Taking Up Hobbies While TTC

I’ve tried to be as open as I can be about my trying to conceive journey (I say “my”, but my husband has a part in this, obviously, since he’s a pretty important part; I’m just the one talking, so it’s “my” journey for simplicity’s sake), but I still get questions. In my video about fertility apps I’ve tried, I talked about how I had to stop using apps in general, because I would get too obsessive over the information involved. After posting, I recived a message from someone whose TTC journey is taking longer than expected, and she asked how I manage to keep my sanity, especially as a stay-at-home mom.

My response? Hobbies. I’m always doing *something*. In this post, I’ll share some of my current and previous hobbies – hopefully, this can help you if you’re looking for something to do in your spare time.

  1. WRITING. I love to write, so much. I’ve actually written and self-published two books, and I attempted to fit into the author scene in my area. Unfortunately, due to my son’s schedule and other limitations, I can’t attend very many author shows, conferences, or other publicity events; as such, I am not able to promote my book as much, and I lose out on sales. Without sales, I can’t continue to seriously write books. I do enjoy writing little things, though, especially to help me work though any emotions that may affect my real life.
  2. BAKING. This can be a fun and dangerous (for the waistline) hobby, and I’m sure you’re aware of why that would be.
  3. YOUTUBE. Yup, Youtube and the related activities are a hobby for me. I’m not paid to make videos, and the different steps to making a video (planning, recording, editing, and doing all the little related extras) takes up a decent chunk of my time, time that I used to spend obsessing over my fertility charts.
  4. GARDENING. This is a hobby I plan to take up when it’s warmer. Yard work is not only good for my mental health, but it’s good for my physical health. This year, I want to plan a few easy plants, just to see if I can without spending a ton, and I would like to put up a clothesline, so that I’m not overheating our house on hot summer days.
  5. VOLUNTEERING. This one is pretty self-explanatory: volunteering is a great way to get out of the house, meet new people, and get your mind off of things. Looking to start, but have no idea how to do so? Contact your local food pantries, animal shelters, place of worship, and public schools, for starters – even if they don’ have anything there, they could point you in the right direction. Helping others and not obsessing over every minute detail? Yes, please!

Anyway , these are just five things you can do to keep your mind off of any TTC struggles in your life – or really, any struggles that are out of your hands. Hope this helps, and thank yall do much for stopping by! 🙂

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What Santa Can’t Bring – A Moment with Secondary Infertility

This past week, the Kiddo and I went to Frankenmuth, MI, to partake in some Christmas joy before the end of the holiday season.  This is one of our traditions, mind, you – I’ve gone to Frankenmuth every year since I was a child, and he’s gone every year since he was in utero.  It’s fun to just walk around Bronner’s and downtown Frankenmuth, to spend time looking at the lights and picking out a slab of Frankenmuth fudge, you know, just the fun stuff.

But this year, my son broke my heart.

When he went to see Santa in Bronner’s, he originally had a list of three things – a deer, a dog, and a “real” sword.  He’d been asking for all of those for a few months now, so I wasn’t surprised (he’s not getting any of them, by the way, but he did get a cool sword, and I’m looking into stuffed dogs for him), but when we got up to Santa, he changed his tune.

He asked Santa for what I thought was a Bambi, and I translated it as such when Santa couldn’t hear him.  It wasn’t until I was leading him away that he started to cry and told me he hadn’t asked for a Bambi, he asked for a baby.

You guys.

I jokingly tell him to stop trying to steal babies because he adores them – he’ll lead them around by the hand and play so nicely, or calm them if they’re crying, little things like that.  Moms of babies think he is absolutely precious, and he’s often touted as the ideal big brother.  He’s the sweetest thing with a baby, and he’s asked me time and time again if I can have a baby.  I always say no, because I feel like it would be worse to give him hope and watch it die off…

So now, apparently, he thinks the only way he can get a baby sibling is by asking Santa to bring one.

I held it together, all through the rest of Bronner’s and Frankenmuth, until he fell asleep on the drive home; then, and only then, did I allow myself to bawl.  All this time, I’ve only thought about my husband and myself, and how we’ve felt with trying and failing.  I never thought about how it could affect him – heck, I never thought it would affect him!  I didn’t have this issue growing up – I always knew my parents were never going to have a child after me, so I never really thought about it, and my husband’s parents were divorced (plus his mom never remarried) – so it never once crossed my mind that our son could want a sibling just as badly as we want to give him one.  It’s not something I expected.

Anyway, I just thought I would share a hard thing I learned this holiday season.  Even though we’ve been dealing with secondary infertility for over five years now, there are still new feelings and new territories to be crossed.  I can only hope that one day, the finally territory will be beating it, but in the meantime, I’m just going to have to wait.

Thank yall so much for stopping by, and have a good one!  Bye!

I’m Still Here!

Not necessarily sane, but here.

I have been so swamped over the past week – it took everything, and I do mean everything, to even have my videos up and ready to go.  Between all the Christmas stuff around here, familial obligations, Kiddo’s sport and even a random sickness that hit him just after we got home on Saturday, I was dead on my feet.  Zero sleep for this momma this week.  It looks like this week will be about the same, too, with the added bonus of not having my husband home from work because, while he had a 4-day “weekend” last week, it was because his days for this week and the week before lined up juuuuust right.

I’m still here, though!  In the meantime, if you haven’t already, please check out my previous post – I’d really appreciate it, especially if you share it with your friends & family.  Thank you! ❤

Family, Holidays, Cooking, and NESTLÉ® – #JuntosConNestle

Many thanks to NESTLÉ® for agreeing to sponsor this post. 🙂 Though I am being compensated, all views and opinions are my own. Please see the disclosure on my “About Me” page for more details.

When I was younger, I was a small and skinny child. My family and doctor both worried about my apparent inability to gain weight, to the point where my doctor told my family to not deny me any food I asked for, whenever I asked for it. It didn’t matter what I was putting in my mouth, he said, as long as I gained weight.

After that appointment, a new drink came into my life – chocolate milk. Hot cocoa was no stranger to me, but the thought of putting cocoa into cold milk fascinated me, partially because both the chocolate and the milk were powders! I had so much fun watching them mix together in the glass before we added the water – I’d try to point out any familiar patterns or shapes, like numbers and letters, that the powder would make. At my next doctor’s appointment, I had gained enough weight to not have to worry about my health, and I know now that it was largely due to the chocolate milk my family gave to me.

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Twenty years later, I was in another doctor’s office, listening to another doctor’s orders, only this time it was my son whose weight gain was cause for concern. Unlike my mother, however, I didn’t have to ask family in another country to send me that special powdered milk – I just had to drive to the nearest Walmart and pick up a can of NESTLÉ® NIDO® Fortificada.

Of course, the holidays are fast approaching, and that means lots of sweets: candies, cookies, cakes, fried bread – all things a small child loves, and all things that can wreak havoc on a healthy diet. Luckily, not only can I mix up a glass of chocolate NIDO®, it can also be used in place of milk for your holiday sweets! In fact, I have a recipe that I use NIDO® in, and it tastes delicious! Buñuelos are a Mexican sweet, primarily made during the holiday. For those of you unfamiliar with them, they’re kind of like a smaller type of pastry that’s often found at fairs or carnivals.

YOU WILL NEED:

2 cups of flour
½ cup NESTLÉ® NIDO® Powdered Milk, reconstituted (4:1 ratio, ½ cup water, 1/8 cup NIDO powder)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of baking powder
2 eggs
¼ cup butter
1/8 tsp vanilla
Cinnamon to taste
Oil for frying.
Cinnamon sugar mix.

Before starting to make the buñuelos: Heat the frying oil in a pan.
1. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder) together.
2. In a sauce pan, add the reconstituted milk, butter, and vanilla. Heat until butter is melted, and stir together.
3. Beat eggs together.
4. Once the butter has melted, temper* the eggs with a small amount of the butter/milk sauce. (*For those unfamiliar with the term, tempering is when you add a small amount of hot liquid to a colder liquid prior to mixing them together, to bring up the temperature and prevent curdling). Mix eggs and liquids together.
5. Mix liquid and dry ingredients together in a bowl. If the mixture is too wet or sticky, add more flour. Roll the mixture into balls, size depending on your preference.
6. Depending on preference, use either a rolling pin, tortilla press, or your hands to flatten out the dough into circles. Drop the circles into the frying pan and fry until golden brown on both sides, flipping once.
7. Dust with cinnamon sugar, and serve warm! Enjoy with your family. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post, brought to you by NESTLÉ® NIDO® Fortificada. It’s easy to be #JuntosConNestle this holiday season. As always, thank you for stopping by, and have a good one!

My family and I love buñuelos, as you can see. 😉

Childhood Traditions: Thanksgiving

Hey yall!  It’s officially fall here in the Northern Hemisphere!  The days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and Christmas decorations are now in stock at most retail outlets.  For the US, Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and it’s caused me to think back on a few things that I did or didn’t do as a child.  I’d include my husband in this post, but as yall probably know just as well as I do that he’s not one for really paying attention to things, so…  This will simply be a post about my traditions.

1. Mommy & Me

My dad is a huge hunter, and opening day usually falls about two weeks before Thanksgiving, so my mom and I would often have Thanksgiving alone.  It wasn’t that we weren’t invited places, we just kind of enjoyed having the time to ourselves & not having to travel (our family was about 3-4 hours away).  Obviously, just by virtue of me being a stay-at-home mom, there is no way a 2-person Thanksgiving with my mom could anymore.

2. Bird Was the Word

With only two people, there was no way we could come close to eating a full turkey, and getting turkey meat from the local deli was usually super expensive.  The first year my mom and I had our special “just us” Thanksgiving, my mom happened to stumble across a couple of teeny tiny birds in the back corner of the local grocery store freezer.  It was the first time I’d ever heard of a cornish hen.  Honestly, I’d recommend them for any small family that wants semi-normal Thanksgiving meal.  I haven’t had a cornish hen in ages, but I recently saw some at Kroger, & I’m thinking about picking them up for our Thanksgiving meal here at home.

3. Hap-pie Birthday!

My mom’s birthday is usually relatively close to Thanksgiving, so she almost always gets some sort of birthday pie during the pre-Thanksgiving sales (usually some sort of BOGO deal).  Her favorite pies are Dutch Apple and Razzleberry, both from Marie Calendar, so to me, both of those taste like this time of year. 🙂  This is something we still generally do, but it’s no longer limited just to my mom’s birthday, mainly because if she wants to celebrate, we have to arrange some sort of get-together.

4. Expect the Unexpected

The good thing about having a small Thanksgiving is the fact that it can be easily changed.  This may not seem like a tradition, but it was always in the back of our mind in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and it would be easy to move our meal should something else come up, like my Dad requesting our presence up north, or some sort of activity taking place on Thanksgiving that required the whole day (like a training day for my mom, or, once I was old enough, my work schedule).  Towards the end of my childhood, this became more and more common, and we actually started moving our Thanksgiving to Wednesday specifically for this reason.  Now, my family’s Thanksgivings are often on Black Friday (if they don’t go up north), which is nice because my family lives out and away from most of the stores.

Anyway, I know there are only four traditions, but I wasn’t trying to share everything, otherwise this post would take forever.  What sort of family traditions did you have growing up?  Do you or your family still participate in any of them?  If so, how have they changed over the years?  Let me know down below!

As always, thank you for stopping by, and have a good one! 🙂

Mom Blogging: Hard Mode

Right at this very moment, I’m sitting in the local Panera.  My laptop is open, my email is open, Youtube is open, and I’m ready to blog.

And as I say this, my child gets up from his seat across from me so he can put his crayons and coloring book back into his Avengers bag.  Of course, I notice that his shoes are on the wrong feet; so begins another five minutes of me attempting to quietly wrangle him back into his seat.  It’s another five minutes that I won’t be able to blog, another five minutes I won’t be able to use to send out another email to try and make a connection.

I wasn’t expecting a get-out-of-the-house Panera run to be Mommy Blogging: Hard Mode.

Sure, this isn’t the most difficult way to blog.  I’m not sitting in the middle of a war-torn countryside, trying to write a piece while fearing that I may not live to see the next minute, never mind the morning.  I’m well aware that my life is easy.  I just wasn’t quite aware of how futile this would feel.  I’m fighting a losing battle, trying to keep my child quiet enough to not disturb the other people around me, most of whom are attempting to meet a set word count within fifteen minutes.

Yes, I chose to bring my son to my NaNoWriMo meet.  Don’t judge me.

It’s taken me 45 minutes to get from my first words to these ones.  In that time, I’ve hushed my son an innumerable amount of times, hushed him a few times more, watched him walk over to the garbage can and empty his tray all by himself, told him to swap his shoes again (because apparently he doesn’t like the way they feel when they’re on normally), and wondered exactly how long it will take my husband to get here, once he gets out of work at 5:00pm.

The answer is roughly 15 minutes, barring any traffic issues.

I have managed to make some progress, though!  An email has been sent.  Just one.  Part of a blog post has been written.  Life marches on, despite the setbacks.

I’m not even sure where I’m going with this, to be honest.  I just thought it would be funny to chronicle my time in Panera, with my child, as he tries his hardest to drive me insane.  He would rather be outside playing, despite the horrible weather.  It thunderstormed earlier, and he wanted nothing more than to go outside and watch the lightning dance across the sky.  I thought that, perhaps, going outside and standing in our front yard to watch the storm is probably not the best idea, not when our front yard is literally covered by trees.  Momma, the perpetual partypooper, strikes again.  I know.

It’s been another 15 minutes since I wrote “I know.”  In that time, I had to use the bathroom and buy the terror some more bread – a bribe, if you will, to be quiet while I spend the next few minutes trying to write 475 words.  It’s been a struggle to try and get him to cooperate.  He’s no longer decided to sit quietly.  Just 30 minutes until my husband should arrive.  I’m watching the minutes tick down in the corner of my screen while my son chomps on his baguette.  The area is quiet.  Finally, I can write something.

Now…  I just need to pick a topic.

Uh oh.

Mom Life: What Do I Wear?

I’ve had a few questions about what I wear on a regular basis.  I don’t know if that’s a pretty normal question, or if something about my outfits have garnered interest, but whatever it is, I’m happy to answer.

Generally, I wear skirts.  I like the freedom of movement that I have in skirts, and I think skirts are easily made into casual and semi-formal outfits with just a change of shirts.  I’m also a fan of dresses, especially with cardigans.  Since I’ve been asked, I have not chosen to wear skirts due to a religious conviction.  I think it’s the skirt/long hair combination that gets me asked that question quite a bit, but no, that’s not why.  I simply wear what I like. 🙂

I do actually own two pairs of pants, a pair of jeans and a pair of cotton casuals.  I am also a huge fan of leggings and opaque tights under my skirts, as well as comfy shirts and slouchy sweaters.  I am a fan of all kinds of shoes, and I admittedly have a “Collection” (inherited from both my mother and mother-in-law, both of whom share my shoe size and both of whom have just one daughter to pass their shoes on to – moi), but I have to say that I am a permanent fan of ballet flats or flip flops, depending on the weather, although my black calf-high boots are 110% a Thing when the weather is too cold.

Interestingly, I don’t usually wear socks.  I have two pairs I really “enjoy” (one of which is a knee-high pair of Cheshire Cat socks, and the other is a brown Alice in Wonderland-themed pair that has the “Eat Me, Drink Me” snacks on them.  I may have an obsession.

I’m actually considering moving into a capsule wardrobe, mainly because I’ve actually cut down on a lot of clothing items and I could definitely cull my wardrobe even more because I don’t really wear a lot of the clothes that I have left.  We’ll have to see.  Let me know if you’re interested in seeing a primarily skirt-based capsule wardrobe take shape!  🙂

As always, thank you for stopping by, and have a good one!  🙂