Potholders…Crochet Old-School

 

While on a quest for new and fun things to crochet, a dear friend of mine decided to up and move cross country for her husband’s work.  While looking at housing in a small Connecticut town, she came across a gorgeous, vintage, 1950s house…complete with a pink kitchen.  You heard read me correctly…First Lady PINK (thank you Mamie Eisenhower)!!!

potholderOf course, what goes best with First Lady pink kitchens?  That’s right…vintage potholders.  And, of course, they must be done in pastel colors!  So, I raced off to Pinterest and Ravelry to find a few patterns (and ended creating a whole board full of patterns to look through in the future), and finally settled on an adorable flower potholder pattern.

I’ve put together a few of these now, but here’s the finished product of one.  It’s double sided, so extra thick, and incredibly heat resistant if you use natural fiber yarns (like cotton).  They work up really quickly, and the pattern was very easy to read.  I used the pattern from Ruby Red Eclectic’s blog, and it turned out exactly as described!

Feel free to post photos of your own if you’ve made some awesome potholders…I’m always looking for new ideas!

Much love,
K.

Master Bathroom Remodel: Complete

 

It’s amazing how you always anticipate things running far more smoothly than they do in reality.  This is true in so many different aspects of life: your job, your relationships, education, etc.  Well, this master bathroom remodel was no different.  When we first started discussing the remodel, I remember thinking that we could do it ourselves to save money, but that it would take longer.  Of course, neither J nor I really understood just how much “longer” it would take.

780 days.  Yep…that’s how long it took for the full project to be completed.  We ripped up the first tile the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2013, and we got the shower glass installed on January 18th of this year.  We did darn near everything to that bathroom…a full gut, moving electrical, moving plumbing, moving ductwork.  We ripped out walls and built new ones.  Installed all the cement board and drywall, did the seaming and mudding.  Primed it.  Laid underfloor heating.  It was sporadic work…mostly done in the winter months and on long breaks from work.  We ended up hiring out the tiling and the painting (and the shower glass…because as much as I love and trust my engineer husband, I don’t know if I trust him enough to install something that will encase my body on a daily basis and present some pretty heavy consequences if it were to fall off and shatter).

And though it took forever, and there were days when I thought it would NEVER get finished, it was worth it.  It’s gorgeous, and exactly what we wanted, and feels ridiculously dreamy.

Here are some photos with before and after shots.  The orange walls are obviously the before (at least, I hope it’s obvious!).  They’re iPhone shots, so not my finest quality, but enough to give you an idea.

Hope you enjoy all the hard work!  I know we definitely enjoy the spoils of our efforts!  If you have any questions about the materials, progress, level of effort, etc….let me know.

Much love,
K.

 

Bathroom Remodel…Nearly Complete!

After two very long years, several weeks spent covered in drywall dust, and many arguments discussions on how to finish the space, the master bathroom remodel is nearly completely!  As I type, the shower glass enclosure is being installed, and that will be the final piece!

I am so excited to finally unveil it on the blog…I feel like this project has been going and going, with no end in sight, and now we’re there!  Of course, we’re already planning on what to work on next, but I feel like we’ve learned a ton and can be much more realistic on timelines going forward.

Stay tuned, I’ll be sure to post pictures over the next few days!

Much love,
K.

Merry Christmas

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve updated…a few months at least.  I wish I could say those months have been uneventful, but that’s not so much the case.  We’ve been busy with life, with work, and with this house…so much so that nearly every free moment of mine has been sucked up in one way or another.

A recap since October:   our IVF cycle failed (nothing made it to transfer), one of our cats got sick (she’s doing better, but not “cured”), our work went through massive restructuring and laid off 2000 employees worldwide, and my brother died unexpectedly.  It’s been challenging, but I can honestly say I’ve never felt closer to J than after all of these unexpected happenings in our lives.  It really is true that there are hidden blessings in most of life’s problems.

But today is Christmas.  Today, I am warm and happy in my home, with the love of my life and our three fur-children.  We are happy and (relatively) healthy (stupid cold), and I couldn’t really ask for much more.  I realize that there are many out there that don’t have these blessings, which saddens me and makes me even more appreciative for what I do have.

I’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or even just a great day.  I hope to make a more regular appearance in the coming weeks, so hopefully you all will be seeing more of me.

Much love,
K.

Egg Retrieval Day!

Bright and early this morning was egg retrieval.  After 8 days of stims, I had 18 follicles that were growing in various stages, and was feeling very much like an overstuffed turkey.  The trigger shot went really well (J was a pro)and I was left to worry about the actual retrieval.  I won’t lie, I was NERVOUS about the retrieval.  I was concerned about the pain, concerned about the unknown, and just overall freaking out about it.

Well…it’s been about 10 hours since the retrieval, and I can honestly say it wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.  The hardest part of it all was getting the IV in (unfortunately, nothing to eat/drink after midnight last evening, so I as dehydrated), and that took three tries and two blown veins.  But, after that, it was such a smooth process!

I arrived an hour earlier than my retrieval time.  During that point, I got checked in, got dressed in my uber sexy gown and surgical cap, got my IV put in, and spoke with the anesthesiologist and the biologist who would be doing the ICSI and biopsies for PGS.  Then, I went to pee again (these people are SERIOUS about empty bladders), and strutted my stuff into the surgical room.  I laid down on the bed, and was talking to my doctor while they strapped down my arms, and that is honestly the last thing I remember.  Next thing I know, I’m back in the prep room with Jamie, and working to wake up (very groggy, I won’t lie).

Overall, out of 18 follicles, there were 11 mature eggs (which is more than I could have hoped for).  I’ll get a fertilization report tomorrow morning on how many of those are showing signs of fertilization, which is the first major hurdle.  After waking up, I was really pleased to realize I had ZERO nausea, and only very mild tenderness in my abdomen.

After I woke up enough to drag my sorry butt out of the clinic, J and I went to breakfast.  I INHALED some serious breakfast…an omelet, salad, and toast from my favorite brunch place.  Divine!

So…After all this, I can say we’re coming up on the end of Stage One: IVF.  I have three more days of Ganirelix, to shut down my ovaries, and 10 days of Provera to induce my next cycle, but since we’ll be doing a freeze all cycle, it’s pretty easy and downhill from here.

I’ll be sure to update tomorrow on a fertilization report, but please keep your fingers crossed for good news!!

Much love,
K.

Stims and Trigger…

Sorry that I haven’t posted as frequently as I did in the beginning of stims.  To tell the truth, it was more of the same.   The Follistim was easy, the Menopur didn’t really burn (though did start to bruise), and the Ganirelix felt like I was stabbing myself with a spoon.  Overall, not too big of a deal.

I’ve been back and forth every other day for monitoring since Wednesday (it’s Sunday now).  I’ve seen significant growth on my follicles, and now have 18 follicles ranging in size from 9mm to 23mm.  I got a call back from the nurse, and tonight I do a Lupron + HCG trigger.  I was surprised at how exact they were…I am to give myself my first injection of Lupron at 9:15pm, and then the trigger right after that.  Then, 12 hours later (so tomorrow morning at 9:15am) I do another Lupron shot.  I also go in for blood work tomorrow morning to make sure the trigger shot worked as it was supposed to.

Egg retrieval is scheduled for Tuesday morning, at 8:15am.  I’m glad it’s early in the morning, because I know you’re not supposed to eat and I don’t want to be starving before the procedure.  I get the hanger something fierce!  I’m nervous as hell…mostly because I don’t know what to expect.  I’m hoping that I don’t have too much pain afterwards, but they are retrieving a large number of eggs, so who knows.    My boss is completely ok with me taking off as much time as needed, so that’s really good and a load off my mind.  Otherwise, I’m just hanging out.  J practiced with the large needle on an orange, so he says he’s ready to give me the trigger shot (up until now, I’ve done all my injections).  I’m nervous, but one way or another we’ll get it done!

I guess it’s really happening!  Now I’m in the countdown to egg retrieval!

Much love,
K.

IVF Stims, Day Four and Five

Day Four of stims went well!  Same old, same old.  I must have nicked something on my thigh during my Menopur shot, because I bruised (first bruise yet).  Overall, I felt pretty good about it!

Day Five – I haven’t stimmed yet, but I did have my first monitoring appointment this morning!  So far, 16 follicles, ranging in size from 6mm to 17mm.  So, tonight I am decreasing the Follistim to 100iu (down from 150iu), and the same dosage for Menopur (150iu).  Then, because my follicles are so large, I will start Ganirelix tonight.

As for trigger, the nurse thinks that I will trigger on Sunday, with an egg retrieval on Tuesday, so the days are really counting down!  I am getting ready for this to get on the move, but also slightly nervous.  Hopefully the Ganirelix shot goes smoothly, tonight!

Much love,
K.

IVF Stims, Day Three

Well, Day Three of stims has come and gone.  I’m finally over the fear that the Menopur is going to burn…it hasn’t so far, so I doubt it’s going to start now.  It’s amazing to me how I started this whole process absolutely terrified of having to do shots daily, to thinking that I was going to have to force J to do it for me, and now to not thinking anything about the injections and doing it myself.  I knew I wanted to try to do the injections myself from the get-go, but was worried that I wouldn’t be able to.  Thankfully, it has been SO EASY to do.  It’s shocking, honestly, but I feel like a total badass now!

So, while the injections themselves have gone really well, I have realized that the other physical aspects are less than stellar.  I am tired EXHAUSTED all the time, my abdomen feels twingy often (that had better mean everything is growing as it should be), and my headaches are raging.  I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a bus!  I’m not sure if I’m coming down with a cold or what, but if this is how I feel after three days of stims, I can’t imagine how I’m going to feel after day 10 or even day 12!

But, all in all, I have my eye on the prize.  So far, this aspect of IVF has gone much better than I was expecting, and I’m very thankful for that.  I’m slightly nervous about egg retrieval, because I have no idea what to expect after the procedure, but if it’s been anything like the rest of this process, I’ll build it up to be absolutely horrible in my head and then it won’t be so bad.  At least, that’s my hope.

That’s all, for now!

Much love,
K.

IVF Stims, Day Two

Day Two went about as well as Day One.  After injecting the Follistim on the first evening, I had some bleeding when I pulled out the needle, but last night it didn’t bleed at all.  I must have nicked a vein or something the first time around.

Again, the Menopur went in just fine…no burn.  I did have a bit of a bump under the skin after that injection, but it seems to have gone away by this morning.

Overall, the injections seem to be going really well!  I’m much more comfortable with everything, but the HCG shot is still concerning.  I know for sure I can’t do that one, and J isn’t super comfortable with injections, so I might have to outsource that one to a friend who’s done this before.  We’ll see.

Even though the injections are going really well, I have a feeling the stim weight is going to start coming on.  I’m up 2 pounds from last week, which could be due to just the weekend and eating out (which I’m hoping), or it could be due to the stims.  I am seriously hoping that it’s just the regular weekend weight…ugh.  I’ll keep you updated though!

Much love,
K.

IVF Stims, Day One

Glass Medicine Vials and botox, hualuronic, collagen or flu Syringe on a white background.

I will admit, I’ve been worried about this all damn day.  I’ve been reading up on the injections, and everyone said that the Follistim was no big deal, but that the Menopur burned like crazy.  So, of course, I was convinced that it’s going to be the worst thing known to man.

I dug out my meds around 9:15pm (when I couldn’t wait any longer) and let the Follistim come to room temperature.  I got the Menopur mixed, and my Follistim pen primed, and then went back to the couch to finish my episode of “Fixer Uppers” (I LOVE that show!).  Around 9:45pm, I started in.  I did the Follistim in my stomach, because it seemed like the easiest place.  The injection went in with NO problem whatsoever.  I didn’t even feel the stick from the needle!  When I pulled out the needle, it bled a bit, but after holding a kleenex on it, it was fine (whoops…probably should have used a sterile gauze pad, but couldn’t find one and didn’t really care).

Then, it was time for the dreaded Menopur.  I was so scared about this shot…absolutely convinced that it was going to feel like the fire of 1,000 Hells as it entered my body.  I decided that I wanted to do that injection on my thigh, near my tattoo.  I figured, what the heck, I already managed to get a huge tattoo on my thigh and that didn’t kill me, so this would be fine too.  Pinched a GIANT bit of fat (seriously…GIANT…it was shameful and reminded me that I needed to work out), and went for the kill.  OMG…NO PAIN!  No burning, to feeling from the needle, nothing!  Such a relief!  I pulled out the needle, and didn’t have any blood from the injection site, so just called it good enough and pulled up my pants.

Of course, then I went to toss the syringe and nearly passed out from blood pressure dropping (because I was terrified of the shot, then the relief was so big)…J was like, “OMG, are you ok?!”  LOL…poor guy.

Needless to say, Day One of stims went by really well!  I actually think I can do this!  Only 9-11 more days to go!

Much love,
K.