Gluten Free Super Fudgy Brownie Recipe

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I made these today. But instead of square brownies, I tried making them into little mini muffin sized portions. I also substituted coconut oil for the shortening. They stuck to the pan and were difficult to get out, so next time I’ll line the pan with mini muffin cups.

They were delicious a la mode!

The recipe can be found at: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/super-fudgy-paleo-brownies/

Babies Ruin Bodies

I have mixed feelings about being the non-gestational parent of our future child. I spent my entire life adamant that I never wanted to be pregnant. Horror stories recounted time and time again by my mother, seeing saggy stretch-mark plagued boobs, bellies, and hips, as well as my own body dis morphia dissuaded me from thinking that pregnancy was something I would ever want to do.

When I hit my thirties, my body changed a bit. My hips widened, I had more fat on my belly, and all of my sharp corners and edges softened a bit. I was starting to look like a thirty-year-old! My perspective on life had changed as well. I had left my career as a licensed primary health care professional and clinical instructor, and went back to school to be a high school teacher. Many people were shocked by my decision, but when I explained using one word, they understood. That word was happiness. I was miserable as a doctor, and didn’t want to waste the rest of my life continuing to live that way. I wanted to enjoy my work, but also make room for a family. This is when we knew we were ready to start talking about having a family.

To be continued in another post….

My original purpose for this post was actually to share this: http://weseekjoy.blogspot.ca/2013/12/babies-ruin-bodies.html?m=1

As my perspective changed, I started to realize how beautiful the changing pregnant and post-partum body was. Reading the above post highlighted how lucky DW and I are to be able to do a reciprocal IVF. Her connection with our children will be deeply rooted in her own body, and mine will be in reflections of myself and my family in them. Each of us receives a gift from these babies.

Lazy Thyroid

So my TSH levels were high again, so I’m on a low dose of Synthroid. Thank goodness they didn’t cancel our cycle again.

Damn lazy thyroid.

I’m also horribly sick with what seems to be a hybrid monster cold/flu. I’ve been hacking and sniffling all day an night, clearing my throat every couple of seconds or so. I’ve called in sick for tomorrow because I’m feeling like death. Too bad I also have my day 4 of stims bloodwork and ultrasound tomorrow morning too!

It was really difficult teaching today because I am very interactive with my students, and could barely speak much because my throat was so sore.

Otherwise, I’m not feeling any side effects from the Gonal-F or Synthroid. A little bloated maybe, but that’s all.

We’ll see if they change my dose tomorrow!

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Silly thyroid from: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4437407

Day 3 Bloodwork and Ultrasound

So this is the update:

Gonal-F starts tonight after 8pm- 200 units.

Stay on the Lupron 20 units.

Come back January 9th again for day 7 bloodwork and ultrasound.

Oh, and the ultrasound technologist accidentally tried to wand me in the wrong hole at first, which was a surprising start to my day…

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(Photo from: http://www.signature9.com/food/yum-national-donut-day-2010-means-krispy-kreme-and-dunkin-donuts-freebies)

Awesome Gluten-Free Waffle Recipe

For the past few days, I’ve been satisfying my Marvelon-PMS-induced sugar cravings with homemade gluten-free waffles. We’ve tried many recipes but I like this onethe best because it reminds me of the Chinese egg balls that you can get at summer night markets in Vancouver (my home town):

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(Photo from: http://chowtimes.com/2010/10/27/admiralty-center-food-court-on-mckim-way-richmond/)

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IVF Medication Review: Marvelon

Both DW and I have had a really rough time on the Marvelon, and have been so happy to finally stop taking it a few days ago.

These are symptoms and side effects we each report:

DW: constant spotting after week one, cramping with spotting, pimples on the face, weight gain, larger breasts, mood swings, heavier cramping and bleeding than a regular menstrual period.

Moi: bad headaches, especially during a Marvelon period (I normally don’t he headaches at all), moodiness, cravings for sweets, weight gain, larger breasts, pimples on back (never happens for me), heavier bleeding and the terrible cramps during period (I don’t usually have cramps during a normal period).

We both got our periods about 48 hours after our last pill.

Body Blitz and Bleeding

DW and I treated ourselves to fabulous day out today. We enjoyed the waters at Body Blitz in the morning, and then ventured to our favourite authentic Northern Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. We always order the same dishes because we love them so much! Afterwards, we went to get some fresh produce, and some pineapple custard buns (Bolo bao) from the local Chinese market. DW says the are her favourite. I just enjoy that she likes the baking of my people. Lol.

While blitzing in the waters, we both felt some strong abdominal cramps, so we weren’t surprised when we came home to find blood-streaked toilet paper! We took our last Marvelon pill on January 2nd and have been waiting to bleed.

Today (January 4th) is our Day 1. We go into the RE clinic before work on Monday for our Day 3 blood work and ultrasounds. This days ultrasounds are the worst because they do two ultrasounds: one with a full bladder first and the other after it has been emptied. In total, we are there for about 40-45 minutes.

It makes for an early morning on a crappy snowy day, but things are about to get exciting!

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(Photo from http://myperiodblog.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/painting-with-menstrual-blood/)

Year in Review 2013

Thank you to The Mamas Rapscallion for the questions!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? Peed on, and in things: LH sticks, HCG sticks, cortisol-testing urine collection jugs, and etc.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t usually make New Year resolutions. I just kind of wake up every morning and vow to do what’s right for the moment, and try not to frown too much when people say or do offensive things. This year however, I will resolve to try to relax more. I don’t mean put my feet up when the wife is slaving over dinner, but rather, to worry less.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? People around me gave birth- lots of them. However, no one super close. A few ex-teammates and some acquaintances only. 

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, a friend from university did. At the young age of 34, he died of unknown causes. 

5. What places did you visit? We kicked off 2013 with a family trip to Disney World, then headed to an amazing resort in Punta Cana, DR for March Break, and then Vancouver, Honolulu, and Maui in August.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? A baby, or babies. 

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The first insemination that we did at home on our own-  DW wearing a headlamp, snapping the plastic speculum like a quacking duck, us giggling like little girls the entire time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Slowing overcoming my fear of having my blood drawn, and utilizing self-restraint when all I really wanted to do was kick the stupid IUI nurse in the head when she so inappropriately muscled her way through my cervix rather than try to thread in the catheter properly.

9. What was your biggest failure? Being a workaholic to the point where I have already burnt out and am hating my job on a 3 times a week kind of basis. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing memorable.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Well technically, the IVF was paid for in 2013, so I’ll say that.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Nobody’s. We could have all behaved a little better.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The behaviour of the RE clinic. They have been absolutely unprofessional, unreliable, and suspiciously untruthful at the best of times. If we didn’t need them to help us create a baby, we would be complaining about them to some governing body.

14. Where did most of your money go? In order of decreasing expense: IVF, bathroom renovation, re-roofing, IUI’s and related costs, and my sports (gym membership, Muay Thai, ball and ice hockey fees). 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Putting my buns in my wife’s oven in January 2014!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013? Anything by Lorde or Lykke Li.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier

b) thinner or fatter? Definitely fatter. Since May, I’ve been on fertility drugs of some variety, and despite all of the exercise that I do on a regular basis, I am up 15lbs from my normal 30-something-year-old weight.

c) richer or poorer? The same. We anticipated all of these expenses, and started saving up for them last year.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Nothing.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Working.
20. How did you spend Christmas in 2013? Packing to go to Disney World.
21. Did you fall in love in 2013? Stayed in love. 
22. What was your favorite TV program? Homeland.
23. What did you do for your birthday in 2013? Went to the Dominican Republic!
24. What was the best book you read? The Night Circus.
25. What did you want and get? Many things- a ukulele, mortar and pestle, icers (ice tracks for my hiking shoes), many chances to make a baby.
26. What did you want and not get? A baby, and a sun-destination Christmas trip.
27. What was your favorite film of this year? Blue is the Warmest Color.
28. Did you make some new friends this year? Oui, mostly from work.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? An invention to manipulate time- to slow it down when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and to speed it up during those two-week-waits.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? Outdoor smart. Think Eddie Bauer and Patagonia in the classroom.
31. What kept you sane? Sports and working out.
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I’m not really into celebrities.
33. What political issue stirred you the most? Russia’s homophobia.
34. Who did you miss? My grandparents.
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. Anything is possible….