Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'm going to join the worship team (and other cold hard facts that may or may not be true)

I have figured out a sure-fire way to get pregnant. It's kind of obscure, but I think it just may work. I am going to join the worship team at church. I am sure JB is rolling his eyes right about now, but for those of you who attend Christ Community with me, you can't deny the cold hard facts. Nearly every woman on stage has either just had a baby or is preparing to have one. Add to that the fact that one of the leaders who wasn't on stage today sat right next to us, and I've decided that there must be something to leading singing that = having a baby.

Well, scratch that. I can't sing or play an instrument. But I still think there is something to that.

Speaking of trying to get pregnant. I thought I would quickly update you on where we are with IVF.

We are currently taking 10 units of Lupron each morning. Lupron is used to stop my body from ovulating spontaneously. Now for some women this Lupron would be very important as lack of ovulation is not their problem. However, in my case, having to take Lupron to stop something that never happens anyway kinda makes me giggle when I start thinking deeply about it. But, still, I take those shots in my thigh each morning.

Each evening I am taking shots of follicle stimulating hormones -- Gonal F. I take these shots in my stomach. And, honestly, shots in the stomach aren't as bad as they sound. I really have no problem with these. I am taking 225 units of Gonal F. This is the same medicine I took with my IUI (artificial insemination) procedures although I am taking nearly double what I took with the IUIs. This medicine is helping my follicles (which have eggs inside of them) grow.

Both of these are heavy hormones so while I am off the birth control pill, both of these meds also have headaches as a side effect so that could be why the headaches have gotten less frequent but not less intense.

On Wednesday this week I will go in for a blood draw which will measure my estrodial level. The level of the estrodial helps them know how many follicles I have and how mature they might be. At 3:00 on Wednesday I will get a call. They will tell me how much Gonal to take that evening and when to come in for an ultrasound and a blood draw. Basically, I will plan on daily ultrasounds and blood draws (with maybe a day off here and there) until the following week. I will get a call around 3:00 nearly everyday telling me what to do the next day.

They are hoping to have the retrieval (where they get the eggs) on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, May 8, 9, or 10, and then 3 days later go back and put 2 embryos in me!

So we are, right there. Counting the days. JB has gotten permission from his family medicine rotation people to take an entire week off if need be. This was a great blessing. This way he will be able to not only take me to all appointments, but be with me when I am coming off the anesthesia etc. Also, after I do the transfer, I will have some strict rules includng not lifting more than 10 pounds for two weeks so I will need him more than usual. I am excited about having him all to myself for a week.

As for other news, it's been a pretty rainy Sunday. We went to church at 9:00 (JOSH!), I went to work from 10:30-12:30, then Tara, Lesley, Nicole and I went to the NEW Pannakooken (I never can spell that) which is downtown and within walking distance! Then Tara and I hung out at her apartment for a bit. I am now doing a load of whites while JB makes some dinner. Although after our big lunch, I am really not that hungry.

I am very excited about the next 10 days of our lives. I so appreciate all the prayers and encouragement. Please keep them coming big time.

Oh and one more thing: Ben Hur is an Awesome movie! If you have never watched it, do it today!!! Don't delay. I was thoroughly impressed and will probably blog about this sometime in the future. It won 11 of 12 Academy Awards it was nominated for and was so beyond it's time. FANTASTIC MOVIE!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Goat U

Earlier this week, I heard about this "school" about "goats" being advertised on the radio. I remember hearing it and thinking immediately of JB. "He would love this!" It took hearing the ad a second time before I was able to catch the webpage and get him information.

As you may have noticed on previous posts, JB has expressed his interest in one day having a farm. This wouldn't be a huge farm but more of a "hobby farm." He would probably like this farm to include some goats so this was very educational and intriguing for him.

It was in fact a "Goat U" and was designed as an advertising tool for Purina. It's actually a very brilliant idea. Provide the general public and goat owners information about goats, give them a free lunch, t-shirt and products, charge a minimal amount of money ($12) and receive in return a bunch of free advertisement.

JB decided mid-week that this 8-4:00 "University" was something he planned to do despite the fact that it would take up his whole Saturday. While he was at Goat U, I planned to spend the day scrapbooking, cleaning up the house, and taking naps.

I ended up at Goat U with JB.

I'm not even really sure how this happened. Sometime inbetween getting halfway through Ben Hur (which we plan to finish tonight and so far I just absolutely LOVE) and waking up this morning, JB had convinced me to attend the Goat University with him.

I know, I know. Can you believe it? I love my husband so much that I decided I would rather listen to people talk about goats the whole day then spend the whole day without him around.

Basically what this was was two hours of opening lectures and then different workshops. Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact that I was having to take so much headache medicine that I was nearly sitting up asleep, (so much so that one of the speaker's wives asked me if I was "listening intently"), I kinda, sorta, enjoyed the goat talk and getting to see and pet the goats.

At one point I went to a different session than JB. He wanted to learn about healthcare for the goats, but I wanted to see some actual goats so I went to a class on showmanship. This was very interesting. They actually had the young kids get out there and worked with them on how to show their goats. I learned that there are two judging classes in all the 4H "stuff." There is actually judging on the quality of your animal which is nothing you can control. I always thought this was what all kids were judged on. But there is actually a "Showmanship" category as well which has nothing to do with how "good" your animal is but how "good" the kid is at making the animal look good. This means that even kids without the money to invest in a great, award-winning goat (or cow or pig or whatever), can win some awards.

We also attended a class on how to care for you goat. This was actually quite painful as they taught us techniques for de-budding (taking the horns out), de-hooving (trimming the toe-nails down), castrating (taking the, well, you know, out) etc. I was feeling really bad for some of these goats by the time we were done. At least with the dairy goats, this is for a full-life. But these poor meat goats will only live about 6 or 7 months anyways!

During the session of meat goats (which is probably what we would have as they require less work -- no milking), I learned what kind of market there is for these goats. Pakistanians, Indians, Mexicans actually come to the speaker's house and butcher the goat right there! He doesn't even need to advertise. There is a market for goat meat at any age. Even one of the dairy goat speakers told us that he simply leaves raw goat milk in the refrigerator on the side of his property and people he never meets come in, leave money, and take milk! How bizarre and fascinating all at the same time.

Another class discussed how to make good gates for your goats and provide them with entertaining toys. I learned that goats can climb really high and are very agile. I learned that goats are picky eaters. I learned that goats do NOT like to get wet. I really learned a lot of things. I got a good lunch, and I got a cool t-shirt.

I came home and fell asleep for nearly two hours and am now going to eat some dinner and finish the movie with JB. However, I did take some pictures of the goats (and JB took some pictures of me with the goats). I figured that there a lot of things I like to do (i.e., walking around a mall for the entire day) that JB doesn't really like to do, and that I am sure I can get a great swap out of this event.

And, I got to spend the day with JB, my best friend which was worth 8 hours of talking about goats!

Anyways, I know you are anxious (and it's not like you can't scroll past all my mumbo jumbo anyways). So without further ado, here are our photos from Goat U which we both successfully graduated from! This gives me a BA,GU and JB an almost MD,BS, GU! Cool!

The main workshop area in a 4H barn.

The goats used to teach the kids about showmanship.

I thought these two goats were so cute taking a break.

Here I am visiting with a goat. They are very friendly!

These Nigerian Drawf goats were only 2 days old!

Here's me getting to hold the 2 day old goats! So cute! (The goats I mean!)

Here was my graduation gift! A t-shirt. I actually quite like it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Must now .... Complain

I have been told on a few occasions ... and this is painful for me to write ... (Gulp) ... that I am a drama queen.

It is for that reason that I have refrained from commenting about my headaches on too many occasions. If you think I have commented a lot, than you do not know how many times I have wanted to comment.

However, since this blog is about my life, and I write everyday, and the last 24 hours has involved a mombo migraine, I feel that I must blog about that even though I may have to hear from people like Ron Ray that I am a "drama queen."

I truly believe that even though my pain threshold was once whimpy -- to the point that my dad called me that all the time and I was so paranoid about being a whimp that when I had umbilical hernia surgery when I was 16 I woke up from anesthesia asking all the nurses if I "was a whimp?" The fear continued. Kristi once told me NOT to tell the coaches about my shin pain, and I listened to her say "Suck it up Wendicles!" every evening until the day I could no longer jump at all and was diagnosed with a stress fracture. (Kristi received a strong rebuke from our trainer and strength coach for this poor peer pressure.)

However, I believe that having a dry socket when I first moved to Mayo put all pain and discomfort into perspective for me. I have heard that Kristi's mom (whom I have been told is a loyal blog reader -- so correct me if I am wrong Mrs. Hartley, I mean, Dorris, sorry) would rather have a baby than have a dry socket.

Now I haven't had a baby, but I have had a dry socket, and the pain was not good. A dry socket is actually when, after getting your wisdom teeth out, the blood clot "unclots" and the bone is left exposed to the air. You know you have one when, after feeling very good about getting your wisdom teeth out, you suddenly turn very south.

I had to get my wisdom teeth out right after I moved to Rochester. No need to bring up the fact that my dentist in Kentucky told me to get dental insurance TO get them out and then told me, in fact, they were too deep to remove. Right after moving to the Polar North, tooth pain sent me to an oral surgeon who said that the three I had definitely needed to come out despite how deep they were.

Getting them out was no big deal. I seriously was completely okay once the anesthesia wore off. Two days later is when the dry socket took a hold of my life. The nurse at St. Charles High School ran into me crying in the teacher's lounge and told me to get to the surgeon's office immediately. She definitely diagnosed me correctly.

Okay, finally, I am getting to my point.

I say all this to say that physicians have something called a "pain scale." You may have experienced this. You go in to a doctor and they say, "On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your pain." If you can't speak, they may have you draw this on a board with faces representing your pain.

A dry socket, to me, is a 10. I had visions (prior to JB calling the doctor to prescribe more Vicodin and taking 2 of them which caused me to fall asleep for 12 hours) that I would ask John to somehow, make me unconscious. I didn't want him to kill me, just make me fall asleep until the pain passed. I remember considering a hammer to the head. (How bizarre is that?) There is no cure for a dry socket. All they can do is pack the hole with novocaine gauze every 12 hours until it heals and give you some Vicodin to counteract any additional pain.

Off track here. Vicodin is very serious stuff. I heard they sell on the street for $35 a pill. I can see why. When you NEED them, they make you very comfortable. But as my body began to heal more and more, the Vicodin created strange sensations. I remember JB giving me a bowl of soup one day while I sat on the couch, and I can vividly remember looking at that bowl of soup and wondering how could I hold the bowl and eat out of the bowl at the same time. (He decided to have me eat at the table instead.) Smart man!

Okay, sorry, so I said all that to say that this "pain scale" has become my new means of communicating with JB about my headaches. If a dry socket is a 10, I have not had a migraine encroach past an 8 since my IVF journey began two months ago.

Until last night.

I took a Tylenol with codeine at about 8:00 and went to bed about 9:30 as I had been having dull headaches all day. At 12:30 am I woke up with a full blown migraine. Because I was asleep, it took getting to a 9 on the "pain scale" before I was woken from a dead sleep due to the pain.

I woke JB up and we had a pain scale conversation. He believes I have been very conservative on my my numbers so when I told him I was at 9 he told me to take two Tylenol with codeine and 2 ibuprofin (and call him in the morning!) (Well, I think he wishes he could have said that last part.) I spent the next hour and a half waiting for this to kick in and debating with JB whether I needed to go to the ER where they could give me meds via IV.

Needless to say, the medicine finally kicked in enough that I was able to fall asleep. JB said he himself didn't get to sleep until 3:30. I felt really bad, but, misery does love company. JB did say that this qualified as an "emergency" and was not just me waking him up to have my company when I didn't feel good. (Which I have done on occasion.)

However, this experience left me with a NEW dilemma. At this increased rate of usage, I did not have enough pain medicine to make it through the weekend. I called the pharmacy, who faxed my doctor, who is a resident, and doesn't have a secretary, and who was NOT responding. By noon I was starting to panic. What if he didn't respond?! What would I do?

About this time my boss at Mayo came to my desk. I was on hold (again) with the pharmacy, begging them to help me figure out something. I got off the phone, and he asked if everything was okay. When I told him the story he reminded me that he was a physician and he could help!!! I immediately felt the prayers I had been mumbling all day being answered.

So at 3:00, when there was still no answer, my boss made a phone call, and PRESTO, I had meds which JB promptly picked up. Bless my boss! I told him the outlook for my weekend had just improved exponentially. I also told him that if he needed me to work on Sunday, I would gladly do so. I think he plans to take me up on that offer. However, if I don't have a headache, I can do ANYTHING!

It is now nearly 7:00, and I am feeling really good. JB and I just returned from a walk to the Indian market where we picked up some odds and ends to eat with our leftovers. I give my pain a 3 right now. (You see how this works now.) JB is making dinner, and we are going to watch Ben Hur. I have never seen this movie, and JB says every person must watch this movie once in their life. I've heard it is long so after our crappy night's sleep, we may just watch half. This is the second time we have tried to watch Ben Hur. The first time, we realized the first DVD was cracked so we had to send it back to the Netflix people. This time the DVD looks great.

Anyways, this drama queen is signing out reminding you that tonight, I start my Gonal shots!!! First blood draw on Wednesday. IVF here we come.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I hate getting shocked

Since writing my last post about things I love and miss about Florida and things I love and hate about Kentucky, I realized I forgot to include THE most important thing that I miss about Florida.

This is very serious so please don't mistake my sarcasm for lack of devotion.

I am serious here. This post is 100% straight from the heart.

What do I miss about Florida THE MOST? I miss, not getting shocked.

Floridian family and friends reading my blog, do NOT even try it. Don't even try to say, "Oh I get shocked sometimes." (And no, Ray, I am not talking about getting shocked while doing your electrical work.) My friend Kelsey (See Kelsey, I worked you into my blog again oh loyal blog reader) ... anyways, my friend Kelsey says that people try to find common ground with the fact that she grew up in a town of 15,000 by saying, "Oh my town only had 15,000 people in it." As Kelsey explains, when you live in rural Wyoming and your town of 15,000 is the only town in 60 miles in any direction, it's a little different than living in a town of 15,000 in a suburb of Chicago.
But nonetheless, people try to pretend they understand.

That's how I feel about being shocked. I don't want my Caribbean compadres posting a comment that says, "Oh Wendi, I get shocked a lot too." Don't do it! That is like people telling Kelsey they understand what it is like to live in a town of 15,000. That is an attempt to find common ground where there is no common ground. "Florida shocks" do not compare to what I found when I moved to the Polar North and that MUST be understood before I continue with this post.

If you have not lived in the Polar North, you do NOT know what I am talking about and you cannot begin to possibly understand how much I HATE this part of living in the cold.

I wonder if everyone living in the North gets shocked as much as I do or if the light switches, sheets, door handles, chairs, file cabinets etc. KNOW that I have Floridian blood and they can target me relentlessly. I mean, maybe it's just that my lack of knowledge has created a woman who doesn't understand physics. (Is getting shocked related to physics? I think so.) Maybe all Northerners were taught how to avoid this annoying pain as children. Maybe they are taught how to avoid shockings the way Floridians are taught to avoid sunburns.

Even worse than your hand getting shocked is your FACE getting shocked.

I like to kiss my husband. I really do. But in the winter, I refuse to kiss him without touching everything else in sight before his face comes near my face. There is nothing worse than noses or lips being shocked. It sucks! I am sure people get a real kick out of seeing John and I kiss as we both start touching walls and doors and whatever else will ground us before we kiss. Kissing is not a spontaneous activity in the Polar North. You must carefully plan how you can ground yourself before the kiss takes place.

So I did a search online to get advice on how to avoid this annoying occurrence and to no surprise, the advice was running rampant. Of course, the obvious advice is illustrated in the statement below:
During the winter the dry air and combination of non-leather shoes combine to create discharges of static electricity when you grab door handles and other surfaces. Advice: Let something else get shocked! Before touching a door handle, grab a metal object, such as your metal watch band or a car key, (make sure your touching the metal object of the key and not the plastic portion), and then touch the door with it. In most cases you will even see a metal spark fly between the door handle and your metal object. Now you can safely touch the door handle.
The thing is, I try this. I really do. First of all, that's a lot to think about prior to opening a door. Who analyzes door opening anyway? Secondly, in my case, it just doesn't seem to matter. Shocks jump out of nowhere -- when I am least expecting them. They are everywhere! All the "grounding" in the world doesn't seem to prevent continual tiny flashes of lightning.
Sometimes I get shocked so many times in such a short period of time that I literally sigh heavily in frustration and mumble something like, "For crying out sideways, can you leave me alone?" Or I say "Blasted!" I say "Blasted!" a lot. It's my exchange for a cuss word and really helps me feel better. My brain actually imagines the shocks are alive when I get mad at them -- like little animals, simply waiting to feed on their prey.
And unfortunately, in the Polar North, the hunting season (aka "shock season") lasts for a very long time as we are nearing May and still having 30 degree mornings.

So okay, there it is. Floridians, don't pretend that your town of 15,000 is anything like Kelsey's Wyoming neighborhood. And don't pretend you "get shocked a lot too." Come visit for one week in the winter and you will see what I am talking about.

Speaking of visiting in the winter, no one does! We get tons of visitors from May through August and then, no one comes anymore. Why is that anyways? Hmmmm ... maybe you all understand the frustrations of shocks! So do I!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Did you know today is Secretary's Day?

I didn't know that today was Secretary's Day. I think I remember hearing it on the radio, at some point, but it was the farthest thing from my mind.

However, I was blessed by my co-workers at Mayo today.

When I first came to Mayo back in May of 2004, I was simply Dr. K's assistant. He didn't have anyone else working for him. However, in October of that year, he was awarded a huge NIH grant and things have drastically changed. He has since added a slew of new employees. (You can take a look at everyone if you click on the Mayo link on the right.) So technically I am Dr. K's assistant, but in actuality, I work with all the post-docs he now has working for him. I think he currently has seven post-docs and a lab manager. Allison and Sam work in the lab and are both from the midwest. However, the other six post-docs are from all over the world: including China, India, and Iran. None of them speak English as their first language.

I do a variety of work for Dr. K which is why I love this job. I do a good amount of editing and manuscript preparation as well as keeping up with his "electronic library." This is a fairly new technology that enables you to store references and then use them to create a bibliography. Kind of hard to explain but I'll just say this: remember having to make a "works cited" in high school? This program does it for you! I also just do a variety of "secretarial" type of activities. I had always thought that if I wasn't a teacher, I would want to be a secretary. The best part about this job is that I get to still do some editing and writing in addition to secretarial activities.

Today was a very busy at Mayo so when Allison, one of the post-docs, called me around 10 a.m. to "Come down to the lab and help her take care of an emergency!" my first thought was, "What next?" I was honestly, slightly panicked when I reached the lab as this is a lab with very expensive equipment -- my mind was going crazy trying to figure out what could have happened.

Instead I found all the post-docs and Dr. K there with flowers and gifts. I was terribly surprised and actually, very embarrassed. Surprise "parties" are quite overwhelming. You have no idea what to say and no idea what to do because you haven't had any time to prepare. I got beautiful flowers, a gift certificate to a group of restaurants here (all owned by the same parent company). One of these restaurants is BROADSTREET CAFE which is fairly expensive. JB has been there, but I have yet to get to try it. So that is definitely where I will be spending that gift certificate. Dr. K also gave me a gift certificate to the mall. I also got a loaf of great looking bread from Allison (her husband works at a local bread store!) And one of the post-docs who is from Iran, gave me a handmade purse from Iran. Needless to say, I was thoroughly blessed.

I was at Mayo from 7:30-11:30 and then went to RLSF from 11:30-2:30 as they were having a cookout. We have a new employee at RLSF now: Trent. Poor Trent is, obviously, a male, and poor Trent, took a job in a house with 9 other women. Actually, for as much estrogen as that house generates (and even more lately with me in it), it is a fairly drama-free environment and the change of pace (I simply write, edit, and do PowerPoint presentations at RLSF with no administrative assistant like activities) is quite nice and a good break from the hectic pace at Mayo.

I returned to Mayo from 2:30-5:00 and am now at home, waiting for the laundry to finish downstairs. Did you know that we do not have a washer and dryer in our condo? It's the only real thing I am not crazy about at Rochester Towers (and the fact that they decided to close the hot tub) but I put up with it for this great location.

Did you also know that my counter on the bottom of the screen rolled over 2000 this week? Quite exciting. I also went and picked up my STIMS to start my shots on Friday. I always get a kick out of the poor checkout clerks when they see how much I owe. This lady said, "Wow! And that's only 50%". (Mayo pays half of the infertility costs). Anyways, needless to say, my purchase today did not allow for us to celebrate by going out to dinner. This was definitely the beginning of the "real stuff" but the "real stuff" has us very excited. We actually could be doing the "retrieval" as early as next Monday. Wow!

Summer Hours

Yesterday I worked from 7:30-11:30 at Mayo and then went straight to RLSF and started work at 11:45. This gave me the ability to finish at 3:45 or work a little extra, which I did. I have so much to do at RLSF that I am really trying to work about 18 hours a week instead of 16. The trick is really focusing and accomplishing one piece of writing. There are so many pieces that need to be written and edited that it is hard to push through when your list in continualy growing. There are also pices I enjoy more than others, and I tend to pick those to work on first.

Yesterday, I "signed off" on three pieces which means I told the printer, "Print these babies!" Getting to the point of signing off can take weeks if not months of editing and twirking so this was a major accomplishment -- not just on my part but on the part of everyone who worked on the piece.

When I got home at 5:00 JB and took a drive to a nature center about 10 minutes from our house and spent an hour walking the trails. It has been a little on the chilly side so I had a hat and gloves on, however, I was okay without the gloves. It was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous walk. I am blessed that JB will actually not be on call for the next month. I was concerned about him not being present in the evening or morning because I will be taking shots in the a.m. and p.m. starting Friday. Lesley and Tara have both volunteered to be back-ups, but I am of course glad that JB can be around to handle this.

We returned home after hiking to watch American Idol. Sorry Aunt Linda: I was so relieved to see Ace not on the show. There is something about men who know they are good looking that I think drives women crazy (in a bad way.) I really find Chris or Taylor more attractive because they are just humble everyday guys. I really love Kelly but she had a bad evening. I thought the judges were way too hard on Kathrine McPhee. JB and I loved her (and she looked amazing as well.) Elliot is very good. I just don't know how secure his fan base is. I truly believe it will be Paris going home tonight. Just a hunch. I really like her, but that's my vote.

After American Idol, Ronnie Ray and his son Hunter stopped by. They are having a case of having too many people needing to be in too many places today so they are going to borrow our car. We very rarely use our car during the week so this is no problem. We talked for quite a bit. I always enjoy catching up with Ronnie. We laugh a lot!

Today will be another average day. I am continuing to get into work around 7:30 instead of 8:00. JB is at St. Marys everyday and has to leave the house by 7:30, so I figured, why not get moving myself a little early and have the option to enjoy more of the beautiful afternoon weather. Dr. K starts work at 7:30 anyways so this works well.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Good Food and Cold Temps

Monday evening I got home from work around 5:00. JB had been on call the night before so he had been done since 1:00, gone to my appointment with me, and was taking a nap. It was a beautiful walk home from work so I woke him up and asked to go on a walk with me. By the time I quickly updated my blog and changed my clothes, the temperature had dropped like crazy! We had to cut our walk short due to burning ears and freezing hands.

This morning there is actually a THREE in front of the temperature. Not good at all. I am sitting by the window ... chilly ... like it is a winter. I refuse to accept that winter may rear its ugly head one last time. The tulips are out everywhere. It will stay warm.

Last night included Prison Break (which is MAJORLY stressing me out) and 24 (which is MAJORLY stressing Lesley out). I think we each close our eyes for a fair part of our show. Last night also included dinner via JB -- quite the artist and culinary master as usual.

I asked him what the name of this was. He said it has no name. He made it up. But it is broccoli and asparagus with chicken over parmesan rice and mozzarella crustinis on the side. I chose not to eat the asparagus. I just don't like asparagus. I have given it a fair shot and have decided that I am a grown up and with that comes the right to NOT eat a certain vegetable. Last night I officially decided to give up on asparagus forever.

Gotta go take my shot of lupron before work. Three days still I start my stims! Also, my head has been feeling GREAT!

Monday, April 24, 2006

IVF Green Light

Well today I went into the RE's office and got GOOD news.

My ovaries were completely suppressed which is what they wanted. My estrodial was very low which is also what they wanted.

I also took part in a fabulous ritual called "cervical dilation" which I suggest every woman (and man for that matter) participate in at some point just for the fun ot it. They don't do this with every woman who does IVF. I am one of the lucky few. Basically, my cervix is closed fairly tight so they insert catheters of various widths until they feel they have reached their maximum. If you successfully get the tiny catheter in, hurrah for you, let's try a larger one. This procedure lasts for a few weeks and will make the transfer of embryos into my uterus much smoother. John said I did a fabulous job. He watched the screen the entire time and was like, "Wendi, are you watching this? This is really cool." No, I wasn't watching the screen. I told him he could fill me in later.

So, we are right on course and ready to get started. Here's what I know currently.

We start Gonal (infertility hormone shots) THIS Friday. I will take this for six days and will then start going in for what could be daily blood draws and internal ultrasounds monitoring my follicle count in my ovaries. Each day around 3:00 the nurse will call me and tell me how much medicine to take that night and what time to be in the next day for my next ultrasound.

However, one of those calls will be "the call" where she tells me I am ready to go. They will then give me a very detailed schedule for both JB and me, and 36 hours later we will have the surgery. Two days after that they will put the embryos back in me.

As for me, I have been more emotional but was blessed that I didn't need to take any strong headache medication today -- a sign that the hormones are working their way out of my system. My friend, co-worker, and neighbor Kelsey came down to my house last night while both of our husbands were on call and we talked for a few hours. During the course of this conversation, I had an epiphany of sorts that is bringing me comfort.

The odds of this working are 40%. That means that if we get 10 embryos, I will get 4 yes's and 6 no's. This may sound sort of pessimistic, but for me, it is helping to keep me centered. I may get 2 no's the first time (each embryo they put in me gets its own "vote"). However, that's okay, because I have 4 yes's coming at some point. If the stats prove true for me, I will have a few more calls with bad news than good news. However, the good news is coming eventually.

Of course, I am praying for 1 or 2 yes's the very first time. Like I told Kelsey and my cousin Josh last night, "I just want to hit the first free throw!" (I often think in free-throws. It grounds me.) If I can hit the first one, the pressure will be off.

Anyways, a few bits of babble here, but the bottom line is: Good news in the Kit. house tonite. They will be getting my eggs in approximately 2 weeks. I am very happy and in good spirits. Thanks for the prayers today.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ketchup in Des Moines

Well the story of our weekend actually begins with two sandwiches which, due to my persistence in taking pictures of everyday mundane monotonous events, are pictured below:

I am not even completely sure what is on these two sandwiches, but Saturday around noon we packed a lunch and headed to Des Moines to see Justin play. We each packed our own sandwiches. I packed hot ham and Swiss. JB packed something with avocados, tomatoes, zucchini, and maybe mayonnaise? I truly am not sure and didn't care to ask. His creation was why I pack my own sandwiches.

Unable to drive myself due to heavy use of narcotics, JB took the wheel and proceeded to attempt to eat his sandwiches while driving. This was not the best laid plan.

First of all, some background. JB is basically known for the fact that every meal includes a stain in the middle of his shirt or the folds of his shorts. This trip was no exception. One bite in, and he had a "plop" of avocado on his shirt. Ten bites in and he had "plop" on his shorts. I then took out a roll of paper towels and coated his lap and shirt, leaving only the tips of his khaki shorts exposed. Bad move! By the second sandwich, a huge "plop" in the only exposed area had joined the "plop" family.

Now, hold that thought while I digress for a few minutes to get you up to speed.

Fast forward a few hours. After a beautiful 74 degree, three hour drive in non-existent traffic to Des Moines and a restful afternoon watching a crab fishermen show on Discovery that my cousin Josh recommended, we arrive at the ball park for Justin's game. We were excited that he hadn't pitched the night before as this means he has a better chance to pitch while we are there.

It was a beautiful field and stadium and a PERFECT night for baseball. Right around seventy degrees, slight breeze. As we watched them prepare the field, I so wished my Dad could have been there. I kept thinking how much he would love this.

I took two pictures of the baseball field (including JB studying prior to the game) before my camera battery went dead. Ugh! So this is all you are going to get.

Shortly after this picture was taken, JB decided to get a hot dog. He warned me ahead of time that even though we were going out to eat with Justin after the game, he couldn't watch a baseball game without a hot dog. (I balk about spending ungodly amounts of money on food in places like movie theatres and baseball parks, and JB was warding off the comments before they could arise.) (Notice, my use of the word "balk" in a baseball post. Quite proud of that.)

Now wearing a new clean t-shirt and clean shorts, John was extremely proud of himself when he finished off his hot dog (smothered in ketchup and mustard) without spilling a drop on himself. (I won't comment on the cement under his feet.) We jokingly celebrated this accomplishment. He had made it through his messy meal spill free.

Or so we thought. Five minutes before the game started, the ten-year-old behind us decided to eat a hot dog of his own. He was also attempting not to spill on himself, and he didn't. He spilled on John. He dropped the hot dog straight down John's back, smearing ketchup the whole way down. John laughed, picked up the fallen dog from under his seat and asked the young boy if he wanted it back. He shook his head and began apologizing profusely.

I kept telling both the kid and his father (who moments later returned from the restroom to witness the devastation) that this was no big deal. "Honestly, I spray and wash everything John wears for food stains," I said. John chimed in that he was glad, "the stain wasn't from him this time." We also noted that he was wearing his shirt from Air Force basic training which he had a few of.

But still feeling bad, the father showed up in the sixth inning with a new t-shirt. Now mind you it was an Iowa Cubs t-shirt, but it was still a great gesture. John couldn't wear it in the ballpark (as we were cheering for the "Round Rock Express") but he gladly wore it on the way home. It'll be a good story to tell when people ask us what in the world we are doing with a shirt from Des Moines AAA baseball.

Now away from stains for a moment, we actually did get to see Justin pitch. The bottom of the seventh, the Express was up 9-1, and Justin came in to relieve. He had a strike out and allowed no runs which was great! They did get a hit, but John and I blame the second baseman who made a great knockdown only to fall funny and not be able to throw it to first in time. He did only pitch one inning as the coach decided to work a few more pitchers in since they were up by so much, but it was still great to get to a game that he pitched in.

Afterwards we went out to dinner and had a great time catching up (even though John and Justin digressed into a discussion of the psychological thought patterns of serial killers for a few uncomfortable minutes.) It was well after midnight before we finally turned in for the night, but we slept until 8:30 which was great. John says the successful sleep-in was due to the fact that he got two queen beds instead of a king. I have talked before about how poorly we sleep in one bed together, but if you don't remember you can check out a past blog entitled THE BIGGEST SHEETS IN THE WORLD.

We've already decided that IF Justin is still with the Express, we will definitely try to catch a game again in June. We had a wonderful time and got a free t-shirt out of the deal.

We returned home around 1:00 as I had a "Hearts Like Hannah" Support Group meeting at 2:00 that I was hosting at our house. I haven't said that much about my Support Group on this blog, but it is an infertility group that has really been a great focus for me during difficult times. We had 3 other women attend including we 3 "leaders" (for lack of a better word), which was great.

I did want to ask for your prayers as my ultrasound is tomorrow. This is the final "green light" saying my body is ready to proceed. I have had a difficult week with the new drugs, going off the old drugs, and getting ready to start more drugs and just ask for your continual prayers for me and for my patient and loving husband.

He is currently on call until midnight. Let's see if he comes home in a clean shirt!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bara's Inspiration

If you guys have not checked out our friend Bara's website (there is a link on the right), you need to visit. First of all, I always think it is important to see how other people view America. Bara is from Syria and is now in Boston. Secondly, I just love his blog. So few of us experience what Bara is experiencing: moving to another country, all by ourself. I think it is very educational. It is also fun to watch Bara's increasing mastery of our complicated language. I know my mother has become a loyal Bara-blog visitor and you should too!

Bara's blog on Thursday had to do with things he did and did not miss about home. (My favorite was that he did not miss his girlfriend because she never existed -- hilarious!)

That got me to thinking. What do I miss about Fort Lauderdale? What do I not miss about Fort Lauderdale. What do I miss and not miss about Franklin, Kentucky?

So, after deep and intellectual though, here is my list:

Here is a picture of where JB and I grew up in Fort Lauderdale Florida. Acttually, we went to school in Fort Lauderdale but we both lived in the suburbs. I lived in Coconut Creek and JB in Lauderdale Lakes.

What I miss about Fort Lauderdale:
1. The weather: This does not even need discussion. I miss warmth.
2. The culture: I truly miss the diversity of south Florida. Rochester is, well, white. Very white. I miss seeing people of all colors and nationalities. I miss how educational this experience is. This includes the way people dress, talk, and the different restaurants. JB and I have said that if we lived in south Florida again, we would go broke experiencing all the different food!
3. Our families: It has now been over ten years since we have lived by our families. I truly miss them, especially on holidays and weekends.

What I do NOT miss about Fort Lauderdale:
1. The crime: I do not miss how unsafe I felt in south Florida. I never truly felt comfortable and was constantly watching my back. I hated to stay home alone. In a sense, I am glad I learned this "awareness" of environment. However, I wouldn't exchange the safety of life here in Rochester for anything.
2. The lack of seasons: This is kind of screwy. I miss Florida's weather, but I do not miss 12 months of one-season-weather. I miss warm, but I do not miss never seeing the leaves change and never seeing snow.
3. Traffic: Oh my I don't miss this. Bad traffic, rude drivers, angry people flipping each other off and throwing coffee on roofs of cars. Yuck yuck yuck!
4. The materialism: South Florida is such a plastic materialistic culture. Plastic surgery and cars you really can't afford abound. The real world doesn't operate like this. People in Minnesota aren't concerned with how big their boobs are, because, for the most part, they are hidden behind a big coat most of the year (or a sloppy, warm sweater).
5. Poverty: I didn't like seeing homeless people or being asked for money. It's sad and makes me sad.

Here is a picture of where Franklin, Kentucky is located. I went to college in Bowling Green (directly above Franklin.) I lived in Bowling Green from 1995-1999. We were married in 1998 and after I finished college, we moved to Franklin (population 8,000), where my teaching job was located. It was about a thirty minute drive from Bowling Green and a forty-five minute drive from Nashville.

What I miss about Kentucky:
1. The southern hospitality: This is real and truly exists especially in the smaller towns. People are genuinely nice. The first time someone waved me in when I was waiting to get in during a traffic jam, I thought they knew me. However, while people are very kind, they are not quick to "invite you in" to their "social circle." If you aren't truly family, then you'll have to spend Easter alone. It's why our church, which included tons of people who weren't from Kentucky, was very special to us.
2. The slow pace of life: People just aren't in a hurry in Kentucky. They truly move at a much slower speed, and it is relaxing.
3. The respect: I miss how respectful kids were. The first time a student said "yes m'am" to me I asked him if he thought I was old. He said, "no ma'm." But saying this wasn't about age. It was about acknowledging that they realized I was a superior. Toward the end of my teaching career in Kentucky, I began to take not hearing "ma'm" as a sign of rudeness and that is what most students meant.
4. My school: I miss Franklin-Simpson High School. It was a great school.
5. Cheapness: I miss paying $450 for our 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, brand-new townhouse and that we could buy a house on twenty acres for less than we bought our condo for and half of what my parents' townhouse is worth.

6. God: While not everyone was truly a Christian in Kentucky, it was very rare that you met someone who said they did not believe in God. I had a student say it in class once and kids would have started throwing fruit at him if they had any. Minnesota is truly outside of the Bible Belt. I miss the Bible Belt some days, however, telling people about the Lord is easier here. In Kentucky everyone THOUGHT they knew the Lord because they went to church on Sunday.
7. Living across the street from Josh & Sarah: These were great times. I love our two years walking back and forth across the street and hope some day to be close to them again. (Before Josh adds a comment about them being #7, I should note these are in random order. If they were in order, I would have to divide this category and put Sarah #1 and Josh, like, well, let's move on to #8.)
8. Weather: I loved that I got to experience all four seasons but that winter was very short. Scarves, hats, and gloves were really for "style" and not that necessary on most days unlike here where you will die without them.

What I do NOT miss about Kentucky:
1. The ignorance: Most people in Kentucky were born and raised in their town. They had no understanding of the world as a whole. I said the word "Hispanic" once and a student asked me what that was. I don't miss people saying "suit" when they were talking about a "suite" and calling a "whelp" a welt (these were everyday occurrences.) I also don't miss the word "ya'll" (even though it is an all-encompessing word). I had a student write the word "you's" and tell me it meant "used to". I also could not stand the racism between the black and white students. It was one of the reasons I got along so well with my African American students -- they knew I didn't play that game. Unfortunately, the racism was due to the fact that desegregation had only occurred 50 years ago. I think it will take one more generation before people in Kentucky realize, we are all people -- who the heck cares what we look like. I hated that the white people sat on one side of the gym and the African Americans on the other.
2. Small town life: I actually (some days) am glad we left small-town life. Living in a town of 8,000 had its advantages but when all there was to do was go to the Chinese restaurant and WalMart ... oh and Crackel Barrel, can't forget that (we lived near the Interstate), it was easy to understand the argument that the teenage pregnancy rate was so high because kids truly didn't have anything better to do than have sex!

3. Playing basketball: When I think about Kentucky, I think about playing basketball. I don't miss playing basketball. I miss my teammates, but I am so passed that point in my life.

Well, that is all I can think of right now. It looks like I miss Kentucky the most which is odd, because I don't really feel that way when I think about it, but maybe my subconcious is seeping through. So thanks Bara for the inspiration.

P.S. We are leaving this afternoon to go see Justin in Des Moines. He didn't pitch last night so there is a good chance he might pitch tonite. We are going to get a hotel and come back tomorrow. Not sure I will take pictures. I don't want to appear to be an annoying relative.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Quick Heath Tips: Peanut Butter (from JB)

Jif Creamy Peanut Butter ingredients:

Roasted Peanuts,
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil,
Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils

Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter ingredients:

Roasted Peanuts,

My choice? I think it is obvious. The more natural the better. I also think the natural stuff just tastes better. Many store brands are making natural peanut butter of their own, and they cost about a dollar less.

A couple things to know about using natural peanut butters:

1. You need to stir them well before you use them. The natural oils (which are ususally hydrogenated to solidify them in Jif) can separate out of the mix, and stirring it up puts them back in the mix. You only need to do it really well one time, and then a quick stir before you use it each time.

2. Keep the jar refrigerated. This will keep the PB from separating again, and it makes it easier to spread.

Health Tip: Hydrogenated oils (partial or otherwise) are terrible for you. As I said above, hydrogenation solidifies the oil. In a sense, this is what happens to the oil once it gets into your blood stream. Bleaahhhhhh!

Health Tip: Try to avoid a product that adds sugar when there is the same type of product available that doesn't.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Special Poems

Well, the word is in . . . our ultrasound / cervical dilation / blood draw is scheduled for Monday at 1:00. If everything looks great, we will start the Gonal fertility drug on Friday of next week. Tomorrow morning is my last day on the pill. From there it will be touch and go as they monitor my ovaries to see when they are ready for surgery. We are almost there.

I have received some poems from some friends in the recent weeks that have been a comfort to me and have been compiling them. Here they are (along with a quick note as to who sent them).

Simple Things by Tony Vincent (given to me by hubby JB)

deep in the quiet of my soul—the truth i know

tested by sorrow, pain and tears—through bitter years

waiting for answers to my prayers—you were there

the days and nights you brought me through

shaped my faith in you

its’ the simple things—i hold on to

it’s the simple things—i find in you

it’s to you i sing and to you i cling

it’s the simple things it’s the simple things—that make me see

it’s the simple things—that set me free

as i learn to wait you renew my faith

through the simple things—knowing you’re my lord

finding your promises of hope—the words you spoke

friends beside me on this road—to share the load

pouring my heart out unto you—and listening too

resting in your perfect love—i can’t get enough

these things that i could never live without

the means of grace to guide my heart

when i’m lost in this world of doubt

you bring me home

* * * * * *

"One Day at a Time"... (from Hans' girlfriend Rachel)

Soon the sun will shine again

Soon things will be fine

Until it does, trust God above

And take one day at a time.

* * * * * *

Isaiah 43 (from my Aunt Jan)
Fear not, I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name.
You are mine.
When you go through deep waters and great trouble I will be with you.
When you go through the rivers of difficulty you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression you shall not be burned up.
The flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One...Your Savior...
You are precious to me.
You are honored and I love you.
Do not be afraid for I am with you."

* * * * * *

Toward Jerusalem (from my Aunt Jan)

Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee!

Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?

Bit o' Florida & Boredom

The picture above is of "Headquarters Air Armament Center Family Medicine Residency". This would be the hospital that JB would work at if we decide to go to Eglin Air Force Base. Some of you have asked if we have made any new decisions since I posted and asked for everyone's advice.

Right now, I think we are leaning toward Florida. I think it was my Aunt Linda who said that the money we "don't make" on our condo will easily be made up during the three years increased salary in Florida. Our other two big reasons are the weather and being closer to our family. It may be an entire year before I get to see my niece Grace again, and I think that is way too long. Nine hours is still far but would at least create 1 or 2 more visits each year while we are there.

Of course, John isn't assured a spot at Eglin. We think he would have a good chance, but they could end up sending him to another Air Force base. Our second favorite Air Force base is in Southern Illinois (please don't prononounce the 's').

The picture below is where the base is actually located in comparison to all of Florida.

If you want, you can visit the
Eglin website to see it all for yourself, up close and personal-like.

If you are bored and want to try something kind of fun, take a look at this website JB sent me last night while he was on call: Escapa. The best score I was able to get was a 23.4. Can anyone beat that? Apparently they say that Air Force pilots are supposed to be able to last for two minutes. It's pretty easy to play and a great time-waster.

Speaking of wasting time, do you know that there is actually a website called They advise you to visit because "twiddling your thumbs can cause sores."

Another random thing I must note. I nearly had a heart attack last night. The people with the lowest votes on American Idol caused Gabbi and I (who were on IM together) to nearly strangle the television. My favorite, Chris, and my least favorite, Ace (I'm in love with my face) were the bottom two. Thank goodness it was Ace whom we said good bye to. I don't think I would have continued to watch had we said goodbye to Chris in exchange for the pretty boy. I am not a pretty boy fan.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Little Bits of Life

Well have a lot of tiny things going on here. Here they are (in random order)

  • We are out of milk. This means eating our dyed Easter eggs for breakfast each morning. Why do I only realize we are out of milk at 7:00 a.m. when our little grocer isn't open yet? Why can't I remember when I pass the little grocer every day?
  • JB is on call tonight (I'm trying to spell this word like "tonight" instead of like "tonite". I think it is more proper.) That means he gets 3:00-5:00 off (while I am working) and then he is back in the hospital from 5-midnight. Last time he got off at 10:00. I am hoping this will happen again.
  • The medicine I am taking for my headaches is working although I am realizing I have to take it closer to every 3 hours instead of every 4. During the last hour, I am realizing that I am becoming very "hypersensitive". This means that I start snapping at John, telling him he's talking too loud, telling him not slam the car door so hard, thinking that lights at work are way too bright etc. My head doesn't even really hurt at this point. However, I am realizing this is a sign that I am at the end of my medication working, and I need another. My doctor said I can take 13 of these a day. I am only taking about 5 or 6 so I can definitely up these.
  • I am not going to put the new shampoo in the shower until the old shampoo is completely gone from now on. I realized that JB has been using the NEW shampoo and letting me finish off the old shampoo. This bullet is also a test to see if JB is reading this far into my blog. JB if you read this and you disagree, post a comment and let me know I am wrong. But I noticed the new shampoo is being used and the old is finishing at a slower-than-expected rate. I realize that he is doing this with toothpaste as well.
  • Speaking of JB, I wanted to brag on him a minute. I know there is kind of this "taboo" among medical students preventing discussing test scores, references etc. Everyone is trying to be "low-key". However, yesterday, my husband got a letter of reference from a physician he worked with. Normally these physicians just send the letters to John's Dean and they go in his record to be used who he applies for residencies. But this physician sent him a copy. This physician also offered to write a letter for JB, something, he wrote in his letter that he very rarely does. This letter was glowing, and I was just so proud of my husband. He is going to make a fabulous doctor. I never get to "see him in action" because I can't watch him in the hospital. However, it was exciting to hear someone paint a picture of my husband doing such a wonderful job with patients. Anyways, sorry to break the medical school "code", but only a few people who read this blog are in the medical school so I feel okay to share this.
  • Speaking of the medical school, Tara sent me her results to the survey I did two days ago. Go Tara! Tara's favorite ice cream is Vanilla. I wasn't too impressed with this. She also said she only sings when by herself. This is a travesty. No one who sings as well as she does should keep it to herself.
  • We also went to dinner at John's classmate, Sean's house last night with other classmates Nick, Travis (and his wife Sarah and two kids), and Jason. Sean's girlfriend Stef was also there. Dinner was fabulous and so was the company.

All right. I can't think of anything else. That's what is going on in our lives currently.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Justin is traded

Well a few days ago, we found out that my cousin Justin had been released from the Kansas City Royals. We were all waiting to find out what would happen next. Late last night I got word that he has indeed been picked up by the Houston Astros! Poor Justin was on his way to Chicago to visit him family -- figured he'd wait there to hear from his agent instead in Omaha, Nebraska. I spoke with Kathleen last night (his sister-in-law) and she said, he got word from his agent half-way to Chicago that Texas may be "a go". Kathleen said he stopped at a mall for a few hours and then got word that Texas it was! However, being so close to the fam, I guess he drove over anyways to see his new nephew and family. I got an email from him late last night (or early this morning). He was going to get 3 hours of sleep and then drive to RoundRock, Texas. Ugh!

However, the news gets better as it appears that the AAA team in Texas he will be playing on plays in Des Moines, Iowa this weekend. We have some details to figure out, but that is only three hours from here so we may try to go see a game or two this weekend. I am excited that this team plays close to here. We'll have to see how this works out.

I'll keep you posted on this breaking news. Congrats Justin!

Monday, April 17, 2006


I got this survey from my cousin Justin's "myspace account". Thought it would be something fun to share:

Name: Wendi Marie (Huisman) Kit.
Birthday: May 22, 1977
Birthplace: Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Current Location: Rochester, MN
Eye Color: blue
Hair Color: blonde
Height: 6'3"
Right Handed or Left Handed: right
Your Heritage: 100% Dutch
The Shoes You Wore Today: Black dress shoes followed by running shoes (to go on our walk)
Your Weakness: Duh! Chocolate!
Your Fears: Not having biological children
Your Perfect Pizza: Mostly, I just like cheese
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year: Be a mom
Your Most Overused Phrase On an instant messenger: I see
Thoughts First Waking Up: It's too cold to get out of bed (I got out of bed much easier when it wasn't cold outside)
Your Best Physical Feature: I have no idea nor would I answer this question.
Your Bedtime: Always before 10 during the week (9:30 ideally). I may hit 11:00 on a Friday or Saturday
Your Most Missed Memory: High school sports
Coke or Pepsi: I don't drink soda (Florida), pop (north), coke (south). Lately I've been drinking Mountain Dew to get the caffeine. If I had to pick, I'd pick Pepsi.
McDonalds or Burger King: Yuck yuck yuck. If I had to pick, I think I'd pick Burger King. I eat fast food maybe twice a year.
Single or Group Dates: Either (and yes, my husband and I still date)
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Don't like tea at all --either. But I know my friends in the south feel very passionate about their sweet tea.
Chocolate or Vanilla: Oh pleasseeee.
Cappuccino or Coffee: Neither. The only hot drink I like is apple cider. And Ronnie, no matter what you say, that new drink does taste like coffee.
Do you Smoke: Never taken a puff
Do you Swear: Very rarely
Do you Sing: Badly
Do you Shower Daily: Yes!
Have you Been in Love: One time!
Do you want to go to College: Have a bachelors and am halfway through my matsers. Halfway is all I will get!
Do you want to get Married: Am married, happily, eight years in June.
Do you belive in yourself: I think so (dumb question).
Do you get Motion Sickness: Rarely.
Do you think you are Attractive: Again, a dumb question. I am happy with myself.
Are you a Health Freak: Basically, yes
Do you get along with your Parents: Yes
Do you like Thunderstorms: Love them! I miss them during the long winters.
Do you play an Instrument: Clarinet but haven't played in quite some time. I would love to learn the piano.
In the past month have you drank alcohol: I don't drink at all.
In the past month have you Smoked: I have never smoked.
In the past month have you been on drugs: Yes, but they are all legal!
In the past month have you gone on a date: With JB!
In the past month have you eaten a box of oreos: Oh I wish!
In the past month have you eaten sushi: Not a chance.
In the past month have you been on stage: No
In the past month have you been dumped:No
In the past month have you gone skinny dipping: No
In the past month have you stolen anything: Never stolen anything except maybe a pen from work. I take pens from everywhere on accident.
Ever been Drunk: I have never been drunk.
Ever been called a tease: I don't think so.
Ever been beaten up: Nope
How do you want to die: With my hubby
What do you want to be when you grow up: A wife and a mom
What country would you most like to visit: Greece, Australia, New Zealand ... there's a lot.
Number of CDs I own: Maybe 5
Number of Piercings: 1 earing each ear
Number of Tattoos: None yet (I've debated this).
Number of things in my Past I Regret: Dumb question. What do I say: 47? 122?

Okay, so that's a quick moment in my life. It was a normal work day and JB when and took our usual hour long walk inthe wonderful weather. I am now watching Prison Break and will eat some leftovers soon.

IVF officially begins

Well, JB gave me my first shot of Lupron this morning. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, it is below a 1. Diabetic needles . . . I seriously wouldn't have known he gave me a shot unless he told me he did. He tried to show me how to do it in case he is on call one evening. I tried to watch but still don't feel confident. I am thinking I will be knocking on Dave & Lesley's door if JB is not available. Not to keen on giving myself a shot.

So I take this shot for two weeks. However, Friday I enter stage 2 when I go off the birth control pills.

My first ultrasound to make sure that my ovaries are officially "suppressed" will probably fall on Monday or Tuesday of next week. The biggest thing I would like you to pray for right now is that when I go in for the ultrasound, they will find everything as it should be. If for any reason my ovaries aren't completely suppressed, they will send me home for a month and probably put me back on the pill for a month. So this is not something I want to have happen.

In addition, I got a call from the nurse that they also want to do a "cervical dilation" when I go in for this ultrasound and blood draw next week. I am not sure what this is. I askd her if it hurt and she said, "I don't think so." Ummm, that doesn't bring me much comfort. Apparently they want to do this because when they fit for me for the catheter that is used during the surgery, they had trouble getting a good fit so the dilation will help "free up" space. Like I said, I really am not sure to the details, but pray that this isn't too bad.

I'll be in touch. This evening, Ajit and the Jones, and maybe Tara are coming over to watch 24 and eat some leftovers (we have a lot as usual.)

I may update again this evening. During our IVF journey, I am sure I will be updating more often as I have more info.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Snapshots of Spring

Well now that it is Sunday night and the weekend is coming to a close, here are some promised pictures from our weekend.
On Saturday afternoon we went to a tiny zoo in Byron with Tara. It was a wonderful day to enjoy the beautiful weather.
I really did not know that wolves were so big.

I also did not know how big a turkey could get to impress a female (notice the impressed female off to the right. )

JB overheard a mother telling her child, "Let's go see the skunks." These animals, while black and white, were definitely bigger than the average skunk. Hence the reason they are not skunks, but goats.

John, as usual, quickly makes friends with a goat. (Not that JB makes friends often with goats. I just meant that he always gets along well with animals. Okay, this is coming out all wrong) ... anyways shortly after this picture was taken, a little girl came up and asked JB how he got the goats to lick his hand. He showed her how to pick up a little grass and feed the big skunk. She got a real kick out of it.

JB and Tara feeding the big skunks.

This pony shared a pen with a donkey and definitely ran the show. JB found a hoof that had been clipped and asked me if I wanted a pony toenail for my scrapbook. I, obviously, declined.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck ...

Talking to Ajit. HI AJIT!!!!

Don't you agree that this is the perfect tree for a photo? JB thought my choice was fairly random. I, however, still consider it the perfect spot for a picture of the two of us. We were glad to have Tara along so we could get one picture of the two of us. Ever since we got our digital camera, without a timer, we have so few pictures of both of us together. So here's one, under the perfect tree.

Taking a picture of a picture isn't always advisable, but I think it works. I found this photo of my dad and my brother making Easter eggs. This picture was probably around 1983 or 1984 which makes my dad about 35 years old. Spring chick!

Speaking of dying eggs -- JB and I dyed our own eggs today. This photo produced a lecture. JB said I must stop, "taking pictures of every mundane activity he produces with the excuse that they are 'for the blog'." I replied that I wanted to show everyone his artistic talent. Either way, I got the photo and now it is on my blog.

Okay, here's some pictures from our Easter gathering. From left: Dave, JB, Melissa, and Christo.

Hunter Ray, Ron Ray, and some chick with a hair cut from who knows where. Just kidding: that's Veronica. So what do YOU GUYS think of the haircut? I wasn't so sure about it, but maybe it will grow on me. Of course, Veronica is beautiful no matter what. And no surprise that English, once again, was at work instead of visiting us.

Here's Sujit Itty (Ajit's brother), Lesley, and Cole Ray.

Karuna scavenging for food (and money from Tara's wallet). Karuna was convinced that her parents were going to leave her at our house when they came over. She was also on one of her "eat everything in site days." Karuna either eats NOTHING or eats EVERYTHING in site. Tonite, it was the latter.

Here's Brandon Yuan (from Bible Study) with Ebby and Cole, and Brandon's sister Joy who was in town visiting.

Brandon's wife, Kristen. Kristen and Brandon are great new friends from Bible Study. Brandon is currently a first year at Mayo. Anyways ... from left, Kristen, Lesley, Tara, and Brandon with Karuna getting out of dodge.

So that's how we spent our weekend. Just wanted to remind everyone -- I start Lupron shots tomorrow morning and go off the BCPs on Friday morning. JB and I just went over the entire schedule. While a lot of it is still "touch and go" it appears that we should be doing our retrieval (when they go and get the eggs) around May 10th, and we should find out the results around my birthday, May 22nd. It doesn't look like we will be able to go to Matt's graduation, but we just have to wait and see how this all plays out.

Also, about the Lupron. I found out that Lupron is used to treat prostate cancer and endometriosis (hence the reason is it covered under insurance). So it doesn't appear that this was an error. It appears that $15 it is. Hurrah!

Easter Colors

Happy Easter everyone. Both churches by our house played their bells at sunrise today. I thought it was very touching. And very loud at six a.m. Twenty-one "gongs" each. Not sure what the significance of twenty-one was? They also played them again at eight. Either way, the bells did what they were intended to do. They reminded us that today, the tomb was empty. Jesus is risen!

Okay, so let's just get this out of the way since everyone gave me such a bad wrap for missing church on Palm Sunday. We are not skipping church this morning. Well, technically we are, but we actually went to church yesterday evening. Our pastor asked that people without guests attending try to come on Saturday evening -- so that was us. Saturday evening is also easier on me when I am struggling with our infertility as there are a lot less children present in service. It seems on Sunday morning, that no matter where we sit, some mother with her brand new little newborn decides that right next to Wendi is the best place in church for her! Anyway, sorry for the digression. As I was saying, we went last night to make room for all the "once-a-year-church-goers" this morning. Even with adding a service this morning, Christ Community will be really struggling to fit everyone today.

We have had a wonderful weekend. Friday, we did as promised from our infertility medicine savings and went to Jenpachi Japanese Steakhouse (where they cook your food in front of you). We came home to watch Ben Hur on Netflix (I have never seen it and JB says this is a travesty), only to discover that CD #1 was cracked. So we settled for some Transporter movie -- a British James Bond. I wasn't overly impressed.

Saturday JB was working most of the morning to finish up the bathroom before our slew of Easter guests this afternoon. Our friend Tara emailed me and asked if we wanted to go to a small zoo and nature area in Byron, about 20 minutes from here after lunch. We jumped right on that and spent the afternoon in Byron. I have pictures but have decided to download all our weekend pictures later this evening.

Last night I played some spades with my dad online while JB worked on the bathrooms some more and also worked on his lamb and ham for our Easter meal today.

Speaking of our Easter meal -- we are having a large group of people today. I really have no idea how to fit everyone. I think there will end up being over 20 people, mainly from our Bible Study at the Medical and Dental Association on Thursday nights. I will post some pictures of that as well. We have so many friends who, like us, have no family here. So we all get together with each other instead. Most of these people I now consider family so I guess it is the same thing.

This morning we are getting things ready to have everyone over but took some time to dye some Easter eggs. I haven't done that since I was like, five. It was great fun. Great idea JB!

Okay, gotta get to work around my house. As I said, I'll post again later tonite with pictures from the whole weekend. So tune in later for more.

P.S. Oh and my migraines have been much better since grama prayed yesterday. I have also been on tylenol with codeine nearly continually. As I mentioned, this makes me very loopy. However, I am getting used to the loopy feeling and kind of enjoying it. John says this a problem. I don't really see how it is. :)

P.S.S. Had to give a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a bunch of people today. My cousins Justin and Jason are celebrating today as is my goddaugther Grace (your gift is in the mail!). In addition, I believe today is an old high school friend: Susie Goodfellow? Don't ask me how I remember that. I think because April 16th seems to be the birthdate of everyone I know. Also, Brant James VanWyck, son of Roy and Joan VanWyck, was born today in 1983. He passed away in 1989.
Happy birthday everyone. Anyone else celebrating today?

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Days until I start Lupron: 1

Days until I go off birth control pills:5

Days until I start stims: 12

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Introducing downtown Rochester

I thought it would be fun to give you an idea of where JB and I live. Take a look at the picture below. The red star is Rochester Towers where we live. The yellow star is the parking garage we walk into on cold days to slip into the underground. The light blue star is the building where I work (on the 6th floor.) The pink star is the main building of the clinic (called The Mayo Building) although every building you see is actually part of the Mayo Clinic. You can see some AWESOME virtual tours of inside this amazing building. The green star is where Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation is even though this picture doesn't show it. The blue star is where St. Mary's Hospital is -- again, not shown in this picture.

Here is another view of downtown and where we live. Our house is not numbered, but it is immediately above the #9. #1 is the Guggenheim building where I work. The Retless Legs Syndrome Foundation is right under the sign that says "NORTH". #2 and #8 are the main Clinic buildlings. #4 is the gorgeous Plummer building. #9 is the Baldwin buildling where I see my family care doctor. #7 is the other hospital: Methodist. Inbetween 8 and 7 is Charlton where I go for all my infertility appointments.

Okay, speaking of the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation. Here is a close up picture of this buildling since you can't see it in any of the images above.

Below is a close-up picture of the Guggenheim buildling where I work.

So that's our home in Rochester, MN. I also have our countdown continuing below. I start my lupron shots on Monday! I go off the BCP's on Thursday (Prasie the Lord). As I mentioned in my previous post, I actually went in to see my family practioner to get some stronger medicine for my head. I had a very good weekend but Tuesday night started getting hit bigtime again. Actually, both the doctor and I believe that I am getting migraines but I am not getting the normal vision loss (therefore I am thinking that they aren't migraines when they really are.) He said this will most definitely clear up within 10 days of going of the pill. He also said I can take up to 13 of these powerful pills a day. There is NO way that I can handle that many as they make me "darned-loopy". However, I am starting to enjoy the loopiness in exchange for the headaches.

Your prayers are so appreciated right now as I have gotten very frustrated during the last week. I just got off the phone with my Grama Huisman whom I called for big-time prayer. Calling isn't easy for me, but my Aunt Linda suggested it, and I decided she was right, and I needed to call in "The Grama" for prayer! Grama was happy to deliver! :)

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Days until I start Lupron: 2

Days until I go off birth control pills:6

Days until I start stims: 13