This is a post I've been mulling over for a while, and I think I'm finally ready to write it out.

In May 2002 I received my PhD in mathematics from the University of Arizona, and subsequently accepted a tenure track position in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin. That was about as good a job as I could have possibly hoped to get coming out of grad school, and the future seemed wide open. We had always planned to start trying to have a baby as soon as I graduated, with the idea that we would have two kids early in my tenure years, leaving me the last few years (when those kids were pre-school aged) to push hard for tenure. I imagined myself as a tenured professor, a successful researcher in my field and providing a example of a strong career woman to my children, who would be enrolled in the best preschool around.

But as most of us know, plans don't always work out the way you expect them to. )
As a Foodie and a lover of authentic Italian food, I'm sort of embarrassed to admit this, but I love canned Chef Boyardee ravioli. The classic, beef kind. It's kid food, really, and the least authentic ravioli ever, but seriously? Yum. I think it's a comfort thing.

When we were little and staying with our grandparents in the summers, my Grandma would split a can between my sister and me for lunch. She would carefully count out the raviolis, and if there was an odd number of them she'd cut that last one in half so that we'd have exactly the same amount. I'm not sure why that was so important to us at the time, but it was.

But when she heated it up, she'd add a can of water. I'm not sure why; I was an adult before I realized that it wasn't part of the directions for cooking it. Maybe it was a way to stretch it a bit further, which would match up with the rest of her Depression-era sensibilities. But I still add water to my ravioli to this day. It's just a half-can now, but enough to get that watery tomato soup for the raviolis to float in. And then I eat the whole thing with a big-ass spoon.

Is it Father's Day, or Fathers' Day, or Fathers Day? I'm never sure.

Anyway, today is my husband's first Father's Day. I've waited a long time to be able to wish him a happy one, almost 20 years now. I was barely 18 when I realized this was the man I wanted to be the father of my children, just after I realized, much to my surprise, that I actually wanted to have children someday. It took a lot longer than we expected, and the road was much rougher than we ever could have anticipated, but here we are.

There's something magical about watching a man cuddle and talk to his baby. It really melts my heart to see the two men at the center of my life together, Doug making some sweet baby talk he'd be mortified for any of his colleagues to hear, and Carter staring up at him in wonder. All those years when I got negative pregnancy tests one ofter the other, I would dream about such a sight. When I was finally pregnant and rubbing my belly, I'd wonder what it would be like to see them together. When Carter was in the NICU hooked up to machines, it was hard to see that far into the future.

But now here we are. Happy Father's Day, Doug. I love you.

I'm in NC at the moment visiting family, and my sister and I took the kids to a photographer last week for some individual and group shots. The results are HERE. (Enter event ID beasleygrandkids.) So cute!!
I hope everyone who celebrates this one had a great holiday! We spent it in NC with my family this year (we alternate between mine and his in Colorado). My cousin Julie has a brand new baby and so wasn't there, and her sister was in New York with her partner's family, so there seemed to be quite a few of us missing! It was fun to watch my nephew ([ profile] aidan_memoirs) open his presents, though, and to imagine that there will be a lot more little children running about next time I'm here for Christmas.

My family decided to only give presents to children starting this year, and to my surprise our own little pre-baby got quite a few presents! I feel like I've had a baby shower already, hee. Lots of cute little clothes and some baby supplies, including lovely books, and a sling and some cloth diapering supplies. My family passed the cloth diaper around with looks of curiosity on their faces, as if they weren't quite sure what to make of us for going that particular route! It's funny that I know so many people in Austin who use cloth diapers, but I think that may be a little pocket of environmentalism that is more unusual to find in other places.

I'm staying here for another week and a half to spend time with family while it's still relatively easy. Next time I come here it'll be a bit more complicated. ;-) I'm also hoping to help my sister get her baby room organized and ready. It's been fun to see her with a belly like mine and to know that these two little cousins will be born so close together.

Boo seems to be spending more of his time head-down these days. When I feel him moving around, it feels distinctly different in my lower abdomen, less like kicking and more like something big twisting and turning. Every now and then I get a weird pain higher in my body, like he's kicking me in the liver or something. He seems to get wiggly when I am even remotely hunched over, so I have started trying to sit in ways that give him more space. He has three more months to get bigger, so I think this is just the beginning of the two of us jockeying for space. :-P
As of last night, my mother is a graduate of Guilford College with BS in Accounting. This was a long journey for her, one that started nearly eight years ago and took up most of her nights, weekends, and summers since. For many of those years, she went to school part-time while working 60-hour weeks. (I worked that hard for one year of grad school, and it was about all I could take!) It was fantastic to watch her take this journey, to watch her grow as a person and become more and more committed to educating herself over the years. And now she finally has a college degree, after wanting to earn one for most of her life.

What a fantastic accomplishment, Mom! I'm very, very proud of you!


Jun. 24th, 2007 09:55 pm
Quick update. )

In other news, Doug's parents are here visiting us this weekend, and we've had a lot of fun. We cooked breakfast and dinner every day, and went out for lunch. So yes, we ate waaay too much! We drove around the lake Saturday, which was just gorgeous. We've had a lot of rain this spring, so the lake is full again and the hills around it are green and lush. It was amazing! We had lunch at one of our favorite lake restaurants, where we got to watch people come in and out on their boats. One of these weekends, Doug and I are going to rent a boat and spend a day out on the lake. When it gets cooler, maybe.
Doug's uncle Don died over the weekend. I didn't realize until I saw the obituary that he and I have the same birthday, 40 years apart. I actually never met him. :-(

Obituary and info about sending condolences here. )


Mar. 21st, 2007 04:18 pm
[ profile] aidan_memoirs is ten months old!!

Oh, and I weighed myself again this morning for the heck of it, and if the scale is to be believed, my weight loss total is now 9.5 pounds. :-D
1. The diet is going well! I have lost 4 pounds according to my scale, which is pretty amazing. I know that sort of progress won't continue, but it's great to see it working so well right away. My clothes feel a little looser than they did a week ago, and that really encourages me to keep going! I managed to eat about 1800 calories a day last week, though on the weekend it was 2100.

More diet stuff )

Papa update )

Rita and Quincy )

Movies )

Farmer's market )

There was more (like that we went to see The Lion King Saturday night), but I need to run, so I'll stop there. It was great to have a weekend to spend together!
I reported a few days ago on Papa's open heart surgery. He was moved into a regular room on Monday, but on Tuesday started having problems with an irregular and low heartbeat. They hooked him up to an external pacemaker and I suppose he responded well, because tomorrow morning they're going to put in a permanent pacemaker (lots of interesting information there). Hopefully this will do the trick. :-)

In other news, Doug is coming home from Beijing tonight! He went to see the Great Wall on Monday, but said it was so cold it wasn't much fun. He'd also planned to go to Tiananmen Square, but it was closed for some reason. It was a crazy trip, as he went all the way to China for a single meeting. :-P

I've stayed under 1900 calories four days in a row. Go me!


Mar. 5th, 2007 09:05 am
Last Friday, my grandfather (hereafter called Papa) had open heart surgery to have two valves replaced in his heart. It all went well, and he seems to be on the road to recovery. It was great to be able to go back and be there, because my mom's family does everything in a large group, especially when it involves supporting a family member.

When I got my PhD, there were at least ten of them that flew across the country from NC to AZ to attend, and for a few of them it was their first ever time on an airplane! When my sister's baby was born, the horde of us (along with her husband's family) completely took over the waiting room. I posted about that here, along with a video of that craziness. In general, the family is very tightly-knit. We go to the beach every summer for a week together, and it's always a blast. People seem surprised that we do that and don't kill each other, but it's just the way it is. I guess I'm lucky. :-)

There were at least 12 of us hanging around in the waiting room during Papa's surgery. )


Feb. 6th, 2007 04:38 pm
As we go through this first IVF cycle, I'm going to try to record the details as much as I can, mostly for my own record-keeping. I'll cut them, so feel free to skip stuff.

Hysteroscopy today )

In other news, it looks like my grandfather's surgery will go forward. He has to have two valves replaced, but his prognosis is good. That should happen around the first of March. I'm going to see if I can fly out to be with my family then.


Oh, one more thing: I'm always suspicious of these things, but it can't hurt. Sign the online petition to encourage congress to require insurance companies to cover infertility treatments. Most couples have to finance this on their own, though their infertility is no fault of their own. We're lucky that we don't have to take out a second mortgage to do it, but many people have to take such drastic steps, just to have what most people get for free.


Feb. 5th, 2007 10:41 pm
Surgery is tomorrow morning, bright and early. Oddly enough, I'm not the slightest bit anxious. I think that's because I've been through this before and know it's not a big deal.

I'm actually much more anxious about the fact that my grandfather will be at the doctor for an evaluation of his heart condition at the same time. After this, they'll decide how to proceed. Open heart surgery seems to be on the horizon, which is a heck of a lot scarier than a wee hysteroscopy.

One of the worst parts of Doug traveling internationally so much is that I can't just talk to him whenever I want to. For weeks at a time, I can't call him up to tell him something, or hear his voice when I want. I have to wait until he has a chance to call me. The time changes are weird, and sometimes he can't call me at all because of his travel schedule. We try to plan it in advance, but often a day or two will just pass, and I won't hear from him, not even by email.


And just as I was about to hit "post", he called from the airplane! He's on his way to Singapore now.

*is still sniffly*

On another note: who is the most precious baby in the whole world? [ profile] aidan_memoirs, that's who! (Sorry, Rita -- though little Mr. K is awfully precious too! ;-))
My nephew Aidan now has his own LJ, [ profile] aidan_memoirs, where lots of pics are posted and hopefully soon videos too.

All together now: "Awww!"
My sister's baby was born at 1:33 on Monday afternoon, and I was so thrilled to be able to be there. I so often miss these big family moments since I live so far away, but this time I was able to be there, and it was so exciting and wonderful. Because Donna was having a scheduled c-section, I was able to fly in on Sunday night and be there Monday. The c-section was two weeks before her due date (because he was getting so big), but as luck would have it, her water broke on Monday morning, so that was the day he would have come anyway! The cord was wrapped around his neck, so in the end they went ahead with the c-section anyway.

He was a BIG baby, too -- 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and 21.5 inches long.

Lots of pictures and a short video under the cut. )
Doug is in Germany and I'm off to NCTM in St. Louis this morning. Things are crazy busy at work right now, and I'm reminded of why I usually don't go to this conference. Who has a conference the week before the semester ends? It's insane!

In other news, I started my new cycle of gonal-f shots last night. The doctor said my ovaries looked fine; in fact, he decided to increase the dosage since they didn't look like they'd been stimulated quite enough last time. Despite the seven follicles I had at my scan, I likely only had one or two that were big enough and healthy enough to be viable by the time of the IUI. I expected a bit more for that much money and effort, but ah well.

It's funny how the whole shot thing is not a big deal anymore -- especially since I now know I can combine doses, so I only have to give myself one shot every night. One shot is nothing! I had four doses last night, I'll do three tonight, and then two every night thereafter. I have a sonogram on Friday afternoon to see how things are coming along, and hopefully we'll have the IUI at the end of next week.

And then I'll be off to NC, where my sister's c-section is scheduled for May 8! It must be weird to know exactly when your baby will be born.

Oh, and wouldn't you know it? Wednesday is the Day of Silence, and of course, that's the day I'm giving my talk. :-P


Sep. 15th, 2005 07:37 pm
I made my mom this short-sleeved sweater for her birthday, and I now have a pic of her wearing it!

Large photo of Mom in her birthday gift )

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