Always, Katie: August 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fertility Friday: Prayers for a Friend

Just a quick request...

A friend of mine is doing her first IUI today... please pray with me for her and her husband.  For a smooth procedure, peace for the two-week-wait, and - of course - good results! 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Very Pinteresting: Laundry Day!

I love Pinterest, and I've actually used several ideas I've found there.  Some of them worked out great, some notsomuch.  In my "Very Pinteresting" series, I'm going to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

I've been making my own laundry detergent for a couple of years, actually since before I got on Pinterest.  Well, to clarify, I made detergent once.  A LOT of detergent, for very little money.  I believe it was a triple batch, and it's still around!  It's a very basic powder recipe, and I keep it in these lovely glass jars from Hobby Lobby.  I love using it, and especially love that I haven't had to pay out the nose for store-bought detergent.  I reckon we've saved about $100 just in laundry detergent alone!

I use: 
2 bars of Ivory soap, grated
1C Borax  (in the laundry aisle)
1C Washing Soda (NOT baking soda... find this in the laundry aisle, too)
Grate the Ivory with the grater attachment of your food processor, if you have one.  If not, do it with a cheese grater. Toss it in the food processor, pour in the Borax and Washing Soda, and let it go for a nice, long spin.  Make as many full batches as you can with the materials on hand, pour the powder (it will be a little clumpy, no big deal) into a jar of some sort and toss in a tablespoon.  Use one TBS per load.  

The slight downside to this detergent is that it doesn't make your laundry smell (not bad... not good... not at ALL).  I was fine with this, but compensated with fabulous-smelling fabric softener and dryer sheets.  Until recently, when I started making my own fabric softener!!  

I got this recipe from a pin... and so far, I'm pleased with it. I keep it in a beverage thingy that I found on end-of-summer clearance at Walmart, the kind that has the little spout thing.  

6C water
3C white vinegar
2C hair conditioner (use something cheap, but awesome-smelling).  
I used V05 conditioner, I think it cost less than $1 per bottle, and I needed a whole bottle and a smidge from another.  Gently stir all of the ingredients in the bottle or tub you'll be using.  Fill the softener spot in your washer to the line - this isn't concentrated.  Your laundry will smell quite a bit better than just using the homemade detergent, but I still kinda love my wonderful dryer sheets. :-)  
These recipes are wonderful money-savers, and they do a great job.  I don't feel like I'm cutting corners, and I'm also proud to have made them myself.  I highly recommend these projects!
One Pinterest project that that did NOT work out so well for us is the gnat-trap on this page.  I don't know where these stupid little things came from, but I left this gnat trap out for well over 24 hours and it didn't catch a single.little.gnat.  :-(


Friday, August 24, 2012

Fertility Fridays: Back to School Blues

I've set up a schedule for myself for blogging, so that I don't focus too much on any one thing and neglect other stuff I truly want to blog about.  While I will probably treat the schedule as more of a guideline than a set-in-stone pattern, I do want to limit myself to only talking fertility woes once a week (at most).  While fertility and IVF are pretty dominant in my mind right now, there is much more to my life, and our life together, than this pain.  However, Friday is my day to let it out.  So here goes.

I've been googling a phrase over and over this week to see if any other infertiles out there were going through the same struggle this week that I am... I'm sure I'm not alone, but I couldn't find any other mentions of it.

Back to school STINKS! It stinks right up there with Mother's Day and Christmas!

As a professor's wife, it stinks because my summer of not sharing my husband with the university is over.  As an infertile woman, it stinks to log on to facebook and see all of the pictures of cute little kids with backpacks and excited faces, all of the moms talking about how much they miss their little ones during the days now, and especially the moms who CAN'T WAIT to send their darlings back to school.  For people our age, facebook has been overtaken by back to school!!

It's hard to feel left out of the loop, to not get to participate in the excitement, to not even be able to rock our baby and say, "At least we have a few more years until this one starts."  It's hard to realize that not only do our friends have kids and we don't, many of them have had kids long enough for them to be starting school.  Not only preschool, older grades with homework and multiple teachers!  Will we ever get to stand in a school supply aisle and debate the merits of purple glue sticks vs. plain white ones?  Will I ever get to respond to a homework question with, "I have no idea, ask your dad"? When am I going to get to use all of the awesome "pack your kids' lunch" pins I've pinned on Pinterest?!

It's especially hard when parents are griping that they cannot wait to send their kids back to school.  I want to slap them and tell them to CHERISH the summers -- and every minute -- with their kids, because people like us would do anything to be in their shoes! 

Don't get me wrong.. I love my friends' kids.  Several of them, I've even "adopted" as extra nieces and nephews.  I love watching them grow up, and absolutely expect that their parents will post pictures of their milestones, as they should, and as I will no doubt do if/when we're blessed with babies.  It's just sad.  

Anybody out there?  Can I get an "AMEN"?


PS: Next up is "Shop Talk" on Monday... I'll show off some new jewelry and etsy listings. :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

This has been one WILD and CRAZY summer, y'all!!  We made (we think) 4 or 5 round trips between South Carolina and Ohio, trying to clean out, pack up and sell our house.  We thought we had buyers for it once... we rushed back to show it to them, after less than a week back home in SC... it fell through, so we called a realtor and have it officially listed.  And someone else gets to mess with showing the darn thing, haha!  

During one of our trips back to OH, one of my best friends got married!  She was one of my bridesmaids AND caught my bouquet.  And WAS the next to get married.  How cool is that?  I'm soooo excited for her!  She was a beautiful bride, and is going to be an amazing, Godly wife.

I also finished two grad classes... one required for my degree (Career Counseling) and the other because it's an interest and passion of mine (Crisis Counseling).  Turns out, the required one was easier and the "fun" one was super-stressful.  And I get a whole NIGHT off before fall semester starts in the morning!  I have enough credits to get the degree, but I'm still needing a couple more classes and an internship.  Still, I can't believe I have over 50 hours of graduate work completed.  To think I swore up and down in May 2009 that I would NEVER set foot in a classroom again!

I had a birthday... I'm now 25.  Which is weird, because I never quite got used to saying I'm 24.  But I was spoiled, and loved, and it was wonderful.

I did a BUNCH of teaching, which I'm super-excited about.  My job is ridiculously awesome, as are my students.  So fun to be in such a creative environment, and to see the really pretty ideas my students come up with... I love that the skills I teach can make such wildly different jewelry, depending on the personality and tastes of the artist!  It keeps me inspired and humbled.

We've had some big emotional ups and downs, with the house and our continued battle with infertility and diabetes.  My blood sugars have been pretty good - FABULOUS for me, actually - but my endocrinologist is very discouraging and demanding.  No amount of improvement is perfect, so it's not good enough.  But, I'm still hovering within a reasonable range to attempt advanced reproductive technology (ART).  For us, this means in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Our infertility specialist has told us that this is the only way I will be able to carry our baby, so we're in a holding pattern until we are ready to start the lovely hormone and medication cocktails.  We are looking at ways of financing these efforts right now, but that's another blog post :-) 

Now that the house is on the market, and we're planning on staying put for a few months, I will hopefully be able to post a few pieces of jewelry and some "Nailed It" Pinterest posts from time-to-time.  I stole any chance I got to try new things this summer, so I have some interesting stuff just waiting to be written about!!


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