Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fertility Center Consultation

Previous fertility posts:
I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again
Figuring Out My Thyroid
Clomid Cycle #1 
Clomid Cycle #2 
Clomid Cycle #3

We used up all 3 cycles' worth of my leftover Clomid stash in a last ditch effort to get pregnant on our own. I didn't really expect anything to happen. Not after trying Clomid for so long a few years ago with no luck. And not after 10 years of trying in general. Surprisingly I actually ovulated all 3 times (I think), but of course no pregnancy. I've wondered if my body even knows what pregnancy is! I was joking with my dad (of all people) about Zay & I trying to have a baby and I said, "I've never even been a little pregnant!" Ha ha ha. He laughed and was like, "That's not how it works - you either are or aren't." I know, I know. Just sayin'!

I'm in a really good mood about trying to conceive this time around. All the grieving I've had to do has been adoption-related, not babymakin' related. I decided that the pain of rejection added onto everything else with adoption is worse than trying to get pregnant and being disappointed with each failed cycle. I made it through these 3 cycles pretty easily. And I'm really thinking that I can hang in there as long as it takes. It's just science, right? And statistics. Science and statistics. We can figure this out.

And I'm gonna be okay. Because my fate is no longer in anyone else's hands.

I was grateful I didn't even think I ovulated last cycle, because I didn't suffer through the two-week wait. My period just showed up and I was like, "Well, hey there! Didn't expect you!" and I didn't have to sit around waiting to see if I was pregnant. It was over before I had time to stress.

When I was trying to decide which reproductive endocrinologist to see, I came across the cutest little videos on Youtube of this couple (from Utah! woot! woot!) who documented their TTC journey through videos. They used the fertility center I ended up deciding to make an appointment with. They really cracked me up because they reminded me so much of the typical BYU-Utah-Mormon couple. So fun and adorable. They have a ton of videos and I seriously watched them all over the course of a few weeks, but here's one at the "end" of their journey (go back and watch some of the other ones, they're so cute!):

Ellie and Jared:

Anyway, I got super antsy leading up to this appointment! I'm just so ready and so excited to really give ourselves a good chance at getting pregnant and figuring out all the ins and outs of my body and what its dang problem is (lol). I dreaded all things fertility-related 5 years ago. Dreaded it. Hated it. This time it feels completely different. I'm optimistic and patient (let's see how long I can keep that up!)... It feels like now is the time, now is MY TIME. We were supposed to adopt. Now we're supposed to make a baby. I can feel it. It's gonna take a lot of time, effort, and persistence, but it's going to work. It has to. Let's do this!!!


Well, we had our consultation yesterday! Yay!

We got to talk about the 10 years of trying to conceive and summing up all that we've tried, all the symptoms, all the diagnoses, all the medications, tests, etc. Just spilled it all out there.

She wanted to confirm the PCOS diagnosis, so we did an ultrasound (transvaginal... that was interesting) and she said my ovaries were definitely polycystic and were definitely not gearing up for ovulation on their own, of course (the appointment was on Cycle Day 19 and my ovaries were just sitting there like, "Uhhhh - are we supposed to be doing something?") She confirmed a thought that I had that it was possible that I have never actually ovulated, despite being on Clomid, despite positive OPKs, despite getting my period approximately 2 weeks after I thought I ovulated. All that could still happen and still not actually release an egg.

That's not bad news really. It would just explain why I've never, ever gotten pregnant. But my ovaries look great (such a compliment! lol) and it's just a matter of forcing me to ovulate, which they can do... and monitor to make sure it's happening. So, whether I've ovulated EVER in the last 10 years or not is no big deal at this point, completely irrelevant. They'll make it happen.

They took my blood and are running tests to see how my thyroid is doing and all the other hormones that need to be checked on. And Zay gets to do the oh-so-fun semen analysis in the next couple weeks. I got a prescription for medroxyprogesterone (Provera) to force me to start my cycle again.

Funny story - when I was filling out all the New Patient information before our appointment, it asked what countries our families were from. I wrote "United States" at first, but then I thought, "Do they mean our ancestry? For specific genetic testing or something?" So I put "England" for me and "Zambia, Africa" for Zay. And I thought it was a weird question, but I forgot about it. Then when we were in the room right after the ultrasound, the doctor said to Zay out of the blue, "So you're from Africa?" I looked up at her so quickly. I was all taken aback. Who says that to a black guy? And then it dawned on me that it was what I wrote on the dang paper and I laughed and saved him from answering and said, "His grandfather is from there." And she was like, "Oh - do you ever go back?" And I was dying laughing on the inside. She seriously just asked a black guy about "going back to Africa." I tried so hard to keep from laughing until I cried. Zay looked confused and was like, "What? I've never been there." It was so unintentionally awkward on her part and I felt bad that I was turning all red and tears were coming out of my eyes as I fought the giggles. I just could NOT handle it! Ha ha ha. Very weird interchange.

My "African"... lol

ANYWAY!!! Ha ha. In a few weeks we should have all the tests back and I should start my period. When Cycle Day 1 gets here I'll call and schedule another appointment to come in. They will run dye through my fallopian tubes to make sure they aren't physically blocked with anything. By then we'll know if anything else needs to be done before IUI #1 and we'll go over that then. Like adjusting my thyroid meds or anything like that. Gotta get everything ready first to optimize the chances that the insemination will work. So, I'm all, "Take your time! Do it right!" This is gonna be fun. :)

Next fertility post: Prepping for IUI #1

Monday, April 28, 2014

End of the Semester

The kind of texts I get from Zay while he's at school. HA HA HA.

I've been so proud of how well Zay is balancing work, school, family, and his social life this semester. He's slightly annoyed that he's 32 and still trying to get through college, but better late than never. He finally knows what he wants to be when he grows up. Hey, that's more than I know for myself!

School (and being married the entire time I was in college) definitely taught me how to manage my time, combine activities, and get everything done well and done on time. And I can see how much he's improved going to school as well. Seeing him hopping out of the bed super early and heading to the gym to play basketball, then heading to work, then school, then coming home to do haircuts, and then finally being "off the clock" at the end of the day to play with Kal, put him to bed, and then catch up on our fave shows with me... has made me so proud!

Me being less stressed has helped him. He's happy when I'm happy. :) So he's been able to do well this semester because he knew I was super excited to see him at the end of the day and super supportive of what he's trying to accomplish. :) :)

This whole de-stressing and simplifying thing I've been trying to do is really radiating through our whole family and each of our individual lives as well. When mama's happy, everyone's happy, right? Without so many MUST-DO's on my plate every day, I have more time for things that make me happy. Which mostly means taking Kal to fun places, reading lots of books, and taking long baths. :) Kal and I put puzzles together a lot. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I did puzzles with my dad. Still one of my favorite things to do. We'll get outside more when the weather decides to figure out what the heck it's doing - it totally snowed today! What the? It's almost May!

Zay took his last final today and turns in a paper tomorrow and then he's done till the Fall. He's excited to spend more time with us and leisurely go to the gym all together as a fam rather than rushing it and squeezing it in when he can. He's looking forward to going on family bike rides again. I'm looking forward to going swimming, LOTS. I'm so excited for our Anniversary too. This is gonna be a great summer!

I'm so happy we're not adopting, ha ha. I'm so happy we're going to the fertility specialist tomorrow. I'm so ready for it. And I have ZERO expectations, so this fertility journey is only gonna do one of two things for me.... 1) get me pregnant or 2) confirm in my mind that we've done everything we can to get pregnant. I need that confirmation before I can really be okay with not having biological children. I can't be okay with it really if I know I didn't even really give it a fair shot. This is me giving my body a fair shot! The semester's over, Zay is ready to get on the fertility train again, and I'm happy no matter what happens. Soooooo... yeah! That is all. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter means a lot to me in general, but this year I have felt so much more connected to it.

What it means to me is that I have endless beginnings. Because of my Savior's Atonement and Resurrection, I can always repent, I can always progress, I can always "start over," I have a million chances to turn to Him and learn what He wants me to know. Even death cannot stop that. We will all live again, just as He did. And we will continue on living.

LIVING. Not just existing. But full of joy and love.

That paradise can be found in bits and pieces in this mortal life. Right here, right now. We don't have to wait for heaven. We can find it here. We can create it here on a smaller scale.

Seeking out the good is my natural tendency, but I still feel pain, get angry, covet, and do very stupid things. In those times, I can forget the good and only see the bad. I'm weak and I fail, but I'm not a failure. God has given me endless beginnings. Every moment is a new chance to seek the good, create the good, and enjoy a little bit of heaven. The past doesn't have to define who we are now. In this moment, the past doesn't matter. The present is ALL we EVER have.

Christ can heal ALL our pain and sickness. Our grief, our anger. Being wronged by others. Our weaknesses. Falling into the same sin trap over and over. He can heal all of that.

Because of His sacrifice, I know my worth and value to Him. I know who I can turn to when I need forgiveness and when I need to forgive someone else. I know that there is always hope, always a lesson to be learned, always joy to be found.

Have you ever been wronged by someone? Someone you thought was a friend? And you knew without a doubt that they were in the wrong and that you were owed an apology? How often do you actually get that apology? And still we are asked to forgive. Because HE forgives US. And we are all priceless in His eyes. And we are not blameless. Even if we were right - even if we were simply betrayed by someone else and our conscience is clear (which is hardly ever really the case), holding onto that hurt and blame and anger afterwards that person then becomes the sin. I'm learning that lesson right now. Letting go, feeling love instead of hate, compassion instead of blame. Forgiveness seemed so simple to me as a kid. As an adult, things get complicated and forgiveness almost sounds like an impossibility. As His forgiveness washes over me, I am learning to accept the faults of others and extend forgiveness and move on. But dang, it's been difficult.

I wish we all treated each other kindly, kept our promises, and served with love. That's not always the case. We fall short. Others fall short with us. And we're left with the guilt and hurt and feelings of injustice. The Atonement covers ALL of that. Easter is a beautiful reminder that He is there to lighten our burdens and show us a better way.

I've tried to be more of a witness of my beliefs here on my blog, but I am no perfect example. I also use this space as a place to vent... or get all fan-girly about things in pop culture that I'm obsessed with, so I'm sure I come off like a crazy person sometimes. Contradictory. Hopeful, then not hopeful, devout, then frustrated. Loud and crazy, then serious. I started this blog to document our adoption journey and then it has just turned into whatever-I-feel-like. :) BUT, I hope in general most people know that I'm a Mormon. I am very proud of my religion and what kind of person it helps me to be. I wish I could express my testimony as eloquently as my friend Montse can - she writes so boldly and beautifully. (Read her post "Jesus is the Living Christ" HERE.)

For Easter this year, we skipped the egg decorating/hunting, the baskets, and the bunnies - I've been super simplifying my life and skipping the things that don't really matter to me. This time, those things didn't matter. Maybe next year they will. I did get Kal a few gifts, but I didn't make it a big deal or the central aspect of the day. We spent the morning quietly watching videos about Jesus and talking about who He is. We actually skipped Church, whoops (who does that on Easter??). But I tried to make up for it by bringing Christ into everything we did.

Our Church makes some really great videos depicting the life of Jesus. My husband is the type of person who would rather "watch the movie" than "read the book," so Scripture study in our household lots of times will have a video accompanying it to drive home the point. He needs that visual sometimes to really feel the meaning behind a concept. So we watch lots of Biblical depictions and Christian films. Here's a video we watched for Easter...

Video of "He is Risen: John the Beloved's Witness of the Resurrection":

Kal has been learning to pray. It kind of just happened. We were about to pray before lunch at a playdate one time and I asked, "Who wants to pray?" and he volunteered! He totally said, "Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for friends. Thank you for food. Jesus Christ, AMEN!" and clapped a little. Ha ha ha. I didn't even know he understood prayers or paid attention when we did them or knew all those words, but over time I guess he just picked it up. SO ADORABLE. While I was showing him videos and pictures of Jesus for Easter, I asked him, "Who is that?" and he said, "That's Jesus Christ, Amen!" Lol.

Zay has been working a lot of Sundays for awhile and has suddenly had several Sundays off in a row. I hate going to Church alone with just Kal, without my partner there beside me. Not hate... but it sucks a little. I've missed spending Sundays together as a family. It's made me appreciate these Sundays off SO much more. Instead of all the "normal" Easter stuff, we did exactly what we wanted to do - had a big BBQ and invited lots of friends and enjoyed the absolutely beautiful weather. We played music outside and danced under the carport (Kal was the ring leader for that, he's such a ham). We threw a football out in the street (we live in a really quiet little neighborhood by the end of a dead-end street that is perfect for "street sports"). We talked for hours. My brother dropped by for a little bit with his new girlfriend (so excited to welcome her to the family!). Our relationship has gotten much better lately since we've both gotten our thyroids treated, ha ha. That sounds funny, but man - a screwed up thyroid can screw up a lot of other things. The anxiety he's dealt with over the years I've never quite understood until it knocked me down as well.

One of our friends who came to the BBQ is actually from my husband's hometown in Georgia. I knew him growing up because he attended the same congregation as me and was friends with my two older brothers when I was little. I didn't even know he lived out here until he called me up a few years ago. He had gotten my number from someone who told him I did hair. He was looking for someone to do his daughter's hair. I get random calls from people all the time for hair appointments, so I didn't think anything of it... until he introduced himself and happened to say his full name. And I was like, "Hmm. I know someone by that name." And then we figured out who the other was and we just laughed so hard about that. We hadn't seen each other in maybe 15 years. Zay ended up figuring out that he was familiar with his family back home. Crazy small world! Now we all hang out all the time. He served his LDS mission in West Africa. We had another friend there who was actually from West Africa... the same exact place, actually. So the guy who served the mission there impressed the heck out of him when he started speaking the language. It was so funny. Seriously, very small world!

Anyway, throughout the day we watched a couple of Christian movies that we've come to love (have you ever seen The Encounter? If not, you should! It's like our favorite Sunday movie). Everyone finally left around 9pm and we enjoyed the rest of the night as a family. It really was the best day. Exactly what we needed. We usually watch The Passion of the Christ, but we're saving it for a day later this week.

I used to keep myself SO busy, and never allowed myself time to unwind, de-stress, or heal from anything. Just go, go, go. My anxiety was so high, my mind was always churning, I never processed my emotions - just bottled them up. My goals for this year have been to relax, let go, forgive, rest, heal, feel, express, and enjoy. It's been great. Difficult at times, because I'm fighting my efficient, productive, to-do list type of personality. And I've had to let go of some hurtful people who I thought were friends. But I think I'm finally settling into it. I finally understand that there's a time and a season for all things. And right now, when Kal is so young, it's the time to have a blast with him. Right now, when I don't have a job that I have to leave the house for, it's the time to do whatever the heck I want, whenever I want, and bring Kal along for the fun. I won't always have this flexibility. I've worked for years and years, now is the time to simple enjoy. I am thrilled to see my husband after he gets home from work. I wake up every morning refreshed, with the excitement of knowing that my day isn't already planned out to the second on my calendar. I needed this slower pace.

I used to spend a lot of time chatting on Facebook, but I'm consciously trying to pull back from interacting on there (even though it's so easy!) and replace it with more face-to-face interacting (so much more fulfilling). But I totally love scrolling through my feed and seeing so many of my friends' and family's kids dressed up for Easter and dying eggs and whatnot. Ahhh, so cute!! I thought the same thing on Valentine's when I saw the cutest baby pictures with lipstick kisses on their cheeks. Omg, the cuteness. Made me smile so big... :D

Think I've rambled enough? Ha ha. Here's some pictures from the past week or so:

Haircut Day

This boy loves his puzzles. He can take them apart and put them back together for HOURS.

Tossing the mini football around.

It's spring!

Copying me and taking pictures around the yard.

Spring! Just sitting on the porch and enjoying the weather.

Mmmmmm.... more food.

Easter day football.

Chowing down outside.

Time with Daddy after work.

BBQ'ing with friends.

I love sneaking pictures when people are eating, ha ha.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I Used to Love Adoption

A year ago, we were so excited to be adopting again. We were just starting to get to know possible birthmom D and we were thrilled beyond belief. Everything felt so perfect. A whirlwind of happiness and excitement. Life was just great. We were only approved a few months before, but here we go again! Another baby boy!


Oh, what could've been... I don't think we'll ever know what happened that changed her mind. The worst kind of goodbyes are the ones that are completely left unspoken. That was the most devastating heartbreak I'd ever experienced. I thought I was prepared for it, but I wasn't. I tried to grieve when I didn't really know how to grieve. I developed severe anxiety, was diagnosed with a thyroid condition, and tried to move on... but struggled very obviously.

Possible birthmom Miss H came along and helped me heal from the wound we'd just experienced. She was so understanding and helped me realize that good things could still be on the way. And then... they weren't. Good things did NOT happen. Again, a failed adoption. UGH. I didn't even fully understand her reasons for changing her mind, but at least she told us, right?

The feeling of rejection is overwhelming. How many times can you keep smiling and saying things are gonna be great! and this is gonna work out! when they don't turn out great and it doesn't work out? I'm jaded, I can tell you that much. A year ago, I was thrilled about adoption and totally on the adoption train... hoping to ride off into the sunset with a brand new baby. Today, I overwhelmingly feel like - SCREW ADOPTION! That's fair, right? I'm giving myself permission to feel that way. Hate it, hate it, hate it all!

Something deep, deep down inside of us is keeping our adoption profile up right now. But on the surface, we think it sucks majorly and want to close that chapter FOR-EV-ER. So, while that battle rages on in our minds, we're still officially "hoping to adopt." But... I'm approaching it with folded arms and giving it the evil eye! Adoption, you've not been good to me.

I'm fully prepared to distract myself with fertility treatments, dangit. I've decided the disappointment of failed fertility treatments is the lesser of the two evils.

Also, chopping my hair always helps me feel better. :) (Yay for Kal, the photo-bomber... tee hee)

*** Inspired by Mama Kat's writing prompt: "What were you writing about last year at this time? What has changed?" 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Saying Goodbye to my Kitties

We found a new home for our kitties. It was very, very bittersweet.

I've never chosen to lose a pet like that. And I cried. But it was for their own good. I haven't been a very attentive pet owner the last few years. They just need so much more attention than I'm giving them, Zay has never liked cats and has just tolerated them, and we've struggled trying to find places to live in this area that allow pets.

I've mostly felt relief since then. We can find a nicer apartment now. It's one less responsibility for me (I'm trying to simplify and de-stress and focus on the most important things, and the cats were not a high priority for me). I worried Kal would miss them, but he got to say goodbye and he's been fine.

When we first moved to Utah, I had a really hard time adjusting to not having cats. We always had cats growing up. Zay came home one day and surprised me with a cat who had been abandoned at a vet. He already had a name - Felix. So I gave him a middle name. He became Felix Bojangles. Ha ha. I loved that cat SO MUCH. He was my buddy. He slept on my chest. He purred loudly. Loved, loved, loved that cat. We had him for a year when Zay surprised me again. He got him a brother from a neighbor's new litter. I named him Zeus because I was reading a lot of Greek mythology at the time and he was so teeny tiny that I wanted to give him a big strong name that he could grow into. Zeus Shenanigans. Zeus and Felix were awesome companion kitties. They loved each other as much as I loved Felix. They were attached at the hip.

Then we brought Kal home. Felix had been with us for 6 years. Kal was sleeping on my chest and Felix didn't have the same place with me. Then my brother moved in with us and he teased the cat and had him hissing all the time. I hated that. Leave my cat alone!! And then... somebody left the window open. He got out. And we never saw him again. I cried so hard for my Felix. I put up missing cat posters all over the complex. He had a microchip and I reported him missing. No word. I was devastated. I still think about him 3 years later, hoping he was found and taken care of. We've moved twice since then, so I know he couldn't just find his way home. I had to let go.

I never bonded quite the same to Zeus. He was quiet and timid. He hid a lot. He liked to sleep under the bed rather than with me. I'm sure he was so sad to have lost his best buddy. So we got a "replacement Felix." A guy at my job had a litter of kittens he was trying to find homes for. He had one named Moo Moo. So, in came Moo Moo Ragamuffin to heal my heart from losing Felix. Moo Moo became Kal's cat, because they were born about the same time and were sort of "growing up" together. That was the hardest part about letting Moo Moo go. Kal used to give each of the kitties a kiss every night before bed. Not so much anymore, but still - that sweet memory made it such a hard decision to let them go. Moo Moo and Zeus got to know each other and became brothers just like Felix and Zeus had. They would curl up into one big cat poof together all the time.

The day came when I just knew I couldn't take care of them anymore. I've been apartment-hunting for a couple months and trying to find a place that allows pets and isn't a dump or crazy expensive is just impossible. Zay's allergies are always acting up. Cat hair was everywhere all the time. I still missed Felix. And these two cats had become a part of the background. They were best friends with each other. Kal played with them every once in awhile. But they became a burden to me. That made me so sad. Believe me, I'm one of those animal activist types who wants to save all the strays. And here I was trying to decide if I could even take care of the ones I have anymore. I felt so guilty as I looked into shelters nearby. The thought of taking them to a shelter made me sick. I posted an ad on craigslist, hoping against hope that someone would want them both so they wouldn't be separated. But who wants 2 adult cats? Seriously?

I don't think it was more than a couple days later when someone excitedly responded to my post. A family who was looking for two adult cats. They had just bought a house and was in the market for pets. Wife didn't like kittens, but was good with older cats. Husband was a big cat lover. They had two little girls who were excited to show new kitties attention. They came over that night to meet them. I could've sworn they were going to hide and be grumpy, but they came out and played with the family and were so cute. They loved the attention. The family loved them. I told them I was taking the kitties to the vet to get updated on all their shots and then I could bring them over with my whole big trunk-load of 6-month's worth of food and litter (seriously, I had a lot).

Kal and I spent those last few days with them paying them lots of attention. Brushing them. I let Kal know over and over that they were going to go to a new house and were going bye bye. He kissed them lots and said, "Goodbye kitties! Goodbye Zeus! Goodbye Moo Moo!" I brought him with me when I took them to the vet. I told him all about the "cat doctor" and how they were getting "medicine" before they go to their new home. He came with me to take them to their new family and he giggled and ran around with the two girls. The kitties sniffed the new place and I dragged myself away from there before I cried too hard. I came home and vacuumed every little bit of cat hair that I could find. I found their cat bed that I had forgotten about and cried about that and wondered if I should bring it to them. I threw it away instead.
Zeus Shenanigans

Helping me usher the kitties into the carrier

Moo Moo Ragamuffin

Giving me his best "sad face"

At the vet. Zeus has always been the shy one.

Moo Moo, checking out the vet's office

At their new home, hiding under a crib.

And this is where I left them. :(

Ugh. That was tough. But I'm so happy they're where they needed to be and now I can focus on other things. We're going to be pet-free for awhile and I'm okay with that. It was the right thing to do. *deep breaths*

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"I'll Have a Baby for You"


I don't know how many times someone has off-handedly declared that they would have a baby for me. I always laugh because 1) no you wouldn't and 2) that's not necessary. I think people have good intentions when they say something like that, but really... it doesn't help. It's nice to know people care and like to think they would make that kind of sacrifice for another, but no... really you most likely wouldn't... and even if you really would do it, you shouldn't.

I don't need or want a surrogate, if that's what you're offering. That's a complicated legal/ethical matter that I'm not comfortable with personally. And if I had the money to do in vitro and I felt okay with it, I'd be doing it on myself... not someone else.

And if you didn't mean surrogacy, but just meant that you'd conceive a baby, give birth to them, and then give them to me... I don't think so. Even a lot of women who find themselves pregnant in awful circumstances can't bring themselves to place their baby for adoption, even if they thought they should. What makes you think you could do it? I sure as heck don't want you off sleeping with a random guy to get pregnant "for me." Ummmmm, no. That wasn't the point of us adopting. It wasn't just to heal our situation and give us a child, no strings attached or by any means necessary. The point wasn't just to have someone randomly have a baby for us. It wasn't all about us. There's a child and a mother and a father to think about when you decide to go out and "make a baby" for me... that is heavy stuff, not something to joke around about or take lightly - "oh, I'll just have a baby for you" isn't that simple.

We went into adoption knowing it means a lot more than someone just creating a child for someone else. Kal wasn't just a gift from one person to another. It's so much more complicated than that. Adoption is difficult, but something we felt we needed to be a part of. Something spiritual. And it was, and has been. Adoption has taught us a whole heck of a lot about redemption and sacrifice and love and family. He wasn't created in a vacuum and he didn't come to us with a "clean slate." He has biological ties and they're not to us. That's complicated, even if it's beautiful. There's no need to go out and purposefully create more complicated. That doesn't make any sense. Complicated happens already - it happened to us when it really sunk in that we weren't able to make biological babies at the time we were trying and it happened to Kal's birthmom when she realized she was in a situation she didn't set out to be in and wasn't ready for. We both tried to do the best with what we had/knew at the time and adoption was the answer. That's what adoption is about, not just about us and what we want. Not just about creating a baby for us at any cost.

Sooooo, thanks. But no thanks. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Clomid Cycle #3

Previous fertility posts:
I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again
Figuring Out My Thyroid
Clomid Cycle #1 
Clomid Cycle #2

Last cycle "on our own" with the last of my fertility meds! Then off to the fertility specialist we go!

Journal Entries:

3/17/2014 - Sending a package to Miss H was a success! Lots of people donated. I got 2 packages together to send. She got the first one and was appreciative but didn't say much. Didn't say anything at all to me, actually. Just talked to Zay. Big sigh... whatever. February's cycle resulted in ovulation (yay!) but no pregnancy. I just finished the very last of the Clomid, so I'll know in less than a month if 3rd time's a charm. After that, the plan is to meet with a reproductive endocrinologist. And go forward rapidly! We're gonna do at least 6 IUI's... that's the plan. And I'm telling myself that it won't work until the 6th try, so I don't get my hopes up (yeah right). It's gotta work by the 6th time, right?!?! I'm fairly confident it'll work. But if it doesn't, I'll feel like I did all I could to make it happen and I think I'll be okay with that.

4/1/2014 - We have an appointment with the fertility specialist at the end of this month! I got an appointment a little early rather than waiting till May. I'm ready to get the ball rolling!!! I should have ovulated in the last week sometime (after using up the very last bit of Clomid) but I never got a positive OPK, so I'm confused as to whether it happened or not (I haven't been tracking my basal body temperature to help determine if ovulation occurred or not). I guess we will just wait until our appointment and see if I get a period along the way. If I do or don't, it won't matter (unless I don't get one because I'M PREGNANT, lol... But that won't happen.) I just wonder what my body is up to. I thought I might not ovulate because I had to go down in dosage of Clomid, but the lower dose worked last time so it could've worked this time. Meh, it probably didn't work. But who cares! We're gonna do an IUI!!! :) In adoption news, we were contacted by an expectant mother in Maryland but I don't have high hopes about that. It's keeping us in the adoption game for a little longer, though. Oh, and Miss H offered to have another baby for us before she gets her tubes tied. I told her to get her tubes tied! Lol. She must feel guilty for changing her mind on us, but NO I don't want anyone to go get knocked up to give me a baby. Omg. I really don't ever want to hear from her again. We did the right thing by her and now we're through.

4/6/2014 - I'm thinking I didn't ovulate this third cycle. At all. No fertile signs whatsoever (I like to refrain from talking about my cervical position or cervical mucous, but yeah - I've been checking on those and it doesn't look like I've ovulated). I kept taking ovulation tests for a good long while, but then I stopped. We've done the deed as though I'd be ovulating any day, so if I did ovulate we did good no matter when it happened. But I'm thinking we'll make it all the way to the fertility appointment without seeing any signs of ovulation or the period that should've followed it. Because my body doesn't know what it's doing and Clomid only works half the time for me. Oh, and we heard from our caseworker that Maryland mom went with another family for her baby boy. She's 38 weeks along today - I had put it on my calender. Well, so much for that answer to a prayer. We're still hanging in the adoption game, but just barely. Ugh. Let's get this fertility party really started! I have no more Clomid on hand to taunt me. And our consultation with the fertility clinic will be here in about 3 weeks. Woot! Woot!

IUI diagram - doesn't this look oh-so-fun? :)

4/10/2014 - I'll just paraphrase - I ranted about not being able to trust anybody and being hurt, feeling rejected, etc. Not remembering how to be positive or excited about anything ever again.

4/13/2014 - Well, I know why I was so grumpy and paranoid a few days ago. I started my period the next day. Which means I had to have ovulated, right? Fourteen or fifteen days previous? Ugh, I don't even know anymore. I'm not sure how well the ovulation predictor tests have been working for me this last cycle... I never got a positive. I heard that sometimes women with PCOS can get false positives on OPKs, so that makes me question everything. But I didn't even get a positive. Part of me wonders if Clomid actually makes me ovulate at all, even all the times I thought it worked. It's possible that my body gears up for ovulation and produces the hormone that OPKs measure, but then never actually releases an egg. The follicles never get to the right size and they just die and the lining sheds about the same time that it normally would. It would explain a lot if that were the case, but I really wouldn't be able to know that unless I was being monitored with ultrasounds throughout my cycle. Right now I'm thinking sperm count is what's keeping us from getting pregnant and that my body IS actually ovulating on fertility meds. But then it's also possible that my body isn't "sperm friendly" and is contributing to the reason the sperm can't make it up the reproductive tract. Some people have a sperm/semen allergy in which the body attacks the cells as if it's an allergen, a danger, a threat to the body. I don't know how they test for that, but I wouldn't be surprised if I had that too. We'll see, but the IUI should fix all of that anyway. The sperm will be the best of the bunch, concentrated, and placed right in the uterus so they don't have to do much traveling and my body won't have enough time to screw anything up. It's supposed to give us the normal fertile couple's chances of getting pregnant, about a 20% chance. That would be amazing odds. I'm excited. :) It's so weird that I got my period though. All 3 cycles on Clomid "worked," but of course no pregnancy. That's ok, we'll figure this out. In total, this was Clomid Cycle #16 actually... if I go back and count the cycles I did back in 2009-2010. Only 9 resulted in ovulation, maybe - I think anyway. It's not really recommended to take that many cycles of Clomid, but I did anyway. I wasn't seeing any of the negative side effects (like over-stimulation and cysts) and half the time it wasn't even working. But, no more Clomid for me dangit. It's time to try something new.

Next fertility post: Fertility Center Consultation

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Clomid Cycle #2

Previous fertility posts:
I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again
Figuring Out My Thyroid
Clomid Cycle #1

Using up the last 3 cycles of Clomid I have on hand:

Journal Entries:

02/02/2014 - Miss H decided to parent, no surprise there. I'm not pregnant, no surprise there. Stopped progesterone cream and I feel my period coming on (I felt it coming even on the cream). Baby aspirin, prenatals, and other supplements still going. Once my period starts I'll have to decide whether to hop on into Clomid Cycle #2 or not. Since the adoption fell through, it was like a punch to the gut and all my baby hungriness started wavering. But persistence is what's gonna get me pregnant. So I need to keep going. Zay doesn't know I'm using up the last of the Clomid (being sneaky has been fun), but he definitely does want to do the IUI in May after his semester is over, although he hates the idea of getting his "balls checked" again, haha.

02/08/14 - I don't get why I can't let adoption go. There was a reason we did this before, but why are we doing it now? I don't know. I'm so conflicted. I feel like I'm being used. By pregnant women who just feel like they need someone to talk to. We aren't being respected. Our feelings don't matter. This year, I want to BE BRAVE. I want to change something. I want to stand up for myself. I want things to work out positively for us this year. I WANT MY TURN. I can't do that if I allow myself to be a sounding board for all expectant mothers in a crisis pregnancy, who will use me and toy with my emotions. Because I become emotionally involved in these women's lives. I try to live vicariously through them and do everything I can to help them. And I really shouldn't. It affects me too deeply and personally.

02/09/14 - I decided to keep going and take Clomid again... Cycle #2. I have enough to take 150mg instead of 200mg for the next two cycles. It may not work if I go down in dosage, but I'm going to try it anyway, since it's all I've got. Miss H apologized for putting us through the ringer and I got her mailing address out of her. I decided to put a package together for her. I hope it helps her out. How cool would it have been if we had gotten pregnant AND adopted that baby? That would've been AMAZING. But neither happened. And now I'm taking a deep breath and continuing on.

02/11/14 - Sometimes life is just hard and it takes some time to process it. Grieving is not something that can be rushed. And when I allow myself the time to process, I don't suffer as much or as long. It's a necessary step in a normal emotionally intelligent adult's life to learn to handle disappointment with grace. And not fall apart and cease normal functioning. Because life is full of failures and disappointments. If we let them destroy our faith, that's when we've lost.

Next fertility post: Clomid Cycle #3

Clomid Cycle #1

Previous fertility posts:
I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again
Figuring Out My Thyroid

Using up my last 3 cycles worth of Clomid... Cycle #1:

Journal Entries:

1/5/2014 - I started my period on Tues the 31st!!! I'm taking Clomid!!! I calculated when I should know if I got pregnant this cycle and I would be 8 weeks along by Zay's birthday - wouldn't that be such an awesome present to give him? I am really setting myself up for disappointment already, but it is so hard not to. I'd be 12 weeks along by the time Baby Girl is born and IF I get pregnant I FULLY intend on keeping it a secret, which I think I could if I was only 12 weeks. How exciting would that be?! Let's just say I'm gonna do everything I can to get pregnant this first cycle, lol. But I know the odds are stacked against us. Our caseworker let us know when she was available for a homestudy visit. I said how about the 9th? Texted Miss H Happy New Year and attached a picture of Kal with sparklers. Will she respond? Who knows. I don't care.

1/12/14 - Homestudy went well, piece of cake. Miss H has not responded about meeting with the lawyer even though I sent her a very direct email about it. She doesn't respond to any kind of communication right now. I have talked to lots of lawyers in Mississippi and have a couple conference calls soon. We'll see how that goes. I don't want to pay much, if any, money up front, especially when she's ignoring me.  I should be ovulating this week sometime, I've started taking ovulation tests and I hope I'm reading them right. They've been negative so far.

01/19/2014 - I ovulated!!! I think yesterday. Omg, I have never been so excited about my body doing what it's supposed to. I'm gonna take an ovulation test today to make sure it's negative and that ovulation did already occur. I was so worried about the ovulation tests not showing up right, but when it was positive it was easy to see. So we did NOT miss our opportunity! Haha. Zay has no idea why I've been seducing him a ton (I haven't clued him in on what I've been doing yet). I told him I was just trying to speak to him in his love language, lol. Now since I'm worried about low progesterone not allowing me to keep a pregnancy, I'm going to pick up some bio-identical progesterone cream to use at home for the next two weeks until I can confirm whether I'm pregnant or not. If I do end up being pregnant, I'll keep taking it at least till I'm 12 weeks along to help support the pregnancy and keep me from miscarrying. Taking the progesterone will keep me from having a period, so I can't count on a missed period to know. I'll just have to wait until about Feb 2nd - Grounding Day! - and take a pregnancy test. If it's negative, I'll wait a week and take another one. If it's still negative, I'll go off the progesterone so that the drop will bring on my period. Then I start over! Which is fine, because now I know the Clomid works! Whoo hoo! I've still got two more cycles. Two more chances if this time didn't work, but Dang I hope it worked! I ovulate pretty late in my cycle, about Day 19, so I almost ran out of babymakin' steam by then. Next cycle I'll know better and build up my babymakin' stamina for the right days. :)

01/26/14 - I picked some progesterone cream up after I knew I had ovulated for sure. Good Earth sells it. I worry about getting the progesterone cream on anyone else (I've heard horror stories of getting the cream on other people and screwing up their hormones), but so far I've managed to slather it on me twice a day and keep it to myself. I don't feel pregnant or anything, no cramping or implantation bleeding or anything. Halfway through the two-week wait! I'm gonna start baby aspirin too. I ran out of prenatal vitamins, so I'm gonna pick some up. Oh, and also Miss H had her baby Fri (8+ weeks early!!!) but wasn't sure about us coming (*sad face*). Waiting on her decision, gonna email her today. Found a great lawyer in Mississippi, but won't need her if this all falls through. The two-week-wait AND waiting to hear if we are gonna adopt a baby?? At the same time?? What a crazy time this is!!!

Next fertility post: Clomid Cycle #2

Figuring Out My Thyroid

Previous fertility post: I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again


Figuring out my thyroid was sketchy at first:

Journal Entries:

12/1/13 - I'm not as excited about getting pregnant as I was, because I am NOT healthy. I'm glad I haven't started my period yet, because I am not in a position to be making fertility meds decisions right now. I started taking an increased dose of Nature Throid without consulting my doctor and I don't think that was a smart move. Yesterday I felt like I was having a panic attack. Seriously. I've never felt how I felt yesterday (which marked about 3.5 weeks on the new dose). My brain was buzzing, I couldn't concentrate, everything was fuzzy, I felt like I was going to pass out, I couldn't tend to Kal at all, I needed to be put out of my misery so I managed to take a melatonin + theanine pill and make Kal some eggs to eat in his high chair and I just went and fell asleep. I slept for about 11.5 hours! I had let Zay know that something was wrong with me before I did and that he would have to take over when he got home from work, which he did... which thankfully was only a few minutes after I was knocked out in the bedroom. I remember him coming in and asking me what was wrong. He didn't say much, he just listened and I really appreciated that. I couldn't think straight to actually hold a conversation with him, I just needed him to take over with Kal when I couldn't do it. I finally woke up the next day and I managed to get to church after deciding that the problem was my Nature Throid dose. I went back to 1/2 a pill and I immediately felt a difference, but I still was coming out of a haze. I got my church work done and as the day wore down I gradually felt better. Not near as good as I had before when I was taking 1/2 pill, but I felt relief knowing I was getting better. I had no idea how much my thyroid being off could affect me. In adoption news, we decided to update our homestudy rather than letting it expire, even though I'm really just sick of adoption and have no confidence in Miss H following through with what she's promising. I ran around getting a bunch of papers updated. I told our caseworker I would be out of town, so we could re-do the home visit when I get back. I want to put that off for as long as possible so I can have time to clean and babyproof again. There are a few things I need to make sure are safe before she comes (things she told me to get done last time). I'm not really looking forward to that visit, but I want to get it over with too. We are still going to try to get pregnant, and try to adopt Miss H's baby. I don't know what we will do if that adoption falls through... but I imagine we couldn't bring ourselves to close our adoption profile. I don't know. Maybe we'll let it expire at the end of 2014, just in case. But then... we'll be done. That chapter of our lives will be closed. I think I would be 100% okay with that by then. But it only makes sense to renew it for now. Miss H got back in touch with us, barely. She doesn't say much anymore, but even though she blocked me from Facebook and Instagram and stopped talking to us for a month, she told us she would be honest and she said she hasn't changed her mind.

12/8/13 - Being on this trip so far has made me really want to move back to Georgia... but not yet. We're not ready yet, but eventually. I've been homesick, but this trip will fill me up so that I'll be ready to get back into the swing of things, prepping to adopt and get pregnant.

12/15/13 - I feel SO much better on a half pill of Nature Throid. I don't know what exactly made me think that upping my dose was going to help, but it induced a panic attack and I really shouldn't have done that. I'm back home from my GA trip, so today I will be getting back on my supplements and apple cider vinegar routine. My period hasn't started yet. The anxiety from changing my dose really scared me. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. Anxiety/panic attacks are no joke. All of a sudden I worried about whether I could handle a pregnancy or even an adoption. I didn't think I could handle parenting, that's how much messing with my Nature Throid medication screwed me up. But back on the right dose, I can think clearly and I feel sooooo much better. Back home from the craziness that was a GA trip with a toddler.... I know what I want and what I can handle. And what I want is to plan hard for this adoption AND try to get pregnant AND leave our options open with the adoption agency. And NOT stress about it. Make it fun. Enjoy this time in our lives, because it won't always be just the three of us and I feel a change coming, so I need to embrace the here and now while it's still here! :) Miss H is worried she's going to have Baby Girl really, really early. So I really need to sit down and make a plan just in case that really does happen. Be prepared. Seeing Kal's birthmom reminded me of why I wanted to adopt and why adoption can be a positive thing. I need to plan a baby shower (welcome home baby party) for May sometime, and get people involved for that. I need to look for a bigger apartment to move into in April, right about the time baby is coming. I won't decorate a nursery till after we move and Baby Girl's home... A friend called and told me she's pregnant...ugh, but yay... I found some tips I might try to naturally induce my period: over-the-counter Bio-Identical Progesterone Cream, low-carb diet, parsley tea, ginger tea, cinnamon tea, and exercising 5x a week for 30 mins. So yeah, I might try something to get this period started.

12/29/13 - We have been sick/miserable most of our Christmas break. Although we've had a lot of fun spending so much time together and talking. Back home in Utah, I still feel like it's the right thing to do to move to Georgia. I talked to Zay about it and he seems on board with the idea of a fresh start. We even put a date on it of April or May of 2015. So, we looked up colleges - I think he should transfer to Kennesaw State University. And we will plan it so that he will go to school full time and I'll find a job and work full time, hopefully I can use my connections to find a job that could support us through that. I want him to be able to focus on school and really network to find the kind of career that he'll enjoy. Something he can be proud of, but at the same time go out and get that money! For his family. :) I know he won't be rich as a social worker of any kind, but anything is better than what we are living on now!!... You know what I can't stand? When pregnant people whine and complain about EVERYthing. Ugh. Moving away from the constant pregnant women would be nice too, because they're driving me nuts. In adoption news, Miss H hasn't contacted me since I've been back, even though I've texted her and emailed her. Enough is enough, really. I'm so confused... I don't know what the heck is going on?! Should I wait for a response to my emails!? Wtf. I don't know where this relationship went off the hinges, but it doesn't feel anything like it did in the beginning. I'll give her some time to respond and then see what happens. In fertility news, right now I'm wondering when the heck is my period gonna start?? I haven't tried naturally inducing it yet, but I'm emotional and my nipples HURT. I took a pregnancy test just in case by some miracle I had gotten pregnant without trying with meds yet!! But it was negative. So I'm sitting here with sensitive nipples (lol) and I want to cry and/or yell at Zay about something. And no period to explain anything. I went to see my thyroid doctor and she told me to stick with a half pill and to increase the protein in my diet (she weirdly suggested this after "asking" my body questions to see what it needed....hmmmmmm). I listened and I've been eating lots of eggs and chicken. I just barely started exercising again. I feel so fat and unattractive and unmotivated. I've gotta change that... It looks like our LDSFS caseworker changed back to the one we had before... the one I didn't much care for. So I emailed her and updated her on what's going on with us and asked when we could do our home study visit. Haven't heard from her yet. But that visit is necessary to being approved again, so we'll have to suck it up and have our home critiqued again, and by the new/old caseworker who I didn't feel very good about the first time around. Ugh. This whole process is so painful. I'm so glad we won't be subjecting ourselves to the adoption torture chamber for much longer. I wanna make my own dang babies.

Next fertility post: Clomid Cycle #1

I'm Ready for Fertility Treatments Again

I'm actually behind on documenting fertility stuff on the blog, so here we go!

Journal Entries:

11/17/2013 - I'm ready to try to get pregnant. Officially. I'm ready! I'm taking all my supplements and my thyroid med. I'm making Zay take supplements he needs as well. I'm drinking more water and generally eating better and exercising more. My fingernails are thicker and longer, so I know the prenatal vitamins are getting in my system. I ordered 100 ovulation predictor tests and 20 pregnancy tests off Amazon (it came in a combo pack, lol). I'm just waiting for my period to start on its own (which could be who-knows-when) and then I'm gonna use up the last 3 cycles worth of Clomid that I have. It's expired, but whatever. I'm gonna use it up in a last ditch effort to get pregnant semi-sort "on our own" before moving on to insemination. If we're lucky, we'll just get pregnant before we see a specialist again, but of course that's not gonna happen, lol. I'm pretty positive the Clomid won't be the only thing we'll need to get pregnant. Insemination (IUI) is our best bet. But I want to use up this Clomid first just in case. Miss H has stopped responding to us and I'm so done. I'm not gonna chase her around and beg at her feet. If she pops up in March, we can handle that then. But I'm not counting on it. I'm not gonna travel just to see her if she won't respond to us. I'm sick of being treated this way with adoption. There's no way to not take it personally. We are good people, we are good parents, and we deserve better. Don't drag us along and lie to us.

11/24/2013 - My period hasn't shown up yet and I'm wondering if there is a natural way to induce it? I'll have to look that up - inducing a period after/during an anovulatory cycle. Before, I had to induce it with Progesterone prescribed by my doctor. But I don't have any leftover, so I'm just gonna wait it out. I got my ovulation predictor and pregnancy tests in the mail and decided it couldn't hurt to take a pregnancy test right then and there. As usual, it was a big bright obvious negative, lol. I didn't expect otherwise. Better get used to seeing that Negative test again! I expect we'll see a lot of those. While I'm waiting for my period to start, I'm practicing patience in preparation for all the crazy amounts of patience I'm gonna need throughout this fertility journey. Step one, wait for period. Step two, take 200mg of Clomid on Cycle Days 3-7. Step three, take ovulation tests on Cycle Days 8-20 (or until I ovulate for sure). I will be massively confused if I don't ovulate on that dose. I'll have to re-think my plan if I don't. Step four, have sex (the baby dance) about every other day after period stops, until I get a positive ovulation test. Then have sex that day plus the next day. Two days in a row. Maybe even three days. Step five, wait for period 14-15 days after the time I think I ovulated, indicating I DID ovulate but didn't get pregnant. Start over. OR, if my period isn't showing up, take a pregnancy test. Don't get upset about ovulating and not getting pregnant (which is what I expect will happen), because it usually takes fertile couples a few months to get pregnant. I have to remember that I'm NOT fertile and neither is the hubby. I'm just barely starting to take care of my thyroid. So, baby steps. This is gonna take time.

Next fertility post: Figuring Out My Thyroid

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kitchen Tips By Yours Truly (j/k)

I never learned to cook. Ever. I learned to microwave. Does that count? That's probably why I've got thyroid issues now, lol. All that microwaving canned food in plastic containers my entire life... I'm probably full of toxins! Eek.

I've learned a few lessons from teaching myself to cook over the last couple years.

Cooking tips for dumb-dumbs like myself:
  • There's a difference between butter and margarine, and shortening and oil, and all kinds of other ingredients. They're not all equally interchangeable. I think one time I actually tried to substitute Cool Whip for butter. Why, I have no idea. It made sense to me at the time.
  • "Meh, that looks about right" is not an accurate standard of measurement. And dry and wet ingredients have different tools of measurement. Use the proper tools to get the best results!
  • Follow the recipe exactly, especially the first time around. Don't try to get fancy if you don't know what you're doing. And don't try to "substitute" if you're using your own brain to do so.
  • Don't get distracted. If there's something on the stove, don't wander off into another room and start another task. Things will burn. Horribly. To the point of no return.
  • When baking, don't try to put twice as much batter/dough on the same pan just because it "fits." It will overflow into a monster and GET EVERYWHERE. Just use two pans. It's not that hard.
  • Although it may sound efficient, cooking food at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time is not wise. There's a reason for cook times and temperatures, mainly to avoid DEATH!
  • Practice, practice, practice. Get over the aversion to the kitchen. Quit going out to eat to avoid setting foot in the kitchen. Find a dozen easy recipes to rotate through over and over until it's easy peasy to throw it together!
I'm much, much better now. I've even made some meals where Zay has said, "Hey, this isn't that bad." LOL. But I've spent many years avoiding cooking, eating out instead, microwaving things, or getting Zay to cook (who is amazing in the kitchen or on the grill). So it's still in me to want to avoid it.

How do stay-at-home moms who cook all the time actually get it done?? It seems like such a constant, thankless job. You can spend hours in the kitchen and the food is gone in 5 minutes. And then everybody has to eat again a few hours later, lol. I think that's why I take pictures of my food, as proof that I actually did something! I want the credit for it, dangit. Ha ha.

Zay grilled last weekend and I over-ate like a big, fat glutton because it tasted SO GOOD. I loved when he was a stay-at-home dad and he cooked for me all the time... it was AMAZING. That's a fast way to my heart - good food. He hasn't had the time for it and I've been in there slaving over the stove, trying to make healthy meals that are edible (i.e., not burned) and don't taste like bland cardboard. It's tough.

It was really too cold to be grilling outside last weekend, but we did anyway and invited some friends over per usual. The weather is supposed to be getting warm here soon, so we'll be out there much more often now. And I'm just relieved that I won't have to cook so much!!! Zay will be out of school for the summer at the end of the month. He's got a brand new grill and is ready to get right on it. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm! I'm excited. My goal is to get fit and eat healthily, but this BBQ'ing is conflicting with that right now. I'm okay with that. Maybe we can make it a once a week thing and eat healthily the rest of the week. We'll see. :)

Our friends Derrick & Ora. Derrick had us cracking up cuz he was falling asleep while eating cuz it was SO GOOD he had to close his eyes and chew. Ha ha ha.

Our buddy Austin. Zay and Austin work together and call each other Shawn & Gus (for you Psych fans!)... I think they're an adorable duo. :)

Kal ate like 2 full plates.

Poor man's food. Baked beans, meat, and onions. :)

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