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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Putting my alphabet skillz to good use

Does anyone else think the word "skill," when pluralized, should always end in a 'z'? Me too.
My wonderful pal/triplet separated at birth, Erika, recently posted this A-Z blog, and because imitation is the highest form of flattery and I think she is pretty great, it is only fitting that I copy her.

A. Age:

B. Bed size: Queen… I used to think we should upgrade to a king, but now I’m not so sure. Don’t get me wrong- I love having my personal space, but I don’t like feeling like I have to reach 800 yards away to get to Brian (or my blankies) when needed.

*As a side note, my parents have a very tall 4-post queen-sized bed, and for most of my childhood, I thought that "queen" and "king" referred to the height of the bed frame itself. I'm smart.

C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning the bath tub and shower- thank goodness for a helpful husband who doesn't mind these chores as much as I do :)

D. Dogs: Noah and Buster, the sweetest and most well-behaved pups in the world... and I am only sort of exaggerating.

E. Essential start to your day: Working out. I hate to admit this, because every morning when my alarm goes off, I try to come up with some kind of legitimate excuse NOT to work out. However, it makes a noticeable difference in my energy level and really does help me to start the day off on the right foot.

F. Favorite color: Red (cardinal for all of my Chi Omega sisters... hoot hoot)

G. Gold or Silver: Gold

H. Height: 5'6

I. Instruments you play: Does the Wii guitar from Guitar Hero count?

J. Job title: Corporate Recruiter- I screen resumes and interview people for a living.

K. Kids: None yet… thanks for rubbing it in!

L. Live: Outside of Houston, Texas, in a magical town called Richmond

M. Mother’s name: Betsy, but she is more commonly referred to as “Franny” now that she is grandmother extraordinaire.

N. Nicknames: A few people call me AJ, but that's about the extent of it.

O. Overnight hospital stays: None so far!

P. Pet peeves: I feel like I whine about pet peeves all the time, so I’ll just share one that has been bothering me lately: It drives me up the wall when people call me at work repeatedly without leaving a message… as in, 5+ times in a day. Or when they call, leave a message, and then call back less than 2 hours later to see if I got the first message. NEWSFLASH: You are not the only person that needs my time today.

Q. Quote from a movie: “A lot of people go to college for seven years.” “I know. They’re called doctors.” - Tommy Boy

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: 2 sisters, 1 brother, 2 sisters-in-law, 2 brothers-in-law

U. Underwear: Hanky pankies

V. Vegetable you hate: Beets! Although in their defense, I have never actually tried one. In my defense, I have never tried a cigarette but I am confident I wouldn't like those either.

W. What makes you run late: I am known for being a stickler when it comes to punctuality, so unless it’s something major (ie: I died), running late and I don’t typically mix!

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth, finger, foot, uterus (which was SO FUN), and most recently, chest due to the great TB scare of 2011

Y. Yummy food that you make: Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins… in fact, I could go for some of those right about now.

Z. Zoo animal: Pandas for sure—this comes from the “Amanda Panda” nickname that I received off and on as a child. I had a few stuffed animal pandas as a result, but I think what you’ll find even more awesome is that one time, simply because of my great affinity for them, I hand-copied the entire entry on pandas from the encyclopedia.

The end!

Monday, September 26, 2011

More of life lately, as dictated by my iPhone

I'm sure many of you have been wondering what I've been doing lately besides going to acupuncture appointments. So once again, I am going to let the iPhone (and my captions) do the talking:

Yes, I did make Brian take a picture before his first official day at his new job. Yes, he was embarrassed, but thankfully he still cooperated :)

Back in August, Allison & Wade were in town for Wade's sister's wedding, and I got the pleasure of babysitting my sweet little nephew while they were at the rehearsal dinner. He was a little grumpy at first, but thankfully it didn't take long for me to discover the magic sleep-inducing combination: Baby Einstein + Baby Bjorn

That didn't last for long, however, so I was very thankful when Uncle Brian showed up to come to the rescue. Isn't he going to be a great daddy one day?

This was taken the next night on the way to the wedding. He knew he had a long night of dancing ahead of him, so he wanted to make sure he was well-rested.

Buster has for whatever reason determined that he has permanent permission to lounge on the couch. We don't want to encourage this habit, particularly because it's unfair to his larger (and more likely to shed) brother, but how can you tell this face 'no'?

I mean, seriously?

This was taken on our (very brief) road trip to La Grange for Labor Day. We intended to stay there overnight, but the wildfires in nearby Bastrop caused a power outage that cut our trip short.

And for the record, I promise we don't love Noah any less than we love Buster! Buster just gets to sit in the front seat so he'll be less likely to barf.

Remember that time I won Camille's BlogShare contest? Well as promised, my prize showed up shortly thereafter!

The contents: a prayer book, journal, flash drive, keepsake box, and a $30 gift card to 9er's Grill (local restaurant... townies 4 life!) Thanks, Camille!

Speaking of gifts from friends, this cute little package arrived to me in the mail the other day from my good pal, Kimmie! It's an owl-shaped portable fragrance clip, and just so happens to be a scent that Brian actually likes ("Leaves" from Bath & Body Works)... double victory for Kimmie (and us)!

Sadly, I have no pictures of Davis's recent baptism, but I DO have a picture of Allison's and my shopping trip while they were in town that weekend. Can you tell which one is which?

Two of our best friends, Katie & Stephen, welcomed their sweet baby boy, Michael, into the world on September 20th! This pic was taken when he was just a day old!

And because it's always good to end on the topic of food, this last picture is evidence of our first ever bread-making efforts! All 8 of these beauties are for communion at church, and the x's are actually supposed to be in the shape of the cross. See if you can practice your observation skills and identify the one Brian stabbed with a fork to see if it was done. Boys are so graceful.

And there you have it! Maybe I'll start snapping photos during my acupuncture sessions for your viewing pleasure. Just kidding... all that would do is ensure that Allison would never read my blog again, and given that she is my most faithful reader/commenter, that's a risk I'm not willing to take.

Friday, September 23, 2011

All I'm saying is that I never got any take-home gifts from my fertility specialist... not even a baby

What up, peeps? I'm pretty sure that after the vlog, I'm going to have to start all of my posts that way.

I would first like to report that while I did consume both walnuts and red kidney beans this past week, I have yet to try out the pomegranate popsicles. However, in my defense, there was a steady supply of cookies AND cake balls in our house all week until we finally polished them off yesterday. What was I supposed to do, let them go to waste?

Needle Lady actually didn't give me any new food suggestions this week, and although I would like to pretend that it was because she was so pleased with my obedience thus far that she gave me a week off, I think it's more likely that she just forgot. I can't really blame her for forgetting today, however, because when she walked in at the end of the session and asked me how it went, I said, "Great! ... except I sort of feel like I might throw up."

The good news is that I did not toss my cookies (or peanut butter sandwich, as was the case in this instance), and I'm pretty sure the only reason I was feeling the urge to do so was because I was lying face down on my stomach so shortly after eating. And on that note, I had an exciting acupuncture first this week- she flipped me over to my back for a change!

Normally I am lying face up while she pokes me in the arms, legs, feet, stomach, and/or skull. But apparently she was feeling crazy on Wednesday and decided to shake things up a bit, so I got to lay down with my face in one of those cradle type contraptions with the hole in the middle like they use when you get a massage. I was excited about this because I am a stomach sleeper and find that position much more relaxing, but apparently I didn't consider the fact that "much more relaxing" = "much more likely to act like I've just come out of a coma when I return to work after the appointment."

Oh, and I should also add that when I got back to work, I had sheet marks on my face and upper chest, and I was so flushed that someone asked me if I had just gotten back from tanning. Clearly this person is also blind, because in case you haven't noticed, my skin is comparable to that of Powder or Casper the Ghost. (I'm not linking to a picture of Casper because I'm assuming you all know what he looks like... a ghost.)

Anyway, back to the appointment - in addition to putting some of the needles in my back, calves, etc., she also hooked up some type of electrical stimulators to my lower back as well. I can't really think of a way to describe it except that it felt like pop rocks* feel in your mouth. Helpful, I know. And at today's appointment, in addition to the pop rocks machine, she also put a heating pad on my upper back, which means I'm now convinced she is on a serious mission to get me to fall asleep and never wake up.

Oh, and you all will love this- today she gave me a t-shirt as a token of appreciation for my business (thoughtful, I know). I know what you're thinking- the benefits to acupuncture really are endless! And I agree. I figured it was going to be just a plain t-shirt with her logo on the front, but when I unrolled it, I was pleasantly surprised to see this:

In case you can't read that, it says "Life is great... acupuncture makes it better." But even more important is the picture of the stick figure lying on the table with needles in his back, and the stick figure acupuncturist (who apparently has duck feet) standing over him.

You better believe this t-shirt is now one of my favorites and will immediately join the elite after-work attire rotation along with my old Chi Omega t-shirts and my black cotton gaucho pants from Target (referred to affectionately by my husband as my AWP's- After Work Pants).

I did promise her, however, that I would make sure to put it to good use and do some advertising for her (the logo and website are on the back)... although I didn't mention that the target audience might be limited to people that walk or drive by me while I'm out walking/running in our neighborhood. But hey, it's better than nothing!

Alright, that's all I have for now. I am including the infertility label on this post as you'll see below, but impressively, I did not mention anything about infertility at all until this point! Oh, and did I mention that I have started referring to us as "subfertile" rather than "infertile"? It sounds so much less harsh, don't you think?

*When I pulled up the pop rocks web page, I got a good laugh at the fact that they declare their product to be "the # 1 selling popping candy in the world!" Because really, who is their competition?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dialect Vlog: Twin Edition

What up, peeps? You'll see why that is an amusing introductory phrase momentarily.

As promised, Allison and I put together a joint blog for you while we were together this past weekend. Not just any blog, mind you, but our very first (and likely only) VIDEO BLOG! Can you feel the excitement?

So I'm sure most of you have heard about the famous dialect "vlog" that's going around, but in case you haven't, the point of it is basically to showcase people's individual dialects since they don't always come through on the blog. However, I think you'll agree after watching this that Allison and I are for the most part dialect-free. Or else we just think that because we are used to each other.

Anyway, here it is for your viewing pleasure. We dressed up BIG TIME for this one, so you're welcome. Also, Allison pointed out that I acted very business-like while she was a little more laid back... guess that's what happens when one of us works in corporate America every day and the other stays home watching Baby Einstein videos and cleaning up poop.

Ok enough rambling- here you go:

Oh, and Kate and Erika, you're welcome for the shout-outs... although I guess you can thank Allison for those since she did them both!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I feel the need to confess that I was eating peanut butter out of the jar while I wrote this post

(Beware, dad, I'm about to use the "period" word.)

Few times in my life (ok, no times in my life) have I been so proud to share with the world that I started my period. Yes, that's right, friends- without any medication or chemical intervention, my uterus got the memo and did its job. Ok well technically, its job is to house a baby, but we're taking it one step at a time here, people.

I, for one, was impressed to see these results just 2 weeks and 3 days after starting my regular rounds of quality time with Needle Lady. My temperature actually shifted about a week before, and while I initially thought that I had actually ovulated, I think the acupuncture actually just resulted in a surge in progesterone that in turn started my period. Regardless, I don't care so much how or why it happened as much as I care about the fact that it actually happened!

So we are on the right track. I'm not sure if I mentioned it after my first appointment, but my acupuncturist asked me to give her 3 months to get my body back in working order. She said that step one was to start my period, and then try to get my hormones, etc. regulated from there. So that's what's next!

Oh, and for those that missed it on facebook, this week's food suggestions were red kidney beans, beets (YEAH RIGHT), and pomegranate. I was feeling a little guilty because I have yet to consume a single walnut or pineapple and already my list is growing. However, I am happy to report that during my trip to (the new) HEB today, I purchased a box of Dreyer's pomegranate fruit bars (popsicles) AND a can of red kidney beans for a chili recipe* we're making next week. So there's hope for me yet. Except for the beets... that is never, ever, ever going to happen.

*Yes, I realize it is still 90+ degrees outside and probably a little too early for chili, but I was bound and determined to include those red kidney beans in my diet next week, so lay off!

And on a completely unrelated (and infinitely more important) note, my wonderful father-in-law lost his job yesterday very unexpectedly. As you might recall, my in-laws relocated to Burnet (outside of Austin) just last year for him to take this job, so this was certainly a shock. We would greatly appreciate your prayers that he would find a new job soon, and that they would be well-provided for in the transition, financially and otherwise. And of course, if you know of any job opportunities in Texas for a hard-working, caring, corny-joke-telling car dealership service manager, PLEASE let me know and I would be happy to pass along his resume.

Hope you all enjoy your weekend and that those of you who are also enduring this ridiculous drought get some much-needed rain. Speaking of water (nice transition, right?), the Olivers are coming in town this weekend to have baby Davis baptized at our church! And you're in luck because Allison and I are planning on putting together a joint blog post while we're together... stay tuned!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Surviving Acupuncture: Thoughts from a conservative white girl

In case you were wondering, acupuncture is still going well. It has now become a part of my weekly routine, and as a result, I think it is getting easier for me to relax each time... and forget that I am lying on a table with needles sticking out of various body parts.

I have now been to 5 appointments, and for the past 4, I have gotten the ol' needle in the top of the skull every time. Surprisingly, it really doesn't hurt, but usually it makes the top of my head itch for the remainder of the day. She also always puts one in each wrist, which in turn makes my left arm (only) fall asleep. I made a comment about how I thought it was strange that it didn't happen on my right side, but she said that is normal because the left side of your body controls your Yin (versus your Yang, duh). It makes me laugh when she responds to my questions/observations like that, as if the answer is completely logical and makes total sense.

What also makes me laugh are the foods she suggests that I eat. During my first visit, as I expected, she gave me a list of fairly common sense dietary guidelines... choose wheat rather than white, avoid red meat, avoid alcohol, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, etc. What I did not expect, however, was that she would give me very specific (and very unusual) food suggestions in each subsequent visit.

So far, I have been specifically instructed to eat more broccoli, cauliflower, walnuts, and pineapple. And it's not like it even comes up naturally in the conversation- but rather, she will finish sticking the needles in, tell me to relax, and then say, "Oh, and make sure to eat lots of pineapple this weekend. I'll be back in 20 minutes," before leaving the room. Um. Ok?

(And on that note, short of eating walnuts as a snack (no thanks) or baking them into brownies (which I don't think counts as "healthy"), how else am I supposed to add them into my diet?!)

Anyway, I have warned her that I am a picky eater, and thankfully she doesn't seem to mind that, because when I informed her with the maturity of a 5-year-old that I don't really like pineapples, she suggested I have a virgin pina colada instead. Now THAT is medical advice I like to hear.

And on the topic of dietary issues, interestingly enough, she brought up the idea of me possibly going off of the Metformin, aka: the bane of my existence since September 2010. You remember- the one that indirectly caused me to vomit profusely for the first time in 10 years? Yes, that one.

When I first started taking the medicine last year, I was in a fairly constant state of nausea for the first couple of months. But after a while, I got used to it, and even though my stomach still felt unsettled most of the time, it didn't seem to be affecting me quite like it used to (thank the good Lord).

However, after my second visit to the acupuncturist, I noticed that the nausea was back. I mentioned it to her, and she did say that it made sense for my body to be more sensitive to the medicine now that it's being "realigned," but she didn't see any issue with me continuing to take it, and even said that a lot of her PCOS patients continue taking it in conjunction with the acupuncture. (And as a side note, she then put some needles into my feet, explaining that it would help to tame the nausea... again, makes perfect sense, right?)

On my last visit, though, the very first thing she asked was if I had ever considered stopping taking the Metformin. She said that she had another patient recently that was non-typical PCOS (meaning not overweight, covered in excess body hair, or suffering from any of the other unfortunate side effects rather than having ovaries covered in cysts) that had actually stopped taking the Metformin and got pregnant 2 months later.

Now it is important to note that she wasn't suggesting going off of the Metformin was the only reason that patient got pregnant, and she also clarified that she wasn't telling me to go off of it- just asking me to think about it because it was possible that the medicine was doing more harm (nausea, discomfort, etc.) than good (helping me get pregnant).

It took me approximately 5 seconds to think it over before I shoved that Metformin bottle in the back of the medicine cabinet, (hopefully) never to be seen again. If you're lucky, this means there will an increase in DQ blizzard consumption (and therefore blog posts) in my future because that dumb medicine won't be in my system to ruin it for me... of course, I might have to get them to concoct a blizzard with pineapples and walnuts mixed in, but that's neither here nor there.

And before I wrap up this glimpse into my new acupuncture-packed life, I also need to tell you about the music. Yes, there's music... not entirely unlike this special jam. During the first session, as soon as she turned on the music, I had to concentrate very hard on not laughing (I do not do well with forced relaxation, FYI). I have somewhat gotten used to it by now, however, and even though the chanting part on one of her "playlists" kind of weirds me out, I now enjoy the naptime soundtrack.

At yesterday's appointment, however, the ice cream man apparently decided to make a delivery to the construction crew working next door, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard this* come on in the middle of my session. I like to call what resulted the "tranquility remix." Who knows- maybe there's a market out there for this type of music and I need to look into it further?

I didn't mention it to my acupuncturist, because I didn't want her to feel bad and think that the ice cream man had ruined my relaxation. And on that note, if she really does feel strongly about the music making the experience, she probably wouldn't be too thrilled to learn that after my appointment, I hopped into my car (still in a coma-like state very similar to how you feel after leaving a massage) and was promptly greeted by The Black Eyed Peas singing "Boom Boom Pow." Oops.

I'll be sure to bring back more tales of my adventures with Needle Lady soon. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend!

*When I searched "ice cream truck music" and pressed play on this track, Buster and Noah came running. Pretty amusing!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pretty soon I'll just convince someone else to write my blogs for me

Guess what... I won Camille's BlogShare contest! I'm excited to see what my prize is, but in case you weren't aware, one of the (unadvertised) prizes was that I got an automatic excuse for waiting a week to blog again. Congratulations to me!

And even more good news- my sissy did a post earlier this week that she is graciously allowing me to rip off from her, so that means that for the second post in a row, someone else is providing me with a topic so I don't have to come up with one on my own. So Camille and Allison, thank you for enabling my laziness inspiring me.

So without further delay, I give you my list of "Things." Oh, and in case you didn't already think I was a moocher, then you should know that I wasn't even motivated enough to come up with my own list... Allison did it for me. Isn't she the greatest?

Things that make me go "hmm":
Why people pluralize (and make possessive) the names of businesses... for example: calling it "Barnes & Nobles" or referring to Magnolia Cafe as "Magnolia's"

OH, and fantasy sports. But really, those make me go "ugh." :)

Things that irritate me the most during my commute home from work:
Where do I even begin? Other passengers, stoplights, trains, and annoying DJ's on the radio. So basically everything? :)

Things that I get asked often about being a twin:
"What's it like to be a twin?" I really don't know how to respond to this one, because if you'll think about it for a moment, I have no idea what it's like not to be a twin.

Things I never hear my husband say:
"I'm not hungry."

"Why would I want to watch the Aggie/Texans/Astros/Rockets/any-sports-team-even-if-it's-completely-irrelevant-to-him when Teen Mom is on tv?!"

"No, I don't think I've seen that youtube video before."

Things I will not do on a weeknight:
Stay up past 10 pm. Generally speaking, I don't like committing to any activity at all on weeknights because of the likelihood that I'll have to stay up after my bedtime. Sometimes (ie: if Mexican food is involved), I can be coerced into doing so, but generally I regret it the next morning.

Things I shouldn't say to a cop who is bald when he is getting after me and my friends who are illegally parked by a cliff:
Not that she was referencing an actual event here or anything when she came up with this one, but theoretically, if something like this did happen (while you were in high school, for example), I think it would be unwise to point out his baldness and ask him if you could touch his head.

Things I like to slam into while running:
Once again, not that this has ever happened to me, but if I had to pick something to slam into while running, it would be a fire hydrant. While running "the mile" around the middle school. In 6th grade. In front of a classroom full of cute boys.

Things that will never be found on my plate:
FISH or anything that ever lived in the ocean/lake/river/swamp

Things that make me want to punch someone in the face:
Ok yes, perhaps Allison was a little harsh in including this topic. But if I have to answer, then I'm going to go with making excuses. I know everyone says this, but I really and truly cannot stand it when people make excuses! My least favorite? "I didn't have time." Oh, that's funny, because last time I checked, you had 24 hours in your day just like the rest of us.

Oops, did that sound hostile?

Things that are stupid:
My ovaries. Oh, and my uterus.