Thursday, November 8, 2012

Neighborhood Toy Store Day 2012

November 10th is Neighborhood Toy Store Day

You can access your local toy stores here:

In honor of the day I was sent some of the terrific examples of the quality toys you could find. Take a peek!!

 Snap Circuits LIGHT by ELENCO

Watch and be amazed at what your music can do with the new Snap Circuits® LIGHT.
Connect your ipod® or any MP3 player and enjoy your music as the lights change to the beat.
The strobe light with spinning patterns will amaze you with its visual effects. Elenco®'s Snap Circuits® makes learning electronics easy and fun!
Just follow the colorful pictures in our manual and build over 175 exciting projects.
All parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease. Enjoy hours of educational fun withile learning about electronics.
Contains over 55 parts to build more than 175 projects.
No Tools required.
For Ages: 8-14 
 Perplexus Twist by PlaSmart *THIS IS COOL! I sat playing with it for hours before handing it over to the kids.
Perplexus Twist will challenge and excite players like no other brainteaser has before with the addition of an exciting new twist - a new fourth dimension - that requires a player to twist and realign the tracks to escape traps, decoys, and cliffhangers. Perplexus is the world's first 3D and 4D marble maze games where players maneuver a small marble around challenging barriers inside a large-sized transparent sphere. Players can race each other or the clock. Ages 6+

 Pajaggle Board by Pajaggle, Inc

Each Pajaggle board set comes with a board, a set of 61 pieces, and electronic game timer, Pajaggle playing cards, and lots of fun. Purchase multiple boards so that you can combine them and create other color combinations. A Pajaggle Board Game Set is a 61 piece set covering an 8.5" by 12" board. Each board is made of durable polycarbonate plastics with similar yet unique shapes. Buy now and let's play Pajaggle™!

Pajaggle is for 1-4 players. Ages 3 and up. Game Time: 5-10 minutes. 

 The ZOOB Construction Set by INFINITOY, Inc
 ZOOB is "The Moving, Mind-Building Modeling System". The five ZOOB shapes move after you have put them together, allowing endless fun with your ZOOB creations!

125 ZOOB pieces in a resealable storage bin, and 5 guides with instructions for 20 creations, including:

* ZOOB-Dactyl
* The Crown
* ZOOB Rex
* DNA Spiral
* The Fly
* Space Bird
* Dino Bunny
* ZOOBamator
* ZOOB Raptor
* Wily Hopper
* Chicken
* Scorpion
* ZOOBdude
* ZOOBot
* Chopper
* ZOOBTunia
* Cell Phone
* Small Airplane
* Little Critter
* Twirling Top

Rush Hour by ThinkFun
Set up the traffic challenge and battle the gridlock as you slide the blocking vehicles out of your way to find a path for your red car to exit! This game features four levels of difficulty, allowing players to progress at their own pace. With 40 all-new challenges, it’s even more bumper-to-bumper fun for all ages!
8 to adult
single player
  • Rush Hour Traffic Grid with card storage
  • 40 ALL NEW Challenge Cards from Beginner to Expert with Solutions
  • 15 Blocking Cars and Trucks
  • 1 Red Escape Car
  • Game-Go Bag
Rubik's® The Void™ Puzzle by Winning Moves * This is making me mad LOL I need to find a cheat, so if its that good, the kids will love it LOL

The Rubik's Void is a "hole" new puzzle with a "hole" new challenge - but - something's missing? The Void is amazing to see, to touch and to play!

OK now that you got to see some of these cool toys, go to your local store and check out some more for the holidays!!

*disclosure (toys were sent free of charge for us to try out)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Primrose's 30th Contest!

Primrose 30th Birthday    
Birthdays are the perfect occasion to reflect upon the years past and celebrate the great things to come! When you're celebrating a milestone birthday like the big 3-0, there's even more reason to break out the hats, streamers and cake to party! This month, we're wishing a happy birthday to an organization that has been enhancing the lives of children for 30 years, Primrose Schools®. And even though it's their birthday, it comes as no surprise that they want to gift an amazing party to one lucky child (ages 1-5) through their 30th Anniversary Birthday Party Sweepstakes on Facebook.
You can get in on the festivities from now until September 30th by entering the Primrose Schools 30th Anniversary Birthday Party Sweepstakes on Facebook. One lucky family will win a Music Class-themed birthday party celebration for their child (ages 1-5) and 15 friends! This awesome prize includes everything you'll need for an amazing party- including goodie bags, a gift card for snacks and a Music Class representative flying to your home to personally host the celebration and incorporate activities from the award-winning, music education program, The Music Class©! You'll have a year (from October 1, 2012- October 1, 2013) to redeem this unforgettable opportunity and all you have to do to enter is:
  • "Like" the Primrose Schools Facebook page
  • Click the contest tab
  • Enter your email address, child's date of birth, name and zip code.
  • You can even invite friends to enter using your personalized invitation, and earn one additional contest entry for every friend who enters the sweepstakes.
The winner will be announced on the Facebook page on or after October 1, 2012. Check out the full contest rules on the Sweepstakes tab.

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Win Coach Gift Cards with Coach ColorTag Instant Win

Click below to find the Coach ColorTag

Coach ColorTag is a new instant win opportunity for Coach fans like you! All you have to do is click the color tag above. Once you've found the tag, you must then share it on one of your social networks.

If you win, Coach will instantly pop-up to notify that you've won a gift card!

It's super easy, so go ahead and try your luck with Coach ColorTag.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Die for Me (Revenants Series)

Book 1 in the series... granted I think the author had a wonderful idea it did take a while to manifest in the story. Your given all the info, its right there in black and white but it takes awhile to make the magic work in this book. The romance is the really only strong part of the book.

Kate's parents die. Her and her sister are sent to live with their grandparents in Paris. She knows the area because her parents used to visit there all the time to see her grandparents, so that explains her massive knowledge of the shops/cafes. She meets someone, starts dating but because of her heartbreak she wont let herself fall in love just yet. The author goes over her parents death, its brought up several times cause of several things that happen and it gets a little old. If your smart, you know why she's like the way she is. Unless you don't have a heart. She finds out the secrets about her boyfriend and that's what the book is all about - so I won't let Vincents secret out just yet. Gotta read it to figure it out, ohhh wait, for the author just come out and tell ya lol.

Now that I've invested my time with the book, I will try to read the next one.

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Onto our second cycle of IVF

Well we waited... we got the news we wanted. We were pregnant. But the levels were not rising enough or fast enough and then after vacation, my levels dropped significantly. And they went down to 0. I miscarried on the night of the 6th and let me just say, the nurses did not fully warn me what it would be like. I called the hospital gyno on call and she confirmed it was supposed to be this bad and that I could even come in but I just opted to stay home. Who wants people poking, prodding when your miscarrying. Not me.

Its been a little over a week and I'm starting to think it was a dream we were even pregnant. Except for the maternity clothes I got, it seems like a dream. I need to pack the clothes up just for a couple months so I don't have to look at them each day. It does hit hard when I see them. We were almost there. Further than ever before. Almost 6 weeks. I have hope we'll do great the next round.

Now to just to get the next round in order... biopsy needed, thyroid checked again. Then to bring on a period when they want it. Take a few pills ahead of time and then start the shots up a couple days before the transfer and then do the waiting game again. At least this time its not soo hard on my body. Or on my mind. That 1st round was horrible - emotionally (just shaking my head at that), physically with the shots. Oye!

So if it goes right... August 1st we start Provera to bring on AF, then start pills when I get her, then the shots around the 31st and then the transfer around Sept 4th. A whole month to go but it will go quickly. Amber starts school in August so it will be a whirlwind again in the house.

Wish us luck!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the whole shebang while we wait...

My long, hormonal journey began on May 10th even before my Aunt Flow arrived. Ok it started wayyyy before that, we've been trying for 13 yrs but this was our first round of IVF. We'd done Clomid, Femara and no contraceptives for years. This was our last shot at success.

The journey began at the doctors office, overwhelmed by information, being rushed off for ultrasound and bloodwork. Mike sat in the office for most of it and by the time we were done we had been there for almost 5 hrs. We had to stretch our legs a couple times cause I was falling asleep waiting in between for the doctors or nurses to pop in.

We were given all our paperwork and it was like a huge textbook that you don't want to read cause its gonna either scare the crap out of you or loose you in all the stuff their trying to fit into your appoitnment but didn't make it in. I sat down for three days reading it all. Mike is still stunned at how much more complicated it was than he thought.

He thought - shots, take the eggs, fertilize, bammm baby! Uhhhh NO.

First was this contract we were given to look over. You had to discuss but NOT SIGN the options and have you completely understand them by the time our appointment came around with the doctor (which was right before retrieval). It went over what you wanted to do with your embryos if you got divorced, either one of you passed away... Ummm really, was this the appropriate time to discuss this? Who wants to say - so if we get divorced, we just let the embryos dissipate? or donate them to science. This was a shocker not only to us but my girlfriends and their husbands. Who thinks that far in advance? But apparently someone had this happen so now its in the book. Along with every possible outcome during fertilization. Did you know that if you have the doctors 'hatch' your egg, its called assisted hatching, that it always results in identical twins. So now they have to have you read it, know it and sign your initials by it to acknowledge that you got the info. The entire contract has spots to sign your initials to make sure the doctor went over every last bit of info and you understood it all.

So you have the bible of IVF in your hands, you've had your bloodwork done, your husband too, you've had an ultrasound and well if you know ahead of time you husband has now made a 'deposit' for them to freeze in case the fresh 'deposit' isn't good enough on the day of retrieval.

The deposit - let me just say I tease the living daylights out of my husband for the 7 days he couldn't do anything. It drove him mad. lol I still look back and smile about that. They should wait 3-5 days on no fun, even with themselves, before they make a deposit. AND it will be tested and the results mailed to you.

Mike's deposit results came back to us suggesting that we do ICIS - were they put the sperm in the egg themselves instead of waiting for the egg and sperm to have fun in the petri dish. We ended up having the doctor tell us no, the results were still high enough for him to let nature just happen. Mike liked that lol, he didn't like the suggestion his manhood wasn't working.

Now I haven't touched the ultrasound topic yet... its pretty detailed. This first one you go for is a big deal. They need to located your ovaries, measure everything. Its a lot of poking and prodding and unfortunately for me, it was extremely uncomfortable cause ultrasounds are already painful for me to begin with. Then the next step scared the SHIT out of me. I actually wanted to jump off the table, say thanks but not thanks and uhhh your nuts!

LOL I gotta say it was all anxiety cause in the end this part didn't hurt, it just sounded like it was going to be a torture session. I know the doctor told me what it was called but all I could do was stare at this long tube he kept moving around in his hands. Apparently they needed to put a speculum in, like a papsmear, and place this LONG LONG LONG spaghetti like tube that is really bendable into your cervix and make sure theres nothing wrong with your cervix. They do this to make sure that when they put the egg(s) back in there's no blockage and if there are any weird turn in your cervix, they'll know ahead of time. Stuff they needed to know but you just did not lol.

THEN while this thing is in you, they take the internal ultrasound probe and measure more things and how far to stick this tube next time so its not too far up your uterus and far enough up your cervix. You don't want a tubal pregnancy and you want to make sure that embryo makes it into the uterus. Ohhh they do flush a little fluid in, but that didn't do more than a cramp for a few seconds and it went away. It was when I got up that I wish I had a towel to place between my legs lol.

First appointment at IVF clinic - be prepared to be there awhile. Make sure husband has been abstaining the right amount of time. That your dressed comfortably. That you have snacks and drinks stashed in your purse cause Mike ate my crackers that the nurse gave me after I had my freak out moment and thought I was gonna hurl. Figure out where your gonna put all this information at the house and be able to get at it any given moment.

I kept my stuff in a folder and all my meds by my office desk. Cause you don't know how many times I thought of a question and dived right into the folder to reread something. I also printed off a calander and marked it each day with appointments, meds, ultrasounds. So I could keep up with it all.

Our ride home from the appointment was a long silent ride.

Mike had turned to me and said 'this is all up to you. if you don't want this, we don't have to. but if you do, I'll support you.'

Remember this was way more than Mike thought it was gonna be. More in depth and more involved. I was scared and I talked to my girlfriends about it. You may want to keep this to yourself encase it doesn't work BUT you WILL need support around you either way. I found it very comforting to post on facebook, talk to my gf's, talk to my mom, sister... anyone that had been involved in it. Talking helped.

We obviously made the decision to go ahead with it. And we were a little more prepared the next time at our appointment. I brought snacks lol.

So we had a quick appointment to go over a calendar of dates and a class on how to do shots. The nurse went over how to give myself shots, how to have Mike give me the big shots in the butt that I couldn't even see to do. How, when where and what was going to happen over the next couple weeks. I again was overwhelmed but made notes during the whole appointment on the shots, anything that I thought was important. Like which needle was going with which medicine, where to do it on my body, etc. They were nice enough to give me a colored picture diagram for the one medicine cause it was so complicated lol. Once we felt comfortable enough with the info and the shots the nurse had me go laydown on a table and she drew two circles on my back hip area. This was to be used for the HCG trigger shot and the progesterone shots, which wasn't gonna happen for a while but she wanted us to keep marking them as it faded and gave me a marker to draw on me. LETS just say Mike took that to mean, he could draw on me. This is a permanent pen that last for weeks and it was summer. Where you were low waist shorts and tanks. Everyone I hung out with got to see them. "Them" since I have smiley faces now and thanks to my girlfriend who suggested a tongue and hair I have a whole head there on each side. LMAO.

Now the most shocking moment was going to the pharmacy. I had them call it all in to the pharmacy at the U and picked it up before we left. I got there and I was told one med had to be refrigerated and she'd be right back with my bag. She came back alright, with a gosh dang brown grocery bag!! LMAO I had so much stuff to pick up that they could only put it in the old brown bag and Mike just laughed his ass off.

Now I will say I was fortunate enough that my meds were covered by my insurance. It is truly the one reason we could do this. Otherwise the meds would have cost over $8000. That's just the meds. Not the procedures. I will make a note, that I ran out of meds at the end of my cycle and had to go back and get more. So be prepared that you might have to get more and that your local Target/Walmart don't normally carry these and have to order them in IF they can get them.

So I have all these meds and a schedule in hand and we had a few weeks between our next appointment. Some clinics are doing this all the time but at the University of Iowa, they only did it at certain times and it was considered their 'Uptime'. So we had to schedule my body to their time schedule. Which meant going on birth control for 3 weeks or doing provera for 10 days to bring a period on when THEY wanted me to start a period. Lovely, lets bend my body even more. lol

I opted for the Provera, for me the lesser of two evils. Uhhh lets just say I had migraines sooooo bad. I cried for days while taking it cause we couldn't figure out at first why the pain pills were working. We finally realized it was all hormonal so the pills did nothing. As soon as I stopped, the migraines went away. It was a blessing and the first time in years that I looked forward to my period lol. I was actually excited to get it.

So here I am, taking Provera for a couple of days and then 3 days before stopping the provera I had to add in the Leuprolide shot. Everyday after 4:30 and before 10pm and it was in my thigh. I laugh hard when I think back to the day I had to start them. I was soo scared it was gonna hurt. I had heard horror stories about the needles and how much it burned, yadda yadda ya. So I decided to let my gf who is an OR nurse and lives across the street do them. I sucked it up, filled the needle and then stopped and thought... hmm what should I wear? my shorts were too long, my other shorts would hit the spot she was gonna do. So I threw on my swim bottoms and walked over. I told her to just do it and turned away. Ya know, just like the ultrasound, it didn't hurt. She actually still makes fun of me for this! So after that I was able to stab myself daily.

Then the big moment came. We got to the call the clinic and tell them I started my period. This started the whole process and more needles.... I just look back at it and shake my head. I was not anywhere emotionally or informationally prepared for this.

First they had me come in for bloodwork. They wanted an estradiol reading. It should be anywhere between 25 to 75. Mine came back at 20. The nurse was happy with that. Apparently the higher the level in the beginning the higher the chance of overstimulation. ohh yeah you could get overstimulated. Its in the paperwork lol.

I was to start my Follistim pen the next week - yes I had my gf do it the first time and help me load it. Her husband is diabetic and he even showed me how he did his cause it almost takes two hands. One to stab yourself in the stomach and the other to push the top of the pen down to insert the meds into ya. It did get easier as I went on.

Back in for another level a couple days later, it was up to 49. It supposed to multiply 2.5 times every two days. So I was a point off. Then they added Menopur. This one was complicated. You had to take so much fluid from one vial and add it to another vial that had powder in it and then again if you had to do two powder vials. Lets just say I f'ed up the first time. But its ok, if you do - call the nurse, she'll walk you through it! Then that one went into my leg. It was a little different needle so yes, I had her do it for me again. And yet again it didn't hurt, this one just burned going in. and you had to rub the spot afterwards. They also lowered my follistim.

Again back to the labs... This time my level was 176. Better than they expected and things were on track. Mike was getting grumpy - I forgot to mention my lab was at the University too. A 2 hr round trip ride just for a 15minute blood draw. IF I could find a local one nearby that could do a estradiol level and give them the results same day, they would have charged me roughly $50 each time to review it. So it was worth the trip to me. We had to be there each time between 8:30 and Noon. Lets just say Mike was an eager beaver and we always got there by 8am. He was grumpy for a couple weeks.

June 4th and it was day 8 of my cycle and I was back at the U for blood work. This time my level was 406 and I was getting excited. It was gonna happen soon. BUT when I talked to the nurse she told me that I still had to come in for an ultrasound, possibly two more, more bloodwork.... etc. I was stunned. We were told that most couples had retrieval between day 8 and 10. Her response - not everyone works the same. She upped my follistim back to what it was.

June 6th - still on all the meds and now I'm going for a 7:45 AM ultrasound. Ya Mike was not all that thrilled and neither was I by this time. I was sooo uncomfortable. I was bloated, achy, emotional. An ultrasound was NOT the treat I wanted. My tech read my file and knew my left ovary was hard to see. So she warned me that she needed to see it and that she was gonna try. I nearly fell into tears. This... was gonna hurt. Mike was in the waiting room, thinking it wasn't gonna be that big a deal. I wish he had gone in with me. People can go in, bring your spouse, mom, gf ... anyone that will support you. Plus its kinda cool to see the eggs developing. I did get to see them on the right side. She measured and tried for the left. But it was a no go. I was soo thankful when it was over. I was sore afterwards even more so when I got there. I hobbled to the car. Mike was starting to wonder how I was gonna make it through this.

June 8th, another ultrasound. This was a big moment for me. I was so in pain, so uncomfortable. I was ready for this to be over. The same tech greeted me and she said she was gonna have help this time. She had a student tech there, so that she could push on top while the student did the machine. This was her only way to see the left ovary. I vomited after wards. I still wasn't ready. My eggs were not large enough. She could see them, measure them but it wasn't time. I got bloodwork and met with the nurse. I cried like a big ol' baby. The nurse was soo kind and she'd seen it plenty of times before, so she just let me babble and cry.  I was a mental case being told I'd have to wait a couple more days and come back again for another ultrasound. I was told between days 8-10 we were to do retrieval and I thought on day 12 this is never gonna happen. The hormones had taken over. The nurse said everyone was different and yes that was the average but I of course was not average. So it was back tomorrow at 11:15 am and Mike had to come with.

Remember that big bible of info. Yeah I had to bring it with this time. We were going to meet with the doctor and go over it all and sign our lives away.

June 9th - The ultrasound was better this time, more prepared, she was able to measure them all - they were FINALLY big enough. I was excited and on edge LOL the big shot was gonna be that night. Ahhh I was dreading this shot more than anything. It was HUGE! We signed everything in the bible, made plans with the doctor to meet up on Monday for retrieval. I was soo ready! I had gotten so bloated that my pants didn't button or zipper lol So I wear hoodies to cover up my protruding stomach.

The shot didn't hurt... were you expecting me to say that lol. Yep, the dreaded needle the mother of all needles, barely stung when it went in. I had to do it at 11pm. I thought that was funny, I hadn't stayed up that late in a long time and my gf had to come over and do it. Thank god she was up and hanging outside with us when it was time.

The morning of the 11th I was up, dressed and ready to go before Mikes alarm went off. We had to be there at 9am and he had to give another 'deposit' too. We went off in two different directions after I changed into a gown. Lets just say I had a few bumps in the road that morning... the IV was hard to get in, I cried like a big baby coming out of anesthesia (don't ask, I don't know why), my pain meds were my best friend though. I went straight home and waited to get the call on how many eggs and what ones were good. I dont remember much, the meds knock you out, the anesthesia does a trick on ya - so don't sign anything for 24hrs like it says in the book LOL

I was in bed for 2 days. The pain was similar to my appendix operation. I couldn't roll on my side, it felt like the ovaries were gonna go all over. I couldn't get the pain pills in my mouth quick enough lol but it went quickly. The bloating did go down but I was warned that once the eggs were out the follicles holding them were gonna fill up with fliud and I might be just as bloated as before. Lovely.

I was GASSY - I hung outside with my gf's and tooted away. I made no appologies. I was like a little ol' lady walking... toot machine on the go. By friday I was kinda feeling better - the gas was gone, I was sleeping on my side. No more pain pills. No Tylenol even.

ohhh the eggs... ya want to know lol. I got the call that they took 22 eggs. 13 were good. 8 survived fertilization.  We were on for a 5 day transfer. Which was Saturday. It was also our anniversary. A big day for us.

We were giddy. Kinda stupid funny. I took a picture of Mike in his outfit. He had to get scrubs on to come in. Did I mention that the machine (the ultrasound was down) so Mike who works on those went in and fixed it for them... nice freebie, no charge, lets just get this on the road!!

Yeah he's a nut!

So the nurse walks me in, I get in position on the stirrups, and they bring in paperwork to show us the fertilized embryos - out of the 8 - 1 was a hatching blastocyst (#1) which was excellent and rare, and 2 more were good (#4 and #5), they were gonna be frozen.

Our Embryos

On the top left you can see the egg coming out of its shell... its hatching! all on its own :)

After a little sore pushing on the top for the ultrasound and making sure the cervix was clear, they put #1 in. I laid there in the stirrups for 20 mins joking around with Mike. Then 10 more minutes with my legs down on the table. I was a little surreal. Afterwards, it was to be bedrest for the night and then no housework or heavy lfiting til my bloodwork on the 26th. Really - I had to wait 10 days... that's a long time!

Mike was a little nutso. I was in bed Sat and Sun. The little bugger even got Amber to keep me on the couch Monday. Today I'm on the puter. I have to start doing things or nothings gonna get done and uhhh the embryo can NOT fall out. lol no matter how hard ya try. It ain't gonna happen lol. Even doing jump in jacks aint gonna make it fall out lol

So its a waiting game. And I've been doing some research online too. I guess I can pee on a stick 5 days after the transfer. Before that could show a false positive cause I shot myself with HCG and that's what the pregnancy pee sticks pick up on. AND I thought these charts were cool...

3-Day Transfer

Days Past
Transfer (DPT)
 Embryo Development
 One The embryo continues to grow and develop, turning from a 6-8 cell embryo into a morula
 Two The cells of the morula continue to divide, developing into a blastocyst
 Three The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell 
 Four The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
 Five The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation 
 Six Implantation continues
 Seven Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop 
 Eight Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream 
 Nine Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted 
 Ten Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted  
 Eleven Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy 

5-Day Transfer

Days Past
Transfer (DPT)
Embryo Development
One The blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
Two The blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
Three The blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
Four Implantation continues
Five Implantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
Six Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
Seven Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
Eight Fetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
Nine Levels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

So now I'm waiting... 7 more days to go before my bloodwork and 2 hrs after that before I find out the results...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Calling (Darkness Rising Series)

This is the second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy. I love the author but not as much as the last series. It just is missing something. I feel like it was a filler book in the series. I will say I read this in one day as its full of action. They are constantly on the go, things are happening around every corner. There's barely a rest for the characters much less for yourself. Which is great. Love triangle is played up a little in this but its more about all the things coming to the surface, who is really behind the experiments, what they want, how started the fire in the last book, whose chasing them... But I'm stunned at how easily Maya is accepting other opinions as her own or how she just buys someones story. She's still too trusting for a second book, she should have grown a little (maybe that's whats missing). You do get to see the strengths and weaknesses of all the other kids in the book, which is great and I love. How they show their true colors and what their supernatural powers are. Some are leaders, some followers - but some followers are stronger than you think :)
The next book is due out in 2013, granted I can wait patiently for it, but I will be reading it.

Maya and her friends--all of whom have supernatural powers--have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Immortal Hearts (Vampire Kisses Series)

this is the last book in the series and all though I love it I wish she had stretched it out instead of shoving so much into one book. There was so much going on with Stormy coming to visit, Raven being jealous of Luna knowing Stormy from before and their bond, Ravens love affair with Alexander and of course Luna still loving him. Trevor being in love with Raven and what he does, does really shock me. Her little brother dating Stormy. He's grown up so much in the series that I don't recognize him when the author describes him this time (being as tall as Raven??). Raven does get a little smart in the book and sets Luna up to get her off her boyfriends case. But that's really it. No other growth moments - other than tearing up watching her brother dance with Stormy. The ending shocked me for a loop but I was reading it so fast that I feel like it was rushed. It's an ok ending. I read it all in one day.

Athena "Stormy" Sterling is coming to Dullsville, and Raven is both excited and panicked in anticipation of Alexander's little sister's visit. Alexander tells Raven that she and his sister have a lot in common, but can the mini-Raven be everything she hopes for? Alexander calls her Stormy for a reason.
Stormy's visit stirs up the perfect immortal whirlwind. Raven is forced to take a good look at what it would really mean to be a vampire in the Sterling family, aside from some of the things she already loves, like shunning the sun and sleeping in a coffin with Alexander. When Raven compares her life with Stormy's, she can see that it's not all starry skies and black roses. But Raven knows she's always wanted to be a vampire.
Alexander is as romantic and dreamy as ever, and though he keeps showing Raven how much he loves her, will she ultimately be able to convince him that it's the right thing to turn her?
This final chapter of Vampire Kisses' nocturnal romance will keep all mortal and immortal hearts racing.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

IVF Cycle

So we have officially started IVF. Did my lovely ultrasound and proceedures for that. A little painful but not horrible. Then I was given a list of 12 meds to take at certain times and an instruction class on shooting myself up. Yeah Mike just sat there in awe for some of them lol. Kinda funny how men have no idea what we have to go through - it was eye opening for him.

I started my provera to bring on the aweful period. It should be short though and I should have it by thursday at the latest. Then I started Metformin and shooting myself in the leg with Leuprolide. Then when AF does arrive, we add more meds (shots) daily and do bloodwork and ultrasounds. I have a calendar to go by cause otherwise Id be totally lost!! lol

So far the shots haven't been bad. The leuprolide goes in my thigh, I was so scared that I had my gf do it for me without looking. After I realized I over freaked out, I think I'll try the next one myself lol. The metformin is ok, taking it at night 500mg extended release - then each week it goes up til I'm taking 1500 total. Its supposed to help with the insulin issue with pcos and fertility - even though I'm not diabetic.

So day 1 of shots done... only a couple more weeks to go!

Forgiven - 3rd book in Demon Trappers Daughter series

Just finished Forgiven... not a bad book. I finished it rather quickly so it kept my attention well. LOTS going on. A little more demon fighting than in the last books. Like all girls Riley gets tricked by a boy and there's a love triangle. Beck of course loves her, we know that by now but Riley is still clueless to it. She sees her reanimated father and you would have never have guessed who summoned him from his grave. Kinda freaks me out the author just mentions him so casually. Some cool things happen in the book - her bracelet changes her looks, the hunters are looking for her and hold Beck til she comes and turns herself in, Simon helps steakout the mysteriously bad holy water bottles and so much more... even a kiss or two!... I liked it.

The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father’s reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of a certain hunky Fallen angel, and a freshly-made deal with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands to last a normal teenage lifetime. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon has told the Vatican’s Demon Hunters that she’s working with Hell. So now she’s in hiding, at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list.

But it’s becoming clear that this is bigger than Riley, and rapidly getting out of control:  something sinister is happening in Atlanta… or someone. The demons are working together for the first time ever and refusing to die, putting civilians in harm’s way. Riley thinks she might know who’s behind it all, but who’s going to believe her? Caught between her bargain with Heaven and her promise to Lucifer, Riley fears the final war is coming – and it may be closer than anyone thinks…

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Unleashed - Wolf Springs Chronicles

New series... ok so the cover caught my eye first. Then its about wolves, not vampires so I was ready for a change lol. Kat gets shipped off after her moms death to a man she doesn't know who is her grandfather. He seems strict at first - can't go out alone, never after dark - and a little odd with all the dead animals all over. They live so far back and deep in the woods. And of course enters the dream boat lol - gramps has set her up and has a great hunk Trick (yes that's his name) - he's to drive her to school and back. Then of course she goes to school and meets Cordelia and instantly falls for her cousin Justin - its that instant attraction and passion, even a stolen kiss - but he's not available. Plus I'm cheering for Trick, I like their relationship. Cordelia and Kat get close, her dad's an insane ass for a reason but you don't find that out til later, as well as her crazy sisters. Kat gets attacked by a wolf, 2 girls have ended up dead and soooo much more - its a good book with lots of twists - so I can't say much more with out giving it all away :)

Katelyn McBride's life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains.

Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It's a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths about everyone. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Books... Thirst and Daughters of the Moon

Meanwhile since its been too cold to paint or work in the garage on projects I've taken up reading odd series. lol. ODD ones. I started out with Thirst. I got it since it was only $2 at the used book store. At first I thought, ok, its a book about a 5000 yr old vampire, I'd like to hear her stories from through the time. But the author did it at odd intervals. It was charming enough, I made it through BUT I really didn't want to read the next one. Then I heard the author made a new one to the series and I read up on the reviews. Hmmm... how to put it gently. He fragged it all up?? Apparently the stories in Thirst 1 and 2 were fictionally written by one of the main characters and he totally throws a wrench into the story. I would have rather he not done that and tempted me with a different version to make me want to continue the series. Ohh well.

Thirst No. 1: The Last Vampire, Black Blood and Red Dice (Thirst #1) 

So I'm telling Amber gf that was over at the house, that I didn't like this series. She agrees and tell me to read The Daughters of the Moon series. I now see why. Its a huge book... its ok... its PRETEEN for sure. Its slow. Its taken me days upon days to get through it. Its simple enough of a story line. Girls have mysterious powers. They don't know how they have them. Then you find out they have amulets that are similar that their parents gave them. Then one goes missing and a strange girl at school tells her where she can find her best friend. We get the idea of the title half way through. But it just doesn't sit well with me. Now that I'm really looking to dive into a thick juicy series.

Daughters of the Moon: Volume 1 (Daughters of the Moon #1-3) by

Some of the series I've been reading have finally come out with their next book and I'm ready to jump on them. But do you have any to suggest?? I'd love to start a new series :)

Day 2 of 1st IVF Cycle

I thougt that by not writing last month and trying to keep my mind on other things that I would have a better chance or be able to get the month by without incident. Not. After ovulation my boobs didn't hurt, unlike the other cycles where they were unbearable to even look at lol. Then I was 3 days late and of course more than hopeful. But in the end I cried like a baby for a few hrs and faced the monthly monster when it arrived.

This month we are going straight to IVF. A little risky in my opinion and a bit more successful but I don't have much longer to try before they do another DNC and want to do a hysterectomy.

Now I'm starting BC... why? so that my body is on the hospitals schedule and not the other way around. They want me to take them through the week of the 15th where I'll start injections and finish off the last week of BC. This way they can time ovulation better and be able to pinpoint retrieval.

I plan to keep you updated :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 2 of Cycle 3

Well we have our plan! This month is Femara again. Either we get our baby or have my monthly. So if its the latter, we start with 21 days of birth control, then the last week we overlap with meds and then stop the bc and continue meds and then it will be end of May beginning of June and we will do the egg catching (as they call it) and putting them back.

At least we have a solid plan to go by... really thankful its all settled now. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 1 of Cycle 3

We haven't decided yet if this cycle will be functional (meaning trying or just taking a break before IVF). We are waiting on the doc to get back to us. They want one month of my off meds before IVF. To go on BC to not get pregnant and know when my period will arrive so they can schedule everything for IVF. I hate BC it sucks, I vomit, get cranky... its not good. But you do what you have to do.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 30 Cycle 2

I'm 2 days late, I had a HCG test done on the morning of day 28 (friday) and today is Sunday. I was told the test results were negative. But since I'm late, we're playing the waiting game to see what happens. I've had some odd symptoms - swelling, pain in the groin area, nauseous and of course I have the stomach bug lol.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 21 Cycle 2

YEAH!! I got my 21 day progesterone test done today and of course pestered my nurse at the hospital til I got the results lol. They were 8.9 which is twice as good as last month and she was thrilled with it :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 17 Cycle 2

Today was a long long day! We got the University at 9 and left at 1:30. So much info was spat at us that I'm more than overwhelmed and wondering if IVF is the thing for us. We have to go back for ultrasounds, procedures, a class on the shots, Mike has to make a 'deposit' to be frozen. So much before we even begin.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 12 Cycle 2

Not much has changed... running with the cycle lol. Taking prenatal pills and having fun ;) Now its just a waiting game to see if I O'd.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 5 of Cycle 2

Had some confusion with the nurse and doctor - apparently the nurse was trying to go one route and the doctor another. We are now on Femara again - this time taking it at night and starting it a day late. I'm going to be temping, also a couple days late start but that's ok, at least I'm going to be trying it. Wish me luck!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 2 of Cycle 2

Well now I have to go to Target and get the meds for tomorrow. Not looking forward to the lovely side effects again. This time I'm going to be doing temps along with the ovulation kits. We'll see what works best.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 29 of Cycle 1

Well the end of the cycle is here... AF is coming slowly and I can tell the signs of it. Altleast this cycle I ovulated and we know the meds work. But I'm scared and skittish of going through it again this next cycle.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Switched book 1 of the Trylle Series

I thought what the heck, for $9 I 'll get the book and try it out. I was intrigued since I'm watching the show switched at birth on tv.  Its not bad, ok for teens. I did get a little bored for a couple chapters but it soon turned back on its juice and I finished it in 2 days. I love series too so I'm thrilled that it goes on, she left it off on a good spot and I can't wait til next week when the second book comes out.

Wendy goes from a place she knows she doesn't fit into - into another one where she's just as lost. Hoping to get someone to be completely honest with her and not skim over the answers (pissed me off too lol) she finally does get the low down on everything but still has questions - just as it was getting good and the Vittra attacked the Trylle's the book ends, knowing what she did was what you would do too!

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right.  She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her.  Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit.  But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth:  Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.   

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening.  And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…
As a special gift to readers, this book contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “The Vittra Attacks,” set in the magical world of the Trylle.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 28 of Cycle 1

Well we finally got good news that I ovulated on day 17ish lol - my progesterone level went up to a good level with the test on Tuesday. Now its just a little longer waiting day. Adding 4 days to my cycle making it a 32 day cycle. If nothing comes, then I call the University and get some more testing done. If it wasn't for Melissa, I wouldn't have known (she looked at my ultrasound), I wouldn't have continued having 'fun' and we wouldn't have had a chance - everyone else would have that I didn't O this cycle too. THANK YOU Melissa!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 23 of Cycle 1

Well we got the day 21 test back and its low BUT the good news is that we had an ultrasound done thanks to the kidney stones and my gf who is an ultrasound tech read it and saw the good egg (there was a bad one too) and said I hadn't ovulated before Sunday and that is the reason the test is soo low. It was 1.16 and it should be above 5. So I'm retaking the test on Tuesday the 21st - will be cycle day 26. Seems to make sense to me and the nurse. She wants to see the ultrasound too so I have to send it to them. Still dealing with a slight cold I think, runny nose, bloody nose. Cramping and sore boobs still.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 19 of Cycle 1

Well this may be TMI (too much info lol) but my boobs will not stop hurting since CD 16. Its been a non stop rollercoaster of pain. From swollen and sore to right out if you even think of touching me I'll smack ya. Amber walked by and accidentally brushed me and OMG the pain! So its the hormones, the lovely pills enhanced the reactions of everything. I go tomorrow to get my blood drawn to double check and prove that I O'd. Then I just have to wait 8 days to see if my period decides to show up. The count down begins!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 15 Of Cycle 1

I think I ovulated this week... the OPK tests are not working with me lol. But we'll see, this thursday I go for my day 21 testing and see if I did ovulate this cycle.

Small hold over as Friday I went into the ER for a ruptured internal kidney issue and small 2mm stone. Spent the night and they think the stone passed and the kidney will heal itself.

So back to my normal programming of trying to get pregnant lol. They did an ultrasound first thinking the drugs were causing issues but obviously they were not. But I did get a clear shot of my ovaries and uterus. They saw two small cysts on my right ovary... so either I had ovulated or I'm starting too. I think day15 would be late to 'start', normally by then they are ready to go. So we'll see, we're gonna have fun this week just encase :)

Can't wait for Thursday and I get a copy Monday of my ultrasound to look more closely at :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 12 of Cycle 1

I've been taking the OPK tests for the last 3 days and there's just a thin pink line lighter than the standard one. So no ovulation yet. I will say I'm still loosing weight, gotta love it!  Keeping my exercise up and trying not to eat horribly - which means water and juice for drinks and no fast food. I was soo tempted yesterday lol. I did get the ovulation cramping again this morning but who knows how long that will last before it happens.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 10 of Cycle 1

Wow these pills have just messed with my emotions... I'm crying at the drop of a hat over nothing. But I do think they worked... having ovulation pains today. I took my first OPK test today its shows a very very faint line. So hopefully by the end of the week :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 4 of Cycle 1

Well now that we are off the Megace - the lovely drug that Mike thinks makes me calm when the doctor warned us that I could turn into a raging lunatic lol. We've been cleared by the Oncologist at the University of Iowa ( from here on out called the U lol) to get pregnant and then go from there afterwards. Our first step was getting past the knock out surgeries. Then for my monthly to just begin... seriously forgot what they were like after being on the meds for almost a year. I couldn't wait for the dang thing to start and now that I'm on day 4 I can't wait for it to end lol. It took 3 weeks instead of the 1 the fertility doctor said it would, I was getting nervous and so was he, he ordered an ultrasound at the U and thankfully I got to make the call to cancel it.

So our first attempt will be with Femara. We did Clomid years ago and had no success. This isn't supposed to have as much side effects. Lets hope that's true. So days 3-7 I take 2 pills at 8am everyday. Then have fun and on day 21 go in for blood work to see if the pills made me ovulate. Meanwhile I take the ovulation kits and try using those... I swear they are the most difficult to figure out... its pink to begin with and then its supposed to get darker. We'll see if that works with me lol.

Then next month *cross your fingers!! We start IVF - we are just waiting on an apt and getting started on the program. Apparently its a month out for the intial apt. I'm faxing in the paperwork for it today. We found out that the insurance pays $15,000 towards IVF and we were just dumbfounded. The nurse even said it was like Christmas lol

Seems odd to think that in less than 2 months we could be pregnant. I'm not sure its sunk in yet. All these years (12) trying to get pregnant and now, we have a 95% chance between both cycles to get pregnant. It just blows my mind. I'm excited and nervous and trying not to get my hopes up too high. Well buying baby stuff isn't the greatest not to get your hopes up but dang it, they were a steal lol

Lets see how the next couple days go with the meds!

What a start to the new year!

I know its been awhile since I posted. I would say a few things have happened since the beginning of the year...

My first thing was going to the ER after shopping all day at the mall thinking the minor cramps I had would go away. The nausea was the nail in my coffin... Mike wasn't gonna let me go home either (I tried blowing it off once we left the mall and got into the van) Nope... So all three of us took the jot over to the ER and waited. I sent Mike home with Amber and sat there bored off my toushy with what felt like a period cramp, thinking it was just a cyst and wow what waste of money this ER trip was going to be. Mike came back right before they took me upstairs.

After being admitted and getting the correct arm band (three times it took for them to get the right band to scan - the poor girl trying to draw blood was just frantic trying to make sure it got corrected) They sent me down to get a quick CT, easily done after I was told my head wasn't going into the machine (I'm just a tad claustrophobic and I think the look on my face when we entered the room made the girl explain how the machine worked).

After 10 mins the doctor showed back up in my room and told me, well its your appendix. Mike laughed, that was his bet and I lost a buck I think. Well more than that, cause the suckers took me into surgery in less than 2 hrs from that and by 7pm I was awake with my first surgery scars and one less organ.

All seemed good til week 2 of recovery, I couldn't keep much down and my right side started hurting severely. When I saw the surgeon for a check up, the lovely (she really was pretty for a doc) assistant pressed on my gallbladder and they both looked at each other - like some mental talk so I wouldn't know. Then he said if it got worse or anything else happened to call. He really wanted to make sure it wasn't from surgery - since it was my first I was like 'ok' and left. That night I was in so much pain I called the nurse hotline and then the surgeon on call. He didn't seem too happy to be answering a phone call at 9pm but too bad this girl was in pain she never felt before. He said to call in the morning and make an apt. So I did - for the next day, ughhh one more day to go through this pain.

Well it didn't go as planned... Amber was sick and had an apt with our regular doctor (who knew nothing of my problems or surgery yet) So another day, another apt with a doctor. Welllllll I had my first accident on the way there and turned around and came home to change. I told the nurse when we got there why we were late and she scheduled me to be scene as well. Amber got like 5 mins with the doc and the rest of the time he looked at me and it was determined with his phone calls to the surgeon that my gallbladder now had to come out.

So another day, another apt with a doctor. The surgeon walked in, said its my choice to have it out and by the way you do have gallstones (geez glad someone told me! he apparently saw them on the original CT scan and thought I knew). I made sure to tell him I only saw the doc yesterday because of Ambers scheduled apt and when they heard what was going on saw me. His attitude seemed to change (think he was upset I saw a doctor in between his apts??? Yeah I'm thinking so!) And so he scheduled my next surgery for the very next day. He didn't mention that he had to go BACK through my belly button again... found that out afterwards, damn that one hurt bad, the rest no so much.

So yep, surgery went well, 2 week appointment came and guess what, I have some weird pain... the assistant sees me this time and yeah she agrees I could possibly have a cracked rib. GREAT anything else you guys want to tell me while I'm here. She looks at the paper and tell me the appendix was so bad it was leaking and ready to go. The gallbladder was inflamed and enlarged and there was so many gallstones they didn't bother counting. Really... that many and no one thought to say anything. *shaking head*

So another day, another apt with a doctor. I saw my reg doc this time and he wanted another CT run. Rule out infection, abscess, and other things I had no idea about til later (they were looking to see if my pancreas was ok). I will say this was NOT like my other CT - I walked into a blunder of surprises and the nurse was wayyy pissed that I wasn't told that I had to drink not 1 but 2 barium bottles of fluid and have an IV. But since I was dehydrated and hadn't had anything to drink per docs office instructions they had a horrible time getting my IV in. Another upset moment by the nurse. I have a few marks before I asked for the ultrasound iv specialist (they come down with a little machine and located your veins). She hit it once and got it... love that girl!! 1 bottle down and the IV in and I was ready for the machine - I told her 2 bottles and it would be on the floor by her feet in seconds. :) CT turned out ok, I have a cracked rib. Nothing anyone can do for me.

So another day, another apt with a doctor. - Nooo just kidding... it was like grand central station just phone calls from offices on checking up on me. So 4 weeks - 2 surgeries and 1 cracked rib later I'm just trying to relax and wait the rib out. All the incisions are healed and itchy (ughhh) but it all looks good. We've also met our lovely 4500.00 deductible for the year so we can do or see anyone now and not worry LOL OYE!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beautiful Chaos - #3 Caster Chronicles

 I've gotten used to the male perspective that this book is written in. I've actually come to like it. But I'm not sure if it was me or the drugs from surgery but this book was all over the place - cemeteries, bokors, the far keep, sentencing for Marian, finding John and where they found him... did I mention Ridley seems to drop off the face of the earth in this book, she was there and then poof the author put her on the back burner lol. It was a good book, it kept my attention the entire time. But I think it was unsettling that the characters were out of alignment, specially Amma. Guess that's what the author wanted you to feel, hmmm

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?
For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

Blog Credit:
Graphics used on page are from digital scrapbooking kit Sugar Rush by Flergs and Ziska. Blog arranged by Designs by Sarah using her Blog Design Service.