Thursday, January 31, 2008

Resolutions - Jan 08

I figured the end of the month seemed a reasonable time to give a public progress report on where I stand with my resolutions. Want to see the big long original post? You can check it out here.

Now, as for my progress:

  • Get healthier: This one isn't going so hot. I have gotten MUCH better about cooking dinner at home (probably averaging 4 or 5 nights a week). Haven't started any exercise yet, can't shop at the Farmer's Market yet, and I'm still a smoker.
  • Be more financially responsible: Again, got the cooking at home thing down and going well. I'm looking at the bills more regularly, and we have some vague idea of a debt payoff plan (or at least which creditors are getting our tax refund). I didn't get anything up on eBay or Craigslist this month, but I have sorted out some things I want to get there.
  • Be more organized: Yeah, well... um - it's getting there. I do have the bills in a much more organized system. I have found the dining room table, and we're even Using It.... TO EAT ON most nights when we're home. Oh, and I do always have an open donation bag. I cleaned out a drawer or 2 a couple of weeks ago, and went thru some shoes. I also have a pile of stuff in the basement (clean laundry) that can be donated. A phone call is all it will take to get that stuff out of our house.
  • Live a little more green: Not doing so good here. I found the recycling tub, but it's in the garage loft, and full of firewood. We do eat at the table with the TV turned off. I have lessened the time I use the TV as background noise, and am trying to get better at unplugging things when they aren't in use (like my laptop and cell phone charger). None of it is "habit" yet, but it is happening more frequently. Oh, and as light bulbs burn out, we're replacing them with the fancy-schmancy spiral more energy efficient ones.
  • Be more adventurous: Not doing so great with the "try new groceries" thing, as I'm trying to reduce our food spending. I've probably picked up some new stuff outside of our usual favorites, but more in the spirit of trying a generic brand or frugal alternative, rather than being adventurous. I have tried 2 new recipes this month... 1 was a meatloaf recipe that neither of us cared for, and the other resulted in this blog post. Grumpy & I both really liked the sound of that recipe, so I'll be giving it another shot, probably in Feb.
  • Be more kind to myself: I think I'm doing ok here. I am following some of the specific guidelines I outlined, and because of it, I think many of my personal relationships have gotten stronger. I think I had 1 library book this month, but haven't yet gotten back to get another one. Soon, I hope.

And that's where I stand. As I've said before (here and here), things are a little crazy for us right now, with no real sign of letting up in the near future. I'm trying to base my decisions around my resolutions when I can, but sometimes it's simply not an option. And that is where those last 2 resolutions become so important. My role right now - my priority - is to support Grumpy through this time. Everything else on my agenda - both in the day to day and the somewhat long term - has to come secondary to that. And as long as I maintain that thought in the forefront of my mind, I think I will be able to make the right decisions for my family. And really, what more can I hope for right now?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


The GrumpyOne and I first started dating when I was 18, and he was 23. Yes, I do tease him about being a dirty old man. About 2 months after our first date, I moved into his house. About 3 months later, he proposed.

I laughed at that proposal. I still laugh at it. I think he was nuts! Hell, we both were! But at the tender age of 18, even though I loved him, and knew then that I would likely walk down the aisle with him, there was no way I was ready to make that commitment.

3 years later, he proposed again. This time though, we had talked about it... a lot! We had gone ring shopping, had even purchased my engagement ring and our wedding bands. The deal we made was that I'd take the pressure of picking out the ring off of him, but he had to surprise me with the proposal.

It took us another THREE AND A HALF YEARS to walk down the aisle. We hemmed & hawed, we planned & tossed those plans, we dreaded the 400 person wedding we "should" have, but we feared the family fall-out if we hopped a plane to Vegas. And then it hit us. The plan for our perfect wedding. So we planned, and pulled together the wedding that WE wanted, in all of 3 months time.

Unfortunately, in those 3 short months, Grumpy's grandmother passed away. We both grew up with our grandparents being a very integral part of our daily life, and the idea that he would be the only one of his cousins or siblings that wouldn't have Grandma at his wedding.... it was heartbreaking.

Although neither one of us jumped into the wedding planning sooner than we actually ended up doing it, I feel absolutely terrible. Did I drag my feet too long, and prevent him from having his Grandma see him walk down the aisle? He's never ever blamed me for this, never even suggested it. But still, the nagging guilt is there.

And now, with his mother's current health situation, his (our) children may very well be the only ones in the family to never know their Grandmother.

Thank you infertility, for adding another heaping helping of guilt on to my already over-flowing emotional plate.

CD1 & prayer request

as usual, buying & using an expensive HPT brought on AF. oh well, I still have my gyno appt for Friday, and I still haven't had a "normal" cycle since September (others in between were really light), so I still need somebody trying to figure out what's going on.

Grumpy's Mom isn't doing any better, so please, keep praying for her.

Monday, January 28, 2008

In an attempt to focus on something more positive...

Have you signed up for your Ebates account yet? I just logged in to my account, and found that my Big Fat Check is up to $15.75!

Looks like my *almost Free Old Navy Tank Tops are really going to be FREE! Woohoo!!!

What are you waiting for? Go sign up!


and that's all there is to say about that

Sunday, January 27, 2008

well what the hell am I supposed to do NOW?

Tomorrow will be cd60, and still no sign of AF. I don't know where she's hiding, but she ain't here. Just for shits & giggles, I bought some First Response tests today. Tomorrow morning will have me POAS, simply because that BFN 13 days ago is beginning to fade from my memory.

Assuming that I get that BFN tomorrow morning, which we all know I will, this 60 day cycle crap is ridiculous, even for me. So, I have a new patient appt set up with a new ob/gyn. My concern is that my endo might be back, and if that's the case, I need someone to get up in there and have a look around. New Doc (let's call him Dr. N, cuz I don't have it in me to come up with a creative nickname right now) happens to be my Mom's doc. He's incredibly thorough, practices out of 3 offices on my side of town, and is on the Board of Directors for GIANT LOCAL HOSPITAL SYSTEM. So, I figure the resume + the convenience + knowing how he handled the surgery my Mom had last year = him being worth a shot.

When I called to schedule the appointment, I did ask the receptionist how he handles IF patients (Does he hold on to them in hopes of finding a magic pill (ie, Clomid) to work? Does he refer out? If so, to who?). I learned that he's got a few patients still with their office that are on Clomid, but he's also referred patients on to Dr. K, who happens to be my former RE. But, he's also open to checking out other REs, if I have someone I'd be interested in.

So, no news is still... well... no news. But, we have the POAS festivities planned for the morning, and then we have an appointment with a REAL. LIVE. DOCTOR. (vs Dr. Google, or Dr. Blog Readers, or Dr. HDs... all of whom I love dearly, but none of whom are going anywhere near my bidness) for Fri, Feb 1.

I'd ask you to wish me something.... but I don't know what. A BFP tomorrow morning? Last I checked I didn't see any pig's flying out the living room window. AF to arrive & mitigate my endo fears? That'd be nice, but do we really ever wish AF on each other (unless waiting for a cycle to start up)? Perhaps wish me a good intake appointment, way in advance.

Oh, and a MIL update: (backstory can be found here), first round of treatment in (but took a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time). She's still in the hospital, and I have no idea when she might be discharged. 2nd treatment scheduled for next Thur (I think), and will have 2 more weekly treatments after that. Still no test results (that I've heard, but the Grumpy One is at the hospital visiting now, so maybe there are new developments that I just don't know.).

Friday, January 25, 2008

FREE Old Navy Tank Tops

Ok, they aren't totally free. You end up paying $5 for shipping, plus sales tax. Here's how you get them!

  1. Sign up for an Ebates account before Feb 14
  2. Once your account is activated, go thru your Ebates account to get to the Old Navy site
  3. Search for "Tanks" in Womens
  4. They currently have 1 style tank (in 5 or 6 designs), that are $5 each when you buy 2 or more. (DO NOT BUY FROM THIS LINK, or you won't get your Ebate)
  5. Buy 2 of them, but be sure to stay in the window that was opened thru your Ebates account.
  6. The purchase will cost you $15.90 with shipping and sales tax (in Michigan)

This purchase will fully activate your Ebates account, making that $10 sign up bonus a reality. Then the 3% rebate from Old Navy will hit your account within 2-3 business days (a whopping $0.30), and you'll have earned a $10.30 rebate check from Ebates!

I believe Ebates policy is to send checks every 3 months, so it may be awhile before you see that money. But, how can you argue with 2 FREE* Old Navy Tank Tops?

*Free product, but ya still gotta pay for tax & shipping. They're always gonna get you, somehow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Do you shop online? Want to save money at your favorite sites? Want to earn rebates that are automatically paid to you by check? If so, check out

If you sign up for an account by Feb 14, you'll automatically get a $10 sign up bonus. (The normal sign up appears to be a $5 bonus.)

Rebate checks are sent out once you reach $5.01, so I *think* this sign up will automatically qualify you for a check. You *might* have to make a purchase first tho, so don't hold me to that one.

Some examples of current Ebates deals:

  • Free shipping on purchases & returns from, plus earn 6% cash back
  • $5 off orders over $100 at, plus 4% cash back
  • Free delivery on all orders at, plus 2% cash back
  • 4% cash back @ Barnes &, and 1% back at

All you do is log on to Ebates and click thru the site to your favorite retailers. Place your order with the stores you'd normally shop at, but earn cash back while you do it!

Happy shopping, and Happy Saving!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

much randomness, life just got crazy...

first, the quick "non" update.... it's now cd55, and still no sign of impending AF. I have no idea where that bitch is, but I wish she'd show & get it over with already. oh, and as a little added bonus, I think I'm getting a UTI. And I still have my cold sore. At least the swelling stage of the cold sore is over, so I don't look battered. Now it's into the icky scab stage, which means it should be gone in a couple of days.

On to the craziness... Grumpy's Mom is a cancer survivor.... times 3. That's right folks, 3 bouts with leukemia, 3 rounds of chemo, and 3 times victorious. Now, we're on to round 4.

To make a very long story very short, she's going to need surgery to remove her spleen. Unfortunately, her system is too weak to handle the surgery right now, so they are giving her a round of chemo (yep, that would be round 4), in hopes of boosting up her blood levels enough to be able to operate.

Beyond the cancer, she's got about 372,905 other complications. Some are health related, some are lifestyle choices. Rather than make this a big angry post (cause I really don't want to do that right now), I'm just going to say that her medical history could rival War & Peace in length.

It looks like the family is circling the wagons for treatment round 4, followed by major surgery, followed by loooooooooong recovery time. Can I ask you, oh wise & all-supportive blogosphere, for some continued prayer/good thought support over the coming days/weeks/months?

Thanks ladies & gents, for I know that I can count on your support through this. I'll post progress updates as they present themselves.

WFMW - Self Employment & Rental Income Organization

With the popularity of online, consulting, and work-from-home jobs, as well as the slump in the housing market (and thus homeowners becoming landlords), many people are going to need a new tax form or 2, and a way to track the new income and expenses.

Grumpy & I found ourselves in that very situation in 2007, with the "opening" of his repair business. That man, I swear, can fix anything. He developed an invoice template using Excel, and I developed a very simple income & expense tracking system.

The income side of it is pretty easy. Just a list of the money he made, the date he received payment, a small description of the job, and a reference to the customer. The expense sheet is just as straightforward, but with a little more detail. I'm still tracking the date & a description of the expenditure, but instead of simply listing the money spent, I've added in some columns to my sheet to categorize the expenses.

For a self-employment or business in the home situation, you can check out Federal Tax Form Schedule C, and create columns for the expenses that pertain to your business. You can do the same thing for a rental property, but use the expenses from Schedule E. Simply create a totalling formula for each of your columns, and you've got a handy-dandy summary to transfer to your tax return.

The key (for me), is to enter transactions into the spreadsheet as they occur. It helps us to stay aware of how well we're doing with the business, and it saves me 3 or 4 solid hours of work at tax time.

I'd also recommend printing a copy of your spreadsheet at the end of the year, and keeping it with all of your backup documentation, with your tax return. If you have a CPA prepare your taxes, you can also give them your printed spreadsheet to work from.

Finally, don't forget to create a new spreadsheet for each tax year. I do mine all in the same file, so that it's easy to reference prior year's activity. Simply use the copy function (right click on the tab name at the bottom of the Excel file) to add a new, pre-formatted sheet. Delete the prior year's info, and you're ready to go!

For more handy Works for Me Wednesday tips, head over to Rocks in my Dryer.

Wordless Wednesday - Too Cute to Scold

Too cute to scold!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Paid Online Surveys?

Full disclosure first: should you do this, I will benefit. If you choose not to, that's totally ok with me. That's why I'm posting about it here, rather than sending an email... I figure this is less personal, and therefore easier to say no to (for those that aren't interested).

I'm a member of a few online survey sites. Some of them "pay" with sweepstakes entries (you know the type.... "enter here for your chance to win $10,000" small print saying you'd have to fuck a monkey's uncle to win), some of them give away free samples of products, and some actually pay you... Cash!

Survey Savvy is one that pays cash, and is therefore my favorite. They also have a referral program, which is just like your typical pyramid scheme... "you refer people to us, and we will pay YOU if they do something, whether you do anything else or not" blah blah blah.

So, in my continued effort to be more financially responsible, and to find more creative ways of bringing in little bits of extra cash here & there... I'm posting my personal referral link. If you're interested, click. If not, don't. I have no way of knowing who clicked & who didn't.

For those of you that stuck it out and read this whole post (so far), thank you! Your bonus for reading this far is...... I won't whine & bitch that I'm now on cd54, with still no AF in sight. And I won't even mention that this freaking cold sore has errupted on my lip in such a way that I can't smile, it hurts to eat or drink, and well.... it looks like Grumpy belted me a good one (which OF COURSE he would NEVER do). Yep, your reward is that I won't complain about any of that!

Monday, January 21, 2008

whine whine, bitch bitch

I have a cold sore and my lip hurts, a lot. My nose & teeth hurt from the damn thing, too. It's cd53. I feel like I might be coming down with a cold or the flu (achy, blah, weak, tired). It's cd53. The air in my house is so dry that the inside of my nose has CRACKED, and is bleeding a little bit... and that hurts! It's cd53. I don't want to do anything but go home, have a nice hot bowl of chili (it's in the crock pot now!), chug a half a bottle of NyQuil, and go to bed. But, I have about 4 freaking hours of paperwork to do for a committee that I'm on, and my current deliverable is due on Tuesday night.

Oh, and did I mention that it's cycle day fifty-fucking-three?!?!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

I may be better off than I thought!

First, a thanks to Familyof2 for sharing this handy-dandy little link.

The link will take you to a quick & easy test to see your body fat percentage. It claims to give you similar results to the water immersion test (which I believe is the most accurate test for body fat percentage). And it has to be more accurate than those BMI calculators, as it asks for a few simple measurements.

According to the test, I probably don't need to lose as much weight as my little ticker says. I *do* however need to lose some inches. So, as I suspected, I really need to get serious about that whole exercise thing. (Can you hear my groaning? Because believe me, I am.)

Want to learn your percentage? Simply grab a cloth or paper measuring tape, and go here. It only takes a couple of minutes, and I think it's definitely worth the time.

And for those that are curious (because lord knows I would be reading this post)..... My body fat percentage is supposed to be 22%. It is.................


Friday, January 18, 2008

Do your own taxes, or pay a professional?

Those of you that know me in real life, know that I work for a CPA. Although I'm not a "certified tax preparer", I prepare 200 or more of the 450 or so individual tax returns our firm prepares each year.

I often get asked advice on how to handle tax situations. Sometimes I have an answer, sometimes I have to find one, and sometimes... the only answer I can give is that you need to hire a professional.

One of the main questions I find in some of the frugal lifestyle forums I frequent is whether you should prepare your own return, or hire a professional. I thought I'd share my opinion here.

First and foremost, I think that *most* people are perfectly capable of preparing their own return. I personally think it comes down to comfort level, and what value each person places on their own time and sanity. There are very few situations that I would absolutely tell someone in no uncertain terms that they NEED a professional. Those would include 1 time only changes like inheritance, lottery winnings, death of a spouse, adoption, divorce... major life changing events. Also included would be starting your own business (and perhaps maintaining that business), bankruptcy, and other largely financial based life changes.

Here are MY recommendations for deciding between doing your own taxes using a software (there's no way I think anyone should be preparing their own taxes by hand, especially with the broad availability of e-file), using a tax prep service (like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt), or engaging the services of a CPA.

  • If you have a straightforward return (W2, investment or bank interest/dividends, home ownership or renter), do your taxes yourself. Use whatever software you are comfortable with.
  • If you work from your home, sell any real property or investments, work as a consultant paid via 1099 (like BlogHer income, if you have a high-traffic), etc… find yourself a CPA. That person will know what you can and can’t deduct (work out of your home? did you know that you *might* be able to deduct part of your utility bills, mortgage, and home owners or renters insurance?)
  • If you usually have a straightforward return, but run into something more complex (high medical bills from IF treatments, bankruptcy or foreclosure, dependent in college, inheritance, adoption, etc), use a CPA.

I would strongly recommend NOT using places like H&R block or Jackson Hewitt.

  • Their employees are simply trained on the software, NOT on tax law.
  • Last year one of the major tax prep firms faced charges of fraud, creating a potential nightmare for taxpayers that used their services.
  • If they mishandle your return, causing an audit or notice to be generated, you’re on your own. Good luck finding your H&R Block preparer in July.

I think the best way to find a CPA is to ask people you trust. Family and friends are our greatest source of referrals, and if they are referring a professional, it’s because they have been satisfied with the service they have received. Some important things to ask:

  • Do they offer a free consultation? A professional should be willing to meet with you, look over your most recent tax return, and give you a general idea of what the current year’s tax return prep will cost.
  • Will they charge you for phone calls? The idea at our firm is that we’d MUCH rather a client contact us with a question in June, getting GOOD advice on how to handle something that will impact their tax return, rather than have to “clean up a mess” come year end.
  • Are they willing to review prior returns for accuracy? If so, what will they charge you to amend them if they find mistakes?

Finally, here are some things to remember:

  • Most firms can’t give you an exact prep fee until the return is completed. When I quote, I give the potential new client a range, with the understanding that the quote is based on the information they provide me with at that time. If things are looking to fall beyond that range, a quick phone call to get the client’s approval only takes a few moments. If they fall under the range… I just get to surprise them with a smaller bill!
  • If you go to a large firm, prepare to pay a large fee. The firm I work for has 1 CPA and 1 tax preparer (me!). Our bills are at least a third less than many of our competitors. Why? Less overhead.
  • The more organized your information, the more reasonable your fee should be. If a client brings me a shoebox full of all of their receipts for the year (and yes, we have a few of those clients), they are going to pay significantly more for our services than the client that gives me a summarized spreadsheet of all the information. Even the client that hands me that same shoebox, full of those same receipts, but has them organized and sub-totalled by category will pay less. Remember, my time (at least during tax season), is ALWAYS billable. Either I'm spending that time organizing your receipts, or I'm spending it on another client's tax return.
  • You are trusting this person with your finances, be sure you trust them. Have a few consultations until you find someone that you are comfortable with.
  • Do NOT wait until April to find a professional. Even if you don’t yet have all the information you’ll need to prepare your 07 return, you can still make phone calls and set up consultations. Have your 06 return ready, and start the search!

My bottom line is this... My firm charges around $200 for an "average" return. (This includes Federal & Michigan Forms 1040, Schedule A for itemized deductions, Schedule B (with fewer than 5 transactions) for interest & dividend income, and Michigan Form 1040-CR for a homestead property tax credit. I would say that approximately 35% of the returns we do fall into this "average", and many more have only minor additions to it (selling a stock or 2, or maybe a dependent or taxpayer in college). These are returns that I believe those clients would be capable of doing themselves. But, they think the $200 is worth the time, energy, and stress they would put into preparing the return.

I'm debating about making "tax time" a more regular feature on my blog. Please, let me know if you'd like to see this, or if you have some specific questions or issues you would like me to address.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm in love... (possible trigs)

I met a very good friend of mine for lunch yesterday. It's something we "try" to do regularly, but are just getting to a point where we actually make it happen more than a couple of times a year.

This friend, she's been amazing. She & I met on message boards about 3.5 years ago, when we both were first starting down the path to creating families. Since then, our paths have taken drastically different turns. She's been successful at her family growing endeavors, and now has a sweet and handsome 2 year old little boy, and the most adorable 6 month old little girl I've seen in a very long time.

She and I talk on a daily basis, and she's been incredibly supportive of the struggles I've had (and still have). She and her husband have extended the offer of family to the GrumpyOne and I, referring to us as uncle and aunt. I spent the night with her little boy when it was time to have their daughter (and my God, did I enjoy that time!).

And yet, I've been unable to bring myself to go meet the (not so) new arrival. Newborns and infants have always been hardest for me to be around. Something about the helpless innocence of them, and the fact that they truly are dependent on their caregivers for everything... it's just too much for me. And my friend... she understands. How? I have no idea. I know that I'm always welcome there, the offer is always open. But, she never pushes, and never seems to be upset with me when I have to decline.

She instant messaged me yesterday morning, to let me know that her daughter was sick. Not so sick that she didn't want to take her out, but sick enough that she kept her home from daycare. My choices were to cancel/reschedule our lunch, or to meet the lil Miss. Although the offer was never verbalized, I know that my friend would have understood a decision to reschedule. But, I was having a pretty good day yesterday, so I said "what the hell, bring on the baby!".

From the moment I laid eyes on her sweet little face, tucked up under her little bear snow hat (complete with little bitty ears), I was in love. And when I sat her on my lap, and she grabbed a hold of my finger with her perfect little hands, I was completely done for. Absolutely, heart-breakingly, head-over-heels in love with that little girl.

Some day...... some day it'll be my little one reaching out to tug on my hair, or to leave their smudgy little fingerprints all over my glasses. Some day it'll be me that a little one screams for when they are frightened awake in the middle of the night. Some day it will be my husband laying on the couch with our little one falling asleep on his chest.

All I can hope is that some day comes soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Note to Self

When trying to reduce your household expenses by shopping at the dollar store - BE SURE TO READ LABELS! "Sour Creme" is not the same as sour cream.

Hey pizza man!

What happened to IUI?

I've been doing some research on ART, prepping for the inevitable trip to the RE, and everything I'm finding is talking about IVF. Don't REs do IUIs anymore? I understand that they aren't as technologically advanced, and for some patients are truly a waste of time, but..... but... well..... IVF scares the bejeezus out of me. If that's what we have to do, well then - I think we will. But... the financial cost? And the emotional craziness? And the needles? And..... and.... and.....

Shit, I'm freakin scared already, and it's 3 months from today before I'll even have an intake appointment. SHIT.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Frugal & Healthy?

As per my resolutions, I'm working hard right now at getting healthier, and being more financially responsible. In light of that, I want to take on the challenge of feeding my family (of 2), for $40 a week.

For some of you, that may seem like a lot for 2 people. If you grocery shop, and cook at every meal, that is a lot. For the 2 of US, that's nothing. For quite a while last year, we could go through 5 TIMES that much money on food in a week. Breakfast out here (for $25), a dinner & cocktails out there (for $60), a couple of fast food lunches at work (there's another $10)... and before you know it you've blown through $200.

Now, as part of this "challenge", I'm going to allow myself 2 guaranteed "gimmes" during the week. Our standing Sunday breakfast with friends (which only costs us $10 - $12 with tip), and 1 night a week that we buy dinner (could be pizza night, could be a date night, depending on how things work out). I'm also going to be gentle on myself during the work day. If I'm too swamped at the office to go home for lunch, fast food at my desk will be allowed, but only if I truly can't get away (and didn't have the foresight or energy to bring my lunch).

I'd also like to participate in future Menu-Plan-Mondays. That's a bit daunting to me right now, as I'm just getting my feet wet with this whole concept. But, I think it will help keep me in line, and hold me a bit more accountable.

And to pat myself on the back a bit, I've cooked the last FIVE nights in a row! That's huge for me people! HUGE! And, it's been a pretty inexpensive experience. Here's what the week looked like:

  • Monday - pot pies - $1
  • Sunday - kielbasa with fried potatoes & carrots - $4 .
  • Saturday - pasta with sauce & garlic bread - $3.
  • Friday - chicken stir-fry with rice & teriyaki veggies (so easy it's ridiculous) - $5
  • Thursday - tuna helper - $3.

Now, the dollar amounts are estimates, since I don't have a grocery receipt in front of me (and many of the items were already in the house), but I think it's close to accurate. $16 for a week's dinners isn't too bad, I don't think.

I know there is a LOT of prepared food in there, and I want to work toward minimizing that. But, I had to start somewhere, and spending for the WEEK what we would normally spend in ONE NIGHT (and a cheap night at that).... well, that seemed like a good place to start to me.


No spotting, no cramps, no pms, no af, no second line. No ovulation, no metformin, no dildocam, no bloodwork, no medications, no ob/gyn, no RE. No patience, no chance, no hope, and nothing I can do about it now, or any time in the immediate future.

Monday, January 14, 2008

To take, or not to take, the Decision

After much thinking, and talking with el Grumperono (in Italian -ino means small, and -ono means large. Even though Grumperino sounds better, Grumperono is more accurate,
;-) ), I've decided to NOT take any more of the Metformin.

Based on my chart, it's not working. I have no other way to know if it is or isn't (like, say, a MONITORED cycle???), and won't have any way to know until I'm back at the RE. And since the script runs out just before we plan to get into the doc, that doesn't make any sense.

AND, it seems more logical to go into the RE for a fresh start as completely natural as I can. If I'm fucked up (which we know that I am), let the doc work to figure out how, and what we're going to do to correct it.

By the way, it would seem that stopping the Metformin has the same lovely side effects as starting it did. Not exactly how I wanted to spend the next few days, but I'm sure it must be a temporary thing.

Thanks all, for your help & support with this decision. If you haven't figured it out yet, I process things MUCH better when I have people to bounce around the possibilities with.

Oh, and as a side note.... as you can see from my ticker above, I'm on cd46. And I happen to have no spotting, no cramps, no PMS - no signs at all of any impending AF. And, my standard for messed up cycles like this is that I will not test before cd45. (Don't get me started on all the money I wasted on tests when I went THREE FREAKIN' MONTHS without an AF.) So, because I am a complete glutton for punishment, I shall go to the Dollar Tree at lunch, and buy myself a cheapie test. Should tomorrow morning arive with still no sign of AF, I shall test. (And I fully expect to NOT see any kind of second line. But, ya know, a girl's gotta POAS every now & then.)

Friday, January 11, 2008

To take, or not to take? Part 2

This post will be answers to the comments from my post below. I *hope* to continue adding to this list as I keep getting insight from you folks out there that are more knowledgeable than I....

Nancy, I have been on Met for "months & months". I started it July 31, 2007. I would think 5 and 1/2 months would be enough for it to work, if it was gonna work... wouldn't it?

Meredith, Nope, no monitoring. My ob/gyn (who prescribed it) was checking liver function every so often. I'd be due for another check sometime between now & the end of March. IF the damn doc hadn't up & disappeared on me. So for now, nobody is checking anything. I would LOVE to have a real monitored cycle on it, but that can't happen without an RE, which can't happen until mid-April or later, and by then the script will have run out anyway.

And of course to Kaci & Mer both, thanks for getting me thinking about it, and thanks for the ongoing support!

To take, or not to take?

If you read my updated plan post, you know that I'm in a bit of a holding pattern right now. Which got me thinking about the Metformin. (Well, to be honest, Kaci got me thinking about it.)

The current plan is to finish off the Metformin script, which will get me through until mid April, which also happens to be the end of crazy time at work. In the meantime (late March or early April), I'll call the potential new RE and get an intake appointment scheduled for sometime at the end of April or beginning of May.

But then I got to thinking.... Why continue the Metformin? If you look at my chart, it certainly doesn't seem to be working. Even the first 2 cycles I was on it (this is my 4th Met cycle, for those of you that are keeping track), I seem to have ovulated, but post-o temps weren't anything to get excited about. Surge, what surge? More like a temperature hiccup.

What to do? Do I continue the Met cause it might work? Do I stop it, and go into the RE with "clean blood"? I could use some input here folks, please pipe in with comments! (And I firmly believe that since it's requested, it can't ever be considered assvice. Well, unless anyone tells me to "just relax". Then I might have to go all Kung-Foo-Fighter on them....)

She's spreading the word even further!

Is it just me, or does anyone else panic at an unexpected knock on the front door? It could be because I'm laying around in my jammies (at 3 in the afternoon), or maybe because the carpet looks like it needs a haircut (where is that dyson?)... but unannounced visitors send me into a full on panic attack, rushing around to toss this pile of junk mail, wipe that spot off the kitchen counter, double check that there aren't any little facial hairs in the sink from Grumpy (How do men never notice those little hairs they leave behind?).

If I can convince myself to just STOP, relax, and enjoy the visit, I'm fine. So, I am fighting the urge to jump over to the Template side of blogger and fancify my color scheme, or race thru my little blogroll to make sure all the categories are current.

See, I just found Mel's first entry on her new BlogHer column. And she mentioned, and linked to.... ME! I'm so completely flustered at the idea that she thought to share my lil bitty corner of the blogosphere with the rest of the freaking WORLD, that I just don't know what to do with myself.

Pardon my "nervous hostess" behavior. But please, do come in, and enjoy a seat at my little table for a nice visit.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Things I've Learned

First, let me admit that I've stolen this post from the Best of Craigslist. I have no idea if the poster is the original author or not. BUT, I love the post, and want to keep it, and want to share it, so here it is!

I've been married for 15 years. Sometimes it's been great, sometimes it's really sucked, and sometimes we just plugged along because time keeps moving. Being an observant person, here's some things I've learned along the way:

  1. Ladies, we really, honestly, can't read your mind. Please, please help us out on this: Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Save the "If I say this then they'll think the opposite" shit for your manipulative friends. We really aren't smart enough to figure out what you mean if you say the opposite of what you want us to do.

  2. Ladies, withholding sex from us is not in your best interest. We really do think about sex a lot, and when you withhold it thinking that we'll do things for you that we're not doing, you're asking for trouble. If you gave us MORE sex, we'd be more likely to do those things. Seriously, And sex more often means we can control ourselves better, so we'll last longer to satisfy you. Seriously.

  3. We're not good with verbal lists longer than 3 items. You want us to pick up milk, bread, eggs AND get gas in the car AND don't forget to stop by the post office to pick up stamps? This is what we heard, "Eggs... gas... office," and now we think we should buy some Gas-X so you won't break wind at work. WRITE. IT. DOWN. Seems like a hassle, I know, but it will save time in the long run. Really.

  4. Yes. we did just look at that cute thing that walked by and smiled at us. No, we aren't interested in her, because you're giving us lots of sex as was mentioned in point #2.

  5. Please don't ask us what we're feeling. Unless it's anger (which we totally understand) or sadness (which is only a 'sometimes-understand'), we don't "feel" things like you do. Ask us what we think. We like to fix stuff. We want to be your hero, your protector, the man who fixes things for you when you're hurt or upset or whatever. What we can't deal with is when you complain about the same things over and over and over and not let us do anything about it. Either let us fix it, or let us know we can't fix it then tell us once and let it go.

  6. Guys: Take out the fucking trash without being asked. Even if it's not full, take it out, and then (and this is IMPORTANT!) replace the bag in the can! Just do it. She WILL notice (because she's taking it out now).

  7. Stop bitching about her to your guy friends. NOW. When she finds out about what you say, she WILL remember it. FOREVER. And she won't forget it - even if you apologize. If the guys ask what's up with your wife/gf, say she's under a lot of stress and leave it at that. If they press, just say, "Well, she does have to put up with ME."

  8. Ladies, please tell us when it's a week before you start your period. A simple, "I might be a little moody for the next week," will suffice. We will gladly overlook the odd outbursts due to hormonal imbalances til that week is passed.

  9. Men, when your spouse/gf says, "I might be a little moody for the next week," make a mental note and when she seems to overreact over something stupid or starts crying because the mail got delivered 5 minutes late that week, you'll know what it is. And don't tell anyone else, just shut up and keep it to yourself. She doesn't want you announcing it to the whole world that she's PMS'ing.

  10. Make time for each other. Even if it's the 30 minutes before you go to bed so the kids are finally upstairs, take that time just for the two of you. Guys, shut up and listen to her once in a while. You might just learn something about her, and besides, she'll appreciate it. Ladies, surprise us with sex when we least expect it. We know you're tired, cranky, and not in the mood because Johnny is sick with the flu. Surprise every so often (not once every six months, either). We will remember this if you do it often enough. Really.

Finally, guys and ladies - learn to overlook the little shit that doesn't matter. Celebrate the little successes you have. Compliment each other daily. Tell them you love them. Say out loud that you appreciate what they do for you. Make sure they know that they are important to you. Do this even on the days that they have pissed you off. It takes effort on your part, yes. But in the long run, life is so much easier and better when the person you should be closest to really is close to you, and is your advocate when things are shitty, your cheerleader when things are awesome, and your best friend all the time. It really is a journey together. Have fun and enjoy the ride with them. Life's too short not to do that. Cheers!

Wordless Wednesday, Sad Kitty

My poor lil puddin' pie just didn't want to give up his Christmas tree.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Non-Plan Plan

In response to Nancy's comment on my last post, I suppose I should fill you all in on the details of the current plan.............................

That's right, there isn't one.

I have Met refills that will get me until mid-April, which happens to be the end of my insane season at work. For now, I'll continue to take the Met, just in case it DOES decide to work, and I DO decide to ovulate, and perhaps MAYBE, I MIGHT get pregnant. (Can you see me rolling my eyes at that insanity?)

I figure around the 1st of April, I'll call the new RE (got a referral from a friend who LOVED this woman), and see about the whole new patient intake process, and then figure it out from there.

So, as you can see, I'm in the midst of one of those oh so lovely infertility waiting games. Except that this will be a long one.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Non-Update Update

I'm on cd39 of ANOTHER anovulatory cycle. As frustrating as it is to go thru ANOTHER one of these, I'm trying really hard to just accept it. Because really, there isn't anything I can do about it.

I've managed to keep my thoughts busy with lots of other things for the last few days. Fortunately, we're starting to get busy at work, I've been working on my resolutions, Grumpy & I got quite a bit done over the weekend, and I have a pretty busy week ahead of me.

But when I let my mind quiet a bit, it always seems to fall back to the anger and frustration of a body that refuses to do what it's supposed to. A body that seems to take great delight in defying the laws of nature. A body that seems completely incapable of doing the 1 thing that it's sole purpose should be, and that is produce a life beyond mine. Those frustrations lead down the path to the "I'm broken" guilt, and the "What Have We Done to Deserve This" questions. And let's not forget each and every time I think about what a wonderful father my husband would be, and yet, I can't seem to make that happen.


So it's probably better I keep my thoughts occupied elsewhere.

Friday, January 4, 2008


I'm generally a non-believer in the mystical quality of the New Year's Resolution. You know, the idea that you go to bed your (hopefully) drunken self on New Year's Eve, and wake up the next morning this incredibly together, new & improved version of that person. It's not flipping a switch, folks. You're still you, and the only way you're going to change is to work at it, consistently, over the long haul.

I have, however, decided that there are some specific things I want to work on this year, so I figured I could let you all in on it. Then I have some accountability, and I might actually GET SOME OF IT DONE. Will wonders never cease?

So, in an effort to gradually become a "new & improved" version of me (no silly switch-flipping here, folks):

In 2008, I resolve to get healthier. To accomplish this, I will:

  • Exercise at least 3 times per week, shooting for 5.
  • Cook dinner at home at least 3 times per week, shooting for 5.
  • Get in my 3 healthy meals a day (this will help me stay on track with my Metformin dosage, too).
  • Shoot for no more than 1 fast food dinner per week, including the inevitable $5 Hot & Ready pizza night.
  • Pack lunches for work at least twice a week.
  • When I do have to grab lunch & eat at my desk, I will opt for a salad more often than not.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Shop at least twice per month (from April thru November) at the local farmer's market.
In 2008, I resolve to be more financially responsible. To accomplish this, I will:
  • Look at the checkbook & bills at least twice a week, even if I know there are no bills due (or no money to pay them).
  • Cook dinner at home 3 times per week, shooting for 5.
  • Work with the GrumpyOne on a real budget (or at least a debt pay-off plan) that we both agree too, and is reasonable to live by.
  • Clip coupons for groceries.
  • Shop at least twice per month at the local farmer's market.
  • Put at least 1 item per month for sale on eBay or Craigslist.
  • Get in to the class that the boss has wanted me to take for years. Perhaps if I stop fighting it, and get it done, I'll get a raise!?!

In 2008, I resolve to be more organized. To accomplish this, I will:

  • Get a better filing system for the bills.
  • Clean out closets on a regular basis by always having an active donation bag going.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes every day doing housework.
  • Put away laundry as I wash it.
  • Put at least 1 item per month for sale on eBay or Craigslist.
  • Eat dinner at the dining room table when we eat at home, rather than in front of the tv.

In 2008, I resolve to live a little more green. To accomplish this, I will:

  • Dig out the recycling tub from the garage, and USE IT.
  • Turn off lights in rooms that we're not in.
  • Stop using the tv as background noise.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it's full Full FULL. This may require hand-washing more of the larger items, but I'm up for the challenge.
  • Actively work to reduce our home heating & cooling usage. Plastic will go up on the windows during the winter so that we can turn down the furnace a little more. The air conditioners will get set a few degrees higher, and will not get turned on on the days that they aren't really needed.
  • Work towards using our most fuel efficient vehicle every time we go out. (This would be the car in the winter, and the motorcycle during the riding months.)
  • Attempt a vegetable garden, even if it's only a couple of tomato plants.
  • Eat dinner at the dining room table when we eat at home, rather than in front of the tv.

In 2008, I resolve to be more adventurous. To accomplish this, I will:

  • Try 1 new item every time I go grocery shopping.
  • Try at least 2 new recipes every month.
  • Get my ass on the back of the motorcycle more often.
  • Get to the shooting range with the GrumpyOne at least 6 times throughout the year.

In 2008, I resolve to be more kind to myself. To accomplish this, I will:

  • Spend more time with my friends & family.
  • Take the dog for a walk at least twice a week (weather permitting).
  • Make the time & effort to enjoy my husband and our marriage.
  • Have at least 1 bonfire per week during "patio weather", so that we enjoy our home, our yard, our patio, and our fire pit.
  • Always have at least 1 book checked out of the library, and MAKE TIME to read them on the 1st checkout, without having to renew them.
  • Remember that all of the above are guidelines. It's ok if I slip & fall from time to time, and there is no reason to beat myself up over it for days on end.

That's where I'm at right now. I know that it's a long list... but a year is a long time. And I figure that I won't be actively working on it all at the same time. I'll pick a couple of things to start with, and add on something else as those things become routine.

I noticed as I was typing this up that many of the items fall under several of the resolutions. Maybe this will help me to stay on track a little more? Maybe it's just a more unified attempt to make these changes?

I plan to also do a regular blog "checkup" of sorts on all of this. I don't know if it'll be in snippet form (guess what, since I started this post, I've already reorganized the bill filing system!), or if I'll do a full on, point by point, monthly update. Time will tell, I guess.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, Road Trip!

The Kaylah Girl and The Stoney Boy (my Mom's dog). That's 150lbs of dog smooshed into the extended cab of an F-150. Aren't they cute!?!