June 16th

It was three years ago on June 16th that I conceived my BG upon my 6th IUI (intrauterine insemination). It was a “hail mary” attempt, as I had not planned to have an IUI that cycle. According to my RE, I had cysts on my ovaries and likely wouldn’t ovulate anyway (due to massive amounts of fertility drugs–I’m talking 400iu of Gonal-F, which is an IVF dose). But I decided to go see my OBGYN, Dr. Angel, and have him take a look mid-cycle to see what I was dealing with. And what we saw was one perfect follicle (no cysts) getting ready to ovulate.

And this fire was LIT inside me, that I had to try this month after all. I didn’t think it would work–truly I didn’t–but I could not stand the thought of not trying.

Of course Mr. MLACS was 3,000 miles away working. So I did the only sensible thing–I told him to ditch work and bring his ass home to impregnate me. I was 110% serious. He offered to fly me to him but that would have cost like $2,000 and I said I would rather put that money toward IVF (because again, I did not think this was going to work). We argued. We fought. We both cried.

I had another option, but I didn’t want to consider it. I had a vile of frozen sperm “on file” at the RE’s office. But he. (the RE) was such a f*cking pompous prick to us after our 5th IUI, that I did not ever want to set foot in his office again. However, my desire to “try” this cycle trumped my desire to punch the RE in his face. So without monitoring, I simply waited until I got a “smiley face” on the CBD ovulation predictor–this happened on a Sunday. And first thing Monday morning I called the RE’s office and “ordered” my husband’s thawed sperm as one might order a mcmuffin at mcdonald’s. The receptionist balked but offered to check with the RE (who was on vacation). And luckily, I was given the “green light” to come in for an IUI at 11am. I was glad the RE wasn’t there and his nurse unceremoniously inseminated me. I didn’t even lay there or put my legs up like I normally would–the moment she left the room I pulled my pants on and got the hell outta there.

During the TWW (two week wait between ovulation and menstruation) I ate what I wanted, exercised vigorously and drank a lot of wine at a wedding–things I wouldn’t normally do after an IUI. This is NOT to say that it worked because I “just stopped trying”–that is bullsh*t and don’t ever suggest that to a couple who is struggling to get pregnant. But it is to demonstrate how little faith I had that I was pregnant. I was sure I wasn’t–every other month I swore I was pregnant but this time I didn’t bother. I was busy researching IVF clinics.

But I actually was pregnant–finally–a year after my 2nd miscarriage and so many infertility drugs and needles and vaginal ultrasounds and fights with Mr. MLACS and worry and TEARS…so many tears…

So June 16th is one of the best days of my life, because that is (without a doubt) the day I conceived my BG.

XOXO,

MLACS

Is Everybody Pregnant?!

From my facebook newsfeed, it would appear that everyone is expecting.

Now pregnancy announcements don’t usually phase me much since I’ve been blessed with my BG. Sometimes I feel a small pang of jealousy, but I never brood over them (like I used to during my RPL and IF days).

I mean, I couldn’t even fathom having another baby until BG was about 18 months old. So why would I be concerned about how others are growing their families? I wasn’t.

But then today…there was a *surprise* pregnancy announcement…

This friend was married maybe a month after Mr. MLACS and I were married. She had two children and said she was done. She even chided me over the summer, “Don’t wait too long to have another one! If you don’t have another by the time BG is three years old then you won’t want to!” For whatever reason, those words stuck with me.

But guess what?!

She’s pregnant with baby #3 and due in August!

Yayyyyyy.

Now that I want to be pregnant but am ill-advised to try until my disease is under control…I felt it. A mixture of panic/confusion/jealousy/melancholy, and most of all–resentment–because it took me by surprise.

I think in IF/RPL, sometimes it feels like we are playing “musical chairs” and there are only so many babies to be awarded–we can’t all ‘win’. And I was in the game, circling, waiting for the music to stop, ready to claim my chair…

And this chick came out of nowhere and snatched MY m*therf*cking chair!

Does anybody feel me? It’s irrational to think and feel this way but I cannot be the only one, right???

In other news, CVS specialty pharmacy is taking their sweetass time getting back to me to arrange payment and delivery of Humira. I’ve called every day for the last 3 days. They made a note in my chart to “expedite”, but clearly no one gives a f*ck that I desperately need this medication. CVS specialty pharmacy gives me attitude and they sound condescending, as though I am being unreasonable to expect to receive my medication within a couple days of ordering it. They keep telling me that the time frame from when they approve the prior authorization to when I receive the medication is normally a week.

But my nurses, both my Humira Nurse and my former “unicorn” GI Nurse, have both said it shouldn’t take that long. So I am going to call CVS specialty pharmacy today and ask for a f*cking manager.

Fuck you, CVS Caremark.

F-U-C-K   Y-O-U!

XOXO,

MLACS

 

It’s Not Fair

Yes, friends, life is not fair. We know this. And my problems are first-world problems. But still…

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired–and in pain.

I have a mouth full of mouth ulcers. Under my tongue. On the inside of my bottom lip. I even get them on my gums. They burn every time I eat something–anything. To keep them at bay and to improve my gum health, I have been using the water flosser with a solution of 1/2 water and 1/2 hydrogen peroxide, every night. My new dentist suggested that, and it has helped. And I rinse with Chlorhexidine gluconate solution. I want to get my gums healthy enough to do invisalign braces (had braces as a tween, teeth are crooked again). But I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to achieve the level of oral health necessary to move forward with invisalign.

Then there is the Rosacea. It’s a constant battle and I’m losing. My face is red and blotchy and I have some acne. I don’t want to use oral meds, ever, because my liver has enough to process already. But the topical stuff isn’t really working these days. I don’t like how it looks but I rarely bother with make up. Sometimes I wonder what people think when they look at me. I don’t look at myself much. I used to be vain.

Then there’s the more serious stuff–my colon is bleeding. My abdomen is swollen and tender. I’m going to the bathroom frequently throughout the day and every time it’s explosive bloody diarrhea. It smells like something died. And I’m sitting on the toilet straining, my hemorrhoids bulging inder the pressure, while my toddler and my dog get in my face–toddler opening all the drawers and playing with her bath toys, while I am practically incapacitated on the toilet. And when each “episode” is over, I go to lay down on the couch. I am depressed/angry/exhausted. And then BG wants to climb on me, or jump on the couch, and all I want is a moment of peace and for my hemorrhoids to stop throbbing. A lot of times I snap at her. All she wants to do is play with me, and in those moments all I want to do is be left alone to soothe myself. Every time I see blood in the toilet it upsets me–it’s an undeniable sign that I am sick.

I’m sick and I have to admit that I’m sick.

I HATE taking big-gun meds and I’ll deal with these symptoms for weeks in hopes of them resolving. But I’m so tired and it hurts and “resting more” is not an option. Mr. MLACS has been working 7 days a week, 14+ hour days (I see him 2 hours per day) and I have a toddler 24/7. So I waved the white flag and left a message for my GI nurse this afternoon, asking to begin Uceris (steroid specifically for UC). Haven’t heard back yet. If they insist on an office visit (so pointless) then that’s a 2hr commute each way. I have seen them 2x in 6 months so I hope they don’t insist I be seen. I wish they would just bill my f*ing insurance without wasting my time and *limited* energy.

There’s more…

I had sex 10 days ago and I tore, and it still burns when I pee. It’s not healing. This might be a symptom of my Lichen Sclerosus or maybe my hormones are still whacky from breastfeeding (maybe I need estrogen cream). It’s frustrating to only rarely feel up to sex. Because I’m sick. Because every time we have it I tear and am in pain for days, wincing when I pee. This time it’s been 10 days so I took a mirror and looked–there is a pea-sized HOLE next to my vagina. A huge, gaping tear. No wonder it hurt as bad as it did after giving birth. I might need stitches. I have to call Dr. Soul’s office in the morning and see about getting in today or tomorrow. It’s a f*cking 50 minute commute each way, but I definitely need to be seen.

People don’t know what my life is like. I got up today and went to spin class. I took BG to the Little Gym for her class. I made lunch. I layed down with BG for nap but didn’t sleep. I went to Walmart. I made dinner. I gave BG her bath. I took a shower. I am able to do all these things, and I AM grateful. But being ill is a burden and it makes everything So. Much. Harder. I struggle to have a “normal” day like this. I cried when I saw the hole in my vagina.

You see, I’ve been saying to Mr. MLACS for days that either I am pregnant, or I am dying. The animals and BG have been super clingy. The dog follows me room-to-room (he never does that). I’ve had vivid, strange dreams. Backaches. Cramping. Some yellow cervical mucus. Feeling dizzy. More hungry than usual. WAY more emotional. And we weren’t even TTC this cycle, if it did happen then it was a long shot, but I haven’t felt like this since I was pregnant/doing fertility treatments.

But I cried tonight after I saw that hole in my vagina. All my “pregnancy” symptoms are just symptoms of my health issues. I’m NOT pregnant and I shouldn’t want to be, given all the issues I have right now. I don’t want to take Uceris (or worse) while pregnant. But yet, I’m sad. And I feel stupid for symptom-spotting (that is some rookie sh*t).

What the f*ck is wrong with me?!

This sh*t is not fair.

XOXO,

MLACS

**I don’t need anyone to tell me they are sorry–I didn’t write this for sympathy. I wrote it because I need to tell my story. Maybe it will help someone else. I hope something good can come from me sharing.

 

Meeting The New OBGYN

I had my first appointment with my *potential* new OBGYN just before Christmas. I didn’t get a referral and I didn’t do a ton of research–I saw this doc’s bio and picture and my gut said he was “the one”. And I decided to trust my gut and wait 3 months for his first available new patient appointment.

As I drove to the office, I actually had to “tap” (EFT tapping) in the car, because I was already nervous and the Christmas traffic was *insane*.

Feeling discombobulated and overwhelmed, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to articulate myself. How do I tell him the saga of “my life as a case study”, but without burying the lead (that I want to prepare to TTC)? Where do I begin? Will there be enough time at the appointment to get it all out? What am I forgetting? What if he HATES me because I’m such a neurotic pain in the ass?!! What if he just doesn’t get it, and I have to do this all over again with someone else??

I felt like I was on my way to some sort of high-stakes blind date… like… I felt like a contestant on “The Bachelor”… that sums it up.

Speaking of which, I felt really self conscious about my appearance–my hair (sort of styled), my outfit (leggings, t-shirt, oversized sweater and beat-up slip on tennis shoes), and of course–my *va-jay-jay*… I wished I had gotten waxed, but I made my best (still half assed) attempt to look presentable. I worried about my chipped and grown-out pedicure, but not enough to actually take the polish off and do my nails *or* find a pair of clean and matching socks in my mountain of unfolded laundry. I didn’t wear make-up to conceal my rosacea and by the time I got to the office my face was beet red. Yeah… all I can say is at least I didn’t smell bad.

I checked in and it didn’t take long–I brought a copy of ALL my medications and supplements (freaking 2 pages) so that was a time-saver. Side note: working in medical offices I noticed old peoples’ caretakers would always come prepared with a list of medications–I am a bit sour that I have to do this at the ripe old age of 37.

My appointment was for 2:50pm and I was required to be there 30 minutes early. Since the check-in didn’t take long, I had to wait awhile to be seen. I tried to stay calm but I could not shake my feelings of fear and anxiety. I was finally called back around 3pm.

The MA looked at my paperwork and then began asking me a ton of questions. I explained my autoimmune diseases to her as well as my medication list, and was satisfied that she knew what she was doing as she nodded her head and kept typing without pause (most MA’s would stop and look confused and need me to spell things for them). This MA seemed unphased–that boosted my confidence.

The main points I discussed with the MA were:

1. I have Ulcerative Colitis, Hypothyroidism, Rosacea, Lichen Sclerosus, and Depression

2. I have hormonal imbalances (too much testosterone, not enough progesterone)

3. I had 2 miscarriages

4. I used fertility treatments and conceived my living child upon my 6th IUI

5. I had a successful pregnancy and birth

6. During pregnancy I used progesterone supplements and heparin

7. I want to TTC again (so I need prescriptions for progesterone & heparin)

8. My Mother and maternal Grandmother both had breast cancer (my Mother died from it at 59) and I’m 37 so I think I need a mammogram?

9. I’m still breastfeeding

10. I want a bunch of blood tests including but not limited to: TSH, AMH, ANA, ALT/AST, and Prolactin

Since I recently switched insurances when Mr. MLACS switched jobs, I also decided to go ahead and have my annual exam (even though I just had one in May on my previous insurance) just to get that out of the way… but also to test out this OBGYN and see if he was gentle or if he gave me the creeps.

The MA said she was unsure if the doctor would talk to me prior to giving my exam or if he would do the exam first and talk afterwards, so she went to check. I was really hoping the doc would agree to talk to me first because I was in no way prepared to greet him half naked with my legs spread. In fact after the MA left the room I gave it some thought and decided I would insist on meeting the doctor first. But to my relief the MA informed me that the doctor wanted to speak to me prior to the exam. I exhaled. And I waited…and when I couldn’t sit any longer I began to pace the room…and I called Mr. MLACS to make sure he was going to be home on-time to relieve the babysitter since this was taking for-ev-er…and I looked out the 4th story window and watched people crossing the parking lot–many heavily pregnant women, women lugging baby carriers, women lugging baby carriers AND toddlers, and some much older women who were beyond childbearing age… and I let my mind wander, wondering what their stories were… until I heard a knock at the door and quickly turned around to see…

Him. The man I had been waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for.

He greeted me warmly and thanked me for waiting (as though I had a choice) and sat down. I didn’t waste any time and just blurted out “Something led me to you–I just moved here and I didn’t have a referral, I just knew you were it.” And that sounded odd, so I followed it up with “I was very close to my previous OBGYN that delivered my baby–he supported me through some hard times”. Which still sounded odd, so I said “Where are you from?” and he is basically a local. And I asked him “So what made you want to be an OBGYN?” And he replied that he prefers treating healthy people and prefers women over men, because men are difficult patients (he was being funny, I laughed) but I pointed out “But *I* am a sick person” and he said well ok sure, but I’m not dying nor am I infectious. I could see his point, although I think I expected him to say something about loving babies. Come to think of it, although Dr. Angel (my previous beloved OBGYN) does love babies, I think I remember him saying he chose to be an OBGYN because it’s so diverse–he gets to treat patients and perform surgeries, etc.

I digress…

So far I had observed that new doc had a warm smile, a cajun-southern accent, and a sense of humor. All good things in my book.

I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but points I discussed with him were basically reiterating what I told the MA. And I asked him some questions:

  1. My previous OBGYN managed my hypothyroid and depression (tested my TSH and gave me refills), would new doc do this? Or could he refer me to a PCP and/or an Endocrinologist?
  2. I definitely need progesterone (told him my numbers–which I have memorized). My insurance covers PIO or oral progesterone. I’ve used Endometrin and Crinone. What does he suggest I do? Will he give me a script today?
  3. Although I don’t have any known clotting disorders and only one red flag (elevated ANA’s) and 2 miscarriages, Dr. Angel had me do Heparin injections and I’d like to do them in any subsequent pregnancy. Ok?
  4. What if I need to see a fertility specialist? Which RE does he recommend?
  5. Since I’m over 35 and officially “AMA”, will he have me see the MFM?
  6. Do I need a mammogram?
  7. Who attends his patients’ labor and deliveries (if not him)?

His answers were:

  1. He’ll manage my hypothyroid/depression for now but he referred me to a PCP clinic closer to where I live and enthusiastically recommended a couple of docs.
  2. He suggested Crinone and said he’d send in a “test” prescription and if it was too costly he could make an appeal to my insurance.
  3. He said he definitely agrees I should use Heparin again–in fact one of his MFM’s uses it on anyone who has had more than one miscarriage because we can only test for *known* clotting disorders, and there are many other factors that can’t be tested. Basically he holds my mantra “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I was SO thrilled to hear this, as I was afraid he would say no.
  4. He said if I need an RE then he has a referral, no problem.
  5. Yes I will see the MFM
  6. They don’t do mammograms while a woman is breastfeeding unless they have a reason (like if I found a lump).
  7. His office is near the hospital and he tries like hell to attend his own patients–hence why I had to wait awhile, because he was delivering a baby. I told him since that is the case, I don’t mind waiting.

I also asked him a sensitive question… what are his thoughts on medical abortion? I am older and I have a higher risk of birth defects. New doc said that if it’s not compatible with life or would cause a very poor quality of life, then je will perform a medical abortion. But if it were something such as Down Syndrome, then he would feel the need to refer me to someone else–no judgement but that’s where his conscience draws the line. And he said it really pisses him off when women use abortion as a form of birth control and have several or more. I was completely satisfied, and even moved, by his genuine answers.

He then proceeded to *ask me* which blood tests I like to have ordered. I really appreciated that. And then he asked me if I had any more questions and waited patiently while I fumbled with my phone to make sure I had checked everything off my list.

And the physical exam was probably the easiest and most painless exam I’ve ever had.

He is THE one.

God and my guardian angels never steer me wrong.

New doc will henceforth be known as “Dr. Soul”. He is the soul of the South. And he is a kindred spirit to me.

No one can replace Dr. Angel, but Dr. Soul is going to take good care of me. I believe.

XOXO,

MLACS

Happy Holidays!

20161205_204437-1

Hey ladies, happy holidays to you!

I think I’ll do bullet points because it’s a clusterf*ck of thoughts:

  1. Despite chronic illness and life struggles, I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
  2. But f*ck, chronic illness is a b*tch. Do you have any idea what it takes to keep me going? My husband had to pick up a *garbage bag* of enemas for me the other day (3 month supply). I take no less than 20 pills per day–mostly medication + some essential (and pricey $$$) supplements. Then I use a medicated foam & a cream on my face. Oh, and mouthwash for my frequent mouth ulcers.
  3. My toddler thinks all this is “normal”. Like all the mommies have to take their medicines 20 minutes after breakfast and before bed, every day. Besides being frustrated that I have to go to great lengths to maintain fair/poor health, I am also disappointed that my daughter has to witness my struggle.
  4. While my health is always teeter-tottering between stable/crisis, BG’s health is outstanding! I do feel like I can take some credit for that, since I always feed her nutritious food and have continued to breastfeed her, even now at 20 months.
  5. I can add another ailment to my list–perinasal dermatitis. I didn’t know what it was and I fought it for weeks before going to my dermatologist. Now I’m on low dose antibiotics for several weeks *and* a cream, and I can’t have a sip of alcohol. Naturally, I had just made an amazing breadpudding and doused it with bourbon sauce, which I now cannot eat.
  6. My Ulcerative Colitis is mildly “flaring” at the moment. I have to make a trip to see my GI doc next week (1.5 hr drive each way). Dunno what he’ll want to do. Maybe Uceris? Can my poor liver and kidneys even handle another medication at this point?
  7. Me and Mr. MLACS go to see The Nutcracker every year, and we are taking BG again this year! I bought her a little pink ballet-inspired dress and real pink ballet slippers. She loves them! She loves to dance! I cannot wait to see what she thinks of the performance! Taking my daughter to The Nutcracker means everything to me–a dream come true ❤
  8. Our Christmas tree is up and I also decorated a colorful mini tree for BG’s playroom (adorable!). BG and I both love the Christmas trees and we plug them in first thing when we wake up.
  9. I found an awesome occassional nanny! This means I don’t have to ask Mr. MLACS to miss work every time I have an appointment. And we can have a date ❤
  10. BG is just amazing. Learning new words every day. Her imagination is growing too–more complex pretending. She loves to help. She is starting to show signs of potty-training readiness (hiding to poop, wanting her wet diapers changed). She is VERY into cartoons and is a HUGE fan of Daniel Tiger. While I think limiting screen time is important, I admit to sometimes letting her watch DT on loop–at least he’s educational–I actually use his songs to motivate BG. Lately she wants to cuddle and nurse a lot, and I relish these moments. I wrap her up in the softest blanket, cuddle her, kiss her head and tell her I love her over and over. I just can’t get enough of her, even though I’m with her 24/7 (still cosleeping).
  11. I am still scared to start TTC and my self-imposed deadline is looming near–I will see the new OBGYN in a couple weeks. Just before ovulation this month I got a touch of “baby fever”, but now that I’ve ovulated I’m over it. I’m actually glad I’m on medications that I can’t TTC while taking, so that buys me at least a few more weeks before I can consider it. I don’t want to lose what I have with BG–we are like peas and carrots. She is still nursing. I don’t want to push her away or neglect her if I have another difficult pregnancy. I worry, always, about the potential consequences of TTC/pregnancy/adding to our already perfect little family.
  12. It looks like we are on the verge of making some progress regarding our forsaken dream home–I hope! Fx fx fx.

I’ll be 37 years old next week. I can hardly believe it. And I cut off all my hair! It’s cute but so short I can barely put it in a ponytail–very different for me (and thus exciting). I feel like I’m starting to be myself again after PPA, which is awesome.

I miss a lot of our blogger sisters who have moved on after IF and loss. But for those of you still with me–Merry Christmas! May gratitude, generosity, and goodwill touch your heart and make you glad this season ❤

XOXO,

MLACS

STOP The Insanity!

Anyone remember Susan Powter? The original “biggest loser” (the show was probably conceived based on her “flab to fab” success story that parlayed into an avalanche of endorsements).

The b*tch is crazy, right? Whatever happened to her anyways? I need to google…

But this post isn’t even about her, I’m just ripping off her slogan “Stop the insanity!”

I feel like crap. I was doing so well, going to hot barre or spinning a couple times a week, walking, not eating much sugar, portion sizes, weighing myself regularly…

But since the house fire I have been “eating my feelings”, skipping the gym (in my defense BG was sick and teething a couple weeks ago so I didn’t want to take her to gym daycare), and struggling to care about my appearance (always wearing a ball cap and sunglasses). My scale either broke or ran out of batteries, and I just wasn’t compelled to deal with it so I haven’t been accountable for my weight gain.

How do I know I gained weight? Back fat. I mean I can tell other places too but the other day I twisted around and felt my back fat pleating like an accordian and it felt foreign and gross.

My bubble of denial has burst.

I feel like crap. I know all the sugar I’ve been eating is bad. Been hitting up Starbucks and getting soy milk instead of coconut milk because it tastes better (soy is SO bad for hypothyroid people and it inflames my immune system). I drink too much caffeine and not enough water. I eat too much processed food and not enough fruits and vegetables. I mean, I probably haven’t eaten a salad in a month.

I’m a mess.

My intestines were so backed up I could hardly stand it and I was too lazy (or apathetic?) to even go grab some milk of magnesia until I was beyond miserable.

But I “cleaned out” my GI tract and I feel much clearer and am motivated to get my health on track.

Because I need to, but also because BG is almost 18 months old and I am almost 37 and since time is not on my side, I plan to TTC for a sibling for her in the near-ish future. Which, we all know does not guarantee a pregnancy or a baby. And I’d be happy if BG was my only child–she’s more than enough. But I always said I wanted 2 kids, and moreover, I think it would be good for BG to have a sibling. So there you have it. I’ll do my best.

And by doing my best, I mean I’ll take all the supplements I took before I conceived BG (listed HERE). I just ordered 2 months worth for about $130 off amazon. And then I’ll eat healthy and exercise vigorously.

I’m thinking about doing a juice cleanse or the master cleanse to get started once we move. My friend and blogger extraordinaire  Steph Mignon suggested Whole30, which sounds like a good idea to start after a cleanse. Any other suggestions for gentle cleanses? My colon can’t handle a crazy detox.

XOXO,

MLACS

 

 

Awards Are Only Cool If I Get One

Rule #99 (if you haven’t read the handbook): Awards are only cool if MLACS gets one

And I’ve noticed that the Liebster has recently gone ‘viral’ amongst the RPL and IF bloggers, but I haven’t been nominated. So I may remedy the situation by making up my very own award and nominating myself for it. So there (sourpuss snotty-pants).

No actually I’m just kidding (ish).

Anywhoo…nothing super badass going on around here. I went to pick up Mr. MLACS from the airport in the city yesterday, and I spent a ridiculous amount of time perusing World Market because I wanted to buy something for the house. I found a ‘pouf’ and got all worked up and excited when I saw it was marked $20 (down from $79)…until I saw all the little foam beads leaking out of it…and the sales guy came along and I pointed out that it is leaking these beads and it appears there was no way to fix it (the torn inner shell was not accessible)…and he just shrugged his shoulders. Like, really dude? This thing is a worthless piece of sh*t that Goodwill would turn down, but you’re trying to sell it?! It was the first thing I saw and it killed my buzz when I realized it was unsalvageable and the sales guy didn’t give a rat’s ass. But…I continued to fiddle around and look at stuff, and I actually ended up buying: rosemary lavender hand soap (in a mason jar), chocolate (always), Moroccan Tangine sauce, and a loose-leaf tea diffuser cup (I only had one and needed another so I can make tea for visiting friends). I reeeeeeally struggled because I wanted to buy these linen curtains for our bedroom and the price was reasonable–$30 per panel ($60 for 2 panels). Buuuuuuut, I’m supposed to be saving money and I know there’s lots of other places I could put $60 to better use, so I ultimately ditched the curtains in the kitchen section (Isn’t that sh*tty of me not to put them back where they belong? Well, it’s a ‘wash’ due to the disappointing ‘pouf’ incident). I decided that I want to get a firm grip on our finances in 2014, so I ordered the Dave Ramsey ‘starter kit’ and it came in the mail the other day (I’m sure you ALL know who he is, since I seem to be the last one on earth to have heard of him–but click HERE if you want the details). I’ve only just begun to read his book, ‘Total Money Makeover’. But even though I haven’t even touched on Dave Ramsey’s financial planning tools, I had this little voice in the back of my head when I was looking at those curtains in World Market that was saying “What would Dave Ramsey do? Dave Ramsey would put the curtains down. Dammit.” So, while I cannot attest to the efficacy of Dave Ramsey’s financial planning tools, I can say that the system seems to be working for me because I now hear his voice in my head, chiding me for considering non-essential purchases after I proclaimed I wanted to dedicate 2014 to paying off debts. *Sigh*

I have been wanting to try Red Robin (a chain restaurant specializing in burgers) because they are the ONLY place I’ve heard of that serves a gluten-free bun. So after my less-than-stellar experience at World Market, I trotted over to Red Robin and enjoyed a burger on a gluten-free bun and a side of gluten-free fries (the fries were served with a gluten-free honey poppy seed sauce that was to die for). It was quite delicious!

Later, I checked into a hotel room (since Mr. MLACS was getting in suuuuper late) and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice and modern it was–I got a good price on www.hotels.com and I was so happy with it that I wished I didn’t have to leave…but I had made plans to meet friends downtown for a fancy steak dinner. I was feeling ‘icky’ all day and was going to deny myself even a glass of wine…buuuuut, I ended up having a glass of Moscato and oddly enough I felt better afterwards (and drank tons of water at dinner). We had a lovely time and I was happy that I procured leftovers to bring to Mr. MLACS, since I felt guilty that he wasn’t there to enjoy it with us. It’s rare that I have an occasion to put on make-up these days and most of the stuff I wear is either spandex or has an elastic waistband, so this was a golden opportunity to put on ‘real’ clothes and polish myself up a bit. And the company was excellent!

After dinner my friends and I went our separate ways–I went back to the hotel room. Mr. MLACS’s flight kept getting more and more and more delayed. I was going to pick him up from the airport but his last flight didn’t arrive until 3am, so he ended up catching a cab. Poor guy! He was beyond exhausted. Well, and so was I. We slept in and ran to a couple more stores before we headed outta town–I had to go to Trader Joe’s (omg I love TJ’s) and also go to a gourmet cupcakery to grab my little sister her fav cupcake (Hey, maybe my award can be the “Best Big Sister” award). We also had lunch at (my fav) PF Chang’s on our way out of town–I had their gluten-free chicken lettuce wraps and those filled me up, so I was able to box most of my gluten-free fried rice to take home. Yummmmm.

We left the city just in time, as it was ‘misting’ and the closer we got to our hometown, the slicker the roads got. By the time we reached our town, the highway traffic was moving at a snails pace due to accidents and then it took us an HOUR to drive through town to get to our house–I had a couple close calls where I was sliding and might have easily caused an accident–thank the Lord we made it home ok. And now, it’s just me, Mr. MLACS, and kitty all tucked away in our cozy little apartment–he’s playing Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3) and I’m blogging while watching ‘Sense and Sensibility’, having just finished my leftover gluten-free fried rice from PF Chang’s. Life is good.

Oh, and as for the TWW…well, I’m definitely convinced that the Clomid and Femara do bad things to me, because I’m having far less symptoms this month since we only used Bravelle (I actually let Mr. MLACS touch my boobs! Cuz they don’t hurt. He was shocked. And very happy. TMI. Sorry.) We also did the horizontal mambo, without lube (well, except for the progesterone supps), and it didn’t hurt. I actually have cervical mucus–and it’s great 🙂 XO