Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Josh Turner Concert

We rarely go to concerts and we rarely plan things too far in advance, but last weekend was an exception.

Back in November we heard that Josh Turner was coming to Casino Rama in February and we decided we should buy tickets. We had no idea what our lives would look like come February or where we would be in our medicated cycles but we decided to bite the bullet and just book it in. We invited some friends to come with us and we looked into hotels near the casino, since it was 2 hours away from us and we knew we wouldn't want to make the drive back afterwards.

It was a quick trip away, seeing as we were gone for less than 24 hours, but it was so much fun and just what we needed to help distract us.

Josh Turner was amazing in concert and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Well, except for the obnoxiously annoying people behind us who kicked our seats and talked loudly the entire time.

We had amazing seats, only 10 rows from the stage, so we could enjoy the show without staring at the giant screens the whole time. Go me for snagging good seats early!

We have decided that concerts are a ton of fun and we really should try and get out to more of them. We've only been to a handful in our lives and that just isn't enough.

What about you? Do you go to concerts often? Or do you prefer to listen to music in the comfort of your own home or car.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Two Week Wait

For any of you who have ever tried to get pregnant, you probably know what the two week wait is. For those of you who don't, let me explain. The two week wait describes the time between ovulation and your period showing up, or not showing up. Basically, it's the longest two weeks ever waiting to find out if you are pregnant.

I used to think that this two weeks was long when we first started trying but I have since realized that it is much worse when you are seeking out fertility treatments. I feel like since we did an IUI this cycle, there is more pressure to be pregnant and therefore the time since has dragged out even more than usual.

It's only been 9 days since our IUI but it feels more like 9 months. I have been trying really hard to fill the days and find distractions but it hasn't worked that well. I'm a bit of an emotional mess and can't seem to decide how I feel.

All this to say, the reason for my absence on the blog is because I'm much to distracted to actually focus on typing anything. Or doing anything other than watch TV and stare at the clock. Sigh.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Things Friday

It's been a slow week around here, as I spent most of it painting and recovering from our crazy weekend of IUI's. I really didn't get that much done so I don't really have much to blog about. So I thought it was the perfect time to do a Five Things Friday post. Wouldn't you agree?

1. My Christmas cactus is about to bloom again. I'm pretty sure that this will be the third time in a four month window and I'm kind of delighted. It's in a tiny little pot with old soil and I keep thinking it must not be happy, but it continues to bloom so it must not be that sad. I may still transplant it come summer into something bigger but for now I plan on enjoying the beautiful pink blooms again!

2. I am so totally in love with my new Oh She Glows cookbook. Seriously, I never knew that I could adore a book full of recipes so much, but I really do. It is full of healthy vegan recipes and the pictures make you want to whip up every since thing. I've already tried 6 or 7 recipes from it and have been happy with every single one. I'll be enjoying leftover Soul Soothing African Peanut Stew for lunch. Yum!

3. I would like to take a moment to tell you how much I love cheap pregnancy tests. I ordered 20 tests online and only paid $27 for them. If you consider that one test from the drugstore costs upwards of $10, I got a pretty good deal. And I don't feel bad using them when they're this cheap! Since my trigger shot that I took last Friday has hcg in it, I am "testing out my trigger" so that I will know with 100% certainty that a second line will mean I'm pregnant when I test next weekend. That is, if I'm actually pregnant. Either way, cheap pregnancy tests are the bomb.

4. Since I'm still working on painting our room (only the trim left!), we are still sleeping in the old office. It's a little cramped but it works fine. Although I do admit, I'm excited to get back into our old room and start decorating and setting it up how I want. Plus, the extra space to move around will be nice.

5. I kind of wish that Pinterest was around when I got married six years ago. It has so many good ideas on there and I love looking at all the pictures. Good thing that both my sister and sister-in-law are getting married this summer so that I can live vicariously through them.

So there you have it, some random thoughts for your Friday reading pleasure. I hope you all have a great weekend and I shall see you all next week!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pancakes & Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I don't know if you remember what I did last year, but instead of giving something up I added something in. For the 40 days of Lent, I wrote an encouragement note to 40 different women in my life. I enjoyed doing it and I thought it was a nice idea of bringing joy to someone else instead of sitting around be sad for giving something up.

This year though, I wanted to give something up. But at the same time, I didn't. You see, my life is already restricted enough in the food category but it's been weighing on me a lot lately that I should be minimizing my sugar intake. Refined/processed sugars that is. I know that I feel worse when I eat a bunch of sugar, it's just so hard to stop. I love it so much. I also know that it's not good for me and our society eats way too much sugar.

And so, I have decided that this Lent, I will be cutting back on sugar. Yes yes, I know that this is also what I said last year in my Lent post and I didn't really follow it very well. But I plan on making more of an effort this time, since it's the only thing I need to focus on. Plus, my birthday isn't until after Easter this year, so I won't feel sugar deprived on that day!

My plan for cutting back involves finding substitutes for white/brown sugar, like honey, maple syrup, date paste, coconut sugar, etc. And also putting less than what is called for in recipes such as muffins and cakes. I'm also going to try and not buy any packaged cookies or ice cream, which I know will be hard.

Anyone else giving anything up for lent? And dare I ask, would anyone like to join me in my less sugar challenge?

Oh and who had pancakes yesterday for Pancake Tuesday? We did!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Medicated Cycle #2 - IUI

Since our first medicated cycle didn't work, we moved on to something new this month. Originally, our doctor told us that we would try two cycles with medication and timed intercourse and then regroup but he felt that after the first one, it would be best to move on to intrauterine insemination (IUI). So that is what we did this month.

First, he changed up my meds a bit. I stayed on the Letrozole but he lowered my dose by half and he added in Metformin. I, of course, am still taking the baby aspirin and prenatal vitamin daily.

Let me just take a moment to whine about the Metformin. Basically, it makes me feel super nauseated. I started on one pill a day and every week I have to up it until I'm taking three a day. Each time I up my dosage, I feel super sick for at least one full day. And then all the other days I feel sick on and off. It totally sucks and I whine a lot when I feel sick. Okay, I'm done ranting about the Metformin.

Weirdly enough, I responded well to the medication and I had a good sized follicle when I went in for my day 10 monitoring appointment. I was expecting to go in for at least three days before they told us to trigger but it ended up being immediate. So Friday night I once again gave myself a shot in the stomach.

As a reminder, the shot is Ovidrel and it triggers ovulation. Which means that I am supposed to release an egg within 36 hours of giving myself the shot.

So Saturday morning bright and early, we headed back to Toronto for more monitoring and then our first IUI!

I felt crazy sick (thanks Metformin) and it was bitterly cold, but we made it there in one piece. We had to stop and get gas on the way and we chuckled at the screw up on their sign. Too bad gas wasn't really that cheap.

In case you can't actually read the sign, it says gas is 001.9/litre.

I got bloods and ultrasound done, Dan gave his sample and then we had to wait for 2+ hours until our IUI. Nothing is really open that early in Toronto on a weekend and we didn't want to lose our parking spot, so we slept for a bit in the truck and then waited the rest of the time in the clinic's waiting room. At least they had free WiFi.

While waiting in the truck though, I spotted these bags of bread sitting outside a restaurant and I was really tempted to steal some. I didn't of course, but still, they made me chuckle.

Our IUI was scheduled for 10:00am but we didn't get into the room until after 11:00am. Waiting around sucks, especially when you're feeling sick. 

We finally got called back and then had to wait in the room for another 20 minutes or so. Making a baby is super romantic when you struggle with infertility.

Oh and did I mention that this was Valentine's Day? Ya, we know how to do that day well.

I tried to make the day a little better by wearing a pink shirt and heart earrings, but it was still probably the most unromantic Valentine's Day we've ever had. Oh well. If this cycle works, we can say we made a baby on Valentine's Day!

I wore a lucky charm for the first IUI, a lucky little pig that my friend Tory gave me. I don't really believe in lucky charms but it was still fun to have it in there and remind me that others were cheering us on.

The first IUI went well and both Dan and my results looked good. We headed home to rest up and before heading back the next day. I snapped this picture of us when we got home, after our first IUI.

The next day (Sunday) we headed back to do the process all over again. It once again went well and all of our numbers looked good moving forward. I also didn't feel as sick this day, which was a nice change from the day before. Our clinic believes in doing two back-to-back IUI's in order to give us the best chance at getting pregnant that cycle.

The above picture is right before our second IUI.

So that is where we are at in our infertility journey. It has definitely been a learning experience for us as we step into the world of medicated cycles and IUI's. Most of the time I feel overwhelmed by all the information.

Please think of us as we wait for the results from this cycle and find out if it worked or not. We aren't quite sure how to feel, since optimism is hard at this point. We appreciate all the support and love we have received so far from family and friends, so thank you to everyone who has been there for us.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Winter Has Arrived

Last winter sucked. Ask anyone around here and we can all tell you that it was the longest and worst winter for snow we'd had in a while. We had snow from November to the end of April basically. Well as this winter was approaching, we were hearing that it would be similar to last year and we all got scared. But lucky for us, it hasn't been! At least we barely had any snow until just a few weeks ago.

It seems like winter is finally here for the long haul though, since we keep getting more snow and having super cold temperatures.

I thought it would be fun to share some of our snow pictures with you guys so that you can see how much we have and also for comparison to last February. I always enjoy looking back at old posts and seeing how things have changed. So if you like to do that too, check out this post from last year showing how much snow we had then.

We probably don't even have half of what we had this time last year, but it's still our most significant snow fall this year. Lucky for us though, we were gifted an old snow blower last fall so now we don't have to shovel. Ahem, I mean Dan now doesn't have to shovel.

These above pictures were taken on Sunday and we've had some more snow since then. And I'm pretty sure the forecast is calling for more. Woot woot.

I'm about to venture out into it again. This morning the snow is super beautiful. You know those big lazy romantic flakes that fall slowly from the sky? That's what it looks like out there right now. My picture couldn't quite capture the beauty of it though.

How is the weather where you are? And for those of you who live in warmer climates and have daffodils and crocuses poking through the ground, I don't want to hear about it.

Oh and if you guys can pray (or just send positive vibes our way) that we have safety on the roads, that would be great. Tomorrow morning marks the beginning of our daily trips to Toronto for monitoring and the weather and roads are always a concern.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bedroom Makeover in Progress

The blog is lacking in posts this week because I've been pretty busy painting the bedroom and doing other life things while trying not to puke. The puking feeling is coming from my new medication I'm on, Metformin. Basically, it sucks. That's all you really have to know about it. Oh and that it's supposed to help me get pregnant. Who knows if it's actually working...

Back to the bedroom. We moved all our stuff (except for the bed frame because that has to be taken apart to get out) out of our bedroom and into the old office across the hall. We are now living in this lovely space.

And using the futon as our dresser.

It's a pretty cramped space but it works, especially since we know it's short term. Although Mia has discovered how fun it is to put her face between our heads and lick our ears, which is slightly annoying while being cute at the same time.

We moved everything out Sunday night so that I could start painting bright and early Monday morning.

I started with the accent wall and had to do three coats to finally get it looking good. I expected to do two but the third one was just plain frustrating. Since the wall is textured (see picture below), it was hard to get an even coat over it all.

The first coat looked terrible and I started to panic, but by the time the second one was on, I was starting to feel more confident. And after the third one? As good as it's going to get.

First coat

Second coat
The pictures don't really show the true colour of the wall, it's not quite as dark as it shows up on camera. But it's looking super awesome and I can't wait to get the other walls done and our furniture back in.

So forgive me while I busily work in our bedroom. I'll try and get some more posts up soon.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Foodie Friday - Rice Crispy Treats

I have an amazing recipe to share with you today. And when I say amazing, I really really mean it.

When I stumbled across the recipe on Facebook a few months back, I knew that they looked and sounded good but I had no idea how incredible they would be until I took my first bite. My sister Jackie can vouch for me on this one, since I was on the phone with her when I taste tested them.

So basically, go and print off the recipe from the beautiful Making Thyme for Health blog and make them now!

They are super simple to make and are a relatively healthy dessert. I mean, they obviously aren't like fruit or something but they use honey as a sweetener and dark chocolate.

You start off by melting your peanut butter (or nut butter of choice) and honey together in a pot. Then you add in your crispy rice cereal, salt and vanilla and stir until everything is evenly coated.

Then you squish it into a parchment lined pan and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. The recipe says that you can put it in the fridge or freezer to cool but the freezer takes a shorter amount of time so that one was a no brainer. I couldn't wait to try these awesome little treats!

Once the base was nice and cold, I cut it up into small squares and then drizzled my melted chocolate and coconut oil over the top. I could should have been more careful with this part but I was feeling lazy. So they aren't that pretty.

But who really cares, as long as they taste good. Right?

Dan doesn't normally like rice crispy squares but he thought these ones were pretty delicious. Which is pretty obvious since they are already all gone. We didn't have much self control when it came to these little squares of awesomeness. But can you really blame us?

Has anyone else been making any desserts worth sharing? I'm always looking for new recipes to try.


Foodie Friday Mini Series, Take 2

Week 1: Banana Bread
Week 2: Butternut Squash Soup & Flat Bread 
Week 3: Nutty Chocolate Bark
Week 4: Lazy Sunday Casserole 
Week 5: Teriyaki Meatball Bowls
Week 6: Rosemary Garlic Beef Stew
Week 7: Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins
Week 8: Pumpkin Muffins
Week 9: Tourtiere
Week 10: Gingerbread Cookies
Week 11: Aunt Jen's Meatballs
Week 12: Rice Crispy Treats

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Happy Knitted Socks

I usually make a lot of my Christmas gifts and this last Christmas was no exception. I decided I wanted to knit my sister Cora and her boyfriend Jeremie each a pair of socks. Not that big of a deal, right? Right.

Except it was a big deal because I somehow screwed up the measurements for Jeremie's socks and ended up making them too small. As in, they were snug on my feet. Oops. So, I decided to give the too small for Jeremie socks to my sister-in-law Tara instead. But if I did that, I would have to make a pair of socks for my brother Mike too or else he would never forgive me. He's been asking me to knit him some socks for a few years now and I was sure he wouldn't be impressed if I gave his wife some homemade socks and not him.

So I made him some socks.

In case you aren't counting, that is four pairs of adult socks. Which is a total of eight socks. And each sock takes quite a bit of dedicated knitting to make. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I spent way too much time knitting socks for everyone.

But since I was on a role, I figured I may as well make some toddler socks too, since I had leftover wool and tiny socks are adorable.

Baby Mike got his own pair of socks that matched Uncle Mike's.

And Alma got a pair that matched mine and Auntie Cora's. And can I just say, little kids in wool socks are adorable.

Everybody totally loves their new socks and were happy to show them off for pictures.

I've also had some people request socks every year for Christmas. I'm not sure that is going to happen since I had callouses from knitting so much in the fall. And since finishing the socks in December, I haven't picked up knitting needles since.

I'm very proud of myself for rocking the Christmas gifts this year and am excited that everyone loves their socks so much.