Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bon Appetit!

Want a life changing (drastic? maybe... but I just love food. and Bon Appetit) summer chicken recipe?? Well do I have something for you then! One of my most favorite things to get in the mail is my monthly issue of Bon Appetit. I get giddy. Yes, seriously. I often drop everything and plant myself in my favorite reading spot on the couch and read the entire issue from cover to cover, gawking at the delicious photographs, and dog-earing pages of recipes I want to try out. Then, I get on Pinterest and add the recipes to the applicable "food" board so I don't forget about them when I plan our weekly meals. I get excited about these things... it's a sickness, I know. Now, if you're familiar with BA, it wasn't always user friendly for all levels of cooks. That's so NOT the case anymore! It's easy to find [most, if not all] of the ingredients in your regular grocery store and the recipes don't involve 1,475 steps. Now, on to what I've been waiting to share!!!!

Sambal Chicken Skewers


Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch pieces  (boneless, skinless chicken breasts might work, but I really don't think they'll be as tender)
  • 1 small onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
**the chili paste and Sriracha can easily be found in the Asian section of your grocery store or at any Asian market.


Special Equipment:

  • 6-8 bamboo skewers soaked in water for at least an hour (so they don't burn)

Instructions:

1. Whisk the brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, and Sriracha in a large bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat, and marinate for an hour or two.
2. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Thread the chicken, onions, and green peppers onto the skewers.
3. Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer and reduce for about 10 minutes until it's thickened into a glaze. 
4. Grill the chicken skewers, turning and basting with the glaze until cooked through (8- 10 minutes depending on how hot your grill is). 
**This was the perfect balance of spicy and sweet :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

friends

In a previous post, I said my outlook is much different for this transfer. I feel more emotionally prepared and have much more confidence in what the future holds for us. My support system is a huge part of my renewed attitude, and I cannot begin to describe how thankful I am for my dear friend. She always, ALWAYS knows exactly what to say and has truly been here unconditionally for me [and I have not been a pleasant person at times]. Mer, I know you think I'm giving you too much credit, but no one has stuck by my side through every up and down (well, besides Nate!), like you have. Your acceptance of the way I handle things means more than you know. 

In an attempt to not go on too much of a rant here... I've read many posts recently on the topic of strained friendships resulting from this ugly infertility battle. I will be the first to admit that I have not handled my infertility well. With that said though, there isn't a handbook that explains how to cope with every curveball whipped in our direction. We approach each day the best way we can. So, why is it that I feel like the bad guy when some of my own friendships have strayed from what they used to be? Why do I feel as though I am being punished because I don't have my own children? This is a frustration that has been building for quite a while, and I'm open to some insight. 

My thoughts for the day...


You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
       - Eleanor Roosevelt  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

here goes nothing!

After a very fun trip home to NY, I'm back! My sister-in-law's wedding was beautiful! She was as gorgeous as ever and we had the best time! I even got to show my husband up with my putt-putt skills. I keep telling him I'm ready to golf, now I think he believes me ;) Here are a few of my favorite pics that I snapped this past weekend. I was a serious picture nazi!

Family!


Kim & Daniel



So cute :)



And breaking news... I got the go ahead from my RE today!! Progesterone shots begin tonight! I will say that I would like to see my lining a little thicker (obviously, my RE would too). However, we have exhausted every experimental option to get it to the optimum thickness and Nate and I agreed that before this cycle began, we would give it all we've got. I've never been more excited to begin the progesterone, and that's saying a lot considering how awful awesome it makes me (and my rear feel). So, here goes nothing! 


Friday, July 12, 2013

funny :)

Staying with my family brings much needed comic relief. A little background info... My sister is at the ripe old age of 21, has a grown-up job, and (lucky her) is living rent-free at home with my parents. Now I, too, did the same after college. It didn't make much sense to live in an apartment when I was going to grad school full time and working. So, I truly believe she should take advantage of the situation until my parents kick her out (just kidding, but not really) or she can't handle living at home any longer, whichever comes first :) Now on to my story....

See this handy thing?



Well, my mom has a serious obsession with being clean (this explains A LOT about me!), and she LOVES to vacuum! My mom even likes to tidy-up at 10 PM with her Dyson cordless vacuum, so you can only imagine the words that left my sister's mouth when she heard this going on right outside of her bedroom door the other night. I have to say, my mom did this to me when I lived here at home, so it made it even funnier to hear my sister shout, "MOM! Are you kidding me right now?!? I'm trying to sleep, I have to get up in 7 hours!!!!" 

Few people make me laugh REALLY hard, but my family can instantly lift my spirits. It's like watching a real life Modern Family unfold right before my eyes... Well, ok, not quite. But, if you share the same love for the Dunphy clan as me, you can understand the level of humor that comes from my own crazy family :) 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

double post... feeling fearful

So here we are again, about ready to hop on a plane to NY for my sister-in-law's wedding. Weddings = fun. Extended family members/friends asking questions about having babies = not fun TERRIBLE. This is what I dread about going home. On one hand, I fully accept responsibility for keeping our struggles to ourselves (but in all honestly, I fully feel it's our business and I haven't felt the need to air our infertile laundry to every person I come into contact with, family or not), and hey, I realize that I'm 30 and naturally, a baby is next. It's inevitable that people will ask, however I get serious anxiety about answering those impossible questions. Some days, I hype myself up and go over possible scenarios in my head with full intentions of putting my hands around your neck being on the rude side if you even mumble the phrase, "Just relax and it'll happen!". I also have no interest in you telling me that "so and so" tried for x amount of months and "struggled", but then, BOOM! PREGGO! Newsflash- it's not happening that way for us! 

God grant me the serenity and patience to get through the next week. I love being with my family and want to enjoy spending this quality time with them.

a brief complaint

Dear [Slightly Confused] Lab Technician,
When you are drawing a gazillion vials of blood from patients in a fertility clinic, why are you asking me what labs I'm having done? Isn't it obvious that I need my hormone levels checked?!
Also, I know how busy you are, and I can't imagine (oh wait, yes I can...) how much blood you have to draw every day, but is it too much to ask to NOT butcher my arm the next time you draw blood?? I'm confused as to why I have a legitimate cut where the needle was yesterday!
After having a good 2 dozen or so different techs draw blood over the past couple of years, I still cringe when I sit in that chair and now I'm already dreading your presence for next week's blood-work. 
Unhappily,
Sarah

Thursday, July 4, 2013

a different approach?

Now that this cycle is in full swing, I've quickly realized that my outlook is A LOT different. But then again, in many ways, it should be... 

1. We've had to cancel 2 cycles since January due to my immune system taking a serious nose dive, and then again because too much estrogen broke down my uterine lining. When we only have 2 frozen embryos left, it's not worth it to "give it a shot" if things aren't optimal. The progesterone shots are awful enough, I'm not physically ready for another IVF cycle just yet. 
2. The biopsy that I had as a result of the most recent cancelled cycle revealed no abnormalities, phew.
3. It's summer, I am most definitely less stressed because of that fact alone. Who doesn't get a mood boost from a little sun-kissed glow?? 
4. Whether it's all in my head or it really is helping, the acupuncture is something I truly look forward to every week. I've handled stressful situations differently over the past months, which is something to celebrate in itself. It's no secret that I'm a pretty high-strung individual! 
5. I've cut back on my social media obsession. Any infertile can agree with me that Facebook is the devil when you are TTC and a pregnancy update is posted daily. I still love Instagram though... just because someone follows me, doesn't mean I have to follow them! 
6. Writing is my new therapy... I suppose it's about time that I take my own advice considering I am a writing teacher!

Each day is different... sometimes I surprise myself with my optimism, and other days I find it difficult to get off the couch. But I do know that I have hope, and my courage [albeit small at times] does exist.  




Hope everyone has a fabulous 4th of July! I'll be lounging in the pool with a strawberry mojito in my hand ;) 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

good conversation

Oops, how did the weekend get away from me?! I had a long conversation with my mom Friday morning. It's taken me well over a year into this process to accept that this is the path we are on, whether I like it or not. It also took 6 months of Clomid (before seeking the help of a fertility specialist), 2 IUIs, a complete IVF cycle, and 1 FET to actually talk about this journey without breaking down into uncontrollable sobs. With that said, I've been pretty silent and closed off when it comes to sharing much with anyone besides my husband and a few close friends. When I emailed my blog link to my mom, I told her I hoped she wouldn't be offended by my words in my first post. She apologized for not being more sensitive and it's important for me to share with the blogging community that she didn't have any idea what I was going through with the fertility treatments. So, as insensitive as it might have been for her to tell me I didn't look the best, she thought I was sick and I didn't want to ruin her Christmas spirit by getting into the extreme disappointment and sadness I was experiencing at that moment.

I feel like a failure every time we don't get a positive pregnancy test [and there have been A LOT in our 2 1/2 years of TTC]. So, it's been difficult for me to be honest with my family about what this process has involved- both emotionally and physically. In an attempt to spare myself more heartache by rehashing everything to my mom, I have alienated myself which has made our relationship suffer a bit. I've spent a lot of time reflecting lately, and although no one outside of this elite club truly understands, my mom is the last person I should have pushed away. So... thank you, Mom. Thank you for being patient and giving me time. I love you :)