Monday, June 24, 2013

June ICLW and Punday 6/24

Hi everyone joining me from ICLW! Sorry I've neglected to welcome you so far, I've been quite ill lately. If I follow your blog there's a good chance I've been reading your posts when I can even if I haven't been commenting. For those that are new here, here's a brief introduction.

I have PCOS and Endo and my husband has MFI we believe caused primarily by low testosterone. We started officially trying to conceive in October 2011 after being NTNP for a while. We finally got our BFP almost exactly a year later, but miscarried shortly after. My due date is coming up on July 1st and I'm not taking that all too well. In March of this year my endo got too bad to continue trying so we've been on a break while I get that under control. My pain has been steadily decreasing and we are hoping to get back in the saddle soon. We have decided to pursue donated embryos instead of trying again biologically and I'm waiting to hear back from the clinic we hope to go through.

I'm currently giving away two copies of Writers of the Future Volume 29, which is a collection of scifi and fantasy short stories written by new and amateur authors. You can enter here.

Every Monday is Punday where I try to brighten up the beginning of your work week a little. It's beginning to be a little harder to remember which ones I've posted before, so forgive me if I post one twice by accident. So without further ado, here are the puns!

Writers of the Future Volume 29 Review and Giveaway

Turn the page…open your eyes...and look into the future

They unleash the power of dreams and unlock the secrets of the universe.

They bend time, twist perception, and put a new spin on the laws of physics.

They show us who we are, what we may become, and how far we can go.

They are the Writers of the Future.

Experience their vision.

“Keep the Writers of the Future going. It’s what keeps sci-fi alive.” —ORSON SCOTT CARD

Writers of the Future Volume 29 officially releases today, and in honor of it's release I've been given the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy. Galaxy Press has even agreed to give two of you wonderful people a copy as well! 

The Writers of the Future contest has apparently been going on for awhile, but this is actually the first edition I've read. It's a wonderful opportunity for new and amateur writers to get recognition and exposure for their short stories and novelettes. It also comes with a cash prize, so if you qualify it may be something to look in to! It's an opportunity for illustrators as well, as each story that makes it into the book comes with an illustration of a scene from the story (some of which you can take a peek at in the video above). I really enjoyed the stories in this book, and I'm not just saying that because they gave me a free copy! You can tell by looking at all the dog-eared pages which contain quotes and passages I've highlighted to enjoy again later.

Along with the stories you also get a short bio of the authors and illustrators. I'll be honest, at first I skipped those. I've never been one to read author bios. However, when I saw the name Chrome Oxide, author of "Cop for a Day", I just had know how he came up with that pen name. The bio revealed a sense of humor I couldn't wait to see more of in his story. Near the end, after accidentally becoming a recording engineer, it explains that "[r]ecently, because of inadequate discouragement, he started writing science fiction and fantasy." Don't you just love that? "Cop for a Day" did not disappoint, including various government programs and agencies with hilarious acronyms. Sovereign Laborers And Valued Employees can be found eating their Government Regulated Uniform Edible Lumps in their Simple Living Urban Modules, for instance. I will definitely be looking for more from Chrome Oxide and hoping he doesn't get adequately discouraged anytime soon.

I think my favorite is a tie between "Holy Days" by Kodiak Julian and "The Ghost Wife of Arlington" by Marilyn Guttridge, which coincidentally are placed right next to each other. "Holy Days" follows a family on the four different Holy Days of the universe they live in. Unlike in this universe where we're required to go to Mass, reality is changed during these days in a different manner each time. I'm afraid of going into more detail as I don't want to spoil it! I couldn't help but wonder what life would be like if our own Holy Days were the same. "The Ghost Wife of Arlington" on the other hand is about... Death's personal assistant, for lack of a better description. Each city has it's own Eternal and they usually have a helper, sometimes called a Shade. In Arlington it's always a woman and they call her the Ghost Wife. I can't put my finger on why I loved this one so much, I just did.

While I liked some more than others, there weren't any stories I didn't like. These authors definitely earned their place in this edition. It did seem more science fiction than fantasy to me, so if you love fantasy but don't care for scifi you might not enjoy it as much as I did. I would certainly recommend Writers of the Future Volume 29 to lovers of both. You can pick up a copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble or enter my giveaway below!

Giveaway Closed

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June Challenge - If Insurance Covered Everything

Ugh I didn't wake up today until like 4:30pm. I'm normally a late sleeper, but not that late! My right ear and throat hurt so I think I might be getting sick. =(

18. If your insurance covered infertility treatments at 100%, unlimited attempts - what would you try and for how long?

Honestly I'm not sure how far we would go if money wasn't an issue. I know that we would have moved on to more expensive treatments quite a bit sooner than we did. After the first 3 or so months of not ovulating on Clomid, or ovulating late, I would have asked for injectables. When we got to the point we had to take a break because of my endo I might have never looked into donated embryos. We might be planning on our own fresh IVF instead. In that way I'm almost glad insurance doesn't cover everything. Of course I know that our donated embryo cycle might not work, and if so I'd really be hoping insurance would cover another one! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

June Challenge - Coffee

One of my first ever Instagram pictures!
Generally I don't like coffee. It smells fantastic but tastes super gross. I'd much, much rather have tea. When I do drink coffee it has to have enough sugar, milk, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, etc to no longer taste like coffee. The only coffee drink I crave is the Java Chip Frappuccino, no whip. I even learned how to make a pretty good version myself! It's fairly simple but I try not to keep chocolate chips in the house so end up paying the money for a real one pretty often. Well, by pretty often I mean about every two months haha. My version also makes four servings which is another reason I don't make them as often. Here is the recipe I use if you want to try it for yourself!

- 1 cup double strength chilled or room temperature coffee (I use Seattle's Best Level 4 because that's what Josh drinks)
- 3/4 cup cold milk
- 4 tbsp chocolate syrup
- 4 tbsp chocolate chips
- about 2 trays worth of ice, crushed
- whipped cream, optional
- more chocolate syrup for drizzle, optional

- Put everything except the optional stuff in the blender
- Blend =D
- Pour into glasses
- Add optional stuff, if desired

Punday 6/17

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June Challenge - Breakfast

This morning I had leftover fajitas for breakfast. I know that's not really a breakfast food, but I didn't really sleep last night due to my cramps and RLS. I'm hoping eventually I'll be tired to enough to pass out despite the pain. As nontraditional as it was, they were very good and I kinda wish we had some more.

Lately for breakfast I've been eating Greek yogurt (vanilla and pineapple are my fav flavors) or string cheese.  Sometimes I'll just grab a glass of chocolate milk. I usually have sausage patties in the freezer that I'll cook 10 at a time on the George Foreman grill and then eat throughout the week, but I haven't cooked any since before last weekend when I got AF. What I'd really like is pancakes, or Lucky Charms, or French toast, something delicious and carby, but I know I should save that for special occasions.

Friday, June 14, 2013

June Challenge - First Job

I think my first job was helping my uncle at his screen printing business. That would have been before I was legally allowed to work so it was under the table as they say. During the summer when he was busier I would come and help clean the paint off the screens. He paid me $10 an hour so I was more than happy to help! Sometimes one of my friends would come with me and I'd split the money with them. There was a TV with a VHS player so we could watch movies while we worked and he always had cold sodas in the mini fridge. I did this several summers in a row even after I got official jobs other places.

I remember one year I was reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the car on the way there, and it got to the part with Umbridge's blood quill right as we reached the building. I was so upset at her for doing that to Harry I could hardly pay attention to what I was doing. I almost didn't even want to get out of the car and go in I was so mad! I wanted to keep reading and make sure she got what she deserved.

This post is part of Waiting For Baby's June Blog Challenge. You should go sign up so I can learn more about you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June Challenge - Most Interesting Vacation

When I was in elementary school (grade four I think?) we drove all the way from our home in Florida to Maine and back. We stopped at all sorts of places on the way to and from. We went to Atlanta and got tours of some of the TV stations but The Weather Channel wouldn't let us tour their building which I was not happy about! We went to Busch Gardens and Jamestown in Virginia. Of course we had to stop and visit my first best friend in North Carolina where he had moved to in first or second grade. Gatlinburg is another place we always visit if we get the chance. We went to Philadelphia and I touched the Liberty Bell even though they told us not to. It was so surreal seeing all the historical sites and standing where the founding fathers stood. We went to Washington D.C. and visited the Smithsonian museums. Either Felicia or I (can't remember) got in trouble for getting too close to the Hope Diamond. We saw cranberry bogs in Massachusetts which I thought was really neat. We briefly visited Boston but I wasn't impressed. It was October so we took part in the Halloween celebrations in Salem. In one haunted house the attendant told me if I didn't want monsters to jump out at me I was supposed to say... something. I can't remember exactly, but he told me this knowing it wouldn't work and they'd be extra scary! I absolutely fell in love with Plymouth and would consider moving there. We went to New York and saw all the stuff there: Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, World Trade Center, etc. When we got to Maine we went whale watching and visited the desert which had fake camels in it. We did so much stuff it would take forever to write it all down, and my drug addled brain just can't deal with that right now lol. It was a nice mix of fun things and educational and I'm so thankful my parents made the effort to take us on this trip even though we never had much money. It was very fast paced and I much prefer my vacations to go slower, but if we hadn't moved so fast I would have missed out on a lot. Even with how fast we went through everywhere we were gone for several weeks. Unfortunately I don't have any digital pictures as this was before Facebook and all that, and I'm not sure where the hard copy photo album is either. It was definitely a once in a lifetime kind of thing for us and I would love to someday take our children on a similar trip.

This post is part of Waiting For Baby's June Blog Challenge. You should go sign up so I can learn more about you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June Challenge - Perfect Anniversary

I'm honestly not sure what the perfect anniversary would be. Perhaps going to our favorite Chinese place for mongolian barbecue. Then go see a movie at the theater where you can lift up the arm rests and cuddle. Get Blizzards from Dairy Queen on the way home for dessert and then play a video game together. As you can probably see I'm not a super romantic person lol. I just like spending time with him.

Don't Forget Your Medication

Over the weekend I missed a dose of my aygestin. I didn't realize until I went to go take it the next day. The day after my missed dose I noticed my pain was worse, but my mom, sisters, and I had gone to the aquatic center on Friday and it's always a little worse when I do something like that. Well the next day it was way worse and I also started spotting. Apparently my missed dose triggered AF and all the pain that goes with it. The good thing is because the medication is working I don't have the same super heavy flow I normally have. It sucks though going from only needing on average one pain pill a day plus the highest amount of OTC meds you're allowed, to needing to take the max of the pain pills and the OTC stuff. We are hoping in a few days the pain will calm down and I'll be back to my normal reduced pain level.

This was really scary in terms of our future embryo adoption. I was hoping when I was pain free I could come off the medication whenever I needed to prepare my body for transfer. Now I know I'll probably at least have to deal with a sort of AF when I come off at best. In the back of my mind is this fear of all the pain returning when I go off and it not just going away after a few days, so we have to cancel the cycle. I'm not sure I could take that. But for now I have to trust in my doctor that that won't happen.

Here's a gif of Felicia going down the kiddie slide that G+ stitched together using it's Auto Awesome Motion feature. I thought it was pretty nifty. We only had four pictures of me going down the slide and it needs at least five.

June Challenge - Catching Up

I haven't been feeling up to making a blog post the last few days so I'm running behind!

10. How do you help get yourself (and or SO) get in the mood to DTD during the fertile period?

Well isn't this an embarrassing questions lol! Even though I have a TTC blog talking about our sex lives in detail isn't something I'm particularly comfortable with. The short answer is that problem kinda worked itself out given enough time. 

11. Describe your wedding.

We didn't have a wedding ceremony. My then FH needed surgery, he was on his dad's insurance the last time he was able to sign up for insurance at work so he didn't but by then his dad's was expired. The only way to get on his work insurance was to have a major life event like getting married, so we decided to get legally married a year earlier than we had planned. I called up our officiant (my friend's dad, actually Dr. E's husband) and told him what was going on so he told us to come by after work. I texted Josh to let him know we were getting married that evening. =D We needed witnesses so I asked my mom and older sister Felicia to come (Sierra was on visitation with our dad), and they called my cousin Tristan and his sometimes girlfriend who also came. DH's work then fired him like 3 days before his insurance was to take affect so we had to spend our wedding money on his surgery. We plan on having the ceremony we had planned out eventually but since then the money was always needed elsewhere. I still have all the wording saved in a Google Doc and I love it as much as I did in 2009.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

We gon' party like it's yo birthday!

Edit: If you're wondering what the eff is going on, I accidentally posted this to the wrong blog! /facepalm I'm gonna leave it up instead of deleting it though so I can just link to it from the right blog so I don't have to repost it. 

Dealing with a toddler and two newborns made Eve a little stir crazy, so she ran down to the Alchemy shop to meet their employee. It happened to be the day before the full moon so she put some potions on sale while she was there.

It's Adam's birthday! He's so happy he can celebrate with all their new friends. Both of their maids are here, as is the Alchemy shop employee and their new babysitter.

There very next day is the twins birthday.

Adam and Eve get started teaching the twins how to talk right away.

Branson makes a new friend! He's a teenager that's just transferred to the new school built in honor of the twins. The Idris's love their current babysitter, but they let him babysit sometimes too if she's busy.

Brenna loves being read to sleep.

I'm not sure how appropriate it is for a married grown woman to be pillow fighting with a teenager.

For the first time since the twins were born everyone is asleep at the same time! It's a miracle!

Brenna and Branson playing with their dolls.

Another birthday! This time it's Branson's turn. He's taking after his father with the Genius trait.

He's not so sure he wants to sleep in his big boy bed. Looks like there are monsters under there!

Branson's doll turns into an imaginary friend named Toffee!

Bran's first day at school is bittersweet for Adam and Eve. They'd be lying if they said it wasn't kind of nice to have one less child to look after for a couple of hours.

Especially with another on the way! (A/N I got the extended pregnancy mod and I'm loving having this breathing room between kids.)

It's the twins birthday... again! The Idris's are starting to get pretty popular having all these parties all the time.

Grandma knows how to party!

Brenna gets the Lucky trait.

Broderick picks up Athletic.

They get started working on these skills right away.

Bran and Toffee mess with the chemistry set, hoping one day soon they'll be able to transform her(?) into a real person.

Queen Brenna holds court while a scorched Bran does his homework. That last attempt with the chemistry set didn't go very well!

Eve catches her first butterfly. Sad this cute little guy is going to go right into a potion.

Brenna ditches the school bus in favor of her training broom.

Broderick gets an imaginary friend named Lucky!

Brenna's new imaginary friend is called Cuddles.

Broderick pulls a prank and puts yellow hair dye in the shampoo! Branson is not amused.