March Photo Challenge!

Happy Friday! Here’s the truth – I couldn’t wait to come home today and blog. I think I want to make blogging my new full-time job. More on that later. My blog has a new look, and I can’t tell you how much I like it. It’s so much better than before! Glad I did it. Changing themes on WordPress is really quite simple, luckily. So that’s that.

I am doing something new with my blog for the month of March. I got this idea from Belle, the creator. Many other bloggers have jumped on the bandwagon, and I think I’m going to give it a try. Here’s what it entails.

Here are the rules:

  1. Challenge begins Thursday, March 1, 2012 and ends on March 31. (But you can join in whenever you want!)
  2. Take a daily photo inspired by that days prompt. You don’t need a fancy camera for this.
  3. Post your photos, either daily or every couple of days, to your blog with a note as to what the prompt was.

I do not know exactly how this will play out for me, but I’ll give it a try. What I love about the photo prompts is that they are open to interpretation, so all of the participants’ pictures will be so different. I can also say that I may not take a new picture every day. More likely, I will dig through my vault of pictures that I’ve collected the last few years and use something from there. I have a great, fancy, expensive camera that I rarely use (oops, iphones are so much quicker), and I’ve taken many pictures with it that are worth sharing.

So here we go. Yesterday’s picture prompt was “self-portrait”, and today’s is “feet”.

After a few minutes of hemming and hawing, I decided to go with this one for my self-portrait. The quality is crap, because it was a scanned picture. It was taken 10 years ago, when I was 17. That is my husband and I, at our senior prom. Someone else snapped the picture and was kind enough to print it and give it to me a few days later, and I absolutely loved it. It was my favorite picture of us up until that point. While I’ve got plenty of better quality, newer pictures of us, there will be plenty of time to post them. This one I’m proud of.

Go ahead and mentally add about 15-20 pounds to each of us, straighten my hair, and add a few years to my husband’s face, and that’s how we look now. I honestly do not look any different, facially, than in this picture. Hence why my ID is always being checked at restaurants. That’s another story for another post, though.

Okay, now “feet”. Let me first say this. I hate feet. Hate them. Other than baby feet, of course. While I won’t comment on the feet of other people, I do not show my feet, ever, unless it’s so hot during the summer that I just can’t handle socks anymore. My feet belong in socks, and slippers, or fake Uggs. Now, they aren’t that bad. They are pretty big, but they are soft from years of not going barefoot. I just don’t like feet. And I really don’t like toes. They’re so….weird. I don’t even like the word “toes”. My feet are properly secured at the moment in socks and black fake Uggs. They will soon make the switch to cozy slippers for the rest of the night. This is why I am not going to upload a picture of my feet. It would basically have to be over my dead body that I would show off my bare feet to the world. Yuck. Disgusting. Sorry, it’s just not happening. Instead, I’m going to show you a super cute picture of feet.

Sadie Feet! She always crosses her paws like a little lady, though that’s about the only thing she does that could be considered “ladylike”. Either way, cute little paws are way better than size 9 1/2 grown woman feet. GROSS.

So the March Photo Challenge is underway. Thanks, Belle!

Meanwhile, the world continues to turn. I’m CD 16, still nothing worth noting by way of ovulation, but I will be getting my blood taken on Monday, CD 19, to see how my eggs stand. I’m excited to find out if this cycle is actually going to happen or not, though I do not expect to ovulate before Monday.

My Fitness Pal can suck it, but man, does it work. I’ve lost about 2 pounds in the last week and half or so, using it. That said, I’m starting to slack on recording everything and that is not good, so I will try again tomorrow.

I’m so happy to have the weekend here, and I’m hoping to fill it (after cleaning, grocery shopping, gym, etc.) with blogging, reading Redbook Magazine, and catching up on my tv shows. Yum.

(Manic) Monday Mind Dump

Happy Monday, everyone. I know how much you look forward to this day each week; I know I do. Ugh.

Today is a Manic Monday. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. My thoughts are just kind of all over the place.

My father was released from the hospital Saturday night. When I went to see him Saturday afternoon, he was 90% better, eating and moving around the room, being hyper. Apparently he went down to the lobby the night before and played the piano for the nurses. Typical. But his memory was still not perfect. He was remembering things that never happened. Either way, he was talking completely fine, unlike two days prior to that when he could barely say my name or purse his lips to give me a kiss. I am more than relieved he is home, and that this nightmare is hopefully behind us. I don’t think he realizes how scary this was, and how close to death he could have been.

He took so long to wake up properly from anesthesia due to 3 possible factors: He never went under anesthesia before, his medications were stopped cold turkey prior to surgery and he continued without them for a few days after, and one doctor thinks some of the septic toxic garbage from his gallbladder entered his bloodstream and traveled to his brain.

Either way, we will never know exactly what happened, but it took him a week and a half to fully emerge. I’m just grateful my stress levels can now return to normal.

I basically forgot about Clomid and this double-cycle. Now that the stress is over, my brain has gone back to its old ways, mostly. It’s CD 12 (I just started over, counting-wise), and I have no idea when I’m going to ovulate. And it’s kind of freaking me out.

Even though I have done all this before, this cycle I’m kind of worrying about it. What if I don’t have EWCM? What if my OPK’s never turn positive? What if I drink too much water before my evening pee and it shows negative when it’s really positive? These things happen to people, you know. And here’s a big one – what if I don’t ovulate at all, like last time, and this whole thing is for nothing?

I had read somewhere that Clomid needed to be taken every day at the same time. On the last day, I took it an hour later. Is this okay?

These questions seem silly, but they leave me feeling anxious. If I ovulated every month, like normal people, this wouldn’t be an issue (well, none of this would be an issue). I would have the same signs every month, and I’d know that the day was coming. But now, I don’t know my signs. Now that I’ve switched to the cheaper OPK’s, it’s even a little harder. This morning that second line was….pretty dark, close to the control line. But not exactly the same. Does the second line get darker as I get closer to ovulating? Am I getting close?

A few days ago, I was feeling pretty negative about this. My body is so messed up, with all the autoimmune crap. I might not ovulate on this dosage either, and then there’s only one more dosage left before Clomid is thrown out the window. Then what?! I really, really wanted Clomid to work. However, last night I did some googling (I know, I know) and it actually made me feel better! There are many people who did not ovulate on 50 mg, but did on 100. Granted, I did ovulate on 50 once, but then I didn’t, so I’m not sure which boat I fit into on that one. But you know what? I just might ovulate this cycle, on this third round of Clomid. I just might.

Yeah, I think I probably will. So you can understand, then, why I’m obsessed with making sure I don’t miss it! Not sure if I want to enter into trying every single day for two weeks straight though.

So that’s it. That’s my brain today. Oh, and My Fitness Pal, the app on my phone that tracks my calories, has also occupied some brain space. I know a lot of you love it out there. I.hate.it. I really do. You know why? Because I had a salad today, and do you know how long it takes to enter in every single vegetable in my salad, plus how much of it I ate? But I will continue using it, because it works. It really, really does. I better have some weight loss in the next few weeks, that’s all I have to say.

And now, I’m off to the gym. You know why? Because I ran out of calories on MFP, and the more I exercise, the more calories I get to eat. Off I go.

 

Blah, blah, blah.

Thank you for all the comments in my last few posts, everyone. I haven’t gotten to respond to them yet but I will today. I know you have gone through all the ups and downs of all this, and then some, and so I appreciate the comments even more. This was not something devastating, in the scheme of things, but I did trick myself into believing I might actually be pregnant, and that just can’t happen every cycle.

Now, let me just say: These Clomid periods are no joke. Holy crap. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s a regular period, which I haven’t had, well let’s see, prior to BCP – since I was about 12. Either way, no matter what kind of period this is, it’s not what I’m used to, and I learned that lesson yesterday. We were about to run out the door last night to a work party for my husband, and I stopped into the bathroom one last time. (TMI alert…scroll down if you wish). Basically, I bled through….everything. And not just a little. Soaked. Through underwear, into my jeans, legs….soaked. I haven’t had any accident like that since I was in middle school, when after I got up from my English class chair I told the girl behind me that it was “just turpentine”. I didn’t even know what that was – I have no idea where that word came from. Either way, if I was in middle school last night, that excuse wouldn’t have worked, because it was that out of control. If I had passed out and been found in the bathroom it would’ve looked like a crime scene. If we weren’t literally running out the door to this party, I would’ve taken a shower. So that was fun. This morning, I woke up feeling major cramps, hungry-nauseous…and just in time to deal with what could’ve been a big mess. What is this??

Also this morning,  I’m attempting some optimism about the rest of my health that’s always on my mind. I’m so sick and tired of my autoimmune issues. (Pardon my negative rant…I’ll be positive shortly). I have crazy hives. Crazy. They are under my skin, not on top of it, which causes the swelling. They can be in my mouth and throat, in my cheeks, lips, etc. Even though they are directly related to my high-antibody levels, I have recently noticed a connection with my sugar intake. So I’ve cut out all desserts, chocolate, etc. of any sort. But that hasn’t stopped it, because it’s ANY sugar…after a certain time of day. So this is what I’ve noticed. I felt crappy all last week (of course, thinking pregnancy symptoms), and it turns out I was fighting some weird bug. Nothing ever happened, but I was mildly nauseous with no appetite for a few days, which was weird, and now that my appetite is back, I have a killer sore throat. Anyway, last week I was eating a lot of carby type things because I felt crappy, and pretzels/crackers have always helped settle my stomach. Last week I had hives multiple times. One day, after skipping dinner, I finally felt like some dried cereal at about 8:30 at night. I ate a decent amount of it, (gluten-free Chex, honey-nut) and had hives within a half hour after finishing. They were up in my cheek, making it look all swollen. The next morning, I had the same cereal, and had no day hives. Let’s see. Then two days ago, after I realized I wasn’t pregnant, I came home from school and treated myself to a small cup of the gluten-free granola I made, which has sugar in it. I eat it most mornings for breakfast with no problem. But when I ate it at 4:00 in the afternoon..I had hives by 5:30. My hives are almost always at night, and they take a good 12+ hours to go away. I always pray my students can’t tell the next morning. My body is out of control right now. It’s not always like this. Just a few months ago I was eating sugar normally. Now it’s down to a time of day. I can have cereal with sugar in it in the morning, and creamer in my coffee, with no problem. I have a Greek yogurt with lunch, which has sugar, with no problem. Anything after like…3:00 and I’m apparently doomed. And you know what? That pisses me off.

So last night, at my husband’s work party, they served:  A pasta bar. A carving station. Desserts. That’s it! So I had …a plate of meat. Just carved meat. It was good, but meat by itself? I was hoping for maybe a potato, salad. Nope. After two small plates of nothing but meat, I realized this wasn’t working for me. My husband got in the pasta line and got me some broccoli and artichoke hearts with pasta sauce, without the pasta. Then, while he was eating chocolate cake, carrot cake…etc. I had two cups of “Sweet dreams” tea. With one splenda each. That’s when I started the pity whine. It’s not fair!! I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. That’s all I keep hearing.

And I’ve been trying to lose weight – well, mentally. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been..my pants barely fit, I love leggings but with every shirt I wear with them a muffin top is present…I don’t like anything I put on. It’s not like I’m making horrible food choices – no gluten, no sugar. But I do eat too much, and even if I didn’t, it’s a fact with an autoimmune thyroid problem – weight is going to come off VERY slowly. I get impatient.

But the REAL reason I’m not losing weight is because I’m so fixated on my weird cycles, my BBT, my ovulation, and my hives, sugar intake, and going gluten-free, that having tiny portions and being dedicated about that is just not something I can handle. I cannot be in tip-top shape in EVERY aspect of my life. Something has to give! So I let the portions go. I can be in control of my sugar intake, and going gluten-free. I just can’t do it all.

So that’s how I’m really feeling – pretty negative. But I told you I was attempting optimism. So, I’m dressed for the gym, leaving shortly. And I re-downloaded the app “My Fitness Pal”, which I saw on Stirrup Queens’ blog. I had it before and never used it. But today, I’m going to try. I hate counting calories. Hate it. But I think it just might work. Today I will give it a try. One day – I can do that. My life has quickly become a “one-day-at-a-time”. I can only handle one thing at a time. Today, I will count calories.

Thanks for listening to my rant! I feel like these negative posts come more often than the positive ones. I will work on changing that!