Sunday, July 24, 2011

Being Fruitful in Other Ways

My hubby and I have found other ways to be fruitful this summer. We have put in a couple of raised beds in our back yard and made one the beginnings of a flower bed for perennials (lilies and such that like tons of sun) and the other for vegetables. Since it was a new bed and we had laid a foundation of newspaper to keep out the bermuda grass (which didn't 100% keep it all out), we only planted a few things. We planted 3 strawberry plants, 2 jalapeno plants, and 2 green bell pepper plants. I really wanted tomatoes but I knew the roots would be too deep, so we bought a Topsy Turvy tree. We could have planted up to 6 tomato plants and three of something else like herbs or squash or zucchini. But we stuck with 3 tomato plants and one more strawberry just to see what happened. Then I later found out that strawberries are really perennials amd grow like vines, sending out "shooters" making new plants. Also, they do better the 2nd and 3rd years. Live and learn.

We have lots of green tomatoes right now. We have had a total of 3 tiny bell peppers and read recently that you have to fertilize those or they won't produce. So we've been fertilizing, but it may be a little too late. I just spoke with a couple at church this morning and they haven't used any fertilizer but they think it's because of their mulch.  We went out and bought the good compost from this place in a city close to us, so I am not sure what else we could have done.  The strawberry plants are sending out shooters like mad but we haven't gotten many strawberries and the ones we have had aren't the sweetest. So I need to research that, too. But...

I have said all this to build up to the big producers. Our jalapeno plants are creating so many peppers! My hubby is keeping a tally and we've picked 142 so far! We've made stuffed jalapenos and given tons away to coworkers. We made this yummy jalapeno stuffed chicken this past week. Then this weekend, I made jalapeno pepper jelly and canned pickled jalapenos! The jelly turned out sweeter than I thought it would be but it was good and it ended up making 10 4oz. jars. I got 3 jars of pickled jalapenos, which will make good pepper sauce to give as gifts at Christmas. I figure I'll probably be canning every couple of weeks this summer.  I'm hoping to have enough tomatoes to can as well!  The peppers pictured above were made into the jelly and pepper sauce pictured below.

So, do you have a vegetable garden this summer?  What are you growing?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The End...and Possibly the Beginning

Last Friday's bloodtest turned out to have a negative Beta.  By Sunday, I finally stopped spotting.  I'm so thankful.  The nurse informed me that she has no idea when I'll get my next period and it will possible be horribly heavy and painful and probably disgusting.  Has anyone else experienced that in their first period after a miscarriage?  How long did it take for AF to come back for you.  And, she also said that Dr. P is ready for us to come back for our second round of IVF.  I was quite surprised because I had planned to ask her for a consultation with him once the tests were negative, but I was going to ask him what we should do next.  I mean, if we can get pregnant on our own, should we just wait and see?  Why does he want us to do IVF?  So, I asked her to set us up an appointment for the Friday after we file our 10-Q at work.  I figured that way if we do decide to start a cycle then, it will be a little less stressful.  Of course, we'll be kicking off the budget process, but I have been doing a pretty good job, I think, of not being so stressed at work.  I think I might look into getting some meditation downloads.  I have heard a lot of people talk about doing the Circle + Bloom stuff, so maybe I will research that.  But, I don't want to feel stressed because I didn't take the time out of a day to do the meditation.  We will see.  I want to hear what he has to say first.

So, it's the end of a pregnancy and miscarriage, but possibly the beginning of our next steps.  I am excited to start doing something. I have been praying really hard for God to lead us in these next steps.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How's It Going "Down There"

I know it's been a while since I have posted. I have wanted to post, but I am getting home very late these days from work. Let's see, I went to the RE the Wed. before 4th of July and had a follow up beta, which was 157.  This was a good sign that my body is resolving things on its own and I will not have to have a shot of Methotrexate.  I was still bleeding though, like on a period - the period that never ends!  On Saturday, July 2nd, I thought that everything was about to stop because I had hardly no bleeding for the first time in a LONG time.  Sunday there was still some blood, but not much.  I had been really dragging lately and Sunday it felt like a switch turned on and I suddenly had so much more energy.  I figured that my body was getting over the miscarriage and wasn't having to work so hard to get rid of everything.  I had read it was normal to be tired during a miscarriage.  Well, since then I have been spotting.  Sometimes it is light and sometimes it is heavy, but constantly spotting.  And, sometimes I have a few very small clots.  I went last Friday and my beta was 32.  So, I am going back tomorrow. 

I am dreading tomorrow.  I had been doing so well with the needles.  I was telling myself it was no big deal, I was remaining calm.  Well, there are two phlebotomists in my RE's office, both of whom were not there when I was going last fall.  One of them I had all my previous visits this time around up until the Wed. before July 4th.  Well, she had done fine.  She had commented that my vein was a little hard once, but had no trouble getting it on the first try.  Well, this other lady I have gotten the last two times and she can't seem to get my "good vein". 

The first time, she stuck me and couldn't get any and I told her that I'd rather be stuck again to having her dig around. She looked at my right arm, but preferred to try my left again.  She still didn't seem to think she was getting anything good, so she called over the other lady.  At this point in time, I had completely leaned forward so that my arm was really hanging down so the blood would really flow.  I am short, so those chairs aren't the best for me because I feel like I am reaching up to get my arm up there.  Still, I handled the whole thing fairly well.  I did say that if she dug in my arm, I really might cry.  She said I shouldn't cry because she'd end up crying with me.  Then the other lady said that I was talking too much when she came over there to see what was going on and she finally got my blood.  Apparently I was getting nervous.  That was our first encounter.

Last Friday, she called me back and I was telling myself, "stay calm, don't get worked up..."  I put my arm up there and she felt around and pushed with her finger on my vein, then called the other lady over.  Then, they begin discussing how my vein is sitting on the tendon in my arm and they'll have to go shallow.  Well, at this point in time, I am all out headed for a panic attack.  One of them looked at the other and said "she's panicking".  Then, they told me to breathe and let me calm down a bit before the stuck me.  No blood.  Then, she starts digging around and I had to tell her twice not to dig around to just stick me again.  Then, they go for my right arm and start tapping and saying things like "superficial" about my veins.  No idea what that means.  I finally starting feeling a tightness in my throat and a teensy bit light-headed and said "I think I should lay down".  I went into the room and let my arm hang down and she had no trouble getting blood.  I may ask them to lay me down in the future just so that my arm can really hang down.  Does anyone else have this kind of trouble?  I had never had trouble in the few times before I started with IF treatments that I'd had blood drawn or gotten IV's

Oh, and while I am on a roll, that is not the only thing. Probably the reason I had such a hard time keeping calm on Friday was that I got to the office and signed in and sat down and 10 minutes later the receptionist calls me up and says that I'm not on the schedule.  Then, she smiles and looks at me.  I informed her that my nurse made the appointment for me the previous Wed. for 7:30am and told her what I was there for.  I felt irritated that she let me sit there for 10 minutes before calling me up there and then after she told me, she just stared at me instead of apologizing and saying "but, let's get you on the schedule and taken care of."  It wasn't like they were super busy or anything.  I really wasn't upset that much that I wasn't on the schedule because accidents happen and it was just a bloodwork appointment, people!  It's not that difficult.

Okay, so a quick "update" has turned into quite the post.  But, I apparently needed to get that off my shoulders.  I am having to work extra hard to keep from getting stressed out because we have so much going on at work.  We are about to go through the purchase of a company the same size as ours, roughly, so this should be an interesting few months!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


With all the other drama going on, I never really blogged about our vacation last month.  It was so much fun!  We left on Thursday night, May 12 and drove halfway to Tampa.  We drove the rest of the way down on Friday and then went to Busch Gardens and rode everything!  We went back on Saturday and rode a couple of rides but mostly we went to all the different animal attractions and went to several shops.  It rained that day, too.  We went to a free Michael W. Smith concert that evening as well.  We really enjoyed Busch Gardens.

On Sunday, we boarded the Carnival Legend.  We had a 7 day cruise to the Western Caribbean including Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan, and Grand Cayman.  We swam with dolphins, zip-lined, cave tubed, walked through the rain forest, layed on the beach, floated in the ocean, snorkeled, and shopped.  It was an amazing time!  We also spent quite a bit of time eating, laying by the pool, and going down the water slide!

Here I am on the slide:

Here is the slide:
Here is the view from our balcony (free upgrade!) 
 Here is the view when you zoom out.  It was an "obstructed balcony".

Here I am on the zip line in Belize!  After this we did cave tubing.
This is a view of Isla Roatan.  So beautiful!  We just did the beach this day.
Here we are snorkeling in Grand Cayman.

As you can see, we had a great time.  It was the perfect mix of being busy doing fun vacation activities and then spending time relaxing.  We love cruising!