Last year, today

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A year ago today we got the first positive test of our lives- the first indication that our little baby was on the way. It's a day I'll never ever forget :)

So many new moms with new babies are posting so much lately, and I feel like I am such a lame new-mom blogger. When do you guys take a shower or clean up the kitchen or make your bed?! Haha. I have so much I want to tell everyone- or just document for the sake of remembering- but I feel like I barely have time to read how everyone is doing, much less write a coherent update of my own.

In a nutshell, Maryanne is doing awesome. She smiles and coos so much, and it just makes me melt. I can't believe that she is here- we are beyond lucky and blessed. Our nanny is great, and even when Maryanne is a little fussy, she is patient and loving. The one thing that seems to calm Maryanne down any time is reading books. I love that she loves to "read". We are still loving cloth diapering- prefolds and covers mainly, but we are just getting into using some fitteds and all in ones. We are exclusively breastfeeding, and it is also going great. With all the breastfeeding trouble we had in the beginning, I would never have guessed that it would be going this well at this point. She is no longer content to sit in her bouncy seat while we're eating- she likes to sit on my knee and watch us eating- if we are reading the paper, she will reach and grab for it, as if she needs to read it, too.

The one thing we are (I am) still struggling with is dinner. Mr. A does not like the texture of crock pot meals, and I have tried some new recipes lately that he has not liked at all. I am trying so hard to balance everything and cook like I used to, but it just doesn't work out very well alot of times. Mr. A always apologizes whenever he lets his criticism get a little too far, but it is hard to hear anyway, because of course I want to be able to feed him good, homecooked food that he likes. I know he is adjusting, too, in his own way, and we are being patient and forgiving with each other as we grow together as a family.

But no matter what, we are so grateful for the little girl we found out about one year ago today. We wouldn't trade her for anything, and we are so excited to see what this next year holds for the three of us!!

Home Run Dinner

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I have been on the hunt for dinner ideas that have short prep time... unfortunately Mr. A is not a huge fan of crockpot meals every night (sad face). I found the original recipe in a Cooking Light magazine and have adapted it just a tad. This seriously only takes 20 minutes to put together (shorter if you can chop the veggies ahead of time), and then it doesn't need long at all in the oven!! It was a heavenly dinner last night!!!

Baked Pasta and Vegetables

8 oz uncooked pasta (I used rigatoni)
1 Tb olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow squash (I used 2.5 small ones)
1 cup chopped zucchini (I used 1.5 small ones)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped tomato (I used 1 large one)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded mozzerella
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg

1. Boil water and cook pasta
2. Preheat oven to 400F
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add squash, zucchini, and onion. Saute until tender. Add tomato and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, 1/2 cup of the mozzerella, oregano, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and the red pepper flakes
4. In another bowl, combine the ricotta, remaining salt, and egg. Stir into the pasta mixture. Spoon into a 8x8 dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzerella on top.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on how melted/crunchy you want the cheese

Fertile Assumptions

Monday, January 23, 2012

If you are a regular reader, you may remember my "friend" from college who told everyone else except me that she was pregnant. You can re-live the awfulness here and here.

She has a blog, and while I don't read it very often, I check it maybe every few months... for no real reason really, but just because it is sadly entertaining (sometimes) to read how the naive and fertile population exists.

Anyway, I happened to check it this afternoon, and I discovered that she and her hubby and daughter (who is I guess almost a year old now?) recently went to the animal shelter to adopt a dog. The woman whom they met there suggested that maybe they should wait a little while to get a dog because their daughter is still so little and it would be alot to handle.

(Which I pretty much agree with the shelter woman- it is alot of work to incorporate a new dog into your household, and there is no way I would do it with a baby. Sure, we have two dogs, but they were well-established before Maryanne arrived, and they have done absolutely amazing at incorporating HER into their lives!)

But anyway, here is where the fertile mindset just assaults infertility. She wrote that she told the woman (in a fairly snappy tone, I imagine) that if they waited a little while for their daughter/child to be older, they would never get a dog, because their daughter isn't going to be their only kid.


Since when does she have a crystal ball of reproduction/family building?

I guess I can't really blame her for being so presumptious, given her lack of experience with infertility. But it just sucks. If there is one thing that infertility rams into your head is that you have ZERO control over how your family expands. How dare you assume that children will come into your life when you think or want them to? (Of course we all know that for fertile people, children do come into their lives relatively when they want them to, which is just a cruel joke on the rest of us.)

I have a whole other post rattling around in my head about becoming pregnant again (I'm not, just in general). Bottom line, I'd love to have more children... I always said that I wanted three. But far be it for me to just assume that since we got pregnant with no help one time, that it will ever happen again. I actually assume the opposite- that Maryanne was just a miraculous fluke and that we will have trouble again whenever we decide we're up for trying again. And really, "trying" for us in the future will probably be way "less" than we did before. Maryanne is a huge answered prayer, and while we would totally welcome more children, she has filled the gaping hole in our hearts. Any more kiddos would just be huge bonuses- nothing we expect.

I have always said that I wouldn't wish infertility on anyone, and that is still true, but I wish there was a way to make fertile people truly grateful for their fertility and see it as the phenominal GIFT that it is, and not have them all take it for granted in the huge way that they all do.

First Day Back

Monday, January 09, 2012

Well folks, we survived.

Today was my first full day back at work since October 3. I am so fortunate to have had enough leave to get paid like normal and spend the last three months drooling over our miracle daughter. But we've decided that for now, since I can work from home, it is best for me to return to full time hours.

It was bittersweet when our babysitter C (the term "nanny" kind of conjures up a crusty old lady to me, and since our babysitter is young and vibrant, I'm just going to call her our babysitter) came to the door. We were confident in hiring her, and I knew that she was excited about working for us. Maryanne was such a trooper until it came time for a diaper change, and then she lost it. She was crying and crying, and I was on the phone with a teleconference, and the dogs were barking at the mail truck, and I was praying that C was being patient and loving, and then I was thinking to myself, can I really do this?

I was so impressed with C's care of Maryanne today. Even when she was crying, C was very encouraging and lighthearted. Maryanne only screamed a few times for a few minutes, and it did cross my mind to remind C not to shake Maryanne, but then I would hear her talking to Maryanne and reassuring her, and it made me feel much better. It warmed my heart to hear C reading books to Maryanne, singing to her, returning her coo's, and praising her for good smiles or holding a toy. When I would go fill up my water bottle and see C rocking Maryanne to sleep, I was comforted. And when I got to steal away to the nursery to feed my baby girl, I just basked in her presence. I am so unworthy of such a baby, of such a situation where I can work and still "be home" with her.

I hope that C was not discouraged by Maryanne's outbursts today; she said she expected some separation anxiety and that she thought today went well and was excited to be working with us. I think it will be great for Maryanne to have a new playmate and still be able to come see her mama whenever she wants to during the day.

I never thought I could cherish my time with Maryanne any more than I did before, but tonight when C left and it was just Maryanne and me (Mr. A was traveling for work today), I felt like our time together this evening was somehow more special because we'd been apart today. Not even apart really, but just not as together as we've been in the past three months. She was pretty zonked from her "exciting" day, and she peacefully fell asleep in my arms while I ate dinner. (Of course you know I couldn't put her down!) Because she was tired, she nursed with less vigor before bed tonight, but just seemed so satisfied to be close. I agree, baby. It is so good to have you close.

Especially after such a big day, for both of us. We made it, pumpkin. We can do this together!