just because we "overcame" infertility this way doesn't mean that when your family expands, infertility goes away, or that you have to be pregnant or adopt to be a "success" story. I truly believe that just as we are all unique and precious, there is a unique and precious resolution to our infertility battles.

My prayer for all of us today, no matter waiting or pregnant or mothering, is that we can trust God enough to let him show us and wow us with what our infertility resolution will be.

Dogs and Diapers

Friday, July 29, 2011

A year ago today, we met Bert at the SPCA for the first time. I can't believe he's been home for an entire year already!! (Well, almost; we actually brought him home on the 30th).

What is even more hard to wrap my head around is that I'm sitting here today, with Bert running around outside enjoying the cool(ish) morning, and Banana napping on the chair in the living room, and a baby girl thumping around in my belly.

I hope these reflection posts aren't annoying.

Last year, we were getting ready to pour our hearts into a new pup. It was refreshing and exciting for us- a little one who needed some love and direction. We'd had over three years of failed trying for a baby to nurture, and while any infertile will tell you animals are not an exact substitute for a baby, our animals filled a big part of the hole in our family. Bert could not have come into our family at a more crucial time. We loved training him, even in the challenging moments, teaching him what it's like to be a part of our pack. It was so exciting for us to prepare for his arrival- new collar, new bed, new toys. And it is so satisfying to look back on the past year and to see how we have all grown together.

Here I sit again preparing for a new little one. Yesterday morning I started prepping her diapers (prefolds) and wipes, and I'm continuing the process this morning (they are in the 2nd hot wash right now). I have been meaning to start prepping her diapers for a few weeks now, but I was a little afraid. They looked so perfect and new in their packaging- what if I messed them up? But yesterday and today it's supposed to be sunny and almost 100F, so I figured it was time to jump into the diaper prepping so I can line dry them in between washes to save energy. So far so good!!!

It feels so exciting and so weird at the same time to be doing this kind of stuff. Last year, we were so convinced that we'd never welcome a baby into our family, we adopted Bert. I think that celebrating his homecoming and starting to do more "real" baby preparations has caused my head to spin a little bit. I would rather do 18 loads of baby preparation laundry than do my work, and all I can think about while hanging the diapers on the line is all of my friends who are still waiting for their little ones. How last year I was sure that our little one(s) would always only have four paws instead of two hands and two feet.

It is kind of neat to have this blog because it makes me acutely aware of the old cliche of 'what a difference a year makes'. One of my best friends K, who is still struggling with infertility, says that our story has given her hope that one day she will triumph against IF, and be able to look back a year prior and remember how she never thought she would beat it.

After all, a year ago, I never would have dreamed I'd be prepping diapers this summer- instead I was picking up an extra bag of rawhide chips!

If you are feeling like you will never win against IF today, and that your baby will never be in your arms, be encouraged! You never know what the next year will hold :)

Nursery Photos

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Behold, my sister's masterpieces (inspired by Eri.c Carl.e)!! We are in awe of her talent, and so thankful she would spend the time and energy to leave such an amazing mark on our baby girl's room!!

She is also doing three separate paintings that will be framed and hung above the crib- I am sure they will be just as amazing as these murals!!

Back to Normal

Monday, July 25, 2011

Long story short: I am exhausted!

But the very, very good kind.

Here is a short synopsis of the last week:

-My sister B finished the murals. She did an AMAZING job. My neighbor said our baby's nursery is the cutest one she has ever seen. I am a little biased, but I totally agree. Our baby is so lucky to have such a talented aunt!!

-It was awesome having my sister B here last week- the dogs love her, and it was fun to hang out with her at the pool when she wasn't painting. I think she is one of the few (only?) people who could stay with us for an indefinite period of time and never get on our nerves :)

-Mr. A's mom stayed with us Friday night, and she will not quit asking/pestering/suggesting/nagging about what we are naming this baby! I was SO annoyed, and it did not help lessen the anxiety that I have about them staying here immediately after the baby is born.

-I was treated to an amazing baby shower on Saturday morning. It was so humbling and overwhelming to receive such generosity and prayers and love. My sisters (M and B), my mom, and my aunt hostess-ed it, and it was PERFECT! I was blown away by the number of my friends who traveled to attend, but it was so good to see everyone!!! Our baby girl is so loved and prayed for already!!

-Mr. A's brother came to hang out with him/us this weekend, and while I was at the baby shower, they went up in Mr. A's friend's cessna for an hour! They had an absolute blast!

-After the shower, people came over to hang out and swim before dinner. As much as I wanted to cook after most people left, I just didn't have the mental capacity to throw anything together. Good thing Mr. A, my sister B, and his brother like chinese takeout! ;)

-Sunday, I made pulled pork (for sandwiches) in the crockpot, and we had my parents, my sister M and her hubby, and my sister B over for dinner before everyone traveled home this morning. Before dinner, we played volleyball in the pool, which was so fun! Dinner was very yummy, but since my parents were staying with us last night, we were talking and didn't get to bed until almost 11. Yikes.

-This morning my parents left around 8:30am, and I tried to turn on my computer to work. I really did. But I just could not function. So I took a 3-hour nap. I think the pups are tired, too, because they slept right along with me.

Promise to get a real post up soon!!! :) Hope your Monday is going well :)

no joke!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My sister's talent is no joke! Here is a sneak peak- more to come!!

And thank you for the well wishes for Bert! Both our dogs are up to date on their bordatella shots, but our vet said that is only one thing that can cause Kennel cough. He does have a case of it, but we now have medicine to help him get better!
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Not Quite Right

Just call me the obsessed puppy-mama. Bert is still not completely back to normal. Now instead of having the big-D, I can barely find any evidence of poop in the yard, and he hasn't gone #2 on a walk in several days. And, in the past few days, he has started coughing (or something?) every now and then- especially if he has been running around, but this morning I woke up to him coughing and hacking like something was stuck in his throat. His energy and appetite and sleeping/resting are otherwise normal, which is encouraging, but something is still not quite right. I guess it could be kennel cough, but he didn't have this coughing thing last Sunday when we brought him from the kennel- can it have delayed and only occasional appearance? Also, Banana seems to be completely normal- isn't it super contagious?

I was really looking forward to yoga this morning, but it looks like I might have to make a visit to the vet instead. I am hoping it's nothing serious- will keep you posted :)

ETA: I take the lack of poop in the yard back- I have happened upon several normal looking deposits :) Never have been so glad to see them ;-) But after some, I do suspect that Bert has kennel cough. Off to the vet we go today!!

Glucose day: Update

Friday, July 15, 2011

I survived :) Thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers!

It turns out my 3-hour partner was very friendly, after she woke up from her nap! She just moved here and is due in 3 weeks- apparently her previous doctor never did a glucose test! She is also preparing for an all-natural birth, so it was really nice to be able to share our preparations and things like that. We even exchanged phone numbers and hope to share rides to yoga after her baby is born, or before if she has the energy. Not really expecting to hear from her again, but who knows!!

Our nurse was newly-pregnant- due in February- and she had tried/waited for TEN YEARS. It was really neat to hear- because of course in the real world, you don't hear of us infertiles all that much. There is always an immediate connection with someone who has struggled to have a baby, that is for sure. (If you're wondering, the other gal taking the test today just forgot her birth control two days in a row....)

The nurse was great- I have one semi-good vein in my left arm, and she drew all FOUR blood samples from the same vein! I haven't taken off the cotton ball yet, so I'm not sure how bruised it is, but I was very impressed. Didn't really hurt that much at all!

My midwife appointment directly afterwards went pretty well. I gained 6 lbs in the last month (oops- I blame the stress/lack of exercise last week and all the carbs this week, ha!), but I am still pretty pleased with how I've gained so far- I think it has been pretty conservative (+16 lbs total at 28w3d), and I hope that I can continue to manage it well. Baby's heartbeat sounds strong and good, and my belly measures right on.

I found out that I failed the 1-hour glucose test by THREE points: their cutoff is 139, and my level was 142. Ha! That made me feel alot better, and they said they would be surprised if I didn't pass the 3-hour. Whew! Of course the results won't be in until next week, so we will just see, but I feel very peaceful about whatever the outcome will be.

Now I start going back for midwife appointments every 2 weeks. Is this really happening? I honestly still can't believe this is ME we're talking about here. I asked her if the hospital has any limits as far as how long they will let you labor and/or push, and she said that any decisions made during labor/pushing are made between us, the midwife, and the doctor- the hospital does not have any per se rules. That made me happy to hear- she said that they realize that sometimes first babies take longer to arrive, and that unless the baby is in distress, their policy is not to rush what is a natural process.

I arrived home just as I was starting to feel really weird/shaky from not eating since dinner last night. I have never inhaled a peanut butter sandwich and string cheese so fast in my life!! Haha :) Then me and the pups took a 2-hour nap....I love these dogs so much!

After our nap, I peeled (is that a word?) myself off the couch to run some errands, the most exciting being going to the art store to get paint for my sister to use for the murals!!!! I am so excited- she has been texting me sketches, and they are phenominal!!!! I can't wait for her to get here on Sunday :)

All in all, I am feeling totally happy today. So thankful for Mr. A, this baby, our pups, the beautiful weather, and the constant support of good friends, neighbors, and family.

2 draws down.......

At the lab kicked back in my comfy hospital recliner ... I've had the fasting draw and the 1-hour.... 2 more to go! I brought my book- halfway through Anna Karenina ... going to make a big dent in finishing it!

Results wont be in until next week...

There is another girl in here but she doesn't seem in the mood to talk and she is sleeping now. Might have been fun to chat, but at least I have my book and my phone!
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Holy Awful Smell

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bert is going to kill me!!

When we brought him home from the kennel on Sunday, he had a little scratch on his nose. Nothing big, probably just from some doggie rough-housing with the other dogs there. Nothing that neosporin hasn't fixed.

What hasn't been fixed is the diar.rhea that he also had. I am not sure what caused it- maybe stress of being away from home or maybe that in a few baggies of his food, I had to mix some of Banana's variety in there, too, because we were running out of his variety. I took his "sample" to the vet on Tuesday night after I fed the pups because I was just tired of trying to pick that up on our walks. She said he had some bacterial overgrowth, and diagnosed it to be stress-related colitis. She sent me out the door with antibiotics, some special bland food for a few days, and some probiotics.

That food makes him fart like you would not BELIEVE. It is awful!!! Like seriously, I am going keel over.

The worst part is that "conditions" have not improved. (Luckily, he is not going all the time or anything- still just goes at the regular time frames during our walks.) It is not the big-D color anymore (more normal color), but this morning's business was pretty darn goopy. YUCK.

I am thinking of giving him half rice and half of the special food tonight, instead of all the special food. The clear-the-room farting has GOT to go.

Please kick in, antibiotics. Ha!

Feeling better

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I really appreciate all your support and comments! After a great yoga class this morning (bourbon girl was absent), I am back to feeling confident that I will continue to have a happy and healthy pregnancy and little girl. Yay!!

My midwife gave me a diet to follow three days prior to my 3-hr test (on Friday morning), so I am following it from now till Thursday. It is kind of counter-intuitive (has you eat at least 7 servings of starch, 4 of fruit, and 2 of dairy per day), because I would think that I wouldn't want any sugars floating around my system before the test, but I guess if you don't eat carbs leading up to the test, your body sort of forgets to process sugars and doesn't make enough of the enzyme necessary to process the drink during the test. I kind of took it easy on carbs/sugars the day before my 1-hr... I wonder if that is why I didn't pass?!

We're getting very excited for my sister to come paint the murals in the baby's room!!! (Check out her etsy page here - she has some beautiful stuff and does an amazing job with custom paintings, too!) I can't wait to show you pictures of the end result!! I know it is going to be great!

It's going to be a scorcher here today- will definitely be using the pool after work today!

I am scared of failing again

Monday, July 11, 2011

Failing the 1-hr test has really unsettled me. After having a complication-free pregnancy so far (I know, I'm very lucky), I find myself being really afraid of having GD, but also now afraid of other things. Mr. A maintains that being afraid of all these other things is illogical and a waste of energy, and it's not like I'm dwelling on them 24 hours a day, but whereas I used to think of myself as a strong, pregnant woman, now I just have visions of it all falling apart.... my body failing me just like it did while trying to conceive.

I am afraid of having GD...
I am afraid of going to my appointment this Friday and having high blood pressure.
I am afraid that I've gained too much weight in the last month.
I am afraid that I'll get vericose veins and look ugly.
I am afraid that I won't be able strong enough to have a natural birth. (Assuming there aren't any complications out of my control that require interventions.)
I am afraid that the baby will have too much sugar and have trouble after birth.
I am afraid that people will think GD is my fault.
I am afraid that GD is my fault.
I am afraid that I won't be able to regulate it with diet and will have to take insulin.
I am afraid that I will have diabetes forever.

I used to be pretty confident that I am doing and will do a great job carrying this baby, and that I am totally strong enough for natural birth, and don't worry, there is still a tiny part of me that believes that (somewhere). But if I am being honest, I just want to cry about this latest test result. I think probably when I call my nurse back this morning I might cry when scheduling the 3-hr test. I think probably I will cry at my appointment on Friday, especially if I've failed the 3-hr test, too. And I think if I pass the 3-hr, I'm still going to be afraid that I have GD and they didn't catch it.

I know it is a pretty common complication, and that most people regulate it fine with diet (including my mom and twin mama vv!), and maybe it was naive of me to have thought that since I eat a healthy diet and get good exercise every day that I wouldn't have to struggle with this. I know that most people say that there is nothing a mama can do to prevent from developing GD, but I look at the risk factors and wonder if maybe it was because I had a few extra pounds before becoming pregnant. I can't get over the fact that maybe it's my fault. What else am I going to drop the ball on?

I know that it's all extrapolation at this point, but this is where I'm at. I know it's been said on other blogs, but infertile people should be granted totally complication-free pregnancies. It is and has always been and will always be completely terrifying that things will go wrong, after all the struggle to conceive. The feeling of failing that I was so used to with infertility is back with a vengence.

But all of that being true, I am also so grateful for our baby girl. Mr. A and I were driving to get our pups from the kennel last night, and I'd forgotten the check, so we had to run back home and get one, and then head back out, and I almost teared up then, too. I remarked that I don't really need one more thing going wrong when everything else is going to crap, too.

And he goes "Oh what, the one thing that might not be completely perfect with you being pregnant with our perfect miracle baby?"

And he is so right. We are so thankful for our daughter, and that everything so far has been going great. We will deal with GD if we have to; whatever we need to do to make sure our baby arrives healthy and happy is what we will do. All things considered, this complication is a pretty benign one if treated, and I am fully aware that there are couples receiving unimaginably much more heartbreaking news than they have to keep a close eye on their sugar intake.

So yes, in the grand scheme of things, my fears are probably pretty insignificant, but in the interest of being honest, here they are. I'm trying to be a strong PAIF'er, but last week really took the wind out of me. Hopefully I can get my feet back under me soon....


Sunday, July 10, 2011

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vague messages are the worst

Thursday, July 07, 2011

So of course we are travelling today, and in between flights I see I missed a call from my midwife... her message? "Call me at your earliest convenience."

I am now convinced I failed the 1-hr glucose test. Why else would she call? Why didn't she just say "you failed" instead of stupid nothing.

Ugh. I am so disappointed in myself. It just brings all my IF insecurities to the surface - like even though I thought my body knew what to do, it is going to start failing...

I called her back and said that I hope she can get ahold of me before our flight at 145... and I said if she has to leave a message to please be specific as to the reason for her call....

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Off the Wagon

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I'm feeling a little bit off the wagon this week....

Yesterday I didn't go to my yoga class because we had deadlines at work, and since I had been researching flights to my the northeast instead of catching up on work things Monday evening (yah, we didn't have any 4th plans....), I had some things to finish. When I called my studio, my instructor said "Well just remember that babe doesn't need stress, so remember to breathe!!" I totally meant to do my yoga DVD yesterday afternoon, but I was on the phone with nearly every member of my immediate family at least once and hour, and I was getting ducks in a row at work for the remainder of the week, so that didn't happen...

Today I thought I would do yoga this morning, but Mr. A has just informed me that we may be leaving a full 4 hours before I thought we would be so we can have dinner with his parents tonight before we leave tomorrow AM at the serious crack of dawn. So with having to pack our things and the dogs' things and drop the dogs off at the kennel and inform work that I won't really be "there" today and maybe squeeze a shower in there (ha!), it is shaping up to be pretty hectic.

Maybe I can do some cat/cow poses while the shower is heating up....

My grandma's town is super tiny, and there is only one hotel in the area. After I booked our rooms, I looked online to see if they had a website (amazingly, they do), but they got raked over the coals on tri.padvisor!! Ha!! One reviewer (there were only 3) said it was like the hotel in Ps.ycho! Hahahahahaha. Should be an adventure, for sure!!! I am not expecting to roll up to the lap of luxury in tiny town northeast, USA, but I hope it is comfortable and clean at least.

Something very sweet was that apparently at some point in the funeral there will be a presentation of roses, one "from" each grandchild and great-grandchild. My Grama wanted to make sure that there would be one from our baby girl, incidentally the only great-granddaughter (amidst 5 young great-grandsons). I think there is something deeply moving and significant that my Grama finally "knew" a great-granddaughter before she passed away, with her being such an elegant feminine influence.

Thank you for all your support and advice over the last couple of days! I know I don't know most of you in person, but I really appreciate it :)


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Do you think any of these dresses are appropriate for the funeral? (These are the ones I have, not that I think would necessarily be the best choices for a somber occasion...) I'm not sure if I need to go get a black maternity dress....

I think I'll bring the blue one and the brown one and see what people think- my mom said that I shouldn't be afraid to wear color- my grandma loved flowers- but I don't want to be "that person" with the flashy outfit at the funeral....

Rest in Peace

Monday, July 04, 2011

My dad's mom passed away this afternoon, a little while after he had "talked" to her on the phone (she had been unresponsive for a little while, but his brother held the phone to her ear so my dad could say some things). My dad just encouraged her that she needed to go on and meet up with Grandpa. So sweet. {tear}

We will miss you, Grama!!!

Food and Fotos on Friday

Friday, July 01, 2011

In honor of my glucose tolerance test I did this morning, I'm posting my recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! Don't worry, I didn't have one for breakfast!

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 cups pumpkin puree
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and oil together in a large bowl. Combine 2.5 cups of the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in another bowl, and add a portion at a time to the wet mixture. Toss the chocolate chips in the last 0.5 cups of flour, and fold into the batter until just mixed. Bake at 385F for 16-20 minutes.

These muffins aren't super sweet, but they are very satisfying with the combination of pumpkin and chocolate flavors. Hope you like them!

And also, here are some photos of our flowers in front of the house this year- everything is doing great!!

(Try to ignore the huge empty spot in the front- perennial gardens are a work in progress!)

Will post pictures of our vegetable garden and berry bushes soon! They are doing AWESOME!! There is something amazingly satisfying about successfully growing your own veggies and fruit, and it doesn't seem to be that difficult at all!