Thursday, April 28, 2011

5 Servings a Day

I grew up thinking I hated most fruits and vegetables.  We either never had them, or my mom would only buy canned.  I have no idea why this was.  Perhaps this was how my mother was raised.  Perhaps because we lived in a small, rural town fresh fruits and vegetables weren't readily available.  Or perhaps she just didn't like them and therefore never bought them.  My guess is it was probably a combination of all these reasons. 

Watermelon:  my mom had an incident as a child where her throat swelled up after eating watermelon and therefore decided she was allergic to any kind of melon.  I guess it never occurred to her that we weren't, and would perhaps enjoy some watermelon every now and then.  I find the seeds a little annoying, and that is probably the reason why I don't eat much watermelon today, but I still like it and don't have any allergy problems with it. 

Canteloupe:  perhaps my mom thought her watermelon allergy carried over to others in the melon family?  Thus, I never tried canteloupe until I was in college.  I remember the first time my roommate brought one home.  I watched, completely fascinated, as she cut it open and cut it away from it's hard shell.  I tried my first piece and it was so good!  She even showed me the trick that salting the melon really brings out the flavor.

Pineapple:  I can't remember the first time I tried pineapple.  This may have been another fruit my college roommate introduced me to.  What I do know is once I had fresh pineapple, I could never go back to eating canned.  I can't even begin to explain how bad I think canned pineapple tastes.  It's hard and unflavorful.  The only time I'll buy canned pineapple is to have on hand for homemade canadian bacon & pineapple pizza.  Once it's cooked I don't notice the texture as much. 

Peaches & Pears:  I feel the same way about these canned fruits as I do pineapple.  Hard.  That's the only word I can come up with that describes them.  As an adult, I love a fresh pear. Pears have to be at the perfect ripeness in order for me to enjoy, but once it's there I can't get enough. 

Spinach:  my only memory of spinach as a child was from school lunches.  They always served the nasty-looking, and nasty-tasting, cooked spinach with lunches.  I don't think one child ever ate it, so why they continued to serve it is beyond me.  However, as an adult I've found I actually like fresh spinach.  It makes for a great salad.  Spinach and artichoke dip also makes for a very tasty treat :)

Sweet potatoes:  the first time I was introduced to sweet potatoes was just a couple years ago.  Some co-workers and I had gone out after work for a drink at a local bar, and one of my coworkers ordered sweet potato fries.  Um, can I say delicious?  I was hooked.  I was on a mission to look for sweet potato fries on every menu at every restaurant I went to after that.  I even got brave a few months later to try a plain old baked sweet potato.  Add a little butter and ranch dressing and you've got yourself a yummy and healthy alternative to a regular baked potato. 

Asparagus:  this is another vegetable I didn't try until a couple years ago.  I love to watch shows on the Food Network, and it always seemed like they were cooking with asparagus.  I decided to get brave and try it for myself.  I found an easy recipe for roasting asparagus.  I brush it with olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper on it, and bake at 400 degress for about 10-15 minutes.  Even my husband loves it, and it's become a staple side dish in the summertime at our house. 

There are still plenty of fruits and vegetables that I need to try.  The older I get the more experiemental I get, and I hope to continue to broaden my horizon of these healthy foods.  I am determined to always have fresh fruits & veggies in the house once we have kids.  I want our children to grow up with these foods as a part of their regular diet.  I hope in doing that they will choose healthy foods over unhealthy junk foods as they make their way through life.  And in turn, will live long, healthy lives.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Getting Cold Feet

At the time of my D&C, Dr. C. was already talking about when we could start trying again.  Much to my surprise she said we only had to wait this one cycle, and once I got my period we could start trying again.  On average, women should get their period about 4-6 weeks after a miscarriage.  However, with my history of long cycles Dr. C. said if we made it to the eight week mark and no period, she would prescribe Provera to induce one.  At the time I couldn't even imagine what my life would look like eight weeks from then.  Having to wait eight weeks seemed like an eternity.  I mean, eight weeks: that's two whole months!  Of course I was mourning the loss of our baby, but at the same time very eager to start trying again. 

Well, this coming Tuesday marks eight weeks and I haven't even ovulated yet.  The last two months have flown by and I can't believe we're closing in on time to start trying again.  At this point I'm very undecided as to whether or not I want to call for the prescription.  As soon as my period starts, I'll be starting Clomid a few days later, and we'll officially be actively trying again.  It's crazy to think there's a possiblity that I could be pregnant again a month from now.  One one hand I want to call for the Provera and get started.  On the other hand, I want to let nature takes it's course and wait until my body ovulates, and in turn has a period, on it's own.  Maybe I'm putting too much faith in my own body, but deep down I feel like she can do it! 

If I'm being honest with myself though, I'm avoiding making that call because I'm scared.  Once we start trying again, it opens up all sorts of possibilities.  Once we start trying it opens up the possiblity that my body may not ovulate despite the help of Clomid.  It opens up the possibility of the disappointment and heartache of negative pregnancy tests.  Even worse, it opens up the possiblity of getting that elusive positive pregnancy test, only to miscarry again and lose yet another baby. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011


My husband and I purchased our house last July.  We fell in love with it the very first time we stepped foot inside.  It fulfilled almost every want and need we had for a house.  However, it didn't take long for me to realize we had a problem.  We had a huge problem.  We had crabs.

No, not those kind of crabs.  I'm talking about crabgrass.  For those unfamiliar with what crabgrass is, it's type of weed.  A really ugly weed that looks like this:

Our yard was infested with it.  I felt so embarrassed and ashamed.  I didn't know how to get rid of it.  I felt as though people would drive by and stare at our yard in complete disgust.  Our neighbors' yards were lush, thick, and full of dark green grass.  But not ours.  I assumed the previous owners didn't take very good care of the yard because either A) they knew they were going to be moving and didn't care about the yard anymore, or B) they just weren't good upkeepers with their yard to begin with.

I wanted it gone!  I spent one Saturday afternoon on my hands and knees crawling around our front yard pulling up every weed I could find.  I'm sure the neighbors thought I was completely crazy and were a little worried about me moving in next door to them and their children.  By the time I pulled up as many clumps of crabgrass I could find, our yard looked even worse and I had huge blisters on my hands.  I knew at that point it was a lost cause.  Our yard would remain like this for the rest of the summer and fall.  By the time crabgrass starts growing, there's no way to stop it. 

So, when spring rolled around this year I put my foot down and insisted that we take action this year to prevent crabgrass and hopefully end up with a beautiful yard.  We tossed around the idea of hiring professionals to come in.  However, calling around to get quotes seemed like a big hassle.  That's when we came across the Scott's Lawn Pro 4 Step Program.  It's basically four different applications that you apply throughout spring, summer, and fall.  We decided to give this a try and see what happens.  Tuesday night we went out and bought the 'Step 1 Crabgrass preventer and Lawn Fertilizer' and applied it to the yard.

Now we keep our fingers crossed and wait! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


My eyes have been opened at how quickly your life can change.  My mother-in-law’s house was hit by a tornado Saturday night.  We received a call from Jeff’s sister around 8:30 Saturday night that this had happened.  Our first instinct was to jump in the car and start driving there (she lives 4 hours away).  However, storms were still passing through the state and we didn’t want to risk the possibility of running into another tornado while we were out on the roads.  Jeff’s aunt and uncle live about 20 miles away from her and they were able to pick her up and take her to their house.  Since we knew she was safe, we decided it would be best to wait and get up early Sunday morning and head that way.  We ran out and purchased anything we could think of that we would need – totes, boxes, garbage bags, water, food, batteries.  Jeff even purchased a chain saw.  It was close to midnight when we finally went to bed, even though it took a long time for either one of us to fall asleep.  We got up at 3:30, packed up the car, and started driving.

When we go there this is what the house looked like:

We didn't know where to even start.  We wanted to start packing up her things, however the smell of natural gas in the air was so strong that we didn't think it was very safe to be inside.  So, we started dragging tree branches and limbs out to the curb.  There was no way to get access to her house from the front, but we were able pull vehicles into the back yard and up to the back of the house.  After about an hour, once the gas smell wasn't so strong, we went back in the house and started packing up every single thing inside.  I was so amazed at how many people came to help.  Friends and family from up to 60 miles away came to help.  I think we had over 30 people there jumping in to help without hesitation.  By late Sunday afternoon the house was completely empty and most of the yard was cleared.  Here is what it looked like Monday:

The power of a tornado is absolutely amazing.  The back door was shut, and locked, but the tornado was still able to pry it open:

The entire house was scattered with corn kernels from nearby grain bins:

We are all thankful that Jeff's mom is alive and with us today.  That is the most important thing.  Jeff's dad passed away 7 years ago, which makes this all the more difficult.  I can't imagine what his mom is going through right now.  I feel like losing your spouse is about the worst thing a person could go through.  So for her to make it through that, and then lose her home years later has to be emotionally draining.  She has so many friends and family that care about her though.  She initially planned on staying with a friend who lived in town (whose house wasn't damaged).  However we all thought it would be better if she could find her own place to rent for awhile, until we get the next steps figured out.  Jeff's sister and her husband arrived early Monday morning and we spent yesterday looking for a place.  Unfortunately, Small Town Iowa doesn't have much to offer as far as apartments, condos, rental houses go (especially after half the town is destroyed).  At the end of the day yesterday some ladies from her church stopped by and told her the church owns a furnished house for people to stay in whenever needed.  It just so happens that nobody is currently staying there and they offered it to her.  What a blessing that was!  Jeff and I had to leave last night so that we could get back to work today.  His sister and her husband are staying through tomorrow to help get her settled in this house. 

Where do we go from here?  Good question.  A boy who was interviewed on the news put it perfectly:  "Now what?"