Thursday, August 29, 2013

the Bad, the Worse and the Ugly

I am writing this post within the sanctity of my bedroom walls. Jack is out in the living room watching the Lorax and I am in here googling "How to calm an angry mom" and "Why am I such a bad mom?"
While google actually gave me some great advice on how to calm my anxiety and strive to be a better Mom, I can't help but think, I can't be the only Mom who traps herself in her room and bawls her eyes out.

Last night I poured myself into bed around 11 p.m. and gave myself a much needed pep-talk. I confidently told myself that tomorrow I was going to be the perfect Pinterest Mother who's pockets are full of crafts, healthy snacks, no TV, and a loving patience at all times. Today was NOT my Pinterest Mom day. In fact about an hour ago I punched a wall... How's that for a confession.

After being woken at 5:30 this morning and barely dragging through Story time at the Library and playtime at the Park, I I NEEDED a break. We have all been there, "Lord if I could just get one hour to myself I will become a Missionary in Africa for the rest of my days..." Lets just say I owe God a heap of Mission work.

Nap time rolled around slowly and I couldn't wait to get Jack down for his nap so I could rest. Jack could sense my eagerness for alone time. He could smell it on me and all during lunch I'm sure he was plotting his nap time demise. It took me two hours to get him to go to sleep. two looooong hours. I was not giving up. He WAS going to nap today. After he was finally asleep I began boiling the water for my hot tea and snuggled onto the couch for a little power nap. Just as I was about to close my eyes, Satan showed up on my front lawn. Okay that was a bit dramatic. It was the lawnmowers and they, too, were out to get me. Jack was awake and crying within seconds of their arrival and I was, to put it lightly, angry. They must not have children, I thought allowed. It took every fiber of my being not to stomp onto my front lawn in tears and tell them just how badly they have ruined my day. Instead of opening the front door I heaved my fist into it and began to cry embarrassing toddler tears. Anger. Defeat. Failure. I began to label myself and decided in that moment of pure vulnerability that I was a bad mom. I was a bad mom for being so desperate for nap time. I was a bad mom for losing my temper. I was a bad mom for thinking I am a bad mom.

I can't do it all, and when push comes to shove, I fail. I lose control. But here I am, an imperfect Non-Pinterest Mom. I don't feed my family all organic food while keeping my grocery budget to an all time low. I do not shower and primp everyday. My child watches far too much Television. I have not dusted my house in months. And I get overly angry at lawnmowers for waking my child. I will say it again, I am not perfect. WE are not perfect. Thank the Lord for imperfection or this world would be boring and far less dramatic. We are all failures at times and even after we have failed, we fail again in how we deal with our original failure. But we are growing and stretching our character every day. And those growing pains can be downright... painful.

But at the end of the day we have the chance to start over.
I know with certainty that Jack will fall asleep in his crib tonight at 8:30, and tomorrow God will give me a wonderful gift... a chance to try, try again.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

One pink LiNe & A glass of wHiNe

I'd love to start this post with a, "long story short" type of intro but lets face it, when are my stories ever short?

I'll start at the very beginning... Our little guy Jack was nothing short of a sheer surprise. He was what my Sister so lovingly called a "one per-center." But I prefer "pill baby" instead. Tyler and I were only 6 months into our marriage when we discovered our bun in the oven.

After Jack was born I was put back on the pill immediately. -over share warning- Yup I was one of those lucky ladies who received a visit from Aunt Flow just weeks after giving birth (yippee).
Well like many women my body didn't take to well to the many side effects of the Pill. I was deeply depressed, extremely hormonal and all in all just not myself. So in March of 2012 we decided to ditch the pill in order to get rid of psycho Robyn. I began charting and taking my BBT (basal body temperature) in order to pinpoint ovulation so we could avoid getting pregnant on those certain days. This is known as the FAM plan (Fertility Awareness Method)
*read Taking Charge of Your Fertility if you want more info*
the FAM plan soon turned into the "family plan"... see what I did there? And we began trying for baby #2 in April 2012.

After a VERRRRY long cycle of 100+ days I went to see my doctor. He prescribed me Provera to bring on a period and sent me on my way. A month later I got my period and then endured yet another long cycle of 100+ days. Another round of Provera was given along with a lot of frustration. Where were my periods? My doctor suggested I begin taking Clomid. Now if any of you know what Clomid is, I'm sure you just shuddered (thank you). I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into when I greedily accepted that prescription, and EIGHT others. I did a total of eight rounds of this fertility drug (most doctors will cut you off at 6 for your lifetime) and one HCG trigger shot in my bum. The trigger shot had a 93% success rate to bring on ovulation and it failed to do so. By the end of my Clomid journey I was on a triple dose and hadn't ovulated once. I had seen more negative pregnancy tests than my heart knew what to do with. I was depressed and irritable from all the hormones and heartbroken from the disappointment faced month after month. I became obsessed with ovulation tests, cervical fluid, pregnancy tests, temping, cramping, timed intercourse and counting and counting and counting of calendar days. Each month that one pink line would mock how broken my body was.

So after much stubbornness I gave up on Clomid and we took a break. I didn't "relax" or stop trying, I just stopped medicating my cycles and tried to ease out of the obsessive mindset that had overtaken my life. The pattern of loooooong cycles fell back into motion immediately and on my 2nd unmediated cycle with no end in sight we finally called in the big guns. A Reproductive Endocrinologist. Our first appointment with the RE was 2 weeks ago and 2 hours from our home. I had a full blood workup and a glucose and insulin resistance test. I am now awaiting my results, but the RE is strongly suspecting PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Unfortunately because of tight money and a husband who currently lives in the next State, we will have to hold off on any kind of treatment plan offered until we can afford it.

So in the mean time we wait for answers and pray for patience.

Supermarket Sweep

I, like many bloggers, have been yearning to finally share my life with the world. All it took was a few life occurrences to make me realize what I have to offer you all.

I am a Stay at Home Mom to a beautiful and energetic 2 year old, Jack. I am struggling with the dreadful "I" word; infertility in conceiving baby #2 and my Husband works extremely hard in order for me to stay home with our little angel. Which means I have added, "save my family a crap load of money" to my day job duties. So here I am, sharing my story with you in hope that I will touch a few lives and weigh down a few wallets. Because I have chosen to use my real name and a dashing photo of my little family, that means my family and friends will get some juicy details on all things Robyn (gasp!) But it's a risk I am willing to take in order to hopefully encourage those of you who are poor and infertile. *Gosh my true humor is coming out already*

Let's begin with the other dreadful word... Money.
I have just discovered my true love of money. Yikes! That sounds much worse than I meant it... No, not what you think. I am in love with being wallet smart and finding exciting and do-able (is that even a word?) ways to feed and clothe my family with the dollar bills God has blessed us with.
This week I have focused on cutting my grocery bill in half. Since that is where I consistently over spend, it was the perfect place to start! I should tell you though, that I am only currently feeding myself and my son. My husband has been job training in a different State for the past 3 months. But even when he returns it shouldn't make much more of a difference since I always cook too much anyway! So this month I have literally and successfully cut our grocery budget from $400 a month to $200. All together now, "How did she do it?" Why thank you for asking! It was simple, but very time consuming. I spent several days (and I am only just getting started) jumping from one store to the next comparing prices and finding where the lowest numbers are truly living. So far I have done Aldi, Walmart and Harps. I compiled a very organized excel spreadsheet (man My Sister-In-Law would be so proud) of all the different prices I found on items in my usual grocery list.
In short: WALMART ROCKS. Walmart beat all other competitors by a loooong shot. Ok ok, I am getting ahead of myself. But if you have not yet discovered the Great Value brand, do it. It will become you new BFF when it comes to saving money.

*Side note: When I finish my grand list I will be sure to post it for all to see*

Something I would encourage everyone to try is meal planning, but with a twist.
Instead of planning your meals and running to the nearest store with a grocery list of all your ingredients in hand. Take the time to find where the best prices are, even if it means going to 4 different stores to gather your ingredients. Nowadays there is no "quick run" to the grocery store. I take inventory of my kitchen and compile a list of only the items we NEED. Then I take it to my spreadsheet and compare prices and re-organize my list into categories of what to buy at which store. Since I keep track of prices I can get a grand total *tax included* before I even step foot in the store! Then I know exactly how much cash to bring with me. When you look at each item individually it seems like a waste of time to drive 2 miles to Harps to save .30 on salsa, but when you begin comparing your receipts those .30 add up to dollars which adds up to Starbucks (only kidding...but not really). Even a small dent in your grocery can make a difference in the long run.
But who knows, I will probably go back to buying my bread at Saks Fifth Avenue by the end of the month. (that one was for you Jess)

For now I am inspired and energetic to begin my thrifty journey to a better future. Soooo cheesy I know, but you get the sentiment.