A sheltered [food] life

I made it 37 years before trying a brussel sprout. It was easy to avoid them. The first 19 years of my life, a brussel sprout never once entered the doors of my childhood home. My sheltered childhood diet is at the root of many of my food aversions (and I have lots). But I’m determined to break the cycle, right here and now.

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Air travel with babies & toddlers: car seats and the CARES harness

When it comes to airplane travel with kids, there are two options: Take the easy way out with lap-baby or no car seat (and take your chances with your child’s life and safety), OR do it the hard way, even though it’s a bit more inconvenient, and take along a car seat or harness. For the parents who choose the no-brainer “keep my kid alive” option, here are some tips to survive a flight when your kiddo needs a few more buckles.

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World War Food: An Update

We’re one year into Operation Picky-Eatin’ Toddlers. Using strategies from the feeding specialist, we’ve made huge strides over the last year. But not without some major roadblocks along the way.

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My four-and-a-half-year gym hiatus

From 2011 through 2015, I paid almost no attention to my physical health. I was completely absorbed in the task of making and raising tiny humans. It’s time to rebalance and find some semblance of fitness again.

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Chapter Four—Match.com for Genetic Material

This is where the process of donating can get unpleasant for donors. What kind of questions should you ask potential recipients? How do you deal with telling couples they’re not a good fit? Should you tell them at all, or just cut off communication?

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Chapter Three—Finding Recipients

Once you’re certain about donating, how do you start? This chapter explains how donors can get started finding recipients. You can seek on your own through word of mouth, put out a “call” on social media, or use an agency. We discuss the pros and cons of each, including the upsides and downsides of a small versus large agency, and how we found our perfect agency match.

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Chapter Two—The Alabama Lottery: Known vs. Anonymous Donation

The Alabama Lottery is the irrational fear that our genetic children might meet, hook up, or get married without realizing they were siblings. It’s unlikely as winning the lottery, yes, but that doesn’t make the fear any less real. This chapter explains anonymous and known donation, the pros and cons of both, and how we made our choice.

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Chapter One—The Biggy: Deciding to Donate

The story of how we came to the decision to donate, including how we ended up with leftover embryos. This chapter explores the tough questions of how we knew when our family was complete; why we wanted to donate to an infertile couple; other options we considered; and how we came to terms with the idea of losing control after the donation is final.

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Hard-working, picturesque, racist rural America

After the stunning election results came in, analysts mentioned “racist rural America” over and over again. Equally, rural America (people I knew growing up) insisted that rural does not equal racist. My own experience shows that it’s not quite that black and white.

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The redshirt conundrum

Everyone has an opinion. But one thing is clear: when to send your kid is a decision parents should make with each individual kiddo’s unique situation in mind.

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What women *really* want

Spoiler alert: It’s not diamonds, or foot massages, or fancy purses (though we wouldn’t say no if you tried). It’s something every husband can do. Including yours.

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Iowa State Fair Survival

How does a mom survive 12 hours of the Iowa State Fair with two toddlers? I’ll tell ya, it’s not easy. But a little preparation plus a great plan for once you get there are key to success. Here’s how we get through three days of the fair and come out the other end with a barrel full of great memories.

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Dear Pre-Kid Lydia…

As Squeak’s second birthday approaches, I’m thinking about what I wish I’d known when I started this parenting gig. No-Kids Lydia needs to drop some preconceived notions.

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My embryo donation failure

Last fall, I shared the story of our embryo recipients, L&J, miscarrying at 8 weeks. The cause was later discovered as Trisomy 18, a genetic defect that's the most common cause of first-trimester miscarriage. It was only the first of three embryos we donated, so...

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Everybody Hates You

I have an inner voice, and she’s a Mean Girl. She tells me lies, makes claims without proof, and seems to know everything. I call her Regina George. Here’s some of the bullshit she whispers in my ear.

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DIY adjustable waist toddler pants

Squeak is so skinny that despite being 20 months old, he can’t even fill out the waist of 18-month pants. This creates a dilemma, but luckily, a little DIY elbow grease solves this problem and keeps Squeak’s pants up, too!

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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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