Saturday, December 3, 2011

If you haven't already don't forget to check out the new Blog as I will no longer be posting here.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I've switched my url to something more suiting to this blog. Please switch over your google reader links and start following my new blog. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Trying to conceive Tips, Tricks, and The Infertility Basics

A friend of mine created a blog about Infertility Basics. I thought I'd share some of her info along with some tips and tricks I've learned in the last 16 months.

First let's start off with some acronyms so that way your not confused by this post and many others.

ART - assisted reproductive technology
BBT - basal body temperature/thermometer
BCP - birth control pills
BFN/BFP - big fat negative/positive
b/w- blood work
CD - cycle day
CM - cervical mucous
DPO - days past ovulation
DX - diagnosis
E2 - Estradiol (basically your follie growing hormone)
ED- Erectile Dysfunction
Endo - endometriosis
EOD- Every other day
ER/ET - egg retrieval/transfer
FF - fertiliy friend -
FMU - first morning urine
Follie - Follicles (basically your eggs - or what your eggs grow in - kind of...)
FSH - follicle stimulating hormone
HCG - basically the pregnancy hormone - will be given as a trigger for ovulation
HOM - high order multiples
HPT - home pregnancy test
HSG - Hysterosalpingogram
IF - infertility
IUI - intra-uternine insemination
IVF - in vitro fertilization
LAP - laparoscopy
LP/LPD - luteal phase/ LP defect
MFI - male factor infertility
MH- My Husband
O - Ovulation
OBGYN/GYN - Obstetrician/Gyno (aka your girly bits dr)
OHSS - Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
OOP - out of pocket (aka your insurance company is screwing you royally)
OPK - ovulation predictor (kit)
PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome
PN- Prenatal Vitamin
RE - reproductive endocrinologist (aka a fertility specialist)
SA - semen analysis
SHG - Sonohysterogram
TCOYF - Taking Charge of Your Fertility (an AWESOME book)
TI - Timed intercourse
U/S - ultrasound

Trying to Conceive Tips
(Obvs I am not pregnant yet so these are not get pregnant quick tips but just some things to help you understand your fertility, and some helpful advice I've learned a long the way.)

When I started TTC I started taking a prenatal vitamin, I think a multi-vitamin is always a good idea so just change your Multi to a PN.

Find out when you are ovulating 
  • Chart your Basal Body Temperature (you can purchase a cheap BB Thermometer from Walmart) Make sure you take your temperature at the same time every morning and after at least 3 hours of solid sleep. My favorite website to chart your BBT is Fertility Friend. They make it easy and have lots of lessons to help you understand your body better.
  • Use Ovulation predictor tests. You can purchase ovulation tests in bulk online to make it more affordable. Ovulation kits measure the amount of Lutenizing Hormone in your body. Right before you ovulate your body releases a large amount of LH. The test kits are easy to use. They are very similar to a pregnancy test. You will have a reference line and then a sample line to compare that to. Once you show a positive test for ovulation you should have intercourse within twenty-four hours.
  • Watching your body's signs of ovulation check your CM and look for EW and Watery CM. FF can help teach you how to check your cervical position as well as your cervical mucus.
  • Read TCOYF to learn more about your body, ovulation, and fertility
Sex Timing
  • A lot of people suggest every other day sex around ovulation time. Other's say Every day sex. Really as long as you have sex 1+ times around ovulation you have a shot! MH and I have always tried to keep sex fun and not make it about making a baby (even though it really is) so we have sex when we want to. It usually is about EOD anyway so that works for us.
Different things I've heard about
  • PreSeed is a great fertility friendly lubricant
  • The Husband can eat pineapple core before sex and the wife can eat it after ovulation to help with implantation
  • The wife can drink Pomegranate juice or Green Tea
  • Remain lying down 20 mins after well TI. Go to the restroom after that! ;)
  • I know this is a hard one but try to not stress about TTC
  • Another hard one but losing weight (if you need to) can't hurt  
  •  I've read that Wheat germ can help to "normalize" your cycles
  • Watch the Great Sperm Race  


If a year or 12 cycles passes (6 months 35+) and you are not pregnant yet you can start testing to see if there is an underlying problem. In our case we knew that I have PCOS, but we did some additional testing to check to see if any other problems were occurring. (Most Testing & Treatment information from Slick)

If you think you need testing, I'd see how much your OBGYN is willing to work with you. I would first ask for CD3 b/w, 7DPO b/w, and an u/s. All of these things can be done within the same cycle. CD3 b/w can typically be done on CD2-4, so if CD3 falls on a weekend, you should be able to work something out. Now with 7DPO b/w, do NOT let your OBGYN or one of the nurses confuse this with CD21 b/w. CD21 b/w is only useful if you O'd on CD14. The only way for you to CONFIRM ovulation is by charting your BBT ( is a great website for this). OPK's do NOT confirm ovulation and most RE's are not satisfied with only that information. Your blood work will be checking your hormone levels, thyriod, blood sugars, etc. The u/s will check for any major uterine abnormalities and the overall look of your ovaries.

If you want a SA (semen analysis) can also be done this cycle. I would make sure to do this before any more invasive tests are ordered for you as this test is SOOOO easy and relatively cheap OOP.

Ok, so those tests came back. Now, if you're still not pregnant (and if it's been a year of well timed sex), then get thee to a RE!!! Once there, they'll probably take the reigns but if not, ask for a HSG or SHG next.(have you noticed that I haven't mentioned treatments yet...yes, that was on purpose - no treatments should have been ordered yet) This will show a more in depth look of your uterus and check to see if your tubes are all clear.
If this comes back clear, then it's likely treatments will start... (see next section for more info)

The next step in testing is a LAP. This is a diagnostic surgery. It's very simple in surgery terms and most women have easy recoveries. Little cameras will be inserted through small incisions in your belly and they'll look around. This is the only way to definitively diagnose endo and other issues. It will also give them a look at other organs around the uterus and inside.

Sometimes your doctor, whether new or old, might order repeats of tests. This is especially true of shady SA's. If you get bad results with those a repeat will almost always be ordered a few months down the road.


Now you're in the treatment phase. Treatment will depend greatly on your diagnosis. Some people only require simple treatments and some will skip straight to IVF. It really just depends.

One of the most simple treatments is a medicated cycle with TI. Common medications for first cycles are Clomid and Femara. Here is the protocol that should be followed for almost any medicated cycle:

CD3: baseline u/s and b/w - this will be a check to make sure you don't have any cysts, your lining is appropriately thin, your blood flow to your uterus is good and your hormone levels are where they should be.

CD10-12: Follie check & b/w - this will check to see how and if your follies are growing and to make sure you aren't over responding (OHSS)

Then you'll go in every few days or so until you have mature follies. Then your RE will either instruct you on when to have sex or give you a trigger shot (to give yourself at home) so you'll O 36 hours later and know when exactly to have sex.

7DPO: this will be to check your progesterone levels. If your progesterone is too low, then you cannot sustain a pregnancy and then you might be put onto prog. supplements.

This monitoring might seem extreme but it is so so SOOOOO important. I don't know why anyone would want to risk their reproductive health when there are options to help. Many fertility medications (like Clomid) can be very dangerous. It can cause horrible cysts, thinned uterine lining which may be permanent, HOM (wanna be the next Kate+8?) and other awful side effects.

Ok, so you tried a few cycles of TI and it didn't work. The next step would be medicated cycle + IUI. You will follow the same protocol up until the sex part and then instead your husband will go give a sample about an hour before you go in to be sperminated. May the sperm be with you. There are varying levels of IUI protocol's. After Clomid/Femara there are then FSH injects. These increase the odds of pregnancy but then also increase the odds of HOM. They're also like liquid gold as the medications can cost thousands of dollars each cycle.
Next, if you and your RE feel that IUI isn't working and they want to go to the next step, that would be IVF. IVF is very invasive and very expensive. You will inject yourself at home (with similar drugs or the same drugs) as you used in an injects cycle. When your follies are ready you'll then go in for an egg retrieval. This is where your RE goes in and removes your eggs - as many mature ones as they can. This might be 20 or it might be 3. Of course higher numbers mean more chances but there are no guarantees. After the eggs are retrieved, they will be sperminated by your RE with your husband's sperm. They will then closely monitor your new embryos. Depending on the quality of your embryos that were fertilized (if any) they will transfer them back in 3 or 5 days after (I've also heard of day 6 transfers). Now, make sure you have a responsible doctor and only transfer 1 or 2 (mayyyybe 3). Don't go Octomom on us and transfer 10, mmmkay?

Now, that was an extremely sugarcoated version of IVF. It's painful, emotional, expensive, and hard. I've never been in that situation but know a few people that have been through it.

These are general estimates based on my own personal experiences as well what I've heard from friends and patients

Medicated + TI: $500-1,000
Medicated + IUI: $700-1500
Injects + IUI: $1000-3000
IVF: $9,000+ (each time)
FET: 3,000+

I hope this information was helpful to someone, and at least informative to any others wanting to learn more about Fertility.


    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    A Song for me

    I seriously think Carrie Underwood wrote the song "So Small" just for me. Ok maybe not really, but the words just speak to me. I was driving home from a crappy day and I said out loud "God I need a good song please" So Small was the next song on the radio. I fell in love.  I thought I'd share in case someone else needs an uplifting song today. Enjoy :)

    What you got if you ain't got love?
    The kind that you just wanna give away
    It's okay to open up
    Go ahead and let the light shine through

    I know it's hard on a rainy day
    You wanna shut the world out
    And just be left alone
    But don't run out on your faith

    'Cause sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
    Is just a grain of sand
    And what you've been out there searching for forever
    Is in your hands

    And when you figure out
    Love is all that matters after all
    It sure makes everything else
    Seem so small

    It's so easy to get lost inside
    A problem that seems so big at the time
    It's like a river that's so wide
    It swallows you whole

    While you're sitting around thinking 'bout what you can't change
    [ From: ]
    And worrying about all the wrong things
    Time's flying by, moving so fast
    You better make it count 'cause you can't get it back

    Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
    Is just a grain of sand
    And what you've been out there searching for forever
    Is in your hands

    Oh, and when you figure out
    Love is all that matters after all
    It sure makes everything else
    Seem so small!

    Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
    Is just a grain of sand
    And what you've been out there searching for forever
    Is in your hands

    And then you figure out
    Love is all that matters after all
    It sure makes everything else
    Oh, it sure makes everything else
    Seem so small

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    September is PCOS Awareness Month

    What would u do if u had a life changing condition that could make dreams of parenthood disappear? what would u do if you had a life changing condition that turned your life upside down? Thousands of women have to deal with this every day - its called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) 10-15% of females have this condition which can cause many other conditions such as Infertility, Diabetes, Endometrial Cancer, and Heart problems to name but a few. September is PCOS awareness month! Help get the awareness out there ♥

    Photo Credit ~ Cafe Press

    I found this video on you tube, it made me cry. 

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Third times the charm?

    One can only hope! Yesterday was cycle day 1 and even though I was upset, today I have hope, and determination to go through another cycle, and make this one it! We will start our 3rd round of clomid tomorrow, and use an hCG trigger shot this time around. I hope lucky month 15 is it for us, but if it isn't I want to promise myself that I won't let this consume me. I have so much going for me and so much to be grateful for, I can't let trying to conceive rule my life and emotions.

    “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:4-5

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Three years ago today

    A Honeymoon is supposed to be a fun relaxing time that you spend with your new spouse. Our Honeymoon didn't go exactly as we had planned. Three years ago Josue and I went on our honeymoon to the Riviera Maya, Mexico. On August 7th 2008 we went on a tour to Tulum, Mexico to see the ruins but we never made it.  Our tour bus driver fell asleep at the wheel and we crashed. It was scary and unreal. Two people passed and many others were severely hurt. I remember "coming to" hearing Josue call my name. He had been thrown to the back of the bus and I was slammed up against a broken window. We were stuck inside the bus for at least 30 minutes but it felt like an eternity. There was blood everyone and the man behind us couldn't find his wife. I remember feeling numb, but scared. Then a man started yelling "she's going to die" over and over again in reference to his Fiance. Josue calmed him down and we tied off her bleeding leg with a shoe lace.  When help finally came we got out of there and helped others to the ambulance. I had a piece of glass removed from my leg but other than bumps, bruises, and scrapes we were ok. Josue was amazing he helped translate for the people who didn't speak Spanish. He was there for me because I was shaking and crying. Now looking back it makes me realize what a stong man I married, and much I love him.
    We were  taken back to our hotel and I remember thinking I was going to die because I felt so strange inside I thought I was for sure having internal bleeding. Once the strange feeling subsided and I saw a Doctor I felt a little better. Josue and I were given some muscle relaxers because the whip lash was terrible and I was given some antibiotic for my gash. We tried to use the next few days to relax and heal but it was hard, and we were both so glad to leave.
    When we got home I was different. I was so grateful to be alive and praising God for choosing the seats he did for us. I couldn't imagine losing Josue, or him losing me. But I felt guilty, and sad all the time. I hurt inside and had horrible night terrors. It started to be hard for me to hide my feelings and Josue started to notice. He urged me to talk to him, but always said I was fine. Months went by and I didn't feel any better. I finally saw a Doctor and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Survivors Guilt. I saw a therapist and started to take some medications. It was then I realized I had a problem, and needed to work through it. In all honesty I think what helped me the most was opening up about the accident. I started by telling God, then Josue and my Mom,  I went further and explained how I felt to my friends. Being open about my feelings helped me tremendously. I would never be able to explain the accident if it hadn't been for my healing. I have so much gratitude and feel so blessed now, and when I think of this day three years ago I can't smile, but I can feel good about God's choice to keep me and my husband alive. I'm still afraid of buses, and I'm not sure if I will ever like them or feel completley safe on one, but I've ridden one and I'm ok. 

                                                                         After the accident

    He is always there for me to lean on

    The Newspaper article


    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    How times have changed

    I used this website to find the most popular words on my blog a couple years ago, and then tried it today just  for fun. Wow, have my words changed :)

    Here is what is looked like a couple years ago

    Wordle: love

    And this month

    Wordle: TTC

    (sorry you have to click on them to make them bigger not sure why)

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Low Carb Double Chocolate Brownies

    This recipe comes from my Uncle's blog Healthy Fellow. It is seriously DELICIOUS! & HEALTHY!! I just had to share.

    This brownie recipe doesn’t taste like a stereotypical health food brownie. You’d never know that it’s dairy free, gluten free and low in carbohydrates. That’s part of the fun of making this type of treat. You can share it with the people you care about and later inform them that they unknowingly ate something that was actually nutritious. This even works with kids. Or, you can keep it your own little secret.

    In order to transform a conventional, refined grain and sugar laden brownie into something genuinely health promoting, you’ll need to swap out several ingredients. Start by ditching the wheat flour in favor of almond meal. Instead of using a milk chocolate base, opt for non-alkalized, organic cocoa powder. Next, skip the butter by using full fat, organic coconut milk. Finally, employ an all natural sugar substitute in place of caloric sweeteners such as agave syrup, evaporated cane sugar and honey.

    Unrefined cocoa provides an excellent source of antioxidants, dietary fiber and magnesium. Study after study indicates that this form of dark chocolate supports a healthy cardiovascular system via improvements in circulation, inflammation, lipid levels and oxidative stress status. But, the key to accessing these health benefits is to select cocoa products that haven’t been “mellowed” using a process known as alkalinization or Dutching. Valuable antioxidants including catechins and procyanidins are lost during this common processing technique. Be sure to check labels before buying your cocoa ingredients. (1,2,3)

    The rationale for replacing butter or cream with organic coconut milk is found squarely in the scientific literature. Recent studies reveal that coconut milk and oil may: a) elevate HDL (“good”) cholesterol and reduce waist circumference in women; b) lower oxidative stress in the energy producing portion of heart cells or mitochondria; c) offer protection against liver and ulcer damage in experimental animal models. (4,5,6,7,8)

    Healthy Fellow Double Chocolate Brownies

    1 cup almond flour/meal

    1 cup organic coconut milk

    3/4 cup Truvia (stevia blend)

    1/2 cup organic cocoa powder

    4 large organic, omega-3 eggs

    3 Tbs 60% semisweet chocolate chips

    1 Tbs organic apple cider vinegar

    2 tsp organic vanilla extract

    1 tsp baking powder

    1/2 tsp sea salt

    1/4 tsp organic instant coffee

    Nutritional Content: Calories: 110. Protein: 4 grams. Fat: 9 grams. Fiber: 2 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 3 grams. Based on a serving size of one brownie. There are 16 brownies per batch.

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Sift the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, cocoa and coffee powder, sea salt and stevia) into a large bowl. Stir well before adding the wet components (apple cider vinegar, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla). Use an electric mixer to blend the ingredients until completely smooth. Grease a 9″ x 9″ pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the brownie batter. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Start checking for doneness at the 25 minute mark. I always use a wooden toothpick as a guide – poke it in the center of the brownie pan, if it comes out reasonably clean it’s time to take the pan out of the oven. We like our brownies a little “gooey”. I suggest refrigerating any leftovers you may have.

    Saturday, July 30, 2011

    Cycle Day 3 Bloodwork

    Yesterday I had Cycle day 3 bloodwork done. Most of my numbers actually looked pretty dam good! The only issue is my LH (Luetenizing Hormone) is a little bit higher than it should be. That is normal with PCOS, and totally explains why my OPKs (Ovulation Predictor Tests) get a faint line EVERY time a take a test! I also had my regular lab work done at the same time. I am very happy to report that my new even healthier lifestyle decreased my cholesterol by 22 points, just in one year!!

    I'm going to post my results I'm pretty sure I understand them, and know what they mean, but if anyone has any insight please let me know!!

    CD 3 Lab Results.

    FSH               5.4
     LH                  9.3
    Estradiol     <20  
    Progesterone  0.4
    Prolactin      17.7

    Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Day 3 3-20 mIU/ml FSH is often used as a gauge of ovarian reserve. In general, under 6 is excellent, 6-9 is good, 9-10 fair, 10-13 diminished reserve, 13+ very hard to stimulate. In PCOS testing, the LH:FSH ratio may be used in the diagnosis. The ratio is usually close to 1:1, but if the LH is higher, it is one possible indication of PCOS.

    Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Day 3 < 7 mIU/ml A normal LH level is similar to FSH. An LH that is higher than FSH is one indication of PCOS.

    Estradiol (E2) Day 3 25-75 pg/ml Levels on the lower end tend to be better for stimulating. Abnormally high levels on day 3 may indicate existence of a functional cyst or diminished ovarian reserve.

    Prolactin Day 3 < 24 ng/ml Increased prolactin levels can interfere with ovulation. They may also indicate further testing (MRI) should be done to check for a pituitary tumor. Some women with PCOS also have hyperprolactinemia.

    Progesterone (P4) Day 3 < 1.5 ng/ml Often called the follicular phase level. An elevated level may indicate a lower pregnancy rate. If low progesterone levels are an issue for you, consider taking a natural fertility supplement like FertilAid for Women.

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    Josue's 28th Birthday Celebrations!

    Josue turned 28 on July 21st! But he had a whole week of celebrations. We started with a family BBQ to celebrate his birthday along with cousin Erik's 19th bday. Then on his actual birthday we went to one of his favorite restaurants PF Changs along with his Mom & Brother Elliot. Then on the weekend we went out with best friends Temo & Cecia. Benihana's and downtown Long Beach, we had a blast! I hope my husband had a great birthday! I sure had fun celebrating with him :)

    Josue got a grill and all the needed accessories, an Omaha steak GC, a hitch & hitch cover, and an iPod touch! He is one lucky guy!

    Round Two

    So here goes a second round, I start 100mg of Clomid tonight. I'm trying to stay positive, and be hopeful! Has anyone taken clomid before and then used estrogen? My Doctor prescribed me Estrogen to take after the 5 days of Clomid. I haven't heard of this before so just wondering if anyone else has had success with it.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Things I love right now

    I read this blog Making it Lovely and every once in awhile she makes an Honor Roll post with some of her favorite things so I decided to make one too :)

    1.) The look of my new blog, if you're on reader you might not see it but I've made some changes around here that I love. Plus I have this new found love for blogging since it is another outlet to vent, inspire, or whatever I want.

    2.) The smell of fresh laundry. This product makes my sheets smell awesome! I really like Lavendar one.

    3.) Summer TV 

     4.) I have an obssesion of looking for things with stars.

    5.)  My iPad 2  I love playing with apps when I'm bored or Facetiming with my Mom when  I miss her.

    6.) My new Tom's Shoes 


    8.) Shave it Nation. It is this Hawaiian Shaved Ice place it isn't that close to the house but totally worth the drive. They even have yummy sugar free flavors. 


    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    First round of Clomid was a....


    Not even a BFN, just a big fat fricken FAIL!!! Had my U/S today that showed no ovulation and no follicular growth. So I'm starting prometrium again tonight and starting over. My Doctor has increased my Clomid dose this time and at the advice of a friend I think we are going to up my Metformin as well. Plus I plan to include eating low carb and try to exercising more. I knew I shouldn't have let my hopes get so high, I totally thought he was going to surprise me today and be like your 4 days pregnant! I'm trying to just focus on the next cycle and stay positive, but honestly it's tough!

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    White Chicken & Potato Pizza

    This is adapted from a recipe that my Mom made up. It's a family favorite, and a must try!

    I have used many different pizza dough recipes but this one is my favorite. But using any pre-made dough is totally fine too. In fact the original recipe from my Mom is made with a Boboli Pizza Crust.

    Pizza Toppings you will need;

    Grilled & Sliced Chicken Breast (seasoned with Italian seasonings & garlic)

    When grilling your chicken you can add some sliced purple onions if you'd like

    Lite Alouette Garlic and Herb

    Most of the time I also put some pesto in with the spread or while grilling the chicken

    4 Red Potatoes Cooked and sliced (you can quickly cook them in the microwave and add a little garlic salt)

    Mozzarella Cheese Shredded

    Optionally you can add some fresh mozzarella which it makes it extra yummy!


    Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees

    After you roll your dough out on your greased stone spread the Alouette & pesto evenly

    Place the sliced chicken, onions, and chicken all over the pizza. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese, and add the fresh mozzarella if you wish.

    Put it in the oven for about 20 mins

    This one is made with a Fresh and Easy pre-made dough

    This one is made with Pioneer Woman's pizza dough recipe

    Enjoy :)

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Keeping it Real

    Sex and Trying to conceive a child can sometimes become tedious, or so I've heard. Not to get too personal, but so far making a baby hasn't become a chore yet in this house.

    Josue and I's schedules clash so sometimes we like to plan dates, I think the dates really help our sex life and relationship in general. Planning the dates for each other are fun and we really connect while on them. So I'm throwing out a couple of our fav "date nights" in hopes that others will start dating their husbands too. (if you do already, great! maybe some of these will be fun new ideas to try)

    I'm sorry if some of these ideas are So-Cal related, but a lot of them can be applied anywhere.

    Also a disclaimer some of these are full of cheesetasticness. But hey a little cheese never hurt any one's relationship :)

    Dinner & A Movie, a twist on a classic

    Plain old dinner and a movie can be a great escape from reality and a fun date, but Josue and I like to turn it up a notch. We found the little gem of Vineland Drive-In a few years ago and have gone back many times. You can see two movies for eight dollars, and you can bring in your own food! Sometimes we bring in Little Ceasers, we make a picnic, or a full blown dinner. Whatever we do we have fun, plus we can talk during the movie and no one will shush us ;) If you have a SUV or truck and you're brave you can always make it Dinner, Sex and a Movie.

    Another place we've just come across is Gold Class Cinemas.

    We've only been once since at 22/ticket plus food this place can get pricey, but for a true date night it is a must try! This place is like a hotel, with a check-in, concierge, and lounge. You can order your dinner, and a server will bring it to your movie seat. You can order a "real" drink at the lounge and even appetizers before hand. Cold, want a refill or dessert? Just push the light on your table and your server will be right over. The seats are situated well so you don't even notice the servers, and when we went there were no children which made for a nice experience.

    Outdoor Activites

    One of our favorite outings are the ones during the day time where we can be out, maybe get a little exercise and bonus if we can bring our dog Bentley.

    We love the Long Beach Farmer's market, it is a rare treat since usually one of us is working, but when we get a chance to go we take it! We walk Bentley up and down the aisles and pick up lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

    We also really like riding our bikes (teaching Bentley to tag along is out next goal) sometimes we take them to the beach and pack a picnic. Other times we just ride around our neighborhood for short trips.

    We even make our dog park trips fun. Most of the time Josue or I take Bentley on our own while the other one is at work. But once in a while we pack some sandwiches or grill some burgers and head to the park with B-Man. We sit a bench by the lake and give Bent some food. It is nice to just talk and eat with the breeze. After a nice walk we give Bentley some time with the other dogs. He seriously has a blast. I'm not sure why but when Josue and I go together it almost seems like he has more fun. Seeing him happy gives us great joy.

    Theme Parks

    A self expalnitory section, but if you have a theme park near you and you have an extra day with your guy go live a little. Every year we get annual passes to a different near by park. And since we have so many it makes it easy for us. It cuts down your costs too. This year we have Universal, and last we had Disneyland so it is fun to go to a new place each year.

    Double Dates

    We have a few friends that are couples that we like hanging out with, Johnny and Kristal, Yeimy & Ronald, Kristel & Jason, any couple from TKN, the list goes on and on. But there is this couple (Temo & Cecia) that we seem to click with and hang out with the most. Josue works with Temo and Cecia and I just hit it off. We have a lot in common even though they aren't ready for marriage and babies just yet. Bowling has been our favorite activity. If you have a bowling place near you I highly suggest it. We order drinks, get competive, it's great! We've also gone roller skaitng, ice skating, and gone to theme parks together. We love going on double dates with them, we do things with them that we wouldn't have tried on our own and vice versa. Our favorite dinner spot is Benihana. Have you ever been to a teppan cooking place? If not put it on your list of things to try, it is so yummy! We also have fun traveling with them we've gone on Vegas trips, to Big Bear, even Maui with them and they are fun travel partners. Anyway I guess the point of this was to try double dating. It may seem like your back in high school, but it can be fun and open up your eyes to things, or discuss topics that would never be brought up with just you and your spouse.


    This one is definetly not Josue's favorite date, but when it is my turn to pick he has to abide :) He isn't a brat about it so I love him for that. Church can be a nice time for the two of you to connect to God and eachother.

    Weekend Getaways

    OK now this one can be extravagant or not. Josue and I try to go away at least 4x year. I'm sure this will change when baby comes but for now we like the little escapes. We get to forget about reality and just have fun together. Some of our favorite spots are Las Vegas & San Diego. But Camping various places has become a great time too. We also like to one big trip at least once every two years, but I think the little get aways are important. Especially when going through something so emotionally draining such as TTC. I even give my self permission to leave the thermometers, and OPKs at home :)

    Staying In

    I realize that based on all the above information it must seem like we spend a lot of money, and yes maybe we do but we like to have fun :)

    That isn't to say that we do it all the time, and that we don't have fun just hanging out at home. Some of the best time we have together are our lazy days at home. We love to cook together and watch a movie on TV. Sometimes after the farmer's market we scour the internet to look for yummy new recipes to make together. Or other times Josue makes me a candle-lit dinner, and I make him a yummy dessert.

    Whatever it may be have fun together, try new things, and enjoy being married!

    Also, I realize that we don't have children and things will change once we do. But for now we like to live it up and hope you can too. I believe that I can still in one way or another Date my Husband once a little miracle comes in to our lives.

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Infertile? ... Update on our Journey

    Inability to conceive; Unable to get pregnant

    Primary infertility describes couples who have never been able to become pregnant after at least 1 year of unprotected sex (intercourse).

    I googled Infertility because I wanted to add a photo to this blog and that definition is what came up (before I hit "images")

    Anyway it struck me because today this defines us. When we first started this journey last July we decided to take it slow, we knew going into this that we would have some struggle but we thought we were prepared. Well now that 12 months have passed, we are each a year older, and we've seen how hard this can be. We've decided to take a more active role in Trying to concieve. Since we started TTC I have only recorded ovulation twice. Dam PCOS!! During one of those ovulation times we got our BFP, but it was short lived. I discussed all this with my OB and we've all decided to start clomid. I had my HSG and except for some cramping it went ok, and my tubes are all clear, yay! Josue still doesn't want to do a SA just yet but he has all the paperwork for when he is ready. I also had my pre-clomid u/s which went well, so I started my prometrium to induce a period and hopefully we will start clomid to induce ovulation in the next day or so.


    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Inositol, Choline and PCOS

    Recently I have been doing a lot of research on my disorder PCOS. Trying to find natural remedies to help with my symptoms. I found this article and many like it that encourage woman to take Inositol and Choline supplements since we have decreased amounts in our systems, and lowered abilty to absorb them. At work recently I was asked to help write a booklet on our new weight management program. We started offering what are called Lipotropic injections to our patients as part of the program. To better explain the injections I wrote the following excerpt as part of the book. I've decided to include it in my blog in case there are any other women with PCOS that are interested.

    Lipotropic nutrients are compounds that promote the flow of fat and bile to and from the liver. In essence the produce a “decongesting” effect on the liver and promote improved liver function and fat metabolism. Lipotropics decreases fat deposits and speeds up the metabolism and the natural removal of fat from the human body. By definition, a lipotropic substance decreases the deposit, or speeds up the removal of fat within the liver (lipo = fat, tropic = stimulate). There are three key amino acids used to make these lipotropic shots are Choline, Methione, and Inositol.

    Choline supports the health of the liver in its processing and excretion of chemical waste products within the body. Moreover, it is required for the transport and metabolism of fats and cholesterol within the body, which is important for the healthy support of the endocrine, cardiovascular and hepatic systems.

    Methione is one of the sulfur-containing amino acids and is important for many bodily functions. It acts as a lipotropic agent to prevent excess fat buildup in the liver and the body, is helpful in relieving or preventing fatigue and may be useful in some cases of allergy because it reduces histamine release.

    Inositol a nutrient belonging to the B vitamin complex is closely associated with choline. It aids in the metabolism of fats and helps reduce blood cholesterol. Inositol participates in the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to control mood and appetite.

    Vitamin B12 is also added to the injection which is essential for helping to form new, healthy cells in the body. It also boosts energy, helping to increase activity levels.

    The different ingredients of the Lipotropic B12 mixtures are known to provide the following attributes:
    • Co-enzymes that are required for proper metabolism of fats, and have the ability to remove fat from the liver
    • energy boost
    • speed up thought process and improve mood
    • building blocks for cell walls
    • essential components for normal cell and brain function
    • help control cholesterol levels and gallstones
    • helps emulsify cholesterol and detoxify amines
    • helps keep healthy skin tone and strong nails
    • promote healthy hair growth, and controlling estrogen levels
    • help with transforming carbohydrates into energy

    Because of the article Rebecca Rice M.S., L.Ac. wrote and others along with my own research, I decided to talk to my Doctor about taking the injections myself. I'm not sure if they will help me get pregnant or not, but it sounds like a great injectable supplement either way so with my Doctor's permission I started taking them.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Yummy ways to keep cool this summer!

    Sugar Free Strawberry Popsicles

    12oz of Diet Lemon Lime Soda
    20 Large Strawberries
    2 cups crushed ice
    10 drops of liquid stevia or more to taste (clear, lemon, or vanilla flavored are good choices)

    Blend all ingredients together well
    Pour into six Popsicle molds

    Makes 6-8

    Rainbow Sherbet Float
    3 Scoops of Fat Free Rainbow Sherbet
    8oz of Sprite Zero
    Put them in a glass and enjoy :)

    Cherry Limeade Freeze

    4 Scoops Lime Sorbet (can be homemade, sugar free, fat free, etc)

    12oz of Sprite Zero

    1oz of grenadine

    (you can also just use Black Cherry Soda)

    Blend together and pour in a glass

    Freeze for a couple hours

    Enjoy :)

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Sugar Free Ice Cream Cake

    I guess it was a couple years ago that I started making the birthday cakes for special occasions in my family. I really enjoy doing it so when I my sister asked me for an ice cream cake this year I was up for the challenge. I wanted to secretly make it sugar free since I am on this new stevia kick. So except for the little pink and yellow chips on top this cake is sugar free. Feel free to use real sugar. But I was pleasantly surprised how yummy this was. :)

    Chocolate Cake

    2 eggs
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup canola oil
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 1/4 cups Splenda No Calorie Sweetener Granular
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1 cup boiling water
    1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, shaved (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350ºF Grease two 9-inch round cake pans

    Combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and add to mixture. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed for two minutes. Stir in boiling water slowly and mix thoroughly. Add shaved chocolate. Pour into pans. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for ten minutes then remove from pans to wire cooling rack. Then put the cakes in plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

    Make the ice cream while the cakes are freezing.

    Ice Cream

    2 cups 2% milk
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup of Splenda or 1 Cup Stevia Extract in the raw or 3 t of powdered Stevia
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon peppermint extract (I bought pure mint extract, but peppermint is easier to find and just as good)
    3 drops green food coloring (optional)
    1 cup shaved pieces of Simply lite milk chocolate bar (trader joes)

    1.In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, Splenda, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the Splenda has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.
    2.Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate shavings. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later place it in the freezer until ready to use. ( you may want to have the cake ready at this point because it is better if the ice cream is soft to 'frost' the cake with it.)


    Ok I'll admit it I didn't make this part I was planning on make fresh whip cream, but I read that it wouldn't freeze well so I used all natural Sugar Free Whipped topping from Whole Foods. However Cool Whip will work just fine.

    Putting the cake together:

    Pull the cakes out of the freezer and place the bottom layer on your serving dish or on a plate. make sure the top is flat. "Frost" the cake with a very thick layer of soft (but not liquidy) ice cream. Put top layer of cake on top of the ice cream and wrap with plastic wrap. Put in the freezer until an hour or so until you are going to be serving it. When you are ready to frost the cake with the whipped topping do so. For fun you can add some sprinkles or maybe some more chocolate shavings. Place back into the freezer until you are ready to eat.

    Enjoy :)

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    HMO vs PPO and Infertility

    As long as I can remember I've had an HMO. I had a PPO as a kid, but I don't really know much about it. Once we started TTC we looked into our pregnancy/baby benefits with Aetna HMO. We thought it sounded great, it was only going to cost 250.00 for the whole pregnancy/delivery. I was very content even though Claim Jumper had just bumped up our insurance cost 300.00 dollars a month.

    Then last month we were told that the Landry's Company (the owners of the Restaurant where J works) were switching us all to United Health Care PPO (only). I was worried that we were going to have to spend so much more money, I always thought PPO's were for rich people, and we are far from rich. I love my HMO doctor, so I had no interest in a PPO "so I could pick any doctor" The HMO of course wouldn't pay for any infertility testing or procedures but neither will my new PPO. I seriously couldn't find one good thing about this new insurance. It is costing us 100.00 more per month, we have a huge out of pocket yearly max, and a deductible that isn't cheap! After looking into our new benefits I freaked out! It is going to cost us 3,000 dollars to have a baby! and even more if we need a c-section.

    Once I got over the fact that this is what we have, and we're just going to have to take it. I also tried to be grateful that we have insurance at all. I know so many people that just go without it. I talked to friends about it and got some good information. My Boss and some others even convinced me that a PPO will be good for us because I can go to any hospital, and in emergency situations you get much better care. Sad but true.

    Anyway there is a good point to my long story. I work at a whole health medical clinic. Kinda like in the show Private Practice. We have a GP, an OB/GYN, and an RD,  we even are starting a preventative weight loss program.  It is a great working environment, and I am constantly learning. After work last week my Boss and I were discussing my new insurance predicament. She told me that I can see our OB/GYN if I wanted to. I felt a little awkward at first but he is so awesome that you just immediately feel comfortable with him. He told me that if I wanted to he would be more than happy to help Jand I get pregnant. I could be his patient and he wouldn't charge me, he would just bill to the insurance. If we choose to have him deliver our baby we get to deliver at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, which I hear is very nice :) How amazing is this!? This would never even be a possibilty if I still had the HMO. It's funny how God works in this way sometimes. You think you want one thing but he tells you that you need the other thing. I realize we may not get pregnant right away but after trying for 11 months I needed some new motivation. This good news is exactly what I needed. When you have your husband poking at your ovaries and asking them to start working and you lose your chance at carrying a baby to term your spirit gets crushed, you need some new found sprirt. I found some recently and I am so grateful.

    So here's hoping for a spring baby!
    Ok So maybe that wasn't the best title it should be more like Daniella ramblings about insurance etc, but I was trying to be catchy.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Home made green enchilada sauce

    Green Enchilada Sauce

    I love making green enchilada casserole, but I used to always use this stuff for my sauce.

    Until one of my best friends Ana taught me how to make the 'real' stuff. It is very simple and makes a huge difference so I thought I'd share :)

    2-3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large onion, minced
    5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    2 green peppers, chopped
    1-2 jalapenos, seeded and membranes unless you want it spicy (you can even use a Serrano for some real spice!)
    1 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husked and quartered
    1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
    1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
    1/8 tsp. black pepper
    4 c. chicken broth

    In a large saucepan or stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until tender and fragrant.

    While onions are sauteing, combine tomatillos, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro in your blender. Process until smooth; you may have to do it in batches and/or add some chicken broth to make things blendable.

    Pour the tomatillo mixture over the onions and garlic and add chicken broth, salt & pepper. Simmer 15 minutes-1 hour, depending on the consistency you want. I usually turn the heat to high and boil it uncovered until I reach the consistency I want; it makes things go a lot faster. The sauce can also be simmered in a slow cooker all day.

    Serve over tacos, as an enchilada sauce, inside burritos, or as a dip for chips.

    When using as a dip for chips I love adding the sauce to the blender with some salt and a few avocados. Seriously best dip ever!!