Friday, May 28, 2010

Inadequacy in Me

Do you ever feel inadequate? Not necessarily in general, though sometimes if things get really bad, that can enter your head too. I tend to separate my life into categories. I wear many hats and am many different things. Wife, Momma Wanna-be, Infertile Turtle, Gardener, Homeowner, domestic goddess, Job title (thought I would reveal it huh?), and a bounty of other things.

Of course, I feel inadequate in the Infertile Turtle department. My whole waking life centers around my inability to have children and further our family efforts. My body is inadequate in performing the function it is designed to do and that every other woman in the world can do. This area of inadequacy feelings is a given. No brainer.

I try to make up for it in other areas of my life though. I involve myself in too many projects and my ambition gets the best of me, which stresses me out and sends me into a downward spiral of inadequate depression.

Gardening for example. I went BIGGER this year. I had visions of overflowing bounty to share with neighbors and friends, jars of freshly canned goodness lined up on my spotless counters. A prim little apron tied over my clothes and my perfectly coiffed hair fluffed around my smiling face. (Yes, I dream in 50’s motifs). Instead, I’m a vision of frazzled frizzy haired, dirty stained baggy sweatpants and holy tank tops as I wade through mud crying over the sheer volume of weeds that have taken over my life as I use pesticides to run off the bugs that are murdering my plants. I feel I have completely failed as a gardener this year and last because I can’t work my schedule around the weather and so there are days that go by with nothing done because its too muddy to get in the garden when I have the time to do so. Jungle mania ensues. I DREAM about pulling weeds.

Work: I get handed projects which really needs a mechanically inclined mind to complete. I do not have one of those. My father is an engineer as was my grandfather on my mom’s side. Somehow, those genes missed me completely. I’m really supposed to look at a part number and know exactly where on a vehicle it goes so I can code it to the proper areas for an analysis report? REALLY? I’m glad ya’ll have faith in my abilities but I’m drowning here. This is definitely not my forte guys! I’ll never admit it though. As the only female I refuse to back down on a challenge like this. I feel like I constantly have to prove myself to the men around here.

Wife: Sometimes I just don’t want to have sex. I’m exhausted all the time and the meds make me moody. I used to have a great sex drive. Lately, not so much. My husband hasn’t changed, but sometimes I get so aggravated because I just want to be left alone! I want snuggles and cuddles and backrubs without having to have sex afterward. Is that too much to ask? He’s really not that bad, but I FEEL inadequate because I’m not as frisky. I WANT to want it, I just want sleep more.

Domestic Goddess: Boy have I lost the right to that title. My house used to be SPOTLESS. I had a routine down and nothing kept me from cleaning. You could have eaten off my floors. Two dogs, a garden, a return to corporate America, and fertility drugs later, I would barely recommend eating in my house at all. Okay, slight exaggeration. I still clean. My counters are still scrubbed, just don’t look at my floors. There are dog hair dust buffalo lurking in corners behind furniture that I just have not had the courage to tackle. There are cobwebs hanging in the corners of my curtain rods. I’m so embarrassed and every night I see them and say, tomorrow, but I crawl into bed. (I think we are seeing a pattern here with my bed).

If my house is clean, it means I didn’t get outside to work in the jungle, er garden. So then I feel guilty. If I make great strides in the garden, I feel guilty because the house is dirty. Blessedly, since we bought the new lawnmower, DH has completely taken over the yard work! Hallefreakin-lujah. I still feel guilty if its not perfect because he hasn’t gotten to it yet though. I feel like I SHOULD go out there and do it because he is busy with school and work and wants to rest. Hell, I want to rest. That’s all I think about doing. Crawling into bed with a book and my dog and sleeping.

Sleeping all the time is a sign of depression, but I don’t think I’m depressed. I think I’m just freakin’ tired. I get maybe 6-7 hours of sleep a night during the week. On the weekends? It’s worse. I’m lucky if I get 5 to 6 because I go to bed LATER but still wake up at the same time because I have whiney dogs with small bladders who are on a SCHEDULE. The slightest whimper or movement from them in the mornings, and I’m awake…from the other side of the house! I can’t ignore them because I know they have to go pee. I’m uncomfortable when I have to pee, I know they are. Once I’m up, I can’t go back to bed. Occasionally I will lay on the sofa with two Dachshunds crammed up my butt/in my face and catch another 30 minute nap but its not deep sleep…because I feel guilty that I’m not doing housework since I’m “up.”

I feel inadequate in my own life. I want to do so much but I don’t know how to get it all done and make everything neat and pretty and presentable for the world to see. People think I have it all together because I garden, work, keep a house, bake etc. Yea, it sounds like I do a lot, but its NEVER ENOUGH. I’m embarrassed by the herd of dust buffalo’s scampering around on my hardwood floors. I’m embarrassed by the state of weeds in my garden. I’m embarrassed that it’s memorial day and I haven’t even opened my pool yet. I have nephews asking when they can come swim and I get the deer in the headlights look because A) I have to tell them the pool isn’t open still and B) something inside me dies a little thinking about having to actually open it and maintain the damn thing all year. It’s just another thing to add to my schedule that I don’t get to enjoy because I’m too damn busy.

Do you know how often I swim? Maybe once a week if I’m lucky for an hour. That’s it. I have a nice in ground pool. Every week I deal with the chemicals and vacuuming etc. but then I have to go tend the garden, clean the house, cook dinner, etc. and I can’t take the time to swim.

When do we say enough is enough? Where do we draw the line? How do we make ourselves feel less inadequate? I want the garden. It provides me with fresh foods that are healthy and cheap. I want to can so I can have garden goodness through the winter. I need it to help eat better to manage my PCOS. I have no choice but to open the pool because the liner would be damaged if I don’t. I want a clean house. I love my dogs. I HAVE to work. How do I either let go if all areas aren’t perfect so I don’t feel inadequate in every facet of my life? OR let go of SOMETHING to cut down on my time?

I don’t have the answers, which makes me feel inadequate. ::sigh:: The only thing I have is the great Meredith Brooks singing in my head. “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother, I’m a sinner, I’m a saint…It don’t mean a thang”

Yes, I’m all of that too. ::bigger sigh::

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spaghetti and Stuffed Meatballs

I’m not a Rachel Ray Fan. I think she’s adorable and vivacious and once in a blue moon has a good idea. I’m not a hater of Rachel Ray either. (My husband loves her). Her recipes though are lacking. They either have too much of a particular spice or are very bland. I haven’t really found a recipe that if followed exactly was exceptional or worthy of making again. I definitely have to majorly tweak her recipes and therefore rarely bother with one.

I don’t mind tweaking to take it up a notch or to suit my style better etc. I don’t want to have to tweak to give it flavor period. I did give one of her recipes a try yesterday though. It sparked an interest. I tweaked before I even began for dietary reasons this time and while a tiny bit bland, I’m not going to blame the recipe. I think it was actually pretty tasty considering how quick/easy it was. If I were a busy mom with younger kids, I could definitely see this being a life saver meal. It has the fun elements I see the kids enjoying and its fast, which I see mom (or Dad) enjoying. It’s definitely affordable and filling. A few more tweaks (like adding some shredded carrots and zucchini for added vegetable nutrition). Me personally, I would also add some onion next time for a boost of flavor.

Spaghetti with Stuffed Meatballs

¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
1 tbs Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic,smashed/chopped fine
3 cans diced tomato
1 small can tomato sauce
1 lb ground turkey
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan
2 eggs
Fresh Mozzerella cut in 1/4 -1/2 inch cubes
1 lb spaghetti noodles
½ cup Gruyere for topping

In a medium bowl whisk eggs and milk together. Stir in Breadcrumbs and one clove of garlic. Add some salt to taste (about 1 tsp) and gently break up ground turkey into bowl. Add Parmesan cheese and gently combine all ingredients. Take about two tablespoons of mixture into hand. Gently flatten it out and place a mozzarella cube in center. Fold Meat up around cube and roll into a ball. Place on greased baking sheet. Repeat until all the meat is used. Set meatballs aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat up the Olive oil and add the rest of the garlic. Cook about 2 minutes or until garlic is golden. Add the tomatoes and sauce. Season with Salt (and pepper if you like) to taste and bring up to a medium low simmer. Carefully place meatballs down into sauce making sure they are submerged. Cook without stirring for about 20 minutes. Stir gently and cook for another 15 minutes.
About half way through the cooking time, heat another pot of boiling salted water. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente (about 10 minutes or so). Toss the cooked noodles with the tomato sauce and meatballs during the last five minutes of cooking. Serve hot topped with a little Gruyere.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Let's talk Insurance

Admittedly, I’m not good at this whole insurance thing. Most of my adult life I have either had insurance through employment or I haven’t. I never paid attention to what my coverage was because I didn’t have a choice. It was a set plan, they gave me a card, I handed it to the doctor and paid a co-pay. Then I lost insurance when I became an independent contractor and had a few medical mishaps that nearly killed me financially until I got married and DH was eligible for insurance through his company. Then I got insurance again and all of a sudden I was learning what was covered, what wasn’t, deductibles etc because honestly, the plan wasn’t great but it’s a small company and it was better than nothing. Now we have a choice, because both my company and my husbands company have insurance plans. His insurance plan still sucks (what we are already on) and they are raising the prices by 20% so his company is currently dropping them and searching for another provider. Panic attack ensues until I realize, wait, I’m eligible for insurance through my company NEXT WEEK. Problem solved, but I wanted to see what I’m getting into. Make sure it’s not WORSE then what we have now. It seems to be a pretty good plan. I have analyzed what parts of are real interest to me at the moment as outlined below. Also, it will only cost us $41.00 out of each paycheck (I’m paid every two weeks) compared to the almost 200.00 from each of my husbands paychecks that we are paying now. That’s a savings every two weeks of $159.00 which is $344.50 PER MONTH and $4134.00 per year. So it’s like we are getting a $4000.00 raise. HECK YEA. 401K here we come (which I’m also eligible for which DH doesn’t have at his company!). Plus the deductibles and co pays are A LOT Lower then our current plan so that should save us even more out of pocket.


Care, supplies and services for the diagnosis of infertility and treatment of the Sickness or Injury which caused the Infertility.

Treatment must be rendered on an outpatient basis.

The Plan does not cover any service that provides assistance in achieving a Pregnancy, I.E., artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, in-vivo fertilization, gamete Inter-fallopian Transfer (GIFT), Zygote Inter-Fallopian Transfer (ZIFT) or similar procedures to achieve Pregnancy.

So that is both good news and bad news. The insurance will not assist us in getting pregnant but will cover the RE and the medications to treat the hormonal issue of PCOS which can also aid in getting pregnant. Since I’ve achieved pregnancy before addressing the hormonal aspects, fingers crossed that I can do so again.

All maternity related expenses are covered under the Plan.

Allergy Care

The Plan covers allergy treatment including, but not limited to, office visits, serum, scratch testing and laboratory testing.

Chiropractic Care

Covered except for maintenance or to PREVENT worsening. It is only covered if chiropractic therapy is administered directed at functional improvement (active treatment).

Mental Disorders and Outpatient Mental Health is covered according to the benefit payment Maximums.

In-Network Benefits
Deductible $500.00 per family
Max Out-of-Pocket Limit: $1500 per family

Out-of Network Benefits
Deductible: $1000 per family
Max Out-Of-Pocket Limit: $3000.00 per family

General Inpatient Hospital Services and Birthing Centers In Network: 90% Out of Network 70%.

If patient is admitted no co pay. If patient is NOT admitted $50.00 co pay.

These are the basic items that apply to us in our current situation. There is a lot more in depth of course. We are required to get pre-certification (as in call first and approve our birthing facility etc so they are prepared for what their costs are going to be) but that’s not a big deal. It looks like perhaps my deposit won’t be as great this time around (like last pregnancy I had to fork out 1400 by the 7th month or my Dr. would not deliver me) since this insurance plan pays more than my current one.

So, I’m getting a little excited about it now that I’ve been investigating it. What do you think? What are your feelings about insurance? I think it sucks that very few plans cover getting pregnant if you are infertile and consider those procedures elective. One part of me sees why it would be considered elective because you don’t have to have children and many people ELECT not to, however, as an infertile it discriminates against me because I don’t have the CHOICE naturally and therefore if I CHOOSE to have children I HAVE To seek medical intervention, so I think there should at least be available riders for those programs. Since my company is self-insured though, riders do not exist so I’m at least pretty happy with what I’m going to get (that low price also covers dental and vision btw but my brain is focused solely on fertility and anything my body is psycho enough to pull currently that might effect that, like the allergies).

In other news, my Dr. has decided to keep me on the Clomid Metformin cocktail. I’ve only been on it one month this time around and it worked on the Fourth month (which is average results) last year. Interestingly enough, I realized I started it last year at the same time as this year. I honestly hope it doesn’t take four months. I really can’t handle getting pregnant the exact same time of year as I did last year, having the same due dates and everything. That would be excruciatingly hard I think, but I guess I need to take what I can get huh? Let’s just say I hope it works A LOT quicker than that for more than one reason.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On the wings of Buzzards...

the red bitch flies. She arrives heralded by piercing, shrieking (oh wait, that may have been me) bastards that rip apart your uterus with their beak and cackle and laugh while doing so. Atleast that is what it feels like.

In the wee hours of the morning, I was awoken as the red lady sang. It's been awhile since I've had an overly painful period. In all fairness, these cramps are not nearly as bad as some I've had when passing clots, but they do make it highly uncomfortable for me, especially in the sitting position. They are in my back as well as my stomach so that may be the reason. Just to make it a little more uncomfortable I have the lovely poops on top of it...and did I mention I'm peeing every 10 minutes? Needless to say, I called in sick to work. Considering I was on the toilet for a solid hour and a half (way past the time I should have been at work) this was a good decision, I'm sure.

Well, now we know where those four pounds yesterday came from. I think I've lost it already today! I've downed a bit too much medication and its only taken the edge off my cramps but I'll take it. I've decided since I'm home and it hurts to sit down for too long a time (so you can imagine how painful being on the toilet is) I'll clean my house and atleast if I'm not earning money I can have a productive day at home. There's always a bright spot right? Beware laundry monster, I'm in no mood for your shananigans. You will succomb to the Clomid Queen and her faithful if annoying sidekick Aunt Flo (who has a really pisspoor attitude). You have been warned you dirty textiles.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Menu Monday

This weekend was a blur. We had a full day Saturday of walking around at the Dachshund Festival with our dogs. Despite the constant rain it was still a lot of fun. We spent way too much money but it benefits a Dachshund Rescue group so totally worth it. (I never thought I would have little dogs, but I love these two munchkins more than I can bear sometimes, despite their horrendous breath).

After the festival, we got a second wind and conquered quite a bit in the garden. The majority of the stakes are driven for the tomatoes and a start on the greenbean stakes. I dusted all the cabbage, broccoli, beans and greens because I’m at wits end with the bugs. The slugs, moths and bugs are mutilating my beautiful plants. Of course it rained after I did it so it did no good. I also got the one bed I had been working on last week de-weeded. It just needs a pass with the tiller and I can replant it with summer crops. Somehow after all of that, we found the energy to play the Wii.

I tell you this because what it meant for Sunday was a day of napping during the thunderstorms. We were exhausted. I don’t think our dogs moved off the sofa all day. When we did, they just stared at us with out the ability to even lift their heads. LOL So I made a quick pass at the grocery shopping without a plan. Never a good idea. So this weeks menu is less than spectacular. We will probably be dependent on a lot of leftovers as the few items I’m making make a TON of stuff. If all else fails I have chicken noodle soup (in the can, GASP) as back up. I broke down and bought deli turkey this week as well for sandwiches so we aren’t dependent solely on leftovers for lunches.


Multi Bean Soup

Spinach Lasagna

Spaghetti with Stuffed Meatballs

Home made Bread

Red Velvet Cupcakes (co-workers birthday)

MAYBE Strawberry Icecream

Orange Chocolate chip scones (for breakfasts)

Multi Bean Soup

On a trip to the Farmer’s Market several weeks ago (maybe two months at this point), my mom and I found the dried bean bins. So we mixed up our own bean medley in a bag. Since the beans are by the pound we were able to produce our own special bean blend. I can’t honestly tell you what’s in it but I know there are some: butterbeans, fordhooks, pintos, black beans, legumes, etc. I’ve been meaning to make a bean soup for quite awhile but kept putting it off because cooking dried beans takes awhile. This was a rainy/stormy weekend so yesterday was perfect to experiment with soup. This is a hardy soup that is inexpensive, makes a lot and can be on hand for any time of the year.

Bag of Mixed dried beans (probably about 1lb)
1 bag Frozen Stew Vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery and onion)
1 bag Frozen Mixed vegetables (peas, green beans, carrots, corn)
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Stewed Tomatoes
¼ stick of butter
Salt and pepper to taste (requires quite a bit)

Fill crockpot (5 quart) half way up with water, and dump beans in. Cook on high for 4 hours. Beans should take up the majority of the water at this point. Dump EVERYTHING else in and cook on high for another 2 hours. Serve hot.

I am going to experiment using leftovers more as a chili or an accompaniment to Beef roast etc. I think this soup will be very versatile as it has a great natural flavor that can stand alone or go well with other dishes.

McFatty Monday

Let’s just start out by saying I’m thoroughly disgusted. Last week, I reached a low point in my weight. A whopping 46lbs and one pound away from my goal. It was a relief after the struggling for a few weeks. This weekend I expended a LOT of energy and ate decently. I ate Late one night but I more than made up for it with the exercise department.

My biggest failure is I don’t think I got all my water in yesterday. Yesterday was an off day-stormy weather creating perfect conditions for an afternoon nap. But I did my chores and went grocery shopping, went to church and still took the dogs out etc. It was ONE NAP for heaven’s sake and I didn’t drink as much water as I should.

Is that really any reason to get on the scales this morning and have them FOUR pounds up from Friday? REALLY? How is that fair? I’m RIGHT back to where I have been the past month. I don’t understand. Yes I realize that I’m bloated. That my hateful body has plunged in a headfirst dive towards AF. I know I’m going to start any second now so a lot of this may be bloat and water, but my goodness, could it not have held off for a DAY so I could see my goal weight? That’s all I wanted.

I even filled out insurance paperwork this weekend and put that goal weight on there because it was one pound away. My body just made a complete and utter liar out of me. I have finally reached a point in my weightloss after 5 months and 40 something pounds of “What is the point when my hateful body is going to betray me everytime I turn around?” Can I never nap again? Can I never have an off day? Most people fluctuate a pound. Me? I fluctuate FOUR pounds at a time. I just want to cry and scream because I’m tired of perching on this plateau.

The logical side of me says “STOP (hammer time, just kidding). A four pound gain/loss over a month is nothing because you are maintaining with relative ease 40 some pounds LOWER than you have been in the past 3 years. You are wearing clothes that you wore before meeting your husband and they are even starting to show signs of bagginess. This is still an accomplishment.” But I don’t want to listen to me.

I want my bigger number drops back again. I want to see a remarkable difference and progress and see how that effects my fertility because I feel my ute progress is becoming static again. In my head everything is connected. I’m measuring my worth by my ability to lose weight AND get pregnant. Not a very healthy place to be mentally maybe, but I’m so wrapped up in myself or rather what my body is failing/accomplishing that I’m getting discouraged on both fronts because nothing is happening.

I’m sliding into a funk and trying really hard not to but it’s difficult when the numbers go up or stay stagnant for so long despite your best efforts. Back to the Special K and Slim Fast. Maybe I can kick start it again.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Up at 7 am with a bad feeling. My temperature dropped back down to just above the cover line. I tested anyway. Negative..clear as day.

It's weird though because the one thing that stuck in my head is my CP. I was so unsure about those faint lines. I didn't want to believe them and I stressed over them for 48 hours. I NEVER felt the joy, the excitement. That' makes me sad because even though it didn't stick, I feel that was my last chance to feel such true joyful hope. Would it have hurt more when it went away? maybe, but looking back, I didn't even thank my body for trying. Now, negative after negative I feel the despair creep in that I'll never get that leap of excitement back, even for a moment. That's depressing me.

But I'll keep plugging on searching for it. Like that elusive lottery winning ticket. I'll keep playing the odds every month (no, I don't actually PLAY the lottery...LOL)and trying for the jackpot. Monday, I will call the Dr. and see what we do from here. I found out last night that my husbands company is dropping our insurance. They are looking for another provider that is cheaper but we have till the end of June. The insurance through my company SHOULD start in a few weeks so hopefully we don't have to worry about it but MAYBE it wasn't meant to be this month so that we didn't get screwed with a preexisting condition...though many insurance companies stipulate you have to have the service for a year before they cover maternity so we may be screwed anyway. I just have a really bad feeling all the way around right now.

It's a black cloud hanging over my head and squeezing my heart. I have no choice but to just keep going. If I stop, I wallow and where would that get me? Nowhere, so I have to find joy in the other areas of my life and just ignore the pain for now.

I've already finished the laundry and dishes this morning. I need to jump in the shower and hit the Farmer's Market before the Dachshund Festival. Hopefully we don't get rained out. It's pretty gray today. This afternoon will be filled with pounding in fence posts and stringing beans and weeding...that will definately work off frustration and give me a nice sore body so I can feel alive. I've got about 50 steel posts to pound into the ground by hand.....that's plenty of soreness and feeling alive for the lot of us....don't you think? Yea, so maybe I'm just sadistic enough to punish my body...sue me.

All my love ladies. Thank you for thinking of me and sending good vibes. Maybe next time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Testing Tomorrow

I am so ready for the weekend. I don’t like talking about work too much on here. It’s no one’s business what goes on in the corporate world. My business life and the rest of my life are separate. There are snippets, vague impressions of the environment but not really any concrete evidence of WHERE I work or what I do. That’s how I like it. I do have to throw out that there is a lot going on here right now, rumors flying, people exiting (that’s being polite and noncommittal about it), mandatory meetings etc. I feel like I’m walking through a farmyard with a bunch of Henny Penny’s screaming “The sky is falling!”

It’s taxing on a body. Really. Stress is not good. I don’t like what is going on but there is nothing I can do so rather than listen to the corporate blather, I choose to stick my head in the sand and huddle at my desk. But until then, I have to get through the day, the high energy stress balls that surround me, the meetings and the fear of the unknown that hangs in the air like the Mark of Voldemort. Am I worried about not having a job to come back to? No. I will be back here on Monday and going through it all again, but today, I’m just trying to get to 5:00pm. To Freedom.

I have so much to do. We are taking the dogs to a Dachshund Festival benefiting a rescue group. At some point, working around the rain, we have to work on the garden. I have plants that need staking, dusting, picking, planting, weeding. I have a house that needs cleaning, grocery shopping to do, and a list a mile long that is not possible to complete in two days. ::sigh::

But the big plan? The big plan is to test on Saturday morning. I tested last night because of the nausea. No dice. Big Fat negative. I’ve had a bad feeling about this cycle from the second week but there is a tiny spark of hope that I will have the ugliest BFP chart EVER and that last night was just too early with 10 dpo and afternoon pee (yea, thanks Isha and Beth for insisting on not giving up thanks to those little factors). I used to NEVER pee on sticks, and now I’ve become obsessed. I hate the negatives, but I just can’t seem to stop myself. So tomorrow morning, I will be up, bright and early, POAS, and will report the results over my morning cup of hot cocoa. You can all be nervous with me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Inspiration from Buck

Sometimes you just have to make yourself have a good day. When things get you down, like unfair discrimination at work that you can only push so far before you lose your job and they know it and they know you can’t afford an attorney, and your back hurts and your chart is fugly and your garden is overwhelming you and you are prone to dramatic run on sentences? Yea, it demands you have a good day tomorrow. So after an excruciatingly long day at work that made me IRATE and want to punch someone, I went home and attacked the weeds in my garden till I could barely stand up straight because my back hurt so bad. We ordered dinner in so I wouldn’t have to cook and they screwed my order up so I couldn’t eat it. So I ended up having to make myself dinner anyway at 9pm. I was in tears because I was soooo frustrated.

So I took a shower, gave myself a mani/pedi and painted all my digits electric turquoise (very 90’s and very unprofessional). I did a home wax and shaped my eyebrows and cleaned up the lip and chin area (darn PCOS hair growth in unattractive places). This morning, I hot rolled my hair and put on heels and a dress. My boobs look damn good in this dress. I usually wear tennis shoes, jeans and cute shirts with my hair pulled back because I work in an automotive shop and the floors can get slick from the grease, armorall etc. They detail the vehicles in the bay that is between the women’s restroom and my little office (that we call the doghouse) so respectable shoes are a must along with the required safety glasses. Screw it. I’m in slick high heels that are barely held on my feet by two rhinestone encrusted straps. I have on a long black and white maxi dress with a little white crochet shrug and my hair is in big tussled curls half way down my back. There are tongues rolling around on the floor everywhere. Ahh the power of boobs and a body that has lost 46 pounds and has a waste and hips. I feel empowered! You want to discriminate against me because I’m a woman? Fine. I’ll use my womanhood and all the power contained there in. ::screams out:: HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW!?

Anyway, so I’m having a good day by sheer force of will. I have a very Sookie Stackhouse smile plastered on my face and I’m strutting it because I can. Sometimes you have to hold your head up and dare the world to push you down. IF is like that. Every month of disappointment comes and goes and you grieve and get disappointed and want to give up, but one day into AF you stand up straight and say, NOT THIS TIME. I shall not go peacefully into the night...and you dust yourself off and look for the next course of action. I’m not ready to give up yet. I have a few good years left to fight and I’m not going to be put out to pasture yet like an old horse.

I know a thing or two about old horses. My favorite horse in the whole world whom I loved beyond what is reasonable died in June 2006 at the age of 38. At 35 we were still on the charity show circuit and we were still winning! He was still taking the barrels with the young un’s and he was still spirited and proud. He carted my fat butt all over the mountain trails. He was old, and he LOVED the trails. He loved cutting cattle even when I didn’t want to and ended up on the ground because I wasn’t expecting him to go after a calf. (He turned right, my butt went straight). He was passed over because he was a little sway back and had sad eyes by many people, but they didn’t know what I knew. They didn’t know the happy nicker as soon as I walked through a gate. They didn’t know the full out gallop that would take your breath away when I gave him his head. They didn’t know the absolute devotion of standing alone in the middle of a field with a herd of horses that were agitated and fighting and this old man of a horse, smaller than the rest, came and stood in front of this silly human girl with teeth bared and ears pinned and hooves flying to protect her and put three young geldings in their places. They didn’t see the courage of this old horse who with 100 yellow jacket stings and suffering galloped down a mountain 10 miles in 30 minutes to get his human girl to the medics because she was dying from over 30 stings. He was sick for three months with full on vet attention at 37 years old but he did it for me. He took a 5 hour trailer trip to the coast in 2002 to ride the beach and raise money for the fireman from 9-11 and he galloped through the sand and water and held his head high. He carried the American Flag in every opening ceremony and he arched that neck and high stepped because he KNEW he was doing something important.

People forgot that he had been a champion. That he had legendary blood running through his veins. That he was loyal beyond what is expected from a horse. He taught me so much about life and courage and what it means to love and dream. HE TAUGHT ME TO LOVE the older horses that were discarded by others. To not give up on them and deal with their aging bodies like arthritis, diarrhea and rotting teeth with compassion and understanding. And from the grave, today, he has given me one more lesson. Do not give up on myself.

It’s not my time to be overlooked and pushed down. I still have a lot of life and love to give and I can still do this. My body can still do this for the love of another and the chance to live a dream. Tonight, I will walk out to the back of my land, and visit the grave of Buck (yes, that’s where Buckin came from) and let him know he is still not forgotten and is still helping me learn and live. And one day, his favorite place where he rests, will have a new hope grazing there. A small old quarter horse forgotten by others but making a new child’s dream come true and teaching the lessons of life. My child. And the legacy of Buck and Me and our amazing story will live on into another generation.
I love, no, make that LOVE peas. As a child I actually loved mixing peas into the Hamburger Helper Beef stroganauff (I know, it pains me to admit my love for the boxed stuff too). That was one of my favorite meals though. As an adult, I am finding all kinds of new dishes with peas. I put them in EVERYTHING. A frozen bag of peas (about 15 oz) is only 97 cents. Why NOT put them in everything?

A month or so ago I ran across a Pea Salad recipe at I had to try it despite the fact I don’t eat bacon. So I bought some low sodium turkey bacon as a substitute. When it came time to make it however, it was late, I had been in the garden all day and I was exhausted. So I nixed the bacon and instead whipped up a handful of tiny pasta shells to add body to the salad.

I admit, I was a little skeptical at the raw simplicity of the salad. I started out with a tiny little bit. I went back for thirds and I brought it for lunch today. I did not share or leave any for my husband (but since its all green I doubt he would have tried it anyway unless I shoved it down his throat). I can not wait till the next potluck or party because this will definitely be on the menu throughout the whole summer. I may even venture the bacon and leave out the noodles for a zippy gluten free version!

Creamy Pea Salad
15 ounce bag of frozen peas thawed
2 sticks of celery, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup tiny pasta shells, boiled in salted water till al dente
½ block of sharp cheddar cheese cut in very small cubes
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
I did not add salt and pepper but you can to taste

I had all the ingredients (minus the pasta) in the fridge so everything was cold to begin with. Even adding the hot noodles did not heat it up much so I served as is which was still pretty chilled but you can chill before serving. Just dump everything together and stir. Great for a make ahead meal/dish.

Hummingbird Cupcakes

I made the first Hummingbird Cake years ago when it first made an appearance on the Martha Stewart show. I fell in love with the pineapple flowers she did. Everyone loved it, especially my mom. Fast forward to last year when I found out a new friend’s favorite cake was Hummingbird but she paid 9.75 per SLICE at a local bakery. I made her this cake for her birthday. She loves me now. LOL

For Mother’s Day, I decided to do a little portion control since we are all losing weight (well, and I’ve become a cupcake fiend…I don’t eat them, but I LOVE to make them) and make Hummingbird Cupcakes topped with a single Pineapple flower. They came out SO well. I left out the nuts and coconut because of food allergies in some members of the family, but I took a few of the cupcakes and topped them with nuts and coconut. I’m going to write the recipe down WITH the nuts and coconut but its your choice. The batter works fine without them.

Hummingbird Cupcakes
From Martha Stewarts Cake Recipe

3 cups Self Rising Flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas mashed
1 (8ounces) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup coconut (shredded)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients: flour and cinnamon. In KA Mixer (or bowl with hand mixer), cream oil, vanilla, and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat for about 3 minutes until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy.

Add in banana, pineapple (and walnuts and coconut if you choose to use them). Stir until combined. Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time until completely incorporated. Pour ( or use an ice-cream scoop like I do) into lined muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until done. Let cool completely. Makes about 24.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup softened/room temp butter (2 sticks)
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar

In KA MIXER, beat the vanilla and cream cheese about 2 minutes. Gradually add in the butter and cream together until fully incorporated. On low speed, slowly add in sugar until a whipped consistency.

Dried Pineapple Flowers

1 – 2 large pineapples (depending on how many flowers you want. One large did one flower on about 18 cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Peel pineapples. Using a small melon baller (I actually find using a small pairing knife works well too for the tougher eyes) remove and discard “eyes”. Slice pineapple VERY thinly. Place rounds on baking sheets. Cook until the tops look dried about 30 minutes. Flip slices and cook an additional 30 minutes until completely dried and ruffled. Cool on wire rack.

TIP: Do the Pineapple First. Even the evening before and store in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Turkey Parmesan Burgers (and oven fries)

In my quest for healthier eating I have cut out a lot of red meat. We have red meat maybe once a week if that. I tend to stick to poultry and veggies (and pasta. We all know I’m a carb loader). So anytime I see a recipe for any kind of poultry burger I have to try it! These were tasty. They cooked well and are a nice basic palate to make them your own. You could spice them up with some peppers or send them over the Italian curve with some fresh basil leaves and garlic mixed in. Due to my allergies, I’m pretty careful about spices right now. Go wild with this. I served with simple oven fries made from white potatoes, olive oil and sea salt. (slice and bake in a single layer for 20 minutes on 350, flip and bake for 20 more minutes). This makes a great light summer dinner OR a healthy lunch!

Turkey Parmesan Burgers
Sliced Whole Grain Bread
Parmesan cheese (about ½ cup)
Small can of Tomato Sauce
1 lb ground turkey
½ tbs olive oil
1 small finely chopped onion
Whole-milk Mozzarella cheese (thinly sliced or shredded)

In a food processor, blend the two end pieces of bread and parmesan to form fine crumbs. Place in large plate or pie plate.

In a large bowl combine ground turkey, onion and 2 tbs tomato sauce plus ¼ tsp salt. Mix well. Shape into 5 patties and gently coat with the bread crumb mixture.

In a George Foreman Grill (or a grill pan, frying pan etc), spray with Pam and place burgers on grill. Grill for about 4 minutes or until crusty and dark brown.

Serve on toasted bread with mayonnaise, 1 tbs of tomato sauce and a thin slice or sprinkle of mozzarella.

Spinach Shells: Two Ways

In my garden, I have an abundance of spinach, which is great because I LOVE spinach. Spinach and peas find a way into almost everything I make! LOL I wanted to play with dishes that feature spinach as a main ingredient, like my Spinach Lasagna which is to die for. (Okay I wouldn’t DIE for it but it is really good).

As I was experimenting with a recipe very loosely inspired by Giada De Laurentiis I went even further to try it with two types of shells: tiny shells and large stuffable shells. While both were good, and they both had the exact same ingredients, I have to admit the small shells were better. Something about how the ingredients blended together with the shells. I will definitely be making this again, very soon. (Especially since my spinach needs picking after all this rain we’ve had!)

Spinach Stuffed Shells and Spinach Shell Pasta
½ box jumbo pasta shells OR
2 cups tiny shells
1 gallon bucket of fresh spinach leaves (I would guess about 2 bags but I pick my spinach in a 1 gallon strawberry bucket)
½ container of whole milk ricotta
1 cup cottage cheese (You can use a whole container of ricotta but I always cut some calories by substituting some cottage. It works well)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup parmesan/gruyere mix
1 small onion
1 garlic clove,minced

½ stick butter
3 tbs flour
1 cup cream
1 cup grated parmesan
½ cup gruyere

Boil shells in salted water until al dente. If you are using the large shells definitely do not over cook or they will fall apart when you try to stuff them.

In a food processor, combine garlic and onion. Add washed spinach and chop until spinach is fine and combined. In a bowl, combine ricotta, cottage, gruyere/parm mix, salt and pepper and spinach mixture. Blend well. Set aside.

In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for 1 minute. Add cream and cook until smooth and it coats the spoon. Remove from heat and add in cheeses.

For Stuffed shells: Use spinach mixture to gently fill shells and place in a greased casserole dish. Pour Sauce OVER shells. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until bubbly.

For Spinach and Shells: Mix Sauce into Spinach mixture. Gently add mini cooked shells and stir until well blended. Place in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes until bubbly and cheese topping is turning golden brown. (You could also add some bread crumbs to the top and drizzle with olive oil for a firm crust).

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

I love pudding. I love doing everything homemade. Even though boxes are often easy and quick and are convenient, I want to know exactly what’s in it, how its done etc. Plus I know if I make it homemade it doesn’t have extra preservatives and colorings to increase aesthetics and shelf life. I feel GOOD about serving even the simplest things from scratch. Pudding is one of them. Brownies are another. Really, the homemade version may take one minute longer then the boxed version. It’s insanely easy. So why pay for preservatives? How “convenient” to your body is that?

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

2 cups milk
½ cup white sugar
3 tbs corn starch
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs butter

In a sauce pan, heat milk until bubbling on the edges. In a bowl, combine sugar, corn starch and salt. Pour sugar mixture into sugar 1/3 at a time, whisking until dissolved. Once mixture is smooth and thickens to coat the back of the spoon, remove from heat. (do not boil). Stir in vanilla and butter. Chill before serving (or spooning into cupcakes).

Letter to my Future

Dear Baby,
A friend told me to write down my wish, my hope, my dream. To put it into words and keep it safe. What is a safer place then in my heart? Everyday I live with the knowledge that there is a child waiting for my heart. I’ve been living so long in this world of limbo waiting to touch you. To hug you, to hold you, and to comfort you. I don’t know who you will be. Whether you are in God’s playground or whether your heartbeat has touched mine before and you are waiting to return. Maybe you are already born waiting to find your way into my home sometime down the road. Maybe you are plural and one of each of the above. That’s fine too.
I don’t know the whens, wheres, whys and hows. I do know love. Wherever, whatever, however you are. The way you make your way into my life matters not. However many of you there are, makes no difference because I already love you. I will always love you and welcome you home.
This journey has forced patience and strength I never knew I possessed. I look around and see what others take for granted. What actions and frustrations come so easily to parents that make me cringe. When they are exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, they forget the miracle of children. I’ve seen parents snap at a child because they don’t put their shoe on quick enough and they do it in front of strangers or dearly loved extended family. I’ve seen the tears and hurt in that child’s face and I remember those feelings from my youth.
I was not a perfect child and I will not be a perfect parent. I will be an “old” mom and I won’t always remember to be patient or understanding. I will probably lose my temper on occasion but I will never forget the journey and struggle and absolute miracle that you are. I will be the best mom I can be. I will love and protect you all of your life and do my best to give you a solid foundation of faith, family, kindness and knowledge to make your mark on the world.
And while I have written this, my dream, my wish, for you I know that there is no safe place than holding you close to my heart until you come my way. On that day, I will gladly give my heart to you.

Wellness Topic: Food effects on Seasonal Allergies

This is prime season for allergies. Having recently come into my discovery of how bad allergies can be, I’m very aware of them this year. I have an allergy to mold and mildew which has been compounded by my environment (my job). In this economy, I have to learn to work around my allergy since I can’t leave my job. Jobs are too hard to come by. Some interesting information that came from an NC County Wellness Newsletter is definitely worthy of passing on.

Studies show that a healthy diet rich in certain foods will help keep your respiratory system strong, boost your immunity to allergies and help fight infections. The article quotes an article written in Thorax, a health journal that noted islanders who ate Mediterranean foods had fewer allergies. The foods in this type of diet that aid in protecting against allergies are: nuts, grapes, oranges, apples and fresh tomatoes. These foods have natural anti-inflammatory and are loaded with Vitamins, antioxidants and good fats.

The full list of foods:
Nuts: magnesium (increase lung function) and vitamin E (immune booster).

Apples, oranges and tomatoes: anditoxidants, vitamin C.

Grapes: the skins especially have antioxidants and resveratrol (reduces inflammation and offers protection)

Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and offer protection

Green, white and black teas: reduce inflammation, boost immunity by increasing proteins. Hot tea with lemon in the morning activates the movement of nasal cilia which helps prevent sneezing with allergies.

Zinc: found in oysters, lean beef, shrimp, crab, legumes, whole grains and tofu. Has antibacterial and antiviral effects and assists with immunity.

Me personally, I eat a LOT of tomatoes in the summer. I always feel better in the summer? Coincidence? I think not. My own tips to add to this, take vitamins. I’ve learned a lot by trying to eat locally and in season. Right now I’m eating a lot of spinach, peas, strawberries, and asparagus. That is what is in season right now and I can get it fresh. These are loaded with good vitamins and iron. In the summer, it is easier to eat fruits and veggies because it’s the season for them (here in the south). I can also not stress enough my new love for Green Tea.

I started taking Green Tea as it is suggested it can aid in fertility but no matter that it is an excellent source of antioxidants. In the few weeks I’ve been on it, my allergic reactions are almost undetectable and I now go DAYS without reactions at all OFF of my medicine! How fabulous is that?

Wellness Topic

This is prime season for allergies. Having recently come into my discovery of how bad allergies can be, I’m very aware of them this year. I have an allergy to mold and mildew which has been compounded by my environment (my job). In this economy, I have to learn to work around my allergy since I can’t leave my job. Jobs are too hard to come by. Some interesting information that came from an NC County Wellness Newsletter is definitely worthy of passing on.

Studies show that a healthy diet rich in certain foods will help keep your respiratory system strong, boost your immunity to allergies and help fight infections. The article quotes an article written in Thorax, a health journal that noted islanders who ate Mediterranean foods had fewer allergies. The foods in this type of diet that aid in protecting against allergies are: nuts, grapes, oranges, apples and fresh tomatoes. These foods have natural anti-inflammatory and are loaded with Vitamins, antioxidants and good fats.

The full list of foods:
Nuts: magnesium (increase lung function) and vitamin E (immune booster).

Apples, oranges and tomatoes: anditoxidants, vitamin C.

Grapes: the skins especially have antioxidants and resveratrol (reduces inflammation and offers protection)

Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and offer protection

Green, white and black teas: reduce inflammation, boost immunity by increasing proteins. Hot tea with lemon in the morning activates the movement of nasal cilia which helps prevent sneezing with allergies.

Zinc: found in oysters, lean beef, shrimp, crab, legumes, whole grains and tofu. Has antibacterial and antiviral effects and assists with immunity.

Me personally, I eat a LOT of tomatoes in the summer. I always feel better in the summer? Coincidence? I think not. My own tips to add to this, take vitamins. I’ve learned a lot by trying to eat locally and in season. Right now I’m eating a lot of spinach, peas, strawberries, and asparagus. That is what is in season right now and I can get it fresh. These are loaded with good vitamins and iron. In the summer, it is easier to eat fruits and veggies because it’s the season for them (here in the south). I can also not stress enough my new love for Green Tea.

I started taking Green Tea as it is suggested it can aid in fertility but no matter that it is an excellent source of antioxidants. In the few weeks I’ve been on it, my allergic reactions are almost undetectable and I now go DAYS without reactions at all OFF of my medicine! How fabulous is that?

Either way, a healthier body is a better environment for a baby. Taking Class C meds for allergies during pregnancy are not necessarily harmful but not necessarily OKAY. So why not take steps now to make yourself feel better and get your body in a great shape for future or current baby! Good luck!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cheesecake Factory's Chicken Costolleta

I found this recipe while roaming around food blogs and sites. I’ve never actually had this dish as the closest Cheesecake Factory is an hour and a half away. The only thing I’ve ever had from there is my wedding cakes. (Yep, we did multiple tiers of cheesecake for our wedding.) So I can not guarantee the authenticity of this recipe. Having said that, it is darn good! I’m definitely adding this to the rotation. I’m In LOVE with the lightly flavored dipping sauce for a hot crispy piece of chicken. You HAVE to try this.

Chicken Costolleta (and I still think that looks/sounds like Cost-a-lotta)
4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into large strips and pounded to ½ inch thick
3 tbs flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 eggs
Splash of water
Zest of 1 lemon
1 ½ cups plain breadcrumbs
2 tbs grated parmesan
Vegetable oil

Heat vegetable oil over medium high (about ¼ inch of it in a deep cast iron pan- I used a dutch oven). In three dishes put the following ingredients:
Dish 1: flour, pepper and salt. Mix.
Dish 2: Eggs and water. Whisk.
Dish 3: Lemon zest, bread crumbs and parmesan.

Place each chicken strip in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture. Make sure in each stage it is thoroughly coated. Place in heated oil for about 4 minutes per side or until Golden brown and done in the center. Try to only flip once. If your oil is smoking, its too hot. You want it just below smoking point.

Lemon Cream Dipping Sauce:
1 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy cream
1 tbs Dijon mustard
The juice from two lemons
Zest from One lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tbs butter, cold

Over medium heat in saucepan, heat olive oil. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add cream and boil until reduced and slightly thick. Add mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.

You can serve the cream sauce OVER the chicken or use it is a dipping sauce which is how I preferred it.

Strawberry Mascarpone Scones

As part of my plot to conquer anything and all things strawberry, I decided a strawberry scone was in order. Not just ANY scone, but one with creamy Mascarpone cheese to make a luscious thick lightly sweet scone. So good. Even my husband who is not a sweets person, has been taking these to work for breakfast. YAY! They are very delicate, crumbly, juicy strawberries bursting in your mouth, a hint of cheese (almost Danish like but just a hint) and not too sweat. Love it.

Strawberry Mascarpone Scones
2 ½ cups self rising flour
½ cup sugar plus some for sprinkling
1 stick butter, chilled and diced
1 egg
¼ cup milk
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
Zest of one lemon
1 ¾ cups fresh strawberries, sliced

In food processor, combine flour and sugar. Add butter, and pulse a few times until butter is incorporated and the size of peas (like you are making a pie crust). In a small bowl, whisk together: egg, milk, mascarpone cheese and lemon zest. Set aside. Transfer flour to KA Mixer and add strawberries. On low speed for just a few seconds, mix with paddle attachment just so the strawberries are covered in flour and sugar but not so they are mashed or broken.

Pour cheese mixture into flour/strawberry mixture and gently on low mix until just incorporated. Turn dough out onto a WELL floured board and kneed for just a minute until its no longer sticky. Form patties, or cut into triangles for your scones. Place on a well greased baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar and bake on 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Let cool completely. ENJOY!

These would also be good with a light powder sugar glaze if you want them a little sweeter.

Goat Cheese Potato Gratin

Recipe from Cooking Light, October 2001

My husband actually really enjoyed this dish. He’s a meat and potatoes kinda guy but my use of goat cheese in some dishes is questionable to him. I should have known I just have to mix it with potatoes! For me personally, it was a little dry for me so I think I would like to add a bit more cream sauce but it was good. Well flavored.

Goat Cheese Potato Gratin
1 cup half and half
1 tbs flour
1 cup (4 ounces) goat cheese
1 cup 2% milk
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
5 cups thinly sliced Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 2 ½ lbs)

Spray 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2 tbs of half and half with flour in a large bowl (whisk works best). Slowly whisk in the remaining half and half until smooth. Crumble the goat cheese into the mixture and add in the milk, salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir gently. Spread a single layer of the potatoes in pan and pour 1/3 of the mixture over potatoes, coating them. Add another layer of potatoes and repeat with the mixture. Add the last potatoes (will not be a full layer) and pour the remaining cheese mixture. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are golden brown and tender.

Spring Green Rice Casserole

This is one of those recipes that I stumbled across on a blog and took inspiration from. Annie’s Eats is the original source I believe. I’m not sure if this was an original recipe of hers, but I did not use the recipe as she did. It’s a fine recipe but I did not have all the ingredients on hand and wanted to add chicken. It was good. I nice mild spring flavor with just the hint of citrus. (Though I think I’m going to have to steer clear of lemon for a bit as the hubby is making comments about it. I think I’ve done too many lemon dishes, but really, I had a whole bag, I didn’t want them to go bad!) This makes quite a bit too. Fed three people for dinner, two servings for lunch the next day and I sent about two servings home with my sister for my dad’s lunch.

Spring Green Rice Casserole
One box of chicken Stock (I think that’s about 4 cups, maybe 5, can’t remember)
1 ½ tsps Olive Oil (Plus some for the chicken)
1 ½ tbs butter
3 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 shallots minced
3 leeks, white and just part of the green parts, not the whole stems, chopped
2 cups plain white rice
1 bag frozen peas, thawed (about 15 ounces)
Zest of One lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice from One lemon
1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
½ cup freshly grated parmesan

Lightly oil a grill pan and grill chicken breasts over medium heat.

In a large stock pot, heat up olive oil and butter. Lightly toast the rice. Add the leeks and shallots to the rice, and toast/sauté for a bit stirring constantly. Add chicken stock, 2 cups at a time (let the rice absorb for a few minutes and then add the rest of the stock). Cook for about 10 minutes, till stock is absorbed and rice is al dente. Add the peas and stir. Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Continue cooking till rice is done (though it needs to still have a bit of bite to it). Turn the heat off and add in the lemon juice, mascarpone, parmesan. Stir well. Dice up the chicken and combine or serve strips of the chicken OVER the rice.

*Even when the computer is working again, I will not be adding a picture as I was distracted and forgot to take one! Sorry. But it really is pretty!*

Boston Ho Cupcakes

This is where I talk about the Pioneer Woman disaster. My great plan (that I had been working on for a month) was to travel an hour and a half away with two great girl friends to go to the book signing of Pioneer Woman. We were going to meet several awesome girls (friends and bloggers) there. It was one of my BFF’s birthdays so I was surprising her with the trip. So imagine: Beautiful day, got off work early, had made awesome gluten free cupcakes the night before, chicken salad and a veggie tray. I got the oil changed in the SUV and had it cleaned. I stopped by the grocery store to pick up ice for the cooler. Came out, my car wouldn’t move. It was dead. Engine purred, gas pedal would not engage. After several hours of working with mechanics, the Mitsubishi dealer via phone, arranging towing etc. it was too late to travel to Charlotte and get there in time. My surprise for my BFF was blown. My chance to meet the Pioneer woman and have a girl’s road trip, GONE in the blink of a failed Pedal Pressure Sensor.

I was distraught. My BFF and I tried to salvage the evening with a trip to Outback, a browsing session at our local bookstore, and a rousing game of scrabble. We have our PW cookbooks and each other’s company, and delicious simple desserts. In honor of Sarah’s Birthday, I created an easy gluten Free Cupcake. Simple and sweet decadent with a fancy trashy name. So what’s in a name? Since these little cupcakes came out crossed somewhere between a backwards Boston cream pie and a Ho Ho cake, they are named Boston Ho’s. And well, it makes the 12 yo boy that lives in my brain giggle like a school girl. Deceptively simple, extremely good, funny name, gluten-free.

Boston Ho Cupcakes
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devils Food Cake Mix
Vanilla Pudding (I used Homemade and will post the recipe soon)
Vanilla Icing (I use a homemade Butter Cream but you can use your favorite store brand).

Make batter according to package directions. Fill cupcake tins with liners about ¾ full. Bake per box instructions. Let cool completely. Using a pairing knife, cut a cone out of the center of each cupcake. Cut tip off cone and save the top circle of each.

Gently spoon vanilla pudding into the hole. Cover with cake circle. Pipe with frosting. Serve.

Celtic Infertility Prayer

Gracious God, we long for a child and find our hearts shaved of hope
as month after month we go childless.
The love we have to give and share with a child fills us to the brim,
but that love seems thwarted when our longing is not fulfilled.
Look with tenderness on us, O God.
Let the disappointment that hangs over us be lifted by the joy of your touch.
Give us the patience that will re-build hope
as we wait for the fullness of our love in the high calling of parenthood.
We ask this for the sake of your love. Amen

Celtic Prayer (Copyright ©1999-2008

What IF?

Everyone has there ups and downs. We all know IF, pregnancy etc is a roller coaster and I have said it many times before. If you have read my blog for even five minutes you know I’m an emotional Six Flags all on my own. I just talked about being the strong one for everyone around me but today I had an abject lesson in strength.

I’m having an off day. I don’t feel like working. I don’t feel well. My back aches, I’m tired, and I’m obviously whiney. As I texted Beth and she tried to support me and keep me optimistic which is usually the role I always try to take, I realized that we have opposite days. When she’s down, I’m up. When I’m down, she automatically takes the UP approach. We do this for each other. I do this for other’s and other’s do it for me. ALL.THE.TIME.

This is a hard road, but it is a little easier with people who understand and support each other around me. I WISH no one around me had to go through this. Its not something I wish on anyone and I would rather be alone if it meant no one else had to know the emotional and physical pain of IF and loss, but I can’t say that it doesn’t help to have these amazing women around me. “Pain is inevitable, Misery is Optional.”

My sister has actually been trying to read up on PCOS and what goes on. She admitted that her eyes kind of glaze over and it’s a LOT of information to digest and she doesn’t understand. She doesn’t understand Luteal Phases and basic reproduction of our bodies. She’s trying. It begs the question, would any of us know if we had not had issues or found online boards of knowledgeable women who did? Would we have taken the time to LEARN all this technical stuff if we didn’t have to? For someone to fully understand what I go through, they have to be educated on what our bodies do. Sometimes that’s hard for me to grasp, but I definitely appreciate that she is trying. She is trying to learn what my body doesn’t do and what to say during conversations that aren’t offensive. She read the IF article I sent and has read other’s IF blogs. I appreciate that. That is an amazing step in her support of me.

It makes me wonder if I should push for EVERYONE to learn this information even if they don’t know people with IF or loss (because so many people don’t ever let on). It’s like an embarrassment that people hide in the closet. They don’t want to bring people “down” by talking about their misfortune and dead babies. We can talk about breast cancer and prostate cancer till we are blue in the face. But we don’t talk about defective uteruses? That’s taboo? Really?

So what do I do? How do I educate people? Do I bite the bullet and contact my preacher about starting an IF related Journey group for other members of my church? Do I spread out and start a RESOLVE group in the triad? What if no one shows up? What if SEVERAL show up? How do I TEACH and HELP and SUPPORT them when I am still learning and struggling EVERY DAY? And what if…I get pregnant? Will that hurt them to see me pregnant and will it demean the message and the knowledge I’m trying to convey? Will I start a group only to disband it a few months later when I start showing? My preacher is starting a series on GO. Go out and minister in your backyard, to the world. Share the knowledge, but to me, God isn’t the only thing that needs addressing or sharing. When you have a very real pain, sometimes your relationship with God suffers and sometimes you turn more fully towards him. What if this is my chance to minister? What if Infertility and the struggle to create and supporting those going through it is my calling to share God’s love to others? What IF this is part of his plan for me?

"10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. 11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

What if I just DO it? What if I just quit asking questions and take action to help others on a more local scale? What IF?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Monday-Yum Edition..LOL

Thanks to some much needed rain making my garden watered and muddy I have no qualms about making an ambitious menu plan this week as I will have several days that I won’t be able to do much outside. My house is even getting cleaned after a few weeks of driving me insane as I’ve been outside!

It’s STRAWBERRY season so I’m trying to do more with strawberries which I buy by the Gallon Bucket at the Farmer’s Market. ($7.00 a gallon for huge beautiful berries). I’ve frozen 2 gallons to use for ice creams, slushies etc, made some rhubarb strawberry jam and a few recipes. I’ve also been using spinach from my own garden and fresh goat cheese. Honey is coming into season too so I’ll be exploring recipes using honey in the weeks to come when I restock my honey stores. (I currently have a jar I bought at the grocery store and its DISGUSTING…more on that later).

So what’s up this week?

Cheesecake Factory Chicken Costellata (anyone else think tat looks like Chicken Cost-a-lotta?)

Goat Cheese Potato Gratin

Spaghetti with STUFFED meatballs

Strawberry Mascarpone Scones

Strawberry Icecream (I bought an icecream maker ya’ll…so excited!)

Spring Green Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

Creamy Pea Pasta Salad with Turkey bacon

Turkey Parmesan Burgers

Homemade Bread-I’m determined to make this. I lost my recipe I had planned on using and I’m a little timid of using my Brad recipe book with my Bread machine. I’ve only used the machine once and it was for baking not doing it all. I want to use it to do it all darn it!

I’m also looking forward to getting one more batch (2-3 gallons) of strawberries before they go out of season this weekend and making homemade jelly and syrup.

I’m determined to preserve in season fruit this year to use thru winter. I’ve done a few peaches etc in the past but this year I’m doing more with it. I have to preserve in order to keep up with this new eating style and maintain my local eating endeavors through the winter!

Life Gets in the Way Sometimes

After my miscarriage I threw myself back into this blog and cooking and planning the garden (which I WAY overdid, I will be honest about that-Big Garden-my nemisis). It was the only thing that helped me deal with my grief and sanity.

As the months have gone by, I have thrown myself in so many different directions, joining blog challenges, blog rolls, writing for the examiner, going larger on the garden etc. that I see very little focus and very little accomplishment. I have all these grand ideas and not enough time to execute them.

And I’m growing more exhausted by the day which leaves me less time and energy to work on anything. As you can see from my blog post history this is pretty typical for me at this time of year. Once I take on the outside work of summer (garden, yard, pool) that is where my focus stays and I blog little. I always have the best intentions of blogging garden updates but that never happens. I’m already on phase II of the one garden (ripping out lettuce etc and planting summer crops) and I’ve posted nothing.

Part of this is the fact that my laptop is broke so I’m sharing a computer with DH. It’s a bulky desktop, rather slow with picture downloads and its in the office. The office is DH’s domain now. (used to be mine when I worked from home but now its his since he’s in school and I am back in corporate America). I do not clean it since its his mess and his hateful bird resides in there. Needless to say, its disgusting, dusty and noisy which sends this OCD neat freak into spasms. Plus now the computer is not reading my camera and he hasn’t fixed it. I have little desire to post considering all of that. This situation will be corrected sometime this summer when I budget in the money for computer repairs. (my laptop). Right now pool supplies, garden/yard expenses are top of the list). Until then please be aware that my blog may be rather quiet with the occasional blast of recipes and updates as time permits.
I still have a ton of posts to make (stories in my head, pictures hanging out on my camera, recipes I’ve made). I’m just not sure how it will go over actually posting them. My lunch hour is short so posting daily during that time is not necessarily feasible though I’m definitely going to give it the old college try and definitely keep up with the Menu Monday as that keeps me experimenting and my budget on track.

I will be diligent in my efforts but I didn’t want to disappear for days/weeks at a time and you not have a heads up, so Stay TUNED!

Definitely in the To Blog File:
Hummingbird Cupcakes
Leftover Pot Pie
Boston Ho Cupcakes
Corny Cole Slaw
Spinach Shells-2 ways
And a whole slew of recipes from this weeks menu.

McFatty Monday

AF is on her way. The puberty inspired pizza face, the cramps, the aches and tenderness, the exhaustion and the driving temperatures all tell me so. I’m not sure when, as this would be an insanely short LP for me (so much for that whole LP always being the same, mine NEVER is), but she will scurry forth soon and it will be back to square one with fertility. We will have to see an RE and my insurance covers NONE of that so we basically will be on our own. I have too many medical bills to pay off (deductibles for D & E, HSG, Cat Scan on my lungs etc.) to afford the RE right now. So unless a miracle happens, 2011 may be out for a due date as well. Another year wasted. I will cross that emotional bridge when we get there though. I can’t think about that right now or I will sink into a foul depression I’m not sure I can pull out of.

I’m continuing with the improving of my diet to allow my body to better function with the PCOS. The Metformin lowers my blood sugar which is not high to begin with, its average. So combine that with the clomid and I am munchy/hungry ALL.THE.TIME. I’ve never been one to eat often. One of my biggest problems- I would drink coffee all day long and eat a large dinner. That’s it. I’ve vastly improved those habits but I’m not quite to eating small bits of food every few hours. Its hard for me to remember to “pack” enough food to eat through the work day. But I’m getting better. Somedays are better than others.

I was able to drop those horrid 6 pounds I packed back on last weekend. So I am almost back to my lowest weight-44 lbs down, 3 pounds from my goal. And that’s WITH eating a Hardee’s Frisco burger (no bacon or fries with water). I know. I KNOW! Not much better but I tried. I still have my weak moments.

I have a lovely menu plan this week and I am hoping that will help me finally reach this goal weight. I NEED this small victory in my life right now. I need to keep focusing on the positive things so I don’t dwell on the IF. Whoever thought anyone would WANT to focus on weight over something else? LOL

My new find this week: Green Tea. I’ve never liked it before but it is supposed to help with fertility (nothing proven but hey I’m willing to do anything as we know) and it is insanely good for you. Since I don’t drink coffee or soft drinks anymore and just stick to water and milk mostly, the Green Tea is actually very tasty to me now! So I drink one (occasionally two) cup a day plus my water and milk. It has helped me calm my allergy symptoms (not sure its responsible but it’s a hell of a coinkidink no?) and helped me shed the excess water retention. I am ALL about the green tea as part of my daily life now.

If I could only add in consistent exercise to that…as always, that is the ever dangling carrot that I just never quite have the energy to chase after…if only…

And Diana, good job on hosting McFatty Monday. I hope you have great success with yoru weight loss endeavors. I know these Monday's have been awesome inspiration for me and helped keep me on track faithfully...even when I fail and eat Hardees.

Blair, You look AMAZING in your party dress. Good job! I'm so proud of you! I've passed my marriage weight and am at the weight I was when I MET my husband! I'm very excited about that!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Make up your mind already

FF is screwing with me hard core. First it had ovulation at day 14. Not a chance in hell that was going to work out. Then it moved it to day 16 which I felt was a tad more accurate and gave us a better chance. This morning it wanted to move it to day 18 with solid crosshairs which gives us ZERO chance and I don't necessarily agree anyway.

I've studied chart reading with FF and played the analyzing games. I've never quite understood why FF chooses the day it chooses sometimes. I think it says EENY MEENY MINEY MO.

So I don't know what to think. I currently have crosshairs (dotted ones) on day 16) which of the three gives us the best chance but I don't feel confident that its accurate. I think I may go insane during this 2WW.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Eating for PCOS

Let’s talk about PCOS. Not everyone is fluent in the acronyms and disorders of Infertility. They may know what it stands for but not what it does. Hell, even I don’t understand what all it does and I have it! I’ve talked about the individual drugs but lets talk about what they are trying to treat, because right now they are treating the symptoms, not the disease.

What is PCOS? Quite simply it is a metabolic disorder that affects 5-7.5% of women. The number one cause of infertility.

What are the risks? Endometrial cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

What happens? To break it down, it messes with the balance of hormones in your body throwing your body into chaos and the natural order of it into a malfunctioning time bomb. New research shows that insulin is one of the key hormone players that it screws with which causes all the other hormones to be out of whack. Insulin is released by the pancreas in response to food (like carbs). It acts as a vehicle to get the sugar out of the blood, into the muscle, fat and liver cells to use as energy or store it. Women with PCOS have a defective system. Imagine it is a Toyota. Over acceleration causing mass pile ups, government summits, recalls and investigations but so far nothings being done but bloating and expansion of problems. That is your body with PCOS.

Facts: 50-60% of PCOS sufferers are obese. Losing even 5% of body weight can lead to an improvement of symptoms. They try low calorie diets that usually consist of high levels of carbs which are their enemy and GAIN weight. A more apt diet plan would be a low glycemic index diet but few people know that if they haven’t been diagnosed correctly.

On the proper diet, you will have decreased cravings, increased energy levels, better skin and more regular menstrual cycles. HOW GREAT WOULD THAT BE? Well, I happen to know its true. I still fight with carbs but I go after foods that are unprocessed and I’ve dropped a lot of weight. Just look at my McFatty Monday posts! When I do go for carbs I never eat them alone. I combine them a protein or fat. (cheese counts, so stfu). I drink a TON of water and have reduced my intake of red meat.

If you are suffering from some of the symptoms of PCOS or have been diagnosed here are some suggestions for you: (but I recommend doing the research and talking to your doctor).

*Select foods that are unprocessed like bran cereal, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats like skinless chicken, olive oil, low fat milk and fish.

*Exercise regularly ( I get a big fat fail at this).

*Take a multivitamin with minerals including at least 400 mcg of folic acid

Positive PCOS Foods
Red Grapefruit-reduces cholesterol
Chilli-aids in insulin resistence and weight loss
Fiber/Fibre-controls blood sugar
Vinegar & Pickles-reduces spikes in blood concentrations of insulin and glucose
Cinnamon-the MHCP in it lowers blood glucose levels
Blueberries-increases sensitivity to insulin
Raspberries-ellagic acid is an anti-cancer agent plus they have vitamin c and soluble fiber
Calcium-involved in eg production in ovaries (
Good Protein- lean chicken, beans, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, yogurt, veggie burgers
Ginger-anti inflammatory agent
Acceptable Carbs-whole wheat breads and pastas, bran cereals, fruits, vegetables, yogurt
Good Fats- avocado, cheese, eggs, hummus, nut butters, oil-based salad dressings, olive oil

Stay away from refined sugars and white pastas.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A long glimpse of Fraudulant Me

I’ve been there. I’ve been to the point of giving up…and beyond. I’m still going.

I question myself sometimes because it’s often easier for me to just keep living this monotonous life without children. After an emotional year full of drugs, hope, happiness and bitter defeat, I mourned. Then I moved on. I buried the pain on a daily basis and found it easier to breathe if I didn’t think about it. I actually put it off longer than medically necessary because I was more scared at that point of feeling the pain again than of living without a child. But the desire is still there. It creeps in. Then the excitement creeps in. The inevitable disappointment every month. The jealousy of other’s joy. The pain of a passing date. I’m not together ALL the time.

I realized that I’ve harbored all those emotions in a calm port…with a hurricane right offshore. Occasionally a gust blows in, but the sun is still shining with increasing turbulence brewing.

I captain a ship of strength for the world to see. I pat the knees of my friends as they go through the raw emotions and I want to help them because I’ve been there. I offer advice of how to cope to those suffering with IF, PCOS and loss. But I’m a FRAUD.

I’m not this strong. There are just places inside me that are dead. They’ve been repressed and buried so long that half the time I don’t remember how to grieve or feel. I hold myself up to this standard of strength. I can’t allow myself to show weakness and vulnerability.

I’ve always been the strong one. The Ice Queen has nothing on me. I’m the one friends run to to defend them, to stand up for them. If someone needs a body buried (figuratively speaking), I’m the girl that borrows a truck, drives out to nowhere, digs the hole, dumps it in, covers it with Lyme and disposes of evidence in a methodical manner. I’m the girl that looks the cop in the eye with a quirked eyebrow and says “he’s missing? REALLY? Well we should have seen that one coming. Check in Mexico.”

Inwardly, I’m LT. DAN strapping myself to the mast in a storm screaming at God. But I had that even from myself. I rarely show it. I show the strength to continue on despite missing my legs (or more accurately my heart). I try and comfort those around me with alcohol and whores (too far with the Forrest Gump references? Okay). But I wonder if I’m living a lie. Is this who I am? Why do I not want to show the world my pain? Except in snippets. I don’t mind looking occasionally schizophrenic but heave forbid I show my weakness and pain too often.

I often look at other people and question their level of pain. Are they over exaggerating for a myriad of reasons I make up in my own head. Please don’t hate me for saying this but I compare them with me. Of course, I see my situation as worse than some and say “how come they don’t have it together like me? They are ridiculous and petty.” I make my emotional repression into a martyr. AND I’m WRONG! It has nothing to do with anyone else. It has to do with my stupid emotional repression. The forcing of myself to be strong, to hide my pain when I can, to keep going on for others, to “get over it already”.
I don’t regret being strength to others, even if sometimes I fake it. I love all my friends and will be there through their hard times: divorce, fights, IF, foreclosure, etc. And when I give them a chance, they are always there for me.
Sometimes I stumble along the way in my journey. I jump off the path because I’m scared. I’m scared I won’t make it through more pain or the unknown. I’m trying really hard to take my own advice-to let go and FEEL and keep chasing your dreams.
I don’t want to give up. I don’t’ want my friends to give up. I want to continue to be a pillar of strength but I need to learn how to let go and not always play it off. (and I’m not there because I don’t want to talk about this with any of you reading it..LOL)

I show more emotion HERE and to those who know me online then to those who only know me IRL. I’m closer emotionally and more truthful to those online and those IRL who got to now me online.

The one instance of REAL life emotion is sitting on the floor of one of my Best Friend’s new kitchen unpacking her pots and pans with her and my other BFF and I lost it. I just sat there and cried with both of them holding me a month after my M/C.

AND I APOLOGIZED! That image sticks with me. It sneaks up and bites me on the ass and says “what’s your problem.” Maybe if you weren’t such a hardened bitch you could get pregnant. And then the other voice comes in and says “but if you never do at least you will have protected yourself and hardened yourself against the daily hell that is IF.”

I don’t have the answers. I act like I do. Some days are good days, some days I am truly excited about life and enjoying the things I set out to do. I truly care about all of you. It’s ME I lie to. It’s ME I pretend that everything is okay no matter what happens. And it is not. But I’m not giving up yet. I haven’t crossed that bridge of deception with myself and I continue to fight for my dreams, through the haze of disappointment.

Monday, May 10, 2010

McFatty Monday-Emotional Eating

This has been a hard week. Really hard emotionally. Really hard financially. Really hard period. Wednesday was my original EDD. I ate a LARGE bowl of chocolate icecream for dinner. YES. I ate my emotions. Literally. I’m pretty sure I ingested my own tears as they fell on my spoon on its way to my mouth.
Despite that, I was down to my lowest ewight in over 6 years on Friday. (I always check my weight on Friday even though “official” weigh in is Monday. ) I trotted off in a good mood to meet girlfriends for a road trip to meet Pioneer Woman.
With the craptastic timing of all inanimate objects, my car died en route. DEAD. I was in the grocery store parking lot (to pick up ice for the cooler) and had the gas peddle to the floor. No movement. Engine purring along happily. It would go in reverse. Holy hell, I can not drive home in reverse. (Well I could, but its not legal). AND OMG please don’t let my transmission be blown! Fortunately the Xpress Lube where I just had the oil changed is in the next building so I hot footed it through the parking lot, handed my keys to the first mechanic that walked out and said “my car is over there (points dramatically), go fix it.”
To attempt to make a long story (over 4 hours) somewhat short- It was the APP Sensor. Don’t know what that is? Barely anyone else did either. Pressure Pedal Sensor. It disengages the gas peddle when something is wrong. Supposedly they NEVER go bad, but mine did. It malfunctioned. No one stocks the parts so Mitsubishi would have to order it. Est. Arrival. NEXT WEDNESDAY.
After figuring out prices, towing options, etc. it was too late to try the drive to Charlotte. My stupid cartastrophe kept THREE OF US from PW. I was so upset I was in tears. I had been planning this trip for a month! We ate out at Outback. (more feelings in my mouth people).
Mother’s Day brought its own horrid emotions. From a baby dedication at the church to Mother’s Day cards acknowledging me as a Mother by my sister, mom, Isha and other friends (which I cried over while weeding my garden. No need to use a sprinkler, I’m pretty sure my cucumbers had plenty from me, thanks).
On top of all this there was a fight with DH over the vehicle issues and money (we had just bought a riding lawnmower and he needed computer stuff for school so the budget was insanely tight BEFORE car issues), me stressing over all the housework, gardening etc.
It was a VERY hard few days. So how is all this rambling excuse of a weekend effecting my weight? HORRIBLE.
FRIDAY: I was down 45 pounds.
Today/MONDAY: I’m up 4 lbs (to that pesky plateau mark) so only down 41lbs.

I was devastated. I skipped eating Hummingbird Cupcakes with Pineapple Flowers you bastards (my body) and gardened all day and you have the NERVE to gain 4 pounds AND make me constipated AGAIN? You are hereby FIRED.

This week SUCKS. Sorry Blair, I think our bodies may be teaming up against us for once, which may have been okay if we had atleast gotten to hang out Friday, but NO, my car AND my body are against me.

PS. Right before Xpress Lube closed, they called and said they had my car working. The one guy had worked on that sensor for three hours (while on the phone with Mistubishi) b/c it made him mad and he fixed it. We have the car and for now, it is working again. Praise the lord for persistent kind-hearted mechanics! (I have to give mad props to both my boys at Xpress Lube and the techs at Mitsubishi for aiding and assisting via phone!)

So Fess Up. What do you dive into when you emotional eat? How long do you do it or is it over after one bad choice?

Menu Monday

So I have been very slack this past week. Chalk it up to a string of catastrophe's and a new schedule (so bear with me as this means I have to rearrange my blogging time as well). I do have a few posts to make from last week including:

Boston Ho's (cupcakes)
Cole Slaw (not Ina's)

I haven't even bothered making a menu this week which is going to kill me as my budget is disgustingly low since we bought a riding lawnmower (our's bit the dust awhile back and now our push mower croaked too) with my paycheck this week and hubby had to have computer chips for school on top of that and we had the car worked on. (sorry Cable company, you can suck it, the payment will be late this month) because I refuse to transfer money from savings. Call me crazy, but I don't want to create that habit or next thing you know, your savings will be GONE.

So we shall see what I can magically pull out of the freezer and pantry with maybe some small contributions from the grocery store. I know I have the stuff for:

Bean Soup

Veggie Pot Pie


Some kind of Pasta (I always have stuff for pasta on hand)

What do you do when life hits you all at once and money is tight? Can you pull two weeks worth of meals out of your pantry/fridge (or ass if the case may be!)?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Due Date Bumblebee

I wanted to let this day go by in a fog,
To not remember that today was the day my precious baby was supposed to join us.

A day that you never actually expect to be THE DAY
but when it is taken from you, you cling tight to the date

The date of hope
The date of longing
The date of pain
The date of tears.

While people are out celebrating,drinking, being merry and eating spicy food
I sit alone remembering a baby that never came to be.

My bumblebee.

And for added torture, there are two EDDs. May 5th based on Ovulation, and then May 11th based on that first ultrasound. I have to go through it all over again 6 days from now.

I have to sit here and mourn while my baby frolics in heaven. I should be happy that I got those few months of "knowing" something more than myself. I should see it as a gift that another soul touched me so briefly and brought such joy into our lives.

But today, I only feel the emptiness. My body and heart feels hollow and the tears track down my face. Nothing distracts me from imagining the joy that should have been ours, the joy that is floating with the angels. The joy that so briefly touched me and then passed me by.

Happy Due Date Bumblebee, whereever you are. Mommy Loves you.


Since today has been a discussion of drugs, let's go ahead and speak of the other one. Metformin. Typically a drug used for Type II diabetes but has also been prescribed recently for PCOS sufferers as it helps regulate insulin levels and hormones which keep the body from ovulating correctly. It has its own side effects which can be attributed to my issues of late just as easily as clomid though I distinctly remember having a few issues on just the clomid last time, but the worst? was definately when I started the IF cocktail as I like to call it.

Another resource that specifically talks about the side effects? HERE. I definately have the gas. Lord Help me do I have the gas. The nausea, seems to be sporadic, thank the heavens.

There isn't really anything to say about monitoring on Met. My GP says that Metformin is one of the mildest drugs out there with the fewest side effects. (probably meaning severe) and I should feel comfortable taking it despite all my allergy issues. (that only made me feel slightly better and still took me two months before I made the commitment and popped a pill. Did I have success? Yes. I don't know WHICH med/method etc worked because on the fourth cycle of Clomid I was also on the second cycle of Metformin and then we added Preconcieve. Was it one or all of the above or coincidence? We will never know, so for now, I'm dealing with the side effects in all their plentiful glory, and praying that it works again and I dont' have to stay on it for a few more months. I want this to be our month, our cycle, our sticky egg meets sperm and hangs out for nine months. In the meantime? I'm passing on information.

Baked Spaghetti-the NEW way

I do not normally post every meal I make, repeats or randomness. I also do not cook fancy new recipes EVERY day of EVERY WEEK. Occasionally there will be a whole week where I rely on tried and true rotation recipes and have very few posts. (What, you really thought I cooked gourmet EVERY NIGHT? PAHLEASE..southern farm girl here...with a big garden and a full time corporate america job...I do not have time for all that).

However, every once in awhile, something mundane and boring jumps out at me. A creative use of leftovers (in my effort of not wasting food)for example that made an extremely yummy quick and easy meal. A "new" way of doing Baked Spaghetti and planning out meals that I think is worth sharing. Plus, I'm posting for Mama Bird's Whatcha Cooking Wednesdays (since I cooked absolutely NOTHING of interest last wednesday! LOL

So here goes:

Baked LeftOver Spaghetti
4 cups (or so) of Leftover Homemade Tomato Soup (which was also used in the pizza so this recipe got a lot of use and none was wasted!)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh grated Gruyere
1/4 cup Fresh grated American
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 fresh Mozzerella Ball (crumbled)
1 1/2lbs spaghetti noodles
1/2 pound ground turkey browned(leftover from the pizza as well)

Boil noodles in salted water till al dente. Spread in a 9 x 13 casserole dish with about 1/4 cup pasta water (to thin out chilled soup). Pour soup (cold) over noodles and mix well. Layer cheeses and turkey over the top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until cheese is melted and has formed a crust.


Surprisingly, I liked this BETTER than making regular spaghetti sauce and baking it up. This had so much more flavor and the noodles absorbed all the soup.

I forgot about the insomnia

Completely slipped my mind. Three days of it and a scary episode this morning? Reminded me. I'm so exhausted and I have broken bloodvessels in my eyes that would put me in the running for a character in Twilight. I could play Edward better than Rob at the moment (pale, bloodshot, moody). And even with my big boobs, I would still do a better job, guaranteed, without looking like a constipated paste muncher.

But we are not here to discuss the onset of teenybopper vampire drama. We are here to talk about clomid. The bane of my existence and the only current hope I have of achieving pregnancy. So what was so scary this morning? I woke up. Great right? No. I woke up while DRIVING my car and had no clue where I was. This wasn't a freaky incident of auto pilot people. I made random turns to places I've never gone for any reason and ended up in some neighborhood I've never been in and I WOKE UP. Thank god I did not hit anyone. I don't remember anything for about a 5 mile stretch. It wasn't ME driving. I was really disoriented there for a bit. That is how tired I am people. I'm exhausted and even my reliable autopilot is broken.

I can't even look at myself because of this big red spot in my eye. It's gross. There has been a lot of talk about clomid lately. A lot of Dr's prescribe it without monitoring and without much information. Looking up information online can often be overwhelming and scary, though it should always be done. We are living in an age that the common person can be proactive in their treatment and atleast come prepared with knowledge of what is going on. So here is a comprehensive list of side effects (I know it sounds awful and even the side effects I have, while some of them are on that list they aren't as bad as they sound. I don't sleep, have breast tenderness, a get nauseaus and have some abdominal pain -which for me is the stimulation of my slackass ovaries actually doing their job). There are other symptoms I have but those are the basics. It sounds terrible but considering what I'm trying to gain, I can get through it (with a lot of venting on here. HA!)

So lets talk monitoring for a moment. I admit it. I'm not monitored. I was the first month with sonograms because I had not ovulated in years. I did have a small cyst burst. It was painful but not large enough to damage anything. I ovulated. My ovaries looked good, my tubes are clear (discovered from having an HSG prior to clomid). Because I aggressively chart and check cervical mucous and position, my dr's did not feel it was necessary to continue monitoring me. I got pregnant and they did bloodwork and monitored my progress at that point. I lost the baby but not due to the clomid. So at this point they know clomid works for me, we know how it effects me and we can confirm that i indeed ovulate via charting. I did the research, I know the risks. I also know what insurance covers, and how far away my Dr is and how much time that would require me to take off work which I don't have. I'm comfortable with the decisions between me and my dr. Some people aren't given the choice due to government run healthcare etc. to be monitored. So when we talk about monitoring what are we talking about? Here is a basic monitoring method of clomid.

For some more information about Clomid and monitoring go here. There is a LOT of information out there about this drug. Its not all pretty and its not all good. I advocate monitoring but I don't advocate scaring the crap out of people about it who it literally is not an option for monitoring. Not every country's healthcare is the same as USA and not every insurance provider is decent. It's a fact that we live with. My best advice: be educated about what is going on, about what your options are, what to look for, and make the best choices you can for you. If you have the option to be monitored and the opportunity, by all means, DO IT. Give people the information and suggest places for them to go to be informed. ADVOCATE EDUCATION about anything someone is going to do to their body/about their body/drugs/treatments.

And if you experience a random sleep driving episode, calmly turn around in someones driveway, wave at them, and get thee to starbucks ASAP. ::sips Venti Starbucks daintily::