Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Injections are NO fun!

Either I am super forgetful in my Advanced Maternal Age, or these shots hurt more this time around.  Once again I was unable to bring myself to administer the shot myself.  I guess the good news here is that we'll never have to worry about me becoming a heroin addict.  I just totally psych myself out. So much so that it takes a good 5 minutes just for me to get to the point that I'll let Mr. W finally stick me with the needle.  I do the countdown backwards from 5, but man, it just sucks!
The first night I forgot to take the follisitm out of the refrigerator to let it come to room temperature before the shot so it was cold and it did burn, but the next night it still burned even though it had been sitting out for 2 hours. Tonight was the best one yet, I could feel the needle prick me going in, but nothing hurt after that. I hope that they continue this way. I shouldn't complain too much though, I know lots of women have to do a lot more shots with a lot more painful needles in order to get pregnant.  Hopefully this little guy will be the extent of it for me.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bed-Sty Victorian

My sister-in-law sent me a link to an awesome 1895 Brownstone in Brooklyn.  The woodwork inside is awesome!  I love our house, and more importantly our location, but these are some great inspiration photos.  I love the idea of using piano legs for a kitchen island.  If and when we can afford to remodel our kitchen, I definitely want to have an island that looks more like a furniture piece, but is still electrified!
I particularly like this quote, “The overblown woodwork in a Victorian house creates a frame which cries out for a picture, which is wallpaper, {...}To ignore those cries is to live in disharmony with the space.”

I think this is just the motivation I need to order some wallpaper samples to get working on our exterior paint scheme!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cycle #12, Follistim

Today is CD3 and I have an appointment to go in this afternoon for a baseline ultrasound and blood work.  My doctor won't be in today so I'll be seeing a different RE.  I had the nurse verify yesterday that my RE would approve me moving on to Follisitim since the Letrozole did not work.  He did approve it and has me set to start at 75 iu, which is the quantity that gave us success with Baby Boy.  I didn't get to speak with him, but I'm assuming he is going back to this number rather than the 50 iu he suggested we start at at our consultation appointment a few months ago.
The sent the prescription in right away and I received a call from the pharmacy.  I decided to go pick it up yesterday since I anticipate today's apt with 2 little boys to be enough of an experience.  Sigh! $890.00 in drugs! That's money I won't be spending on wallpaper any time soon.  LOL! Instead I'm investing in follisitim, ovidrel, and crinone, which will be a new med for me. I'm hoping to not have the itch reaction that I had to the prometrium.
Mainly though, I'm just hoping to have success so I can put all this behind me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

House Blessing and Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is my patron saint in part because she is the patron saint of my parish. The reason I was waiting to test until Sunday was because I though it would be apropos if I did have a positive.  Our parish was having a special Mass and gathering afterwards to honor her.  I had asked Mr. W if he would join me at Mass.  I figured if it was positive I'd want him to celebrate with me, and if it was negative, I'd want his support and to not be alone at church.
Obviously it was not positive so I was feeling emotionally raw during Mass and appreciated the ceremony and the company.  Three candles were lit near her stature on the altar, which I thought was a nice touch.

 Instead of the regular Sunday readings were were able to have a gospel reading from John about Mary Magdalene learning of the empty tomb. During the homily Fr. spoke of how her reputation had been tarnished and how in the last century she was finally restored. It was a long Mass though with the extra incense and readings. Close to 2 hrs and the boys were close to major meltdown by the time it was over.  I was still feeling down so I didn't accomplish much even though I had big plans to make a special Magdalena cake.
Since this is my very first home buying experience I thought it would be nice to have the house blessed.  I've never participated in one before, but I felt like this house deserves it.  I hadn't gotten around to calling in to see if Fr. M would come out when I read  in the bulletin that Deacon J would be doing house blessings during the month of July; what perfect timing! It just so happened that we scheduled it for the day after St. Mary Magdalene's feast day so I decided to make the remaining recipe for her in my Cooking With the Saints cookbook.
Unfortunately Mr. W had to work late again so he missed the blessing entirely, which left me alone with the boys and preparing dinner and entertaining Deacon J.  The boys were a little rambunctious during the blessing so I couldn't quite focus on the prayers as much as I would have liked.  He sprinkled Holy Water all along the front of the house, inside on the main floor, and the back yard and vegetable garden. And us too.  My Little Helper took a while to warm up and was in cross mode for awhile, but eventually warmed up by dinnertime to give thoughtful answers to Deacon J's questions. Deacon J is from Eastern Oregon and will be ordained in the spring.  He'll be 35. I find it very refreshing that we have been having so many Seminarian interns and Deacons coming through our parish.  In my experience boys who are raised Catholic largely grow up to be without faith.  It is nice to see that it is taking hold somewhere and that young men are answering God's call. I wonder if that will be in the future for either of my sons?
The Magdalenenkuchen, or Magdalene cake, was good.  The recipe calls for a dough used as the first layer in the pan, then a layer or orange marmalade, then a second layer which is more the consistency or regular cake batter.  Once baked a glaze is made which calls for Cointreau and orange juice and then sliced almonds sprinkled on top.  The recipe calls for toasting those sliced almonds in a pan with butter, but since I knew how much butter I had just put into the two layers of cake I decided that I'd skip that last butter toasting step.
I was having camera troubles, but here is a picture of the cake.
Here's a beter pic after Mr. W fixed he camera for me, you can see the layers.

I mentioned to Deacon J that two of the recipes associated with Mary Magdalene included almonds and wondered if they were somehow one of her attributes.  He wasn't sure and couldn't find anything on his iphone.  Yes, my deacon is more tech savvy than I am.  It's the new generation of the church!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

BFN again

It's CD25 and I'm 13DPO.  Unlike last month I had a good night's sleep because I really had no expectations on how this test would go.  I was hopeful, but did not feel confident like I had last cycle.  Even this morning my temp was still good enough.  I brought the test stick back to bed so we could await the results together, although admittedly Mr. W was pretty much still asleep.  I wasn't eager to test yet, but my bladder couldn't hold out any longer. 
It was negative and I didn't really feel that disappointed, or rather I am just indifferent.  I'm not happy with the results, but I'm not angry (yet.) I just feel kinda blah.  Maybe I'm in shock. Who knows.  Mr. W kept apologizing and comforted me.
The thing is I have no idea how much longer I have to wait now before I can begin the next cycle.  I ovulated so early on the Letrozole that I'm still so early even though I didn't test early.  My temps haven't begun to fall yet.  Based upon my normal range of cycle length it still could be another 10 days. God, help me if it is! On the other hand, if this ends at 28 days like a normal person, I could potentially have an April baby, but this one wouldn't have a Lenten birthday. 
One thing is for sure, we will likely have to forfeit our opportunity to go to our friend Mr. D's wedding in Spain next June.  I would have been open to taking a 2 1/2 month old to Spain, while leaving the older boys here in Portland with my mom.  But the idea of taking a 1 1/2 month old seems like potentially a bad idea.  I'm sure at some point I'll be angry at my RE for suggesting we work backward with Letrozole instead of picking up with the Follistim with which we had success.  But for right now I'm too indifferent to be mad.
I can think of one bright side here, this gives Baby Boy one more month of only having to divide our attention between him and his brother, one more month to sleep in the crib/converted toddler bed before he transitions to a twin sized Big Boy bed, one more month to maybe make a start on potty training. I can't deny that I'd prefer a 3 year spacing between children because of the benefits, but clearly time is not an option for me, nor is it on my side.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shopping for school uniforms

I ordered My Little Helper's school uniforms. One of the online retailers was offering penny logos on shirts and one of the other parents had alerted me to the good deal. I wasn't sure what to order though or how many of each item.  I remember how many pants and shirts and sweatshirts I had when I was in school, but I was older and a girl.  I didn't get nearly as dirty as my son does!
I started with 3 pairs of pants and if that isn't enough I can add more later.  I also purchased  several long sleeve and short sleeve polo shirts in mixed colors.  The uniforms are khaki pants, with white, navy, or hunter shirts.  I also got him a green, zippered, hooded sweatshirt since he loves hoodies. I'm looking forward to seeing him in his school uniform, I only wish there was some way that the boys could also wear plaid!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My temps aren't real great.  I have had a full thermal shift, but they are pretty mediocre numbers.  I've been comparing this cycle's chart to those successful ones with the boys.  I'm not feeling very confident.  Hopefully my temps will start to go up, but I'm not sure if I'll bother to POAS on Sunday if they don't improve.

Also I was having some serious itchiness down there so I was afraid I was getting a yeast infection from the prometrium suppositories.  I started my last pregnancy with a UTI from the suppositories so I was afraid that I was having a similar reaction.  When I called the nurse to tell her she asked me if I have a peanut allergy.  I don't, but apparently the progesterone is suspended in peanut oil in the prometrium pills. She told me that she wanted to switch me from prometrium to a micronized progesterone which is what I was on last pregnancy.  However that is only available at the compounding pharmacy in the West Hills, so they put me on prometrium this time so I could avoid driving across the river.  She wanted me to wait and see if the switch helps before testing for a yeast infection.  I was less than thrilled at the idea of just waiting it out, itchy is not fun!  But, I started to notice an improvement right away, so I guess my vagina is allergic to peanuts?  More reasons to hate infertility.

Monday, July 9, 2012

CD12 ultrasound

I have been so ecited to find out how I might have responded to the Letrozole!  I was not disappointed at today's appointment.
First the doctor described my lining as 'beautiful', at 10 and pointed out the line running through the middle of it which he said indicates that it is ready to accept embryos. Yay! Then he found one 25mm follicle on one side and a 23.5mm follicle on the other side.  Pretty big considering I'm only CD12.  Becasue I ovulated on CD18 last time and no one asked me to do it in advance of today's appointment I had not been using OPKs.  Since the nurse asked me to empty my bladder right before the ultrasound I wasn't able to provide them with a sample so they drew my blood to see if I have a positive LH surge on my own.  If not they wanted to trigger me as soon as possible so I could have TI tomorrow.
I knew it was cutting it close since I had a dentist appointment scheduled next, but I went to Starbucks to wait around for the blood work results.  The idea of having to drive back later in the day with one or both of the boys for the injection was NOT appealing. I was having a good day.  I had 4 people complement me on my necklace, the RE, the blood work technician, the billing lady, and the Starbucks waitress.  Maybe I should dress nicely and wear jewelry more often. Oh, wait, I'm running around with two little boys all day!  Hahaha!
My LH number came back at 46.3 which means I'm ovulating on my own so I was able to save $90 on the ovidrel shot and we should have TI tonight and tomorrow.  I'm a little worried about the chance for multiples.  And a little lingering worry that I may never have a daughter, but I'm excited and hopeful and can't get this silly grin off my face. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sloppy Joes

I'll never grow tired of Adam Sandler's Lunch Lady song! Anyhow, somehow I got the idea to make sloppy joes and since I had a lot of hamburger buns left over from the 4th of July, I thought it would be smart to make them.
I used this recipe as a guide, but didn't measure anything out and substituted red bell pepper for green and used Walla Walla sweets.  I used my usual 3/4 lb. ground beef portion and it could have yielded 5 sandwiches.
I liked it as did Mr. W. The boys were unimpressed, but I'd make this again next time a sloppy joe mood strikes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Letrozole side effects

I took my final pill on the 4th.  The side effects weren't too bad, and I'll admit I was a little freaked out based upon how much the pharmacist was stressing that I read all the possible side effects before I left the store. I definitely got hot flashes and would wake up pretty sweaty, even though it was still rainy in Portland in late June and early July. One night DH and I got into an argument about I-don't-know-what.  And he said, "Why are you picking on everything I do?!" And I started laughing because I had NO idea why I was being so critical and irritated.  Mood swings aren't one of the Letrozole side effects like they are on clomid, but I certainly can't explain why I was so upset over nothing.
On Monday while Baby Boy was at daycare, but My Little Helper's Nature Preschools haven't started yet I took him on a date to the cinema to see Brave.  Lordy, did I cry! Just when I thought I was resigned to be happy whether I have a daughter or not I watch a movie focused on a red headed girls relationship with her mother! I hope God's plan still includes me mothering a daughter, because I will be perplexed at why I feel so strongly drawn to it if it isn't my calling.
Anyway, it's nice to be done with the Letrozole though and I'm busy drinking green tea instead of regular tea. For the life of me I can't remember what that is supposed to improve, maybe my lining?  Oh, well, I can certainly continue to suffer through drinking green tea if it will slightly increase my chances at another pregnancy! I have a monitoring appointment on Monday and I'm hoping that this drug will yield good results.
We finally found where we packed the follistim pen, but unfortunately the case was empty save for a few needles.  The pen itself must have been in with the box of left over follistim in the fridge that Mr. W pitched when me moved.  Too bad, but hopefully we won't need it and if we do hopefully we don't learn that they were expensive.
Mr. W went in to have the screening  so that he could leave a sperm sample fore an IUI, but it has been determined at the last minute, as always, that no one needs to go to Europe this weekend so he should be available to be here for us to have timed intercourse rather than an insemination. Such a relief! I did not want to have to coordinate childcare around all of that!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Day Open House

We decided to host a bbq for the 4th of July this year and coordinate it with our Open House.  We were pretty sure we would have a view of the fireworks down town from the balcony and the windows in the attic. We set the party to start at noon and continue through 9 pm.
In the hopes of directing people to enter through the original front door to get a better effect for the tour My Little Helper and I lined the walkway with red and blue pinwheels.  My mom recently gave us a 48 star flag that was in amongst my dad's things so I asked Mr. W to drape it from the balcony.  We don't have a wall bracket for our flag pole yet so this worked out rather well. Red, white and blue flowers by the front door with a doormat I couldn't help but purchase at Freddy's.
The yard looked great after all the hard work my uncle m, my mom and her gardener did as a housewarming present.
We had a melting pot menu:
  • BBQ pork shoulder
  • Frankfurters, bratwursts, and cheddar brats.
  • BBQ baked beans (with all the drippings from the meat!)
  • Deviled eggs (it's not a summer party without them!)
  • German Potato salad (which we didn't end up making because he forgot to put them on my grocery list)
  • Caprese pasta salad with fresh mozzarella, pine nuts, basil, and tomatoes
  • Guacamole and corn chips
  • Hummus and corn chips
  • Green salad with cheese on the side
  • Watermelon
  • Corn on the cobb
  • Apple pie (vegan)
  • Cupcakes with raspberry and blueberry garnish
The list gets more vegetarian and vegan the further down the list.  I was trying to accommodate our vegan, gluten free, and allium allergy guests. Whew! And that doesn't even include the fickle tastes of children!

We had a nice steady stream of guests coming and going throughout the day. A few families stayed late enough to do some Oregon-legal fire crakers in the street.
Many of them were just smoke bombs.  A police car drove by up the street and paused to watch us.  Then it slowly turned the corner and parked.  I was like, "What?!"  All our fireworks were legal, I couldn't believe he was going to harass us!  Instead he said he saw the kids and decided to stop and give them some stickers. 

He has children and is missing out on them lighting sparklers and stuff. I guess that teaches me that you can't make assumptions, but frankly, ALL of us thought he was pulling over to give us grief.  When he finally left he flashed his lights for the children. 
Baby Boy was SO excited about the fireworks!  He doesn't have a lot of words so it was mostly just him grunting, straining, and pointing at the fireworks. Hysterical!

 I kept trying to cover his ears during the loud ones, but he wanted NONE of that and never seemed to be startled or scared by any of them.  The cutest was his ready pose where he was squatting with his hands on his knees in anticipation like a baseball out fielder.  So darling!
The last of our guests left around 9:30 and Mr. W and I put the boys to bed; so past their bed time!  Then we went up to the attic to watch fireworks after the sun set.  I couldn't believe what an awesome view we have.  There were fireworks going off all over the city!  I must have looked like I was watching a tennis match because I had to keep turning my head back and forth to see them on all sides of us.  Mr. W was beyond amazed at how many people set off their own fireworks and we marveled at how much money people must be spending on these big ones! 
Once the sun was completely set the downtown fireworks started and he and I sat on the balcony together watching them.  It was so special and yet another moment when I'm reminded of how special this house is and how lucky we are to be it's current caretakers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

St. Peter's Day

I keep meaning to do St. Peter's day because we love fish and it seems like such a great idea for seasonal eating in the summer.  Also, Mr. W loves watching Gordon Ramsay shows so we're always hearing about the john dory which is also called St. Peter's fish because of the spot on the side of it. It is supposed to be symbolic of the thumb print of St. Peter from the fish he threw back into the water.
I never see john dory fish here in the grocery store, and I don't have much reason to go to specialty markets.  I considered trying to hunt some down, but we've been a bit busy and Mr.W has been working late that I decided to find an alternative.  Any fish would be a good tribute to the fisherman anyway, right!
I bookmarked this recipe for St.Peter's fish with parsley sauce last year and have been looking forward to making it.  This recipe calls for tilapia anyway.  I have read conflicting information on what IS St. Peter's fish.  When we went to get the tilapia, we decided the red snapper looked better so that is what we settled upon.
Mr. W made beet greens for our vegetable and yukon gold mashed potatoes.  I was really happy with how the fish turned out, I highly recommend the parsley sauce.  I was too full for seconds even though I really would have liked some. (I wonder if the drugs are effecting my appetite? haha!)