Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cookie Heaven

Is there anyone who doesn't like a good treat? Since H and I are terribly addicted to sweets (especially when we're riding the PMS wave), I'm always on the hunt for healthy, low calorie treats. This is one of our favorite cookie recipes of all time! A low fat Oatmeal Raisin made with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips.

I’ve made these cookies more times than I can count. I add chocolate chips and sometimes walnuts, as I do with all oatmeal cookie recipes. I’ve made these cookies large as the instructions described but they’re even better using my 2-tablespoon cookie scoop. It's hard to believe this little cookie is less than 100 calories per serving! It has eggs and butter, so it's not vegan but I'm sure it could easily be converted. I'll have to try that!

Wholesome Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

M.oosewood Restaurant New Classic Cookbook

  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, preferably unsalted, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup unbleached white flour
  • ½ cup oat bran
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup raisins - I add dark chocolate chips and walnuts in addition to the raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil two baking sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and the butter with an electric mixer or by hand until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, oat bran, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Mix in the raisins, chocolate chips & walnuts.

Drop the dough by scant ¼-cup mounds about 3 inches apart, and flatten slightly with moistened fingers. Each sheet will hold six cookies. (I used a 2-tablespoon scoop and place a dozen cookies on each tray.) Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden and just firm to the touch. When the cookies first come out of the oven, they’re soft and little delicate so carefully transfer them to racks. Cool for 15 minutes.


Friday, May 30, 2008

I kissed a girl and I liked it

Where was this song 20 years ago when I was in high school? I could've had my mom listen to it when she asked "why don't you ever tell me what's going on?" Her expession would have been priceless. Hey, maybe I can still have her listen to it?

Posted by 'H'

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I have a confession

I love, love, love garage sales. I doesn't sound extremely odd but it's what I get at them that may be considered a bit weird. My little secret is that I buy baby clothes, toys, books, blankets, etc. In the area where we live we have fabulous garage sales. Our little community (suburb) is your typical neighborhood. We were lucky enough to find this cute little townhouse on a cul-de-sac and we love it. Sorry, I digressed... Anyhoo, a few miles in any direction are these new neighborhoods with these huge houses (these are easily million dollar homes). In these ginormous houses are families with apparently too much new or barely used stuff and they love to have garage sales. I LOVE IT!!! I found this for $30, never used!!! We also found this never used for just $5. The mother excuse was she got too many at her baby shower and just never found time to take them back. Can you believe it? So, I'm hooked. I never thought I would be buying baby stuff before I was actually pregnant, but I just can't seem to pass up these deals. So, for anyone that lives in the Se*ttle area, go to craig* list and check out the garage sales on the eastside. Some of the best ones are the community garage sales. I'll be heading off to a few myself this weekend. I have a budget of $30. I can't wait to see what I find!

Posted by 'H'


Monday, May 26, 2008

Home Cookin'

When I was younger, my family celebrated Memorial Day with an outdoor BBQ and a good game of Badminton or Croquet. According to my mother, an American Holiday required an All American menu! If you didn't like Hamburgers, Hotdogs & Macaroni Salad, well, you could simply go hungry. Since becoming a Vegetarian over five years ago, it has been a challenge to re-create these memories for my friends and family without the traditional palate. But Vegetarianism has come along way over the years and it is much easier to create homemade, savory, to-die-for masterpieces that everyone will love. I'm not talking about something out of a box either, but rather a menu created from all-natural, fresh ingrediants.

The following recipe is a modified version of the "Chicago Diner Burger" out of the Veg.etarian Ti.mes Magazine. I've omitted and added a few ingrediants of my own to make it even better! H gave it a rating of 10 out of 10, so you know it has to be good. I rarely score above an 8, so what a fantastic way to celebrate Memorial Day with our friends.
Seattle Diner Burger with Piquillo Pepper Ailoi

Photo Taken by "C"
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups old fashioned oat
12 ounces mushroom, finely chopped (I used 6 oz. of Organic Crimini & 6 oz. of Organic White Mushrooms)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
8 Slices of Sharp Chedder Cheese

Piquillo Pepper Aioli
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil
1 jarred roasted red pepper, drained
1 garlic clove, minced


  1. Bring 4 cups water, celery, onion, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to a boil in a pot over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in oats, mushrooms and flour and cook 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and chill.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F; coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape mixture into patties and bake on prepared baking sheet for 15 minutes. Flip and bake 10 more minutes. Cool.

  3. Heat grill to medium-high. place foil on grill and coat with cooking spray. Grill burgers on foil for 7 minutes per side. Serve.
    Piquillo Pepper Ailoi:

  4. Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


CD 1

Well really today is cycle day 2. It all began yesterday morning. I got up and decided to take a HPT since I was technically 1 day late for my period. The results were negative but we were still hopeful. I insanely convinced myself that the box of HPT that we had gotten at B*rtell's was defective.

After the test we decided to go to the gym. I played around on the elliptical for about 30 minutes barely breaking a sweat. (because lately I think I'm breakable, I normally love a hard workout!) Then I went to the restroom and low and behold....I started my frickin period. I just sat there on the toilet starring at my underwear. When I finally left the restroom 'C' could tell the moment she saw my face. We left the gym and sat in the car and I cried. My emotions were so mixed. I felt such extreme disappointment & relief at the same time. The relief was from fianlly knowing something!

The TWW was killing both of us. I never imagined it would be so hard. Any little twinge or ache in my body I would over analyze and in previous months I would probably ignore. argh!! I have such extreme admiration for couples/women that have been TTC for months and even years.

So, we wait...officially on cycle 2 of the TTC rollercoaster.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Home Pregnancy Tests

Today is CD 26 and 13 DPO...and we're still hopeful! We promised ourselves that we would wait through today before we tested again. H is convinced that if she does another HPT first thing in the morning, her hCG in her urine will be "stronger" so the results might be more accurate.

The National Women's Health Information Center website posted similar information:
"The amount of hCG or pregnancy hormone in your urine increases with time. So, the earlier after a missed period you take the test the harder it is to spot the hCG. If you wait one week after a missed period to test, you are more apt to have an accurate result. Also, testing your urine first thing in the morning may boost the accuracy."

We are both very's not over!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, May 23, 2008

To Test or Not to Test?

H and I were in torment over when we should test. I was okay with testing early, as long as the results were positive. I didn't really think about how it would feel it the test results were not positive. We shouldn't have tested. We tested at CD 22 and it didn't make the waiting game any easier. Now we're just waiting for something else...for CD 25, 26, 27 and beyond. We were so excited to take our first pregnancy test, and we were both devastated that the results were 'Not Pregnant'. I didn't think I would be so emotional. Normally, I'm pretty level-headed, down to earth, and positive. Now we're convinced there is still hope. We're convinced that the test is wrong. Today is CD 25 and 12 DPO...still no period.

Posted by "C"

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wishin' and Hopin'

I think I should stop reading all the TTC blog stories...they're starting to freak me out! I have waves of panic throughout the day, when I think about all the different stories I've read. Some of the stories are funny, some are happy, and some are down right sad! I've been trying not to think too much about the "bad" stuff, but I will go though phases where that's all I can think about. What if we're not pregnant? What if we are and we lose the baby? All these "what ifs" can't be healthy. I try to dismiss these thoughts as soon as they come into my mind, but then I start to worry that I've thought about them too long and we're doomed! This is crazy! I'm going to go on a blog diet if I don't get a hold of myself.

This TWW stuff is agonizing. I swear I light up like a Christmas tree for every symptom H shares with me. There is a part of me that secretly (I guess it's not a secret anymore) wishes that she would show signs of morning sickness just so I can say, "see it's not PMS!". To make matters worse, we've been analyzing her side profile like crazy. I swear it looks different, but I think my eyes are playing tricks on me. I've been trying to write it off as bloating, but deep down I want it to be the signs of a miracle happening. This may sounds strange but since the moment we committed to having a baby, I've never doubted for a second that it would happen. I think H is tired of me saying "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when". Yet, as we wait for the cycle due date to come, we've been praying like mad that we'll be one of the lucky ones...that the stories we share will all have happy endings.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Heat Wave

Hot, hot, hot! The weather has been strange this year. For the last few months in the Pacific Northwest, the weather has been cooler than normal for this time of year. We had a blanket of snow as late as April, and the temperature has been fluctuating between 45 - 55 degrees. Lately, the sky is full of little gray clouds, soaking the landscape with rain, rain, rain. Normally we get sun breaks on a regular basis, and only in the heart of August does the temperature get above 90 degrees. Yesterday was the first sun break we've had in a couple of weeks. A nice gradual increase in temperature would have been nice, but it jumped to 95 degrees where we live. Okay, okay, so that's nothing compared to some parts of the country...but, we're a bunch of wusses here! I suppose we could be considered a bunch of whiners's too cold, it's too rainy, it's too hot! Hey, but at least we're flexible with our lattes and mocha's...if it hot, get an iced latte...if it's cold, get a hot latte. Anyways, it was too hot to do much of anything. By late afternoon it was cooler outside than it was, we hung out in the backyard with the pups. Maggie likes the coolness of the took her almost an hour before she stopped panting. That's Maggie in the picture...enjoying the fresh air and cooler temps!

Posted by 'C'


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

At Home Insemination: Ten Things I Learned

  1. The Nitrogen tank is not as scary as you would imagine. Believe it or not, you do not need to call in Jack Bauer (for those 24 fans, you know what I mean) to "defuse" it.

  2. There is no need to panic when you read the instructions on how to handle the tank and it reads, "DO NOT lift the crane higher than the neck...or premature thawing may occur". My first thought? "What the heck is a crane? The only crane I know of are long-necked birds!" The long metal rod inside the nitrogen tank that holds the cryovials is called a "crane".

  3. Cryovials (the vials the specimans come in) are about a 1/2 inch tall. It's hard to imagine that there is enough semen in there to do the trick, but it only takes two!

  4. Next, you have to thaw the little swimmers. The instructions for thawing the forzen vial are SCARY! "Place the frozen vial in a water bath...temperatures exceeding blah, blah will severely decrease motility." Um, yeah, I went with the natural thawing process recommended by several books.

  5. There is an pretty elaborate vial color coding system associated to each specimen to distinguish racial group and specimen type. They also include a "Specimen Report Form" to record the number of motile sperm. Hmmm, I wear glasses, but apparently that doesn't cover examining the specimens microscopically.

  6. Operating the handle of the speculum with lube on your hands or the handle is tricky! Having a towel handy is highly recommended.

  7. It is difficult to hold a flashlight with your ear and use a syringe at the same time, so I recommend a desklamp. It's definetly dark "down there". I wonder if a headlamp would work!?!

  8. A catheter fits easily on the tip of a syringe...if you take the cap off first!

  9. The cervix is a tempermental little bugger, so patience is required. H gently reminded me that "it" doesn't understand "words", especially profanity.

  10. H won't "feel" any different afterwards, so asking her "how about now?" every five minutes is not a good idea.

    Posted by 'C'


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Sunday (Mother's Day) was supposed to be the big day. We were all set to try our first at-home insemination. C had practiced with the syringe and catheter. It took us a bit to figure out that the tip of the syringe comes off and you can snap the catheter into place... who knew!?! We apparently missed that instruction when the doctor was demonstrating the tools we were to use. urgh! We started monitoring my cervix with a speculum on day 6 of my cycle and I was to start ovulating on day 13-14; just like every other month for the last 8 months. So, wouldn't you know that when I woke up on day 13 the fertility monitor and ovulation test stick were a 'no go'. We checked my cervix and it was still not open. Hmmmm...not ovulating today. I wasn't concerned because I've seen this in the past. I figured that I would peak on day problem!!

Then the next morning I woke up and tested. I must admit that I was a bit anxious this time around. In the past, I didn't worry too much about the monitor or ovulation stick results...I just documented the results and went about my day. So, I sat on the toilet waiting for the results. The ovulation test stick was done first. First off, let me just I say that I hate these sticks! It's a guessing game. At any rate, it appeared to give me a positive read for ovulating. Now the fertility monitor. it was done, popped out the stick and.................'Low'....... WTF?!? I've haven't had this problem in 8 MONTHS. So, I told myself not to panic... worries. I'll just wake up C and see what she has to say. We decided to check my cervix.... Hmmm, looks wide open and I had oodles of mucous. (slight TMI, but valuable info) So, with that we decided to try our first insemination. It went off without a hitch. whew!

About 14 hours later we investigated my cervix and decided to do our second insemination for this cycle. My cervix was open but not as wide. We were concerned that if we waited until we tested on the fertility monitor again it would be to late.

The next morning I woke up and tested on the fertility monitor.......and the results were........peak! So, we checked my cervix again and it was wide open like the first day but with not as much mucous. (I know, I know, TMI) ARGH!!! Now we're worried that we inseminated too early!!!

Now the wait begins. C keeps asking me if I feel any different. I think it's going to be a long 10 days. I usually have a 25 day cycle so unless my body decides to defy me once more we should have an answer by Memorial Day weekend. Wish us luck!

Posted by 'H'


Monday, May 12, 2008

I Boiled It!

Have you seen the movie "If these walls could talk 2"? The part 3 scene opens when Fran (played by Sharon Stone) realizes that she is ovulating. Kal (played by Ellen DeGeneres) rushes out the door to the donor company to pick up the sperm. On the way home, she seat belts the nitrogen tank in into the passenger seat and carefully drives at a snails pace home, stalling traffic and yelling out the drivers side window to a neighboring car that 'I have sperm'. The scene goes on to illustrate several different insemination attempts. This little scene in the movie is the closet you can get to the real thing in mainstream society (minus the actual turkey baster scene).

I think we all can relate to this scene in one way or another. Whether it be your first attempt or your seventh, whether it be at home or in a doctor's office, we all go through a variation of the emotions portrayed in this little clip.


Posted by 'H'


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Home Delivery

9:49 AM: As I write this post, and I'm sitting here waiting for FedEx to deliver our sperm. The specimens were shipped from Austin, TX. on Tuesday and are scheduled for delivery sometime today. I've been excessively tracking the "package" since 5:30 AM this morning. I went to yoga this morning, came home around 8:00 AM and according to the tracking details, it arrived at the Issaquah FedEx facility at 7:30 AM. I could run down the hill and walk back with the 28lb nitrogen tank faster than it's taking for them to drive it up the hill to my house. Of course, I would probably make CNN headline news: "Woman starts carrying baby preconception".

10:05 AM: As I was writing this post, there was a knock at the door! I was so convinced that it was FedEx that I bolted down the stairs, jumped over the baby gate and swung the front door open without looking through the peep hole. There was an elderly woman (probably in her late 70's or early 80's) standing on my doorstep. She's definitely not the FedEx man! This calls for a screenplay of the events that transpired:


(looking inquisitively) Hi
Are you Donna Mclaughlin?
Donna Mclaughlin
No. I don't know a Donna.
Are you sure?

C raises one of her eyebrows in annoyance

Yes, positive. What address are you looking for?

The stranger indicates that she has the directions in her car, in which the front wheel is parked on C's grass. She nearly stumbles to the bottom of the stairs, shuffles through a bunch of papers in her front seat, and pulls out directions from yahoo.

(looking over her glasses and pointing to the address on the paper) This is the right address. Are you sure you're not Donna?

Thinking to herself, C wants to say "Look lady, I think I know who I am. I'm not Donna and you're sure as hell not the FedEx man!" but she holds back.

I'm sorry, I don't know a Donna in the neighborhood.
What should I do? This is where I was told to go. My friend Donna's husband past away before she moved here.
Is there someone you can call?
I'll have to call my friend
C thought to herself "I hope your friend isn't Donna"
Do you have a phone?

The stranger whips open her cardigan to reveal a cellphone strapped to her belt. "Wow! Pretty hip grandma", C thought.

Why don't you give your friend a call and see if you have the right address? I'll look up the directions for you.
Thank you! Let me call Donna.
Did she just say Donna? Okay, sounds good. I'll be inside if you need help.
Do you mind if I stay here?

C watched through the peephole as the stranger got back into her car and dialed her phone. A few minutes later she got out of her car and headed back up the porch. C met the stranger at the front door.

Did you get an address?
She lives at Providence Place. Do you know where that is?
Never heard of it. Do you have an address?

The stranger pointed to the address on the paper and handed it to C. C went back into the house to google her directions. She entered the information into the computer and waited for the directions. It says there's no such address. "Great! Now what am I going to do with her?", C thought. C found Providence Place and printed those directions and took those outside.
Well, it says that address doesn't exist. But, I did find Providence Place on the map and printed those directions.
Thank you, Sweetheart! You've been so helpful.
You're welcome. You should be armed and dangerous now...have fun!
I hope God delivers you something special today.

"Oh, he will" C thought! Hopefully a hot FedEx man and a tank full of sperm!

Bye now

12:45 PM: Still no FedEx! I've taken the pups out back for a potty break, made lunch (Tomato Soup & A Grilled Cheese Sandwich - YUM!), and have been chatting with my partner, H, while she slaves away at the office. She spent the morning in meetings and now we're chatting about a diaper bag she saw up for auction. Every year our employer holds a Silent Auction, whose proceeds benefit United Way. Items are donated by each department and employees can bid on any item.

1:12 PM: It's here, It's here! So, the FedEx man was not hot, but he was nice enough to carry the tank inside for me. He asked if I was H and then gave me that inquisitive eye when I said "No, but she lives here".

Here is a picture of what the specimens come in:

Posted by 'C'


The Beginning

So, I've been trying for the last week to write our first post. C has been after me to just get it done. So here I go. I don't know why I've been so hesitate. I think subconsciously I'm afraid to start posting about our life in a blog. Once we start putting it out there for the masses it makes it all so much more real. Up until now it's just been 'US' planning, planning, oh...did I mention planning? Let me start out about telling you a bit about C and me. We met about 20 years high school (gasp) and this year will be our 17th anniversary. I bet your wondering why after 17 years did we decided to start having a family? Well, we would have probably started trying in our 20's but C got very sick. She was diagnosed in 1998 with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) in it's most severe form and was hospitalized for two weeks. She had the key butterfly rash, kidney failure, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, seizures, and a high fever. It was a very scary time for us! But with chemotherapy and a complete lifestyle change she has been in total remission for 3 years. We went from staying out late, eating whatever we wanted (whenever we wanted), irresponsible 24-year-olds to suburban (hopeful) moms.

So, in the next few days we are embarking on our first attempt in the TTC process. It's been a year in the works so cross your fingers. This blog will be an accumulation of both of our experiences as we get our feet wet during this new journey in our life.

Posted by 'H'