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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What are the chances that my doctor reads my blog?

For those of you that were curious, I survived my doctor’s appointment yesterday.

"Survived" is really probably the best word I can use to describe it at the moment, because “enjoyed” really would not be fitting.

The doctor was knowledgeable, although I wouldn’t exactly nominate him for the “Most Personable Reproductive Endocrinologist of the Year” award. The appointment went about how I expected it to—not great news, but not bad news. He basically just confirmed that I most likely, just like Allison, have PCOS.

This diagnosis doesn’t really change much in what we will do going forward, but I just thought I would throw it out there for those of you who like to google medical conditions to death.

As I mentioned, the doctor is a male, and while I really have no issue with going to a male doctor, there were certainly a couple of instances during the appointment (which Brian attended with me, by the way) where it was painfully obvious that he does not think like a female.

Instance # 1: I mentioned to him that I had gained some weight since starting the fertility medicine that I had been on (nothing substantial—about 5 pounds), and asked if that was a common side effect. His response? “No, the medicine shouldn’t make you gain weight. A lot of times when people go through stressful situations, they just eat more.”


First of all, I (much like every other female in existence) am fully aware of my eating habits, and having stayed within 2 pounds of the same weight for the past 3 years, I would like to think that I have a pretty good idea of what habits I need to keep in order to maintain my weight. But thank you for making me feel like my weight gain is due to my inability to handle stress without eating my feelings!

Secondly, being that I had to weigh myself with the nurse just 10 minutes prior and had to see a number that was SIX POUNDS higher than when I last weighed myself 2 days before, this was not really the answer I was needing.

And if that wasn't enough, he informed me that 80% of women with PCOS are overweight. He did, thankfully, inform me that I was in the 20% that was not, but still- not helpful, doc.

Would it really have been so hard for him just to blame it on the medicine? I think not.

Instance # 2: Before doing the (internal) ultrasound, he informed me that “this won’t hurt at all.” Fortunately, this ended up being true. But the last time I checked, he has never had one. So I’m thinking it would be best to let the female nurse give that pep talk next time.

I also found it somewhat amusing that the very first thing he said to us after “Nice to meet you” was, “So, do you have any questions for me?” My response? “Umm… yes. Why aren’t we pregnant yet?” He laughed, and so did I to be polite, but seriously- did he think we were in there to ask him just how, exactly, babies are made?

I was also hoping that he would be more impressed with how well-prepared I was for our first appointment. I came with a neatly compiled timeline for him, as well as detailed charts and notes. And I will be honest, I very much expected him to nod approvingly once I handed it over and tell me that he was impressed with how thorough I was. And maybe even give me a gold star or two.

But you know what? He didn’t even ask for it, and didn’t even seem remotely interested when I made sure to flip through it right in his line of vision. I realize that my Chemistry summer school course at Austin Community College does not qualify me to make medical conclusions, but I assumed that it would at least be helpful to add the information to my file. All of you other overachievers out there can probably sympathize with the rejection I felt at that moment. Maybe one day, just to make myself feel better, I will put it in a portfolio to show our first child how much effort was involved with bringing him/her into existence.

And on that note, can I just say how frustrating this whole process is for a person like me who has always had a good amount of success with keeping the whole “if you apply yourself and give it your best effort, it will happen” mindset? It’s as if I have been lied to my whole life! But I realize this is an important lesson for me to learn, because as exasperating as it is to realize that you are completely and totally not in control, it is equally liberating to be reminded that God completely and totally is in control. And we are very thankful for that.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share, and for making it this far into the post. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just do me a favor and pretend to be interested

I know it’s only Wednesday, but I think it’s safe to say that it has been an eventful week at the Joiner house.

First of all (warning: imaginary friend updates ahead), Baby Dinosaur started 2nd grade on Monday! He was very sad to see the summer go, especially because he spent most of it sleeping in and watching tv with his dad. However, his eagerness to use his new hybrid Sponge Bob/Jurassic Park lunch box (the one that replaced the Power Rangers lunch box I alluded to last week) did help to get him a little more motivated.

He told us that his first day highlights were lunch (where he ate a Lunchable, obviously) and recess… no surprise there. He also informed us that his teacher’s name was Miss Doodie Face, but something told me that he probably wasn’t telling the truth, so I requested that he find out her real name on day 2. He came home on day 2 to tell us that her name was Mrs. Robinson, but after talking to his 1st grade teacher, who happens to be my friend and neighbor, I discovered that there isn’t a Mrs. Robinson at the school. Not to worry, though, because we got down to the bottom of it and found out her real last name, which I am not sharing with you because I want to protect her privacy being that she is, in fact, a real person.

BD was not the only one to start school this week, as Natalie and Nebuchadnezzar (Duck’s children) also embarked on their first year of Duck School this week. They meet at the local neighborhood lake, and while I am bummed not to have Natalie’s company at work, I am excited for them to make new friends and learn all there is to learn about being a duck. Their dad, Duck, walks them to school every morning, and is particularly proud that they are attending his alma mater. Matilda, their mom, is not quite as into it being that she is actually a Great Egret and never went to any such school, and to be honest I think she’s a little jealous. Oh, the trials of interracial marriage…

I have yet to find out what exactly Natalie and Neb learn at Duck School, however, because all I’ve been told so far is that Neb’s favorite part is flirting with the girls, and that Natalie loves it because she gets to sit next to her boyfriend, Gregory. And that their teacher is boring. But at least her name isn’t Miss Doodie Face, right?

In addition to everyone kicking off their respective school years, those of us that actually exist have had an eventful week as well. Two freak-of-nature storms blew through on Monday and Tuesday evening, conveniently right at the end of the work day, that resulted in power outages and ridiculously longer than normal time spent commuting home from work. It was comparable to the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, so that was a special trip down memory lane for sure.

The upside is that I got to practice using a manual can opener (which I didn’t do for the first time until I was 21, by the way) to open the can of black beans that I had for dinner. In the dark. After spending an hour and 15 minutes in the car with my gas light on. Ok so that really isn’t an upside, but I was trying my hardest to find the silver lining.

Fortunately the power came back on eventually and all was once again right with the world because I was able to check facebook and e-mail before going to bed, AND I didn’t have to drink anymore lukewarm unfiltered tap water. I have such a tough life, I know.

If you are curious about how things are going in the world of trying to have a baby, then you should know that I was recently referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist and have an appointment with him next week. I had mixed feelings about this, but finally came to peace with it and am ready to move forward. But I have to say that it does not help matters that a random co-worker happened to be the one to find the confirmation page for the new patient forms I faxed in sitting in our copier with a giant “FERTILITY SPECIALIST” sign printed on the top. If you have any stellar ideas about how to play that one off, please let me know.

Because it totally makes sense for me to be concerned about a random co-worker finding out about my medical issues when I am posting it on the internet for all the world to see, right?

Anyway, here’s to hoping that the second half of the week is much more boring than the first!

Diary of a Sass Box

Finally—a tag that I feel as though I have actually earned!

My womb-mate graciously awarded me the Sassy Pants Award, and being that my brain is currently residing on another planet, I am more than happy to capitalize on this free blog topic.

So here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award. (Thanks, sis!)
2. Post 3 sassy things about yourself that your readers may not already know.
3. Pass it along to at least 3 other sassy ladies.

Three sassy things you may not already know about me…

1. Any time I hear a person say that his/her computer is “broke,” I offer to give the computer some money. I feel that this is more effective than just informing people that the correct word is “broken.”

2. There was a girl freshman year of high school that Allison and I didn’t particularly get along with. There were a number of “fights” that took place that year, and during one of them, her mom decided to get involved and approached Allison at a school event and proceeded to publicly berate her (yes, a grown woman did this). Upon hearing about it, rather than involving my parents or some other form of authority, I picked up the phone and called the lady to give her an earful about how unacceptable her behavior was… yes, this was at the age of 14. There is none sassier than a disgruntled and protective twin sister, I can assure you.

3. Another high school story (apparently that’s when I peaked in sassiness): When I was a sophomore, my friend and I did a group project/presentation for our History class. At the end of the assignment, the teacher said that we did a good job and then handed us our grade—a 95. My response? “Well if it was so good, why didn’t we get 100 on it?” I think he was surprised that I was arguing after getting what most would consider a good grade, but I really wanted to know if there was a reason 5 points were taken off or if it was just arbitrary. Apparently it was worth it, however, because he ended up giving us 100 after all. :)

And now I tag*:

1. Risa at The Meyer Musings
2. Kelly at The Nelsons
3. Beth at Diary of a Dietitian

*Please note that the main reason I am tagging these peeps is not because they are necessarily all that sassy, but rather because they haven’t blogged in a little while so I’m trying to give them added motivation :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

When a welcome mat just won't do

Good news, everyone—Dawson and Jen finally broke up last night. And not a moment too soon, because I’m pretty sure Brian was getting tired of listening to me groan every time we had to watch a scene with them together.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but my anniversary “gift” to Brian was agreeing to watch the entire Lost series from start to finish on Netflix. He has been more or less obsessed with it (now that I think of it, I can’t think of anyone who just casually watched that show- they were all obsessed...), and I figure that if he has endured all of D-Creek with me, then the least I could do is sit through a show for him. And maybe now I will have some clue as to what everyone is talking about when the show comes up, as it surprisingly often does, in normal social conversation.

Now that I’m done filling you in on our tv-watching plans for the coming months, I’ll move on to a (debatably) more amusing topic.

This morning when Katie and I were running (keep in mind that it is still dark outside when we go), we rounded the corner and she pointed at a house and asked, “Is that a Nutcracker?!” I didn’t even have to look because I had walked by the house in the daylight last weekend and noticed that it was, indeed, a gigantic, life-sized Nutcracker on someone’s front porch.

First of all, I think most of you will agree that that is really strange.

Second, it is totally seasonally inappropriate.

Third, they have to be aware that we are not currently in the Christmas season, so I really what to know what their thought process is behind having a giant Nutcracker man the front porch year-round. Is it part of a massive collection that outgrew the inside of the house? Are they hoping that people passing by will think it’s an actual guard and be frightened away? If so, they are actually onto something, because you better believe that Nutcracker looks even creepier in the wee hours of the morning than it does in broad daylight.

Regardless, I think it’s important that Brian and I, still being fairly new to the neighborhood, do our best to fit in. So I’m thinking that maybe we should put a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Miley Cyrus on our front porch. Or maybe Taylor Swift. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Just a few things I need to get off my chest:

1. I miss going shopping for school supplies. Specifically markers and colored pencils. And graph paper.

2. I miss sorority rush. I know, I know, I’m crazy… but I thought it was fun! Sure, it took months for me to get the songs out of my head (years?) and my voice was generally useless for the first few weeks of school, but hey, at least they fed us all day and we got some sweet t-shirts out of the deal. “Chi Omega, gonna sing all about Chi Omega, gonna shout all about Chi Omega, can’t live without Chi O, Chi O…”

3. Last night Brian and I almost got into a real fight about one of our imaginary character’s imaginary Power Rangers lunch box. Fortunately we stopped ourselves before it got too heated. Close call though.

4. We’re in the home stretch of watching the entire Dawson’s Creek series on DVD (maybe that should be a confession all on its own?), and I still get angry when I watch Dawson and Jen get back together during the college years. It was bad enough when she moved to Capeside from NYC freshman year of high school and stole him away from Joey, but then she had to go and do it again after his dad died. She's such a home-wrecker.

5. And while we are on the subject of my favorite melodramatic teenage angst show, I am sort of sad that the regular Fall TV programming is going to pick back up soon because it will mean less time spent watching D-Creek. I need to get a life.

6. This confession is really on behalf of my husband, but he has recently been taunting the dogs with a laser pointer and is quite amused with himself. It is a guarantee that Noah will be instantly- and permanently- distracted once the laser pointer comes out. And sadly, he continues to look for it every time he comes in the house for days to follow. It’s cruel, I know.

That’s all for today. Feel free to share your own!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Misery loves company

I just wanted to share with you all that I've never eaten a Pop Tart. I haven't even tasted one. I'm not really sure why I felt that was necessary to share with you all, but it dawned on my recently, and instantly I decided I needed to talk about it on the blog. Now THAT is when you know that you are lacking in inspiration for legitimate topics.

In completely unrelated news, hallelujah, praise the Lord, I have found someone to run with me! You're probably thinking, "Why was it so hard for you to find someone to run with you? Do you have offensive B.O.? Do you run like Phoebe from Friends?" The answer to both of those- thankfully- is no.

The primary factor working against me in finding someone to work out with me is the time that I typically like to work out: 5:15 in the morning. I know, I know. You can stop gasping in horror now.

I have actually never understood how people could work out any time other than in the morning, because it is a fact that as the day progresses, my desire and willingness to work out decreases exponentially. Maybe it's just me, but when the work day is over, all I want to do is (a) get out of my work clothes (b) eat dinner as quickly as possible, and (c) sit mindlessly on the couch. So as you can imagine, having to work out before accomplishing those monumental tasks would really just be expecting too much out of myself.

Anyway, my pal, Katie, who happens to live in the neighborhood (yes, the same one I mentioned recently with the very generous uncle who owns a house in Mexico) approached me last Sunday night at our church-planning meeting and asked if I wanted to go running the next morning.

I think I stared blankly at her from the shock. I said, "You do know I get up at 5 am, right?" And she responded that yes, she was aware of that fact, and that she didn't mind waking up early to do it because she thought having someone else to work out with would help hold her accountable. And while the prospect of getting up and working out alone (unless you count my hostile video instructor, Jillian) every morning is a thrilling one, I gladly accepted her offer!

So on Monday morning, we set off on our run while the stars were still out and the rest of the normal people in the world were still sleeping. And it was great! I probably irritated her immensely because I am very much a morning person and chit-chatted the whole time as if we were taking a leisurely stroll through the park, but thankfully she humored me and kept the conversation up.

And let me just say that it is amazing how much more tolerable running is and how much more quickly the time seems to pass when you have a partner! Now granted, Brian does go running with me on occasion, but he is not exactly a morning person (I'm fairly convinced that his body doesn't actually mentally "wake up" until some time around noon), so the conversation is sparse to say the least. So it was nice, for a change, to have something to focus on rather than the actual run itself.

Anyway, we decided to give it another go on Wednesday, and then decided to go today (Friday) as well. The goal is to make it a semi-regular activity, so I'll be sure to keep you all posted.

And by the way, going running 3 times in one week has to have earned me at least one DQ Blizzard... right??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Perhaps I've missed my calling as a professional townie food critic

Do you know what I realized recently? It has been a long, long time since I last gave any kind of townie update, which is unfortunate, because I realize that your interest in the thriving metropolis of Richmond/Rosenberg and its impact on my life is really what keeps you all coming back to this blog in the first place. And far be it from me to deprive you of the details of my journey to townie-dom, so here goes.

I would like to first point out that the vacation we took last week was actually made possible by one of our townie friends who just so happens to have a generous uncle that owns a house in Mexico. In fact, she is the female counterpart in the very same townie couple that recruited us to our current neighborhood.

And in addition to the Olivers, the other couple that joined us on the trip is also composed of two local townies (who used to blog—long, long ago). Coincidentally, they also helped recruit us to the neighborhood in which we currently reside.

We are thankful that these other 2 couples live in such close proximity because I think you will all agree that townies that play together stay together. In fact, we like each other so much that after spending 5 days straight with one another in Mexico, we also hung out twice this past weekend. Which brings me to the next townie update: our trip to Ray’s Grill.

There is a small(er) town about 20 minutes from where we live called Fulshear. And unless you have a strong affinity for places that process deer meat, you would really have no reason to go to there. However, there is a restaurant there that actually gets a fair amount of hype all the way out here in the rest of Fort Bend County (and even Houston) called Ray’s.

The original plan was for us to go there for dinner on Friday (they are participating in Houston Restaurant Week), but being that (a) it would cost a minimum of $70/couple, (b) we just got back from vacation, and (c) we just had our anniversary dinner, we decided it would be more financially responsible to forego the dinner and go out for Sunday brunch instead, thereby allowing us to pay our bills for the month. I know, we're so wise.

Now let me first say that I do not consider myself a “foodie,” or one of those people that likes to try out different restaurants and give a detailed review of their dishes, because to me, a hamburger at Chili’s is equally as exciting as a four-course dinner at a fancy restaurant. With that said, I am not going to give you a play-by-play about how Ray’s puts its signature spin on blah blah and serves a really delectable blah blah all served with a sweet corn reduction. In fact, typing the words “sweet corn reduction” kind of makes me want to punch myself in the face.

All I’m going to tell you is that I was able to eat sweet potato french fries and pancakes in the same meal. And there were cheese cubes. In abundance.

Those of you with a more sophisticated palate might also be interested to hear that they also served pork tenderloin, prime rib, lamb and some fancy kind of cream cheese, but those of you, like me, whose taste buds stopped maturing around the age of 8 really don’t need to hear anymore. Except for maybe that they also had the most amazing macaroni and cheese ever… and some pretty sweet brownies and pie for dessert.

All this to say, if you are ever in the area on a Sunday, you need to go to brunch at Ray’s. And then you need to meander back over to Richmond to follow that up with a Thug Passion snow cone. And perhaps a breakfast taco from Bob’s. And then probably a good 72-hour nap to sleep off your food coma, but I promise it will be worth it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat my afternoon snack: a s’mores-flavored Chewy granola bar. If that doesn’t scream sophistication, I don’t know what does.

Friday, August 6, 2010

You can thank my dad for this post.

I woke up this morning* to find the following e-mail in my inbox:

Sorry to see that you are ill/have broken fingers, etc. Or, so I assume, given the slacking on the blog. Get well soon!

Love, Dad

Hysterical, isn't he? Apparently leaving the country does not excuse me from fulfilling my blogging obligations- my sincerest apologies to you all!

Since I'm sure you are all dying to know, we did indeed have a wonderful time in Puerto Vallarta. Unless you think having people prepare all of your meals and lounging around a pool that overlooks the ocean all day is not wonderful... in which case, you are dumb.

Other than eating copious amounts of homemade tortilla chips and rapidly increasing our chances of getting skin cancer, we also got massages, played a few games (during which I laughed until I almost wet my pants on more than one occasion), and practiced our Spanish. It was a pretty tough week all in all, but somehow we survived.

I'm including some pictures from the trip, but I will warn you- if you don't want to feel sorry for yourself or be overcome with jealousy, then just go ahead and skip over the pictures and scroll on down to the rest of the text. You'll thank me, I promise.

We were welcomed joyfully back to the USofA by spending an hour waiting in the Customs line. This was extremely aggravating (particularly for the Olivers who had a connecting flight to catch), but provided such interesting people-watching that I almost couldn't be irritated. Almost. Fortunately, I also had the $4 bag of Wild Berry Skittles leftover from the Puerto Vallarta airport to keep my spirits up. And thank goodness for that.

I also found it quite amusing that I came home to not one, not two, but THREE e-mails from Dairy Queen. I can't decide if that is awesome or pathetic, but considering one of those e-mails informed me that the Blizzard of the Month is the Oreo Brownie Earthquake Blizzard, I am going to go with awesome. Yes, I will be having one soon, and yes, I will let you know if it makes it onto my top 5 Blizzard flavors list... which has not ever been published, but perhaps will be in the very near future.

Anyway, I am a genius, and as such, I took Wednesday (the day after we got home) off of work as well, so I had a whole extra day to recover from our strenuous vacation before I had to go back to the real world. Wednesday also happened to be Brian's and my 3rd anniversary (hooray!), so it was nice to have the day off to celebrate in a way that did not involve an alarm going off at 5:10 am.

My sweet husband had flowers and gummy bears waiting for me when I got home from my run in the morning, and then we spent most of the day doing really romantic things like giving the dogs a bath, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, and paying the bills (sounds a lot like the time I decided to do our taxes on Valentine's Day). After all that fun was over, we went to the Galleria for a little while to kill time before dinner.

And since food is really the most important part of any celebratory occasion, you should know that we went to the Melting Pot for dinner, and it changed my life forever. Ok that's not true- the cheese, salad, and meat portion of dinner were good, but really it was the dessert that changed my life.

We chose the s'more flavored chocolate, and it was served with bite-sized pieces of the following: marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, pound cake, cheesecake, rice krispie treats, and graham crackers. All dipped in chocolate.

Nevermind the fact that Brian had just stuffed himself full by eating upwards of 15 (small) pieces of meat, or the fact that the roof of my mouth had already been burned several times during the cheese portion of the meal alone- we ate every single last crumb of that dessert. And then I very seriously considered hiding the bowl of the remaining chocolate in my purse and taking it with me. If it wasn't for the fact that the bowl had a temperature somewhere above 212 degrees, I just might have done it.

For the record, the roof of my mouth is still raw today (2 days later), but it was worth it. I should also be mushy and mention that I consider myself unbelievably blessed to have been married to my wonderful husband for 3 whole years... thank you, Brian, for picking me as your wife :)

Anyway, as you can imagine, having started off the week with a trip to Mexico and an anniversary celebration, Thursday was a little bit of a let-down. But being that my work week only lasted 1.5 days, I really don't think I'm in a position to complain.

That's all for now... I'm off to pretend that the sound of the refrigerator humming is actually the sound of ocean waves crashing and that the Lean Pocket I'll be microwaving for dinner is actually a plate full of enchiladas. Hasta luego!

*It was very tempting to make a Ke$ha lyric reference here. You're welcome for my self-restraint.