Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My Miscarriage Experience...everything you did (and didn't) want to know

Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts about last week's news.  I still have to remind myself that I'm no longer pregnant, and there won't be a baby in January.  I wrote about how this miscarriage reminded me to be thankful for not only what I already have and how fortunate I am, but also finding the good in this bad situation.  I'll admit that my feelings weren't, and still aren't always in line with being thankful, but when I catch myself drifting into other places, I repeat all there is to be thankful for in this particular situation.  I've had some wonderfully supportive friends who have texted me everyday, came over to visit, and some of us have become closer friends as we bond through failed cycles, and miscarriage together.  

I wasn't sure how I wanted to address this new found story of my journey, but I found it rather surprising that people would private message me that they themselves had had a miscarriage, or I could see on someone else's post a request to private message them if they wanted to talk about it.  So, in typical Aaryn fashion, I'll bless you with over-sharing how my miscarriage went down, because you know, I'm all about #endingthetaboo and now, that gets to include miscarriage.  

My doctor gave me three options: let the miscarriage happen naturally, have a D&C, or take a pill.  I didn't want to wait for this to happen on it's own-I hate surprises, and the thought of spontaneously hemorrhaging in the grocery store, or while at the gym just didn't appeal to me.  I also thought the D&C was a little invasive and there is a risk of scarring the uterus, so I didn't think that was the best option, even though my doctor said he had no problem doing it for me.  So, I opted to take the pill, mysoprostol, or cytotec.  It's small pills that get inserted vaginally, 4 at a time and they open the cervix and cause contractions which help the uterus empty out.  It should start working within 4 hours, but, if nothing happens within two days, you repeat the dose.  Even though I knew this needed to happen, and I wanted this to be planned, I had a hard time working up the courage to actually insert the pills, knowing it would ultimately be a cause of pain to me.  I swear by self talk I mean, who doesn't talk to themselves in the mirror anyway...but some things I said to myself were: tomorrow will be better, you can handle this, it'll be over soon, be grateful this is it.  And with that, Saturday night, I inserted the 4 pills.  Thankfully, within an hour, I started cramping.  
Tip #1: Take Tylenol a couple hours before so you're pain free when the cramping begins.

My doctor had told me that I would need to insert a tampon after the pills, and I thought it was to keep them in, but it was really to catch the contents.  The tissue and clots can't be absorbed into a pad, so it was really much more comfortable to have it collected this way.  He also told me I needed to see what came out so I would know if the pills had worked and if I had passed the sac because any remnants can cause infection and prevent complete healing. So, around 4am, after having relatively strong cramps, I figured I must be bleeding, and I worked up the courage to go check things out.   
Tip #2: You don't actually need to see what's going on, because you can feel it.  Even with blurry vision I could tell the tampon had collected tissue, and I felt the sac come out.  Also, because I'll go for an ultrasound on Thursday, I'm not solely relying on my examination of passed tissue, so I felt rather comfortable turning a blind eye.  

I had been told to expect a heavy period, but it really was more than a heavy period for a few hours.  Bright red, dripping blood, not slowing down; I wasn't terribly concerned because I wasn't filling pads at an alarming rate, but it was definitely worse than a heavy period.  Around 8am, my cramping had eased and the bleeding had slowed down to almost nothing.  I kept up my Tylenol round the clock and besides making the trek to Dunkin Donuts shocker right?!? I stayed home and didn't do much other than go between my bed and the computer.   I woke up Monday morning feeling really really good, and that was where I made a mistake.  Which leads to
Tip#3: healing takes time, and when you feel good, you tend to overdo it, taking a few steps back.  
I promptly ended up back in bed for a couple hours until the cramping/pain subsided.  Unfortunately, it happened again this morning, so I think it just might be par for the territory.  I don't cramp much during my period, so these cramps have been interesting to deal with-I don't know if what I'm feeling is normal or not.  

Thankfully, my friend warned me that the bleeding picks up a few days later as the lining begins to shed.  That happened today, or maybe it's the combination of the increased activity, I don't know for sure.  I've continued Tylenol and just made sure to sit when I can, not carry anything too heavy, and be in tune with my body.  I can tell my strength is increasing, and I don't feel as sore as I did even earlier today.  I describe the feeling as sore or tender.  It reminds me of the feeling you have after you deliver a baby-the uterus isn't cramping or painful, just kind of sore.
Tip #4: Listen to your mind and body.  I asked on a message board what were the limitations with a miscarriage and when can one resume normal activity?  The answers and experiences varied, but one thing was certain: do what feels right for you, emotionally and physically.  Physically, even this morning, I didn't feel I was even capable of taking a walk.  Tonight, now that I'm up and about, I think I could do it.  Emotionally, everyone is different.  On Saturday I was angry, and scared.  On Sunday I was sad.  On Monday I was sad.  Today, I'm ok.  But, I didn't try to hide my situation from anyone.  When asked how I was, I bluntly stated, "I'm ok, I had a miscarriage on Sunday," and when I needed some grace, I have found everyone to be very understanding.  
Funny story from today: I made sure to pick up some super duper pads beforehand, but that was the only thing I looked for.  Unfortunately, I didn't get ones with wings.  It wasn't a big deal, until I resumed real life.  I brought one extra pad with me, because I wasn't anticipating filling both, but, after first period, I went to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding decently, and my pad was scrunched up in the middle, leaving the sides of my underwear exposed.  Flashback to 8th grade when I bled through the tampon, pad, and all my clothes....I panicked and started asking all the females if they had any pads with them.  Thankfully, one of my co-workers was going to CVS on her lunch break and offered to pick me up some pads with wings.
Tip #5: get pads with wings! 

Here are my recommended miscarriage survival tools: 

A hot water bottle  was great for when the cramps became too much and I couldn't take more Tylenol.  It can't go in the microwave, so using water from a hot water urn worked wonderfully and I found this to be super comforting.  Additionally, Extra Strength Tylenol, pads with wings, Gatorade, and lots and lots of donuts. To be fair, I asked my friend how many donuts were too many donuts, and she told me anything less than 12 was acceptable in this situation #score

When recovering from narcissistic abuse, be gentle with yourself ... very gentle, and very patient.  Healing from such abuse does not happen overnight.:   

UPDATE: Today is day 4, and without a doubt I feel back to my normal self (physically). So, the lesson here, is that if you have to ask yourself if you're feeling ok, then the answer is no. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Munchies...Memorial Day

I was sitting at a meal this past weekend and as I was eating some coleslaw, which I love by the way, it dawned on me that it's the epitome of a BBQ, and who doesn't love a good BBQ on Memorial Day?  Of course, we need to take a few minutes to remember what this holiday really means...

Land of the Free Because of the Brave Print
and although most of us have no idea what's it's like to have a loved one overseas fighting for our freedom, most of us can appreciate family time and be thankful for the time we are able to spend together.  Especially when those moments are few and far between these days.  

Anyway, back to the coleslaw.  With no fat, and a low carb option, it's really a great bulk food item.  Plus it's crunchy, which always adds a nice touch.  

This Copycat Chick-fil-A Cole Slaw recipe is amazing! This is the perfect side dish to any BBQ or potluck! I saw someone recently post a copy-cat recipe for this coleslaw, apparently it's really good!  It looks like your typical coleslaw.  

Apple Cranberry Almond Coleslaw | Cooking Classy With craisins, you get some added texture and sweetness! Plus this recipe has less mayo and uses honey instead of sugar.  

Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw - Wonderfully tangy and refreshing, and the perfect side dish to any meal! This has the tangy and sweet going on.  This strikes me as super summer-y.  

 vinegar-based-coleslaw  For those of that want to do without the unnecessary fat and carbs, the only fat in here is from olive oil, and one tablespoon of honey!  This seems like a really good, health friendly option.  

Tip: If you are invited to a BBQ, or any party/meal for that matter, offer to make a dish that you don't want to miss out on, or want to lighten up, that way you're in control! 

Friday, May 27, 2016

How my miscarriage taught me to be thankful...

I guess I should apologize for the spoiler...but, this pregnancy is officially over, and for that, I'm thankful.  Let me explain...

This morning, my husband and I made our way to the doctor, where they took blood, and did an ultrasound.  The ultrasound revealed absolutely no change from last week; just the same, empty gestational sac.  Thankful.  This past week I've had a lot of time to think about today's horrible, terrible, result.  But, it dawned on me as we were driving this morning that it was possible that what we saw could be inconclusive.  As in, maybe some development, but not where it should be, maybe a yolk sac and no heartbeat, maybe an abnormal heartbeat...and so I prayed.  I prayed that this should be a clear answer-either let it be great, or let it be terrible.  And although we got the terrible result I so feared, thankful.

They say bad things happen in threes, and unfortunately there have been two other tragic losses that have had a somewhat personal connection to me.  One was a fitness blogger I've followed for awhile, we even corresponded once.  She was finally pregnant with her second child, at a young 30 years.  Unfortunately, the baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome a few weeks back, but she embraced it beautifully.  At 31 weeks, her son was born still.  Yesterday, a friend from college posted that at her 16 weeks ultrasound a few days ago, there was no heartbeat.  Me, 7 weeks, no heartbeat. Thankful.  I don't need to have a procedure, or deliver a baby.  Thankful.  I'll take a pill, and this will pass naturally.  Thankful. 

I have had so many friends offer their advice and support from their own miscarriage experience(s).  Thankful.
I have received messages about how strong and inspiring I am.  Thankful.
Although, let's be honest-you all give me the courage and inspiration TO share, and for that I am thankful.
I have had friends offer to help with whatever it is I need; I even have a small lineup for the weekend-and yes, they come with ice cream.  Thankful.

I have the smartest, most supportive doctor anyone could ever have.  With tissues now sitting on his desk, just in case.  Who let me cry, and ask my questions, and let me choose my path for how I wanted to handle this, and how I want to move forward.  Thankful.

I have a wonderfully supportive husband who supports my every move and has allowed me to call every shot in our fertility journey.  He knows how deep my desire is to continue to grow our family, and although fertility treatment is a strain financially, but also emotionally and with time, he is on board with whatever my decision is.  Thankful.

To soften the blow of this horrible and unplanned turn of events, are my three amazing, loving, smart and caring children.  I knew before just how miraculous they were, but I guess it never hurts to have a little reminder.  Thankful.       

It dawned on me on the drive home, just how miraculous my journey is.  In today's discussion with my doctor, he told me, that even at age 20, which was when my embryos were conceived, there's only a 50-60% chance the embryos will have normal chromosomes.  So if you think about it-to only have ovulated one time, AND gotten pregnant, AND have it result in a healthy, live baby, is just mind blowing!  Beyond thankful.  

There are so many things to be thankful for, even with today's loss, because today, is just a thorn among the roses. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Munchies...

Thanks to all those who commented and reached out to me on my last post.  Oddly, I have felt such a sense of calm since Friday.  It's as if what I knew was going to happen has finally passed, and I can finally put it behind me.  Of course, I so hope this works out, and we're optimistic, since there seems to be ample room to actually believe this to be the case and maybe it isn't as grim as I was first made to think it could be.  But at the same time (and I hope this isn't violating some PC rule by stating this "out loud") if this isn't a healthy pregnancy, a blessing would be for it to end early and quickly.  Ahh...so maybe I'm not as hopeful as I am trying to appear?  The truth is, my gut tells me it's going to be fine on Friday.  I have such reason to think that with such good, rising numbers, combined with being so early and the fact that it was a frozen transfer all will be well.  But, the reality is, it might not be, so I have to keep that in mind.  I won't be doing myself any favors by putting myself into a position where a repeat of Friday will be just as, if not more devastating. I'm on my second pint of ice cream in two days, and for now, I'm laying low, anticipating Friday-in a much better place than I was last week.      


We all go through seasons in life, and for awhile, my season was not cooking for Shabbos.  I would buy the large special which consisted of a rotisserie chicken, a kugel, a salad and a soup, for about $22.  Couldn't beat it! But then, I got serious about my dieting lifestyle on the weekend, and realized that if the soup options were too carby, I couldn't justify the special because going through the hassle of making a chicken soup (bone broth and not many carbs, but loaded with protein from the chicken) made the special not worth it!  

The kugel we frequently bought, which was so yummy, was the cauliflower kugel.  Many years back, a faux potato kugel recipe was going around, which was very similar.  We all know cauliflower is like the magical vegetable-it can act as our favorite carbs-think mashed potatoes, rice, thick and chunky soup, pizza crust...the list is endless-have you ever searched cauliflower recipes on Pinterest?!? #mindblown 

Anyway, my husband loves the cauliflower kugel, and I appreciate that since it's a carb friendly option.  However, the ready made kugel sells for $7, where I knew I could make one for much less.  This past week, I had my first attempt. It is by far, the easiest kugel recipe-the faux one I mentioned earlier, was so time consuming and difficult, it was almost not worth it.  This is so easy, one bowl, takes about 5 minutes to make depending on your cauliflower choice, and was gone in less than 24 hours!  

1 head cauliflower or bag of frozen cauliflower 
1-2 tablespoons of onion soup mix 
2 eggs 
1/4 cup mayonnaise 

Cook or steam the cauliflower-I actually bought a regular bag of frozen cauliflower.  However, even microwaving it didn't have the same effect as the frozen bags specifically meant for steaming.  In the future, I would definitely buy the frozen cauliflower in a steam bag, or just boil the frozen cauliflower.  

Drain the water then mash the cauliflower. 
Add in the onion soup mix.
Add in slightly beaten eggs. 
Pour into a greased pie pan or small 9x9 pan and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

This was such a hit and so easy, and you know I didn't follow the directions to such a T.  But, I definitely think it would be better onion soup mix as oppose to the chicken I used.  I'm also going to try using two bags of cauliflower since it came out thin and mushy.  The fact that this was so easy to prep, and doesn't require such specific ingredients I will definitely be making this again!  

Friday, May 20, 2016

When you have to un-tell your pregnancy...

So, it looks like I probably have to untell my pregnancy...part of me thinks I jinxed myself by telling you in the first place, but I know that's not true.  Part of me is angry at myself for announcing my pregnancy so early, the other part of me knows this is just part of the journey and there's no shame in exposing this part of it.  According to The March of Dimes, 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, mainly before they're even detected. Of those that make it to detection, 15-25% then end in miscarriage.  It's relatively common, yet most people don't talk about it as it's happening.  I guess it's another taboo topic. My bestie and I talked about a week ago about sharing a miscarriage and although I couldn't say for sure at the time, I know that in the moment-my natural instinct is to share.  

I shared last night that I had a gut feeling things were ok-and there still is that glimmer of hope.  But, the whole week I just couldn't shake the feeling of terrible news at the first ultrasound.  No matter what I told myself, no matter how reassuring my numbers were, something just told me today would be bad.  

In an Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) environment, monitoring is done more frequently and earlier than regular.  Around the time I am, 6 weeks 1 day, my doctor does ultrasounds.  Typically, you can see a gestational sac, a yolk sac and a heartbeat.  However, it's possible that the yolk sac and heartbeat are slower to develop, especially in a frozen embryo transfer, which sometimes take longer to develop.  Today, all we saw was a gestational sac-and I didn't even think to ask at the time if it was of appropriate size given the gestational time. It seems odd considering my numbers have been rising great! It's also somewhat reassuring the bleeding I did have Tuesday was not a miscarriage and things could still turn around.  

At first my doctor said he is not hopeful, and we talked about options: letting this pass naturally, doing a D&C, or taking a pill to induce the miscarriage.  But, we have to wait.  When he realized I was only 6w1d, he said it really could be too early, my numbers look good (I'm still waiting on today's numbers), and that he has seen it go either way at this point.  When  I went through my rounds this morning, of texting those who needed to know-13 people, 3 of them told me personal accounts of the same thing happening to them or someone they know personally.  It made me feel a lot better.  

 I don't know what to make of my feelings anymore-they're so strong, but each on the opposite side of the spectrum.  I have strong feelings this will all be fine, but I had such a strong feeling that today would be bad. My "bad" feeling wasn't about a miscarriage or an end of the pregnancy, I keep feeling a successful pregnancy.  But, I also had a dream a few weeks ago about twin girls- which really freaked me out.  Since we only transfer one, it's highly unlikely (although it can happen) to end up with twins, so having that premonition means this won't work out. (Mr doctor mentioned doing another transfer after a couple cycles off, and he suggested transfering two then, so that even more solidified my twin premonition because this is the first mention of ever transfering two So, I really have no idea what to think other than this might end badly. It is possible I'll have a miscarriage naturally, so if bleeding doesn't bring me in before Friday, I go back then to have another ultrasound.  If we don't see change, like the development of a yolk sac, then I'll go to my OB who has more sophisticated machines just to get another set of eyes on it before we do anything.  If a yolk sac is there with no heartbeat, we'll wait another week just to be sure.  And of course, it could also be that there is a yolk sac and a heartbeat. 

And so begins, a likely two week wait, again.   

UPDATE: My doctor just called me, my hcg went up to 15,000 which is great, and my other numbers look really good.  He sounded very hopeful and told me, "I wouldn't throw in the towel yet." He also said based on the numbers it doesn't look like I'll start to bleed spontaneously. That's the best we could hope for in this situation.  

Funny story from today: I, of course, was crying after the ultrasound and there were no tissues in the waiting room, and then there were no tissues in his office.  So I'm sitting there crying to him, and all of a sudden I throw my hands up and yell, "You don't even have any tissues!" So he runs out, "I need tissues, Aaryn needs tissues!" 

To be continued...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thoughts for the night before...again

So, I coincidentally have found myself at the end of another two week wait.  Two weeks ago I wrote about why I chose to be open about this pregnancy from the beginning, and my thoughts the day before finding out the result of this cycle.  It has been two weeks of blood draws, really, really good, strong, increasing numbers.  But then, I started spotting-and it was fine at first (tmi, it was brown-which they say is ok because it's "old blood"), my numbers came in great Monday, despite the spotting, but then Tuesday night the bleeding picked up.  Thankfully it was a one time deal, and it was relatively light, and no cramping.  

Have I grossed you out enough yet?

This incident was over just as quickly as it started, and I don't have a real reason to think things will be bad tomorrow.  The truth is, my gut feeling tells me things will be great this pregnancy, whereas with Hannah's pregnancy my intuition told me something was wrong, and I was right.   The thing is, after talking the situation over with my bestie, I realize that I chalk pregnancies up to "luck," and I feel that naturally, my luck will come to end.  And by end I mean, loss of a pregnancy.  She quickly reminded me that "life is not a series of checks and balances." And she's right...and the other thing-even if my gut feeling is wrong, even if life's not all about  checks and balances I'm not in control, and there's nothing I can do to change the outcome of this situation.  

I'm trying to think of the positive outcome that can occur tomorrow, while at the same time knowing that it is possible to have a negative outcome too.  

But for now, all I can do is hope...

Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best. For more quotes and inspirations: http://www.lifehack.org/289857/sometimes-the-best-thing-you-can-not-think?ref=ppt10:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Munchies...

I thought I was going to have an ultrasound to report back with, but my doctor decided it was too early, and there was still a likelihood we wouldn't see what we needed to see, and that would cause a lot of worry until I reached a gestational age where we would know the situation with certainty.  I did have a blood draw, but did not hear back about my levels (although they said they wouldn't call me with the numbers if all was well, I'll call in the morning and report back here tomorrow!) For now, things continue as normal, and I go back on Friday for my first ultrasound.  

I'm not really sure why I did this to myself, but torturing yourself with pictures of food, while trying to stick to your daily calories, is always fun right?!? My kids have recently been obsessed with waffles, and by obsessed I mean we go through a Costco sized box a week!  Some like it plain, some like it with syrup, some eat only one waffle at a time, while another makes himself four.  But, there's no question that they like them for breakfast and dinner.  With this obsession, how awesome would it be to make some real, homemade waffles?  Too bad I got rid of my waffle maker long ago.  But, in case you still have yours, here are some drool-worthy ideas!

Cinnamon Sugar Churro Waffles Cinnamon sugar churro waffles-yum!

Brownie Belgium Waffles A La Mode | FoodGaZm..:  I mean, yes please! 

belgian-waffles-3 Here's a classic for ya! 

PIZZA WAFFLES with just 3 ingredients! These yummy waffles take just a few minutes to make and are easy, cheesy and crazy good! We do like waffles for dinner...maybe this will work!

And if waffles make you cringe due to their high carb content, all the rage is the 1-carb waffle! 

1 scoop protein powder {30g}(I've read vanilla is good)
1 egg
1 teaspooon baking powder
2oz skim milk or water

I'm definitely going to have to get on board with that! I wonder if they freeze well! I love that this is a classic breakfast food, but you don't break the carb bank early into the day.  Plus, you can probably find a way to adapt the above recipes-think chocolate protein powder, or the pizza waffles...yum! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Something's Growing...

I can't believe tomorrow's Friday! As usual, the week just flew by, and I am struggling to keep my head above water.  We've had plenty of evening activities, and I didn't make it to bed before midnight any night-and last night was past 1am. I had to take off my gel manicure, and that took me about two hours.  Please remind me not to do that again! It lasted perfectly, but there is just not enough time to guarantee I can make it back to take it off!   

Speaking of nail polish, I'm loving the new OPI Hello Kitty Collection.  I already bought two shades: 

 Image result for let's be friends opi This shade is called Let's be friends and it is truly pink and opaque!  It reminds me of Fiji, but just a better texture making it an easier application.  I love love love it!  

And of course, because who can stay away from glitter, I also bought, from the same collection, 

Image result for charmmy and sugar opi  This is called Charmmy and sugar.  I haven't tried it yet, but my obsession with glitter continues, so I'll have to try it next.  Maybe I'll move the Let's be friends to my toes.  

Anyway, the real reason why you came here...I had my second beta HCG (pregnancy hormone) blood test on  Tuesday morning.  My estrogen came in around 175, progesterone was 13, and my HCG was 424 which they said was perfect. Today, I went back for another blood draw.  Feeling a lot better after the last blood draw, my heart sank when I got a phone call so early in the afternoon from my doctor's office.  Thankfully, I was greeted with a chirpy nurse who told me my HCG was up beyond 1100, my progesterone climbed to 19, and my estrogen was also close to 500.  Talk about panic!  

I still have yet to sit down and write my thoughts on this pregnancy, and I will try to do that tomorrow, so you can have some insight into what's going on in my head. But, until then, things seem to be moving right along.  I am continuing all medications, nothing has been reduced-estrogen, progesterone in oil (injection) and a progesterone suppository.  I go back on Monday for my first ultrasound...alone.  I think I'm ok with that, but I don't have a choice.  

I hope everyone has had a great week! 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Thanks for all the well wishes! I'm only slightly acknowledging them out of fear that I'll doom the pregnancy!  I'll be back tomorrow with an update on that front, here's hoping for more good news! 

Although I can't be certain, and the culprit shall remain nameless, see above, I've been craving salads.  I was never much of a salad eater-I'd eat it if it was served to me at a meal, sometimes I would order it when I was being diet lifestyle conscience, but I definitely would not go out of my way to make my own salad!  However, I've enjoyed quite a few salads these past couple of weeks, including a steak salad for dinner.  I'm currently dreaming of my next salad, which will be homemade (I know right?!?) for a small dinner gathering this Thursday night.  I'm really loving the idea of all the spring/summer fruit that can be thrown in.  I'm also really missing all the nut options, but, what can ya do?!? 

Here are my top faves after perusing Pinterest 

Spring Salads 

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad I'd obviously have to get rid of a few ingredients, and I can swap out the chicken depending on the meal, but this looks so refreshing! 

pear_raspberry_pistachiosaladfinal There's something about this salad that just screams summer to me.  Pear and raspberry sound so complimentary, and I love poppy seeds.  

Peach Salad with Grilled Basil Chicken and White Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette | Cooking Classy I can almost taste the chicken and peaches!  Peaches just scream summer and I imagine chicken fitting in so nicely with this recipe.  I will definitely have to try this one out as a main! 

Strawberries, avocados, and spinach dressed with poppy seeds and honey. This one just looks like a nice, easy, quick throw together salad.  Nothing too crazy, all typically summer staples, and no real prep! It could be more of a fuller meal because of the cheese and avocado, but it could also be a small side salad.  Personally, I love strawberries in my salad! 

Stay tuned to see which salad I chose to compliment my main dish!
What salads are you eating these days? 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thoughts for the day before...

Tomorrow is my blood test-by tomorrow afternoon I'll have received a phone call confirming a pregnancy, or a phone call that delivers a harsh blow.  
A friend asked me a few days ago if I felt that because of the blog, and my desire to be open about infertility, I felt like I had to share the results of the cycle.  I'm sure some of you are wondering that too-it is quite taboo to announce your pregnancy so early on.  The problem is, when you're open about a current struggle with infertility and you openly talk about your cycle and the great lengths you go through to attempt to get pregnant, you reach a point in the cycle where the only thing left to talk about is yes or no.  The nature of infertility is that there are a lot more nos than yeses, and how open would I be if I hid the results from you?  How would I be spreading awareness if I shielded you from the harsh realities of infertility?  All I ever wanted was to spread awareness and sensitivity, and if I don't allow you to go through my nos, then I'm doing a disservice not only to myself, but to you as well. 

I wish more people could & would do this instead of making judgments based on their limited experiences:

I want to give a completely honest, in real time experience for others, to help #endthetaboo that surrounds infertility.  And in order for that to happen, part of you has to go through an infertile's journey too.  

And just a reminder, for me and for you, there is beauty in this journey, I like to call it My Rose Among Thorns 

Motivational Monday Linkup:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dress up Organization

With the recent celebration of Passover, I'm sure I'm not the only one that used the holiday as an excuse to spring clean.  Although the season is typically rather stressful, I was actually looking forward to decluttering and setting up donation piles!  I was getting quite overwhelmed with the amount of toys (and we won't begin to mention the disorganization, lack of play time and missing pieces!!!!) and clutter taking over my house!  One place that needed immediate tackling was under the boys' bunk bed!  It probably seems funny to rely heavily on under the bed storage, but in NYC, you take space anywhere you can get it!  

I've been hoarding organizational and decor magazines for awhile now, and when The Container Store magazine came out, an idea instantly popped into my head! 

Underbed Box with Locking Lid
I wish they had prettier pictures on their website, that way you could see what it was that made this idea click for me. I've mentioned before that when I'm in need of an idea, I'm usually successful in coming up with that idea at moments when I least expect it.  Thankfully, I've come to appreciate that's how I work and when I'm wracking my brain to come up with ideas, I know to take a step back and just let the magic happen.  

This container, or one similar, was advertised as an under-the-bed container, and in the magazine picture, it showed several pairs of boots.  Now, I don't know about you, but boots are a pain to store-they take up a lot of space and they require extra care.  I always cringe when they end up getting thrown back in my closet. In an uncreative fashion, I bought two of these containers and put my tall boots into one, and my booties into the other.  They managed to both fit under my bed and my closet has felt much freer these days.  It's not a war between closing my closet door and smashing my boots.  

In case you were wondering, this isn't the organization project I came here today to tell you about!  I took this idea, and came up with a new way to organize the dress up!  

The first thing I did was pull out all the costumes that were currently overflowing from the one bin we had.  I laid it all out and found all the coordinating accessories.  

I bought 2-gallon zip lock bags at my local grocery store, and I bagged each costume into an individual bag. 

Now, here's the key to maintaining this organization: I wrote in permanent marker on each bag, but I also utilized PECS (picture exchange communication system).  I spoke about it HERE, and although it's for people who can't talk, the symbols are key to the little kids that can't read!  

I'm hopeful this helps keep the costumes organized! 
How do you organize your costumes?  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Munchies

Today I'm sharing with you a wholesome meal that's easy-one bowl, aka #winning
What's great about salmon patties is that it's healthy, but because it requires canned salmon, the main ingredient can be kept on-hand until you actually need it. I found myself with some free time, and knew they would pair nicely with the frozen french fries I have been trying to use.  I mean, the salmon patties are relatively low carb, so I figured french fries would be a good addition.  I did add some previously cut up fruit, to balance it all out!  

I found using a potato masher a helpful kitchen tool in this instance, and possibly an ice cream scoop would have been a wise move to help get the perfectly portioned, rounded patties.  
Once the pan heats up enough, the heat can be lowered, to pretty low actually, and depending on how burnt you like your patties, about one minute on each side will do.  
I also found the onion not terribly appealing to my little ones, so finer pieces are advisable.  
Nevertheless, my children still refused to eat this-even though they had eaten it before at Alta Bubby and Zayde's house.  I did finally convince them to take a few bites so they could have their oreos for dessert.  Hey, we all deserve a little sweetness in our lives! 

Always remember:  

1 12 oz. can pink salmon skin removed, bones crushed.
1/2 cup flour
1/3 c. diced onion
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten
Drain salmon, reserving 2 tbs. juice. The juice is the liquid that really helps it form a patty.  I know the liquid is super gross, but don't skimp on it!
 In a bowl, combine juice and all ingredients and mix well. 

The original recipe says it makes six patties, but because I knew my kiddos need smaller portions, I just made smaller patties-you can make whatever size suits you best.  However, I did notice that making them too thick doesn't allow for it to properly cook through, and the tops/bottoms will burn fast, so thinner is better.
You can fry the patties in 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil on both sides until golden brown and then drain them on paper towel, or you can spray your pan with spray and cook that way.  I did it this way, which is why I need thinner patties to allow for more even cooking throughout, but I'm sure the frying is delicious!  

Even though my kids didn't gobble these up this time around, I still love them as a great alternative to the typical egg white dinner I usually eat! I wish I had more of the typical burger fixings on hand, but that would require planning, and we're still coming out of the Passover fog, so although these could have been more gourmet, I'm still thrilled that I was able to whip up a wholesome meal on the fly!

I didn't stop there, I also made some banana bread; I had so many left over bananas, that it was breaking my heart to see them browning with a trashcan doomsday approaching rapidly.  There are several people that appreciate my baked goodies, so I figured, why not!  A triple batch later, there's some gooey banana chocolaty goodness!

Banana chocolate chip, or chocolate chip banana-either way, it was delicious! 
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