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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Get Comfy. This is gonna be a long one...

I have been putting this off for awhile but today I finally decided the time is right to tell everyone about something that has been going on in my life for a couple of months (the term "Everyone" being used loosely in this case as there really aren't THAT many people who read my blog that don't already know...). I wasn't necessarily keeping it a secret but I also wasn't exactly telling everyone either- in September, after having been off birth control for 5 months and never getting a period, I found out from my OBGYN that I have something called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS...it's kind of hard to explain really...it basically means that I'm not ovulating properly, or possibly not at all. The best thing you can do if you're really interested is to Google it rather than have me try to explain. It's one of those things that has a million random symptoms that may or may not occur in everyone, as well as a whole mix of possible outcomes for the fertility of someone who has it. If you DO Google the term, probably the first “fun fact” you'll come across, as I did, is that it is the #1 cause of infertility in the US and it also has a high risk of miscarriage. However, my doctor put the whole thing in a better light when she explained that PCOS is the #1 cause of infertility in untreated patients in the US (we haven't discussed yet if this is true of the possibility of miscarriage as well) and with the proper treatment and a little weight loss on my part, my doctor is hopeful that I will not turn out to be infertile. For now, I'm letting myself hope that she is right.

The Path So Far

For those of you who would rather just forget that women have periods and experience a myriad of emotional ups and downs each month along with certain “symptoms” that are altogether not that pleasant, you may want to stop reading here. I won't be describing anything gross or graphic but I am going to speak frankly about menstrual cycles- sorry:) I may also explain things that you already know but please, bear with me! I've learned a lot in the last few months and one of those things is that women (including me) are largely in the dark about what really goes on with their bodies, so all-in-all at least I'm learning something?! And now I can pass that knowledge on to you! Yay.

So now it's been 3 months since I started taking a drug called Metformin (brand name for Glucophage) at 500mg twice a day, and though I have started getting a cycle again it has been far from regular. With 40-50 days between periods it is unlikely that I am ovulating at all- a lack of ovulation means that my ovaries are not releasing eggs -therefore there is nothing to be fertilized, and in turn, no chance of getting pregnant. Since my eggs are not being released on their own, they have been sitting in/on my ovaries and turning into little cysts (thus the poly-cystic part). My hormones where also all out of whack and causing things like acne (awesome) and the whole never-being-able-to-lose-weight thing. Metformin was supposed to regulate this as it is essentially an insulin-regulating drug and in many ways PCOS is a pre-diabetic condition, but so far we haven't seen the desired results.

Last week I called my doctor's office to let them know that though I do have periods again, I do not have a regular cycle. My OBGYN decided it was a good idea to up the dosage of Metformin to 3 times a day instead of 2. I spoke with Jamie, the nurse practitioner today and she also recommended I begin taking my Basal Body Temperature and charting it daily. This means waking up to take my temperature at about the same time every morning before I get out of bed and writing the number on a little graph. When (if) my temperature spikes, then I'm ovulating. It's supposed to be the most accurate (and inexpensive!) way to check for ovulation.

Step 2 is to lose more weight. I've lost a little from taking Metformin and a little dieting alone, but my new doctor-imposed-goal is to lose 15lbs by March 4th, which is my next appointment with my OBGYN. If, by March 4th I have lost the weight and my cycle is still not regular they will most likely start me on a fertility medication called Chlomid (Clomid? I've seen both spellings) in addition to the Metformin. I haven't read up a lot on Chlomid yet but I do know you take it in “rounds” and that you cannot continue to take it for long periods of time.

So, that is the long and short (not so short) of it. If you are looking for ways to pray for me (and Andy, though in all honesty the only real effect on him right now is dealing with my emotions), keep in mind that I have always had problems with both anxiety and depression. Though I try to keep myself positive and know its not good for either my health or my relationships (or oddly enough, regulating a menstrual cycle) to dwell on the bad, it's not always easy. Also, when (if) we do reach the point of a regular cycle and ovulation, we have a built-in stumbling-block in the fact that Andy's job keeps him away from home quite frequently. We estimate he is only home about 40% of the time...this doesn't bode well when there is really only a 4-day window for getting pregnant each month. Timing will have to be perfect for things to work out the way we'd like. Thankfully Someone Else is in charge of timing and not me, but it can still be very difficult to Trust.

Finally, not entirely but partly thanks to the miracle that is Facebook, I am hearing about new pregnancies among my friends and acquaintances everyday. I feel inundated by pictures, blogs, and a bazillion updates on each and every single one of my friends' and families' healthy children. As a girl that has really never wanted anything more than to have children and be a stay-at-home-mom, this whole situation is quite literally one of my worst nightmares. It also doesn't help when well-meaning people try to "look on the bright side" and inform me that I should be happy I get to spend more time with just my husband and "practice" without all the stress of kids. While I agree that God's timing is perfect and I know He has a reason for all of this, I'd love to remind those people that THEY decided when THEY wanted to have kids and for most of them, it happened...they usually aren't thinking about how they really would have felt if they'd been told to "wait."

I put off blogging about this for so long. I think in many ways it felt like admitting we might be in for a long road ahead, and that was a truly scary thought. I was also wary of posting a whole long entry about this only to find out I was pregnant a week later (but since I'm at the beginning of my “cycle” the earliest that can happen is a month, so it's pretty unlikely), and I really hate to cry wolf. I also always had this image in my head of surprising friends and family with a pregnancy, so it is hard for me to expose (literally) myself and the entire situation in this way. I guess though I've just decided that's not an option for us, I'll have to give up that image in exchange for prayers and support from friends and family.

So pray that I stay positive, that Andy and I continue to deal (pretty)well with his schedule, and that we also continue to resist the temptation to become bitter over all of the new babies around us and our distinct lack of one of our own. In turn, the best I can offer is to keep you updated, and one day to give you lots of lap time with our child, however we are finally blessed with one!


~Krista (for Andy)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

TCC Girls Night

WOO HOO!!! Every girl needs an all-girls' night once in awhile! Fortunately for me, I had 9 Middle and High School girls ready and willing to do just that last week Friday. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I decided taking them to a Disney Channel-inspired concert was the best way to kick it off. (check out: http://www.ishinelive.com/ to see what it was all about)
The night started off with a walk down the red carpet to the auditorium, complete with "star" interviews of many of the participants (those will be posted on the website, if you're curious). After we found our seats we just had to sit back and wait for the fun to begin! Here are the girls waiting patiently...or not so patiently :)
Front Row: Christine, Rachel, Ivy, Shelby BackRow: Issie, Amanda, Kaleigh, Kathryn, Jessica
It started off a little slow. I was getting worried the night would be a total flop- geared toward kids a little younger and less mature than mine. But by the end of the night most of the girls were standing up in the "mosh pit" singing and dancing along. This is a rather blurry picture of Robert Pierre, the true heartthrob of the evening. Poor Amanda tried to get a good picture but he was pretty animated and didn't stop moving!Robert Pierre is a Christian singer, he's pretty good and his CD is free at Family Christian Bookstores with the purchase of a Barnabas Bear (http://www.familychristian.com/shop/product.asp?prodID=57312) It was his idea to give his CD's away for this cause...pretty awesome for a 16-year-old boy.

After the concert we found ourselves waiting in line to have anything and everything possible signed by the performers. It was an hour and half wait!Amanda, Jessica, Issie and Kathryn waiting in line.
(Notice most of the pictures are of these four. I'll post more of the other girls when my film gets developed)

Luke Benward of "How to Eat Fried Worms" and "Minute Men" Givin' out free hugs!

I just like this picture.

Goofballs. Amanda, Issie and Kathryn.
In all honesty, I was a little worried about this evening. I love hanging out with these girls but it can be a little overwhelming at times- just me and 9 preteen and teenage girls! But I shouldn't have worried, we had a great time. They all get along so well, are respectful and just a downright good time to spend a night with!
We concluded the evening with a game of Apples to Apples (best group game ever because it's so informal, easy to explain and just plain fun!), Statues in the Park, and a chick flick. The next morning found us running to Dunkin Donuts getting breakfast for all the workers coming to church for the church workday. It was a blast, thanks girls...I couldn't ask for a better group of ladies to hang out with!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Plumbing- One of those things you take for granted. Till it's gone.

So last night as I walked in my back door after a full day of church activities I knocked our little message board off the wall and sighed (or maybe swore, jk). It had been a looong day, I was tired, I had a new book I wanted to start reading, and I needed to put another nail in the wall to keep that stupid thing up. I sniffed the air thinking it smelled a little musty, but we'd been gone all weekend so I figured it was just stale air. As I bent to pick up all the little chalk pieces and magnets from the floor I heard the unmistakable sound of water dripping in our basement - Fantastic. Expecting to find water dripping from the ceiling onto my washer, which is what happened last spring when our dishwasher sprung a leak, I traipsed down the stairs, turned the corner into the laundry room, and was hit with a blast of hot, moist air. The entire basement was steamy. There was condensation on the walls, the glass block windows were completely fogged, miriads of spider webs with little beads of condesation were hanging from the ceiling, and there was water spraying out of the pipe behind my utility sink.

To make a long story short, I couldn't find any valve that would turn off the water and had to call my neighbor who came over and tapped on the hot water heater (of course it's the HOT water) valve with a hammer for about five minutes before it would budge. It seems there is a crack in one of the fittings by the utility sink which was causing hot water to spray all over my laundry room. Thankfully nothing was too damaged as the water was actually spraying over the sink and water was running down the drain.
Now it's about 16 hours later, I need a shower, I'm missing work at Thornapple, and I NEED A SHOWER.

I'm gonna go try to get some work done from home and wait for this guy:

Because I'm sure this is what he looks like.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall, Beautiful Fall

Sammy says it's a bit warm and sunny for Halloween:"But at least I'm feeling festive in this bright orange scarf!"

5th Annual Leitch Halloween Party

The Heemstras attend as zombies!
(Which is an improvement over last year when we were "The Awkward New Neighbors")

Beth and Becky

Karen and I
Karen and her husband Jeriomy are the previous owners of our house!
The blood isn't as convincing when I'm smiling.

And now the latest Heemstra Household Blooper entitled:
"Krista Attempts to Burn Down the House"
It all started when Andy went to the store and purchased frozen drumsticks. I decided I should fry them with the light breading I once used for some yummy chinese-esk chicken strips, and set some vegetable oil to heat on the stove. Once the oil was nice and hot I dropped in two flour-coated drumsticks and the pan immediately erupted in smoke. "Odd" I thought to myself as I fished around in the oil with my tongs to try to pull out the chicken. However, the smoke was so thick I couldn't see the chicken and it continued to fry to a blackened crisp in the too-hot oil. Finally I was able to remove both pieces of chicken, turned down the heat on the burner and was about to grab the pan off the burner when there was a sonic boom as the pan and oil burst into flames.
At this point the fire alarm was going off, smoke was filling the house, and Samson had already run for cover in a corner in the basement. Thankfully, Andy stepped in, grabbed the pan and headed for the back door. Though Andy is a little more level headed than I am (I realized after the fact that had he not been there my first instinct upon seeing the flames would probably have been to head for the sink and use water- which is never a good idea when you're dealing with a grease/oil fire) he was still a little panicked and tripped on the last step as he headed for the door. The entire yard lit up orange as some of the oil spilled onto the cement, our back steps, our rug, and the wall in the breezeway.
Recovering from this second near-catastrophe Andy was able to deposit the inferno in the middle of the driveway away from anything that might catch on fire as well, and finally got a lid on it to douse the flames.
Needless to say the house reeked, my rug was ruined, Andy is missing about 6 inches of hair on his right arm, and we bought a fire extinguisher the next day:
Notice the new fire extinguisher Andy purchased.
Notice that he labeled it: "Dinner Suppression Device" Haha, Funny.
We'll address the fact that it is BOLTED TO MY CABINET IN THE MIDDLE OF MY KITCHEN another time.
It took Samson a couple hours to work his way out of his corner to lay at the bottom of the steps.
And another 12 to decide it was safe to stay upstairs indefinitely.
Poor Samson.

In closing, I wanted to share a couple pictures that Andy took while flying to Vancouver this week. He likes to document his flights with pretty scenery pictures and a whole lot of "cool things" his gauges in the cockpit show while he's flying. I find the scenery pictures the most interesting, I'm betting most other non-pilots will too:

Friday, October 31, 2008

"May You Believe That God Is Good"

WHAM. Sometimes you need to be hit upside the head with things.
I've been reminded today that God is Good. That God wants to give us the desires of our hearts and does not wish to give His children stones when they ask for fish. It is true, that if God is not answering our prayers with a "yes" it is because He has something far better in mind.
Now we pray for grace. Grace to accept what we cannot change, and to look forward to the better things that we cannot see.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Year In This Life

I missed our one year anniversary by one day. One year ago yesterday we moved into out house! I was just sitting here going through our pictures when it occurred to me just how much has happened in one short year. Sometimes I think time flies by so fast it seems like there isn't much new to report, other times it drags while I look forward to a special day or event. It's easy to take for granted all the fun...and mundane...things that have happened in the last year. SO, in an effort to give all those little moments their due, here is a summary of the last 12 months:

We bought a house.

Welcome Home!
We Adopted an Interior Decorator

And gave him a bath.

Our First Christmas Tree- And we managed to keep from getting a "Charlie Brown"

We sold this vacuum and got a new one- LOVE IT!

We Made New Friends

Belfast Babes (Buds?) something like that
(Krista, Kristin, Anna, Meghan, Becky at Beth and Jamey's Wedding)
Samson made new friends too.

We celebrated a New Year!
(And I put makeup on Anna:)

We broke in our new bar.

...and learned new skills

Andy did manual labor

And the Kreider girls dressed like princesses

Krista learned new riding techniques

And we went to lots of weddings!

We helped friends say final farewells to being single...

...but still had a good time on the dance floor.
(is she singing "I kissed a girl..and I liked it?")

We learned about "Boater's Safety"

We had some good times :)
...and we're ready for more!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


We have a game we play with Samson- it's doggie hide-n-seek. One of us holds onto Sam while the other runs to hide. Once hidden, the hider whistles and Samson is released. He wanders around the house, darting from room to room, until he discovers us and we “throw a party” in his honor. Sam really likes this game and Andy really enjoys watching the dog scamper through the house, slipping and sliding on wood floors while his rear end fishtails into walls and around corners.
I like my floor.
I like my floor scratch-free.
This game is not good for my floor.
But most of the time they can persuade me to partake in the little game- it's hard to resist those two pairs of big blue eyes (ok one pair blue, one mismatched) and the drooling...I try to tell Andy it's not very becoming but he just can't help himself when it comes to hide-n-seek.

So we play, my floors get scratched, and Samson learns new tricks.
One thing Samson doesn't seem to understand is that he does not hide well. Sure, he'll sit still with one of use behind the bar or in a closet...but Samson pants -Samson pant real loud! So Samson is just always the finder. That's the way we play the game.

Samson also has a penchant for the trash in the bathroom. Doesn't matter what's in there; gobs of hair, plastic shampoo bottles, tissues, he likes to pull the stuff out and spread it around in the room where we keep his cage. Call it a hobby.
Unbeknownst to Samson we've equipped him with an anti-bathroom-trash-digging-device. It hangs around his neck, bears his name and home address, and makes a loud clanging noise when it hits the edge of the trash can. Oblivious to the noise, he continues to snuff around in the trash until one of us comes to stop him but nonetheless the alarm is sounded and we can try to help him break his dirty little habit. Unfortunately for us, Samson doesn't seem to want to be rehabbed.
A few days ago Andy was sitting at the dining room table working on his flight records when the alarm was sounded in the bathroom. He put on his gruff voice and called “Samson, what are you doing?!” The alarm stopped and there was an odd scuffling noise that caused Andy to get up and investigate. He reached the bathroom door and peered inside- no dog. “Samson?” He called again. Silence. “That's weird,” Andy thought to himself as he turned to leave the bathroom. Until he heard panting: “heh...heh...” silence.
He leaned back into the bathroom peered at the shower. Stepping the curtain, he pulled it back...lo and behold! Samson was hiding in the shower! Holding his breath so as not to be heard, and hoping he won't get his little furry butt yelled at!

Needless to say there wasn't a whole lot of chastising that went on since Andy was beside himself laughing at this big hairy dog that had finally learned how to hide.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Long Overdue...

Pictures from the summer, sorry it took so long!
It's a struggle having two computers in one family and only one that actually downloads your pictures properly.
But I finally got them all and downloaded them onto photobucket. Blogger seems to be having issues with slideshows but you can click on the link to check them all out!
In order of appearance:
Kellyn and Brandon's Wedding
Tara and Matt's Wedding
Rachel's Bachelorette Weekend
Rachel and Aaron's Wedding
Samson's first boat, pool and beach experiences...
and a few others. ENJOY!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Little R n R

Rest...and Relaxation!

Since I cannot possibly sum up the entire 10 days in a single blog, I'll get right to the pictures!

Reno Sign, right by our hotel.

I don't remember what these guys jumped out of but it was some big military plane...


Thunderbirds Again!

I hate this picture of me, but it was one of our days hiking in Reno.

One of the racing planes - I believe this was the T6 series? I'm learning...

Gotta Rock the Aviators.

I'd be a lot sexier without that big scab on my arm.

Nemesis- This plane also raced in the "sport" class, meaning they are home-built and crazy fast. between 400-500 mph
I believe this was somewhere in Bally's Paris Casino...

My Cousin's little boy Isaac. We ate at Mon Ami Gabi- yuuuuum.

Andy and Whoopi

This is me and Nicholas Cage (we're buds now)

A living statue in the Venetian


This little guy was one of Sigfreid and Roy's baby tigers in the Mirage exhibit. They were only 5 months old! They also had an 8 day old baby dolphin.

More pictures to come but I'm still a little jet-lagged and it's time for bed!!