Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy 417 Halloween!

We always have a Halloween costume contest at work and this year was no different. We put a FB gallery on our 417 Magazine Facebook page and let our followers decide by "liking" their favorite costume. There were some really creative ideas this year but Nicole dressed up as Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell took home the win with 50 likes!
Lucy and Logan as a Pair of Dice

Savannah as 50 Shades of Grey

Carley as a Rainbow Fish

Nicole as Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell

JuliRose and Kevin as a Mac vs. a PC

Leslie as a Little White Lie

Jamie as a Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter

Me as a Price is Right Contestant

Ettie as an Owl

Jessica as the Veggie-Burglar
Brittni as a Crazy Cat Lady


Happy Hallowish

On Saturday night Trina (Justin Beiber's girlfriend), Josey (the witch), Kristina (the baseball player), Megan Weaver (Liz Lemon from 30 Rock), me and Amanda (Price is Right competitive bidders) went to Hallowish, benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We had a table full of food and liquid goodies. I even won a raffle item!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I get knocked down

Do I really have to keep getting back up again? Just when I had settled into our "plan" for the next month and shared it with the blogosphere things have changed again. As I mentioned from my blog on Sunday I have been wearing the OV-Watch nightly to help pinpoint my ovulation. Well, looks like I either wasn't wearing it right or something was wrong with it because last night it said "NO DATA" on the screen. NO DATA means that for some reason the watch hasn't taken at least one reading in the past two days. Like I said I don't know what happened because I've worn the damn thing every night. I read the manual and it said the only thing to do if you get the "NO DATA" screen is to wait until your next cycle. (You have to start wearing it within the first three days of your cycle and I'm on day eight.) I really just want to scream and cuss down this whole post. The one thing I thought I could do to give myself some relief and guidance has now been taken away from me. We'll figure it out, but man, add one more thing to the list.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Slow-Cooker Lasagna {New Meal of the Week}


What You Need

1 lb. ground beef 
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup  water 
1 container (15 oz.) POLLY-O Original Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg. (7 oz.) KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 egg 
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Make It


BROWN meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. 



Mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, egg and parsley. 











SPOON 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half each of the noodles (broken to fit) and cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles (broken to fit), cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.  




COOK on LOW 4 to 6 hours or until liquid is absorbed.  




Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 min. or until melted.


Things I learned:

1. It was a little dry once it was cooked so I added more sauce and let it cook a little longer. So next time I would start with more sauce.

2. Tim bought lasagna noodles that didn't need to cook first. They were required, but they worked great and tasted just the same.
3. This recipe is a MUST! Tim and I both loved it. He said it was the best pasta dish I have ever cooked :)

Recipe courtesy of Kraft Recipes.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The past two weeks and moving forward

The past two weeks have been a bit emotional for me. Until Tuesday of this week I was late on my period, two week late actually. The only time I'd ever been that late was when I was pregnant, so even though I was getting negative pregnancy tests I still had my hopes up. I did have a blood test and it said I wasn't pregnant, but I was still in disbelief a little. They wanted me to wait 10 more days (which would have been this past Friday) and then put me on Provera. All of this sounded all too familiar.

After I wrote the blog "Distracted" back in April I never had to make a decision if I wanted to start Clomid because I was already pregnant. A pregnancy test never registered that I was pregnant so my doctor put me on Provera to kick-start my period. I took it (the Provera), then after waiting two weeks, even though it should have made me start in 5-7 days, they did a blood test. Guess what? I was pregnant the whole time.

So the past two weeks have felt like that situation all over again. Of course I want to be pregnant, but I was also freaking out that if it started the same way as last time that it might end the same way too, and I definitely don't want to go through that again. So I was freaking out. I was upset that my doctor wanted to put me back on Provera so soon. I was hoping that if I wasn't pregnant I would start on my own. Well I did, and it sucked. It officially confirmed that no, I was (am) not pregnant.

I still don't know why I was two weeks late and that to me is the most frustrating part about all of this. The not knowing. Not know what is going on with my body. I know I can't control everything, but at least I could know what is going on. So now we are two weeks behind where we could have been into my next cycle. And when you go month-to-month and the next month feels really far away. So waiting two additional weeks is hell.

So going forward here's the plan. Tim and I have one more month to "try" on our own. That was the original timeline my doctor put in place after our miscarriage. She wanted us to "try" on our own for three months. If I did not get pregnant on the fourth month she would put me on Clomid, a fertility drug. It might seem soon but I've really had since April to think about it and my decision now is much more clear than in April. I am going to do it. Definitely not because I want to put synthetic hormones in my body, but because I want to know what is going on with my body. I'm not sure the exact process but I know I will take a pill for 5-7 days at the beginning of my cycle. They will at some point do an ultrasound to make sure I have follicles, they will make sure those follicles turn into viable eggs and they will make sure that I ovulate. With checking all of those steps along the way there are two things that can happen: 1. It will all work great and like it supposed to (I still might not get pregnant, but at least we will knows things are working) 2. One of the steps won't work as it should and we can pinpoint what might be happening during my cycle.

Me wearing the OV Watch
So in the mean time for our last month of "trying" on our own I am going back to testing my ovulation. What this does is pinpoint the time in the month when I ovulate (which occurs when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and is available to be fertilized). I am using the OV Watch Fertility Predictor, which was given to me by a friend in the Spring. I was planning to use it in April but we ended up being pregnant and we hadn't jumped back into testing my ovulation after the miscarriage until now. So instead of peeing on a stick (like I did last Fall/Winter) and it giving me a 12-24 hour window I will wear this watch on my wrist every night when I sleep and it should give me a 4-6 day window.

What is it?
The OV-Watch knows that your cycles are not consistent from period to period (which I definitely noticed when testing it list last time), and using microscopic samples of your own skin perspiration the OV-Watch has been clinical proven to provide accurate predictions of your entire fertile cycle. More important is the fact that the OV-Watch provides us four full days advance notice of ovulation and those four days have been clinically proven to be the best days to have intercourse leading to conception.

Yes, I pulled that from their website. One thing they also say that resonates with me is that "Power is Knowledge." To quote the site: "Power brings confidence with less stress. Now you can put the power of an FDA-cleared, patented, technologically advanced ovulation predictor literally on your wrist. The OV Watch will provide you the knowledge that will provide you the highest probability of getting pregnant! More knowledge, less stress, better results."

I know I might not be able to control what is happening, but at least I can know what is happening.

So how does it work?
Researchers in the late 50s and early 60s noted that numerous salts (chloride, sodium, potassium) in a woman’s sweat fluctuated in relation to the menstrual cycle. Chloride levels are low at the start of the menstrual cycle and peak three times during the cycle. Using a patented biosensor, OV-Watch detects a baseline chloride ion level for each woman and then accurately predicts ovulation based on the timing of the first peak. The OV-Watch detects the chloride surge 3 days prior to the estrogen surge, 4 days prior to the LH surge and 5 days prior to ovulation, making it an earlier predictor of ovulation than any other chemical surge during the month. For women trying to conceive, knowing the days before ovulation not only lowers the stress level for her and her partner, but it increases her chances of getting pregnant.

To read more about visit their website: http://www.ovwatch.com/

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A look back

"Distracted" was the original title to this blog. I wrote it back in April and never posted it. I find it interesting to share now b/c so many things have happened since then. I was so unsure and indecisive and after the last few weeks I am ready to move forward. I will fill you in soon on the happenings over the last few weeks, but things have been a bit frustrating and overwhelming for me. I want to go back to the time I referenced below where I stated that "I'm not upset." Because I have reached a point in this journey where I am. I am upset. I am sad. I am frustrated. And honestly I am feeling a bit hopeless.

So back to being "Distracted" in April of 2012....

That's been me lately. There has just been a lot on my mind. See, Tim and I started our journey to parenthood nine months ago. Well we are going into our ninth month. But we are in a waiting zone right now.

Not pregnant.

Haven't started my period.

That's the key. You have to start for the cycle to begin again. If nothing has happened by Wednesday (and I doubt it will) the will put me on Provera for one week to kick-start things. I'm okay with that, even though I have been "regular" all eight months leading up to this, I am okay.

What I am not okay with yet are the words You need fertility drugs.

(Am I really about to share this with the world? Yes, I guess I am.)

Those are words that we heard about a week ago. We are still trying to wrap our brains around that fact. Is it too soon? They normally wait you wait a year, why does my doctor feel it's the right time to start now? Just because they say we can, do we want too?

That is a decision we have yet to reach. We just aren't sure.

How did we arrive here? I'm a planner so almost from the very beginning of this journey I have been using the Pink Pad app to track everything related to baby making. We just took it easy the first few months but we decided to really give it a go in October. I started using Clear Blue Digital Ovulation Tests to pinpoint when I was ovulating so moving forward we could hopefully be successful!

Quick (semi-personal) rundown. October, no ovulation. November, ovulated, yay! Later than the average via googling online. December, ovulated! Early then November so it kind of snuck up on us. January, no ovulation. February I started using progesterone cream and I ovulated the next day. Super super early in the month. Definitely snuck up on us. March I went to the doctor. I didn't have to be a crazy person and make an appointment, it was just my yearly check-up. I was glad to be able to throw all of that info at my doctor and see what she had to say.

She said it would be very abnormal for me to A. Not ovulate every month if I am having a monthly period B. Ovulate at such different times during my cycle. She said we should do a Cycle Day 22 Progesterone Test. On my 22nd cycle day (22 days after I start my period) they would test the levels of progesterone in my blood to see if they are elevated; if they are, I ovulated. That was about 9 days after my appointment so we continued on like normal (I did continue the ovulation tests too which said I never ovulated). Finally 10 days later I got a call from my nurse. She said it doesn't appear that I am ovulating. My progesterone levels were "very low" she said. She then went on to say that my doctor recommends that I start taking Clomid this next cycle. What? This next cycle? I am glad they are being proactive and have a solution for me but going from not knowing I needed a solution to jumping into fertility drugs it was an interesting phone call. I couldn't really even think of all of the questions that I needed to ask at the time. We ended up talking on the phone two more times last week.

So here we are.

I'm actually not upset, is that weird? I don't feel pressure or stress. I really don't think this will stop us from having a baby, but we do have to make a decision. Sometimes when I think of it it doesn't seem like a big deal. Just a little boost to our normal monthly routine. On the other hand I start to think about how that will affect us going forward. I can take this three months, then what? I have to go to a Reproductive Endocrinologist in Kansas City. Then what? What else is there? Are we then a year down the road and deep into this journey and feeling like we jumped in too soon? Maybe we didn't give it enough time naturally? Normally I am very decisive so that is the hardest part. Not really being able to make a decision. It just doesn't seem black and white to me. Give me what the outcome will be and I could make an informed decision. This, this just seems odd. It doesn't feel like it is happening. Doesn't seem like I need to worry about it. But obviously I do. Hopefully if this does end up being a long journey I can keep up the positive attitude.

Thanks for the support and say a few prayers that we will come to a decision on all of this.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Evans Wedding

A few weekends ago Tim and I celebrated Blake and Julia's wedding. It was a beautifully personal ceremony and a fun dance-party reception at Hickory Hills Country Club. The Chinese lantern release was one of my favorite parts. I'd seen pictures of them a dozen times, but it was so magical in person. Very special to be a part of. Then we busted a move on the dance floor!







Flip flops for sore feet!




Monday, October 22, 2012

Baby Estes baby shower

Katie, at my work, is due on December 23. Our work friends, and old work friends, got together for a small morning shin-dig at Creek Side Bistro. Savannah and I hosted. I made all of the cute little flags and banner and Savvy did the cake and punch.





































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