Monday, May 30, 2011

Recipe Box: Peach or Cherry Pie

*you can see the original post here and the 2nd recipe here*


 I love the project that Calliope has been working on to share some recipes from the rolodex of her lovely grandmother, Millie. With her permission to share something similar, I'm going to open a treasured wooden box and pull out a few family recipes from our household. 

The last family recipe that I will share is in honor of some recent reasons to celebrate: a college graduation, blowing out 31 candles on my cake, my sister's birthday, a few wedding anniversaries, new babies --and goodness knows its nice to celebrate after the dramaz this year!

Peach or Cherry Pie:


Melt 1 stick of butter in casserole dish. Then mix to a batter the following: 

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup mil
Pinch of salt
Pour this batter over butter, do not stir
Add can of peaches or cherries or fresh peaches
Bake 30 minutes at 350

Friday, May 27, 2011

Random Fact Friday: Sweet as Honey

Until about the age of 12, I was convinced that bears made honey, not bees. I blame this little dude.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Swimming in Circles: Book Review & Giveaway

When Mook and I stared at the results of his sperm analysis, life changed forever in that instant for us.

The results were bad. Truly bad--and the even harder part is that we were prepared for the problem to be with me. Such a "standard" when thinking about why you aren't able to get pregnant--the woman automatically thinks: "something is wrong with me!"

So as we absorbed what the doctors were telling us, we were both wondering how we were going to navigate this path that had been laid out for us? I was having a hard time finding books/websites/blogs that had any more than a blip about male factor infertility.

Thankfully, I connected with the ALI community and it became a place where I learned, shared and received support. But as I've mentioned before, Mook was dealing with the diagnosis in more private manner and felt isolated as far as sharing his feelings and connecting with other men experiencing a similar diagnosis.

I only wish we could have had a book like Swimming in Circles by Michael Barr for Mook and I to read together during those really dark days. However, it has proved to give us some "back-dated" healing after absorbing Michael's thoughts and reading about the experiences he and his wife went through.

Thanks to the wonders of social media, Michael and I have become blog and twitter pals in recent months, so it's meant a lot for us to be able to have this connection.

He has graciously offered to giveaway a signed copy of his book! You can also read the first 64 pages here.

Here is a quick blurb from Michael during one of our discussions:

"...if you think infertility is a taboo subject to begin with, just imagine being a guy. That's quite honestly why I wrote the book - almost all the books and all the (good) blogs are from females, and while it's not impossible to interact, I think guys often feel like the impostor - so we often lurk, but rarely share.  I just about went nuts going through all the in vitro because I literally had nobody to talk to about it - and the book became the outlet.  What comes out quite literally looks like a love story with all the ridiculousness of our lives and infertility mixed in. I'm not sure that's going to get guys out of their man-rooms and into the discussion, but at the very least, maybe the story will resonate with them a little and they won't feel so alone. If that happens, I've done my job."

Michael has also offered to hold a Q & A session here for anyone who has questions about male factor infertility, his book or other question about his journey--just ask in the comment section!

And now onto the giveaway!

To enter to win a signed copy of Michael's book:  ways to enter!
1) Leave a comment below discussing your thoughts on male factor infertility. For example: is it talked about enough or not? Do you think men suffer just as much as women in the IF journey?
2) "Like" Michael's Facebook Page for Swimming in Circles (leave comment stating you did so)
3) Tweet this post (leave a comment stating you did so)

You can enter the book giveaway from May 24, 2011 - May 31, 2011 and a winner will be chosen by a random generator. Please leave an e-mail where you can be contacted!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Random Fact Friday: One More

O-man loves fruit snacks. So much, that he carries the last one of the pack around in his hand for up to an hour. He'd probably make it last longer if I wasn't concerned about a sticky blob landing in an unwanted spot. I love to hear him chant: "One mooooooore" before he pops it in his mouth! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When Are We Old?

I turn 31 today--officially into my 30's. Last year was a graceful entrance into a new decade, because hey--it's cooool to celebrate milestones.

But I'm not wincing too bad, since I'm thankful that I am able to celebrate my life. We forget too often how precious it really is. Sure, I feel like I'm approaching that age where things are more delicate as far as health and needing to pay a little bit more attention to the aches and pains. But I don't feel old, mentally at least :)

Yes, I have matured. Ive learned lessons and grown from experiences but I catch myself feeling like my inner voice (what, you don't have a little voice that talks to you?!) is still 18...still that eager young girl wanting to reach new heights, experience new things, set new goals.

So if I'm 31 in human years but feel 18 in my mind, when do I officially feel old?

I guess it's all relative, huh? Seems like when you enter your 50's people say, "Oh 50 is the new 40!" and so on--so Im hoping that trend continues as I age! Then at least I'll always average about 30 in my mental age, and I can handle that :)

And since I've started this blog, I can definitely see the way that just the past 4 years have helped me grow...

May 18, 2007
May 18, 2008
May 18, 2009
May 18, 2010

This year I find myself enjoying a week away with just Mook...thankful we are able to spend some time together after the challenges of this year. Also giving us time to be thankful for the little boy we get to go home to, and talking about what other steps we can begin to take for our family.

So while I won't say I'm feeling old, I will be sure and take a deep breath in order to blow out all the candles. I hope you all will enjoy a piece of virtual cake I made sure to bring with me--no calories, I promise!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe Box: Chow Chow

*you can see my original post here*

I love the project that Calliope has been working on to share some recipes from the rolodex of her lovely grandmother, Millie. With her permission to share something similar, I'm going to open a treasured wooden box and pull out a few family recipes from our household. 

I love that this is such a southern recipe. I have learned to have a taste for Chow Chow--and this is a regular request made by Mook. And he loves nothing more than the way his grandmother made it. 

Chow Chow:


1 medium cabbage
1 pt. chopped onions
2 green peppers
2 tbs salt
1 quart vinegar
1/2 lb brown sugar
1/4 cup black mustard seed
1/4 cup white mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
3 large green tomatoes
1 cucumber (optional)


Mix together vegetables with salt-let stand 1 hour; then drain for 3 hours. Mix vinegar, brown sugar & seed. Boil mixture for 1 minute-add vegetables and bring mixture again to boiling point. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Random Fact Friday: Spellz

I am a no-good, very bad speller. I get upset when I'm writing something on paper and the little red squiggly line does not come up when I have misspelled a word.

(I misspelled squiggly and misspelled as I wrote this. *sigh*)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Recipe Box: 7-Minute Frosting

I love the project that Calliope has been working on to share some recipes from the rolodex of her lovely grandmother, Millie. With her permission to share something similar, I'm going to open a treasured wooden box and pull out a few family recipes from our household.

Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to meet Mook's maternal grandmother, who he was very close to. However, I have been given a very special gift: her small wooden box full of hand-written recipes. This means a lot that Mook's family has passed this along to me, and I have been taking good care of the 3x5 note-cards so that hopefully I can pass them on to the next generation in our family.

Today, I'd like to share this recipe: 7-Minute Frosting


2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup cold water
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


Place all ingredients, except vanilla, in double boiler. Beat for 1 minute with electric mixer or rotary beater. Cook over boiling water, beating constantly with mixer or beater, until mixture form peaks (about 7 minutes) Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat until spreading consistency.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Random Fact Friday: Tear It Out

Before I read a magazine, I have to go through and rip out ALL of the mailers. This is a must.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Memory Trigger

I'm currently sitting in a Gastroenterology office while Mook goes through his endoscopy.

1st: It amazes me what other people in a waiting room will share with you. Whether its because of nerves, they're bored during the wait--some of it is just plain TMI.

2nd: I'm having a weird emotional reaction to being here. Mook had this same procedure done on July 1, 2008.

That was the day I received my 2nd beta that confirmed I was indeed pregnant with O-man (then known as Ron!)

So I don't look much different than I did that day 3 years ago since I was only 4 weeks along-but man-my mental state sure is different. I remember being on cloud 9 that day, and today the wave of heartache that is currently washing over me is so palpable. I want that feeling of being on cloud 9 again...

So strange what memory triggers can bring up more intense reactions/feelings than others. Even seeing a box of Omans tiny baby clothes this morning didn't act as a trigger.

The one thing that does make me keep giggling is wondering what obscene things will be coming out of Mook's mouth in about an hour...his recovery last time brought out quite a loopy side of him and he was *quite* fond of using the F bomb.

I better go...more waiting room stories are being shared. I don't wanna miss these...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I haven't turned into an overzealous texting-speak-teenager. There is just simply no other way to look at life lately without adding humor in the mix.

But Im seriously over living in "what could possibly happen next?!" mode--so I'm doing my best to just live in a 24-hour period and not get upset about the past few months or worry about the next few.

Im happy to say that my PET scan came back with no other sign of the BIG C anywhere else in my body. *thank goodness* My inguinal lymph nodes are still getting a photo-therapy treatment every other week--with the possibility that today's treatment could be the last one. Fingers and toes crossed. Next up, I'll be back in my OB's office to discuss thyroid meds and hopefully get this entire thing wrapped up in a neat little box with a bow on top.

I'll also be racking up a nice dental bill this year due to an emergency root canal I had to have 2 weeks ago--and Im still waiting to get a crown put on. Its quite difficult to really restrict chewing food to one side of your mouth. As good a time as any for a liquid diet.

So next up for the Jeans household is an endoscopy for Mook on Thursday--that awful cough he's had since his bout with the flu and mold exposure in January just hasn't gone away. Hes had such a tough time with heartburn, too--so after meeting with yet another specialist 2 weeks ago, we will take this next step hoping for some answers.

O-man continues to be the sunshine in all of the crazy--I love this age. I want to stop time and keep these moments on constant re-play. Maybe not the tantrums, though....

Thanks for holding on through the DRAMAZ the past few months--and good grief, I hope to enter the NO drama zone SOON!

P.S. To keep my mind occupied through the dramaz, I've been reading The Hunger Game series--anyone else as into it as me? I'm done with 1 & 2 and waiting to get my hands on the 3rd...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dollar and $ense of Family Building: At What Cost?

Visit Write Mind Open Heart for more perspectives on the Dollars and $ense of Family Building

If two children in a family “cost” different amounts, should that have any significance?

There is an automatic draft for a specified amount that comes out of my bank account every month that began in June 2008 and will keep coming out every month until June 2017 (hopefully sooner...)

This is the price I am paying back to the bank for our loan from our IVF cycles. I jokingly say that O-man is not officially ours until that last penny is paid back. Just a small way that I feel like the whole IF process still has this little nagging hold on me. 

So how can I even begin to think about adding another child into our lives when I'm still paying back the bank for the miracle that is sleeping soundly in the room next to me.

Because my heart aches to complete my family. 

Reality is though, that we aren't in a position where we can dive into the process of adoption, since that is the only way we will be adding to our family in the future. Will we ever be in that position? If we won the lottery!

But since I know a pretty close dollar figure on what we spent to make O-man a reality, what will it mean if we spend more or less to add another child to our family? I imagine that there would be many conversations eventually about how each child was brought into the family....and I don't know that I can answer exactly how I would address the question of what each child "cost"...

I believe that Mook and I would most likely want to focus on the emotional "cost" -- which would mean explaining how much each of them were wanted and loved before they ever came into our lives. Of course being honest about the actual process of money in the journey, but really focusing on how rich our lives are because of their presence in our family.

It does pull at my heart strings to even daydream while writing this post about having that other person in our family. At what "cost" do we pursue this adoption journey? I don't want to be stressed about money and the financial burden of paying off loans for the rest of our lives. But how can I put a price tag on the happiness of adding to our family?