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Priorities and Produce

4 Sep

As it turns out, moving from Minnesota to Oklahoma then back to Minnesota and finally to South Dakota is an all-consuming endeavor. Something was bound to fall by the wayside while I kept our lives in order so L could concentrate on training, and as it turns out, this blogging thing was pretty far down on my list of priorities.

We’re here now though, on the prairies of South Dakota and it feels great. Our new townhouse is pretty fantastic with a beautiful kitchen (photos to come, I am sure of it!) and plenty of space for three.

Did I say three?

No, I’m not pg– we just have a roommate for a month. He’s a coworker of L’s and a friend now too, and we’re putting him up while he finds a place to live so he can move his family westward, ho.

SoDak (or more specifically, Sioux Falls) is a pretty neato place to live and raise a fan-damily. The cost of living is reasonable and with no state income tax it’s a truly affordable place to set up camp. This week I have been out and about (make that: oot and aboot) and found two places to shop for food that are downright decent: Pomegranate Market  and HyVee. Pomegranate is exactly what you’d expect of a natural foods shop: great for picking up specialty items and organic produce that can’t be found in the bigger chain supermarkets but far too expensive for regular grocery trips. HyVee is new to me and is pretty much your run of the mill grocery store (think Safeway or a much cleaner, classier, friendlier Cub Foods) with a kick ass natural and organic food section. Their produce selection is very good which is a welcomed change for me after Oklahoma City where it is virtually impossible to obtain high quality fruits and veggies. (OKC, why is that???)

To celebrate that we have a true “home base” once again, L and I purchased an outdoor grill (our first!) and I’m crazy for it. Last week’s menu included

  • grilled chicken (veggie fed, organic, hormone freeeeeee & hopefully happy, marinated in olive oil + Penzeys BBQ seasoning) and lots of farmer’s market veggies (roasted red potatoes with onions and green peppers, sweet corn on the cob, and grilled zucchini)
  • grilled honey garlic porkchops (locally raised, fantastically delicious), mashed sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli
  • egg bake with spinach, shallots, chicken-apple sausage & feta cheese.
I am so happy to have a home again, the opportunity to make healthy food, and quality cooking utensils of my very own to use. I’m also on the job hunt, looking for any job in either of the two hospitals that I can get. I have so many plans for how to spend the money I have yet to make.

Back Up On It

9 Aug

I totally fell off the face of the bloggidy earth, I did. I totally assumed I would have loads of free time up here in Minnesota to expand the bucket list and keep up the writing habit. Between a monumental move (my parents and ten tons of STUFF), car problems, and hanging with a toddler, life totally got in the way of my blogging plans.

Also, there has been this gigantic inconvenience and source of much anxiety and it is consuming me. Years ago I was diagnosed with costochondritis after an emergency call to my general practitioner, EKG and examination. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack. I experience occasional flare-ups and all of them cause me an almost insufferable amount of stress.

In a random act of stupidity, I lifted a box of books the other day that weighed about a hundred pounds.  Now I’m in the midst of a flare-up and my anxiety levels are high. I’ve never been one to complain much about my costochondritis or admit to the anxiety. Usually I feel only a dull ache and I can talk myself off the ledge before the panic gets out of hand. I’ve never had to take any serious pain killers. But this time is different. It’s a radiating pain in my chest and I’m having a really hard time keeping the anxiety in check. I almost ran to the emergency room in the midst of an attack this evening. It’s hard to sleep with the heavy chest and shallow breathing and I really feel like all the stress and transition in my life is making this worse.

Thank the gods for the internets, people. Other people go through this shit too and sometimes just knowing that much helps. I have an appointment with a doctor tomorrow to talk treatment and pain/anxiety management. Health insurance kicks ass.

The moral of this story? Take care when you’re boxing for you may injure your sternum. The end.

And because that first Tori link was so terrible, I will leave you with something much more fabulous.

26, 25 and 24 – Baby Rabies

11 Jul

I never dressed up as a bride, wanted to be a princess, or had many tea parties when I was a kid. My idols were She-Ra and Cleopatra and later in elementary school through today, Sarah Connor (no lie, that bitch has mad skills). I always figured I’d be a career woman, especially later in high school and into college. I studied Feminist Theory in college, wrote hundreds of pages on postmodern feminist theory and interned under the first black woman to ever serve in the Minnesota Legislature. I earned a degree in Women’s Studies from the University of Minnesota and eventually landed my dream job in the social services/nonprofit sector working with under-served urban adults and youth. Thanks to the likes of Planned Parenthood and a good dose of common sense, I was able to achieve these goals whilst maintaining relationships with a couple of suitors, including the lovely dude that became my husband. This was all a part of the plan. I am a woman driven by goals.

What was also a part of the plan from the very beginning was having babies. Almost all little girls go through the baby phase and I don’t know how much of that is driven by social influence, but at some point the urge is most definitely biological (my WoSt friends are kicking me for the essentialist statements). Throughout all my life stages and all the career steps, I wanted most to be a mother in the end. I always imagined that would happen by 30.

I’m not sad anymore about the challenge. I’m just growing tired of waiting. I’m thankful for my education, all the traveling I’ve done, the freedom L and I have had to change jobs on a whim, and the most recent ability to move out of state for this amazing opportunity. Always I have held onto the belief that everything happens for a reason, as naive as that sounds, and this move to SD has only strengthened that conviction.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the desire still lingers. I have developed a serious case of the baby rabies! My life experience would just not be complete if in the end it was only L and me and a pack of dogs, but no real family to carry on my values and family history. Both L and I are committed to adoption regardless of our ability to have a biological child. Foster parenting runs in my family and L and I know we could create a positive environment for kids in that program. We have spent hours having this conversation and are 100% on the same page.

We have gone back and forth about IF treatments, wondering how far we’re willing to go to have biological children when there are millions of great kids in need of loving families. And yet selfishly (and biologically?) I feel a real need to see what kind of offspring my husband and I could create from our genes. Because he is pretty rad and I want to experience pregnancy, to grow a human. Doesn’t everyone deserve their complete life experience? I think so. L thinks so. Recently we decided that when the time comes to start the process again, we will go all the way.

So there you have it- items five, six and seven on my bucket list:

To create our own little one.

To adopt a little one.

To foster little ones.

30 ’til 30

5 Jul

Do You Have a Bucket List?

I don’t.

At least, not so far. And if life (so far) has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t really plan or control everything that happens- so you better have some options. In the 30 days leading up to my 30th birthday, my goal is to add an item to my Bucket List. One for each year I’ve been alive. Some goals are lofty, some are small, but all are important to me.

(I don’t think I can muster the ambition to rank these, so they will be in no particular order.)

One

Complete a 5K. And then a 10K.

Because I should be able to do that and I really want to.

One of the luxuries of being down here in OKC with my husband (besides the abundance of decent country stations on the radio that play the hits of the 90s… love love love it) has been having ample time to workout. And I have been hitting the gym like crazy because I have no excuse! I have written before about my love for Turbo Jam and Hip Hop Abs, and I have definitely been getting my groove on with those videos.  But one thing that has always been a challenge for me is running. I suck at running! It hurts my feet and shins and takes a lot of dedication. My dad was a marathon runner (before a neck injury benched him) so I feel like I should be good at it too.

I once took an intro to running class and had a hard time mainly because the pace of the group was so painfully slow- and believe me, my legs are so short I run and walk at a turtle’s pace. I could never find a decent stride and the shin splints were killing me no matter how much I stretched or strengthened or applied cold and hot compresses. I received tons of coaching on my technique and stride but still the splints became so painful it was hard to walk and so I quit running.

Over time I have started to avoid wearing shoes when working out because they make my feet cramp up. I figured it was because my feet are just really difficult to fit (they’re wide and flat and Flinstonian) and that my running days were over because of it. People (especially in the specialty shoe shops) are usually in dismay at this fact and tell me how hard all of this will be on my joints in the long run. But it’s my body and I feel that I get a lot more out of a workout when I am barefoot.

Now there is a mountain of research that says barefoot running is good for you. Maybe it isn’t, but it’s worth a shot! So I went out and bought a pair of barefoot running shoes (the Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove- no finger toes for me) and so far so good.

I’m not really sure how lofty a goal this will be, but I am hopefully on my way to the 5K. Wish me luck! Now if I could only find a good quality, affordable, extra supportive sports bra…

Emergency in the Kitchen!

29 Jun

I seriously just saw my life (or, more precisely, the contents of every bank account from now until about 10 years from now) flash before my eyes.

I was cooking EGG WHITES on the stove (of all things) and threw some olive oil in the pan, since they’re stainless steel, and it ignited into flames. I foolishly thought it could be tamed with water (which is the worst idea ever evidently) so the fire grew and the flames were licking the ceiling. I thought, well, this is it! I’m going to burn this place down! On the hottest day of all time! And this is Oklahoma so the wind will sweep this massive fire down the plain and everything in all apartments everywhere will be lost!

Then the smoke alarm went off and by the grace of something larger than me, the fire died down and I was able to open all the windows, turn on all the fans, and call the front desk to tell them not to alert the fire department. Eventually the smoke alarm stopped and I was left shaking.  Although in time I was able to cook them, I could never bring myself to actually eat the stupid eggs.

Lessons learned today:

  1. Olive oil heated to a high enough temperature is extremely flammable (oil is combustible… who knew?)
  2. Water only makes the situation worse
  3. Under the influence of adrenaline, my brain is basically useless
So, here’s the deal. If an oil fire starts in the kitchen, the best option is the deprive it of oxygen. Smother it! Don’t feed it with panicky hot breath and a douse of water! Here are some ways to put out a grease fire (c/o my father and a quick Google search):
  • Cover it with a lid
  • Throw a good amount of baking soda, flour or salt on it
  • Use a fire extinguisher
Now I am going to spend the rest of the day on edge and paranoid that something in my apartment is going to suddenly burst into flames. Excuse me while I go study the instructions on our fire extinguisher for a few hours.
**Edit: After a thorough search of the dwelling, I have come to the conclusion that we don’t actually have a fire extinguisher. Perhaps this needs to be remedied.

Gettin’ Pregnant: Yer Doin’ it Wrong

30 Mar

Along with advice to just stop thinking about it so much (and let the baby juju come to you), researchers are now offering the IF crowd some new advice: During your next fertility treatment, lighten up and have some fun. And get a sense of humor, why don’t you?

I don’t yet have any experience with IVF per se, but I have had my share of US wands and various medical devices shoved where the sun don’t shine. Along with exhibitionists and ladies of the night, only those truly committed to their local public institution of higher learning can say they have gone full-frontal before half a dozen young strangers.

Perhaps the UMN medical school is ahead of their time. Encounter did I one particularly clownish young med student during my HSG (a right of passage for the infertile). As I sat in radiology, dressing gown agape and feeling the breeze, a young gyno resident stood awkwardly beside me. He explained the details of the procedure and, in what I can only assume was an effort to practice his beside manner, offered to hold my hand. Which was really nice (albeit unnecessary- I’m not really a toucher) apart from the fact that he went on to explain how very painful this procedure would be. So painful in fact, that some women cry out in pain- scream even, beg for this to be over. Afterward they feel crampy, spotty, and downright awful – for hours.

And then the team of MDs and their residents walked in, gowned, gloved and sterile. With needles and tubes and speculum, oh my.

The HSG was not as bad as I imagined it would be after this dude’s tale of pain and woe. To his credit, he may have been playing some tricky psychological voodoo on me. Who knows? I got to see my own fallopians and ovaries and as long as I end up pregnant someday, all’s well that ends well.

Playlist du jour

15 Feb

Sometimes it takes some truly spectacular music to get me in the mood to workout. I suspect this may be true for others as well. Today I was in no mood to workout… but I desperately wanted to put off my school work too. Having recently updated my iTunes workout playlist I opted out of the dance workout dvds and instead hopped on the elliptical machine that is currently collecting dust in our “office” (which is actually more like a disastrous storage unit at this point).

The iPod shuffled the right mix today and I thought I’d share it. It’s full of some songs that are no longer hip, maybe overplayed on the radio- but I only listen to NPR in the car anyway so it’s all fresh to me! Maybe there’s something new here for you (my one and only reader) to enjoy? This playlist is approximately 50 minutes long and includes warm-up and cool down tunes.

  1. Line it Up – Mayda (local lady love)
  2. Big Girl Now – NKOTB and Lady Gaga
  3. We R Who We R – Ke$ha
  4. Gotta Get Thru This – Daniel Bedingfield
  5. Stronger – Kanye (he’s-my-boyfriend-don’t-even-care-if-he’s-a-jerk) West
  6. Stockholm Syndrome – Muse
  7. Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  8. Beggin’ – Madcon
  9. Only Girl (In the World) – Rihanna
  10. Bright Lights Bigger City – Cee Lo (did you see his pug puppet at the Grammys!?)
  11. American Boy – Estelle feat. Kanye (again, dang!)
  12. Back to Life – Slow Spokes (for a little more local flava)
  13. Day n Night – Kid Cudi (for the stretch out)

Some people reward themselves with gossip magazines while working out. I allow myself to listen to ridiculous and vapid pop (hence the Ke$ha) while I’m working out (although that list is not entirely comprised of bad pop!). It’s an incentive, it allows me to zone out and focus on the beat and the workout, and it’s an indulgence I look forward to.