A Single Woman's Journey To Motherhood


Location: Washington, United States

I began my TTC journey in January 2005. It finally worked with the 5th IUI and along came Eliana! I started trying for a second (T42) a little over a year later, and was thrilled to get pregnant on the second try this time. Jacob soon joined our family! Not sure if I am done at two, but come along for my journey in motherhood. If you stop by, please leave me a short note! I like to know when I have visitors. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Cats, rats and other things..

I actually started replying to an old comment someone had left..and thought it may never get read there...so while I am waiting for my nummy apple crisp to finish baking, I will respond here.

As for the cat and bush rat, I didn't have much choice. The cat we were in the middle of nowhere...on an 18+ hour long bus trip...We actually had run over the cat, threw it into the back of the bus, and when we stopped at the border for the night (because the border isn't open late at night), we borrowed a pot from a villager nearby, and cooked it over a fire...it was an amazing experience actually. I was the only toubabou (white person) on the bus. Everyone was so excited to teach me different phrases in dioula and just to get to know me...It is likely my most "African" of my African experiences.

As for the bush rat, well, I was in a very small town for the weekend. We actually were staying at a hotel outside of town and had walked about 3 miles into town for dinner. We were looking for a maquis (an open air restaurant that usually serves chicken, fish, rice, etc..) but could only find bush restaurants. Bush restaurants cook one meal a day in a big pot. You eat whatever they are selling. We were so hungry by the time we got there, it was like our 3rd bush restaurant we had run into I think...so we sat down and had "agouti". The truth is, I didn't know what it was when I started eating it. It didn't look like anything I had ever eaten, and the sauce it was in was so spicy you didn't taste much of it. You eat at this long table, kind of like a cafeteria, and as other people come in they sit with you. Well, eventually, a man who spoke French came in, and he is who told us what it actually was.

In the end, neither of these two meals were nearly as scary as the fish I ate last week. I think probably because I have had bad experiences with fish before..and I didn't have any bad experiences with cat or bush rat to be that afraid. :)

My first year teaching at my present school, I asked the kids what was the weirdest thing they had ever eaten when we were studying food vocabulary. I shared with one period that I had eaten cat.......I will never live this down. At last year's graduation ceremony one student gave a speech about his first day in his senior year...when he got to talking about my class, he said "I was pretty frightened about Spanish...I don't know...I hear she eats cats." hahaha.

BBQ Ribs...

Well, noone saw my plea for advice...I am guessing that is because it was hidden somehow under my other post...which is weird since I made it AFTER the baby update..oh well.

Here is our menu for this evening:

BBQ Ribs
Super mashed potatoes (or something like that..forget the title..but with cream cheese and sour cream and just extra yumminess)
Caesar salad
Cucumber and tomato salad
Green beans

and for dessert..Apple Crisp..


Word of advice for you...measure your pot size for the ribs before you start to boil....hahah
Yes, I had my big pot out, but I am also trying to make enough to feed my uncle and cousin both of whom have bottomless pits of stomachs and the ribs did not fit! I finally got out the big canner hahahah. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Updates on the two babies...

A couple people have asked me what happened with Baby N and then the second baby (I didn't name that one...).
Baby N was not left at great-grandma's for long. The father was very much interested in raising the baby and eventually Baby N and his mother went back to Las Vegas to live with the father...I worry about this baby, because I suspect he, his sisters and his mom will continue to pick up and leave when things get rough...no stability. :( I hope that I am wrong however...

As for the second baby, his mother eventually did take him home. She is going to try and raise him herself with the help of her mother. I think things will fare better for this little guy....I hope so!

So, there are the updates on the babies...As I had said at the time of the babies appearing on my hope radar, it really wasn't the best time for me, so I believe that things worked as they should. I will be finished my Master's mid-March (except for the comprehensive exam which takes one month to write) and depending on my finances, may start then. That had been my plan, but my finances are looking very sickly right now....I may put it off for at least 6 months...which will also give me a bit more time to work on losing as much weight as possible....Weight loss has been going great since I came back from Alberta....very strange. I am sure it won't keep this up, because face it, if it had been as easy as this to lose weight, I wouldn't be as big as I am now! Still, I will hope and pray I can get a lot off before beginning my TTC journey. :)

Well, that was a much needed break. Now, I must get back to work...I have worked a lot on the library/craft room...you can see the floor and the craft table, and the sewing machine is finally out....Today, I am working on the nursery....

Great Supper Entrees

OK...I am enlisting your folks help here. I am serving dinner for 4 tomorrow night at my house. There are two men amongst us who count as two servings at the very least...so let's say 6-8.

In the past, I have served Lebanese dinner, West African dinner, Chinese dinner, and roast beef dinner....So, I am open for suggestions!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Something's fishy...

Now, before you understand what an incredibly amazing and suprising thing this is, you must know that I physically gag at the smell of fish/seafood. I tell people I can't eat any fish/seafood because I don't want to embarass any of us if it won't go down, or worse, comes back up.

As part of a healthy diet, you are told that fish is very good for you and you should eat it. So, in light of my trying to be healthier, I decided to try some fish...I actually have bought two different things that are in the freezer: some big hunk of fish that looked white and closest to chicken, and some lemon pepper or something like that fish fillet. However, I have not had the nerve to try them....they have sat in my freezer for about a month or two...

Today, I needed a couple things from the grocery store. I wanted some frozen veggies so went down that aisle, and I always notice what is on sale. There were these breaded seasoned fish fillets....not the healthiest of fishes I am sure because of the bread...but the seasonings, garlic herb or something like that, sounded very good. So....I bought them. And not only did I buy them, I cooked one for dinner (they are kind of like chicken fingers...a serving is two pieces, but I was scared and only made one...). I imagine it would have been a very funny sight to see me. Praying that I like it. Praying that I don't throw up. Eyeing the piece of unknown food on my plate with much fear and trepidation, 1000 times more scared than the time I was offered braised cat at the border between Mali/Burkina Faso, or even when I ate a stew of bush rat in Cote d'Ivoire...I could not have been more horrified of this fish. I pierced it with my fork, said yet another prayer...and decided I couldn't do it. I put it down. At least 5 prayers were said before I finally got the nerve and brought it to my mouth....


I liked it! YUMMMM!!!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Dieting tip thanks...

I wanted to send a quick thank you to the suggestion of Men's Health Magazine for great recipe ideas. Being a single woman, this is not anything I would have ever thought of to look up! I found a website with a recipe database and some great sounding recipes...I will have to give them a try!

I am also going to check out the fitday (if I remember correctly) link and perhaps switch there once my WW subscription ends!

Thank you!

Parent Emails..

I can't help but share this one...This is an honest to goodness email that I received from a parent today. I have changed the names to protect their identities..

Ms. Johnson,
I have read Jim's grading policy and syllabus for your Spanish 1 class.
I think you will find Jim much more of a pleasure to have in class than his brother! Hope you have a good group of kids.
Mrs. T.

I thought that was hilarious...now, if only you knew his brother...this is a kid who was an intelligent smart alec pain in the behind for TWO straight years...I was so happy to see him graduate! (and thus not end up in my class again)...I wonder if "Jim" saw the fear in my eyes when he came to my door after school Friday to ask permission to switch into my class (it was past the add/drop date) hahah

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Dieting updates...

A quick update on dieting progress here...

School started, and as I feared, I don't have energy to do my exercise tapes after school...I can't even stay awake most nights after supper...

I have stopped logging everything I eat in the WW points tracker. I am not exactly sure why I did that...it just happened once I started school...I guess it just takes time, and I am not home to put it in immediately before/after I eat something.

When I look at what I am eating every day, it really doesn't seem to have changed much, hasn't changed much from what I would have been eating last year for instance. Except, I do make myself eat at least 3 servings of fruits/veggies a day. In the summer, I was always getting all 5 in, 2 servings were almost always a salad. It is hard to keep that up during school (unless I went to the caf to get the soup/salad bar...but I mentioned why I no longer do that in the post below). Making salads take a bit of work, and I am really picky about having fresh, crisp lettuce or I can't get it down.

That said, I was expecting a gain this week. Not a big gain, but either a little gain or even staying the same. I exercised only one day last week. One night I thought, I really need to keep up my exercise and put in the 3 mile WATP, and I couldn't do it! I stopped around 1.5 miles. I think it might have been that it was WAY too warm in my house, and I just woken up from my after school coma. :) That was it for exercise.

So....imagine my surprise when I lost 2 pounds! That's right...2 pounds! I am at a total loss of 15.5 pounds. I would have liked to be down 20 at this point (2 months in), but I will take 15.5. I hope that I can continue to lose...I really don't want to renew my online WW subscription when it comes due, as I am more strapped for cash right now than I expected...and still have 5 more grad classes (about $6000) and 4 more ESL endorsement classes (about $500) and one more professional cert class (about $400) to pay...and after all that I was hoping to begin TTC...which will likely cost about $2000 a month (my entire take home salary)......

If anyone out there has any magic to be shared, either for losing weight without trying somehow or earning money without working somehow hahahah...I am all ears!;)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

School's back in!

School is back in session and I am busier than ever. It is strange how much longer I willingly stay at school now that I have a room and therefore somewhere comfortable and practical to do my work. I don't think I have been home before 5:00 one day this week, including holiday Monday when I went in to get some work done. The really strange thing is that in walking into my room, you wouldn't be able to tell I have spent so much time working there...I have only one poster on the wall, no bulletin boards, and 150 student collages in a messy pile on my desk waiting for me to grow 3 feet to put them up on the wall at the back of the class. (OK so that isn't going to happen...I am hoping some student will take pity on me and come do it...I already suckered in one girl to make me a bulletin board. :)

My classes are great right now. I have had no real bozos to deal with yet...but then again, you can never tell in the first month of school...also known as the "honeymoon" stage. I am so happy that Thursday was the final day to add/drop classes as I would lose one gain two just about every period. Thursday they also dropped all the no shows so that now my biggest class is 31 and my smallest 26 (26 is super small in my experience here...I am thrilled).

My room is referred to as "the dungeon". Not by anything I have done (yet anyway...) but just from its odd placement with no outside door/window and two teachers ago was a teacher who supposedly had no control over her class. (Actually, that must be somewhat true as they eventually fired her last year and it is not easy to fire a teacher as you have to go through a million union steps) Being in the dungeon has quite a few perks, there are few teachers around to keep you after school late when you don't want to or can't. I get work done at lunch since the cafeteria is clear on the other side of the school and would take 5 minutes to get there and 5 minutes back and then if I wanted to BUY lunch, another 15 minutes in line leaving me a whopping 5 minutes to scarf down my food. So, I eat in my classroom. This also means I have gotten to know about 4 students who usually eat in my room with me, students I likely would not have gotten to know as closely if we didn't spend this time together. On the other hand, the dungeon also means I don't have daily contact with former students who I enjoy catching up with from time to time.

This brings me to Friday after school. I got a call from Jan, the other Spanish teacher, that one of my students was asking if I was no longer at the school since she hadn't seen me at all. Jan sent her down. Nothing brings me greater joy (at this point in my life at least...with no kids), than to have a former student willingly seek me out to visit. It was very touching. She wanted to tell me all about her summer and her trip to Florida. We talked for at least 20 minutes before the counselor came in to speak to me privately about another student. It was great! This is why I like teaching...to actually connect with a few kids. I see 150 kids a day and per year, I will likely only truly connect with maybe 10 or so...and of those, only maybe 1 or 2 will make an effort to continue that relationship once they leave my class...but it is for that, that teaching is truly rewarding. (and for that reason only, that I muddle through all the other crap like professional certification, no paid maternity leave, hundreds of unpaid hours, the occassional extremely rude and beligerent parent, etc...)

So, thus ends my first 6 days of the 2004-2005 school year.