Monday, November 22, 2010

Perogie-Palooza

Christmas in our family didn't always mean lots of family gatherings. Living far away from most of our relatives meant our holiday time often included family friends rather than family.

However, that's not to say there weren't lots of traditions that we could count on each year, even if each year wasn't exactly the same. We always had a tree and a decorated house. We always had lots of 'special' desserts in the freezer. We always had a few items in the stocking that were the same each year. Wes always played Santa with the stocking stuffers. We always had company for Christmas Eve dinner and that dinner always, always, always included perogies....as did Christmas morning.

Now, I don't believe there is such a thing as a perogie unless it is made by one of my relatives. The stuff you can buy simply doesn't compare, you cannot call those things perogies. And although I know perogies can have different fillings, in my family the perogies is filled with potatoes, cottage cheese, butter and onions......and something extra special. Also, the dough is very very very tender.

I know I've assembled perogies before with my Mom but it's been a very long time. This year, when we spoke about it, we determined we'd do it together and for the first time ever, I was responsible for ingredient!

This is a huge step. Me, responsible for how these little pieces of heaven, these tasty harbingers of Christmas, these little Christmas miracles will taste! Gah! The pressure was almost too much and I wasn't even doing the hard part.

I was responsible for the filling, the potatoes. And in gaining that responsibility I became privy to the secret ingredient. Hold onto your hats people because I'm not afraid to share it: cream cheese!! Hello! Cream Cheese Potatoes! That's right, included in the potatoes with cottage cheese and butter and wrapped in dough. TRUST the Ukrainians to know how to maximize the fat and cheese content of any food. Unbelievable!

And I now understand why I never seemed to take enough lactose pills with Christmas eve dinner.

Regardless, I'm pleased to say, after sacrificing two onions, perogie-palooza 2010 was a success. I have 200 little beauties safely packaged in my freezer and after a little taste-testing, I can safely say they pass muster....even if they are a little under-salted. (Note to self for next year)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Skype, how I adore thee

Growing up my Dad often travelled for work. Although I could be totally wrong, I recall it usually being a couple of weeks a few times a year. But there were also a few years when there were big trips, when it was more like a month or two away from home.

When those trips happened we would get a call once a week and Mom would talk to Dad, catch him up on the goings on at home. If we were around, we'd be invited to say a few words, "hey Dad, things are good, school's the same, how long till you come home?" That was about it.

Today, my husband is on the other side of the world. We've only been married a few years and this is the longest we've been apart since the wedding day. Now, as I've said before, I'm a pretty independent person. After a week of him being gone, I'm pretty comfortable in the house by myself, I'm getting by just fine.

But oooh boy, it's been a long week getting to this point. I've had some really emotional days this week, days when I really wanted a partner to come home to....and thanks to skype, I could. Oh skype! To think a week ago I barely knew you. I couldn't have known how you would enable the brightest moments of this otherwise gloomy week. :)

A. is 13.5 hours ahead of me. When I get home from work, he's greeting the following morning, up for the day and ready to go for breakfast. We have a good hour to talk before he heads out.....and thanks to skype we can do that! For Free, people! Free! I get to hear his voice and see his face and expressions. He showed me his hotel room and the view from his window. And there is no time limit!

This boggles the mind when I think of what I grew up with during Dad's travels. How different would it have been if we'd sat down at the dinner table with a laptop and camera and still had dinner chats with Dad almost every day?

Amazing what technology allows. I'm incredibly grateful for it today.

S

Fine

"It'll be fine once it's over. If it's not fine, then it's not over."

Sometimes TV has good lines!

November is my month off.....from active treatment. Too bad it couldn't be a month off from infertility. Or a month off from winter blues. Or a month off from myself.

I'd like a self-vacation. Today I could have happily flushed my 'self' down a toilet and walked away, good riddance. How does one accomplish that? I mean without medication or substance abuse. Oh right, only with medication or substance abuse.

Yeah, I'm not there yet, unless cheesecake counts.

Good riddance Tuesday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Coupled and Decoupled

I'm not cut out for a long distance relationship - quality time is decidedly my love language and yet I also consider myself a very independent woman. How does that fit? Being on my own has left me reflecting on coupledom and how we play our roles....and what shifts when suddenly I'm decoupled for a couple of weeks.

On the one hand, I get a kick out of being the only one to consider when making basic choices and taking up space. What, when and where to eat becomes an opportunity for a little indulgence and breaking the usual rules and routines. Sleeping in the middle of the bed, using all the bathroom counter space, both hand towels, and the entire towel rack is thoroughly enjoyable.

Plus, being alone somehow spurs me into doing tasks and chores that I generally avoid. Tasks that may fall into my partner's realm and doing them feels like an act of independence. I get my car fixed. I take the yard waste to the disposal place. I take out the garbage and do the vacuuming. I haul out the decorations, even the hammer and nails, and make changes in the house. I plan social activities without considering anyone else's needs or plans.

My time is my own and I do things on a whim. I am capable. I am competent. I can do whatever I want in the world, however I want to do it.

I am woman, hear me roar! Wooohooo!

Aaaand on the other hand.....

Having no one to tell all that stuff to, no one to plan with, consult with, do those tasks with, leaves me feeling lonely. There is a void where there used to be someone to bounce off of, talk to ... consider. When no one knows my plans, my activities, how my day went, I go to a place of thinking there is no one who cares either. The cat just doesn't notice that much.

Plus, this house is big. Too big for one person. I rattle around in here, feeling small even though I try to take up more space and make noise.

When it's dark and dreary all day, pitch black all evening and there is a roaring wind storm rattling the windows and throwing branches at the house making it sound like there is someone trying to get in....... well, it's an unpleasant experience alone. I have trouble falling asleep, listening to the unexpected noises and I hate the idea that the power could go out. With someone to share it with, the exact same evening would be a great time to snuggle in, comment at the power of the wind and feel safe and snug tucked inside together.

So, having this time alone has me feeling both lonely and empowered and very appreciative of my hubby. We caught each other online today and I rushed home from work, giddy at the chance to skype and have a real conversation.

The opportunity to miss someone can be a real gift. And oh, I miss him.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Questions

There are questions in life that have no answers. Questions that confound the mind, prey on your insecurities, make you wonder if there is such a thing as "fair."

Case in point: HOW can a man pack everything he needs for a two week trip (business and casual) into a single carry on suit case? How? How?

I don't get it. It makes no sense.

I'm so irritated, it may take me two weeks to regain my equilibrium and actually be able to welcome him home again.

Kidding, Love. Kidding... you'll be welcomed home with open arms....I need you to rake the leaves, the pine needles did me in. Love you!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The things you worry about....and the things you don't

November is my month off, my sweet escape from the tumultuous rollercoaster of trying for a baby.

Knowing it would be a month without the demands of appointments at the clinic and hopefully without the usual emotional extremes, I scheduled some different things. One was my annual physical.

I had a couple of small ... I wouldn't even call them concerns, the were just items to mention and get reassurance on. My regular doctor wasn't in so I saw her replacement, which was fine, she was friendly, reassuring and direct. We did the usual full physical stuff.

Any changes? Any concerns?
What's with the heartburn lately = take a tums
Not really recovering my energy after my last period = we'll do some bloodwork...
Breast exam, all fine...
Pap, as is usual....
Stethescope deep breaths, sounds good...
Listen to the heart.....hmmm.....

"Has anyone ever told you you have a heart murmur?"

wtf?!? "No, no one has ever told me that before." I knew it, infertility is literally heart breaking.

"No problem, it's probably nothing but whenever someone develops a murmur as an adult we want to take a closer look."

So! The plan is to go in for an EKG just to check things out.... get a closer look and listen. Probably won't happen any time soon as it's certainly not an emergency. But this has thrown me for a bit of a loop... has made me think about worry.

I worried about not being able to have children. It's a real concern and I even had anxiety around it prior to trying for children because it was so important to me. Worrying about it didn't keep me from experiencing infertility. "Did it assist in causing it?"my horrible, self-hating voice asks. It's a worthless, self-defeating question.

I've never worried about my heart .... but that didn't keep me from developing a little 'something.' I'm not worried now but that's not going to stop whatever happens from happening. However, it may make life easier to enjoy if I'm not anxious over it while waiting for the test.

In the meantime....Um Lord, not sure if you got the memo: This is my month off, Lord, my month off!