Tuesday, April 15, 2014

25 Things that Make Me Happy

  1. Being married to the love of my life (you know this one was coming with how much I STILL talk about my wedding day)
  2. Walter the Dude
  3. Wine
  4. My garden (and how I can't wait to plant more in it)
  5. Time with my girlfriends
  6. Vacations (which I need to plan our next one)
  7. Date nights
  8. Snowboarding
  9. Beach days at Lake Tahoe
  10. Football Season - Go Pack! Go Niners!
  11. Warm blankets out of the dryer
  12. Online shopping
  13. My daily morning latte
  14. Italian food
  15. Pay Day
  16. Spin class or a daily run
  17. Massages and facials
  18. Family brunches/dinners
  19. Frozen yogur
  20. Happy Hour
  21. Peonies (and roses and lilies)
  22. Fires in our fireplace
  23. Food
  24. A baby's smell
  25. Weekend cuddles with my pup
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Our Trying to Conceive Journey

I have struggled on if I wanted to write about this...something so personal, but I also want to get it out there and hear others stories.  What am I talking about?  The title says it all.  Our trying to conceive journey.  Now if you have no interest in this, feel free to skip this post.  If not, sit back and get ready for a long, emotional post.

My husband and I got married in August 2013.  It was the absolute best day of my life.  Soon after getting married, we decided we wanted to start a family.  This is where our trying to conceive journey begins.

I went off birth control, downloaded an app to keep track of my periods and hoped for the best.  I never once thought it would take more than a month.  I never thought to look into all the methods, vitamins, lubes, fertility issues, acupuncture, herbs or kits.  It wasn't until we hadn't conceived in three months that I felt I needed to up our game.

I added on ovulation predictor kits (OPKs).  These little buggers are so much more difficult to read (figure out the actual ovulation date) than I thought they should be.  I also started reading and posting on BabyCenter.  This is where I found out that we weren't even on the same page as so many other couples struggling to get pregnant.

After using the OPKs for two months, I finally got it down.  Here are two tips: test twice a day when you are closer to your ovulation time (from a week out) and keep testing after your positive to see when the strip goes negative to see when you really ovulated.  You will have ovulated between the last positive and first negative.  That is why it is important to test twice a day.  Also, I used the internet cheapies (Wondfo on amazon) and First Response.  Cover all my bases.

Next, we added a water based lube.  This might be a bit TMI, so gloss over if you would like.  But if you don't produce enough cervical mucus (such a gross phrase), you can use things like Pre-seed, a water based lube, to help those swimmers along the way.

When these didn't work, we I started acupuncture.  Plus I added in Chinese herbs recommended by my acupuncturist.  I also added in prenatal vitamins which made me feel so bloated.  Another tip: take them at night.

Still nothing was working, so we went to a vitamin/herb store and I started drinking a fertility tea, taking Dong Quai and Vitex.  I thought for sure doing all of this would work.  Well it didn't.

Next up was going to the doctor's to see if anything was wrong with me and/or my husband.  My husband got a sperm analysis.  Oh boy was he ever excited about this.  His results were pretty good.  Everything was in a good or great range other than his volume being lower (due to stress of going in a cup, maybe?) and the percentage of normal shaped swimmers was on the lower end, but still in the normal range.

So it was my turn.  I had my normal annual exam and everything looked great.  So next was to see if anything was wrong internally.  That appointment was two Mondays ago, and that Monday changed everything.  You see they did an internal ultrasound and we found out that I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).  I was devastated to say the least.  This makes it so much harder to get pregnant.

Basically, PCOS means that while my ovaries are producing eggs (which is good), they aren't able to fully mature and drop because cysts form around them.  And this is all due to my hormones being off balance.  When I was on birth control pills, this never showed up or came up because birth control pills control the cyst production.  Once I went off the pill, they started to show up and I had no clue about it.  Can we say my husband and I were devastated?

What is a girl to do next?  Even after her doctor tells her a lot of info...search the internet.  I wanted success stories, stories of any kind and more info (even the scary stuff).  After a few days of research, I feel confident that my issue isn't too bad.  This might change after a few months of still trying, but right now, I have hope.

My body does ovulate, but it can't release the egg (what a contradiction that is).  I get ovulation pains, ovulation signs (pain and positive strips), but it just won't release.  So my doctor put me on metformin.  Basically, it decreases the male type of hormone that causes the cysts and helps the body use the insulin produced in your body the correct way.  It helps regulate cycles, start ovulation (from maturing the egg to dropping the egg) and lowers the risk of miscarriage once you are pregnant.

If metformin alone doesn't help, they will add clomid which will make me ovulate pretty strongly.  The biggest drawback for me?  There is a higher chance of having multiple babies.  I already have twins on both sides of my parents families, so my chances would go up even higher.  But it just may be the risk we have to take.  Another drawback, you can only use it for a few months because it really thins the uterus out.  Kind of a scary thought.

So here I am today, two weeks into Metformin and I am happy to say that I don't have the side effects that so many posters talk about.  I take 500 mg twice daily with food (huge, I took it once without and felt super dizzy and off), and I hope that this will be our miracle drug.  I also still take my pre-natal vitamins and vitex (in case you are in the same boat as I am).  If not, then it's onto so many other options that I would rather avoid if we can (IVF, insemination, Clomid, injection shots, etc.).

So we are still on our trying to conceive journey.  Hoping and praying that each month is our month.  But it is in God's hands, and hopefully he will bless us with a baby soon enough.

Anyone have any suggestions?  Any experience with PCOS?  Anything to try if you have PCOS?
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Friday, April 11, 2014

My Favorite Beauty

Today feels like a get dressed up in my wedding dress day.  Why can't I wear my dress more often?  I know I have said this time and time again, but someone should make an event where we can wear our wedding dresses, tuxes and bridesmaid dresses to an elegant evening out.
Or maybe someone should ask me to model my dress for a photo shoot.  Then I can get all dressed up, beautify myself and live my Cinderella day again.  Is a year too soon for a vow renewal?  Ya, I thought so too.
 Isn't she a beauty?
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Walter's Confessions

I was reading Not Entirely Perfect's post about Hawkeye's Confessions and it prompted me to ask my little dude Walter to write his own confessions.  But first I wanted to say, go check out Stephanie's blog because Hawkeye is the cutest little Pomeranian you will ever see.  Plus he loves his Taco Bell, smothering his mom in kisses and stealing socks.

Without further ado, here is Walter and his confessions.

I, Walter, confess:

I cuddle my mom so hard every night that she has to sleep on the edge of the bed.  But I really just want to stay warm and she always tries to scoot away, but not for long.

I love to play in the water...just not freezing Lake Tahoe water.  Why do you insist on bringing me out so far to swim back in?

I am deeply offended my parents didn't include me in their wedding.

I am a bread fiend.  If you ever leave bread around me, I will steal it.  I will beg for it.  I will whine for it.  I MUST HAVE MY BREAD.

I HATE the new stairs my parents bought me to get on and off the bed.  I have perfectly good jumping legs.  That is why you always call me the jumping dog.

I hate my Christmas sweater.

I love to steal people's shoes and bring them onto my perch on the couch.  Sometimes I chew them up if I feel like it.

I am a pooping machine and my parents can't believe that I can go outside and then again right away when they take me on my walks.

I hate the doggie goggles my parents try to make me wear on our hikes.
I love being held like a baby in my moms arms.

I will shred any new toy given to me in about 5 seconds.

I am secretly a Dallas Cowboys fan and my parents insist on dressing me in Niners gear.

Thanks mom for letting me take over your blog for the day.  And I was just kidding on being a Cowboys fan....
Until next time.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring-esque Nails

I don't have much to say today...mostly because I feel like my chest is going to explode from this killer heartburn I have going on.  But I do want to show you all my lovely new spring-esque/Easter nails the lovely Lauren did last night.
I absolutely love getting my nails done, but I need to do it otherwise I tend to bite my nails which isn't attractive.

Are you springing for new Spring nails?
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Usual Weekend Update

It's Monday Tuesday which means weekend update time.  This weekend we celebrated my mom's 50th birthday.  In other words, we threw her a surprise 50th birthday party.

Now I have been going back and forth on this idea for about two months.  Back in February (at my sister's birthday dinner) my sister, dad and I discussed throwing a surprise birthday party for my mom.  We, at the time, thought this was a great idea, but soon my worrying started that my mom would hate this much attention.  I was right, sort of.

I called my mom on Friday to wish her a Happy Birthday and see how her day was going.  She informed me that she wasn't celebrating that much and barely anyone at work knew about it.  Just the way she wanted.  She woke up to a mushy card from my dad and was happy as a clam that this was the only celebration she needed and wanted.  I had a little bit anxiety that we made the wrong decision, but there was no turning back.  Plus if my sister and I didn't plan it, others said they were going to.

My sister and I have planned this party for over a month with the help of my aunt (my mom's sister) and I think it turned out very well.  This is my first real party that I have ever personally thrown (other than my wedding and let's be realistic here...that was an event that was planned over 6 months).

Saturday morning I picked up a cake from my favorite baker and friend, Stacey at Cake on Sunday.  Then I picked up my sister and went to my aunt's house to set up.  We had to decorate and food prep for over 25 people.  It was a lot of work, but with the help of my cousin and uncle, we got it done on time and pulled off the surprise.

I don't have any photos of us surprising her since I was finishing last minute details as she showed up, but she was surprised, really happy to see her friends and family and I think she had a great time.
Some of the food (Brie and bread, caprese skewers, fruit skewers with a honey yogurt dip, veggies and ranch, meats, cheeses and rolls, mini quiches, candy and cake)
Vanilla cake with a raspberry filling (Ah-mazing!)
My flower girl (Miss B) and my 2nd cousin using the decorations as pom poms to cheer on my mom when she was opening gifts

The party was a success and my dad made me promise him I wouldn't throw him a 50th birthday party.  I promised him I wouldn't, but I can't control others.  Dad, if you are reading this, I fully intend to take you to Western Village Steakhouse as promised and I won't throw you a party.

Sunday it was gorgeous outside, so we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and start our garden and flower beds.  We bought a few veggies that can handle the weather should it get cold again and some flowers.  Plus I bought some awesome practical gardening shoes (I will take a picture later) instead of my usual pair of sandals.
We have planted two kinds of tomatoes (heirloom and roma, at least another 4 tomato plants to come), red onions, two kinds of lettuce (mixed greens and arugula) and broccoli.  I also planted strawberries in a wine barrel (not pictured).  We plan to add bell peppers, more tomatoes, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, baby kale and butter lettuce.  We still have a lot of room in this part of the garden, two other wine barrels and another small garden bed not pictured.  I love fresh homegrown fruit and veggies!
I also planted four different kinds of flowers in the front planter box along side a bunch of wild flower seeds we planted a few weeks ago.  I can't wait for all the fresh flowers we will have in our house this summer!

I am really loving this amazing spring weather.  In fact, it can stay until October please.

And here is another picture from the weekend of my cutie, Walter because every post should end with something or someone as adorable as our little dude.
Standing on his dads pillow checking out the neighbors.  Such a cute little snoop.

How was your weekend?  I can't wait for this upcoming weekend just to soak up more Spring weather and get outside more.
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Finally Friday!

And today is a very special birthday...my beautiful mother's birthday.  Happy Birthday Mom!  I plan to eat a cupcake or three today in your honor.

Also it is Fan Friday Link Up and I haven't participated in one in forever.  Can I get a shout out for opening baseball week, my SF Giants being 3-1 and pulling out a win last night?!

I CAN NOT wait until my first Giants game of the season which will be in a little over a month.  I am so happy I have baseball to get me through the sports lull until football season.  Maybe another Giants appearance in the World Series?  I probably just jinxed them on that one.

Happy Friday!
Venus Trapped in Mars
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