Book Club

Hi Everyone!

Do you like to read?

For the last several weeks I’ve been considering an online book club of some kind and finally decided to do it. I hope you’ll join me and share with your friends so we can create quite the group.

How it works:

  1. I have created a page titled “Blueberry Book Club” (because Blueberry Book Club sounds fun!). There I will keep a list of members, who is up next to select a book, and link ups to the book club discussion.
  2. Each member will take a turn selecting a book based on the order in which they signed up. They will host the book club on their blog during their turn, and they will be responsible for coming up with 5-10 questions for discussion. The discussion will happen on their blog in the comment section and will remain open for a week.
  3. I will link up each book club post onto the master page of the Blueberry Book Club for ease of reference and so anyone who comes along down the road can see what it’s all about. Please remember to link the master page in your post, so new members can find our list of discussions!

 

Does this sound like something you’d like? Or something someone you know might like? Or something someone you don’t know, but might who be reading your blog anyway, might like? Then please share this post and spread it around! The more, the merrier!

Sign up in the comments of THIS PAGE with your name and blog address. Don’t forget to share with your friends – I am hoping to get at least a few members!

 

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#microblogmondays – Garth

You guys. I love concerts – I have been to a ton in my life. As a musician myself, music is deep within me and there is nothing better for my soul than enjoying insanely talented musicians.

Every concert I’ve been to they have all put on amazing shows (I can’t remember EVER being disappointed at a concert!)…but none have topped the one I went to on Saturday.

Garth. Oh Garth…I was not a die hard fan but Mr. Big is so we snatched up tickets as soon as we could. Let me tell you – this man knows how to put on a show. He performs with every ounce of his being and he makes it clear (from the ticket prices to the way he performs) that he is there for his fans and his music only. It was incredible…he performed from 10:30 pm until 2:30 am – with no opening act – and two full encores (of 4ish songs each). He had already done a 7 pm show…how he had the energy to give us such an incredible performance is beyond me….but he did, and I am still on a high from how much fun the concert was.

What’s the best concert you have ever seen?

For more on Microblog Mondays – please read the inaugural post here.

On Being Single

I am not single. This is a reflection after seeing a particular movie this week that I thought would be slap stick comedy but actually had an intellectual aspect to it.

Have you seen it? How.to.be.single?

I went with my sister and we have two VERY different love stories. It was interesting to talk about it after.

She met her husband in junior high and never dated anyone else. She lived at home until she got a surprise pregnancy at 19 and dropped out of college and took a retail job. Her husband worked (and still does) in construction. Then they moved in with her (now) husband’s mother. They got married at 22 and bought their own house. They had another baby at 24 and are currently hoping to have a third.

I didn’t date much in high school, but went on some dates in University. I went to school 1800 kms from home, so I lived on my own in a dorm for the first two years and then an apartment for the third. I made some great friendships. From there I moved to across the country and started my adult life in a city where I knew no one…I loved the experience. I got a corporate job that paid me well, so I got to have some wonderful experiences. While there I met a guy who I dated seriously, but it didn’t last. Then I met another guy, dated him semi-seriously, but again it didn’t last. 3 years post University graduation I met Mr. Big. We dated for 7 months, were engaged for 2 years and finally married outdoors at a small ceremony in the mountains. It was beautiful. We struggled with infertility for a while there, before packing up and moving home to be closer to my family and sisters. Still struggling with infertility.

The movie (SPOILER ALERT) talks about how to be single…and how part of the purpose is to figure out who you are while you’re single so that when you do find someone, you don’t get lost. They coin the experience of “finding a guy and rushing into something serious without ever knowing yourself” as “dicksand” (sorry, that’s what they call it). It’s like meeting someone you like and getting stuck in their quicksand and becoming who they want you to be rather than who you are.

As soon as the movie ended, my sister looked at me and said “I got caught in (her husbands name)’s dicksand.”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how lucky I am to have had all the wonderful experiences I did have while I was single – and to have the opportunity to not only figure out who I am, but to develop that. While I miss, immensely, that I don’t have children yet – there is a perk to it too. Mr. Big and I have been able to develop strong sense of who we each are individually, and who we are as a couple. We’ve been able to do things, and see things, and have experiences that not everyone gets to experience. That’s not such a bad thing. (Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to stop any time and trade it in for bibs and diapers…but I also want to realize and acknowledge that good things come from this too).

My sister and her husband are happily married, have a nice home and two beautiful children. They work hard and they enjoy their life. Getting caught into his “dicksand” (I know, cringeworthy tem!) worked for her and she’s happy. But I am very thankful that I had a chance to become who I am as a single person and to learn to need only myself – before finding the person to share my life with. I just hope that the little versions come along before I’m too old and grey to enjoy them.

It was definitely a surprising food for thought movie! Did you see it? What did you think?

Feeling Insecure

When I was young and filled with dreams, I wanted to be a veterinarian or a professor. I was determined to have a career that I both loved, and that I respected. As I got through high school and realized how inept I was when it came to advanced math and certain science, I voluntarily let go of the idea of being a Veterinarian and focused on the path to being a Professor. I went off to University, took a field I loved with a fiery passion and began the exciting journey into academia.

What I didn’t expect was that, in the midst of that, I would go through a personal crisis that would impede my ability to flourish and succeed the way I normally did. Then, after the most difficult year of my life, I made the decision to relocate and complete my final year online – essentially, a suicide mission of my dream to be a professor. I didn’t go to field school, I didn’t get to participate in research. Instead, I had to take the next few years rebuilding my self and my life. At that point, I met and married my husband and decided that being a Professor was a pipe dream and I should just focus on what I had in front of me… the potential to start a family.

Well, we all know how that turned out. (Spoiler alert: no baby).

That “pipe dream” of being a professor has been rolling around in my mind ever since I abandoned it. Every so often I get up the nerve and start considering it again, and then a little voice in my head whispers “you’re too old to go back now” and I forget about it.

Except.

Except…it hasn’t stilled the desire in my heart to become a professor. As a matter of fact, it’s fueled it and I find myself quickly falling back into that dream and all the things I had imagined (days filled with research, studies and adult pupils…ahh…). I am growing weary of pushing it away, and running out of excuses for why it wouldn’t work.

So this morning I applied. It doesn’t mean I’ll get accepted, it doesn’t mean I will do this – but I know if I don’t try I will always wonder.

And now, of course, my mind is whirling with all the reasons why this is a terrible idea…

Fertility Deets

Lately I’ve been doing A LOT of thinking on this fertility (or, rather, infertility) business. I’m fast approaching 30 – and I am ready for this baby to happen. Not that I wasn’t ready the last 5 years of trying or not trying, not preventing – but this time I’m pulling out the big guns.

The Details:

We have been on a break for the last 6 months. I have been working to lose the weight I gained while TTC last time pumping myself full of synthetic hormones. We’ve been busy, and hoping it will “happen naturally” the old fashioned way. But it hasn’t. So I’ve decided to start fresh from the beginning with all the bells and whistles. My previous experience involved a very early PCOS diagnosis after a miscarriage (surprise pregnancy that showed me I really want a baby), followed by medicated cycles. I didn’t get a chance to try naturally, and to be honest – I was completely naive and just did what my doctor said without doing any research or asking any questions. However I am now much wiser and have done much research – and this time I am going to be in charge of our TTC journey.

  1. OPKS – I have just ordered 100 OPKs. I have never used them before because my Dr at the time told me (without doing any tests) that I mustn’t ovulate because I have PCOS (diagnosed visually based on the fact that I had a simple cyst at the time, and where I carry extra weight). I have since learned that I have none of the blood markers for PCOS (hormones are in check and not insulin resistant) and that I DO ovulate…I am not sure if I do every cycle or not but I do ovulate. My current doctor is hesitant to called me a PCOSer – but definitely an occasional (if not more) annovulater.
  2. BBT – I have just ordered my first BBT. I have never charted with BBT before, so this will be a learning experience, but I really want to try it.
  3. Dietary Changes: Both Mr. Big and I struggle with our weight. We’ve made some huge strides in the last few months, and now I’m ready to pare down our diet further to include foods identified as fertility helpers. One of the biggest things is cutting out refined sugar completely (I love a cold soda on a hot day…but no more!). I’ve also read that animal protein – especially non-organic – can really affect your hormonal system. Since we suspect I have a problem with ovulating, we’re trying non-animal protein (or vegan) breakfasts and lunches for the next little while. Natural, non-processed vegetable or grain proteins…and we’ll see if it helps.
  4. I am going to continue my 3 days/week gym regimen (that I will hopefully be able to maintain through a pregnancy with some modification). Mr. Big gets workouts everyday (he’s a firefighter) so he will just keep on keeping on.
  5. I am switching my regular vitamins to prenatals.

So that’s it in a nutshell! We are already careful with the chemicals we use, so I am not concerned about that (I mostly use vinegar). We don’t have a cat – so no worries about litter boxes and I don’t smoke or drink – so I think we’re in a pretty good place to conceive our rainbow baby!! (Come on, Universe!). Am I missing anything?

#microblogmondays – An Awakening

I’m a helper…I like to help people. It helps them, and it makes me feel good, so it’s a double win. However, I also have a problem saying no and often agree to things that I quickly regret. People learn that I like to help and will do most things, and then request or expect it of me – coupled with my inability to say no – which leads to a very busy Raven. Frequently (as in, four out of seven days a week) I take care of my nephews after work/on the weekend. On top of that, I have swim lessons that I take them to on Fridays, painting class/book club on Tuesdays, the gym on Mon, Wed and Fri and three dogs to walk, feed, love and provide for.

It makes for a very busy life, but I like to be busy. Nothing makes me more content then getting shit done – even if I’m sick, I keep on trudging. It makes me feel useful, and I need to feel useful.

And then I got pneumonia. In both lungs. With a topping of bronchitis. For eight straight days I couldn’t leave the house. I laid in bed/on the couch trying to remember to track my medications (two steroid inhalers, one steroid pill, one antibiotic and one over the counter cold medicine) because they had to be administered at just the right times, in the right order and binge watching Roseanne, then Friends, then Fuller House all the while trying not to cough to death. Even when I started to feel better, I couldn’t walk to the bathroom without having a coughing fit that would result in vomiting. I was officially house bound….and to be honest, it rocked. Well…the coughing/gagging/vomiting thing didn’t rock but the do my own shit thing was awesome. I also had plenty of time to reflect and think about life. It made me realize one immense thing:

  • I don’t actually enjoy being so busy…but I need to be busy for my own peace of mind. And I need to be busy because it makes me feel useful…and I need to feel useful because I usually feel like a useless, infertile, non-mothering woman. And that is very sad.

Thanks, Universe, for the sign. I need to slow down, I see that now and I will slow down. I will also stop filling the void in my heart with busyness that just exhausts me, and start practicing self care. Most importantly, I will begin to explore all the things that I am good at. I may not be good at making babies, but I am most definitely not useless.

XO.

See more on #Microblog Mondays here.