Thursday, January 28, 2016

It's Not Me, It's The Clomid

I managed to make it through my 4th round of Clomid!  For those of you who don't know what a feat that is, let me explain.  Clomid is a fertility drug that helps you produce more than the one egg women typically produce during a cycle.  While it does wonders to increase fertility, it has some pretty crazy side effects.  Allow me to give you some examples...

Hot Flashes

Being a younger woman, I've been lucky enough not to have to deal with hot flashes.  That is until I took Clomid.  I had heard of hot flashes and thought I knew what they were all about, but I have a whole new understanding now.  During a hot flash, you obviously get very hot.  But it doesn't stop there.  Your face starts to burn and turn fire engine red.  You start to sweat everywhere, especially if you are talking to unhelpful salespeople while trying on bridesmaid dresses.  Trust me.  And dealing with the hotness and redness and sweating only adds to the next side effect: irritability.    


Funny Apology Ecard: Sorry for the crazy shit I did when I was on Clomid.:

I consider myself a pretty even-tempered, patient person.  It takes a lot to get me riled up.  But watch out when I'm on Clomid!  Even the tiniest thing can turn me into a raving lunatic.  For example, Jazzy woke me up at 2:00 in the morning so she could go outside.  Getting woken up in the first place started to annoy me.  I waited a minute to see if Adam would wake up and let Jazzy out.  No such luck.  So that made me even crabbier.  Then, once I let Jazzy out, she wouldn't come back in.  So I had to go out in the snow in my slippers and herd her inside.  Jazzy must have realized how angry I was when I got close to her because she made a mad dash for the door.  By the time I got back inside I rivaled the Hulk's temper.  Luckily, my moods swung around quite freely so I didn't stay angry at these small incidences for long.  

Mood Swings

I'll be happy once you're off of Clomid. I don't know whether to kiss you, grab a tissue, or keep one eye open while sleeping.:

I literally felt like a crazy person.  One minute I was laughing so hard I started to cry at story my dad was telling at a restaurant and the next minute I was crabby because a menu fell on the floor.  I could tell that I was being ridiculous, but I had very little control over my reactions.  The day after I took my last dose of Clomid was the worst!  I spent that day on the couch watching Netflix to keep myself from crying.  It's really hard to remain hopeful and positive while taking Clomid.  Aside from the mental side effects, you just feel kinda blah.  

Ovarian Enlargement 

That's exactly what it feels like!:

Ordinarily, I wouldn't be able to tell you where my ovaries are located.  But I could certainly point them out to you while taking Clomid.  Your stomach feels very full and bloated.  And it is not pleasant when Jazzy walks across your stomach on the way to her spot on the couch.  

As unpleasant as all these side effects are, they will be well worth it if I end up with a baby.  Plus, you really appreciate it when you get back to your normal demeanor.  Hopefully this was my last experience with Clomid!  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jazzy Stays Warm

It's been cold lately.  Really cold.  Despite the frigid temperatures lately, Jazzy still wants to go on her twice daily walks.  So, Adam and I bundle up to take her.  We put on our coats, hats, gloves and scarves so we won't be chilly.  Piling on all of the extra layers made us wonder if Jazzy got cold on her outings.  

Ordinarily, we aren't the kind of people who like to dress up our dog.  But the thought of Jazzy being cold made us reconsider.  I found the most darling dog coat on clearance at TJ Maxx the other day.  It was red and had a faux fur lined hood.  So, I brought it home and made Jazzy try it on.  It was way too small.  I couldn't get it Velcro-ed shut and the hood wouldn't fit over her ears.  

So, I sadly returned it and set my sights on finding another coat for Jazzy.  I looked at several different stores without any luck.  But my luck turned around today.  I found the perfect coat for Jazzy!  

While it's not quite as cute as the other one, it does suit Jazzy's personality better.  She's more of a tomboy than a girly girl.  This coat is much more sporty.  And another perk is that it's actually a lot easier to get on her.

The hood's a bit big, but Jazzy likes to pretend she's gangsta, so it's all good.  

Jazzy's been on two walks with her new coat now and I think she approves.  She likes how her little tail sticks out so she can still wag away.  And it keeps her nice and warm.    

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Heaven Is A Place Called The Container Store

Oh, man.  I got to go to one of my favorite places this past weekend: The Container Store!  I was on the hunt for some storage solutions for my kitchen drawers.  They looked a little something like this: 

Just look at that random jumble of kitchen utensils.  We have a very cozy kitchen, so there's not a lot of drawer space.  I kept all of the utensils in 3 drawers.  There wasn't really any rhyme or reason as to where things were kept.  After nearly scraping my knuckles off with the zester, I decided it was time to do something about it.  

I was tempted to head straight for The Container Store to see what they had to offer.  But, I took a moment, and decided to be more thoughtful about how I tackled this project.  I wanted to make sure I ended up with containers that fit in the drawers and expertly organized all my kitchen stuff.  

So, the first thing I did was empty out all three drawers.  I piled the random assortment on the counter top.  Then I went through each item.  There were several items that I don't think I have ever used.  And there were also some duplicates that weren't necessary and were only taking up valuable space.  I made a pile of the stuff I didn't need and made plans to donate them to Goodwill.  

Once I knew what I was keeping, I sorted things into categories.  I decided which items could go together.  

From there, I figured out where in the drawers each category would fit.  That way I knew roughly what size container I would need to find.  

I also measured each drawer.  I wanted to take the measurements with me when I went to The Container Store so I would know exactly how much space I had to work with.  

Once I got there, I wandered around until I found the perfect pieces.  I ended up buying these fabulous drawer organizers.  I liked them because I could configure them into an arrangement that fit each drawer perfectly, which maximized the space.  I actually laid them out on the floor and used the tape measure I brought with me to make sure they would fit into each drawer.  Pretty dorky, but I think most people who take time to go to The Container Store can appreciate my inner organizing dork.  

When I got home and started to put the containers into my drawers, I realized the drawer liners weren't nearly nice enough to be in the same space as my fancy new containers.  So, I ripped out the old contact paper and put some leftover drawer liners I had lying around.  I think they make the drawer look much nicer, don't you? 

Then I put the containers into the drawers to make sure I did all my measuring correctly.  Once I was convinced they would all fit, I washed them before I put all my kitchen gadgets in them.  You just never know what kind of hands have touched them in the store.  

Finally, it was time to put in all the utensils.  And oh, what fun it was!  I find myself opening up the drawers whenever I walk through the kitchen now.  

I think I might even like cooking and doing dishes a little more, thanks to my newly organized drawers! 

I like that each container houses its own utensils.  It's much easier to find what we're looking for when we're cooking now.  Plus, it just makes me happy.  

I even carved out some extra kitchen utensil space.  We have one teeny, tiny drawer that used to house some dishwasher cleaning tablets and sponges.  I moved those underneath the sink and now have the perfect place to store the bulkier kitchen items, like our apple slicer, mango slicer and potato masher.  

One other thing I do to help save some drawer space is to keep all of the utensils I use most often in a round canister next to our stove.  It's handy to have them close by the stove and it saves some drawer space.

Isn't it funny how much happiness some drawer organizers can bring to your life?  Or maybe it's just me... :) 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Positive Thoughts

I am thinking lots of positive thoughts right now.  I am trying to cram as many positive thoughts as possible into my life in the hopes that it will result in a successful IUI attempt.  This month will bring our 5th IUI attempt, the first one in over a year.  

In case you are curious about what exactly is involved in an IUI attempt, I thought I would present to you a little timeline:

Day 1- This is the first day of your period.  You call your doctor so they can send a prescription to the pharmacy for Clomid and estrogen.  

Day 3- You start taking Clomid.  You'll take Clomid for a total of 5 days, Cycle Days 3-7.

Day 8- You start taking estrogen.  You'll take estrogen for a total of 5 days, Cycle Days 8-12.

Day 12- You go to your doctor's office so they can do an ultrasound of your follicles.  A follicle is basically an egg sack.  Clomid stimulates your follicles so that you release 2-3 eggs during ovulation, as opposed to just one.  If the ultrasound shows some awesome follicles, then you will get a shot that triggers ovulation.  
Day 13- You come in for the actual IUI procedure.  Here is a little explanation of an IUI.  

Days 14 and on- Cross your fingers and hope for the best! 

I am also throwing a little acupuncture into the mix.  I go for a session on Day 12, the day before the IUI. More than likely, I will have electrical stimulation.  You can read all about that here.

Obviously, each woman is different and not all women follow all these steps.  But this is a pretty typical timeline.  

It sounds like a lot to do and keep track of, but I actually don't mind this part of the process.  I feel like I have some control over things and am able to do things that will hopefully increase my chances of conceiving.  The hard part is the waiting that happens after the IUI procedure to see whether or not it worked.  That part kinda sucks.  

So, I am happily accepting any and all positive thoughts, good vibes, prayers and luck you would care to send my way.  :)    

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Some Sweet Valentine's Day Decor

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  It's one of my favorite holidays because it's all about letting the people you love know just how much you care about them.  To help me get excited about Valentine's Day, I put up some sweet decor around the house.  

Last year, my mom gave me the idea to make a heart garland.  So, with some ribbon, felt and hot glue, I whipped one up.  It was super easy, too.

Here's all you need to do: 
1. Cut heart shapes out of felt squares.  I went with a red, light pink, hot pink and gray color scheme.  
2. Hot glue some smaller hearts on top of larger hearts to add some dimension.  
3. Cut two slits on the top of each heart for the ribbon to go through.
4. Thread the ribbon through the slits in the heart.
5. Use a dab of hot glue between the ribbon and the hearts to keep them from sliding around on the ribbon.  
6. Tie the ends of the ribbons in bows.
7. Hang up your garland.  I went with the very classy scotch tape route. 
8. Smile every time you look at your cute new garland! :) 

In addition to thinking about all the people I love when Valentine's Day comes to mind, I also think about candy.  And what better way to house candy than with a darling candy dish?  I found this candy dish at TJ Maxx on clearance for 2 bucks!

It's only a matter of time before all those M & M's are gone.

With all my decorations in place, I'm ready for Valentine's Day!  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"If We Get a Dog, It Will Not Be Allowed In Our Bed."

That would be what Adam told me when we were in preliminary talks about getting a dog.  Fast forward a year.  The arm in the above picture is Adam's arm.  And that arm is located in our bed.  Yep, Jazzy has weaseled her way into our bed.

I am to blame.  When Adam had to go out of town a few months back, I picked up Jazzy and plopped her in bed with me each night.  I was lonely and there was room.  When Adam got back home, Jazzy seemed to know that her stay in our bed was over.  However, if I would lay in bed and read before Adam got into bed, Jazzy would sit ever so patiently by my side of the bed with the cutest possible face staring up at me.  It's really hard to ignore a face like that.  So, I would pick her up and let her lay with me until Adam came to bed when he would pick her up and put her back in her bed.  He never really said anything about it, so Jazzy and I assumed it was okay.    

After all, Adam did introduce the pillow loophole.  Adam throws two pillows on the floor once he gets into bed.  Jazzy assumed those pillows were meant for her, so she started to sleep there at night.  

I guess Jazzy thought that she could get away with sleeping on her pillows even if they were on the bed. Technically she was on her pillows and not on our bed.  

While I was washing the sheets this past weekend, I walked into our room to find this darling sight.  

Instead of making her get off the bed, I just decided to take a picture.  I mean, seriously, how cute is she in that picture?  

Jazzy's getting even bolder.  I came home from work today to find evidence that she once again decided to sleep on her pillows...which also happened to be on our bed.  

Boy, does she have us wrapped around her little paw!  While we don't let her sleep with us most nights, we'll occasionally let her get in bed with us on weekend mornings so she'll sleep longer and let us sleep longer in return.  

Who am I kidding?  It will probably only be a matter of time before she's nestled in between us each night.  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

How to Get Rid of the Blahs

For the most part, I am pretty positive and hopeful these days.  I have managed to keep my spirits up and look for the simple joys in life.  However, we all have those days when we just feel blah.  It's perfectly normal and is just part of being a human.  I hate when I have a blah day, so I try all sorts of things to get rid of that blah feeling.  While I'm no stranger to eating cupcakes and drinking wine, I do try to focus on things that are slightly more healthy.  I am sharing my ideas with you in the hopes that they will help you banish any blah day that comes your way.

Don't underestimate the power of flowers.  

Having flowers in my house just makes me more cheery.  I usually get a small, cheap bouquet at the grocery store and if you use the packet of flower food that comes with it, they usually last quite awhile.  I put them in a place that I will walk by often.  I really do find myself smiling when I see them.  

Retail therapy, anyone? 

Shopping rarely gets old for me.  I especially enjoy shopping when I can find a bargain.  That's why when I'm feeling blah, I will scour the clearance aisles at Target, TJ Maxx and Kirkland's, just to name a few.  I look for cheap things to add to my home decor.  I found this cute wooden tray at Target for under 4 bucks!  I put the salt and pepper shakers on it, along with a star votive candle I got from Goodwill and a tiny syrup bottle that came with my pancakes from Cracker Barrel that I turned into a bud vase.  Voila! Instant mood lifter.  

Good ol' Netflix.

Sometimes you just need to escape and Netflix allows you to do just that.  While it's not the most productive mode of blah-blasting, it does work wonders.  My current faves are New Girl and Dear Genevieve.  Who doesn't love a quirky sitcom and home design show?  

Find yourself a Jazzy.

Dogs have a knack for making people feel better.  They seem to know exactly when you need a snuggle or when they need to do something cute.  Even if you don't have a dog, go visit a friend who does have one. Or go to a shelter and play with the pups there.  You might just end up taking one home, but your life would be better if you did.  I promise!  

Adam took this picture of Jazzy and I when we (okay, maybe it was just me) fell asleep watching a movie. Look at that expert snuggling Jazzy's got going on.  

I hope your blah days are few and far between! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Pretty Storage

I have a special place in my heart for storage containers.  I always have.  I remember spending my allowance on baskets at Pier One and asking for a label maker for my birthday.  I am an organizing nerd.  

Over the years, I have become more and more fond of storage that neatly categorizes all my stuff while also being pleasing to the eye.  I used to think those plastic tubs were the best organizing containers.  I'm happy to say that I've broadened my horizons.  I use just about anything and everything to store my stuff now.  My favorite storage containers also happen to be pretty to look at.  

Here are a few of my current favorites.  All of them expertly corral my junk.  And all of them are pretty on their own.  

I keep a big glass container on my guest bathroom counter.  It's full of sample-sized toiletries and beauty products.  My guests are welcome to take what they need.  Plus, it's a nice touch of decor for the bathroom counter.  

In the master bathroom, I have a tall vase in the corner that houses extra toilet paper rolls.  The opening of the vase happens to be the size of a roll of toilet paper and holds 3 extra rolls.  It has silver lines across it, which ties in with the chrome fixtures and the silver frame in the room.  

One of my newest finds was this adorable basket from Target.  I love the natural and white combo and it's very sturdy.  I put it in my guest bedroom/craft room and use it to house wrapping paper rolls and gift bags.  

There you have it.  Just a few of my favorite functional and pretty storage containers.