Friday, February 28

End of the Month-February 2014

Alright, let's see how I did this month, according to the goals I made for the year.

Reading the Old Testament:  I have not done any reading yet.
For March:  to read at least 5 min/day in the Old Testament.

Getting back to Church:  Nope, I did not go in Febraury :(
For March:  to make it at least once.

Read a book a month:  Nada, again no book reading this month.  (though plenty on the internet ;) )
For March:  read a book (read at least 5 min/day)

Journaling at least once a week:  Yeah, I just wrote down my 2014 goals in the journal/book.
For March:  write once a week in the journal/book.

Finish my quilt (work on other sewing projects):  Did not do any sewing/quilting.
For March:  not a priority.

Hall Closet (scrapbooking/crafts):  You got it, a big NO.
For March:  not a priority.

Try a new recipe and food item a pay period:  I did buy some cool new fruits and then forgot about them, so that doesn't count.  You know since I didn't eat them ;(  And no new recipes.  I'm O for 7.  But that's ok, it's a work in progress and I'm going to continue working towards these goals!!!  Actually. . . .I did eat a new food item.  Those Go Picnic lunches.  They were really good and you get a lot for lunch :)  Whoo hoo for me ;)
For March:  Trying at least one new recipe and one new food item for the whole month.

Being active daily:  This one is a disappointment.  I think I did three days of 30 mins or so of activity.  NOT good enough!
For March:  Being active at least 3 days/week.

Eating less processed foods/Eating more organic, whole foods:  I would say I made a move in that direction by about 10%.
For March:  Work on making sure groceries that are bought are more whole foods than processed/prepackaged foods.  More specifically, 60% whole foods/organic foods and 40% processed/prepackaged foods.

Lose 10% of weight:  I have not weighed myself at all this month.
For March:  Lose 5 pounds, a stepping stone to the 10%.

Grow a veggie/fruit plant:  Too cold.
For March:  Start researching which plant to get and how to plant/grow it.

Circle + Bloom's mind-body program:  Yeah, I did it that one time that I wrote about.
For March:  Since it can be accomplished in a month, I will complete it this month!

Come up with a nightly ritual:  Did not.
For March: Write down what all I want to get down each night, and start to implement it.

Monthly Challenge:  I'm going to say that I accomplished this one.  Every day that I had access to the internet on my computer, I did blog.
For March:  To be honest I haven't decided what I am doing for March, but I'll let you know tomorrow :) Since blogging a day is over, I do want to continue posting at least once a week.

Staying open on how becoming a mommy:  Yeppers.
For March:  Continue ;)

Like I said about mid-way in the post, I'm just going to continue working on achieving these goals :)  Frankly I'm pretty happy with getting this far, and posting how I'm doing.  I hope any goals/resolutions/revolutions you made at the beginning of this year are sticking.

Thursday, February 27

Donor Series-Known vs. Unknown

We'll start off with types of male genetic donors.  There are Known and Unknown donors.  Each will take you down a seperate path in hopes of achieving the same result, a baby.  Now of course I don't know everything about everything, so I will try to keep it simple with what I do know.

A known donor would be someone that you know/meet in real life.  Since this is not the path that I'm taking, I don't have first hand knowledge of how it all works.  Here's what I get from it though.  This guy could be anyone from a lifelong friend who would like to help you achieve your dream of becoming a mom to finding a donor ad on craigslist or facebook.  Your TTC adventure could look like mine, by having the donor tested and having donations go through the same process an unknown donor (cryolab/bank) and having a doctor/nurse perform an IUI.  The donor could give you "fresh" donation, and you could attempt the "turkey baster" method (though they have actual kits to use).  Right down to the old fashioned way of conceiving a child.

I do know that this method can be a little trickier legally.  Drawing up and signing documents, especially if you plan to be a single mom by choice and not co-parenting a child.  Then I've hear discussions on whether these documents would even hold up in court should the donor decide that they want to become involved in the child's life.  There would also be the decision on how the donor would be part of the child's life, their role, and how to explain the donor relationship to your child.  Or how you deal with things should the donor decide against actually being the donor once you are ready to TTC.

I know I'm really glossing over things here, and I don't know personally (or if I do, they haven't told me) anyone who has gone this route.  Things may be way more easy than I'm alluding to here, or for some what I have laid out here is an oversimplification of what they have gone through.

An unknown donor, and what I did/would continue to use, is someone that you don't know.  These are men who donate, after going through what should be a very thorough process to even be accepted by a cryogenic lab (sperm bank), let alone more tests ran to ensure they are a healthy specimen ;)  They have signed papers saying that they do not want to father any offspring that may result from using their genetic material.  Then I sign papers.  Heck, I had to sign the papers before having the IUI saying that I would't return any child that may result from said IUI to the RE's office, that they are mine.  Basically, it's all legal, you are the child's only legal parent (or parents if you are a couple and not a single lady.)  (Sorry if you now have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.  If you don't know what I'm referencing, then you don't have a song stuck in your head :) )

There are many cryogenic labs, that a simple google search alone will bring up.  Each lab is different.  From what genetic tests they do, to what types of information they have for their donors, to prices, to family limits, to. . .you name it.

How about we save all that good stuff for another installment though?  Though I think our next installment I'll touch on Anonymous vs Willing to be Known donors.

*I hope this was a wee bit informative and helpful to understanding just how complicated it can all get.  I'm just writing from what I remember reading and listening about.*

Wednesday, February 26

Doesn’t Going to Work in Dreams Count?

Well I guess my dream last night wouldn’t have counted anyways.  You know, since I never actually made it to work.  When I’m away from work longer than the usual weekend, I tend to have dreams where I’m either extremely late to work or just never make it at all.  It seems like ordinary things, like getting my hair and make-up done takes easily an hour or two.  I’ll look at the clock and start panicking.  Need to choose one of the five outfits I wear day in and day out?  Well, there’s another hour down the drain.  Want to try to call your job to let them know you are now running majorly late, like half your shift late?  Try finding a phone, or remembering that number you know so well.  Heck, sometimes I can’t even get the numbers to dial right.  Then there’s time when I need to put in my contacts and running/rubbing saline solution on them makes them as big as Frisbees, and there’s no way that’s fitting in my eye. 

Then there will be crazy, non-ordinary things going on that keep me from getting to my job.  Like last night there was some kind of family party, but I only recognized two actual aunts and a cousin.  The rest of the crowd I saw actual faces, but had no clue who they belonged to.  Then at one point someone’s boutique was opening (just a regular morning open, not a grand opening or anything-what?!) in our house.  Though it was kind of a mish-mash of homes, family homes, friend homes, not any real house I’ve been in.  So to top it all off, I could not find my way out of said house.  I was freaking out because I had so much work to do, no one would help me get out of the house (if anything they kept slowing me down), nor could I make that important call to tell someone I’d be late.  I just kept calculating how late into the night/next morning I’d have to work to make up the hours. 

Of course when I wake up (tired from running all over in a dream) I wonder why no one from work tried to call me to see why I wasn’t there.  Whew!  I needed the day off from the exhaustion trying to get to work in my dream. 

In real life I woke up when the TV came on and was to work a little early to boot.  I got one whole building all caught up, and tomorrow I’ll have three days to work on for the other building.  Here’s hoping that can get done!



Do you have crazy dreams like that too?

Tuesday, February 25

One Thing

That I liked about my old job was the luxury of walking away from work, and truly walking away from it.  When you came back from the weekend or a vacation, there was nothing piled up waiting for you.  On the flipside of that coin since the work was shared that meant that someone could hoard it for themselves and leave the other(s) to try and look busy at times.  That's no fun.

I guess I'm glad that work that will be waiting for me tomorrow is mine :)  Don't get me wrong S will have tried to get some of my work done.  Since we both had the weekend off, I'll honestly just be happy if she has more than 3 of my teams caught up.  I can't wait to find out how much is waiting after I take off the whole work week, with the weekend that follows ;)

Monday, February 24

Snuggles

Today I spent the day with Moo and Boo, while Sue was in school.  It was quite a full day, even if they were a bit under the weather.  There was snuggling on the couch while we watched Disney movies.  There was a dance party as I flipped through the music stations on cable.  They danced to whatever came on, but Moo had me leave it on JT’s “Mirrors” until the song finished.  There was wearing of Princess dresses, and more dancing when a certain step-sister/daughter/maid went to a royal ball.  There was reading of both girls book selections, as I tried to turn pages and keep my arms around both of them at the same time.  

There was a small bit of sniffing the tops of their heads as I hugged them close, that whiff of baby still there.  There may have been a small bit of tattling and hurt feelings, but nothing crazy for 2 and 3 year old sisters.  I may have been enjoying the time spent with them a bit too much and didn’t put them down for nap time when I thought I should/would.  By the time they went down I had less than 40 minutes before I had to leave to pick up Sue from school. 

Sue got to tell me that she had to tell her teacher a few times that it was her Aunt picking her up, since her teacher kept asking if it was grandma.  We took off for Super Target so I could buy some quick lunches for the week (soup, dried fruit and larabars.)  I also picked up some Boogie Wipes, since I’ve heard good things about them on the interwebs, for the girls runny noses.  While we waited in line to check out, Sue showed me her counting skills.  Counted to 100….what?!  Then showed me how to count by tens using your fingers J 

Then we went home and they all colored in new My Little Pony coloring books I had grabbed for them at my last Super Target run.   Ah, how the dollar spot can you make you feel like a million bucks when you hand out your finds to the girlies.  Then they all donned on princess dresses and played kitty and human.  Cause that’s what fancy princess dresses are for ;) 

I feel quite lucky to get to be their aunt and have the opportunity to spend time with my precious nieces.


What an awesome day (and if I do get sick, I’m blaming it on the co-worker!)

Sunday, February 23

Lazy Sunday

It's my weekend off :)  I got a lot done yesterday that I wanted to fit in. Embarrassingly Sadly Finally finishing putting away the ornaments, tinsel, and lights from the "Disney Tree" in the play room.  As well as the odd bits and pieces still left from the first initial de-decorating sweep.  I then was able to straighten up the toys as well as clean that room :)

I had to clean my Contigo so I ran a load of dishes in the dishwasher.  Using the warm sudsy water from the mug cleaning I also washed down all the surfaces in the kitchen and straightened up a little in there as well.  I caught up on watching some Debtisdum videos, and then watched baby youtube videos as well, while doing my downstairs work.

I folded  clothes in my room, and straightened up in there as well.  Last night I pinned my life away and got a post out to you all :)

I had some more cleaning planned for today, but instead it has turned into a Lazy Sunday situation.  I did take a shower and now I'm watching some Youtubes and doing my own "research" online.  It's nice and relaxing, and my body deserves it :)  Hope you all are having a lovely Sunday as well, however you are spending it.

This "Lazy Sunday"is too busy for me ;)

Friday, February 21

Office PSA

If you need to cough at work, whether it's in an office or being the CEO of your household, please for the love of all that is good, COVER YOUR MOUTH!!! The other people in the radius of said cough will be greatly appreciative!  End of PSA.

Try the "vampire cough"

Thursday, February 20

If You Can Blog It, You Can Dream It!

Guess what I had a dream about last night (early this morning?)?  Yeppers, my hair.

This past week I've had some really vivid dreams, can remember I had them, and can even remember some details of them past my initial wake up.  Here's what I remember from last night's:

Before I posted yesterday's "thread" I actually tried to pull my hair all up in a pony tail one more time.  Partly to see if it had magically grown some and I could go back to throwing it up, and parlty because I didn't want to be a liar on my own blog.  In the dream I had already posted it, and thought I better try once more to see if I could pony up.  What do you know, there was plenty of it to do so with!  I ran over to a mirror to find that my hair  was actually down to my derriere.  What?!  That grew fast!  It was a little shocking, since it hasn't been that long in FOREVER.  If that part didn't clue me into the whole fact that this was a dream, the non-existent gray hairs definintely should have ;)  I felt so bad that I had "lied" on my post.  So silly!


Wednesday, February 19

Missing My Pony

I think the speed at which my hair grows has started to decelerate, or I had more hair chopped off than I thought.  It's been two months since Disney World, which means two months since I cut my hair for Locks of Love.  Which also means it's been two months since I haven't sent in the donation, but I plan on sending that around my Birthday (aka-my deadline).  And I still can't get it all to go back into a pony tail :(  Ugh!  It's my favorite go-to hair style, and I've been without it for two months now.  As you can tell a Fashionista I am not, nor do I play one on TV :)

Magic Kingdom 12/2013  Such a flattering picture ;)

Since I did not have the quick and easy option for my hair when getting ready for work, I've had to do other things.  Like use my flat iron, or maybe try and curl it.  My hair is pretty awesome though.  It's thick, naturally wavy, but will do pretty much whatever I want (read: try to do) with it and stay that way throughout the day. Plus, it's that pretty auburn color ;)  However the flat iron was leaving it too flat, but not putting gel in it leaves it to go a little to wild in the wavy style.  Lately I've just been putting some hair gel in after my shower and a quick towel dry and then letting it do it's thing. Which actually looks alright after it finishes drying and I don't look too crazy at work.  I still part it on the right side, but that has left me to discovering another change in my hair.

Gray hairs, like lots of them, like more than ever before.  And it reminds me that I've gotten away with my natural hair color for quite a long time.  The only thing I've ever had done to my hair is a hair cut.  When I get carried away I have L put in layers-ooooh scandalous ;)  I've never had any kind of color treatment, whether professional or at-home, nor other hair treatments, nary even a perm.

If I do have a biological child, I so do hope that they are blessed with my hair, and not just the color, because it's been really good to me! I truly do hope that if I do (or whoever I become a mom to), it happens before I really will need to change the blog's name to "My Gray(head) Thread."  Ugh, it will lose it's red thread coolness, and we don't want that :)

Tuesday, February 18

Ode to my Contigo

Two Christmases ago (how can it be that long ago already?), in 2012 I got a Keurig.  I have to say that is an excellent gift that gets used daily.  It's now the only coffee maker in the house, so I share ;)  We use the K-Cups as well as take bagged ground coffee and fill up a My K-cup, for a variety of flavor choices.  Now if you ask my sisters I'm more of a "I'll add some coffee to my creamer."  Honestly, my cup/mug is usually about 2/3 coffee, 1/3 creamer.  I definitely need the creamer to drink coffee though.  Back when I did the military 3-day diet and you were to drink a cup of coffee, black. . .yeah, I had like two sips and said, "Not happening."

I like to take my coffee to work most mornings, but sometimes I don't get to drinking it until a good hour or two after I make it.  Which means it's cold, or luke warm at best.  When it didn't start out as a iced coffee, I'm not exactly thrilled with that temp.  The travel mug I had been taking doesn't exactly fit in the microwave back in our private kitchen at work.  So adding heat isn't really an option.  After doing my awesome Amazon research, I found the Contigo.  Once I got my federal tax return and paid things, I took twenty smack-a-roos and pulled the trigger.

I couldn't be any happier with it!  It fits under the Keurig and really isn't all that hard to clean.  I can brew my coffee, add in my creamer cold, and it's still warm as I finish it at 1030.  Mine is pretty in "Polar White", which actually reminds me of my paint color in my room, Behr's Twilight :)  Which is actually like a light gray. What is also nice is that I could turn it upside down, in my bag and leave it like that the whole way to work, without spilling a drip. Last, you can pour piping hot liquid into it, and the outside remains cool as a cucumber!
Yum, Yum!!!


*Once again, this is just my feelings/review.  I bought this myself and am not being paid :)

Monday, February 17

Technical Difficulties

Sorry, I've been having issues with internet connections.  I will be back to posting tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 12

White Noise and The Mist

No, I'm not talking about a double horror screening.  One in which a man tries to communicate with his wife that has passed away, the latter where a town is taken over by a mysterious, and scary, storm and creatures that are hidden inside.

Nope, I'm talking about machines I use nightly in my bedroom.  My white noise machine, which I wish I had back in the apartment, really helps to drown out sounds to provide a good night's sleep.  After looking and researching, I chose this model from Amazon.com in August, 2012.  It is awesome.  It does a great job of blocking out a lot of sounds when I go to sleep.  Like if everyone else is downstairs, in the room beneath mine, I can only hear if someone talks low and loud, or usually sound effects from a movie (and that's probably more feeling it than hearing it.)  I totally get how it would help a baby or little kid to get some zzzz's.  Besides being remindful (yeah, pretty sure that's not a word ;) ) of the womb, it blocks out those little everyday noises that can make you jolt in your sleep.  Mom and I even took it during our trip to Walt Disney World in December, and ran it at night.  If anyone was making noises outside, it must not have bothered me, because that did not cause me to wake up.  I originally looked at them for a nursery item, but after reading how it sounded like a fan, but without the cold, I had to give it a whirl.  I'm glad I did!  I guess baby/child will have to get their own once they move to their room.

My other machine was a purchase within the past month, from Target.  I kept looking over three different models there, and I think I had them confused at one point, because I was a little disappointed that this one did have a filter.  I decided to like it enough to keep it and give it a chance.  The Vornado is a cool mist humidifier, that has been another nice addition to the bedroom.  It helps pump moisture into the air that is dried out from having the heater on.  I no longer wake up with a bloody nose and dry throat.  Well I did once, because I forgot to fill it up again before bed, and it does not turn off once it runs out of water.  So there's two things I didn't care for, but still not enough to deem it not worth the expense.  I'd really like to get the cute owl one for the nursery one day.

Photo from Amazon.com

One more thing I'd like to add to that combo is an air filter.  Especially in the nursery.  Doing some preliminary research it looks like "Baby's Breath" from Austin Air is the premiere one to get.  (And on a side note, I do not like the flower, Baby's Breath.  I think it smells horrid, though no one else seems to think it has a smell.  Do you?)  Yeah, that's a pretty hefty price tag, but goes on the dream list anyways.

Crazy the kinds of toxins that babies are born with already in their systems.  Ones that have been banned for decades, but still seep into our lives.

Anyways all that to say that the white noise machine and humidifier have been a welcome addition to my slumber, and hopefully to a nursery one day as well :)

Tuesday, February 11

Happy Mind + Healthy Body

It's the name of the Circle + Bloom program I just started yesterday.  Last night to be exact.  It's to help you change your way of thinking, to  make those healthy for you habits that you try to start but just can't hold onto, and make them stick.  I personally just like listening to the beginning where you do deep breathing and then move onto loosening and relaxing your whole body.

I'll be honest and tell you I got so comfortable that I listened to the first part of what she said on how focus on what it is you want to change, want to do that's healthier for you, and think of doing it and thinking how you love doing it.  For the rest I was probably starting to go to sleep, because I was so relaxed, that I didn't realize she had quit speaking until it was just the soft music/sounds portion.  Then she told me to either go to sleep or wake myself up.  Well, since I wasn't quite in bed yet, I had to wake up.  Luckily, you play that same session over for a week.  So Hopefully I can make through the whole thing yet ;)

I'm focusing this round on eating healthier, more whole foods, more organic, more better for your body type foods.  With a side of "get moving".  Last night before I did the mind + body program, I did walk on the treadmill while watching a repeat episode of Mike & Molly.  Super slow, no incline, but I did it.  We'll see if I do any tonight as I'm super tired and have a horrid headache at the top of my nose, in between my eyes.  I don't want to push my body when it feels like this though, because I'm never sure if my "blotch/hives" will show up or not.  I'd rather not deal with them this week.

I will update you next week when I start the next track for Happy Mind + Healthy Body to see how it goes, and of course at the end if I feel it helped.  It definitely helped to relax me though, and that's one of my goals this year.  If nothing else, it's awesome for that :)


*And just in case you're wondering:  I purchased the program myself, am not affiliated with Circle + Bloom, and am not being compensated.  I just enjoyed their IUI program and wanted to try another by them for "everyday" use.*

Monday, February 10

Farewell HIMYM and Jonathan Jacob "Jingly" Scmidt

Can you believe we are almost to the end of How I Met Your Mother?!  I have loved that show from the start, and can hardly believe that it has been nine years!  Then in the same month, March, they expect me to say good-bye to Psych too?!  Now I really hope that they pick up Supernatural for at least another year!
I can actually remember watching HIMYM at my apartment.  Then Big Bang joined the same night and I'd have Fazolis and watch my shows.  KK and I have always watched Supernatural together since the beginning.  And Psych, well I can remember watching a marathon one weekend, while playing Sims.  I can think of shows and remember what was happening during certain episodes.  Just like different songs can evoke different memories as well.

There was putting up Christmas in the apartment one year while watching the "French Twist" episode on Gilmore Girls.  (I just looked up the name of the eppy, and do you know that aired in 2006!  Yipes!)  I couldn't believe they got married!!!  Back in the apartment I had Thursday, Friday and Saturdays off and would spend Thursday cleaning it.  Thursday night would roll around and I'd be getting to the end, and getting around to vacuuming.  That would be around the time CSI: came on at night (when it was on Thursday nights.)  I would clean the living room during the show, and vacuum at commercial breaks.  I really remember watching the episode, "Built to Kill", where John Mayer was on and played "Waiting on a World to Change."  (Ugh, that was 2006 too!)

I can remember King of Queens coming to an end, watching episodes in my bedroom.  I've also learned a big lesson in how TV likes to portray adoption vs. how it really goes down.  Whether it's Doug and Carrie having no homestudy, and being called that their daughter is ready and flying the same day to get her, and will be flying back home the next day.  I'm sure there were also some people so excited to see they were pregnant as soon as they adopted (insert sarcasm here.)  Or now, with that Kay Jewelers commercial, where the parents are just handed a happy little baby.

I also can remember redoing my bedroom in the apartment, while watching Desperate Housewives, the season finale where they jump ahead five years.  Yeah, I didn't care too much for that.  What?  Big changes, you say?  Oh, yeah, I'm not one for those types of things, that's right ;)  And that five year jump in the future, well that would have been this TV season (2013-2014).  Crazy, huh.

Ok, well there are so many more shows and episodes that I could talk about, and maybe will one day.  But this is long and windy enough :)  I guess in March I can look forward to the return of Veronica Mars on the big screen (and whoo hoo for being a backer in that awesome Kickstarter!!!), while I say good-bye to Marshmallow and Lilypad, Robin and Barney, Ted and his baby mama, and Shawn and MC Clap Yo Handz :)

Sunday, February 9

Monthly Challenges

Here are some challenges that I could/can choose from for each monthly challenge.  I've linked them some blogs that have tried them to some of the challenges.  What do you think?

*Homemade food/meals each day.
*No spend month.
*No sugar for a month.
*10 min/day declutter.
*"Catch-up Month"  Write one handwritten letter a day to send in the snail mail.
*Limited Screen-Time.  Where you limit the amount of time/day you spend in front of a screen, from phone, tablet, computer, and TV.
*No Make-up.
*No 'Poo.  As in shampoo ;)
*Journal a day.
*Picture a day.
*Pay It Forward.
*Smoothie a day.
*Good Thoughts Jar.
*No eating out.
*Gluten-Free Challenge.
*Go Vegetarian for a month.
*No pop/soda.
*Scrapbook every day.
*Video Journal.

There are a ton more challenges, but this is a good starting point to choose from :)

Paperwork

As it is my Sunday off this week, I was going through and getting some paperwork done.  For me that was putting reciepts and bills away, as well as putting any loose papers that gather on my desk in it's own place.  It also reminded me that I had not added in the actual IUI costs in my "Costs" page/tab.

I have now corrected that, and my numbers all up-to-date.  I also went through my basket for bio baby, where I have kept all my receipts from the RE's office and the little pamphlets you are given with your medications.  I took that information and entered that into a nice little spreadsheet for myself, as well as wrote it down in my "Planning" notebook to get a gist of costs that would come up if I continue trying IUIs.
Should I go that way first I would definitely need to determine a set number of times I would be willing to try IUI before moving on to adoption.  In this frame of mind I would not move onto IVF.  That is mostly because I'm ready to become a mom through adoption just as much as through pregnancy, but I would like to give IUIs another chance as well.

Since it will have been awhile since my last IUI (6/13) though, I'm not sure how I would be treated.  When I say treated, I mean would I have to start all over with everything from the original bloodwork, another Sono, as well as Plan of Care visit.  Or would I just go right back into it as if I had just had an IUI the month before.  You know go and pick my donor and then my next cycle start the IUI process again.
I wrote down all the numbers and came up with some rough estimates for a few tries and the ranges of costs I could see.

I also have to face the fact that for the first time since I've had paid for my own health insurance, I did not choose the "best" plan.  However, when I was choosing and did not really plan to do any IUI/RE stuff and I don't have any major medical issues, the plan I chose is good for that.  Oh well, it will be bridge to cross when I get there.  I did look into seeing how much they would pay for should I start the process again, and of course this year it looks a bit harder to get procedures covered under the plan my company currently has.  And that is with either plan.  It appears they want you to have so many months that you have tried, without success, to get pregnant.  I don't recall that stipulation last year.  If that's the case, then none of these tries would be covered, and it would all be out of pocket expenses anyway.  Which means for a few tries it could possibly be from $7,000-$10,000.  Yipes!  I really feel for those who have tried so many times, with injectibles, and even IVF.  Then again, a child is priceless!

It seems like even maternity care (prenatal visits through delivery) costs went up.  It seemed when I looked into it last year, most everything was covered, with the exception of the co-pay for the first visit.  Again, this is/was for either plan through my company.  Now it looks like it will be about 3500-5000 dollars for prenatal through delivery.  I even went ahead, based off of this years prices, and figured out the rise in cost to cover me + child under the "best" health insurance, to add to the monthly budget to see if I can squeak by.  From where I'm at now (so the rise in cost would include me going from "silver" to "gold" as well) it would be a rise of $280.00 every two checks/month.

I'm not writing this post to complain about costs.  Just kind of to show you what I'd be working towards financially before even trying, as well as having costs for those who happen to stop by here in search of how much these procedures may cost them.  I always find it nice to have a little something planned/mapped out, even if it does get thrown out the window later ;)  It helps me to "clean" out my mind, knowing that I have figured out something, and it's more concrete than just an guesstimated idea floating around in my head.
I hope that you were able to enjoy the weekend, and do something beneficial for yourself as well.  (I mean I did do laundry, grocery shopping, and clean the bathroom as well ;) )  Chat with you tomorrow!!

Saturday, February 8

This Concludes Grocery Haul I

This is continued from the previous Grocery Haul post and is from two weeks ago.  We'll continue with my buys from Whole Foods.



Total Cost for Whole Foods comes to $117.02

Our last stop that day was Super Target.  Here is all I bought on 1/25/14:


The Grand Total here came to $52.22.

Which means that I spent $258.75, which was just crazy nuts.  That is more than I budget for two paychecks (or a month).  There is also a lot here that I have not ate yet, some produce did get tossed since I didn't use it fast enough, and there is also some more "bulk" type items and spices that are meant to last longer than one pay period.  The Zevia pop cans in each picture are representative of the 6-pack they are part of.  There was also some mascara and measuring spoons thrown in for good measure :)  I tried to buy as much of the produce as organic as possible.  I am going to make sure that going forward I really try and abide by the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen for future produce purchases.

Don't worry I'm back to my food budget!  KK and I went to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods today.  At TJ's I spent $40.47, and over at WF's it was only $9.90.  Add that up for a total of $50.37 and leaving $69.63 for basically our trip out next week.  I plan on oatmeal/steel cut oats for breakfast, salads-in-a-jar for lunches, green smoothies for afternoon snack, stir fry with jasmine rice/quinoa for dinners, and popcorn for snack.




Friday, February 7

In 4 more years. . .

In less than four weeks I will be 35.  Now 30 was a hard birthday for me.  It just seemed like a major change to move to this decade.  Hard enough that I had to go to Walt Disney World just to soften the blow :)  I don't know what's harder now, that this decade in my life almost at the halfway point, or that this is the well-known number where fertility takes a significant nose dive.  The former is still kind of abstract, I'm not too worried about turning the big 4-0 quite yet.  The latter though, that's a bit of a killer.  It's quite the reminder that if I really want to try to give birth to a child, the clock it is a tickin' and waits for no one.

Yes, there are plenty of women who have children later than 35, and there are also plenty of women who already face fertility issues at 25.  There could still be plenty of time, but then there may not, and only God truly knows.  There's lots to think about on this subject, but then it's the constant that I'm always thinking about.  Becoming a mom.  It's all jumbled in there:  What to do, how to do it and when to act on it.  Even though it's not happening now, nor is there a definite start date for anything.  Along with thinking how if my June try had resulted in a baby, I'd be preparing for their arrival around my birthday.

With today being the opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, I make a promise to myself.  By the next Winter Olympics opening ceremony I will either have had a baby, or be in the process of adopting/bringing home my child.  I'm going to be positive and think that it with be an either or situation.  However it goes, I will have made definite attempts before that torch has made it's way to PyeongChang, South Korea to begin the 2018 Winter Olympics!

Thursday, February 6

Grocery Hauls

I figured maybe I'd try doing some grocery hauls on here.  I know they are pretty popular over on youtube, but I'm not sure if that translates to blogs.  I'll go ahead and give it a whirl and you can let me know if this is just a waste of space or interesting enough to keep around as a weekly installment.

So This was from Saturday, 1/25.  KK and I went to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Super Target.  I'll be honest that I didn't go with a food budget like I normally do.  This week/paycheck I was just trying to see how it would go with some recipes and items I'd like to try, sans worrying about how much it would cost.

Here is what I purchased at Trader Joe's:



All of this came to a total of $89.51 (minus the Zevia Cherry Cola, that was actually a Whole Foods purchase--whoops!)

I'll post the other two hauls tomorrow and can even do a line by line breakdown of the individual prices if you'd like.  I went to Super T with Mimi tonight, and now it's time for bed.  Night, Night :)



Wednesday, February 5

Banking Wishes

While trying to think of what to write for today, I went looking through uploaded pictures to use  and then build the post around it.  I came across this picture of my favorite piggy bank.  It's a star giving bank from Hallmark, that I just fell in love with and recieved as a gift.  On one side it simply says, "Wishes".  The other says "A wish for someone else is the BEST wish of all!"  I got this years ago and it was part of the "original" nursery at my house.  As it fits the "wish upon a star" theme very well, and of course fits in well now too with my star love for future kiddo.

Don't mind that adorable Little People baby photobomb :)

I love that I can fill it full of monies to pay for expenses in bringing home a little one.  Ideally it can then be used for my first to help save up for their sibling.  Or to save up for whatever wish there is for someone else! It's in the current nursery and being filled up as we speak!

Tuesday, February 4

New Year's Revolution

"To eat more jelly beans this year!"


Have you seen that commercial--how cute!  Though I am a bit biased, I love all those AT&T "It's not complicated" commercials.  They tie with the Sprint, "Everything's Important" commercials. Totes McGotes!


But I digress, a lot.  I don't have any New Year's Revolutions, or even resolutions.  I have come up with some 2014 Goals for myself however.  Sorry, no funny commercial/clip to insert here.  I'm going to share with you, because well this a great place to document them throughout the year.  I guess I'm kind of throwing out January though.  Well, not exactly.  I've taken this month to really figure out what I want to do with this year, this blog.  I'm using the month to get that intial "cleaning" done for the year.  Getting the holiday decor down, getting a good clean of the rooms and bathroom, and beginning the phasing of "junk food" out of my pantry and fridge space, which of course leads to me consuming less of as well.  It gets my "spaces" all shiny and new and ready to put new habits into practice.

I have had a lot of thoughts and plans floating around  in my head, so what better place to get them organized than here.  I will also be writing them down in a lovely notebook for myself to reference off-line.  So, after much-ado, without further ado, my 2014 Goals:

*Read my way through the Old Testament.  I have never read the whole Bible.  To be honest I always start from the beginning and then only get through to about the same part each time.  Sadly, which even isn't that far.  It's hard to relate to for me, and sadly I lose interest.  I looked for a type of bible that had some kind of guide with it to sort of "bridge the gap" if you will, between my life and the bible.  I decided on an amplified version, which I bought last summer at a local Christian book store.  I haven't got that far, which is why I'm making it a priority this year.

*Getting back to church.  Yes, it is an area where I have been lacking, and for some time now.  I'm going to shoot for both Sundays that I have off (remember I have to work every other Sunday for payroll ending weekends), but I know if I can just start getting myself back in there at least once a month, I'll feel that urge to be there every Sunday I can.

*Read a book a month.  Something I love, but definitely have been slacking on, reading!  I even read one of the three books I got for Christmas, Stars.  Which was definitely a sweet read :)  I also was gifted Kisses from Katie and The Longest Ride.
Image from Amazon.com

*Journaling.  I am going to make it a goal to write at least once a week.  I think that should be doable.  Daily may just not work, and I don't want to give up in the first week with this goal.  I do find it enjoyable capturing snapshots of my daily (weekly) life, but I often get behind and then find myself writing for what seems like forever to catch up.  And then I just don't.

*Finish my quilt.  The raq quilt that is supposed to be on top of my bed.  The quilt that is this rosette light pink minkee fabric on top and the otherside is a collection of childhood sheets (and now maybe some t-shirts too).  The quilt that I started back the summer Moo was born.  It's coming up on 4 years, I need to get it finished!
   +I'd also like to add on here with a couple related projects that I'd like to attempt to get done/start this year as well:
          *Make the Woodland Tails quilt.
          *Make/have made cornice for nursery.
          *Make fitted crib sheet with Woodland Tails flannel fabric I have.

*The Hall Closet.  It's mostly filled to the gills with pictures and scrapbooking paraphernalia, as well as some other crafty things.  It is a LARGE goal, for me anyways, to accomplish in what is now a mere 11 months.  Trust me it will take each and every minute I plan to spend on it and then some.  As I've told myself before though, I'd really like to have vacations, family, holiday pictures all organized and put into some type of creation before I have a child that I'll want to document.  I don't have any spare closets to put more things in!  :)

*Trying a new recipe and a new food item each paycheck/pay period.  You know since that's what my life revolves around anyways (pay periods.)  Whether it's a complicated meal or a simple smoothie recipe, I want to expand my cooking repertoire.  I also want to stretch my tastebuds, whether it's a new fruit or grain.  I also want to make sure that I blog about what I tried, how it was, whether I'd add it to my rotation or not.

*Being active daily.  I've come up with what I'd like to start doing each day, each month.  I plan to let you all in at the beginning of each month, and then do a recap at the end of the month as to how it went.

*Eating less processed foods, eating more whole and organic foods.  While not exactly counting calories (at least in the beginning) just trying to move my mindset/tastebuds/cravings over to a more "natural" approach to food.  I'd like to share with you all what I'm buying from the store, what recipes I'm using, and my reviews to them.  Along with pictures :)

*I want to use the above goals to reach this goal:  Lose 10% of my current weight.  More importantly, once I've achieved the loss, keep it off through the rest of the year. I mean, I wouldn't stop losing, but I need to hang on to any loss made and not gain it all back :(

*The Outdoor Girl I am not, as you probably have gleaned from past posts.  However, one goal this year to is to choose a plant (veggie/fruit) to grow this year and to eat the deliciousness that it yeilds.

*I really enjoyed when I was doing Circle + Bloom's IUI Mind-Body Program when I TTC'd last June.  I found it very relaxing, especially upon coming home after work.  It was lovely to unwind, destress, and positively focus on one area for a small block of time.  I would really like to either find another program by them, or someone else, for just "regular" days and get back to that relaxing, mindful time each day.

*Coming up with a nightly "ritual".  You know that one where you actually wash the make up off your face and brush your teeth even if you're not taking a shower.  Then maybe do a little crafting or reading before going to sleep.  I do try and go to bed between 9 and 10 each night to ensure 7-8 hours of sleep, by the time I fall asleep, each night.

*Doing monthly "challenges".  Like the month I went vegetarian a couple years back, or when I stopped drinking pop for the month I was actually TTC last year.  For this month, February, I'm going to blog each day.  I want to have a new post out each and every day, like I did the first month I started this blog.  There are many different challenges that I could accept.  Be it food related to cleaning/organizing to handwriting a letter a day.  This way I can have many different goals this year, but may actually be able to accomplish them :)


*After February is over, I want to blog here at least once a week.

*Just staying open to how I become a mommy.  You know, instead of declaring that I'll be adopting and six week later stating that I'm going to start my family with a bio baby first.  Just being open to both, because I'm usually so black and white when viewing it.  It's either "this" way or "that" way, but not both at the same time.  I'll just surprise ya ;)  Yeah, right.

I'll link this under the "This Year's Goals" tab.  As well as any future mentions, to keep them all referenced in one area.

P.S. *oh, and I'd really like to go through and clean out all my e-mails.  man do I have folders galore, and I tend to stash any corresponding e-mail, read or not, in them.  i need to go through them one month ;)  maybe this one can be a "challenge", cause it will be a challenge to finish.

P.P.S.  If I think of any more, I'll add them in here :)

Monday, February 3

"So"

When I was going through my posts and making sure there wasn't anything overly personal in them that needed editing before bringing it back up, as well as changing some nick names, I noticed something.  I must love the word "so".  I used it so much!   It must be like saying "um" in a speech ;)

I think I spent the most time trying to reword my "so"s.  So as not to overwhelm anyone reading those posts for the first time.  It got to me so much that I have made it a goal this year, for this blog.  To cut down on the amount of times I use the word "so".

For those (yep, I was about to start this sentence with a "So, for those. . .) of you who cringed seeing the over abundance of that word in my posts, hopefully it will be on the decline.

("So" count: 7)

Sunday, February 2

"About Me" Selfies

Do you know how many dang photos I took of myself to get one I liked enough to have as "my" picture here on the blog.  Now granted, I could have had someone else take my photo for me and I'm sure they would have, but it was something I could do myslef and get what I wanted.  What I didn't want was to look like a lunatic or have that stupid uber fake smile you get after trying to smile for what feels like a million times.  I think the one I finally went with is pretty nice.



I mean you could have been stuck looking at this crazy face ;)

Saturday, February 1

Look at this stuff, isn't it neat?!

"Wouldn't you think my cute little blog is complete.  Wouldn't you think I'm the girl, the girl who has the sweetest blog?!"

Let me just say that I cannot believe January has already flown by!  I feel like the new year just started, but really were almost a whole month in.  I'm trying to get a handle on it and be more productive (like finish taking down Christmas decorations) so that I can get that "fresh new year" feeling.

Part of that feeling was to come up with some goals for this year, and one of them is blog more.  I want to start those "series" posts that I talked about last summer, and make the scope of this blog wider.  I mean this is part of the whole "getting to mommy" process/part of my life and it should be recorded too.  I want to be healthier, and one of those aspects is "eating less processed foods, eating more whole and organic foods."  It would be lovely for me if I could share some recipes, as well as food choices here.  Of course I wanted to add some pictures too.  You know liven up this little corner of the world.  You deserve it.  I deserve it.

One thing that I thought would brighten up the joint was a face lift.  Get all gussied up, and maybe look a smidge more professional as well.  I love looking at other's blogs who look fresh and easy to navigate.  I get a kick out of seeing watermarks on people's photos on their blogs, as well as a sweet signature at the end of each post.  I figured we all could use that here too.  Me to look at as I compile bits and pieces of my life here to share with the rest of the world, and for you to be greeted with as you join my comings and goings.

I started to look at people/companies who would do a custom look for my blog.  "Custom" though is kinda pricey--I mean $300-$600+ pricey.  Then I thought of place that I love to waste spend wonderful hours looking at one of a kind items made by all kinds of people, and "favorite" my way through with little red hearts.  I'm speaking of Etsy, of course.  I typed in "premade blogger templates" and spent a LOT of time looking through them to find just the right one.  Now "premade" means that the owner of the shop has already created a blog look, and that multiple people can have it.  They are still pretty special, and not as common as the standard ones that blogger has for you to choose from.  They are not however "custom", as in you are the only one who can/will have that certain design.  However, many of the creators/owners will do some "custom" work on them if you would like to let's say, change the color scheme.  Many also have "add-ons" that you can choose to further customize your blog's look.  Which, in my opinion, makes it pretty custom, for a fraction of the price.  I also love when you get to support someone's dream in the process.

I was so excited when I came across the Penelope Template in bellaluluink's shop!  I had really loved her OliviaGrace template, with the soft colors and those sweet clouds (I'm sure the adorable baby pic had nothing to do with it ;) ).  I also really fell for the Evie template as well, especially that heart (not to mention the same sleepy baby).  Not really sure how I missed Penelope the first time around, but I did look at other shops as well.  I came back to the OliviaGrace and saw the add-on selections were spot on for what I wanted to have done as well.  It was when I went back to decide between OliviaGrace and Evie that my eyes locked on the Penelope, and I knew it was the one!  And it's just for me, mine all mine!!!

I have really enjoyed working with the creator and owner of bellaluluink shop, Chelsea.  Seriously, if you are thinking of doing any updating, overhauls, or facelifts to your own blog, look to her shop!!!

I hope you too enjoy the new view here.  I sure think it's pretty.