Jay and the 23andMe Mystery

I’ve always wanted to be part of one of those 23andMe-induced family-secret-unearthing stories, but I was certain that my farm-roots family meant there’d be no surprises. Then came an out-of-the-blue email from a guy named Jay.

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Lou Gehrig’s Disease

The neurologist took a deep breath while I held mine. And then he said it. “I think this is Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

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My Gym Survival Gear

Getting up at 4:30am five days a week takes dedication, determination, and probably a little bit of insanity. It’s a lot easier to pull off a regular gym habit when you have the right equipment, both in and out of the gym, to help you out. These are the things I can’t live without.

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DIY Wooden Ruler Height Chart

We measured our height on a door in our basement when I was growing up, but when we later sold the farmhouse, that door—and all the memories it contained—stayed behind. For less than it costs to buy one, you can make your own wall-mounted wooden ruler height chart. Best of all, it can travel with you no matter where you live.

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How to stop your kid’s thumbsucking.

I’ve tackled some big challenges in my life. Infertility was a doozy. A month in traction was another. But nothing prepared me for the challenge of breaking my five-year-old of her thumbsucking habit. Buckle in, friends. It’s gonna get crazy.

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Is it weird to say ‘A gym changed my life’?

Sounds like a bunch of feel-good bullshit, right? Well, in my case, it’s not bullshit. And despite it sounding kind of silly, joining my gym was the impetus for incredible change in my life. Here’s how it happened.

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Why laser hair removal is the best thing ever

I’m pretty sure there’s some Sasquatch in my DNA (even if 23andMe disagrees), based solely on the amount of hair on my body. But thanks to the wonders of laser hair removal, my life has gotten a lot less hairy (pun intended).

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February Funk

It’s February in Iowa, and I’m depressed. Not in the funny-ha-ha way you mean it when your favorite restaurant closes. I’m really, truly, and clinically depressed. Which is terrifying to talk about in such a public way. But I’m not giving up.

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9 Reasons Alexa is Awesome

There’s a group of parents who refuse to jump on the smart speaker bandwagon, because the CIA might be listening. After having an Amazon Echo Dot, and Alexa, for three weeks now, I don’t care if the CIA is listening or not. I *love* our Alexa. And this is why.

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This is why I stay

Friends who move away from Iowa love to post photos of sandy beaches and warm winter days, tagged with #thisiswhyimoved. But let’s be clear. Nobody stays in Iowa for the weather or the landscape. We stay for one very specific and important reason that cannot be outshined by an ocean view. So allow me to explain. Because #thisiswhyistay.

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How to survive IVF and infertility treatments

When a friend asked me what to expect with IVF—specifically, how to prepare ahead of time and how to cope throughout the process—I started thinking hard about what advice I would give someone about to start down the IVF trail. I enlisted the help of some friends, and we pulled together our best tips here.

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Losing track of my kids at the fair (twice)

One of many fears parents have is losing track of a child in a crowd. Last week, at the Iowa State Fair, both Peanut and Squeak got away from me. In one situation, I was losing my mind. In the other, I remained calm, even though my child was missing for a lot longer. Here’s why.

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Why Facebook gives me anxiety

Why does Facebook feel the need to bombard me with reminders of all the horrible things that could befall my children? I did not ask for this information, so STOP TELLING ME, because I’m going insane.

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Point it down, son

Squeak will be three years old next month, and he’s nowhere near potty trained. I might have conceived both my kids at the same time, from the same set of eggs and sperm, but when it comes to potty time, they couldn’t be more different.

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To the mom in the trenches: it gets easier

When you feel like you cannot go on another minute, because it’s all just too much, remember this: you’re in the trenches right now. You won’t stay there. And it does get better. Here’s a story to explain how it did so for me.

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My new gym routine: an update [with pictures!]

It’s been four and a half months since I started a new workout regimen, and a lot has changed. My moods, my sleep, my mental state, my weight, and most definitely my confidence. At the risk of being “that girl who won’t shut up about working out,” here’s what’s happened since I kicked off a re-dedication to my own health.

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My embryo donation happy ending

One miscarriage and two chemical pregnancies resulted from our three donated embryos. Our recipients were heartbroken and beaten down. But a few months later, the universe served up a couple of big surprises.

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About Me

Hiya! I'm Lydia, aka Peanut Mom. I live in Iowa with my husband and two pretty amazing iVF babies, both the result of frozen transfers. My daughter "Peanut" is seven and my son "Squeak" is five. Here I write about parenting, life as a midwest mama, embryo donation, infertility, a sprinkling of DIY projects, and life's absurdity with a big helping of humor. Welcome!

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If you're going through infertility and want to see our journey, start in June 2011 (first two cycles) or January 2014 (third cycle). Hopefully reading about our rollercoaster with assisted reproduction brings you a little hope, and more than a few giggles.

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