Sunday, May 10, 2015

Chocolate Cupcakes!


I tried a new recipe this weekend for chocolate cupcakes (New Guy's favorites) and man am I pleased with myself. I started with the Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" recipe and substituted the Special Dark for any regular unsweetened cocoa (in both the frosting and the batter). I'm not sure if you know this, but the health benefits of dark chocolate make these cupcakes almost as healthy as carrots*.



INGREDIENTS
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Special Dark Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water ("batter will be thin" said the original recipe, but seriously, this stuff is like liquid... it's okay, don't panic). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. 
4. Bake 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely. 
About 30 cupcakes

I filled mine with a marshmallow cream filling (marshmallow fluff, shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla, water, pinch of salt) and topped them with a classic dark chocolate butter cream. Yum and yum. 

*This is not true. Please don't send me healthy hate mail.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Seat 21D

I'm sitting in the exit row of a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to St. Louis; extra leg room is a small perk of traveling so much that the fun is completely gone. Above me in the overhead bin is a mini cooler bag tucked into my carry on. It has two days worth of menopur vials, a follistim pen, and handful of syringes, and other really fun stuff.

Two rows behind me is a pregnant woman with a toddler already in tow. Across the aisle from her, a woman sits with a very unhappy newborn. I'm pretty sure I can smell baby from here. I can certainly hear them. And every few seconds someone in front of me turns around to give the mother of which ever one is currently crying an evil stare. I'm the only woman between these men and the babies, so they look at me first to determine if I'm the woman ruining their tin can rocket ride with my spawn.

Ugh.

I'm trapped in a flying metal tube less than 10 feet from an emotional trigger extravaganza and I want to scream, "it's not me assholes! I just LOOK like I've had a baby from stimming and eating my feelings!"

Thursday, April 30, 2015

After This, Pregnancy Should Be Breeze

I'm not pregnant. I've never been pregnant. I've not even had a chemical pregnancy. I've never created a life.

But I have had crazy hormonal mood swings. I've woken up at 3am soaked from night sweats. I've had hot flashes at random. My boobs have been so sore I hated the thought of putting a bra on. I have enjoyed the same breakfast twice thanks to morning sickness. I have gained weight that has stayed with me and been bloated to the point of looking fully pregnant from water weight that thankfully went away. I've had surgeries and procedures. I've had more vaginal ultrasounds than should be allowed.

Reality has fully set in.

I am no longer concerned with people looking at my vagina. Honestly, who even says that other than women with children or women with IF... or ladies of questionable employment.

So, universe, I'm ready.

Seriously.

All the things pregnant ladies complain about - I've been there... but without the payoff.

That's jacked up, universe. You're a bitch.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: A Father's Unsolicited Input on Infertility

It was Friday afternoon. I was working in my office, occasionally checking out the view from my office window. You may not know this, but I'm pretty baller. I have a phenomenal view of a parking garage AND a Springhill Suites. While fully engrossed in the finer points of strategic planning under health care reform, my phone buzzed...

THE UGLY:

"None of my business, but guys wearing boxers or no shorts have better fertility odds than those wearing other kinds of briefs. Love, dad"

Well.

Okay.

Sure, Dad.

THE BAD:

How does a daughter respond to a father who has implied that all her problems could have been solved if only her husband was wearing boxers... or going commando? How do I tell him that we know exactly how many sperm are in a sample and how well those little swim? How do I explain that we wouldn't have spent several thousand dollars injecting the little guys without first checking whether they were up to snuff? How do I tell him the issue is all me?

Father daughter relationships are a weird space to begin with, but in my family it's tense at best. My dad traveled throughout my childhood for work, being gone for weeks at a time. Our relationship does not involve open communication. It certainly doesn't involve reproductive talk.

He showed up at our house a few hours later and was waiting patiently for me to get home. I guess because I didn't respond and what's a two and half hour drive to a dad? I had no time to prepare for a face to face.

So feeling emotionally raw. I greeted him as though nothing had been said. As though I hadn't had all my insecurities triggered by his underwear text. We made small talk. We planned to haul some bamboo we removed from the yard to the dump. We talked about running shoes and high arches. Then he mentioned the underwear again.

"I don't know if you got my text. Sometimes us dads can't figure these things out. Haha. I read that men who wear boxers or other loose fitting shorts have better chances of having kids. There are some guys that heat up their testicles to avoid having babies. It's a real thing. Don't know if you've looked into it."

I hope whoever is reading this is laughing. But, I wasn't. Instead, I burst into tears. I told my dad that I felt like a bad wife. That I was a let down for my husband. That we had spent so much money and I was the problem. That no matter how much more we spent, we may never be successful.

THE GOOD:

It's all out there now. He didn't say much during my outburst and I wandered out of the room shortly after. Like I said, communication is not our thing.

But, when he left, he gave us enough money to pay for IVF (less medication). I told him it wasn't necessary because we really didn't know if it would work and it was a lot of money to hand someone. He said he was my dad and could do what he wanted.

It's hard to accept help, but in the few days since, I've felt a burden lift off. We still may or may not be successful, but to remove half the debt burden up front is... priceless.