Friday, December 10

Habit Forming: Fail

This week has been full, and I mean chock full, of fail. I started the week with one kind of sick (bathroom) and am ending it with another kind (sinuses). There was about a six hour break between the two. I had to miss a lot of work, and this is not a good week for me to miss work. I only exercised once and ate out one time over my limit. Since I was waking up late and in a fog, I also did not do my Bible reading in the morning.




Usually, at this point, (this point *always* happens), I give up and decide that I just suck at being a human being and I shouldn't try. I would completely throw in the towel.

This is how things will be different. I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to throw in the towel. I'm going to start back up on Monday as though this week never happened. I will keep working out, taking my lunch and reading my Bible. I am a grown up and I can do these things.


Sunday, December 5

Why does this always happen?

I always have the best intentions of getting to church on time. The early service starts at 8:45am which is a good hour past the time I manage to make it to work every morning.

I think that hour is the problem.

It gives me time to do things. Like shower, make coffee, notice that I have the liquid I drained off the pumpkin puree I made from real pumpkins, have an idea to use it to make a pumpkin spice latte (I'm a genius!), make the latte, relish it and enjoy the fruits of my genius, remember I wanted to record a recipe for homemade pumkpin spice marshmallows (I know!) and then search for the recipe online at epicurious (but only after I picked out two sweaters on Old Navy's site, read the reviews about all the pilling and then decide not to buy the sweaters after all) and record the recipe in my new recipe software.


A whole hour has gone by! When did that happen?

We need to leave in 10 minutes to make it in time for early service. My hair is still wet and in a towel. Husband is still asleep. I'm reading blogs.

Late service starts at 11am. Which gives me two more hours. I need to get the pot roast started. I'm going to write a blog post (apparently). Maybe I'll finish the second round of Christmas cards. I could trim Kaya's nails (that's my dog, btw). Oh wait, no I can't because we need to buy batteries. I need to make a shopping list. I have 17 empty picture frames. I can start filling those. It's amazing what I can accomplish right before church.

I'm definitely making another pumpkin spice latte.

Tuesday, November 30

Some good old vintage whine

Here I am at the end of another work day. It's still a little early for me to go home. Mostly because Husband and I carpool and he's not here yet. However, my brain is done. So completely done. I feel surrounded by problems right now. None of which are under my control. All of which are impacting me. Grrr.

Yesterday I called a sex hotline in a meeting on speaker phone with about nine men in the room. It was one number different than the conference bridge we use. I should've known something was wrong when the recording started off with a woman saying "Hey there sexy gentleman" but I just thought my company was trying some radically different advertisement campaign. Then I started to verify the number because the number I had dialed was still on the display. Then the recording woman informed all the sexy gentlemen that there were h@rny girls waiting to talk to them right now. That's when I frantically started mashing buttons to hang up the phone. Why it took me that long to figure out what I'd done, I don't know. It's the first time I've ever called a sex hotline.

I'm in homebody mode right now. I just want to be home. I want to do things at home and be in my surroundings. I want to make another pie (pumpkin this time!), I want to do my workout, I want to do my laundry, play my computer games, watch my anime, read my books, listen to my music, finish my Christmas cards, organize the sofa table, the list goes on. (and on and on)

It will be Sunday before I get the kind of time in my house that I want. Sunday. That's not until next month.

Tonight I'll get home, start the deviled steak, switch the laundry, workout, shower, eat (while watching anime), then it will probably be time for my pre-bed reading which is followed up by going to bed. Sigh. Just not enough time. I do not know how working mothers get it all done, I really don't.

Saturday, November 20

Habit Forming: Exercise and Bible Reading II

Exercise habit is going great! I'm enjoying my XBOX as I type :)

I'm gradually increasing the duration of exercise each day, but I still only need 10 minutes to qualify for XBOX time. There are some evenings when 10 minutes is just all I can do.

Here are my sources for exercise:
  • 10-minute solutions: Pilates (video)
  • The T Tapp basic workout (video)
  • Wii Fit
  • (awesome!)
  • jogging (C25K iPhone app)
  • walking (as a cool down)
  • bikini bootcamp (book)
As I may have posted earlier, I've completed the Bible. Now I want to reread it and record the verses that I particularly like or find interesting. I just need to buy the journal.

Wednesday, November 17

TTC: How many is too many?

Monday I had four follicles.

Today I have twenty. TWENTY.

The probability that I would get pregnant from an IUI cycle shot up dramatically.

So did the probability that I would have multiples. And we aren't just talking twins.

Since Husband and I aren't comfortable with selective reduction, there will be no IUI this round.

I was very disappointed with this news and I cried some.

However, really bad news would be no response at all. At least we know that the shots work for me. I just need less.

There's always an upside!

Monday, November 15

TTC: Update

I've started the shots.

I went in last Friday to checkout the ovaries one more time. The cysts were gone.

I took my first shot Friday evening. Husband gave it to me. I'm a chicken.

Saturay, Husband wasn't home. It was just me and my friend Abby (not her real name). I first tried to convince Abby to give me the shot. I could tell she really didn't want to. She had given her sister one of her fertility shots. According to her sister, Abby doesn't do well with giving shots. But, according to any older sister, the younger sister doesn't do anything well, so I was willing to give her a try. In Abby's words, her sister can't stop being her sister, but I could stop being her friend.

So, Abby was out.

That left only me.

Me and a large syringe with a seemed-small-at-first-but-not-so-much-now needle. Strange how a needle seems large only when you have to stick it into your stomach.

After eleven minutes of deep breathing, staring at my stomach and counting to three several (several) times, I finally stuck it in. Only it didn't go all the way in. So I pulled it out. I then had to stick it in again and push until it was all the way in.

When I finally did it, I realized that I'm a drama chicken. It's really not that bad. It doesn't hurt at all. The dose I'm taking is so small, it doesn't even leave a bump.

So there we are. I've had three shots and went in today to see how the ovaries are reacting. It looks like there are four that are doing well. Now, the probability that all four will get fertilized and implanted is low. Heck, even the probability that one will get fertilized and implanted is low.

Something about doing the shots makes it seem like we leveled up in the fertility game. Like, now we are serious. Now we are in the big leagues.

It's exciting.

Wednesday, November 3

Habit forming: Exercise

Yes. You read that right. Exercise.

I feel like my lunch habit is under control. I'm reliably packing my lunch and not eating out more than twice a week. Creating a habit of exercise has been my Everest. And I am finally going to conquer it! I have a plan! And I have a really good rewards system! My rewards system is my barefooted sherpa who doesn't need oxygen and can, literally, metabolize thin air.

So far I've exercised every day this week for 10 minutes.

Side note: Some of you may be scoffing at only exercising for 10 minutes. But, if you take the number of minutes I exercised last week, multiplied that by infinity, it would still be less than 10 minutes. So, in a very mathematical sense, I've increased the time I spend exercising by infinity percent. So there!

I even got my 10 minutes in on Monday night when I got home late and had to cook dinner (oriental cabbage rolls, yum).

What's my secret? Video games, Netflix and Hulu. I'm not allowed to enjoy any of them on a weekday unless I've exercised. I only get them on the weekend if I exercised all five days that week.
Very. Motivating.

I shall see how this goes. If it goes well, then I'll start increasing the duration of exercise. As it it, I have sore abs and thighs. Yes, I'm that out-of-shape.

Tuesday, October 26

Camping and other stuff

We went camping this past weekend and it was great! We bought a new tent, one that could fit our air mattress this time, and discovered that our air mattress leaks badly and ended up sleeping on the ground anyway. Again.

Our new tent is water tight. We got a bit of rain. We were predicted to have 50 mph winds and hail, but we stuck it out. This is Texas. Weather is iffy. We knew that a prediction for hail could mean perfectly clear skies, or wrath-of-God style hail with tornadoes. We got the former.

Highlights of camping out: bacon and eggs cooked over a fire in the morning, falling asleep to the sound of the breeze through the cottonwood leaves, seeing the non-Texans react to the armadillo that visited us each night, building a fire from the previous night's coals, time with friends.

Also, I think the video game, Culdcept, is one of the best things to happen to me a long time. The game is made up of short segments, boardgame style. So after my turn, I have to wait for my opponents to have their turns. During this time, I get up and do stuff. My house is a lot tidier. My laundry is pretty much caught up. My lunch gets packed. It's awesome. Who knew playing a video game would bring out the adult in me?

Wednesday, October 20

Oh my goodness, am I becoming a lady?

I'm reading a guest post over at Empowered Traditionalist. It's on being a "lady," which I have never considered myself to be. Am I a capable woman? yes. Am I a professional? most of the time, yes. Do I embrace my femininity? yes. (Except when I wear men's sweat pants. That's not so feminine.) But I have never considered myself to be a lady. To me a lady has a house that is always perfect. Knows how to always look just-so. Can hostess any event. Is always polite. Is never offensive.

But then I read this:
"Whether or not you wear linen after Labor Day, the essence of being a lady is an others-oriented mindset. A lady is both regimented and flexible; compassionate and strong. A lady reaches out to others by disciplining herself."
Hmm. Regimented flexibility and self discipline is exactly what I'm trying to instill in my life. Maybe I'm trying to become a lady without even realizing it. Of course, this really hinges on the definition of the word.

But there is also this little list:
  • A lady always respects other people’s time whether at the office or at home
    That I do! Always!
  • A lady returns any item she borrows in a timely manner
    Hmmm. No so much. My fix, I don't borrow.
  • A lady never points out the imperfections of her mate to others
    Epic. Fail.
    But I'm working on it.
  • A lady turns off her cell phone at an event or dinner out
    Yeah! I do this!
  • A lady uses her turn signals when driving
    That's not being a lady. That's just not being a moronic ass-wipe. (Typing ass-wipe probably precludes me from ladyship.)
  • A lady does not wear clothes so revealing they embarrass others
    Um. I don't think I do this. Some people have been aghast at the whiteness of my legs.
  • A lady does not wear linen before Easter nor after Labor Day
    Done! I don't own linen.
  • A lady does not brag, whine, nag, or gossip
    Hmmm. Well. Anyway.
So, I think my point is that maybe I'm on my way to being my version of what a lady is. Maybe being a lady doesn't mean having a museum perfect house, but a house that is welcoming. Maybe ladies aren't perfect hostesses, but are willing to hostess and show hospitality. Maybe she isn't perfectly dressed all the time but just takes pride in her appearance.

I'm not giving up my men's sweat pants, though.

Tuesday, October 19

TTC: Update

I started my new cycle last Thursday. I had an ultrasound to check out the ovaries on Friday. I had called ahead so they knew I wanted to start the shots this cycle if the timing was okay.

Turns out I have a cyst on my left ovary. Which means I didn't ovulate last cycle (no surprise there). It also means that I can't take fertility shots this cycle. I'm taking a low level birth control pill in order to dissolve the cyst.

So, we get another break. We are going to be camping on the days we would've needed to go in for IUI's anyway. Now I don't have to stress over whether to push the IUI's out or to cancel our trip. And Husband gets another month of his shots. The more, the better in that arena.

On to the next cycle!

Thursday, October 14

Habit forming: Bringing my lunch

Good news! I got my chicken salad made last night and have my lunch made for the next two days!

Husband has perfected the chicken system. We buy a whole chicken every two weeks. He will use our rotisserie oven to make delicious roasted chicken with crunchy skin and juices (drools...). We usually eat a quarter to a half of the chicken the night it is roasted. Then he will pull all the remaining chicken meat off the bones. All the rest of the chicken (bones and skin) goes into the big crockpot with some onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, etc. This is simmered for 24 hours. Soooo yummy.

Anyway, we almost always have some cooked chicken meat in the fridge. I use this for casseroles like King Ranch Chicken or pot pies. But now, I've started making what I call Fridge Chicken Salad.

I cut up the chicken and put it in the food processor. Then I add things that I have in the fridge (or pantry). The first time I did this it was homemade ranch dressing an roasted red peppers. Last night I used some celery, mayo, mustard, cracked pepper and homemade pickle relish. Pulsed it a few times to mix. Now I have about 2.5 cups of chicken salad. That's enough for a few sandwiches. If I could get this done on Sunday, then I would have a week's worth of lunch ready to go.

I'm feeling very proud of myself at the moment.

Wednesday, October 13

TTC and other stuff

Last night I was researching adoption from Poland. I followed that up with research on fertility shots for women. I'm going to talk to my physician about starting up shots this next round. Husband's shots are going well. I'm very hopeful that we will get to have twins. Fingers crossed!

This past weekend we went to Dallas to celebrate the birthday of a friend. We had a great time and ate a lot of food. I discovered maple blueberry sausage. Absolutely delicious!

I planted lettuces in a container and guess what they are doing? They are growing! Just like happy little plants. I've even eaten some of them! And, and, my green bean plant? It is growing! Even has very tiny green beans on it! Oh, the joy! I'm growing vegetables! I'm not really sure why this makes my cup of joy overflow, but it does.

I need to make snacks for bible study tomorrow night.
I have no idea what to make.
I will have to spend some time on today. I might even head over to pioneer woman.

I'm currently working on habit forming. I think I probably will be for the rest of my life. Right now I'm trying to form the habit of bringing my lunch. Luckily, my fantastic brother-in-law bought an XBOX game for me for my birthday. I *love* this game. So, I use it as my incentive/reward to bring my lunch. Starting Monday, if I eat out three times during the week, I don't get to play my game again until the next Monday. That means I miss a weekend of playing. Argh! I'm on week 2 of this and so far, so good. Today is a bit of a hiccup. I was running late and hadn't made my lunch and decided this will be day #2 of eating out.

Next up on the habit forming is exercise.

Bible reading is still going strong. I just finished 2 Peter this morning. I only have 5 books to go. Then I'm going to start over with Genesis and take notes.

Thursday, September 30

My favorite things

I absolutely love this time of year. Season changes are so invigorating for me. I always feel so motivated, so energized, so not how I normally feel.

Fall makes me want to be home with the windows open, music softly playing, tea steeping, dogs sleeping, breeze drifting, bread baking, rocking chair rocking softly and feeling like everything is right in the world.

Needless to say, sitting in my cube with the halogens overhead and the overconditioned, cold air is a far cry from where I want to be. Luckily it's end of month, so I'm naturally reactively busy. I don't have to be proactively busy right now.

Here are some of the things that keep drifting through my head right now:
  • butternut squash soup with rosemary and gruyere croutons
  • camping trips
  • pansies and violas
  • falling leaves
  • the apple cider I make in the crockpot with butter in it. mmmmm butter.
  • the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I have at home now. I make them with lard. mmmmm lard.
  • comfy sweatshirts
  • classical piano music and how I should start playing piano for 15 minutes a day
  • naps on the couch
  • how much I can't wait to have kids during fall

Tuesday, September 28

TTC: The adoption option

I'm not ready to give up on having a biological child. There are still a lot of options for us down that road.

But I'm still ready to start exploring adoption. You may have noticed that I have a link to a blog done by an adoption counseling agency added to my blog list.

I need something to focus on other than what my temperature is every morning and checking the toilet paper every time I wipe to see if maybe today I'll have fertile mucus.

I haven't ovulated this cycle and I'm showing not signs that I'm going to.

That was really hard for me to type.

Wednesday, September 22

TTC: Taking a break

Apparently Husband is the first person since the beginning of time to require the rHCG shot. The Walgreens pharmacy we usually use didn't have the prescription. We then asked if another Walgreens had it. They didn't. They won't even order it for us.

We tried to get them straight from the Doctor's office. After all, it's the same shot they give me once a month to ensure ovulation. Wrong. The dosage is different and they use a prefilled syringe for me.

The wonderful nurse we work with found a pharmacy in Austin, close to our house that does carry the prescription. Only the syringes are not prefilled. The pharmacy tech was supposed to train Husband on giving himself the shot when we picked up the prescription. Only he couldn't because no one knew the dosage. Argh! Face palm.

In light of this, we are not going to do an IUI this cycle. We are going to give the shots some time to work on Husband and we will try again next cycle.

That's not "technically" a break from trying to conceive, especially not after what we did last night (wink wink). But I don't have to get my follicles checked or schedule two more appointments for the inseminations. That's also about $200 we will save.

Babies are expensive.

Thursday, September 16

TTC: Update

Well, since this started with TTC and not Pregnancy, you can guess how the IUI went.

I am not pregnant. I am day 5 of my brand new cycle.

I'm doing okay, surprisingly. I'd like to think the reason I'm handling this round of infertility treatment with calm and positiveness has to do with me being more mature; but I really think it's because I'm not on clomid. It could also be that Husband and I have discussed adoption and have a time table for when to begin that process. He is much more involved this time around. I think that helps.

I had my start-of-cycle ultrasound and have no cysts. That means the really big follicle that I had did turn into an egg. Husband will learn to inject himself with rHCG on Monday. Good times.

Here's to next time!

Friday, September 3

TTC: Two week wait, again

Thanks to TLo, I've discovered a source of cheap pregnancy tests. They now cost me about $0.73 rather than $4.00. I bought a pack of 50. I'm now peeing on more sticks than ever before.

We did an IUI on Thursday and Friday last week. Husband had some of the best numbers so far and my uterine lining was both quantity and quality. I started testing this past Sunday. That would be 4 dpo. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay too early. I wanted a baseline.

I tested this morning and it's still negative. I'm not supposed to test until next Thursday.

So, how am I doing during this two week wait? Pretty good! I'm not really all that stressed out about whether or not I'm pregnant (despite my incessant testing). I feel hopeful that, even if I'm not pregnant this time, we still have a good chance of making it happen next time. That hope makes this time period much easier to bear.

Getting caught up

Last weekend Husband and I were in a wedding in Dallas. We were both very happy to be a part of the union of these two people who are perfect for each other. And I got to get all dressed up and fancy. My dress was long and a little silky. Husband kept putting his hands on my hips and rubbing them while telling me how great I looked in that dress and how much he liked that dress. I had to remind him that people are around and maybe he should keep his hands to himself (tee hee).

We had a great time. I think the bride and groom were even able to enjoy their wedding.

I've had a rough time getting back into my work groove. I'm really excited about this weekend and getting to spend it mostly at home. Being out-of-town for the past four weekends has taken its toll on me. I need my home. My rocking chair. My food. My dogs. And I will have 3 glorious days of this!

Yesterday I started a T-Tapp bootcamp. I basically have to do a 50 minute workout 4 days in a row. I didn't make it through the whole workout yesterday, but I did what I could and it lasted 50 minutes. Today I'll try to do a little bit more.

Have a terrific and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Monday, August 23

Weekend in review

(I know! It's not a post about trying to get pregnant!)

We went to Houston this weekend to visit a very dear friend of ours. He is a witty guy who likes to tease by stretching the truth (i.e. lying, but he's a lawyer, so that line's a little fuzzy). He had me convinced for years that he is younger than me. He's not. He's just that kind of guy. So, naturally, I love him.

Despite the fact that our car got towed and my binoculars broke, we had a really good time. Lots of good conversation, food, drinks, etc. We also got some good bird pictures.

We ended up driving down to Galveston and visiting the beach. That's where we got the bird pics and I ate soft shelled crabs. I'm still not so sure about them. They weren't the worst things I've ever eaten, but they weren't the best either.

We were on the beach in blazing Texas sun for a good hour and a half to two hours. I wore no sunscreen. I'm very very pale. I did not sunburn. I was shocked and surprised that I didn't, but I didn't. That's the power of the vitamin D.

Thursday, August 19

TTC: Another prescription

I had an appointment Tuesday to take a look at my ovaries and to chat with my physician.

My ovaries are just fine. She believes that I am ovulating but that I may still need some help with that. I will go in next Tuesday to have a pelvic ultrasound (or sonogram?) and will probably do more IUIs on Thursday and Friday.

Lady physician says that even though I ovulate without Clomid, that after 3-6 failed IUIs, she usually prescribes Clomid. I told her I won't take it. That it makes me crazy. She said, no matter! we will just skip Clomid and go straight to the shots. A friend of mine had to use the shots and she said they are way better than Clomid, so I'm not distressed by this. I am encouraged that we have further options if our current option doesn't pan out.

I also had blood work done. Turns out, I'm low on my thyroid stimulating hormone. Which means I have hypothyroidism. I'll start my Synthroid tonight.

This makes my fourth prescription. I'm not thrilled about this. Once again I feel like we are doing a work around rather than fixing the problems. However, I've decided to stick with the prescriptives route until after we have a baby, then I'll start on a more natural approach to fixing me. Who knows, maybe pregnancy will be the thing that does fix me.

Monday, August 16

TTC: Next!

Day 1 of this cycle was Saturday. I got to feel like a steaming pile of crap while visiting my friends in Dallas. However, we still managed to have a lovely visit.

Husband had his urology appointment today and everything looks good.

Tomorrow I have an ultrasound to look at my ovaries and an appointment to speak to our physician. We are going to ask about getting Husband on the shots and getting me tested for insulin resistance.

This last IUI failing was not that hard on me, probably because I'm not clomid-crazy. But it was hard on Husband. He got pretty upset while we were driving. And, I hate to say it, but this made me happy. It made me feel like I'm not alone anymore.

Here's to the future!

Wednesday, August 11

TTC: Day of reckoning

with the pee stick(s). Yes, it should be plural. I have no self-control when it comes to peeing on things.

It was negative. All of them were. All five.

I'll probably start my new cycle this weekend and I'll go in for a sonogram to take a look-see at my ovaries Monday.

I don't believe I'm too upset about this. However, getting a negative on a pee test and getting your period are two different types of "you're not pregnant". When my emotions get hormonally whacked, I might be more upset.

I am looking forward optimistically to the next cycle. I can tell that I've gotten healthier. the quality of my menses have much improved, which will improve my chances of implantation if we ever fertilize an egg. I think we will have a much better chance of conceiving a healthy child once Husband is on the shots he's supposed to be on (HCG). I'm also happy to have a chance to put more $$$ into the emergency fund.

I am a little sad that I won't have a reason to pee on something for awhile. I do like peeing on sticks.

Thursday, August 5

Habit forming

I'm happy to report that last week, I ate breakfast twice. This week, I've eaten breakfast three times so far. That's a 50% improvement!

What am I having for breakfast? Soaked five grain cereal mix. It's a mixture of oats, some stuff and flax seeds. I've also taken my cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil every morning as well. I'll need to figure out how the cost of my vitamins are going to factor into the budget. I might need to make a separate sub account for Vitamins. Right now they are part of Groceries.

Working out is not going so well. My work out partner has abandoned me to go vacation with his wife and baby. What a jerk.

I will attempt a 15 minute workout tonight.

Wednesday, August 4

TTC: Confessions

I'm obsessing. Here are the things I've indulged myself in.
  1. Calculated the chances of being pregnant at the end of each successive IUI
    This was also done because I just couldn't figure it out. Unsolved problems drive me nuts. In case you are curious, the chance of getting pregnant with each individual IUI is still 1/6, just like the chance of rolling a 1 on a six-side die is 1/6. But if you roll three times, your chance of rolling a 1 is much better than if you just roll once.

  2. Repeated internet searches on "implantation dip 5 dpo"
    Monday my temps dipped down to my coverline. Often times that is an indication of implantation. I reviewed my past charts and this has not occurred before. If you want to view my charts,, have at it. Obsess with me.

  3. (This one's the worst) I did a craigslist search for maternity clothes
    I hang my head in shame. Shame.
I don't like to identify a problem without offering a solution. So, what am I going to do to keep myself from obsessing during the next week?

I believe I will focus on our finances and exercising. Husband and I have read Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" and are applying it to our lives. Slowly. We are working on building our emergency fund. To that end, we are cutting back expenses. I haven't bought new clothes in a few months.

We are also trying to cut back on what we spend on groceries. I budget $300 per month for groceries. We spend $600. I think this is outrageous. Therefore we are tracking how much we are spending per meal.

I'm also exploring options for buying meat in bulk. My parents have grown too many vegetables than they can store in their freezer, so they are buying a new one and giving us their old one. A friend of mine raises grassfed beef and is getting ready to slaughter. I'll see how much we can get a quarter of a cow for.

Thursday, July 29

Real Food: milk

I've been drinking raw milk from grassfed cows for over a year and a half now. Something I've noticed is that pasteurized, grocery store milk doesn't look right to me anymore. It's unnaturally white. I saw a cup of it at a friend's house and I thought they had a cup of white paint on their counter and I couldn't figure out why.

Real milk is an off white color.

TTC: IUI update

I had my 2 of 2 IUI this morning. As my loyal and regular readers may recall, I've been through two IUI cycles in the past at a different clinic. They do things differently here.

The net net is that everything looks good. The samples from Husband were "good enough" and my cervix/mucus was excellent. My temperature went up this morning, so I probably ovulated some time between yesterday morning and this morning. Which is good since the spermies can make it to the egg in 15 minutes.

I just hope they can survive in my hostile environment for that long.

Monday, July 26

TTC: Another test, another negative

Sooooo. I meant to have the previous post posted on Friday and then talk about the post coital test we had today. But it took a lot of time to do those pictures of my chart. The version of paint I have at work doesn't work right. Not that I would ever work on my blog at work. That's just not ethical.
Update: That post actually did post on Friday, even though I finished it and posted today. Go look at Friday for that post. Weird.
Hence, two TTC posts in one day. Lucky you!

Soooooo. Post. Coital. That means after sex. We had to do it in the doctor's office so they could see what was going on right after we did it.

Not really. That's what I *thought* it was. Much to our relief, we just had to do it one or two (or both!) days before the test. I had an ultrasound to check out the ovaries. I have a well-developed follicle on my right side, I'll have you know. Then a sample was taken of my cervical mucus. We looked at it under the microscope right then (well, after I put my clothes back on). There were no spermies. None. Zee. Row.

Soooooo. That's not good. But it's also not the end of the world. Chances are still good that we can conceive through IUI. Which we will do. Twice this week. Wednesday and Thursday. IUI days.

Also, previous to this appointment, we found out that Husband has epididymitis. It's an infection in the epididymis. That's a man part. He's on a round of antibiotics to clear that up. Then he needs to do a sperm test. Then we will get him on the HCG shots to increase his testosterone.

Sooooooo. There's still hope. Husband's sperm may get better. IUI may work. We may get pregnant.

Friday, July 23

Habit forming

I like to form habits. Well, good ones. I like replacing bad ones with good ones. I'm also a fan of lists.

I think you see where this is going.

Here is a list of habits I've formed and ones that I want to form. I'll note my progress occasionally or never. I should probably put "update blog" on my list.

  • Read bible every morning for 15 mintues - Complete!
    This habit has been well-established. I'm currently in Acts and will have read the entire bible in about a year. When I'm done, I'm starting over again, only this time I'll take notes.

  • Ten minutes of prayer
    I'm trying to decide on morning or evening for this one. Praying in bed before I go to sleep is not working. I need to be awake. I'm not sure how God takes it that every time I talk to him, I fall asleep in the middle. I'm pretty sure I'd be offended if someone did that to me.

  • Eat breakfast every morning - In progress
    I've eaten breakfast the past two mornings. Oatmeal. I like it. In the 5 mintues it takes me to heat it up, I can unload and/or load the dishwasher. That's a bonus habit.

  • Take vitamins in the morning
    This includes a multi-vitamin, cod liver oil, coconut oil and a teaspoon of vinegar. I need to get used to breakfast first.

  • Exercise every weekday for at least 15 minutes - In progress
    I'm very lucky that a dear friend of mine is attempting this with me.

  • Take a lunch to work four days of the week
    This is a financial necessity.
Wish me luck!

TTC: Prolactin maybe not so high anymore?

As you may recall, I tested high on prolactin. This will cause stair stepping temperature rises and probably prevents actual ovulation. Here is an example of my temps right after I started taking the bromocryptine to counter the high prolactin.

Notice how there is no clear temperature increase and no ovulation.

Here is my chart after I'd been taking the bromocryptine for a month or so.
Notice the red, stair-stepping temperature rise, but this time with a egg.

And finally, here is my latest complete chart. Notice the temperature jump. Yeah!

Alas, I still did not get pregnant. But progress is progress!

Friday, July 16

Report on Hair Removal

Okay. So. Laser hair removal.

The first thing you should know is that everything needs to be shaved prior to the visit. The laser can't get to the root of the hair if there is hair in the way. I had to shave *everything* in the bathroom at the spa with a bic razor. Yes, that crappy kind that you used when you first started to shave in middle school. I had to use that in my area. My Brazilian area.

The second thing you should know is that the pain is not that bad. Granted, it didn't feel good, but it didn't hurt nearly as much as waxing. It goes pretty quickly. The worst part was the Brazilian area. It felt a little bit like someone jabbing me with a steak knife. Not stabbing, just jabbing about skin deep.

The third thing you should know is that the hair removal is not instant. It takes time for the hair to fall out.

So, all in all, I'm excited about my next visit. I understand the results will be gradual. I can see some improvement now. I can't wait to see what it will be like after round 2.

And there you have it.

Friday, June 4

A decision has been made, and a countdown begun

As many of you know, I have extra body hair. It's problem that's been exaggerated by my excessive male hormone. I had been visiting a spa and have hair waxed away. I've decided on a more permanent solution. I'm going to have most of my body hair removed via laser.

Is it expensive? Oh heck yes. But I did a cost analysis on how much I was spending to get the hair waxed. I also analyzed how much clothes I don't wear because I would have to shave my legs to wear them, how often I don't go swimming because I would have to shave my legs and more, how unattractive I feel with Husband, etc. This all added up to justify the expense.

It's probably important to explain why shaving is such a problem for me. First of all, shaving *hurts*. To the point that I'd rather have the hair yanked from my skin with hot wax, because that is less painful. Also, shaving only lasts for a day, if that. After that day, the pain will continue with painful regrowth, razor burn and ingrown hairs. I've tried buffing myself with exfoliating gloves, wash clothes, lofa pads, etc. I've tried aftershaves and lotions. None of it worked. Even with the waxing, I would still get ingrown hairs.

So, onward to the laser. I picked out three salons that had high ratings and reviews online. One salon wouldn't do appointments via email. That was an immediate elimination. The other salon was too far away and I'd already decided that I liked the third salon. I went there for a facial to get a feel for how things go there. I liked it a lot and it was the most affordable to boot.

The way laser hair removal works is it travels down the hair and kills the hair follicle. Since the hair has to be present, you have to go for several (5 - 7) sessions before you get everything because your hair grows in cycles.

I'm getting my face, arm pits, areola (yep) and everything waist down done. In the meantime, I cannot pluck or wax. The hair root has to remain intact. Which means, I have stubble on my face. It's not incredibly noticeable. But I notice it and it drives me nuts. I usually pluck as soon as a hair is long enough to grasp with tweezers.

My first appointment is July 3rd. I cannot wait.

Wednesday, May 12

TTC Update and etc.

I'm the only one here on my team this morning. It's early and dark and quiet and I don't want to work yet. The robots that control our work environment can't detect my presence unless I make movement about a foot behind me. Therefore the lights go off. Then I'll stretch and the lights come back on. However, these robots are determined that it will never be warm in this office.

I think I mentioned previously that we have started seeing a new fertility specialist. She's actually an endocrinologist. I will provide a quick run down on what we've learned and what we're doing.

I have high prolactin and excess androgen male hormones. I'm taking two prescriptions at very low doses. One is bromocriptene. It's for the prolactin. I'm only taking 2.5mg per night. That's half of a very small pill. I'm also taking prednisone for the androgen male hormones. It is a cortico steriod, which, ironically, makes my body produce less male hormone. I'm only taking 5mg per night. That's an entire very small pill.

My chart? It is crazy. It's all over the chart. My temperatures are much higher than they normally are. I think this could be because I'm exercising pretty regularly. It could also be that my body is healthier and is regulating my body temperature better. Who knows? I don't know who knows; but I can tell you who doesn't know: my doctor. The amount of understanding and knowledge that physicians lack really makes their level of hubris and assumed authority puzzling.*

Husband doesn't have enough male hormones. The irony is just slapping me in the face. We are going to have to schedule an appointment to learn how to give him injections of HCG(LH), which is the hormone women produce when they are pregnant. Counter intuitive, I know.

His last "sample" had improved morphology, but quantity and motility were still very low. I was glad to know the quality had improved. I admit that I was a little worried about getting pregnant with one of the defunct sperms and having a child with some sever genetic problems. So, improved quality makes me feel much much better.

*This is a generalization and is not meant to be applied to individual physicians.

Tuesday, April 20

Late quarterly update on resolutions

I figured it was time to review my resolutions that were made in January and note my progress, or lack thereof.
  1. Liver. Find a way to prepare liver that I like, or at least, will eat.
    Progress: None
  2. Kefir soda. I'm not going to get too specific on this. Basically, something made with kefir that is fizzy, like a soda. I might use coconut water, or something else.
    Progress: I've thought about it. Does that count?
  3. More ferments. I want to make Kimchi (Korean sauerkraut) and Tsukemono (Japanese sauerkraut) and pickled carrots with ginger. I love the pickled carrots on a samich.
    Progress: Again, I've thought about it. Even bought the carrots and ginger at one point.
  4. Vitamin D. I need to get my level of calcidiol (storage form of vitamin D) checked and get it within a normal range if it is low.
    Progress: I did get my calcidiol checked. It was low. I'm supplementing to get it higher. We have another check in a few weeks.
  5. Exercise. Three times a week. Something. Anything. 10 minutes of movement would count.
    Progress: Meh. I'm still working on it. But I haven't given up. In fact, I did 20 minutes of kettlebell workout yesterday.
  6. Laundry. Keep caught up on laundry and the closet clean. We shall see how this goes...
    Progress: This went really well for the first two months. I need to get re-caught up again. Pokemon time may become fold and iron time. (yes, we watch the back episodes of Pokemon in the evenings)
  7. Bible. Finish reading it. I got out of my groove when I had to put the Bible reading on hold due to cramming for the ITIL v.3 Foundations certification.
    Progress: I'm back in my groove. I'm well into Jeremiah and am full steam ahead. I still predict that the whole Bible will be read before Christmas.

Thursday, April 15

Overdue update

The bathroom went well. There were some tears and doubts, some painting at 3am; but I forged ahead, and we now have painted ceiling and walls, and one tiled wall in the surround. Husband and I plan on tiling the remaining two walls Saturday. Yeah! Success!

I'm very excited at the prospect of peeing upstairs. Very. Excited.

We also had another trip to Big Bend. I was sick the week before we left, which made getting work done a challenge. as well as packing. and caring. Then, right when we were a good 3 hours from civilization, Husband discovers the camera is broken. The whole reason for the trip was to get pictures of more birds. It could not have gotten off to a worse start, but we still had a great time. We brought a lot of our own food and cooked on a propane stove and in a crock pot. That worked out really well and saved us a lot of money. It was nice to come back to the room after a day of hiking and have something hot and ready in the crock pot. Good friends and good food equal good times. Even when you have a broken camera.

Currently, I am barreling toward the weekend like a herd of stampeding buffalo (really, they are bison, but whatever). Ain't nothin' gonna stop me. Weekend! Here I come!

It will be a homey weekend. A weekend of food prep, yard work, bathroom tiling, laundry, dog petting, reading, and reflecting on how much God has blessed our lives.
I can't wait to get started.

Friday, March 26

And it all begins today

(I know! Two posts in one day. What is the world coming to?)

Husband is going on a camping trip this weekend. I've opted to stay home. There are several reasons for this not the least of which is that this park only has port-a-potties and I'm on my cycle. Yah.

So, anyway, I'm home alone this weekend. And I've planned something. Those of you who know me are not surprised by this. But, when you hear what I've planned you will gasp in wonder. I'm going to paint and tile the bathroom.

This is the bathroom that has been unusable for going on four years because we learned that demolition is easy, installation is much harder. Husband, I think, has gotten discouraged. He wants us to contract someone to finish it for us. I want us to finish it. But, I also want to be able to pee upstairs. in a toilet.

We have the tub installed, floor tile layed, and the walls and ceiling primed. Considering we stripped it down to studs, I feel like we've done a lot. It's a whammy of a first-time home improvement project.

After work today, I'm going to buy paint and paint the walls and ceiling. I'm also going to buy bathroom wall tile and mastic with appropriate trowel. We've been paralyzed by fear of doing the wall tile wrong. We both have visions of showering and having tiles pop off. Luckily the husband of a friend of mine is a contractor and will stop by on Saturday morning to give me pointers. My parents have also offered to come down and help. Yeah!

With any luck, at the end of Saturday, we will have painted and tiled walls and possibly the light fixture installed. If I get really ambitious, I'll buy the base boards and get those down so that we can then install the toilet. I can't tell you how wonderful that would be. A toilet.

I think this will be a good surprise for Husband. I'm very excited.

Wish me luck! I have a feeling I will need it :)

TTC Update: the results are in

We've heard the results of our lab tests. The verdicts? Husband is low on Vit D as am I. We have mega supplements that have been prescribed to us. We take one a week. I am, in fact, high on prolactin, but not so high as to indicate a tumor on my pituitary. I'm low on TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and have regular progesterone.

I have an appointment to get wanded (sonogram for looking at my ovaries to make sure there are no cysts) on Monday. We will discuss the tests at that time.

I feel like we are making progress. Yeah!

This is the happiest I've ever been on day 2 of my cycle.

Monday, March 15

TTC Update: If at first you don't succeed,

wallow in self pity for awhile, then try a different doctor.

Side note: I now refer to doctors by their first names. I refuse to call them by their titles unless they are going to refer to me by my title. I can't think of any other situation in which the person who works for you will expect to be referred to formally while they refer to you informally.

So, we met with the new endocrinologist today. I like her much better than the previous Dr. Physician (who wasn't an endocrinologist. he was more of a script pusher. probably has stock in the company making clomid). I'll call her Sara (not her actual first name). She looked at some of my charts and believes I may be high on prolactin. I don't mean that I'm smoking it, but that I have too much of it. So, I gave some blood for testing purposes as did Husband. We are also getting our storage levels of vitamin D tested. At least, I hope that's what we got. I didn't actually see the lab orders. I should've asked to look.

Sara did spend a lot of time talking to me. I relayed the awful story of Dr. Physician. She was very understanding. She asked if I had excess body hair and I said DO? I!, why, yes, I do. I could keep a salon in business. She listened to my lungs and heart and felt my thyroid. She did *not* want to examine me on my first visit. I also discussed the fact that I've found dried milk in my nipples and have been able to express very very small drops of milk. The hair, lactation and stair steppiness of my charts all point to the high prolactin. If that's the case, then I'm probably not ovulating, even though I have a temperature spike and positive O tests. Awesome!

And guess what. Another side effect of the high prolactin is swollen and tender breasts. Ha! ha ha ha ha ha! I'm day 23. My breasts are swollen and tender right now.

I'm optimistic again. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Saturday, March 6

Thank you, everyone!

I'm feeling much better. I actually started feeling better right after that post. I think I just needed to get things out. I'm much less weepy. The other night I was able to talk about infertility and adoption at length without getting teary-eyed. Just barely, but I did it.

I'm enjoying a beautiful Saturday with Husband. We are going to go to a park and go for a walk. Grocery shopping and laundry are the only chores on the list. A nap may sneak in as well.

Thank you for your support while I go through the crazies. It makes me feel less crazy and more normal.

Tuesday, February 23

Take your anti-depressant of choice before reading

Then share them with me.

I'm on day 2 of my cycle. I figured something was up when I cried at my desk on Thursday. "Feels like PMS" I thought.
Or! Maybe I'm emotional from all the pregnancy hormones racing through my body!

I also had slightly tender boobs. PMS. gloom.
Or! My boobs are gearing up to be milk machines! joy!

By Sunday I had confirmed spotting. Just the start of another cycle. Sick to stomach from sadness.
Or! Really late implantation! Sick to stomach from excitement! Wait, sick to stomach? That's clearly morning sickness!

Saturday topped all this off with me inadvertently watching a show where two women start talking about accepting life with no children and how "accepting" is different from "knowing." Oh yeah. I lost it. Bawled my eyes out.

And the cherry was when Husband decided to be a very big ass, specifically to me, on Sunday. In front of people. Who were guests in our house. (He apologized this evening. Two days later.)

I took some of the least-expired Aleve we have (for cramps) and went to bed.

This all built up to me staying home from work yesterday to have a day of self. Self pity. Self indulgence. Self loathing. With an extra helping of the self pity.

Clearly, I'm grappling with reality and have a weak grip. I feel like composure is a very fragile facade. On the inside I'm a wreck of a human being.

I'm still a little stuck in the self pity/self loathing cycle. One leads to the other and back again. It goes like this:

Pity: I feel so sorry for me.
Loathing: Man, I hate myself. How pathetic.
Pity: Woe is me! I can't have a baby!
Loathing: I'm such a whiner. I hate whiners.
Pity: Wah! sob sob sob...
Loathing: I'm the worst person ever. I don't deserve a baby.

I started researching books on adoption. That did not help things. Not at all. Consequently, I desperately need to hear stories about adopted children who grow up to be normal adults. If anyone can contact me with people who were adopted and are well-adjusted and happy, that would be nice. Because reading the reviews for adoption books convinced me that any child I adopt will be scarred for life and no amount of love will fix it.

I don't know why this cycle has hit me so hard, but it has. I've actually been crying while writing this post. It's ridiculous. I've had horrible headaches from the crying for the last few days. Looks like I'm going to have another one tonight.

I promise to be happier for my next post. I have to be, because this cannot last. And I don't really want to take anti-depressants.

Monday, January 18

Posting just to post

We might redo our entire kitchen. Getting quotes soon. So excited!

I feel like I'm drowning in work. It's too crazy right now. Too crazy.

I still like my job, though.

It's beautiful and spring-like here. I love Texas.

I'm still sitting inside in my warm comfy clothes. Meh.

This is the second week of my two-week wait. Boobs are getting tender.

I've already calculated what my due date would be.


Resolutions are going well. Probably because I set the goals pretty low.

Overall, I'm content and happy.

Saturday, January 9

New year's resolutions time

I apologize for the previous post and its non-sensical nature. Ironically, I was pressed for time when I was writing it.

Y'all know my penchant for resolutions! It is now time for me to formally list my resolutions for this year.

But first, a year in review...

Here are the resolutions I made last year. Updates are in green, all project manager style.
  1. Raw milk. Find a source for raw milk and get some. Then pass this source on to my WAPF group members.
    Complete! I now procure and drink plenty of raw milk. Go me!
  2. More eggs. I need to incorporate more eggs, especially more raw egg yolks, into my daily diet. My moto is "Eat eggs to make eggs". Husband said that moto is fine for me, but I'd better not come up with a similar moto for him.
    In progress. I have been eating more eggs; but I need to eat even more.
  3. Ferment something. I really want to make my own sauerkraut. I have the whey, finally. I just need to do it and stop being chicken.
    Complete! I made sauerkraut as is documented here.
  4. Kombucha and fermented drinks. Make my own kombucha and fermented drinks. I'm especially interested in the fermented stewed fruit drink that is in the Eat Fat, Lose Fat book. It's supposed to be like Dr. Pepper.
    In progress. I've made kombucha, but not the kefir sodas.
  5. Eat more shellfish. Actually that could be stated as "eat shellfish", because more implies that we are eating some now. That's not the case.
    No progress. Yeah. This didn't happen. Not even close.
  6. Learn more. This will include studying the adrenal posts on Nourishing Gourmet's site as well as my own research.
    Complete! I did learn more. After all, I am an information junkie and reading involves sitting on my ass. Therefore I do it.
On to this year's resolutions. They encompass more of my life, not just nutrition.
  1. Liver. Find a way to prepare liver that I like, or at least, will eat.
  2. Kefir soda. I'm not going to get too specific on this. Basically, something made with kefir that is fizzy, like a soda. I might use coconut water, or something else.
  3. More ferments. I want to make Kimchi (Korean sauerkraut) and Tsukemono (Japanese sauerkraut) and pickled carrots with ginger. I love the pickled carrots on a samich.
  4. Vitamin D. I need to get my level of calcidiol (storage form of vitamin D) checked and get it within a normal range if it is low.
  5. Exercise. Three times a week. Something. Anything. 10 minutes of movement would count.
  6. Laundry. Keep caught up on laundry and the closet clean. We shall see how this goes...
  7. Bible. Finish reading it. I got out of my groove when I had to put the Bible reading on hold due to cramming for the ITIL v.3 Foundations certification.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 6

Time is on my side

Yes it is.

For some reason, I often feel like I don't have time to do things. I could have a 3 hour window and a 1 hour task and I will think I don't have enough time to do it. I don't know why that is. The fact is, I don't have kids, and I rarely work late. I have all the time in the world.

Why don't I feel like I do?

How much leisure time do I really require? What would happen if I didn't have as much? Probably nothing and I'd appreciate the leisure time much more.

Tuesday, January 5

Camping Review

We went camping for New Year's. It was very very cold. We learned a few things.
  1. We (I) are spatially challenged. There was *no* *way* the air mattress was going to fit into that tent. So very sad. A thermapad is not the same as an air mattress.

  2. The ground. It is hard. So very hard. And cold. And uneven.

  3. I'm full-blown claustrophobic! I always knew I was a little claustrophobic. I'm so claustrophobic that I cannot sleep in a mummy bag. That's the type of sleeping bag that gets narrower below your hips and zips up to your chin. I kept having panicky moments of frantically unzipping my bag. I ended up sleeping with my bag unzipped. Unzipped = cold.

  4. If your sleeping bag is rated to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it means 40 degrees and not a degree below.
    25 degrees is way out.

  5. It's hard to cook breakfast when your fingers are burning from the cold.

  6. I'm a weenie.
Luckily we also learned these things.
  1. We love camping! and Fire! and parents who will bring you blankets!
    They were coming anyway. They're good parents, but I'm not sure they're *that* good.

  2. We love our friends! especially the one who was an Eagle Scout!
    He was pretty much solely responsible for the cooking and fire. Andrew, you are my only hope!
I think the major contributing factor to the success of our camping trip was the fact that not a one of us is a whiner. We all froze our asses off, but we never whined about it. We just threw another log on the fire. Everyone always had a positive, up-beat attitude. Did I mention that I love my friends? I do.

We also got a picture of one of these. Which was the whole point behind the trip. Yeah!

It's a bald eagle. It was very far away. But so awesome!