Felices Pascuas!

Easter has finally come!  And what I learned this Lent?  Easter always eventually comes.  He is risen!  And it is a great day, the greatest day of all.  After all, we have the greatest reason for hope!

And the end of another liturgical season means the reveal of prayer buddies!  This lenten season I almost didn´t participate do to all I had going on and I didn´t want to skimp on my prayer buddy.  But I am so,  so glad I did as I got paired with a girl whose blog I´ve been reading for quite some time now.  She was one of the original blogs I started reading several years ago!

I´ve been praying for you, Catholic Mutt!

It was a very physical Lenten season of sacrifice for me and I had a lot of things to offer up, but in praying for you I especially focused on the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  There is a special shrine in the Basillica of Guadalupe in Mexico City to St. Faustina and I´ve been reading her book for the last I don´t know how many months now, so it seemed like a good choice.  The simple prayer ¨Jesus, I trust in you¨ is so meaningful for your many intentions and I offered it on your behalf as well as the Chaplet.  I will continue to pray the novena since Divine Mercy Sunday is next week!  I hope you felt the prayers this season, you have peace and meaning  in your life,  and you have a BLESSED Easter with your family!

Happy Easter to everyone else too.  I hope you enjoy the feast!

How to make yourself sick on “health food”

So far this year I had been making a concerted effort to eat less meat, bread, and low-fat dairy. As I’ve written about before, I’m a fan of doing things ‘naturally’ but equally not the biggest planner in the world.  And believe me, I was cursing myself for that recklessly dangerous combination while I lay on my bathroom floor at 3am the other week, removing the contents of my stomach in whatever my body decided was the quickest way possible.

Let me explain.

Like probably the majority of sub-fertile women and people just trying to be healthier all around, I’ve been trying to modify my diet this year.  This was brought on by reading choice materials such as The Fertility Diet and Omnivore’s Dilemma as well as countless other anecdotal stories of people “just removing gluten” from their diet and miraculously getting pregnant the next month.  I fancy that I eat pretty healthy anyway, as we don’t eat out a lot and prepare almost all our meals from scratch so I know exactly what’s in them, but I had never tried to remove things from my diet before.  My strategy was more: moderation is best.

However, in seeking to eat a more vegetarian diet I came across the delightful idea of eating sprouts.  Apparently, merely soaking beans for a day or two can turn a nutritious yet hard to cook food into an even better source of vitamins and enzymes by making them even more bio-available (just don’t talk to any supporters of the Paleolithic Diet).    And given the fact that I had now removed (or was at least trying to limit) almost every other major food group from my diet due to potential concern for my fertility,  I was going to need to figure out better ways of cooking and incorporating beans into my meals.

So, to cut to the chase, it turns out there’s a very real reason that no one beyond fringe groups have ever heard of sprouts.

In short, the sprouting process is perfect incubation for the proliferation of bacteria that will make you deathly ill and in a different time, has probably led to many an actual death.  But please, don’t take my word for it internet, do the research yourself!  That was my major fault.  I read some reports of it causing digestive issue but I mistakenly thought they just meant gas.  I can deal with gas!  Having to hug a toilet for 30 hrs is a little too much.

While it may seem that sprouting is a great way to return to the Earth and do things more naturally and healthily (and cheaper!), nothing is healthy about not being able to digest any of the nutrients that were made more bio-available and making yourself sick.  In fact, I found it rather hilarious that I had in turn created my own “omnivore’s dilemma” by trying to outsmart the omnivore’s dilemma.

I’ll stop there, before going into too many unnecessary details, but suffice it to say that if you’re planing on making any drastic dietary changes, research is a good idea! (And yes, I see the obvious irony to this story as I was so consumed with doing my own research in a different area of my life that I failed to do a thorough background study in an area of my life that could have really used it!  More proof that getting a PhD. isn’t because you’re innately talented, but just because you work hard for a long time!)

Although I couldn’t eat for a while after that, when I did eat, all I wanted was a fried chicken sandwich.  While it may not have been the healthiest thing for me, it sure wouldn’t make me sick!  I hope to one day revisit sprouting, as I already had dreams of getting my own glass jars and yada, yada, yada, but that won’t be happening anytime soon.  Hopefully in 2012, but  just talking about sprouts brings back horrific memories, so maybe that’s even pushing it.

Apparently there are communities of people that eat sprouts out there and live happily ever after (although I personally would like to see how much toilet paper they buy a month) and I’m not doubting that it can be done in a healthy manner, but it is important to note that it isn’t as easy as it looks folks!  Careful preparation is necessary lest you end up like me, terrified of the tiny bean.

Anyway, I hope this post helped some sub-fertile pondering ‘healthy’ dietary changes, some fertile mommy trying to lose the baby weight, or random male blog reading lurker (are any out there??) from an undesired self-induced food poisoning session based on the whimsical idea of returning to nature.  Do your research and follow good guidelines (not blog guidelines) before trying sprouts.

End sprout PSA.

*At the time, I was pretty bummed that I didn’t have my camera at home to take pictures of my creation.  Now, however, I’m ever thankful I have no physical reminders of that night :)

It is done!

Well almost, I still have to turn in minor revisions on my thesis.  But still!  I defended on Friday and passed and now? It. is. done.

So, thanks for all your support!  I was much more calm and peaceful than I thought possible.  Two days later, I’m still trying to calm down and have a feeling vacationing in Mexico is JUST what I need.  And only 4 more days of long distance marriage.

Here’s to all the hard work for the past 5 years and new beginnings!

We aren't photogenic, but this is one of the better photos of us from that day!

Celebrating outside with the flowers he “surprised” me with :)  The Dr. Matching Moonheads! 

Thanks be to God!

*Updated to say, I just realized my tongue is red in this picture from the chili mango candies from Mexico!  Ha!

Blindsided

What do you get when you mix no sleep, health crisis, and last minute major revisions to your thesis that your adviser decides to make a week before you defend?  With “small calculations that will take no time at all”?  Oh right, a semi-meltdown that looks like this.

At least, that’s what I’d like to completely blame it on.

In reality I think its also that I’ve been so good at compartmentalizing lately that I almost, quite literally, forgot that this entire world exists that, oh yeah, I have absolutely no part of and will not for the foreseeable future.  Yes, I mean the world of motherhood.  For a minute there I think I was tricking myself into thinking that I’m just a normal girl, graduating, moving and looking for a job while I postpone having children because I’m working on my career.

And then, bam.  I’m blindsided by my blog reader and jolted out of my carefully constructed – with good reason – world of caring only about graduating.

Sigh.

If it wasn’t a blog it would have been something else.  Blogging really isn’t the problem.

This is just the sub/infertile life.

Why do I keep forgetting that?

It’s not you, it’s me.

Blog fast is going great.  Too great.  Sorry I’m not more descriptive, but my mind feels like a cross between a mushy melon and an intensely focused targeting machine, zero-ing in on random points and moving on to the next.  And I’m aware that probably made no sense.

This post is not going as planned.

I’ve just now made the connection that I wait and wait for the weekend to come so I can read blogs, but with each week comes less and less earnestness.  I am excited to read the blogs and updates but I feel oddly hollow after reading the newest posts (pretty please don’t take that as an insult, internet.  this is an analysis of myself).  Maybe I just build it up too much.  I’m “that person” who does the same thing with my birthday.  But then, more recently I’ve realized that its not just emptiness but sadness associated with blog reading.  Akin to a depressive feeling.

Simply put, blog reading does not give me feelings of happiness.  Granted, we don’t just do things to make us happy, but there should be some benefit to them, right? And there have been many a time where thoughtful comments have pulled me out of a deep funk.  But I wonder if its really more of a “fix” than a need.  Pregnancy or mommy blogs point to a different life that is quickly leaving (left?) my frame of reference for the foreseeable future.  Infertility blogs, well, they make me sad too.  Looking at something I might never have just teases me but then reading posts about how sad I am because I’ll never have it just makes me more depressed.

I just want to forget it all already!  Is escape ever really an option?

I’m realizing that my life focused on everything but things related to kids right now is busy and stressful and exciting and so, so refreshing.

Perhaps the only way to have peace with my own yard is to just stop staring at the neighbor’s.  Completely.  Both the kept and the unkempt ones.

Of course there’s no way to do that.  And it feels like cheating. I can’t just ignore the world forever, can I?  But maybe it really is the best solution.

Maybe its just a bad day.

The thing is though, it was going perfectly fine until I checked my blog reader.

You learn a lot on a blog fast.

This was probably one of those brutally honest posts that I should have just kept to myself, because if I really found this whole online blog world uninteresting, well then what’s the point of posting to tell you that?  And I realize I just ran off the whole world, but I completely understand. I would probably stop reading a blog that is slowly imploding, too.