TTC Arsenal

fertility meds

Guys, this is just a tiny slice of the mega supply of supplements I have right now, in my desperate attempt to overcome my infertility.  I thought it might be helpful to get an idea of what I am using and the effectiveness of the products I will share as I use them.  This is just what came in a recent Amazon delivery, to be added to my regular routine.

I think it will be easier if I break up my supply into several posts, because it’s a lot of stuff and a lot of info to take in.  I should mention that in addition to the supplements I am using, I am also following a healthy whole foods eating plan, and exercising 5+ days a week.  All of the supplements in the world won’t help you if you aren’t being proactive in all aspects of your life.  I should also mention, for those that don’t know, that I suffer from PCOS which is largely responsible for my secondary infertility.

Secondary infertility is described as the inability to achieve or maintain a healthy pregnancy following the birth of one or more biological children.  What I have come to learn, is that it is typical for PCOS to really take hold and cause infertility in your mid to late 20’s.  This is exactly what happened to me.  I had two children and then came the nightmare roller coaster of miscarriage and infertility.

I had a Clomid/rainbow baby, and then quickly became pregnant with my youngest soon after.  The combination of breastfeeding, weight loss and somewhat normalized hormones coupled with perfect timing helped me with that.  Since then, my PCOS has flared out of control.

So now, I have my battle gear on, and I am fighting to regain what should be rightfully mine.  I have grown tired of being betrayed by my own body and decided to take action.  Sometimes you just have to get mad to get serious, and this year, my friends, I got pissed off.

Pictured:

  • Premama Fertility Supplement:  This is a drink additive that includes 2000 mg of myo-inositol and 200 mcg of folic acid.  I know I have tried inositol supplementation before with zero results.  Call me crazy, but I decided to try this supplement anyway with a daily tea I will talk about soon.
  • NAC 600mg (n-acetyl-cysteine): This is touted as a miracle supplement by so many for PCOS and has been on my mind for years but I never tried it before.  Until now.  Some benefits reported include improving insulin sensitivity, lowering testosterone and free androgens, regulating cycles and improving regularity of ovulation, supporting egg quality, and higher progesterone levels.  This supplement is in the sulfur family, and let me tell you, the capsules smell awful.  But if it can help me, you know I’m willing to give it a try.
  • OPK Test Strips: Wishful thinking, but I would like to be able to use these puppies, and I know you go through a ton of them in a cycle so I stocked up with a 100 count box.  I will go into more detail on OPK’s for cysters, as they are a whole new game, but for now, I am just well stocked and hopeful.

Stay tuned for more arsenal info, and hopefully I will be able to update that the crazy cocktail of supplements offers me some benefits.  PCOS is tough to navigate and there are so many promised miracle cures out there, it’s hard to know what is even worth trying.  I do a lot of research on everything before I decide to try anything, and of course, none of this is meant as medical advice, it’s just me being open and sharing my journey.  As far as dosages, that can vary wildly, depending on what study or article you read.  I tend to follow the research studies for dosage amounts, rather than the label on the bottles.  It’s all trial and error, really.  I try to be tuned into my body and adjust accordingly.

Until next time, friends!

Citrus Lane Box January 2014!

Time for our monthly Citrus Lane review!  🙂

I have aged Saraphina’s box up one full year after being a little bit disappointed in a few of her previous boxes.  Now, that’s not to say her boxes weren’t great!  The problem is when I compared her box to some of the other boxes that I saw on the Citrus Lane Facebook page.  Hehe!  Rather than be envious of the older boxes, I decided to just age her up and honestly, I have been very happy with the aged up boxes!  That said, here is a quick peek at our January 2014 Citrus Lane box!

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*Zig Zag Zebra Coloring Book from Barefoot Books (estimated value: $6.29)

Super cute book this month that is no ordinary coloring book!  The interactive pages have your little one adding their mad artistic skillz to the cute activity pages.  Every page is full color and sturdy, making this book not feel at all like a simple coloring book, which it most definitely is not!  Very fun way to introduce drawing and shapes and even colors to the little kids.

*Duo Tip Washable Markers from Faber-Castel (estimated value: $4.99)

These awesome markers have a colored tip on each side, one wide and one fine, plus they are made from food grade vegetable dyes, so when they inevitably get on your child’s clothes, the stains easily wash out!  Yay!  These are a perfect companion to the coloring book!

*Fruit Set from Plan Toys (estimated value: $8)

This set was exclusively made for Citrus Lane, so I estimated the price by looking up a larger, 6 piece set that was $16.  These super cute fruits are made from wood and Velcro, so you can “slice” them with the included play knife for fun pretend kitchen play.  My kids LOVE cooking with pretend food!  We have had lots of play food over the years, and wood is definitely the way to go!  The plastic play foods get smashed and unrecognizable, and the little cardboard boxes?  Yeah, they don’t last ten minutes in our crazy house.  We have been slowly replacing all the old smooshed stuff with wooden pieces, so this set was an exciting addition!  It’s also fun to “slice” the food and get that satisfying crunch from the Velcro!  🙂

*Upset Tummy & Nausea Relief from Mommy’s Bliss (estimated value: $10.49)

This is perfect to have on hand!!!  I noticed a lot of moms saying they had no use for this item, just wait until their kids get their first case of the stomach flu!  Trust and believe, this is a must have for the medicine cabinet!  All ingredients are completely natural and 100% vegetarian/vegan with no gluten, dairy, soy or sugar.  Even if it’s just a queasy tummy from motion sickness, indigestion or gas, it’s nice to know you have something ready to go to ease your little one’s discomfort.  Yes, yes, yes, I love it!

So ends another awesome month of Citrus Lane!  If you are totally jelly and wishing you had your very own box of goodies delivered right to your door each month, carefully curated just for your child, then click HERE and give Citrus Lane a try!  Shipping is always free, and you get an awesome array of goodies each month specifically for your child’s age.  Use coupon code FEBHALFOFF to get 50% off your February box!

October 2013 Citrus Lane Box!

With the craziness of the recent move, I have been neglecting my Citrus Lane reviews!  I still get this awesome box each month, it’s one of the highlights of the month!  🙂

This month’s box, instead of sunny yellow on the outside packaging, was pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month!

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And as usual, it was filled with lots of awesome goodies!

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BOPS from Good Boy Organics

Okay, snacks are always good, but this one is even good for you!  Well, better for you than regular potato chips anyway!  BOPS stands for Baked Organic Potato Snacks.  Now, there are plenty of baked potato chips out there, but they tend to be very lacking in flavor.  These snacks are 65% less fat than regular chips, certified USDA organic, and completely free of gluten, preservatives and trans fats.  They are also chock full of yummy flavor!  Sara had these with her lunch yesterday, and let Mommy sneak one or two.  Very good, and no icky, greasy mess!

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Rythym Sticks from Hohner Kids

We are gathering quite the collection of musical instruments from our Citrus Lane boxes!  We may need to start a neighborhood baby band!  🙂  These sticks are easy for any little one to grasp and painted with durable paint that can stand the test of many a jam session.  There are lots of ways to play with these, and if you have Rock Band fans in your house, this is a fun way to let the little ones play along with the older kids!  Who doesn’t olove to rock?!

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Twinkles To Go by Cloud B

Okay.  I love Cloud B.  I mean, seriously, I love every single product they make, everything is super high quality, well thought out and just super adorable!  Imagine how excited I was to see this adorable little octopus friend in our box this month!  This is a perfect companion for on the go, or just the regular night time routine.  With a simple press of a button, she shines beautiful stars and bubbles onto the walls and ceiling!  You can change colors, from blue to red and there is even an automatic timer so you don’t have to worry about the batteries wearing out too quickly.  Our little Octopus friend will be right at home with our Twilight Turtle, also from Cloud B!

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Ladybug Magazine

What a gorgeous, lovely magazine!  Filled with stories and poems and beautiful artwork, this magazine is just perfect for a quick story before naptime or even just relaxing together.  Sara is a big bookworm, just like her mama, so how exciting to have her very own magazine!  Included along with this awesome magazine was a really generous offer for a FREE 3 month digital subscription from Cricket Magazine!  Yay!

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Besides the outside of the box being different this month, the inside also had some surprises!  What better way to remind moms and dads (and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles, etc!) to take care of themselves and to raise awareness?!  We had a lot of fun with the mustache, in honor of Men’s Health Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month!  I love the extra little activity, and of course, the kiddos loved playing with the mustache!

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So ends another awesome month of Citrus Lane!  If you are totally jelly and wishing you had your very own box of goodies delivered right to your door each month, carefully curated just for your child, then click HERE and give Citrus Lane a try!  Shipping is always free, and you get an awesome array of goodies each month specifically for your child’s age.  Use coupon code FIRSTBOX to get 50% off your first box!

July Citrus Lane Box!

It’s mid July, and as has become tradition in this household, that means it’s time for our monthly Citrus Lane box!

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This month’s box was full of all kinds of neat things, so let’s jump right in!

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Bynto by Goodbyn

This month, we were greeted by a huge bynto box, perfect for packing lunches or snacks, and completely dishwasher safe!  The compartments of the Bynto keep food completely separated, even with the lid closed!  No crumbs will be intermixing here, perfect for the pickiest of eaters that refuses to eat anything that has touched another food.  Oh, the horror!

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Dishwasher-Safe Sticker Set by Goodbyn

What kid doesn’t love stickers?  To go along with that huge Bynto, this month’s box included a massive sticker set, with over 100 stickers that are also dishwasher safe!  Now your kids can completely customize their Bynto, and you can still throw that puppy in the dishwasher without fear of the stickers coming off!  A very cool addition to this set is an “I’m allergic to” sticker that can be filled out to alert anyone in charge of caring for your children.  Plus, stickers are just awesome!

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Cool It Buddy Instant Cold Pack by Me4Kidz

This is the perfect solution for bumps and bruises while out and about.  I’m sure as moms, everyone has some sort of nifty little cold pack, just sitting in their freezer and awaiting it’s calling to help soothe a boo boo.  But as awesomely organized as we may all be, does anyone actually think to pack that ice pack with you on the go?  Of course not, that would be a pain to keep cold!  Well, here is the solution!  This pack includes two one time use cold packs that can be instantly activated out in the battlefield..er..playground, just when you need it!  Definitely a cool addition to the mommy secret stash!

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Lace & Trace by Melissa & Doug

We are big fans of Melissa & Doug items in this house, so we were really excited to see this packed into our box this month!  Sturdy, wooden made, fun panels with color coordinated laces, perfect for making learning fun!  The pieces are nice and big, making them easy for little hands to hold, and the fun designs make the kids excited to learn, which is always a big bonus.  This is a set that I know will get a lot of use in our family, and I feel good knowing it’s teaching my kids while they have fun.  Love the adorable farm animals!

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Mighty Shield Bug Repellent Lotion by Episencial

Tis the season for bug bites!  Boo!  Rest easy using this repellent though, because it is safe and effective for the whole family!  No harsh, nasty chemicals here, just natural plant nectars and essential oils in a lightweight formula that is not greasy at all and can be layered with sunscreen.  We avoid the heavy, chemical laden sprays in our house, and in fact, I sent my boys off to Boy Scout Summer Camp with home made bug/tick repellent, so this is a welcome addition to our pest line of defense!

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Postagram by Sincerely Inc.

This is an awesome little app that lets you make printed postcards straight from your smartphone!  This month’s box included a code for 10 free prints!  What a perfect way to share some of those fun summer memories with loved ones!  And come on now, who doesn’t love getting mail?!

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We were very happy with our box this month, as usual!

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We have been getting Citrus Lane boxes for over a year now, since March of 2012.  I pay for my boxes myself, so all of these monthly reviews are completely honest!  I still believe that Citrus Lane is an awesome value and an awesome service.  We have been introduced to some amazing new companies and some really neat products.  I appreciate the fact that they truly go out of their way to pick items that are safe and fun for the whole family.  There have certainly been some boxes that were just over the top amazing, and a few that while a little less exciting, still proved to be a great addition to our growing stash of awesome.  I love getting that happy little box of sunshine on my doorstep each month!

Are you interested in a getting a subscription of your own?  Well, I can help you!  Click HERE to sign up and you will get $10 off your new subscription!  You can get as little as 3 months, or as much as a full year!  You can also Click HERE and enter the code TAKEHALF for 50% off your first box!  You can cancel your subscription at any time, but why would you want to do that?

Snow Day!

 

Today, we were surprised with an unexpected snow day!  I have to admit, I think I may get more excited for snow days than even the kids do!  Something about not having to jump out of bed and rush around in the morning is just, well, awesome.

We don’t have buckets of snow or anything.  Just a dusting, really.  But it is enough to be pretty and certainly enough to enjoy some hot cocoa and board games with the babies!

Not the weather I think of for the first day of March, but I’m sure we’ll be spoiled with gorgeous weather soon enough.

Happy March 1st!

Looooong weekend

"Cover Coughs, Cover Sneezes" - NARA...

As I posted in the wee early hours on Friday morning, my poor babies have been miserably ill the last several days.  I believe it all started with Matt about a week and a half ago.  He has an amazing immune system and very rarely gets very sick at all.  I am pretty sure he had a cold, but his only symptoms were a few sniffles here and there.  No coughing, no congestion, no biggie.

The problem is, he and Noah are buddies.  Noah loves Matt to pieces and is constantly attached to his hip.  That means any germs that Matt may have are very easily shared with Noah.  Now, if Noah would get a cold like a normal kid and not instantly just come down with moderate to severe cases of croup, well then, that would be fabulous!  But, that’s not how he rolls.

Noah came down with a nasty case of croup and a pretty nasty cold.  Coughing so much he was gagging and just miserable.  He couldn’t eat or drink or even smile.  If you know Noey, you know he is a goofy little boy who is always smiling and happy.  (Well, unless he is crying and miserable, but generally, he is a very happy little boy.  🙂  It was so bad we were considering an Urgent Care visit.  It was a Saturday, of course, and he was just so ill, I felt utterly helpless.

The miracle in a bottle that helped him was Delsym.  Oh my goodness!!!  Within 10 short minutes, the coughing had subsided and he was smiling.  SMILING!!!  Now, this is not an official review of Delsym, and I have not been compensated in any way, whatsoever, but I am telling you, our medicine cabinet will NEVER be without it again!

I should mention that we only decided to use it because of the severity of the cough and because it was not a productive cough.  If the kiddos are coughing up goobers, it is best to let them cough because they are clearing their lungs of mucus, etc.  I usually only treat coughs in my house with honey and Vicks Vaporub, but this cough was just too tough for my home remedies.

Somewhere in the middle of the croup and cold, Bella added to the party with a stomach bug.  Not sure where it came from, but it was a nasty little speed bump in our week.  Now, I know I frequently mention grape juice to prevent stomach bugs,  but I need to tell you all about another amazing preventative measure.  Apple Cider Vinegar.  We were out of grape juice when she fell ill, but I had remembered the ACV tip I read online that is said to work as well if not better than the grape juice.  You simply add about a teaspoon to 8 oz of water and drink it three times a day.  You can add some honey if you like, or even add the ACV to juice to mask the taste.  I honestly don’t mind it, but then, I would drink just about anything if you told me it was a proven way to prevent worshipping the porcelain god.  🙂

Now, Abe and I both came down with a little intestinal discomfort, but never more than that.  He drank grape juice, I took ACV.  He was still pretty miserable yesterday, whereas I felt 100% awesome again.  I am an ACV convert!  There are loads of other benefits to taking ACV, which I am eager to see if they will apply, but for now, I think I will be keeping this as part of my daily routine.

So we escaped a mass infection of the stomach bug, but Noah and now Sara still have nasty colds.  Stuffy/runny noses and coughs, low fevers, just generally miserable.  Does anyone know a magical cure/prevention for the cold?  I’m on board if you do, hit me up!  🙂

I am grateful the long weekend is over and I am eager for all my babies to be 100% healthy again.  Especially Noah and Sara, there is just something so sad and heartbreaking when the littlest ones get sick and can’t really tell you what’s wrong.

Stay healthy!

Cooties

Cootie

Ugh.

It’s that time of year.  The cold weather means staying indoors, easily transmitting all the nasty little cootie bugs that the kids like to bring home from school with them.  And believe me, my kids are germ magnets, so there is lots of happy germ breeding in the winter months.

Colds are common, but not a huge deal to me.  A sniffle or two here and there, usually nothing too serious.  Except that Noah, my little Stridor Prince, likes to turn cold viruses into scary, bouts of croup.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Do you see where this post is going?

Poor Noah has croup.  Again.  Only this time, he decided to show symptoms in the day time, during regular business hours for the pediatrician and the pharmacy.  The kids is losing his touch, what can I say?

We called the doctor’s office and they were even able to prescribe him oral steroids without an office visit.  Awesome.

I should mention that our regular doctor is on maternity leave, so covering her is a doctor I not so lovingly dubbed Dr Dumbass, several years ago when we had the first displeasure of meeting him.

To make a long story short, we took Bella in for a wellness check when she was about four months old and was being exclusively breastfed.  He decided that she wasn’t growing fast and chubby enough, so instead of suggesting ways to try and increase my milk supply or just be generally helpful, he informed me that breast milk isn’t always enough and some babies just need to be on formula.

Really?  Breast milk isn’t enough?  Instead, I need artificial milk…….?  I won’t turn this post into a crazy breastfeeding rant, but when a pediatrician is too lazy and/or ignorant to encourage and support breastfeeding, they are doing a great disservice to both the parents and the children that they have taken an oath to protect.

Okay.  Rant over.

Anyway, Dr Dumbass prescribed Noah’s oral steroids so we could nip the croup before it got serious.  His directions were one lump dose of the medication, whereas when we go to urgent care or the ER for croup, they always have us split the dose, half in the morning and half at night.  After Noah’s lump dose yesterday morning, he ended up getting sick.  Now, it could have had nothing to do with the lump dose of the steroids, but since we’re talking about Dr Dumbass and since he was seemingly completely fine beforehand, I blame the doctor.  The side effects did mention upset stomach, and Noah’s stomach was certainly not happy.

Happily, Noah seemed to recover pretty quickly, acting like his normal self within an hour or two.  He has a slight cough and a little bit of a runny nose, but the bark is gone, so I am hoping that the croup has left the building.

Not long after going to bed last night, Bella was at our door.

I hate it when the kids come to the door in the middle of the night, it’s never good.

Sure enough, she had thrown up.

Now, I know I have mentioned before how freaked out and anxious I get when anyone even says they have a tummy ache.  We have had great success with using 100% grape juice as a stomach bug preventative, especially for Bella who seems prone to the nasty virus.  I hate to admit it, but we have been lax with it for the last week or so, and lo and behold, now she is sick.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  I like to believe it works though.  Now that we are out of it and I am scared to death of it spreading to other members of the family.  o.O

I have read that apple cider vinegar can be used in place of grape juice, about a tsp-tbsp with 8oz of water.  In my panic mode, you can bet I was choking down some good old ACV within an hour of her leaving our room.  After liberally spraying everything I could imagine she may have touched or breathed on with her cooties.

Winter is kind of a sucky time for a germaphobe mama.

This happened…

I should know better.  I do know better.  Really, it’s all my fault, but for the love of gravy!!!

It was only two minutes.  A short phone call, I stepped away while Noah and Sara were innocently watching Dora.  There were entranced, I thought surely they could stay that way for just a minute or two while I took the call.

I came back to a horrific, disgusting, unbelievable mess.  This is the first thing I saw, confusing me until I looked around and saw the source of the mysterious white paste on my coffee table.

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At first I thought it might have been lotion or maybe baby powder?  But there is no baby powder in easy reach of the babies, and a quick glance over to the lotion bottle showed it to be untouched.  Scanning the room, I saw this:

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At this point, I knew.  Oh, how I knew.  Those little granules strewn about like confetti, the delightful paste on my coffee table.  It was cat litter.  From the litter box.

*barf*

It gets better.  The cats have a basket with a blanket that they sleep in, which also happened to be in the path of nasty.

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Isn’t that lovely?  There was cat litter EVERYWHERE.  I think it was mostly Sara, while Noah sat and watched.  As soon as I walked back in the room, he jumped up to go sit on the potty for a good long while, avoiding the, let’s say colorful language that happened to escape me.

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That is Katie, wondering why we decided to keep the furless things that are so fascinated with kitty poo.

And now the mug shot of the nasty little girl that made it rain cat litter all over my living room:

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She doesn’t look very remorseful, does she?  See that sh*t eating grin?  It’s because she was literally eating sh*t.  Cat sh*t, covered in clumping cat litter.  You know how peanut butter gets stuck to the roof of your mouth when you eat it?  Yeah, well, cat litter clumps into a concrete like lump in the roof of the mouth and between the teeth.  That happy little grin on Sara’s face?  Yeah, that disappeared when I had to spend 20 minutes raking the litter out of her mouth and teeth.

Fun times.

 

Wet Ones Blog Blast!

Sticky Situations Contest

 

Being a mama of four, you can trust and believe that I have walked in on more than one sticky situation!  It never ceases to amaze me, the incredible messes the kids can make when you turn your head for even a split second!

This picture of Noah is what happened when I left him for less than two minutes to change Sara’s diaper.  He got a hold of a dry erase marker and decided to go to town on his face, hands and even his feet!

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Plus there are just the regular day to day messes, like when the kids are helping out around the house, or when we are having fun with crafts.  Having kids is messy business!  In our house, it is easier just to laugh it off instead of getting angry.  I make sure that when I need to leave the room to do something, everyone follows.  It is much easier to keep an eye on everyone when they are right next to you!  I also plan for messy activities.  When we know we are going to do something messy, we prep the area with newspapers, wear old clothes, and of course, have some Wet Ones ready when we are all through!

Wet Ones is running an awesome contest right now, where all you have to do to enter is share some of your own sticky situations and tips!    It is super easy to enter, just head to Facebook and submit your own tip and funny story by clicking HERE.  When you enter, you have a chance to win an iPad mini or Six Flags tickets!

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

www.momcentralconsulting.com