Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ovarian Cysts...

For almost the last month, I have been in almost constant pain. I talked with my mom about the symptoms I was having and she suggested that it might be cysts (she suffered from them for years). I went home and did research and sure enough, I am exhibiting most of the symptoms that occur with ovarian cysts. I have pain (horrible!), sometimes nausea, VERY heavy periods, just to name a few. So I have made an appointment with my midwife to get this checked out. In my research, I read that sometimes birth control pills can help alleviate the symptoms associated with ovarian cysts. That is probably going to be the easiest route to travel. I have been on the pill before so it's not a big deal. My only concern in this whole situation is related to fertility. I am slightly concerned about how these cysts (if indeed that is what I am suffering from and not something more/less serious) will effect my fertility. I know I have already been SO blessed with my boys and if, for some reason, I should become infertile, I will still be very thankful for them. But part of me still wants a little girl. And I just worry that this... Problem is going to effect my chances of having that little girl I so desire. So here is my question for anyone reading this blog. What effect, if any, has having ovarian cysts had on your fertility? Also, if you do suffer from them, what treatments do you use? I know this blog doesn't fall under the topic "happy" or "hungry", so thanks for sticking around. I go to the doctor Wednesday, so I will do an update on my diagnosis and treatment. See you then!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Big Plans for Ian's Bedroom!

I am so excited! I have officially started planning "The Construction Zone" as it will be called from here on out. My son, Ian LOVES anything trucks, tractors, and dirt. So I have decided to design his bedroom around his loves. It is to be completed by March. I know, a lot of you will wonder, "Why are you starting in September?" Well, I have a few reasons. One, we are on a strict budget and I have to buy things as I can, a little at a time. So it might take me a while to get everything I need for his room. Two, his birthday is in March and his bedroom is to be his birthday present. And three, I have two children, so it might take me that long to find the time to finish designing it! But I have TONS of ideas. Most are really expensive, but the wheels are already turning in my brain, trying to think of ways to make it cheaper. My plan is to redo his room for under $200. And that number is for EVERYTHING. Well, that's the plan anyway... I may completely blow my budget. But generally, I am pretty good at sticking with it. I just have to figure ways to do the really creative stuff for little to no money... Shouldn't be too hard, right? I will be documenting this whole process and taking pictures galore. I already can't wait to see the end result. Right now, his room is very... Bland. He did have a little bit of a theme going on, but it was just curtains and a blanket. I am really ready to delve in. This will be the first room I will have painted since we moved into our house. And in my mind, it's going to rock. I hope you will enjoy the journey with me.

I Hate Lazy Days!

Okay, well, not really. I just hate those days when you don't feel like doing anything -- even if you really do want to get a lot of stuff done. I am definitely having one of those days today. I look around my house and see all the things I need to be doing (and the list just keep getting longer) and I just don't feel like it. I just want to take a nap. I have no excuse for the way I feel (other than my extra late night last night), so I guess I just need to suck it up and do what I got to do. And right now, I have a kid wanting Mac-a-Ronies so I guess that's at the top of my list. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blogging It Up!

So I've been doing the blog thing for a few days now and I have decided that I love it! It's like therapy for me. Even if no one reads it, I know that I have voiced my issues for the day and it's out there. I hope that someone gets some entertainment or ideas or help from something I post, but if not, I'm okay with that. It's a way to document my life without having to write it in a journal. Because my handwriting leaves something to be desired and I write incredibly slow. Most of the time, the pen can't keep up with my brain. I usually don't have that problem when typing. So as of today, I have no followers, but that's just fine with me. I do this for me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Such a big boy!

My firstborn, Ian, is two and a half. Until just a few weeks ago, we were still partially co-sleeping. I made the great error in judgement when he started teething to bring him to bed when he would get fussy in the night. Everyone tells you not to let kids sleep with you, but when it's your first child, you do what works for you at the time. My husband worked nights and I felt more secure with him in the bed with me. But as he got older (and was still sleeping with us), the bed got smaller. We have a full bed (so it's kind of small for just my husband and me) and Ian is a roller/tosser/kicker. It stopped working for us! But I couldn't get him to stay in his own bed. When we bought our house, we got him a twin bed (he was 18 months). I would lay down with him in his bed until he fell asleep. And at the time, I was about five months pregnant. So even that was starting to be uncomfortable for me. But I would get up when he fell asleep and would go to my bed. He would stay in his bed until about 4:00 AM and then come and get in bed with me. And for a while, I was fine with that because I figured I was getting most of the night to sleep alone. But as I got bigger (and more uncomfortable) that stopped working for me as well. So most nights, when Ian would come get in bed with me, I'd get up and go to the couch (now granted, our couch IS super comfortable). I was CRAZY!!! What was I thinking??? Why didn't I just take him back to his bed if I was already up anyway? I blame it on prego-brain and exhaustion. Well, when Evan was born, I was determined to get Ian into his bed (and for him to stay there all night). We decided to let him watch a movie and fall asleep in our bed and then we would take him to his bed. This was so he could get used to falling asleep on his own (even though the TV kept him company). This worked very well. He no longer needed one of us to fall asleep, just Barney or the Wiggles. But he was still coming into our bed at about 5:30 or 6:00 AM. And for a while, I was okay with that. I was usually up anyway with the baby, so it didn't bother me. And I sometimes missed cuddling with him so it satisfied my need for that closeness that all parents who co-sleep know. Well, when Evan started sleeping through the night at two months (and would sleep until about 8:00 AM), it stopped working for me. But I was at a loss for what to do. So for a few more months I just dealt with Ian coming into our bed. So I concocted a plan. I started trying to cut out his nap during the day so that he would sleep longer at night. I might have been more than a little nuts to try to do this because what parent (in their right mind) would willingly give up their toddler's nap??? I guess I should mention that I'm not in my right mind most of the time. But he seemed to not really benefit from his nap, so I was willing to try it at least. So I began shortening his nap and making his bedtime a little earlier. I would do this on a weekly basis. For example, if I woke him up from his nap ten minutes earlier, I would put him to bed ten minutes earlier. And so far this has worked wonderfully. Most days he doesn't nap at all, unless it's been a very busy day or we're in the car (or if he is particularly grouchy). And now, he goes to bed about 9:00 and sleeps until about 9:00. It is AWESOME!!! On the days when he does nap, he usually gets up earlier the next day. For those of you who may think it strange that at two and a half, a child no longer naps, it is actually kind of normal. I asked a pediatrician and he said that by three years of age, about 25% of children no longer need naps. So it's really not that far-fetched. And if you are wondering if Evan is co-sleeping. The answer is a resounding NO!!! I learned my lesson with Ian. And although I LOVE cuddling with my boys. I don't love sharing my bed with them. And Evan has NEVER slept in our bed. Now, I am not condemning co-sleep. I actually think it's a wonderful thing, as long as it works for all parties involved. It no longer worked for us, so I felt like we needed to stop. But I say if it works for you, go for it. If we had a bigger bed, we probably would still be co-sleeping. But I like my bed (small as it may be) and we couldn't afford one anyway!

~PS: Ian is such a big boy now that he doesn't even need Barney or the Wiggles to help him fall asleep. It's all on his own! I love the quiet that ensues at around 9:00 every night!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One Word: Risotto...

Today, I made risotto. I had always been a little intimidated by risotto because it requires a lot of babysitting. But I decided to take the plunge. Well, it was worth the work (which in the end, really wasn't that much work). I now ADORE risotto. It's so creamy and delicious. I will definitely be making it often from now on.  It turned out just as I always imagined. I am now imagining ways to jazz it up and make it a meal all on its own. What to try next??? Any suggestions?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vanilla, Part 2

So, I went and got the vanilla I was desperate for last night. I followed the recipe to the letter and the end result was just down right pathetic. I am very disappointed in myself. Well, not really. It is just a cake. But I have always done really well in the kitchen (tonight's dinner can atest to that). My mom makes cakes and I feel like I should have inherited that from her. But like a lot of things (her tasteful home decor, her affinity for jewelry, baking), I guess I didn't. I don't even know that I could call my frosting by its proper name. It's more like a buttercream glaze (if such a thing exists). As far as taste goes (that should probably be the main judging factor, but I like pretty food), it's actually not that bad. The cake itself was a little drier than I like, but would be awesome hot under some vanilla ice cream and berries. And the "frosting" was super sweet, but still had a pretty good flavor. All in all, I guess for my first cake (from scratch), it was a good effort. But it is a little more labor intensive than I like. I don't have a stand mixer, so I was holding the mixer for the 15 minutes it took to bring the mix together. I have a feeling that come tomorrow, I will feel like I worked out. At least with "real" food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), the labor is usually more chopping and dicing, sauteing and roasting. And I actually find all of that to be kind of therapeutic, especially after a long day. At least with cooking, I know that the end result will be something my family is going to love... Most of the time. Sometimes though, even dinner turns out like the cake: a good effort, but not so good end result. Lesson learned: There may be a good reason that Betty Crocker and Duncan Heinz are multi-million dollar companies. They make life simpler. Cooking from scratch sometimes is not. Next time, I'll be glad to reach for that box of cake mix.

For the Love of Target

It is VERY rare for me to get out of the house alone. But today, my wonderful husband agreed to stay home with both of the boys so I could go get groceries. I usually like to go to the Super Target in Farragut. I know it's quite a drive just to get groceries, but they issue store coupons on their website and I usually have manufacture coupons to go along with them. So although it is a little out of the way, I usually save at least $30 on my groceries. And I also think they have a better selection of produce and other brands that Wal-Mart doesn't offer. But today, because I was on a time table, I had to go to Wal-Mart. It was HORRIBLE! They didn't have more than a few things on my list and it was so packed, I felt almost claustrophobic. I've never had an issue at Target with the crowd, line wait, or stock. I also take my own bags with me. Every time I go to Wal-Mart with them, it's as if I have inconvenienced them in some way. Yes, I know it might take a couple more minutes to load the reusable bags than the plastic ones, but I think I have more than enough plastic bags at home. I don't need any more. And with reusable bags, you can fit more in them, so that means less trips to the car. Not to mention, Target gives you five cents off for each reusable bag you use. In my opinion, it's win-win. When I checked coupons I intended to use, I realized I had only pulled out two the entire trip! It's usually 30-40 at Target. Today, I really missed going to Target. Lesson learned: I'll take the kids if it means I am able to save money in the process (and get everything on my list).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

No vanilla???

I wanted to make a cake... From scratch. I was feeling a bit adventurous in the kitchen and decided I was going to make a basic vanilla cake with buttercream frosting. My mouth was watering as I thought about it. I looked at the recipe I had (called a "1-2-3-4 cake") and it seemed easy enough. It called for cake flour and real butter. I didn't have either on hand (I usually DO have butter, but just ran out). But I wanted to follow the recipe to letter, so off to Wal-Mart for me. I got the cake flour and the butter, along with some powdered sugar and heavy cream for my buttercream. Glanced at the spice section and thought, "Do I need vanilla?" But I had looked up in the cabinet right before I left the house and saw I had a bottle. I did not, however, check to see how much was in the bottle. Big mistake. I got home from the store and laid out all my ingredients, fully prepared to have a wonderful confection by the end of the night. I reached up in the cabinet to get the vanilla and when I lifted the bottle, it felt empty (and when I checked, sure enough, there wasn't even 1/8 tsp left). I was saddened by this revelation. I looked down at my ingredients and sighed. I guess my cake will wait for tomorrow. But by then, will I even be in the mood to make it? Lesson learned: Don't assume just because there is a bottle in the cabinet, there is anything in it.