Saturday, September 24, 2011

TTC Baby#2: October cycle cancelled... we seriously need to catch a break!

Uggh so i had my baseline blood work and ultrasound today for our FET(frozen embryo transfer) cycle.  Apparently there was an "abnormality" aka white spot showing on the u/s in my uterus. the RE is hoping it''ll just resolve/shed itself while i have my period so i go back on tues for another u/s.  The RE I talk to today was a different one than i saw last time. She also said that she wants me to wait another month b/c of the LEEP procedure i had done in July, even though the other RE said it was okay. She said she usually doesn't like her patients to do ivf earlier than 6 months vs the 2-3 that the other RE and OB told me. She kept reiterating how severe the cells were that they took out of me and that the procedure does shorten your cervix and i'm already at risk for pre-term labor.  Yes i know she is trying to give me full disclosure but I already talked to my other RE about this and I am fully aware.  I'm just really frustrated right now.  If the spot doesn't resolve they want me to get another sonohysterogram, which showed a perfect lining 2 months ago. But it's also another 400 i wasn't planning on having to fork out.  uggh. So for now we are cancelling and she's putting me on bcp for 1 month so i get a cycle and am not at the mercy of my instance 40-80 day usual cycles.  And i had a measurable cyst so it'l help with that.  Never dull moment. I'm trying to stay positive and hoping tues shows that the spot had resolved itself.  In the mean time, they want me to set up an appointment with the MFM (maternal fetal medicine: high risk dr) to discuss a game plan with her about how they will monitor my cervix and all when I do get pregnant. So i will be calling to make that appt on Monday.  Here's hoping the next few weeks go quickly and everything turns out okay. There is definitely a lot going on to keep me busy with Brayden's birthday, parties, a wedding and Halloween.  :)  I am just REALLY disappointed that we are canceling. I just feel like sometimes I can't catch a break. I would really appreciate if things would go smoothly for a change, but It's me we are talking about, i never do things easy :)

I took a pic of the "white spot ultrasound" before I handed it in.  It's the spot in the middle.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What's for dinner: No Chop Black Bean Soup

My friend Jen shared this recipe with me a while back and we love it!  I decided to pull out the recipe again since it's all rainy and blah!  Love some good soup on a rainy day!  This recipe is SO easy, and can be thrown in a crock pot of cooked on the stove and requires NO chopping! What busy mom doesn't love that?! You buy the peppers and onions frozen and they are ready to go. And a bonus an article I read recently said that frozen veggies are actually treated with less chemicals when growing b/c they don't have to be picture perfect.  You can also try to add other kinds of beans or veggies if you are feeling adventurous.

3 cans (15oz each) of Black Beans drained and rinsed
2 Cups of frozen chopped onions
1 package (12oz) of chopped green bell peppers
2 cans (14oz each) of Chicken broth
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes ( you can get varieties with added spices if you like.. i do! )
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin divided in to 1 tsp and 1/2 tsp
1 tsp minced garlic
2 TBSP olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt

1. Combine beans, onions, bell peppers, broth, tomatoes with juice, the teaspoon of cumin and garlic in the crock pot
2. Cover, and cook on LOW 8-10 hrs or on HIGH for 5 hrs.
3. Just before serving, stir in remaining 1/2 tsp of cumin, oil and salt

**** To cook on stove combine all ingredients in #1 in a pot cook on med/high for 45 mins then following remaining directions.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What's for Breakfast: Apple Strudel Muffins

I have a ton of apples from the farm over the weekend and have been trying to find some new recipes to try.  I wanted to make some apple muffins and these sounded delicious!  I adapted the recipe a little and it turned out great.  I did put a touch too much butter in the topping so it melted rather than staying cumbly  but it still tastes pretty good :)  


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cut brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups apples ( i shredded mine in the food processor or you could leave them as little chunks depending on your preference)
  • Topping
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or use cupcake liners
    2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
    3. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples, and gradually blend in the flour mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.
    4. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan.
    5. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Apple and Pumpkin Picking Videos!

We took a few videos today while at the farm picking apples and pumpkins!  Here's one from each. Some of them are really long so i tried to pick the shorter ones.  Enjoy! I know we did! I LOVE this boy!

@ Conte Farm 

@ Johnson's Farm

Brayden's First Apple and Pumpkin Picking Adventure!!!

Today we took Brayden to the farm for his first trip to pick apple and pumpkins. We headed to Conte's Farm first, because they have the most amazing apple cider donuts :)   Usually we do both apple and pumpkins there but this year they weren't ready for pumpkins yet. Their apples definitely didn't look as good as usual because of the weather we've had recently but we were able to get two buckets full. Brayden had a great time. He had fun trying to help everyone pick apples, riding the tractor, walking around the orchard and dumping and refilling his buckets.  Brayden tried apple cider donuts and LOVES them. I don't normally give him sweets like that but who can pass up a hot fresh sugary doughnut.  He ate half of one on his own! This boy has good taste :)
Tractor Ride at Conte's!
 Helping Grammy and Aunt Katie find apples!
 Apple Picking with daddy!

 Look mommy I found some!

Walking with mommy and daddy!

I picked ALL these! and now i'll dump them out lol

Mmm unwashed apples (not my idea! lol)

We headed to Johnson's Farm on the way back to pick pumpkins.  I LOVE Johnson's farm for kids. It's a little more pricey and you have to pay for the tractor ride but they have all kinds of fun activities and stuff for the kids. It's definitely a more upscale and family oriented place. In fact, Brayden and I went here in April for an easter egg hunt and had a great time!   We took the tractor ride which Brayden loved. We were able to sit in the front of the wagon so he could watch the tractor and big wheels pull us.  He was fascinated and excited by everyone and everything.  I think he loved the pumpkin patch even more than picking apples. This time it was easier for him to walk around and pick up things he liked. Of course he was going for the big pumpkin leaved instead of the "bright orange things" on the ground,but he did great!

Overall we had a wonderful day.  It was great that Katie and mom were able to come and get to experience Brayden's first adventure of apple and pumpkin picking with us. It is such an amazing feeling having my own child to make memories and firsts with.  I feel so lucky to be Brayden's mommy and getting to experience the excitement, curiosity and happiness of being a child along with him.   I think we seriously took like 175 picture and a few videos so i'll try and narrow it down to my faves.
YEAH another tractor ride!
 Auntie Katie and her "special" pumpkin! 
 Look mommy i found one!

 Helping daddy find the good ones!
But daddy I want the one that looks like watermelon!

 Hamming it up at the pumpkin patch! lol 
 More over there mommy!

 Grammy picking the "perfect pumpkins"

Brayden had SO much fun he couldn't stay awake on the way home :) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

What's for dinner: Stuffed Peppers

I almost never make stuffed peppers because I just don't have a recipe that I LOVE.  I came across this recipe online and though it sounded really good and people raved about it.  I made some adaptions so I'll note those but it turned out good. I used brown rice that I precooked ahead of time and fresh tomato instead of can, but either can work!  The sauce on top adds a little extra flavor and made it delicious.  You can also adjust the amount of cheese to taste.  We love cheese so the amount was perfect.  Enjoy

I had extra "stuffing" so we had it on the side 


  • 6 green bell peppers
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium size onion chopped in to small pieces
  • A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped or 2 medium fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1 1/2  cups shredded Cheddar cheese (one bag of preshredded)
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce ( i used a garlic/onion/tomato)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, saute beef and onions for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture, and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. 
  4.  Pour spaghetti sauce over the peppers.
  5. Bake covered for 30 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nothings worse than a sick baby!

It has been a ROUGH week of sickness! Last week Jason started with the stomach virus that has been going around and at this point it's made its way through each of us. It has been terrible. On Sunday Brayden started with it and things went down hill fast. Aside from the chronic diarrhea he started spitting up. He would walk around screaming and crying and even picking him up wasn't helping. It seriously breaks my heart, I hate seeing him in pain and not being able to make it better.

 On Monday he started projectile vomiting and running a fever 101.5.  His poor bottom was so raw that this point you couldn't even touch him.  Time to head to the pedes. Advil and tylenol were keeping the fever at a minimum but he wasn't eating, drinking and able to keep anything down.  By the time we got the pedes he started to rash out all over his body with red bumps.  Low and behold he also has strep throat. My poor baby.  He just can't win.  The dr started him on amoxacillin and the virus part just has to run it's course. It's has been a struggle to get him to keep anything down, especially after taking antibiotics, they've been tearing up his stomach. Of course my son is "weird" and he hates any kind of drink other than water. So no juice, Pedialite, Gatorade ext. So it's been interesting getting fluids in him, being that milk/formula make him sick.  The good news is things are getting better, he is drinking, eating and sleeping a little more.  He is still fussy and miserable but it's nothing like it was.

Here's hoping by the weekend everyone in the house is feeling better! I know i'm struggling to function and take care of a baby. Jason was awesome and stayed home yesterday to help even though he's not feeling 100% himself.  Keeping everything crossed this doesn't linger too long. I am really hoping to take advantage of the beautiful weather this weekend him to the farm for apple and pumpkin picking this weekend.  :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

TTC Baby#2: One cycle away!! warning very TMI :)

I finally started my cycle. You gotta love PCOS (NOT!!!) and never knowing when the hell your cycle is actually going to start.  Even better it was a great cycle by my standards and was only 38 days. For me that is something to celebrate, especially when you consider my average cycle goes from 45-75 days.  But the joke is on me for celebrating because despite my "short" cycle it is HORRIBLE. (here's where the tmi starts if it already hasn't lol) Not only is the pain borderline "contraction like" and non stop but the flow is insane.  All i know is this is reason # 34543534 why I would love to be pregnant again. lol Those 9 glorious months of no cycle are a beautiful thing, and in the end you get a baby, BONUS! lol  Okay I really shouldn't complain. I talk to and know plenty of girls that NEVER get a cycle on their own with out medication so i should count myself lucky.

Back to the point... So despite the pain i am going through i am actually excited b/c this means we are almost to our FET cycle!! Since getting postponed in June it felt like it was NEVER going to come.  Now we're trying to figure out a game plan. This month we are going to induce my cycle instead of playing "Russian roulette" and seeing how things go. lol October and November looks like they are going to be so busy with Brayden's birthday, a handful of other birthday parties, Halloween, a wedding, an engagement party, then starting the holidays. In the midst of it all we are trying to fit in the FET. So the game plan is to induce my cycle really early rather than later. At my clinic the FET usually takes place on cycle day 19 (give or take based on how good your lining looks and your embryos thaw). So we are going to try and squeeze everything in the week before Brayden's 1st Birthday. I know that sounds backwards and nuts but it will actually work out best. The first 2 days I need to be on bed rest then i can go back to normal movement with the exception of the 10lb lifting restriction. That's going to be a problem NO matter when we do it with an almost 1 year old weighing 20 lbs. So i'm not even factoring that in.  Plus this way I will be busy getting ready and making food for Brayden's party so it'll all help keep my mind of the 2 week wait.  We were worried about doing it after his birthday b/c I didn't want to miss out on his first real trick or treating or my girlfriends wedding and other girlfriends daughters birthday. So here is hoping everything goes to plan. We know how I LOVE to do things smoothly! haha!!   So looks like I will be starting Provera this upcoming Saturday to get the ball rolling!  (For those who don't know what Provera is, it's progesterone pills that you take for 10 days and it induces your cycle). So now we count down!!!

Aside from planning out things we have been talking about the prospect of twins. I am actually a little nervous about this with already have one. Even after I talked to the RE months ago she still recommended we transfer 2 embryos and that's the way we are going to go.  We have two reasons for making this decision. #1, Brayden was one of 2 embryo's transferred. The second baby didn't make it past 5/6 weeks so knowing this we don't want to go through a cycle and have nothing implant. #2, we are all out of pocket at this point. My insurance through MW had covered our IVF cycle when we had Brayden. Even if I hadn't lost my job we exhausted all of our benefits and our insurance through Jason's job doesn't cover anything, not even blood work and ultrasounds! Thank you Aetna and ARI. lol Anyway, the whole cycle from pre-ivf testing, meds, bloodwork/ultrasounds package and the actual FET is about 4k. So needless to say if this god forbid didn't work (which is HAS to) we'd have to wait a long while to re-save enough for another go.  That being said, I'm still a little nervous about the prospect of twins but at this point the way we see it, it's all or nothing and what's meant to be will happen an we will make it work.  Of course I am getting way ahead of myself but we have to be realistic and open minded.  

For now we are  keeping our fingers crossed and hoping and praying for our little miracle baby #2!! 

And because every blog deserves a picture!  This little man deserves a sibling :)  
Look at that face!! Watch out ladies! 
Okay I had to post 2 ! :) 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Alzheimer's Walk!

Today was the Alzheimer's walking in Philly.  It turned out be a success and we had a great time supporting our family!! Jason kept Dad company and hung out in the stadium overseeing the walk. Along the walk path they had various entertainment like drums, bagpipes, belly dancers and all kinds of singing and music.  All in all, it was a great day and we were glad to get to take park and support such an important cause.

 Here's some pictures from the walk, Team Silent Courage! 

Brayden and Abby all ready for the walk with their purple flowers!

Katie and Megan!

 Jill, mom, Katie, Megan and Abby ! 

 Megan, Abby, Katie, Me and Brayden, Our ALZ advocate June and Mom! 

Flower garden. Yellow was for caregivers of Alz patients, purple is for those who've had 
someone pass, and blue for those who are affected. 

 Me, Mom, Dad, Jason and Brayden!
 Abby Dancing to the music!
 brayden "walking for a cure" (no pants b/c he peed 
Abby walked for her Great Grandmom!

Friday, September 9, 2011

DIY 1st Birthday Fun!

For Brayden's 1st Birthday I have been working on DIY projects to make the party fun and festive!  So far I have a few things done and I have a bunch more in the works. Being the Type A personality I am I've been working on things for a while, but it works to my advantage so I can take my time and have fun with it.
For the party we are doing animal theme with the colors being a turquoise blue and lime green. And a little orange here and there! I found these SUPER cute cake plates and napkins online at Party City(and 50% off with FREE shipping... SCORE!)

Bunting! I made triangle bunting, which I think I previously pictures, but I'm going to re-add it in here. Since it's hard to "decorate" in a way that is kid friendly I figured bunting would be fun and not something the kids can reach and actually pull down.

Balloon Wreath!  I still need to finish adding embellishments, I'll re-post photos later, but I love it so far! I plan on doing white letters with his name and possibly adding animals or a number one.. not sure!  

Cupcake Toppers! I found these perfect personalized party printables on Etsy from JEdwardsImages. They match everything perfectly. For a nominal price it saves me a TON of time Photoshopping, so it was perfect. I'm using these for all kinds of DIY projects for the party. One of the things I'm made with them are cupcake toppers.  They have a variety of animals, say happy birthday on some and the others have the phrase "Oh my goodness what wild fun, our little Brayden is turning ONE!"  How PERFECT!

Happy Birthday Banner! I also made a personalized Birthday banner. I used the same cardstock from the bunting as a background and used "college" font to make it a little more "boyish".  I think it turned out adorable!  The first long part says "Happy 1st Birthday" and then the smaller banner "Brayden" .  It was hard to take a pic of the whole thing since it's SO long so i took some close ups as well!

12 month Photo Banner! Every month I hate a photo of Brayden with his "onesie stickers". So for another banner I'm still in the process of making one with the first 13 pictures (one from when he was born as well) of Brayden. I don't have pics yet, but I will be using the same pattern cardstock as a background!  Pictures to come!! 

Birthday T-shirt! Most people know i make and sell birthday t-shirts so naturally I would be making one for Brayden as well. To match the party colors I will probably be making a shirt that is almost exactly like the shirt a friend of mine ordered. I'll picture that below. He will have an aqua shirt, lime lettering and a monkey print number one!  He is going to look adorable! Here's are preview based on my g/f Megan's son Brent's
birthday shirt!

Birthday Hat! To go along with Brayden's birthday shirt, I'm going to make a coordinating birthday hat! I haven't quite figured out the designs but I'll post pics as soon as I get it put together! I'm sure I will be working in the monkey print fabric in there somewhere :)

That's it for now. I have a list of yummy home made snacks and treats I will be making along with Brayden's smash cake and cupcakes. I'm sure to some this all seems a little "over the top" but hey a kid only turns ONE once!! :)