BAKED: Mom’s Olive Oil Orange Bundt

•July 31, 2011 • 9 Comments

I’m back!  I’ve actually baked several of the recipes and just didn’t take pictures or didn’t post.

We’re in an apartment, and my bundt pan is in storage.  So this is really an olive oil orange sheet cake.  I thought I had lemon olive oil and I was going to use that, but apparently I didn’t.  So I used the regular stuff.

I didn’t expect to like this.  The batter was, well, oily.  And thick.  But I just ate a piece and it reminds me of a cake donut.  My daughter likes it, too.  A winner!  I do wonder if you could dirty fewer dishes…

For more participants and the recipe click here!

make it bake it

•July 26, 2011 • 4 Comments

I remember picking up those little pieces with tweezers with my mom.  Make It Bake It.  One of those things I thought maybe I’d never get to do with my own daughter.

Today, we got to make 3 kitties (remind me to tell you how I’m worried I might be raising a crazy cat lady).  We scooped and poured and smoothed and tweezed those tiny little pieces.  We baked.  We waited (what seemed like an eternity to a certain 3 year old).  We didn’t use enough of the little colored pieces.  But it’s all okay.

She loved it.  And of course, so did I.



nothing. everything.

•July 10, 2011 • 4 Comments

Seriously, I don’t know what to say.  Blog identity crisis, anyone?

We’ve moved.  I’ve had another period.  I want another baby, but I don’t dare say those words aloud.  Typing them will have to suffice.

We had a great 4th.  It’s hot.

I’m trying to figure out what’s next.  Maybe there isn’t a next.

I’m happy, I’m angry.  Sometimes at the same time.

at least…

•June 13, 2011 • 6 Comments

…I didn’t waste any money, just hope.

My period was a day or two late.  I told myself, if I get to Monday morning, I’ll test.  Maybe the miracle I’ve wished for will come true!

I closed my eyes and imagined, for a minute or so, being pregnant again.

My period started yesterday afternoon.

No tears.  Just more wasted hope.  It’s never really gonna end, huh?


•June 8, 2011 • 3 Comments

I haven’t written much about BabyHope lately.  She’s bloomed.  The traces of baby are nearly gone – save some wispy hair and a touch of baby cheek.  She’s tall – she’s grown 2+ inches since her well-check in January, and about two weeks ago, we hit a milestone – 30 pounds!

She’s reading.  Really reading.  Like outloud at Target or the flooring store and people are noticing.  We bought a 6 pack of early reader books at Costco the other day and she read all of them.  Independently.  It’s funny when she hits a word she guesses at or sounds out – sometimes from the back seat when I’m driving.  I play translator.  Today it was “hopiscoootch”.  Hopscotch.  Took me a second to get that one.  She’s reading signs at the zoo, the store, the street.  It seems extraordinary.

Pretend.  That’s all we do.  Pretend to be animals or different people, playing kitchen, dress up, doctor, house.  She loves to water the garden (one thing I will miss sorely about the house).

She’s still slow to warm up sometimes.  And I often can’t predict when or why.  New teacher at ballet?  No problem.  Swimming pool in a friend’s backyard?  45 minutes of not wanting to get in, and then the moment she got in she was jumping, flipping, and blowing bubbles.

She talks non-stop.  Today, two women watched (and giggled) as she chatted about the IAMS display at Target – talking about the cat check-up and on and on.  The things she remembers – like the foster kittens and their names from last summer – blow my mind sometimes.  Some of it is her voice.  I need to record her voice.

“We live on planet Earth.  We want a clean Earth.” (said “Erf”, of course) she just said to me.

She eats nearly anything I put in front of her.  She’s great about trying things – sometimes with a little encouragement.  Fish is a new favorite – she insisted on bringing leftovers to school on Tuesday.  Spinach pesto is her favorite, second only to chocolate anything.

It’s not all wonderful.  I think we escaped the terrible twos – or the terrible twos were easy for me to wrap my head around.  The threes?  We have moments where I have to walk away.  She screams, hits, kicks, lies on the floor in an attempt to get what she wants.  It’s maddening.  I try to tell myself that it will pass, that all the other moms are dealing with the same thing, but sometimes, in the middle of the grocery store, it can feel pretty lonely.

We’re still in the middle of change central.  The house is under contract – in record time, maybe.  The option period is up, inspection and appraisal are done.  We have an apartment secured.  We’re going to be urbanites for a few months – literally next door to Mr. Hope’s work.  It will be fun – an extended staycation is how we’re thinking of it.  But I think the small apartment will have us quite ready to move out when the time comes.  BabyHope will start a new school in the fall, too.  It will mean lots of driving for me, but it’s supposed to be a fantastic (and looked fantastic on observation) setting, and I think they will be able to help her grow in ways her current placement can’t.  You know, that whole reading thing.  And I think they’ll actually keep track of what she can and can’t do – and actually work on weaknesses and build on strengths.

Life is good.  I’m mostly too busy to worry about pregnancy, though I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a moment each month where I think “maybe”.  It’s never true, though.  And some announcements still sting.  A lot.  One took my breath away and caused anger a week ago.  I won’t go into details, it just felt smug.  And like the person thinks she knows but she has no real idea.


•May 20, 2011 • 5 Comments

Everything.  Well, almost.

Not two of the tiny, tiny preemie bodysuits that were too big those first weeks.  Or the single preemie disposable diaper I have left that was also too big.  Or the little blue soothie pacifier that took up half her face.  Or the hat she came home in.

But the rest.  The pack n play.  The cloth diapers.  The toys, books, and bottles she’s outgrown.  The maternity clothes.

And the house.

I’d be lying if I said sorting through 3 years of clothes and marking them for sale was easy.  Or that I hadn’t shed a tear.  But it’s time.  There are no fertility treatments on the horizon.

I remember, vividly, walking in the door to this house, our home, with her for the first time.  It will be sad to say goodbye.

But I also remember the first day here, followed by the second day that is a blur because my brother died in that car accident.  And I remember lying on the bed sobbing after the first IVF cycle resulted in a roller coaster beta ride and ectopic.  And I remember sitting on the couch looking at the refrigerator but knowing I couldn’t make it to get that glass of water the nurse told me to drink as I started to hemorrhage, and choosing the bathroom instead.

I love this house.  I hate this house.

I love all the things we are selling.  I want, desperately, to be able to use them again.  To meet our baby again for the first time.  But, even more desperately, I never, ever want to fail another IVF cycle.  Or miscarry.  Or hemorrhage.  Or have whatever thing go wrong that I haven’t thought of.  I can’t do it again.

I thought I couldn’t sell this stuff.  But I can.

It’s another step down a different path.  And it will be okay.

advocacy day wrap-up

•May 5, 2011 • 5 Comments

to be clear here, these are my opinions, not necessarily those of RESOLVE.  For more information on Advocacy Day and the issues we presented, please visit

Look, I’m going to be honest here.  Advocacy Day was different for me.  It wasn’t a rah-rah-rah experience; it wasn’t uber-bonding with a group of women from my home state in similar situations; it wasn’t super-successful.

The good and amazing:

I met some amazing women – some I’ve watched from afar, too timid to engage.  Some were completely new to this but so fired up and effective – it was awe-inspiring.

I participated in our democracy in a way I’ve never done before.  It is our birthright as United States citizens to have our voices heard by those we elect – it is our right to show up in their offices to present what we need legislated.  That was an amazing experience.  I’ve always voted, but this was different and empowering.

The bad:

I live in the second most populous state.  I live in the second largest state by area.  I am not the only infertile woman who lives in my state, but I was the only participant from my entire state.

That I was the only one who showed up was honestly a little discouraging.

We have 32 representives in Congress.  31 didn’t get personal visits by their constituents.  I distributed the 17 additional “leave-behind” flyers to some of those offices, but it’s not enough.

It’s sad to me that infertility – a disease – is a partisan issue.  Diabetes, cancer, asthma, MS – none of these are partisan, and all are covered by insurance.  A bum uterus?  No tubes?  Anovulatory?  No sperm?  Well, I’m sorry, your insurance won’t cover treatment, and my senators aren’t particularly interested in doing anything about it because it’s expensive and somehow insults their pro-life stances (this wasn’t overtly said, but understood).  It seems a juxtaposition, an oxymoron, and even an insult to be pro-life yet anti-IVF.  All we want is to build families – to create life.

I have follow-ups to do.  I’m mulling my responses in my head – how to encourage those that don’t see what I see without alienating them.  Nudge instead of shove, encourage instead of berate.

Oh, and next time?  Could someone from my state come with?  Puh-lease?