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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Moving onto bigger problems

Ok, so apparently blogging is very therapeutic, because I kid you not, I felt about 100 times better not 2 hours after I posted that blog yesterday. And as a measure of my progress, today I was able to polish off my apple at lunch without gagging AND I have made it through several pieces of gum. Hallelujah—I’m healed! For now. But you better believe I am going to be more cautious next time fajitas are involved… well, at least as long as I’m on this medicine, anyway!

Now onto more pressing matters: Brian and I are now almost halfway through Season 2 of Lost. I am just in the midst of getting to know (and consequently dislike) Anna Lucia, and found out recently that Shannon was shot and killed, making her and Boone the first family unit to be wiped off the show. Besides the ones that died in the actual plane crash, of course.

Anyway, the great part is that we have been able to watch Season 1 and 2 on instant Netflix, so whenever we have had free time, we’ve been able to watch episode after episode until our brains turned to mush and I started to forget that a real world actually exists without stray polar bears and smoke monsters. On the other hand, with Dawson’s Creek (not available on instant Netflix), we were able to watch the 5-6 episodes that came on each disc, and then had to wait a few days before getting to watch the next disc, which is pretty torturous when you end on a cliffhanger episode and really want to know what happens next… which is basically every episode with Lost.

So you can imagine my shock and horror when Brian informed me yesterday that as of tomorrow, Lost will no longer be available on instant Netflix. So rude. And the ridiculous part is that I am actually very seriously considering paying the extra $3/month in order to get 2 discs at a time instead of 1. Congratulations, Netflix—it looks like your scheme to coerce us all into giving you more money by capitilazing on our impatience and need for instant gratification is working brilliantly.

And so, in order to ease my pain (and to celebrate the fact that I actually want to eat again), Brian and I have a date with 2 Dairy Queen blizzards tonight. Flavor choice is still pending, but I can guarantee you I won't be wasting our money on a mini.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Diary of a walking pharmacy

Believe it or not, I have discovered something more horrible than crying in the doctor’s office—Metformin. It is one of the medications prescribed to me by my doctor, and though I was forewarned that it might take my stomach some time to get used to it, I was not fully prepared for how miserable it would make me feel.

I started taking it last Monday, and I felt perfectly fine until Saturday morning… which now seems like a distant, distant memory. We had Mexican food on Friday night, so I expectedly went to bed feeling a little more full than usual. However, when I woke up on Saturday morning, I felt just as full as when I had just finished my dinner. I went for a run hoping that would help, but was disappointed when I arrived home and didn’t feel any better.

I helped Brian make his breakfast, but I could not face my bowl of Raisin Bran. Just thinking about eating made me want to vomit. And this is how I have felt for the majority of the past FOUR DAYS. I either feel like I am going to vomit, or like I just swallowed a bunch of vomit. Disgusting? Perhaps. But also totally accurate.

Yes, the medicine lists nausea as a possible side effect, and it also mentions that your appetite might be decreased while taking the medicine. Why yes, in fact, if “decreased appetite” = gagging when I bite into an apple or having an irrational fear of putting gum in my mouth for fear that it will make me toss my cookies. In case this means anything to those of you who know my predictable eating habits: I have not eaten a turkey sandwich since Friday.

But the worst part is that the ONLY thing that seems to make me feel better is to eat. So please tell me how I am supposed to feel better if the one thing that helps is the last thing I am interested in doing. So far, I have been limiting myself to what I like to call the “brown” food group. Peanut butter, bread, crackers, potato chips, and chocolate. So if you were about to show me the silver lining by pointing out that a decreased appetite will result in weight loss, please—spare me.

Also, if you were about to point out the fact that this is exactly what the first trimester of pregnancy is like so I better get used to it for the day when I actually am pregnant, save it. I have already considered that, and that only makes me feel more sorry for myself because it means that I have to experience the symptoms without getting an actual baby as a result.

I think I am going to write a letter to God and ask Him to please stop “preparing me” for pregnancy and parenting and just let me be pregnant already. As if He hasn’t heard that from me 800 billion times in the past 10 or so months :)

Please do forgive me for whining—I know I should be thankful that I am generally in good health. I also have read that these side effects usually only last for the first couple of weeks of taking the medicine, so I know the misery is temporary. But still. I am really ready to get off of this medicine and get back to feeling at least remotely normal!

I would really love to now transition into a more riveting topic, but unfortunately the nausea is fairly consuming and I have spent almost every waking thought just wishing that I was in a coma.

Oh, and there is the slightly distracting but totally exciting fact that Living Stones Church has its first service in 4 days! And thankfully for my new “diet,” the word on the street is that there might even be a birthday cake (being that it is the "birth" of a new church), so make sure to join us if you’re in the area!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just a quick plug

As we prepare for the launch of Living Stones Church (October 3rd!), there are a few things on our wish list. If you are interested in helping out, please take a look at the Donations section on the church's website.

Just 9 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes and some seconds until the launch- but who's counting? :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sorry, ladies- he's taken

So last week’s appointment did not go so well. They told me to come back on Monday (yesterday) to see how things were progressing, but that appointment didn’t go so well either. So basically we’re back at square one. And by “square one,” I mean to say that I am now on four different prescription medications in hopes that the right combo will do the trick—one for borderline underactive thyroid, two to tell my body what to do, and one more or less just for good measure.

So now our house resembles a pharmacy and I feel like an 80-year-old. But the best part of it all? I cried in the doctor’s office. I really hate being that girl because generally speaking, I think I do a decent job of convincing people that I am brave and strong and not nearly as fragile as most girls. I think I must have surprised even him, because when the tears started, you could tell he was thrown off and not entirely sure how to handle me and my impromptu emoting. I find that pretty amusing, because I have a feeling that I am not the first female to cry in his office.

I’m sure he was relieved that Brian was there to hold my hand and take pity on me so that he wouldn’t have to, but nonetheless, he did assure us confidently that we WILL be parents one day. Appreciative of his efforts, I pulled it together and we exited the office to wait in the check-out lobby… at which point the crying resumed. The nurse walked up to hand me my instructions and prescriptions, and somehow seemed even more shocked than the doctor that I was, in fact, crying in the lobby. She asked if there was anything she could do for me, and I was very tempted to say, “Yes, help me get pregnant,” but I held my tongue.

Brian, my wonderful and eternally optimistic husband, then stepped up to the plate for the impossible task of cheering me up and convincing me that the world was not, in fact, going to come to an end. It went a little something like this:

Brian: So you know that gazelles are really fast, right?
Me: Yes…
Brian: But you know that cheetahs are faster, right?
Me: Um, sure?
Brian: Well even though they are faster, cheetahs don’t always catch gazelles. Do you know why?
Amanda: No...
Brian: It's because the gazelles are mentally tougher- they can run for longer periods of time and outlast the cheetahs.
(Confused silence)
Brian: Well… I guess my point is that you are really brave and strong and I know you can outlast this.

And I think you will all agree that it was at that point that it was more clear than ever that Brian is a boy, and I am a girl. However, it was also at that point that it was more clear than ever that (cue sappy background music) I do indeed have the greatest husband in the world.

I know that I’m not easy to put up with, even on my best days, so I can only imagine how much of a pain I must be to deal with when my hormones are out of whack and I spend most of my free time researching symptoms on the internet or crying in public places. And yet he has not once lost patience with me, told me to get a grip, or worst of all, told me to “just stop stressing about it.” And have I mentioned all of the desserts he has bestowed upon me as rewards for my “bravery”?

I am confident that God is using this trial for a purpose, and I am thankful to have a husband that reminds me of that constantly and refuses to let me think even for a second that God has forgotten or abandoned us. I couldn’t ask for a better encourager… even if he does pull his advice from episodes of Planet Earth :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why my twin sister is better than yours*

So I was sitting at my desk at work the other day when an e-mail came in from our receptionist telling me that I had a package in the mail room. The only packages I receive at work are paperwork from applicants or cheesy "please give us your business" giveaways from staffing agencies, so I wasn't exactly peeing my pants in excitement over this e-mail.

Regardless, I am impatient and didn't want to leave the e-mail waiting in my inbox, so rather than add "go to mail room" on my note pad, I decided to head upstairs to take care of it. I strolled into the mail room and imagine my surprise when I came upon this:


Hmm, call me crazy, but I quickly concluded that there just might be cupcakes in there! But the mystery remained because I still wasn't sure who they were from (although I had a hunch based on a previous act of kindness I bestowed upon a certain someone).

I took the package back to my desk, and opened it up to find this:

Which I promptly opened to find this:


In case you can't read it, it says "Sissy" at the top and then "Hang in there! Love, Allison"

Although the day was going just fine at the time that I received the package, it later evolved into a very discouraging and frustrating day, so the timing really couldn't have been better... I like to refer to that as "twin-tuition." (Yep, I came up with that one on my own.) And I think you would all agree that even the crummiest of days can be fixed with a pretty pink box full of cupcakes, right?


I didn't end up eating the cupcakes at work (partially because I would have felt obligated to share, and 3 cupcakes divided by a department full of women equals not very many cupcakes for me... please pardon my blatant selfishness), but did end up eating one that night for dinner (yes, that was my dinner- and it was delicious). Brian and I polished off the other 2 last night, so don't worry, all 3 cupcakes went to a happy home.

Anyway, in case you are ever feeling a little down in the dumps, my advice would be to get yourself an identical twin sister. Trust me on this one.

*Funny story: I titled this post and wrote it in its entirety before finding the link above to Allison's post about the time I sent her cupcakes. And when I went to get the link from her blog, imagine my amusement upon finding out that her post was also entitled, "Why my twin sister is better than yours." Great minds...

And PS- A big thanks to Kimmie for introducing Allison and me both to Saint Cupcake!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A well-timed distraction

As suspected, the HSG on Friday was not enjoyable. Fortunately, I was rewarded with pretzel M&M’s and frozen yogurt. Do you notice a theme here? I have another appointment today to see if any progress is being made, so prayers for that are appreciated.

I think it is safe to say that this whole process is officially consuming most, if not all, of my thoughts, as evidenced by the fact that I dreamed last night that we had a baby boy (named “Brandon,” for the record, which is totally not going to happen). Apparently we decided to have him baptized the day after he was born, but because I had to go immediately back to work, I had to watch the whole thing on a web cam. But the really great part is that NOAH AND BUSTER were participating in the baptism alongside our pastor and his wife.

I think you would all agree that I could use a distraction or two.

Fortunately, I’m in luck, because there is a little something going on in our lives currently known as “planting a church.” And that “little something” just so happens to be coming to a head in less than 3 weeks because Living Stones Church is holding its first service on October 3rd!

On the one hand, we are really ready for the launch date to arrive, because in case you haven’t noticed, this has been in the works (and consequently on our hearts and minds) for almost 9 months now. Coincidentally, it takes 9 months to grow a baby, so I guess you could say that this church feels kind of like our baby. And much like a woman in her 9th month of pregnancy, we are ready to get this baby out and into the world.

On the other hand, the idea of actually holding the first service is slightly overwhelming, because (a) we still have approximately 3 million things to do before the launch date and (b) that’s just the way it goes whenever a lot of time, prayer, and effort go into something! Again, this is probably not unlike expectant parents who are ready to meet the baby, but not so ready to face the added responsibility and inevitable challenges of actually having to take care of that baby.

And although I did not intend to make this parallel when I started writing this post, it’s interesting to consider how God might be using this church-planting experience to prepare us for the day (hopefully soon!) that we actually are expecting a baby. I can assure you that participating in the planting of a church requires a great deal of patience, hope, trust, and prayer, and I would imagine that preparing to be parents involves much of the same. Although it is nice to know that when this 9-month wait is up, there will be no dirty diapers or spit-up involved. :)

Anyway, all this to say, I would love for you all to go check out the church’s new website at www.lscsugarland.org and see what we’re all about. And if you are in the Houston area (or feel like making a road trip to actually “meet the Joiners” in person), we would love for you to come on October 3rd or any Sunday after that! And if you are needing extra motivation, you should know that the Associate Pastor is a pretty good-looking guy… :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's about time they start paying me for all this free advertising, don't you think?

So guess what my friend, Kristen, bought for me recently.

No guesses?

Ok then just take a look:


She apparently found it at a Target in Dallas and for some some unfathomable reason, it reminded her of me! :) Thanks, Kristen!

I am excited to sport this around town, and know that this new article of clothing, along with the "Townie" shirt that Shannon gave me, will really increase my street cred as a townie. Wouldn't you agree?

Also, I forgot to tell you that I recently tried the new DQ Blizzard "mini" for the first time. My conclusion is that, yes, having a mini if you're needing a blizzard fix is obviously a healthier alternative to having one of the the bigger sizes, but in my opinion, the mini is way overpriced for how small it is. So if you want my advice, just stick with the small... and try to resist the temptation to go look up the nutritional information on the DQ website. Trust me on this one.

I also happened to try the Blizzard of the Month, Brownie Batter, in the same outing and was quite pleased with it. I guess it's kind of tough to screw up a dessert that basically only involves brownies and ice cream, but regardless, I was definitely regretting my decision to order a mini once I finished it.

And I think I'll wrap this up with a question for you all: Would it be socially unacceptable to wear my DQ shirt at Dairy Queen? And on that note, isn't it a little late for someone that (a) now owns a DQ shirt and (b) frequents the local DQ to be concerned about what's socially acceptable?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A break from your regularly scheduled programming

I'm sure you are sad to learn that this post is not going to be in any way related to fertility issues, but you are just going to have to deal with it.

Because we (a) live in the fiery inferno known as the greater Houston area and (b) recently moved into a house with no covered back porch, Noah and Buster have been spending more time inside lately than they normally would. We also decided to take them with us to Austin/La Grange last weekend for Labor Day, so let's just say we have not been lacking in quality time with the pups lately.

With this being the case, there have been plenty of photo-worthy moments with the boys lately, and I feel that it would be unjust not to share their cuteness with the world. So enjoy:

Noah with a creepy tongue shot

Buster- his eyes are brown, but for some reason they always show up alien-green in pictures?

Wouldn't it be funny if human siblings played around with each other by biting each other's faces? I think so.

Truly pathetic... this was while they were begging shamelessly for head scratches. It worked. How do you say no to those faces?!

Doesn't it look like Noah is being sworn into office here?

Our cute boys!

Noah sat like this for the entire 2.5-hour drive to Austin. We gave him a Benadryl, and you could tell it was making him sleepy (as evidenced below), but he fought it the whole way.

Must. not. fall. asleep.

Meanwhile, Buster (riding shotgun because of his history of vomiting on car rides) took full advantage of the air-conditioned nap time.

Buster, much like Brian, will fall asleep just about anywhere if he is warm and still for long enough.

Apparently he was not amused by my paparazzi-like behavior.

Posing for Auntie Shannon at Brian's grandparents' ranch in La Grange.
Alternate caption for this photo: Greetings from prison!

So there you have it. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This might be why I haven't given into the whole vampire trend...

Raise your hand if you want to keep hearing about my medical adventures.

Everyone?

Ok great.

So the next step in this fun process after last week’s appointment was to get blood work done. I was required to fast after midnight the night before, and I realize it is very pathetic to admit this, but I was more nervous about having to fast than about the actual blood work. Fortunately, I survived the extra 3 hours in the morning without breakfast, but you better believe I will not be skipping breakfast again by choice.

Anyway, so I headed to the lab in the pouring rain, and arrived at a place that looked much like a mental institution on the inside. It was all white, and there were no decorations on the walls or people in the lobby. There also was not anyone attending the check-in desk, so I was greeted by an empty room and a sign-in sheet. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long, and my phlebotomist (isn’t that a great word?) took me back just a minute or two after my arrival.

We walked back into a room full of ominous empty test tubes and she had me take a seat in the chair that looked anything but inviting. She started to input my information into the computer, and meanwhile I tried my best not to look at anything in the room, because while I would not consider myself a total weenie, I am, like most rational people, not a huge fan of needles.

As if the sitting and waiting wasn’t damaging enough to my nerves, there happened to be a child in the next room who apparently was also not a fan of needles and was screaming her lungs out. As I was sitting there trying to give myself a pep talk and remind myself that I’m a big girl and I can do this, my thoughts were interrupted repeatedly by her uncontrollable sobs and yells of, “Please, Mommy, don’t make me do it!!!” Try keeping your cool with that kind of background noise and let me know how it goes.

So anyway, the phlebotomist did her thing while I looked away, closed my eyes, and prayed that it would be over soon. She finally finished (what felt like a good 3 hours later), just as I started to feel light-headed and noticed that my vision was blurring. Not wanting to sound like a total pansy, I calmly asked, “Is it normal for me to feel a little light-headed?” She nodded and said, “Oh yeah, I took a lot of blood!” Hmm. That’s comforting. Thanks for the heads up.

It was also slightly disconcerting that when she responded, it sounded like she was talking to me from a mile away through some kind of tunnel. I have never passed out before, but apparently I was quickly approaching that state. She directed me to put my head down and then fanned me (without my prompting, mind you, so apparently she noticed how profusely I was sweating) until I snapped back into it.

She offered me some water (What?! No sugary fruit drink?! No granola bars or cookies?! Apparently I had “getting blood work done” confused with “donating blood,” because I was disappointed to learn that NO snacks were offered as a reward for my bravery). I declined and stumbled back out to my car, where I then proceeded to stuff massive fistfuls of the cereal I had brought with me into my mouth. By how ravenous I was, you would have thought that I had been fasting for 12 days instead of 12 hours… it was pathetic, really.

Regardless, I survived and made it back to the office in one piece. After I downed a few glasses of water and took some Advil, I felt about a hundred times better. And later that day when my husband, aka: my knight in shining armor, showed up at work with a giant chocolate chip cookie (finally! compensation for my courage!), I felt about a million times better. Smart man, isn’t he?

I made sure to keep the cotton ball and tape on there until I went to bed, very sure that seeing the actual battle wound would be more than I could handle. Much to my surprise, when I took it off at the end of the day, all I could see was a tiny mark the size of a pen tip. So apparently, despite my best efforts to the contrary, I really am a pansy.

Next up: A really unenjoyable process called a hysterosalpingogram. I will most likely spare you the details of that visit, so if you are really curious, you’ll just have to read about it here.

In more uplifting news, most of you probably saw Allison and Wade’s announcement yesterday. Brian and I are way excited to be aunt and uncle for the 5th time, and I already informed them that I plan to dress identically to Allison whenever I’m around the baby so as to confuse him/her as early and as often as possible. I expect Allison to return the favor one day when it’s our turn... which will hopefully be soon, because I have a feeling you all are going to get tired of reading about my various doctor visits very quickly.