Friday, July 30, 2010

Update on my 101 in 1001 Days

So considering I only have 11 months to get these all done, I thought I'd update you all on my progress of my 101 in 1001 days list. Items in red are completed.  Items in blue are just a missed opportunity.

Joann’s 101 Things in 1001 Days
October 1, 2008 to June 29th, 2011 (8 days past my 30th bday)
July 30, 2010

1. Organize and clean out every closet in my house. 3/5
2. Paint the bathroom (next weekend) and kitchen.
3. Finish my wedding/honeymoon scrapbooks.
4. Make at least 3 pieces of beaded jewelry.
5. Establish a savings account of at least $3000. 2000/3000
6. Celebrate my 3 year anniversary. 2/3
7. Pay off at least one student loan.
8. Visit Pittsburgh at least once a year. 3/3
9. Go to my 10 year high school reunion.
10. Take a midnight walk on the beach with Shawn.
11. Be 75% complete towards graduation.
12. Keep my front yard with flowers and weeded for an entire summer. (does half count?  we didn't plant until July)
13. Pay off my credit card.
14. Lose at least 50 pounds.
15. Participate in a walk for a cause.
16. Go see two Dave Matthews’ concerts in different cities on the same tour. (Columbus and Pittsburgh)
17. Visit at least 3 states I have not yet been to. (1/3)
18. Send out Christmas cards.
19. Take at least 25 photos of Shawn and I.
20. Get braces. Invisalign November 2009
21. Get Lasix eye surgery.
22. Go to a restaurant and order a merlot.
23. Get a massage. (I have a gift card for one I just haven't gone yet!)
24. Go on vacation with my mom.
25. Visit my aunt and cousin in FL.
26. Party with my cousins in Pittsburgh.
27. Get the rest of stuff out of my dad’s house.
28. Finish the garage.
29. Finish one badge album on Pogo.
30. Buy an expensive pair of shoes.
31. Try one new recipe a month.
32. Eat an entirely vegetarian meal.
33. Eat at a gourmet restaurant. I'm counting the Burgandy Room.
34. Go see a show in Vegas. Beatles Love!
35. Go to NY to see a broadway play.
36. Visit Lake Erie and actually see the lake.
37. Go whale watching.
38. Go to Washington DC and see all the monuments.
39. Take a tour of Europe.
40. Have a baby. Definitely working on this one!
41. Refinish the hutch
42. Learn how to sew again.
43. Cook dinner for Shawn’s parents.
44. Have a picnic at our house
45. Get a deck and fence.
46. Cook a turkey and all the fixin’s by myself.
47. Bake Christmas cookies for everyone.
48. Start Christmas shopping in July once.
49. Go on a hike at a park.
50. Eat dinner with the good china.
51. Get Shawn drunk.
52. Let things go more easily. I'm counting therapy!
53. Hang up more pictures in my house.
54. Stay off the internet for an entire week at home.
55. Read at least 4 non-school books a year, each year. (2/3)
56. Spend less $$ on groceries.
57. Buy an antique. Depression glass!
58. Spend more time outside.
59. Go get my makeup done for a special occasion.
60. Write a letter to a friend.
61. Go an entire month with no pop.
62. Write a poem.
63. Take a class that has nothing to do with my major, just for fun.
64. Volunteer for something.
65. Go on a girls only roadtrip.
66. Be on tv.
67. Watch a black and white movie.
68. Go golfing.
69. Go to a Steeler Game.
70. Have Matt over for a visit.
71. Post a video on You Tube.
72. Get in shape.
73. Kiss in the rain.
74. Throw someone a surprise party.
75. Have a Halloween party.
76. Go on a picnic.
77. Drink ale at an Irish Pub.
78. Write an entire notebook for one class in blue ink. Guys, I'm wierd ok, I only use black ink.
79. Visit a factory and take a tour.
80. Have dinner in the Short North.
81. Go to an Amish restaurant.
82. Go an entire day without speaking.
83. Go three different churches that are different denominations.
84. Establish a cleaning regimen (change sheets @ exactly one week, etc). Almost there on this one!
85. Read a financial blog every day for a week.
86. Buy stock in something.
87. Do yoga once.
88. Go on a wine tasting. (gonna be cutting these two close with breastfeeding)
89. Go on a beer tasting.
90. Drink a flavored coffee.
91. Pack my lunch for an entire month. No fast food.
92. Go to three festivals (ren fest, pumpkin fest, etc).
93. Drink hot apple cidar around a camp fire.
94. Build a snowman in my yard.
95. Take Shawn to Wrigley Field.
96. Learn how to use a camera properly.  This weekend!
97. Maintain at least a 3.0 average.
98. Update my blog regularly.
99. Get a facial.
100. Make Shawn breakfast in bed.
101. Watch all the Best Picture winning movies since I was born. (18/21)
1981 - Chariots of Fire
1982 - Gandhi
1983 - Terms of Endearment
1984 - Amadeus
1985 - Out of Africa
1986 - Platoon
1987 - The Last Emperor
1988 - Rain Man
1989 - Driving Miss Daisy
1990 - Dances With Wolves
1991 - Silence of the Lambs
1992 - Unforgiven
1993 - Schindler's List
1994 - Forrest Gump
1995 - Braveheart
1996 - The English Patient
1997 - Titanic
1998 - Shakespeare in Love
1999 - American Beauty
2000 - Gladiator
2001 - A Beautiful Mind
2002 - Chicago
2003 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004 - Million Dollar Baby
2005 - Crash
2006 - The Departed
2007 - No Country For Old Men
2008 - Slumdog Millionaire
2009 - The Hurt Locker

Now, for the statistics.

I've only completed 28.5 items.  I have two items that can never be completed now.  That's 28.5/99 which is roughly 29%.  I suck.  I'm going to have to attack this full force in the next 11 months.  I should at least be able to get to 50%, don't you think?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Therapy. File this one under #thingsthatscaretheshitoutofme. Heh, try to tweet that hashtag.

The reason I'm afraid of therapy is at the ripe young age of 18, when I was a freshman in college the first time, I was depressed. I was commuting to school, which meant that already shy me made NO friends what-so-ever. My friends that I did have were all spread out and "away" at college or living in the dorms at my school and I totally did not fit in. I started failing my classes and just being generally miserable all around. I went to my academic advisor and spoke with her about not doing well in any of my classes and she said that I should go to the counseling center and speak with one of the counselors there and that I should withdraw from all of my classes that semester.

I went to the counseling center, met the counselor, she gave me the suicide test (I guess I passed ), poured my heart out to this woman, told her everything that had been bothering me and she looked at me and said, “What do you want from me?” and I said, “I guess I need to to sign a form so I can withdraw” and she said, “You don’t need my signature for that you can do it at the registrar.”

So for the past 10 years, I’ve faced battling with depression a few times, un-medicated and untreated. It’s probably caused me some trouble that I didn’t need, but hey everything is a learning experience right?

However, faced with all of these infertility issues, as well as some other stuff that I haven’t ever dealt with properly, I finally bit the bullet and faced my fears and went to the faculty and staff assistance counselor.

She listened to me and was caring, and asked what I wanted to get out of our session. I wanted to get over my fear of therapy. She said I should see someone just to bounce ideas off of. Translation: yep, you’re crazy, go seek help. So I am. I have my first session tonight and I’m a little nervous. I hope I don’t end up locked up.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Are you there?

I know that I'm getting back on the blogging horse, but is anyone out there reading any of this?  Please leave me a comment even if it just says hi.  I will still keep talking to the empty universe if I don't get any, but it will just boost my ego and make me feel better if I get a comment.  :)

This week has been extremely rough, culminating on Monday, when I found out my 5th cycle of fertility meds was a failure.  Next month the plan is to take Femara, but pretty much go unmonitored, and give all of you who say "it'll happen when you least expect it" a chance to be proven right.  I'm sorry I don't have much faith in you, I'd rather see the follicles growing and know that they are going to release eggs.  I'm going to give it a shot though.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Several months to a year ago I watched the documentaries, King Corn and Food Inc. and since then I've read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food and also Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger.  I also read a ton a food blogs every day.  Watching/reading those movies and books has made me more conscious of the things I put into my mouth.  I currently am trying to completely eliminate high fructose corn syrup from everything I eat, eat less processed foods, eat more local food, and eat grass fed beef and pasture raised chickens/eggs.  It's a hard process when so much of that crap is in everything we eat.  It requires spending a little bit more time and money to seek out better quality ingredients and make some things from scratch.  I don't mind doing this though because I like to cook and I know that taking these steps is going to make me healthier.  I feel like doing this can only aid my chances with conception and just overall feeling better.  I guess that I just feel like it sucks that no one understands this because everyone is just so used to eating there McDonalds and drinking their Coke and not worring about what toll that is taking on their bodies and the economy.  I hate having to justify the things that I put into my mouth when they are actually healthy instead of just crap.  Does this mean I will never eat another Quarter pounder with cheese ever again?  No.  Certainly not.  It just means that I'm going to TRY to make better, healthy changes for myself. 

Quick Recipe:

Chicken-Cheese-Jalepeno Poppers

6-8 jalepenos halved and seeded
12 strips of bacon cut in half
1 chicken breast cut into 6-8 1 inch chunks (to fit in jalepeno)
Monteray jack cheese (either shredded or cut into long cubes to fit in pepper)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
3. Assemble peppers by placing cheese inside the pepper half, then a piece of chicken, then wrap the entire pepper with half of a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
4. Bake 350 for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven until bacon and chicken are completely cooked through.
5. Enjoy! (preferably with a refreshing cocktail, they are spicy!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

20 Minute Chili

Here's my first posted primal recipe! The recipe is for a quick bean-less chili that we actually used to make coney dogs with.  It was supper yummy and I am not much of a chili lover! I didn't take pictures because I was in a hurry, but next time, pictures I promise.  Here is my version of the recipe from Mark's Daily Apple which is a blog by the author of The Primal Blueprint.  You can find it here.

1.5 lbs of grass fed ground beef
1 small onion diced or chopped (I dice mine small because I don't like to bite into chunks of onion.)
1 can of diced tomatoes (or you could dice up a couple fresh)
1 small can of tomato paste
1 jalapeno (diced finely)
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
optional: crushed garlic, hot sauce for spicier chili
(I suppose you could even add a dash of cinnamon if you wanted it Cincinnati style.)

Here's what I did:  Brown the ground meat add salt and pepper at the end of browning.
While meat is browning, in a large pot combine all of the remaining ingredients on medium low.  Add browned ground beef and simmer for 20-25 minutes (or however long you'd like basically) stirring occassionally.  Top with cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, tortilla chips (of course then it wouldn't be primal), or whatever else you like on your chili.  Eat and say, "Yum!". 

If you wanted to you could make it chipotle chili by substituting in chipotle in adobo instead of the jalapeno.  If you are a bean freak then you could add beans and just cook longer I would imagine.  As is, it's quick and would be great for a party!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I don't know if I have the energy today to write an entire post on one topic. 


I want my car back.  I was in an accident on June 3rd.  It's July 13th...still no car.  If it was going to take that long to fix, they should've just totaled it.  Really.

I went to my faculty/staff assistance appointment and I think I'm going to continue with therapy for a bit until this infertility stuff is over.

Today, I'm beginning my movement towards eating primal. I went to taco bell last night as one last time to fill my body with crap, and it was the worst taco bell I've ever eaten in my entire life.  Makes it easy to make the change.  Reading The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan definitely helped sway my decision.  I still need to read A Primal Blueprint, but I'm waiting until it becomes available as an e-book.  There are plenty of great websites as resources for now.  Two of my favorites so far are: Mark's Daily Apple and Primal Matriarch.  I probably am going to use this blog for now to post an occasional recipe or story involving this.  Just an FYI. 

I am exhaused.  I hope it's for a good reason.

That is all for now....

Friday, July 09, 2010


This post is inspired by Uncle Crappy's post today because my story is ironically opposite his and today I just so happened to be going back to Pittsburgh this evening to visit.

This is Port Vue, Pennsylvania.  For short, Pittsburgh.  It's also Mr. Squeegy's Window Cleaning service area.  Thanks Mr. Squeegy for providing me with an appropriate map image. It's where I lived for the first 21 years of my life and it will always be a part of me.  From where I live right now, it's about 3.5 hours to the east.


This is Cincinnati, OH.  I moved there when I left Pittsburgh, to a little village on the west side known as Cleves.  When I would tell people from back at home where I lived, they all thought I had moved to Cleveland.  Really, why would I move to Cleveland? I got my associates degree here, got my first job as a Medical Lab Tech here, and I met my husband here.  But he lived in...


Columbus, Ohio.  So after 3 years in Cinci, I moved to Columbus.  In hindsight, probably not the smartest idea moving in with someone who had only had long distance relationships and had never lived with a girl, but hey look at that, we made it work.  This city is where I live, work, play, got hooked on OSU sports (as much as I resisted the process), got married, built my first home, and will hopefully have my first child.

I love living in Columbus, because I'm only an hour and half away from my mom in Cinci, and 3 or so hours from my friends/family in the 'burgh and everything I love is here now.  I am 100% Pittsburgh, I bleed black and gold, and I will always love it there...but as they can never go home. 

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The One That I Tell You Too Much

I'm going to pretend that I actually have a reader left and assume you've also been reading my occasional tweets and maybe you even know me IRL and have seen my facebook.  I think I may have even explained PCOS once or twice here on this very blog.  If this is the case, then you know that I'm going through a bit of a battle with the goddess of fertility. 

Here's the basic jist of how things go once I figured out I just couldn't get drunk and laid and knocked up one crazy night:
  • I know I can't get pregnant normal, so as soon as we are married, I/we stop using all protection (for a little under 2 years) 
  • I found a good doc who just so happens to be located 1.5 hours away in Cincinnati.  A pain in the ass, but worth it if all this works.
  • The doctor put me on a treatment for the PCOS, diet, exercise, and Metformin.  Metformin is a diabetes drug, and I've actually had to fend off the CareAllies of my insurance company with a stick to prove to them I'm not actually a diabetic.  Yet.  She (in this case) hoped that I would get a regular cycle back with the Metformin. 
  • When my cycle didn't come back normally, she asked me if I wanted to have kids.  I debated it with my husband and we decided to go ahead and do the regular genetic testing that everyone gets done but wait until summer to start trying with fertility meds.
  • Around Thanksgiving, I decided I didn't want to wait that long, I wanted to get the show on the road.  My step-sister finds out she is 20, not married and pregnant.
  • I try to see a ob/gyn up here but she tells me a week before I'm ready to start Clomid that I can't start it because my testosterone is too high.  See definition for PCOS.
  • In March, I start my first round of low dose 50 mg Clomid. I start peeing on sticks relgiously.  I get a cycle day 14 ultrasound.  I have one follicle greater than 20mm(going to ovulate).  I pee on another stick.  It's negative.
  • In April, I try 100mg of Clomid, hoping to produce two follicles.  I produce none.  I am crushed.
  • I make my husband get tested.  He is normal.  Of course.
  • In May, I switch to a different drug Femara 7.5mg, a pretty high dose. I have two follicles and decide to do an HCG trigger shot and intrauterine insemination (IUI). It's negative.
  • I have an HSG test done to make sure my fallopian tubes are open.  They are.
  • In June, I stay with the same dose, just went for my CD14 ultrasound yesterday and I have two follicles.  My second IUI is tomorrow. *fingers crossed*
I guess I just grossly underestimated how HARD this was going to be.  There is so much to think about, test, explain, and be concerned with.  And there are so many people to get annoyed with when they say, it will happen when you least expect it....or it will happen when you stop trying.  That could very well be the case, but I don't know about you, I get EXHAUSED just reading all of those bullet points.  Trying living the life people. Really. 

I'm sure that I'm learning valuable lessons in this situation, but I just feel like I'm falling and no one is going to be there to catch me.  This on top of the everyday stressors is about enough to make anyone crack, and do you want to know the best part?  I'm not supposed to DRINK.  Seriously? How do they expect me to get through all of this unmedicated?  Argh.  So please forgive me if my blogs or tweets are just way TMI.  I need an outlet and Internet, you've never failed me yet.

I wish I knew of a better way to navigate the infertility jungle, but right now, I'm just clinging to a vine and trying to stay positive and not fall off. 

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The One Millionth Return to Blogging

Over the past month, I've probably thought of at least 10 blog posts in my head.  As you can see they never made it here.  I find it funny that I tell myself no one wants to read another blog like this one, because I am boring and who really wants to hear my random ramblings, but then I thought, those are the blogs I like the most.  I have a lot of stuff going on right now, wrecked the car, trying to make a baby, dealing with turning 30, same old issues with work and family.  I figured I probably should at least have some place that I can put down my thoughts, even if they are mean, honest, and boring.  I also have been reading a lot about food, cooking, and primal eating and so I thought I might document my descent into that world as well as recipes and such.  Here goes nothing!